In Jason's own words

Note about Continuity: I realize that after Operation Zero Tolerance, everyone needed time to heal. This funeral takes place after that. Some of these characters still would not be able to make the funeral, but Iím changing that. Iím also assuming that certain people (especially the X-Men) probably had to really stretch to make ends meet to even make it to Muir Island, but that they all managed to do so nonetheless.

Disclaimer: The X-Men, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Force, Generation X, and assorted X-characters are not mine. Welcome to my world and my version of them.

Chapter Three

On the other half of the table, Douglock sat next to Roberto DaCosta and an awe-inspired Forge, and across from Dani Moonstar, Wolfsbane and Val Cooper.

"Oh, Itís just so good tae see ya again, Dani!" Rahne said. "Itís great!"

"You, too, Rahne," Dani grinned. "You, too. If only it were under different circumstances."

"Aye," Rahne agreed.

"I-Itís amazing...," Dani whispered, looking down the table.

"What is, Dani?" Rahne inquired.

"Illyana....sheís amazing," Dani explained. "Our old teammateís back, but sheís not."

"Not really," Rahne disagreed. "Yísee, sheís sorta like Douglock, the same on the outside, but different on the inside."

"Oh," Dani said.

"Itís just great to see you again, Douglock," Forge said.

"I know," Douglock said. "I do believe youíve told me that 3.5 times already, Forge. I find it quite....whatís the word, annoying?"

"Goodness! Youíre speaking practically like a normal human would! Thatís great, Douglock," Forge cooed.

"Thanks," he said, rolling his eyes in frustration.

"I have to say, Alex, Iím surprise you came," Valerie Cooper admitted.

"Well, I did," Alex insisted. "I should. Iím here for an old teammate of mine, Peter Rasputin." Alex took a side glance at Lorna Dane, who was further down the table and across from him. He saw her talking to Wildchild, and saw the new X-Man, Maggot hitting on her. He was jealous. He still loved her, in a way. After all, he had dated her for so many years.

"Iím glad you came, pal," Jamie Madrox said from Alexís right side. "Itís good to see you."

"Itís good to see you, too, Jamie," Alex grinned. "Itís been awhile."

"Yeah, the Legacy virusíll do that to ya," Madrox grinned.

"I guess so," Alex laughed. "Itís good to see you, too, Guido." Guido Casteronella*, or Strong Guy, looked up from across the table.

"You, too, Alex," Guido replied.

"Iím glad youíre both feeling better," he said.

"Me, too," Madrox laughed. They all smiled.

"Itíll be okay, Lorna," Wildchild whispered. "Just calm down. Donít let him get to you."

"How can he sit there and just laugh?" Lorna shot back, glaring at Alex Summers. "Iím so mad at him."

"Is that because you still care about him?" Wildchild inquired. Lorna just glared at him. "Okay, okay, sorry, sorry."

"Ag, If some blokeís botherin ya, Iíll take care of him for ya, sweetheart!" Maggot, the new X-Man, offered Lorna.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"It seems that our teammate is hittin on Lorna here," Rogue whispered to Hank McCoy.

"Maggot, this is neither the time nor the place," Hank insisted, staring him down.

Rogue grinned. "Heís got spunk," Rogue laughed.

"Indubitably, and heís also got hormones. Lots of them. In abundance," Hank pointed out.

"Sorry about that, team responsibilities, yíknow," Rogue said, turning back to her right. "So, you fought the Prime Sentinels, too?"

"Yes," Andre, or Blue, himself new to the ranks of all things X, answered. "When I tried to go back home and tie up a couple of things, we were attacked by them. Apparently, the must have kidnapped some of my friends, and turned them into Prime Sentinels, because my best friend tried to kill me."

Rogueís mouth dropped open. "Gosh, thatís horrible," she said. "Ahím sorry." Blue grinned weakly.

"Thatís okay," Andre said. "Itís not your fault. You didnít do it."

Neophyte glanced over at Andre from next to him. Kurt Wagner was also watching from across the table. "So, Rogue, tell me, have you met Amanda?" Kurt inquired, changing the subject.

"Uh, Yes, I have Kurt," Rogue said, wondering why he asked that. "Itís nice to see you again, Amanda."

"You, too," Amanda Sefton smiled.

"Weíve been getting along much better lately," Kurt explained.

"Oh, really?" Rogue said. She saw Kurtís and Amandaís hands entwined on the table, and a twinge of jealousy ran through her. She wished she could touch someone.....ever since Gambit and her "touched" that night long ago...Oh, how she missed him, but she couldnít let herself miss him too much. She was still mad at him.

"Um, why is my drink frozen?" Kurtís eyebrow arched. Indeed, his drink was nothing but ice. He tried to drink it, and instead, wound up with an ice cube in his lap. He jumped out of his chair and flung it off him. "Ah! Itís freezing!"

Bobby Drake laughed from next to Amanda. "Good one," Amanda whispered to him.

"Thanks," Bobby said.

"Bobby, donít you think pranks should be saved for a different time and place?" Storm said, looking at him.

"No," Bobby muttered to himself. "But, oh, well."

"I think she is right, Robert," Joseph agreed from next to Iceman.

"Robert?" Bobby asked. He looked at Joseph quizzically, and Joseph just sighed a sigh of defeat.

"I think he was just trying to alleviate the mood a bit," Callisto said from next to Storm.

"Make pretty up-surface worlders happier than they are!" Marrow snarled.

"Marrow," Callisto glared at her. "There is a reason I came here with you. First of all, to pay respects to Peter Rasputin, who was a great man. Secondly, to watch over you. Now, behave."

"Yes, mother," Marrow glowered.

"Geez," Dr. Cecilia Reyes commented from across the table. In-between her and Marrow, Moira MacTaggert and Sean Cassidy sat at the end of the table.

"Boy, I guess things are a little heated over here," Sean said.

"Aye, indeed," Moira agreed. Moira looked at Dr. Reyes. "Cecilia, I canít help but wonder, how did you wind up with the X-Men?"

"Long story," Cecilia said. "And a bad one. Basically, Operation Zero Tolerance attacked me, and they saved me from it. I guess."

"Aye, thatís good," Moira said.

"No, itís not, actually," Cecilia disagreed. "I canít help but miss my old life. I was born to be a doctor, and now Iím not doing that at all. Sure, I might not mind learning a bit about my powers, but no one at the mansionís willing to do that now. Theyíre all too busy, and things are too crazy right now."

Moira couldnít help but wonder, couldnít help but imagine. She returned to her dinner, but still couldnít get the idea out of her head. Finally, she decided to talk to Cecilia about it.

"Well, Cecilia," Moira began. "As ye know, Excalibur lives here at Muir Island with me. Theyíre all great people, too, by the by, and ifín ye didnít notice, Muir Island is a medical facility and is the worldís foremost authority on genetic research. Granted, itís a bit of a strecth from what ye do......."

"What are you saying?" Cecilia asked.

"I think ye should join Excalibur," Moira said. "We can help ye so much more. We have the time and the facilities to train ye, and on top of all that, yeíd be able to do what you love most, be a doctor. Ye can help me, and we have plenty of things fer a doctor tae do around her.......Would you?"

Cecilia thought about it for a moment, and then, spontaneously, decided. "Yes, I would," she said. It did sound much better than what she was doing now. She was even looking......forward to it.

Chapter Four:

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