A/N: This little thing popped up one day. The L&M hallway scene in X3 is one of the scenes that was talked about a lot. Some hated it, some suddenly saw renewed potential for a relationship beyond a certain paternal protection. Personally, the scene is dear to me. I watch it a lot when I write, so I figured, I might as wel write a little fic around it from Marie's POV. (Beta by gammameta.)

ĎIím not your father. Iím your friend.í

Those were the words he said, just when I was about to give up. He couldnít have picked a lousier time. Iíd made a decision - I didnít want to believe anymore.

I didnít want to believe in the good cause the professor and the others were fighting for. I didnít want to believe in peace between humans and mutants, and I didnít want to believe that my mutation didnít matter, that I could live like anyone else, and be loved like anyone else, because thatís bullshit - I canít. Above all, though, I didnít want to believe in *him* anymore.

For almost two years Iíd allowed myself to hope. I allowed him to push me away and pull me back in whenever he wanted. Our relationship was built on *his* foundation. Always on his terms, matching his needs. I was done with it. I was done with it all.

But there he was.

One sweep of those observant hazel eyes and one simple question were all it took. My confidence vanished into thin air. I had nothing to hold on to, and I was suddenly defending myself. Defending my decision. My feelings. My future. All he did was look at me. See me. He can so easily tune in with me. I didnít stand a chance.

ĎIím not your father. Iím your friend.í

Bastard. He knew damn well I had nowhere to hide. SoÖ why? Why did he have to say it? Why did he have to rip me open, just when the wounds were so neatly stitched? He mustíve known what it would do to me. Heís an observant man. I never really tried to hide any of my feelings from him, because I knew it would be futile. I tried to avoid any awkwardness, but he mustíve known. Mustíve seen it in my face all this time. Mustíve sensed it, and yet, he still created the opening I thought was never there.


Itís such a deceiving word. A friend is the color grey amongst relationships. Itís not a black or a white, like family. A father will always be a father. He might become your friend if youíre lucky. He can also become your foe, but whatever the case, heíll always be your father. Itís a solid fact.

But not friends.

Friendships can change. They can mutate, for the better or the worse. One day youíre sharing secrets, the next you might realize that youíre nothing but acquaintances. You can even become strangers again. Strangers who share a few of the same memories. Pleasant, or not. Then, thereís also the kind of friendship that can evolve into a next stage. Into something more. Into something wonderful. Something likeÖ lovers.

ĎIím not your father. Iím your friend.í

The words haunt me. I hear them echoing inside my head, just like I hear him saying my name over and over again.


Two syllables. My world shifted. It was the first time he said my name. Not kid. Not Rogue. Marie. Me. His rumbling voice - it sounded like a verbal caress. Embracing me, lifting me up, cradling me in the promise it held. Until he walked away.

I just stood there, dazed. Filled with renewed, hollow hope. I felt myself turning around as well, my legs behaved as if they had a will of their own, and as I walked through the door, I allowed myself one last look into the hallway.

It was empty.

And I was lost again.
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