Eighteen Fragments of Memory

Title: Eighteen Fragments of Memory
Author: Terri
Email: xgrrl26@yahoo.com
Rating: R
Summary: Sequel to Eighteen Words. Rogue remembers a few things, and the x-team goes looking for her.
Series: Eighteen #21
Feedback: Please? Pretty please?
Disclaimer: Not mine. Bummer.
Archive: Ask, and ye shall receive.
Author's Notes: This took a loooong time for me to write, mostly because I was trying to make Jean less evil with each revision. Now, I realize some of you are asking yourselves  why?  but I don't think she'd be totally evil, and I wanted to write her at least somewhat as a good person, trying to help, but unable to see another point of view. I hope it worked out.


[....him skinning the rabbits out back and bringing them into the kitchen......]

"This is it?" I kind of remember how this place looks, a little, and it does look familiar, but I didn't know it was so out in the middle of nowhere.

"Yeah." So odd, to think that I'd have a relationship with someone I can't really remember. I mean, you'd think I'd remember him telling me he loved me or us having sex or something. But there's just.....nothing.

"Looks....cozy." As in just one bed. One very little, not-quite-double bed. Hmm.

"Yeah. Um, look, I'll, ah, take the floor if you want. Don't worry about it."

I'd really rather he did, especially after he explained what all my skin can do. But he looked so sad when he said that just now. I mean, I wonder if I should just.....I-I don't know what to do. "OK."

"The bathroom's over there. We got a tub and a composting toilet. There's no running water, but we can use the wood stove to heat up water or snow for a bath."

"Sounds good." We lived here for a whole winter? God, how did we do laundry or wash dishes?

"We left most of our stuff here. We, um, hadta leave in a hurry last time."

"Really? Chased by evil mutants?" Maybe a little joke will help. He was so nice on the drive up, but there's this sadness hanging over him, and it's worse ever since we got here. It can't be easy for him. I mean one minute I'm me, and the next minute I don't even remember his name. Wait, what is it again? Lance? Luke? No, no, Logan, that's it.

"No, darlin', not that time." Well, that apparently wasn't a funny joke. Now he looks even worse. "You were sick and you needed help right away."

"What happened to me?"

"You, ah, passed out. We still don't really know what's wrong. Remember how I told you we went to the mansion to get you medical help?"

"You said they couldn't help me, that you had to touch me to heal me." He must really love me to risk his life like that. I know he's downplaying, but he said he was knocked out for four days.

"Yeah, but, when you passed out up here, I thought they were your best chance, so we went right away."

This is making me really uncomfortable. He just keeps looking so sad. I don't know what to do. "Would you mind if I, um, took a bath? I feel really grungy."

"Sure, darlin'. I'll start on heatin' up some water for ya. Why don't you just relax."

Relax. Sure. Right.


"Feel better?"

"Yeah." And I do. Hot baths can work wonders. Calgon, take me away....Now, why can I remember that and not my own damn name? Shit.

"Somethin' wrong?"

"No, no, just a little frustrated that I can't really remember anything still."

"It'll come back to you, don't worry."

"But I am worried." I don't know why I told him that. I don't know what he's supposed to do about it.

"It'll be OK." He's doing it again, coming toward me like he wants to hug me or something, then pulling up short. I kind of want him to, but I wonder if he's afraid of my skin or something. I would be. Damn. It kind of sucks to be me.


"Listen, I don't......I don't really know how to act around you, Marie. If I screw somethin' up, just, just overlook it, OK?"

"I'm sorry, I just....I don't know how to act around you either. You look so sad right now, and I know it's because I can't remember anything, but I....."

"It's all right. It's not your fault you can't remember." Oh my God, he looks like he might cry. There's just something so wrong about that look on him.

"But it makes you upset. I don't want you to be upset. You've been really nice to me." That didn't help, he just turned away from me. He must be losing it a little. I wonder what I used to do when he cried before?

"Can't lose you, darlin'." That came out so shaky and so quiet, I almost didn't hear it. I wonder if he meant for me to hear or not. "Shit." That was a little louder, and more frustrated than sad. I wonder if he's mad at himself for getting upset. I wonder - wait....I'm getting something.....

[......him cursing from under the hood of the Cherokee.....]

"Logan - did you - I remember you swearing."

"Yeah?" He must've gotten it together, he's turning back to me. "Lotsa times I did that, darlin'." There's a sad little smile. At least it's a smile.

"No, something specific. You were fixing a car and swearing at it. Something about a wire and why didn't I pick a better car. What did I do, buy a lemon or something?"

Oh great, now he looks downright miserable. "Nah, you bought a real good car. That one we passed, the one parked on the side. I did swear at it, though, you're rememberin' right. It had a wire that kept comin' loose. Do you remember anything else?"

"No....just that. But it's-it's something, right?"


"So, what did we used to do up here? Come on, tell me." He's trying not to flood me with too much at once, I can tell. He was so quiet on the drive up, didn't want to talk much about us, very careful how he put things. But I need to know. I mean, it's my life. I'm curious.

"Well, we mostly just hung out and talked. You know, just spent time together." He seems to have bounced back a little from when we first got here. Or he's doing a better job of hiding that he hasn't.

"What did we do for fun?" Is he blushing? I wonder what - oh, yeah, that. "I mean besides, um, you know."

"Well, I liked to hunt. You said you remembered me cookin' rabbits for ya."

"Yeah. I think you were a good cook, right?"

"Yeah. At least that's what you told me. And you always ate real good, so I guess that's so."

"What else?" He just seems like such an odd match for me. I mean, not that I really know who the hell I am, but he's older, and it doesn't seem like we have that much in common at all.

"You liked drawin'. Hey - most of your stuff is still around here. Wanna see it?"

"Um, maybe. Am I any good at it?" Hmm. I wouldn't have pegged myself with any artistic talent. I mean, I haven't had the urge to draw anything lately. Interesting.

"You're real good. Here - here's some. This one - this was your favorite."

Looks like somebody's forehead. These are all body parts. "Hmm. Did I draw these from a model or something?"

"Yeah, me."

Oh, God, they do look like him. And some of them are - well, I must have seen him naked. There you go, another reminder that we're lovers.


"They're um..." This one was my favorite? I wonder what about it made me like it so much. I mean, it's just his forehead, and there are, ah, other, more interesting parts of him to focus on.

[.......me looking at his face, his forehead....]

"You know, I think I remember....I was looking at you and it was cold, really cold, and I remember thinking I should draw you, this part of you."

"Yeah, that's right. We were in Canada. You said you drew it 'cause my temples were 'neat.'" God, the hopeful look in his eye every time some small piece comes back to me just breaks my heart. This must really be hell on him. "That's good, baby."

You know, now that I look at him....."Your temples are kind of neat."


"You gettin' tired?"

"A little, I guess."

"You just go ahead to bed whenever you want, darlin'. Don't mind me. I'm gonna stay up a while."

"Um, OK. I think I'm going to just lay down now, then." He's smiling at me a little to encourage me. He has been really good to me, and I wonder if I should ask him to lay down with me, just for a little while. I think it'll make him feel better, and I've got myself mostly covered, but...... "Logan? Do you, um.....I mean, I'm guessing that we usually sleep together, right?"

"Yeah. But I understand, I'll take the floor until - "

"No, no I mean....you're not.....what did we do about my skin?"

"We didn't worry about it." He sounds so nonplussed. How can that be? How could it not have been a huge issue in our relationship?

"Didn't it make you nervous? I mean, to touch me, you know, sexually? Or just even to sleep in the same bed with me? I could've killed you any second."

"Never bothered me none. We found ways around it to, um, be together. We were careful. I used to like sleepin' with ya pressed right up to me."

[.....sleeping with his back to me, my arms around him....]

"Your back, right? I used to sleep against your back with my head right between your shoulder blades. I remember us that way." I remember thinking that I wanted him to sleep. He wasn't sleeping, but we were both in bed, and I wanted him to sleep. He must've been awake because of my skin, must've been nervous that he'd touch me accidentally.

"Yeah, sometimes it was like that."

"But you couldn't always get to sleep? Because you were worried about an accident?"

"No, that's not right. What made you think that, darlin'?"

"I remember laying with you that way and you couldn't sleep."

"Honey, I don't know what.....oh, yeah, there was one time like that. I remember now. We were on the road, in some motel. I, uh, couldn't sleep and I was worried, but not about that."

"About what then?" He looks really uncomfortable. I wonder if he just doesn't want to make me feel bad. I mean, we were lovers, so he must've gotten over it or made peace with it or something at one point, but maybe he thinks talking about -

"I hurt you. I didn't mean to, Marie. I'd never, ever do anything to hurt you on purpose. But I...I have these." Oh my God! Those are like, like metal knives coming out of his hands! That's not a normal mutation - how could he have gotten those?! "Don't be scared. I won't - shit, I shouldnta done that. Fuck. Sorry." Where'd they go? Does he just suck them back into his hands? "Marie, honey?"


"Don't be scared, OK? I - ah, I shoulda broken that to ya gently, but you, um, you used to be used to them and you didn't used to be scared of them. You said once that you liked my hands. I'm - shit. I'm sorry."

"I'm not...I'm not scared. I just....you surprised me." I probably should be scared - I mean, he hurt me with those?

"Sorry." There's the ultra-sad look again. God, that just cuts right into me.

"No, no, it's, um, OK. I'm glad you told me. I'm glad you did. But, ah, go on, finish what you were saying."

"I accidentally let these out the night before, the night before you're rememberin'. That time, you were OK. I think you woke up before they came out and you scrambled clear. But there was one time before, when you tried to wake me up from a nightmare, I hurt you with them. It's OK, though, I mean - NOT that it's OK that I hurt you, just - I, I healed you and you were OK. Do you - do you remember any of that?"

"No." And God knows being stabbed with those is something that would sure as hell be memorable. I wasn't afraid of him after that? I didn't leave him after that? God, either I'm very forgiving or just a little suicidal.

"Marie? You OK? Because I -"

"I'm OK, I just, I can't remember any of that. I just remember laying down with you and wanting you to sleep. It's weird. It seems like you stabbing me with those, it seems like I should remember that." Why would he even tell me that? I mean, if I were in his shoes and wanted to hang on to the relationship after my brain got zapped or whatever, I think I would edit those little not-so-good-actually-pretty-life-threatening moments.

"I guess." He can tell I'm bothered by it. Maybe I should just lay it out.

"Logan, you didn't have to tell me that. You could've made something up."

"Nah. It's the way it happened. I mean, it's our life. Our history. You deserve to know the real story."

Whoa. That's just......amazing. "It's a little scary."

"Yeah. Sorry, darlin'. You just, just get in bed, OK? Don't worry about it. I'll be on the floor, way over there. You'll be safe, I promise."

"I mean not - not scary because of you. Scary that you'd tell me that. You must...you must really care about me to risk something like that."

"Don't worry about that either. I won't push you to - "

"No, just listen, OK?" I wonder if we had these kind of misunderstandings before I got my gray matter rearranged. "With my skin, and being a mutant, and everything that, you know, just happened - that you could care about me that much still just floors me. I didn't even think that kind of thing existed let alone that I'd have it in my life."

"You'll always have it, baby." That's the first time I've seen him look not-sad. Just for a second. "Get some sleep."


[.........some huge thing clawing at me, trying to get away, but I can't.....]


"Wake up, baby."


"Marie, wake up, it's a nightmare. Wake up."

"Oh!" Good God, that was one hell of a nightmare. God, I'm still shaking. What was....what was that thing?

"You OK?" Who's - oh, yeah, Logan. OK. I remember. We're at the cabin. I remember him. I still remember, everything's not gone again.

"Just a bad dream....it was really vivid, though. This big thing was clawing at me, and I was tied down or something, I couldn't move. God, I was just terrified." He has that look again, like he's going to touch me but he doesn't. If he's not afraid of my skin.....

"It's all right now. He's not gonna hurt you ever again, baby."

"You mean that was real? That really happened to me?" Oh my God, that's just....I can't believe that.

"Yeah. I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

"What happened?"

"You sure you wanna talk about this now?" I'm not sure, but I think I want to know. If it was real, I need to know what happened. But for some reason, I can't really get any words out at the moment, so I guess I'll just nod. "OK. He, um, kidnapped you while you were going to art class. He wanted to know some information you knew. He, um, those scars you have are from that."

"Why didn't you just heal me?" He actually flinched at that. Have to be a little more considerate, that just popped out. "Sorry. I know you can't risk your life all the time to - "

"I wasn't there. I woulda done it, no question. Absolutely. I just wasn't there when it happened. I got....I got a letter from you tellin' me about it and I called and you said....well, it doesn't matter. I wasn't there."

"Where'd you go?" He seems to stick like glue to me now, wonder why he wasn't around.

"I was looking for something. It was...it was a little dangerous, and you were young, and I couldn't bring you along."

"Logan.....how old am I?"

"Nineteen. Nineteen now."

"How old are you?" That looked like another "ouch" question. Have to be more careful. "I don't mean to be rude. Sorry."

"No, no. I don't know. I don't know how old I am. Could be real old."

"Why don't you know?"

"I woke up in the woods one day, couldn't remember a thing about me or my past. I'd been experimented on by some people, the government, I'm pretty sure."

I can't help it, I just have to laugh. I just have to. It's too absurd.

"Um, darlin'? Are you OK?"

"What are the odds of that? Two people who both lose their memories getting together? What are we, the amnesia twins? Mr. and Mrs. Amnesia?"

His mouth quirked to the side at that, and, God, that just struck me as so sexy. "Guess so. Just sorry as hell you had to join me in this, baby."

He's touching my hair, stroking it so gently. It's nice. He's tender with me. Really tender. "Can you lay down with me for a little while? Maybe like I remembered?"

"You sure that's OK?" His eyes are burning for me, just burning, and God, I must have cared for him. I must have. How careful he's being with me, how good to me, how honest, how much emotion - I must have loved him.

"Yeah. It'd be nice, after the nightmare, you know?"

"Sure, darlin'."


"Marie? Wake up."


"Wake up. There's someone here."

"Are we in trouble?" God, just about every nerve in his body looks like it's on alert. It must be trouble.

"Don't think so. It's....it's some of your friends, that's all." The words are reassuring, but he still looks primed for a fight.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothin'. I just - I didn't expect them."

"Who are they?"

"I can't smell 'em yet. It's their plane, though."

"I have friends who have their own plane?" No offense, but judging by the little bits I remember and by, well, Logan, I didn't think we travelled in the jet set.

"Yeah. They're from the mansion. They're the x-men."

Now I was on alert too. I don't really remember anything about the mansion, except that I didn't want to be there. It was very uncomfortable to be there. "Who are they to me?"

"Friends. They're not gonna hurt you. They all care about you."

"But something's wrong. Why wouldn't I want to stay with them?"

He's not going to answer, he's moving for the door. "What?" I wonder if that's his usual greeting. He's talking to someone outside. Wonder what kind of friends I have, what kind of friends I wouldn't want to be around?

"You got de petite chere in dere, homme? Open de door." What the hell? I have friends from France? Did I go to France at some point? Was I an exchange student or something?

"Get lost. We're fine. You go on back to Chuck." I have to take a peek at who he's talking to.

"Um, hello." Now he's a good looking man. He's a damn good looking man.

"Ah, chere are you all right?" Whoa, whoa, he's moving toward me and I - good, Logan stopped him, put his hand on Mr. Handsome's chest. Just because he's tasty doesn't mean I want him laying a hand on me. I don't really know him. "You looking to lose dat hand, hmmm?"

"Back off, dickhead." You know, I'm getting the vibe that Logan doesn't like this guy. "She don't wanna be touched right now." Wonder how he knew that - maybe it's my body language?

[.....me in a gas station bathroom, terrified because my hands are bare.....]

No, no it's that I don't like to be touched by people I don't know. That's it. And he's my friend, Logan said so, but I don't know him. I don't want to be touched by someone I don't know. This guy looks like he's about to give Logan a fight over it. Maybe I should say something.

"No. I mean, that's right. I-I want you to stay right there."

"What's de matter, cherie?"

"Back off, Remy, that's an order." That girl, the Asian girl, I think....I think I might know her.

[......the girl eating across from me and him in a cafeteria, my hand on his leg......]

"Rogue?" That's the name everyone else calls me. That's what Logan said. "Rogue, are you OK?" I should say something.

"Um, yeah."

"Oh, thank God, thank God. Girl, we thought you were a Sabre-treat for a while there."

"A what?"

"Sorry, in bad taste. Come on in, Kit, Bobby, it's OK, she's here." I don't know these two. Should I know them? There's too many people, too many people at once, and I - oops, walked right into Logan.


"Hey, it's OK. You all right?"

"Yeah, it's just, it's just a lot of people." Three people. Three people I'm sure I don't know and only one I maybe kinda do.

"OK, you two, just stop right there, stay outside."

"Jubes?" Who's Jubes? I'm not Jubes. Why are those two looking at me like that, like I've grown a third eye or something?

"Stay outside a second." Is she - the Asian girl must be in charge.

"You too, gumbo, out." Logan doesn't like him.

"Rogue?" The girl is asking me. I don't know. I just -

"Remy's stayin'." Why does he say "Remy" and not "I"? He looks pretty determined, and I wonder why. Maybe he and I were once -

"You'll do what the hell I tell ya. You're in my house and - "

"Remy, out." Yes, the Asian girl is in charge. That definitely sounded like an order.

"But - "

"That's an order." Told you. God, if looks could kill, she'd be toast. But he's going. Good. "Now, what the double hell is going on here?"


"So you're saying you don't remember anything?"

"Well, not much. I've been getting these little flashes, fragments, really. I don't remember any of the other people with you at all, but I had a flash of you sitting with me and Logan while we were eating. That's all I remember about you."

"Shit." She looks disappointed.

"Were we friends?"

"Closer than friends, chica - sisters, roommates, buddies, sparring partners. Kit too."

"The other girl? She looked a little...."


"I don't know, mad at me."

"She loves you but she's dating Remy, and Remy's got the hots for you."

"Really?" He's way out of my league, way too good looking. And he seems like the playboy type. I wonder if that was my type before Logan.

"Yeah. Listen, we should take you back to the mansion. Jean - she's a friend of yours - well, kinda - she can check you out. Brain-frying is a serious thing."

No, no, not back to the mansion. It was uncomfortable there. "I don't want to go. Logan said they couldn't help me, before. He said he had to heal me. I didn't like it there."

"Rogue, babe, you did like it there. It was your home."

"No, no, I don't want to go back there."

"OK, OK, what about bringing Jean here? She almost came this time. Scott - that's her husband - convinced her she wasn't well enough. Could Jean come here?"

"I-I don't know. I don't know her. Can I - I think I should ask Logan."

"Look, girl, I'm not saying he doesn't love you to pieces, but, if you don't really remember anything, how come you trust him so much?"

[......me waking up in his arms, he's dying, he's dying to save me, and we're up so high....]

"I remember flashes of him. And he's saving my life in some of them."

"I think you should let her check you out. Can't hurt." He seems sure. He seems OK with it.

"OK, then. She can come."

"Good." Jubilee looks relieved. How could I not remember a name like Jubilee?

"But kid - just Jeannie, all right? She don't need the whole mansion crawlin' around her right now."

"Someone'll have to fly the plane, Logan. Probably Scott." She seems OK with the plan too. If they're both OK, and they both care about me, why am I so nervous?

"Fine. But that's it."

"Deal." She's looking at me now, like she expects something. "Um, bye then, Rogue." She wants to hug me, that's it. It might be...maybe I could try. I know her. I know I know her a little. I'll be careful and quick.

"Bye, Jubilee." She looks pleased that I hugged her.

"You call me Jubes."

"OK, Jubes." I think she's right, we were friends. She seems like the kind of person I'd like. The kind of person who waves goodbye after she says it. Those are good people.

"You all right, baby?"

"Yeah." But I feel a lot better now that they're all leaving. "I know them all, don't I?"

"You did. But you don't hafta do anythin' you don't want to because of it. If you don't want Kitty or Remy or that little ice cube in here, they ain't comin' in. This is our house. We're on our turf."

That rings a bell - something about the mansion.....

[......carrying coffee and a bottle to him, worried that he's upset.....]


"Is that why I don't want to go back? Because I'd rather be on our own turf?"

"I dunno. I know we had to do lots of medical tests and that you hated them. I know we had to have some, um, difficult talks with people, but I think they went OK for you."

"They went OK for me, but not for you? I-I just remember thinking you were upset."

"I guess I was." He looks a little surprised at that. Am I not good at guessing his feelings?

"About the tests or the talks?"



[....his gloved hands on me, on my bare breasts, and he's not afraid, he's not afraid, he's not afraid.....]



"I said, do you want dinner? I could cook somethin'." Oh, God, I totally missed that.

"Sorry. Lost in thought there for a minute."

"You remember somethin'?"

"Yeah." OK, I'm sure I'm blushing now. "I, ah, remember a little of us together."

"Doin' what, darlin'?"

[.......his hand between my legs, me on my back on top of him, and it's all feeling, all sensation.......]

"Um, you know, together. Doing, um, stuff. I remember it feeling nice."

Now, that's a look I haven't seen before. Is that his happy look? "It was nice. Better than nice. I'm glad you remember a little."

[.....me touching him, wanting him to like it, wanting so much to please him....]

"Were we happy?"

"Hmm." He's thinking about it. That might not be such a good sign. "I was. I was. And I think you were. You smiled a lot. And you laughed a lot. You cried some - but, you know, good tears, mostly."

"Did I make you laugh?"

"Oh, yeah. You got a special charge outta gettin' me to crack a smile or laugh in public."

[.......me pushing a shopping cart and he's smiling so big, looks so beautiful when I make him do that....]

"I made you smile once while we were shopping, didn't I? I made you smile really big."

"You remember that, do ya?" He looks amused now. It looks good on him. I can see why I wanted to make him look that way.

"What did I do? Why did you smile like that?"

"You said you loved me."

"I did, didn't I?"

"You remember saying that to me?"

"No, I remember feeling like I loved you."

I thought that might make him smile now. But he's not smiling, he just looks so serious. "Baby, I don't think I ever said the words to you. I don't think I ever told you straight out. But I do love you, Marie. I do. I want to make sure you know that."

He means it, I can tell. "I won't forget."


"They're here."

"OK." I'm really, really nervous. Just remember that they're your friends and they're here to help you. They're not going to hurt you. And Logan's here. There's the knock.

"Hey. Come in."

Two people, the woman is Jean. Logan said she's a doctor, and she's my friend. The other one is Scott, her husband. They are both mutants, like Logan and me. Jean moves things with her mind, and can read people's minds, and Scott's eyes can blast a hole in things. They're my friends and they're here to help me.

[.........me and him in the hallway, he said it didn't go well.....]


"Hello, Rogue." I still don't remember them. Not at all. I feel like I should know Jean's voice, but I don't. "How are you feeling?"

"Just fine, thank you."

Scott looks upset. Is he worried about me? Logan said that he was like my big brother, and Jean was like my big sister. He said I cared about them both.

"Jubilee told us that you don't really remember much about your life, is that right, Rogue?" She's being very careful, putting on two pairs of gloves. Oh, right, my skin. She's afraid.

"Yes, that's right. I remember a few things, flashes, but not much."

"What has Logan told you?" I don't know Scott's voice either. He's not sounding very friendly. He definitely sounds upset.

"Some things." I don't feel like going through it all piece by piece. "A little about what happened and who I am."

"Did he tell you that we're your friends, Rogue?" That sounded downright hostile, and Logan is starting to pace. Is he mad at Scott for something? Did they have a fight?

"Yes, but...."

"But?" Jean's gloved and ready to touch me. She looks like she'd rather be doing anything else. I can....I can smell?.....I can smell how afraid she is. Wonder why I can do that. Logan didn't mention that about me.

"But I still feel a little nervous around you. I don't remember you at all and I don't know you." When I say that out loud, all of a sudden, I don't mind Jean being extra-careful.

"You know us, Rogue, you just don't remember, that's all." She's smiling and trying to be comforting, it's in her voice, I can tell, but it's not comforting me, it's just making me mad.

"You don't understand." Try to keep your voice even, Rogue. Don't lose it. Not over something so little. They'll think you're psycho or something. "I don't remember you, so it feels just like I don't know you at all."

"Don't worry." She's touching my face, very carefully, tilting it and shining a light in my eyes. "You'll remember us soon."

"You don't know that." I didn't mean to snap at her, I really didn't. Wonder if she and I had a fight or something. There's - it's like this growling in the back of my head....

"Rogue, try to stay calm, all right?"

Logan's pacing and trading looks with Scott. They are mad at one another. They're not friends.

"Stop, stop." All of a sudden, I can't stand her so close. So much for not losing it over little things. The growling is louder and I -

"What is it?" Scott and Logan are both looking at me now, not at each other. "Rogue, let Jean help you." Scott looks worried.

"Stop it, just stop it." I can't help backing away and I wonder if she'll try to hold me in place with her mind.

"It's all right, darlin'. We don't hafta go ahead with this now. Just relax." He's moving toward me. Good.

"Logan, let me help her. We need to - "

"Stop it! I don't want you near me!" I can't control it, I'm starting to panic. At least Logan's close. Close and touching me, touching my arms. With bare hands over my sleeves.

"Rogue, just calm down and tell Jean and me what - "

"No! You're not my friends. I don't know you."

"We are, we are your friends, Rogue, and I need to examine you to - "

"No! I said no!" I can feel more panic rising and I just have to get away from them, I have to get away -

"OK, that's enough. Get your stuff together and get goin'. We're done here." Logan squeezing my arms, trying to tell me it's OK. Barely registers, I'm so -

"But we need to take a look at her, Logan. Something is obviously wrong. We need to get her back to the mansion to - "

"No! I'm not going back there! Don't try to make me!" Logan. Logan won't let them. He's putting me behind him. Does he - does he think they might try to make me? Oh God -

"Rogue, please listen, I need to do tests - "

"I said no! Stop it! I won't let you!" All of a sudden, my hands hurt, they itch and I -

"Rogue - "

"Get out, Jeannie, now." He means it. He means it.

"Logan, you can't seriously think that you can just keep her here and tell her whatever you want her to know about herself, make her into your own - " Scott's getting more and more angry and -

"Ah!" Oh my God! That hurt like hell and I've got - I've got claws! Like Logan's but not metal. They're - they're bone. They hurt, they hurt.....

[......does it hurt when they come out? Every time......]

"It's OK, baby. It's all right. Just try to relax." He's got me by the wrists. His skin so close to my bare hands. "Relax your hands and let them go back in." I can...I can do that. OK. His eyes are looking into mine, steady. I can do it. "That's right. Good."

"How did I do that?"

"The time I told you about, when you were real sick and I touched you. You got them from me. Remember me tellin' you about it? I'm real sorry, darlin'."

"It's OK. I just...I didn't know I still had them. I guess I wasn't....I wasn't real clear on that."

"Look, it healed right up. You're OK."

"Oh, it did. It did." My skin looks just like nothing ever happened. Logan's relaxing a little now too. He's easing up on my wrists, but still holding them. He's looking at me so relieved. He's relieved I'm not hurt. He's relieved that I healed.

"Go on, go." He's talking to them but not looking at them. He's still looking at me. Looking right into me. "She ain't your responsibility no more. I'll take care of her from here on out. Just go."

"We can't do that." Oh God, Scott's face is turning red. "I'm not leaving her here." He is going to fight about it. He is.

"I'm not going with you." That came out low, and dangerous. I didn't even know I had that voice. "I want you to leave."

[.....me dragging him into a motel room in the desert, so scared, but I have to protect the both of us....]

"Rogue, you don't know what you're doing." Jean. I don't think Logan is right. I don't think she was my friend. "You - "

"You take one more step towards us, and I'll touch you." That froze her. That really froze her. Is she - I feel something, like a poke into my head and - oh God, that hurts! "Aaah!"

"What the hell?" Logan. Logan's lowering me to the floor and why does my head feel like it's exploding? God, it hurts, it - it stopped. It stopped. Oh, thank God. I can breathe again. Oh thank God. "What the hell was that? Jeannie?"

She's sitting on the floor too. Did she - was she trying to read my mind? Logan said she wouldn't do that unless I said it was OK, and I didn't. I didn't.

"Jean, are you all right? What happened?"

"Oh Scott, it's like chaos, and it's so strong, I couldn't even...."

She did, she did even though I didn't say it was OK! She did, and it hurt. Have to tell Logan. He'll protect me. He won't let her do it again. "Logan, she, she..."

"You get the hell outta this house right fuckin' now!" I think Logan figured out what happened.

"I was trying to help you, Rogue, I was - "

"Get out!" I want her to stop talking. Why won't she stop talking? What's that? I feel something wet. I'm - am I bleeding? Oh God, she made my brain bleed. "Get out!"

"Don't - don't move, baby. Just stay still."

"Make them get out! Please, Logan!" She's not bleeding from the head. That's not fair. Logan's getting up - Logan's moving toward them and they both look afraid. Afraid of him.

"You goin' or am I puttin' ya out?" Oh God, his claws came out. He means it. He won't let them take me. He'll fight for me if he has to.

"The Professor's going to hear about this, Logan." Scott's going to back down, I can tell. He'll go. He won't fight, not anymore. He's scared for her, for Jean, now. So much growling in my head.....

"Fine by me. You be sure to tell him the part where Jeannie went into her head without askin'. I think Chuck'd especially like to hear that part."

"He'll still make you bring her back."

"No way in hell."


[........his hands on my back, me crying from a nightmare.......]

"You feelin' any better?" I like the way his hands feel on me. I like how he's not afraid.

"Yeah. My head doesn't hurt anymore." I still feel exhausted, though.

"OK. Listen, baby, I think you should let me touch you. I want to be sure you're all healed up in there."


"It's going to be intense. And it'll feel like I'm pouring into you. You might feel me in your head for a while." I like how he explains it because he knows I don't know. I like how he looks out for me.

"Is that what the growling is?"


"When Scott and Jean were here, there was all this growling in my head."

"Probably me, darlin'." I like how his eyebrow goes up just on one side. "I don't think it'll hurt you, but I'm not really sure. You didn't tell me about that part. You just let go if it starts to feel bad, OK?"

"OK." I like how he trusts me to be the one to let go.


"Yeah. Wait - Logan? Where are you going to touch me?"

"I, uh, usually just touch your hand. You've touched my face and I've touched yours before too. Is one spot better than another?"

The answer to that question is yes. "My lips. Is that OK?"

"Yes, darlin'. Sure is." I like how he's looking at me right now.

[.........him covering my mouth with a scarf, we're pulled over to the side of the road and he kisses me so gently....]

"OK. I'm ready." I can feel his fingers just for a second before it starts happening. I don't really remember it, but I recognize it, if that makes any sense. I can feel him pouring in and it's welcome. Just a little more. OK, OK, it's time.

"You.....you OK baby?"

"Yeah." I like how he knew to do it on the bed so I wouldn't have to try to catch him when he fell. "You all right?"

"Yeah. Be fine in just a second. Did you get enough?"

"I really can't tell. I think so."

"We can do it again if we need to." I like how he says that, like there's no problem with that. I like how he lets me rely on him.

"I think I'm OK. I feel OK."

"Well, you look good. Real good." He's smiling again. And I definitely like that.