1.3 Words to Live By

1.3.1 By Joan Milligan

Disclaimer: I don't own Cyclops or Professor X or any of the characters mentioned in this story, Marvel Comics does. It is a work of fan fiction making no money whatsoever.

Dammit, old man, how could you?

Were we not good enough? I like to think we were good enough. We were all these other times, I was good enough. What went wrong? Was it our mistake?

No, Charles, I can't understand it. I've tried for weeks now, and nothing just seems to fall into place for me. And that's nothing. No revelations, I don't think we could've functioned any better. The team worked smoother than Bobby's ass. Dammit, we could've made it, if only we've had a little more time.

But you didn't give us more time, did you? You couldn't have held on, just for a little while, just for us. We've survived worse for you, Professor, anguish and pain much worse than these of having a few stupid bricks fall on us, and we pulled through somehow, or perhaps you don't remember? How could you? Don't you remember everything we've been through? Our blood, Charles. When you lay there beneath the rubble from the Mansion's roof, did you remember to whom we gave it?

You could've remembered. Maybe you'd live.

I can't believe I'm condemning you for not fighting, Charles, especially since I'm haven't done all that well myself. The team's falling apart without you, and everyone seems to expect me to pull them together. I can't do that. I know I should, it's my duty to keep them running, you always said so. "Scott," you would say, "I'm counting on you to guard them, whatever happens". That's wonderful, Professor, I'm proud of it. But what would you have said if you knew your prize student it going to kill himself?

Would you say I don't have the right to? The right over my own life? I have every right, old man, and I'm going to do it. I'm holding the blade and my hand isn't even shaking. I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it. I can't take it anymore. I can't take it that they're all counting on me.

Why do they count on me? Do they do it justly? Yesterday, Remy said that, if I were any good as a leader, you were still alive. I normally don't pay much attention to what Gambit has to say, but the truth is, Remy said what they were all thinking. I saw it in their eyes. It isn't something you can miss.

I swear I did all I could, Charles, but no matter how much I would've tried, I don't think there was any chance. The Blackbird is only that fast, our medical technology is only that developed. The Mansion was already in ruins when we got to it, and you were already trapped, already dead. None of us even managed to say goodbye.

And we haven't even found out who did it yet. Is that my fault?

No, I don't want that responsibility. Let them take the spandex and go play the heroes, I don't want to fight anyone, I'm not going to avenge you, Charles, you wouldn't want me to. I know. I'm the only one who knows. Because I know you.

And I can't live without you. I'm going to do it.

I'm not you. I can't lead them to your Promised Land. I have the strategic thinking, the power, I have everything it takes to be leader of the X-Men. But you didn't gather us for battle, did you? And at times of peace, I'm no one, Charles, plain no one.

Logan can lead them, Ororo can lead the, they can take over my role in the battlefield. But somehow, they all look up at me to give the dream they live for purpose. And I can't be a visionary, I don't know if I believe in the dream anymore. You were the dream, Professor, you know that? Without you, what hope to we have?

Yes, I'm going to do it. I'm just going to make sure nobody sees, nobody knows. The doors are locked and the windows are shut. It's just me and the blade.

One cut should do. By the time anyone notices I've disappeared, I'll be dead. Just like you, old man. Perhaps one of them can replace you. I know I can't. I never could. They always looked up at me like I was so strong, because I was, because I could lead them to the victory and I knew what was right, how to defeat our enemies. And I stood up for the dream whenever I had to, whenever someone had to. But I was never it, I was just a soldier speaking for his leader. And what does the solider do when the leader is gone?

I'm going to do it. I'm dying, going to be dead soon. Soon, just like that, just like you.

I'm going to do it. and now the blade's getting closer, closing on the flesh. I'm going to do it. I have the courage. I have the reason. I can't take the responsibility anymore, I. I'm running.

I'm running.

Who will lead the X-Men?

Am I really feeling doubt? I never do. I promised myself I would do it. What have I got left to live for? Jean? I love her, but what hope do we have now - now that you're gone? What hope does any of us X-Men have? We're left like children in the darkness. We rebuilt the Mansion just like it was once, but it looks so big and empty. We try and go on but none of us can. Someone has to pull us through, pull them through. Someone has to keep going. And I don't believe this someone can be me.

So I'm going to do it. I'm.

I'm dropping the blade.

Dammit, old man, you were right.

Do we have hope? It's up to me now. It's up to me to get them through it. Someone has to, and you've always said is has to be me.

I could never be you, Charles, I don't think I can ever be the dream. But aren't we X-Men the dream? That's what we are, what we're always been. You were there all along, because the dream was yours. And now we've got to make it ours. How are they going to do it without you?

That's my duty. To show them how.

Was it my fault? Would we have saved you if I'd acted differently? These questions, they're invalid now. Things can't return to what they were. Professor Xavier is dead, but the dream lives on. The dream is us. That's what we were always for. fighting for Xavier's dream. It's just going to have to be the X-Men's dream from now on.

But the others don't know it yet. Perhaps they never will. They don't know you enough to know what we were for you, what we have to be now. Only I know. Only me. Can I do it? You trusted me, Charles, you always said I can.

I believe I can. I, Cyclops, leader of the X-Men, believe I can go on being me.

So you're dead, Charles, and I never got to say goodbye. Perhaps it's better that way? Who knows what you would've said to me, what I would've done, if I acted differently and we would have gotten there just a few minutes earlier. Would I have been able to make this decision - to live with knowing you made me what I am again? Would I have let you make the decision? And would it have been better than the one I've made now?

Fate works in odd ways. Fate said I never knew what could've been. Just what is to be, what we, what I have to be. Just that line you always said, Charles, that line that was us. Every dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.

Words to live by.

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