Title: The Magic of Belief
Keywords: X-men movie fic, post-movie, Logan POV, Logan/Rogue
Rating: R (for sexual content and language)
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the universe this story is
Distribution: My site (http://ficorama.cjb.net)
--and the x-
menmoviefanfic list site and Kielle's site if they're interested.
Anyone else, please ask.
Thanks: To Molly and Kate for all their encouragement.
August 31, 2000
"The students are mostly runaways; frightened, alone--some with gifts
so extreme they've become a danger to themselves and to those around
them, like your friend Rogue--incapable of physical human contact,
probably for the rest of her life."--Charles Xavier (X-Men: The Movie)
I suppose that a few people--I'm thinking two here, Scott and Xavier,
always thought that I would come back. I suppose they also thought I
would come back for Rogue. They're romantic guys. They like causes
and believing and whatever else it is that believers establish to
believe in. Scott loves Jean and being an X-Man in a way that mostly
nauseates me and the Professor loves his causes so much that I'll bet
there's not room for much else. He spoke to me about Magneto once,
and just briefly. I think it was something along the lines of
how "Erik" helped him create a few things around the school. I knew
what had happened. Xavier dreamed and dreamed and dreamed some more
and Erik left because no one wants to be just the corner of a dream.
I'll bet Xavier misses Erik though. I'll bet he dreams of saving
Magneto from himself. He seems like that kind of guy.
I didn't come back for Rogue. She didn't even enter into my decision.
When I left, I felt as if I'd lived up to my promise to her. I'd kept
her safe. When I left, she wasn't thinking only about survival. She'd
started to think about living. I'd say that's pretty damn good.
I thought about Marie sometimes when I was gone. Once in a while I'd
call her. At first, she'd run for the phone. She was living in some
sort of dorm thing at the time, and I guess they only had one phone
for her floor or something. I'd call the school and always get put on
hold. Then Xavier would come on the line and say something very
smooth and polite and act like he was interested in what I was doing.
Maybe he was. I would mutter something back and he would ask if I
wanted to speak to Rogue and I would say "Yeah. I want to talk to
Marie." I could almost hear him smile and he'd say, "One moment
Then there would be silence for a while and a female voice would
say "Hello?" I would ask for Marie and get "Who?" You'd think that
after a while I'd learn to ask for Rogue. I suppose I didn't want to.
Then there would be more silence while whoever answered the phone
went to get her. Then after a minute or two, I would hear her
running down the hall--I'd hear the slap of her shoes against the
floor-- and then there'd be a slightly breathless "Hello?"
I would ask her how she was doing and she would say "Fine, fine" in
an impatient tone and then ask me where I was. Sometimes I told her,
although sometimes I made up places. I sensed that she wanted to
think of me as always moving and I didn't want to let her down. She
was easy to please--I'd always shied away from keeping in touch with
anyone before because there were always expectations. Demands.
Usually they were tied up in wishes that I had no interest in
fulfilling. But she just wanted to know that I was somewhere and she
liked that I wandered. Before she was Rogue she was a girl who wanted
to see the world and I could understand that.
So I'd tell her a little bit about where I was. The weather--the
color of the sky, the way the place smelled, if I'd seen anything
interesting. Once I was driving across Kansas and I saw a tornado
moving across the sky. It was far away but it triggered a memory of
some book about Oz and I pulled over and called her. She knew the
book I was talking about and asked what color the tornado was. No "be
careful" or anything like that. Maybe because it was she had a part
of me inside her--I don't know. I just know that she was easy to keep
in touch with, and that's why I did.
After a while she didn't run for the phone as much. Sometimes she
wasn't there when I called, although when I did speak to her again
she would remember the date of my last call and tell me that she was
sorry she missed it. She started to talk a little bit about herself
and at first I thought I wouldn't care. But I did. I liked hearing
about her classes, which she felt were "too hard," and I liked
hearing about the regular teenage things she did on the weekends.
When Bobby asked her to go to some big dance and she told me all
about her dress I even fed the phone extra quarters so I could keep
listening to her. I liked hearing how happy she was. I was pretty
damn proud of myself. Which was stupid--after all, she was the one
who pulled her life together--but it was how I felt.
She finished high school and I figured that would be the end of the
phone calls. I called her just before she left for college and asked
her if she was all packed up. There was silence for a moment. I
didn't think anything of it. Sometimes when she was all talked out
we'd stay on the line for a minute or two and I'd just listen to her
breathe. I still remember the way she'd gasped and made a terrible
wheezing noise when I slid my claws into her one night a long time
ago, and just hearing her breathe has always made me feel calm and
not so worried about all the things I might have done a long time ago
and that I can only sort of remember.
"I've got a number at college," she finally said. She let out a
little sigh and I think that was the only time she was ever nervous
talking to me. I don't know if it was because she was afraid that I
wouldn't want to talk to her anymore or merely because she'd sort of
asked me for something. It was hard for her to do that--to ask for
"I'm heading back to Canada for a while" I told her. "So maybe I'll
give you a weather report. What's your number?"
She recited a number and I scratched it into the metal stand below
the phone with a claw. The guy who was waiting to use the phone at
the time ran off when I did that.
It took me a while to scare up a pen to copy her number down with,
but I did and I didn't lose the piece of paper with her number on it.
I called her a couple of times and things were just the same only now
I didn't have to go through the rigmarole of "chatting" with Xavier
before I talked to her.
I lost her phone number during her sophomore year of college. I was
in Alaska and I got in a fight in a bar outside a military base. I
got knocked out and when I woke up it was six months later and I
could smell the stink of military doctors and generals and other
assorted military personnel all over me--chipped beef and polyester
uniforms and "yes" men. I spent another eight months trying to figure
out what had been done to me and then I gave up and went to New York.
I wanted answers and it was pretty obvious that I was never going to
be able to find them, and at that point I was willing to let someone
else look inside my head if only so I could be told what I couldn't
I didn't even think Marie would be at Xavier's. For all I knew, she
was still at college. But she was there--I saw her, just briefly and
out of the corner of my eye, when I arrived. When I was sitting in
Xavier's office waiting for him, I noticed that he had a bunch of
letters on his desk. Several of them were about her. The first one
was from the university she'd gone to, confirming her withdrawal.
Another letter revealed that she'd been asked to leave. The school
didn't know she was a mutant, but they did after a cafeteria worker
went to tap her on her shoulder because she'd forgotten to have her
id card scanned when she went to the dining hall. The worker's hand
slipped and brushed against Marie's neck and the worker split his
skull open when he fell on the floor after someone pulled him away
from her. I noticed that she'd signed her withdrawal letter to the
university as Rogue.
Xavier came in and I put the letters back down on the desk and looked
at him. "You know about Rogue?" he said, and I shrugged.
"How is she?"
"Fine." He gestured at his desk. "The incident in question happened
six months ago. She's managed to work through it fairly well. What
brings you back here?"
I told him a little about what had happened to me and didn't ask any
more questions about Marie. I figured she was ok--Xavier was pretty
savvy about mutant stuff, after all. He took a look inside my mind
and came out white-faced. He started to tell me what had happened but
I stopped listening when he said that it looked like all the military
had done was test me and watch me and then wipe my mind so I would
forget all about them. I thought I'd accepted that a lot of me was
created by the government; that they feel they own me, but I guess I
haven't. Whenever I think about it, all I want to do is hurt. Anyone,
anything. I got mad and slashed up Xavier's office pretty good and
knocked him and his wheelchair over and old one-eye himself came in
to try to subdue me. Good ole stick-up-his-ass Scott. I was glad to
see him, in a way. Then they sent Jean in because I'd knocked Scott
out and she managed to give me some sort of sedative.
I think Xavier thought that seeing Jean was what calmed me down. I
saw the look he shot her as the floor was rising up to meet my face.
But it wasn't Jean at all. I'd heard footsteps running down the hall
as Jean came over to me with her hand curved out like she was going
to touch my face. Those footsteps made me think about Marie and how
her voice would always smile when she said "Logan! You called!" It
was the first good memory that had come back to me in a long time and
for a moment, I felt ok. I was able to stand still. And then, like I
said, I hit the floor.
I talked to Marie later. I woke up in the med lab and she was sitting
beside the table they'd strapped me to. She was reading a book and
wrapping a strand of her hair around her gloved finger but she turned
to me the second I opened my eyes.
We talked for a little while--about nothing really, which I'm sure
disappointed Scott, who emerged lurking from the shadows a few
minutes later (like I couldn't smell him--all wounded pride and
fearless leader routine) and cleared his throat. Marie stood up and
told me she'd see me later.
I shrugged and nodded because she was still easy to talk to and the
thought of seeing her later wasn't bothering me. Scott started
talking and I managed to slice through the straps they'd use to hold
me down so they could run me through tests or whatever they thought
they were going to do.
I will give Scott some credit--he didn't even bat an eye when I got
up and started to walk out of the lab. He just said, "Jean will be
here in a minute to talk to you" and left the room.
I stayed because Scott had left and because I wanted to see Jean. She
came in almost right away, which led me to believe that she'd been
waiting in the hall while Scott made his big speech. She asked me how
I was and flushed a little when I said, "Fine, now that I've seen
I looked at her and smiled a little as she nervously smoothed a lock
of hair that didn't need smoothing; making sure it was tucked back
behind her ear. She cleared her throat and started fiddling with all
her medical gizmos. "Why did you come back?"
Her face was still a little flushed and she pretended that she was
fascinated by the wall right beside my head. She smelled delicious
and I liked that.
"Don't you know?" I whispered. "I came back because of you."
Her eyes went wide and startled for a moment--just a moment-- and if
things were really different or I was someone different or she was
someone different she might have believed me. Maybe I would have
meant what I said. Maybe. Then she laughed and looked into my eyes.
"No, you didn't."
I smiled because she'd caught me in my lie and because I'd forgotten
that Jean didn't take any crap. She ran all her little tests and I
made sure to make her laugh a little more--I knew that Scott was
probably nearby, listening and glowering. He knows how lucky he is to
have Jean, but I still felt like reminding him.
That was my big return. No drama, really, other than my "little
display" in Xavier's office (his words). I ran into Marie the next
day and she smiled and told me she'd heard I'd "trashed the
Professor's office." I got the feeling she wished she could do that.
So I asked her what was going on and she looked at the floor and
mumbled something about deciding college wasn't right for her and
that Xavier had told her that she could work at the school and join
the X-Men and what a great opportunity it was. We both knew that she
was having a hard time believing what she was saying. But I didn't
press her because I figured that it was her problem to sort out and I
had enough problems of my own.
Xavier told me that he'd find out what he could about my past and he
said that I was welcome to stay. He launched into a big speech about
how I could be a part of something great and make a difference and I
could feel myself slipping into a rage--for all his big talk, he was
just trying to recruit me. The only difference between him and the
military was that they didn't ask (I don't think). It wasn't a very
big difference to me. I muttered something and felt the claws under
my hands itch, ready to slide out and spit out all the words I didn't
feel like saying, and he dropped the whole thing.
I did fall into a routine of sorts and it wasn't all that bad. I had
no desire to strap on leather and save the world, but I didn't mind
fixing things or helping students think of ways to irritate Scott.
Marie and I usually met every day after she finished teaching. She
mostly got moved around to help out Storm or Jean with their classes
and sometimes when I would walk by the classrooms I would see her
looking out the window and I didn't like the way it made me feel--she
looked like all the memories I had of being helpless and trapped and
part of something I didn't want to be involved in. But in spite of
that I still didn't mind talking to her. I liked talking to her. She
didn't ask for anything at all and I could handle that.
And then I went to dinner one night--Xavier is big on "community" so
everyone eats together--and I was glaring at some kid who looked like
he was thinking about sitting with me when I saw Marie come into the
room. She was with one of the newer X-Men and she was laughing. The
kid she was with is named Gambit or Gamblor or Gimlet or something
like that and he has the fakest accent I've ever heard. When I met
him he said something like "Ah, zis is ze Volverine--the one with the
claws, yes?" and I managed--just barely-- not to laugh at him.
Anyway, for whatever reason, every female in the school adores the
guy. He can even make Jean blush and I stopped trying to get her to
do so after I saw that for the first time. It felt like something had
been taken away from me, though I couldn't have explained what it was
even if I wanted to. And it seemed that Marie liked him too because
when he leaned over towards her that night, her face turned a bright
red (no delicate Jean-like flushes for her) and I could hear her
laugh. She seemed pretty happy and although I was surprised that it
was the fake accent man that made her so I was just relieved to see
that she'd managed to find someone or something that made her smile.
And then I noticed something. Gambit reached towards her--like he was
going to take her hand or something--and he stopped. He acted like he
was reaching for something to her side- for a dish of whatever
creamed vegetables they were serving, maybe-- but it was obvious that
he wasn't. I don't know if he was afraid to touch her or thought that
he couldn't or what, the fact is that he didn't. He didn't do
anything to her and I saw. I saw her smile falter and I heard her
laugher stop and even though she acted like everything was fine and
stayed with him and sat next to him, I saw the way she pushed her
food around slowly and kept looking at her gloved hands. I kept
eating and tried to push what I was thinking out of my mind.
I noticed other things later. No one really touched her. Ever. When
I'd first gotten back, we were talking one day and I brushed my
fingers over the sleeve of her shirt (a nothing gesture, really)--
and she'd stared at me with wide and shocked eyes. I'd forgotten
about that moment, or maybe I just didn't want to think about what
her look meant. Once I remembered it though, it was a different story
and every time I closed my eyes I saw her startled face.
I told myself that she wasn't alone, that she was always with someone
wherever she went--that everyone liked her. All those things were
true. All those things were real and I saw them. But I also saw that
she always seemed a little separate, a little alone. I tried not to
think about it, I really did. I kept noticing anyway.
The truth is, everyone in the school accepted her--but only partly.
It was like she was encased in some kind of bubble. I asked Xavier
about it and he looked at me like I was crazy and said "Rogue is
making a life for herself, Logan. How does that make you feel?"
I knew exactly what he was saying. He was saying that I was feeling
things that I shouldn't. He was saying that I was some fucked-up-who-
knows-how-old guy who just wanted to get in the untouchable's girl's
pants. And maybe there was some truth to that. Marie had gotten
beautiful--not Jean beautiful, but a wild kind of beautiful. Her hair
was always crazy and she was always wrapped from head to toe in dark
colors and she walked like she wanted to blend right into the walls.
She didn't. Her eyes were so alive and her mouth always trembled a
little, like it was waiting to smile or to laugh or like it was
waiting for someone to touch it.
She once sat with me and complained about her eyebrows. Eyebrows, for
god's sake. I told her she was crazy. I couldn't stop staring at
them after she talked about them, though. She thought they looked
funny. I'd never noticed how perfect they were till that
I thought about the girl she'd been and the woman she'd turned into
and how those eyes of hers showed all of that. And I wanted her. But
I wasn't going to do anything about it. She wasn't like any of the
women I'd known or thought I remembered knowing. She didn't want to
watch me fight; she didn't want to watch me make people bleed. I
didn't know what she wanted from me and I wasn't going to ask. I
didn't want to make any more promises. Ever. Not even to her.
I didn't answer Charles's question because I didn't think it deserved
a response. Feelings are always tied to believing and I didn't want
either of those things fucking up my life.
A couple of days after the whole Gambit thing and my "talk" with
Xavier I saw Marie. I'd just finished fixing a broken lock and I
passed her in the hallway. She was going to her office and I walked
with her and told her about the lock. One of the kids had decided to
try and test out their powers on it, and it was, in Ororo's
words, "sort of melted."
She laughed when I said that and pushed her office door open. I
followed her inside and she looked back at me and I could see the
upward curve of her mouth, just barely, through the curtain of her
hair. "Sort of, huh?"
I reached out and pushed her hair back so I could see her eyes. She
drew back and I heard her let out a little gasp and all my suspicions
were confirmed. I wanted to walk away and not say anything else to
her but I stayed. I kept thinking about how the way she whirled into
my life and forced me to feel things for the first time in years. I
kept thinking about the look on her face when Gambit let his hand
fall away from her. I kept thinking about what her life was like,
about how all she had was being alone wrapped up in Xavier's dream of
what reality should be.
"I..." I couldn't tell her what I was thinking because I didn't want
to tell her what I was thinking. I watched her take a deep breath
and then she filled in the pause that had fallen between us by
telling me that she knew the kid who'd melted the lock. I watched her
talk and she had a little half-smile on her face and I thought that
keeping that smile on her face would be a promise I might want to try
to make, that maybe it would be one I'd want to keep.
That thought scared the hell out of me and I started walking towards
the door. Fear isn't something I'm used to--but it's only because of
what I am, not because of who I am. What does the Wolverine have to
fear? I fall and I rise. I bleed and I heal. But I was afraid in that
moment--all of me was. I wanted my past; I wanted answers just for
me, just about me. I didn't want anything else and the fear I felt at
that moment came because I realized what a liar I am, because I
realized how greedy I am. I wanted to find out about myself and I
wanted Marie too.
"I guess I'll see you later" she said and she looked at my hand,
which was on the doorknob, and gave me a brilliant and utterly sad
I suddenly remembered how I felt when I woke up in Alaska. The sky
was blue and beautiful and I got up as fast as I could and looked
down at myself. I didn't look any different at all. I looked exactly
the same but the air around me smelled of a new season and when I
looked down at my hands all I could see was all the metal the
government had slid inside them and I realized my life wasn't my own,
that I was always going to be at the mercy of what I am.
I guess it was then that I knew that I was going to do something. She
was trying to help me out. She had problems of her own--big problems,
problems that I was only seeing part of, and yet there she was,
trying to help me. She knew I hated hearing about other people's
problems. She knew that I didn't want to offer her anything. And she
was ok with it.
"No one's touching you," I said and I felt sick and exhilarated when
I said those words. "But you can touch me."
I always liked the feeling I got right before a fight--I liked
standing there, watching my opponent circle around me. I liked
smelling the fear and anger and adrenaline and I liked the way it
made me felt, I liked the way it made me feel alive. And when I said
those words to her, I felt that rush fall over me.
She didn't say anything. Until then, I'd never really seen Marie at a
loss for words. Sometimes she'd get talked out and have to rest for a
second before she started chattering again. Sometimes she'd have to
wait a moment or two to collect her thoughts if I made her mad. But
I'd never seen her speechless. I had to smile at that.
Those eyebrows of hers arched up and she chewed on her bottom lip for
a moment. "Are you sure?" she finally said.
Her accent is a lot fainter now--her time in New York has mellowed
it, softened it--but it still comes out once in a while. There's
something about the lilt of all those rolling vowels. When I went
back in Canada after I'd first met her, I once met a guy in a bar who
was from Mississippi. He was an idiot, but I listened to his dumb
stories for over an hour just because I liked the sound of his voice.
Sometimes when I look back I think I've always known that she would
be in my life.
"Yes." I told her.
She swallowed and her hands fluttered up into the air and then back
down by her sides. "I don't know what to do."
God, she sounded so young. So young and so hopeful and so Marie. "I
I meant it. I wasn't worried about her.
She smiled at and if I wasn't sure of my motives before, I was then.
I didn't let her touch me because of compassion or kindness or even
pity. I let her touch me because I wanted her to. Because I'd thought
about it, because I wanted it, because everyone else was too stupid
to think of it and I was glad that I'd thought of it first.
She looked around for a minute and then she looked down at her hands.
I could see she was thinking that she couldn't do it. I could tell
that she was hearing whatever she'd been told about herself and
whatever she'd started thinking about herself when she first
discovered her power.
So I grabbed her hands. I grabbed her hands and I just held them.
She didn't try to pull away and after a minute or two she looked
right at me. There were tears in her eyes and I wasn't even afraid of
"Thank you" she said.
I felt bad about that. But then she moved her hands a little, just
resting them on my arms, and I stopped worrying about it.
At first, her touches were nothing. We would meet in her office and
she would take my hands and wrap her gloved ones around them and
stare at our entwined fingers. She poked at my knuckles and traced
the lines on my palms and asked me what her gloves felt like on my
skin. I managed to choke out "Smooth."
At first, she would only touch me for seconds. Her gloved hands would
skate around my fingers. If she was feeling daring, she might explore
my wrists or the skin on my forearm. I would go to Xavier's stupid
meetings on the status of whatever project he was worried about and I
would hate him and everyone else in the room for making Marie so
afraid of herself. Sometimes Xavier would glance at me and I still
don't know if he knew what I was thinking.
After a while she got more daring. She got tired of my arms and
touched my ears, the back of my neck, my chin, my throat. She would
rest her fingers on my temples and slide them over my closed eyelids
and down my face. Once her gloved hand traced up over my throat and
then rested against my mouth for just a second and I curled my hands
into fists and thought about snow and the way the camper I used to
own would get so cold in the winter that my breath would literally
freeze when it came out of my mouth and rain down onto the floor. I
longed to be that cold and alone again.
Her touches got better and worse and I started hollering at
everyone. She would put her hands in my hair and rest her face
against it and I had to start biting my tongue so I wouldn't grab her
and touch her. I wanted to touch her. I wanted to touch her so badly
that I was dreaming about it like some idiot kid. But dreaming of her
was better than the nightmares about rows of laughing faces dressed
in uniforms and it was still just dreaming. I still wanted to pretend
that her touching me was all about her and not about me at all.
She was afraid to do much more than touch my arms or my face and I
was thankful for that. She seemed a little happier and I was thankful
for that too. I didn't see her looking out of the windows every time
I walked by her classroom. When the younger kids would run to her
like they were going to hug her and then stop in confusion at the
last second, scared because they'd heard all about her powers, she'd
just smile at them. When Gambit flirted with her by paying her
outrageous compliments in his dumb-ass accent, she laughed and when
he would reach out towards her and then look resigned and sad she
would tease him. I didn't like that much but I made up for it by
occasionally picking a fight with him and imaging him spitted on the
end of my claws, screaming and confessing that he was really from
Hoboken or somewhere like that.
She and I would meet in the office Xavier had given her and I would
sit on her desk and watch those gloved hands of hers lift up towards
me and I couldn't believe that people were afraid of her. That they
didn't want her touch. Idiots.
For a while, she was fascinated by my sideburns. She would ask me
questions about them. Had I always had them? Did I like them? She
wanted to watch me shave, which startled me because it seemed so
ordinary and stupid that it was like a miracle. I said that sure, she
could, and we met in one of the med labs early on a Saturday morning
and I shaved and she watched. She told me her father used to sing
while he shaved and I asked her when she last talked to him. She
looked at me for a long time and then she stood up and walked over to
"Let me help."
She gestured towards my razor and I gave it to her. I watched as she
ran it down the last patch of foam on my face. It was dizzying to
look in the mirror and watch her hand run down my face, to watch her
as she bit her lip and concentrated. It was normal and real and it
was anything but because she was wearing gloves and we were in a
medical lab inside a school for mutants. When she was done she put
the razor down and looked in the mirror, looked right at me. "I
haven't talked to my father since the day I left home."
I could see everything she was thinking and I realized that I'd
watched her so much that I could read the shadows in her eyes and
that I'd memorized the skin on her face. I knew I felt something for
her that was as close to love as I think I can feel. There were a
lot of things I could have said to her but they'd probably been said
before and the things that hadn't been said were those I wasn't ready
to say. So I just splashed water on my face and said "Ok."
After that I still didn't touch her, but only because I wanted to so
much. We both held back because it was a lot easier to keep on
pretending and I think she was as scared as I was. When she was near
me the smell of the air became richer and fuller and I knew what it
meant and I would allow myself to rest my head against hers and dream
It had only been a couple of weeks, and she'd lodged under my skin as
firmly as all the metal the government grafted inside me. I didn't
care though and that worried me more than anything else.
And then one day I was outside trying to fix one of the stupid little
decorative spouts that Xavier had installed on the side of the big
fountain by the back of the school. It was mindless work and it was a
fairly nice day and Marie was outside too--she was over towards the
other end of the grounds, but once in a while she'd look over at me
and I could feel her smile at me.
I saw Scott and Jean and Xavier walking towards me and I didn't feel
the need to needle Scott at all. I heard a laugh and I looked up to
see Scott grinning at me and Jean looking puzzled. "Logan," she
said, "are you whistling?"
I stared at her for a moment. Scott started laughing again. "You
should see the look on your face!" he said.
I didn't even know I could whistle and it was kind of a shock to find
out I could. Jean was smiling at me, and it was a very nice and
almost tender looking smile, and I would have been able to get some
pleasure out of that and wipe the smirk off Scott's face with a
comment or two. But I happened to look over at Xavier and the look on
his face--it wasn't a happy one. It wasn't angry precisely; it was
just sort of sad. The look on his face said he knew I'd been lying to
myself and that he was calling me on it. That he was expecting me to
do "the right thing."
Marie and I met in her office that afternoon and instead of touching
me she told me that Xavier knew what we'd been doing and that he
didn't think it was a good idea. He told her that he was worried that
things would happen that she wouldn't mean to happen. That maybe I
would start things without thinking. That maybe we would forget that
Marie had a lot of power. That maybe she was forgetting that she was
She told me all this and her face was bright, bright red and she was
ashamed. I don't think Xavier had shamed her on purpose--in fact, I
knew he hadn't. For all that I don't like about him, he's not all
that bad. I think he genuinely cares for Rogue. I just don't think he
ever sees Marie.
She was ashamed and I knew that she was going to fall right back into
her old life. She was going to be safe and secure and alone. And she
wasn't going to be touching me anymore.
I could have let it go and maybe I should have. We could have ended
things there and eventually it would have been like nothing had
happened and the feel of her hands would be a memory to me and touch
would be something she couldn't recall.
I took a deep breath and watched her. Every nerve in her body was
stretched taut. I could smell it and behind all her fear was sadness
and I finally broke and touched her. Her body was rigid and pliant--
yielding and frightened--all at once. She my name like it was a
question and I liked the sound of it. I pushed her up against the
wall of her office and remembered all my dreams of her.
She hadn't been touched in years. I could tell because she gasped and
moaned and pushed against me from the slightest touch of my hands. I
could smell her starting to come and I couldn't get enough air into
my lungs, I couldn't get enough of what we were doing. She hadn't
been touched in years and I was so glad that I was the one touching
her that I was almost crazy with it.
I wanted to pull her inside me and push inside her until I didn't
know where I ended and she began. And so I moved one of my hands away
from her body and pulled one of hands up, pushed her glove down a
little. I pressed my hands against her body and put my mouth against
the soft flesh on the inside of her wrist as she came and I felt her
body shiver under me and her mind pull at mine. I knew I'd fucked up
and I didn't care a bit.
I don't know how we kept what we were doing a secret. I can't imagine
we did, although Xavier didn't say anything and neither did anyone
else. Why? I don't know. Fear? Envy? Anger? Denial? Who knows? Mutant
emotions are every bit as complex as human ones and I can barely
understand what I feel, much less what anyone else does.
We started meeting in my room because there was no point in
pretending that I was trying to do her a favor anymore. She was
still sharing a room with one of the younger girls--space was tight
at the school--but I had my own room because my nightmares were loud
and noisy and I'm not the kind of person you assign a roommate to.
I would meet her in the hallway outside my room and we would try to
talk and I still have no idea what we said to each other. I would
stare at her hands and sometimes if I was really impatient I would
grab one of them and trail my fingers down her wrist, feeling the
warmth of her skin through the fabric of her gloves. She still
dressed in dark clothes and acted like she wanted to hide from the
world but her eyes were full of all the knowledge we'd given each
other and I wanted to learn more.
Inside my room I never noticed anything but her. Her hair as it swung
over me when she knelt over me, running her gloved hands down my
torso. Her eyes smiling down at me as she unzipped my jeans. Her
mouth hovering above my neck as she wrapped her gloved hand around me
and the sound of her breathing as she felt my body arch up towards
The feeling over her hair on my hands, under my hands, trailing over
my throat and down my chest. Her shoulder over her shirt. Her
breasts over her bra. Her legs over her jeans. Her shoulders under
the curtain of her hair, the taste of her skin almost reaching me,
the scent of her filling me.
There was more and I started filling up all the empty spaces in my
mind with pictures of her, pictures of us. Watching her gloved hands
slide a condom onto me--the way she fumbled with the package, the way
she pushed her hair to one side as she lowered her mouth to me. The
way she smiled when I realized what she was going to do and the way I
wrapped my hands around her gloved wrists as I came inside a condom,
feeling the heat of her mouth all around me.
Watching her face as my hands moved up her arms, over her shoulders,
down her chest, over her stomach. When I touched her, her gloved
hands would slide up over my arms and around my back and I would feel
the warmth of her hands through her gloves. The way she said my name
with wonder and joy--I'd never heard my name sound like that before.
It's a memory I'm glad to have.
The time I was working on one of the Professor's gadgets, swearing
because I'd bashed my finger with a hammer, and she walked by the
room and I went after her and dragged her into a closet and touched
her until all I could smell and hear and think about was her and how
much she wanted me. When she came she bit my shoulder through my
shirt and I remembered hearing her voice on the phone years ago,
telling me that she was glad I called. I finally understood how Scott
felt about Jean and it didn't scare me at all.
And then waking up one morning and not knowing where I was, still
trapped in the fragments of a bad dream about something that I don't
ever want to remember. She was asleep on the far side of the bed,
curled up into herself, folding her gloved hands upon themselves just
in case. I got out of the bed so fast I almost fell to the floor. I
found my shirt and slid my arms into it; terrified because things had
changed and I had let them.
She woke up and pushed one hand out, reaching. When her hand didn't
touch anything she sat up and pushed her hair out of face. She looked
right at me and there wasn't any disappointment or anger on her face.
"I didn't mean to fall asleep," she said
I felt something fall free inside me and it was like that long ago
day when I'd woken up naked and alone in the middle of Canada and
realized that I didn't know anything--how I'd gotten there, who I
was, who I'd been. That moment was a beginning of sorts and I knew
another beginning had opened up before me.
I went back to bed. My claws slid out, just a little, as I lay down
and she watched me with unblinking eyes. After a moment she got up
and I knew she'd walk out and probably never come back. I watched her
stand up and I could smell the soft sleepy scent of her and I didn't
want her to go. In the end, it was that simple. I didn't want her to
go. So I said, "Stay."
I don't know if I've ever said that word before but I'm positive that
even if I had, the only time I ever meant it was with her.
She came back and wrapped her arms around me and I smelled her and me-
-us--and I touched her again and when she came she screamed so loudly
that I'm sure the whole world heard and I knew she'd made a choice,
that she loved me. I held her afterwards and I wrapped my hands in
that crazy hair of hers and looked into her eyes and made promises. I
meant every single one of them.
So I won't be leaving Xavier's school anytime soon. I won't be
leaving and if one day I have to I've bound her to me so tightly that
she'll come with me. But I want her with me and I'm ok with that.
Xavier doesn't like to look at me now and when he does I see anger in
his eyes. He thinks that I've betrayed the X-Men code or some
bullshit like that. Maybe I have, and you know what? I don't give a
goddamn. In the end, if his predicted war comes, she might die. I
don't want to live with her not knowing something. I don't want to
live without me knowing something.
She was lying against my side the other day and her hands were
resting on my stomach--the fabric of her gloves cool against my skin--
and she told me that she thinks I've saved her. I shook my head and
told her than she'd saved me. Truth is, I think we've saved each
other. She would wither away in the gilded world of "safety" the X-
Men want to create for her--and I would drown in whoever--whatever--
I once was without her.
Some might say that I've done more harm than good. Some might say
that I'm just a selfish freak who took the one thing that was good in
my life and screwed it up. Well, fuck them. And fuck you too, if
that's what you think.
We've just made each other real. I make her feel real. She makes me
feel real. In the end, that's all anyone can ask for--feeling--no
matter what you believe in.