A/N: Thanks so much for all your support over the years! This is the final chapter in this epic X-men story. I decided to also pay tribute to one of my new favorite Xmen pairings-Hellion and X23. I hope you enjoy what happens next!
Chapter XXV: X-men Save the World-Again
Inside Professor Xavier's office Rogue stared at the wilted plant in front of her and then reached out and touched it. The brown, limp leaves sprang to life with bright green vibrancy. She looked over her shoulder to see Elixir's progress. He too seemed to be successful in his plant's death to life test.
"It's not much, but it's definitely positive progress," Emma said from where she leaned against the far wall watching them both. "Rogue, you'll meet Dr. McCoy and deal with eradicating Apocalypse's curse. Elixir, I'm going to need you to scape me off the ground when I attempt to defeat the Phoenix."
"Since it's your life and you feel that confident I guess there's no need for me to worry," Elixir said with a faint grin.
"Of course there is need to worry. If you screw up I'll be made into hundreds of diamond engagement rings-so I'd prefer you go into this with some confidence. You have the ability and you've demonstrated it. Now, you just need to pass the ultimate field test," Emma said tossing her hair behind her shoulder in a matter-of-fact fashion and going to the desk to retrieve a book she'd been inseparable from for the past several days.
"And remember, if you fail, Cyclops will melt a hole through you," Rogue said placing her hand on Elixir's shoulder with a friendly pat.
"And if you fail the world as we know it will come to an end as the horsemen bring about the Apocalypse of mankind," Elixir said turning his head to look at Rogue with a bored expression.
"That's some incentive we have to not mess up then, ain't it?"
"I'd like to practice a bit more," Elixir said turning back to his resurrected plant.
"I'll give you five more minutes," Emma said looking back down at the book she'd been reading off and on the entire time they'd been practicing with Elixir's healing powers. "Then Rogue needs to charge up again and you need to take a nap to restore your powers to be at full strength this evening."
The door to the office opened and Hank McCoy stepped inside alongside Scott. Hank looked down at the many fresh plants. There were only about two that were still wilted and soon Elixir had brought that number down to zero.
The golden skinned boy turned around to face Dr. McCoy as did Rogue. "It seems the training is going well. Rogue, I'll need you to come with me. We have everything ready in the medical bay." The blue-furred mutant looked over at Elixir and smiled at him in a fatherly manner. "Your accomplishments Mr. Foley have been astounding and amazing."
"And you'll be sure to sing my praises assuming everything goes according to plan," Josh said sitting down and putting his head in his hands.
"How about you, Emma?" Scott asked moving to stand near her at the wall. "You think you can perform the ceremony?"
"The probability of me successfully completely the ceremony is high. It's the resulting effects I am unsure of aside from my own health. I do not know if the separation of the entity of Phoenix and Jean Grey will cause any damage to Jean's psyche."
"This chance is better than the alternative," Scott said knowing that if they didn't at least try they would all feel the guilt of not doing their best nor living up to the expectations of what it means to be part of the X-men. "We're X-men and we have to at least try."
"You know, Scott, I'd have thought you'd have something a little more inspiring to say that than," Rogue said a bit disappointed by her friend's so-called empowering speech.
"Sorry, Rogue. It's hard to be clever when you're worried about half your friends risking their lives," he said with an apologetic smile.
"Why, darling, you instill me with such confidence," Emma said in a mocking voice before snapping shut her book. "Come, Elixir. It is time for you to rest." She started for the door.
Elixir turned toward Rogue before moving to follow out Emma. "Power up," he said with a grin.
Rogue returned the smile and gently pressed her fingertips to his cheeks and took just enough of his power to charge her up for her assigned task. She removed her fingers and gave his covered shoulders an encouraging squeeze. "Thanks for the fill, now its time for you to recharge."
Scott sat heavily in Professor Xavier's chair. Hank and Rogue looked at each other knowing that it was time for them to go downstairs for their task, but their leader looked extremely taxed.
"Scott, you will just have to trust your teammates on this. All the possible preparations have been made with our limited timeframe and our odds are reasonable," Beast assured him.
"I'm tired of facing unreasonable odds," Cyclops said looking up at his two friends.
"As long as you're part of the X-men that's life, Cyclops," Rogue said leaning over the desk and staring into her friend and leader's ruby glasses. "You're our leader and you've got to keep your determination."
"Xavier will be back any time now," Scott argued.
"He's not here now. And you're leader, Scott Summers. He's our mentor," Rogue reaffirmed. "A leader doesn't leave his people when they've got to deal with Apocalypse, Sinister, Phoenix, anti-mutant hate groups and all the other stuff including kidnappings and alliances with former villains to hang out with an alien girlfriend," Rogue continued letting the bitterness take over.
"Tell us how you really feel, Rogue," Scott said sarcastically. If one could see past the ruby lenses they'd have seen him rolling his eyes.
"Come on, Rogue," Beast said taking her elbow. "We've got a mission to finish. Storm is waiting for you downstairs."
In the medical bay, Dr. McCoy and his medical colleagues Dr. Nemesis and the Scientist Reed Richards were hooking up their three patients to various monitors. The horsemen of War, Famine, and Plague lay back on their medical cots waiting for the proceedings to happen. A nervous Rogue and anxious Storm stood next to each other. Magneto stood at his daughter Lorna's bedside.
"You sure about this, cher?" Gambit asked turning his head toward her.
"Either I'll fix y'all or turn you into wilted versions of yourself," Rogue answered with her accent more obvious than usual in her nervousness.
"I don't mind waiting a bit longer until you're more comfortable and more confident," Sunfire said scratching the back of his hand where an IV port was inserted ready for use.
"No time. Dr. McCoy advised that we try to cure you all as soon as possible. Your bodies are building a resistance all ready to the injections Sinister had concocted," Rogue explained.
"You can begin any moment now," Beast said looking up from his monitors.
Rogue moved toward Lorna Dane. She was in the worst condition thanks to her enhanced powers keeping her the carrier of all the plagues to have ever haunted mankind. It had been decided unanimously to cure her first-not that a persistent and angry Magneto had anything to do with that decision.
Polaris smiled weakly up at Rogue. "I believe in you. Good luck."
Rogue tried to smile back but she was too nervous to put much effort into it. She pulled off her green arm length gloves and revealed that both her hands and arms were of a pure golden color. She could feel Elixir's power coursing within her system and she was confident she'd be able to handle the job put before her. She'd volunteered and now she'd prove herself to her fellow X-men and even the man who captured her a few years ago and attempted to murder her. Rogue placed both hands upon the woman's face and concentrated.
There would be no wilting of her patients. She could sense the darkness and death lurking within the very cells of Polaris. The ability to control her powers provided a sense of giddiness. There was no unintentional absorption of magnetic strength from Lorna, but there was the infusion of health spreading from Rogue's finger tips into the ravaged flesh of Pestilence.
She wasn't sure how much time had passed. All that mattered was destroying all trace of Apocalypse's curse from the blood of Lorna Dane.
"You can stop now, Rogue," Storm's voice called drawing her attention back to their environment. Rogue pulled her hands away and stepped back dizzily. Magneto caught her before she could trip and fall over her own feet.
"Is she all right?" Dr. McCoy asked with a touch of concern in his voice.
"She's fine," Magneto answered releasing Rogue and crouching near his daughter. He lifted her into a sitting position and hugged her closely.
"Monitors indicate no trace of the plague that resided in her previously," Dr. Reed Richards said tapping his monitor.
"Are you ready to continue, Rogue?" Storm asked gently grasping her shoulders.
Rogue glanced down at her hands to see a black darkness mixed within the golden hues before they vanished leaving nothing but the pure gold once again. There had been a sense of lightheadedness, but it too had passed. "Who's next?"
"Famine would be the next on the agenda," Dr. Nemesis said.
"He has a name-Shiro Yoshida," Beast said in irritation. "And Mr. LeBeau is a member of the X-men."
"Not right now he doesn't," Nemesis argued referring to Famine. "Right now he's an infested horseman. And if you're trying to imply that you're having favoritism toward your X-men then there is no reason for me to help."
"Roguey, do Sunfire next. I'm last," Gambit called making the decision for them all.
Rogue bit her lip. What if she didn't have enough power left to help Gambit when his turn arose? She steeled herself. There was no time for doubt. She took a deep breath and placed her golden hands to Sunfire's face. The experience was similar to the one she'd had with Polaris. However, she could feel her stomach gnawing as she could feel the affect of famine. Perhaps her powers were weakening or his powers were more strongly rooted within his system.
An eternity seemed to pass before Storm pulled Rogue away. She would have fallen in exhaustion had the Weather Witch not supported her weight. Rogue shook her head trying to clear her double vision. She faintly heard Dr. Richards words saying that Sunfire was now clear of Apocalypse's taint.
She walked toward Remy with unsteady steps. Elixir's powers were tricky. Life and death were only a touch away. What if she messed up? What if she messed up now on Remy LeBeau? The man was a swamp rat, but he was her swamp rat and she didn't think she could bear to be the cause of his death. She did fine on the other two. What if the odds were that she'd only save two of three?
"No doubts, Anna Marie, you can do this. I know you can," Gambit said. The effects of the antidote serum were starting to wear out. His auburn hair was starting to become white streaked and his skin was darkening. "I suggest you hurry," he hissed as anger began to radiate from his tone of voice.
Without another moment of hesitation Rogue placed one hand on his forehead and the other on his chest. She was sent on an emotional roller coster of hatred and anger as she sought to purge Gambit's system of Apocalypse's War.
Time had no meaning and it took every last ounce of Rogue's strength to keep going. And then all she knew was darkness.
This time when she was aroused it was not by Ororo. A pair of strong hands held her close to a warm, hard body. "Did it work?" she whispered.
"Wake up, Roguey, your mission has been a success."
Rogue ventured to open her eyes and take a look. Gambit was his same charming Cajun self minus black skin, white hair, and an angry disposition. "Swamp Rat?"
"You know, if you wanted to call me husband, I think I'd prefer that to Swamp Rat or should I just refer to you as my River Rat?"
Rogue ignored his suggestion and hugged him close. Then she leaned back and slapped him hard against the chest. He cringed and held his palm over where she'd hit him. "Don't you ever get yourself captured and almost killed again!"
"Can't promise that, cher. Not when I got you to count on to save me," he answered cheekily. "You're my knight-ess in shining armour!"
"This has been a success," Dr. McCoy declared. "Thank you for your help gentlemen, but we now have official X-men business to attend to if you don't mind," he said effectively dismissing Nemesis, Richards, and Magneto.
"What's this official X-men business?" Gambit asked Rogue as they both stood up from the cot.
"We're about to purge Jean Grey of the Phoenix Force and try not to allow Emma Frost to perish in the process," Storm answered having overheard the question.
"Sounds complicated," Sunfire said. "Can I come along? I know I'm not an official member of the X-men, but I'm not an enemy either."
"The more the merrier," Rogue said taking hold of Gambit's hand and ignoring his stunned expression at her once again having full control of her powers without any Sinister devices responsible. She looked over at Magneto where he was still standing next to Polaris. "Except you. You'd make it decidedly unmerry."
"I won't interfere with your little X-men games," Magneto said looking down at his daughter with a guarded expression. "I am in your debt, Rogue. I will remember what you have done for me today."
"You can remember what the X-men have done for Lorna, Magneto," Rogue said leaving.
"Well you certainly put him in his place, mon amour," Gambit said softly.
"You want me to do what?"
"I want you to use your telekinetic abilities to keep Ms. Frost in one piece so that she doesn't shatter into diamond shards," Laura Kinney explained once again to Julian Keller as if he was a particularly dense young man. They were both students at the Xavier Institute and while Keller had been a star pupil when Ms. Frost was their professor Laura couldn't help but think sometimes he could be a bit slow if she had to spell everything out for him.
"I heard what you said, Laura. I'm asking what you're talking about. Why would Ms. Frost be shattered?" Julian asked reaching out and gently grasping X-23's hand. Sometimes he worried if all the post-traumatic stress from her dark past finally caught up to her. It would certainly explain things.
"She will be purging Jean Grey of the entity known as the Phoenix. She is currently relying on the ability of the newly freed Jean Grey to hold her form together should it explode given the pressure of removing the Phoenix. Wolverine would be upset if Jean Grey was upset by the destruction of Emma Frost."
"So you want me to do this for Wolverine?"
"Yes." Laura's jade colored eyes looked down at his hand holding hers and she was clearly exacerbated that he didn't seem to follow her logic earlier. She shouldn't have to explain everything. "I believe you are fully capable."
"Of course, I'll help." Julian let go of her hand and hastily shoved both of his hands into his jeans pockets. He hadn't even realized he'd reached out to touch her. " I'll need to talk to Cyclops first and see exactly how I can do that. What have you been doing lately, Laura. It's been ages since I've seen you and me and the others we have no idea about what's been going on around here."
"I was made part of Wolverine's special operations team. Four mutants were transformed into deadly Horsemen of Apocalypse. We tracked a mutant by the name Josh Foley, codename Elixir, and he is our hope to heal them of their disease. The professor Jean Grey is inhabited by a deadly, immortal creature known as The Phoenix. In order to save her life and to rid the world of the entity Ms. Frost must use some methods that I am not privy to and separate the two forcing Phoenix into the sun. The maneuver will inevitably shatter her diamond form."
"And this Elixir is supposed to save her too?"
"He only became aware of his powers. It is a lot to ask of him. I fear the probability of success is slim. So I suggested you to Wolverine. I believe your ability will increase the chances of success regarding the situation. If you agree I then must present this solution to Cyclops."
"I've had a few years of experience more than this Elixir so hopefully I'll be able to improve those odds. Count me in," he said confidently pulling his hands from his pocket and punching his fist into the palm of his other hand causing green sparks to emit.
A small smile flittered across Laura's stoic features. "Thank you, Julian. I've always believed in you."
The sight of the unfamiliar smile and the words of honesty spilling from Laura's lips caused an answering smile to lift up the corners of Julian's mouth. He didn't know anyone who could be scarier than Laura, but he also didn't know anyone who when enjoying even a moment of joy made him feel like he'd hung the moon in the sky.
Gambit and Rogue made it down to the ceremony a few minutes after Beast and Storm. They had missed a good majority of the action, but could see that the body of Jean Grey was suspended in the air with an orange fire simmering about it. Emma paced around the body while chanting unfamiliar words-most likely in Latin.
Rogue felt the exhaustion catch up with her from what she'd just managed to accomplish and would have fallen straight asleep were it not for Gambit supporting her weight with an arm hooked around her waist and pulling her close against him. She saw Elixir standing in between Wolverine and Cyclops. On the other side of Cyclops stood one of the students Rogue vaguely remembered as being named Hellion and next to him was X23 from Wolverine's special team.
Rogue gave Elixir the thumbs up and he smiled at her nervously before redirecting his attention toward his future mission-Emma Frost.
It seemed that most of the Xmen and some of the new alliances were formed in a circle around Emma and Jean. Rogue and Gambit moved to stand next to Storm and Beast. Nightcrawler, Sabastian Shaw, Mystique, Sabertooth, Colossus, Iceman, and Shadowcat were on the far side of the circle. In spite of being encouraged to leave, Magneto was also there next to his daughter Polaris and also Sunfire. There were several others-many students that she didn't know, but Rogue stopped paying attention to the crowd and focused on the show in the middle. When explaining the situation in a briefing Cyclops had explained the importance of having as many mutants as possible encircle Jean and Emma. It would provide Emma with a barrier of power to prevent the Phoenix from simply moving outside of the circle into a new host.
Emma's voice grew in intensity and she began chanting words rapidly and the glow around Jean began to fluxuate. "Ja was wolny od ciało wasze więzienia. Podaj mi i być zwolnione! Am libera te tale din carne si oase inchisoare. Intre mine si sa fie eliberata! Am libera te tale din carne si oase inchisoare. Intre mine si sa fie eliberata! ("I free you from your flesh prison. Enter me and be released!" Translated from Polish, Romanian, Turkish)
The orange fire rapidly left Jean Grey's body went in a rapid circle around the X-men and didn't find a proper psychic host and then rushed into Emma's body. She quickly changed into diamond form.
Jean's green eyes flew open and she blinked in confusion at her surroundings before she locked her gaze on Logan's bewildered blue eyes. Before she could ask what was going on her attention was drawn to the frenzy surrounding them.
Emma Frost in a white diamond form was covered in a green field and a young man with dark hair stood nearby with his hands outstretched and concentrating-as his hands glowed the same emerald color it was safe to assume the telekinetic force was from him. It was then that Jean could see the Phoenix force racing out of Emma's body and up into the sky on a direct line toward the sun.
The telekinetic forcefield dissolved and Emma collapsed to the ground-her diamond form had innumerable fractures across the glittery surface. Another young man raced forward-this one's body was a radiant gold. His hands quickly settled upon Emma's unconscious form and Jean could sense the healing power seep from his body into hers.
She also could see that Scott was not at her side, but at her rival telepath's side. It didn't make sense. Why would he be over there?
Jean felt her legs wobble and before she could fall to the ground Logan was there holding her.
"Don't ever do that again, Jean," Logan whispered with his arms around her from behind. He settled his chin on top of her head and Jean settled her weight against him and continued to watch the proceedings.
"How long have I been out of it?"
"Too long, Jean. Too long."
"I...I can't do it! The wounds are too substantial!" The golden boy screamed in agony.
"Don't give up, Elixir!" Rogue shouted encouragingly. Gambit helped her reach the boy's side. "I have a little of your power left. Let's try together."
"It can't hurt," Elixir said through gritted teeth. Several of the fractures healed on Emma's diamond form, but for every sealed fracture two more took it's place.
Rogue kneeled next to Elixir and placed her hands upon Emma's forearm. With their combined power the fractures began to heal faster, but there were still too many.
"I'm out of juice," Hellion said looking down at his hands that glowed a faint green.
"I'm not," Jean said stepping away from Wolverine with a firm resolve in her soul. She wasn't sure of everything that happened. But she knew that somehow she was the reason the woman's life was in danger. Scott's heart was in his eyes and Jean knew that she had to help for his sake if for nothing else.
Jean kneeled across from Rogue and Elixir. She pressed her fingertips to her own temples in order to concentrate harder. The boy had used his telekinetic powers to keep Emma from fracturing and his powers were poorly trained compared to her own-but then he was only a child. She'd have to make sure to give him lessons later to perfect his raw talent. She could sense the problem immediately. However, working her powers around the healing powers of the other two proved more difficult. The main fracture was around Emma's heart and it was deep and as soon as the surface fractures were sealed the deeper ones would emerge. Jean drove her telekinetic powers deep into the source and worked to hold together the seams.
It wasn't perfect, but with the three working together they succeeded in eliciting a groan from the diamond woman's form.
Rogue pulled away first having depleted all of her borrowed powers. Elixir gave a sigh of relief. "We did it."
Jean slowly withdrew her own powers.
Hank McCoy kneeled next to Jean and began to check Frost's vitals. "She's stable for now." He looked across at Elixir. "We'll need several sessions of course."
"Of course," Elixir said looking down at his golden hands with a look of awe stretched across his features. Jean could sense his bewilderment that he'd accomplished such a remarkable feat.
"Emma?" Scott said moving behind Emma and gently laying her head in his lap. He gently stroked the side of her face. It was strange for Jean. Her childhood love was completely ignoring her. It wasn't until Logan took her hand and lead her away that she realized Cyclops had been hit hard with love.
"Scott, darling? I've the worse headache," Emma murmured slowly opening her eyes.
Cyclops laughed. "I bet you do."
"Did it work?"
"Did you ever have a doubt?" he asked leaning down and kissing her forehead.
"Of course not, my plans are fool proof."
"Don't go changing back into your usual form," Beast warned. "I'm afraid you'll need to stay as a diamond until Elixir has been able to heal you completely."
Jean took another drink from her rapidly cooling coffee. She'd gone off with Logan, Rogue, and someone by the name of Gambit to a nearby coffee shop. And they'd explained everything that had been happening over the last several months. It was hard for her to believe that her memory was mostly absent about the whole ordeal. Apparently, sometimes when the Phoenix let Wolverine speak with Jean within it was still the Phoenix. Jean was glad to be free of the entity.
Logan had his arm wrapped comfortably around Jean's shoulder and looked across the table at Anna Maria and Remy. "So kids, what's next on your agenda?"
"I'm planning on teaching some of the younger students," Rogue answered. "In the summers at least." She tapped her temple. "I've got all sorts of martial arts and hand-to-hand training up in here courtesy of a few extra memories I've got racing around. I'll be going to university and get a degree."
Gambit laughed. "Any particular one, cher?"
"Maybe History? Or English? I haven't decided yet."
"What about you, Gumbo?" Wolverine asked.
Gambit smiled widely. "I'll be going wherever my wife goes."
The jovial smile faded from Logan's face. "What?"
Gambit counted his lucky stars because at that moment Sabertooth entered the coffee shop. His feral gaze locked on Wolverine's. The tall blond approached their table with a determined stride.
"Hello, Victor," Jean greeted plucking the name from Rogue's thoughts when it seemed no one else was going to say anything. She remembered seeing him at the ceremony to remove Phoenix. It was strange that the others could accept him to such a thing and yet all view him with contempt.
"Glad you're not possessed by that evil fire thing," Sabertooth said pulling a chair over to the end of the their table. He looked over at Rogue with a brief friendly smile. "Good job. I heard you didn't accidentally kill anyone."
"What are you doing here?" Wolverine asked taking his arm from around Jean and rubbing his knuckles together. The adamantium claws were itching to come out.
"There's a reason I'm here, Jimmy."
"Would you stop calling me that?"
"It's your name, Logan. At least, it's what he knows you as," Jean interrupted. She could sense what Victor wanted long before he asked. Would it be good for him to learn about his past? It's what he always wanted. She now had months worth of blank spots in her own memory and she wouldn't wish that upon anyone.
"There's this woman by the name of Scarlet Witch. And there's this man named Romulus-we've known him for our whole lives, Jimmy. Don't you wonder why we worked so well together in battle?"
"Get on with it, Creed," Wolverine growled.
"She made Romulus this charm that can allow him to make someone's mind whole. He made mine whole. You weren't the only one robbed of his memories." Sabertooth propped his elbows up on the table and rested his chin on the back of his fist. "I know a way to restore them. You just got to come with me to meet this Romulus first."
"You should go, Logan," Jean said running her hand gently down his tensed forearm. "It's what you always wanted-to remember."
"Some things are best forgotten," he growled running his free hand through his dark hair in frustration.
"If you change your mind," Sabertooth said pointing to Rogue, "she'll know how to find me." And then he got up and left.
"How's that, cher?" Gambit asked with an eyebrow raised in suspicion. He wasn't jealous-at least not murderous rage jealous like he'd have been if War were still dwelling within him.
Rogue shrugged. "Not sure. Maybe because Mystique has decided she wants to be best buddies. She seems to know how to find anyone."
"Now, what's this about you two being married?" Jean asked directing the conversation away from all things related to Magneto's former henchmen.
"It's not legal! It was in Mexico. It doesn't count," Rogue protested.
Gambit held up her left hand and the large ring caught the light and glittered accusingly. "I was hoping we could have a second ceremony later to include family in friends-perhaps have you give her away," he said giving Wolverine his most charming smile and using his powers of empathic persuasion so that the deadly man wouldn't chop him up into pieces.
"Your powers don't work on me, bub," Wolverine said tapping his finger against his own forehead. "Adamantium skull is hard to penetrate." He looked from Gambit to Rogue and then sighed. "Just date for a while, then I'll consider approving a proper engagement." He narrowed his eyes at Gambit. "Just remember, I'm a very unforgiving guy."
"Duly noted my Canook friend, duly noted!"
Rogue looked at her team as they gathered around. They had been given a very tricky Danger Room scenario level ten. The objective was simple enough-save the holographic child-but the multiple sentinels was a problem. She glanced up at the observation window to see Scott and Emma watching them closely. They'd taken over as the school's head masters. Xavier had decided his former students could handle things just fine without him for the time being.
"Rogue?" Gambit called and caused Rogue to focus back on her team and not on those observing their progress. Her team consisted of herself, Gambit, Colossus, Shadowcat, Hellion, and X23. Nightcrawler was leading the other active team including Mystique, Iceman, Psylocke, Archangel, and Sunfire and they still weren't sure on the final roster-hence the Danger Room practices and observations by Cyclops and the White Queen. Several of the X-men had taken leave including Wolverine, Jean Grey, Storm, and Beast.
"Colossus-you and Shadowcat take the left side, Gambit and I will take the right, and Hellion I want you and X-23 to levitate to the goal in the middle. We'll destroy anything that gets in our way," Rogue decided. "Questions?"
"Our mission is to destroy? Are there any other parameters?" Colossus asked.
"Nope, we'll be counting on Julian and Laura to save the day," Rogue said. She looked over at the two teenagers and saw twin expressions of determination. Maybe the older X-men liked to leave the youth out because it was too dangerous, but Rogue felt it more important to let them know they were valuable members of the team. "Let's go!"
She and Gambit worked well together and moved in a fluid motion and dispatched a trail of destruction against the various sentinels that sought to stop them.
"That's enough for now," Cyclops' voice called out over the intercom moments after Hellion and X-23 succeeded. The Danger Room was suddenly a room of metal panels and no longer resembled a battle field.
"Excellent job, team!" Rogue said beaming at her friends. She wasn't sure if she'd get to keep this team, but she'd certainly helped Cyclops and Frost determine which pairs worked best together and complimented one another's fighting skills.
Logan sat next to Jean looking down at the city's lights from a hill high above. They'd gone for a ride on his motorcycle to get some fresh air. They both needed some time away from the Institute, but didn't want to travel too far.
Jean's head fell against his shoulder. "Have you decided to go after Victor? Talk with this Romulus and find what you're looking for?
"Jean, I've got a real future now with you and the X-men. When I was so dead set on knowing my past my greatest goal was winning the next caged boxing match. My future is with you and the others and knowing that I was involved with the likes of Sabertooth and whomever this Romulus is I'd rather make new memories than worry about old ones."
"Logan, you can have your past and a future. You are a restless soul. No one expects you to stick around when you have this opportunity."
"Maybe that's why I want to stick, Jean. Because no one expects it. Being a part of the X-men means a lot to me. I don't want to lose that."
"You'll always be welcome amongst the X-men," Jean reassured him.
"You trying to get rid of me, or something, Red?" Wolverine asked with narrowed eyes.
"No, I want to go with you."
He stood up and offered his hand. "Very well, let's get going. We've a psychopathic Sabertooth to track down."
"Well when you put it like that, how can I refuse?" Jean said with a laugh.
A/N: Once again, I hope you've enjoyed this story! I've another X-men story on my other penname Pandora's Curse "The Impenetrable and Untouchable" that I intend to use some of 2Wingo's suggestions regarding a great deal of Wolverine Origins' plotlines. Thanks to everyone that has reviewed and offered plot ideas. You gotta love all the lovely possibility when it involves the X-men!