A/N: Hello my lovelies! I'm back with another story. :) Just to warn y'all, updates may not be as quick as they were on the others, as I'm working things out as I go. Okay, this particular story will not have the X-Men proper or the Brotherhood in it. Some of the characters, definitely. Otherwise there would be no story! ;) Ages of Rogue and Gambit are 17 and 20, respectively.

Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men or any music I may use in here.

"I have to do something about that girl." Mystique states angrily on the phone as she paces in their living room. "Every time I turn around, she is doing something for that church! I didn't raise her that way. It was that friend of hers, Katherine. This is all her fault!"

Mystique seethes then continues her ranting. "I honestly don't understand why she wastes her time with that bunch. And that infernal music. She practices that ridiculous guitar for hours on end and her tastes are questionable, to say the least.

The red haired woman listened to the man on the other end for a moment. "Yes, Geoffrey. I understand you want me in Rome with you, but until I can get Marie out of my hair, my hands are tied!"

After a wicked giggle "You naughty boy, you! You just wait until I get there, then we'll see what gets tied. Do you know she had the gall to lecture me on how I choose to live my life? Yes! She told me that I wasn't living my life the way I should be. That God wants better for me. I don't know why, seeing as he's never done me any favors before."

After a pause to listen to her latest 'boy-toy' "Oh yes, I'm going to do something about her! Mark my words, Geoffrey. She is as good as gone! Now I just have to figure out how. Listen darling, I will call you when she is gone. You be a good boy until I get there. Bye." Mystique shuts off the phone, the smile fading to a frown of concentration. "How do I go about it?" she muses, then mentally runs through her various 'connections', settling on one. She clicks on the phone again, dialing the memorized secret number.

XXXXXXXXXX

The object of Mystique's ire is outside, under a huge live oak with her closest friend, Katherine, or Kitty as she prefers to be called. They have been best friends ever since they were small girls when Marie threatened to beat up a boy that was bothering Kitty. They were a year apart in age, but that didn't matter to either one of them.

The two girls have nicknames, given to each other at Kitty's 13th birthday party. Marie had spent the night and they'd stayed up the entire night, talking about boys, watching stupid slasher movies and listening to music. They thought that it would be cool to have nicknames and spent hours coming up with good ones. Kitty's is Shadowcat and Marie's, Rogue.

Not long after that, the sleepovers stopped. Once Rogue's mutation kicked in, Mystique kept a close rein on the girl. But Rogue is resourceful. She might not be able to sleep over anymore, but she still manages to escape her 'imprisonment' by sneaking out and attempting to have a life apart from Mystique's. That was when she'd started going to church with Kitty. At first, it was an obvious attempt at rebellion against her 'mother's' strict rules and verbal abuse, but it eventually became something more. The more she attended, the more she began to comprehend the true meaning of God's plan for salvation and the more her heart softened, accepting the ultimate sacrifice made on her behalf. That was when she was 14.

She felt so good about her decision. She tried to share it with Mystique, but the woman refused to listen, telling her that it was a waste of time. It wouldn't bring her the important things in life, like money or success. Rogue became furious and informed her that there was more to life than money and received a hard slap across the face for that.

From that day on, she tries to avoid Mystique as much as she possibly can. It is difficult, since they reside together. Most times, it's unavoidable, like a few weeks ago, when she wanted Rogue to flirt with a man to 'gain' information to break into his Swiss bank account. Rogue flatly refused, stating that she was meant for more than being a tool to gain her more money. Mystique became enraged and hit her several times, finally locking her in her room for two days with no food.

"It looks like the bruises are, like totally almost healed over." Kitty observes, closely examining Rogue's pretty face.

"Yeah, but what happens next time? I mean, it's only a matta a time til it happens again." Rogue surmises. "I can' live like this, Kit! I can' wait til I'm 18, then I can leave an' go where I wan'." She vehemently states.

"Like, why don't you come stay with me?" Kitty asks, concerned for her friend.

"Kit, that would be tha firs' place she looks." Rogue sighs, a troubled expression clouding her features. "No, I'm jus' gonna haveta get through til I'm of age." She adds with determination.

"Well, if, like anyone can, you can." Kitty answers resolutely. "So how is that song totally coming along?" She changes the subject to attempt to lighten the mood.

"I'm almos' done with it. Jus' tryin' ta figure out tha lyrics."

"I totally can't wait to hear it! You're like, such an awesome guitarist, Rogue." Kitty enthusiastically gushes.

"Thanks, Shadowcat." Rogue genuinely smiles at the petite brunette.

"I know who else thinks you're, like really good." Kitty gives her a sly grin.

"Kit, don' start. Ya know I can' be touchin' people, so havin' a boyfrien' is pretty much out." Rogue warns.

"C'mon Rogue, you know you totally like Austin." Kitty teases.

Rogue blushes, bringing a giggle from the other girl.

"Why don't you ask him out?" Kitty smiles.

"I thought we jus' wen' through this." Rogue replies, exasperated.

"Okay, okay! I'll leave it alone. For now."

Rogue moves to stand up. "Well, I've gotta get home now. Pray for me, girl." Rogue sends Kitty a beseeching look.

"You know I, like do, Rogue." Kitty hugs the older girl, careful where she touches her. "Hey, like wait! Are you going to try to perform at the fundraiser for the new nursery on Saturday?"

"I was plannin' on it. Goin' through my set tanight." Rogue answers with a nod. "See ya at school tamorra, Shadowcat." Rogue gives her a small grin.

"Yeah, Rogue." Kitty smiles in return.

Now we get the ball rolling...lol. ;) Tell me what you think.