Self Indulged

Disclaimer: Read Ch.1.

AN: I'm back…finally. Heh. You'll find out what I'm doing or anything like that if you go to my livejournal: . So, I know that I lied and said that it was going to be updated in two weeks when it turned out to be a couple of months. No excuse, again. I'm not promising anything anymore, lo siento. Is anyone else having trouble with the Document Manager preview when trying to upload a .htm format? Because I am.

PS: - - - is taking place of the asteriks () because it's not working.

Chapter 11: You Should Have Never Bothered At All

Remy woke up, drool drying on his chin. He groaned, running a gloved hand through his tousled hair. Placing one hand on the ground, he stood up, breathing deeply and then coughing at the noxious smell of the three dumpsters around him. He shook his head, his devil eyes burning.

Rogue did it again. She left him, and all he could remember was her kiss. Funny how it usually happened like that. Her soft lips placed against his and the suffocation, the pain as if he was shriveling through the inside. Such beauty that brought such pain.

His lips were set in a thin line, and he trudged to an empty room in a hotel that no one knew he had checked into.

- - -

"I have just finished talking to Warren. Yes, Rogue went to his house for help. And yes," he added, his eyes focused on the table, his hands folded under his chin, "Gambit was with her."

Scott slammed his hand on the table. "Ok, Professor, rescue teams are ready. We'll split into two – well, three, if Logan wants to be alone – and Storm and I will split command. We should all meet at the Blackbird in –"

Scott, to be a leader, you must keep your id in check.

I'm sorry, Professor, I'm just worried and…it's Rogue.

I know. But you must learn, Scott.

The rest of the team sat in a sullen silent, knowing that Professor was containing Scott's outburst.

- - -

It was around two or three days since Rogue's departure. Logan spoke little and when he did it was to assign extra Danger Room sessions. He'd go out to town when he didn't have anything important to do for Chuck. Never once would he mention Rogue or anything close to signify her. But sometimes, he would stand over the place where he confronted her. He was usually smoking ("those'll kill yah, y'know") and he'd flick the ashes onto the ground.

- - -

Kitty sat alone in her bedroom, locked away from the world. She was always seen furiously typing inside there, and whenever someone tried to communicate with her, her face would scrunch and she'd manhandle them out the door. She kept Rogue's side of the room clean, as if she had never left in the first place. Kitty dusted and swept, glancing occasionally at the unmade bed.

The bracelet flashed ominously on top of Rogue's bed.

Earlier that day

Kitty had visited the Professor after Rogue left. She smoothed down her hair, rubbing her temples. Every single time she had to speak to the Professor in private, she got the chills. She trusted the Professor enough to know that he would never delve into her mind without permission.

(right?)

"Hello, Kitty. Is there anything I can do?"

Kitty walked over to a seat, plopping herself down and wringing her hands. Since when was she so nervous? "Umm, I'm – uhh – here to ask about Rogue. Is there," she looked at his impassive face, "any way to know she's ok?"

The Professor peered at the chart he had laid on the desk, next to all the pictures of everyone in the Institute, Moira MacTaggert, his family, and other famous people. "Come over here, Kitty, and look at this."

Her mouth went dry and she gripped the sides of her chair for support as she stood up. She walked over and suddenly became intrigued with the erratic ups-and-downs of the brain wave charts. "What's this? Where is it from?"

"Cerebro. I had Jean scan them for me. And these," he pointed at the long stagnant and suddenly elevating line on one of the charts, "is Rogue's. You see how dormant her mutation lasted?" Kitty nodded and he pointed at the first peak before she was able to open her mouth, "This is the time of her and Cody on that night." He continued to run along the line, tracing only a few breaks until it became more frequent. "And this is where Gambit showed up. She used her powers more around him than ever with us," he murmured.

Kitty marveled at the charts. He had a chart on mutants and when they used their mutations? Did he have one on her? On everyone

He answered her with a placid smile. No, I don't have one on everyone. No need to fret.

But I thought that mutations came in the genes…?

Professor smiled, "Ah, yes, yes, they do come from the genes, make no mistake. But Rogue is very special. When she absorbs powers, she also uses her brain, the nerve endings connecting to hers and the information from the person that she absorbs trails into her brain, where she makes room for them. Like a telepath, however, a telepath uses more than the ten percent of their brain which would increase these lines."

Kitty nodded, so why do you have only one on Rogue? She communicated with Professor Xavier without realizing it until a second later.

Rogue…is a very special girl, he repeated. There are things – people, as well – that want her. And, as X-Men, we must protect her. She has…rather, is, the person that some people have been searching for…for a long time. Professor Xavier continued to ponder, his brow crinkled. Kitty sat and stared, disbelieving his words.

Kitty pressed, "But do we know how Rogue is doing? Is she ok? Do we know anything

"Kitty, there's no need to panic. I'm sure that whatever she's doing is safe. And fine. I trust her," he explained simply.

"But…but you know where she is! You're keeping track! So we can bring her back!"

"She has to come back on her own. We can't force her." He looked at her, puzzled. "I thought you would be the one that would know that the most."

"But…" Kitty fumbled with her words, "but she needs to come back. She has to."

"She will. She just needs time."

"Needs time? Needs time!" she shrieked. "You're telling me that some certain powerful people are after her and we're doing NOTHING?!" She panted, "You're just – just – just going to let her go?" Kitty could feel her throat clenching. Her eyes were burning and she felt betrayal seeping in. This was her Professor, the one who promised peace, and he allowed for an X-Man to leave, to wander, lost, trusting her, letting her walk away!

"A bird is not meant to stay in a cage. It has its wings to fly."

Kitty breathed and counted to ten. She nodded to the Professor's passive face and closed the door as she walked away silently.

- - -

Jean had done nothing and said nothing out of the ordinary when Rogue left. Yes, she was worried about her, but not so much that she was concerned. Only fleeting wisps would float in her mind about Rogue before she dismissed. She didn't know what she did to Rogue to make her loathe her.

Maybe it was because of Scott. But Jean never thought that Rogue would be the type of girl to be upset over a guy. Rogue was someone that had been through many things in her life, things that made Jean grateful for the way that she was brought up with.

Rogue was a reason why Jean was glad about her mutation.

Every time Jean was around Rogue, there was always that feeling of a barrier. Despite the animosity, Jean had always tried to feel what it was like to be Rogue. To never be able to feel someone's skin. To never be able to get close to someone…to always have fear with the slightest touch of skin.

Jean wished that it didn't have to happen to anyone, but she was glad that she wasn't cursed with that power.

She never could figure out Rogue. She was special all right. The smooth Southern drawl, the snippets of affection, the biting sarcasm – Jean could never understand but those condiments drew everyone into Rogue. They were on their highway to Hell, but they never noticed. Hell, Rogue never even noticed the attention, and when she did, she always drew them in more.

Rogue was a distraction.

Jean would never admit that, but that was what Rogue was to the team. She was a distraction. She was the one person that would remind everyone what a mutant was. She was the one person that would remind everyone how living like a mutant was. Rogue was also the one person that made people realize how important humans and mutants alike needed to work together to save their world.

But Jean would never admit that. Rogue was not someone that was dependable. She was everything Jean could not allow to be. Irresponsible. Undisciplined. A coquette.

What made Jean dislike Rogue the most was her way of being honest and yet never saying the truth.

Rogue would always hint at something, the sidelong glance and the upper tilt of her mouth, while she was being "honest." It did not help at all, say, whenever she was talking to Scott. Or to any boy in the household. Or especially when she was talking to her.

Jean could never tell what Rogue was feeling. Or what she was doing. Or what she was really trying to say. Jean hated the impermeable wall that Rogue had in her head. And she hated the fact when Jean would try and Rogue would look over at her, her brilliant green eyes boring straight into her own green eyes (which, by comparison, Jean always felt they looked dull compared to Rogue's which her jealousy flamed even more), and Rogue would cock her head to the side. She would usually glare at her.

Except…there was that one day when Jean had been trying so hard. For over a half-an-hour at dinner, Jean would push repeatedly against Rogue. And suddenly, she could feel the icy look at from across the table. Jean felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, and she looked straight at Rogue. Rogue's eyes were empty. Devoid.

And then her lips curved into a smile.

Jean hastily had put her head down and continued to eat.

From there on, Jean had felt especially wary whenever around Rogue. She began to notice her more. She began to notice how Rogue would act around people or when by herself. And then when Remy LeBeau began to be affection with Rogue…

Jean knew that she had to put a stop to it. She had to affect Rogue in a way that would drive Remy away. But apparently, when she tried to incite jealousy, Remy had chased after Rogue. That was not supposed to happen. Rogue could not be distracted.

She was the distraction. She could not be distracted.

She would never mention it, but Jean hated Rogue. It wasn't a loathing, it wasn't despising. It was the hating in a way that you could not explain but would try to so that people wouldn't get the wrong message. But Jean never mentioned it to anyone. She hated Rogue because she knew that everyone was interested in Rogue. Whenever there is a void, people (humans and mutants alike) are always attracted more to it because they always wanted to fill that void with something. They always wanted to take pride in knowing that they could give them emotion. They could finally please and satisfy. And she always felt that Rogue and her were being compared. Which was ridiculous.

Rogue didn't have to work for what she had. Jean always would have to work for everything.

While she stood thinking of herself and Rogue, Jean's hands were in the sink, the yellow gloves covering her arms. She was up to her elbow in soapy water, an endless amount of dishes needing to be washed and dried and put away. One by one, she methodically put her mind to it (literally), and her hands would quietly work underwater.

She wanted Rogue back, now. She didn't understand why she left, she didn't understand her need for freedom, but she wanted her back now. She didn't understand why Rogue loathed her, but she wanted Rogue back in the mansion. In that way, she felt, almost, sort of, kind of, safe. As much as she didn't care about Rogue, she knew that if the Professor told her told her to put her life down for Rogue to find her and save her, she would do it. Despite the fact that she knew that Rogue would do the same for her, there was also another reason.

This world that they lived in today needed a distraction, and Rogue was that distraction.

- - -

"Neena didn't do her job."

Betsey sprang up quickly, the sheets slipping from her negligee, and pooling at her waist. Her purple hair was done in a messy bun, but her blue eyes were calculating and misty. Warren was sleeping on his side, but at the sudden movement of Betsey, he opened his eyes slowly.

It was still dark out. What was Betsey talking about this "Nina" woman about not doing her job?

"Warren, you don't understand! Remember Neena Thurman? Our 'good luck' lady? She was supposed to protect Rogue, but she failed. I can't get in contact with her – it's like everything just went splat – I can't reach her!" Betsey scrambled from the bed, pulling her negligee off. She found her suit quickly, and while she was tying her a purple sash around her dark blue uniform, her hand glowed pink with a katana.

"Get ready, Archangel. We have to go to Xavier, right now."

Warren jumped out of bed without another word and pressed a code into his security pad of his closet. There, in its glory, was his uniform for Archangel, and when he finished putting it on, Psylocke opened the doors of his window. He began to run at full speed, charging straight towards her, and right at the balcony, he grabbed her, and spread his wings, flying straight to the X-Mansion.

- - -

The world was such a dreadful place. Magnus knew how dreadful the world was, but he was amazed by how many did not know this. He was especially amazed at Charles Xavier. How could he, of all people, actually see a world where mutants and humans stood together, side by side?

He respected Charles, make no mistake, but again, make no mistake, Charles' idea was impossible. Magnus knew that no matter what, homo sapiens would always be afraid of their genetically gifted homo superior. And they very well should be. Mutants shaped their world of tomorrow. What would be the use of homo sapiens when there was homo superior? What was the point?

Use them as slaves.

Magnus donned the metal hat for the reason to get Charles out of his head. Charles and Magnus were the two most powerful mutants in the world. But one person stood above them. She was a new child, a new mutant, but she would prove a formidable adversary.

Rogue.

She was the perfect specimen. Unable to touch, never to feel the satisfaction of flesh, her one, aching desire was to feel it. And she was so easy to manipulate. She was perfect. And eventually, she would be his. She would serve him, and he would serve her, and together, they would rule the world as the best of even their fellow homo superior.

She was able to copy another person's DNA, store it into her mind, and be able to use their own powers against hers. And since she was able to retain all of that information without ever losing it, the only problem was for her to regain it back again.

But that was the problem that Magnus was going to solve. Tonight. When he would swoop in for her, and she would be like putty in his arms.

Magnus found the old man, the old pusher, wandering around in the streets. He was efficient, an untrained eye thinking him of a jolly ol' good fellow. Yet, Magnus found him, and he described Rogue to him, and handed him a bottle of cocaine in it with a metal cap. That metal cap had a locater inside, and when it began to glow green, Magnus knew that Rogue had it. And that she had opened it.

Magneto knew it was time.

- - -

Remy's footfalls were silent as he jumped up the stairs to the front door of the X-Mansion. He raised his hand and was deciding to knock when the door opened.

Jean was at the door. When Remy's eyebrows raised and he was about to form a question, she pointed to the camera. He nodded and followed her inside.

"You should have never bothered at all," Jean said.

Remy was surprised but retorted back, "Someone had t'."

"We've always cared about her. She was always like family to us." Jean's walk briskly lead them upstairs. "What we all want to know is why you seem to care."

"Dat, cherie, is somet'in' dat will stay between Rogue an' moi."

"As much as you may incline to disagree, Rogue is expendable to the team. There are many mutants in the world in need of our guidance. We cannot let Rogue get into the middle of that. She knows that. We're here to save lives, not just one."

"Remy would dink dat o' all people, you, Jeannie, would be de une t' understan' dat even one life coul' still make a difference. I t'ought de Professor taught dat," Remy's hand was inside his jacket, lightly resting on his bo-staff. He knew that she would not be able to anticipate his moves.

"But you, Remy, do not understand how I learned of my powers." Jean glared at him, firmly holding onto the banister. "When I first learned that I was telepathic, I heard voices all the time. I never knew where they were coming from. I thought I was going crazy. They would scream, sometimes, making me scream. Or they would say how much they loved each other," Jean's voice broke. She clenched her fist and brought herself to look into his eyes. "One of them didn't say anything but they thought it in their mind, and their mother died on the spot. In front of their very own eyes. She was a mutant. I want to save that from ever happening again."

He smirked. "Honorable inten' but so utterly selfish fo' an X-Man. Yes, kids dese days are havin' a hard time but don' y' t'ink dat we all had a hard time? De t'ing dat we need t' b' worried 'bout right now is Rogue. Not somet'in' else in de future. We have t' take care o' now."

Jean walked closer to him and curled her head around his head. She felt so wicked, so dirty. How could she be saying these things? But the Professor had to be right. "Now I know why Rogue likes you – you're so fucking naïve."

Remy wrenched his head away and watched as Jean floated past him, a nasty smirk etched on her face. The world was dangerous, but the line between good and evil was blurred even more.

Remy's grip never loosened on his bo-staff as he went to find Kitty.

- - -

Storm was watering her plants around the mansion when in the library, she found Hank. He was perched on the windowsill, looking outside at the sunset. A pile of books was laying open and noted or close and stacked. She was prepared not to say anything.

That was the way Ororo worked. People came to you, inquiring. It never went well if one was sticking their nose into other people's businesses.

"Ororo, I have a question to ask you."

"Yes, Hank?"

His face was passive when he turned to face Ororo. "Do you trust Charles?"

It shamed Ororo, but it took her more than a couple of seconds to answer with a whispered yes.

"I do, too." His blue furry legs swung over to graze the carpeted floor. "But sometimes I question his methods. And, yes, I am speaking about Rogue."

She said nothing. He would tell her in time.

"Rogue was never a burden. Perhaps she was misunderstood when people tried to understand her. Kids these days always go through phases, however. Every child in this mansion is like a son or daughter to me. Their safety and happiness is paramount. But we never tried to change them. We never put them in life-altering situations, right?"

"Well, Hank, when they're in battle with us – "

"No, Ororo, not even that!" His hand slammed on the table. "Magneto wants Rogue and Charles is handing her over to him."

"I'm sorry, I don't think – "

"Rogue can make a blueprint of every living being she has ever touched. The only problem right now for her is the fact that she cannot reuse those powers at will. But imagine if she could. Do you know how powerful she could be? And realize her age right now and how she is. Do you know how certain people could easily manipulate her? Do you realize that Rogue could be put to use as a weapon?

"Why do you think Magneto wants her right now, Storm? Why?" Hank looked at her with tears in his eyes. Ororo did not say anything. She did not move.

"I think Charles knows that Magneto is going to experiment on her. Charles knows that Magneto is going to make her retain her powers and be able to put them at use whenever she needs them. Charles knows this. And I believe that Charles is letting Magneto get away with it because Charles knows that we can do nothing to help Rogue legally. But Magneto is our nemesis, at times. He will do anything and everything to promote his cause, and if Rogue is his cause…

"Charles knows that Rogue will be 'fixed' by Magneto. And he wants Magneto to 'fix' Rogue and then have her for ourselves. But how would Rogue feel if she knew that she was just a player on this chess board between mind and matter?"

Hank dropped listlessly to the chair, his blue paw covering his eyes. His glasses were on the table, next to the tissues, and he grabbed a tissue, and began to wipe away his tears. He just didn't want anyone to get hurt.

Ororo said nothing. She did nothing. But she heard everything. She did not know what to think. But she didn't like what was going on.

The sunset became turbulent with black and gray skies overhead.

- - -

Magnus, I know what you're going to do.

I know, Charles, I know that you do. And I know that you're going to let me get away with it. However, you've miscalculated.

How so do you think that I've miscalculated, Magnus? Yes, I am going to let you get away with it. Is there more to it? Professor Xavier's head was resting lightly on his steeple of hands while he communicated with Magneto. He was lucky to be talking to him indicating that his helmet wasn't on.

Professor X began to delve into Magneto's brain. He could distract him, talk to him about everything about the plan or but the plan, whatever Magnus desired. But he would find out more.

Charles, you're violating me.

I do not understand. I am listening to every word of yours.

And then some.

Magnus, what are you planning on doing with Rogue?

We know what will happen, Charles, and we know that you will not stop me. However, I know something that you don't think I do. You won't stop me, but you won't find me, either. Goodbye, Charles. It was almost pleasant talking to you again.

Wait – Magnus! MAGNUS! WAIT –

The telepathic link between Professor Xavier and Magneto was dead. And Charles just had another thing to worry about.

- - -

"I've found her. She's in a gas station, maybe, 117 miles from Bayville. It'll be easy for us to pick her up, transfer her here, and then…hey, what's this?" Scott burst into the Meeting Room, and showed the Professor the EEG chart.

The Professor's eyes narrowed when he looked at the recent report. "She's just used her powers again."

"Le serpent lui a parlé, et elle est mangée la pomme." Remy's eyes were closed when he whispered those words loose. "She's been tempted."

"Shit." Logan quickly barked out orders and every single X-Man hurried to the Blackbird. Charles waited patiently in the cockpit, his own tears forming ever so slightly. He should never doubt himself, but there always came that one point…

Did I plan this right?

Translation:

Le serpent lui a parlé, et elle est mangée la pomme. -- The snake spoke to her, and she's eaten the apple.

Reviews:

I just want to thank all of the people that have reviewed, and have waited for me to update. I know I take forever and a day to update just one chapter, and there's no excuse. I've just been lazy. Slacking off. But thank you all so, so, so much.

Ahh, Wiccamage. You, m'dear, are one of my critics, and I adore you for that. I understand that my story is full of drama now, as it probably will be for the next couple of chapters. I've never really been able to write humorous stories, but I try, and I'm glad that you liked it, however, my main forte is drama. And romance. And that's what we're going to have for a while. Perhaps when this story is finished, I will go over everything and fix everything. But we'll see. I hope that this chapter explains a little bit more of Magneto?

Ishandahalf – Yep, yep, I'm alive! And I love reading your reviews. You're such a nut and it's funny.

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ILoVeLoGaN – Of course you get more chapters. I could be giving you the story away right now if I answered your question and I can't do that, now can I? ;

Remyslove – I tried not to let the characters be too OOC. I know I fell subject to it, but I'm glad that you didn't notice it (snicker just kidding). Kitty met Piotr Rasputin – Colossus, the guy with the metal around his body? I can't answer the rest of your questions! It all depends on how one perceives what better means.

Insane Sketchbook—Yep, I'm at 200 reviews. Thanks 3 Thank you so much! I have my encyclopedia, and I plan on using a lot more. So as you can tell, there's going to be a lot more chapters a-comin'. Hmm. I think this chapter will make you hate Jean more or empathize with her a little more. I'm not sure. But I can't kill her off…in this story. cackles

Kanshisha Tenshi – Oh, now you're just playing dirrty.

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Dark Dragon Fire Demon, Radical Chic, Carla-P, Siren of Night, Chikyu, TheRealMai, forest dweller, Valthraema, and Ms.Rogue LeBeau – THANK YOU FOR REVIEWING AND HERE IS YOUR CHAPTER. I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT.

I'm not making any promises as to when the next update will be. Hopefully soon. I'll keep yah posted on my LJ ). Or you can send me e-mails ).