Chapter Fourteen

The next morning Rogue still wanted to think alone so she sat down on the wooden bench in the courtyard doing her best to ignore the fact that Afton was there. She was internally debating the pros and cons of being a vampire. The pros were obvious; never have to sleep (Rogue very frequently had nightmares, mostly reliving the worst memories of the various psyches in her head), no more aging, super speed, possibly developing control of her mutation, maybe once she became a vampire she wouldn't need to be guarded all the time since she would also be a lot tougher to injure, she had spent far more time in the infirmary than she had ever wanted to. Vampires didn't get sick either so there was another plus.

The cons were also obvious, no going out into the sunlight anymore even if she did manage to control her mutation. Constantly having to keep one's true nature hidden…again, she was of two minds about that, yes, they had been shunned and discriminated against for being mutants but it had been kind of nice to not have to hide that fact anymore, she wasn't certain that she wanted to do that again. Although the Volturi didn't seem to hide much of anything inside their stronghold, she wondered at that.

Another con was of course drinking blood; the very idea was gross to Rogue. Although Aro's analogy linking animal blood drinking to eating animal body parts, which she did on a somewhat regular basis, made intellectual sense to Rogue, she was having a hard time overcoming her mental revulsion to idea.

While Rogue was trying to figure out whether or not she wanted to be a vampire Felix was in the gym working out or more accurately he was trying to work out but he kept getting distracted by thoughts of Annalisa. He wasn't sure if he wanted her to become a vampire or not and he was surprised that he cared much one way or the other. If she stayed human, she would remain vulnerable and as Aro's daughter she was a key target for their enemies, like the Romanians for instance and yet if she did become a vampire she would be able to protect herself and she wouldn't need him anymore and he hated the idea of not being able to see her much anymore.

That was when he realized that he liked Annalisa in the way that meant that he wanted her to be his mate. He was stunned by that realization, he'd only known her for a few days and yet he had been almost as panicked as Aro when Logan showed up, what if Annalisa had chosen to go back to New York with him? Thankfully she hadn't and yet-

His thoughts were interrupted when his cell phone rang

He glanced at the phone and didn't recognize the number but he answered anyway

"Hello?"

"Hi, this is Kurt Wagner, I vant to talk to Rogue please" Oh, great him again. Felix thought. His first instinct was to tell him that he had the wrong number and hang up but Annalisa would flip when she found out that he had done that and he knew full well that it was not a matter of if, it was a matter of when. Annalisa was bound to call them once she got her cell phone back and one of them would almost certainly tell her about it. Plus, Rogue had been furious that Felix had not gotten the phone to her as soon as Kurt had called last time and he did not want another fight with her so he said

"Ok, I'll let her know that you're on the line for her."

"Danke shern" Kurt responded (AN: that means thank you very much in German for any readers who don't know)

He then headed over to the courtyard. Almost as soon as got to the entrance Afton blocked his path.

"Felix, didn't you hear? Lady Annalisa wants to be left alone today." He said

"I know" Felix responded "Her friend Kurt is one the phone and he wants to talk to her. She was trying to get a hold of him last night. She'd want to be disturbed for this."

"That was then, for right now, she said that she wants to be alone and not bothered." Afton replied

"Look, why don't we let her decide what she wants. I'll go tell her that Kurt's on the phone, and if she doesn't want to talk to him, I'll leave. It'll only take a minute or two." Felix said

"Fine" Afton huffed and moved aside a bit so Felix could get by.

He found Annalisa on the bench by the fountain.

"Annalisa" he began but she cut him off

"Call meh Anna" she said

"Ok, Anna" Felix agreed readily "Kurt's on the phone do you-"and that was as far as he got.

Rogue grabbed the phone out Felix's hand and said "Hey Kurt"

"Hey" Kurt responded. Just the sound of his voice drove home the biggest con to being a vampire for Rogue, the fact that she would never be able to see Logan, Kitty, or Kurt again…most of the other X-men she didn't much care about, they'd turned their backs on her too many times.

"I noticed Kitty was packing up your stuff last night, are you really not coming back?!"

"Ah don't think so Kurt…not for a while anyway" Rogue said

"Rogue, why?! We miss you…the others are really sorry!" Kurt replied

Rogue sighed "Sorry, ain't good enough anymore" Rogue said, Kurt couldn't see it but she was shaking her head as she spoke "this ain't the first time they've shunned meh and ah don't wanna have to wonder when the next one is gonna be. Besides ah want it to be just me and dad for a while so we can get to know each other ya know?"

"Ok, but can Kitty and I come and see you sometime soon?" Kurt asked. He was sad that Rogue was refusing to come back but he had decided that if she wouldn't come to him, he would go to her at least for a bit.

Rogue's immediate instinct was to shout NO! but she restrained (with considerable difficulty) herself "maybe…we'll see but not for a bit at least, like ah said, ah want it to be just meh and my dad for a bit."

Kurt sighed "Okay" he replied but inwardly he was determined to go see her anyway. He realized that this was not something that could be handled over the phone; he needed to see her in person. If he had too, he'd 'borrow' the X-jet…he didn't know how to fly it but how hard could it be? Besides he could probably get Logan to come with him, especially if he had Kitty on his side to help convince him. Rogue may have been Logan's favorite student but Kitty was a close second. Logan wouldn't be able to say no to Kitty…not permanently anyway, sooner or later if she really wanted something from him she got it; except for him to stop trying to chase Lance away every time he came over to see her; that was like trying to stop the tide from coming in.

Kurt opened his mouth to say something else but before he could the door opened and his girlfriend walked in

"Amanda! What are you doing here?!" he asked stunned to see her

"We were supposed to go to a movie tonight, I've been waiting downstairs for half an hour…you forgot didn't you?" she said

Kurt smacked his forehead "Oh, Amanda, I'm sorry, it's just I finally got a hold of Rogue and-"

Amanda's eye widened in realization but before she could speak Rogue (who had heard the whole thing) spoke up "That's ok Kurt, ah gotta get off anyway, you go on your date and have fun, I'll talk to ya, later." Then she hung up

"She didn't even wait for me to say goodbye." Kurt said dejectedly

"Kurt, I'm so sorry!" Amanda said quickly "I didn't realize you were talking to Rogue-"Kurt cut her off

"It's okay Amanda; it's not your fault. Let's just go." Kurt said, he wanted to get away from the Institute, everything there felt wrong without Rogue.

Meanwhile back in Italy, Rogue handed the phone back to Felix and sighed. Now she really didn't know what to do.

"Anna, are you okay?" Felix asked

"Ah'm fine" Rogue said

Felix shook his head "No, you aren't I can tell, what is it?" how can I help? He added mentally

"Ah don't wanna talk about it." Rogue responded

"All right" Felix said he hadn't known Anna very long but he knew that he couldn't make her do something that she didn't want to do."I'll be right here if you can change your mind."

"Please Felix, just go away." Rogue said, really she just wanted to be alone right then

"Anna, you need to talk to someone, you can't keep everything bottled up like this, it's not healthy" Felix said

For a while the two of them sat there in silence then Rogue asked

"Felix, do you like being a vampire?"

Felix blinked slightly, Anna's question had taken him by surprise but he recovered quickly

"Yeah" he answered "why wouldn't I?"

"Don't ya miss your family and friends?" Anna questioned

"Of course not, my family and friends are right here." Felix said

Rogue shook her head "No, I mean from when you were human"

"Oh" Felix blinked "I can't really remember them to be honest, I don't remember very much from when I was human and what little I do remember is very faint and distant."

Now Rogue was even more depressed, not only would she not be able to see her friends again, she would also forget them entirely.

"But your situation would likely be different." Felix added hurriedly "life in the Felix household wasn't very happy…I don't really want to remember my human life, I expect you will likely be able to remember it if you want too."

Rogue wasn't sure if she believed him or not.

"If you ask Aro, I'm sure he would be willing to change your friends too, and then you could see them all you wanted, forever." Felix said trying to encourage her

"Ah can't make that big a decision for them" Rogue countered "Ah, mean, once ya become a vampire, it's pretty much permanent right?"

"Well, yeah it is, but trust me Lady Anna, once you become a vampire, you won't WANT to become human again. I know that I definitely don't."

Rogue sighed Felix hadn't really made her decision any easier

Meanwhile

On the other side of the compound Irene had been in very immense pain for 3 days when suddenly the pain ended. When she opened her eyes she was stunned by the fact that she could see now, she had been blind before.

"So you are finally awake." A male voice stated

She looked over and saw a vampire male leaning against the wall; she believed his name was Santiago

"Aro wants you to go see him now that you are awake."

Irene nodded acknowledgement

"Follow me" Santiago ordered

The male led her to a study where Aro was reading a book

The elder vampire glanced up when the duo entered

"Excellent, you have finished the transformation, how does it feel?"

"I feel…very different" Irene said

"You will grow used to it soon, and before long you will wonder how you ever survived while human" Aro said "now then, do you know where Mystique is?"

Irene thought for a moment "No master" Irene said

Aro glared, he didn't believe her

"But I know where she will be" Irene added

Aro stopped glaring, that was more like it.

"Tell me, have your visions changed at all?" he asked

"Yes, master. I no longer have to wait for the visions to come to me; I can choose when they arrive. They also seem stronger, I see more details…if it is not to bold to say master, I believe your plans for Mystique are a bit short sighted."

"You are walking on very thin ice, Irene" Aro said coldly

"Hear me out" Irene said "Without Mystique's shape shifting ability very difficult for you to turn the mutants of Bayville into vampires and destroy Cerebro without drawing attention."

Now that Irene said that Aro remembered Xavier's mutant detection system, he would indeed have to destroy it to make sure the X-men he didn't turn, were not able to find their former comrades. What Mystique wants more than anything else is power, you can offer her the power of the vampire transformation, if she helps you acquire the other mutants and then when she has done her part, hand her over to Jane instead, thereby helping yourself and doubling the pain for Mystique."

Aro's temper cooled, he liked that idea but there was one thing bothering him "Why are you so quick to turn on your former friend?" he asked suspiciously, he knew Chelsea's loyalty powers were strong but he hadn't thought that they were quite that strong

"Contrary to what you may think, Rogue is very important to me" Despite herself Irene had grown attached to her over the years of raising the girl "Mystique hurt her a lot; I want her to pay for that."

"So did you" Aro pointed out

Irene hung her head "I know and I regret it, Mystique doesn't, that's the difference. Besides it is Mystique's fault that I am in this situation, she is the one who set this chain of events in motion, she needs to be punished. Also it is an overstatement to call us friends; Mystique has no friends, only puppets."

Aro had seen much of the same thing in her thoughts when he had absorbed her before she was turned but he had wanted to make her say it. Stating feelings always gave more power to them and he believed that it would be better for her to turn her back completely on Mystique, Magneto and her other former comrades and be loyal only to the Volturi from this point on."

"Good, you will accompany Demetri on his mission to hunt Mystique, bring her to me; in the meantime I will consider your proposal."

"Yes Master" Irene replied and left to go find the master tracker.