AN: Well, only 2.5 essays to go before I can relax a bit more… and start studying for final exams.  It took me awhile, but it's finally here, the last chapter of Mutants, Heirs of the Gods!  All right, maybe there might be an epilogue, although, yeah, once you get to the ending, it doesn't seem to need one, but it was kind of hard to end on a fluffy note, so I might do an epilogue just so that I can write Rogue and Gambit fluff.  And whoa, what a run on sentence! 

Thank you to everybody who stuck with me, especially to those who helped me up when I got flamed.    Bastard didn't even give me an email address so I could explain myself.  But one bad apple shouldn't ruin the pie, and indeed it hasn't, as I managed to sit down and finish this story finally.  It's been a long time coming, and the ending seems abrupt, especially for one of mine, but the bad guy's been defeated, so all that's left is wrapping everything up.  A special thanks to Johnny Depp, just because he was an awesome pirate and be Gambit in my mind any day.

Tammy: According to my history teacher, no, most sailors couldn't swim. Hence why they drowned; yup, forget pirates, drowning killed more sailors than anything else…. Except for, you know, things like sun stroke, heat stroke, and scurvy.

Caliente:  I wish I could have done more random character introductions, but, unfortunately… I was actually running out of a plot line. -_-

Ishandahalf:  Whoo!  It's was plus seven today!  I hate winter, but do I ever love laughing at the snow when it melts.  (No, really, I laugh at it!)  'Kicked Iceboy's ass'?  Damn it, I so totally should have used that as one of Rogue's lines!

Danfred: Aw, I love you. ^^  It's reading things like that that don't make me feel so bad when I have to write the next fight scene.  (And so, one asks oneself, just how insane am I?  Well, I'm so insane, the next fight scene I have to write involves the seven dwarves… And this is the fight scene that comes after one where a girl rides around on a jaguar as if she were bloody He-Man riding that tiger… whatever his name is….)

To all those who thought Remy would die: Who? Me? Kill off somebody?  Only when they're bad, because needless death is a waste of a good character.

Samm16: No, your parents are normal. Mine are overprotective, though they have good reason to be.  I got scared at Hook (which is somehow my favorite Dustin Hoffman movie, and my number 2 Robin Williams move, because nothing can beat Dead Poets Scoiety!!).  And The Abyss.  And E. T.  And Flight of the Navigator… which is also now one of my favorite movies…. Anywho, yeah, I'm a wuss and your parents are normal.

Mag Carter:  Yea!  I helped to save a fluff bunny!!  I want to make pins!

Irony1:  Um… well, if you can suggest a plot…. *winces*  And if I can find time next year with 6 courses instead of just 5….

Kiki: How did I come up with a plot?  Easy.  I read an X-Men comic where Katherine tells a story where they're all pirates.  Then I threw in a quest, added a  bit of pixie dust, got my friend to beat me when I stopped writing which meant most of this was done at 2 am while I was high on caffeine and watching movies, and then I saw X-Men 2, and decided that Bobby needed to be the bad guy because… Bobby and Rogue?  What the hell is up with that?  Add Gambit and Bishop because what's X-Men without time travel, and add in a fight scene or two, and the end. We have a plot.

Which basically translates into:  Plot?  What plot?  The voice in my head told me to do everything!

Maehder:  Aw, I miss you!

Selene:  I only write stories where girls are heroes.  ^^  Why do barbarians need to save the day?  We can be just as strong!  Okay, maybe the first statement isn't completely true, but I will argue to prove you wrong!   And writer's block does suck.  It sucks even more when it's for an essay.

Enjoy, and remember:  Johnny Depp was nominated for an Oscar, but LOTR had a clean sweep, so wherever you are, sleep well, mon ami, because the geeks will not be out to get you!

*Not to say anything bad about geeks… I am one…  Actually, I am a freek, a combination freak and geek, but I digress….

Oh, and another note.  Please remember that this fic is AU, and so, anything goes, and in this world, Mystique is NOT related to Rogue which means that Kurt is NOT Rogue's brother. Thank you. *bows*

Chapter Twelve: I Want You, I Want To

            The Caduceus healed her hand as soon as she used the ring.  Rogue still couldn't help but wince.  There was a certain amount of creepiness that came from feeling her finger burn and heal all at the same time.  The ice melted off of Colossus and he almost lost the door when he suddenly became reanimated.  He caught it again, and then lost it for a second time when Katherine threw herself into his lap.

            "Kitty, dy'a think Kurt has enough power to make it back carrying Gambit by himself?" she asked, relieved to watch her curl up against him like the animal her nickname suggested.

            The brown haired girl frowned, thinking.  "I don't really know.  Carrying other people takes more energy.  Kurt's strong, but that's a lot of weight, and he's already done it once already.  I want to say yes, but if he pushes himself too hard, the results could be disastrous."

            Rogue nodded, agreeing.  She was touched by Katherine's devotion to her friends.  Katherine had a level-headed way of looking at things that Rogue couldn't quite understand.  When she thought of her friends getting hurt, Rogue just got pissed.  She knew Katherine was the same way, but she was able to keep that anger in as long as she could, to formulate a good plan, and then she would throttle people.  "Okay.  Peter, let the door go ahead and fall.  Your system received quite a shock and will need a chance to recover.  Kitty will phase you through it when Kurt shows up.  Come back together.  I need to go and thaw out the others.  Kitty, will it weaken you too much if I copy your phasing ability?"

            She thought a second and then shook her head.  "I should be okay."  The next thing the girl knew, Rogue had pressed a finger against her forehead, and then turned and left, phasing through the wall.  Katherine stared up at Colossus and climb out from over him, letting the large young man climb out from under the falling door and lean on the cold rock wall.  Katherine pounced him again.  "Don't you ever scare me like that again!"

            On the other side of the wall, Rogue hid a laugh as she heard Peter try and defend himself to a very pissed of kitten.  She kicked up her heels and took off, flying through the whole obstacle course and phasing through the moving pendulums.  She found the phasing was rather fun, but she felt a pang of sadness as she flew outside.  Katherine's mutant powers was just another on the long list of ones she had already gained.  How many more was she to gain before she reached her fill and didn't risk absorbing Gambit?  Was there even a limit?

            The sun blinded her as she zoomed from the mouth of the cave.  Rogue blinked, trying to get her eyes to adjust.  Clasping her hand and feeling the ring still securely on her finger, she cursed up a storm when she saw the work that still needed to be done.


            "You rubbed her ass?  And Rogue didn't kill you all over again?"  Gambit and Kurt triumphantly walked to the dinning room aboard the Cerebro.  The furrier one chuckled.  "Ah, mein Gott, I would have loved to have seen that, Gambit!"  Kurt smiled as he walked in and took a seat beside from Katherine, who returned it wholeheartedly.

            The Cajun took a seat next to Rogue, his covered fingers ruffling her hair in greeting.  He tried to contain himself when he saw that the dining room table was lined with the gifts that had started the two collections of pirates out on their journey in the first place.  The gold of course, had already been divided up, and Gambit felt like he was still flying from knowing how much gold was tucked between his mattresses.

            Xavier sat at the head of the table, Mystique at the other.  "We have been going over how to divide up the gifts over and over again, trying to decide who gets what.  We have finally come to a decision.  Please, respect the choices we have made.  If you have a complaint, hold it back.  This decision was out of your hands and was up to us to decide.  We have tried to do so based upon how people had acted, and with what you told us when we asked you what you would like to do next.

            "First, Scott and Jean Grey, congratulations on your retirement.  I was enthralled to hear that Jean was with child."

            Scott beamed, and shook Xavier's hand.  "Thank you very much, Captain.  If it's a boy, I hope to name it after you, sir." 

            "Brown noser!" Gambit coughed into his hand, sending smiles to the faces of all those who agreed.  The only one of their ranks who agreed and did not smile was Katherine, who was busy trying to wonder how Scott had actually managed to get laid in the first place, let alone that he actually knew how to do it so that Jean ended up pregnant.  Personally, she hoped they had a girl like Jean so that the poor redhead didn't have to put up with two dickheads running around.

            The male Captain ignored it all.  "Next, Mystique, Wolverine and I would like to announce of our own retirements."  There were sad looks and groans of disappointment from all around the table.  Rogue was sure that Cyclops' was fake.  "Now, now, we all know that this had to happen sooner or later.  Mystique and Wolverine have been pirates for some time now, and we all know that they get bored if they don't continue moving."

            "Face it, I'm looking forward to just going and relaxing on my island," Mystique grinned.  Her gold eyes flickered to the members of her pirate crew.  "You are welcome to come and visit me though.  I would be hurt if you didn't."

            Katherine snickered at the comment, but silenced when the blue-skinned captain pierced her with her gold gaze.  She had been serious!  Who would have thought it possible when the woman was normally so moody and controlling?  Kitty turned to the other captain, blushing when her gaze went by Wolverine.  "But, Captain, you just got the Caduceus.  You've been looking for it for a long time!  Aren't you even going to take it and use it?"

            He shook his head.  "Not after learning how it works.  It heals anything that is wrong with you the moment you hold it.  In my current predicament, I don't think that's the wisest of choices for me to make.  Should it heal my legs, I may be led astray from the life I have started myself on and I would become the ruffian I was when I was your age, Katherine.  I have been that person once; I need not be them again.  If, on the other hand, it fails, I shall never know and will not be disappointed."

            Wolverine stared hard at Kitty, and then he snorted.  "Hey, Runt, you'll be just fine, so stop looking so scared."  He shot Peter a look that warned if he heard the large man had hurt Katherine in anyway, there would be hell to pay.  Seeing the same look on Rogue's face as Katherine had, Wolverine shot Gambit the same warning glance.  Gambit was too deliriously happy to notice.

            "That being said, it means that we're going to need to do some shuffling around.  First and foremost, do you all want to stay where you are, being thieves or playing hero?" Xavier asked, looking around the table at their faces.

            Gambit and Rogue looked at each other.  If they couldn't find a way to touch, it would be torture working along side one another.  Yet if they parted and Rogue learned how to control her powers and could never find him again, she would be just as miserable!  She tapped her fingers on her chin.  "Ya know, Cajun, if we can't touch, Ah guess it just means we'll have ta be all tha more creative."

            The male pirate grinned at her.  "Gambit can do dat, Chere."

            Storm leaned around the table to look at Wolverine.  He glanced back at her, his dark eyes revealing no secrets.  Storm slowly smiled.  She could deal with having to learn to guess at them.  He winked at her and she felt her cheeks grow warm.  Sitting back up properly, she made her decision.  "I think I shall join you and our two other pirate friends in desisting from playing hero and thief.  My powers can be put to better use elsewhere."

            "Like in Wolvie's bed," someone growled.  Wolverine immediately retorted by extending his metal claws and threatening to hurt the next person who said such a thing.

            John said nothing.  He liked his job: sleep all day, keep an eye out at night, and then go back to sleep.  Angel, on the other hand, decided to retire as well, saying he didn't know where his Lady Fair had run off too and he wanted to find her. 

Katherine tried to keep the idea of Angel and white horses from her mind as she looked up at Peter.  She didn't want to leave him, or be considered an enemy.  She could give up the idea of owning her own plot of land if Mystique was going to let them visit the island, and she could always change her mind.  She was learning a lot from being on the pirate ship, and somehow she knew that if she stayed, she would be able to learn tomes more.  Peter put his hand on hers, and she decided.  "I don't need to steal anymore.  I have enough, and living on The Cerebro means that I will be able to live for pretty much free, right? So it's not like I'll need money anyway.  If I do, there's always the money I have already saved up."

Kurt's tail twitched.  He had found camaraderie on both ships, people accepting him for what he was and not what he looked like.  He didn't really care where he was, as long as he was amongst friends.

Xavier looked at Gambit and Rogue.  This was exactly the type of thing that he had been hoping for.  "As for you two, what do you feel like doing?  Do you feel like playing hero, or continuing being thieves?"

This took a lot of consideration, on both their parts.  They wanted to stay together, but…. "Gambit be de King of Deives," he pointed out.  "I don't dink I can stop bein' a dief.  But… if I gave up what I get, den I'm still bein' one, aren't I?  I say we go for it."  Rogue nodded.  It was time to start putting to rest the ideas that had fed people like Robert Drake.  They couldn't do that if they continued to be self-interested only.  Stealing was still stealing, but maybe if they did it for a good cause, they could at least start to make some headway.

Mystique and Xavier exchanged looks. The female captain leaned back proudly in her chair, her muscles rippling and teeth flashing.  "Wonderful then.  This is precisely what we'd hope would happen.  You have enough people for one fairly large crew.  You may use The Raven.  She's smaller, faster, more maneuverable, and most of you are already familiar with her.  Except for Colossus, obviously."  The large young man nodded his head in agreement.  "Which means that it's time to play around with the rankings.  Colossus, you have Wolverine's old job.  Katherine and John, you get to keep your old jobs.  As for Rogue, Gambit, and Kurt, this took much consideration, but I believe that, thanks to the help of an old student of mine, we managed to nicely correct the problem.

"As I am retiring, the position of Captain is passed down to second of command.  And although 'Captain Gambit' sounds ridiculous in my opinion, there's nothing much I can do about that.  So, Gambit becomes captain.  Usually the old one would suggest a few men to fill the second-in-command position, and I have a suggestion that I sincerely hope that Gambit takes up.  I propose both Kurt and Rogue take the position."

The two in question looked at each other.  "Us?"  Kurt had hoped for such an honor, but could scarce believe he would have it.  He had always assumed that Mystique would pick someone else to avoid the theory that she had picked him not because of his talents but because he was her son.  It seemed she was going to stay true to nature and not give a damn about what people said.  Rogue, on the other hand, never imagined that she was going to be able to get this type of chance, especially when her first duty on board had been to cook food, but something told her that Mystique had had this plan swirling in her mind for quite some time.

"Yes, you.  Kurt has knowledge of the ship and experience.  He already knows how the job is meant to be run.  Sadly, Kurt is slightly too friendly.  The second in command is not only the voice of the ship, which is what Kurt shall be, but also the hand that keeps people in control, which is what Rogue shall be.  A glare from her as had the same affect on you boys as one of mine.  Rogue is also able to keep Gambit from getting too big for his breeches, keeping everyone on the ship safer.  The only thing that you two must be cautious of is your growing relationship.  Learn to keep work and play separate, understand?  Leave work at the door to your bedroom, otherwise you will end up in misery."

Gambit and Rogue nodded.  "Yes, Sir!"

Xavier smiled.  "Well then, I suppose this means that it is time to divide up the gifts.  Firstly, the Caduceus, the jewel of my quest, shall go with you.  It is at everybody's disposal.  Please, use it to help people.  The sword of Mars, it seems, is about as stubborn as our good friend Wolverine, and has already selected its owner."

Rogue touched the hilt of the short sword at her waist.  She didn't know why the sword had chosen her, only that it burned everybody else if they tried to pick it up.  Perhaps it was because of the same nature that had made Mystique suggest her for second in command.

"The crown of Zeus shall go to Nightcrawler.  We know that you wanted the ring of Apollo, so we hope that you will instead be gracious enough to accept the powers of thunder and lightning.  Lightning is, after all, a very brief flash of light.  Jean Grey, we are giving you the crown of Hera.  We hope that you might be able to control it and that maybe it might help you tap into your own personal powers.  If you abuse its power, however, I will know."

"I understand, Captain.  Thank you, sir," she said, blushing as red as her hair.

"Peter, you may have the aquamarine.  But don't rely on it too much.  Learn to conquer your fear of water on your own."

He also went as red as Jean Grey's hair.  "Yes, sir."

"Gambit…."  The thief leaned forward, hoping for one of the gifts he had dubbed 'good'.  He was sorely disappointed when Charles smiles and said, "You get the shield of Athena.  Hopefully, its wisdom will help curb some of your rashness."  Gambit was only slightly consoled when Rogue patted his hand and muttered for him to stop swearing.

"Logan, you get the citron," Mystique continued.  "The heat of it causes some burn marks, and your healing factor will clear those up for you right away.  Katherine, you get the belt of Artemis.  But it will only last as long as you're a virgin."  She arched an eyebrow at them and then at Rogue.  "Perhaps we should have given that one to Rogue."

Both girls blushed.  "Captain!!"

"I kid, I kid!  I get the cup of Bacchus, because I know that certain people will take advantage of it if I leave it here," the ex-captain said, looking at Gambit.  "As for you, John, I know you haven't been doing a lot lately, but you will be rewarded none the less.  You will get the quartz barrette.  We thought it fitting, that since you already have the power of fire, you may want to experiment with the power of…  Can somebody please poke him back awake?"

Charles picked up where she had left off.  "The crowns will be thrown into the ocean.  We don't want to risk one of you being killed.  Lastly, the ring.  I am happy to say that we have all unanimously decided that Rogue will take the ring."

Rogue's eyes widened, and she looked around the table, where everyone was smiling at her.  "M… Me?  Y'all want me to take the ring, even though Ah already have the sword and everythin'?"

"Without hesitation," Katherine told her with a grin that made the small girl resemble a pixie.

"But you still have to work at controlling your powers," Xavier reminded her.  He steeped his hands.  "This isn't a quick fix to controlling your powers, child.  You will still need to do exercises, and experiment with taking only what you want when push comes to shove.  Understand?  Good."

With a trembling hand, Rogue reached out and took the ring.  Her hand was shaking so badly that she dropped it and swore.  Smiling gently, and looking more than a little worried himself in his powerful red eyes, Gambit picked up the ring for her and slipped it on her ring finger.

She didn't feel anything happening, and felt rather silly with everyone watching her.  Then she heard it, a demur voice in her head, as sweet as honey and twice as kind as the nicest person Rogue had met.  Oh my, this is a problem, isn't it?  My, my, my, mutants certainly have become stronger since I was alive.

'Um…. Pardon me,' Rogue asked the voice in her mind, 'but who are you?'

I'm Aphrodite, I am Venus, or Cupid, Eros, I am every aspect of love that you can think of naming.  Centuries ago I was a mutant, and I had the power to toy with the minds and hearts of people.  I sowed love where there was hatred, unless I was in a really bad mood, in which case I could break love and make people hate each other.  I locked a piece of myself into this ring, so that when mutants found our treasures, they could gain our powers as well.

Something about the woman's soul in the ring told Rogue that Magneto would have loved her.  They had left the treasures to make mutants stronger, because they believed that, like them, they would be revered as gods, and what were gods without Love, War, or Nature?  Rogue reflected on this thoughtfully, when suddenly Gambit's face and hungry lips popped into her thoughts.  Venus was poking around in her heart.

The voice laughed.  Ah, so this is the one you want.  He's quite a looker, isn't he?  If I were still alive, you'd have a bit of competition, let me tell you!  Hm, and whenever you get together, you absorb his mutant abilities… so all you need is something to block your powers.  I don't think that I can do that.

Rogue's heart fell.  She couldn't?  She looked over at Gambit, and her crushed face told him everything.  It wouldn't work.  It was just another dead end.

Hold on a second!  Gods, cut the melodramatics, will you?  I said I couldn't block your powers, not that you and he couldn't go and procreate or anything!  The voice sighed.  There's another way.  I can show you how to do it.  Rose quartz can hold a lot of power, which is why it's such a useful mineral, as well as being pretty.  Now, I'm not certain how much of your powers I can handle, and as you absorb more, the amount of time that I can hold these powers will decrease, as well as leaving you vulnerable, so I won't suggest that you keep your powers in the crystal for very long, otherwise you will be defenseless, save for the sword of my brother's I see you have.  Okay, here's what you do…

Gambit watched her, trying to pinpoint the emotions running through her emerald eyes. First sorrow, then hope, concentration, and many others.  He clenched his fists.  Damn it, if this failed…  Some part of him laughed.  He knew he wasn't exactly the most patient man in the world when it came to sex.  He was going to go insane.  Remy LeBeau, the insane mutant leader of a mutant pirate ship where his first mate was a furry demon man and his other first mate was a beautiful woman who would be the death of him in one way or another.

He looked at her intently as she sighed and pulled the ring off her hand.  She chewed on her bottom lip nervously, and he felt himself be hypnotized.  'Damn, she has nice lips.'  He was even more mesmerized when she pulled her gloves off next, and then swung around in her chair to look at him.

"Well," she sighed.  "Here goes nothing."

Rogue pounced on him, leaping into his lap and straddling him.  If this was the only attempt the ring could make and it wasn't going to work, then Rogue was at least going to make sure that it was going to be worth every second of unconsciousness that Gambit was going to suffer.  She pressed her body against his and wrapped her hands in his dark hair.  It was as soft as she thought it would be. She drew his head down and one hand slid down his cheek to feel the stubble of his cheeks as she kissed him roughly.  Rogue wanted to taste everything she could, and feel as much of him as she could; she couldn't control the simple need that she felt, making every inch of her body turn to gooseflesh and burn at the same time.

Caught off guard, Gambit closed his eyes and surrendered to the kiss.  If this was going to kill him, then he would die happy in so many more ways than one.  His mouth covered hers, and he was blown away by the feeling off her lips moving against hers.  Gambit waited for the pull of her powers, but he forgot all about it when she sucked gently at his bottom lip.  He captured her mouth again, leading her to open hers so that….

Peter looked at what was going on in the chair and felt himself go red.  Even Nightcrawler was looking a little purple, especially when Gambit's hand moved up from Rogue's waist to grope her breast.  Both men leaned over and covered Katherine's eyes.

"Damn it!  I wanted to see!"

Her complaint made the two mutants remember where they were, and they felt themselves go a bit pink.  Glancing at each other, Gambit picked up Rogue and stood up rather awkwardly.  "Excuse us."

His woman, however, refused to be carried off in such a manner, and wriggled out of her grasp.  She grabbed her ring and put it back on, feeling her old powers crash back into her.  It fit like an old glove, and felt good, though not as good as Gambit's….

"Damn it, guys, how come I wasn't allowed to watch?  They were just kissing!  I've kind of seen kissing before, so it's not like it's a big secret or anything!"

Rogue laughed, and looked up lovingly at Gambit.  "Ah'm not about ta be carried off ta the bedroom like a sack of potatoes, Remy.  Ah'm the one who managed ta tame a thief and a pirate."  She ignored the laughter of the others as she tossed Gambit over her shoulders and zoomed off to the bedroom.  Gambit didn't mind at all, as it gave him a wonderful view of her backside.

As soon as he was set down, he locked the door to his bedroom and grabbed her, barely giving her enough time to pull off the ring.  The look in his made Rogue feel that the torturous wait had somehow been worth it, and she never wanted that hunger to leave his face.  "What's all this about me being 'tamed'?"


A couple centuries later…

            Katya stared at the portrait in front of her, her golden eyes devouring it.  Monet did such nice work.  She pulled out the container on her back, and cursed when her necklace slipped out from under her black clothing.  It had been doing that a lot lately.  She looked the ring she wore on the silver chain, and shoved it back down under her clothing.

            Opening the container, she pulled the painting from the wall and carefully placed it on the ground.  Her eyesight was perfect in the dark museum, picking out the faint lines of the laser alarms and the corners of the Monet.  Flipping open her pocket knife, she removed the painting, and placed it in the container on her back.  The spare picture she had, she put into the picture frame and then hung up the painting back on the wall.  Katya cursed when she noticed the wires on the wall.

            'Shit!'  The painting had been wired to set off a silent alarm the moment when the painting had been removed from the wall.  None of the schematics of the museum had shown this system!  She was blinded when lights flipped on, and she immediately changed her eyes back to their normal green color.  Two guards stood at the doorway, and her senses could pick up the sounds of sirens far away.  More police would be on her soon, and she knew that two of those cops would be Bishop and Cable.  Those bastards always seemed to be nipping at her heels.

            The museum cops looked from her, to the painting, where the outline of a cat sat, and a message was scrawled in spray paint that actually looked carefully planned out.  'Sorry for any inconvenience.  Rogue, Queen of Thieves.'

            When they turned back to look at the girl they had cornered, she had vanished.  One guard nudged the other, and pointed up to the ceiling, where the girl was climbing a rope to get back up the skylight.  Without thinking first, the guards opened fire.  She twisted on the rope, still climbing and somehow dodging their shots, as if she were a circus performer who worked with ropes.

            She reached the top without any trouble at all, and cut the rope that had carried her up with the sword at her back.  It was an antique, but it was so sharp and clean it looked as if it had been made yesterday.  The rope fell to the museum floor, keeping the guards from climbing up after her.

            'Those idiots,' she complained as she checked to make certain her package was still safe.  'They could have hit the painting.  I'll fire them tomorrow morning.'

            Taking a running leap, she jumped to the roof of the next building, just as the police arrived.  She ran without stopping for breath all the way through the city.  Faced with the towering building of glass, she jumped and landed on the building.  Katya climbed up without any trouble at all, as if she were crawling on a floor.  Rope was easier to climb, but glass was a work out.  She pulled open the window of her penthouse, and crawled into her home.

            Sighing, she took off the box from her back and opened it, staring at the painting she had stolen from her own museum. Grinning proudly, she poured herself a bottle of wine and toasted the painting as she threw on Moonlight Sonata. Dancing to the music, she twirled into the bedroom without spilling a drop of the wine.  She moved like a wild animal, and that was exactly what she was.

            Looking at a young woman with green eyes and slightly wavy auburn hair, who barely cleared five and half feet and feet and was built like a willow tree, no one would imagine that Katya Wagner, was a mutant, let alone that she was capable of hostile takeovers that made her father and grandmother, Kurt and Raven, laugh and say that she was as much of a pirate as he had been in his youth, which had been more than two centuries ago.  Nobody would ever even dream to think that she was the assumed human criminal known as 'Rogue'.

            She set down the drink and stripped off her skin tight black outfit.  Katya placed her hand on a wall dotted with bookcases and a panel between two solid oak bookcases slid open.  She threw her outfit into the dirty laundry and carefully placed the sword on the altar reserved for it.  Then she proudly put the Monet on the section she had picked out for it.  Grinning, she slid the wall and changed into a gi, heading to the punching bag for a late night work out before she got a bit of sleep.  It would be an early morning, what with people phoning her up to tell her off the crime in her museum..

            'I can't believe that somebody actually put a trap in my own museum!'  She roundhoused the bag.  'Despicable!'

            Katya worked out her anger, and had to stop when her claws began to came out.  Her mutant power was not as noticeable as the rest of the people in her family.  She had her father's agility, and her grandmother's shape shifting ability.  However, Katya couldn't change her whole body, she couldn't only take on characteristics.  The eyesight of an owl, the climbing ability of a spider, the smell of a bloodhound….

            She sighed, humming to the classical music and sipping her drink, thinking.  She was the self declared Queen of Thieves, because so far no one had ever out done her.  She was called Rogue after her great-grandmother, and had been named for Kurt's friend, Katherine.  Her father lovingly called her his 'little masterpiece', and at times, she had to admit that she was.  Katya could trace her lineage, through some way or another, through just about every individual involved in the incident that had secured the treasures of the ancient mutant gods, two of which she carried.

            She pulled the ring out, and gazed at it, as she often did.  Her father didn't know she had it.  Raven had given the ring to her, and Katya had dug into the past of the ring, finding out that anybody who had ever worn it had heard voices and gone insane.  Just once, Katya had put it on, and the headache she had heard had lasted for a week.  But as she looked back on the incident, she began to feel that some of the voices had been familiar.  One had sounded like her grandmother, sultry and low, another like her father's gentle accent, and a gruff one that sounded like Uncle Logan.  Often, she had thought of putting that ring back on, just to see if she was correct.

            Turning down the music, she took off the necklace, and withdrew the metal chain from the circle of the ring.  The worst it would do was give her a headache, and that would only aid her, as she was going to have to look like she had a headache when someone from the museum would phone her up and tell her that they had had a Monet stolen.

            She put the ring on, and she felt the voices starting: Russian, German, loud, quiet, male, female, French, soft, educated, lax, there were dozens and dozens of voices.  She collapsed her knees, clutching her head, and then, suddenly, there was only one voice, dulcet and gentle on her aching mind.

            You're her daughter.  The voice sighed.  Time passes so quickly when you're a ring.  Oh, child, what do you want to know?  I know so much.

            'Who… who are you….?'

            Once upon a time, I was the Goddess Aphrodite.  I locked my magic in the stone.  Then a woman named Rogue found me, and her essence joined with me.  She's related to you, you know.  She was mutant, like you, and could absorb the mutant abilities of others, as well as pieces of their personality and memories.  So now, I am many, when I was simply one.  You know wear the ring.  I am… I was meant to bring together people who love each other, but you don't love anybody, do you?  You don't want anybody.  So I can give you something else.  You must decide quickly.  I don't have much time left.  The ability of the stone to retain the power it possesses is breaking.  I can pour everything I have into you.  It will be difficult for you. You will have mane people in your head, but it will make you better.  You will have all the powers that I… Rogue… gained, except for hers, so that you will not absorb the mutant powers of others.  Trust me, it will save you quite a bit of grief.  You will be able to be intangible, to fly, to fully change your shape, to teleport, strength, healing…

            'I would be an unstoppable thief.  Then I would really be the Queen of Thieves.'


            Her ruthlessness came out.  She wanted to be the best.  She wanted to be the masterpiece that her father had called her when she was little.  If she possessed all these talents the ring offered her, then she could move beyond stealing art.  She could move on to banks, to anything she wanted.  Nothing would be able to hold her.

            "I want it."

            The Queen Rogue was thus born… and she was unstoppable.  No one was able to catch her.  Because she did such great things, that no one wanted to.