FIC: Brightly Forward 1/1 PG
- Title: Brightly Forward
Summary: It feels like sun, and wind, and tears.
Genre: Rogue, Scott, vignette
Archive: Xmenmoviefanfic okay, all others please ask.
Disclaimer: None of the characters contained herein belong to me.
Author's Note: For Sandra's lost stories, an inspiration every one. I
blame the present tense on Rachel. Thanks to Buttercup for
beta-reading. My first X-Men fic, oh my.
An X-Men movieverse vignette
by Cagey (cageyklio@...)
Cyclops has a scar on his neck. Scars, three staccato lines punctuating
the trimmed edge of his hair and travelling up past his ear.
Jean has cut down her fingernails to thin ellipses of white.
Rogue presses her nails against the felt tips of her gloves. The seams
"What does it feel like?" she blurts out, when the lines have melted into
whispers. Cyclops, studying a technical manual for the Blackbird, raises
his head. Crimson from her cheek bleeds across the oaken tabletop and is
absorbed into the shining lenses of his glasses. She rubs a sheathed
finger along her neck, mirroring the tracks, and flushes brighter when she
He smiles slightly -- does Jean feel him remembering? -- but pretends not
to know what she means.
"What does it feel like?" she asks again, feigning adult nonchalance. She
can't remember the sting of scraped knees or careless burns, has forgotten
that her mother pressed Band-Aids against her skin once upon a time. Rogue
feels stuffed with wool and faded by disuse. She's a discarded teddy bear
or pale Raggedy-Ann.
He can play adult too. His lips, the only mirrors into his soul, settle
into teacher mode. She wants to pluck out her threads, one by one, in
"I'll show you," he says, surprising her. He reaches across the table,
places a hand just where her glove ends. She can almost feel the heat from
his palm on her forearm.
They've been riding forever. Rogue loosens her grip slightly, and he moves
his hand from the brake to check her. He's done that every time. He's so
thin, she thinks, and weaves her fingers into the fabric of his
shirt. Cyclops is wearing gloves too; she focuses on the black leather as
he presses the accelerator.
The upgrades to the Blackbird need to be tested, he explained to her as he
loaded the bike. And motorcycles need to fly? she asked. He just smiled.
She wonders what it would feel like to ride with the wind in her
hair. Logan doesn't wear a helmet, she guesses.
"Almost there," Scott says in her ear, crackling over the
headset. Cyclops, someone corrects in her head.
Logan isn't here. Logan doesn't need seat belts, or helmets, or safety nets.
Rogue presses her arms tighter against Scott's waist in response. They bend
together into the turn, and he brings the bike to a smooth stop just as the
road gives way to sand. Taking off the helmet, she's shocked when crisp
air bites her nose. She teeters off the seat. He holds out a steadying
hand, but she leans lightly against the bike instead. She can still feel
the road humming in her jaw.
The sun is shadowed, flickering counterfeit silhouettes onto the empty
beach. How far did they fly? How far did they ride? She can't remember
any road signs. Everything was red through the helmet's visor, contrasts
impossible. Can Scott see the old woman streak of white in her hair?
He takes the helmet from her, rests it on the seat. His boots don't sink
in the sand as he strides forward, not checking to see if she is
following. Leader boots, she thinks. If he keeps walking, will he cross
the water? Or will the weight of being human, non-human, sink him? She
considers staying against the bike's warm body, maybe even climbing back
onto the seat and wrapping herself around the handles. Maybe not. She
stumbles after him.
Scott has scooped up a handful of sand, and lets it trickle away as he
leads her to the water. They sit just where the waves lean forward to tone
the grains into an earthy brown.
"Marie, what do you want out of life?"
Scars, she thinks. "To be happy." C+ answer, unoriginal. Revise, rewrite
He's lost his sand. He brushes his hand down her arm. The dark leather is
already sun warmed; his fingers must be on fire beneath it. He peels back
her gloves, unwrapping her. Leather and sand, a gritty sleek
touch. Uncomfortable and sensuous at the same time.
"It feels like that," he instructs her. "It feels like this." Scott
brushes his hand against the earth, then across her arm. The last of the
golden grains he brought with him slip across her and, fleeting,
disappear. Only the dulled, damp clumps of the ocean's sand remain,
leeching to her.
A speck of something stings her eye, and she blinks it away. She wonders
what it would feel like to be buried in the soft earth at the head of the
beach. Warm and suffocating, no doubt. She plunges her fingers into the
chilled dirt beneath her.
"It feels like this." He kicks forward, splashing them both with the spray
of the oncoming wave. Rogue shudders at the water raising bumps on her
flesh. Then, catching sight of the drops beaded on his glasses, dripping
from his overlong bangs, she giggles. Lightly at first, then harder as he
laughs with her.
She scoots forward, dipping her shoes in the next wave, and the one that
follows. "For now."
He's already moving away. Maybe he's still sitting next to her. She can
barely hear him say, "That's the way it works."
Rogue kicks her shoes off and tosses them behind her, peels off her
socks. The ocean is freezing, even though the sun has come out
again. Poor sun, trying to warm what it can't touch.
"Scott, what do you want from life?"
"I want the people I care for to be safe."
She tries it on. It doesn't fit comfortably. "Not happy?"
He shrugs, and for an instant she thinks that he might tilt the ruby lenses
down, and regard her over the dark rims of his glasses. "I can't fix
His boots are getting wet. Her toes are cold. "Do we have to go back now?"
"Not yet, if you don't want to." He rises, brushing sand off of his
pants. "I think I'll build a castle."
She almost giggles again. She pictures the school rendered in sand, its
secret doors and panels dribbling away into golden piles. "With a moat?"
"Definitely," he calls back, and drops down onto the perfect canvas. He's
still wearing his gloves. She considers her own, coiled beside her, then
leaves them near the waves.
"A drawbridge might be good too," he suggests.
She squints into the sun, wonders if it will bake the smile into sharp
lines on her face.
A drawbridge. She can handle that.