FIC: Choices, 20/?, R/NC17, W/R R/G W/f
- DISCLAIMERS REPOSTED IN PART 0
* * *
When Marie first arrived at Xaviers, 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 anothers power without having to accept
their memories along with it (where possible some powers *required*
their owners memories just to enable control), even to borrow a
teammates 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 persons 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 Logans 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 Logans
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 Logans
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 Maxs sakes.
The madness-inducing aspect of telepathy, empathy, and Maries own brand
of thought-absorption was the inherent loss of self. Marie hadnt 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 wasnt
worried. Shed 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 Logans 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
"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.
GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit: