Awoke to Dreaming – by Darlin
A/N – I really love this story. I'm biased of course but I do love it so why not admit it! I hope this last chapter is acceptable to all who read this and thanks to all who left some feedback, it's much appreciated.
Chapter Two – It's a Strange Thing Love
It was long past twilight, the sky sooty black and a light drizzle had just started when Ororo, supping on Logan's blood, was stunned by a blow to her head.
"Stormy, I'm . . . I'm gonna have ta ask you ta . . . ta move away from de old man," a smooth, rich voice laced with a hint of hesitation declared.
Slumped over Logan's lifeless body and reeling from the blow Ororo still had fight in her. The air was thick with static electricity, the only warning he knew he would get before she struck but Remy LeBeau expected no less from his dearest friend.
Ororo hadn't heard him approach she'd been so intent on slurping up her delicious liquid meal and for a moment as she gathered her wits she was glad she hadn't. To strike Remy down in cold blood was anathema to her even now as she twisted around to look at him, still feeling the lingering effect of the blow he'd given her. But surprisingly the pain was fast wearing off just as the wound Logan had given her earlier had mended quickly.
Her beloved friend took a step towards her, bo staff still raised in both hands. He was such a pretty sight, handsome, cocky, sexy. She smiled at the memory of what he'd been to her. He grimaced at the sight. Her shirt, stained with blood, torn and soaked, was hanging haphazardly off one shoulder and her mouth was also covered with blood, blood mixed with rain running down her chin – Logan's blood. Her teeth were stained with it. She looked so deviant Remy almost expected her head to turn a full 360 degrees. He took another step closer as the wind picked up and blew his long trench coat out so it flapped nosily against his legs. He wore his usual uniform beneath the coat but even with the light armor he felt cold and miserable.
"That hurt, Remy," Ororo said.
Remy lowered his staff in amazement. That was all she had to say? She didn't even look fazed. By all rights she should have been knocked out cold. He'd struck hard. Was her skull laced with adamantium just like Logan's now? That blow had vibrated through his wrists and arms he'd hit her so hard. He'd been so desperate to stop Ororo before he could change his mind.
He closed his eyes and whispered an uncharacteristic and fervent prayer, "Mon Dieu have mercy!" and then, trying not to look directly at Ororo he said, "Stormy, you know Remy don't wanna do dis but Remy got no choice."
"But there's a solution to this, Remy – for everyone," Ororo said as she resettled her weight over Logan's body, delighting in the feel of his heavy weight beneath her and the scent of his blood still so fresh and potent and deliciously luring.
Remy thought he glimpsed movement beneath her and he swallowed nervously. If Logan wasn't dead, and really how could you kill him? – if Logan wasn't dead then the two of them had to take Ororo out once and for all. His heart nearly crumbled into tiny pieces at the thought. Why couldn't the stupid old man have done the job properly? If Logan had then Remy wouldn't be there in this horrible position, this wretched place, watching his beloved Stormy dining on human blood as if it were nothing out of the ordinary.
His anguished sigh filled Ororo with self hatred but she knew the decision she'd come to was right.
"You must know I would kill myself before I ever hurt any of you," she said although she didn't look at him.
It was obvious she hadn't killed herself before the virus had taken over and Logan had fallen victim to her blood lust. His blood was still calling to her. She fought the urge but still moved in closer to Logan and couldn't stop herself from lapping at the few drops of blood remaining on his healing throat. "So good, so tasty," she murmured.
Remy saw one of Logan's arms snake around Ororo's waist and with a grunt of irritation and anguish he reluctantly raised his weapon again hoping they could strike together and end this horrific nightmare. But Logan didn't attack, instead he seemed to press Ororo closer as his body moved against hers, and then his other hand weaved through her wet tresses pressing her face against his throat and they both inexplicably moaned.
"No, no more, I'm fine," she sighed and pulled away though her hands ran languidly over his strong chest.
"Oh, Ororo chère, dis can't be happening!" Remy nearly shrieked.
"Get a hold of yourself, LeBeau, Storm's gonna be just fine," Logan growled. "Darlin, let me up, eh?"
Remy watched as Ororo wiped at her mouth with her soaked shirttail before she got off of Logan. But then in a swift unexpected move Logan rolled on top of her and Remy, with bo staff poised to strike, moved in closer. Logan glanced at Remy before placing a gentle kiss on Ororo's lips and then moved off her. The look of confusion and disgust was something Remy couldn't hide even if he'd wanted to and Logan sat back and laughed.
"Dis ain't funny, homme! You should've killed her so I wouldn't have to!" Remy wailed.
"Why I thought you loved me, ma chère," Ororo said.
"You know I do, Stormy, more 'n life even but I've got my orders. You know how it is, dis jus' ain't between you an' me, dere're innocents we gotta t'ink about, somethin' you know Remy didn't do before when I shoulda," Remy said, seeming to recover his determination to follow orders as he remembered the long ago slaughter of the Morlocks that he held himself responsible for.
"No one's killin' anyone, Cajun," Logan snarled. "Like the lady said, we found a way ta fix this mess an' I think it's gonna work."
"Merde!" Remy cussed then swore again. " Scott said you couldn't do it."
"So if I couldn't he thought you could?" Logan scoffed and started laughing again.
"Dis ain't a joke, it ain't some game! We been sent out here ta kill her! Ta kill Stormy! Oh mon chère, Remy don't want to – you know dat . . . I got . . . I got no choice!" he nearly sobbed.
"But, ma chère, I can control this, I can! You have to trust me," Ororo said as Logan helped her up.
"What de hell is dis? You two actin' like de virus never even happened! You both lost your minds?"
"It is perhaps as crazy as anything we have ever seen or done but things have . . . they have changed a great deal. Logan and I . . . we've reached an agreement."
"Dere's no cure, Stormy you know dat – you know it too, Logan !"
"I know, but think about it, Remy, you know Logan can't be killed and he's offered to be – well, to be my . . ." she stopped, at a loss for words, and looked to Logan for help.
"I'm gonna be her Big Mac, fries an' vanilla shake whenever she needs ta get her munchies on," Logan said before breaking out in a loud guffaw.
"You what?" Remy balked and looked at Logan as if the man had lost all sense.
"Yeah, I know her favorite's chocolate but plain ol' vanilla's gonna have ta do," Logan said through more laughter.
"What de hell is wrong wid you, old man?"
Remy was utterly confused. There wasn't one funny thing about the situation and now it was up to him to maybe kill them both if Logan was infected too and it looked as if he was with the way he was acting. But could Logan be infected since he healed so quickly? Remy groaned inwardly knowing he couldn't take them both on as his powers were paltry compared to theirs even with his ability to sway people's minds somewhat.
If he had no chance to defeat them before the virus he knew there was no hope now because the virus enhanced mutant's unique abilities. The reality was that he was a dead man if the virus had taken over Logan. A vision of Ororo sucking blood from his own neck flashed in front of Remy and then he saw himself sprawled out on the plains dead and torn into bits and pieces after Logan finished with him. He thought he might throw up.
"All right, maybe it does sound crazy as hell but this is 'Ro, our 'Ro, Remy, not just some stranger on a sick crime spree we gotta put outta commission. Scott was right . . . I couldn't kill her, I care too much for her – just like you do so this is what we've gotta do."
"Don't forget I killed you before you could kill me," Ororo said with a sly smile.
"It didn't stick though did it?" Logan grunted though he gave her an amused look.
"It would appear your vaunted claws didn't do the job either," Ororo said as she lifted her shirt to one side. The wound he'd given her was gone; a sure sign the virus had taken hold of her. She would be stronger now and heal on a level close to Logan. The virus would turn her into a veritable unstoppable murderer.
"Damn, we got no choice now," Logan muttered.
"It's taken over completely den?" Remy asked, his hope dead.
Ororo nodded as she lowered her shirt.
"Look, the gist of it is 'Ro needs ta feed ta stay in some kinda control so who better ta feed on than me? She can't kill me an' can't infect me fer long an' if she gets outta hand I can rein her in. She don't have ta hurt anyone but me an', well I'm gettin' pretty used to it."
"But . . . but dat's – dat's jus' sick!" Remy cried.
"Look, kid it's gonna work. Go back an' tell Scott I've got things under control. I ain't gonna let her infect anyone. I'm gonna take care of her an' see her through this."
"But dat's crazy!" Remy said, shivering from the horror of the thought more than from the cold, wet wind.
"It's what we're gonna do, boy!" Logan barked. "Or are you gonna try an' kill her? You think you can get past me? You wanna try?" Logan's claws sprung out as if daring Remy.
"Logan, sheath your claws," Ororo ordered.
"It ain't like the kid can take me," Logan said with a shrug though he did what she'd told him.
"Ororo, please!" Remy said. It was kill or be killed . . . or this?
"I know, Remy, it sounds absurd, even I suppose . . . obscene. I know it isn't right and that I shouldn't accept his offer, that I should let you kill me instead but, Remy, chère, I don't want to die! I feel so alive now! It's as if everything's magnified – my senses, the way I control my power – I don't have to constantly be on the alert with my emotions. Look, it's raining and the wind's blowing but none of it's my doing! I can be in this horrible state, angry and hurting, full of emotions, and it's not going to affect the weather at all!
"I know I'm a monster compared to what I was but in some way I'm more normal now than I ever was before. And I'm happy," she said glancing at Logan who gave her an encouraging nod. "And yes, I'm ashamed too and I don't deny feeling immense guilt but you can see for yourself that how I feel hasn't changed the weather like it would have before. I'm free in a way I've never been before. As hideous as this virus is it has actually freed me and I can stay free and sane as long as Logan is by my side."
Remy shook his head over and over again. He could hardly believe her, certainly he couldn't comprehend. As always her life was a contradiction. He only wanted the Stormy he knew and loved back, free from the virus and back at the school where she'd be safe. But that wasn't going to happen. Dracula would find her there just as he had before. The Stormy he knew was gone and would never be back.
"Je souis malade comme oune chienne," Remy moaned.*
"Oh, my dearest Remy, I don't want you to feel that way but I also do not want you to be forced to live out the rest of your life knowing you were the one that killed me." Ororo said, reaching a hand out to him.
Remy knocked her hand away in anger and yelled, "Dat spiel might've worked on Logan but it ain't gonna work on me!" His bo staff began to glow from the charge he was sending through it as he starred accusingly at the two.
"Then maybe you ain't the friend she thought you were," Logan snapped.
"You don't even know what you're saying, Wolverine! She's got you hypnotized or somet'ing! You were never dis inept before! You know what we came here ta do, what we have ta do!" Remy exclaimed.
Logan would've done more than growl but Ororo, her speed greatly enhanced now, swiftly moved between the two men.
"No, I am not quite that type of vampire, Remy," Ororo said, placing a hand on Logan's chest. "I hunger for blood, true, and I am now able to heal surprisingly fast but I am not going to change into a bat or into mist or burn in the sunlight or even sparkle in the sun for that matter and I cannot hypnotize you or Logan or anyone else. Logan is acting upon his own free will and for that I will always be grateful."
Ororo and Logan looked at each other, some silent understanding passing between them. Ororo removed her hand from his chest though she couldn't resist letting it trail down and over his defined stomach. The touch was soothing and arousing all at once and Logan was ready to be done with Remy so they could get on with their new life.
"Listen to her, Remy. It was my idea, came to me while she kept feeding on me an' bawlin' an' goin' on about how sorry she was."
"I was not 'bawlin'!"
"I certainly was not!"
"Yeah, right. Look, Remy you gotta see we . . . well, it just kinda makes sense – us," Logan said. "We've been a team for a long time now me an' 'Ro, gone through death together, quite a few times I reckon. We go way back, way before you showed up, an' we always stood by each other through the worse an', well maybe the whole hiding out in the Outback thing didn't turn out so good but just like then I'm standing by her. Till the end."
"Thanks for the reminder," Ororo huffed.
"Well, it didn't," he replied.
"I did my best, what I thought was right."
"We all did, just like we're doin' now, but we lost a lot back then, 'Ro. More 'n the team bein' scattered all over the place an' that Genosha crap an' Betts bein' changed, we lost something that started between you an' me out there. We owe it to each other ta try an' see if there's still somethin' there even with you bein' like you are. I can't say it ain't been kind of a weird turn on for me, you feedin' on me the way you been. There's something sexy about it," he finished wryly.
She laughed. "I can't deny it does have a wicked allure that I find bewitchingly sensuous and yes, I really would like to see what might happen between us." Her eyes ran over Logan's body and she bit her lower lip as if in anticipation of what might happen.
"No way dis is real, dis jus' can't be happening," Remy moaned.
"Remy, I don't want you to think of me as a monster. Please, what I am now – it will enable me to find Dracula I think, maybe stop him from doing this to anyone else and Logan believes he can track Sinister; possibly we can put an end to him as well. If we can do that then perhaps my change is for the best, gruesome as it is."
"But what if you can't?" Remy demanded, shocked at her willingness to kill their long time nemeses.
"No guarantees but we can try. We have ta try," Logan said.
"I'll fight this," Ororo assured him.
"We'll fight it together," Logan said, taking her hand and gripping it tight.
Remy dropped his head, trying to make sense of all this.
"I . . . I won't be able to be around people any more, Remy, this may be the last time I see you. Please understand, the change happened so suddenly . . . I thought I had more time. I would never have allowed this to happen otherwise, Remy. Please believe me. I've given Logan my word that I will not hurt a living soul and I give you my word as well. I will take my own life before I succumb to that. Can you accept that? Can you do this for me, for our friendship?"
"Ororo . . ." he couldn't say anything else his mind could barely wrap around this awful thing but he slowly nodded.
"Remy chère, I love you. Tell the others too."
"Just make sure ya don't tell 'em till we're long gone," Logan said.
"Dey ain't gonna believe dis," Remy replied finally finding his voice. He shook his head because he didn't believe it either. "You know dey got everyone out lookin' for you as it is."
"They don't know where ta look for her though, do they? Ya gotta figure only you an' me figured out where she'd be an' what she'd do," Logan said as he wrapped a protective arm around Ororo now. "We owe her this – I owe her. We . . . we're gonna make this work. I want this."
"So you just gonna disappear an' hope no one finds you?"
"With a hellava runnin' start, yup that's the plan, now go on get outta here already."
"An' Remy supposed ta tell Scott all dis an' you t'ink he gonna be ok wid it?" Remy mumbled not sure how to explain this to their leader.
"Hell, no. Look, just tell Scott the truth an' tell him not to look for us," Logan said.
"So, you want Remy ta go back an' tell Scott you just gonna let her feed on you whenever de urge strike, dat you just gonna let her . . ." Remy was too flabbergasted to finish much less think straight, the image of Ororo dining on Logan too horrible and too vivid to ever forget. He barely kept his knees from giving out now as he envisioned Logan and Ororo's future together.
"It's a strange thing, love," Ororo said, startling the Cajun when her fingertips stroked his cheek. "Remember what I was, Remy, not this."
Remy didn't try to bat her hand away but looked at Ororo intently. All traces of blood had washed away and she looked as beautiful as she always looked when she was in her element. He wanted the old her back, wanted to save her, help her in some way and perhaps this was all he could do. But if he let her go . . . he didn't know how he could let her go, not because of the virus that had turned her into something horrendous but because she was in a way a part of him. Ororo was the lone person who had stood by him when the others had condemned him when they'd discovered his part in the annihilation of the mutant Morlocks. Her friendship had helped him return to the X-Men and had made him a better man. What he felt for her was passionate and true. He both loved and adored her. He would do anything for her as he knew she would for him. But would she let him walk away if the tables were turned?
The look on her face was sad but hopeful, looking for the smallest sign of approval from him, something he'd seen so seldom from her for Ororo needed no man's approval. If he let her go it meant he would lose his best friend forever. If he tried to stop her – but no his resolve had melted like ice in the desert from the moment he'd struck her. He would not stop her. He loved her too much. For one crazy moment he almost wished it was him and not Logan that could go with her and save her from herself.
His hand caught at hers, held it hard against his cheek. His eyes were watery. He cleared his throat. This wouldn't be the end; it would be a new beginning – for both of them. He had to believe that just as she had believed in him. Her smile when she saw his decision in his eyes almost broke him. He took her hand from his face and pressed it to his lips holding it a few moments more before letting her go. He wiped at his eyes angrily then threw his hand out in front of him urging her to go. Torn inside he watched her and Logan walk out onto the plains, watched them until he couldn't see them anymore, the tall slender woman and the shorter stocky man walking hand in hand disappearing into darkness.
When they were gone Remy settled onto his haunches and forced the bile that wanted to find its way out to stay put. He'd have nightmares for a long time to come as he remembered Ororo, the virus at its peak, the sky lit with lightning, her shirt clinging to her body from the rain, the blood on her face, the look on Logan's face – as if he'd follow her to the end of the world. He'd always suspected Wolverine had feelings for Ororo and that he'd even been a little jealous of the relationship Remy had with her but knowing he had been right did little to make him feel better. Ororo had been right too, love made you do strange things, strange and horrible things. And as if she'd heard his thoughts (and who's to say mutated vampires could not?) a ball of lightning, blazing and crackling, shot out from behind the darkness Logan and Ororo had disappeared into. It flew through the air dashing past Remy, circled him then darted up above him finally exploding high in the sky sending sparks and the stench of ozone thick into the air. A final farewell, beautiful and potentially deadly yet controlled, all that Ororo was. He didn't bother to wipe the tears away this time.
It was a very long time before Remy could stop thinking about Ororo, especially the way she'd looked at him before they'd parted, dreamy and far away as if she were sleep walking or was it that she had found some semblance of peace when he'd decided to let her go? He would always wonder. The others had respected her wish, waiting to see if she and Logan could put an end to the two masterminds behind the virus, perhaps out of guilt or love or possibly both, but how much time they would give the couple Scott wouldn't say. Hopefully enough time so that Remy would never have to face Ororo like that again. How Logan could live with that sick, twisted version of Ororo Remy didn't know. To be fed on like a leech's meal, it made him sick just thinking of it. But he loved Ororo, loved the Ororo he forced himself to remember, and he prayed every night that Hank or Reed Richards would find a cure. Every day he wished it was all a horrible dream but he knew when he awoke each morning, cold with sweat, the dream of Ororo feeding still fresh in his mind, that things would never be the same for him or the woman he had loved as both best friend and something more.
And Ororo and Logan ? Sometimes it's the difficult times that bring one's true feelings to the fore. Perhaps strange indeed but as they sought to vanquish those responsible for the virus they gave into their feelings and were finally married. Truly committed to each other, their life was far from anything they'd imagined – wild, adventurous, fulfilling in ways they would never be able to articulate, but it worked for them, after all, what one may do for love can be quite strange but there's nothing like love to keep and bind you through the good and the bad times.
* Je souis malade comme oune chienne - I am as sick as a dog