“Oh no, we’ve lost the power.”
*This is my fault, I brought her down too hard, I-I… I didn’t know what I was doin’... I’ve never flown a jet b’fore! Now we’re all gonna die...*
“Come on, come on!”
*Logan’s gonna die.*
Rogue couldn’t bear the sight of him without breaking down.
*I’ve gotta do somethin’. But what?*
“There’s power in the fuel cell…”
The knowledge twisted and turned in her gut. The admission in her mind not dredged from a place beyond logic or reason. Rogue’s mouth tightened when she looked up to see a familiar face.
Jean Grey stood, her face full of strength, was shining with a steadfast and serene peace. But what gave her away was the touch of regret around her eyes. A look, Rogue reflected with fearful clarity, which only uncanny awareness could bring. Resolve.
But there was no time to sit and stare. Before she could stop herself, Rogue bolted upright and in one rapid movement, removed the silky fabric of Bobby’s grandmother’s white gloves, dropping them on either side of her standard issue X-men shit kickers.
“Rogue, where are you going? Rogue, what’re-” but Bobby’s words, though cool and clear as ice water, went unheard.
She swiftly closed the minimal distance between herself and the Dr. Coming to an abrupt halt, she looked up and her heart lurched wildly in her breast. The gentle shifting emerald lights in the older woman’s eyes were understanding as they searched Marie’s face and reached into her thoughts. The anxious look on Jean’s face told her she knew. *It’s not your fault, you know...*
“Forgive me.” Rogue's voice was full of entreaty. Taking a deep, unsteady breath, she flattened two equally naked palms on either side of the high plains of Dr. Jean Grey’s cheeks. For a moment, only warmth raced its way up her forearms. But suddenly Rogue’s body involuntarily jerked and she threw her head back, doe eyes rolling white. Her instinctive response to the red head’s raw energy and power was the equivalent of bordering on apocalyptic.
For a long moment Marie felt like she was floating. But gradually her breathing began to settle down to a more even beat and she released, causing Jean to collapse and seize, violently gasping for oxygen. Across the woman’s pale beautiful face a dim flush raced like a fever. An inexplicable look of withdrawal and agony carving merciless lines and twisting her features.
“What the-Jean! Rogue, what’s goin’ on!” Logan’s voice cut through the thick fog the power trip high left humming through her brain. His compelling eyes riveted her to the spot as Scott dove for his fiance, and dragged her body, visibly trembling with intensity, against him. Cradling her head in his lap.
*Time to move.*
She could feel Logan’s sharp eyes boring into her as she turned. She would never forget a single detail of his face. The shock. The fear. The beauty in it. For her.
With one last fleeting glimpse at the only man she’d ever loved, would ever love, she tore her gaze away and in a mad frenzy sprinted down the jet’s steps. Her mind and body were finally moving together.
Logan lunged for the jet’s entrance with all the force his indestructible skeletal structure would allow, before having the door firmly shut in his face. Releasing a purely primal howl of rage he grew claws and rammed the thing, metal on metal. No cigar.
“Son of a bitch! MARIE! Get your ass back here!”
Cyclops watched from his position on the floor as Logan’s nostrils flared with fury. But what happened next made his heart come to a shuddering halt, as pity slapped him full on in the face for the Wolverine.
When the man spoke again, his voice was tender, almost a murmur.
There was a faint tremor in his voice, as if some emotion had touched him, managing no more than a hoarse whisper.
Recovering, Logan reached one strong muscled arm out and grabbed Kurt by the collar, feral teeth bared and hostile. His tone hardened ruthlessly.
“You. Get her. Now!”
“I-I… I can’t. She’s not letting me!” a loud CRACK could be heard as the dam began to give way to the monstrosity of water. Fear, stark and vivid, glittered in the transporters amber eyes. Not in fear of the Wolverine, but of Rogue, being exposed to such peril.
“Put him down, sugar. I know what I’m doin’.”
All eyes turned to Professor Xavier as he began to speak with an odd, soft, sweet southern twang. Logan glanced once more at Kurt and swiftly released him, appearing seconds later at the arm of X's chair.
“You save my life, I save yours.”
The students aboard the jet collectively gasped and screamed as the cement finally surrendered to the water’s massive weight and it rushed towards them. A wall of destruction.
“Don’t do this, kid.” He was pleading now.
“Jean’s too strong an asset to the X-men team. And to your heart. I couldn’t do that to you, Logan…”
The jet’s engine roared to life and shakily became aloft just above Rogue. And right before the tide swallowed her, Xavier spoke her final words.
“I love you.”