Eighteen Flashbacks

Title: Eighteen Flashbacks
Author: Terri
Rating: NC-17, mostly for violence
Archive: Ask ye shall receive
Dislcaimer: Not mine. Still. Bummer.
Feedback: Please? Pretty please?
Summary: Sequel to Eighteen Days of Relative Peace and Quiet. Logan and Rogue have a little talk in the medlab while Jubilee recovers. Rogue flashes back to what happened.
Series:  Eighteen #34
Comments: This is the last big one in the series - whoo-hoo! It took a long time to write, and kept coming out really, really dark and really, really bad. Thanks to my brbf, who made sure it didn't stay that way.


"Hank? She's going to be OK, isn't she?"

"Yes, I think so Rogue. It-it will be touch and go for the next hour or so, while we wait for the fluids and antibiotics to take effect, but I believe it will work."

"Don't worry, darlin'. She'll be OK."

"I hope you're right, Logan, I hope you're right."

<< Coming into the Professor's office, following behind Logan. The Professor looks so tired, so serious.

"We tracked her to an abandoned warehouse. She had hidden Jubilee. The team was unsuccessful in locating her."

His voice-so distant, so clinical.

"We have reason to believe that Mystique-that she may be experiencing some kind of mental disturbance."

"What the hell are ya talkin' about? She's always been fuckin' mentally unbalanced."

"Logan, I mean a clinical condition. She may have been-Jean sent some thoughts to me that indicated that Sabretooth may have led the government faction holding him captive to Mystique. She-she was injured and Jean noted severely erratic behavior. Talking to herself, tics, violent outbursts seemingly unprompted by any external actions."

"So you're saying that not only is my mother homicidal, now she's crazy, too."

"To put it succinctly, Rogue, yes."

"Great, just great." >>

"Are you sure you're all right, darlin'?"

"Yeah. I mean, the broken fingers are all healed already. The cuts and scrapes too."

"Scared the hell outta me. I wish you woulda stayed here."

"I know. Me too."

<< "I know you wanna kill that bitch. I do too. But it's just too fuckin' dangerous, especially with her goin' nuts. You should stay here." I can tell he's trying not to be too angry, not to yell too loud. But he's pulling his uniform on roughly enough to make little tears in the leather.

"It is dangerous, but we'll have a better shot at taking her out and bringing Jubilee back safely if we go together. Logan, I'll be careful."

The way he looks at me, so full of love and fear. Not for himself, though. Fear of losing me. I know I can't hurt him like that, I know I can't take any chances even if it means a chance to kill her. If he loses me now.....

"Stay close to me. Fuckin' stay in my sight. Understand?">>

"You don't have to stay down here. I'm OK. You could probably use some rest. You took a beating."

"I'm just fine. Everything healed up fine."

"Are you sure you don't want some rest, though? Because-"

"I'm fine. I'm not lettin' ya outta my sight, darlin'."

<< The warehouse is remote, at the end of an underdeveloped industrial park. It's dark and I can't see as well as Logan, so I'm depending on him to lead.

He stops suddenly, just inside the warehouse grounds. "What?"

"I smell her."


"No, the kid."


"In there." He nods to the small guard house in front of the warehouse.

"Doesn't make sense. Why would Mystique leave her there, unguarded? It's a trick of some kind, I know it."

"Yeah. But what kinda trick is it?" He's all business now, focused on the mission.

"Do you smell Mystique?"

"No, but that don't necessarily mean nothin'. She'd know I could find her that way, she could take precautions to mask it. Maybe I should just go over-see if the kid's really in there and OK." He's primed for action, ready for a fight. I can even smell it coming off of him.

"No. No. Let me think a minute. She's-she's sneaky, she's got something planned. Let me think a minute. No, Logan, wait!">>

"I'm sorry about what happened, Logan. I am. But I had to do it."

"But you promised me, Marie. You promised not to take any chances."

"I know, sugar, I know. And I'm so sorry I broke that promise. But you were down, she had you. Jubilee needed help right away. I felt like I had to take a chance, and I felt like I had a good shot at taking her out."

<<Logan creeping up to the guardhouse while I watch from my hiding place. Dammit, I know she'll try to ambush him. Or maybe she's already set a trap of some sort inside. I have to be faster though, faster than whatever's going to happen. I have a shot at it. I know something she doesn't think I know. I know where she is, where she's hiding. I caught a flash of her eyes when Logan started for the guard house. I've got her.>>

"You did exactly what I told ya not to. You risked your life for mine, and that's-"

"For yours and Jubilee's. Logan, I had to try. I had to try to help you."

<<Logan in the guardhouse, leaning down toward what must be Jubes on the floor. God, let her be all right. Don't let her have gotten hurt or killed. Not because of me. Please, God, let us be in time to save her.

Blinding flash of electrical light from the guardhouse. Shit! That was the trap. And even though I know where she is, I can't move faster than electricity. She must have set that off by remote. Damn. Damn, damn, damn.>>

"When things went south, when she electrocuted me, you shoulda high-tailed it outta there, goddammit."

"I couldn't do that. Logan, don't ask me to-don't ask me to do what you wouldn't have done yourself. Don't you think-don't you *know* that it would hurt me just as bad to lose you as it would hurt you to lose me? I couldn't do that. Besides, I wanted to confront her. It was time to pay her back. And the way it turned out - just me and her - maybe it was better that way."

<< Waiting for her to come out of the shadows. I can smell burning flesh. If it's Logan, he'll heal eventually. But if it was Jubes too.....No, don't think that. If it was Jubes too, then there's nothing you can do for her now anyway. Just focus, Rogue. Focus on the mission.

"Aren't you going to come out and give mother a kiss?"

Blue bitch from hell, coming out of the warehouse, showing herself. She must be completely unconcerned about fighting me to show herself like that. She still doesn't know where I am. Well, good. I can use that. I can use that against her. Hmmm.

"I said come give mother a kiss!"

Shit. She is going nuts. That wasn't like her. She's not cool and collected anymore, she's out of control. And she's- she's tipsy and staggering, twitching her head back and forth. The Professor was right, something is wrong with her. Good. Good. Maybe I can use that too.>>

"She's fucked up, Marie. I know she said some shit to you when I was still out from bein' electrocuted. I can tell. What'd she say?"

"I can't talk about it right now, Logan, OK? I just can't talk about it until I know Jubes will be all right."

"But you'll talk to me about it after that, once she's outta the woods?"

"I-I don't know."

<< Patience, Rogue, patience.

"You're a bad, bad girl, Marie."

She doesn't know where you are, but she's trying to find you. Just stay put. She'll come to you, and then you'll have the drop on her. Patience.

"Very naughty. That's why I gave you up, you know? Because I could tell as soon as I expelled you from my body what an awful, nasty girl you were. I was never so relieved to have my body purged of garbage as I was when I gave birth to you. Much more satisfying than taking a shit or vomiting."

Don't listen to the words, she's trying to force your hand. She's-she isn't herself. She didn't used to use vulgarity. Think, Rogue, think. The twitches, the personality change. They must've done something to her brain. How can you use that now?

"You were a mistake, do you know that? I didn't want to have you. I tried to abort you but back then..well, let's just say it didn't take. If you've got a very, very early memory of being poked at by a coat hanger, now you know where it came from, dear."

Bitch. That fucking bitch. Trying to kill me before I was even born.

"I hope you're not thinking of having children with that unspeakable cretin that I just cooked for you. I wouldn't want to perpetuate the rancid gene pool of either one of you."

Her voice is getting closer. She's still staggering, twitching. She's looking for me blindly, and she just needs to come a little closer.

"Marie! Mother says to come out now!"

Just a little closer.I'll show you just how bad I am, mommy dearest.>>

"Whatever she said, don't fuckin' believe it. Until we talk about it, don't think about it anymore and don't buy into it. She's a piece of shit, Marie. And a fuckin' liar."

"I just don't know how."

"How what?"

"How I could have come from her. How she could have been my mother."

<<Kick to the ribs. That should hurt. Wonder why she's fighting as herself, not Sabretooth or even Logan. She changed when the team came. I wonder if she's too hurt, or losing too much of her sanity to do it now. Doesn't matter. Easier to fight her this way and that's fine by me.

"Ooof! Stop it! I said stop it little girl!"

"Fuck off, bitch!" Punch to the face. Damn, I probably broke a finger or two there, but that felt good.

"Mmph! You little cunt!" She's-she's trying to change now. Fine. Come on, bring it on. I'm ready. I can take you.

Wait. She's-she's changing into me. Shit, I hadn't thought about that. That's so disturbing that she can do that.

"Ha, ha. Like what you see? Look at me, I'm Rogue, I'm the big bad X-man. I play fair and I always eat all my vegetables and I hate my mother and I change the oil every three thousand miles and I make my bed first thing in the morning. And I HATE MY FUCKING MOTHER!!!"

"I'm not an X-man." Time to end this.>>

"Darlin', I don't know how it is that you came from her. All I can think is-maybe everythin' that was good in her, however little of it there was, maybe all of that went right into you. Maybe-maybe your dad was a good guy who just got mixed up with her or-Marie? What? What's wrong?"

<< My hands on her blue throat, crushing her windpipe and forcing the life out of her.


"Too late. It's over." Squeeze harder. Come on, Rogue, put your shoulder strength into it. End it.

"Y-you....don't kn-knowwwd-daddy...."

Fuck. "What are you talking about?" I've still got her, just going to loosen the grip enough to let her get a word out. Then I'm going to finish strangling her. I don't have time for this shit. Jubilee needs help. It's time to end this.

"Don't you want to know who your daddy is?"

Fuck, oh fuck. I shouldn't ask. I shouldn't ask. I shouldn't ask.

"Tell me.">>

"It's nothing, Logan."

"You're cryin' and you went about as white as a sheet. What is it?"

<< Ugliest smile I've ever seen in my life on her face. "It's Vic."

Oh, God, no. No, it can't be. It can't be.

"He doesn't remember. The government took that memory and I never told him. He'd raped me just before they caught him."


Laughing, she's laughing. "Be careful what you ask for, daughter dearest."

Ooomph. Shit, she rolled me off of her. Lost concentration for a second there. Fuck! I'm going to kill her. I'm going to kill her now.>>

"I-I can't tell you. I can't."

"Marie.....look at me. There's nothin' you can't tell me, darlin', nothin'."

"Not this, I-I can't."

<< Kick to the knee-that will get her off balance again.

"Ooff!" Good, dropped her. Now, I've got her. Now, I can finish her. Bitch.

"Goodbye, Mystique." Quick bang of her skull to the concrete. If they've done surgery on her brain, maybe there's a weak point in her skull. If so, that should put her down and keep her down.


Blood underneath her head, thick and red. There was a weak point, I was right. Another one, sharp and hard on the same spot on her head.

"Aaah! X-men.don't....."

"Uhhh...." Was that-that was Logan. Can't turn my back on her to go help him. Not while she's still alive. Have to finish her now.

"I'm not an X-man. I'm Rogue." One more ought to do it.>>

"Listen to me. There's nothin' that's gonna make me see you any different."

"This will. I know it will."

<<Have to get to Logan, have to help-oh, God. Oh, God, can't-have to-have to throw up. Have to throw up right now. God. >>

"It won't. Whatever it is, it won't change us, you and me. Nothin' changed when you told me about Mystique. I know you don't remember that, but it didn't. It didn't change, not at all. Tell me. Just tell me, baby."


<<Logan, still burned a little. His healing factor's working fast, though. Jubilee-she looks out, unconscious and definitely in bad shape, but not burned. Thank God. Thank God.



"Don't try to move. It's OK. We're OK. Mystique's dead. I made sure. It's OK."


"I'm-I'm-we have to help Jubilee.">>

"Marie, I love you. Tell me."

"I.I don't know how to....I don't know how to tell you this, I-oh, God.."

<<Carrying Jubes to the truck, giving her first aid and helping Logan come the rest of the way.

"You sure you're all right, darlin'?"

Darlin'-he'll never think of me that way again after.....no, no, don't think about it now. You have to get Jubes to the mansion, to the medlab.

"Let's go.">>

"Just say it. Just tell me what it is. 'Cause you're scarin' the shit outta me right now, baby. Just tell me. Trust me."

"It's-it's about my father."

"Mystique told you somethin' about that?"


<<Driving fast, back to the mansion. Just drive. Just drive. Can't think. Can't think about it. I'm-I'm-oh, no, have to throw up again.


At least I got it out the window. Didn't even slow down or miss the turn. Good. Good, Rogue. Just get Jubes back, just get her to help.

"Marie! What's wrong?"

"Nothing. It's OK, I'm not hurt."

Close now, just another mile or so. Hang on, Jubes, hang on.

"Like hell, you're throwin' up!"

"It's just from the stress, not an injury. I'm fine. I'm healing."


"We're here.">>

"What'd she say?"


"It's all right, darlin'. Just tell me. Just tell me and we'll deal with it."

<<The Professor, meeting us at the lobby with Hank. Hank. Thank God for Hank. Jubes is in good hands. If anyone can figure out what's wrong with her, he can.

"She's hurt, but I don't know what Mystique did to her."

"We will take Jubilee to the medlab immediately. We will find out."

"I'm coming. Logan?"

"Right behind you."

How can he look at me like that? So happy, so loving, so grateful that I'm-oh, right. He doesn't know yet. He doesn't know yet.>>

"She said that my father was Sabretooth. That he didn't remember because of the experiments.that.....that he'd raped her just before the government got him, that - "


"I-I- "

"Shh. It's - it's OK, darlin'. Come here. Come here."

<<Why does the elevator down take so long? Jubes could be dying right now, right in front of me. It's all my fault. All my fault. And how am I going to tell them about me? Oh, God - Logan-how am I going to deal with Logan?>>

"I just can't, Logan-I c-can't deal w-with it, I can't. H-he-what he d-did to me and y-you had to w-watch that and he's my f-father and...."

"Darlin', just let it out. Cry it out a little."

"How can you st-stand to even l-look at me?"

"I love you, that's how. This-nothin' like this could ever change that. Nothin' at all could ever change that."


"Baby, I'm gonna tell you what I told you when you found out about Mystique. It don't mean nothin' bad on you. It don't. Not at all. You ain't like either one of them. Not a bit. And it don't change anythin' I feel for you. Baby, I love you. I love you."

"Oh, Logan....."

<< "I've got it. It's a bacterial infection in Jubilee's bloodstream. Mystique, in all probability, used it to keep Jubilee docile, but as the infection progressed, it rendered her so weak that she fell unconscious."

At least we know what it is. At least we know. "Can you fix it, Hank?"

"I believe so. The bacterium is a genetic hybrid, laboratory-engineered, no doubt. I can concoct an anti-biotic that should be effective relatively easily."

"Whew. Thank God."


"Hank? What's wrong? Can't you-"

"No, no. I received a telepathic message from the Professor. Rogue, I'm sorry, but, Mystique's remains were not recovered by law enforcement."

"No! She was dead! I checked her pulse, I made sure she wasn't breathing!"

"I'm sorry. That's all the Professor knows. I'm so sorry, Rogue.">>

"Shh. Just cry it out. Just let it out. We'll-we'll just deal with it. We're gonna get her. We're gonna get both of those fuckers, I swear."

"Hold me."

"I gotcha. I gotcha, darlin'."

"I love you so much. I don't-I don't want to lose you."

"You're not. Not ever. Not ever."


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