Categories > Comics > X-Men > Darkness and Light

A New Beginning

by slickboy444 0 reviews

A mysterious intruder enters the institute in the dead of night and seems hell bent on killing Scott Summers. But there is more to this man than it seems and what he know will both shock and change...

Category: X-Men - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance - Characters: Beast, Emma Frost, Iceman, Wolverine, Xorn - Warnings: [?] [V] - Published: 2005-10-30 - Updated: 2005-10-30 - 7721 words

Darkness and Light
Chapter 14: A New Beginning


Apocalypse had been defeated...The Phoenix was gone...And the darkness that had hung over the Xavier Institute and its inhabitance had finally lifted. On a day that was slated to be one of Apocalypse's greatest triumphs...It turned out to be his ultimate destruction. In uncovering the demon mutant's secrets, friends that were once thought to be dead now stood alive and well after years of morning their loss. The vast cloud of lies and deception that had weakened the X-men so much had finally been broken thanks to a new sense of being...And to a new friend.

The cruelty of some of Apocalypse's acts could never be forgotten. His lies and deception ran deep. But out of freeing themselves from such illusions, the X-men were finally able to stand united once more without any of the bitterness, fighting, or disagreement that had done so much to hurt them in the past few years. Some things were harder to resolve then others...But given time, they too could be helped. Everyone had come so far to get to this point...And it had helped to make them so much stronger for both the present...And for the future that awaited them.


Scott Summers stood quietly on the balcony overlooking the sunset in the distance. He stayed lost in thought as he reflected on the events that had transpired on this fateful day. Nobody had suffered more from Apocalypse's cruelty than he had. For the past year he had been nearly killed and thrown in to a coma where he was tortured with an unending nightmare. His form and appearance had been mimicked by Apocalypse so that the ancient madman could hurt his family and friends in the worst imaginable ways. He had everybody see him in a darker way through the power of lies. But in wake of returning...He had a second chance to undo Apocalypse's evil. Being stuck in a coma had given him a lot of time to reflect on himself, on his life...And especially on Jean.

As the sun fell lower over the horizon, Scott's gaze shifted down towards his wedding ring which shined brilliantly in the light of the sun. He felt himself smile as this small little ring helped him to remember that he was alive...And this was real.

As if on queue, Scott sensed a new presence behind him. He already knew who it was, but he turned to face her anyway. There...His eyes met with that of his wife Jean Grey...Whom had been the one to give him the strength to survive the nightmare that he had suffered so greatly under.

"Hey," said Scott simply with a smile as she walked over towards him.

"Hey Slim," replied Jean, warmed by his smile that she hadn't seen in so long.

"So how'd the check up with the Professor go?"

"Great...He said my powers are finally stable now that the Phoenix is gone."

"That's good to hear. What about Betsy, Piotr, and Emma?"

"They're okay physically...But they have no memory of the past few years. It's as if they had an entire chunk of their minds erased."

"Yeah...I know the feeling," said Scott in response as he recalled how he felt after he came out of his coma.

There was a brief silence between them. Soon, Jean found herself move in closer towards him...Absorbing the feeling of having her real husband back and not having to worry about Apocalypse or the Phoenix. Slowly, he slipped an arm around her waist and simply held her close...Knowing it had been a long day for the both of them. Jean wanted to tell him everything about what had happened in the time he had been imprisoned. She wanted him to know the truth.

"You know...A lot has happened since you've been gone. So many terrible things came as a result of Apocalypse. And a lot of them...Were aimed at us," said Jean, as she stood in his embrace.

"Yeah...I know. I heard all about the horrible things that happened to you and the others. I heard about the fights...The losses...The fracturing of the team. I heard about all the inner pain and suffering you had to go through because of me not being there for you when you really needed it. I know what happened with Magneto...I know about the affair with Emma...And I know about the kiss between you and Logan..."

Jean felt her stomach churn as Scott bought back the memories of such tumultuous times. For all the conflict that had come about since Apocalypse unleashed his lies...Nobody had had been affected more under those illusions than her. And now she felt an overwhelming feeling of guilt consume her as Scott mentioned the kiss between her and Logan. He had been forced to suffer in a year long coma...And she didn't do anything to help him. Instead, she betrayed him. She kissed another man. Jean felt like crying as she turned her face away from him...Unable to look him in the eye after that.

"Who...Who told you about that?" asked Jean as she felt choked up by her feelings once more.

"He did..." replied Scott.

Upon hearing this...Jean turned back to face him, but couldn't bring herself to look him in the eye. But Scott didn't want her to feel that...He gently cupped her chin with his hand and looked in to her tear stained eyes.

"It's okay Jean...It's okay," said Scott trying to soothe her inner pain, "From what I've learned about how I've been acting this past year...I kind of deserved it. Hell, it would have been justified if you slept with him...Knowing what I did."

This, however, only made Jean feel worse as she heard the regret in Scott's voice for actions that were never even his to begin with.

"But you didn't do these things!" said Jean, still sobbing uncontrollably, "You didn't do any of them! It wasn't even you! It was Apocalypse! I...I betrayed you. I let you down Scott...You almost died because of me. I could have done something, but I didn't! I let you suffer so much...I just stood by while you were in pain. I gave in to Apocalypse's illusions...And did things that hurt us both so much..."

Jean couldn't say anymore...She was just too distraught from her emotions to go on. Scott just held her closer as she cried in to his shoulder. So much had happened...And atoning for past mistakes was a challenge in of itself. Jean still remembered the future that she could have brought had she kept walking the path she had been up until this day. She could have destroyed the world...She could have destroyed everything and everyone she cherished. And it was all because she was just too scared of herself, her powers, and her own feelings towards others. But she was now on another path...That future was nothing more than a ghost in her memories. Now, she was here...In Scott's arms. It had been a long time since she felt something as simple as an embrace...But no words could describe the feeling bought on by such an act. Scott just let her cry her heart out and letting the feeling of being back with her in his arms sink in.

"Shhh, its okay Jean..." said Scott softly, "It's okay now..."

"How can it be okay?" said Jean weakly as the tears began to subside, "How can I ever live with myself after doing what I did to you?"

Scott then let out a tired sigh as he looked at the tear soaked eyes of his wife. He wanted to make all her pain go away...He wanted to undo so many things that went wrong while he was gone. But he knew he was never very good at expressing himself...Instead, he could only speak from the heart in hopes that it will ease the burden of such awful memories.

"Jean...Being stuck in a coma for over a year gave me a lot of time to think...To reflect. It gave me a chance to think about the mistakes I've made with you, with the team, with everybody. It gave me a chance to think about the man I am. You know neither of us is perfect...We have our flaws. We make mistakes. It's just...I was always so insecure...About myself, about my life, about everything. But looking back on it after having so much time to reflect...I realize, that I was just scared. And after everything we've been through...Everything we've survived...I know now that we don't have to be scared. We can make it through anything as long as we're not afraid. We can survive anything the world throws at us as long as we never forget...Time still goes on...The sun will rise again..."

Jean felt a new sense of warmth through their mind link as he spoke those words. Her tears had finally stopped as she looked back in to the eyes of the man she loved. The pain...The hurt that had hung over her like a shadow for the past year seemed to melt away in the warmth of a single moment. The mistakes she had made...And the lies that she had once believed were set aside...For they did not matter anymore.

"So you forgive me for everything I've done?" said Jean as she hugged him tighter in the light of the waning sunset.

"Only if you forgive me too for everything I've done," said Scott as he managed a smile that warmed her heart.

This time...Tears of happiness fell down her cheeks as she wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly, never wanting to let go again. It was as if he was never gone to begin with...And their love stayed as pure as ever. So much joy was felt in this moment...That time seemed to stand still. And as Scott gently stroked the side of her face, he whispered in to her ear.

"Jean, no matter what happens...No matter what life confronts us with...Remember one thing...I love you...I love you more than life itself...I love you with all my heart. I always have...And rest assured...I always will."

Three words...Three simple words that held so much meaning and so much emotion. It had been so long since Jean had heard those words...And hearing them now only made her cry more tears of happiness, for she finally had the man she loved back. And through this overwhelming sense of joy...Jean Grey-Summers managed to speak once more.

"I love you too. I love you so much..."

Their mind link was solid once more...They were both alive and standing here together in the light of the sunset. The love they shared hadn't been broken despite so many tribulations...And it hadn't been tainted even by the most terrible darkness that the fates could throw at them. No illusion or deception was present to feed them lies...Only true, honest emotion that was pure once more, now and forever. And as the sun began to disappear over the horizon...Scott Summers and Jean Grey shared a tender, passionate kiss...


The scene on the balcony above didn't go unnoticed. Beneath them, Logan watched Scott and Jean as they continued to kiss in the light of the setting sun. He couldn't help but grin...For things finally made sense for him. The lies that had led Apocalypse in to tricking and manipulating him had finally been lifted. The mental fog that had clouded his already confused mind had cleared in wake of Apocalypse's destruction. Now he could finally put the incidents of the past year behind him. Things like the kiss between him and Jean could finally be set aside in wake of the truth. Now, the Wolverine was in control of himself once more...And it was truly a feeling like no other.

As he turned around to leave the two love birds to themselves, he was greeted with the presence of Ororo Munroe, who couldn't seem to wipe the smile off of her face.

"So how long have you been standing there?" asked the weather goddess with a grin.

"Long enough..." replied Logan.

"So I guess you told Scott about everything that's happened."

Logan scratched the back of his neck, knowing it had been pretty hard to tell Scott about everything that had gone wrong in the past year...And that he had kissed his wife. But now that it was off of his chest, he felt better about it.

"Yeah...I did."

"And how did he take it?" asked Ororo as she walked closer towards him.

"Pretty well I guess. He didn't really blame me or get too angry. He was more shocked than anything else. But overall...I think Cyke will be just fine."

"And Jean?"

Logan just laughed as he pointed up to the balcony.

"See for yerself Ro."

Ororo Munroe looked up to see the young couple locked in a deep kiss. It had been a long time since she saw such happiness between them...And it was a welcomed sight to behold. The lies that had controlled them were gone...Now, the choices that would determine their future would finally be theirs to make.

"I think she's gonna be just fine as well," said Logan with a grin as he saw the look on Ororo's face when she saw them kissing on the balcony.

"It appears so," said Ororo with a smile; happy that her friends had finally found each other through all the turmoil of the past.

"Come on Ro," said Logan as he turned to walk back inside the mansion, "Let's leave them be for now."

This only caused the weather goddess to smile more as she soon caught up with him.

"Aw, could it be? Could the tough, dangerous Wolverine actually have a soft spot deep within that burly exterior?" joked Ororo as she continued to tease her friend.

"Don't do this Ro," said Logan, who despite the joke, couldn't stop grinning.

"See...I know you had a heart," said Ororo as she patted his chest and smiled back. "You should show it more often."

"Well, if ya stick around...Maybe I will."

"You know what Logan? I think I'll do just that. Besides, somebody's gotta be there to help you lighten up," responded the weather goddess with a grin as she grabbed his arm and walked with him inside.

"Only around you darlin'...Only around you..."

Logan knew that Ororo always had a knack for making him feel better about himself. And this time was no exception. She had been away from the team for too long now and although Logan would never openly admit it...He did miss her, and was glad she was finally back.


A lot had changed in the eyes of Elizabeth Braddock after being freed from Apocalypse's mind control. The mansion looked different, her friends looked different, and the world looked different. It was quite a shock to her system to learn that she had been officially dead for well over a year now. Her loved ones and friends had mourned her...Some actually saw her as she supposedly 'died.' But she wasn't dead...She was alive and well. But like Piotr and Emma, she had no memory of what had happened in the time she had been gone. As strong a woman as she was, it was still hard not to feel the sting of such a revelation that she had once been dead. For the better part of the last three hours, she had been in the cramped and confining area of the medical bays with the Professor trying to see if there was any recollection at all from the time she had been gone. However, there was nothing to be found but emptiness. She knew that it was going to be hard coming to terms with everything that had happened to her...But she also knew she wasn't alone in facing them. And she would be strong enough to get past them.

As the young psychic made her way out of the cold and confining medical quarters, she was greeted with a most welcomed face.

"How long have you been waiting here luv?" asked Besty as she found a half-asleep Warren waiting in the hall near where she had been resting.

"I lost track..." said Warren sheepishly as he looked back in to the eyes of the woman he once loved...And in many ways, still did. "So how do you feel?"

"Okay I guess," sighed Betsy as she rubbed the temples of her head, "It's...Just a lot to take in."

"Yeah...I know."

A brief pause settled between them as the feeling of having someone back from the dead took time to process within their minds.

"So is it really true? Have I really been dead for the past year?" asked Betsy as she moved in closer towards him.

Warren swallowed hard as he prepared to answer that question.

"Yeah...You have."

It was a strange feeling...Believing that someone you cared about so much had been dead, but finding out in the worst way that it had been nothing more than a lie meant to weaken one's self. But that lie was uncovered...And the truth had finally settled over them. And with this thought in mind, Warren continued as he looked in to the eyes of the alive, Betsy Braddock.

"We saw you die Betsy...I saw you die," said Warren, choking on his own words, "We had a funeral for you. There was a coffin...A grave...Everything. I...I was there. I remember...Standing over your grave and just...Crying until I couldn't cry anymore."

Betsy watched as Warren lost control of himself as he stood before her. It had been a hard, confusing time for the both of them and she soon found herself collapse in his embrace.

"Its okay luv...I'm here now. And I'm not going anywhere this time...I promise," said Betsy softly as Warren hugged her back and gently used his wings to hold her tight.

"I missed you Betsy...I missed you so much," said Warren as his sobs subsided and he finally felt the warmth of having her back.

"I missed you too Warren...And I'm sorry all this had to happen," said Betsy as she now struggled to hold back her own emotions.

"Its okay Bets...It's over now. None of it was your fault. We can finally put the past behind us."

"So does this me you wanna pick up where we left off a year ago?" asked Betsy as she looked back up at her winged Angel with a smile on her face.

"I wouldn't have it any other way..."

And with that, Betsy Braddock and Warren Worthington III met in a soft kiss as death itself seemed to melt away before them...And a new path in life awaited them.


Piotr Rasputin once made the ultimate sacrifice for his friends. He once willingly gave his life fighting with the X-men. Yet here he was alive and well...Standing over his own grave. Over and over again he read the text 'In loving memory of Piotr Rasputin. May he rest in peace.' He had actually believed himself that he was dead...But he wasn't. He was here...Flesh and blood...Alive. He learned that his death had been nothing more than lies and deceit. He learned that Apocalypse had used him and his loved ones to further his own sick plans. When the mutant tyrant was destroyed...He awoke from his mind-controlled state only to learn that a year had passes since that fateful day. The Professor had scanned his mind repeatedly and found no memories of the past year...No recollection of what had happened in the time he had been a slave to Apocalypse. But he was a slave no more...The illusion was finally gone.

As the sky grew increasingly darker, the Russian born mutant just stayed over the grave...Lost in thought. He was in so deeply in thought that he didn't notice a new presence come up behind him. It was that of young Kitty Pryde...The girl that he had loved before he died. As he heard the footsteps behind him, he turned to face her...But didn't say anything, for he knew not what to say. However, to Kitty the look in his eyes said it all as she walked up next to him and looked over at the tombstone before them.

"I remember standing right on this spot over a year ago..." said Kitty as she read the text on the grave, "Everyone was just so sad. Illyana was crying...I was crying...It was by far, the worst day of my life."

Her words were full of sorrow as she remembered that fateful day so vividly. Her eyes were already moist with tears as she moved in closer to his warmth.

"Over time...I just came to accept it. I just...I accepted the fact that you were dead," said Kitty as her words became more choked up, "But here you are...Standing right next to me...Alive and well."

It pained Piotr to see Kitty like this...But there was little that could be done to help cope with the events of the past. The sorrow that was felt on that fateful day could not be forgotten even in the face of the truth. Kitty soon felt his powerful arms around her as he hugged her close to his body...Letting her absorb his warmth.

"I'm sorry for all the pain you've been through Katya," replied Piotr in a soft voice, "I wish I could go back to that day and do something...Anything to make it better. But I can't...What's done is done. So much has happened and I just...I wasn't there when I should have been. I wasn't there...When I was needed the most by my loved ones."

"It's not you're fault Peter...It never was. I think...That deep down I knew you were still alive...But I guess I just gave in to Apocalypse's lies just like everybody else."

"You shouldn't feel bad about it Katya...It was out of our hands. I know how deep Apocalypse's cruelty runs. But it's over now...We can start anew."

"Is it Peter?" asked Kitty as she looked back at the grave, "How do I know that this isn't another lie? How do I know that this isn't just some dream that I don't want to wake up from? How can I be sure of anything anymore?"

Confusion gripped young Kitty Pryde like it never had before. Her mind had been in a state of shock for the majority of the day since the truth about Apocalypse was uncovered. Now, it seemed as though her entire grip on reality was slipping and she didn't know what to believe anymore. But Piotr knew that this was real...And he wanted to show her.

"Katya...I don't know what I can say or do to make you fully believe that this is no lie. But I do know that this is real...I am here now and so are you. And there's no reason for either of us to be afraid of that. I don't know how I can completely put your fears to rest, but I do know that this is not an illusion. Just look with your heart Katya...This is real."

As her tear soaked eyes drifted back towards the eyes of her once dead lover, she felt herself finally calm down in the face of such bewilderment. And as they stood in the growing shadow of the grave, Piotr gently raised her face to his and planted a soft kiss on her forehead. Through this act...Kitty Pryde knew once and for all that this was no illusion...This was reality. And as the sky grew darker and the grave before them stood silently in the evening night, the two reunited lovers met in a long, passionate kiss...Ending one thing, but beginning another as well.


It had been the longest day for so many people at the Xavier mansion. The world as they knew it had been turned upside down all thanks to a mysterious stranger. To some, the truth bought forth unpleasant realities and unending guilt for giving in to the whim of a madman. But to others, the truth had helped some reach an epiphany. It helped put things in perspective for the first time in what seemed like forever. And nowhere was this more prevalent than in the mind of Anna Raven, also known as Rogue.

While most of the others were in the medical quarters tending to their respective wounds, she found herself staying in the kitchen eating a light snack. Ever since the mutant warrior known as Slayer revealed the truth about Apocalypse, it got her thinking more than ever. Her thoughts were centered on the erratic behavior of her powers and the events in Antarctica that had hung over her conscious like a hawk for over a year. But in learning that it was Apocalypse, not her or her powers, which influenced her decision to drop Remy to his death, a strange feeling of relief came over her. The incessant guilt that had tortured her soul for too long was finally lifted in wake of the truth. It was a strange, yet wondrous feeling, but at the same time it was confusing because so much of her views on reality had been shaken because of the events of the past day.

Rogue was so lost in thought as she sat at the kitchen table, she didn't notice Remy come up from behind her.

"This seat taken cherè?"

Rogue turned to face the red on black eyes of her Cajun lover and soon her train of thought was broken.

"Sure sugah, how ya feeling?" asked the southern mutant, knowing how hard he had fought back at the temple with the others without the kind of invulnerability she had.

"Other than a couple a scrapes and bruises here and there...Remy be fine. It coulda been a lot worse though," admitted Remy as he sat in the chair next to her.

"Yeah...It coulda."

Afterwards there was a brief silence, for there were a lot of things they knew they had to talk about after everything that had transpired on this long, tumultuous day.

"So what else is on your mind Cajun?" asked Rogue, wanting to break the silence.

"I think you already know the answer to that cherè..." replied Remy as he scooted closer to her.

Rogue simply let out a deep sigh, knowing that they would have to talk about this sooner or later. And given the events of this day, there seemed no better time than now to put this year long burden to rest.

"So you've been thinkin' about it too haven't ya?"

"All day long...No matter how much he try, Remy can't get it off his mind."


"You know you're right cherè...So when are we ever gonna talk about it?"

Rogue took a deep breath and pushed what she was eating off to the side, knowing that this was going to be hard to talk about. She had been playing out this scenario in her head over and over again in her mind throughout the day, but now it was time to put it in to action. Her legs went weak and she felt an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. But this was something that had to be done...And if there was to be anything between them now, or ever for that matter, they would have to put this matter to rest.

"Remy...You know I love ya, right?"

"Of course I know dat, you know I love you too," said Remy as he gently took her hand.

"Then you know...That ever since that day...There hasn't been a moment that's gone by that I haven't regretted what I did to ya. I loved ya...And I dropped ya to yer death."

The strain in Rogue's voice was apparent as she recalled the incident that had plagued the both of them so vividly.

"And I know that even after ya came back and we...We tried to put it behind us and move on...It's still there, in the back of my mind...Torturing me to no end."

"But today, we learned the truth," said Remy, who didn't want to watch her descend in to the self pity that would only make her feel worse in the end.

"I know...And it's been makin' me do a lot of thinkin' about that day again. Only now...It seems so strange..."

"Yeah...Dis whole day has been one big mind job for all of us."

"But that doesn't mean that it hasn't shed light on some things...Now we all know the truth. Now...I can see why I did what I did back in Antarctica."

"Den why do you keep beatin' yourself up over this cherè? You know that it wasn't your fault. You know you, me, everybody was being used by that bastard, Apocalypse. There's no reason for you to feel like this Rogue."

Even as Remy tried to console her, tears formed in her eyes from all the memories she had to relive. They seemed no easier now then they were when Apocalypse was still controlling them.

"I know I shouldn't...But I do," said Rogue, who couldn't help but sob as she gently squeezed his hand, "It's just that...I love ya Remy. And I hurt ya because I let some evil psycho use me. I just...I don't know if I can ever forgive myself for..."

But she soon found herself unable to finish her words, as she suddenly collapsed in Remy's arms. The Cajun mutant only stood flabbergasted as Rogue continued to cry herself out in to his shoulder. He could only place his arms around her in a show of consolation, knowing there was little he could do. Apocalypse had an effect on them that permeated even after his destruction...But what was done could not be undone...And for that the two southern mutants could do nothing but learn from the horrible events that had tried to split them up, but only made their bond stronger.

"It's okay cherè...Even if you don't forgive yourself, remember that Remy forgives ya. I know it wasn't your choice...A lot of things that happened to us haven't been by choice. But never forget that even though there have been a lot of things that have tried to split us up...We're still together. We both survived. And if we can survive that...We can survive anything. Don't let yourself suffer cherè...I believe in you...I believe in us..."

As Rogue's sobs began to subside, she felt the weight of this terrible burden begin to lift after so much time and so much pain. Remy's gentle words helped ease the weight upon her weary shoulders for the first time in what seemed like forever. And as they both absorbed the feeling of such a powerful moment...Their faces began to slowly drift towards one another. At first, Remy tried to pull away, knowing what would happen with her powers...But Rogue beat him to it...And crashed her lips upon his. The Cajun mutant braced for the inevitable surge from her powers...But it never came. Instead, he felt nothing more than the sweet, tender lips of the woman that had stolen his heart all those years ago.

"Rogue...But, how?" began Remy as he struggled to catch his breath from the shock of what had just happened.

"Apocalypse is gone sugah," responded the southern belle with a smile, "My powers are stable again..."

"So that means..."

"You bet..." finished Rogue, as she watched the amazed Remy Lebaeu with a somewhat humored look.

Soon, shock turned to happiness as he leaned in for another soft kiss...This time, there was no reason for either of them to hold back.


Emma Frost knew she had done some bad things in the past. She knew she had a lot of sins that haunted her each and every day of her life. But waking up from a year of being mind-controlled and finding out she was helping Apocalypse destroy the world was something that shook her to the core. And to make things worse, she had absolutely no memory of the atrocities that she had committed. The Professor and a mysterious man called Slayer told her all the horrible details of what she had done in the past year. And while the White Queen had always been strong in the face of challenges, this was one thing she felt she couldn't handle. She had once been an enemy...But they gave her a chance to be an X-men and help fight for their cause. And in return she let herself be controlled by a madman, and used her powers to hurt and weaken everybody in the worst of ways.

For the first time in a long while...Emma Frost felt the full force of guilt as her mind struggled to process the horrible things she had done. Never before had she hated herself so much. She was supposed to be a friend...And now she felt like more of a monster than Apocalypse.

The hollow look in Emma's eyes remained the same as she let the Professor probe her mind for the fifth time to find any memories of the past year. But as was expected...Nothing was found, not a trace.

"I'm sorry Emma, but it's just like all the others. Your memories from the past year have been erased. It's almost as if they were never even there to begin with," said Professor Xavier as he removed his hands from her temples and rested his tired mind.

The White Queen merely sighed as she felt the guilt within continue to eat her up inside in a way unlike anything she had ever felt before.

"I guess it's for the best Professor," said Emma as she rubbed her forehead from the mental strain she had been forcing upon herself since she woke up, "I think it's better if I not remember."

Upon saying this, she got up and prepared to leave his office...But Professor Xavier saw the expression on her face sink further, and he knew she more to deal with than she was willing to talk about

"Are you going to be alright? I know this whole thing is a big shock to you...It was a big shock to all of us. But if there's something that still troubles you, remember that..."

However, Emma soon cut him off as his words only made her feel guiltier in the end.

"I'm leaving..."

"What?" said Xavier, surprised by this sudden decision.

"Professor...I hurt you and your students once, and what did you do? You gave me a chance to be on the team. You gave me a chance to make a positive difference in the world. And look what I've done with that chance...I let Apocalypse take control of me because I was too stupid and selfish. I hurt everybody here in the most terrible of ways. I hurt people who tried to be my friends...I hurt friends who tried to be there for me...And I hurt you even after you gave me a chance after all the bad things I've put your team through. I...I just don't know if I can ever face them again. I don't think I can ever look at Jean, Scott, Logan, or anybody for that matter without thinking about the awful things I put them through!"

"Emma, calm down," said Slayer who was standing next to the Professor, "It was out of your hands."

"What difference does it make?!" shot Emma, whose sorrow became all too apparent now, "I still hurt everybody...And I don't think I can live with this guilt anymore. I can't stay here...I'm sorry Professor. I know it doesn't make up for anything I did...But I really...Am...Sorry."

Then...The White Queen did something she never thought she would do...She cried. But before she let out all her tears from the sins she felt that she could never be forgiven for, she ran out of the room so nobody could see. The Professor wanted to go after her...But the mutant warrior signaled for him to stay.

"Wait Professor...Let me handle this," said Slayer as he walked towards the door.

"Are you sure, Slayer? She seemed awfully upset...Maybe the best thing we can do is give her some time to herself to deal with this."

The mutant warrior just let out another exasperated sigh as he turned back to face the Professor.

"As much as I'd like to do that...I can't. In a way, it is my fault that she feels this way. I was the one that exposed the truth...And I guess it's my responsibility to help her accept it."

Before Xavier could respond, he was already out the door. At first he felt the urge to call him back...But in the end, Charles Xavier put his trust in the young warrior. In many ways, he had no desire to stop the man that had helped save them all from doing whatever he felt he had to do. He had come in to the institute as and intruder...An enemy. But now, he was a friend...A friend that they felt could be trusted because he worked so hard to gain their respect in the face of such insurmountable odds. There were a lot of things they owed this man...But he wasn't done just yet. And even thought they still didn't know why he was doing all this for them in the first place...It was clear that he had made his choice.

Slayer didn't have to go far to find the White Queen as he left Xavier's office. He found her sitting with her back against the wall with her face buried in her hands. Even though she was doing her best to hide it...She was crying. She had never felt so awful before...She had never felt so guilty before. And even after everything she had done, the Professor still wanted her to stay. She felt she didn't deserve such forgiveness...Not after what she put him and the others through. The more she thought about it, the more she cried. But as she just let her guilt eat her up inside, she noticed someone sit next to her against the wall and place a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"I don't think you should leave..." said Slayer in a low tone, doing his best to calm her down.

"Go away..." replied the White Queen through her sulking tears.

"Emma...The Professor knows that what you did wasn't your fault...It wasn't even your choice to do these things."

The young woman then lifted her head from her tear-soaked arms and rested her head against the wall. There were still salty streaks of moisture streaming down her face as the sickening feeling in the pit of her being continued to torment her to no end.

"What about the others, huh?" argued the White Queen somewhat angrily, but most towards herself, "What about Scott, Jean, Logan, Rogue...Everybody?! I hurt them with fake affairs, fake dreams, fake EVERYTHING!"

"Emma...You were only a pawn. Apocalypse was the one who did this. You were just as much deceived as the others were. They'll understand that."

"So what..." said Emma sharply, "I don't deserve to be here...I don't belong here. I do nothing but hurt people...I don't even deserve to live."

Another wave of sorrow came over Emma as the sick feelings of inner guilt ate at her very soul. And as another round of tears formed in her eyes...Slayer felt as if he was at a loss as he contemplated what to say to her the help her feel better. But even with all his vast knowledge, he knew that her choices were out of his hands...And the best he could do is tell her the truth.

"Don't say that Emma...You know it's not true," said the mutant warrior as he spoke softly to her, hoping to ease her mood.

"How can you believe that?!" shot Emma in a somewhat angry tone as more tears streamed down her face.

"Because I can see things you can't..." replied Slayer as the tattoo over his eye began to glow once more.

The soft light given off by the mark over the mutant warrior's eye had a soothing presence on the guilt-ridden young woman. And as Slayer looked in to the teary eyes of Emma Frost...He continued to speak.

"I can see that you have a good heart, despite what you may say to yourself. I can see that you truly believe in making a difference in this world. And I think you shouldn't let Apocalypse's shadow taint that..."

"But...How can I live with myself after what I've done?" said Emma as she looked back at the young warrior for the answers she so desperately wanted.

Jack "Slayer" Robinson was silent for a moment, as he let out a deep sigh upon hearing her words.

"I wish I had an answer for you Emma...But I've been asking myself that question for many years now and I'm no closer to an answer than I was at the beginning. All I can tell you is that you must stop and think before you make this decision to leave or stay...Just stop for one single moment and contemplate what you will do to yourself and all the little mutant kids out there who need a teacher to help them live in this crazy, dangerous world. Trust me on this one...If you run away now, you'll never stop running. I've learned a lot of things as a warrior, but the one thing I've never been able to learn is how to live with my mistakes. I've made too many of them...I've let too many innocent souls suffer because of things I did or didn't do. I don't want you to feel that kind of suffering...I don't want anybody to feel it...Because it's done nothing but cause me more pain and heartache over the years. I can't make your decision for you...I can only help you from making a mistake that I know you'll regret even more than the ones that you feel guilty about now. Please...Don't end up like me, Emma...Hollow and alone. Just stop and think...And follow your heart."

Slayer felt that he couldn't say anything else after that...He knew that the decision was now up to Emma alone. He hoped that he said the right things...Because there were already too many things that he regretted about his life and he didn't want one more piled on to that. And as the White Queen sat in silence, pondering what to do next, Slayer arose to his feet and returned to the Professor's office. Upon entering, he faced Xavier with an uncertain look.

"I'm sorry...But I've done all I can Professor," said Slayer.

"Don't worry Jack," assured Xavier with a light smile, "You've already done so much for this team that I don't think I can ever repay you for it. You helped save us all from destroying ourselves and the world as well."

"No..." said the mutant warrior as he slowly shook his head, "I only guided you down the path...It is you and your students that won the day."

Charles Xavier couldn't help but smile back at the young warrior and his humility. He had entered their lives so unexpectedly, but his profound influence went beyond anything that could be described with words. He knew that the events of this fateful day would not soon be forgotten. Then...As his powerful mind continued to process so much of the complications that had plagued this day...Emma Frost then walked back in to his office and made her choice.

"I'll stay..."


AN: Well, one chapter left to go! It's almost over! Stay tuned for the final goodbyes and the dawn of a new beginning for the X-men. I know some of you will send me hate mail for making this chapter sappy in some parts and boring at times, but I just felt I should tie up some of the loose ends. I had to have a scene where Rogue and Remy put the Antarctica deal to rest, I had to do something with Betsy and Warren, I had to discuss Piotr's return, I wanted to add one last Logan/Ororo scene, and most of all I had to have a scene where Scott and Jean finally come together! So this was for all you Rogue/Remy, Betsy/Warren, Kitty/Piotr, Logan/Ororo, Scott/Jean fans! And for those of you who may ask questions on how Rogue and Remy can touch, I just used the knowledge from the previous comics where they could touch each other, but nobody else. Just thought I'd clear that up! Thank you so much to those who took the time to review this story and I urge all of you to send me your thoughts at or post your feedback on Only one left! I hope you all like it! Best wishes to you all!

Sign up to rate and review this story