Disclaimers, etc in part one.
Marie sluggishly shifted her numb arms so they were underneath her
body, ready to push up and attack if those people got too close. As
it turned out, her preparations weren't necessary.
"They're close, Scott. I can sense them," a familiar voice said.
"Rogue!... Logan!" That was Scott, calling out to them.
"Mmmm, hhere," Marie called weakly. It came out little louder than a
whisper, but from the shuffling sounds of boots running over loose
soil and the approaching voices, she knew they had heard her.
She heard a gasp, and then she felt gentle hands rolling her onto her
back. Cracking her eyes open, she saw Jean's worried face
illuminated in the moonlight.
"Lo-gnn, druuggd," she slurred. She felt like her brain was floating
in molasses. Everything was so slow, so far removed.
She watched Jean move to kneel between her and Logan, so she could
check his shivering body as well.
"Rogue, this is important. Are you cold?"
That seemed like a stupid question. However, when she thought about
it, she realized that although she had been cold, freezing in fact,
now that bitter pain was gone, replaced by a mildly unpleasant heat.
"Rogue, stay awake," Jean demanded, fear entering her voice. "Scott,
grab Logan. 'Ro, help me with Rogue. We've got to get them back to
the jet now."
Marie floated in and out of consciousness. She watched the scenes
take place before her like a video tape being fast-forwarded and
stopped at random spots with white static in between.
A grunt. "How can he even walk with all this extra weight? The metal
must add about a hundred pounds."
"It's distributed over his skeleton, and he's had almost twenty years
to get used to it. Scott, have you got him?"
Another grunt. "Yeah."
Someone was shaking her.
"Rogue, open your eyes. Come on," Jean ordered.
When Marie complied, she saw the desert illuminated by flames. The
complex was burning. She'd done it. She'd sent those monsters
straight to hell. They'd never hurt another mutant again. Logan
could finally put his past behind him. As they skirted the flames,
she could see the Blackbird come into view.
A vile odor with a tinge of ammonia assaulted her, forcing her eyes
to pop open. Jean was holding a small vial up to her face, running
it back and forth in front of her nose. The roar of jet engines
filled the small space, and she realized she was in the Blackbird's
small medical unit.
"Rogue, I know you're tired, but you need to stay awake."
"Lo-gnn?" she asked.
"He's still unconscious. I won't know until I can run some tests,
but he'll probably be ok. It's you who has me worried."
"No you're not... Rogue?... Rogue?"
She could hear the engines shutting down, but she was no longer in
the plane. She was being carried and then, gently laid on a
"Henry, thank God. Oxygen, CO-2 mix. Warm saline I.V."
Marie felt a prick in her arm and then an almost painful warmth
spread through her veins. The hands left her body and she
"Same treatment," Jean responded. "I'm taking her down."
"I'll follow shortly."
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. If I'd just been paying attention..."
Jubilee paused for a moment to calm herself. "Rogue? Can you hear
me? I just wanted you to know that Remy and I, we didn't... I mean,
if we'd known what was happening... As soon as Jean said you hadn't
called for a few days, well we knew something was wrong. The
professor was in Cerebro almost non-stop for a week before he found
you, something about not being able to detect people underground, in
caves, that sort of thing. If only Remy hadn't bumped that phone...
We're just so sorry."
"Jubilation Lee," a deep, husky voice called. Hank's voice. "This
area is restricted until the patients are sufficiently recovered."
"Yeah, I just had to tell 'er somethin', Hankmeister. I'm gone, now."
A warm hand was caressing her cheek ever so softly, the leather so
smooth on her skin. She didn't want to wake up. She wanted to stay
in the comforting darkness she had finally found, but the stroking
brought her slowly back to wakefulness. Blinking her eyes open,
Marie focused on the man standing above her.
"Hey, darlin'. How're you feelin'?" Logan was smiling down at her,
looking hale and healthy.
"Good. You had us worried for a while."
"How're you?" She couldn't help the worry from creeping into her
"Fine, darlin'. Good as new."
"I... I..." the emotions she'd held back for so long came rushing
out in unstoppable, choking sobs.
"Hey... Hey there..." Logan said, pulling her shaking body up into a
sitting position so he could wrap his arms around her. She buried
her face in his chest and cried all the harder. "It's ok," he said
trying to comfort her. "We're both ok."
Through wracking sobs she let everything out, telling him all her
worries and fears those days he'd been gone, and how afraid she'd
been for him. She told him about her parents and Sabretooth and the
police station. She told him about John and Derek and what Project X
had almost forced her to do to him. She didn't keep anything back,
and when she was done, she held onto him tightly and cried until her
tears ran dry.
"Yeah," Marie replied, pulling away to wipe at her eyes.
"Good. I'm just gonna go kill Remy and Jubes. I'll be back in a
Tightening her grip around his waist, she pulled him back to her
body. "They didn't know, Logan. It's not their fault."
"It is their fault. If they hadn't been fooling around, you wouldn't
have had to go through most of that."
"It was an accident, Logan. They didn't mean it. It's ok."
"It's *not* ok," he growled.
"Then it'll be ok," Marie countered. Then, after a moment's
pause, "Logan, can we do something? I mean, in a few days, can we go
"I don't like this, Marie."
"I know. If it helps, I don't like being here either."
"We're too exposed."
"Professor Xavier said that the charges were dropped. We're not
"Yeah, but still, to come back here so soon."
Marie opened the passenger-side door and stepped into the chilly
air. It had rained the day before, and the grassy field was still
damp and shining in the sunlight.
"This is something I have to do, Logan. Will you come with me?"
Logan exited the Jeep in response, stepping beside her and placing a
comforting hand around her waist. "Where are they?"
"Somewhere over here," Marie said, beginning to walk.
After searching for a few minutes, she finally found them. In Loving
Memory: George Michael Trent and Rachel Anna Trent.
Kneeling down on the wet grass before the graves, she said, "Hi,
Momma. Hi, Daddy. I'm sorry I didn't come sooner, and I'm sorry I
left four years ago without telling you. I was just so afraid, and I
didn't want to risk hurting you. I came because I wanted you to know
that I'm ok now. You don't have to worry about me anymore."
Reaching up, she grabbed Logan's free hand. "This is Logan."
She paused like she was waiting for something. Finally, he
said, "Uh, hi."
"Logan's my husband. He's a good man. I think you'd like him
Momma. I love him so much, and yes, Daddy, he loves me just as
much. We're good together, and I so wanted you to meet him. We
missed you at the wedding, but maybe you were there, huh? Maybe you
could see it? I hope so.
"I just wanted to come and see you, and say, 'Thank you.' I hope if
I'm ever a parent that I can be half as good to my kids as you were
to me. Your love and support meant everything to me... I just
wanted you to know."
Marie kneeled in silence for a few minutes and then slowly rose to
"Ready, darlin'?" Logan asked, reaching out a hand.
In the past few weeks, they had both lost all connections to their
past. Now, they only had the unknown future stretching out before
them. Taking his hand, she knew that they would face that future
together, for better and for worse.
Next: For Richer, For Poorer.