Title: Lost Souls, Part I: One Way Ride
Category: AU Logan/Marie. Some angstin' going on.
Rating: Oh, let's go with PG-13 for language.
Disclaimer: X-Men and its characters are owned by a bunch of people.
Sadly, I'm not one of them, or I'd have money. But I don't, so please
don't sue me. Title and lyrics come from Hooverphonic, off their "Blue
Wonder Powder Milk" CD.
Summary: If Marie were human, would her life be better? Possibly, but
not in this story, baby!
Distribution: Want, take, have. Just let me know.
Feedback: OK, I don't really do the angst thing, so I'd love to hear
what you think. jmmadigan@...
see them point in your direction
see the indifference in their eyes
just living in oblivion
struggling with too many wires
you've got to solve this riddle
otherwise you won't get back
so if i were you
i would concentrate on this morbid one way track
~~ "One Way Ride," Hooverphonic
It was gray. The sky, the snow, the road. Even the piece of shit car,
which Marie was pretty sure started out an icy blue, had shifted into a
dirty, slushy gray. She blew out a breath as she slammed the hood down,
and damn if her breath wasn't gray, too.
She walked slowly around the car and stood for a moment, pondering her
situation. On some nameless road in the middle of this godforsaken
state, which for some reason she'd always longed to see, though for the
life of her she couldn't recall why at the moment. Not another car in
sight. Presumably there was a town somewhere along this road, but she
had no clue how far it was. And the car ...
Marie reached for calm, but it seemed to have deserted her She took her
anger out on an innocent tire, punctuating every kick with a hissed
Growling, she gave the tire one more kick.
Real mature, Marie.
Her conscience, in the voice of her Momma, piped in as always. *Ladies
do not curse, Marie. Don't lose your temper, Marie.*
"Well," she said aloud, startled at the echo of her own voice. "Looks
like we're gonna be walkin', Fred."
Fred, a mutt of indeterminate parentage she'd picked up a few states
back, grinned at her from the front passenger seat of the car,
slobbering all over the window. Obviously, he didn't understand the
gravity of the situation. But then, he trusted her to take care of him,
so that in itself showed how little sense he had.
Marie sighed and opened the back door, climbing in and shutting it
behind her. It was fortunate, she supposed, that she'd started her
journey on a bus and had packed lightly. Of course, it was a wonder
she'd packed what she needed, considering her state at the time. The
memories threatened, and she ruthlessly pushed them back. No time to
think. No time. Maybe later, 'K? Like in fifty years or so.
She opened her duffel bag and surveyed its contents. A few changes of
clothes. Toiletries. Her journal. Wallet. She leaned over into the front
seat, pushing Fred and his doggy breath gently out of her way, and
yanked her portable CD player out of the tape deck. Stretching a little
farther, she managed to snag the case off the dashboard that held all 10
CDs she'd brought with her.
Music was key to Marie's life. Sometimes in high school, she'd gone
without lunch for weeks to save money to buy CDs she'd wanted. When it
came to survival, Marie thought honestly that while starving to death
would be bad, starving for music would be worse. Maybe if she'd been
able to carry a tune herself it wouldn't have been as bad. She could
have just sung her way through life instead of relying on the songs of
By ditching a sweatshirt, she managed to cram the player and CDs into
the bag. Just barely, and she wasn't sure how on earth she'd manage to
carry the bag to the next town. Wherever that was. She wondered briefly
if she'd die of cold or exhaustion first and if she'd be gray, too, when
they found her dead body by the side of the road. And then, wouldn't her
father be able to give a big, fat "I told you so"?
"I'm gettin' morbid," she told Fred, who just gave her his dopey dog
smile, as if to remind her that she'd been morbid for a year and a half,
and what was so unusual about that, anyway?
Marie tightened her coat and wrapped her scarf more firmly around her
face. She clambered out of the car, dragging her bag out and dropping it
on the pavement with an echoing thud. She opened the front door and let
Fred out. He ran up the road and back again, wagging his tail. He knew
better by now than to jump on her, instead jumping up and down excitedly
in front of her.
"Yeah, yeah," she told him flatly. "We're goin' for a little walk.
Fred froze, staring back the way they'd come. Marie stopped, hearing the
car a moment after the dog did.
"OK," she said. "Fred, you gotta sit there and look as harmless as
possible, boy." She pushed her hood off her head and loosened the scarf.
She knew she looked about 16, though she was 20. Might as well use that
*Hitchhiking is dangerous, Marie,* her Momma's voice said.
"So's freezin' to death," she argued aloud. Fred didn't even look at
her. He was used to her talking to herself.
A truck with a camper attached barreled down the road, and Marie took a
deep breath and stuck out her thumb.
The truck flew by. It didn't even slow.
"Son of a bitch!" Marie looked at Fred. "Can you freakin' believe that?"
Fred obviously couldn't believe it, either. He was staring down the road
at the disappearing vehicle.
Just her luck. The one person besides her to drive down this godforsaken
road all damn day was a heartless bastard.
"I guess we walk, then, huh boy?"
Fred panted in agreement, thumping his tail on the ground.
Marie grunted and pulled her bag up to her shoulder. She started
walking, finding that she could position the bag near the middle of her
back and take the weight pretty well. She stopped as she noticed Fred
wasn't with her.
She turned back to find him sniffing around the car. After a moment, he
hiked a leg and peed on a tire before before trotting to stand next to
her. Marie snorted out a laugh, the first in several days, if she
remembered correctly. "I couldn't have said it better myself."
Jed's Landing -- and what kind of name was that for a town, anyway? --
was basically a bump in the road. But it had some buildings, which would
mean heat, Marie thought. And heat sounded like heaven at that moment.
Even Fred was looking a little frozen around the edges.
She wasn't sure how far they'd walked, but it had been hours since they
left the car, and she'd long since lost all the feeling in her
extremities. Unfortunately, she still had all the feeling in her back,
which was killing her. There were a few houses and some kind of general
store, which was closed for the night.
The only place that showed any life was a big, square building at the
end of the "town." Judging by the pickup trucks and semis crowding the
parking lot and the neon signs in the window, it was a bar. It looked
like paradise to her.
She was worried they wouldn't let Fred in the door, but nobody even
looked at them when they entered. In fact, all attention was focused on
a giant cage in the center of the room, where it looked like two men
Marie laughed shortly, and that was twice in one day, probably a record.
Some people found the strangest things entertaining. She nudged Fred
with her foot and moved to a booth in the bar area off to the side. Only
a handful of people were over there, as most were watching the fight.
She settled the dog under the table and positioned her bag in front of
him, just in case. She sat down with a sigh, stretching her feet onto
the seat across from her.
A few minutes later, she felt someone shake her. "Miss?"
Marie jerked awake, staring up into a woman's face. She looked to be in
her 50s, with platinum blond hair and the biggest purple hoop earrings
Marie had ever seen.
"Y-yes," she stuttered, disoriented. "Shi -- um, sorry. I think I fell
"It's OK, honey," the woman said kindly. "But you looked like you were
gonna fall out of the booth, so I thought I'd wake you up. Don't know
how you can sleep with this racket goin' on."
Marie smiled, and the expression felt foreign to her. Had it been so
long since she'd smiled at someone? "I can sleep anywhere," she said.
"Can I get you anything?"
"Somethin' hot? Coffee, tea, anything," Marie said. She shrugged off her
coat. It was almost steamy in the building, but her insides still felt
"And some water for your dog?"
"Uh ..." Marie started. "Yeah, that'd be great."
As the blonde moved away, she looked under the table. Poor Fred looked
exhausted. "I'm sorry, buddy. I forgot you were there."
Fred's tail thumped, and he stared at her with his trusting brown eyes.
The woman -- Marjorie, she said her name was -- returned with some
blessedly hot coffee and a bowl of water for Fred. She also brought over
a bowl of pretzels "just in case you two want a snack." She refused to
take any money, and Marie was reminded that there was the occasional
nice person in the world.
Amy (graciously) criticised the artistic parts of the story, and offered
hints for a sequel, which unfortunately couldn't be carried out, as the
hero and the heroine were dead.
~~ Little Women