Disclaimer: We own nothing, Stan Lee and Fox own everthing. We are only borrowing these characters for a short time, returning them relatively unharmed, if a little worse for wear.
After three years of searching, of tracking down leads and traveling all over the world, he finally knew everything there was to know about his past. The knowledge upset him more than he'd ever dreamed possible. He had become a murderer, an animal. He'd been the government's plaything since he'd left home to fight in a war he had nothing to do with. Deep down, he knew he didn't want to go. They forced him to fight young men like him, to kill or be killed. So he'd killed, and killed again. Logan couldn't remember for sure which war it was, but the memories haunted him: the images of rotten corpses in trenches, lost souls more dead than alive, tumbling in bloodied mud among their fallen comrades and foes, the smell of death on the living... Was it the Great War, during which so many young men turned into uncaring killing machines, just like he did?... He couldn't say, he didn't care. He had no family, no friends, nothing.
His life, since he'd lost his memories, had been dark and lonely. He'd traveled from bar to bar, taking out his anger and impotent rage on the drunks who foolishly challenged him. He'd always thought, though, that one day he would remember his past, and his life would get better. Since he couldn't remember it, he'd made up a past for himself. He'd had a family, a wife, kids, people who loved him and whom he'd loved. When he remembered, he'd be able to go back and be with them. It was a lie he'd embellished over the years until it was more real to him than his daily existence.
Now he knew the truth. Before he'd volunteered, he still couldn't believe he'd freakin' volunteered, to have the adamantium grafted to his skeleton, he had been a machine working for faceless men, killing who they told him to, when they told him to. He was nothing.
As he lay on the threadbare and stained bed in the no-star hotel that was his current residence, he thought about his dark, hopeless life. There had been one bright spot, though. One week, where he'd been noble. Where he'd cared more for someone else than he had for himself. He clung to those memories like a drowning man to a life preserver.
Marie. She'd be about 20 now. He could imagine how the years had turned her young body into a woman's. He remembered the way she'd smiled when he'd left her so long ago, promising to return. He remembered the anguish he'd gone through trying to save her, how her life was so much more important than anything else. She brought light into his world for the first and only time. He had to be with her.
At that realization, Logan rose from the bed, dressing quickly and packing his meager belongings. It didn't matter that it was two in the morning. It didn't matter that it was pouring rain outside. Starting up his "borrowed" bike, he began the two-day, non-stop ride back to Westchester, back to Marie.
He arrived at four in the afternoon two days later. The students were playing on the grounds, school obviously over. Not wanting to attract attention, he stopped the bike at the gate and sniffed at the breeze. He immediately caught her scent, drifting from his right. He didn't want to see anyone but Marie. He couldn't wait any longer.
During his trip, he thought about what life would be like once he got back. He dreamed about their future lives, and realized that no matter how close they would be, no matter how much time they would spend together, it wasn't enough. The pain was so intense, being separated from her now. How could he bear being separated from her for a day, an hour, a minute? He had to be with her, forever. He knew what he had to do.
Creeping silently along the edge of the property, stalking her familiar scent, he found her sitting under a tree by the lake, just out of sight of the mansion. Pausing a moment, he watched her sitting peacefully, her white-streaked hair catching the sunlight. Oh how he loved this woman; she was his life; she was his salvation.
Leaping out of his hiding place, he landed, crouched beside her. She startled, bringing up her hands to defend herself. He grabbed them easily, pulling them down to her sides.
"Marie," he growled, then unable to resist any longer, he leaned over and kissed her. The taste of her, the touch of her lips against his was heavenly. He felt the connection open between them. The first time she'd touched him, he'd resisted. The second time, he'd allowed her to take what she needed. This time, he gave himself wholeheartedly, speeding up her powers by actively willing himself into her head.
Her eyes widened in shock, and she tried to pull away, but he had a firm grip on her arms and the tree against her back prevented any escape. He kept kissing her tenderly as he felt himself weaken. Oh how he wished he had enough time to show her what a real kiss could be like, but he was fading quickly, losing himself in her.
~It's all right, baby.~ he thought to her. ~It'll all be over soon.~
Her struggling increased as his limbs grew weaker. Soon, his body was too clumsy to remain upright and they fell to the side. He pulled his hands up to her face to caress her cheeks as he stopped kissing her, laying his head down against her face so their skin still touched. His body was so heavy now. He could feel the metal lining his bones, weighing him down. Soon, very soon, he would be free of it all.
Marie started to cry and scream, pushing at his heavy body, not strong enough to shift his weight off of her.
"No! Logan! Stop!... Help!!!!"
He heard her the scrape of rubber wheels on concrete approaching fast, then a flash of pain, then nothing.
Jubilee had been rollerblading around the property when she heard Rogue's shrieking. Reaching the lake, she saw the hulking shape of a man lying on top of her friend. She immediately went into action, paffing the intruder. The fireworks hit whoever it was squarely in the side, throwing him up and over Rogue's body.
Scooting her rollerblades over the grass as fast as she could, she found Rogue laying on the ground, tears on her face, staring up at the sky, unseeing.
"Rogue? What happened? Who..."
Remembering the man she had paffed, she turned around and rolled the limp body over. It was that guy that had saved Rogue so long ago, Logan. His shirt was singed and burned, and so was the skin underneath. Remembering her first-aid classes, she checked the ABCs: airway, breathing and circulation. No heartbeat, no pulse, she had killed him.
No! She immediately started CPR, hoping that Rogue would get help.
Jean and Scott hear Rogue's screams and Jubilee's fireworks from the patio of the mansion. When Jean did a scan of the terrified girl's minds, she knew something was desperately wrong. Rogue's was a confusing jumble and Jubilee...
~Jubilee?~ she mentally called.
~Dr. Summers, it's Logan. He doesn't have a pulse. I tried CPR, but I can't get his ribs to move,~ Jubilee said, a tinge of panic in her voice.
Jean went into full doctor mode. ~Keep up the rescue breathing, Jubilee. I'll be right there.~
Forgoing the elevator and running down the stairs to the med lab, taking 2 to 3 steps at a time, she pulled out the emergency medical packs. Scott had followed her, alarmed by her frantic behavior.
"Jean, what's wrong. What can I do to help?"
"Grab a stretcher and bring it out to the lake," Jean yelled as she ran down the hall.
Running back to the lake and pushing through the crowd of curious children that had gathered there, she yelled, "Everyone out of here now!"
She vaguely heard 'Ro's voice calming the children and instructing them to leave, but her full attention to Jubilee and her patient. Logan was deathly pale and still. He looked like he was already gone.
"Keep going, Jubilee," she said, as she started the battery charger on the portable heart stimulator and pulled out her needles and medications. She wanted to ask what happened, but Jubilee was busy breathing for Logan and Rogue was completely out of it. She'd have to take her best guess and treat Logan accordingly. The minor burn on his side looked like Jubilee's handiwork. It wasn't healing so he must have touched Rogue, too. She administered adrenaline and grabbed the heart paddles.
Cutting and ripping through at least three shirts (who needed to wear that many layers?), she finally reached bare skin.
Setting the charge to 100, she called, "Clear."
Once Jubilee removed her hands from Logan, she triggered the paddles, shocking his heart and causing his body to jump. Nothing. His heart hadn't even beat once in response to the stimulation. The metal in his skeleton must be conducting the charge away from his heart. Increasing the charge to 300 and then 400, she continued to administer the shocks. Nothing. She gave Logan a larger dose of adrenaline and shocked him again.
The monitor spiked as it registered a heart beat, then another one. Soon, the readings showed a steady sinus rhythm. Still, he wasn't breathing.
"Jubilee, stop for a second," she said. "I need to intubate him."
Putting the plastic tubing down his throat and attaching an air bulb, Jubilee was now able to keep him breathing by squeezing and releasing the bulb.
Scott had arrived minutes earlier with the stretcher, and now they wrestled Logan's body onto it. They wheeled him over the open grass field, past the shocked students, into the mansion, and down to the med lab.
Remy, who had finally heard the commotion and come running, stayed behind with Rogue, who still hadn't said a word or come out of her daze.
Jean spent the next half hour, hooking Logan up to a mechanical respirator, cleaning and dressing his burn, and connecting IVs and montiors. She then affixed her specialized pager to her belt. It would let her know in an instant if Logan's vital signs changed in any way.
He'd been gone for three years. What was he doing back? What had happened out there by the lake? She needed answers and she wanted them now.
~Jean, now that you're done, will you please come to my office?~ the professor's mental voice asked.
Jean psychically acknowledged, and left the injured man behind.
Well, what do you think?