Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or basic storylines from the X-Men. I do, however, own Matthew. And yet, still I am poor beyond belief.
Authors Note: I'm back! Run in fear.
Summary: This story takes place two years after X2. And the movies are pretty much the same with one exception. Rogue was a mother prior to joining the X-Men. (She got her powers the same as in the movie though, and all of that will be explained later on.) I'm writing it so that Rogue joined the X-Men in around October of 2002, in case you're wondering when you see the dates later on.
Chapter One: A Rogue With A Past
Rogue examined herself closely in the bathroom mirror, studying her new haircut. It was short, just below her chin, with the white streaks dominating the front and framing her face in short layers. As she looked closely she wondered for a brief instant what he'd think of it before quickly pushing that thought aside. That was over and done with now and he probably never spared a thought back to her, to them, to everything they'd had and lost. She kept telling herself that everyday, knowing deep down that it couldn't be true. They'd loved like no one else ever had or ever could, and they'd paid the ultimate price for it. Their two-year-old son. But sometimes she needed to believe that the man she loved, the man she would die for if the case may be, didn't love her anymore, and that was why he never came to find her.
She let out a long sigh and shut off the light, exiting the bathroom and entering her private bedroom. Since becoming a full member of the X-Men team two years earlier, after Jean died, her and Bobby had both been given their own private bedrooms, so not to wake roommates when they were forced to go on late night or early morning missions. She ran her hands thru her hair and thought back to him. She'd been thinking about them a lot lately she realized as she collapsed onto the bed, looking up at the ceiling. She ran her fingers lightly over her firm, toned stomach, bare due to the midriff red tank top and low rise black jeans she wore, and thought briefly back to the time when a life had grown and thrived within.
She supposed it was because her twenty-first birthday was only three days away and that's why they plagued her thoughts. He'd always done something extra special for her on her birthday and she knew that this year would have been no exception. She rolled over onto her side and pulled out the drawer on her nightstand, removing a framed photo. It was a small 3x8 picture of the three of them. He was sitting in a swing out back of his family's house, with her in his lap and their baby tucked safely in her arms, his arms around them both and his chin resting on her shoulder. She smiled at the happy faces in the photo and gingerly ran her fingers over the glass. If only she could go back she'd never have let her baby alone that day. A small tear fell silently onto the glass over her face and she wiped it away before wiping at her eyes and placing the picture back in the drawer, returning to her back.
After a few moments she brought her bare hand up in front of her face and examined it closely thinking, not for the first time since she acquired her "gift," that he probably would have already found a way around her poison skin. She let out a frustrated growl, sounding more like the Wolverine than the Rogue, and threw her hand down, turning towards the open window, staring out at the clear night sky.
She could never figure out why she kept doing this to herself. Hell, she had a pretty good life here with the X-Men. She was Xavier's own personal assistant on all his trips to Washington and had met the President on several occasions. She was even going to school, getting a teaching degree to continue on at the school to help with future students, and she had a place to live and she was a superhero out saving the world. She and Bobby were even trying to work out the fucked up thing they called a relationship, even though it had never been really that good and he still didn't know that much about her. And lately it had only gotten worse, particularly since he started getting friendly with one of the girls in one of his classes. She wondered if he realized that she knew about Candace and his little escapades. Everyone knew they were screwing each other, so why wouldn't she? But then he still looked at her with a fear in his eyes that she may find out, so she pretended, if nothing more than to keep the peace among the team.
Again, Rogue sighed and brought her hands up to her head, massaging her temples. The voices were starting again. Well, mostly one voice that haunted her everyday since the mission thirteen months ago, where she'd taken the life and powers of Miss Marvel. Sometimes she wished Carol Danvers had killed her instead of the other way around. But she hadn't been so lucky and now she was stuck with an annoying blonde bitch calling her a killer in her mind and constantly trying to take over. And according to the Professor, this was how it was going to be for the rest of her life. It did however, have its advantages, like super strength, a heightened six sense, invulnerable skin and the ability to fly, so maybe it was worth it.
Except, that is, for those days when the anger got the better of her and she lost control, losing herself to the recesses of her mind, and forgetting who she was. Which was when she thought of him more, and of their baby boy she buried four years ago. It was all an incredibly vicious cycle.
'Maybe Ah should go back ta New Orleans again,' she wondered, twirling a strand of white hair around her finger. 'Actually talk ta him this tahme.' She quickly dismissed that thought, thinking back to the last time she'd went back, right after joining the X-Men, finding him drowning himself in cards, bourbon and women. It was okay really. She knew he didn't love them by the look in his eyes. He probably would have even come with her if she'd let him know she was there, but she convinced herself that it was better this way. Touch had been a major part of their life together. Looking back now, maybe she'd always known what her power was going to be and that's why she craved it so much when they'd been together. To have him that close now would be a temptation that she would never be able to withstand.
It was then that a knock sounded on her door. 'What now?' she thought rising to a sitting position and yelling to whoever was knocking to enter.
Bobby opened the door and entered, smiling happily at her. "Hey babe, you all set to go yet? The others are waiting downstairs."
'Damn!' Rogue thought as she remembered that a group of them were going to go dancing and out to dinner and currently, it wasn't something she was looking forward to. The way she was feeling tonight, she'd much rather go out to the pool hall with Logan. She looked over at the Iceman and smiled sweetly. "Ah don't think Ah'm gonna go tonight sugah. Ah've got a headache. Why don't y'all go and have fun though."
"Another one?" Bobby asked concern as he crossed the distance between them and crouched before her, keeping a safe distance between himself and her exposed skin. "Carol acting up again?"
"No more than usual," Rogue forced a smile and leaned back against her hands. "Just got a lot on mah mahnd is all sugah," she replied tilting her head to look at him. "Don't worry. Ah'll be fahne. Probably go over the meeting plan with the Professor again, catch up on some stuff Ah need ta and then head to bed."
"Are you sure? Cause, I can stay and keep you company if you want," Bobby offered.
"That's sweet o' ya ta offer, but really it ain't necessary. Go on and have fun with the others," she replied reaching over and ruffling his hair.
"Okay," he rose and walked towards the door, stopping before he left. "Call me if you change your mind though, and we'll come pick you up," he smiled at her once more before heading out the door.
"Alright, night sugah," she called after him, watching it close behind him. After a few moments she gave a sigh of relief and rose, walking over to her closet. She just didn't feel like a night of pretending to be the perfect, happy couple. She opened the door and pulled the string to the light before walking to the back wall and hovering into the air, moving a few boxes she found the one she wanted and pulled it from the shelf.
It was a large brown file box, which she had bought not long after coming to the institute, to hold the few things she'd grabbed before running away from home, hitching up to Canada. She landed back on the cool hard wood floor in her bare feet and walked over to the bed, placing the box in the center and sitting before it, her back to the headboard and her legs crossed beneath her.
She opened the box carefully, as if afraid to disturb the contents it held, and gingerly pulled out an old beat up hooded sweatshirt. It had long faded to a dull black after many washings and had a large red Asian dragon embroidered onto the front of it. She pulled it on over her head, smelling the dull scent of his cologne and smiled. "Wonder if he misses this," she muttered pushing up the sleeves and rummaging thru the box.
Next she pulled out an old stuffed dog, it's fur bare in places, and set it besides her, so it could look at the items with her. As she continued rummaging thru the box she realized that she'd been doing this quite often, especially over the last few months. Every time the fear of losing either of them to the dark depths of her mind arose, the box came out and her memories were renewed. Sometimes she thought of just leaving it out, for easier access, but then she remembered that too many nosy people lived at the mansion and, and this secret was hers and hers alone and at this point in time, she wasn't willing to share it with everyone else.
The only other one who knew her secret was the Professor. On those rare occasions that she did lose complete control, he used it to bring her back to the surface. She'd thought about telling Logan, but could never bring herself to do it. The older man had been looking at her differently lately. Ever since Jean had died, and the look had grown as she grew older, and after the Danvers incident to one of more lustful longing than of the protective older brother. Rogue however, contrary to what everyone thought, wasn't interested in that type of relationship with the feral mutant. She looked at him with more of an adoration that a little sister shows towards a big brother, not as a woman shows a lover. So she kept her secret hers for a little longer.
Finally she found what she'd been looking for and pulled it out. It was a large scrapbook; the front covered in pale blue cloth and flattened magnolias. She opened up to the first page, which contained pictures from Rogue's birth and childhood. She skimmed thru the pages, thinking back to the day she made the book. She'd been confined to bed with a horrible flu, and ordered to stay away from her baby until she was better, leaving her boyfriend in charge of the child. His brother's girlfriend had been into scrap booking and brought the supplies up to Rogue's room so she wouldn't get bored during her illness.
Finally she stopped as she came to the first page of photos that marked the memorable occasion when she met her love. On one side there was her school picture, in which she was 8 years old. On the other, was a picture of him that his brother had taken for her, at 10 years, and in the middle was one of the two of them together. Across the top, with a red calligraphy pen, she'd written "First Meetings." The next page was more of the two of them together. As she turned the pages, each photo triggering a different memory, their faces aged. Finally she came to a memorable event. Her first high school dance. She was around 15 and wearing a hunter green dress that accented everything nicely, with her hair up and as much skin exposed as possible. He stood next to her in a black suit and bow tie that matched the green dress she wore. They stood smiling for the camera as his father snapped the photo.
She closed her eyes, remembering everything about that night. Including how they had left the dance early and went back to her house. Her parents had been out of town that weekend and they had the whole place to themselves. Despite the many years that had passed, she could still remember how his hands felt sliding over her body, and how perfectly they had fit together when he made love to her that night. It had been the first time for both of them, but nowhere near the last. And, according to the doctors math back then, had been the night their son was conceived.
She opened her eyes, a small smile still upon her lips as she continued to turn the pages. Here was where the pictures took on a different context. There was at least one for every month of her pregnancy and both sonogram pictures. Everyone had the two of them together, a smile on each of their faces, pride in his eyes, and her shirt raised, showing her growing belly. Finally there were pictures of the big day, with him in green scrubs, holding their son, the words "Matthew & Daddy" scrawled beneath the picture, and finally of the new family, in the recovery room. Rogue's hair was a mess and she looked exhausted, but her eyes had never been happier.
The next pages were full of different events in Matthew's life including his six-week photo, his first Halloween where he was dressed up as a small black dog, first Christmas, first Easter and finally, his first birthday. There were also several photos of her, Matthew and his father throughout the book. Next came his second year of big events, to which that year he had been dressed up as a dinosaur, and finally his second birthday.
It was now that Rogue's hand began to tremble as she held the edge of the page terrified to turn it. There was the three of them staring up at her, all smiling. Matthew had on a little pair of cream-colored overalls that she'd made him with a royal flush embroidered on the front. Her eyes began to tear as she remembered how proud that she'd been of them, since they were the first thing she'd ever sewed. She reached into the box with her other hand and pulled them out, the tears falling silently now as she fingered the card design on the front pocket, which had been his fathers idea, and remembered how he'd rushed around to everyone, proclaiming "Momma made," all afternoon.
She debated not turning to the next page, the ones she'd never had the courage to make, but that her practically sister-in-law had, and just leaving it here. But she knew that even if she closed the book and put it away, the memory would still be there. That was the one memory that never went away. So she turned the page, and there was the headline first. "Local Boy Missing" followed by "Baby Found in Local Bayou." By now the tears were causing her eyes to blur and she sniffled, wiping at her face before turning again to pictures of the funeral, where she and Matthew's father stood leaning heavily one each other, and finally, a close up of his headstone.
Matthew Remy LeBeau
Born July 18, 2000
Died July 18, 2002
Authors Note: Not to sound all Jerry Springer (Which I also don't own) but I wonder who Rogue's Baby's Daddy is. Just kidding. I'm sure by now, if you already hadn't figured it out (and if you read my stuff you had to have) you know who it is. Hope you guys enjoyed this. Please R & R and no flames. If you didn't like it I'm sorry, but you might as well just stop reading now.