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FF: The Splintering Touch (3/7)

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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 THREE: IN WHICH AUGUSTUS FINDS ROGUE

      They had taken two motorcycles. Remy hadn�t bothered to ask how they
      would find her, and Logan didn�t bother telling him.

      They didn't bother mentioning they both loved her. And they didn't
      bother mentioning that at that moment, because of that fact, they
      almost liked each other.

      Almost.

      Instead both leaned into the wind, Logan squinting and Gambit sliding
      on the glasses that kept his dark eyes open, his trench coat sliding
      behind him, both very clear in their resolve.

      She wondered if they knew where the hell they were going.

      Not that they weren't smart men, they were. Very smart, just not the
      think it through type, and in a journey as daunting as this one, that
      was they needed. Someone who remembered Rogue's character, her traits,
      her personality, a bit more than ogling her friend's other assets.

      In other words, someone without a dick.

      Storm took a breath, and her eyes misted over, and suddenly the wind
      they were leaning into was that much fiercer, making them both jerk
      their heads, immediately wary. Logan continued to try and beat it, so
      she raised an eyebrow, and made it stronger, almost flipping the
      machine under his thighs over.

      Surprisingly, Gambit was the one who caught on first, his eyes
      narrowing slightly, and sliding the bike to a stop, ripping the goggles
      off his face and glaring up at the sky.

      His eyes locked with hers, and Storm, standing prettily about ten feet
      above them, hovering gently, smiled, floating down and landing on the
      ground.

      Remy cocked an eyebrow, looking placid as he said, "Well, if it isn't
      de Goddess, Ororo."

      Logan growled, swinging off the bike and heading towards her.

      "Logan," she began, cocking her head to regard him.

      "You tell 'em they can take they're cerebro shit and stick it up
      their-"

      "I hate to blow on your parade, beastie," Gambit suddenly interrupted,
      "But don't ya think that if dey wanted to stop up dey'ed have done it
      by now? And not sent her?"

      Logan stopped, for a second looking confused. Ororo smirked, and
      suddenly a bolt of lightning slammed about five inches from his heel.
      He jumped in surprise.

      "Watch it Logan, she's going to fry your ass."

      "I'll do no such thing." She ran her hands through her long white hair,
      and then stepped forward, her face suddenly all business. "You're
      taking me with you."

      "What?!" Logan's eyes widened, and then immediately narrowed. "Why the
      hell does everything think this is an invitation event?"

      Gambit merely looked at her, a small smirk on his face.

      She winked back, and then shrugged her shoulders, walking in front of
      them, and turning around, one eyebrow raised.

      "You had a good idea, Logan. I'm merely, raising it up a notch. We do
      not have much time, therefore I'm leading this mission."

      "You're WHAT?!" Logan snarled, his eyes widening, his fists balled.
      "What the-"

      "Rogue is my best friend, LOGAN," she snapped, the dainty voice
      suddenly gone, replaced with a harder, angrier tone. "I want her back
      just as much as you do and you need someone who's not thinking with
      their... you know," she remarking, motioning to their waist.

      Gambit glanced down and smiled, but Logan actually looked offended.

      "I'm thinking with my heart."

      "And so am I." She gave a sad smile, and then the skies above crashed,
      as she floated above the air. "Now I suggest we start where we lost
      her. Any complaints?"

      Gambit shrugged, and then looked towards Logan.

      He glared for a minute, huffed for a minute more, but the impressive
      form of the goddess of the winds with the striking white eyes hovering
      above them seemed to win out, because he finally just stuck a cigar in
      his mouth and hopped on the bike, kicking the stand and revving the
      engine.

      "Lead the way, Stormy," he muttered.

      Storm smiled.

      "Thank you Logan. I think I will." And with that she flew, leaving the
      two men to follow on the ground.

      ~*~

      She was paralyzed. There was an instinct inside her that told her she
      should have run, she should have tried to stay away from this place,
      where all she saw was him, those eyes.

      Those mesmerizing eyes.

      Her hands clenched into her fists, her heart hammering as she looked
      down at his bare hands.

      "We had a devil of a time finding you." He spoke softly, his voice
      vibrating through her, almost seeping into her, seeming so familiar...
      so hauntingly familiar.

      She closed her eyes against it, but there was a cluck of disapproval,
      and her eyes opened again to see him shaking her head.

      "No, no, dear. Keep those beautiful eyes focused on me, won't you?" His
      hands motioned to his eyes, and he continued forward, sensing her
      panic, because he stopped. "Now do me a favor and stop with the violent
      outbursts. I know you're a bit confused right now... Marie."

      Her eyes flashed opened, and suddenly her heart skipped a beat, her
      senses suddenly alive.

      "You ... BASTARD," she whispered, backing away, suddenly afraid, so
      very afraid.

      "Rogue, dear." He came forward, and his eyes never left hers, shaking
      his head, something in the movement, the way he seemed to own the
      floor, the air, making her steps falter. "I know you're thinking of
      him. I know he's in your head. I know there's a lot of people in there.
      But I can take that all away. I can take that all away dear girl. All
      that hurting in your head. All that pain. It's eating you alive, I can
      see it. Anyone can see it."

      She closed her eyes against the voice, against the eyes, and then
      suddenly froze, never more afraid, not of him, but of herself. She
      wanted to believe him. God she wanted to so much. She wanted to trust
      him, and she had no idea why.

      And then she felt it. The skin, the touch across her bare face, and she
      sucked in her breath, feeling the shivers, the ecstasy of touch, of
      skin against hers, the finger soft as it drifted over her cheek, over
      her lip.

      Her eyes opened and caught his, and her eyes were moistened, as a tear
      drifted down her cheek, down her trembling body.

      His eyes flickered to the droplet, and his thumb slid off her mouth to
      the moistness, wiping it away. "My poor dear."

      "How can you do that?" she asked raggedly.

      And he stilled, and he smiled, leaning forward, boldly taking her other
      hand and intertwining her fingers with his, squeezing them tightly in a
      lover's embrace.

      "Come with me, my dear Rogue. Come with me, and I'll show you. You want
      answers. I can provide them. Stop running. I'll only find you. you
      can't beat this. you can't beat us." He raised her palm to his lips,
      and gently, pressed his lips against them, the kiss making her suddenly
      shudder.

      Her breath was ragged, and her mind, God her mind. She felt Logan
      inside her, warning her, almost pleading with her to stay away, to pull
      away from this man's touch. She felt Dakota, the human cowering away
      inside the back, fearful, so very fearful. And Logan... it always came
      back to Logan.

      He was telling her to leave, to strike.

      But his eyes.

      And his touch. He could touch her, and no one else could do that. And
      he could.

      Oh, God, Logan I'm so scared.

      But she bit her lip, and she pulled away from the touch. But she didn't
      run. Instead she closed her eyes, taking a ragged breath, trying so
      hard to find herself in her own mind. She caught a fragment, and with
      her palm against her aching forehead, she straightened, and then looked
      at those paralyzing eyes.

      She had to know. She had to know how he could when Logan couldn't. She
      had to know how he could not die. How he could not be hurt.

      If she found out... then she could... find Logan again.

      "Fahn," she drawled shakily. "Fahn. Show me. It doesn't mean Ah trust
      you. Or that Ah even like you."

      And those lips that were perfectly made slowly drifted into a low
      smile, and his hands stretched outwards, past the bar, past the club,
      past the world it seemed.

      "Welcome, my beautiful girl. Welcome. Welcome to your destiny."

      ~*~

      Perhaps the most frightening of this entire ordeal was the sheer
      unpredictability of it.

      Jean had to admit, that being a telepath came with a sort of power.
      There were very little times when she was surprised of anything
      anymore, the knowledge that if she was unsure of anything she could
      slip quietly into a mind and discover exactly what she needed to know.

      Not that she did that often. The times she needed to use such an
      invasion of privacy were rare, and her telepathic abilities were most
      commonly used willingly by the X-men teams as a communication vessel, a
      way to coordinate on the most dangerous missions. She suspected
      strongly that one of the reasons that their previous mission had gone
      so tragically wrong was her near death experience.

      But she had not been able to predict Rogue and Logan's new feelings.
      Nor had she been able to predict Rogue's nearly fatal touch of Logan
      and Rogue leaving, then Logan leaving, and Remy following.

      Storm leaving she most definitely did not expect.

      Nor did she ever expect to see Charles Xavier, friend, father, mentor,
      so completely desperate and angry.

      She sat with her legs crossed, watching her husband's face drawn and
      tight as his arms crossed, watching alongside of her while the
      Professor rolled back and force in front of Cerebro.

      He was disappointed. Disappointed, angry, and completely full of rage.
      Not that she could blame him. At this moment, Three of his children,
      his very best X-men, and quite possibly two of his very best friends,
      had disappeared, lost to him, with no regard for his authority, or his
      plan.

      That had never happened before. Charles had never been surprised by his
      mutants, never lost control of their trust, and had never lost faith in
      them.

      She wasn't sure what hurt worse, to see him lose faith in them or to
      know that in order to have left the way they had, they had to have lost
      faith in him.

      In them. In all of them.

      She swallowed, knowing that she and Scott fell in line with the same
      category as Xavier. The leaders. Who at this moment could not be
      trusted to find one woman.

      Logan. Remy. Ororo. Rogue.

      Good God.

      "Four." His voice was tight, angry. "Four of my leaders. Four who I
      trusted. Gone. Gone and I had no idea. I had no way of stopping it.
      Four."

      "Professor, they were frustrated and panicked." Jean's face drifted to
      Scott, heard the pleading expression and it warmed her heart to see the
      saddened leader of the splintered group defending his teammates. She
      loved him for so many reasons, but at this moment, she seemed to love
      him all the more for that. His faith that was never lost. "They-"

      "Do not defend them, Scott. Not now," he snapped, his fists put
      together, his hand on his chin. He was quiet for a moment and then
      looked up at Scott. "Do you think they're the only one's who felt
      Rogue's absence keenly? Do you think Logan even thought once to
      consider that he might not be the only factor in Rogue's life? Of
      course not. All they're going to do now is get themselves in trouble,
      because they're three mutants with dangerous powers and dangerous
      mindsets running around in a human world that fears them." He
      swallowed, biting off his words. "It was bad enough having Rogue out
      there. But now Logan, and Remy?"

      "I think you lack faith in them, Professor," Scott said firmly, a bit
      of hesitancy despite the even tone.

      Xavier was silent, and then turned, regarding Scott. "If I have lost
      faith in them, Scott, it is because they have given me every reason."

      Jean shuddered, hearing the judgment, the anger, and mentally cleared
      her mind of any reaction whatsoever. To judge would be so dangerous
      now.

      She couldn't judge anyone's actions, not anymore. There was so much
      unpredictability and lack of control and her Professor was falling prey
      to it as well.

      "I've not lost my mind or my anger, Jean," came the voice. She looked
      up, her cheeks blushing. "If I had I would never had let them leave."

      "Of course you would have, Professor," she answered calmly. "Because
      you believe in choice. Not slavery."

      He was quiet, eyes regarding her, before looking away.

      Scott's voice was low. "I can take a few of the others, take the jet,
      convince them to come back-"

      "No." Xavier's hand was on his chin, eyes thoughtful as he regarded the
      screen on the wall. "No. Let them go." There was a tired resignation in
      his voice, and he sighed, "After all, Logan punching holes my walls was
      hardly productive, was it?"

      Scott was shocked into silence at the joke, but managed a chuckle, and
      the Professor leaned back, taking a deep breath.

      "This only goes to show one thing, Jean." He turned, studied her face.
      "We're all incredibly human. No matter what anyone says."

      She answered with a tired smile. Her hand raised to her hair,
      intending to brush it back, her mind wandering back to the look on
      Storm's face as she left them so abruptly. There had been confliction
      on her face, in her thoughts. She had understood both sides, and never
      once did the Weather Goddess lose her temper, or her thoughts. Storm
      had been completely rational.

      She felt her mind suddenly freeze, and her eyes widened. "Professor!"

      The excited tone made both Scott and Charles give her a scrutinous
      glance, but she barely noticed it as her eyes suddenly shone. "I have
      an idea. I have an idea how to use this to our advantage. How to make
      us a team again. I have an idea of how to find Rogue."

      ~*~

      The firelight was flickering, and Ororo made the motions, rubbing at
      her arms as she leaned in front of it, her eyes watching the sky above
      her with narrowed lids.

      "You sure you don't want one of these?" A blanket was thrust into her
      lap, and Ororo looked down at it in surprise, looking up to see Gambit
      staring down at her.

      "I'm fine," she said, handing it back.

      He didn't look convinced. "And your side?" He indicated to her wound,
      kneeling in front of her, searching her face.

      His eyes were always so fascinating to her. The dark red, flaming at
      times, amidst the black was haunting, and she found her own orbs
      locking with his.

      "I'm fine," she repeated, standing up, moving around him. "You should
      get some sleep."

      "I can't." He stood, stretching slightly, his hands on his powerful
      thighs as he kneaded his muscles. "If it was upta him we'd be still
      ridin'."

      Ororo turned, swallowing, the knowledge of why they were camping in the
      middle of the woods coming back to her as she saw Logan's broad back,
      turning away from them, huddled on the floor.

      "He's worried. I don't blame him."

      Gambit was silent for a minute, coming up behind her. She closed her
      eyes as his warm shoulder brushed hers, and when her eyes darted to
      meet the Frenchmen�s, his eyes were clouded, focused on Logan. "Why
      does she love him so much?"

      Ororo swallowed, moving slightly away. "Because he understands her."

      There was a snicker that followed that statement and her eyes narrowed,
      crossing her arms as she turned and regarded him. "Skeptical?"

      "A bit, Cherie." Remy cocked an eyebrow, running his hand through his
      shaggy mane before squatting down, the fire making his eyes shine. "I
      think he's not de only one tha' understands her, is all."

      "Maybe not," she agreed slowly, her voice even, dry. "But she may be
      the only one that's see him, the real him, and loves him regardless. It
      goes both ways Remy, and you just can't worm into something like that."


      His head snapped up, his eyes suddenly locked with hers. "What are you
      saying, goddess?" he spoke sharply, his accent thick in his agitation.

      She was quiet for a moment, and then her chest suddenly heaved,
      betraying some emotion she hadn't bothered to share with him yet, and
      she turned away. "Nothing yet."

      He stood, and then looked back at the fire, kicking at it with his
      feet. "You think it bothers me? Tha' she loves him? Dat isn't why I'm
      doin' this, chere. Not even close. She's a team mate. And I love her."

      "I know."

      They were silent for a minute, and he took a shuddering breath,
      stretching out on the floor, looking at Logan for a second. "You sure
      you belong here, Goddess?"

      "I'm more dangerous than you are, Remy. And yes, I do belong here." He
      sat up to regard her flashing eyes, and suddenly his face slid into a
      smirk.

      "Ya got spunk, Ororo. Always liked that about you."

      "Glad you approve."

      "Oh, I do." He winked, and despite herself, Ororo felt herself suddenly
      smile.

      "Cajun thief."

      "And damn proud."

      She shook her head, about to respond when a flash ripped through her
      brain, so powerful she almost stumbled.

      //ORORO.//

      She blinked, shaking her head, her heart suddenly hammering in panic.
      Gambit stood, in his eyes concern. "You alright?"

      She shot him a distracted smile, and her hand reached up to her
      forehead. What the-

      //ORORO, it's me. It's Jean. Don't panic.//

      Don't panic?! They were hundreds of miles away from the school and Jean
      was in her head and she wanted her not to panic?

      //Just... trust me please. I know it's odd, but we need your help.//

      "My help?"

      Gambit frowned, and when Ororo shot him a wild look he came forward.
      "Storm?"

      //Don't tell him anything, Storm, please. Just trust me. For our
      friendship.//

      "Uh... I'm... fine."

      "I don't believe you."

      She bit her lip, stumbling a bit at the shock of the invasion in her
      head. "Woman issues." That seemed to work because he immediately backed
      off.

      "Okay then. I'm going to bed," was the quick response.

      She took a shaky breath, and closed her eyes.

      //Jean. What the hell?!//

      //Storm. Hanging with those two bandits has you picking up some bad
      habits.//

      The amusement that she sensed in Jean's thoughts made her grimace,
      crossing her arms.

      //What do you want, Jean?//

      //We need your help, Ororo.//

      //Jean if you haven't noticed I'm not in a position to-//

      //You're in the perfect position, Ororo.//

      Storm bit her lip, and then looked around the camp warily, before
      rising into the winds, into the treetops.

      //Okay, explain.//

      //Look, we're not angry that you left us, Storm.//

      //Good, because none of us really feel too bad about it.//

      //And you shouldn't. You did what you felt needed to be done. All of
      us. But don't cut us out of the loop. We can still help each other. We
      can still be a team.//

      Ororo slid to a branch, settling down, looking down at the campground
      where the two men lay still.

      //I'm listening.//

      //We still have all the resources here. The media watch, Cerebro... We
      can use them to help you. Keep in touch Storm, and as soon as you find
      Rogue, we'll join you, use the jet to get there as soon as we can, and
      bring her home. Bring all of you home.//

      Ororo sighed, leaning against the tree, somehow calm despite the fact
      that her head was currently being used a live walkie talkie. //And the
      professor?//

      //I'm in complete agreement, Ororo.//

      Her eyes shot open at the sound of his voice in her head, and she
      almost slid off the branch. He was calm. Rational. He ...

      //No, Storm. I'm not angry. Disappointed, yes.// She swallowed, taking
      a ragged breath, but keeping quiet. //Jean has a good idea. Logan needs
      something to do. If we kept him here any longer he would have become a
      hindrance. He's blind with his love for Rogue. Having him out there
      with you there to control him and Remy's rambunctious temper has merit.
      You think like them, but you think like us as well. It's an asset.//

      //You want me to play both sides.//

      //There IS no sides, Storm. Only one team.//

      She winced. //I understand. I'm sorry.//

      //You'll help us? Help Rogue?//

      //Of course I will. I am still an X-men, professor.//

      There was a pause, as she waited with a furiously beating heart.

      //Yes you are, Storm. Thank you.// She swallowed, her eyes suddenly
      watered with gratitude. A clink in her mind told her the professor was
      gone, but the communication flared up again.

      //Storm?//

      She stifled a smile. //Yes, Jean?//

      //Try to keep those two under control, will you? Singe them a bit if
      you need to.//

      //Don't worry. I got it under control.//

      //Thanks.... Good luck.//

      Storm felt her mind return to her own, and she sighed, letting the wind
      carry her down, softly, until she reached the ground where the
      unknowing men slept, snores coming from both sides of the fire.

      She put her hands on her waist, and felt a small smile of affection
      float on her face.

      Oh, Rogue. What these men would do for you.

      She swallowed, and shook her head, settling down on a log, sitting in
      between the thief and wolverine.

      Luck.

      She felt the lightning crash above her.

      Hang on, Rogue. Hang on.

      ~*~



      =====
      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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