Scott's Perspective

Sometimes Scott really hated his younger team mates. They often made him think. Jubilee and Kitty had taken to giving everyone burned c.d.'s of songs that reflected upon their personalities, or how they conceived them to be anyway. Kurt and Evan had happily accepted their gifts as well as Rogue who looked pleased, but a little while later she came out of the room throwing the c.d. at Kitty which banged against the wall when Kitty phased to avoid getting hit.

He had inserted his c.d. into the radio in his room and laughed at the songs they had chosen. He checked the paper that they had written the names on and sighed at their naivety. Almost every song had something referring to leader. Everyone saw him as that, the fearless leader. He spent most of his time making sure they didn't get into trouble and it overwhelmed him at times when he had to watch himself to make sure he didn't slip. He longed to be free and just let go instead of being Mr. Holier than Thou, but he couldn't take the chance. They looked up to him. He was always cheerful, always looking at the bright side of things, he had lost his cool when Xavier was missing and Mystique had almost gotten them killed but that was a rarity.

He took the c.d. out and grabbed a mixed one he had made himself. He put song number 13, it was his favorite but he rarely heard it, always skipping ahead. It made him depressed, made him think of how he felt inside. He was always saving someone, but when would he be saved. He thought of Jean, she just couldn't understand. No matter how hard she tried she couldn't get his desire to be perfect in everything, she was just naturally that way.

He lay on the bed and sung softly to the music.

I can't stand to fly

I'm not that naive

I'm just out to find

The better part of me

I'm more than a bird

I'm more than a plane

More than some pretty face

beside a train

It's not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry

Fall upon my knees

Find a way to lie

About a home I'll never see

It may sound absurd

but don't be naive-

Even Heroes have the right to bleed

I may be disturbed

but won't you concede?

Even Heroes have the right to dream

It's not easy to be me

Up, up and away: away from me

It's all right

You can all sleep sound tonight

I'm not crazy or anything

I can't stand to fly

I'm not that naive

Men weren't meant to ride

With clouds between their knees

I'm only a man in a silly red sheet

Digging for kryptonite on this one way street

Only a man in a funny red sheet

Looking for special things inside of me

It's not easy to be me.

He turned off the song, wanting to dwell in his sorrow. He rarely threw himself pity parties but he indulged when he was depressed, like now. Even Superman's life didn't suck so badly. He took his glasses off and threw them across the room. He kept his eyes closed and laid on the bed for a long time.

When he walked into the dining area, everyone was laughing and shouting at the dinner table. Logan leaning against the counter eating a Philly cheese steak sandwich, Ororo trying to stop Evan and Kurt's attempt to draw the girls into a food fight and the Professor was talking to Jean at the end of the table. Everyone turned to Scott.

"Hey everyone", Scott smiled. Everyone smiled back; they didn't notice the paleness on his face, nor the strain of his lips. He sat down across from Rogue and next to Jean and began to eat. Jean smiled at him and he smiled back, when he looked up he saw a pair of almond cat eyes staring at him. He saw concern in them. He looked down immediately at his food and sighed. Only one person saw through his mask and only because she wore one herself, he prayed that as usual she'd keep it to herself. He looked up again when he heard her gather her plate and put it in the dishwasher, she left the room quietly, no one noticed, he envied her invisibility.

Rogue's Perspective

Rogue's mood was darkened when she saw Scott's face. She had been amused earlier, reacting to the c.d. as was expected, but she had picked it up when everyone left the living room. It was pretty funny, they had picked some artists she didn't think they would even know about, but she figured they had went into a lyrics site or something and just read the words. They picked angsty songs, most of them about how cruel it was to be a teenager and "hating the world". The only time she wanted to kill them was when she heard the True Colors song by Cyndi Lauper, right by the name they had written that they knew her pain and would be with her through the hard times, she thought they were kidding until she heard the song and realized they were being mushy, but this was why she loved them, whether they knew it or not.

She was enjoying the c.d. until she got to the last song, it made her sad. She figured they accidentally burned it since it didn't fit with the rest of her theme songs. It made her think of Scott. When she had met him in the beginning she was afraid because of what Mystique did, but over time she began to trust him as well as the other x men. Her feelings for the so called fearless leader began to grow into something more, but he had only seen her as a friend. She was hurt when he had gotten with Jean. She felt that all it pointed out was that he needed someone like himself. Not someone with excess baggage like her. Jean was a real name for a real girl, Rogue was someone created with no real place in the world.

She had attempted to change, but she couldn't. She even got as far as to put on one of Kitty's outfits and not putting much make up but when she looked in the mirror she backed up in fear. She looked too open, too touchable. So she had changed, adding more foundation, more liner, more layers of clothes as if to make up for what she deemed was a mistake.

She saw his face today at the dinner table and felt sad. She saw how miserable he was, she had heard that song playing from his room, she didn't know what it was called, it wasn't one of her favorites. She wanted to comfort him, to hug him, only as his friend, but she felt his need to remain veiled. She wanted to touch him with everything she had.

She admired him; she had thought he was the most perfect man.

Her mind drifted to a few weeks ago. It was past midnight and she had gone downstairs to the kitchen to get something to drink. She walked in and saw his face in his hands. She reached out to him with her hand intending to give comfort but he would not be consoled.

"Go away," he muttered quietly. Rogue's mouth parted to say something but she couldn't. She backed away with tears in her eyes and had run into her room. The next day they behaved as if nothing happened.

Her mind returned to the present and she sighed. The music that played just reflected her mood. She fell asleep to the last of the lyrics.

If you want to
I can save you
I can take you away from here
So lonely inside
So busy out there
And all you wanted was somebody who cares

Please can you tell me?
So I can finally see
Where you go when you're gone.

Let me know if you want me to continue, it ends fine here if your angsty which I rarely am. But if you guys want, I'll write more and have it up COMPLETE by Monday. I just need one person to let me know. I love writing. By the way, I do not own True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, nor do I own Superman by Five for Fighting or All You Wanted by Michelle Branch. And I sadly don't own X men: Evolution or its characters. (She says as tears fall from her eyes).

***

Rogue opened her eyes slowly, she was faced towards the window and she saw that the sky was still dark. She got up rubbing her eyes and stared at the clock on her bedside. It read 3:30 am. She groaned irritably. She normally wasn't a morning person and this would only add to the day. She sighed and climbed out of the bed and quietly exited the room, careful not to wake up Kitty. When she walked into the hall, she noticed a light shining underneath Scott's door. She padded towards the door and leaned in. Her ear pressed against the dark wood.

Her eyes welled up with tears at the sniffles she heard. She hated to cry, it had been such a long time. She had hardened herself to the point of not even crying for herself, but to hear the pain of someone she cared so much about tore down the walls she had created. She heard the whispered why's through the door and wondered if he did this every night. It pained her to contemplate him sitting alone in the dark with only the company of his mutant powers and nothing else.

She made a decision to go in; if he wanted her to leave she'd turn around and never try to help him again. But she felt the need to be with him, she knew he needed her. Everyone at the table smiled, everyone continued laughing, not even Jean or the Professor with their telepathic powers noticed. Only she had because she was in the same boat herself. She opened the door and entered the room. Scott was sitting on the edge of the bed facing the balcony. She walked behind him. She waited for him to send her away; she had seen him tense when she walked in. She sat beside him and opened her arms slightly. She wore long sleeved pajamas and her soft cotton gloves. Without a second thought Scott leaned into her and fell into her arms. He sobbed. Rogue cried too. Her tears dampened his hair as his dampened her shirt and they stayed in the position a long time. His face pressed against her chest and her head against his thick hair, protecting his scalp.

When she heard the Professors voice in her head, she pushed against Scott's chest and laid him onto the bed, he just stared at her quietly and weakly, allowing her to mother him. She pulled his comforter taut around his body and he fell quickly into an exhausted sleep. She kissed his fore head quickly and on impulse ran her fingers through his hair without her gloves, she than left the room quickly, barely made it to the bathroom before anyone else left their rooms.

By the time she was done, everyone was lined up outside waiting for their turn. Surprised that she was the first in the shower since she rarely got up before them. She just went to her room got dressed and went downstairs waiting for Logan's appearance. When they all entered the danger room, Logan announced that Scott wasn't feeling well so he would not be participating. Rogue wondered who would relay the information and than she turned to Jean who looked genuinely concerned. Rogue envied her. She hated that jean got everything and Jean didn't deserve Rogue's dislike, but she couldn't help it. Rogue knew no one was perfect but Jean came so close that it irritated her. She wished that it was her place to tell people that Scott wasn't feeling well.

They went through their danger room session and went back to their rooms to get ready. Everyone was surprised when Scott walked in prepared to go to school. Rogue noticed Jean's eyebrows furrow.

"Scott, are you sure you should go? You were a bit pale this morning." Scott turned her way and smiled brightly.

"Yeah Jean, I'm sure. I'm feeling great just a little under the weather." And with that he turned and walked out of the mansion, followed by Kurt and Kitty who had planned to hitch a ride with him. Rogue grabbed Jean's arm before she could leave.

"Scott's not okay." Jean slowly turned around and smiled at her, the smile was irritating. The smile mimicked a mother's to a child.

"Rogue, Scott is fine. He said so himself besides if he wasn't I would know." She tapped her temple with her pointer finger and patted Rogue on the shoulder, than she left still smiling. Rogue just stared at her and became angry. How could no one know? These people knew him longer than she and yet they don't seem to see past that smile, that mask. Rogue ran her fingers through her hair and sighed roughly. She grabbed her bag and walked out intending to walk to school.

As she walked she thought. She thought about last night and what had happened, she wondered if perhaps he had seen that she could help him, she knew better than to ask outright. He would just ignore the question or implication and she'd be back to square one. She knew her actions would mean more to him than to tell him she'd be there or that she understood. Her mind was focused on that when she heard someone yell out her name. She turned and saw Logan on his bike.

"Hey Stripes, y'need a ride?" Rogue looked at him her eyes wide and open, she was too into her thoughts to clear them. He felt as if he was seeing everything, every answer to the world's harshest problems, to its cruel dilemmas and all this in a pair of large green eyes. When she blinked it was gone and he wondered if he had imagined it.

"Sure sugah thanks." She climbed behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He had almost driven past the school because he was lost in his thoughts. He couldn't shake that image out of his mind. It seemed to have imbedded itself in his brain. She got off and smiled at him.

"Thanks." He smiled at her a rare smile.

"Anytime." She walked away and inhaled a deep breath of fresh air. In 30 seconds her face went from serene to unapproachable. Her eyes were cold and icy, her full lips tensed into a slight frown and her eyebrows slightly drawn in. She walked into the school with her mask and prepared herself for her daily routine. She noticed Scott in the classroom, early as usual. He looked up and they stared at each other. If one would have looked closely they would have seen the change that underwent there expression. For a second their faces broke away from their masks but they weren't strong enough to keep it off. They were too afraid.

She kept on walking to the back of the classroom and threw herself into the seat. She stared at the back of his head. She saw all the girls come in, they had become fascinated with his mutant powers, he was dangerous and they liked that. "Hey Scott," "Hi baby," "What are you doing next week?" "Want to study?" Rogue snorted at that one. She knew what kind of studying they wanted to do. Scott politely responded, turning down whatever invitation came his way. Rogue smiled when she saw the look of disappointment on their faces, but the smile was wiped away when her thoughts began to manifest themselves. At least they had the guts to let him know how they felt.

Rogue just sketched in her notebook and wallowed in pity the rest of the day. She didn't really want to think about Scott but everything seemed to point at his direction.

She was walking out of the school when someone grabbed her shoulder, she freaked out.

"Hey Rogue, its okay it's just me." She relaxed slightly at the sound of Scott's voice. Rogue turned around and looked at him. She tried to read his eyes, but the shades made it hard to do. "Wanna ride?"

Why was it so hard to answer him? She had quickly obliged to Logan's offer but she was hesitant with Scott.

"Is there any room for me?"

"There's always room." Scott smiled at her. Rogue's blood boiled. She had never felt such anger, not even that morning. At that moment she hated Scott Summer's. She hated his smile, his laughter. She hated his need to protect himself. She hated his mask, a never ending smile but most of all, she hated him because he was her and she was him. She turned around and ran off. She just kept running until she couldn't breathe anymore. She finally stopped when she fell into the ground exhausted and she just lay there on the grass, her face feeling its coolness and it calmed her. A tear rolled down her face and fell, hidden within the green blades. She stayed there for a long time, her mind blank. She felt bad for having left but she couldn't see him like that. Not after last night. She couldn't see that ugly mask he was wearing; it killed her knowing who he was behind it. She had preferred him crying, at least it was real.

She got up and realized that she had dropped her bag when she ran away from him; she assumed he had taken it so she just walked straight to the institute without stopping. When she got to the house she went straight to her room, walking past the dining area but the minute she closed the door it was banged open and than banged closed. She turned startled and saw a very angry Scott lock the door.

He wanted to kill her, when she ran off she had caused him to worry, he just spent the afternoon wondering if she was okay and when she had walked into the house not even giving an explanation for her actions his anger reached it's boiling point. He had always known to control his temper but he was on the edge.

"Why'd you leave?" He whispered, not trusting his voice. Rogue just looked away not wanting to look at the muscles on his jaw clench and unclench. "Why'd you run Rogue?" His voice raised just a notch, but he spit out each and every word with venom that made her wince. She continued her silence. "Rogue," he grabbed her chin and forced her to look at him, for once she felt as if she could almost read him and she was terrified, she saw bitterness and anger and worst of all pain. Did she do this to him? "Why'd you run?"

The tears that had burned behind her eyes the whole day began to stream down like salty rivers. She couldn't take it anymore. This was Scott; this was someone she knew better than anyone. She stared at him and felt like she was looking at herself. "You're lyin'." He didn't understand.

"I'm what?"

"You're lyin'. Lying!" She said the last word more forcefully, pronouncing it perfectly. "Ya looked at me and you were lying. Ya had you're mask on; ya couldn't even let me see the truth. You just stood there and smiled at me and pretended everything was all right when the truth was that it wasn't that you're not. Ya tried to lie to me like ya do with everyone else."

"And that makes me a liar?"

"Yes!" he visibly stiffened.

"So what are you," Rogue knew where he was going and she looked away. "Look at me!" She immediately looked at him again. "What about you? You come down everyday acting angry and unapproachable and the truth is you're afraid. If I was to touch you I would be dead right now and not because you can't control your powers but because you don't want to. You want to be the untouchable Rogue. You want people to stay away. So don't call me a liar unless you're including yourself in this lovely club of two. The Professor has spent his time trying to help you gain control and you don't even try, you block him away knowing that after you overcome this you won't have anything to hide behind." Rogue just stared at him, the never ending flow of tears continuing down her face. He grabbed her face with his unprotected hands and she cried harder, she couldn't hurt him.

"All you do is help people," she sobbed, "but you never ask for it in return." She stopped crying and took off his shades.

"Rogue!" He covered his eyes with his hands and reached out for his glasses, his protection.

She slid to the floor and pulled him down with her, his hands still covering his eyes. She pulled them away from his face with her ungloved hands and touched his lids. She stared at his thick lashes and grazed them with her fingertips, he felt them tickle and he flinched afraid to hurt her. "Trust me." She leaned in and kissed his lids, first one than the other and than she kissed his soft lips. He didn't move and he didn't respond. He wanted to open his eyes and look at her. He felt that he could but he was afraid so he kept them closed. Rogue stared at him and saw the battle within. She knew he cared about her but she didn't know in what way. She knew Jean loved him, but Rogue also knew that it wasn't more than just friendship. Scott wanted to be safe, and he knew that with Jean he'd be secure. He didn't want to take a chance. Her pity irked him but it also made him feel safe in the fact that she wouldn't let him go just because she felt sorry for him. That struck him deep but he didn't want to walk alone. So he stayed on safe ground. But now he didn't know what to do. He felt something for Rogue, he just didn't know what. He felt safe with her too. But in a different way, in a way where he felt he could let go, where he could breathe.

He heard her get up and leave the room. He didn't know where she had gone; he knew she wanted to think. He got up from the floor and put his glasses on, she had placed them on his lap before she had gone and he left the room. Jean was outside.

"Is everything all right?" He smiled at her concern. He would always love her but not in the way he had thought he did. He needed to let her go so she could find someone she could love not pity. He felt ashamed he had allowed her to confuse the two.

"Everything is fine," his mask back in place. "We need to talk."

Jean smiled and said "okay." She walked with him towards her bedroom. They didn't come out for a long time. But when they did, they were both smiling, holding hands. Rogue watched them from the back stairway and closed her eyes tight. She turned around, her bag in hand and left through the back door.

____________________________________________________________________________ __

Rogue winced when she heard the growling next to her ear. She was caught.

"And where d'ya think you're goin' Stripes?"

"Out." Logan looked down at her bag and than back at her.

"Where ya plannin' on comin' back?"

"No." She figured it would be safer to be honest.

"Why d'ya wanna leave?" He was concerned, he was disgusted by his emotions but he couldn't just wave them away.

"Because ah care about someone." She looked down at her feet and scuffed them across the floor. "And he doesn't care 'bout me back." Logan's eyebrows raised, he put his arm on her shoulder and looked at her. When he looked into her eyes he saw once again that openness and it touched his heart that she trusted him.

"Trust me, if it's who I think it is, than he does. Just stay." Rogue sighed, she went back into the house and into her room, and she'd have to leave later on. She knew Logan would be watching her in the meantime. Logan just smiled at her retreating back, he had walked by Red's room and overheard a certain conversation between them too and he knew that Stripes had changed Scott. He had seen it when Scott stormed out of the dining room when Rogue returned.

Logan was so pleased that he winked at Kitty who was trying to get away from an annoying Kurt, he wondered when those two would finally get together. He just chuckled and continued his way, his conscience for once at peace.

____________________________________________________________________________ _

Dinner that day was normal, or almost. Kitty yelling at Kurt for getting fur on her new white sweater, Evan making Jubilee laugh at the Professor's expense. Scott spit out his cherry soda messing up Jean's new white jeans when the professor announced that if he "heard" one more cue ball joke from Evan he was going to allow Logan to pick the next assimilation for the danger room session. The atmosphere was amicable and happy. The only person who wasn't there was Rogue who had taken dinner to her room. Scott noticed this but didn't react. He just continued on laughing and joking around. Logan smiled, yes; there definitely was a change in Mr. Priss.

It was midnight when Rogue opened her eyes, she felt as if someone was staring at her. She sat up from her bed and was face to face with a young man. He was light skinned with light blue eyes and silky brown hair. She couldn't register who it could be and she wondered if she was dreaming. But she felt the rush in her body when the hand touched her cheek. It was Scott. A tear fell from her eye as she stared into his. She parted her lips but no words came out. He just smiled at her and mouthed thank you. She put her hand over his and just smiled at him.

"Geez, Scott, you coulda, like, just told me you wanted to be alone." Kitty left the room, phasing through the door, she was so irritated at being told she was late for the danger room (an obvious lie told by Scott to get her out) that she didn't notice that he lacked his usual glasses and just continued off towards the bathroom.

Scott leaned in and kissed Rogue, he felt so good, so free. Rogue pulled away and stared at him, Scott understood what she was looking for and he let her find it. He remembered clearly when she had told him he was lying and he didn't want to anymore. With Rogue he didn't need to. She saved him, saved him from himself, he would have lived his life lying and pretending to be anything but real. But now with her, he didn't need to be, he unmasked himself. And that night she did too.