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X-Men: The Movie

Stories by Ratmist

"The Responsible One"
Rogue considers her feelings for Gambit and his for her -- and resolves to let him go.

"The Irresponsible One"
Gambit considers his feelings for Rogue and hers for him -- and grieves in his feelings of aloneness.

Rogue thinks of home -- and Magneto's home, and Logan's home.


Web site: Ratmist Creations

Standard Disclaimer: Marvel characters and universe appear here in a work of non-profit.
Rating: PG13 for language.
Notes: Rogue wouldn't leave me alone until this was written.


These thoughts have been bubbling in my mind for a long time. Ever since I felt the memories of three men, I have felt my head compound in years.

I was never content with Mississippi. The life I lead was one bent on a single, incomplete thought: when I leave Caldecott....

To my credit, it was always the journey that occupied my daydreaming thoughts. The destination was finally decided when I was thirteen and witnessed my very first Christmas snow. It melted almost the instant it fell to the ground, but it was still snow, and it was the most magical and beautiful thing I had ever seen. It was smart, too. It didn't like Mississippi anymore than I did, and it disappeared before it could be caught in the tarpit of my hometown.

Looking back, I treat my hometown with far more nostalgia than necessary. It is almost like I will never be happy where I am, and I will always be looking to a new journey to take me somewhere better. And Caldecott being my hometown, where my mutant life began, I know I can never go home. It helps add to the nostalgia.

I kissed David, or David kissed me. Whatever. All that matters is, I know what his very first kiss was like too. I know how he admired the slopes of my shoulders, and I know every fantasy he created in his mind during Mrs. Subina's geometry class. My personal memories of him start there; he sucked at geometry, and that was why I became his study partner.

I also know how he lost his virginity, and I know that for a sixteen year old boy, he wasn't too inexperienced or too experienced. He'd had exactly two partners, both girls whom I had had in P.E. since eighth grade. They'd taught him enough that he knew the difference between a girl's clit and just skin. But as for expertise, that was all David really knew.

Erik's memories are amusing in a frightening sort of way. To my knowledge, I had never known any homosexual, either male or female. I knew they existed, and I knew that I probably did in fact know a few, but no one had ever decided I was trust-worthy enough to share such a personal fact with me. Erik was the first, and my oh my did he 'come out' to me. In fact, he was sucked out of his closet.

He is capable of far more compassion than even he realizes. He is still very much in love with two men he has known. One, of course, is my mentor Charles Xavier. The other was a man who sheltered him at the last of the three concentration camps Erik had endured as a young boy. Erik does not know his name. The older boy had refused to give his name, saying that it was better that they conform as much as possible to the existence they now shared. He is only number eight-three-two-five-one, and he protected Erik from the guards that feared a rumour concerning the boy. A rumour concerning some strange powers.

Whatever the reason for their crushing cruelty towards Erik, it would have undoubtably been worse without the older boy who became his guardian and best friend. However, it would always build a fire of rage in Erik's heart whenever the guards required special services of his friend. Of course, eight-three-two-five-one would perform without question. He would often volunteer for Erik's duties if he thought it was dangerous, if he suspected anything sinister.

In return for the young boy's unrequested kindness and sacrifice, Erik kept as inconspicuous as possible, despite the killing rage in his heart. I know how Erik yearned to remember how the metal felt, rushing towards him at his command, but the power was seemingly gone forever. No amount of emotion could bring it back, not even for a fleeting second, and only his friend kept his spirit alive, in a spectral, myriad of ways. Infuriating in his peaceful acceptance of his life, and yet still a human with the ability to teach Erik the most important lesson of his life. Through this young love, Erik learned the importance and the danger of dreams.

Eight-three-two-five-one died three days before the allied troops liberated the camp. In three days, Erik lost his first love, his best friend, his confidante, and his hope for the future. Erik had dared to dream something that could've been possible, something so simple and even concrete. He had touched his dream every single day, had held it close every single night in the cold barracks of the men's camp. He would never again feel such humble devotion until the day he met Charles.

I quickly shut the memories down when I get images of Charles' naked body in my mind. Knowing what eight-three-two-five-one smelled like is different from knowing how Charles likes his arms massaged. It's not sickening at all; it's only embarassing. If I could've given my virginity before my mutancy erupted, if I had known the burden of loneliness, I would have done it without a second thought. Memories are important to the lonely; I remind Erik of this as I bury his memories of Charles-the-lover deep into the corners of my mind.

And then the strange Wolverine, whose memories are all jumbled in my mind. It's a wonder he never asked me to go into detail of what I know of his past before he left. I guess he just assumed my captured memories of him are within the last thirty years. He's right to believe this, but sometimes, there's a bit more. To be honest, I only get brief flashes of a past older than the timespan he can readily remember. Sometimes, it's only an emotion or a scent triggering a thought I know I have felt before. Still, the flashes are worth jotting down whenever they occur, and I began to carry a small journal with me wherever I went for the jumbled, hazy memories I knew could only belong to him.

Still, it's embarassing to write of barely coherent scenes involving Logan and some beautiful Japanese woman. I'd guilt-trip myself into giving the recounts to him, if he was here. I'm thankful he isn't, until I growl inside my mind that it's because he's off somewhere probably kissing a blonde or redhead in the same manner as he does in some of the few flashbacks I get of the Japanese lady. Then again, maybe not.

The week following the second time Logan saved my life, my senses were going crazy. Every noise was deafening, every taste overwhelming, and every scent drove my mind into overdrive. Each man in my mind has had their own experiences concerning different smells. For instance, David's grandmother always smelled of nutmeg. He doesn't know it's nutmeg; to him, it's just his Mamaw Mapson. I had discovered this when baking an apple cake, and the sweet memory of his drove me to tears with a nostalgia not my own.

It's worse with Jean and the professor. For almost a month, I avoided her, and I haven't really stopped avoiding the professor. Logan doesn't know it, but Jean almost smells like the Japanese lady. There is something vital missing, of course, but the orange and cherry blossom smell of Jeannie is so close that I was flashed a memory. I felt like an old woman afterwards, and an unbelievable urge to pounce Jean filled my entire body. Scents can be washed away though, and I drowned myself in a tub of hot oil-scented water.

I know how to touch a man and kill him. I don't mean my mutancy either. I know how to bring a man to the brink of pleasure, wait for his heart to stop its mad accelerration, and make him purr, ready for more. I know where Charles' tickle spot is, I know exactly where David likes to nuzzle a girl's breast, and I know why Logan likes to go down on a woman even if it isn't reciprocated. And he's got a thing about women's pinky toes, the daintier the better.

And as much as the memories comfort me, I sometimes despise them. Three lives, at different points, and it isn't enough. It will never be enough to fill the voids I have inside. I know why some men will immediately, upon sight, fantasize over a woman's double-D sized chest, even if they don't really know why. I have never so much as felt a man's touch over my own chest, though, even over the fabrics which act as a prophalactic for my deadly skin.

The small journal I have carried these last two years is almost complete. Christmas is coming, and I have a mind to give this to Logan, if he shows up. If he doesn't, then I guess I'll buy myself a new journal and start filling that up as well. It'll be my proof to him that I was right when I thought I could've helped him find his past. It will also be my thank you, for memories of nights I never experienced and love I have never known.

Eric is going to receive a small package of documents of a boy named Andra Gusgherg, born 1928, whose body was recovered after World War II and positively identified through cross-referencing and a family friends who had survived the camps. A young man, aged 29, identified himself as Harband Aljesham, a neighbor to the Gusghergs before the night they were all seized in a raid.

He described Andra's favorite activity as being reading and writing poetry. Andra's right arm bore the tattoo "eight-three-two-five-one", and he was placed to rest in a cemetary of his hometown. I received a small photo of Andra last year when I asked Charles for a favor; I practically begged him to help me find at least some sort of solid remains of this phantom in my mind, because I needed so desperately to feel his humanity. I couldn't bear that his name was no name, and his existence was so coldly clinical in Eric's mind. It had taken months, but one of the grandchildren of Harband Aljesham relinquished a single wallet-sized photograph of a youth I did not recognize, along with a few other school-related items and reports made by the American government.

I realized then I did not recognize him because his hair was full, his cheeks were rounded and smiling, and his eyes were dull with the age of the photograph, not the brilliant blue Eric remembered. All the documents were sealed in a paper bag and sent to the prison which holds Eric, for now. I do not know how he will react; I do not dare hope.

I can't do anything for David. It doesn't feel good to admit it, either. Maybe one day I'll go back and explain everything, although I'm sure my little town has explained it more than I might've liked. I'm afraid to go back, so I sit here, wondering what he might like for Christmas. I decide that staying away from him is the best gift for him, and roll over to adjust my pillow. I sleep better these days, I suppose, but it doesn't do much for the loneliness.

The last thing I hear before I drift off into sleep is the sound of a voice singing in a language I don't recognize, cracking slightly as if it was a kid going through puberty. It is joined with a soft humming of a woman with a husky voice, and the whisting of a top ten country song I remember dancing to back home.

I recognize my homes.

"...we need something to kill
the pain of all that nothing inside..."


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