Earth – 12

The full moon glowed brightly overhead as if lit merely to watch over the infamous X-mansion beneath it. A school that had certainly experienced much over the years; tonight its grounds and campus were peaceful for a change. Undisturbed, save for a loan figure who strode across the grass without ever making a sound or in any way disturbing the evening's otherwise flawless tranquility.

The figure in question made his way to a small tombstone, sadly not the only one on the grounds, carrying a six pack in hand.

"Hey Cal." The figure offered a gruff yet friendly greeting as it removed one of the bottles in hand, casually popping off the lid and taking a quick swig. "I couldn't find any of that German stuff you like so much." Setting the bottles down on the grass, James Logan Howlett took a seat down in front of the marked tombstone.

Naturally he received no response of sympathy or understanding.

"So Chuck wants me to shake up some of the new greens we got in. Show 'em the ropes." Logan groaned at the prospect as he took another drink. "Wish you were here right now. You were always good at that. Playing up the big hero and pretending not to make the rest of us intimidated by it."

Somehow, the silence seemed to acknowledge the comment.

"I don't know. Normally I'd just let Summers change the diapers" Logan paused long enough to take another long, deep gulp, killing the bottle and discarding it before retrieving another. "He's actually gotten into it without you around to show him up. The way he runs around giving orders sometimes, you'd think he'd been the one leading the team since day one. Maybe that's reason enough to do it."

Logan took another deep drink, finishing his second bottle. For a second, he thought he could feel the sudden rush of alcohol making it to his bloodstream. But no such luck. That was the hidden curse of a mutant healing factor. Short of pure absinth, it was impossible to get so much as a buzz from alcohol, let alone achieve actual inebriation.

"Ain't much else to say." At this Logan took a deep breath before admitting. "I guess I've been coming here with less and less to say each night. Chuck…the Professor thinks that maybe if I just say it, that'll make it easier… never was too good with this stuff."

Logan paused as he heard himself mumbling and stumbling verbally like a fool and decided enough was enough in front of his best friend. Retrieving his third beer and downing it in a single gulp, Logan put the bottle down long enough to speak.

"I'm sorry Calvin. I know you didn't exactly go down alone out there, what with your reality jumping friends on the Exiles. And that pup 'o yours was something worth writing about for sure. But… I should'a been there."

At this, Logan rose to his feet, collecting every discarded beer bottle and leaving the ground in the exact same pristine condition that it had been in every night. Then, removing one last bottle, he opened it and raised it to his friend.

"You made me proud Cal." Logan looked down on his friend one more time. "You made us all proud."

The soft night wind was all the response that he received and more than he bothered to wait for. Turning back without a second thought, Logan began his soundless march back to the mansion, leaving only the night breeze to fill the evening.

Silence. For several minutes longer, the ground lay empty and quiet.

And then, a soft sound. Inaudible to anyone had they been at hand. But it was there. Like a soft tap. Completely muffled yet still there.

It fell silent again but only for a matter of seconds. And then it went again. Still inaudible.

The third time, it shook the ground. The earth bent upwards like a sore wound as dirt and grass flew into the air and a strong fist broke through the very ground that had tried to contain it.