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"Innocent Heart, Guilty Memories"

Stories in this series

In a fit of remembered rage, Joseph, reclaiming his memories as Magneto, destroys the mansion and kills many of the X-Men. This series takes place during the years afterwards.

"Innocent Heart, Guilty Memories"
written by Melodist
Five years in the future, Rogue reflects on the deaths and final fates of the X-Men.

"The Damned Have No Right to Weep"
written by Alara Rogers
A companion piece, from the point of view of the man who killed the X-Men.

"Imaginary Friend"
written by Melodist
Rogue's daughter Rhemada tells her about her imaginary friend, the Cat Man.

"The Ever-Changing Winds"
written by Melodist
Storm looks back on what happened to the X-Men and reflects on what has happened since.

"Nothing More"
by Melodist
The fate of Professor Charles Xavier.

Here's the third story in an ongoing series that takes place after the death of the X-Men. The first two stories are called "Innocent Heart, Guilty Memories," and "Imaginary Friends." It would make much more sense to read IHGM, before this story. Thanks. :)
Disclaimer: All the characters in this story belong to Marvel...unless of course, I created them. In other words, Rhemada belongs to me. :)

My name is Storm. I am the Windrider, Mistress of the Elements. I was thought to be one of the most powerful of the X-Men. And in our greatest time of need ... I failed.

I was down at the lake, thinking to myself what a beautiful day it had been. It was one of those days where it seems like nothing could go wrong. But everything did. The psychic backlash of Jean's death left me gasping for breath, the world turning circles around me, closing in, and suffocating me. I was sure that I was going to pass out, but the pain did not last long enough. It was cut off sharply, leaving behind only a fading memory of what had happened.

The fight did not last long either. I reached the mansion just as it crumbled to the ground. Screams of the dying were muffled as the bricks collapsed on top of them. My heart was filled with disbelief. My friends, my teammates. They could not be dead. This was not how we were supposed to die. Caught offguard by an unknown enemy in our own home. If we are to die, we are to die in a blaze of glory. On our feet, not on the couch as we watch the next installment of our favorite televison show. That was not how it was supposed to happen.

Yet that is indeed how it happened. I was too late. Jean, Bobby, Betsy, Bishop. . . all of them gone in an instant. Warren a few minutes later. I stood my ground for as long as I could. But I was thrown down, the force of the impact with the earth shattered many of my ribs. Rogue arrived only minutes after Magneto had left. Looking back I don't know how in the world I managed to knock some sense into her, telling her to go help the others. . . But she sucessfully reached Logan, and together they found Scott, Hank and Sam.

After that, we all went out in different directions. Hank went on to do some more work on the Legacy Virus. Last year he discovered a vaccine for it, but he has yet to find the cure for people who already have contracted it. Logan and Scott are up in Canada for now. Poor Scott. . . I know how horrible it sounds. . . but sometimes I wish he had died in the attack. I watched him for a some time, while Logan hunted down Magneto. . . I cannot believe how much his mind has retarded because of the loss of Jean. . .

Logan takes care of Scott full-time now. Just a few weeks ago, they were down here to visit Rogue and Rhemada. One of many visits made in this last year. Logan has such a soft spot in his heart for that little girl. After all, he IS Rhemi's godfather, and he takes the job very seriously. Never once has he failed to bring her some sort of present everytime he is down from Canada.

Rogue took the death of the X-Men very hard, but she is doing much better now. A couple weeks ago she took her last trip to Holly, her therapist. I know that she still cries late at night sometimes, but I no longer believe it is for the X-Men. . . it is for one X-man. . .

I should tell her. I really should, but I made a promise to Remy. For the first two years after the attack. . . Rogue would ask me almost every day if I had heard from Gambit yet. It hurt so much to have to lie to her like that, but I could not break Remy's trust. I have noticed that she rarely asks me anymore. After hearing 'no' so many times, her hope dwindled down to next to nothing.

But I do hear from Gambit. Quite frequently, to tell the truth. He writes me a letter every month, telling me where he is and how he has been doing. He's been spending a lot of time in New York actually, but doing what, I'm not sure of. He hasn't touched down on the particular subject. I know he's come by the Institute to see me a few times, but I never saw him. I just felt him near me sometimes. I also know that he has been stopping in to "visit" Rhemada and Rogue. While he doesn't come right out and say it, I know that he is still in love with Rogue, but doesn't want to approach her, because he still feels betrayed by her. Remy never told anyone but me this. . . but the reason he left was because he knew that Rogue and Joseph had slept together that one night. He left the mansion only two hours before the attack, and we never saw him again.

As for myself ... I must admit that I still have blackouts when the memories overwhelm me. But they have gotten much better from when I first came to the Boston Academy.

At first look, everything may seem actually normal. But when you look harder, you can see the pain and the memories in all of our eyes. We somehow moved on with our lives, yet it made us all realize that we weren't just a team, we were a family. Stronger than any family thats ever existed, and that family was taken from us in an instant. It made us realize that we are not immortal. We are as human as everyone else. . .

Notes from Author:
Once again, if you already have my other stories archived, go ahead and archive this. But if you don't have any of them, please ask me. I just like to keep track of the web pages that have my stories. :) Thanks.
As always, feedback is appreciated. Flames will be read, considered, and flamed back at the flamer. Unless I'm in a good mood, then they'll just be trashed. Thanks again! :)


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