content is milder than the movie/series, but does mention some of those events.
main characters: Marie(Rogue), Logan, Joyce Summers
sequel to Such A Nice Girl
disclaimer: I do not own any characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or X-Men the movie.
distribution: TNL, Twisting the Hellmouth, Paula - anyone else please ask first
note: set at the end of the X-Men movie right before Logan leaves, Buffy is still gone.
also :words in colons: are the other person in a telephone conversation.
"Marie... are you sure that you're okay?" Logan's gravely voice was welcome to her ears. Mainly because even after everything, he wasn't afraid of her, wanted her to be safe.
She gave a weak smile, one fist clutching his tags. "I'm... everything's all healed up. Jean said that there's no lingering signs of anything..."
Carefully, he reached out, brushing the new white streak out of her eyes. "They're good people here. They want you to be safe... You sure there's nobody else?"
"Of course not..." She began, her eyes prickling as she remembered how her parents had panicked. Then, another memory stirred, a woman with honey colored curls, the scent of paint and canvas and floor polish. "Maybe. When I was traveling, there was this nice lady... I stayed with her for a while. She might... But I don't know how she'd react about the whole mutant thing."
Leaning over, Logan kissed the top of her head, something that her papa had done when she was a little girl. "Call her, send a postcard, or something. Let her know that you're okay. You look like you need to hear from someone who's not afraid."
"I don't get much of that here. Just you... do you have to go away?" Her throat felt tight and stiff from the tears that she didn't want to shed.
"You remember the nightmares... Jeannie told me you had them for a while. They're all I have left of memories. I need to try to find the past, to figure out what was done to me, who did it, and why. Or at least, who I was before... Before I became the Wolverine." Logan's voice was filled with sorrow.
She tried again, reaching out with a trembling hand. "But... what if she hates me now?"
Logan gave a small smile, closing her hand over the tags. "I'll be back afterwards. You can tell me all about it then. This woman, how could she hate you? You're a good kid. The sort I'd like if I had a daughter..."
"I'm scared." Her voice was soft, and to her ears sounded too young.
Logan gave a small smile. "That's only natural. But don't let fear keep you from acting when it's important. Just try to react the right way... the best way for the situation."
She smiled at him, her vision blurring for a moment. Giving him a big hug, she whispered "Be careful. Come back safe, and I'll be the best daughter you never had. Even if you aren't... you are."
Hugging back, he whispered "Thanks, kid. I'll come back, promise."
She stood there for a long time, watching as he 'borrowed' Scott's bike, as he drove away. She could feel as if something, some balance or support had been removed. Now, she had to go through the day on her own. Maybe... maybe he was right. Maybe she should call Joyce. Walking back into the house, she pulled out the crumpled card that had lived in her back pocket, a simple business card with a frame-like pattern around the edge. Joyce's card for her art gallery back in Sunnydale.
Her fingers shook as she punched in the number, and she could feel her heart hammering as the phone rang. Once, twice, and it was picked up halfway through the third ring.
:Hello? This is the Summer's residence.: Joyce's voice was unmistakable, although she sounded tired, almost worn down somehow.
For a moment, Marie felt a stab of guilt. Had her leaving had an influence on this? "Joyce? Mrs. Summers... it's Marie."
:Marie? Are you alright, sweetie? You just rushed away after the... after I fell. I found your note... You need somewhere to stay, somewhere to call home.: Joyce sounded so sad, but... she didn't sound angry or afraid.
"What if I wanted to come back to California?" she wasn't quite certain what had prompted the question.
There was a noise, almost like a choked sob. :Sweetie, you'd be welcome here anytime. To visit or to stay. I could even make you some strawberry and banana sandwiches.: Joyce sounded... lonely, and as if she missed her.
"Even though I'm a mutant? I still... I still can't touch people yet, not really. What if my glove gets another hole in it?" Her eyes were stinging with tears again, tears of hope and a bit of sorrow for the pain in Joyce's voice.
:Marie, being a mutant doesn't mean you can't be a sweet girl. And if you need a new pair of gloves, just let me know. You... the place where you are now, are they taking care of you? Are you safe?: Joyce sounded so worried. It was an odd feeling to have someone worried for her, rather than because of her.
She smiled, tasting salty tears on her lip. "I think I'd like to come visit sometime. The people here... they're doing the best that can for me. It's a school, just for people like me, for mutants."
:It's good that you're safe. I wish... I wish I knew how Buffy was, but... I'm glad you found a place to stop running.: Joyce sounded almost sad, undoubtedly worried about Buffy.
"I'll come visit after everything's settled... there's a few things... questions about school and all. I'll have someone come and bring me out to visit. Maybe we can have hot cocoa?" She could feel something inside becoming lighter, less tense.
:Sure thing, Marie. Just let me know how many to cook for.: Joyce sounded so hopeful.
"I want you to meet Logan, he... he helped me when I needed it. He's almost like a dad for me now. When he gets back from his trip, I'll see if we can come see you for a while." Marie hoped that they would get along, but... surely Joyce's cocoa could tame far worse than Logan's grouchy temper?
:Be safe, Marie. And visit when you can.: Joyce sounded almost... she sounded happier.
"I'll do my best, Joyce. I should have called earlier, but... I guess I was afraid." Marie wiped the last bits of tear from her cheek. "I thought... I was afraid that you'd hate me now, like my parents did."
:Sweetie, I couldn't hate you. And I wasn't mad either. I just worried about you.:
"I got to let you go now, but... Cocoa, remember? As soon as Logan gets back. I promise I'll be there." Marie felt glad that she had called, glad to hear a friendly voice. To know that there was someone who cared.
As she hung up the phone, she wondered. Maybe they could find Buffy? If she could bring her home to Joyce... surely that would help her feel better? Less sad and miserable? Yes, they would have to try to find Buffy.
end I'm Alright.