Chapter rating: PG
Disclaimer and story information can be found in part 1.
A/N: This is the final chapter in this series. Feedback is most
When the quartet arrived at the mansion Jean and Scott were waiting
for them outside, with a stretcher.
Charles had contacted Jean telepathically a few minutes before their
arrival, and let her know how serious Erik's situation was. As soon
as Logan stopped the car Erik was lifted out, placed on the
stretcher and brought away. He was too weak to walk by himself, and
Rogue's condition had also deteriorated, but despite the severe
abdominal cramps and nausea she insisted on not getting on a
stretcher. She was still unusually pale and probably also feverish.
There was no doubt this was the same thing as with Erik both were
suffering from stomach disorder, nausea, fever and they were quickly
Logan helped his girlfriend walk by supporting her, but when he
asked whether he should carry her, she objected flatly. Rogue didn't
want to be carried like some sick little kid. She was a strong and
independent young woman who could take care of herself.
Charles, who seemed to have been temporarily forgotten, was left in
the car, unable to get up, watching as his lover and one of his
students were taken to the med-lab to be put in an IV.
The smell inside the car was terrible and Charles could finally open
a window and lean out, gasping for fresh air.
The disease that struck Erik and Marie appeared to be salmonella.
Jean could confirm this by cultures of both Erik and Marie's stool.
The bacteria were present in them both and the cause of the disease
Both the young woman and the old man spent the following days with
IVs in their arms, but while Rogue was fit and well again after
three, four days, Erik was not. He had been given antibiotics, but
despite this his body has trouble fighting the disease that had made
him very weak.
Jean had placed the two patients in the same room with only a
curtain separating them, strongly determined to keep them in
isolation until they had conquered the disease entirely, to stop
them from carrying the infection further.
Charles visited Erik as often as he could spare time, and sat by his
bed, holding his old friend's hand, although Erik was often so tired
he slept through the visits. Charles had miraculously not been
infected, and Jean couldn't figure out why, considering he had eaten
the same food as the others, and even got Erik's vomits on him.
Rogue didn't like being isolated in the med-lab where she couldn't
meet her friends, but a warm friendship had formed between her and
Magneto during the time they'd spent together in isolation.
Ten days had passed since they returned from their "vacation", and
Erik was still not quite well. The diarrheas and the abdominal
cramps had ceased, but he was still out of sorts, and he ate very
Erik had lost about 10 lbs in weight since he got ill, and it
wouldn't be healthy for him to lose more, considering how thin he
Rogue looked at him across the room from her bed. The curtain had
not been pulled it often wasn't so they could see each other's
every move. Jean had left him his food on a tray, but he had simply
poked it and hardly eaten anything.
Instead of eating Erik was reading today's newspaper. A wrinkle
formed between his brows while reading something he found there;
obviously he had found something he didn't like, or something that
Rogue couldn't help being curious and jumped out of bed and
approached him. She sat down on his bed edge.
"Did you find something important? she asked.
"Look at this," Erik replied and gave her the newspaper, pointing to
an article. Rogue's eyes widened when she saw the headline.
"Over 30 people sick from salmonella-infected meat the source of
the infection still unknown".
" murmured Rogue. "So it *was* the pizzeria, after all
wonder how many more got it from there?"
"More than a couple, I'd say. But they won't be seeing *me* there
again. Ever. I can guarantee that."
Rogue laughed. "I agree."
Erik took off his reading glasses and placed them on his bedside
"I still have no appetite
" he sighed.
"You should eat."
"I know that."
"You'll just grow thinner."
"I know that too."
Rogue reached out her hand and brushed back a strand of Erik's
hair. "The professor is worried," she continued. "And I'm worried
Erik smiled. "Are you worried about me?"
"Sure. I like you, Erik."
Rogue wound her arms around his neck and pressed a kiss to his
cheek. Erik moved so there would be room for her to crawl down next
to him in the bed. They often sat like this; they both craved warm,
human contact in this sterile, white room, and they only had each
other at present.
"Shall we watch TV?" Rogue suggested.
"Of course. Try to find a news channel. Who knows, maybe they even
have fresh information about the salmonella contagion," Erik said.
When Logan went to visit Marie later in the evening, he found her
and Erik still huddled up tightly together in Erik's hospital bed,
watching a movie.
Rogue brightened up when she saw him and smiled with her whole face.
"Logan!" she said happily. "So you still remember my existence?"
"Ha ha," Logan replied sarcastically. "You seem to have found
comfort in other places, I see!" he snorted, nodding at Erik who was
holding his arm around Marie's shoulders.
Rogue smiled sharply. "Don't be jealous, Logan-honey. We're just
friends. Right, Erik?"
"Just friends," Erik agreed innocently, enjoying teasing Logan.
"Hey, sometimes I believe you live just to torment me, Mags!"
"I am sorry to disappoint you, but you're not that important,
Logan," Erik said.
"I'm hurt. Hey, if I didn't know you were gay, I'd almost believe
you were trying to steal my girl!" Logan grinned.
"But now you know. And you also know I won't cheat on Charles.
Although I hope you don't mind lending me your girl while we're
stuck here. It can get a little lonely here sometimes, right Marie?"
"Definitely!" Marie agreed, grinning.
"Jean shouldn't have put you two in the same room," Logan sighed.
"Why not? We have seen each other naked," Erik said jokingly.
"Like you have anything to show, Mags!" Logan snorted as he bent
down to kiss his girl. "I'm still glad you're gay, though