He watched her as she went through her morning routine. It was always the same. Rise, stretch, kneel, pray, read Bible, pray again, wash face, smile and say 'good morning'.
How can she do that every day? She cries all the time, at the drop of a hat, but she always sleeps like a log and wakes up fresh. We'll probably both be dead very soon, but she carries on like she has the rest of her life to live. She'll bare her soul to anybody, unashamed, but wouldn't change clothes in front of me if she had a wasp in her pants. She's more like a kid than Jubilee in some ways. Not even Kitty was so ...
He searched for the word. Innocent?
"Good morning," she said, smiling big at him.
"What's so good about it?"
It did take her a second to think of an answer. "Well, we're healthy, we have plenty of food and water, and each other to keep company with. That's more than a lot of people have."
"So God's been good to us," he smirked.
"Aye, very good, I'd say. I'm not as frightened of Limbo as I was, and I've learned a lot since I left Xavier's."
"Why would God care anything about a hellhole like this?"
"According to the Bible, He is with His people wherever they go. And this may be an awful place, but I'm sure hell is much worse."
Wolverine appeared to be disturbed by her answer. "So I guess everybody else is just out of luck, 'cos God's too busy helping us out."
What's his problem? She did not appreciate this argument, especially not this early in the morning. She didn't think he would dare have such an attitude with her if other people had been around. However, she was ready to answer anything he could bring to question.
"Don't doubt God simply because you don't understand his ways. I don't understand Limbo, but I know where I am. I don't understand electricity, but I know I can see when the lights are on."
"Sounds like you got it all figured out, punkin."
Now he was being condescending, and it hurt Rahne's feelings. She almost retaliated, but kept her temper in check and tried to be a good example. IF HE ONLY KNEW, she thought, how LITTLE peace I've actually been having.
"I wish I did. I wish I knew exactly why God made me a mutant, and what kind of life He wants me to have, and why He put us down here. I also wish I knew why I had to be an orphan, why my friends and I have nothing in common, and why I can't seem to keep a boyfriend for any length of time ... "
"Yeah, well, that's seven wishes more than we get, Jiminy Cricket. My only wish is to get the hell out of here alive."
"I know. I pray for that every day."
"You think he hears you?"
"I believe He does. His timing is not always our timing, though ... and sometimes He says no. There must be some reason for all this, I just don't know what it is. Sometimes it keeps me awake at night."
This shocked Wolverine. Her? Lose sleep wondering about God's motives? She must really believe what she says ...
"So ... do you think he'll do it? Get us out of here?" He would have been embarrassed to push the issue with anyone else, but he figured that it was safe to talk like this with her, in this faraway place.
She thought for a moment. "I can't say, of course, but ... I don't believe we will be leaving Limbo before we see D'Spayre again."
Shit! "Rahne, do you realize we will both be dead in a matter of days, unless some miracle happens?"
"Yes, and it scares me a little ... but not like it did."
"Well ... good. I don't want you to be scared." He wandered off.
She wasn't fooled by his macho talk. Wolverine had developed a fear of dying, or at least a fear of the afterlife. She would have to be careful not to upset him.
Later that night, while she was sleeping, Wolverine again peeked into her Bible.
"Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."
That would cover me and the kid both, then. So what's the point? Is there any hope? He flipped on and read more.
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Wolverine put the tiny book back down. I ain't no saint, but I still say I ain't a damn murderer! I'm a soldier! I never killed anybody that didn't have it comin'!
Something told him that it didn't really matter if everyone he had killed 'had it coming'. He needed something, and didn't know what it was or where to find it. Something that would cleanse his past, and eliminate the heavy load he felt on his shoulders. He looked in on Rahne and wondered why she was handling their fate so much better than he was. As he walked back outside in deep frustration, he looked up through the rift at the moon. It was waxing full. They had a couple of days, no more.
God, if you're for real ... make me like her.
When Rahne woke up, she was aware that he had let her sleep all night again. She was grateful, but felt it was totally unnecessary. She went outside to rebuke him, and what she saw made her halt and stare quietly.
It was a massive cross, at least a hundred feet tall, and made entirely of demon bones. It towered over the camp, reaching toward the rift. Wolverine had weaved and tied the bones together while she slept. Entire skeletons were used in some places. It seemed to be bound together soundly, a work that must have taken him all night. It was a gruesome sight, but ironically inspiring. He was up to something, but she couldn't tell what.
"Morning, punkin." Wolverine called down to her. He was perched high up on the crossbar like an eerie bird of prey. "Do you like it?"
She was speechless. She was impressed, but she hated it. It gave her the creeps.
"It's ... incredible. How did you do all that yourself, in just one night?"
"I couldn't sleep," he replied jokingly as he climbed down. "I wanted to give you something, in case we never see another Christmas or anything ... "
"Thank you ... Oh, I don't have anything to give you!"
"Not necessary. Thanks for puttin' up with my attitude, and my language."
"It's alright. I guess you'll need to sleep now ... " She could hardly take her eyes off the cross. "I'll stand watch. Thank you so much for the ... cross, Logan."
"I was hoping you could talk to me a while first," he said as he wiped the sweat from his brow. His eyes had the kind of strain in them that was more than just lack of sleep. "Can we sit?"
She was alarmed at his manner. He was being uncharacteristically vulnerable. She sat by him on the ugly bench he had recovered from elsewhere in Limbo. She was sure he was going to try to give her another difficult lesson. Lord, I don't need this, she prayed. Doesn't he ever get tired? Haven't I learned enough?
"How good do you have to be," he asked her in a low, serious voice, "to go to Heaven?"
So that's it. He's testing my faith again. Maybe he thinks I need some kind of counseling. I probably do. "Good? Well ... being good is not what saves one's soul. No one can be that good. The only thing that can do that is the mercy of God." She had heard the words so many times before. They were comforting whenever the echoes of Reverend Craig's harsh judgments plagued her.
"Oh. Okay. So how do you get his mercy? Goin' to church and stuff? Prayin' every day, reading the Bible? Givin' money away to poor people?"
Lord, why is he doing this? He shouldn't be trying to influence me in my beliefs! What does he want? "No ... but all those things are good to do, when and if you can. God's mercy ... " She was struggling for the right way to say it. "God's mercy is free to anyone who calls on Him. All he wants from us is to believe in Him, and in the one he sent — Jesus Christ."
"That's all, as far as I believe. He'll take care of the rest, if you really trust Him." She was nervous, not knowing where this was going.
"But it sounds too simple ... like believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. I still don't get it. What about ... if you've killed people—a lot of people, in cruel ways?"
"The Bible says that He will forgive all sins. That's why Christ was crucified—to pay the price for all those who would put their faith in Him."
"What if I've always been more of a Buddhist? Doesn't he hate them?"
Suddenly she saw what was going on. He wasn't interrogating her—he was curious. "He doesn't hate anybody. It took me years to get that through m' head, because of the way I'd been raised. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that God loves me and wants good things for me, even in this awful place."
He studied her face. She beamed with honesty. What he saw in her seemed stronger than anything he had, and he was convinced now that it must come from somewhere else.
"Rahne ... will you show me how to pray?"
Astonished, she took his hand, and together they kneeled down at the bench. Logan looked up toward the sky and poured out his heart to God from the depths of Limbo.
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