Forever X

Prologue: Direct Hit

Rogue glanced around the gardens before dropping down from her balcony. No one was walking even though it was a beautiful spring morning. Rogue yawned as she crossed the grass. No eighteen year old is meant to be up at this time, she thought as she scrambled over the wall. She heard the motorbike before she saw it come round the corner. On it was her boyfriend; the sexy, the gorgeous Remy Lebeau, his hair blowing in the wind as he sped towards her. He drew to a halt beside her.
"Ya late Cajun," Rogue said irritably. Remy smiled.
"Remy knows chere but ain't he worth the wait," he replied, oozing self-assurance.
Rogue grinned as she jumped on the back.
"Lets go swamp rat." Gambit replied by gunning the engine.

##X##

Just outside of Bayville, inside a base hidden by the mountain walls, two men sat having a meeting. A short man with dark hair in his late thirties was leaning back in his chair, completely composed, not taking his eyes off the man sitting opposite him. The second man was wearing a military uniform richly decorated in medal and was engrossed in the document he was reading.
"As you can see, General Sherman, if we allow this mutant problem to escalate, it could mean the end of mankind as we know it," the dark haired man said as he adjusted his expensive suit.
"I don't know Mr Rhisdon," the General answered not taking his eyes from the paper. "I agree that mutants are a problem but the last thing we need to do is give the mutants an excuse to attack." Michael Rhisdon stood up abruptly and moved round the desk to stand at the General's shoulder.
"Now, General, imagine. It is only a matter of time before mutants rise up," Rhisdon placed a hand on the General's shoulder. "The mutants will stop at nothing to gain complete control," images filled General Sherman's head accompanied with Rhisdon's narration. "They will pillage, burn, kill just as it says in the report," people screaming all around him. The military hero could almost feel the heat of the flames. Everything was so vivid it was almost real. Suddenly the images cut off. "You can stop that General. We can hit the mutants at the heart, where the biggest threat is. Together we can destroy the X-men. All I need is your authorisation." Rhisdon slid the paper towards the General who was shocked by what he had seen. In his mind it was what the future would be like.
"Hand me a pen," he muttered. He signed quickly.
"Thank you General. You are doing the right thing for America," Rhisdon said, grinning from ear to ear.
"How soon can it be done," the General said as he readied himself to leave.
"Less than half an hour sir," the General nodded before leaving the base. Rhisdon quickly scanned the document, basking in his own superiority. There was a knock on the door and a young sergeant stepped in.
"Everything is ready sir." "Good. Gather your troops, they should all witness this." "If I may sir, how did you know the General would sign?" the young soldier asked.
"Instinct, just instinct," Michael Rhisdon said staring at the paper.

##X
Kurt groaned as he woke. The sun was streaming in through the gap in his curtains illuminating his mess of a room. He rolled away from the offending light and tried to close his eyes. Somehow he just couldn't fall asleep so he bampfed downstairs. No one was about not even Logan.
"Perfect," Kurt said to himself. "I get virst dibs on ze juice."

##X##

Rogue clung to Remy's waist as they tore down the rode. They had only been out for less than an hour but already felt able to face the rest of the X-men even Jean. Once again Rogue wished she could touch. How long was Remy going to stay with someone who can't even hold hands, skin to skin? Rogue forced the thought from her mind and squeezed tighter to Remy, who smiled and sped up. They stopped halfway to the mansion and sat, arms round each other on the grass bank a little off the road, just listening to the sounds around them.
Suddenly a deafening noise broke through the bird song making the young couple sit up. Hurtling through the sky were two objects that looked like planes but were flying too low and too fast. Then they started to waver and criss-cross but yet they stayed on target, heading towards the mansion.
"Missiles," Rogue breathed, full of dread. They climbed on the bike.
Remy and Rogue sped down the road desperately trying to reach the mansion but with no idea how they could help. Rogue watched in horror as the missiles descended leaving a trail of smoke.
Suddenly the explosions ripped through the air making Rogue's blood run cold. They were too late.

##X
(Seconds before impact)

Kurt dropped his glass as he stared out the window. Streaking towards the mansion were two missiles. In those split seconds Kurt made a choice. He bampfed away. Guilt overwhelmed him, making him choke as he thought of all the people he left behind.
When he reappeared, he fell to his knees crying and suddenly very weary as though he had moved a large load. He looked around him and saw he was in unfamiliar terrain. He was nowhere near Bayville.

##X##

Rogue climbed off the bike as if in a nightmare. Everything had been reduced to rubble. The gates had been blown apart and every tree was flat on the ground. No one could have survived two direst hits.
Rogue fell to her knees and buried her face in her hands as sobs wracked her body. Remy watched helplessly, utterly shocked by what he saw.
Images of her friends flashed through Rogue's mind. Gone, they were all gone. She beat her fists on the ground. Her friends, her brother, her family destroyed right in front of her eyes.
"Chere," a gentle voice said. "Come, we cannot stay here. Whoever did dis will be wantin to inspect their work." Rogue looked up and focused on Remy. "Remy's so sorry my cherie." The Cajun pulled her to his chest and together they stood. Suddenly a thought struck Rogue.
"There's something Ah have to do."

##X
(Two years after the destruction of the mansion)

Nothing was there where the mansion had stood. The wall had been rebuilt and the gate replaced but no one went there. A girl stood on the cliff edge letting the wind play with her auburn hair as her emerald eyes looked down at the waterfall. She turned and went to the middle of the green field where a stone pillar stood. On it was all the names of the mutants who had died. Not a trace had been found of them.
Rogue ran her eyes over the list and saw her own name. To the rest of the world she had died when they did. From the pocket of her trench coat Rogue pulled out a photograph. It featured the whole of the X-men all smiling, all happy, all alive. Rogue ran her hand over it.
"Hey," she said. "It's been a while, two years to the day." Rogue closed her eyes imagining she could hear Kitty's laugh, Kurt's jokes, Logan's growl as if they were all alive.
"But ya not," Rogue admitted. "Ah miss ya but it's time Ah let go. Ya gone but Ah'll remember ya. Ah'm sorry." She kissed the photo before carefully placing it in front of the stone and weighing it down with pebbles. Slowly she stood and walked away.

Two nights later the gate was pulled open to admit another visitor. It was a short man carrying a duffel bag and smoking a cigar.
Logan looked round the site. They mansion was gone, just like it was on the news. He crossed to the pillar with all the names of the mutants. His own name was there etched in stone.
One second he was sound asleep in the mansion, the next he was in northern Canada. Had it been the same with everyone else?
On the floor in front of the stone was a photo. His heart stopped when he saw it was of the X-men. Cautiously he sniffed it.
"Stripes?" Logan said out loud. He turned the picture over to see if anything was written on the back. There in strong handwriting were the words:

Forever X.

so wot do ya think.ipromise to finish To Have and To Hold soon. Don't forget to review.