Time and All Eternity
DISCLAIMER: I don't own anyone, except for me, I guess.
I live alone.
I mention this only because I was awakened last night by a man standing over my bed. I could see him in the shadows of my room, dimly lit by the outside lights of my apartment complex.
I took a breath to scream for help, but a hand shot out, clamping over my mouth and preventing any noise but muted screams and frantic moans. Twisting in the sheets, I tried to escape his grip and shout. Before making any progress, I heard a sound reminiscent of a switchblade and felt a sharp point come to rest against my throat.
I froze, my muffled noises stopping immediately. Instead, I lay quiet, trying to catch my breath through a stuffed nose while praying I'd make it out of this alive.
"You gonna behave?" a deep voice asked. I nodded. What else could I do? The sharp point pulled away from my throat, and I heard the click of my bedside lamp as light filled the room.
Squinting and blinking at the sudden brightness, it took a few seconds for me to see who was standing above me. When I did, I was sure it was a trick of the light, so I squinted and blinked some more.
"You Khaki?" he asked, pulling his hand away from my face.
Dumbly, I just nodded and stared. It was Logan. No, not Hugh Jackman. Logan. Logan, in my room.
"You killed my wife," he growled.
Oh, crap. My fear jumped even higher than it had been before I knew who he was.
"I... it... it was my muse. I didn't..."
"Don't give me that. You killed her and paraded her body around for everyone to see. You made Anna think it was her fault, and you loved every minute of it."
"I didn't. I felt bad about it, but I had to do it. You have to understand..."
"I don't haveta understand anything. I want my wife back, NOW!"
"Now? She died. The story's over. I can't..."
SCHUKK. Three bone claws shot out of his right arm, directly in front of my face.
Have you ever taken out a ruler and checked to see how long nine inches is? Trust me, it's long. Long enough to go straight through you with inches to spare. This is especially true if nine inches is the length of three, razor-sharp bone claws with blood still clinging to their edges after ripping out of his skin.
"You can, and you will," was his response to my refusal. "And as for your muse, these are all the inspiration you need."
Nodding, I threw off the covers and walked to the computer in the corner of my bedroom. Logan accompanied me, standing over my shoulder with claws still unsheathed and ready. After turning it on, we waited in silence as the computer booted up. It took an eternity before the familiar Windows bells chimed and my background appeared.
"What the hell?" Logan yelled.
Blushing fiercely, I clicked and clicked on the Microsoft Word icon, begging it to start and cover up the background, a picture of Hugh Jackman in black shorts and nothing else from "Someone Like You."
"No... no it's not. He's... he doesn't have muttonchops," I replied trying to think of something to distract him.
Have you ever noticed that it takes forever for Microsoft Word to start? First, the computer chugs and grinds, thinking about what you've asked it to do. Then, the logo appears, not covering up nearly enough of the screen. Then, the logo disappears, leaving the background completely uncovered for a few more seconds before the Word program finally starts.
When Word finally came up, Logan said, "Wait a minute. Bring that picture back. Where did you get that? What..."
"I thought you wanted me to write. Save Marie and all that."
"Yeah," he said, his voice distracted. Then with more certainty, "Yeah. Marie. Start writing."
"Where should I begin?" I asked, unsure of what he expected.
"She died in a car accident. Start there."
Noticing Anna was playing with her seatbelt by hitting the buckle against the car door, Marie ordered, "Put your seatbelt back on, missy."
Anna clicked the belt into place, pointing out, "You don't have yours on, either."
Marie looked down, surprised to see that she had, indeed, forgotten it. She reached around to grab it when Anna yelled, "Mom!"
Immediately, Marie put both hands back on the wheel, narrowly avoiding a collision with the Dodge truck that was approaching from the other direction. Marie's heart beat fiercely against her ribs as she realized just how close she had come to a terrible accident.
"Thanks, sugah," she said, her voice wavering slightly. "I didn't see that coming."
"Ok, she's alive. Happy?" I asked.
"No, now write what happened during the rest of our lives."
"The whole rest of your lives?" I asked disbelieving.
"Yeah, I don't want you coming back and messing anything up after I leave."
"With that healing factor, you'll live a long time. How can you expect me to write all that?" I protested.
"Maybe show us at the end looking back on our lives." Logan said. "Can you do that?!"
Uh oh. He was getting mad again. Better just write what he wants.
Logan and Marie sat together, watching their progeny at this family reunion to end all reunions. Their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and even great, great grandchildren were all present.
Over the years, Logan had touched Marie enough to slow down her aging in time with his. They had lived to see so much change. Mutants now outnumbered homo sapiens on the planet, and they were free to live their lives in peace. The X-Men had disbanded, but they'd still stayed in close contact with all of their friends over the years. Slowly, they lost friends to death until only their family remained, becoming the focal point of their lives.
Now, despite Logan's healing factor, time had finally caught up with them. Reaching over, Logan grasped his wife's gloved hand...
"Wait," Logan interrupted.
"That touching thing. Fix the touching thing so she doesn't have to wear gloves."
"Oh ok," I sighed.
Grasping her bare hand in his, he pulled it up to his lips for a quick kiss. Marie had finally learned to control her mutation decades ago, and they could touch without fear.
"Are you ready, darlin'?" he asked, hazel eyes, creased with wrinkles, but still as intense as ever.
"As ready as I'll ever be, sugah," she replied, peering out from underneath hair completely white with age.
"One..." he started.
"Two..." she added.
"Three..." they both said, and then they died, hand in hand, surrendering to the weakness in their bodies and the inevitability of time.
Moving from the prisons of their mortal bodies to the peace and rest that comes after, they existed together, basking in their love, for time and all eternity."
"Happy?" I asked.
"Yeah," he replied wistfully.
"Wow. Deep down, you really are a sappy romantic," I observed.
"Wanna make something of it?" he asked.
Uh oh. Bad move. The claws are still out. Remember the claws.
"No. No, of course not. Nothing wrong with that."
Almost a minute passed with nothing said between us as we both calmed down. Him from his anger and me from my terror.
"Uh... not to say your company isn't great, but..." I began.
"Send it out," he growled.
"It's not real unless you send it out to the internet."
"But it'll confuse everyone. I just finished this fic the other way, and..." The claws came back up, and I immediately changed my mind. "Hey, but who am I to judge, right?"
I spent the next few minutes loading the new version of the story onto the internet sites I usually posted to.
Turning to look at the man standing next to me, I could see that even though his eyes were closed, they were moving rapidly under the lids. After several minutes, he opened his eyes and a huge grin broke out on his face.
"I've got the memories," he said. Then more quietly, he added, "Thank You."
When I saw him turn to leave, I stood up, following him to my front door. The door frame had been sliced through and the locks kicked in.
"Hey!" I protested. "Why'd you do that? I have to pay for this damage out of my deposit."
He just grinned back at me. "You're a deep sleeper. Besides, maybe you'll think twice before you go after my family again."
I couldn't think, so I just stood there looking from him to the remains of my door and back to him again.
"You don't happen to know where Diebin lives, do you?" he asked, nonchalantly.
"What?" I asked, confused. "No."
"Huh, too bad. Guess I'll just have to sniff her out, too."
And then he left, just as mysteriously as he'd appeared. The only evidence of his presence, a badly damaged door and a confusing fan fic.
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