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FIC: An Unusual Situation Part II: 2/4: PG-13: Logan, Rogue, L/R, S/J, other, all

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  • Jenn
    2/4 Jamie found Rogue standing uncertainly in the center of the spare bedroom, damp hair brushed and pulled into an uncertain ponytail, wet tail trailing over
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2001
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      2/4

      Jamie found Rogue standing uncertainly in the center of the spare bedroom,
      damp hair brushed and pulled into an uncertain ponytail, wet tail trailing
      over one flannel-coated shoulder. Her hands and the arms beneath the
      pajamas Jamie had hunted up were encased in the long gloves, which needed
      to be washed badly. From the look of them, they were already ruined.

      Somehow, she just didn't think the kid would strip them, though.

      "Rogue?" She kept her voice low, gentle, not wanting to startle someone
      whose nerves were already shot. The girl's head snapped up and Jamie felt
      the dark eyes follow her with the wariness of a trapped animal as she
      crossed the room and set the tray on the bed. Trust issues--not a
      surprise, eight months was a long time for a kid her age.

      "Thank you," the girl whispered. The steady gaze was unnerving--with
      Logan's information, however, it made sense, in a way.

      "You hungry, honey?" she asked, noticing the girl made no move to approach
      the tray. After a moment of thought, Jamie realized why--human proximity.
      With a casual smile, she backed to a chair and sat down, and was rewarded
      with Rogue slowly walking to the bed and taking a seat. With an apologetic
      look, the girl attacked the food with both glove-encased hands.

      Which gave Jamie the perfect opportunity to study her.

      Mutant--Jamie had seen her share, both the kind that could pass and the
      ones that never could. Rogue displayed the usual characteristics of her
      kind--light paranoia, nervous energy, suspicion, and some signs of
      shock--probably from the attack that Jamie had neglected to ask much about.

      Rogue. Obviously not her real name, just as obviously Logan had decided to
      let her keep it a secret. Understandable.

      "How long has it been since you ate properly, honey?" she said, as Rogue
      finished off the sandwich, wiping her fingers distractedly on the napkin
      she'd carefully spread on her lap before beginning. Dark eyes came up,
      narrowing just a little. Then changed, growing steadily thoughtful.

      "A coupla weeks," she answered carefully, dipping her spoon into the soup.
      Eyes went back down. "Ran out of money."

      Money made the world go 'round, Jamie had always known that. She leaned
      back, keeping her posture carefully casual, as if it was every day people
      dropped on her doorstep with little girls in tow. Rogue was all raw nerves
      and energy--Jamie looked her over with expert eyes, used to evaluating
      young girls for their potential money-making capacity. The soft old
      flannel hung around the girl in heavy folds, revealing a thin body that
      would border on emaciation soon given the slightest chance. Also nicely
      obscured her actual age--Jamie would bet that the girl was at least
      seventeen, though anyone looking at her would drop her in fifteen easy.
      Traces of baby-fat in her face already been whittled slowly away, and she
      didn't miss the circles beneath the dark eyes, coated carefully in make-up.
      Pride. The girl hadn't wanted anyone to see what kind of condition she was
      in. Didn't like pity.

      Jamie could understand that. She'd bet that Logan did too.

      "So why aren't you with your folks, honey?"

      The spoon dropped with a clatter into the now-empty bowl and Marie jerked,
      looking up. The whole thin body went tense.

      "They don't want me."

      It was dropped between them, a single defiant statement that demanded no
      response. The suspicion was back in force, and Jamie decided that was
      enough questions for the evening. The girl finished off her milk hurriedly,
      and Jamie gave a quick glance to the tray--empty.

      "Are you still hungry, darlin'?" she asked, and Rogue quickly shook her
      head, wiping fingers and mouth quickly before neatly folding the napkin and
      placing it back on the tray.

      "No, ma'am, thank you." She shifted slightly, preparing to get the tray
      herself, but Jamie intercepted her, and she watched the girl's entire body
      jerk away as she picked it up.

      "None of that. I'm Jamie, always have been." Though Madam had once been an
      appropriate enough title, and that made her smile a little in memory. "Get
      some sleep, honey. You look exhausted."

      Brown eyes suddenly dug into her.

      "Is--is Logan still here?"

      Interesting. She checked the clenched hands, wanting suddenly to cover
      them with her own, take that look of naked fear off her face. It was
      unexpected--she'd seen too many girls like this in her life to be moved by
      it anymore, had been one herself more years ago than she cared to count.

      "He's here, sweetheart." Smiled gently. "You'll see him in the morning,
      okay? Now go to sleep." She didn't miss the relaxation in the girl's body
      and smiled again. "Good night, honey."

      She watched Rogue climb into the bed with a child's enthusiasm, wondering
      how long it'd been since she'd had someplace safe to sleep--and again, that
      unexpected shaft of compassion. As the girl laid down, she flipped the
      light off, closing the door, knowing somewhere in her the girl would get up
      to check and see if it was locked.

      That only made her like her more.

      * * * * *

      Someone was yelling.

      Marie woke up with absolutely no idea where she was. She struggled onto
      her knees, grabbing for her cloak and finding only blankets beneath her
      hands.

      {Blankets?}

      Time to re-evaluate the situation. Taking a breath against utter panic,
      Marie sat back.
      Logan. Jamie.

      Big furry guy tried to kill her.

      {Oh God.}

      It began so suddenly she barely had time to register the flood of
      emotion--pure relief-- before she began to cry--buried her head in the
      blankets to drown it out, shutting her eyes against the utter relief that
      coursed through her. God, she was safe--she wasn't hungry--she wasn't
      alone.

      He knew what she was and hadn't tossed her into the street like garbage,
      like everyone else had.

      It was several minutes before she could stop--when she'd left home, she
      hadn't cried. Not since that moment with Cody in her room, collapsed
      against the wall, trying to control the flow of memories and personality
      and habits, thoughts and ambitions and fears that had taken her over so
      suddenly and so completely she hadn't even known who she was or why she was
      screaming. Only knew that something was very wrong, one of them was hurt,
      and if someone had asked her, she wouldn't have even been able to tell who.

      A low growl and she lifted her head, surprised by the sound, recognizing
      it--that bar, his stare at those two men, then dark eyes fixing on her,
      seeing her sitting there, watching him stand up to those who attacked
      him--did mutants do that, stand up against normal humans? Could they?
      Humans owned the world--her kind were what they hunted and executed on
      sight. She knew what they did--she'd seen what they did, on the open
      streets of St. Louis. Ducking into an alley, head down, praying they
      couldn't sense it on her, her difference.

      {Logan.}

      Logan, who'd brought her here like an abandoned puppy and for the first
      time in longer than she could remember, she wasn't hungry, wet, cold,
      scared. Safe.

      Well, scared, yes. But not as much.

      It'd been so long--Marie bit into her lip and twisted her fingers through
      the soft blankets, the feel of the old-fashioned quilt familiar, the clean
      smell of the pillows. The clean smell of herself--God, how long since
      she'd had a decent shower? Standing under hot water until her skin
      burned--washing off filth that had more to do with what was in her than
      what was on her. Touching her own skin in wonder, amazed that it was
      clean, finally, after so long.

      Shelters, truckers, buses, and right this second, she didn't have a penny
      to her name, nothing to pay anyone with. And for obvious reasons, he
      wouldn't accept the type of payment a lone girl without money could offer.
      Even if she knew how to do it.

      Another growl and Marie straightened on the bed, tears slowly drying, eyes
      going to the door. Considered for a minute, remembering the embrace
      outside--him and Jamie, her name had been?--

      {Ah. Right. That.}

      With a strangled sigh, she lay back down, pulling the covers up to her chin
      and staring at the ceiling. She wasn't used to sleeping straight through a
      night--God, when had the last time been?

      {New York. St. Mary's shelter.} The last time she'd eaten properly,
      remembering the long looks of the women around her, the significant glances
      of the volunteers at her gloved arms. They thought she was a junkie. Fair
      enough. She'd sat through morning Mass wondering why God had done this to
      her, skipping out before the volunteers got around to asking her any
      questions, feet on the street.

      Mutants were not welcome in the world, she knew that much. Meridian,
      Jackson, Memphis, St. Louis, New York, Baltimore, they'd taught her that.

      So north, drawn like a magnet.

      {Okay, so one night here--maybe he's taking me to town tomorrow.} But
      tomorrow was nebulous, something she hadn't tried to think about very much.
      Hell, an hour was a scary stretch of unknown territory--an hour made the
      difference between buying water in a bar and being attacked by someone who
      wanted her--or Logan--or both of them--

      An hour was following the mute jerks of the man who dragged her along
      chill, snow-coated asphalt and sliding adamantium into the lock of a car.
      Shoved her in the passenger seat, tossing the heat on, telling her to shut
      up before he threw her out. Chewing on a cigar for all it was worth,
      growling at the weather, but utterly at ease hotwiring a car.

      He scared her. But just remembering him made her body relax in the
      blankets--he was here. She was safe.

      Marie fell back asleep without another thought--she'd learned that when you
      had the chance, you didn't waste it.

      * * * * *

      Logan saw her when he walked into the kitchen.

      She was perched on a stool, curled over a bowl of cereal, looking
      considerably better than she had when he'd last seen her. Big eyes came
      up--eyes too large for her face--fixing on him with utter and complete
      focus, a little unnerving. More than a little unnerving, truth be told.
      The plaid pajamas--blue, comfortably worn, rumpled--were too large for her,
      making her look even younger than her claimed age. The dark hair was
      neatly brushed back, secured in a ponytail--hell, except for the thinness
      and the gloves that coated her hands, she could have been any kid in any
      kitchen eating her breakfast before going off to school.

      "Morning," he managed. He wasn't a morning person and even more, he wasn't
      used to greeting someone in the morning--he avoided the whole morning after
      routine whenever possible. Vaguely, as he sifted through Jamie's cabinets,
      the unfamiliarity of the situation tickled him and he growled to himself.

      "Mornin'," she whispered, and he could still feel those eyes on him,
      watching him, making the skin on his back crawl. Padding barefoot to the
      refrigerator, he ducked his head inside and instantly got the damned door
      smashed into his head.

      "Shit, Jamie," he growled, and heard her soft laugh.

      "Good morning everyone." Oh fuck, Jamie was a morning person. He'd
      forgotten that. He jerked his head out of the fridge, giving her a glare.
      Already dressed--how the fuck did she get up so early and still look that
      good? "Oops, sorry, honey." She didn't sound too damned sorry. "Why
      doncha make yourself useful and go cut some wood or do whatever it is you
      do? I'm gonna cook--and of every man I've met, you are the worst cook."
      She shooed him with one manicured hand. "Get dressed and get out before
      little Rogue over there has heart-failure watching you pad around in jeans
      and nothin' else."

      His eyes went to Marie, who had flushed all the colors of a sunset and her
      eyes were now firmly fixed on her bowl. Feeling remarkably exposed--there
      was probably a good reason why when he had sex he tended to run before
      morning--Logan growled again and stalked out, hearing Jamie laughing behind
      him.

      Jamie settled on the stool, fixing her eyes on Rogue.

      "You feel better, honey?"

      Rogue swallowed quickly, almost choking, and Jamie noted the napkin spread
      neatly in the girl's lap, the way she held her spoon, the straight back.
      Different from most street girls, definitely.

      "Yes, ma'am."

      "Jamie," she corrected firmly. "You wanna tell me how old ya are, honey?"
      she asked as she poured herself a cup of coffee. She heard the girl's
      breath draw in sharply.

      There was a long pause and Jamie sipped her coffee, keeping her entire body
      relaxed, calm, at ease, using every trick she knew to encourage confidence.

      "Seventeen," she answered, a little warily, eyes flickering up once to take
      in Jamie's reaction. But there was none, and she thought she saw the girl
      relax a little.

      "Let's do proper introductions, since I think you were a bit too tired last
      night," Jamie said easily. "Jamesina Richards." She smiled as Rogue
      lifted her head again, not bothering to extend her hand, knowing that would
      make the girl even more uncomfortable.

      "Rogue, Ma'--Jamie."

      "Where ya from?" From the accent and the mannerisms, Jamie was placing her
      Deep South. Probably rural.

      Another pause, and Jamie took a casual drink of her coffee as the girl
      considered her answer. From the corner of her eyes, she followed the
      debate written clearly on Rogue's face, how much to tell, how much not to.
      What was safe and what wasn't.

      "Mississippi."

      Jamie nodded.

      "I lived in Canton when I was younger, sugar," she said, and Rogue's lips
      twitched. "Southern girl--always have good manners. I've always noticed
      it." Putting down the empty coffee cup, Jamie stood up, deciding this
      would have to be done in stages--even better if she could get Logan in the
      room at the same time. Jamie guessed that Rogue would be more amenable to
      questioning if she thought Logan wanted the answers as well--gratitude was
      a strong motivator. As she rose to rummage through the refrigerator, she
      smiled to herself when the girl quickly finished up her cereal, putting the
      bowl in the dishwasher.

      "Can I help?"

      Pride. She hid her smile and nodded.

      "Sure you can."

      * * * * *

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      www.geocities.com/seperis

      --When I watch that scene I do not think "Oh, he's such a good father
      figure."--

      --It was incestuous pity weird surgical glove wearing sex.--Reasonable
      Doubts
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