Title: "Cause and Effect" 1/1
Summary: "Maybe it was an after effect of all they'd been through already,
but still the want was there."
Rating: R, for language and suggestive situations.
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me. They belong to Marvel and Fox. Probably
more people than that own them--just not me.
Archive: Just let me know where it goes.
Author's Notes: This is a follow up to 'Crossroads,' but certainly can be
read on its own. Special thanks to Bonnie for her encouragement. This is
movieverse and I apologize if there is anything in here that is contrary to
the comicverse. I'm just going off the movie. Thanks!
My website: www.mojober.com/Fanfiction
Westchester, New York
"Is it just goin' to be you and Jean?" Marie asked, leaning against the
doorframe of the bathroom. The question made Logan's head snap towards her
and the razor catch his cheek.
"Shit." He winced as a small trickle of blood fell from the cut before it
closed itself up. Logan turned back to the steamy mirror, rinsed the razor
under the tap and continued shaving. Marie was struck by the handsome angles
of his face, no longer hidden by rough edges. "What are you doing here?"
"You shouldn't leave your door open," Marie said, watching him in the mirror.
It took a conscious effort not to let her eyes drop lower. The towel
wrapped low on his hips was apparently all he had on. His hair was still wet
from his shower and causing rivulets to run down his lean, muscular back.
"I wouldn't be doing this if Scott was able to go," Logan said after a long
scrape that took off what was left of his beard. He dropped the razor on
the counter and picked up a smaller towel to wipe his face. Logan frowned
at his new appearance and that struck Marie as funny. She tried to suppress
a laugh, but Logan still heard it. He turned to face her. "I don't look that
bad, do I?"
"No," Marie replied quickly, straightening up as he took a couple steps
towards her. Her heart sped up as he approached. She felt her face flush
and glanced at the suit laid out on the bed, wondering if he'd ever even worn
one before. "You just don't look like. . .you."
"That's the whole point," he answered and Marie looked back to find him
standing right in front of her. He smiled slightly and she felt a warmth
swirling low in her hips. She was grateful she was leaning against something
"You, uh, missed a spot," she said, her eyes lowering to a small patch on his
neck. She was finding it increasingly difficult to focus on anything else
with Logan hovering so near.
"Here," Marie pointed out, her gloved hand reaching up to her own neck to
show him. Her eyes turned up to meet his and that warmth became a dull ache.
"Think I should leave it?" he asked, raising one eyebrow. Marie saw his eyes
darken up, his nostrils twitch and knew he was breathing her in.
Marie nodded and tried to steady her heart. Six months had passed since his
return and in those six months, the boundaries of their relationship had
grown increasingly gray. Marie wasn't oblivious to constant tension between
him and Jean. It only caused her concern because it was more easily resolved
than the developing tension between them.
The question startled Marie out of her thoughts.
"Nothin'," she said, although it wasn't very convincing. Logan took a couple
steps back and stared at her, his gaze measuring.
"If it was nothing, you wouldn't be here," Logan said, giving her a knowing
look. "You afraid something is going to happen in DC?"
"Yes," she answered and hoped he wouldn't ask her what that something was.
It wasn't just the thing with Jean either; it was why they were going there
in the first place.
They both turned to find Jean at the threshold, one hand on the doorknob.
She was dressed in a dark, tailored suit and her long legs ended in tall
"Am I interrupting?" she asked, her eyes settling on Logan. Marie watched as
he leaned back against the counter, seemingly unconcerned at how this
"Is she?" Logan asked, directing the question to Marie instead.
She would have given anything for the answer to be yes.
"No," Marie reluctantly said. She didn't say another word as she moved past
Jean and out of Logan's room.
It wasn't going well.
"The main issue hasn't changed, Senator Gary," Jean said firmly as she
gripped the side of the podium. "Forcing mutants to register will only make
them targets to fear, prejudice and. . ."
"Violence?" finished the Senator. He moved to the center of the floor and
turned to address his peers. "Violence like what happened on Liberty Island
nine months ago?"
Logan shifted his position so he could get a better look the man challenging
Jean. Senator Wilson Gary from New York had been designated by the parental
groups as the new proponent of the Mutant Registration Act. The Act, as a
result to the aforementioned incident, had gained more support than ever.
"The man responsible is in protective custody. . ."
"In a plastic cell!" Senator Gary called out and behind him, there were
hushed whispers. Logan reached up to loosen his tie as an unsettled feeling
settled over the room. "Because the man responsible, Erik Lehnsherr, is a
mutant who can control 'magnetic fields.' Isn't that true, Dr. Grey?"
"Yes," Jean reluctantly admitted. "But. . ."
"Would it be safe to assume that if Erik Lehnsherr had been registered, law
enforcement would have had some knowledge of his ability and therefore, would
have been able to stop or even prevent such an incident from occurring in the
"You can't hold all mutants responsible for the actions of one," Jean fired
"No," Senator Gary said. "But we can pass a law that would make it possible
to identify that one who is a danger to the public."
Logan tensed as the whispers around him grew even louder and the Senate Chair
stepped forward to end the hearing. Logan wove his way through the crowd to
meet Jean. He found her standing with folded arms and look of defeat on her
face. It said it all.
"Let's get out of here," he said, bringing his hand to the small of her back
to lead her away.
Silently, they walked back through the corridors to where they could talk
privately. They found a space overlooking the Senate floor to watch for a
moment before turning to each other.
"If they only knew what really happened," Jean said under her breath. She
reached out to straighten one of his lapels. He really hated the suit. "You
almost died to save them."
Jean knew better than anyone that that wasn't exactly true. He hadn't been
concerned about the city of New York when he had touched Marie's face. He
remembered far too well the feeling of her lifeless body in his arms and the
desperate need to bring her back. So desperate, he thought nothing of giving
his life in exchange for hers. Logan lowered his eyes to Jean's hand, still
fidgeting, and closed his around it to make her stop.
"To save Marie," he corrected, lowering their hands. His eyes met hers and
his lips curled into a little smirk. "New York just got lucky."
That made Jean smile briefly, then sadly. "Ironic, isn't it? The very thing
we did to save thousands of lives is the same thing might cost us ours."
"It hasn't come to that," Logan said, looking back down at the Senate.
At least, they weren't voting today.
"But it will," Jean concluded, disengaging herself from him. She scanned the
crowd below. "And sooner than we think."
The light in the garage was still on and Marie took it as sign.
She crossed her arms over her chest as she stepped inside. She wandered past
the cars and motorcycles, each polished to perfection, and stopped when she
saw Scott hunched over an engine. She had wanted to be alone, to think.
Before she had a chance to slip away undetected, he raised his head.
"Little late for class, aren't you?"
"I'm not in your class," Marie replied, shoving her gloved hands deep into
the pockets of her jeans. She peered over Scott's shoulder to see what he
was doing. "You couldn't sleep either?" she surmised.
"Not with Jean gone," Scott admitted, straightening up. He reached for a rag
and wiped the grease from his hands. "Not when she's with. . ."
Scott stopped himself and gave her a wry smile. They never talked about it
before now, but they were both well aware of the Logan and Jean situation.
"Don't you trust her?" she finally asked.
"Oh, I trust Jean completely," Scott answered smoothly. He tossed the rag
aside and grabbed the hood with both hands to slam it shut. Hard, as if he
was making a point. "It's Logan I have the problem with."
Marie's eyes followed Scott as he stepped carefully around her to sit on the
hood of another car.
"Logan is the only one I trust," Marie stated, lifting her chin confidently.
It fell a little as Scott shook his head.
"No, you don't. If you did, you wouldn't be here at midnight talking to me,"
he said. Scott slid to one side to make room for Marie to join him. After a
minute of contemplation, she did. The silence that followed was comfortable.
So comfortable, Marie ventured further.
"You really don't like Logan, do you?"
"Can't stand him," Scott said. "But you do."
Marie turned her head down and looked thoughtfully at her gloves. They were
like Scott's visor; both protected others from their gifts. Despite the
progress she'd made, it was becoming more and more evident she would never
truly experience normal human contact. With a great deal of effort, she
could touch others now without taking their life, but only at the expense of
her own. She was still left feeling drained, but she had been able to
increase the time.
It wasn't enough. It would probably never be enough.
"He believed there would be a war," Marie began, closing her eyes and opening
her mind to thoughts that were neither hers or Logan's. Thoughts
responsible for what happened on Liberty Island and for the trip to DC. "If
the law passes. . ."
"I hope. . .I have hope, that won't happen," Scott said, sliding off the car.
"That's what I'm holding on to. You should do the same."
Marie wished she could. She let Magneto's thoughts swirl around her head a
little longer before making them stop.
Her fingers drifted up to her neck, to the dog tag she still wore. She
couldn't wait for Logan to get back.
"Thought I'd find you down here."
Logan twisted the barstool just enough to look over his shoulder at Jean.
She was still wearing the suit from earlier, only minus the jacket. His eyes
drifted over her bare arms and slender frame before lifting them to her face.
"Where else would I be?" he muttered as Jean slid into the seat next to his.
She waved the bartender off and turned her attention on him. Logan set his
drink down and scratched over the thin layer of stubble now covering his
"That's a good question," Jean said, crossing her legs and her arms on top of
them. Her expression was contemplative; it always was where he was
concerned. Logan knew she was just itching to get inside his head again.
Once had been enough.
"Were you able to read the other Senators?" he asked. They'd divided up
earlier to assess the situation. Jean, to find out how easily the votes
could be swayed back in their direction, and Logan, to find Mystique, if she
was there. He'd come up empty handed and hoped Jean had better luck.
"It's not good," she said, shaking her head. She didn't have to say anything
more. She looked so sad that he felt the need for distraction.
"You didn't really need me for this," Logan said, changing gears. "I think
you just wanted to see me get dressed up."
Jean bit her lip in an effort not to smile. Her cheeks flushed slightly and
somehow managed to look even more beautiful.
"I wanted you to know what we're up against," Jean continued, moving past
that comment. She leaned over the bar to lay her hand on top of his. Jean
traced his knuckles with her fingertip, then turned her eyes back to his. He
felt her touch, briefly, in his mind as well. "Not everything is a physical
"Is that what I am?" Logan asked, raising an eyebrow at her. He caught her
hand in his and ran his thumb over her fingers. It made Jean's breath hitch
up in her chest and he smiled. "A physical threat?"
Jean shivered slightly. To anyone else, it would have been imperceptible.
To Logan, he knew it was a sign of arousal. He lowered his gaze to the
hardened peaks visible through the soft fabric of her blouse.
"That's not why I came down here," Jean maintained, shyly turning her head
away. She looked at their joined hands, but made no move to separate them.
"I think that's exactly why you did," Logan teased, just to see Jean smile
again. He lowered his voice to mess with her even more. "C'mon. I won't
tell Scott. . ."
"Yes, you would," she said, finally untangling their hands. She paused and
drew another breath before adding, "And I'm not going to be a substitute for
what you really want."
That hit Logan a little too close.
"You don't know what I want," he said, finishing what was left of his drink
before moving off the barstool. He fished some money out of his pocket and
dropped it on the counter as Jean watched. He wasn't even five feet away
when he heard her voice, this time echoing in his head.
<But you know.>
"Stop that," he warned, turning around to find Jean standing. He stealthily
moved towards her, stopping only when they were face to face. Tensions,
sexual and otherwise, rose between them but neither backed off.
"Why?" Jean asked, her eyes afire as they searched his. "You don't like
having someone in your head?"
"No," Logan answered. He didn't. And he didn't like where she was going
with this either. Marie was his. . .well, Marie was just his. It was
complicated enough without Jean overanalyzing.
"Well, imagine if that someone was Erik Lehnsherr," she said, taking a step
back. "You're not the only one in her head, Logan."
But he was the only one Marie ever mentioned, on the rare occasions they
talked about that particular consequence of her gift. Him and that kid in
Mississippi she put in a coma.
"What are you saying?" he asked, narrowing his eyes slightly. Marie
certainly wouldn't have discussed it with Jean.
"Just make sure you talk with her when we get back," she answered, getting
the last word in before walking away.
Marie hesitantly pushed the door to Xavier's study in. He looked up and gave
her a warm smile.
"Rogue, what a pleasant surprise," he said, backing his wheelchair up to
maneuver it around his desk. She felt some of the nervousness fade at his
welcome. Marie let the door close behind her and Xavier motioned to an empty
chair. "What can I do for you?"
Marie was struck by the irony of that statement. He had done so much already
for her and for Logan. She sat down quickly and folded her hands onto her
"I wanted to talk to you about my. . .progress," she said, unsure of how else
"I'm certainly very pleased with it," he said enthusiastically. "Aren't you?"
"No," she admitted and felt guilty for it. The Professor had devoted
countless hours to helping her develop some sort of control and here she was
saying it wasn't enough. She closed her eyes for a moment before continuing.
"I mean, I am. . ."
"You can tell me, Rogue," she heard his voice softly say. So soft, she
wondered if she only heard it in her head.
"But I'll always have to wear these, won't I?" she said, holding her hands
up. It was a statement, not a question. She only wanted confirmation of
what she already knew.
The Professor sighed. "Yes. Most likely, you will."
"But?" Marie pressed, sensing there was more.
"But I hope in time you'll see it not as a limitation, but a challenge. Not
just to you, but to those who care about you. To find a way around it," he
said, before suddenly becoming quiet. Too quiet.
"Professor?" she asked, sensing something was wrong.
"Jean and Logan have returned," he murmured, swiveling his chair in the
direction of the door. Half a second later, it opened.
"Charles, we need to talk," Jean started, before noticing Marie sitting
there. She looked back at the Professor before saying anything more.
"About the Registration Bill," he said and Jean nodded. Marie started to get
up, but he motioned for her to stay. "That certainly affects all of us."
"I read as many of the Senators as I could," Jean continued, sounding
increasingly apologetic. She folded her arms and pressed her fingertips to
her forehead. "It's going to pass this time."
"Because of what we did. . ." Logan added, stepping in behind Jean. Marie's
heart skipped in her chest as his eyes focused on hers.
"To save me," Marie finished, rising to her feet. An awkward silence fell
across the room. "That is what you were goin' to say."
"Because of Magneto," the Professor corrected, looking at each one of them.
He drew a deep breath. "Let's not lose sight of who is to blame."
He was to blame, but Marie still felt somehow indirectly responsible. Her
power, unlike Jean's or Logan's or even Scott's, seemed to serve no practical
use except to their enemies. Magneto had wanted her, no one else.
Marie thought it was best she go.
"Hey, didn't you hear what he just said?" Logan asked softly, stepping so he
was blocking her path to the door.
"Perfectly," Marie answered, before brushing past Logan.
Logan wasn't exactly surprised to discover Marie wasn't in her room. He was
surprised that, after a thorough search, she wasn't in the mansion at all.
Even though they shared a history of running, he knew she wouldn't go without
at least telling him first. She was the one who brought him back; it didn't
make sense for her to leave. Which was why finding her in the garage behind
the steering wheel of a convertible at this late hour concerned him.
Marie's face was distant, her hands idle, as she sat staring blankly ahead.
She was so lost in her thoughts, she didn't even notice he was there until he
climbed into the back seat and leaned into the front.
"Do you even know how to drive a stick?" Logan asked, extending one hand out
towards it. He tilted his head forward even more and their noses almost
collided when she turned her face to his.
"You wanna to teach me?" she asked, her dark eyes widening only slightly at
their close proximity. She didn't pull back and neither did he even though
it would safer if they did. His body stiffened at the other implications
such a request could mean.
"Not if you're just going to take off," Logan said, folding his arms over the
front seat. He rested his chin on them and studied her for a moment, then
nudged her shoulder. "C'mon, kid. . ."
"Marie," she corrected, giving him a stern look. "I'm not a kid anymore."
"I know," Logan said in all seriousness. He slid his hand out once more,
this time to run his finger down the white streak framing her face. It made
her smile slightly. "Not since that night."
"If they pass that law. . ."
"It's not because of you, got it?" Logan said, cutting her off. He withdrew
his hand and settled into the back seat. He stretched his legs out and tried
to get comfortable. He couldn't. Not with Marie looking like she wanted to
crawl right back there with him.
"They experimented on him. Much like you," she said, her voice uneven. "He
thought if he could make all those people like us, he could get back at them.
At everyone who thinks like they did."
Logan nodded, understanding the flawed logic. He himself was guilty of it to
a lesser degree. Had Marie not come after him, he'd still be out searching
for those responsible for his own experimentation. He hadn't abandoned the
hope that one day he would find them; it just no longer was the focal point
in his life. Something else was.
"You could have told me I wasn't the only one up there," Logan said, shifting
the conversation to what he really wanted to know.
"You never asked," she replied simply, twisting herself so she was no longer
"Anything else I should be. . .asking?" Logan ventured, raising both eyebrows
up. He was almost afraid of the answer, of where else this could lead. Of
what Jean had been alluding to. The longer she thought about it, the more
uncomfortable it made him.
"I'll always need my gloves," she finally said.
"That's not a question," Logan pointed out.
"Is that goin' to be a problem?" she asked, making it a question.
"Problem?" Logan repeated, even though he knew exactly what she meant. He
only had a few seconds to process that before she drew her legs up to crawl
into the back seat. The convertible rocked a little as she did. Marie
settled right into his lap, her slim thighs cradling his on either side.
She nodded as she wrapped her arms around his neck, careful not to let her
skin touch his. He had every good intention of easing her off when his hands
found her hips. Instead, Logan closed his eyes as he pressed them into his.
"Yeah. It's a problem," he whispered, almost growled at the pleasure the
contact caused. This was what he'd been avoiding; it was also what he was
wanting and not with Jean.
He opened his eyes and found her staring into them before she closed her own
in concentration. Concentration Logan knew better than to break as she
brought her mouth to his.
It was just a careful press of lips at first, but then she parted hers to
allow his tongue access inside. He wasted no time sweeping it against hers,
hoping like hell she wouldn't lose control. And she didn't, until a low,
prickling heat caused her to draw back abruptly.
"Sorry," Marie breathed, her eyes snapping open. As soon as she did, she
felt everything go black for a minute as the drain hit her. She dropped her
head on Logan's shoulder and squeezed her eyes shut again until it passed.
Even after it had, she kept her head down anyway.
Stupid, Rogue. That was stupid, she told herself.
But he had kissed her back.
In fact, she could still taste the kiss, the hint of cigar and whatever had
to be just Logan. She became increasingly aware of the growing pressure
beneath her, the weight of her body over his and the heavy sound of his
breathing. His hands drifted from her waist and down her backside before
finally pulling them away.
"We, uh, really should. . ."
Marie lifted her head to stare at Logan. Flustered. He looked flustered.
"Really should what?" she asked, her heart racing.
"Shouldn't. That. This," he stammered, giving his head a slight shake. He
seemed more disappointed with himself than with her.
"It's a problem," Marie concluded, knowingly, because it was.
"Yeah," he exhaled, his eyes searching hers intensely. She let out a little
gasp as his hands found her waist again, this time to ease her off and back
so she was sitting on his thighs. Her arms fell from around his neck, but
Logan managed to catch one gloved hand in his. He held it up. "But not
because of this. There are ways around this."
How he said it led her to believe he'd thought out those ways.
"Sometimes," Marie began, her voice faltering. It didn't help he was still
holding her hand, his fingers wrapping around hers. Her words got stuck in
her throat, which was quickly tightening. "I. . ."
"Sometimes you what?" Logan pressed, wanting her to explain what she really
couldn't. She'd absorbed both David and Erik, felt them in her head, but
neither left her with the same sense of attachment she had with Logan. It
already went beyond anything physical, yet she still found herself craving it
just the same. Maybe it was an after effect of all they'd been through
already, but still the want was there. She sighed and chose the only three
words she could to describe it.
"I need you," she said, almost apologetically. She winced, anticipating a
negative reaction. It didn't appear to phase him at all. He simply nodded
in acceptance, then let go of her hand.
"And I need you to get back in the front seat," he warned, leaning forward
just enough to bring his face to hers. In his eyes, flickered something
unsettled and solicitous before he blinked it away.
"Why? Are we goin' somewhere?" Marie asked, shifting off him to climb back
over. She slid into the passenger's side and looked back at him expectantly.
She knew it wasn't what he meant, but he gave in to her request anyway.
Logan rolled his eyes and reluctantly climbed out of the car.
"Got the keys?" he asked, walking around it and her to the driver's side.
Marie fished them out of her back pocket and tossed them at him. Logan
caught them in one hand and shook his head in disapproval.
"One of these days. . ." he muttered to himself, as he got in. Marie watched
with a smile as he fumbled with the keys before inserting the right one into
One of these days, it wasn't going to be a problem.
With the Registration Act so close to being passed, she only hoped that day
would be sooner rather than later.
Feedback to MoJoBer@...
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