He opens his eyes and draws a ragged gulp of air. In darkness. But alive. His heart is fluttering unsteadily, skipping beats, but he’s alive. He can smell the girl. Rogue. No. Marie. That’s what she said her name was.
His throat is dry. Parched. Voice a mere whisper. The car sounds awfully noisy. It probably drowned his croak. He licks his lips and tries to sit up, grasping the backrest he can feel against his side. She must have moved him to the backseat while he was out. It takes a while, but finally he manages to pull his carcass to a seated position. He can hear an alarmed gasp, and the car starts slowing down.
“You’re a live?”
The car stops, doors are opening and suddenly she’s on his lap, hands wrapped around him, cradling his head against her shoulder and he can smell her tears and exhaustion.
“I thought you were dead!”
“Was… But I’m alive now. Thirsty…”
He’s thirsty and tired to the bone. There’s no strength left in him. He can only sit still when she suddenly starts kissing him. Hesitant, feather-light brushes against his lips, turning bolder every passing second until her tongue sweeps access from between his lips and slides against his. He lets his head sink against the backrest and loops his arms loosely around her hips and buttocks. His heart is pounding, struggling to meet the demands the rest of his body is presenting.
“Where… Where are we?”
“You were out for two days. I haven’t seen anybody during the whole time. Anybody. It’s like there’s no other people left in this world.”
“That’s not a good thing… Too isolated… Fuck, I need something to drink…”
Something to drink for keep his lips from splitting. Something to eat to keep him from collapsing again. And the girl, Marie, back on his lap, because she felt rather nice sitting there, warm and soft and gentle. She’s rummaging through the trunk of the car and he can hear her muttering to herself, throwing things around and rustling plastic, paper and cloth. He’s shivering from the cold and now he realizes that he’s naked. Naked except a thick quilt thrown over him. She probably covered him from head to toe with it when he died. Now it has fallen to his lap. He grabs it and pulls it tighter around him.
“I stopped at some big shopping center. Spent all your money, sorry about that. We have spare gas, clothes and camping gear. Food for few days more and water.”
“That’s… That’s good…”
“There’s some water. And I made you a sandwich.”
He takes a drink from the plastic bottle, tries not to drown in it when his throat needs a little coaxing to start cooperating again. He hates this. He has died few times before, but it looks like he was gone longer now. He’s all clumsy and weak. Disgusting.
“I have to get out of here.”
“I’ll go and get you some clothes…”
“No. I’m getting out now…”
Snow under his feet. Crisp, cold air in his newly healed lungs. He walks to the side of the road, and dives in to the snow bank with a mighty roar, face first and hoping there really is a thick layer of white stuff cushioning his fall, otherwise he’d end up spluttering pebbles and sand. There is snow. Cold, soft and clean, filling his nostrils with icy scent, scrubbing off dead layer of tissues from his skin. He eats it, eats the snow and rubs it to his skin, dunks his head in to it and lets the coldness and freshness seep in to his greasy hair.
“What the hell are you trying to do? You get pneumonia or something!”
“No, I won’t.”
Marie is dragging him away from the cold, pushing him back in to the car. Hot and dry air hits him with a full force. She has turned the heater to the max. She’s scrubbing him dry with a blanket, coarse wool creating delicious tingling sensation all over him. Her thighs are cradling his hips, she smells little scared and worried.
“Give me that…”
He takes the blanket and drapes it over his shoulders to catch the droplets of icy water dripping from his wet hair. The shock from the cold has made all the small blood vessels shrink, and he can almost see her now. Blurry image just inches away. Pale skin. Dark brown framing her face. Worried, brown eyes darting between him and the scenery outside. Sun is up, and the light gives her a glowing aura. Pretty. Definitely pretty. He cradles her face between his palms to still her. It’s not often he gets to see at all, let alone something this beautiful. And she’s already fading; the warmth of the car is going to steal her from him soon.
“Logan. My name’s Logan.”
Her smile is the last thing he sees before his eyes cloud over again.
“It’s nice to meet you, Logan.”
Her fingers slide in to his hair. Warmth of her lips feels shocking on his cool skin. He can’t get enough of it, can’t get her close enough. There are too many clothes on her. She starts to resist when he tears off her shirt, but when his lips find her breasts and nipples she arches her back. Granting him better access. He rubs his face between the valley of soft and creamy mounds, already slightly fuller from the pregnancy.
“Take off your jeans.”
“I… I don’t…”
”Please… I won’t hurt you… I just want you…”
He’s already tugging the waistband impatiently, trying to yank open the buttons when her fingers land on top of his. He can’t see, but he can tell from the feel of warm breath on his face that she’s looking at him. She doesn’t want this. She wants to cuddle and hold him, but she’s not ready for anything more. He swallows and lets go, then wraps his arms around her waist and lets his head droop against her chest.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you think that…”
“Don’t worry. I got carried away.”
“I didn’t mean to…”
“Hush. Just put your shirt back on. Get off from me and let me get dressed.”
“Is this… You’re not mad at me?”
“Christ, why the fuck would I be?”
“You said that you want me.”
“Yeah. Doesn’t mean that I should have you right now, right here. Or have you at all. I got carried away. There’s no reason for you to start worrying. Let’s just get dressed and find a way back to the civilization, okay? It’s not safe to be this far off from everybody, we need some people between us and them, and…”
She plants a soft, almost timid kiss to the corner of her mouth and whispers a silent thank you before scooting off from his lap. He can hear the door opening and snow crunching under her feet. Cold whiff of fresh air is almost enough to eradicate the scent of her arousal. She’s afraid, but interested. He fumbles around until his fingers brush against the water bottle. Grabs it and takes a long pull. Warm. Slightly stale and tastes like plastic. He reaches out and grabs some snow. It’s almost clean. He takes a mouthful and lets it melt on his tongue.
“Here. I hope these fit. I had to guess your size.”
Pile of clothes flop down on his lap, the door closes and he can hear Marie walking around the car. Door on the driver’s side opens, leather of the seat creaks when she sits behind the wheel.
“When I said that you don’t have to worry… I meant it. I’m not angry. I do want you, but what happens is up to you.”
“I… Thanks. I didn’t mean to lead you on. It’s all so new to me. Touching and stuff. I haven’t… My skin is my mutation. When it’s active it hurts other people.”
“Touching my bare skin hurts them. Then they get in to my head and it hurts me as well.”
“It didn’t hurt me.”
“I can’t hurt anybody now. They put some sort of inhibitor chip in to me at the lab. It suppresses my mutation.”
He thinks about it when he puts on the clothes. They’re little snug, but they’ll do. T-shirt, jeans and a flannel shirt.
“I got you new jackets as well. They’re on the backseat.”
“Thanks. Do you want… Your skin. You’d be safer if it was on.”
“What do you mean?”
“Where did they put the chip? If it’s… I could probably cut it off. You’d be safe…”
“No! I like it like this!”
“Like the chip?”
“Yes! I was then years when I manifested! Before they installed the chip I couldn’t touch anybody! Now I can touch who ever I want to, when I want to, and I don’t have to worry over hurting them!”
“Well, that makes sense. But if you change your mind, just let me know, okay?”
“If I get rid of it, we can’t… You can’t…”
“Doesn’t matter. You’d be a lot safer with your mutation on.”
She doesn’t answer, but he can smell her frustration. Her leg is heavy on the gas. He leans back and shuts his eyes.
“Where are we going?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen other people or any kind of buildings in days.”
“You have a map?”
“Nice. You think you could find your way back to civilization if you turned this car around?”
“I… I think so. I’m not sure. I was so worried about you that I kind of forgot to keep track of where I was going.”
“Hmph… It’s okay. We’re bound to hit some kind of town or village sooner or later. Just keep driving.”
When the familiar sound of jet engines starts to approach he tells her to stop the car.
“Stay in the car. I’ll go and see what they want. If they put me down, run.”
“Run. I can take care of myself.”
“But who’s going to take care of me?”
“You are. You did a pretty good job earlier when I was out cold. Just keep doing what you did then, and you should be just fine. You’re more capable than you give yourself credit for, Marie.”
“That makes the two of us. Come here…”
He can feel her heart hammering through the clothes; can hear it racing right beside his own. It’s time to make good of his promise to take care of her. He steals a quick kiss when jet starts landing in front of the car, blocking the way. Small bits of snow and ice are pinging against the windshield, making it sound like a blizzard of the century. He lets go of the girl, opens the door and steps out, closing it behind him. He can hear her locking the doors, and places his palm against the side window for a short moment. Feels her warmth seeping through the glass. Then he can smell only jet fuel, hot electricity and leather. Hear silent footsteps approaching.
“Who the fuck are you? How do you know my name?”
“My name is Scott Summers. This is my wife, Jean Grey. This is Ororo Munroe. We’re from N.Y.”
“What the hell do you want?”
“Charles Xavier sent us. He’s willing to offer you a sanctuary.”
“We’re schoolteachers. Mutants like you, and the girl you’re traveling with. Professor Xavier’s school is a haven for all mutants.”
“Is that why you blasted a hole through me the last time we met?”
“You were about to attack Jean. I had to stop you. And we were in a hurry.”
“Well, I guess it makes it alright, then… Fuck off!”
“You heard me. Fuck off. You’re scaring her. And we have enough problems without you people trailing after us.”
“But we can help. We can protect you…”
“Would you just think about it? What are you going to do the next time the military snoops you out? You’re blind!”
”Get back in to the car, Marie!”
“No! I want to know what’s going on.”
It’s quite apparent that Summers is telling the truth. Yet there’s something that makes his hackles rise, so he leaves Marie to negotiate with them and stalks back to the car, flopping to the passenger’s seat and slamming the door shut. Schoolteachers. Must be a hell of a school when they can afford to fly around in a private jet.
“I think it would be a good idea to go with them.”
“Well, if you think so…”
“I do. I’m tired of running and living from hand to mouth.”
“Then you should go. You don’t mind if I grab some clothes and the camping gear before you go?”
“What… What are you talking about?”
“I was just thinking you wouldn’t need them anymore. I have a feeling that the next bar isn’t just round the corner. Wouldn’t want to freeze my ass off before I find it.”
“You’re not coming with me?”
“It’s a school, Marie. Not my kind of place. But you should go. They can keep an eye on you better than I. Quite literally.”
“I want to be with you.”
It’s awfully tempting. For a moment he actually considers it.
“You’re going to be a mom soon. You and the baby… You need better than what I have to offer.”