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AngelofSnow's Journal - Everything is prettier from the outside
Fan Fiction, Fandom, Reviews, and a Healthy Dose of Squee
Healing - Chapter 33: Trust Uncertainty 
5th-Sep-2006 04:54 am
old friend
Healing
 
Title: Healing
Verse: X-Men movieverse
Timeline: post X-Men: The Last Stand
Author: angelofsnow
Pairing: Rogue/Magneto
Rating: M – everything, the works, the whole shebang, this is the finale!
Disclaimer: At this point, I don’t think I need to disclaim anything. I own all of it. Every last drop. I’m accepting payment right now for writing this. Yay, money!
Summary: The Cure is only temporary. While healing Rogue and Magneto find each other and realize they have more in common than they originally thought. 
 
Soundtrack: I recommend the song “Precious” by Depeche Mode. Rogue has been through a lot in this story. She’s come a long way.
 
Dedication: To everyone whose read this story. Thank you.
 
Notes: Sorry this took so long to complete. (Thank you for calling me on it Rebecca.)I admit I didn’t really want writing this story to end. Endings are always sad, and I put off writing this last chapter to keep the magic alive. 

Chapter Thirty-Three: Trust Uncertainty
 
Charles:
 
           Perhaps he had not been thinking clearly. It hadn’t been easy to. The Phoenix… no, he refused to call her that, Jean had levitated him out of his wheelchair. She had blocked all his attempts to get through to her and he began to wonder if he could. When Jean’s formidable power tore at his very skin, ripping it away particle by particle, he had remembered something he had only believed possible in theory: transference of one’s conscious into another. That is how he came to pull his own consciousness separate from his body, as Jean destroyed the crippled vessel that had been its home for nearly 68 years.
 
           No longer confined to the physical world, he had watched helplessly as the Phoenix’s powers made short work of him. Erik had seen fit to try to use Jean for his own ends. Charles knew beyond a doubt that the venture would not end well for his ex-lover. Bereft and unanchored, his spirit and thoughts had existed in a form more commonly known as a ghost for some time as he watched the X-Men retrieve his wheel chair and begin to mourn his departure. Only when he followed them and had seen the school that had been his life’s work did he remember the ideal home for his soul.
 
Richard Troughdon had been 36 years old and had never spoken a word in his life, nor taken a single step. He had been born with no higher brain functions, no consciousness. His body was an empty shell. As far as scientists could tell he had never had a thought or even opened his eyes on his own. Troughdon’s family was well-off and they did all they could for the boy, unable to accept that their son was born brain dead. They kept him alive in a series of hospitals while they tried every possible treatment therapy including stem-cell research and gene therapy. Doctors urged the Troughdon’s to let their son be an organ donor, but the Troughdon’s refused to give up hope. Eventually they got their son into a state-of-the-art genetic research facility on Muir Island run by leading genetics researcher Moira MacTaggert.
 
MacTaggert was checking on her patient some three months after her friend Charles Xavier’s ‘death’ when her patient opened his eyes, turned to her and said “Hello Moira.” She was so startled she dropped her clip board and backed into the heart rate monitor machine. She knew something extraordinary had happened. Even if her patient had been able to grow the synapses needed to have consciousness, the patient would not have known her name or known how to speak English anymore than a newborn baby would have.
 
When her patient, Troughdon, or whoever it was introduced himself as Charles Xavier she had been hesitant to accept it even knowing her friend’s incredible mental abilities. But slowly as Charles gained more and more muscle control everyday and acted more like himself, she had no choice but to accept the unbelievable truth.
 
Charles was very angry with himself. When he had died and taken possession of Richard Troughdon’s body, he had done it with the hope to continue being of help to his X-men and to have another chance to save Jean from the Phoenix. He had not been thinking clearly because once his consciousness situated itself in the brain of the late Troughdon it had taken him a month to build the synapses needed to think and run motor skills. A bedridden man, like Troughdon, had muscular atrophy, which meant his muscles had degenerated and could not move without extensive therapy. Two more months went by before Charles could move his jaw and tongue to speak the words “Hello Moira.”
 
Once he had spoken to Moira, she had told him about the events in America: the battle fought at the Alcatraz lab, the defeat of Phoenix, and the Brotherhood’s dissolution. He learned a few weeks later that Erik had been de-powered. It was a dark time for Charles. He regretted his foolhardy decision to take the body of Richard Troughdon. His action had done nothing to prevent Jean’s death or to bring about a peaceful end to the conflict. Instead, he lay alive in a hospital bed, in a stolen body, months away from being able to sit-up or walk.
 
Charles, however, chose to make the best of the situation and went about his physical therapy with the same indomitable optimism he had always applied to the mutant-human conflict. The force of his willpower drove him through physical therapy at break neck speed and by eight months he was walking, a feat he hadn’t done for over sixteen years. He was eager to rejoin his X-Men, especially when news came in about the delicate situation brewing between mutants and humans in America.
 
But one more major obstacle stood in the way of Xavier: Richard Troughdon’s family was not ready to give him up, especially to a telepath who had taken control of his body. Motions were filed and a civil lawsuit was brought under very flimsy circumstances considering there was no legal precedent for the case. Muir Island, located off the coast of Scotland, became home to one of the strangest cases in British legal history. Troughdon vs. Xavier lingered for five months in the courts, as new evidence and dubitable ‘experts’ were brought in to testify. To add insult to injury anti-mutant sentiment swayed the case against Xavier from the beginning. It was doubtful Charles could win the case, and he feared the punishment the court would merit out would further delay his return to America to deal with the growing situation there.
 
So like the proverbial liar who is forced to lie again, Charles was forced to again use his powers in ways he disapproved of and downright abhorred. He swung the judge’s finding in his favor and got off not-guilty. The verdict shocked the tiny island that had followed his case with baited breath. Recovered and free to leave, Charles bid goodbye to Moira and embarked on his journey back to the states.
 
When Charles returned to 1407 Graymalkin Lane there was already nothing to return to. The Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters had been reduced to rubble only two weeks before in the tragic battle that had left Rogue in a coma. With subtle mind probes and a bit of sleuthing he learned that the X-Men had escaped with the Brotherhood of all people. The news shocked Charles, but it also gave him hope. His students were alive and with someone he occasionally trusted. Better yet, Charles knew where they were. He had read Erik’s mind often enough to know the little island off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine was the Brotherhood’s headquarters.
 
00000000000
 
Charles and Erik:
 
           This is how Charles Xavier came to stand before Magneto in the body of the late Richard Troughdon.
 
           “Hello Erik.” Charles had said. Although he was much younger, and now had brown hair, a beard, and could walk; his voice and accent were nearly identical to before. He also still dressed in the same expensive, high quality, custom-made suits as before. Erik had recognized his old friend’s voice with ease and great incredulity.
 
           “Charles?” He asked, half wondering if he was losing his mind and a ghost of his old friend was speaking to him. He held a cup of Earl Grey Tea shakily in his hand. The bearded Xavier answered him.
 
           “Yes, it’s me.”
 
           “How? How is it possible? I saw you…”
 
“Yes, Jean-” he corrected himself, “The Phoenix killed me. But I transferred my consciousness into the body of a brain dead man.”
 
Charles was alive!  It was difficult for Magneto to believe, but he wanted it to be true. Somehow Charles had come back from the dead. He had claimed the body of a brain dead man. Brain dead. Rogue! The tea cup fell from his hand, splashing his desk in Earl Grey.
 
“Come with me. Hurry!”
 
Erik hastily strode out the door. Charles, without a clue as to what was going on, stood rooted in place. When he did not follow Erik, a magnetic field pulled him along by his wristwatch.
 
“What is this about Erik?” Charles preferred not to read his friend’s mind unless he had to.
 
“Please, old friend. We haven’t much time.” Erik said, continuing to lead Charles to the medical lab.
 
“Tell me what is going on Erik or I’ll have no choice but to read your mind.” Charles said, but as soon as the words left his mouth they stepped into the medical lab where Rogue lay hooked up to several machines. Professor Jeri Kojak was at her side, laboring to clear her mind. Logan sat faithfully keeping guard over her comatose form.
 
“Who’s this?” Logan stood up, protectively moving in front of Rogue. He sniffed the air to smell the unfamiliar stranger. The new Charles smelled nothing like the old Charles. Logan was wary of a stranger being around Marie while she was in such a vulnerable state.
 
It’s me, Logan. Professor Xavier. Charles projected into the Wolverine’s mind.
 
“Chuck?” Logan didn’t know whether to believe it or not.
 
I’ll explain later. Xavier assured him. “Hello, Professor Kojak.”
 
“Good to see you are well, Xavier. I have missed you.” Jeri and Charles were both telepaths and were familiar with each other from the annual Society of Telepathy conferences.
 
“What happened to her?” Charles managed to keep only a hint of anger from slipping into his voice. He was anything but happy to see one of his students injured. He wondered if she took part in the battle at the mansion or if Erik had been up to no good while he was out of commission. He hated to admit it, but he wouldn’t put it past Erik to use his absence as an advantage. He had certainly done so in the past.
 
Jeri Kojak answered him. “She used her powers to save everyone by draining all the soldiers that attacked the school. But now her brain is overloaded with memories. I haven’t been able to make much progress to clear them. She’s been in a coma now for two weeks.”
 
“Can you help her Chuck?” Logan asked warily. He trusted the Professor, if this was the Professor, to know how to save Marie.
 
Charles held off answering Logan. He probed the girl’s mind shallowly and was hit by a barrage of personalities and memories jumbled together in a vortex. Rogue’s memories, thoughts, and consciousness were no where to be found.
 
“There are hundreds of personalities in her mind. How was she able to drain this many soldiers?” Charles asked. But even as he asked the question he knew the answer.
 
“You removed the mental block and trained her to use the full existent of her mutation.” Charles said. Erik recognized the anger in Charles’ words.
 
“She came to me when the Cure failed her. I guided her, but the rest she learned on her own.”
 
“I put that block in for a reason. You knew how dangerous her powers are; how destructive they can be.”
 
“It was her decision to sacrifice herself. She did it to save us when my powers were thwarted by plastic.” Erik spit the word out.
 
If Charles was curious what Erik had been doing at the mansion when it was attacked he did not ask. Charles remained gruffly disappointed but turned his attention back to his patient and put his hands near Rogue’s temples, careful not to touch her skin.
 
“Can you save her?” It was Erik’s turn to ask the question to which they all wanted to know the answer.
 
Charles was surprised by the way Erik’s voice cranked with emotion. Hadn’t Erik nearly killed this same girl five years ago for the cause of mutant liberation?
 
“Erik, Rogue’s condition is very serious. I may not be able to help her.”
 
Erik bowed his head, his fists balling at his sides in frustration. He had believed that Charles’ return would be the key to Rogue’s salvation. He tried not to lose hope, but it was difficult. The metal throughout the lab trembled: Rogue’s bed frame, the machines monitoring her condition, and Catalyst’s equipment. Again Charles was puzzled by Erik’s reaction.
 
“It isn’t like you to be this concerned over a mutant who has made a necessary sacrifice.” Charles tested Erik by reminding him how had once viewed Rogue when he had used her to power his machine.
 
“I feel responsible for her condition. I should have been able to prevent it.” Erik answered. Charles knew that Erik particularly loathed when his enemies took precautions against his powers. Erik had always believed he ought to be near unstoppable. Charles wondered what the Cure must have done to him.
 
“It’s more than that.”
 
Erik’s eyes locked with Charles and he barely hesitated before answering.
 
“Yes it is.”
 
“What is between you and young Rogue?”
 
“It is none of your concern Charles.”
 
“She is one my students.”
 
When Erik made no move to answer Charles and his mental shields remained in place, Charles turned towards Logan who was watching the exchange. Logan hesitated, still undecided if he could trust the bearded and able-to-walk Xavier as the genuine article.
 
“They’ve got some kind of a twisted thing going. Marie says she loves him and he says he loves her, but…” To Logan no matter how untwisted two people both loving each other and returning that love should be, he could not help but view the relationship between Rogue and Magneto as anything but normal. The very idea of them together was demented in his view. Logan also wasn’t entirely sure how much he believed their sentiments. Yet, he was impressed by how often Magneto came to sit at the girl’s bedside.
 
Is this true Erik? Charles projected the question into his friend’s mind.
 
“It is a relationship of mutual admiration.”
 
“You can understand how I might find this hard to believe.” Erik looked away from Charles’ gaze. He did not need to be a telepath to know Charles would be hurt he was again allowing someone other than him to fill his bed.
 
“Please. Do what you can to save her.”
 
Erik knew Charles would not let the issue drop so easily. But for now, Rogue’s ill health was a bigger concern. Erik watched as Charles sat down by Rogue’s head, his movements still jerky and somewhat awkward from muscles that had only recently begun to comply with his wishes. Although it was jarring to picture the youthful, brown-haired and bearded man as his dear old friend it gave Erik hope. If Charles could return from the dead then so too could Marie.
 
Charles began his work by again placing his hands near Rogue’s temples. He described his efforts out loud to satisfy Erik and Logan’s tension, which to a telepath felt like a leaden blanket hanging over the room.
 
“I’m unable to locate her. But I’ll clear some of the stronger presences first.” Several minutes passed as Charles worked to zap foreign memories and quiet discordant voices begging for attention in Rogue’s mind.
 
“Still nothing. There’s so much here.” Charles was a much stronger telepath than Kojak. Some even say Xavier is the strongest in the world. What would have taken Professor Kojak months to accomplish, Charles could do in mere minutes. He continued to cleanse Rogue’s mind and recycle the memories lodged in portions of the brain that were usually dormant. Many of personalities and consciousnesses of her victims could be found in the cerebral cortex and it took Xavier twenty more minutes to remove them. He noticed her brain shifted as the strain on it eased and her mind relaxed slightly.
 
“There’s been minor brain swelling.” Charles pronounced, opening his eyes and taking a short break from his work. Erik knew enough about medicine to know that was a bad sign. “Professor Kojak, what have you done to relieve the swelling of her brain?”
 
“I’ve administered the drug manitol at 12 CC’s an hour.”
 
“Good.” Charles nodded his head and went back to work. He could hear Logan and Erik’s desperate desires and thoughts that he save Rogue. He even heard Erik praying in Hebrew, something Charles could only remember hearing once before, when he himself had been the patient.
 
Rogue’s mind was now partially clear of the soldiers’ memories but there were still several other sections of her mind engulfed by the foreign thoughts. The left hemisphere, a vast section of the brain, was filled with only the memories and personalities of a few men. Without a doubt, Charles knew Rogue must have killed them. She had their entire memories and personalities in graphic detail. When Charles tried to remove them, erasing the memories, the men fought back. They were dead in life, but had lived on for several weeks in Rogue’s mind. Charles did not relish dislodging them and vanquishing their life force entirely, but he was forced to for Rogue’s sake. When he finished he checked again to feel Rogue’s familiar consciousness but she was still missing.
 
“I still can’t find her.”
 
“Dammit Charles! She can’t be gone! She can’t be.” Erik slammed his fist down into his open palm and the metal walls of the room quaked. Logan who was no less upset stood by Magneto and recognized his own feelings in the man’s outburst. Their eyes met and for a second a brief recognition of their mutual connection glimmered across their faces, then the two looked away embarrassed at the moment of understanding. Charles would have laughed if the cause wasn’t so tragic.
 
He explored the right hemisphere of Rogue’s brain erasing the personalities as he went, careful not to disturb the girl’s own memories of sensory data. With the removal of foreign memories from her frontal lobe he had completed the task of restoring Rogue’s mind to her own control and erasing all the soldier’s memories. However, he was unable to feel Rogue’s own consciousness, which he should be able to communicate with and see on the astral plane. He was puzzled by this and concerned Rogue’s own personality might have been destroyed permanently. So he delved deeper, projecting his voice into her mind calling for her and hoping to draw her out.
 
Charles checked the other recesses of her mind plying through her parietal lobe, temporal lobe, and limbic system but still there was no trace of her. Some of Rogue’s own memories surfaced, but her consciousness, her soul was not anywhere. He explored more regions of her brain which displayed themselves as long grey corridors to his mind. Images and memories would flint in front him as he traveled down impossibly long corridors at superhuman speeds searching for Rogue.
 
Finally he reached an area known as the pons. Only then did he see the first glimmer of hope. It was in the shape of Magneto’s transparent plastic prison. The prison, an image in Rogue’s mind, was reproduced perfectly. It’s occurrence an influence of his memories no doubt. Except this time Magneto was not the prisoner inside the prison: it was Rogue herself. The prison represented the small organ the pons which when injured, often produces a “locked –in” effect on the patient, who despite being conscious cannot speak, move, or demonstrate that they understand. They are essentially ‘locked-in’ their mind. This was what had happened to Rogue.
 
Charles studied the damage to the synapses around the pons organ. He saw the incredible amount of raw strength Rogue must have had to use her power in such a way. He knew the engulfing flood of memories had fried areas of her brain and swallowed her own consciousness, sequestering it away beneath the recently acquired soldiers’ memories.
 
Charles knew how to regrow damaged synapses from his own experience in Richard Troughdon’s body. As he repaired the synapses in the physical world, Rogue’s astral cage grew weaker and weaker, the plastic walls dissolving around her. Finally he was able to enter her cage where she lay on the cot, curled in a fetal position, her hands over her ears. In this mentally created world, Charles appeared as his older, familiar self.
 
It’s alright Rogue. You can come out. The girl removed her hands from her ears.
 
The voices…they’re gone. Throughout her coma Rogue had heard ceaselessly the soldiers’ pleas and their memories, day and night.
 
Yes, I cleared your mind and repaired the damage.
 
Thank you Professor. But I thought you were dead.
 
I’ll explain everything when you wake up.
 
How long have I been out? Was it all a dream? Did you die? Was there a Cure?
 
Rogue. He reprimanded her for letting her imagination run wild. Concentrate on healing your mind and locating your own scattered memories. When you feel ready try to regain control of your body and wake up.
 
Slowly, Charles unfurled his mind from Rogue’s and came out of the telepathic trance. Erik was quick to question him.
 
“Did you find her?”
 
“She should be alright in a few moments. There’s no way to tell if some of her own memories have been destroyed, but I believe she should be able to regain control of her mind.” Charles turned to specifically address Erik, as though he was responsible for her. “Her tremendous use of her mutation caused violent injury to her brain. She should be dead.” He turned to Logan. “I imagine you had something to do with her recovery.”
 
“I couldn’t let anything happen to the kid. You know that.”
 
“Yes. However, I am disappointed to learn how many inappropriate events occurred in my absence.” Now Charles’ gaze met Erik’s. Erik did not back down; he had grown used to his friend’s disapproval.
 
           “Uhh…” a small moan came from Rogue’s bed. Erik raced around Charles to be at her side. Rogue’s head turned and she moaned again. Her eyelids fluttered.
 
           When Rogue awoke the first thing she saw was Erik, who smiled down at her tenderly. His hand brushed the white streak of her hair pushing it behind her ear. Logan stood at the other side of the bed. He squeezed her hand through the bed sheet.
 
           “Am I really awake? Is it really you, Erik?”
 
           “Yes, my dear it’s me.” Erik kissed her forehead lightly and whispered to her. “Ich liebe dich.”
 
           “I should tell the others Rogue’s woken up.” Logan felt a little uncomfortable watching Magneto and Marie together. A part of him was also understandably jealous that she turned to him first when she woke up.
 
           Charles gave Erik and Rogue a few moments together, before gently tapping his old friend on the shoulder.
 
           “You should let her rest. She’s had quite the ordeal.”
 
0000000000
 
Everyone:
 
Erik and Charles left the medical lab where Jeri Kojak saw to Rogue’s care and made sure she continued to rest. Outside, members of the Brotherhood and X-Men had gathered after hearing that not only was Rogue well, but Professor Xavier was alive.
 
“Is it true? Rogue’s woken up?” Bobby asked. Pyro stood next to him. It was good to see the friends united again. One could tell from the change in Bobby’s demeanor and posture how relieving it was for him to get his sexual feelings out in the open.
 
“Is she feeling better? I was worried about her.” Kitty asked.
 
“Rogue should be fine. She just needs a few more days rest. She has woken up, but please keep visits short while she recovers.” Charles answered. The group stared back at him, unsure who the bearded man was.
 
“I’m sorry. We haven’t met. I’m Storm.” She extended her hand politely as if to shake Charles’ hand, unaware who he was.
 
It’s me Ororo.
 
“Professor?” Storm’s disbelief was shared by everyone else in the room who studied the thirty-something man in front of them. It was hard to reckon a walking, young man with a beard and a full head of hair with their crippled bald Professor of old. The fact that he dressed and sounded the same didn’t help much. There was an audible gasp that found its way through the group.
 
“When the Phoenix killed me,” Charles couldn’t say Jean had killed him, he just couldn’t. “I transferred my consciousness into the body of the brain dead man I had been telling you about as a case study in my ethics class. I had hoped I would be able to return and help Jean to control her powers.”
 
“You heard about what happened to her?” Logan said, his arms folded across his chest as he leaned back against one of the walls. His head was bowed and he was looking at the ground. Everyone felt for Logan. They knew how much it had hurt him to do what he did.
 
“Yes, Logan. You did the right thing.” It helped Logan to hear Chuck say it. “However, we have other problems now. I’ve seen what’s left of the school.”
 
The group’s good morale from discovering their beloved Professor Xavier was still alive dropped when he mentioned their former home. The mansion was destroyed and not much was left of it. Worse, the government still had the estate cordoned off as a crime scene and was likely to keep control of the land for the duration of Mutant Human Civil War.
 
“We will rebuild.” Xavier said. “We cannot let this destroy the X-Men and what we stand for. Relations between humans and mutants have dissolved greatly. I fear the current war will not end well for either side. It is our prerogative and the mission of the X-Men to do what we can to bring this war to a peaceful conclusion.”
 
The X-Men took his words to heart. It felt good to have their leader back. With their school gone, Storm’s powers “cured”, and the current war even the most diehard of idealists, Bobby Drake, had begun to doubt the X-Men’s future. For how long the X-Men would stay at the Brotherhood’s island fortress and where they would go when they left were unknown. Whether they could reason with the U.S. government was not certain. If they would soon face their current hosts, the Brotherhood, in battle was for the future to decide. For now it was enough that the Professor was back, Rogue was healed, and they were together and safe.
 
00000000000
 
Magneto and Rogue:
 
           A few days later found Rogue up and around feeling remarkably like her old self. She was in bed with Erik and they were about to go to sleep when she noticed his pensive look. He had been moody of late. Alternately blissful to have Rogue returned to health and then at times dark and morose.
 
           “Erik, is something bothering you?”
 
           He folded his hands in front of his lap and a minute passed before he answered.
 
“Do you trust me Marie?”
 
She did not hesitate. “Yes.”
 
He nodded his head and a second later got up from the bed as if he had wordlessly decided something in his mind. Rogue watched him walk out the door of their bedroom. He returned a few minutes later holding a small stainless steel tumbler. He brought it over to her. Rogue looked down at the dark red liquid in the cup. It looked like red wine.
 
“Do you trust me Rogue?” Erik’s tone was steadfast, but his blue eyes seemed immeasurably sad, almost conflicted.
 
He was asking her to drink the liquid in the cup. Her mind raced. Was it poison? Or just some wine? Was it a sedative or a drug? She couldn’t imagine Erik poisoning her. But could it be the Cure or the vaccine for it?
 
“Yes, of course Erik.” Rogue said and she moved to take the cup from his hand. He pulled his hand back at the last moment, causing some of the liquid to spill over the lip of the cup.
 
“No- No. I…” Erik muttered. Rogue was shocked by his indecisiveness. It wasn’t like him. “It should be your decision.”
 
“What should be?”
 
Erik turned and put the cup down on the metal nightstand. He took a seat next to Rogue on the bed.
 
“My dear, I have been considering your situation ever since your recovery. Even with your new found control of your mutation, its powers hurt you as much as your intended target. It was arrogant of me to promise you control and untold power. Perhaps it is for the best if you use the Cure to manage your skin.”
 
Rogue was shocked. How could Magneto, a man violently opposed to mutant oppression, suggest she take the Cure to be rid of her mutation? Didn’t he hate the Cure? Hadn’t he fought a war to destroy it? Suffered under its effects? Labored to create a vaccine against it? And chastised her for wanting more of it at Alcatraz?
 
“Ah don’t want to take the Cure again. How could you even suggest it? Ah’ve come so far! Ah don’t have to wear gloves anymore or worry about hurting anyone. Ah’m not a liability anymore in a fight. Ah can actually contribute. Ah don’t want to give up now.”
 
“I cannot bear to see you hurt again Marie. Without a way to stop the absorption of memories into your mind, your mutation is equally as dangerous for you to use as it is for your target. I cannot let you use it again. I won’t see your fragile mind ruined forever. You were so close to death, Marie…” Erik’s face turned away from her, shadows playing across it from the dim lighting in the room. For the first time, Rogue realized that she had to think of two people from now on when she considered the consequences of her actions: both Erik and herself. They were a couple.
 
 “Ah understand why you feel this way Erik, but Ah can’t go back to that. Ah don’t want to hide behind the Cure. Ah don’t care how long it takes, Ah’m gonna control my mutation and make use of it. You taught me to respect myself for who Ah am. Ah am a mutant and it would be wrong for me to pretend to be somethin’ else.”
 
Erik seemed to ponder this for a moment as though he’d expected her to resist and react in just this way. His large wrinkled hands found her small, soft skinned ones. He smiled at her. Although he worried about her, he respected her decision. It would have been the one he would have made himself.
 
“Ah don’t want to take the Cure Erik. Ah wanna take the vaccine for it.”
 
“You understand once you take that, the Cure will never be able to help you again?”
 
“Ah know.”
 
“Okay then. You shall have the inoculation tomorrow.”
 
“Ah wanna take it right now. Please.” Before I lose my resolve. She silently added in her mind.
 
“If that is what you want…” Erik obliged her wishes.
 
“It is.”
 
They rose from the bed and Rogue was quick and nimble to grab the stainless steel cup holding the Cure drink. Before Erik had a chance to protest, she took it to the bathroom and poured it down the sink.
 
“That was the last dose available outside of government control.” Erik informed her.
 
“Good riddance. That stuff is poison.”
 
Erik let out a jubilant chuckle. How far young Rogue had come from when this had all began. He remembered vividly the frightened girl in the debris on Alcatraz desperate for even a drop of that poison. Never in a million years would he have predicted to find her a year later in his bedroom destroying it in an act of defiance.
 
Fate had a sense of humor.
 
00000000000
 
Notes: I blame Marvel and Fox for the complete biological implausibility of the above reappearance of Charles Xavier. Although I love Charles and am very happy to see him return and to make use of him in my story…come on! One, there’s no way he could transfer his consciousness like that and two, no human can be born without higher brain functions and survive as a vegetable for that long. Seriously, bedridden people usually get a lot of diseases and don’t last that long. The muscular atrophy alone would make the continued existence of the vegetable person doubtful. Not that I am doctor, or that I have taken a biology class since 9th grade, but my personal belief is no one would last that long.
 
           I made up Richard Troughdon. If you happen to know the true name of this character, feel free to tell me. And yes in the comics Moira MacTaggert is Charles’ ex-fiancé. But not here in my Healing Universe. Here Charles only true love is Erik and I refuse to change that. So too bad implausible, unbelievable comic book storylines, you have no power here.
 
           I also managed to again butcher all known knowledge of neuroscience to suit my story’s purposes. Oh well. Ignore anything read here. It’s based on real neuroscience and then I just twisted it however I needed to.
 
Preview: The End Notes are coming! The End Notes are coming! Will there be a sequel?

Go to End Notes
Thoughts & Comments 
5th-Sep-2006 09:51 am (UTC)
As ff.net seems to have messed up a lot this morning (here it´s morning *lol*) I´ll just review here, all right?

Wow, this was outstanding!! I was waiting so badly for this chapter to be posted and now I find that every second has been worth the wait. You made my day! *feels much more motivated to get back to work now*

First of all, you did a great job in completing this story. Maybe I didn´t take everything into account but I didn´t spot loose ends or anything. This last chapter is simply outstandingly well written!
I love the medical details you did on healing Rogue. Awesome imagery. The scene of Rogue being captured in Erik´s plastic prison somehow reminded me of how hell was depicted in. the movie What dreams may Come... ever seen that one? Oh well, the sorroundings are totally different, but that´s just my weird little mind drawing parallels. You couldn´t have found a better way to show A) how much Rogue is literally trapped in her mind and B) how deep her affection for Erik is.
And oh, the details, Erik praying in Hebrew, love it!
You shouldn´t have worried about your portrayal of Charles, it´s very good! I picture him very clearly despite his altered physical appearance. His reaction to what has happened seemed totally in line with the character!

I´ll be honest: I really cried when Rogue woke up and the first person she saw was Erik. Sooo sweet!! *sniff*

And the end was terriffic! Nothing of what I would have expected! It´s not just a matter of trust, it´s the most ultimate, most powerful proof of love Erik could ever have done: offering her the Cure!! Erik accepting her, loving her as a homo sapiens!! Awesome twist here!! And I absolutely love the last line. :-)

So... what else to say?! I somehow have the feeling it´s hard to express my praise in the way you deserve it. This has been an awesome story, Angel!!!! You should really try to publish something, you´re so talented! *bows in awe*
~Nili~
8th-Sep-2006 02:35 am (UTC) - Thank you
I'm so happy you liked it.

There a few loose ends, but I left them incomplete for a purpose. I wanted to have some continuing storylines in the sequel. For instance, we'll see Rogue learn a way to use her powers without absorbing memories. And we'll see what happens between Logan and Rogue and between Logan and Mystique. We'll also see how the X-Men deal with having no mansion and the mutant human civil war.

I've never seen What Dreams May Come.

I read somewhere that the after credits scene (which I didn't see in the theater) had Patrick Stewart in bed, but with a fake beard on. I figured I would keep that detail. And that was the basis for my physical desciption of Charles. I think in the sequel we're going to see Charles start to look much more Charles-like. He may shave his head to sort of look more like himself.

Wow, I'm so happy you liked the end scene. I didn't even realize myself how big a deal it would be for Erik to accept her as a homo sapien. I should have played that up a bit more. I'm really happy you liked the end. It means so much to be when people get what I'm writing.

Thanks a ton for the review.
5th-Sep-2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
Well, damn. I agree with Nili 100%. I spotted no loose ends, and it was filled with fantastic little details that made me go "aww".

Your knowledge of the brain astounded me. I took AP Bio last year for christ's sake and I had no idea about any of that. *gasp*
8th-Sep-2006 02:40 am (UTC)
As I just wrote to Nili, I left some loose ends in the story so there would continuing storylines in the sequel. For instance, I would think Logan would still be very angry at Mystique about fooling him. That needs more resolution. As does Charles reaction to the new world he finds himself in.

The brain knowledge came from reading a webpage on brain anatomy and disorders. Typical of my usual research, it was something I learned just to write the story. I have no idea what it would feel like to be trapped in your mind. But I sort of wrote Erik's prison in as a good image.

Thanks so much for the review.
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