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FIC: 'Til Death Do Us Part 5/7

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  • rimmette@earthlink.net
    Disclaimers, etc. in part one. ***** Attention: Will all the faculty members please report to my office? All faculty members, please. a voice spoke over the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2001
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      Disclaimers, etc. in part one.

      *****

      "Attention: Will all the faculty members please report to my office?
      All faculty members, please." a voice spoke over the school's
      loudspeaker.

      The professor never liked to use his gift to broadcast into other
      people's minds unless it was an emergency. It was too disruptive and
      most people considered it an invasion of privacy.

      Setting down the microphone, he prepared himself to deliver news he'd
      always hoped and prayed he'd never have to say.

      -----

      Kitty looked at Bobby, "It can't be a mission. He would've called us
      to the map room."

      "Something to do with the school?" Bobby asked.

      "At eight on a Friday night?"

      "I don't know. In any case, one of us has to stay here with the kids."

      "I will." Kitty offered. "Sarah has to be put to bed in a half hour
      anyway."

      "Should I take Mike with me?" Bobby asked. "Rogue and Logan'll
      probably show up for the meeting."

      Kitty shook her head. "No, let him keep playing with B.J. Besides,
      I've just gotten him to stop crying."

      "You ever get him to say why he was crying?"

      "No, just that he was sad. B.J. might've taken a toy from him. You
      know kids."

      Bobby nodded and left their suite, heading for the first floor and
      the professor's office.

      -----

      "There is no easy way to say this," the professor began, looking at
      each of their faces. "Rogue and Anna were in a car accident this
      afternoon."

      A cacophony of voices besieged him from all sides.

      "What?" "Are they ok?" "How did it happen?" were a few of the
      questions he was able to make out in the chaos. Holding up his hands,
      he gestured for them to sit back down and allow him to finish.

      When he finally had their attention again, he said, "I will answer
      all your questions, if you just give me the opportunity... The
      accident occurred at around 4:30. Anna was badly injured. She is in
      surgery, but expected to recover. Logan is at the hospital with her,
      and Jean and Scott are there as well, helping where they can."

      The room was silent as everyone processed what he had said, then
      Jubilee spoke, her voice edged in tension and worry. "Uh, you didn't
      tell us about Rogue, Professor."

      Charles cleared his throat and forced out the painful words, "I'm
      sorry, but she passed away."

      He paused again as a gamut of emotions spread through his former
      students. Some cried, some sat in shocked silence, some loudly
      protested, refusing to believe it.

      Jubilee's voice was loud enough to break through the noise, so again,
      she asked the questions for the group. "How? Where is she? Why did
      you wait to tell us?"

      "I'm told she died almost instantly. She wasn't in any pain. Scott
      has arranged the transfer of the body, and they should arrive within
      the next hour... As for why I waited, I did not have enough
      information to answer your questions prior to this. I understand that
      this is difficult for all of us, but I will need your help informing
      the students."

      Bobby looked up, "What about Mike? Who's going to tell him?"

      "That's right!" Jubilee jumped in. "Does Mike know? Is anyone even
      watching him right now?"

      "Kitty's watching him," Bobby answered, "but... I mean, should we
      tell him? Should we wait for Logan?"

      "Logan will be some time at the hospital," the professor
      answered. "I'll have Jean ask him."

      -----

      Jubilee followed Bobby back to his room. Logan had decided to remain
      at the hospital, so it was up to her to break the news to Mike. She
      couldn't let Bobby or anyone else do it. It was what Rogue would want
      her to do.

      She remembered all those years ago when she'd been on the receiving
      end of this kind of news. Both of her parents had died in a car
      accident shortly after her powers manifested, and she had ended up
      alone and on the streets at thirteen. If the professor hadn't found
      her, she didn't want to think of how her life would've turned out.
      Even now, all these years later, she still had down days. Their
      birthdays, her birthday, holidays. Now Rogue's children were doomed
      to the same fate.

      As she walked into B.J.'s room, she saw the two boys playing on the
      floor with their trucks. "Hey, guys."

      Both boys turned and greeted her. She'd never noticed before, but
      Mike had Rogue's eyes. Deep, chocolate brown orbs that expressed
      every emotion so clearly. She had to turn away from his gaze to keep
      from choking up.

      "Uh, B.J., Mike and I have ta talk, ok? Your dad wants ya in the
      living room."

      After B.J. had left, Mike stayed sitting, fiddling with his truck as
      he asked, "What is it, Aunt Jubes?"

      Jubilee sat down beside him, moving toys to make room. "Mike... your
      mom and Anna were in an accident today."

      He looked at her blankly, not understanding what she was trying to
      say.

      "They were both hurt real bad, and they went to the hospital."

      "Why didn't they go to Dr. Jean or Dr. Hank?"

      "It was an emergency and they were too far away."

      Mike nodded, "How long 'til they're ok?"

      "Anna's gonna take a long time to heal, and your mommy... well, she
      passed away."

      Mike looked at her in puzzlement. "When's Mommy coming back?"

      This wasn't working. How do you get a five year old to understand
      death? "She died, Mike. She's not coming back."

      Mike's face fell. "Not ever?"

      "No... not ever."

      "Why'd she leave?..." Mike asked, tears blossoming on his face. "Was
      I bad?"

      That small, worried voice cut deeply into Jubilee's heart and she
      felt tears burning in her eyes as well. Pulling the boy into her lap
      and hugging him tightly, she answered, "No. Don't ever think that,
      Mike. It wasn't because of you. She didn't want to leave. She had to."

      "Why?"

      "Her body was really hurt, and it just stopped. She couldn't stay in
      it any longer."

      "Where'd she go?"

      "I don't know, Mike," Jubes replied, brushing the tears that had
      escaped to her cheeks and looking down at him. "I'd like to think
      maybe she's hanging around and looking out for us. We just can't see
      her."

      "How'd she get hurt?"

      "She was in a car crash."

      "Like on TV?"

      Jubilee nodded.

      "Where's Daddy? Where's Anna?"

      "They're at the hospital. Anna's hurt real bad, and your dad's
      staying with her."

      "Is she gonna go away, too?"

      Jubilee shook her head. "I don't know, Mike. I don't think so."

      "Is Daddy hurt, too."

      "No." Jubilee said firmly, trying to reassure him. "Your Dad's fine.
      He's just staying with Anna for now. He should be back here sometime
      tomorrow."

      Mike looked up with fear in his eyes. "How will he get here?"

      "What do you mean?"

      "He can't come back in a car. He'll die, too."

      "No he won't, Mike. You've been a car. They don't crash all the time."

      "But what if his does? What if he goes away, too?"

      Jubilee shook her head vehemently. "I've known your Dad for lots of
      years. He's a real tough guy to hurt. You'll see him tomorrow, Mike.
      You'll see."

      -----

      Logan sat in Anna's room waiting for her to wake. She looked so
      small, so fragile, lying there in the big hospital bed. Her right arm
      was in a thick cast, the upper part pulled out from her body in line
      with her shoulder while the lower part rose from the bed at a 90
      degree angle from her elbow. That wasn't even the worst of her
      injuries. When he'd pulled back the sheets, he could see a bandage
      running from her hips to her lower chest.

      Jean had said it was the seatbelt. The lap belt was riding too high
      on her waist, and the force of the crash had caused massive internal
      bleeding. She should've been wearing the seatbelt lower or maybe even
      been in a booster seat. Who the hell knew that kids were supposed to
      be in booster seats until they were around 9? If he'd known, he and
      Marie would've...

      The now familiar, almost painful emptiness in his chest grew
      stronger.

      'No,' Logan mentally reprimanded himself. 'Not gonna think about
      that. Gotta be strong here, for Anna. She's gonna wake up any time
      now. If she sees me cryin', she'll think there's something really
      wrong with her. Think of something else, anything else.'

      His thoughts drifted to Mike. During the surgery, Jean had come out
      with both an update for him and a question from the professor. Did he
      want them telling Mike about... well, what had happened?

      Even now, hours after the decision was made, he felt the bitter guilt
      rising in his throat. He should've been the one to tell Mike. He owed
      him that, but with Anna's operation, he didn't feel he could leave.
      Even now, he wondered if Anna hadn't been in danger would he have
      still pawned off the responsibility of telling Mike to someone else.
      Was he really that cowardly when it came right down to it?

      Anna's head moved, and he jumped out of the chair to stand by her
      bed. He wanted to grab her uninjured hand, but it had an I.V. tube
      and a blood oxygen sensor attached to it, so he satisfied himself by
      gently stroking her hair.

      -----

      Anna felt the stroking and opened her eyes to see Dad's worried face
      looking down at her.

      "Hey, kiddo. How're you feeling?"

      Anna took a moment to check her injuries. She could still feel some
      pain in her belly and arm, but it seemed far away, like it really
      didn't matter. It wasn't even close to the razor-sharp agony she'd
      felt back in the Jeep.

      "Better," she croaked, throat dry from the medications and a lack of
      water. "Water?"

      "Sorry, pun'kin. They said you can't drink anything yet. The nurse
      can bring you ice chips? Do you want that?" Logan asked, hand already
      hovering over the nurse's call button.

      She nodded and soon he was feeding her little ice chips, one at a
      time. As they melted in her mouth, they helped ease the dryness, and
      it became easier to talk.

      "Mom?" she asked. She had seen the body, but she'd hoped that maybe
      with her mutation, if someone had touched her soon enough...

      "She's... she's gone, baby." her father answered, starting to tear up.

      She'd only seen him cry a few times in her entire life, and now,
      knowing that she had caused this, that it was her fault that Mom was
      dead and Dad was hurting, it was too much. The guilt rushed through
      her only to be quickly replaced by fear. If Dad knew what she'd done,
      he would hate her. He might not give her time to explain that it'd
      been an accident and that she hadn't meant to distract Mom. She could
      never tell him. He could never know what had really happened.

      "It's ok, baby. Jeanie says when you're stable, she'll transfer you
      out of here to the med lab at the mansion. Until then, I'll stay
      right here with you. You don't have to be scared."

      Crap! He could smell what she was feeling. At least he hadn't
      understood why she was scared. She'd have to work on that and get
      control of her emotions, or he might guess right the next time.

      *****

      See part six.
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