HTITLE: De Profundis Clamo Ad Te Domine

AUTHOR: Sharkbait

RATING: PG-13

PAIRING: Logan / Rogue

CONTINUITY: Pre-X2

DISCLAIMER: All Marvel's, except for what belongs to the Smashing Pumpkins (which are the lovely lyrics to Stand Inside Your Love).

WARNING: Disturbing content, creepy behavior, and very unhealthy mental states.


you and me
meant to be
immutable
impossible
it's destiny
pure lunacy
incalculable
inseparable

Sugar-spun chicken wire binding his guts. No, fairy dust super novas exploding the tiny blood vessels in his brain. No, a rosebush blooming in his chest, powdered-silver blossoms caressing and gentling him, even as vines of razor pearl thorns entwined his heart, squeezing 'til blood ran down their lengths.

No...it was like...it couldn't...he had no words for it. It was sweetest agony, an unhealing wound that bled rapture, so hideous and wonderful he could hardly bear to touch it, but couldn't keep away. Pain because of the pleasure or pleasure because of the pain, there was no way to tell. It just...was. Had been. Would be.

Fire burned in the center of his recollections. Part of him embraced it, danced recklessly in the white-hot flames, while the rest huddled on the shadowy outskirts of his mind, frightened like an animal.

Maybe the intensity scared him. Bold, bright-colored emotions and thoughts raced through him; fierce and tangled, but so smooth. It confused him, but...at its rushed peak, he experienced Zen like he'd never known, clarity that ached in its flawlessness.

The Beast reveled in it, the strength of this feeling drawing it as anything so visceral would. The Man in him wanted to run as far and fast as he could from it. And then there was just him, somewhere in between.

He wasn't sure how it had gotten to this point. How it had even started, really.

He knew whenit had, though. There was no mistaking that.

and for the last time
you're everything that i want and asked for
you're all that i dream

For so long, there'd only been 'alone'. He remembered nothing else, solitary confinement inside his empty mind, every bit of human warmth and emotion on lockdown. Xavier had touched on the fifteen years he'd traveled from town to town, fugitive running from the nothing inside him, but there had been five before those, when the Beast had overpowered the Man.

He'd been little more than an animal in the Canadian forests; naked, feral, killing caribou with his teeth and claws. He'd eaten the meat raw, lapped up the blood like a dog, and despised himself with the last echoing awareness of humanity left to him.

Healing factor or not, he'd almost died during those black days.

Eventually, he found a way back. Man usurped Beast, Oak King to Holly King.

But that had been just the beginning of the struggle. Every moment since, he'd had to fight for it, waging war with each breath to be something he barely had a concept of; human.

It wasn't easy. The fifteen following years were better, but harder. War is hell, and it froze him inside until he was nothing but stirrings under the ice, a tiny flickering spark of hope that someday, somehow, things would be different.

In his darkest hours, it was all he had to hold onto. When his strength was almost gone and he was on his knees, it became the prayer on his lips. It was the desperate need inside him, surfacing with a wordless cry to a God he barely remembered for Him to send something. Never forgiveness; he didn't deserve that, he knew. But courage, relief, a break...something. Anything to make him more.

And one day, it happened. The first prayer of Logan's life had been answered when he'd least expected it, where he'd least expected it.

Sweet Marie.

The second he laid eyes on her, something shifted inside him. A crack in the ice.

He'd tried to leave her behind, but hadn't gotten more than a few yards before he felt something for the first time in years that wasn't despair or rage - a pang of guilt. It wasn't much, but it got him to stop the truck.

Things snowballed from there. Nothing big, nothing obvious, just a little flash every now and then. Empathy, because she was hungry and cold like he had once been. Amusement and irritation, when she wouldn't shut up and quit mothering him. Fear, because there was something waiting for them that was big and vicious, and she was small and young and trapped, with no way to run.

Before he realized it, it was more than casual concern he had for her. It was genuine affection. And it was strange after such a long time, and he felt awkward and rusty, but it felt...good, to care about someone else. All those years, somewhere deep inside, he'd wondered if maybe he wasn't capable of that kind of thing - and now he'd found it was more than possible, it was something he was good at.

Maybe too good. Between Marie and Jean Grey, he'd nearly killed himself.

Ah, Jean...and Scott.

In his new freedom, he'd gone a bit crazy with it, let feeling run roughshod over good judgment (which had never been his strong suit on the best of days). He had flirted and lusted and pursued, knowing that she was taken, and hadn't given a damn about stepping on any toes.

A month later, and he might have handled the situation better, used what little finesse he had, kept in control. Then again, he might have done it all exactly the same way, just to piss off One-Eye.

He'd done the right thing in the end, and it wasn't as hard as it probably should have been, for reasons that gave him feelings of both unease and guilty pleasure.

who wouldn't be the one you love
who wouldn't stand inside your love
protected and the lover of

Jean herself had been the one to kindle it, teasing him in the med lab about Marie's little crush. At the time, it hadn't meant anything; she was just a kid, and hell, he already kind of knew. He wasn't that stupid. But the idea lingered like perfume, tickling and whispering to him from the back of his mind.

It was flattering, such a pretty girl taking a shine to him. Felt...nice, knowing he meant something to somebody.

When they said goodbye, she'd smiled up at him, soft and sad and trying to be brave, and it struck him suddenly that she had a woman's mouth. He'd never noticed before.

He felt a pang in his chest, and touched his dogtags absently, then yanked them off to give to her. He barely resisted kissing the tags first as he had done so many times for luck, as he had done to her forehead on top of the Statue. His eyes had dropped to her mouth again, remembering, and then he'd walked away.

When he left, he did with heavy thoughts and the promise to return ringing in his ears.

It didn't stop ringing for days.

The inkling that had begun that day only grew, the further he got from Xavier's school. From her. Thoughts of her stayed with him all hours of the day, struck him at the oddest times. He'd be toeing out the kickstand on Scott's bike, and her scent (Dove soap, deodorant, teenage girl) would fill his nose, leaving him standing in the parking lot of some bar, eyes closed and just breathing 'til it faded.

Or he'd be shaving when out of nowhere he'd start wondering what her cloaks were made of, what the hair beneath would feel like on his fingers, and he'd hardly notice that he had cut himself until the sink ran red with blood.

There were times when memories would rear up and bowl him over completely, make him pause a minute to just...think, roll them over in his head; playing with them, changing them here and there, adding to them. What if he hadn't let go of her on the train, had kept hold of her instead? What would have happened if he'd known what he did now? Magneto would have had to pry her from his cold, dead fucking arms, that's what. He'd have ripped him apart with his bare hands, or died trying.

One night, he woke up in a cold sweat, having dreamt of when he put his claws through her. It'd been bad enough at the time, but now...the idea of it made his stomach heave, gave him the shakes. He hadn't slept again that night.

But it wasn't until he started catching himself talking to her in his head that he realized the truth - he was lost. She had him tucked neatly under her precious little thumb, so hooked that if he wouldn't quite jump off a cliff the instant she asked, he would definitely hold negotiations with her over the specifics.

Once upon a time, maybe he would have felt caged by the hold she had on him. But once upon was not now, and now...well, he didn't mind so much. It felt good being alone, but not really. She'd followed him right along.

No getting away now.

a pure soul
and beautiful

It came on slow, the changes. Postcards he sent her turned from occasional to frequent, went from a single-worded "Hi," to "Wish you were here," and "Thinking of you." He got a P.O. box in a town a few hours away from Alkali Lake just so she might write him. He heard sappy, saccharine love songs on the radio, and pictured how it would be to dance with her, what she'd feel like, smell like. Taste like.

Sometimes, he wondered if there wasn't a part of her inside him, as there was of him in her.

Now there was a thought to make him sweat. That she knew him like no other, that he'd been inside her in a way more intimate than any physical method...part of him loathed that his nightmares and few bitter memories had been inflicted on her (violated her), but the rest was too caught up in how incredibly erotic that concept was. He could practically smell his blood run hot, run south, though it shamed him.

It was sick, a full grown man like him thinking things like that, wanting things like that, from someone who was barely more than a child. He could be her father, or if some of his resurfacing memories were true, her great-grandfather.

No other conclusion: he was a pathetic, dirty old pervert.

But oh God, leave him to his perversion then, because that little girl made him feel like nothing else. His love for her - and that's what it was, he couldn't lie to himself - was something sacred, pure, holy. It was the only clean thing inside him, and he'd never let anything take it away.

She wouldn't be so young forever. In time, she'd be grown herself, and all he had to do was wait. For Marie, he could be patient.

Waiting was torture, but he held out. He bought her flowers for her eighteenth birthday; a bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots, and a red rose bud. He remembered hearing somewhere that in the language of flowers, they meant 'you are young and beautiful.' All were sent anonymously, but he'd known that she would understand who they came from and their meaning.

The two of them were connected now.

He'd been so determined to hang on until he was sure she was ready, he really had, but his resolve had ebbed, worn away by the visions of Marie that looped in endless circles through his brain.

His devotion to her...it was crazy, dizzied him with its power. Impossible not to be swept away, so he gave himself up to it, wave after wave longing and desire and love so pristine, it pierced him like a sword.

Maybe it scared him a little (a lot), too, but that didn't matter. Nothing did anymore, except the pull.

Pulling and pulling and pulling and pulling -

He bolted upright, waking mid-cry as he clutched his chest. Sleep made his thoughts confused and sluggish, but one thing was crystal clear; it wasn't a dream. There really was something pulling him, tugging his guts like a child on the bottom of his shirt.

Drawing him, expanding his already painful need, want and desperation spinning him round and round just like the pictures of her in his mind. It triggered his fight-or-flight response, sent his nerves jangling, but he didn't know what to do.

He needed to run or fight or fuck or puke, something, anything...he needed her, so badly he could smell her...blood roared in his ears, and he could smell that, too. He had to take back, had to give, had to run to, had to be there...

The pressure in his head built up so high he thought he might be having some kind of stroke, and he squeezed his eyes shut, teeth bared as something started to give.

Pain...capillaries in his nose ruptured and hemorrhaged...oh sweet Jesus, it hurt...

GO

A word, a vision, and it deafened him, shrieked in his veins. Pulled at him so hard, it brought Logan right out of his bed, and the momentum carried him stumbling to the bathroom.

Meaning at last. He could have sobbed in release, but grabbed his toothbrush instead and started scrubbing.

Everything made sense now. He had to go to her. Now. As soon as possible.

Spitting out a mouthful of toothpaste, he dashed out to throw some clothes on, find his keys. If he'd stopped to look in the mirror, he would've seen the wild look in his eyes, the blood running dark from his nose.

It wouldn't matter. All that mattered was getting to her.

you
don't understand
don't fear me now
i will breathe
for the both of us
travel the world
traverse the skies
your home is here
within my heart

He wasn't any real fan of Scott, but even he had to grudgingly recognize that old One-Eye's children should rise up and call him blessed for installing the Little Red Button on his motorcycle, for it brought him to Westchester County in half the normal time, and time was more than of the essence. It was his savior, hated enemy, and entire scope of reality all rolled into one.

He left the bike by the gates, and passed through them without looking back.

Getting into the school was easier than he might had guessed. They'd installed fingerprint and retinal scanners on the front door, but his data was already in the computer (thanks to Jean, he suspected).

The voice identification system came the closest to a challenge. "Open up," he ordered.

A woman's voice, sultry alto, purred in response. "Error: Unrecognized command phrase. Verify wording, and try again."

His patience was thin, wearing thinner. "Open. Up." Logan repeated through gritted teeth.

"Error: Unrecognized command phrase. Verify wording, and -"

Frustration boiled over. His claws popped out with the soft sound of tearing skin. "Hocus-pocus, open fucking sesame, let me in, goddammit!"

"Command phrase 'Let me in' recognized, code Wolverine. Welcome, Logan."

He would've laughed, but all he could think about was her, getting to her. He crossed the threshold, and nearly tripped, catching himself just in time.

It was remarkable, how she destroyed his concentration.

In one of the letters she'd sent him (he kept each one in the pocket of his leather jacket, over his heart; some things were too precious to leave), she'd mentioned they had given her a room of her own next to Scott and Jean's. There'd been an incident with a sleepwalker in the dorms who fell into the wrong bed.

She wrote about how it was nice having a little privacy, but he could read the ugliness between the lines. How lonely she was.

She'd never be lonely again, if he had his way tonight.

He found her door like a needle to true North, like he already knew where it would be, and paused to run his hands over the carved wooden lines. He couldn't believe it. After almost a year, after all the yearning, the imagining...here she was, just on the other side.

Logan reached for the knob, and turned it.

She was already awake, standing by her bed and staring at him. Waiting for him.

and for the first time
i feel as though i am reborn in my mind
recast as child and mystic sage

"I knew you were coming," Marie whispered, soft and dreamy. The air had thickened between them like molasses, dark and heavy and sweet. "Somehow, I knew. I felt you."

The pull in him led straight to her. It had taken him across months and miles, and it tugged him now across her bedroom, feet shuffling toward in slow motion. "I missed you, kid."

"I missed you, too," she murmured, dark-eyed with hope and wanting and something like fear.

Thoughts flickered in the back of his mind, but they slipped and brushed past him, reeds in the water. "Hey," he said, and reached for her as if in a dream.

She fit against him like puzzle pieces locking, like air in his body, like coming home. He buried his face in her hair, reveling at the sensation, and feeling the need in him rise.

He pressed a kiss to her white-streak, and another, and another, inhaling her scent like he could absorb it, brand it into bone and tissue. He took stock of every change since he'd gone. New shampoo, smelled like mangoes, strawberry conditioner. Still Dove soap. Still her.

Marie melted into him, and it was so right. Pressure had built and was building again in his skull, worse than before, but he was beyond caring. All that mattered was here, this moment.

Something gave again. The ice thawed and the dam had burst, and every thought, every feeling, every thing he'd held in came rushing loose. It carried him out in the tide, along with whatever control he'd had over himself.

And the last sliver of rationality he possessed screamed for him to stop, but it was too late.

who wouldn't be the one you love
who wouldn't stand inside your love

A hand tangled in her hair, pulling her closer, while the other slid over her back and shoulders, exploring every inch he could reach.

She trembled, fear sharpening, but eagerness too, and want. Oh yes, want. Colors swirled and flashed around the edges of his vision, like strangling, the moment before fading into the black, and he knew that his lips were moving, vocal chords shifting, chest vibrating, generating words of love and veneration, but language meant nothing to him anymore.

Tears ran down her cheeks, and they smelled warm and sweet. Her voice - shaky and husky and vulnerable - cut through the haze like a bullet of pure light. "Please. Please."

Coherent thought shattered, and the hunger overwhelmed him, swallowed him whole. His hands were frantic running over her, unintentionally rough in their hurry to stroke, pet, to touch all of her at once.

Her smell betrayed everything to him, confusion and terror and arousal. A heady, intoxicating mix, and it made his head spin, his body throb.

She gasped as his fingers found her breasts, arching against him. He kneaded them, almost too hard, and wrenched another gasp from her.

Touching her this way...no heaven could be better than this.

And it wasn't enough.

He looked at her, her lovely face, soft wet eyes and mouth, and knew he'd never wanted anyone so fiercely. He wanted to worship every part of her as the immaculate temple she was. He had to exalt her, touch her, have more of her. Nothing less would do.

Nothing.

He released her breast, and reached up to lay a hand against the smooth, pale flesh of her cheek.

Electricity shot through him where his skin met hers.

The connection opened between them immediately. Marie jerked, and tried to pull away. "Don't -"

Logan moved in like a predator, pushing her onto the bed, and followed her down, pinned her with his weight.

"What are you doing?" she cried, young and frightened and unable to understand.

A palm over her lips silenced her. Pain jolted up his arm. "Shhhh."

This time, he put both hands on her, cupping her face, and felt the life begin to pour out of him and into her.

Before when he'd touched her, it'd been...different, difficult. He had been paralyzed by it. Now he didn't resist or even just surrender, he pushed, willed his energy to pass through his fingers into her - and felt the pull of something else, inside of her, tugging right along, helping him.

She was crying and screaming at him, begging him to stop, trying to fight him off. But she was so much smaller than him, it was as easy as breathing, to hold her there while she kicked, bucked, and squirmed.

It was all right. This was the only way. Afterward, she'd understand.

Time was running short. Weakness set in, and distantly he heard someone pounding on her door, trying to get in. He smoothed her hair from her forehead. "It'll be over soon, darlin'," Logan murmured, and covered her mouth with his own.

Her lips were soft and yielding - a little chapped, but warm like he'd imagined them. If only he had time to do this right, teach her what a kiss could really be like...

But it was worth it. It was worth anything, even his life.

Images of the past lurched through his head, crazed and kaledoscopic. His bones ache sharply, telling him his healing factor was close to gone, which meant it was almost finished.

Tired...just wanted to sleep now...he slumped forward, resting his head in the niche between her neck and shoulder, and breathed in the scent of her skin. Mangoes and strawberries. Dove soap. Sweet, sweet girl.

"I love you, Marie," Logan sighed so very gently, and let his heavy eyes close at last.

for the first time
i'm telling you how much i need and bleed for
your every move and waking sound in my time
i'll wrap my wire around your heart
and your mind
you're mine forever now

It was like coming out of a dream. It was waking in hell.

Oh God oh God oh God please...stop, please...please...

Her voice was raw and broken from shrieking, crying, but she could feel it healing already, which only made her want to cry harder.

It meant she'd taken nearly all of him.

His breath got more shallow with each passing second. Why couldn't she move him? Sweet Jesus, help her move him before he...before...

A loop in her mind. De profundis clamo ad te Domine, she pleaded with God, with anyone or anything that might listen, over and over and over again, and had no idea what she was saying. De profundis clamo ad te Domine...help me, please...

All wrong. It was all wrong. She didn't know any Latin (de profundis clamo ad te Domine), hadn't heard it outside of TV and movies (ad te Domine), had been born and raised a Baptist, so she certainly didn't speak Church Latin (Domine), and how did she know it was Church Latin anyway?

Shouting in the hallway. The sound of her door, ripping off its hinges.

Relief, sharp as knives, ran her through. They would pull Logan away, and he would get better, they could fix him and then she could kill him for this, hold him and never let go, and it would be okay...

He wasn't moving. She couldn't feel his breath on her neck, humid, alive. She wasn't absorbing him anymore.

No, no, no. This wasn't happening. "Logan," she sobbed, shaking him.

He had to wake up, had to wake up, just had to wake up -

"Logan," she shook him harder, eyes hot and stinging, words trembling and strangled, and everything was blurred. "Logan, get up!"

...had to, had to, had to, had to...

Nothing.

Borrowed strength flooded her, and her gut lurched in dread. She heaved him off enough to scramble up, and then pulled him into her arms, rocking him back and forth with her whole body.

But he wasn't going to come back, no matter how much she yelled at him, or shook him, or rocked him.

A pit opened up in her stomach, and threatened to suck her down into it forever. "Get up, get up, get up!" she screamed, weeping and clutching his face to her bare skin, trying to force the life back into him. "Help! Help me! Somebody help me please!"

Hands materialized on her shoulders. Jean gently tried to remove his body from her, but she only held him tighter.

Oh fuck, oh Jesus, he was gone. He was gone, and he was never coming back. He was never going to smirk or snarl or smoke horrible cigars anymore, and he was never going to hug her or say her name or tell her how sorry he was, he hadn't meant to hurt her.

She would never get to forgive him. She would never get to even try.

Tears blinded her, ran off her chin in streams. There was no healing from this, she was going to have a gaping canyon inside her for the rest of her life, she was going to curl up and just end, if only to get away from the pain -

You runnin' again?

She didn't care anymore, she just wanted to die -

Don't you ever say that!

She froze. That voice...Jesus, if it was real, then that would mean...

"Logan?" She asked thickly. She could feel Jean and Scott's eyes on her.

Yeah, it's me, darlin'.

"But...you..."

Rough chuckle from some deep hidden place in her mind, and goosebumps rippled all over her body. Died? Of course not. Not entirely, anyway. You didn't think I'd leave you that easy, did ya?

She didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so Marie laid her head down and did both. "No...no, I guess not."

Jean stared at her in dawning horror. She reached for her, then stopped, face pale as teeth. "Marie?"

I'd never leave you.

"Marie, who are you talking to?"

She looked at Jean, feral-eyed, calm. "Who do you think, darlin'?" she said.

And smiled.

who wouldn't be the one you love and live for
who wouldn't stand inside your love and die for
who wouldn't be the one you love


De profundis clamo ad te Domine
Translation: From the depths I cry out to you, O Lord