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2025FIC: "Living in Stereotypes" (1/1) [R]

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  • Diebin
    Feb 4 5:52 PM
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      TITLE: Living in Stereotypes
      AUTHOR: Diebin
      RATING: R, for adult themes, and dark twisted mindtrips
      SUMMERY: Rogue lives in stereotypes, and Logan breaks a few.
      ARCHIVE: The Usual Suspects
      DISCLAIMER: I own not. You sue not.
      DIEBIN THANKS (and loves): Mollylinka, Jenilou, Naceshka, Donners, Naciwan,
      Sarita and Jennilein.

      AUTHORS NOTES: This story contains a happy ending. I apologize for the
      drastic break in protocol. ;)

      ~*~
      Standing Still
      ~*~

      She told herself that it wasn't her fault. Like a good girl she mouthed the
      common forms, sat up at night enumerating the ways in which she was the
      victim. She'd had no power. She'd had no control. It wasn't her fault. It
      wasn't her fault. It wasn't her fault.

      She never told anyone what had happened. Like a bad girl she covered the
      bruises, sat up at night enumerating the ways in which she was to blame.
      She'd let him touch her. She'd let him think it was okay. It was her fault.
      It was her fault. It was her fault.

      She learned to live in stereotypes that year, laughing sometimes when
      choosing which stereotype to be grew too difficult. She hadn't told anyone
      what had happened, so she couldn't be the stereotype of what she was.

      She made up stories in her head, sometimes she told them to other people to
      justify her actions. The stories were the most fun of all, intricate little
      webs of half truth and deception, woven with words and smiles and the
      slightest of gestures that made belief inevitable.

      Living the stereotype of heartbreak was fun. With Logan safely gone, she
      could moon about like a heart broken child. She could fondle the useless
      bits of metal that she hated wearing because she'd never liked having
      anything around her neck. She could languish and sigh and make the teachers
      shake their heads. She could pretend to be denying Bobby's advances because
      she was in love with someone else.

      Sometimes she liked to be a troubled child. That ingratiated her to Jean,
      made Jean feel useful. Made them think they had some control in her life.
      She went to Jean and confessed countless problems, spun tales of emotional
      trauma and abuse. Of a broken home. She borrowed from Erik, who liked it
      when she made up stories. Sometimes she made them up from scratch. She
      confessed to everything except for the one thing she fought so hard to
      hide.

      She tried being suicidal for a while, but that wasn't much fun. They
      started following her and watching her. Her things were gone through. Jean
      made her spend a night in observation, and the novelty of pretend started
      to wear off. It took them weeks to trust her by herself, and constant
      questions started to wear on her. She was afraid she'd forget the stories
      and start telling truths.

      She went out and bought a notebook. It was cheap and dark green and she
      wrote 'History' on the cover in big black block letters. Every time she
      told a story she wrote it down in her neat, even handwriting--wrote down
      the lies she spun and who she'd wrapped them around. Sometimes she'd have
      to go back and check, because it was hard to keep the stories straight, the
      lives straight.

      Later she bought another notebook, and on the top of each page she wrote a
      name. By the end of the year Jean had six pages, because that was how much
      space it took to write all the lies she'd told the person who was supposed
      to be her friend.

      On the last page of her notebook she stenciled the word 'Truth' in small,
      barely there letters.

      She wrote her name.

      And she wrote Kevin.

      ~*~
      Five Steps Back
      ~*~

      "Do you love me?"

      His hands were rubbing her neck, she loved it when his hands rubbed her
      neck. Rough fingers on soft flesh, smoothing sore muscles and touching the
      places that felt so good. He claimed he rubbed her neck to relieve tension.
      But it felt to good to be just something he did.

      "Mmmm." The warm voice in her ear was accompanied by hot breath. "Every oh
      so touchable inch of you."

      No one else would say that to her. No one else /could/ say that to her. It
      was dangerous, being with Kevin. Dangerous, being with a man--a mutant--who
      could touch her and did touch her and touched her in such wonderfully
      sensual ways.

      She didn't care that he was thirty-nine. If everyone could think she was in
      love with Logan, Logan who was older than anyone could
      comprehend--thirty-nine wasn't that bad. Not when he was suave and
      experienced and loved her.

      His hands weren't just rubbing her neck anymore, and even though it made
      her feel uncomfortable, it felt too good. She wouldn't tell him to stop.
      Not yet.

      Not just yet.

      ~*~
      Creeping Sideways
      ~*~

      She took psychology at the local university. Took it as a night class, and
      sat in the back with bare fingers clenched tightly around her pen.

      She always brought two sets of clothing. The one she wore when she left the
      mansion, and the one she changed into just before she went to class. She
      had a locker in the art building, a locker where she kept her low cut,
      short sleeved blouses. Where she kept her shorts. Were she put her gloves
      and scarf.

      The college was a community college. None of the other mutants her age went
      there, she'd been careful about that. Nobody who would know that her name
      wasn't Helena, that she wasn't from the Midwest, that she wasn't supposed
      to be able to touch.

      Taking the class was an excuse to have the book. She stayed up late at
      night, copying stereotypes into her little notebook, staring off into space
      as she created fantastical stories and decided who would be the best
      victims for each one.

      She had lots of fun with Multiple Personalities. Erik and Logan weren't
      really very strong anymore, but she liked to pretend they were. She'd find
      bits of metal and fiddle with them endlessly, stare off into space and
      mutter in gibberish that might be German. Sometimes she liked to call the
      Professor Charles. Sometimes she told him she hated him.

      Jean was more fun. She cornered her once and bit her on the shoulder, and
      growled all kinds of obscene things that should have made her blush. Jean
      gave her a look of endless pity, of compassion and a little bit of fear,
      and that was the best part of all. Knowing that Jean thought she knew the
      truth. That Jean wasn't powerful enough to get through the thoughts she
      kept at the top of her head to confuse the all powerful telepaths.

      One night she took all of her clothes off and stood in front of the mirror,
      running hands up and down an almost perfect figure. She was beautiful,
      sensuous, dangerous--she knew it. She knew every inch of her body was as
      close to perfect as it could be. She loved knowing it.

      She decided to become anorexic. It was harder then she thought it would be,
      but all she really had to do was think about the truth--just a little. It
      was surprising how bad the truth made her feel about herself. Hating her
      body was easy when she thought about the truth. And lying about why she
      hated it worked too.

      Maybe that was a step too far, because twenty pounds later, Logan decided
      to come home.

      She didn't believe in coincidence anymore.

      ~*~
      Four Steps Back
      ~*~

      "I could teach you." He was panting, the words breathless as he buried his
      face in her neck. "I could teach you how to do it."

      It took a while for her brain to catch up with her body, because her neck
      was damp from where he'd been kissing her and she could feel every inch of
      her skin, feel it in a way that made her know someone else was feeling it
      too.

      "Teach me to do what?"

      His hands touched her face and she felt something she wasn't supposed to
      feel, felt a trickle of him rushing into her, felt thoughts and words and
      feelings and lust and she gasped, pressing up with her body to break the
      contact.

      "Control it," he whispered, touching her face again. "I know how to control
      it, and I can teach you too."

      The words were seductive in a way that had nothing to do with his hands on
      her body, and it was the beginning of the end.

      ~*~
      Changing Directions
      ~*~

      Logan was at a loss to deal with her, and she knew it. She counted on it.
      The stories she told him had been prepared with meticulous care over years,
      finely crafted shades of half truth with all of the right spins, all the
      things she knew would get him because she knew him.

      He called her a kid and she acted one, wide guileless eyes and cloying
      innocence. She simpered and preened, she ducked her head and stared up at
      him from under lowered lashes. She let her lips fall into a pout that was
      artfully manipulative, luscious, unknowing sin.

      One night she confessed to him her deep, undying passion for Scott. She
      watched his eyes flickering over her face, watched him sorting each
      sentence, each word--weighing truth from fantasy and filing them away
      behind that impenetrable mask of a face. It was the one time she wasn't
      sure she'd won, the way he shook his head and gave her a lowly disapproving
      look before telling her goodnight.

      For a while she thought she'd told him a conflicting story, that the words
      she's written so carefully and neatly on the pages marked 'Logan' had some
      intrinsic flaw--that she hadn't done as well as she could have.

      It was only when she went to look that she realized what was really going
      on.

      Her notebook was gone.

      Logan showed up at class the next night.

      ~*~
      Three Steps Back
      ~*~

      It was starting to make her uneasy. The surly look in his eyes when she
      tried to stop him from going farther. The way he sighed and shook his head
      as if she were missing the great secret of the age. The way the caresses
      had gotten a little less gentle, the way the soft words of love had grown
      sharper.

      He started calling her ungrateful. Not in as many words, but after an hour
      when he'd encouraged her gently while she struggled with control, he let it
      be known he expected some kind of compensation--some kind she wasn't ready
      to give.

      "It'd not like anyone else would do this for you," he whispered once after
      she pushed him back, her hands trembling in fear at going to far too fast.
      "I deserve something out of it, don't I?"

      And she wanted to say no. Say no, you only deserve what I want to give
      you--but how could she deny that no one else could touch her, no one else
      /would/ touch her, and maybe she was foolish and ungrateful and maybe he
      was right.

      He told her she was twenty and really, that was too old to be such a prude.

      Denying it got harder with every passing day.

      ~*~
      Turning Circles
      ~*~

      "Hey 'Lena--you got some lecher staring at you."

      That was her only warning that Logan had shown up, and when she turned
      slowly on her way out of class--and oh god, she was so aware of every inch
      of bare skin--Logan didn't stop staring.

      Kassie stopped next to her, giving Logan a nervous look. "Want me to call
      security or something?"

      Rogue waved her almost friend away, her eyes fixed on Logan. Logan's eyes
      were fixed on where Kassie's bare hand rested on Rogue's bare arm.

      "Helena?" His voice twisted wryly. "Let's go for a walk."

      "Okay, Logan." And because the game was so far up, she reached out with
      bare fingers and wrapped them around his arm. "Let's walk."

      She wasn't surprised when he pulled the notebook out of his jacket on their
      way out of the building. She wasn't surprised that he didn't speak as they
      walked towards the park in the middle of the campus.

      She was surprised that he didn't try to touch her skin.

      He finally spoke. "Why Helena?"

      The wry smile that twisted her lips was everything of him and nothing of
      herself. "I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius, the more you beat me, I will
      fawn on you."

      He didn't look angry, didn't look betrayed or worried or really anything at
      all besides disappointed, and that was nowhere in her equations. "Don't
      play games, Rogue. I'm not going to play them with you anymore."

      She opened her mouth but nothing came out. Nothing had prepared her for a
      Logan who just . . . didn't care. Reaching for the notebook, she slid her
      bare fingers over his own in as deliberate a way as she knew how, and
      something inside her crumbled just a little when he released the notebook
      and drew his hand away.

      His gaze was tangible as she tightened her hand around the spiral edge on
      the notebook, tightened her fingers until she could feel the metal biting
      into her palm. She waited--waited for something to happen. Waited and
      wished desperately that she could open the pages and find a lie that would
      make the disappointment disappear from his face.

      He flicked the pages of the notebook with one finger. "I read it all. I
      remember it all. When you're ready to tell me something that's not in
      there--maybe we can talk."

      And he turned and left.

      She needed more lies. Needed them desperately--because for one fragile
      second she was almost ready to tell the truth.

      ~*~
      Two Steps Back
      ~*~

      She didn't like going to see him anymore. She didn't like the feeling his
      hands on her body--didn't think she'd /ever/ like feeling /anyone's/ hands
      on her body again. She found herself coming up with excuses on nights she
      was supposed to meet him, because she could control her mutation now and it
      wasn't just a subtle pressure to do things that almost frightened her now.

      He was demanding.

      Something was wrong with her. Something had to be wrong with her, because
      she was a woman and she'd known Kevin for two months and he was a man and
      wasn't she supposed to /want/ to let him do whatever he wanted to her?
      Sometimes he told her that she obviously wasn't much of a woman at all, and
      she knew he had to be right.

      She felt guilty after he touched her. She couldn't sleep sometimes. Her
      stomach twisted at the sight of food. She had nightmares that she woke from
      with fear and terror and no idea at all what they'd been about.

      She ran out of excuses not to see Kevin.

      She ran out of excuses to push him away.

      And this time, when she pushed him away, he came back, and she found out
      that giving in wasn't what she'd wanted to do at all.

      ~*~
      Standing Still
      ~*~

      She was crying when she lit the notebook on fire. It was so early in the
      morning that no one else was stirring, so she felt safe in the chemistry
      lab with her gloves on the table. She held the notebook until the hair on
      her arm started to burn, until she felt the flames licking at her hand.

      Logan found her while she was crying and cradling her burned hand and
      watching the flames turn the last year of her life into ashes in a dirty
      sink.

      He didn't say anything. His hands wrapped around her waist and he pushed
      her into a chair and knelt down in front of her.

      "Who did it?" He wasn't looking at her face, he was staring somewhere over
      her shoulder, and his voice was low and even. Impersonal. Professional.

      "Who--"

      And now he did look at her, and his eyes were hot and at least it was
      emotion. "I'm not stupid, Marie. It was the only thing you never told
      anyone. The only lie that wasn't in your little book. And I want to know
      who did it."

      She shook her head slowly, wrapping trembling arms around her own body.
      "I--it's not what you think, Logan. He didn't--he didn't do--it wasn't his
      fault. It was--I didn't tell him not to. I didn't tell him that--"

      His voice was rough. "I thought you were going to stop playing games,
      Marie. I don't want some stereotypical psycho-babble. I want the damn
      truth."

      She started crying again, and she closed her eyes because finally she
      realized that she'd lied too much to ever, ever, ever be believed again.
      And with the truth between them, the truth and the whole truth and Logan
      didn't even--

      She felt his arms wrap around her so softly, so gently and then she was
      curled into his chest and he was rocking her back and forth, his lips in
      her hair. "It's okay, Marie. It's okay. It's not your fault. It's never,
      ever your fault."

      And when she curled her fingers around his neck, it was nice to feel skin
      and know that she didn't have to do anything about it.

      ~*~
      One Step Back
      ~*~

      He just stared at her as she cried.

      He seemed slightly confused, maybe a little annoyed--but not sorry. Nowhere
      sorry.

      She'd asked him if he worked for Magneto. If he was on some great secret
      assignment to destroy her.

      "Really, Rogue." His voice was bored. "I thought you wanted it. You
      shouldn't lead people on like that if you aren't willing to go through with
      it." And his hand was clumsy as he pet her on the shoulder like some kind
      of puppy. "I guess this means we won't be seeing each other anymore."

      She got dressed and left and made a vow right then--right then that she
      would never, ever let anyone know how stupid and naïve she'd been.

      She told herself that it wasn't her fault. Like a good girl she mouthed the
      common forms, sat up at night enumerating the ways in which she was the
      victim. She'd tried to say no. She'd tried to push him away. It wasn't her
      fault. It wasn't her fault. It wasn't her fault.

      She never told anyone what had happened. Like a bad girl she covered the
      bruises, sat up at night enumerating the ways in which she was to blame.
      She hadn't said no. She hadn't pushed him away. It was her fault. It was
      her fault. It was her fault.

      She learned to live in stereotypes that year, learned to live in them
      because she knew she was one.

      ~*~
      One Step Forward
      ~*~

      "I trust you'll tell us what was going on eventually." Jean's voice was
      professional and totally disapproving.

      Logan just smiled. "Maybe. Maybe not." And when the red headed doctor
      glared at him, he shook his head. "It's not mine to tell, Jean."

      Jean sighed. "And if you pick up and leave, Logan--who is going to know
      what to do if it happens again? We can't just keep calling you every time
      something goes wrong with her."

      "It won't happen again." The feral gleam in his eyes was surprising, Jean
      tensed against the sudden jump in intensity in the room.

      "It won't, will it?"

      "No." Logan smiled again. "Besides, I don't think I'm going anywhere for a
      while. Have some things to take care of."

      He winked and turned away, and if Jean hadn't know better she would have
      taken the wink as nothing more than Logan being flirtatious.

      Maybe she didn't know better.

      But then again . . .

      Jean smiled.

      ~*~
      Ever After
      ~*~

      Logan didn't look up as she stomped into his room, shaking snow off of her
      boots and coat. "Hey, Logan."

      "Can't you shake the snow off downstairs?"

      Logan looked up and smiled, and she couldn't help but smile too. Logan's
      smiles were free, she'd learned. He didn't ask for anything in return,
      didn't expect her to pay for his smiles and his help and his words with
      anything other than a little more happiness.

      She took off her coat and peeled off the gloves that she was only wearing
      because it was cold out. "I got a letter from a publisher today."

      He arched an eyebrow, but she could tell she had his attention. "Quote:
      'Your imagination and passion for spinning stories that can't help but be
      believed make you a strong candidate.'"

      He snorted and she smiled, perching on the edge of the desk where he was
      sitting. "As long as you're telling the stories to them and not me," he
      grumbled, but she could see that he was proud and happy for her.

      And because it had been a year since he came back into her life, and
      because for that year he had been her friend and built so must trust into
      her that she couldn't imagine anything she /wouldn't/ be comfortable asking
      him--it was easy to find the words she wanted.

      "Logan, I have a favor to ask you."

      "Hmm?" He was back to staring at whatever it was on the desk that had his
      attention, but she could tell he was listening.

      "Will you kiss me?"

      The eyebrow was back up, and she was at a loss to read the expression in
      his eyes. "No, Marie. I will not kiss you."

      "Oh."

      "But--" And he leaned back in his chair a little and laced his fingers
      behind his head and gave her a smirk that said more than words ever could,
      "I probably won't fight too hard if you try to kiss me."

      "Oh."

      It was putting all the power and all the choice in her hands, and for a
      long moment she was sure she was going to blush and smile and just get up
      and walk away. Fear choked her still sometimes, and she knew that, deep
      down inside, she'd wanted so badly for him to take the responsibility away
      from her.

      She knew just as well that he wouldn't do that, wouldn't give her any
      chance to tell herself that it had been anything but her decision, her
      action--her bravery.

      Screwing her eyes shut, she slid from the desk and pressed her lips to his.

      She felt him chuckle softly against her lips, felt his hands threading
      carefully through her hair as he slowly coaxed her clenched lips into
      relaxing, slowly traced her lower lip with his own. It was soft and it was
      gentle and it was over far sooner than she wanted it to be, and when he
      pulled back and pushed a piece of her hair behind her ear, he smiled at
      her.

      "That wasn't so hard, now was it?" he whispered, and his mouth looked so
      tempting, crooked into that tiny little almost-there smile that she kissed
      him again, and she knew it was her choice and that she wanted it.

      She didn't even have to lie to herself.

      ~*~

      Umm, I found this story strange and distrubing. :) But I bow to the wisdom
      of those who said I could post it, even if I worry.

      *runs off to hide under her table*

      ~*~
      Diebin
      High Priestess of the Cult of Donna
      Loyal member of PETS and PUTJ
      http://www.diebin.com