Disclamer: This is a work of fan-fiction. The here fore used characters belong rightfully to Marvel and I just borrowed them. The only profit I hope to achieve with this is the pure pleasure of the reader, so no copyright infringement intended. Please do not sue me, I don’t have money and won’t be getting some from this story.
Author’s notes: This was a second response to the same challenge. The story can be seen as the sequel to “Fallen Hero” but it can also stand alone.
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Ashes to ashes
“…from earth we have come and earth we shall become again.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”
The skies above the mansion had turned black, dark clouds covered the otherwise beautiful blue background and a slight drizzle came down onto the mourners who had gathered themselves for the funeral. They all stood behind the mansion, a bit away behind the small hill where all their fallen comrades lay buried. Today they had come together, again to bury one of them, one of their fallen.
Every time before, it had been incredibly hard for them, painful and it had been too many times but on this day it was so much more painful for it had not only happened unexpectedly but it also had hit one of them, they never thought it’d happen to. It had happened to the one man, they never believed it would. But as so many times before, they were proved wrong.
Underneath many dark umbrellas they all wore black, as a sign of their mourning. Some of them cried, others had decided to show their grief on petrified faces, but there was one thing they all had in common. They all kept asking themselves about the why, stunned and not able to believe it. Why had this had to happen; but none of them, not a single one of them knew the answer or had an explanation for the things that had happened. They just knew that it had happened nonetheless.
In endless sorrow and deep silence they stood together there, the coffin next to the open grave, waiting to be let down. They simply stood there and waited for that the first one would begin to speak.
You have always set an example for us, been a mentor who had led all of us with his knowledge but also with his wisdom. You have always taught us to accept who we are and taught us to give our best, no matter how difficult the things were, we had to face or how stony the way we had to go might have been. You taught us how to control our powers and to use the things, we are able to accomplish with them for the benefit of all mankind. Without you and your help many of us, including me, probably would have fallen into despair, crushed underneath all the difficulties and pain of our lives we had to endure only because of what we were and just because we had nobody who would be there for us with understanding and not fear. The fact that it not had come that far we all owe just you.
You have offered us a life worth living for and that also was worth fighting for and still is. But you have done so much more for us.
You not only have been our teacher, our mentor but also been like a father for us. You have given us a family many of us never had and more. Your school and all those you have taken in have grown to become a family, our family and with that grown to be yours also. It always has been you who believed in us and in all the others. You have fought for us with untiring strength, you have been there for us and stood with us, no matter how hard the challenges had been.
We had had to encounter much pain and sorrows in our lives, before and even after we had come to you and that not just because of what we are. But we have endured everything because we also were allowed to experience great joy and happiness and all these memories make up for all the pain. Unfortunately they cannot make up for all the tears we again have to shed now but maybe they will help us to cope a bit better with your loss.
You have given us so much and never expected anything in return for it, because you believed in the good in all of us, even if we could not see it at some times. You have given us so much and never expected anyting, but you never had to for all we had become was always reward enough for you. And we could not be more grateful for all this because without you we would not stand where we are now, we’d not be what we have become.
But we never thanked you for all this and now it is too late for it though I strongly believe that you always have known it. I believe have always been able to see it, for you have always seen it in our hearts.
You always were the best of us, without you we’d never achieved so much or would never have been able to make so much out of our lives. None of us can believe it or understand that you now should no longer be with us.
Your loss is the most painful thing we ever had to endure but you will never truly die. You will always live on in our hearts, within us and within your deam, we still are living and fighting for.
The orator had decided against a common funeral oration and instead spoken out loud what everyone of them felt, every one of the gathered mourners. His voice trembling, he had faltered several times while he was speaking. No one else spoke afterwards, but the orator already had said everything they wanted to say but nonetheless there were so many things left to say, so much that could not put into words, by none of them.
They all shared the feeling of deepest gratitude for everyting the deceased had done for them and it pained them deeply to have lost him so apruptly, especially in the way it had happened. More tears ran freely down the cheeks of the mourners and none of them was ashamed of them or of expressing his or her emotions this way.
All supported each other, tried to give each other some comfort as the white coffin was let down into the grave on strong ropes. The coffin was decorated with roses, one for each one of them. They still could not believe it, did not want to believe that he was dead but reality as bitter and painful as it was, was clearly be seen in front of them, slowly vanishing into earth with the coffin as it was lowered further into the open grave.
The rain had become stronger, heaven too was crying; mouring for a man who was taken from life too early and from them. Each one of the mourners had come to honour their menor, the man who had been so much more than that for them. They paid their last respects to him when each of them passed by the grave and threw in a hand full of earth onto the coffin before they would retreat so that each of them could deal with the grief over the loss of the man that had meant more to all of them than their own lives.
Later the coffin would be buried fully, the grave closed for ever. The grave stone already was finished and leaned towards a tree near the grave. It would later remind of the man who had been buried here.
About the inscription in the stone there had been no doubts at all. They all had agreed to the one they had chosen, for they could not have imagined something more suitable. The rain poured down onto the stone, gently tracing the letters on it, golden on black marble.
Professor Charles F. Xavier
Teacher, mentor, friend
not more nor less.
No one will ever replace him
Challenge: The challenge was simply to kill Xavier, no method or scenario specified.