I haven’t left reality. (Well, not yet) I know
that I do not own any of the characters here. But is it my fault
when they keep waking me up at night, demanding their story
to be written? See? No. Please, don’t sue me before I’ve
learned how to defend myself against it. :o)
live for feedback. Really. Makes my day so incredibly much brighter
Loads of thanks go out to the ever-wonderful Jane Jinn for betaing
this even though she has never seen the movie. You rock, babe.
:o) Oh, and thanks also go out to Diebin for encouraging me
to actually send this. :o)
Hm. Three people. First of: Sez. Who's the person responsible
for me being here. And such a cute 'lil bugger. :o) Second:
willa. Who's just awesome. Go read her Buffy and X-Files stuff
and you'll know what I mean. Third: My Padawan Kat. Who's just
writing on her first X-Men fic and was too shy to tell me about
it . . . I need to talk to Yoda . . .
tends to have the most curious effects on people. Even more
so on Logan and Marie.
summer in a hundred years
summer didn’t bother
up this morning
so all the trees forgot to wake
were dropping all their leaves
the ground below them
Had it been any different, it might have been like in one of
those corny movies or cheesy TV-shows. Glittering bodies, dampened
hair, sighs, moans, erratic breathing.
But it wasn’t.
It was awful, and they felt it. All of them.
The second week of the heat wave had just started without any
mercy, and while it had always been bearable to stay inside
the mansion, with its huge, dark furnished halls and the cool
air that seemed to radiate off of every single stone the old
house was built of, this second week it had exhausted its powers.
Which was – hail to fate’s very own irony –
exactly the point when the air conditioner broke . So there
they were, left with the casual reply that there were a lot
of people with the same problem and that it couldn’t be
fixed anytime before next week. The mansion was number 80 on
the list. And Storm - the one person who could have made this
whole mess bearable, was off on a conference in London and was
not expected to be back before the end of the week.
Even the water
in the big pool had gone lukewarm and no one really cared to
set foot in it. A lot of the students who still had family that
accepted them to some extent decided to go home and spend this
time in air-conditioned rooms instead of the mansion. School
had been delayed, since not even the ever correct Professor
Xavier had been able to deny the powers of the heatwave. No
one could concentrate.
Scott had retreated
to the basement to flee from the heat, and Jean nearly locked
herself in her laboratory, trying to achieve exactly the same
goal. And whoever else had the slightest bit of a sane mind
left stayed inside as well.
So they did.
The fine sheen of sweat could be spotted on every single face,
some looked better, some looked worse.
that Logan was definitely one of the aforementioned category.
He had always been the one for cold places, and this heat drove
him out of his mind. She couldn’t count the times he had
tried fixing that fucking air-condition himself. Not that he
had been successful, mind you. But all of his swearing and growling
as he tried had been rather amusing.
She found him
in the kitchen - the last place she had expected. His denim
clad legs were curled under him while his bare upper body nearly
vanished in the fridge. The sounds that left his throat while
he sighed were less than Logan-ish.
you doing?" she asked, amused.
Her smooth voice
startled him and his head came up so fast that he hit it on
one of the shelves which promptly gave way and dropped about
10 cans of Coke on him.
kid!" Oh yeah. That growl sounded more like Logan now.
a Coke, would you?" she asked sweetly.
his eyes and looked at her with a mixture of anger and embarrassment.
Nevertheless he threw one of the cans in her direction and then
scrambled to put all the other ones back in the fridge. She
noticed that he took his time.
brings you here?"
He was so cute
when he was trying to act casual after just embarrassing himself.
to play along anyway.
find Bobby anywhere, so I thought I’d join you."
His left hand
stopped dead in its tracks. His right hand went to his temple
and rubbed it lightly.
A grin slowly
and lazily spread over his face as he turned - this time careful
not to cause another disaster - and grabbing a cold beer, shut
the fridge door.
you dare tell . . ."
That you tried to mate with the fridge? Oh come on, sugah. You
really think I’d share this fun picture with anyone?"
shot up, while she casually opened her can with a loud swishing
get outta here." He pulled her along, out of the kitchen.
walked down the broad wooden stairs.
He looked at
her for the first time then. Really looked at her. And he didn’t
like what he saw. Even though it was the hottest fucking day
he had ever witnessed in his whole life, she was covered from
head to toe. Granted, the shirt probably wasn’t very heavy,
but still it covered her completely. Together with the gloves,
the scarf and the leather boots. He wanted to howl at the picture.
Was she trying to kill herself?
They had just
walked down the last step when he put a rough hand on her arm.
this?" He motioned towards the black shirt
She looked confused
for a second. "What does it look like?"
Her hair still
smelled as fresh as the morning dew, but her forehead and her
upper lips were glistening with perspiration. She looked tired.
wearing too many clothes for this weather," his voice had
lost some of its rough edge. His eyes raked over her figure.
Wondering what she would look like without all that covering.
Wondering if sweat-slicked skin couldn’t perhaps be a
good thing. Wondering why the fuck he was thinking about that
hand found its way to her lower lip and she wiped away the perspiration
with her crooked thumb.
He noticed the
movement with a barely audible intake of breath as he watched
her suck her full lower lip between her teeth and release it
were going with rapid speed where they shouldn't be going at
she answered. "I’m fine."
It was a lie,
and she knew it. But she didn’t want to go through this.
Not now. Definitely not now. It was even too hot to think straight.
He was looking
at her. That long, lonely gaze he didn’t display very
often and that made her quiver inside. Then suddenly, as if
he had caught himself, the gaze shifted and he growled angrily.
"Get that fucking thing off, kid."
She stared back
at him - a little baffled at the sudden change of his tone.
wanna boil in that or what?"
He tugged impatiently
at the long-sleeved shirt she was wearing. "Get it off."
Marie was at
a loss for words. Was she imagining this? Was her mind playing
tricks on her, trying to convince her she actually heard what
she thought he just said?
The tone of
her own voice shook her out of her reverie. It sounded a little
too loud and too angry to be comfortable with.
have the guts to tell me . . ."
A spark of interest
flickered in his warm hazel eyes and he cocked a brow. Lazily
he ran a hand up his bare upper arm that was glistening with
perspiration. "What? I have the guts to tell you what?"
at the unconscious movement of his, her thoughts trailed off
and she had a hard time getting them back in line.
is NOT the time for drooling, Rogue,’ she scolded
No. She wanted
to get through this debate, wanted to have an adult discussion.
She didn’t want to be softened by him, and she didn’t
want to be glossed over by whatever damn sexy movement he made.
No matter how much she wished . . .
exactly what I mean, Logan."
that was great. Just go ahead. Try that even a little less enthused.’
The eyebrow went up a little further.
You know exactly that I can’t just run around like all
the rest of us. You remember that, don’t you?"
I know about you, kid? Left out the fact that you’re hiding
behind that damned barrier of clothes, trying to remind everyone
of how different you are?"
Her eyes flared
up at this, and she would have exploded right away - if there
hadn't been the lack of anger in his voice and those fucking
soft eyes. That look that had made her defences melt with even
less earnestness in them.
It was on full
impact now. Hitting her in the guts with its full force. It
hit her so hard that she missed the first few words he spoke
after the slight pause.
" . . .
enough, you know. You gotta stop this. Stop feeling all too
sorry for yourself."
say anything. Simply stared into his eyes with a look that would
have made killers look like sissies. Breathing in and out for
a few seconds she found the strength to push a single word out
from between clenched teeth. "Bastard."
know whether she screamed or whispered this, the only thing
that was for sure was the fact that Logan - the Wolverine -
flinched slightly. No one else would have noticed this, but
she knew his every movement, knew his eyes, knew his smell,
knew him, because she had been him, and she saw him flinch.
And it gave
her a sick kind of pleasure in her rage, to see that she held
this kind of power over him.
bastard." Her voice was too loud but she had lost the power
to control it. Rage boiled up inside of her so hard that she
could feel herself starting to shake. "Do you think it’s
fun to suddenly have people inside your head? To juggle around
with images and feelings that aren’t your own? To try
and separate all that stuff, trying to stay sane? Don't you
think it hurts to feel their revulsion about what I am?"
looked a little worried about her reaction.
Raising a hand
in defence he said: "Look, kid I didn’t . . ."
He stopped when he felt her burning gaze directed at him. He
wanted nothing more but to make that anger he saw glistening
in her eyes disappear. "Aw, shit, Marie . . ."
Marie me. That doesn’t work this time. Everytime
you’re saying or doing something that is upsetting me,
you start calling me Marie, like it’s the cure for everything
and you expect me to feel better. Well, guess what, Logan?"
The cold emphasis
she put on his name made him shiver inside. She had turned away
from him and walked a few steps down the dark furnished hall
that still exuded some kind of coolness.
work this time," she finished. "So, just go ahead.
What were you trying to say? Are you going to tell me you know
how I feel? Are you going to tell me that I should cheer up
and try to be like the others?" Swirling around and looking
at him, her looks were like daggers. "Shit, Logan, didn’t
you get the memo or what? I. am. not. like. the. others."
was ragged by now and she felt her throat getting sore. Had
she been yelling? She couldn’t remember. Part of her felt
embarrassed at making a scene, and it was this part that reminded
her that she was acting like in a B-movie. But the other part
of her, the one that was fuelled by anger didn’t care.
He had the nerve.
He actually had the nerve to look like a beaten puppy. How dare
he? This was the time he was supposed to be mad as hell, mad
at her screaming at him, mad at her for making a scene.
But she had
never expected this kind of defeated look on his face. If she
hadn’t known him better she would have sworn he was blushing
crimson. But that wasn’t possible. That was Logan and
a certified bad ass didn’t blush. No, not Logan. Just
as he would never . . .
. . . say he
was sorry. His words were so simple and came so suddenly that
she didn’t hear them right away.
sorry," she stated flatly.
if I had known . . ."
had known?" she echoed. A snort of bitter laugher escaped
her. "You said you would protect me, didn’t you,
He looked her
straight in the eyes, trying to put as much into his look as
possible, to make her understand that he was truly sorry, that
he had never intended to let this go so far. "I did."
right. Bang up job, Logan."
It hurt him
to hear his own words being thrown back at him. She even pronounced
them exactly the way he did. It hurt him. Hurt him more than
he thought he could be hurt by simple words. He had stopped
caring about words.
Sticks and stones
may break my bones but words can never hurt me.
Had there ever
been a bigger lie? He didn’t care for words. But why did
it hurt so much to hear those angry words directed at him. Why
did it hurt to see her mad at him? What was the reason?
need people. He was the loner, the one who never needed anyone,
who was very well capable of living on his own, without worrying
about what others might think of him. Then why . . .
to believe me, Marie. I’ve never been more serious in
my life. About anything. That promise I gave you . . ."
He took a deep breath to quell his inner voice that screamed
at him not to voice the following words. "It was meant
forever. I’d guard it with my life. I would never let
anyone hurt you."
At this Marie
sobered up a little and stood for a while, her hands shaking
at her sides until she cramped them together in fists. His eyes
searched for hers and his hand reached out, searched for some
understanding, for forgiveness, for anything that would tell
him she wouldn’t stay mad at him. His hand stopped half-way,
when she glared at it.
Had he been
trying to touch her? After all of this? She didn’t want
this touch, not even through clothes. Not now. Not ever. Yeah.
on. Maybe you believe it in a hundred years.’
. ." Her voice broke audibly over the words she was trying
to squeeze out from her suddenly much too dry throat. "Who’s
going to protect me from you, then?"
His head shot
up and a look of pained surprise plastered itself clearly over
his face. This time their eyes met, soft hazel meeting warm
brown. He had no idea how long they stood there, just staring
in each others eyes. The only thing he remembered was the loud
squeaking noise of the front door.
Rogue!" The silky voice of Ororo Munroe echoed through
the schools main hall. "Is that you?"
attention shifted and as if she finally realised what she was
doing, she tore her eyes away from him and ran towards Storm.
Her voice was
too loud again, and too cheery, but she didn’t care. The
woman with the long white hair dropped her bags and exhaled
the weather you have here, huh?" She grinned widely and
sighed appreciatively as the door closed behind her and the
hot humid air stayed outside. "Could it be that you missed
me while I was gone?"
back. "You have no idea."
Logan’s burning gaze at her back, she linked her arms
under Storm’s and walked into the opposite direction of
where Logan was standing, staring at her.
It started raining the night Storm arrived.
Soft warm rain
fell in heavy curtains, and everything and everyone breathed
sighs of relief. The longer it rained the cooler it got and
soon all of the pupils and teachers of Xavier’s school
for gifted youngsters went back inside.
All but one.
Marie went out
just now, she had shied away from the cheering crowd, feeling
strangely unattached to the whole happiness. She had seen Logan’s
eyes on her and suddenly she wished nothing more but for this
whole cursed argument to never have taken place.
she stepped out in the cool rain and took off the long-sleeved
shirt that had been choking her all day long.
Soon the rain
had soaked her thin silken top and plastered it against her
body. Stepping out even further into the dark Marie didn’t
give a damn about modesty and took the wet piece of restricting
She felt the
rain on her body, on her bare skin, desperately wishing it were
What she didn’t know was that a few hundred feet away
he was standing hidden, watching her slender figure in the rain,
wishing for exactly the same.