Disclaimer: Not my characters (mostly), this is just for entertainment!
"Show me." He stood firm with his arms crossed high on his chest. The room was dimly lit from the damage earlier but in the dim blue tendrils of light slowly grew from ground like unfurling ferns. They spread around the discarded helmet in the room and soon became as thick as a meadow. Logan looked up as the magic glowed on the ceiling creating a light show. "What's this supposed to be?"
"Control." Rogue replied through gritted teeth. He could see her struggle as plain as day. He rolled his eyes.
"A pretty light show doesn't tell me you're in control, kid." He told her. "Show me real power." He demanded. Her frown deepened as she concentrated. Rogue put out her hands and pieces of the ceiling cracked and fell down with unnatural entropy. The foot wide pieces glowed with magic as they were diverted from their vertical downward fall and flew through the air at Logan. They flew directly at his head and were two inches away from hitting him when they stopped dead in mid air in front of him. Rogue squinted and the pieces burst in to dust. He remained unfazed, in fact he shook his head.
"Leave it, Rogue. You're not ready." The light vanished suddenly and she looked up at him from her meditating position on the ground.
"What?!" She replied, genuinely surprised at Logan. "Are you a few sandwiches short of a picnic or were your eyes closed!"
"Give it up, kid." Logan turned his back on her. "You weren't even tryin'." He said disappointedly. He sniffed the air. "Sun's coming up. We'll finish this later." He was almost at the door when the he was blocked by a metal wall lit up with energy.
"We'll finish this now." Rogue replied, now standing and furious. He grinned briefly before turning to face her, his face unreadable to her.
Logan popped his claws out of his knuckles and waited for her to make the first move.
Rogue stepped back slowly to the centre of the room; her hands were blinding with Wanda's glowing power.
The ground between them exploded, half into dust that spread like cloud throughout the room and half into chunky debris that froze in the air at different heights. Logan ducked and manoeuvred under and around the debris and moved quickly through the dust, he knew that she was obscuring his visibility to catch him off guard and to hide herself from him.
He stopped to sniff the air, but her direction was difficult to tell from her scent alone as they had been cooped up in the large room all night, so he listened.
Her footsteps echoed all around him like they were coming from an impossible, or improbable, number of locations. He rushed towards the strongest sound and he could make out the shadow of a figure. He kept his claws out and crept up on her but just as he got closer the shadow crumbled entropically into a heap of cement dust on the ground.
Logan snapped his head around, expecting her to have snuck up behind him with the distraction but instead, a nearby panel from the wall swung out as if hinged and hit him in the back, knocking him forwards. Logan rolled with it and recovered in time to watch the suspended debris in the air suddenly moving up to ceiling height. Logan looked around but the dust hanging in the air still hid her from him. She knew where he was though.
The ground rumbled and shifted; metal panels and cement slabs popped out of the ground and flew at Wolverine. He put his claws out and sliced the first metal sheet down the middle as it came towards him, then jumped and landed on the cement slab that followed it bouncing off it with another kick and punched his claws through the next one from above and fell towards the ground. Wanda's magic glowed around him and just as he was about to hit the ground, causing him to miss.
Rogue's magic diverted him at a ninety degree angle, straight into the nearest wall. His claws stabbed the wall first lodging in deep; his face, chest and knees followed, hitting it hard. Logan shook off the concussion quickly and tried to push himself off and down from the wall but her magic was keeping his fists and claws stuck in the wall. He tried to retract his claws but they wouldn't go back in. He wrenched his arms but almost dislocated his shoulders with the force as his arms refused to move.
A discarded and formerly broken giant blaster gun that lay on the floor came to life. It started to burn with energy. Logan couldn't move and had to endure what was coming. The gun lit up and shot the opposite wall it was facing but the beam reflected and bounced off a dented panel, hitting Logan.
Logan was blasted from the wall, badly burnt and still smoking. His direction was diverted, causing him to land into the still lit up gun on the ground. He slammed into it with force. The resultant explosion was so forceful that it knocked Rogue back on her rear end from a hundred feet away, the blast echoed around the Danger Room.
Shock of the blast caused Rogue to come to her senses. Rogue's eyes widened when she realised what she had done and how far she had gone in Wanda's rage though this time, she was supposed to be in control of her.
"Logan!" She called and jumped to her feet. The smoke and dust cleared and she saw him, lying in a heap with the remnants of the weapon she had diverted him into. She ran over to him and started pulling the hot pieces off of him, some pieces she had to pull out of him. She pulled a piece of metal from the inside of his upper arm causing blood to spurt out from an arterial bleed. She swore and scrambled to cover the bleed with her gloved hands. "Logan!" She shouted his name again to see if he would open his eyes. He didn't for what seemed an age. "Damnit, Logan!" She shouted, frustrated. He coughed.
"What... got you... so angry...?" He asked as his lungs and skin healed from the burns from the explosion. She was shocked into silence for a moment unwilling to remove her hands from his arm.
"Ah wasn't angry!" She uttered her voice more tense than normal. Logan opened his eyes and looked at her.
"Yeah, right..." Logan coughed a little less as his lungs were almost recovered and his bruised ribs became less painful. Rogue was starting to think that the bleeding had stopped. "Cause normally when you're just a little annoyed you try to kill me..." Rogue watched him heal for long enough and got up to stand back from him.
"Okay, Ah'm angry! She's angry!" She threw her hands up in the air but then quickly crossed them. "It was your fault!" She yelled at him petulantly. Logan shook his head.
"I just told you to leave it for later." He told her calmly, absolving himself of blame in his eyes.
"You walked away!" She shouted with venom. "You were going to leave me here, alone! You knew Ah was struggling!" She felt hurt and tears started to come to her eyes. "He walked away and you did nothing!" She shouted at him, shocking him as well as herself as the tears started flowing freely down her face.
She turned to run; Logan had seen her cry far too many times for her own liking. He had obviously healed faster than she had realised, he had caught her before she could escape by grabbing her upper arms from behind.
Suddenly, Logan was thrown across the room by a very strong force like a kick to the chest. Rogue ran with the faint glow of the Phoenix flames surrounding her.
Logan wasted no time running after her. He followed her scent and the more obvious dented corridors to the hangar. He looked to see where she had gone but felt a rush of air and an increasing thundering sound coming from the hangar bay doors.
She was standing at the entrance as the doors parted automatically. Logan saw her use Jean's powers; no don't she would easily access any one of her other powers to take off. He couldn't let her leave without coming face to face with Wanda's demons.
He ran fast up to her, the noise of the water fall drowned the sound of his feet. He was only a few feet away from her when she put out her right arm, stretching to touch the water with her gloved hand. She had teetered to the very edge when the tips of her fingers skimmed the water. But the power of the water hitting her hand as she leaned was enough to knock her off balance and she fell forwards.
Logan reached out in time to grab her by the waist and wrench her back in against him.
"You don't get to end the conversation, Rogue!" He shouted into her ear over the deafening sound of the water. The mist was covering them both as they stood there. "And using someone else's powers was cheating!" He added for good measure. She didn't reply. "Who walked away from Wanda?!" She said nothing, he changed his tactic. "Who walked away from you, Rogue?!" Her body jerked in his arms. "Who stood by and did nothing?!" She elbowed him to let her go as the soles of her boots squeaked on the wet floor failing to gain purchase trying to free herself from him but he tightened his hold. "Who're you more angry at?" He talked behind her as she tried to wrench free. "Your brother or your father?" Her legs slipped out in front of her and she slid down his front, losing the strength in her stance but he kept her from falling. Her breathing came in large gulps.
"He loved my brother, not me!" She shouted in defeat. Logan felt her drop further down. "He loved my brother!" He lowered to the floor. He let her cry until she stopped shaking then he pulled her back around the sides of the door, sheltering them from the mist and some of the sound. She stared at his chest as he knelt in front of her; her face was full of sadness.
"You've gone through Pietro's memories, what did they tell you?" He snapped her out of her head. She sniffed as she thought about what Logan was telling her to do. She closed her eyes and thought of what she had learned the day before about the speedster.
"Pietro never felt good enough for his father." Which was strange to learn about him, considering he had expended most of his energy trying to promote himself to reveal the overcompensation for his father's benefit.
"And Magneto?" Logan stopped her from over focussing on Pietro to get her to think of Magneto. She sighed.
"He didn't have time for them, especially her. In a way, he loved them both equally by equal neglect. They were a consequence and for a while he thought they would be heirs, but he had lost faith in both of them. They were merely duties to him now." It was an odd form of closure. Rogue opened her eyes, and seemed to remember the basic fact that she wasn't them. She tried to turn her face away from Logan and made to wipe the tears off of her face but saw her hands where still covered in blood from Logan's arm. She looked at the ground instead. "This is stupid, why am Ah so upset? Ah'm not her or any of 'em." She grumbled wearily.
"You are them, Stripes. Said so yourself." Logan replied easily. "It's not enough to see the memories. You need to feel it. But you need to let the anger go. Remember that it happened, but to them, not you."
"That doesn't make it okay!" She raised her knees to her chest, hugging them to her with her back against the wall. "How can Ah live this stuff and not be angry all the time?!" She demanded to know, feeling frustrated.
"By learnin' control, which means being angry and then knowing when to let it go." He replied and Rogue figured out what he had been doing.
"You were testing me..." She stated, not asked. He nodded. She understood. "Because Wanda's unstable, easily angered..." She saw him staring at her with an eyebrow raised. She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, okay; pot, kettle, Ah get it..." Logan nodded and sat on the ground in front of her facing the waterfall. Logan didn't want to point out the elephant in the room but he felt he had avoided saying it for long enough.
"You're getting more and more angry, kid." He told her, his voice still loud over the water, not looking at her.
"Ah know..." It was a faint omission with the waterfall in the background but Logan heard it only by his superior aural skills.
"Lotta people will try and take advantage of that..." He added. Rogue tilted her wet head back against the wall and closed her eyes.
"Ah know..." The sun was coming up and Logan watched the rings of light shining through the waterfall casting an orange light on him and the hangar as Rogue sat in the shadows letting the sound of the water drown out the voices in her head.
Hank rubbed his eyes and revived the computers to resume his searches from the previous day. He had given up on trying to find any more information on Renko or Essex via Columbia but he was working on an algorithm to search alumni records from major universities around the world in hope of narrowing the search. If struggling to find her now, he figured it was best to at least find out where she had been.
The smell of tobacco invaded his nose. He woke and immediately felt ill with one hell of a hangover, his head pounded and he thought if there was anything in his stomach he'd be losing it soon. His memory was a little fuzzy.
If only it had really been that good a night.
His shoulders ached as the anaesthetic started to wear off. He figured it was from being propped up the day before but as he opened his eyes he realised he was leaning out from a wall, his hands and feet were each tied behind him so that he was spread eagle. He was suspended from the ceiling by his covered wrists.
He didn't need to see her to know that she was there; he knew her brand of cigarette. The smell unwittingly brought forward painful memories for him.
"You changed your choice of anaesthetic." Gambit wheezed out, his throat rasp and raw. "You add somethin' extra jus' for me?"
"It's a new supplier." She told him, not entertaining him. He shook the chains above him that were restraining him, testing them. He noticed that she was waiting for him to talk.
"You just gonna leave me here?" He asked after clearing his throat.
"That is up to you." She said, stepping out of the shadows to see him. She wandered up to him, her arms half crossed as she held the cigarette only a few inches from her mouth. She came face to face with him, examining him through her light rimmed glasses. She took another drag and held it for a second. "You and I both know that you could have escaped at any moment since you got here," She exhaled the smoke to the side and turned taking a few steps back from him, "That you did not have to take that beating you received, you're a much better fighter than they are." She flicked ash on the ground.
"You give me too much credit, Docteur." He replied.
"You could have used your powers to escape them." She added.
"You had your goons cover up my skin." He said with bitterness. She nodded.
"You would have found a way; you don't want to use your powers." She inhaled again on the cigarette, it was nearly gone. "You sought me out, Monsieur, of your own volition. I can't help but feel that you are waiting for something or someone." Gambit liked to see that he was making her nervous, or at the very least, uncertain.
"You afraid Ah'm bidin' my time to kill you?" She laughed at him.
"You wouldn't kill me!" She took her last drag and stubbed the end of her cigarette out on the doorframe. "No, you won't risk it." She took a moment to look at him. "From your questions last night, you came here for Worthington." Gambit saw no point in lying.
"Ah'm not leavin' here without him." He promised her.
"My dear boy, you are not leaving here with him." She replied with equal confidence. She gestured to someone and two men came forward with guns. "But I very much do not want to kill you. I suggest that you come to your senses and pretend that you were never here. You should be good at that by now. And since healing rapidly from gunshot wounds is not one of your abilities," She took out another cigarette and gestured with it to the two guards to keep an eye on him, "I would suggest that you try to be a good boy." She turned to the men watching him. "If he tries to escape, kill him; unless he's come to his senses then you may bring him to me." They nodded and she left the room.
Gambit stared at the two guards watching him as he started to regain full feeling in his extremities again.
"If either o' you fine gentlemen have a deck o' cards, Ah can show you a few magic tricks." He asked charmingly, the man closest to him responded by taking the safety off of his gun.
End of Chapter 66