Title: The One Sure Thing
Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...
Summary: Response to Blyss's S/R/L love triangle challenge.
Disclaimer: The X-Men are owned by Marvel Entertainment Group & 20th Century
Fox. No infringement on any copyright is intended by the fan-written
Archive: Just drop me a note to let me know.
Feedback: The monkey is hungry! Feed the monkey!
Notes: Listen to the song "Inconsolable" by Jonatha Brooke while you read. I
was inspired by Diana's "Poison Ivy," which was a killer fic.
Thanks to Pete, Jen, Meg, Dot -- you gusys (sic) are the best!
The One Sure Thing
When does a thought become a look? A look become a touch? A touch, a kiss?
In the case of the girl, Rogue, a touch or a kiss was deadly. Under the
right circumstances, a look could be deadly, too.
He'd thought too much, then looked too long, and that's when the darkness
came. He was convinced.
Looking leads to touching -- brief caresses of her mahogany hair; the silky
glide of silver over his fingers. The touch of a friend, a mentor, a
confidante. Somehow, some way, it became the touch of a lover.
She never guessed. A telepath, how could she have ever believed she'd be the
last to know? Yet he hid from her his straying thoughts, the way ruby quartz
hid his straying eyes.
And the girl, Rogue... she had always been resentful, both attracted and
repelled -- guilty looks from her were nothing new. She accepted them with a
sigh, long ago learning that the girl's love for a man she herself had no
interest in would always be a barrier between them. She never expected her
own lover to be the one to breach the girl's defenses and steal a piece of
She ignored his dreams -- the girl was beautiful, growing more so every day.
We are not responsible for our dreams, she told herself. And so she never
saw that sometimes, dreams hold the keys to waking life.
The girl, Rogue. She had given her heart long ago, and had it handed back to
her, broken, by his gruff refusal to see that she would be happy only so
long as he was by her side. His will as adamant as the metal lining his
bones, he told her she deserved more. He lied, told her he didn't love
her -- looked her in the eye and *lied* -- for her own good.
And Scott knew just how to make it better. He took her for long rides
through the gently burnished woods that ran along the estate. He allowed her
to talk his ear off, cry on his shoulder.
When does a hug become an embrace? A brief touch evolve into a lingering
How does a heart broken by one man suddenly find room for another, who will
only break it further?
The soft golden light of the autumn sun glinted off his ruby lenses. She
wished she could see his eyes, wished she could know for sure when he pulled
her into his arms that first time that it wasn't pity that drove him. She
didn't want his pity. She wanted his lips -- yes, there, she thought, as he
pressed them to her neck through her scarf. And then his warmth against her
pale skin, skin that hadn't been touched in years.
A brief caress that reassured her, of all the things he felt, pity wasn't
one of them. Desire, need, fear, guilt. For her. All for her. Then he pulled
away, aghast at what he'd done.
The small betrayal that would lead to greater ones, as the days got shorter
and the nights grew long.
A brush of his hand down her lycra-clad back in the gym led to more than a
kiss, bodies entwined against the lockers, both daring and furtive in their
passion. Never exceeding the limitations imposed by her deadly skin; never
moving beyond that last barrier that would qualify them, in her mind, as
She recognized the lies even as she told them to herself. She recognized the
truth that she was using him, using his burgeoning feelings for her, to keep
from feeling sorry for herself, to replace the love she'd been denied.
She told herself daily that there would be no more. This time she'd be
strong enough to say no, and there would be no next time.
He told himself he would avoid her. He was in love with Jean, a beautiful
woman who had never strayed from him, even though he swore she sometimes
dreamed of another. The man with the metal bones. The man who held the key
to Rogue's heart, though he himself had managed to sneak in through the
And not only did they betray the ones whose hearts they held, they forswore
their vows to stay apart.
Need, lust, fear, guilt. Thought, look, touch, kiss. A natural progression.
And then they were discovered, undone. A simple thing -- a scarf left in the
wrong place, smelling of his light cologne.
For Scott and Jean, an argument, a confession, a penance. And finally, a
For the girl, Rogue, a shamefaced apology, a full measure of self-loathing,
a raft of regrets. And finally, a self-imposed exile.
She held herself apart from everyone, nursing a heart now twice-broken.
Scarred by her inability to resist and her loathing of the girl in the
mirror, who could use a man's love for her to ruin his life, make him break
every promise that made him who he was.
And then the return.
His senses attuned to the girl's every nuance -- sight, sound, touch, taste,
smell -- especially smell -- he found her easily enough.
In the woods.
In the arms of her lover, the man who found need and lust and fear
overwhelming love and honor and compassion for the first time in his life.
And Rogue, who hated herself for letting him love her, resigned herself to
losing once again the man whom she loved.
A fight, a flash of metal, a spurt of blood, the screams of the girl on
whose behalf it took place. Jean, the twice-betrayed wife, the doctor,
staunching the flow of blood from her unfaithful husband's side. Saving his
life as their marriage died.
And Logan, no, Wolverine, the animal rage in control, grabbed the girl --
his mate -- and looked into her dark, haunted eyes.
He backed her up against a tree.
"I love you," she whispered through tears. No fear, just the desire to have
it all be over.
"Why?" he demanded again, claws unsheathed and slashing the wood behind her.
"You don't love me."
"And he does."
Her eyes dropped. "He does."
"Still?" Fear, now.
"Because I love you." Understanding lit the girl's haunted eyes. "But not
now. And not here."
"Someday. You'll know. You'll wait."
And he was gone, leaving her with one sure thing amid all the doubt and
heartbreak she'd sown.
Scott recovered physically. Jean left to start a new life.
Rogue remained. She waited for the one sure thing. Alone.
"Fool! said my muse to me, look in thy heart, and write." Sir Philip Sidney