PRE-A/N: Hello everyone! I do hope you enjoy this fic. It's a solo one, no Panther to help out, so it feels differently. I'm being bad and going against my personal preferences and uploading before I have finished typing out the story. Really even completing the plot, so I have no idea what's going to happen. We'll all be surprised. I hope we all enjoy this, and please feel free to give me ideas and suggestions. Thank you.
Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men, or all that other stuff. Oh! And I had to guess at one boy's name (bet you'll be able to tell which one) on , which has apparently been disbanded, so I used Remy's middle name.
"Ya sure this is gonna work, Forge?" Rogue asked, helping Logan, Dr. McCoy, and Piotr set the last big piece of Forge's latest toy down in the Danger Room with some borrowed strength from Logan. "Ah mean, ya inventions ain't exactly known for they're reliability. No offense."
"Trust me," the teen genius said. "I had a few glitches in the beginning, but now I've got all the kinks out."
"What kind of glitches?" the Professor asked.
"Just one mouse that... the glitch was worked out," Forge blushed. "Don't worry! Now, who wants to go first?"
Hank, Xavier, Rogue, Piotr, Logan, and Kitty (who was only there because Piotr was) all looked back and forth at each other, none of them actually wanting to be a guinea pig for one of Forge's experiments. This time he swore that he'd made a time machine that could go forward in time. Backwards had long been accepted as a possibility, but forward was generally discredited as impossible to predict. Forge insisted that he found the loop hole.
The audience took stock of themselves and finally it was Rogue who raised her hand.
"All right," she sighed. "Ah'll take the plunge. Ah just wantcha tah know, Forge, if Ah die, get mutilated, or in any way damaged cuz'a this, Ah'll find a way tah see you suffer."
"Fair enough," Forge nodded.
"Rogue," the Professor asked, "why take the risk? No offense intended, Forge."
The goth girl shrugged, kind of embarrassed. She had been doing really well since Apocalypse had been defeated. She had really been trying to get herself together. She still couldn't face Mystique, but she was talking on the phone to Irene, and she was doing yoga along with her usual workout routine to help decrease her stress, and she was meditating for a half an hour a day. She was working on not being such a depressed, angsty, whiney brat. In her opinion, she'd spent way to long like that and it was about damn time she grew up a little.
But...life was still a big uncertainty for her. She didn't know what she was doing, and she wondered if she ever would. If she could somehow talk to a future version of herself, maybe she would get some insight, and hopefully know if she ever got a handle on how to work with this whole "life" thing.
"Ah just need tah check somethin' with mah future self, if Ah can. Maybe get some advice," she told the Prof.
He waited, pondering on whether or not this was a good idea. In a few minutes, he nodded his head. "Very well, Rogue. But we'll all be in the observation booth to watch over this experiment. We don't want a repeat of what happened to Kurt at the dance."
"One little mistake, and I'm branded for life," Forge grumbled.
"One little mistake?" Logan asked sarcastically.
Forge mumbled incoherently.
Logan turned to Rogue. "Be careful, Stripes. I'd hate to lose one of the few people I can stand."
She smiled at him. "Get lost."
In a few minutes, it was just Rogue, nervously playing with the Velcro strip on her left glove, and Forge in the Danger Room making last minute adjustments to the time machine.
"How far forward are you looking to see?" Forge asked.
"See?" Rogue asked. "Ain't Ah gonna go there?"
"Nope, sorry," he apologized. "At least, I haven't tried to go that far with this yet. I can only give you a window to the future. One of the mice I had saw himself in two weeks being respectfully buried in my parents' back yard."
"Was it accurate?" Rogue asked worriedly.
"To the day," Forge said casually, fiddling with a wire that then proceeded to spark and hiss angrily.
"Ummm..." Rogue frowned, starting to rethink this little experiment.
"How about twenty years?" Forge asked getting the arrant wire in control.
"C'n ya go that far?"
"I managed to get up to twelve years with my niece's puppy," he said. "Looked like the dog was still alive in twelve- or, will be alive, really, I guess, in twelve years. I bet, with a human, I could see twenty years into the future. It's the life-span that's the problem. I need the subject I'm trying to see to be," he beckoned her over to him and positioned her in an arch with wires coming out of the top, "in here so that there's a link to the future that I'm trying to see."
Rogue considered the time that they were talking about. In twenty years she would be thirty-eight. She wouldn't even hit a mid-life crisis yet.
"C'n we go fo' twenty-five years, instead?"
"You're the test dummy," Forge said.
"Nice choice of words."
"Whatever," she shrugged. "Just, let's do this. Do Ah have tah do somethin' in particular?"
"Nah, just stand there," Forge instructed.
"Wait! What if Ah'm not in Bayville in twenty-five years?"
"Don't worry. With you in there, the machine is locked onto your genetics, so I can find you no matter where ever you roam to in your life," he explained.
The mad boy-scientist flipped a few switches, turned some knobs, and, when nothing happened, he realized that he forgot to plug the time machine into the outlet. "Woops." This did nothing to make Rogue less nervous. Finally, the machinery started to hum and a ghostly pale vortex started forming in the second arch. According to Forge, that was where the window to the future would be, where Rogue would see the image of her future self showing through.
At first, it was so obscure that she couldn't see anything. Rogue turned to look at Forge, ready to ask him what the problem was when the view cleared up and started to sort of mitosis. The original single vortex turned into two vortexes.
Forge was flummoxed. This hadn't happened with the mice or the dog. This being Rogue's first foray into time travel, she had no idea what to think, since she was already confused. She got more confused when an image of herself wasn't what appeared, but two pictures of two teenage boys formed, one for each vortex. But, this being one of Forge's experiments, the weirdness wasn't done yet.
Both boys obviously saw the window that had been created, and they started some prodding experiments of their own, neither knowing that there was a second boy doing something very similar only about a foot away.
"Hey! Don't do that!" Forge yelled.
One of the boys stepped forward and ended up in the Danger Room, surrounded by equipment and strange mechanical...well, machinery. Seeing that there was suddenly another person in the, to him, past picture, the second boy decided that he was going to come through, too. In less than two minutes, the teens were standing around wondering what the hell was going on, and then the vortexes closed behind them.
The machinery stopped humming, something popped somewhere, followed by an ominous sputter and a small flame, and then the lights in the Institute went black. Kitty screamed in the observation booth and clung to Piotr's arm. It didn't take long for the auxiliary power to kick on, and everyone could see again.
Down on the Danger Room floor, Rogue stumbled out of the arch Forge had put her in while he tried to kill the starting fire that he'd started with the time machine. She glared at him and turned that same annoyed, confused, very pissed off glare onto the two teenage males who were now standing where a forty-three-year-old version of herself was supposed to be.
"Who the hell are y'all two?" she snapped at them.
They looked back and forth at her, at each other, at where they were, and then to Rogue again. The one on Rogue's left was skinnier than the other. He was maybe fifteen or so, she guessed, and had brown hair that looked almost reddish in the florescent glare from the ceiling lights. He was wearing shades, and was dressed in raggedy jeans and a T-shirt with a light jacket.
The bright blue eyes were the first things Rogue noticed about the older boy, on the right. His hair was the next thing. It was two-toned, brown with white bangs, and frighteningly familiar to her. With that thought, a realization came to Rogue.
The one with the shades smiled. "Hey, Mom. Lookin' good."
POST-A/N: So, are you coming back?