Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...
Summary: "She has the scars to show for it."
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of
fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool
Feedback: Helps prevent permanent scarring
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete'n'Melissa, Dot, and Meg. Inspired by Blu's
"Babylon Revisited" and my trip to donate platelets this afternoon
Logan is not a vain man. He knows he is attractive -- to both sexes --
and in almost perfect physical shape. How much of that is his mutation,
he's never been sure. He doesn't question, just accepts the good things
it brings with it.
He knows he is attractive, but he doesn't spend much time thinking or
worrying about it.
Which is why Rogue was surprised when he brought home the mirror. It's
long -- she can see herself from head to toe in it -- and it now hangs
on the back of the door in their bathroom.
He occasionally stands before it naked, and she admires the planes and
angles of his body, the sheer perfection of skin stretched over bone and
muscle -- thinking that he's doing the same. She secretly giggles at
this preening, and though she would never tell him, she thinks it's
She doesn't know he hates his skin, almost as much as she hates hers.
There isn't a mark on it -- no scars, no bruises, not even a callus. His
skin is flawless. He carries all his scars on the inside, his suffering
hidden by the cloak of perfection.
She has long since stopped being shy; living together means casual
nudity to him, even with the ever-present danger of her lethal skin, and
she has become used to being naked in front of him, though she still
gets nervous that he will be hurt.
She doesn't know the placement of the mirror was deliberate, that he
watches her when the bathroom door is angled the right way. She steps
out of the shower, water glistening over pale skin, the sunlight from
the window gilding her to the color of warm honey.
As she goes about her morning routine, brushing her teeth and her hair,
applying her lotion and plucking her eyebrows, he watches her, takes
careful inventory of her well-being.
He starts with her feet: heels callused from going barefoot whenever she
can, toenails trimmed and painted weekly. Up her calves, his brow
furrowing over the large bruise purpling on the back of her right leg
and the small scabs from where she's cut herself shaving. Over her
knees, which wear the faded wine-dark stains of an active childhood. He
scowls at the inch-long scar across her thigh; her uniform torn by a
knife on one of their missions, a superficial cut, but one that left a
remembrance. She had refused his offer of healing, as she does every
He sees the little scar on her belly, the result of an appendectomy at
the age of twelve. It resembles a small pink spider, and outside of the
doctor who put it there, only he has seen it up close, traced his lips
over the dead tissue that doesn't react when touched.
He sometimes wonders if he should love the scars instead of hating them,
because they allow him to touch her with his lips and hands, but he'd
rather always have the barrier of silk between them than have her hurt
There are faint red marks on her hips -- his hands put those there this
morning as he made love to her. Even those he wishes away, feels the old
self-loathing rise at his rough treatment of her, though she laughs and
tells him she likes it, that he's just being an old woman. He knows she
tells the truth, but still, he worries.
She seems so fragile, as if she's made of glass, and he hates being
rough and clumsy with such a priceless gift.
He continues his inventory. There's a burn mark on her arm; he scowls.
It's new, and he wonders which of their enemies put it there, or if she
was simply careless when baking cookies with the youngsters yesterday.
Her hands are red, the knuckles still chapped from the long, cold
winter. Skin raised in Mississippi doesn't react well to cold New York
weather. Fingernails, too, are trimmed short and painted red. Her
fingers are long and elegant, unencumbered by jewelry.
On the underside of her left breast, he notes the bite mark he left
earlier and winces. She rakes her nails down his back and the sting is
invigorating, but the trails of her passion are gone long before he can
get to the mirror to look.
His dog tag lies between her breasts. It leaves its own mark on her, the
public declaration that she is his, and he, hers. Someday, he thinks, he
will put a ring on her finger, but neither of them is ready for that,
and the dog tag is enough for now.
There is no scar, no trace at all, of where he impaled her. He healed
that completely, and would do so again in a heartbeat, God forbid the
need ever arose.
Her face and neck are flushed from the heat of the shower, and the skin
on them is unmarked. She has a flawless complexion, the envy of the
other women in the house. She talks of getting a tattoo, and he grits
his teeth and pretends to go along with it, not wishing to have her
touched -- branded -- by any hand but his. And even that he would
relieve her of, if she'd let him.
His eyes settle on her hair.
The lingering reproach of the two white streaks that she will never dye.
She likes them, claims they are chic and sexy. And she's not wrong. But
they silently rebuke him. Had he been faster, stronger, smarter, he'd
have been able to save her before she'd had to experience that pain, and
then his own to compound it, when he healed her.
She is strong. He knows this in his heart and his mind, even as the
evidence before his eyes belies it.
She has taken him on, taken Magneto, she has survived the road and the
nightmares and the damage he's done her unintentionally, and she has the
scars to show for it.
He envies them, even as he wishes she'd let him make them go away. But
she wears them proudly, seeing them as badges, road signs on her
journey, each with its own story to tell of how she grew from being the
sad, scared girl Marie into the strong and confident Rogue.
Then he looks again at himself, and sees a blank slate, a life
unexamined, unlived, and wills her to imprint her love on his soul, even
as the marks fade from his body.
He knows she's strong enough to do it, strong enough to bear the burden
for them both.
And he loves her all the more.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's
depressing." Tara, _Buffy the Vampire Slayer_
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