the pearl


The cold slice, the sharp slash of fire, the rush of adrenaline and endorphins, the almost sexual thrill of seeing the blood seeping from her body.

Rogue had been experimenting with her healing abilities ever since that cold vicious night in the Blackbird, squeezing her hands into fists so tight that her nails cut her delicate skin of her palm over and over and over again, the cuts healing with a slow soothing pain before the quick vicious pain of her squeezing again.

As she sat there that night, her memories clashing with the sight of the man she thought she was (or was she another man, currently sitting in a plastic holding cell? Or was she a scared teenage girl?), the quick flash of fluorescent light on metal caught her eye, and she reached out for the scalpel before she realized what she was doing, reaching out with her hand and pulling it towards her by...oh God, by magnetism, and she didn't realize what she had done until it sat, a cold deadly weight, in her hand.

It exhausted her to do that, nearly collapsing on the bed next to Logan's, and Jean forced her to sleep, Scott carrying her up to bed like a toddler, right down to being covered in a giant blanket. She slept for most of the day, and when she awoke, she was alone in the large room, all alone save her new friend the scalpel, still glittering amid her rumpled clothing.

It glinted at her, a silver smile, and she picked it up in gloveless hands, feeling its chill against her fingers. Picked it up, then slowly slid it against the soft skin of her inner arm, the blunt end trailing gently over her pale skin, slipping against the thin outlines of veins. The coolness calmed her, the delicate tickle of metal against skin causing her to shiver slightly. She set the knife on edge, the point pressing into her skin sharply, but not sharp enough to cut, and dragged it along the skin, leaving a red scratch trail.

The lines scared her and she put the scalpel down, tucking it underneath her pillow, refusing to acknowledge the lure of steel. She was a normal girl, a normal girl — damn it. She wasn't a freak, not among these people, she was just like everyone else. And that gorgeous image of silver against pink skin, a liquid streak of red appearing, that urge, that sweet sweet urge, that wasn't normal, not even here. She was normal, she would NOT touch the delicious thin metal again.

But when she found herself cursing, words she thought she never knew, much less would use, she ran up to her room, reaching under her pillow for the blessed release.

She locked herself in the bathroom, yanking off her glove and, with closed eyes, slid the edge along her arm.

Pain. Release. She gasped, and as the endorphins kicked in, she let out a shuddering breath, like sobbing, like orgasm. She opened her eyes...

And the wound healed in front of her. No scar, just a trace of blood remaining.

She began to cry, and cut, slicing up her arms as she sobbed, blood dripping onto the bathroom floor, but there were no scars, nothing to remind her of what she had done. Nothing but the faint echoes of pain and the blood streaking up and down her arms.

And after a few minutes, she coughed, startling herself awake, staring at herself in the mirror. Her hands slid up to her face, streaking blood on her cheeks, as she stared at herself, hollow eyes and a bloodstreaked body, like a pagan sacrifice or a war-weary soldier. She stared, and slid the knife over her arm one final time, deep, painful, real.

And still the wounds healed.

This X-Men story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at