I swear this unnatural productivity will end.
Title: A Promise of Safety
Subtitle: Evil Plot Bunny #1--The Evil Sare Tortures Jenn Via AIM One
Author: jenn (jenn@...
Codes: Rogue, Logan
Series: Sleeping With Dogtags, by Sare and jenn
Summary: A/U: After awakening from his coma, Logan goes to talk to Marie.
Apology: This is a slightly weaker Marie than I usually like to write.
What can I say? It's Logan. I would have been nodding yes if he told me
to jump off a cliff in the dark.
Author Notes: This exists because basically, Sare got bored one night and
started throwing ideas at me, just to watch me squirm, then beta'ed the
thing and liked it, of all unlikely circumstances. Go figure. To Nacey,
Diebin, thanks for telling me it wasn't the worst idea ever created in L/R
Archiving: List, seperis, teknovamp, otherwise ask.
Feedback: I usually don't specifically request it, but this is one of the
times I'd like some opinions on the idea.
* * * * *
Marie expected certain things--sleeping through the night, however, wasn't
one of them. She hadn't slept well in--well, a long damned time, truth be
told. So she wasn't surprised when she suddenly woke, staring at the
ceiling high above her head, breathing too fast from another formless
nightmare that could have been from any of the total of four people
inhabiting her head. Took a breath, assaulted once again with the smells
of the school--hell, she had no idea if she'd get used to being able to
just smell *everything* like this. Then sniffed again, sitting up to see
someone leaning against her closed door. Frowned a little, blinking.
"Logan?" Perfect scent match--she had his memorized, imprinted into her
mind like her own name and the color of her eyes.
"Yeah, kid." Still standing there with slightly measuring gaze, as if he
was deciding something, and she wished she could read his expression,
wondering what the hell he was doing here and how long he'd been standing
like that, just watching her.
It'd be creepy if it wasn't Logan. But it was, and Marie, who had parts of
him rattling in her head, knew this wasn't his idea of creepy. It was, in
fact, as close to social as he came.
For a second, she struggled for words to break the silence--but really, she
didn't know exactly what to say to the man who had saved her life. Who had
only recently awoken from the coma she put him in. Who was just leaning
there, like he had all the time in the world and somehow, she didn't get
the impression this was casual.
Giving the clock a desperate glance, she verified that it was, in fact, two
in the morning. So casual it could not be. Marie set her teeth and sat
all the way up, reaching for the lamp.
"Leave it off."
Her hand dropped and she just sat there, staring at him, very much alive
and in much better condition than last time she'd seen him, and wondered if
he wanted an apology. A thank you. A vow from her to never get captured
by villains with mindsucking machines. She'd do all three with enthusiasm.
Then he seemed to shake himself, maybe decided the door wasn't that
interesting after all, and he walked across the room and dropped like a
stone on the edge of her bed, bouncing her several inches. He weighed a
lot more than sight would verify. Then that steady measuring look was back
again, and why did she think she was being evaluated? The intense gaze was
beginning to make goosebumps pop up beneath her gloves and she rubbed her
"You wear gloves to bed?" He motioned at her hands and she froze.
"Now I do." He frowned in thought, then seemed to figure it out, and there
was a sort of smile turning his mouth when he leaned forward, resting his
elbows on his knees and meeting her eyes.
"You okay, kid?"
"Yeah," she said quickly, too quickly, and he caught that, she could see it
on his face. "I'm fine." Then she bit down on her lip, using all the
courage she had in a great rush. "I wanna thank you--for what you did.
I-I'm sorry--s-ss-sorry that I-I--"
"Hey, no--" A hand went out and rested briefly on her knee, sending a
shock through her--since the statue, no one touched her. Blinking hard,
she realized he was gloved. "None of that crap, okay? Just--" he stopped,
and she felt that gaze again, and God, what did he want? Finally, he
seemed to decide--again--and he lifted the hand from her knee and reached
for her wrist. Surprised, she let him, and he slid his fingers up her arm,
to her elbow, pulling suddenly and the glove came off instantly.
And instinctively, Marie began to jerk away. She'd kept some of his
strength, and she saw his surprise, and some amusement, but he kept his
grip on her wrist easily. Turned her hand over, he revealed her bare palm,
lightly rubbing it with his thumb.
"I'm not afraid of you, kid."
He was probably the only one, too. She forced her hand to relax in his and
his thumb lightly traced the center of her palm again, and yes, it was a
"You like it here?"
Eyes wide, she stared at him, utterly floored by the question. Opened her
mouth to answer.
"The truth this time. You've made friends, right? You feel okay here?"
"Yes," she whispered.
"And you're gonna wear these for the rest of your life." A tap on the limp
glove with his free hand, and Marie felt her eyes fill with tears.
Angrily, she wiped them away, and felt Logan catch her face, turning it up
again. "They're scared of you, aren't they? That's why I haven't seen you
since I woke up."
She didn't move, didn't even breathe.
"They'll probably get over it, once I'm gone," he said. "Out of mind, all
that crap, right?"
"Probably," she whispered, wincing from the knowledge he was leaving,
moving it to a distant part of her mind to deal with later, with some tears
and maybe some brooding. But she wouldn't get over her fear of others, for
others, not any time soon, not when she had memories of him in that coma.
Staring at him lying on that bed, afraid that he was gone and all that was
left was that body on the bed and his presence in her mind. "They're--"
"That kid I see you with--"
"Bobby," she answered automatically, and saw the dark eyes narrow
"He's okay with it?"
She hadn't seen much of him, actually.
"Yeah, I think so." Hoped so. Her roommates were MIA tonight and it
didn't take a degree in nuclear engineering to figure out why they were
gone. "Logan, why--"
"Don't say anything." She closed her mouth with almost a snap and she saw
him smile again, a nod almost to himself. "Look, I've been thinkin'--"
And again, that speculating look. Then his hand came up, tapping her head.
She was too startled to even flinch. "Jean says you took on a few things
from me. What do you remember?"
Staring at him, she felt her mouth drop open in shock, not sure what he
wanted to hear. Not even sure how to answer the question. Utterly
confused where he was trying to go with this.
"You know what I am and what I do, right?"
A slow nod. Yeah, she had quite a dose of Logan in her head, and it was
something she was still exploring, fascinated and sometimes shocked--a
person, far better formed than David that inhabited her head, who gave her
the oddest urges and cravings--like the beer can under her bed, filched
from the refrigerator downstairs.
"I'm good at it. I've kept myself relatively intact for this long. You
know about the stuff that isn't the cage-fighting, right?"
She flushed and he chuckled softly.
"Okay, so you got a few things maybe I'm gonna regret you knowin' about.
But you get the other stuff?"
"Yeah," she answered. Logan nodded sharply, then stood up, pacing to the
door and for a surreal second, she thought he was just going to leave, but
instead, he turned the lock and then came back.
"No interruptions. Look at me." She focused on his face. "You almost
died up there."
Marie's entire body went tense and instantly, she felt his arm go around
her, rubbing her back gently, and she didn't expect that. With a shift, he
pulled her closer and she was on her knees, nightgown completely askew,
blankets twisted every direction, and after a moment, he pulled away, but
the hand caught her chin, turning her face up.
"They fucked up." His voice was hard. "They didn't know it was you
Magneto, or whoever he is, was after and they almost waited too fucking
long to get there." The dark eyes were studying her, and whatever he was
looking for he found, because he let go and he took her bare hand again.
And she realized, quite suddenly, that he was trying very hard not to scare
her, that this unprecedented amount of chattiness was not for his benefit
at all--it was to work up to this one thing, the reason he was here.
The reason still eluded her, but at least she had something concrete to
work with now.
"They--" she struggled a little, trying to find the words. "They did the
best they could." Trying to hide her own resentment, born fully formed the
second she looked into Magneto's eyes when he told her he would kill her
for the greater good of the world. Because the Professor *knew* this man,
and somehow, though she didn't know how, he should have known, should have
She'd almost died for mistaken identity, and she wasn't sure if that was
something you got over very quick. The new personality in her head,
Logan--the strongest because he'd held on the longest--well, he wasn't
thrilled about that either, and was rather vocal at that..
And it was strange, to feel him that clearly inside her, when it had been
all a mass of images and memories and odd habits before now. Feel the
strange coalescing in her mind, in response to the man right in front of
"It wasn't good enough this time and it probably won't be good enough next
time." His voice was harsh and Marie winced a little. She felt him rub
her palm lightly, almost absently, and tried not to distract him into
noticing, so surprised by touch. Enjoying the little she could get.
"Next time. There's always a next time with people like them--it's their
little drive to save the world. This isn't safe, not for you. Hell, not
for anyone, but I'm sort of attached to the idea of you surviving awhile,
so fuck anyone else."
He wanted her to leave?
"Logan--where would I go?" That was the question--her mind was already
trying to plot out the paths she could take out of here, where she could
go, once again ignoring that all-important money question that had ended
her almost trapped in Laughlin City to begin with. Then she looked down at
her hands. "There isn't anyplace else."
"Well, not exactly. There's option two--you come with me."
That's when Marie choked, and she stared up at him, utterly shocked.
And now that he was where he'd been planning to go all along, she could see
he was ready to run with an idea that seemed just short of impossible.
"Look, they can't protect you. I can. And I can teach you to protect
yourself, which I just don't trust them to do. So there's that. And I
don't trust them not to put you in danger again, and as I've said, I like
the idea of you living awhile."
Marie took a breath, let it out.
"Nope." And he freed her hand, sitting back, utterly at ease again, and
she wondered how he could look like that when he'd just come in and changed
her world. That intense gaze--dear God, he was serious.
He was utterly serious.
"Logan, you--" she stopped. "Look, I know you may have--I guess you feel
responsible and all--"
"Yeah. I do. I picked you up, I got you here, and you almost died. I see
a pattern I don't like. These people--Chuck's people, Magneto's
people--they don't look at things like that. A single life just ain't that
important compared to the big picture. I don't give a good fuck about the
big picture." Watching her, measuring her reaction, tailoring whatever he
was going to say according to what he saw on her face. She knew him pretty
well. "You've got options. You stay here and maybe next time, have them
fuck up enough to where you don't wake up."
God, he knew how to drive the point home. Subtlety be damned.
"This is the one thing I'm good at--I can fight, I can win, and I can make
sure there is no chance that you'll ever be hurt again." He sighed softly.
"What I do--it's dangerous. You've got it up there, in your head, so you
know what you'd be dealing with. Lots of shit that's not that pretty--but
I can make you a promise. I'll take care of you. I'll teach you every
damned thing I know, so next time, no one can ever come near enough to pull
anything like that crap again. You will never be trapped again with
nothing you can do to get out." And that fix on her eyes again that she
couldn't get away from.
Marie couldn't even breathe through that--because no one in her life, not
her parents, not her friends, not even these people who said they
understood her, wanted to protect her--no one had ever made a promise like
that. A man she'd met less than a week before, a man she had no tie to
other than mutation and memory, who shouldn't have given a good damn what
happened to her--he'd offered her his life and he was offering her this.
Her mind wouldn't wrap around it.
"You think--you think I won't be safe here."
A long pause, and he shook his head slowly.
"No. I want to leave tonight, and I want you to come with me. Before they
get up and figure out what I'm doing and try to talk you into believing
that they can keep you safe. Because they can't. It's that simple."
It was a choice between this room, and this new life, a security she longed
for so badly she could taste it--or Logan and a different kind of security,
the kind that was in some ways even more powerful--because alone with
Magneto, she'd realized that her own mutation, what she was, could be used
against her. The one and only way she could ever protect herself had been
taken, and she had nothing else.
He was offering her something she didn't think anyone else ever could or
would--he promised that she was the one that would be protected, not the
world. That she'd come first. That her single life had value. Someone
that put her, her life, above anything else, and the Logan in her head was
almost nodding agreement with every stray thought she tried to gather
together. She licked her lips, staring down at her hands for a minute,
then lifted her head.
And she could swear he looked relieved, though God, how could he, when he'd
just promised off a good chunk of his life like that, so easily? But he
smiled, and she realized just at this moment how tense he had been, how
he'd been waiting for her answer. He got up and she stumbled to her feet,
looking around for a second, not exactly sure what to do now.
"What do I--um, what should I bring?"
Logan was in her closet before she got the words out of her mouth, and a
bag launched itself out at her and she caught it--barely.
"Not much. I'll get what you need later. Just enough for a few nights."
And he came back out, dropping an armful of clothes on the bed. "Keep it
simple and light, we'll be moving fast. I'll be back in five minutes--be
And he went to the door, unlocking it and disappearing, and Marie struggled
out of her nightgown, going for the jeans and t-shirt she'd brought here
with her--she didn't feel right taking too much of the stuff she'd been
given. Grabbed her cloak and threw it on the bed, stuffing two extra sets
of clothes in the bag, a couple of sweaters, her scarves and gloves from
the top drawer, refusing to think that she had just lost her mind or he
had, one of the two, because this just wasn't possible.
People didn't do stuff like this. They didn't pick you up on the side of
the road, almost get killed by you, and then take responsibility for your
life. The real world didn't work that way.
She got her underwear and toothbrush packed and was struggling to get her
boots on when he came back in--jacket on, bag thrown over his shoulder,
giving her room a quick look-over while she groped for paper, and he
watched while she scribbled a short note to the X-Men and dropped it on her
bedside table. Without comment, he grabbed her bag and she caught up her
cloak, pulling her stray glove back on.
"What are we leaving in? Your truck is gone" she whispered as they slipped
downstairs, the door looming into view, and something in Marie woke up
completely, something that growled softly in satisfaction, and she felt a
smile turning up her lips.
Possibilites. The entire world outside that door.
He grinned a little, an arm going around her shoulders companionably.
"A little loan from Scott, darlin'. You'll like it. Trust me."
--Hi, My Name Is Jenn, and I have Serious Issues with Marie wearing gloves
to bed. On Principle.--Sare on "Evil Plot Bunny #1: The Evil Sare
Tortures Jenn Via AIM One Night"
--Yeah, it's like being in love with hospital gravy.--Nacey on Jean's
--Sentinels--the anti-mutant groups' wet dream--as defined by Siale