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FIC: Past Forward (11/15) PG-13

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  • Jamie Madigan
    Disclaimer, etc., with prologue 11 Jean I m not sure where to start, Jean said after a long pause, slowly pacing Scott s room. She ran her fingers over a
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 27, 2003
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      Disclaimer, etc., with prologue


      11
      Jean

      "I'm not sure where to start," Jean said after a long pause, slowly pacing
      Scott's room. She ran her fingers over a small wooden table in the corner
      and turned to face him.

      He was still standing by the door, legs spread slightly, hands clasped
      together behind his back. His Fearless Leader pose. He was obviously bracing
      himself for something bad.

      She sighed and waved a hand at the bed. "Sit down, Scott."

      After a moment, he nodded and sat on the bed, his back up against the
      headboard. "Start at the beginning," he said. "The Donovan Laboratories
      mission."

      After another sigh, she began her pacing again. It was hard to think about
      that night. Professor Xavier had been in London when they'd received word of
      mutants being held captive at a facility in Boston. After consulting with
      the Professor, Scott decided the team should go in right away to rescue the
      prisoners.

      Logan, Storm, Scott and Jean had taken the Blackbird to the facility. The
      sleek metal-and-glass Donovan Laboratories, on paper a testing center for
      cancer treatments, turned out to have a sublevel not shown on any blueprints
      and apparently unknown to all but a few of the lab's top executives.

      The team had split up to search the underground level. Scott and Logan had
      found a handful of mutants, all drugged up and unable to escape on their
      own. Storm had found an office and had copied all the available files from
      the computer system onto a disc for them to study later.

      Jean had found something else.

      "I found the lab," she said finally. "Where they did their ... tests."

      In her nightmares, she always saw the lab again. Cold and white, all sharp
      edges and professional neatness. No personality. No touches of humanity ...
      but also no touches of the darkness she would associate with those
      scientists who would experiment on someone just because they were a mutant.

      "I was looking for notes, something to give me a clue about what they were
      doing, when I saw her." Adjacent to the lab was a small observation room
      with a girl, no more than 15 or 16, stretched out on a table. She was
      breathing, but her skin was deathly pale, making the bruises on her bare
      arms and legs stand out. Jean acted without thinking.

      "I had to get her out," she told Scott. "She was so young, and they'd hurt
      her."

      The girl hadn't even moved when Jean shoved the door open. She'd lifted the
      girl with her TK and carried her out of the room. Before she could contact
      Scott or take another look around the lab, the alarms started going off. She
      ran for the exit, bringing the girl along behind her.

      Logan and Storm had taken out a couple of guards, enabling them to escape
      the facility and herd out the few mutants they'd managed to find inside. As
      they were taking off in the Blackbird, four black cars full of additional
      security personnel arrived, but they were too late. The next day's news was
      led with the story of a break-in at the lab that had ended in a mysterious
      explosion. The entire building was destroyed, and any hope of finding out
      more about the experiments was crushed as well.

      "It wasn't until a few days later that I started feeling ill," Jean reminded
      him. "And I never connected it to the lab mission at all. You, Logan and
      Storm had taken Rogue with you to investigate that Friends of Humanity plot,
      and I just thought I was getting the flu."

      Jean turned away from him and leaned her forehead against the wall. "Then I
      finally had a chance to look at the data Storm had copied from Donovan
      Laboratories' computer system."

      "Hold on." Scott hopped up from the bed and stood behind her. "You told us
      there was nothing on the disk."

      She took a deep breath and turned to face him. "I lied about it. There was
      plenty on the disk. When we ... when we get back you can look at it. They
      were developing a virus. They called it Project Void."

      Scott's voice was even, but she could hear the anger just behind it. "Did
      you tell Hank what you found?"

      "Partly," she admitted. "Because the Professor brought him in to treat me,
      he had to know what he was up against. But I didn't even tell him
      everything."

      "Like?"

      She took a deep breath. She felt like her whole life was riding on the next
      five minutes. "The true purpose of the virus wasn't to kill mutants ... but
      to ... sterilize them. To keep us from breeding."

      "To keep ..." Scott trailed off. "Of all the ignorant bullshit. My parents
      weren't mutants. Yours weren't. My God, *anyone* could have a mutant child."

      She laughed harshly. "Science based on ignorance. Or wishful thinking, I
      guess."

      "But ..." Jean could see the exact moment the truth hit him. In fact, she
      could feel his shock inside her mind. "Oh, honey."

      He was wrapping his arms around her a second later, and she swallowed the
      tears that welled up and burrowed into him. He felt so good, and she
      mentally called herself 10 kinds of idiot to deny herself his comfort in her
      pain.

      He pulled back slightly, then took a full step back. "*This* is why you
      broke up with me?" he said hoarsely, and she realized he was close to crying
      himself. Crying for her, which blew her composure all to hell. Tears started
      sliding down her face, and she let them.

      "I'm sorry. I guess I went a little crazy," she said softly. "It was too
      much to handle."

      "That's exactly why you should've told me," he said sharply, yanking a hand
      through his hair. "The hard times are part of the deal, Jean. I can't
      believe you didn't tell me this."

      She didn't know what to say. He was so right, and she couldn't even come up
      with an argument that didn't make her sound even more unbalanced. She'd just
      decided that he deserved someone who could give him children. As crazy as
      it sounded to her now, it made perfect sense at the time.

      "You told Logan this," he said flatly.

      Jean fought a sigh. Were they going back to this again? "That's totally
      different."

      "Different how?"

      "Well, for one, I completely fell apart in front of him, and it just came
      out," she said quietly. "But the main reason is, if I told you ... it would
      make it real. Make it true. Don't ask me to explain, because I don't really
      understand it myself."

      He stood quietly for a moment, pounding one fist against his leg, and she
      knew it was touch and go. He could either stay angry, or he could --

      "Well," he said, obviously forcing a lighthearted tone. She relaxed
      slightly. "It's about time you realized I only wanted you to make some
      babies for me."

      "Scott --"

      "Look," he interrupted, grabbing her hand. With his other hand, he thumbed
      away the tears on her face. "I know how much you wanted kids, hon. I'm so
      sorry. But you know there are plenty of kids out there who need a good home.
      And ... this virus was experimental, anyway. Doesn't mean it will work."

      "I know. And I haven't had any tests run, either."

      He smiled and pulled her into a hug again. "After the way you hound everyone
      else to get regular exams and not ignore potential problems ..."

      "I guess I'm pretty much a hopeless basket case," she admitted. It had
      crossed her mind that maybe another side effect of the virus was temporary
      brain death.

      "Not hopeless," he corrected her gently. "Never without hope."

      He said it with such feeling, such certainty, that she believed him.

      "It's been a long night," he said, pulling away again. Her heart sank. He
      was going to kick her out. How long would it be until things were back to
      normal?

      He ran a hand through her hair, then tilted his head toward the bed. "Shall
      we?"

      "Are we ... OK?"

      Scott sighed. "I love you. You love me. Obviously we have some things to
      work through, but I want to marry you just as much as I have since the day
      we met. We can fix this. Plus, you know, I really miss you hogging the
      covers and snoring."

      "I *do not* snore."

      "You do. But that's OK. I think it's cute." He grinned at her, and she
      decided to let him win the argument.

      For now.


      Rogue

      She was feeling a little reckless. A little like her time was running out.

      Probably because it was.

      Knowing you were going to die had kind of a liberating feel to it. After
      all, if most people found out they were going to die tomorrow, they'd
      probably do something they'd always been afraid to do before.

      She probably should be asleep, but she was wired.

      And touchable.

      Rogue pushed Logan's door open and slid inside. She could hear him breathing
      evenly as she stood, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the dark. When they
      did, she headed for the bed. She had a moment of deja vu, remembering the
      night they almost killed each other. Since then, if she needed to wake him
      up, she'd always done it from a safe distance, just in case.

      Not tonight.

      Before she could change her mind, she was standing over him. She ran one
      deliciously bare hand up his chest before leaning down and placing her lips
      on his. She paused for a moment, just enjoying the feeling of skin on skin,
      mouth on naked mouth with nothing in between, before she nipped his bottom
      lip with her teeth and followed it with her tongue.

      Just like that, he was awake and she was on her back with one solid, heavy
      Logan pressing her into the mattress. Which, she reflected, was a hell of a
      lot better than getting clawed.

      "Hey," she said.

      "He -- wait. Marie?" He sounded confused, and she giggled. Poor Logan. He
      automatically braced himself slightly on his arms, taking some weight off
      her.

      "Mmmm-hmmm."

      "What are you ... holy shit." Logan was staring down at her in shock. One
      hand was cupped behind her neck and the other was grasping one shoulder,
      bare in the tank top she was wearing. "I'm touching you."

      "Mmmm-hmmm," she said again.

      He slowly lowered his mouth to hers, as if giving her time to push him away.
      That was the last thing in the world she wanted to do. He started out
      gently, brushing his mouth against hers until she opened her mouth to him.
      Still, he kept it slow, deepening the kiss until her entire body was humming
      and she forgot how to breathe. This -- mouth against mouth, tongues sliding
      against one another, breaths mingling -- this was something that couldn't be
      replaced. Kissing through scarves was a pale imitation.

      She murmured a protest as he pulled out of the kiss but quieted as he began
      to press small kisses on her face, her forehead, her eyelids. She moaned
      slightly as he moved to her neck, and again he pulled back. "I'm *touching*
      you," he said again, this time with wonder in his voice.

      "Seems like," she said dryly, not sure where all her good humor was coming
      from considering that he was rolling away from her. Damn it.

      She sat up and slipped off the bed as he rubbed his hands over his eyes and
      then just sat there, staring at her.

      "What?" she said finally, embarrassed and suddenly uncertain. What had she
      been thinking, to just climb into bed with him?

      "How did this happen?"

      "Sidre," she said, twisting her fingers together and walking across the room
      to the door. "She got up in my head. All the girls did, and we just kind of
      found the on-off switch ... or door. Whatever. It's kind of hard to
      explain."

      "You can touch," he said.

      "I think we kind of established that," she said, then to her utter horror,
      she blushed. She hoped his enhanced vision wouldn't let him see her blush in
      the dark. She leaned back against the door. "Well, I guess I'd better, you
      know, go. Um, get some sleep."

      He stood up and came to her. He touched her face with one hand, running the
      other down her arm and clasping her hand. "Stay," he said.

      "Logan --"

      "Stay. And sleep with me. Just ... sleep." She let him pull her toward the
      bed. She knew what she wanted, and sleep had little to do with it.

      "I'll stay," she said, slipping away from him and stretching out on the bed.
      She grinned at him, fingers toying with the bottom edge of her tank top.
      "But no sleep."

      He hesitated a fraction of a second before joining her. "You're the boss,
      princess."

      ***

      Much later, as she snuggled closer to Logan and savored the feeling of his
      skin against hers, he kissed her head and spoke.

      "Do you want to know about Jean? The Kiss Incident?"

      She laughed a little. "I really don't. But there is something I wanted to
      ask you."

      "Shoot."

      "You said you remembered everything about your life before? I was wondering
      ... is Logan your real name?"

      "Yeah," he said. "It's my family name. My last name, you'd say."

      When he didn't continue, she poked him in the ribs. "So?"

      "Hmmm?"

      "So, what's your first name?" she asked.

      "Oh. It's Hugh," he said. "After my great-grandfather."

      "Hmmph. You don't look like a Hugh," she decided. "I'm still going to call
      you Logan."

      "You can call me whatever you want, darlin'."

      She grinned mischievously. "*Anything* I want?"

      "Logan'll do," he said quickly as she laughed.

      They lay drowsing for a few minutes before he spoke again.

      "Can I tell you a secret?"

      "Anything," she said sleepily.

      "When I was a kid, there was a woman in Roan that the kids called 'Old
      Anni.' Mom would always yell at us for calling her that, but then she
      admitted that Anni had been old even when Mom was a kid. Old Anni was
      supposedly a seer. Half the people thought she was a crackpot, but half of
      them said things she'd told them about their future came true.

      "Well, my older brother, Samuel, and I snuck out one night and went to see
      Old Anni. I was about 11 or 12, so I wanted to hear about all these
      adventures I would have, how I was going to be a great warrior or something.
      Do you know what she told me?"

      "Ummm. Something about having claws and wearing a lot of black leather?"
      Rogue murmured with a laugh.

      "She told me I was going to marry a princess."

      Rogue froze. "Logan."

      He chuckled. "I'm not suggesting we run out tonight and get hitched, Marie.
      I'm just saying. It's funny that I ended up falling in love with a princess
      after all."

      Rogue felt a wave of longing go through her. If she left now, if she ran
      away, she could have this. She could marry Logan, and they could live
      happily ever after with 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence. And God
      knows how many people would die because of her selfishness.

      "I love you, Logan," she said softly, thinking *Please, make me leave this
      place.*

      Then he kissed her hard again, pulling her body over his, and she didn't
      think at all.


      Jamie
      ~*~
      The Nightowl: http://www.geocities.com/panda_grrl2000
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