STORY SUMMARY: Secret military programs, the discovery of admantium, mutant terrorism, and the development of the Cure all have far-reaching effects that will eventually span the globe and change the face of evolution.

DISCLAIMERS: All characters and organizations (with the exception of small, mostly unnamed minor characters) throughout the series are the product of Marvel.

CANONICAL NOTES: This story arc utilizes movieverse canon for events, characters, and relationships: X1, X2, X3, and XO (Wolverine: Origins). Powers for major characters follow movieverse, with the exception of Remy LeBeau/Gambit who is based on comicverse. Characters granted minor roles in the films or that do not appear in the films are pulled from comicverse. Organizations and progams will follow comicverse. Weapon X will follow movieverse: as a project of the United States military instead of Canada's.

LANGUAGE AND ACCENTS: Cajun French is courtesy of Heavenmetal (many thanks). I will attempt to reproduce accents in this story arc.


- 2.1 -

Story Summary: You know what it's like to be the only one left. Logan/Storm

Canonical Notes: Set in the aftermath of X3.

Author's Note: A bit of an unintentional addition to The Burning story arc inspired by LJ memery and prompted by trovia. Hope you like.

Logan had not expected the flood of people—mutant and otherwise—arriving after Alcatraz to pay their respects at the joint memorial service for Charles Xavier, Jean Grey, and Scott Summers. He had not expected to learn of all the alumni of Xavier's school he had never met, some of whom were parents. Logan almost fled the broken, open grief of one Alex Summers over the empty grave of his son.

Groups of bereaved students milled over the grounds and through the corridors, but oddly enough, none ventured too close to the private sanctuary of Xavier himself: his study. Logan slipped inside with some relief. Then froze.

He smelled salt. And heard the distinct sound of somebody trying hard to stop crying.

He continued forward slowly until he drew even with Xavier's large desk and overlarge chair. He kept his face forward, staring straight out the window, but out of the corner of his eye, he could see Ororo curled up in the chair, looking for all the world like a sullen teenager, glaring at him with a tear-stained face.

"What are you doing in here?" she asked, and she didn't sound like a teenager at all.

Logan glanced over at her then, figuring that gave him permission to look. "Looking for a place to smoke in peace." He pulled out the cigar to emphasize his words. "What are you doing in here?"

Ororo sniffed and raised her chin imperiously. "I'm crying."

He would laugh at the sight, but her grief demanded respect. He shrugged and lit the cigar. "You think I know anything about tears?"

"Yes," she said quietly.

He dropped the lighter and cursed, then burned his thumb catching it. He had not expected the answer. Anything but that. Logan turned on her.

"Is there some reason you always think you know something about me or what I should be doing that I don't?" he demanded.

Ororo tightened her grip around her knees. She did not look at him. "Yes."

He couldn't know the memories that were swirling around in her head, only knew that she meant that word too much for his liking. Maybe if I don't accept you as you are, I'll keep you.

"I can't do this alone," she whispered suddenly, and she looked so lost, it startled him.

"You're not alone, 'Ro." He gestured out the window at the many people grieving in their own ways out on the grounds.

Ororo merely glanced, then shook her head. "I'm the last one left." She fixed her gaze on his. "You know what it's like to be the last one left."

She had struck him where it hurt, and an old familiar ache settled where he always figured his heart ought to be.

Logan reached out and brushed the tears from Ororo's cheek. "I know."