Lost & Found

Chapter 10 – Adjusting

Marie had never wanted a shower so bad in her life than she did now and she couldn't wait to wash the filth from her body. She walked into the bathroom admiring how nice it was with marble floors and granite countertops. It certainly was different from the stale cell she'd been confined in for the past two months. She looked at herself in the mirror and cringed. She could hardly recognize herself. She took the white streaks of hair outlining her face and ran her fingers through them. She watched herself in the mirror as she undressed and unveiled bruises and marks covering her pale skin. She had lost about 10 pounds and was missing the curves she had before Alkali Lake. She turned to her side and started unpeeling the bandages that Hank McCoy had dressed her in. Each bandage removed revealed memories of how the wound accrued upsetting her. Finally when all of the bandages were done she examined the gashes in shock. They were deep and cut perfectly, they almost resembled shark gills. Around each cut the skin was pink and raw. She turned away from the mirror no longer able to look at herself anymore. As she turned the shower water an overwhelming feeling of insecurity and awkwardness overcame her. She felt she needed to cover her stripped body immediately. She held one arm over her breasts as she grabbed for a towel. She quickly wrapped herself in it and sat down on the floor shivering.

She had never once felt so uncomfortable in her own skin, what had spawned this feeling? She brought her knees up and wrapped her arms around them while laying her head on top and wept. It hurt to bend like that, stretching her sensitive and damaged skin, but she wanted to hide herself from the world. The water continued to run as she rocked back and forth crying into her knees on the clean marble floor. After awhile she tried to shake off the awkward feeling, dried her tears, and quickly made her way into the shower. She practically screamed when the hot water hit the lacerations on her side. Blood trickled from them and swirled down the drain. She held onto the shower certain in pain almost yanking it down. She shook in pain and unsteadily squeezed some shampoo in her hand. She began caressing it in her hair while trying not to concentrate on her stinging injury. Dirt and shampoo ran down her bare body as the water tumbled down on her. After getting used to the burning in her side she started to enjoy the shower was relived to be clean. It was certainly much better than having a bucket of cold water poured on top of her.

Once done with her shower her body felt incredibly tired and it took all the effort she had to make it to the bed. She laid down and grabbed the duffle bag of clothes and pulled it towards her. She took out a night gown and a pair of gloves and put them on after re-bandaging her side. She laid backed down and stared at the light on her new nightstand. She was exhausted but couldn't seem to sleep.

There was a gentle knock on her door.

"Y-yes?" She sat up.

"I just wanted to see if you were okay, I brought you some pain killers and some milk," Hank muffled outside the door.

Marie slid out of the oversized bed and unlocked the door letting him in.

"I also brought you something to eat," He said grinning while holding a basket with enough food to feed a family with.

"That's a lot of food…" She giggled. When was the last time she giggled?

"I wasn't sure what you liked so I brought a bit of everything," Hank entered her room and placed the basket on the desk by the window. He dug in his pocket and took out an orange bottle of pills and handed them to Marie.

"Take 2 every 4 hours, no more than that. It's also good to have some food in your stomach before taking them," he instructed while she tossed two back and chugged the milk he brought.

"Thank you, ah really needed those…" She said sheepishly.

"You are more than welcome dear. Tomorrow, whenever you wake up is fine, you can come down to the infirmary and I'll dress those wounds in clean bandages for you."

"T-thank you…"

He smiled at her and headed to leave. She closed and locked the door behind him and grabbed the first piece of food out of the basket. It was an apple and she ate it an alarming speed. She examined the basket again after devouring the apple and her stomach turned. She covered her mouth with her hand and ran into the bathroom throwing the apple up in the toilet. At this moment she was very grateful to have a bathroom of her own.

After spending a while hovering over the toilet she felt better and made her way back to the bed. She was worried she might have thrown up the pills that Hank had given her but she was too tired to reach across the nightstand for the bill bottle. She closed her eyes and fell asleep.

Marie had horrid nightmares throughout the evening and they weren't Logan's or Gale's but her own. She twisted and turned in the sheets and she itched at the bandages on her side without realizing it. Her nightmare brought her back outside Alkali Lake in the snow with Logan towering over her.

Logan flipped her over on her back and leaned in close staring at her through feral black eyes. She no longer recognized the Logan she knew and spoke with less than two hours before, this was some kind of beast that had taken over him. He traced her cheek with the side of his cool metal claw barely cutting her skin, she whined and he bite down on her neck. He bit down just hard enough to leave a mark and then began licking and nibbling up and down her neck and collar bone.

"Logan?" She said through chattering teeth. She tried to sit up but he pushed her back down pinning his body closer against hers. He snarled in her ear as a warning.

"You're not yourself, you don't realize what you're doin' Logan," Marie tried to talk him down but he ignored her and continued to lick and nibble her body grunting and moaning. His hands tightened around her arms and he began tearing at what was left of her shirt with his teeth revealing her breasts. She blushed feeling his hot breath on her chest and goose bumps rose about her body. Logan began licking her breasts with his warm tongue. She knew this wasn't right, it was against her will and normal Logan would never do this to her but at the same time it felt good to her. No one had ever touched her like this before and even though she was scared to death she enjoyed it. She couldn't tell if her body wouldn't move out of fright or pleasure. He kept one hand griped tightly on her left arm and the other made its way to the band of her shorts. His calloused fingers caressed the impressions in her skin left by the elastic of her shorts. She felt disgusted with herself for liking it. He slid his hand down her shorts and moaned into her ear as he felt her down her panties. Her eyes widened and her body arched forward and she began to cry. Her tears froze on her pink cheeks and burned her skin as they trickled from her eyes. Her emotions were all over the place; she felt violated, scared, and overwhelmed by the sensation of human touch.

"Stop it," she whimpered trying to wiggle out from underneath him. He snarled and pushed himself harder against her sinking her deeper into the snow. All of the sudden she got a rush of adrenaline and managed to bring her knee up between his body and her own and kneed him in the crotch as hard as she could. He howled in pain and released her and she used this opportunity to run. She ran as fast as she could through the snow and into the woods, her lungs burned and bare feet tingled in pain. Once in the woods the snow was thin but the ground was muddy. She slipped in the mud and fell hitting her back hard against a dead tree trunk. A sharp shooting pain ran all the way from her hips to her neck. She groaned in pain and hunched over.

At this point all her adrenaline was gone and she couldn't go on any longer. This is where she would die, she thought. If not by the condition she was in, then by Logan. She couldn't grasp her mind around Logan, what had happened to him? Her heart ached in her chest. She closed her eyes as she heard him approach her huffing and puffing, looking for his prey.

"We were supposed to get out of this together!" She yelled at him, her voice weak and raspy. She opened her eyes and looked up as he stood across from her just staring at her. She wondered if he had finally come to his senses.

"We are supposed to help each other..." She used the last of her strength to stand up. She limped towards him and he held still as she wrapped her arms around him. She held him close and he didn't flinch even once. He looked down at her breathing hard with a confused expression on his face.

"Oh God Logan..." She whispered burrowing her face in his chest. She couldn't believe she had any tears left, but they leaked from her eyes and ran down his bare chest. She started to shake violently from the cold and huddled as close to him as possible. They stayed like this for a moment until they heard gunshots near by. Logan's body tensed up even more and his chest rumbled.

"Wolverine!" Stryker's angry voice echoed throughout the woods. As soon as his voice touched Logan's ears he went berserk again. He pushed Marie away from him and she went tumbling to the ground once more. He looked at her with disgust and anger, as if she had betrayed him.

"Nooo!" She cried. Just when she thought she had gotten through to him. He lashed at her, his adamantium claws gleaming as they cut into her skin. It happened so quick it took her a minute to realize what he had just done to her. She looked down and there were three long incisions starting from her side and ending almost at her belly button. After a few seconds blood started to pour from them and she held her shaking hand close but too afraid to touch over the wound. She didn't feel any pain, just complete shock. She looked up at Logan with wide eyes as he towered over her. She was completely speechless; no words would come from her mouth.

"Wolverine!" Stryker yelled again, this time much closer. Logan gave Marie one last look before he ran off deep into the woods. She could hear him howling like wolf until everything around her became still and quite. She could feel Gale tugging at her inside her subconscious, demanding that she get up and move but her body just couldn't. She laid there in the mud against the dead tree like a rag doll half nude and covered in a mix of mud and blood. She couldn't comprehend what had just happened, her mind was completely blank. She sat there shivering and unable to move until everything around her went black and she passed out.

That night she woke again in the same spot surprised to still be alive. Her body was so pale, almost blue. But she was more alert now than before. She tried to stand but her body wouldn't budge. She tried over and over but it was no use. Every muscle in her body had shut down. She still felt no physical pain, but recalling what all had happened struck her with grief. She sobbed and experienced an array of emotions. She felt fear being alone in the dark woods with no hope of ever leaving, she felt violated by the way Logan had treated her body, she felt betrayed by him for what he had become, but at the same time she felt scared for him. She wondered if he would ever return to the same man he was, and if so would she ever see him again? She had come to love him while they were confined together. She knew she was going to die here and she thought about everything she had done in her life. She was grateful that she had the chance to kiss him before this happened... her first kiss and only kiss. She never thought she'd be able to touch another living thing so she figured having done that was enough to satisfy her before death, if only she knew what fate had in store for her love.

She closed her eyes and waited for death…

Marie woke in the bed screaming. She was panting and slid her hands along the bed making sure it was real and she wasn't still dreaming or inside someone else's memories. "Oh Logan…" She gasped and pushed herself out of the bed. When her feet touched the floor her legs almost collapsed from underneath her but she regained her composure as best as she could and left her room to find Hank or Scott. She ran down the hallway in only a night gown and gloves and stumbling over herself crying out for Hank and Scott. She passed many students who watched in shock as she ran the halls like a mad woman. A few students tried to speak to her but she rushed by before they could get a word in.

"Scott! Hank!" her screams echoed down the halls

"Rogue, are you okay?" Jean hurried towards her.

"Don't come near me!" Rogue hollered looking back at her in anger. She tripped over her feet and went crashing down.

"Let me help you," Jean reached down to help her up with a hurt look on her face. Marie was about to place her gloved hand in Jean's when Hank came running towards them.

"What's wrong?" He kneeled down beside Rogue.

"Ah have to find him; oh God ah can't leave him out there like that!" Marie desperately explained.

Just then Scott came up from behind them.

"What's going on? Rouge?" He asked worried and confused by Marie's behavior. By this time students were accumulating around them to observe the commotion.

"Ah have to go back and find Logan!" Marie demanded in panic.

"You are by no means in any shape to leave the bed let alone…"

"Logan? He was the one who did this to you," she pointed at Marie's side, "why would you want to find him so badly?" Jean interrupted Hank. She had seen what Logan had done to Marie when she looked inside her head. He had almost raped and nearly killed Rogue; she didn't understand why she would demand to see him.

"What??" Scott looked at Jean, anger in his voice. "Who did this to her??

"Please Hank, ya'll don't understand. I need to find him, If you won't help me ah'll go on my own," she begged the furry blue man.

"No, no way!" Scott insisted. Meanwhile Jean tried to get the students gathered around to go back to their classes.

"My, this must be Rogue," an older man in an automatic wheel chair approached them.

"Professor?" Scott asked surprised. "You're back already?" He stood to his feet and stood by the handicapped man's side.

"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance Rogue. My name is Charles Xavier," He said holding his hand out to shake.

Marie looked Xavier straight in the eyes. "Please help me," she asked in a distressed tone and then she fainted. Hank caught her before her head hit the floor and Scott took her from him holding her in his arms, much like he did when he first rescued her but this time careful not to touch her skin. Whatever device she was wearing at the time he rescued her was with Hank and he dared not to touch her bare skin. Jean felt a small pang of jealousy even though she knew in her heart that he was only trying his best to help. Because Scott was the one who found her he felt responsible for her. She herself felt bad for the tragic girl and wanted to know more about her. Scott carried her to her room while Jean and Hank explained the situation to the professor.

"If she still wants to find this man when she wakes up I'll show her Cerebro," he told them.

"Are you sure it's such a good idea to bring that man here? He could be a danger to the children. This man, Logan, took advantage of her and almost killed the poor girl," Jean stated and Hank nodded in agreement.

"Then there must be more to the story if she wants to find him so badly. Perhaps what you saw in her mind was scrabbled? I have a feeling there is more to what's inside this girl's head than we think. I'd like to take a look myself if she'll allow me."

Scott laid Marie down on her bed and observed her for a moment. How could a human being do something so awful to this girl? Scott couldn't imagine her doing anything to deserve being treated like that. He couldn't understand why she wanted to find that man after he'd done such things to her. He admitted to himself that he didn't know the full story behind the events and tried to clam his anger. He gently closed her door behind him and went to find Jean.

Jean had just finished teaching one of her classes when Scott arrived.

"Hey," she spoke lovingly. He wrapped his arms around her and gave her a kiss.

"I want to know more about this Logan guy before Rogue wakes up. What did you see when you looked inside her head?"

Jean sighed and sat down at one of the student's desk.

"He was…like a wild animal. I only caught a few glimpse and they were pretty disturbing. Although I'm more worried about what else is going on at Alkali Lake. I believe they are capturing mutants and experimenting on them. It's not Magento's doing either…."

"That's what Storm said before we went out there. The professor hasn't confirmed anything though," Scott informed her.

"The professor is going to try to look deeper inside Rogue's mind when she's ready. She doesn't seem comfortable around me so I'll leave her be. I still don't think it's right for us to take her back out there."

"With or without her we've got to go back. If there are more mutants out there suffering we have to save them and stop whoever is doing this," Storm spoke as she entered Jean's office. Jean and Scott had been so deep in thought they didn't notice her at the door.

"I'll speak to the professor about going back there. I know he's not in the best condition to go with us, but if we assemble a good team we should be fine," Storm said sternly. She cut her visit short and turned to leave.