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

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  • tosh
    Well... this is it for now. I ve begun the next part, but who knows how long it ll take me to write. Not as long as this one, I promise you :) Causa Anima
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2001
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      Well... this is it for now. I've begun the next part, but who
      knows how long it'll take me to write. Not as long as this one,
      I promise you :)

      Causa Anima
      by Nancy Lorenz.

      E-mail: tosh@...
      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, and Shana Nolan. Love
      ya's alls mates!
      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 Eighteen:
      Epilogue

      The sun was warm, beating down upon her swathed up body. Gloved
      hands cradled a rose... if she didn't keep the gloves on, the
      plant would wither, and she'd have dreams of bees and earth and
      sunshine. Her eyes caressed the fleshy petals as her gentle soft
      fingertips could not, and her shoulder-length, lightly feathered
      hair fluttered about her face in a gentle breeze.

      The earth beneath her was warm. She dug her toes into the damp
      bouncy soil, gripping the woodchip-strewn peat under the pads of
      her bare feet. It was a rare treat, walking bare foot, but she
      needed the luxury. She enjoyed the sensations of the world for a
      brief while, the warm fertile soil, the cool concrete, the
      crystal waters of the main pond and the cool slap of the marble
      surrounding it. For a brief moment it soothed the ache she felt
      inside, the strange ache that was different to any other one
      felt. It wasn't about small things... it wasn't about one's
      self, or someone she knew... even though on some level it was.
      It was about everything, about many people, about mass
      suffering. It made her whole body seem heavier, and the ache
      pulled at every inch of her body. She couldn't let it overwhelm
      her though, because she had to be there, had to help others stop
      the cause.

      She smelt him before she saw him, the vestigial gift of slightly
      heightened smell his legacy to her from their brief bonding.
      Today he smelt more of light soap and skin rather than cigars.
      He'd been too busy to sit down and enjoy one, she guessed.

      "Hey..."

      She looked up to him and smiled softly. "Hey."

      He walked over to her, hands deep in his pockets, a pouting
      thoughtful frown on his features as he watched her hands feather
      over the rose in front of her. He looked nice for some reason.
      Maybe she just appreciated everything more because of current
      circumstances, she wasn't sure. His hair was a little fluffy,
      his hair products not capturing all the hair. A few locks
      bustled down against his forehead in the light breeze, and the
      warm brown colour of them brought out the gentle hazel of his
      eyes. Many times, she'd seen his features hard, aggressive. She
      was fully aware not everyone got to see him like this, that it
      was a secret treasure. His brow was smooth of any concern, and
      his mouth was full and not pulled back in aggression. It was
      slightly upturned in curiosity. He had his leather jacket on, a
      nice shirt, worn jeans and his old shit-kickers. Yeah, he wasn't
      wearing anything special, but he looked really good that morning.

      "Why don't you take your gloves off and touch it?"

      She looked down to the rose. "Cause if I do that, I'll start
      thinkin' I'm a rose bush."

      He nodded slowly. "Ah."

      "You okay?"

      "Yeah," he said, looking to a rose that stretched up from the
      bush next to him. "Just came back from the Professor's office.
      A few of us were talking about the new patrol rosters, a little
      meeting thing..." He shrugged, touching the rose in front of
      him, his finger sinking into the petals. "I stayed back and uh -
      talked to the Prof about you."

      She rose her brows. Oh no. It was getting dangerous, and now
      Logan didn't want her to be on the team more than ever. She bit
      back a sigh, steeling herself up for an argument she knew had to
      come.

      "I know you and I haven't seen eye to eye on this," he said,
      hands back in pockets again. He looked to the ground, boyish
      frown on his face, toe of his boot digging into the dirt. "I
      just - after yesterday, I had a good think about things and about
      the whole issue of you on the team, and considering the current
      circumstances-" He stopped, sighing.

      Rogue's stomach tied itself in a knot, and she frowned with wide
      eyes. Just say it! she thought.

      "I thought it'd be best if you came onto the team when you felt
      you were ready."

      She gasped, covering her mouth, brows tilting up. "Logan..."

      "Lemme finish, Kid. Now, if it's sooner or later, it's up to
      you, but uh..." He pressed his lips together. "You were
      terrific out there, Marie. I know Cyke is worried about the team
      and all, and it isn't the same without ya." He rolled his tongue
      about in his mouth a moment in thought. "I still don't like the
      idea of you on the front-line, but I saw you yesterday and I
      think you were really doing something you were meant to."

      Rogue felt a warm spreading sting in her eyes, and she ran her
      hand up and down her arm, holding herself through the rush of
      affection within her. "You mean that?"

      "Yeah," he said. "Yeah I do. If it's something you wanna do,
      then do it."

      She broke into a smile, stepping forward and wrapping her arms
      around Logan. "Thank you."

      He looked down at her, hand hovering over her head. "It's...
      it's okay." He let the hand touch her hair, cradling her head
      and holding her close.

      He was warm, warm like the sun. The smell of soap from his
      shower that morning filled her lungs, and the soft fuzz of his
      flannel shirt caressed her face every time he took a breath. His
      arms were large and strong about her, and even though she could
      do a thousand amazing things with her strength, in that one
      moment she was slight and small, harmless in his arms. She gave a
      soft moan and a final squeeze, then pulled at him before letting
      him go. "Come on, let's go get my shoes."

      "Where'd you leave 'em?"

      "By the main pond," she said. They walked in silence for a
      moment, the sounds of the warm day filling the distance between
      them. She glanced back at him. "Hey, did you see the news this
      morning?"

      Logan shook his head. "Too busy plannin' how to bash the crap
      out of people with the Professor."

      She sighed, watching her feet pad along the concrete walkway.
      "They're freakin' out in the White House. Demanding that Senator
      Kelly take up his anti-mutant stance again."

      Logan snorted. "Yeah, like that's gonna happen."

      Rogue flapped her arms in exasperation, walking towards her
      Doctor Martins as they reached the pond. "Things are getting
      worse."

      "Happens, before they get better."

      Rogue glanced up at Logan, her boot in her hands, a look of
      confusion on her features. "I didn't figure you for an
      optimist."

      A smile, small and mischievous, touched Logan's face briefly.
      "I'm not, but one of us has to be."

      She nodded, stuffing her foot into a sock. "What do you think
      Magneto's gonna do with the information?"

      Logan shrugged. "Dunno. You're the one with the guy in your
      head, what does he say?"

      She blew a sigh through her cheeks. She really didn't want to
      access that part of her mind, but considering that she was the
      only one with such an understanding of him, it was a necessary
      evil. She closed her eyes and winced. "Most of his jumble goes
      on about countermeasures... recruiting..." Her eyes fell open and
      she looked to Logan. "Necessary sacrifices." Logan frowned,
      edging forward slightly, but before he could offer any comfort
      she shook herself, stuffing her foot in one of her boots and
      sighing. "I sit here and look around me, and everything's
      nice... it's like it's not real." She glanced up to him, and a
      sadness splashed in her eyes. "But I look at you, at the
      Professor... all of you guys. You don't smile as much... and I
      know it is."

      He knelt down in front of her, taking her hands in his.
      "Hey..." He tilted his head, trying to draw her down turned gaze
      up. "We're all gonna try and do something about this." She met
      his eyes, nodding silently. "The bastards ain't got us licked
      yet."

      She nodded with a smile. "I know, I just... I worry about
      people."

      "Yeah," said Logan, "I know." He brought her gloved knuckles up
      to his lips, pressing a kiss there. Although wrapped in fabric,
      her skin could feel the warmth of them, the soft give of his
      flesh. She smiled again.

      "Thank you."

      Logan stood, ruffling her hair. "Don't mention it."

      She grinned and ducked her head away. "Now you gone and messed
      up my hair..."

      "I know it's not like me to rattle out somethin' ol' One-Eye said
      to someone else, but I think you've been hangin' out with Jubilee
      too much."

      The loud clunk of her boots replied to Logan as she stomped her
      feet on the pavement, making sure that her boots were on right.
      "It's okay. I got her sayin 'Y'all'. Soon I might get her
      sayin' 'Howdy', and it's all fun and games from there."

      Logan turned away from the pond, walking with her back to the
      mansion. "As long as you don't start saying 'radical', I don't
      care."

      She giggled, wrapping her arms around one of his and snuggling to
      it. "No problem, dude."

      He gave her a firm glare, hinted with a glint of laughter, and
      she laughed again. It was a nice moment, a nice moment encased
      in a shell of calm. Always, in the back of her mind, as she
      laughed and smiled, there was that all-encompassing ache. It
      roared back to life when the laughing stopped, and it made her
      sigh unwittingly. She enjoyed his company, enjoyed the day,
      because, although she didn't want to admit it to herself, not
      now, not ever, it might be the last she'd live. Or very
      possibly the last that Logan would liveĀ… or any of them.

      They moved through the motions of preparation, and Rogue made a
      place in her room for the notes she'd receive from the Professor
      during briefings. Her friends made room in their schedules for
      special training, and the television made room in their
      programming for special bulletins on the 'Mutant Problem'. Life
      went on, but it wasn't the same. That dull ache came back when
      Rogue thought that maybe, it never would be.

      Things were changing, and the war had begun.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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