Title: Songs of a Wayfarer
Summary: May-December romance in more ways than one. An
Universe: Post-X2. Jean's not dead anymore. <g>
Rating: R for language and offscreen violence.
Pairings: Scott/Jean, Logan/Rogue
Distribution: Archive - XMMFF, WRBeta, Glass Onion.
Others, please link at:
Just let me know where it ends up.
Disclaimer: I do not own these guys. If I did, then I'd
probably be nicer to them. No profit, no harm, no foul.
Notes: I'm a geek, so this is classical songfic. Mahler's
"Songs of a Wayfarer," to be exact. To be VERY exact,
Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau and the Bavarian Radio Symphony
Orchestra, conducted by Rafael Kubelik. But that's TMI.
Anyway, the song cycle starts with "My Sweetheart's Wedding
Day" and ends with musings under a linden tree.
With eternal gratitude to Macha for hand-holding,
Songs of a Wayfarer
First thing you have to know, I hate email. Hell, I hate
MAIL, period. But before I left I the Professor gave me this
damned laptop and wireless hookup, then made me promise to
keep in touch, and I'd rather write to you than him.
I'm staying in a motel just south of D.C. Nice place, you'd
like it, lots of smelly girly crap in the bathroom that I
can't get out of my nose even with the caps on all the way
and the door closed. Plus, they won't let me smoke in the
I gotta get a new camper.
Anyway, this is the letter I promised to send to tell you
that I'm okay and you don't need to worry about me being
hurt or lost. I'll check this e-mail address once a day.
Yes, I use a greeting, because that's what civilized people
do. Get used to it.
I wasn't worried that you'd get hurt or lost. I was just
worried that you were drunk and miserable.
The wedding was really beautiful, but I guess you wouldn't
have liked it much. I mean, aside from the thing with Jean
marrying Scott, because I know you wouldn't have liked that
part. Some of the children sang and Kurt did the ceremony.
He talked a lot about miracles and Jean coming back to us
after Alkali Lake. Most of us kids were just looking at his
tail. Anyway, it was nice. Jean was sorry you didn't stay.
Scott wasn't. I was sorry, too.
Write when you get a chance.
I ain't civilized, kid. Get used to that.
Did you have to wear a bow on your butt? I'd have paid real
money to see that.
No, I didn't have to wear a bow on my butt, thank you for
the image. Jean didn't have bridesmaids, just Ororo, and the
Professor stood up for Scott. Well, not STOOD up, but you
know what I mean. I got to serve the punch at the reception
because you can wear gloves and use a ladle at the same
time. Kitty caught the bouquet and Piotr got the garter. He
was so embarrassed.
Hey, are you going to Mississippi? I know some good places
to eat near Meridian. Some of them will even serve meat
nearly raw, the way you like it. Just say you want it "still
School's boring. I wish you'd come home.
5/12 Mississippi's not in my plans. I'm in Tennessee
right now. Got a camper at last and there's hardly anyone
else in this RV park. It's quiet.
Yesterday I picked up a hitchhiker. A boy about fifteen,
real skinny and suspicious of everything. Reminded me of
Pyro. We rode together for about 400 miles and he never did
figure out that I was a mutant. I thought it was funny.
Guess you had to be there.
Bay Minette, Alabama, is a miserable, mosquito-filled
hellhole. I can't keep them out of the camper, so I use a
spray. The problem is that my mutation absorbs the chemicals
so I have to spray myself down every half hour. It feels
cool for the first few seconds, then it gets sticky.
Sometimes I wish I had to cover all of my skin the way you
Tomorrow I'll be at the beach. Jealous?
New Orleans is my kind of place. It's dirty but it's
busy enough where I don't mind the smell.
Came across a mutant here. Asshole tried to pick my pocket
with a deck of cards. He had to play 208-card pickup once I
got done. Guy doesn't seem bad, but he's annoying as hell so
I'm giving him enough money to get up to you guys. Name's
Remy LeBeau. Good luck keeping Jubilee and Kitty off him.
I bought you something and Remy's SUPPOSED to bring it to
you. I told him I'd give him a poodle haircut if you didn't
get it. Don't get all excited, it's nothing.
Kid, you okay?
Marie? Are you all right?
Haven't heard from her in weeks.
I can assure you that Rogue is quite well. She will contact
you when she sees fit.
Please remember that you are always welcome here.
Sincerely, Charles Xavier
I contacted Xavier two weeks ago, asking about you
because I was worried. If you're not dead, let me know.
I'm not dead.
Remy arrived at the mansion a couple days after you sent the
e-mail. Thanks for the heads-up - he's quite a handful. The
silk gloves are beautiful, by the way.
Bobby and I broke up. Well, actually, he broke up with me.
That's why I haven't written for a while. I figured you
wouldn't want to hear all the teen angst and drama stuff.
Anyway, he started seeing a girl. Not a mutant girl, just a
plain girl named Amanda, and he's going to Yale in the fall.
So is she. She's from a really good family.
Take care, Marie
Want me to kill him for you?
It's a waste of energy, but thanks for the thought.
I don't cry as much as I did when it first happened. It's
funny, but maybe it was just as well that we never did get
to touch a whole lot. When you don't have it, you never miss
I'm in class and Cyclops is checking our computers so I have
to stop now. Bye.
Cyclops can kiss my ass.
You can drive and drive forever in Texas and still be in
Texas. All the billboards are the same - truck stops and
"Texas-Size" burgers, whatever the hell that means. I
stopped in a park somewhere and wouldn't you know it,
someone was getting married. The girl had red hair, too. The
bridesmaids had bows on their butts. Promise me, if you get
married, you won't make me go if the bridesmaids have bows
on their butts.
I don't know if I agree with the thing you said, about not
missing what you never had. I only had a couple of kisses
from Jean out in the forest clearing, but I'd rather have
had those to live off of than just fantasies.
My offer to kill Bobby still stands. For that matter, tell
the next guy you fall in love with that if he hurts you,
I'll skin him.
Please don't tell me about your fantasies with Jean. My
brain will explode.
Bobby moved to New Haven to take a second session class this
summer. Remy keeps making moves on me but...you know. He
doesn't have that je ne sais quoi. <g>
Not to rush you, but you know my 18th birthday is next month
and the best present you could give me would be YOU.
You're not going to be 18.
Christ, I feel old. I am old.
I may be about to find out just how old.
Spent a few days in Oklahoma at an abandoned military base
where Stryker did some work. Didn't find anything worth
mentioning except that some of his experiments with
adamantium went back into the 1950s. I wonder if he was
experimenting on me even then. How old I was. Or who I was.
Should be in Vegas by morning. I'll let you know if the
showgirls are biting.
You don't need some skanky showgirl. I've grown an inch
since you left and in heels I'm almost five-foot-seven.
I don't care how old you are. You'll always be the hardass
who threw me out of his truck and I'll love you for the rest
of my life.
Logan, DELETE THE OTHER E-MAIL. Shit. I meant HATE you
for the rest of my life!
I know what you meant, kid. It's okay. I'll hate you for
the rest of my life, too.
Happy 4th of July! We cooked hot dogs and watched fireworks
and the kids beat the stuffing out of the teachers in
softball. The Professor talked to us about independence and
tried to keep it short, but you know how he gets. I was too
busy looking at the sky to pay a lot of attention.
Hope you had fun, too. And thanks for not making a big deal
out of that thing.
I hate fireworks. They go off while I'm asleep and I
wake up with my claws through the mattress.
I'm in California. Lots of redwoods, and they remind me of
something but I'm not sure what. I'll be here for a while
longer - a guy who used to work with Stryker has contacted
me and we're meeting up to see if we can piece some of this
stuff together. Or at least find out if Logan is my first
name or my last name.
Kid, I'm sorry, but there's no way I'll be back in New York
on the 15th. I'll make it up to you. I promise.
Thanks for the birthday card. I didn't read it until this
morning, aren't you proud of me?
John - Pyro - came back to the mansion nine days ago. Not so
much came back as got brought back, we don't know how.
But we know why.
He was a mess, Logan. Cheekbone busted, eyes swollen almost
shut. Broken leg. Burns all over his arms and legs. Jean
said there were more burns all over his body and there was
something wrong with his lungs, like he'd been breathing
fire. The only part of him that wasn't broken, burned, or
both was his hands. I guess because of the fire-manipulant
mutation. When I saw him in the lab, I wouldn't have
recognized him except he was clinging to that stupid
lighter, the one Colossus painted the shark on as a joke.
He recognized me. He grabbed my hand so hard it almost came
off at the wrist, and he asked where Bobby was. I told him
Bobby'd gone and he started to cry, Logan, he started to
fucking cry because he had only come "home" so Bobby could
freeze him, the burns hurt so bad, and you could tell the
tears just made them that much worse. We couldn't touch him
anywhere but his hands. He was in such terrible pain but we
couldn't comfort him, and even when Jean sent for Hank -
you'd like him, he's a cultured, educated YOU - there wasn't
much we could do for him other than debride the burns and
set the broken bones. John seemed to be the calmest when I
was there, so I stuck around and held one hand while he hung
on to his lighter with the other.
Jean brought me your card this morning while I was down in
the lab, visiting John. She opened it for me so I wouldn't
have to let go of his hand. Did you know that he can't
remember ever having been wished a happy birthday? He said
his family put him in a HOME because his mutation manifested
early, and when they were made to visit him they said they
wished he'd never been born. They never told him when his
birthday was, that's how much they didn't want him to have
been born. Jesus, that's so screwed up.
John asked to see the card, so I showed it to him. He smiled
as best he could and said that I was the luckiest person
he'd ever met. That's how fucked up his life had become,
that he thought I was lucky.
Anyway, Jean said there'd be cake and presents upstairs at
lunch and she'd send Kitty down to sit with John for a
Only we didn't need Kitty, because John died a few minutes
He was still holding my hand. He was just looking at me,
real quiet, and then the lighter fell out of his other hand
and hit the floor.
I took off my glove when I closed his eyes. I wasn't trying
to get whatever was left of his power, I just wanted someone
to have touched him, at the end. Hank said I did right by
him, and Scott told me he was proud to know me. I cried when
he said that.
The hardest part was going up to my party afterwards. The
little kids didn't understand what had happened, and they'd
made banners and streamers and balloons, so I went ahead and
pretended to be surprised and happy. Eighteen candles on my
cake, and I just couldn't stand to see someone light them so
Jean did it in the kitchen. I couldn't feel John in my head,
but I imagined him standing there, slouched against the
wall, flicking that lighter, and I hated Bobby SO much for
not being there when his friend needed him. I lost it. I
mean, totally lost it, to the point where the Professor had
to calm me down and Hank carried me up to your old room so I
could be alone for a while. I've been writing ever since but
I'm going to stop for a while.
I'm back. Jubilee and Kitty just brought me some lunch, with
a little piece of cake. Kitty promised to say the Jewish
prayer thing for John every day for eleven months, the way
they do, and she'd teach me to say it too if I wanted. The
Professor called John's home but they don't want the body
sent back, they don't even want to fucking bury their own
fucking SON! God, I hate people, I hate everyone!
So we're gonna do it day after tomorrow, in the morning so
John can have one more sunrise before we stick him in the
ground. Jean said cremation would be too ironic, so she and
Kurt arranged for a casket and a quiet plot in a cemetery
not too far from here. Scott asked if I wanted to keep the
lighter, but I said no, we should bury it with him.
Here's the thing. No one ever loved John. At least my
parents loved me for a while, but he never had anyone. I
can't touch people, but at least I can love them. John could
touch, but he couldn't love because he didn't know how.
I think he wanted to. I think he wanted Magneto to love him,
since he'd always been a black sheep here but that bastard
had his little family of black sheep. I asked the Professor
if Magneto had DONE this to John, had broken and burned him,
and he was horrified. He said no, that John had probably
been hurt and Magneto had brought him here for help. Help
Magneto was too proud to ask for, even though he'd been in
the camp. I asked what kind of camp, and the Professor and
Kitty exchanged a look, and then I felt stupid.
So now everyone's gone - in class, at training, or planning
a funeral for a guy no one really knew. The boys brought all
my presents up but I can't open them. I wish I could bury
them with John, so he'd have...I don't know. Something like
I'm so tired. I found a sweatshirt you left behind and put
it on the pillow. My cats used to sleep on my clothes when I
wasn't home, so I'm going to sleep on yours.
Ah, Marie, I'm so sorry you had to go through all that.
Happy fucking birthday.
Poor Pyro. What happened to him could've happened to any one
of us, and probably has in one way or another. The
difference is, with Pyro, people TRIED to help him. Plus, he
had you there, in the end, so I'd say he's the lucky one.
Hank and Cyclops are right about you.
Since airport metal detectors and I don't get on so good,
Storm's coming to get me and I'm flying up with her late
tomorrow night. Till then - well, I don't need to tell you
to be strong. You've never been anything else.
It feels weird writing to you when you're three feet
away from me. But I'll be gone by the time you wake up, kid,
and I don't want you to think I just up and disappeared.
I'm glad I got here in time to pay my respects to Pyro -
which is more than his "friend" Iceman managed, that
bastard. I should've been there for your birthday the way
I'd said before, so you wouldn't have had to go through all
this alone. And I'm glad that I'm the one you came to,
afterward, even though seeing you cry yourself to sleep has
been a thousand times worse than helping lower Pyro's coffin
into the grave.
But you should've told me about Jean. I mean, sure, she
doesn't show at all, but did you think I wouldn't be able to
smell the child in her?
I know I ought to be past this, but I can't stay. Not even
for you. And I can't take you with me.
So I'm running again. Storm's flying me back, so you don't
have to worry about my stealing Cyke's motorcycle. Don't
worry about a thing.
I'm sorry I didn't tell you about Jean. First, I didn't know
that she was already pregnant before they got married.
Afterwards, she asked us not to tell anyone because a lot of
times it doesn't "take" the first three months, especially
with two mutants. Then there was John. I screwed up and I'm
Anyway, it was good to have you back, even just for a few
hours. Sure wish you'd said goodbye. I mean, I understand
why you didn't, but still. I miss you.
I'd like to stay in your room. There are too many voices in
my head to have to live with the other girls' voices, too.
Is that okay?
Just don't spray girly crap in my bathroom is all.
I'll be in Alaska day after tomorrow. I bought a camera so I
can send pictures. You almost got there, when you ran. I'm
finishing the trip for you.
And you didn't screw up.
I got to go on my first official mission! Not like that
diplomatic stuff that time at the White House, but something
that was strategic and, well dangerous. They needed someone
to neutralize Mystique, so I got kitted up and went along to
Rhode Island. My hair was up under a hat and she didn't
recognize me, so when she reached for one of the guards I
reached for HER and gave her a pretty big surprise.
The authorities keep her sedated so she can't change over.
I had a great time for about the next six hours. I got to be
Scott, all puffed up about almost being a father, then I
decided to be Bobby only I wasn't very nice about it.
I did you, too. Naked. Just to make the girls scream. Remy
screamed, too, but I think it was out of jealousy. And yes,
I handled the package. Deal with it.
The Professor wants me to be on the team full-time, even
after Jean has the baby. Ororo's been giving me flying
lessons so I won't screw up the Blackbird any more, and
Scott says I'm the fastest runner of all of them.
I'm an X-Woman!
Subject: Are you insane?
She's not a weapon, she's a KID, you fucking asshole, and
she's a kid who retains everyone she's ever touched. Pull
that kind of crap again and I will tear you to ribbons.
Re: Are you insane?
Rogue is a strong and capable young woman - capable of
knowing what she wants and strong enough to be able to do
it. You could see that for yourself, if you weren't so
afraid of her not needing you anymore that you have to go
hide on the other side of the continent.
I have not shared your communique with her, nor do I intend
to. I suggest you maintain your own silence on the subject
as well. While you're being silent, use the time and search
yourself to discover why you feel such a need to protect
Rogue, and from such a great distance. The answer won't
surprise me, because I know it already, but it may surprise
Subject: You're still a dick
But you have a point.
Hey, kid, that's great. Good for you. Do you get an
outfit of your own this time, or just one of Storm's that
you have to stuff?
That was mean. I'm back to hating you again. At least I
didn't rip Storm's uniform the way you did Scott's. Don't
think I didn't see that tear in the pants. You should wear
underwear. Especially at the White House. :)
What the hell does :) mean?
It's an emoticon. It displays an emotion when there's not
facial expressions to give it away. That's a smiley face. ;)
is a wink and :( is a frown. I don't know if they have one
for a mean-ass scowl.
Anyway, vacation's almost over and I start college-level
classes in the fall. I can get credits from here, kind of
like a junior college, and I can transfer them to another
school when I'm ready.
I sent my parents a letter saying I "graduated" and that I'm
doing okay. I didn't expect them to open it, but I got an
envelope back with three hundred dollars. I'd rather have
had a note. But at least they didn't send it back unopened
the way they used to.
I've been thinking about majoring in pre-med. I want to go
to medical school, like Jean, and help mutants. What do you
What do I think? I think you shouldn't try to be Jean.
What's next, dying your hair red? Hanging around Cyclops?
Just be you, that's all you need.
Emoticon? Jesus, that's all I need, a way to display
I'm in a place that might as well be called Middle of
Nowhere, Nebraska. That's where the guy was supposed to meet
me, only he didn't show, just left me another trail of
breadcrumbs. Maybe I was a lab rat and he's checking to see
how long it takes me to run the maze. Fuck it, I'm gonna go
down to Texas again and hang out on the beach, maybe make a
run to Mexico for tequila.
Actually, hanging around Cyclops isn't such a bad idea for
you. He's not as dumb as he looks and he knows he better
keep you in one piece or I'll make sure he's NOT.
You're so full of shit I'm surprised it doesn't ooze out
when your claws extend.
How much will it take for you to GET IT through your
metal-plated skull that I'm not the scared little
16-year-old you tried to dump on the side of the road? That
girl's dead, as dead as Pyro.
I've studied and worked and trained and now I'm part of a
team whose mission is to save your sorry ass from this crazy
Registration Act that's coming down the pike pretty damn
If you keep talking down to me, I'll stop writing. That's a
If I keep talking down to you, or I keep giving a damn
whether you live or die?
I'll quote you: Pick one.
You know which one I pick. You have me inside your
8/13 Dear Logan,
Mascara hurts like a son of a bitch when you cry it into
your own eyes.
I do have you inside my head - but it's the old version, and
now you're Logan 2.0 and I have no idea what you're like
now. Probably because I've seen you once in the last three
months, and then you were being so nice to me I almost
thought you were up to something. It's hard for me to think
of you as being...sweet. I liked it.
Ororo gave me a book that I don't think I can make heads or
tails of: "Bartleby the Scrivener," by Melville. Same guy
who wrote "Moby Dick," which I also didn't read. But she
said I'll understand the theme, so I guess I'll plow ahead
Okay, I'm going to ask you something, and if I'm being nosy
or stupid I'm sure you won't mind telling me. But when Ororo
was talking about reading I started to think about school,
then I wondered - when you lost your memory, does that mean
everything? Do you remember books you've read, or how to do
math, or the state capitals?
I don't know why I have that stuck in my mind, but I do.
It's weird, because I was thinking about that the other
day. How do I remember language? How is it that I can tell
time but I can't remember who taught me to do it?
For that matter, why haven't Cyke's eyelids blown off? Who
knows with this crap that happens to us?
I followed yet another dry lead up to Minnesota. Do you know
there are even more mosquitoes here than in Alabama? I
didn't think it'd be possible.
They carry disease. Again, I don't know why I know that, but
I do. Even though I know better, sometimes I wonder if they
carry my mutation like a disease, and somewhere in Alabama
and Minnesota there'll be kids scratching themselves but the
bites heal up right away.
Maybe Jean can explain it. Right now I'm going to get some
more damn bug spray.
Okay, the thing with Scott's eyelids blowing off has been
bothering me nonstop. Thanks so much.
I haven't approached either him or Jean. They're worried
about the baby, that it's mutating in the womb, because Jean
says she feels it trying to connect with her. So they're
wondering if it's developing Scott's power, too. Might it
just, well, you know, blast its way out? And, eww. I know
you don't want that much information. God knows I don't.
I flew the Blackbird on our last mission. I had to land in
the water and they made a joke about the night on Liberty
Island when Scott did a crappy landing and you made fun of
him. Then Scott said you had flipped him off later with one
claw, and he admitted it's the funniest thing he's ever seen
in his life.
Sometimes I remember that night in my dreams. I wake up,
feeling like my hands are still chained to Magneto's
machine. Sometimes the dreams are mixed with yours, where
you're underwater and they're melting the adamantium to your
bones. It's not really all THAT bad to have the dreams,
because I can feel you prowling around in my head and that
makes me feel like I'm safe.
Wow, I had better stop before I sound so stupid that you
won't want to talk to me anymore.
I wouldn't wish the adamantium dream on my worst enemy.
See if Xavier can make it go away.
I feel you sometimes, too, a little tickle on the surface of
my skin. But no pain. You don't cause pain.
It's dark and I'm itchy and it's possible I had one beer too
many. I'll write again soon.
Just thought I'd get you caught up on stuff around here.
Hank moved back full-time. He's so funny, he's this huge,
hairy guy and I should be afraid of him, but I'm no more
scared of him than I am of you. He's terribly sweet under
the Beast exterior, and he reminds me of you not just
because he's strong but because he seems to have had a crush
on Jean at one time or another. I think he's embarrassed to
be around her. But he's taking on more of her
responsibilities as she has to spend more time off her feet.
The baby doesn't seem to have Scott's mutation, just Jean's.
It's weird, because I thought the mutant gene went from
father to child, but that's just with humans with latent
genes. When both parents are mutants, anything goes. Anyway,
Jean can tell its sex but Scott wants to be surprised when
it's born. She told me, though. If you want, I can tell you.
:) (That's an emoticon, silly, and it's a smile.)
Ororo's letting me teach American History. It's pretty safe,
since most of it is facts and making connections between
things, and I'm good at that. I can't possibly teach math,
Professor Xavier has been very quiet lately. I know he was
worried about Jean, but now he locks himself up with Cerebro
more and more, and sometimes he looks at me and he's just
got this worried expression on his face that he tries not to
Anyway, that's life in Westchester, where there aren't any
mosquitoes in sight.
Visit us soon, okay?
You're awfully quiet. Are you angry because I talked about
Jean and the baby? I hate it when you're mad at me.
Okay, I give up. If you're not mad about me talking about
Jean, then what's the problem?
This isn't funny. Answer me, dammit.
I know what happened and I know you can't read this letter,
but I'm writing it anyway because I may not get another
Last night, Professor Xavier came to my room - your room -
and held my hand while he told me you had been captured and
that he can't tell exactly where you are. First I was really
angry at him because he'd suspected all this time but didn't
tell me. He was afraid I'd be "too upset." I wanted to rip
his lungs out.
Then I started crying and shaking, and that's when he got
nervous and called the others. Hank held me while I cried,
because his fur keeps my skin from touching his skin and the
calluses on his hands and feet are so thick that my mutation
doesn't affect them. Just held me like a baby, like my daddy
used to when I was a little girl.
After a while, Scott told me to stop. He was trying to be
tough, but I could hear the pain in his voice. Ororo snapped
at him but he just stood there and said I didn't have time
for tears if I wanted to help you.
So one by one, we've been collecting Magneto's mutants for
the Professor to examine. Even the ones who are shielded
can't stop me when I take enough of their essences to know
what they know.
We're getting closer to finding you. I swear we'll find you,
and then it'll be my turn to save you.
God, Logan, I love you so much.
Don't know the date, or the day, or even if it's day or
night. I'm writing this out on the floor under my cot, where
you'll probably never even see it, but if I don't do this
I'm going to go crazy. It's a habit I need to feed, to tell
you what's in my head. I just need a little blood. Just a
little blood at a time, then it heals, then I have to snap
my claws and do it again. And again. So I can write.
They lured me, Marie, like a rat in a maze, then that fucker
bastard Magneto locked me in this underground adamantium
room, the one thing I can't scratch my way out of or fight
my way out of. Couple times a day they put drugs in the
ventilation system that put me out for a few minutes, long
enough to throw slop in my bowl and walk away again. Then
Magneto comes in and pins me to the wall. I'm just an insect
to him. He wants the Professor. He says he'll let me go if I
Xavier over to him. He won't kick the shit out of me if I
throw in the rest of you. If I give you all up.
Give you all up.
He knows that I feel pain. He likes to do that to me, to
come in and spread my fingers too far apart so they break
loose, or pull my shoulders out of their sockets. He's even
tried having Sabretooth cut down to where my claws start.
But I just spit and growl at him. I won't let him get any of
you. God, not after what happened at Alkali Lake.
I wish I had some way of marking time, but I'm deep
underground and there's no day or night, just damp dimness
that I feel down to my bones. When Magneto comes and turns
on more light, it's like being blinded.
Sometimes I think he doesn't even want to inflict the pain.
He's just such a sick fuck that he doesn't know any other
way. He has this cultured voice - of course, you know that,
because the Professor's the same way. It'd be comforting if
he said anything I wanted to hear. But instead he tells me
the same thing, over and over: give him Xavier and I won't
be in pain anymore.
Only thing I ever told him was that Pyro died. I said I'd
helped put his pathetic, blackened body into the coffin (I
didn't tell you that part, Marie. I didn't want to upset you
any worse than you already were) and stood there while they
buried him. This kid. This poor, lost kid that Magneto lured
with promises of something better.
Magneto looked almost sorry. He walked away that time
without torturing me, and when I woke up from the gas there
were clean clothes and a bucket of water for me to bathe
It's the same and the same and the same. I keep writing.
You'll never see these words, but maybe someone will and
they'll find a way to tell you all of this.
I dream sometimes that Cyclops is the one who busts me out
of here. Ironic, huh? In the dream, Ororo's lightning
pierces the room somehow and I can see, and there's the hole
in the wall and then there's you. You, in that black leather
outfit and your hair blowing and your big, brown eyes, and
you hold out your hand to take me home.
In the dream I can touch you and it doesn't hurt.
Then Magneto comes in and turns on the light.
I never let him see my eyes.
We found Logan's camper in the middle of a Nebraska corn
field. It's obviously been months since he was here. I
couldn't see any sign of a struggle. His laptop is here -
that's how I'm writing to you - but the only names in his
inbox are yours, mine, and Rogue's.
The trail's cold. Hank, Ororo and Kurt say that Logan's got
to be dead by now, but I'm not giving up. If you could just
see Rogue's eyes, you'd know why.
Please give my love to Jean and tell her we're all safe.
Subject: A Miracle
Dear Professor, and my darling Jean,
When we left Westchester this morning to follow a lead, who
knew we'd find a miracle?
Nightcrawler says it's a miracle because even though we
found Logan chained to a wall, wearing filthy rags and
covered with his own waste, he's alive.
I blew the walls off the place while Storm and Nightcrawler
searched for Magneto and his minions. They'd been gone for
days. They probably knew we were coming and left him to
starve to death..
He was completely non-responsive when we got to him. Hank
said he'd never seen such profound shock. He surmised that
the only reason they didn't kill Logan outright was that
they couldn't figure out HOW. God knows they tried hard
We tried to keep Rogue on the Blackbird, but you can imagine
how much that didn't work. She got there just as Hank was
taking Logan off the wall. Like the deposition from the
cross, because it was hard to tell he was alive. God. I'll
never forget what he looked like, what he smelled like. The
blank, dead look in his eyes.
Nightcrawler bamfed him and Rogue directly to the jet. When
Storm and I got back, he opened his eyes and started choking
out something about the words, the words in blood on the
floor. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the floor
didn't really exist anymore and that whatever he'd said was
Rogue had hold of his hand, and she kept saying, "It's just
like John, it's just like John," over and over. Storm kept
saying that Logan would be all right in time. And sure
enough, he came to a little while later. Just for a moment,
I think he thought he was dreaming, because he looked down
at Rogue's hand and said she could touch him without hurting
him. Of course she knew better and kept her gloves on.
Then Logan asked to talk to me, alone.
Nightcrawler took Rogue aside and let her cry while he
prayed. Logan's voice was almost inaudible. Can you imagine
having to lean over to hear him? There's something else I'll
never forget. He asked, "Did she see me there?" and I told
He closed his eyes again and I thought he was asleep or
unconscious, but he kept saying, "Don't take me to the
mansion. Somewhere else. Somewhere else." I consulted Hank,
who said he's got privileges at a hospital in Chicago where
he can keep watch over Logan until he's ready to travel.
So I'm e-mailing you this from the air. Hank wouldn't let
Rogue come, which she hated, but he was very gentle when he
explained that Logan's pride may take longer to heal than
his body. She got it at last, although she clung to him when
Hank carried him off on the stretcher.
We'll be home in an hour or so. We're not much the worse for
wear, so concentrate on Rogue.
I have to say this now, even though I'm almost home. I love
you. Both of you.
Scott said he's taking the laptop back to you and that it'll
be okay to write.
I don't know what to tell you. When you see the laptop and
check your mail, you'll know. Beyond that...I just need to
know you're going to be okay.
Hank is looking over my shoulder to make sure I greet you
"like a lady." He's a real card.
I'm fine, kid. You'd never know to look at me that anything
much had happened. We've moved from the hospital to a hotel
downtown, a place so high-class that they don't dare make
fun of Hank, at least not to his face. Or in front of me.
Mostly I feel stupid. Stupid for leaving the mansion in the
first place. Stupid for not staying at the Mansion when I
came back. Stupid for following leads that any amateur
could've told you were taking me straight to a trap. Stupid
for getting caught and having you take on God knows who,
trying to find me. And did it have to really be fucking
Cyclops who saved my ass?
I wish you hadn't seen me like that. I think I remember your
face at that moment. Christ, Marie, I'm so sorry.
Hank says that's enough, to close out now.
I read that e-mail you sent when I was gone. I wrote some
stuff on the floor in the cell that wasn't too different,
but I still got things to tell you.
I wish I hadn't seen you like that, too. But not for the
reasons you think. My nightmares were all about you being
dead, and when I saw you I thought you were - but then I saw
you breathing, and suddenly I knew that the worst HADN'T
If anyone SHOULD see you when you're "like that," it should
be me. Don't you get it by now?
Come home, Logan. Your sweatshirts don't smell like you
anymore and I can't sleep.
Dear Logan, Jean and Scott are parents of the most
beautiful red-haired girl in the world. Her eyes are blue,
like Scott's used to be (did you know that?), and she has
ten perfect little fingers and ten perfect little toes. So
beautiful, like the world just got reborn.
Charles - he's told me to call him that, but sometimes I
mess up and call him "Professor" - held her while Kurt
baptized her. She didn't even blink at having a blue guy
dump water on her head. She's called Claire, after Jean's
grandmother. I thought it meant "clairvoyant," so that may
end up being her nickname.
Jean's doing very well. Scott is over the moon. The most fun
is watching Hank hold her, because she looks like a toy in
his huge arms.
I know you don't like babies. Hell, you don't like much of
anyone, but I think even you would think she's beautiful.
Please, please come home.
Yes, even though Hank's back with you guys now, I'm still
doing the right thing. I'm a creature of habit.
Chicago blows. But I'm not quite ready for babies yet, so
I'll take a rain check on going to Westchester.
Tell Jean...whatever you think I should tell her.
I told Jean you were very happy for her. Scott didn't even
ask if you were happy for HIM. Did you guys make up or
I need to get to my class - I'm giving a test today because
they were rude yesterday. I suck.
Cyclops saved my sorry ass. That's twice, now. It's almost
as hard to live with as what Magneto did to me.
That's not actually true, but you get the idea.
Hank gave me a copy of that book you were reading. It wasn't
exactly a light read, but I went through it, and the part
about letters disappearing and never reaching the people
they were intended for, and changing their lives...I
I wrote to you in blood when I was in prison. Cyke says it
didn't survive the blasts, just like those letters in the
book didn't get delivered. Difference is, I can still tell
you what I said even though you gotta know already.
I think I should.
I came home to you today and found you in the snow, making
angels while Cyke built a snowman family. You got up out of
the snow and ran to me, all wet and frozen and beautiful
even with your red nose.
I kissed you under the linden tree.
And I wasn't afraid.
You pulled back when we felt the first pull of your powers,
but I grabbed you and held you tight. You didn't think I saw
you cry. I did. You always had a terrible poker face.
When Xavier welcomed me back, I felt him on the edge of my
mind, like someone asking if they can come in. I might let
him. I might let Jean, too, because when I saw her with her
baby girl I realized that she's as much a part of Scott as I
am a part of you. Jean's become my sister.
I will NOT be called Uncle Logan, though. A man's got to
draw a line somewhere.
We went up to our room and I told you what I wrote over and
over and over in blood, in my heart. I love you, Marie. I
love you, and I hope I showed you with more than words when
I took you to bed.
They say that most men go to sleep right after sex. But I'm
not most men. I'm luckier, because I've loved you and I'm
awake and I'm looking down at you. My Marie. You've done
something Magneto could never do - you've marked me. You've
The kids are caroling outside our window. You're smiling.
You can't carry a tune in a bucket that has a special
tune-carrying tool, but you love the music even in your
Tomorrow I'll take you back to the linden tree and we'll
throw snowballs at each other.
Tonight I'll unpack.
I'm home, Marie. I'm home.
Feedback is always welcome at Marguerite@...
"You don't want to tempt the wrath of whatever from high atop the thing!"--Toby Ziegler, "Election Night"