Marie watched as the man who had always been so calm and in control stood before her speechless, his thoughts fluctuating between panic and cold calculation. Erik's continued willingess to sacrifice her only inflamed Marie's anger. The fact that she'd trusted Erik and had been betrayed so completely took her back to that night when she stood in front of her home watching as her father threw her out of his life because of her mutation.
She stepped closer and Erik found himself pinned against the equipment.
"You turned me into a weapon, Erik. And the worst part is that I let you do it. I ignored my instincts because I wanted to belong. I wanted a family and I thought killing for you was the way I would get it."
Marie's fury was building. Jean recoiled at the anguish in Marie's thoughts. Logan and Victor smelled her rage.
"You think that because I've been with you for ten years that I won't hurt you. The problem is, I've been trained to kill people who've done horrible things. People who don't give a shit who they hurt as long as they get what they want. And that is you in a goddamn nutshell, isn't it?"
There was an audible gasp from the four people in the room when three claws slid from between the knuckles of Marie's hands.
Logan couldn't believe what he was seeing.
Marie had assumed that the only aspects of Logan's power that would be available to her were his senses and healing. But all it took was the idea of causing Erik pain to prompt her bone to lengthen and push through her skin. She ignored the agony, tapping into that dark place that helped her focus on what was to happen next.
"Don't. Just don't say another fucking word. I can hear your thoughts, Erik. You're trying to figure out how to convince me to do what you want. Appeal to my feelings for you. Threaten Logan again. Try and kill Victor. If there was some shred of remorse in your heart, maybe, just maybe I would have let you live…."
Logan and Victor were both on their feet now. Despite their history and mutual hatred of each other, their shared love of Marie made them desperate to act. Logan kept his voice low and calm.
"Marie, baby, don't."
"No Logan." Jean saw the tears flowing down the side of the young woman's face.
"This has to be over and you know it. He murdered your wife and child. He turned a teenager into a fucking weapon. If he had a chance right now, you'd all be dead and I'd be strapped into a machine that would annihilate half the world's population."
Logan moved toward her. The scent of her hurt and distress tore him up inside.
"I know, darlin'. But you don't want to do this. I'm the killer, Marie. I'll do it. You don't want to live with this."
"Listen to him, frail. You can just walk out and Logan and I will take care of him."
Victor hoped that both Logan and he could convince her not to do something for which she would never be able to forgive herself.
For a moment, the air stilled and it seemed as if all of them were holding their collective breath.
For a moment, Marie stood completely still in front of a man that had tormented all of them in different ways.
For a moment, Logan thought Marie might listen.
Then the moment was gone.
Jean, Logan and Victor watched as Marie impaled Erik Lensherr on her newly born claws.
The sounds of the man's death reverberated through the room. Logan watched as Erik slumped forward and whispered into Marie's ear. Her heart rate sped up and she jerked backward, allowing Erik's body to collapse on the floor.
Logan was at her side in an instant, wrapping his arms around her shoulders, trying to still her shaking frame. He didn't know what to say. Couldn't fathom what might be said that would soothe the kind of guilt she was feeling at this moment.
"He said…he forgave me."
She turned, held up her hand and both of them stared as the claws slid back under her skin. Marie looked into Logan's eyes and saw there the kind of love and acceptance that she'd only imagined ever finding with another person. She took one step forward and buried her face into the crook of his neck while encircling his waist with her arms. His rich scent and the warmth of his body engulfed her.
"Let's go home, Marie."
Jean, Victor, Logan and Marie approached the clearing where the helicopter had landed earlier. There, one helicopter stood ready to take off while a second was just lifting into the sky, the faces of the mutants that Remy and Kurt had rescued reflected like ghosts in the windows.
Remy LeBeau turned around to see the group approaching and a relieved smile crossed the tall man's face.
"Bonjour! I take it dis is de pretty one you so intent on finding?"
Logan's arm tightened around Marie's shoulder and he felt her relax into his side. His voice was thick with pride.
"Yeah, this is my Marie."
The bond between Logan and Marie was palpable. Remy realized that it was quite possible that should he take one more step towards the couple, he would find silver claws implanted into his chest. LeBeau smiled again.
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mademoiselle. We ready to leave any time, homme. Just say de word."
"Will do. And, LeBeau…" Remy stopped his backwards retreat. "…thanks."
Logan twisted to his side and pulled Marie to his chest, making sure one more time that she was really alright. He inhaled her scent, felt the warmth of her skin against his and heard her heartbeat slow and beat in a steady rhythm that mirrored his.
"I thought I'd lost you, darlin'."
"For a moment there, you did."
"I meant it when I said we were going home, you know." Tell her how you feel. Suck up the macho bullshit and tell her you'll do anything she wants for the rest of her life.
"Yeah. I know."
He was ready to spout all manner of romantic notions into Marie's ear when he smelled Victor Creed's scent closeby. Marie began to pull away from him but Logan held fast. Mine.
"I need to talk to him, Logan."
He watched as she moved away and it was all he could do not to rush forward and wrench her away from Creed. Marie was his now. His mate.
Logan felt Jean's hand on his shoulder.
"I don't want him near her."
"You don't have anything to worry about. She's crazy about you."
"Yeah, well, the feeling's mutual."
Marie stood in front of Victor, knowing that Logan was staring intently at their encounter. She wanted nothing more than to be with Logan right now but in order to move forward with any sort of future with him, she had to close this chapter of her life. After all Victor had done for her, it was the least she could do.
"No, Victor. I brought this all on myself."
"Bullshit. Lensherr did this to you and I never had the balls to stop him. I should have just left you alone and dealt with the old man's crap." Victor closed the distance between them and took her hand in his. Marie swore she heard Logan's growl behind them.
"But I wanted you for myself. I thought I had a chance with you. I love you, girl. If you told me right now that you wanted me, I'd put you on that helicopter and take you somewhere we could be happy."
"You don't have to say it. I just wanted you to know that I'm sorry. As fucked up as it was, I just wanted you to be happy. I know you will be with him. Even though he's an asshole."
Her gentle laughter tore at his heart, knowing that he would most likely never hear it again. When she embraced him, the temptation to grab her and run was overwhelming.
Marie stepped backwards and met Victor's eyes as she moved. Goodbye.
She no sooner turned around when she felt Logan's arms encircling her once again. Logan was home. She could be anywhere as long as it was with him. They stood again for a long moment before they heard the whir of the rotor blades.
"Time to go, baby."
"What's going to happen, Logan?"
"Like I said, we're going home."
"No, Logan. To The Company."
"Jean. Jean is going to go back with Remy and get the place fixed."
"I can help, Logan. I…"
His voice was firm. "No. You are never going back there."
Logan took his hands and framed her face, stroking her cheek with his thumb. He stared intensely into her eyes.
"I love you, Marie. When Creed took you, I thought I would lose my fucking mind. The only thing I knew is that I had to get you back. Yeah, I know you could kick my ass six ways from Sunday and you can take care of yourself, but…aw fuck…I'm going to sound like a Neanderthal here…you're mine, Marie. And that means I'm never going to let anyone hurt you again."
"I'm probably supposed to give you my 'I am woman hear me roar' bit, but I'm too fucking tired." She smiled and gently placed her palms over Logan's hands. "I love you too, Neanderthal."
He kissed her softly, wanting to revel in the smell and taste of her. There would be time for passion later. Now, it was about telling her how he felt. Helping her understand that he would be the one man in her life that could be trusted and that would love her no matter what.
They broke contact slowly and rested in each other's arms, Marie's head nestled against his chest. Logan saw Remy wave his arms to indicate that it was time to leave. Jean and Victor moved toward the craft.
"Is this where we fly off into the sunset?"
"Happy ending and everything?"
"About damn time."
"Fuckin' A, darlin'."