Title: Finding Hope Pt 1
Fandom: X-Men the Movie
Disclaimer: All characters belong to the Marvel Entertainment Group,
and are used without permission, for entertainment purposes only. No
infringement upon the rights of Marvel should be inferred; nor is any
Archiving: OK, but don't include my e-mail address, I get too much
Characters: Rogue & all main film characters, one Mary Jane.
Rating: PG. She thinks lewd thoughts, but nothing terribly graphic or
violent is described. 4 swear words (assorted).
Pairing: Rogue/Logan AND Rogue/Magneto
Summary: Rogue reflects on the events covered by the film (with a few
extra bits) and comes to an unusual conclusion about the way to
control her "gift" with the help of Magneto. Won't make sense if you
have not seen the film. (Author notes at end. )
I was certain he meant to kill me when I touched him and nothing
happened. There is something about having a train car, that you are
in, ripped open like a wet paper bag, just so someone can get to you,
that makes you suspect that they mean you no good. Still, all my
original panic at Magneto's violent entrance into my life was for
Logan, for the strangers on the train, not for me. While having a
touch that can kill can make you terribly shy of friendship, it also,
naturally enough, makes you feel at least physically invulnerable to
I had, after all, managed to hitchhike from my home in Mississippi as
far as Northern Alberta, without cash, credit cards or I.D. I may look
like the sort of fragile jailbait that normally is found in small
pieces thawing in a ditch along the Alcan the next spring, but I'm
not. People have tried to hurt me before, but my skin is better proof
against attack than plate armor. Among the drivers of dozens of cars,
trucks and R.V.'s that had propelled me North there were several
incidents where I was picked up by drivers, who parked by the side of
the road and demanded "payment" for my ride. The first, who was
really scary, said nothing at all, but just pulled out a small sharp
knife and laid it against my throat. If I were "normal" I knew I'd
have been road kill right then. These incidents, however, ended
almost as soon as they began. One touch of my bare skin, and my
attacker was unconscious. The man with the knife, I actually held on
longer, deliberately. A road crew found his body in a ditch near Lake
Charles where there was no snow to cover him.
By the time I met Logan in Laughlin City, I was no longer heading
North to just to get to Alaska, but fleeing from a police hunt. I had
seen reports on the TV, with my slimy attackers babbling on and lying
about me. The newsmen had inappropriately dubbed me "The Disappearing
Hitchhiker" from the urban legend of that name, and broadcast the
usual badly rendered and inaccurate "composite drawing" of my face on
all the networks. An international manhunt for a sixteen-year-old
girl is ratings building news after all, especially if she is a
All the news had made it harder and harder to get rides, since
suddenly a young girl did not look like a safe hitcher to pick up
anymore. I was nearly nabbed by the RCMP twice, and even when I got
away from the police, I had a prickly sensation at the back of my neck
like I was being watched and followed. I wasn't sure if this was
real, or just the result of sucking in the memory of the quiet man
with the knife. He too had been fleeing police, and his psychotic
paranoia was infectious.
The bits and snippets of the other drivers' memories were leaving me
confused as well, since I couldn't sort out which was which, being
only tiny disconnected fragments from a fleeting touch. However all
of them had the thread in common with the quiet man of being
victimizers, and between their memories and my own lethal touch, I
became not so much terrified of being hurt, as of hurting anyone I
made contact with.
From the first day I met him I was terrified of hurting Logan. I liked
him. No. Liked was too weak a term. He was a mutant too, the first
of "my kind" I had ever met. Although I'd guessed he was a mutant
hours before his amazing metal claws popped out of his hands and
removed all doubt, in every other way he seemed so curiously normal
and ordinary. He smoked cigars, had a dated "Elvis" cut, and looked
like the rest of the truckers who passed through with flatbeds of pink
foam headed for Fairbanks. He had been in that scruffy rest stop for
weeks before anyone figured out he was a mutant. I had been imagining
that my own mutation had somehow been blazoned on my forehead the
moment it had become manifest at home. Yet Logan, who was a mutant
himself, didn't guess about me till I told him. Even then, he treated
me like an ordinary girl, which, of all things, was the safest, most
comforting illusion I ever felt.
I had not exactly been feeling normal since my best friend David Cody
kissed me a month before. Everything in my previously quiet life had
gone to pieces that day, and I have been struggling ever since to get
it under control and back together.
It all began with a perfectly nice Saturday: no homework, nice weather
for Fall, my Mom playing the piano downstairs as if to assure me she
would not interrupt even if a boy was in my room alone with me. I'd
cleaned my room, wore a tight skirt and revealing top, and even got
the conversation going onto a subject that required we climb on my bed
to consult the map at the head of it. It had taken months of hinting
at my interest to get him to the point. I had thought that he was
just too used to me as a friend who he used to climb trees with, or go
to the video arcade, to realize I was a girl.
Well, he finally, finally, got the point, and his lips touched mine.
And for a few seconds everything seemed great: it was fireworks, and I
felt like our two souls were merging, and all this wonderful energy
was flowing from his lips into mine
About two seconds too late I
realized that that was exactly what had happened. I had nearly sucked
the life out of him, like a Vampire, without even trying. I screamed.
He passed out. My parents called 911 and pretty much everything went
to hell. David spent three weeks in a coma. Everyone at school blamed
me. Some jerk tried to rough me up in the hallway about it, and when
he did, he too passed out cold, and I got suspended. David's parents
blamed me, and my own parents blamed themselves, which was worse. Mom
kept trying to touch and hug me, and I was terrified I might hurt her,
and almost worse, get to know stuff I'd rather not find out. There
are things you just don't want to know about your parents.
The most unnerving part of kissing David had been the transfer of a
huge raft of David's memories and feelings. I now knew why it had
been so hard to get him up to scratch. He had a mega crush for the
last two years on Jesus (not the Deity, but Jesus Sosa, a cute Spanish
kid in our high school who wore tight jeans and a D.A. haircut and had
enough girlfriends to leave David in despair). David thought I was
the greatest girl in the world, he wished he were in love with me, he
wished a lot of things. It made me realize that wishing myself not to
be a mutant was as hopeless and pointless as David wishing he were
I wished he were straight. I had been wishing for the last year that
he would make love to me. Now I had no hope at all that anybody would
ever make love to me.
When David finally came to, I left town. I couldn't face him. I had
always said I wanted to drive from my home in Meridian, MS to
Anchorage once I had left High School. It had seemed a fun adventure,
just driving and driving as far as you can go without a passport. Of
course, I didn't have a car, and I'd just got my learner's permit, and
it was all too soon. It wasn't an adventure; it was a nightmare. I
just kept thinking I needed to go North, so that it wouldn't seem
funny for me to be all covered up and wearing gloves.
Sure enough, far up North, when Logan found me in his trailer, he
didn't think there was anything odd about me. There I was, with me,
my gay boyfriend, and some now mercifully dead psycho, scrabbling for
a foothold in my brain, a touch that could fell a normal human in
three seconds, and a mutant, in under a minute, and half the RCMP in
Alberta out to get me, and he looked at me and just saw an ordinary
runaway kid. Yes, it's true. I love Logan. The fact that he looks a
bit like a grown up version of Jesus Sosa, had nothing to do with it.
I just loved the fact that he made me feel like an ordinary kid again.
As I said, it was a wonderful illusion.
Then my amazing luck turned things to crap again as this huge guy who
looked like a Yeti crashed our truck and tried to kill Logan. The
creepy sensation of being followed had been right. Happily, we were
not only followed by the Yeti guy, but by a movie star looking couple
that dressed like they had popped out of the Matrix. They whomped the
Yeti, and took Logan and me to a mutant school in Westchester of all
improbable places. I thought Westchester was for WASPS not mutants.
At the school in Westchester I almost instantly got used to being
treated as normal, by a bunch of kids who acted like regular kids even
while walking through walls, or conjuring flames from the air. Logan
was settling into a nice safe role as a big brother (well, a very
attractive big brother, but when you can't touch anyone, attraction
just has to be ignored, right?) Everything was fine. I'd met a nice
mutant boy, Bobby, who looked a bit like David, but was obviously
interested in me, not the other boys. The other girls at school were
friendly and leant me clean clothes. The teachers even turned out to
be those cool movie-star Matrix folks who had rescued us. It was all
postcard perfect except for an earnest little talk with Professor
Xavier, where he explained how I would "hopefully" learn to control my
"gift" in time, and theoretically be able to touch people without
sucking the life out of them. It didn't take telepathic powers to
read that Prof X thought my chances were slim to none of actually
doing that, and was just trying to sound optimistic to cheer me.
But overall, despite this, I was a little bit cheered. I was
accepted, I was normal for this abnormal place, and even if I was
going to be stuck being the oldest living virgin in Westchester,
everybody seemed to like me. I could look if I didn't touch, and
there was a lot to look at: Logan (of course), the boys at school,
and even Mr. Summers (the Matrix dressed H.S. teacher) was a sight to
behold when he gave us all his best view while drawing on the
blackboard. I had once again managed to believe the illusion that
everything was normal, and would somehow come out all right.
Things were not all right. I still wanted to touch someone so badly I
could taste it. Preferably Logan. Unfortunately, the last man I
touched for more than a fleeting second or two was residing in a
refrigerated drawer at the Lake Charles Parish Morgue. I couldn't
sleep worth beans in the girl's dorm. Just knowing what I couldn't
have was making me restless. If nobody touches you for a day, you
don't notice. For a week, even, won't kill you. But when you fear
you may never get to touch anyone again, for years and years, maybe
till death, you find yourself dwelling on it, and losing sleep. When
I did sleep, my dreams were embarrassingly erotic nightmares, with a
cast ranging from the Yeti guy to Professor X. I kept waking up
either humming with longing, or shaking in fear, sometimes both.
So when I heard Logan having a nightmare I hadn't a particle of
control. I was in his room so fast. I was so solicitous. Poor
Logan! How I wish I could smooth your poor brow and chase away the
.. I still want to kick myself for that piece of idiocy.
Metal spikes through the thorax were what I should have expected.
After all, Logan is a mutant too. There are probably quite a few
stupid people who ended up in drawers in morgues courtesy of
underestimating him too. I could have been one of them, but I
wasn't. I went and got what I'd come for, and touched him. It saved
my life and nearly killed him.
The next morning I felt like the lowest life form on the planet. I'd
nearly killed Logan and managed to snatch from his mind enough
memories to know he had the hots for one of our teachers, Dr. Gray.
Worse still, now I spent my whole science class with all the other
students looking at me like I'd sprouted horns, and me not being able
to take my own eyes off of Dr. Gray's backside as she drew on the
blackboard. After class I heard another boy in the hall making some
gross remark about what I had been up to in Logan's bedroom so I went
off to the far edge of the school grounds. The yummy Bobby boy who
reminded me of David came up, and in the nicest way possible told me I
was an insect who nobody wanted around and I should pack up and fuck
off. So I did.
It turns out that he was wrong, (indeed he wasn't even him, but I
digress.) Everybody did want me (some I didn't even know about), and
they all went looking for me at the train station. First was Logan,
so nice and sweet and dammed brotherly, promising to look out for me,
and talking me into going back. He hugged me, as if I hadn't nearly
sucked his life away and stolen all his memories, sketchy as they
were. I even told him that I'd done so, and he was O.K. with that
too. It made me cry. He actually offered to protect me, which just
about pulled my insides out. Who, I wondered, was going to protect
him from me? I felt even more guilty than before, and yet I just
wanted to forget what I was, and curl up in his arms. I might have
done so if the train hadn't started to move, and nearly put us in skin
contact with the sudden jerk of motion. I pulled away just in time,
and reminded myself that I had to forever think of him as a big
brother, or risk his neck.
The teachers were all there at the train station too, searching for
me, although I didn't know it then. What was rapidly apparent,
however, was that someone else wanted me too. The train car we were
in stopped suddenly, and ripped open, and if that were not
disconcerting enough a tall old man in an odd helmet literally floated
Logan, true to his word to protect me, sprung out his adamantium
claws, and prepared to slice and dice. That was as far as he got.
The old man calmly asked if "that remarkable metal runs through all of
your body?" of Logan. Then, with equal calmness he proceeded to
levitate and torque the metal inside Logan, experimentally, with a
flick of his hand. I thought of the adage that Age and Treachery
always beats Youth and Skill, but found it inappropriate. What was
scary about the old man was Age with Skill. He knew exactly how far
to bend the adamantium to test it, without actually breaking anything.
The fact that he tortured Logan for a few moments while he did so
seemed not an act of malice, but of terrifying indifference. He was
just testing the properties of the unusual alloy, for reference. When
he'd learned enough Logan was tossed to the back of the car, like
crumpled scratch paper used for an equation.
I ran after Logan, but was hit by something that must have knocked me
out. I awoke the following day in a bed in a cold stone room, with
brushed steel décor that made it seem colder still. I was not tied
up, but the room was locked. The old man had implied to Logan that he
was not after him, but after me. (He was even a bit flip about it: "My
dear boy, why should you imagine I wanted you?") I could not fathom
why. It was not as though my "gift" (as the Professor insisted on
calling it) was actually useful for anything beyond zapping perverts
who preyed on hitchhikers. Still, I wasn't anxious to find out what
use he had for me, and was determined to zap him the first chance I
About an hour later I had my chance. The man came into the room where
I was locked up with food on a tray. He was no longer wearing his
helmet or gray uniform suit, but had ordinary black slacks and an
unusual shirt of iridescent black fabric that looked like he was
radiating fire. "Shot silk" I remembered. Well let's give him a
shot. He placed the tray in front of me and I noted he had rolled his
cuffs up a bit to show a tantalizing inch or two of wrist. The better
to shoot you with, I thought. "I hope you like fish?" he inquired in
a tone that was civil, but not overly anxious to please.
"Sure." I assented, and made a great show of eagerly staring at the
food and ripping off my gloves, as if it was what I automatically did
when I ate. He didn't back away, or move his left hand from the edge
of the table, and in a few seconds I had trapped it beneath my right
And nothing happened.
There was a long pause. Neither of us said anything. I kept waiting
for my damn "gift" to kick in and kill him, but it didn't. There was
just a warm, seemingly ordinary man's hand beneath my own, with a tiny
sort of electric tickle, like a sweater when it comes out of the
dryer. That was it. I knew it. This quiet old man with the warm
skin, and the cold sad eyes was going to kill me and I couldn't do a
damn thing about it. He could control the flow of the electricity
that passed between us like a switch that only he could turn off or
After a few more moments of looking at my hand with seeming
indifference as I sat there in shock, he picked up my hand and put the
fork in it. I didn't resist. I also didn't eat when he left without
another word. I climbed back in bed, and put the covers over my head
and hugged the hand he'd held to my chest as if he'd hurt it somehow.
Somehow, I felt that he did.
Continued in Pt2