Title: Descending
Author: Diebin
Email: diebin@hotmail.com
Fandom: X-Men (Movie)
Rating: PG-13
Series: "Compass Points"
Series Archived at: http://www.geocities.com/ficcloset/xmen.html
Disclaimer: Everyone owns what they own, and I own nothing.
Archive: Yep!
Dedicated to: a dear friend who (I hope) didn't kill the newest addition to her family yesterday.

I'm more scared than I've ever been in my life.

When I was alone and half starving, and I thought Logan was going to drive off and leave me to die--I was afraid.

When I was chained to that awful contraption and having my life sucked out of me because I couldn't control my powers--I was afraid.

When I saw Logan collapse to the ground, not breathing, because he'd given himself to save me--I was terrified.

And still . . . it's nothing like it is now.

He's sitting her next to me, holding my hand. Jean tried to keep him out at first--told him he was worse than an expectant father and would get into the medbay to sit with me over her dead body.

Maybe I should be flattered that he seemed almost half tempted.

I should be asleep. There are wires hooked up to me--wires and needles and machines that make strange, frightening noises. It hurts, a little. But mostly I'm just scared of what's happening inside me.

Logan is asleep now--his legs stretched out and his chin resting on his chest. Even though I don't want to wake him, I can't help wiggling my fingers a little, feeling the strength in his hand as it grips mine--

--feeling his skin against mine.

Skin. I can hardly believe it. And I certainly can't sleep through it.

I touched Bobby last night. That's what started it all--a touch. I was having a nightmare--one of my own this time--and Bobby came in to wake me. It's kinda touching how closely he guards my sleep--he knew all about the nightmares and used to wake me up if they got bad.

I was cold last night. Real cold. I've been feeling like that lately--like the life is getting sucked out of me. I was so buried under blankets that Bobby didn't realize I wasn't wearing my gloves until it was too late.

I touched him. He startled me so badly that I lashed out like Scott's been teaching me--he was starting to worry for a while that I'd never learn to protect myself. I did alright--grabbed Bobby's arm and twisted it before I'd even woken up fully.

It was horrid--those first few seconds. Bobby staring at me, his eyes wide--too shocked and scared to pull away.

I felt him inside my head. I tried to pull away before the rush of power started--I couldn't live with myself if I hurt someone I cared for that much. But I knew it wouldn't work--all it takes is a few seconds before I start to hurt someone.

The seconds dragged on, and nothing happened.

Seconds turned to a minute. And nothing happened.

Nothing happened.

Twenty minutes later everyone in the building was awake, and I was in here hooked up to machines, so many faces staring down at me that I couldn't stand it. Everyone was gathered around trying to ask me questions all at once--everyone except Jean. She was trying to run tests on Bobby, seeing if he was really alright.

He's never been healthier. Even the bruise he'd gotten playing soccer was all fixed up, like I'd healed him up instead of hurt him with my touch.

That's when the brought Logan in. He dropped in the hallway, fell right over in a dead faint. I could tell Jean was worried--I mean, he's the Wolverine to them. You can slice him up and he heals faster than you can blink--and somehow I'd messed him up so bad he'd fainted and it took them forever to get him to wake up.

They never left any doubt in my mind that it'd been me. When they thought I was still asleep they were talking, saying things like "their connection" and "her powers". The Professor must have gone diving around in my head--I know he went digging around in Logan's.

They wouldn't tell me what they found there--but suddenly they weren't trying to make him leave anymore.

Jean tried to explain it to me after everyone had left. She says that Logan and I have some kind of strange connection, and somehow part of me has gotten locked up inside him. It doesn't make much sense to me--all I know is the part of me that hurts people isn't inside me anymore. I guess it's inside him--and the part of him that heals makes him immune to my touch.

Doesn't work so well when I touch someone else. Best as the Professor can figure it, his healing and my killing have gotten all mixed up, and when I touch someone and take them into my head, his healing powers start roaring through me, and I don't hurt the person I'm touching, I heal them.

But I drain Logan dry, and unless it's him I'm touching, the Professor thinks I could kill him.

So I found another way to hurt the man I love.

I don't want him touching me now--I'm too afraid that whatever has gotten all messed up inside us will straighten itself out--and I'll kill him because we're too slow to stop it. I tried to take my hand away from him, but he's a lot stronger than he looks--and he looks pretty strong. He just gave me that look--the one that makes me shiver--and said he'd take his chances.

I can't help but wiggle my fingers again, just to feel the skin of his hand against mine. It's rough--a lot rougher than mine. He's got calluses all over them, and they feel strange against my skin.

All the girls used to read these horrible romance novels at night, and we used to giggle about how all the men had callused hands. Didn't seem particularly romantic at the time.

I was wrong.

"You should be sleeping."

His eyes aren't open, but his fingers tighten against mine to stop their squirming. "They said they'd let you out tomorrow if everything stayed normal through the night, kid. So get some sleep, okay?"

His voice is so deep. It never seemed that way before, but it does now. I shiver when I hear it. Shiver more because suddenly it's full of possibility.

I can touch this man.

If only I thought he wanted to touch me.

"You cold, kid? You're shivering."

Kid. That's what he thinks of me. And I'd be smart to remember that.

"No." I'm anything but cold. Doesn't he realize how much this simple touch means to me? As if I can sleep when I'm feeling the first human contact I have in years.

He frees his hand from mine and stands to pull the blanket more tightly around me, brushing a knuckle across my forehead and smiling. "Sleep, Marie. I'll be here when you wake up."

He called me Marie.

He'll be here when I wake up.

I like the sound of that.