Title: Torn
Author: Diebin
Email: diebin@hotmail.com
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: R for darkness, violence, and painful angst
Summary: When Logan finally comes back into Rogue's life, it's not the way either of them had planned, and Scott has to pick up the pieces.
Disclaimer: All lyrics are from Natalie Imbruglia's song, "Torn". All characters belong to the people who they usually belong to. They ain't me.
Warning: Character death. Angst. Pain. Run for your lives if you know what's good for you. Seriously--this is NOT a happy story. I mean, it's not. Really.
Archive: Lists always. Others ask and ye shall receive.
Blame: To Natalie Imbruglia for writing 'Torn', and to Donna and Misty for actually encouraging me to write this. I'm hiding behind them.
Thanks: To Natalie, Misty, and Donna for making it possible, and the Usual Suspects, Nanciwan, Caeryn, Shana, my action figures, and my 12 inch Obi-Wan doll that I FINALLY bought yesterday. *snicker* Hey, he helped me type. Really. And of course, to the SRSS and PETS. You know who you are. ;)

I thought I saw a man brought to life
He was warm he came around and he was dignified
He showed me what it was to cry

Well you couldn't be that man I adored
You don't seem to know, seem to care what your heart is for
Well I don't know him anymore

There's nothing where he used to lie
The conversation has run dry
That's what's goin' on

She was twenty-one years old and three years away to college when Logan walked into her life in the same way he'd walked out--without thought or care for what it would do to her, and leaving her torn to pieces.

She was living an almost normal life, so much more normal than she'd ever thought possible. She even had a boy who was pursuing her, a nice normal boy who had thought it mysterious that she wore full length gloves and wouldn't let him touch her--and had continued to think it charming after she had told him the truth.

Etienne was more understanding than she'd given him credit for. He was also from France, and his dark good looks and the slow sensuous accent had set more hearts a flutter than just hers. It had caused no small amount of consternation among the female student body when he'd favored strange quiet Marie from the back row out of all of the girls who he could have.

So she had an almost normal life. She went to classes, and she studied, and on weekends she'd go out with Etienne, who always made her feel like she was attractive and desirable and above all--like she might be just a little bit normal.

Three years of writing letters back home, and calling Bobby and Kitty and Jubilee a few times a month at their various colleges, wondering how so little time could drive people so far apart. Because Kitty and Bobby were in love now, and Jubilee talked of chasing down some man back at the mansion, some thief who had weaseled his way into the team--and it seemed strange to her that of all the mutants she knew, even though she was probably the most dangerous to humans, she was the only one involved with a 'normal' person.

She'd only gone home once in the entire time. One time.

It had been only a few months into her first semester when she answered the phone in the middle of the night to find a tearful Ororo telling her she needed to come home for a few days.

She'd known that someone had died, but when Ororo said who, the floor fell out from under her.

Jean. The woman who had been like her sister, like her mother--the woman who had been so much to them all was gone, sacrificing herself to save Ororo and Scott--and by the time Marie got home after hours and hours of straight driving, Scott was still an inconsolable wreck and Ororo was only slightly better, and Xavier was locked in his office and wouldn't come out.

She'd stayed a week, but when she'd left that time, she'd had a feeling she wouldn't come back for a long time. The mansion was dead without Jean in it--something was missing, something so important that she couldn't bare to be there.

She couldn't even imagine what it must have been like for Scott, but Scott had always been braver than her. He stayed, and she ran, because she still had the little bit of Logan in her that made her run when she wasn't ready to face things.

So she stayed at college, and she tried to live a normal life, and had been succeeding for the most part until he came back into it.

She was out with Etienne when it happened. He had taken her out to dinner and tried to impress her by speaking his sensual French with the waiters and had gotten a bottle of expensive wine just for them--and it was fair bidding to be the best evening she'd had in years.

They were walking through a park, hands entwined, because it was the only way she'd let him touch her still, when he appeared. He looked as surprised as she did, so she immediately discarded the thought that he had been following her.

He was different. Older looking, more tired looking. Harder. His eyes didn't seem to hold much warmth, not even when they fell on her. They almost got colder.

"Logan." It was all she could think of to say, because the truth be told, she'd given up hope of ever seeing him again a long time before. Jean had sat her down, given her The Talk--the talk about how she was young with her life ahead of her, and deserved better than to be waiting for someone who would probably never come home.

Jean had seemed so wise. So she'd listened.

She wondered now if Logan even knew that the beautiful woman he'd wanted so badly was gone.

"Marie." It wasn't even a growl, it was just a cool statement. Her name, holding so little warmth that it made her shiver. Etienne stepped closer, wrapping an arm around her waist and giving Logan a glare.

Logan just quirked an eyebrow. "So where'd you pick up this puppy?"

She could feel Etienne tensing, so she laid a hand on his arm, because the last thing they needed was for him to unknowingly provoke Logan. He didn't look like the Logan she remembered, the Logan she knew from her head--and she was almost afraid of what the coolness in his eyes could mean. What it meant he might do.

"I'm going to school now, Logan. College. Three years." It seemed a safe topic. College. Time. Time that he'd been gone after promising he'd come back. Four years in all, and if he'd ever given so much as a whisper to anyone in the mansion about where he was . . . she'd never heard it.

"Three years." His eyes raked over her body in an almost insulting way, and she shivered and wrapped her coat more tightly around her, because she didn't want his eyes on her body. Not eyes like those. "I'm surprised the Professor let you out from under his thumb."

This time she stiffened, and she could feel Etienne shifting and could tell he was about to open his mouth, and as she watched Logan's eyes flickered to the younger man she saw his hands clench in that way that she knew too well.

"We have to go, Logan," she whispered. "Do--are you going to be in town long?"

Logan shoved his hands in his pocket and gave her a long look. "Depends."

She was afraid to ask on what. "I--I'm in the phone book. Marie--Marie Summers." He glared and she ducked her head. "Scott let me use his name, since I didn't--didn't want to use my own in case . . ." The eyes were still so cold. "If--if you want to talk--"

Logan just kept staring at her, and the words stilled on her tongue. He was different. He was cold. Something inside of him was broken, and she hated herself more than anything because . . .

Because she wanted to fix it.

"Good night, Logan," she managed, and she gave her hand to Etienne who clasped it firmly and glared at Logan before turning to lead her away.

Nothing's fine I'm torn
I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see
The perfect sky is torn
You're a little late
I'm already torn

Logan called the next day. He didn't say much, but he said they needed to talk and she needed to meet him. He didn't sound very excited about it.

She invited him to her apartment, and he agreed to come.

As she waited for him, she looked around her room and tried to decide what it said about her. What he would see. It was a small apartment, with cheap furniture that Ororo and Jean had helped her pick out three years before, just weeks before Jean had--

One or two posters hung from a wall, and books were piled neatly on the desk. Otherwise--it was empty. It was like she'd lived here for three years and hardly made a mark.

Etienne called while she was waiting. He asked if she wanted to go out, and she told him she had a headache and was going to take a nap for the afternoon. When he offered to come over, she told him she just needed sleep, and would call him later that night.

Ororo called. At first she was surprised, wondering if Xavier had somehow read her mind and found out what was going on, but then she realized it was the day of the month Ororo always called, and she managed to act casual and get her off the phone before Logan showed up.

It never really occurred to her to tell Ororo that he was coming.

Logan didn't knock when he showed up. He just opened the door, standing in the doorway with his arms crossed over his chest, giving the room a long look. "Cozy," he finally said, and the tone of voice was almost dead.

"Make yourself at home," she replied, and he did, wandering into the room and settling himself into a lazy sprawl in her only chair, his legs stretched out in front of him.

She expected small talk. She expected silence. She expected anything except for what he said next.

"So I don't suppose I could have my dogtags back."

It hurt. The fact that she hadn't loved him in years, the fact that he'd become only a memory to her--none of it mattered, because in spite of the fact that he left, he'd been her best memory. The first person who'd seen a mutant and then still seen Marie.

She stood up stiffly, moving to the desk where she'd tossed them when she'd moved in three years before. The metal felt cool and comfortable in her fingers, and suddenly she wanted to wear them, even though she hadn't put them on in years. Wanted to ask if she could just feel them for just a little longer--

But the cold man in her living room wasn't the Logan she knew well enough to ask things like that. So she walked over and held them dangling in her fingers and waited for him to take them.

He did. And then he grabbed her wrist, and he was holding her so tightly that it hurt. And his eyes bored into hers as he pulled her down close enough so that she could feel his breath on her forehead. "I don't think you should be keeping this little crush on me alive, Marie."

She had strength. She had a whole lot of it, absorbed from some woman after she'd gone on her first and only mission as one of the X-Men. The months it had taken her to recover had changed her mind, and when she'd been offered the chance to go on another mission, she declined and asked if she could be enrolled in college.

She used the strength now, tearing herself from Logan's grasp so hard that he jerked half way up out of the seat. Stumbling back, she rubbed at her wrist and tried not to cry. Tried not to scream and swear. Tried not to hate him.

"I don't have a crush on you, Logan," she bit off coolly. "You really wouldn't know though, would you, having been gone for four years."

Logan chuckled. "Poor Marie. Did you forget that you can't lie to me about shit like that?" He was standing, stalking towards her as she tried to stand her ground. "I can smell it on you. I can hear your heartbeat. Maybe it's not a crush, maybe you just want me."

It was wrong. Everything was wrong. The way he moved towards her, the way his eyes were abnormally bright, more hazel than she'd ever seen them before, and glinting with this cold, cold light.

"Fuck you, Logan." She could feel the emotions she shoved down years ago rising, and she didn't try to hold them back. Lashing out, she slapped him hard across the face. "Fuck you. What would you know about anything?"

One hand slid out and down the contours of her body, the hands as warm and gentle as she remembered, which seemed so much at odds with the expression on his face that she froze, confused.

But the caresses continued, and then he was dragging moans out of her as he backed her into the wall, his hands dragging up and down her body in all the right places, in all the right ways . . . And then his fingers slid over the curve of her hips and he hoisted her up the wall partway, leaning down to bite at the swell of her breast.

God she was confused. God she wanted him. And that scared her more than anything, that he could leave her and hurt her and then walk back in and treat her like shit and she still would do anything to make him keep touching her.

It scared her so badly that she wrapped her hands around his shoulders and pushed him, and she dropped to the floor as he stumbled backwards, growling. "Stop," she whispered, but it was faint and she couldn't make it sound like she meant it, because all she wanted him to do was touch her again.

He was the only one she could ever remember who'd known what she was and hadn't been afraid to touch her, to run his hands over her. It had been the danger, the animal magnetism, the way she had been so sure in her naïve fantasies that he would have no problem making her feel good no matter what obstacles stood between them.

He touched her again, and she thought she saw his eyes soften a little as she gasped out in pleasure, thought she saw him half whisper her name when his fingers slid up to drag over a cloth covered nipple. But then it was all cold again, cold eyes, cold determination, and even though her back arched and she pushed him away again, he just kept growling and kept touching her.

And the more she pushed him away the stronger he came back, until she was pinned against the wall with his teeth almost biting into her shoulder and his hand between her legs, rubbing in slow, knowing circles, and she whimpered and tried to push him away and tried to tell him to stop, but no one had ever thought to do this to her . . . and it felt . . .

He stopped. She could feel her body trembling and it needed more--just a little more--but he stopped and he pulled back and he looked at her and shook his head. "You're panting, Marie." And she heard the cold tone in his voice and she hurt so badly that she let her trembling knees give out and she wrapped her arms around her legs and stared up at him and tried not to cry.

He just shook his head again. "Like I said, Marie--you really need to get over this crush you have on me."

And he waited until she was crying before he picked up the phone and dialed the number to the mansion, and when he heard Scott's voice he whispered, "Maybe you should come check on Marie, Summers."

She heard the phone hit the carpet next to her. She heard Scott's voice, calling out franticly. She tried to stop crying, but she couldn't as she watched him walk out the door, closing it behind him.

And she knew she'd probably never see him again.

So I guess the fortune teller's right
I should have seen just what was there and not some holy light
But you crawled beneath my veins and now
I don't care - I have no luck - I don't miss it all that much
There's just so many things
That I can't touch I'm torn

She'd gone home with Scott that night. He picked her up off of the floor and stared coldly at the three long gouges in her door, and he said nothing as he brought her to his car.

They were half way home before she stopped crying.

She wouldn't go to her old room when she got home, because it was the room Logan had stayed in before her, and she didn't want to be there. So Scott settled her down on the couch and sat next to her, one arm around her shoulders as she stared blankly at the wall, one gloved hand picking absently at the blanket.

"Did it hurt this bad for you?" she asked finally, and Scott froze, unsure what to say.

"Did what hurt this bad?" he asked softly.

She turned to look at him, and he could see how dark and pained her eyes were. "When you knew--when you knew that she was gone. Did it hurt like this?"

And the tears in her eyes were for him as much as her, so when she turned towards him hesitantly, still shaking, he wrapped an arm around her and stroked her hair like he'd seen Logan do once, so long ago. "Yeah, it hurt like that."

Her face was buried in his shoulder, so the words were muffled. "Did--did it get better?"

He wanted to lie. He wanted to hide the world from her. But he knew more than anyone that it was a woman he was holding in his arms, not a little girl--a woman who he couldn't shelter from the world.

A woman who'd already had the world do it's worst to her.

"Sometimes," he whispered. "Sometimes it's better--but sometimes it still hurts as much as it did in the beginning."

"You know what hurts most?" she asked softly, and she tilted her head up so that she could meet his eyes. "The fact that he's still alive."

And even though he knew exactly what she meant--he knew that she was upset that he was still alive and she couldn't have him . . . even though he knew that . . .

He still wanted him dead. More than anything, he wanted to kill Logan.

And it was the sick, twisted part of his mind that came up with the next best solution. Logan had almost destroyed something beautiful. Had taken it and tossed it away.

Scott was going to put it back together, and cherish it like it should have been.

"Maybe--maybe if I could have touched him." Her voice was ragged. "Maybe if I'd been just a little more normal . . . Maybe he would have--" Scott's heart nearly broke as he heard Marie struggling to take a breath. "God, Scott--why can't anyone just love me?"

"They do," he whispered, and he pulled the blanket up around Marie's chin so that she wouldn't get cold. And because he didn't want her to hear, didn't even want to hear it himself, he dropped his voice. "I do."

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see
The perfect sky is torn
You're a little late
I'm already torn

He was trapped inside his own head. It had been that way for weeks--more weeks than he could remember. It was all starting to blur together, the way they kept him in a cage where he couldn't even control his own body, and then took him out to use him as a weapon.

He knew in his mind that there was probably only one person who could save him. And he knew as well that after the last mission the person controlling his body like a puppet had sent him on, the chances of Xavier ever doing anything to help him was slim.

Whoever the telepath who they had controlling his mind was good. Very, very good. He couldn't fight it, couldn't stop it--and the worst thing was, he hadn't even seen it coming. He'd walked into a stupid trap like an idiot, all because of a blue-skinned bitch who had managed to make herself look like a brown haired beauty for just long enough to fool him.

And the trap had been sprung, and now his body was no longer his own. He was a tool, being wielded so precisely and so expertly--and he was being used to carve a group of people that he almost cared about to pieces.

He had the feeling that the only reason he was still in his own head at all was because the bad guys, whoever they where, liked torturing him. Liked making him live with the hope that he might get his body back. Liked making him know that even if he did, he'd have destroyed everything he cared about.

Not that he cared about living much anymore. There were some things he could do, some things he could take. Some things that he could witness, and still want to his chest to rise and fall. Some things he could remember without wanting his heart to stop beating.

The memory of violating Marie against a wall like a cheap hooker was not among those. Since it had happened, the telepath controlling him had been spending all of their strength just trying to keep him from killing himself before they could try to make him go back and hurt her again.

He'd already come close to death three times before they'd stopped him, and the only reason he'd stopped trying was the knowledge that it wouldn't be long before Scott or Jean or Storm tracked him down--and the sure knowledge that they'd do what he couldn't.

They'd find out what was wrong and free him.

Or maybe they'd just kill him.

And the truth was--he wasn't sure which one he wanted more.