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FIC: Choices, 20/?, R/NC17, W/R R/G W/f

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  • fyrdrakken@JUNO.COM
    DISCLAIMERS REPOSTED IN PART 0 * * * When Marie first arrived at Xavier’s, the simple ability to shut off her unwanted power was all that she could have
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 26, 2001

      * * *

      When Marie first arrived at Xavier’s, the simple ability to shut off her
      unwanted power was all that she could have asked for. But by the time
      that heartfelt wish came within genuine reach, Marie the
      X-Man-in-training had more complex goals.

      A simple all-or-nothing on-off switch for her power would be enough to
      allow her the illusion of normalcy, the possibility of counterfeiting a
      simple nonmutant existence — but of severely limited usefulness for
      mutant combat. More useful by far to be able to separate the different
      aspects of the absorption — for example, to render an enemy unconscious
      without burdening herself with another personality in her already-crowded
      head. Or to be able to take another’s power without having to accept
      their memories along with it (where possible — some powers *required*
      their owner’s memories just to enable control), even to borrow a
      teammate’s abilities without rendering them comatose.

      Easiest by far was to take thoughts and memories — but there was a price.
      Surface thoughts — like a "telepathic snapshot" — could be vastly useful
      to absorb, but they could not be separated from traces of memory. And
      whereas a person’s thoughts during (and just preceding) contact were
      instantly known to Rogue, memories were less deliberately accessible.

      Between the deliberate touches, the accidents during the long road to
      full control, and those first traumatic absorptions, Rogue had many
      memories floating around in her skull waiting for the right circumstances
      to trigger recall. Sometimes they could be useful, like helpful advice
      unexpectedly whispered into her ear — Erik and Logan helping her with
      history exams, Wolverine giving personal guidance during those early
      physical defense classes with Scott. Others were less pleasant, like
      finding herself suddenly sharing Logan’s doctor phobia while down in the
      Medlab with Jean. Some were simply startling, like having some rather
      intimate Erik memories popping up unexpectedly during a conversation with
      the Professor (who gave her a probing look but understandingly brought
      the discussion to an abrupt close). The most intense of these bubbled up
      into her dreams, her subconscious sending up clues of what new things had
      been added to the ever-seething stew — mostly the upsetting and
      undigestible bits, but occasionally a flash of surprisingly sweet

      She had grown used to it, as much as one *could* accustom oneself to
      suddenly flashing back to being someone *else* for brief random moments.
      The rest of the household politely ignored it when Marie occasionally
      paused in midstride — or even midsentence — eyeing some person or thing
      as though she had never seen it before, or pensively staring off into
      space, or seeming to be listening to a voice no one else could hear.
      (That last was actually a frequent occurrence for many in a household
      that included telepaths.)

      This had actually been the first time that Marie had touched Logan’s
      thoughts since the Statue of Liberty. His lengthy absence afterwards had
      kept him away from the X-Mansion during her extended struggle for
      control, preventing him from coming into contact with her again until she
      no longer needed practice subjects and no longer had to fear accidental
      absorptions. And on the few occasions after his return when she had been
      injured sufficiently to accept the offered loan of his healing factor,
      she had left him his privacy (and more to the point, saved herself
      further lab rat nightmares) by taking only his power and leaving his
      thoughts and memories strictly alone.

      So she had just gone from having no inkling of the true depth of Logan’s
      feelings for her, to having a head full of it — his agony at being
      trapped in a loveless marriage with the woman he loved within sight yet
      out of reach, the bittersweet reaction to seeing her happy — or unhappy —
      with another man, the stony resolve to preserve both marriages for Marie
      and Max’s sakes.

      The madness-inducing aspect of telepathy, empathy, and Marie’s own brand
      of thought-absorption was the inherent loss of self. Marie hadn’t merely
      learned how Logan felt — she bled inside as though the tangle of desire
      and obligation was her own personal problem. Her flight from his room had
      been the result of years of experience, warning her to put some distance
      between herself and the situation until her sense of self had

      Rogue had learned to be wary of the memory traces gained from each new
      absorption — especially in the first days after contact, when the
      personality was strongest and the sharpest memories were lurking just
      under the surface. But in this case, between the heavy absorption of
      Logan years before and the shock of his surface thoughts, Marie wasn’t
      worried. She’d already *had* his laboratory nightmares, as well as those
      blurry flashes of deja vu induced by combat scenes and by, oddly enough,
      Indiana Jones movies.

      She frankly doubted that any of Logan’s more recent memories would be
      able to shock her as much as his surface thoughts already had.

      * * *

      She Whose Quotations Are Both Exotic and Appropriate
      Keeper of his Deadly Startle Reflexes, Guardian and Examiner of the
      Adamantium-Revealing X-Rays, and Official Listener for the Occasional
      Aussie Vowels

      "Associated with the unconquerable power of the sun, the Roman Mithraic
      feast of Sol Invictus gave the traditional birth date of Christ, 25
      -- "Mithra," _Encyclopedia of World Mythology, Arthur Cotterell ed.
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