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Disclaimer and stuff at the top of part one
Vicky stood up and twisted until her entire spine popped. "Eh. That's
"That's gross," Kyle said with a small grin playing around his mouth.
"That's yer oppinion." Vicky grinned openly at her son. "So how good are yer
senses? Can ya track by scent alone or do ya have ta look for sign?"
Kyle gave a wolfish smile, nearly identical to the one Vicky wore when she
was on the hunt. "Try me."
"Find yer little sister," Vicky suggested with a raised eyebrow.
Kyle's nose twitched. He started to bound off, but turned to raise an
eyebrow of his own. "You coming?"
"Right behind ya," Vicky laughed.
The two ferals raced through the woods. Kyle ahead of Vicky by a few dozen
feet, being just that much faster. They both slowed as the came closer to
the source of the faint scent of peaches and motor oil.
Vicky grinned as she saw the southern girl taking apart a motorcycle engine.
Marie was cussing a blue streak. She ground her teeth together as she pulled
apart the engine. Scott had told her that she could have his old bike, if
she could get it to run.
He hadn't told her the alternater was shot. And that was just to start with.
Kyle crept forward slowly, secure that she wouldn't smell him with the wind
blowing away from both of them. Suddenly her head came up, but it was too
late, Kyle tackled her and they both went rolling.
At least until a laughing Vicky pounced on them.
Marie giggled and shoved Kyle away with her legs. Vicky on the other hand
found herself flung head over heels.
"Remind me ta knock Logan around for teaching ya that move," Vicky gasped
once air filled her lungs again.
"Pa didn't teach me," Marie said still giggling. "That was left overs from
ya touching me."
Vicky blinked. "Oh, yeah. Remind me ta knock Logan around anyway."
The two teenagers shared a look then broke out laughing. Their mother arched
"So ya think that's funny, huh?" Vicky rumbled.
A soft cough interupted her planned pounce. Scott Summers raked a hand
through his hair. "The Professor wants you and Rogue, Vicky."
"Sure, Cueball can cut into play time any old time he wants," Vicky growled
sarcasticly. She rolled to her feet in an easy graceful motion. "Come on,
Kyle and Marie trotted easily after her as she moved at that easy half-run
that was more natural to her than walking. They stopped at the door to
Xavier's office and Vicky winked at the two younger mutants, but just as she
pulled her fist back to really give it a pounding the Professor called out
for them to come in.
Marie and Kyle muffled giggles as Vicky ground her teeth together.
"What can we do for ya, Chuck?" Vicky asked as she stalked into the room.
She froze at the sound of her semi-adopted daughter's choked off gasp.
"Marie?" whispered the small mouse-ish looking woman sitting in front of
Xavier's desk. "What did you do to your hair?"
Marie whimpered and jerked back from the woman's reaching arms, a hand
coming up to touch her white, blonde and black streaked hair. When the man
stood up Kyle moved between him and Marie with a snarl.
"Easy, Kyle," Vicky said quietly as she rested a massive hand on Marie's
slender shoulder. "What the blazes they doing here, Chuck?"
"We've come to take our daughter home," the man said firmly as he eyed the
hand on Marie's shoulder.
The woman nodded. "There's a doctor that says he can help her..."
Vicky's eyes narrowed and a low growl rumbled up in her chest. She took a
deep breath before she could speak calmly. "Ya mean he says he can 'fix'
her. Well, there's nothing for him ta fix. The kid's just fine the way she
"Fine? She can't touch anyone!" yelled the man.
"See this?" Vicky growled, placing her other hand on Marie's shoulder. "It's
touching. She can be hugged and held and tickled and all sorts of simple
things without anybody getting hurt."
Marie finally whispered: "I am home."
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
Author: Cordelia LaMorte
Catagory: Evolution (Rogue and Logan)
Summery: Rogue's past comes up with twisted details after the delivery of
papers and her induction into the X-men
Rating: NC-17 graffic violence and sexual situations
Archieving: You want it? Please take it!
Feedback: You scratch my back I'll scratch yours
Disclaimer: I only own original characters such as Evangeline and Jakob (Both
are dead and hold minor roles) Everything else besides Rogue's wardrobe (also
mine) belongs to Marvel. The excessive mention of the beautiful god-man that
is Trent Reznor belongs to himself regrettably.
Author's note: Sorry it's taken this god damned long but I've been having
delays related to life and a plague called writer's block. My earlier
prediction of finishing this during spring break got shoot to hell and I
might as well have gone with it after all the choas our list has suffered. I
propose a remedy though... everyone think of naked Trent and Hugh covered
only in purple glitter. (Sure they'll look like something that fell out of
David Bowie's ass but hey...It's Trent Hugh and Purple glitter! Such things
can't be wrong...) And for our guys on the group...think of Charisma
DARK FERRET!!!!!!~ hey girl I'm so totally sorry I couldn't get back to you
on Run 2 like I planned but Life is a bitch and I couldn't. Sorry sorry
sorry!!!!!!! This is dedicated to you by the way! Drop me a line and we could
talk about that little idea we were kicking around.
Raven Darkholme stared through her black rimmed glasses at the girl in the
opposite chair, the over stuffed chair dwarfing her already small frame.
"I'd like to congratulate you on the publication. I'm quite proud." Smooth,
professional, but there was an urgency for Rogue to believe her. The girl
remained reticent, so Darkholme continued as the girl examined the multitude
of jelly bracelets spangled from her wrist. "I read the stories, they're
rather good, though macabre" Raven gestured to the hard back copy of
Borderland's 11. It was a yearly publication show casing the year's best
horror fiction. Rogue had been excepted for two of her short stories. " You
have a gift, dear one."
"Ah ain't here about that" Rogue finally spoke.
Raven nodded sipping her Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. "I assumed as much.
What it you need, daughter?"
"Who is he?"
Raven's expression passed as clueless. "Who's who?"
"Mah fathah, you said you left me with Evangeline to protect me from Magneto.
Why not just leave me with him instead?" She paused as a new thought form in
her mind. "Or does he even know about me?"
Raven took another sip of the strong brew thoughtfully, it's redolent flavor
stung bitterly at Rogue's nose."He does not know of you and that is best, he
also has definite connections to Eric."
"If that's all true than why'd you tell Magneto about you being mah momma at
"Because the time was right, and I wanted to know you."
"You mean you wanted those papers Irene sent."
Raven put the cup down with unnecessary force and a water fall of dark fluid
poured on to the desk.
"Why is it so hard for you to believe I care?"
"17 years of you not being there!" Rogue cried out despite the new fact that
she'd been there at various times, disguised as Josette, as if tapping
through her train of thought Raven spoke again,
"You know you were rather marvelous at the piano, I had Irene record you
playing once. I listened to it over and over til it wore out and broke, I'd
asked Irene for another but you had already abandoned playing for that other
wretched instrument." The guitar. Jakob had been teaching her in his attic.
Rogue stilled, her focus dragging past he knees her black skirt bore and to
the knee high Doc Martian's peeking just above them. The left one was untied
but she made no move to adjust.
"Ah can understand making sure Irene got me, but Ah don't understand
Evangeline and why ya found me now if Magneto's so dangerous"
"Evangeline, as regrettable as the situation was, prepared you as well as
kept you away from Eric."
"Prepared me fo' what?" Choler raised in her voice as gloriously green eyes
"For life" Raven said as if that was explanation enough. "You are very well
capable of caring for yourself, and do not give your trust freely, venerable
qualities, dear daughter."
The threat of tears scorched Rogue's sinuses and quivered her lip. "Do you
know there were week's when all I had was a jar of peanut butter? I had to
ration it out until Evangeline's dealer left town or one of her tricks bought
me dinner to keep me quiet. And there were times when Ah was really sick and
she wouldn't take me to tha doctor cause she was afraid he'd realize she was
high. Do you know that she beat the living shit out of me everyday because
Ah'd 'Ruined her liagh'?" Rogue stood and was now visibly shaking. "Did you
know that when Ah found her dead, Ah laughed before Ah cried? This ain't a
damned soap opera, now tell me who the fuck is mah fathah?" Rogue flinched as
she felt her nails bend and break as they burrowed into her flesh.Had she
looked down at her palms, she'd find weeping crescents with small slivers of
black nail polish.
"Xavier" Darkholme said trying to remain philometric.
Rogue's eyes grew wide and she fled, ignoring a gap faced Jean Grey out side
the door as she pushed her way to her Harley at full gate.
Jean crumpled the principal meeting pass in her hand and tossed it in the
trash before running to find Scott.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Marie had never seen Bobby as furious as he was just then, what with
the way his face was a deep shade of red and how he was constantly
pacing the floor. "Bobby, sit down, before you wear a hole in
the rug." He shot her a glare, before reflexively wincing and
apologizing for his actions.
"I can't help it..." Still, he did as she said, sinking onto
his bottom, back against the wall. Running a shaky hand through his
hair, he looked over at the others, none of which seemed any more
pleased about their latest news as he was. "You talked to him for
what...five minutes?" Angry as he was, he had to resort to harsh
whispers to get his emotions across, as yelling would certainly have
"He's a mutant...there's no doubt, Robert. Why would a mutant
set out with the intention of hurting his brothers and sisters?"
"You can't trust anyone in this society anymore...it isn't
"Robert," The gentle Goddess leaned over and patted his hand
to comfort him. "What if he hadn't trusted the man, and what
he said were true? We cannot turn others away because we have been
mistreated. It is still our duty, as the remaining X-Men, to do all
that we can for those like us. As well as those who are different."
The new "leader" of the X-Men blushed slightly at the small scolding
he received and nodded his head.
"I understand that...and I sympathize...but lately the Anti-
Mutant Organization has-"
"Been relatively quiet, so say the papers." Henry McCoy now
spoke up, feeling it necessary to defend their latest roommate.
"There's always a calm before the storm. Am I right? They may
need to be quiet now, to regain the public's favor, but that doesn't
stop them from acting underground. Any number of actions against us
could be in the works as we speak. How do we know this man isn't a
spy? They have been known to send out ground crew to
retrieve "fugitives" like us."
"That may be true, but that's a chance we're going to have to
take. If he is what you think, then maybe spending a few days with us
will turn him off his original course. Remember what Xavier said?
Even your worst enemies can be swayed to become your best alliance.
If these "spies" are out there, maybe they are just being misinformed
about mutants. In which case, it only takes one of us to set him
straight." Marie looked at him sincerely, offering the words he
didn't want to hear, but knowing he had to hear them.
"She got a poin', homme...De guy deserves a chance, jus' like
anyone else." Bobby Drake raised his eyes from the hands he had used
to cover his face and looked intently at each of his friends. This
wasn't something he could or would take lightly. The situation at
hand called for serious thought, something he was not well averse in.
Times like these made him wish that Cyclops was still around,
considering the leader always seemed to know when something was a bad
Intuition had always been the way to go, in Bobby's eyes. It
had yet to fail him, since he had come to lead the X-men through hard
times. Still, if he were to follow it, and be wrong...a man's life
hung in the balance. Something he had never dealt with before.
Everyone else seemed to be in agreement over the matter, yet
they still left him with the final say. Such respect was nice, for
once, and he wanted to be sure he never acted in such a way as to
lose their respect. Letting out a deep breath, he finally turned to
Arnold Frank again. "When will he be here?"
"Tomorrow evening, after curfew. We need to move the food to
one side of the upstairs room, if you're to have any room for him."
"No..." Bobby stood to his feet, brushing off his pants even
though there was nothing on them, just to give his hands something to
do. "I'll clear the place out and move up there myself." The rest he
didn't have to say, and that was that this way, the stranger would be
amongst them as much as possible, and therefore unable to plan
anything without their knowing about it.
"That's very generous of you." Bobby cracked a small smile,
almost chuckling because, it really had nothing to do with
generosity. He just wanted to stay alive to see this war end. No spy
or Anti-Mutant member was going to ruin that dream for him.
A few moments later, while the girls slipped out to prepare
for bed, Arnold Frank excused himself, saying he needed to return
home as quickly as possible. Bobby shook his hand and called good-bye
before turning his attention to the food storage area that was to be
his new room. It was colder there, he imagined, what with the lack of
body heat to make things more comfortable, which made it rather
appropriate that the Iceman take it over.
Pushing cans and loaves of bread aside, he managed a neat
enough stack, though it was an act he performed without much
conscious thought. He was gripped with fear and apprehension, despite
how he hid that from the rest of the members in the room. So
distraught was he that, when Marie's hand fell lightly upon his
shoulder, he jumped.
"Hey...just me." Quirking a small smile, she sat down, legs
dangling onto the ladder, and watched as he continued stacking the
food. "You did the right thing..."
"I hope so." He doubted he'd ever be really sure one way or
the other as to the stranger he was allowing to integrate into their
close knit lives.
"It'll be a good experience, I think..." Marie always managed
to make things positive, no matter what the situation was. It seemed
to him as though all his carefree, optimistic moods slipped from him
and seeped into her when he needed to assume some responsibility in
life. Now it was she that made sure the others remained upbeat when
things started to get tough. He wished, at that moment more than ever
before, that he could be that way again.
"If things work out, it will be."
"They will. You'll see." Tossing the can she had taken into
her hands at some point back to Bobby, she threw him another smile
before beginning her descent down the ladder and back into the main
room of the hidden hallway.
"Hey, Marie?" She stopped then, eyes sparkling slightly from
the usage of her real name. No one else called her that, as it didn't
seem appropriate. But he, having been there through the hardest parts
of her life, had been given the permission to use her real name,
while all others continued to refer to her as Rogue.
"Thanks." A lot was behind that one word, for he owed a great
deal to her when he thought about it. She was always the one talking
sense into him when he got carried away with himself. They weren't a
couple, as many people thought, yet they were more. Close friends
that went beyond the call of such a title, doing more than was
required of themselves, to ensure that one another were well taken
"Don't mention it." With a playful wink, she disappeared
entirely, and Bobby turned back to his work a little more hopeful
than he had been when he started out on his task. By the time he
finished cleaning up the room and setting up his sleeping bag, the
others were already asleep, having blown out the candle that provided
their only light. Laying down atop the sleeping bag, Bobby looked up
at the ceiling and tried to imagine the stars he was faintly sure
were hanging there in the sky at that very moment. Reassuring himself
once again that things would be okay for the five of them, he shut
his eyes, and gratefully drifted off to sleep.
Disclaimers, etc. in first part.
POSSIBLE TISSUE WARNING!!! Keep those hanky's ready, just in case you
are as much of a crybaby as me. :o) *note: This is not an insult to
crybaby's, I'm just admitting I'm one of them*
~*~ X ~*~
Scott returned to Xavier's quarters with two lifebelts, a third he
had already donned himself. Jean put on hers numbly. She had turned
her emotions off to help strengthen her mental shields. Her mind and
heart were cold to what was going on around them, otherwise she
would surely drown when the panic gripping the ship's inhabitants
The Professor simply stared at the white floatation device and handed
it back to Scott. "Professor?" he inquired, refusing to take it back.
"Give it to someone else," he replied with a tinge of sadness. "I
think we all know that there is no way I am getting off this ship."
A crack opened in Jean's emotional defenses and her eyes started to
shed tears. "But... Professor, we need you!" she cried out,
unbelieving that the man who was like a father to her and mentor was
going to just give up so easily.
Xavier got to his feet and waddled over to Jean, taking a seat once
again, beside her. "Jean... Scott... You two were my first students,
and I am grateful to have taught you both. I wish things were
different, but they aren't." He ran a comforting hand down her back
and gave her a tender smile. "I will always be with you. You both can
do fine without me, and you will."
They both jumped as Scott banged his fist against the wall in
frustration, resting his head against it afterwards. "It's not
fair... You can still do so much--"
"I will not take the place of a woman or a child on one of those
boats," he declared sternly, forcing them to drop the issue. He gave
Jean a hug and she kissed him on his bald head. "I shall miss you
"I understand, Charles..." The redhead told him once she had gotten a
hold of her emotions again. It was very rare that she ever called him
by his first name. Only during extremely emotional and distressing
times, or when they were having one of their heart to heart talks.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Scott taking off his
glasses, his eyes squeezed painfully shut as he wiped them and his
glasses. Xavier rose to his feet once more, using his crutch to
navigate to the one he thought of as a son.
"Scott..." he said softly, checking to make sure Jean wasn't
eavesdropping on their conversation. What he wanted to tell the boy
was something he didn't want anyone else to hear. "I want you to
promise me, Scott, that no matter what happens... You will get off
this ship. They are going to look to you and Jean now, and you must
get off the ship if our dreams are to survive."
"But..." he started, exasperated. "But, there's no possible way I
"I'm certain you will find one," Xavier interrupted, not wanting him
to think for even a moment that it was hopeless. "There's bound to be
more than a few ways other than bribing or forcing that a man can get
"Profess--" he sighed, "Charles... You only begun training me in
taking over the school this year. I'm not ready. I can't do it
"You have been ready for years, Scott. With your great leadership,
and the letters I left in one of my desk drawer, you will succeed.
The letters are words of good-bye and wisdom for each of you that I
have known long enough to write them for." Despite his exterior calm,
his heart and voice were breaking at knowing those were the last
words they would know him by. So much he had to leave unsaid in those
letters, because they simply would have been far too long. Each were
many pages front and back in length as they were. "Promise me,
Scott," he pleaded.
It was obvious by then that the room had a slight tilt to it. Nothing
major, but ever so slanted. Jean got up and both her and Scott hugged
the old man tightly with Jean placing another kiss on his head. "Go
on, find a way off. I shall be in the First Class Lounge, though I
don't want to see you or the others there again." Although he tried
to fight it, a single tear rolled down his cheek because the others
would not get a chance to say good-bye to him, and there was no way
he could use his powers to do it.
"We all love you, Charles," Jean whispered to him, not trusting her
voice any louder. "We always will."
Charles watched with a breaking heart as his children left. He stared
in silence at the empty room for a few minutes before making the long
trek to the Lounge, where he knew an old friend was waiting for him.
Indeed, that old friend was sitting calmly at a table in the Lounge,
smoking a cigarette and staring at a bottle of bourbon on the table.
Xavier didn't fail to notice the two glasses sitting there with some
of the liquid in it.
Xavier took the unspoken and unacknowledged invitation to sit across
from the man and took a sip of the strong liqour.
Erik lifted his eyes to meet Charles' as the corners of his lips
twitched upwards in a smile. "I knew you would seek me out."
"Might we just talk as if we were the friends we were once?" Charles
asked, although he already knew the answer.
Erik Lensherr nodded his head, and the two became friends once again,
at the end of both of their lives. Talking about everything and
nothing at all as if the ship they were on was not sinking from under
~*~ X ~*~
Graydon Creed had called him to a meeting a while ago. Ever since
he'd gotten to the man's quarters, he has done nothing but pace. Not
even acknowledged his presence. But Henry Gyrich could be a patient
man, and knew well how not to disturb Creed when he was pacing.
Gyrich sat comfortably in his chair, watching the man only a few
years younger than him wear a trench in the carpet while he thought.
About what, was the only thing keeping Gyrich himself occupied.
He combed his short brown hair back, though it just fell back to
where it was before. His brown eyes peered behind a pair of glasses.
Almost thirty, and already in lenses. It was a pain, but one he had
to deal with. The one good thing going for him was that not only was
he in incredible shape, he looked almost ten years younger than he
really was. No one would believe he was older than Creed, even if
they showed their birth certificates.
Gyrich was one of those guys that had done practically everything. He
first started working in a small diner, then moved to a store clerk.
After being robbed, he went into the police force, and from there he
worked his way quickly to a U.S. Senator's personal assistant.
Senator Kelly, to be exact.
That was going to be his career for life. Until Creed came along.
With money and just a little bit of persuasion, Creed hired him away
from Kelly to work for him. His investigative skills along with his
police force training were something he was highly interested in and
was willing to pay nearly double the amount Gyrich was making on a
"I have a plan I need your help carrying out," were the first words
Graydon uttered to him. And even then they were far away, his mind
still thinking it through. Gyrich had seen his employer this way
before, it usual proceeded one of his madman rages. Something had
pissed him off, royally.
"Say it, I'll do it," Henry declared as an assurance that he wasn't
in any way, shape, or form going to back out now. Creed wasn't the
most respectable of people, nor the most liked -- not by a long shot.
He had many enemies, not all of them mutants. That was another area
Gyrich came in to deal with.
"My fiancée... My own fiancée... How could I have been so blind? So
trusting?" Creed rambled on, perhaps even forgetting that Henry was
"That freak of nature bitch will pay for making a fool out of me!"
Whoa... Henry hadn't even seen that one coming. Apparently, his
little bride-to-be was a mutant. Not a good thing, for her at least.
He tugged lightly at the stupid lifebelt he had to wear. Oh yeah, the
ship's dilemma. Perhaps he should be paying more attention to that?
However he had been assured that it was nothing serious, the engines
were still dead. And until they started again, he would not be at
"I want her dead. I don't truly care how, I just want the bitch dead!
And her family too. They must have known the truth--" Graydon paused
and his eyes went wide.
"What?" Henry asked, too damn curious to keep silent.
"They did know... The mother -- Irene... The night we met she had a
breakdown, proclaiming that the ship was going to sink..." Their eyes
locked as the unsaid words settled into their brains. Her family were
mutants, and they had purposely done everything for a reason. Indeed,
they all would pay.
Gyrich sat and listened intently as his employer's plan poured from
~*~ X ~*~
The crowd in the Grand Staircase was so thick, Marie was close to
having a panic attack. Without gloves on it left her hands exposed,
and knowing now what her skin could do, it was traumatizing for her
to wait in a packed area. She was so thankful when some of the people
left to go outside to the Boat Deck finally.
Logan had yet to return. She knew it would take a while for him to
get her mother there and get her in one of the boats. But patient was
not something someone could be given the circumstance.
At least she was being guarded on all sides by the women. Ororo,
Jenn, and Amy had each formed a perimeter around her and were pushing
away people who strayed too close.
The girls had started some form of a conversation, if just to keep
their minds from wandering too far. They were trying to figure out
how to get the men onto the boats.
"Well, I won't be on one," Ororo stated. "I'll use my powers so I
don't take up a space."
Marie vaguely heard the goddess explain that her powers were that of
controlling the weather. Someone she knew had spotted her in the
crowd and was making his way near her. Someone with a tuff of perfect
brown hair whom she didn't want to deal with, but knew she had to.
"Marie, at last!" Graydon said as he got up to them. "I have been
searching everywhere for you."
The girls didn't let him near her, for which she was silently
thankful. He narrowed his eyes in confusion. "This is my fiancée, you
can let me see her."
"I-it's alright..." she stammered out, knowing she had to get it over
with sooner or later. And now was a better time, in front of a crowd.
Reluctantly, the girls move just to let Graydon near the girl with
the poisonous skin. But none of them moved beyond arms reach of the
"Marie, my darling... We must get you to a boat." He tried to take
her hand in his, but she pulled away quickly.
Something caught her eye just to the side of Graydon. Jenn was
holding a pair of gloves, possibly snatched from someone else.
Gratefully, Marie took them and put them on. "Are you cold, my dear?"
Graydon asked with concern.
"A little..." Which was true.
"Come, let us get you a coat," he began to lead her away.
But what if Logan returned while she was gone? She couldn't go. "No,
no, that's alright..."
"I insist. I do not want my bride-to-be freezing out there. Come."
Well, if she went, then the girls would still be there to tell Logan.
And it would be freezing out there without a proper coat. Plus, maybe
she would meet up with Logan in her quarters.
As soon as the two went down the staircase and walked into the
corridor that would lead to Marie's room, something very hard was
pressed into the small of her back. And Graydon's grip on her arm
She gasped at his force, confused for the third time that night. A
new personal record.
"Do you think I didn't see that little show you put on right outside
my door?" he whispered harshly into her ear, everything about him had
changed. Just like everything had changed when she met what she
thought was Logan down in the Scotland Road. Only this couldn't be
the shapeshifter, he didn't have the scratches on his cheek.
Logan's memories served her purpose once again. Graydon Creed
despised as deeply as a person could people like her. Mutants. He
must have seen the claws. And the knowledge that he had been destined
to marry a mutant had sent him over the edge.
"Graydon, what are you doing?" she demanded.
"Simple. I'm going to make sure you, and those others I saw, don't
make it off the ship. Especially that little skank you seem to have
become so fond of."
Marie gasped again. "How did you--"
The demented man cut her off with a chuckle. "I have my sources."
She silently cursed herself for not defending his honor. Though the
Logan in her head didn't care what the pansy called him, he just
wanted to rip the guy to shreds for what he was doing to Marie.
"Come now, my dear," he said sarcastically. No more kindness showed
in his voice, only complete and utter hatred. "I know just where to
~*~ X ~*~
God, it was cold. And things were taking too damn long. But with the
ship slightly tilted, Marie's mother stumbled far more frequently and
made things move even slower. The two girls and one guy servants were
bustling about, getting things prepared and getting Irene ready.
When Logan had gotten to Marie's room, he was greatly disappointed
that her 'father' wasn't there. He had been hoping to gut the
bastard. One of the girls, Kitty, if he remembered correctly, had
grabbed a coat that was certainly Marie's. That was good, she would
definitely need it.
The servants were so nervous, their powers were going out of control.
Kitty phased through a chair when she bent to pick something up,
Jubilee had fried more than one thing in the room. And St. John was
absentmindedly playing with his lighter. Well, at least he kinda knew
what they could do now.
"Let's go," he ordered gruffly once Irene Alder was ready to go out
to the Boat Deck. He linked an arm with her to help steady her when
she lost her footing. Being blind and on a sinking ship had to be
hard for her, mutant or no.
The girls followed closely behind, the boy staying behind. Logan
didn't like that one bit and growled at the kid to join them.
"No, I have to wait for Mr. Darkholme to return," he said with a
faint Australian accent.
"Kid, I doubt he's gonna return to his room. Now get your ass behind
The young boy hesitated, not sure whether to test the growly man or
to disobey his employer. Given the circumstances, there was a good
chance Logan was right, and Darkholme wouldn't be returning, instead
waiting for them to take Irene and Marie into the lifeboats.
Logan only continued once again when the boy -- St. John, he was
called -- fell into step behind them. He got them to the Grand
Staircase as quickly as he could, highly debating if he should just
carry Irene, it would get them there faster.
The beauty of the place escaped him for once, crowded with people as
if they were simply heading for dinner. Had it not been for the
lifebelts, Logan would have thought he'd gone back in time. People
were chatting away as if nothing was happening.
However, a certain group of people caught his attention. And the look
on their faces meant that something had happened. Ororo volunteered
to tell Logan, since she was the most logical choice next to Jenn,
but she refused to be the one. For once in her life, both Jenn and
Ororo were afraid to deal with Logan.
After looking around the room, he immediately knew what it was about.
Marie wasn't there.
Maybe God had cut him a fucking break for a little while when he saw
her swimming naked in the pool, but he was making up for it tenfold.
"Graydon Creed came and took her away. She said that she would be
alright, but Amy followed. He knows she's a mutant and is going to
kill her," the whether goddess whispered to Logan, so not to upset
Irene or the servants.
"What the fuck are you all doing here standing around," he growled
back, his temper rising. To protect the woman's delicate arm that he
was holding, he let go of it.
"Amy and Remy followed. We can take Mrs. Darkholme and the servants
to the Boat Deck."
He trusted Raptor -- a nickname Amy had earned for her ferocity and
swiftness in a fight, must to his body's pained remembrance -- to not
let Marie come to harm. And since the Cajun had managed to help blow
Victor off the ship, he wasn't that bad either.
Using his sense of smell, he blocked out all of them except for
Marie. Her scent still lingered heavily in the air despite the other
people. His animalistic nature wanted to unleash itself, to go
berserk until he found his mate again. But that wouldn't help her at
all. Using that scent as a guideline, he began to track her
throughout the ship.
~*~ X ~*~
It was downright freezing outside. The moon provided no light to see
by, making the ocean look like vast emptiness surrounded them. A dark
obvlivion to which a lifeboat was being lowered into. Nothing but the
stars shown up in the sky.
For Marie's bidding, Bobby and Scott carefully helped Irene Adler
Darkholme into one of those boats. Followed closely by two of her
servents. St. John passed for young enough to still be determined a
child, although Bobby bet he wasn't any younger than himself. The
Asian one had decided she needed to go back for something and would
catch another boat.
With the way the crewmembers were acting about the two men helping
the blind woman on board, Scott didn't want to press his luck by
asking if he could board as well with this group. Jean was not going
to be happy with him deserting her, but it was what had to be done.
Scott turned to his wife of three years. It nearly killed him to see
her in such a state. Her cheeks were wet with silent tears, her eyes
dull to the world around her. A crisis situation was hard enough for
a regular person, who had to listen to the other people involved. But
it must have been hell for a telepath, he could also feel them. Feel
their true emotions as they projected them without a care. It was a
wonder why she hadn't lost it already, her shields weren't nearly as
good as Xavier's--
No, he couldn't go there. Couldn't think about that. He was their
leader, their new father figure now. He had to set an example and be
the strong one. Although for appearances, Ororo seemed to be holding
it together even better than he was. If he didn't make it, then she
could defintely help to take over. It would not die with him.
"Jean, I--" She looked at him, more tears falling at knowing that
this might mean good-bye. The cheery tune the band was playing made
everyting seem wrong. There was so much he wanted to tell her, so
much he wanted to show her. It was so unfair how life could cheat you
out of your promise to grow old with someone. To spend your last days
just basking in their love. But sometimes it cut that horribly short,
and didn't allow you time at all. He supposed he should be thankful
he did have some. "I love you, Jean... No matter what happens, I will
always love you..."
He sealed those words with a passionate kiss, and let all of his
feelings of love flow out of him and towards her, so she would feel
them even through her shields. Such a connection between them made
him proud. "No matter what, I will always love you too, Scott..." she
whispered in response, not trusting her voice any louder.
Jean refused to cry when the officer pulled her away from her
husband, the man she should have spent her whole life with. She
refused to cry when they placed her in the lifeboat, seperating her
forever. Her heart broke inside, but she didn't let it show. She had
to be strong for Scott, he needed her strength now. She could let it
go once they were away, when he couldn't see her, couldn't hear her.
And maybe he wouldn't be able to feel her that way.
His gaze behind his red glasses, though impossible to see, she knew
never left her face as other women and children were loaded onto the
boat with her.
~*~ X ~*~
Marie had never been so cold and frightened in her life. Her body was
trembling uncontrolably. Graydon had brought her to the indoor pool
down below. Brought her and tied her there before leaving with an
evil grin. He had told her how he wanted to watch her die, but he
felt it better to safe his own measily hide instead. Okay, so not
exactly in those words, but that was pretty much the jist of it.
Water had already seeped through to ankle deep at least, there were
traces of it when Graydon had brought her, and not all of it was from
the pool. It was slow rising, so maybe that was a good sign. But if
her schooling had taught her right, the more water the ship took, the
faster it would take it. Marie couldn't budge from the chair she was
tied to, and her feet had gone numb from the cold water. Graydon had
done a good job, no matter how much she tried, the rope held tightly.
And the gag in her mouth was almost choking her.
Within a few minutes of just waiting there, the water had risen to
her knees. Things were looking very bad.
It was when she heard voices that her hopes began to rise with the
"Shit! I hate the cold! I hate the cold!" a female shouted.
"We both be southerners, why we gotta deal with 'dis?" A man's voice
whom she recognized as Remy's replied.
Renewed with hope, Marie began yelling through the rag. Muffled
sounds were all that came out, but she made them be as loud as she
could get them. Her legs were numb and her wrists were rubbed raw
against the bounds.
A moment later, the door opened and the couple waded into the
room. "Hey, Marie," Amy greeted her with teeth chattering. "Couldn't
you have gotten yourself tied up in a more dry climate?"
If she had been able, Marie would have responded to that with actual
words other than an annoyed grunt through the gag. Remy chuckled some
as he used a knife to cut her loose. "I'm thrilled you find my
situation hilarious, Mr. LeBeau," she spat out once the gag was
Remy started to laugh even louder until someone else burst through
the door. "Marie!"
Oh, God, it was Logan. Alright, no more getting kidnapped, split up,
or seperated in any way. Marie was going to permenately attatch
herself to that man and never let go. Unable to trust her legs
without feeling them, she allowed her love to come to her and sweep
her off her feet. His mouth moved to interviene with hers, but
stopped short when a man cleared his throat in the doorway.
Damn... he had just remembered her skin because of that. But that
didn't mean he wasn't going to gut the man standing in the doorway
holding a gun at them.
A man none of them had seen before stood in the doorway,
grinning. "How touching a reunion. Pity I'm going to end it."
"What makes you say that?"
Every intent and purpose to catch the man off his guard and scare the
hell out of him with that remark, worked like a charm. Before he had
been so calm and sure of himself, now he was nervous. Logan could
sense it. No man said those words with such passion unless they meant
But quickly, the man grip tightened on the gun, his confience
returning. "I'm sorry, I forgot you must have a lower I.Q. Because
I'm the one holding the gun."
"Who the fuck are you?"
"What does it matter? Oh, what the hell. Henry Gyrich."
Gyrich may have been a bit cocky, but Logan could tell he wasn't
stupid. Every time someone even blinked, his eyes shot to that
person. He was dealing with mutants whose powers he didn't know. As
much as Logan wanted to intimidate the man further, they didn't have
the time. Water was up to Amy's waist, and was rising more quickly.
"Perhaps you don' know me, homme. But dis Cajun is just a server at
de Café," Remy said as he pulled out a pack of cigarettes.
"Then why are you down here?"
Remy shrugged. "Boredom? Or, could be dat dis Cajun also be known as
Gambit. An' don' take too kindly to people like you." Before Gyrich
could even blink, much less react to Remy's words, he flung his hand
back and threw an object at him.
With a scream of pain, Gyrich's hand was pinned to the bulkhead by a
dagger, the gun dropped into the water with a loud *splash*. Remy
grinned triumphantely. "Who said a mutant needs t' use his powers t'
They all at least breathed with cold relief as Logan went over and
elbowed the stunned man in the face, knocking him out. His body slump
down, only kept above the water by the hand pinned to the bulkhead. A
fine stream of blood ran down it, turning the water nearby red.
His heightened senses picked up the groaning of the ship, and he knew
they had to get out fast. "I think it's time for us to bail," Amy
said aloud, echoing his own thoughts.
The two couples each ignored how frozen they were in order to wade
through the cold water to the nearest stairs. Rushing water not only
explained why it was rising so much faster now, but it also cut off
their exit route.
~*~ Adréa ~*~
File : Faq.txt
Description : FAQ
Again, if you've already read this, sorry.
Title: For Richer, For Poorer
Series: Third in the Wedding Vows Series
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me. But if anyone's
wondering what I want for my birthday...
Archive Rights: WRFA, XMMFFC, otherwise, just ask.
Summary: Logan and Marie have dinner.
Logan knew he was in trouble from the moment he stepped into their
one-room apartment. The rich aromas of dinner assaulted his senses.
Ribs, they were having ribs. Ribs *and* chicken. Ever since they'd
moved out of the mansion so Marie could attend a four-year
university, they'd been living on a budget. On ordinary days, they
couldn't afford ribs. Not that they minded being on a tight income.
Neither of them had what you would call expensive tastes, and they
loved the independence this life afforded them, but two kinds of meat
at dinner meant this must be a very special occasion. A very special
occasion that he must have forgotten about.
'Ok, think, Logan. Anniversary? No that's in August. Birthday?
Nope. Marie's birthday's on July 24. Think! Holidays? What
holidays are in May?... Nothing! Well, maybe Memorial Day, but that
doesn't rate a fancy dinner.'
"Logan?" Marie's voice called from the bedroom.
"Would you set the table? I'll be out in a minute."
He opened the cabinet and retrieved the plates. Walking around the
corner to the living/dining room he discovered freshly-cut flowers in
a vase as a centerpiece. They were those small roses Marie liked so
much with those weedy-looking sprigs that always came with fresh
Flowers? When did they ever have flowers? Flowers that she bought
instead of him.
Hell! He was screwed. This had to be huge. Marie's graduation
wasn't for another month, so it couldn't be that...
His train of thought derailed in a fiery explosion as Marie exited
the bedroom. She was in *the* dress. Red, strapless, short, showing
way too much deadly skin than was healthy. It was her favorite
dress, and heaven help him, it was his, too.
"Hi, sugah. Good day at work?"
He nodded dumbly, her rich, silky words rushing through him without
stopping at his brain. She said something, and he nodded. She said
something else and he nodded again.
"Really?" she asked, surprised.
What? He'd nodded at something. What had she said? Dammit! He
couldn't remember. It wasn't fair; she knew what that dress did to
"Uh... how was class?"
She looked at him strangely. "Fine... I wish it were June and
finals were behind me, but... we weren't talking about class."
"Yeah, uh, I was just wonderin', though."
"Ok... I'll get dinner on the table. It should be just about done."
"No," Marie said, then looking at the table, she changed her
mind. "Well, you could finish setting the table. It'd be nice to
have glasses and silverware to eat with."
She smiled and walked into the kitchen. He followed, trying to keep
his eyes on the walls, on the countertop, anywhere but on Marie.
When she was in that dress, he handled it like he would looking at
the sun. Looking directly at her for a long period of time wasn't a
good idea. Not if they were going to eat dinner before it got cold.
She was too radiant, too breathtaking. Instead, he took glances
every once in a while out of the corner of his eye, trying to stay
focused on the task she'd assigned him. He had pulled open a drawer
when she spoke again.
"No, Logan. Use the good silverware, ok?"
The *good* silverware had been one of the many wedding presents
they'd received two years ago. They never used the good silverware
except on their anniversary, Christmas, and Marie's birthday.
That was the final straw. He had no idea what was going on, but it
was big. He wanted to just ask Marie and get it over with, but if he
came right out and asked, she would know that he didn't know and that
would hurt her. It was his life's mission not to hurt Marie. How
was he going to do this?
"Do you like the flowers?" Marie asked, walking up behind him with a
pan of ribs.
"Yeah. They're your favorites."
"Baby roses and baby's breath," Marie said with a little sigh.
After a few more trips back and forth to the kitchen, they finally
had the table set and dinner arranged. Marie said grace and then
they started to serve each other.
"This all looks delicious, Marie. Chicken and ribs."
"Stuffed chicken and baby back ribs," she corrected.
"Well, anyway, it smells great." Looking at the other bowls on the
table, he saw vegetables, recognizable although much smaller than he
was used to.
"Peas and carrots?"
"Baby sweet peas and baby carrots," Marie corrected again. "Oh," she
added, reaching to pick up something from the empty chair next to
her. "I thought we'd have dessert, too."
"Candy bars can be dessert. Besides, they're Baby Ruth candy bars."
Ok, now he was getting really suspicious. "Marie, is it just me or
are you saying the word 'baby' a lot?"
Marie looked up at him, a broad smile brightening her features until
her face practically shone.
"It's not just you, sugah," she said in a voice almost tinkling with
He couldn't speak. He tried; his jaw moved and his lips formed
words, but no sound came out. Finally, he stuttered, "Ya...
you're... a baby?"
She nodded, that smile still shining, "A baby."
"A... but, how?"
Marie's smile changed to a wry grin. "Well, you see, Logan. When a
man and a woman love each other very much, they..."
"I know *how*," he interrupted. "I mean... with us and our... well,
the way we... how?"
"You know, I asked the pharmacist that very question, and do you know
what he told me? He said condoms are only 97 percent effective. I
guess we fell into the three percent."
Marie nodded, "A baby."
"I'm going to be a father?" he asked, still in shock from the
revelation. A baby, an innocent someone who would be affected by
everything he did and didn't do for the rest of its life. There was
so much potential for screwing up!
"You'll be a great father," Marie said, as if sensing his
fears. "But me, someone's momma?"
"Hey now," he said, pulling on his gloves and reaching across the
table to clasp both her hands. "This baby's gonna be the luckiest
person in the world *because* you're it's mother."
"But what if... with my skin..."
"Hey, we'll work it out. We've worked it out with us, right?" At
her nod, he continued. "Then there's nothing to be worried about."
After a moment's pause, he asked, "So, when're we gonna meet this
"I don't know. Guess I'll have to go see a doctor," Marie replied.
"You haven't seen a doctor yet?" Logan asked, tension creeping into
Marie sighed. "Well, there is that whole skin issue. I don't know
of a Doctor in Massachusetts that I could see."
"What about Jeanie or Hank? We could drive down tomorrow. If we
start early, we could be there..."
"Whoa, I have finals, remember? Besides, three more weeks won't make
much difference either way." Then, after a thoughtful pause, she
added, a little hesitantly, "If we do go to Hank or Jean, we'll have
to move. I know how much you like living on our own, but..."
"Come here," Logan said, pulling on her arms so that she walked
around the table and sat in his lap. "We'll move back to the
mansion. That's fine. I can teach again, rejoin the team."
"But you love your job."
Logan stroked her cheek, comfortingly. "It's not like I can't
handcraft furniture in New York as well as I can in Massachusetts,
but what about you, darlin'?"
"It's not like I can't write in New York, plus I'll probably offer to
teach English if the professor'll have me."
"He'd be crazy not to."
"Oh, Logan," she said, nuzzling his shoulder. "We're really going to
do this. We're gonna have a little defenseless child who'll look to
us for absolutely everything. I mean, it's unbelievable."
"I hear they grow out of that, darlin'. Besides, with you as it's
mother, I'm sure it'll grow up fine."
She leaned back, positively beaming, and dammit if that dress wasn't
even shorter when she was sitting down. Now that she wasn't upset
anymore, he allowed his eyes to wander and then his hands followed
"Dinner'll get cold," she warned, her voice already growing husky.
"Let it," he replied, dropping a hand to his back pocket where he
always kept a silk handkerchief for just such an occasion. Bringing
it up to her face, he leaned in to kiss her when the egg timer
started buzzing in the kitchen. She immediately pulled back and
started to get up.
"What's the timer for, Marie?"
"Well, uh," she started, nervously pulling at her dress. "I wasn't
sure how quickly you'd catch on to the whole dinner/message concept,
so I, uh... I left some buns in the oven."
Next, In Sickness and in Health.
Title: In Sickness and in Health
Series: Fourth in the Wedding Vows Series
Rating: PG13 (mostly for blood at the beginning)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except for Anna, and as a rambunctious
three-year old, I'm not even sure I own her. See Stan Lee, Fox, Brian
Singer, etc. if you want the real deal.
Archive Rights: WRFA, XMMFFC, otherwise, just ask.
Summary: Marie and Logan have to deal with an injury.
Marie looked up from the picnic she'd arranged by the lake to see the
man she'd been waiting for walking across the expansive lawn. Of
course, as soon as Anna saw him, she was off and running as fast as
her little, three-year old legs could carry her. Marie followed more
slowly, the picnic forgotten. She watched as Anna collided with his
leg with her customary thump and held on as he continued to walk,
taking her along for the ride.
Even Anna's giggles couldn't bring a smile to her face, though, as
Marie took in her husband's attire. He was dressed in his uniform,
ready for battle.
"Who is it this time?" she asked.
"Magneto." was his gruff reply.
"Dammit, Logan. I'm going with you."
He chuckled low. "No you're not darlin'. Don't want you risking
injury now. Besides," he added, pointing to her slightly rounded
belly, "you wouldn't be able to zip up the uniform."
Marie hated feeling this powerless. She loved being pregnant, but she
worried terribly whenever Logan went on a mission without her. It had
been hard at 23 with Anna, and it was even harder now. He thought he
was indestructible. Her skin had proven on more than one occasion how
wrong that assumption was.
"Just promise me you'll stay away from Magneto. Play with Sabretooth
and Mystique all you like, but don't take him on."
"You know I can't promise that, darlin'. What if someone gets hurt or
"Ok, just don't go looking for trouble. Don't fight him unless you
have to." She let the worry creep into her voice as she started to
cry. Damn, she hated these blasted hormones. She was starting to cry
at the slightest provocation. It made her feel weak.
At her mother's tears, Anna looked up, confused. Thinking something
must be the matter, she started to cry too. Logan picked her up,
giving her a quick hug and settling her on his shoulders. Then, he
leaned forward and hugged Marie. "I promise, darlin'. Sabretooth'll
probably keep me plenty busy."
Grabbing her gloved hand in his, he said, "C'mon. Walk me back to the
Marie nodded and leaned against him. Anna started to pull on his
hair. She loved being on her daddy's shoulders. She always clung to
the two small points in his hair like handle bars, tugging his head
right and left to point him where she wanted to go. Logan indulged
her for a few minutes, weaving crazily across the lawn, then he heard
the growl of a motorcycle quickly approaching.
"That'll be Scooter. He was in town when the call came. That's why I
had a chance to say goodb..."
Marie put a hand over his mouth, cutting off his sentence. She hated
it when he said goodbye before a mission. She knew it was
superstitious of her, but she couldn't help it.
"I'll see you tonight," she said, reaching out to take Anna from his
arms, then pulling her scarf across her face, she rose on her tip-
toes and kissed him.
"Tonight," Logan answered, then ran off. Scott finally arrived a
minute later, running after Logan. Minutes later, Marie watched as
the Blackbird took off, praying that everyone would be safe. She set
Anna down and they returned to their picnic spot, eating lunch by
Marie was startled awake by the knock on her door. She hadn't meant
to fall asleep. She'd wanted to stay up and wait for Logan, but the
pregnancy was making her more tired than usual. Rising from the chair
and shutting off the TV, which was now displaying static, she
stumbled through the darkened room to the door. Who could be up at
this hour?, her sleep clogged mind tried to figure out. It couldn't
be Logan; he wouldn't knock.
She opened the door to see the tear-streaked face of her best friend.
Jubilee's uniform was torn and bloody in places, and she slumped, as
if bearing some burden too heavy for her to hold.
Marie stepped back as if she'd been punched. Her heart froze. Her
tightened throat would only allow her to whisper, "No."
Noticing Marie's reaction, Jubilee held out her hands, "No, no, no,
Rogue. He's not dead. He's just... you have to come to the Med Lab."
Marie was relieved and struck with terror within a second of each
other. He wasn't dead, but he wasn't hunky dory either. Jubilee
wouldn't be acting this way unless it was really, really bad.
Surprised at her presence of mind, Marie asked, "Anna?"
"I'll watch her, Rogue. You've got to go to the Med Lab, now."
Marie hurried down the hall on shaky legs, using the elevator ride to
try to calm her nerves. No matter how bad it was, this was Logan.
He'll be all right. He always is.
Exiting the elevator, she saw the blood. It wasn't just a few drops
here and there. This was an unbroken trail of blood poured along the
floor from the hangar bay to the med lab. She froze, unable to take
another step. There couldn't be that much blood in the human body.
How could someone lose that much and still be alive?
"Rogue." Scott's voice took her by surprise. She hadn't even noticed
him standing there, in the hallway outside the med lab. In fact,
almost the whole team was standing there, besides Jean, Hank, and
Logan. "Rogue, he's asking for you. It's... it's bad Rogue."
She nodded, forcing herself to move down the hallway, one step and
then another. When she reached the med lab, she triggered the door
and stepped inside. She had thought the hallway was bad. There was
even more blood in here, splashed on the floor, spattered on Hank and
Jean, covering the body on the operating table. The body, for that's
all it could be, glistened with blood. There wasn't an inch of
undamaged skin in sight.
Hank was frantically pulling out drawers, opening cupboards, and
collecting and preparing the surgical instruments. Jean was leaning
over the body, whispering something about how they didn't have time
and they couldn't wait.
When the soaked head turned and the pain-filled hazel eyes looked
into hers, she knew, and the tears poured from her eyes, blurring her
vision. It was Logan lying there, horribly injured.
"Marie," he whispered, holding out a hand weakly.
She ran to him, wanting to touch him, to comfort him, but it wasn't
only her deadly skin that stood in her way now. She didn't want to
"Oh, Logan," she said through her sobs.
"I had to, Marie... I love you."
Marie's grief and pain turned immediately to anger. "Oh no you don't.
Don't say that like you mean goodbye. You're not getting away from me
that easy, Mister. I'm not close to being done with you yet, so you
let Jean and Hank do their jobs and you hold on, you hear me? You
hold on. You promised, remember? You promised you wouldn't leave me
"I'll... try, darlin'."
"No, don't try, just do it."
"Rogue," Jean interrupted. "We have to start the operation."
"Jean, why isn't he healing?"
"The damage is so extensive his healing factor's been overloaded. It
doesn't seem to be working right now... Rogue, I can explain this
later. For now, you really have to go."
Marie nodded and started to back away. "I'll be right outside, sugah,
The last thing she saw was Logan nodding and closing his eyes, then
the med lab door shut in her face.
See Part 2.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
Marie turned from the closed door to look upon the faces of her
friends and teammates. Finding the weary face of the team leader, she
asked, "How, Scott? How did it happen?"
Cyclops walked over, joining her at the door. He slouched against the
wall, the weight of command obviously pressing on him more than usual
today. He pursed his lips, and she could tell he was trying to decide
how much to tell her.
"I need to know, Scott," she said, trying to hold back the tears to
convince him she could handle it.
He sighed and began. "Magneto was trying to steal some plutonium. We
still don't know what he wanted with it, but we had to stop him.
"When we arrived at the installation, we ran into Sabretooth almost
immediately. Logan attacked, of course, yelling at us to go on
without him. He'd fought Sabretooth before, and we all figured he
could handle it, so we continued our search for the reactor,
splitting into three groups.
"My group found the reactor first. We also found Magneto. As we
entered the reactor room, St. John's flamethrower flew out of his
hands and my visor was yanked off. I was able to close my eyes in
time, but that took us out of the action.
"Jean called for backup, but the rest of the Brotherhood were keeping
our other teams busy. Jean tried to telekinetically freeze Magneto
while Jubilee fired her paffs, but even though he couldn't move, he
started willing metal pieces off the walls of the reactor room and
attacking us with them.
"The whirlwind of metal shards forced us back into another room, and
while we were pinned down, he started to shake the ceiling, trying to
bring it down on us. We were trapped, Rogue. Magneto wasn't playing
around. He was going to kill us.
"I don't know where Logan came from. He must've heard Jean's distress
call. Anyway, Magneto's attack suddenly stopped, and we made it out
of there right before the ceiling crashed down.
"When Jean gave me back my visor, I could see six metal points poking
from Magneto's chest. Logan sheathed his claws, allowing Magneto to
drop. It was obvious that the man was mortally wounded, but with the
last of his powers, he turned on Logan.
"It was so fast, Rogue. If I'd known what he was going to do, I
would've blasted him, but it was just too fast. One second, Logan's
walking towards us, the next he's writhing on the floor, metal and
blood pouring from his body. I fired at Magneto but it was already
"Logan doesn't have the adamantium anymore. Magneto ripped it out of
Scott bowed his head like a confessed sinner awaiting punishment.
Marie knew that he was waiting for her to say something, but she
couldn't, feeling the tears welling up. It was worse than she could
have possibly imagined. She knew the damage that Magneto's powers
could do. How could Logan possibly survive something like that?
Hours passed. A chair appeared and someone urged her to sit. A mop
and bucket were produced and someone cleaned the red-streaked floor
to a metal shine. People touched her shoulder, squeezed her hands,
whispered cliched expressions in sympathetic voices. Marie took
hardly any notice of it. Instead she focused on praying to whoever
was out there that Logan would be spared. She promised to give up
everything she had if only he was ok.
Three hours into the operation, Jean appeared, rushing out of the Med
Lab, tubing and IV equipment in hand. Silently, she looked at Kitty.
Kitty nodded and followed her into the map room.
Marie jumped from her chair, running after them, desperate to get any
news from Jean on Logan's condition, but the door was locked.
"What's going on?" she yelled at the barrier.
"Rogue," Scott's voice behind her, his hand on her shoulder turning
her around. "They're running out of Logan's blood type. Jean's taking
volunteers. Some of the students will be coming down soon, too."
"My blood..." she started.
"Isn't the right type."
Finally twelve hours after the surgery had begun, Dr. Jean Summers
emerged from the Med Lab, her surgical scrubs rumpled and bloody.
Marie immediately rose from her chair.
"He's still alive, Rogue, but he's badly injured. The next 24 hours
"I want to see him."
"We're not done bandaging him. Give us time to get him settled and
clean up, then..."
"I want to see him," Rogue interrupted, pushing past the exhausted
The smell of blood assaulted her senses as she entered the room.
Blood was puddled on the floor and bloody sponges and instruments
were strewn on the tables. Logan lay in the midst of the chaos,
wrapped like a mummy in white gauze, but at least he wasn't covered
in blood anymore.
Hank was bent over Logan's newly shaved head and face, starting to
bandage the stitched wounds revealed there. If Logan's head was any
indication, the damage wasn't as extensive as she'd initially
thought. The ugly wounds still covered a good portion of the surface,
but there were a several unaffected patches. The blood had lead her
to believe that his skin was so badly damaged it couldn't be stitched
Marie walked to the head of the table, watching Hank start his
bandaging, when she noticed something odd about Logan's appearance.
"Hank, why is the right side of Logan's face drooping like that?"
Jean came up behind her and started to explain. "He lost a lot of
blood, Rogue. We tried to stop it, and we were eventually successful,
but we had to give him a lot of transfusions. Part of Logan's healing
factor is in the platelets and white blood cells in his blood. The
new blood didn't have those special properties, and any healing he
had been doing stopped all together."
"Jean, that doesn't explain..." Marie started to say, but Jean held
up a hand and continued her speech.
"When the blood clotted, a clot broke off and was swept into his
blood stream. This clot..."
Exasperated and more and more anxious every second, Marie
interrupted. "Give me the Reader's Digest version."
Jean sighed and said. "He's had a stroke, Rogue... a pretty bad one."
See part three.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
Marie collapsed to her suddenly weak knees. Logan'd had a stroke.
No, Jean had to be wrong. That didn't happen to vital men like
Logan. It happened to old men in nursing homes who had lived their
lives. Men who didn't have a wife, young daughter, and new son on
Grandpa Morgan'd had a stroke when Marie was just seven. Momma had
taken her to visit a couple of times, but he'd acted different and
walked with a funny limp. A couple of times, he'd forgotten that
they were even there. That couldn't happen to Logan!
"Rogue," that was Jean's voice. She felt Hank's strong hands lifting
her up and helping her into a chair. All she could do was stare at
Logan's still form on the bed before her as Hank returned to wrapping
his wounded face and head. This couldn't be happening.
"Marie," Jean said.
That caught her attention. No one called her Marie but Logan. To
everyone else, she had always been Rogue. She turned to look at the
other woman's weary face.
"I won't lie to you," Jean continued. "This is a serious
Jean looked so grim, but Marie felt a whisper of hope. "What about
his healing factor? It's slowed down, but when it comes back, he'll
be as good as new, right?"
"I honestly don't know. Normal humans are born with a set amount of
brain cells. Once those cells die, they can't regenerate."
"But Logan's a mutant. He heals."
"I don't want to give you false hope, Rogue. We can't be certain
that he can heal brain damage. You have to be prepared for the
"I don't want to. I want to hope for the best."
"We all do, but Logan is going to need your help. You have to be
Marie nodded, trying to prepare herself to hear some harsh
realities. "What do I need to know?"
"Logan has had a left-hemisphere stroke. He is exhibiting right
hemiplegia, or paralysis on the right side of the body, because of
it. You already noticed signs of that on his face, the way the right
side seems to droop."
Marie was crying now, and Jean paused, walking to the supply cabinet
to get her some tissues. Marie could tell she was uncertain if she
should continue, "Don't stop, Jean. I have to know."
"Ok... He might have memory problems, especially with his short term
memory. Also, he will probably develop aphasia, since the left side
of the brain controls speech and language. This problem can be
highly specific, affecting one or more language skills. His ability
to talk might be impaired, but he might still be able to write, read,
or understand speech. There is no way of knowing what's affected
until he wakes up."
"He won't be able to talk?" Marie asked in a small voice. It was
unimaginable. Logan was always so strong, so healthy. This couldn't
be happening to him, to them. "When will he wake up?"
"He's still under sedation from the surgery, and his body will be
demanding sleep to start his recovery. He probably won't wake up
until late tonight or tomorrow morning. You should go get some sleep
now, while he's resting."
The idea was ludicrous. "I can't sleep. I can't leave him."
Jean sighed, and looked around, obviously wanting to shoo Marie out
of the Med Lab, if only for a little while. "What about Anna? Maybe
you could go see her?"
'Anna!' Marie thought. "What time is it?" she asked.
Jean looked at her watch. "Almost noon."
In her worry over Logan, she hadn't noticed how much time had
passed. Anna needed her. Logan would want her to go.
Pushing herself out of the chair, she shuffled over to his still
body. She leaned over and kissed his bandaged brow, promising to
return quickly, then she left the Med Lab to find their daughter.
"Anna-banana," Jubilee said in a teasing voice, "look who's here."
"Mommy!" Anna squealed running to her mother's arms, her hazel eyes
sparkling under the wavy, dark brown hair. Everyone said she had her
father's coloring and her mother's features, but as she ran across
the room, all Marie saw was the Logan in her. It made her want to
cry all over again.
"Hey, Anna," Marie said, giving her daughter a tight squeeze.
"Mommy, you're squishing me."
Marie half-smiled. "Sorry, sugah. I'm just real glad to see you."
"Where have you been all day, Mommy? Where's Daddy?"
"Daddy went on a mission, remember?" Anna nodded and Marie
continued. "Well, Daddy got hurt, and Aunt Jean and Uncle Hank are
making him better."
"But that was yesterday. Daddy's all better today," Anna replied,
knowing how quickly her father could heal.
"No, sugah. Daddy got hurt real bad."
"Did you kiss it better?" Anna asked, confused as to why her father
wasn't all right. He'd been hurt before in her short three years,
but he'd always recovered almost immediately.
"Yeah, baby. But it's still gonna take some time to heal."
"I'll draw him a picture."
"I think that's a real good idea, honey. You draw him a picture, and
I'll take it to him."
Remy colored with Anna while Jubilee came over and sat by
Marie. "Have you gotten any sleep, Rogue?"
"I can't, Jubes. I close my eyes, and all I can see is the blood.
He's hurt so bad, Jubes. Jean doesn't think he'll recover."
"Then he'll get better just to prove her wrong. You know how Logan
loves to do the unexpected."
"I just can't help thinking that this time yesterday, he was fine,
life was great. How can everything change so quickly?"
"Life'll be good again. You'll make it through, Rogue."
Marie was awakened by Anna's cries in the adjoining room. Even
though she had checked on Logan throughout the rest of the day,
taping Anna's picture to one of the IV trees, she had finally been
persuaded to go to her own room to sleep that night. Hank, who had
taken the night shift, assured her that he would contact her if Logan
started to wake up, but that he probably wouldn't until the next
"Anna, what's wrong?" Marie asked, switching on the light.
"Where's Daddy?" Anna whined.
"He's hurt, sugah. I told you that."
"But I need Daddy."
Marie sat down on her daughter's bed, pulling her into a sideways hug
and stroking her cheek with a bare hand. It had been a gift from God
that Anna was immune to her deadly skin. She hadn't shown signs of
any other mutation, but she had the mutant gene and would probably
manifest in her teens.
"Why do you need Daddy, honey? Can't I help?"
"You can't growl," Anna replied.
"When I have a bad dream, Daddy comes and growls all the monsters
Marie couldn't help but laugh at that mental image, then she started
to cry when she thought of Logan now.
"What, Mommy?" Anna asked, noticing her mother's tears.
"Mommy's just a little worried about Daddy, honey." Marie replied,
wiping her eyes. Then in a stronger voice, she said, "But don't you
worry. He'll be ok. Now, let's scare some monsters."
"But you can't growl."
"What makes you think your momma can't growl?" Marie said. Pulling
up the faded remains of Logan's personality that she'd absorbed a
couple of times over the years, she let out a deep, rumbling growl.
Anna's face brightened with surprise and delight. "You can do it,
"Yes, now, what does Daddy do first?"
"Well, he sniffs around to find the monsters. They always hide in
the closet first."
Marie took some quick whiffs and said, "Yep, they're in there now.
What does Daddy do when he finds them?"
"He opens the door and growls and says, 'You better get outta there,
monsters, 'cause I'm Anna's daddy, and I'll hurt you good if you
Marie was really laughing now. "And what do the monsters do?"
"Then run and hide under the bed, 'cause Daddy can be real scary."
Marie followed her daughter's instructions and then asked, "What does
Daddy do now?"
"Then he picks up the bed and drops it on 'em, and growls at 'em to
go away before he gets really mad."
So that's the thumping sound she'd heard those late nights when
Logan'd got up to check on Anna. She didn't really want to attempt
bed-lifting when she was four months pregnant.
"Do you think Mommy could just growl at the monsters to scare them
Anna thought about it for a moment. "Only if you growl really scary."
Marie tried and her efforts seemed to satisfy Anna. "Where do the
monsters go after that?"
"Well, then they run outside with all the other monsters. Daddy
growls and says they better stay out there if they're smart, and he
shuts the window."
Marie completed the ritual and then tucked her daughter back into
bed, kissing her forehead.
"Mommy, can I see Daddy tomorrow?"
"We'll see, sugah."
The ringing of the telephone woke her at 5 a.m. Still only half
awake, she answered it.
"Rogue," Hank said, "he's waking up."
Marie dropped the phone and ran, stopping at Kitty's door on the way
only long enough to ask her to watch Anna.
She was running so fast, she almost ran into the doors of the med lab
before they had a chance to detect her presence.
Hank looked up and said, "He's not awake yet, but he's starting to
Remembering what Jean had told her yesterday, she went to Logan's
left side, and stroked one of the few small patches of undamaged skin
she found there with a gloved hand.
"Logan, open your eyes, sugah. Wake up and open your eyes for me."
Logan moaned and she watched as his eyelids started to flutter. He
finally managed to get both eyes open, but the right eyelid drooped,
almost closed. When he focused on her face, recognition flashed in
his eyes, and Marie could feel the tears forming in her own.
"Welcome back, sugah. I missed you."
"Mah... Mar..." he slurred, trying and failing to say her name.
See Part Four.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
"It's ok, sugah, I'm here," she said, stroking his arm. His speech
was so garbled that she could barely recognize her name. Jean had
predicted this, but Marie was far from prepared for facing the
reality. She turned and rubbed at her eyes, not wanting him to see
Jean came rushing into the med lab hurrying up to stand next to
Marie. Seeing his open eyes, she said, "Logan?"
"Whuuuh... haapnnnd?" he asked.
"Logan, you were injured on a mission," Jean said in a calm
voice. "Do you remember?"
Logan took a moment to think and then shook his head no, wincing at
the pain of the movement.
"Logan, you've been badly injured. Try not to move," Jean said,
turning to adjust the controls on the IV stand. "There. I've adjusted
your morphine drip. That should help take the edge off the pain."
"Wwwhhyyyy, ccaaa... caann..."
Marie watched Jean close her eyes, obviously using her telepathy to
catch his meaning. "You can't speak very well because you've had a
complication, Logan. During the surgery, you suffered a brain
infarction, setting off an ischemic cascade. We were able to stop
further damage from occurring by administering neuroprotective
Seeing his confusion and growing annoyance, Marie cut her
off. "Logan, sugah, you had a... a... well, you had a stroke, but
you're gonna get better. We'll work really hard and do everything we
can. You will get better."
Marie saw the shock and disbelief in his face, an echo of her own
expression the day before.
"Logan," Jean said, "as your doctor, I think you should know that
there is a possibility you might not recover completely..."
"Don't tell him that!" Marie interrupted. "Logan, we're gonna get
through this. It'll be ok. You'll see. You'll be back on your feet in
"Rogue, I don't think you should be sugar-coating this. There are
"GGEEEEOOOU," Logan said in exasperation.
Both women turned to him, their argument forgotten for the moment.
"What did you say, sugah?" Marie asked, leaning closer.
Logan closed his eyes to concentrate and then slowly
said, "Geeeeeet... ouuuut."
"You want us to leave?" Marie asked, incredulous.
"Logan," Jean began again, "we need to discuss your condition. It is
imperative that we explore treatment options..."
As Jean prattled on, Marie looked into her husband's eyes. They were
pleading to her to follow his wishes, and she suddenly understood. He
needed some time alone to absorb what was going on. While he was
unconscious she'd been able to mull over the implications, but the
diagnosis was new to him.
"I'll be back in two hours," Marie said, leaning down to lightly kiss
her husband's bandaged cheek. "Jean, let's go," Marie said, grabbing
the other woman and pulling her out of the room.
"Rogue, I can't leave. Who will take care..."
"Hank can watch over him for another hour or two," Marie replied,
turning to face the other woman in the hallway as the door to the Med
Lab closed. "Having us arguing over him wasn't doing Logan any good.
He needs time to think about what's going on."
"That's just the point, Rogue. We need to do tests to see how the
stroke has affected his comprehension and memory."
"We were upsetting him, Jean. The tests can wait an hour."
"We were upsetting him because we were arguing. If we discuss
treatment options and mutually decide on a strategy, we will be able
to proceed much more efficiently."
"He wasn't ready, Jean."
"No one is ever ready when the news is this bad, Rogue. You just have
to face it."
The door at the end of the hallway swished open and the two women
turned to see the Professor exiting Cerebro.
"Ah, Rogue, Jean, how is Logan this morning?"
"He's awake," Marie said, trying to focus on the positive.
"He's already showing neural deficits," Jean added, in a quiet voice.
"I see... When is the last time either of you has eaten?"
Marie couldn't remember. She'd been offered food a couple of times
during the surgery, but she'd had no interest in eating. She'd either
been with Anna or Logan for the rest of the day yesterday.
Could it have been that long? That couldn't be good for the baby.
When the Professor asked, "Would you care to join me for breakfast?",
she nodded and followed Jean and him to the elevator.
Minutes later, they were all seated at the small preparation table in
The professor looked up from his oatmeal to say, "Rogue, I want you
to know that any treatment Logan needs, he will get. Whatever course
of action you two decide to pursue, I will support you
"Thank you, Professor. I just... I don't want to make the decision
"How is Anna taking this?"
"I don't think she understands how bad things are. I tell her that
Logan's injured, and she thinks he'll heal in a couple of hours."
"That's the way it's always been in the past. Perhaps if she went to
"No. He just woke up, and with all the bandages. I don't think he'd
want her to see him that way. Maybe in a when the stitches come out."
"Rogue," Jean said in a calm voice. She didn't want to upset her any
more, but she felt she could help. "I've had some experience with
this sort of thing in my residency. It's always easiest if the kids
come sooner rather than later. Right now, he looks bad, but without
the bandages, he'll look much worse. There will be a lot of
Marie started to sob, pulling her napkin up to her face to catch the
tears. She hadn't considered that. Everything was moving so quickly.
Logan was injured horrendously, then he had brain damage, now he'd be
scarred for life?!?
"I'm just..." Jean continued, trying to comfort the other woman. "I'm
just saying it might be easier if Anna knows about this sooner. Logan
can't hide from her forever."
"Jean, do you think... the scarring... will it..." Marie hiccuped
through her sobbing.
"When his healing factor comes back, it will take time, but the
scarring will most likely disappear completely."
That statement caused Marie to cry even harder, this time in relief.
"I just..." Marie said when she regained control of herself. "I just
can't take any more of this. Do you have any good news for me, Jean?"
"Yes," Jean said, surprising Marie with the quickness of her
response. "His speech is better than I'd expected."
"What? I could barely make it out."
"Yes, but at least he was trying to form the correct words. Sometimes
with aphasia, the patient will say completely understandable words,
but will mix up their meanings, leading to incomprehensible
speaking." Seeing Marie's confused expression she added, "Like if I
were to say to you, 'Bicycle wings bread run get.' instead of
saying 'Please pass me the milk.'"
"You mean it could've been that bad?"
"Yes. I won't know until we do further testing, but in Logan's case
it seems that he just has problems moving the speech-related muscles
to talk properly. That can be aided with physical therapy. Also, and
most importantly, he seems to comprehend what we are saying to him.
He can understand speech."
After breakfast, Marie took a walk outside around the lake. Dawn was
just breaking when she reached the place that she and Anna had
picnicked the other day. If only Logan had stayed with them instead
of going out on that mission, he'd be fine now. She sat on the dew-
damp grass for a few minutes, wishing that the day had gone the way
they'd planned it.
She remembered Scott's description of the battle and figured that if
Logan hadn't been there, Scott, Jean, St. John, and Jubilee would
have died, maybe even the whole team. She didn't know what she felt
about that. Deciding she didn't like thinking about it anymore, she
got up and headed back to the mansion and their room.
Upon entering, she found Kitty burping little Bobby, Jr. in the
rocking chair. Peeking into Anna's room, she saw her daughter was
still blissfully asleep.
"Thanks for doing this, Kit. I know you've got your hands full with
B.J. there, but your door was on the way, and I was so frantic."
"No prob, girl. We're all worried about Logan. How's he doing?"
"He's awake, but... it's just..." she sighed, "It's going to take a
while.... Dammit, Kit, I feel so helpless."
Kitty rose, cradling B.J. in her left arm so she could hug Rogue with
the right. Rogue clung to her friend, crying out all the rage and
helplessness that had built up over the past couple of days, holding
back nothing. She realized she was babbling between hitching breaths,
but she didn't have the strength to stop herself anymore, just
letting it all come out. Kitty for her part, patted her friend's back
and made comforting noises, like you would to a crying baby.
Marie didn't know how much time had passed by the time the tears
dried up and she was able to breathe normally again.
"I'm sorry to dump all of this on you, Kitty."
"It's ok, Rogue. Listen, I'll watch Anna. Why don't you go down and
talk to Logan now that he's had some time to himself?"
Marie nodded and, after washing her tear-streaked face in the
bathroom, headed back for the Med Lab. She was so preoccupied, she
didn't notice the sound of a door opening and closing or the quick,
light footsteps behind her.
"Logan, sugah, Jean thinks that Anna should see you now."
"Logan, I know you don't want her to see you like this, but it's
going to take time to heal. She's already asking for you. I can't
keep her away forever."
"I didn't catch that, sugah."
Marie heard the Med Lab doors whoosh open and assumed that Jean had
returned. She steeled herself to hear the more of the woman's therapy
arguments. Couldn't she understand that she and Logan needed time to
discuss it and decide together? Instead of Jean's voice, though, she
heard a small, uncertain voice say, "Mommy?"
Rogue spun around to see her daughter, still in her Winnie-the-Pooh
pajamas, standing at the entrance. When she'd turned, she'd moved her
body back and it no longer blocked Logan's face.
She saw the shock register on her daughter's face as she gasped and
See part five.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
"What are you doing here, sugah?"
That question must've come out harsher than she'd intended, because
Anna flinched like she'd been struck.
"You were crying, Mommy." Anna answered in a higher pitched voice
than she usually affected. "You woke me up, and I heard you were
gonna see Daddy, and I wanted to see Daddy, too, so I followed you...
Did I do bad?"
Marie glanced back at Logan, but he had closed his eyes and turned
his head away.
"No, baby. It's just that Daddy's not feeling well right now." Marie
said, walking over to her daughter and crouching down to give her a
hug. "Daddy's really tired, and he's not well enough for visitors
"Why is he in funny clothes?" Anna asked.
"Those are bandages, honey, like band-aids, only bigger."
"Like you put on my owwie?" Anna asked, holding up her index finger,
which had a teddy-bear-patterned band-aid around it.
"Yes, just like that."
"Daddy has a lot of owwies."
"Yes, sweetheart, but he's getting better."
Anna looked around the Med Lab, and spotting a chair, made a bee-line
towards it. Marie grasped her intentions right away as Anna started
to push it towards the bed. She walked over and grabbed the chair.
"Anna, Daddy doesn't want to visit now."
"Is he mad at me?"
"No, of course not."
"Then why doesn't he want to talk to me?"
"He's not mad," Marie reassured her daughter. "He just can't talk
very well right now."
Anna took a second to think about that. "Uncle Remy doesn't talk
good, but he still does it."
Logan's barked laughter surprised both of them. "Aa-nna." he said,
moving his left hand slightly to signal her to come to him.
Marie helped Anna push the chair up to his side, then Anna climbed up
on it. She threw herself on him, giving him a big hug. Logan half-
smiled, half-grimaced in pain at the sign of affection. Marie
immediately tried to pull her back.
"Anna, you've got to be gentle with Daddy, ok?"
"Ok. Hi, Daddy."
Anna looked around at the tubes and wires attached to various places
on his body. There was even a tube up his nose. "What is all this
"It helps make Daddy better," Marie answered.
"Does it hurt?"
"Good." She looked around at the machines circling the bed, and saw
her drawing taped to the IV tree. "My picture! Do you like it Daddy?"
Logan nodded, and Anna reached over to point out the different
images. The drawing captured their immediate family smiling in front
of the mansion. Anna had added smiling trees, birds, bushes, and sun
to the snow covered scenery. "That's you, and that's Mommy. She's
holding Mike. That's me, and that's my dog, Charley."
"Anna," Marie said, with a sigh. "We've already told you we haven't
named the baby yet, and you're not getting a dog."
"Yeah, but that's not now," she said, indicating the drawing. "It's
at Christmas. That's why Mike's not still in your tummy."
Marie rolled her eyes at Logan. Anna could be so stubborn when she
"I'll draw you more pictures," Anna told Logan, her eyes bright with
excitement. "Then you don't have to look at this stuff anymore," she
said, indicating the drab machinery.
Logan nodded and Marie said, "That's a really good idea, sugah."
The Med Lab doors whooshed open and Kitty rushed in, still holding
B.J. Seeing Anna at her father's bedside, she said, "I'm sorry,
Rogue. I went to check on her after you left. She must've sneaked
"It's ok, Kit... Anna, why don't you go with Aunt Kitty and start on
"Ok." Anna started to lean over Logan.
"Careful, sweety," Marie warned.
Anna was careful not to touch his injuries more than necessary as she
leaned over and planted a kiss on the tip of his nose, which was
poking out amidst the bandages on his face.
"I love you, Daddy."
"Llluuvv oooo," Logan replied as his daughter climbed down and left.
As soon as they were alone, Marie apologized. "I'm so sorry, Logan. I
didn't know she was awake. If I'd known she was following me, I
would've sent her back."
"Really?" Marie asked in surprise. When Logan nodded, she said, "Ok."
The worst part of every day was when she tried to sleep in their bed,
alone. She missed the warmth of Logan's body beside her or spooned
against her back. She'd tried to arrange pillows in the bed to
simulate his presence, but it wasn't close to the same. Every night,
she'd lie awake until the early hours of the morning, finally
succumbing to sleep out of sheer exhaustion.
The best part of every day was taking Anna to see Logan. During their
private visits, without Anna, he was more down. She tried to bring up
the subject of therapy, but he either changed it or told her he
didn't want to talk about it right then. He was always so upbeat
during Anna's visits, though, and Marie loved to catch the occasional
smile on his face. She limited their chats to about an hour since she
didn't want to overtire Logan and since Anna's attention span would
wane if they stayed longer, but that hour was wonderful.
The Med Lab equipment had been turned into an art gallery during that
time. Almost every available inch was covered with one of Anna's
masterpieces. Whenever Jean or Hank wanted to check the readouts,
they had to move one or two pictures to do it.
One early afternoon, almost a week and a half after Logan's injury,
when Marie had just brought Anna for a visit, Jean called her over.
"Rogue, the professor would like to talk with us."
"Umm, ok. Anna?"
"Hank can watch her."
Marie strode back to Logan's bedside. "Anna, I'm going to go have a
talk with Aunt Jean. You stay here with Hank and Daddy, ok? Tell
Daddy what we did this morning."
"Ok!" Anna said, excited and already starting in on her play-by-play.
Once they were out of the Med Lab and walking down the hall, Marie
asked, "What's up, Jean?"
"The professor's found a potential physical therapist for Logan. He
wants you to meet her."
Marie stopped mid-stride. "Logan won't like this."
"He's not getting better on his own, Rogue. He needs this help."
"But he is getting better, Jean. His speech..."
"Is exactly the same. You're just used to hearing it now." Jean
sighed, trying to find the words to make her understand. "He's
falling into a depression, Rogue. He only speaks to you and Anna. He
won't acknowledge Hank at all, and he makes me use my telepathy to
understand what he wants. He refuses to see any of his friends and
when you aren't there, he just lies around and stares at Anna's
drawings or sleeps all the time."
"Why didn't you tell me this before?"
"I wasn't sure before. It's become apparent, though, that your visits
are the only time he tries to do anything. I'm worried about him,
Rogue. He needs professional help if he's going to progress."
Marie nodded. "Ok, I'll meet her."
"Rogue, allow me to introduce Helen Cooper."
Marie was surprised to say the least. She had always imagined
physical therapists to be large, burly men. This blond woman was
hardly taller than she was, and although she did have some muscle,
she could hardly be expected to assist a man as big as Logan.
Helen, noticing Marie's appraising look, said, "It doesn't take a lot
of strength to do physical therapy." Then in a softer voice, almost
as if she was divulging a secret, she said, "I make the patients do
all the work, anyway."
Marie was surprised to find that she immediately liked the woman.
After her mutation had manifested and her experiences on the run, she
was slow to warm up to anyone. In fact, the only other person she'd
felt such an immediate kinship to was Logan.
Helen presented her credentials to the small group. She was a
speech/language and physical therapist, and most of her experience
was with brain damaged patients. She wasn't a mutant but said she had
treated more than her fair share.
"Those vigilante mobs have given me more business than I care for,"
she'd confided. "Personally, I'd rather be out of work."
When the interview was over, the professor mentally conversed with
Jean and Marie, while continuing small talk with Helen.
~She seems very proficient and experienced,~ Jean thought.
~I like her,~ Marie added. ~Logan won't take well to anyone, but he
might warm up to her after a while.~
~Then it's settled.~ The professor thought, then aloud, he
said, "Helen, we would like to hire you. Can you start tomorrow?"
"That's fine. Now, what can you tell me about Logan?"
"He's had a left-hemisphere stroke, leading to aphasia and right
hemiplegia..." Jean began before she was interrupted by Helen.
"No offense, Dr. Summers, but I can get all of that from the medical
file. What can you tell me about *him*?"
"Well," Jean thought for a moment. "He's a fighter. He's stubborn,
Before Marie could jump in to defend her husband, Helen spoke
up. "Those are wonderful traits for a person with the recovery he's
facing. I'm sure we'll get along great."
The next morning, Helen entered the Med Lab alone. She had instructed
everyone to stay away during their sessions, since that would help
both of them focus and prevent Logan from becoming self-conscious.
Once Hank saw her, he excused himself and went to his office,
shutting the door. Helen had worked with several mutants in her time,
but it was still going to take a while to get used to the appearance
of the blue-furred, hulking doctor. His demeanor was so gentle that
she'd immediately liked him, but she was still doing double-takes
when she saw him out of the corner of her eye.
She'd met the medical staff and most of Logan's friends yesterday, as
the professor gave her a tour of the campus. This morning, she was
finally meeting her partner. She didn't like to refer to them as
patients. If they were going to succeed, they needed the teamwork
only a partnership would provide.
She saw Logan turn to look at her when he heard the door open and
then immediately turn away, trying to ignore her. 'So, we're playing
that game,' she thought.
"Hello, Logan. I'm Helen. I'm here to help you get well."
"I was thinking that we could work on speech therapy for now, and
then add the physical therapy once the stitches come out and you have
Holding up a book in front of his face, she said, "I'd like you to
read the top line of this page."
"Of course, I could just sit around reading magazines and eating
chocolates all day, but I don't think the professor would pay me for
Not even a twitch.
Changing tactics, Helen said, "Who drew all these lovely pictures? I
bet it was your daughter. I met her yesterday, you know. Lovely
child. Too bad you won't get to see her today."
That got a response, all right. Logan had turned and was glaring at
'Ah ha!' Helen thought. 'A motivator.'
"You know, while I'm in here, no one can come to visit. Just you and
I, and I'm not leaving until we make some progress. It'd be sad if
Anna had to miss a visit. She looks forward to them so much, you
Logan had started growling mid-way through her speech. Concentrating,
he spat out, "Bit-ckk."
Helen smiled. "Good for a first attempt. We're going to have to work
on your 'ch' sounds, though, won't we?"
See part six.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
After their first session, in which Helen taught Logan the finer
points of swearing, she left to find Jean.
"Why hasn't he been moved back to his normal room?"
"His right side is paralyzed," Jean explained, as if to a child. "He
can't walk; he can't maneuver a wheelchair; he can barely sit up."
"I checked him. He can still feel sensation on the right side of his
body. He should've started physical therapy immediately to reprogram
"He was resistant to even the idea of therapy. Besides, the stitches
aren't even out yet."
"When do they come out?"
"In two days."
"Ok, that's moving day. I'll let Rogue know."
Jean stood speechless in the hallway, watching Helen purposefully
Two days later, it was finally time for the stitches to come out.
Marie was nervous about what she would see. She didn't want to break
down crying in front of Logan and upset him. She didn't want him to
think that their relationship would be any different because of what
had happened. After meditating that morning to calm her nerves, as
Logan had taught her, she made her way down to the Med Lab.
As it turned out, she shouldn't have worried, at least about crying.
As Jean and Hank cut away the bandages, they revealed tender skin
dotted with numerous small wounds and larger surgical scars, where
repairs to the underlying tissues had to be made. As she saw the
wounds covering his legs, his arms, his chest, back, and head, she
understood the agony he must have endured, and she felt a white hot
rage begin to consume her.
Erik. She wanted to kill him. She wanted to tear him to pieces, like
he'd done to Logan. She wanted to touch him, to suck out his
personality and torture him in her head for eternity. She wanted to
make him pay, but she couldn't. He was already dead.
Her impotence and frustration only increased her anger. She tried to
keep a mask on her emotions, but it took over an hour to remove all
the stitches and by then, the mask had started to slip. She excused
herself, telling Logan she would see him later, and hoping that he
didn't see the emotions ripping through her.
She had to get away. She had to hurt someone. As soon as the Med Lab
door shut, she broke off in a run for the gym.
As soon as she entered, she attacked the punching bag, hitting and
kicking it until she could hardly catch her breath. She'd barely
noticed when Scott walked over from the weight machine to hold the
bag for her as she beat on it.
Stopping only when she couldn't keeping standing any longer, she
plopped to the floor, puffing. Scott sat down beside her, but she
just kept glaring at the bag, wishing it was Erik, wishing she could
tear it in two.
"You want to tell me what just happened?" Scott asked when she'd
caught her breath.
"Wait... Jean mentioned... the stitches came out today, didn't they?"
"I should've been there. I'm the only one that can deal with Magneto.
If I had been there, Logan wouldn't... wouldn't..."
"It's not your fault, Rogue. I've had the same feelings. If I had
acted sooner... If I had shot before Magneto could attack... I
didn't. We can't go back, Rogue. Ultimately, what happened to Logan
is Magneto's fault. He's dead, and now we have to live with the
"Yeah, but you got to kill him. I just... after what... I want to see
"I only killed him because he didn't give me another option. I wish I
hadn't needed to... Listen, I'll discussed this with the professor,
and it really helped. Maybe you..."
"Yeah, great. Erik was the professor's best friend. How can I go tell
him I wish the bastard had suffered more? I mean. He went to the
freakin' funeral for heaven's sake. How can I talk to him?"
"He understands, Rogue. He doesn't agree with what Magneto did."
"I still have his memories, you know."
"Erik's memories. The personalities go away in time, but the memories
stay. How can someone who went through what he did... live through
what they did to him... how could he do that to Logan? I don't
"I don't either. I just know that we will get through this. Logan
needs you now."
"That's another thing. What if... What if Logan..."
She couldn't bring herself to say it. Over the past two weeks, she
hadn't even allowed herself to think it. What if Logan didn't
recover? What if he was never the same?
Scott seemed to understand. "I don't know, Rogue, but even if Logan
doesn't..." her hitched breath cut him off and he saw the tears on
her face. "You haven't lost him. No matter what happens in the
future, Logan is still Logan, and he still loves you and Anna."
Rogue could only nod as the tears fell.
An hour after the stitches had come out and Marie had left, Helen
entered the Med Lab. Grasping the sheet and pulling it away to reveal
his pajama bottoms she said, "Rise and shine. It's moving day."
She immediately got out the harness and started attaching it around
Logan's waist and legs.
"No more Med Lab for you. You're going back to your room."
"Buh I caaahn..."
"No buts." Helen said, pulling on his right arm as he pushed against
the table with his left to get him into a sitting position. "Meet
your new set of wheels."
Logan looked down at the wheelchair before him, and tried to shake
his head, but Helen was already turning him so that his legs dangled
over the edge of the bed.
"Ok," she said, gripping the harness around his waist. "Hold on to
the bed with your left hand and try to land on your good leg when we
push off. Ready?"
Helen stopped. "What?"
Logan mumbled something that was too hurried and garbled to
"You'll have to repeat that."
Helen backed away. "No."
Logan, bracing himself up by his weak left arm now that her support
was gone, looked at her dumbfounded. "Whuuuh?"
"No. Jean won't be using her telepathy to translate for you any more.
We had a nice discussion and decided it was best to let you talk on
Logan just stared at her. "Whuuh?"
"You heard me. Now are you ready to move?"
"Nnnoo." He tried to explain his reasons again, and this time she
caught a word that sounded like "chair" and another that was
"Oh, I see. You don't want everyone to see you in a wheelchair. You
think it makes you look weak in their eyes."
Logan nodded, relieved that she understood. He started to lean back
down to a prone position on the bed when Helen grabbed his harness
and eased him back up. "Let me ask you one question. Do you think
Professor Xavier is weak?"
Confusion filled his features as he answered, "Nnnoo."
"He uses a wheelchair, but it doesn't make you think any less of him,
does it? He uses it because he needs it. Right now, you need to use
this chair. You're not staying in here and a chair is a lot more
dignified than dragging yourself along the floor to your room, don't
Helen smiled. "Ah, you've been practicing. Gold star for you. Now on
three, you're leaving this bed."
She tightened her grip on the harness and made sure he was in the
proper position. When everything was ready she said, "One... two...
See part seven.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
Together, they finally wrangled Logan into the wheelchair.
"There," Helen said. "That wasn't so hard, was it?"
Logan just glared up at her, still trying to catch his breath. He
hadn't tried to move that much on his own in two weeks, and the
effort required was much more than he'd expected. His body just
wasn't obeying his commands like it used to, and he was already
"Ok, ready to move out? Let's go."
Logan stuck his good foot out to stop their progression. "Nnno."
"What now?" Helen asked. Most people would be annoyed by now at
Logan's stubbornness. Helen was used to this sort of thing, and just
calmly waited for the answer.
"Shhhit," Logan said.
"Yes, Logan, I'm very impressed with the dramatic progress in your
cursing ability. Now can we go?"
"Nnnoo," Logan said, then screwing up his face in concentration, he
"Ah, don't want to go out there bare-chested, huh? I'll have you
know the senior girls are offering quite a bit of dough if I parade
you around shirtless. Oh, well, I guess my trip to Vegas will have
Marie made it back to their suite just in time. Helen'd said she'd be
bringing Logan home at around this time, and Marie wanted to speak
with Anna before she did. She wanted to prepare her for Logan's
After washing her tear-streaked face, the last reminder of her break-
down in the gym, she went back into the main room, where Anna was
sitting on the floor.
"Anna, you know how we said that Daddy has a lot of owwies?"
"Yes," Anna answered, looking up from her Sesame Street puzzle.
"Well, the bandages came off today, and Daddy's going to look a
little different from what you're used to."
"Well, you can see the owwies now. I just don't want you to be
surprised. They look like they hurt, but they don't much anymore, and
Daddy's going to be just fine."
"Ok," Anna said, shrugging and going back to her puzzle.
A few minutes later, the door opened and Logan was wheeled in. He
looked exhausted, the effort of sitting up on the trip from the Med
Lab to their room taking its toll. Anna looked up and froze,
shocked. She stared at Logan, speechless, as he was wheeled past her
into their bedroom and helped onto the bed.
This was exactly what Marie had been dreading. She knew Logan looked
terrible, but she'd hoped that Anna wouldn't comment on it and make
him uncomfortable. She watched in dread as Anna opened her mouth and
said, "Daddy. You're not fuzzy anymore."
Ok. That wasn't what she'd been expecting at all. Indeed Logan's
scalp and muttonchops had been shaved for the surgery, and even
though there was whisker-length growth, he was still a lot less hairy
than he used to be. Marie hadn't even thought to mention it.
"No, sugah," Marie said, through giggles. "They had to shave Daddy
to make him better."
Anna walked into their bedroom, and after looking Logan up and down,
proclaimed. "I like you better fuzzy, Daddy."
"So do I," Marie agreed, sitting down on the bed beside her
husband. "You're just going to have to grow it back."
For his part, Logan gave them both a weary, lop-sided grin.
Helen spent the next few hours showing Marie how to use the harness
to help Logan into a sitting position on the bed or into the
wheelchair. Safety bars had been added to the bathroom walls during
the time Logan was gone. Helen instructed them on their use,
encouraging Marie to ensure Logan kept a grip on a bar with his good
hand at all times.
By the time they'd finally finished with him, Logan was more
exhausted than he'd ever been in his remembered life. There'd been
times when he'd had to stay awake 48 hours on the road, times when
he'd hiked all day through the forest, and he'd never felt so
completely worn out. It was only five at night and he was ready for
"Now remember," Helen told Marie at the door, "my beeper's always on,
so call if you need any help, even at three in the morning. I know
this'll be a tough transition, but you can do it. Logan's probably
so tired he'll just sleep the rest of the night, anyway."
He couldn't argue with that.
"Logan." Helen called. "Get some rest while you can. Tomorrow, we
start in the gym."
The woman was a sadist, pure and simple. There was no other
explanation for why she loved to torture him so. Still, he had a
good sixteen hours or so before she'd be back, and he planned to use
every minute of it. Settling back in his familiar bed that smelled
of Marie, he tried to forget about his impending doom and relax.
Marie surprised him by coming back in and lying down beside him,
snuggling up close with her head on his chest.
"I've missed you so much, sugah."
"Luuuvv... yoooou... darrrllnn."
The next few weeks passed in a blur. Practicing his speech for hours
in the mirror, slowly shaping his mouth until the sounds were right.
Helen introducing him to one new torture device after another down in
the gym, all in the name of physical therapy.
On the good side, the scars were almost completely gone, and his
hair, although still a little short, had grown back in nicely. Jean
had theorized that his healing factor was coming back.
That morning, they'd done new CT scans, and Jean and Hank were busy
analyzing the results. The initial findings weren't encouraging.
There was more activity in his right hemisphere, but no apparent
regeneration in the left. Jean had said to wait until they could
analyze all the data and that if they came back negative not to
worry. She'd said it would take a while before they could be
absolutely sure that he wouldn't heal, and that the brain injury
might take longer for his healing factor to deal with. Despite
Jean's reassurances, he could see his disappointment mirrored in
Marie's face. He couldn't bear to see her hope fading like that. He
had to get away and think.
Before all of this, he'd go out to the woods, but he couldn't get the
chair that far, so he'd settled for his second favorite thinking
spot: the roof. He'd taken the elevator to the top floor and then,
sitting on the steps and using his good leg, he'd scooted his way up
the stairs. Now, looking out over the green, manicured lawns towards
the forest, hearing the kids play far below him, he wondered what the
rest of his life would be like.
He'd always wondered what he'd done to deserve Marie, but now, it was
worse. He was a burden to her. He tried hard in therapy, Helen
pushing him all the way, but he wasn't making enough progress. Sure,
she always acted impressed, said he was recovering faster than anyone
she'd ever seen, but it was probably a line she used on all her
What if this was as good as it gets? What if he'd never be able to
get out a sentence without stuttering or slurring his words? What if
he was never able to walk again without a walker or crutches? What
possible good could he do here? He wasn't on the team anymore, and
he wasn't a teacher. When it came down to it, he was living off the
professor's charity, and that grated at him more than anything else.
He was so consumed by his thoughts that he didn't notice her until
she'd walked right up next to him. Sitting down as he was on the
sloped roof, Anna's face was just a little above eye level.
He'd never considered the roof to be the slightest bit dangerous, but
now, with Anna standing beside him, balanced on the loose, sloping
tiles, he was suddenly terrified.
"Ann-na... Gget baak."
"Annn-na... Go nnsside."
He must've been too harsh in trying to spit that out because Anna's
face fell and the tears glistened at the corners of her eyes.
"I did bad, didn't I? I saw your chair and wanted ta see whatcha
were doing. I didn't want to do bad."
Dammit. There wasn't time to explain to her that he wasn't mad,
especially with how slow he was speaking. He just wanted her off
that roof and now.
"Juss... go," he forced out.
She turned and started to walk back to the stairs. He'd never be
sure why it happened. Maybe her tears made it hard to see, or maybe
those shingles were loose from the wind storm they'd had last week.
Whatever it was, something caused Anna to lose her footing.
He heard her startled squeak as her small body slammed into the roof,
then he saw her, skidding past him towards the edge. He reached out
for her, but his reflexes were a half-second too slow.
He wouldn't give up that easily. Pushing off, he slid down the roof
towards her, kicking and grabbing at the shingles to gain on her. He
finally grabbed her hand with his good, left hand as they reached the
edge. Of course, he'd been trying so hard to catch up that even
after he'd reached her, he just kept sliding. He felt the roof's
surface fall away from him, and he reached back with his free hand to
grab for the gutter, but he was too slow. He realized even before it
happened that he would miss by inches.
See part eight.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
Without conscious forethought, acting on the pure, panic-induced
instinct to save his daughter, Logan released three, nine-inch, razor-
sharp bone claws from his right hand and embedded them in the rusted
gutter at the roof's edge, stopping their fall. He had Anna's arm
tightly gripped in his left hand, but his weaker right arm was
already starting to burn from the strain of holding them up.
Anna was screaming and squirming in his grasp. He tried to call to
her, to tell her to hold on, but her yelling mixed with his
stuttering made the message indecipherable. Then, his claws started
They say a mother can distinguish her baby's cry from any other child
within days after birth, and Marie was no different. Anna's panicked
shrieking tore through her soul like a knife, and she was running
through the kitchen and out the door before she had consciously
registered that something was wrong.
Following the crying sounds, and mimicking everyone else on the lawn,
she looked up to see Logan and Anna hanging seven stories in the air.
Her heart stopped for a second, and then started beating itself out
of her chest. She was inside again and running up the stairs to the
roof before anyone realized she had even been out there.
Marie wasn't the only one who'd heard the screams. Scott and Ororo
came running from the front of the mansion where they'd been teaching
soccer. They were expecting a battle, thinking someone was attacking
the mansion. When they saw Logan and Anna suspended precariously
from the edge of the roof, they were stunned.
Scott immediately went into full, fearless-leader mode "Storm, can
you create a wind draft and blow them back on the roof?"
"It doesn't work like that. They could be blown off the roof instead
of back onto it."
Scott went through the abilities of his team members. Only Jean's
gifts might be of use, and she was no where to be seen. He called to
her through their mental link, telling her to come as soon as
possible, and then started evaluating the students' powers in case
one of them might be able to help.
When Logan slipped an inch and Anna screamed harder, he knew they had
to act now, but Jean was nowhere in sight.
The roof's door opened, and he thought that Jean must've gone
directly there. Of course, when the figure emerged onto the
shingles, he realized how wrong he was. It was a five and a half
months pregnant Rogue starting to slowly scoot down the slope to her
"Logan, hang on, sugah. I'm here."
Marie!?! Panic overtook him. With her pregnant belly, her center of
gravity was thrown off. What if she came close to the edge and fell
"NNNOO! Mar-ee, ggo bbakk."
"No." Marie said in a tone that made it clear she'd allow no more
arguments. Sitting down on the roof before him and planting her feet
wide to give her leverage, she reached out both hands and
commanded, "Hand Anna up to me."
He slowly raised his left hand up and over his head. The movement
loosened his claws even more from the worn and rusted gutter, but he
didn't fall. Anna was still crying, and Marie tried to calm her.
"Sugah, Mommy's right here. Come to Mommy. Shhh, stop wiggling.
Give me your hand. It'll be ok... I've got her, Logan. Logan, let
go. Logan, I can't pull her up if you don't let go."
It was one of the hardest things he'd ever have to do, letting go of
Anna when her feet were still dangling over the side of the roof, but
if there was anyone he trusted completely in the whole world it was
Marie, and he finally forced himself to release his grip.
He watched with fear and then relief as Anna was pulled up to the
relative safety of the roof. Marie started to scoot back up the
incline to get Anna inside. "I'll be back for you in a second,
"Ddon' bbothrr," Logan said, unsheathing the claws on his left hand
and embedding them in the wooden edge of the roof just as his other
claws slipped from their hold in the storm drain. His right arm was
numb by now from the effort of holding his and Anna's combined body
weight. Still, he was able to move it just enough to give the claws
a good hold so he could move his left arm again. Wiggling and
shimmying, he finally pulled himself up far enough to get his knees
on the roof's surface. After that, it was much easier to climb up to
the door and back into the stairway where Marie and Anna were waiting.
Once he was finally on a safe surface, he allowed himself to
collapse, sucking in air in an attempt to catch his breath.
"What happened? Why were you up there? How did you get on the edge
like that?" Marie was asking.
"I fell, Mommy," Anna said, still shaking a little in her mother's
arms. "Daddy saved me."
"But what were you doing up there in the first place?"
"Daddy was up there."
Marie turned to look at Logan, her face questioning. He shook his
head. Still trying to catch his breath, he puffed, "Wwuz... think-
"Rogue? Logan? You guys ok?" That was Scott's voice calling from
the flight below.
"Ya, we're fine. Just had a scare." Marie answered. Then, looking
at his bloody but already healing hands, she asked, "*Bone* claws?"
Logan shook his head. "Dunn-no."
"Should we go get Jean to look at them?" Marie asked, uncertain.
Logan shook his head. "Ttoo ttirrdd."
She nodded. He seemed to already be healing. They could wait until
he'd gotten a chance to rest. She helped Logan back down the stairs
to his chair, and they went back to their suite.
A knock on the door drew Marie's attention away from Elmo dancing
around on the television. It was one of Anna's favorite videos, and
it was keeping her distracted and relatively quiet while Logan napped
in the other room.
When she opened the door, she found Jean, Helen, and Hank with huge
grins on their faces.
"Rogue, we have some news," Jean said, almost euphorically. "Where's
"He's gonna want to wake up for this," Helen added. "It's big news,
Their excitement was almost contagious, and she felt herself starting
to smile as well, even though she didn't have a clue what she was
smiling about. "Ok, um, take a seat. I'll go get him."
Logan rolled out of the bedroom a few minutes later, followed by
Marie. His hair was even wilder than usual, and he was still blurry
eyed from his nap.
"Logan, your progress in therapy has been amazing," Helen
started, "and today with the roof incident. Well, you shouldn't have
been able to do that."
"No, you don't understand. I mean you should be physically incapable
of the strength and speed necessary to do that. I brought it up to
Jean and Hank."
"We were reviewing your CT results when she entered," Henry
added. "Upon further examination, we have determined that not only
has your right hemisphere synapses increased in number, but your left
hemisphere has started to regenerate."
Logan looked at him like he was speaking Portuguese, his sleep-fogged
mind still not completely cleared. When Marie whooped and reached
down, hugging him so tight his lungs started begging for oxygen, he
got the impression that whatever Big Blue had said was good news.
"Logan, you're healing, sugah! You'll be gonna be good as new!"
Once the truth sunk in, Logan was surprised at his feelings. This
was what they'd been hoping for. He should feel relief,
thankfulness, happiness, something. The truth was that it didn't
change anything. He had found out what was truly important to him
while hanging from that roof earlier today. Even if he never got
better, he still had Marie, Anna, and a new son on the way. They
were all that mattered. He wanted to explain all of this to Marie,
but his speech was still too slow. He could wait.
"LLuvv yooo... ddarrlnn," he said instead. That was enough for now.
Next: To Love and to Cherish.
Okay, yeah. You see, I opened this up and couldn't read it, and it looks
like it kind of cuts off at the end. Could you maybe send it as In Line text
instead of as an attachment?
Luv the little red bird,
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
Hey all! I need Emma Frost in full-on White Queen-Hellfire
Club-evil-byatch mode. Can anyone give me a link or something so I can
get a good background/bio on her?
"Writing must be an act of love. Without that love, writing is merely
paperwork." Jean Cocteau
The Muse's Fool - http://musesfool.freehosting.net
Unfit for Society - http://www.unfitforsociety.net
Disclaimers, etc. in first part.
~*~ X ~*~
He'll be fine. She could get on a boat, he could stay, and he'll be
fine. He's not called the Iceman for nothing, you know.... Maybe if
she kept repeating that to herself, it would make her feel less
afraid. Bobby swore to his girl that he wouldn't truly leave her,
that he'd be perfectly alright. When the ship sank, he'd just swim to
her. The cold wouldn't do a thing to bother him.
The words comforted her some, but not a whole lot. There was still
the whole drowning issue that could do him in. Jean had been lowered
away already in another boat, so Scott and Bobby stood next to each
other once Jennifer was pulled away. It was pointless for her to
stay, other than to stay with Bobby. But there was no way he would
allow it. He'd sooner force her in there than let her stay on the
ship. "I love you!" she yelled at him from her seat in the small
boat. A far cry from the glorious ship they had been on.
"I love you too." he told her back and blew a kiss to her. Even then,
they were still acting all lovey-dovey towards each other like the
young people they were.
A woman nearby had the audacity to tell the crewmember to hold the
boat while she went back to her room to get something. The officer
had had enough and simply picked the woman up and placed her in the
boat. "She's the last! Prepare to lower!"
Scott felt himsef being pushed as someone rushed past him. A glance
told him it was Thomas Andrews, demanding to know why the boats were
being launched only half full.
"Good, God..." Scott whispered, unable to believe it. And unable to
believe that he hadn't noticed it himself.
Someone else bumped into him. Things were getting too crowded near
the edge for his tastes. He let the people past, then did a double
take on who it was.
The red clad form and the white haired form were unmistakable as the
Maximoff twins. Pietro was getting his sister onto the same boat. He
could hear the boy say, "I never thought I'd hear myself say this,
but I wish things were moving slower."
At least Jenn didn't seem to have a big problem with Wanda in the
same boat, especially since they were sitting as far from each other
as they could. "Hey, shades. Where's the other girl?"
Scott glared at the kid. "Probably on the other side," he hoped
silently. Truth was, he didn't know. She had disappeared with the
others going after Marie. His mind wandered as the boat was filled
and began it's slow decent into the ocean.
"I don't care what you say, I'm getting off this bloody ship!"
Well, well, well. Looks like all of the little Brotherhood band was
crawling out of the ship. Only problem was, this certain member was
desperate to get off the ship. Very desperate. As in holding loaded
gun and threatening people with it desperate.
The passengers and officers that could, held their hands up. Scott
could see the guns the officers had, but Mortimer would be faster in
pulling the trigger. However, Scott wasn't about to allow that to
happen. Much less have him get on the same lifeboat as one of his
With his stern, leadership voice, Scott addressed the slimy toad. "If
you want on one of these boats, you'll have to go through me."
"Are you an idiot, Mortimer?" Pietro asked, shocking Scott with what
he was doing. The speed demon moved closer to his companion. "There's
no way you are getting on, just face it."
"Don't test me, Pietro," the British man snarled.
Another distress flare lit into the sky, distracting the small man.
It was then that Pietro struck, zipping over to him and latching onto
the gun. The men immediately began a tug of war with the weapon.
Scott held his hand up to his glasses to fire, but the way the two
were dancing around, he couldn't get a clear shot.
Other men nearby helped Pietro in trying to subdue Mortimer, who was
shouting obscenities at all of them. But before they could wrestle it
away, a single shot rang out into the night, frightening the nearby
people and making them scream.
A sharp pain ran through shot's left leg unlike anything he had felt
before. He took a step back to view his leg, to find out what was
wrong. The knee gave way and Scott could feel himself falling. He
knew what was to come, the incredible pain of falling into the
freezing water below.
Time slowed down for him as the deck came into view, the startled
faces, Bobby yelling and reaching for him even though he was far too
late. At least Mortimer had been stopped, though he couldn't stop
thinking about the promise he broke to both Charles and Jean.
That was his last thought as his body impacted with something soft
and hard at the same time.
~*~ X ~*~
None of them could feel their bodies after the long trek came to an
end once they got out of the water. Now they could concentrate on
warming up and getting higher before where they were flooded.
Things were pretty easy going considering the numb limbs they had to
work with. That was, until they reached a crowd of third class
passengers, none of which appeared to be moving. Everyone was talking
at once, most of which demanding some gate to be opened.
"Everyone, it isn't time to go up to the boats yet," a steward was
announcing from the other side of the gate. "Please stay calm!"
Logan let out a murderous chuckle. The ship was sinking, they were
locked behind bars, what was there to be calm about?
"And gentlemen, please allow the women and children up to the front!"
the annoying steward turned his attention to someone else. "Go and
get some help."
Not caring about who got in his way, Logan pushed people to either
side, squeezing his way up the stairwell with Marie clinging tightly
to the back of his soaked coat. Many people let out a stream of
curses and pushed him roughly back, but he gave them a growl and a
murderous glare, so that shut them up. "Open the damn gates!" he
yelled once only a few steps from his goal.
"Bring forward the women!" God, they sounded like hungry savages
wanting a good piece of meat to fuck. "Unlock the gates."
Logan felt a new rush of adrenaline at those words. The gates
unlocked and people began to stampede up the stairs. "No! Women only,
damn you! Get back!" Only a couple of people escaped before the
people were pushed back by force and the gates locked shut once again.
The people still tried to persuade the steward to reopen the gate.
But Logan knew there was no chance of that happening without force.
Logan pulled the few passengers in front of him back behind him and
Marie. He gave the man standing in front of him the most savage glare
he could and growled at him amidst the yelling patrons, "Open the
The steward paled and stepped back in fear, holding a gun in his
shaking hands. Too bad the little fucker didn't realize he had failed
to lock the ammo in place, the gun was useless and Logan was tired of
asking. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and he didn't
care who saw. His claws popped out with a *choock* and they tore
through the pathetic excuse for a gate like a hot knife through
With no lock to keep it closed, there was no way they could keep the
people contained below. He pressed forward, punching the steward
right in the face, knocking him out flat. Latching onto Marie's hand,
they were the first two to begin running for higher decks.
The ship had a far more noticeable slant, which made Logan very
worried. How much time had passed? Was it too late to get to a boat?
He wouldn't think that -- *refused* to think that. But, face it, he
wasn't one for happy thoughts in dire times. More like dreary
Using the Second Class Stairs, they took them all the way to the Boat
Deck. "There are still boats!" Marie cried with joy, apparently
having had some of the same thoughts.
"Then lets get you on one," he said as he began to lead her towards
"Whoa, hold it, Mister." She pulled him to a stop. "I'm not getting
on one of those unless you can too--AH! Logan!"
Quite frankly, Logan didn't want to hear it. He picked her up and
tossed her over his shoulder and carried her down to the boats.
"Put me down! Logan, put me down!" she screeched and kicked at him.
"Shut up, Marie!"
Oh, fuck. She started to cry after he yelled at her. Fuck, fuck,
fuck. Gently, so as not to hurt her more, he set her down in front of
him and wrapped his arms around her. "I'm sorry... I'm sorry,
darlin', I'm sorry..."
She held onto him so tightly as she sobbed, that it was hard to
believe it came from such a small form. "D-don't l-l-leave me, L-
ogan," she managed as her body trembled.
"Fuck, Marie, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you..."
At that moment, he wasn't sure what he wanted more. To get Marie to
safety, or to shut that damn band playing that far too cheerful song
up by snapping their instruments and throwing them to the sea.
Logan continued to soothe Marie until she stopped crying. Right about
the time that shots rang out nearby. Panic was starting to take hold.
It wouldn't be long before everything fell apart once people resorted
to violence. Those were just warning shots that time, but the next
time, it might be aimed at the increasing crowds around the boats
that were left.
They had to find a way to get them both off the ship, and fast.
Before Logan decided to hell with Marie's pleadings and place her on
a boat without him. True, she would hate him for the rest of her
life. But at least she'd have a life to hate him by. Jean and Ororo
at least would help her cope, and help her go on.
Every second that past doubled the amount of fear in everyone. As
Logan looked past the hoards of screaming, desperate people, he could
see that the Forward Castle was already completely immersed in water.
It was sinking faster than he had originally thought.
Tugging lightly on her arm, he got Marie to follow him closer to the
panicking crowds and awaiting salvation for her.
~*~ X ~*~
Oh, God... she hated blood... it made her sick. Wishing Jean were
there wasn't going to help Scott any. He was still bleeding bad, and
most of the women weren't willing to lend any help by way of clothing
to stop the bleeding. Jenn had run out of skirt lining for bandages
and Wanda had given up her heavy coat to keep him warm.
The bullet must have gotten a major blood line or artery or something
in Scott's leg. Although she was best friends with Hank and spent a
lot of time around him, she still knew next to didly-squat about what
to do in a situation like this. If it was a vein or artery, it wasn't
going to stop bleeding until the hole was repaired or plugged.
"Ick... ick... ick... ick..." she chanted as she removed the bandages
and stuck a finger through the hole that it was bleeding out of the
most. It was an entry-exit wound, but one side was worse than the
other. She felt blindly with her finger to try and find where the
hole was in whatever was causing the bleeding. Her efforts were
hopeless as she couldn't feel a thing that she could understand, and
keeping her finger in would simply make him bleed internally which
was a worse thing than bleeding out.
Removing her finger, Wanda began tearing at her own skirt lining to
use. "Thanks..." Jenn said, still unsure why this woman was helping.
After all, she was one of the bad guys, right? Wouldn't she rather
"Me and my brother aren't exactly what you think," the young woman
said. "We don't kill."
"Only kidnap?" Jenn replied a bit more harshly than intended.
"We were told that it was only for a diversion, and that we didn't
have to harm you two in any way. So we agreed and did it."
"But your brother had other intentions."
Wanda smiled and shook her head. "My brother was having fun. He never
would have forced either of you to do anything you didn't want to.
And if you were paying attention, he stopped Mortimer from killing
Jenn's hazel eyes cast sadly upon Scott's still and pale form. "That
remains to be seen..."
~*~ X ~*~
For the hundreth time, Amy ran through her mind the events which led
to what happened. Logan had opened the gate with his claws, people
had pushed through like a fuckin' stampede. She was pulled back while
Remy was pushed forward, and before she could get near the gates they
had found some rope to tie it back shut with.
Remy had continued to be pushed forward by the mob and hadn't come
back. Searching for another way up had only led to more locked gates
and angry mobs. All the begging, pleading, threatening wasn't getting
the gates opened any faster.
Now she was sandwiched between the mob in a stairwell. Unable to
reach the gates, and unable to reach the corridor. Completely stuck
until something happened one way or the other.
And the screaming she heard far behind her that was coming closer
didn't help to calm her nerves any. She knew if people were screaming
than water was coming. And water was something she wasn't very fond
of at the moment, especially freezing cold water.
"You can't leave us here to die!" a woman yelled up ahead. The
vocalizations of the people were getting louder and more desperate,
following by a long stream of curses from everyone present to have
known what just happened.
The people ahead of her pushed onward as the people at the gates
fought with them. Shit... there was water coming and they had been
abandoned by the crew to die. The ship was sinking faster and the
people were panicking more. At the rate they were, the flimsy gate
should be ripped from its snug holes in the walls in no time... and
that was being optimistic.
"Ev'rybody stand back!" someone up ahead yelled at the top of his
But his shout was lost in the screams of the people at the bottom,
who the water had just reached. It was surging up fast on them and
Amy was pushed so hard against the person in front of her that it was
difficult to breathe. They would all be crushed to death sooner than
drown at this rate. Which in her mind wasn't that bad a thing.
"Mon Dieu, pardonnez-moi..."
A loud and forceful explosion propelled them all back into a heap in
the corridor. Cold water stung at her skin just as the smoke stung at
her eyes. She coughed and realized that her glasses had been knocked
off. Not like she needed them to see, but to hide her eyes. No matter
now, she had to get up before she was trampled.
The sounds of creaking filled her heightened senses. A different kind
of creaking that she ship was making. This creak was the sound of a
far more dangerous creak. As soon as she got to her feet, there was
another explosion sound, followed by the sound of a lot of fast
In an instant they were met by it, a good deal of the people were
swept away in the current, but Amy latched herself onto the wall of
the stairwell and refused to budge even as the water tried its
damnedest to rip her from it.
People screamed and rushed up the rest of the stairs, or swam
futilely against the current. But she couldn't dare let herself move
just yet, not until the water slowed down. Her iron grip would falter
if she did and she would be taken by the river.
A large piece which must have been a door hit her, cutting deep into
her. She cried out in pain and fear as her grip wasn't enough against
the water and the blow of the debris. Her hands clawed at the wall as
she began to travel down the corridor.
But her trip was cut surprisingly short. A strong hand had latched
onto hers from the stairwell and began to slowly drag her towards it.
Another hand grabbed her other one and joined with the first to pull
her to the safety of the stairs. Without much hesitation, she stepped
over the few bodies that had caught the front of the blast, a twang
of pity for the poor souls who didn't know any better than to have
gotten away from the fucking gate.
She turned to thank whoever had saved her but was stopped when
someone wrapped their arms around her, lifted her up and spun her
around. It was Remy! And not only that, but somehow he had dragged
Bobby down to help him. She was about to thank them then, but once
again was interrupted, this time by Remy's lips upon hers.
She giggled amidst the kiss and returned his grip on him.
"Uh, guys... sorry to break up the love-fest here, but the water's
still rising fast..." Bobby said.
Sometimes, she could just be so jealous of him. And this was one of
those times. He was standing in ankle deep freezing water, and looked
like he was just standing in ankle deep water at the beach. To him,
it was just water. But even just water was enough to kill him.
"Here," he said before they followed Remy. He handed her his jacket,
for obvious reasons he didn't need it, for obvious reasons she did.
"Thanks... for everything..." she said as she placed the jacket on
her freezing body and followed Remy.
~*~ X ~*~
First Officer Murdoch was busy loading people into a lifeboat. There
wasn't a huge mob there like further down the ship. Very few people
were at this one. He yelled at the top of his lungs for any women and
children to please come to him and board the boat.
Yet after a while there wasn't any more to be loaded, as Ismay
informed him. They were all aft of them and couldn't hear him.
Murdoch looked to the dozen or so men standing around and yelled
out, "Anyone else, then!"
The men immediately reacted and got onto the lifeboat. A few of them
rejoiced with their loved ones that they thought they'd be parted
Murdoch yelled it for a few minutes before it became clear no one
else was going to board for a while. He then turned and raised his
hands to begin commanding the lowering, when he saw Bruce Ismay
sitting in the boat. It was not his place to do anything about it if
the man had a strong desire to live, he had one himself, though he
knew he wasn't getting off the ship alive.
It was then that he noticed the bandage across Ismay's cheek.
Certainly it hadn't been there before when Murdoch saw him last. For
a brief moment he wondered what had happened. But he had a job to do.
"Take them down," he ordered and continued to direct as the lifeboat
was lowered to the ocean. For a brief moment, he could have sworn on
his soon to be made grave, that Ismay's eyes had flashed yellow.
~*~ X ~*~
They ran to the stern of the ship, pushing people out of their way if
need be. But it was too late, the remaining boat was already filled
and being lowered. Only ones left were the ones they were trying to
get down from their position on the roofs.
Logan shook his head as one of the collapsible ones was rocked off
the edge. He knew the oars wouldn't hold, and they didn't. The boat
snapped them like twigs as it fell upon them, one piece got a man in
the back, sending him flying over the missing edge of the ship with a
Marie flinched and pressed herself more tightly into his arms. There
were so many people, and so much of her skin was exposed. The last
thing she needed right now was to absorb someone else, someone who
wasn't taking the situation nearly as calmly as her.
As if she was taking it calmly. She was a moment away from having a
breakdown. The only thing keeping her from doing so was that it
wouldn't do anyone any good, least of all her and Logan. Really, it
confused her to why they where there, waiting for a boat. All the
officers were armed and would shoot any man who tried to board
without permission. And since Logan wasn't a crewmember, there was no
way they would allow him on.
It would be a little while before they got it positioned and hooked
up, ready to receive passengers. The couple moved out of the way,
allowing the crew to do their jobs.
Marie screamed as a door was flung open and Logan was hit hard, sent
sprawling to the deck. She bent down to help him up, but was
violently yanked away, pulled in through the door and to the Grand
"Looks like Gyrich was a bad choice for this," a voice she recognized
as Creed's whispered dangerously close to her neck. "But I'll finish
A small cry escaped her as he yanked her again, pulling her down the
stairs. Peeking over the sides, she saw that the Reception Area
already held a bit of water in it. Bright turquoise water, clear as
He led her down the stairs, only pausing when a feral roar was heard
overhead. Logan was pissed as hell.
Her feet splashed in the cold water that was steadily rising. Strange
how not long before, she had had dinner in the area that Creed had
pulled her into. No one was there. No witnesses to however he planned
to try and kill her.
Try being the main word. With Logan hot on their heels, it wasn't
likely to happen. Not to her anyways. But Creed held a gun, no doubt.
And he might be able to at least injure Logan before the wild man
could reach them.
Sure enough, a moment later Logan burst through the glass and wood
doors. Marie felt herself being pressed against Creed, a gun held
against her head as he held her hostage. "You take one more step
towards us, AnimalMan, and you'll get to watch her brains blow out of
He gripped his arm tightly around Marie's neck, making it difficult
for her to breathe. If he didn't shoot first, she would certainly die
from lack of oxygen.
Why did these sort of things happen to them? Why couldn't they just
be left alone! Logan was right in believing God didn't quite like
him. And her too, now it seemed. Logan growled in protest, unsure of
what to do. He wanted to gut Creed, to make him pay for even thinking
about harming Marie. But if he tried, she would die.
And if he didn't do anything, she would die, he reminded himself. So
really, what choice was there?
Logan glared at Creed, and Creed glared right back. Two men who had
no pity or remorse when it came to killing. No queasy stomachs or
second thoughts. Both were versed well in their field. Only
difference was style. Creed would go for the neater, less bloody
approach with a gun, while Logan would be feral and rip the person to
shreds. Both were deadly and affective.
Question was: Who would win?
The longer he waited, the harder it would be. Water was up to his
knees now, which made it extremely difficult to move fast. Instead,
he needed to prove to be some sort of other threat. A nearby table
held the answer.
Logan lunged for it and grabbed a knife, then quickly flung it at
Creed, not intended for it to hit anywhere near him for fear of
The weapon did have it's desired affect though, Creed pointed his gun
at Logan and shot him twice, right in the chest. He grunted as pain
exploded in his chest, his body slumped over the table.
Marie screamed his name and fought against her attacker. Her strength
was weak and pitiful against the much stronger man. But she had a
secret defense, as much as she didn't want to use it, it was the only
way. Using her bare hands, she latched onto Creed's face with a death
Creed's jaw went slack and his eyes opened wide as the connection
immediately opened up. His life, his energy, his mind poured into her
fingertips. His veins bulged in his face, and she briefly wondered if
she did the same. There was no pain for her, just a simple
overwhelming rush of things. After a time, her mind screamed at her
to let go, to which she obeyed. Creed's form fell from her fingers
and splashed into the water.
The man remained unconscious as he was emerged in water. He had still
been alive when she let go, but a few moments of breathing water and
unconsciously thrashing about, that ceased to be. As soon as Creed
had begun to get pissy in her brain, he shut up. In fact... it was
blank where he was a moment ago.
Either that had something to do with the fact he wasn't a mutant, or
that he was dead. More than likely the latter.
Immediately pushing the questions that sprang to mind, and ignoring
the cold biting all the way to her bones, Marie waded through to
Logan. His blood stained the hand-sewn tablecloth and he didn't move.
He couldn't be dead, not after all they'd been through.
She shook his arm a little to see if it would jar a reaction out of
him. Yet there was nothing. "Logan?" she said, but still
nothing. "Logan, answer me, sugah..."
"Okay... I'll answer... ow..."
Marie couldn't help it, she really couldn't. She started to laugh. It
was such an unmanly thing for Logan to say that it was funny to her.
Maybe she had lost it, or gone into shock. Or both. Both could happen.
"Logan, we have ta' get out of here. The tables are startin' ta'
"Really? I thought it was just me." With a grunt of pain he stood up,
the entire front of his lifebelt soaked with red.
"Oh, Logan..." Marie's eyes brimmed with tears at seeing him like
"I'll be fine, Marie. Just like I was numerous times before." He took
her and led her back to the stairs and up them.
~*~ Adréa ~*~
Disclaimers, etc. in first part.
TISSUE WARNING!!! TISSUE WARNING!!! I'm talking bring the box to the
computer room and keep the keyboard out from underneath your nose
tissue warning. It's the end.
~*~ X ~*~
As soon as the trio had set foot out on deck, things did not look
promising. Everyone was running to and fro, jumping off the ship,
panic had gripped every soul left on board. Bobby and Remy used
themselves as shields to part the crowds of people in order to get to
the front of the ship. There just had to be some boats left.
The nearest boat they reached had a huge mob surrounding it. Each
officer held a gun pointed at them, one of them being the First
Officer. He was yelling into the crowd, "I'll shoot any man who tries
to get passed me! Get back!"
The mob began yelling back, but it did no good. One man jumped high
above their heads and landed in front of the crest they had made
surrounding the boat. Murdoch immediately reacted and shot the green
skinned man. Out of the corner of his eye, something else moved and
he shot again. Only this time it was a young woman who had been
It didn't hurt that much, nor was it that bad a wound really. It had
only nicked Amy's arm and was already healing. But from Murdoch's
position it looked much worse. He had shot and killed man, and shot a
woman. The man had deserved it, but the woman...
Murdoch looked down at the trail of blood around his feet from the
man. He glanced to either side of him. The girl was looking at him
with forgiveness. Strange thing was, her eyes changed colors. The
others looked at him with hatred, his fellow officers looked at him
with indifference. They weren't going to give away their true
emotions on the situation.
How did it come to this? When had everything gone wrong? Titanic was
supposed to be unsinkable, was supposed to be still sailing towards
New York, safe and sound.
But reality was different from fantasy. And the reality was that the
ship was sinking, that he had killed a man for wanting to live and
injured a woman. What more harm would he do than good? It wasn't
Murdoch stood up straight and saluted the highest ranking officer
next to him. The man immediately recognized the look of calm
resignation on Murdoch's face when he held the gun to his own head
and cried out, "No, Wil!"
The shot that rang out made everyone present gasp and become quiet
and still for a moment, before it settled in that they were still in
peril and began to load the lifeboat like before.
Remy once again pushed Amy forward, constantly apologizing for
getting her shot. The wound was nonexistent now, at least the
physical one. However, the one in her heart continued to tear and
bleed as she was forced to go. "Remy, please--"
"Don' argue wit' me, mon amour," he interrupted. Afraid that if she
begged enough, he'd want her to stay. He kissed her one last time, a
sweet, tender kiss that he hoped she would never forget. An officer
grabbed her and pulled her into the boat while she reached out for
her love, craving one last touch. They were too far separated.
The band had dispersed. Only the maestro remained. He stood there,
alone, and began to play by himself. The first notes of 'Nearer My
God to Thee' began to play from his instrument. Within just a few
measures, the rest of the band had returned to play along. No version
they had ever heard before brought so much emotion and heart to it.
They played slow and perfectly, bringing meaning out in each note. No
one dared to interrupt them, not even if they were in a blind panic.
Amy was usually so good in hiding her emotions. But it was impossible
for her to do so when music matching her mood was being played. Tears
slid down her cheeks and sobs she tried desperately to hide racked
her body. It just wasn't working, no matter what she did.
She couldn't bear to watch Remy, yet couldn't bear even more to not.
He was holding people back so they wouldn't storm the boat. It was
getting harder and harder for the officers to keep people back as the
water rose onto the deck and around the boat she was in.
In her mind, the music drowned out the screams and the eerie groans
the ship was making. In her mind there was nothing but her and Remy
together. Before sailing on Titanic she had been afraid of love,
afraid of a relationship. Many men had tried to court her, but she
had always bluntly refused. On the ship, a certain Cajun theif-turned-
waiter had become a thief once again and stolen her heart, teaching
her that it was alright to love.
Now, in the darkest part of her mind, she wished they had never met.
The pain of losing someone you loved was far greater than the pain of
losing your humanity or any injury she had ever received combined. If
they had never met, she wouldn't feel like she was dying right now,
that every second took a little piece of her with it.
Yet if that were true, then she would have gone throughout her whole
life pushing love away. Because the one man who could break those
walls she would had never met.
"There's no time!" someone yelled, breaking her little dream. "Cut
those Falls! Cut 'em! Cut 'em if ya' have to!"
Remy sprang into action. Or, into the water, for that matter. A knife
magically appeared in his hand and he pulled himself onto one of the
ropes and began sawing at it. But Amy would have none of that. She
pulled him down into the boat by his pantleg and took the knife from
He gazed at her in surprise and began to ask just what she was doing,
when she took his place by the rope and used one of her powers.
The panic became more distant as it moved slower, shouts and screams
held out much longer. The water that splashed her seemed to take
forever to connect with her skin as she worked furiously on the
ropes. She glanced to her side and noticed that the only thing that
seemed to move normal was another man with white hair across from
her. He was moving as fast as her, if not faster, but that was his
power too, although how differently did it.
Pietro and Amy worked faster on the falls, cutting one, then jumping
to another. Pietro was on the outside and was having to fight against
the current as well. Someone who was being swept by it ran into him,
causing him to lose his grip and ride along with the flow. His dagger
was lost somewhere along the way, so he couldn't swim back to help
them. Carefully swimming, he aimed for dry deck instead.
Amy only stopped in her sawing when the headache became unbearable
and she was forced to stop, collapsing into the boat. Remy's arms
circled around her, keeping her upright. "It's alright, mon
amour... 'Tis alright..." he tried to calm her.
Loud creaking and groaning brought her foggy mind's attention behind
the two of them. Like spring coils pulled far too taunt, the supports
for the first funnel casing gave way, cutting people in half as it
sprang to the water like warm string through a cheesecake. The
creaking grew even louder as the funnel lost its support and began
tipping towards the water. As it fell it moved faster until it
impacted with the water and the unfortunate people under it.
Remy braced himself and Amy as the great waves rocked the small boat.
People around them were desperately trying to climb into the boat.
The added weight on one side combined with the wave tipped the boat
over. They all screamed as they were met with the cold stinging of
the ocean water. A few of them were trapped underneath the boat and
held onto the seats they had been previously using to sit on in order
to find the air to breathe.
Being tall enough, Remy put his feet down on the deck underneath the
water and used his arms to try and push the boat back over. "Work
The other men underneath that were tall enough did the same, flipping
the lifeboat and water people had undoubtedly already climbed upon it
off. People lunged for the boat like ants lunge at a piece of candy
dropped by a child. The Cajun climbed into it first, immediately
reaching back and grabbing Amy, pulling her up.
She was nearly unconscious, no matter how she tried to fight it. Her
body was just too weak from her mental exertions. In the comfort of
Remy's arms, she lost the battle and drifted to sleep.
~*~ X ~*~
"So... How did you get involved with Lensherr, then? If you don't
always agree with his methods?" Jenn asked, wanting to keep her mind
off of the ship behind them and the dying man in her arms.
"He's my father, that's how," Wanda replied, sneaking glances at the
doomed sea liner now and then.
"Oh..." Jenn looked up briefly in time to see the outline of
something moving high above them. She knew it was Ororo. Her
abilities allowed her to use the wind to make her fly, yet she
couldn't control it like that with someone else. Every moment she
needed to change the winds, and unless she could feel it herself, it
was too hard to do.
"Oh my God..." Wanda breathed out as she stared in shock at the ship.
Although she knew she shouldn't, Jenn couldn't help but glance behind
her. One of the funnels had just fallen. And the entire ship looked
as if it were infested with bugs. So many people were left... and one
of them was Bobby.
But he was still alive. At least at that moment. Jenn believed she
would know if he was gone, or wanted to anyways. She felt like she
deserved it. They loved each other more than anything, that opened up
a psychic connection that would let you know if something serious was
happening to your loved one, or if they were dead.
It proved to be right as Scott's breathing shallowed even more, his
skin deathly pale and his lips turning purple from the cold and blood
loss. As it happened, Jenn could hear a woman begin to cry even
louder, and imagined it to be Jean. Sure, she was a real psychic, but
she would have defenses up in order to not hear the people on the
ship. Still, that connection she would have with her husband would
still be there, and she could feel it slipping away.
"Come on, Scott... hang in there... For us... For Jean..." Jennifer
pleaded. "You hang in there too, Bobby," she whispered in a prayer to
whoever would listen.
~*~ X ~*~
There was no way they could get near one of the remaining boats. Once
the funnel fell, Logan lost all hope of that. Titanic was sinking
fast now, and didn't have much time left. "Come on!" he yelled to
Marie above the shouts and pleas of the crowd. He pulled her out of
the rising water and began dragging her to the stern of the ship.
At that moment, that was the only direction anyone was going other
than down, off the ship. Logan knew better than that and pushed past
the crowds, keeping a firm grip on the girl behind him. She stumbled
a few times in her shoes, but he kept her upright.
If Logan thought the people were being noisy then, as soon as the
lights went out on the ship, they were ten times worse. Darkness
always made things worse. With nothing but the stars to light them,
it was nearly impossible to see five feet in front of them.
People were ignoring the stairs and just climbing over the ship to
get to the back. It was a good idea, so they follow suit. Logan let
go of Marie to jump down a particularly high piece, then turned and
helped her down. "We've got to move faster!" Marie yelled as she
looked behind her.
The more they moved to the back, the more difficult it became to do
so. Their feet slide on the smooth boards and Logan grabbed onto one
of the stairway rails, pulling them up on them. The mob moved like
the sea as one mass.
They nearly lost their footing numerous times, but Logan kept them
upright until they went as far as they could go. The couple entwined
themselves in the railing, the ship now completely vertical.
Marie glanced to either side of her. To their left, she could see
Jubilee, her servant holding on for dear life. Her brown eyes were
wide and haunted, her hair disheveled. Yet she was wearing that
bright yellow jacket that she loved so much. That was how Marie
"Jubilee!" she yelled at her.
"Chica?" the girl responded with the pet name she had given her. It
was obvious in her voice that she was so close to breaking down, only
her will to live kept it from happening.
To Marie's right, she could just make out the face of Bobby Drake
holding onto the support lining. It was odd how she couldn't see him
breathing. As if he were as cold as the air. The boy looked at her,
deep pain was in his eyes. Yet hardly any fear. She briefly wondered
if his mutation -- whatever it was -- had anything to do with it.
~*~ X ~*~
Curse those people who couldn't move out of his way fast enough! If
it weren't for them he wouldn't have to be hanging onto an open door
right then, keeping an eye out for any falling people who just
couldn't hang on anymore.
One thing was for certain, using a damn door to hang onto was
probably ranking near the top of his dumbest ideas. Second to setting
foot on this ship and joining his damn father in his stupid crusade.
Pietro swung his feet some to get some leverage on the door frame, so
he didn't have to completely rely on the door itself that couldn't
possibly hold him for long. His mind imagined that the creaking
wasn't only coming from behind him.
But the cracking certainly ways. Pietro looked down and saw the
floorboards snapping. The damn ship was breaking apart! He couldn't
even describe the sound after that, it was so hideous. Passengers
screaming did nothing to drown out the sound of the ship collapsing
It rocked back slightly before plummeting back to the ocean in a free
fall. Pietro's feet lost their ground on the door frame and he swung
back. His fears began true when the hinges splintered apart and he
didn't have anything else to hold onto.
His body began sliding towards the abyss that used to be connected to
more of the ship. He yelled but as soon as his feet touched the
ground, he began running.
Titanic bounced on the ocean, his feet leaving it for a short time
before meeting up with the floor again. Pietro didn't care who he ran
over or blew away, he was not going to be that near the gap.
~*~ X ~*~
Right after the stern had fallen back level, Logan pulled himself and
Marie to the other side of the railing. Bobby did the same thing and
Jubilee was already over so she didn't move.
Faster than before, the stern section became vertical again. It was
worse than any amusement ride she had been on because in this, there
were no safety lines. There was nothing to make sure everything would
be alright. And it sure as hell was anything but fun.
Marie cried out in fear, not understand why nothing was
"I'm right here, darlin', I'm right here," he breathed into her neck
between heavy pants.
Next to her, Bobby let out a yell as someone grabbed onto him. In an
attempt to get out of the other man's grasp, he slipped and fell back
with another yell. Marie squeezed her eyes shut and tried not to
imagine him falling to the cold water. Tried not to imagine how soon
they would be joining him.
Logan had a gut feeling as the ship slowly sank down again. "I think
this could be it, Marie!" He quickly ripped off a sleeve of his
jacket and bound it around one of her hands and one of his.
Her eyes widened as the water rushed to greet them, eager to take
them into her folds. Marie had never stared death in the face before,
but she was at that very moment. She knew what she had to do, same as
Logan, and the two prepared for it.
She glanced to her side again and saw Jubilee watching the water and
glancing at them constantly, seeing what they would do. Marie tried
to give her a reassuring smile, but it was pointless. Jubilee
wouldn't see it anyways, and what in God's name was there to smile
about? They could very well be about to die.
Within a few seconds Marie made a show of taking a deep breath and
saw Jubilee do the same out of the corner of her eye. Then they
squeezed shut as the cold water rushed over her, engulfing her in her
cold blankets. She refused to let go of the fabric which held her and
Logan together and kicked and used her able arm to find the surface.
The pressure was intense against her ears and head and she felt like
she was doing nothing but moving in circles. For all she knew she
was. Her lungs burned for it's deprived substance, but there wasn't
any for her to give it. It wasn't until her face met stinging cold
air that she knew she was out and breathed out the air she had in her
and gulped down new.
It was mad out there, people flailing about, using anything they
could get their hands on to help stay afloat, even if the preservers
would do it for them on their own. "Marie!" she could hear someone
yell not far away.
The arm connected to Logan tugged and she followed it, followed him.
It was so cold and her skin was already going numb, but she continued
on. They swam until they were far enough away from the large mob to
get some peace. There was something floating in the water that Logan
took her to and told her to get on.
She didn't care what it was, but she got on it, sprawling herself
across the flat surface. "W-what ab-bout-t y-o-u?" she managed to
"Ice is better than ice water in some ways," someone said nearby
them. Next to Logan a large slab of ice formed and floated in the
water. Seeing as that was the only thing near, he got on top of it.
"Yeah... I'm gonna go back and make more for other people. Give them
something until the boats come back." Marie gaped as Drake rowed by
in a very small iceboat, complete with an ice oar and a sailor hat
made of ice. If she weren't so damn cold, she would have laughed at
the humor. It was amazing anyone could have any now.
The young man whistled and rowed on, forming ice slabs for anyone in
Amidst the mass of people, a true whistle was being used to its full
extent. Followed by the pleading orders of the officer connected to
it, others joined in the screaming for help.
Logan knew that there was no way the boats would come back. They'd
sooner let them all freeze to death. Of course, if Logan was in their
position, he would probably do the same thing. If they came back, the
frozen people would swamp the boats and everything that had been save
in them would be in the same peril as the ones in the water.
He looked around them. But for the life of him, he couldn't tell
where any of the boats were. "M-marie... we n-n-need-d to... to swim-
"D-don't want-t to-oo..." she replied weakly.
"You... have to, M-m-marie." Using his untied arm and the opposite
leg, he slowly paddled. But with it wasn't enough to make them go
anywhere. "F-fuck." Unless they both went back into the water, they
weren't going anywhere.
Given the option to either stay where they were and freeze to death
like everyone else, or at least trying to survive -- it was pretty
obvious what he would choose for them.
Logan slide off his piece of ice into the water, causing Marie to let
out a startled cry of protest. "We n-need to swim to th-the boats."
Fuck. Warm was not good. Warm was very, very bad. Warm was just a
minute away from numbness. "Come on, M-arie." He dragged her into the
water, their lifebelts keeping them afloat more than anything.
Marie paddled along with him, even further away from the crowd of
slowly dying people. She was no longer cold, and no longer warm. Her
body felt nothing in the icy waters. She supposed that wasn't a good
thing, but really didn't care. The sooner she got to a boat, the
sooner she could sleep.
Their movements were slow and clumsy without any of the nerves closer
to the surface to help. They didn't realize how much they took it for
granted, to be able to feel what they were doing.
Logan remained persistent even as Marie began slacking off in her
efforts. "I'm so tired, Logan..."
He stopped at those words and turned to face her, his wild hair and
mutton chops home to pieces of ice. "Marie... stay with me... You
have to stay awake, you hear me?"
"Why can't I sleep, Logan?"
"Because I said so." With that, he continued his clumsy swimming
efforts. He had to keep her mind focused, keep her talking
maybe. "Hey... y'know... I never did find out who the Scarlet
If she could have smiled, she would have. "I'm not going to ruin it
for you. You're just going to have to read it and find out for
A few wheezing breaths came out, the best of a chuckle he could
manage with freezing vocal cords. "Not even a hint?"
"Okay... Don't drink anything during the pepper-snuff incident.
"That helps a lot." At least she was beginning to have a sense of
humor about it.
"Logan... I love you..." Marie whispered faintly, her eyelids growing
Panic gripped him. "Tell me that again when we reach someplace dry
and we get some sleep." He pressed on faster, harder. There had to be
a boat around some-- Yes! There was one up ahead!
"We're gonna make it, Marie. Just hold on, there's a boat up ahead."
He pushed his body to the limit, the boat was still far away and they
didn't have much time. Marie didn't have much time.
For a couple of minutes he pressed onwards, swimming towards the boat
he saw. He was so intent on getting them to safety that it wasn't
until then that he noticed Marie wasn't helping at all.
"Marie?" He paused and turned to face her. Her beautiful chocolate
eyes that had gazed at him so intently many times before were closed.
Another pang of fear gripped his heart. "Marie?" he asked again,
panic rising in his voice. "Marie, wake up, darlin'..."
Those eyes he loved so much remained closed. Were it not for the fact
he was so frozen, his eyes would have brimmed with tears about to
fall. They had survived so much, they were so close. It couldn't be.
He brought her still form to his and stroked her frozen hair back,
away from her face. "Marie? Darlin', please don't do this to me..."
He placed his bare hand against her face, praying for a miracle. For
the first time Logan could remember, he prayed to whatever God would
Still nothing happened.
In sorrow and defeat, he pressed his lips to her own, desperate to
taste her one last time. Once he did he kissed her forehead and
rested his cheek against it. Logan wasn't a man who cried over the
drop of a hat. But there was no one around, no one who would notice
as soft sobs shook him and the cold form of the only woman he had
loved and was denied a life with. "I love you too, Marie..." he
whispered into her hair.
April 15th, 1912
Nearing an hour after being rescued by the Carpathia, Jennifer stood
on the deck of the ship. Ororo had been the first to board, but no
one else knew that. Currently she stood behind the young girl and
tried to soothe her. That had been her mission ever since the first
survivors came on board.
She had finally gotten Jean to sleep, despite all the terror and
hardship she endured. Even with the shields, she still felt so much.
But nothing neared comparison to when her husband died. That was what
was affected Jennifer the most... He had died in her arms. Never once
regaining consciousness. Maybe it was better that way.
Xavier was gone... Scott was gone... Remy and Amy had been saved.
Irene Adler Darkholme and all her servants, including Jubilee, were
safe. Yet no word on Logan or Bobby. The two men she had been closest
"Logan is a survivor," Ororo tried to assure her friend. "And Bobby
feels at home in the cold. I am certain they are both alright."
The sound of running feet hitting the deck made the ladies turn.
Wanda Maximoff was running full speed towards them. During the time
in the boats, the two had gotten over their differences and at least
didn't feel a great sense of hatred for the other. "Jenn! It's Bobby!"
"Bobby?" A dead weight was lifted off of her at those words. "Where
"Trying to cheer up the kids and making a complete fool of himself
down in steerage."
Her heart soared as fast as her feet could run down to the area they
had put the steerage people. There weren't nearly as many of them as
in the other classes, but she paid it no mind. She spotted a familiar
tuft of blonde hair standing over a group of wide-eyed, shell-shocked
children and leaped onto him.
"Ack!" They both fell to the deck and sprawled out on top of one
another. "Jenn!" he cried in surprise and laughed as he kissed her.
Ororo looked happily down at them, thanking the Gods that something
good had finally happened to them. She turned and eyed the woman
dressed in red. "Have the list of names changed any?"
She shook her head sadly, auburn curls swinging everywhere. "No...
Neither Logan nor my brother's names are on the list... Everyone has
put their name down by now."
Ororo nodded sadly. It was another great loss to them. "I also
noticed," Wanda began again, "that Marie Darkholme's name wasn't on
the list either."
"Goddess, no..." the weather witch breathed out. It couldn't be.
Logan would have done everything in his power to get the girl off it,
how could he have failed?
"And one more thing, I'd stay away from Ismay if I were you."
"I would imagine he would be shocked about what happened. But why
should that cause great alarm?"
"It's not Ismay."
Realization dawned on her at what that meant. Yet it also reminded
her that despite all their losses, they still had to move onward. In
time, Jean and herself could run Xavier's dream. It would be
difficult, and they would need Remy and Bobby's help. But it could be
done. "Wanda?" she asked as the young woman had turned away. "Would
you like to go back with us? You will always be welcome at Xavier's
She smiled sadly. "Maybe in time. But I must grieve the loss of my
family before I can start anew."
Ororo turned back to watch the reunion and decided to wait to tell
Jenn the news on Logan. Looking up at the sky, her brown eyes turned
to white as she commanded the heavens above. Dark grey clouds rolled
in over the ship and began a light drizzle on everyone on board. It
was only fitting for mourning the loss of so many lives, ones they
held in their hearts, and ones they didn't.
No matter how many bars she went into, she would never get used to
the smell. It was always such a nausea inducing stench that she could
barely tolerate. Her stomach growled as she stared at the jar in
front of her, not even registering the words on the note taped to it,
just on the change inside. But before she could do anything, the
bartender pulled the jar away. "You want something else? Or you just
sticking with water?"
Marie shook her head, unable to afford anything with no money.
A man sat next to her across the bar. A big fat wad of money was
placed before him. In return, he took out a bit and said, "I'll have
a beer." To which the bartender quickly got him.
The man had a cigar in his mouth and mutton chops unlike anything
Marie had seen before. His dark eyes glanced at her, giving her a
At the moment, something between them sparked, however faint it might
have been. Destiny had spoken, and the loop began again.
"I am here to tell you, we can never meet again.
Simple, really. Isn't it? A word or two, and then
A lifetime of not knowing where or how or why or when.
You think of me, or speak of me, and wonder what befell
That someone you once loved so long ago, so well.
Never wonder what I feel as living shuffles by.
You don't have to ask me, and I need not reply.
Every moment of my life from now until I die.
I will think, or dream of you, and fail to understand
How a perfect love can be confounded out of hand.
Is it written in the stars?
Are we paying for some crime?
Is that all that we are good for,
Just a stretch of mortal time?
Or some God's experiment,
In which we have no say?
In which we're given paradise,
But only for day.
Nothing can be alterd, there is nothing to decide.
No escape, no change of heart, nor any place to hide.
You are all I ever want, but this I am denied.
Sometimes in my darkest thoughts, I wish I'd never learned
What it is to be in love and have that love returned.
Is it written in the stars?
Are we paying for some crime?
Is that all that we are good for,
Just a stretch of mortal time?
Or some God's experiment
In which we have no say,
In which we're given paradise,
But only for a day..."
~*~ Adréa ~*~
As was the plan, Logan arrived at the meeting point, small
sack in hand, filled with nothing more than the things the man stated
he would need. He also brought, upon himself, the equipment necessary
to let the Organization know of his latest find...when that time
came. For a while, he was going to play with this bunch a bit before
feeding them to the tigers.
He had long since come to learn that mutants weren't going to
happy little communities to better themselves as much as humankind.
And frankly, as long as they continued to grace him with the luxuries
he currently felt necessary to survive, he didn't see any problem
with their plans. Generally, he was just there to round up the cattle
and turn the other cheek in the face of the authorities.
Hands shoved in pockets as usual, Logan remained standing
against a lamp post just outside the building, not caring at the
moment how out of place he was. Hardly anyone was out by that time,
it was past curfew and anyone roaming the streets without good reason
would be charged severely in the courts. Logan let his gaze wander,
trying to locate the little man from two nights prior. Encompassed in
the night's dark blanket, he could see without being seen, which was
an amusing concept in and of itself. That's what his job this time
would be like. The convicts inside would see him, without really
seeing him. His true personality and intentions were well covered by
the outer claim to be a mutant. And if there was anything he had
learned from researching the X-Men, it was that they were quick to
take in abandoned and seemingly helpless people, who are suffering as
they once suffered.
Though Logan was, as obvious to many people, anything but
helpless. A walking weapon, he had the power to do just about
anything he wanted. Thanks to the Organization, he was blanketed from
the law, given a false name and whatnot, defended against any crime
he may choose to commit at any certain time.
Ah, the benefits of being the "bad guy." In truth, he'd probably work
for the good guys, he had more in common with them, in some respects,
except their enemies paid better. At times, though, he had a soft
spot for the underdog. He wasn't sure where it came from, but he was
vaguely inclined to feeling sorry for them. Maybe it was the fact
that an entire world could be against them and they'd still go in
with their heads held high. That amount of integrity almost demanded
some kind of respect.
Still, he'd never be so in favor of them that he would pull
on a uniform and bound off to save the world. People, in some form,
were granted the ability to defend themselves. Those who didn't, he
had decided at some point, did so at their own risk. Like Arnold
Frank, for example. The man was not a known mutant and, had he
watched out for himself, rather than caring for a group of outlaws,
would not be on the verge of extinction.
At last the aforementioned man arrived, looking slightly pale
and disheveled, checking over his shoulder every few moments, as
though the Grim Reaper himself were on his heels. Logan pulled
himself into a straight position and made the effort to meet him in
front of the door to the building. As nervous as he looked, Arnold
had an air about him that told Logan this wasn't his first nightly
trip to the factory, and certainly not the last. "Everything settled,
Though dark out, Logan could see the man in very strict
detail as he slipped a shaking hand into his pocket to retrieve the
key. Despite there being lamp posts strewn all along the street, the
area around them was flooded in black, as none of them were used any
longer. There was no point, when Sentinel patrols could sense any
sort of movement. They would be out within the hour, if Logan
At last the door was pushed open, and Logan was free to slip
in behind him, leaving the chilling cold of the streets for something
at least protected from the wind. Winters in New York were never
pleasant, and this one had been considerably harsh this season. Snow
piled high, it made his hunting season close to unbearable, and made
many a night waste away with thoughts of quitting this place for
somewhere a little warmer.
"This way." The whisper couldn't have been heard by anyone
not straining to hear it. A few times, on ascending the staircase,
they had to pause while Frank coughed harshly, probably due to a
weather induced illness. Logan felt a small amount of pity, though if
the old man just stayed in bed at nights like he was supposed to, he
would probably live to be a ripe old age, free of sickness.
Each step Logan took was followed by an eery creaking noise,
which made him muse over whether or not there would be a building to
hide these mutants very much longer. A strong windstorm seemed to
have more than a necessary amount of power to turn the place into a
pile of firewood. Still, he spoke none of these thoughts allowed,
remembering constantly the almost polite role he had to maintain, so
long as he desired.
That thought brought a grin to his face, as they reached the
last stair and turned into a long hallway. He was never a polite
person, using any gruff, harsh measure necessary to attain that which
he had his eye on. Manners never played a part in his every day
existance, which made him wonder just how convincing an actor he was.
Still, if he had gotten this far, there must be something
honest about him, otherwise Frank would have laughed and left him on
the streets without a second thought.
Finally, the two men reached a small, fairly well furnished
room. It appeared to be an office, with tables, chairs, computers,
everything a worker needed at that time. This was confirmed, when
Arnold turned to him and addressed the room as his office during the
day. "This way, I can keep an eye on things." Nodding in
understanding, Logan looked around, feigning interest, while Mr.Frank
pushed aside, with some straining, a heavy bookcase on
hinges. "Mr..." and then he paused, and Logan could tell that the man
felt sheepish, having planned to allow him to stay and having never
caught his name.
"Logan." Momentarily, a flash hit him, and he remembered the
day he awoke in the barracks, knowing nothing...seeing that five-
letter word and grasping onto it because it seemed to offer the only
link to a past that was now nothing but an empty void...
"Just Logan." He stared back at the old man, a smug smile
creeping over his visage for the main reason that he knew it was too
dark for Frank to see it. He, in turn, simply nodded in somewhat of
an understanding fashion.
"Logan...this way, if you please." With that, he turned and
began down the hidden hallway, while Logan followed behind, chuckling
silently because the man was acting more like a host at a restaurant
than a man preparing to save your life. Even if his life didn't need
Going down the brief hallway, Logan had to give them credit.
This place really was well hidden, with all the winding passages it
would take government officials a few days to sort out all the
different ways to go before actually finding them, which was indeed a
good situation for the mutants. Still, if they were desperate enough
to unleash the Sentinels, then finding the mutants, despite hidden
hallways, would be no problem, considering they would probably just
rip the roof off. And the public wouldn't even turn their heads to
watch, because the X-Men were thought of as pests to the society, and
getting rid of them, Pro-Mutant protests or not, would be a welcomed
change to the community.
Which made Logan realize just how stupid mankind really was.
Here they had a group of people, spurned by the entire world
practically, saving their butts day in and day out, and still they
saw them as no more than leather-clad weirdos out to reek havic on
everything in their path. In this regard, Logan understood those
mutants that wanted to take over the world. People were generally too
stupid to lead themselves...a designated ruler would be best, one who
could tell them what to think and how to act, so that choices like
that didn't have to be made by the individual, and mistakes would be
considerably less in number.
"Here we are..." Pausing in front of the last possible
door, Arnold Frank lifted a hand and lightly tapped out a rhythmic
code, that was answered a moment later.Slowly, the door was pulled
open, and a fairly attractive girl with large, brown eyes addressed
"Mr.Frank..." To him, she offered a warm smile and to Logan,
well...he wasn't sure what was behind his greeting. The smile didn't
exactly look forced, nor did it reflect total trust, which was to be
expected, in his opinion.
"Logan." He grunted out the name, feeling it might take her
expectant gaze off him for a time. After a few more awkward moments
of silence, she turned her attention, like he wanted, back to her
companion, whispering about changes made to fit their "guest." He
cocked a small grin, listening to them talk as though this were a
hotel and he simply a temporary travel-weary guest.
"Well...you should probably come inside. We have things ready
for you. Bobby moved upstairs so you could be down with the rest of
us where it's warmer." She said this as though it were some honorable
event that demanded gratitude and respect. Logan, on his part,
offered no thanks, simply nodding his head and lifting his small sack
over his shoulder before entering the place. He could feel the girl
frown before following him back inside.
After allowing him a few moments time to observe
the "apartment" as she and Frank referred to it, he heard several
others approaching and turned to get a look at the five remaining X-
Men. True, it hadn't been proven as fact yet, but his mind was all
but made up.
Before him stood a motley crew, all shapes and sizes. There
were only four though, Marie included, which made him frown slightly,
thinking his theory already lost, so early on in the game. Still, he
bided his time, looking each one up and down, trying to get a readout
on their personalities using what they offered by way of body
language. The one with white hair was regal in a way, suggesting she
were some kind of royalty. She stood fairly close to a small, blue
man, who wore spectacles and really didn't seem to find anything
humorous about that. Of course, Logan had seen far stranger mutations
but none so amusing.
Another man, whom Logan deemed the one he was most likely to
get along with, leaned against the doorframe, shuffling a stack of
cards, and paying attention to Logan without appearing to do
so. "Everyone, this is Logan. Logan...meet the X-Men."
Title: To Love and to Cherish
Category: Drama/Fluff with a touch of angst
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me, except for Anna, who
is back and raring to play again.
Archive Rights: WRFA, XMMFFC, otherwise, just ask.
Summary: Logan and Marie have a baby.
Marie was sleeping soundly when she was shaken out of a rather
pleasant dream by Logan's hands on her shoulders.
"Marie, wake up," he ordered as he lightly shook her.
"Whuh?" she asked, still sleep-fogged and confused. Looking around
the darkened room, she didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
"You had a contraction."
"What... what time is it?"
"Uh..." Logan pulled back to look at the bedside alarm clock, "3:13."
"Go back to sleep."
"Darlin', you had a contraction. Don't you think we should be waking
Jeanie and Hank? I can carry Anna over to Kitty and Bobby's and..."
"Logan," Marie said, waking up more and more every second, "if I had
a contraction, wouldn't I be the one telling you?"
"Well... yeah, but I smelled it on you. It woke me up."
"I'm going back to sleep," Marie said, trying to roll over on her
side. She was a few days to her due date, and every movement was
complicated and clumsy. It took her minutes to get comfortable again.
Logan didn't say anything, but she knew he was wide awake. Still,
undisturbed sleep had been so rare for her this past week, she
ignored him and tried to find the comforting oblivion again.
About 10 minutes later, she felt her stomach muscles tense in the
beginning of a contraction. When she'd been pregnant with Anna, she'd
looked up everything she could find about childbirth, but she
couldn't get a straight answer on how it would feel. None of her
peers were even married yet and Jean and Scott couldn't have kids, so
no one was any help. Jean and Hank had given her the standard doctor
response that when you had a contraction, you felt mild discomfort.
She'd soon found out from personal experience that "mild discomfort"
in doctor-speak meant indescribable, cramp-like pain. She was feeling
that pain now.
After the contraction had passed and she could breathe normally
again, Logan asked, "Are you ready to go now?"
She reached behind her and lightly hit him.
"Hey!" he protested.
"You deserved it."
One of the reasons she loved Logan so much was that he was always so
in-tune with her feelings. Right now, he could tell she was in pain,
pissed, tired, and in no mood to argue.
"You're right," he answered. "I deserved it. Now can we go?"
"Ok. I'll call Jean. You go get Anna."
Marie watched him leave in the dim light. Sometimes she still
couldn't believe that he'd almost died over five months ago. His
speech was back to normal and only a slight limp remained of his
debilitating paralysis. Jean had told them that in a few more weeks
the limp would probably be completely gone. Thinking of Jean, Marie
leaned over and picked up the phone on the nightstand.
Logan crept into his daughter's room. She looked angelic lying there,
peacefully asleep. He pulled the covers off and reach down to lift
"Go back to sleep, darlin'," he whispered as he pulled her small
frame into his arms.
"What's going on?" Anna asked, blinking up at him.
"Your baby brother's coming."
Anna rubbed at her eyes and snuggled into his chest. "Tell him to
Logan laughed. "Doesn't work like that."
"Where are we going?" Anna asked, when he pulled open the door to the
"You're going to stay with Aunt Kitty and Uncle Bobby while the baby
"I don't like B.J. He drools on all my toys."
"You won't have to stay long. I'll probably come see you in the
Logan had to knock a few times before a bleary-eyed Bobby answered
the door. "Hey, popsicle. Baby's coming, and you said Anna could
"Bring her in," Bobby interrupted.
Walking over to the couch, the two men arranged the drowsy girl on it
and Logan tucked her in with a kiss and an admonishment to "be good"
before returning to Marie's side. By then, Marie was just leaving
their suite with Jean.
"Should you be walking?" he asked, running up to her. "I mean, I can
carry you if you want."
"I can waddle just fine, Logan." she replied, taking his hand more
for his comfort than to steady herself.
Hank was already in the lab when they arrived. He looked up from his
preparations and walked over to them handing Marie a hospital gown
and Logan surgical scrubs and swimmer's nose plugs. Logan looked down
skeptically at the nose plugs and then back up at him.
"You promised, Logan. I cannot help but recall how upset you became
during Anna's delivery when you detected the odor of Rogue's blood.
My fractured humerus was not pleasant in the slightest."
Logan slipped the rubber plugs onto his nose and replied in a
slightly nasal voice, "Happy, Hank?"
Logan looked around for his wife, and saw that she had gone behind a
curtain to change into the hospital gown. He knew that it was only to
protect her modesty during the initial preparations since she
couldn't wear it for the caesarian section. Given her deadly skin,
that was the only way their baby could be delivered. Then they'd have
to wait the six or so months until the baby was old enough to try a
skin test. It had been wonderful when Anna had proved immune to her
skin, but they couldn't take the risk that this baby would be, too.
Logan had the scrubs on when Marie emerged from the curtain, one arm
behind her back clasping the ends of her gown together. He was struck
by just how beautiful she was. Even nine months pregnant,
uncomfortable, and wearing a cheap, cotton covering, she was
"I love you, Marie."
She stopped, and her expression softened. "I love you too, Logan...
Now, Hank, Jean, let's have ourselves a baby."
There was a lot of things in life that Logan could endure, but
Marie's pain wasn't one of them. As she sat on the surgical bed, her
hands clutching his gloved ones as Hank put in the epidural, it was
all he could do not to release his claws and gut the doctor. Not
being able to smell her helped, but by the strength of her grasp, the
tension in her posture, and her heavy breaths, he could tell it hurt.
Hank was good, though, and it was over quickly.
When Marie was finally positioned and prepared on the operating
table, arms spread wide and stomach bare among the blue drapes and
towels, Hank rolled a chair over by Marie's head for Logan. The
surgical drape had been pulled up so neither of them could see the
operation as it took place. Logan had been told to remain behind the
drape no matter what, and he'd agreed wholeheartedly. He knew he
couldn't take seeing Marie hurt.
"Ok," Jean said, "making the first incision."
Logan leaned down and kissed his wife on the cheek through the
surgical mask covering his face. "This is it, darlin'," he said,
excitement creeping into his voice.
"Wait," Marie suddenly said, her voice filled with alarm. "We haven't
picked a name yet."
"I thought you were going with 'Mike,'" Jean said.
"Well, that's what Anna's been saying, but we haven't actually picked
one yet," Logan corrected her. "We'll choose one later, Marie."
"What's the difficulty with 'Mike?'" Hank asked. "It's a fine name."
"I just want to pick one on our own," Marie replied.
"Well, how did you decide on Anna's name?" Jean asked, trying to be
"She's named after my mother. Her name was Rachel Anna, so we named
our daughter Anna Rachel."
"Why don't you do the same with your son?"
"Look," Logan interrupted, getting annoyed. "Shouldn't you two be
focusin' on the whole surgery thing for now. We'll talk about this
"My dad never liked his first name," Marie answered Jean's question,
"Well, what was his middle name?"
Marie paused for a moment and Logan was relieved that she'd stopped
talking and started being a patient when she replied,
thoughtfully, "Michael. His name was George Michael Trent."
"In that event, I propose you christen him 'Michael Trent Logan,'"
Hank suggested. "Then both you and Anna will be pleased."
"I like that," Marie said. "What do you think, Logan?"
"Fine, whatever, if it'll get those two doctors to stop jabbering and
start concentrating on their work."
The minutes passed slowly after that, Jeanie and Hank speaking their
technical, physician-ese, and Logan speaking in a low voice to Marie,
whispering how much he loved her and how excited he was for the baby.
He was the first one to notice when something went wrong.
Marie's eyes got a far away look and glazed over. He asked her a
question and she didn't answer.
"Marie?" he asked, but she didn't turn to look at him. "Marie?!?
Jean, Hank, something's wrong."
"We know, Logan. We're working on it." Jean answered, her voice tense.
Logan heard a dripping sound. Looking down at the floor below the
bed, he saw blood pooling on the metal. Logan ripped off his latex
gloves. "Can I touch her? Should I touch her?"
"Not yet, Logan. We have to get the baby out first," Jean reminded
"What if I touch her and then you start again?" Logan tried.
"No good. The baby's already showing signs of distress."
"What? Hurry! Do something!" Logan said, frantic with worry. "Marie?
Hang on, baby. Stay with me... Hurry, Jean!... Marie? Look in my
eyes. Look at me, Marie!"
Her skin was starting to pale and her breathing slowed as he heard
Jean swear, "Dammit, Hank! Suction that area. I can't see. We have to
stop this hemorrhaging!... I've got the head. C'mon... C'mon... Ok,
shoulders are coming... Baby's out. Take him Hank..."
No crying. Logan's heart fell as he realized the baby wasn't crying.
"Ok... Got the after-birth... Ok, touch her, Logan!"
Logan immediately clutched her face with both hands, and placed his
cheek on her forehead, thanking everything that was holy when he felt
the pulling sensation of her mutation take effect. Then, he fell into
See part two.
Whoops! I forgot to mention. This is the fifth story in the Wedding
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
Marie assumed that she was dying as she watched her life flash before
her eyes, but then she noticed something odd. Her life was running
backwards, starting from the moment she had passed out on the
operating table and running back to this morning and to then last
night. That wasn't the only strange thing. She was seeing her life
from a different perspective. Logan's!
It had been over four years since he had last touched her. Four years
since she'd been shot next to the empty field that used to be her
home. When Logan had touched her that time, the presence of the
police officer she'd recently absorbed had kept her from assimilating
most of his new memories. Now, his memories flooded her mind as his
healing factor took over her body.
Anna looking up at him as he shaved one morning.
"Can I do that, Daddy?"
"No, pun'kin, little girls don't shave."
"But I wanna!"
"Your mommy doesn't shave. Don't you wanna grow up to be beautiful
"No. I wanna be like you."
"That'll be kinda difficult, darlin'," he said, with a laugh.
"You said I can be anything I want when I grow up," Anna replied with
a pouty-lipped expression that made his heart melt. Where had she
learned to do that so well? Marie, of course. He could never say "no"
Wiping the excess shaving cream from his face and splashing on his
aftershave, he glanced back at her. With a sigh, he slapped some on
her face as well. She beamed and ran off, trailing the scent of Old
Spice behind her.
Pain! Mind-numbing, indescribable pain. In an instant, he had been
reduced from a man to just a cluster of nerve endings burning in
agony. His vision took on a red haze as blood flowed from everywhere.
He wanted to give in to it, to surrender and leave the anguish
behind, but he'd promised.
<i>"I'll see you tonight,"</i> Marie had said as he left her and Anna
behind, abandoning their picnic to go on this mission.
<i>"Tonight,"</i> he'd promised. He had to hold on, if only to see
her one last time, tonight.
"Give your daddy a kiss," Marie said, handing Anna over to him.
She leaned against his face, giving him a slobbery, wet kiss against
"Thank you," he said, grimacing as he rubbed at the saliva remaining
on his cheek.
"Daddy, don't rub it off," Anna said, face turning down in a frown.
"Um… uh… I'm not rubbing it off, pun'kin. I'm… I'm rubbing it in.
That way, it's with me all day."
"Are you sure about this, Jean?" he heard Marie ask, worry and fear
in her voice.
"The only way to tell is for you to touch her."
"Logan… you'll pull her away if anything…"
"I've got her, darlin', but nothing's gonna happen."
He followed Marie's gaze down to Anna, cradled in his arms, wearing
nothing but a diaper. It was a frightening amount of exposed skin,
but this was the only way.
'Please, if anyone's out there, if anyone can hear me,' he
prayed, 'let her be able to touch Anna. I know I'm probably not high
on your To Do list, but please just let Marie have this. I'll do
anything… She needs it so much.'
He watched as her bare hand reached out and stopped, hovering an inch
away from the delicate, vulnerable skin. Taking a deep breath, Marie
closed her eyes and brushed against the warm, pink softness.
Nothing happened. No flash, no suddenly visible, bulging veins, just
skin on skin. Marie's eyes shot open and she grabbed with both hands,
pulling Anna into a warm embrace and kissing her cheeks, chin, hair,
"Ma ma," Anna said, squealing in delight at all the sudden attention.
The joy Logan felt was overwhelming, and he allowed the hot tears to
roll down his face, knowing that Marie and Jean were too distracted
'Thank you,' he thought, gratitude filling his soul.
A spine-rattling scream broke the silence of the night. Anna was up
again. Five times this night alone, and it was only 4 a.m. This colic
thing was going to kill them one way or another. He could hear Marie
moan and shift beside him. He knew she'd hardly gotten any sleep
tonight, and despite his own bone-weariness, he couldn't let her get
"I'll get it, darlin'. You rest," Logan said, dragging the covers off
and levering himself up to a standing position on the cold, wooden
floor. Shuffling like a zombie, he made his way to the baby's room.
Even with a healing factor, this month of 2 to 3 hours of sleep a
night were running him down. He didn't know how Marie managed it.
After shutting the door, he turned on the light, flinching away from
the jarring brightness like a vampire entering the sun. Anna's
shrieking took on an even higher keening at the sudden illumination.
With his sensitive hearing, the screaming was agonizing, and he felt
that if he put his hands up to his ears right now, they'd almost
assuredly come away bloody.
Trying to quiet her, he picked up his little daughter and held her to
his chest. It had taken weeks before his worries that she would break
when he picked her up had started to fade. Even now, he was still a
little nervous, but he had her in a good hold.
Pacing the small room, adding a little bouncing to his walk, he tried
to stop her crying. She screamed all the louder. Raising his voice to
a falsetto and desperately hoping no one heard him, he tried to calm
her with the baby talk he'd heard Marie use at times like this. No
effect. He growled in frustration and then the room fell silent.
He looked down to see the baby's suddenly calm face. As he watched
in wonder her features reddened again in preparation for another
crying fit. He growled again and watched as the baby snuggled into
his chest, comforted by the low sound and vibrations. Continuing to
growl, he settled down into the rocking chair that Marie used,
thankful for this reprieve and desperate to at least be off his feet.
Minutes later, he fell into restful oblivion, Anna already peacefully
asleep in his arms.
The metal door, covered in slashes that he had inflicted over the
past hour, finally slid open.
"You can come out now," Jean said, standing by the entrance.
Sniffing the air, he ran past her, following Marie's scent. Running
down the hallway and rounding the last corner into a private room, he
stopped, taking in the sight of Marie lying in bed and holding a pink
"Are you ok? Is she ok?" Logan asked, worry filling his voice.
"We're fine," she said, and he could tell by her scent that she was
all right. No more blood, no pain. Immediately, his panic faded, and
calmer now, he took in her appearance. Tired, tousled hair, drugged
half out of her mind, and full of joy, she'd never looked more
"Hank's not so fine," Jean added to Marie's statement as she walked
into the room, "but he'll recover."
"Yeah," Logan replied, running a hand through his hair. "Sorry.
Seeing Marie like that..."
"I understand, but you might want to apologize when you see him
"Sounds like good advice," he agreed.
Looking up at him, Marie said in awe, "Oh, Logan, she has your hair."
Logan walked to her side for a better look, and sure enough, there
was a tuft of dark brown hair poking out from under the cotton
wrap. "Poor girl."
"Stop that! I love your hair."
"She's healthy, right? She's ok?"
Marie nodded, "Healthy, strong lungs (wait'll you hear her cry), ten
fingers, ten toes, practically perfect in every way."
Logan couldn't help but agree wholeheartedly with her last
He desperately needed a good, stiff drink. It had been so long. He'd
settle for one of those piss-poor American beers. Hell, he'd settle
for a wine cooler. He was desperate for alcohol, any kind of alcohol,
but he couldn't indulge.
He knew how hard the pregnancy-long abstinence would be on Marie,
what with his appetites still floating around in her head, and he had
decided to go teetotaler with her. The only problem was that he
couldn't take it anymore. What with her mood swings, strange
cravings, and all the other things that went along with pregnancy, he
needed a drink or twelve and a few good cigars to take the edge off
before he went insane.
A knock on the door distracted him from his silent rant, and he
yanked it open with a growl. Scooter was standing at the entrance.
"Hey, Logan. I'm looking for Rogue."
"She's taking a nap," he practically snarled.
"I'm up, Logan," Marie said from the doorway to their
bedroom. "What's going on, Scott?"
"Um, I've been elected to give you this," he said, presenting her
with several pages of paper.
"What's is it?" Marie asked, opening the pages and glancing at the
list of names.
"Well... it's a petition. Everyone signed it: students, teachers,
even the professor. Basically, um, we want Logan to start drinking
again. He's driving everyone crazy... No offense, Logan."
Logan's face screwed up in a scowl at Fearless Leader, but when Marie
nodded thoughtfully and told him to go visit Lily Page's Tavern,
relief flowed through him, and he knew he owed Scott, big time.
"Logan, you don't have to keep doing this," Marie protested as she
was once again carried over a threshold.
"I wanna do it, darlin'. This is our first apartment. It's only
"Yes, but you also did it on our honeymoon at every hotel we stayed
at, at the mansion,..."
"What can I say, Marie?" Logan interrupted with a sly grin. "I love
having you in my arms."
Logan was overcome by sensations. The sight of Marie, floating down
the aisle, accompanied by Xavier, made his heart skip a few beats.
She was stunning, hair pulled back and up away from her face except
for two white ringlets brushing her cheeks. Her dress was
traditional white, simplistic but devastating in its beauty. Her
smile was radiant and as their eyes met, his spirits soared. Then,
she looked down at the professor and for a moment, just a moment, a
frown clouded her features. Just as quickly, she recovered and again
graced him with that gorgeous smile, but he knew something had
happened there. He made a note to discuss it with her later.
Soon, she was by his side, and as he turned to face the minister, the
smells surrounding him took precedence over the sights. Her perfume,
the pure scent of her happiness and joy, and the scent of the roses
in her bouquet. The scents were soon overpowered by the sound of her
voice as she took the vows, but that was just as quickly overcome by
the sensation of her hand on his, slipping a ring on his finger that
he knew he would never take off.
The best sensation by far, though, was the taste of her lips on his
as he kissed her through the veil. It didn't matter that they
couldn't touch. It never would. He had Marie and he would spend the
rest of his life loving her.
The sounds of a baby crying brought her back to consciousness.
Opening her eyes, she was forced to squint at the blinding light of
the med lab.
"Logan?" she croaked.
"Rogue, you're awake." Jean said, appearing at her side with a glass
of water. "Slowly," she advised as she put the straw in Marie's
After taking a few sips, Marie asked, "What happened? Logan? The
"You started hemorrhaging. Probably a placental defect we didn't
detect on the ultrasound. Logan had to touch you."
"I know... Is he... will he be ok?"
"He's resting right now." Jean said in a calming voice. "Hank's with
him. I think he'll wake up tonight or tomorrow, since he wasn't
injured before he touched you."
"The baby? Logan thought there was a problem."
"He's fine. It took a bit of stimulation to start him breathing, but
that's more common than people think with Caesarian babies. He's
pinked up, and you can hear that his lungs are working wonderfully."
"I want to see them," Marie said, pulling herself up to a sitting
position. The room started spinning, and she immediately swayed into
"Whoa, even with a healing factor. You've lost a lot of blood.
It'll take a few more hours before you're completely healed. Lie
"I want to see Michael and Logan now," Marie demanded.
It took some time, but Jean was finally coerced into letting her out
of bed as long as she used a wheelchair. Sitting by Logan's bed,
holding their sleeping son, she remembered all the things she had
experienced through his eyes. Throughout all his memories ran one
theme: his love for her and Anna. Every day in every way, he was
saying, "I love you."
Reaching out and stroking his hair with one gloved hand as he slept,
she whispered. "Right back at ya, sugah."
Next: 'Til Death do us Part.
Title: 'Til Death Do Us Part
Series: Sixth in the Wedding Vows Series
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me, except for Anna and
Archive Rights: WRFA, XMMFFC, otherwise, just ask.
Summary: Someone dies and everyone else has to cope.
WARNING: Character death ahead. I am issuing an official Prozac
warning since tissues alone aren't sufficient to cope with the
sadness level of this fic.
Anna sat on her soccer ball alone in the empty field, arms folded and
face set in a frown. Finally, a familiar Jeep screeched into the
parking lot. She watched as her harried mother burst out of the
driver's side door and approached her in a quick walk/run. <p>
"You're late." <p>
Surprised by the venom she heard in Anna's voice, Marie stopped mid-
stride. "Well, I love you, too." <p>
"Everyone's been gone for twenty minutes, Mom," Anna whined. <p>
Marie reached down and picked up her daughter's equipment bag, "I
know, sugah, I'm sorry. I came as soon as I could." <p>
They walked in uncomfortable silence back to the Jeep. As Marie threw
the bag in the back of the vehicle, Anna opened the passenger door
and asked, "Where's Dad? He was supposed to get me." <p>
"He had a mission, honey. I just found out he was gone when you two
didn't show up on time. How was practice?" <p>
"Fine." Anna said, slouching in her seat and sulking. <p>
"Kick any goals?" <p>
"You going to tell me about it?" <p>
"No," Anna answered, twirling her shoulder-length dark brown hair
around a finger. <p>
Only the sound of the wind whipping through their hair in the topless
Jeep kept them company as they drove through the residential streets
and pulled onto the main, four-laned thoroughfare. Marie was the
first to break the silence. <p>
"Look," she said in exasperation. "It's not like this happens all the
time. Your dad would've been here if he could, but an emergency came
"Why aren't you gone too if it's such an 'emergency?'" Anna said,
rolling her eyes. <p>
"It's not a full-scale mission, just a new mutant manifesting. The
professor only sent Jean and your dad." <p>
Anna scoffed. "If it's just a new mutant, why couldn't someone else
have gone?" <p>
"The girl's hurt. She needed a doctor, and her mutation makes her
blood deadly. The professor thought Jean and your dad would be the
best choices." Marie paused for a moment, and then asked, "Why is it
such a big deal? This was only a practice, right?" <p>
Anna sighed and unbuckled her seatbelt. Turning around in her seat,
she fumbled through her bag, finally producing a piece of paper.
Turning back around, she handed the paper to her mother. Marie
glanced down, then back at the road. "I'm driving, sugah. What does
it say?" <p>
Anna cleared her throat and read, "For outstanding accomplishments
both on and off the field, Anna Logan, has been voted Team Captain of
the Spartans." <p>
"Oh, Anna, that's wonderful," Marie said, reaching out to squeeze her
daughter's hand. "Your dad'll be so proud. We'll go out and celebrate
tonight, just the four of us." <p>
"Do we have to bring Mike?" <p>
"Anna," Marie said in a warning tone. "He is your brother." <p>
"Yeah, but sometimes he's such a child." Anna said, in a haughty tone
as she returned the certificate to her bag. <p>
"Well, he is only five. Give him time. Now, where do you want to go?"
Anna settled back in her seat and replied, "I don't know... Could we
go see Matrix: 5? That's supposed to be so cool." <p>
"It's also very R. Pick something else. How about a dinner out?" <p>
"Maybe," Anna said, playing with her seatbelt by hitting the buckle
against the door. Marie noticed instantly. <p>
"Put your seatbelt back on, missy." <p>
Anna clicked the belt into place, pointing out, "You don't have yours
on, either." <p>
Marie looked down, surprised to see that she had, indeed, forgotten
it. She was in such a hurry to pick up Anna and so distracted by
their conversation that she, a stickler for safety, had forgotten.
She turned, reaching around to grab it, when she heard the blare of a
As she'd turned in her seat, the wheel had turned as well, and the
Jeep crossed the yellow line into on-coming traffic. If she'd been
paying more attention, if the truck hadn't been there in that one
split-second, the accident would never have happened, but happen it
The crash was ear shattering as metal twisted and crumpled in ways it
had never been intended to move. Marie was thrown forward into the
windshield by the force of the impact as the Jeep and the truck
glanced off each other, her forehead creating a star-like pattern in
the glass. The Jeep spun ninety degrees and was struck again on the
driver's side by the mini-van that had been following in Marie's
The world spun out of control as the Jeep overturned and flipped
three times down the road, coming to rest on its roll bar. Marie was
thrown half out of the vehicle the first time it flipped, and the
second time around, she felt a burst of agonizing pain in her neck
and heard a loud crunch before the pain just as quickly disappeared.
Now, everything was eerily calm. She lay limp on the ground looking
up into the passenger compartment of the Jeep as it lay atop her. She
saw Anna bleeding and crying in the passenger's seat, suspended
upside down from the harness. She wanted to say something to her,
comfort her, tell her she loved her, but she couldn't breathe, and
the image faded into darkness. <p>
She could hear Anna calling to her, her voice getting more and more
desperate even as it got fainter to her ears, "Mom?... Mommy?...
She could smell gas and she could taste the coppery blood in her
mouth, but like the others, these sensations quickly dulled and
She felt herself getting lighter, her whole body just letting go. Her
last thought was, `Logan, I love you.' and then she entered the
Whoops, sorry about the formatting on the first one.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
Anna looked into her mother's eyes and saw, nothing. The vacant,
glassy stare held no warmth, no comfort, just cold nothingness. Anna
called to her, begging her to move, asking for her help, but aside
from the occasional muscle spasms, Marie was eerily still.
Anna had never seen death. She'd never owned a pet, and never known
anyone who passed away. Sure, people got hurt all the time. Dad got
hurt more times than she could count, but he always healed. Even in
her inexperience, she sensed that this injury was permanent. Even
though her mother's body was still in the Jeep with her, the part
that made her Mom was gone.
She hung from her seat in shocked horror, stunned at what she had
done. It was her fault. If she hadn't said something about the
seatbelt, if she hadn't distracted Mom at a critical moment,
everything would be ok. She'd killed her mother, but not only that,
she'd been so snotty when Mom was just trying to be helpful.
A strange man kneeled down beside the Jeep, distracting her from her
thoughts and taking her gaze away from the body below her. He talked
to her, trying to comfort her until help arrived. His name was
David, and he was really nice. In an effort to be soothing, he
grasped her hand, but she yelped as shockwaves of pain spread from
her shoulder through her entire body.
Her shoulder was just one of the many places she hurt. The seatbelt
dug painfully into her stomach as she hung from it, and she could
feel an odd pressure starting to build. Soon, the pressure turned
into pain, and by the time the paramedics arrived, she was clutching
it in agony.
"She's in a lot of pain," she could hear David say, talking to people
she couldn't see. "Mostly she says her stomach hurts, but she
screamed when I touched her right arm."
"What's her name?" a woman asked.
"Anyone else in there with her?"
"The mother. She's dead."
"Ok, step aside, sir," a man commanded.
"Anna," David called. "These people are going to help you. You're
gonna be ok."
"Ok," she answered weakly.
"Hi, Anna. I'm Natalie. David says your tummy hurts."
"Yeah," she whimpered.
"Ok, I'm going to put this collar on your neck and then me and Doug
here are going to pull you outta there. Sound good?"
"What... what about Mom?"
"Um, some other people'll take care of her. They'll look after her
real good. I promise, honey."
Anna couldn't help crying as she was pulled from the Jeep, the pain
of her injuries almost overwhelming. Finally, she was out and
strapped down to a backboard. She could hear Natalie and Doug
talking about her, but they didn't understand most of what they were
"Distended abdomen, could be the spleen. Must've been slouched in
her seat or wearing the belt higher on her stomach."
"Shoulder looks bad too."
"Broken clavicle. Could require surgery."
Anna let their voices drift away as she finally succumbed to
comforting, pain-free sleep.
"What's the hold up?" Jean asked from the back of the van. Her
patient was stable for now, but they were making lousy time back to
"Gotta be an accident. I'll check the radio," Logan replied,
adjusting the stations until he heard a broadcaster
announce, "Traffic and weather: together on the nines."
It was 4:57 p.m., so he waited two minutes until the broadcast
started. Sure enough, the reporter told of a three-car pile-up
involving injuries on Foothill Boulevard backing up all the way to
Center Street. Even as he heard the announcement, he saw an
ambulance speeding past his van, heading back in the direction of the
hospital he and Jeanie had just left.
Shelley lay across the row of seats in the back, resting until Jean
could get her to the med lab and properly treated. She'd been in a
minor car accident with her parents, but both of whom had been killed
when they were splattered with blood from a cut on her arm. The
doctors at Mercy Hospital refused to treat her, for fear of being
killed themselves, allowing her to slowly bleed to death. Huh, some
After thirty minutes, they'd finally crept up to the scene of the
accident. Tow trucks were picking up the damaged vehicles and
clearing the road. Logan slammed on his brakes when he saw the
Throwing the van into park, he leapt from his seat and ran across the
lanes of traffic towards the empty vehicle. Leaning inside, he
smelled blood. Marie and Anna's blood. No, God, please, no! There
wasn't just the smell of blood, though. He could detect the viscous
smell of death on the interior. Marie? Anna? Both? NO!!!
Grabbing the tow truck operator and lifting him by his shirt collar
he growled. "Where are they?"
The man shook in his grasp, visibly terrified. "They... Mercy
Logan dropped the man, ran back to the van, and screeched a U-turn,
heading back the way he had come, towards a hospital that treated
mutants worse than animals.
See part three.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
"Logan?!" Jean cried from the back of the van as it sped down the
street. Looking out the window, she saw that they were now heading
away from the mansion. Even without actively scanning his mind, she
could sense the panic and terror emanating from him in waves. Still,
Shelley needed medical attention, and it was her responsibility to
ensure she got it.
"Logan. Stop the van," she ordered as she made her way to the front,
grasping the seat backs as he made a dangerously sharp turn onto a
side street. He ignored her command so she used her telekinesis to
push down on the brake, slowing their speed considerably.
Logan roared and with a wet *SCHUKK* she heard and saw his bone claws
emerge inches from her face. She could feel his powerful rage and
knew that if she hadn't been one of his long-time friends, she'd
already be dead. Immediately releasing the pressure on the brake, she
backed away, allowing him to resume his attempt to break all land-
~Professor,~ Jean mentally called. ~Something's happened. Logan's
emotions are out of control. Shelley needs help, and he's driving us
in the wrong direction. I don't know what I should do. Should I scan
After a pause, Professor Xavier responded, ~He's heading back to
Mercy Hospital, and he needs you to stay with him. I'll send Hank to
pick up Shelley. She's stable now?~
~For the moment, but what's going on?~
~His emotions are very strong. I can't get a clear reading, but
something has happened to Anna and Rogue. Stay with him, Jean.~
Logan barely registered the cars that shared the road with him. They
were only obstacles to avoid as he made his way toward his goal.
The smell of death still lingered with him, but he couldn't accept
it. There were all sorts of new medical advances. People died and
were brought back all the time. Marie and Anna would be fine. If he
could just get to them, he'd see they were ok.
What were they doing out here anyway? Marie taught late on Fridays
and Anna... Anna had soccer practice. He'd forgotten. He always
picked her up. Marie must've gone and... Guilt filled his soul as he
realized, it was all his fault. He should've been the one to drive
Anna home. If he had been there, maybe the accident wouldn't have
happened. Marie would definitely be safe now, and maybe Anna would be
all right as well.
No. He wouldn't let himself get distracted. He just had to get this
insanely slow van another few blocks, and he'd see everything was all
right. They were probably just bruised and scratched up a bit. The
smells in the Jeep had probably been from the person they'd hit.
Everything was gonna be ok.
Logan screeched to a stop in front of the Emergency Room doors and
ran into the hospital. Jean left Shelley with a few reassuring words
and a promise that someone would be with her shortly, then ran after
him. By the time she arrived at the check-in counter, she saw Logan
holding a doctor up to the wall by his scrub front.
"You smell like Anna. Where is she? Where's Marie? What happened to
them?" he demanded.
Jean could hear a nurse call for security, and she ran up to Logan,
trying to calm him at least a little, so they wouldn't be thrown out
before they got any information.
If Logan heard her, he gave no indication. His steady gaze was
focused solely on the man in front of him.
Jean turned to the terrified man in his grasp, sending out feelings
of soothing peace in an effort to calm him down enough to get some
answers, then she said, "Anna is eight years old with dark brown hair
and hazel eyes. She was probably brought here within the last hour
after a car accident."
The man nodded. "Yes, I treated her. Bad case. She was bleeding
internally. I sent her up to surgery about fifteen minutes ago."
Logan loosened his grip on the man slightly, anger being somewhat
replaced by grief.
"Marie?" he snarled.
"The mother," Jean interpreted. "Brown hair with white streaks. Early-
From the look on the doctor's face, Jean knew what he was going to
say, but before she could stop him, he said, "I'm sorry. There was
nothing we could do. She was dead on arrival."
Jean expected Logan to slay the doctor where he stood, to howl in
anger and pain, to destroy the emergency room in his grief, but he
didn't do any of that.
Instead, he fell limply to his knees, like a marionette whose strings
had been cut. Holding his head in his hands, he slowly rocked back
and forth, and Jean could hear him whispering, "No… no… no…" over and
over again, almost as if he said it enough times, it would change
what had happened.
The doctor backed away from him, and waved the security guards away
as well, leaving him to his grief.
Jean stayed by his side, in shock at what had happened. Rogue, so
young and full of life, was dead? No. Not like this. Not in some
meaningless car accident. If anyone was going to die, Jean had been
sure it would be in battle.
How could someone be alive one minute and dead the next? Even after
all her years of medical training and work as a doctor, she had never
been good at understanding or accepting death. It was an enemy to be
fought and defeated, not a part of life to be accepted. She had
considered them truly lucky that they had never lost one of their
team in all their years of battle. Now death had come to claim one of
Jean felt a tug on her pants leg as Logan reached out and grabbed
her. Hugging himself to her legs like a child and still looking down
at the floor, he whispered, "I… I have to… to see her, Jeanie.
"I'll take care of it, Logan. Don't worry."
Jean pulled herself away from his grasp, and went to the check-in
desk as Logan wrapped his arms around himself and resuming his
Logan shuffled down the hall like an old man, one hand dragging along
the wall for support. He could smell the formaldehyde and other
chemicals mixed with the scent of death from the moment he stepped
off the elevator. There were no windows down here in the basement and
the walls where a stark, cold off-white. Finally reaching the double
doors with the sign "Morgue" above them, he froze.
"Logan?" Jean asked, still by his side and ready to help where she
"Could you do me a favor, Red?"
"Check on Anna for me. See if they'll let ya into the operation. I
don't trust these doctors." It was more words than he'd uttered since
he'd heard the news. He didn't have the energy for speaking anymore,
no energy for anything, in fact.
"Are you sure? I mean... I could go with you if..."
"Go on, Jeanie. Watch after my little girl."
Jean nodded and turned back down the hallway for the elevators. Logan
remained standing before the imposing doors, finally pushing them
A bookish woman looked up from her dinner behind the desk, and after
taking in his appearance, said, "Um, you're not supposed to be down
He didn't hear her, looking around the room in shock. They were
obviously backed up, as there were several covered bodies on gurneys
waiting to be processed. Marie's scent drifted from one of them.
With shaking hands, he reached up and pulled back the sheet to reveal
his wife's pale face. Her hair was matted with dried blood, the white
streaks partially tinted with red. Her head was bent at an odd angle,
and her eyes remained half-opened in a perpetual stare. Her
expression surprised him, though, in that she looked almost peaceful.
He reached out and gently turned her head into a more natural
position, feeling the broken bones shifting in her neck. The skin
under his bare hands was cold and lifeless. How many times over the
years had he wished that he could safely touch her, skin-to-skin? Now
that dream had been twisted into a nightmare.
She was still wearing the outfit he'd seen her in this morning. It
was dirty, grease-stained, and ripped in a few, little places, but
the green material was still remarkably undamaged. How could her
clothes have remained so untouched when the occupant was so badly
Odd stains started appearing on her shirt, blossoming in little dots,
and he realized he was crying. He hated showing weakness and had
rarely cried in all his remembered life. Now, he sobbed openly for
Marie pulling her body up into his arms and cradling her.
"I love you," he whispered.
See part four.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
Jean was back on the first floor, heading towards the front desk,
when she saw Scott at the entrance. Seeing him standing there asking
the receptionist for help, she was struck by how quickly she could
lose him, like Logan had lost Rogue.
Breaking into a run, she quickly reached him, throwing her arms
around him even as her body was wracked with sobs.
"Jean? Jean, what's wrong? What happened?" Scott asked, but her
choking, hitching breaths wouldn't allow her to speak.
She could feel his worry growing so she opened their mental
connection. ~Scott, it's Rogue. She died. There was a car accident
and she died!~
Scott reeled at the news like he'd been physically struck. He and
Rogue had become close over the years. He'd come to think of her as
sort of a little sister. But now, dead? No!
~What?... Accident?... Died?~ he asked, so stunned he couldn't form
coherent sentences, even across their link.
Through gasps Jean answered, "Rogue... and Anna."
"They're both dead?!?" Scott asked, his voice rising in volume.
"No, Anna's... in surgery," Jean hiccuped. "I'm... Logan asked me...
I've got to... observe the operation."
"Where's Logan?" Scott asked, his voice taking on the serious tone he
used when he lead the X-Men into battle. He had to put on that mask
to maintain what little control he still had over his emotions.
"In the... morgue. With Rogue."
Scott nodded tersely even though that statement cut into his heart.
He had to be the strong one. Jean was already falling apart. "Ok.
Get in to observe the surgery like Logan asked. I'll send him to the
waiting room so you can keep him updated."
"Scott. What... what are you doing here? How did you know to come?"
Jean asked, still clinging to him, but regaining some composure.
"I came with Hank when I heard there was something wrong. He's
already left with the girl."
Jean sighed. She had almost forgotten about Shelley and was glad
that Hank was taking care of her. Now she could focus all her
energies on Anna... and Logan.
"Go, Jean. I'll deal with Logan."
Scott was shocked by the image that greeted him as he entered the
morgue. Logan was sitting on a gurney clutching Rogue to his chest,
her head bobbing loosely on her shoulders as he stroked her hair and
rocked her gently. Her face was a mass of cuts, her forehead and
hair covered in brown, old blood.
Logan was whispering something as he rocked, but Scott couldn't make
it out over the voice of the lab tech. She was on the phone, her
abandoned sandwich lying before her.
"He's not supposed to be here... No, he's just holding one of the
bodies... No... No... Look, are you gonna send someone or
what?... Yeah, thanks for nothing!" She slammed down the phone and
looked up at Scott. "Not another one! Look, you're not supposed to
be down here. You have to leave, and take him, too, while you're at
Scott ignored her, walking up to Logan and placing a hand on his
The man continued rocking, but now that Scott was closer and that
mousy, lab tech had finally shut up, he could tell what he was
saying. Logan was whispering over and over. "Love you, Marie...
Please... So sorry, baby..."
"What are you sorry about, Logan?"
Logan stopped rocking, but didn't respond. Rogue's head lolled to
the side, and her half-opened, glassy eyes met Scott's in an empty
A chill ran through him, and he said, "Logan, you have to put her
down. Let her go and put her down."
"Can't..." Logan whispered.
"Logan, you have to..."
"NO!" Logan yelled, gripping his wife's body more tightly to his
chest. "If I just... If I hold on long enough, it'll work... She'll
come back... It'll work."
Scott shook his head. Rogue's injuries, her grey skin, blue lips,
and sightless eyes proved that there was no hope. "Logan, she's
dead," he said, his voice cracking with the effort to choke down the
pain those words caused him. "She's not coming back."
He saw Logan stiffen as his words hit their mark. He expected rage,
anger, violent protests that Rogue would be ok. He half expected
three claws through the gut for his bluntness.
Instead, he heard Logan whine, "I know."
Scott watched as the man before him shook, his shoulders rising and
falling as silent sobs wracked his body. Logan gently laid his wife
back down on the bed, tears flowing freely as he positioned her just
so, stroking one white streak lovingly.
Scott did the only thing he could think of. He pulled Logan into a
strong hug. Instead of pulling away, Logan hugged him back tightly,
his gasping sobs more vocal now. Finally allowing his own grief to
reach the surface, Scott's vision blurred as he joined Logan in his
Hours could have passed as both men cried, unashamedly. Logan was
the first to speak.
"Why? If it had to be one of us, why her?"
Scott pulled back to look into the other man's worn and pain-filled
features. "I don't know."
"I would've died for her. I was ready to die for her, but I can't!
Why can't I die?!?" Logan jumped from the bed and started pacing
back and forth among the other shrouded corpses.
Scott just sat dumbstruck on the edge of Rogue's gurney, watching
Logan fall apart.
"I've tried! Don't you think I've tried! Almost every day for those
15 damn years before Marie! I tried everything, but I always
*SCHUKK* Logan released a single bone claw on his right hand and dug
it into his left arm, cutting deeply into the flesh from wrist to
elbow. Even before he had finished cutting, the wound had started to
heal. In seconds, the only evidence of the wound was a trail of
blood down his arm.
Logan's self-mutilation shook Scott out of his grief-stricken stupor,
and he acted. "Logan, you can't die. Not because of your healing
factor, but because of your children. Mike needs you. Anna's
upstairs right now in surgery. She needs you. They've already lost
their mother. Don't take away their father, too."
"Mike... Anna... Anna's hurt!" Logan said, rubbing both hands
through his hair.
"You have to go up there, Logan. Jean will come out and give you
Turning back to point at his wife, Logan said, "But, Marie. I
can't... can't leave her down here. She wouldn't like... She wants
to go home."
"I'll take care of it, Logan. I'll make all the arrangement and take
her home myself. Trust me."
"Now!" Logan demanded. "Don't leave her here alone."
"Yes. Now," Scott agreed. "I'll make the arrangements from here
right now... Go. Anna needs you."
Logan nodded returning to Marie's side one last time, he leaned over
and kissed her softly on the lips before turning and leaving her to
Logan paced. He couldn't sit. Not while Marie was dead, not while
Anna was in danger of joining her. Jean had come out a few times in
the last couple of hours. They'd had to remove her spleen. It was
damaged too badly to repair.
"It's ok," Jean had reassured him. "People can survive and live
normal lives without a spleen."
He had just nodded and told her to go back in. She had said that
they were lucky this was a teaching hospital. The operating rooms
were more like theaters, with seats where students could watch. With
her credentials, Jean had been allowed to observe.
Logan had been furious at the thought of some snot-nosed, pimple-
faced students watching his daughter's suffering, but Jean had
quickly assured him that she was the only one up there now.
After a few hours, a young, blond woman had joined Logan in the
waiting room. She told him her name and that her son was having
surgery, but Logan didn't pay any attention to what she was saying,
too caught up in his own worries and guilt.
Logan looked up at her, not pausing in his pacing. "What?"
"I asked if you wanted some coffee. I was going to get some and
"Sure," Logan said. He could use a cup, and it would get rid of her
for at least a few minutes.
He was back in his own thoughts when he heard, "Cream, sugah?"
Freezing, his whole attention focused on her, he growled, "What did
She stepped back, shocked at his reaction to her simple
question. "I... I asked if you wanted... cream or sugar."
"Black," he answered and resumed his pacing, shaking off the feeling
her words had left him with.
See part five.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
"Attention: Will all the faculty members please report to my office?
All faculty members, please." a voice spoke over the school's
The professor never liked to use his gift to broadcast into other
people's minds unless it was an emergency. It was too disruptive and
most people considered it an invasion of privacy.
Setting down the microphone, he prepared himself to deliver news he'd
always hoped and prayed he'd never have to say.
Kitty looked at Bobby, "It can't be a mission. He would've called us
to the map room."
"Something to do with the school?" Bobby asked.
"At eight on a Friday night?"
"I don't know. In any case, one of us has to stay here with the kids."
"I will." Kitty offered. "Sarah has to be put to bed in a half hour
"Should I take Mike with me?" Bobby asked. "Rogue and Logan'll
probably show up for the meeting."
Kitty shook her head. "No, let him keep playing with B.J. Besides,
I've just gotten him to stop crying."
"You ever get him to say why he was crying?"
"No, just that he was sad. B.J. might've taken a toy from him. You
Bobby nodded and left their suite, heading for the first floor and
the professor's office.
"There is no easy way to say this," the professor began, looking at
each of their faces. "Rogue and Anna were in a car accident this
A cacophony of voices besieged him from all sides.
"What?" "Are they ok?" "How did it happen?" were a few of the
questions he was able to make out in the chaos. Holding up his hands,
he gestured for them to sit back down and allow him to finish.
When he finally had their attention again, he said, "I will answer
all your questions, if you just give me the opportunity... The
accident occurred at around 4:30. Anna was badly injured. She is in
surgery, but expected to recover. Logan is at the hospital with her,
and Jean and Scott are there as well, helping where they can."
The room was silent as everyone processed what he had said, then
Jubilee spoke, her voice edged in tension and worry. "Uh, you didn't
tell us about Rogue, Professor."
Charles cleared his throat and forced out the painful words, "I'm
sorry, but she passed away."
He paused again as a gamut of emotions spread through his former
students. Some cried, some sat in shocked silence, some loudly
protested, refusing to believe it.
Jubilee's voice was loud enough to break through the noise, so again,
she asked the questions for the group. "How? Where is she? Why did
you wait to tell us?"
"I'm told she died almost instantly. She wasn't in any pain. Scott
has arranged the transfer of the body, and they should arrive within
the next hour... As for why I waited, I did not have enough
information to answer your questions prior to this. I understand that
this is difficult for all of us, but I will need your help informing
Bobby looked up, "What about Mike? Who's going to tell him?"
"That's right!" Jubilee jumped in. "Does Mike know? Is anyone even
watching him right now?"
"Kitty's watching him," Bobby answered, "but... I mean, should we
tell him? Should we wait for Logan?"
"Logan will be some time at the hospital," the professor
answered. "I'll have Jean ask him."
Jubilee followed Bobby back to his room. Logan had decided to remain
at the hospital, so it was up to her to break the news to Mike. She
couldn't let Bobby or anyone else do it. It was what Rogue would want
her to do.
She remembered all those years ago when she'd been on the receiving
end of this kind of news. Both of her parents had died in a car
accident shortly after her powers manifested, and she had ended up
alone and on the streets at thirteen. If the professor hadn't found
her, she didn't want to think of how her life would've turned out.
Even now, all these years later, she still had down days. Their
birthdays, her birthday, holidays. Now Rogue's children were doomed
to the same fate.
As she walked into B.J.'s room, she saw the two boys playing on the
floor with their trucks. "Hey, guys."
Both boys turned and greeted her. She'd never noticed before, but
Mike had Rogue's eyes. Deep, chocolate brown orbs that expressed
every emotion so clearly. She had to turn away from his gaze to keep
from choking up.
"Uh, B.J., Mike and I have ta talk, ok? Your dad wants ya in the
After B.J. had left, Mike stayed sitting, fiddling with his truck as
he asked, "What is it, Aunt Jubes?"
Jubilee sat down beside him, moving toys to make room. "Mike... your
mom and Anna were in an accident today."
He looked at her blankly, not understanding what she was trying to
"They were both hurt real bad, and they went to the hospital."
"Why didn't they go to Dr. Jean or Dr. Hank?"
"It was an emergency and they were too far away."
Mike nodded, "How long 'til they're ok?"
"Anna's gonna take a long time to heal, and your mommy... well, she
Mike looked at her in puzzlement. "When's Mommy coming back?"
This wasn't working. How do you get a five year old to understand
death? "She died, Mike. She's not coming back."
Mike's face fell. "Not ever?"
"No... not ever."
"Why'd she leave?..." Mike asked, tears blossoming on his face. "Was
That small, worried voice cut deeply into Jubilee's heart and she
felt tears burning in her eyes as well. Pulling the boy into her lap
and hugging him tightly, she answered, "No. Don't ever think that,
Mike. It wasn't because of you. She didn't want to leave. She had to."
"Her body was really hurt, and it just stopped. She couldn't stay in
it any longer."
"Where'd she go?"
"I don't know, Mike," Jubes replied, brushing the tears that had
escaped to her cheeks and looking down at him. "I'd like to think
maybe she's hanging around and looking out for us. We just can't see
"How'd she get hurt?"
"She was in a car crash."
"Like on TV?"
"Where's Daddy? Where's Anna?"
"They're at the hospital. Anna's hurt real bad, and your dad's
staying with her."
"Is she gonna go away, too?"
Jubilee shook her head. "I don't know, Mike. I don't think so."
"Is Daddy hurt, too."
"No." Jubilee said firmly, trying to reassure him. "Your Dad's fine.
He's just staying with Anna for now. He should be back here sometime
Mike looked up with fear in his eyes. "How will he get here?"
"What do you mean?"
"He can't come back in a car. He'll die, too."
"No he won't, Mike. You've been a car. They don't crash all the time."
"But what if his does? What if he goes away, too?"
Jubilee shook her head vehemently. "I've known your Dad for lots of
years. He's a real tough guy to hurt. You'll see him tomorrow, Mike.
Logan sat in Anna's room waiting for her to wake. She looked so
small, so fragile, lying there in the big hospital bed. Her right arm
was in a thick cast, the upper part pulled out from her body in line
with her shoulder while the lower part rose from the bed at a 90
degree angle from her elbow. That wasn't even the worst of her
injuries. When he'd pulled back the sheets, he could see a bandage
running from her hips to her lower chest.
Jean had said it was the seatbelt. The lap belt was riding too high
on her waist, and the force of the crash had caused massive internal
bleeding. She should've been wearing the seatbelt lower or maybe even
been in a booster seat. Who the hell knew that kids were supposed to
be in booster seats until they were around 9? If he'd known, he and
The now familiar, almost painful emptiness in his chest grew
'No,' Logan mentally reprimanded himself. 'Not gonna think about
that. Gotta be strong here, for Anna. She's gonna wake up any time
now. If she sees me cryin', she'll think there's something really
wrong with her. Think of something else, anything else.'
His thoughts drifted to Mike. During the surgery, Jean had come out
with both an update for him and a question from the professor. Did he
want them telling Mike about... well, what had happened?
Even now, hours after the decision was made, he felt the bitter guilt
rising in his throat. He should've been the one to tell Mike. He owed
him that, but with Anna's operation, he didn't feel he could leave.
Even now, he wondered if Anna hadn't been in danger would he have
still pawned off the responsibility of telling Mike to someone else.
Was he really that cowardly when it came right down to it?
Anna's head moved, and he jumped out of the chair to stand by her
bed. He wanted to grab her uninjured hand, but it had an I.V. tube
and a blood oxygen sensor attached to it, so he satisfied himself by
gently stroking her hair.
Anna felt the stroking and opened her eyes to see Dad's worried face
looking down at her.
"Hey, kiddo. How're you feeling?"
Anna took a moment to check her injuries. She could still feel some
pain in her belly and arm, but it seemed far away, like it really
didn't matter. It wasn't even close to the razor-sharp agony she'd
felt back in the Jeep.
"Better," she croaked, throat dry from the medications and a lack of
"Sorry, pun'kin. They said you can't drink anything yet. The nurse
can bring you ice chips? Do you want that?" Logan asked, hand already
hovering over the nurse's call button.
She nodded and soon he was feeding her little ice chips, one at a
time. As they melted in her mouth, they helped ease the dryness, and
it became easier to talk.
"Mom?" she asked. She had seen the body, but she'd hoped that maybe
with her mutation, if someone had touched her soon enough...
"She's... she's gone, baby." her father answered, starting to tear up.
She'd only seen him cry a few times in her entire life, and now,
knowing that she had caused this, that it was her fault that Mom was
dead and Dad was hurting, it was too much. The guilt rushed through
her only to be quickly replaced by fear. If Dad knew what she'd done,
he would hate her. He might not give her time to explain that it'd
been an accident and that she hadn't meant to distract Mom. She could
never tell him. He could never know what had really happened.
"It's ok, baby. Jeanie says when you're stable, she'll transfer you
out of here to the med lab at the mansion. Until then, I'll stay
right here with you. You don't have to be scared."
Crap! He could smell what she was feeling. At least he hadn't
understood why she was scared. She'd have to work on that and get
control of her emotions, or he might guess right the next time.
See part six.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
It was a day and a half before Anna was well enough to be
transferred. The professor rented an ambulance, and Logan, who
hadn't left her side since she'd gotten out of surgery, ensured the
move went smoothly. He could tell that she was tired by the time he
got her settled in a private room off the main med lab, but he hoped
this change of scenery would help with the fear and worry she'd been
plagued with since she'd woken up after the accident.
Mike had joined them the moment they were off the ambulance. As soon
as he saw Logan, he'd insisted on being picked up and held, and all
day Mike hadn't let him out of his sight. Even now, in the early
morning hours, Mike slept on a cot that Hank had brought into Anna's
room for Logan.
It had been a quiet night. Anna had only woken with nightmares
twice. She always refused to tell him what they were about, but he
figured it had something to do with the accident. When the professor
had acquired the police reports, he'd discovered that Marie had died
almost instantly. Anna had been forced to sit in an overturned Jeep
with her dead mother for minutes. No wonder she had nightmares. If
she wouldn't talk about them, the least he could do was be with her
when they happened, ready to comfort her when she woke up.
Now, at the start of a new day, Logan heard the heels clicking down
the hallway and smelled a familiar scent long before Jean Summers
appeared at the doorway. She looked surprised when she saw that he
was awake and Mike was on his cot.
Taking in his haggard appearance, she asked, "Have you gotten any
sleep these past few days?"
He just shook his head, rubbing at his eyes and sighing. "I'm too
tired to sleep, Red."
"Even a healing factor like yours isn't a substitute for a good
"When have I ever had a 'good night's rest,' anyway?" Logan
retorted. 'without Marie,' he silently added.
If he was truthful with himself, he was afraid of going to sleep.
What kind of nightmares would his guilt-ridden conscience come up
with? Marie, still broken and bloody in the morgue, opening her
dead, clouded eyes in an accusatory stare? No, sleep was impossible.
Logan shook off those thoughts and asked, "What's up, Jeanie?"
"We did everything you asked. She's laid out in the library. I
thought you'd like to check the arrangements before the ceremony."
"Thanks, I'll do that... Um, will you stay with the kids 'til I get
Jean nodded. "Logan, I know I've said this before, but I'm just...
I'm so sorry for your loss. We all loved Rogue so much. If you or
the kids need anything, you'll let me or Scott know, right?"
"Yeah, thanks, Jeanie," Logan replied automatically. Even though he
had only been back in the mansion since yesterday afternoon, he could
swear he'd seen every occupant, and they'd all given him the same
trite condolences, the same reassurances and promises of assistance.
He didn't need anything they could provide. He needed Marie!
Even before he was half-way to the library, he could pick up her
smell, fresh and clean. Upon entering, he half-expected to see her
sitting at a desk working on an article, in her favorite chair
grading English papers, or just draped across one of the couches
reading. Instead he saw the open casket at the far end of the room.
The library had been rearranged, tables and couches moved out to make
room for rows of chairs. Marie loved books, and this was her
favorite room in the mansion besides their suite. It was only
fitting that her memorial service be held here.
Forcing himself to walk across the room, he finally reached the
casket and looked down at Jean and 'Ro's handiwork. Marie was
beautiful. The cuts on her face had been covered up almost
flawlessly, and she looked almost as if she were sleeping in her
white summer dress. That was, of course, if you didn't have Logan's
heightened senses. There was something not right about her, and it
only took him moments to realize that he couldn't hear her heartbeat
or breathing. He usually just blocked out those extraneous sounds
people made, but the absence of them in Marie were unnerving,
reminding him again that she was never coming back.
Reaching into the coffin, he pulled out her left hand, now gloveless
and safe. The skin was cool but soft. Jean and 'Ro had done a good
job of cleaning her up. They couldn't erase the smell of death and
decay, but it was muted now, covered with the scents of the lotion,
soap, and shampoo she always used.
Pulling off her wedding ring, he slipped it onto his own pinky finger
and gave her hand a kiss before returning it to her side. "I know
you promised to wear this always, darlin', but I need something of
yours I can always have with me. I hope you understand."
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the worn dog tags. She'd
returned them immediately upon his return only a month after he'd
given them to her the first time. He'd worn them up until he and
Marie had been captured by Project X, but he'd still kept them,
locked in a drawer as the only reminder of his past. Now, he slipped
them around his wife's neck.
"You took such good care of 'em last time. I... I want you to keep
these safe... just until I see you again. You'll do that for me,
won't you, darlin'?"
Next, he pulled out a folded piece of paper and a sealed envelope
from his other pocket. Unfolding the paper revealed a crayon drawing
of their family, happy and together.
"Mike drew this for you and wrote a note on the back. It says, 'Love
you, Mommy. Miss you.' I helped with the spelling, but he wrote it
on his own. Anna gave me this letter for you. Took her a long time
to write it with her left hand. She made me promise not to open it,
so I'll just leave it here," he said, putting the drawing in one of
her limp hands and the letter in the other.
"I just miss you so much, darlin'. It should've been me. I
should've been there, not you. I'm just so... so sorry. I love
you," he whispered, leaning over to kiss her cheek. Then he turned
and left the room to get dressed for the ordeal to come.
Logan dressed in the bathroom adjoining Anna's recovery room. He
couldn't stand to be in their suite any longer than it took to grab
the suits he needed and run out again. Marie's scent was so
intoxicating, still so alive in their rooms, and the place was heavy
with good memories. There wasn't a single thing, not one stick of
furniture, that didn't have a story behind it. He didn't know how
they would return to it once Anna was ready to leave the med lab.
Once he was dressed, he got Mike ready, pulling him into the suit
he'd worn at Easter. It'd only been a few months, but it was already
beginning to get tight on him. Marie always complained that he
outgrew his clothes before she could even get them home from the
Marie. She rested on the edge of his thoughts at all times. He'd
never realized how much he evaluated his opinions against her
perspective until she was gone. Now, every train of thought brought
images of her, and every image made the emptiness in his chest hurt a
The memorial service was difficult as people got up and shared their
memories of Marie. To them, she was always Rogue. They were her
friends and family, but they didn't know her as deeply as he did. He
felt they needed to know the real Marie, but he couldn't get past the
tightness in his throat or the overwhelming emptiness in his chest to
tell them. Instead, he sat, head bowed and eyes closed, twisting her
wedding ring around his finger and trying to hold back the tears. He
had to be strong for Mike.
For his part, Mike fidgeted in his seat, not understanding most of
what was going on. He wanted to get up and move around, but he
behaved himself and stayed in his seat so he could remain with his
father. It was only at the graveside service that Mike's fears
overcame his attempts to be good.
"You can't put Mommy in that hole!"
Logan looked over at his son from his place by the casket. He was
serving as one of the pall bearers, and they had just set down the
coffin on the straps that would slowly lower it into the grave when
the time came.
"You can't. It's dark down there. She'll be scared. It'll be
Logan picked up his son and left the group of mourners. He needed to
talk with him, to try to explain things. He couldn't do that with
the population of the school surrounding them.
Carrying him across the well-tended lawns away from the edge of the
woods where Marie was being put to rest, he set Mike down on one of
the many benches spread out around the mansion.
"No," Logan said, shaking his head wearily. "I'm not mad."
~Logan?~ the professor's voice interrupted his thoughts.
~Later, Chuck. I'm talkin' ta Mike.~
~Should we wait for you or continue with the funeral?~
Logan didn't know what to tell him. There were good and bad aspects
to either decision, and he was just too tired to think clearly. ~Do
whatever you want. Just give us some privacy now, ok?~
Logan focused his attention back on Mike, looking so forlorn on the
bench. "I'm not mad, Mike. I just thought we should go somewhere to
talk. I want ta help you understand what's going on."
"Why does she haveta go in the ground? Why can't she just stay with
"Your mom died, Mike. What made her your mom is already gone."
"But I saw her. She's in that box!"
Logan sighed and began to pace. How could explain this to Mike so
that he could understand why Marie had to go when he himself didn't
understand it? In frustration, he jabbed his hands into his jacket
pockets. Feeling the dress gloves he had left there since Easter, he
struck on an idea.
"Mike, you heard people talking about your mom today. A lot of them
said she had a good soul, right?"
Mike nodded and Logan continued. "Well, your soul is different than
your body. Even when your body dies, your soul keeps living."
"Well, let's say my hand is your mom's soul and this glove is her
body. When she was born, her soul entered her body," Logan said,
illustrating by putting on the glove.
"Now you can see how my hand is alive, right?" he asked, waving his
fingers. Mike nodded and Logan continued. "Now is the glove moving
my fingers or is my hand moving them?"
"That's right. Now when your mom died, her soul left her body,"
Logan said, removing the glove and setting it down on the bench. It
lay there, lifeless.
"Now the glove, her body, is dead, but my hand, her soul, is still
alive, right?" Logan said, waving his fingers again.
"Where is her soul, Daddy? Why can't we see her?"
"I don't know, Mike. Some people say she's in heaven waiting for
us. Some say she's watching out for us here on Earth. I don't know
what's true. I just know that she's still alive somewhere, and that
we'll see her again."
"But not soon, right?" Mike said, anxiety creeping into his
voice. "Not if we have to die to see her."
"No," Logan reassured him. "Probably not soon, but we will see her
See part seven.
Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
Two nights after the funeral, Logan learned what he needed to know.
Still unable to go in his bedroom, still unable to sleep, he wandered
around the darkened suite, each item he came across causing a
separate pain. Anna had been released from the med lab that
afternoon on the condition that she didn't overexert herself, and now
he had to face the flood of memories his surroundings inspired.
Soft whimpers drew him to Anna's room. She was having another
nightmare. She couldn't toss and turn effectively with the clumsy
cast on her arm, but her whines and kicking legs made it very clear
that she was upset.
"Pun'kin, wake up," Logan whispered, grasping her left hand and
stroking her hair.
Anna continued to sleep, mumbling incoherent words in a nervous,
"Anna." Logan said louder.
Her eyes snapped open and she said, "I'm sorry," her voice full of
guilt and regret.
Blinking up at her father in the dim light, she realized what she had
said, and her scent immediately changed to fear. "N... nothing."
"Anna," Logan said in a soft, almost pleading voice as he sat down on
the edge of her bed. "Tell me what's botherin' you. I can't help
you if I don't know."
"Nothing's bothering me."
He didn't need heightened senses to know that was a lie. She was
almost shaking with emotion, twisted up in the sheets of her bed.
"You said, 'I'm sorry.' What are you sorry about, darlin'?"
Anna just shook her head. "You'll hate me."
Logan pulled her up into his arms, hugging her tenderly before
pulling back. He grasped her cheeks in both hands, gently turning
her to face him. "There is *nothing* you could ever say that would
make me hate you."
"This will," Anna said closing her eyes.
Dammit, the girl had his and Marie's combined stubbornness. He
decided to try a different tactic. Hazarding a guess, he said, "The
accident wasn't your fault."
"Yes, it was!" Anna blurted out before she could stop herself. She
brought her hand up to her mouth, but the words were out and she
couldn't recapture them. "I didn't mean to. I'm sorry. I'm so
sorry, Dad. Please don't hate me."
Quietly he said, "Tell me what happened."
"I was mad... Mad 'cause you were late, and Mom had to come get me.
Mad 'cause I had to wait after everyone else was gone. She was just
trying to help, and I was being so snotty. How could I've acted like
that? I mean, that's the last thing she knew of me. Me actin'
mean. I didn't even tell her I loved her before... well, before..."
"She knew you loved her, baby. She loved you with all her heart."
Logan tried to reassure her, wiping the wetness from her cheeks.
Anna just shook her head, tears falling in earnest now. "But that's
not even the worst of it."
"I... she told me to put on my seatbelt... I did, but, well, she
didn't have hers on, either, so I... I told her." Anna stopped
talking, sobs starting to shake her body. Her cast jiggling up and
down with every hitched breath.
"What happened, baby?"
"She... she turned... to get it, ya know?... and there was this big
crash and it hurt so much and everything was spinning and she died.
She died, Dad. I killed her."
"Look at me," Logan commanded. When tear-filled hazel eyes met
weary, almost broken hazel eyes in the dimness of the room, he
said, "It was *not* your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. It
was an accident."
"But, if I hadn't said..."
"It could've happened anyway, darlin'. Accidents happen," Logan
pulled her into a strong hug, his shirt growing wet as she sobbed
After a long time, Anna's tears finally dried up, and she pulled back
to look in her Dad's face. Unshed tears glistened in his eyes as
well. "I miss her so much, Dad."
"I miss her too, baby. I miss her too."
After Anna had fallen back asleep, Logan retreated to the living
room. Emotionally and physically exhausted, he collapsed to the
couch. Speaking to the empty room, he said, "How am I gonna do this,
darlin'? How can I raise them without you?"
A whisper of sound caught his attention. It was a soft footfall
coming from his bedroom. A sliver of light peeked from under the
closed door. Mike. He must've woken up and gone in there when he
was with Anna.
Opening the door, he was assaulted by Marie's scent as well as the
bright light flooding the darkened living room.
"Mike?" he asked, blinking away the black dots dancing in his vision.
"No, sugah, not Mike."
Her voice was as soft and sweet as he'd remembered. It had been
almost five days since he'd heard it, but it seemed like an eternity.
She was sitting on the edge of the bed, smiling brightly, her streaks
complimented by the white summer dress she wore. The same dress
she'd been buried in. Buried. She was dead.
"This is a dream," Logan said, sadness filling every pore of his body.
"Yes," Marie confirmed with a sad smile.
"Oh, darlin'," he whimpered, leaning against the door frame, "I've
missed you so much."
Marie rose and came to him, pulling him into a tender embrace. Her
smell flooded his senses as he buried his face in her hair. The feel
of her arms around him, her body pressed to his, it was everything he
wanted and couldn't have again.
"I'm so sorry," Logan apologized. "I love you. I'm just so sorry."
Marie pulled back so she could look at him, holding his hands in
hers. "Sugah, it was an accident. It wasn't your fault any more
than it was Anna's."
"But if you hadn't been driving, you wouldn't have died."
"Maybe not, but as you told Anna, accident's happen. If it was
anyone's fault, it was mine."
"Yes. I'm the one who always went on and on about seatbelt safety,
and then I die because I'm not wearing a seatbelt? You must be
furious with me."
"Oh, c'mon. I'm pissed at myself. Why shouldn't you be, too?"
"I can't, Marie." he said, wearily shaking his head. "I just miss
you too much."
"Oh, sugah," Marie said, hugging him again. "I miss you, too. I
wish I could still be here. I worry about you. You, Anna and Mike."
"Don't worry, darlin'. I'll take care of them."
Marie looked at him with a wry grin, "You promise?"
"Yeah," Logan replied, choking up as he whispered, "I promise."
Marie looked up, head cocked to one side as if she was listening to
something he couldn't hear. "I have to go."
"No," he begged, despair filling his voice.
"I have to, Logan. It's time for you to wake up."
"Will I see you again?" he asked desperately.
"Absolutely," Marie replied, a smile brightening her features until
she shone with radiance. "Not for a long time, but I'm good at
waiting for you."
"I love you, darlin'."
"And I love you too, sugah. See ya later."
Logan woke in their bed, clutching her pillow to his chest. The
smell of Marie surrounded him in the empty room, and even though it
still saddened him, it comforted as well. He could hear Mike already
up and watching cartoons in the living room. He and Anna'd be
wanting breakfast soon. It was time to get up and start fulfilling
his promise to Marie.
One last part in the series remaining: Time and All Eternity. Can
you believe it's humor?
Title: Time and All Eternity
Series: Seventh and last in the Wedding Vows Series
Setting: This is a sort of AU/subreality fic that takes place during
and after 'Til Death Do Us Part.
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone, except for me, I guess.
Archive Rights: WRFA, XMMFFC, otherwise, just ask.
Summary: Logan gets mad.
I live alone.
I mention this only because I was awakened last night by a man
standing over my bed. I could see him in the shadows of my room,
dimly lit by the outside lights of my apartment complex.
I took a breath to scream for help, but a hand shot out, clamping
over my mouth and preventing any noise but muted screams and frantic
moans. Twisting in the sheets, I tried to escape his grip and
shout. Before making any progress, I heard a sound reminiscent of a
switchblade and felt a sharp point come to rest against my throat.
I froze, my muffled noises stopping immediately. Instead, I lay
quiet, trying to catch my breath through a stuffed nose while praying
I'd make it out of this alive.
"You gonna behave?" a deep voice asked. I nodded. What else could I
do? The sharp point pulled away from my throat, and I heard the
click of my bedside lamp as light filled the room.
Squinting and blinking at the sudden brightness, it took a few
seconds for me to see who was standing above me. When I did, I was
sure it was a trick of the light, so I squinted and blinked some more.
"You Khaki?" he asked, pulling his hand away from my face.
Dumbly, I just nodded and stared. It was Logan. No, not Hugh
Jackman. Logan. Logan, in my room.
"You killed my wife," he growled.
Oh, crap. My fear jumped even higher than it had been before I knew
who he was.
"I... it... it was my muse. I didn't..."
"Don't give me that. You killed her and paraded her body around for
everyone to see. You made Anna think it was her fault, and you loved
every minute of it."
"I didn't. I felt bad about it, but I had to do it. You have to
"I don't haveta understand anything. I want my wife back, NOW!"
"Now? She died. The story's over. I can't..."
SCHUKK. Three bone claws shot out of his right arm, directly in
front of my face.
Have you ever taken out a ruler and checked to see how long nine
inches is? Trust me, it's long. Long enough to go straight through
you with inches to spare. This is especially true if nine inches is
the length of three, razor-sharp bone claws with blood still clinging
to their edges after ripping out of his skin.
"You can, and you will," was his response to my refusal. "And as for
your muse, these are all the inspiration you need."
Nodding, I threw off the covers and walked to the computer in the
corner of my bedroom. Logan accompanied me, standing over my
shoulder with claws still unsheathed and ready. After turning it on,
we waited in silence as the computer booted up. It took an eternity
before the familiar Windows bells chimed and my background appeared.
"What the hell?" Logan yelled.
Blushing fiercely, I clicked and clicked on the Microsoft Word icon,
begging it to start and cover up the background, a picture of Hugh
Jackman in black shorts and nothing else from "Someone Like You."
"No... no it's not. He's... he doesn't have muttonchops," I replied
trying to think of something to distract him.
Have you ever noticed that it takes forever for Microsoft Word to
start? First, the computer chugs and grinds, thinking about what
you've asked it to do. Then, the logo appears, not covering up
nearly enough of the screen. Then, the logo disappears, leaving the
background completely uncovered for a few more seconds before the
Word program finally starts.
When Word finally came up, Logan said, "Wait a minute. Bring that
picture back. Where did you get that? What..."
"I thought you wanted me to write. Save Marie and all that."
"Yeah," he said, his voice distracted. Then with more
certainty, "Yeah. Marie. Start writing."
"Where should I begin?" I asked, unsure of what he expected.
"She died in a car accident. Start there."
Noticing Anna was playing with her seatbelt by hitting the buckle
against the car door, Marie ordered, "Put your seatbelt back on,
Anna clicked the belt into place, pointing out, "You don't have yours
Marie looked down, surprised to see that she had, indeed, forgotten
it. She reached around to grab it when Anna yelled, "Mom!"
Immediately, Marie put both hands back on the wheel, narrowly
avoiding a collision with the Dodge truck that was approaching from
the other direction. Marie's heart beat fiercely against her ribs as
she realized just how close she had come to a terrible accident.
"Thanks, sugah," she said, her voice wavering slightly. "I didn't
see that coming."
"Ok, she's alive. Happy?" I asked.
"No, now write what happened during the rest of our lives."
"The whole rest of your lives?" I asked disbelieving.
"Yeah, I don't want you coming back and messing anything up after I
"With that healing factor, you'll live a long time. How can you
expect me to write all that?" I protested.
"Maybe show us at the end looking back on our lives." Logan
said. "Can you do that?!"
Uh oh. He was getting mad again. Better just write what he wants.
Logan and Marie sat together, watching their progeny at this family
reunion to end all reunions. Their children, grandchildren, great
grandchildren, and even great, great grandchildren were all present.
Over the years, Logan had touched Marie enough to slow down her aging
in time with his. They had lived to see so much change. Mutants now
outnumbered homo sapiens on the planet, and they were free to live
their lives in peace. The X-Men had disbanded, but they'd still
stayed in close contact with all of their friends over the years.
Slowly, they lost friends to death until only their family remained,
becoming the focal point of their lives.
Now, despite Logan's healing factor, time had finally caught up with
them. Reaching over, Logan grasped his wife's gloved hand...
"Wait," Logan interrupted.
"That touching thing. Fix the touching thing so she doesn't have to
"Oh ok," I sighed.
Grasping her bare hand in his, he pulled it up to his lips for a
quick kiss. Marie had finally learned to control her mutation
decades ago, and they could touch without fear.
"Are you ready, darlin'?" he asked, hazel eyes, creased with
wrinkles, but still as intense as ever.
"As ready as I'll ever be, sugah," she replied, peering out from
underneath hair completely white with age.
"One..." he started.
"Two..." she added.
"Three..." they both said, and then they died, hand in hand,
surrendering to the weakness in their bodies and the inevitability of
Moving from the prisons of their mortal bodies to the peace and rest
that comes after, they existed together, basking in their love, for
time and all eternity."
"Happy?" I asked.
"Yeah," he replied wistfully.
"Wow. Deep down, you really are a sappy romantic," I observed.
"Wanna make something of it?" he asked.
Uh oh. Bad move. The claws are still out. Remember the claws.
"No. No, of course not. Nothing wrong with that."
Almost a minute passed with nothing said between us as we both calmed
down. Him from his anger and me from my terror.
"Uh... not to say your company isn't great, but..." I began.
"Send it out," he growled.
"It's not real unless you send it out to the internet."
"But it'll confuse everyone. I just finished this fic the other way,
and..." The claws came back up, and I immediately changed my
mind. "Hey, but who am I to judge, right?"
I spent the next few minutes loading the new version of the story
onto the internet sites I usually posted to.
Turning to look at the man standing next to me, I could see that even
though his eyes were closed, they were moving rapidly under the
lids. After several minutes, he opened his eyes and a huge grin
broke out on his face.
"I've got the memories," he said. Then more quietly, he
added, "Thank You."
When I saw him turn to leave, I stood up, following him to my front
door. The door frame had been sliced through and the locks kicked in.
"Hey!" I protested. "Why'd you do that? I have to pay for this
damage out of my deposit."
He just grinned back at me. "You're a deep sleeper. Besides, maybe
you'll think twice before you go after my family again."
I couldn't think, so I just stood there looking from him to the
remains of my door and back to him again.
"You don't happen to know where Diebin lives, do you?" he asked,
"What?" I asked, confused. "No."
"Huh, too bad. Guess I'll just have to sniff her out, too."
And then he left, just as mysteriously as he'd appeared. The only
evidence of his presence, a badly damaged door and a confusing fan
Title: The Protector
Rating: R for violence and language
Summary: What happens when a telepath is also a
Disclaimer: The X-Men and all the canon characters
aren’t mine, dammit, although I wouldn’t mind if
rights were signed over to me. *eg* Stacey is my
Category: POV-mystery character, Violence.
Feedback: YES PLEASE! Good or bad, I’d appreciate it.
And I've already had one request for a sequel...if
you want it, let me know.
Archive: WRFA, XMMFFA, others ask.
A/N: Blame this on sociology and the ideas that class
gave Furball. Also on Sez and Jenn who said It’d
work. I hope they were right. No matter, this was
something I had to write. It’s very dark and
pain-filled. Yes, the angst-Queens here have affected
A/N2: This makes the assumption that Marie was just
meant to be a contact-telepath, and that she is
eighteen. In the story, Logan has been gone for two
Dedications: To the above mentioned pair, who have
supported me for a while now. To Diebs, who
whimpered. To Nacey, for reading and thinking that
it was great, and for some help with what the Prof
< > is Xavier talking telepathically.
* * * * *
<Tell me what happened.>
I knew he was home from the shouting. I huddled under
my thin quilt, trying so very hard not to cry. I even
hummed tonelessly, my fingers stomping up my ears, in
an effort to drown out the sounds of his yelling and
the impact of flesh slapping against flesh.
As always, it became too much to bear, and I pushed my
blanket aside. Grabbing the worn arm of the one
friend I had, my doll Lissy, I padded across my cold
room on bare feet and nudged the door open wide enough
to see through the crack.
I could see the shadows on the wall. He was hitting
her again, I knew. Mommy said she didn’t know why he
did it. I knew it was because she was bad, though.
We were bad. That’s what Daddy said, over and over,
Something strange was happening, though. Daddy wasn’t
stopping the hitting, even though Mommy wasn’t crying
anymore, wasn’t making any sound at all. I froze, not
wanting to move. ‘Please don’t let him see me,’ I
begged, holding Lissy tight against my shivering body.
That’s when I heard the shot. I didn’t know then what
it meant, just that it was bad. The bad guys in the
movies and on television always got into lotsa trouble
from doing things to make that sound. I covered my
ears, forgetting that Lissy was in my arms. I didn’t
hear her drop to the ground, her hard plastic head
causing a loud bump, because I was crying too hard.
He was looming above me before I knew it, yelling at
me to shut up. He was swaying side to side a little,
like he usually did, but that didn’t stop him from
reaching for me. I ducked out of the way because I
knew what was coming.
“You stupid little bitch, shut up!” he yelled at me,
swinging a fist at me. He held a bottle in that hand.
“Please, Daddy, no! I’ll be quiet! I won’t be bad!”
I cried loudly, ducking out of the way again.
“Didn’t I say shut up? Listen for once, bitch! I am
so sick of you!”
The bottle hit my shoulder, and I felt pain, like the
fire I’d accidentally touched a month ago when Mommy
and Daddy had been busy, rushing down my arm. I cried
louder. I couldn’t help it. I really was sorry, and
I wanted to stop being so loud, so that Daddy wouldn’t
hit me again. But I couldn’t stop, I just couldn’t.
His fist slammed into my stomach next. I screamed
really loud. I didn’t want to, but it hurt. I
couldn’t breathe after that, or yell or even cry, but
he kept hitting me. I could feel that bottle every
couple of punches, the glass surface pounding into my
skin the way even his fists and feet couldn’t.
I tasted something salty in my mouth. That was when I
was on the floor, and Daddy was kicking my legs so
hard. I heard something crack, over the curses Daddy
was screaming at me, and the worst pain I’d felt so
far was there, in my thigh. I did cry again, then,
silent tears that maybe wouldn’t make Daddy mad.
I didn’t see the lights when they came because by that
time I couldn’t see anything. My eyes were swollen
shut. I didn’t hear the pounding on the door because
my ears were ringing from where Daddy’d hit me with
that bottle, right there beside my cheek. I felt wet
streaks all over my body, and somehow I knew it wasn’t
The hitting and kicking stopped. I felt someone touch
my hair, really soft, and through the bells in my head
I could hear someone saying…something. I tried to
focus on the words, but I was so tired now that Daddy
The next thing that Marie knows is that she woke up in
a hospital bed. Her leg was broken, her body covered
in bruises. They told her that she was in a bad
accident, that it wouldn’t happen again. She believed
them. I prayed they were right.
She doesn’t remember what really happened, doesn’t
even remember most of her life before that. Only the
good parts, and some shouting. She does know that
Daddy killed Mommy, and that’s why she was sent to
live with the cousins in Iowa when they finally found
them two years later. We were six when Mommy died.
She was eight when we moved to Iowa.
<What happened next? Why didn’t you just recede into
the back of her mind, stay there where there wasn’t a
chance of you being discovered?>
I tried. I stayed as small as I possibly could in her
head. But the cousins Marie was sent to, Richard and
Gail, were from Daddy’s side of the family, and they
had his morals. They also owned a really big farm and
didn’t have many neighbors. The people who worked for
them wouldn’t have been able to find other jobs,
mainly because there were none available at the time
that didn’t require college degrees.
The first time I had to surface and make her forget
was when Gail smacked her so hard it left a bruise. I
took over her thoughts, guided her through the days it
took for her bruise to heal. Made her remember
falling against one of the stable doors when it was
partially open. That’s how Gail was explaining it,
Some things there I had to let Marie deal with, like
the way Gail’s ten-year-old daughter Helen would tease
her mercilessly about being fat and stupid, even
though she was neither. When Marie began school that
fall, I was always there in the shadows. I learned
what she did, and with some subjects I’d help her.
Math was never very easy for her, but I thought it was
fun and so I would take over and do her homework.
Marie would have been worried, if I’d let her. But I
knew how to control her memories. It was so easy to
make things up and put them into her mind.
The next time I surfaced to help her with real trouble
was when she and Helen got into a fight. Marie was
twelve and Helen was fourteen. Marie has a temper,
and Helen pushed her just far enough to make her lose
it. She’d done that before, but not with these
results. They really went at each other.
Gail caught them before more than hair was pulled and
arms were scratched. Gail beat Marie then, really
hard. There were welts on my back for months. I
stayed in control the entire time because I had to. I
couldn’t let Marie find out what had happened and run.
That was always her first instinct. Run from the
trouble, run from the danger. I couldn’t. They’d
only bring her back, and there’d be worse trouble.
Richard had been gone on a trip to take some cows
north when it happened. He’s another reason I had to
stay in control so long. He came home, heard when
happened, and pulled off his belt. Right there in
front of Gail and Helen, he grabbed me by the arm and
beat my back with that leather belt until I bled. I
wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry,
or even change my expression. I’d learned that long
ago. I’m stronger than you might think of Marie as
being. I’ve had to be.
<Don’t you think she’s old enough to handle the truth
now? She’s not six or eight or twelve anymore.
Rogue…Marie is almost eighteen years old.>
Of course she’s not old enough! Could you handle
finding out that your father almost killed you? That
the people you were sent to afterward by the very
establishment that had rescued you were pretty much
just as bad? I’m Marie’s only defense against
something that could harm her irreparably. I’ve kept
all of the bad incidents out of her memories. I’ve
been her when I had to be. Until…
<Until she began to change. Her mutation manifested,
Suddenly I wasn’t able to help her the way I had been
before. I could feel what happened the first time she
touched someone. You and she all think that her
powers showed themselves when she and Cody kissed.
You’re wrong. She wasn’t aware of the first time
because I was in control. I was doing her
pre-calculus homework when Cody came into our bedroom.
He touched my shoulder to get my attention, and
that’s when I felt it. His emotions, his thoughts
were pouring into me. I swirled around really fast,
but it wasn’t because I was surprised. Oh, no. You
see, Professor, when the power came I did feel how it
happened…and what I could do with it. I didn’t have
to take over Marie to protect her anymore. All I
needed to do was *twist* the power a little. And all
of the abuse she’s suffered over the years made it so
easy for me because her body and her mind were already
used to coming up with defense mechanisms. That’s why
I’m here, after all.
Marie is a contact telepath. I am too, for that
matter, I’m part of her. We receive the thoughts and
feelings of others through touch. It wasn’t a painful
experience, that first time. I didn’t know it would
be when I changed things, but even after I realized
how much it cost her I couldn’t let go of the perfect
opportunity to help her. It was so easy to make her
skin do more than it was supposed to whenever someone
<Why don’t you let Marie have control? Can’t you
trust her to protect herself? Trust us to protect
But you couldn’t. You didn’t. And she can’t. Only I
can. I’m the strong one.
<I’m sorry we weren’t aware of Magneto’s plans in
time. It was an honest mistake. And I think Marie’s
very strong and brave. She hitch hiked with a rather
frightening looking guy, Logan, and was hitch hiking
before that for eight months. Don’t you think that
took some courage for her to do?>
I was always there, whispering my help. I think she
sees me as her conscience or something. It’d be
amusing if the situation weren’t so serious.
<Why can’t you let yourself be just that? Let Marie
have back what you took from her to create yourself,
what she took from herself to create you. Be a part
of her again, child.>
I can’t. What if she needs me again? Marie doesn’t
know how to protect herself.
<Listen to me, please. If you become a part of her
again, Marie will know all of these things. She will
be able to protect herself. She might even start to
A very nice try at humor, Professor. And I’m almost
tempted to believe you, Professor. But I can’t. I
<Perhaps in our next session, then.>
<Same time next week?>
Yes, Professor. Same time next week. Do we have to
go through it all again, though? Can’t we talk about
<I’m afraid not, Lissy. Not until you can let Marie
be whole again. We must relive it all. I truly am
So am I, Professor.
* * * * *
You know what they say. Big claws, big....
~Sarah says from the Wolverine X-Fiction Site
It's the people who claim they're perfectly sane who really scare me.
Shit, that's the one thing in life I do pretty well - Marie care and
maintenance. ~Logan from Terri's "October Fools and April Showers"
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