FF: The Splintering Touch (1/7)
- TITLE: The Splintering Touch
AUTHOR : Melissa Flores
GENRE: X-Men: The Movie, Wolverine/Rogue, ensemble
RATING: R for violence and language, and sensuality
SUMMARY: While Rogue attempts to bring her desperation under control,
the X-men launch a rescue mission to find their missing colleague,
unaware that another group is looking for her as well, with very
different intentions in mind.
CHAPTER ONE ~ IN WHICH THE SEARCH BEGINS
She had never thought the absence of one person would affect the school
so much. Especially the absence of someone who had kept to herself so
But it was almost tangible. She could taste it on her lips, on her
tongue. She could feel it weighing down on her chest and her throat was
constricted because of it.
Her side ached, the stitches not quite fully healed, and her walk was
always more gentle, her speech, always softer.
But she couldn�t hide the expression in her eyes. And it helped�
knowing she wasn�t the only one that couldn't hide the pain, the
conflicted emotions of not knowing what had caused her to run off.
It was the not knowing that really got to her.
The blasts to her side hadn�t been bad. She had lain in the sterile
white bed exactly a day, up before even Logan, Remy�s strong hands
helping her out, moving with her, never leaving her side.
Her heart tremored when she looked at the thief, his red eyes so
telling of the anguish he was feeling.
She had never known just how much he had truly loved Rogue until she
had looked into his eyes the moment she woke up and was told her best
friend was no longer with them. That she ran� that she had almost
A ragged shudder flitted though her body and Storm closed her eyes, a
hand on her forehead, feeling her body shake with the anguish� the pain
that must have coursed through the young Rogue�s body.
God she had loved Logan so much� with such passion�
Rogue where ARE YOU?
�Ms. Munroe?� Her eyes opened to find the young Darryl looking down at
her, his hands behind him nervously, on his face an uncertain look.
She sat up, her gaze quickly drifted to the other students, who were
also staring at her, on their faces open concern.
She coughed, taking a breath, trying to still her voice when she asked,
�Yes, what is it, Darryl?�
�Are you all right?�
The concern in the troubled young boy made her still, looking and smile
stiffly. �I�m fine, Darryl. Thank you.�
There was silence, and again the students looked at Darryl, who
appeared to have been chosen as the student delegate, as he licked his
lips, and then bit down on his bottom one.
Her eyes searched his face thoughtfully. �Something on your mind,
�Well� yeah� actually�� He ran a hand through his hair nervously, and
one of the younger children, losing patience, spoke up.
�Is Rogue coming back?�
Murmuring immediately filled the classroom and Ororo felt her insides
suddenly shake inside her. Again, it struck her how missed the Xmen
was. Perhaps it was the tragic circumstances, but Rogue wasn't a
teacher, not yet. And yet the students knew her... knew of her, enough
to miss her... to want her back.
Storm had an idea that if any of them had disappeared, the reaction
would be the same, but the emotion still lodged in her throat
�We�re going to make sure, she does.� She answered in a tight voice,
her tone soft, gentle, despite the whiteness of her knuckles as she
gripped the sides of her chairs.
�I don�t know what you�ve heard� but we�re going to get her back. Rogue
is a dear friend of mine� of many of us, and we�re not going to rest
until we find her.�
The certainty in her voice made a few of the younger students smile
slightly, but others perceived the shaking, the liquid milkiness in her
eyes that betrayed her own turmoil.
A clap of thunder sounded outside, and everyone jumped, leaving Storm
to close her eyes and just breathe.
�Why don�t we take a break?� she said after a minute. �Finish your
assignments in your dorms. We�re pick up where we left off tomorrow.�
A statement that usually would have been followed with shrieks and
hollers had instead been followed with the rustles of soft papers,
pencils, low whispering.
Storm crossed her arms, shaking her head slightly.
Damn. It she had only known.
�Ororo.� A knocking at her door drifted her out of her thoughts, and
she found Remy�s face, devoid of it�s usual playfulness staring down at
He nodded shortly, swallowing before cocking his head to the hallways.
"Professor is waking Logan up."
Storm's eyes widened, and immediately she pushed back her seat and
rose, following Remy out her classroom and down the hallway.
It was odd.
For as long as she had been with the X-men, with Xavier, Jean had never
been a patient in her own medical facility.
It felt extremely unusual, disconcerting, to be sitting on the bed,
watching as the Professor and a young mutant worked, their attention on
She swallowed, looking down at her own white gown, crossing her arms
and wrapping her hands around her waist.
She felt naked.
She felt trapped.
And she felt terribly worried.
Her hands fingered the stitches at her side, where the claws of the
Falcon Man who had attacked her ripped into her.
They were healing, slowly. It still hurt to move fast.
But that was nothing compared to the aching in her own heart.
It was a curse of a telepath... she had yet to master what the
Professor had, the ability to block out the pain when he needed to, to
become apart from it...
And so she felt the anguish, the despair of her medical ward, of every
person that had ventured into it.
And mostly, she had felt the wild fear, the panic, the desperation and
the heartbreak of Logan when he was told that his little Marie, who had
almost killed him, had disappeared.
He had almost broken Remy's arm trying to go after her, trying to break
out of the ward. He had acted like the beast most people feared he
was, trying to find his mate at all costs. It hadn't mattered to him
that he was weak, that he was in no condition to brave the winds nor
that they had no idea where Rogue had gone to, all that mattered was
She had been sleeping when it had happened, the pain shooting into her
head, waking her up as she bolted straight, not caring about her wounds
as they tore, eyes wide open to find the confusion and the panic that
had invaded the place.
Kitty was crying. Jubilee was holding her tight, watching the scene
with moistened eyes. Even Ororo was wakened by the noise, watching in
horror, not knowing what had happened, unsure and confused.
Scott and Remy were holding Logan down as he thrashed about, and it had
been the Professor that had finally put Logan down like a dog, with an
entrance into his mind, shutting it down, not letting him think... not
letting him feel.
She had almost envied him for a moment.
And in the quiet that followed Logan's unconscious state, she had been
explained everything, leaning against her husband, his worried and
panicked haze mingled with the relief at seeing her awake and alive,
listening to Professor X in his calm tone talk about Rogue's
disappearance as if a bottle of jam that had gone missing.
She knew him better than others. She wasn't angered by his placid tone.
It was a deliberate soothing voice, because nearly everyone in that
room had almost gone into hysterics.
The storm and thunder that racked the mansion immediately after the
announcement didn't let up for three days.
And Logan was under all that time. Blocked from his mind, until
Professor Xavier could come up with a way to find her... to group
themselves together and find their lost soul.
Bringing her legs up under her, Jean watched from her bed, the still
form of Logan on the table ten feet away. Even in his sleep, the man
known as Wolverine had a frown in his face, his jaw firm, almost
clamping, his eyebrow narrowed.
She swallowed, looking away, suddenly remembering. Rogue's face when
she was cornered by she and Professor Xavier, told that a relationship
between her and Logan could never happen, that she would only hurt
It had been a curse... a dreadfully wrong way to tell a scared child
who looked and acted like a woman that the one hope, the one happiness
in her life would never... ever happen.
How long must she have dreamed of Logan? Cherished him in her
thoughts... It had to be mutual, for the two of them to fall in love so
quickly... so completely...
Her hands reached up, burying her face in them.
DAMN. The guilt was weighing... damning...
A hand gently lay on her bare shoulder, and her head jerked up,
surprised at not feeling his presence before.
Scott smiled at her, a tired smile that told of the stress of
leadership that was weighing down on him now. She had searched his mind
and found it full of what ifs... What if he had only seen the falcon
coming, what if he had put the relationship to a stop earlier, what if
he had kept Rogue with them...
A leader was not a position she envied him. Every loss he felt keenly,
and when he had chosen to save his wife, he had lost his team member.
Without a word she reached up and slid her arms around her husband,
pulling him in close. He held her tightly, and she reveled in it,
knowing she needed his comfort just as much as he needed hers.
He sat on the bed with her, keeping her close, and she didn't say a
word, a soft whimper emerging before gathering her strength, and
pulling away. Looking up, she found his red lenses looking down at her,
a small smile of worry and strength on his perfect lips.
"Hi," she breathed.
"Hey." He leaned forward, lips pulling against her own, a gentle caress
of love before pulling away to gently press his lips against her
forehead. "How are you doing?"
She shrugged, wiping at her eyes quickly. "Better."
"I meant in here." Gently, he tapped her foreheard, and she felt her
throat suddenly close up.
Sighing, she leaned her head against him. "What do you think?"
He didn't say a word, his eyes suddenly distracted when the doors to
the infirmary opened and Ororo and Remy stepped inside, their bodies
close together, Remy unconsciously placing a hand to Ororo's waist in
case her wounds flared up in pain.
Scott swallowed, closing his eyes for a minute.
Remy had lost the woman he loved. Maybe he may have never had her, her
heart had always belonged to Logan, but... still... the thought of
losing Jean in the way Remy lost Rogue...
His grip tightened on his wife.
Charles turned, regarding the two mutants that had just entered. "I'm
assuming you heard?"
Remy nodded shortly and Storm merely crossed her arms, looking
uncertain, and a bit scared.
Charles took a breath, and sighed, moving back towards Logan. "Fine.
Scott, and Remy, come here, please. If he loses it like he did the last
time, we might have to hold him back."
Jean caught Ororo's eye and the white haired Goddess of the winds
started forward, gently pressing next to her old friend.
"You okay?" she asked in a low voice.
Jean sensed the true fear and slowly allowed a soft, tight smile to
come over her face. "I'll be okay when we find her."
Ororo swallowed, and nodded, reaching out and gripping her hand,
watching what was about to take place on the other bed.
Charles took a breath, leaning forward, gently placing his palms on
Logan's forehead, closing his eyes and leaning forward, unlocking his
There was a gentle quiet at first, and Scott was almost able to breathe
easily, when Logan suddenly bolted upright.
The young mutant assisting Charles jumped away, but neither Remy nor
Scott flinched away, arms crossed, waiting and watching.
Logan's hand immediately went to his head, weak and heady, as his mind
suddenly became reconnected to his body. He groaned, blinking, his
voice raspy and weak.
"What the fuck did you do to me?"
"Sedated you," Charles immediately responded, watching Logan with a
placid, controlled expression. "You were a bit out of your head."
Logan's face contorted, looking away, burying his hands in his hair,
grunting and groaning, his strong body appearing to shake as he tried
to make sense of what had happened, tried to remember... to think...
Hands suddenly flew away from his face, and his eyes wide, he gave one
pleading remark. "Rogue?"
He met Charles' gaze, hands on the edge of his head, eyes wide, looking
so desperate, so full of worry and close to panic and desperation and
And Charles slowly shook his head.
Logan's chest began to heave, a groan was torn from his lips, and
looking up, he found his eyes meeting Remy's.
Wild panic swept through him, and Logan reacted much as an animal
would... at the first person he could find.
A cry of pain tore from his throat, and before anyone had time to stop
him, he lunged forward, grabbing the taller man and bringing him toward
"You were supposed to watch her! You were supposed to take care of her
you bastard! How could you-"
"LOGAN! STOP!" Scott came forward, tried to pull Logan away, but the
mutant wouldn't have it, pushing Scott away and continuing his assault
"LOGAN!" Jean and Ororo slid off the bed, moving forward him, fear on
Only Remy, the recipient of Logan's anger, appeared unfazed. "That's
right you animal. Tear me up with dem claws of yours. See if I give a
damn." And out of nowhere a glowing card was produced and Logan was
suddenly tossed halfway across the room.
He landed in a heap, not moving for a second, groaning, his hand on the
wound in his chest. Remy's eyes flashed dangerously, was about to step
forward when a crisp, clear order was barked.
"That is ENOUGH!"
The anger behind the usually calm voice made them freeze, and Logan and
Remy both swiveled their heads to Charles, who was leaning forward, his
eyebrows narrowed, his face contorted in anger.
"This has gone on long enough," he spoke in a low, dangerous whisper, a
deep, controlled anger that made everyone still. "I'm bloody tired of
having you break off in shows of hormonal testosterone that will get us
no closer to finding Rogue." He swiveled, and his gaze leveled in on
Logan. "Now you listen to me. I warned you about what would happen if
you chose to pursue a relationship with Rogue. Until you came along we
were her home, we were her family. We were her haven. You've turned
this place into a hell of her, because you made her think things could
be possible that COULD NOT BE YET." Logan glared, his breath heaving,
his hands balled into fists, but the Professor continued. "I never said
it could never happen, I SAID NOT YET. And you didn't give a damn and
NOW we've lost her-"
The word invaded his mind, and he froze, turning his head slowly to
Jean, not five feet away, hands wrapped around her thin frame, gently
shaking her head.
Jean knew of his affection for Rogue. She knew that because of her
melding with Magneto, Rogue knew him as no one else did. She knew and
understood her anger. And she knew and understood, it appeared, Logan's
//Please. For Rogue. She loves him. And he loves her.//
He swallowed, taking a breath, and closing his eyes, he nodded. When
they opened, his body had relaxed slightly, and his gaze at Logan no
longer held the animosity it had before. "Whatever you believe Logan,
we LOVE Rogue. Everyone one of us in this room has come to care for her
as family. We will do anything to get her back, and get her back we
WILL. You are welcome to join us, as long as you do it our way."
"And what if I don't want to do it YOUR way?" Logan asked, his eyebrows
Charles regarded him, and answered immediately. "You already tried it
YOURS. That's what got us here." When Logan visibly winced, he
straightened, and turned to the others. "Ten minutes. Then meet me in
front of Cerebro."
Slowly, the group filed out, leaving Logan by himself, the wound on his
stomach healing immediately. Jean alone stayed, gently reaching for her
clothes, looking at him softly.
There was a wild desperation in his eyes, a wounded agony that shone
from his orbs that told her she didn't have to reach out with her mind
in order to feel the pain, the fear that was coursing through him.
He had lost her... she had nearly killed him, and he had lost her, and
he blamed himself. The once proud, straight figure seemed buried with
an invisible burden, and her heart heaved at the sight.
"Logan... I..." She wanted to say something... anything... and found
nothing that came to mind. There were no appropriate words, no gentle
soothing ways to tell him that it was going to be alright, that it
wasn't his fault, that it wasn't their fault.
Words were always her strong suit, and yet at this moment, she knew
there was only one thing she could do. So instead of speaking, instead
of a long winded pep talk or a scientific analysis, she did the only
thing she knew would work on a man like Logan. She leaned forward, and
gently wrapped her arms around him, holding him close.
He stiffened, until his arms suddenly slid around the doctor, and
pulled her against him, taking the embrace desperately, if only for a
She felt her heart heave slightly, and with moistened eyes, she smiled
at him tightly, pulling back.
"Thanks," he said gruffly, looking embarrassed, looking away
She only cocked her head, and turned, leaving him alone in the piercing
cold of the infirmary.
It really was an inconvenience she had developed the ability to fly.
His touch could only do so much, and she had surprised him, with her
panicking, her gumption.
And he had to admit, that amused him as well. She had fire. Somehow he
had known that� and now he cherished it.
It did make things so much more interesting, albeit a bit more
Her skin had been soft� so very soft, and so untouched, so� pure.
But her eyes� her eyes were so tormented and deep and dark. They were
She was a contradiction, a mystery.
It would be a challenge when he found her.
When he found her.
It really was an inconvenience she had developed the ability to fly.
�We should have kept her grounded,� he muttered to himself, his hands
sliding into his pockets, looking around the dark area.
Now where could his destiny be?
There was a slither behind him, and he turned, his violet eyes picking
up the reptilian man who was huddled in the large furs.
Poor cold blooded being. Augustus his eyes flicker over the mutant, and
again felt the familiar tug in his heart. The want. The envy. The need.
�Are they looking for her?�
�Ssssoon they will be.�
He pursed his lips, crossing his arms and cocking up, looking up at the
�Then we�ll just have to find her before they do, hmm?�
Augustus chuckled and clamped the young mutant on the shoulder. �Let
them try, old friend. Let them try.�
There had been a moment once where all he had felt was pure panic.
When he had awoken from nothing, naked and shivering in the woods, dog
tags around his neck, his body rigid, tight� painful.
The wild desperation, the fear, and the pain of NOT KNOWING. Not
knowing who he was, not knowing where he came from... not knowing WHAT
He had been an animal. A full on animal, and there had never been more
pain or horror or surprise than the moment he panicked and felt the
ripping of his skin to reveal claws extending from his body.
Lying with Marie in his arms, only two weeks ago, Logan had thought
back to that time, and wondered, and then realized one very important
thing. He had come so far, so close, and she was the reason. He had
never felt more civilized, never more HOME, never more sure of himself,
than the moment his knuckles gently smoothed up the line of her back,
the silkiness of her gown underneath his fingers, the scent of her hair
and her body filling his nostrils, the warmth of her weight sprawled on
top of his, her breath light and soft against his neck.
He felt himself a man, and for once the alloy wasn't at attention, the
fear and the desperation and the anger at the world that seemed to come
so easily to his mind and his heart was banished far away. He had never
felt more human.
Now, he was dangerously close to becoming the animal he once was, and
all because he didn't know.
He didn't know where she was, he didn't know what happened, he didn't
know why his little Marie had left. He was a man lost without the one
thing that had given him a semblance of control. A man with a fury of
love, animal love, with animal instincts.
And they were telling him to wait. To wait while they sat around and
moped and cried and acted like a bunch of fucking pansies while Rogue
... while MARIE was out there?
He growled, the grumble low, dangerous... menacing.
He paced the hall like a caged animal, eyes narrowed, wild, desperate.
His hands were clenched into tight fists, his brow narrowed, and his
No one, not even Jean, dared approach him. The mutants who prided
themselves on being more human than human instead were on the sides of
the hall, and they were all waiting.
For what, no one knew. Some held hope, others held dread, and even as
they waited for Professor X's diagnosis, for him to locate the lost
soul so they could bring her home, their eyes lay on the wild vixen's
mate, a man who had returned and in less than a week, had reclaimed her
heart and her sanity.
Logan paid them no minds. His muscles were taught as he stared at the
door, almost seeming to want to will it open with his mind.
As if questioning, his eyes tore to Jean, who stood next to Scott, his
"What's taking so long?"
"I... I don't know." Jean swallowed, taking a breath, looking away from
Logan. It was an unspoken question that they were all thinking that
Logan voiced, and she shuddered against the possibility that Xavier was
It had to work. It was their only hope.
He breathed in and out, trying to flood the frustration out of his
brain. His concentration was fading, and his strength was waning, and
still he hadn't found her.
There was no sign of her, no image of the lost soul with the deep eyes
and the deadly skin.
He couldn't even feel his presence, and he was so sure he could.
Come on, Xavier... she's counting on you, ole' boy.
He took a ragged, squelching the urge to even come close to panicking,
and again gently reached out for her, searching for any brain pattern,
His mind swept for miles, and he was never sure where it was going...
Long, winding and steep, and still it continued.
And still there was no sign of her...
Xavier wrenched the helmet off in disgust, almost throwing the piece
onto the floor in his anger.
She couldn't have just disappeared. Rogue was a mutant with a strong
He pursed his lips, sighing looking down at the helmet that rested on
his lifeless legs.
Closing his eyes he reached down, trying again.
The signatures, the minds of the countless entities slid through his
consciousness, and with a jump of his head, he found something
familiar: pain� loss� love� and anger.
He continued his descent, taking him through the snowy, bitter cold
He would find her.
He had to.
Melissa Flores aka Misty
Reality is Nothing But a Collective Hunch -
Founding member of PETS:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Scott
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