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Fic: Darkening the Sun 1/1 (Unspoken series)

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  • Shaz
    Title: Darkening the Sun Series: Unspoken (this is Round 16...?) Author: Shaz (aericura@mindspring.com) Codes: Jean, Warren, AU (ring familiar yet?) Rating:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2001
      Title: Darkening the Sun
      Series: Unspoken (this is Round 16...?)
      Author: Shaz (aericura@...)
      Codes: Jean, Warren, AU (ring familiar yet?)
      Rating: R for language, and, um, I left it hanging to avoid a higher
      rating. just go read. trust me. :)
      Summary: The X-Men discover Jean's left Xavier's cabin... and are about to
      get a whole new twist on the quadrangle.
      Archive: http://www.wolverineandrogue.com/seperis/rrindex.html and Vic.
      Feedback: is wonderful! I shunt the flames out the airlock of the Eureka
      Maru though.

      A/N: Their names are Rogue and Logan. Southern US native and Canadian
      (well, not technically...). White hair and claws. Absorber asnd healer.
      Scarves and dogtags. See? I do know who they are. But they're talking so
      much better to everyone else, so I'll just stick here. It was a BIG plot
      bunny, and armed. Would you disagree with an armed plot bunny?


      "Whoever you are, just get out."

      There was the click of a cell phone being opened, the antenna pulled open,
      followed by a self-depreciative laugh. "Harsh words for the overworked
      volunteers here. Do you always talk to people this way?"

      "What-- huh?"

      "I was asking if you were always so cut-to-the-point. If nothing else, I
      might steal you away from Charlie to be my personal assistant. I could use
      some staff with actual personality. How are you with accounting?"

      The groan from the corner was muffled by her burying her face in her hands.
      "Warren Worthington. Truly go away now."

      Shaking his head, restraining the comment about how little effort it had
      taken to find her, their new little rescue project, and yet how much it had
      taken to convince himself to somehow... accidentally... trip over her made
      him grin. For whatever reason, the Catskills cabin just wasn't enough, nor
      was the stack of books. So when Logan-- maybe he did still have his
      "looking out for ya" deal going-- called the cabin, got no answer, and then,
      when he connived Xavier into mentally ringing the nicely appointed and
      stair-free vacation house, they realised she was gone.

      Xavier had pinpointed her in an hour. Only he and 'Ro, the apparent fifth
      and sixth wheels to the twisted little... quadrangle, had bothered to ask
      where to go.

      Warren sighed to himself. Xavier was off by himself, trying to convince
      himself, like father figures always seemed to, that he was responsible for
      the mess and therefore had to clean it up.

      Or not. "Charlie" Xavier, a name Warren never uttered ANYWHERE near the
      actual man, had a tendency to surprise all of them from time to time.

      The others, though. Shit. Occasional cowards. One brooding about
      choices. One brooding about what she just lost hold of, and how much blame
      to put on herself. One wondering just how friendly a stranger could get
      with the untouchable ex-fiancée of one of the big cheeses.

      Logan had a good point though. At least he was TALKING to Rogue.

      Warren arched an eyebrow at himself and surveyed the dingy room. Small,
      stark, clean but cold, and nearly too wallowing in the victims that passed
      through it.

      Hmm, he was doing the same for their errant telepath. Talking... and yet
      more. Scoring points and trust.

      Offhandedly, he wondered if the nature boy had made a move on his colleague.

      "You know, babe, I should really just get comfortable and wait out this
      hissy fit of yours. Let you realise just where you're laying, what kind of
      room you're in."

      "I'm in a women's shelter somewhere in downtown New York, and I'm currently
      wondering how the hell you got past the matron in the lobby."

      Shrugging easily, slipping off the heavy coat that obscured the lines of the
      disgusting but necessary harness that trapped his large wings in, Warren
      didn't bother laughing. He wasn't trying to be funny. "I showed them your
      picture, claimed I was your brother, and when she resisted further, I wrote
      a cheque for half a mil to renovate this place. She let me past then.
      After all, the people who really need a haven like this deserve better."

      Jean's voice, stronger than she felt about the rest of herself at the
      moment, was a little bitter. "And that makes me, what? A hypocrite?"

      "For being here? No." He offered a shrug even though her eyes weren't
      turned anywhere towards him. She was a telepath, she would figure it out.
      "Ironically, a women's shelter is probably the only other place anyone can
      go and act like you are without being harassed by the over-concerned.
      They'll give you a bed, a meal and help if you ask for it."

      "And assume a man beat me into this half-starved, mostly defeated
      mentality." There was a sigh cast up from the bed as the mattress squeaked
      in protest. Sitting up and hugging her knees to her chest, glancing up to
      the charismatic face through a veil of red hair, she licked her lips. "No
      man has ever hurt, raped or molested me. My father was a good man. Only
      thing I've got going," she tapped a finger to her temple, the dark circles
      under her eyes intensifying the gloomy stare she was giving him, "is a brain
      that's got the volume turned up too high."

      Or wings that set one apart from one's friends and family... "You would
      prefer a mental hospital?"

      "Hmm, Thorazine. There's a thought."

      His eyes narrowed. Oh, someone would get yelled at when he got home for
      missing little details. Maybe even Xavier, supposed master of the mind.
      "Don't you fucking dare. Nuh-uh. That damn gossip circle can kiss my ass
      if they think this is a game."

      The pause was tangible as the redhead titled her head a little, suddenly too
      quiet to not be brooding. Blowing a short breath out, realising that a
      raised male voice was the one thing that would raise alarms here, Warren
      didn't bother to shield his thoughts. Hell, maybe if she focused on him,
      she'd forget the overheard argument and why she couldn't stay at Xavier's
      lodge for more than four days.

      Funny how the world's most powerful mind reader-- and most shielded-- left
      such a strong presence in his wake.

      But what she plucked from his head shocked him. "You don't really... like
      Rogue, do you?"

      Warren blinked quickly, dug for a reason to deny it utterly and growled at
      himself. He buried that thought very deeply away, even from himself most of
      the time, and here it was, naked to the room. "Is she why you won't come

      "What do you think?"

      "I think you're filling your Drowning Kitten Shoes nicely."

      "Answer my question and I'll answer yours."

      So this is what they had to look forward to when she wasn't cowering. Huh.
      Cheeky. "I always thought she was setting my best friend up for the biggest
      fall in his life, and guess what... I'm right. Yippee. Here I was dating
      this fox of a--" he paused and observed the distaste over word use, nearly
      chuckling, "heiress that wanted nothing more than to have a good time with a
      guy who had a higher brain capacity and enjoyed sex; Scott was moping
      because the whole untouchable issue was-- and is-- a big fricking thing.
      Oh, he loved her, he probably still does, but they're not right for each
      other in the end."

      "Apparently you're the only one who sees this."

      "I-- she pissed me off a year ago. She didn't see why, even after all the
      sacrifices he made and the weirdness that was their being together, he
      wasn't MORE into her. Well, gee. He's a control freak. With a normal
      woman, he's a piece of work, but someone you have to count seconds with
      before she sucks out your essence? I thought it was rather obvious. She
      didn't see what they had as good enough, and I told her she should be
      grateful for a love like Scott's. I don't think she listened."

      "Didn't want to."

      "She should have. Now, you answer me."

      Closing her eyes, wishing that the one person-- besides Logan, she could
      hardly fault Logan-- that seemed to pay real attention to her would just GO
      away, she lowered her head to her knees and prayed for a silence to return
      to her mind. Even a little one. "I left because... I left the cabin
      because I couldn't stand it THAT quiet. At least the forest had animals. I
      came here because I didn't know where else to go. I've sent women to places
      like these myself, and everything I heard about them is true. It's hard on
      you here, but healing. A reality check. Your home is a myth to me.

      "Salem Centre as an imaginary place. Fascinating."

      "No, just... wrong. For me. In another universe I might be able to
      fantasize about deepening that connection with Scott. Here, now, it just
      worries me."

      The air in the room changed ever so slightly. Not realising she was
      loosening the self-hug and moving closer to the chair he had straddled, her
      voice was gaining a little more security. Warren arched an eyebrow mildly
      and restrained himself. Ooh, he knew this dance, where it could lead, but
      he wasn't the one setting the steps...

      "Maybe you need to stop thinking about him then."

      Her eyes latched onto his sharply. "How?"

      "I don't know," he admitted finally. "Try to tell the sun to not shine so
      damn bright."

      Her sigh and curl back into self-hug made him frown. So close to drawing
      her out and then this. Bollocks. Standing up, his wings straining
      impatiently at their bindings, he glanced to the phone in his hand, pondered
      it for a moment then tossed it onto the chair. He would contact 'Ro a
      little later, tell her his success in finding their potential friend and
      teammate then. But for the moment...

      Sitting lightly on the end of the bed, extending his hand out towards Jean,
      he cocked his head innocently. "Do I need to start over? Promise I won't
      hurt you again?"

      "No," she murmured, watching him through veiled eyes.

      "Then I suggest you take what you can get. We'd like you back with us
      again, but it'll be rough sailing for a little while."

      Her hand stayed tucked around her calf. "Which is why I'm not going with

      "Well, then," he thought fast, nodding to himself. A little influence
      beyond a private school was useful in cases like these. "What if I offered
      you a place to stay... but not alone? At least until the screaming matches
      die down."


      "Little place I keep off grounds, I can take a leave, spend more time on the
      business I've been sorely neglecting, see if I can show the rest of them the
      real you."

      Her eyes narrowed in shock. "Warren, I'm not going to--"

      "No, no, no," he held up his hands, "if it's privacy issues, I can sleep on
      the roof if it'll make you feel less obligated to 'thank' me."

      "But it's your home."

      "Yeah, so? So is that school, and I need a break." He shrugged
      noncommittally. He was being mostly truthful, minus the errant irritations
      over the melodrama that had become his comrade's lives.

      Well, that and the undeniable interest he held in the woman before him.
      Doctor, telepath, mutant AND red haired? God was laughing at him by so
      clearly guiding her in the direction of his best friend. Not only would she
      accept the non-human issue, but...

      Warren laughed darkly, stopping himself from further frustration. No, he
      wouldn't drive himself insane over her. Scooting over and taking the
      initiative to run a hand along her arm, smiling when she didn't flinch, he
      felt her eyes slide up to his.

      The intensity in her gaze made him jump. "What are you thinking?"

      Opening her mouth, glancing down to his hand and back to his face, she
      pulled his hand into hers, setting it at the base of her neck as she closed
      the space between them to mere inches. Turning her head thoughtfully,
      abusing the invitation he had given her to touch his thoughts and emotions
      as he watched her raptly, she bit her lip thoughtfully. "I don't know. I
      really don't."

      Oh, hell, Warren, run, run, run. Back off NOW. The warmth of her neck
      was... wow. Closing his eyes, he cast a final thought to his friend tucked
      in an empty room, surrounded by the ghosts of wonder, worry and misery and
      tried to feel part of it. Tried to embrace it himself.

      He knew he had failed miserably when he leaned in, cupping his free hand
      along her jaw carefully, and took that first kiss.


      um, I'll be over here, hiding from the plot bunnies if you need me.... next?


      "If you're in the business of saving lives, you better start with your own."
      Playing God
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