Luminous Pretty
by Jane St Clair and Te
March 2001

Disclaimers: If Marrow were ours, we'd never give her a mask
to wear.

Spoilers: Vagueish thoughts for various X-books.

Summary: Marrow vignettes.

Ratings Note: NC-17. Blood and bone and need.

Authors' Notes: So Jane St Clair brought up Marrow, and I'd
found a lovely site about her once before, and, inevitably,
it led to wondering who we could smut her with. Didn't it
have to? Go here for more Marrow:

Jane grins and says nothing and contemplates body piercing.

For the record, here's Te's fave piccy of her:

Acknowledgments: For Te's uber-tolerant we and Dawn Sharon
for demanding to see little pieces.

Feedback: CRUNCH.,,


Jane: Emma Frost for pure domination, icy mind pushing Sarah's
rage down and holding it there, making a *point*.

Te: *Damn*... and Sarah just angrily dumbstruck by Emma's
beauty, all that soft pale skin and the tight, tight laces of her
corset, breasts spilling over the top, begging to be savaged...

Jane: Like something that could be split open with an uncareful
touch.  Always this danger with the bones, but if she leans in,
just carefully, she can mouth one breast upwards, just high
enough that the nipple peers over the white leather edge,
something fierce and terribly vulnerable.

Warmer than any other part she's touched when she closes her
mouth around it.  Just lips at first.  Flesh on flesh, and she's
not clear at all how Emma's softness can be such a threat, just
as if Sarah couldn't kill her with a twist of her arm.  Hand in
her hair commanding.  Close against her scalp when she brings her
teeth down and bites carefully.

Grip tightens in her hair, encouragement or warning. Marrow has
no idea, but bites harder anyway.  Earns a slap that has nothing to
do with skin, but something *inside*. Some raw spot on her brain
that sparks with pain, knocking her back from the woman. And the
*voice* --

*you destroy what you can't have. stupid child.*

Marrow growls and holds herself still for a moment before leaning
in to look closer at the purpling skin, lick at the blood welling
just beneath the surface.

Emma laughs and tosses her back against the floor, thick soft
carpeting beneath her head for only a second before bone rips
through the back of her neck, pushing out until she's leaning up
on a spike of bone and her elbows. Looking up and up at an
image from some twelve year old geek's wet dream.

Snaps her teeth on air that for one ghostly moment feels exactly
like those laces should feel, and Emma smiles. Runs her hands over
her own half-trapped breasts, hefts them and squeezes and Marrow
knows Emma knows that she's transfixed. Helpless.

Elemental woman of curves and softness and flesh and she *wants*.

Emma presses a boot against her chest, puts some weight on it,
pushing air out of Marrow's lungs.

She knows this.  This fierceness.  Familiar in a way she hadn't
expected any upworlder to be.  Doesn't fit with Emma's prettiness,
her softness, but there's something just under the surface that's
raving hot, bloody and angry and ugly.

That she can open herself to.  Balances on her neck-bone like
primitive death and just lets her chest *suffer* until Emma's ready
to let her up.  Ache of the boot heel pressing into her own breast
no worse than the brief agony of a bone pushing out.  Less, really,
because something in her body wants this.  Wants this potential
for focused hurt.  There on her breasts, on her thighs, on the
place between her legs that's soaking, aching, *open* in a way
that's entirely too vulnerable, and more so every time she spreads
her legs farther out in submission.

Knows to stay very, very still while Emma bends over her.  Still
with that boot pressing in.  Quick, white hand breaks off an
end-sharp piece of her ribcage and uses it to slit Sarah's top.
Crosswise, first, then down.  Letting her breasts spill out in
the middle.

And Marrow waits.  For upworlder horror at the mass of scars
decorating that flesh, the small blood-patches from wounds
earlier today.

More frightening that any kind of contempt when Emma gives
this small, breathy laugh and *touches* her.  Intimate warmth of
that tiny hand on the curve of her flesh, the thumb stroking so.
Slowly along the edge of a scar.  Like something she could reach
into like a ghost.

Marrow gasps for air she can't have, watches her vision fuzz
around the edges, listens to the still-quiet pound in her head.
Not desperate, not yet, ignoring the pain of the awkward
position, helplessly grinding her neck spike into the carpet,
knowing she's only bruising herself.

Useless. Emma watches her eyes, tracks her face absently and
digs *deeper*. Open before her, unable to hold onto a steady
gaze and takes in slender bent leg white and white and the
bruise she'd left on that perfect skin. Closes her eyes against
it, lets the pound build and build, only what she deserves for

Upworlder bitch no *goddess*. What Storm was supposed to be,
what she was supposed to ignore, but Marrow is drawn again to
those blue eyes, that amusement and power.

*what am I going to do with you, little killer?*

Anything, oh, please, anything and no don't you *dare*,
struggling just beneath the skin, fighting to lose, gasping and
coughing when Emma finally steps away from her chest,
spreading obediently wider as Emma nudges her toe between
Marrow's thighs. Spreading like water, and it doesn't matter if
it's her own grace or not.

Sharp, polished toe of the boot nudging against her sex, teasing
as Emma balances easily on one leg, a pose that should look
ridiculous, and *does* on some level Marrow can't quite reach,
but is also just right. Pulling her knees up and arching, crying
out at the pain in her neck but never hesitating, never *failing*,
not at this.

And Emma is generous, pushing the seam aside and *pressing*,
right where she needs it. Ruthless and thorough circles, crazy
image of the slim white ankle hidden behind the boot, rotating
in a harmony of staid bone and muscle and her orgasm hits her
with a nasty-good shock. Wordless yell and the angry snap of
the bone on her neck.

Head thumped to the floor, eyes closed and shuddering.

And Emma, Emma's heat beside her.

Emma's gloved fingers tracing her skin.

Emma's smile somewhere she can't scratch out.


Te: Seeing Caliban here... Marrow can't even describe the
feeling. Monster brother, pet of Callisto. She'd puke if she could
see him now.  Friend-Cyclops this and Friend-Storm that. Fucking
sell-out. Easy and gentle now and so fucking *gung-ho* for the

Best named thing *she's* ever seen. She even had it once, down
below on her pallet next to Callisto's, who slapped her for
talking about it the next day.

No room in this world for anything so cuddly-soft as *that*, and
yet, she's here, too.

Any port in a storm, mama, you cowardly fucking *whore*.

But it's not all bad. Battles to fight, former Marauders to track
down and all she has to do is hold them real close and wait for
the inevitable. She hamstrung one fucker, just like that, bone
piercing muscle and lesser bone to punch right through to the
other side, and God fuck *yeah*. That was good.

On the side of judgment, looky here at the freak you got
protecting your soft little homes, America. Proud of me, yet?

Here and now, in Caliban's room, just listening to him talk
sweet and oddly disturbing nonsense to his teddy bear.

Callisto had given her a doll once, cement splinters from some
shattered subway station glued on all over her. Marrow had
drawn in the blood herself, and stared at the vapid, still pretty
face for hours. Out there, they'd call that doll a tragedy, maybe.

They just call her ugly and that's it, that's fucking *it*, and she
rips the bear out of Caliban's arms.

Soft, furry friendliness of it, and before she's even thinking about
it she's curling her fingers back, showing projecting tarsals like
claws that she can use to disembowel the fucking thing.  And
halfway to its grey-brown belly when Cal's hand closes on her wrist,
so tight she feels the bones under the surface of her skin creak.

"Bear is *mine*, Friend-Marrow."

Well.  Good to know he's still capable of defending himself, at
least.  Going to hurt her in a minute but she's fucked if she'll let
him know that, not until after he's done it and then if she has to
scream she knows he'll scream too.  Agonies of remorse.  Public
contrition before Xavier, if they can get him to come down.
Maybe Cyclops if they can't.

Caliban pries her fingers loose from the bear and reclaims it.  Puts
it on his bed without turning.  Fuck he's *huge*, he wasn't this
big when they were Morlocks.  Wasn't this jacked-up *thing*.
Ugly, yeah, but they were all ugly.  And now he's.  Luminous.
Somebody called him that yesterday.  White and purple and
*glowing* from inside, like something upworld holy.  And he
keeps holding her there, not letting her turn, and she can't break
her arm loose without breaking it.

Just so humiliating, because for no good reason at all she's
*crying*, and that doesn't make any sense.  She hasn't cried since.
Since the Marauders came.  Since LeBeau hauled her baby ass
out of there and then dumped her with Caliban and went.

And Caliban leans in and *kisses* her, very carefully, on the cheek.
Sweet as his baby-talk, like one of the barely-coloured posters
Kitty Pride has on the walls of her bedroom this month, of the tiny,
very pretty clean kiddies giving each other chaste little pecks.

Stranger when he picks her up, big careful hands on her ribs and
thighs, and puts on the bed.  Crouches down in front of her and
strokes the next tear with his somehow still-uninjured finger.
And then gives her the bear.

Reflexive squeeze, fingertips automatically seeking the soft, soft
belly and she's not looking but she knows Caliban is looking at
*her*. Feels it, all bright and hot and implacable, but that's not
why she loosens her grip.

She doesn't *know* why she loosens her grip, and she doesn't
know why she brings the bear close to her, eyes closed. Brings it
to her face, careful of the bone crown she's stuck with again.

Brings it to her cheek, the feel-not-feel of fake fur against skin
and scar.  Hugs it to her chest and only resists for a moment the
need to curl in on herself, and *then* she knows.

Ugly dangerous girl always hurting the pretty things and
wanting the pretty things and tracing the fresh faces on her
walls and cramming her fingers into bloody fists to keep from
reaching out and the bear is soft and the bear is warm from
Caliban's touch and Caliban's fingers on her face.

Lightest pressure on the bone, on the one part of her left
temple left exposed and it's... soothing. And there's nothing
holding the tears back now.

And Marrow decides not to care.


Marrow can neither see nor feel here, trapped in the basement
while Great Queen Bitch Witch flies above, beautiful and perfect.
There's no one to see her, this sub-sub-sub basements with the
dead monitor no one's bothered to replace. Getting sloppy,
X-fucks, don't you know there's a beast down below?

That's what Storm called her, among other things, just before
calling wind and hail to batter her into place against a tree,
bone spikes spearing her to the wood, sap sticky cool running
down her back. Too much to have *her* as team leader. Her or the
shifty Cajun, no choice at all.

Alone in the house, on the grounds, one last showdown.
Marrow hadn't even drawn blood.

But there's a toy in here, just the one.

Losing power, but still effective.  One Genoshan collar. Just
for her.

Marrow can wait.

She used to get out at night, after all.  They didn't, didn't always,
lock the door, and she's learned how to disarm any lock with the
bones in her hands.  Got out and wandered the halls.  Quiet and
easy in the dark; don't they know she can *see*, that lights-out
only cripples upworlders?

Put her hands up against Storm's door once in the night and
*growled*.  Moved out of sight before the bitch came to the door
and glared at her through the dark.  Thought about which one of
them locked up people in the basement and which one of them
was the beast, exactly.

Just enough of an irony that she can get her teeth around it and
grind, and she imagines Storm's face if she realized Marrow even
knew words like that.

Remembers Storm beating Callisto down, standing over her
beaten body, and then *leaving* them to the mercy of the
Marauders.  Fuck her for a coward, fuck her for the Bright Lady
she never was, she never gave them anything.  Just *took*.  Took
Callisto away from them.  From her.  Took Marrow in here and
then stripped her down and made her a *thing*, a *beast*.  Kept
her in the dark until there wasn't anything left of Sarah, and
only scraps of Marrow.

Whining little pig voice in her mind -- "which is the way he wants
it. Well, he *gets* it." Knows that movie from somewhere,
something that made little Sarah cry even though she didn't
understand a damned stupid thing.

One day, *one* day they're gonna open that door. No slot for the
food they'll eventually have to give her, after all. Sloppy, sloppy.

One day, the caretaker's gonna get sloppy, too. It'll be Storm
herself, she thinks. Maybe no one else knows she's down there.
Maybe Storm's letting 'em think she ran off. What a laugh. She's
got a *job* here. A mission of her very own, wouldn't any mama
be proud?

Callisto would be. Callisto knew. Understood. No one fucks with
your own, and if Marrow doesn't have much, she has *that*.

She remembers Callisto crouching above her in the dark when she
was little.  Or not little, but younger.  Not quite as fierce as she
needs to be now.  Crooning, almost.  Brush of fingers on her lips
and on her sex.  Naked then in the dark like she's naked now.
Fierce and growling with the pleasure of that touch, of the
hand-passed kisses, of Callisto's spit cooling on her nipples and
her navel.  Connection and sex and protectiveness, everything
she knows to call love.

The X-Men wouldn't like that.  Nothing in her to weave her
into Xavier's family-of-the-house.  She has an evil stepmother,
and she has her pack.  She hunts with them, she lives here.
Possibly at some point, if Storm hasn't come up with a good
story, someone will come looking for her.

She can just picture the Weather Bitch's face when she comes to
see if Marrow's learned her lesson and finds her here, crouched
naked and feral and glittering in the dark.

Just for her. That one perfect, special relationship, hunter to
prey. The real natural order to things, the only dream is the
wolf dream. The only salvation in the spill of blood and the rip
of flesh.

She's not ready yet, but there's a kind of beauty here, the kind
of perfection only nature can give, even though she only knows
nature as the dark of trees and a different kind of stench. Maybe
she was made for this moment, right here, and the killing of a

Villain of this piece, maybe, the big fugly in the... dark.

Oh, Stormy... come on down, beautiful...