Title: Falling Slowly
Fandom: X-Men: Evolution
Characters/Pairings: Scott/Rogue, mentions of others
Rating: T (probably closer to PG, though)
Warnings/Spoilers: Season 1 & 2. Slightly AU - alternate/deleted scenes. Some language.
Artist: Sukiyakia at LiveJournal (made a BEAUTIFUL poster for the story and a fanmix)
Notes: Written for XMENBIGBANG 2011 at Livejournal. I wanted to do something like this for a while for one of my favorite pairings, and the XMBB gave me an excuse to write Scogue again, so hopefully it isn't too bad. Haven't gotten any feedback from LJ yet, so I hope someone reviews. There are some gaps but those are intentional – I wanted you to think and add your own thoughts to what might have happened.
Disclaimer: Now if I owned X-Men: Evolution, Scott and Rogue would clearly had more scenes together, and at least kissed once. So since that didn't happen, clearly I don't own the show nor the characters portrayed in this story. Now please enjoy the story.
At the soft knock at the door, Rogue glanced up from her journal and found Scott Summers standing in the doorway. He stood awkwardly, his one arm was resting behind his back and the other was still lifted to knock. A small smile graced his lips.
"Didn't mean to disturb you, Rogue, but I wanted to give this to you." Scott stated, pulling his arm in front of him, showing the square box he had been holding. It was just a plain white box but it looked like a clothing box, something you would see at a birthday.
Rogue stared at him in surprise; she definitely hadn't expected him to get her anything. They might have been friends but this didn't seem like a thing he would normally do. He moved closer to her, his small smile becoming a little wider, as if he was amused at her surprise.
"It's fine, Scott," Rogue managed to say, standing up from her seat on her bed. She joined him in the middle of the room. She studied the box in his hand, "What is it?"
Scott chuckled, handing it to her. "Open it and find out."
And she did, and didn't exactly find what she was expecting even though oddly enough she didn't know what she was actually expecting to be in the box. It held familiar cloth she knew Scott and the rest of the X-men wore on missions and danger room training sessions, but it was different than everyone's uniforms. It had a green breastplate and shoulder blades with an X on them that reminded Rogue of the ones on Scott's X-Men uniform, other than that it was completely black like the other uniforms.
"Is this-?" Rogue started, unable to stop, she gently took the uniform out of the box and admired it. She couldn't help the smile appearing on her face as she studied it.
"Your uniform, yes." Scott stated, grinning now. Rogue looked up at him, and flushed at his grin and in embarrassment for getting emotional over clothing.
"Thanks, Scott. I love it," Rogue stated gently.
"I'm glad; anyway, there is actually another reason why I brought this to you right now." Scott ducked his head shyly and rubbed the back of his neck - a nervous habit Rogue knew of all too well.
"Oh?" Rogue questioned, curious to find out why Scott was nervous.
"Yeah, I had hoped you'll join me for a Danger Room session."
Rogue stared at him in confusion, "Didn't we already train earlier this morning?"
"Yes, but I'd thought it'll be a good idea if we trained a little more. It'll be just us, because well, the others sort of left at my suggestion."
"Oh, so I'm the last resort?" She quickly glanced down to the uniform in her hands and winced at how she could hear the hurt in her words, Rogue didn't want to see his face when he answered the question.
"No!" Scott quickly shouted, causing Rogue to look at him in shock. At her look, he chuckled again in embarrassment. "Nothing like that, it's just you weren't with the others when I asked them, otherwise I would have already asked you... and even if you had said no, this was going to be my plan of action."
"Alright so my new uniform is a bribery to train with you in case I had said no?" Rogue questioned softly, studying Scott's face for any hints of lying.
"Well, yeah." Scott stated simply, shrugging his shoulders and smiled hopefully at her. "So?"
Rogue didn't hide her laugh at his puppy dog expression, and nodded at him. She pushed him towards the door. "Fine with me, just get out so I can get changed!"
"Great! Thanks Rogue! I'll meet you outside the doors in ten!" Scott shouted before she closed the door to the room. She stood there, leaning against the door for several long seconds smiling stupidly before she hit herself on the forehead to shake herself out of her thoughts and moved away to change.
Maybe it was really nothing to him about asking her to have a danger room session with her - alone - but it meant a lot to her. It meant he trusted her, and yes he's shown he did before this, but this oddly felt different. It felt as if he knew he could depend on her, that he knew he could trust her in a danger room session when she was only really good at the hand-to-hand combat sessions.
"So I heard a rumor," Scott questioned with a large grin lighting up his face as he leaned against the locker beside her. Rogue glanced up at the older X-Man and lifted her eyebrow in question. Since the training session with him, Scott managed to get deeper down in her thoughts and feelings as he continued to hang out with her. And it no longer mattered if they were at the mansion or at school, he didn't ignore her nor did he hold any grudges that she had a past with the Brotherhood. Which, in reality, none of the X-men had any grudges about her past affiliation - it was almost as if she was always one of them and that both pleased and worried Rogue. It meant they trusted her and were her friends, but from the betrayal of Mystique she couldn't help but fear that they were using her just as much as Mystique had been. Still, it was a little odd to be able to speak with him in the hallways without having to worry about looking like she was betraying the Brotherhood or getting yelled at by Mystique.
"Hey - you ok?" Scott questioned, calling Rogue back from her thoughts. She nodded and studied him. He was clearly still worried, his forehead was creased and his face gave him away as serious but she could see the amusement appearing on his face slowly coming back.
"What's the rumor, Scott?" Rogue asked, wondering why he would be listening to any of the rumors going around the school and hoping that it didn't have something to do with Jean Grey. She really didn't want to talk about the redhead right now.
His smile reappeared, "I hear you and Kitty are trying out for the new play."
Rogue stared at him in shock, "How did you know that? That just happened last period and we didn't announce it to anyone but that kid."
"Ah, but see Evan was there, and subtle isn't quite his strong point - he told Kurt about it and he told me." Scott stated, the worry all but gone from his face, the amusement growing as Rogue slammed her locker closed in anger. "I didn't realize you wanted to be an actress."
"I'm totally kicking that porcupine's butt in the danger room tonight." Rogue promised and rolled her eyes as he laughed. They began to walk towards their English class. "I don't... Not really, anyway... Just Kitty was being annoying and I couldn't quite keep my mouth shut. And then suddenly we were in a competition."
"Well I, personally, can't wait to see you perform in the play." Scott stated, wrapping his arm around her shoulders, and despite the fact she immediately tensed at the contact Scott kept his arm there as they continued to walk. "And if you need any lessons in dancing for the part, don't ask Kurt."
Rogue laughed at his joke, causing several people around them to look at them as if they just saw an accident take place. With Scott's arm around her shoulders, Rogue ignored the rest of the school. It didn't really matter what they thought.
"Should have known something bad was going to happen," Rogue stated softly as studied herself. The hair that grew after she absorbed Sabretooth was slowly disappearing with the help of Professor Xavier. Apparently it was 'all in the mind' and locking away Sabretooth's mental self was able to de-fur her, however Professor X didn't want to lock away everything - he wanted her to learn how to control her abilities. She hated that reason, although she could understand where he was coming from, but he didn't know how much she hated having other people in her head.
She was happy to see the hair was disappearing, but wished it would happen faster. It's only been a few days, but it felt like a lifetime and she hated how much anger she felt at everyone around her. The memories Sabretooth had, that she was able to understand, were only of fighting Logan and she found that Sabretooth had memories of Mystique. However, despite concentrating on those memories, Rogue still had no more knowledge of their relationship than the fact that the two knew each other and it wasn't exactly a warm relationship.
"Rogue?" Rogue winced as she heard Scott knock against the door.
"Still can't come in!" She yelled, she might not be as hairy as she had been, but there was no way in hell she was letting Scott see her like this.
"Come on! Kitty told me it was getting better! And I have your homework for you, you'll need to do it or you won't be able to past the test."
Rogue smiled at Scott's tone, you could almost hear the whine in it. She knew he wouldn't make fun of what happened to her (he never did when it concerned her powers), but she just didn't want him to see her like this. And no matter how much she told him to leave her alone in the room, he appeared like clockwork after school with her homework swearing she'd fail a test when she went back to school without studying it or some other excuse to get in the room. However after a silent treatment lasting over three hours and Logan glaring daggers at him being late for a Danger room, he usually relents and drops her schoolwork beside the door for Kitty to grab on her way in.
"Not yet!" Rogue shouted back before falling back on her bed. The last thing she wanted to do was encourage him, but she was so bored of reading and so tired of having only Kitty as a companion. The younger girl wasn't bad or as annoying as she used to be, and Rogue generally liked her - it was just too much of the same person, and she was still too bubbly. Also, it didn't help that Kitty made sure that Rogue knew that she was going to win the competition.
"Rogue! I swear on my family that I won't laugh or make fun of you or think of you any differently. Please? It won't do you any good if you're cooped up in your room all day and by yourself." Scott stated through the door, and Rogue sighed softly before glancing down at herself.
Her hair was still long enough to reach her mid-back, her ears still resembled a feline's and she still had claws. The fur aspect of the transformation 'gifted' by Sabretooth were all but gone. In reality, it was really only her ego keeping her from contact with other people and her fear that Scott would turn away from her in disgust at what her powers could do. She knew he wouldn't though, deep down, the information she received from him twice before told her that he would never leave a friend behind - wouldn't find her disgusting and would never hurt her feelings on purpose. She also knew that for him to swear on his family - family he had lost long ago - was serious and something Scott would never joke around with. Rogue knew all of this and yet was still afraid.
"Rogue? Can you at least talk with me then? I feel pretty stupid and useless out here."
Rogue knew for a fact that if Scott hated anything, it was feeling stupid and useless, and it oddly hurt her at being the cause of it.
Letting out a deep breath to calm her nerves, Rogue stood up from the bed and walked over to the door. As her claws touched the door handle, she almost pulled back and away from it, but instead took another deep breath and opened the door.
Scott, who had been leaning against the door when it was opening, stumbled but managed to balance himself before he could fall and smiled down at her. Rogue moved away and wrapped her arms around her chest, and watched as he entered the room and studied her.
His smile widened softly as he caught sight of how long her hair was and her pointy ears.
"You promised you wouldn't make fun of me," Rogue reminded him softly.
Scott shook his head, "I wasn't going to make fun of you... I think you look good like that."
Rogue stared at him in surprise, "What?"
"I like your hair long and I can't say I don't like the ears. They're cute, reminds me of an elf."
Rogue let out a surprised laugh at the last bit, "I should have known you would be a closet Lord of the Rings fan."
Scott grinned cheekily, "Of course - those movies and books rocked."
"You are one strange man, Scott," Rogue stated softly, a small smile lighting up her face. "Now, why have you wanted to come in here so bad?"
"To make sure you were still practicing for the play. There is no way I'm going to let you out of this one." Scott promised as he sat down at her computer desk. Rogue stared at him in confusion and shock.
"Kitty got the part - so what's the difference if I was still practicing for the play, and besides, why are you so interested in me doing this?"
"Because for one, you said you could and would do this, and you never break a promise. And for the second reason, well... I already bought the tickets and I bought them to see you in the play." Scott stated honestly, causing Rogue to stare at him.
"Kitty got the part, Scott. Go and support her," Rogue stated softly and Scott shook his head, and stood back up.
"I'll support her, of course, but I know you wanted to do this too and I know you can do this, I believe in you." He stated firmly, walking closer to her. "Jason's already told me he wants you as well as Kitty in the play. And I won't leave this room until you promise you'll go."
Rogue chuckled softly, suddenly amused at him."Why is it that you always happen to have to bribe me to do something for you?"
Scott smirked, "Hey, I'm actually not bribing you with anything this time - just threatening."
Same difference, Rogue thought. It was a little too tempting to see how long he would last in staying in her room. Still, she knew, he was going to win because he was even more stubborn than she was and let out a reluctant sigh which caused Scott's smirk to widen in triumph.
"You were amazing."
Rogue looked up at him, and shook her head.
Scott smiled. "I'm not joking, you were really good. And your costume rocked."
"Gee, thanks Scott." Rogue stated softly, walking away. Scott stared at her in confusion before quickly catching up to her.
"Nothing is wrong, I'm just tired."
"Rogue, you were happy a minute ago - what happened?" Scott asked, grabbing her arm causing her to flinch and stop walking. "Rogue!"
Rogue sighed loudly and looked away from him. "I'm fine, Scott, can I just go to bed?"
"Rogue... no. Not until you tell me what happened." Scott stated, stepping in front of her. "Rogue I'm not leaving you alone until you tell me."
"Why won't you leave me alone? I did the show, let me go to sleep." Rogue whispered, wishing you would let the subject drop. The last thing she wanted was to listen to Scott and for him to tell her she was overreacting.
"Look just Taryn and her friends said a few things to me on the way out, that's all. Can I go now?"
Scott narrowed his eyes at what Rogue stated, "What exactly did Taryn say?"
"It doesn't matter, Scott, you can rest easy." Rogue stated, trying to brush past him, but Scott moved in the way - blocking her path.
"I'm not going to rest easy, she upset my friend, and it's not alright. What did she say?" He looked annoyed and she could see a faint glow of his optic blasts, which shocked her into silence. She'd never seen Scott, outside of a battle or a Danger Room session, look like this. It stated how angry he was, and she knew Scott was her friend but it just struck her exactly how close a friend she was for him to act like this. Before she realized what she was saying, she explained to Scott what she had overheard Taryn and her friends had been talking about. Apparently Taryn had also auditioned for the role and believed that Rogue (and possibly Kitty) had slept with Jason and the Drama Club Teacher to be in the play.
Rogue heard Scott growl softly before he walked away from her, causing her to stare at him in confusion for several quiet minutes before she realized what he was going to do. She quickly ran after him.
This time, she was blocking his path and she wouldn't let him pass her. "Rogue, can you please move?" She could hear how annoyed and upset he was in his voice, but she didn't want him to talk with Taryn or any of her friends. He didn't need to defend her - they weren't worth it.
"No, Scott. You aren't going to them! They are just a bunch of gossip girls that have nothing better to do than insult everyone else. Don't give them any attention and eventually they'll shut up or-"
"They'll go after someone else. Neither you nor Kitty deserves to be thought of that way, Rogue. I'm not going to just let them get away with it. You two were brilliant out there and everyone else could see it. Taryn just needs to accept that or get another life." Scott stated, slipping around Rogue and stalked over towards where he could see the girls in question were at. Rogue watched him and couldn't believe it, he really did say something to Taryn and her friends despite the fact that Jean was her friend as well and the last thing he would ever do was hurt Jean.
It made her like him even more than she already did.
"I was worried about you for a while there," Rogue stated softly as she lay down on the bed. Scott let out a deep sigh as he sat beside her.
"Yeah - about that - I'm sorry." Scott stated, rubbing his neck in embarrassment. "I became some sort of winner druggy and I needed to win. I'm not proud of how I acted. I was supposed to be everyone's leader; instead I made it a competition with those guys, a competition that put Evan in danger that for a moment I didn't care what happened to him."
Rogue propped herself up on her elbow and grasped his other hand, "I know that wasn't really you Scott. You aren't that kind of person. But I also know that for whatever reason you feel as if you need to prove to Lance and the others that you're stronger and better than they are. I may not understand the whole reason behind that one, but I know that you would never leave them behind - even if they are our enemies. You just need to remember that they do think you're better than they are and they're envious of it. That's why they're so hard on you Scott, that's why they hate you - or pretend to hate you."
Scott stared at her, his mouth gapped a little in surprise. Out of everything she could have said to him at that moment - he hadn't expected this. On some level, in the back of his mind, he knew she was telling the truth and that he had long since believed that was the reason they hated the X-men so much, but hearing it out of someone's else mouth really drove it home.
"You're not a bad guy Scott, you just went a little overboard with the race - I understand it and I understand that deep down, they aren't bad guys. Or at least Lance, Fred and Toad aren't, can't quite tell with Pietro, though."
Scott let out a small chuckle at her intended joke. He squeezed the hand he was holding. "You have permission to kick my ass anytime I become like that again."
Rogue's eyebrow lifted in amusement. "Oh really? Anytime?"
Scott let out a deep laugh and nodded. "Anytime."
"So..." Rogue said, leaning back and relaxing against her bed. Scott joined her and to her amazement he didn't let go of her hand.
"It's been a crazy last few hours," Scott stated, studying her ceiling. Rogue chuckled softly at that.
"Yeah it has, but it felt good... fighting alongside of them." Rogue admitted softly, she wasn't too sure how Scott would take it, but she felt like he needed to hear it - as if it might convince him that maybe the X-men and the Brotherhood could work together and not be enemies anymore. If only that was possible...
Scott turned to face her; he was surprised at how similar her statement was to his to Jean a few hours ago. And she had no idea about that conversation or how he felt as both teams worked together to save Professor X and Mystique.
"I'll agree with you on that," Scott admitted finally, after several minutes of silence and studying Rogue. It was amazing how much Rogue surprised him all the time. They were so much alike, and yet they were still different as well.
"How are you feeling?" Scott questioned bringing Rogue to a stop. Letting out a deep sigh, she turned around and faced him.
"I think Kurt feels worse than I do. He's finally found his real mother and found out she's Mystique - it's not exactly good news." Rogue stated, hugging her books tightly to her chest.
Scott frowned, he knew she was lying - or at least not telling the complete truth about how she felt. After everything Mystique lied to her about, for her to hide even more information from Rogue - it had to be hurting her. Scott knew because that would be exactly how he would feel if someone had done it to him. It would be worse for Kurt to find out the real truth about what might have happened at the castle and with Mystique and Magneto, but it wasn't really his place to tell him nor did he want to make them more upset than they already were.
"It's just, with everything that's happened - I can't help but feel like its my fault. I was the one who told Kurt about the dream, and somehow Mystique found out about it and used it at her advantage to get the Brotherhood to attack Kurt." Rogue admitted softly. It was the first time she admitted her real feelings of the last few hours to anyone but herself. She knew, however, that Scott wouldn't judge her. Not about this, or about anything else - somehow, no matter what she did - he never seemed to be able to judge her for anything. It was nice - after everything she did or could do with her touch, it was nice to have someone not be afraid of her.
"Rogue..." Scott whispered, before pulling her in for a hug. Rogue immediately tensed at his touch, but slowly relaxed when she realized he wasn't touching her skin directly. She let out another deep sigh, because as much as she wanted anything else, she wanted to be able to touch him - and others - without hurting them. But she knew that it would be a long time before she would be able to - that is, if they ever found a break through. It was strange though - to feel his warmth and his touch as he hugged her - a good kind of strange, but strange nevertheless.
When he finally pulled away, she already missed the feeling he provided - the protection, the warmth, and the strength. It wasn't something she really got to experience all that much - not since her powers activated, and even before that only Irene really hugged her.
"It's not your fault, Rogue. Eventually the truth would have come out about Kurt and about Mystique. Maybe it might have gone differently, either better or worse, but in either case - it is not your fault."
"I can't believe it!" Scott shouted in disbelief, throwing more clothes into his overnight bag. Rogue studied his movements and was curious to find out what would excite Scott about Hawaii so much. He jerked and moved faster than usual, and it lacked his usual grace and concentration. Something was definitely different about this trip.
"What happened Scott?" Rogue asked, moving closer to him. He looked up from his drawer and grinned at her.
"The professor found my brother!" Scott explained quickly before going back to his task. He didn't know how long he would be in Hawaii or what he should say or do when he got there. The only thing he knew was that Alex is alive. Alex is alive!
Rogue stared at him in shock, he'd only mentioned his brother in passing to her and she had been afraid to dig for more information since it had been obvious the subject was sore - and that his brother was supposed to be dead. She couldn't blame Scott for being excited or so jumpy. He found the last remaining member of his family. She only hoped it wouldn't end in disappointment for Scott, he didn't deserve it.
"I'm happy for you, Scott." Rogue stated softly, bringing Scott's attention back to her. His grin widened as she smiled back at him. He pulled her quickly in for a hug, and tightly held onto her for several minutes before pulling away. She wasn't used to this sort of affection, Irene might have been a good adoptive mother, but she didn't often touch Rogue or hug her often. Scott seemed to be the only one that was willing to do it and it seemed like it was happening more and more. Not that she minded... it let her pretend for a few moments of time that she was normal again. And that she had a chance.
"I know it's a bit much to ask, but can you distract the others so that I can slip away with the Professor?" Scott questioned and Rogue stared at him in confusion. "I want to do this by myself... I haven't seen him in nearly ten years Rogue. I need to see him; I need to speak with him."
"Are you sure you want to do this on your own? I can go with you," Rogue offered softly. After everything that she dealt with about Mystique and Kurt, she knew how traumatic it could to find a loved one again after years and how emotional it's going to be for him and his brother.
"I know you can, and I would want you to come with me, but..." Scott started quietly, rubbing his neck in embarrassment. "I think I need to do this by myself. I need to make sure Alex is alright."
Rogue smiled softly in understanding. "Alright, but you better hurry. You'll have a few minutes before Kitty and Kurt get their stuff."
"I got my brother back!" Scott shouted, his excitement showing again causing Rogue to laugh in amusement.
"So go get him!" Rogue prompted him with a smile, and he squeezed her arm in thanks before grabbing his bag and running out of them room.
"What was it like?" Rogue questioned softly. A week had passed since Asteroid M and Scott had finally returned after a week in Hawaii getting reacquainted with his brother. The question, however, was not about Alex or about seeing his brother again. She knew that answer, could still see the excitement and complete happiness through his visors each time he talked about Alex or even about a new training session in the Danger Room.
Scott turned to face her, she lay on his bed like she usually did but her homework lay forgotten beside her as she studied him. At her tone, he realized that her question had nothing to do with seeing his brother again. He could hear her desperate tone behind the question and knew that the homework they had been doing together as well as the fun they had been having was going to end. He didn't necessarily mind, he liked that he could be able confide with Rogue and know that she didn't hate him for being serious for most of the time.
"What was what like?" Scott asked and Rogue looked out his window, wishing she didn't have to ask. She wasn't sure if it was sore subject or not - he didn't talk about it, Asteroid M, with anyone that she knew of. But she needed to know... because if anyone could understand what she's going through day in and day out, it was Scott. And for a while there he had been free - he didn't need his visor or special sunglasses.
"Controlling your ability... what was it like?" She said finally after several minutes of silence. She still didn't look at him, feeling embarrassed that she asked.
Scott stared at her silently, hating himself that he hadn't realized before now that she would've been curious about what he and Alex and went through on Asteroid M. Out of everyone that was there, he knew that she would have understood his reasoning and probably would have went through it herself had it not been also a brainwash created by Magneto.
"Freeing," he stared, studying her softly. He was able to see in colors for the short while he had complete control over his powers and it had been amazing. He had studied her and the others when he had control. He memorized the colors he could now completely identify as what they really looked like and he was right about everything. Her white bangs and reddish brown hair looked good on her. "Beautiful," He stated softly, almost not realizing he said it out loud to her. He relaxed slightly when it seemed that Rogue didn't realize what he actually meant. He continued quickly, and left his seat at his desk to join her on his bed. "It felt good. I was able to see everything with more colors and I never felt stronger or better than I did at that moment. I knew I wouldn't be able to hurt anyone again unless I wanted to."
Rogue turned back to face him again at that. She let out a deep breath before shutting her eyes softly. "I'm sorry."
"Hey, you have nothing to apologize for. I don't care if you ask me questions about what happened or not." Scott admitted, putting his arm on her gloved hand. "I understand why you're asking, and I'm just sorry that you didn't get a chance to experience it for yourself. You know, besides the whole Magneto brainwash and white hair."
Rogue grinned in amusement at his attempt of a joke before shaking her head. "I'm just glad you're had another chance at seeing in color and for feeling that in control. It's fine if I didn't."
"Maybe one day the professor will find out how to help us, or maybe we'll eventually be able to control it ourselves without the help of anything else." Scott stated, squeezing her hand. She squeezed his hand back and let out a sigh. She hoped he was right - hoped that she would be able control her abilities so that she could one day touch another person without any fear of hurting them and hoped that one day he would have control over his optic blasts.
"New mutant was found," Scott started to explain as he leaned against her door. Rogue glanced up from her book and raised an eyebrow at him.
"And let me guess - you and Jean going to go and get them to join?" The last five new mutants that Professor had found - Jean, Scott, or Logan went to recruit them. She wasn't exactly jealous of the fact (well maybe of the time alone Jean and Scott received on the trips) but it would have been nice to have been asked if she wanted to go.
"Actually, you're coming with me." Scott stated with a grin.
Rogue opened her mouth in shock and sat up on the bed. "Wait, I'm going?"
Scott chuckled as he entered the room fully. "Yes, Rogue. I thought it would be more fun than doing more danger sessions with Logan."
Rogue smiled softly at him. "Thanks Scott. But are you sure the professor will let me go?" Her smile weakened at the thought. "It's not like I have a power I could use and show them without hurting them."
Scott shook his head at her, he hated the fact that she would talk herself down just because of her abilities. "Yeah I'm sure, Rogue. The professor actually thinks it's a good idea. So get a few clothes packed - we'll be heading out in a few hours."
She stood up and smiled softly to herself - she couldn't help it. She and Scott were finally going to go on a recruitment mission together. She was finally going on a recruitment mission.
"What's the new mutant's name? Rogue asked as she grabbed her duffle bag from the closet."
"Jamie Madrox - he's the youngest out of the recruits so far. He seems like a good kid - good grades from what the professor learned. I believe the hardest part will be able to convince his parents into letting him come."
"Isn't that usually the hardest part?" Rogue questioned, memory of her own recruitment ran through her mind and knowing what really happened still didn't it make it hurt any less. Rationally she knows the X-men never attacked her - that it had been Mystique manipulating her to join the Brotherhood, but it still hurt to think about it. Her fear of it happening again - the X-men chasing her down to attack her after everything they've been through scared her.
"Sometimes, other factors could take president of course." Scott stated, a frown graced his lips.
"I highly doubt Magneto, Mystique, or anyone else will show up if the last five times were Brotherhood-free."
"I know," Scott admitted, his eyebrows scrunched together in frustration. "But we can't forget that they're still out there and we don't know when they're going to show themselves. I don't want to be unprepared."
Rogue frowned and nodded in understanding. She was probably one of the only X-Men besides the Professor, Ororo, or Logan that understood his fears and why he was so resilient about training. She actually liked that about him and wouldn't want him to change it for anything - although he could do with some more fun too.
"This is kinda nice," Scott stated as they got out of the car. Rogue glanced around and shook her head.
"If you like this sort of thing," She felt like she was visiting a Stepford neighborhood. There was nothing to distinguish each house from each other besides the house number. There was absolutely no personality - or spice - and it was too perfect looking. Rogue found it creepy and kept up with Scott as he walked towards the house that held the number for Jamie Madrox. She could only hope that they would be able to succeed in convincing the kid to join and to get out of here as quickly as possible. She had seen way too many horror flicks where the visitors always got killed by the townies.
Scott silently agreed with Rogue on the oddness of the neighborhood. As a child - after the accident and on his own - this was what he had wished for. For everyone in the neighborhood to be kind and friendly, as well as a community the helped each out. The last thing he wanted was this plastic community where apparently no one was able to express themselves.
"I hope the kid's normal," Rogue stated softly as they made their way towards the front door. Scott glanced down to study her and chuckled at her serious face. In turn, Rogue stared at him with a glare as she ran the door bell.
As he heard someone open the door, Scott stopped chuckling and straightened up. The door opened and an older woman with brown hair pulled up in a neat bun answered the door. She smiled kindly to both of them.
"Welcome," the woman stated with a soft voice, opening the door wider. "Come inside."
Rogue stared at her in shock. Neither she or Scott introduced themselves, there was absolutely no reason for the woman to trust them nor to invite them into her home. Scott entered the house first, cautious of what to expect. Like Rogue, he didn't find the fact that a strange woman opened her house to them without knowing who they were. Unless she did, and this was a trick from Magneto or Mystique.
"Charles said to expect two of his students, please feel free to make yourself comfortable. Jamie should be home from school in about a half hour."
"You know the professor?" Scott questioned in shock. The professor never mentioned that he actually knew the Madrox family.
"Yes, we're old family friends from years ago... Actually he's the one that was able to get us relocated here to keep Jamie safe from everyone finding out about him." Mrs. Madrox said as led them into the kitchen. There was a batch of cookies waiting on the table and a few sandwiches as well as lemonade. "Please have a seat and eat up - I have plenty more where that comes from."
"Thank you," Scott stated as he and Rogue sat down at the table. They took small bites, so not to be impolite and had a few sips of lemonade.
Mrs. Madrox smiled at them and shook her head, "Where are my manners? You can call me Joan."
"I'm Rogue, and this is Scott," Rogue stated as she studied the older woman. She still wasn't completely sure about this woman. Scott never mentioned the professor knew her.
"I'm sorry, but why did the professor not tell us anything about you?" Scott questioned, moving the lemonade away. He glanced over toward Rogue to make sure she was still fine. (Doesn't look like the food had been poisoned... yet.)
Joan stared at the two of them and her smile widened. "My husband, Daniel went to university with Charles. They were best friends and almost always together, but interests differed. And when we got married, we moved away so that Daniel wouldn't miss a job opening. We've stayed in contact with Charles for years, but it wasn't until Jamie was born that we actually needed his help."
"Help? Help with what?"
Joan let out a deep sigh, and for the first time since they met the woman, there was no smile lighting up her face. "We were so excited about a baby that we weren't expecting anything else. We know about mutants and everything like that, but never in our minds that our baby boy would be one. I mean, it's not that we would hate him or anything - we just weren't expecting it, especially at that age. It didn't really matter - just minutes later when the doctor held Jamie, he just doubled. I suddenly had twins... The second baby, later disappeared - the moment Jamie touched him. That didn't change the fact that a doctor and several nurses saw it happen. The only one we could call was Charles. He helped protect Jamie - and despite the invasion of privacy I can't be sorry for what he did to them. We were probably safe, but Charles didn't want to take a chance and set us up here."
"Mutations don't usually occur that fast," Scott stated in confusion. He was in awe of the story but it also confused him. The only person he knew that had been different the moment they were born was Kurt - he had always been blue and furry. Still, even that he understood, but why wouldn't the professor explain this before they left?
"True, they usually don't. However, the radiation my husband had been working with changed him and when I became pregnant somehow it had also affected me and Jamie. So when he was born, his mutant ability was unlocked."
"What's different now?" Rogue questioned, confused on why they were there. If Jamie had his abilities since birth then it had to be assumed he had to have control over them for the last few years - there would be no need for him to join the school if that was the case.
Joan smiled softly at her, hiding the pain behind that smile. "He'll hide it from me and his dad, but he's tired of hiding and I know that he'll be safer with you guys - he'd at least get to spend time not hiding himself or his gifts for most of the time. And, despite what my husband might think, I believe he needs to learn more control. The last few months have been very difficult for him - I'm afraid that a slightest bump will reveal him to everyone at school."
"And at least at Bayville High, he'd have us to be a buffer and protect him," Rogue stated, realizing it was the truth. Joan nodded and Rogue realized why the Professor would let her come on this 'recruitment' mission - it was already decided that Jamie would go - even if he may or may not know it. She glanced over toward Scott, wondering if had known as well and if the Professor really wouldn't expect her find out. She was angry for letting herself hope that this time was different. That they'd really trusted her and believed that she could bring a new member to join their school.
"What do you mean? Nothing is wrong."
"Rogue, please don't lie to me."
"Like you've lied to me?"
"I know why I was picked for this recruitment trip, Scott. Because it was simple and easy as 1-2-3. All we had to do was sit down with Jamie and ask him if he wanted to join us - his parents already practically begged Charles to accept him and he wanted to go even though he had no idea where it was. You could have done it all yourself, instead you dragged me along to show me what? I'm not important or worthy for the role?"
"Rogue what the hell has gotten into you!" Scott shouted, pulling her to face him. She tried to shrug his hand off her arm, but he wouldn't budge. He didn't hold enough to bruise, only just enough so she couldn't run away from him. "I have no idea what the hell you're talking about! I asked you along because I wanted you to come! I had no idea the Professor knew this family before coming here!"
Rogue stared at him in shock. The only person he had every actually heard him raise his voice to or get this angry was when Lance or one of the Brotherhood got on his nerves. Not once had he raised his voice any of the X-Men - even Kurt at his most annoying moments.
"How?' Rogue asked finally, and Scott shook his head in confusion before he let go of her and moved back.
"I don't know, but I will find out. And this has nothing to do with you - the Professor wouldn't do this to you. He trusts you. And I trust you with my life Rogue, you know I wouldn't do something like to make you feel that way."
Rogue took in a deep breath and nodded - she did know better. The one person in the mansion she knew would tell her the truth about anything would be Scott. He wasn't a person to lie to her or to do something that would intentionally hurt her (that he knew about - he had no idea she had a crush on him so he had no idea every time he looked at Jean that way hurt her). She was angry at the Professor and was angry at herself for feeling like this.
"Kitty told me about what happened," Rogue said as she joined him in his room. He looked over at her from his desk and nodded. He figured Kitty would since she and Rogue didn't exactly keep secrets or hid anything from each other. Even if Kitty hadn't said anything, he would have mentioned it to her sooner or later. "How are you dealing?"
"Mostly conflicted," Scott admitted, not even going to fake a 'I'm fine' speech. Rogue lifted an eyebrow in interest and leaned against his desk. "I know I did the right thing but shooting at the car, but I hate how I hesitated. If I had waited any longer, those kids would've been injured or worse."
"You saved them in time, in either case, Scott. That's what counts. Yeah you hesitated but I know you. You weren't going to let anything happen to those kids. And that is what is important. And if you had been caught like the professor thought you could've been? That doesn't really matter either. Someday, sooner or later, everyone will find out about mutants." Rogue said and Scott sighed in exhaustion as he leaned back in his chair.
"I know, I know. They'll find out someday, but I can't help but feel guilty - I almost alerted everyone to who we are - before we were ready, before the world is ready for us." Scott admitted and Rogue shook her head in disagreement.
"Even if you had alerted everyone to who and what we are, Scott, I wouldn't blame you. You did what you had to do to protect those children. I understand that and I know everyone one else would too. And the truth is, the world will never be truly ready to find out what we really are, Scott - no matter what the professor says."
He knew that, of course, he wasn't disillusioned to believe that one day everyone in the world would accept mutants, but he could hope and wish for it to happen. "Thanks Rogue," Scott stated softly, a small sad smile graced his lips causing her own to turn up as well.
"I noticed you were hanging out with the new girl today," Scott started as she joined him for their weekly late night Danger Room session. The others sometimes joined them, usually when prompted by the Professor or Logan, but for the most part these sessions were mostly just them. Rogue preferred it that way - it gave her a chance to watch and work with Scott one-on-one, and besides that it helped her learn how to fight and protect herself better during battles. Scott liked it because it gave him extra hours blowing off steam from dealing with the Duncan and Jean situation and the fact that it gave him more time with Rogue, which something he preferred to have. He didn't quite understand why but he enjoyed her company as much as Jean and he knew he could count on her for anything. A few months ago he had admitted out loud to her that he trusted her with his life, and he wasn't kidding. No one besides Jean did he trust with his life more than her.
"Yeah... she's pretty cool, and she shares a lot of my classes." Rogue answered as she pulled her hair back so it was out of her face. "So what's the session about today?"
"After everything that's happened at school, I figured we can do an easy session. You still have Blob's strength?" Scott questioned and at Rogue's nod, he grinned. "Good, let's see how tough you really are with his powers."
Rogue stared at him in amusement. "Are you looking for a beating?"
"Hey, for your knowledge the Danger Room will pick our opponent - no way am I going to fight you," He teased, letting out a chuckle as she rolled her eyes at him. "Ready?"
At her word, the room transformed around them and suddenly they were in an abandoned warehouse. Before they could even take in anything around them, Scott was hit by a large metal tentacle which knocked him across the room and away from Rogue.
"Of course it'll be your definition of easy!" Rogue shouted as she ran towards Scott, who groaned and sat up. She dodged the tentacle and when it came back around to hit her, Rogue smashed it with all of her strength. It broke and immediately depowered the tentacle, allowing her to move away from it and toward Scott.
Scott noticed that she was coming closer to him but before she could reach him, she was pulled by another tentacle, this time, much larger than the other one and stronger. He shouted in anger as it grabbed her pulling her away from him. Preying that he doesn't accidently hurt Rogue, he blasted the tentacle, causing it to be split in half. The half that held Rogue crashed on the floor, and Rogue was able to break free of the grip it still held on her. She rolled away from it and towards him before getting back on her feet - ready to fight off another one incase it attacked yet again.
"You alright?" He questioned, as he joined her side. He studied the room which was way too quiet for his liking at the moment. It was always a sign that something worse was about to happen.
"I'm fine, Blob's strength is really helping though. I hope it will last though. So going to bet who will be the first down?" Rogue questioned, smirking up at him. Scott chuckled and shook his head.
"Never - let's get through this and I'll buy you a pizza and movie." Scott stated before several razors flew towards them. He shot each one down, and Rogue immediately pushed him out of the way as several lasers blasted the spot he was standing upon.
"It's a date if we get through this!" She shouted to him as several guards appeared - large men, at least seven feet if not taller and looked to be as tough as Blob and any Wrestling guy on the planet. Scott hesitated for half a second at her words before his attention was brought back by several more machines appearing and blasted them to pieces before they could attack them.
Rogue ran at the larger men, and with Blob's strength she was able to take down several of them before they started to pile on top of her and grab her from behind. At her scream, Scott quickly turned and shot at the remaining ones - enough to knock them out.
As they briefly recovered from the attack, Rogue swore loudly as several razors shot at her from behind - a few hitting her enough to slice open at her side and upper arm. Scott quickly turned to destroy the machine shooting them, but a tentacle came at him - and wrapped it tightly around his arms and body, keeping him from activating his visor.
Ignoring the pain slicing through her body at the cuts, Rogue threw herself at the tentacle that wrapped Scott inside, and tore at it. The strength she had acquired allowed her to rip it apart, and with her help Scott managed to get loose enough to finish it off with an optic blast.
"Why would you invite Risty to the mansion without the Professor's permission?" Scott questioned, leaning against her bedroom door frame.
"I didn't think it would hurt anyone, and most of the younger kids were gone for the night anyway. You and Jean were at the party, and it's not like I put anyone in danger. " Rogue stated, walking away to her balcony.
"Rogue," Scott started, and walked right up behind her.
"I'm sick and tired of being the freak at school, Scott." Rogue said finally. "Jean's Ms. Popularity and even you have more friends than just us. You fit in at that party more than I ever could. And with Risty I finally found a friend that isn't afraid of me and a friend who is normal and understands who I am."
"Rogue, Risty isn't the only friend you have that isn't afraid of you or understands who you are." Scott stated firmly. He hated knowing she was hurting. "You have friends here at the mansion that aren't afraid of you... who like you for being you. And you have me, I understand you and I'll never be afraid of you. We might not be normal, but I'd never treat you any different."
She nodded softly, knowing it was true - or at least on his part. She wasn't too sure about the others, Kitty and Kurt probably, but she was still a person who could hurt them and neither of them got close enough to her as Scott has.
Rogue watched Jean walk away from Scott and sighed. It hurt her to know that one day Jean will finally stop the denying the fact that she likes Scott, and when that happens Rogue wouldn't stand a chance.
Being inside her mind - and having her thoughts and abilities - changed her feelings for the redhead. She understood her better, and she might even like her now... but in the end, she just can't stop the pain at the thought of losing Scott to Jean. Scott was her best friend and Rogue couldn't lose that even if she has to pretend.
"So I heard the festival was eventful," Rogue stated in greeting as Scott walked into the kitchen. He nodded, moving towards the fridge.
"A lot more eventful than I think any of us expected," Scott said as he grabbed a water bottle and turned around to face her.
"How's Kurt taking it?" Rogue questioned softly - she felt bad for the fuzzy guy. She knew he really liked Tabitha and for her to decide X-Men wasn't the right fit had to hurt him. Although in truth, she understood the reason why Tabitha left. One of the reasons she hadn't joined even after she realized the X-Men weren't so bad. She didn't think she deserved to be there. Not after what she did, what her powers did.
"Not exactly well, which can be expected and he'll be bummed for a few weeks. However, I think he'll be alright." Scott stated, sliding into the chair beside her. Rogue let out a sigh and smiled sadly.
"Well at least we have one less person to worry about blowing up the mansion."
Scott snorted as he let out a laugh. Shaking his head, he rolled his eyes at Rogue who quirked an eyebrow at him.
"You know it's true."
"Yes, but it's sad - Boom Boom has a lot of potential, and I hate to see that go to waste." Scott admitted. At first he had some doubts - she had always been the more troublemaker out of the new group of mutants, but he knew she had a lot of potential to do better. Now, without them, she might not get those chances.
"She does, and eventually she'll come back." Rogue agreed, she knew from experience that if Tabitha didn't get distracted and showed off in front of the others she would be really good. She could only hope that she'll realize it eventually and come back.
"You really think so?" Scott questioned before taking a gulp of water. Rogue nodded and a small smile formed at her lips as Scott spilled some water down his chin and onto his shirt.
"Wanna bet on it?" Rogue questioned, the smile quickly turning into a grin. Scott chuckled and shook his head.
"Never going to do that again," Scott promised. The last few times they betted on something together, he always lost and she always won. He wasn't exactly sure how she did it, but he wasn't going to chance anything else.
Rogue studied him as he studied. They were no longer in the same English class this year, but over the last few months since she joined the X-Men, she had gotten used to doing her homework here or in her room with him beside her. They weren't in the same grade nor most of the classes, but that didn't really matter to either of them. However, she feared that might change now.
Taryn Fujioka had set her sight on Scott, and there was going to be no stopping her until she had what she wanted.
She could almost believe that with Scott's crush on Jean, he wouldn't go for it, but why would that stop him? To him he had no chance in hell to be anything but platonic with Jean Grey - at least with Duncan Matthews in the way.
Soon enough he'll be hanging out with Taryn - a girl who liked him and a girl who could touch him without hurting him.
It hurt her to know this, to know that they'll end up dating and that he'll have a chance to kiss someone without hurting them. She wanted to confront him, wanted to ask him to say no to her. But she wouldn't, because that's not something she could do to him.
Why should he stay alone just because she wanted him for herself but too afraid to say anything to him about it?
"It's a good thing he didn't realize everything was real and that the party had no idea what was going on." Scott stated as he fell back against his bed. Rogue nodded softly.
"I'm sorry Scott," Rogue said as she sat down beside him. Scott shook his head.
"It's not like you were the one to plan the party Rogue and no one at the party got seriously hurt due to Arcade, so you have nothing to be sorry for."
"Yeah, but I should have told you about it, I shouldn't have gone with Kitty's or Kurt's plan. Maybe if you were there, this wouldn't have happened." Rogue admitted, and Scott leaned forward so he could sit up and face Rogue.
"And maybe it still would have happened the same way, we don't know that and now everyone knows to not set up a party with the Professor away and without me and Jean to supervise." Scott said, gently, "Rogue, I don't blame you."
She smiled softly at him as he leaned back again. "Thanks, I guess... I better go and help the others with the clean up."
Scott chuckled, "Yeah you better, or I fear Kurt might capture you any moment now and it won't be pretty."
Rogue smirked, "You mean it won't be pretty for him." She stood up and stretched before walking towards the door.
"Danger Room session tomorrow?" Scott questioned before she could leave, she turned around to face him. Her eyebrows were lifted in amusement and Scott let out a laugh.
"Maybe another day, Scott. I think I had enough Danger Room sessions tonight for at least a week."
"Yeah, well, Logan will be back in a few days, so you should probably rest up until then, because I have a feeling we'll all be grounded for the next few weeks."
Rogue winced at the thought and nodded before leaving the room.
"Have you seen Evan?" Rogue questioned, folding her arms across her chest. Scott glanced towards the doors.
"Not since this morning at school, but he knows we have a group danger room session today, he won't miss it."
"Yeah right, he's missed ones before and I haven't seen him before he and Kurt went to chemistry class. I highly doubt he'll make it in the next two minutes."
"It's gonna be alright, Rogue, if anything happens I got your back."
Rogue smirked. "Shouldn't I be more worried about you? You're the one that got his ass kicked last night."
Scott shook his head and frowned before glancing over to the others and made sure they weren't paying attention. Fortunately they weren't paying attention to them. "It came out of no where and if I remember correctly, I was trying to protect you from that giant axe that was about to slice you in half."
Rogue grinned at him. "Thanks, by the way. Really appreciate not being sliced up for dinner."
Scott laughed, "Your welcome."
"You were lucky you left early," Rogue said in greeting, causing him to chuckle into the phone.
"Yeah, Kurt told me it snowed there after I left. You guys having fun?"
"I guess, thankfully Logan left for Thanksgiving too, or I'm sure we'd be doing extra danger room sessions. McCoy challenged the younger kids with a game of snow ball fight for later today. I'm sure he'll end up regretting that."
Scott chuckled at the thought, "I'm sure he will. You'll have to let me know what happens."
"Oh I will, but I'll be behind the safety of the mansion windows. I watched the news earlier; make sure you two are safe out there. They're saying the storm is going to be really bad." Rogue stated she knew that despite what Scott might want, Alex would be out and surfing through the storm and Scott would let him, if only for a short amount of time. However, that could be just enough time to cause trouble. And the last thing she wanted was something to happen to Scott and Alex.
"I will, I'm keeping track of the storm already, we might have a few hours before things get really ugly. Now go and have fun, I'll call again tonight."
Rogue smiled at the thought, "Good, tell Alex I said hi and to be safe."
"I will, talk to you later!" Scott shouted and she said a quick goodbye and hung up.
Please be safe, Scott.
When he arrived at the mansion finally, hours after he dropped Alex off with his parents, he was greeted by everyone. Kitty and Kurt ran and hugged him while Evan bumped fists with Scott before leaving the room. Even some of the younger kids greeted him before running off. Rogue stood there with her arms folded over her chest.
He knew that look, she was angry, but she had another look to her that he wasn't quite sure how to describe it. He smiled softly at her, hoping it would coax one out of her as well. Instead she frowned further.
With the others leaving the room, and the professor telling him to head to the medlab as soon as possible before he too left the two of them alone in the main entrance. He barely acknowledged Jean touching him to coax him to head to the medlab, before she finally left when she realized he wasn't going to budge from the spot.
"Rogue?" He moved closer to her, until he stood right in front of her. "I'm alright and Alex is alright, what's wrong?"
"What's wrong?" Rogue questioned, before punching him in the shoulder. He grunted at the pain it caused but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. She could hit harder than that, so he was relieved that she didn't. "You two nearly got yourselves killed!"
"Hey, we're fine though, aren't we? We're safe, Rogue." He was a little shocked at how hard she took this, if he knew anything about Rogue and he did, he knew she hid her emotions. So for her to actually yell at him like this, and for him to actually see how her eyes glistened with a few tears - everything must be taking its toll on her.
He pulled her into a hug, wrapping his arms tightly around her, and leaned his head against her hair. Despite the awkwardness of the blanket covering him, he didn't let go of her. If he could somehow comfort her this way then he would continue to do so.
"I told you to be careful," She mumbled against his chest. She was probably going to feel embarrassment if anyone besides them sees this, but she couldn't let go of him yet. She hated not being able to go on the rescue, and she hated not knowing if he was alive or dead out there in the sea.
The only thing comforting her at the moment and keeping her from blowing up completely was the fact that Scott had his arms wrapped around her, and she could feel his heat warming her and could hear his heart beat against his chest.
It was the only thing keeping her from believing she was dreaming and he was still lost at sea.
"Wake up sleepyhead," Scott said as he gently shook Rogue awake. At her groan of annoyance, he grinned. "Merry Christmas!"
"Scott," Rogue mumbled as she turned around to face him and glanced over to her alarm clock. It was barely eight o'clock and he woke her up already. She could have at least slept in until ten.
"Come on Rogue, there are Christmas presents ready to be opened!" He grinned as he tore off her covers to get her to hurry up.
"You weren't nearly this hyper last night, what did you eat?" Rogue asked causing him to chuckle.
"Last night wasn't Christmas, although I did have a few of Ororo's cookies before I came in here. Besides, I finally got your present."
Rogue lifted her eyebrow in amusement. "Waited for the last minute for my gift?"
"Hey, you know I hate to shop," Scott stated with a small smile. It was half true, the full truth would be he couldn't decide on what would be a good gift for her. He didn't to get the generic matching hat and gloves he gave to everyone else this Christmas. Its the first Christmas she was part of the X-Men and she deserved something special, something more than just a sweater or a pair of new gloves. He hoped she liked what he picked out.
"Alright, alright, I'm up - just let me get changed," Rogue said as she stretched. Scott grinned and jumped up off the bed.
"Excellent! I'll see you downstairs, don't take too long!" Scott shouted before leaving the room. Rogue sighed softly and shook her head in amusement at his antics. She liked when he was able to let loose and relax. It's a rare feat on Scott Summers, but she didn't mind.
"Merry Christmas Rogue," Professor Xavier said with a smile. She returned it with one of her own as she passed the two older men.
"Merry Christmas Professor," Rogue greeted, "Mr. McCoy."
"And a Merry Christmas to you Rogue. Although," Beast started with a smirk. "You better get over to Scott before he opens your presents as well." Rogue glanced over towards the Christmas tree and sure enough Scott sat underneath it and opening some of the presents.
Despite being anxious to find out what Scott got her for Christmas, she deliberately walked slowly over to him. "I hope you're not touching anyone else's presents," Rogue said causing Scott to look up at her.
"Of course not, hurry up and sit down. You have a lot of presents ready to be opened."
"A lot?" Rogue questioned in disbelief, however as Scott pushed a giant pile over toward her she realized he wasn't kidding. And from what she could see, her name was on each one. "This can't be for all me."
"Of course it could, you have one from each of us, the professor, Ororo, Logan, Mr. McCoy, a few of the newer students and I'm pretty sure one of them is from the Brotherhood."
"The Brotherhood?" Rogue asked and Scott nodded, gesturing to the oddly shaped one. A small smile appeared at her lips as she stared at it. The only other person at the X-Mansion that would probably receive a present from the Brotherhood would be Kitty due to Lance's crush. She hadn't expected one from them, but she'll just have to remember to stop by and give them a gift as well.
"I have to say I was shocked to see it as well." Scott stated as she kneeled down beside him underneath the tree.
"Alright, where's my present?" Rogue questioned softly as she studied her pile of presents. Scott shook his head.
"You have to open everyone else's presents first. You know what they say - save the best for last." Scott smirked causing Rogue to laugh at him.
"How do you even know I'll even like what you got me?"
"Wow, cold, Rogue. Real cold." Scott joked, grabbing his chest as if his heart hurt at her sarcastic question. "Now seriously, go on and open the rest of them first."
"Fine, but only to shut you up," Rogue said before grabbing the first one she saw.
Scott appeared just as she tried to figure out who would have mentioned Ororo's fear in front of Risty at the mansion. She couldn't think of one student that would, and not in a million years would she reveal something that damaging about someone to someone else - not even to Risty. That wasn't important though, not right now.
"You worried too?" Scott questioned as he studied Rogue. She nodded as she shut her locker. "Ororo is pretty strong; I think she can handle whatever is going on right now."
"I know, just it's just been a weird few days and with Ororo off lately makes me feel uneasy." Rogue admitted softly, as to not have anyone nearby overhear them. "The fog hasn't lifted yet, and I can't help but feel that it's connected."
Scott shook his head, "I don't think the weather has anything to do with it."
Rogue rolled her eyes. "Maybe not directly, but Ororo might be behind it. I think whatever she thinks she sees is the reason behind the odd weather, her emotions at least is probably affecting it."
Scott raised an eyebrow in interest. He hadn't really thought about that, but now that Rogue mentioned it, it did - in a way - make sense. Ororo had been very emotional the last few days, it's quite possible that her powers would be affected by the change.
"I don't get it!" Scott shouted collapsing on the bed. "How can the professor just let Lance join the team just like that?'
Rogue leaned back against the headboard and folded her arms against her chest. "Because the professor believes Lance could be part of the team. And why shouldn't here? If he's here on his own will, why should we condone him? Lance really isn't all that bad, you know."
Scott shook his head, "Maybe not, but I don't trust him. Who knows what Mystique is planning."
"Mystique disappeared Scott, and she definitely hasn't had any contact with the Brotherhood. It's not some plan Mystique cooked up to have Lance join the X-Men."
"How can you be so sure about this?" Scott questioned in defeat.
"I'm not sure, but I think I know Lance and the Brotherhood a little more than you, Scott. And Lance really likes Kitty - always has, but these past few weeks I think confirmed it for real. Haven't you seen them interact since the gym fire?"
"Alright fine, they've been making eyes at each other for months and now he wants to join the X-Men. I still think there is something more behind the reason than just Lance's interest in Kitty." Scott stated firmly.
Rogue nodded, "And you will."
Scott stared at her in wonder, "You think I'm wrong?"
Rogue shook head slowly, "Not what I said, Scott. I just know that you'll keep your guard up around Lance because you think he's going to endanger us. And that's alright... sort of. I'm glad that you want to protect us, but I just don't think we'll need you to protect us from Lance."
"Last time I play victim, got that Summers?" Rogue stated as walked towards the kitchen.
"Hey, I wasn't the one that let you drown - pretend to drown anyway - that would be your buddy Lance." Scott said as he opened the kitchen door for her.
"Seriously, are we going to have that discussion again?" Rogue asked, rolling her eyes as she passed him. Scott sighed and shook his head as he joined her in the kitchen.
"No, I know when to stop arguing with you Rogue. We agreed to disagree on this case, remember?" Scott asked grabbing an apple to eat on the way to school. With a small smile, Rogue bumped him as she headed towards the fridge. "Are you coming with me and Kurt?"
"To school?" Rogue asked as she turned back to look at him, at his nod she shook her head. "No, Risty already asked if she could drive me - she should be here in a few minutes."
Scott frowned, he missed the mornings when she had rode in his car to school. Lately, all she seemed to do was take Risty on her offers to drive her to school.
"Don't say it," Scott said as he leaned against her door frame. Rogue glanced up from her book and smirked.
"The hated saying of 'I told you so' that I'm sure you're dying to say." Scott said moving away from the door way and towards her computer desk.
"Hmm, actually I wasn't going to say anything. Although to be fair, I was right and you were wrong about Lance." Rogue stated causing Scott to chuckle and shake his head in amusement.
"Yeah, well, I had a lot of reasons to feel and think the way that I did. Of course, I regret it now though. Lance hadn't really done anything seriously wrong while he was here - the others let him be blamed for their actions."
"Yes they did, so what do you think about Lance now?" Rogue asked, setting the book she had been reading on the night table. Scott sighed in defeat but a small smile appeared on his lips as he thought it over.
"He isn't so bad, I guess. He actually risked a lot to keep the kids safe and protect them, and it wasn't even to impress Kitty in the end. He would've made a good X-Man." Scott admitted finally causing Rogue to grin.
"Oh really? I'm surprised, Scott. Really I am... for you to admit such a thing," Rogue joked and Scott rolled his eyes.
"Just promise you won't tell anyone?"
Rogue chuckled at Scott's embarrassment. "I promise - my lips are sealed."
"You know, subtly isn't really your thing Scott."
"What? What do you mean?" Scott stared up at her as if he was the perfect example of innocence. Rogue rolled her eyes at him and huffed slightly as he tried to deny any knowledge of what she was talking about.
"First, you followed us and then you showed up at the warehouse." Rogue explained, causing Scott's eyes to widen with shock. Not even Jean had known that he and Kurt had been at the warehouse with them. Rogue hid her smile at his shock. "Let's see the car theft's boss car moved with some sort of blast, just before that area blew up due to the oil. You really think that went unnoticed?"
"Jean didn't seem to have seen it," Scott said softly. "She just knew we'd followed you."
"Yeah well, I was watching, and I could have missed it if I had been looking anywhere else. And I think I know that blast anywhere by now." Rogue said firmly. With how many times it saved her life and the few times she had been powered with it, there was no way she'd mistake it for anything else.
"You aren't angry about it?"
"Why would I be angry? If you weren't there we might have accidently hurt him worse than locking him in that car. I'm glad you were there. And it's not like the whole reason I joined the Sirens was because I didn't want men's help. I joined because it was fun, and for a minute there, all of us got along and it felt great. It felt empowering." Rogue admitted, finally taking a seat beside him on the couch.
"Then I'm sorry they shut you down," Scott said sincerely, Rogue smiled at him.
"Thanks, but it's alright. It was fun while it lasted."
"Where were you three?" Scott questioned as Rogue exited the hanger. It was only at that moment when she realized that she missed their weekly danger room session. She didn't exactly regret missing it since she had finally went on a mission (although it wasn't anything like she expected), she did feel bad about not telling Scott about it or asking him if he wanted to join. Not that Logan would have allowed it.
"In the Sahara Desert, believe it or not." Rogue admitted as he followed her down the hall. He stared at her in shock.
"The Sahara? Why were you there? Is there a new mutant?" Scott questioned quickly.
"No new mutant, Logan's past caught up to him and we had to take care of it." Rogue said softly, after making sure no one else was in the hallway. Scott stared at her in surprise.
"A project that's dangerous to humans had to be destroyed completely, especially since Magneto had stolen it." Rogue said finally. She wanted to keep it from him, but she would only feel guiltier for keeping it hidden from him that Magneto was back. It was bad enough she hadn't told him about the scattered memories she can remember from people she touched, especially when they deal with Magneto.
"Did you guys get the mission complete then?" Rogue nodded.
"Mission's complete and a success." Scott smiled with relief and wrapped an arm around her. A blush appeared on her cheeks as he walked down the hall with her.
"So are you going to tell me the full story or should I get it out of Kurt?" Scott questioned with a smirk.
Smiling at his words, Rogue leaned in closer to Scott. "Depends on what kind of offer you're going to make for the information."
"Offer?" Scott joked, "What kind of an offer were you looking for?"
Something you will never give to me, Rogue thought sadly and silently cursed her thoughts for turning this moment into a sour one. Quickly, Rogue smirked up at him to hid her moment of weakness. "I believe you'll think of something."
"So are you going to the carnival?
"Of course I'm going, what else am I going to do that would be more exciting than that?" Rogue questioned an eyebrow quirked with amusement.
"Geez, I was just making sure. Who are you going with?" Scott questioned, rubbing the back if his neck. It was a trait Rogue knew that he does when he's nervous about something. She was a little confused as to why he was so nervous around her right now.
"I don't know, Risty has other plans so I figured I'll go alone and probably meet up with Kitty or Kurt." Rogue explained as she silently studied Scott, who immediately looked relieved at her answer.
"Did you want to go with me?" Scott questioned finally and Rogue's eyes widened at his question. His question was a surprise because he had no reason to need her to go to the carnival. Wasn't Taryn his girlfriend? She would be sure to be there and the last thing Rogue wanted was to be put into the middle of something.
"What about Taryn?" Rogue asked after several minutes of staying quiet. Scott let out a deep breath he had been holding, relieved that she hadn't said no yet.
"She's probably going, I don't know."
Rogue stared at him in confusion. "You don't know if your girlfriend will be at the carnival?"
Scott let out a laugh before he realized she wasn't laughing as well. He stared at her in disbelief, "Wait, you think I'm dating Taryn?"
"Uh, yeah, everyone does." Rogue stated, folding her arms against her chest. "She's been hanging all over you the last few months."
"Well yeah she's been hanging out with me more lately, but I've never asked her out." Scott admitted, "Geez, everyone really thinks we're dating?"
"Yes - even Taryn broadcasts it in the bathroom," Rogue said without thinking. The memory of Taryn shouting it out load in the bathroom while she was inside still hurt. Scott's eyes widened in embarrassment.
"I can't believe she did that! I thought we were just friends," Scott said.
"Well, I guess if you two are only friends, I guess I can go with you to the carnival," Rogue stated softly. A large grin appeared on his lips at her statement.
"Excellent, I'll pick you up at five?" Scott asked, causing Rogue to laugh at his joke.
"Sure, I'll be ready by then," Rogue said before leaving the room. The carnival definitely sounds much better with the prospect of going with Scott.
"You alright?" Scott questioned softly as he watched Rogue rub her back. Turning around to face him, Rogue smiled softly.
"Just a little bruised from the tumble into the truck - I'm alright. How about you?" Rogue asked.
"Let's just say I hate it when something like that happens - I'm glad I didn't hurt anyone with my powers with that little stunt in the air."
Rogue nodded in understanding, she was very happy that Mesmero hadn't chosen her to be one his slaves. She didn't even want to think of what he might have made her do with her powers.
"So Taryn asked you to the prom," Rogue said softly. Despite knowing that it wouldn't have been a good idea to ask him to the dance, she couldn't help but hate the fact that he was going with Taryn (or Jean if she had gotten there first).
Scott shrugged as he put on his uniform shoes. "Yeah, it was a surprise but I guess it'll be alright."
Rogue chuckled at his nonchalance. "How was it a surprise? Taryn's been after you for months and finally there's a dance where the girls ask the boys. I told you about her earlier, remember? Before the carnival."
"Oh, right," Scott said, rubbing his neck in embarrassment. "I forgot about that. Geez, I guess I just encouraged her by saying yes then?"
"Yeah, you definitely encouraged her." Rogue stated, shaking her head in disappointment. She knew it wasn't Scott's fault - and she in no way blamed him - but she still hated the fact he was going with Taryn to the dance.
"Well, I'll just have to tell her it didn't mean anything." Scott promised softly, unsure why Rogue looked so upset. "So who did you ask to the dance?"
"No one," Rogue stated firmly as she slowly put on her shoes.
Scott stared at her in surprise. "There isn't anyone you wanted to ask?"
Rogue looked up at him sadly, half wishing he knew she wanted him to go with her and the other half wished he would change the subject despite the fact she was the one that had started this conversation. "Can't touch, remember?"
"Rogue - you can't keep holding back because of that, especially if it's a dance. You don't have to necessarily touch while dancing." Scott suggested, wishing there was some way to convince her to go. He wanted her to be there and to have fun.
"And if my partner didn't know about my powers and touches me? What then when my hair falls out of place? Or maybe I'll accidentally bump into someone?" Rogue asked memories of the last dance she went to flashed through her mind. She hated herself for what had happened to Cody.
"And maybe that won't happen, why deny yourself some fun?" Scott asked, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "If Kurt can figure a way to go to the dance with Amanda, then you should figure out a way to go to the dance."
"Yeah well who would I ask anyway? Everyone that is going has dates, or would never in the million years say yes. And it's a little late asking people to the dance." Rogue answered finally giving up arguing with Scott.
Scott sighed softly, trying to think of anyone he knew that didn't have a date that had wanted to go to the dance. Everyone he could think of just wouldn't be interested in going to a dance, and the others he didn't trust enough to go with Rogue. Nor did he like the idea of another guy take her to the dance, although he tried to ignore the reason behind that feeling. She stared at his thoughtful expression that slowly turned to disappointment and let out a deep breath.
"If it means so much for you, for me to go, I'll just go with Risty. Technically she already did ask, and at least I wouldn't have to worry about any slow dances or anything like that." Rogue stated, unsure how Scott had managed to change her mind completely and somehow she was now coming to the dance.
Scott grinned at the idea, "Excellent, as long as you promise to save me a few of those slow dances."
Rogue's eyes widened before she turned her face away to hide her flushed cheeks. "I promise, Scott."
"What are you going to do with a new mutants-free weekend?" Rogue asked with amused smile. Scott chuckled and shrugged.
"Didn't really think about it, probably run a few more danger room sessions I've been wanting to try. And you, what are you going to do with a Kitty-free weekend?" Scott asked as he typed away at his computer. Rogue's smile widened.
"Turn my music as loud as I want is on the top ten to-do list," Rogue admitted. "The rest, haven't really decided. Probably go and see whatever movie's out."
Scott turned to face her, his interest suddenly peaked at the idea of going to the movies. "I could definitely go see a movie - it's been a while since I saw one, and I think one of the new movies out is one I've wanted to see. You don't mind a tag along, do you?"
"Never, Scott. Whatever you want to see will be great," Rogue admitted with a smile. She was happy that Scott wanted to go out with her to the movies, even if he only meant it as friends.
"Perfect, when did you have in mind?" Scott asked, relieved that she hadn't said no. They hadn't had enough time to spend with each other since the carnival and he hated that. The dance had been ruined with the creatures from the dimension Kurt teleported through, thus leaving him no chance to dance with her and to make sure she had a fun night. Thankfully he hadn't really had to worry about Taryn clinging to him the whole night with the attack happening - he'd gotten her to go home with her friends, leaving him with the rest of the X-men to take care of the creatures.
"Tomorrow sometime? I wanted to make sure my homework was done for Monday." Rogue suggested, and Scott nodded in agreement. Glancing over to the computer screen, she smiled softly. "Tell Alex I said hi."
Scott grinned, "How did you know I was writing Alex?"
"Women's intuition," Rogue joked causing Scott to chuckle. In reality, it was the look he got when he wrote to Alex that let her know that he was writing to him, but he didn't really need to know that.
"Right. I'm sure," Scott said with amusement, turning back to quickly type the quick message from Rogue to Alex in his e-mail.
"I know we never talk much about Jean," Scott began and suddenly the evening's prospect started to decline in Rogue's mind.
Despite knowing he was in love with Jean from the memories and thoughts she took from him nearly a year ago, they hadn't actually spoken about them out loud. It was something she was relieved he had never brought up around her. And it was something that it seemed Scott wanted to change tonight. Trying to fight the instinct to run and hide, Rogue slowly turned in her seat at her desk and faced him as he leaned forward. She could clearly see he was frustrated - his eyebrows were furrowed in annoyance and the homework in front of him was clearly forgotten. Rogue had known something was on his mind when he entered her room earlier and asked if he could stay and work on homework with her. But she never expected it dealt with Jean.
"What about Jean?" Rogue asked finally, and even to her ears her voice sounded tired and broken, causing her to silently curse herself. However Scott wasn't exactly paying attention, he could only replay the day's earlier discussion with Jean. The one where he was so close to telling Jean how he really felt about her, but then Duncan ruined everything.
"I was going to tell her." Scott admitted finally, glancing up. "I was going to get everything out in the open - so I wouldn't have to hide anymore. So I could finally admit that I liked her, as in more than a friend to her directly."
It hurt worse out loud than she expected, but she couldn't do anything to change it. It was her own fault for falling for Scott, it wasn't his, and it wasn't as if he knew she liked him. Only Kitty and Risty seemed to be able to tell that she did, everyone was thankfully oblivious about it. And as much as it hurt her knowing he liked Jean in that way, it hurt just as much knowing he was in pain because of it.
"What happened?" Rogue asked softly, knowing that if he had gotten a chance to say something - he wouldn't be here right now. They'd probably be off on a date and having their first kiss. Rogue hated how she could hear the bitterness in her voice at her words.
"Duncan appeared, and she went off with him." Scott explained, "What am I supposed to do? She admitted they were having trouble, and that she didn't like him as much as she thought she did. Do I just go and admit how I feel? Do I want to feel like the rebound from Duncan?"
Despite the bitterness and feeling upset over the conversation, Rogue wouldn't lie to Scott, not even if it meant she brought Scott and Jean together. "Scott, no matter who you're with, you'd never be a rebound. You're ten times the man Duncan is, and that's why I'm going to suggest to tell you to keep it to yourself. At least for now. You can't go and admit something like that and not expect to feel the blow back of what might happen when Jean breaks up with Duncan. When they break up, and they will, you can admit how you feel. Trust me."
"How do you know they're going to break up?" For the first time since he joined her, he looked a lot less stressed and even happy to an extent despite the fact Rogue had told him to wait. Rogue let a deep sigh, and shrugged her shoulders - silently wishing this conversation could end and be long forgotten.
"We never lose... not to the Brotherhood." Scott stated firmly, anger laced with each word he spoke causing Rogue study him in concern. She hadn't seen him this upset since Lance joined the X-Men, but what worried her more was the fact that he was taking it a lot harder than he did in that situation.
She wasn't sure how she felt about it - knowing Mystique was back wasn't really shocking, Rogue had known long ago that Mystique would show up again. It upset her, knowing she was back, but she also felt a short burst of relief at knowing she was alright. She hated that feeling, because Rogue knew should completely hate Mystique after everything she did to her - for lying and tricking her. However, besides Irene, she had been the only mother figure she had that also showed a tender side of herself to. Something she hid from the others in the Brotherhood.
However, not only did she feel upset and a slice of relief at her return, Rogue felt worried as well. She had seen Mystique's return in Toad's memories. Saw her anger and revenge filled eyes. The battle at the mall was only the beginning, and Rogue didn't know what will happen next.
"How can just one addition to the team beat us?" Scott shouted as he punched the wall, barely wincing at the pain he felt because of it.
Rogue drew in a deep breath, wishing she could comfort Scott about the loss, but nothing she could say would help calm him. However, he deserved the truth. She walked slowly up behind him, so as not to surprise him.
"Mystique's back," Rogue admitted, resting her hand on his shoulder, turning him to face her. "I saw it when I got a flush of Toad's memories."
"Mystique?" She didn't wince at the look in his face - the glow of his eyes were clearly visible which intensified how angry he looked. "What is she planning?"
"I don't know, the only thing I could get from his memories were flashes of Mystique's return and Wanda joining the Brotherhood. I wish I could tell you more, but I don't know anything else. Mystique isn't a person to reveal what she has plans until she's ready to play them." Rogue explained softly and Scott let out a growl of annoyance. He wasn't angry or annoyed with Rogue, he was angry at himself - for losing the battle, for not being prepared enough to defeat Wanda. He's trained every day since Professor Xavier took him in, how could someone just take him on like that and turn his own powers against his own teammates - that's what he doesn't understand.
As he finally looked into Rogue's eyes and expression, he realized he wasn't the only one upset by the defeat or the return of Mystique. Knowing how much it would hurt Rogue at the appearance of Mystique, he pulled her to him.
"We'll be prepared next time," Scott promised softly as she wrapped her arms around him. The anger he felt moments ago slowly fell away and was replaced with a sense of calm. He knew he'd do better next time. The Brotherhood didn't defeat the X-Men, it just isn't going to happen. Not again.
"Scott?" Rogue greeted, hoping that it would get his attention, only there was no reply. She let out a deep breath, trying to calm her nerves. She didn't like what was happening. Not at all. She had a really bad feeling and wished he was coming with them to fight Magneto.
"I know you're there, Scott..." Rogue continued and she only heard a slight intake of breath as a reply. "I know you're angry, but I really think it would be a good idea if you came with us. We'll be leaving in about twenty minutes, there's room for you on the x-helicopter. Scott? We really need you."
I need you. The words seemed to echo in her thoughts and she couldn't help but squeeze her eyes shut and hold the phone tighter.
"Just be careful," Scott said finally, the words soft and Rogue opened her eyes. "I don't know what's going on, but I just can't trust it."
"I'll be careful, Scott, but why can't you come?"
"I can't... I just - no. Not after everything that's happened, Rogue. I'm sorry."
He silently studied the group that had gotten out of the x-helicopter, shouting for the new mutants. Jean, Kitty, Kurt, Ororo, and only Toad, Lance, and Wanda was left of the Brotherhood. The imposter in the Professor Xavier disguise got out of the helicopter last.
Rogue wasn't there.
The anger he had felt earlier became even stronger at realizing she wasn't there, that he had no idea if she was alright or not.
Mystique was going to pay.
SEQUEL IS COMING OUT SOMETIME IN 2012. Anyway, hopefully all you Scott/Rogue fans liked the extra scenes for X-Men: Evolution.