Near Enough [R]
- Summary: Bit by bit, he's taking a hold on her from inside of her skin.
WARNING: Sexual material that some readers may find disturbing. Read at your
own risk. It's not graphic at all, but I'd give this an R just to be safe.
It was her fault, for taking her gloves off so they wouldn't get wet when
she wiped her eyes. She tells herself that every time she strips them off
They don't often touch, but sometimes she likes to run a fingernail across
his cheek, or trace lines on his skull. She grows them long just for that -
it's not like she needs to play the piano anymore. Fingernails are safe and
dead, just like the hair she lets fall across his face. And then, sometimes,
she lays the palm of her hand against him, takes him by surprise. After all,
Charles always knows what's going on inside *her* head. Fair is fair.
He never touches her in return, not since the first day, when he found her
crying in the library and took her bare hand without thinking. She still
doesn't know if it was a real accident, or if his subconscious was trying to
tell them both something. Either way, that's how they got started: holding
It all poured into her head at once, faster than anyone else's mind, ever.
The way he felt about Erik, about his lover turning him into a weapon. The
way he felt about their last fight with the Brotherhood, about what Rogue
had to do. The way he felt about Jean, when she was less than Marie's age,
and then on and on and on until she died and he never told her. The way he
looked at Kitty, Jubilee, Dani.
The way he looked at her, trying not to look at all.
And maybe she *should* have been horrified, just like he was, but she was
She's known from that first moment that this doesn't have much to do with
Erik Lensherr, whatever Charles might like to tell himself. He'd mostly
faded out of her mind a few months after forcing himself on her, and even if
he hadn't ... Erik never needed protection. Erik never had big, brown needy
eyes or the clean, sweet, deadly skin of a mutant teenage girl. If it had
really been Erik that he wanted, she'd never have gone along with it. But he
wanted *her*, really her, which was something she hadn't felt since she
So she thought things over, took a deep breath, and she - not exactly lied.
Got a little creative with the truth, maybe. She said that she didn't feel
like a kid anymore since she sucked Carol Danvers dry, that she was too old
on the inside for anyone but him to understand what she was going through.
That she couldn't deal with knowing what was going on in everyone's heads -
that Logan wanted Jean, Bobby wanted John, John wanted nothing but the fire.
That she'd been so lonely since everyone her age went away to school and she
went on her first mission and her world shattered all over again. That she
wanted *him*. Charles made himself believe her, even if he knew better.
Sometimes Marie wonders what it is that she gets out of this, but never when
she's lying on his bed as he plays her like a violin. He knows how to pluck
the nerves in her brain until she'd scream the house down if he hadn't
turned off her voice. Sometimes she wonders what *he* gets out of this,
since he always keeps his clothes on. She wonders if he wants more, although
with his spine sliced through she wouldn't be sure where to start. It's not
something he thinks about enough for her to pick up on it.
Afterwards, he always tells her gently that she needs to leave, and so far
she's never argued. He has a habit of kissing her hand after she puts her
gloves back on that always make her blush like the schoolgirl she still
almost is. She has the same reaction when he absently calls her princess.
It's not like their relationship is exactly romantic, but it's nice to think
that in some other life it maybe could have been.
She loves him, or at least the tiny sliver of Erik that's swimming in her
skull does. He was almost gone when all of this started, but he hasn't
decayed any further. She wonders if it's something about his powers, or
because he's s stubborn son of a bitch, or because Charles gave him some ...
help. She doesn't know which possibility bothers her most.
She hates him, too, but not the way that Erik hates him. The hate is all
from Charles himself. It's a complex, mature emotion. Not something she can
shake off easily.
Bit by bit, he's taking a hold on her from inside of her skin.
All those little touches, all that time he spends in her head, it's starting
to add up. Lately she's been acing her tests at the local community college
by accident, and she has to be careful to keep her mouth shut in class.
Pretty often now, she finds herself watching Kitty or one of the other
schoolgirls with something other than sisterly interest. Sometimes she
dreams his darker dreams, feels what it's like to reach out and kill with a
She's absorbing his intelligence, his desires, maybe even some of his
abilities. The trouble is, she's not sure she has his control. She hopes
that if she touches him enough, some of that will come across too.
One night, she kisses him on the forehead before she goes and says: you
won't leave me, will you? Groggy from her draining him, even just a little,
he looked up at her and answered: where would I go? Neither of them has
anywhere special to be. This place is a haven for cripples and freaks, and
the most broken ones never leave. She knew from the moment she got here that
there was nowhere else for her to go. Now she knows that there's no *one*
else, either, for her or for Charles.
Marie needs someone, and God knows there's no Prince Charming waiting for
her. They're all off chasing dead damsels under lakes, or other handsome
princes. She's starting to think they're not all they're cracked up to be,
She feels like a princess, alright, trapped in the tower of her own poison
flesh. Every night, he opens the door and sets her free. Or as close as
she'll ever get.
It's going to have to be near enough.
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