FF: The Splintering Touch (2/7)
- 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 TWO ~ IN WHICH THREE MORE GO AWOL
She was haunted by two pairs of eyes.
One animal� feral, and beautiful. It was amazing how those two pairs of
eyes seemed to sear inside her, and it tore her apart.
Because he was inside her. In her mind, the conflicted soul delving
deep within her, and not once did she receive the judgment from him
that she so desperately wanted.
He had loved her� unconditionally.
Ironic, almost. Everyone had assumed him to be the animal. Not her.
And yet here she was, battling yet another consciousness of a man who�s
only crime had been to consider her beautiful�
Dakota had been born 30 years before. He had grown up in a small house
in the corner of the woods, and his father was an Indian, but he never
wanted anyone to admit that because he was from part of a town where
people said �Injuns� with disgust and narrowed eyes.
There had been a lot of that lately. Racism. Hatred.
She often wondered if Eric was right, if they really was a war coming.
Before the thought would horrify her. Now�
Her eyes drifted to her hands, and she took in a shuddering breath,
Her touch had killed before. And strangely she no longer had a problem
with that. Sharing her body with these minds, this one surprisingly
rooted still in her, even after a week, was becoming less of a pain,
less of a battle.
Humans were easy to absorb, and in a way, she was glad for the loss of
Because she could remember touch� if only in memories.
Still, nothing compared to the animal eyes that seemed to sear through
The brown eyes haunted her, along with a pair of violet eyes.
And the violet eyes were always accompanied with a searing, splintering
The touch burned on her face as if she had been seared with a hot iron.
She had never remembered a touch as searing, and yet, as she looked in
the mirror, the dark eyes seeming a little violet tinted themselves.
The hand felt as if it had been imprinted in her cheek, and she felt
Guilty and defiled.
Exactly what she was.
They were with her, calling to her, pulling to her, the smooth velvet
voice, and she ran.
She was running from so many things, and deep down inside of her, she
wondered it maybe she was a coward for refusing to face things,
refusing to face Logan and refusing to face the man with the violet
eyes and the soft searing touch and the smooth hands� Words of destiny
shuddered through her.
She didn�t want destiny.
She didn�t want anything but Logan.
And because of that, she had almost killed him.
Her eyes closed and she leaned against the sink, feeling her mind
suddenly split in two as the temper she immediately associated with
Logan�s flared up, so angry at her. Angry for running. For leaving him.
He would never understand. For Logan everything was black and white.
Only Rogue saw all the grays between, all the have�s and have not-s.
She was dangerous, destructive, and losing her mind to the voices in
Of that she was sure. With absolute clarity.
Rogue slowly shook her head, taking a shuddering breath inward, moving
away from the sink.
She couldn�t look at herself anymore. The longer she looked the more
she began to realize that she was never looking at who she was, but who
she was not.
And she couldn�t handle that right now.
Her life had been the same since she had taken off that day. Money had
never been a problem. She had managed to secure it well enough.
She had become a thief. A true Rogue, and she was surprisingly good at
it. With exception to the rather� disturbing incident in the bar, where
she had taken Dakota the half Indian and put him in a coma, she had
remained virtually unseen as she just kept moving.
She never planned on stopping, and the country was quickly getting too
small for her.
And still, every moment, of every day, she was haunted by two sets of
And they never wanted to let go. Not in her mind, not in her heart, and
not in her body.
She had been overtaken with incredible longing, pulls.
And she resisted them with every tug.
But she still felt branded.
She still felt Logan.
And God, she didn�t think she could ever run from that.
So Marie, ever the girl, and ever the woman, crawled onto the cheap
motel bed that she had rented because it reminded her of some distant
memory that must have been Logan�s, and she curled up, hugging her
knees to her chest, and did the only thing she could do when paralyzed
with fear and confliction.
He punched a hole in the wall.
Remy LeBeau cocked his head, watching the beast that had taken his
Rogue�s heart, and driven her off with an almost passive face, his red
eyes narrowed, the beating in his heart slowed to a soft dull.
At his side, the beautiful mutant who controlled the winds was silent,
and on her face, in her eyes was a tormented anger, that was churning
itself also through his body, journeying upwards, ready to burst.
This time Storm did nothing, merely took a ragged breath, and tore her
eyes from Logan, back to Xavier.
Remy had no idea what to say. What to say or do now that their last
hope was gone.
Logan seemed to be voicing their anger and desperation perfectly,
�WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN�T FIND HER?!�
The professor didn�t seem fazed by Logan�s lack of composure at all,
instead, oddly, he seemed grateful for it, almost as if knowing that
Logan releasing his anger would keep the rest of them sane.
Remy merely crossed his arms, the trench coat swishing around him as he
watched, listened. It was all he could do.
And Dammit, did he hate being helpless.
�I don�t know. At one point I thought I had her. I felt her,� his eyes
went to Jean, and it seemed that the professor was speaking to her only
for a minute. �The next minute I was blocked. It was so much emotion,
and then she felt� branded. Her signal was no longer her own.�
Feeling his heart shudder, the Creole�s eyes went immediately to Logan,
who�s claws had suddenly extracted and suddenly the fist was in the
�Logan,� Storm had gasped beside him.
But the man who was Wolverine, the love of Rogue�s life, merely glared,
and immediately began shaking his head.
�I shoulda known better than to stay here.� And with that, he suddenly
whirled, walking away from them with a speed that rivaled even their
resident speed demon.
�Logan,� Jean�s heels could be heard clattering, but he barely stopped.
�For what?� he whirled, his eyes flashing and narrowed, growling under
his breath. �So you guys can shut my mind down again, make me wait
another week while Marie has some sort of BRAND on her?� he spit out
his words, edged in disgust, narrowing his eyes. �I tried it your way.
It doesn�t work. I�m getting her back.�
�And how do you propose to do that, Logan?� Xavier called, his face
pained, his eyes clear and angry.
�I feel her. I can smell her. I know her. More than any of you who
claim to love her SO much.� He shook his head. �Any of you try to stop
me�� he didn�t seem to want to make the statement, but a deep breath
and a glare told what the words didn�t.
No one tried to follow him.
Scott merely sighed, raising his fingers and massaging his temples in
one exasperated sigh.
�Well? Any suggestions?�
Remy didn�t say a word. His eyes darted down the hallway to the
disappearing form of Logan.
His body was tense, his jaw hard.
Rogue was in trouble. He knew it.
And damn if the thought didn�t just tear him up inside.
Ororo�s voice was questioning, as if knowing what he wanted to do and
wondering if he would follow through with it.
He gave her a long gaze, and suddenly tore his eyes away, and ran down
the hall, after the man who had taken his Rogue�s heart, and taken
Remy�s sanity with him.
The stares that followed him he didn�t pay attention to, neither did he
heed the calls of Ororo and Jean. He shut his ears and mind out to
anything but the thought of Rogue in trouble.
He needed to find his beauty. And if teaming up with the beast would
get the job done, well�
A Creole must do what a Creole must do.
His jacket was pulled on, gloves followed. Everything went into the
duffel bag, and he turned, headed towards the doorway when his nose
betrayed an all too familiar scent.
His nostrils flared, and a low growl rumbled from his throat.
But the irritating Creole merely shook his head, hands up. �Hold it,
�You comin� to try to get me to stay?� Logan sneered, his eyes
narrowed. ��Cause you�re an unlikely choice.�
�Hell no.� Gambit lifted up a bag, and cocked his head. �I�m comin�
�You heard me, beastie. I�m comin�.�
Logan looked at him, his body still, cocking his head, before snorting.
�Listen, pal. This isn�t a gang deal here. I�m finding her and-�
�You�ll need help.� The accent was thick, but Logan understood him, as
the red-eyed man glared at him. �I don�t like you, you don�t like me.
�It�s de truth,� Gambit glared, crossing his broad shoulders and
looking down at the powerful mutant. �Den if we can accept that, we can
accept that you can�t find her alone. I can help.�
�How, Sparky?� Logan asked, a smirk on his face.
Remy merely quirked an eyebrow. �You ain�t the only one with a past,
beastie. I�m finding Marie. We find her together, we�ll find her
Logan was silent for a moment, his eyes looking down the hallway. Every
second he waited, that was one second longer Marie was out there on her
own. He didn�t have time waste. But the Cajun wasn�t moving, and
although Logan was sorely tempted to impale the bastard, and throw him
aside, he doubted that would be the � smartest thing to do.
�What about your �X-men�?� he asked, his voice slightly sarcastic.
�Finding Rogue is all dat matters. You�re the only one with a plan. I�m
Logan stared intensely, the glare throwing daggers, but Remy never
He pursed his lips, and finally his shoulders tightened, his breath low
and tight. �Alright listen, Red Eyes. We do this MY way. You fuck up,
and you�re on your own, you got that?�
Gambit almost laughed in his face, and just looked at Logan,
stone-faced. �Don�t make pretense, Logan. We hate each other. We love
Rogue. Dat�s enough.�
Glaring at each other warily, the two men stepped immediately turned,
and began walking towards the entrance slowly.
Logan shook his head, glaring at the man beside him, and closed his
Shit. Where the hell was she?
The bar was quiet. Harry sighed, wiping at his face, the humidity in
the air from the bodies that frequented his place making him sweaty and
The door leading to outside the tavern was now closed, he wasn�t sure
by who, but he noticed that ever since the �INCIDENT�, people had been
making sure the door was kept closed. Every time it opened, people�s
eyes flitted to the doorway, and strangers were most certainly not
He sucked in his breath.
Mutant bitch. Damn near ruined his business. And jobs were hard enough
to find in this place.
He rubbed at the coffee stain at the bar harder, and grimaced when the
varnish almost came off with it.
�Yeah?� came the call from the back.
�What the hell kinda cleaner is this?�
�That new stuff. Supposed to be really strong.�
�I�ll say it is. Ruined my bar.�
�Hell, Harry with them cigarette stains you won�t even be able to tell
Danielle laughed, coming forward, the tavern regular with the big hair
and too much make up giving the spot a languid look, before laughing.
�Aw, come on Harry. It�s an improvement.�
A rumble of laughter went though the bar, until the door squeaked open.
As was the custom, the bar suddenly went silent.
Harry waited, until he saw the large belly of the sheriff.
A collective sigh of relief went through the bar, and Harry smiled.
�Sheriff! Get ya a beer?�
He waved his hand away, holding the door open. �Naw. I�m working.�
A masculine hand opened the door wider, and Harry froze when suddenly a
man in a black suit emerged.
And he had the craziest pair of eyes he had ever seen.
They were violet. He had never seen anything like it.
The man with the violet eyes walked gracefully, and on anyone else, it
would have seemed he was vaguely feminine, had it not been for the
masculine scent he seemed to carry, the power he seemed to exude in his
obviously expensive suit.
He paused in the doorway, looking down, lifting one leather bound shoe
to inspect the peanuts crunchings and the spilt beer that looked and
smelled almost like urine.
He raised an eyebrow, and then gazed at the bartender who was watching
with everyone else in the tavern.
�If I were you Mr. Larson I would invest in a broom.�
Someone snorted, and the violet eyes swiveled, seeming to pinpoint the
person. The person immediately stopped sniveling.
The sheriff coughed, hands on his hips as he waddled to Harry.
�This here is Mr. Augustus. He�s with some government Agency, looking
for that girl that came in here last week.�
�The very one,� Augustus confirmed, straightening his suit. �I�ve been
tracking her for some time now. She�s a wanted woman.�
�No kidding. Girl�s dangerous.�
�Invariably so.� He turned to the sheriff and offered him a polite
nod. �Thank you for your time Sheriff.�
�Hope you find the bitch,� the sheriff muttered, waddling his way back
to the tavern door.
Augustus� eyes narrowed slightly, but his lips pursed and he turned
back to Harry who was leaning against the bar curiously.
�Thank you for your time, Mr. Larson. You say you saw the person I�m
�Wasn�t no person, Mister. That there was a mutant.�
�A mutant, you say?�
�Hell yeah. Had the strength of a bull, right near threw poor Dakky
into the bar.�
�Oh yeah. Just for stealing a kiss from her.�
�The man took liberties?� Augustus asked, a hard edge in his voice that
wasn�t quite there before.
Harry looked a little taken aback and he quickly amended. �Well not
exactly. He really didn�t get that far.�
�But that�s what started this, wasn�t it?�
�Hell he just wanted a kiss! Next thing we knew she was holding him
against the bar, touched him once and put the poor bastard in a coma.�
�He�s still under, I take it?�
And Augustus seemed almost to smile, before he cocked his head and
asked, �Did she anything about where she was going?�
�No. Just up and left. Lotta wind that day, couldn�t really see much.�
His eyes were quite dark when he merely gazed at the bartender. A
gloved hand drifted down and traced the counter top. �She sat here,
Augustus was silent, his eyes glittering and Harry narrowed his eyes.
�Are you a mutant?�
His eyes drifted upward, and a smile flitted across his face.
�Unfortunately no. I�m very much human. Extraordinarily so.�
�So you�re like the police.�
�Then what are you?�
�A man in search of a destiny. Mutants are the future, Harry. I suggest
you realize that and treat them accordingly. Thank you for your time.
You�ve been of absolutely no help whatsoever. Good day.�
He nodded, and turned, walking toward the door when Harry snorted.
�Hell them muties are too scared of us to do nothing.�
The well-bred young man paused, cocking an eyebrow and regarding him, a
cold and disdainful expression in his face that made the glare he gave
the bartender that much colder.
For some unknown reason, the bartender stopped smiling
�Do you read the Bible?�
�Go to church every Sunday.�
�No, Mr. Larson. Do you READ it? Ever sat down and opened those pages
�Hell no! Why would I?�
He was quiet for a moment, cocking his head, his violet eyes seeming to
regard him, his face closed down with a pursed mouth.
�Fascinating character study. If you actually sit down and read the
stories, you�ll find quite possibly the most complete book on human
emotion, relations, and acts that you could ever need. You learn a good
many things. I suggest you peruse them.�
He turned, dismissing him, but Harry was intrigued, and leaning
forward, he called out, �Like what?�
Augustus paused, and gently turned his head. �Humans are fallible, Mr.
Larson. All it took was one boy with a rock to bring down a giant. One
woman with a seductive smile to bring down Samson. Seven trips around
a city and it�s strongest walls came tumbling down. Humans are weak.
Kingdoms will fall, and in the end, the people to survive are the ones
deemed fittest by the higher powers. No one can prevent that. All we
can do is change with the times. The time of humans is over, Mr.
Larson. The mutants won�t be scared for long. And when they aren�t�� He
paused, his eyes roving over the old tavern. A small smile flitted on
his lips as he continued. �I would watch myself.�
And with that, he turned and walked calmly out of the tavern, leaving
the group of regulars to stare after him with a beating in their hearts
and the urge to panic rising in their throats.
She had known they were up to something.
As much as they didn�t want to admit it, Remy and Logan were men who
were very much the same. They were men of action.
Unlike Scott, who thought everything through, along with Jean and
Xavier, sitting here in the damned room DISCUSSING, they did something.
Storm felt herself swallow, doing her best to keep her face passive,
her eyes betraying her lack of concentration by staring towards the
They would leave.
They were men of action.
But they were also damn stubborn, and prone to rash things.
Ororo Munroe knew this too well.
She was quiet, serene in appearance, so often so quite and serene that
people tended to forget who she was� what she was.
She was a storm, pure and simple. Sometimes, most of the times, it was
a light shower, pleasant cool, and in rare times, she had the capacity
of a hurricane, dangerous, temperamental.
The desperation in Logan�s face, in Remy�s eyes was infectious, because
although Storm had repeated to herself time and time again she was no
longer what she was before�
There was a part of her that identified with them, knew them.
She had been a rebel and a thief, a past she had been driven to by
hatred, racism, and the utter rage of humans.
She had been taught a new way, a better way, and for that she would be
grateful to Xavier always.
But her past whispered to her that Logan and Remy had merit.
Her eyes roved after Scott, the haunted weight of leadership on his
face, to Jean, her beautiful face tight and drawn.
They could read her mind. They would know what she was thinking.
They might stop her.
Slowly, she stood, grateful that the discussion had achieved such an
intensity that her quiet moving was not missed, until she reached the
She froze, looking back, to find them looking up at her.
�Yes professor?� she asked sweetly.
�Where are you going?�
�I�ll be back.�
That wasn�t a blatant lie. She did plan to be back. Eventually.
Xavier wasn�t convinced, and Storm didn�t give him the opportunity to
shut her mind down, or something equally powerful.
He was capable of it, and all she had was the element of surprise.
She waited a moment, and suddenly his eyes narrowed, and it was her
Storm sprinted, closing her eyes, and crashing though the window,
airborne in minutes.
She felt pulls, but she fought against them, and shutting her eyes, she
concentrated, the storm and thunder coming immediately distracting,
blinding, to everyone but her.
And her eyes a milky white haze, she shot up to the sky, until she was
sure he was no longer trying to pull her back.
He could find them in an instant, and that meant they didn�t have much
Pursing her lips, Storm shook her head. Leave it to men not to think of
A woman had to think of everything.
She had had no inclination to go into the bar.
Bars were dangerous. They were filled to the brim with people, and in
Rogue�s shattered state and broken heart, she knew that interacting
with people when she had some very anti social mutants in her head was
most likely not a good thing.
But it drew her. And in her mind, a smooth, velvety voice whispered
that she shouldn't care, that she was better than them. That they
deserved it. They were human.
And she shook her head and tried to walk away, tried to stay in the
shadows, anything to break free from the burn in her mind.
The lights, the crowds, something in her mind told her that she was
going to find answers, something. It was a ludicrous thought, and had
she passed through this city a few days ago, she might have fought the
But her desperation was growing, as was the chasm in her heart, and so
she leaned against the lamp post and watched.
She was certainly dressed for the occasion, the all black that had
become her staple quite close to what a lot of the other woman were
A gloved hand floated to her cheek, and she closed her eyes against the
searing touch. The brand was flaring up again, pulling her, marking
But they�re were humans in there.
And she didn�t want to see humans. She didn�t want to touch anyone, see
anyone, unless she had to. She didn�t want to be found, and she was so
tired of running.
The pull guided her, told her it was okay, and her heart tremored, the
panic that she knew was Logan inside of her warning her against it,
against her destiny.
But her legs slid off the curb and she walked, her eyes dark and
glazed, her face beautiful and drawn, and her gait filled with an
authority she didn�t feel.
The men guarding the club looked up, saw her, and suddenly nodded,
unhooking the ropes, and to the gasps of the people waiting in lines,
just let her walk in.
They didn�t question who she was.
She didn�t ask how they had known her.
It was a destiny� It was a search. It was something she belonged to,
one she had been running from too long. It had become more than a
search, more than an escape. It had become a pull she had become too
fragmented to resist.
She saw Logan everywhere now, terrified that one day he would pop up,
terrified that one day it would not be her paranoia and it would really
be him, and she would have no idea what to say or do�
She wouldn�t have the strength to leave him again.
She was dying without him as it was.
But God, she�d rather it be her than him.
She would die before she hurt him again.
So she let the pull take her, not knowing where else to go, not knowing
what else to do. And listening to the smooth voice that wasn't inside
her body, but worming it's way from her skin into her very soul. Into
Inside the bar, her eyes searching ignoring the patrons, knowing
immediately who it was that she was looking for.
And the music drifted through her, pulling her, and suddenly her eyes
slid, and then she froze.
She was staring at a pair of violet eyes.
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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