Title: The Darkholme Legacy
Summary: Logan leaves to find out more about his past after the events on the Statue of Liberty, and a disillusioned Rogue leaves the mansion to find her own path. PG-13 for language and violence.
Disclaimer: Don't own Marvel, so obviously I don't own the X-Men.
Archive: FFN, (WRFAwhen it's done), ask me.
Spoilers/Continuity: Set immediately after X1 (starts during X1), includes many spoilers from X2.
Author's Notes: My own twist on Rogue leaving the X-Mansion and joining the Brotherhood. And yes, I checked my Statue of Liberty facts, the Statue is 305 feet tall.
"Somebody help him!" Rogue screamed when the wounds on Logan's body started releasing rivulets of blood.
Below and across from her, she could see Cyclops and Jean Grey looking for a way to get to them while Storm rose into the air using her control of the weather. Instead of landing near Rogue and Logan, however, the white-haired woman called forth a fog to surround the torch and the part of the Statue of Liberty Cyclops and Jean were on. No one would be able to see the activity from below now, Rogue realized vaguely. But how could she possibly care about witnesses when the man she loved might be dying?
Logan's voice inside her head told her to break free of her bonds. Rogue fisted her bare hands and pulled with all her might. The combined might of her will and Logan's borrowed strength. Though the metal cuffs dug into her wrists, breaking the delicate skin and smearing blood on her pale flesh, the tethers attaching the cuffs to Magneto's machine eventually snapped, allowing her to move toward her savior's still body.
Rogue collapsed beside him on her knees, relieved beyond anything she had words for when she saw that his pulse still beat in the hollow of his neck. Carefully, she pulled his upper body by the sholders of his uniform so that his head was resting in her lap. She took the scarf from around her neck and pressed it against as many of Logan's wounds as she could. Tears slipped from her eyes at the evidence of self-inflicted wounds he had chosen to cause in order to save her from Erik (calling him Magneto when he was in her head was way too formal). She would recognize the pattern of those sets of three stab wounds anywhere.
Logan had brought her back from the dead; she knew that from his memories of the time leading up to when she had opened her eyes, gasping for breath. And he had done it knowing it might mean his own death.
She tried to dig into Logan's memories to see why he would go that far to keep his promise to her, but Erik's personality surfaced and the memories of the two men, and some she recognized as ones she had picked up before ever meeting Logan, clashed. With effort, she suppressed the jumbled mix of images and voices and concentrated on the here and now.
With a rush of cold air, Storm landed beside her.
"He's alive," Rogue answered, cutting off the older woman. She really didn't want to think about what was still a possibility. If she lost him, she would break. "But it took too much to revive me, he isn't healing and all the wounds he got in the fight with Sabretooth are back."
Just then Jean and Cyclops joined them. Jean knelt beside Rogue and unthinkingly laid a comforting hand on the younger woman's fist. The connection had just barely started when Rogue snatched her bare hand away.
"Don't!" she growled.
Logan's affection for the redhead made her feel guilty about her abruptness, but she really didn't want anyone else vying for dominance of her mind at the moment. Especially this woman who, unwillingly or not, was her rival in the affections of the man now lying unconscious and bleeding in her lap. Rogue knew the physical attraction Logan felt for Jean was not present in his thoughts about her, but she also knew they all thought she was younger than she really was. She just hoped he would live long enough for her to find out if her true age changed anything for him.
"Sorry," Jean said softly. "I wasn't thinking."
Rogue nodded dismissively and Jean quickly looked over Logan's injuries.
"We need to get him to the Blackbird as soon as possible, Scott," the doctor told her fiancé.
Cyclops looked down over 300 feet to where the Blackbird was barley visible, resting quietly on the water. He frowned and glanced at Storm.
"I can't fly him that far," she said apologetically, correctly guessing what he was going to suggest. "It's too dangerous and I believe Jean has exhausted herself too much to try to stabilize him for that long."
Rogue clamped down on the panic rising in her chest and squeezed her eyes shut. While Cyclops and Jean debated the best way to get Logan down off the statue, Rogue took a deep breath and pulled Erik to the front of her mind. Surprisingly, the echo of the man who had almost – well, actually he had – killed her was happy for the opportunity to make it up to her.
Rogue opened her eyes so she could make sure she was headed in the right direction and told the three X-Men in cultured European tones, "Steady yourselves."
She couldn't see Cyclop's eyes behind his visor, but Jean gave her a startled look. She felt Jean try to probe her mind, something both Logan and Erik protested loudly.
"Please stop," Rogue begged the other woman in her own softly-accented voice. "Let me do what I can to help him while I still have the chance."
Jean hesitated only a moment before nodding. Rogue glanced at Scott; the X-Men's leader gave her a small 'go ahead' dip of his head as well. Rogue refused to let go of Logan completely, lifting only one hand from the now blood-soaked scarf and motioning to what was left of the machine that so recently had drained the life from her.
After a moment of merely shaking, the metal pieces broke free, flying harmlessly into the dark ocean far below. Rogue took another deep breath and concentrated on the metal platform they were on. A streak of incredible pain flashed through her head, but with Erik and Logan's help, she pushed it aside for later. With a terrible metallic creak, they broke free of the Statue of Liberty, hovering in the air.
Storm lifted off again, saying softly to Rogue, "Follow me, child."
Using the weather witch's brilliant hair as a beacon, Rogue levitated and propelled the platform until it bobbed gently in the water beside the Blackbird. Knowing it would sink the moment she let go, Rogue reluctantly motioned for Jean and Cyclops to carry Logan away from her and into the jet. As soon as they were inside, she created a magnetic energy field around herself and levitated above their temporary transportation. She let go of her control of it, watching it sink instantly into the water.
For a split second she reveled in the feel of the air brushing against her everywhere. So this is what it was like to fly. She felt giddy for a moment. But Logan was injured and it was her fault and they needed to get him back to the mansion. Rogue landed lightly just inside the door and shut down all the magnetic powers she had been using.
Rogue staggered, physically drained of energy. Erik and his cronies hadn't expected her to survive the machine on the torch, so they hadn't fed her, and fear had robbed her of any chance at sleep once the sedative had worn off.
Someone inside her head, 'they' wouldn't let her know who, bolstered her internally. Warmth flowed through her, encasing her just under the layer of her skin. It almost felt like a hug, like someone who loved her was trying to comfort her. It was such a welcome but unexpected feeling that tears pricked her eyes.
Shaking off the introspection, Rogue chose the seat closest to where Jean was bandaging Logan as Cyclops lay in the course back to the mansion. Storm was assisting Jean. Rogue felt a little left out, wanting to help Logan, but she knew without gloves she would only end up hurting someone. So she curled into her seat and watched Jean and Storm while the people in her head fought. Though the jet made the flight back to Westchester very short, it still seemed to take forever to Rogue.
Rogue followed at a careful distance as Logan was carried to the lab to be placed on the examining table beside the one Xavier occupied, still unconscious. She cringed from the smells of sterilizer and disinfectant. Jean efficiently cleaned Logan's wounds after cutting him from his torn and bloodied uniform.
Rogue's stomach rolled when she saw all the wounds Logan had suffered because of her, but she kept herself under control. She knew the others had been trying to save the dignitaries Erik had been trying to turn into mutants, but Logan hadn't come to play hero to the faceless masses. He had risked his life to save hers. Because he had made a promise. And no matter what he didn't know about himself, he knew he was a man of his word.
After a couple minutes, Cyclops noticed her lurking out of the way in the corner. He left the room and came back with a pair of X-Men team sweats, a pullover sweater and a pair of leather gloves that had silver piping, signifying that they matched Storm's uniform. He handed the bundle over to her carefully and wordlessly indicated a screen on the other side of the room.
Rogue knew if she opened her mouth she'd start to cry, so she thanked him with her eyes. Somehow Cyclops knew that she didn't want to be away from Logan. Not until she knew he was going to be fine. That he hadn't really sacrificed his life for hers. Rogue hurried to the relative privacy of the area behind the screen and changed her clothes quickly. Her own clothes had been stained with Logan's blood and she reluctantly tossed them into the trash. It was a physical ache to get rid of the hooded coat she had been wearing when and Logan had first met.
There was a sink with a small mirror above it in the corner and Rogue moved forward to wash her face. She caught sight of herself and froze. Something white had fluttered in her line of vision a few times on the Statue of Liberty after Logan had revived her, but she had never registered that it was a part of her. But now Rogue could clearly see in the mirror that a fair portion of the hair framing her face had turned white. Had Erik's machine done this to her? She fingered the white strands carefully for a moment before tucking them back behind her ears.
Rogue was struck by the realization that her changed hair color wasn't the only thing that made her appear older. Her eyes reflected what she had been through, as well as what a few of the people in her head had been through. Anyone who truly looked at her would never mistake her for a girl again.
When she had washed her face, Rogue came out from behind the screen to find herself alone with Jean and the two unconscious men. Logan was clean and bandaged, and two IVs, one with blood and the other a clear liquid Rogue couldn't identify, were feeding into his arm. There were also a couple monitors hooked up to her hero, keeping track of his breathing and pulse. It hurt her to see him looking so helpless. Why wasn't his healing factor kicking back in yet?
Rogue thought about asking Jean if she had a theory yet, but she wasn't quite ready to hear that it was her fault from someone other than herself and the voices in her head. Prepared to argue her way into staying with Logan until he woke, Rogue was surprised to note that someone had brought a comfortable chair into the room and placed it by Logan's bed. A blanket and pillow had also been thoughtfully provided. The blanket and pillow from the room she had only shared with two other girls a couple nights before she had been kidnapped.
Jean smiled a sad little smile at Rogue. "Need me to give you a once over?"
Rogue shook her head, fidgeting with the gloves that were a little big on her hands.
"Logan..." she choked out, slamming her mouth shut again when sobs threatened to escape.
Jean gave Rogue a sympatheitc, understanding look when she trailed off. The red-haired doctor motioned to the phone on the wall.
"If you need anything or if there's any sort of change in either one of them, please page me immediately."
Rogue nodded and Jean turned to check Xavier's vitals once more before turning away.
As the older woman reached the door, Rogue called out softly, "Thank you, Jean."
Jean gave her another small smile and a nod before leaving. Rogue wandered over to Logan and looked down at his peaceful face. She sighed, knowing that if he didn't pull out of this, she would never forgive herself. Her body once again reminded her of how exhausted she was, and Rogue sank into the chair someone had brought in for her.
Rogue was fairly sure it was Cyclops. He was more than just Fearless Leader of the X-Men, he was the school's second father figure after Xavier, and with the Professor out of commission for the time being, Cyclops was taking on the full responsibilities instead of just his own share. Her sudden insight seemed strange for a split second before remembering Jean's brief touch back at the Statue of Liberty. She must have picked something up from the redhead after all.
Rogue curled her feet up under her and lay her head on the pillow at an angle from which she could still watch Logan. After a few minutes, her eyes drifted shut and she just stopped herself from screaming. The voices in her head were fighting again, taking advantage of her lowered guard. Pain sliced through her head and for a moment it felt like one of the other personalities was suffocating her. Tears escaping from the effort, Rogue stood abruptly and paced the area between Logan and Xavier's beds.
Xavier looked as peaceful as Logan, and Rogue was surprised at the tender affection she felt through Erik's presence in her mind. Though the two men were on opposite sides in the mutants versus the-rest-of-humanity debate, they had once been dear friends, and Erik still regretted their parting of ways. Since he was behaving, Rogue allowed Erik to dominate the other voices in her head. But her inner Logan didn't like that one bit and he let her know it. Control slipped again, eliciting more pain in the form of the other voices struggling against her consciousness, as well as against Erik and Logan's.
'Get out of my head,' she wanted to scream but couldn't. If anyone heard her, they would want to help her, and Rogue knew they couldn't. She wasn't sure anyone could, except perhaps Xavier, but he was out of commission. Rogue glanced over at the older man again.
If she touched Xavier, maybe his power could help her. Xavier was powerful. He had power that he was unwilling to use because he was so concerned about becoming what he fought against. It was one of the things that Erik had always resented about Xavier, even when they had been the best of friends: that Xavier had the power to change minds but he refused to do it. If Rogue could have that power, maybe she could control the minds that resided within her own.
Rogue abruptly dismissed the idea. Who knew what her touch would do to someone already in a coma? But as she turned to walk back to Logan's bedside, a female voice she hadn't heard in over three years urged her to do it. To take just a peak at what Xavier knew. Erik's voice joined the woman's, telling Rogue that Xavier knew something about Logan, about a lot of things.
Glancing around once to be sure she was still alone, Rogue tugged the ill-fitting glove from her right hand and very gently and quickly brushed Xavier's bare shoulder with a trembling fingertip.
In that one moment, everything changed.
A/N: Have I intrigued anyone enough to want to read more? Please review and let me know!