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FIC: 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore: 2/2: NC-17 [L/R]

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  • victoria_p@att.net
    Disclaimers etc. in Part 1 indicates thoughts ~ ~ indicates telepathic conversation ~*~ When he got down to Xavier s office, Jean, Scott and Storm were
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27, 2001
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      Disclaimers etc. in Part 1

      < > indicates thoughts
      ~ ~ indicates telepathic conversation

      ~*~

      When he got down to Xavier's office, Jean, Scott and
      Storm were already there. None of them looked happy.

      "So? I'm here," he said.

      "While you're under my roof, Logan, I'd appreciate it if
      you didn't sleep with one of my students," Xavier began,
      last night's seeming acceptance of their relationship
      gone.

      "She's not your student, Chuck. And you should have been
      more worried about who was sleeping with her when she
      *wasn't* under your roof." He paced like a caged tiger,
      his anger growing as he thought of what Marie had
      endured. "What a bunch of hypocrites! It's all right for
      her to turn tricks to survive, but she's not allowed to
      sleep with someone who cares about her? Fuck that!"

      Scott's lips tightened into a grim line, his hands
      clenched into fists. He opened his mouth to speak, but
      Jean beat him to the punch.

      "Rogue chose to leave us, Logan. We didn't force her to
      stay -- we don't force anyone to stay if they don't want
      to. And she didn't want to."

      "Yeah, 'cause you made *such* a good case to her to
      stay," he snarled. "I know she's got you and your boy toy
      in her head. Funny how that didn't convince her she
      oughta stay, even after those crazy people tried to kill
      her." He stalked toward Jean, who stumbled back against
      the Professor's desk. "What could you have *possibly*
      been thinking that was *so* bad that she chose a life on
      the corner instead of staying here at your mutant heaven?
      Huh?"

      "That's enough." Xavier's voice cracked like a whip.
      "What's done is done. While we are most heartfully sorry
      that Rogue has had such a bad time, there is nothing we
      can do now to remedy that. I'm more interested in her
      future. She should remain here. We can keep her safe from
      Sabretooth--"

      "That's the guy who attacked us last night?"

      The Professor nodded. "Yes. He and his associates are
      most likely looking for revenge. Since they cannot strike
      at us directly, they'll settle for killing her."

      "Not while I'm around," Logan snapped. "She's mine now,
      and I protect my own."

      "Yes, we know all about you, *Wolverine*." Scott spat the
      codename as if it were a curse. Logan sighed internally.
      He really wished Marie hadn't let that information slip.
      If these do-gooders really wanted to fuck him over, they
      could just turn him in to the cops. He was wanted by the
      federal government, as well as in thirty-five states and
      a number of countries.

      "We're not going to turn you in," Xavier said.

      He looked up sharply. "Stay outta my head, old man."

      "Occupational hazard," Xavier replied urbanely. "You were
      projecting quite strongly. But no, I think we can help
      you, as well, Logan." Logan said nothing, waiting for the
      inevitable sales pitch. "We could use a man of your --
      skills on the team. If you join the X-Men, you are free
      to stay here at the school. You get room and board, and
      Rogue can finish her education. She can get her GED, go
      on to college if she wishes --"

      "As long as we stay away from each other?"

      "She is in a fragile state. You know it as well as I.
      She's latched onto you for some reason and--"

      "And you're a bastard who's taking advantage of a young,
      confused woman," Scott burst out, unable to hold back any
      longer. "You're no better than Sabretooth -- "

      Logan grabbed Scott by the collar and had him up against
      the wall before Scott could finish speaking. "Don't you
      *ever* compare me to that son of a bitch. I saw what he
      did to Marie." His voice was cold, deadly. It was easy to
      believe all the stories they'd heard about the Wolverine
      when they saw this side of him. "And I'll kill him for
      it."

      "Need help?" That was Storm. Her tone matched his in
      coldness.

      Logan let Scott go, turning toward the white-haired
      woman. "You killed the other one -- Toad?" he asked,
      recalling Marie's words the night before. A firm nod.
      "Thanks. But I can handle the others. This Sabretooth,
      someone called Mystique? And Magneto?"

      "How--" Jean began, but Xavier interrupted her.

      "You heard us speaking last night."

      "Yeah."

      "You're full of surprises, Logan," Xavier said. "I know
      about the metal claws and the healing from your
      reputation. Enhanced senses would explain much."

      He growled. Marie wasn't the only one letting things
      slip. He was angry and emotional and that made him
      sloppy. Which made him angrier.

      Breathing deeply, he centered himself, calling upon years
      of training to leash the fury that was even now coursing
      through his veins, the animal in him who wished to do
      nothing but wreak vengeance on all those who'd done his
      mate wrong.

      <My mate.> The thought shone with a clarity that startled
      him. He pushed it aside to focus on the matter at hand --
      namely, getting away from Xavier without making enemies
      with the man. It wouldn't do to have an enemy who knew
      his name, his face, and now, his weakness.

      Adopting a slightly more civil tone, he said, "Look, we
      all want the same thing, right? So just let me and Marie
      hightail it on outta here. You can forget you ever met me
      and I won't kill you all for fucking her over. She'll be
      safe and you won't have to worry about hairy, psychotic
      mutants trying to kill her."

      "Don't you think I should have some say in all of this?"

      Rogue stood in the doorway, freshly showered, still
      dressed in Logan's sweats from the night before.

      "Of course, Rogue," Xavier said, on top of the situation
      as always. "Tell us what you have in mind."

      She smiled ironically at his words. "I want to stay with
      Logan. He, he makes me feel safe. Normal." <Loved.> The
      word hovered on her tongue, but she wasn't confident
      enough to say it. She'd only known him a week -- and for
      most of that, he'd been a john, not a person. But he
      always treated her like a human being, which was more
      than she could say for most of the people she'd met since
      leaving home fifteen months ago.

      Jean reached out tentatively, carefully taking Rogue's
      gloved hand. "We can keep you safe here, Rogue. And
      perhaps help you with your mutation. You didn't really
      give us a chance last time--" Logan snorted and Jean shot
      him a look before continuing. "You left as soon as you
      were well enough to walk."

      Logan felt his knuckles itch. He'd seen the scars, but
      hadn't realized that they'd been deeper than they
      appeared. <Oh yeah, I'm killing him slow,> he thought.
      <Slow and painful.>

      "You didn't give *me* a whole lot of options," Rogue
      replied sharply. "I just wanted a normal life. I didn't
      want people cringing away in horror when they saw me, or
      pitying me because on top of being untouchable, I made
      Quasimodo look like a supermodel."

      "Rogue, I never--"

      "You *did*, Jean. You really, really did," Rogue's voice
      had lost its angry edge. She sounded old, defeated. "You
      might not have said it, but you thought it and felt it.
      'Cause I felt it when you touched me."

      Jean's eyes widened in shock. "I -- I'm so sorry. I
      didn't think--"

      "Hey, you were scared. I was sucking the life out of you.
      Believe me, hearing even more voices in my head freaked
      me out, and I'm used to it. Anyone would have freaked in
      your situation.

      "But still, you *felt* it, and I, I just didn't want to
      be around people who were scared of me, who pitied me the
      way you do. I have some pride."

      "You left because of *pride*?" Jean said, aghast.

      "I know it sounds stupid -- hell, it *was* stupid -- but
      it was bad enough when I was just untouchable, you know?
      To all of a sudden be ugly and deformed -- " She was
      close to tears. Logan moved toward her casually, putting
      an arm around her and drawing her against his chest.

      "You didn't want anyone's pity. I can understand that."
      Scott sounded surprisingly calm, gentle even, considering
      how angry he'd been just moments earlier. "I was the same
      way. But I stayed and I found a home. I think you will,
      too. If you give us a chance. I just don't think that
      living hand to mouth with a -- a criminal like Logan is
      what's best for you."

      Her eyes flew to Logan at the word "criminal," but she
      showed no other signs of surprise. She sniffed. "I-- I'll
      think about it." Wiping her face with one gloved hand,
      she said, "I need to think." And she fled, as quietly as
      she'd come in.

      Scott smirked at Logan. "Maybe what she wants isn't
      exactly what you think, Logan."

      Logan opened his mouth to respond, trying to hide the way
      his heart had sunk at her words, but Xavier interrupted.

      "This isn't very productive. I suggest you all get back
      to what you were doing. Logan, please sit down. I'm still
      hoping we can come to some sort of accommodation."

      They left the two men together. Scott, muttering about
      unfeeling bastards who took advantage of young girls who
      didn't know any better, went off to the hangar to fiddle
      with the Blackbird, while Ororo headed out to the
      gardens.

      Jean, on the other hand, was feeling terribly guilty that
      her thoughts had driven Rogue away the first time, and
      she was determined to rectify her mistakes.

      She found the girl sitting forlornly in the library,
      staring out the window. Dressed in sweats that were far
      too big for her, Rogue looked even younger than her
      eighteen years, and so very delicate. Jean's heart went
      out to her.

      "Hey," she said softly, so as not to startle her.

      Rogue blinked and shook her head. "Hi." She looked around
      at the dim, cool room. "I missed this."

      "The library?" During her slow recovery after the Statue
      of Liberty incident, Jean had often brought her down here
      to read. Sabretooth had done a thorough job of mauling
      her before Magneto had put her in his machine. She had
      obviously struggled - her left leg had been broken in
      three places, six ribs were cracked, and she'd been
      covered in slash marks. Some of the cuts had gone
      bone-deep. And that didn't include the sexual abuse and
      psychological torture she'd suffered.

      Getting well had been a long and arduous process, one
      Jean was sure was still ongoing. Rogue had left when her
      broken bones had healed, but Jean knew that so much of
      her was still damaged, disappearing scars
      notwithstanding.

      Jean took a deep breath. "There are libraries in the
      city."

      "Not a whole lot of time to spend in 'em, though," Rogue
      replied, reminding Jean once again how she'd spent the
      past few months.

      "Want to talk about it?" she offered, hoping vainly the
      girl would open up to her.

      A laugh -- a bitter sound that no one should ever make,
      Jean though, let alone an eighteen-year-old girl, who
      should have only happy childhood memories behind and her
      whole life ahead of her.

      "I'd rather not." She pushed her damp hair off her
      forehead, the white streaks permanent reminders of what
      had happened, even if the scars were gone.

      The doctor in Jean was busy wondering how Logan's healing
      had affected Rogue internally, while the telepath
      wondered how the girl was dealing with a new occupant in
      her head. As a person, though, a member of the human
      race, Jean just felt guilty.

      She knew how much regret and anger Scott was carrying
      over the incident; this was a chance to help him gain
      some measure of peace, as well as help Rogue.

      "How about we get you some clothes that fit, then?" she
      asked, wincing slightly at her overly-cheerful voice and
      hoping to appeal the typical feminine desire for nice
      things. Or nicer than the huge old sweats the girl was
      currently wrapped in.

      Rogue looked torn. She brought one sleeve to her face,
      inhaled deeply and Jean understood. Wearing Logan's
      clothes was just another way Rogue was making herself
      feel safe. Jean opened her shields a little, trying to
      get some clue as to Rogue's true feelings for the man,
      but the welter of emotions -- and personalities --
      emanating from her made reading her an impossibility.
      Jean simply wasn't that subtle or powerful. Yet.

      "Or not," Jean said in that same bright tone when Rogue
      didn't answer.

      "What? Oh. Oh, no. Clothes -- clothes would be good. I --
      I left everything in my apartment, and then my work
      clothes..." she trailed off and hung her head in
      embarrassment.

      Jean patted her arm in awkward sympathy, shuddering
      inwardly at whatever ensemble would be considered
      appropriate "working clothes" for a streetwalker,
      especially one with lethal skin.

      Which was a whole other interesting sidelight, Jean
      thought. The girl wasn't lying about being a prostitute,
      but she must have been very careful or --

      "Blow jobs," Rogue said, the seeming non-sequitur
      snapping Jean out of her suddenly tangled thoughts.

      "Excuse me?" she asked faintly, her eyebrows rising in
      surprise as she felt the blush steal across her face.

      "Mostly I do blow jobs and hand jobs," Rogue clarified.
      "No skin. No touching." She sighed wearily. "It's a
      living."

      "No," Jean said sharply. "It's *not*. We can help you
      here, Rogue. You'll never have to do -- that -- again,
      unless you want to." God, she was flustered. Where was
      her legendary sang froid, the unflappability that served
      her so well both before Congress and when dealing with
      recalcitrant teenagers? She realized her guilt was
      gnawing at her, making her oversensitive to everything
      about this girl, this situation.

      Rogue sighed again, this time in exasperation. "Clothes?"

      Jean recognized it for what it was; Rogue had no wish to
      rehash the argument probably still raging in Charles's
      office.

      "Okay, then," she replied, "clothes."

      She took the girl up to one of the spare rooms, which
      served as a communal closet for the new students.

      As they discussed sizes and styles, Jean tried to tell
      herself that taking care of these physical needs was
      good, and all that could be expected of her, but her
      guilt lingered, even as she noticed Rogue's mood
      lightening.

      When her stomach growled, Rogue laughed, and Jean smiled
      at the genuine, happy sound, grateful that she wasn't so
      damaged she couldn't manage it.

      "Lunch is in a few minutes," Jean said. "Why don't you
      change," she nodded at the armful of clothing Rogue had
      accumulated, "and I'll see you there?"

      Rogue nodded, and the two women parted ways.

      ***

      Rogue went back to the room they'd spent the night in,
      but Logan wasn't there. He was stubborn, but it was
      possible that the Professor was a match for him. Not to
      mention Scott.

      She hoped Scott chose to exercise discretion and stay out
      of Logan's way. She'd feel terrible if he got injured.
      He'd saved her life, after all, and had done what he
      could to protect her and make her feel better while she'd
      been here the first time.

      As she changed into the jeans -- faded and soft, only a
      little big through the waist and hips -- and shirt Jean
      had handed her -- white, cotton, button-down, too large
      but not so bad as the sweats -- she sifted through the
      images she'd absorbed from Logan. A criminal, Scott had
      called him. She closed her eyes and let bits and pieces
      of his memories rise to the surface of her mind --

      Staring through a gun-sight at a swarthy man in some kind
      of uniform, medals all over his puffed out, barrel chest.
      Banana republic dictator wannabe.

      Lying on the ground underneath a limousine, wires
      straggling from enough C4 to blow a small building.

      Sinking the claws into a tall, thin bald man with
      glasses. Feeling the blood run over her knuckles as she
      jerked upward--

      Her eyes snapped open and she fell to her knees, hand
      over mouth, feeling her stomach rise to her throat.

      <Oh, God.>

      Other memories intruded on her horror. His inexplicable
      attraction to her -- picking her out of the knot of
      whores on the corner. The unexpected kinship between
      them. The way his heart lurched when she smiled. That he
      had cared enough to buy her dinner and ask how her day
      had been.

      So, okay, on the one hand, scary killer guy with
      nine-inch claws. On the other, Logan. Nothing more or
      less.

      She thought she could live with that for the moment. It
      was all she had, and she wanted desperately to hold onto
      it.

      She found Jean in the dining room a few minutes later,
      putting a sandwich and some fruit on a tray for her.

      "Sit with us," Ororo offered, but Rogue declined, feeling
      the need to get some air, do some more thinking while she
      ate.

      She went out to the garden, wolfing down the peanut
      butter and jelly sandwich eagerly.

      A boy she didn't recognize smiled and sat down next to
      her.

      "You look a little lonely. Mind some company? I'm
      Richard."

      She returned his smile shyly. She'd almost forgotten what
      it was like to be around regular people -- civilians --
      again. Normality was what she longed for, and maybe
      Xavier really could offer that.

      "Sure."

      He chattered about his classes and how he planned on
      joining the X-Men when he graduated while she sat and
      slowly relaxed her guard. She drank her milk and ate her
      banana and felt like a normal teenager again.

      And then his voice changed. "Yeah, baby, you sure know
      how to use that mouth," he taunted.

      She snapped to attention, swallowed the suddenly
      tasteless piece of fruit and said, "Excuse me?"

      "I heard about you," the boy said, moving way too close
      to her on the bench. She scooted over but he followed.
      "They say you're a hooker. How about you give me some
      sugar?"

      "I don't think so," she said faintly, all feelings of
      normality gone.

      "What, you still wanna get paid? I don't think the Prof
      is gonna like that if I tell him," the boy said, his
      voice and his eyes making her skin crawl.

      "I--" Rogue swallowed. She wasn't prepared for this. On
      the street, it was easy to tell the jerks to fuck off,
      and it had even become bearable to accept the beatings
      from the ones who took offense. But here, she thought
      she'd be safe. It was difficult to slip back into her
      street persona, something she didn't want anyone at the
      school to see. "I don't think so," she said a second
      time, getting up and moving away.

      His hand on her arm yanked her back, pulling her down
      onto his lap. "Come on, bitch. I heard that ape you
      brought with you making you scream this morning. You
      could do better than him. You could have me." One hand
      stroked her arm gently while the other held her thigh in
      an iron grip, pinning her to his lap.

      She closed her eyes against the tears that threatened and
      tried to call up some of Logan's memories, something that
      would let her fight this guy off.

      "Leave me alone," she said, her voice stronger, as she
      tried to lever herself off him. "I don't want to have to
      hurt you."

      He laughed until two shadows fell across the bench.

      "Let her go," Scott said.

      Logan didn't even waste time on words. He simply pulled
      Marie from the punk's grasp with one hand and grabbed the
      boy by the shirt with the other.

      "What's your problem, boy? You don't treat a lady like
      that."

      "What?" the boy asked incredulously. "She's just a whore,
      a --"

      "Now you've done it," Logan growled. "You and me, bub,
      we're never gonna be friends." He knocked the boy flat on
      his back. "You never, *ever* talk to her again. You don't
      touch her, you don't look at her, you don't even mention
      her name." One claw slid menacingly out of his fist. "You
      understand me?" He could smell urine as the boy pissed
      his pants. He bared his teeth.

      "Y-yes, sir."

      Logan was tempted to kick him in the ribs for good
      measure, but Marie was clinging to his arm, and he had to
      make sure she was all right.

      He cupped her cheek gently, using her hair to protect
      himself. "You okay, baby?"

      "I am now," she whispered, her lashes damp with unshed
      tears.

      He swung her up into his arms and took her into the
      kitchen, Scott trailing after them, seething himself.

      "This is what you're offering her?" Logan growled
      incredulously. "She's better off with me. At least she'll
      be treated right."

      "I--" Scott could barely form a sentence.

      Jean and Storm appeared immediately. "What happened?" the
      weather goddess asked.

      "Some punk--" Logan began.

      "Richard," Scott interjected.

      "Made the mistake of putting his hands on Marie," Logan
      continued. "I took care of him."

      "He'll be severely reprimanded," Scott added.

      Logan snorted.

      Rogue convinced him to put her down, but he kept one hand
      on the small of her back. He was in full alert mode,
      firing on all cylinders for the first time since the
      X-Men had met him.

      "You see why I can't stay?" Rogue demanded, her voice
      cracking. "It will always be like that here. Always.
      They'll never let me forget--" Her voice failed.

      Scott nodded wearily. He knew how kids were; he'd spent a
      good portion of his life in institutions and foster homes
      before Xavier had found him, and he'd been stigmatized
      early on as defective. "Yeah," he said, knowing when to
      give in gracefully.

      Once the decision was made, it didn't take long for Logan
      to get them organized to leave. Xavier was giving --
      "Selling," insisted Logan -- them a car, an old Nissan
      Maxima, and they'd assured Rogue she could keep the
      clothing she'd picked out.

      By three o'clock, they were ready to hit the road.

      "You will always have a place here," Xavier said as they
      climbed into the car. "I will be in touch if I hear
      anything about Sabretooth, or the -- other -- matter we
      discussed."

      Logan grunted out his thanks. He wasn't one for long
      goodbyes and he wanted to get out on the road before
      Marie realized she was making a mistake and changed her
      mind.

      They pulled out of the driveway and Rogue chanced a look
      back at what they were leaving behind, the life she might
      have had."

      "You okay, darlin'?" he asked, his stomach tied in knots.

      She smiled that smile, the one that never failed to move
      him. "I'm fine, Logan. As long as we're together, I'll be
      fine."

      "No regrets?" he pressed.

      "No, sugar. No regrets."

      End

      ~*~

      victoria

      --

      The Muse's Fool: http://www.unfitforsociety.net
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