Title: Decay
Author: Shana Nolan
Email: aericura@micron.net
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: strong R (implied sexual sitches, language, violence, drug usage)
Summary: to quote a line from a later part: "the year from hell"
Series: Perfect Ring of Scars #6
Category: angst!! (J,L,S,R)
Disclaimer: Fox and Marvel Entertainment Group have the X-Men and their movie. Stan Lee, I worship at your feet. I don't own anyone and I don't intend to sell this. no money, no sue, no powers. but my CB handle was Phoenix (great, date yourself, why don't you).
Archive: the usual suspects, and others will ask first
Comments: are welcome. Flames, however, are only accepted from a mutant named Pyro and even he knows better.

"but the blood has stopped pumping and he's left to decay, the me that you know is made up of wires, and even when i'm right with you i'm so far away"

The morning was bright and clear. Despite the beginning chill of autumn, the sun cast long rays of light over the grounds, illuminating the truth without a shred of mercy. No shadows could obscure what had happened, nor would they offer their solace.

She was gone. By the time the first morning class had begun, she was on a plane, in the air and trying to think of anything besides what she was doing.

Logan's burden was to wake up and be the first to discover that she was gone. Jean had done something he considered himself an expert at, but somehow the way she did it, without saying goodbye to anybody, made it worse.

Not that he could judge her for it.

But he did have to tell the others.

There was no way to hide why he knew before anyone else. Any semblance of secrecy either of them had before she had left had evaporated, many still thinking that she was safely holed up in a dark room letting the melancholy rule her.

If only they knew.

Compulsively he cleaned the room, showering and then gathering the wet towels together, adding the bed's dirtied sheets to the pile. Folding the blankets and tossing the dirty linens in the laundry chute, Logan set his jaw and steeled himself.

This was going to be bad no matter how he phrased it. He was the ruiner in this tawdry mess, and he knew it.

He accepted it.

But he wouldn't let it be an opening for abuse aimed at him. He had limits to everything, and blame or not, the others would not exceed those limits and go unpunished.

He was called Wolverine for a reason.

But, as he stood before Xavier, Scott, Ororo and Rogue, the last there by sheer coincidence, he bit back the initial rush of instincts. It was not a cage fight, and these people had let them into their lives.

Such a wonderful job he had done with their trust.

His explanation, as he feared, grew more detailed with every sentence. Despite the best intentions of a cautious and vague explanation, he heard the truth fall out of his mouth like water over a cliff.

Damnedable telepath.

...She left this morning. I don't know when, but I was asleep. I know because I was in the room. She had had a nightmare, or so she said. I don't know what it was about, but she seemed to go back to sleep. No, I didn't hurt her. She wasn't that depressed. No, I didn't see anything to indicate that. I talked to her. She needed someone, not solitude. I did nothing against her will, I never would. I won't make any excuses about it. I was there, I did what I did. I know she was. I know why it all happened in the first place. I know it was probably a fucked up idea, but no one else was trying to reach out...

And by the time he had run out of things to say, the others were silent. Ororo's gaze was downcast; she was worried about her friend. Rogue's eyes were glistening with tears, her fury tempered by an acute self-pity that she couldn't have been the receiver of the attentions he had just confessed to.

And the other two were opposite sides of emotion. One disappointed, the other infuriated.

But they had reversed the roles Logan had created in his mind, the ones he had prepared to deal with.

Waiting for the end of the lengthy story, Scott Summers sighed and looked up slowly, his feet planted apart on the floor, his hands clenched behind his back. If the glasses hadn't covered his gaze, his eyes would have transmitted a surrendered, sad acceptance. His outrage was gone with Her physical presence, and the hang of his shoulders shocked Logan.

The fearless leader had been replaced by a tired man. He had no words of hate, no tantrums or bouts of yelling.

But Xavier was furious. Pissed. His gaze had grown icily cold, locked on the claw bearing mutant willingly exposing his errors.

If he had had the use of his legs, Logan would have swore the elder man would have walked over and decked him.

But instead he did worse. When the other three had backed away from the wheelchair, easily sensing the tension that held Xavier's back pole straight, he tightened a hand around the armrest of the chair and exhaled a singular breath.

"You will leave, Logan."

It was like a declaration from God himself. Expulsion from the Garden, get out before He crushes you.

Rather than fighting, rather than arguing and acting like his normal self, Logan looked to the man he had accidentally destroyed by taking away the love of his life, the ruby red glasses expressionless as the day he had first seen them, shook his head and walked out of the office.

No one tried to stop him. Not even Rogue.

He was banished.