I know this is sad and I'm sorry. I'm not sure exactly what inspired me to write this, but I started it a while back and decided to finish it. I hope the ending makes the sadness worthwhile. Enjoy.

The Greatest Thing

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

~ Moulin Rouge

Rogue slowly regained consciousness to find herself staring up a grey sky. She blinked, trying to gather her muddled thoughts. Her whole body ached, but nothing seemed broken. Carefully, she sat up, staring around at the wreckage of what had once been medical research vacility of some kind. An attack. There had been an attack. And a bomb. There was a bomb. It had been set to go off. She looked at the ruins again. Apparently, it had worked. She and Logan had been trying to escape. They had made it out of the building when it blew up. Logan!

Rogue leapt to her feet, ignoring the pain that shot through her bruised body. Where was he? He had been right beside her when they were running. Frantically, she looked around. Nothing.

"Logan?" she called, her voice hoarse. She began searching the rubble, hoping, praying. There, a body! But it wasn't him. It was one of the scientists who had kept them prisoner. Rogue passed him by in contempt for what they had done.

"Logan?" Suddenly, she saw a shape beneath some rubble. Coming closer, she caught a glimpse of dark, unruly hair. Fear stirred in her breast, causing her heart to beat faster as she ran towards him.

"Logan!" She pulled the rubble from his body, tears forming in her eyes as she saw the blood, crimson and bright against his pale skin. He wasn't healing. Why wasn't he healing?

Rogue pulled him onto her lap, holding his body in her arms. "Logan . . . " He moaned, opened his eyes. "It's okay, sugah, Ah've got you."

"Hey, darlin'," he rasped. A sudden spasm of coughing made him grimace in pain as blood stained his lips.

"Stay with me," Rogue said anxiously as his eyes drifted shut.

He smiled slightly, looking at her through pain-filled hazel eyes. "'S too late, darlin'."

"No! You have a healing factor! You can't die!"

"Everything dies. I'm no exception." A tear rolled down Marie's cheek as she realized that she was about to lose him. Logan winced again. "Tell the x-geeks at the school . . . they were the closest thing I had to a family . . . tell 'em . . . thanks . . . would you?"

"Ah will." She was crying freely now, her tears falling onto Logan's battered body, mingling with the blood and dust.

"Marie, I . . . " he began, his voice tender through the pain, " . . . when I first met you, I thought of you like a little sister . . . but then . . . that night on the Statue of Liberty . . . when I held you in my arms . . . I realized that my feelings were . . . deeper than that . . . I love you, Marie . . . I think I always have . . . and I always will."

"Oh, Logan, Ah . . . Ah love you too." He smiled then - truly smiled. Then his eyes focused on something above, something in the clouds, something only he could see. A change came over his face. The pain faded from it to be replaced by what could only described as awe.

"It's . . . so beautiful . . . " he whispered. Rogue drew in a shaky breath, her heart aching. Logan looked at her, his eyes sad yet . . . free. "Goodbye," he whispered and was gone.

Rogue stared down at his lifeless body, unable to believe that he was dead. Then the wave of sorrow broke upon her. Cradling Logan in her arms, she wept, her heart shattering into a million pieces.

Professor Xavier was using Cerebro when Logan died. He had already sent the other X-Men to find their two companions as soon as he had located them, but had remained on the computer, sensing that something was wrong. Thus it was that when Logan's soul left his body, Charles knew. He gasped, his chest constricting in shock. No. Not him. Not like that. Quickly, he focused on Rogue. He felt her pain, her sorrow; saw her holding Logan's body. Tears rolled down Charles's cheeks as he removed Cerebro and sat numbly in his wheelchair. Logan was gone.

The X-Men knew that something was wrong they minute they stepped out of the x-jet and saw the ruins. It was Storm who first found Rogue, clutching Logan's lifeless form and weeping like her world had shattered around her. And of course, for her, it had.

Storm fell to her knees beside the grief-stricken girl, unable to look away from Logan's still face. In a few minutes, the others were there as well, standing or kneeling beside Rogue, sorrow filling their hearts. Hank McCoy stepped forward and gently took Logan's body into his own strong arms, bearing him back to the jet, the other X-Men following. Then, silently, sadly, they headed for home.

The funeral was held a few days later before the entire school. Logan was buried next to Jean in the memorial garden. Rogue stood, dressed in black, and faced the students.

"Logan was not an easy person to get to know," she began. "Many knew him simply as Wolverine, the loner. That strange, gruff-looking guy who prowled around drinking beer and smoking cigars. But to those who really knew him, he was more than that. He was a friend. A teammate. His gruff manner hid a tender, caring heart. He risked his life many times over for every one of us and never asked for anything in return."

Tears rose in her throat, but she pushed them down and kept on. "As he lay dying in mah arms, he left me message to tell 'the x-geeks at the school'. He said to tell you that you were the closest thing he had to a family and to say thank you for that." She broke off as tears overwhelmed her. As she headed back to her seat, Bobby stood, pulling her into a hug. She clung to him, letting her emotions take control.

When the ceremony had finished, Rogue was the last to leave the grave. She stood, staring at the pile of roses and other keepsakes that represented each student's respect and admiration. On the tombstone was carved simply his name. Rogue knelt down and gently ran her fingers over the letters.

"I love you, Marie. I think I always have . . . and I always will."

"Oh, Logan," she whispered and swallowed back another wave of sorrow that threatened to swamp her.

"Are you alright?" It was Storm.

Rogue wiped away her tears. "Yeah. I just can't believe he's gone."

"I know. Me neither." There was silence a brief moment.

"He said he loved me," Rogue said. "When Ah held him before he died, he said he loved me."

Storm pulled the younger girl into a tight embrace. "I'm so sorry," she said. For several moments, the two held that pose, taking comfort from the other, before heading slowly into the mansion.

That night, Rogue lay awake in her room, tears rolling slowly down her cheeks. It was late, but she couldn't sleep. Her heart felt empty. Logan was gone. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to shut everything out.

"Don't cry, darlin'." Rogue bolted upright. Logan was leaning against her bureau. A sob rose in the girl's throat.

"Logan? Is . . . is it really you?"

"Yeah, but I can't stay long."

"What do you mean?"

"I just came to tell you some things I couldn't say before. Then I gotta go."

Rogue took a deep, quivering breath. "You really are dead then."


She closed her eyes, releasing more tears. A gentle hand under her chin lifting her head, caused her eyes to open again. Logan's face was inches from hers, tender and loving and . . . Rogue could only stare. The lines of care were gone from his face. His eyes, usually so dark and full of inner pain, were open, free, and clear. Slowly, Rogue reached for him and stopped, her bare hand pale in the darkness.

Logan smiled. "It's okay, darlin'. You can touch me now." He took her hand and placed it against his cheek. Rogue began to cry again.

"Ah love you," she said.

"I know." Gently, he kissed her softly. "We'll be together someday. I promise. This place where I am now . . . it's beautiful. You would like it. There's no hate here, Marie. No anger. No rage. I know who I really am. I . . . I'm happy. For the first time in my life, I'm truly happy." Rogue gave another sob, her eyes never leaving Logan's.

"Don't cry for me, darlin'," he whispered. "Don't be sad. I'm still with ya, in spirit if not in body." She nodded, tears flowing freely. He kissed her again, his lips warm against hers, and she returned it with all her heart and soul.

Rogue opened her eyes to see her darkened room. Logan was gone. Had he even been there or had it been a dream? Softly, she lifted a hand to her lips where she could still feel the warmth of that last kiss. She blinked, hearing an echo of his words. I'm still with ya . . . She smiled and closed her eyes, drifting into a restful sleep.

Years and years later, Marie lay in her bed at home and breathing her last. She blinked slowly and found herself standing at the gates of a beautiful kingdom. Gasping, she stepped forwards uncertainly.

"Hey, darlin'." The familiar voice sent a shiver through her heart.

"Logan?" Slowly, the golden gates swung open. Logan stood there, smiling at her. Joy burst though her soul and she ran to him, melting into his loving embrace. Together, hand in hand, they stepped into paradise and the gates closed behind them.

The End

Well, there it is. Hoped you guys liked it. Reviews are very much appreciated, but if the only reason you're reviewing is to make a negative comment about religion and God or something, please don't. So, positive reviews guys! Thanks for reading.