To Touch. Rated R. (Rogue)
- To Touch. By Bounce.
Um. I'd say that this probably deserves an R rating. There are some
mature themes in it.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Marvel. Blah blah blah. You've
read a thousand of these things.
I'd just like to thank Samy and Lise for betaing this for me. Thanks.
She flew sometimes to escape from it all. Out there, it didn't matter
that she couldn't touch anyone. Because there was no one to touch.
She swooped through a cloud, moving so fast that it was gone almost
before she noticed it was there, little more than a momentary brush
of cold and wet. She turned it into a steep dive, banking sharply
mere inches from the surface of the lake. She slowed somewhat,
speeding along just above the water, before rising again, moving so
fast that the tears were blown away as they fell. Out there no one
could see her cry.
She did as she always did, flew harder and faster than she ever had
before, swooping and diving through the sky, trying so hard to run
away from it all. She flew. And she tried so damn hard to forget. And
as always it didn't quite work. Because she never could forget that
she was a prisoner, trapped by her own body and her inability to
touch the man she loved.
Rogue stopped eventually, landing on the mansion's lawn. She checked
to make sure her sleeves were pulled down, that the neck of shirt was
tightly buttoned, that her gloves were properly pulled up. She
loathed the fact that she had to make these precautions, that she had
to be so careful. Rogue walked into the mansion, glad that her
invulnerable skin never showed the tearstains. That her eyes didn't
go red and puffy.
Rogue noticed Scott standing in the rec-room, arms wrapped around
Jean. She gave a tiny wince on seeing Scott kiss Jean. They were so
casual about it, never once thinking about what an incredible gift it
was to simply be able to touch. To kiss. To. She forced her mind
away, made herself think of other things. What had been on the
television last night, tomorrow's training session. Not the sight of
Scott kissing Jean and the thought of how much she would like to do
the same to Remy.
Rogue smiled at Ororo as she passed the kitchen. "How're ya doing
"I'm quite well, thank you Rogue." The other woman paused, putting
down the salad she'd been making and looked closely at Rogue for a
moment. The woman frowned slightly, an odd expression in her
eyes. "Are you all right?"
Rogue smiled. "Of course Ah am sugah." The smile didn't feel too
fake. Not these days. She had had a lot of time to perfect it.
Ororo looked as though she were about to say something. Rogue smiled
at her again, and opened the fridge, looking for something to eat.
She wasn't hungry but Ororo was too well mannered to question someone
who wasn't listening. She selected an apple and turned to face Ororo
again. The other woman still looked concerned.
Reaching out, Ororo placed a hand on Rogue's arm. She met Rogue's
eyes and spoke softly. "If you ever need to talk, about anything "
She let the sentence trail off.
Rogue nodded, feeling the phantom pressure from Storm's touch
lingering on her arm. It was worse when they did that, pretended that
everything was normal and she could be touched. Touch. "Ah Thank you
Ororo. Ah 'preciate the offer."
Remy didn't come back to the mansion that night. How was she supposed
to trust him, when he went out at all hours and never once told her
what he did? She knew though. He did what she never could. He touched
people. He visited old friends in the city, for $100 an hour. She
knew he did. And he wanted her to trust him. Rogue knew.
The dim shadows of all the memories she'd ever stolen echoed in her
thoughts. Rogue no longer dreamed. Instead she watched the fragments
of people's lives, forever stolen, listened to them talk, felt them
touch, make love. Their voices were loud, in the silent time just
after waking. Sometimes Rogue almost forgot which one she was. It
scared her. And then she would wake fully, feeling the touch of the
sheets against her body, the fabric of her pajamas. She dressed fully
and headed down the corridor to the mansion's communal bathroom. It
was only safe for her to use it early in the mornings. Later on the
other women might need to use it. There was the chance she might bump
against one of them. Touch them.
Rogue saw the car crash, skidding off the road, smashing into the
tree, and turning into so much crumpled metal and plastic and broken
glass. She had been flying and swooped down to land beside it. The
young man who had been driving it looked like Remy would have perhaps
three years ago. His head lolled at an unnatural angle and his eyes
stared blankly out at the world. A cut on the man, no, boy's forehead
still bled sluggishly. He looked so much like Remy.
She stared at him. He looked so much like Remy. She reached out,
hesitantly, gloved fingers almost brushing his face. She stepped away
and looked closely at him. He was dead. She moved back, closer to the
car. Pulling off her glove, Rogue reached out and wiped the blood
away. Touched the still warm corpse. She closed his eyes, silently,
allowing herself for one brief moment to enjoy the feel of his skin.
Forced herself not to feel the revulsion handling a corpse raised in
her. It was still touch. It was the only touch she had left these
days. For a brief instant, blurred, fading memories shone in her
mind. They faded then, unraveling and disappearing from her mind's
eye. And then she didn't even remember experiencing them.
The police and an ambulance arrived. She called them from a distance,
not wanting to have to explain. The police never did react too well
to seeing costumed mutants standing over corpses. She could still
feel the phantom pressure of his skin against her fingers. He had
looked so much like Remy.
Rogue found herself watching television with Remy that night, sitting
close together on the couch, but always with that little barrier of
space between them. In case she accidentally touched him. She didn't
mention the dead man she had seen before. Touched. Instead she asked
Remy where he had been the night before. How was she supposed to
trust him when he never told her anything?
Remy's eyes flickered and his face closed, shutting her out. "I was
out. In de city."
"What where ya doin' in the city?" The question was sharp, waspish.
How was she supposed to trust him? The dead boy's face filled her
mind's eye for an instant.
Remy looked at her. "I went to a club. I asked you if you wanted to
come wit' Remy, you say no." Because Remy wouldn't do those sort of
things if she was there.
"Ah don't believe ya. Ya couldn't have gone to a club." The echoes of
their voices grew to a dull roar behind her eyes.
Remy looked at her for a moment. "I tol'ya. I went to a club. Das
it." Remy stood and walked away.
Rogue turned her attention back to the television. She had been able
to touch the boy. She wanted to touch Remy. And the echoes of all
their voices were so loud in her mind.
She got up, and walked down to Hank's lab. Some of the voices
belonged to Hank. Others to doctors and scientists. She knew. The
bottle was small. The powder inside tasteless. She would be able to
touch Remy tonight. It didn't need much to work. A small pinch, in
the food. The dead boy's face floated in her mind's eye again. She
had been able to touch him.
Rogue sat curled on the bed, fingers tangled in the collar. She could
touch people now. Only not Remy. The X-Men had buried him. She'd
wanted to go to the funeral. They hadn't let her. She missed him. The
dead boy's face floated in front of her eyes. He had looked so much