Title: The Bargain
Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...
Summary: "Once again, she fell back into the rituals of childhood,
bargaining with an apparently absent God for things over which she had
Series: Unspoken RR
Timeline: Concurrent with/directly after Khaki's "Reality Check"
Rating: PG-13, for some imagery
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of
fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, RRindex at jenn's Indulgence, Muse's Fool
Feedback: Makes me do a happy dance
Notes: Meg & Jen - you guys rawk [sic] for being online to beta this and
tell me it wasn't *too* OTT. Thanks to the usual suspects, and damn Joss
for making me have to change the title slightly. <g>
< > indicates thoughts
Moira pushed her out of the lab, and she stumbled into the hallway,
Logan's soaking clothes upsetting her balance.
She landed on her knees, not even feeling the pain in her distress.
<Oh God, oh God, oh God,> she thought frantically. <Don't let him die.
I'll do anything. Please don't let him die. I'll never ask for anything
again. I'll never go near another man. I swear. I'll live like a nun.>
Once again, she fell back into the rituals of childhood, bargaining with
an apparently absent God for things over which she had no control.
This was far too familiar; she flashed back to the scene at home after
her mutation first manifested, with her mother shrieking and her father
screaming at the 911 dispatcher.
She'd prayed then, and she prayed now, falling to her knees in tears.
Unable to form a single coherent thought, she just whispered, "Oh, God.
Please, God," over and over again for what seemed like the longest few
minutes of her life.
He was in her head again. His enjoyment in the night and the water, and
in her nude body, coming through strong and clear. He wasn't afraid. He
*wanted* to touch her. He wanted to be inside of her.
And she'd wanted him there. Oh, not in her head, not because of her
skin, no. She'd wanted to lie beneath him, seeing the stars framed by
the curve of his shoulder. She wanted to cradle him between her thighs
while he made love to her long and slow, the way she liked, or hard and
fast, which seemed to be his preference. He seemed to think they'd have
time to do it any and every way either of them could imagine.
Blushing at the direction his thoughts in her head had taken, she'd
reached out, employing the tenuous control she and the Professor had
worked so hard on. The thought of touching him made her skin tingle,
even now, covered in his sodden, chilling clothing, in a way that had
nothing to do with her mutation.
She'd been wanton, jumping from one relationship into the hope of
another. Hope was a cruel mistress, holding out the things she wanted so
desperately, only to snatch them away at the moment she gave in and
reached for them.
He'd smiled as she took his hand.
"That's it, darlin'. It's all right," he'd whispered. "It's going to be
Her lips twisted bitterly at the irony.
Nothing would ever be okay again.
She'd laughed with him, reveling in the feel of his skin against hers,
warm in the cold water, strong, so gentle, as if she were something he
would break if he weren't careful.
That's when she lost control.
The connection opened, buzzing along her nerves, startling her. His grip
had tightened instinctively, and she hadn't been able to break free
right away. Her fear had overwhelmed her, and any chance of regaining
control was lost in her panic.
He'd sunk like a stone, the adamantium bonded to his skeleton making him
so much less buoyant than a normal person.
She sniffed, wiping her running nose on the wet sleeve of his shirt,
which no longer smelled like him, but of the stagnant lake water that
had made her ill three days ago, after her encounter with Scott.
Oh, God, Scott.
Where was he? He should be here now, to hold her up, she thought. In
sickness and in health. She made a choking sound that might have been a
laugh. She had no right to that, never would now, but damn, he could at
least be there for her to cry on.
And then the door opened and Hank stood before her. She didn't rise.
Just stared at him, fear and hope warring within her heart.
"He's alive. He should be fine in a few hours."
She didn't have far to fall when she fainted.
She woke up to see the Professor sitting next to her bed.
"What happened? Logan?"
"Logan is fine. He should wake up sometime tomorrow, no worse for wear,"
Xavier assured her.
"No thanks to me."
"It was an accident, Rogue. He knows you didn't mean to--"
"I *did*, though, Professor. I touched him. I *wanted* to touch him, and
he -- he wanted to touch me." She sat up, resolving not to cry anymore.
"He wanted to touch me," she repeated, wonder seeping into her voice,
only to be replaced by horror as she continued, "And I killed him."
"Marie." It was a tone she didn't hear often from Xavier, but one that
brooked no argument. "You were trying out your control. That's
understandable. Perhaps," he paused, and she knew he was searching for
the appropriate words, words that wouldn't make her feel guiltier than
she already did. Those words didn't exist, but she appreciated his
efforts. "Perhaps next time, though, you should try it out on dry land
She forced a smile, knowing it wouldn't fool him, and said, "There won't
be a next time."
"You're upset now, but after you've settled down, you'll see this is
only a setback. I'm sure Logan --"
"Is wondering what the hell he's hanging around here for. He *saved* my
life, Professor, and I killed him. He does all these things for me," <he
saves my life, he makes me laugh, he gives me hope,> "and all I do is
Xavier sighed. "Is that what his thoughts tell you?"
Her voice rose, edged with hysteria. "*His* thoughts? He's insane! He
doesn't blame me. His last thought before he passed out was that --" she
broke off. It was too personal. He had thought her skin felt like rose
petals, soft and smooth against his rougher skin. He'd been imagining
her hands all over his body, and using his tongue to taste hers before
he'd passed out.
She blushed and hoped she wasn't projecting, though Xavier's knowing
look told her that, once again, her hope was in vain.
"Yes, well, he is correct. You were foolish, but not malicious, Rogue."
He brushed his hand gently over her hair. "Get some rest. You've had a
She exhaled, slumping back against the pillows. "So, how is Hank?"
"Hank? He's somewhat bewildered by the -- changes that have taken place
in his absence, but he's well. He carried you up here after you passed
"I actually fainted? How girly."
"Like any good Southern belle," he teased, earning a true smile. "I'm
sure Hank will be up to see you later."
Another pat on her head, and he rolled out of the room.
She shut the light and curled up on her side. She desperately wanted to
go down and make sure Logan was okay. But she knew if she did that, she
wouldn't be able to stay away from him. There was something between
them, sure as the sparks between Jean and Scott, and being close to him
would only remind her of everything she couldn't have.
She'd made a deal, even if she didn't really believe in God, and she
knew that she was better off alone. She spent the night building walls
she'd long ago let fall, a fortress round her heart, and vowed that no
invader -- not even the man with gold-flecked hazel eyes and the most
amazing laugh -- would breach it again.
"I've been forkin' with Gunn!" Fred, _Angel_
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