Eighteen Things Known to be True

Title: Eighteen Things Known to Be True
Author: Terri
Email: xgrrl26@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Sequel to Eighteen Statements of Intent. Hank, Logan, and Rogue ponder the nature of truth.
Series: Eighteen #29
Feedback: Please? Pretty please?
Disclaimer: Sadly, tragically, nobody belongs to me.
Archive: Ask, and I will gladly provide
Author's Notes: I've always liked Beast. He's so cool. Just thought I'd say that.


"You aren't afraid of my skin."

"Not particularly, no. I find your mutation quite intriguing, actually."

"You're not afraid I'll kill you or something?"

"Not especially. Being an X-man, I am used to living a life of danger."

"You have a pretty good bedside manner, Doctor McCoy."

"Please, Rogue, call me Hank."


"But I must request that you refrain from following Jubilee's habit of addressing me as 'Hankster.' I find it quite disconcerting to be so hailed. After all, I have several advanced degrees."

"Thanks for being so nice to me. And for helping Logan."

"But of course. He seems to be doing much better."

"Good. When will he be able to leave?"

"Hard to prognosticate with precision on that particular question. Perhaps two or three more days. Perhaps as long as a week."


"And how about you? How are you feeling this morning?"

"Better than yesterday. A lot better since you isolated the drug they used on Logan. Loads better since you found an antidote and said it seems to be working."

"Yes, well, it was actually a quite simple matter. Ingenious little virus they used. But once you map the DNA sequence, actually quite simple to - ah, Rogue? Are you, are you crying, my dear?"

"Yeah, a little. It's just the stress, you know. I'll stop in a minute."

"Do you - do you wish to talk about it?"

"N-no. Not really."

"It may help. You may feel better. Logan is - Logan is asleep now. If you would like to talk......"

"I just - I just don't. Not yet. Sorry."

"Well, you need not apologize to me, my dear."

"Would you talk? Would you mind talking to me a little? Just about anything."

"Not at all. In fact, some would say that I excel at it. I was just thinking this morning about a philosophical proposition that I first encountered in my college days. That there is no absolute truth, that all things are relative. Now, of course, being a scientist by trade, I tend to disagree. After all, there are scientific truths, are there not? The value of Pi, the law of gravity, certain mathematical constants, for example. But then, the more thought I gave to the subject, the less certain of my position I became. Many scientifically accepted 'truths' of the past have been proved wrong - the sun does not revolve around the earth, one can move faster than the speed of sound, and there are pieces of matter smaller than atoms."

"What made you start thinking about all that?"

"Well, to be honest, it was you and Jean. I have known Jean nearly all of my life, as both a friend and a doctor. Had you asked me, I would have said that there was absolutely no chance that Jean would enter the mind of another without express permission, unless some grave emergency necessitated it. I would have said that that was absolutely true. However, it turned out not to be so. At least in your case."

"So you blame me for what she did? Or for being mad about it?"

"Oh, my dear! Hardly! Were I in your shoes, as the saying goes, I would feel the same way. But it made me wonder about all of the things I regard as true."

"But that's not the same as a scientific truth. I mean, you can't prove what you think is true about Jean."

"Actually, one cannot 'prove' many assertions commonly accepted as scientific truth either - we are simply operating on the most likely theory or explanation. This holds equally as true for personal relationships."

"So there is no truth?"

"Well, it may seem so. However, I do have a theory. One which I must implore you not to share beyond us, lest I throw my reputation as a man of logic and reason to the wind."

"OK. Lay it on me."

"Perhaps truth has less to do with proof, than it does with feeling. We often 'feel' that something is true, and act on it without proof. Perhaps it is some primal recognition of truth, some elemental part of us that finds that which is honest, complete, and whole in life, in nature, and in others. Perhaps we know what is true without all the proof."

"Hmmm...what do you know is true, Hank?"

"I know that I was meant to be a scientist, to serve people in this fashion. I know that's true. What about you? What do you know to be true?"



"Well, hello, my most rapidly improving patient. How are you feeling today?"


"Good to hear it. Well, now that you are awake, I hope you do not mind if I leave you two for a spell. I think I shall attend to a few other matters that have gone sorely neglected in the past 24 hours and give you a chance to catch up."

"Hank - thanks. Thanks a lot. For everything."

"Anytime, my fair lady! I bid you adieu."


"How are you feeling, sugar?"

"Good. Let's. Go."

"Hank said another few days."


"I'm OK. I really am. Jubilee's - she's right outside the door in case there's trouble. I'll be fine for a few more days. Really."

"Lyin'. Darlin'."

"Am not. Besides, you can hardly talk, let alone move yet. You need a couple more days."

"No. Fine."

"Now who's lying?"

"You OK?"

"I will be."


"Not now, OK? I'm just - I'm not ready."

"Kill him. Gonna."

"Don't think about that now, all right? I just - just get well."

"Talk. Please."

"Logan, I....."

"Need to. You. Need."

"Not now, I just can't do it now....."

"Now. Darlin'."

"I-I....oh, God...."

"Tell me."

"I can't, please, Logan, not now, I c-can't."

"Somethin'. Say. Somethin'."

"OK. OK. I, um, I was just talking to Hank. About what's true. He - he was thinking about this theory that says nothing's true, that everything is relative. Well, I don't think that's right, and neither does he. He said - he said maybe truth isn't proving, not like in math or science or stuff. Maybe it's feeling. Maybe we feel what's true. And I think that's right. I think that's right."


"I mean, I think that you just know some things, right? Like, like I knew to trust you when I woke up in the van. I knew you were safe. I knew that was true. I-I didn't have any proof, but I felt it."

"Is true."

"Yeah. And some of the things you told me about myself - that I'm an artist. I can feel that. That's true."

"Real. Good. One."

"Thanks, sugar."


"I guess there's some things I wish I didn't know were true. Like Mystique being my mother. I don't want that to be true, but I know it is."

"Not. Bad. You."

"I know, I know, but I just wish....I mean, why does she have to be my mom? She keeps, she keeps kidnapping me and trying to kill me, and she turned me over to Sabretooth and she knew - I know she knew what he'd do to me. I know she did. I know that's true."

"Get her. Dead."

"I should've let you kill her before. If I'd have only listened to you then, we wouldn't be - "

"Stop. Stop."

"I'm sorry, Logan. I'm so sorry. If I knew this would happen to you because of me, because of that, I - "

"No. Not true. Stop."

"I'm just so, so sorry."

" 'S OK."

"It's my fault, what happened, it is."

"No. Not true."

"But I - "

"NO. Not true."

"I, I was so scared, Logan. I - I didn't know what to do. Maybe I....maybe I could've stopped him somehow, saved us."

"You. Did."

"But sooner, before he...before he did all that stuff to me."

"Not. Bad. You."

"I just....I hated it so much, I hate him so much. He - I don't know how you can even look at me right now. Everything he did, everything - it's probably just playing through your head, and you must feel so much anger and hatred and pain for what happened every time you look at me. You have to."

"No. Just. Good. You."

"But I - h-he did things to me that were so v-vile and so degrading and - "

"No. You. Good. That's. True. I. Know."

"You don't have to feel that way. You don't. And you don't have to stay with me, Logan. I know how hard....you don't have to stay."

"Want to."

"Why? All I've ever brought you is - "


"I was going to say heartache. Or possibly pain and suffering."

"No. Good. Lots."

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to start crying so much."



"Talk. More."

"I, um, I'm really, really glad you're getting better. I don't think - I couldn't have handled it if you weren't."


"Good. I'm glad. And I - I know something else. Something else that's true. You made me fight. You made me fight him. You gave me the strength to do it. I know that's true."

"You. Did. It."

"Because you told me I could. I just kept thinking how you told me I was smart and brave and how you said we'd beat him before. I hung on to that, and it helped me get through."

"Good. More."

"I'm still a little scared, you know, being here. I think I can get through, though, 'cause it won't be long, we won't have to stay long, and Jubilee's here. She's been really great. I think - I know we must've been friends, before. She just - the way she's been, so supportive, I know we were close before. I know that's true."

"She's. Good."

"Yeah, I think so. I think you're right. And I think the Professor is OK, too. Even though he pissed me off a little."


"He said I should confront Jean, that I wasn't in any danger from her any more, and that venting a little would help me feel safer."

"Bad. Idea."

"Yeah, that's what I said."

"Not. Sure. Her."

"Me either. I don't trust her either. But I think the Professor's OK. I do."


"I hope you understand - I had to bring you here, Logan. I couldn't take the chance. I couldn't take the chance that you'd get worse without help."

"Fine. Always."

"I know, but I was scared. I didn't want to risk it. I'd do whatever it takes to protect you, Logan. That's - that's another thing I know is true. I would."

"You. More. Imp. Ort. Ant."

"No, sugar. No."


"You know what else is true? You're a stubborn, stubborn man. I'm absolutely sure that's true."

"You. Too."

"Yeah, yeah."

"Talk. More."

"I think....I think I'm all talked out for a while. Would you - no, no, never mind."


"No, no. You can barely talk."

"Talk. Fine."


"Talk. Good."

"It can wait."


"I just - I just wanted to know how you're feeling about all this, about everything that's happened, everything that's going on."


"I know. I'm mad too."

"Kill. Them."

"I want to too. I should've killed Sabretooth no matter what Scott said. I don't think - I don't think it would've been murder. I mean, how much does he have to do before I can stop him? How many times do I have to go through this? It's not fair that I should have to worry about being fair to him, about making the right decision with him after everything he did to me. It's too much to ask."

"Damn. Right."

"Sorry. I was supposed to be letting you talk. I got off on a rant there."

"OK. More?"

"No, you go ahead."


"You're glad?"

"Glad. You. OK."


"Sorry too."

"For what?"

"Not. Keep. You. Safe."

"It wasn't your fault. It really, really wasn't your fault."


"But - "

"Promised you."

"I know, and I know you meant it. I know that. If there's anything I know that's true, it's that."

"Better. Next. Time."

"I know. I'll do better next time too."

"I. Know. One."


"Always. Take. Care. You."



"I know that, sugar. Of course I know that's true. It's just...I don't want you to feel like you have to take care of me all the time. I can take care of myself."

"True. Very. I know."

"Well, good. Remember that, then. Remember that I'll be there to take care of you too, OK? You can count on that for sure. That's true."


"What else? More in there?"

"Yeah. Gonna. Be. OK."

"Me or you?"

"Both. Us."

"You're right, we are. We are going to be OK. That's definitely true. In fact, I'm counting on that."

"Need. Time. Us."

"I don't understand."

"Leave. Here. Then. Time. Us."

"Yeah, yeah, I think you're right. We do. We need some time for us. Just - some quiet, uneventful, non-life-threatening-crisis time. It'll be a nice change of pace."

"Always. Humor. That's. True."

"I guess so. Have I always been that way? Able to make a joke? Sarcastic in a crisis?"

"Yeah. And. Brave. That's. True."

"Thanks. Thanks for reminding me of that. It does - I do feel better. It makes me feel better to know that you think that."


"Any more in there? Anything else about what happened?"


"Lay it on me. I've got all day."

"Need. Tell. You. Somethin'."


"Love. You."

"I know. I really, really know. I never doubted that for a second since I've met you. Of everything I know, of everything I remember, I'm most sure of that. I'm absolutely positive that's true."

"Don't. Forget."

"Oh, funny man. I won't forget. You just get well. Maybe then you'll make better jokes."

"Not. Likely."

"Get well anyway. Go ahead, get some sleep. I can tell you're worn out. But thanks. Thanks for making me talk. I needed to. You were right."

"Feel. Better?"

"One hundred percent, sugar. One hundred percent."