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FIC: Causa Anima [5/18] [PG-13]

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  • tosh
    Causa Anima by Nancy Lorenz. E-mail: tosh@opera.iinet.net.au Rating: PG-13. Some violent, disturbing themes. Archive: XMMFF, WRFA. All else, all ya gotta do
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2001
      Causa Anima
      by Nancy Lorenz.

      E-mail: tosh@...
      Rating: PG-13. Some violent, disturbing themes.
      Archive: XMMFF, WRFA. All else, all ya gotta do is ask.
      Classification: General, slight L/R UST, S/J content.
      Series: Manus Mortiferum
      Spoilers: The Movie.
      Synopsis: Continues on after the movie. The Mutant Situation is
      worsening and Erik Lenscherr escapes from prison. Rogue suffers
      a terrible mishap during the mission to stop him that shakes the
      foundations of her psyche and changes her life completely.
      Disclaimer: All characters copyright Marvel and Fox.
      Feedback: Enjoyed, responded to, adored and worshiped. Respond
      to the email above :)
      Author's Note: This is beta read, but not to the fullest extent
      that it can be. Some comma and semi-colon confusion occurs. Does
      that really bother you? I figure it's only fan-fic, and I have a
      comic to ink so I don't have the energy to break my back over
      this thing. But I did get rid of the spelling mistakes and the
      grammar mistakes. Most of them anyways :) Very big thank you
      to my Betas - JennyEdu, Jennifer Hallmark, Shaz Nolan, and I
      swear there must be someone else. I can't remember right now.
      E-mail me, smack me up the side of the head and I'll rectify it
      in the next chapter posting. Love ya's alls mates! Oh - and I
      know I said I'm releasing it a chapter a day, but I'll forget to
      do that I think, so I'm just doing it bunch by bunch :)
      Dedication: To the WRGrrls. You've been around for over a year,
      and the fandom is still going. That's majorly cool. Without
      your support, your enthusiasm and love, I'd be nowhere. This
      tenacity and companionship has helped me improve the crafts that
      I want to take into a career. For that, I thank you and love you
      always. Thank you girls.

      Chapter Five

      Running. Across a vast stretch of grass and blue sky - that's
      all there was. And she ran, her legs powering as fast as she
      could get them to run. Fear confounded her and voices
      overwhelmed her. Whether they were hers, or Carol's, Erik's -
      she knew they were too cruel and cold to be Logan's.... Logan....

      As she ran down a hillock the stark pillar-lined facade of
      Xavier's School for the Gifted loomed large. Soft music drifted
      from the house, muffled and tinkling. As her bare feet slapped
      up the steps, she reached for the front door, but it snapped open

      "Jesus!! Cyke... what're-"

      Her voice died in her throat as she focused on the face of who
      was at the door. Scott... with no eyes, just burnt out hollow
      cavities where they should have been. And he didn't speak, he
      just clenched his statuesque jaw at her, stepping aside darkly.
      Before she could say much more, a painfully familiar sound drew
      her inside.

      Inside, there were no tall wood-paneled corridors that reeked of
      old tapestries and wood varnish. It was a neat little house,
      with tasteful decoration and frills and modest wooden decking.
      The source of the tinkling music called her, and she stepped
      forward, her voice catching.


      At a piano sat her mother, eyes fixed to the keys, her fingers
      running up and down the keyboard in a mindless exercise.

      "Momma... I'm sorry."

      Her mother looked up, and as she did her face somehow changed...
      dark mousy hair flashing gold.

      "Ya killed me Marie."

      She shook her head, stumbling back, "No Momma!"

      "Ya killed me!" the woman sobbed as she staggered to her feet and
      began after Marie. Marie stumbled back, arms flailing.

      "Ah didn't Ah swear!"

      "Ya left me and it KILLED me baby!"

      Tears blurred her vision, the round comforting frame of her
      mother slipping to solid and lilting black contours.

      "Ya touched my skin and I died and it's all causah you! And I'm
      gone! Like David and like Carol and like Logan! You're gonna
      kill him too!"

      She shook her head again, "No - I'll never touch him! Never hurt

      And then it came... an awful groan. Spinning about, she looked
      to the floor. Her soul wretched in horror.

      Logan lay in a spatter of blood, his body wrecked, marred with
      long open wounds that seemed too familiar. As she ran to his
      side, her gloved hands clutched his face, the hot stickiness of
      his blood seeping into them.

      "Logan... no no... please..."

      The empty hazel eyes glistened thickly, and then so slowly,
      dropped to meet hers...

      The blood-curdling scream that ripped through Logan's ears
      blasted him from the light nap he was catching, his head laying
      back on the wall as he sat uncomfortably in the chair next to
      Rogue's bed. The sound lurched him bolt upright, and the sudden
      shock of fire and metal struck his arms as his claws sprung from
      his forearms.

      Breathing frantically he clutched the chair he'd been sleeping
      on, fighting to calm himself. It was then he heard it... the
      soft sobbing.


      He sank down into the chair, relief seeping into him at the sight
      of Marie, head thrashing back and forth in her sleep. Bad
      dream... thank God.

      "Hey, Marie..."

      He shook her shoulder gently, secretly reveling in the soft silk
      of her hair that fell around it and caressed his hand. She shook
      her head, grunting lightly, her lips curling up in protest.

      "Come on, Marie," he said, nudging her again, "Wake up baby..."


      Marie jerked upright, a soft gasping cry falling from her. Her
      eyes fell upon Logan next to her, fear rimming them


      "I'm here, Marie."

      She whimpered, scooting off the bed and into the corner of the
      small room, her frame suddenly young and gangly as she hunched
      into herself, the black leather gleaming in the fluorescent
      lighting. She shook her head, sobbing into her arms.

      Logan swept around the bed and crouched next to her, hands
      reaching for her shoulders tentatively.

      "Hey... Marie-"

      "No!" she bleated, "Get away!"

      His face fell, "I won't hurt you."

      "No!" she glared at him from behind her curtain of hair, "NO!"

      "I won't I swear-"

      A hand, naked, struck out from her curled form and she glared at
      him again, brown eyes brimming with pain, tears glistening on her
      face as she held her hand only a few inches away from his face.
      Logan didn't flinch at the proximity... didn't move. She spoke,
      her voice a thin breath that sent a shiver all over him.

      "Ah can hurt you... So easily, so easily."

      Her mouth closed to a pained pout, her bottom lip shuddering as
      her hand pulled back slowly, shakenly. Her eyes fell shut as
      she leant back against the wall, long sobs lifting in her.

      "Marie, look at me."

      She shook her head, silken strands of hair shifting at her
      movements. He reached forward, laying his palm against her
      head, his soul wracking with pain as she hissed and curled into a
      tighter ball, recoiling at his touch. He grit his teeth, placing
      his hand down again, gripping her upper arm most distant to him
      and pulling her around.

      "LOOK at me!"

      She sobbed, her body turned to him but her face twisted away.
      At his forceful command she panted, looking fearfully through
      mussed tresses, her eyes glinting.

      "There," he said, voice hushed, "Now - do I look like the kinda
      guy you can just hurt?"

      She nodded fractionally, "Yes."

      "No, Marie," he said, "No."

      "I can," she said quietly.

      He pressed his lips together in a sharp look, "No, Marie, you

      "You think," she gave a tired laugh, "You think you moved me just
      now... I could break your neck like a toothpick."

      He blinked at her, trying to battle the horror flickering over
      his features. There was such a coldness that settled over her,
      such a slick chill that ripped the humanity from her gentle
      voice. Her eyes peered at him emptily, till a warmth blushed in
      them and her face twisted in horror.

      She screamed.

      Clenching her eyes shut she sobbed, burying her face in her arms,
      and Logan pulled at her again, regardless of what harm she
      thought she could do, wrapping his arms around her and pressing
      her to his chest. With a determination he kissed her hair,
      embracing her tightly.

      "I'm not gonna let anything happen to ya, Kid," he said, "You got

      She didn't answer. She hung in his arms as he rocked them back
      and forth, her sobs soft and pain-ridden.

      It was going to be a very long ride.


      Somehow, they'd gotten her changed into a long flannel nightshirt
      and leggings with socks and gloves, and she had a tray of food in
      front of her in the observation room. She barely registered as
      they bustled her about. Jean changed her, fed her, talked to
      her softly in tender tones. Every time she enjoyed Jean's
      treatment in the slightest guilt would splash through her and
      she'd hate herself again. She didn't know why she hated
      herself. She couldn't even tell what WAS herself, and what was
      - someone else.

      From the corner of her eye she saw Logan standing with arms
      folded over himself, eyes boring into her. Were it any other
      moment in her time with him she would have blushed and turned
      away coyly. That was a time when she was softer, clean of the
      ruddy muck that was dripping inside her mind. Now she just
      stared blankly at her plate, feeling hunger but reveling in the
      ache it hollowed inside of her. A part of her damned herself to
      feel that hunger, to never abate it with the lush give of a
      morsel in her mouth, one of the few tangible sensations she had
      with her senses of touch.

      Every now and again the dark ache within her would swell, and
      she'd let out an empty sob. Logan would clench all over and she
      didn't care. All at once, the pain would die in her, not
      letting her release, just letting her simmer and burn. She
      barely blinked. Her lips were chapped and dry from inaction,
      and tears were dried against her pale cheeks.

      She was a little surprised when Logan moved from his post and sat
      in the visitor's chair next to her bed, taking her gloved hand


      She didn't look at him. She didn't move.

      "Marie, listen to me."

      With a sigh he touched her face and she flinched, glaring at him.


      She looked down to his hand - thin cotton gloves. She frowned.

      "Jean gave 'em to me - she saidÂ…" He stopped. "Marie?"

      She still glared at him, leaning back from him. He sighed,
      caressing her hand in his in a paternal fashion.

      "Look baby, you gotta eat."

      She looked away, but the gloved hand pulled her gaze back.

      "You have to eat, Marie, you need to."

      The tears filled her eyes again, and her dry lips cracked as she
      winced in pain. Her eyelids felt dry, like there was nothing
      more to give, her throat red hot and tender.

      "I don't want it."

      "If you don't eat you'll get sick."

      "I know."

      Logan sighed, bringing his head down to her hands. He looked up
      at her once more.

      "Is it cause you're not hungry?"

      She shook her head.

      "Are you feeling sick?"


      Her voice was cracked, cool, and the effect on Logan was
      noticeable. His eyes grew a little wetter, his brow tilting
      up. That dark plague inside of her rushed on his agony, whilst
      every single cell in her body cried out at hurting him. She felt
      him clutch her hand again, and then the warm press of his lips
      against her knuckles.

      "I saw her Logan."

      Her voice startled him, and he looked up to meet her eyes. They
      turned and met his very slowly, the brown clear and empty.

      "I saw her in mah head."


      Her bottom lids crept up as she winced. "Her."

      He didn't move, but she felt his hand hold onto her tighter.

      "I saw her, with her hand around your neck."

      She sighed raggedly, her lips catching against themselves.

      "And then I was her. And I wanted to die."


      His hands were at her face again, warm, tender and gentle, and
      she didn't want to look where they guided her.

      "Don't touch me," she moaned.

      He kept touching her, pulling her around to meet his gaze.

      "No, Logan, I can't..."

      "You can," he growled. "You're not her, Marie.

      Her eyes rolled up to meet his, the action like that of a sick

      "You're you. You're Marie, you remember that!"

      Her brows tilted up and a sob overtook her, she rolled into his


      Chapter Six

      It was the second time in two days he'd paced in the observation
      room, Jean's angry buzz sending every muscle in his body as tight
      as a wire. He clenched his eyes shut, his hand a fist over his
      mouth. He knew what Jean wanted to do. He knew what Xavier
      could do. And it was killing him watching her go through the
      pain. He wanted to succumb, to let them play with her head
      with their little mind tricks.

      But mind tricks often faded.

      He heard the distinctive rev of Xavier's chair in the other room,
      and the door opened, Xavier rolling in slowly. His eyes weren't
      soft or caring. They were clear and full of purpose, as was the
      man's voice when he spoke.

      "How is she?"

      Logan knew that the words were meaningless. Xavier may as well
      have said, "Where do we stand?"

      "She's fucked," Logan growled, staring at her through the mirror.

      The Professor blinked slowly through the profanity and sighed
      long. Jean looked over to him.

      "She's experiencing a lot of distress at the new brain patterns
      she's obtained through her victim. She's going through something
      similar to severe mental breakdown, Professor."

      Logan puckered his mouth as he breathed in deeply, eyelids tight,
      "Jean said you could do something."

      Xavier looked up to Logan.

      "She said that you - that you could stop it."

      The Professor shook his head, "I'm afraid not, Logan. Not
      permanently. She needs rest, and she needs to talk. I can't
      cure her of this - control of the different patterns in her mind
      is something that needs to be controlled by her, and not an
      external force."

      Logan turned and stared at Jean darkly.

      "Don't you dare say it, Logan."

      Logan rolled his tongue around his mouth and stared back out the
      mirror, "I told ya so."

      Jean gave a sigh and turned away from him. "This doesn't change
      her condition."

      "Yeah well, the one thing I do know is that I'm not leaving her
      side till this is over."

      "You'll have to," Xavier said, "I need to perform a deep mind

      Logan glared at him.

      "I thought you said you couldn't help her."

      "I can guide her," Xavier said, "But to fully recover, she must
      help herself."

      Logan nodded slowly. "Someone's gotta, cause she's dyin' in
      there. Inside out."

      Logan could hear the trundle of the Professor's chair as the man
      drew near. The voice that spoke to him was a breath, one of
      promise and hope.

      "I will try Logan."


      He stepped closer to her prone form. She was asleep, no doubt
      because of the lack of food. In this state his hands ran over
      her forehead, uncovered, unsheathed. Her eyes opened slowly, in
      horror. She shook her head, crawling back, but his hands
      gripped hers, his eyes clear and strong.

      "No," she shook her head, the words quiet in this place, "No,

      His voice cut through the silence. "You can't hurt me with your
      touch," he said, "Nor with your strength."


      Rogue heaved in a breath, her brows tilting up.

      "Marie," he said, voice gravelled and even, "Tell me what is
      troubling you."

      She huffed, tears rimming her eyes, "Ah'm scared!"

      He came forward, sitting primly on the edge of the bed, old but
      strong hands reaching for her.

      "Let me help you," he said, "Show me what frightens you."

      Rogue nodded, seeming so small, her arms sliding around him,
      crushing her face into his shoulder.

      She wasn't surprised when he stood, guiding her out of the
      observation ward. Somehow, she was safe, totally and completely

      They moved through the secret room that looked into the room she
      was staying in. Logan was crouched over, staring at her. She

      She was in bed, curled over, and the Professor - he sat there in
      his chair. She whirled about to the Professor.

      "Don't be scared, Rogue," he said, "I'm here to keep you safe."

      She nodded - it was all she needed. She turned about and peered
      at Logan. "Can I?"

      The Professor nodded.

      She stepped to him, kneeling down in front of the chair he sat in
      that was at a small table in the observation room in which they
      stood in. Leaning forward, she let her lips sit at his, the
      sensation like the hot breeze of a Mississippi summer brushing
      her skin tenderly. Simple romantic fancy was not in the fire of
      the chaste kiss. It was something far deeper, more binding.
      She saw him close his eyes, a reverence in his face as he dropped
      his head down.

      "Thank you..." she breathed.

      "Come on," Xavier said gently, "Show me what's bothering you."

      She turned, and closing her eyes, she took his hand.

      They sank now, swirled, spinning to a place that wasn't outside
      of them, but inside of her. With a terrible crunch of her
      soul, she was there. Logan was dangling in the darkness, the
      cold, gloved hand crushing him. A growl grew in Rogue's throat,
      her legs ready to send her flying towards the woman.

      "Wait Rogue-"

      The Professor grabbed her hand, pulling her back with a
      surprising strength.

      "NO!" Rogue cried, "She's gonna kill 'im!!"

      "Logan is safe in the observation room. This is your mind,

      Rogue peered at the battling figures. She squinted. Behind
      them, somewhere, a hazy shape stood.


      The shape coalesced to a thin film of the image of her friend.
      She narrowed her eyes again.

      "What're you-"

      "I didn't know you were gonna turn out a mutie," he said, "So
      pretty but so - different."

      She felt the catch of a sob in her throat, "Do you - do you hate

      "How can I hate you?" he said, lifting a hand and brushing it
      against her face, "You're Marie."

      She shook her head, "David, I nearly killed ya."

      He nodded, "I nearly died."

      She looked to him in complete incomprehension.

      "I lived."

      A cry ripped through the nothing-place, and Rogue spun about.
      Logan and - Carol - they were clenched around each other, arms
      and legs tangled, bodies stuck in a death grip. She frowned.

      "What are they doing?"

      Xavier looked down at Rogue. "You tell me, Marie."

      She glanced back at the figures. "They're - they're fightin'
      over me."

      "Yes," nodded Xavier. "For dominance."

      She clenched her fists, "But it's MY mind!"

      Xavier took a long, proud breath in. "You tell them that."

      After gazing at Xavier a long moment, she nodded, treading over
      to the battling figures. The blonde woman wriggled out of
      Logan's hold, and just as she was about to throw herself back
      into a tussle with him, she stopped, throwing her hair back.
      She grinned, a predatory gesture that, right now, didn't scare
      Rogue. Not yet anyway. Logan stepped forward, his hands out

      "Marie, get out of here."

      "No Logan," Marie said, meeting his frantic gaze, "This is my
      place. I belong here."

      He stepped back a little, brows tilting up in helplessness. "I
      want to protect you."

      She closed her eyes a moment and sighed, "I have to do that,

      "Yes Logan," echoed Carol, "Can't be the hero today. Can't fuck
      around with your little girl's head."

      Rogue glared at Carol, "You say too much."

      Carol smirked, "Do I? Well what are you gonna do?" The
      cat-like woman prowled forward, gloved hands sliding down over
      Rogue's form. "Such a pretty body I'm in now. Such a pretty
      face I have." She squeezed Rogue's cheek and chuckled. It was a
      hollow cruel sound.

      Rogue turned to Xavier, eyes brimming with hurt and hate. Xavier
      nodded to her, and Rogue met the crazy woman's eyes.

      "You have no body, Carol. No mind."

      Pressing her cheek to Rogue's, Carol cooed.

      "Oh I disagree," she said, "My strength is now yours - my mind a
      part of yours.... Poor Logan over there is trying to stop me
      you know. On the inside after the outside. Thing is - I
      nearly killed him out there... and I can easily do the same in

      Rogue turned and met her eyes with a glare. "Same way I nearly
      killed you?"

      Carol shuddered, "Dumb luck."

      "No," Rogue shook her head, "My luck."

      Rogue felt Xavier beside her, strengthening her. His hands held
      hers, and he looked to her. "What do you want to do Rogue?"

      Rogue's eyes fell to Carolyn's. "I want to kill her."

      Xavier's calm look fell, "No Rogue-"

      Rogue nodded, moving towards the woman.

      "Rogue stop!"

      Carol edged back, real fear in her light blue eyes. Everything
      swirled around Rogue as a body barreled into her from the side,
      and when she stopped tumbling, she looked up to meet a set of
      wild hazel eyes.

      "Stop, Marie."

      "Logan," she huffed, "Get off me!"

      "I'm not gonna let you hurt yourself," he said.

      "I'm not hurting me, I'm hurtin' HER!"

      "Ya don't get it!" he growled, "She IS a part of you now."

      She glared to the Professor, who gazed down at the tussle
      sadly. A sob filled the girl and she writhed underneath Logan.

      "Tha's - " She gulped, "Tha's why Ah wanna die!"

      Logan gripped her face, pulling her gaze to his like he always
      did, "Don't say shit like that!"

      She shook her head, "I wanna die Logan, I jus' wanna stop

      A strong hand gripped her upper arm, and turning her head she saw
      Xavier crouched down next to her, pulling her out from underneath

      "Why, Marie?"


      His face was stern, unrelenting, "Why do you want to die?"

      "She's a part a' me," said Rogue.

      Xavier's face didn't move. "So?"

      Rogue blinked, "So... you've seen her mind!"

      "Yes, Rogue, I have," he nodded, "And I've seen the capabilities
      of far worse in even the sweetest of minds. Like all darkness
      Rogue, you must understand it."

      "Ah can't!"

      His eyes flickered with a steely firmness, "You MUST. And then
      you must take it in, accept it. Only then can you resist it
      Marie, only THEN can you be strong."

      Rogue shook her head, tears streaming down her features, "Ah
      can't!! I don't know how!"

      The unforgiving hardness in Xavier's eyes mellowed. "You musn't
      punish yourself for the crimes of another. You must know her,
      understand her, and put her to rest."

      She knew what 'her' he was talking about. That 'her' sent chills
      of agony down her body. The girl rolled herself up and crouched
      on the floor, rocking back and forth, mumbling.

      "I don't wanna," she breathed, "Ah can't - I can't take the pain

      Strong hands were on her shoulders, squeezing firmly.

      "You can."

      The next sob caught in her throat, and she looked up. Next to
      her stood Xavier, but in front of her, hands pressed to her
      shoulders, was an adamant looking Logan. She frowned, letting
      him pull her to her feet from the curled up ball she was in
      before. He met her eyes with a determined press of his lips.

      "You're strong, Marie," he said, "Like me."

      She swallowed, tilting her head, "I am?"

      He nodded, "Yup. You can control it, like I control the animal
      inside of me."

      Rogue turned, meeting the gaze of the Professor.

      "He's right, Rogue," he said, "It's all in your grasp, the
      control of the jumble of thoughts in your head."

      She nodded now, licking her lips, an eagerness in her eyes that
      had been dead for so long.

      "Show me how."

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