Title: Broken and Sore
Author: Shana Nolan
Email: aericura@micron.net
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: strong R (implied sexual sitches, language, violence, drug usage)
Summary: to quote a line from a later part: "the year from hell"
Series: Perfect Ring of Scars #2
Category: angst!! (J,L,S,R)
Disclaimer: Fox and Marvel Entertainment Group have the X-Men and their movie. Stan Lee, I worship at your feet. I don't own anyone and I don't intend to sell this. no money, no sue, no powers. but my CB handle was Phoenix (great, date yourself, why don't you).
Archive: the usual suspects, and others will ask first
Comments: are welcome. Flames, however, are only accepted from a mutant named Pyro and even he knows better.

"he's covered with scabs, he is broken and sore, the me that you know doesn't come around much"

The bag she had by the door was still packed. It was as if she was planning on running for real, her brief liberation to the outside world for those two days creating an urge to leave completely.

Which was not far from the actual truth.

The main benefit to the room upstairs was that it was quieter. She could lay in the bed for half the day and not be disturbed by outer sounds, especially since most knew better than to knock on the door without good reason.

Ororo had tried to reach out the first day and she had ignored it. The pain was too great then, the weight of the truth too heavy on her shoulders. Her guilt for being a normal being with betraying dreams was haunting her waking mind, blighting her with doubt and fear.

And irony had a sense of cruelty with her. Now, when she slept, rare as that was for those seven days, only He filled her mind. The one she had loved. Adored. Given herself to. Touched in ways that only poets dared write about.

When she woke from those demonic fantasies, covered in sweat, the dark emptiness of the room mocking her, it was as if someone had run razor blades all over her body, making her bleed in crimson trickles, the pain exquisitely agonising and largely self-inflicted.

She took long showers after those dreams, stripping and scrubbing her body like an obsessed child determined to scour the dirt from under her nails, the scathingly hot water burning her scalp.

But leaving burns on her skin was better than the sweat that betrayed her enjoyment of her sleep. Her rationale over not being able to control her subconscious had been crushed in the breakup.

Reality bore no forgiveness for her, so neither would she for herself.

Like an unwelcome saviour, the Other came to her still. When she ceased dreaming of him, he stepped into the Real.

He knocked on the door in the middle of the night. Too careful to get caught in her proximity, too smart to fuel the fire of the recently scorned, he waited for her to answer the door, and she did. Her hair was flat and lifeless around her face, her eyes reddened with too many tears and her body was bent with resigned acceptance.

Her previous existence had fallen out of her grasp without hope of revival, and she was trying her best to move on with the memories. The middle stage of this transformation, however, was dragging her down. A wasteland clouded her eyes no matter what she did.

But rather than driving him away, her appearance made him want to be closer to her. He knew better, but at that point, the truth hanging low like her shoulders did, he just didn't care.

And she made no move to force him away. With a sigh and a sad smile she gestured him inside and closed the door quietly, turning the lock.

By the time the door closed, his mask was gone. Caution was cast to the wind and he set strong hands on her shoulders, pulling her close to him. His anger, raw and unexpressed, rose to the surface, and just as he was about to free it, telling her how pissed he was that anyone could treat her that way, he saw the look in her eyes.

She was haunted in the purest sense of the word. His physical presence, his flesh touching hers, the fire behind his eyes-- it all brought the guilt to the surface of her mind with blinding fury, daring to burn her heart to ashes.

"I'm sorry, Jeannie."

Flinching like she had been struck physically, his voice cut through her. Unable to look at him, she lowered her head and inhaled shallowly. Emotional pain had become a fast friend, the only thing she could rely on to keep her company in the shadowy last days.

And it hated him.

"Logan, I-- I can't do this. You should leave. Please."

The growl that slipped from his lips, echoing in the spartan bedroom, made her flinch again. Every gesture, every sound, they all reminded her of the incriminating dreams that had started the whole cycle of loss and pain.

But he didn't give a damn. In his mind, he was not the Other. He was once the Outsider, the one who idly wondered if he could ever touch what he watched from afar; now, he could be more. The Friend, the Confidant, the Lover.

The Victim of Scorn.


Her breaths were shuddery and ragged, as if she loathed the fact that she still drew air. She made no move to break away from his hold, to deny the Other his moment, but if she made any move, she would damn herself and become the thing she had denied being to Him.


"I-- I never betrayed him."

Anger dissipated in him. Fury had no place in the moment. Pulling a hand off her shoulder and pushing a stray lock of red off her cheek, he sighed. He hated pain. He really hated it in her.

Backing up suddenly, the discomfort eating through her, he steadied his feet and refused to release her. Using the strength in his arms to pull her back, not counting on her less that enthusiastic struggling, her body was suddenly against his, pressing into him.

He knew it was wrong. They both did. This was what was expected of them, what the rumour circle was waiting for so they could take a hold of it and run wild, destroying whatever credibility any of the three in the sordid triangle ever had.

Neither of them moved. Her body was stock still, leaned up against his muscled frame, and upon the inhalation of his scent, the tang of the masculine washing over her senses, her control shattered, the pattern of self-destruction breaking for the first time in a week as someone besides her constant friend Pain touched her.

And now that the denial was gone, and she could feel the warm reality of another, she couldn't help her reaction. Inhaling and giving over to the wracking sob, she slid down Logan's chest, clenching fists and closing her eyes as hard as she could. Catching her as he knelt down, trying to keep her from dropping to the floor and hurting herself, she yielded to him, curling into his lap, and let go the misery that had held her hostage for a full week.

But she-- they-- were hardly free from it for good.

None of them were.