Well, last week I took Rogue all the way
in one direction. This week I've taken all the way in the
opposite direction. This story contains nasty themes - not
adult, just nasty.
Disclaimer: Most of the characters belong to Marvel
and I'm not attempting in any way to run away with their profits
so they shouldn't sue me. Daniel, painful though it is to
admit it, belongs to me. I doubt anyone will want to borrow
She hummed as she laid the table, a bright brittle music
that underscored her careful movements with broken half-notes.
She put out the plates, carefully spaced, laid knives and
forks with exquisite precision, adjusted the centrepiece until
it was placed exactly in the middle of the table. Finally
she stood back and looked on her handiwork. Perfect, everything
was absolutely perfect.
She stopped humming as the smells from the kitchen wafted
in to the dining room and she hurried to make sure nothing
had gone wrong with the meal. She had learned to cook since
she had married Daniel, learned to make perfect dishes that
exactly matched his tastes. She checked the simmering pots
and oven and nodded to herself. Nothing had gone wrong here.
She went back to the bedroom and checked herself in the mirror.
Daniel had laid out her clothes for her this morning and she
checked that she was wearing them exactly as he had asked.
The bright green dress accented her eyes perfectly and accentuated
the white streak in her hair. She lifted up the dress and
checked that her stockings hadn't run. She admired the long
line of her leg under the dress, the pale smoothness of her
stomach, her still-rounded breasts. Daniel did so like her
to stay in shape - her hours of exercise were never a chore
when he held her in his arms.
She lowered the dress and checked her face and arms carefully,
their paleness shining in the mirror. One of the advantages
of invulnerability was that the bruises rarely showed. So
now, when she checked, she saw that no mark marred her white
flesh and she smiled. Everything was absolutely perfect.
Rogue smiled at her own reflection. Everything was perfect.
She needed everything to be perfect. Tonight she was going
to ask Daniel if her friends could visit and for him to agree
everything had to be perfect.
She frowned slightly at herself, chewing gently at the corner
of her lip. It had been a long time since she had seen her
friends. Daniel told her that it was better that way and she
knew that he was right. They didn't understand. They just
didn't. If they saw the bruises they used nasty words
like abuse. They didn't understand that Daniel wasn't abusing
her. He just had to punish her sometimes. He had to - she
did things wrong and when she did she knew that she deserved
to be punished. She deserved it. She did.
She wondered how long it had been since she had seen her
friends. She almost couldn't remember now - it had been at
least a year since she had been to the mansion. Their phone-calls
were less now - she didn't return their calls when they left
messages and the fact she wouldn't visit them meant that a
distance was growing between them.
Remy had vanished before the wedding.
Mystique wouldn't talk to her at all.
Rogue remembered crying the last time she had seen her mama.
Crying because her mama had said ugly things about Daniel,
had shook with rage as she told Rogue exactly what she thought
of her husband. Rogue had sobbed as she had tried to explain
to her mama how Daniel didn't mean it - if she could just
do things right then he wouldn't have to chastise her. Mystique
had finally banished her from the house and had never spoken
to her since.
Well, I won't cry anymore, thought Rogue to herself.
There was nothing to cry about. Nothing whatsoever. Her life
was perfect - just perfect. She didn't need to cry because
she was perfectly, perfectly happy.
Her eyes drifted up to the clock and she started. Six-fifteen.
He should be home now. He had to be home now. If he was late,
if someone had held him in up in traffic, if the subway was
late, then he would be angry. He couldn't be angry when he
got home - she'd put so much work into making sure everything
was just right. Rogue felt a moment of frozen terror and then
her lips began to move as she silently prayed. Please,
God, let him be home on time, let him be happy, let him see
everything is right, please, please, please, God, just this
Her body melted in relief as she heard his key slide into
the door and she almost ran downstairs. She stood waiting
in the dining room for him to walk in and see her, her heart
beating fast in her chest.
And then he was there and he was smiling at her and he held
flowers for her, for her, and she thought she would
dissolve with delight. "Daniel," she breathed.
He put down his briefcase and walked towards her, his smile
wide and he presented the flowers to her. "My love,"
he said, softly. "I brought you flowers, Rogue. I'm sorry
for last night - I shouldn't have punished you, I know. You
try so hard to be perfect for me. Can you forgive me?"
"Oh, my love, there's nothing to forgive," she
whispered and took the flowers from his hand and then he was
leaning forward and his hand was sliding over her cheek and
she nuzzled her face into his touch, his touch, and
then his mouth was pressing gently on hers and the scent from
the roses made her dizzy and she felt almost fragile with
He drew back from her slightly and then caught her fingers
in his and kissed them. "Perhaps we should have dinner
first," he said and waggled his eyebrows suggestively
Rogue laughed and cupped her hand around his cheek, protectively,
possessively. She loved the feel of him beneath her fingers.
It felt like flesh, soft, warm flesh. She couldn't even sense
the molecule thin force-shield that hovered over Daniel, that
made him still the only man she could ever touch. All she
could feel was his warmth and the soft, gentle curve of his
'It should be perfect now, sugah,' she whispered. "You
sit down and Ah'll get it for you."
She bustled through the kitchen quickly, putting the finishing
touches on his dinner and hers and brought it out. She sat
anxiously waiting until he had devoured the first mouthful.
"Gorgeous," he pronounced and she sighed in relief
and picked up her knife and fork.
"What did you do with your day, dear?" Daniel asked
and Rogue smiled. He cared so much about her.
"Ah went shopping with the money yah gave me this morning,"
she said. "Ah went down to Walmart at ten and bought
the groceries and Ah was back by eleven."
'Did you talk to anyone?" he asked.
'No," replied Rogue, quickly. She used to talk to people
when she went shopping, using the opportunity to relieve the
crushing boredom of her life. But Daniel didn't want her talking
to anyone else. He didn't like it at all. She understood that
now. She wasn't bored - she just hadn't understood, that was
all. But now she knew that the only person she needed was
Daniel. The only person.
"Good," said Daniel. "Rogue, my darling, this
meal is magnificent."
"Ah hoped you'd like it," she replied and smiled
at him. He smiled back at her and his leg brushed against
hers under the table. Rogue flushed slightly in anticipation
but decided that now was the time to ask her favour. "Tomorrow's
mah birthday, Daniel," she said, softly.
"I know," he grinned. "I've got a present
just waiting for you. It'll be perfect, I know it will."
"Of course," said Rogue. "Of course it'll
be perfect." It would be, she knew. His presents were
always perfect for her. Daniel bought them for her and if
he said they were perfect, then they were. She continued,
"Yah know Ah've been trying really hard to do all the
things yah want me ta do."
"You have, Rogue," he said and smiled at her. "You've
been very good. You know that. Why, I only have to ring you
twice a day now. Surely, you've noticed."
She had noticed. She had. It had been six times a day for
a long time, ever since she'd gone to the mansion without
telling him. He just wanted to keep her safe, she knew. But
now it was down to twice a day and she was grateful. He trusted
her. He loved her. That made her happy.
"Ah have, honey," she said. "Ah'm so pleased
you notice cause Ah'm trying so hard. Ah just - well, Ah wanted
to ask yah, since it's mah birthday tomorrow - Ah was wondering
if Ah could invite the X-Men over. For a party for me?"
It was a mistake. She knew it was a mistake. His eyes went
cold, so cold and Rogue quailed inside. "Ah'm sorry,
Ah didn't mean it," she started but he cut her off brutally
"Tomorrow is our day," he said, harshly. "I've
planned the whole day. Everything. I've organised it all -
it was going to be so perfect. Why did you have to go ahead
and ask for something as stupid as that?"
"Ah'm sorry, Ah'm sorry," said Rogue, quickly.
"It doesn't matter. Ah know it'll be perfect. Ah don't
need to see anyone else. Honestly, Daniel, Ah don't."
"Then why did you ask for them to come over?" said
Daniel implacably. Then he threw the one weapon she could
never fight against into her face. "If you don't like
my company, I can always leave you," he said.
Rogue thought she would die. "No," she half-screamed.
"Don't say that, Daniel. You're all Ah need, you're everything,
Ah need you, Gawd, Ah need you, Daniel. Don't leave me, don't
leave me, don't even threaten me with it, Ah won't ask again,
Ah promise, just don't leave me."
Daniel settled back in his chair and stared at her, impassively.
Rogue's heart beat a frantic rhythm as she tried to sense
what he was thinking, tried to think what she could say to
"I don't know why I stay," he said. "When
you keep doing these stupid things, when you keep getting
it wrong. I should just leave you. I can get someone else
just like that, Rogue," he said and snapped his fingers.
She flinched at the sound. "But who would have you?
Who would take you on? You're too stupid to be able to do
the simple things I want you to do and you think you could
get anyone else. You're utterly useless and stupid and you
can't even touch anyone else. There's only me, Rogue. Only
me in all the world that'd bother with you. So, when are you
going to get it right, Rogue?"
She looked at him beseechingly. "Ah will get it right,
Daniel, my love, Ah promise Ah'll get it right. Ah'm learning,
remember, Ah'm much better these days. Just don't leave me,
please, please don't leave me. Ah'll get it right for you.
Just please don't hit me."
A mistake. The worst mistake. She knew it, she knew it, she
couldn't have made a worse mistake.
Daniel stood up so fast his chair tipped back and fell over.
"Don't hit you?" he said, and his voice was terrifying
in its dispassionate anger. "Are you telling me what
I should do?" he continued. "Are you telling me
I don't have the right to punish you when and where I see
fit? Are you?"
"No," said Rogue, her voice a whisper of fear.
"No, Ah'm not trying to tell you that. Please, Daniel,
don't think that. Ah'm yours. Yah know that. Anything you
want, you can do anything you want. Ah was stupid. Ah'm always
stupid. You know that. You know I try. Please, please, Daniel,
let me make it up to yah, please."
"You will make it up to me, Rogue," said Daniel,
his voice promising only hurt. "You won't have a choice.
You don't have a choice. But first you're going to be punished."
She didn't move from her chair when he hit her the first
time, his fist clipping her across the chin. But as he continued
to beat her, with the steady, methodical blows of a man intent
on savagery, she somehow found herself up against the wall,
cowering down beneath his fists as he continued to rain down
his blows. She found herself pleading, her voice nearly incoherent
with terror. "Please, Daniel, please, please, don't,
don't Daniel, please."
His voice cut through her terror like a knife, a whip-cut.
"Tell me you deserve it," he said. "Tell me
you need to be punished. Tell me you'll never be this stupid
again. Tell me!"
She told him, her voice ragged as she told him she loved
him and she needed him and she deserved this, she deserved
this and she would never be stupid again, please Daniel, just
believe her, she needed to be punished, just please don't
ever leave her.
And even as his hands caught at her wrists and began to drag
her up the stairs to the bedroom, she heard her words, her
broken words and she heard some other sound beneath him that
she could nearly identify.
It sounded just like weeping.
I didn't write this as a 'gee-I-hate-her-let's-do-something-nasty'
fic for Rogue. As I said before I'm trying to work out what
to do with her in something else, so I'm trying to get in
her head. With Rogue's current incarnation in Marvel, I found
myself thinking that she had exactly the right weak points
in her psyche to allow herself to get into this situation.
And unfortunately, as far too many women have discovered,
once you are in the middle of an abusive relationship, it
can be incredibly difficult to get out.
So I suppose you can consider this my effort for National
Stop Domestic Violence Day in Australia, which passed - as
usual - without being noticed at all.
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