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FIC: Blind Jump: Unspoken RR #17

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  • Jenn
    Title: Blind Jump Author: jenn (jenn@igg-tx.net) Series: RR# 17 Codes: Logan, Rogue Rating: PG-13 Summary: Logan and Rogue talk about risk and swimming
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2001
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      Title: Blind Jump
      Author: jenn (jenn@...)
      Series: RR# 17
      Codes: Logan, Rogue
      Rating: PG-13
      Summary: Logan and Rogue talk about risk and swimming and sea monsters,
      though not necessarily in that order.
      Author Notes: Everything, with special attention to Andariel's "Between
      the Lines" and Min's "Just the Peacocks Screaming".
      Archiving: www.wolverineandrogue.com/seperis/rrindex.html and Muse's Fool.

      *****

      These people had way too much money.

      The fact that one of their members was the heir of Worthington Enterprises
      was a big tip off, true. So was the fact that the school, to quote Rogue,
      owned roughly two hundred acres of land right here. Logan, little though
      he might understand the intricacies of real estate, figured Westchester
      wasn't a cheap area.

      Beside him, Rogue had fallen silent after taking him around the grounds,
      showing him the bits that Xavier hadn't--the large gardens Ororo kept up,
      the soccer field and tennis court, and the lake just beyond. From the
      familiarity of her stride over the uncertain terrain, he guessed she came
      here often.

      "My spot," she said, looking at the dock, then at the small boathouse.
      Something crossed her face, almost too fast to read, but her scent was
      edged with pain. "When I first got here, I used to hide there." She
      pointed to a distant shape that had a vague resemblance to some sort of
      structure. "In the boathouse. Scott would bring me dinner and try to talk
      to me."

      "How old were you?" He picked a path down to stand beside her, looking over
      the dark blue water sprinkled with the colors of the sunset.

      "Nineteen. I'd been on my own for three years--I ran away when my mutation
      manifested." She turned a little away from him, blocking his view of her
      face.

      She didn't seem interested in sharing further--frankly, considering her
      reticence, he was faintly surprised she'd said anything at all. Looking
      around, he saw the tree with the rope securely attached to a low-hanging
      branch, now out of commission, wrapped neatly around the tree, ready for
      future warm weather.

      "You swim here?" he asked, gesturing toward the rope. Rogue turned and he
      saw a little smile curl up her lips.

      "Scott and the kids do. During the summer, it's cooler than the pool.
      Sometimes, we went out on boats."

      "I didn't ask if the kids did--I asked if you did."

      She laughed softly.

      "No. Skin, swimsuit, nasty situation all around." She shrugged lightly,
      stepping out a booted foot onto the dock, testing the stability, then
      stepping up. "Besides, there's a water monster, you know. I don't tempt
      fate like that."

      No, she didn't. He thought about that.

      "Water monster, huh?"

      She grinned, skipping forward a little. He wondered what she'd been like
      at nineteen suddenly--just below the surface of her, there was amazing
      amounts of energy held in severe check. He had to wonder what she did with
      it.

      "Big one. Eats fishermen all the time." She chuckled softly. "'Ro swears
      that's what finally made me move up to the Mansion--her stories about it.
      Late at night, I could almost swear that I could hear it going through the
      water." She turned a little and he watched how the dying sunlight
      silhouette her. It made him catch his breath.

      Bad situation. Remember that, Logan. Bad. Complex. Sticky. He told his
      brain to take a flying leap and concentrated on how she walked to the edge
      of the dock, looking down. He wondered if she could swim.

      "So how do you know Eliot?"

      Ooh. Shoulda known she'd ask.

      "Don't know."

      "No, seriously." She watched him step one foot, then both onto the dock.
      It was moving. Logan and water didn't get along well at the best of times.
      Eyeing the rocking, he glanced up at Rogue, who laughed again.

      "It won't topple."

      "Yeah, I'll take your word for it." Slowly, he made his way along the
      plank, and dropped down beside her as she curled up on the edge. Her boot
      was only inches from the water.

      "So, Eliot?"

      "That." He mulled his answer, leaning against one of the nicely sturdy
      wooden posts. Did good things for his confidence on the dock. "It's
      complicated."

      "Oh."

      Nothing else. She wouldn't push. Watching her, he wondered if anyone had
      ever pushed her for anything.

      "No memory." Her eyes came up, fixing on him in interest. "Xavier knows,
      Jean knows. Hard to hide from telepaths."

      "What--from when you were in the lab?"

      Yeah, she'd gotten some of his memories, all right. He sighed a little.

      "No idea. Woke up with an improved bone structure, traded for memory.
      That was fifteen years ago, give or take." He thought about it. "Maybe a
      little longer. That first year was rough."

      He watched her work it out.

      "Could you do anything?" From anyone else, that question just wasn't
      something he'd ever have answered. Shit, they wouldn't have gotten this
      far in the first place. Maybe it was the remnants of the dusk slipping
      through her hair and filling her eyes, or the sober interest on her face.

      Maybe he really couldn't get away from this.

      "Not much. I could fight. I knew basic crap--could drive, read, even can
      quote some fucking random poetry at women for kicks." He paused, thinking
      it through. "But--some things I had to learn the hard way."

      "Your way with people, for example."

      He grinned.

      "I have to say, I'm not that bad with people." He shrugged, reaching down
      with a foot and kicking at the water. The boots were good. He could get
      used to this.

      "Creed could take lessons from you, but that's about it." Her smile was
      sudden and blinding. He didn't like how he reacted to it, not at all.
      Complex, Logan. Too complex, too much going on here. She's pretty and
      she's interesting, but no one and nothing is that interesting. She lifted
      a knee, bracing an arm across it, resting a delicate chin as she looked
      around.

      The silence was oddly comfortable. He wasn't sure what to make of that.

      "So you know how to read, drive, fight, and quote Eliot. What else can you
      do?"

      "Draw."

      She straightened. Again, that cute little shocked expression, and he
      grinned and kicked water at her leg. She jumped a little, glancing down to
      see her sprinkled jeans.

      "You can draw?"

      "Yeah. Keep that a secret, okay? I can get away with poetry, but what
      cage fighter do you know who can sketch, darlin'?"

      "Not enough to do a representative sample, sugar." She kicked water back
      at him and he jumped--she kicked harder. The front leg of his jeans were
      soaked. "But I'll keep it in mind as I run into cage fighters."

      "Good enough."

      The silence was comfortable again, and Logan realized dark was coming on.
      Dark. Could be moonlight. Alone on a dock with Rogue. Was this a bad
      idea?

      Oh fucking yes. Put that in and spin it, he could not, would not, did not
      need this sort of complication in his life. The panic was almost enough to
      bring him to his feet, but one glance at her showed her gaze at the
      boathouse, head leaned back against the wooden post behind her.

      "What else?" he asked softly. Her gaze slipped to him but her head didn't
      move.

      "We were going to remodel it, so we could live there. For privacy." Brown
      eyes fixed back on it. "Scott and I argued over tile samples for days. I
      don't even remember what the big deal was, why I thought that green would
      be better than white." She shook her head. "In retrospect, it seems such
      a stupid thing to argue over."

      "Like curtain colors?"

      She flipped her full attention back to him.

      "Curtains are cream. Always."

      "Who won?"

      She flushed, and her gaze was at anything but him.

      "You ever lost an argument?"

      The brown eyes kindled and she straightened.

      "I lost Scott."

      Ah. That.

      "How badly did you want that green tile, Rogue?"

      Gloved hands were on her knees now--she was going to get up and leave. Oh
      hell no--this was getting too damn interesting.

      "Scared to share? Come on, I gave you poetry and drawing. Tell me how
      important that tile was."

      Her flush was bright, draining away almost instantly.

      "Not that important."

      "Important enough to fight over for days." God, she had no idea. "And it
      took you three hours to give up Summers."

      "That's completely different."

      "Jean's gone," he told her, and she blinked, staring at him. "Gone away
      for awhile, get her head together. Scott's in his room. Crawl in bed with
      him and tell him he's more important than that tile."

      She was on her feet in the neatest little bit of levitation he'd ever seen.
      Booted feet stomping down the planks, and he got up, going after her. She
      still didn't see it--of course she didn't.

      "You runnin' again, Rogue?"

      She came to a dead stop, turning slowly. Oh, she was angry. Shit, this
      was fun. Finding his balance again on the ground, he watched her hands
      fist at her sides.

      "What the hell do you know about it?"

      He wondered if she fought with Scott like this, if she ever just let the
      fuck go.

      "What I see." He came to a stop at the first tree beyond the water,
      leaning against it as she tried to find something to say. She
      couldn't--she probably never thought about it. "Fighting for that tile
      wasn't a risk, was it, Rogue? Fighting for Cyke would be. Living in the
      boathouse for months after you got here wasn't a risk, but getting in the
      water was. When's the last time you just jumped?"

      There it was. He felt it coming, smelled it coming, before she even knew
      she was going to break.

      "You fucking bastard," she breathed, almost in wonder. "I got in bed with
      him--I let him touch me when he could take me out with a blink and I could
      kill him with a touch. What isn't risk about that?"

      "What did you have to lose? Don't tell me you two didn't take every
      precaution under the fucking sun--I've seen Summers' work, he's the
      ultimate boy scout." He took a step closer, watching her face. It was
      almost full dark, but his night vision was as good as his day vision.
      "When's the last time you took a risk?"

      She didn't answer, didn't even move. He wasn't sure she was even
      breathing, but he did know she was thinking. Every line of her body yelled
      it.

      "You said it yourself--the risk it would be to marry him now."

      "Yeah, I did. That's not what I asked, though. What I asked was, what was
      the difference between Scott and that fucking green tile? What made the
      tile less risky than trying to keep Scooter?"

      She shut her eyes tight for a long moment and looked like she might not
      answer. Then it happened--just like before, he could feel it, when she let
      the shift happen. She'd been doing things halfway for too long.

      "It wasn't the risk," she whispered finally. The night was so still, it
      didn't matter. "I couldn't have him. Not completely. Not the ways that
      counted. Not everything." Something went out of her, then, and she
      slumped a little. He took another step closer, enough to see the brown
      eyes were clear. "I want everything. I want it to be--I want more. And
      he wouldn't give me that. He couldn't." Her voice was almost a whisper.
      "It wasn't enough."

      Silence.

      "Why does it matter? Why the hell do you care?"

      Logan shrugged, taking the last step between them, and she didn't draw
      away. Mouth set in a straight line, she looked up at him.

      "Let's go swimming." Taking her hand, he pulled her behind him.

      "What--?" She didn't even try to dig in her heels--that was one battle she
      had to know she wouldn't win. "Logan, the water--it's fall, for God's
      sake."

      The boards were rickety, but he didn't care, getting to the edge, he looked
      down into the dark blue-black, and gave in to the inevitable. She pulled
      up sharply beside him, toes hanging lightly over the edge.

      Then he looked at her, watching the moonlight reflected in the pure line of
      white in her hair.

      "Rogue," he said softly, shifting his grip on her hand, giving her the
      option of pulling away. She looked up, eyes wide and dark and utterly
      transparent. "I've never swum either."

      It was fall, the water was cold, and she let out a breath in shock when
      they hit the dark water.

      And Logan, looking at her inches away, discovered they both could swim.

      The End



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      *****

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