Logan was going to be all right. The bleeding stopped, and he could sit up and talk. He and Rahne had a private conversation while Wolverine stayed on the lookout. All the demons had fled in fear but Limbo was still Limbo, and they couldn't be too careful. They had a short, awkward conversation with him and found out that his timeline had split off from theirs on the first day they were in Limbo.
Logan decided to stay in Limbo. Rahne strongly protested with tears and supplications, but he was resolved to his new vision.
"That's Wolverine's world, Li'l Red. Me, if I belong anywhere, it's down here. I got a shot at changing things in Limbo now. I may be the only hope for this place."
"What will you do? You'll be alone! You can't convert demons! Who will you be helping?"
"There's lots of folks trapped in the cycle, trying to get home, or at least just tryin' not to be food for some demon. There's an infinite number of timelines I can enter to set some things right. Here I can be what I am. Up there, I'm just a killer."
"No, no! You're a hero! You and the X-Men have saved the world many times! Don't you want to share with everyone what's happened to you?"
"You bet I do, Li'l Red. But this is the only way that works for everybody. That guy out there — he doesn't deserve to stay down here any more than you do. My leg might even grow back, I don't know. No demons will dare to bother me for a long time, I'm sure. I'll be okay. It has to be this way. I'll miss you though."
"Oh, I'll miss you so bad!" She fell in his arms and hugged him tightly. She told him about Doug's hideout and pleaded with him to go there for safety and to share with him all that had happened to them.
Eventually, she said goodbye. She walked out of the monstrous shelter they had shared and looked up at the rift. It was no longer a window to earth's sky—it was now a stepping disc, and had lowered to the high point of the bone cross that Logan had crafted. She had no doubt that it would take her home. Looking around one last time at the camp they had occupied, she was filled with peace.
You heard my prayers, Father. You were with me all along, helping me in ways I never could have seen. I am at peace with You, with myself, and with my past. You have given me a joy in being who I am, regardless of whether or not my friends understand. My future may be uncertain, my past may be painful, but I know that I will have You with me always.
Thank you for using me to help Logan, and thank you for using him to help me. I will always trust You in times of trouble. I know that You have a purpose for my life, and that even if the whole world rejects me, from You I will always have acceptance.
She waved goodbye to her friend, and she and Wolverine climbed up the bone cross to the disc that would lead her away from the hell she was now reluctant to leave.
On the other side of the disc, they were once again in Shaw's fortress. A month had gone by for them, but not for Shaw. He was still on the floor, bloody and exhausted.
Rahne felt the anger swelling up in her breast as she looked at Shaw. Because of him, she had been forced to survive Limbo for a month—precious time that she could have spent enjoying her human form before the temporary cure elapsed. Because of him she had endured trials and tribulations that no teenaged girl should even know about.
"I could kill you so easily," she said between gritted teeth. "Even without using my power. I could end your life in a split second, and I'd be doing the world a favor."
Shaw didn't respond. He couldn't.
"Maybe one day I will, but not today. You look like you might die before you can even get out of here. Maybe one day I'll have to kill somebody, or maybe I'll lose my head and kill somebody, I don't know. But if it happens, it'll be my decision—mine alone. Let this be a lesson to you Mr. Shaw. Clean up your act, and get your house in order, or next time I may not have the grace to be merciful."
And with that, they left him there.
Shaw determined that he should probably just rest a while, and then see about getting back to America. From the shadows surged out a swirling tendril of oily black smoke. It grew until it became a murky cloud, solidifying in front of him into the form of a man.
"You have failed us both, Shaw," said D'Spayre, "And now you must pay the price."
Moira MacTaggert met Rahne when her plane landed back in America. They held each other for a long time. Moira insisted that Rahne return with her to Scotland, but Rahne persuaded her that she had work to do in Genosha, and that for the time being, she should stay there. After careful thought and giving a stern speech to Professor Xavier, Moira gave in. She would stay with Rahne until her inoculation wore off, then escort her back to Genosha.
Rahne's teammates, as well as all the X-teams, met Rahne with joy and relief. A barbecue fit for royalty was held, and they all had a great time. Many of them tried to get Rahne to explain the details of her hiatus, but she avoided their questions, preferring to keep the memories her own personal secret. Not even Wolverine was aware of all that had happened to her in Limbo. She watched him with wonder as she went about the yard at Xavier's, interacting with her teammates.
Is he an alternate Logan, or was my friend an alternate? Which one is the real one? Aren't they both the real Logan? I'll have to pray for him…
She had a mischievous joke in mind that she couldn't resist. She could barely keep herself from laughing as she sneaked up on Wolverine. She tossed her empty Dixie cup by his left ear, and when he reflexively jerked to avoid it, she used his own weight and inertia to throw him to the ground on his face. She lodged her knee in his back and put one hand on his neck, the other on the small of his back, pointed like a mock knife.
"Really, Wolverine! You mustn't leave your vulnerable spots so unguarded—I could kill you before you could even speak a word!"
She helped him up, giggling nonstop. He chuckled and turned a little red.
"Not bad, kid. Not bad AT ALL."
They all laughed at the image of little Rahne, capable of dispatching the mighty Wolverine. But they all wondered the same thing: Where in the world did she learn THAT?
Night fell, and eventually they each drifted off to their respective quarters. Rahne was the last to go to her room. She entered and looked around—nothing had changed. She picked up the picture of Doug from her dresser, and stared lovingly at his face.
"Rest in peace, my sweet darling. I will cherish your memory for the rest of my life, whatever may come."
As she held it, she felt her body change to her transitional form. The inoculation had finally worn off. She kept looking at the picture until she was sure she could look at it and see the Doug she'd known before any of this had happened, then she placed it back on the dresser and looked out her window.
It's a whole world of possibility out there, waiting for me. Tomorrow may bring tears or laughter, gladness or pain, but thanks to God I will face it knowing there is a reason for all of it. May Your will be done for my life, Father. Just help me to accept the person that You want me to be.
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