Author's Chapter Notes:
This one just bit me while I was reading on here, hope you like it.
Ororo tried to stop her from entering the room just after she herself had gone in but her warning stopped dead on her lips as Marie walked in behind her.

She'd been filled with the thought of what they'd be doing next, where the next opportunity for the school was, not that she'd walk in and see her lover holding someone else. Seeing his hands wrapped around the slim form that was plastered against his own broad frame. As cold water filled her veins she heard the tender voice she'd relied upon whisper a name she thought she'd never hear again.

It was too much to absorb, to believe, she just turned round going past a stunned Ro' and forced herself to move. Her skin itching as she went blindly through the school, not knowing where she was heading, all that mattered to her was away. Patting her pocket and feeling the keys for the car they'd just returned in she made for the front. She was too angry to even focus without it hurting her, to process what she'd seen fully.

But with every step her mind showed her the play of his fingers over the woman's body. The way his fingers cradled her rear, the way his knees were splayed around the thinner form, his voice!

The same voice that this morning had told her that he needed her around, *needed* her to be there, to keep him together, to remind him why he was fighting the good fight. Looked like that had been just another lie, they'd started falling from his lips easier over the last few months. Now she knew why, *she'd* come back, Jean had come home and she was again pushed to the background. A distraction, a stop-gap, a mistake.

As she got into the car her hands twisted the key viciously, oh yeah it had been a mistake but she was going to make sure it was one Logan was going to regret making.


Ororo waited for the couple to notice her, when Rogue had left Logan hadn't even realised she'd been there. The woman wrapped up in his arms stood in the light of the study finally turned her golden eyed gaze to Ororo. The features might have been Jean's but the mind behind it was all Phoenix.

Schooling her features she saw the slackness in Logan's eyes, she was playing with him, feeding him what he wanted to see. Giving him the locked down desires he'd hidden from Rogue, she was energy, she had no form anymore, she just existed and it looked like she'd come to have some fun at the expense of the people here.

Ororo watched as Phoenix took Logan's face in her hands and brought his head to hers, the cruel laughter sounding into the kiss she gave Logan. Seeing the man lost to the siren that was playing with his soul, her claws dug deep into his mind.

Ororo didn't get angry often but when she did it was spectacular, the lightning that arced through Logan and into the creature holding him spat and earthed through his bones. She knew it would stop his heart for a while, hurt like hell too but he deserved to feel a little pain after what she'd walked in on.

As the power built Phoenix's form faded away, her body dissolving into the charge, her laughter ringing through the destroyed room as the lightning finally earthed through the light fitting. Leaving Logan a charred bag of meat stood fixed on her now wrecked carpet. Going over to the panic button she smashed it down and the klaxon sounded out. Someone would be here to help soon, now finally when she heard footsteps running did her mind turn to Rogue. She hoped she'd be alright, that she didn't do something stupid. Thing was they both knew the truth about the Phoenix, she only ever came when she was 'called'. When someone's mental link to the remnants of Jean that were still wrapped up in the force that was a part of the universe, reached out and pulled her back. Looking at the healing flesh that was being manhandled toward the medbay, Logan had a lot to answer for and it wouldn't be without casualties.


She stopped finally just outside New Jersey, a diner had sent her memories flooding back to when she'd been small. When something had upset her she'd had pancakes, chocolate chip with maple syrup, just one, but it had been enough to soothe the pain inside her. Seeing the sign for 'Breakfast served anytime' she'd slammed on the brakes, done an illegal u-turn and pulled in.

Seating herself she'd managed ot get out her order without crying, even though the waitress had seen her red rimmed eyes and knew what was getting at her. Her whispered comment as she left the small table loud enough for her to hear just before she sent her order through.
"They're never worth the pain honey, none of em."
Thing was once she'd argued against that point of view, but now sat here she couldn't see anything but truth in her words.

It had started with small things, like not telling her the whole truth about something, hiding little things from her. Like how many bottles of beer he'd had in the day, or if he'd been into the city. Trivial things, small things but they were lies still the same. she'd always been honest with him, always given him everything she'd been. Even confessing her true reason for going to the lines of scared mutants to get her 'shot' while he was fighting for her right to be who she'd been.

She had done it for someone as well as herself, thing was it hadn't been for Bobby. It had been for him, to get his attention, to see her as a woman not a 'kid'. Bobby had been a lie, one she'd seen through the first time in his room at his parents house. When he'd kissed her she caught his fear, his hatred of her, the things he kept hidden, like his love of Kitty. Lies, all lies, so she'd done with them and gone to the one person she thought who'd be honest with her, Logan. In her mind he'd always been honest with her because he believed she deserved it. Only now that was a lie too, as her order appeared she just looked down at the large plate and her tears mingled with the maple syrup. Pooling her fears around her as her sense of self crumbled. If Logan could lie to her then there was nothing or no-one who wouldn't and she was alone again.


Logan woke to the medbay, the scent and dim light that made his nightmares vivid for a few nights afterward. Hank was stood in the dim light arms crossed and his eyes lowered to the floor. Hearing Logan moving Hank raised his gaze and pinned Logan to the bed, his body humming with tension as he chose his words very carefully.
"I'd avoid seeing Ororo any time soon, she's not in a mood to talk to you right now." Confusion covered Logan's mind for a second before the clouds cleared and he remembered seeing Ororo in the office just before her eyes went white and the world became a narrow point of pain for him.

Hank moved closer his physical bulk crowding Logan's own space on purpose, his voice a bare whisper as he unfolded his arms. Making sure Logan understood the message that was underlying his calm words, "Rogue has left the grounds for a while and although doubtless you'd love to go chasing after her to explain your behaviour, I'd advise against it. She's been hurt enough by you already today."

The threat was plain, Hank cared for Rogue, he'd seen her through her first touches, her confidence building exercises. It wasn't as if she could've gone from poisonous to perfect in one step, it took time and Hank was the only other person she trusted to touch her unguarded. Everyone else had to be seen and she had to approach them, he'd worked with her himself, tyring to get her to open up a little more. But she still had the fear that her powers would come back, so physicality was still difficult for her. But he'd been patient, gone slow, worked at it but in his mind something had opened up and he no longer had the drive to conquer her like he had before.

If he'd been honest with himself he'd admitted that she wasn't a challenge anymore, not since she took the cure. She was just like any other woman and he'd been trying to find reasons underneath everything to deny it. But his mind had done the thing for him, he'd 'called' Jean to him, called the Phoenix to him. And through the hazy memory of what had happened upstairs he caught the sight of brown eyes and despair. Of her eyes going dead just before anger had replaced the love that had been in their depths seconds before.

Hank moved away from him, the message sent and understood he shifted off the table, his clothes that Hank had stripped from him were resting on a chair. They were burned and he knew what Ororo had done to the Phoenix to get rid of her. He didn't blame her, Phoenix destroyed more than she built but it took someone to get her attention first. And this time there was no one to blame but him. Picking up the remnants of his clothing he left Hank to the quiet, knowing that there was someone who'd help pick Marie up when he left.


Jubilee found her using the tracker on the car, she hadn't moved for hours. The world had grown dark and Jubilee's energy seemed to crowd the small diner, making the world outside seem too big for her own problems to live in. Sliding in across from her Jubilee ordered coffee, cream and six sugars. Her own plate of pancakes was still sat there, congealed and cold but the coffee mug had seen a lot of use.

Silence reigned for a while, allowing her to marshall the thoughts she'd been mulling over, finally ready to let them slide into the silent space between them.
"He still there?"
Jubilee watched as her coffee dropped down, the waitress smiling as she understood that now her friend was here she could let her mind go back to her own worries.
"Yeah he's still there, in your room when I left." Lifting her mug to her lips and taking a good belt of the coffee and smiling as it hit her stomach.
"Packing then huh?"
"Nope, just sat there, waiting for you to come home." A bitter smile crept over her lips at those words and Marie's eyes darkened a little. Her own hands reaching for her refilled mug and pulling it toward her.
"Let him wait."

Jubilee lowered her own mug and nodded in approval.
"Sure chica, but you gotta see him sometime. Always better to get it over and done with."
Marie just shook her head, keeping the mug just under her lips as she spoke over the steam and into the darkness beyond.
"No. Let him think about what he's lost, what *I've* lost. Let him stew awhile." Jubilee kept silent but looked at the clock above the counter.
"You coming back or do you want to go to the apartment?"
"Think I'll stay with you in the apartment if you don't mind, give me some time to think about the mistakes I've made."
"Sure, come on though I've got lectures in about ten hours." Marie followed her friend, paid her bill and left the pain on the plate behind her. The one thing about mistakes is that you learn from them and you don't repeat them. She'd learned alright and she would finish this when she was ready to.


He waited all night, all week, all month but she didn't come home. He didn't leave the grounds, didn't go out just in case she came back when he wasn't there. He only went on missions if they couldn't do without him, everyone just ignored him, kept to themselves and left him to realise what he'd done. The mistake he'd made by trying to have everythingm he'd ended up with nothing.

It was while he was doing the tidying of the treeline when she came back, he watched as she got out of the car and just walked over to where he was. She was wrapped up, every piece of her covered apart from her face, her eyes were hard, flinty almost. His hands were still as she stood ten feet away, her stance rigid and her face schooled.
"Marie..." She held her hand up and stopped him dead.
"Rogue, you don't get to use that name anymore Logan...sorry...Wolverine."

As the words left her lips the full weight of what they meant hit home, there was no hope left for them. Not as a couple, not even as friends.
"I trusted you Wolverine, an I lost. I gave you *everything* I was and it still wasn't enough. You wanted Jean as well, it took me a while to figure it out but it was my skin wasn't it? I wasn't a challenge anymore, I was 'too safe' and you needed the danger." She came a little closer and saw her words were correct, his breathing was shallow again and his sweat beaded in the late spring sunshine.
"We made mistakes, both of us. Thing is I know mine and I'm not going to repeat them, ever." She turned herself to the house and began walking away from him, hearing his breath release finally. Before she walked away from him completely Marie laid her last nail in the coffin that had been their relationship.
"Remember when I said I was frightened it'd come back?" She watched as Logan nodded slightly her mouth quirking to the sight of his acknowledgement. "It did, only it took you doing what you did to do it to me, or maybe it was the Phoenix, a final trick of hers to show me that it never would've worked between us. But then maybe it was for the best Wolverine. See you around."

He watched her walk away, talk to Ororo and drive out of the grounds again. He'd overhear at dinner that she was going to Ohio, going to start a centre there for mutants like her with difficult powers. Ororo had given her the money and that Hank was going with her to help set it up. All that was left for him was the fight, the desire to kill those that would kill his kind. It was a way to live but mistakes were to be learned from and he learned from them too. Just in a different way from Marie.
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