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FIC: Atom Pt 2 (L/R, angst, PG-13)

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  • Jengrrrl
    Author: Jengrrrl Title: Atom Pt 2 Series: The Big Crunch Rating: PG-13 Category: angst Spoilers: none Summary: Logan finds out what Rogue wanted to tell him.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2000
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      Author: Jengrrrl
      Title: Atom Pt 2
      Series: The Big Crunch
      Rating: PG-13
      Category: angst
      Spoilers: none
      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
      gardens.

      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
      pain.

      ~*~

      �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
      word.�

      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.

      �Hey, kid.�

      �Logan.� Rogue found she was burying herself further undercover.

      �You all right?� he asked softly, as he sat by her side.

      �I�m here.�

      �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.�

      �Why?�

      Logan shifted uncomfortably in his chair. �She wants to be alone.�

      The telepath frowned slightly. �Is that what she told you?�

      �Yes.�

      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?�

      �I ��

      �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.�

      �And then��

      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
      him.

      Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Jean asked, �What are you going to
      do? Are you leaving?�

      �I�no.�

      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
      give her?�

      �She told me she loved me.�

      �Logan?�

      �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
      room.

      �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
      said simply.

      �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
      disappointed.

      He hadn�t thought of Rosemary in a long time, but he remembered what she�d
      said now.

      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
      comforter.

      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
      dream.

      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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