Title: Lapse of Reason (3/?)
Author: Chris (teufelce@...
Genre: Romance/Action/Character Study
Rating: PG-13 so far, for profanity
Summary: Logan and Rogue try to deal with their developing feelings for
another, amidst sudden change
Thanks to: Tracie, who has trusted me enough to let me develop her idea,
Jo and Z, as always, they know why...
Disclaimer: The characters of X-Men (i.e. Logan, Professor Xavier, etc.)
Marvel Comics and Twentieth Century Fox Pictures. This
story is for
entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement
Archive: Hell yes, just please let me know where.
By the time Logan reached the cars, Jean had Scott stretched out in the back
seat of the Ford, and was busy examining the wound on his head. Leaving
Marie huddled in the back seat of their own car. Jean looked up his approach.
"Logan, you're soaked through - get in the car with Marie. I have the heat
on full, so you both can warm up until the jet gets here." Logan bristled at
the commanding tone of her voice.
"It's not like I'm gonna get sick, Jeannie..." he muttered, his eyes flicking
up to catch Marie staring at him through the windshield. With that look of
fear and something else in her eyes...
"Alright, alright... I'm going..." On his way to the car, he'd picked up his
jacket and boots and was in the process of pulling the jacket on when he
reached the side of the sedan, his soaked shirt bunched in his hand.
Something about the way Marie was looking at him through the glass made him
move his hand from the door to the back to the door to the front seat. As he
climbed in and slammed the door behind him, he felt the warm air from the
heater wash over him and let out a tired sigh.
"You... you ok?" Marie's shaky voice brought his eyes sliding around to
focus on her.
"Yeah, I'm ok. You?" She just nodded her head in reply. As the returning
warmth of his body forced a shiver through him, her eyes narrowed.
"You're shivering." He would've smiled over the concern in her voice, if she
hadn't looked so damn serious.
"Kid, when you've got a skeleton laced with metal, it takes a while for the
cold to work its way out," he chuckled, trying to lighten the weight he could
see in her eyes.
"Oh... yeah...." She shrank back into Jean's jacket and turned her head to
look out the window. Logan could feel her pulling deeper into herself, and
the stench of her fear and anxiety in the confined air of the car was more
than he could take.
"Listen, you sure you're ok? I mean... I would've thought you'd be happy."
Marie turned to face him again, her face carefully guarded.
"Happy? Why would I be happy?"
"It may have been scary how it happened, Marie, but you can *touch* now. You
don't have that hanging over your head anymore." There was a flash of
something in her eyes, something he'd almost managed to pin down before it
was just as suddenly gone again. Replaced by a melancholy sadness.
"You heard Jean, Logan. For how long? I can't... I just..." Her voice had
grown more unsteady and he could see her furiously blinking away tears.
"Hey, hey, it's ok. You don't have to think about it now - just relax and
warm up. Jeannie'll look into it once we get back to the mansion." She
nodded mutely at his words and went back to staring out the window. Logan
leaned back in his seat and stared down at his rough, chapped hands.
<Way to go, asshole. She just got attacked and pulled into a frozen river,
almost died, doesn't even know what the hell is going on, and you go and push
her. Way to fucking go...> he shook his head angrily, as he watched her
reflection in the rearview mirror quietly wipe away the tears. "Asshole..."
"Did you say something, Logan?"
"Nah, nothing..." he muttered, not turning around to face her. He heard her
weight shift on the back seat and then her voice was closer, directly behind
"You sure? I could swear..."
"It was nothing, kid." His own voice sounded rough and harsh, as he forced
himself to keep breathing. The thought that she was so close to him, that
she could be *touched* now, was not helping his state of mind... Not a damn
bit... He heard her slide back in the seat again and he could've kicked
himself for the wounded tone in her voice.
"Well, ok... if you're sure..." Before he could turn and apologize, the
sound of the jet landing killed the words on his lips.
"Storm's here," Marie blurted and then she was out of the car and moving
across the snow for the lowered ramp. Logan followed more slowly, uttering
one last "asshole" for posterity...
The flight back was in silence - Jean was busy concentrating on stitching up
the gash on Scott's forehead, and Storm concentrated on flying the jet.
Marie stayed huddled in her seat across from Logan, and kept her eyes focused
straight ahead of her. Not sure what to say, and not too thrilled about
having an audience, Logan kept his mouth shut, only grunting once when Storm
executed a less than perfect landing. Xavier was waiting for them and led
the way to the lab. Jean walked with the Professor, explaining in detail
what had happened to them. Storm had put her arm comfortingly around Marie's
shoulder and was talking quietly to her, and Logan found himself saddled with
helping a wobbly Scott navigate through the hallways. The periodic groans
that escaped the younger man effectively silenced any smartass remarks he was
tempted to make, and he helped him along as carefully as he could.
Once they were inside the lab, Storm led Marie over to a seat, while Jean
took Scott from Logan and lay him down on the exam table for a head x-ray.
When the films showed no skull fractures or permanent damage, she turned her
attention to Marie.
"Rogue, I'd like to take a CT scan of your brain, to see if it shows us
anything about what's happened to your mutation."
"I... I guess so. OK. Is it going to hurt?" Although the fear and
uncertainty in Marie's voice made Logan bristle, he kept his mouth shut and
continued to lean silently against the wall. He, maybe more than anyone else
in that room, wanted to know what had happened to Marie. What had happened
that had suddenly made her touchable... The other thoughts that followed on
the heels of that one, he ruthlessly stuffed back down and refused to
acknowledge. <Bad enough the kid's frightened, she doesn't need you suddenly
panting all over her like a dog in heat...>
"No, it won't hurt, Rogue. I promise. Now if you'll just come over here..."
Jean helped Marie get comfortable on the table and then slid her into the
machine. Joining the Professor at the computer screen, she began to press
buttons and a multicolor image of Marie's brain appeared on the screen. A
few more buttons and another image appeared next to the first. Although the
two images were nearly identical, there was one noticeable difference. Even
from a distance, Logan could see that the first image lacked an area of
colour that was bright red in the second image.
"Interesting..." murmured Xavier. Jean pointed directly to the area of
difference Logan had noticed.
"Yes, this is a CT I took of Rogue a few months ago," Jean said, as she
pointed to the second image. "As you can see here, there's definite activity
in this part of her brain." She pointed to the first image. "Activity which
is completely lacking here."
"Yes, I see. It seems that part of her brain has simply shut down," the
Professor responded, nodding.
"I wonder, Professor - Rogue said that there was pain and a bright flash of
light. Is it possible that the other mutant's ability clashed with hers
and... shorted it out, for lack of a better term?"
"It is possible. Whatever that ability was, it may have disrupted the flow
of neurotransmitters across the synapses in the part of her brain that
controls her mutation. Effectively rendering that part of her brain unable
to function. Whether it's permanent or only temporary, we won't know until
more tests are run..."
"Well, I think you oughtta run those tests some other time," Logan growled,
pushing away from the wall. Both Jean and Xavier turned to face him.
"Logan," Jean began patiently, but he cut her off.
"No, some other time," he bit off the words. "I can smell the stench of her
fear all the way over here - she's been sitting in that machine scared
shitless while you pick over pictures of her brain. She comes out of there
*now*." Jean's eyes had widened at his words and she hurried over to the CT
"Logan, you have our apologies. We didn't mean to neglect poor Rogue - we
only want to help her." Xavier's words were soothing, compassionate, but
Logan shrugged them off angrily.
"Save your apologies for her, not me." By that time, Jean had helped a
trembling Marie sit up on the table and, with a last glare at Xavier, Logan
started over to them. Marie looked up at his approach and her eyes widened.
She shrank back into Jean's arms, and Logan let the hand he'd started to
raise drop back to his side, speechless. It was as if she was afraid...
afraid of *him*... He watched in silence as Jean helped her off the table
and told her to go to her room and rest, that they'd talk more tomorrow.
Storm put her arm around Marie and gently led her from the room.
"What, Jeannie?" he growled out, harsher than he'd intended, but he was still
reeling from the look of panic on Marie's face when he'd reached out to touch
her. She hadn't been afraid to let *Jean* touch her... or *Storm*... only
"Give her time, Logan. She's frightened and she doesn't know her own mind
"What the hell is that suppose to mean?" he snarled, turning to face her.
"It means that she needs time, Logan. Give it to her." Jean's eyes were
unreadable, but her words were gentle, and Logan let his breath out in an
"Yeah... alright. I'm going to get some rest. Jean?"
"Thanks. For looking after her..." Whatever response Jean might've made was
cut off by the lab doors as they slid shut behind him. Logan rubbed a tired
hand across his face as he climbed the stairs to the second floor of the
mansion. Tried not to think of Marie as he silently padded past her room, to
his own at the far end of the hall. Tried not to think of her as he stood
staring out his window at the darkening sky. Tried... and didn't even come
close to succeeding.
End of Chapter 3