*This chapter contains violence and angst*
The door to the lab was closed. It had been closed for at least
fifteen minutes. Jean was currently inside there with Rogue. Outside
stood a group of worried mutants, waiting to get information about
Logan was sitting on a chair, bent forward, with his head buried in
his hands, so the others couldn't see his face. It was impossible
know whether he was crying, or simply just sat there, not wanting to
look at anyone. He was still barefoot, and his shirt was open. He
looked upset, to say the least. But who could blame him?
Charles was there, sitting in his wheelchair, wearing a pyjama and
a robe, looking worried and sympathetic.
Behind him stood Magneto, also dressed for the night, in a wine-red
robe and matching slippers. Erik held his hands on Charles'
shoulders, and Charles had placed his hand atop Erik's. A while
Charles had leaned his cheek against his lover's hand and kissed
They did not try to hide their obvious feelings for each other from
anyone there now, in spite that they had both noticed the hateful
glare that Logan had given them when they arrived there together.
It was the first time Logan saw them after catching them in bed the
same morning. When they arrived, about a quarter of an hour ago,
Charles had tried to open a telepathic contact to Logan, hoping to
reach him, and maybe sort out the problems that had formed between
them, but Logan had shut him out and turned away, without wanting to
sort anything out.
All he did was snort, and give Magneto an angry and hateful stare.
The grey-haired man had not said anything, but he had stayed close to
Charles, determined not to let it affect him, but the hatred in
Wolverine's eyes had frightened him.
Cyclops and Storm were also quiet and had dogged expressions. They
did not say much. Storm was the only one of the five people there who
So far she had stood by herself and not spoken anything, but
suddenly she approached Logan, and gently put her slight hand on his
Logan winced from her touch, despite that her hand was as light as
a butterfly. He lifted his head when he felt her hand, but said
nothing and buried his head in his hands again when he saw who it
Now everyone could see Logan had traces of tears around her eyes
and on his cheeks. It was the first time ever they saw him cry, but
no one mentioned anything, considering his current mood.
- Logan? Storm said gently. Logan, don't be sad, she said. I am
sure she will be alright. Rogue is strong. She will surely be fine.
Don't worry. Logan?
- Why isn't Jean coming? Logan asked in a muffled voice, so
he could barely be heard. Why doesn't she come here and say
Can some tell me that? Why isn't she notifying us?!
- Jean will come when she's ready, Storm replied soothingly and
rubbed Logan between his shoulder blades to calm him. She will.
The beautiful, white-haired woman did not know what else to say.
Her large, dark eyes expressed sympathy and understanding, but she
realized there was no way to calm Logan right now.
She had also not avoided noticing Logan's attitude towards
and Magneto's close relation. It troubled her too. For a short
Logan had actually looked like he had wanted to attack Magneto and
kill him. But maybe that was because he was upset and worried about
Rogue. Storm hoped so.
She could understand Logan's feelings, but she also wanted
her mentor, and the only father she had ever known, to be happy. And
if he was happy with Magneto, then it was fine with her.
Another ten minutes passed before the door to the med-lab opened
and Jean stepped outside.
At once Logan flew up from his chair. The glassy expression, which
he had had in his eyes when he carried an unconscious Rogue to Jean
and Scott's room returned now, and Logan was staring.
The other four also stared. Jean did not have to be a telepath to
understand what they all wanted to ask. It could be seen clearly
Jean looked serious and resolute when she met their looks. A
horrible thought formed in Logan's head. Something told him that
was not good at all, whatever she was about to say.
- She isn't...? he asked hoarsely, with a voice raucous with
or tears, whatever.
- No, no... Jean replied and pulled a deep breath. No, Logan, she
- But...? Logan asked, since he had a sense Jean had not said
everything that should be said.
- But she has not regained consciousness yet, Jean said. Her vital
signs are stabile, but it can be a while before she wakes up.
- But she *will* wake up, won't she? Logan exclaimed.
- Most likely, yes, I believe she will...
- Jeannie, come on! What's wrong with her? Just tell me
Logan slumped in his chair again, and buried his head in his hands
one more time. They could all see his shoulders were shaking.
Jean continued: - This is how it is, she began. Rogue has suffered
an allergic reaction.
- An allergic reaction? Charles asked and frowned. What triggered
- That's what I am trying to find out, Jean replied with a
But as it looks now, I am quite sure.
- Then what was it? Logan wondered. Rogue's not allergic to
anything, is she?
- It is the serum, said Jean. Currently everything points to that
she has become allergic to the serum.
- What? You mean the serum that inhibits her power, so she can
- Yes, Logan. That is exactly what I mean, Jean said.
Logan passed his hand over his face and inhaled deeply. Then he
stood up again and looked at Jean, who remained by the door of the
- But how could it have happened? he asked. She hasn't been
allergic to it before.
- That is what I'm trying to...find out, Jean said with a hint
uncertainty in her voice. It had probably happened sooner or later
anyway, she continued, but a very strong outburst of feelings may
have sped up the process. Eh, Logan...
Jean saw that five sets of curious and questioning eyes had been
focused on her. She assumed that what she just said had a point, but
if it was so, she wanted to discuss it with Logan in private, not
- Logan, she repeated and motioned at him to come to her, so that
they could talk privately. She thought this concerned him more than
all the others, and if she wanted to find out something valuable, he
was the one to ask.
- What, Jeannie? Logan asked wearily and snuffled, but he did come.
Jean looked him gravely in the eyes before she answered.
- I want you to answer some questions about Rogue, she said. I am
asking you, since she is your girlfriend, and you know her better
than the others do. So what I'm asking is if you know what could
triggered the allergic reaction? Has Rogue experienced heightened
emotional stress lately? Anger, fury, grief, euphoric happiness, et
- Eh, yes... She had apparently had some problems with some other
kids as late as today. She was very upset. She was crying. But the
fault was Magneto's, he added and gave the other mutant an angry
glare right across the room.
- Let's not go into whose fault it was, said Jean, who
what Logan felt about Magneto, and therefore knew he was probably
exaggerating. But however, she was upset?
- Very. She said she even thought about running away again.
- Alright, I see. So it was that bad...
- What, you think that might have...-
- It's possible, but did she do anything else that might have
awoken strong feelings, just before she collapsed? Do you know
Logan sighed and looked down at the floor before he met Jean's
again. It felt slightly embarrassing to talk about this with Jean,
but he realized he had no choice.
- We had sex, he explained. Then we slept for a while, and I woke
up by hearing her fall down to the floor.
- I see, Jean said seriously. Two strong emotional outbursts in a
row can have been a contributing cause. But we know nothing for sure.
Now we just have to wait and see.
- Will she be alright? Logan asked one more time. Answer me. Will
- I believe she will, but if it's the serum that she is
to, then she can't continue taking it.
- Stop taking it? But that means...she won't...
- I know, Jean replied. She won't be able to touch people
But she will be healthy.
Logan shook his head. - But that will break her!
Jean put her hand on his shoulder in order to calm him.
- Logan, the most important right now is her health. It is
important that we all support her and help her to heal. Maybe it is
possible to develop a new serum, we'll see.
- Can I go see her? asked Logan.
- Not tonight. I have to run more tests and do more research.
Besides she is unconscious for now. If she happens to wake up, I will
get you at once.
- Yes, of course. Don't worry, Logan. She will get through
Jean gave Logan a friendly pat on the shoulder before she turned to
the rest and told them the most important bits.
- As you may already know, I have to run more tests, she said. It
will take the whole night, and no one can visit her yet. We'll
how she feels tomorrow morning. That is all for now. I have to go
back in and see what I can do.
Jean turned her back on them and went back into the med-lab. The
other five remained silent after she had gone.
Logan remained where he had been standing while he talked to Jean,
and leaned his head against the cool, white plaster that the wall was
made of. His feelings were mixed. Of course it was a relief to hear
that Rogue would survive, but it was also a hard blow to know she
would have to go back to her old life, without physical human
contact. It would break her. He was sure of that.
Logan did not know for how long he stood there, resting against the
wall, when he suddenly heard footsteps approaching, and shortly after
he felt a hand on his arm. He lifted his head and opened his eyes to
see who it was.
It was Magneto. The old man was looking at him, and his pale-blue
eyes expressed true pain and sympathy.
- Logan, he said gently. I am sorry...
But Logan saw none of this. He jerked as though he had been touched
by a rattlesnake. The mere sight of Erik Lehnsherr filled him with a
strange kind of exploding fury he had rarely felt before. It made him
react very violently.
Logan swung his arm and punched his fist straight into the other
man's face. A surprised and muffled cry sounded from Magneto, and
punch immediately knocked him down to the floor.
Logan fury was however not over. He proceeded with another blow,
another one, and another one. He beat the skinny, lying figure on the
floor time after time and didn't seem to be able to stop.
The first punch, that knocked him down, already rendered Erik
almost unconscious. He didn't really know what happened then,
that he was being beaten badly. He tried to curl as much as possible,
and protect his head with his arms, but there was not much more that
he could do. Logan hit him everywhere, and the blows were terrible.
Logan's mad fury grew during the assault. Magneto did not give
sounds, but Logan wanted to hear him scream, and beat harder and
harder to get him to it.
But after some time Magneto was not even *capable* of screaming
anymore. Still Logan continued.
- It's your fault, your fucking fault, you fucking faggot kike,
it's your fault!! he bellowed in fury while he beat him as hard
The others were shouting at him to stop, but he barely heard them.
All he could focus on was to hurt Magneto.
When the others noticed Logan did not stop the assault, Cyclops was
the first to act. He rushed to Logan and grabbed him and tried to
tear him away from the lying figure on the floor, that was Erik.
In spite that Scott pulled as hard as he could, he didn't
pull Logan away. Logan was stronger and much heavier, and when he was
furious, like now, his strength somehow redoubled, and Scott
stand a chance.
Storm came to his aid. The blows were still hailing over Magneto,
and they both knew they had to act fast if they wanted to save him.
They grabbed one arm each and pulled with all their united
Storm was not a big woman, nor was she physically strong, but
together she and Scott were still strong enough to pull Logan back,
and away from Magneto.
Logan was forced to stop the assault. Storm and Cyclops held him
until they were sure he would not attack Magneto again. When they
released their hold, Logan tore loose at once and rushed away. No one
tried to stop him. That would have been unwise.
Erik was almost unconscious. As through a red fog that had been
laid all over his mind, he realized the beating had stopped. He knew
he was badly beaten.
One of his eyes was completely swollen and blood was dripping from
his broken nose and from his mouth. His lips were bloodied and split
and his head was booming. He lay with his face against the floor and
every part of his body ached. The pain was not only on the outside,
but deep down inside him as well. He could not move. Would he ever
Charles Xavier had witnessed the horrible scene, when his beloved
Erik had been beaten and reduced to a lying, bloody little heap on
He sat slumped in his wheelchair and just cried. He was so
despaired and shocked he didn't know what to do. He was not even
if Erik was still alive.
How could Logan do something like that? Charles did not understand.
Sure, Logan disliked Erik, and that was nothing new, but what had
made him react so beyond all reason? What had made him react like
A while passed before anyone did anything at all. Scott and Storm
just stood there, staring blankly and perplexedly at each other and
then at Magneto, who lay beaten and unconscious on the floor. They
didn't seem to know what to do either.
- Help him... Charles suddenly sobbed. Scott, Ro... please, help
Then his voice broke the sobs took over completely. Storm jerked
and Scott inhaled sharply at the sound of his voice. They stared at
one another again, but now they had obviously woken up.
- Scott, Storm said lowly and grabbed his arm. Get Jean. Now.
Scott didn't say a word, but he complied immediately and pulled
open the door to the med-lab. Storm herself kneeled beside Magneto,
who lay in a fetal position on the floor, and took his bloody and
limp head in her hands.
The event seemed unreal to her. It was Logan's handiwork. She
recalled seeing Logan, just beat and beat and beat. He even continued
beating after knocking Magneto to the floor.
She was no doctor, but she was not sure Magneto would survive this.
What would happen to Logan then? And to Charles?
Jean came. She did not care to ask what had happened when she saw
the lying, bloodied shape, but she knew without asking.
What she did instead was to act as professionally as possible, and
see what could be done. After seeing Magneto she was not sure she
could do much.
She quickly checked his vital signs and could state he was still
alive. But it was bad. His face was so bloody that it was hard to
even see clean skin. One eye was swollen and had started to go black,
and the rest of his face looked to be mush, basically.
Before she dared moving him, she put a splint around his neck,
afraid he might have a neck injury, which could worsen if he was
Then Scott lifted him into his arms, despite that his face
expressed disgust when blood from the injured mutant stained his T-
shirt. Jean walked beside him and tried to keep Magneto's head in
place. She realized it had to be done, despite that she had already
put the splint on him.
Jean was shocked. She had never in her life seen anyone so badly
beaten. She was sure of one thing - a few more blows, and Erik
Lehnsherr had already been dead. Maybe he would die anyway. She
couldn't tell yet. But she was going to do everything in her
make him live. Although, Magneto was a slender, frail old man, and
she did not know if his body could survive an assault like this.
She was most afraid of how Charles would react if he died now. She
had seen her mentor and teacher sit slumped and just sob hysterically
while she and Scott and Storm had tried to help Magneto.
Seeing Charles Xavier like that frightened her almost more than
what Logan did to Erik.
If Magneto died, then how would he react?