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BETA: Chasing the Blast - 1/1 - Logan, Rogue

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  • victoria p.
    This is a response to Khaki s The night is moist challenge. Terri brings the foof, and I, of course, manage to bring the weird. What s up with *that*? I
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2001
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      This is a response to Khaki's "The night is moist" challenge. Terri
      brings the foof, and I, of course, manage to bring the weird. What's up
      with *that*? I blame the heat and PMS. <g>

      This thing consumed my commute home this evening, and distracted me from
      the foof I was working on. I don't know where it came from (though the
      subway ride might have had something to do with it - the subway truly is
      hell in 100 degree heat <g>), nor do I think it's a particularly
      plausible scenario, but hey, you go where the muse takes you, right?

      Also, this is unbetaed since I just wrote it, so anyone who has comments
      on how to make it better, send 'em along (if they're nasty, do it
      privately, please). I'm always up for a good editing session.


      Title: Chasing the Blast
      Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...]
      Summary: "It was all about control, about choosing to push their
      traitorous bodies to the limit."
      Rating: PG-13, mature themes
      Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of
      fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
      Archive: Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool; if you've already got my stuff,
      sure. If not, please ask. I'll say yes.
      Feedback: Always welcome and more appreciated than you know.
      Notes: Thanks to Dot, Meg, Jen, and Pete.

      ***

      Chasing the Blast

      The night was moist.

      Like an old sponge left in the sink for too long, the air was dank and
      mildewed, and heavy with the scent of urine.

      Rogue took shallow breaths through her mouth in between long drags on
      her cigarette.

      She wondered once again about the strange urge that brought him out to
      places like this, and her own need to follow.

      He hated it when she followed him -- she'd been on the receiving end of
      more lectures than she could count over the years for doing what she was
      doing tonight, but he'd finally gotten used to it, and grudgingly
      tolerated her secret presence.

      She couldn't help it. She was drawn after him whenever he took one of
      these trips down the rabbit hole, a small shadow only he could spot in
      the larger shadows of the night. Yet another connection between them,
      another secret shared.

      The streetlight flickered and only the dim glow of the cigarette and two
      pale streaks of hair were visible as she stood in the alleyway across
      from the crackhouse.

      While the other kids at Xavier's had experimented with various drugs,
      she'd avoided them all but alcohol and nicotine. They thought it was
      because she was afraid of what might happen with her skin. They didn't
      know that she'd inherited too many memories (and had added firsthand
      experiences after Logan had returned from Canada) of nights like this.

      Nights bent over a glass pipe, searching for a high that would rock even
      his almost-impervious system; nights slumped over a syringe, seeking the
      somnolent heroin rush as an escape from the nightmares.

      No one knew. If they had, it was a sure bet his welcome at the school
      would have been revoked immediately.

      Because he wasn't an addict. Not with crack or smack or any of the dozen
      other drugs in which he'd occasionally indulge.

      It was about his body, his gift.

      His curse.

      Amazingly enough, even a man with the ability to heal almost
      instantaneously from almost any injury can feel as if his body has
      betrayed him.

      His rebellion was less obvious than hers, much as his mutation was. But
      the anger at whatever random chance had damned them with
      near-immortality (in his case) and lethal skin (in hers) ran high in
      both of them.

      She sporadically took wild chances, roaming the mall without gloves,
      teasing strange men in clubs, dancing with the ever-present danger of
      touch.

      He pushed his healing factor to its limits. Usually, fighting was
      enough, but on rare occasions, usually after a botched mission or a week
      of particularly bad nightmares, he would seek oblivion in the needle or
      the pipe.

      She followed because she had to. She was irrationally convinced that the
      one time he went chasing the blast without her, would be the one time
      his body would betray him again.

      He understood. He followed her on her wild flights in much the same
      manner, waiting, always waiting for the inevitable crash and burn.

      If the others had known, they might have said (as they threw him out on
      his ass) that the pair had matching death wishes, but nothing could have
      been further from the truth.

      It was all about control, about choosing to push their traitorous bodies
      to the limit.

      She couldn't control her skin, nor he, his healing, but there was
      something heady in proving that their mutations couldn't control them,
      and that one day, they might end up losing their lives, but winning the
      slow, unending war against their bodies.

      When Logan emerged, stumbling into the gray predawn light, the street
      was littered with cigarette butts and the moist air held the slight tang
      of Marie's scent.

      She watched him from the alley, then slipped away, a silent witness in
      their hidden war.

      End

      A/N: The title comes from an expression used by junkies, about always
      looking for their next score. To read an absolutely fabulous book about
      the drug problem in this country, in microcosm [a boy's life] to
      macrocosm [the city of Baltimore], check out "The Corner" by David
      Simon, who also wrote the amazing "Homicide: A Year on the Killing
      Streets" the book upon which Homicide, the best damn show [formerly] on
      television was based.
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