Echoes Heard

author. mirage
email. jitterbug@pcinternet.net
disclaimer. i own nada. simple as that. so please don't sue. =)
distribution. you want it? just ask, you shall receive, as long as you send me your addy.
pairing. logan/rogue, not really romance yet, lotsa angst.
rating. pretty safe, PG-13 at most.
summary. glimpse into Rogue's head. Not much plot development in this one, but if I make it into a series, who knows what'll happen...
author's notes. okay, this story will move around a lot, as thoughts tend to do, so be warned... Oh and since I found Logan's head a little harder to get into, a fic in his POV will probably come later... after I've seen the movie a couple billion more times...
feedback. Makes the fic come faster....

She always did like adventure.

She used to dream of going all the way up north to Alaska and visiting the places and sights of her choice along the way. It had almost happened once, she had almost seen the crystalline beauty of wilderness and fresh and ancient snow. She'd run away from home and saw the perfect opportunity to fulfill her dream of getting away from the small, boring, old town she'd grown up in. Little Missouri had never really been able to keep her in its town limits very well.

But she never saw what would happen. She never thought about the loneliness or the hunger that would pervade her own soul in ways she hadn't thought possible. She'd never saw the unfriendly bar with it's horrible people and smoky ceilings.

He'd been like a wolf standing up there, against the cold iron cage. Or maybe a giant bear, just waiting for the rage to swell, to overflow and unleash itself against the idiots who challenged him. He was lone by choice and angry at the entire world for reasons even he didn't understand yet. She'd been drawn to him immediately and was never really sure why. Silly crush indeed. Infatuation. Sure. After awhile she even convinced herself of that. He was out of her league. Way out. Out of the country. Off the planet even. He was old enough to be her father. And with his nifty little regeneration gift, he could be even older.

Except he could only remember fifteen years of his life. Didn't matter though. He was gone. They all left eventually. Who wants to stick around with the girl who you can't even touch?

She had friends of course. And she thanked whoever it was watching over that she had them. They were what made her stay when her instincts and ancient fears would scream at her to run again. They were alike in that area. Both she and Logan had the habit of running at the slightest hint of danger, whether it be body or heart.

But they were changing. Healing. Learning.

He was doing his own bit in Canada, or so they'd told her. Searching for a past he couldn't remember, searching for answers she wasn't sure he'd like when he found them. She had seen brief flashes and glimpses into the hellish realms of his dreams and that alone told her she should fear his findings. What kind of human being put another through *that?* Surely none with any humanity in them, too blinded by hate and prejudice and the twisted belief that they were doing it for the greater good. She didn't want to think of someone doing it for pleasure or enjoyment of pain and suffering.  If she had, it would have ruined any lingering respect and kindness she had toward normal human beings.

She could still feel him though. Like an imprint left in mud. The final waves from a tiny pebble in a lake. A ghost in her memory. But he was still there.  She could still feel the boy. And the man who tried to kill her with his plans of manipulation and destruction. But the distinct embodiment of the one she called Logan would stand out and overshadow all the others. Maybe it was he had survived and been made stronger for it, while others had nearly died. Maybe it was because he had given it of his own free will, to save her. Or maybe it was just because he was most familiar and had that kind of personality that seemed to capture people's attention.

Maybe.

He thoughts moved on, unwilling to explore dangerous territory. Instead they moved into an area that always brought her to melancholy.

Her own parents were afraid of her.

It didn't matter anymore. She had a new family. Makeshift and even slightly dysfunctional but it was still a family. Loyal and true. Loving. Unjudging. And just like her, in some ways. But how could anyone understand what it was like to never be able to touch another human being? To never be able to hold a hand, skin to skin, or comfort a lost child with a simple touch. None of the could ever understand. She hoped they never would.

Her deadly skin had become pale, completely devoid of the light golden tan she used to hold proud. Now her skin was usually covered in clothing, gloves and cloaks and pants and boots, anything to keep away the poisonous touch. People were always slightly cautious around her, even if they didn't realize, even if they didn't mean to be. They could usually relax after a few moments. But she understood. No one wanted to die because they'd accidentally brushed past a girl.

Imagine the obituaries.

But...

He had touched her twice. She had reached out first to touch the rough skin of his face with her fingertips. She had seen the shock and pain completely take over his mind and body. She had seen the mask fall to reveal the horrified, tormented man he was. She had felt his power, his personality, even some of his memories flow into her with a rush that made her sway with its intensity. She had felt her skin, flesh and bone mend itself with stolen energy. She had heard his quickening breath, struggling to supply a dying body. She had smelled the musk of his scent, the soap he used, the sweat that slicked his entire body from nightmares she could feel now, things she'd never really noticed before. She had taken his amazing senses and forced them into herself with a touch to that roughened cheek.

And then she'd wrenched her hand away, feeling the last vestiges of the claw wounds close and vanish without a trace. He had fallen, convulsing like he'd been possessed, and she suddenly noticed the people around. The people with judging eyes, fearing eyes, worried eyes. She'd run, not knowing what else to do. Running was definitely something they had in common.

But the second time, he had reached out. He had pressed their skin together, aware of the consequences, thinking he could handle it, or at least that he could save her. She had felt the panic, the overwhelming emotion that threatened to consume. He'd pressed his skin against hers, hoping it would heal the wounds he wanted so desperately to undo. She had nearly died that night. But he had cradled her dying body against his own, pressed his lips and chin to her forehead and prayed to a God he'd never believed in.

Her eyes had snapped open from the pain. From the terrifying, excruciating pain of rebirth. She had gasped so hard it hurt her deprived lungs. She had felt his skin against hers, had felt all his raging emotions and fears swirl into her own being and tried to push away the force giving her life by taking his. She had shoved off his embrace and watched as the cuts and scars of the recent battles resurfaced on his face. She had smelled the trickling blood on his back but she could only stare, uncomprehending at the man who had saved her life and stolen her heart.

Hero worship. Infatuation. Crush. Taken with. So many words for something she wasn't even sure of. What *did* she feel for him? Was he a brother who could offer her protection? A father who could offer her guidance?  Or a lover who could offer her so much more? She didn't know. She wasn't sure she wanted to. All she really wanted to do was clutch the thin scrap of metal and remember his touch on her skin.

/"Come on, I'll take care of you."/

The words echoed in her mind.

/"I promise."/

Echoed over and over again. Louder and louder until all she could hear was a promise he hadn't kept. She didn't really blame him but the words and emotions in her mind that wouldn't go away told her differently.

/"I promise."/

They were always breaking their promises. Her parents promise of always being there for her, of always supporting her had been broken when she'd put her boyfriend into a coma and seen the first sparks of fear in their eyes. They cared, she knew that, but they were afraid of her. Only one person had ever looked at her and had been truly unafraid for himself. He knew what she could do, hell he'd *felt* what she could do and yet he had never acted afraid. Instead he'd pulled her into a hug, holding her head through her cloak. He'd been more afraid *for* her. Her parents had made a promise and broken it with a single fearful glance.

That was just one promise. One hope in an endless line that had been dashed like a piece of sea driven wood against the rocky cliffs of the coast.

He had tried though. He had tried to protect her from things he didn't understand and had even come to rescue her, sacrificing his own life for hers. She still couldn't get over it, although she acted like she was unaffected. But then he left and ruined all of it. She knew he had to, had to find answers for the questions he'd held for fifteen years. Had to end the nightmares that plagued his dreams. She could still see his eyes when they'd opened from sleep. Still unfocused and burning with incomprehensible anger and he'd struck out in blind fury at the figure by his bedside. She could still feel the pain, the pure shock of it. One minute she'd been standing there watching over him, the next the metal of his claws had been buried to the hilt in her shoulder. She could still feel the pain, but it didn't compare to the pain in his eyes. The anguish she'd seen there.

The gloves on her hands suddenly felt bulky and inhuman, constantly reminding her of what she could do to people. She threw them away from herself in disgust. She looked over her hands, over the perfectly normal looking skin and nails. Over the knuckles of human bone. Over the tiny imprints from having the gloves on for too long. She looked over it all and wondered why she'd been given this touch of death. Why she'd mutated into a thing that couldn't touch anyone or anything with harming them. She raped them of their power and mind and nearly killed them for their troubles. She despised the perfect, porcelain looking skin and shoved the hands deep inside the pockets of her cloak.

The moon was deep set in an endless sea of stars and darkness. The trees were plunged in ebony shadows, with only a few hints of green and brown to relieve the night's colors. There was color all around her, all in shades of the black she'd grown used to. The streak of brilliant snow white hair was the only source of color; besides the green of her cloak, and the moon color of her skin. She was hidden from the sun. Untouchable. The sun couldn't reach her and neither could any of the people around her.

/"For people like us."/

A fragment of a sentence. A memory of her own. His words seemed to do that a lot. Come back to her, to haunt her even though they'd shared few.

/"I'll be back for this."/

And then she could feel the pressure of his hand, folding her gloved fingers around the precious metal that proclaimed who he was. She could feel the weight of the metal and all it represented. His past in her hands. The answers escaping them both like a scarf running on the wind.

He'd be back.  She knew without a doubt he would. Eventually. It was the only thing that kept her from being completely alone.

/"For people like us."/

/"Come on, I'll take care of you."/

/"For people like us."/

Who was that in her head now? Who's thoughts were parading around her mind, surfacing when she least wanted them to. The imprint of his soul still marked her own. The memories he'd fought down with his beast empowered rage were resurfacing in her. The things he knew, the morals he believed in, were all made hers for a short time. And even after that, even after her own personality had won over his, he was still there, waiting in the background.

But what haunted her more was the twin view of the touch that had saved her life.

She pulled everything he was thinking, everything was feeling at that moment, and even more into herself. Now two memories of the same instant in time had made their homes in her mind. What bothered her more was that she knew exactly what he had been feeling, but she couldn't completely understand what she had been feeling. His had been pure fear, determination, sacrifice. Easy. She didn't let her mind linger on the fact that he barely knew her and was willing to give everything to save her. Everything got complicated if she did.

Her own emotions, on the other hand, were another matter. She didn't know what to think anymore. What to believe in. She only knew that the feelings she had for him were more than just a crush, no matter how much she had tried to deny it. She was afraid of getting hurt, afraid of what they'd say, what they'd think. What he would do, or wouldn't do if he ever found out. So she kept her emotions to herself and let herself be swept away by the echoes of a man long gone, and the day to day struggle of living without touch.

Her thoughts shifted, her mind struggling to remember his dark piercing eyes that said so much more than his voice, that said so little in comparison to the things that occupied his mind. He hid everything behind a mask, all the things he could control were hidden behind that shield. Only the fury so powerful he had sank his claws into her shoulder that one lonely night. Only the panic so great he'd screamed for the help of strangers.

But none of that really mattered. Because he left anyway. Left for answers. But somehow she had always thought it was more than that. Left to get away from Scott and Jean. She had felt the jealousy in him when he watched them. Jean may have held something for Logan, but she was devoted to Scott, unwilling to give him up.

Sometimes she felt he left to get away from her.

But that was silly. What could she have done to make him want to run? She was just a kid, he even said so by calling her kid all the time, how could she have an effect over *him?* He was the Wolverine. So much stronger than her, so much harder. But then why had he stopped for a lost girl on a snowy road? Why had he promised to take care of her? Why had he nearly given his life to save hers?

They were questions she didn't want the answers to. She knew she was just afraid, just running from her own thoughts as he was running from them. Except he was running to something and she was running no where. Where was there to go in this place?

Her bare hand had found the plate of metal inside her pocket. She ran her fingertips over the indents on the surface, she could trace the niches and read his name. Wolverine. The numbers meant nothing to her, only the name, only the face that popped up with it.

She sighed. All she had now was a school full of people who couldn't touch her. A professor and teachers who taught her. Dog tags that weren't hers. And the echoes of three separate minds inside her own, echoes she heard everyday and reminded her that she wasn't alone.

finis.

for now anyway.
so did it suck? was it any good??? it was my first X-men fic, although not my first fic... but feedback please????


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