The Fourth Time
by Suz

Disclaimer - Marvel/Fox own them. I don't.

Not a happy story. You HAVE been warned. Hate me or not, it's just a story. After the movie.


It was, in actuality, the fourth time he had died.

No one seemed to realise. No one asked. No one cared.

It was just like it always had been.

He thought, somewhere, that Marie must have known. After all, she had been him for some time. But she was young. She was still learning. She was still trying to understand.

He knew that she never would.

He left the school, never intending to return, never intending to find out what had happened to him, ready once again to do nothing. To recede to wherever it was he went whenever it happened.

No one should have to die more than once.

Logan had been close to death dozens of times - probably even hundreds. But actually dying…only four. Which sounded ridiculous. As if 'only four' was a small number.

The first time:

Stupid. No one elses fault. Not long after he woke up with no memory. Walked too far on what he thought was safe ice and had gone straight through.

{Cold. Cold. Air. Dark. Air. Dark.}

He'd drowned. He still didn't know if it was his healing abilities or the fact that someone had somehow managed to rescue him that had stopped him from dying. Of course, at that point, he wasn't aware of his unique abilities.

The man who had saved him was the first person he could remember killing by accident.

Drowning. That was his least favourite way of dying.

The second time:

Much better. His head had almost been severed completely in a car accident. Quick and unexpected. If it hadn't been for his skeleton being so impervious and holding certain parts of him together, he doubted he would have healed.

But he had died. As before. Crossed over, gone beyond, passed the veil - whatever term you wanted to use; he'd been there, done that.

For a moment. And then, the spark had re-ignited.

He came back.

It wasn't the only time he resented his healing ability, but it was always the time when he resented it the most.

That explained the razor cuts that never stayed on his wrists. Not many people could understand the frustration at being able to die, but not being able to stay that way.

The third time:

Pretty simple: a fight with a mutant with an attitude. Slow, painful, bloodsucking.


Fortunately, they managed to kill each other at the same time. Unfortunately, she had stayed that way and he hadn't.

The fourth time:

Saving the life of a girl he cared about more than he should. Saving the life of a girl he cared about more than anyone since he had memories.

It was the only time his healing ability had been any real use. She had been saved.

He had died. He almost thought - as it happened - that this time he would stay dead. If the universe would just give him that, let him go out in a gracious bow rather than have to live indefinitely and watch the world age without him.

Some would think him ungrateful.

He didn't care.

So, at the end of the second week away from the school, he remained exactly where he was: on the bed in a motel bedroom. Two weeks. No food. No water.

He was just starting to feel thirsty when she let herself in. Logan recognised her scent immediately.

"How did you find me?"

She didn't seem surprised by the hoarseness of his voice.

She smirked, sitting on the edge of the bed. "You know the answer to that."

"Do they know you're here?"

She didn't see the point in answering. "You can never be a normal person, Logan. Even if somehow you lost your mutation, you'd still have the skeleton." With a gloved hand she felt the places in his left hand where the 'claws' came out.

"That doesn't make it right."

She knew that. Lifting both arms she slowly pulled the glove from her right hand and lowered it back towards him. "Tell me," She whispered.

Logan stared at her hand. "Don't let go. Even if it seems…don't let go."

With her gloved hand she touched his face. With her ungloved she reached down and wrapped her fingers around his hand.

He gasped. The veins on his body sprung up. His head dug back into the bed.

"I…" Logan tried to speak, tried to say something, but the words came out jerkily, lightly. "…al…ways…wan…ted…"

"I know," Marie whispered, as she bent over and kissed him lightly on the forehead and held tighter.

He was wrong, he knew that.

She understood.


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