Title: The Arrow of Time
Series: The Big Crunch
Summary: Rogue deals with her feelings for Logan after his return.
Archive: ask me first please
Feedback: please feed the monkey (THat would be me)
"The Arrow of Time"
He came home. To tell the truth, I was more than a little surprised. I
wasn't expecting it. He'd been gone for so long, I'd almost forgotten his
promise. I was sure he'd forgotten it. After all, three years without word
from another person is enough to make you forget. Or want to forget.
Oh, I still fantasized about him. What girl wouldn't? He was my savior,
wasn't he? My honest to goodness hero. He was the older man with the rough
good looks any teen-aged girl gets a crush on. And I had to keep reminding
myself of that. It was a crush. Nothing more.
Funny thing is, I haven't really had another one. A crush, I mean. You'd
think by now, someone would have come along to displace him, wouldn't you?
Some cute boy, or another older man, a teacher I could look up to, dream
about? But it never happened. I didn't think about him as much, but I
didn't pin my hopes on anyone else either. Honestly, I haven't wanted to. I
haven't wanted to think about any of that at all. Whenever I do, I get a
deep knot way down in my belly. It makes me sick, if you really want to
know. I don't want to think about the things I can't have.
Sometimes, I'll be sitting outside, watching the other kids play
basketball, or whatever, and Jean and Scott will pass by. They're always
holding hands, or hugging each other. And I'll stare at her for as long as
they're in my sight. Those moments, I really hate her. And it's not just
because she can touch someone, and it's not just because I know Logan loves
her. It's because she has so much. So much of everything. I envy her with
an intensity I'm embarrassed to admit. Does she know what she has? Is her
mind capable of appreciating it? It's those moments that I end up hating
myself the most. Because I think about how pathetic it is: pining over
things I can't have, envying a woman whose been nothing but kind to me.
And then he came home. I heard about it before I saw him. He'd apparently
been back a couple of days before Ororo told me. She had this look on her
face when she did, the look I always seem to get from people. That kind of
pitying, sad look that always seems to come out when people are reminded
that I can never be normal, even for a mutant. And, Isn't it cute and oh so
terrible that she can have a crush? I know she didn't mean anything by it,
but I'm so sick of people treating me like I'm disabled. If I'm confined to
live alone within my skin, I don't want to be reminded of it day in and day
I was reading a book when he came in. Wuthering Heights. I hated almost
all the characters. Heathcliff and Cathy were despicable, I thought.
Really, pretty rotten people. It wasn't until the end of the damned thing
that I understood, a little. Anyway, that's what I was reading when he came
in. I looked up, half expecting Bobby or Scott, anyone else, but it was
He just kind of plopped down on the couch next to me and said, "Hey, Kid"
like I'd seen him at breakfast or something. I just sort of looked at him,
because I didn't know what to say after so much time. He looked the same. I
think the jacket was different but he looked exactly the same.
I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. It was strange, having him there in
front of me. He was like a vision. A ghost from the strangest part of my
life. He wasn't looking at me, though. I think he was trying to look at
anything but me. Maybe he was embarrassed that he didn't know what to say.
That's how I was feeling.
Finally, he came up with "How are ya?"
Genius, I thought. I'd never pegged Logan as the kind to exchange
pleasantries. He must've been really hard up for things to say. "Fine," I
replied, and left it at that.
He frowned a little but nodded and replied "Good" like what I'd said was
"Where've you been?" I asked, trying hard to keep any hint of bitterness
from my voice. There was no point in letting him know just how hurt I was
that he didn't seek me out earlier. I wondered just who he'd run into
first. Was it Professor X? Or maybe Jean. That thought unsettled me so I
tried to concentrate on what he was saying.
"Here and there. I didn't find anything useful up there. Not really." I
could see he wasn't telling me the whole truth and I felt another twinge of
anger because I knew he thought I was a child and there was no reason to
confide in a child. "Mostly, I just fell into my old life. What I was
doing before I came down here."
His old life. It didn't surprise me that much, that he'd find a reason to
stay away. Even if it was just so he could go back to barroom brawling and
living in a beat up trailer.
"Why're you back?" It slipped out before I could contain it. It was what
I'd wanted to ask all along. Why had he come back? Had he gotten tired of
his old life? Had he missed any of us? Had he missed me?
He gave me a funny look, like wasn't it obvious? "I told you I'd be back."
The words caught me off guard. I wasn't sure if I should be pleased or
disheartened. Confused is what I mostly was. Had he come back for the tags?
The damned tags I'd finally buried under layers of scarves and gloves in
one of my drawers when I decided long ago he wasn't coming back to me? "I
thought you'd forgotten," I muttered, half afraid I was sounding like a
five year old.
He raised an eyebrow, in that way of his, and shook his head. "Nope. Just
put it off for awhile."
That got to me. He'd put if off? Like you put off doing a chore or
something else you really don't want to do? If that's what his promised
had meant to him, I really didn't think I wanted him back.
I glanced his way, noticing that this time, he was really looking at me.
Staring. Could he tell how pissed off I was? Could he smell it? "You've
I hadn't really. I hadn't changed that much. I wore a little make-up when
it suited me, and maybe that made me look a little older. But maybe he
wasn't talking about physically. "Time passes," I said, as if that
"Yeah," he replied, but he was still looking at me in that funny way. It
was making me uncomfortable.
I got up then, because the silence and the staring were putting me on edge.
"I'll go get them. They're upstairs."
His eyes boring into mine almost made me forget just what the Hell I was
talking about. "Um, the dog tags."
He stood up too. "Oh. Them. I don't need them right now."
It made me feel stupid. He didn't need them, right now. But he did want
them back. I'd wanted him to say that he wasn't back for them, that he was
back for me. But he didn't say anything.
I picked up my book from my chair. I was suddenly desperate to get out of
the room. To get away from him. "Well, I'll be seeing you Logan." It
sounded lame, but I couldn't think up a good excuse.
He only nodded. As I made my way out the door, trying to keep my legs from
breaking into a run, he called out, "Rogue."
I stopped - it was beyond me - and turned to look at him. He was smiling, a
typical Logan smirk. "You look good, Kid." Kid. It couldn't have hurt more
if he'd stabbed me through the chest again with one of his claws.
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