Title: Running to Stand Still
Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...
Summary: "She will suffer the needle chill / she's running to stand still"
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of
fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool.
Feedback: Don't make me beg.
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Dot, Meg and Pete'n'Melissa. Title and summary
stolen from U2. Somewhat inspired by Diebin's "Splinter Me Filter" and my
own jones for junkie!Rogue.
Date: October 15, 2002
Running to Stand Still
She stays out all night -- for days, even, sometimes.
They're used to it now; they worry -- both that they missed all the signs
in the first place, and now that they accept the consequences as if they
were inevitable. And maybe they were.
She doesn't know about inevitability. She doesn't care.
She does know they worry, but she can't think of them, can't think of him.
It's his fault.
It's Logan's fault. He didn't come back. One year turned into two turned
into four and Goddammit, how long was she supposed to wait?
She's always had the urge to run -- that's how she'd met him, after all --
and having him in her head just intensified it.
Problems at home? Run away.
Problems at school? Run away.
Problems that run away from you? That took a little longer to figure out.
Because a handful of postcards and twice-yearly conversations about
nothing in particular were enough to drive her out into the night, looking
for something to scratch the itch that lived just beneath her toxic skin,
the sting of being lost, rejected, left behind.
And that something is far too easy to find, in the local clubs Jubes and
Kitty dragged her to on the nights she wanted to stay home and wait for
his calls. On street corners in the Bronx when she's feeling adventurous.
From a friend of Remy's who's never visited the school, and who'd probably
find his ass kicked back to the Big Easy if Remy found out about their
She doesn't think about it anymore. Doesn't care about him anymore. All
that matters now is the next score.
She uses the credit card Xavier gave her. He never questions her
exorbitant expenditures -- local motels billing at hourly rates. She knows
he knows -- they all know. But they haven't been able to reach her for so
long. They tried and she tried; she promised to do better and did, for a
week or two. And then the cycle began again. Even the expensive sanitarium
Xavier sent her to couldn't hold her; she ran from there and lived on the
street for a week before Scott and Storm found her and brought her home.
She made a show of trying to behave and they pretended to believe it. The
relentless grind of failure has eroded the good intentions on both sides,
the good intentions that paved this road to hell. Now they're all
complicit in the little charade she's got going, and somehow the running
is easier when she knows she can run back.
Jean makes sure there are always clean syringes in an unlocked closet down
in the lab. Scott makes sure she comes home in one piece, watching over
her, resigned, ashamed... guilty.
They all feel so guilty and she's tired of their looks and their shame. So
she runs. Taps the needle. Hits the vein. Rides the rush down into
blissful lethargy, waits for the drum of her heart to slow until she
thinks she's dead.
It's the only time she stops running, the only way she's found to stand
still without the pain.
This time, though, it's not Scott who brings her home.
She looks up and after four long years, he's there. He reaches for her,
but she jumps to her feet, unsteady in the unfamiliar motel room.
"Don't touch me!"
He says something, but it's lost in the pounding of her blood in her ears.
"You promised," she screams, "and I hate you! It's your fault!"
She sees it in his eyes -- the same guilt and fear and resignation she's
been running from for years.
But he's not Scott and he doesn't do guilt, regret or shame. Not where
anyone can see, anyway.
He hauls her out of the motel and dumps her into the passenger seat of a
trailer that could be the same exact one he had when she first met him,
except that one blew up. And she wonders for a moment if Manny laced her
stash with something else, because past and present are colliding and it's
ruining her high.
"You running again?" he says mildly. He buckles her in, eyebrow raised and
daring her to question, then starts the engine.
She tries to hit him, but he evades her easily.
"If you're going to run," he says, "you better learn how to do it right."
And he pulls out of the motel parking lot.
Her life is in motion again, and she's not sure where it's going. But for
the moment, it's all right. She'll ride it out, and if things get rough,
she can always start running again.
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