Life as We Knew It

Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men. I wish I did but hey what ya gonna do? A few OC's are mine.

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Chapter 4

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5 Years Later

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Marie was sitting in the garden. She liked it better out here. There was too much going on inside the house. People were running around and packing but it was a big secret. She liked the quiet out here. Her black and red eyes followed the movement of a bumblebee as it hopped from flower to flower. Her long dress fluttered around her as she ran in and out of the hedges. She was near the pond and the graveyard. Marie sat down in the sandy banks and began to build a castle. In the distance she saw a tall man come walking toward her from the direction of the graveyard. Momma had told her to run away from people she didn't know. To hurry back to the house and tell them. But he didn't look like the soldiers that came and yelled at momma and daddy.

"What you doin there, chere?" he took a seat on the ground next to her.

"Are you from the school?" she looked up at him and saw his eyes. "You have eyes like mine."

"I used to be from the school." he smiled at the small chiled.

"Did your parents take you away too?"

"No, I left a while ago. I wanted to come and see you."

"Why me?"

"Cause somebody tol' Remy you was the prettiest little girl ever. An' he had to come see."

Marie giggled. "You talk funny." The two sat in silence for several moments while he helped her build her castle.

"Marie Elizabeth!"

She turned as she heard her name called from the direction of the house. "That's my mom."

"Den it about time for me at get goin. Could you tell your momma something for me?" he continued when she nodded. "Tell her dat I never got at say goodbye ta her. But I love her and I'm always gonna be wit her." he held up his hands and did a small trick, producing a playing card. He stood and walked back the way he came.

"Marie!" Claudia came up over the hill and looked down at her daughter. "What are you doin' all the way out here? I told you to stay near the house."

"I know, I'm sorry."

"it's ok, baby-doll."

"There was a man here." She walked over and took her mother's hand.

Claudia froze. "What do you mean a man? Where did he go."

"Back there." she pointed toward the graveyard. "but its ok. He wasn't one of the soldier people. He used to go here."

She looked down at the little girl.

"He said he never got to say good bye to you. And then he said…um… that he loves you and he's always with you."

Claudia sunk down to the ground next to her daughter. "What did he look like baby?"

Marie sat on the ground. "he was tall and he had red hair and ohh." she got excited. "He had eyes like mine."

Claudia started into space in shock. Her daughter had just described Gambit. She had never met him and never really seen pictures of him. "That's impossible." she whispered.

"He gave me this." Marie handed Claudia the card he had given her. Claudia looked down at the cloud in her hands and saw the queen of hearts.

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It was late when Claudia finally tucked Marie into bed that night. Afterward, she came back to the study and joined the other x-men.

"Wolverine called a little bit ago. The base is almost cleared up. We should be able to start moving up there in about two weeks." Emilia leaned back in her chair.

"It's going to be tight." Scott looked over the papers in front of him. "My government contacts say the relocation bill should go through without a hitch. We have maybe four weeks till they come for us."

Over the preceding years the number of uncontrolled mutants had increased. Even after Xavier had created another school for mutants on the west coast the rising number of accidental injuries from children who couldn't control their powers convinced parents groups to take action. They lobbied and finally in June 2027 the mutant registration act was passed. Everyone at both school registered in the hopes that with compliance they would be allowed to continue their work helping mutant children. However, with the names and addresses of mutants recorded almost nowhere was safe. When the students at the school began to be attacked when ever they left the grounds the decision was made to merge the schools for safety. All along the number of killings and attacks on mutants continued to increase. Finally in 2031 a plan was made under the guise of protecting the countries mutants. The mutant relocation bill entered congress in May of 2033. When the bill was still in its initial planning stages Scott Summers had used in Capitol Hill contacts find the time line and details of it. The day the bill was signed into law the military would begin mobilizing. Within two weeks every mutant in America would be found and moved to a secure facility in the Nevada desert. When he learned of this he sent Logan, Kurt, Kitty and their children to an abandoned facility in the Canadian wilderness. It had once been one of Magneto's hideouts but it would soon be a refuge for all the children.

"Claudia?" T.J touched her arm.

She jumped a bit and looked around at the eyes looking at her.

"Are you alright?" Jean's voice showed concern.

"Yeah, I'm fine. It's just… Marie she… This afternoon she was playing down by the pond. When I came to get her she said she saw a man." Everyone suddenly came on edge. "She said he wasn't a soldier."

"Do you think the security has been compromised?" T.J turned to his father.

"No." Claudia interrupted. "She described him to me. He told her he used to go to the school. She said he was tall and he had red hair." she shook her head and looked hard at the table. " She said he had eyes like hers. My daughter described to me my father who never ever found out I was pregnant, who she's never seen pictures of."

"Did he say anything to her?" Emilia looked at her curiously.

"Yeah, he told her to give me a message. That he never got to say goodbye to me by the loved me and he would always be with me. Then he gave her this." She tossed the card onto the table.

Everyone looked it amazed.

"Stranger things have happened." Emilia looked from face to face. "What?" She looked to the skeptical looks. "You all don't believe me. Some of my kids told me there was a bald man in a wheelchair that told them to stop running in the halls. This school was so many things to so many people. Why shouldn't spirits be here?"

"I thought you were a scientist, Emilia." Jean' voice took on a condescended tone.

"Being a scientist does not mean discounting everything you don't understand."

"Will you stop arguing?" Scott stood and interrupted. "You can argue whether or not the mansion is haunted later. Jean, how close is the med lab to being packed?"

The meeting continued long into the night. When it finally finished all had their assigned tasks for the coming move.

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Three weeks Later

Finally the mansion was almost empty. Claudia and T.J. elected to go with the last group leaving.

Claudia stood alone in the tiny graveyard. She placed the roses on her parents graves and stood between them.

"Well, this is it." She looked at the playing card in her hand. "They're waiting on me. But T.J. said I could have all the time I needed and damit I'm taking it. I miss you guys more than you could imagine. I wish you were here especially now. I don't think I ever really knew how much the world hated us. And its not just that they don't want us around, they want us dead. Just because of how we were born. Sometimes I wonder, maybe Xavier was wrong. Maybe we should have been with Magneto. I guess its too late to wonder about that now. The brotherhood is gone now." She thought a moment. "O.K. so I made them gone but… I still don't understand why you didn't show yourself to me daddy, but its ok. Life as we knew it is over. We tried so hard to play by their rules. Maybe someday there will be a place for us. Isn't that a song?" she shrugged. "I think its time for me to leave now. I'm not sure if I'll ever get to come back here but in case I don't. I love you guys." She knelt down and pressed a kiss to her finger tips and then each headstone. Carefully she laid the card down at the base of her father's. "Bye." she whispered, standing. Claudia LeBeau stood and began walking back toward the waiting jet. She didn't look back as she wiped the tears from her face.

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On September 25, 2033 President Warner signed into law the Mutant Relocation Act. Thirty-two hours later the military was mobilized and began collecting known mutants. When they reached the mansion in Westchester, New York, it was empty. Not so much as a crumb had been left behind. The 62 mutants who had been registered as living there were listed as renegades and warrants put out for their arrest. The soldiers moved on their way and continued their search. Within three weeks every mutant in America had been taken. No one had any idea what was to come.

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Comments, Criticisms, etc..??

A/N: This story is finally finished. I originally posted this story over the weekend but it just didn't feel finished. I added the last portion and am planning another sequel. This ending is still shaky to me. Please review and let me know what you think.