I don't own them. Rats!
WRFA, Mutual Admiration, Peep Hut - all others, please ask :)
Please? With whipped cream on top? Good, bad, and ugly welcome.........
Sequel/companion piece to Sleep Tonight and Khaki's excellent Casualties of
War. Logan and Rogue leave the mansion and Rogue thinks through a few
Thanks to Karen for covering beta duties in Keli's absence :) Thanks also
to Khaki for suggesting more fic in this storyline and a Rogue POV.
I'd love to have you pick up where I left off or fill in Scott's POV (hint,
hint......) I got to thinking in this one that Rogue must be pretty
darn depressed by this point, so I'll warn you - it's not all sunshine and
happiness in there.....
I've thought a lot about it, and that's the word that best applies.
Disposable. If and when I am convenient, then I am used as appropriate
or ignored. When I have served my purpose or am no longer convenient,
then I am disposed of without much concern over it. Disposable.
that way to almost everyone in my life. My parents took that view -
they certainly didn't hesitate to let me go when I was no longer the high
school princess they wanted - and I suppose that I shouldn't expect any better
from strangers, friends, or even my guardians.
word - guardian. It's supposed to mean the person who watches over you,
the person who literally guards your safety, well-being, money, and whatever
you have. Legally, Professor Xavier is my guardian. He stood
(well, sat) next to me in a courtroom, dressed in a suit and swore with his
right hand up to God that he would act in my best interests. Not in
the world's best interests, not in his own best interests, not in the best
interest of the X-men - mine. He swore it, with his hand up to God.
But when push came to shove, when it wasn't convenient, he didn't keep that
talking about when I was strapped into the machine. I almost don't
even take that personally. If I were in Scott's shoes - well, he never
made any promises to God or the State of New York regarding me and it was
his mission to protect the public. I might've done exactly what he
did myself. No, it was before that, when I was living at the mansion,
just minding my own business, and got swiped right off the grounds.
The Professor didn't take any precautions to prevent that, didn't think that
just because they'd failed the first time, it didn't mean that they might
not try the same thing again. Still, I guess those are just small failures
of omission, not quite neglect. Maybe. Not noticing until I was
long gone - that was neglect, and that I blame him for. When I was
supposed to be something that was at least within his field of notice, I
wasn't. He didn't take his responsibilities to me at all seriously.
I was beneath notice, disposable.
And I wonder
to this day whether they'd have bothered to try to find me if I hadn't turned
up in Magneto's grasp. I was worth noticing, worth the trouble then.
I presented a threat. I could be used to do something that *was* deserving
of notice to the Professor. If I'd just run away or had been kidnapped
by some random person, I don't think I'd have merited the bells and whistles.
Instead of suiting up and running for the Blackbird, they'd have gotten a
cup of coffee, read the morning paper, and strolled around town at their
leisure to see if they could turn up something, shaking their heads in pity
and irritation at the stupidity of little Rogue the whole time.
exception to this whole operating principle, though, and that's Logan.
By rights, I should be worse than disposable to him - he should actively be
avoiding me. Every single time he's tried to do me a favor, I've hurt
or killed him. Every time. I thank God he loves me, but I sure
as hell don't understand why that is. I don't know - I honestly don't
know if I'd feel the same way if I were in his shoes.
stop up here, get some stuff at that hardware store." We've been driving
for days. I asked where we were going, but all Logan would say was
that we were going to ground and that we'd be in hiding for a while.
I could've guessed we were headed for Canada even before we crossed the border,
but I have no idea where in Canada we are. We've been driving for four
days after crossing the border. "If you see somethin' you think you
need, get it."
We haven't really talked much. I've mostly been just crying still.
I know he's mad at Magneto. I know he's furious with Scott and the
Professor. He wears it like a neon sign, and I'd know it even if I
didn't have his senses now. I asked if we were going to ground to hide
from the Brotherhood or to hide from the X-men and he wouldn't answer.
to me." There's no danger that I'll go missing on Logan's watch.
Logan - can I say something?" Because I don't think I've really said
it this whole time and before we go into hiding or whatever we're going to
do, he should know. "Whatever happens, I want - I want to be with you,
OK? I just - I love you and I really appreciate everything you've done
for me and are still doing for me and I want you to be sure that I - "
He's so gentle with me sometimes. So gentle. "I know. Just
let me take care of things, Marie. It's gonna be just fine. You're
safe with me and I'm gonna take care of everythin'."
- I want to thank you for - "
He's started doing that more and more, just holding me to him when I tear
up a little. He must realize how much that comforts me. I hate
to ask him for it, I hate to ask him for anything, but - "I gotcha now, Marie.
You're gonna be OK now. Shhh, don't cry, darlin'."
I really don't know why I can't stop crying so much. Sure, being killed
by your friends, dying, being brought back from the dead and almost killing
the person you'd never want to hurt at all, the one you love the most - that's
traumatic. But it's been ten days, more - almost eleven now. And
I still just can't stop.
right. Take your time."
Why is he - he just keeps turning and walking away every time I try to talk
to him. "Scott?"
Rogue. Can't you see that you're just bothering him?" Jean -
grabbing my arm and whirling me around by it. "You should just leave
him alone. You should just leave everyone alone. Don't you understand
what God's trying to tell you, Rogue?"
know why God gave you this mutation? You're supposed to stay away from
people, Rogue. You're poison. Why can't you understand that?"
She's mad now, very mad. "Do you want me to tell the Professor what
what did I do? I don't understand."
Wait - no - don't walk away, just explain to me. I don't understand.
Storm. Whew. Storm will explain it to me. "You're in the
I - I don't understand what I'm doing wrong, Storm, please tell me."
you are not supposed to be here."
has cast you out. Your skin is an omen. You are unclean."
"But I didn't
an aberration." Her eyes - her eyes are going white. Is she going
to attack me? "You must be dealt with." She is going to attack
me. But why? I don't understand, I don't know what I did wrong.
an action, Rogue, it is your existence." The Professor? Where
did he come from? And he's - he's standing, he's not in the wheelchair.
"Your very existence is the offense. As long as you are alive, we will
all be in danger. Surely, you grasp this."
No. I have to run, I have to hide. They're - they're going to
kill me. They're going to -
Scott. Oh, God, Scott, and he's raising his hand to his visor.
don't! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Don't!!" But he is -
wake up, Marie."
Oh, God, it was a dream. It was just a dream.
Come back to me, darlin'. Come on back to me." Strong arms, smells
like Logan. I'm safe. I'm safe. It was a dream. It wasn't
real this time.
I can't help it. All I can do is cry and shake and wail.
Marie. It was just a nightmare. You're with me and everythin's
OK now." He'll hold me. He'll hold me and rock me and take care of
me until I can stop. Logan will protect me. I'm safe, I'm safe.
it?" I knew we weren't going to be living in a four-star hotel, but
I didn't expect an actual bunker.
Help me get the stuff in and then I'll hide the car." We've switched
cars three times and now we're moving into a concrete bunker that looks like
it's partly built into the ground. Whatever Logan set in motion on
the way up here, he's expecting some serious consequences from it.
He looks actually cute just now, lifting out our bags and raising that eyebrow
worth it. I should've - I'm sorry, I was just so out of it but I should've
said that before. Whatever revenge you're - you're doing on Magneto
and, you know, anyone else, I'm not worth risking consequences that would
make us have to move into a bunker."
He's putting the bags down now. "Look, Marie, I'm just gonna hafta
ask you to trust me on a coupla things. One of 'em is that I'm gonna
look out for you. If I did somethin' that made Chuck or Scooter or
Mags come after us with a vengeance, that wouldn't be good for you in the
long run. As much as I might wanna do it." He's got a point there.
And he's smart. He's very smart. "They ain't gettin' off scot
free, but they ain't gonna come after us. Well, maybe Magneto, if he
ever gets outta jail, but he woulda anyhow. This place - well, let's
just say better safe than sorry. Let's just say I ain't takin' any
chances. You're gonna hafta trust me on that one, Marie."
"I do trust
you. Always. I just don't want - I don't want you to suffer any
more than you already have because of me."
thing you're gonna hafta trust me on. You're nothin' but a good thing
in my life. You're the most important thing. Believe that."
much, much harder request. But for Logan, I can try. "OK."
There's one more thing. You tell me when somethin's wrong, you talk
to me. Don't - you've been tryin' to hide stuff and keep stuff in and
I don't wanna have it that way. If I know what's wrong, I can fix it.
You gotta talk it out, Marie. You've been cryin' for almost two weeks
solid now. It's gotta come out."
know if I can." That's the truth. I feel like if I open up, even
a little bit, the dam will just break and I'll be overwhelmed. I'm
not very brave, never have been, and I'm not at all sure I'm brave enough
to risk that.
help ya. Now, come on, help me get the stuff in. Let's get settled."
completely safe here. Nothin's gonna get to ya, and if anybody tried
they hafta go through me. Got it?"
This is Logan's way to get me to talk it out. He doesn't know anything
about psychiatry, and he's probably never watched a talk show or listened
to a radio shrink in his life. This is his way of getting me to do
what he thinks I need to, to take care of me - sitting me down across from
him and trying to make it OK for things to come out.
know where to begin." I'm not trying to be difficult, and I hope he
knows that. I can't - I literally can't get my thoughts on any of it
organized. When I try to think about it, it's almost like I get audio
feedback - there's just unpleasantness and chaos, and I can't get past that.
tried to kill ya."
deal with that. I know you - you got close with him. He turned
around and tried to kill ya. Don't you got nothin' to say 'bout that?"
try to kill me." But even as those words come out, I can see it - I
can remember how the red beam coming toward me looked, I can feel the heat
and the whole machine begin to shake as it hit. I can remember thinking
- I'm going to die. "He was trying to save a lot of other people."
to do it. If the machine had worked - "
mad at him?"
have a right to be."
not the question." Like I said, Logan's smart.
at him, I guess. But I know what - "
what I'm worth. I'm not worth thousands or millions of lives.
They couldn't - it was one life versus all those other lives. They
had to choose between me and everyone else. It was just a bad situation."
That's what I tell myself when I do get mad, really mad, mad enough to hit
something, mad enough to want revenge. Sometimes it calms me down.
they put ya in. They weren't watchin' ya."
weren't. And I guess I am mad about that. You would've watched
me." I guess that's what it all boils down to. I didn't want
to be disposable. Maybe that's the truth of things, but I didn't want
it to be that way. And maybe if it wasn't for Logan, I never would've
known that it was possible for it to be any other way. I could've accepted
and they shoulda."
should've. And I mean, I understand - I really do understand that Scott
had to blast the machine by that point but they never noticed I was gone again
and they didn't come to even see if I was alive for a really long time after
the blast. I don't get that. Even if they don't want me around..........."
be pissed 'bout that."
I am. I am." Feels good in a weird way to admit that. I
"And I don't
think I'm - even if I did bring a lot of trouble to them, I didn't mean to.
It's not like I made everything happen. It's not like I put everything
into motion. It's not like the big evil plans were my idea."
got caught in the middle."
I really did. I mean, sometimes it feels like the universe is just collapsing
on me, you know? I'm just going along living my life and then, boom
- mutation that ensures that I'll never have a normal life, that no one will
ever touch me, that everyone will always be scared of me. OK, dealing
with that, then, boom - parents start hinting that they want to put me in
a home, so I have to run away and live on my own. OK, dealing with
*that* and then what? Attacked by Sabretooth, you get hurt, Magneto
forces himself into my mind, and it was like rape - worse, even, and I almost
die. OK, still got through that alive, thanks to you, but had to wait
to see if you'd live or if I'd killed the only person who ever seemed to
give a crap about me at all. You live, but then you go, and I know
why you had to, but I was all alone again and the people who were supposed
to watch out for me, they - they - just let a whole repeat version of the
Magneto thing happen again, only worse because this time I know the rape's
coming and I know *exactly* how bad it'll be - worse because this time, I
know you're not there to save me and I know they won't. Worse, because
this time you *do* end up saving me somehow and I - I killed you. I
killed you. I'm - I'm - oh! "
It's OK. Come on, come over here." I don't think I can - I can't
even move, I - that just snuck up on me and I'm crying so hard.
"It's OK, Marie, it's OK." He's coming over here. He's coming.
I can't stop - it is the dam breaking and it is all going to come out now.
I can't stop.
didn't kill me, darlin', you didn't. I decided to do it; both times
I decided to touch you. That was all me. I know what you told
Hank and Jeannie - not to let me help ya if they thought I'd get hurt.
You didn't kill me, Marie. I made the choice. And I'd do it all
over again if I ever hadta, 'cause you're worth it. You're more than
worth it. If I was there that second time, I woulda said the hell with
everyone else. I woulda said that you're worth the thousands of lives
and then some. You're worth it to me."
All I can do is cry and hold him. I need him - I need him a lot.
Marie. I gotcha."
did you do?" Maybe I shouldn't ask. I'm not at all sure that
I really want to know.
in a few favors. They probably won't even know what happened until it's too
Professor is a telepath." Maybe that's why we crossed the continent.
Maybe that's why we're in a bunker. Maybe that's designed to keep the
Professor from finding us.
of people who can get around that, darlin'."
going to get hurt?"
want 'em to?" Hmm. Good question. I don't think so.
I mean - that wouldn't solve anything. Maybe I'd just like for them
to be shaken up a little. On the other hand, I don't think Logan's
the kind of person to just put a scare into them and I don't want him to
feel bad for whatever it is that he has done.
darlin', so don't worry 'bout it. I didn't kill 'em, but I hurt 'em.
I hurt 'em where it counts. And they should be glad I stopped at that."
I don't think I've ever seen him look so pissed, so hard. Not even
in the ring, fighting.
we going to do now?"
for the time bein'. For a coupla years. You - uh, you're good
with that, right?" You know, that's the first time I've seen him even
the littlest bit unsure.
You and me - lots of quality time alone - that sounds good." And that's
the first time I've seen him really smile. I think - I am - I'm smiling
huffed and finally shut down his computer. It had been another very
long day. Social services, the state police, and even the health department
had been by again today. He would give good money to know who had sent
those exquisitely falsified documents to the authorities. He didn't
like appearing on the evening news in connection with accusations of child
endangerment and he didn't like having to spend all of his time and energies
on clearing his name. All of the students had been forced to leave,
and that put a serious dent into his plans to recruit new members to the
team - not to mention the dark cloud that this scandal would cast over the
school for years to come, even if he was successfully cleared.
he thought, must've had a hand in this. They're the only ones with
the desire to see the school, and his dream of harmony with humans, fail
so miserably. Of course, Erik was still in prison, but that hardly meant
that he lacked outside connections. Well, Charles resolved, they would
not succeed. He would rebuild the school, the student population, and
his reputation, whatever it took. The other niggling matters - his
rift with Ororo and Hank, and the whispered rumors regarding his personal
life - they would work themselves out in time, given that there were no further
surprises in store. He would prevail in this, as he had in everything
else, of that he was confident.
the matters regarding the school, he was most concerned about Scott.
At first, he'd suspected that the photographs sent to Jean had been forgeries,
every bit as fraudulent as the accusations about the school. But when
Scott admitted to the affair, the Professor's concern grew. It just
wasn't like Scott to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh with random women
- no, girls - the Professor corrected himself, she was only seventeen.
That, too, was unlike Scott and was only adding fuel to the fire as far as
the school's reputation was concerned. The Professor suspected that
the girl had lured Scott into a relationship, if what they had done could
be dignified with that word, but Scott insisted on taking responsibility
for his actions. That was a hopeful sign, at least, but there was still
the troubling matter of the girl's strong resemblance to Rogue. The
resemblance had not gone unnoticed by Jean either, and it made the Professor
wonder if perhaps Magneto's last attempt at using the machine hadn't had
a larger effect than first noted. Scott took failure hard, after all,
and now that Rogue had gone off with Logan, he lacked the chance to resolve
things with her directly. Perhaps the girl, the affair, was some way
to do that, Charles reflected.
the Professor thought, we have been in worse spots before and have come through
them. But as he shut out the light in his office and at long last headed
to bed, he had a difficult time conjuring an example of a more difficult
situation. He let that trouble him briefly, then drifted off to an