My Heart in Your Hands

by Princess of Monkeys

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: Sorry, Kurt ate the disclaimer. That's what happens when the fridge is empty..

A/N: This is a sequel and companion piece to my other story "Shape of My Heart." I recommend reading it (and my others, they're good, really!), because then things will make more sense, and because I reference little things from other stories in this one. It is sort of an AU- now you can't say I didn't warn you! _these_ are thoughts, since doesn't upload my italics. And none of the characters have accents in their thoughts because that's just stupid.

One last thought: thank yous go out to everyone who read and reviewed my other work. I've gotten tons of reviews, and people actually asked for sequels, so this fic was born. Please review! They're so addictive!

It was, Rogue reflected, a thoroughly unpleasant morning. Up at the crack of dawn, standing in line waiting for the bathroom- and having to listen to Bobby sing old school eighties tunes in the shower. Never mind the fact that it was a Monday- that automatically made everything suck, in Rogue's opinion.

This morning's selection of choice seemed to be the Eurhythmics. "Sweeeet dreams are made of theeeese! Who am I to disagreeeee!" To make the situation even worse, Bobby was completely tone deaf.

Evan pounded on the door. "My eardrums disagree, man! Shut up and get out of there!" Bobby merely sang louder.

_Stupid Mystique._ Rogue thought bitterly. _Why'd you have to go and blow up our house for? Just because you're jealous.._She'd never know- Scott had left the woman trapped in Area 51 when he and the others came to rescue her, and good riddance too.

Sighing, she slid down the wall into a sitting position, wanting nothing more than to go crawling back into bed and get lost in her own sweet dreams. Dreams where she could touch, dreams where a certain demon-eyed guy wasn't on the wrong side.... Blushing, hoping no one had noticed, she pulled her knees up and rested her head against them, unsuccessfully trying to block thoughts of a certain Acolyte from her mind. She hadn't told anyone, not even Kitty, what had happened between them during the battle. Sure, Kitty had been dating Lance for a while, sort of, but there was a world of difference between Mystique's former group and Magneto's new team. And she certainly couldn't tell Risty- even if she knew where her best friend was, Risty was still human, after all. And what would she say, anyways? "Hey, Risty- remember the fight that was on TV a few weeks ago, the one with all the mutants and that big robot? I met the hottest guy there!" No, that was way too over the top for even Risty to handle. Hell, she didn't even know if they were friends anymore. It's like the girl had just ..vanished in to thin air. _Besides, nothing happened anyway!_

A little traitorous voice at the back of her mind wouldn't leave her alone, though. _If nothing happened, why do you dream of him? If it was nothing, why do you still have the remains of the card he gave you hidden in your journal?_ Firmly telling the little voice to shut up, she pushed the thoughts from her mind. At that moment, Bobby finally relinquished control of the bathroom. Whistling, he wandered down the hall, completely oblivious to the dirty looks the others shot him.

_Idiot._ Rogue thought. Now only Kurt and Evan stood between her and a nice hot shower.

A small figure thumped down next to her, yawning. Looking over, Rogue saw it was Kitty, hair mussed, rubbing her eyes blearily. "Hey," she ventured cautiously, knowing that Kitty was rarely at her best before a shower.

"Hey yourself. God, I so, like, do not want to deal with all the stupid people at school!"

Rogue nodded, wordlessly agreeing. Compared with fighting the tide of public opinion, battling Sentinels was easy. She remembered their first day back, the looks they'd been given, the things people had said, and of course, who could forget, the fight with the Brotherhood out in the parking lot while Jean gave her speech to the school board begging them to let the mutants stay in school.

Of everyone, Rogue thought she would be the least affected. She'd never had many friends to begin with, aside from the other Institute kids and Risty, but all the cruelty had cut her deeply. She'd never realized before how much comfort she'd derived from being invisible and overlooked, how safe she'd felt. _What if we're never safe again?_

Kitty was still talking, though. "I mean, like, not everyone is so bad, you know? Like, Amanda's been really nice, and all Arcade really cares about are computers anyways, so he hasn't been any different... Maybe if we just give it some time..." Her voice trailed off as she realized how trite she sounded. Time wasn't going to help. Nothing would.

Everyone had been affected. All of Jean's trophies had been taken away; they even made her come to school early to take tests in an empty room, so she couldn't "steal the answers from the normal students' minds." Scott had become a prime target for Duncan and his football goons, and all of Evan's skater friends refused to speak to him. But of everyone, Kitty had been hit hardest. She had been betrayed by not only her boyfriend, but her best friend, too. When Kurt pretended not to know her or the other kids at school their first day back, she'd actually spent all of first period crying in the second floor girl's bathroom. It had taken her forever to forgive him- she'd only just started speaking to him again yesterday. _I guess Amanda must have said something to him to make him apologize to her._
Hell, Amanda was the only normal human who would even sit next to Kitty in class now!

_And they all hated me to begin with, so now they just talk trash openly._ It was hard enough accepting her inability to have any sort of normal human contact in the first place, without having complete strangers taunting her about it. And if she even so much as looked at another student cross-eyed, they'd run screaming to Principal Kelly, saying she'd tried to touch them. _As if I'd want their stupidity floating around inside my head!_

Finally, it was her turn for the shower, and she stepped into it gratefully, wishing as she did every morning that human hands could run over her body like the water did. Pushing the familiar wish away, she wondered why she had been so emotional lately. Ever since the battle, everything had felt so much closer to the surface. She'd actually hid out under the bleachers in the soccer field and cried last week- twice! She was the Rogue, the Rogue didn't cry! But she had.

Normally she would have blamed it on the stress of being captured and held against her will in Area 51, except she hadn't even been scared. No one could do anything to her, because no one could touch her and stay conscious! It was the only time she had ever been grateful for her unique mutation.

Deciding to deal with that particularly thorny question later, she rinsed the last of the conditioner from her hair, turned off the tap and stepped out of the shower. Drying off and dressing quickly, she grabbed a portable hairdryer and set off down the hall to the room she was temporarily sharing with both Kitty and Jean during the rebuilding process.

Drying her hair in record time, she made it down to the kitchen with time to spare, and served herself a generous portion of pancakes. The sight of food on the table comforted her. Come rain or shine, despite everything, Ororo always made breakfast. It was a motherly gesture, and Rogue found herself strangely reassured by it. Savoring every bite, she waited for everyone else to arrive.

Everyone else finally made it to the kitchen, and there was the usual last minute frenzy of everyone trying to catch breakfast while running behind. When Scott announced that he was leaving, she followed him and Jean dutifully to the car, Kurt and Kitty trailing along behind. Evan had already left, and Ororo had taken to driving the other students in the X- van every morning.

The ride was uneventful, except for Kitty asking Jean to switch off that one "Everything You Want" song. Granted, Rogue wasn't a big Vertical Horizon fan, but the song wasn't that bad. She had no idea why Kitty hated that song so vehemently. Jean looked at Kitty in the side mirror for a moment, and then changed the station.

They got to school right before the first bell rang, and Rogue resigned herself to another day of mind numbing boredom, punctuated by pointless bigotry.