Title: Bones and Skin
Summary: Rogue and Marrow are both caught up in their own pain, but they try to reach out.
Category: X-Men movieverse, Rogue, Marrow
Etc: Written for ‘s no sexual content challenge to me. She and her buddy Jake are writing me V/Evey in exchange!
She runs from the mansion, pushing herself not to stop even when her muscles start to quake and her breath catches hard in her throat. She’s trying not to think about things, so instead she counts her steps, sucks her breath, pumps her arms and licks the sweat from her upper lip. If anyone saw her, they would probably yell that she wasn’t being safe because it’s over eighty degrees outside and she’s pushing herself to the limit while wearing a long-sleeved sweat suit and gloves. At least her hair is pulled back in a ponytail but with each pounding step forward into the woods, her hair slaps her sweaty back.
She just has to get out of there. Too many accidental brushes of skin on skin; she’d been getting careless. Too many hints of powers her mind thinks that she should have, too many echoes of memories that aren’t her own. The Professor keeps trying to help her, but he has to know that he can’t. Too many failed attempts at reigning things in; her deadly skin, the voices… none of it will go away.
And oh, God, she’s thinking about it again. This is what she’s trying to outrun; herself, the others… everything. Her sight is blurry and she doesn’t even care about the branches snagging at her hair (that damned white streak looses itself from the ponytail and flies like a flag of surrender to the wind).
Suddenly she’s over the hill and the sun breaks free. There’s not really anywhere else to run, and the destination was never the point. Rogue stands for a moment at the clearing, shoulders sagging, lungs begging for air.
The weight of it all catches up with her and she crumples; falls to her knees, her head drooping forward almost to the gentle blades of grass. It’s all just so heavy, and no matter how far she runs, how much she sweats, she will never escape it.
She doesn’t even know that tears are falling down her face until she touches her cheeks and her fingers pull away wet. She looks up to the burning sun, face glistening with sweat and tears. I can’t go back there, she thinks, lying down on the grass. Not ever.
She closes her eyes.
The scent is strong, her sweat is laced with fear, anxiety and pain. Emotions that Marrow is well acquainted with. Marrow wonders why the Wolverine isn’t on the trail of the girl, the Rogue sure seems to adore him. Marrow’s heard of how he saved her on the Statue. She’s not sure if what she felt when she heard the story was jealousy.
Marrow likes the woods. She can relax and let bones fly without worrying about killing or seriously injuring any of the inhabitants of the mansion. They have enough reason to hate her without painful wounds to remind them. She eases a bone fragment out of her back and scratches her thigh with it.
She’s not sure why she is the one following the Rogue. Maybe somewhere deep inside Marrow knows that she and the Rogue share more than a place to call home. Something deeper, like bones and skin.
She doesn’t think about it; following the tracks of the Rogue absorbs her. When bones fly from her she hardly even recoils; she’s surprised to feel this at ease someplace outside of the tunnels.
At the top of the hill the trees break, and Marrow blinks in the sudden glow of moonlight. She smiles a little crookedly when she sees the girl lying in the field. The Rogue looks exhausted, sprawled there. Marrow steps closer, holding in her breath and her bones, crouching to examine her sleeping face.
"Peaceful," she says, her voice coming out gravelly from lack of use. Marrow mostly doesn’t see a need to speak, but the image of the normally conflicted Rogue sleeping here has prompted the words from her mouth. There are dried tears on her face. Marrow wishes she could wipe them away without worrying about taking Rogue’s eye out with a bone shard. She doesn’t even think about Rogue’s skin. Marrow thinks that maybe tears are more important than a moment of consciousness.
For a moment longer, Marrow watches Rogue sleep, her body rising and falling with each breath. She can smell the sweat long-cooled on the girl’s body, and wishes she’d thought to bring a blanket or something to offer.
She doesn’t have the heart to wake Rogue from whatever dreams she may be having, so she sits nearby, barely free of the trees.
Rogue awakes, her eyes slit open and she takes a shivery breath. She sees Marrow watching her, absently pulling the bones from her body so that they don’t fly and harm her. She thinks she knows why Marrow is the one who followed her, strange silent Marrow.
Without a word they head back to the mansion, and Rogue wishes that she could take Marrow’s hand without draining her of memory and consciousness. She doesn’t even think about the rough cuts and bones sticking out at odd angles from all over Marrow’s skin.