Title: Stockholm Syndrome
Author: Sionnain (sionnainw@gmail dot com)
Fandom: Xmen, Movie!Verse.
Rating: PG for hints of adult things
Word count: 566
Summary: He found a way to touch her body, but it's what he's done to her mind that she fears.
She’s still afraid of him, even after what she’s given him, even though he is the only person in the entire world that can touch her bare skin. She still hates that, sort of, because it’s not fair.
Sometimes she’ll sit in the chair in his study, and she’ll read books about psychology. She asked him once why he had them, and he’d given her his enigmatic smile with his cold grey eyes focused intently on her, tapping the side of his head lightly.
“Study of the mind, Marie.”
He never calls her Rogue.
Most of the Brotherhood do not use their first names. She only knows them because he knows them, and though he has found some way to touch her without him dying, she still absorbs things from him; she still knows things she shouldn’t.
One night she woke up speaking a language she did not know; he left her alone and did not speak to her for a week. There are shadows in his eyes she never wants to understand, and she is grateful, actually, that she did not know what it was she said.
When he first took her, she had fought him, his indoctrination of her, his patient attempts to control her power and her mind with the forbidden lure of touch. She’d given in eventually with relief, because fighting him was painful.
He is inventive with punishments that afford no physical pain, but make her mind shriek in agony.
She loves him, after a fashion. She will never tell him, though maybe she should.
“I read a book about Stockholm Syndrome today,” she tells him one night, dressed in a tank top and pajama pants and sitting on the edge of the bed they share.
“Did you?” He is standing at the window, looking out at the darkness, a forlorn figure. Sometimes she thinks that he is more dangerous to touch than she is. The thought makes her shiver and not entirely in fear.
“Yeah.” She knows he hates the way she talks, slurring words. Her accent is more pronounced when she’s agitated, which means she sounds more like a Southerner around him then she ever does. Even with Gambit, whose speech patterns are comforting, like home, she sounds more like Rogue than Marie.
“And what did you think of it, Marie?” Indulgent; as if she’s a child, telling him about a program she saw on television.
“Thought it was crazy. Maybe. I dunno. Maybe it made sense.” She twines the sheet in her hands and bites her lip. “It made sense to me.” Her voice is very quiet, but the room is cold and metal and it seems to echo.
He laughs coldly, and she feels the slow, hot stir of desire, for he has confused her so that she inexplicably links the two together. “Did it, now.”
“Yeah,” she agrees, lying back, hands stretched out above her so he can restrain her—he may be able to touch her, but he does not accord her the same privilege. “Yeah, it did.”
She waits patiently as he approaches the bed, moving effortlessly. She has always thought him oddly graceful. He stands beside the bed and caresses her cheek briefly with his fingers.
“Stockholm Syndrome,” he says, amused. “Marie. Honestly.”
She grins—dare one say roguishly?—and her eyes slide close as he turns out the light.