De Omnibus Dubitandum Part Two: Post Factum
by Ransom

Title: Post Factum (After The Deed)
Author: Ransom
Series: Part Two, De Omnibus Dubitandum (All Is To Be Doubted)
Rating: NC-17 for sexual content and violence
Pairing: Logan/Marie
Summary: Logan and Marie meet post-registration.
Disclaimer: I don’t own them and I don’t make any money off of them.
Feedback: You can contact Ransom via her LiveJournal or at
Date Completed: June 9th, 2002


De Omnibus Dubitandum
Part Two: Post Factum


Bobby got up at midnight to take his turn at watch. Rogue watched him get dressed, and was happy to see that he looked a little less tense, a little more like the Bobby she remembered from Before. His control over the ice was much more finely tuned than the Bobby she’d known as a teenager. Amazingly so. She’d been impressed.

He sat on the damp bed to tie his boots, smiling at her as he tugged on the laces. His hair was messy and sticking up in odd places. He looked cute. Younger. He leaned over and pressed her down into his bed with his upper body. “See you at breakfast?” He captured a lock of her hair, ran the ends over her collarbone. An affectionate gesture, in lieu of what he couldn’t do with his own bare hands.

She nodded, returned his relaxed smile. They’d both needed this. Would both need it again. It was good to know it was there. Somehow, just knowing it was there made the needing less.

He turned and looked back at her before he closed the door and this time he grinned. He was feeling naughty, she could tell. She giggled and threw the pillow at the door, then lay there for a minute before gathering her clothes. Shower, then maybe a snack. Shower for sure, though.

They’d lucked out with the shower set-up this time, in the form of an adjacent factory that thoughtfully provided locker rooms for their employees, one for men and one for women. With production down—people in concentration camps didn't shop much—the factory only ran one shift a day, leaving the place deserted much of the time. With the fence and the dogs and the cameras, there was no need for a guard. No one could get in. Not from the outside anyway. From underneath was an entirely different story.

There was a tunnel between the two buildings, from days past when they'd been parts of the same factory. A tannery, Scott said. There were grooves in the floor of the tunnel that had once held the metal tracks for a fleet of carts that hauled the hides from one building to another. With the carts and the tracks gone, the tunnel was abandoned and forgotten. And also likely to turn your ankle, if you weren't careful.

It might have been considered a hassle to trudge through a damp tunnel and cross a factory floor the size of an airplane hangar in order to bathe. For people who had relied on buckets of water warmed on a hot plate for their personal hygiene in the past, it was no trouble at all.

Standing there under the water with her eyes closed, Rogue could almost believe that life was still normal.


Wolverine was sprawled on the ratty couch in the main room, reading in the candlelight, when she returned from her shower. His head on one arm of the sofa, feet propped on the other. His boots were on the floor next to the couch and his socks were two different colors.

“What’s so funny?” He hadn’t looked up from his book, and she wondered again about his powers. If not a telepath, an empath maybe? He certainly seemed finely attuned to everything she was thinking.

“Your socks.” She paused in the doorway, gave in to the smile because she couldn't hold it in any longer.

He wrinkled his brow and lowered his book to look at his feet. “What?"

"One’s grey and one’s white,” she pointed out. “And please don’t say that they both started out white.”

“Nah. I’m just too lazy to care if they match.” He gave her a lop-sided grin with just a hint of embarrassment in it. It made her heart thump as she giggled at his admission.

There was a long pause as his grin faded and she searched for something to say, not wanting to leave just yet. “You’ll ruin your eyes,” she settled on, gesturing to the book in his hands.

Now it was his turn to look amused. “I doubt it.” He cocked his head. “But I guess you don’t know that, since you ran off.” She felt a blush rise on her face for the second time that night. Her hands twisted around each other, tugging at the seams on her gloves.

He closed the book around his thumb and reached for the bottle of beer on the floor next to the couch. She hadn’t noticed it until he picked it up. “So you weren’t the least bit curious about me?” His voice was different now. Low and knowing. A small smirk on his lips just before they closed around the bottle.

She watched, riveted, as he drank, swallowed, licked his lips. Stared at her the whole time.

“Where’d you get that?” Her voice was breathy and didn’t sound right to her at all.

The grin came back, but it was different now. Like the kind of grin that was supposed to warn you about something. “I can’t tell you that, but I’ll share this one with you.”

This time she simply nodded, because she wasn’t sure exactly what her voice would sound like now in the face of that grin, but she was sure it wouldn’t be pretty.

He sat up as she made her way across the small room, held the bottle out to her. He waited until she had a firm grip on it before he deftly slid his hand around and closed his fingers on her wrist.

“What’ll you give me for it?” No grin now. No smirk. He was serious.

She tried to jerk her hand away, but he held on. “I-I can’t.” But God, she wanted to.

His thumb began to move in a slow circle on the inside of her wrist. “Can’t what? Can’t kiss me?” She felt a pang of disappointment that he wanted only a kiss, followed quickly by a ripple of fear as she noticed that he was tugging gently on her arm, pulling her toward him. One step at a time, into his lap.

She let go of the bottle. He released her wrist and snatched the bottle from the air just inches from the floor. Quick reflexes. Too quick.

She turned and bolted.


Breakfast the next day was awkward, at least for Rogue.

Wolverine seemed unaffected by what had happened the night before. He didn’t look like he’d lost any sleep over it, anyway. She certainly wished she could say the same. She’d finally dozed off just before dawn, then been slow to appear at the breakfast table. Which was a stroke of bad luck, because it turned out the only seat left was next to Wolverine. He didn't look at her as she entered the kitchen, just nudged the chair next to him with his foot, pushing it out from the table.

Rogue settled into her seat and mumbled a thank you that he returned with a non-descript syllable. She focused on her plate for most of the meal, even as she listened to every single word Scott said about the newcomer. She was dying to know more about him, but equally desperate to keep that fact to herself.

Wolverine, for his part, ate his breakfast and acknowledged Scott’s comments with the occasional nod. Healing factor. Enhanced senses. Reinforced skeleton. Unbreakable claws. And enough sex appeal to choke a horse. Not that Scott mentioned that particular attribute.

But then again, Scott wasn’t sitting as close to him as she was. Scott couldn’t feel the hard rub of his flannel-clad arm every time he reached for his coffee cup. Scott couldn’t smell the cigar smoke and soap. And even if Scott could, Scott probably wouldn’t be thinking the same x-rated thoughts Rogue was.

It was the longest breakfast she could remember, and she fled into the tunnel behind their quarters as soon as it was over. It was a long maze of a walk to the rusty grate at the mouth of the huge drainage pipe that emptied into the river below. Truth be told, it was a tedious walk and a pitiful excuse for a river, but worth all the trouble when seeing sunlight was risky and rare. The concrete pipe was dry as a bone, and provided a somewhat sheltered perch from which to enjoy the view. A view that was only enhanced by the fact that she was fifty feet up and thus able to imagine the water below was not a sluggish puddle choked with trash and debris.

She was dangling her feet over the edge and wondering where she was going to find another pair of jeans when she heard the footsteps. Her hands were already in her lap, playing idly over the fraying knees of her pants, so it was easy enough to tug off her gloves and stuff them in her pockets before she turned around. Using her power was something she would do only when left with no other options, but it never hurt to be cautious.

The footsteps continued to grow louder, a relaxed and confident stride that was unmistakably headed in her direction. She didn't know it then, but that was the first and last time she would ever hear those footsteps and not know exactly who they belonged to.

A pair of eyes glowed in the gloom of the tunnel. They blinked and then there were more footsteps, and a voice. “It’s just me.”

Just him.

If she tried really, really hard, maybe she could act like it was “just” him.

Wolverine emerged from the darkness looking relaxed. Hands in his pockets, jacket open. She turned toward daylight again, scooted over to make room for him when he sat down next to her at the mouth of the pipe.

She tossed a pebble over the edge, listened to it hit the shallow water below. “Nice view we have here, huh?”

He nodded, pulled a cigar from inside his jacket, held it up with a questioning look.

“Be my guest.” How sad was it that she was already beginning to associate the smell of a cigar with him, after barely a day?

She watched out of the corner of her eye as he struck the match on the cement between them, tossed it out into the void after he lit his cigar. He exhaled slowly, the blue-gray smoke running off into the wind as he spoke. “I’m sorry about last night.”

She looked away immediately, half horrified that he brought it up and half shocked that he was apologizing. He didn’t seem the apology type. She went back to examining the wear and tear on her jeans. “It’s okay.”

“I didn’t know.”

She shrugged, pulled at a loose thread. Realized she hadn’t put her gloves back on yet. A testament to just how distracting his presence was. She was normally more conscientious. She was just reaching to put them back on when he spoke again.

“You tell your boyfriend?” Boyfriend? Realizing this conversation had taken a turn she hadn’t followed, she was still trying to catch up when he spoke again. “I don’t want him to freeze my balls or anything.”

There were so many things to laugh about there that she didn’t bother to pick one. She just laughed. And then laughed more at his confused expression.

“He’s not my boyfriend, and I doubt he’ll freeze your balls.” More laughing as she pictured Wolverine gripping his ice-covered crotch.

He gave her an appraising glance before he turned back toward the sunlight. “Huh. Sure smelled like it when I walked past his room last night.”

Her laughter died quickly. “Smell? You can smell. . .” Then her jaw dropped and then she felt her cheeks begin to fill with color. Again. Three times now. Just about every time she spoke to him, in fact. Finally, she gave up and covered her face with her hands. “Oh God.”

“So what’s the deal then?”

She sighed, wondered if it was any of his business anyway. “We’ve known each other a long time, dated in high school. Things are different now, everything’s different. I guess it was just comfort or—“

“No, I meant why wouldn’t you kiss me.” He didn’t look at her, continued to stare out at the skyline. Like he didn’t really care what the answer was. But he’d cared enough to ask.

She frowned. “Didn’t Scott tell you?”

He finally looked at her then, studied her expression. For a second his face told her he was considering and discarding the possibility of a romantic connection between her and Scott. “Tell me what?”

He didn't know. How could he not know? “About my skin.”

“What about it?” He didn't know.

She opened her mouth to speak, then hesitated. Later, she would be ashamed of herself for what she was thinking at that moment. Because she was thinking that if she didn't tell him, she could keep his interest in her going just a little longer. Eventually he would find out, and he'd back off, but for now, right now, he was interested. And it felt good. Would it hurt to enjoy it for a just a little longer? It seemed like such a small thing to want. Just a little longer.

"Well?" he prompted.

“My skin hurts people if they touch it." She made herself hurry it out, say the words before she had a chance to think about them.

"Oh. Yeah, he mentioned that this morning." He said it like it was no big deal. He evidently didn't understand. The look on his face was expectant, like there was more.

"So that's why," she said, just to clarify. Was he that dense?

He turned back to the river. "Didn't seem to stop you and the ice guy." He blew a smoke ring and watched it float away.

She wasn't going to blush again, dammit. "I can't hurt him when he's in ice form."

That got a raised eyebrow and a sideways glance. "Sounds. . .chilly." She giggled in response but otherwise did not reply. "So that's the problem? Your skin?"

Her giggle died in her throat. Christ, was he really this fucking stupid? Was he going to make her spell it out? "Yes, it is a problem. A big problem. It's bad. I can't control it, and once it gets started it can kill a person in less than a minute." There was anger creeping into her voice and she knew it, but couldn't help it. "I can't touch anyone. Ever. It's dangerous. That’s why my room is away from everyone else’s. That’s why I have to cover myself up. That's why I wear gloves all the time.”

He nodded, but seemed otherwise unfazed by her words. “You’re not wearin’ ‘em right now.” He pointed to her hands with his chin.

That made her flustered and she felt like a little kid, embarrassed and ashamed to be caught doing something she shouldn’t be. “I-I know. I took them off because I didn’t know who was in the tunnel. Just in case.” She pulled them from her pockets and began to turn them right-side-out. “I usually always wear them around other people so there won’t be any accidents, I guess I just forgot. I’m sorry if—“

His hand on her wrist stopped her. Made her jump a little with how close he was to bare skin.

“Leave ‘em off, if you want. It’s not bothering me.” He let go, went back to his cigar and the skyline.

She pulled her gloves on with unsteady hands. Didn’t look at him when she spoke. “It should.”

End Part Two

On To Part Three

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