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04 February 2008 @ 01:37 pm
Demeter's Daughter, Chapter 6 (Part 2) Rachel Grey/Nathaniel Essex (Mr. Sinister)  
Sorry for the delay, folks! resolute and I have finished this story, so it's all done and we'll be posting the rest of it this week and next.

Title: Demeter's Daughter, Chapter 6 (part 2)
Authors: sionnain and resolute
Fandom: 616-verse X-Men, ends up AU
Pairing: Nathaniel Essex, aka Mister Sinister, and Rachel Grey
Rating: dear heavens, NC-17
Warnings, Notes, etc: Contains graphic sex and graphic violence. Dub-con. Makes references to non-con. In addition, Resolute thinks the X-Men treat Rachel pretty poorly, and her biases show.
Summary: Rachel Grey is the only scion of the Summers-Grey line that Sinister has so far ignored. When Rachel returns from space, scarred and broken again, she is in no position to defend herself from him.

AN: The title is from the Grace Griffith song Demeter's Daughter.This is a multi-chapter fic, co-written by sionnain and resolute. Please be advised of the warnings, as this fic deals with extremely adult themes and contains explicit sex and BDSM. Especially this chapter.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6 (Part 1)

Rachel turned off the movie. It was one of her favorites, Pitch Black. She liked Riddick.

Her room was sort of quiet. Rachel got up and did a few stretches. I'm bored. Bored. She hadn't been bored in a long time. Too tense to be bored, I guess. But now she was relaxed, and restless, and fidgety, and . . . bored.

I should take a walk. Maybe go to the exercise room and run. Rachel changed into workout clothes -- a jog bra and tight spandex running shorts. She tied her shoes and set off down the hall.

Rachel reached the door to the small gym and stopped, idly jogging in place. She could go in there. It would help with the restlessness. But it wasn't just that. Something else, something else to do.

I miss Kitty. But Kitty had been coming to lure her down to the lab, to ease Rachel into giving up the Phoenix. Rachel paused, frowning. Or maybe she wasn't? I don't remember -- She shook her head and jogged easily down the hall.

Nathaniel was in his office. Rachel stopped just outside, in the hall. The door was pushed nearly shut. She could see him through the crack, writing longhand in a notebook while checking something on a computer. Rachel took a breath. "This movie is good," she said. Her voice was loud in the quiet of the hallway. "But I was thinking of making popcorn if you even have any and then I thought maybe you might have a beer, I haven't had one in a long time and the last time was Logan's, and if you wanted to come watch this movie it's pretty good but really, it's not your thing anyway so do we have popcorn? Or beer?"

He looked up, startled from the quiet by her sudden bright chatter. "I unfortunately do not have those items. Popcorn has little nutritional value, and beer is primarily empty calories. Alas, I did have some John Courage, but that possibly was in the late eighties at some point." He stood up, and stretched--fingers interlaced, hands above his head, the muscles in his shoulders and back pulling pleasurably. He yawned. "I am certain I have some approximation of snack foods and an alcoholic beverage that will be to your satisfaction. Do give me a moment and I shall find them." She was giving him a strange look. "What is it? You are looking oddly at me."

Rachel smiled. "Nothing. Or, nothing much. I never saw you yawn, ever. I didn't think you got tired like that?" She took a step back. "Okay, I'll, I'll meet you in my room? Unless you have a tv somewhere else?"

"I have been sitting here for several hours, which means my body was sedentary. And I do become tired, yes, but my healing factor keeps me awake if I wish. I do sleep on occasion, for several hours. It is not good to remain awake for overlong periods of time." He arched a brow at her. "I am a very light sleeper, do not get ideas. Apocalypse trained us all to be." He thought about her question. There was no other television in the compound; the one in her bedroom was the only one he had. "Yes, if that is permissible to you. I shall be but a moment."

Nathaniel went to the kitchen. He found some wine--several bottles--and chocolates, which he had given her once as a reward. There were some peanuts, and some dried fruit. He broke the chocolates into bits and added them with the nuts and fruit, then took the bowl, the wine, and two glasses to her room. He knocked politely, and waited to be admitted. "This was my best effort, I am afraid. There is red wine, here, and an amalgamation of dried fruits, chocolate pieces, and peanuts." He pulled the chair up next to where she was perched on the bed, and put the bowl down in front of her. He opened the wine with his powers and poured them both a glass. "Which film are we watching?"

"Pitch Black," Rachel said. She took the wine and sipped it. "This is nice, Nathaniel, thank you." She looked at the bottles of wine he'd brought and giggled. "I, ah, don't have a healing factor," she said. "I don't think I can drink more than a bottle, myself."

She settled in, nearly reclining, still in the jogging shorts and bra. Wine made her feel overheated, so she didn't bother with a sweatshirt. She stretched a bit, smiling, and telekinietically helped herself to a handful of the snack. "It looks great. Ready?"

"You are welcome." He sipped the wine, which was a nice, smoky Zinfandel. Nathaniel preferred port, but this would do. "I shan't let you get intoxicated, do not worry," he assured her, focusing on the film. It featured a prison ship, a dangerous convict, and aliens. It was not a bad film. There were scientific inaccuracies, but Nathaniel was used to those. He enjoyed science fiction--as much as he enjoyed anything--as fiction. Rachel seemed to like it. She watched, leaning forward. Eyes widened, a little, and her mouth was parted slightly. She was breathing a little quicker when the film became violent.

He spent more time covertly watching her than the film, but he was looking for, he couldn't have said.

Rachel held out her glass a few times, not really paying any attention to how much Nathaniel put in it. She really did like the movie, just . . . it was more fun with someone. The wine was good, and went well with the chocolate and fruit. Somewhere in there Nathaniel opened a second bottle. Rachel shrugged. The man had a healing factor.

"This part, here," she murmured. "Where he says he knows she's a killer."

Nathaniel sipped his wine. Rachel was relaxed, he could tell; her mind was quiet, she was not anxious or spiraling downward. Yet there was something he could not quite put his finger on, some restlessness--

Like the other night, when she had touched herself. That same sort of restlessness. The girl did quite like violence.

It was hot in the room, he noticed. She was licking chocolate off of her fingers. "Yes?" he asked, and his voice was decidedly lower, the timbre huskier than his usual. He noticed, though he was not certain she would. "What about it? He seems astute, this Riddick."

"Shhh," Rachel said. She leaned forward, holding her breath. At the end of the scene she smiled and held out her glass for more wine. "He is. He's a monster, so he makes her human."

Nathaniel poured her more wine. "No more than that, I do not think," he chided her. "I thought perhaps the girl found him attractive because he could keep her safe from the aliens."

Rachel finished the wine in a long swallow, her throat working. She set the glass down, obediently not asking for more. "No," she whispered, curling towards the screen intently. "No, she can't live with what she's done and he makes her want to live . . . " Rachel's voice trailed off as she watched, her breath coming faster. Her hands were fisted in the covers on her bed. She didn't notice.

Nathaniel noticed. He set his wine glass on the table next to the bottle and leaned forward, elbows on his knees, hands steepled. "Is something amiss? Do you require anything? Some water, perhaps?"

"What? No . . . " Rachel glanced at him. He was doing it again, shadowing his face with his fingers. His eyes glinted. He wasn't watching the movie at all. He was watching her. Rachel bit her bottom lip, worrying at it. "No. I mean. Maybe. I might, later, after the movie. After you. Ahh, after you leave. That would be more appropriate, right?"

Rachel sat up, facing Nathaniel. "I mean, I'm not freaking out. So there's no logical reason for you to help with this." She looked at his hands and shivered.

Nathaniel saw her shiver, saw the way she looked at his hands. His shields were as tight as he could make them. His face was impassive. He wanted her, badly. But she was not here for his pleasure, but for observation. Nathaniel was very good with acting appropriately to achieve his objects. He had denied himself things for longer than he cared to remember. But the urge to yank her on his lap and have his way with her, it was strong indeed.

He did not scowl. His voice was even, cool as he spoke. "Inappropriate for you to have water before I leave?"

Rachel blushed. "Oh. That part would be fine. I'm not thirsty, though." She looked down at her hands. Hoping he didn't get what she had been talking about.

"Inappropriate for you to have something else that you want, is it? Rachel, it astounds me that you do not feel you deserve anything that you find enjoyable, ever." He shook his head, mildly irritated. "You asked me for it before, why should now be any different?

"It's different," she mumbled. "I don't need anything. It would be scientific, or helping me not freak out. I just feel restless and want stuff. And I can do it myself." Rachel heard the next words out of her mouth as if she wasn't saying them at all. "It's better when you do it, though."

She still hadn't named what they were talking about. Had no intention of doing so, if he would let her get away with it. Something between pain and sex, and if he did it, if he held her down and pressed cold fingers inside her, again, if he did it just because she liked it, was she using him? Was he fucking her? Was it sex? Would she be having sex with Mister Sinister?

Nathaniel went very, very still. "Is it?" he asked quietly, unsure what to say. That she merely wanted him for release--it did not particularly bother him. It was only that it was somewhat incomprehensible to him.

Is it, really? The girl is wound tighter than a clock. She has experienced pain, relaxation, quiet at my hands.

He took her admission as permission, and straightened in his chair. "Lay back," he said, his tone brisk and efficient. "Lay back and I shall give you what you want."

Rachel closed her eyes. "Just -- wait a second." She pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around them. She pressed her forehead down and tried to think. She was rocking a little, she knew that, and knew it was from the stress. But I'm not upset that I want it. I'm just upset about someone else would think. She kept rocking. She heard a slight motion from over by Nathaniel.

"No, just wait a minute," she said. "I'm okay. Just wait." She was rocking, still. I'm upset about what, come on, Ray, just say it. Scott would be hurt and furious and he would never speak to me again, that's what I'm afraid of. God. The man's having sex with Emma Frost, like he can really talk. Rachel could feel the tension in her body. Nathaniel will do it. He'll take care of it, he'll grab me and push me down, and his hand on my throat and force my legs apart, and then flip me over and hand on my hair and standing behind I'm on my knees and he's fucking me and my back is raw and it's turning him on while I struggle and --

Rachel's head snapped up.

"That wasn't me." She stared at him. "That fantasy, this one here?" She shoved the last few images back at him. "Those aren't mine. Which means they have to be yours."

He should have expected that. He'd of course been in her mind, listening to her thoughts. And the moment she'd started thinking of what she wanted, his shields had slipped a bit. Nathaniel did not lie about it. "Yes," he said quietly. "Those are mine." He quirked a brow at her look. "You seem surprised."

Rachel swallowed. "I -- I am. It was, I thought it was, that you were studying me. But that's more like. I don't know. If you're not studying, if you're thinking those things, that's less scientific . . . ?" She trailed off, not at all sure what to say. "I didn't notice you were a guy, is all, I guess."

Another man might have been insulted by such a statement, but Nathaniel merely nodded. "Yes, that is understandable. My manner and appearance suggests I am something else entirely, but I assure you, Rachel, I am most definitely a man." He cocked his head. "You are quite...arousing, to a man of my particular physical desires. I assure you, however, that I am capable of giving you what it is you want without forcing myself upon you in an ungentlemanly fashion."

"Um." Rachel blushed even more. She uncurled, a little more. Not laying down yet. "And what are -- What are your particular physical desires?" Her eyes flickered over him as she waited for his reply. Over his shoulders. Hands. Over his waist and legs. She licked her lips again, then made herself stop.

"I should think you would have guessed that. I enjoy providing the sorts of things that you seem to very much like receiving, I suppose." He watched her with a sharp, sudden interest. "Pain. Force. The darker pleasures, we called them, when I was a mortal. Those desires have not changed, but I have suppressed them for a great many years. I had quite forgotten my own pleasure in such things until you arrived."

"So. Um. You'd like to be, ah. Ungentlemanly."

"Well," Nathaniel said, a bit stiffly. "I shan't take you by force. Unless, of course, you wish me to. Then I shall. What I mean is, I shall be able to push you back and hold you down and force your pleasure, without taking any of my own. I have done so twice and neither time have I done so, and I shan't if you wish for me to do that for you again."

Rachel tried to see what he was thinking. Nathaniel was tightly shielded, though. I wonder what he doesn't want me to see. She lay back on the bed, her heart racing. "Well. Okay. I -- I guess I want. This." Rachel licked her lips again, her pulse frighteningly loud in her ears. I think my dad would honestly prefer to kill me than know this ever happened. She tried to speak, and had to clear her throat. "Make me," she whispered.

She didn't close her eyes.

Nathaniel could feel her trying to see what it was, precisely, that he wanted. Perhaps I shall show her. "My pleasure," he said softly, moving to sit next to where she lay on the bed. She started a bit and moved a little, away from him. He felt like a predator. Nathaniel was not sure exactly what she wanted, but he erred on the side of caution and decided she wanted him to make her come as he had before. He reached out and drew his fingers down her neck, watching as she stared at him, watching as her breathing caught.

He allowed his shields to slip, just a fraction. So that she could sense his sharpened interest.

Rachel nodded mutely. Her lips formed the word 'please.' She felt caught, and the sensation made her dizzy. It felt wrong. It felt bad, and trapped, and small and scared.

And wet. Rachel felt a sudden jolt between her legs. Pleasure, and damp heat, and a steady throbbing pulse. That's what makes it wrong. That's why I'm sick. That's why Scott hates me. I'm sick and broken and wrong.

Rachel closed her eyes. *Help,* she sent. She didn't know what for.

Nathaniel's fingers tightened around her neck. He slapped her, hard, watching her head snap to the side. What had she wanted? His hand around her throat, her on her stomach. He turned her over and kept his hand on the back of her neck. Her back was still sore. Nathaniel slapped his hand down, the sound of his palm hitting flesh jarring in the quite of the room.

"Oh god." Rachel's whisper was loud in the room, and she realized she could hear Nathaniel breathing. Faster than usual. Louder. "No. No. Please." Rachel twisted, pulling away. She had been turned on before. She was already on edge. This, this was putting her close. She rubbed her breasts against the bed as she squirmed. Her nipples ached at the pressure and she moaned. Nathaniel slapped her again and Rachel ground her hips again the bed, uselessly, futilely.

"You need to remain still," he informed her. Nathaniel stood up and pulled at his belt. His fingers were slightly clumsy. He narrowed his eyes at that, somewhat displeased at his reaction to her small, breathless cries and her whimpers. He took off his belt and set it aside, then knelt next to her on the bed. Nathaniel divested her of her clothing, running his fingers down the deathmark on her back. It was beautiful, in a slightly menacing way. She was not staying still, so he fashioned restraints and affixed her spread eagle to the bed.

He picked up the belt, but he did not whip her right away. Instead, he traced the cool leather down her back. He wanted her to beg for it, beg him to whip her.

She was nearly sobbing. Short, tight cries of tension. Gasping for breath. He was waiting. Why was he waiting? "I need it," she said. "I''m sick. I'm sick and it's wrong and I don't want to -- " Rachel hips arched up off the bed over and over. " -- wrong and bad and I need it."

Rachel tried to look at him. She couldn't see his face. "I'm tired of fighting. I don't want to be sick but I am and I can't stop the noise by myself." She sobbed. "Please help."

Nathaniel smiled. He watched her for a moment, the way she arched up and pushed towards his belt. He didn't say anything, just began whipping her. He could tell her she was not wrong, or bad, and that what she wanted--it was not all that strange. She was not the first, and she would not be the last, to take pleasure and comfort in such things. Granted, she was a rather extreme case, but it was not unheard of in the least.

He was very good with a whip. Apocalypse used to make him do this to some of the Horseman when they misbehaved. He knew how to use a whip because he often had one used on him. Nathaniel pushed that memory away and concentrated instead on the steady fall of the leather, on wrapping it up around her shoulders. That always hurt the worst.

Rachel broke down right away. Not because it hurt but because the relief was so intense. It did hurt, of course. She yelped and cried out and struggled. But it was just pain. Many things hurt.

What shattered her defenses was something far more painful. Rachel was safe. Nathaniel wasn't kind, particularly. He wasn't a nice man. But he was honest. He didn't flinch from Rachel. He didn't judge her harshly, or fear her, he wasn't ashamed of her. He sometimes said unkind things to her, but only when she was being cruel to herself.

Rachel found herself crying. And with each blow of the whip her hips came up off the bed. "Nathaniel. Please. Want to come. May I touch myself? Please?"

"No," he said, smiling pleasantly. "You may not." He tightened the restraints at her wrists and ankles, just to prove a point. "I shall make you come when I am sufficiently moved to do so, and not a moment before." He whipped the backs of her thighs for emphasis, three times in a row, each stroke landing on the same place as the one before. "Though you do beg very nicely." He lowered his shields, just a little, so that she could tell that he was enjoying himself.

He was also covered in sweat, breathing hard (and not from exertion), and trying to remember that he had promised not to force her. The temptation was there, but he was a man of his word. He would whip her a few more times, and then he would make her come. Then he would bandage her back, and leave her to her rest. That was what she wanted, and that was what she would have.

Rachel cried out repeatedly as the belt came down on her thighs. The images splashed across her mind. Desires that weren't hers, but could be. She was still crying. He wasn't going to touch her for a while, she could see the determination in his mind. Rachel's shields were gone, he could see all the things she wanted. He could see her, on her knees, head down, him behind her. Forcing himself inside her. The image wasn't his. It was hers.

Nathaniel dropped the belt. He stood behind her, nearly panting. His hands went to the waistband of his trousers. She was still crying, and he could see it in her mind, he could see himself behind her and forcing her to come while he took her, fast and rough, his hand in her hair. He wanted it. Badly.

*I shall give you once chance to tell me no.*

"No," she whispered, and sent her desire to him as hard as she could. Not leaking the feelings through telepathic shields, but forcing the image at him, forcing the thought of her arched and shuddering while he used her.

Nathaniel actually winced visibly at the force of her telepathic insistence, her whispered no lost in the haze of lust that accompanied her visual projection of what she wanted from him. He unfastened his pants and shoved them down, kneeling on the bed behind her, and grabbing her by the back of the neck. He pulled her up so she was on all fours, and then he barely gave her a moment to adjust before he fit himself against her and entered her with a brutal, harsh thrust. She was wet, very wet, but he was certain it had to have hurt her.

He hissed and began fucking her, hard, staring down at her ravaged back. He did not shield himself, did not try and hide his pleasure in her pained cries and the sight of her back, whipped by his belt, and the tight wetness of her around his cock.

Rachel clawed the bed as he wrenched her free of the restraints. He wanted her to move now. Wanted her to buck and move, to fuck herself against him and scream in pain.

Want it too want it god want need hurt ow god hurt please "Hurt me please hurt me make it real make me real please 'thaniel make it hurt please--" Rachel backed against him. The ache, the pain, she needed it. She wanted to touch her clit, and tried to move her hands.

He could barely hear what she was saying--out loud or in his mind--but he got the general idea. He did not let her touch herself. Instead, he put his free hand between her legs, fingers hard and rough, and dropped his other hand from her neck. He rubbed at her, fast and quick, and then slapped his hand down hard on the welts criss-crossing her deathmark. He could feel blood on his hand, but he didn't stop.

Rachel arched as he hit her and the pressure on her clit, inside her, the pain, it was too much to stop. She'd meant to ask him first, but she couldn't stop. She came as he touched her, came hard as something fell into place in her mind. "Need this," she whispered, still crying. "Please. Don't stop. Please."

Nathaniel almost laughed at that--did she think he could stop, now?--but he didn't. He put his hand back around her neck and held her against him with his other arm, fingers still pressed hard against her. It had been a long time, since he'd been with a woman. And even longer, really, since he had indulged himself as such play as this. He was determined to enjoy it, and he used her roughly, his body slamming hard against hers.

When he was close he leaned down and bit her shoulder. His teeth sank into her soft skin as he came, and he very nearly drew blood.

Rachel started shuddering immediately as she came. She held on to his arm, sobbing. She couldn't stop. He used her, hurt her and used her and Rachel couldn't stand it. She felt like she was really there. Not just alive, but like she existed. Not like a mistake. She couldn't stand it and was terrified the feeling would fade, back into the drifting she usually felt.

He bit her and she cried harder. Her body was jerking and she couldn't see.

Nathaniel rested against her, and took a selfish moment to rather enjoy the bone-deep satisfaction he felt. He disentangled himself from her after a few moments. His hand was bloodied, and she was--

Sobbing. Like the world was ended. Nathaniel looked at her, momentarily concerned with what to do with her. He reached down and shook her, gently. She'd fallen forward on the bed when he'd moved, and was still sobbing as if he had just shoved a knife through her stomach.

The metaphor was unfortunate. Nathaniel sighed, adjusted his clothing, and picked her up. He teleported them to his bedroom, where he took her straight into his bathroom. He had a large, claw-foot tub he'd enlarged to fit his frame. With a thought, he made it larger, deeper, and began running the water. "You should try and breathe," he told her. Nathaniel's eyes strayed to the bite mark on her shoulder.

Rachel lay against him, crying. She tried to be quieter. Tried to calm. Her hands were clutching his shirt. She didn't remember doing that. She didn't remember when she'd clung to him, buried her face against his shirt and held on. It didn't matter. She couldn't let go now.

At his words, Rachel tried to do as he suggested. She inhaled, once, and sobbed. It was hard. She was shaking.

Nathaniel was mildly alarmed. "Here, now," he said, his voice a bit gruff. He filled up the tub and heated the water, then placed her in it. "Rachel. Look at me. Look, here." He put his hand underneath her chin and turned her face up to his. He thought of what could possibly be making her cry so very hard. He did not think it was the sex, but then again, perhaps it was. He examined her mind, tried to find what the problem was so that he could adequately see to her needs.

not real feel real alive alive here really here

"Ah. Yes, you are most certainly here. Very much alive." He smoothed her hair back, looking at her eyes. Nathaniel held her against the bathtub with his powers and stripped off his shirt, then climbed into the bath still wearing his black trousers. "Once, when I was working for Apocalypse, he had me whipped until my spine snapped for some infraction. I was left to recuperate on the floor of the ship, in the darkness. I believe it took a month. I have a healing factor, but Apocalypse saw to it that it hurts when I heal. So my spine knitted itself together while I lay in the dark; bleeding, starving, in dire pain. I believe that is when I started to hate. It was very strange, but the pain and my newfound hate, it was almost..." he thought carefully for the proper word as he began to attend to her wounds. "Exhilarating."

Rachel held on to him almost desperately, her tears slowing. The hot water eased her shaking while Nathaniel's calm, even tone gave her something to focus on. She sniffled and breathed slowly. "You were a -- a prisoner? I don't know the story. I know you worked for him. That's all." She swallowed. "I'm thirsty," she whispered.

Nathaniel concentrated and brought over a glass of water, along with a bottle of aspirin. "Everyone was his prisoner, whether you joined his service willingly or not." He held the glass out for her to drink. She couldn't hold it, so he held her against him and helped her drink it. "All of it," he said sternly, forcing her to finish the glass. "Then I shall see to your wounds." He wondered if she would need something stronger than aspirin, but he would wait and see if that were necessary.

Rachel drank it down and finally, finally relaxed. "Wounds?" Rachel frowned. "I guess maybe I do have wounds?" She lay back. "But, not yet, please. Just want to rest here for a minute." It felt more than just warm. It felt like she could breathe. Like something locked tight in her had loosened a little. "Can you tell me? About you being a prisoner?" He had a nice voice. She closed her eyes, hoping he would talk.

"Well, one could argue I did bring it upon myself," Nathaniel said, shifting her so that she was half-straddling him, her chest pressed against his. He wanted her back to be covered by the water, in which he had poured a powder antiseptic to heal her abrasions. He heated the water again and tried to think of what to say. "I agreed to Apocalypse's offer of bondage because I saw an opportunity to continue my work as a scientist. I knew that immortality meant advancements in the field of genetics of which I could scarcely imagine." Nathaniel smiled coldly. "I was not thinking very rationally at the time, however, and I did not realize that his offer also meant eternal servitude and brutality whenever one failed. I realized that after he strapped me into his machine and informed me that while he could make it painless, he had chosen not to, so that I might learn to be strong. At that point, it was a bit too late to do much about it."

"Oh." Rachel felt something under his words. Wait. There. "You weren't thinking rationally? What do you mean? Why not?"

"My wife had just died. Along with my unborn child. I was trying to save the child from suffering the fate of my son, who died when he was six from some unknown genetic disease. I was quite mired in my own grief." He felt her slight surprise at that admission. "Rachel, I was not always this dispassionate, though it would be a lie to say I was ever an overly warm man. I was desperate for some surcease of emotion, however, and the promise of having it all removed was quite enticing indeed."

"Oh." Rachel shifted against him. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and leaned her cheek against his chest. What he said, it felt important. Felt real. "I wasn't thinking rationally either," she blurted. "When they pulled me off the Professor I was still sort of okay, but I felt my mom die three months later and I didn't remember events for a while. The next I remember, I just wanted nice things. I don't remember when I changed. When I turned into that -- creature."

Rachel waited for the panic. The numbness that hit when she talked about it. But it didn't come. She felt the warmth, and the sting against her back. Felt his body under hers. Rachel smiled a little.

"That moment which I told you, that was when I first felt something other than numbness. I felt hate, and it grew and grew, and I plotted his downfall while I healed. When I emerged, whole again, I informed him that yes I had learned my lesson." Nathaniel looked down at her. "We are both survivors. You should not feel guilty for what your body, your mind, did to allow you to survive. There is no sense in that." He wondered why she was smiling. She was very beautiful, Rachel, especially when she was not drowning under all of that foolish guilt. "You seem to feel better."

"I do." Rachel stretched against him, pressing her body against his. "I'm tired now. In my head, all quiet and tired." She nuzzled against his neck, rubbing her face along his throat and shoulder. "I don't want to be a survivor," she said. Her lips moved against his skin. "But I don't want to be dead, either. It's just so tiring. Doing what I have to, to be what I need to be."

"That is the definition of being a survivor," Nathaniel said, and his head tilted back slightly. He shifted beneath her. Nathaniel had a healing factor. It had been a long time, since he'd been with a woman. Rachel was warm and dangerous and her back was bloody and tinging the water red, and he was suddenly interested in other things. "It would be far less tiring, Rachel, if you stopped fighting yourself at every corner. I do not require that much sleep and you occasionally tire me." He put his hands up, on her shoulders, and slid one down her back, just to see what she would do.

"I'll make it up to you." Rachel pressed her lips against his pulse, her teeth. She shifted her weight lower and pushed against his groin. He had been so good. She was safe. Calm. The Phoenix in her head was murmuring softly, a whisper of love and dying. Rachel was not precisely interested in sex with him at the moment. But he obviously was interested in her. She dug her nails into his arms, playfully, and bit his neck. Not so playfully. If he fucked her right now, it would hurt. She wasn't turned on or ready. But it would be okay.

Nathaniel leaned forward, slightly. "What are you doing?" he asked her, his voice pitched very low. "Are you attempting to force me into taking you, or are you possessed of some desire to tease me? I of course realize you are not interested in further physical intimacy at the moment, you have to know that I am aware of that." He slid one hand around, between their bodies, and his fingers pulled lightly on her nipple. "I surmise you wish to push me for some reason, is that so?"

Rachel jumped and continued rubbing against him. "No, it's just a thank you." She kissed lower on his shoulder, scraping with her teeth. "I don't have anything else."

Nathaniel laughed, the sound low and menacing. "Is it, now." He didn't stop her, but simply leaned back and placed his hands on the sides of the tub. "Do you think I did not enjoy myself, earlier?"

Rachel reached between them and unfastened his pants. She pushed them down, boxers, too. He was hard. She rubbed against his cock. Not putting it inside her yet. "You did." Rachel moved against him in the hot water of the bath. Not because she enjoyed it, but because she wanted him to. She was tired. Happy, but tired.

She could tell he liked it, and she lay forward against his body, rubbing her breasts against his chest while his cock stiffened against her clit.

His body was completely still beneath hers; he wasn't even blinking. She felt very good, sleek and wet, rubbing against him as she was. "I have little interest in this if you are doing nothing but perfunctorily offering me thanks with your body," he drawled, watching her with half-narrowed eyes. "You may rest assured I have divined your thanks and cease, if you wish. Not that it is not pleasurable, but I enjoyed it more when you were writhing and desperate."

Rachel slowed. "You don't want this?" She propped herself up on her elbows, on his chest, and watched his face. "You do, though. I can tell, your body wants it." She frowned and pushed into his mind.

*You do want -- oh* Rachel saw it, there, in the front of is thoughts. Her blood in the water. His fingers digging into her back. Her eyes, open and burning white, her laughing and the fire streaking across his skin while he hurt her, and the word in his mind was --

"Magnificent." Rachel stared at him. "You think I'm beautiful," she said slowly. "But only when I'm alive."

He nodded, pleased she had understood. "Yes. Thanking me with your body--that is what you did with your handlers. When you were scared, and trapped. I have no interest in that from you." He paused. "Perhaps no interest is not precisely the right wording, but you are naked and straddling me, and while I am dispassionate, I am not dead. So yes, this is somewhat enjoyable, but it is not precisely what I would have from you. And I shan't allow it to go much further, which you should be able to see since you are reading my mind." He smiled pleasantly at her. "If you are finished with your bath, perhaps you would care for something to eat?"

Rachel stopped moving. She shivered. "I can see what you want." She lay forward on him, relaxing back against his body. Fitting against him, feeling his cock between her legs. Wrapping her arms around his shoulders. Rachel lay against his shoulder. "Do you think I can be her?" she whispered. "I would like to be that. What you see, what you think of me. I think I would like to be her."

Nathaniel settled back against the tile and heated the water again. "You are her," he said, closing his eyes as the newly-heated water steamed hot around them both. "You simply sabotage yourself into being that scared, pathetic creature. You should stop that," he said idly, running his fingers down her back. "But you shan't, if you continue to deny yourself the things you need."

Rachel didn't answer. She breathed slowly. His fingers felt good against her skin. After a while she nodded. "Then -- then I think, something to eat. Yes. A snack, and maybe then sleep. And more water, to help counter all the wine."

Nathaniel opened his eyes. "Then that is what you shall have." He stood up, with her still pressed against him, the water sluicing back into the tub. He carried her to the basin and settled her on it, turning her so that he could bandage up her back. "First, however, you shall remain still so that I may attend to you. You likely do not wish your skin to be permanently marred." He touched her back with careful fingers. "You do not have a healing factor, but you seem to do so remarkably quickly. The Phoenix's influence, do you think?" He began applying the salve, then carefully drying her skin to bandage it.

"I think so," Rachel said, idly drumming her heels on the base of the sink. "I seem to be pretty tough. It's not a healing like Logan's, but I just -- I have more energy, when I need it, sometimes. But it's obviously not reliable." His touch on her back stung. Rachel sighed. "That hurts. I don't know if I want to flinch or push back against you."

Nathaniel sucked in a breath. "Whichever you prefer is acceptable," he said mildly, then tapped her lightly with his fingers. "You are not sitting still as I have directed." He finished with the salve and blew gently on her abrasions, to allow the moisture to cool a bit before placing the bandages. His pants were very wet, and still unbuttoned from her actions earlier. His hair was in his face, wet against his neck. He looked completely disheveled.

"Yes sir," Rachel said with a giggle. She stopped kicking her feet. "Why is all this easier -- I mean, why does it make sense with you?" She shifted, then held still again at his warning murmur. "I've spent years trying to make it make sense -- me, being the way I am. And trying to be a person. A real person, who's not evil or crazy. And it only makes sense when I can be alone, or away from things."

She sighed as he finished the bandages and turned around. "And here, it -- " Rachel broke off her thought and laughed out loud. "Oh my god, you look like a very disgruntled cat. Or, like, a pissed off fox, maybe. Something that shouldn't be wet, and did you even notice your pants are still open?"

Rachel leaned forward fast. He probably could have stopped her, but he didn't. She kissed his cheek, once, and sat back. Still laughing.

Nathaniel was looking at her as if he had never seen her before. "Yes, I had noticed, thank you." He pushed his hair off his face and simply stepped out of his pants, leaving them sodden on the floor and him naked. She'd startled him by kissing his cheek as she had. It was rather difficult to do, startle him. She managed to do it quite often, which did not entirely please him. "I think you stop thinking of yourself, when you are with your family. You appear to place their needs above your own, and they are your authority figures, so you do what they tell you, even if what they are telling you is wrong." He carefully helped her off of the basin, then pulled her into his bedroom so that he could dress. "Sit, there," he instructed, pointing to his bed.

Rachel sat on his bed. Reclined, actually. She lay back on her elbows, only noticing she was naked because he was there. She looked around his room. The bed was large. It would have to be, to fit him. Simple lines. The dresser was large as well, a heavy wardrobe next to it. Nathaniel opened it up and Rachel saw a mirror on the door. The room was nearly spartan -- a bookshelf, a small writing desk. End tables on either side of the bed.

Nathaniel opened a drawer and pulled out underwear. Rachel watched him step into it with fascination. He looked so human. Rachel sniffed the air. "It smells like you, in here. What does it smell like?"

Nathaniel pulled on a pair of trousers and found a long-sleeved, dark red shirt. He thought about her question as he dressed, then tossed her a shirt of his--another long-sleeved cotton one, this one black--to her. She was naked, sprawled on his bed. Nathaniel was momentarily distracted by sight. He could think of things he would rather do than eat, but that was not the next item on the schedule, so he had best get himself under control.

"My cologne, I suppose," he said, in answer to her question. "A citrus blend, perhaps, with a touch of mint. I have been using the same brand for years."

"Where do you get it?" Rachel puled the shirt on. It came down her thighs to her knees. "Like, do you order it? Steal it? Buy it from some little perfume-maker in the Black Forest? Is there a cologne vendor to the supervillains? Like hairdresser to the stars?"

Rachel kept her face perfectly serious as she asked. Perfectly serious.

Nathaniel nodded very seriously. "Yes. I send vials of infant blood, and occasionally small toddlers, to a group of vampires in Romania. They send this in return. A barter system, you know." He had thought he would perhaps get control over his lust once she was stressed, but the sight of her in his shirt was not helping. He turned away from her to tie his hair back. "When I am almost depleted, I open an orphanage." He looked over his shoulder and smiled at her. "I have half a bottle left. You may report that back, if you like."

Rachel burst out laughing. "You have a sense of humor, too! Not just anger anymore, then, right?" The room looked curiously bright, washed-out. Rachel felt lighter. Oh, hi, she whispered in her head. What do you want?

Her mouth opened, and Rachel listened, curious as to what words were going to come out of her mouth.


"I have a sense of humor, it is only that no one finds it particularly amusing." Nathaniel blinked as he realized the voice speaking now was not Rachel. "Yes," he said carefully, inclining his head. "She is yours." Her eyes were starting to bleed to white. "Have I offered some offense?" If the thing was going to try and kill him, he was going to have to work out some sort of escape plan. Nathaniel was a pragmatic man. He knew when things could kill him.

{{mine}} Rachel felt her herself arch and stretch, wings going wide. {{happy now}} She smiled. {{happy calm lust want}}

"Ah. You are pleased with me, I take it, for making your host quiet?" He cocked his head, thinking. "She will not get these things, when she returns to her family. She will not ask for them. Shall you give her what she needs, then?" He was curious to see just how much of an active role the Phoenix took with Rachel.

{{no she will suffer and twist and freeze}}

Rachel blinked. "Hey." She shook her head and concentrated, easing the Phoenix back. It went willingly enough. "What does that mean?" she asked it. Aloud, so Nathaniel could hear her.

The image was intense. The Phoenix sent it to both her and Nathaniel, Rachel could tell. Her, falling in the sky until the Phoenix saved her from breaking her neck, shuddering and clawing at her body. Unable to cry and unable to feel anything.

"That's -- That's not the only thing that will happen," Rachel said. "That's not automatic, or anything." The Phoenix didn't answer again.

Nathaniel understood. The Phoenix would not help Rachel, but it would keep her alive. That was the extent of its concern, though it would prefer to have Rachel functional and alert. Of course it would. He sighed. "You will not get what you need if you continue to allow your family to dictate how you should behave. You are always going to be broken, Rachel. Believe me, I know. And the only thing that you can do is take what you need so that you are not weak. If I learned anything in Apocalypse's service, it was that."

Rachel nodded. "I don't think I'm resigned to that. Yet. There's got to be a way -- " She hopped up on the bed, and walked to the door, waiting for him as he fastened his belt. "I'm, even if I'm not an X-Man, exactly, I'm a Summers and a Grey. Reality doesn't stop us from getting what we want."

"No, but the lot of you have quite a fearsome martyr complex. I have made notes on it before." He opened the door politely for her, waiting for him to proceed her. He did not doubt, precisely, that she could not have what she wanted. It was more that he did not think she would admit to herself what it was.
always been so: : accomplishedaccomplished
rock and roll is: : sarah brightman
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
God - now reading this sitting in my corner at work was not a good idea.



(fans herself).

Now I just wanted to say thank you to the both of you for such an amazing story. The characters are at their best (not to mention the writing). I can see it - literally.

So thanks for actually making my day :)

Slightly obsessedresolute on February 20th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
:grins: Thank you! It's a lot of fun to write, and we do try to make it make sense, as well as be hot. I'm glad you found it to be both, thank you!
bewizeficwize on April 23rd, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)

Holy cow. I can't believe I missed this for so long. (And there were promises of more, yes???)

I... guh. I'm speechless. I'm never speechless! This is what the two of you have done to me! Ack!

This was hot. VERY hot. Scorchingly hot.

But it was everything else that makes this stick with me and come looking for it. I love their quiet acceptance of each other, and that's really what it comes down to.

(That and making me hate Scott a tinsy bit.)

Guh. Now I have to try and explain to people why Sinister/Rachel Grey is my OTP. *headdesk*

(Anonymous) on June 5th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
oh I so adore this story. But please tell me there is an ending, cause I now think I have offically gone trough the rereading limit of one life time :)

Thank you so much for a great great story
inathunderstorm on June 30th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes!! I have totally forgotten to update, am going to do so now :)
bewizeficwize on June 30th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank God.

I was afraid we'd never know what happend! *lol*
blackrosebard on June 30th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
Wow. Okay, note to self.

No reading in public.


Excellent stuff.
inathunderstorm on June 30th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Heh, thank you! You know, you remind me that I have completely forgotten to update the rest of this story. It's done, so I will do that now!!
bewize: Xmen: Icemanficwize on August 26th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Hi! Sorry to bug you, but I was curious if you maybe posted the rest of the story somewhere else? I'd love to see the ending if you have.

(Anonymous) on July 14th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
bloody brilliant the lot of you. Dear lord I might even blush tomato instead of just fire enginge (thought don't qquite know the difference ;) ) Really looking forward towards to the end of this excellent story.

:|-: xm: Logan (scardy)daisysusan on October 6th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Oh, this is brilliant. Very well done, though as other have said, I'll have a time of it explaining why I ship Rachel/Sinister now.

I have to ask, however, if this is going to be updated any more? I certainly hope so!
(Anonymous) on March 5th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
is that the end?!?