Trees Through the Forest

This story assumes quite a bit. I had originally intended this to be set in the comic verse, but the situation seemed better suited to the movie verse Rogue. The story assumes that Wolverine Origins never happened, that Marie regained her powers after X3, that a younger than the Origins movie Remy joined soon after, and that they did start the beginnings of a sort of relationship.

I got this idea while writing Overture, though it has nothing to do with where the story is going. It was just one of those random ideas that would not leave me until I wrote it down. I stress, this is not where the other story is going. I promise.

Also, um... imagine the accents? (I still can't write them without them coming across as annoyingly distracting in my mind. I've given up trying.)

Not beta'd because I don't have one, but it is spell checked!

Disclaimer: If I owned them, I would get lynched.


Someone had smashed the mirror in the bathroom. Each shard of shattered glass had carefully been removed, thrown away to prevent any incident, but the traces of blood splattered on the wall refused to wash away. Alone in the small dingy room, Rogue would trace a path between drops, head tilted to one side as she could imagine the glass splintering beneath her fist and the skin of her knuckles cracking open. Then she would shake her head and hurry. If she took too much time she would be checked on, and it was possible she would lose one of the few remaining moments of privacy she had left.

Rogue would have liked to see if she still appeared human, unsure if the drugs she took cast her more into that of a zombie. The staff never got around to changing it, and when she asked someone about it, the person would smile and assure her that she still looked just as pretty as the day she came. Depending on who it was she was talking to at the time, she would then receive either a carefully placed pat on her covered shoulder or the awkward flounder of someone who did not want to appear frightened of coming within a twelve-foot radius of her personal space.

Another place where she could get a modicum of privacy was her room. That, though, was easily interrupted. The door stayed open for most of the day, and now she could hear the creaking wheels of the cart just down the hall.

"You just gonna keep sittin' there?" Remy seemed to appear out of nowhere, tucked in the space between the wardrobe and wall. She wanted to swipe that cocky grin off his face as he watched her jump.

"How did you get in here?" Her voice was a low, harsh whisper, careful not to attract the attention of those just beyond the door.

"Would you believe through the window?"

Rogue stared at him. What passed for a window was more an opaque sheet of thick glass. Beyond the were bars, thick and difficult to slip through. She did not believe that there was a single sheet of clear glass in the place. Even the lounge windows were covered with thick curtains. "Not unless you're Kitty in disguise, Sugar."

Remy stared at her for a long moment, quiet and observing. Rogue shifted in her seat under his scrutiny, never knowing him to have been able to keep his mouth closed for long periods of time. "Have you heard from the others?"

"A few. Iceboy hasn't said much. Petey wishes you'd eat more. You know how Logan is. I haven't heard from the others. Least, none that are important." He slid closer to her, feet moving impossibly silent against the linoleum. He braced himself on the wooden frame of her bed and leaned close, too close, and Rogue fought down the irrational terror and panic threatening to claw out of her chest. "How are you, Chére?"

Remy's close proximity, so much so that she could almost feel his breath on her cheek, made her want to both lean those extra inches closer and run away. The thundering in her chest was not from desire, but that implacable fear that kept her from doing neither. "How do you think I'm doing? Just go back, find yourself a nice girl, and settle already. Leave me alone."

He gave her that same look as before, just as intense and just as eery. He stepped back, however, and Rogue could breathe again. Leaning against the wardrobe, his voice was quiet, nearly bitter. "Don't have much of a choice."

Able to think again, Rogue wanted to cry. She did not want him to leave, was too selfish to actually consider letting him go. The way he was now, she wondered if he would ever come to resent her. Even if she ever managed to leave here, odds that they would ever have a normal life, free to do what normal couples did, were so remote that she never dared to hope for it. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be." Remy softened then, physically relaxing as he came toward her again. He kept his distance this time, except for a hand that moved with a hesitant determination. Willing herself to sit still, eyes shut tight and breath held high in her chest, she was not sure if it was his fingers flicking a strand of blonde, or if it had been a breeze in the still room. "It's all worth it, Chére."

With a soft sigh she relaxed, eyes slowly opening. "I'll get out of here one day, Remy. I promise."

"Oui." He perched on the end of her bed, a smug grin plastered across his face.

"And then maybe we can go to that diner you were wanting to take me to."

Another inscrutable look, but this time Rogue did not have the chance to wonder about it. The cart stopped just outside her door, and Remy barely snuck back to his place between wardrobe and wall before the woman entered the room.

"Here you go, dear." The nurse set a small cup at the end of the trolley before inching it closer to her. Rogue was unable to swallow the pills until Remy slid past the elderly woman unnoticed.

xxxxx

Logan was the only one, outside of Remy, who visited her. The Canadian did not sneak in through impenetrable windows. Instead, he came every Saturday at precisely four-fifteen in the afternoon. Rogue had teased him for it once, saying that in all her years of knowing him, punctuality had never been one of his strong suits.

He had merely grunted.

Rogue did not like to dwell on the fact that he had barely been able to look her in the eyes for longer than twelve seconds in all their visits. Did he blame himself? Or pity the girl that finally had one too many voices in her head?

"So, what's it like out there? Anything new going on?"

He ran his nail in a crack on the table, forcing the gash wider. His eyes flickered briefly to her face before turning back to his distraction. "Nothing new to report. How are you, Kid?"

Leaning forward, Rogue perched her chin on her clasped hands. "Certifiably insane, Logan. You?"

"Marie-"

A flash of the moon, barely hidden by trees. Panic. Fear. Dread. "Logan, don't." She turned to the television, forever on and locked behind a steel cage. Scorch marks lined the wall behind it, and not for the first time she wondered if she had been the only mutant treated here.

"Rogue. Maybe it'd be best if you just-"

"How's Remy?" Her desperation for a topic change, not wanting to hear what he was going to say, forced her to ask about the one person who had been on her mind the most and the one person Logan seemed to like the least.

He paused in his work before glancing at her chin. "The same."

"Well, could you tell him to stop sneaking in here? There are visitor hours, and one of these days he's going to get caught."

His entire body stilled, thumbnail mid stroke through its path. For the first time in a long while, his eyes met hers. There was the same silence that Remy had, long and unsettling. "Sure, Kid," he started slowly, eyebrows furrowing as he kept looking at her. "I'll get him the message."

xxxxx

"How are you today, Rogue?" The doctor was nice enough. He was a touch too tall, too much hair, too much use of his limbs. He was not the professor. She gave him a chance though because he never called her Marie.

"Fine."

"Logan tells me you miss everyone." He always kept his face down at his notebook, scribbling line after line. Documenting her progress or her decent into insanity, she never knew. More than once, she tried to read the words reflected on his glasses, but after the fifth time of catching glimpses of phrases such as 'increase medication,' her curiosity dwindled under the weight of despair.

"That's a given, Doc. Especially considering that he's been my only visitor." Rogue held her breath, hoping Logan had not tattled about Remy. Despite what she said, she liked the fact that he snuck in to see her. It made her feel special despite the fact that she lacked most of her sensibilities.

"We'll see if we can't arrange for more people to visit. The voices giving you any trouble?"

"No. I think the medication's been working." While it was true that they were more quiet than normal, she was not sure if the cocktail they forced down her throat with their fear and pity was actually what helped. "Say, Doc, do you think I could eventually get actual silverware to eat with? It's annoying to have to keep sawing mystery meat with two knives a bite."

The pen paused for barely a fraction of a second before continuing its eternal scrawl. "Its a safety precaution we take with all our patients, Rogue, not just you."

Irritated, she slumped down in the uncomfortable chair that dug in her spine and pinched her legs. Crossing her arms, she glared at a tile on the floor. "Ça ne fait rien."

The doctor knew she spoke French, so his sudden shock as his head jerked up to her took Rogue by surprise. She took in that same look she had gotten from Remy and Logan, not understanding why.

Then she saw herself in his glasses.

"Just the two of us, Chére. No babysitter. Whatever shall we do with ourselves?"

A forest. Thick with trees, thick with leaves. The moon peeked through the dense foliage.

"Exactly what we came here for, Sugar."

Rogue refused to see what she saw, reflected in the glass.

Despite her protestations, Rogue found her fingers danced over as much cloth and material as his.

When she tugged at his sleeve, he spun on her, laughing as he wrapped his arms around her. She could feel the press of his mouth against the top of her head, and just for that one moment, she felt normal.

Then the earth shook, and not in the way she read about. The last thing she heard was his voice crying out her name as she was shoved to the ground, pinned, trapped. The last thing she saw was a flash of the moon, barely hidden by trees. Panic. Fear. Dread. Then nothing.

With a sharp scream, Rogue flung herself back, knocking the chair to the ground as she tried to escape.

"Calm down, Rogue, you're safe here. You're fine, you're okay."

His words didn't reach her. The sight of him coming toward her, the sound of him calling for nurses didn't register. The only thing she was aware of were the sight of eyes not her own staring back at her through her own face.

Hours, minutes, years, seconds, too long, too short, it didn't matter. All that was and all that would be was the crushing weight pinning her down, the feel of skin against her cheek. The moon was still there, but changed, no time, too long. She pushed and pulled, but he was heavy on her.

It was not until after noon that they were discovered by the random hikers following what they had first believed to be the sounds of a dying animal.


So um. Ahem. There you have it. If you look, I tried to place clues through this, and bits and pieces where this wasn't the first time such a breakdown occured. Was it painfully obvious that this was where the story was heading?