Absorbing life energy through skin-to-skin contact. Currently uncontrollable.
Sounds bad, don't it? Right now, if I had to pick the suckiest thing about my mutation it would be clothes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to put together an outfit nowadays? I was spoiled; I admit it. I wasn't the most popular girl in school but I wasn't a complete loser either. I knew what looked good on me. Mississippi being that it was, short sleeves and sundresses were all the thing. Those sleeveless shirts with the really low cut down the collar? I looked fantastic in those. I didn't look half bad in halter-tops and shirts that showed bellies off. Perfect for showing piercing and/or tattoos
I was going to get my navel pierced before I graduated. Actually, I'd planned on getting it pierced during prom night so I'd be too drunk to feel pain or to chicken out. David's older brother had a pierced tongue; I drooled after him for the longest time for that reason alone. Then there was Louisa Pierce with her oh- look - at- me- I'm- the- next- coming- of- Britney- Spears navel jewel. She changed it every week to match her outfits. She would also tell everyone (read: boys) that it was a real diamond (or ruby or sapphire or emerald) and if they wanted to, they could get a closer look.
I still feel the urge to spit nails when I think about her.
Back to outfits. It's very hard to pick out an outfit when your accessories are mandatory.
Even though mostly high school girls going to the prom in the summer wear opera gloves, the dopes in the business keep on making them outta some heavy-duty polyester/ Kevlar/ thick-wooley-beast blend guaranteed to (a) prevent your skin from breathing and (b) increasing the temperature by twenty degrees. Of course, because of the amount of toxic chemicals it takes to produce this material, adding any type of dye would probably send the opera glove factories into an explosion even bigger than the one that happened when an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. So, opera gloves come only in black and white.
White makes me look sallow and all yellowish-green. Or like I'm a runaway child bride. It matches with nothing and picks up stains like Magneto in room full of freshly painted paper clips.
Black is supposed to be classier. It definitely doesn't show dirt. On the other hand, it also absorbs heat. Magnify that by the greenhouse properties of the poly-Kevlar-wooleybeast and basically, I put up with baking my arms every day. That drive up into Northern Canada as the first time in months that my hands felt cold.
Then there are the scarves. I had an aunt who liked to wear scarves. She had 'em all from the little bitty kerchiefs that you tied 'round your neck to the six foot wool ones that looked like they were knitted in a Home Ec class. She was wearing a two hundred count Egyptian linen scarf aged to a slight ivory when the long fluttery end of it caught on the wheel of her convertible. She's alive but she sure won't be entering any Karaoke contests.
I also miss wearing skirts. I have stumpy legs. If I wear long skirts, I look five inches shorter with my head taking up a third of that height. I was going to be the only girl in my graduating class to wear a short skirt for prom instead of those poofy Cinderella gowns. I wasn't happy with it-- I really wanted the Cinderella gown-- but frankly, I looked dumb in it. It's not bad in the winter 'cause I get to wear these fantastic stockings but in the summer I have to decide between wearing pants and staying relatively cool or a skirt and pantyhose.
Pantyhose were invented by a sadistic demon from hell. I will swear that on a stack of Bibles.
In the years B.M. (Before Mutation for y'all who aren't into the mutant lingo), I always made fun of the GAP clothes. You know the type: T-shirts in three solid colours. Khaki everything. Little cardigans to match the T-shirts. I'm awfully sorry, Kitty, but gawd! get something non-pastel! I like prints, the wilder the better. And sequins and beads. If I'd been a teenager the first time punk came around, you'd bet your buttons I'd've been right in the scene. Now, as a necessity, I had to stick to jeans and solid shirts. There was no way you could pull off any of my old sequinned tops with a chiffony scarf and black opera gloves. I'd look like a trashy hooker trying to be a classy hooker. And being on the streets, that wasn't exactly the type of image I wanted to attract.
Granted, it isn't that bad now at the mansion. The winters here calls for gloves anytime you go out doors; preferably three. The school has great air conditioning in the summer, too. For another thing, compared to Jubilee, nothing I could pull off would look outrageous. That girl's got eight --count 'em: eight!-- piercings and only half of them are visible. I'm not even going to start with Bobby's outfits-- all I have to say is that I hope whoever printed those Hawaiian shirts with such obnoxious colours has been rendered blind. Or maybe the problem was that he was blind to begin with.
Whatever the case maybe, I wished I hadn't brought up the subject of Bobby on the heels of Jubilee's silver appendages. Ugh. He's a great guy, a fantastic friend (when he isn't plotting ways to get science experiments pouring over your head) and I love him like all get out but the mental image of him with anything below the neck pierced is a smidgen scary.
And don't get me wrong, I think the professor's awesome for doling all this cash to buy me clothes. It's just... well, let's just say that Jean bought the clothes. Her idea of what teenage girls wear run roughly along the GAP and J. Crew, too. It's partly my fault, too; I didn't want to go to the mall with her the first time. Still scared I guess, of people and myself.
But I think people are starting to notice what I like after I was brave enough to raid Jubilee's closet on free night. I even went with them to the mall yesterday. I looked through the prints. The tasteful ones. John got his ear pierced and screamed like a baby.
Now, John with piercings fits enough to be luscious.
That new guy Mr. Summers brought home a few days ago has piercings; a teensy little stud on his left ear, one on his tongue and, according to Dani and Wanda, a hoop right through his left nipple. Apparently, they were hanging out at the pool when, and I'm gonna quote Wanda here, "he sauntered in wearing scarlet Speedo tight enough to show that he didn't have his genitals pierced." Wanda has a way with words, don't she? And her only thirteen.
Honestly, a red Speedo? If that isn't a big, honkin' flag of impotence and overcompensation, I don't know what is. His clothes are all flashy, too, things that you probably wouldn't see out of a Hollywood teen special or a music video. It sounds hypocritical, I know, but I can't stand those types of clothes on guys; I prefer them dressing simply. Actually, my dream guy always wears a suit. Something about a guy in dress pants and a well-tailored jacket will give me goosebumps on my goosebumps. The new guy 's jacket is absolutely disgusting! It looks like a reject from B-grade film noir or a flasher-themed porn. It stinks worse than one of Dr. Grey's cooking experiments. I don't even think the animal it's made from bathed before it was slaughtered.
Okay... now I'm being mean. But he just rubs me in the wrong direction. He's got to be at least twenty-one, more likely twenty-five and he's hitting on every thing in the house that moves! I don't know how the other girls tolerate it. Jubilee, Dani, and Kitty especially are completely ridiculous about it. You'd think he was some actor or pop star the way they go on.
"Gaaaawwd, Rogue! He was, like, so totally edible in that painted-on shirt. Hot damn!"
"Omigosh, Rogue, I think he looked at me! No, don't turn around! He might guess that we're staring! Omigosh, those eyes of his are soooo hot!"
"...and then around two-fifty, he went to the garage and checked out some bikes. Then at three-fifteen, he left the garage and went to the rec-room to shoot pool with the guys. Their game ended at four pm when..."
Lordy, it's borderline insanity! He even hit on Neal yesterday while we were playing pool!
"The name of the game," said Neal as he chalked up his cue, "is nine ball. Best three out of five games gets a duty card valid for tomorrow."
I was lining up the solids into tight diamond. "Oh, you ain't getting' away with nothin'. Ah've got a date tomorrow with a large popcorn an' a Todd Fredricks movie."
Neal made a face. "You honestly like that bop-magazine pretty boy? When you're surrounded by real, strutting cutlets of prime beef like me in this place?"
"I second dat notion."
That idiot was leaning against an expensive-looking curio cabinet that Bobby and John had transformed into a shelf for playing equipment in Shop class a few weeks back. His expression was just too... too... I-know-something-you-don't-know.
"Though if you really want Remy's true feelin's," he added, "I much prefer the river rat wit' the pretty hazel eyes, hein?"
"Did you hear us askin'?" I demanded. I hate it when he refers to himself in the third person.
He shrugged, an annoying gesture that usually meant nothing and everything. "I hear plenty o' t'ings, chere, most of it applause."
"Ah'm sure everyone claps when they see the back of you."
Remy smirked. He pushed his shades up higher on his nose. Those things were irritating as well; he couldn't pull it off like Mr. Summers. With a lazy strut proclaiming complete indifference to the fact that his hair looked like a rat's nest, his jeans had more hole than material and his BVDs were threadbare, he headed for the kitchenette. "Mais non, chere, I expected harder hits from de lady who can kill wit' a kiss."
It took all of my willpower not to magnetically force drawers to slam into a tender part of that Cajun's anatomy then. I didn't want to sink to his level. I put my cue stick down carefully, not wanting to snap that either. "Swamp rat, the only thing yoah lips are gonna touch is my fist."
By this time, he's just sauntered in like he owned the place and was rooting around a cupboard. Then he took out a micky, gargled whatever was inside it--probably some vile home-made crap-- and swallowed it. "A punch, cherie? That's borderline kinky for someone as sweet an' young as you."
That clinched it... I didn't care if I sank all the way down to hell; he was going to watch his mouth around me!
"You want me to kink something?" I gritted my teeth. The fridge door shot out to whack Remy 's head but he frickin' ducked down just in time, curling into a ball and rolling around the floor and before I knew it, he landed right at my side. Then, he snatched my hand pressed this slobbery kiss in the inside of my wrist.
"Y' don't taste like no river rat, that's foh sho'." And he shot outta there before my brain could recover from disgust.
I barely heard Neal say, "I think he pinched my butt. Hey, Rogue, don't-- How are we going to explain a hole in the wall to Ms. Munroe?"
Dang! There goes my pillow. I can't even think of that... that VD-ridden, liquor-soaked waste of oxygen without breaking a piece of furniture. I have no idea why Mr. Summers brought him here. Well, all right, so he was hurt but it sure doesn't look like he needs any more help. His arm went off the sling after two days and he hardly has any bruises any more. He can't even be categorised as a "youngster," gifted or otherwise, not at his age. He's just mooching off of the professor's goodness.
He doesn't teach. He doesn't train with the others. He doesn't help around the house. He doesn't follow the rules. He doesn't even care if mutants or humans live in peace, kill each other, or keep on living the same way they've been living since we found out mutants existed. I don't know what he's done that's made Mr. Summers so soft on him. If any of the students did half the things he did, Mr. Summers would've given them on of his "talks."
Mr. Summers is scary as red shit when he delivers his "talks." It's not that he yells or swears or threatens to kill you or anything. I've never gotten a "talk" from him but hearing the other guys describe it is enough to make me want to stay on his good side. Apparently, his voice gets really, really calm and even and really, really cold. This his shades start glowing bright, like he wants to blast you and it's by sheer willpower alone that he's keeping it back. And at first, he just stares at you and stares at you, like a bug under a microscope, or like you're a serial killer that he's caught dead to rights. Then he starts talking about The Rules and how disappointed he is in you. I know it doesn't sound scary when I say it like that but honesty, if you can just imagine him...
But despite that I know lots of the kids here want to be just like Mr. Summers, the guys especially. At least, they used to; now most of them go around and try to copy the swamp rat. I think Mr. Summers is a helluva lot better than him. He's only twenty-eight and he's practically in charge of the school: funds, class schedules, you name it. If I had to do that, I'd go nuts in a week, guaranteed. He's got the hot older woman-- the guys tell me this is a cross-cultural teenage fantasy. He really is patient and nice and everything if you don't try to break the rules; he allows for bending but out-right breaking them is suicidal to your mental health. He's good at sports, math, cars... hell, he's damn near got everything going for him as far as I can tell.
After all of that, I guess his powers just evens things up. That sounds real mean, don't it. Completely selfishly, I feel better having someone else who has to have mandatory accessories: I have my gloves, he has his glasses. If you want to talk about horrible closet decisions, Mr. Summers has got to have the worst possible time. I think that's why he sticks to shades to grey and black, just to make sure he doesn't accidentally put a lime green sweater with orange pants or something equally obnoxious.
Bleuch, that's even worse than Bobby with piercings.
The thing is, Mr. Summers doesn't seem to be the type of person that the swamp rat could con but I still see them together sometimes, chatting it up and laughing like they grew up together. I guess I should be glad that Mr. Summers has another guy to do guy-stuff with. Dr. McCoy is fun but he's kinda preoccupied with his viral research and his sentences can make a dictionary dizzy. The Professor is just... well, the Professor. But, jeez, of all the people who had to show up, it had to be him!
I can't stand him, I really can't.
And now I'm all stressed out. I think I'm going to go cool off in the mall. I don't have anything to wear anyway.