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Fic: In Plain Sight 1/3 [L/R] - R

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  • victoria p.
    Title: In Plain Sight Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@att.net] Summary: With some help from Shakespeare, Logan realizes his feelings for Rogue Rating: R -
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2001
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      Title: In Plain Sight
      Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...]
      Summary: With some help from Shakespeare, Logan realizes his feelings for
      Rogue
      Rating: R - language
      Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and/or Fox. This piece of
      fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
      Archive: If you've got my other stuff, then yeah. Otherwise, just let me
      know.
      Feedback: Me = feedback whore
      Notes: Pure foof. Thanks to Jen, Meg, Pete and Dot for the lovely beta. And
      dammit, Marie *could* be Italian, and know that jarred sauce is EVIL.


      < > indicates thoughts
      ~ ~ indicates telepathic conversation

      In Plain Sight

      1. College Life in the Big City

      Aimée was there when Rogue came home for the Memorial Day weekend just after
      her junior year at Fordham. The new French teacher was petite, with curly
      black hair and a lush figure. She was sophisticated and smart; she smoked
      her little French cigarettes like there was no tomorrow. She hadn't made
      many friends in the month or so she'd been at Xavier's school, but she'd
      made one very good one -- Logan.

      They were lovers.

      Rogue had dealt with his feelings for Jean. She had dealt with his inability
      to stay in one place for more than a month at a time. She figured she'd
      learn to deal with this new woman as well.

      Rogue had long since given up on the idea that Logan would fall magically in
      love with her once he noticed she was no longer a scared sixteen-year-old.
      Four years had passed, and while they were still close, she knew he'd never
      love her that way. She just wasn't his type, and he definitely had a type.

      She was currently not dating anyone, her relationship with Bobby having
      ended when she'd accidentally touched him and put him in a coma for a week.
      It wasn't that he hadn't been willing to stay with her, because he was. She
      just couldn't bear the thought of hurting him again. After Logan, he was
      everything to her.

      So they'd parted, and she'd heard from Kitty that he was seeing someone he'd
      met at school. That was back in their freshman year of college. She hadn’t
      been in a relationship since. She’d only been on a handful of dates, though
      she could have had almost anyone she wanted. She was considered an exotic
      mystery at Fordham, small as it was, in the heart of Manhattan.

      Professor Xavier was allowing her to live on her own, in an apartment he
      owned on West 58th Street between Broadway and Columbus, since it was right
      up the block from the school, where she was studying drama.

      She'd never taken full advantage of it, though. The idea of getting close to
      someone scared her, especially someone who didn't know what she was capable
      of. She had friends, who'd known without her telling them, that she was a
      mutant. One or two secretly confided that they were mutants themselves, with
      minor powers that didn't get in the way of "normal" life. Amazingly, it was
      among them that she felt most carefree. They touched her without thinking,
      and after a while, she'd stopped flinching. At the mansion, she was always
      aware of the hesitation, however minute, before most people touched her, no
      matter how covered up she was.

      She had fits of rebellion and had gotten herself a permanent reminder of one
      of them. The biohazard tattoo on the small of her back had been the result
      of a dare from one of her castmates in "Hello Dolly!" her freshman year.
      She'd explained her mutation solemnly to the tattoo artist. He'd winked,
      shown her his webbed fingers and his gills, and then double-gloved to do her
      ink.

      When people asked, "Why biohazard?" she replied, "I believe in truth in
      advertising." No one at the school, outside of Bobby, Kitty and Jubes, knew
      she had it. Except for Hank and Jean, of course -- the doctors. Which meant
      Scott probably knew as well, but he'd never said anything. She'd never
      gotten the nerve up to show Logan. She wasn't sure how he'd react. It had
      been bad enough listening to Jean tell her how dangerous they were and how
      unattractive and on and on. Hank had winked and laughed at her explanation.

      She was content with the life she'd made for herself, alone for now, and
      willing to learn to like Aimée.

      The woman made it difficult, though. She was polite and friendly, but
      condescending as all hell. At least Rogue thought so. When she mentioned it
      to Storm, the white-haired woman replied, "She seems nice enough to me.
      Perhaps you are a little harder on her than you would be on anyone else,
      Rogue. You know you feel no one is good enough for Logan."

      And so Rogue didn't mention it again. It had been bad enough when she'd
      *had* a crush on Logan to have to listen to everyone's teasing and advice.
      But that crush was at least three years in the past. Okay, maybe only two,
      but it was still *past*.

      They'd settled into a comfortable friendship, going to hockey games and just
      hanging out. He visited her in her apartment once a week. It had started out
      as a spur of the moment thing, right after she and Bobby broke up.
      Apparently, Logan was still taking his promise to protect her very seriously
      at that point, because he'd shown up at the door to her apartment ready to
      do anything -- even sit through a chick flick -- to cheer her up. She'd been
      touched by his willingness to suffer Meg Ryan for her, and settled down
      instead to watch Monday Night Football, secretly grinning at his overt
      relief.

      And then he'd stopped by one night after getting back from a mission, just
      to let her know he'd gotten home safely. He showed up so often her sophomore
      year that she gave him a key. She knew he liked the idea that he could crash
      on her couch when life at the mansion felt too confining.

      She’d gotten used to finding him sitting in her living room when she got
      home, beer in hand, dinner in the oven.

      The first time he’d cooked for her, she’d been shocked. “You *cook*?”

      There was a faint hint of color across his cheekbones. “How do you think I
      got by all these years, kid? Can’t eat out every night.”

      It was never anything fancy -- steaks or burgers, or a pot of spaghetti with
      awful jarred sauce that she ate only because he cooked it.

      Sometimes, even though she was over the crush, she allowed herself to
      fantasize what it would be like if this was real, if they were just a normal
      couple chatting about their day over dinner.

      And then he would unsheathe his claws, or they’d talk about the X-Men’s
      latest mission, and the fantasy would fall to pieces. It was better that
      way, she told herself.

      Especially since now there was Aimée. Scott told her during one of their
      weekly phone calls how good the woman was for Logan, how she seemed to be
      able to keep him content, or at least as content as anyone had ever seen
      him.

      “He doesn’t even bark at me half the time anymore,” he said, laughing. “I
      kind of miss it.”

      She smiled and mumbled something about being glad that Logan was happy. And
      she was. She really was. She just didn’t like Aimée.

      She was glad she’d already decided to stay in the apartment all summer this
      year, because she’d gotten used to living alone. Otherwise, she was sure
      they’d all attribute her reluctance to move back into the mansion to Aimée’s
      presence, which wasn’t the reason at all.

      Logan was the only one who truly understood. Once you’d been on your own,
      living in a house with dozens of people, half of whom always wanted to know
      where you’d been and where you were going, was stifling. And Rogue found
      that she needed space, needed time alone, even though Jean thought it wasn’t
      healthy for her to spend so much time by herself.

      It was a peculiar effect of her mutation. No one could touch her, and at
      first it had been fear that made her keep to herself. Her first year at the
      mansion, the year Logan had been away, had been the hardest. Learning to
      deal with him and Erik in her head. Learning to live with the fact that
      there was probably no cure, no treatment even, for her.

      But Bobby and Kitty and Jubilee had drawn her out of herself, made her feel
      welcome and normal when they included her in their outings and foosball
      games. She had made a home for herself outside her own head, but sometimes
      she needed to withdraw. Scott understood, as well. He knew what it was like
      to constantly be on guard against harming someone else. He knew that being
      around people meant always being aware, and how tiring that could be.

      So he said nothing as the others tried to convince her first to commute to
      school -- "Why not go to the Rose Hill campus, Rogue?” Jean had asked
      reasonably. “It’s closer, and it’s beautiful. You could drive or take the
      train every day.”

      “They don’t have the theatre program I want,” she’d replied firmly.

      It was the same back in March when she’d gone home for spring break. “Is it
      all right if I stay in the apartment all summer?” she’d asked the Professor
      on her last night at the mansion. “I’ve kind of gotten used to being alone.
      It’s not that I don’t love Kitty and Jubilee--"

      “But you don’t want to live with them in such close quarters anymore. I
      understand, Rogue. You’re growing up. It’s certainly fine with me. We’ll
      miss you, though. Logan more than anyone.”

      She’d grinned at that. “He knows where to find me, Professor.”

      And he’d had to acknowledge the truth of that. He was the only one who knew
      where Logan was spending most of the nights he didn't return to the mansion.
      There were rumors, of women stashed in different places, of cage fights and
      motorcycle gangs and bar brawls. And some of the stories were true. But for
      the most part, before Aimée had come along, Logan spent his nights on the
      couch in Rogue's living room, drinking beer and watching television while
      she did homework and then fell asleep on his shoulder.

      Now that he had a girlfriend, Logan had settled into a routine. He spent
      Wednesday nights with Rogue. It was an unspoken rule that nothing short of
      world save-age was allowed to violate. She never asked him what Aimée
      thought about their friendship, and he never mentioned it.

      ***

      2. At the Ballet

      "_Giselle_, Ororo! _Giselle_ at the New York City Ballet. You have to come."
      Rogue spoke excitedly into the phone.

      "It is such short notice, Rogue."

      "Come on, please? For me? I don't want to go alone and I've got two
      tickets -- center orchestra."

      "How did you get such good tickets at this late date?" Ororo asked.

      "I won them in class. They were the prize for the person who did the best
      job with their monologue. And I won. Please, Storm? If you can't, then send
      Scott? I just -- " she fumbled, trying to explain why this was important.
      Her mother had taken her to the ballet as a child, and she didn't want to
      share it with just anyone. It was about family. She didn't say that, though.
      "I'll be waiting at seven thirty by the fountain. Be there or be square."
      And she broke the connection.

      ***

      Rogue sat by the fountain, the Metropolitan Opera House rising like a fairy
      cathedral behind her in the fall night. She picked imaginary lint off her
      long black skirt, waiting for Storm. Or possibly Jean or Scott. She never
      expected to see Aimée, in her Manolo Blahnik shoes and her faux-chinchilla
      wrap, cigarette dangling from her red lips.

      Her smile was tight as she rose. "Aimée," she said, putting all her acting
      skills to work. "What a nice surprise. I was expecting Storm or Scott."

      Aimée smiled genuinely in return. "Yes, but when Ororo mentioned to me that
      you had tickets to _Giselle_, I couldn't contain myself. It was my favorite
      as a child, and I haven't seen it in years." Her voice was throaty, lightly
      accented. "You must know that Logan wouldn't be caught dead at the ballet."
      And she laughed.

      Rogue had to laugh with her at the picture that presented. "He'd be outta
      there as soon as the first guy came out in tights," she agreed. "If not
      before."

      "So, shall we?" Aimée said, linking her arm through Rogue's. Rogue nodded
      and decided that she was going to try harder to like this woman who had made
      her best friend so happy.

      After the show, which they both agreed was spectacular, they had dinner at
      one of the many restaurants lining Columbus Avenue. Aimée insisted. "An
      evening like this is to be savored, my dear. These are the nights you will
      tell your children about -- the night you saw Sabena Dorsey dance Giselle.
      Mark my words, that girl is going to be a major star."

      Rogue laughed. "My momma used to tell me all about seeing Baryshnikov. I
      only ever saw him on television, in _The Nutcracker_. If I ever have
      children," and she wouldn't dwell on the seeming impossibility of that now,
      "I'll certainly tell them about this. And I'll say, 'Aimée told me I'd
      remember this night and bore you kids with it.'"

      The conversation broadened, then, and Rogue found Aimée to be smart and
      well-read. To her surprise, she liked the woman and found that her
      condescension was only a front -- a defense.

      "I was fourteen when my mutation manifested," Aimée confided. "I was a
      gymnast, the next great Olympic hope for France. And then I missed a vault
      in competition. An easy vault, one I had made a dozen, a hundred times. I
      was so angry, I just wanted to break the vaulting horse. I stared at it with
      such hatred, and it fell apart as the next girl took her turn." She sighed.
      "Thank God, she wasn't injured. I'd have felt so guilty on top of feeling
      like an outcast."

      "So you're telekinetic," Rogue said, not having bothered to learn before.
      "It must be great to be able to stay in bed when it's cold and have your
      stuff come to you." Then she blushed, thinking about Aimée in bed with Logan
      there to keep her warm.

      The Frenchwoman smiled. "Yes."

      They chatted about nothing in particular after that, and the two women went
      home much more in charity with each other than they'd ever been before.

      ***

      TBC

      victoria

      --

      "Fool! said my muse to me, look in thy heart, and write." Sir Philip Sidney

      --

      http://members.tripod.com/victoria_jp/home.htm
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