The Wolverine & Rogue Fanfiction Archive
Barely Legal Since 2000
I realized I never reviewed this story, and I think the reason is I had too many things to say, and composed the review endlessly in my head, and never got around to writing it down. Sorry about that!
So, I owe you a review. I recently re-read this story start to finish, which is quite a time investment, but worth every minute. I'm kind of glad I didn't review the first time, because this story has definitely had a "sleeper effect" on me. I will admit that the seemingly callous attitude of Rogue had very strongly turned me off when I first started reading. I still cannot believe how wonderfully you manage such a masterful turnaround, making a character whose actions on the outside seem reckless and unfeeling and make it all so entirely sympathetic from her point of view. In that way I think this is one of the most skillful stories I've ever read.
I have never been a particular Remy fan, but this Remy is so wonderfully characterized you made me fall a little in love with him. Again, you keep the surface (the "chere," the referring-to-himself-in-the-third-person) that always seemed shallow and affected and then show so much more underneath.
I think it probably did take the six months or so between my first reading of this story and my current one to come to terms with the ending. Not in that I don't think it's immeasurably generous for them to come to that understanding, but of course my true Rogan heart is sad that Logan never gets that moment he imagined, where he is just holding Rogue and she smells only of him. Does he deserve it? Maybe not, and Remy certainly does not deserve to "lose." So either way, you've created a wonderfully nuanced and untenable situation, and I was never going to be fully happy with the outcome. But that's partly why I think this story is so great, in addition to being so well-written and well-plotted and well-characterized. It is, as you say messy, in a very realistic way.
Anyway, the upshot is that I think this is a fantastic story, and I hope you are still continuing with your more recent WIP on this site and haven't forgotten us!
Daaamn. This part hooked me:
26. Then she shrugs and says, “As long as the sex is good, I’m not that picky.” She wiggles a gloved hand at him and smirks. “It’s hard for a girl to find a creatively inspired partner.”
27. He says, without knowing what he is saying, “So what, anyone’s okay?”
28. She answers, “As long as it’s good, and it stays strictly casual, anyone’s okay.”
29. He asks, without knowing what he is asking, “Even me?”
Lovin' it so far!
So I'm not quite sure how to express how I feel about this story. At first I was sort of turned off by the idea of Rogue screwing everything that breathed. But then I saw where you were going with it - showing us her terror of intimacy and love.
Your characterizations are AMAZING. Absolutely dead on Gambit and that guy is not easy to write.
It's a beautiful, sad, sweet story and I'm just sorry it had to end.
"Most important thing is knowing how to fall right."
I think that one line summed up the entire story for me. Fantastic, fantastic job.
Y'know, I have never, EVER liked Remy LeBeau. But in your hands, you have fleshed him out so exquisitely, so beautifully, that I find myself quite taken with him. He's so endearing! All hail your writing skills!
Oh, and the rest of the story is pretty awesome, too. :)
Just Delicious. Beautifully written. Pacing, characters, plot, everything -- beautifully crafted story!
Author's Response: Thank you for this incredibly kind comment. I'm happy you enjoyed the story! Thanks again for reading.
Wow, I have been sitting at this computer for days bleeding my eyes out over the screen.
I have to say it took a little bit to get used to your writing style and somethings threw me off but I was captivated by your storytelling.
I loved the dual perspective and the fact that you didn't make me choose between Gambit and Logan :3
Great storytelling again :)
Author's Response: Thank you very much for this incredibly kind comment--and give my condolences to your eyes! I'm happy you enjoyed the story, and especially the refusal of a "choice" between the two men. Thanks for reading!
There is so much depth in your responses that it is almost too much to wrap my mind around. I have gotten so much more philosophy beyond simply what happened/did not happen in the story from your comments and the pre-chapter quotations. When reading for entertainment, I tend to look for cut-and-dried, literal stories, and usually dislike authors who mask what is happening or make vague asides to what "may" be happening. Leaving a story hanging as some do here is not the same as an "open" ending. There are a few authors on this site that have a tendency to write in hazy, non-sequiturs, with even who's saying what to whom difficult to follow...even when the grammar is not a problem! None of that mars your writing, and I have come away with more than just a simple entertainment in a W/R corner of fanficdom. I hope you will be writing for publication someday. I could dredge up other tiny points about the story, but I would only be fishing for further commentary, and you've pretty well covered your intent and the thoughts behind this powerful tale - self, selves, forgiveness, love, regard, violence, perception, prejudices, choices, humanity, cruelty, comfort. The time and thought you have taken with your lengthy commentary has been greatly appreciated by this reader.
Acse, what a privilege to be able to exchange comments with you, even if we do not slavishly agree! Your responses have been as facsinating to read, as your prose. I'm glad you liked my reference to the Logan/Jean relationship, because I have not seen another author on this site (no big surprise) present this aspect of their relationship in the terms you used. It struck a realistic chord with me. I am aware that the Logan/Rogue pairing is movieverse, specifically X1 (the basic reason for the existence of this site), not comicverse (as my "kid" sister, a longtime X-Men reader, has repeatedly told me, with a sarcastic roll of the eyes ;-)
Interesting about the general resistance to a sexual threesome ending here, myself included. And the violence? - it's true, most movie-going Americans have no problems with violence in "action" films. The bodies pile up...but, let acts of passionate love, naked or not body parts on full view, appear and the film is condemned as "porn." It's a sad comment that killing is more acceptable as entertainment than physical expressions of human love, desire, or just lust.
Remy and Logan (more blood on his hands than can be measured) are both criminals, but they'll never be brought to justice; never repay society for their heinous acts. Not one of us who commented on this story ever turned a thought to that. It's as if that was never an issue, just the love/not love ... perhaps it is we who are shallow.
Thanks again, Acse. I've enjoyed the conversation immensely.
Author's Response: It really has been a joy for me, too--perhaps even more so because we don't agree on everything! I'm so happy that you have enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. And yes, about the Logan/Jean relationship; Jean's presence in Logan's life is to me undeniable and non-negotiable, and I think it does a disservice to his character (and the uniqueness and complexity of his feelings for Marie/Rogue) to dismiss them, or dismiss Jean as some kind of evil harpy villain; so much of what defines his character is lodged within those feelings. So there will definitely be no anti-Jean sentiment around these parts! For me, any Logan, even one deeply in love with Rogue, has to have also been truly and movingly in love with Jean. I don't think of that love as "competing" with Rogue. Why do female characters always have to be pitted against each other, anyway? I'd like to think better of these two women. // Haha, well, while I talk about the comicverse, admittedly I don't know it that well; just what I read on Wikipedia and various Marvel websites and forums, while researching these stories. I mainly grew up watching the 90s cartoon, so that was my first introduction to X-Men, until the movies came. So I'm definitely not an authority on what is movieverse and comicverse! But as I learn more, I think the distinctions between the two can make for interesting tensions in stories. (Aren't the movies like AU fanfiction anyway? Haha.) // Now, about the resistance to the story's relationship outcomes, compared with lack of resistance to certain developments in Logan/Gambit's characters: yeah, when I realized it, it sort of freaked me out. To some extent, I actually think the threesome ending is a direct reaction to those very unredeemable and unforgivable acts. For two characters who have committed such violence, to try to love in an impossibly open way, seemed to me a gesture that, while not quite atonement, approaches something like atonement. Or, perhaps the better word is generosity; a sort of radical kindness, particularly in the way the gesture affirms: "I love you; that is to say, I love you in your entire situation; I love you, as the Separate and Other person that you are, without asking to erase any part of you for my own gain." Kind of the way Gambit says he "loves the Rogue that loves the Wolverine". The challenge to love everything, even (and perhaps especially) what we might otherwise hate--to give everything, in loving, without reserve; and without demanding "symmetric" recompense or repayment of that love. A love that does not hinge on some idea of absolute and exclusive mutuality or reciprocity--a love that gives everything away, without exerting a debt. The burden of that gesture is mostly on Logan and Gambit: on their ability to show that kind of extreme generosity in loving, when their previous lives have been so terribly un-generous; all about transactions, contracts, demanding things of their victims, whether it be answers, lives, etc. // For Rogue, however, I think the the question of the way she comes to love is related to the Agamben quote that begins (I think) the "How I Got Over" chapter, about how "seeing something in its being-thus is love." That Rogue would finally have the courage to see others how they are, when she is so opposed to seeing people at all; to be exposed to others in the fullness of their being-thus, with the terrifying nakedness of everything another person carries, was, is; everything irreparable and real in another person. And then, not only to look into that naked otherness, but to love it: fully, unreservedly, radically. That the gesture of loving can also be its own impossible gesture of forgiveness. And furthermore, the idea that what she can do for these two men--when they ought to be condemned, when they ought to be punished, when they cannot ever, ever be redeemed for what they have done--is to love them. That there is something love can do, can give, that is beyond law, beyond right, beyond justice. I think Emmanuel Lévinas defines justice as "the relation to others." That our relation to others is justice; that our way of loving can also be an ethical gesture. The way Rogue tells Logan she loves him before telling him his past, so he knows that this love surrounds everything; the way Rogue lets Gambit know that she has done what he had begged her to do (look into the file he gave her, which is to say, truly look at him) before affirming her love, before saying "Yes" to loving this person. // Also: shallow?! No, no, no, please don't do yourself/selves a disservice. There is too much passion and conviction throughout the comments to be anywhere near shallow. Ultimately this is a site based on a couple; so what happens to the couple is still the main concern of most readers, and I fully understand that. But I do think confronting the horror of Logan/Gambit's past actions in this story is probably crucial to understanding why the story ended the way it did. [In the more explicit interpretation, that is. ;)] // PHEW! I think you must be tired of all these long-winded responses at this point! But thanks again for reading and re-reading; this story has really been privileged to have you as a reader. This discussion has also really helped me to better understand and articulate for myself some of the ideas floating around in the story. For that--but not only for that--I am also immensely grateful to you.
Please, NO sequel!! This story does not "need" a sequel in the least! The open ending leaves room for closer reading and an opportunity to let one's immagination go in either direction. Please don't nail down a "resolution," a word I know you abhor in writing, with a sequel! This is too good as it stands!
Damn, I can’t stay away from this story! If read with a slightly different perspective, there is far more of a conventional romance here than the title and a cursory reading suggests. Storm and Hank finally admit something of their feelings for each other. Piotr and Bobby become a couple. And Rogue does make a choice between Remy and Logan. She ultimately chooses Logan.
Throughout much of the story, she’s angry with him in a way that says that she still has deep feelings for him. She’s angry with herself, her sixteen year old self, the self that doesn’t want to feel or know because it hurts too much to let someone inside that way. In the end, she cannot escape it. It’s Logan’s name she repeats over and over in her mind even when she doesn’t want to. It’s to Logan that she finally makes her impassioned declaration of love in spite of all she knows and all he is. She doesn’t make a similar confession of such bone-deep, raw, unflinching passion to Remy, even though she also comes to love him.
Logan and Rogue are trying to protect themselves by shutting down their feelings, and casual sex works just fine – for a while. No one gets inside to hurt them again, but all is for naught in the final analysis. Logan, who recognized a kindred spirit in Jean, although they would never be together, is trying to shut those feelings away, all the while he’s gradually developing “that something with Rogue’s face on it and no words” which both he and Rogue are forced to recognize. She finally does recognize it for what it is, and is finally open to it during that terrible confrontation with Logan in her room prior to the San Francisco assignment. That recognition causes her to tremble and shake and shake and shake right along with Logan.
In this albeit quirky interpretation, Though Rogue does choose Logan, she never could have come to that realization without Remy’s insistence that she see them – both of the men – for what they were and who they are. It’s Remy who forces her to confront her feelings and to finally look at him and Logan, and face their ugly histories. Both men made her “feel” – something she didn’t want to do and thought she could suppress by engaging in casual, no-strings sex. She finally comes to grips with her love for Logan, and tells him in great detail how she has loved him for so long. She could only have done that with Remy’s insightful and insistent prodding, and along the way, she developed another kind of love – but love, nonetheless – for Remy.
There are many kinds of love. In the end she chooses to be with Logan, but maintains contact with Remy as with a strong, knowing (and at one time biblically “known”) friend for life. She chose Logan, but Remy will always be there for her. The last four lines? She’s in bed with Logan after sex and makes her suggestion to him. She’s on the phone after sex (also with Logan-?- but not necessarily within his earshot) when she makes her suggestion to Remy. She maintains contact with Remy, but I don’t think she is necessarily screwing him on the side, as well. She makes her suggestion teasingly, knowing both men would refuse, but perhaps she’s grown after all, and sex is not so casual anymore.
OK, in my particularly skewed reinterpretation here, I could extrapolate that she did choose between the two men. Most of her angst concerned Logan, and Remy sensed that as well in several of his observations and in some of his remarks, both to her and to Logan. Logan she loves to her core; Remy she loves because he is the one who truly opened her eyes and loves her still. Two men – two different kinds of love. Maybe not what the author had in mind, but the writing is so good that the ending could be open to different (crazy different) interpretations.
Oh, the damage they inflicted on the medbay door? I didn’t envision some big showdown between them. Just the two of them desperately trying to claw/blast their way to her side.
Damn, a lot of commercially published “serious” fiction hasn’t captured my imagination or made me think this much! Damn!
Author's Response: You are a gem. Truly. I have had such a wonderful time having these exchanges with you, and I can only say again that I wish all comment-author responses were as interactive. Hey, I love skewed and quirky readings of most everything (as seen by my own interpretations--look at how I write Magneto in SFIPoM, lord)! So anything that challenges the supposed authority of the author is interesting to me. I like your reading, and I think it's a way for people who are squeamish about the threesome ending to think about the ways in which these characters would work out this relationship. I agree also that there are various romances haunting this story, despite its title--and in some ways, because of its title. (Although the title is just as much a reference to the story being a subversive twist of the idea of "chivalric romance," which is to say, "stories of heroic deeds," perhaps even more than it is against "romance" understood as "romantic love.") I definitely wanted there to be multiple types of relationships haunting the story, in an effort to show the different and disparate ways that other characters live out their love, which might bear similarities (or insights) for the main three, but which are all ultimately unique, and to some extent, incomprehensible by those outside the relationship; "painted and private and theirs," I think I wrote at some point. rnrnI agree that the confession of love to Logan is "bone-deep" and "raw" in a way that is wholly his, wholly theirs. Painted and private and theirs, indeed. On a side note--thank you for the brief comment about Logan and Jean; I take Logan's feelings for Jean extremely seriously. I cannot imagine his character without those feelings, so I can't quite understand a lot of the Jean hatred floating around. Frankly, I like her character quite a lot, and if I didn't write from X3, this could easily have been a Jean/Rogue/Logan story. Which might still happen, hell. I think it's important to acknowledge the presence of the other "love interests" in this universe, especially since the Logan/Rogue movieverse pairing is something of a departure from the comicverse in the first place. That theirs would be a relationship always fraught by the serious presence of other people has only made their unique intimacy more compelling to me. rnrnNow back to your comments. I think your reading is another interesting way to think about how to live out another form of loving: to admit that you love someone in a true and uncompromised way, without necessarily having to "be" with that person; in this case, Gambit. I think that may be a way of loving just as "alternative" as the threesome the story proposed, and I'm amenable to it--especially since all my other stories with Logan and Rogue as a "couple" feature unconsummated (or, at least, inexplicit or unresolved) love between the two of them, anyway. My only hesitation with this interpretation is that it is a touch too neat for me; I think the story is proposing three people who are in love, messily, and allow that messiness to be, rather than trying to organize it into a more socially acceptable arrangement; that to be true to the messiness is to be true to the love these characters feel. As a reader here I think the act of "choosing," of being compelled by societal convention to "choose" is the act of violence, of exclusion; that the story wants to imagine another way of confronting one's feelings. rnrnI think I can quite easily imagine a future in which Rogue and Gambit OR Rogue and Logan are "just friends," but neither option seems to really dare to think about the possibilities that loving another person can offer to us. There is a sense here of Rogue neatly putting the two characters into manageable boxes: to love one man "legitimately," which is to say, monogamously; and to love another man platonically and with fond, noble memories--which is to say, no "screwing" on the side. But I don't think of Rogue's relationship with either men as a side relationship; not Gambit just because he is not part of the main "duo," and not Logan just because he is so subdued in this story. It would be very easy to imagine an ending in which Rogue ends up with one of these characters: easy to thank Gambit for his very insightful life lessons and send him on his way, relegated to lovable-rube-side-character-who-is-important-in-her-heart, just as I can imagine a situation in which Rogue confronts Logan's past and Logan's role in her life, only to finally, healingly, let go of it and "move on" with the new love that has given her the courage to do so, etc, etc. Both of which are perfectly logical ways to resolve this relationship; and I can very easily imagine the story that would do that. But I don't think this is that story. I do think the story continues to stand against a certain kind of totalizing logic or "tying up" of loose ends. I think either of the two possible choices I just described would be unjust to either of the two men, and untrue to the relations that the story has shown. It is still more compelling to me that the idea of "choosing" be rejected as a violence; but I can understand readers who find that too radical and who wish to interpret the story in a way that suits their tastes. I think yours is a willful misreading--but I happen to love and practice willful misreadings all the time, so no opposition there. In any case, I love the idea of there being "crazy different interpretations" to this story. For those people who demand a choice, who demand the Rogue/Logan ending (I do know what site I'm on!), your interpretation will be a helpful one. But I do hope that not everyone will demand a choice. rn rnAnd yes, about the medbay door: I didn't even realize that scene might point towards a fight between Logan and Gambit. I don't really ever see these two seriously fighting, at least not in this story. Just scowling at each other and muttering under their breath. Haha. And don't worry--there is no sequel coming! At all. Ever. I was being gentle in the last comment. NO SEQUEL! That means your reading will be safe, too. ;) Thanks again for returning to this story and sharing your new observations and interpretations, it is much, much appreciated. rnrnAs a side note: Something I just realized a few days ago. This story portrays Logan and Gambit as people who are responsible for unforgivable crimes against humanity; and yet what most readers seem to find totally unconscionable is the suggestion that either of them would accept the fact that the woman they love, loves them AND another person, also. Wait--what? How does "polyamory" trump "torture/murder" on the Intolerable Scale? This worries me slightly. (This isn't directed at you specifically--you just had the luck to have the latest comment, so I'm addressing it here.) But--what? After I realized that, I sort of couldn't stop thinking about it. It must be related to the idea that in films we accept extreme violence, yet are scandalized by frank depictions of sexuality. Is the idea of a someone loving and consummating love with more than one person at a time so intolerable that we must find ways to make it untrue? Once I started thinking about that, I sort of couldn't stop.
i'm a bit annoyed that she didn't end up picking between gambit and wolvie, I mean in the real world you can't have both. They're very jealous men if you know what I mean.
how long before they get annoyed with her reluctance to choose?
begs for a sequal don't you think?
Author's Response: Haha, well, for a more detailed answer to this very common reader reaction, please see my multiple long-winded responses below. To summarize: I don't know that I agree that in the "real world" (while we may all live in one world, we do not all live in it the same way) "you can't have both," or propose an alternative way of living and loving others, despite its being uncommon--and certainly not without complications. I think I mentioned something in a comment about wanting to imagine a way of inhabiting love that admits the reality of possessiveness, but resists the violence of possession. I don't think this is a reluctance to choose, but a refusal to choose. And I can say almost certainly that this story will not have a sequel; at least not one that "resolves" this threesome into a duo, as some might prefer. :)
I can see where you may be coming from with your idea of Logan and perhaps his finding redemption in the smaller, everyday rituals of a kind of order... quietly striving for a sense of "rightness," attempting to restore order out of the former chaos he was and was responsible for.
I only said I had been warned. I didn't say I wouldn't be back. Although, being warned, I may not always comment. Again, thank you.
For some reason I stopped reading this but came back and started it again when I saw you had finished it. While it's not the sort of story I would read normally I'm really glad I did because once I got really into it I had to read it all and enjoyed it greatly. Wonderful work.
Author's Response: Thanks for this incredibly kind comment. I'm so happy you continued reading, despite the story's being outside your normal tastes, and even more happy that you enjoyed it. Thanks again.
Your patience and goodwill in addressing my not-entirely-positive observations are respectfully appreciated. On the "reader knows all" side of things, however, I never picked up any indication here that Logan and Remy ever entertained even the slightest of "naughty thoughts" (tee-hee, whistle) for each other, much less that they would ever allow themselves to engage in a three-way with Rogue. I still stand with my initial impression of their refusal of Rogue's coy suggestion. I do not get that they are more interested in a threesome than they are willing to admit, in the least. If the last four lines were meant to be cheekily humorous, the intention fell dead flat with this reader.
Having much in common does not necessarily translate into sexual attraction, and although I have read an occasional slash fic that worked (and some threeways that worked) for me, I did not get that "vibe" at all with this story, however you may have intended.
I am also more compelled by Logan's backstory. His struggle to regain his humanity from tortured, abused, brainwashed lab experiment, rediscovering his ability to trust and to love is what has drawn me to him more than any other character in this genre. I am constantly looking for stories about this struggle, and at his core, find him to be a "strong" character, just to have survived what had been done to him with any humanity intact. When even his students express their disregard to his face, it really is too bad. I realize yours is a reaction to **X3**, but it takes Logan much too far in the opposite direction, at least for me.
I'm glad that I've made you happy that I dislike your Logan, but I'm not happy that I dislike your Logan, but I made someone happy with this dislike, so I should be happy for them, but I'm not happy, but you are happy, but....... hnnnnnngggghhh.....
As you prefer to write characters which readers may find unsympathetic, or pallid, or just plain dislike, I will take note. I have been warned, indeed. Thank you.
Author's Response: Thank you for your response to my response! I wish these "comment-author responses" were always as interactive. I think your reading of the flatness of the ending is fruitful, and makes the last four lines more, as you said in your previous comment, brutal (never a bad thing around these parts). I think I am starting to like it more, your way! I agree that there is no sexual attraction between the two men written in the story, so the last four lines are an open-ended gesture (my interpretation is certainly not the authoritative one) to what may happen, or what can never happen. What I hope for is the opening of multiple possibilities: on the one hand, I obviously resist the 'one chosen happy couple' ending, but I also absolutely agree that just throwing the three of them together is, at least as the story is written now, an unfounded fantasy. How they live that relationship is no longer for me to write; only that I believe they can live it in a genuine (which is not to say easy or untroubled) way. I present neither the fantasy of the resolved couple, nor the fantasy of the resolved threesome; just the possibility of an alternative, and imperfect (but not for that reason impossible or unfair), way of living/loving. As for Logan, I fully understand that his interpretation in this story may be too muted for some readers, including yourself, perhaps mostly because here I am questioning heroic redemption narrative typically inspired by Logan's back story. The question of Logan being a strong character because he has survived what has happened to him is a complex one, as the question of survival is a very important one for me. But I do not always think of survival, in and of itself, in an optimistic way, even if the survivor seems to end up all right on the other end. If anything, it's the 'all-rightness' of post-survival that I often find more harrowing than actual trauma. As for strength: it's true, I am interested in characters--especially in an action universe--that search for other ways of being (or that even resist being) "strong." Especially because in this story, Logan's history does not end at merely being a failed experiment--and therefore, only the "object" of violence--but as someone who has, himself, been responsible for unforgivable crimes against others. I think what I wonder is, how can someone respond to the violence that has made him, and that he has made with his hands? I think I can understand a "strong and redeemed" Logan interpretation for a character that has only been a failed lab experiment; but this Logan has lived far, far beyond his experiments. For a character who has existed as a weapon of war and been responsible for horrifying and violent crimes, to try to live in a way that struggles to resist the use of certain kinds of force and power is something I want to explore--even if it means he is not blindly admired by his students; or, for that matter, his readers. (Although at some point in the story, Rogue clarifies what she believes his students' true feelings about him to be. ) It seems to really bother you that his students make fun of him! But am I the only one who has had classes where the most beloved (and sometimes feared) teachers are actually the ones who take the most teasing from their students? I don't think all cruelty is only cruelty, just as I don't think all kindness is only kindness. But even if a class of ten-year-olds do "disregard" him, I think there is something to be said about his acceptance of that; of not "retaliating," or having to "prove" his power and authority to them in the way an ego-driven hero might be compelled to do. Teaching tai-chi and aikido, picking up mats and putting them away, day in, day out--I think that mostly blank and thankless work exhibits more strength than throwing flaming cars off bridges à-la-Rogue, while admittedly it may make for a character some might read as "pallid.” But those incomplete and endless acts, which are only gestures towards redemption, are more interesting to me than presenting a character who is already (or eventually successfully becomes) "strong" and "redeemed," and "able to trust and love others," which seems to describe this story's (more conventional) Rogue character arc, more than Logan's. With Logan I think I'm interested in the daily, difficult, and incomplete work of contrition. I don't know that I "prefer" to write characters that people will dislike; I'm not purposely writing to make people angry or disturbed! When I read fiction, I don't "dislike" characters simply because they are unsympathetic; I don't read uniquely to be affirmed in my own perspective. Rather the opposite, really. Though yes, about being warned! We don't go to all authors for all things; and sometimes, we can't go to some authors for anything at all. I may well be one of those authors, for you; but I thank you deeply and warmly for your engaged and thoughtful reading until now.
I must admit that I passionately want to know what happened between Remy and Logan in the med-bay. Plus, I am a bit confused about what happened in the end. She didn't end up choosing between the two? Gahh!?!?
Still, I enjoyed this story greatly. It was a fantastic read and I love your writing. Just a bit more clarification would be great! Keep writing!
Author's Response: Thank you for this lovely and enthusiastic comment! As for the medbay scene, I think readers are meant to understand that the two tried violently to get to her bedside when visitors were not yet allowed--not that they fought with each other. However, I see how it can be interpreted that way, which is also an interesting reading of the scene, and a way of thinking about the story. But I don't see the two as antagonists, so I personally don't interpret it that way (I speak as a reader, not as the author). Your mileage may vary. (If a reader considers this an unhappy ending, that reader will probably believe that they fought each other.) It's up to you, really! (You see my desire to keep things open-ended for readers hampers my ability to clarify things, haha.) No, she did not choose between the two; I don't believe a choice must be made. (See my extremely long-winded responses to previous comments, below.) Thank you again for this incredibly kind comment. I'm so happy you enjoyed reading the story!
In the end, your Rogue is still a selfish, amoral slut. As long as she wants something, that's all the justification she needs to expect that hse can have it all her way. While it's not unusual to be in love with two men simultaneously, to expect them to be OK with that shows how shallow her idea of love is. It's still all about Rogue and all about casual sex for her. She knows the two men are antagonists, yet still makes her suggestion later, showing a complete disregard for the feelings of either man she professes to "love." That each of the men so quickly refuse her suggestion demonstrates to me that they have more fortitude and respect for themselves and each other than she does for either of them. Perhaps, I too am of an outdated, quaint mindset in that I find her actions at the end nothing but self-centered and callous. As Remy says, "cruel, cruel." There's nothing of "love" -- having such great regard for another person that you care about their feelings above your own desires -- about Rogue, after all.
I do not like your Logan. He is certainly a complex, conflicted character who has suffered much and caused much suffering throughout his existence. Of the major characters in your story(ies), he seems to be almost a peripheral stick figure -- weak, tentative, faded, and always "shaking, shaking, shaking." Even his students seem to have little respect for him, and consider him boring. He appears to be little more than a semi-retaarded gym teacher, and while he can still be dangerous, is mostly just a pathetic shadow. You should simply come right out and say up front that you find Logan/Wolverine an insipid, stupid, uninteresting character. That's the way you write him. While I enjoy stories in which his weaknesses are explored, here he is so subdued as to be a mere cypher. Still, for all the evil both he and Remy have done, I find both of them to have more honor than Rogue.
Overall, I am increasingly weary of Rogue-centric tales on this site where Logan is little more than a grunting, one-dimensional Neanderthal, and it's all about baddass, tough-bitch Rogue. I'd love to see a little more balance overall.
With all that said however, your writing is exemplary. Very few stories in all of fanfiction rise above self-indulgent brain-candy, forgotten as soon as one moves on to the next. This site is full of semi-literate "Mary Sue" drivel. One has to search very hard to find thought-provoking, interesting fiction that is more than simply teen-fantasy-high-school "drah-mah." Congratulations on your work. Look at all the comments. You made readers think enough to write to you regardless of whether they liked or were comfortable with your characters or their choices ... and to write something to you beyond, "Oooooh, great chappie! Plz more soon!" Kudos to you on your brutal, deep, and complex fiction.
Author's Response: Thank you for this detailed and impassioned comment! While I am a bit perplexed by the immediate assumption that someone who engages in sexual relations outside of normative monogamous commitment is a shallow, amoral slut, I agree that the Rogue in this story is far from sympathetic. Though, as I wrote in a previous comment, I believe the "cruel" accusation from Gambit is not directed towards her promiscuity, but her refusal to engage honestly with the difficult histories behind the two men with whom she is having supposedly detached dalliances. (And I think the last four lines suggest that they may be more interested in a threesome than they are willing to admit: "far too quickly," as in cheekily and suspiciously quickly; instead of "immediately," or "brusquely.") I realize now that it is a near-impossible task to attempt to propose that living outside of the supremacy of the monogamous couple ("I must choose one and only one, and all other ways of living are selfish, shallow and amoral") can be a genuine way to live, so I will leave that moral argument aside. I don't know that Logan and Gambit are necessarily antagonists to each other in this story; I would actually argue quite the opposite. While they are by no means friends, I don't know that this necessarily means they are enemies. As you can probably tell, I like undefinable, in-between relationships. Instead, I would suggest they have a very specific tension between them that comes, rather, from the two of them having much in common, a fact which all three of them grow to realize, through various tiny details, throughout the story. Also--I am very happy you dislike this Logan! I think your assessment that he is a cipher in this story (and perhaps in my other ones as well) is very apt. But I don't know that I necessarily find his cipher-quality (what I usually think of as a kind of negativity, or conspicuous "lack") insipid, stupid or uninteresting. I'm not always (which is perhaps to say, rarely ever) interested in writing "strong" characters with "strongly defined" personalities. Here, I am interested in Logan/Wolverine's passivity, and where that passivity might stem from. However, passivity, understandably, does not make for a very compelling action hero! This may also in response to X3, where I was disappointed, to say the least, by his newly brash, one-note macho, über-hero characterization, particularly in light of the more nuanced way he had been characterized in the first two films (somber, suspicious, without memory, quick to wound and be wounded). What I oppose in Logan/Wolverine is the way in which he is customarily portrayed as the self-possessed hero of the piece; I am more compelled by his back story and the often-troubling possibilities they open up for his character. I think the contrast between "pathetic shadow" and "dangerous" is also apt here; I am definitely interested in exploring the possibilities of the former, being produced by the consequences of the latter. I have no problem writing pathetic shadows, and most of my favorite characters of fiction would be defined as such! Indeed, as you can tell, writing characters that readers sympathize or identify with (or even like!) is not my primary concern, so your dislike is warmly appreciated. About love: I would probably agree that the greater gesture of love here is performed by Logan and Gambit, not Rogue. Although I don't know that I think love uniquely means having a regard for someone greater than your own desires; though surely it can, and often does mean that, of course. But I think there is room to think about a situation in which, paradoxically, selfishness and selflessness can co-exist in loving. Your views, outdated and quaint? Far from it--I think yours is the dominating perspective, at least in terms of mainstream heteronormative depictions of love and romance! Fear not. I think I mentioned in a previous comment that suggested this was an unfair ending, that I actually believed this was a radically "fair ending." In that sense that I would like to think about the unfairness inherent in truly, radically "fair" gestures. I don't know that there is any way to "resolve" (a dirty word, for me!) this trio in a way that is not in some form "selfish" to at least one person involved. But I don't know that that means it is a necessarily a compromise, as has been previously suggested. Here I might apply Derrida's concept of forgiveness to loving: the idea that forgiveness only works upon the unforgivable, only when it is impossible to forgive. In some sense, this ending is totally impossible, or even "unrealistic"(a word I quite dislike when it comes to qualifying writing). But I think that may be why it is the only one I see as possible. To end: thank you again for this very thoughtful and emotional response. And thank you, also, for your incredibly kind compliments about the writing. (Though I don't know that I'm entirely immune to to the temptations of "drah-mah!") "Brutal, deep and complex"--there are not many more rewarding reader responses that I can wish for than that. Thank you so much! Side note about the comments: Is this story really that controversial? I thought this one was the cheesiest happy ending of all the things I've written for this site. I don't know what that says.
So you wanted to write a story about closeness and it became one big old mess on the way, eh? Yes, luv, that's what it usually does, it seems. Exactly the mess I'm in at the moment, if you allow me the personal note - and I used to be a young married monogamous person, too.
Still think that one love deserves another, completely. But then, fate rarely seems to consider fairness. And in many people's lives, smaller blessings have to be good enough. And maybe this uneasy, precarious balance of three is the best these three blighted, carefully unfolding souls can hope for. It might even be god enough.
On a minor point:
Glad to see the illness of liking secondary characters has a good strong hold on you - there's not enough of that virus around.
Author's Response: Thank you for this lovely comment, as always. I agree about the gift of having one love deserving another, completely--it's a gift beyond gifts. But I don't necessarily think this is a story in which that kind of love is absent--or a story that is about an "unfair" love. Complicated, yes; unfair, no. I think it's radically fair, actually. I think in this story, each love DOES deserve each other--and answers each other. What I suppose I am opposing is the idea that because one love deserves another completely, that must mean no other love deserves a place. I suppose what I am looking for between these three, is a kind of love without the violence of ownership, particularly because these are people who have been exposed to that kind of violence in other avenues. A love that admits possessiveness, but that resists exerting possession. I don't know that I think this story provides a "smaller blessing," simply because there isn't a singular relationship at the forefront; but, rather, the opening of a different way of being, living, loving. And I think that's more than good enough of a blessing. There seems to be a fair bit of response that this threesome is some sort of a compromise--a poignant, but still painful compromise--and I would like to adamantly argue against that. While I don't deny the possibility of pain in this (or any) relationship, I would rather imagine that there can be things we are capable of that are perhaps not what we have previously conceived of--but are nevertheless not compromises. What we are able to do in the gesture of loving--and knowing--others. The received idea of "the couple" and its supremacy is a strong one; I am by no means against it. But moving outside of it doesn't necessarily mean moving outside of the realm of fairness. In any case, there is enough precarious balance between two people, especially in either of these two "couples"; I don't think the precarity in this new relationship comes solely from it now being three, but from being who they are, themselves. In addition: thank you for the comment about secondary characters! I feel like I'm writing stories about other characters, with Rogue and Logan somewhere thrown in absent-mindedly. I don't really ever forget that X-Men is an ensemble piece, and I find this site's famous duo much more compelling when they--and their unique relationship--is exposed to the influence and gaze of other people.
I like the ending lol was cute. xXx
Author's Response: Haha, thank you... after all the angst, hinting to a bit of cheeky smutty in the future is necessary, I think. I wonder why they were so quick to shut her down? Methinks the boys doth protest too much. (whistle)
Derrida, Celan, John Berger, and Tellier?
I like your style of light storytelling.
(This whole story is fantastic.)
Author's Response: I. love. this. comment. (Also: please punch me in the face the next time I say I'm going to do a light story. Or suggest a light story I'm actually capable of writing, without letting my own dominant concerns get the better of me.)
Those last four lines made me laugh... I'm sure it would have been interesting what Rogue wanted to suggest ;)
Author's Response: Hahaha... only something naughty, I assure you. They were suspiciously nervous about it... are they actually interested, but in denial? (whistle)
Throughout this story I have loved the fluency and flow, you’ve given small reminders here and there that take us back and forth and kept everything within the fic together during it’s progression yet taken us back at the same time. Lots of people try, not all succeed. There are a lot of fics out there that do not read as a story, they’re choppy and incomplete with chapters that don’t fit together -this is not one of them.
I have to say that I absolutely loved the way you wrote the whole section where she remembered/realized all the things Logan has done for her /been to her and how she finally found the courage to tell him she loved him. I love you / I’ve loved you since I was sixteen / I love you. The dead you. The you now. The things that made you. The you you. Etc. In-between all of this you’ve got how he squeezes his eyes shut, his hands shaking, the pain in his face as he listens. Then in her own way telling him not to be afraid and we’re back to the beginning with his hands shaking all over again. – I love passages where you’re there, where you can see it and feel it as you read.
I will just point out that had you written that section with Remy I would be saying the same, It wasn’t a shipper comment just a beautiful, full of emotion with great imagery piece of writing.
Knew you wouldn’t take the easy option and kill one of them off, was interested in how the ‘threesome’ part was going to be resolved, except it wasn’t and I sort of already knew it wouldn’t be but still hoped for it one way or the other. They may have said the words but for me it was meaningless, nothings changed. This is not love, this is getting what you want at any cost to others and yourself and settling for less than what you’re worth. I think maybe I’m too old, too set in my ways and have been married too long because having read the epi I’m still stuck with the world cruel and the last four lines? – just mocked it a bit more for me.
Having said that, this has been an amazing fic, I love your style and can’t wait for you to write more. Like I said before – You write it, I’ll definitely read it!
Author's Response: Thank you for your wonderful and detailed comments, as always! Yes, I definitely tried to keep certain details and lines 'recurrent,' in an attempt to show their evolving significance as the story progressed. Things like Gambit's staff, Logan's shaking, certain lines, etc. I'm also happy you enjoyed the "confession" scene to Logan; yes, hands are important in this story. I found myself gravitating back to hands, again and again, here. Also: while I understand your response to the ending, I would have to say I disagree with the assessment that the result (Rogue also staying with Gambit) is "not love," but "getting what you want at any cost to others and yourself and settling for less than what you're worth." In fact, I think the ending is quite the opposite of that. I think had Rogue "decided" on only Logan or Gambit, when the story makes it clear that she has strong and complex feelings for both, would be the real "settling for less than what she wants/what she's worth/what either of them are worth." I think there are many, many faces of love--and many, many ways to live love. And I find it moving, the idea of being able to love people complexly, unconventionally, and still truly. While not all people find themselves capable of that kind of love--a love that accepts the other person in his/her entire situation, which may include another person--this story would like to imagine three people who are capable of that, for various reasons. The last four lines (Rogue implied to be cheekily suggesting a threesome, and the two of them suspiciously quickly shutting the idea down--indicating that they may be a bit too quick to object, for their own nervously naughty reasons) are by no means meant to sound cruel, but humorous, and hinting. I don't typically make definitions about what stories ought to "mean," as I definitely swing closer to the "reader knows all" side of things in terms of literary interpretation, but here I feel it necessary to disclaim the idea that Rogue's final decision is deliberately cruel. Gambit's statement about cruelty is about her refusal to look at him in his wholeness; not her refusal to be "tied down" only to him or to Logan. There is no cruelty intended in this ending; rather the opposite. What is intended is the idea of a compicated (and certainly not "typical," or one that is a conventionally "happy") love that is, nevertheless, love. I don't think people are nececessarily "worth" choosing one person and only one person to love, and to be loved by. Rather, I think love is worth being seen in all its possibilities, which may not always be comfortable or commonplace. While this is the Wolverine/Rogue site; I would like to imagine all the possibilities of that relationship. I don't necessarily think a threesome needs to be "resolved," because I don't think people must necessarily live and love that way. And I think there is a difference between monogamy and fidelity; I think in this case, Rogue is being faithful to two people, while not being "monogamous." I think that's an interesting way to live. (And I say that as a monogamous young married person.) That's also, I suppose, why I gave the story its title--as an attempt to challenge, or outright oppose, the conventional conception of a romance. It's an anti-romance story; but not an anti-love story. In any case, thank you again for your always lovely and thoughtful responses! We'll see if in the next story you read, I go a bit easier on Rogan diehards. ;)
In the spirit of your honest writing I feel that I have to be honest in my review & tell you that I am a bit conflicted about the ending. As mentioned by a previous reviewer I'm also Rogan biased so I'm not sure how I feel about keeping Remy in the mix at the end. However, it does make sense with this story. I also can't imagine Rogue just tossing him aside after everything. Like you mentioned, this was an exploration of intimacy, not a means just to get Rogue & Logan together. So I respect that you stayed true to your characters.
I also have a lot of respect for your writing. As I said before, this was so much more than fanfic. This is especially true with the passages of other works that you included in the beginning of the chapters. Some really, very complex ideas that worked perfectly with the tone of your writing. Amazing and humbling. I can't wait to see what you share with us next.
Also going to check out your music suggestions :)
Author's Response: Thank you very much for this honest response to--yes, I suppose, honest writing. I expected readers to be conflicted with the ending--I know what website I'm writing on! :)--but I genuinely cannot imagine another ending that is, as you say, honest to the story I have written. I wanted to explore the ways that Rogue and Logan can "get together," in an unexpected, but no less true, way. I'm so happy you enjoyed the epigraphs (citation for me, somehow particularly with these stories, is as important as the story itself, probably even more so). And I hope you enjoy the music suggestions! I especially recommend the the Roots one and all the Sébastien Tellier ones. They're the ones that really stuck with me, especially through the end. Haha--somehow, I feel it's a greater accomplishment to introduce people to those songs, than to have written this story! They're better, believe me. :)rnrn