FIC: Atom Pt 2 (L/R, angst, PG-13)
- Author: Jengrrrl
Title: Atom Pt 2
Series: The Big Crunch
Summary: Logan finds out what Rogue wanted to tell him.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not mine at all. I just play with them sometimes.
Continuing from "The Arrow of Time", "Light Reflected", "Time Warps",
"Black Hole", "Expanding Universe", "Temporal Extremities", "Chaos Theory",
"Universal Distortions", and �Reversal�, and �Atom� Pt1
Archive: Ask me first please, unless I've already said yes. Then, go ahead.
Story, and series, archived at Disquieting Muses
www.geocities.com/jengrrrl2000/xmen.html (not all of it�s up yet)
Email: Rogue22@... :)
Feedback: please feed the monkey (That would be me)
Atom Pt 2
She used to take pleasure in the simple things. The feel of warm blankets
on a cold winter�s night. Blasts of water forcing her awake during her
morning shower. Cool earth under her fingers when she helped Ororo tend the
Now, that all meant nothing.
The look on Logan�s face when he realized what she was saying� He looked
how she felt.
Hank had immediately wanted to test it. Needles were pushed into her skin,
prodding, angled to elicit a response.
There was none, and Rogue never thought she�d feel so miserable to be rid
of her mutation.
Both Hank and Logan tried to reassure her. Hank was busy telling her that
he was sure it was a temporary side effect. They�d take care of it. Logan
defended everything Hank said, telling her there was no reason to worry.
They were lying. She could see it in their eyes. Hank�s were unsure,
tentative, filled with consternation. Logan�s betrayed his dismay.
She wanted to run out of there. She wanted to be alone. She tried. She
hopped off the examination table and tried to run away. She fell flat on
her face. But she didn�t feel that either.
�I want to go to my room,� she screamed. �Get me out of here, Logan.�
She had to be carried. Finding her balance was impossible when she couldn�t
feel anything. Logan took her to her room, laid her on her bed, and
promptly left when she asked it of him.
All she could do was stare at the white, white ceiling and wonder what
she�d done in her past life to deserve this one. Hank had warned her, as
she was being lifted into Logan�s arms, that she shouldn�t try to move
around, that it was possible she�d only hurt herself.
Rogue cried. She cried for herself. She cried at the cruel joke: that she
should be allowed to touch and not feel. She cried because every dream
she�d allowed herself vanished the moment she saw but didn�t feel Logan�s
hand on her own. She cried because she couldn�t even crawl out of bed
without hurting herself. She wanted to hurt herself. She wanted to feel the
�Rogue? Rogue, wake up.�
Her eyelids fluttered open, her dreamless sleep interrupted by a warm,
gentle voice soothing her mind awake. �Professor,� she mumbled roughly.
�Are you all right?�
The question was perfunctory. Charles Xavier was telepathic. He was a mind
reader. Although he didn�t have to be to know that his young ward was
anything but all right. �Do you expect me to answer that?� she said, more
harshly than she�d meant to.
�No. I�m sorry.� He moved closer to her and put a hand on her arm. The
gesture did not go unperceived. �We�ll help you get through this, Rogue.
There is always a solution.�
She nodded, understanding he was only trying to be helpful. �Not always,
Professor. Not for me.�
�Especially for you,� he replied. �You�re very dear to us all. You know
that. We will do everything in our power to find an answer. You have my
She smiled, slightly comforted by his words. �I know. Thank you.�
�Logan�s outside. He doesn�t know if he should come in.�
Rogue shifted in her covers, suddenly realizing the intrusive nature of the
Professor�s visit. �It�s fine,� she said. �Tell him it�s fine.�
�I�ll leave you then.� Xavier wheeled his chair over to the door. �In the
meantime, if there�s anything you need��
There were so many things she needed� �No. I�m�all right.�
Xavier opened the door and exited, leaving the view clear. On the opposite
wall Rogue could see Logan, leaning against it, arms behind his back and
head down. He had the look of a man waiting to be executed. He looked like
he wanted to run.
But he didn�t. When Xavier nodded to him, Logan�s body instantly sprung to
life. He held himself tall when he entered her room.
�Logan.� Rogue found she was burying herself further undercover.
�You all right?� he asked softly, as he sat by her side.
�Yeah,� he replied, gazing over her head. �It�ll be all right, you know.�
�Will it?� she answered. The response was filled with sarcasm and Logan
stiffened at it.
He was silent for a while. Staring at nothingness. Finally, he whispered,
�I don�t know. I don�t know what to tell you.� He sighed and moved closer
to her. �I�m sorry.�
Once upon a time, she would have relished the proximity. She had ached for
it. Now, she wondered what it meant. There had been a few moments, moments
of pleasure, when she had believed he had wanted her. Really wanted her.
Not Jean�s memory or anonymous physicality. Her. Then there were other
moments, moments that overwhelmed the others, that suggested he was trying
to be kind. That maybe he just pitied the poor girl that couldn�t touch. It
was confusing, to say the least.
That she loved him, that much was certain. But when she�d told him, he�d
refused to hear it. He�d told her she didn�t and she�d left it at that. He
didn�t want her love. What he wanted was beyond her.
�Don�t be sorry,� she said, and chuckled mirthlessly. �At least I can�t
kill anyone anymore.�
�Rogue - �
�No,� she interrupted. �Don�t say anything. This� This is just the way
things are. This has been the way things are since I put that first boy in
a coma.� She shook her head. �Maybe this is better.� She didn�t believe
that. Deep inside of her, something rebelled against that notion. But what
good was rebelling, when her body dictated the rules of the game?
�Listen, Marie,� he began.
�I haven�t been Marie since I left Mississippi, Logan.�
�You have been with me,� he replied, putting an arm on her shoulder.
�No, I tried. I tried being Marie. But I couldn�t. I can�t.� She slipped
out of his grasp, moving to sit at the other side of the bed.
�You aren�t giving up on this are you?� he asked.
�On what? Beating my mutation or us?�
The question evidently caught Logan by surprise. His eyes dropped. His
fingers traveled the length of her frayed blanket. �Us?�
She pounced on the question with ferocity. �Yeah, us, Logan. You and me.�
She crawled over to him and took his face in her hands, forcing him to look
at her. �I can�t feel pain right now, so let it go. Tell me what you really
want. Tell me I�m just a kid to you. Tell me I�m a pity case. Tell me why
you couldn�t ever want my love.�
Her cool hands on his skin made him pause. Brown eyes were boring into
hazel and his throat worked, trying to gain control. How had this happened?
When had she become this woman, demanding explanations he didn�t want to
give? �You�re not a pity case,� he said hoarsely.
�Then what am I?� she demanded.
He hung his head in defeat. �I don�t know.�
�That�s not good enough.� She sighed and dropped her hands away. �Thank you
for stopping by.�
His eyes narrowed. �But - �
�I need to be alone.�
�But I - �
�Please, Logan.� And there was nothing forceful in her voice anymore. He
heard weariness and sadness, and maybe resignation. It was the worst thing
he�d ever heard.
He left her. He left the room when her sad eyes were too intense for him,
when her words cut too deeply, when her skin began to warm on his.
He wandered the halls of Xavier�s mansion, the beloved School for the
Gifted, and found it all wanting. Maybe it was time to leave again.
Logan walked and walked until he found himself in front of Jean Grey�s
office. It was an odd place to be but he walked inside.
She looked up, startled to see him there, wondering why he had come.
�Logan. What can I do for you?�
Sitting down, he stared at her across her desk. Hers was a beauty that had
instinctually attracted him from the first. Her cool countenance hid a
passionate nature. He knew she was attracted to him as well. He could smell
it. Still, sitting there, with her in front of him� It left him empty.
�I came to talk about Rogue,� he announced.
A slim eyebrow rose. �Oh?�
�Yes,� he continued. �You heard what happened to her?�
Jean nodded. �Of course. It must have been devastating for her. I have yet
to see her, actually. I was planning on doing that a little bit later.�
�I�d hold off on that if I were you.�
Logan shifted uncomfortably in his chair. �She wants to be alone.�
The telepath frowned slightly. �Is that what she told you?�
Sensing there was more to it than that, Jean prodded. �So, what did you
want to talk about then?�
�I think it�s time for me to go,� Logan said.
�Do you?� she replied calmly.
�Yes,� he stammered. �I�m only complicating things by staying. I think
Rogue can take care of herself now and this thing, it�ll work itself out.�
Jean stood up and walked to her filing cabinet. Logan frowned as she began
rifling through the files. �And you don�t want to be around when it does?�
�Listen, Logan,� Jean moved to back to her desk and opened the folder
before her. �This is private, so I shouldn�t be discussing it with you� But
I think it might help you understand.� She pushed the folder to him. �Go
on. Read it.�
Logan stared at the computer printouts, the lab reports, the analysis of
data and frowned. �What does this mean? Did she��
�She knew, Logan. She knew this was a very real possibility.�
Logan looked up at her, bewildered. �I don�t understand. Why would she go
through with it?�
Jean removed the glasses she was wearing and leaned back in her chair. �She
wasn�t going to, at first. This was something Hank had tested long ago,
Logan. A year before you got here. He discussed the results � the ones
you�re holding now � with Rogue. He explained the dangers. And for a year,
she held off. For a year, Logan, Rogue refused the treatment because she
was afraid of the consequences.�
Jean offered him a sad smile. �Are you asking yourself what changed her
mind?� She sighed. �The minute you walked back into her life, Rogue began
acting like the seventeen year-old school girl she hasn�t been in a long
time. And then, you go and give her false illusions��
Logan snarled, �They weren�t false illusions.�
�Then what were they, Logan?� she asked, irritated by the interruption.
�You walked into my office talking about leaving. She thinks there was more
going on with you two.�
�No she doesn�t.�
�Logan! What is wrong with you?� Jean took a breath, obviously trying to
steady herself. �I�m not saying what�s happened is your fault. It�s not.
Rogue is old enough to make her own decisions. But, you have to be aware
she made them because of you.�
He sat still, without saying a word, trying to digest what she�d said to
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Jean asked, �What are you going to
do? Are you leaving?�
Jean stared intently at him. �Are you going to help her?�
�She doesn�t want my help.� He ran a nervous hand through his hair. �I
don�t know if I can give her what she wants.�
Jean Grey�s eyes were a little hard when she asked, �What do you want to
�She told me she loved me.�
�She�s not for me, Jean.�
The telepath remained silent, waiting for him to continue.
�I don�t even know who I am,� he said desperately. �I don�t know how old I
am, what I�ve done.� He paused. �Who I�ve killed. Don�t you see, Jean? The
one good thing in my life I can remember doing is helping that girl. And
now I�ve fucked that up too.�
Jean watched as he stood up from the chair and began pacing about the small
�You�re right,� he continued. �I did things to her � maybe even said things
� that led her to believe� Shit.� A loud _snikt_ broke through his speech.
Adamantium claws popped from his hands. He gazed down at them in his fury
and they immediately disappeared. The anger in his face faded as well,
replaced by weariness and self-loathing. �I�m not good enough for her,� he
�Logan, I don�t want to interfere,� Logan smiled grimly at that, �but I
think that you have to put aside those concerns now. The point is she needs
you to help her.�
�Then what? I leave?� he asked.
She walked up to him and put a soft hand on his arm. �Then, it�s up to you,
Logan. It�s all up to you.�
He looked at her with an edge of disappointment in his eyes, and walked
out. He didn�t think he liked her advice. No, he didn�t like it at all.
A hand-rolled Cuban lit up the darkness that surrounded him, and he smoked
it with a gusto that came from having little in his life to enjoy.
He sat on the damp grass and waited, waited for the light in her room to go
out. He sat, and waited, and thought until he thought he�d never want to do
any of those things again.
In his head, he played out dozens of scenarios. He could leave now, head
back to Canada, and forget the X-men ever existed. Or try. He could wait
for Rogue to overcome her predicament, and then leave. He could stay. His
head was pounding with the possibilities. He almost wish whatever forces
had stolen his past came and took him away, and did it again. Maybe then
the doubt and the guilt wouldn�t gnaw away at him until he was sick.
During his stay in the small town near Alkali Lake, he�d met a woman named
Rosemary. They�d met in a bar after one of his fights and she�d offered to
buy him a drink. She was blond and thin and a little eager, but he�d
accepted anyway. She was a talkative little thing and before long he knew
the story of her life. He knew how her husband had died (factory accident),
that her child was being taken care of by her mother, and that her one
dream was to be a famous singer. He�d laughed at that and asked her just
how she planned on doing that, stuck as she was in that frozen shithole.
Frowning, she�d replied that dreams were dreams because they weren�t meant
to come true. They were fool�s wishes. Dreams, she said, are what keep us
going, but you don�t take them too seriously, or you�re bound to be
He hadn�t thought of Rosemary in a long time, but he remembered what she�d
When the light finally went out he waited and calculated and hoped to God
she was finally asleep before he made his way back into the mansion. Once
inside, he walked to her door and listened for the deep, even breathing of
slumber. Hearing it, he went into the room.
She�d changed into shorts and a tank top and he had to smile at that. At
least she was allowing herself the freedom she hadn�t enjoyed for so many
years. He moved to stand by the bed, where she lay sprawled over the
Her chest moved in a cadence that hypnotized. Up and down, slowly and
steadily. Her hair fanned out on the pillow, leaving her face uncovered and
exposed to his view. He watched her eyelids flutter and wondered what dream
she might be having. Was it his dream, too?
He would allow himself this much, he thought as he pulled off his boots. He
couldn�t wake her, even if he wanted. Removing his socks and his shirt, he
lay down beside her on the bed. He wrapped his arms around her body and
hugged her to him, so that she was facing away from him. And he let himself
He ran his hand down the length of her arm, felt the warm skin under his
fingers, and dreamed she shuddered in response. He stroked her hair and
moved it away from her neck, exposing it to his lips, dreaming she stirred
into his kiss. He breathed into her ear and heard himself say, �You know
what you are? You�re everything.� And he dreamed she heard.
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