Stolen Thoughts – by Darlin
Disclaimer – I neither own them nor make any profit from the tormented fantasies of my mind.
A/N – Now that Storm's divorced I've been writing again and found a lot of old stories I never got around to posting after that marriage, this is one of them. I wrote it in 2008 when Ororo was the leader of the XSE in Xtreme X-Men I think and it's kind of poking fun of fan fiction and thus myself a little. It was mostly finished so I tweaked it and might redo the ending a little this week but the next and last chapter will be up shortly.
I wanted to post it as a one shot but it was over 9,000 words and a friend, fellow fan fic author skyz (good Buffy writer), thought it should be two chapters so I'm going for two chapters. But I'm curious what readers think. Do you prefer a long one shot or do you like shorter chapters with maybe an update in a week? I'd really like some input if possible. I also hesitate to upload completed chapter stories all at once. I have a few at the RoLo Realm that I thought I should post here and vice versa but someone at the Realm asked me to take my time posting the completed story so I obliged. Maybe I'll put up my very first poll as it would help me a lot deal knowing what you all think and that might be easier all around. Thanks for any feedback you can give. And now, let the story begin . . .
Chapter One - It takes a Thief to Know a Thief
Ororo was livid, and shaking so badly her laptop almost slipped from her hand. She wanted to take it and slam it upside Remy's head. And he looked as if he knew she would as he cowered before her, his arms stretched out, ready to block the blow.
But instead she cried, "Why would you do that to me? You're supposed to be my best friend!"
"I am, Stormy! Dat's why I did it! I want you to be happy!"
Her best friend had invaded her privacy and stolen her journal because he wanted her to be happy. She shook her head at the outrageous notion. Was she supposed to be happy because he knew all her secrets now? A journal was the keeper of ones most private thoughts, all her loves and hates, every emotion imaginable, written down for no one but her. No one should ever know her innermost thoughts unless she decided to tell. That was why it was hidden away in the darkest nook of her greenhouse where no one would ever think to look. Remy had betrayed her because of his stupid competitiveness, he'd broken the bond of friendship that she thought could never be broken between them. She was stunned and humiliated and furious but mostly she was hurt.
"Remy only dun it for you, chère," he pleaded but a sudden wind storm drowned out his words. He felt the wind pushing him, tearing him, destroying him.
It started innocently enough. Gambit wandered into the greenhouse, bored, and wanting a little companionship and since his best friend Storm hadn't gone on that morning's mission who better to hang out with? But Ororo was reading – no, he saw she was writing, so she didn't notice him. Maybe he wouldn't have cared what she was scribbling but she was smiling with so much satisfaction that he had to know. And so he crept up to her quietly like the thief that he was. But during a lull as Ororo contemplated what she'd just written, she heard a quiet crunch on the gravel walkway between her tables of pots and bags of earth and compost. She looked startled but quickly smiled and put her pen in the book, closed it and put it on a small Chinese garden stool beside the bench she was sitting on.
"What ya doin'?" the curious Cajun asked.
"Not much. What're you doing? Wait, let me guess, you're bored since Rogue's out, am I right?"
He felt a little silly because she was right.
"Why don't we go into town?" she suggested.
"Cool, let's go!"
His mood lifted now, Remy almost forgot what Ororo had been doing, and he might never have thought of it again except that when they were outside she looked uneasy and said she'd forgotten something, asked him to wait, then slipped back inside. Remy lit a cigarette as if he didn't mind waiting but his curiosity was piqued again so he carefully peeked through a side window. He saw her looking around every so often as if to see if he was spying on her so he had to keep ducking out of sight and this was the final nail in the coffin. When she got to where she'd been sitting she retrieved the book, looked around again, still didn't see him, then she dropped the book into something under a work bench.
"Hmm," Remy murmured, tucking all this into the back of his mind for further investigation for only a thief would want to outwit another thief in such a trivial matter.
It went downhill from there. Remy was too preoccupied to enjoy his outing with Ororo who didn't offer any clues as to what she'd been doing. They had lunch, played some pool and she even offered to see a movie with him but he thought she was trying too hard to keep his mind off of what she'd hidden since she was just as good a thief as he was and she must have known he'd been watching. He told her he was tired and wanted to relax so they went back each going their separate ways.
And of course Remy scampered down the back way and found a good spot where he could see the greenhouse without being seen. Shortly he saw her go in and after a long while come out again but with no sign of the book. She put something into the same hand bag she'd had when they'd gone out although Remy knew she never carried a purse to the greenhouse, and she smiling so smugly, as if she were certain she'd out tricked him, that Remy took it as an invitation to beat her at her own game. And so, patience being one of a thief's virtues, later that night when he knew Ororo was sound asleep he snuck into the greenhouse.
He'd been prepared for a long night searching every inch of the place thoroughly but as he was quite skilled in thievery and he knew Ororo so well he found the book almost immediately. It was submerged in a bag of tiny white rock-like balls Remy had often seen mixed in with the dirt in Ororo's houseplants. He didn't look at the name of the bag, didn't care what it was, but it was perlite and a good choice for a hiding place because after he pulled it out he had to get down on his hands and knees and pick up all the little pieces that spilled out. He only had a tiny flashlight so cleaning up his mess took a while. But he'd retrieved the hidden gem so covering his tracks carefully was a must.
By time he was satisfied that he'd gotten every last one of those little things he sat down on the bench and aimed the light at his stolen treasure. The cover was blank but when he looked inside he knew he should put the book back immediately. Only he didn't. He kept reading. And this is what he read:
As I put pen to paper I think of all the many people who enjoy writing as much as I do. Although I write only in my journal I sometimes wish to write that great American novel. It's a dream only for I have never made the attempt. I suppose reading is more of a tangible passion for me. I'm always interested in something new. I mentioned this once to Manoli Wetherell my reporter friend when we were discussing our mutual love of writing and reading.
Perhaps I should rephrase that for I would not quite classify Manoli as a friend. At times she has written our story attempting to portray mutants as more than super powered menaces. She introduced me to something entirely bewildering several months ago and it's led to a discovery of something both wonderful and terrible. There's a strange source of entertainment called fan fiction on the Internet. Apparently there are many thousands who both admire and loathe the X-Men to the point of fixation, and some of them have set up sites, almost like shrines, in our honor!
Here Remy frowned. "What de hell's fan fiction?" he questioned.
For some unknown reason Manoli thought this was amusing and therefore thought I would share her feelings. She was wrong. I found it almost frightening and wouldn't you if someone were writing about your life, whether hating or admiring you, all desiring to do with you what they wished they themselves could do in reality?
"What's dis? Some kind of porn she been lookin' at? My Stormy's reading porn? Pfftt!" he harrumphed in disbelief and kept reading.
It took me some time to fully comprehend what fan fiction was. Manoli explained it to me by using television shows as an example. But as I have little time for television and movies, save for the news, I failed to understand. But then she mentioned a movie trilogy that I enjoyed, The Lord of the Ring. Remy told me about them and we saw each one numerous times. Having read the books, I couldn't imagine how I could improve them but I could definitely imagine how I might improve the movies, stupendous though they were. Manoli explained that fan fiction is like filling in the blanks where you wished to improve a scene, or you wanted something different to happen with the characters or you wanted a better ending.
"How she t'ink she gonna improve Jackson's work?" Remy muttered before continuing.
There are unbelievable stories about us out there. And I wonder do they really perceive us the way we are portrayed? I am often weak, needy, forced to be calm and unemotional. But of course what else could they write if they don't truly know me? Still, I wonder why I am seen in this way as I've been a leader with the X-Men for many years.
Remy laughed and said adamantly, "Stormy ain't weak or needy at all!"
I wonder how they can have such potent feelings regarding us. For instance there are those that hate Jean with heartfelt hatred and others wish to see Scott killed many times over, sometimes with spoons of all things. I can't imagine why or even how anyone could feel this way. There are also those whom act as if the dead are still among us. These people who write about us seem to know so much about us yet they know so little.
"Who're dese people?" Remy wondered.
I have read a great many stories almost as if I were obsessed with the need to know all that is written about us. Many have us doing strange and even twisted things, things none of the X-Men in their right minds would do. I have been paired with one of our worse enemies – Sabertooth of all creatures!
"Oh, hell no?" Remy nearly gagged he was so upset but he kept reading as if he had now become obsessed.
And yet I continue to read, thankful whenever a new story pops up! It is as if fans, if one could call them this, cannot let us be. Many of them for some peculiar reason think Remy is the man for me despite the fact that we are only friends. Curiously many express his Cajun speech pattern almost perfectly in most stories and I am sure they have never met him.
"Dey got stories 'bout me an' Stormy?" Remy gulped but even that bit of news didn't stop him from going on.
I'm also paired with Logan.
"What?" Remy bellowed.
While it is true that many people clamor for him to be with Jean, presumably after Scott has been done in by spoons, Logan himself told me he was over Jean. I'm sure he has always known deep inside that Jean and Scott were made for each other although I can now see why Jean was attracted to Logan when we all first met.
There are a lot of rabid Wolverine fans online. Many pair him with Rogue.
"Logan and Rogue? The hell's wrong wid dese people!" Remy shouted then looked around as if he thought someone had heard him but he was still alone in the dark greenhouse. He read on.
She's a strange Rogue named Marie who has no resemblance to the Rogue I know. She's usually very young, quite weak, even powerless and utterly silly though not quite as silly as the valley girl Kitty stories I have chanced upon.
Remy muttered, "Rogue definitely ain't weak!"
I never understand stories like those but Manoli says there are different versions of us in media such as cartoons and movies and comic books of all things! How did I miss all this? No matter. She said stories like these are AU meaning 'alternate universe' where we can be twisted and manipulated at the author's whim. I am thoroughly grateful that it is AU. Were these things to actually happen in our universe with my friends, so different from whom they truly are, I doubt I'd be able to tell friend from foe.
I wonder if AU really means 'actually unbelievable' for many AU stories read like fantasy from some tormented mind. Yet I too have had many 'what if' scenarios play out in my mind – those thoughts that I like to think would accumulate into a great novel. Egos are funny things. I suppose if I acknowledge my own I can better understand these poor, besotted writers pecking away long days and nights on a computer while their real lives are forgotten or neglected for would it be possible for them to enjoy healthy, vibrant lives while writing our stories in often long and detailed tales?
But I digress. I can't judge or condemn these avid fans. I should be delighted that we are not as feared and hated as I thought we were. And I'm almost ashamed to admit that despite the strangeness of these stories I find some of them have given me great pleasure. It's a guilty pleasure much like chocolate or a heavenly hamburger with everything on it. No, I am not a vegetarian although I've been described that way often. I do eat right of course but sometimes a good burger is the only thing that can satisfy a craving.
And I have cravings for more than food. I am a woman after all.
"What de . . . ?" Remy mumbled but he was too intent on reading about her cravings to say more.
I wish there was some type of AU magic that could make me slip into a story and disappear into a world of my own creation with a man whom I could love and respect and cherish till I was old and ready for my grave. Since my failed relationships with Forge and Cameron I fear that love is not meant for me. Perhaps that is to be my fate, no other life outside of the X-Men just as Forge feared. Am I then turning into the ice queen of fan fiction? No! I think these stories have revived in me a desire to live life to the fullest!
"Forge an' dat kid Cameron are losers, couldn't appreciate Stormy an' she's better off for dat!" Remy snarled.
So I enjoy my little guilty indulgence late at night in secret. Safe in the darkness of my room I ravish these stories. I know I am becoming like them, obsessed fan fiction writers and readers, but I can't help myself. Surely I do not need psychological help? I think not but I hesitate to finish my thoughts. Yet why should I be afraid when this is my private journal meant for only my eyes?
Here Remy gulped as his guilty conscious set in but it didn't stop him from reading more of her private thoughts.
I confess, and I know it's sad, but the pairing I enjoy the most is me and Logan. These are called RoLo. Even writing that makes me shudder from delight. Those who write about us as a couple love us so much they've given us this nickname as if were a delicious treat! I shiver with delight when I think about it. I know it sounds crazy, even juvenile. I'm far too old to act this way, yet I almost have to check the Internet daily to see if there is some new development with Logan and me in my favorite stories or if (and now I can actually feel goose bumps rising on my arms) an entirely new RoLo story has been posted for me to enjoy!
"Why didn't I know dis?" Remy wanted to know.
You simply cannot imagine how much I love these stories. It has become a rabid hobby of mine and so I can see how it could for the humans who contribute to this madness. Ah, to call it madness is wrong! I know now that those who write these fascinating stories and those who eagerly consume them such as I, we are the sanest of them all for those who still dream, thrive!
Alas, my dreams are of Logan. I should be appalled or at least amused but I'm neither. I wake with – no, I refuse to dwell upon that. Let it suffice to say that I have had some very good dreams about him and they make me happy.
"Oh, Stormy, why him of all people?" Remy moaned.
But the stories are even better! Many times we fall in love after Jean is dead or married off. I don't get pleasure from her death of course but it makes me feel loved beyond measure and I know that if I were to be loved by Logan it would be just that way for he could love no less.
Remy groaned. "But why'd it have to be de Wolverine!"
Of course I wish Jean only happiness, hopefully with Scott although I wonder now if he can give her the happiness she deserves. I love Scott but he and Emma are getting on my very last nerve. I can't help it. Emma to me is evil personified even though we have managed to work together and have a begrudging truce of some bizarre sort.
Never mind. I can't and won't discuss those two here. This is the only place where I can relax and be myself. Interesting enough I have found an Internet site that has live journals where one can post their thoughts and others can comment. That is not the medium for me however. I need pen and paper, something I can hide away safe from prying eyes. What if someone here at the school read my thoughts online and guessed it was actually me writing such intimate and 'out of character' things?
Few here truly know me. Perhaps many of them view me as these writers do, especially the children for I've spent no time with them, something I should probably rectify. Children are very impressionable and having Emma as a role model can't be good. I wouldn't be surprised if she allowed them on all types of inappropriate sites. Oh no! Could they already know about fan fiction? By the bright lady! I hadn't thought of that! Well I'll have Forge look into blocking this nonsense. There is no reason for the students to be exposed to such nonsense. Now where was I?
"But she reads dat nonsense!" Remy noted but he had to laugh when he read more.
Hmm, did that sound hypocritical? I suppose. Nevertheless I will not have the children giggling behind my back because they have read a story about me and Sabertooth! Not even if they find the good stories. Did I just say that? I really do need help.
So, where was I? Right. How could I forget? Goose bumps again!
Frequently Logan and I fall in love after wild, sometimes mutually agreed upon sex and other times after not mutually agreed upon sex, which is my least favorite but I still read them feverishly. What does that say about me? Am I really so desperate? Am I demented? Depraved? To enjoy the thought of Logan loving me, wanting me, needing me, no one else but me?
Remy's face scrunched up in deep thought. He was inclined to think his friend was definitely demented since she wanted Logan but he had to admit Logan had stood by Ororo through death and back. And he knew Logan had a soft spot for Ororo. He'd know right away when he'd showed up at the X-Men's with Ororo but he'd thought Logan was just an old man Ororo couldn't be interested in back then. Now he remembered how they were always messing with each other and Logan was always hanging around and kissing on her for no reason. Plus Logan had told her he was through with Jean. A man didn't do that unless he was interested.
I feel the answer is both yes and no. For as I've read these passionate stories I've found myself noticing Logan more and more, even daydreaming about an us outside of alternate universes. This both thrills and worries me. I want to believe that as a grown woman I can indulge a tiny bit. Life is good when one can indulge. I like that answer and what's wrong with that?
"Absolutely not'ing, chère," Remy reassured his friend with a nod of his head.
In his gruff way with that sexy, gravelly voice Logan is the manliest man I have ever met, he's magnificent, loyal, and a dear friend. He has seldom failed me, has always been there for me even as I have tried to be there for him.
I wonder how I could have been so blind all these years. I now cherish any time we spend together. When I'm with him I feel such attraction and I believe he feels it too, as if there could be so much more between us if only we could acknowledge it.
"They're both cowards, too afraid of admittin' how dey feel!" Remy realized.
I wonder what he would think if he knew there was such a thing as fan fiction, intriguing stories about him and me. Would he prefer the loathsome Jean and Wolverine stories? Would he deplore the strange pairings with Kitty, Jubilee and Rogue? Would he laugh at the ones that have him loving me? I think he would probably think we were all crazy. He would be wrong.
In truth, I don't know what he would think and I haven't the heart to find out. I wouldn't dare risk losing a man who is so dear to me by broaching this subject. I can't fathom how he would react if he discovered this so called goddess (I laugh at that for I am in reality a coward) has come to love him in real life.
These last words felt like a blow to Remy and he felt he deserved it. He hadn't meant to pry; he just simply couldn't resist uncovering something she'd hidden away from him. But reading her journal made him realized he didn't know her any more than the people online. Maybe he never would now. If she caught him with her diary she would probably never speak to him again, that is if she let him live.
The thought of Ororo filling him with enough electricity to light a city was enough to make him sick – almost. Slowly he closed the journal, determined to read no more, ready to place it back into its secret place. But he couldn't put it back. Those unexpected words of wishful love stayed with him. His fingers played over the smooth leather surface of her most private thoughts and he knew there was power in the secret words within, power to change, to give happiness, but also power to destroy. He could put it back, say nothing, and let Ororo remain miserable or he could do something to help her.
Remy was sure Logan had feelings for Ororo. He didn't know why Logan had never made a move but now he'd have no reason not to if he knew how Ororo felt. She would forgive him then. Remy had made his decision. He would do this because he loved Ororo and wanted her to be happy. But he was prepared for whatever might happen, good or bad.
The next day was a lingering Indian summer day but Ororo alone could feel autumn coming. She savored days like this even though she could have days like this any time if she chose but there was something special and precious about a God given day of beauty. She was sitting on the side terrace nearest the garage hoping to see Logan before he went into town, just wanted to say hi, nothing more. He'd told her he was going to pick up a few things after lunch and she'd thought he'd made a point of mentioning this but she'd just told him to have a good time. Now it was an hour after lunch and he hadn't shown. She wondered what was taking so long. But it was Remy who came out not Logan.
"Stormy, we gotta talk," Remy said looking sheepish, his almost demonic eyes not meeting hers.
"Is something wrong?"
"You might kind of t'ink so."
She waited for him to continue while glancing at the back door. Still no Logan. She wondered what he was doing and why couldn't Remy just sit down and move out of her way?
"How are you?" Remy asked.
"Fine, but I really am busy, Remy."
Looking around he wondered what she meant. She wasn't reading, didn't even have a radio tuned to the news. She wasn't doing anything at all just sitting there looking at the garage. Then he understood. He'd picked a bad time. But that was a good thing. He would tell her later . . . tomorrow.
Tomorrow good, he thought, yep, tomorrow. He could hear the tune from Annie playing in his head and he almost grinned at the ridiculousness of that but if she didn't want to talk then she didn't want to talk. An irritated Ororo meant anything could happen. He still remembered when she'd shot Viper. Kevlar, hah! Well, it wasn't that funny but you never knew if the villain du jour was wearing the latest technology or not. Lately they were all into leather. Too late he realized he was losing his train of thought. But his mind had set a course for preservation so he turned and ran away.
Ororo didn't notice because Logan had just left the house and instead of heading to the garage he was headed toward her!
"Ro, darlin', we need to talk."
She grinned but Logan looked at her so strangely that her greeting died on her tongue. And then she saw what looked like the very duplicate of her journal clutched in his hand. It couldn't be and yet he held the book out to her.
"I . . . this is yers," he said.
Never had Ororo felt such stark terror. How could he have found it unless he had specifically gone looking for it? But why would he do this? She was confused. And very angry. She closed her eyes, breathed deeply and slowly. There must be an explanation. Had he read it?
"I didn't read it," he said, his eyes meeting hers with no hint of a lie.
She got up, snatched the journal from his hand then socked him. He hadn't expected that, thought maybe she'd use lightning, but he was ready when she tried for a second punch and he caught her wrist. She had a good left hook, he thought with admiration. He glanced at her hand still balled in a fist, knew it would be badly bruised later. It had to hurt. But she was too furious to feel anything but the anger that was raging inside her.
"Let me go or I will bring the heavens down on you and show you no mercy," Ororo whispered through clench teeth, little realizing how much she sounded like the cartoon Storm.
"Maybe you oughta let me explain."
"Yes, maybe I ought to let you explain," she mocked him, losing all patience.
A fierce gust of wind suddenly came out of nowhere catching them both and sending them into the air. Before he could get a better hold on her the wind shoved him from her and then he was falling. And she let him fall. What was it to her if he landed on his head, broke his neck and died? He would heal whereas she would never heal from this betrayal.
"Merde! She gonna kill him!" Remy cried as he watched Logan spiral down, down, down.
The sky grew dark and thunder bellowed. And then he saw lightning streak through the sky. Remy knew she was really going to kill Logan unless he did something to stop her! But if Ororo could kill the man she loved what would she do to him when she found out it wasn't Logan who'd stolen her diary but him?