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FIC: Jus Ad Bellum Part V: 2/5: Rogue, others: NC-17

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  • jenn
    2/5 ***** My uniform was dead. Literally. Jean refitted me while Logan went through stores to find new accessories, and Scott didn t protest once. Nor did
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 2002


      My uniform was dead. Literally. Jean refitted me while Logan went through
      stores to find new accessories, and Scott didn't protest once. Nor did he
      take me off the roster for the next mission, which was--well, interesting.
      I couldn't be exactly sure what that was saying--either he trusted Logan to
      keep me in line during missions or wanted to keep me under his eye at all
      times. Scott was like that.

      I'd been wandering the school for awhile, checking the fit, when behind me,
      rapidly approaching footsteps skidded to a halt. I paused and turned
      around, meeting St. John's bright smile.

      "Marie--" he stopped, smile fading, and I couldn't quite figure out why.
      The blue eyes slicked my body quick and fast, then snapped up to mine.
      Blank. "Nice uniform."

      I looked down, blinking, then grinned a little.

      "Thanks. There's a mission in about an hour, and my last uniform was sort
      of--well, nuked. This is the new one, and Logan wants me to wear it for a
      bit. It was made so fast he's not sure if it's flexible enough." I
      shrugged, stretching my shoulders--there was a tiny pull at the neck that
      was easy to correct for, but my legs and arms were fine as far as I could

      St. John was staring at me a little blankly for a minute, then a quick,
      almost natural smile slid into place.

      "Logan's anal about the fits." His eyes traveled down and fixed on my gun
      briefly, then back up to my face. "Erik and Polaris have returned," he said
      casually as he matched my stride down the hall.

      "Oh?" Hank still wanted that tape of the last trial run to see if there was
      anything that he could have his calculations, and I wondered how Logan was
      going to get it--could he do it without raising suspicions? Okay, spying
      *not* my forte here, and I had to smile a little. "Good."

      "Yeah." Little pause. "They're moving up the date of the implementation of
      the project--The last trial is tonight. The real thing will be in two days,
      once Polaris has recovered." Casual.

      "Oh." Huh. Tonight. I wondered if Logan knew yet.

      "You--I heard the last mission went badly."

      Jerking a little, I shivered in memory and caught another look from St.

      "It--we all survived. The bodies were returned to the lab and the norms
      were taken to the lower levels for isolation--"

      "Don't worry. I had the bodies," St. John answered easily, and I frowned,

      "I thought that was only for attacks to the school."

      "Any of them could carry contagion, Marie. We still don't know what they
      came up with in those labs--they could carry a virus in their bloodstream.
      Standard procedure." St. John paused, giving me another glance. "It's the
      safest thing to do."

      "We might have gotten physical evidence from their bodies. DNA samples,

      "I thought Jean did the samples the night they were brought in," St. John
      said slowly, and there it was again. Unfamiliar twitch in the back of my
      mind. "Damn. I'd better go talk to her--she might not even know I've
      disposed of them. Excuse me, Marie." Turning on his heel, he took off down
      the other direction and I reached out to stop him.

      "Johnny--they know." I paused, glancing around. No one was in the hallway.
      "About--about me."

      "Good." He gave me a long look. "I know it must have been rough out
      there--I heard Scott was knocked out--"

      "They used those guns," I answered. "There--I had--had to kill one of them.
      Former camp scientist." For some reason, I felt almost violently
      uncomfortable now, with St. John's calm gaze fixed on my face. "It--was
      necessary. Everyone else was out--"

      "Hey, no need to explain. X-Men have the right of execution for treasonable
      offenses. Kidnapping the leader of the X-Men is treason and felony all
      wrapped up in one. I gotta run, Marie." Pulling away, he took off again
      and left me standing in the corridor, confused as to what exactly had just

      Not since our first meeting had he been so guarded.


      "Baby--" A nudge at my elbow and I kicked lightly with my heel, hearing
      Logan's soft grunt. I was awake, but I was trying *really* hard to pretend
      I wasn't.


      Warm lips brushed against the side of my throat, finding all the sensitive
      spots that just made me crazy. He *knew* that. The bastard. Growling, I
      tried to push him away and got my arm pinned to the bed for my trouble.

      I loved him, that was true. But right now, I'd send him to hell for another
      two hours of sleep.

      "We gotta get to the school, baby." His hand joined the battle, sliding
      under the sheet and slipping over my t-shirt and down my thigh. I shut my
      eyes tighter and buried my head in the pillow until he rolled me on my back.

      I took the pillow with me.

      "Come on, Marie."

      "Don't wanna." That didn't sound as strong as I meant to be through the
      pillow. I heard Logan's sigh before he stripped the blankets back. I
      growled into the pillow. "It's not even dawn yet."

      "Yeah." A little breathy--I wondered what he was thinking. Maybe something
      worth waking up for. I was a big fan of that. Removing the pillow from my
      face, I tucked it back behind my head. "You gettin' up?"

      "You make it worth my while?"

      Oh, that was a new expression. A wolfish grin parted his lips, baring his
      teeth a little, before he grabbed my ankles and jerked me toward him. The
      pillow and I skidded across the bed, and my head slipped right off the

      That was it. We were getting a new bed. Something bigger.

      "Logan--" My hips were in his lap and I thought about levering myself up to
      see what the idea was now. He might tickle me. He'd done it before.

      Instead, bare fingers ran down the length of my thighs, rubbing lightly into
      the muscles, working slowly back up from my knees to my hips. I heard
      myself sigh softly, trying to lift my head back up onto the bed, but a hand
      on my chest pushed me back down and I had an upside down view of the room.
      Lightly, the tips of his fingers skated across my stomach and then both
      hands slid circled my waist, rubbing slow circles deep into my skin. I shut
      my eyes to take in the sensation--almost chaste, this touching, but not
      quite. I felt the brush of his sideburns against the skin of my stomach as
      his tongue drew soft liquid patterns across my hips and up to my waist,
      slowly over the ribs, and I shivered when he licked just under the curve of
      my breast.

      Oh, that felt good. I grabbed the bed for leverage and moaned softly when
      his tongue moved between my breasts, then turned a little to make a
      leisurely trek up the side of my breast, his hair soft against my skin. I
      stifled a moan as he found a nipple and bit lightly before circling it with
      his tongue, tightening it almost painfully. Reaching for him, I ran my
      hands through his hair and my entire body tightened when he sucked hard.


      "Worth waking up for?"

      I grinned and let my fingers slide over the back of his neck, scraping with
      my nails.

      "Do better."

      Slowly, he slid his tongue back down my breast, then up to the other nipple,
      catching it between his teeth. I sucked in a gasp and felt his erection
      pressed against me. Lifting my hips, I rubbed into him and he bit down in

      "Oh God, yes," I heard myself mumble, and the hands on my waist slid up my
      back, lifting me into his lap. I looked down at him, seeing the arousal in
      his expression, in the smile he gave me before I kissed him, winding my arms
      around his neck and letting him lay me back down on the bed.

      "You know we don't have time for this," Logan murmured against my skin,
      trailing his tongue over far too many nerves.

      "It's just shopping with Jeannie, sugar." I sucked in a breath as he slid
      his fingers between my legs. "She'll understand."

      "I'm sure she will." A slow stroke, dipping inside me and I arched into it,
      grabbing his hair and pulling his face up, meeting hot hazel eyes. "Do it."

      One long, hard thrust, and stars danced in front of my eyes as his body
      covered mine, warm and solid and so safe. I tightened my arms around him as
      his mouth found mine. Wrapping my legs around his waist, I moved into him,
      feeling my breathing speed up, his mouth nipping at my throat, my face, my

      Slow, warm sex, and my orgasm was a delicious, honey-slow rush of feeling.
      Above me I felt him stiffen and the thrusting slowed, then stopped, and I
      let my fingers drift down his back, over sweat-slickened skin, smiling a
      little as he rolled off me, pulling me close. Smiling, I rested my head on
      his chest.

      "Shopping, huh?"

      I grinned against his skin and licked a little sweat away.

      "Bigger bed, better coffee table--"

      "Huh." Logan shifted against me. "Do I get a choice?"

      "I'm looking now at your choices, and I'm thinking 'no' on this one." He
      chuckled softly. For a second, I thought about it. "Maybe get more
      clothes, since I'm sort of low. Maybe--"

      "Maybe look around for another place to live."

      I sucked in a shocked breath, but Logan was stroking my back, still talking.

      "Maybe a little closer to the school--God knows, Scott's been on my ass
      about being this far away anyway."

      I lifted myself on an elbow.

      "You mean--for both of us?" Which in retrospect should have been obvious,
      but--but wow. Me and Logan. Picking out a new place to live.
      Like--people. Like people that are seriously together. Heh. Cool.

      Logan tilted his head at me.

      "No, just for the furniture. To look at. Shit, Marie, what do you think?"

      Absolutely idiotic things, apparently, and I couldn't help the grin, slid
      back into his arms.

      "Somewhere in Salem?"

      "That'd be good," Logan answered thoughtfully. "You know--house, apartment,
      whatever you want. I'm not picky."

      A house. I blinked, feeling my grin widen a little, and Logan's fingers
      rubbed gently into the middle of my back.

      "I'll keep that in mind," I heard myself whisper, and Logan's lips brushed
      against mine, all promise. All wonderful, fabulous, amazing promise.

      "You do that."

      * * * * *

      I loved shopping. No question.

      Jean and I meandered through some of the better furniture stores in the
      city. If I was going to live here--and apparently, I was--I had to have
      better furnishings. My coat wrapped around me against the cool weather, I
      nodded agreeably as Jean discussed fabric samples and color coordination.

      Picking up frappacchino at a small coffee shop, we wandered out onto the
      sidewalk, and I looked around the old buildings surrounding me, smiling a
      little as a warm breeze caught my hair. Jean tilted her head, giving me a

      "Does the emitter keep your hair that color?" I sipped my drink and nodded,
      then frowned a little at the flavor. "What?"

      "I think you got my chocolate," I answered, and Jean took a taste,
      grimacing. Jean might love all things coffee, but for some reason, she'd
      never taken well to the concept of it flavored with anything but vanilla.
      With a grin, we exchanged cups, and Jean hefted the bag containing assorted
      catalogues and fabrics over her shoulder. "Anyway, yes." I pushed a strand
      back idly. "It's a look for me." I was beginning to like it, to be honest,
      though maybe a darker blonde would be better with my complexion.

      "While we're in the city, we can have it done professionally, if you wish
      to. Perhaps also get the cut evened out a little." I blushed, caught the
      smile turning up Jean's mouth as she took another sip of coffee. "Cut it
      when you got here?"

      I nodded. "Sort of a desperate measure." Catching a strand of golden
      blonde, I thought about getting rid of the emitter, the last trace of the
      hiding Rogue. That'd be nice--no matter how comfortable it was, I was always
      aware of it and how it could be damaged. "You know a good salon around

      "Wouldn't have mentioned it if I didn't." Sliding her arm through mine, she
      grinned and pulled me along the sidewalk. "Did you like anything we saw

      "The leather--"

      "What a surprise. You and Logan and leather." She shook her head, a red
      curl covering her eyes briefly before she tossed her hair back. "We'll go
      back and have it sent over--do you remember how big the door is at the
      apartment, or do we need to measure first?"

      I'd never thought of that and frowned a little.

      "Pretty narrow."

      "Hmm." She was thinking, probably trying to decide if TK would help. That
      would be new--telekinetic moving sounded like the best thing to happen to
      moving since the brown box. "We'll have to measure, I think, or Logan could
      widen the door a little." She slowed as we came to a more congested area
      and a bright yellow woman with three eyes smiled at us as we passed. "Or
      you could talk Logan into moving into a bigger apartment, maybe in Salem
      instead of here. Spring for a house."

      "Logan said something about that," I replied, unable to stop the smile that
      threatened to make me look even dorkier than usual. Jean caught it and her
      grin back was breathtaking.

      "Good." And she meant it. "Tell him how he can design his very own gym in
      it. Trust me, it'll work. Scott and I are remodeling the boathouse due to
      my comment on how nice a large jacuzzi bathtub would be. Amazing how
      quickly we got an architect to come over and take look around."

      "It'd be nice. Something--for us both." I wondered what sort of house
      Logan had in mind. Gym would be good--nice large living room, maybe a den
      as well for just sitting around. Big kitchen, and I might even learn to
      cook. Maybe three bedrooms, in case....

      I felt a flush suffuse my face and realized that this weird fuzziness of
      possible maternal feelings wasn't just related to my recent period or to
      Jean. Wow. So much had changed so fast--but then, now it was *possible*.
      Possible, beautifully possible, everything I'd ever been denied. Swinging
      one of the bags, I almost skipped, restraining myself with some effort.

      "I have a few errands to run--did you want to get more clothes now or wait
      until we have more time?" Jean asked over her coffee.

      I shrugged, glancing down briefly at her bag with a little smile of thought.
      She'd picked up two newborn outfits--both in light blue, of course, and I'd
      seen how her hands had lingered on the rattles and assorted infant-type
      merchandise. Trying very hard to not be too hopeful, but unable to help it.
      I didn't blame her. At this point, I was ready to offer surrogate
      mothering--the longing was so sharp in her that it broke through both our

      Pushing through another knot of people, we emerged onto a relatively clear
      area of sidewalk, and I glanced around briefly, training warring with the
      knowledge we were perfectly safe. As a rule, I didn't like crowds, and this
      was no exception. Jean didn't seem as disturbed, but then, she'd never had
      killer skin either, nor the eternally paranoid Logan wandering around inside
      her head. Taking a tighter hold on her arm, we continued our movement
      through the scattered crowds until Jean came to a sudden and complete stop.

      The brown eyes went sharp and distant and I sucked in a breath as both our
      shields shuddered under--*something*.


      The brown eyes were very dark--instantly, my hand went below my jacket,
      touching the hilt of my gun. God, she was too comfortable in the
      city--zoning out like that in a crowd was never a good idea. Tightening my
      grip, I pulled her back against one of the buildings and scanned the people
      around me. Obvious mutants, non-obvious mutants, and--

      "Jeannie," I whispered, and her fingers waved a little at me.

      "The New York camp has been breached," she murmured. "The FoH compromised

      In other words, they were dead. Shit. I tried to figure out where the camp
      was located relative to us, where our car was--and *why* the hell this
      wasn't already known by the X-Men. No matter how good you were, taking down
      an entire camp took time, and we'd only been gone from the Mansion for a few
      hours. Someone should know by now.

      "Did you tell Scott?"

      "Yes," she answered, then looked down at my grip on her arm. "Marie, you're
      bruising me. Don't worry--Scott is--"

      The first rain of gunfire literally came out of nowhere, and I forced Jean
      under me onto the ground. Invulnerable skin, one, bullets zip. One grazed
      my shoulder and went the way of all bullets--to wit, not in me, and a second
      zipped by my head, knocking off the wall above me and splashing us with dust
      and bits of rock.

      Around me were the screams of the other pedestrians, running and jumping
      about and generally being great targets for a machine gun. God, amateurs.

      "Jean?" I whispered, and the second volley hit and continued. Definitely a
      machine gun, and more than one shooter. Sliding my hand beneath me, I felt
      for Jean's body. I didn't think she'd been hit. Shutting my eyes briefly,
      I used her shields as a link and pushed a thought into her mind.

      :::you okay?:::

      :::not hit, don't worry so much. telling Scott now.:::

      Scott was going to go postal. Dear God. Glancing around quickly, I took in
      the area--the nearest store door was ten feet away to the left, over a
      distressingly large number of cowering people, and Jean was inches taller
      than me. No way I could risk her that far.

      "Get up," she said, and pushed up against me.

      "Have you lost your mind? I'm invulnerable, you're not. We're doing very
      well like this."

      Another glance up--the shooter was on the far side of the street now but
      coming closer. I tried to narrow in on what he was carrying but couldn't
      quite recognize it other than the obvious. Large gun. Not good. The spill
      of dark red hair across one of my hands reminded me I was sitting on top of
      one of the most important and public X-Men in the world.

      Shit, shit, shit. If he saw her, he'd know her, and I didn't have any
      illusions that Jean's TK was so good that she could stop a rain of bullets.
      Shit, I couldn't even be sure if my invulnerability would hold out long
      against multiple point blank shots. And as for flying, just call it duck
      season. If there was more than one--

      "Jean--how far away is the camp? Do you think they're armed?"

      "Yes," she answered briefly. "The FoH always makes sure to arm them.
      There's a weapons locker in the tower sublevel--if they compromised all
      security, they have all of those too."

      "How many?" Please say ten or twelve.

      "One thousand rifles, five hundred Glock, eight hundred gas bombs for camp
      control, and Logan's standard security package. Hell if I know what's in

      I breathed out and made a mental note to ask Logan what he was thinking to
      keep that many weapons that close to the norms.

      "Move, Marie." The command in her voice was clear, and years of
      conditioning took effect again. My body pulled reluctantly away as she
      pulled herself to her hands and knees, lifting her head. The tingle of
      power rushed through us both--her shields in my mind quivered at the energy
      she was calling on, and I remembered, with a shock like pain, that she
      wasn't the same Jean who needed anyone's protection.

      The first shooter to come into her line of sight lost his gun, and it spun
      away on to the top one of the six story buildings on the other side of the
      road. Almost unerringly, his gaze found us in the crowd, and Jean pushed
      herself to her feet.

      "Phoenix," he whispered--but he didn't sound particularly scared. I didn't
      like that at all and levered myself to my feet beside her, gun in my hand
      but hidden under my coat.


      People call it a lot of words, but I've always followed the Logan school of
      thought on strange, uncontrollable impulses that take over when thought and
      reason fail. It was instinct. Pure and simple. Somewhere around the time
      mankind crawled out of the ooze and made a nest in the caves nearby, we
      started losing it, but for some, it never dissipated completely. Every
      nerve in my body started screaming in concert, and I remembered the
      efficient way that Kitty and I had been attacked in that apartment. The
      threat wasn't in front of us or behind us this time, though--

      I jerked my attention away from the shooter, knowing it was a bad idea,
      knowing that it could lead to my or Jean's death, knowing that the man
      standing on the asphalt street wasn't unarmed even if we'd taken his most
      powerful toy. He was a professional in every sense of the word--it was
      written all over him like blood, in his stance and in his coolness in the
      face of the single most powerful woman on the planet. You don't stand like
      that when faced with a telepath of Jean's caliber, not unless you were
      already sure of something else entirely.

      I reacted without knowing why, throwing my entire weight into Jean, but it
      was a second too late--from her other side, a bullet shot out from a
      civilian who'd been cowering among the others, still on his knees, and it
      sank into her side like a cherry dropped into whipped cream. Blinking, her
      hand went down, grabbing her side, bright with blood, then she moaned a
      little and the gun jerked up into the air, falling into component pieces at
      our feet.

      I wasn't so elegant. I shot him point blank and watched his skull explode,
      spraying blood and tissue over the sidewalk and other civilians, before
      pushing Jean behind me and looking around the semi-deserted street, the
      living bodies piled around us in eerie silence.

      The fourth kill of my life, and probably not my last. Anyone here could be
      an enemy, anyone at all.

      Jean was still on her feet, but I could feel her weakness, knew that she'd
      pass out soon from blood loss. "Jean?"

      "Not fatal," she said. What she meant was, not fatal right this second. I
      scanned the huddled people, the shooter in the middle of the street who was
      still watching us, who hadn't been surprised at all to see us. To see Jean.
      Like this had been planned.

      Like that attack on Kitty had been. Someone had been following us, the man
      who shot Jean, and they chose this day to take her down.

      Very deliberately, I pointed my gun at him and pulled back the safety.
      Something was seriously wrong with someone who stood that still, begging to
      be shot. Pushing Jean more tightly between me and the wall, I tried to
      figure out my options, then simply made the shot.

      He disappeared. Blinking, I stared wildly around the area, but nothing.

      Mutant. Fuck.

      "Jean--did you get inside his mind?"

      Jean didn't answer for a minute, and I heard her cough softly. Please God,
      no blood. Please.

      "Couldn't. Shielded" She coughed again, and I felt her body shudder
      against mine. She wasn't going to be able to stay on her feet much longer.

      "Do you sense him anywhere?" Something held me in place. The huddled
      people, the missing man, the other shooters--where were they? What the hell
      was going on? Instinct was still screaming stuff about RUN, but I listened
      to my reason this time. And my reason was telling me that they were
      expecting us to make a run for it. Perhaps straight out into that oh so
      open and innocent-looking street.

      "No," she said, and coughed again. Street was not the only option--there
      was the sky too. But that didn't seem like a good option either. Nor was
      taking my eyes off what was going on in front of me. Plan, plan,
      plan--where the hell was Scott, damn it?

      "Someone sabotaged the Blackbird," Jean whispered in my ear.

      "This was planned."

      "So it would seem."

      The eerily silent street was slowly coming back to life--people were
      cautiously getting up, looking around, beginning to scurry away. I kept my
      gun out, trying to figure out what to do.

      "Jean? Do you sense anything hostile?"

      "They're all shielded," Jean answered slowly. Her voice was getting
      fainter. "Marie, we can't go back to the car--there are minds there I can't

      Mutants. Had to be. Humans could shield, but they had to be taught how.
      Rogue mutant telepath, the man who'd disappeared was a 'porter at the very
      least, and shit, shit, shit, my back itched so badly from the strain I
      wanted to rub against the wall. Oh, very clever, Marie. All kinds of a
      good idea.

      "They want you," I said softly, and she didn't disagree. "This isn't--is
      this something that happens a lot or something? I mean--Jean, y'all never
      mentioned assassination before."

      "No," she said, equally soft. "I think--" Another cough, and that had to
      decide me. Jean could bleed out here and now while I contemplated my
      toenails and that was just unacceptable.

      Taking a breath, I put my arm around Jean and hefted her weight easily,
      hearing her soft gasp of shock.

      "Are there any hostile presences on top of this building?" I asked.

      "No--but we'll be in shooting range of any escapees who picked up rifles.
      As you said, this was planned. I think--"

      "You have a better idea?" Please God, let her.

      "Find a car, any car."

      "We don't have time to hotwire--"

      I felt rather than saw her smile.

      "Privilege of being with a telekinetic, honey. Trust me, I'm an old hand at
      this. Get us to a car--"

      "Anything for the woman who is going to save our asses." Pressing a hand
      against the stone, I tried to get a mental map of where we were. "Jean,
      breaking the wall. Can you--I don't know--make sure the shrapnel don't hit
      you?" God alone knew. I wasn't up to date on her powers these days.

      "Just a--" I heard rather than saw Jean sink down onto the sidewalk, then
      her voice. "Go ahead."

      Keeping my eye on the street, I kicked backward, feeling the stone begin to
      break. Old stone, New York buildings up to code, this wouldn't be easy.
      Another, and more crumbling, dust settling around us. Third time--

      "Open. We can--crawl through."

      I glanced down briefly, then took a step away.

      "Get through, Jean." I could be the human shield for her--after all, what
      good was invulnerability if not to stop bullets from raining down on
      innocent shopping telepaths? From peripheral vision, I saw her begin to
      crawl through, then sucked in another breath, watching the street.

      The bullet bounced off my leg, and I could only think that the marksman must
      have been distracted.

      Pushing Jean through, I dived in behind her. She was a frail weight when I
      picked her up. Cradling her close, I ran down the deserted hall. This
      opened into an alley--death trap from hell--but--

      "Does Scott know where we are?"

      Jean's head lolled a little against my shoulder.

      "Yeah," she whispered, and I breathed out a little.


      "Three minutes."

      Fuck a car.

      "They're getting us from here." Sinking down, I lay Jean against the wall,
      moving her hand to check the wound. "Jean--stay conscious. I have no clue
      what to do here."

      "It's not--not bad." She coughed a little, taking a handful of her loose
      t-shirt and pushing it against the bullet hole. "Flesh wound. You--moved
      fast enough."

      "Not nearly enough," I answered grimly, pushing her hair back from her face.
      Sweat was standing up clearly. "Not even close. Shit. *Shit*."

      "They're almost here," she murmured, her eyes closing, shifting to find a
      better position. Carefully, I drew her down against my leg, covering her
      hand with mine over the wound. Blood bubbled bright and clean, but not
      much. Maybe she was right, not serious.

      Maybe it would be okay.

      Please God, let her be right.

      * * * * *


      --Barney is fun in the middle of the night, but wake up and you just feel
      cheap and dirty, and not in a good way. -- Beth, AIM convo on Barney the
      Purple Dinosaur
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