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stormfreak

author: stormfreak
fandom: x-men alternate universe
disclaimer: neither stormfreak nor I own the x-men. stormfreak has kindly allowed me to archive on century and van nez here.
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On Century and Van Nez, by stormfreak
Chapter One: Blame it on the Sun



They say that legends never die. Goddesses never die.



They lied.



They say that when you lose your loved ones, the skies are always gray, the world black.



They lied.



I’m burying a legend and a goddess today. And it’s beautiful out here. I don’t want to be here. I want to be at the mall, or at the lake. Anywhere but here.



It’s my fault. It’s my fault they’re dead.



I was supposed to be on time. Wolvie always bitched to me about being on time. Even when I managed to wheedle him out of driving his Humvee to the mall, the last thing he told me over the phone was, “Be on time.” He couldn’t ride the subway home - too confining for his new wife, Storm. So the second he called me on my cell, I was supposed to jet out the mall and meet them on Century and Van Nez, across the street from the doctor’s office. Ororo had been feeling poorly, and Wolverine was dragging her to see a doctor.



But I didn’t listen. I was almost out the door when I saw the cutest Playboy shirt on sale. The salesgirl turned out to be new, and it took forever for me to hightail it out of there once Logan called. He even called me again, while I was on my way. “Yer supposed t’be here already!”



“Geez, Wolverine, calm down! I’m, like, ten minutes away.”



“Get here NOW! My wife needs to lay down an’ get plenty of rest!”



“Logan!” I could hear Storm’s melodic laughter in the background. “I have told you a hundred times that I feel fine - stop yelling at that poor child!”



“Is Storm okay?” I had asked, concerned.



“Y’bet she’s okay - she’s havin‘ my kid. Now get yer ass over here!” Click.



I was so happy that I nearly wrecked the Humvee. A baby! How fantastic! Then I thought of Ro and Wolvie doin’ it. Ick. I mean, they were like my mom and dad. And Logan was probably old enough to be my grandfather. Hell, my great-grandfather.



I reached the corner, and honked the horn, even though a car that huge had to have been spotted. Storm noticed me first, and waved. I waved back just as a nurse came out of the building across the street. Seems that Wolverine had forgotten to sign a paper or something. He went back inside, and Ororo began to cross the street.



It happened so fast, that I still don’t believe it. One minute, she was walking toward me, a bright smile on her face, her right hand on her stomach. I remember how she looked as she was coming, so overjoyed and full of life. Like the Virgin Mary must’ve looked. Half a second later, she was gone, knocked down by a blur of red. Then there was nothing. The car raced on. Other cars began honking and screeching their tires. Some people began to scream and call for help. But Ororo? She didn’t move. I learned later from the police report that she had been knocked down at over 75 miles an hour. She went up in the air so high, she landed on her head. No longer a walking goddess, Ororo lay on the ground, her white hair turned nearly brown. There was a bone protruding from her neck, where it had snapped, and blood was coming out of her mouth. Her eyes, normally so bright and blue. had glazed over in death. I started screaming, and I just kept screaming until I passed out.



I guess it was just for a minute, because I saw Logan come out of the doctor’s office. When he saw Ororo laying there, he went into berserker mode right then and there. He unsheathed his claws and went after every car in sight. People were so terrified, someone actually called the Bronx Zoo to come and pick the beast up and save the crowd. Newscasters came, photojournalists, those damned FoH bastards…it was a nightmare. A zookeeper had the ridiculous notion that he could tranquilize Wolverine. He actually shot Logan with a damned dart! Do you think that stopped a man with infinite healing power? Hell, no. But what he did after he was shot hurt me to my heart. Walking around as if drunk, he staggered to Storm’s body and laid his head on her chest, stroking his cheek against her cotton sweater, and wouldn’t move. It took about four policemen - plus another tranquilizer dart - to pry him away from Ororo.



After than, he went into a sedated mode. For about three days, Logan sat in Ororo’s rocking chair and didn’t say a word. Didn’t eat. Didn’t sleep. Didn’t move. Scott and the professor had to go and identify the body. Everyone tried talking to him, tried to get him to grieve, but no one could shake him out of his coma. Even if he had gone in another rage, it would’ve been better than seeing him looking out of a window with a vacant look in his eye.



Gambit took off. We knew he would. Remy was in love with Ororo, even if he wouldn’t admit it out loud. We could tell. It was the way he looked at her when she entered a room, or how jealous he got when his “padnat” started dating Wolverine. Right after Storm and Wolverine’s wedding, he hopped on his bike and stayed in New Orleans for seven weeks. He came back as quietly as he had left, but things were never the same between Storm and Gambit again. So Remy leaving the mansion again when we learned of Storm’s death didn’t shock anyone. We just wondered if he’d make the funeral. Of course, he didn’t. We haven’t heard from him since.



Forty-eight hours before Ororo’s burial, I heard shrieking coming from Wolverine and Storm’s room. I jumped out of bed and raced toward the noise. When I managed to push past the crowd, I could see why Rogue was in a state of panic. Logan was still in that chair, only now he was wrapped up in a thick, plush robe that Ororo always wore after her evening shower. He had always said that he loved her in that robe, because she smelled like springtime. Apparently he wanted the scent of her skin to accompany him to his death. Isn’t that ironic? I mean, the man had infinite healing power. I thought he would live to be a million. But just like Christ in the Bible, he had simply bowed his head and given up his spirit.* The coroners want us to believe that he committed suicide. Scott told me that I jumped up and slapped one of them when he told us that, but I don’t remember it. I know he didn’t kill himself. He died of a broken heart. Just when Logan had opened his heart to a woman, loved her, married her, consummated her, fate went and took her away. It was too much for him. Any of us could see that.



We buried our mountain man on a Sunday, with the sun high in the sky, with birds chirping and children playing outside. It was the perfect day, the kind of day that would’ve seen Ororo in her garden and Logan on the lake, fishing. Not the kind of day to bury a legend, a soldier, an X-Man. In Logan’s hands was a small, silver urn with Ororo’s name engraved on it; inside were her ashes. Jean came up with that idea; she figured that they should be buried together, that they’d like that. Someone screamed at her, “They’d rather be alive, you stupid bitch!” Later I found out it was me.



I’m looking around now. I can’t see Scott’s eyes behind his visor, but I can see his face stained with tear trails. He’s holding Jean up, who is too hysterical to stand up straight. After all, not only had she lost her sister, she lost the man she truly loved. Remy wasn’t the only person who took a trip after the wedding. Warren is holding a weeping Psylocke in his arms; Bobby is standing with the professor and Beast, his jovial spirit hidden behind teary eyes. Only Rogue is missing. Seeing Logan dead forced her into early labor - she and Joseph are still at the hospital. They had a girl, and named her Ororo Logan. Rogue fought tooth and nail, but they wouldn’t release her today.



The students are sobbing openly - Kitty, John, Angelo, Everett, Monet…I should be crying with them, but I feel so unattached, so distant from the Gen Xers. I feel like crying, but I can’t. I don’t deserve to. No matter how many times people tell me it’s not my fault they’re gone, I know - I just know - that if I hadn’t have stopped for that shirt, they’d still be here. That shirt is still in the plastic bag, complete with receipt. Maybe I’ll never wear it. Maybe I’ll wear it every day, as a reminder of what I did. As a reminder to be on time. As a reminder to take care of other people first, instead of myself.



I hear the first clump of dirt hit the coffin, and I know that this isn’t a bad joke or a nightmare. Logan’s healing powers aren’t going to kick in now. Storm’s not going to be resurrected.



Wolvie always wanted me to learn to be on time. Too bad it took him and Storm dying for me to learn.



Goodbye, Logan, Wolverine, Wolvie, Canucklehead.



Farewell, Ororo, Storm, Goddess, Wind Rider.



I’m so sorry.



*



“But I'll blame it on the sun,

The sun that didn't shine,

I'll blame it on the wind and the trees.

I'll blame it on the time that never was enough,

I'll blame it on the tide and the sea,

But my heart blames it on me.”

- Stevie Wonder



TBC


On Century and Van Nez, by stormfreak

Chapter Two: Please Forgive Me



They’re about to close the coffin. I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe they’re dead. I know that any moment, someone’s going to wake me up, take me out of this nightmare.



It’s my fault, you know. It’s my fault they’re dead. I was jealous. My jealousy killed my best friend...and the man I loved. The man I still love so much that it hurts. It hurts to see his body in that box, hard to see those strong hands that once caressed me in dark corners now holding the urn containing his wife’s ashes. His wife...his wife. Ororo, his wife. My best friend. It just wasn’t fair!



Ororo knew I was in love with Logan, but she never said a word. She let me long for him while I was married to Scott. She never looked down on me while I tossed my marriage to the wind for forbidden love. Maybe if she had, I wouldn’t have hated her so much. But Storm wasn’t the type to look down on people. Her opinion was simply that if I wanted to make an ass of myself and chase after another man while I was married, it was my prerogative. (To be fair, though, she told Logan something similar.) I always took it for granted that Logan would always be around, always there when I needed him.



But...but one day I guess I stopped paying attention. I had gotten into a horrible fight with Scott one night, and found myself fleeing to Ororo’s attic room. She wasn’t there, so I figured she had to be in the greenhouse. When I got there, I was about to knock on the door when my mind was overpowered with this force that I can’t even describe. It rooted me to the floor and shook my soul. My mind told me to leave, but my heart forced me to push open the door.



That’s when I saw them, engaged in this...ritual...that only people with souls as wild as Logan or Ororo could engage in. Her head thrown back, hair cascading like an ivory over her naked shoulder, on her knees, her nails digging into the soil, streaks of dirt across her face, her breasts, her legs...and there was my man, MY love, with his hands on her hips, ramming himself deep inside of her from behind while she cried out. His brows were furrowed, sweat dripping from his forehead, concentrating solely on the task at hand. Suddenly, he stopped, his whole lower body began to convulse, and she shrieked in what had to be the purest of ecstasy. I ran then, away from what I knew had to be real.



Logan was in love with Ororo.



I give Storm credit. I really do. She didn’t humiliate me by asking me to be the maid of honor at her wedding. Jubilee took my place. Storm knew I was in love with Logan, but she never called me out over it. She always treated me the same. I had to go; otherwise Scott would’ve wondered what was wrong. I tried to smile, tried my damndest to look happy, but when Logan took Ororo’s slender hands in his rough ones and began to recite wedding vows - vows that he wrote for her - I felt tears streaming down my face. I had to play it off like I was just incredibly happy. But in reality, I just wanted to die. It’s what I deserved, though, for marrying the first man who loved me. Logan had told me that, so long ago...



I had been looking for her one day, to get back my book that she had borrowed from me. I did a quick mind scan and realized that she wasn’t even in the mansion - she was on the corner of Century and Van Nez. Her thoughts were racing and happy, bubbling like brown sugar.
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<storm?>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

author: stormfreak
fandom: x-men alternate universe
disclaimer: neither stormfreak nor I own the x-men. stormfreak has kindly allowed me to archive on century and van nez here.
feedback: <a href="mailto:stormfreak82@yahoo.com"> feed stormfreak</a>
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<lj-cut text="On Century and Van Nez">

On Century and Van Nez, by stormfreak
Chapter One: Blame it on the Sun



They say that legends never die. Goddesses never die.



They lied.



They say that when you lose your loved ones, the skies are always gray, the world black.



They lied.



I’m burying a legend and a goddess today. And it’s beautiful out here. I don’t want to be here. I want to be at the mall, or at the lake. Anywhere but here.



It’s my fault. It’s my fault they’re dead.



I was supposed to be on time. Wolvie always bitched to me about being on time. Even when I managed to wheedle him out of driving his Humvee to the mall, the last thing he told me over the phone was, “Be on time.” He couldn’t ride the subway home - too confining for his new wife, Storm. So the second he called me on my cell, I was supposed to jet out the mall and meet them on Century and Van Nez, across the street from the doctor’s office. Ororo had been feeling poorly, and Wolverine was dragging her to see a doctor.



But I didn’t listen. I was almost out the door when I saw the cutest Playboy shirt on sale. The salesgirl turned out to be new, and it took forever for me to hightail it out of there once Logan called. He even called me again, while I was on my way. “Yer supposed t’be here already!”



“Geez, Wolverine, calm down! I’m, like, ten minutes away.”



“Get here NOW! My wife needs to lay down an’ get plenty of rest!”



“Logan!” I could hear Storm’s melodic laughter in the background. “I have told you a hundred times that I feel fine - stop yelling at that poor child!”



“Is Storm okay?” I had asked, concerned.



“Y’bet she’s okay - she’s havin‘ my kid. Now get yer ass over here!” Click.



I was so happy that I nearly wrecked the Humvee. A baby! How fantastic! Then I thought of Ro and Wolvie doin’ it. Ick. I mean, they were like my mom and dad. And Logan was probably old enough to be my grandfather. Hell, my great-grandfather.



I reached the corner, and honked the horn, even though a car that huge had to have been spotted. Storm noticed me first, and waved. I waved back just as a nurse came out of the building across the street. Seems that Wolverine had forgotten to sign a paper or something. He went back inside, and Ororo began to cross the street.



It happened so fast, that I still don’t believe it. One minute, she was walking toward me, a bright smile on her face, her right hand on her stomach. I remember how she looked as she was coming, so overjoyed and full of life. Like the Virgin Mary must’ve looked. Half a second later, she was gone, knocked down by a blur of red. Then there was nothing. The car raced on. Other cars began honking and screeching their tires. Some people began to scream and call for help. But Ororo? She didn’t move. I learned later from the police report that she had been knocked down at over 75 miles an hour. She went up in the air so high, she landed on her head. No longer a walking goddess, Ororo lay on the ground, her white hair turned nearly brown. There was a bone protruding from her neck, where it had snapped, and blood was coming out of her mouth. Her eyes, normally so bright and blue. had glazed over in death. I started screaming, and I just kept screaming until I passed out.



I guess it was just for a minute, because I saw Logan come out of the doctor’s office. When he saw Ororo laying there, he went into berserker mode right then and there. He unsheathed his claws and went after every car in sight. People were so terrified, someone actually called the Bronx Zoo to come and pick the beast up and save the crowd. Newscasters came, photojournalists, those damned FoH bastards…it was a nightmare. A zookeeper had the ridiculous notion that he could tranquilize Wolverine. He actually shot Logan with a damned dart! Do you think that stopped a man with infinite healing power? Hell, no. But what he did after he was shot hurt me to my heart. Walking around as if drunk, he staggered to Storm’s body and laid his head on her chest, stroking his cheek against her cotton sweater, and wouldn’t move. It took about four policemen - plus another tranquilizer dart - to pry him away from Ororo.



After than, he went into a sedated mode. For about three days, Logan sat in Ororo’s rocking chair and didn’t say a word. Didn’t eat. Didn’t sleep. Didn’t move. Scott and the professor had to go and identify the body. Everyone tried talking to him, tried to get him to grieve, but no one could shake him out of his coma. Even if he had gone in another rage, it would’ve been better than seeing him looking out of a window with a vacant look in his eye.



Gambit took off. We knew he would. Remy was in love with Ororo, even if he wouldn’t admit it out loud. We could tell. It was the way he looked at her when she entered a room, or how jealous he got when his “padnat” started dating Wolverine. Right after Storm and Wolverine’s wedding, he hopped on his bike and stayed in New Orleans for seven weeks. He came back as quietly as he had left, but things were never the same between Storm and Gambit again. So Remy leaving the mansion again when we learned of Storm’s death didn’t shock anyone. We just wondered if he’d make the funeral. Of course, he didn’t. We haven’t heard from him since.



Forty-eight hours before Ororo’s burial, I heard shrieking coming from Wolverine and Storm’s room. I jumped out of bed and raced toward the noise. When I managed to push past the crowd, I could see why Rogue was in a state of panic. Logan was still in that chair, only now he was wrapped up in a thick, plush robe that Ororo always wore after her evening shower. He had always said that he loved her in that robe, because she smelled like springtime. Apparently he wanted the scent of her skin to accompany him to his death. Isn’t that ironic? I mean, the man had infinite healing power. I thought he would live to be a million. But just like Christ in the Bible, he had simply bowed his head and given up his spirit.* The coroners want us to believe that he committed suicide. Scott told me that I jumped up and slapped one of them when he told us that, but I don’t remember it. I know he didn’t kill himself. He died of a broken heart. Just when Logan had opened his heart to a woman, loved her, married her, consummated her, fate went and took her away. It was too much for him. Any of us could see that.



We buried our mountain man on a Sunday, with the sun high in the sky, with birds chirping and children playing outside. It was the perfect day, the kind of day that would’ve seen Ororo in her garden and Logan on the lake, fishing. Not the kind of day to bury a legend, a soldier, an X-Man. In Logan’s hands was a small, silver urn with Ororo’s name engraved on it; inside were her ashes. Jean came up with that idea; she figured that they should be buried together, that they’d like that. Someone screamed at her, “They’d rather be alive, you stupid bitch!” Later I found out it was me.



I’m looking around now. I can’t see Scott’s eyes behind his visor, but I can see his face stained with tear trails. He’s holding Jean up, who is too hysterical to stand up straight. After all, not only had she lost her sister, she lost the man she truly loved. Remy wasn’t the only person who took a trip after the wedding. Warren is holding a weeping Psylocke in his arms; Bobby is standing with the professor and Beast, his jovial spirit hidden behind teary eyes. Only Rogue is missing. Seeing Logan dead forced her into early labor - she and Joseph are still at the hospital. They had a girl, and named her Ororo Logan. Rogue fought tooth and nail, but they wouldn’t release her today.



The students are sobbing openly - Kitty, John, Angelo, Everett, Monet…I should be crying with them, but I feel so unattached, so distant from the Gen Xers. I feel like crying, but I can’t. I don’t deserve to. No matter how many times people tell me it’s not my fault they’re gone, I know - I just know - that if I hadn’t have stopped for that shirt, they’d still be here. That shirt is still in the plastic bag, complete with receipt. Maybe I’ll never wear it. Maybe I’ll wear it every day, as a reminder of what I did. As a reminder to be on time. As a reminder to take care of other people first, instead of myself.



I hear the first clump of dirt hit the coffin, and I know that this isn’t a bad joke or a nightmare. Logan’s healing powers aren’t going to kick in now. Storm’s not going to be resurrected.



Wolvie always wanted me to learn to be on time. Too bad it took him and Storm dying for me to learn.



Goodbye, Logan, Wolverine, Wolvie, Canucklehead.



Farewell, Ororo, Storm, Goddess, Wind Rider.



I’m so sorry.



*



“But I'll blame it on the sun,

The sun that didn't shine,

I'll blame it on the wind and the trees.

I'll blame it on the time that never was enough,

I'll blame it on the tide and the sea,

But my heart blames it on me.”

- Stevie Wonder



TBC


On Century and Van Nez, by stormfreak

Chapter Two: Please Forgive Me



They’re about to close the coffin. I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe they’re dead. I know that any moment, someone’s going to wake me up, take me out of this nightmare.



It’s my fault, you know. It’s my fault they’re dead. I was jealous. My jealousy killed my best friend...and the man I loved. The man I still love so much that it hurts. It hurts to see his body in that box, hard to see those strong hands that once caressed me in dark corners now holding the urn containing his wife’s ashes. His wife...his wife. Ororo, his wife. My best friend. It just wasn’t fair!



Ororo knew I was in love with Logan, but she never said a word. She let me long for him while I was married to Scott. She never looked down on me while I tossed my marriage to the wind for forbidden love. Maybe if she had, I wouldn’t have hated her so much. But Storm wasn’t the type to look down on people. Her opinion was simply that if I wanted to make an ass of myself and chase after another man while I was married, it was my prerogative. (To be fair, though, she told Logan something similar.) I always took it for granted that Logan would always be around, always there when I needed him.



But...but one day I guess I stopped paying attention. I had gotten into a horrible fight with Scott one night, and found myself fleeing to Ororo’s attic room. She wasn’t there, so I figured she had to be in the greenhouse. When I got there, I was about to knock on the door when my mind was overpowered with this force that I can’t even describe. It rooted me to the floor and shook my soul. My mind told me to leave, but my heart forced me to push open the door.



That’s when I saw them, engaged in this...ritual...that only people with souls as wild as Logan or Ororo could engage in. Her head thrown back, hair cascading like an ivory over her naked shoulder, on her knees, her nails digging into the soil, streaks of dirt across her face, her breasts, her legs...and there was my man, MY love, with his hands on her hips, ramming himself deep inside of her from behind while she cried out. His brows were furrowed, sweat dripping from his forehead, concentrating solely on the task at hand. Suddenly, he stopped, his whole lower body began to convulse, and she shrieked in what had to be the purest of ecstasy. I ran then, away from what I knew had to be real.



Logan was in love with Ororo.



I give Storm credit. I really do. She didn’t humiliate me by asking me to be the maid of honor at her wedding. Jubilee took my place. Storm knew I was in love with Logan, but she never called me out over it. She always treated me the same. I had to go; otherwise Scott would’ve wondered what was wrong. I tried to smile, tried my damndest to look happy, but when Logan took Ororo’s slender hands in his rough ones and began to recite wedding vows - vows that he wrote for her - I felt tears streaming down my face. I had to play it off like I was just incredibly happy. But in reality, I just wanted to die. It’s what I deserved, though, for marrying the first man who loved me. Logan had told me that, so long ago...



I had been looking for her one day, to get back my book that she had borrowed from me. I did a quick mind scan and realized that she wasn’t even in the mansion - she was on the corner of Century and Van Nez. Her thoughts were racing and happy, bubbling like brown sugar. <Storm?>



<Jean! Jean, I’m pregnant! Logan and I are going to have a baby!>



The problem with being inside someone’s mind when you receive earth-shattering news is that the person can hear your reaction. I don’t know what went through my mind at that exact moment, but I remember Ororo’s response. <Jean, I -I...I thought...I thought you’d be happy for me, for us, finally...>



<Ro!> It was too late. She was a psi-blocker by nature, so I couldn’t get inside her head. I picked up my phone and tried to dial her cell, but she wasn’t responding. I didn’t know what I was about to say, but I knew I had to apologize. Frantically, I kept trying to scan her mind. And for a brief moment, I connected with her. She was distracted. Distracted with thoughts of me when that red car hit her. I was the last thing on her mind when she catapulted into the air and came down on her neck. Not her husband, not her new baby...me.



My jealously was what killed her. It’s my fault she’s dead!



And Logan? Everyone thinks that he slipped into this trance and never came out of it, but that’s not true. Not true at all. The night before he died, I crept into his room...their room. He was dressed in his gi, wielding two large katana blades. Twirling them in the moonlight, he looked so powerful, so sad...and so sexy. “Logan?” I called gently.



He turned around, his gi open, revealing his broad chest, lined with sweat. “Hey, Red,” he called, a sad smile across his rugged face.



“I-I’m glad you’re feeling better,” I said. “Everyone was so worried about you, Wolverine. You should eat something.”



“Not hungry.” Logan dropped his blades and sank to the floor. “Sad, yes. Angry, of course. But hungry? Nope.”



I sat next to Logan, inhaling the scent of his cologne and his male scent, musky, yet sweet. I felt my mind whirl. We talked for such a long time, but I can’t tell you what on earth we discussed. All I could do was think of how sad Logan was, and how I wanted to comfort him...



And I mourned for Ororo. I did! She was my sister, and I loved her! But I loved Logan, had loved this man for as long as I could remember, at that time I wasn’t Mrs. Scott Summers and I knew I was wrong, but...when he turned his face to mine, and I saw all the anguish in his eyes, I leaned forward and kissed him softly. On the cheek first, then the bridge of his nose, then his lips...I can still taste his lips on mine. That was right before my head was slammed against the floor. Two adamantium claws were placed on both sides of my head. When I looked into Logan’s eyes, I saw disgust and a hatred I had never seen before. “Get. Out.”



“Logan-”



“I loved you once. I don’t love you anymore, and I never will. You think you’re gonna disrespect the memory of my wife like this? Some friend you are, Jeannie. I don’t ever recall Storm makin’ a pass at One-Eye when we thought you were dead. She was too much woman for all that twice the woman you’ll ever be. Now get the fuck out.”



Those were his last words to me. When we heard Rogue screaming, even before we made it to the room, I knew he was dead. He hadn’t taken his life, like the coroners thought. He had simply decided to die. That’s how much power he had over his own body. He had stopped bullets and lived through countless wars, but he couldn’t live without his Ro. It was his final “fuck you” to me - his way of letting me know that he wasn’t my puppet anymore. He had gone on to the woman he really loved. The one he wrote wedding vows for. The one he loved in public, not private.



And now I grieve in public for the man I love in private. And I grieve for the sister I killed with my own poisoned thoughts. They’ve gone, but I’m stuck here.



Oh, Ororo, Logan, please forgive me!



*



Please forgive me, I know not what I do...

Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you...

Don't deny me, this pain I'm going through

Please forgive me, if I need you like I do

Please believe me; every word I say is true

Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you.

- Bryan Adams

TBC

On Century and Van Nez 0 0
On Century and Van Nez

Chapter Three: You Make Me Sick



They are burying two X-Men today. But I’ll only miss one – ironically, the one I hate. The other one could rot in hell for all I care. But Ororo? How could she just up and die like that?



*

Ororo Munroe was our poster girl for wet dreams. It’s hard to think of her as someone’s wife or mother, because all she was to us was the fantasy girl, doing things in our sleep that she would never do in real life. We dreamed of her – oh, yes, even me. Good ol’ Slim Summers. I had that girl doing things in my fantasies that I would never ask my own wife to do. Not that she isn’t capable. But they were just harmless fantasies. Every man has them – the dream about the wife’s sexy best friend, right?



It was an X-Man’s rite of passage to lust over Storm. Seeing her walk down the hall in a pair of tight jeans and a half-shirt was enough to make us all stop in our tracks. I was standing with the Professor one day when she walked past the open office door in this Lawd-have-mercy dress, and we both stared as she walked by.



I remember – painfully – back to the day I thought I could impress Ororo with my forcefulness. The day, when I was only twenty-two, that I pushed her against a wall and rammed my tongue down her throat. I remember – and it hurts to do so – the way she chuckled softly when I was finished, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.



“Scott. Come on, now.”



Those were the words she said, along with a roll of her sky-blue eyes and a toss of silver hair over her creamy brown shoulder as she walked away from me. I wanted to kill that arrogant little bitch. She thought she was so damned sexy…and yet, she had NO man. So when the years rolled by, I relished her loneliness. I laughed when I married Jean, and she, the matron of honor, had no date to our wedding. I whooped it up on Valentine’s Day, when she was the only one left in the mansion year after year. I howled when Forge left her, and when the relationship with her and Bishop didn’t work out. And the more that the light in those fiery aquamarine eyes began to fade, the more I laughed. It was good to see her knocked down a peg, her nose a little lower from the sky.



*



“Now that’s more like it!”



I turned from my cleaning to see what Iceman was whooping about. He was looking through our two-way mirror, the one that hung in our counselor’s office. Ororo was on the other side, incapable of seeing us. She was tending to a plant in the main office, and her large, succulent breasts were in full view.



“Oh, mon dieu,” Gambit moaned, grabbing his balls crudely. “Take it off, chere, take it off fo’ Remy…”



“She wouldn’t know what to do with them, Remy,” I remarked dryly. “She’d probably choke and die on ‘em.”



“ I could teach her what to do with mine,” Warren remarked appreciatively as Ororo bent over to set the plant down. “Hey, she’s has to learn some time.”



We whooped with cruel laughter. It was our game. I mentioned how Ororo turning us down was commonplace. Why we tried to talk to her was beyond me – it was like trying to go over an electric fence. It didn’t bring any of us closer to Ororo Munroe, other than friendship, but making fun of her lack of sexuality feel better. Harmless locker room talk. We were no closer to banging Ororo Munroe than Professor Xavier himself



“Hey, hey, hey! What’s Logan doing?” We all looked up. Logan had entered the room, on the other side of the mirror. He had closed the door so quietly, Ororo hadn’t noticed him come in but suddenly she looked behind her. Upon seeing him, her hand came to her throat, and she lowered her gaze. I’ll never forget that, not in a million years. The look of humility, of downright submissiveness. The way I had wanted her to look at me that day I kissed her. Logan walked to her, and tilted her gaze until she was staring directly into her hers. His thick arms wrapped around her waist, and he kissed her so fiercely, everyone’s jaw dropped.



“LOGAN!” That was Warren.



“Wolverine!?” That was Remy.



I couldn’t say a thing. I could only watch as his planted small kisses on her neck and those luscious breasts. Ororo’s breath came in quick gasps as Logan’s hands began to roam freely across her body. Without warning, he scooped her legs from behind her and carried her to the large, conference table.



We were speechless, unable to move, as our ice queen responded eagerly to Wolverine’s kisses, tossing off her shirt in seconds. She wasn’t wearing a bra, and when Logan stood above her and slowly pulled off her shorts. We were stunned to learn that she wasn’t wearing any panties, either. Not that we cared. But when Logan popped a single claw out of his right hand, we all jumped. Ororo was completely naked; it wasn’t like he needed to cut anything away. He leaned over, whispered something in her ear and began to drag that sharp piece of adamantium across her bare stomach.



“Mon dieu!” Remy screamed, but of course, neither Logan no Ororo heard him. Ororo flexed her back, biting on her lower lip with tears streaming down her face. It was crazy to watch him drag his claw across her skin like that. What in the hell were they doing?



“What the hell are they doing?” Warren gasped. “Is this some sick kind of sex game?”



Apparently, it was. When Logan was done, he lowered his head to her flat belly and began to lick the blood that was bubbling from the small cuts. Ororo moaned and threw her head back, her entire body shaking in ecstasy. And when Logan rolled Ororo on her side to bury his head in her hair, we could clearly see what he had carved in her stomach.



MINE.



The blood from the crudely carved word dripped from her stomach and onto the table. By the time the significance of that one gesture sunk into our heads, Logan had positioned Ororo on her hands in knees, with him behind her. For a moment, both Logan and Ororo’s eyes looked into the mirror, and even though they couldn’t see us, we knew they could feel our presence.



Ororo shut her eyes, and a clap of thunder rocked the mansion so loudly, the lights went out.



*



I hated Ororo. Her smug smile as she flounced past me, her silver hair teasing me as she went by. The way she’d cross her legs in meetings, letting her already short skirt ride higher up her thigh. The way she’d tilt her head when I spoke to her, as if dismissing me before I was even done speaking. I hated the way she’d close her eyes sometimes, her hand brushing her neck as if she were in some fantasy that none of us could join. I hated her for not being Jean, a woman who loved me. And I hated her for loving Logan, therefore causing Jean to stop loving me.



Jean’s competitive spirit was fierce. If Ororo wore a pair of faded jeans one day, Jean would wear faded jeans with a ripped waistline. If Ororo wore her hair up, she would go and wear her hair up, complete with curls. Her insecurity was just that bad. When she thought that Ororo had even an inkling of affection for me, she married me. Now she loves Logan, and why? Because Logan loves Ororo.



No matter what I did, no matter what I said, Jean was obsessed with Logan. At one point, she would leave the room at 7:00 every evening. One day I followed her, just to see where she would go. I was stunned to see her slip up to Ororo’s attic, and wait. I stayed in the shadows, just waiting. Adjacent to the attic was Ororo’s greenhouse, and there she stood, wrapped in a plush pink robe, her hair wrapped in a towel. I thought maybe Jean was gathering up her wits to go and speak to Ororo, but then Logan appeared out of nowhere. “Hey, darlin’” I heard him say.



“You are late, Logan,” Ororo had responded. “I thought you were not coming.”



“I always come.” Logan smiled wickedly. “And I always make you come, don’t I, darlin’?”



And there it was, that sexy, low-ass chuckle of Ororo’s. She stood upright and pulled the towel from her damp hair, tossing it to him laughingly. Then she stood upright, slowly tugging that bathrobe off her sexy body. Before it even hit the floor. Logan was all over her in an instant. I was aroused. But not nearly as much as Jean. She sank to the floor, pushing her hands down her thin cotton pants, licking her lips.



This couldn’t be happening. But yes, there was Logan, banging the hell out of our resident weather goddess. And there was my wife, touching herself, moaning softly as she watched her best friend make love. When she called out his name- so softly I thought I was mistaken - I left the attic. I just couldn’t confront her with that.



I can recall the look in Jean’s eyes when Logan announced one evening that he and Ororo were to be married. I had looked to Ororo, and she had placed her hands on her flat belly, smiling shyly. Was Ororo pregnant? Might as well have been, as much as Jean spied on them making love at nights. Jean looked like she wanted to die. Her hands flew to her neck, trembling violently as she choked her congratulations. The day after the wedding, Jean decided to visit her family. It took a week and a half.



I don’t believe in hitting women, but right now I’d like to reach out and slap the shit out of Jean. She’s all hysterical, and I know the mourners around think she’s crying over Ororo. Bullshit! I’m amazed she didn’t dance for joy when Ororo died, leaving Logan alone. Does she really think I don’t know about her sneaking down to Logan’s room the night before he died? I had come to check up on Logan when she ran out in the other direction, not seeing me. Hell, the next morning, I thought he had died because I wished him died – scared that I had another mutant power.



I want to shaker her and scream, Jean, you’re MY wife, for God’s sake! Why couldn’t she leave this fucking man alone? I mean, shit! I’d have loved to have Ororo Munroe against a wall, knocking the bottom out her ass, but she was taken! And so was I! I played by the rules! I was fair! And what did I wind up with, as a result of this Boy Scout behavior?



Why couldn’t I have pushed to have Ororo, instead of settling for Jean? I know Logan got turned down a few times before going out on their first date, but he wound up with Ororo. She wore his ring and bore his last name of Logan. She was the only one of us who knew his first name, and she never spoke it aloud.



Ro. Why did you die before I could tell you how I really felt about you? That I didn’t give a damn about your martial arts skills, or your co-leader ability. All I wanted was for you to acknowledge me, respect me as a man and not just some fucking X-Man! To give me a chance – just one lousy date! Just to see what could’ve been! And you never did! You treated me like I was some dickless wonder, some asexual jackass! You let me marry Jean without a fight! You never once looked at me the way I looked at you!



You make me sick!



*



You make me sick

I want you and I'm hatin it

Got me lit like a candlestick

Get too hot when you touch the tip,

I'm feelin it,

I gotta getta grip

And it's

Drivin me crazy baby

Don't you quit

Can't get enough of it

You got me goin again

Baby, you got me goin again

You make me sick



- Pink



TBC


On Century and Van Nez, by stormfreak

Chapter Four: Together Again





I remember the day Ororo grabbed my hand and dragged me, eight months pregnant and feeling like hell – around a corner. “’Ro! Whut in t’hell-“



“Loganaskedmetomarryhimtoday!” she told me in this hushed stage whisper, sans that accent of hers that proves that even her speech is overtly controlled.



“WHUT!?”



“Sssh! Logan-“ here Storm took a deep breath and tried to calm herself, “Logan asked me to marry him today.”



“Well, shit! Whut didya say?”



“I said…I said yes!” And that was all it took before Ororo and I fell to the floor, bursting into teenage giggles. I was blown away. Logan – our resident Canucklehead – put his heart on the line for our weather goddess? It was too unreal! After all, we can all recall what happened the last time a muthafucka proposed to Ororo…“C’mon!” I pulled myself to my swollen feel and grabbed Ororo’s hand. “We gotta tell everybody!” Before he takes it back! I thought.



“I cannot!” Ororo was still on the ground, overcome with emotion. “Logan wants to announce it after dinner. Will you keep it a secret?”



I wanted to tell everyone, but the longing in Ororo’s blue eyes forced me to swear to secrecy. I knew, although she’d never confess, that this was the moment she had dreamed of. The day she could tell every one of the horny-ass male X-Men to go to hell with the three sweetest words: “I’m getting married!”



I knew Ororo was in love with Logan far before Ororo knew it. It was the little things a woman clean in denial does – the way her eyes lit up when Wolverine entered a room, or the super-attentive way she hung onto his every word. He smiled at her one day, inside her greenhouse, and Ororo got so flustered that she clipped one of her cherry blossoms clear off the stem.



For Storm to be so controlled, she wasn’t too good at handling her schoolgirl crush. Rather than flirt with Logan, try to see if he was interested in her, she grew quieter, far more withdrawn. Instead of flaunting that brick house body of hers, she began to wear loose sweat shirts and baggy jeans. Her hair was constantly pulled back, wrapped in a bun. It was like she was doing anything and everything to become invisible, out of his attention.



Not that that fooled a man with a hyper sense of scent or anything. “Rogue?” he asked me one day. “D’ya notice Storm actin’ a little funny lately?”



I laughed. Logan and I were good friends, so I had no problems speaking with him candidly. “I think our lil’ goddess has developed her first crush, Mountain Man,” I replied easily.



“’s what I thought,” he replied, and he didn’t look very thrilled.



“What’s th’ matter with ya, Logan?” I questioned. “Ya don’t like Storm?”



Logan didn’t say anything for the longest time. Finally, he replied, “She’s not my type.”



“Not yer type!?” I stood up, feeling angry on Storm’s behalf. “And what is yer type? Taken? How about red-headed and married, fer God’s sake?” Logan’s jaw set, but he didn’t respond. Oh, lemme guess! Ya think Ororo Munroe is too boring for ya – like the Dark-damn-Phoenix is so exciting!” I placed my hands on my hips, my pregnancy hormones raging. “How many women d’ya know have been worshipped as a goddess, Logan? How many women d’ya know are so well-trained in hand-to-hand that they can give YOU a run for yer money? How many women d’ya know hold doubledocurate degrees and speak more languages than hairs on yer fat head? How many women d’ya know ain’t afraid to travel in the sewers to take care of her own folk underground? How many women d’ya know would rip a beating heart out of a woman’s chest?”



“I get yer point,” Logan said grimly.



“I haven’t BEGUN to make a point!” I yelled. “When are ya gonna get it through yer thick head that th’ reason why yer alone is because the answer has been right in front of ya all this time?” I felt tears welling up in my eyes – why, I had no idea. I guess I was frustrated on Storm’s behalf.“When are ya gonna GROW UP!?”



“When are ya gonna stop shoutin’ so I can go ask ‘Ro for a date?” he asked flatly.



I stopped. Logan’s eyes were dancing. “Ya-ya mean it?” I gasped, thrilled for my best friend. “Ya were jus’ teasin me, weren’t ya, Logan?”



Logan crossed his arms. “Been meanin’ to ask ‘Ro out for a while, but then she started acting a little…well…silly. Not at all like ‘Ro.”



“Oh, you two are gonna have the best time!” I squealed, hugging Logan around his neck.



Indeed they did. When I went to go wake up Logan for breakfast, Ororo answered the door in this well-placed piece of…lace. “Is there something I can do for you?”” she said, as easily as if she had slept in Wolverine’s room her entire life. “Logan is…sleeping.” And heat crept across her cheeks, making them look like large red apples. I would’ve teased her about it, but she looked so serene that I let it pass.



“Uh…naw. Naw. Ah can wait,” I replied, and all but skipped down the hall, thinking, Sound the trumpets! Ororo’s finally gotten laid!



*



They loved each other so much that to see them together lifted your spirits. And Ororo was hopelessly devoted to Logan. Funny, I thought that she would get even more giggly and silly after she hooked up with Logan, but I was wrong. Apparently, good sex to Ororo was like a good cigar to Logan – it was relaxing, and took the edge off life.



Neither one of them was too silly, but they had their moments – the moments when they thought no one was looking. But someone was always looking. Me, Jean, Remy, Bobby – even Scott. We spied on them, and all for different reasons. I was so happy to see them together, ol’ Scooter was chock full of lust for his wife’s best friend (I chalk that up to him having a mid-life crisis,) Bobby was just a horny toad, and Jean? Jean was jealous beyond belief.



Somehow, someway, someone came up with this bright idea about a wedding. Now, you talk about your awkward moments. Sure, Jean and Ororo were best friends, but it didn’t take a genius to figure out that she was less than thrilled that Storm was marrying Logan. Downright green-eyed, she was. It was so wrong, in my opinion – I mean, by now, Jean was too damn grown to want to still be the pretty girl! She was a married woman – what difference did it make if Logan no longer flirted with her? I could see the strained smiles, the checked tears in dark green eyes. It was a game Ororo and Jean were playing, called Let’s Pretend That Everything’s Okay. But when Storm asked Jubilee to be her maid of honor, everyone knew why. Even Jubilee knew, and she was just a damned kid - a sixteen year old kid who had to be the matron of honor because the bride’s best friend was too ditsy to realize how much Scott loved her.



Of course, there wasn’t a real wedding. Ororo had gotten blasted half to Hades during a mission, and was lying in bed, barely conscious on the day the wedding was supposed to take place. She had been completely knocked out for three whole days prior, so the second her eyes open, Logan seized the opportunity. He all but kidnapped a justice of the peace, assembled every one of us to the med lab, and in halting, tearful Arabic, declared his love for a beautiful African woman who was considerably scarred up from head to toe. To watch tears roll down Ororo’s face as Logan spoke words that only she, Logan, and Beast could understand brought tears to my own eyes. This was love, the kind of love that Joseph and I had; the kind of love that I felt that Ororo had deserved for so long…



Not everyone felt that way. The moment Logan bent down to kiss his new bride, there was a crash so loud that everyone jumped. It was Gambit, knocking over everything in his path to leave the med lab. As Logan’s jaw set grimly, we could all hear the roar of his Harley as it sped away. Jean was a hot mess, too – she left the mansion that night and didn’t return for a week and a half. What a way for your friends to treat you!



I’m upset to be missing the funeral, but only in a way. In a way, I’m glad to not be there. The thought of watching Miss Jean Grey – oops! I mean Mrs. Scott Summers – fall all over the ground with feigned grief is too much for me to swallow. She actually made the funeral arrangements, from what I heard. Of course, she didn’t expect Logan to drop dead right after Ororo did. I’m sure she was looking forward to some comforting. In bed. Not that Logan would’ve allowed that. His love for Ororo was too fierce. I remember the look on his face when I found him dead – staring into space, his wife’s bathrobe pulled around him. All he wanted was to be with his wife again.



I hope that they’re together again.



I hope they’re finally happy to be alone, without anyone spying on them, or judging them.



I hope Ororo’s too busy wrapped up in her husband’s love to see Jean’s back-stabbing ways.



And as they placed Joseph’s and my daughter, Ororo Logan, in my arms, I pray to whatever gods that are listening that one day, I’ll be able to tell them how much they both meant to me.



God forgive me, but I’ve never been so happy for two people who are dead.



*

Everywhere I go

Every smile I see

I know you are there

Smiling back at me

Dancing in moonlight

I know you are free

Cuz I can see your star

Shining down on me

- Janet Jackson





Chapter Five: Why on earth is Hank McCoy feeling so guilty? (Here’s a hint: he wasn’t in love with Storm!) Coming soon!


On Century and Van Nez, by stormfreak

Chapter Five: The Stone



I took an oath, years and years ago. I took an oath to become a doctor; an oath to preserve life.



I look at my friend now, lying in his coffin and holding the ashes of his love. He looks so peaceful, so happy so…dead. Sometimes I can’t believe it myself. I mean, he was slated to live for a long, long time – far longer than the eight-three years he lived. Possibly for another eighty-three, and beyond. But he came to me, that night…



*



“Hank.”



“Logan!” I stood up. To see him standing there was a shock indeed. Since his wife was suddenly taken from us, Logan hadn’t left his bedroom for anything. But here he was, in his gi, sweating bullets…and was that lipstick on his forehead and lips? “How-how are you tonight, my esteemed colleague? May I interest you in some food? A hot drink perhaps? Maybe a-“



“You did my lab work last month.” To the point, that was Logan. “For when…you know…’Ro and I got…” here, he swallowed a lump in his throat. “…married.”



“Yes, I did.”



“You told me you could calculate my life span. How many years I’d be alive.” He took a deep breath. “I wanna know how many more years I have to live without ‘Ro.”



“Oh, Logan…” I sighed deeply. “My friend, I have never told you a lie, have I?”



“No, no you haven’t. You’ve always given it to me straight, and I respect you for that. I hope…I hope you’ll tell me the truth now.”



“Okay.” Oh, my stars and garters, how can I possibly tell him this? “Logan…at the very least, you’ve only lived half your life.”



I heard Logan suck in his breath. “But-but Hank, I’m eighty-three years old,” he half-whispered. “I couldn’t possibly have that much longer to live.”



“You wanted it straight, Logan. You’re only middle-aged. I’m sorry.”



I couldn’t imagine what Logan was thinking. The thought of having to live another eighty-three more years…“And then that!?” Logan suddenly exploded. “Another ten, twenty, fifty!? Where am I, in Hell!? Isn’t it enough that I turned my life around?” Logan screamed at the ceiling. “Isn’t it enough the things I’ve gone through? You had to take my Ro and leave me here, too, for another fuckin’ century? Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck a motherfuckin’ God – ain’t no goddamned God in the goddamned heavens!”



“Logan, stop!” Logan began to extend and retract his claws in a menacing manner. He paced back and forth across the floor, trying desperately to keep from…lashing out? Crying, maybe? I wished I knew.



Suddenly, Logan extended his claws to me. “I know you can fix this, Hank!” he screamed. “I know you can whip up some shit and end this!”



“Logan, I could give you a cyanide cocktail, heavy on the powdered substance, and it won’t kill you,” I declared. “You have a healing factor that is unmatched, my friend. What in the world do you want me to do about it?”



Logan stared at me for a moment. Without warning, he placed his fist to his chest and extended his claws. “My God!” I cried as he crumpled to the ground, blood spurting everywhere. He lay so still, I felt my knees going weak. Is he – has he managed to –



“Don’t just stand there, Blue Boy – help me up.” The defeat in his voice was apparent. By the time I was able to pull Logan to his feet, not only had the bleeding stopped, but there wasn’t a single sign of a stabbing in his chest. He stood up, as whole as ever, and began to pace again, mumbling to himself. “I can’t do this, Hank – I can’t stand the thought of living without her for that many years. Damn near a century – can you imagine that, Hank? I only had the opportunity to love her for four, maybe five months, and I have to pay for that for another century? I can’t do it, I can’t do it, Hank…why God expects me to, I just don’t know.”



For the longest, we sat there in complete silence, Logan with his head between his knees in silent defeat. Finally, after what seemed like forever, he said, “What about that stuff you made for Ro’s plants?”



“What?”



“That stuff for ‘Ro’s plants you made…sped up their metabolism for a quick amount of time, right? Made her roses so fat?” He chuckled softly. “She didn’t think I knew about it…guess she thought I would’ve thought she was cheatin’…”



“Logan, no!” I stood up. “That stuff is great for plants, but for humans, it’s toxic! It’ll-“



“Kill me?” Logan’s eyes lit up.



“Mortal men, yes. You, no. Worst case scenario, it’ll put you in a catatonic state to where you’ll PRAY for death.”



“Pray for death!? Will you listen to yourself?” Logan stood up suddenly. “I’ve been praying for death since the moment I heard a screeching noise outside the clinic on Century and Van Nez! Where the FUCK have you been!? Eighty-three more years at least!”



“Logan-“ And I’m trying to delay the inevitable, because in the back of my mind, I knew that it just might work. It just may speed Logan’s metabolism up to normal, if only for a moment, and if it did, chances were that he would indeed drop dead. But was I ready for that? I had just lost a dear, dear friend in Ororo. The X-Men had lost a leader. Could I stand to lose someone else close to me?



But I’m looking at Logan, and I’m thinking of the pain he must be experiencing. What kind of man would push adamantium steel claws though his own heart? Only a man going through the deepest type of grief. No injury would kill Logan, but the things he would do to himself in the meantime could cripple him for life…and Logan is a very determined man. He wasn’t the type who would say, “Okay, Hank!” and walk away from me.



“It may not work…” I found myself saying.



“I’m willing to try,” he replied.



“It has to be your time,” I continued quietly. “You cannot just will yourself to die, Logan. And what if it’s not reversible?”



“Hank, you’re talkin’ too much,” he muttered.



And I heard all of that, as I walked like a zombie to my safe, full of chemicals. I opened trance-like, pulling out the large batch I had just mixed up for Ororo...a batch she would never use. It may not work, it may not work, it may not work, was all I could think as I pulled out a syringe and filled it full of the dark green liquid. Then it dawned on me, and I nearly laughed aloud. What are the odds thata syringe ful of green liquid will kill the almighty Wolverine? Blessed little. I found myself feeling much better. I will humor him. He’ll get a little sick, and by tomorrow, he’ll come to his senses and prepare to bury his wife…



I stared at Logan, his arm extended, his eyes blank and resolved. “Logan, I don’t know why you are trying this,” I chuckled as I injected him with the harmless liquid. “With a healing power like yours, all you are going to get is the runs-WHOA!”



Logan, who had stood up, nearly crumbled to the ground. He began to cough – this low, hacking cough that produced a rattling deep in his chest. “Logan! Are you all right, my friend?” I gasped, having never seen Logan in his state before. I reached to grab his arm, but he waved me away. On his own, he stood to feet, ever the warrior, and began to walk – no, shuffle away from me. Back stooped over, taking baby steps, he made his way out of the laboratory.



What do I do!? What on Earth do I do!? The injection had sped his metabolism up to where he was a normal elderly man – on the verge of death! I could hear his coughing as he made his way down the hall. Do I follow? Do I stay? What do I do!?



<Stay put,> a voice entered my head. <Logan will not die if it is not his time.>



<Professor, he is very, very ill!>



<Then he will die. But do not follow him under any circumstance. I am monitoring his movements.>



Don’t move, Don’t go anywhere. I sank in a plush chair and began to count One thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine, nine hundred night-eight, nine-hundred ninety-seven – a crash. Bones hitting the ground. Cracking. Breaking, for goodness’ sakes!



<Do not move, Henry.>



Wheezing. Coughing.



<PROFESSOR!>



<Do. Not. Move.>



“He is DYING!” I find myself screaming.



<Did you worry about that when you were injecting him, Beast?>



<I swear, I didn’t think it would work!>



<It hasn’t worked. Logan only thinks that it’s working. Is it his will to die. Let him go in peace.>



Charles said that, and I heard that. But if I handed a gun to a suicidal man, or coaxed a young woman to jump off a cliff, aren’t I just as guilty?



Am I not responsible for the pain I’ve caused my friends, now mourning not one, but two lost X-Men? Bobby, so racked with grief that he’s too numb to move or speak? Betsy, clawing at her own face with anguish over losing a friend that, just the other day, she said she didn’t spend enough time with? Jean?…well, I’m not too sure about Jean. I know the shade of lipstick she wore was on Logan’s head – not everyone is bold enough to wear Fire Truck Red. Rogue – so upset that she went into early labor.



I didn’t kill Storm. God knows I didn’t. But I killed Wolverine. Whether or not he wanted to live is irrelevant. I am a doctor, for goodness sakes! And I put a man – scratch that, a super man – in his grave. I didn’t think it would work…I didn’t think it would work…Oh, God, oh God, oh God!



The things I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life!





*



“I’ve this creeping suspicion

That things here are not as they seem

Reassure me

Why do I feel as if I’m in too deep?

I’ve been praying

For some way to show them I’m not what they see

Yes, I have done wrong

But what I did I thought needed be done

I swear…”

-Dave Matthews Band



TBC

On Century and Van Nez, by stormfreak
Epilogue: The One



I dreamed of you last night. I saw you dancing, as always, twisting and twirling in a way that made you look so free and so happy…so beautiful that it hurt my heart.



I lost Mariko. I never had Jean. I would’ve paid someone to take Viper away. But you – my princess, my Windrider? You were perfect for me.



I can still remember the little things about you – things no one would’ve paid attention to. Like, when you laughed – truly laughed, you’d lean forward so your back would leave your chair. When you were happy, you’d tilt your head toward the sun, letting the rays beam down on your beautiful face. I remember the way you’d dance when you were alone – so carefree and weightless. I saw how every time your students left your class, you’d walk to your window and peer outside to make sure they got out of the parking lot safely. You were so sweet.



But…you did have a naughty side. There was that night when you tied me to a chair and tilted it against the wall to do that strip tease…oh, man. Your powers to control the winds combined with your natural flexibility allowed you to grind yourself against my face, and I could smell the lust between your thighs. And when I ripped the threads on your favorite silk scarf and we tumbled to the ground and you sprained your wrist, you didn’t even complain. You just sat in the emergency room, charming the other patients. And since you were gracious enough to let me nut BEFORE we got to the hospital, I didn’t have to sit there with blue balls for hours. That got you extra points with me, darlin’ – consideration. Most women wouldn’t have thought of that.



And ohhhhh, the day you put Gambit in his place! If only I had had a camera! I never thought you had it in you to be so crass. You hardly even cursed, for chrissake! But when that Swamp Rat penned you up in that corner, trying kiss you and steal me behind my back, you represented me right. You took your hand and slid it up your skirt. My sensitive ears could hear the sound of you being wet and I could smell the lust in the air. My heart was breakin’, Ro, especially when you stuck your dripping wet fingers in his mouth. But just when I thought I’d have to kill you both I heard you whisper in his ear, “Relish your first and last taste, Remy LeBeau. Logan’s name is written all over my pussy.” I thought I’d bite my tongue clear off trying to keep from laughing! That smug Cajun’s jaw just hit the floor as you sauntered off.



Wild enough to keep up with me, yet tame enough to keep me sane…my perfect princess. Any other woman would’ve run for the hills the first few times I woke up, claws extended, ready for war. But not you, Ro. You would take me in your arms and stroke my hair or massage my shoulders until the nightmares went away. And you never pressed me to spill my guts, like Jeannie would’ve done. You let me tell it my own way, in my own time. Eventually you grew to know things about me that I hadn’t told a soul in the mansion. And you never, ever judged me for it.



And the sex? Ohhhh, shit. Mind-blowing isn’t the word to describe being inside of you. I’d fucked so many women in my life, but you were so different. Staring at you and watching you come gave me almost as much pleasure as being inside of you. You weren’t afraid to try new things to please me. What I loved most about you is that you didn’t act like you were too good to do things to please me. The guys (sometimes I really hated those jealous pricks) would like to joke that you wouldn’t know you way around a bedroom. But I know my earth-shattering howls were testament otherwise.



“In the instant that you love someone

And the second that the hammer hits

Reality runs up your spine

And the pieces finally fit…”



But it was too perfect to last. I tried my best to do right by you. When you came to me and said that you might be pregnant, I didn’t make you piss on a stick or demand to know if there was a way it couldn’t be mine. I made an honest woman out of you. We did it right – the justice, the vows, the whole damned thing. Maybe we didn’t have a fancy wedding and I know you weren’t in a white dress, but we did it with love, and isn’t that all that counted?



I knew it couldn’t last forever. Life’s just not that fair, especially for former assassins. When I was signing the papers and I heard the screeching of tires, I knew you were dead. I don’t know why I bothered to go outside. I just knew I had to be with you while you died. You were too sweet, too beautiful, too perfect for this world, Ororo. That’s why God had to take you away. He needed a new number one angel. You don’t think that God doesn’t get a hard-on when he makes something as perfect as you? Shit.



I couldn’t believe Jean would make a pass at me, just 48 hours before your funeral. Ro, I swear to God it wasn’t my fault! I guess I should’ve smelled the lust on her, but my mind was so numb I guess I didn’t see it coming. Ro, I know once upon a time I would’ve died to kiss her. But after kissing you for so long, her lips tasted like poison. I wanted to kill her. I almost did. But I let her go because I knew what I had to do.



I went to Hank and took the shot. You wanna know something, Ro? That was the first time I remember being scared. I was scared that it wouldn’t work and I would be stuck here another eighty-three years…eighty-three endless years. But it took effect immediately, and before I knew it, my metabolism was shot to Hell. I was eighty-three and felt every year. I could barely make it up the stairs because it hurt so badly. But I had last minute duties. I visited my sweet Jubilee. The poor girl had cried herself to sleep, thinking it was her fault that you died. Then I went to our room and locked away all my weapons forever. Finally, I wrapped your bathrobe around me, and waited.



And now, here I am. It’s clean and white everywhere, like I’ve fallen into a cloud or something. Thank God, cuz I knew I was just destined for the hottest corner of Hell. But loving you made me a completely different man. You saved my soul.



I see you dancing, dressed in white, as beautiful as you were in my dreams. The dreams I had of you when you were alive, the dreams I had of you before you even knew how much I loved you. You were dancing then, and you’re dancing now.



I’ve come home, Ororo.



And I know that any minute, you’ll open your eyes and see me and you’ll open your arms and walk to me. And we'll be together again – this time, for eternity.



*



“And all I ever needed was The One

Like freedom feels where wild horses run

When stars collide like you and I

No shadows block the sun

You’re all I ever needed…

Baby, you’re The One.”

-Elton John



END

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