Disclaimer: Rogue, Iceman, Wolverine, and any other hereto mentioned X-Men are the property of Marvel and Stan Lee. However, if I did own them, I'd like to think that X3 wouldn't have blown more than a whore at the end of the month.
Note: This one shot was inspired by the 3 Doors Down song entitled She Don't Want the World. It's off of their new album which I happened to pick up Thursday. Consequently, I found myself writing this little doodad last night. If you haven't picked up the cd yet, I seriously encourage you to do so. On another note, this story is Rogue/Bobby centric, but hints toward a bit of Rogan action.
She Don't Want the World: When Rogue looks into the mirror and sees only a shadow of the person she pretends to be, her world seems all the more suffocating. One young woman wanted nothing more than to touch, only to learn that some things are not meant to be. Post X3, somewhat AU.
-She Don't Want the World-
Her eyes were haunted, empty, and so lost that for a moment she did not recognize herself. Her reflection stared back at her mockingly as she gripped the sink with her bare hands, struggling to keep from shaking. Her mascara had run, and it trailed down her face in dark smudges. Her barely there lipstick was smudged beyond recognition. Dark brown locks trailed over her mostly bare shoulders and platinum locks dipped low over her dark brown eyes.
"Marie?" The voice was low, calm, and so familiar that she did not even jump as a figure appeared in the mirror. His pale chest gleamed in what little light came in from the bedroom, causing her to grimace inwardly. "Are you okay?" he asked softly, his face slightly scrunched up as he searched her gaze in the reflection of the mirror.
Involuntarily, her grip on the white sink tightened. Bile rose in her throat, which she quickly swallowed, as she nodded her head once, then twice. "Ah'm fine," she murmured, her voice scratchy and unfamiliar to her own ears. His blue eyes met hers in the mirror before he nodded and disappeared out of the bathroom, leaving her alone with herself.
Vaguely, she noticed that the bedroom light disappeared, and she was alone in the dark. Still, when she looked closely enough, she could see the outline of her figure, clad only in a long black teddy. Gently, she lifted a hand and trailed her fingers over the thin strap on her shoulder, rubbing her nimble fingers over the soft silk. She could clearly remember the outing that she had found the simple piece. Jubilee had picked it out and insisted that it was perfect.
Instinctively, Rogue had known that she would wear it the night her life changed. But, never in her fragile mind had she ever considered such a shaky outcome.
"Ah didn't do it fah yah," she had murmured to him as he took her bare hand in his own. "Ah did it fah meh." But, deep down inside she knew that she was lying, that she was staring up at her boyfriend and telling him the words that she knew he needed to hear.
Of course, Bobby had been leery, but accepted her admission and held her just a bit closer than he had ever dared. Her skin, her curse, had always kept him at bay through the year and a half that she had been with him. But, suddenly the barrier was gone and she was his. For the first few weeks, things had been shaky, somewhat unfamiliar. Their relationship had never been extremely physical, even if he had pushed the boundaries a number of times in the beginning. Somewhere over time, they had lapsed into a more distanced relationship, wherein physical touch wasn't a necessity, but a blessing.
After the thrill of it all had worn off, it seemed as if the two had only further drifted apart. Rogue had problems living with the decision she had made to get the mutant cure, partly because deep down she knew that her relationship with Bobby had been one of the determining factors in seeking out a cure to her curse of a mutation. Every time they kissed, she was only further reminded of the fact that she would never again be the person that she'd been when he had fallen in love with her.
Somewhere in the last two weeks, Rogue had gone from accepting of her new position in life to questioning. Before she had gone to Worthington Labs to get the one thing that would allow her to touch, she had been considered a valuable member of the X-Men. Logan himself had been spending hours on end alone with her, simply training her in self defense and hand-to-hand combat. But, the moment that she'd returned and everything had died down after Alcatraz, the sessions had mysteriously stopped. Rogue was no longer informed of team training sessions, and she was no longer thought of as an active member.
Within a few weeks time, Rogue had gone from valuable but untouchable, to virtually worthless and touchable. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she often found herself wondering how life had seemed to spin off center the moment that she'd taken her life into her own hands and looked Fate in the eye and said "Piss off".
As she stood there and stared at her reflection, Rogue came to an understanding about herself that she had been hopelessly denying since Bobby had taken her bare hand and brushed his thumb over her knuckles. The truth of the matter was that the girl known as Rogue still existed, but she was buried underneath the crumbling facade of the girl known as Marie that had selfishly thought that a simple injection of a DNA-altering substance would be enough to bring back the life that she had known before she had foolishly kissed her first boyfriend in the comfort of her own room.
Marie D'Ancanto was a ghost, a fragment of her own shattered soul that was just an echo of a dream that she had once lived. Like the other psyches that had a permanent residence in her mind, the girl would forever be a reminder of the has beens and what ifs that would forever plague Rogue for the rest of her life.
If she were religious, she knew that she would probably look at her life in a different manner and analyze it in a healthier fashion. Unfortunately, Rogue had stopped believing in the God she had known as a girl the moment that she'd died atop the Statue of Liberty, only to awaken in the arms of a man that hadn't wanted to pick her up in the first place. Some would call it a predestined series of events, but she knew that it was bullshit. If there was any sort of God, he either wouldn't have let her die, or he wouldn't have let her come back.
These were the sorts of things that she had pondered over since she'd walked back into Xavier's School for the Gifted Youngsters a non-gifted youngster. From that moment onward, she was like any other punk in any other school in the entire country. Rogue knew that she wouldn't be turned away, but she hadn't been at all surprised by the cold shoulder that many students had offered her. Yet, it had taken the gruff nod of only one man to squeeze her heart and slap her in the face at the same time without actually saying a word.
"Ah don't want everything," she murmured, just quiet enough that she could hear the words aloud. Bobby was just in the other room, probably laying under his sheet and staring at the wall, just like she was staring at the mirror. The only difference was that Bobby was still lying to himself and Rogue was tired of pretending.
With a slow and deep breath, she took a step back and ran a shaky hand through her long locks before turning on her heel and facing the door that led back into the bedroom. Stumbling forward, she managed to catch her balance by grabbing the doorway and steadying herself. The room was dark and little light came in from the window on the far wall, mainly because it was after two in the morning.
"Marie?" he whispered as she crept across the carpeted floor. "What's wrong?" he asked as he sat up, the sheet falling down around his hips.
The words seemed to get lost in her mind as she opened her mouth to tell him exactly what she had planned to say. Ah'm leavin' yah and Ah'm leavin' th' school, Bobby. Ah don't belong here and Ah hate mahself. Yah don't love meh, yah don't know meh. Ah hate meh, Ah hate yah fah stayin' with meh outta some responsibility that yah keep telling yahself is a good one. Instead, she merely sat down on the edge of the bed with her back to him as she stared longingly at the closed door.
"Ah'm just- Ah'm not sure we should've..." she trailed off as she closed her eyes tightly and prayed that the tears would not fall.
His cold and clammy hand brushed against her exposed back as he scooted across the bed and pulled her into his arms. Part of her mind urged her to relax even while her body stiffened. "I told you that we didn't have to if you weren't ready," he murmured, his breath cool against her ear. His words rang true, but that didn't change the fact that actions spoke louder than words. "Did I hurt you?" he asked as he pressed his cold and clammy hand against the small of her back.
Swallowing the bile that rose in her throat at the contact, she quickly shook her head. The pain had been everything that she had expected, even if Bobby had held little care for her pleasure when he was holding her down by the wrists and grunting away. Overall, she felt worn and used, a feeling that she didn't appreciate in the least. "No, Ah'll be okay," she murmured, flinching away when he pressed his cool lips to the back of her neck.
Immediately, he drew away and merely sat there, and she could feel his gaze burning into her back. "Marie, I don't know what you want me to say," he muttered before cursing rather vividly under his breath. "You said that you wanted this, that you were ready for this. I never meant to push you..."
"Ah know," she whispered, afraid that her own voice would fail her as she did her best to keep her gaze focused on the nothingness in front of her. The dim room reminded her of the future she had thought she'd gained; the future that she'd wanted when she'd lain awake night after night with tears streaming down her face. "Bobby, Ah'm leavin'," she spat out, her chest heaving wildly.
There was absolute silence for a long moment before she felt his hand pressing against her arm. "If you want to sleep in your own bed, I understand." Mentally, she pictured Bobby scrunching up his face and staring at her in a most bewildered fashion. "I'm just- I'm glad that we took this step, Ro- Marie." It seemed that in the last few weeks he still had not gotten used to calling her by the name her Momma had given her.
"No, Bobby, that ain't what Ah'm sayin'," she muttered through clenched teeth. Anger and disgust flooded her body as she shifted her weight and felt the clammy feeling between her thighs. The whole reason she'd ventured into the bathroom had been to straighten herself up, but it seemed that the after affects of her horrid choice still lingered. "Ah'm leavin', Bobby. Ah'm leavin' th' school and Ah ain't comin' back."
His sharp intake of breath was all she needed to hear in order to know that he had heard her. Somewhere deep down inside of her heart she found herself hoping that he'd wrap his arms around her and rest his chin upon her shoulder and tell her everything would be okay. But, he did not. "I don't understand," he whispered, his voice cracked and shaky. "Why?"
"Because Ah hate meh, Bobby!" She leapt to her feet and crossed her arms over her chest as she turned to face him. Her eyes had adjusted to the dimness of the room and she could clearly see him sitting in the middle of his bed, his hair completely disheveled and his expression utterly confused. "Ah hate th' fact that Ah did this fah yah! Ah know Ah wanted it, but Ah didn't think thangs through! Ah ain't meh no more, Ah ain't Marie and Ah ain't Rogue. Ah hate yah fah stayin' with meh and puttin' up with mah shit! Yah supposed tah love meh fah who Ah was. Ah thought that afta Ah could touch, that yah would love meh, Bobby!"
"I do love you," he replied, earnestly, as he scooted to the edge of the bed and sat there with his elbows resting atop his knees. Mentally, she wondered if it he knew that it was the first time he'd ever spoken the words. "Dammit, do you think I'd sleep with just some random girl?"
"No, but yah would sleep with yah girlfriend, Bobby. Ah'm yah girlfried, so Ah imagine yah figured it'd be a'right in th' end just 'cause we'd been datin' fah so long. Well, Ah gotta newsflash fah yah, if that was sex, it was fuckin' awful!" She gasped in surprised and slapped her hand over her mouth when she realized what she had said. Emotion was bubbling inside of her and she felt as though she were simply going to explode. The look on Bobby's face was all she needed to see to know that in a sick and twisted way, she had been right. "How long were yah plannin' on waitin' before yah told meh 'bout yah and Kitty?"
"What?" he asked, incredulously, as he hopped to his feet and towered over her, pale blue eyes searching hers for an explanation. "What are you talking about?"
It didn't matter that the rest of the household was sleeping, or that they had been so loud that there was a good chance that a few of Bobby's neighbors were awake. All that mattered was that the drowned voice inside of Rogue had finally clawed its way to the surface and she felt more like herself than she had in a long time. All of the bottled emotions that she had suffered through were coming to the surface, and she wanted him to know exactly how she felt.
"Ah saw yah, Bobby. Ah saw yah kiss Kitty." The words hurt more than she ever thought possible and a new rush of betrayal at the recollection of a girl that she'd thought was her friend kissing her boyfriend. "Do yah know how Ah felt when Ah saw yah?" she whispered as she quickly blinked away the tears that had built in her eyes. "Ah wondered if it was 'cause yah couldn't touch meh, ya girlfriend, or just because yah really liked her. Ah'm not even sure which one hurt more! Dammit, Bobby, yah make meh feel like some sorta burden that yah took on fah some sorta public image. Ah don't need yah charity. Ah don't need it!"
Forcing herself to swallow the lump in her throat, she stared at the deer caught in the headlights look that Bobby had upon his face as he stared at her. It was evident that he was blown away by her admission, and secretly she wondered if his heart had been squeezed just enough to cause him to feel as though all the breath had been pushed out of his lungs. "I love you, Rogue," he murmured, as if he were unsure of himself and his own words. "If I wanted to be with Kitty, don't you think that I would be right now?"
"Yeah, 'cept Ah sorta took that outta yah own hands when Ah went and got th' cure, right?" She asked, the venom and hatred evident in her voice as she clenched her hands at her sides. "When yah came lookin' fah meh, yah weren't expectin' it and it was a blow. Yah couldn't very well leave meh then, right?"
"What the hell is going on in there?" A gruff voice met her ears as the doorknob was jingled over and over again, causing her to glance over her shoulder in avid fascination. Then, much to her surprise, the door was simply thrown forward and the man she least wanted to see flicked on the light switch and walked into the room. His jeans were unbuttoned and his flannel shirt hung open, and for a split second, she compared his physique to the boy she had given herself to. "Rogue? Th' hell you doin' in here, kid?"
Bobby attempted to position himself between Rogue and the wild man known as Wolverine, but Rogue merely placed her hand on his arm and kept him in his place. "Ah'm just explain' tah Bobby that Ah'm leavin', Logan. Go on, Ah'm fine. Ah think Ah can handle this." But, the man didn't move from his sentry position even as he stared at her with narrowed hazel eyes.
"Rogue," Bobby whispered suddenly, causing her to glance over at him. "Rogue, I'm sorry."
He didn't need to say what he was sorry for, because the Bobby in her mind had already apologized over and over again. He was sorry for staying with her on the basis of responsibility only. He didn't love her, he never had. "Ah know yah are," she murmured as she found herself looking up at Logan again. The Logan inside of her head was roaring in anger and threatening to maim Bobby in a number of rather imaginative ways. But, the Logan in front of her had no idea what was going on, even if his flaring nostrils indicated that he was quickly figuring it out. "Ah'm goin' t' mah room."
Her feet padded across the carpeted floor almost noiselessly, and she wasn't at all surprised when she passed no one in the hall. The journey to her private room took little time, and by the time she had gotten there, she was shaking all over. Tears blurred her vision as she crawled into her bed and clutched at her pillow as if it were some sort of anchor that was keeping her grounded.
Alone there in the dark, life seemed to come to a grinding halt as she thought about the steps she had taken; about the ones that she had missed and the ones she had tripped over. Life, she knew, was all about learning from mistakes and going on. But, she found herself wondering how one could learn from a life-changing mistake. It wasn't as if she could go back and change the selfish and childish decision that she had made when she'd taken her life into her own hands. No, she was to live with the choice she made as a constant reminder of the fact that one cannot change the way that they were born.
She had been born different, and even though she had wanted more, she had been satisfied with what she had. The grass is not always greener on the other side, as was made evident by the severe lack of happiness in her life the moment she could pull her gloves off without putting fear into the hearts of anyone and everyone around her.
Tears were streaming down her porcelain cheeks when she heard her door open. Rogue stiffened instantly as she fought the urge to let out a choked sob. The bed dipped slightly and she felt an arm encircle her waist and tug her backwards. Her back rested against the warm body and she felt herself relax immediately.
"It's okay, darling. It's all gonna be okay." His breath was warm against her ear and she immediately compared the man to the boy she had just left minutes before. Rogue was surprised by his appearance, but would not question it because his presence comforted her in a way that no other could.
His fingers stroked her slightly tangled hair as she rolled over and nestled her face against his flannel-covered chest. Her fingers curled up as she rested her hand upon his abdomen and closed her eyes tightly, forcing the tears away. "Ah'm stupid, ain't Ah?"
"No," he answered simply as his calloused fingers brushed over her hair tenderly. "Just sleep, Marie. I'll stay here," he whispered, causing her to shudder all over as she nodded her head in agreement.
"Th' name's Rogue," she whispered back in response.
All Rogue had wanted when she had taken the cure was to be able to touch her boyfriend, to feel his skin against hers like any other normal couple. She had wanted to be able to sunbathe with Jubilee and feel the male students ogling her as she rolled over and someone applied lotion to her back. She had wanted to be able to walk down the hall donned in a short skirt and a thin tank top and feel the hungry eyes of the boys upon her dainty figure even as she walked into Bobby's arms.
In essence, she'd wanted the simple normalcy that almost ninety-nine percent of the other students at Xavier's seemed to have. While she knew that many of them suffered in similar ways, how many others were destined to never touch another human being?
She hadn't wanted everything, she knew.
As sleep overcame her, she saw the life she desperately wanted mesh with the one that she had gotten for herself. No, the life that she had created for herself lacked feeling and all emotion. She was an automaton going through the familiar motions that she had so desperately wanted to enact herself. But, in her dreams she saw the truth.
She saw herself sitting upon a park bench in the middle of a calm and deserted park. One hand was adorned by a soft satin glove while the other was bare and bleeding. As she lifted her bleeding hand to her face, she could not help but clench her fist in anger.
Rogue had wanted it all, and wound up with nothing more than a cold touch and a relationship that circled around two people that did not and could not love each other.
Marie D'Ancanto was forever gone, but the girl known as Rogue was drowning.
A/N: I'm sorry if it lacked some feeling, but I used this little doodad as an outlet to get rid of a bit of my own problems last night. Feel free to leave me a review with your thoughts and comments. It would be much appreciated!