Disclaimer: Scott Summers and Rogue and Madelyne and Apocalypse belong to Marvel comics. Pity they're not doing anything intelligent with them.

Notes: This was the genesis of repeated listenings to Something For Kate's 'Echolalia', specifically "Feeding the Birds and Hoping for Something in Return", which was originally my personal John Crichton/Nathan Dayspring song. Until I realised it fits Slym Dayspring as well. And. Well. History, and all that. (the title comes from 'Monsters', off the same album)

Further: I haven't read anything canon for nearly 6 years. This is based on others' comments on current goings-on (which pretty much sound like crap), as well as my own memories of the characters.

Trying to be 5,000 Years Younger
by Ana Lyssie Cotton

He didn't know anything anymore. Not about himself, not about anyone else. It was disconcerting to know he'd been someone else. Was, still, maybe.

Or maybe now he was simply Scott.

The wind whistled past him, and he absently adjusted his glasses, wondering what New York City looked like without the reddish haze. Were the buildings black and grey? Or were they red and brown and blue?

Once he might have thought it ironic to be perched atop the Empire State building. But there was a strange similarity between him and Madelyne now. Both had been used as a means to an end. Neither had had a say in anything.

Absently amused, he wondered if sending Nathan to the future counted as sacrificing him to demons. The demons of Askani Manipulation, possibly.

Irony, again. The very creature that had destroyed his son's life had caused his own downfall. And destroyed Scott in the process.

So many memories could dance through his mind. Some had to be his--others couldn't possibly be his, could they? They belonged to the blue-lipped madman, bent on genetic purity and the will of the strong to survive.

Harsh sand cutting into bare feeet while the white-hot sun crisps shoulders and back. Legs on fire, arms faltering. And the stone has merely moved an ince.

Sound pulled him away from the visceral memory, and he was surprised his hands weren't cut in a dozen places from the obsidian he'd been towing. The sound came again, boot against rock.

He slowly turned.

"Afternoon, Sugah." Rogue eyed him carefully, as if he might bolt like a cockroach under the just-turned-on-kitchen-light.

"Is it."

"Yes." Settling nearby, legs dangling, she sighed. "Ah'd forgotten the view."


She gestured to the city spread out below them. Buildings leaning against each other. Tired, worn, waiting for the explosions that would shatter them. And this memory was both of theirs. Agressor, later survivor and some-time revolutionary. Survivor. Only one viewed the stagnation with sadness.

"Scott?" Rogue's voice was hesitant.

"Hrm?" Go away. Leave me to think.

"Wanna talk?"


"Fair 'nough." But she stayed, legs occasionally moving as she gazed down over the parapet into the city. Then she turned to him, breaking the silence. "Keepin' it locked up tight ain't going to help, darlin'."

"And what fascinating late-night talk show host told you that?" He demanded acidly, stung that she wouldn't just go. "Jerry Springer? I'm sure he's got an opening for you yet, Rogue."

Hurt flashed in her eyes for a moment. "You did."

"I was a fool." He snapped bitterly.

"Were you." Her head turned away, eyes tracking the flight of a pigeon.

Shame touched him and he tried to explain. "I--you--no one can help. Can understand. Talking won't do any good."

When she answered him, it was quick, one breath exploding out into the evening air. "He was there, inside your head, and ya couldn't stop him--all you could do was watch while did his thing to your family and friends. Your body, his lies. And you can't get rid of the feelin' that you're dirty in some nameless way. That you should've been able to stop him." She stood. "You're right, Summers. No one ever understands."

After she was gone, a flickering darkness against the deepening sunset, he remembered. When it was too late to call her back and erase the bleak pain in her eyes. She did understand, as no one else could. Rogue whose touch had stolen the mind of Carol Danvers. How long had she endured as two people? Two--three--years? How many other fragments of people cluttered her memories?

How often had she wished she were merely herself?

Granted, none were 5,000 years old. But some had been evil.

And suddenly, it didn't matter if he know who he was--the people around him did.

It wouldn't be this simple.

He had too many memories to ever be himself again. But he could try.

Right after he watched the sun set over New York.