A/N: Response to Twinkylady's challenge posted at Stormfreak's Haven.

Hindsight Life Lesson From Robert Drake

To my family,

To my family: To my real family, the X-men. Man, you can't possibly know how much I miss you. Things have been tough lately, but I am sure that you will all prevail. You always do. Look, Hank, I used a big word- prevail. I wanna here you laugh so much big guy, but I can't be there. I'm sorry.

What I wouldn't give to be with you all and play one more trick, give one more hug, do one more cannonball, but alas, I've been put away due to my habit. I suppose I owe you all an explanation, but it was years in the making.

Hank knew. Big Blue always knew. It was the doctor in him that spotted it, but it was the friend in him that gave him the courage to confront me. I'm sorry I pushed you away, big guy. But shit just hit the fan. When my dad was in the hospital, you, Storm, Ororo, was there to try and help me heal, but I couldn't. I wanted to so bad, but I couldn't. So I did the one thing that I knew would give me the easiest was out. Drugs.

No needle marks at first; that was too obvious. Just a sniff here and there was all I needed. I wish I could have said something, but there were no words for how I felt, at least none that I knew. And then the Legacy thing happened and I ended up in an ICU or some shit. At that point, my world seemed to be crashing down around me. No one could save me. Not me, not my best friend, not the all-knowing Prof. X, no one. I stopped caring and the time anyone truly noticed I was well into my addiction.

And then it happened. I told myself just one more. Just one more time and that was it. Hank, you confronted me and I so wished you could've saved me. That one time was unknowingly my last. I died on your operating table. You couldn't save me, Hank. Even though you wanted to, you can't always win, Big Guy. I'm so, so sorry.

So, I heard Prof. X's words, "here lies one of my first students, one of the most interesting students to ever ice the halls of the Institute..." I heard you all. They all seemed to echo each other. You loved me. You wanted to help me. You didn't know. All I can think right now is that this letter will never reach you. You'll never know just how much you meant to me.

Watching you with tears in heaven,

Robert Drake