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FF: The Splintering Touch (1/7)

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  • Melissa Flores
    TITLE: The Splintering Touch AUTHOR : Melissa Flores EMAIL: mistiec_flores@yahoo.com GENRE: X-Men: The Movie, Wolverine/Rogue, ensemble RATING: R for violence
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2000
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      TITLE: The Splintering Touch
      AUTHOR : Melissa Flores
      EMAIL: mistiec_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
      much.

      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
      killed Logan.

      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,
      Darryl?�

      �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
      nonetheless.

      �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.

      �But she-�

      �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
      her.

      "Remy."

      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
      Logan.

      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
      finding her.

      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
      him...

      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
      mind.

      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
      pure hope...

      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
      him.

      "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
      on Remy.

      "LOGAN!" Jean and Ororo slid off the bed, moving forward him, fear on
      their faces.

      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-"

      //Professor//

      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
      as well.

      //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
      narrowing.

      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
      second.

      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
      immediately.

      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
      difficult.

      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
      fascinating eyes

      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
      hazy sky.

      �Then we�ll just have to find her before they do, hmm?�

      �But�cccerebbrrooo.�

      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 was....

      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
      eyes glaring.

      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
      face accusing.

      "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
      having trouble.

      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,
      any lock.

      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
      signature.

      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
      mountains.

      He would find her.

      He had to.
      ~*~

      =====
      Melissa Flores aka Misty
      ~*~*~
      Reality is Nothing But a Collective Hunch -
      http://www.geocities.com/mistiec_reality/

      Founding member of PETS:
      People for the Ethical Treatment of Scott

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