Anti-dedicated to K Tristan. May you continue to alienate everyone you care for and everyone who cares for you, over the span of a long life, and die in the end an old man, unwanted, unloved and alone.

This Is The Way It Ends

"So this is it, huh? You're not going to entertain the remotest possibility that I know what I'm doing, that I haven't turned traitor."

"You're workin' with the enemy. You expect me to trust you now?"

"What I expected was that maybe you'd trust me when I said he's not the enemy anymore. But I guess that was too much to expect, huh?"

"Yeah, Pryde. You've shacked up with one of the most infamous terrorists on the planet, who's got his own damn national base of operations now, which I shouldn't haveta remind you he got by killing Rogue. You wanna think with your goddamn crotch instead of the trainin' you got here, that's your business, but don't expect me to like it, or play nice with you anymore."

"I am not thinking with my crotch, damn you! What fucking business of yours is it anyway if I'm sleeping with him? I didn't join him because I was sleeping with him, that came months later. I chose to join him because the X-Men haven't accomplished a bloody thing and he has, and I want to be part of a Dream that works."

"Even if it means you gotta spit on everything you used ta believe in."

"But I'm not. I'm working for the same thing you and the X-Men are, only most of you are too bloody pigheaded to see it. I can accept Scott being a prick because he's who he is and I can accept Gambit never being able to forgive Magnus over Rogue, who by the way he did not kill--"

"He was committin' a crime against the world. She tried to stop him and she died for it. Doesn't matter if he didn't mean to kill her, his hand was on the trigger."

"--I can't accept you doing this. You of all people. You worked with him, respected him--"

"--And he betrayed all of us."

"Don't fucking interrupt me!"

"I'll say what I goddamn want when I want, Pryde. I listen to people I respect. It's just because of who you used ta be that I'm listening to you this much, but I ain't gonna do what you want."

"Yeah, I know that. Because it doesn't matter that you used to be my best male friend, practically my dad, that you were the person I looked up to more than anything else in the world. You can't accept that I've grown up, and that I can make my own choices."

"I accepted Wisdom, didn't I?"

"Yeah, and that's why you're a bloody hypocrite. Because your past isn't clean, and Pete's past wasn't clean, but oh my God I'm sleeping with Magneto so no matter how many times I tell you he's changed, that Genosha works, you won't listen to me. I'm just turned by the enemy."

"Wisdom never blackmailed the whole damn world. Neither did I."

"I didn't like that any more than you did--"

"Tell it to Rogue, why don'tcha?"

"Goddamn it, Logan, Rogue died because she was trying to save Joseph--"

"--And nice way he repaid her, too."

"Yeah, he did. This was the best way he could see to make her sacrifice count for something. Think it's a coincidence that Mystique works for us too?"

"Naah, I thought it was because Mystique is an opportunistic bitch and 'd use her daughter's death to push her own political agenda even if it meant getting into bed with the guy who killed her."

"You don't know how broken up Magnus was over Rogue. He never wanted her dead!"

"Too bad for him it ended up that way."

"Yeah, I guess so. Too bad for her that we fucking well didn't let Magnus do a damn thing to help her because we were too busy beating on him while she was trying to save the magnetosphere all by herself. We killed her just as much as he did by trying to kill him while he could have been helping her."

"Yeah, we were just so eager to let a terrorist who was tryin' ta destroy the planet get another shot."

"He wasn't trying to destroy the planet!"

"Says you, Pryde. He tell you that durin' pillow talk? Tells you how all broken up he is over Rogue, too, right?"

"And what, because he says it it can't be true?"

"Magnus is a psycho. Thought you'd have recognized that from the first time he sold us all out. Sure, he feels things, but he shuts it off when it comes time to do what he thinks he's gotta do. He'll destroy anyone and anything to get what he wants and rationalize that it was the only way. And if you're supporting him, you're playing into the schemes of a manipulatin', power-mad dictator who really only gives a shit about havin' so much power he thinks no one can threaten him anymore, which'll never happen even if he does take over the world, but he's too fucked in the head to see that. He's dangerous, and no matter how nice and sweet he looks now, he's always gonna be dangerous."

"How's that any different from you? You'd kill someone you loved to do what you thought you needed to do. You've done it before."

"Difference between us is, I'm not out for personal power or glory. I do it for my own honor and I do it because I think it's right or because it needs doin'."

"So does he!"

"Tell me then, why does what he thinks needs doin' usually end up with him in charge?"

"Yeah, like he was so in charge of the X-Men back when. I remember him stomping all over Ororo. Or are you just conveniently forgetting how he hung back and let Ororo and even you give him orders because he was trying to work for our Dream, not his? Doesn't fit your theory so well, does it?"

"Fits just fine. The man was slumming. Wanted to infiltrate us to take control of the New Mutants. He told Guthrie so, or did you forget that?"

"He said that to make the Hellfire Club think he was still the old ruthless bastard and that they wouldn't be able to control him through threatening the New Mutants. But you're never going to believe that, are you? Because you just refuse to accept any evidence that he's not a psycho anymore, that he's dealing with his demons the same as you dealt with yours."

"If I see some evidence, maybe I'll believe it. My gut instinct tells me Maggie's nuts, and he's dragging you down with him, and you're bein' stupid enough and naive enough to let him."

"And my gut instinct tells me that the only reason you think that way is that he tried to kill you. After you'd gutted him twice, and the first time he didn't do a damn thing to you before or after."

"And the second time he was tryin' to kill his son."

"Who's working for us, too."

"Never said Pietro wasn't a dick. 'Sides, I wouldn't give a shit that he tried to kill me. That ain't what he did. He could've just ripped my head off, he wanted to kill me. No, what he did wasn't a clean kill. He wanted me to suffer, and he got it."

"And the fact that his supposed former best friend was making him relive the horrors of a concentration camp at the time had nothing to do with that. Why don't you blame the Professor?"

"The Professor ain't to blame for Magneto's sadism. Magneto is. I watched him torture a handful of Purifiers without blinking, without his smell even changin'. He didn't think they were human. Hell, he treats animals better. Man's a psychopath."

"And you're better?"

"I beat down my beast, Pryde. He still lets his take control whenever he feels like it. He can be rational when it's in control. The only reason you don't see how fuckin' dangerous that is is you ain't got a beast of your own."

"You let yours take control whenever it will solve a problem for you. Don't give me that shit."

"This ain't about me. Yeah, I got a beast of my own. Yeah, I've done some pretty terrible things. Yeah, I'm a killer, and I can do it in cold blood. But I ain't a terrorist. I don't threaten the whole flamin' planet. I don't drop planes outta the sky and make cars lose power at 60 miles an hour. I don't torture people for fun or because I wanna send a message to their teacher that I'm pissed with him."

"And Magnus doesn't turn his back on people he supposedly loved because they've joined the enemy. He's forgiven the Professor for ripping his mind out. You just aren't that big, are you."

"Like I said, it ain't about me and what he did to me. It's what he's gonna do to the world."

"As opposed to what you and the X-Men are not going to do, namely, any good at all. And do you really think I'd be party to some dream of world conquest? All Magnus wants is to make a safe haven for mutantkind, and he's done it, and you don't want to believe it. You're so convinced that Magneto is an evil person that you refuse to look at any evidence, at what he's done with Genosha, and you're willing to write off people who were supposedly close friends because they're allied with him now."

"You're a little more than allied with him, Pryde. And yeah. You're naive and you're too powerful to be that naive. You got your thing for dangerous men, and you won't see that this guy's danger isn't just a little bit of spice to make yer love life exciting. He's a real threat to the world and you won't see it, and you're workin' to help him. You expect us to be friends?"

"So are we enemies?"

"You tell me."

"Yeah. Yeah, we are."

"If that's the way you want it."

"That's the way you want it. As long as you hate Magnus so much, as long as you won't listen to me or accept anything I say about him, as long as you decide to treat me like the enemy because I'm allied with Magnus... then you're a threat."

"Sure hope so."

"Well, good, then. Because I want you to know something. I'm not your little Kitty anymore."

"Never thought you were."

"I know. What I'm saying is, I've been doing this a full third of my life now, and I'm getting training from Magnus and Pietro as well, and I am just as dangerous as you think I am. You get in our way, Logan, and I'll stop you. I won't let our old friendship get in my way. And if you hurt him, I'll rip out your heart, I swear it."

And she dropped through the floor.

Logan studied the spot where she'd been for a minute in silence before muttering, "Already have, darlin'. Already have."