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Same, The

by Victoria P.

Subject: [glass_onion] Fic: (XMM) The Same: 1/1: Rogue Date: Thursday, July 25, 2002 10:59 PM

Title: The Same
Author: Victoria P. [] Summary: Rogue takes a chance on a stranger. Rating: G
Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool.
Feedback: Rings my chimes
Date: July 25, 2002

Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.

Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete/Melissa, Dot, and Meg. This was supposed to be for Jae's defining moments challenge, but it's too long and I can't cut it any more.

The Same

It's not just the way he looks with his shirt off.

It's not attraction.

Well, it is. She's honest enough to admit that, though she knows she'll never be his type. What man would look at a girl who can't be touched when he could have any woman he wanted?

So it's not just attraction, though that's part of it.

It's... knowledge.

She knows he's different, can see it in the way he moves, the way he keeps getting up, when a normal man would stay down. He's graceful, powerful, undamaged even after what feels like hours of fighting.

She knows they're the same. The knowledge prickles along her deadly skin as she watches him, and waits.

Later, she's alone at the bar, worried that he's left without her, that the connection she's feeling is nothing but exhaustion, imagination and hormones working overtime, combining into this electricity dancing along her nerves.

She's eyeing the tip jar longingly, unable to recall the last good meal she's had, when he sits down and says, "Beer."

He glances over at her, and her heart races. He feels it, too. They never quite make eye contact; instead, they play a game of sidelong glances as the bartender changes the channel on the television.

His attention is caught by the word 'mutant,' and she crows victory to herself. She was right. They are the same.

The big bald man from earlier taps him on the shoulder and angry words are exchanged.

"I know what you are," the biker whispers, and she sees the glint of a knife.

She reacts without thinking. "Look out!"

Things move at lightning speed, too fast for her to process. The Wolverine is standing, metal claws extending from his hands, his lips drawn back in a snarl.

After he's shredded the bartender's shotgun and stalked out, she looks around, realizing that she's not safe, that she needs to leave, fast.

She rushes out into the morning and scans the parking lot. He's sitting in the cab of a trailer, and she takes a deep breath, again acting on instinct.

Part of her, the sensible, normal part, is screaming, 'run' as she sneaks into the back of his trailer. What kind of lunatic is she trusting?

But the part of her she's come to call Rogue is sure he already feels the connection vibrating between them, sure that he'll help her. She did save his life, after all. That's got to be worth something, even to a surly guy with metal claws.

She slips beneath the tarp and soon the rocking motion of the trailer soothes her into a light doze.

When they stop, she holds her breath, hoping he won't notice her hiding in the flatbed, but he does.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"I'm sorry. I needed a ride. I thought you might help me."

"Get out of there."

She climbs out, uncertain now of her judgment; questioning her sanity for thinking this guy would help her, even if they are both mutants.

"Where am I supposed to go?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know, or you don't care?"

"Pick one."

As he gets back into the truck, she plays her trump card. Maybe he doesn't feel the connection, maybe she made it all up, but--

"I saved your life."

"No, you didn't."

He leaves her standing in the road. She's close to crying. It's cold, she hasn't eaten in days, and she's pinned her hopes on the wrong man.

He drives about twenty feet before he stops again, and she says a little prayer of thanks to the god she no longer believes in as she joins him in the cab of the trailer.

She's right. They are the same.

He just doesn't know it yet.



CJ: "You wanna make out with me right now, don't you?" Toby: "When don't I?"
The West Wing

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