Disclaimers etc. in Part 1
< > indicates thoughts
~ ~ indicates telepathic conversation
// // indicates memories
The Long Hard Road Out of Hell
Part 7 - The Conclusion
Rogue sat at Logan's bedside for three days. They'd been unable to get her
to leave. She rocked back and forth, occasionally whispering things to the
comatose man who'd saved her life.
"Why didn't you just let me die? It's all my fault. Why couldn't you let me
<No, Marie. It's not your fault. That bastard is telling you shit that ain't
true. He's the one who deserves to die, not you,> Logan told her. She was
overwhelmed by his feelings for her -- the caring, the tenderness, the
self-loathing he felt for causing her pain, and most of all, the love that
infused his every thought. All he'd been thinking when he touched her was
how much she needed to live, because he loved her, and it would be worth
dying to protect her.
She was surprised at how easily she re-integrated him, how he came to the
forefront of her mind and wrapped himself around her, giving her the
strength to push Calhoun to the side. He told her she was precious and that
everyone around her cared, wanted to see her get well.
The fact that Erik offered to have Calhoun killed was news, but it made her
strangely happy. If even this man, the one who'd tried to kill her, felt the
attack on her should be avenged, then surely it couldn't be her fault.
<It's not your fault, Marie. It never was,> Logan murmured over and over
before he settled down, fading into the background to give her some peace.
On the evening of the third day, she finally broke down, sobbing like a
child on his sheet-covered chest. She was going to be okay. It would be
hard, but she was going to make it. She had to, for him.
"Don't you die dare on me, Logan. Not after what you did. I'm going to
survive and so are you," she said, her voice hoarse from crying.
He smelled salt. And Marie. <Thank God, she's alive,> he thought, surfacing
from the depths of unconsciousness. "Marie?" he croaked, eyes fluttering
open. He felt wet warmth on his chest.
She raised her head. "You're back." Her voice was in no better shape. She
wrapped him in a bear hug he was only too happy to return.
Jean ambled over. "Good to see you again, Logan," she said softly.
"It's good to be seen, Red," he replied, unable to move because he still had
an armful of Marie. "Can I get the hell out of here?"
She smiled. "Of course. Rogue, if you wouldn't mind?"
Rogue looked at the doctor. "What? Oh, yeah. I'll be right outside, sugar,"
she said, leaving so Jean could give Logan the once-over before she released
Scott was waiting in the hallway. "He's awake, huh?"
"Yeah." She hesitated, unsure of what to say. She knew how much Scott had
been hurt by Jean's affair with Logan. She knew how uncomfortable it was
going to be for him to have his wife's former lover living in the mansion.
"Scott," she began, the tears welling up again, "I can't even begin to thank
you for, for everything." Again, she decided to let physical contact speak
where words could not. She threw herself into his arms and squeezed.
"Umph." He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "Rogue, breathing becoming
She eased up on the hug and looked at him. "If you hadn't -- I can't even
begin to think what I'd have done. You, Jean, the Professor -- everyone has
been so wonderful and I've been so awful." She gulped. "Did you know even
Magneto helped me? He was my head, telling me to survive. And, and Logan --
I know how hard it is for you--"
"Shh. Rogue -- Marie -- how could I not do whatever it takes to make you
better? You're my family. My sister. And I don't think I have to worry about
Logan anymore," his voice dropped to a whisper. "I think he's got his eye on
someone else now."
"You think?" she asked, giggling through her tears. She didn't want to hope,
but she couldnt deny that he seemed to have feelings for her in the
thoughts she'd gained from him.
"I'm pretty sure," Scott replied as Logan and Jean exited the lab. Scott
looked at them, still holding Rogue in the circle of his arms. "You gonna
tell me to stay away from your girl?" he challenged, but there was a smile
on his face.
"If I had to do that, she wouldn't be my girl," Logan replied. He looked
slightly uncomfortable. "Scooter -- er -- Scott, I'm --" he grunted,
frustrated at the inability to convey how grateful he was for the other
man's care of Marie. "Thank you." He held his hand out and Scott took it
Rogue continued to meet with Xavier and Jean for counseling. Dr. Braddock
visited monthly to check on her progress. She'd asked them to remove Calhoun
from her head if at all possible, and they were exploring ways to do so
without damaging any of her memories. He still spoke to her, and it was hard
for her to handle sometimes, but with the support of those around her, she
managed to do it without hurting herself or anyone else.
There was just one more person she wanted to thank. Professor Xavier hadn't
been surprised when she'd asked to visit Magneto in prison. Scott and Logan
were against it, but she was insistent.
So, there she was on Sunday afternoon. She'd had to remove Logan's dogtags,
which she'd taken to wearing again as she recovered, as well as all the
other metal in her pockets and on her person.
She entered the cell behind the guard, amazed at how frail the older man
looked, in his plastic prison. Not at all like the demonic force who
sometimes haunted her nightmares -- crackling with energy as he forced his
power into her.
"Here to forgive your transgressor?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"No," she said, taking the seat across from him. "I don't forgive you, but I
understand." Erik nodded and she went on, "I wanted to thank you for --
helping me. Being strong. Showing me how to survive when someone hates you
so much--" her voice broke and tears shimmered in her eyes.
"Yes, survival is a fine form of revenge, Rogue." She started at his use of
her name. "Charles told me what happened. You, more than anyone, understand
the persecution we mutants face."
"No," she said, her voice low, "he hated me before he knew I was a mutant.
He hated me because I'm a woman. I don't understand that. He made me hate
myself. But you helped me. And I'm grateful for that."
"You are most welcome, my dear. I can still have him killed if you'd like."
He smiled a little.
Rogue pursed her lips. "As much as I want to say yes, I think I'll pass on
that." She grinned. "I'll let you know if I change my mind."
"Well, then, take care, child. If you ever decide that life as an X-Man
isn't your cup of tea, you know how to find me."
Then, surprising both him and herself, she raised a gloved hand to her lips
and pressed it to his cheek as she rose.
She nodded to the guard and he led her out to where Logan waited with
Xavier. Taking Logan's hand, she said, "Let's go home."
"As you wish, darlin'. As you wish."
Hope you enjoyed... I didn't want it to be too upbeat, because well - rape,
suicide etc. doesn't exactly solve itself overnight, but... anyway, I think
I'm angsted out for a bit, though I've got another angsty one in the
Oh, and The Princess Bride - learn it, love it, live it.
Xander: "You have no shame."
Cordelia: "Oh, please. Like shame is something to be proud of."
_Buffy the Vampire Slayer_
The Muse's Fool - http://victoria_jp.tripod.com/home.htm