Death of a Dream
Chapter 4: Melancholy Memories
Logan found Storm out by the pool, relaxing in the afternoon
sunshine. He stopped, smiling as he took a moment to admire
her, reflecting with some amazement how things had grown between
them over the last two years. They had always been the closest
of friends, but it had taken the extraordinary events of the
Psi-War to bring them together. After Jean had died, he had
wondered if he would ever love again. She had been the last,
the only woman left alive that he felt true love for, despite
her marriage to Cyclops, he had always loved her in his heart.
When she died, it was like something in his soul had been
ripped out of him. There was still a place within him that
would always be hollow from the loss of Jean, yet with Ororo,
he found that part of him was fulfilled as well, a feeling
of being made whole. Storm shifted her position on the lawn
chair then, distracting him from his reverie, and he walked
out to meet her.
"How goes the battle, darlin'?" he asked.
"It goes fairly well," she replied, smiling as
she moved slightly to the side, giving him room to sit. "With
all the training in the last few months, the team seems to
be working well together, overall, and most of them have accepted
Gambit as a part of them now."
"Hmph," he snorted. "I can guess which one
of 'em still ain't too thrilled."
"Yes," she said, sitting up to retrieve her sunglasses.
"Robert has yet to make peace with our newest teammate
"Can't say I blame the boy. It ain't never easy to watch
the girl you love fall for someone else," he said, feeling
just a passing twinge of pain with the comment.
She nodded, regarding him thoughtfully. "As it was not
easy for you to watch Jean and Scott. I wonder sometimes,
Logan, how different things would be now if Jean had survived."
"'Tween me an' you?" he seemed mildly surprised.
"Darlin', what I felt for Jean...that was something special,
something you find maybe once in a lifetime...but only 'cause
we could never be together. What I felt for her, what I imagined,
that was dream, and dreams can't touch reality. What you and
I have is reality...and it's more special than any unrequited
love ever could be," he said, smiling as he leaned down
to kiss her.
She stopped him just before his lips reached her, laying
a finger upon them. "But Jean did love you, Logan."
"I know, darlin'" he said quietly, eyes searching
hers. "But it was nothing compared to what she felt for
Scott. Those two were meant for each other."
She nodded again, sighing as her gaze fell upon the sky above
them. "I can still hardly believe they are gone..."
"They still live on, darlin'. Inside o' us," he
said reverently, then was suddenly distracted. "Speak
o' the devil...we got company 'ro."
"Hey guys," Firestar called, waving and smiling
as she made her way to another lawn chair nearby.
"This a private party, or can anybody join?" asked
Bobby with a grin, emerging from the mansion a moment later
with Dazzler and Lasher right behind him.
"You're more than welcome, kid. Just don't go freezing
the pool again this time or I'll make icecubes outta you,"
Logan shot back.
"Tough talk, old man," laughed Bobby. "Good
thing I'm more interested in having some fun today."
With a mischievous wink he ran forward, grabbing Firestar
around the waist and jumping into the pool with her.
Logan watched them frolicking in the pool for a moment more,
then turned to Ororo, whispering, "Where is the cajun
"Out running reconnaissance," she replied, turning
to look at him. "He'll be gone for most of the day."
Rogue snarled viciously as she hurled her unconscious opponent
to the ground with a resounding thud.
"Such a waste, Creed," she hissed, her features
contorted with the animalistic rage she had absorbed from
him. ""Always usin' brawn instead of brains. It's
a wonder you've survived this long." Dusting off her
hands as if she had touched something distasteful, she suddenly
paused, her heightened senses picking up the scent of a familiar
"If you are done beating up on the old man, dear sister,
there is someone here to see you whom I think you will find
most interesting," came a voice from the shadows of the
"Who?" she asked curtly, not even bothering to
look up. If his scent hadn't already given him away, his accent
surely would have, she thought.
"I think you should see for yourself," came the
teasing voice. "He's out in the hall."
She nodded, already moving in that direction as she replied,
"See if Creed needs any help, he should be waking up
soon." Already she could feel Sabretooth's siphoned powers
fading. It was just a good thing she hadn't hurt him too badly
while she still possessed his healing factor, she thought.
The Brotherhood would need someone with his ferocity.
She stepped out of the practice room and into the main hallway,
idly musing about who her mysterious visitor might be even
as she appraised the technology of the new base. Combining
the genius of several super-villains, her superiors had seen
this former Reaver's base transformed into a technological
wonder that rivaled even the X-Mansion in its glory days.
Several factions of the Brotherhood had already taken up residence
in the massive complex, all under her command. If only Mystique
could see me now, she thought, the memory of her foster mother
sending a sharp pain through her heart. She shook her head,
marveling at the wonder of it all. If not for Mystique's death,
she wouldn't be where she was right now. The hallway began
to fade out of view as the memory of that fateful battle replayed
It had been several months after the devastating battle with
the Shadow King where so many died. The defense systems in
the mansion had detected an intruder, but no one could seem
to locate the threat despite scouring the mansion. It hadn't
been until Rogue checked out the War Room that she realized
the nature of their intruder....
"Mystique, no!" she had shouted, recognizing her
shapeshifting foster mother even in the assumed form of Storm.
She had been in the process of activating a bomb planted in
the machinery of the war room. She knew Mystique had been
subverted by the Shadow King, but this? To kill all of the
X-Men? To kill her own daughter?
"Stay out of this, Rogue," her mother had shouted,
turning one of her laser guns threateningly on her foster
daughter. "If you had any sense, you'd leave here with
me and come home where you belong." Her fingers had moved
faster over the keypad, entering the code that would bring
about the destruction of the remaining X-Men.
"Ah can't let you do this, Momma," Rogue had declared,
flying in on a dead run at Mystique.
Mystique had gotten off one shot at Rogue before the girl
touched her and drained her power. Even as she had collapsed
to the floor, falling unconscious, Cyclops had burst into
the room. He had changed so much, Rogue remembered, become
as bloodthirsty as his enemies. He didn't even think as he
unleashed his optic blasts on the helpless Mystique, pulverizing
her body before she even hit the floor. Rogue had been so
completely shocked by his actions, the speed at which it had
all occurred. She had acted on pure instinct as she turned
toward Cyclops and--
"Rogue?" came a voice from just ahead of her, startling
her from her thoughts.
Startled from her memories, the world suddenly came into
sharp focus as she recognized her visitor. She blinked once,
twice, then found her voice. "Is it done?" she asked,
her voice shaking just a bit.
"It's done, chere. They've accepted me as part of de
team." Remy LeBeau smiled, and in the semi-darkness of
the hallway, his eyes began to glow a deep, crimson red.
Continued in Chapter
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