Darkness and Light
Chapter 15: Goodbye

Well, here it is! The last chapter to the story! It's been crazy, but I had a lot of fun writing this and I a lot of fun hearing what other people thought! This chapter is it! I don't know if I'll make a sequel, but if I do it might not happen for quite a while. Sorry, but I have so many other stories I want to write! Thanks again to all who have reviewed, and now I give you the last response to my wonderful reviewers.

Megaroony: I know! I know! I should have put some more Rolo in the last chapter, but it ran long...Sorry. I completely support them as a couple. I think they are very compatible...Much more than the slew of other characters they've been stuck with in the past. And to answer your question about Antarctica, see Uncanny #350 to see what Rogue and Remy were talking about. And I'm honored that you like Slayer! He's my very own creation and it really means a lot to me that you approve of him. I put a lot of thought in to this story to make it coincide with the comic so I could undo at least some of the crap Marvel has done without destroying it. And Slayer was the medium for all this. It was difficult at times to write, but because of reviews like yours, I feel as though I have succeeded! Thank you so much for all your kind support! I really appreciate it! I hope you like the last chapter and I wish you the best!

Enchantedlight: You've been there since the beginning my friend. I can't thank you enough for that! I worked really hard on this because I wanted to stay true to the comics while changing certain aspects to tell a good story. I'm glad you liked the Romy scene! That was my first Rogue/Remy scene so I'm glad you approve. And in the future, I will have a Rogue/Remy centered fic so don't fret! I'm not done with them yet! Well, it's been great hearing from you throughout the story and it really means a lot to me that you took the time to read and review my work. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the final chapter!

Ldypebsaby: Well, this is it my friend...The last chapter of "Darkness and Light!" I'm glad you liked the last chapter where I pair up everybody and resolve some of the lingering issues. The Scott/Jean part was my favorite to write of course! I'm glad you liked it too because I felt they deserved a nice tender scene together after everything that they've been through. That and all the other couples I addressed were fun as well! I guess that just leaves this last chapter. You'll see what happens to Slayer as everything comes to a close...But is brightened by a new beginning. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! Thank you so much for all your kind words about my story and my character, Slayer. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the final chapter my friend!

Agent-G: Well man, here's the final chapter. Like every other story out there, this one must have an end. I can't tell you how thankful I am that you've reviewed my story so much since its inception! I'm glad you liked the last chapter. And yes, I am a major Ororo/Logan supporter. I think they are far more compatible than the other characters they've been stuck with. As for other characters like Polaris, Alex, Annie, and the rest of the characters I didn't mention...I decided that it was best to leave them out and focus on the core characters for the sake of clarity. And as for Rachel, she hasn't done a whole lot of interacting with the others in recent comics, and I didn't want to complicate things. I just wanted to keep it simple. And just so you know, I am aware that Piotr was cremated, but I do believe that there was a memorial for him at the institute. As for Illyana, I'm not so sure about that and I'm sorry if I botched it. Other than that, I am honored that you have reviewed my work. It will only help to inspire me to write more and I thank you for it! Enjoy the last chapter! Peace out!

Darkness1: Well my friend, this is the end. You've been a great supporter of the story ever since it started and I can't thank you enough for it! So you liked the Ororo/Logan scene the best? Yeah, I had a lot of fun with that one! Their interaction in the comics is just too cute at times. They have kissed on multiple occasions and they do seem to understand each other better than anyone else. As for Scott and Jean, I just thought they deserved a peaceful moment after everything they've been through. As for Slayer, you'll learn what happens to him in this final chapter. It really means a lot to me that you like him because he is my own creation! His decision on whether or not to stay at the institute rests with him and him alone. But whatever his choice, he will have good reasons for it. He's just a really tortured soul who is just like you and me, but has the responsibility of being a powerful warrior thrust upon him on his weary shoulders. There is so much more to tell about him, but I don't think I'll get the chance for a while. And you say you've finished his picture?! Please hurry up and send it to me! I'm eager to see what you think he looks like! Well, I guess this is it my friend! You have been so kind to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Angyxoxo: Hey! I here it is! The last chapter to my first ever comicverse X-men fic! I can't tell you how much it means to me that you have taken the time to read my story! I'm honored that you think my writing is so good! Your writing is great too...Don't ever tell yourself that it's not...It is! I agree with you on your views about Emma. She should have never meddled in Scott and Jean's relationship to begin with! And I'm very glad that you like this story even though you're not a big Scott/Jean fan. But I believe that they belong together. They are the most enduring X-couple in history, it's downright sacrilegious to break them up! Stupid Marvel! I know you don't like Scott now, but I give reasons for his actions in this story, so maybe he won't be as easy to dislike now. And thank you for your approval of Slayer. I put a lot of thought and effort in to him as a character and it really means a lot to me that you approve of him. He's rather complex, but I didn't have enough time to really go in to it in this story...Oh well, maybe some other time. You are amazing! "A Different Way to a Perfect Ending" and "The Wedding" rule! Thank you so much and I wish you the best!

Sentoris: YEAH! YOU'RE BACK! I really missed you! Thank you for taking the time to read and review all the chapters to my story despite your long absence. I'm glad you liked it! You have said such kind words to me in the past and I really appreciate all your support. I'm honored that you approve of Slayer and I thank you for all your complements on my writing. I put a lot of effort and time in to this. It took a lot for me to put to rest old feelings of the other characters and have it all come together in the end while holding the reader's interest. Thanks to you and my other kind reviewers, I feel like I have succeeded on at least some level. It's great to have you back and thank you so much for all your kind words! You rock! Peace out my friend!

Wen: What can I say...Other than how grateful I am to you and your kind comments. I'm running out of words to express my gratitude to you for being so kind! I always enjoy reading your comments and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read my work. Thank you...And I wish you the best my friend!

Well, that's it! Thanks again to all my wonderful reviewers! You are all so wonderful! Well, I guess it's time to end it. I know it's been a long, eventful road but everything has to end at some point! Thank you all so much and I hope you enjoy the final chapter to "Darkness and Light!"

The hours of the evening ticked by as if they were merely seconds in the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. The crisp, clear night had fallen around them and the sky was now shining with stars as the cool breeze swept across the land. The celebratory reunion dinner that Professor Xavier had planned was now more than just a simple gathering of old friends. It was a celebration of new beginnings. Three of their fellow X-men had returned from the brink of death and now stood alive, and better than ever. The celebration was full of laughter, smiles, and healing of old wounds. Many, like Storm, Rogue, Kitty, and Remy, had chosen to return to the school to reunite as they once had before the terrible events of the past year had fallen over them. Some, like Emma Frost, who had considered leaving, had now chosen to give the dream another chance.

This was certainly a time of new beginnings for the X-men, and Professor Charles Xavier couldn't have been happier for his students. And as he prepared to leave his office to join the remaining festivities...He suddenly noticed someone outside his window. Curiously, he looked out to see the face of an old friend.

"Sorry I can't stay long for the party Charles..."

"I understand Eric..."

Eric Magnus Lensherr, also known as Magneto, hovered before the second story window outside Xavier's office. He had disappeared after the fight with Apocalypse, but Charles knew that his friend had his own reasons for it. And as he smiled back at the man he had once shared a dream with, he hoped that maybe someday they would learn to agree on the future of mutants...And mankind as well.

"So what are you going to do now old friend?" asked Charles as he watched his friend prepare to leave once more.

"I have a lot of thinking to do...I have a lot of things I need to catch up on from the past year. I promise to let you know if and when I succeed. But for now...I need some time to reflect. And I'll start...By finding my children."

And as the master of magnetism turned to fly away in to the night, he said one last thing to his friend before he was gone once more.

"Thank you Charles...I look forward to the day we meet again."

As the hours of the night got later, many members of the X-men gave way to exhaustion after a very long and eventful day. The team was united once more...And with hope and some luck, they would stay that way this time and not let another dark force taint that unity again. But before this hectic day ended...There remained one last issue. And that issue was the reason why the team had survived the horrible tribulations that had transpired. It was Jack Robinson...The mutant warrior known as Slayer. He had come in to this mansion as an enemy and they fought him...But it turned out that in fighting him, they were only working to destroy themselves more. He had exposed the truth about Apocalypse...He had exposed the truth about a lot of things. The lies that had plagued their world were shattered by the words and actions of this man. He found the real Scott Summers, helped destroy Apocalypse once and for all, and had helped unite the team once more. He had done so much and yet he never asked for anything in return except their trust. But he had earned it...And in the process became more than just a guide to the truth...He had become a friend as well. And as the late hours of the night set in, the mutant warrior prepared to make one more decision with his new friends.

"Well Professor, I can't thank you enough for letting me be a part of this wonderful celebration. I can't even remember my last full meal," said Slayer as he finished the tasty, fudge desert Ororo had made for everybody.

"You're most certainly welcome Jack. It's the least we can do after all you've done for us. You know...You're more than welcome to stay here as long as you like," said Xavier.

Soon, the rest of the team gathered around the mutant warrior as they clamored to know whether or not this mysterious stranger who had helped them so much in their time of need was here to stay. Many of them didn't want him to leave...But as the mutant warrior took in the Professor's offer, he already knew the response that he had to give.

"That's very kind of you Professor...But I'm afraid I can't stay here," responded Slayer as he looked back at the people he had done so much to help.

"What? Why not?" said Kitty, shocked by his decision. "I think you'd make a great addition to the team!"

"Yeah, it's the least we owe you homme. You saved us all. You're a regular ace!" said Gambit flashing him an ace of spades.

Slayer respectfully shook his head, knowing that the decision he made was for the best.

"I didn't save you...You saved yourselves. I only guided you along the way. You helped me in the same way I helped you. And that is why I must go...I have done all I can...And it's time I left you all to your own choices."

"Come on bub, I know we kind of got off on the wrong foot earlier, but you've earned our trust, and mine as well...And that ain't an easy feat. You said it yourself, if we had continued the path we were goin' the future, the world, everything would have gone up in smoke. You helped everything make sense for us again...Let us return the favor," said Wolverine, trying to sound sincere even though he knew he was never good at things like this.

Slayer couldn't help but simile. He had never had people who thanked him so much for his deeds. In the past, his actions had gone unnoticed for the most part because he was just such a loner. He had never really worked with others that had come to trust him as implicitly as these people had. Trust was so hard to gain and so easy to lose...But this time he hadn't lost it in spite of enormous odds.

"I appreciate your offer...But I still think it would be for the best if I not stay. I require no payment for what I have done. The honor alone is all the reward I need. You all have your place here...And shouldn't intrude upon that. You must be able to make your own decisions now. I'm sorry...But I just don't belong here."

"Come on man, what makes you say that?" asked Scott, who owed this man so much after saving him and Jean from terrible fates that would have come to pass if it had not been for him.

"Because I don't belong anywhere..." answered the mutant warrior, "Some people...Are just meant to be alone...And I guess I'm one of them. I am but a mere shadow in this world...I fight the forces many others can't fight. I don't always win and people do suffer because I fail...But I can't ever let that stop me. I have a cause I fight for...And you have a cause you fight for. If you all do your part...I promise you that I'll be sure to do mine."

His decision was disappointing...But they understood to some extent what he was saying. Slayer knew that there were many other reasons why he shouldn't stay...But he just wasn't ready to reveal them. He had done a lot for his new friends...And they had done a lot for him. But still...A lot of them didn't want to see this man go.

"But you've done so much to help us even after we fought against you. We should have listened, but we didn't. None of us would be standing here if it wasn't for you, Slayer. Surely there is something we can do to help..." said Ororo.

"Other way around Ororo," said Slayer with a grin, "If you guys hadn't tried to stop me and had I succeeded and killing Apocalypse in the first place then your leader would be dead, the Phoenix might not have been tamed, and I wouldn't have gotten a chance to fight along side you guys. It's funny...Because I don't believe in fate. It's nothing more than an illusion no different than the ones Apocalypse used on you...But it's still kind of ironic how things work themselves out in the end. And it's all because you started making the right choices for a change and remembered that there is something worth fighting for in this world. Just don't ever forget that...And we'll call it even."

Jack Robinson's wise words were simple, yet powerful. After all the lies they had consumed, it had took only one man armed with the truth to help them see the light. It was clear now, that the mutant warrior had made his final choice. And they would respect that...Even if it meant saying goodbye.

"You drive a hard bargain, bub," said Wolverine with a grin, "But I think we can handle it."

The mutant warrior just smiled back as the others took his words to heart.

"So I guess this is goodbye mein friend," said Kurt.

"Will we ever see you again?" asked Jubilee, still wanting to keep some hope.

Slayer was silent for a moment as he contemplated the young girl's question. However, with a smile on his face, he gave his response.

"I can't be sure...Now that you all know the truth and are in control of your own lives now...I can't be certain if we will meet again. But should our paths cross again...I would look forward to that day my friends."

"As will we Slayer, and even if we don't...Just remember, you have friends here. And you will always have our thanks, no matter what the future sends us."

The crystal clear night sky was a crisp sight to behold. But the final hour had come, and after a long, heartfelt goodbye, the mutant warrior known as Slayer made his leave after having such a profound impact on the new friends he had met. He was a little overwhelmed that they had come to think of him as a friend after years of being completely alone in his ventures. For the longest time, Jack Robinson had just been a loner with nobody there except the spirits that helped teach him. Now, he actually had friends...And the feeling was unlike anything he could ever describe with words. But as he left the main gate of the mansion and prepared to say goodbye to his new allies, he felt two certain individuals come up from behind to see him one last time.

"Jack...Wait," said Scott as he approached the young warrior with Jean by his side.

Slayer turned around to see the grateful couple that he had helped save after so much hardship. They had suffered a lot because of Apocalypse...And he had been the one to help set them free. They had a connection that went beyond anything Slayer could understand...But it was a connection that had survived because of him. And no matter how old Scott and Jean lived to be or how many troubles they would face together...They would never forget the deeds done by this man who had worked so hard to save them.

"Before you go...We want you to have this," said Scott as he handed him a small object.

Slayer looked and saw that it was a simple patch with a brilliantly decorated X-men logo on it. And on the bottom of it, a small picture with the entire team stood etched in to the fabric.

"Consider it a memento," said Jean, "This way you'll never forget about us...Because you can be assured, we will never forget about you."

The young woman who owed so much to this man just smiled back as he looked at his gift from his new friends.

"Wow...I don't know what to say," said the mutant warrior as he looked at this small object of appreciation from a grateful team.

"Jack...You saved my life," said Scott, "You saved Jean. You saved us all from a terrible fate. I would be dead now if it wasn't for you..."

"Other way around, Scott," replied the mutant warrior with a grin, "Remember...It was you that came in and destroyed Apocalypse with my sword. I would have been choked to death and I wouldn't have been able to do anything to save your wife either. Even with all my power...Even with all my skill...It only took your simple courage to end the reign of that ancient madman. And rest assured...He will never return now that the evil within him has been vanquished. You saved me...And I helped save you. Consider it even my friend."

Scott couldn't help but smile at those words. In many ways they had saved each other. But one thing was for certain...If neither of them had made the choices they did, everyone would have suffered. Now, Scott had his life back...He had his girl back...And he had never felt better in his life. Jean had her life back as well. He had her real husband once again, and this time she wouldn't let anything taint it. She was free from Apocalypse's illusions...She was free from the Phoenix. Now...She could just be herself from now on and she had never felt happier.

"So what does the future look like now?" asked Jean, "Do you know what's in store for us?"

The symbol on the mutant warrior's eye glowed once more, but the smile on his face only got bigger.

"What does the future look like? Well, it's cloudy, unclear, and completely ambiguous. And that's exactly as it should be. Now you two, and the rest of the team for that matter, can make your own future. The possibilities are limitless...A new beginning has descended upon all of us. And I know you all may be tempted to forget about this whole ordeal...But I implore you not to. I know it will be hard at times...But you can learn from the past even if it's not pleasant. You see, building a future and preserving the past...Are one in the same. Now, you are no longer controlled by fate. You see...Fate is the greatest illusion anyone can cast upon themselves...Only when one rejects it, can they make the future they want to make. You have the power my...It's just a matter of how you use it."

"Thank you Jack," said Scott as she gently squeezed his wife's hand and smiled, "We promise we'll work to make our future bright."

"I'm happy to hear that," said Slayer, "Just remember all the things I've taught you, and you should be just fine. But, there are many challenges that await you...Challenges that I can't see because the future is now unclear. But you can get through any of them as long as you're not afraid. Fear and insecurity were the byproducts of Apocalypse's illusions and I know it's not easy when those qualities are a part of your character. But you can still overcome them...Just don't be afraid to follow your heart."

Scott Summers and Jean Grey-Summers took those words to heart as the smiled back at the man who had bought them back together after so much darkness over time. But still, there was one last thing that needed to be said before this man left their lives just as fast as he had entered it.

"Jack..." said Scott as he and Jean took a step closer, "There's no way we can forget about your words. You've given us something we could never get on our own...Something so precious that no matter how hard we try, we can never thank you enough for it."

"Really? What might that be?" asked the mutant warrior.

"Clarity..." said Scott with a smile, knowing no other words could be used to describe what Slayer had given them.

The mutant warrior didn't argue with that. Scott and Jean were going to give him their thanks whether he liked it or not. Things were finally clear for Scott, Jean, and the rest of the X-men. No more lies, illusions, or deception tainted them any longer. The love they both shared hadn't faded...It never even waned in the first place. And thanks to Slayer, they finally realized it and now it was stronger than ever. This was definitely a time of new beginnings...But there was still a certain sadness couldn't be fought, for one thing had to end for everything to begin again. And that thing was Slayer...He had done what he had come here to do and much more. But it was still hard to see him leave.

"We'll miss you Jack..." said Jean as the time for his departure drew near.

"As will I Jean. It's been...Interesting, to say the least," replied Slayer with a grin.

"That it has. And thanks again for all your good advice Jack...I'll be sure to never forget it," said Scott, who had taken all the words the mutant warrior had said to heart.

"Be sure that you don't. Just remember...Fate is an illusion, you are in control of your own lives now. Think hard about the choices you make...Listen to others and use empathy as well as sympathy...And tell your wife you love her every day and you'll be fine my friend," said the mutant warrior, knowing these words of wisdom might be the last from him that Scott and Jean would hear.

They didn't have to worry about Apocalypse any more...No demon or entity possessed them now. The spell that freed Jean had left her in control of herself once more...And the power of freedom that she now felt was greater than any deity could ever give her. Scott would always have the shadow of the nightmare that he suffered hang over him, but thanks to the healing power of the love from his wife, the heart of his friends, and the healing elixir that Slayer had given him earlier...He was now better than ever. Slayer was tempted to tell him that the potion may have a few "side effects," but he doubted they would be seen as a burden at all once they kicked in...Later that night with Jean.

Now, the time had come. The moon shined brightly above as Scott extended his hand to the mutant warrior that had saved them all as one last token of thanks for his deeds.

"Take care, Jack..." said Scott.

Slayer simply smiled and shook his new friend's hand one last time before he left back to whatever mysterious place he had come from.

"You too Scott...Jean. Thank you for being my friends...And don't ever forget that you have the power...It's just a matter of how you use it."

Then...As he let go of the hand of his new friend and ally, he turned and began to walk back in to the dark path in to the night. Scott's arm slowly snaked its way around Jean's waist and held her close. They had been given another chance thanks to this man...And this time they would make it count. As they both waved goodbye one last time to the man that had saved them all...The mysterious purple haze that had bought this man here engulfed and surrounded the mutant warrior. But before he completely faded away one last time...He managed to wave back...And with one last breath...Spoke his peace.

"You've done it guys...The path before you is full of limitless possibilities. I have done all I can. And now...The future is yours..."

The End...

AN: That's it! "Darkness and Light" is over my friends! The X-men are free and united again! So what did you think? I know some of you will probably send me angry letters for changing the comics. But remember, I did this because I was dissatisfied with how Marvel was directing the future of the X-men. Although recently they did bring back Colossus, there are still a lot of things that need to be addressed. I was angry that they kept killing good characters and splitting up couples that they shouldn't have. They have to put Scott and Jean back together, keep Rogue and Remy together, and bring back Psylock! But remember, this is just my opinion. This story is AU! This is my story and I'm sorry if it angers or upsets anybody. Other than that, what did you think? How did you like the plot? What about my character Jack Robinson, AKA Slayer? What do you think of him? I know some of you might not like him because you may think he is too Mary-Sueish, but that was not my intention. He is just a guy who sees thing in more profound ways than others. Please send me your thoughts on him! Tell me what you thought about the story! Send your comments to me at my email address or post them on the fanfiction website. I can't thank you enough for reading my story and I promise that I will keep writing as long as I keep dreaming. And a very special thanks to all those who took the time to send me reviews...You all rock! Well, I'm sorry that it has to end and I hope you like whatever future stories I write! I wish you all the best and thanks again for reading! Peace out!

And a very special thanks to my wonderful reviewers Darkness1, Agent-G, Diaz, Communist Penguin, Enchantedlight, Cullen, Angyxoxo, Sprocket, KSimonT-X, Ldypbseby, Reddfire, X00001, Sentoris, and especially Wen! Thanks everybody! I appreciate your wonderful feedback!


Fate is the greatest illusion anyone can cast upon themselves...Only when one rejects it, can they make the future they want to make.