Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: So, um. Felt like posting something, and I've been working on this since I think around November—not really working per se, more that I came up with it and I finally decided to do something with it.

Patiently Waiting

by Miranda Panda-chan

She wonders if he left his lighter with her on purpose or if it was merely a coincidence. Knowing John, it was probably a coincidence—she hoped he hadn't planned on leaving them before he even left the plane. But now that she thinks about it, as she turns the only thing she has left of him over and over in her hand, stroking the warm metal with her thumb as she stares at it with misty eyes and a broken heart, she realizes he probably knew he wasn't coming back for it. And that thought only makes the pain worse.

She wished she could've been normal—if she'd been able to touch…maybe Bobby wouldn't have left her, or cheated on her, and maybe John would've stayed. Maybe she could've been able to keep hold of one of them, at least.

But a fabric grip isn't that hard to break, and that's all she could hold them with. There could be no naked hand reaching out for them to grasp at their hearts so they would stay with her…because, if she was perfectly honest with herself, John was all she'd ever had. Bobby was never hers to begin with.

And now you're alone. Always, always alone.

So now she sat in the corner of the library, book in hand, but a page hadn't been turned in over an hour or so. It was hard to concentrate while feeling the aching feeling in her heart like a limb had been removed, but the body still wanted to respond as if it was still there. She'd read something, or hear something interesting, and immediately run to his old room, the one that Bobby should be in, but isn't because he's sleeping with Kitty, and Jubes had taken refuge in some other part of the mansion that wasn't her assigned dorm room or Rogue's own room to get away from their nightly romping, and she didn't really care one way or the other…and she'd immediately remember…

He's not here anymore.

And every time she slipped up, her heart would tear itself in two again. And the ripping pain she felt would increase, and she couldn't help but to stifle the choked sobs that threatened to escape her because damn if anyone ever saw her break down. She was the Rogue. She always kept her cool.

Her only friend, her only true friend, had left her for the bad guys. Her self-worth had been questionable before, but now there was no doubt about it—she felt absolutely worthless.

You couldn't stop him. Why would he want to stick around when all he had was you?

That's right. All he'd had was her. He and Bobby weren't ever the best friends after she and Iceman had gotten together. She realizes, now, in retrospect, that Bobby probably asked her out just to spite John, because after he left—she could no longer find the gleam of emotion that sparked there whenever he laid eyes on her. No, she was no longer worth anything if no one was trying to steal her away from him. She was dumped like a bag of old potatoes. Worthless. Useless. Unwantable. Untouchable. And she'd cry and sob and lock herself in her room for days when she'd realize that not even Logan could ever truly want her.

But she'd gotten over him a long time ago, almost a lifetime away. A lifetime that still had a John, a Pyro, a Bobby, an Iceman, a Professor, a Jean Grey, a Scott, a Cyclops, a Jubes, a Kitty, a Colossus, a Piotr, a Storm, and a Ms. Munroe. But in this lifetime all she had was a Ms. Munroe and a Logan. And Logan wasn't even here half the time, and if he was—well, he was far too busy grieving or training or teaching or smoking or drinking or talking or flirting or glaring or scolding or yelling, to be with her.

She wondered if it made her a selfish son of a bitch for wanting more. She could've been left in Laughlin City back at the beginning of that past lifetime, all alone, no friends, and no money. But she wants more now. She wants a whole lot more. She wants a John, and not a Pyro, she wants a dream that won't ever happen, she wants the fighting and the hating and damn discrimination to just all stop for one damn minute because aren't these people tired of the constant childish bickering of "Omg! They're different!" Because that's all it was. They were different. They weren't dangerous, they weren't anymore dangerous than a human with a gun, and plenty of them had them so why couldn't there be mutants in this new world that they'd tried so hard to begin and see through till the end. Was it so hard?

She guessed it was. And then she was done in the library, throwing whatever book she'd had in her hand so she could keep up the façade, she didn't even know what book it was anymore, on the soft big chair in the corner and made her way to her room. Where she would continue to do what she'd been doing for the past three weeks since he'd left.

She hugged herself tightly, wishing for the warmth he'd always permeated while she tried to hold back the waterfall of tears threatening to break free from the dam. She was now sitting on her window sill, looking over the grounds.

Waiting. Waiting for a sign: a flame shot in the sky, fire in any form. Waiting for Johnny to come home.

She flicked the lighter open, as she had watched him do so many times before, starting the measly flame and staring at it. The dam broke as the flame flickered and disappeared. And maybe it was childish of her to want to see him again even he had gone over to the dark side and become the equivalent of a Sith Lord. Maybe he'd be like Anakin and she could be Padme. Or something like that. Something like that so they could be together like old times for just one more moment. She liked being a kid, playing and goofing off. She didn't like this new grown-up world where things were always harsher, sharper, colder—cold as ice. Ice that covered her heart now in a thin layer of pure bitterness. Bobby sure had left his mark hadn't he? She wondered how he'd react to know that the ever caring boyfriend of hers was caught screwing her best friend in the middle of the freaking hallway. She thinks he'd get angry at Bobby, probably would deck him and start an all out brawl in the courtyard if they were lucky instead of the hallway or a dorm room or the cafeteria. But she won't ever know because he's still not here.

And that's how it goes for a year or so. Living day to day in an empty shell. No one to laugh with. No one to cry with. But there are plenty of people to cry for.

Work. Eat. Wait. Sleep. Repeat. Like life was always on slow motion and the fast forward and rewind were broken so she could never speed life up to where she'd be happy again, or back up so she could live in that one moment forever where she and John are having fun, sneaking off school grounds after hours to go and watch him make a light show over the lake.

He won't come back. Nothing will ever go back. You're stuck in this hellhole exactly as it is right now.

And there's no escape.

And she knows there is no escape. There hasn't been for about a year now, and everyone else has forgotten about St. John Allerdyce, all except for her. She still remembers, she has proof that he existed there. No one can tell her that he wasn't ever here.

Because she still has his lighter everywhere she goes. Even if doesn't light anything anymore and is practically useless, she still has it. And will always have it. She's stopped crying, though. After six months, she doesn't have any tears left to shed. She's too tired to cry anymore, especially now, now that's it has been a year and she still hasn't found the hope that she lost after those six months. She's tired of waiting. She's tired of crying over someone who doesn't even want them. She's tired of trying to be loyal like a dog that doesn't know when it's been abandoned. She's tired of this not-really life.

And yet you still don't have the strength to just let go.

So she still waits by her window sill every night for hours on end, and her bed isn't even touched anymore except for the blanket she consistently wraps up in because the window is cold and so is the room and so is her heart. She still carries his Zippo, but she doesn't hold it much anymore. She still whispers to the wind and hopes it carries it to John, and maybe he'll hear her one day and come back.

She'd even go with him now if that's what he wanted.

And sometimes the pain of trying to keep it all together, the pain of losing it all in those five seconds where she thought she still had everything, the pain of being completely and totally alone cuts a little deeper into her shattered heart, the jagged pieces of memories running along the edges of her insides, making new wounds and reopening old ones—it all comes crashing down and she'll finally break down. She'll sob on those days, and go back to the first month of her isolation where she'd lock herself in her room for days on end and not come out for anyone. She'll sob and wail and whimper pathetically because was it really necessary to make her this miserable?

You only have yourself to blame—you're just too weak to move on. What's the point of trying to hold on to a lost cause?

Another year passes. And she has not improved. She's stopped trying to pretend like everything will be okay, too many breakdowns, too many scream for help gone unheard. She doesn't try, doesn't pretend, doesn't want to be tied to him anymore because she can't take this pain. She stays in her room for the most part, eating normally and sleeping. But now her schedule is one Eat. Wait. Sleep. Repeat. Working isn't something she can do properly anymore.

And then one day there he is. Standing in her bedroom in the corner right next to the window where she sits every night. She's just come in from dinner. She is tired, and she doesn't remember if she's awake or asleep, if he is real or a dream.

But she doesn't care anymore, because if it is a dream—she never wants to wake up.

"You're a wreck, Roguey." She nods, but she still hesitates, because she is afraid that if she touches him—he'll disappear because it's happened before, and that's even more gut-wrenching then if he never came at all. He smirks at her hesitancy, taking it for fear instead of caution. But then, he takes a step toward her, and she figures that if she jumps him and he disappears she'll hit her head hard enough she'll die anyways. So why not try it just this once?

And she leaps at him, knocking him to the ground as she breathes in his scent and revels in his warmth.

"Happy to me, Roguey?" he's obviously amused as he strokes her hair, holding her close as possible even though she isn't making it easy with her death hug.

"You have no idea." She whispers, smiling as she looks up into his face, losing herself in his eyes that hold a gleam that dances around like the fire he's known for.

"I'm pretty sure I do, Roguey. I'm pretty sure I do."

No, not really. But I'm glad you think so—because that's pretty damn close.

And then they both disappear. Never heard. Never seen. Never thought of.

And she can finally stop waiting because he's always been a little impatient.

And she can finally stop crying because he's always said that bloodshot eyes just didn't work for her.

And she can finally stop repeating because he's always been a little unpredictable.

And she can finally stop clinging, because he won't ever let go of her.

And you never really gave up on him—you just waited a little while.

A/N: No, it doesn't really make sense, but the first part has been sitting in my hard drive waiting to be have something done with it, and I decided that it sounded to awesome to be left alone and never published. So yea. Review and tell me how much it sucks, yes?