Souvenirs

Fandom: X-Men

Category/Rated: Het, K+

Year/Length: 2005/ ~1358 words

Pairing: Piotr and Rogue

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Summary: Piotr and Rogue's first meeting is very, very, eventful

Author's Notes: I like weird couples... In this one you'll find Rogue and Piotr...because there is something wrong with me.

hr

Tattoos

The first time he sees her she is swaying on her feet, wearing a jacket over a hospital gown, and barefoot. They stare at each other for a timeless moment, him knowing that he's not supposed to be down in the basement levels of the mansion, and still not entirely sure how he got there, and her mind to jumbled a mess to really have coherent thought. There are four people in her head now, and that's at least three to many. She squints her eyes at him as her knees buckle and dump her onto the floor.

She sits there, staring down at the tangle of her limbs and wondering whose legs they are because last time she checked hers were a lot bigger and hairier. She blinks, feeling like she's moving through molasses, and feels big warm hands close around her upper arms, hears a voice asking her something in a language that at first she doesn't recognize. After a moment she thinks, oh, English, I remember English. He asks her a dozen times if she's alright and all she does is smile faintly up at him.

He thinks she looks very young and very old at the same time, and wonders about the streaks of white hair that fall around her face like lace. When she finally speaks her voice is a soft thick thing that he hadn't expected. She talks much differently than the other Americans he has met, and he wonders why that is. She says, "Ah need to go somewhere. Can you take me?"

He knows he should say no, because obviously something is wrong here, something is wrong about this entire place, but he finds himself nodding. He says, "Can you walk?" She nods, and the loose strands of her hair bounce and dance around her head, she pulls herself to her feet, and waits for him to rise. He follows her down the halls because she appears to know where she's going, and he is still uncertain which way is up. Eventually she opens a door and they are out in the cool night air before he even realizes they have left the basement, he says, "We should get you shoes."

She looks at him and smiles again, and the while shaking her head. "Ah have to go now. Right now. Please." There is something that might be desperation in the honeyed contours of her voice, and he finds himself sighing and agreeing without any fight at all. This isn't what he thought his first day in America would be like. She winds a hand into his jacket and tugs at him, but he is easily three times her weight and does not budge.

He says, "You could step on something," and then, after a pause in which he considers his options, "I will carry you." She does look surprised when he scoops her up, her big brown eyes wide and round. Her arms snake around his neck and he can't help but notice how white her legs around under the hospital gown. It is like they have never seen sunlight. He shakes himself, and says, "Which way?" She points to the left and so he walks. She barely weighs anything.

It's not long before they come to a large building, all brick and finely crafted. He goes inside when she doesn't tell him now to. Inside there are a myriad of vehicles, and she squirms around until he sets her down, and then pads over to an SUV on silent, bare feet. She pops open the passenger door, and turns to look at him over her shoulder, after a moment he slides into the driver's seat, and is surprised to find the eyes in the ignition. She buckles her seat belt with pale little hands.

He says, "Where are we going?" And she just smiles and points so he pulls out of the garage and down the long, finely manicured driveway, and out onto the road as he tries to get a feel for the unfamiliar vehicle. She only speaks when they get to intersections, one word directional commands, and before long he is hopelessly lost. He fears that is getting to be a habit. Finally she tells him to pull over, and before the vehicle is even fully stopped she is opening the door and sliding out.

He shouts, and barely remembers to take the keys out of the ignition as he hurries after her. Around them the night is loud with car horns and people and dogs. There are no stars visible save for the neon ones that hang in the windows of a nearby bar. The girl stumbles her way forward and into the store that proclaims itself to be, "Bill's Tattoos and Piercings." He follows her, because at this point what choice does he have.

She is talking to the clerk when he enters, asking for paper and a pin in that silky smooth accent, and the middle-aged man hands the desired items over. She bends over the paper, works steady for several moments and then straights, offers the paper to the man. "Put this here," she pushes the sleeve of her jacket up, points to the inside of her arm. The clerk makes some protests back she only shakes her head, and says, "Put this here, just as it is on the paper."

After a minute or two the clerk gives up arguing, and motions her towards a chair, she sits and her ride sits beside her. When the needle first presses into her skin she reaches out and takes his hand into hers, and he marvels for an indeterminate amount of time at how tiny she is compared to him. She doesn't cry, or whimper, or make any sound at all, and when the thing is done she looks down at the black numbers and letters branded onto her skin, at the blood welling up, and sighs contentedly.

She looks up at him and says, "He's quiet now. That's all he wanted. Ah'm Rogue but you can call me Marie."

The clerk rolls his eyes and says, "That'll be seventy-five bucks and I'm giving you a discount on account of you looking like you're having a real bad day."

Her ride sighs, and reaches into his back pocket to retrieve his billfold, because there's no where in her clothing for her to be caring money, he hands the seventy-five dollars, almost all he has to his name, over and says to her, "My name is Piotr. May I ask why you have done this thing?"

She smiles up at him, and he is pleased that she keeps doing that. She pulls him out of the shop, fingers twining through his as thought it's the most natural thing in the world, leads him back to the vehicle, and then finally speaks, "It's a souvenir, from one of mah other lives." She looks down at where their hands lay, entwined again on the seat, examines the paleness of her flesh with the tan of his, marvels in the feel of his rough skin. "It's not a bad price to pay."

He doesn't know what she's talking about, or where they are, or what exactly is happening, but it's not a bad feeling that's tightening his stomach. He leans across the seat, and kisses her and she kisses him back. This is not what he imagined his first day in America would be like.

Later they will go back to the school. Later he will learn about all the things that she was, and she will learn about all the things that he's done. Later they will go to the funeral of Eric Lesher, though she will argue that he is not really, truly, dead since he is in her head and always will be. Later they will compare scars, and engage in gratuitous public displays of affection. Much later he will take the name Colossus, and she will start to answer to Mags.

But now there is only this kiss, her second kiss in her whole life, and the reassuring ache on her inner arm.

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