Title: On Tuesdays|
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: R for sexual situations and some darkness
Summary: Rogue and Logan and a different sort of relationship
Setting: 4 years post movie
Disclaimer: They're not mine.
Archive: The Usual Suspects
Warnings: Character Death. (Not Logan or Rogue, I promise.)
Many thanks: To Misty, who made it a story instead of a pathetic slice of pain.
Dedication: To all the Usual Suspects, and with loving apologies to Kia, and a promise that fluffy countertop smut IS indeed almost finished, but this just kind of took hold and got written because it needed to be said.
I woke up Wednesday morning
He'd been there eleven months, which was the longest time he could ever remember being anywhere. Almost a year, and all around the school people were letting out the breath that they'd all been holding, figuring that twelve months was a milestone, that after twelve months of not leaving, it meant he was staying.
Nobody knew that he tried to leave every week. Around Friday or Saturday, he'd start shoving stuff into bags, he'd pull out a map and let his eyes roam over places he knew he could go. He'd feel the wind in his hair and the rumbling of an engine between his legs, and he'd promise himself that this time, he'd leave.
But he never managed to make it out before Tuesday, and Tuesdays were why he stayed.
It had started nine months before, which shocked him to think about because it meant that for nine months, for almost forty Tuesdays, it had been happening. Forty seemed like an awful large number, and when he thought of it that way, he almost ran again.
But he never got the guts to leave before Tuesday, and it always took him days to recover from a Tuesday.
It had started with a fight. Her eyes were large and angry and the white in her hair had been glowing in the light from his desk. He wasn't wearing much, just the pants he'd been sitting around in, and he hadn't been expecting company.
It bothered him that he couldn't remember what the fight was about. Something foolish, something meaningless, and that bothered him too, that it had all started from nothing.
She was beautiful when she was angry, and he wanted her as he tried to get her to leave. He wanted her and he wanted to touch her, but she'd made it clear within a day of his return after three years of wandering that she was not going to be his lap dog. The fact that she'd throw his tags in his face had surprised him more than a little, but he could understand that she was angry with him for being gone so long and never making an effort to tell her where he was.
He thought she'd get over it, thought that they could at least be friends. But there was so much anger in her, anger and fear and hatred that she hadn't had when he'd left, and he found out within a month that all they could do was fight. And somewhere inside him, he was glad to give her this, because she was afraid to fight with anyone else, and he could see that she'd bottled everything up inside. So he fought with her, because he liked the way her eyes looked almost grateful after she'd screamed at him, liked the way she could walk away and live a normal life.
They both seemed to live for it. For two months they fought, fought in her room, fought in the hallways, fought over dinner. Screamed outside and inside, yelled about inane things.
It was the first time they'd fought in his room, and he was only thinking that she was beautiful when she was angry and that he wanted to touch her.
And then she stopped talking, and he stared at her as she stalked forward and grabbed his wrists in her glove encased hands, and he jumped because he always forgot that she was insanely strong. Steel encased in silk wrapped around his wrists, and she pushed him back into the wall and left him with his arms crossed across his chest and one of her hands pinning them down.
And she looked up at him, and her face seemed naked as for the first time, she looked at him and she didn't seem like she hated him. "Don't touch me, or I'll stop," she whispered, and then her other hand found the button on his jeans and she unsnapped it.
It was clumsy, that first time against the wall. Her hand wrapped around him and the knowledge that it was her, and she was touching him--it made it hard to hold back and despite the fact that she was awkward, her fingers almost hesitant as they stroked him--it didn't matter and he exploded with a scream, his body arching back against the wall because she was holding him against it so tightly that he couldn't really move.
And when she released him she just kind of stood and looked at her hand, the glove stained and damp, and she smiled before stripping the glove off and staring up at him.
He didn't say anything. He didn't know what to say. And the smile on her face just quirked a little higher, and she turned and left.
He didn't leave his room for three days, and even after he did he didn't see her anywhere around, and he almost thought she'd disappeared, until it was Tuesday again, and he was sitting at his desk trying to read an article Xavier had given him on tests performed on mutants.
She didn't knock. Just walked in and let the door click shut behind her, and he looked and saw she was dressed in a long sleeved black sweatshirt and sweat pants and short maroon gloves, and as he watched her she peeled off the gloves and dropped them to the floor and pulled on the slightly stained black ones he'd seen a week ago.
And seeing her, dressed all in black and standing there with bright eyes and those white shocks reflecting light all over the place, it made him think of evil, of temptation, of how she was his Eve in the garden of Eden, and how he'd never, ever refuse the apple she held out to him, even if it got him cast away.
So he stood up and she walked across the room and started fumbling with the buttons on his pants, and before he could move she'd shoved him back against the desk, his legs apart and braced and she said the words she said every time--"Don't touch me, or I'll stop."
And with his hands wrapped around the edge of the desk and his head tilted back and his eyes squeezed shut, he could almost pretend that the hand that touched him was part of someone who loved him.
It was less clumsy, that second time against the desk, and her hands shook a little less as she dragged it out a little more, touching and holding and he could barely hear the way her breath hitched when he moaned, the way she sighed softly when the feeling of her hands stroking him got to be too much and his body shuddered beneath her.
And it was on the second Tuesday that he started the other ritual, the other words that were uttered every time. She'd pull back and stare at him with mysterious eyes as the shreds of his composure lay broken around him, and when he lifted his head and met those dark eyes, he let the words fall from his lips.
"Let me touch you."
And she'd give him a sad smile and shake her head, and nothing more would be said as she turned around and picked her gloves up from the floor and left.
It got better and worse. Longer and harder to keep track of time, as her hands grew more sure and his need grew greater. By the end of the second month it happened on the bed, with his pants kicked off and his hands pinned above his head in one of hers, and she did it slowly and oh so good.
And if something stressful had happened during the week, a mission or a fight or anything, she'd stay while he gasped for breath, and when he was on the verge of asking her the question, she'd wrap her hand around him and start again, and he almost hated the fact that his gift was to heal so quickly, because those nights were the ones that made his bones ache with the need to feel her.
Sometimes while her hands were on him, he wondered what it would be like the other way, if he were the one with her small hands trapped under his above her head, her back pressed into the bed and her hips slamming up to meet his hand. What it would be like if he could be the one touching her, if he could be the one seeing his lover fall apart.
He called her his lover, even though she really wasn't. She didn't allow reciprocation, didn't allow anything that would make her feel good, and sometimes he was afraid it was because she hated herself too much--that everything she did to him was a punishment she inflicted upon her soul.
And the thought that the only pleasure in his life caused her pain was almost enough to make him want it to stop. But he couldn't stop it, because it was all he could have of the thing he wanted most, and no matter how firm he was in his resolve to make this Tuesday the one where he told her no, she would have to leave . . .
It fell part with the first touch of her gloved hands.
It was the seventh month when he realized he was branded, because he was in a bar late at night and a woman whose body he had been tracing with his eyes all night came up to him and laid a soft hand on his neck, and usually the feeling of a beautiful woman touching him would do something to him, but he found the feeling of skin against skin somehow foreign. Unappealing.
He didn't even apologize when he stood up so quickly that she tumbled from his lap and hit the floor. He was gone before she managed to get to her feet again.
And so it had gone for nine months, and sometimes he thought that she knew his body completely, because she could tease him along and make him beg, and it had occurred to him more than once that it was probably about power, her power over him. And because he knew he'd hurt her by loving her and leaving her, he let her have her power, let her do what she wanted to him.
And he enjoyed it so much he knew he should feel guilty. Feel guilty that in the middle of the night, when his eyes drifted shut, it was her that he saw, her and her hands encased in dark black gloves that she never wore any other time except for with him, for him. Feel guilty that all of his fantasies were about her with her hair falling in his face as she drove him to orgasm with hands and her tight little sighs and the way she held her breath when he came.
They never really fought anymore. They didn't really talk at all, outside of the two things they always said, once a week.
Don't touch me or I'll stop.
Let me touch you.
He couldn't let it stop.
So he didn't touch her.
But he still packed his bags every weekend, and they sat under his bed until he unpacked them again.
He'd been there eleven months, and as far as she could tell, he wasn't leaving any time soon. Eleven months, and all around her people were settling into the assumption that he wasn't going anywhere.
She didn't believe it. Of course, she of all people was in a position to know why he might pick up and leave at any moment.
He didn't, though, and sometimes when she was awake at night, she stared at herself in the mirror and wondered why she was so lucky. She didn't deserve him, she didn't deserve anything at all, and he was everything.
And she was afraid she'd messed it up, the one thing she was trying to do to make him understand that she didn't hate him--she'd messed it up somehow, but she didn't know how to make it right without losing herself.
It had started the day before he'd come home. The Professor had known, of course, because it seemed to her most of the time that there really wasn't anything that he didn't know. He had known and Kitty had overheard him saying it to someone else--and Kitty had taunted her with it.
Because Kitty didn't really like her anymore.
She wondered, sometimes, if her life would have been better if she'd stopped and thought about what she was doing with Bobby. But she'd been young, heartbroken and confused, and Robert Drake had seemed gentle and soft and pretty much the opposite of everything that she wanted, so he'd seemed safe too.
And the thing was, after spending enough time with him, he'd grown on her, until she didn't jerk away when he touched her and she didn't wish that his voice was lower or that his hair was darker or that his fingers weren't so cold. Because he was there, and he was nice to her, and the night that he wrapped his hands around her waist and hugged her close and touched her over her clothing with soft fingers was the night that she took the dog tags off and didn't put them back on.
But she was Rogue, and couldn't have love because she had deadly skin, and even though she told Bobby over and over that he had to stop, he had to pull back, he didn't. And one night he didn't pull back fast enough, and she was trapped underneath him and thrashing at his body as she felt everything that he was rushing into her head.
If he'd been Logan, he would have survived. If Jean had gotten to him within a few minutes, he would have survived.
But when he was a deadweight above her and she managed to squirm out from underneath him, Rogue slid to the floor and tried to run for the door, tried to get help, and her feet slid across a solid sheet of ice that she'd made without knowing it and she went flying, her head smashing into the cold floor and silencing all the voices in her head, even her own.
And when they found them, Bobby was dead and Rogue was frostbitten and no one really talked to her for a while.
When Kitty and John and Jubilee got asked to join the X-Men, and Professor Xavier just smiled at her a little and offered her a position teaching, she put his tags back on, because she figured if no one was going to like her or trust her, she might as well pretend that the man who'd left her did, even if he wasn't there. And that was the only reason she didn't leave--because if he did come back, she wanted to be where he could find her.
So when Kitty sneered and said that her lover-boy was coming back, and flicked the tags and said she could have saved everyone a lot of grief if she'd just stuck to sucking Logan dry, she went to her room and sat awake all night rocking back and forth and promising herself that no matter what he did, no matter what he said, she wouldn't let him touch her again.
She drove him off the first time she saw him, screamed at him and threw the beloved tags at his head and told him she didn't like him and didn't want to see him ever again. And he just stood there staring at her, which made her think maybe he didn't care if she never saw him again, so she ran off and didn't talk to him for two days.
He tried to be nice to her. She screamed at him. He tried to be friends with her. She fought with him. When he reached out once to try to pass something to her, she jerked back so badly that she thought she'd pulled a muscle, and when he looked at her with surprised, considering eyes, she picked a fight with him.
And it felt good to fight with someone, because finally it was someone yelling at her, and the only thing she knew was that no one had yelled at her since Bobby, and she deserved it.
The only problem was that she even loved him when he was fighting with her, and the way he looked at her wasn't making it easy. She wanted him, she wanted him to love her and touch her, she wanted to make that longing disappear from his eyes and replace it with something else.
She wanted to give him anything he wanted, and that was what drove her to his room during the second month. She wanted to tell him about Bobby, to tell him what had been happening. To tell him she loved him, but it couldn't work, so he had to stop looking at her like that.
And when he answered the door without his shirt on, she realized that she'd never, ever be able to tell him that she didn't want him, that he couldn't have her, because he could have her. She wanted him to.
She was a coward. She opened her mouth to tell him everything, and instead she started yelling about something stupid and trivial and so meaningless that she didn't even know what it was. And she watched him move, watched the muscles of his chest stretch under skin, and she felt her blood running hot under her skin, hot like it hadn't been since she'd touched Bobby and everything had gotten so cold.
And it was all a blur after that. Pinning him to the wall, fumbling at the buttons on his pants, her mind gibbering in fear because she didn't know anything about what she was about to do except what she'd absorbed from the three men who'd been inside her head over the years.
All she remembered clearly was telling him that if he touched her, she'd stop.
Her cheeks flamed and she trembled, but the way his body moved under her hand, the way he moaned and whispered her name and twisted into her, and the way she could see his eyes widen with surprise and this strange kind of joy before he lost control . . .
Oh gods, she was addicted. Addicted to making him feel good, because she thought in the back of her head that maybe, maybe she could pay him back and make him see that she didn't hate him, that she loved him and would give him anything she could.
But she couldn't give him herself. She knew that, because she knew that the last person who'd tried to love her had ended up dead on a bed in his own room when he thought he was safe, and she hadn't been able to stop it.
So she smiled when he gasped and stared down at her, and she tried to let that smile say everything she was too afraid to tell him--that she loved him and would give him anything except for what would hurt him.
And then she left, because she was afraid that if he touched her, she'd let him.
It had been Tuesday. And it took until the next Tuesday to build her defenses until she knew she could touch him without worrying that she'd let him touch her back. And when she went to his room that night he was hunched over his desk trying to read something, and the way his brow was furrowed and his face all scrunched up with concentration was so adorable that she didn't say all the things she was planning on saying, because she just wanted to touch him again.
And he let her. He stood up and stood still as she pulled at his pants and slid her gloved hand against him, and when he tilted his head back and squeezed his eyes shut, she sighed gratefully because she could stare at him, at the line of his throat and his face and his chest and the way his knuckles were white where he had his hands clenched around the edge of the desk.
And because she hadn't said anything before they started, it was even harder to say something when it was all over. So she just stood there, a few paces away, staring at him as his head tilted back down to look at her and his dark eyes clouded with something that scared her, because it was the last thing she'd ever seen in Bobby's eyes.
"Let me touch you."
Little bits of her shattered apart as she forced herself to shake her head, taking another step backwards and giving him a sad smile.
She would have gone to him more often, but it took a week to gather the courage to deny him the request that he uttered in that husky voice every time. So Tuesdays became the day that she dreaded and loved, because on Tuesdays, she got to see him fall apart, and on Tuesdays, she got to put him back together.
And as time went by they established other patterns, and her confidence grew until she knew him, and knew his body, and did everything she could to make it good for him, to give him something to replace the thing she took away from him every time.
To replace her, because she'd never let him have any more of her than he got from those stolen moments on Tuesdays.