Disclaimer: I don't own anything, and don't have anything to give you. If I owned X:Men, I'd make Hugh Jackman sign a binding contract for eternity, gluing himself to me and becoming my personal... ah, nevermind.
A/N: I like this. A lot. It just hit me one day and then wouldn't leave me alone.
Feedback: You read, you feed! Ah, not really. I mostly post this for myself, but it's nice to hear your opinion- good or bad. Flamers will be scoffed at, and eventually deleted.
Wolverine's breath came in short at Marie's scream. Claws already extended, he charged through the west wing of the facility, the walls turning into a blur at his speed, his mind focused on Marie's location. Another scream rang out through the building, and he knew he was close. The scent of fear and Marie's blood reached his nose, quickening his pace. Heart pounding in his ears, Wolverine raced into the room at the end of the hall, a fierce growl exploding from his mouth.
Sabretooth's strong hands were clutched around Marie's neck, choking her to death. Her dark hair hung limply from her sweat-drenched head, and her chocolate brown eyes were now widened in absolute fear, and lack of oxygen.
"Marie!" Wolverine cried, lunging at Sabretooth. "Put her down, you sonnofabitch!" Sinking his claws into Viktor's back gave way to a satisfying crack. A beastial whine came from Sabretooth, as he dropped Marie to the ground and turned, grabbing Wolverine by the throat, and threw him against the wall.
"She's already dead," he hissed, a malignant expression on his face as he lifted Wolverine by his shoulders, and crushed him against the hard stone.
Logan grimaced, lifting his arms against his enemy, and shoved his claws into the beast's chest. A cry of pain rang through the air as Viktor slumped to the ground, mopping the blood up with his furry paw. The room spun out of focus momentarily, but Logan shook his head, his eyes narrowing at Viktor. Raising his claws over Sabertooth's head, he prepared to slice them through his scalp when his acute hearing picked up a soft mumur in the room.
Hazel brown eyes shifted over to Marie's crumpled form in the corner, blood spilling from her skull. Thoughts of Sabretooth vanished immediately as he raced to Marie's side, gathering her head into his arms. "Marie," he whispered, brushing her hair out of her face, keeping his tears back. She was so close to death, but he could save her again. Logan lifted his finger to her cheek, pressing it against the skin. Nothing happened. The shock hit him like a blow to his head.
"Marie, I -" he touched her skin again, harder, panick filling him as still, nothing happened. Tugging off her gloves, Logan clasped his palm over her rapidly freezing flesh, concentrating hard, ignoring the fact that before, it hadn't been necessary.
"Marie!" he cried, shaking her out of her trance. Her eyes fluttered open slowly, cold air blowing from her pale lips. "Your skin, i- it's not working," he stuttered, forcing back the sob making its way up his throat.
Her dull brown eyes flickered down to where his hand was still pressed firmly on her arm. "It's gone," she whispered, the effort to speak becoming too much of a burden. "I c - can't."
"No! No!" Logan buried his face into Marie's shoulder as her eyes closed again this time, and her ragged breathing finally ceased, her chest freezing in mid-breath. Her body went limp in his hands, and it only made Logan hold onto her tighter, screaming in the cove of her neck. "No, Marie! Come back! Oh, God! Don't leave me! No, no, baby, don't leave me! No!" Sobs choked him as he rocked back and forth with Marie's dead corpse in his arms, his tears falling into her hair.
Running footsteps sounded behind him, but Logan ignored them, tangling his fingers throughout Marie's hair, calling her back to him, pleading. Jean, Scott, and Ororo stood in absolute shock, watching as the alien sounds of Logan's anguished weeping filled the room, cutting everyone in the heart. Jean and Ororo hung back, hands raised to their faces, and let their tears fall freely, weeping for the young girl they had become so fond of. Scott's chin trembled slightly as he edged closer to Logan, clasping his hand on the man's shoulder.
"Logan, she's dead," he whispered hoarsely, not sure if Logan was altogether enlightened of the fact; he was staring down at her as if she might come back to life and smile at him any second. Wolverine brushed his hand off, ignoring him. Scott bowed his head, and knelt to the ground, gently drawing Logan from the cold cadaver. Logan let her slip out of his fingers, and he turned, sobbing into Scott's shoulder, clutching his stomach in absolute pain. Memories of Marie flashed into his mind, contrasting harshly with her blue corpse lying on the ground before him.
Ororo crouched beside the two and wrapped her arms around them, choking back on sobs. Jean joined them, clasping her hands in Scott's, squeezing hard. The four X-Men were circled around Marie's dead body sprawled lifelessly on the ground, weeping together for the loss of the dear girl they had all come to cherish. Logan broke from them, and lay his head against Marie's stilled chest, letting his tears soak into her shirt. "I promised I'd protect you," he whispered hoarsely, his voice grating painfully against his throat, "And I failed."
No one noticed Sabretooth, as he eased catlike into a standing position, and raced from the room, a greedy smile on his face.
x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-xA bright light forced Marie's eyes to shut again, making her turn her head toward the side. "God," she muttered, a painful ache throbbing in her temple. "Shut that damn thing off."
There was a rough sound of feet shuffling across the room, and with a decisive click, the light disappeared. As she opened her eyes again, red splotches danced across her vision, blurring her surroundings momentarily. Blinking repeatedly, the image of a small, dim room with white walls met her eyes. Her heart thundered in her chest at the sight of a dumbwaiter positioned in the middle of the room, and the contents lying on it registered; a hypodermic needle, and many small bottles filled with clear liquid littered the table. Rogue swallowed hard and glanced down at her chest, now not surprised at the thick ropes cutting into her skin.
Rogue's eyes snapped up at the throaty voice, and glared suddenly in hatred at Magneto standing calmly in front of her. It fell silent for a long while, neither of them speaking or moving, just gazing at each other in deep animosity. Erik broke the silence, "I bet you're wondering why you're sitting in that chair, bound by ropes, and not one X-men is in sight to save you."
Choosing not to speak, Rogue only focused her cold eyes on his slightly amused smile, and imagined him crumpling to death under her touch.
"Well then," he continued, as if she had replied in assent, "Let me fill you in on a few things."
The screech of a metal chair being dragged across the floor made Rogue wince, and in that one move she quickly scanned the room for an exit or door. Wall surrounded her everywhere. An intense feeling of claustrophobia washed over her as the thought that maybe she wouldn't get out of this alive hit her..
"You are dead," Magneto said thickly, leaning forward in his chair.
Rogue snorted and, just about to tell him where he could go, was interrupted, "At least," he added, "That's what every X-Men now believes."
"They would never believe anything unless you had my dead body thrown in front of their faces," Rogue had almost said 'Logan' instead of they, but had quickly caught herself.
Magneto's eyes glittered and a slow, sour smirk spread across his features. "Ah, but that is exactly why they believe."
Despite herself, Rogue felt her forehead crease in confusion, "What -?" she murmured, staring at him in disbelief.
"Mystique, my dear." Waving his hand through the air, Magneto shrugged his shoulders in an exasperated gesture. "She took your form as soon as Sabertooth knocked you out during your fight," as he spoke the words, Rogue began to remember clearly everything that had happened. The X-Men had received a report that the Brotherhood was terrorizing a supposedly random facility because it was rumored they held some type of secret formula they wanted to get their hands on. The very last thing she remembered was challening that bastard Viktor to a fight after he'd snapped the neck of a scientist. She'd been alone, and at the time she'd known it was foolish to take him on by herself, but it had become her instinct to fight. Viktor had ended up stealing the long black pole she had grabbed from a machine, and smacked it against her head. Then, everything had gone black.
Magneto had paused, as if knowing she was recollecting the recent events, and then continued on, "Mystique died, and the X-Men saw her, or shall I say your, death with their own eyes." A perverse smiled tugged at the corner of his mouth. "In fact, Viktor told me Wolverine put up quite a show crying over your dead body. I never knew that beast was capable of emotion. Wish I could have seen it."
Rogue's eyes flamed in rage and she shot forward in her chair, pushing as far as her bindings would allow. "You lie, you crazy sonnofabitch!" It couldn't be true. If it was true, the X-Men would never even think to look for her, and save her from.. wherever the hell this place was. And, Logan.. Logan. Marie choked back a sob at the thought of Logan thinking she was dead, of him mourning over her..
Magneto raised his eyebrow, "Of course, I have no absolute proof to show you that I'm telling you the truth. But, maybe in a year or two, when you're still stuck down here, you'll finally realize that, to the outside world, you are dead." He spoke the last three words slowly, rolling his tongue over them.
Her eyes widening in shock, Rogue stared hard at him and uttered darkly, "What exactly do you plan to do with me?"
A malicious glint formed in Erik's eyes as his mouth curled into a smile. "Oh, that's the best part." Gesturing toward the needles and bottles on the dumbwaiter as if in explanation, he said, "Rogue, believe it or not, your mutation is a useful one." Rogue spit at him. Erik frowned, wiping the saliva from his cheek and rubbing the hand on his black stuff shirt. Nevertheless, he continued, "Since you won't work for me willingly, and I can't bring you out into the open without the nosy X-Men getting a whiff of it, I'm going to run a few experiments on you," as he spoke, he lifted the syringe from the tabletop and stroked it with his index finger. "- just to see if I can somehow transfer your power to me. And, in order for me to do anything of that nature, I am going to need your full and complete cooperation."
A scream rose up in her throat as Magneto stuck the end of needle into a bottle full of liquid, and drew it out slowly. "Now," he said, rising to his feet and standing inches from her, "we shall begin."
Rogue writhed as he stuck the syringe into her arm, pushing the liquid into her bloodstream. She knew it was a tranquilizer; it had to be. Her suspicions were confirmed as the room blurred slightly, and keeping her eyes open became too hard to concern herself with. Rogue's head flopped to one side as she fell into a deep stupor.