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FF: The Splintering Touch (6/7)

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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 SIX: IN WHICH THEY FIND ROGUE

      He bolted up, craning his neck, the sweat on his torso making him aware
      that what had just happened had been more than the dream he had
      expected to conjure. Somehow or other he had opened the window of her
      mind to allow more than just him, but that Logan fellow as well.

      With a grimace he lifted his hand to his bruised neck, feeling the
      smoothness of it marred by a red, inflaming bruise where the damn
      bastard had hurt him.

      So they knew.

      Damn clever fiends. He pulled his legs up, kneeling his elbows on his
      knees, pursing his lips. He was running out of time. She had weakened,
      just as he had expected but� he was still running out of time.

      The door flew open and he looked up in surprise to see a disheveled and
      furious Rogue in the doorway. He cocked an eyebrow.

      �Rogue.�

      Without another word she flew, literally, to his bedside, and with a
      speed even he could not stop, snapped his head back and threw him off
      the bed with a blinding punch.

      Good God. He had forgotten about that temper of hers. And that
      strength.

      He closed his eyes, breathing slightly, trying to maintain
      consciousness as she glared over him, looking quite delectable in a
      shimmering night slip.

      �Upset, I take it?�

      Her eyes flashed, and she pointed a trembling finger in his direction,
      while he wisely stayed out of her reach. �Don�t you EVER, get inside
      my head again, you fuckin� bastard,� she breathed, her eyes livid. �I
      know what you were trying to do.�

      �Do you?� he queried. She stepped back, her eyes suddenly cloudy with
      uncertainty, shaking her head softly at him when he moved again. He
      reached a hand up to his chin, grimacing a bit. �Good Lord, I think you
      gave me a fractured jaw.�

      �You better be damn glad I didn�t castrate you,� she drawled, her
      expression harsh, her form stiff.

      He sighed, biting back the pain, and getting up, moving toward the bed
      and settling down on it with a groan. �Oh, my dear Marie. Still seeing
      me as the bad guy, is that it?� He leaned back on the bed, his chest
      muscles flexing slightly, and he was pleased to see that she noticed.
      Her jaw hardened, and she stepped backwards, crossing her arms, and
      forcing her eyes to stay on his. He smiled, a gentle smile, as if he
      was talking to someone who was five, and he patted the bed beside him.
      �Sit here, darling, and I�ll tell you my reasons for my intrusion.�

      �Intrusion?� she gasped, that temper suddenly riled yet again. �You
      invade mah dreams, mah thoughts-�

      �And you felt something, didn�t you?� he asked, gazing at her slightly.
      She stopped mid rant, looking confused as he smiled, nodding, his voice
      smooth, gentle. �You felt loved, closeness, that longing that�s been
      missing from you.� He came forward, his voice hoarse from the bruising
      his neck took, and he gently took her palms, warily, in case she got it
      into her head to strike him again. �I was trying to show you what it
      could be like. It�s wasn�t supposed to be a nightmare, Rogue. It was
      supposed to be a glimpse� of the future.�

      Her gaze shifted, as her body pulled against his grasp, but his fingers
      closed around her wrists, and he continued, his knuckles lifting to
      graze across her face. �Don�t you see? What you could have had?�

      �Ah don�t need you,� she spit. �Ah don�t need you-�

      �Oh, but you do.� He smiled, the grin gentle, and it made her shudder
      as he propelled him towards her, his hands burying themselves in her
      hair, smoothing them down, holding her young, trembling body against
      his bare chest. His voice rumbled against her, as he pressed his lips
      on her forehead, felt her resist only slightly, and smoothing his palms
      down lower to her bare back, felt her shudder slightly and gasp as a
      result. �You want that peace, don�t you? What happened, my dear girl,
      the last time you tried to be with that animalistic fellow?� She froze,
      and he pulled her closer, barely hearing her whimper of self disgust.
      Rolling his eyes, he pursed his lips. First woman he knew who despised
      herself for being attracted to him.

      Good God, that hold that animal had on her was immense.

      He found himself shuddering. What a contemptible, un schooled chap. He
      had been quite in heaven with Rogue earlier in her dreams, only to have
      been rather rudely interrupted by the man who acted like Rogue had a
      big �wolverine�s property� tattooed on her head.

      He felt a small smile descend onto his lips. It was quite the opposite.
      His first touch had branded her, and it was quite nice to know she
      hadn�t forgotten.

      �You hurt him, Rogue. You hurt a lot of people, and when you do, it all
      goes into that little head of yours, drives you a bit� insane.� He
      pressed his lips together as he pulled back, studying the tears that
      slipped from her face. �I can stop that. I can make you� feel. We�re
      destined, you know. It�s useless to fight.�

      She took in a shaky breath, and he could tell she was reaching inside
      of her for a bit of strength, of resolve. �And what if Ah don�t want to
      be destined?�

      And he smiled, leaning forward, brushing his lips tenderly against
      hers, pulling her closer, and whispering in her ear, �My dear. You have
      no choice.�

      ~*~

      �Clayton Augustus.� Bobby�s voice was triumphant as he slammed down the
      papers on the wooden picnic table where the group was gathered. �Aged
      35, known for his violet eyes, and his way with words. Worked as an
      operative for the government up until five years ago when he was
      discharged for his �pro-mutant� sentiments, and his dabbling in what
      was called, the �black arts�. He�s also rich as sin.�

      �Black arts?� Storm asked, coming out of the jet, the sleek black of
      her X-men uniform making everything but her face and hair completely
      invisible against the dark night.

      Remy, already dressed, stepped back, allowing her access to the papers,
      and she gave him a surprised look, but he only shrugged, and she turned
      back to the group.

      �Like magic,� Jean inserted, sliding up onto the table, taking the
      papers and handing them to Storm, before sighing. �He became a magician
      of sorts, did things that would astound people.�

      �Like what?� Logan growled, from his position on the ground, kneeling,
      his eyes hooded, and his body tense. Jean swallowed. She had been only
      vaguely informed of the dream that Logan had been subject to, but it
      didn�t take an empath to see the rigid form was fighting for control.

      She swallowed. Hell, she wasn�t in love with Rogue and she could feel
      the anger, the urge to panic sliding through her.

      �Like manipulated the weather.� Bobby said, with a raised eyebrow.

      Storm snapped her head around immediately and her eyes widened. �SHIT,�
      she said, stamping her feet, her eyes closing, and opening again, her
      chest heaving. �SHIT. SHIT. SHIT. It all makes sense now.�

      �What does?� The group of X-men all looked at the Storm Goddess,
      surprise in the younger X-men�s faces, not used to see their former
      teacher sputtering expletives or losing control so easily.

      But Storm paid them no mind, instead addressing her leaders as she
      quickly shook her head. �Don�t you remember? When we attacked the
      building? The winds? They were not MINE. I could not control them. And
      Rogue and I landed on the roof, and I was hit. I almost blacked out,
      but I barely heard� but he was up there, talking to her.�

      �He was THERE?!� Logan roared, jumping to his haunches.

      �He was on the roof, I remember barely hearing, but� he said things
      about destiny, and touch�� A small smile flitted on her face despite of
      herself. �And then I think she punched him out.� She grimaced almost
      immediately, wrapping her arms around herself, feeling a pair of hands
      descend on her shoulders. �I should have put it together. I should
      have� SEEN it.� Without even thinking twice, she leaned back into his
      chest, the familiar voice of Remy soothing her thoughts.

      �You had a hole in your side, Goddess,� he reminded her gently. �I�m
      surprised you were thinking clearly at all.�

      She shuddered, and then pulled away, coming forward, as Logan did the
      same from the other side. �So where is he?�

      �Where isn�t he?� Scott answered, his lips together in a hard line as
      he pulled out a map, laying it out, St. John lighting a fire ball that
      provided them all with the sufficient light to see. �Like Bobby said,
      this guy is loaded. He�s got places everywhere.�

      �What about in the Midwest? Secluded? In the woods?� Logan asked
      bluntly, leaning over the map.

      �That�s what we were thinking. There are two possible places.� Scott
      pointed to one while Jean pointed to another. �There�s a ski cabin up
      here, in the mountains, and another place that seems plausible, been
      associated with him, was used as a safehouse for mutants, before he was
      fired.�

      �Wait, wait. This guy HELPED mutants?� Jubilee looked confused, and
      Scott merely shrugged, unable to do anything else.

      �I don�t get it either, Jubilee.�

      �He�s got Rogue and he�s usin� her,� Logan growled, his eyes flashing.
      �That�s enough to make me impale the guy so hard his heart will come
      out of his ass.�

      �Not that I don't agree with the sentiment, but thanks for the
      imagery,� Kitty muttered.

      �We�re running out of time,� Logan said, ignoring her. �She can�t hold
      out for long.�

      �Problem is we�ve got two places where he might be,� Jean said.

      Logan bit his lip, grinding his teeth, looking at them both.

      �Mutie hideout,� he finally pronounced. �You got Xavier in your head,
      Jean?�

      She looked a bit startled, but nodded.

      �Call him up and tell him to look for our gal with my signature.� Jean
      gave Scott a dubious look, but he nodded quickly, and then her mind was
      fixed, concentrating. �It�ll be a couple minutes,� she said after a
      second.

      �Okay.� Scott looked around at his group, and took a breath. �Magic.
      Shit. Magic. We�re fighting against magic.�

      �Put Storm, Gambit and me up front,� Logan said, without looking up.
      �The rest of you just act as decoys. It�s the safest way.�

      Scott shot him a glance. �What?�

      �We got our asses whipped the last time we came gunning, so -�

      �We make a big noise and you three sneak in.� Scott nodded, catching on
      immediately, looking towards where Storm and Gambit were standing side
      by side. �You two agree on this?�

      They exchanged quick glances, and Remy answered with a lazy tone, �Just
      call us Team Beastie.�

      �We�ve done pretty well, the three of us,� Storm replied. �It seems
      right that we be the ones to go in after her.�

      Scott gave his friend a long look and then nodded, looking toward the
      group he had with him. �You heard them, we�re back up. Strictly.�

      Jean came jogging back up, her face tight and drawn. �It�s the hideout.
      Xavier felt something that seemed a little... like Logan up there."

      Scott turned to glance at the Wolverine, but he merely jerked his head
      and walked toward the jet.

      "Let's go."

      Scott took a breath and turned to the other. "You heard him. Let's go."



      ~*~

      Her eyes were haggard as she looked down at the fingers, entangled in
      each other in a nervous gesture on her lap. They were cold, and she
      swallowed, bringing them up against her forehead, which at the moment
      was curiously hot.

      Jean Grey had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach, and it was doing
      nothing to calm her worn nerves. The tension in the room threatened to
      overwhelm her, and because of that simple fact she kept silent. A hand
      on her shoulder made her draw her hands away from her face, found
      herself facing Logan, on his face a simple expression of worry.

      "You okay?"

      She felt a small smile drift onto her face. "Shouldn't I be asking you
      that?"

      His jaw ticked slightly, and he swallowed, turning away before gruffly
      answering. "I'll be okay when I find her."

      "When WE find her Logan," she corrected him firmly.

      He didn't move for a minute, looking over the other group in the plane
      who pretended not to hear the conversation.

      "Was it always so easy for you to trust people, Jean?"

      The question struck her ask strange, but her face didn't betray her
      surprise, instead she merely looked him in the eyes as he turned to
      her, cocking her head.

      "What do you mean?"

      He pursed his lips, half shrugging. "You and Scott are cut out of the
      same mold, you know? It's easy to trust people. Storm and Gambit," he
      nodded to the pair sitting across the plane. "They're cut out of the
      same one too. A little rougher around the edges maybe, but... you can
      place them if you try hard enough. People like Rogue and me..."

      "Can't be placed," she answered softly.

      He nodded, his eyes flickering down for a second. When he continued,
      his voice was gruffer. "Maybe that's... that's why the way we are. Up
      here." He indicated toward his head, and he sighed ragged, leaning
      against the seat. "We don't got a mold."

      Jean was still for a second, and when she moved, she did something that
      started him. His eyes opened, and he found her palm gently squeezing
      his. He felt a grim smile on his face, and his fingers gently tightened
      over her thinner ones, squeezing back. "I can't lose her, Jean."

      Her hand held his tightly, and she placed her head on his shoulder,
      embracing him gently, feeling the animal heart beat with fear and
      anxiety, something that she had only seen come from him when one little
      girl, now woman, was in trouble.

      "You won't."

      ~*~

      Her hair spilled over the pillow as she lay back, her body perfectly
      still as the little being crouched on her chest.

      The beautiful Siamese had slid onto her chest and was no perfectly
      content, a soft purring rumbling through the small animal's body, onto
      her chest.

      Her fingers slid across the delicate features of the dozing cat, saw it
      open it's blue eyes just for a second before closing then again,
      leaning it's head against one delicate paw.

      The cat had been coming to her since she had arrived. Apparently
      Rogue's bedroom had also been hers, and for this purpose Rogue knew
      that she was only a guest in this majestic's animals lair.

      As payment, Rogue had been frequently used as a bed, a scratching post,
      an ear to meow on, and an occasionally, a perch.

      It was Augustus' cat, and he adored it. She had seen the affection
      dance in his eyes for the feline, the way he picked up the spoiled
      animal lovingly, placing it on his thighs, the one bright spot on his
      otherwise dark attire.

      And the cat would purr, a beautiful soft sound that would slide
      through Rogue's body as well.

      It gave her a sense of peace to feel the cat's warmth on her body, to
      feel the warm fur that she could slide her hands through.

      Her eyes closed, and she merely continued to stroke the animal, knowing
      if she stopped, the animal would take offense and begin to meow her
      head off in a tone she had come to recognize.

      So instead, she lay perfectly still, knowing that in this instance, the
      cat was master and she was merely the servant, providing the grooming
      if only for the body on her chest, for the comforting prescense, the
      state of mind that made her aware she was not alone.

      And she was very soon going to be.

      She wasn't sure when she made her choice. She wasn't sure when the
      damning decision to lose her soul to a man who was both frigthening and
      soothing had slid into her conciousness when every essence inside her
      told her it was wrong.

      In the end, her body never moving an inch, she had finally come to the
      decision that she understood.

      She was tired. She was too fatigued to do nothing more than lay here
      stroking a cat, and she knew that at any minute, the man who she hated
      would come bring her, and she would nothing more than just lie here
      stroking the cat, and look at him, and wait.

      Because she was too tired to do anything else.

      And her mouth quivered, and she sucked in her breath, and her eyes
      closed as the tears stung behind her eyelids as she realized that at
      that moment, it was already too late.

      Her chest constricted and she shuddered, as the cat shuffled, and
      stretched a paw out and pressed it against her face, the tears meeting
      the dark fur.

      "Ah'm sorry, Logan," she whispered. "Ah tried. I really tried."

      ~*~

      He sat next to her, and she could feel his fiery eyes gazing, boring
      into the side of her head, staring at her as if she as the last thing
      on earth he wanted to see.

      The attention was making her uncomfortable, because, as disconcerting
      as it was to deal with her own tumultous feelings for the former thief,
      it was twice as disturbing to even entertain the idea that he might be
      viewing her as anything else but Storm.

      But that's exactly the feeling she got, from the moment she had woken
      up this morning. He had been abnormally quiet, as if his mind was
      working through things that seemed to weigh on him.

      She had stayed away from him, and now, it was no more use avoiding it.
      They would be going into save a very dear friend, a friend she loved,
      and a friend she knew he was in love with, and to have these
      conflicting feelings while that was happening...

      She was good at blocking things away. She wasn't that good.

      So she took in a breath, calming her nerves, and then turned, stared
      into his eyes.

      She had caught him staring, and he didn't seem to care. There was a
      brightness in his orbs that took her completely by surprised, and set
      her heart beating, and left her breathless, because she knew that look,
      she had seen it on him before.

      When he was looking at Rogue.

      "Gambit what are you doing?" she whispered, her voice coming out
      harsher, more harried, and a bit louder than she intended.

      He didn't answer, instead swallowed, took his palm and gently leaned
      up, ignoring the other X-men who had looked over, and now had their
      eyes wide in surprise, tracing her jawline gently.

      She swallowed, her figure trembling, and she tried to pull away, but he
      wouldn't let her. Instead he caught her hand and held it, intertwining
      the fingers and pulling the delicate hand into his lap.

      "When this is over," he finally spoke thickly, "You and I are going to
      talk, Goddess."

      And his eyes locked with hers, and suddenly she was engaged in one of
      the most intense stares she had ever known, the fire in his eyes
      seeming through her cold body, and she could feel the storm inside her,
      melting, liquifying until her knees felt waters, her breath moist and
      hot, and it was all she could do to simply nod, turn away, pull her
      hand back.

      Her heart was pounding, and the confliction that slid through her
      nearly tore it apart.

      He loved Rogue. He had always loved Rogue. What did he want from her?
      Her eyes closed, and she felt the panic seep through her, knowing this
      was exactly what she didn't want, exactly what she didn't need at this
      moment.

      Not when Rogue was so close... not when she should have been thinking
      about nothing but saving her friend.

      But the haunting body next to her struck through her, awareness pulsing
      through her body and she bit her lip, arms crossed, anger and love and
      hate and fear and torment and nervous joy battling for dominance in her
      heart.

      It was unrequited, it was always supposed to be unrequited. It was what
      she had resigned herself to.

      "Goddess?"

      "What?!" she hissed a little too fast, her head jerking around to catch
      his gaze. And his gaze was smoldering.

      "Just in case," he said thickly, and then before she was quite sure
      what was happening her body was suddenly pulled against his rock hard
      frame, and her head was bent back and a searing pair of lips covered
      her own.

      There was a muffled groan that made her lips part, and suddenly his
      tongue invaded her mouth and she shuddered as he continued the lustful
      assault on her senses, sweeping electricity through her body.

      His chest was heated, searing against her colder body, and the kiss
      that quickly turned into much more paralyzed her.

      A clap of thunder, followed by a bolt of lightning that came
      dangerously close to the jet was followed by a muffled curse up front.

      "STORM!"

      Her eyes shot open and she pushed away from the theif, looking up from
      their dark corner. "Yes, Scott?" she managed to breathe, Remy's arms
      still around her waist, not quite ready to let her go yet.

      "Whatever the hell it is you're doing back there, stop it! I'm trying
      to fly here!"

      "Sorry."

      Remy seemed to grin slightly, and she narrowed her eyes at him, but he
      merely pressed his lips to her temple, and whispered, "Sorry, Goddess.
      Lost myself for a minute there."

      You're not the only one, she thought to herself, and merely clamped her
      jaw, pushing him away slightly. "You're going to tell me what that was
      later, Remy."

      There was a pause, and then a nod. "You bet."

      ~*~

      He had given now announcement, no indication to warn her that he was
      coming, but he still got the feeling that she was waiting for him.

      He stood by the door, and a curious feeling overtook him, his hand
      poised over the doorknob. Apprehension, maybe? Perhaps the tiniest bit
      of regret?

      It was a marvelous woman who would be snuffed out, and he knew that,
      she knew that.

      But what would come of it would be so much greater, so much greater for
      them both.

      The door opened, and he stood, barechested, his eyes coming down to
      rest on her body, at the way she stretched almost seductively across
      the bed, the cat opening one eye at his entrance.

      The Siamese narrowed her eyes and hissed, a low meow that came out more
      as a growl than anything, and August felt his lips curl in amusement as
      the animal crouched protectively over the young mutant.

      "Traitor," he admonished the feline, and then flicked his wrist,
      sending the cat away.

      Rogue opened her eyes, and they were startlingly clear as she leaned
      up, her elbows propping up her torso, the strap of her gown slipping
      off her shoulder, leaving it bare.

      He sucked in his breath, swallowing as she merely looked at him, saw
      where his eyes were, and slid her hands to the strap, pulling it back
      up to cover her shoulder.

      She knew the game. That had surprised him. He had expected a much
      easier conquest. A woman as passionate as she, one who had spent the
      last five years without being able to touch, who had just experienced a
      sexual awakening deep within herself, should have been easier to
      caress.

      She had been perhaps one of the most delightful challenges he had ever
      faced. She was his destiny, and he had never doubted the victory,
      because the fates were irrevocable.

      He leaned against the doorway, and she regarded him, finally sitting
      up, crossing her legs.

      "Ah hate you," was her simple statement, and he pursed his lips,
      nodding slightly.

      "I'm well aware of that, darling."

      "Just wanted to make it clear." She swallowed, and her voice seemed to
      crack a bit a she stood, her body trembling, walking toward him until
      she stared into his violet eyes with a crackling intensity. "Take me
      to my destiny, Augustus," she drawled. "And we'll see who wins."

      He stared at her, and at the strength in her tone, despite the frazzled
      and conflicted mind he had seen into, had known was there, had counted
      on, he felt an unfamiliar shudder run through him.

      No. He could no develop feelings for her. She was not a lover. She was
      closer than that. He could not fall in love with her. That would almost
      be narcissic, and it would self damning.

      So he took a breath, purging the affection from his mind, and instead
      took her hand in his, pressing the delicate fingers that hid the
      amazing strength, against his lips.

      "Is the game over, then, Rogue?" he asked her.

      She cocked an eyebrow, and then, with a look that filled Augustus with
      an uncertainty that he was not accustomed to feeling, she smirked. "Oh,
      Auggie. It hasn't even begun."

      And she placed her hands in his, and turned, leading him out of the
      doorway. "Destiny awaits."

      He swallowed, and nodded hoarsely. "It most certainly does, Rogue. It
      most certainly does."

      ~*~

      They landed in the drifts, far enough away so that Scott hoped they
      would not be detected. He felt his heart thump heavily for a minute,
      because he understood the odds.

      They had damn near gotten their asses kicked before, they knew next to
      nothing about what this Augustus guy could do, and they didn't even
      know where she was.

      Any other day, he would have said it was too dangerous, he would have
      ordered the team to wait, to try and come up with a full proof plan.

      The exception with today was that he knew they had simply run out of
      time. Logan, Storm, Gambit, and he doubted any one else would wait
      anymore. Indeed, the panic that threaten to slide through his heart
      made him aware that even he would not have wanted to wait any longer.

      He had had a long talk with Professor Xavier before he had taken the
      jet, and in that meeting he had come out with two resolutions.

      One, he was not the leader. Not this time. This time, they were a team,
      and he had no knowledge or skills at that time that would make him the
      leader in this instance. No one did.

      Two, the longer they waited, the more dangerous it got. Charles wasn't
      sure was being done to Rogue, but it had been clear in his eyes that
      whatever it was, was never good. Rogue had always teetered, and Scott
      inherently knew the difficultly they would have if Rogue ever turned
      sides.

      He had assured the Professor that Rogue never would. She loved the team
      and she loved what it stood for, but the simple truth was, if she had
      almost killed Logan, LOGAN, who she loved so deeply and completely,
      what about the rest of them?

      And to have such traitorous thoughts about such a trusted team
      member... it damn near killed him inside.

      He took a breath, and then clasped hands with Logan, licking his lips.
      "Good luck. You know the plan. Get in, get out, and meet us back here.
      We'll be on the look out. Keep your mind open for Jean."

      Logan's eyes flickered toward Jean, who came up beside him, and he
      nodded, his face intense with concentration.

      He turned, motioning to Storm and Remy, and before he walked away, he
      paused, looked back. "Thanks."

      With that the three X-men who had walked away from their team, walked
      away again, and this time with Scott's full blessing.

      He crossed his arms as he felt Jean's hands slide onto one elbow, her
      face leaning against his shoulder.

      "What are you thinking?" she asked softly.

      A small smile slid onto his face. "You won't read it?"

      "I want you to tell me."

      He was quiet for a moment, his face haggard as he finally looked back
      to his wife. "The truth?"

      She nodded.

      "I'm wondering if we're going to get any of them back alive," he told
      her grimly, looking back at the spot where they disapeared. "And I'm
      wondering why the hell I let them go."

      Her hand on his elbow tightened, and she just hugged him for a second,
      pressing her lips against his leather clad shoulder before turning back
      to the remaining X-men, beginning with instructions.

      She hadn't needed to say anything. She hadnt' questioned his decision,
      and she hadn't done it because she was his wife, or because she trusted
      him, and loved him, though all that was true.

      It was a greater truth that made her stand by him now, a truth that she
      felt deep within her heart, one that he had at last had no control
      over.

      The truth was... in the end, there was simply no choice.

      What would happen, would happen now, and there was not a damn thing any
      of them could do about it, but pray.

      ~*~

      He had taken her into a large room, darkened with candles, secluded, a
      room she had never seen before.

      Men in robes were gathered around, and when they entered, they began
      chanting in an unknown language.

      That was when the fear began to course through her.

      As if senseing her trepidation, she felt his hand on her shoulder,
      pressing, kneading, urging her inside. Her eyes clothes, and her breath
      was ragged, the composure she fought so hard to maintain threatening to
      fall apart.

      And it was because she realized exactly what she had gotten into.

      This was so much more than a game. This was about her soul. This was
      about her mind.

      This was about losing everything that was ever important to her,
      everything that meant anything.

      It was about losing Logan.

      Her body began to tremble and she turned, fully prepared to walk out on
      this, on him, to fight her way out, claw her way if necessary.

      But his eyes caught and held, and it was then she knew that whatever
      they had started, had already begun.

      She felt mesmerized, tranced, as if the pull of the violet was sweeping
      into her, and she felt her steps falter as he smiled slid his palms up
      her forehands, pulling her close.

      "Say it with me, Rogue," he whispered, his breath feathering above her
      lips. "Destiny."

      "Destiny," she found herself whispering back, the sacredness of the
      word, of the moment, not lost upon her.

      "Destiny. Peace. Unity." He continued, moving back with her, moving her
      into the circle. "Eyes on me Rogue. Eyes always on me."

      Her knees felt weak, and she felt her strength leaving her, her resolve
      seeming to drain with it.

      Until the floor seemed to shake.

      Her knees buckled, and he caught her. Her eyes widened, and her throat
      closed up, and she seemed to actually hear things, see things.

      "What's going on?" she heard Augustus hiss.

      There were hurried whispers, and she thought she heard him curse, felt
      his grip on her tighten, and she found herself able to stand, to look
      at him, and look at this, and once again the panic seemed to come
      through her.

      "No..."

      "ROGUE." He pulled her close again, and then he muttered words and the
      doors shut so fast and hard that the candles blew out, cloaking them in
      darkness.

      "Keep going," he answered, and his eyes suddenly seemed to glow,
      trapping her stare within him.
      "Eyes on me, Rogue," he continued, his breath coming in harried
      breaths, as if he was worried.

      She felt his panic as he skin touched hers, and her eyes widened as she
      felt something completely foriegn to her.

      There was the familiar pull that slid through her, as she felt HIM
      inside of her, as he had never been inside of her, and at first it had
      been just another mind inside her, until she felt herself weakening,
      and with a gasp she began to flood, her knees began to buckle and her
      arms wrapped around him, as she closed her eyes.

      In that moment, she felt herself flooding through him, felt him
      flooding through her, and she knew then that no matter what the doubts,
      it was already decided. There was no use.

      She was already lost.


      =====
      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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