Every person who has responded to me has reiterated how lovely Yellowtail wine is. So in light of that fact I will make a shameless plug and tell you to pull up a chair, open a bottle, and have a glass with our characters. I know I am. It’s all Rogue and Magneto here, you can thank me later.
Chapter Fourteen: A Heaven Out of Hell
Magneto and Rogue:
The island fortress had been just as Rogue imagined it would be: a metal monument to Magneto’s mighty power. The island itself was a rocky barren strait about three miles wide and four long, a thirty minute boat ride from the main land. It had high cliffs at the North end that tapered off to a dismal sort of beach in the Southern. The hideout’s interior was an inner closed series of metal rooms and hallways, some with cathedral ceilings, neatly organized and oddly aesthetically pleasing. Rogue was reminded of the crisp, clean style of Milan, Italy’s designer fashion world. Everything had a smooth and graceful, unfettered sort of elegance from the sheen of the metal and monochromatic color scheme.
When Rogue had arrived on that frigidly cold February night, the fortress had seemed warm and inviting compared to the 12 degree below zero weather outside. Her moral compass balked at the thought of describing anything associated with Magneto as warm and inviting. It bothered Rogue how much she had wanted to get to see him as quickly as possible. On the 6 hour long bus ride all Rogue could do was stare aimlessly out the window counting down the miles left to Bar harbor as the highway mile markers passed by.
She had felt an unsettling sort of pleasure in the pit of her stomach at the thought that for once she had finally taken action to change her life for the better. Although Rogue had always carried a chip of pride about her ability to survive on the road hitchhiking to Canada after being kicked out by her mother that accomplishment had been born out of necessity. Her abrupt disassociation with the X-Men was Rogue’s first step to healing the wounds in her soul her crippling mutation and its accompanying problems had created. She was through reacting to the obstacles life tossed at her; from now on she was making the first move.
And her first move was to travel to the white-haired man in the beige sweater and chino’s before her. He was far less intimidating then he had been in the airport. When he wasn’t wearing his black cape, she could imagine he was a distinguished professor or the CEO of a company; a man who demanded respect and was in a position of authority above her, but not a violent criminal who had once tried to kill her. And if she could get over her fear of him, Rogue could trust his statement that he would be the one to help her take back her life as her own.
The two stood watching each other, each evaluating the other for several silent minutes. Finally Magneto had taken a step closer to her and waved his outstretched hand towards her bag, pulling the zipper open.
“Give me all your gloves Rogue. You will not be needing them here.” A frantic, panicked look colored her visage. She couldn’t not wear her gloves. She needed them more than anything else she had brought. She would hurt someone with out them. She wasn’t ready yet to give them up. Magneto seemed to be able to read all these thoughts and more from her face as she looked between her bag, her gloved hands, and the man before her.
“Fine you may keep one pair. The ones you are wearing will do.” Magneto looked at her gloved hands to see they were covered by an almost comically oversized pair of black leather gloves that must have been two sizes too long for her. The gloves looked very familiar. “Those are my gloves, aren’t they?”
Shit, shit, shit. She had forgotten to take off Magneto’s gloves from when she had begun wearing them a few days earlier. Stupid girl, she should have guessed her illicit pleasure from wearing his gloves would eventually get her in trouble. She took them off and stood up to hand them back.
“No, you may keep them. But the rest please take from your bag now.” He said, curiosity killing him to know why she wanted to wear his gloves. Why hadn’t she worn her own?
Rogue had done as she was told. She was used to following order and he was not a man to be argued with. Handing him the eight pairs of gloves she had packed, she watched as he pawed through them for a few seconds. Then, he took the pile of gloves and with an underhanded throw to his left he threw them into the blazing fire in the fireplace of his study.
“No!” She yelled as she watched her favorite grey silk ones land on a large log in the midst of the roaring flames. But her displeasure was useless. The gloves turned black quickly but did not burn well and the room took on a mildly unpleasant odor from their combustion. Magneto smelled the stench as well, and thought of Catalyst’s smoke-eating remedy. “Why did ya have to go and to do that for?” The South came out in her accusatory tone. The cost of those 8 pairs of gloves had been over a hundred bucks and it was all burning up in the fire.
“You need motivation. If you are serious about wanting to control your mutation, there will be no going back, Rogue.” The light of fire danced across his features, causing his white hair to shine in the glow. He paused to make sure she was listening carefully. “There will be no more gloves, no more scarves, no more hiding. You will have to take responsibility for your mutation at all times. It will not be an easy task.” His voice filled the room, its deep timber reaching into Rogue and commanding her attention. She was fearful then of what that responsibility would mean.
“If I begin to help you we will have to remove the psychic block from your mind. That means all Charles’ hard work will be destroyed. You will have to deal with the memories of the people you have absorbed again. You will see the concentration camps again and feel the pain of the experiments on the Wolverine.” Rogue felt her body shudder involuntarily. She remembered what it felt like to experience those memories; she knew what it felt like to be two people at once.
“I just want you to be aware of what you are getting into. There is no going back from this point, Rogue.” She thought of the Phantom of the Opera and the scene where a different Erik seduces Christine in his opera “Don Juan Triumphant”. She too was at the point of no return; the event horizon at which the black hole that was Magneto’s offer would suck her in and she was powerless to escape its pull. So be it. She wanted to fall.
“I wonder if you do.” Magneto looked at the disheveled slip of a girl before him. She was so young in his eyes. No lines marred the delicate skin around her eyes; there was no haunted look behind her eyes that showed she had seen things no person should ever have to experience. He knew that if he removed the block she would see those things. She would remember the camps, the mass graves, the unspeakable atrocities…and the purity behind those eyes would die forever.
He made to say more, but a knock on the door stopped him. Pyro came in, bearing the tray with a bright red lobster on it and a container of left over Chinese food rice. Under his arm was the bottle of 2004 Yellowtail Pinot Grigio. Magneto got two wine glasses down from his shelves and the meal was laid before Rogue on the red carpet so she could eat in front of the fire, watching as her beloved gloves burned.
Pyro left them and Rogue ate the lobster and rice in silence for several minutes. It was very good and she didn’t like seafood much. Finally Magneto asked her:
“Why don’t you try the wine?” She took a sip. It tingled lightly on the tongue, crisp and tinged with oak. “Do you approve of it?” Magneto drank from his glass waiting for a response.
“Ah don’t drink wine really.”
“That’s a pity. I’ll have to teach you to appreciate its delicacies.” They fell into silence again and Rogue drank more of her wine. It went down so easily compared to the stronger drinks she had made at the mansion with hard liquors. Yet it wasn’t carbonated like beer. Rogue thought she could learn to like it.
“I’ve always wondered why you kept my white streak in your hair.” Magneto was sitting on the couch across from her, looking down at her with his head propped up by his elbow on the couch’s arm; his right hand holding his nearly empty wine glass. She was on display like a museum exhibit and he was pondering the meaning of her.
“Ah just came here to learn how to stop my mutation from hurtin’ people.” She said. His voice picked up an edge to it as he replied.
“I am doing a favor by teaching you Rogue. Humor me.” She took the white strand in her hand after taking another gulp of wine. The hair of her white streak always felt softer than her normal hair. She wanted to touch Magneto’s hair again to see if his was the same.
“It reminds me of how strong Ah am.” She twisted it between her fingers and snorted out a laugh. “When Ah see it in the mirror Ah remember that Ah survived an attempt on my life from the great Magneto, and then my everyday problems don’t seem so hard.”
“Tell the truth Rogue.”
“That’s the God given truth, Ah swear.” Magneto smiled at such a Southern turn of phrase. Rogue continued eating her meal as Magneto poured more wine into both their glasses.
“Why did you save me from the Wolverine in Albany?” Rogue looked up at him. The answer should be obvious.
“Ah wanna learn to stop my skin. If Logan had killed you, I’d never figure it out.”
“No other reasons?” He looked at her hands wearing his large black leather gloves, clumsily holding the wine glass to her lips. Without taking a drink, she swallowed hard and looked at the fire burning flaring only feet from her. She had sat next to the blaze for twenty minutes, but only now did she realize how uncomfortably hot the room was.
“Nope.” Magneto studied her.
“No wish to resume the activities we had been doing when we were so rudely interrupted?” She dropped her wine glass on the rug, the precious Yellowtail Pinot Grigio spilling onto the carpet. Neither made any move to clean up the mess. “Admit that you enjoyed yourself Rogue.”
“Uh… Ah just was shocked is all. Ah was gonna push you off but-” She couldn’t speak clearly. She didn’t know what to say for herself.
“Hush now my dear. The truth shall set you free.” His gaze bore into her and a heat rose through Rogue’s body. Her body tensed in nervous longing. He had never looked as cruelly handsome as in that moment.
“I- I liked it,… a lot.” She tripped over the words; it was a painful admission. She had to turn away from his satisfied, Cheshire cat smile. She could hardly breath the room was so hot. He could see her peaked nipples through her shirt. They said nothing else for many minutes and Magneto cleaned up her spilled wine. When Rogue felt the room cool perceptibly she gazed up at him from spot on the carpet. It was her turn to question him.
“Are you going to make me work for the Brotherhood while I’m here?”
“No. I told you before that if you help us, it will be of your own volition.”
“You’re not gonna make me use my mutation to hurt people?”
“How you use your powers will be up to you.”
“But aren’t you supposed to be an evil criminal mastermind and isn’t this your secret lair?” It was her lame attempt at a joke to dissipate the sexual tension in the air that you could see like a haze around them.
“Only you can make a heaven out of hell and a hell out of heaven.”
“That’s a pretty quote, who said it?”
“I just did.”
“No I mean-” He gave her a look saying that she was being rude and she stopped herself. It was an interesting thing to say. Could one make a heaven out of hell? Rogue marveled that Magneto had a bit of the philosopher in him.
Later, as Rogue was shown to a room she could sleep in; she realized that at no time had Magneto made any move to touch her. He had made her so uncomfortable without laying a hand on her. And she had been looking forward to him touching her again, if only because he was the only one who could. In that moment she hated herself for wishing he would have kissed her again. She fell asleep with his gloves on her hands.
Author’s Notes: Your author is having trouble keeping Magneto and Rogue from just going at each other like rabbits. It’s hard for her to resist the pressing urge to write smut. But I shall continue my sweet torture of you a little longer, putting off the good stuff for a few more chapters.
“Cruelly handsome” is my trademark Erik description. Remember, you heard it here first.
When I first wrote this I thought I had made up the quote (how full of myself am I?) but I had forgotten the quote was actually “The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of a hell, a Hell of a heaven.” I don’t know who said it, but if someone knows, I’ll be happy to give correct credit for it.
Things are heating up quickly between Rogue and Magneto. He begins to teach her to control her mutation. He teaches her a few other things too…Go to Chapter 15