Title: The Protector
Rating: R for violence and language
Summary: What happens when a telepath is also a
Disclaimer: The X-Men and all the canon characters
aren�t mine, dammit, although I wouldn�t mind if
rights were signed over to me. *eg* Stacey is my
Category: POV-mystery character, Violence.
Feedback: YES PLEASE! Good or bad, I�d appreciate it.
And I've already had one request for a sequel...if
you want it, let me know.
Archive: WRFA, XMMFFA, others ask.
A/N: Blame this on sociology and the ideas that class
gave Furball. Also on Sez and Jenn who said It�d
work. I hope they were right. No matter, this was
something I had to write. It�s very dark and
pain-filled. Yes, the angst-Queens here have affected
A/N2: This makes the assumption that Marie was just
meant to be a contact-telepath, and that she is
eighteen. In the story, Logan has been gone for two
Dedications: To the above mentioned pair, who have
supported me for a while now. To Diebs, who
whimpered. To Nacey, for reading and thinking that
it was great, and for some help with what the Prof
< > is Xavier talking telepathically.
* * * * *
<Tell me what happened.>
I knew he was home from the shouting. I huddled under
my thin quilt, trying so very hard not to cry. I even
hummed tonelessly, my fingers stomping up my ears, in
an effort to drown out the sounds of his yelling and
the impact of flesh slapping against flesh.
As always, it became too much to bear, and I pushed my
blanket aside. Grabbing the worn arm of the one
friend I had, my doll Lissy, I padded across my cold
room on bare feet and nudged the door open wide enough
to see through the crack.
I could see the shadows on the wall. He was hitting
her again, I knew. Mommy said she didn�t know why he
did it. I knew it was because she was bad, though.
We were bad. That�s what Daddy said, over and over,
Something strange was happening, though. Daddy wasn�t
stopping the hitting, even though Mommy wasn�t crying
anymore, wasn�t making any sound at all. I froze, not
wanting to move. �Please don�t let him see me,� I
begged, holding Lissy tight against my shivering body.
That�s when I heard the shot. I didn�t know then what
it meant, just that it was bad. The bad guys in the
movies and on television always got into lotsa trouble
from doing things to make that sound. I covered my
ears, forgetting that Lissy was in my arms. I didn�t
hear her drop to the ground, her hard plastic head
causing a loud bump, because I was crying too hard.
He was looming above me before I knew it, yelling at
me to shut up. He was swaying side to side a little,
like he usually did, but that didn�t stop him from
reaching for me. I ducked out of the way because I
knew what was coming.
�You stupid little bitch, shut up!� he yelled at me,
swinging a fist at me. He held a bottle in that hand.
�Please, Daddy, no! I�ll be quiet! I won�t be bad!�
I cried loudly, ducking out of the way again.
�Didn�t I say shut up? Listen for once, bitch! I am
so sick of you!�
The bottle hit my shoulder, and I felt pain, like the
fire I�d accidentally touched a month ago when Mommy
and Daddy had been busy, rushing down my arm. I cried
louder. I couldn�t help it. I really was sorry, and
I wanted to stop being so loud, so that Daddy wouldn�t
hit me again. But I couldn�t stop, I just couldn�t.
His fist slammed into my stomach next. I screamed
really loud. I didn�t want to, but it hurt. I
couldn�t breathe after that, or yell or even cry, but
he kept hitting me. I could feel that bottle every
couple of punches, the glass surface pounding into my
skin the way even his fists and feet couldn�t.
I tasted something salty in my mouth. That was when I
was on the floor, and Daddy was kicking my legs so
hard. I heard something crack, over the curses Daddy
was screaming at me, and the worst pain I�d felt so
far was there, in my thigh. I did cry again, then,
silent tears that maybe wouldn�t make Daddy mad.
I didn�t see the lights when they came because by that
time I couldn�t see anything. My eyes were swollen
shut. I didn�t hear the pounding on the door because
my ears were ringing from where Daddy�d hit me with
that bottle, right there beside my cheek. I felt wet
streaks all over my body, and somehow I knew it wasn�t
The hitting and kicking stopped. I felt someone touch
my hair, really soft, and through the bells in my head
I could hear someone saying�something. I tried to
focus on the words, but I was so tired now that Daddy
The next thing that Marie knows is that she woke up in
a hospital bed. Her leg was broken, her body covered
in bruises. They told her that she was in a bad
accident, that it wouldn�t happen again. She believed
them. I prayed they were right.
She doesn�t remember what really happened, doesn�t
even remember most of her life before that. Only the
good parts, and some shouting. She does know that
Daddy killed Mommy, and that�s why she was sent to
live with the cousins in Iowa when they finally found
them two years later. We were six when Mommy died.
She was eight when we moved to Iowa.
<What happened next? Why didn�t you just recede into
the back of her mind, stay there where there wasn�t a
chance of you being discovered?>
I tried. I stayed as small as I possibly could in her
head. But the cousins Marie was sent to, Richard and
Gail, were from Daddy�s side of the family, and they
had his morals. They also owned a really big farm and
didn�t have many neighbors. The people who worked for
them wouldn�t have been able to find other jobs,
mainly because there were none available at the time
that didn�t require college degrees.
The first time I had to surface and make her forget
was when Gail smacked her so hard it left a bruise. I
took over her thoughts, guided her through the days it
took for her bruise to heal. Made her remember
falling against one of the stable doors when it was
partially open. That�s how Gail was explaining it,
Some things there I had to let Marie deal with, like
the way Gail�s ten-year-old daughter Helen would tease
her mercilessly about being fat and stupid, even
though she was neither. When Marie began school that
fall, I was always there in the shadows. I learned
what she did, and with some subjects I�d help her.
Math was never very easy for her, but I thought it was
fun and so I would take over and do her homework.
Marie would have been worried, if I�d let her. But I
knew how to control her memories. It was so easy to
make things up and put them into her mind.
The next time I surfaced to help her with real trouble
was when she and Helen got into a fight. Marie was
twelve and Helen was fourteen. Marie has a temper,
and Helen pushed her just far enough to make her lose
it. She�d done that before, but not with these
results. They really went at each other.
Gail caught them before more than hair was pulled and
arms were scratched. Gail beat Marie then, really
hard. There were welts on my back for months. I
stayed in control the entire time because I had to. I
couldn�t let Marie find out what had happened and run.
That was always her first instinct. Run from the
trouble, run from the danger. I couldn�t. They�d
only bring her back, and there�d be worse trouble.
Richard had been gone on a trip to take some cows
north when it happened. He�s another reason I had to
stay in control so long. He came home, heard when
happened, and pulled off his belt. Right there in
front of Gail and Helen, he grabbed me by the arm and
beat my back with that leather belt until I bled. I
wouldn�t give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry,
or even change my expression. I�d learned that long
ago. I�m stronger than you might think of Marie as
being. I�ve had to be.
<Don�t you think she�s old enough to handle the truth
now? She�s not six or eight or twelve anymore.
Rogue�Marie is almost eighteen years old.>
Of course she�s not old enough! Could you handle
finding out that your father almost killed you? That
the people you were sent to afterward by the very
establishment that had rescued you were pretty much
just as bad? I�m Marie�s only defense against
something that could harm her irreparably. I�ve kept
all of the bad incidents out of her memories. I�ve
been her when I had to be. Until�
<Until she began to change. Her mutation manifested,
Suddenly I wasn�t able to help her the way I had been
before. I could feel what happened the first time she
touched someone. You and she all think that her
powers showed themselves when she and Cody kissed.
You�re wrong. She wasn�t aware of the first time
because I was in control. I was doing her
pre-calculus homework when Cody came into our bedroom.
He touched my shoulder to get my attention, and
that�s when I felt it. His emotions, his thoughts
were pouring into me. I swirled around really fast,
but it wasn�t because I was surprised. Oh, no. You
see, Professor, when the power came I did feel how it
happened�and what I could do with it. I didn�t have
to take over Marie to protect her anymore. All I
needed to do was *twist* the power a little. And all
of the abuse she�s suffered over the years made it so
easy for me because her body and her mind were already
used to coming up with defense mechanisms. That�s why
I�m here, after all.
Marie is a contact telepath. I am too, for that
matter, I�m part of her. We receive the thoughts and
feelings of others through touch. It wasn�t a painful
experience, that first time. I didn�t know it would
be when I changed things, but even after I realized
how much it cost her I couldn�t let go of the perfect
opportunity to help her. It was so easy to make her
skin do more than it was supposed to whenever someone
<Why don�t you let Marie have control? Can�t you
trust her to protect herself? Trust us to protect
But you couldn�t. You didn�t. And she can�t. Only I
can. I�m the strong one.
<I�m sorry we weren�t aware of Magneto�s plans in
time. It was an honest mistake. And I think Marie�s
very strong and brave. She hitch hiked with a rather
frightening looking guy, Logan, and was hitch hiking
before that for eight months. Don�t you think that
took some courage for her to do?>
I was always there, whispering my help. I think she
sees me as her conscience or something. It�d be
amusing if the situation weren�t so serious.
<Why can�t you let yourself be just that? Let Marie
have back what you took from her to create yourself,
what she took from herself to create you. Be a part
of her again, child.>
I can�t. What if she needs me again? Marie doesn�t
know how to protect herself.
<Listen to me, please. If you become a part of her
again, Marie will know all of these things. She will
be able to protect herself. She might even start to
A very nice try at humor, Professor. And I�m almost
tempted to believe you, Professor. But I can�t. I
<Perhaps in our next session, then.>
<Same time next week?>
Yes, Professor. Same time next week. Do we have to
go through it all again, though? Can�t we talk about
<I�m afraid not, Lissy. Not until you can let Marie
be whole again. We must relive it all. I truly am
So am I, Professor.
* * * * *
You know what they say. Big claws, big....
~Sarah says from the Wolverine X-Fiction Site
It's the people who claim they're perfectly sane who really scare me.
Shit, that's the one thing in life I do pretty well - Marie care and maintenance. ~Logan from Terri's "October Fools and April Showers"
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