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Fic: Untouchable Face - 1/? - R - [L/R, L/J, R/G, K/B, S/O]

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  • victoria p.
    Been working on this for a while. I m hoping that by posting the beginning, I can get kickstarted into finishing it. Lemme know whatcha think. Title:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2001
      Been working on this for a while. I'm hoping that by posting the
      beginning, I can get kickstarted into finishing it. Lemme know whatcha

      Title: Untouchable Face
      Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...]
      Summary: After four years away, Rogue returns to the mansion for Kitty
      and Bobby's wedding. Things have changed.
      Rating: R - language
      Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of
      fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
      "Untouchable Face" belongs to Ani DiFranco and Righteous Babe records.
      Archive: Lists, unfitforsociety.net, anyone else, ask. I'll say yes.
      Feedback: Makes my day
      Notes: Thanks to my beloved betas, who put up with my crap amazingly
      well. This is what happens when you can't get a song out of your head,
      and Rogue starts talking at 4 am. It's not quite a songfic, but, well,
      you'll see...

      { } indicates POV

      Untouchable Face


      I always thought Logan and I would end up together. You know, the whole
      fairy-tale nine yards -- happily ever after and all.

      I learned real life doesn't exactly work like that. Yes, there are
      occasionally knights in shining armor -- or in this case, skin-tight
      leather -- who swoop out of nowhere and lift you out of desperation and
      into a better life, but relationships are a whole lot more work. That's
      the part the Brothers Grimm always seem to leave out.

      I was going home -- back to Westchester -- after being away for four
      years. Four years is a long time and a hell of a lot of things can
      change. I know I had. Though not, I guess, as much as I liked to think,
      because even though I was heading home, I was really running away. Away
      from Remy and a failed marriage. Away from the reminders that I was
      never going to get a life of domestic bliss with a white picket fence
      and two point two kids in the nursery.

      Stop it. Don't think about kids. Don't think about Remy. Think about how
      glad Jubilee is going to be to see you. Think about how great Kitty's
      going to look in her wedding dress, and Bobby in his tux. Really, really
      don't think about seeing Logan and Jean together as a couple.

      Strangely enough, it hadn't been Logan who broke up Mutant High's Prom
      King and Queen. From what Kitty and Jubes tell me, Jean and Scott grew
      apart slowly, maybe finally waking up to the fact that just because
      you'd always been with someone didn't mean that you *should* always be
      with that same someone. Or maybe Scott just realized that Ororo had been
      in love with him forever and he wanted a woman who could be as devoted
      to him as he was to her. I don't know.

      What I know do is, Scott and Ororo got together a few months after Jean
      gave him back the engagement ring and called the wedding off. And a
      couple of months after that, Logan finally got what he came back to
      Westchester for in the first place -- full-time access to Jean Grey's

      What, you bought into that whole romantic notion that he came back for
      me? That we were destined to be together and he was just waiting for me
      to become legal? Grow up already. I had -- have, really, though it's
      faded some -- the man in my head. I knew how he felt about me, about
      Jean, about the Pittsburgh Penguins' chances for a dynasty, and let me
      tell you, Jean came in second to hockey. I was a distant third. I just
      didn't want to believe it at the time.

      Oh, don't get me wrong. Logan cared about me. I was his responsibility.
      And when he came back after being away for a year without so much as a
      word, we fell into an easy sort of camaraderie -- the kind that allows
      you to play pool in a dive bar at two am and drink beer while watching

      But I wanted more and I was determined to get it. My infatuation, as
      Jean liked to put it (condescending bitch -- but I digress), hadn't gone
      away. I mean, you'd think that a year without any word at all might have
      given me a hint that I wasn't on his mind quite as much as he was on
      mine. My only excuse is youth and youth's willful ignorance. I *knew*
      all this stuff, but I had to experience it first-hand before I actually
      *got* it.

      So, on my nineteenth birthday, I set about seducing Logan. It was
      remarkably easy. I'm an attractive woman, and I've got a creative
      imagination, which someone with deadly skin needs if she ever wants to
      get laid. And Logan isn't one to let morality get in the way of good
      sex. And believe me, it was good sex. Far better than anything Remy and

      I kicked myself. Don't think about Remy. Don't think about Logan. Which
      was kind of hard, since I was going to be seeing him in approximately
      fifteen minutes, for the first time since I'd left four years ago, in
      the front seat of Remy's Corvette.

      Where was I? Oh, yeah, Logan and I began a relationship, if you want to
      call it that. It consisted of a lot of sex, broken up by his occasional
      trips north. Oddly enough, he was faithful to me on those trips. But
      then I started wanting more. I wanted a love for all time, like Scarlett
      and Rhett. Of course, when I think about it now, I realize they didn't
      have a happy ending, either.

      After a year together, I started pressing Logan. "Do you love me? Why
      don't you ever say it? Why don't you ever look at me when we're having
      sex? Why won't you take me with you when you leave?" His response would
      be to walk away. Let's face it, the man has issues with commitment. Or
      he did, before he and Jean got all lovey-dovey.

      Finally, I got sick being treated like his little lapdog, and started
      looking around to see what else was out there. And what I saw was Remy.
      Good-looking, sweet-talking Remy, with his French endearments and his
      romantic flourishes.

      I didn't plan to do anything but flirt with him, get a little back for
      the nauseating displays Jean and Logan sometimes put on. Until the night
      Logan touched me. Accidentally, of course. Even a self-destructive
      adrenaline-junkie like Logan didn't go around touching me on purpose
      during sex. And that's when I felt it. He liked me. He did. He cared
      about me, even. But he still thought of Jean, wanted her with a
      desperation that made me sick. But I understood it, because it was the
      same sort of desperation with which I'd wanted him.

      I don't even think he realized that I knew. He blacked out for a few
      seconds, and in that short period of time, I decided I could no longer
      be her substitute. I deserved more.

      So, I slept with Remy. Flagrantly. Before I broke up with Logan. I
      needed to get his attention, and I surely did.

      Let's gloss over the fights and the recriminations. The lack of anything
      resembling real pain on Logan's part. Nothing good to remember there.
      Remy and I left a week later, and I hadn't been back since.

      Amazingly, Remy and I didn't end up hating each other; I did learn to
      love him, as much I was capable of loving anyone. We got married in
      Vegas and traveled around for a while before settling in his native New
      Orleans. It was day-to-day life with him that drove me nuts. He was a
      talker, I was a talker, which meant neither of us was ever quiet enough
      to listen to the other. At first, it was endearing. But what works while
      you're dating and having adventures is a whole different story from what
      works in a marriage. Neither of us was ready for that level of
      commitment, and it showed.

      After two years, we barely had sex anymore. After three, I knew he was
      getting it somewhere else. And the sad part was, I understood, then,
      Logan's indifference to my cheating.

      I mean, I was hurt, and Remy and I fought, but it wasn't the same as
      when I found out about Logan's feelings for Jean. That bone-numbing,
      heart-shattering intensity was missing. That's when I knew the
      difference between loving somebody and being in love with them. Neither
      Remy nor I was prepared to build a life together, to actually go through
      with that whole "two-become-one" crap that no one believes until it
      happens to them.

      That third year, we got a divorce in the same half-assed way we got
      married. I moved out, no hard feelings. And it's true, there aren't. We
      still hang out and I'm in on his weekly poker game. I think he's gone
      back to thieving, which I wouldn't allow while we were together (if I
      ever caught him at it, which was rare).

      And now here I am, Rogue, twenty-four years old, pulling up to 1407
      Greymalkin Lane, alone again, naturally.

      The gates opened smoothly and I could already hear the sounds of kids
      yelling and playing. School was almost over for the year, it was a
      beautiful May afternoon in New York, and I had just spent two days
      driving, carrying my own little cloud of gloom with me.

      I eased into the garage, my beat-up old pickup looking way out of place
      among all of Scott's high-tech, high-gloss babies, and took a deep
      breath. I will not be depressed, I told myself. I will not bring down
      everyone around me. I'm here for my best friends' wedding, and I will be
      happy. I will.

      That was my mantra, and it lasted a whole thirty seconds. Because Logan
      stood at the entrance to the garage. He was shirtless, as usual, and
      covered in dust and sweat. He must have been working on the big pavilion
      Kitty told me they were building for the reception.

      There are a lot of things you can forget in four years. The way a
      person's hair sticks up at funny angles, or the play of their fingers
      against yours as you hold hands. I had forgotten Logan's intent way of
      staring at anything that crossed his path and held his interest.

      I was obviously in that category now.

      I exited the truck, lugging my suitcase with me.

      "Lemme get that," he said, walking forward to grab it. His hand brushed
      mine, and even through my glove I felt the electric shock his touch
      always gave me.

      I jerked away. "No, I got it," I said, smiling tightly. I will be
      friendly, I will. You left him, remember? He's the one who's supposed to
      be pissed.

      He let go. "Fair enough. Nice truck."

      I knew he actually meant that, so I laughed a little, involuntarily, and
      smiled genuinely. "Thanks." We stood awkwardly for a few seconds,
      staring at each other in the cool dimness of the garage before I said,
      "So, what's up?"

      He started walking toward the yard. "Well, there's this wedding, see --"

      I struggled to catch up with his longer strides, dragging the suitcase
      behind me. Thank God for wheeled luggage. I should have sucked it up and
      let him take it, because it was damn heavy. "I know that, silly. I mean,
      you know, how are you?" And I meant it sincerely. I loved this man in
      ways that even I cannot begin to fathom. Even if we hadn't worked out as
      a couple, I was sorry I'd hurt him (if I had -- I still wasn't sure),
      and I wanted to at least be friends again. Especially since I was
      planning to move back into the mansion.

      He shrugged. "Fine."

      "The wedding keepin' you busy?"

      Another shrug. "Guess so. Kitty changes her mind every five minutes and
      the snowflake just goes along with it."

      I will not ask about Jean. I will not ask about Jean. "How's Jean?"
      Dammit. I really didn't want to know.

      "She's good."

      And that was his "don't ask, 'cause I'm not talking" tone. I knew that
      tone well. Trouble in paradise? I had to get a grip. Stop it, Rogue.
      Just because you don't like Jean doesn't mean you wish trouble on her.


      He led me up the drive and to the front door. I don't know why we just
      didn't go through the garage, but whatever. He finally took the suitcase
      from me as we reached the front steps.

      The door opened and suddenly I was surrounded by Kitty and Jubilee,
      squealing for all they were worth. And believe me, that's a lot of
      squealing. We hugged, carefully, as always, and there was a lot of, "Oh,
      my God, look at you!" And "Chica, what is up with that outfit?" -- that
      was Jubilee, of course, questioning my Levi's and flannel. Yeah, I can't
      seem to shake Logan's fashion sense either, though I draw the line at
      those big, redneck belt-buckles he likes so much.

      "Just wait until you see the gown Kitty's picked out for us. Of course,
      it's not yellow, but damn, we're gonna look fine," Jubes continued. I
      watched Logan make his way up the stairs with my suitcase, and I
      realized that the reunion I'd been dreading was over. And the world
      hadn't ended.

      By the time my girls let me get upstairs to my room -- yeah, they
      managed to get me my old room back, somehow -- Logan was long gone, just
      a faint hint of his scent lingering in the air. I'm not crazy. I got two
      very large doses of his powers, and while the healing factor didn't stay
      very long, my senses are far more acute than most people's, though
      nowhere near his level. The ability to sniff out trouble, combined with
      his memories of what trouble smells like, had saved Remy and me a few
      times, so I can't complain. Plus, it was a little bit of him I'd always
      get to hold onto, like the dog tags I never did give back. I wonder if I
      should pass them on to Jean, now, or would that be really tacky? I don't
      know. She's the one with the high-class background; my family's only one
      generation removed from trailer-trash.

      So, I was unpacking and getting my head around being back at the only
      real home I'd known since I was sixteen when Scott knocked at the door.

      I turned and had to catch my breath again. I never appreciated how
      good-looking he is while I was a schoolgirl, daydreaming about Logan all
      the time, but damn, Ororo is one lucky woman. I actually said that out
      loud, and he laughed.

      "Come here, you," he said, pulling me into a tight hug. "I missed you,
      Rogue. Weekly emails are not good enough." He grabbed my hand and held
      it up. "Obviously, no fingers are broken, so why the hell didn't you

      "I called Kitty and Bobby," I said defensively. The real reason was that
      the last three times I had called, Jean had answered, and well -- let's
      just say that the first conversation went so badly that I just hung up
      the next two times and stopped calling.

      The phone system at the mansion is strange. During the day, all calls
      are routed through the main switchboard, except calls directly to the
      offices. So, I suppose I *could* have called Scott directly, or I could
      have called at night, when the system is switched over to
      direct-inward-dial, but I was so spooked that I didn't. I tried once or
      twice, misdialed Logan's number by mistake, and since interrupting Jean
      and Logan during sex was the last thing I ever wanted to do, that was
      the end of that. (And how the hell could I remember the phone number of
      the room we lived in together four years ago, but still couldn't
      remember Remy's number in New Orleans, where I had lived during those
      four years? The mind is a funny thing. But again, I digress.)

      He looked at me, and in some ways I was glad I couldn't see the pity in
      his eyes as he figured out everything I didn't say.

      "Rehearsal dinner is tomorrow night, so if you want to hang out this
      evening with Ororo and me, let us know. We were planning on hitting a
      movie, but we can do dinner or drinks instead," he said, pulling me out
      of my thoughts.

      "I think Kitty and Jubes have some 'girl-time' scheduled," I replied,
      with genuine regret. "Maybe Monday?" The wedding was Sunday. "Though,"
      and I paused, nervous now that the moment of truth had arrived, "you'll
      probably be able to see me any old time. I'm moving back in." It all
      came out in a rush.

      But Scott's cool. He just pulled me into another tight hug and said,
      "Finally, you're coming home. Thank God. I still wish you'd let me kick
      Remy's ass for you," he whispered in my ear.

      I sniffed. He always did have a way of saying the right thing and making
      me teary in a good way. "Nah. What goes around comes around, Scott. I
      did it to Logan, and Remy did it to me." There, I mentioned the big
      taboo subject, and the world didn't end. Of course, Scott wasn't a main
      participant at that point, so it wasn't too painful for him.

      "About Logan," he said, and I wasn't sure I wanted to hear what he had
      to say, though I'll bet it was pretty damned interesting. However, my
      timing has always been bad, so it was at that moment that my other best
      friend, otherwise known as Bobby Drake, the Iceman, launched himself
      into the room.

      "Rogue, baby! You know I'm getting married in two days, right?" And
      another hug. Damn, but was everyone in the mansion gorgeous? I felt like
      a little black crow among the peacocks.

      "Good lord," I responded after he let me go, "don't tell me they let you
      have caffeine, Bobby. I swear, it should be a federal offense for you to
      get within sniffing distance of coffee." He laughed, and Scott gave me
      the "We'll talk later" look as Bobby flopped onto the bed and made
      himself comfortable.

      Jubilee, Kitty and St. John followed, and we had a grand old time
      catching up.

      So far, things had gone great. There was only one major obstacle left --
      well, two actually. Seeing Jean again, and then seeing Jean with Logan.
      But I could handle that, I told myself. Not a problem. I'd seen Logan,
      and aside from a flicker of attraction any straight woman who wasn't
      dead would have felt, it had been fine. I was over him. I didn't want
      him like that anymore.

      And maybe if I kept telling myself that, eventually, I'd believe it.


      I managed to avoid seeing Jean that night, and for a good portion of the
      next day, thanks to Kitty and Jubilee and the fittings they'd arranged
      for me at the bridal shop in town.

      Jubilee was right, the gowns were gorgeous. Of royal blue satin, they
      had a square neckline, long columnar skirt, and no sleeves -- no straps
      either -- and a big, but not unflattering, bow just above the butt. I
      was taken aback by the sleevelessness, wondering if they'd forgotten in
      my time away that I was the mutant mutant, the one who never did learn
      to control her freaky "gift." But then the girl draped the gloves over
      the door to the fitting room and I understood. The gloves came
      practically to my shoulders, and we'd all be wearing them.

      Even Jean.

      Yeah, how much does that suck? I had to be in the freakin' wedding party
      with her.

      I know it sounds like sour grapes -- that I just hate her for having
      what I couldn't keep -- but if you had seen the way she acted when Logan
      and I were together, you'd understand. Even before we got together, she
      was all over him. It's a wonder Scott never blew a hole through Logan's
      ass, the way his fiancée flirted around. And she never got tired of
      telling me about how she and Logan had done this, or how Logan had told
      her that -- things I'd thought he'd shared only with me. So yeah, I
      wasn't happy with her attitude then, and I wasn't looking forward to
      having her lord it over me now, rubbing my nose in the fact that she had
      Logan while all I had was a beat-up old pickup truck and divorce papers.


      But I couldn't avoid her at the rehearsal. God, it was awkward. At least
      Logan wasn't there. He wasn't in the wedding party. Jubilee muttered
      that the lightning would probably strike the synagogue if he entered.

      Yeah, they were having a mainly Jewish wedding, though a priest would be
      there to marry the couple in the Catholic Church as well, for Bobby's
      parents. I don't know why they just didn't go down to city hall -- they
      weren't very observant. None of us were. Being a mutant convinces you
      early on that either God hates you or he doesn't exist. Otherwise, why
      would he have screwed you over like that? I mean, what kind of God makes
      a person who can't ever fucking touch another human being? That's just
      wrong. So I don't believe anymore. I shucked the Baptist crap my Momma
      shoved down my throat every Sunday until I left home at sixteen, and
      I've never looked back.

      Anyhow, we're at the synagogue and each of us walked down the aisle, and
      Kitty, oblivious to all the tension roiling between me and Jean -- we
      had yet to speak to each other -- said, "Rogue, you're behind Ororo.
      You're taller. Jean, you're next."

      Which meant I was going to have to sit next to her during the ceremony.
      I didn't think I could take it. I cursed the flip of the coin that made
      Jubes the maid of honor instead of me. I walked outside as the rabbi
      droned on about the meaning of the little silk tent Kitty and Bobby
      would be standing under and lit a cigarette.

      I smelled her before I heard her, and heard her before I saw her. The
      Logan in my head got just a little more awake -- excited that his
      redheaded goddess was near. I took a long drag to settle my nerves and
      to have an excuse not to talk first. I acted like I didn't know she was

      "Those things will kill you," she said conversationally.

      I took one last drag, then flicked the butt into the gutter. So I'm a
      litterbug. Sue me.

      "Gotta die of something," I replied, proud that my voice was flat,
      almost friendly, as if she and I were passing acquaintances who'd
      happened to meet on the steps of the synagogue after services. Shul? I'm
      not sure what they call it. I'll eventually get around to asking Kitty,
      I'm sure.

      "I suppose, but it's an ugly death." Thank you, Dr. Grey. As if I didn't
      know about your midnight smoking jaunts in the garden, when the rest of
      the mansion, aside from me -- Insomniac Queen of Mutant Manor -- and
      Logan, was asleep.

      "Well, seeing as how I'm rejoining the X-Men," score one for me as I
      heard her gasp. She didn't know I was planning on staying. My, my, does
      no one talk to her anymore? Everyone else knew, except Logan, and I'm
      sure he'd found out. He has his ways. "I really don't think cancer will
      have time to kill me. Sabretooth will probably do it first."

      "Do you think it's wise to make such life-changing decisions in your
      state of mind?" she asked, all cool solicitousness on the surface.

      I laughed, and I hope it didn't sound as bitter as it felt. "Have I ever
      made those kinds of decisions when I *wasn't* in a fucked up state of
      mind?" I asked, and I wasn't being sarcastic, though it sounded like I

      She didn't have a chance to answer as Kitty came out, hands fluttering
      nervously, looking for her bridesmaids.

      The priest arrived, and we did the whole thing over again.


      After the rehearsal, Bobby's parents took us all out to a nice
      restaurant in town -- one that was used to mutants, apparently, because
      the guy ushering Jean was blue, furry and tail-having, and no one gave
      him a second glance. He seemed very nice and kind of cute. He was really
      flirtatious, and I spent most of the evening flirting with him. It was


      Sunday, the wedding day, started off rainy. My momma always said a bride
      who gets rained on is a lucky bride, but Ororo cleared that right up. By
      noon, the sun was out. By one, we were dressed and ready, makeup on,
      hair curled, drowning in giddy chatter as the photographer posed us all
      like centerfolds before we headed for the synagogue.

      I swore I wasn't going to let anything bother me that day -- it was
      Kitty's day -- and I didn't.

      The ceremony itself was beautiful. Kitty was a gorgeous bride, glowing
      with love for the man waiting for her at the end of that long walk.
      Bobby looked so handsome and grown up. I'll admit, I sniffled my way
      through it. I couldn't help it. They were my best friends, and they were
      perfect for each other. It gave me hope that someday, some way, I'd find
      someone who could look at me the way they looked at each other.

      After the official business was taken care of, it was time for the
      party. We all piled back into the limousines and headed home. Most
      people in New York would kill to have their reception in a place like
      Xavier's mansion -- and pay a fortune to do it. For us, it was just

      The decorators and caterers had done a fabulous job. Lights were strung
      everywhere, just waiting for darkness to fall so that the lawn could be
      turned into a fairyland.

      After dancing the first dance with St. John, who'd partnered me up the
      aisle since, as the maid of honor, Jubilee walked alone, I sat on the
      dais and watched.

      Okay, I admit it, I watched Jean and Logan. He really did seem more
      content with her there. Like he'd gotten everything he'd ever wanted and
      was the king of all he surveyed. He even smiled, pulled Kitty into a big
      hug, and allowed her to lead him onto the dance floor at one point, for
      a slow dance, of course.

      Towards the end of the night, Ororo came over and sat down next to me,
      winded from dancing so much.

      "You next?" I asked her, smiling wistfully. "When's Scott going to make
      an honest woman of you?"

      She smiled secretively and leaned in closer. "Would you believe me if I
      told you we are already married?"

      I shook my head violently. "No!" I gasped. "And nobody knows?"

      "We went down to city hall a few weeks ago and just did it. Charles
      knows, and Jean, of course. But we wanted to avoid all of this." She
      waved her hand at the dancing crowd. "Scott wanted to actually do it --
      I think he was afraid of another long engagement."

      "Can't blame him," I murmured, pulling her into a careful hug. "When
      will you announce it?"

      "In a few days. Scott did not want to steal Kitty's thunder."

      That's just like him, too, to be considerate of Kitty's feelings like
      that. It was her special day, and the sudden wedding of the leader of
      the X-Men would have overshadowed it.

      And speak of the devil -- he came over, carrying three beers. Handing
      one to each of us, he said, "To the happy couple." We clinked bottles
      and drank. "And to the prodigal daughter," he continued, smiling at me,
      and we drank again.

      "And to the other happy couple," I said, toasting their news. Scott
      grinned and pressed a kiss to 'Ro's cheek.

      "I am a most lucky man," he said loudly. He'd had a couple of beers and
      was feeling no pain. It was a rare sight, seeing Scott all buzzed like
      that. He got a thoughtful look then, and said, "You haven't danced at
      all, Rogue. Come on." He pulled me up out of my seat and onto the floor.

      It was a slow dance, so we had a chance to talk. After the usual, "It
      was a beautiful ceremony," chit-chat, Scott got down to business.

      "You can't let them get to you, Rogue," he said.

      I laughed bitterly. "Is it that obvious? It's just, I --" I stopped,
      trying to collect my thoughts. "It burns me to see that he's so happy
      with her. And he is, isn't he." I said it flatly -- I could tell he was.
      Scott swung me around and I could see them. Jean had her shoes off and
      her feet were in his lap, where he rubbed them gently. She was talking
      to him about something and he was nodding, a slight smirk on his face.
      "I couldn't make him happy like that." I sighed. "I couldn't make Remy
      happy. I just -- I don't even know if I know how to *be* happy anymore,
      Scott, you know?"

      He rubbed my back gently and murmured soothing things about how I just
      had to learn to let go and that I would eventually find happiness. It
      couldn't come from someone else, he said, but from inside, from me.
      Since I'm still not sure how much of me is actually me, I just nodded
      and let him talk. I figured it'd be a long time before I was content.




      "I'd join the movement if there was one I could believe in / I'd break
      bread and wine if there was a church I could receive in" - "Acrobat" -


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