My Heart My Home - by Darlin

A/N – Thank you all for reading and reviewing once again.  You reviewers are the best so a final thanks to:  Anonymous (?), blackpanter2288, Dark Angel 4523, lilWolvie, Starlight Lover, TigerStorm, Verena, wOLF8, Xcoolcomic, and xmenloganfan.  A big thanks once again to Skyz who did her kinda sorta beta for me and helped me see where I could improve on this chapter. 

Let me say that all the reviews have brought a little happiness into my life.  You've all made me feel really, incredibly good.  It's a reward in and of itself after the long time consuming process of devising a story, writing it, revising, and proofing it to finally getting it posted. You guys are the absolute best!      

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Chapter Twenty-Six – Departure Yet Again

Winter is a natural time for nature to wane and die though we seldom think of this. With the cold and snow and ice comes death and with death, though many also seldom think of this, comes renewal and things that were once dead live again. Leaves fade and trees stand bare to the cold harsh world only to re-blossom like regal queens in full splendor bursting with life and vivid colors. If people could be reborn like a leaf or a flower how many of us would rejoice and how many of us would despair?

For the quiet little town of Westchester winter had come and gone and now spring was in full bloom. The air was full of hope, the breeze crisp and light. It was a time for flying kites and taking long walks along winding paths. It was a time to shake off the long dreary months of winter and live again. This was an easy thing to say but in reality it was really a momentous task but time, they say, heals all things and so Logan had decided to allow time to work its magic. He was going away again.

Slinging a pair of old leather motorcycle saddlebags over his shoulder he walked out to the garage without looking back. There were too many memories. He could still see Ororo lying bloodied and dying in his arms. If there was ever a memory that he wished could be wiped from his mind that was it. Things hadn't been easy for him after that night. He'd had no choice but to go back to the mansion and face everyone. It didn't matter that no one blamed him. He blamed himself.

No one had been able to convince him otherwise. Not even Charles could ease his guilt. No one could make him see that it was love only that had caused Ororo to go to the extremes that she had gone too. The only thing that had helped him to some degree was that he'd never found the Samurai's body. He figured that Keniuchio had managed to teleport to safety somehow. It made him feel better to know that Ororo, who'd never believed in killing, hadn't killed the Samurai. If she had taken the Samurai's life he would have blamed himself for that too.

That was one reason he'd decided to leave. He didn't know where the Samurai was or whether or not if he'd be coming back. The school would just be another target on another crazy villain's agenda. He could come back at any time seeking vengeance.  The Professor and his contacts were keeping close tabs on all overseas activity but Logan had little faith in that after all. Charles' Japanese informants hadn't even known the Silver Samurai's true identify.   

And then there was the mysterious disappearance of Shiro.  No one had seen Shiro since that tragic day. At first Logan had figured that Shiro must've figured Mariko was crazier than he'd guessed or known and maybe that realization had knocked some good old common sense into the boy.  Whatever it was Shiro had left lickety split.

Logan doubted that Keniuchio would get a sudden epiphany and come to his senses.  He hated not knowing though. Shiro was of no importance to him but Keniuchio was a threat that Logan hadn't been able to stop.  He could only trust his instincts and guess that the Samurai had no interest in anyone at the school besides himself.  Never the less, it irked him beyond tolerance. Not knowing.  It was like an itch that had to be scratched only you couldn't reach it – not unless you were equipped with a pair of twelve-inch long adamantium claws and wanted to risk cutting yourself open in the attempt.

Not that he hadn't thought of doing that, he almost wished he had cut himself – cut his heart out and ripped it from his body then thrown it as far as he could so his body would never be able to revive again. That's how much he hated himself for everything that had happened. Mariko was dead and Hank had told him that she had been two months pregnant. That had been another hard blow – the wife he didn't even know he had pregnant with someone else's kid and trying to get back with him.

It explained some of his questions though. Mariko or at least her clan valued honor more than anything. She couldn't have told them she was carrying an illegitimate child especially when they or she knew Logan was still alive. He figured she planned on passing the kid off as his and then probably having him killed though he didn't know how she could've managed that with his healing factor.

Still, Hank had reasoned that she'd known enough about him to triple the dosage of the sedative she'd given him. Logan had reluctantly agreed that she must have known something about his regenerative capabilities but it only made him wonder all the more about what she'd been planning. If she had known then killing him really wouldn't have been an option for her. Had she really wanted him to rule by her side then? Thinking about it was just too confusing. He would never know now.

He sighed as he straddled his motorcycle. He'd finally finished converting an old Harley Davidson Shovelhead of his so it now had the reliability of a Harley Davidson Evolution. With his heavy weight he figured the engine could stand the break and he'd made a Shovel that would last. It had taken a few months to round up the parts and do the work in between teaching gym classes but it was time well spent. It had kept him busy, kept his mind occupied. Now as he felt the bike beneath him he hoped it would help keep someone else's mind occupied.

"So, you're determined to leave us?" the Professor asked when Logan eased the bike out of the garage.

"Yep."

"You'll be greatly missed."

Logan shrugged. His face was blank, almost cold. There was no sign that he would miss anyone there. He neither paused nor looked up. He simply got off his bike and pulled the saddle bags from his shoulder and began securing them to the bike.

"Were you planning on leaving without saying good bye again?" a familiar voice piped up.

A look of irritation flashed over Logan's face for a split second as Jean came running up.

"Do I get a goodbye hug?" she asked mischievously.

"No."

"I will never understand you," Jean muttered under her breath.

It wasn't long before they were joined by Scott, Hank, and Kurt.  They watched Logan's every move in silence. At the sudden sound of bubbling laughter everyone but Logan turned to see Jubilee smacking Bobby on the head then running off as fast as she could.  Bobby gave quick pursuit passing up Rogue, Kitty, and Peter in the process.  Jubilee slid to a stop just before she reached the adults and flashed her sweetest smile while she waited for the others to catch up.  Logan didn't bother to see what the commotion was. His mind was on just one thing – leaving.

It was only when Rogue tugged at Logan's sleeve that he finally looked up. Her hesitant smile got to him.  She looked almost as young as she'd been when he'd first met her.  He thought about how much she'd grown up since then. She wasn't really a girl now, more a young woman. She'd broken up with Bobby which suited Logan just fine but now she was interested in a new guy at the school. Unfortunately the new guy was a teacher, an old friend of Ororo's who'd come to help out and had taken her place.

His name was Remy Le Beau, a Cajun from Louisiana who's only mutant skill, or so it seemed to Logan, was to flirt unmercifully. Logan was sure if he stayed he would have to kill the Cajun. It was another reason to leave. He didn't particularly care for the Cajun even if the man's 'fantastic' thieving skills had helped Scott finally update the security system.

Thinking about the security system just made Logan angry.  He felt Scott should've had Ororo run the tests right after they'd installed it and he didn't care what anyone said about the Cajun being good – he knew Ororo was the best at what she did and no one else, in his book, could compare.  He resented Scott for not being more attentive when they'd put in the alien security system that the Professor's lady love, Lilandra had given them.  Maybe if Scott had been on the ball like he expected everyone else to be then they could've figured out what Keniuchio had been up to before he'd caused any problems.

He knew he shouldn't blame Scott but sometimes he couldn't help it.  'Maybe' and 'what ifs' could keep him from feeling the bulk of the pain he felt when ever he thought about losing Ororo not once but twice that day.  He'd conveniently forget that a teleporter could get past most security systems but when he did think about that it would only make him wonder why Scott hadn't realized that too.  And why hadn't Scott ordered Kurt to test it out 'ASAP' as their fearless leader was so apt to say? 

He didn't want to go there now.  Maybe and what if didn't count for a whole lot in the end.  It didn't change things.  It didn't take the blame from him no matter how much he wanted it to.  And as much as he'd once liked to throw all the blame Scott's way just for the fun of it, oddly he was almost glad that he couldn't this time.  Things had changed since that day.  He'd changed.  It was for the better he hoped but he couldn't tell just yet.  

Only time would tell – time that he was going to cherish for a change.  Time he meant to spend living in the present instead of the past.  He didn't know when he'd be back but he knew he wouldn't miss the X-Men overly much, especially Le Beau though he would miss Rogue.  With this thought he finally stood up, turned his head slowly from side to side as if working out the kinks then took Rogue into his arms and held her.

"Watch out for Le Beau," he muttered in his deep scratchy voice.

"What? That swamp rat?" Rogue laughed. "You got that wrong, Logan! Ah'll eat 'im alive if he tries anythin' with me – shoot!"

Logan didn't think her comment was funny. He didn't think she was using her head and he was pretty sure she'd lost any common sense she might've had after seeing how Remy used his mutant talent with her day in and day out. He didn't think she knew the power that the Cajun already held over her but for once he knew love didn't always work out the way you expected and he said nothing more.

 "You gonna hog him all day or what?" Jubilee asked. "Where's my hug, Wolvie?"

"There's enough for everyone," Rogue laughed and made room for her friend.

Logan returned Jubilee's hug with gruff affection.  He couldn't help but whisper a word of advice to her as well – "Don't let that Popsicle get too fresh, you hear me?"

Jubilee blushed and giggled, pleased with his fatherly like concern.

"Come here, Kitten," Logan snarled as he held out his arms to Kitty next.

Kitty smiled brightly. Only Ororo had ever called her Kitten before. Logan gave her a piece of his mind too.

"Peter's too old for you and don't you forget that."

"What . . .?" Kitty, flabbergasted, looked up at him with huge brown eyes and tried to look as if she had no idea what he was talking about.

"You heard me," Logan warned as he released her and turned back to his bike not buying her innocent act for a second.

"I like what you did with the bike," Scott commented affably in the ensuing silence. He was just relieved that Logan had decided to leave his things alone – his bike and his woman.

"Yeah."

"Vill you be gone long?" Kurt asked.

"Depends," Logan said with a shrug.

"Depends on what?" Yukio asked as she joined the group.

"Things."

"Things huh?" Yukio questioned with a knowing smirk.

Yukio felt like getting on the back of Logan's bike and riding off with him for a second there but it was only a second. Kurt put his arm around her waist and she knew she was where she belonged.  She was home.

"Wish I had a bike like that.  Where're you going?" Bobby spoke up suddenly.   

"Uh huh.  If you lay one hand on Jubes an' I see it or even hear about it you will lose it.  You got that, bub?" Logan growled.

Bobby's mouth gapped so wide it made the girls laugh although Jubilee didn't appreciate the humor.


"Farewell," Peter said as he held out a large hand to Logan, ignoring the others.

Logan took Peter's hand and jerked him closer to him.

"Kitty's a kid an' you better remember that.  Forget that an' we'll finally find out just how long it'll take me to slice an' dice a tin man," he said in a quiet voice that meant business.

"I will always respect that, Wolverine – sir. You have my word," Peter said solemnly when Logan dropped his hand.

"Yeah.  Well . . . good."

"So have you decided what your itinerary will be?" Hank asked.

"Nah."

"As effusive as always I see," Hank laughed.

Logan took a moment to look around at everyone that had come to see him off. A few months ago he wouldn't have cared less if anyone but Rogue and maybe Kitty, and Jubilee had shown up but now he felt like he was actually a part of them and they were a part of him. He'd never felt that way before but it was a good feeling, one he could even get used to. He wondered how he'd lived before without knowing what it was like to be loved and thought of, even missed.

It had taken a long time for him to get used to having people care about him.  It had taken Ororo to show him that he wasn't an unworthy crazy feral who didn't deserve anything or anyone, especially a family. A long time ago he had thought having a family made you weak and vulnerable. Well he knew now that it made you stronger. Family enriched your life, made life worth living for. And if you were vulnerable well there would always be a multitude of family members to help you if you were wise enough and not too proud to ask for help. Logan wouldn't throw that away for anything in the world now not even for the lost memories of his past.

A hint of a smile touched his face as he looked at his friends but since Logan wasn't prone to broadcasting his emotions he quickly ran a hand through his shaggy hair and screwed up his face.

"Don't you people have somewhere to go – something to do maybe?" he asked in the most unpleasant tone that he could muster.

Logan was ready to leave.  He threw a leg over his bike, sat down, and pressed down on the horn. Jean stepped up to him and kissed him soundly on the cheek. He rewarded her with a lopsided grin.

"You need a good woman," she teased.

Logan chuckled. "Yeah."

"Don't forget that this is your home," Charles said.

"Nope. I won't, Professor."

"Ooo, an admission," Jean laughed.

Logan didn't bother to acknowledge her but Jean had no regrets. She'd accepted that though Logan was mysterious and dark and handsome and incredibly sexy he wasn't what she needed or wanted. She needed a man who would never run, never desert her. She wanted stability. She could have loved Logan but she would never have understood him nor accepted his solitary soul. She had come to see that she truly loved steady and reliable Scott and so she had finally let Logan go.

"Take care of yourself," Scott said with a friendly clap to Logan's shoulder.

Logan nodded but he straightened up and held a hand out to Scott. The men clasped hands firmly though briefly. Jean sighed contently as she nodded in approval. Just then loud laughter rang out behind them followed by a deeper chuckle that brought a distinct frown to Logan's face. The Cajun was coming down the steps and he wasn't alone.


"Remy, for the last time I am not an invalid! You can let me go!" Ororo laughed.

"Non, chérie you too précieux to me to let you slip and hurt yo' pretty self.  If any t'ing happen to you I hate myself fo' the rest of my life," Remy whined, keeping his arm around her as he helped her down the steps.*

Ororo gave an exasperated sigh and kept quiet but Logan let out a low growl and barked – "Hands off, Cajun! The woman's spoken for!"

"Um . . . I think we oughta . . . like, um, be going now," Bobby mumbled to the others who mutely agreed with him. "Um, have a good trip, Ms. Munroe!"

"We will miss you both," Peter said with a sad smile. He would have liked a parting hug but he thought better of that with the possessive Logan growling so near and he hurried after Bobby.

The girls grabbed quick hugs from Ororo and with a final wave they too headed off leaving only the adults.  Hank took Ororo's hand and shook it gently while stealing a sidelong glance at Logan to see if this would procure an unwelcome reaction. When it didn't he breathed a sigh of relief, bowed very gentlemanly, and bade farewell to his team mates. Kurt bowed much more eloquently before Ororo, his dark blue face lit up with a charming smile.

"You vill be very much missed, Ororo. Please do not forget us," he said with much emotion.

"That, my friend will never happen," Ororo said and kissed him gently on the cheek.

"Hey!" Yukio laughed and she kissed Kurt on the other cheek.

Kurt laughed too. "I am not the one leaving, silly!"

Watching Kurt and Yukio laughing and teasing each other made Ororo smile.  She had come to understand Yukio a little better during the past few months and so she pulled the smaller woman to her and squeezed her tight.

"I'm only leaving because you gave me your word that you wouldn't shoot anyone else with those darts of yours so you better behave, Yukio!" Ororo warned with a smile that belied her stern words.

"What's a gal gotta do around here to make you trust her –first born child or my arm and leg, huh? Besides, I gave you my word, Wind-rider.  I'll be as good as gold, 'kay?" Yukio said with a mischievous grin that did nothing to alleviate Ororo's concern.

"You're playin' with dynamite if you believe that," Logan muttered.

The only thing Ororo could do was sigh yet again.  Yukio and Remy were two of a kind.  They both exasperated her to no end but she cared too much for them to let that bother her seriously.  Besides that, Logan had taught her to let go of things she couldn't control which had covered a lot of things in her life including the guilt she felt over killing Shiro.  Logan had understood but she had never told anyone else.

"Take care of each other," Kurt advised as he shook Logan's hand before he and Yukio turned to go.

Watching Kurt and Yukio, Ororo realized she was actually going to miss Yukio's wild spirit and zany spontaneity probably as much as she was going to miss Remy's annoying flirting and brotherly concern.

"You two better hit the road – you're wasting daylight," Jean said in her best Scott imitation.  She leaned over and gave Logan a quick hug.

"Hands off, Jean!  The man's mine!" Ororo barked sounding as ferocious as Logan had sounded only a moment before.

Startled, Jean jumped slightly but she laughed easily.

"You better take good care of her," Jean hissed in Logan's ear before she turned back to Scott.


Logan rolled his eyes. He'd finally figured out that Jean was a little nuts. There was no way in hell that he'd ever hurt Ororo.

"Take care of yourself, Ororo," Scott whispered as he squeezed her shoulder firmly several times.

"She won't have to," Jean said as she slipped in between her best friend and Scott to get a hug.  "She's got a Wolverine that'll kill for her."

"You got that right," Logan agreed with a chuckle.

"I'll miss you, honey," Jean whispered to Ororo.  "You know I'm so sorry for . . ."

"I know, Jean.  There's no need to go there again.  We both got what we needed.  Scott's a good man," Ororo whispered back.

"You're right.  I love him."

"Well . . . he's definitely no Logan but he'll do," Ororo said with a smile. 

"You ready?" Logan asked when Jean didn't seem as if she wanted to let Ororo go.

"Absolument non! Stormy, you let dis tétine take you cross country on dat hog an' Remy gon' hurt him fer sure!  Ain't no way you gettin' on dat!" Remy balked as he tried pulling Ororo back toward the school.

"That's it! How many times do I have to tell you not to call me that?"

Remy grinned but Ororo wasn't finished.

"For the last time I'm fine so stop treating me like I'm an invalid. And stop acting like a mother hen.  I'm fully capable of riding a little motorcycle for goodness sake!"

"That's tellin' him, Ro. You heard the lady, swamp rat.  Get a grip an' say good bye already so we can book!"

"Little?  Non! She can't go ridin' on dat t'ing, homme!" Remy huffed. "She too delicate to be ridin' on dat for who know how long an' when you comin' back, Tempétueux? You never answer dat!"

"Don't think I don't know what you just called me, Remy! You know I speak French and you can stuff that 'tempétueux' right up your . . ."

"What?  See! Look!  Look what you done to my Stormy! She sound like a sailor on leave! Where de soft, sweet, Tempétueux Remy know an' love, huh?  Huh?"

"Oh, stop pouting and give me a hug," Ororo laughed.

For a moment there Logan almost felt sorry for Remy. Ever since the Cajun had shown up on Xavier's doorstep to see his 'Stormy' Logan had felt an inexplicable irritation towards the man. He'd seen how close the two of them were and it bothered him even though he'd known it shouldn't have.

Not only that but Remy had shown up just when he was most needed as if he'd almost sensed that Ororo was in trouble and needed help. Not that Logan begrudged him for caring for Ororo. Well maybe he did but he didn't doubt Ororo's love for him. There was no question there but he still didn't like the Cajun hanging around all the time. Hanging around and flirting with everyone as if that was his full time job, especially when it came to Rogue and Ororo.  That was still another reason to leave. Logan planned on keeping Ororo as close to him as he could, far away from annoying outsiders.  Joined at the hip couldn't be close enough.

To have her with him now after he'd thought she'd died twice was like a gift from heaven, something he would never take for granted.  He'd be forever grateful to Scott and the healer for saving Ororo. It was Scott's lunatic flying that had gotten the healer to them in enough time to revive her. She hadn't been breathing despite his attempts to breathe for her but the healer had done his best to bring her back.  She'd been in critical condition when they'd put her on board the Blackbird but she was alive.

He would never forget the fear that had gripped him as he'd held her hand during the flight back to the school. The healer had needed to recover his strength after bringing Ororo back from near death which had further frustrated Logan. He realized that trying to heal someone who was as bad off as Ororo had been had to put an incredible strain on the healer but, never the less, Logan had been anxious for the healer to hurry up and heal his own self so Ororo could fully recover.

The long wait to see if she would live or not had drained Logan more than he cared to remember. Hoping against hope until they'd reached the mansion and then having to see her connected to all those tubes and trying not to resent everyone who was trying to help her because they weren't helping her fast enough had almost driven him back into a berserker rage. The only thing that had kept him sane and in control was seeing that she was still fighting.

After that he never left her side. He practically lived in the medical ward eating, sleeping, and bathing there. Logan's dedication was touching and amazing to behold – to see this strong masculine man so wrapped up in Ororo's plight as if his very life depended upon her survival. In time the healer was strong enough to heal Ororo completely. There would be no lingering side effects, no trauma, no damage. 

Logan could see there was no outward damage but he knew internally Ororo would need time to heal.  She needed time to forget just like he needed. They'd need time together preferably away from the X-Men and their students. They'd need time to just live ordinary lives for a change and he had every intention of spending the rest of his life with her. Oh, they'd come back to Xavier's – he was positive of that, but it would be a long, long time before that happened if he had anything to say about it. In the meantime the world was waiting with wide open arms and their future beckoned.

Ororo smiled as she watched Logan and Remy, her boys she called them, staring each other down. She suspected that Remy enjoyed infuriating Logan as much as he enjoyed stealing a Monet or a Van Gogh from the most secured museums. She'd have to talk to them about that when she got back she decided, although she didn't know when that would be. She didn't care. All she knew was that she was going wherever Logan went. She knew she never wanted to be without him.

"Don't stay away too long," Charles said, breaking her train of thought.

Ororo hugged her mentor long and hard.

"Charles, I could never stay away for too long. You know that."

"Good," was all Charles could reply but the gleam of affection in his eyes told her more than any words possibly could.

"Hurry up an' say good bye," Logan said brusquely and tossed a helmet at her.

She caught the helmet deftly, strapped it on, and climbed on behind him wrapping her arms around his waist.

"Ummm. Nice," she whispered.

"You ready?" he asked quietly.

"Umm hmmm!"

Logan grinned. She felt good sitting behind him on his bike with her body pressed tight against his. He turned the key in the ignition ready to start their new life.

"You take good care of my Stormy or I be huntin' you down, old man!" Remy shouted over the loud engine.  "An' you two be good.  Don' do nothin' I wouldn't do!" 

"Yeah, right!" Ororo and Logan both said at once and laughed.

"This old sled can't beat your travelin' style, darlin' but it'll get us there," Logan said as they took off.

"Where're we going?" Ororo asked.

"Don't know. Maybe Atlantic City, Niagara Falls, Bahamas, Rio, Vegas, Madripoor – who knows?"

"What?  Where?"

"Can't a man surprise his woman?" he asked and patted her hand.

"All right, surprise me then," she laughed and leaned her head against his back in pure contentment.

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As Logan and Ororo rode off into the sunset, so to speak, across an ocean in a little country called Madripoor a green haired woman wearing green lipstick looked up from her make up compact and eyed the Silver Samurai carefully.

"You're telling me that Mariko is dead then?"

"Yes," Keniuchio said.

"And Logan? What of him?"

The Silver Samurai hesitated for only an instant.  "Dead," he stated with vehemence.

"Then his oath is void. Pity. I would have liked holding his vow to marry me over his head and there's no doubt that ruling Madripoor with him by my side would've been much easier but such is life. We've got things to do, let's get busy," Viper said, and with that she put away her compact and stood up.

Keniuchio remained silent standing before her in his silver armor, hands behind his back.

"I suppose we should move on to our next priority now that you're head of your House. Which reminds me, while you were gone I thought of a brilliant way to get rid of that scheming Mandarin and control the Hand too but we'll need to move carefully. . ."

As Viper droned on about her plans the Samurai was seething silently. It had gnawed at him for the past few months that he had failed in killing the gaijin. But then the Samurai smiled as he considered Viper's words. After all, he had achieved all that he wanted. Did it matter that the gaijin still lived when his half sister was dead? No, it didn't matter at all he told himself and believed it. Logan had no rights and no power in Japan now. It was just as Viper had said – he was the head of Clan Yashida and that was a kingly reward indeed – a reason to rejoice and celebrate!

"We will celebrate this occasion," Keniuchio said with the first hint of pleasure in his strong voice.

Viper nodded in agreement.  "Champagne's a good idea."

As she summoned a servant she made one last comment that Keniuchio chose to ignore.  He would never allow himself to think about the gaijin again.

"It's kind of a relief but in a strange way it's a little disappointing.  Logan dead," she shook her head.  "I didn't think anyone could off that crazy bastard!"

Fini  . . .

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*French Definitions


Non – No

chérie – dear

précieux – precious

Absolument non – Absolutely no

tétine – dummy

homme - man

Tempétueux - Stormy

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Thank you all for reading.  Thank you ten times over to all who took the time to review, it's meant a lot to me, truly.