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Fic: The Long Hard Road Out of Hell 7/7 [Rogue, Logan, others]

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  • victoria p.
    Disclaimers etc. in Part 1 indicates thoughts ~ ~ indicates telepathic conversation // // indicates memories The Long Hard Road Out of Hell Part 7 - The
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6 12:07 PM
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      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
      die?"

      <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
      him.

      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
      a problem."

      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 couldnÂ’t 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
      without hesitation.

      ***

      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.

      "Goodbye, Erik.

      "Goodbye, Rogue."

      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."

      End

      ***

      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
      pipeline.

      Oh, and The Princess Bride - learn it, love it, live it.

      Cheers,

      victoria

      --

      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
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