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FIC: An Unsusual Situation Part IV: 2/3: Logan, Rogue, L/R, S/J, all, others

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  • Jenn
    2/3 Marie shook her head shortly as she picked up the skates, then put them down again. Not again. I like my skin all one general color, thank you. I like
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 7, 2001
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      2/3

      Marie shook her head shortly as she picked up the skates, then put them
      down again.

      "Not again. I like my skin all one general color, thank you. I like
      sitting. I've learned to enjoy it. I am *not* sleeping on my stomach one
      more night."

      Hearing Jamie's snicker, she shot the shorter woman a glare that she
      ignored completely. Jamie was perusing their shopping list, and Marie
      dropped into a chair beside her.

      "You want me to go for you?"

      Jamie raised a brow and Marie slid a glove off, frowning briefly, placing
      it on the woman's wrist. A sigh, and Jamie covered the fingers with hers.
      "It's not that. Honey, you can't drive very well--or do we need to go look
      at that poor tree out back when I let you try?"

      And wasn't that the truth, and Marie knew she couldn't fight that. With a
      sigh, she removed her head, frowning a little in memory--then snickered
      herself.

      "This summer, I'll sign you up for driving lessons, 'kay?" Jamie frowned
      down at the list. "I see you got rid of meatloaf again."

      "Pizza." A charming smile--they melted Jamie and Marie took her victories
      where she could get them.

      "You're spoiled."

      "I cleared snow for three hours with a sore ass. I deserve pizza."

      With a resigned laugh, Jamie marked down a few more items and nodded
      shortly before rising.

      "All right--Leo will be here in few minutes for your meditation
      lessons--he's not staying for dinner tonight. I'll be back by six." Jamie
      motioned to another piece of paper and Marie groaned. "A few things for
      you to do before I get back."

      Marie had discovered Jamie had a passion for lists and organization. In
      her room, taped on the door, was the laundry schedule --{for two
      people?}--the household task schedule, and a rotating weekly schedule of
      Marie's activities, and Marie had a lot. That Jamie had never had a child
      was certain--she was taking every maternal instinct she had--and Marie
      honestly never thought Jamie had that many--on her and life had become a
      series of skills to master, never-ending rounds of activity that kept Marie
      busy and it was hard to remember a time she'd been alone in the world.

      She honestly wondered exactly how life was without a schedule.

      "You be all right?" Jamie asked as she got her purse, and Marie nodded
      quickly. Jamie always asked, always with the same fresh worry, and every
      time, Marie nodded easily and Jamie would breathe a sigh of relief before
      she left.

      When the house was quiet, Marie took a seat on the couch and leaned back,
      closing her eyes briefly.

      She'd lied to Logan--not a complete lie, not a true lie, but a lie
      nonetheless. She said she had a little control.

      She had a lot. More than even Jamie suspected, though Jamie did know that
      every second came with a price--headaches, ultra-sensitive skin, and real
      physical danger if anyone even brushed her skin. She'd knocked Jamie out
      when the woman had brushed her hair and the tip of a finger had grazed her
      throat after one meditation session, when Marie let down those
      all-important mental shields and she was too tired to dodge out of the way.

      Jamie never was afraid though, and that just confused her--even with
      Jamie's memories in her head.

      The last six months had definitely changed her view on the world, that was
      certain. Jamie had thrown herself into the guardian role with relish, and
      Marie had woken up the morning after Logan left, feeling depressed,
      uncertain, staring at her bag in the closet, only to be dragged downstairs,
      fed a remarkably large breakfast, and have her entire new life mapped out
      for her. When Logan sent them the papers and IDs that reinvented Rogue
      into Anna Richards, citizen of Canada born in the province of
      Alberta--well, that had been interesting.

      For some reason, she never considered calling her parents. Even when
      Jamie, late one evening, had told her that there was a secure line she
      could use if she ever wanted to. She'd shaken her head slowly, thanking
      the older woman for the thought, and Jamie had never pressed her to why.

      {Though I know you wanted to, Jamie. You wanted to ask why I didn't at
      least want to tell them that I was okay and they didn't need to worry. Or
      maybe--maybe you did understand, better than I did--after all, when you
      left home, you never contacted your parents again either. And for some of
      the same reasons I have, that you can't go back and build something from
      nothing. They loved their daughter and their daughter died when Cody went
      into that coma--it's just now I'm getting the written proof of it. A new
      name, a new home, and new memories. They don't want the person I've
      become--and I don't want to go back to being the person I was.}

      Jamie, who she owed everything, and somewhere far away, Logan, doing
      whatever the hell it was he did and she twisted the chain around her neck
      and smiled to herself when she remembered Jamie's glance that first day,
      catching sight of the metal hidden beneath her shirt.

      {--"Think of him as your father."--}

      Jamie was relentlessly sensible. With anyone else, Marie would have
      thought that Jamie was trying to be discouraging, but she understood the
      implication well enough, the roundabout way Jamie liked to get a point
      across. The differentiation of the roles she played in Logan's head, the
      difficulties in changing one to the other, and the work and careful
      manipulation it would take so Logan would never notice that Marie had moved
      from the category of Responsibility to the category of Pursuable.

      {--"Even in Mississippi, sugar, I never thought of my father like I think
      of Logan."--}

      Jamie had laughed but Marie had seen the worry--oh, not for her so much as
      worry in her general direction. Worry that she didn't understand reality
      well enough to know certain differences, that gratitude would fade and
      confusion between the two, between gratitude to someone you owe everything,
      and love, which Jamie explained, was easily confused with everything from
      lust to hatred to indifference.

      {--"Having is different from wanting, which is different from dreaming.
      You have to make a decision, which way you want to go. Choose only one and
      do it."--}

      {--"I understand. Jamie, I do."--}

      She could dream about it and outgrow it eventually, want it with all her
      heart and fail, or have it, and if Marie knew nothing else, she knew she
      was determined. No one crossed the United States alone with less than five
      hundred dollars to their name and a backpack just to get to Alaska without
      being determined.

      This was a have situation, and she suspected Jamie knew that. There was no
      other reason why Jamie took her to the doctor three months earlier to put
      her on birth control.

      "Rogue?"

      Marie grinned as she heard the door quietly close, Leo's careful movement
      as he removed his coat and boots.

      "Here, Leo." And sat up, stretching her back, as the tall man came in.
      Quickly ducked into the cupboard to get her meditation mat. "I'm ready."

      * * * * *

      So things were a little different than first expected. It wasn't just the
      disturbingly domestic sitting in a normal living room with other people
      making conversation either, since he'd gotten used to that in his own way.
      It was a lot of things, not the least of which was his first sight of Marie
      in two and a half months, which really wasn't that long at all except it
      was for some reason, because she had changed.

      Logan watched Marie finish her cake, curled on the rug, long hair almost
      shielding her face from view. Every few seconds, she'd run her bare hand
      over the gloves, carefully set beside her knee, giving them a long look
      before picking up her fork again and taking another bite. Then slid the
      plate away, wiping her fingers carefully, and picking up the black leather.

      "These are gorgeous," she said softly, running her fingers over them before
      carefully sliding one on, tossing him a rapt look before turning her
      attention back down. They'd fit perfectly, he already knew--in a strange
      moment of some sort of prescience, he'd snagged a pair from her room the
      last time he left, and found a very skilled leatherworker in Mexico who
      made several sets for her out of the best leather Logan had ever seen.
      "It's so thin. Where'd you get them?" She was wearing short sleeves and
      he caught himself watching her slide the leather up over her bare arm. The
      long pair, opera length, her favorite kind. So fine she'd be able to
      distinguish texture through them, almost the same thickness as latex.

      Then Jamie's amused eyes were on him and he looked away, concentrating on
      his beer as Marie got the next one on, and he refused to look. Refused,
      damn it, little girls sitting at his feet trying on gloves were not
      something he was ready to start thinking of in terms of wearing nothing but
      gloves in a considerably more private situation.

      His room, maybe. God, was that tempting.

      He shook his head, glancing idly at the stack of plates on the floor--Jamie
      really knew how to cook, he had to give her that.

      "Mexico," he answered, glancing up to see Jamie engaged in flipping through
      the channels as if her life depended on it. Hiding her twitching lips with
      one hand, but damn, he could smell her amusement. Then Marie's attention
      was caught by some show or other and she bounced up onto the couch beside
      him--shit--and long hair brushed his arm.

      Logan took another drink of his beer and decided a cold shower just might
      not do it tonight.

      When he'd arrived, an unusual thing had happened, unusual enough to make
      him want to sit down and think it over, if he were the type to do something
      like that. He'd gotten a distinct thrill out of Marie pelting full-speed
      out of the house--okay, maybe that could be considered natural, he was fond
      of her. She never walked--at least, he'd never actually seen it happen.
      She ran, she skidded, she even skipped--and Marie skipping held his
      complete absorbed attention a lot more than was probably decent--but she
      never walked.

      And leather-covered arms were tossed haphazardly around his neck, a whisper
      against his jacket of "You're back." And briefly, and he was damned
      appalled at himself, he rested his chin against her hair, taking in her
      scent, the smell of her shampoo, the silky strands against his face.

      Bad thoughts. Bad, bad thoughts, get them right outta there.

      "You gonna show me how to ski tomorrow?" Marie asked as she tucked a
      pillow against her chest, drawing her knees up against it. He tore his
      mind strictly out of that surprisingly pleasant memory and grunted.

      "Nope." He gave a glance to Jamie, who didn't say anything but she was
      working hard not to laugh. Marie turned on the couch to give the older
      woman a curious glance, eyes wide, and he shrugged as he took a drink.
      Instantly, she plucked the can out of his hand, dangling out of reach.

      "What?"

      "I thought you might wanna do somethin' different." He reached for the can
      and Marie pulled it out of range. Instantly, she was suspicious.

      "Don't even think 'bout puttin' me on skates again. Me and ice aren't
      getting along very well--you wouldn't believe the places I still have
      bruises."

      It was on the tip of his tongue to ask her to show him and he bit down hard
      on his lip as she dangled the beer just out of reach. Oh fuck, this was
      getting just ridiculous. And Jamie, safely on the other couch, had the bad
      manners to start snickering at his expression.

      "Nope. Maybe a little trip."

      His reward for six hours of time and trouble getting this little field trip
      together was the sudden incandescence that lit up her face, and he caught
      his breath, unable to think clearly with that smile turned on him.
      Vaguely, he realized he'd shifted closer and stopped himself.

      "Where?" Breathless.

      "Anchorage."

      She stopped breathing.

      "How long?"

      "A few weeks, depending on how attached you get to Alaska," he answered
      easily, snagging his beer back and annoyed that he'd run an interested
      finger over her knuckles in the process. "If you wanna go--"

      "Yes! Really? Yes!" Her hands went down and Logan refused to look where
      they landed. "This is--I mean--" she stopped, running out of words, then
      with all that youth and energy that always left him a little dazed, she
      threw herself forward--instinctively avoiding exposed skin, not that he had
      much when he was going to see Marie, and knocked him back against the arms
      of the couch.

      Logan called up images of ice-cold water, snowbanks, showers set at glacial
      temperatures, and how extremely wrong it was to think of eighteen year old
      kids like this. Especially when they were wearing really thin shirts and
      were pressed flat against him.

      "Thanks." A whisper when she looked down at him and he found himself
      grinning like the biggest idiot on earth.

      Hours later, she was asleep on the couch--she slept like the dead, one
      minute awake as can be, the next sliding right down until her glossy hair
      was spread across his thigh, head inches from his leg, and it took *a lot*
      of willpower to keep from touching her.

      "You keep lookin' at her like that, I might get worried." Jamie said softly
      and he growled--low, so it wouldn't wake Marie.

      "Don't even start."

      A raised eyebrow and twitching lips that he quickly looked away from.

      "Just pointing out the obvious," she snickered.

      "She's a kid."

      A significant look down at Marie before looking at him. He looked down
      too, at the leather-covered hand, fingers barely touching his jeans.

      "You just keep telling yourself that, darlin'."

      * * * * *

      Jamie turned when Logan came in the kitchen after carrying Rogue to bed.
      The girl slept like the dead, completely undisturbed by anything short of a
      nightmare or an atom bomb going off by her head. Sitting at the small
      table, she watched him duck in the fridge.

      "What are you gonna do about her, Logan? A nice quiet trip to Anchorage,
      just the two of you?"

      He didn't respond, instead coming back up from fishing out the last beer
      and kicking the door closed with his heel.

      "Nothing."

      She believed it too, knew he believed it, and mulled over her tea when he
      sat down. Because he knew the girl very well, and didn't know a damned
      thing about how women thought.

      "Logan--"

      "She's eighteen. I'm not gonna--"

      "Not you. Her."

      His head came up sharply, and she thought, just for a second, that there
      was something in them close to interest. But it was gone the second she
      got the view and she was left staring down at hot Earl Grey and trying to
      think of a way to explain without betrayed what confidences of Rogue's she
      had been given. There were few--Rogue didn't share very much.

      There was silence, as she struggled through the thoughts, finally breathing
      out sharply.

      "You have a lot of power over her, Logan. You know that." A sharp glance,
      but his gaze was fastened somewhere else, and without lights, she couldn't
      get a good look at his face. "You could hurt her badly, either way this
      goes. And I can see on both of you exactly where it's gonna end up--you've
      never bothered controlling yourself around a woman before now."

      "You don't think much of me, Jamie. I'm not--"

      "Yeah, you keep saying that." She paused, knowing she had his attention.
      "I'm not stupid, Logan--you tell her to jump off a cliff, she'd probably do
      it without even asking why. What you both end up doing--doesn't matter.
      You have to make sure you do it right, though."

      Another flicker, different from the first, and she couldn't interpret that
      either, though if her life had been on the line, she would have said it was
      worry. He stood up, abandoning the beer. And she knew she'd pissed him
      off and didn't care.

      "You finished?"

      "Depends on if you understand--you've never had a single responsibility in
      your life before this. You can't fuck her and then move on your merry way.
      You're stuck with her for awhile." A pause. "It won't ever be casual,
      with her. You've got to do it all or nothing. If you can't, Logan, make
      sure, make *damn* sure, you don't let her think you can."

      The only response she got was the sound of his boots, leaving the room.

      * * * * *

      It was almost familiar--Marie woke suddenly in a cold sweat, feeling
      Logan's hands on her shoulders, shaking her awake, the leather still cool
      from being hastily pulled on. She struggled with one breath, then another,
      then felt his hands behind her shoulders, lifting her into a sitting
      position on the bed, sheet falling around her waist.

      "Sorry," she whispered, and a glass of water was thrust under her nose.
      She took a drink, then a longer one. "Didn't mean t'wake you, sugar."

      Routine made up her life--when Logan wasn't here, Jamie was, curling up
      with her in the bed sometimes and letting her cry herself out, trying to
      put together the varying images--David's memories, Logan's memories, her
      memories--and most recently, Jamie's memories, in their own way frightening
      because they were so much more recent and intense.

      "Don't worry 'bout it." She handed him the glass and heard him sit it on
      the floor. "Is it happening more now?"

      "Less," she whispered. "This is the first one in a month. Too much
      excitement, I guess." A hand stroked her sweaty hair back and she smiled a
      little, looking up into Logan's face. "I'm sorry."

      "Not your fault, kid. What was it this time?"

      Shakily, she shook her head and was given another shake of her shoulders
      for her trouble.

      "The lab." Quiet for a minute, and she gulped back a sob, refusing to drop
      the little control she had gained. "Just--" She stopped, taking another
      breath. A bounce of her bed, and Logan shifted closer, pulling her across
      his lap, and she buried her head against a safely-clothed shoulder,
      shutting her eyes tight. "I don't wanna remember, Logan."

      "Yeah, well, that makes two of us." His hand stroked her bare back slowly,
      and Marie relaxed against him. "You wanna talk about it?"

      It was a moment--she paid for them in nightmares, but it was when she got
      touched and held and had Logan's undivided attention. And she never
      believed it wasn't worth it, even with her body still shaking in reaction
      and her heart pounding against her chest like it was trying to get out and
      she couldn't draw a clear breath without tears threatening to break all her
      control to shreds. Leo was many wonderful things, but he hadn't yet been
      able to instill that calm in her that she so desperately wanted, that cool
      center that could lock everything out. So she breathed, like she'd been
      taught, and she slid her arms around Logan's back and clung tight and
      anchored herself in reality as best she could.

      She never wanted to tell Logan that she could feel the slice of razors long
      after she woke up, that she had stared at her unblemished skin in wonder so
      many times because there was no criss-cross of scars.

      "No." Because he already knew, and it'd only hurt him if she told him
      about the needles and the helplessness and over it all, that sheer level of
      pure hate that she felt in every bone in her body, until the hate seemed
      more real than the room that surrounded her, the body warm against hers.
      "You know."

      "Yeah, I do." A sigh, barely discernable through the layer of flannel, but
      she felt it against her cheek and held a little tighter. Then--then his
      hand slid down over her face, gently, softly, slowly over her shoulder, and
      she took a breath as his fingers moved down her arm. Felt her entire body
      react at the feel of soft leather over flannel running slowly down her side
      and stop on her hip.

      Knew he felt it too, and she almost breathed out in relief, because now she
      knew he wanted her too, and everything was suddenly easier. She lifted her
      head, staring up at him for a moment, seeing the slight dilation of his
      eyes, the pressure of his gloved hand on her skin--he always remembered to
      put them on before he came to wake her up.

      She felt the moment change, just like she expected, when Logan snapped back
      into the here-and-now of the room.

      "Yeah." Then in a movement so sudden she was a little startled, she was
      slid onto the floor and he was on his feet. Almost predictable, Logan
      finding a way out. "Come on."

      "What?" A little dazed, she felt him grab her arm and pull her toward the
      door.

      "Something to eat."

      "Jamie doesn't approve of food at night." That had been ground into her at
      home too--amazing how very much Jamie and her mother had in common. Which
      amused Marie no end during her free hours to think about it.

      "Aren't you lucky I do?"

      * * * * *

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

      --Hi, My Name Is Jenn, and I have Serious Issues with Marie wearing gloves
      to bed. On Principle.--Sare on "Evil Plot Bunny #1: The Evil Sare
      Tortures Jenn Via AIM One Night"

      --Yeah, it's like being in love with hospital gravy.--Nacey on Jean's
      personality

      --Sentinels--the anti-mutant groups' wet dream--as defined by Siale
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