The next morning Rogue woke to the sounds of an exciting new day beginning. She was normally one of the first up, about and exercising but today she felt the buzz of anticipation in the air as voices in the corridor beyond her door were raised in excited murmurs. Kitty was phasing through the door to investigate as Rogue stretched and grabbed a baggy t-shirt before heading to find out what was going on.

Rayne, Tabby, Amara, and Jubilee were all giggling together despite being dressed for a danger room session as Rogue, Kitty and Jean emerged from their rooms.

Seeing them Tabby called out, "Hey guys, ya heard the news?"

Jean frowned as she responded. "The only thing I heard was the 4 of you. I thought you had a training session at 6am?"

"We did, but Logan was called out by the professor after 30 minutes so it was cancelled. We were coming back to our rooms and we saw…" Amara stopped for dramatic effect: "You'll never guess who wants to join the x-men!"

"Oh my God, it's like, Lance! finally" Kitty bubbled with excitement as Rogue's heart leapt into her mouth.

Jubilee and Rayne giggled and burst out with "Gambit!"

Kitty looked scandalised, "The Acolyte? He like, totally kidnapped Rogue! I mean he's a major hottie but they haven't said yes?"

Before they could answer Rogue interjected drolly, "He ain't an Acolyte no more, Kitty, they were disbanded, remember?"

"Yeah but you said he's like, totally a criminal, and it's not like he was blackmailed into doing it like Piotr was." She rested her hands on her hips. "Anyway, he kidnapped you Rogue, they can't let him join, it's like totally unfair to you."

Rogue felt herself blush at her friend's willingness to protect her, but it was Jean who responded, looking at Rogue as she spoke: "I'm sure the professor hasn't come to a decision yet Kitty, and he'll take Rogue's feelings into account."

Tabby boomed her way into the conversation, interrupting with; "he is so totally hot, when we came through the corridor to our rooms he was going into the Professor's office with Storm and Logan and we got Rayne to listen with her wolf ears to tell us what was going on, but then Badger came out and shoed us away."

Quietly Rogue asked, "What did ya'll hear?"

The shy young Irish girl replied; "He was explaining that he wanted to join the x-men, and Mr. Logan said there was no chance because of what he'd done ta Miss Rogue but the Professor and Ms. Munroe said they should hear him out, that's when Mr. Logan opened the door and spotted us." Her expression turned chagrined; "We have danger-room duty every morning this week now."

"that's like, well harsh, they can't expect you not to want to know what's going on!" Kitty exclaimed.

Jean brought them back to earth with a sensible suggestion; "Well, we won't learn anything standing out here, why don't we all get changed and meet up in the common room, see if we can limit the rumour mill before the boys start getting worked up."

*before Scott get's a bug up his butt ya mean* Rogue thought to herself.

Jean frowned slightly at picking up the stray thought, but winked at her as she walked into her room to change;

*Whatever you decide Rogue, I'll support you – even if it does mean persuading Scott to give Gambit a chance.*

Rogue nodded her thanks and went to her own room to change.

Kitty was already changing, muttering about the injustice of kidnappers being considered x-men while Rogue got herself ready, nervous and excited and terrified all at once, and becoming more and more amused by Kitty's intention to defend Rogue's honour.

"Kitkat, Ah'm fine. Ah told ya he was nice ta meh, and if he hadn't kidnapped meh Ah neva woulda realised what Ah was leavin' behind, what ya'll mean ta meh."

She paused, catching her friend's eye; "Ah'm glad he did it, Ah saw a different side of him, Ah told ya before, he opened mah eyes to somethings I shoulda' known." She looked down in embarrassment at jhaving revealed so much, "an' he ain't that different from us, from meh, really; he ain't a bad guy, not really, Ah absorbed him so Ah'd know."

Kitty looked chagrined; "OK, but if he hurts you so help me, I'll totally phase him into Bayville prison!"

Rogue smiled at her friend's passion. "Deal, but ya have ta promise me ya gonna give him a chance if he joins the x-men, and let me fight mah own battles, OK?"

"OK, now, let's go find out what's happening."