Disclaimer: X-men does not belong to me. Wish it did so that i can change the ending for The Last Stand but nope. Not mine.

The roar of the uninvited traveler pierced through the silent streets, echoing through the drifting clouds as it had done countless times. The motorcycle's breath trailed behind it idly as it's rider forced it faster and faster. Oblivious to the noise his vehicle is making, the furious beast let out an equally frustrated growl. 'You fool!' he snarled, bending forward. Silent drops fell onto the streets tearfully, clouding the man's view. On any other occasion, he would've blamed Ororo. But he had too much on his mind now to put the blame on anyone.

'I'll take care of you.'


'Yeah, kid.'

'She took the cure?' he asked Ororo on his visit, after drifting for a while. He needed to get away from everything for a while. The silver-haired woman nodded her head almost grimly. He shook his head disbelievingly. True, he hadn't stopped her but he didn't think she would really get on with the whole ordeal. Then he shrugged. If that's what she wanted.

'It didn't work,' Ororo stated suddenly. He just… gawked. She brushed a tear from the corner of her eyes and turned away, indicating silently that the conversation was over. The cure didn't work. That would mean Magneto would be back. He pitied the woman. The burden of the school's continuance bore on her slender shoulders. His thought of offering her comfort was crushed as soon as it surfaced. Nope, that's just not him.

He found her sitting by the fountain, watching the ripples grow as she threw pebbles into it. She had cut her hair, he realized. He watched her as she pulled back her bleached hair and sighed.

'Hey, kid,' he greeted.

'Hey, yourself,' she said smiling, putting on her leather gloves before standing up. She gave him one of her awkward hugs, careful not to touch him as always.

'I heard, uh,' he motioned something insignificant with his hands.

'The cure?' she finished, still smiling. 'I guess it was just too good to be true.'

'You alright kid?'

Rouge smiled bitterly and nodded, but he caught the traces of tears forming. He excused himself conveniently.

Rouge watched silently as he walked away. 'Why didn't you come back earlier Logan?' she said quietly, dipping her fingers in the water. 'A kiss? A hug? A handshake?' She shook her head and forced a smile, 'you're talking to yourself again Marie.'

'It's because your powers are back isn't it?' Bobby had shouted.

'You deserve so much more Bobby.'

'How many times do I have to tell you, all I want is you!'

'I've been in your head Bobby… countless times. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out Bobby,' she smiled and placed a gloved hand on his cheek. 'You and Kitty would make a beautiful couple…'

She gave her head a slight shake and giggled. Well, it could've been worse. She'd had her share of fun. If only you were there Logan, she thought again.

'Lonely, chere?'

The vultures just keep coming, Rouge thought, slightly annoyed. Can't a girl self pity in silence? 'Not at all,' she stated.

The man simply smiled and draped a coat over her. 'Remy thought you could use it,' he said with a Cajun accent. She thanked him and continued to stare emptily at the pale water. He played with his pack of cards and stood at her side, studying her with ruby coloured eyes unaware that a second pair of eyes were looking at her.

'I'm sorry kid,' he whispered indistinctly.

He didn't saw her again until he was called to help fight Magneto. God knew what plan he had made against mankind again this time. Much to his surprise, Magneto wasn't the one to made the first move this time, Ororo had. Surprisingly enough, Magneto had only began his new plan on his whole 'Destroy all humans' plot when they attacked. He had only caught a glimpse of Rogue as she was holding onto Mystique. As much as he knew, from then on, she could be anyone. Fortunately, he needn't worry about hurting her accidentally. He was too busy fighting Multiple Man.

'Some cover please Storm?' Rogue shouted. He stared in surprise as Mystique materialized from nowhere and kneed him. 'Play dead,' she whispered. He was only too happy to oblige. Multiple Man gave him a hard kick before smirking and running off. Mist fell onto them blissfully. He had to strain to see Rouge/Mystique walk up to Magneto and strain even harder to catch the look of surprise on his face as she touched him. 'Feels familiar?' he heard her say. All them same, he was proud of her.

The fight ended a lot earlier than they would have thought possible. A lot less bloodshed.

'You did pretty well out there Rogue,' he said, crossing his arms and leaning against the wall outside her room.

'Sorry about the, um,' she grinned.

'Actually, I enjoyed it, much less troublesome,' Logan grinned along with her.

'Well, me too,' she said with a laugh. He raised his eyebrow questioningly, 'kidding, kidding,' she said, laughing even harder. How long had he been gone? Seven, eight years? God, she hardly changed.

'What're you staring at?' she enquired, a playful smile hanging on the edge of her lips.

'You…' he added quickly, 'cut your hair?'

Her hand went instinctively to her bobbed hair. 'Yeah, like it?' He grunted something that sounded in between 'yes' and 'no' and walked away, then waving back to her casually. It took her a little less than an hour to realize he wasn't calling her a kid anymore.

He had to carry her to her room the next time they met. It was Bobby and Kitty's wedding and she had a little too much to drink. She shed happy tears for them, and she shed many tears for herself because she knew, she would never have a chance to wear a brides' dress. He savored the feeling of her on his back, taking his sweet time to get her to her room. Her warm breath tickled his neck, her rhythmic heartbeat pounded in his ears. He had had much trouble getting her to the mansion by his bike. It wouldn't hurt to let him enjoy himself a little did it? He thought with a sneer on his face. His conscience caught up with him quickly and smacked him mentally. Hard.

'Logan?' she whispered, half asleep.

'What?' he sounded like he was going to panic. The thought of her dinner smearing his shirt formed in his guilty mind.

'When are you going to marry?'

Her question surprised him greatly, making him stop in his tracks.

'I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked that,' she said in a giggle.

'Naw, it's alright.'

'Can you keep a secret Logan?' she started suddenly.

'Sure,' he said, feeling suddenly guilty for taking advantage of a really, really drunk female. He could listen to her, and then pretend he didn't hear anything. Plus she's drunk, he thought suddenly, she probably wouldn't make any sense anyway.

'I don't know how old I am anymore Logan,' she stated sourly.

See, he thought, choosing to ignore her. He lowered her onto her bed and watched her sleep.

'You should stay,' Ororo stated from the door. Logan withdrew his claws slowly, standing upright, looking mildly embarrassed from being caught in the act. He got out of the room and followed Ororo, who was walking in a brisk manner she had taken up after years of being in charge.

'She's teaching the younger ones you know, not much younger than herself.'

'Rouge, teaching?' he asked with a bemused smile.

'The children love her,' she said bluntly, as if she was pointing out that the earth was round. 'We could use a new teacher.'


'If I die one day Logan, can you promise not to cry?' she asked a few months later, when he came back.

He knew better than to ask why. 'Sure.'

'Promise?' she persisted. He looked at her searchingly as Jeans' word flooded back into his mind 'it's impossible to tell how old he is'. Yeah, she would die earlier than he.

'Promise,' he said. She seemed content with the answer as she pulled out a black sweater with an X-Men logo and handed it to him. Her throbbing fingers told him that she made it herself. He made a mental note to buy her something nice the next time he visits.

'I'm sorry Logan,' Ororo's voice hardly registered as he stared at the empty bed. Nor did her explanation on the cause. Rather, it was the raindrops that had awoken him from his daydream.

'-mutation. The energy she absorbs from the people caused her to age along with the life source, thus the more people the absorbs, the faster she ages-'

'But her appearance?' he argued.


'What about mine? I don't age…' reality seems to sink in just then.

'I'm sorry Logan. Your mutation doesn't allow you to age. But as you and I know, the mutation fades from her blood Logan. Mystique, along with Magneto was the most recent. And I didn't tell you, Mystique died. Whereas Magneto's power would return to Magneto, Mystiques' power simply grew in Marie'

'How did she…' he paused, 'why didn't she…' as thousand questions threatened to burst in his mind.

'I'm truly sorry, Logan,' she repeated. 'We never truly understood why she took the cure. Maybe now, we know why.'

'When did she…' he couldn't bring himself to say the word.

'Two days ago,' Ororo didn't mention that Marie was waiting for him, at the gate because Gambit told her he had seen him from a nearby village earlier. But she did mention that she was buried next to Jean and Scott. That she was smiling when the children found her 'asleep' as they had said. That she was wearing the blue bridal-like dress Logan had sent to her by post.

He didn't really think about it much when he grabbed a dress from the shop. The attendant was eyeing him weirdly and he had threatened to gouge his eyes out if he didn't package it nicely and send it to the said address in less than an hour. He had paid it with cash.

Odd, how he could remember everything so clearly and yet not understand that Marie was gone. He had not believed Gambit when he told him that morning in the bar. And he couldn't believe it on the way here on his motorbike. Or when he saw her room empty. Not even when Ororo fell into her lecture of possible causes.

But then, standing by her grave, he forced a smile and dropped the bouquet of roses he had brought home this time.

'If I die one day Logan, can you promise not to cry?'