Back For You by aranenumenesse
Summary: He’d always be back for her.
Categories: X1, AU Characters: None
Genres: Drabble, Holiday, Shipper
Tags: None
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 653 Read: 2348 Published: 01/28/2011 Updated: 01/28/2011
Story Notes:
Epilogue to "Presents". Started writing this one little before Christmas, then life interrupted and I couldn't finish this before now.

1. Chapter 1 by aranenumenesse

Chapter 1 by aranenumenesse
I’ll be back for these.

He snorted upon remembering the message he had scribbled at the wee hours of dawn on to a pink slip of paper. He could still feel the light touch of pink fake feathers against the back of his hand, could still smell sugary scent of fake strawberry that emanated from the pink eraser attached to the pink pencil that he had used. He could still feel and smell and taste the atmosphere of that night like it all happened last night.

It wasn’t last night. It was several years ago. Since that Christmas he had been back for the tags frequently. He held on to them whenever he stayed at Xavier’s and left them to Marie for safekeeping when they parted. At first he had done it out of necessity; he wasn’t ready to let go of his past, but tags linked him together with undesirable persons and events, he couldn’t afford to be seen wearing them anymore. Then, as years passed, it became a true promise. No matter what, he’d always be back for those tiny scraps of metal. He’d always be back for her.

He’d been back for tags last September, a week’s worth of warm meals and roof over his head. Little later that year he’d been back for Marie, her parents passed away in November and he’d done unscheduled visit to check out if she needed anything. And Christmas that year he had been back for tags again.

This Christmas he hadn’t been back. Not for tags, not for her. He had called on Christmas Eve and talked with Professor Xavier. On New Year’s Eve he had called and talked with Marie. This was the first year he didn’t return for anything. It was time to let go. Let go of the tags. Let go of the girl. Let her live a little. He had expected her to cry a little. She did, but told him that it wasn’t an issue, that if he really needed to stay away, he should do that.

He wondered if she remembered his little slip-up years back when she was just a kid, head over heels for her hero. Maybe she did. Maybe that was why she let him go. It was first time he was back for the tags. He had been unpacking his backpack. She had been there, sitting on his bed and talking a mile in a minute, updating him for the latest events at Xavier’s. A small jeweller’s box had fallen from a bundle of shirts he had been carrying. She had opened it and found the ring.

“Is this your ring?” Marie had asked, staring at the simple golden band adorned with one miniscule diamond.

“Yours when you grow up,” he had blurted, then reached for the box and stashed it away before she had the time to think his little slip-up more thoroughly.

He still didn’t know what made him utter those words. The ring hadn’t been for her, not then, not ever. It was just a trinket he had won in a fight and he had pawned it later that year without second thought when urgent need of small change had struck. That ring hadn’t been for her. It was too tacky, anyway. But the ring he had in his pocket now....

He took the small box on his palm and opened it. Simple silver band, no precious gems on it. Surface had to be smooth; otherwise it would tear holes in to her gloves. He took it out of the box and inspected the engraving once more, to make sure it was right. Jeweller had shaken his head upon hearing his request, he had doubled the fee and jeweller had nodded and started working.

I’ll be back for you.
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