Title: Lapse of Reason (2/?)
Author: Chris (teufelce@...
Genre: Romance/Action/Character Study
Rating: PG-13 so far, for profanity
Summary: Logan and Rogue try to deal with their developing feelings for
another, amidst sudden change
Thanks to: Tracie, who has trusted me enough to let me develop her idea,
Jo and Z, as always, they know why...
Disclaimer: The characters of X-Men (i.e. Logan, Professor Xavier, etc.)
Marvel Comics and Twentieth Century Fox Pictures. This
story is for
entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement
Archive: Hell yes, just please let me know where.
Almost as if she'd heard his thoughts, Marie made a soft noise in her throat
and shifted in her sleep until her hooded head came to rest directly on
Logan's shoulder. Every muscle in his body sang in sudden tension and only
the aching pain in his lungs reminded him to keep breathing.
<Jesus Christ, Marie, why'd you have to do that...> Just as he prepared to
move himself even further into the corner of the back seat, to get away from
the bittersweet feeling of the warm body curled up against him, he heard it.
Heard her sigh softly, felt her cheeks lift in a sleepy smile, and then her
breathing deepened and she was deep asleep again. While the instincts inside
him, that had kept him sane and safe inside his aloofness screamed at him to
move away from her, his heart ached with a feeling he didn't even want to
identify. One he wasn't ready to just yet... <Well, she looks so tired> he
thought to himself. <Guess it wouldn't hurt for a little while...> With a
quick glance at the front seat, one that reassured him that both Jean and
Scott were oblivious to the position he'd found himself in, he let his own
head fall back against the head rest and closed his eyes. Let his mind
drift, as all his senses reveled in the sound of Marie's slow, even
breathing. Found his own eyes sliding shut and gave in to sleep...
The cessation of movement and the sound of opening and closing car doors
slowly roused Logan from sleep. As his mind struggled towards full
consciousness, he was dimly aware of Marie moving away from him, of her soft
drawl, "Logan, I'm gonna get out and stretch my legs while Scott helps that
nice woman change her tire..." Change her tire? What the... The door opened
and shut and Marie was gone into a swirl of frigid air. Air that brought
with it a tantalizingly familiar scent... A minute passed, then Logan's eyes
snapped wide open. Mystique... That shapeshifting bitch was so close, her
scent was so strong, he could taste it on the roof of his mouth. And he was
in the car. And the rest of the team was out there... *Marie* was out
there... With a snarl of rage, he shot upright in the car and struggled with
his locked door. Eyes darted to look out the frosted window, to see Scott,
Jean and Marie standing on a small bridge. The bridge spanned a river whose
currents moved so slowly that it was already covered in ice. They were all
bending over next to what looked like a harmless elderly woman whose blue
Ford had developed a flat tire. In the blink of an eye, the tableau changed.
For a moment, Logan thought he was seeing things - something, no, *someone*
was moving behind Scott. Someone who seemed to absorb the light and
surrounding landscape, blending in like a chameleon until they moved.
Colours shifted and shimmered and Logan had to fight to stay focused on the
shape as he screamed out a warning, still struggling with the frozen door.
"Cyke! Behind you!" His voice was muffled, but Scott heard him yelling and
turned, a questioning look dying on his face as he laid eyes on the shifting
form behind him. A blur of motion and Scott was sailing through the air to
land against a tree with a sickening thud. Jean had turned at the same
instant as her husband, and Mystique took that opportunity to grab the taller
woman by the hair and slam her head first into the top of the car. A dazed,
but still conscious Jean fell to the snow at the shapeshifter's feet, and a
horrified Logan watched as both mutants turned on a terrified Marie. A
terrified Marie, who despite ever urge to run, was pulling off her gloves
with shaking hands... A roaring sound drowned out all thought as Logan's
world turned red. He was dimly aware of the claws shooting out of his hands.
Of those claws smashing through glass... Of glass cutting his hands, his
chest, his legs, as he hurled himself through the broken window of the car.
Rolled in the snow to land on his feet, arms flung wide, a snarl of rage on
his face. Just in time to see the lightshow freak grab Marie around the
neck... to see Marie's hands come up to grasp the other's face. Light like a
small solar burst flared and Logan had to fling a hand over his eyes to keep
from being blinded. As his vision returned, he saw a startled Marie
stumbling backwards, legs tangling as they hit the low guardrail of the
bridge. Watched as they both disappeared over the side...
An anguished scream tore itself from his throat and he started to run for the
side of the bridge. Only to realize at the last moment that he'd forgotten
about Mystique, just as her foot slammed into the side of his head... He
stumbled and fell to one knee, before shaking his head and spinning to face
her. The bitch had shifted back to her normal form and amused yellow eyes
stared back at him from five feet away.
"Well, Prism may have failed to capture your little friend, but at least he
took her with him. You know she'll never survive that river long, such a
slight little thing..." Mystique's mouth lifted in a twisted smile. "Looks
like you X-Men aren't invincible after all." Whatever Mystique saw in
Logan's face, it drained the smile from her own. Fear replaced sick mirth in
her eyes, and she began to back away. Scaled blue skin shifted and twisted
until a large dog stood before Logan. One that quickly turned and sped off
into the woods that bordered the road. A loud groan behind him, and Logan's
eyes snapped around. Jean was helping an unsteady Scott to lean against the
car. Both of them were bleeding steadily from head wounds, but they were
alive. Marie... Only a few minutes could have passed since she'd gone over
the side - there was still time. As Jean and Scott stared at him in shock,
he pulled his jacket off and kicked off his boots.
"Logan?" came Jean's shaky question.
"Rogue - she went over the side into the river..." he managed to growl out,
just as he dove off the bridge. The icy water hit him like a brick. Burning
cold threatened to steal the air from his lungs, the warmth from his flesh,
and only concentrated effort kept him from struggling for the surface. Eyes
darted back and forth, trying desperately to make out something in the murky
water. Hands searched from side to side blindly... There... a brush of
fabric... God help him if it's that freak... He grabbed hold and pulled the
limp figure closer to him, as he kicked for the surface. Lungs sucked in air
as he broke through the ice again, a motionless Rogue clutched to his chest.
Oh god, he thought as he stared down at a slack face. Oh god...
"Logan!" He twisted in the water to see Jean standing on the bank of the
river, a rope in hand. Kicked out with powerful legs to propel them both
towards where the rope lay on the surface of the ice. Grabbed it with numb
fingers and struggled to wrap it around his wrist, while his other arm held
onto Marie with a death's grip. The moment he had the rope securely around
his arm, Jean began to pull. He could see her eyes closing in concentration,
past a grimace of pain, and he knew she was using her telekinesis to help
her. They hit the edge of the ice and he managed to lift Marie's frozen body
up onto the stronger surface, before scrabbling for purchase himself.
Keeping them both flat against the ice, to spread their weight out over the
greatest surface area, he let Jean reel them in and just concentrated on
holding on to Marie. Trying desperately not to think about the possibility
that this could all be in vain...
Jean grabbed hold of his sodden shirt once they were close enough, and
managed to get both of them on the shore. As Logan lay in the snow,
shivering and gasping for air, he watched Jean bend quickly to lay a gloved
hand against Marie's neck. Watched as she bent her ear close to Marie's
lips. Saw her give a small sigh when a slight puff of air issued from those
lungs. Then watched as those tiny puffs of air grew fainter, shallower,
further apart... Jean bent over Marie, frantically checking her pulse again,
pulling back an eyelid. He watched Jean climb to her feet and face him with
tear filled eyes.
"Logan... I'm sorry... the hypothermia's too far gone... there's nothing we
can do..." No. No....
"No...." It came out as an agonized moan, and he struggled to his knees,
dragging himself to Marie's side. The tears in Jean's eyes spilled over, as
Logan's hand wrapped around Marie's covered wrist and looked up at her with
eyes filled with such horrible pain. "No, there has to be *something*,
"Logan, we have no way of getting her body temperature up quickly enough.
Not without risking...." Jean's trembling voice broke off as a fire began to
burn in Logan's eyes.
"Risking what, Jean?" Gone was the nickname, replaced by a fierceness that
made her shiver.
"Body-to-body contact is the only thing we could do, Logan, and with Rogue...
it's just not possible." The growl that rumbled up from the depths of
Logan's chest forced Jean to take a step back.
"Fuck 'possible', Jean - you mean you're not 'willing' to risk it. For all
you people's endless rantings about helping one another, you're still not
willing to do whatever it takes to help her. Well, I am," he snarled. "*I*
am." He turned his eyes back to the motionless figure laying before him.
Prepared himself to make the ultimate sacrifice - one life for another.
Looking down at her, there was no question. His life was nothing, hers was
everything. Whispered under his breath, "Forgive me, darling, but it was the
only way..." He began to pull her shirt out from the waist of her pants and
heard Jean gasp behind him as she realized what he was going to do.
"Logan!" she shouted, starting forward only to be stopped by the tips of
three razor sharp metal claws.
"No, Jean. Don't stop me." Then the shirt was free from her pants and Logan
was sliding it up, over her chest, until the length of her abdomen was bare
to the cold air. Raised shaking hands to pull his own shirt over his head,
and then bent until his face was a hair's breadth from Marie's. "Forgive
me..." Her lips were cold beneath his, and he could feel his heart
threatening to shatter into pieces. He leaned in until his body was covering
hers, the fabric of her bra tickling his chest as he ran his hands briskly up
and down her sides. Trying in vain to transfer some of the returning heat of
his body to hers. Feeling tears spilling unheeded down his cheeks as the
pulling sensation that heralded her gift failed to kick in. No... no....
no... Pressed his cheek to hers, letting the tears run down into her hair,
wishing to god he'd never left her. Wishing that he'd told her about how
he'd felt... An almost unnoticeable puff of warm air washed over his cheek
and he froze all movement. There was no pull coming from her, no drain of
his energy, but yet she was alive. How the hell...
"Logan.... what... what are you... oh my god!" Then he was being shoved
aside by frantic hands. Small hands that pushed him away to roll into the
snow, a crazed laugh breaking the silence as he felt a smile split his face.
He righted himself to find Marie sitting upright, staring at him with wide
"Welcome back, darling..." She shook her head frantically, staring at her
hands held out between them.
"I felt you... I felt you holding me... but... I didn't... I didn't drain
you....how... I don't understand..." The more she spoke, the greater the
panic in her eyes and Logan felt his chest tightening again. Before he could
speak, Jean stepped in.
"Logan, let me. Rogue, do you remember what happened?" Jean said softly, as
she crouched before the terror stricken girl. Marie stared up at her.
"I remember the other.. mutant. He grabbed me... The only thing I could
think of was to grab him back... Then there was light and pain, and then we
were falling into water... and it was cold. So very, very cold. That's all
I remember..." Logan watched in silence, as Jean slowly leaned forward to
take Marie's hand in hers. Marie froze and stared down at Jean's bare skin
where it touched hers. Her eyes widened as, once again, her mutation failed
to kick in. Jean nodded, as if confirming something to herself, and then
shrugged out of her jacket, placing it gently around Marie's shaking
shoulders. Then she stood and turned to face a dumbfounded Logan.
"I left Scott up near the car - he's suffered a nasty head injury and there's
no way we're driving anywhere. I had him call the Professor while I was
pulling you and Rogue from the river. He's sending Storm to pick us up with
the jet. She should be here soon." She stopped and looked back at where
Marie still sat in the snow, eyes wide. "As for what's happened with Rogue's
mutation, I'll know more once we get back to the school and I can examine her
in the medlab." Logan swallowed and managed to find his voice past the lump
in his throat.
"But she can touch..." Jean stared at him with unreadable eyes before
"Yes, she can. But we don't know how, or for how long, Logan. We still need
to be careful. Will you be able to help her up to the car? I want to get
back and make sure Scott's alright."
"Sure." Jean nodded again, and then she'd left the two of them alone.
Painfully aware of the sharp cold that was penetrating down to his bones,
Logan managed to unbend stiffened muscles and climbed to his feet. Moved
slowly over to a Marie who looked like she was ready to run at any moment,
and offered his hand. "Come on, Marie, we gotta get up to the cars." Marie
stared at his hand for a long minute before finally slipping her own into it.
Logan felt all of his breath leave his lungs in response to the sensation of
her soft skin sliding over his roughened palm. Fought to keep his face
neutral as he lifted her to her feet. The moment she was standing, Marie
snatched her hand from his as if she'd been burned and his happiness
instantly turned to confusion. It was almost as if she were afraid to touch
him. Despite knowing that her mutation was, at least temporarily, out of
order, she was terrified to touch him. He could smell her fear on the air
and something else, something not so easily identifiable... She brushed
quickly past him and was climbing up the slight hill to the road before he
was even aware of it. He shook his head and followed slowly after her. He
couldn't understand it. He would've thought she'd be *happy* to be able to
touch, to be touched, like everyone else. He would never have predicted
this... this blind panic he'd seen on her face. Mind preoccupied with a
whirlwind of confusion and emotions, he barely even registered the cold ice
and stones cutting into his bare feet as he climbed towards the car. He
would've thought she'd be happy, damn it...
End of Chapter 2