TITLE: True Love
AUTHOR: Peter Meilinger
SUMMARY: Casualty of love. Or something. I hate summaries.
TIMELINE: About a year after the movie.
DISTRIBUTION: Anyone who's already got my stuff is
welcome to this as well. Any list I post to is of
course welcome to add my stuff to their archive. If
anyone else actually wants it, I'd be tickled pink
to hear about it. This and all my stories can be
found on my site at
SPOILERS: The movie.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, and I'm not
trying to make any money.
DEDICATIONS: To Vic, Jen, Meg and Dot. And to everyone
who liked my first X-Men story enough to ask me to try
another. Hope you like this one, even though it's nowhere
near as mushy.
True love. That's what it felt like. Still feels like, for
me. But not for her. I guess it never really felt that way
Nothing has ever hurt this bad. I don't think anything
That's not true. I'm pretty sure seeing the two of them
together is going to make the pain I'm feeling now seem
like nothing. I should just leave, but I can't. This is
home for me now.
I don't understand how she could do this to me. I thought
we were good together. I thought she loved me. I guess not.
She says she does, but no way can she love me and treat
me the way she did. Especially not after everything I've
done for her.
When Logan left last fall, Marie was devastated. She
didn't let him see it before he took off, and she tried
to hide it from the rest of us, but I could tell. I could
see it in the way she clutched at those stupid dog-tags
when she was thinking of him, and in the way her face
would cloud over with pain when she thought no one was
But I was looking, and I saw it. And I wanted to help
her. I wanted to take the pain away. I wasn't even
thinking about her as girlfriend material, not at first.
I just figured she'd gotten a raw deal, and I wanted to
help. It wasn't until later that I started falling for
It didn't take long, though. Less than a month after
we'd met, I asked her out. I was scared half to death.
I've never had much luck with girls, and I was afraid
that all the time we'd been spending together had made
her peg our relationship as "just friends." But when I
asked her if I could take her to dinner, and specified
it was an actual, honest-to-God date, she just smiled
that shy smile of hers, and looked down at her shoes,
and said yes.
I think right then is when I fell in love with her. And
as we started going out, I thought she was falling in
love with me, too. By Christmas, I was sure of it.
We made love for the first time Christmas Eve. And I mean
the first time for both of us, not just our first time
together. It wasn't easy, what with neither of us knowing
what we were doing, and with her skin, but we managed. And
it was wonderful. And when I woke up the next morning, her
face was the first thing I saw. She'd been watching me while
I slept. As soon as I opened my eyes, she smiled and told
me she loved me. I almost couldn't speak, but I told her I
loved her, too. And from then on, it was perfect between us.
Until Logan came back yesterday.
I was in the garage, working on the Phantom that the
Professor picked up at that auction last month. Considering
he never drives himself, he has great taste in cars.
Sometimes, I think he only buys them because he knows how
much Mr. Summers, me, Rahne and some of the other kids love
working on them.
When Mr. Summers came in, I thought he was going to give
me a hand with the car. I was looking forward to it, because
I always learn a lot when I work with him. But that's not
what he was there for.
"Bobby," he began, then stopped and shook his head.
"What's up?" I asked, as I grabbed a rag and cleaned off my
I just looked at him. He'd said it like it was the worst
possible news, but I didn't really see why. I knew Marie
loved me, and I knew she was over her crush on Logan. Or
I thought I knew, anyway.
I followed Mr. Summers out to the back lawn, and he pointed
to where they were sitting together on Marie's favorite bench.
Logan had his arm around her, and she was leaning against
his shoulder as they talked.
I smiled. She looked happy in his arms, so happy that her
friend was back. I'd never really gotten to know Logan in
the short time he was at the school, but after he left I
didn't like him at all. Marie was so unhappy for so long,
and it was easy to blame it all on him. But seeing them
sitting together, laughing and talking, I was glad that
he was back. I knew Marie cared about him, and I realized
that he cared about her, too. I was glad he was back,
because Marie had missed him so, and I figured anyone
who could make her smile like that was okay by me.
I smiled towards them and decided not to interrupt their
reunion. I just turned around and walked back to the garage.
I wasn't worried at all. I knew Marie loved me.
I started to get worried at dinner. I hadn't seen Marie
all day, which isn't that unusual. We always eat dinner
together, though, every night. I figured she'd want to
eat with Logan, and that was okay with me. I was going
to sit with them, but they weren't in the cafeteria. I
just shrugged and sat down to eat with Kitty, Peter and
Kitty was looking at me sympathetically, and Rahne was
avoiding my eyes. Peter seemed oblivious, but then he
"What?" I asked Kitty.
"Nothing," she whispered, and turned her attention to
None of us talked much as we ate. I knew what they were
thinking, but I also knew they were wrong. But I didn't
feel like arguing about it. They'd learn who Marie really
loved soon enough.
Marie didn't come to my room last night. We don't spend
every night together, since that doesn't look too good to
the younger kids, but she'd always come by every single
night to say goodnight. Last night, she didn't.
That's when I really started to worry. It took me a long
time to get to sleep.
When I woke up this morning, Marie was sitting in my armchair.
She was looking at me like she always does when she wakes up
first, but I couldn't read the expression on her face. She
had herself closed off. She hadn't done that around me for
a long time.
"What's wrong?" I asked, worried, as I sat up in bed and put
my back against the headboard.
"Bobby..." she began, then trailed off, and I knew. I knew
exactly what she was going to say.
I closed my eyes and willed myself not to cry.
"Why?" I asked. Pleaded.
"It's not that I don't love you," she said, and I laughed.
There was no humor in it, only pain.
"You just love him more. Is that it?" I demanded, opening
my eyes to look at her.
She didn't have an answer for that, and she wouldn't look
me in the eye.
"Where's he been, Marie?" I asked calmly, while inside
I screamed in anguish. "Where's he been for the past
year, while I held you and loved you and did everything
I could to show you how much you mean to me?"
She started to say something, but I cut her off. "You
told me you love me. You've told me that every day since
Christmas. Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
"Of course it does!" she insisted, bringing her head up
to look at me. "You know it does." I looked away. I didn't
know any such thing. Not anymore.
"Bobby," she said, pain in her voice, "I love you. I do.
You have to believe that."
"But you love him more? Is that it?"
"It's not like that," she said, closing her eyes. Tears
started to fall down her face.
"Then what's it like, Marie?" I asked. I could hear the
anger coming out in my voice, and I welcomed it. If I
didn't get angry, I knew I'd start crying. I've cried
in front of Marie more than once, and she's always held
me and told me it was all right. But it wasn't all right
anymore. I felt like she didn't deserve to see me cry.
"What's it like?" I repeated, when she didn't answer me.
"I... I don't know how to explain," she said.
I laughed again, even more bitterly. "Then let's just
make this real easy, okay? You don't want me anymore.
You want him now. Is that it? You don't have to explain
if you don't want to. You can just go."
She didn't say anything. She didn't have to. She just
got up and moved towards the door.
"That was quick," I accused. "You're that eager to
get away from me? Or that eager to get to him?"
She was facing the door as she whispered, "I'm sorry,
but I can't waste another second."
I don't think she realized what she'd said. And I
know she didn't mean for me to hear her. But I did.
I heard her. I didn't say a word as she opened the
door and walked out to find Logan.
I've always been good at math. Not as good as Kitty
or Doug, but I do okay. I sat there on my bed and
I did some math in my head. I'd asked Rogue to go
out with me on October 15th. Today was September
29th. That came out to three hundred and forty-nine
days. Twenty four hours in a day. Sixty minutes in
an hour. Sixty seconds in a minute. Complicated,
but I wasn't going anywhere for awhile.
It came out to thirty million, one hundred fifty-three
thousand and six hundred seconds. And every one of
them wasted, according to Marie. Funny, I'd thought
of the past year as the best time of my life. I was
in love with Marie, and she was in love with me.
That's what I thought, anyway. Now I know that the
best year of my life was just wasted seconds while
Marie waited for the return of the man she really
loved. Now I know that every time I thought we were
making love, she was just marking time until Logan
came back to steal her away from me. Not even steal
her, really. She walked away of her own free will.
I just wasn't enough for her. My love just wasn't
I want to hate her. I really do. I'd give just
about anything if I could hate her. But I can't.
I love her. I love her more than I've ever loved
anything in my whole life.
True love. Ain't it a bitch.