Watered Down
by willowaus
Age of Apocalypse, Rogue/Magneto

We are going to drown.

Rogue struggled, desperately trying to make her legs kick harder, faster, anything to get them to the surface before she blacked out. But god, he was heavy, and the current pushing them further downwards wasn't helping her already aching limbs. She felt her grip slipping, sensed him slowly moving through her fingers and she shook her head, wrapping her arms tighter around his chest, doubling her efforts.

She felt like crying as they broke through the surface, gasping for air as water slapped her hard, stinging her face. Her gaze searched his face frantically as she turned him over, treading water in an attempt to keep them afloat. He was breathing, at least, though he had a nasty gash on the side of his head.

She cursed him and the damn mission as she swam towards the shoreline, pulling his unconscious body along. Using her last bit of strength, she dragged him onto the rocky terrain and dropped down beside him. She stared at his wound, frowning as blood continued to seep from it and tore at her shirt, wrapping the strip around his head. A brief flash of pain ripped through her as she touched his face and she pulled back as if she had been burnt, surprised that she'd absorbed him.

Her forehead scrunched in annoyance, knowing the damn shield he always kept up was down and that she'd have to be careful. The wind began to pick up and she shivered, removing the communicator from her pocket. She pressed the honing beacon and drew her knees to her, hissing as pain shot through her right leg. Not good.

She briefly contemplated creating a fire but knew they hadn't washed that far down the shoreline and didn't relish the idea of anyone but the X-Men discovering their location. Her gaze moved back to Erik as he groaned, his eyes slowly opening a few moments later. "I don't recommend trying to move, sugar," she warned. "You lost a bit of blood, might be woozy."

His blue eyes were hard and he moved to sit up before falling back to the ground, eyes shutting in pain. Rogue rolled her eyes. "I warned you, stubborn man."

He glared at her, his hand moving to her make-shift bandage, before he forced himself to sit up. She could see the strain it was to do so. He was looking around the shore and she shook her head, knowing what he was trying to find, crossing her arms in agitation as he looked back at her. If he yelled at her for leaving behind his helmet she might have to kill him.

He quirked an eyebrow at her defensive posture. "I ain't as great with these magnetic powers as you. It was either you or it. I couldn't carry both," she protested, and growled as his lips quirked in amusement. "Maybe I should have picked the damn helmet to save."

He waved his hand and she watched with growing irritation as the helmet erupted from the river, coming to land between them. She stifled the urge to throw it back in, eyes softening as he lay back down, obviously in pain. "I called for help. They should find us soon."

Her fingers brushed over his wet hair, the stickiness she felt reminding her of the amount of blood he had lost. "Remind me to discuss with Bobby the appropriate amount of detonation required in one of our operations," Magneto informed her, stilling her movement.

"I'm sure he feels bad enough about getting us tossed into the river without you lecturing him." Rogue grinned, letting him tug her forward.

She laid her head on his chest, listening to the beat of his heart as his warmth eased the chill in her body. "You are uninjured?" Erik murmured and she nodded, smiling as his arm wrapped around her, holding her tightly against him.

"I ache, but nothings broken." It wasn't really a lie, she couldn't be all that certain that her right leg was broke, just that it hurt like hell. She tilted her head, looking up at him, her eyes shining with concern. "Rest, Erik. They'll find us soon. Ororo'll fix you right up."

"After she takes a look at your leg," he murmured and she frowned and sat up a little, wondering how he knew. "You were keeping your weight off of it, Rogue."

"Stop being so bloody observant."

"Bloody? You've been around Sean too long, my dear." He drew her back down and she watched with trepidation as his eyes closed.

A twig snapped and she drew herself over him, intent on keeping him covered. "Ain't this just the happy little couple."

Rogue pushed herself up, glaring at Creed as he made his way towards her with Wildchild. "He's hurt, Creed."

"The bloody rag on his head gives that away, Rogue."

"Are you gonna stop being an ass and help me get him up?"

"Can't I do both?" he quipped and she resisted the urge to slug him, pleased when Blink appeared.

The girl gasped as she saw them and Rogue smiled reassuringly, adjusting her stance to keep her weight off her injured limb as she pulled Erik up, thankful when Creed finally assisted. "Get us home, Blink," Rogue urged, shutting her eyes as they followed the girl into one of her portals.

They arrived in the sanctity of the base and Rogue finally allowed herself to give into the darkness that had been trying to consume her. She awoke several hours later, significantly warmer than before and enjoying the hard mattress beneath her infinitely more than the rocky terrain. "Sleeping beauty decided to join us, ja?"

Rogue rolled her eyes at Kurt's greeting, pushing herself up to look around the infirmary, frowning when she didn't see Erik in any of the beds. "Did you truly expect him to stay bedridden, Rogue?" Kurt asked, prodding her to open her mouth as he placed a thermometer in. "Your temperature is normal and the leg is only sprained.

"Ororo was afraid you had fractured it at first." Rogue looked towards the entrance at the sound of Erik's voice, finding him standing in the doorway, a clean bandage covering his wound.

"So was I." She swung her legs over the bed, tossing the covers off, and got out of the bed, nearly falling as her leg gave way on her.

"It was still a bad sprain," Kurt admonished, helping her back on the bed.

"Yeah, I see that now." Rogue frowned, hating the idea of being sequestered to the infirmary.

"Rest," Kurt instructed and left, making Rogue scrunch her nose as brimstone filled the air.

"You look better," she stated, watching Erik move towards her.

"You look worse."

"Gee, thanks." She rolled her eyes as he perched on the edge of her bed. "Sure know how to make a girl feel pretty."

"I didn't realize your pride needed stroking."

"Doesn't," she murmured as his fingers twined in her hair, brushing it away from her face. "Just saying is all."

"Rest, Rogue."

She nodded and leaned back against the pillows, sighing softly. "Doesn't help having your soldiers injured on you."

His eyes narrowed slightly and he let out an exasperated sigh. "That is not what I meant."

Rogue smiled and closed her eyes. "I know," she replied, pressing a kiss against his fingers. "Remember to yell at Bobby."

"I thought he didn't require anymore admonishment."

"That was before I ended up here. Now I think you should give him hell."

"Duly noted," Erik informed her and she sighed contentedly as his lips pressed against her forehead before she felt him rise. "Rest, Rogue. You will be at training tomorrow, preferably as more than a standing target."

She resisted the urge to fling something metallic at him.