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as this story may contain adult situations, language and violence.
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Wolverine leaned against the wall of what once was called
the Danger-Room. The room was empty now, stark, devoid of
all technology that had given the room its name. Silent, watchful,
Wolverine took a last drag on his cigar before dropping it
and crushing it beneath his boot heel. He squatted down next
to the prone figure of Marrow, one of the latest reluctant
members of the X-Men.
"Get up kid, ya ain't hurt that bad." Wolverine
growled. He gave her a not so gentle shove to turn her over.
'Bastard', Marrow thought to herself. Trying desperately
not to groan aloud as she rolled onto her back. She had been
so sure she could take Wolverine down. He had grown soft over
the years. He was older, far older than she was, though he
didn't look it. She had been raised by the Morlocks and more
recently under the "kill or be killed" teachings
of Mikhail in that other dimension. She had survived. She
had beaten the others. Why hadn't she been able to take out
an old man? She'd been in tough battles before and nearly
died before, but never had she hurt so much. She opened her
eyes expecting to see the gloating smile of Wolverine above
her. Vowing to at least wipe the smile from his face, she
wasn't quite prepared to see Wolverine snarling at her nor
two claws bearing down on her. She hadn't even been able to
raise her hand to hit him when he had her pinned to the floor,
two claws on either side of her neck, his knuckles pushing
against her windpipe. She knew her eyes had reflected her
shock and her shameful fear. 'Shit!!'
"This was just so you don't go gettin' any more ideas
for the moment kid. I want yer undivided attention."
Wolverine looked intently into her eyes, and though she'd
never admit it aloud and resented it even more, Marrow admitted
that she understood why Wolverine was known as 'the best there
is at what he does'. 'So he wasn't as soft as I believed.'
Marrow thought. 'Shit, he's barely even got a scratch on him.
The only real hit I made was when he used his own arm to deflect
my bone spear. The fucking bastard didn't even flinch as it
when through his arm. He'd actually grinned and pulled it
out saying thanks for the extra weapon. SHIT!!'
Wolverine saw the different emotions flash through her eyes
and knew she resented not only being beaten in general but
to being beaten by an X-Man. He flexed his middle knuckle
against her windpipe to gain her attention again. "Listen
up punk, ya got guts, and a little skill, but, ya got no control
and no focus. Keep fighting like that and you'll be dead inna
week. Go take a shower, clean up and be back here in two hours."
He stood up releasing his claws and walked off without even
looking at her again.
Marrow waited until the door closed before giving vent to
her anger and frustration. "SSSHHHIIITTT!!!!" She
was breathing hard as she got to her feet. "This time
old man. Only this time will you ever beat me. Let's see how
many 'lessons' you give when I stand over you with your heart
in MY hands." Marrow came to an abrupt stop where she
heard chuckling outside the door. "Two hours Marrow,
and don't make me come and get ya." This time Marrow
heard Wolverine walking away down the hall.
"What's up Storm?" Bobby Drake asked as he walked
into the old Danger-Room with his best-friend Hank McCoy.
He brushed this sandy-brown hair from his eyes with his fingers
and looked curiously at her. she was in her fighting togs
as were the rest of the team. Just about everyone was there
he saw, even the new people, Maggott, Cecelia, the doctor
he had personally brought here, and Marrow though he hadn't
seen her at first as she was sitting high up in some exposed
rafters. Everyone seemed to be standing around in groups of
two or three he noticed. Psylocke and Angel were standing
next to each other though not talking to anyone including
themselves. Sam was talking to Wolverine and Joseph.
"A training session Bobby. Though that is all I know.
Logan and I talked and agreed that we all need to start working
together again." Storm answered him. Storm's eyes though
continuously strayed to look at Marrow, Bobby noticed. Bobby
noticed the subdued almost sullen atmosphere with everyone
in the room. He turned to make a comment to Hank but noticed
Hank was staring rather intently at Wolverine. 'Looks like
there are still a few hard feelings going around.' Bobby thought
"Hey Logan, Storm says this jamboree is your baby, what's
the story, we just checking out the acoustics of a hollow
room while we stare at each other?" Bobby said trying
to lighten the mood.
"Nope. We're going to see what we've got to work with."
Logan walked to the middle of the room. " We've taken
some pretty hard hits lately. Between Onslaught and Bastion.
Some of ya felt that the Prof. Scott and Jean were the heart
and soul of this team and the only thing holding us together.
Well we're going to find out right here and now. If we're
going to keep this team alive we're going to have to find
out what we've got left to give, and what we can expect from
"What do you expect us to do Logan? Has it escaped your
heightened senses that we don't have anything to use for training?
Great idea Logan, what are we supposed to practice on? Bare
walls?" Angel asked sarcastically.
Logan ignored Warrens tone and answered the question. "The
room looks pretty full to me, flyboy."
"You expect us to fight each other?!"
"Yup." Was Logan's only reply.
"Oh, great, we survive Bastion and Operation: Zero Tolerance
and Logan wants us to finish each other off. Storm, you're
not going to let Logan get away with this are you?" Bobby
"The idea has merit Bobby. We have trained against each
other before when the Danger-room was operational, why is
now different? Though I do not understand exactly how Logan
plans to accomplish this."
"Uh-uh, Storm. We've trained as a team together to reach
a goal. to find a hidden person. Things like that. Scott never
had us fight each other. This is insane." Warren said.
"Who's going to decide who fights whom.?"
"I do." Logan said. "We're doing this here
so that we can keep things relatively contained. Anyone get's
out of control, answers to me. And this ain't going to be
a boxin' match boy. This is a free for all. Use your powers,
or don't. Your choice. The only rule is obviously no killin'
force. If I think someone's gone overboard, they answer to
me. Any questions?"
"Just one. Why wasn't ah invited?" Rogue said from
the doorway. En masse the X-Men old and new alike turned towards
her. The room went totally silent. Rogue was standing there
looking at them all. Yet it crossed each one's mind that this
was not the Rogue they knew. After the incident with Remy
and Erik the Red, Rogue had separated herself from the rest
of the team. Neither allowing anyone to approach her nor approaching
Storm walked up to her, not commenting on Rogue's new outfit.
"You have been through a lot child, I thought perhaps..."
"Ah ain't no child, Storm! The last time ah checked
ah was part of this team. It's about time ah was treated with
the same respect."
"it is also my fault Rogue." Joseph said approaching
her. When Storm asked where you were, and she told me about
this. I told her to leave you alone. That I would talk with
you later. Why are you wearing a new outfit?"
"Don't change the subject Joseph. The clothes are mah
choice. The decision to join y'all is mah choice. And ain't
nobody got the right to tell me what ah should do or not.
This is mah life and ah'll live it how ah see fit. Maybe ah've
been guilty of lettin' some of ya tell me what to do in the
past but no more ya hear. Ah'm takin' control of mah own life
again. Now if'n y'all are finished gawking at me. Let's get
this show goin." She looked pointedly at Logan. Logan
wondered if he was the only one who could sense her inner
turmoil. He knew he would have to watch her carefully this
time out. She was near the edge and if she was pushed to hard
or let loose on her emotions there was going to be a blood
bath in this room. Logan nodded in agreement and a little
encouragement to Rogue and turned towards the exit door where
he was going to watch the proceedings.
Never one to let a tense situation go without getting her
own jab in, Marrow dropped to the floor near Rogue and smirked.
" Aaawww, Did he dump ya when he found out what a two
faced witch ya are? Did ya tell him that ya loved him? Did
he tell you? Did he take your heart in his hands and pulverize
it and trash it? Did ya actually believe he loved you? Did
ya actually believe anyone could love you? Well you could
always ask Storm to teach ya how to rip someone's heart out
and kill them instead. She's good at things like that. Aint'cha
Rogue hadn't even looked at Marrow during her taunting. Rogue
doubted that Marrow was even aware that they had been walking
around the room while she sized up the other X-men. Marrow
was like a bad puppy, Rogue thought, gnawing on things they
shoudn't be. Well Marrow had been gnawing where she shouldn't
be and made things red and irritated. Rogue had had enough.
This puppy had sharp teeth and needed to be disciplined. Rogue
came to a stop. Marrow smirked again. "What's the matter
little skunk-head? Did I hurt your little feelings?"
Marrow taunted. "Why don't ya go run away and hide? Why
dont'cha go runnin' back ..." Marrow was cut off suddenly
as she went sprawling into the middle of the room.
"Marrow either you better take control of yoah mouth
or ah'll do it for ya. Ah pulled that punch, sugah. Ah won't
be so nice the next time, heah?" Rogue didn't wait for
Marrow's response. She took to the air for a different view
of the room.
"Last one standing is the winner. Got it? You can go
as far as knocking your opponent out. Anyone gets carried
away, gets carried out....by me." Logan looked at each
of participants in the group before him looking to see who
the problems might be. All of the newbies were trouble, because
no one knew how they reacted under pressure, which was a part
of the exercise. It might even help release some stress, when
personal grudges etc. could get settled. "I'm turning
the lights off for 10 seconds, when they come back on go at
it." Logan reached up to turn the switch off, noticing
that Storm, Rogue and Beast were already beginning to move
from the spot they had been standing in. Good. He even noticed
that Doc Reyes seemed to have picked up on the idea and as
the light switched off she had quickly looked around to see
who was where, taking a quick step backwards. "Remember,
you are working for yourselves this time out. Your goal and
only goal is to be the last one standing."
Logan's advanced senses could easily pick up where everyone
was in the room. He had noticed that Marrow was quite close
to Storm, no surprise there. What was surprising was that
Storm was still on the ground. Angel and Sam should be almost
face to face when the light came on. Beast had closed in on
Maggott and Psylocke was closing in on Joseph. Bobby should
get surprise from the Doc, Logan thought, she was crouching
right behind him. Rogue appeared to have chosen Psylocke as
her first target. Logan nodded his head and grinned in the
dark. For Rogue the one with the fastest possibility of taking
her out was Psylocke with her telepathic powers. There were
others of course but Betsy would have the best shot. Joseph
hadn't moved and Logan caught a whiff of electromagnetic discharge.
'Hmm,' Logan thought, ' pears, Joseph's got himself an idea
to make this a quick fight.' wonder if it will work?
Logan turned the lights on.
Everyone seemed to move at once. Even the newbies, Logan
noticed. His fighting prowess took over and like what happens
with some doctors where seconds turn into minutes everything
slowed down to Logan as he saw th battles taking form in front
of him. Storm and Marrow will fall, was Logan's first thought.
The pair are focusing totally on each other and ignoring everyone
else. Fatal mistake, Storm should know better. Beast was taking
on an unknown, should be interesting. Reyes was smart, she
picked on Bobby for a reason. Maybe she thinks he'll have
a harder time taking her out, maybe it's because his powers
are the only ones she really knows. Rogue was holding back
for a second or two, why? Logan thought, has she lost her
nerve? No, he saw it now. 'good girl' Logan thought, he glanced
around 'does she see...yup she does.' Logan's attention switched
again and saw that Rogue wasn't the only one thinking ahead
in this fight. Sam had activated his blast shield right in
front of Warren, blowing Warren off his feet and into a wall.
The mighty Angel had been stunned in the first 20 seconds
of the fight. Sam hadn't stayed where he was though, 'Cable's
training' Logan thought as he watched Sam skim the room and
head towards Beast and Maggott. Beast was getting a bigger
fight than he had expected. Maggott's...maggots had detached
themselves from him and were attacking Beast from different
sides. Beast was having to defend against them and Maggott's
fists making it a rather intriguing battle. Doc Reyes meanwhile
rolled herself at the back of Bobby's legs. Her shield came
up and she knocked him over backwards, and by being relatively
close to him she had avoided really hurting herself. Logan
appreciated her ingenuity. Reyes scampered to her feet and
threw herself at Bobby. Her shield came up again and although
she grunted, so did Bobby who had smacked his head rather
hard when he hit the floor. Leaning upwards the Doc pinched
Bobby's nose and used her other hand to clamp over his mouth,
trying to get him to pass out. Bobby started to struggle in
earnest now trying to get oxygen back in his body. When Doc
Reyes jumped on him she had knocked the wind from him, then
was denying him the ability to get more oxygen into his body.
Bobby lashed out in the last seconds before losing consciousness,
He tried to push the restraining hands away from him and when
he found his arms restrained by Cecilia's legs where she straddled
him he used his powers to cover her in ice to push her away,
but she didn't let go and in the end she had managed to knock
Bobby out but he had taken her with him, by lowering her body
temperature and causing a form of hypothermia to knock her
In the opening seconds of the battle, Betsy lunged at Joseph
using her ninja skills to take him out. Joseph had already
protected himself from attacks by surrounding himself with
an electro-magnetic force bubble and Betsy bounced off him.
She did succeed in distracting him though as he hadn't thought
to be attacked so quickly and certainly not by Psylocke. He
had thought perhaps, Rogue or Storm, maybe even Iceman. Joseph
had planned to hit everyone with an electro-magnetic shock
and take everyone out in one go. Then maybe he could get the
chance to apologize to Rogue properly and not in front of
the whole team. He had been nearly ready to strike when he
had been hit by Betsy. Feeling annoyed at being distracted
and losing his concentration, not to mention his hold on his
powers to send out the pulse he turned on Betsy, preparing
to hit her with a blast of magnetic energy. Betsy, when she
had been knocked aside by Joseph's shield used her new powers
of passing through shadows and disappeared. She returned seconds
later off to one side of Joe and using her psychic knife,
attacked. Joe raised his hand and released his power at her.
They both missed each other. Psylocke fell back on her ninja
tricks dodging Joe's blasts. Rogue didn't know why Psylocke
didn't just make Joe pass out telepathically. Then she started
seeing a pattern to Psylocke's attacks. Betsy was enjoying
this cat and mouse game she was playing with Joe, Rogue noticed.
It could cost her, Rogue thought. She didn't try to interfere
though. She waited to let them wear each other down. She would
use them both anyway once they had worn each other down. It
kept her fresh and the others would be worn out. Rogue looked
around sizing up the competition. They were all wrapped in
their own little battles she noticed. With the exception of
Sam. He seemed to be scoping out the players as well. She
braced herself for him to attack her as soon as he noticed
she wasn't fighting anyone but, he veered off towards Storm
and Marrow. The immediate threat gone, Rogue turned her attention
back to Psylocke and Joseph. Joe also seemed to be picking
up on Betsy's pattern and his shots were coming increasingly
closer to their mark. Betsy wasn't even attempting to get
in close to Joseph at this point Rogue noticed from above.
Sam went shooting around between her and Psylocke and Joe
while carrying Marrow. Rogue saw Storm shoot lightning at
Sam, heard the thunder that she released. Marrow was screeching
bloody murder and cussing a blue streak. Rogue watched Sam's
flying become increasingly erratic. Though he appeared to
be trying to head for Beast. There was another flash of lightning
and Rogue saw Marrow drop to the floor, she was up in seconds
though and pulling the bones from her shoulders. Rogue shuddered.
There was more lightning and thunder and Rogue saw Storm flying
back towards Beast and Maggott. There was an incredible crash
but Rogue didn't look up as the game below her seemed to be
coming to an end. Betsy dove into a shadow a split second
before being hit by Joe's blast. Rogue noticed Joe's personal
shield had flickered off. The boy was getting tired. Betsy
was wearing him down. This time Betsy came out of the shadows
directly in front of Joe. Her psychic knife manifested itself
within a blink of an eye and she attacked. Psylocke's "knife"
penetrated his failing body shield as Joe released an electro
blast. Psylocke's power caused a surge in Joseph's power,
and Psylocke was knocked unconscious by the force of it. Which
sent her flying through the air. Joseph fell to his knees
but didn't pass out. Rogue swooped down and caught Psylocke
but, instead of putting her down she redirected Psylocke and
sent her sprawling towards Marrow and Storm, Storm, being
more skilled and more used to multiple battles going on around
her, caught sight of Betsy's body coming at them before Marrow
did and managed to avoid a direct hit as Betsy's body slammed
into Marrow and subsequently her own. The three women ended
in a tangled heap, which was hampered by Betsy being unconscious.
"Just like I wanted it wind-witch." Marrow snarled.
"We gonna dance the dance or what?"
"You cannot win Marrow. You have not the skill of a
true warrior nor the control of your mutant powers to be a
true threat to me. I will not back away from this fight though,
your anger and hatred must be contained, and controlled. Since
you have shown no thought to controlling yourself. I shall
do it for you." Storm formed a small tornado and lifted
Marrow from her feet.
"You and the old man keep preaching the same thing wind-witch.
Ya both sound like a broken record...control, control, control...ya
so interested in control...try controllin' this." Marrow
yanked two protruding bones from her back and leg. With a
pop they broke loose and Marrow threw her bone spears at Storm.
Storm easily dodged the first but the second spear grazed
her head. Dodging again Storm cried out and let Marrow drop
to the floor. Storm heard Marrow grunt as she hit the floor,
and the unmistakable sound of breaking bones, whether they
were the external bones that grew from Marrow body or bones
that she used Storm neither knew nor cared at this point.
Storm was angry. She raised to her feet and ran her finger
over her cut scalp, surprised by the amount of blood that
was flowing from the cut. A wind picked up in the room and
storm's eyes started to glow ominously. Logan straightened,
he didn't want to take her out but, he would if he needed
to. He positioned himself to attack. Sam circled above him
and swooped down to take Marrow out of the fight, Sam reached
down and grabbed two bones that were sticking out from Marrow's
shoulders. Marrow screamed at him. They lifted off into the
air where Sam was going to throw Marrow at Maggott and Beast
who were still fighting it out.
There was a bright flash of lighting, and a loud clap of
thunder right by his ears. "YOW!!!" Sam changed
direction trying to avoid the lightning. It wasn't hurting
him yet but he could definitely feel the electric shock of
them. he didn't relish the idea of being hit by lightning
anymore. Marrow was still screeching at him. Calling him all
sorts of names. Some of which he hadn't even heard of before.
Storm was suddenly in front of him floating very serenely
a mere ten feet from him. "Aaacckkk!" Sam managed
to croak out. Desperately trying to avoid running into her.
He knew he should run her down. that it was part of the exercise,
and he knew he had just made a big mistake. but it went against
everything his momma and daddy had taught him about hitting
girls. " 'don't you ever, for any reason raise your hand
or fist to a lady Samuel. A man is physically stronger than
a woman and it is disgraceful that anyone should use their
own physical superiority to dominate anyone else. It ain't
right. It aint right to use your strength against anyone smaller
than you and don't you forget it. There is no excuse for it.
Period. Use your head. Ah ain't saying that someone smaller
than you or a lady can't hurt you. They can. But, you being
bigger and stronger have more to fall back on than either
to keep gettin' hit or striking back. Use your strength to
restrain 'em so they cain't hurt you no more. Yell at 'em
ifn ya need to but don't you ever let me heah that ya raised
your hand to a lady or you'll answer ta me. And you can learn
what it feels like to be the smaller, weaker person in a fist
Sam had never forgotten that and after his father had died,
he had made sure that he taught his brothers the same thing
and that his sisters knew it was just as disgraceful for a
woman to strike someone as well. That being girls didn't mean
they didn't hurt when they hit someone, but that not all men
were alike and if they got used to hitting their brothers
because they knew their brothers wouldn't hit them back wouldn't
protect them from other boys or men who didn't follow the
same thing and it could cause more problems.
Storm was a lady. He just couldn't bring himself to take
her out in so physical a manner. He should have let go of
Marrow. he thought as he turned away from Storm. Then Marrow
would have plowed into Storm and maybe they would have knocked
each other out. 'Now you think of an idea.' Sam thought, He
dropped low, and circled the room again with Marrow cussing
him the whole way. He heard Beast yell out as one of those
little maggots bit through Hank's blue fur, Sam guessed. Making
a decision, he headed for Beast and Maggott, Beast and Maggott
were back in a corner away from most of the others. 'Jeez
had this only been seconds? He saw Doctor Reyes and Bobby
struggling on the floor below him. He saw Pyslocke jump at
Joe and bounce off. He saw Rogue floating above Joseph and
Psylocke, watching him. 'Where did Storm go?' Sam thought
as he stuck close to the ground and close to one wall. "YOW!!
Hey Storm that hurt!!" Sam hollered. She must really
be sending big bolts at him, for him to be really feeling
it. He was invulnerable when he blasted but he could feel
things. Electric shocks affected him in a different way than
other attacks though as well. They actually could zap him
enough to lose concentration and then he would stop blasting
and fall. He expected the next hit, but not how powerful it
was going to be. He saw spots in front of his eyes this time
and his arms went numb. Marrow must have noticed because she
struggled and broke his hold and tumbled to the floor. Storm
was suddenly in front of him again. This time he didn't try
to swerve. He got to within five feet of her before his dad's
voice popped into his head again. "Oh crap!!" and
tried to turn. Storm just stayed there as serene as you please
like nothing was happening. There was a blinding light as
he turned away from her. A thunderous bang and another bolt
of lightning hit him. He was disoriented, confused. He tried
to get close to the ground to get his bearings. His vision
cleared. He was on top of Hand and Maggott. he didn't want
to kill anyone, he tried to stop. Beast managed a rather understated
"Oh my." Maggott could only look at him in horror,
and Sam had a fleeting thought that Marrow had a very bad
influence on him as he yelled "SSSSHHHHIIIIITTT!!!!!!"
as he plowed into the combatants, like his namesake.
By the wall next to the door Wolverine cringed, enjoying
himself immensely. 'Oohhh, that's gonna leave a mark.' No
one was moving in Beast and Maggott's corner. Warren had come
to and sheepishly joined Wolverine on the sidelines. "What'd
I miss?" Cringing as well, as the three men plowed into
the wall behind them.
"Down to those five." Logan indicated Storm and
Marrow who were re-engaging in their little fight, Betsy and
Joseph who seemed to be playing cat and mouse and Rogue who
was floating above them all watching. Warren sucked in his
breath when Betsy barely dodged one of Joe's shots by diving
into a shadow. Then she re-appeared in front of Joe Her psychic
knife glowed a bright pink colour and she attacked, Joe yelled,
Betsy cried out. Joe fell to his knees, Betsy was going to
be killed Warren thought as she shot through the air. He was
about to fly out and catch her when Rogue snatched her out
of the air. he was about to call out a thanks to Rogue when
Rogue turned in mid air and threw Betsy at Storm and Marrow.
Warren yelled out in anger about to fly back in to the battle
area and attack Rogue but, Wolverine's claws were suddenly
in front of his face. "Don't interfere flyboy. Rogue
didn't throw her to hurt her only to run interference. Look."
Betsy's weight was used to bring down Storm and Marrow, though
she didn't hurt anyone. Warren looked back at Rogue who had
watched the fall then turned back to Joseph.
Joseph was desperately trying to get his bearings. He got
his feet under him and looked around. Storm, Marrow and Psylocke
were all in a tangled heap. He appeared to be the only one
standing. One jolt of electricity and he would win. He heard
a whooshing noise and looked up to see Rogue above him and
landing directly in front of him. She looked as pretty as
she had when she had walked in. More importantly she didn't
even look out of breath. 'Damn. There goes my chance of winning.'
Joe thought to himself. "Don't suppose you would be willing
to let me catch my breath first would you?" He said to
her with half a grin.
"Sorry sugah, but, ah intend to win this little fracas.
If it makes you feel any better though, ah plan on winnin'
usin' some of yoah power..." She smiled softly at him
and kissed him on the cheek. He collapsed at her feet. Rogue
turned towards her remaining competition. Marrow stood first.
Storm shortly after her. Wolverine became aware of others
joining them. Beast, Sam, and Maggott came to stand next to
him and watch. Maggott's "pets" chewed through the
ice and freed Doctor Reyes and Bobby. Wolverine heard Maggott
commenting on getting to see a free cat-fight and grinned.
The three women circled each other aware that the battle had
come down to them.
"Hey wind-witch, you gonna try and kill me again huh?
Gonna try and rip my heart out again? Maybe you and the Cajun
had more in common than you are willing to admit to huh?"
"Shut up Marrow." Rogue growled.
"Gonna make me skunk-head?"
Rogue came in closer. As did Storm. "This is my battle
Rogue. I will finish with Marrow and then we shall continue
"Ah told ya when ah came in Storm. Ah ain't backin'
down no more. Ah'm in control of mahself, the rules were set
for this fight. You ain't gonna change 'em to settle your
own little vendetta."
"Stay out of it Rogue." Storm said again. her eyes
starting to glow.
"You've been so wrapped up in yoah own fight Storm you
haven't seen what was goin' on around ya. First though, ah
think that Marrow has to go. She's been gettin on mah nerves
since she got heah."
"I will tell you once more Rogue, stand down on this.
Marrow is mine to fight. I will deal with you later."
Storm turned away from Rogue and faced Marrow.
"Wrong move 'Ro." Wolverine said under his breath.
Rogue has been wound up so tight she bound to blow. She's
lookin' for an outlet. She's tryin' to get some control back
and you're ignorin' that and tryin' ta walk all over her to
achieve what you want. You're a leader Storm, or you were.
You should have seen this. Avoided it or diverted it by now,
but, you've made things worse. Out loud he said. "Stand
ready guys this just might turn ugly."
Rogue stepped closer into the battle. Storm turned on her.
"I warned you child. If the only way for you to learn
is by being forced, so be it." she raised her hands and
lightning started to crackle.
Rogue had but seconds to act. She saw Marrow laugh. Saw the
lightning shoot straight from Storms hands towards her. Rogue
flicked her wrist and the lightning curved away from her and
struck Marrow, blowing the girl off her feet. She lay unconscious
about fifteen feet away. Rogue looked at Marrow for a moment
then looked back at a stunned Storm. "Are ya happy now
Storm. you beat her. You lashed out in anger. If ah hadn't
siphoned off some of the power of yoah blast with Joseph's
power, Marrow would be dead right now. You lost control Storm.
You who preached it to me since day one of mah comin' heah.that
ah had to control mah anger and mah powers. Well guess what
ah have. It's been one hell of a battle but, ah've done it.
I finally figured out what ah was doin' wrong all these years.
Ah kept trying to control the things around me and the people
around me like you and Scott. But somethin' happened when
Erik the Red forced me to kiss Remy last time. Ah absorbed
Remy and ah deserted Remy, and ah hated Remy, but as the mem'ries
started to fade ah realised somethin'. Erik the Red had controlled
me when ah kissed Remy, Remy's feelings of self guilt and
hatred controlled me after ah'd kissed him, that was why ah
left him behind. But when ah got back and ah said that Remy
was dead to me it was because ah was angry at him. Ah had
realised then that his force of will had taken over me and
he made me leave him behind. He wouldn't listen to me in mah
own head. Even when he had regained consciousness the remaining
thoughts still ordered me about and made me do things ah didn't
want to do. After his mem'ries were all gone, ah sat up all
night thinkin' and ah realised that ah am to blame for what
happened, to mahself and Remy. Ah was so used to givin in,
to acceptin' defeat because ah couldn't do anythin' about
losing control, ah realised ah hadn't lost control of mahself
ah had given up control of mahself, ah wasn't even tryin'
to do anything to help mahself. Ah had given up before ah
even tried. Ah've been thinkin' about it since ah got home
and when and how ah let it happen, and ah found it was when
I tried to hard to control the things around me and not control
mahself. That's what ah'm changin' now Storm. It may be too
late to save Remy but ah plan on tryin. Ah'm takin' mah life
back, Storm, and if that means startin' heah then so be it."
During her speech, she had walked right up to Storm and was
now within arm's length. She clipped Storm across the chin
and knocked her out. Rogue was the last one standing. But
she had gained more than the victory of the exercise she had
won a victory over herself.
Rogue smiled and turned to look at the others.
Joseph was smiling at her. Logan was smiling as well. Those
two men seemed to catch the deeper meaning behind what had
happened faster than the others. Rogue didn't stick around
though. She had someone to find. Someone she cared about.
And this time HE was going to listen to HER. As she went to
leave the Danger-Room, Logan asked, "Want some company?"
That was the best thing she liked about Wolverine. He always
offered to help. to stand at your side. Not tell you what
"I'd like that Logan."
"What are we waitin' for then. We got us a Cajun popsicle
to find." Together they left the room and went in search
of Remy LeBeau, Gambit, their friend.
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