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FIC: In Dreams (1/1) R, Rogue, Xavier, Magneto

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  • uhmidont@theglobe.com
    Title: In Dreams Author: Elizabeth E-mail: uhmidont@theglobe.com Keywords: X-Men: The Movie fan fic, post-movie, Rogue, Magneto, Xavier Rating: R (mature
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2000
      Title: In Dreams
      Author: Elizabeth
      E-mail: uhmidont@...
      Keywords: X-Men: The Movie fan fic, post-movie, Rogue, Magneto, Xavier
      Rating: R (mature themes, slash implications)
      Disclaimer: I don't own the characters.
      Distribution: The xmenmoviefanfic list site and Kielle's site, if
      they're interested. Anyone else, please ask.
      **

      Rogue doesn't notice, but he does. Erik always notices.

      She taps her index finger against her skull lightly. "Charles, don't
      you ever get tired of looking around where you aren't invited?"

      Then she remembers who she is supposed to be, flushes, and finds her
      own voice. "I'm sorry, Professor. I didn't mean..."

      "Erik--he's still...?"

      Rogue shrugs and looks at the wall. She can't look at the Professor,
      not now. Not with all of Erik's feelings pressing against the back of
      her eyes and making them burn.

      Not with the memory of a much younger Charles, his jaw clenched with
      frustration, so fresh in her mind. *How can I ever understand you if
      you won't let me in?*

      "I thought it all would go away," she says slowly. "At first, it all
      seemed like so much surface noise. And Logan was so loud that...."
      God, she misses those first early days after everything happened.
      Logan was so loud at first; so loud that she couldn't think about
      anything else, couldn't hear anyone else. Didn't have to try to sort
      through the mess that was the inside of her head.

      Xavier clears his throat. "I am sorry, Rogue. I should have asked
      first. I was just startled to see you up so early and you looked
      so.... I just wanted to help."

      She nods. "I know. It's just... when I'm tired, or distracted--and
      he's always there. *Always.* It's been almost a year. A year. I keep
      hoping...I think that's it. I don't think he understands hope. I
      think he wants to take it away from me."

      "Rogue..." God, the sound of Charles's voice makes her want to weep.
      He once said her name with such reverence, with such joy. With sleepy
      welcome every morning, the sounds of New York filtering in through an
      open window...

      No, not her. Not her name. His name. Erik. She closes her eyes and
      presses her thumbs against them. "Not now Charles" she says
      wearily. "Please, not now."

      She listens to his wheelchair moving down the hallway and runs her
      fingers down the dog tags she wears. After a while, she lets them go.
      She walks back to her room and looks at all the things that are hers,
      all the things she owns that mark her as Rogue. A person in her own
      right, maybe. Someday.

      She crawls back into bed and closes her eyes.

      **

      In her dreams, he runs.

      She can hear him coming as she sits, waiting for him.

      In her dreams, she is sitting in a large room. It looks a little like
      the dining room of the house she grew up in, although instead of her
      mother's dining room table--her mother's pride and joy, handed down
      from her mother and her mother before her--and chairs, there is only
      the bare floor and two doors at either end of the room.

      The boy appears, like he always does. She still tries to talk to him
      even though she knows he won't answer her.

      "Why?" she asks him. "Why are you here?"

      The boy turns to her for a moment and looks at her solemnly. He
      could be anywhere from age six to ten. He is short and skinny and his
      eyes are bright and almost fierce.

      He doesn't say anything and then he turns and runs away from her. He
      always does this too. He runs towards the left door that sits at the
      edge of the room.

      "Why?" she says again. "What are you trying to tell me?"

      He pushes open the door and runs through it. He does not look back.

      She follows him. "Wait!"

      The door closes behind her--she can hear the soft click of it as it
      swings shut.

      The boy is in front of her, standing on the lawn outside his house.
      It's a beautiful, sunny day and the grass is green and firm under his
      feet. His parents are sitting over on the terrace and they wave at
      him when he calls them. He runs in circles until he is too dizzy to
      stand. He collapses onto the grass and looks up, ready to watch
      clouds dance across the sky. He reaches up to try to touch one and
      closes his eyes.

      Rogue sits down beside him and waits.

      The noise of the train wakes him. They have stopped again. They have
      stopped more and more during the past couple of days. At first he
      thought they were trying to make sure that no one saw the train. But
      then he looked out of the crack that the old man sitting over in the
      corner had made in one of the boards--in a futile attempt to get some
      fresh air--and saw people watching the train go by. And then he knew
      the soldiers weren't hurrying; he knew they didn't need to.

      No one is going to try to stop them.

      He has been on the train for five days. Maybe six. He is not able to
      mark the passing days as well as wants to. He is so used to darkness
      that the glimpses of light that appear during the brief moments that
      the guards open the doors to throw in scraps of bread and an
      occasional bucket of water startle him. He forgets how many of these
      glimpses he's had.

      At first, the smell of the train car bothered him and he sat with his
      head pressed against his mother's sleeve and tried very hard not to
      vomit with every breath he took. It got worse after the second day,
      when he was still hopeful enough to count glimpses of sky. The bucket
      the soldiers had put in for use as a latrine needed to be emptied.
      People had been sick in various spots all over the train car. Two
      people, both old, had died in the night and their bodies had been
      carefully placed against a far wall.

      He heard people murmuring during his second day on the train. Surely
      the soldiers would come and let them out soon. Surely they would
      bring water and take the bodies away. At least maybe they might say
      something about where they are all going. He heard the doubt in
      those voices. He heard the fear.

      He heard the German guards, their voices booming with commands and
      occasional laughter, as they stopped the train and walked by their
      car. They opened the door, shoved in more people. Closed the door.
      They did not do anything else. He inhaled the scent of human misery,
      the scent of man's inhumanity, and swore that he would never forget
      it.

      But he did worse. He is used to it. He expects it. Now, when the
      guards open the door, the fresh air stings his noise and the light
      hurts his eyes.

      He wants to cry, but he has not had any water in two days and he
      cannot. He chews on his tongue in a vain attempt to find moisture he
      can swallow.

      The train lurches forward again, slowly.

      "Erik," his mother whispers. "Ahavah, are you all right?"

      "Yes mama" he tells her.

      "This train will stop." she says. "We will get through this. We must
      have hope." Her hand squeezes his.

      He closes his eyes again.

      Beside him, Rogue reaches for his hand. It slides right through his.

      He doesn't want comfort from her. He never has, not once in all the
      nights she's shared his dreams.

      She wakes up and stares at the ceiling. She thinks about everything
      that happened a year ago. She thinks about the Statue of Liberty.
      She thinks about promises that have been made and kept. She thinks
      about promises that have been made and broken. She thinks about the
      little boy that grew up to become Magneto.

      After a while, she gets up and gets dressed.

      **

      Her trip to the prison is a surprisingly short one. Ossining, New
      York, home of Sing Sing prison, is located in Westchester County.
      It's a state prison--Magneto has already been tried for crimes
      against the state of New York and found guilty. His federal trial is
      scheduled for next spring--his lawyers have been arguing for a change
      of venue and that motion is still being debated. Until recently, she
      didn't realize how close he was to the school. To New York. To
      Charles. She wonders how often Erik thinks about that and knows it's
      quite often.

      She's been out to the prison once before, a few weeks ago. When she
      got to there, the guards looked at her like she was crazy and told
      her that prisoners could on be seen on visiting days, and only if
      their visitors came to the prison on the state sponsored
      bus. "Security reasons" they said.

      She went back to school. Xavier didn't say anything and she wondered
      if it was because he didn't know what to say. The thought made her
      smile and she wondered if she'd ever have any thoughts that were
      purely her own again. And if she did, would she be able to recognize
      them as hers?

      Before she left the prison that first time she got a schedule of
      dates/times when visitors were allowed. It took her a few weeks to
      decide to go back. She thought about what it must be like for Erik to
      live there and it hurt. And she thought about the ramshackle
      condition of the prison--if Magneto was inside a set of dilapidated
      looking buildings, how safe could anyone be?--and it hurt more. She
      finally went back because she realized she had to. That she wanted
      to. That she owed it to herself to at least try.

      She gets to the bus depot very early. It's located by the courthouse
      and there are already other people there, mostly women, waiting.
      Before she gets on the bus she has to pass through a metal detector.
      Then her bag--she brought her backpack with her out of habit, she's
      used to carrying it to classes almost every day--and her coat are
      searched. She is stunned by this, and a little humiliated. After she
      gets her bag back--everything inside is jumbled and out of order--she
      looks around, feels the heat of a blush working its way up her face.
      Surely everyone is looking at her.

      But no one is. Everyone else is looking determinedly at a fixed and
      invisible spot somewhere right in front of them. The woman standing
      behind her hands her bag over and doesn't watch as its contents
      tumble out. A lipstick. A wallet. Two oranges. A tampon. Pieces of
      paper.

      The oranges are whisked away and the remaining contents swept back
      into the bag. The woman takes it, her eyes still trained on a far-
      away place. She walks right by Rogue and doesn't see her. The
      sensation is such a marvel--she is used to being noticed for her
      hair, for her gloves, for her accent--that she smiles. She can tell
      it is out of place, though and so she tucks it away for later and
      files onto the bus with everyone else.

      The bus ride is interesting in a frightening sort of way. Two guards
      sit up front and smoke constantly. Everyone else talks in loud,
      animated voices. Will Darren be feeling better today? Maybe Tommy
      will have finally found someone to cut his hair--don't you think?
      Won't Warren love the pictures of the baby? Junior is getting out
      soon--where is he going? Who is he going to stay with?

      The woman next to her leans over. "This your first visit?"

      "Yes." She doesn't say 'How do you know?' because she already knows
      the answer. Her newness, her rawness, her shock at everything--it's
      obvious, and it brands her as different just as surely as her powers
      do. Her stomach lurches.

      "You feeling a little sick?"

      Rogue nods.

      "Take deep breaths. And look out the window--not at the ground--at
      the sky. Go on, now."

      She does, and a few minutes later she feels better.

      "Thank you" she whispers.

      The woman snorts and doesn't say anything else.

      **

      The prison is gray and tall and looks like it could only be a prison.
      She was expecting that, she remembered that. She still doesn't like
      how run-down it all looks but she reminds herself that Magneto has
      been here for almost a year and he hasn't escaped.

      She reminds herself that Erik is not being hurt here-- not hurt like
      he once was. She can feel a headache blooming behind her eyes. Too
      many voices, too many memories.

      They all wait in line for a long time--so long that Rogue starts to
      contemplate sitting on the floor because her feet are starting to
      hurt-- and then they are all taken into a room and searched again.
      They aren't allowed to wear coats or anything that looks suspiciously
      bulky inside--those items are handed over to guards and stored inside
      lockers. She was expecting that too.

      There is another pass through a metal detector and then an impersonal
      pair of hands wanders along her body. Again, expected.

      And then someone asks for her gloves. "I'll need to take those."

      She folds her arms across her chest instinctively. "I can't take my
      gloves off."

      The woman who asks for her gloves is short and round and matronly
      looking. "I'll need to take those," she says again, and there is more
      than a hint of impatience in her voice.

      "I...." Rogue says wildly, looking around. But there is no Xavier to
      intervene on her behalf here. No Storm, no Jean, no Scott to stand up
      for her. There is no one to depend on but herself. There are voices
      of doubt in her head. There are voices urging her to try. She
      doesn't know which ones she should listen to, and her head hurts
      again.

      But she's come this far, hasn't she? She takes a deep breath. "I
      really need to keep my gloves," she says. "Besides, it's cold."

      "It's a rule," the guard says, but her voice is a little softer. "You
      can't wear..."

      "Oh for god's sake's Joyce. It's as cold as fuck in here, who cares
      if she keeps her gloves on?" A hand pushes into Rogue from behind and
      she stumbles forward.

      She turns back to see large man, his face almost obscured by his
      jowls, his eyes hidden by fat and bushy eyebrows, gesturing angrily
      at the woman who has stopped her. "Go on" he tells Rogue, and turns
      back to his argument, which has now moved onto the woman who was
      standing behind her. She wants to say something, but "thank you"
      seems like it doesn't belong here. So she walks down the hall,
      following the woman in front of her, fighting down a wave of
      nervousness from her own fear--and the memories of others who've
      found themselves somewhere they don't want to. Logan--he's felt this
      way before. She holds onto his memories tightly. She can understand
      them.

      No, she wants to understand them. They are so much easier to accept.
      Aren't they?

      She curls her hands into fists. Even now, even here, Erik still mocks
      her. Questions her. Won't let her be.

      **

      It turns out that she got nervous too early. She thought that once
      she'd had her bag and her coat taken away that she'd get to see Erik.
      But that doesn't happen. Instead she waits in line to go to inside a
      waiting room for another hour. Then finally she gets inside the
      waiting room. After thirty minutes she is asked which prisoner she
      wants to see.

      The guard's eyebrows go up when she gives Erik's name. He stares at
      her for a moment, and then walks over and confers with another guard,
      who then leaves the room. That guard returns after a few minutes and
      ignores her.

      More time passes. Some people leave, ushered out of the room by
      guards. Rogue assumes they are being taken to see whomever they've
      come to the prison to see, but she thinks that maybe the waiting room
      is getting too crowded and they are being taken to wait somewhere
      else. She wonders if this is what life is like for all the inmates.
      Is time this endless for them? Is their life always defined by
      other's plans for them?

      Her head starts to hurt again.

      Finally another guard comes over to her. He asks her who she wants to
      see. She tells him and he frowns. "Did you make arrangements in
      advance?"

      She almost tells the truth. But then she realizes that if she does
      she will have waited for nothing. She also realizes that no one will
      be able to tell she is lying. "Yes. I did. Will I be able to see him
      soon?"

      The guard mutters something about paperwork and how he's never told
      anything and stomps off. He goes and talks to the other guards and
      then leaves the room. She sighs and wonders if she should leave--then
      remembers that the bus doesn't leave for another three hours. So
      she'll have to wait either way.

      She doesn't have any excuses to use; she has no reason to leave.

      The guard reappears ten minutes later, gestures at her with his hand--
      a quick 'hurry up' sign--and says, "Ok, let's go."

      He walks down many corridors, so many that Rogue becomes hopelessly
      disoriented after a while. They go outside and walk through another
      building. Then another one.

      Finally the guard stops. "You followed the clothing code?"

      She shakes her head automatically and then realizes that the question
      is an important one. "Wait, what?"

      The guard closes his eyes briefly and makes a grimace. Then he opens
      his eyes again. "You can't have on any metal items," he says
      slowly. "No belt buckles, no jewelry, no watches, no shoes with metal
      eyelets, no clothing with metal fasteners."

      "Oh." She says. How could she have not remembered something as
      important as that? She knows Magneto's power first hand, how could
      she have...she sighs. She forgot. It's that simple. She
      thought, "He's in prison." She should have realized that doesn't mean
      his power is gone. She shouldn't have been lulled by thoughts of the
      boy he once was, she shouldn't have been lulled by thoughts of
      Erik. "I do have some metal on."

      The guard glares at her. He is tall and very large and if she didn't
      have the power to steal everything that makes him whole she might be
      nervous. As it is, she is still embarrassed. "How much?"

      She looks down at herself. Shoes--slip-on clogs. Safe. Wait, what if
      nails--even tiny ones--were used to put the shoes together? Damn.
      Jeans. Metal button and zipper. Crap! Shirt. That's safe. Her watch
      will have to go. She puts her hand up to her neck, wanting to
      reassure herself with the familiar weight of the tags she wears
      around her neck...

      They aren't there. She has a moment--a short but utterly panicked
      filled moment--in which she thinks she's lost them. Lost them in the
      prison, lost them to where Magneto lives.

      But then she remembers. She left them back in her room at school. She
      didn't want Erik to see them. She wanted to keep them all for
      herself. "My shoes" she tells the guard. "And my jeans, and my watch."

      The guard--his badge declares that his name is Tyrone--rubs his head
      briefly. She wonders if he has a headache. She feels a pang of
      sympathy for him. What would it be like--to work in this place every
      day? Inside her head, Magneto snarls about humans and guards and pity
      and she pushes his anger away. "I'm sorry," she tells Tyrone by way
      of apology for her clothes and for his job.

      He sighs. "Well, I guess if you take your shoes and watch off we can
      take care of your jeans. Come on." He starts walking again and she
      follows.

      **

      Magneto's cell is in what looks like it was once a cafeteria or maybe
      a machine shop. It's a large, tall building. Outside, it looks like a
      wreck. Inside, money has clearly been spent to modify it. She rides
      in a plastic cage/elevator with the guard up to a long corridor that
      appears to have been welded onto the side of the building. She can
      see Magneto's plastic cube. Her stomach starts to hurt again,
      throbbing in time with her head.

      Tyrone takes her to the first room off the corridor. He has a long
      conversation with the guard who is in the room, mostly about a recent
      football game. After about twenty minutes, he points to Rogue and
      says, "She's hear to see the old guy."

      The other guard looks at her and arches his eyebrows. "Huh." He turns
      to Rogue. "You know the rules, miss?"

      She starts to nods and then stops herself. Tyrone sighs. "Run 'em
      down for her Roy."

      The other guard--Roy--starts talking. Her visit can't last for longer
      than twenty minutes. She is not allowed to touch the prisoner. She
      may not touch the walls or the floor of the cell. A guard ("Me" Roy
      says) must be in the cell at all times. She is given a large stack of
      waivers to sign. While she signs them, Tyrone tells Roy he is going
      to get a soda. "Do you want one?"

      It takes a moment for her to realize that he is talking to her. She
      is startled by his kindness and she smiles at him. She likes proving
      to herself that Magneto is often wrong about humanity. "Thank you,
      but I'm ok."

      After she signs the waivers she takes off her shoes and her watch.
      Roy puts them in a plastic bag and labels the bag with a number. This
      strikes her as rather bizarre--there is no one else waiting to visit
      Magneto after her, so it's not like her stuff is going to get
      confused with anyone else's--and Roy notices her puzzled
      look. "Regulation" he says and she nods as if she understands even
      though she is not sure she does.

      Roy leaves the room and as he exits a female guard comes in. She
      gives Rogue a pair of drawstring pants and holds out her hand for
      Rogue's jeans. She doesn't talk at all and her expression is so
      forbidding that Rogue is too scared to attempt conversation. After
      she puts the pants on the woman places her jeans in the numbered bag
      that holds her watch and shoes. Roy walks in as the woman guard
      leaves and Rogue realizes they are making sure she is never alone.
      She feels the equilibrium she found with Tyrone's smile slip away.

      "Let's go" Roy tells her.

      They go back out into the hallway, back down the corridor. Back into
      the plastic cage/elevator, only they stop at a platform suspended
      above the floor. Roy makes her walk in front of him. She presses her
      hands together and tries not to look down.

      And then she is inside Magneto's cell. He is looking at her and there
      is no curiosity in his eyes at all. Only boredom and behind that,
      what she knows is rage. She thinks about the crumbling concrete walls
      of Sing-Sing and shivers a little.

      He smiles at that. "I see you've recovered."

      "It was almost a year ago."

      He shrugs. "As you can see, I don't have a calendar..." he gestures
      around the cell, "just four blank and see-through walls. Why don't
      you have a seat?"

      And so she does.

      **

      She sits down on a plastic chair across from him. He looks so much
      like a harmless uncle or grandfather than she feels a little thrown.
      She remembered him as being much younger. Much taller. Much less
      tired looking. She can hardly believe that he is the same man that
      nearly succeeded in killing her. "You were going to kill me." It
      comes out as almost a question and she knows it shouldn't. He told
      her she was going to die.

      He raises an eyebrow. "You came out here to tell me what I already
      know?" He leans forward, cocks his head to one side and studies her
      for a moment. "Did Charles send you?"

      She smiles at the evidence of his ego. He is so much like she knew he
      would be.

      "No. He doesn't even know I'm here."

      Magneto looks thrown by her smile, but only for a moment. He doesn't
      say anything and silence stretches between them. Rogue places her
      hands against the chair arms and holds on.

      Finally he leans back in his chair. "Why are you here?"

      "You could have done it earlier."

      This time no expression crosses his face. But she knows him. She
      knows all his tells. He rubs his arm, rubs right where faint traces
      of the number he once wore still remain. "What?" His voice is bored.

      "The machine was ready months before you came to New York. You knew
      who I was; you knew where I was traveling. Why did you wait till
      after Xavier found me? Why did you send Sabretooth after Logan and I
      when you knew Xavier would be able to track him using Cerebro? You
      knew he'd find me. You could have had your revenge on the world if
      you'd acted sooner. You could have found me, taken me and the machine
      to New York, and killed everyone in Manhattan--including all the
      world leaders who were at the UN for a pre-summit meeting five days
      before Xavier found me. Why did you wait?"

      He rubs his arm again. "Guard" he says slowly, and he turns to look
      at Roy, who is leaning against the far wall. "This visit is over."

      Roy shrugs. "Miss?"

      She shrugs at Roy and then stands up and starts to walk out of the
      cell, Roy behind her.

      "Have you told him?" Erik's voice is raw and she almost feels sorry
      for him. "Have you told Charles this?"

      She turns back. "Ahavah," she says and she watches his eyes widen at
      the nickname that only his mother and Xavier ever used for him. She
      watches as he realizes exactly how much he gave her when he
      transferred his power to her, "don't you think he already knows?"

      She doesn't wait for a response. She walks out of the cell and she
      doesn't look back. He doesn't watch her leave and she is glad for
      that. She changes and gets the rest of her belongings back. Tyrone
      walks her back to the waiting room and after a while, she is allowed
      to get on another bus.

      She is home by four. Xavier looks at her for a long moment when he
      sees her at dinner and then comes over to where she is sitting.

      "Why do you think he waited?" she asks.

      Xavier places his hand on top of hers. "I'd like to think.... I'd
      like to think that he has a little hope."

      She looks at him, really looks at him. He looks like someone who has
      helped her. He looks like someone who cares about her. *Her*. Just
      her. "Thank you, Professor."

      He smiles at her and there are no memories hidden behind it. For
      once, there is silence in her head.

      **

      In her dreams, she runs.

      She runs through the neighborhood she lived in as a child, racing
      past Paige's house, Laura's house, David's house. She runs into what
      used to be her home and races down the hallway, turns into the dining
      room.

      She stops. There is all the furniture she remembers. The table, the
      chairs, the picture of a forest that her mother put up on the left
      wall in an attempt to decorate the room. The doors are still there,
      like they never were in real life, but like they've always been in
      her dreams, and the boy is sitting at the dining room table.

      He stands up when she comes into the room and walks over to the door.

      She does not say anything to him.

      He opens the door.

      She still does not say anything.

      He starts to run and he disappears, leaving the door open behind him.

      She walks over to the other door. The doorknob is made of brass and
      it is very shiny. When she was a little girl, she used to help her
      mother polish all the doorknobs in the house before holidays. She
      used to like the way they shone. She reaches her hand out and
      hesitates, her fingers quivering over the brass surface.

      She can hear a train in the distance, the sound of it drifting to her
      from the other open door.

      "Goodbye" she whispers.

      She opens the door in front of her and walks through it, leaving the
      past behind.

      END



      Notes: "'Ahavah" is the Hebrew word for love. Sing-Sing prison
      really is located in Westchester, New York. There's a lot of
      information available on-line about the Holocaust --several notable
      sites include: http://remember.org/ http://www.holocaust-
      history.org/ and http://www.ushmm.org/
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