TITLE: Slippery When Wet
AUTHOR : Melissa Flores
GENRE: X-Men: The Movie, Wolverine/Rogue, ensemble. Storm/Gambit,
RATING: R for violence and language, and sexual situations, and MAJOR
SUMMARY: While an isolated Logan tries to bring back an enchanted
Rogue, Augustus has taken another. As the X-men scramble to find a way
to defeat the wizard, Rogue is faced with the death of her friend, and
forced to choose between her destiny, and her love.
WARNING: This is a serious roller coaster, guys. There are a lot of
falls and I'm pretty sure by the end of chapter three half of you will
be ready to kill me. And after chapter five you'll all be wanting to
lynch me. What I ask is that you reserve all hangings and death threats
until you read the whole thing. :-) It's also a day long read, so I'm
going to be posting a chapter a day, two if I feel I can, cause it's
heavy stuff. :-)
SERIES: Story IV in the Fatal Caress Series. Previous Stories Include
(in order) :
Almost a Woman
A Hazy Shade of Winter
The Splintering Touch
WARNING: While I'm familiar with the comics, I never really got into
them, so to be on the safe side, let's just say that I've departed
completely from them.
Rupert Everett as AUGUSTUS
Matthew McConaughey as GAMBIT
You always said that I had multiple personalities
And I've been surrounded somewhere
between my dreams and reality
So where'd you dig up the audacity to ask me
How we've all been doing, since you broke our hearts?
Well so far-
Number five just cries a river a minute
Seven wants to tie you up and drown you in it
Fourteen just wants to say so long- bygones
Thirty-two wants to do things to you that'll make you blush
Ten would key the El Camino that you love so much
And there ain't nobody wants to mess with twenty-three
Oh, Lucky for you, tonight I'm just me.
(Lucky 4 You, Shedaisy)
There was a desolate darkness in the air: tangible, living, breathing,
It encompassed all who had become more than intricately involved in the
battle for one mutant's soul, and it had crossed the mind of more than
one if such a battle was even worth the loss.
For no one had won the second battle, both sides had come out scarred,
scared, lost and deprived of faith or joy, all anyone could do was
It was a standoff that ended all standoffs, because neither side, nor
the isolated groups that now lay in wait for a sign of what to do or
where to go, had any sort of upper hand.
And everyone was angry.
It was the anger that slid through their veins.
And it was the anger that slid into one fractured mind, that would
finally end it.
The winds that slid over the mountaintops seemed to hum an idle tune,
as if afraid to come forth, to burst into full song, as it the winds
Indeed, it seemed they all were waiting, though for what, she wasn't
The seat she had taken had grown cold, and she shivered, shifting her
hands down so her fingers covered the sides of the rock, and the sparks
flew, warming it, warming her body as well.
She slid the coat around her tighter, and the youngest of the X-Men
found herself looking back over the meadow that had been turned into a
Her mind was clouded with fear, with anger, she knew that.
It still didn't change the opinion that she fostered, the knowledge
that she knew must have been obvious to every one of her teammates.
This was more trouble than it was worth.
Jubilee had been commended for her loyalty more than once. Despite her
age, and her hot tempered outbursts, it had become apparent that
eventually, she would emerge as a true leader, and she was never
intimidated by the older, more experienced leaders.
The only one who had ever truly frightened her was Rogue.
It was her eyes.
Rogue had wild eyes, and sometimes Jubilee wondered if anyone else
could see it, the haunted agony that seemed to brim beneath the
surface, the surface itself so deadly because of that fatal caress.
No one else saw that Rogue had a deeper inhibition, her powers were a
manifestation of it. Rogue was a destroyer, and every day, she had
battled her mind and her heart in an effort to keep that contained.
For years she wondered why the others couldn't see it, why the others
chose not to. Maybe because Jubilee wasn't as close to her as the
others were... maybe because they were scared to look deeper into a
women who they all owed their lives to at one time or another.
Rogue's battle had never been truly won, Rogue had never come to terms
with her mutation or what it meant, and every day, every moment, even
as Jubilee trusted her as a friend, a comrade, a leader, she had waited
for the dam to break.
The waters were rising very quickly, spilling over, in all of them, and
Jubilee waited, keeping watch, wondering how long it would take for
someone to lose their footing.
After all, with the waters of tension this high...
Things got slippery when they were wet.
It had taken him three hours to find the isolated cabin, the broken
down place that was windy and cold.
Three hours in which he hadn't allowed himself to think, or to let go
of the women in his arms. The small body of the woman with the immense
strength shuddered against him occasionally, and his teeth chattered
against the cold, eyes narrowed against the blizzard that surrounded
him as he trudged through the snow.
Her lips were ice cold, her skin almost blue, her eyes never opening,
but her mouth mumbling things that made no sense to him.
And her bare hands slid across his throat, sending icy shivers down his
Rogue could touch. HIS Rogue, could touch.
But he couldn't think about that, because the surge that accompanied
the thought filled him with such uncertainty and fear and joy and pure
rage at what had been done to her that he would become paralyzed for a
So instead he gathered her shivering form closer, pressed a kiss to her
bare forehead, swallowing hard and trudging further, muttering in a low
growl, "Almost there, Marie."
He wasn't quite sure how he found the cabin, perhaps the smell, the
draw of warmth in his animal instincts, but when he spotted the
darkness almost hidden by the blanket of snow, his speed doubled, hope
making his heart jump, gathering the woman closer to him and lowering
his head against the wind.
It was vacant, and for a full second it crossed Logan's mind that it
was quite fortunate for whoever owned the small cabin, because he sure
as hell wouldn't have hesitated kicking them out.
The small enclosure was run down, but it was shelter against the bitter
cold, and the Wolverine was too tired to care about anything else. He
stumbled forward, kicking the door closed behind him, his teeth
chattering and his body shaking as he lowered his precious load onto
the worn rug on the floor, eyes intensely searching for any sign of
"Marie, baby... you're safe, Marie," he whispered huskily, gathering
her small hands in his and rubbing them together, pausing to press the
palms to his mouth, breathing hot air onto them.
Marie's eyes were closed, but she was sitting up of her own violation,
and when he began to rub at her shoulders roughly, he heard a small
moan coming from her cold lips.
There was a cough, and suddenly she went limp, falling against him. He
caught her gently, heart caught in his throat as he gently settled her
into his lap, palms against her cheeks.
"Marie..." his voice was raspy, rough, but his eyes were so very
intense and dark and oddly gentle, as he looked down at her.
Her eyes opened to find tearstreaked orbs gazing at her own.
Her own violet eyes.
Her teeth chattered together so much, her small slip of a dress
providing no protection from the cold, and he immediately shrugged off
his jacket, wrapping it around her and pulling her closer.
Her eyes seemed blank as she looked, at first unseeing into his face.
Her face was curious, teeth chattering as he continued rubbing as
slowly, color began to return to her face.
Her breath was hot, rapid, and she shivered, instinctively burrowing
closer into his body, seeking out his warmth.
He felt her body, and his heart lurched, lips pressed against her cheek
as he pulled her closer, using his own warmth to warm her colder body.
And something about the way he said her name made her pause, look up,
eyes suddenly focusing, narrowing in concentration.
"Lo... Logannn?" she chattered.
His full throat made it impossible for him to do anything but nod, and
as her violet eyes met his in a long intense stare, he found himself
smiling at her.
Her hair had fallen into her face, and he gently pulled the white bang
The touch of his fingertip on her forehead made her suck in her breath,
and when her gaze fell to his hand, tears suddenly flooded to her eyes,
and he felt her heart beat quicken, fear suddenly flooding into her
"I don't..." he swallowed. The accent was .. missing... "remember..."
she rasped, and her eyes shut closed and she shuddered, pain suddenly
wracking through her body.
"God, Marie.." he rasped.
"Logan...what's... what's happening to me?" she whispered, eyes
suddenly open, naked pain and fear in them as she looked at him
And he could only stare, gather her closer, answer in a gruff form
filled with fear and frustration and anger, "I don't know, baby. I
Remy had always had a strange habit he had picked up in his years of
thievery. No matter how he slept, he never woke up with opened eyes.
They remained closed, but every other sense was alert, vibrant, and
with this unusual but useful trademark, he found more out about his
comrades than he ever thought possible.
He learned who to trust and who to betray. He learned who to steal from
and who was loyal.
He learned the truth.
It was no different now, his body racked with pain, coming to with a
sucking in of breath. But his eyes remained closed and his mind, still
hazy from sleep and from drug induced nausea, was alert enough to hear
what was going on around him.
Trying to place himself, he scrambled to figure out where he was, what
had happened, why he was in so much pain, and where Storm was.
Funny the way she was the first thing that popped into his head,
accompanied with the gut wrenching fear and the throb in his heart.
What had happened?
Murmurs surrounded him, and breathing evenly, he finally recognized the
voices of the Doctor and the leader, speaking in low tones directly
And so, through simple habit, he listened.
"Scott, I refuse to believe that. There has to be a way."
"You don't think this is hard for me to accept too, Jean?"
"Scott, those are our friends out there! Our teammates!"
"The last time we came to save one. We lost three and nearly lost Remy
too. Don't you think we're in over our heads?"
A pause filled the air, and when Jean answered him, her voice was
quieter, almost deadly in it's answer, "You don't think Rogue, or Storm
or even Logan would quit if it was you?"
"Jean, don't make this personal."
"It IS personal."
Apparently this was too much for them, because suddenly the air was
silent, a signal that meant it was continued in their heads.
He waited, until finally he heard Jean's quieter voice, signaling a
sense of defeat, "I know, Scott.I just..."
"It's the best thing."
What?! Remy's eyes shot open and he sat up, making Jean jump and Scott
look at him in surprise.
"NO! Whatever de hell you say! NO!."
Jean immediately tried to push him back down, but the red-eyed thief
merely shrugged her off, staring at Scott in anger and disbelief.
"You can't... we can't just leave 'em. Dey-"
"Remy, lie down-"
*REMY LIE DOWN*
The command rang through him, flooding his senses, and before he knew
it he was on his back again, eyes rolling up to snap at the doorway.
"Professor," Jean whispered, relief on her face.
Professor Charles Xavier wheeled into the makeshift lab, face stern,
solemn, and so very sad.
"Professor." Scott came forward, and Charles merely nodded, a troubled
look on his face.
"I've been briefed, thank you Scott," he answered in a clipped tone.
Remy swallowed, lying back, watching as the telepath wheeled forward,
concern etched on his features.
"Professor," he managed, "Don't let dem go."
Charles shot the two team leaders a look, and Jean shrugged, sadness
clouding her beautiful smile. Scott himself was immobile, looking
frozen behind the red lenses.
He turned back the bare chested thief, leaning forward, a small, grim
smile on his face.
"Tell me what happened, Remy. All of it."
She had been in frigid temperatures many a time and never felt a thing.
Her body and her mutation allowed a certain transcendence of such
things as extreme temperatures. Flying through a blizzard had never
affected her as it had affected Rogue, who had always commented that
she felt she was "Freezing her ass off and if she had any balls they
would have cracked an' fell off too" in the frigid weather.
But now, she truly felt cold.
The white-haired woman who sported the nickname Goddess and held the
name with such grace as no one could, wrapped her arms around her body,
rubbing lightly as she circled the room slowly.
She expected to die, eventually.
This had never affected her, because as an X-Men she had long been
aware that the inevitable consequences of a life such as hers would be
a loss of it.
It was the fact that she was not dead yet, that filled her with fear.
As long as she was alive, she could be used.
And being used was always something Storm did not tolerate.
A shudder ran through her body as she looked about the room that held
her, because Storm never did like pretense.
And this room, with the lavender tones, the velvet cushions, and the
rich decor, was a pretense.
It spoke of a person who believed in innuendoes, in games.
And games included pawns.
She was a pawn.
A pawn against Rogue. Against Logan. Against Gambit.
Hands ran through her hair, and her heart jumped into her throat as the
door swung open.
Her mouth parted in surprise, and her hair swung around her, eyes
locking with the dark eyes man who stood in the doorway.
She was still as she felt his gaze start at her eyes, drift down her
body in a long, languid gaze that made her body quiver, and her eyes
narrow in anger.
"My, my," he spoke, and his voice was a soft, seductive, very achingly
familiar Southern accent. "Rogue does keep good company."
He had Rogue's accent.
Storm took a breath, as their eyes locked again, she felt her throat go
He had Rogue's eyes.
She was tired, too tired.
Hands drifted up and rubbed at her tired eyes, and Jubilation Lee
sighed, shivering in the cold as she stood guard over the makeshift
camp. Agitation filled her as she looked behind her, a hundred feet or
so, to the figures moving in and out of the white covered tents that
were barely visible.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw another figure trudging toward
her, a spot of black among the blanket of snow.
Jubes waited, and smiled as her friend offered her a half frozen grin.
"Hey. Here to relieve you."
"Thanks, Kitty," Jubes shivered, sending sparks to her fingers to warm
them up. "I sure could use a break."
"And here," the auburn haired women only a few months older than
Jubilee handed her a steaming cup of dark coffee. "It's been a long
day. Looks like you might need it."
Jubilee took it with a grin, falling into silence, as the other woman
shifted her feet, looking about the forest.
"You wanna say something, so spill it," Jubilee cracked, raising an
Kitty looked almost guilty, caught in her hesitation, and when she
smiled, it was a sheepish, guilty grin that was more sad than it was
"I just... I love Rogue. Really."
"This is getting crazy, I know," Jubilee muttered, breathing out
softly. "Damn," she swallowed. "Didn't think it'd hurt that much to say
it out loud."
Kitty didn't answer, instead her eyes were clouded, a troubled frown on
her face. "In high school, we used to stay up together, talkin' and
stuff. Remember? I had this crush on Bobby that never really seemed to
"Still hasn't," Jubes offered, her eyes twinkling with a saddened
Kitty blushed, but licked her lips, continuing her story. "Rogue knew
he was head over heels in love with her. But she... she never did
anything. She told me... our friendship meant too much. And when I told
her that... it didn't mean anything.. she could do what she wanted...
she said it meant something to her." Kitty shrugged, running a hand
through her short tousled hair. "I... I don't wanna lose that kinda
friendship, Jubes. But after finding out what she did to Logan...
what's happened since then..."
Jubilee was quiet, watching as Kitty struggled with her inner emotions.
"Makes me wonder if there's any of that Rogue left inside to save, is
The Asian woman bit her lip, staring at Shadowcat with a searching
stare. "If you had to... if it was down to Rogue against us... would
you... be able to..."
The sentence was left unsaid, and Kitty shot her a sharp look, sucking
in her breath. "It can't come to that."
"But if it does?"
Kitty took a deep breath in, crossing her arms, her eyes dark and
glittering dangerously. "Then we're screwed." Jubilee gave her a
questioning look, but Kitty merely patted her and dismissed her. "Go
on. Get out of here. They need you."
Jubilee nodded, walking away quickly, eyes blinking against the glare
of the sun on the snow, despite the sunglasses she was never without.
Rogue had done the same for her. Although she was never as close as
Kitty was to the vixen, Jubilation Lee's outgoing attitude and Rogue's
own sparky nature made them natural comrades for some of the school's
more legendary pranks.
Rogue was a great friend.
What Jubilee feared, what made her stomach twist, was the thought that
would eventually paralyze the group, or so she feared.
Rogue could make an equally brilliant enemy.
Sometimes the simple act of living is what causes the most agony.
Existing and existence, sliding through time as she stood still, the
world sliding around her, ever present, ever watching.
There was a chasm deep within her that she could never fill, and she
never wondered at it, never paused to even try to fill it, for her
purpose, although unknown, was always so much more important.
She was quiet and still, muttering hardly a word, and though the others
thought her strange, she never questioned, or dissuaded, or gave them
any other reason to doubt their own assumptions. The truth was such a
very fickle thing, and she knew it well.
The wisdom seeped inside her, and her heart slid into a chasm of
pieces, breaking so loudly, and yet so silently, as the tears slid
through her, the maelstrom in her body ever subservient to her will not
to surrender, not to move.
To move would worsen the agony.
To move would have made the pain worse.
To move would have been to admit it had gotten the better of her.
And the silent agony of the present crept through her, and still she
She was waiting for the present to die away.
Waiting for the future to claim her.
Waiting for the past to creep away from her thoughts.
And knowing, in the end, that it was all futile, for as the visions and
voices and memories racked through her body, her eyes wide open, seeing
and yet unseeing, she knew the truth.
The past would always be a step behind her.
The present would always cling to her.
And the future would never come.
It was futile. It was hopeless. And still she fought.
If only for the sake of doing anything at all.
She was frozen, she neither moved, nor ate.
Her body shook silently, and words of whimpers accompanied the pain
in her voice, as she lay still, head in her lap, doing nothing but
She was battling for her mind, and in the realm of the psychotic, there
wasn't a damn thing he could do.
He held her, kept her close, the pale skin that had never been touched
until now soft and tender against his own, seeming so alive, even as
she seemed half dead.
The rage and the fury were accompanied with a paralyzing fear as he
could do nothing but wait, for he knew, that in this, he was powerless.
And in the darkness and dankness of an abandoned cabin that seemed to
shiver with cold, and dead loneliness, he could only press his lips
against the woman's head, whisper silently that he loved her, and pray.
Logan was not a praying man, but he prayed like hell that night.
For in the paradox of that action, was the only semblance of hope that
Charles Xavier was a man who rarely showed any emotion other than
kindness. In the handsome features that never seemed to age, was a
wisdom that Jean Grey-Summers knew they relied on possibly a bit too
Charles was not going to be around forever, this she knew only too
well. It was a fear she had hidden deep within her, because she, in the
recesses of her mind, when she spoke to him the way only two telepaths
could, had actually been able to comprehend the uncomprehensible.
Charles Xavier had a secret that only she knew.
Charles Xavier was not immortal.
His days were numbered.
And only the two of them knew how small in number they actually were.
The lump settled in her throat as she watched him, felt the turbulence
in her head as the tremendously strong telepath struggled to control
his emotions, never letting anything slip to his features, not even
when Gambit mentioned the loss of Storm.
He knew it all, he could have simply melded with Gambit and been done
with it, but this simply wasn't Charles' way.
Instead he waited patiently as Gambit explained what he knew, as Scott
explained what he knew, and then one look at her, his chosen leader,
the one he had been grooming to take his place, and he had more or less
everything they knew, and something else that had almost been lost.
He had their faith, their hope, and again Jean felt the stab in her
heart that she had to hide.
How could he stand it?
He didn't have the answers anymore than they did.
"I see." He put his hands together, rested his chin on top of them, in
the stance that they took for deep and meditative thinking. She felt
Scott's hand squeeze her, and she flashed him an uneasy smile, looking
back at her mentor, and in many ways, her father. "Jean?"
"Yes, Charles?" she responded.
His gaze at her was not of a student, but as an equal, and Scott and
the rest of the group had never questioned her ability to call him by
his first name when everyone else, with the possible exception of Rogue
on her "Magneto days", called him Professor.
"What do you think?"
She took in a shaky breath, trying to think of something to say, and
found no words coming to her dry mouth.
"I ... I don't know."
"Neither do I."
Gambit bit his lip, fingers clenching at the edge of the bench, and
Scott himself gave a quick indrawn breath that only she heard.
So imperceptibly, she noticed Charles' hands were shaking slightly.
"Count them off," he continued, his voice soft, but edged in intensity.
"Logan. Missing. Rogue. Missing. Storm. Missing." He pursed his lips,
closing his eyes. "And we almost lost Gambit as well. May I ask who let
them go in without back up?"
"It was a group decision," she answered immediately. "But if you have
to choose a decision maker-"
"It was me," Scott answered immediately. "I thought it the best thing
to do, under the circumstances."
Charles' gaze leveled on him, piercing eyes delving into the red
shades, but the stoic leader didn't flinch.
"Do you regret the decision, Scott?"
"If I had I wouldn't have made it."
"Hmm." Charles' voice was neither condemnation nor appreciation for
Scott, but a simple acceptance of the facts. "And we know next to
nothing of this Augustus?"
"Only what Bobby figured out."
"He's mean, Professor." Remy's voice cracked only slightly, and he
craned his neck, attempting to get the feeling back in them. "But I
know he don't have Rogue anymore."
Charles closed his eyes, breathing in slightly, and when his eyes
opened, they focused completely on Jean.
He cocked his head, and immediately she came forward.
"Come," he said.
And she followed him out of the tent, leaving the two men to watch, to
wonder. She felt the burden on her shoulders and her heart shivered,
not with anticipation, but with fear.
She knew why he had chosen her.
And it was a choice she hadn't wanted.
Because it was the hardest choice of all.
"No, thank you." Her voice had managed to remain calm, and Storm
inwardly thanked the deep control she had fostered, for her head was a
whirlwind, her heart was beating entirely too fast, and she was rapidly
Clayton Augustus merely smiled, popping one of the fine chocolates into
his mouth and savoring the taste, much like he savored everything else
in life, she suspected. When he was through, he gave her another look
of admiration, coming forward with a genuine smile, mouth slightly open
as his fingers reached forward and slid through the long white strands
of her hair.
"Extraordinary," he breathed, with such wonder and excitement she found
herself shivering, pulling away before he had time to taint the strands
with his wickedness. He noticed, and the action made him smile, as he
turned and sat in a comfortable armchair, reaching for another mint
before beginning. "I apologize if I'm not at my best," he drawled. "My
body's going through a rather curious change, and it's a bit harder to
adjust than I expected. The little vixen is stronger than I
Something in Storm's stomach plummeted, and immediately she knew who
the little vixen was.
"Where is she?"
"I was hoping you could answer that question for me-" he paused, taking
in a breath, closing his eyes and wincing in pain before opening again,
the orbs suddenly a pristine violet. "You see I can feel her inside of
me, she's damn confused." A chuckle followed that comment. "But she
seems to respect you a great deal. 'Don't piss her off', she keeps
saying." He paused, a thumb on his lips before smirking at her. "After
the beating you gave my winds, I would tend to agree."
"The winds are mine," Storm replied stiffly.
"So you've proved."
There was silence, and suddenly he stood, cocking his head, searching
his mind and searching her, a smile on his face. "Ororo Munroe, African
native, revered as a goddess by her family and tribe until it was
discovered she was nothing more than a mutant. She was shunned, beaten,
and left for dead. She survived on the streets of Cairo, among other
places, before being recruited by one Charles Xavier to become an
"X-Men". Since then she's worshipped the man, and lived a life
something akin to a nun. A bit of a surprise considering your rather
colorful past with men." He paused as she swallowed, the chill coming
down her spine. "Not that I blame you, what with that terrible complex
with control you seem to have. Always afraid of losing it. Afraid of
killing someone, or hurting someone you love. Kinda like what happened
in that little village-"
"SHUT UP," she barked, and her eyes milked over slightly and the
thunder clapped against the barred windows, making him smile.
"My dear Ororo, it's mutants like you that make me love your kind. Or
shall I say... our kind."
"I don't like games, Augustus."
"Yes, I know that too." He clapped his hands, and servants suddenly
came forward, leaving trays on the desk, disappearing as soon as they
had come. "I respect that enough. Rogue loved games. She was getting
quite good at them. Things were getting fun. But she's gone. And that's
why you're here. I want my Rogue back. She doesn't like me very much.
But she likes you. They all do. You're their little goddess. Their
little instrument of worship. Just the right combination of spice and
danger. They had no idea how dangerous you are, did they?" He grinned.
"I love that."
"They won't risk another mission to try and save me."
"Oh they won't. But she will. If there's enough of her left to want to
save you. And if there isn't, well then, she'll come back to me
regardless, because then she'll belong to me." He smiled, reached for
her hand, and kissed it gently. "Either way, I win. The game's lost,
Ororo, so you needn't worry about playing."
Her jaw was clenched tight, her heartbeat tumultuous, but she stood her
ground, eyes probing inside of his.
"Unless you'd rather we start one of our own."
The door closed behind him, and he was gone in a click, and the panic
that threatened to overwhelm her slid through her veins, as she closed
her eyes, tears brimming ice cold on her ebony skin.
If there was enough of her left. Then Rogue would come and she would be
killed, most likely they both would, and the X-Men would come and
everything would be lost.
If there wasn't. Then Rogue was truly beyond saving and the same would
Good Lord, she wasn't sure which she wanted less.
Chapter Two coming tomorrow
Melissa Flores aka Misty
You all know that I am a pacifist. So I am not interested in war in any way. But you know what? When the revolution comes, I will have to destroy you all. Not you Joey.
~Phoebe, The One with the Ride Along
Do You Yahoo!?
Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/