Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: So this has taken me about three months to write. The last part's already written, I'm just tweaking it up a bit. It should be up either later today or tomorrow. As always, please review.


Fidem Fallere

By Miranda Panda-chan


::Part 1::

"C'mon, I'll take care of you."

"You promise?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I promise."


"Rogue!" she'd been fighting Kid Omega, and was using Colossus's ability to deflect the spikes, having already taken out Arc Light and Multiple Man with the help of some other X-Men. She'd never even seen the car falling, couldn't have seen or heart it coming with all the roaring from the other flames, the yells from all the players, and the blood pounding in her ears. Pyro had made it special, just for her, getting Magneto to throw two cars meant just for his two best friends. Bobby had managed to grab a hold of Kitty before the one aimed at him had fallen. Rogue couldn't be so lucky. The steel skin had receded as Piotr's conscious left her, and the well-aimed kick had caught her off guard. The flaming car was sent crashing to the ground, exploding on impact. Kid Omega was obliterated as the flames swept the area, Rogue was thrown against a brick wall—her head cracking against it, and she knew, without a doubt, some ribs were definitely broken as the fender had been thrown with her. Blood ran down her neck and she grimaced at the realization. She stood, still able to move and too stubborn to just sit back and watch.

Psylocke was near the corner of the crashing building, moving her hands through the shadows and stealing the cure guns and randomly attacking the X-Men with them, sometimes breaking a soldier's neck from the shadow of his helmet on his head. Rogue slipped off a glove and crept toward her. She was too busy maneuvering through shadows to pay attention. Rogue planted a hand in the middle of her face, hoping to smother and put her out of commission. Psylocke twitched and thrashed for a moment before falling unconscious—victim to Rogue's own mutation. Rogue shook off the new personality quickly, before snapping the neck of the teen. She rushed away, searching any place she could be of use, searching for Logan or Storm, really. All of the sudden sharp pain flashed through her.

She didn't know what happened, or who gave her the injury; she didn't even know she'd been injured until she fell to the ground, unable to hold her own weight any longer. Someone had taken a shot at her. It hurt quite a bit more than it usually did when she fell, and she realized she was pushing wooden corkscrew spikes further into herself, causing more damage than was needed, a long cut in her side was what had first alerted her to pain—one of the spikes had missed, but had taken quite a bit of flesh with it—and from the amount of blood bleeding from it, she'd say it was deep. She didn't think the spikes had hit anything vital, considering she was still alive for the moment, but she knew that they were still lodged in her, which caused her to panic. An adrenaline rush was not something she needed at the moment. She tried pulling them, wrenching one out with every ounce of strength she had and biting her lip hard enough to make it bleed so she wouldn't scream. Weakly she grasped at the other one, but as she tugged the pain only worsened, and she didn't have the strength enough to pull it out—it was pushed far too deeply.

She watched the flames grow higher and higher. They were fighting Magneto again, and she couldn't remember who else, or if there was any other organization with him and his dumb Brotherhood, but she knew it was a harsh battle. One of those that had been brewing for days but the bloodshed hadn't started till about two hours ago. She cringed as a wave of pain washed over her as she gasped. Breathing was painful, that couldn't be a good sign.

She knew it would happen. She'd never forgotten her mortality, despite her mutant status. Being a freak among freaks doesn't mean you're invincible, just alone. Logan's powers had faded; she couldn't heal a bruise at any faster rate than any normal human. Even if he was still in her head, talking to her—being Logan and such. Of course, she also had Magneto talking to her on an hourly basis, almost. David had almost disappeared completely, begin overpowered by the two dominant male mutants. She had to stifle the dry laugh that bubbled to her lips as she felt the cool dirt against the left side of her face. She had three guys in her head, and there was barely enough room left for her own personality. It couldn't get much weirder than that.

She watched the battle with bleary eyes, silhouettes becoming fuzzier around the edges as they battled one another. She couldn't feel her legs anymore, the cold, wet dirt and the nauseating pain numbing the lower half of her body. She supposed she was thankful, it would have been a lot more painful if nature hadn't helped.

She thought about trying to get up and maybe do some more damage before giving up completely. But what could she do? They all knew her, Magneto hadn't kept her identity a secret; she was everyone's favorite freak on the Brotherhood's side. It bothered her that Magneto continuously tried to convert her to his way of thinking, his pre-war strategies and lectures on humans being the lesser species circling in her head. He'd been louder than usual as of late, but she figured that it was because he was so close in proximity. The X-men had been watching his movements recently, besides, their fates had been intertwined—it was no longer the Brotherhood against the humans: it had changed to a civil war, mutants versus mutants—the Brotherhood versus the X-men. And she wondered how it had come to that, and it saddened her to see Pyro among the many fighting against them. He'd been a good friend, if nothing else.

"A live one, eh?" a male asked from above her— she gathered from the disgusted look on his face and the way his question had been worded, he'd seen her attacker and had presumed she was dead. His black hair and olive skin gave her no indication to his identity or his mutation—which worried her more than she ever thought she could be in this state. He held his sharp pocket knife in the air above her, obviously his weapon of choice when not using his powers. She cursed under her breath, and she wished, more than ever, Logan would keep his promise he'd made almost three years ago. She watched as he defended Jean, or rather Phoenix, from the oncoming barrage of cure bullets and cannons.

She wished he'd just let Jean die.

She whimpered as she felt him press his foot on to her lower leg, and prayed silently that this would be over quickly. He picked his foot up, and for a moment she felt relief, perhaps he'd been called somewhere else for the moment because one of his own was in need of help. She didn't relax when she still felt his presence a moment later. It was then that his foot came back down on her leg, a sickening snapping noise could be heart as she felt the bones in the appendage break and shatter. She screamed in agony, the pain shooting up her leg like fire. Tears now pricked at her eyes, and she cried silently—wishing it would just end. The boy laughed at her as she dug her fingers into the ground and bit her lip to keep from making any more sounds of pain.

"Now that's what I call a scream. Let's do it again, shall we?" He moved his foot to the other leg, and she could only await the extreme pain that would be added to her bodily harm. She glanced at Logan, his face was twisted in agony having already smelt her blood as he looked from her to Jean, Jean to her.

"Logan!" she cried. She knew she was pathetic, she knew it wasn't right of her to call for him—but he had promised, damn it. And if she could've stopped the attack against her person on her own, she would—but by God, she didn't have enough strength—especially now with a broken leg.

But the Wolverine continued blocking all attacks made against her. His expression telling of his inner turmoil, and having to choose which one of the two was the most important to him. He couldn't let Jean die though, and she was the one that under the most attack, one unguarded moment, and she could be dead—and he'd never get the chance to show her that he really was the good guy. That he was the one she should marry. Rogue would have to wait. Someone else could help her—just not him.

The boy raised his foot up to shatter the other leg, and could feel wind rush up from the ground as another snap was heard, but pain never arrived with it. She looked up to find Colossus holding the boy by his head, a look of disgust on the Russian boy's face as he dropped the now dead mutant, and moved towards her. He picked her up as carefully as he could, never realizing how fragile someone who was always so strong could be. She cringed, but thanked him breathlessly as he set her near a wall that was away from the rest of the battle. Hopefully, she wouldn't die sitting here, and she'd have at least a chance of avoiding being attacked. There wasn't much else he could do, and there were far more mutants against the X-Men still to just sit with her to protect her. He'd keep an eye on her from a distance, but the battle couldn't afford to be completely without him. She hissed as the cold brick's rough surface scraped against the burnt remains of her back. She only hoped she'd black out soon, she wasn't sure if she could take much more of this pain….she didn't notice the cure casing sticking out from her shoulder like a sword. She couldn't feel the slight twinge of pain over all the rest of the injuries. She wouldn't have a clue that her mutation was slowly disappearing until she woke up.

The battle was over now, Magneto was human, and his army had been obliterated with cure darts and death. Storm flew overhead, trying to find all of the students, hoping to have them all on the Blackbird and treated before the sun rose. It was nearing three in the morning, and she'd gathered up Colossus, Kitty and Leech, Bobby who carried with him the unconscious form of Pyro, and Logan could find his own way back to the jet with the dead body of the former Jean Grey. She was still missing one…and she couldn't help but panic slightly—fearing the worst.

"Where's Rogue?" She yelled, Logan looked up—a broken expression on his face and merely shrugged. He sniffed slightly.

"I think she's on the other side of the island. I saw the Tin Man carrying her away from the fight earlier." He whispered, Storm eyed him angrily—he didn't even care about the girl that cared so much for him. She'd heard Rogue call for him, she hadn't seen what had occurred, but she knew—obviously—that whatever it was, Logan had not come to aid. The pathetic fool didn't even have enough decency to care about the girl he still had a chance to save. She flew over the island, clearing the fog she could see.

The sight scared her than she thought possible. Bodies scattered all over the island, mutant, X-Men and Brotherhood alike, as well as human soldiers that had been brave enough to stay and fight. She stared wide-eyed, trying to ignore the cold dead feeling creeping up her spine that said Rogue didn't have a chance. Not with so much death around her. Rogue had probably left this world a while ago, plus—if Piotr had to have taken her away from the battle then that meant she was heavily injured. So heavily injured, she couldn't have moved herself…

She felt her hackles rise as she saw the limp form of the small woman, at least she'd found the body. At least, she'd be able to give her a proper burial. The girl deserved that much. Rogue was leaning against the wall, her leg twisted at an odd angle and she, herself, tried to hold her side gingerly. She could only vaguely recognize that she was sitting in a small puddle of her own blood. She could only hope that it wasn't her own…Storm's hope died and was reborn, at least she was alive for the time being—if not only just. She was injured and bleeding heavily. The gash in her side was the main cause of the pool of crimson liquid, and two twisted corkscrews stuck out from her, one in her shoulder, the other in her abdomen. Her leg was definitely broken, the bone seemed shattered, and Storm hesitated to move her.

"Rogue…?" the girl's eyes had been closed, but they opened a crack to stare blearily at the face of the snow-haired woman.

"Is it over?" she asked, her voice cracked.

"Yes, we're gathering all the survivors. Bobby even has John." Rogue smiled, the quirk of her lips seemed to hold both bitterness and happiness.

"What about Je-?"

"C'mon, sweetie. Stop talking and try not to think too much, I've got to move you back to the Blackbird. Rogue nodded, obviously exhausted. Storm picked her up gently, trying to be very careful of her leg and her back as she flew towards the jet where the rest of the X-Men waited anxiously.

It wasn't until later, that she realized Rogue's forehead had rested against her neck, and the tell-tale pull never occurred during the short rescue flight.

Upon entering the jet, she handed the frail girl to McCoy, who took her with a small shake of his head and an expression that held sympathy for the cured mutant. He stayed in the back of the plane with her, trying to stop the bleeding…all Logan saw when he turned his head was a deathly pale Rogue, laying on one of the benches in the back of the jet with McCoy talking to Storm, shaking his head and looking awfully grim. Ororo Munroe didn't look so thrilled herself, even as she began to walk away to sit at the pilot's seat.

"Marie?!" Logan's shocked voice exclaimed. He looked at Storm, hoping she'd tell him at least if she was alive, "C'mon 'Ro, just tell me if she's alive. Tell me she's okay." The weather witch sighed in exasperation. She needed an Advil or liquor—and she didn't care which one she got at the moment, so long as she got one—and soon.

"She's in critical condition…she should be okay…we don't know the full extent of the injuries yet, but—."

"Storm!" the blue-furred doctor rushed up to the pilot's seat, where Storm was already strapped in and flipping the switches for take off. She snapped her head, looking worried.

"What? Did we leave anyone behind? Is she-?!" she gasped as she eyed what McCoy was holding. The small cartridge he held in his fist was emptied of the damnable fluid it had originally been filled with—having dispelled itself into Rogue's body the minute it had imbedded itself in her flesh.

"She's been cured." He said solemnly. Storm trembled, but remained as calm as she possibly could. Logan looked on with disbelief.

"No, no—not Rogue. She couldn't have been…" he quieted, feeling a sudden wave of guilt wash over him.

"Don't tell her anything, Hank." Storm whispered.

"But Sto-!"

"After she gets a little better…we don't need her having a fit when she's so heavily injured…" Storm trailed off as the plane took off, and Logan clapped a hand on her shoulder. She looked at him with uncertainty in her pure blue eyes.

"I'll tell her 'Ro."

"Logan, you don't have too."

"But I will." He couldn't help but feel guilty, knowing the one girl that had cared for him had called for him—practically begged for him to help her. The girl that had a chance to survive. Sub-consciously, he knew Jean would never come back. Not after what she did to Scott. Not after what she'd tried to do to the Professor. So now Marie was cured, the irreversible answer to her mutation—he could've helped her after the battle if she still had her powers he could lend his healing ability to her for a little while…

But no.

He'd been too preoccupied, too busy trying to protect the person who wanted nothing more than to destroy the very fabric of reality, all in the name of unrequited love. He'd known the kid would need help, he'd known she'd need his expertise to kick-ass. He'd admit, though, from what he'd overheard from Colossus, she'd fought like an animal—killing several of the Brotherhood on her own, as well as with the help of others. She'd taken out more than her share, her mutation itself was defensive, and yet she'd managed to make it offensive when the time came to kill in cold-blood. To kill for the first time in her short life.

She shouldn't have had to do it alone.

She was just a kid, the ripe age of nineteen. She wasn't supposed to have seen as much death, hatred, and oppression as she had. He was pulled from his musings by the loud rumbling voice of the Beast.

"She'll be alright—at least until we get to the Mansion." Hank announced. He was wiping blood off his hands and arms, specks of the life liquid having gotten caught in the tangle of fur, dying the dark blue an ugly shade of purple. Marie's scent wafted over to him. The all too familiar scent made him sick, and he halfway wanted tog o see her, and he halfway felt he should go sniff some hydrofluoric acid so that the all too sweet and comforting, familiar, scent would leave him be.

"How is she?" Storm asked, giving Logan a glare before returning a worried gaze back to the blue-furred doctor.

"She'll be okay, eventually. One of her broken ribs pierced her left lung; the muscle in her shoulder isn't looking too good, either. She'll need quite a bit of stitches and she won't be walking at least for a couple months." He finished his brief overview diagnosis with a sigh, "This didn't look like it was just random unfortunate attacks made against her…she was targeted. Probably Magneto's revenge against her for not cooperating in his plan on Liberty Island. This wasn't an act of war—this was pure cruelty." Hank McCoy plopped into his seat with another sigh, "She's going to be devastated when she awakens." Storm nodded silently.

"How are the other students?"

"Bobby seems to be fine, mild scratches, a couple of nasty burns and blisters, but nothing that won't heal in a few weeks. Kitty seems fine, a little jittery, but fine, same with Jimmy. Piotr is looking a bit worse for wear, but given a few weeks of rest and recovery, he should be good as new."

"How about John?"

"We have him under heavy sedation, he's probably got a minor concussion, too. He won't be waking up for a while. At least not for a day or two."

"Good. We don't need anymore trouble." She said, her attention refocusing completely on flying the jet back to the mansion safely. Logan stood up, feeling restless and guilty. He couldn't help but blame himself for what had happened. She'd called for him, and he'd heard her, perfectly—and he'd completely ignored it. He walked to the back, glancing at the students, he were now asleep. Kitty was snuggled up against Bobby, who was resting his head on top of hers, Piotr was in a seat, buckled in and resting his head back, snoring softly. Jimmy was up near the front, situated almost identical to Piotr. Pyro had be laid out on the bench where he'd once sat on the way to the FoH base near Alkali Lake not more than four feet away from the man he'd left them for. Rogue was on the opposite side, situated much like John, only a blanket covered her as she breathed in shallowly. He walked over to her still form, unable to help from noticing how awful she looked. Her face was overly pale, breathing shallow, and the smell of morphine was made him slightly dizzy.

He wouldn't ever tell the ex-government official just how much it creeped him out that he carried around an extra shot of morphine 'just in case.'

She wasn't asleep, though. Not yet. She was dancing somewhere between being awake and knocked-out cold. Her half-lidded eyes met his, and stared at him accusingly.

"Did we win?"

"Always." He said simply, stroking her hair slightly, she relaxed at his touch, closing her eyes.

Even if he could smell salt water building up behind closed eyelids.

"You didn't come." She whispered pathetically. He was silent for a moment, her head leaning into his hand. He stared thoughtfully at her even as she grew silent.

"I know, darlin'." He whispered, but she was already asleep.

Logan visited her every day, rarely straying from her bedside for the occasional Danger Room lesson. She still hadn't woken up, and there was no way to help her because even as his rough hands glided across her pale flesh—the only pull he felt was the pull in his heart. The one that told him time and time again that this was his fault.

Her breathing had gotten back to normal, still slightly shallow at times, but after Beast had fixed her ribs so they were back in their place and taken care of that hole in her lung, things had started fixing themselves slowly but surely—at normal human pace. She was under heavy sedation, even he could tell that from the overwhelming smell of morphine that constantly enveloped the room. Her back was pressed against five different towels that held an ice-pack in each to soothe the angry burns on her back. They were healing fairly well, but she wouldn't be without scars. Her leg wasn't healing as quickly or as well as they'd hoped, and her shoulder was still causing problems—having gotten infected during the battle at some point.

He couldn't help but tell himself over and over just how bad he'd fucked up this time. He could've saved her—he wouldn't deny that if he'd reacted to her call, she probably would've come away with only minor injuries. He'd even watched her lay there, dying—being attacked cruelly—and he'd done nothing. He'd even watched as the Tin Man took her away from the battle to try and limit her injuries. Colossus was officially on Logan's good side.

Storm was exasperated and angry with him, only speaking to him if necessary. And he'd tried to justify his actions by telling himself that he'd only wanted to give Jean a chance. He hadn't meant to let anyone down—he had saved the world, hadn't he? In the end, he'd been the one to kill her…

…and Rogue was injured beyond repair mostly.

"You know, staring at her doesn't do any good." McCoy's voice echoed in the medlab, ringing with slightly disapproval as well as pity.

"You gonna pick a fight, too, bub?" he growled, glaring. Beast just shook his head.

"She won't wake up until we let up on the morphine. There's no point in being down here—she's probably so deeply in her own consciousness that she can't even hear us." He explained.

"That means she can't feel the pain then—right?" the blue furred doctor nodded.

"Yes, she'll be taking a full dose of vicodin once she wakes up and we stop the morphine. He leg will cause her problems even if it does heal properly. Some bone fragments cut through the ligament—."

"She will wake up, though?" Hank stopped and stared. Logan's hand was stroking the soft flesh of her cheek, looking down at her similar to how he had once looked at Jean. McCoy smiled, just slightly.

"Yes, the only thing keeping her from awakening is the morphine so she won't feel half as much of the injured she attained."

Logan wished the Cure dart had hit someone else—he'd only once ever wanted to give his power to someone as much as he did now—and that was back at Liberty Island when she'd been half-way dead. He twirled the skunk stripe once for good measure at the memory. Sometimes he wished she'd just dye it back to its normal color. She thought it was stylish—she'd also said it reminded her of him—but he was reminded that he'd almost been too late…that he broke the promise he'd made only seconds before she was kidnapped.

Hank walked over to him, tapping him on the shoulder lightly before holding something out to him, "I believe these are yours, if I'm not mistaken." He said, dropping them in his hand before walking out of the room. It was his dogtags, the tags that hung around Marie's neck almost 24/7. He gripped them tightly. The tags represented his promise. He shook his head.

"These ain't mine, anymore, darlin'." He said quietly, wishing—despite knowing the immense pain she'd be in—that she'd wake up.

It was a total of four weeks before she awoke—groggy and very much lethargic. Hank had called Storm in to help her to her room. It had taken some extra time, especially with the way her leg had been shattered—the future looked very bleak having to use a cane at nineteen. She had questioned why her wounds hadn't healed, but dropped it as she remembered looking in to his eyes and watching him choose the enemy over her.

"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH OF A FUCKIN' DUMBASS YOU ARE?!" a lamp crashed on the wall behind.

"Now listen, Marie, you have to understand—."

"GET THE FUCKING HELL OUT OF MY ROOM!" the clock was thrown next, crashing on the other side of the wall.

"You're just upset, darlin'."

"DAMN RIGHT, I'M UPSET! NOW GET THE HELL OUT!" a book was next, a very heavy text book. One that, upon later inspection, was found out to be a History text book (Storm would get a long lecture about giving those kind of weapons to students), and this object, with perfect aim, connected with his forehead. While it did scratch the skin a little, it hadn't done all that much damage, but had given him one hell of a headache. He had left after that, not because of the head injury, but more because of the sudden outbreak of shrill cry as she clutched her shoulder.

McCoy hadn't let him back in the room for fear of Rogue's health.

Which had given him no time to tell her what would devastate her the most.

The information that she would have to learn sooner or later, because even though everyone was still playing along…it wouldn't be before too long she would wonder what happened to the voices when she was released from her drug-induced haze. The longer he waited to tell her, he knew, the more damage it would do.

But he waited anyway—because she was already hurt enough as it is, and damn it! he hadn't protected her when he should've.

It wasn't until two weeks later that he managed to sneak into the room. She was officially off the strong drugs. Still taking pain killers religiously, just not the mind-boggling strong ones. She was sitting up when he entered, a good sign considering. She was now allowed to walk on her own, with a cane and a metal cast around her leg. But she tired quickly because of it. She ignored him as he first cleared his throat to try and get her attention.

"I hear you." She'd said irritably, still not looking up from The Death of Superman comic she'd kept with her from Mississippi.

"How ya feelin', kid?" she refused to meet his eyes.

"Shitty, and you?" she asked, her tone flat.

"Bout the same," he confessed, she raised an eyebrow, saying in itself that she didn't believe him.

"So—how'd we win?" she finally asked,

"You're still tired, kid. I'll tell ya about it later."

"So you did protect her until the end." She muttered bitterly.

"Now listen darlin', I know you're upset and everything, but you can't blame it all on Jean-!"

"I'm not upset anymore, Logan, you're just predictable. And yes, yes I can blame everything on her." She said, her head snapping up, daring him to argue with her.

"I like to think I keep you guessin'." He dropped the subject of Jean completely.

"Hm, yea—ain't that right sugah," she agreed, contradicting her previous statement with enthusiasm, "Most people would thought that with your pride and stubbornness, you'd keep ta your word.—but you shocked us all there, didn't ya?" her lips dripped with venom, her words filled with spite, and her expression was nothing if not bitter. He cringed inwardly—a woman's wrath (especially a Southern woman's, he couldn't help but think) really had fury that hell hath no. While her violent anger had subsided, the spitefulness had not. He left the room, promising to come by later when 'the damn doctor' would be there, just to keep her from ripping him to shred when he finally told her. Because what he had to say couldn't be prolonged any longer.

He walked down the hall, feeling like an old man, wishing he had the ability to go back in time and fix things. He hadn't wanted Marie to get hurt, not like that, not as much as she had, that had never been his intention.

But the road to hell is always paved with good intentions, and while he wasn't a religious man, he did believe in retribution. And he couldn't help but think that perhaps this was retribution for killing so many people in the past, maybe also for how many one-night stands he'd had in the past—especially those couple of whores that he'd skipped out on paying—leaving before they had the chance to collect. Perhaps this was his punishment, seeing the one thing that he didn't ever think he could lose (the girl who had started this whole 'being civilized and nice' phase he'd been going through for the past three years) would start to hate him.

He pulled out a beer and plopped into the kitchen seat, he had about an hour until McCoy and him would break the news to Rogue.

"So you're going to tell her, tonight?" the Kenyan woman sat before him, a look of irritation and disgust on her face as she looked him over one before settling on examining the polished wood of the table.

"Yeah, McCoy's making sure she's awake—lucid." He said.

"Maybe you should have her drugged before you tell her. Might soften the blow." She said, it was a piece of advice, but her tone made it almost sound like an indirect insult.

"Thought about it, but she'd probably forget. And I don't wanna have to break the news to the kid more than once."

"Hm." She scoffed, and got up, the legs of the chair scraping ever so slightly against the linoleum of the floor, "It's always about you, Logan." She muttered under her breath as she walked out.

He'd pretend he hadn't heard her.

The Canadian looked once more at his watch before sighing, taking one last swig of his drink, and getting up. It was time to get this over with.

As he walked down the hall, the one that seemed to stretch on endlessly ahead of him but took him to his destination quicker than he'd have liked on this one special occasion, he wondered if they'd done this right. Maybe they should have told her when she'd first woken up, maybe they shouldn't tell her at all, maybe they could make her think that she just suddenly had gained control—but she they didn't know how to make her reactivate it. Maybe they could let her figure it out—it would take her a couple of years, probably, since she'd become so careful, accidental touches didn't happen often at all anymore. Maybe…maybe he shouldn't be the one telling her. Maybe he should've let Storm tell her. Or just leave up to Hank.

But it was too late now. Because he was outside of her door, knocking lightly—hoping that maybe McCoy wouldn't hear him.

"Come in, Logan." Damn.

It wasn't like he had any obligation to the kid. It hadn't really been his fault that she'd gotten hurt—she should've been more alert, more aware of her surroundings. Not technically his fault.

"Rogue, I—." she was refusing to look at him, "Look at me, Rogue." He said quietly, sitting on the edge of her bed as he had done so many times before to the shoulder she could cry on when something went horribly awry in her life. She didn't move. He knew she wouldn't, "Rogue, do you remember the battle very well?"

"Transparently." And he could tell which part of the battle she was referring too.

"You were shot with the cure." There he'd said it, and the gasp told him she hadn't noticed that little detail of the battle, "Your powers don't work anymore, Rogue." He said quietly, still looking at her. Time seemed to stop for a little while as Hank let out the breath he'd been holding, and Rogue just sat there almost shaking, he reached a hand towards, "Listen—Marie."

"My name is Rogue. Rogue, damn it!" she said, her voice was rough, and as his hand reached the bare flesh of her shoulder, she flinched back, moving smoothly away from the offending appendage.

"Rogue, it's okay, though. Now you don't have to worry about it anymore, you didn't have to make the choice." Her head snapped up, glaring at him with unshed tears.

"I KNOW I DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! THAT'S THE PROBLEM, DUMBASS!" and she slapped him, the tears finally cascading down her face. McCoy still hadn't moved, and Logan was shocked from the slap, he hadn't either. She was still shaking, silently sobbing at her own loss.

Because she knew through all technicalities…Rogue didn't exist anymore. (But she wished with all her heart that she still did).

And Logan couldn't find anything to say that would make anything better. And God help him he was attached to this swamp rat that had hitchhiked in his truck, and he'd let her down. He'd killed the woman he loved, he'd killed the soul of the girl that loved him, and perhaps he really was destined for Hell, because if there was such a place (and he believed there was) then he was there. Had been for awhile.

He couldn't stay here—not with Marie reminding him everyday that he'd failed another person. Remembering that he had a Home now, that he had people that cared for him—maybe not so much anymore—but he'd had it…and he'd been the one to lose it. Not with so many emotions that he didn't know what to do with, and damn it! he couldn't figure out where to go from here. Emotions weren't his strong point, never have been—how was he supposed to move past this?! He didn't know.

So he did the only thing he knew he couldn't screw up, the one think he knew how to do, the one thing he seemed to be so very good at…

He left.


A/N: So what'd ya think? Love it? Hate it? Tell me in a review!