Author's Chapter Notes:
I tried to make this six chapters, but this last one wasn't working. I had to cut it in half. I should have the latter, last part ready for tomorrow.
There was something hard chafing his windpipe, making him choke and gag when he woke up. He grasped the tube that was taped to the side of his throat and yanked it out. Plucked off small pads and wires attached to him and flicked off the machines before they exploded or made him deaf with their constant beeping. He was alive, and Marie was sleeping on a bed next to his. It was safe to assume that everything was okay. It felt weird to be able to see again. It felt good. He sat on the side of the bed and just stared at the sleeping girl. His ankle was itching. Somebody had seen it fit to put a cast on it. He flicked out a claw and cut it off, sliding down from the bed and testing the leg carefully. It was good. Better than good. He felt better than in ages. No more chafing and grating feeling inside of his joints. No more sudden chill feelings. No more constant taste of metal at the back of his throat. All thanks to Magneto.

He cracked his neck and checked his surroundings once more. The doctor, Jean. She had been in the room earlier. He could still smell her exhausted scent. He’d have to remember to thank her properly.

He crouched and picked up a small lump of black plastic that had fallen from his clenched fist when he had woken up. Placed it on the table next to Marie’s bed. Clock on the wall told him that it was nearly six o’clock in the morning. He wasn’t particularly tired anymore, but not ready to leave the sleeping girl either.

Quick inspection of the cabinets at the far side of the room produced a comfortable long-sleeved shirt and a pair of long underpants, as well as socks and rubber gloves. He got dressed and stretched on the bed next to Marie, pulling her against him and breathing in her scent. Clean. Healthy. Sleepy. She moved a bit and squinted her eyes, her nose twitching quite amusingly. Then settled back to sleep. He burrowed his face to the cascade of brown hair, now streaked with white and let out a contended sigh. Not tired, but he could rest. Rest and hold her. For she wouldn’t want to be held after she woke up. He still remembered her reaction to his proposal of cutting out the inhibitor. She wouldn’t let him touch her with a ten-foot pole now that the chip wasn’t in her anymore.

When he smelt another scent permeating the air he cracked his eyes open. Shifted slightly and peered over the side of the girl’s face. Summers was standing at the door. He tightened his grip from Marie instinctively.

“You’re awake. Good. How do you feel?”
“Fine. What do you want?”
“I just came to check up on you. Alarms went off and Jean thought… Well, I’ll go and tell her that you’re awake.”
“You do that. And tell her not to come here before Marie wakes up.”
“Yeah. It’s good to see that you’re both okay.”

‘Poor bastard…’ He could hear Summers whispering when he backed out from the room and closed the door. Poor bastard. And most aggravating thing was, that Summers was probably right. This would most likely be the last time Marie allowed him this close to her. Last time he could feel her warmth against him. Last time he could smell her scent this contended. Last time he could hold her.

One selfish act, born from the need to keep her with him, and he had condemned her to live the rest of the eternity isolated from the touch. He had actually died on the second time he had touched her to stop the bleeding, horrible hot gush of bright red blood with dark lumps on it, and he had the feeling that his mutation was a permanent part of her cell structure now. She wouldn’t be aging. She wouldn’t be dying. She would just keep on living.

As soon as he could detect first signs of her waking up he crawled away from her side. Took the dog tag that hung on his chest and laid it on the table. Scribbled a hasty, one-word note to a piece of paper with a pen he found and tucked it under the small metal rectangular. It was time to go.

She yawned widely and stretched her whole body. Time to wake up and face the world. Infirmary was eerily silent around her. No beeping machines. No steady huff and puff of the ventilator as it forced fresh air in to Logan’s lungs. The bed next to hers was empty. There was something on the table. A dog tag on a metal chain, name ‘Wolverine’ and series of numbers engraved on it. The inhibitor chip. Both on top of a small scrap of paper, torn from Ororo’s letter. There was writing on the paper. One word. Written with sturdy, bold, block letters. ‘Sorry.’

Logan was gone.
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