Disclaimers in Part One
The game ended, and Jubes' team won of course. I dunno what it was about that
girl, but she had the knack of wranglin' kids, I'll tell you that for free.
See, this was the good stuff I was telling you about earlier. Logan loped
along next to me as we made our way back to the mansion, not sayin' anything,
just walkin', nudgin' me every now and again and givin' me a flash of a tiny
smile. We got to the front door, and waltzin' in we saw the Professor lookin'
very stony faced, just sitting in his chair next to the stairs. I frowned at
him, drawing near.
"Hey Professor - what's wrong?"
"He's near us," he said, "Coming up the driveway. I don't know what he wants."
My jaw inched open, and I glanced to Logan.
"Magneto," he growled, "I can feel it in my bones."
Fear burst in me then. I saw what Magneto could do to Logan, and this time -
damn him all to Hell I'd let him know how I felt about the scars in my mind. I
had new powers now, ones he'd get to know pretty intimately if I had the chance.
"No, Rogue," Xavier said suddenly, "No hate, no vengeance."
"Just fluffy bears and perrywinkle hugs," snarled Logan.
I blinked at him. Besides the inappropriate situation, his words had been
rather poetic. Shaking myself I glared at the Professor evenly.
"We let Sabretooth walk all over us - and look what happened to Jean," I said,
"No more, Professor."
Xavier sighed, shaking his head and closing his eyes, "We should see what he
"No bets for selling cookies," I said coolly.
It was then a firm knock shook the door. I glanced to the Professor, who
nodded at me. I ventured forward, pulling open the door, my heart in my
throat. In the bright glow of day two figures were partly silhouetted. The
tall dour figure of Erik, dressed completely in black and crowned with a simple
black hat, and the visage of Senator Robert Kelly. I shook all over, stepping
back, rage flashing in my eyes.
Magneto didn't say anything. He just looked at me with those sad blue eyes.
I felt tears sting my eyes, utter discord ripping through my chest and sending
my soul plummeting. I couldn't see this, not him, not the memories he yanked
out from the corners of my mind. My lips shuddered, and before Xavier could
speak I breathed.
"What do you want?"
A light facade of a smile flittered on Erik's face and he bowed his head. "To
see Charles, of course."
"I'm here, Erik."
The Professor wheeled forward, his eyes a strange mix of affection and anger.
That affection rushed through me like a splash of agony, the betrayal I felt
balling my fists. I'd given so much of myself to the Professor, laid my trust
and love in him, and he looks at Erik like THAT. I stalked over to Logan who
inched towards me protectively.
Magneto and 'Kelly' stepped inside, the looks on their faces clear masks to
their true nature.
"I do believe one of our own came to you a few days ago," said Magneto, "Victor
I frowned with confusion. "Who?"
"Sabretooth," said Professor Xavier. "I'm afraid that he-"
"He had a little accident," Logan snarled suddenly, "Fell on my claws when he
thought he'd deprive my friend of oxygen."
Magneto's eyes flickered. "I see."
The Professor actually looked embarrassed. "I wasn't here at the time. Had I
"No need to explain," Magneto said good naturedly, "We do what we must to
The front door burst open suddenly as a stream of sweaty teens poured into the
room, hooting and cheering, Scott being carried along with them. Scott slowed
down, trotting over to Logan.
"Gee Logan - you look like someone threw your cigar supplies in the pool."
"Nothing that trivial," Logan grunted.
Scott's face fell, and he followed Logan's deathly glare.
"Mr. Summers!" called Kitty, "This door is locked!"
I looked over to Kitty. She was at the main doors leading to the rest of the
mansion. My eyes flew to Scott who now stepped back to flank Professor Xavier,
his lips growing firm in anger as he glared at Magneto.
"It's all right, Scott," the Professor replied.
"Yes, we were just checking up on our comrade, but it does seem he's come to
The kids all milled at the door, staring at Magneto with fear. I wasn't sure
if they knew who he was. This wasn't their life, not yet. Their life was
live-in schooling, fussball and crowding around televisions. Not facing
killers and pyschopaths with powers. They knew Senator Kelly though, and they
knew - he wasn't who he looked like.
"You got what you came for," I said, my accent thick, "Perhaps you should leave
before you wear out your welcome!"
Logan ground his teeth. "Too late."
Oh I loved that man.
Magneto ignored me, eyeing all the children keenly. My heart was thumping
wildly as we stepped over, looking down on the kids and the young adults like
"Hello," he said, "I'm an old friend of Charles'."
"Sure looks like it," Jubilee said, snorting. "The Professor is just falling
over himself to get you some tea."
The Professor wheeled himself forward. "Jubilee."
"No," Magneto smiled at Xavier, "I find her honesty refreshing." He looked
back to Jubilee, "I don't really like tea very much."
I could sense the rage in Logan rising. I knew what he wanted to do to him.
I wanted to do it to him as well.
"So, how do you enjoy your life here at Professor Xavier's little school, hmm?"
asked Magneto, addressing the group of youngsters who were looking more
frightened by the second. "I'm sure it is exciting, learning to use your powers
for the good of mankind."
A few of the kids dared to nod. Magneto smiled. It was a fucking ugly sight.
"Well," He bent over to one of the smaller kids, "One day you shall be all
grown, and then you may wear a dark shiny suit like the other X-Men. Do you
look forward to that day?"
A lot of the kids nodded now. The smile on Magneto faded as he stood upright,
turning away from them.
"You've brainwashed them well, Charles."
Anger prickled within me. He strolled over to Logan, his blue eyes glinting.
"Your healing powers really are extraordinary," he said, "I'm sure Creed wasn't
an easy man to kill."
Xavier's eyelids fluttered, "We are sorry, Erik."
Logan snorted. "I'm not."
"You planted him," I said suddenly.
Magneto glanced to me, a frown appearing on his face.
"You planted Creed," I said, "To frame Logan. Cause you knew that it'd cause
trouble. You wanted to rip this school from the inside out."
The older man's lips tensed.
"Didn't work, did it?" I said, stepping foward, meeting his glare, "You didn't
expect him to actually get his ass kicked huh?" As I spoke, I pulled off a
glove, lifting up my naked hand, "He nearly killed me you know. Ah bet you
told him to come after me. Mustah been annoying to know that I got away from
you the first time."
My hand trembled over his wrinkled skin. He suddenly looked very sorry. So
"Do you really want any more of what's in my mind, dear girl?"
I clenched my jaw.
"I only kill if I must. I don't derive pleasure from it."
He turned away from me unharmed, facing Charles. The door to the rest of the
mansion began rattling suddenly, a stiff cold wind streaming underneath the
The kids ran back, Magneto retreating to Senator Kelly's side.
You know when like, you're amongst a bunch a' chickens? Well I had a friend
in Mississippi who lived near the edge of town and her Ma had chickens. Once
chicken flaps it's wings and gets frightened and like a wave, all the ones
around it get frightened, then the ones next to those and so on will you got a
pen full of screamin' chickens and a bewildered human swingin' their arms about
just trying to stop from gettin' shat on.
That's exactly what happened in the hall of Xavier's mansion when Storm, in full
meteorological splendor, burst through those doors and floated in on a rush of
air, licks of lightening lashing off her civilian-attired frame.
"Oh man," Jubilee leapt towards Rogue, pushing fluttering bangs from her face,
"Someone got Storm pissed!"
"Ya don't say," replied Logan through grinding teeth.
Kids ran left right and centre, smashing into Magneto and screaming at him like
he was the boogie-man (which is kinda ironic seeing as the boogie-man isn't
anywhere near as well dressed). So - kids bouncing off Magneto, screamin' at
him - Logan's claws were out, Xavier looking around him with the most bewildered
look on his face I'd ever seen. Storm was reaching up into the air with a
hand, spinning up a small swirl of cloud, her eyes glowing angrily.
That's when Cyclops stepped in the front door, arms full of sports equipment,
and his jaw dropped at the sight of screaming children and teens, half of them
with their mutant powers going off half cock. Ice, fire, stretching limbs and
kineticly charged shrapnel was everywhere. Had it not been such a serious
situation I honestly think I'd be laughing my ass off. But it was serious,
cause the metal things in the room (including Wolverine) were rattling. Logan
clenched his teeth at Magneto, who seemed to be garnering a bit of a headache.
"What the hell is going on in here?" gasped Scott.
Before he could say much else, Storm bolted forward in more ways than one, wind
slamming into Magneto who just cocked a brow, his silver hair flipping about
The bag of soccer balls that Cyclops had been hefting broke open suddenly. Lord
knows why. Maybe it had something to do with the metal clasps keeping it
closed - who knows. There were balls everywhere - one knocked over a plinth
that a vase had been sitting on.
Xavier, in the mean time, looked really pissed. I mean, I never seen him look
so annoyed in my time here. He rolled forward, meeting Magneto's gaze and
"I think you've done enough here, Erik."
Magneto smiled down at him with a lot of amusement.
"This is your highly trained band of students, eh Charles?"
"They're children," Xavier muttered, but the sudden steps of Scott made him and
raise his hand, halting him. "Why are you here, Erik?"
"We came to collect Creed," said 'Senator Kelly' suddenly, inching forward with
a flash of amber eyes.
"And perhaps... some recuits?" added Magneto.
Xavier's eyes grew stony, and he spoke so - quietly - so very very evenly. I
felt a chill run through me. God help me should he ever use that tone against
"You won't find them here."
"Won't I?" Erik practically cooed, looking suddenly entertained. He strolled
forward to where the kids huddled, looking them over. "Remember being made fun
of in school my dears?" He bent over in front of Howard, a round little boy
with a sweet temperment, the old eyes of Magneto glistening with enthuseasm.
"Remember being called 'freak'? Mutie? A biological mistake? Hmmm?"
He stood straight once more, shaking his head.
"Well your persecutors were wrong. You are biological improvements. I want
you never to forget that. I want you never to forget that what you are is
something to be proud of - always."
I gazed at Magneto for a long time. In some aspects, I think he was as paternal
as Xavier, in his own twisted way. Kinda sad seeing him so bent on
destruction, really, with all he could do to help us. The kids were looking
less scared; some even looked interested. Had I been Xavier I would have
gotten angry and kicked the bastard out by now. Especially at his schpeil that
made him look a little too good to be true.
Magneto paced away from the kids, meeting the serene deadly eyes of Mystique in
the guise of Kelley, then swung around to face them again.
"You know - you don't *have* to like the humans if you don't want to. No one
makes them like you - what makes you think you have to feel the same way about
I couldn't let that slide. I narrowed my eyes and spoke.
"Because if you hate them, you become as bad as those that despise us."
The look of pride from Xavier nearly felled me. The look of thinly veiled
contempt from Magneto chilled me however, and he stepped towards me, regarding
me in silence. His words were always measured, well thought. They were
weighted, and frightening.
"I didn't leave as much of a mark on you as I hoped I would have," he said,
lifting a leather-clad finger to my hair and running it through the platinum
bang. I felt a chill run through me and I clenched my teeth, narrowing my eyes
at him in defiance. Son of a bitch. "Didn't learn did you? Of sacrifice...
of our cause."
I heard the grinding of Logan's teeth against each other as he closed in on us,
the front of his body pressing to the back of mine. Magneto eyed us,
registering the sentiment with a barely noticable tick of his brow.
Protectiveness rumbled up inside of me, and without thinking my hand slid back
to his thigh, squeezing. This caused an amused smile to flutter onto the old
man's face and he peered at Wolverine with a tilt of his head.
"Tragedy does make the heart grow fonder, does it not, my friend in metal?"
Logan tilted his head, "You insinuatin' somethin'?"
Magneto shook his head, "No, merely observing."
I could see the anger rising in Logan, his eyes almost glowing with rage. "Oh
yeah, what's that?"
He looked around us, at Cyclops, Storm, and the Professor. Extra long gaze at
the Professor. He finally dragged those crystal blue eyes back to Logan.
"How X-Men have a tendency to pair up and attempt to procreate... no matter
how..." He gave a tilt of his head, "Inappropriate it may be."
The next move was lightening. Logan's arm flicked out next to me, grabbing the
neck of the man and slamming him into the wall behind us. The wood cracked, and
Magneto winced. I jumped forward.
"What ya wanna protect this pile of shit?!" His eyes flashed with fire.
"No!" I gasped shaking my head, "He's going to HURT you!"
As I said that, Magneto pursed his lips, looking at Logan with a wrinkle of
concentration in his brow.
That's when I heard it - the popping of something in Logan's neck, then arm.
Logan stepped back stiffly, eyes brimming with pain.
"NO!" I ran forward, grabbing Magneto, pulling him from the wall and slamming
him back into it again, "Let him GO!"
It was Scott's voice calling me, and the whip of wind grew around me. I could
hear the frightened whimpers of the young teens that huddled in the corner, and
soon their frenzied footsteps as they ran down the hall. I clenched the soft
neck under my fingers.
"Ya feel that, ya bastard?!"
"Rogue - put him down - that's not going to solve anything!"
"Like hell," I growled, eyeing Magneto. He looked barely worried. I could hear
the pained grunts of Logan behind me and my fingers clenched tighter around the
neck. "You hurt him again - I break your fucking neck."
"You break my neck dear girl," he croaked, "And I break his..."
Before the words even processed, I let go, Magneto slipping to the floor. I
didn't even hear the deathly rush of bare padding feet as the slipped up behind
me and struck me upside the head. The clout only hurt a moment as I fell to
the floor. I heard the X-Men call out behind me, and as I stood up, I saw what
I had always feared.
The Brotherhood... foreign mutants I didn't know, that didn't look upon me with
the care I'd grown to be used to in this place... in Professor Xavier's
sanctuary of peace. He'd expected a weakened force, chaos, an easy break. How
insanely stupid of him to think that Wolverine and I could ever be a weak link.
Anger burst through me. He tried to destroy the X-Men through Logan and I.
Well... I'd destroy him with the very same thing.
A blue hand gripped my neck and dragged me up a wood-panelled wall, amber eyes
flashing at me.
"You nearly killed him," she said coolly, "That won't ever happen again."
I just gave a weary smile before sending a swift kick up to the back of her head
with a flick of my leg. As her head lurched forward I slammed into it with my
own, a trickle of blood spilling down my face that wasn't my own. It took a lot
to actually hurt me now... again, those nifty new powers. Mystique staggered
back, wiping at her brow, glaring at me. I could barely glance around me to
see the all out fist-fighting that was taking place. Magneto had Logan again,
as if taking out his frustrations that it all didn't work, and that one of his
toughest had been taken out in the process. I couldn't let it happen. I
ripped off my gloves, baring my ivory hands to Mystique who at the sight of them
stopped stock still.
"Wassat - big scary morphin' lady frightened?"
I jumped forward, and she leapt back, a catch of breath in her throat.
"You don't want me inside, child..."
There was something careful, tender in that voice that frightened me. Probably
because she was right - I didn't.
"I'd risk it," I said, darkly, "For him."
A look of incomprehension flittered across Mystique's face.
"You would risk your sanity and life comfort for him?"
I nodded, "He's done as much for me."
"I would do as much for him."
I knew who she was talking about. Erik. I felt that chill again and I knew -
they were all as devoted to Erik as we were to Charles. And that's what made
them so damned dangerous. I couldn't face her, not this woman. With a grunt
I launched myself up into the air, flipping back and landing a few steps from
Logan's crumpled form on the floor. Spinning around I kicked at Magneto's gut,
watching him as he staggered back.
"What's wrong? Can't bend my bones with your head eh?"
He fell on his behind, eyes sharp with anger. I heard the running steps of
Mystique this time, and when her foot swung to clobber my head, I ducked,
hearing only a whoosh over my head. With a jab of my leg I wrapped my ankle
around her leg, giving a swift pull.
The naked woman slipped onto her bottom, and I glared at the both of them.
"Ya wanna fuck with me? Huh? Cause I'll kick both your asses!"
I looked down. Logan lay back, tears of pain in his eyes. I stood with a
sigh, turning around and grabbing Magneto, hauling him to his feet.
"You want to let him go, Princess, or do I have to get angry?"
Mystique stiffened suddenly, and looked to Magneto in my hand. As I glanced
around the room, I saw that the two or three extra mutants that had entered
after Magneto and Mystique had stopped in front of their adversaries, similarly
paralyzed. I looked to Mystique, but she had eyes only for Magneto. She
came closer, very close, her deep blue lips close to his.
"You shall leave here, Erik," she said smoothly, her voice a rush of many,
"Never return under the guise of peace, or you shall know real suffering."
Logan's stiff breaking form slackened, and he gave a sharp cry of relief that
tore through me. I let go, very slowly, a sharp crunch of Magneto's aesophagus
being a quiet reminder of what I could do to him. Damn that high-neck
skivvy. Had it not been there today would have been his last. I quietly
thanked God for not having to have that madman in my head any more than he was,
though. It was a place I liked having dominated by myself, and Logan.
He slipped down and staggered back. Slowly I could see control being returned
to the mutants. The turned and glared at Magneto, and he coughed haggardly.
"Out!" he rasped to his comrades.
Like hunting dogs, they took barely a blink at him and complied, racing out the
door. Mystique's blue slithering arms wrapped around Magneto, doting and care
in her eyes at the broken form of Magneto. She glared a me long, anger in her
face that probably mirrored mine not a few moments ago.
"You'll keep," she purred, pulling the injured Magneto away from me.
I glanced around the room. It was - well it was wrecked. A few heavy wood
panels were cracked, a number of expensive vases were smashed by upturned
plinths. Storm's hair was a wild mess around her shoulders from her windy
intervention, and the scorch marks of Cyclops' energy blasts marred the usually
Xavier frowned, but relief was in his eyes, I could see it. He wheeled forward
to the kids, a gentle frown on his features.
"Come with me," he said, "And I'll explain a little about 'adequate timing'..."
Grabbing my gloves I leapt down to Wolverine, shrouding my hands before cradling
"Logan... Logan - you okay?"
The eyes blinked and looked to me. He grunted.
"I feel like shit run down, Marie."
I let out a long doting groan and pressed my cheek to him through my draped
"It's okay," I said softly, "You'll be fine, sugah."
I felt his hand pat my shoulder and I sighed with relief. I hugged him, my
hair falling down over his face, the fear I'd held for his safety coming out in
"I love you," I mumbled, "I love you."
"You too, Marie," he said, muffled under my hair, "I'm not dead ya know."
"Ah know," I said, "I just - I coulda killed that bastard for touching you!"
As I lifted my head to look at him, he nodded haggardly.
"I'm kinda glad you didn't."
I rose my brows and he closed his eyes.
"Ya don't want that shit on your conscience."
I smiled, hugging him again.
Hank looked us over, and obviously he'd never treated Logan before as he
insisted that he have gauze and dressings on *all* of the man's wounds. I
tried to tell him it wasn't necessary. Hank just looked back at me with cool
blue eyes and said that infection was a danger to anyone, super healing or
no. I tried to tell him that it just wasn't so in Logan's case. Then
again, Hank *was* the doctor.
Then the guy suggested the last thing I'd thought I'd ever hear suggested so
many miles from home. I mean - after the past two days, and Logan bashed black
and blue and his poor bones twisted this way and that and me all bleedin' and
bruised, he looked at us.
"There is little more I can do for you," he said, washing his furry blue hands
at the sink, "I doubt the walls of the infirmary will do much for your state of
"In english," Logan said tiredly, rubbing a bandage.
"Perhaps it would be good for you both to go have a nice cup of tea."
We stopped, looked at each other, and blinked. Logan was as dumbfounded as I
"Tea?" he croaked. "Do I look like the kind of guy that drinks tea?!"
Beast eyed him a moment and smiled patiently. "You should, the anti-oxidents
would do you good," he said in that cool well spoken tongue.
Logan stepped off the bed, no shirt, a spare pair of tracksuit pants grabbed
from the nearby supply room clothing his bottom half and feet perfectly bare.
How he could have cute feet, I had no idea, but he did. And they padded
across the room towards me, Logan's hazel eyes looking tired.
"So," he said, "Want some tea?"
I smiled, "Make mine an English Breakfast," I said, wrapping a long-sleeved
clothed arm around his bare one. I could feel his muscles hardening against my
arm and I was in heaven.
Our trip to the kitchen was one that was mostly in silence. Relief was bound
between us, relief that we'd been through what we knew was the worst of things
for now, that we'd survived the chaos with each other, and that we'd even become
an 'each other' in the first place.
He was quiet still as he made the tea, and I watched him as he filled our mugs
with the boiling water that was stained with the tea-bags inside. The smell,
strong, herbal, lofty, drifted past him, past me. It filled the room only a
moment. He looked to me.
It was such an odd thing, watching Logan make tea. I couldn't even believe he
was drinking it. Maybe the prospect of doing something with me was appealing,
I don't know.
We sat at the table with our cups of tea, and I drank it hungrily. Something
about it was cleansing, so sweet and delicious. The hearty taste of English
Breakfast tea had always been something I enjoyed.
Well... son of a gun.
"Hank was right, the tea is kinda theraputic," I said, gazing at the mug,
letting my feet tangle around Logan's at the ankle. He glanced under the table
only a moment, then leant back on his elbows like before and eyed me past the
"Who'da thought," he said into the cup.
"Remember that corny tea-drinking scene from Karate Kid Two?"
This elicited a sharp glare from Logan.
"I'm proud to say I never SAW Karate Kid, one, two or three."
He shook his head and eyed me, "No."
"Well, basically, when two people are in love in Japan, or wherever the hell
Mister Miyagi is from-"
"No, not Mr. Who, Mr. Miyagi!"
Logan narrowed his eyes, "Funny."
"Listen!" I pouted, "I'm trying to tell you an amusing story!"
I nodded, "Anyway. So he meets this chick there who like - she's beautiful and
there's this stupid tradition where two people drink tea together. Like they go
through all this stuff, turning the cup and stuff where they drink the tea... I
mean it was stupid - kinda pretty though. I wonder if that's a real
Logan just gave me that steady glare, "What's your point Marie?"
"Oh!" I nodded and took another gulp of my tea, "Point is - she took her hair
out and they did it on the floor after. It was so silly."
Logan just grinned, "Sounds like a good idea to me."
I looked to him, face turning red.
Needless to say, I'll never look at that kitchen table the same way again. So
that's the story of a cup of tea. It's how I ended up in that kitchen, with
Logan and I all beaten up, and the tea in my hands. Tea's curing properties is
still in question to me, but I think adventures under kitchen tables will never
ever be. And I was right... Logan *was* healed up under all those bandages.
Under the pants too.
Lifelong member of PETS:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Scott!
"Cause Poor Ol' One Eye deserves a BREAK DAMMIT!"