by Nancy Lorenz.
Rating: PG-13. Some violent, disturbing themes. Swearing.
Archive: XMMFF, WRFA. All else, all ya gotta do is ask.
Classification: General, 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.
It had been pure hell to the senses for a full fifteen minutes or
thereabouts, and just as suddenly, it stopped. As Cyclops pulled
himself from the pain-induced inaction he'd fallen into, he
slowly realised that the red-headed man was gone. He crawled
towards an upturned desk, and grabbing the bottom of its in-built
drawers, dragged himself to his feet. Once there, he wavered a
little, clutching onto the badly damaged office equipment for
balance. He tried to call out his fiancée's name, but his voice
was absent. He cleared his throat again.
A moan... soft moan. He turned, looking all about himself. She
was on the floor nearby, on her hands and knees, cradling her
head. He crouched next to her, hand sliding down her back, his
heart still thumping from worry.
"Mmm," she nodded. "Yeah... The others..."
"Over there," Cyke said.
Beast was still out, but Storm was already coming to
consciousness, pushing herself up from the floor and blinking
groggily. She looked to the big blue man next to her, nudging
his large form firmly.
"Hank," she said, "Hank... wake up."
He grunted, then groaned painfully.
Cyclops made another effort to get to his feet and plodded over
to Logan. The man lay in a ball, arms about his ears,
unmoving. He knelt down next to him, shaking his shoulder
moderately to wake him.
He flinched, claws springing out, and glared all about him,
scooting to his knees.
"Woah buddy," Cyclops lifted his hands. "Just us here."
Looking about him another time to confirm this fact, Logan's eyes
rolled back into his head as he blinked slowly, cradling his head
carefully. "I have the hugest fucking headache..."
"Tell me about it," Storm moaned. "Note to self: Next time we
face the Brotherhood, bring ear-muffs."
"Good idea," Cyclops said.
Logan double glanced about himself, panic evident in his eyes.
Cyclops tried to keep calm as he looked to Logan. "She went off
Logan glared death at the visored man. "You let her go after
Magneto by herself?!"
He didn't wait to hear Cyclops' defense. Jumping to his feet,
regardless of the pain he was feeling, he raced to the emergency
exit. His feet pounded the shaped concrete of the stairwell,
nostrils ticking as he sucked in the air around him. He'd kick
Cyke's butt if anything had happened to her, he swore blind that
he would. Hell, he felt like kicking his butt anyway for the
worry. His mind spun, panic gripping him. Her scent was clear,
and he followed it to the ground level. The door to that level
was open, and he raced in, heart pounding. He called out, brain
thumping with pain, eyes burning, throat rasping.
Alive! his mind gripped onto that, She's alive! With a sudden
horror he realised the voice came from under a pile of battered
filing cabinets. He yanked at the cabinets, pulling them off
her, grunting with effort as he cleared the young woman of the
bent metal about her. He frowned, brow dented, worry wracking
"You okay?" He stroked her face with a gloved hand.
"I'm fine," she said, drawl long and full of embarrassment. She
blinked, looking down at herself, then throwing her head back.
"The jerk made me into ah... unh... Rogue office partition
Logan sighed as he cleared the last of the filing cabinets. "Why
didn't you just wriggle out or-"
"Magneto crunched this baby tight," she said. "It's taken me
long enough to get enough space in here to breathe. Without the
"Right," nodded Logan. "Hold still..." He gnashed his teeth,
pulling at the metal. "Help me along here..."
She rolled her lips in, wincing and grunting. After a moment the
metal moved more easily, and with a wriggling push she peeled the
metal away effortlessly. She kicked it away as Logan helped her
to her feet, looking down and swearing at it.
"Stupid piece of cra..." Her words drifted off as she felt a
gloved hand at her face, and looking up at him, her heart dipped
and sank within her.
Logan gazed at her, red-rimmed eyes fixed to hers, bottom lip
twitching. She blinked slowly, her hand closing over Logan's on
her face. She felt his other hand cup her jaw and he
tentatively put one foot forward.
"Thank God you're okay!"
The female voice broke through the silence, and the frenzied
steps of their teammates followed. Logan jerked his hands away
from Rogue's face, pointing to her awkwardly.
"Yeah... glad you're okay..."
She nodded faintly, brows tilted up. Jean raced over to her,
taking Rogue's face in her hands and pulling back her eyelids.
"Did Magneto hurt you? Are you okay?"
Rogue smiled, gathering Jean's hands in her own and pulling them
away from her face. "Ah'm fine," she said. "I stopped Magneto
from uploading all the files from this lab..." She turned,
looking to the computer they'd been using.
It was a clear, grey Macintosh, the glossy cube that was its hard
drive sitting there enticingly. Rogue pursed her lips and
looked to Cyclops.
"Should we... you know?" She poked her thumb in the direction of
"No," Cyclops said, crossing his arms. "We'd be as bad as
"If this were an innocent laboratory I'd be inclined to agree
with you," interrupted Jean. "Something is going on here,
Scott." She marched over, grabbing the G4's hard drive. "Let's
With a heavy sigh, Cyclops nodded. "Okay."
The team filed out down the fire escape, their steps echoing off
the walls of the concrete stairwell. Upon reaching the exit,
they winced at what awaited them. The scene outside was
frenetic, a vastly different affair to the eerie deadness that
had welcomed them before. Spotlights swayed back and forth in
the sky, the chopping whirr of helicopters buzzing about them.
They could hear the shouts of policemen, their steps beating the
ground and their guns clicking threateningly. They were at the
side entrance that Logan and Rogue had entered via, and
thankfully were just out of view of the crowd out the front. No
doubt the building was surrounded, and they didn't have time to
"We left the bike in the brush over there!" cried Rogue over the
tumult. "We'll take that back to the mansion!"
Cyclops pressed his lips together for a moment in thought, then
nodded. "You both take care! We'll see you back home!"
Logan and Rogue nodded, and they broke away from the group,
racing off to where they had left the bike. They didn't notice
the fresh media crews with eagle-eye lenses, or the flashing of
cameras as they mounted the motorcycle. The Blackbird rumbled
as it lifted off into the sky, and that too was caught by the
watchful eye of the crews.
Shots rang out as Logan revved up the motorcycle beneath him.
"Hold on," he said into the helmet's microphone. Rogue nodded
and wrapped her arms tightly about him as they sped off into the
As they rode down the highway, away from the bustle of New York's
science and government district, police sirens wailed and made
pursuit, but were no match for the super speed on the specially
equipped motorcycle. Although the night was painfully beautiful,
more stars peeking from the veil of light from the city than
usual, the air sweet with the blooms that choked the residential
area that the mansion was located amongst, there was a heavy
darkness that filled the hearts of Logan and Rogue.
It was clear after the lab that things were changing now, things
were coming to a head. The ramifications of Magneto's actions
were haunting, near terrifying, and Rogue's arms tight about
Logan echoed the tension inside of her, the fear of what was to
come for them.
The mansion loomed down the street, lights warm and inviting,
it's dark shape against the sky welcoming and secure. The
security gates swallowed them up as they rode onto the estate,
and the dying rumble of the Blackbird replied to their arrival.
Now was the time where they would pile into the Briefing Room and
lick their wounds. Rogue had only ever seen the team leave.
She'd never seen them return and take stock of what they'd been
through, only their tired faces in the morning. It was a first
time for her, and not a very pleasant one.