Hope. It's all that Rogue has left when it comes to Logan, but is hope a good thing?
Categories: X3 Characters:
1. Chapter 1 by rogueslove
I don’t own any of the X-Men, they all belong to Marvel. Pandora belongs to the Greek gods, I guess. I know this seems like it should be the first chapter of something, but it’s not, it’s just a one-shot.
“Ever heard the story about Pandora’s Box?” Inquired Kitty, as she lay lazily across her bed.
Rogue and Jubilee, both of whom sat on the floor, the former working on her homework, the latter her nails, shook their heads.
“It’s this Greek myth. Long ago, there were just men around, and things were pretty decent. I guess they just drank beer and played football to alleviate their sexual frustration. Anyways, eventually the gods decided to make the first woman, Pandora. She was given all sorts of gifts by the gods, like charm and beauty and whatever. But she was also given curiosity and a box that she was told never to open. So she gets down to Earth and things are fine for a while but then her curiosity gets the best of her and she opens the box. Out flies all the bad things that we now have: death, despair, hate, and all that shit. She releases all that stuff out into the world but manages to close the box before the last thing escapes.”
“And that is?” Jubilee quipped while somehow simultaneously blowing a bubble.
“Huh?” Rogue questioned, confusion etched upon her face. “Does that mean that hope is evil or something?”
“Well that’s the question, isn’t it?” Kitty righted herself and sat on the bed. “I mean, everyone talks about hope as if it’s a good thing. I mean, the Professor is always on about how he hopes mutants and humans can live together. Like hope is something that brings out the best in people. But in the Pandora story, hope is put with all the evil things out there. Like it’s designed just to torture us.”
“Tell me about it,” Rogue murmured.
Jubilee and Kitty exchanged looks, knowing full well what their touch-starved friend was referring to.
“Do you think hope is a bad thing, chica?” Jubilee asked, attempting to sound casual.
Rogue looked down at her textbook, suddenly feeling overcome. “Yeah. Never did me any good. Hope is just another word for agony if you ask me.”
“Maybe,” Kitty softly suggested, “you should end the torture. Kill the hope.”
The room was suddenly deathly silent. Tears welled in Rogue’s eyes, “Ah can’t,” she whispered.
Jubilee put down her nail polish and spit out her gum. “Ya know you should. Maybe it would help you get on with your life.”
Rogue inhaled sharply and glanced at her two friends, thankful for the love and concern in both their eyes. “If Ah don’t have hope, what do I have?”
“Cold, hard reality?” Offered Kitty, “But that’s something you can work from. You can build something on that. You can’t build your future based on the hope that someday he’ll return your affections.”
“You deserve better than that,” Jubilee confirmed.
Rogue turned and stared out the window. It was a beautiful Spring day. A fact that she could have appreciated if not for the tears in her eyes. “So ta be happy, Ah have to vanquish hope?” She snorted derisively, “Like Ah got a chance against the last evil that the gods gave ta man.”
“You’ve basically kicked the Grim Reaper in the balls. Twice.” Remarked Rogue’s yellow-clad friend. “Pretty sure you can do this, girly.”
Rogue nodded, still gazing out the window. “Kill hope once and for all. Ah can do this.”
It took Rogue a good day and a half to convince herself that she could, nay, should do what her friends suggested. Kill her hope. Her irrational, infuriating, all-consuming hope that Logan would eventually feel the same way about her as she did him. The hope that he wouldn’t always view her as the poor little untouchable girl who needed to be protected. The hope that she would mean more to him than Jean did. The hope that he would love her as anything more than a friend. The hope that they could ever be together.
She knew that there was only one way to kill the hope, and it was a full-frontal attack. She knocked on Logan’s door late one night, shortly after she had spied him returning from a grueling workout in the Danger Room.
Logan opened the door looking exhausted and irritable.
“What da ya want, kid? I was about to hit the sack.”
She hesitated, wanting to back out of her decision. But the single word “hope” boomed through her head, and she persisted. “Ah just needed ta tell ya something, Logan. Promise it won’t take but a minute.”
He grunted and nodded her in, and she rushed across the threshold into his room, tensing a little as she heard the door shut behind her.
“What is it, Marie?” Logan asked wearily.
She suppressed a smile as he addressed her by her given name. No one else did that, even though she was sure everyone else knew what her real name was. She quickly reprimanded herself, reminding herself that she was giving in to the very hope that she was here to destroy.
“Ah need ta tell ya something, Logan.”
He casually sauntered to stand in front of her, looking at her with a mix of impatience and concern. She forced herself to look at him and readied herself for her dreams to be destroyed by her own words. “Ya don’t have to say anything in reply, just so ya know. Ah just realized that Ah had to tell ya . . .”
She bit her lip, trying to force herself to go on. Logan’s look had turned to confusion, which she took as the best alternative, given the situation. “Ah love you, Logan. Ah think Ah always have. Ah know that you don’t feel the same way, but that ain’t no one’s fault. An’ Ah know that by me saying this that Ah’m screwing up our friendship. And Ah value that so much, Ah don’t think you’ll ever know how much. But Ah had ta tell you how Ah feel. ‘Cause Ah can’t do this anymore.” She only realized she was crying when the tears had fallen down her cheek, but she took it as validation that she was doing the right thing. “Ah can’t keep lookin’ at ya and hoping that you’ll love me someday. It’s killing me.”
Logan’s entire body had stiffed as soon as Rogue had begun speaking, his eyes wide open in shock and confusion. Even after Rogue had stopped blurting out the contents of her heart, he stood motionless, speechless.
She regained a modicum of composure and stated “Ah’ve had this irrational hope that things could somehow work out between us. An’ that’s been killin’ me, holding me back, ruining any chance that Ah’ll be happy. So Ah just needed to tell ya. So that Ah could give up this stupid wish, stupid hope, and find something else worth livin’ for. ‘Cause hope’s just evil if it don’t have any basis in reality. If it ain’t ever going ta come true. If it’s just there to torture you.”
She could no longer hold his mystified and pitying gaze, and turned her tearful brown eyes to the floor. “Ah’m sorry, Logan,” she croaked. She wasn’t even sure what she was apologizing for. Maybe it was for ruining her friendship with him, maybe it was for dumping all this on him, or maybe it was for finally giving up on him, or rather, them.
The silence seemed to stretch out for eternity, and while they were mere feet from one another, Rogue couldn’t remember feeling more far removed from her erstwhile protector than she was at that moment. After she was sure that her legs would not buckle from under her, she gave a slow nod of resignation and moved towards the door. She gasped as she felt his hand shoot out to grasp her arm. She spun to face him once again.
“Marie . . .” his eyes downcast, his voice hushed,
“Don’t. Don’t give up hope yet.”
His head shot up, their eyes met. His hazel eyes glistened fiercely.
“Ya gotta give me more than that, Logan.”
“I will. Just give me time.”
She felt her lower lip quiver, slowly working itself into a smile. “That fuckin’ hope just won’t die, will it?”
He gave and uncertain smile in return, “Tell me about it kid.”
“Way to go, Pandora. Way. To. Go.” she whispered to herself.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.