3863FIC: Causa Anima [2/18] [PG-13]
- Dec 9, 2001Causa Anima
by Nancy Lorenz.
Rating: PG-13. Some violent, disturbing themes.
Archive: XMMFF, WRFA. All else, all ya gotta do is ask.
Classification: General, Character Death, slight L/R UST, S/J
Series: Manus Mortiferum
Spoilers: The Movie.
Synopsis: Continues on after the movie. The Mutant Situation is
worsening, and is compounded by the escape of Eric Lenscherr from
Disclaimer: All characters copyright Marvel and Fox.
Feedback: Enjoyed, responded to, adored and worshiped. Respond
to the email above :)
Author's Note: This is beta read, but not to the fullest extent
that it can be. Some comma and semi-colon confusion occurs.
Does that really bother you? I figure it's only fan-fic, and I
have a comic to ink so I don't have the energy to break my back
over this thing. But I did get rid of the spelling mistakes and
the grammar mistakes. Most of them
anyways :) Very big thank you to my Betas - JennyEdu, Jennifer
Hallmark, Shaz Nolan, and I swear there must be someone else. I
can't remember right now. E-mail me, smack me up the side of the
head and I'll rectify it in the next chapter posting. Love ya's
alls mate! Oh - and I know some of you may have read this part,
but I'm releasing a chapter a day. Unless you want more,
that is ;)
Dedication: To the WRGrrls. You've been around for over a year,
and the fandom is still going. That's majorly cool. Without
your support, your enthusiasm and love, I'd be nowhere. This
tenacity and companionship has helped me improve the crafts that
I want to take into a career. For that, I thank you and love you
always. Thank you girls.
The Causa Anima webpage, complete with message forum and
artwork/illustrations will be up soon.
Jubilee shook her head as her legs pumped away on the stair
machine, her brown eyes widening.
"Oh my GOD! You're kidding!"
Rogue shook her head, regret ringing in her similarly brown orbs,
"No. He was in a coma for three weeks."
"Wow," said Jubilee, still shaking her head, her voice filled
with awe, "You must be a great kisser."
Rogue frowned softly at her, "I don' know, it was my first kiss."
"Well sure," Jubilee grinned, "You still put him in a coma!"
Rogue let herself smile a moment, but the dull reality of the
moment soaked up the merriment, the girlish moments of arousal
and romantic thoughts dying in her. Damn. She could still
remember the touch of the lips. Wet. Silky. Strangely enough,
the moment she realised she could never have that again, she
wasn't upset. Only numb... very numb. Just distancing herself
from the world was all she cared about.
At least until she walked into that hellhole those hicks called a
bar in the backwaters of Canada. In fact a lot of things changed
when she walked in there.
He had been gripping the mesh of the fighting cage, facing
neither the judge, nor the opponent a couple of bouncers dragged
away. He sipped at a tumbler of whiskey, his muscles rippling in
the dingy light, glowing flits of moths circling it desperately.
All she could do was step forward, closer, to make sure that what
she was seeing was real. He wasn't like the boy that she
kissed. He was feral, wild, aggressively masculine, not so much
in his build but in the machismo he oozed. Some idiot stepped
into the ring, and her heart skipped a beat as he turned around,
his face moving into the light. God... he had intense eyes of a
hazel hue, filled with a rage that fascinated her even as it
terrified her. In that cage he went wild, thumping the man
unconscious, his teeth clenched, his lovely lips thinning in
derisive glee. He enjoyed the pain he inflicted. Even though
she could tell he was safe in that cage, that he could do no
wrong... she was frightened for him.
The next moment of change was one she'd never forget. Later at
the bar, she'd met those eyes again. Indeed, knowing what was
under the layers of flannel shirt and heavy leather jacket,
knowing the anger that flowed within him, she couldn't drag her
eyes away from him. He was quiet, staunch, withdrawn. A feeling
of familiarity washed over her, so crazy. The glint of a
troublemaker's blade caught her eye, and when she jumped up, her
voice screaming out before she could think of what she was
saying, his own gleaming slivers of metal burst from his fists,
and her body convulsed a little. She wasn't sure if it was fear,
disgust or fascination, but the relief that swept over her was
real when she realised that he was deformed like her.
Oddly, it never left her. She glanced over to her friend whose
thick smoky-rimmed shades were slipped up into her scruffy short
black hair, the grey bike-pants and mid-riff top accentuating her
young figure nicely. Rogue frowned. Jubilee was a lot more
balanced in her figure that she was, much more voluptuous. Her
shoulders were wide, her hips equally so. When Rogue looked to
her own frame, she saw wide hips, but slightly narrower
shoulders. Well - maybe she was just seeing things in a bad
way. The sight of herself in the same grey sports clothes kinda
made her feel silly, maybe because she wasn't totally used to
being so obviously feminine yet. She felt like she was too
skinny though. Yeah... needed more muscle maybe. Then again, so
many of the X-men's populace were so lithe and stunning, it
wasn't odd for a young recruit to feel scrawny. She doubted she
could ever be so glamourous. She glanced down at herself
again. The low cut of the singlet she wore made a party of her
cleavage, her stomach rippled and moved as her bare legs powered
away on the step machine she was on. Yes... those sports pants
were ridiculously short. Who designed these outfits - a hooker?!
"Why you gone so quiet?" asked Jubilee, her form bobbing up and
down on the machine.
Rogue shrugged, smiling, "Jus' thinkin'."
She hadn't a chance to get back to thinking, as frantic whispers
swept the large gym.
"Oh my God," came a hushed female voice from near Rogue, and
turned out to be that of a girl on a nearby treadmill,
"Wolverine's coming in! Let's be hoping he takes that shirt off
Jubilee glanced a the girl that had uttered the words, cocking a
lip as she shook her head, "Shit, you'd think he was Richard Gere
Rogue felt herself cocking her head and smirking, "Well he's
cuter than Richard Gere."
Jubilee gave a sharp laugh, huffing and chuckling, "Man, I knew
you were gonna say that!"
She smiled, "I's jus' bein' honest!"
Jubilee shook her head. "Maybe I should give you the zap in the
ass, huh? Get you back to your senses."
"What?" asked Rogue frowning.
"He's like - 15 years older than you or something!"
"Actually," Rogue stopped herself as a heat of embarrassment
swept over her, but the look on Jubilee's face prompted her to
continue, "They have no idea how old he is. He's got this
regenerative mutation so-"
"Oh my GOD!" laughed Jubilee suddenly, "You could be having a
crush on a fucking 80 year old!"
A blush raged in Rogue's cheeks, and she looked away, "I don't
have a crush on him, he's just a friend."
"Yeah whatever," smirked Jubilee, "Oh here he coooomes!"
The gym was silent as the mass of girls in similar sports clothes
gazed longingly to the muscular man who strode in determinedly.
It was odd. He rarely came when anyone else was in there, but
Rogue figured the Danger Room - his preferred method of work out
- was busy at the time. She watched him keenly as he walked to a
weight bench near the corner, only a few metres from Rogue's
machine, dropping a small sports bag on the ground and digging
out some water. He took a swig, and turned to face the rest of
About fifteen girls, eyes previously locked on him, gasped and
looked away, hiding their faces behind hands, or laughing and
giggling with their friends. All except Rogue. She smiled, and
with a sweetness that defied the rough look of his features, he
smiled back. A collective coo fell through the female presence,
and he frowned suddenly, looking away.
Jubilee rose a brow with a slow leer. "Hey, lucky gippy," she
whispered, "He checked you out!"
Rogue rolled her eyes, "He did not! We're friends stupid! He
was just sayin' hello without talkin'!"
Jubilee shrugged and grinned, looking away.
Rogue felt a blush in her cheeks again, the tingly burning
driving her crazy. What the hell was even the point of all
this? It was painfully futile to her, differences in age and
difficulties in skin considered. She looked to the speed meter
on her machine, her eyes locked to it. She stayed that way for
quite some time, powering away, and for a moment, she could
almost pretend she didn't smell his distinctive spicy sweet
cologne that probably went out of fashion years ago, but still
sent her heart thumping all the same.
A soft collective gasp fell across the room, and she glanced up.
Her mouth suddenly went dry, and she fought to stifle a laugh.
Wolverine sat at the bench, shirt half over his head. As the
gasp finished he pulled it down again, glaring at the girls like
they were insane. Rogue couldn't hold it in anymore, it was all
so ridiculous. A snigger slipped, and the glare that was
previously directed to the rest of the room landed dead on her.
It was just the thing to send her into a light, spirited tinkle
of a laugh that brought a fiery red blush to the older man's
"I'm - oh God I'm sorry, Logan," she chuckled, "You can keep
strippin' if ya like."
He gave a twist of an irritated smile and pulled the t-shirt
down, his words coming out short and cold, but somehow jovial at
the same time, "That's okay, I think I'll go see if the Danger
Room is empty yet."
She grinned freely, pumping the stair-machine with a wide sway of
her hips, letting the giddy feeling in her heart guide her. His
eyes stayed on hers for a good moment, amusement in them as he
packed his things.
Rogue glanced to the door of the gym, the leather-suited figure
of Cyclops bursting in with Jean close behind. Something was
up. The duo ran up to Wolverine, and she fought not to notice
Wolverine giving a provocative smile to Jean behind Scott. She
pursed her lips, glancing down to her feminine young body with
dissatisfaction. She glanced up again, seeing Wolverine look
suddenly angry. She leant forward, straining to hear.
"You're crazy right?" Wolverine said, "Facing Magneto without
Cyclops glared at him, "Rogue has training to do. She's nowhere
near ready to face-"
"She was ready enough before," the burly shorter man growled,
"What makes it so different now."
"You know what happened the last time," Jean said.
Rogue frowned, the word 'Magneto' stirring a slight devastation
within her. She didn't want to think about him, or that time in
Manhattan. It brought about hellish memories, not hers, someone
else's. It cut her deeply, and seeing that side of the villain
they sought out was frightening. Many wondered if she felt sorry
for him in light of his past. She couldn't. She'd seen deep
into him, and she knew how cracked his soul was. He was
misguided, and she would never make the mistake of buying into
the blind. Slipping off the stair machine, she strode over
"Hey," she said, "Don't you think I should be in on this too?"
Cyclops sighed roughly, Wolverine glancing to her momentarily.
"You know she's the only one that can stop him," Logan said,
"That can counter his powers. I don't even know the damned point
of sending me along, he's just gonna stick me to the wall like a
fucking fridge magnet."
"What a delightful picture," smiled Rogue.
Wolverine glared at her. He didn't remember her being this saucy
all those months ago when they met. He almost liked it.
"We're skirting the issue here," said Cyclops, "We gotta MOVE
Logan, it's an emergency for crissakes!"
"What's going on?"
Cyclops spun about at the sound of the older wiser voice,
pointing at Wolverine, "He's insisting Rogue come along for this
The wheel-chaired form of Xavier sat in the doorway to the gym, a
disturbed look settling on his older features.
"Have you got a better idea?" cried Wolverine, "What use is
muscle against a guy that can throw cars around like yesterday's
carton of milk?!"
Rogue felt the probing gaze of Professor Xavier fall on her. It
was rather disturbing; she could feel him riffling about in her
mind. She didn't think anyone else could do that. She wasn't
sure why, she felt a close link with this man. It was possibly
something left over from her drain of Magneto.
"Rogue can go with you on the sole condition that one of you be
by her side at all times."
The disappointed sigh fell through the small crowd of girls who
were hoping for a slanging-match between Cyclops and Wolverine.
For some reason it was unbelievably entertaining. Wolverine was
always the bigger wanker, and if he won, it was spectacular.
Xavier gave the girls a stern smile and directed himself around,
wheeling out of the room. Cyclops sighed, propping his hands on
"Okay - Jean - you get her suited up."
Rogue's eyes lit up, "I get a suit?!"
Wolverine curled his lips with an unimpressed scowl. "They suck."
Wolverine paced, gripping the glove in his hand, fists clenched,
his blades flinging in and out tetchily. He hated to think
about how long they'd been waiting in the room for the girls to
come back from the fitting room. Heaps of people could have
died by now and they'd been waiting about ten minutes. What was
the deal? Grab the suit, let the machiney thing do it's thing,
get out! He punched his unbladed fist into a bladed hand, his
teeth gritting. Cyclops looked at him steadily, his face
unreadable behind the eye-gear he always wore. Pansy.
Wolverine grunted at him shortly, pushing out the other blades
and ringing them against the ones on his other hand.
"Got a problem?"
"No," Cyclops shook his head, "I just wish you'd quit pacing."
Wolverine ducked his head around the doorway, sliding his blades
back into his arms for another annoying time, "What's taking her
Cyclops shrugged, "The girl's suits take longer to fit. All
those curves and stuff to account for."
Wolverine felt his claws spring out, and he fought the blush on
his face, "Uhuh."
Cyclops smirked. "Mind to the mission, mister."
He growled at the smug visor-clad man across from him. Damn.
This was crazy, he certainly felt crazy. He hadn't foreseen her
getting suited up. What was he even worrying about? She wore
tight clothes all the time, he was used to it. Moreover, he
wanted to get out of here and to the fighting. The idea of
getting that bastard Magneto for what he'd done was one he
couldn't keep out of his head, he never could. He'd nearly
killed the sweetest little soul he'd ever known. The prick would
The voice was tremulous, accent thick from nerves. He swung
around, and nearly choked. Dear GOD.
Rogue smiled nervously, running her hands over the black leather,
the yellow and green cording standing out against the dark suit.
Shit it was tight... Her hair tumbled down around her, white
streaks standing out like a beacon, hands resting on curving hips
which ran down to shapely thighs that sections of ribbed vinyl
brought up oh so nicely. Thick-soled chunky heeled boots shod
her feet, her neckline a low-zipped visage similar to Jean-Grey
and Storm's but seeming all the more deadly. Unlike her
comrades, her hands were bare. Wolverine tensed at the sight of
the silky pristine skin, the sweet little long-nailed hands so
innocent looking to the unbeknownst.
He cleared his throat, looking away. Crap, he'd been gawking. A
slow grin fell across the face of the younger woman, and she
practically slinked across the room over to Cyclops. She folded
her arms, cocking a brow.
"Rogue, reporting for duty sir," she said, tongue firmly in
cheek. Cyclops looked to Jean-Grey.
"I thought those shared personality traits were supposed to
Jean Grey grinned and shrugged, "They were supposed to."
Rogue sighed, clapping her hands together, "Well - shall we go
save some lives or are we gonna watch Logan starin'
at my ass all day?"
Logan spun about, facing away from the girl and blushing madly.
Ho shit. Not only had she noticed, she was being embarrassing
about it. This girl was amazing. He clenched his teeth, turning
about and stalking out towards the Blackbird's hanger.
"Let's stop yakkin' and get to it, huh?"
He heard the other X-Men's footfalls behind him as he went
swiftly down the corridors, glaring ahead. He was angry now, how
dare she do that to him? He felt a familiar scent waft closer,
and he grit his teeth, looking away from where it came from.
He didn't look at her. He didn't even want to.
"Logan," she hissed quietly, "I'm sorry!"
He kept walking.
"God damnit, Logan, will you stop sulking an' look at me?"
He flicked a glare at her, lips taught. She sighed, putting a
hand to her forehead.
"I'm sorry, I really am."
"You usually like to make your friends look like complete dicks
in front of other people?" he grunted.
She rolled her eyes, "Well you were doin' fine enough a' job a'
He felt a blush burn him again and he flared his nostrils
angrily. How dare she smell so good?
"Look, I meant it, I'm sorry. I'm just not used to - well -
lookin' like this. I guess I got cocky."
Logan turned the corner and waited for the large double sliding
doors of the Blackbird's hanger to open. He clenched his jaw in
response, turning his hazel eyes towards her.
"You did get cocky."
She looked down, a frown on her face.
"If I looked that good, I'd get cocky too."
Suddenly, the frown twitched to the smallest of smiles. She
glanced up, her cheeks glowing in a healthy blush, "Ah look
He felt the corners of his mouth shift upwards so slightly, and
he nodded, just as minutely. The doors slid open at the bequest
of Cyclops, and they strode in. He smelt a new body in the room,
and turning he saw the blue-grey tinged face of the furry young
Mr. McCoy, more commonly referred to as Beast. He cocked a brow
at him. The bastard was huge. He wasn't sure how much leather
they needed to cover his 7-ft frame, but it must have been a hell
of a lot of it. The young man approached the group, brutish and
menacing in appearance. He stopped in front of Cyclops, nodding
his head and fiddling with clawed hands nervously.
"I'm here," he said, his voice light yet deep, the accent clear
learned American if Wolverine had ever heard it.
"Hi, Beast," Cyclops smiled, patting the guy on the shoulder,
"You ready to put your years of training to good use?"
"Absolutely," smiled Beast.
"Great - get in! OH wait - Beast," Cyclops pulled Beast back,
tagging Rogue who stood nearby, "This is Rogue, she'll be with us
on this mission."
"Ah," Beast said, "You are in the lower grades, if I recall
"Not too low, I start college in two months," said Rogue,
noticing the furry hand reaching out to clasp hers in greeting,
"You don't wanna do that, sugar, trust me."
Wolverine glared at Jean, mouthing "Sugar?"
Jean grinned and shrugged, "Let's go!"
From the front window of the Blackbird, the flickering orange
glow of explosions could be seen reaching up from the ground, the
frantic voices of those fighting filtering through the police
radio pickup in the cockpit. Wolverine glanced back, his muscles
feeling tight, his stomach jumping in anxiety at the sight he
saw. Rogue leant against the wall, her lips a little pale, her
brows tilted up. He tried to get out of his seat, but the firm
hand of Jean on his shoulder stopped him.
"The g-force of us stopping will make a Logan-type pizza on the
roof," she said. He sighed restlessly.
"Rogue - are you okay?"
She looked back at him, swallowing, "Ah'm fine! Jus' a little
"There's a sick-bag in the compartment in the back of the chair
in front of you," said Storm, looking back.
"Ah hate flyin'," she mumbled, the crisp sound of thick
waterproofed paper being unfolded.
"We're there," Cyclops said, "You might wanna look out the window
while we land Rogue, it gets a little icky."
Wolverine glared back at her, his eyes wide, hands clenching the
"Guh," she coughed some, her face hidden in the bag, "Oh God...
Logan, calm down... Jesus Christ you'd think you were my mother!"
Logan blinked at her, then let a brow slide up in ire, "Well, if
I were your mother you'd be over my knee for speaking to me like
that." He glared at Cyclops who suddenly let loose a snigger.
Storm smirked a little, shaking her head, "You'll have to get
used to the Blackbird, Rogue, if you are to accompany us on
missions in the future."
She swallowed, looking up from the bag with dimples of discomfort
in her brow, "Can't I just walk?"
Cyclops grinned, closing off the systems, "Come on - we've got
some fighting to do."