Title: The Big Crunch
Series: The Big Crunch
Rating: PG-13, language/sexuality
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", �Reversal�,�Atom�, and "Paradox"
Archive: Ask me first please, unless I've already said yes. Then, go ahead.
Story, and series, archived at Disquieting Muses
Feedback: please feed the monkey (That would be me)
Author's Note: Thanks to Donna, because I couldn't have finished without
her input. In fact, I would have done something very weird. LOL. Thanks to
anyone whoever gave me feedback. I love you for it. So, this is it. The
end. Hope it doesn't disappoint to much.
The Big Crunch
Few thoughts were really registering in his head. One was that this was
wrong, oh so wrong. That the way she felt under his hands was not natural �
he could quickly feel himself losing control in a way that was never normal
for him. He was touching her skin and he briefly wondered if that was it,
if the thought of touching something that had been untouchable was the
biggest aphrodisiac of them all. Then his hand moved to grab a short-clad
hip and a small sound escaped her lips and he knew, he knew skin had
nothing to do with it. Her skin did. Not because it had been forbidden, but
simply because it was hers.
He watched her � eyes clenched tightly, mouth slightly opened � and
realized he hadn�t kissed her. Not properly, not the way she deserved. His
roving hands paused for a minute, causing her to open her eyes. A question
lingered there and he knew what she was thinking. She was thinking he�d
run. �I�m going to kiss you,� he said.
Relief and expectation and need flashed across her face as she nodded.
He lowered his mouth to hers in an act that conveyed reverence and
self-doubt and pleasure and pain. Slowly, he tasted her, memorizing her
flavor, awed by the way she completely gave herself to him. His hand slid
into her hair, softly stroking, caressing. In a moment he would be gone,
lost in a sea of feeling. Everything he heard, smelled, tasted � everything
It was a long while before he pulled away, his eyes drifting automatically
to her swollen lips. Her breath was coming in a quick, unsteady rhythm and
he felt a kind of satisfaction in having caused her discomposure.
And for a moment, he was just happy to have her at all.
Heat lingered over her mouth when he pulled away. Her lips were tingling
and she savored the sensation, keenly aware that she�d never felt anything
like it before. The half-kiss she�d shared with David didn�t even register.
It was like comparing night and day.
It was hard to think because he was so close and his hands were on her,
sliding up and down her arms. His breath was tickling her neck. �Logan?�
�Have you stopped?�
He continued his assault, using his mouth on her neck, his hands running up
the sides of her torso. She felt his teeth graze the sensitive flesh below
her ear and felt herself shiver. He let out a low groan and moved to kiss
her mouth again. She felt unsteady hands cup her breasts and she suddenly
didn�t know how to breathe properly. �Promise me you won�t leave tonight,
Logan,� she said raggedly against his mouth. �Please.�
�I won�t leave tonight,� he responded, reaching underneath her tank top,
urging her to help him pull it over her head.
She did and when the garment was removed she instantly reddened, too aware
of his gaze, embarrassed and excited by what it meant.
He took her arms, prying them apart where they had instantly crossed �
habit and instinct causing her to protect herself. �Don�t hide,� he said
So she let him. She watched him as he watched her and she trembled from the
cold and the awkwardness and the desire it caused.
He removed the rest of her clothing and she tried to do the same for him
but found it too difficult to undo the buttons of his jeans, her shaking
hands not helping the process. He did it for her, quickly and efficiently.
She was surprised at how deliberate it all seemed. She remembered Kitty�s
romance novels, how the characters always seemed to be throwing themselves
into fits of passion, unable to escape their urges. This wasn�t like that
at all. She felt like she had a measure of control. Like she could walk
away from the situation whenever she wanted. And there, she realized, was
the problem. It was in the wanting. She wanted him too much and she wasn�t
going to stop, no matter how much her better judgment screamed for it.
She felt him whisper something in her ear but she didn�t hear it. Their
bodies were touching completely now and she didn�t know what to think or
even feel. It felt good and dangerous and she thought of Kitty�s romance
novels again and almost laughed because wasn�t she supposed to be
concentrating on the situation? When he started kissing her again, her body
told her it was best not to think.
�Marie,� he said, loudly enough to break through her reverie.
�What?� Her voice, she noticed, was low and throaty.
�Bed,� he replied, half lifting her himself.
Getting there was a blur but she remembered everything else with extreme
clarity, every touch, every sigh. She remembered the feel of his stuble
against her stomach. She remembered the moan he forced out of her when he
moved lower. Remembered his muscles contracting under her hands. His teeth
and tongue. His murmured whispers. His mouth muting the scream that tore
through her when she found her release. The look in his face and the
silence when he finally did.
He didn�t leave. He stayed with her through the night and held her to him.
Neither dared say a word. When he finally got up to leave in the morning,
she let him.
When she saw him the next day, he was talking to Jean. When he caught sight
of her something in his face changed for a moment. Only a moment. Then he
turned from her and from Jean and walked away into the depths of the
He tried explaining it to her once. She�d worked up the nerve to corner him
in the garage. He was greasy and smelled of sweat and dirt. She hadn�t made
a scene, she hadn�t screamed and hollered or begged. She simply asked why.
He told her, simply, that they weren�t right for each other. That he wasn�t
right for anyone, let alone her. He said that what happened that night was
his fault but that he wouldn�t be sorry for it unless she was. He said,
staring down at the wrench in his hand, that many boys in the school would
want her. And many more outside the school. She could do whatever she
wanted to. She could be everything she�d dreamed of before�before her
mutation, before the X-Men, before him.
�I keep having memories,� she�d whispered to him then. �Of what we never
He nodded. �Maybe it�ll be easier once I�m gone. Distance, time will let
�Yeah,� she replied, a dull ache creeping into her chest, threatening to
She held herself as still as possible. �What?�
�Go to Alaska.�
She knew what he was saying but she didn�t reply. She walked out of the
garage and thought that it was going to take so long for her to forget. For
her to lose memories of something that never existed.
When I was younger, before my mutation manifested, before I had to run away
from my life and forget everything, I thought that doing what you wanted in
life was the most important thing.
When I told David about Alaska, I was dead serious. I didn�t know when I
was going to go, or how exactly I would get there. All I knew was that it
was something I wanted to do, so I would.
I learned that getting what you want isn�t that easy. Sometimes because
even knowing what it is you want is difficult in itself. And once you know�
well, there are other complications.
I left the mansion before Logan did. I explained to the professor that I
needed some time to myself and he agreed.
�I want you to know that anything you need will be provided. You�re part of
our family, Rogue.�
When he said that, I nearly burst into tears. My family pretty much threw
me out of the house when they found out about me. On the long trek to
Canada, I never thought I�d have a family again. I thought I would drift
endlessly, never being able to carve out any sort of relationship with
anyone ever again. Professor Xavier and the X-Men proved me wrong and, as
much as I hate sounding like a sap, I will be eternally grateful for that.
The professor offered to buy me my plane ticket but when I told him I
preferred to drive he merely handed me the keys to one of the cars. It was
that simple. And that�s how I left. I drove away.
I said good-bye to a handful of people. My school friends: Bobby, John,
Jubilee, and Kitty. My surrogate older siblings: Ororo, Scott, Hank, and
Jean. I didn�t see Logan, but I had a feeling he knew I was leaving.
Something in me wished he would come see me off, maybe ask me to stay. It
didn�t happen and, much as I wished for it, I hadn�t expected it to either.
Jean was the last person I talked with. I had lingering resentments I had
to deal with before I left. I didn�t want to be angry with her. Not when I
had no reason.
�I want you to know that I�m sorry,� I told her. �I�m sorry for a lot of
the things I said. I had no right to. I know you and Scott are very happy
and that Logan�Well, I know there�s nothing between the two of you. It�s
just something I had to latch on to, you know? Something to blame for the
way things were going. Or not going.�
She smiled warmly and I knew then that all had been forgiven. �I wish
things had gone differently, Rogue. I really do.� And that was it. No hint
of �I-told-you-so�. Just that smile and a hug and hopes for my well-being.
In the realm of physics the big crunch theory has always held a strange
fascination. Where the big bang is purported to have sparked the beginning
of the universe, marking the beginning of everything we know to be true
today, the big crunch is its antithesis. The big crunch shrinks the
universe, causing everything to flow backwards. The arrow of time is
reversed and all physical phenomena inverts itself. The big crunch scenario
is so weird, so awesomely strange in its machinations it�s hard to
conceive. When I first read about it, I had to picture things falling up,
people getting younger instead of older, the universe with a greater
tendency towards order than chaos.
When I first got to Alaska I felt like my life had been in a big crunch.
Somehow, one stage of my life had reached its limit: there was no room for
expansion, no room for my universe to broaden. So, my life began shrinking,
reversing itself, just like the big crunch is supposed to do to the
universe. Things started happening that made me feel like time was
traveling backwards. Logan showed up and I started feeling like a fifteen
year old again, all hormones and hurt feelings. Then the nerve therapy
went wrong and I felt like I�d crawled back into the womb. Then my big bang
occurred: Logan and a single night and total chaos and the complete and
utter paradox of absolute happiness and total desolation all in one
The longer I stayed in Alaska the more I got to thinking that physics was
So I had my Alaskan adventure. I met some people: most nice and some not. I
did some things but not a lot. After all, it was Alaska. I stayed long
enough to experience the bewilderment induced by a dark day. And I
remembered David because he�d told me how cold it was. He was so damn
right. A Mississippi swamp rat doesn�t belong in a place that cold. But I
survived, and I guess I�m the better person for it.
When I realized my �gift� was starting to manifest itself again, I didn�t
panic. I was almost relieved to have my old life back. When I saw I
actually could control it, it was like a missing piece of a puzzle had been
discovered. I was complete again.
One of the nicer people I met was an older lady named Ruth. She was really
nice; ran the hotel I was staying at. She invited me to tea quite often
and there was never a reason not to accept. She first went to Alaska
because her husband was stationed there. She told me she�d first thought it
was hell frozen over. Eventually, I guess, she grew to hate it less and
less. I asked her why she stayed so long. She said that her husband died
before he was transferred and that she didn�t leave because there was
nothing for her to go back for. Everything she�d ever loved had been in
Alaska and it remained buried under the hard-packed ice.
�Why are you still here?� she asked, after I�d visited so many times I
couldn�t keep count.
�I have nothing to go back to,� I responded, thinking I was being honest,
thinking that was my truth.
�What�s wrong with home?�
�Too many memories I don�t want to relive yet.�
She got a strange look in her eye before sipping her tea and saying,
�There�s nothing wrong with reliving memories.�
�They aren�t pleasant,� I insisted.
Ruth, bless her heart, responded, �So what? They�re just memories. They�re
in the past. Go home, child. Go create new memories you can leave behind.�
I knew she was right but I stayed another month anyway just to be stubborn.
And because I enjoyed her company.
One dark day I packed up my things and said good-bye to Ruth and drove
until it was light again.
As I drove up Graymalkin Lane I started feeling that anxiety I�d had before
I left. I pushed it way down deep and thought about creating new memories.
I hadn�t told the professor I was coming but as soon as I parked the car I
felt his presence welcoming me and telling me that I should see him as soon
as I�d settled. Ororo welcomed me at the door. The anxiety began to
dissipate. The big building began feeling more like the home I remembered.
Like the course of my universe had been righted.
Part of me wonders what would have happened if the story had ended there.
Would I have remained perfectly content forever? Would my memories have
been simple and pleasant?
I don�t think I was destined for a simple life.
Professor Xavier warned me that he was still prowling around, that he�d
never gotten around to actually leaving. For a second I didn�t know whom he
was talking about. And it all came rushing back, that torrent of memory.
But it was less painful than I remembered. And I remembered Ruth�s words:
I looked for him and was a little surprised to find him re-tiling one of
the pathways. �Don�t we have people that take care of that?� I asked of his
He stopped working but he didn�t turn around right away. I decided not to
make it any harder, so I simply walked up to him. �Hey.�
�Hi,� he managed. �You�re back?�
�Apparently.� I couldn�t help smiling at his total befuddlement.
He cleared his throat and smeared some of the drying cement on his jeans.
�So how was Alaska?�
�It was an adventure.�
�Was it what you were expecting?�
�More.� I paused for a second, because I was finally realizing what the
experience had meant to me. �Thanks.�
�Making me go.�
He nodded and just stood there in the middle of broken clay tile, looking
I thought about creating new memories. Maybe Logan needed that more than I
did. �I have to go get cleaned up.� I took his hand in mine and was glad
that he didn�t pull away, instead actually squeezing it a little. �You want
to get together later? Have some tea?�
The look on his face was priceless. �Tea?�
�Or beer. Any soothing beverage?�
�Beer soothes you, Marie?�
�The non-alcoholic kind maybe.�
He smiled: one of the priceless new memories.
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