Disclaimer: "Pirate monkeys?! Was he drunk?!"

(An: This is one of those random ideas that wouldn't leave me alone. It started with Rogue talking to a squirrel, then mutated into this… very weird. It's set after Self Possessed, when Rogue was in the hospital.)

Rogue woke up, feeling very tired and dizzy. "Ugh…" She was dressed only in her underwear, her bra, and a hospital gown. God, Ah hope one of the girls put me in this… where the hell are mah pants? She got up to search for said pants and happened to glance out a nearby window. Sitting on a tree branch was a squirrel. When the squirrel saw her looking at it, it hopped inside, on the sill.

"Psst," said the squirrel. "Commere."

"Can Ah get mah pants on first?" Rogue asked, not bothering to wonder why she was talking to a squirrel.

"Yeah, ok," said the squirrel.

Rogue found her pants rolled up on an endtable. Her shirt, however, was nowhere to be found. She shrugged and walked over to the sill. "What do ya want? …and why am Ah talkin' to a squirrel?"

"Oh, you're hallucinating," said the squirrel.

"Well, that's helpful," said Rogue. "What do ya want?"

"For you to follow me, what else?" The squirrel hopped out onto the branch and flicked his tail at her. "Come on, follow the nice squirrely…"

Rogue blinked, shrugged, and climbed out the window, clinging to the tree. "That's the idea," the squirrel encouraged. "Now come on." Rogue, still unbothered by the prospect, let the squirrel lead her off the grounds.

"So why am Ah havin' hallucinations anyway?" Rogue asked.

"Well, you're pretty hyped up on painkillers, so you're having problems thinking straight," the squirrel explained, scratching behind an ear.

"Oh, ok," Rogue agreed. She really didn't get it, but she didn't have anything better to do… "So where are we goin'?"

"The park, where else?" said the squirrel. "You wouldn't happen to have any nuts, would you?"

"Um, no, not on me," Rogue replied, blinking.

BACK AT THE MED LAB…

Kurt walked in, holding a plate of breakfast for his sister. "Gutenmorgen, meine Schwester!" He looked around. His sister's bed was empty. "…Rogue? Ro-ogue? …Oh, nein. This is bad… Mr. McCoy?"

AT THE PARK…

"So now what?" Rogue asked, looking around. When she looked back to the tree the squirrel had been in, he was gone. "Hmm…" After a moment's consideration, she climbed the tree.

She might've thought twice if she'd known the Acolytes were there, but she didn't.

Over by a bench near the tree she was climbing were three guys. "Oh my god," said the guy in the middle, John. "Is that Rogue?"

The guy on his left, Remy, lowered his sunglasses. "Where?"

"Over there," said John, pointing.

"Why is she climbin' a tree?"

"Beats me, mate. Should we go check it out?"

"Guess," said Remy, who had already started off in that direction.

Piotr, the third guy, and John shrugged at each other and headed after him.

Remy was cocking his head and staring when they caught up. "Oh my god…" said John.

"Da," Piotr agreed, politely looking away.

"Shh, shh, shh," said Remy, holding up a hand. "'M tryin' t' fix dis moment in m' mind here."

Rogue, completely oblivious to the guy staring up her hospital gown, which unfortunately opened up the front, spotted the squirrel, perching on a higher up limb, nibbling a nut. "Hey!" she called.

The squirrel ignored her, but pointed at the ground. Rogue still didn't notice the Acolytes. Instead, her attention was turned to the large giraffe making its way across the park. "Oh mah god!" She jumped down from the tree and ran after it.

"Dat was de best moment of m' life," said Remy, looking dazed.

"I thought it was kinda creepy," John demurred. "Now where's she goin'?"

Remy shrugged. "Don' matter. Let's follow her."

AT THE X-MANSION…

"Ok, when was the last time you saw her, Hank?" asked the professor.

Kurt had brought him into the professor's office when no sign of Rogue had been found. He was now perching on a chair, tail thrashing as he glared at Hank.

"Um…" said Hank. "Well, it was last night. She couldn't fall asleep, nightmares and all, so she asked for a sedative. I gave her one, turned off the lights, and went back to my room." He shrugged uncomfortably. "When I went in there around seven, she was still asleep."

"And now she's gone…" Xavier murmured. "Perplexing."

"Perplexing indeed," Hank agreed.

"Can I just go look for her now?" Kurt asked.

"Yes, do," said Xavier. "Get Logan to help you."

Kurt dashed off to find him.

AT THE PARK AGAIN…

Rogue followed what she thought was a giraffe, and almost tripped over a large… bowl of gelatin. "What the…?"

"Hello," said the gelatin, a smiley face spontaneously appearing on it. "I'm Jerry the Sentient Gelatin. Pick me up, please."

Rogue complied, looking the gelatin right in the… oranges that stood for its eyes. "Jerry?"

"Yes, that's my name, want to make something of it?"

"Um…no… why are ya talkin'?"

"Because I'm Jerry the Sentient Gelatin," Jerry replied. "I also come in strawberry."

"Ok… what now?"

"Now we must go make more Jerrys! Isn't it obvious?"

"How do we do that?"

"WE MUST BUY JELLO!"

"Um… sure, why not," Rogue said, and walked off, still carrying Jerry.

The Acolytes, who were following her, blinked. "Why is she calling that rock 'Jerry'?" Pyro asked.

"No clue," Remy replied. "Mebbe she's hallucinatin' or somethin'."

"Right," said Pyro, nodding.

"Come on, she's getting ahead o' us," Remy said, heading after her.

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE X-MANSION AND THE PARK…

"She went this way," said Logan, sniffing the air.

"I wonder why she left at all," said Kitty, who had, in the interest of her friendship, come with Kurt and Logan.

"Hank said he gave her a sedative," Kurt suggested. "Maybe it messed with her head or something…"

When they reached the park, Logan growled. "Or maybe she was kidnapped. I smell Gumbo."

BACK TO ROGUE…

Rogue paused in front of the nearest minimall. "Are you sure this is a good idea, Jerry? I mean, sure, Ah've got money, but does the world really need more sentient gelatin?"

"Why not?" Jerry asked, wiggling in a way that suggested a shrug. "I mean, really, who doesn't need a sentient gelatin?"

"Ah guess yah've got a point," Rogue said, with an actual shrug, and headed inside.

"Now she's going into a mini-mart," Pyro said, in utter disbelief. "What the hell is wrong with her?"

"What is up wit' all y'r rhetorical questions?" Remy countered.

"Hmm… good point."

In unison, they all shrugged and headed after her.

AT THE PARK…

"She climbed a tree," said Logan, investigating said tree. "Then she went this way…" He followed her footsteps to where she had picked up "Jerry". "The whole time the Acolytes were following her… this is getting weird…"

"And you just, like, figured that out now?" Kitty retorted.

"The Acolytes have maintained a five-foot distance from her the whole time," Logan replied, missing Kitty's sarcasm. "It's like they weren't trying to get near her…

"Maybe they were just following her," Kitty suggested.

Kurt and Logan looked at each other, then chorused, "Nah."

"What you're forgetting, Kitty," Kurt explained, "is that they're pure evil. There's got to be some ulterior motive for kidnapping Rogue."

Kitty rolled her eyes. "Right…"

AT THE MINI-MART…

A lot of people had paused in their shopping to stare at the teenage girl that was arguing Jello brands with a rock.

"Should we do something?" Pyro asked, cocking his head.

Remy answered that by heading over. He grabbed Rogue's arm (the part covered by the hospital gown, of course). "Oh, hi, Marie. There you are." He kept his grip on Rogue's arm and turned to face the crowd. "Thanks for finding my sister. A little touched, y' know?" He gave the crowd a benevolent grin and tugged gently. "Come on…"

"But Jerry says we have to take over the world with Jello," Rogue replied, pointing at the rock.

"We've got plenty o' Jello at home, 'member?"

"Oh, ok," said Rogue, coming along well enough. She flashed the crowd a dazzling smile as Remy pulled her out.

Outside the mini-mart, John, Piotr, and Remy watched Rogue argue with "Jerry". "What do we do now?" John asked.

"I'm not sure," said Remy. "She's obviously not in her right mind, since she hasn't tried t' kill me yet- and get dis, she was smiling in the store."

"Oh, yeah, she's either become a pill-popper or been brain-washed."

"I vote for pill-popper," Piotr said.

"Why y' t'ink dat?" Remy inquired.

"Anyone who would take the time to brain-wash her wouldn't just leave her wandering around the park, to be swayed by a rock she named Jerry," Piotr explained.

"Ah," said Remy.

"The way I see it, mates," said Pyro, "we've got two options: we take Rogue back to the base and deal with her there, or we take her to the X-men and let them sort it out."

"I vote X-men," said Piotr and Remy in unison instantly.

"X-men it is," said Pyro. "Oh, look, how convenient, here they come now."

Rogue didn't notice them. "So, Jerry, where to next?"

"Ask someone else," Jerry responded. "I need a nap." With that Jerry's orange slice eyes turned to slits.

Remy walked over to Rogue, his movements understandably cautious. "Rogue?"

"Oh, hi, swamp rat," Rogue said, prodding Jerry. "He won't talk," she explained. "What do you want?"

"Um… why are y' bein' so civil?"

"Yah're prob'ly just another hallucination, and even if yah're not, the painkillers Hank gave me have put me in a very jovial mood."

"Um… d'accord," said Remy, not getting it.

"Oh, just a second," said Rogue, heading for some bushes. "Ah think Ah saw somethin'!"

To Rogue, anyway, two creatures tumbled out of the bush. One of them was skinny with long horns and blue, and the other was purple, fat, and short. "What the heck are ya?"

"Who, us?" the things chorused.

"Yeah…"

"Oh, right," said the purple one, straightening up. "I'm Pain!"

"And Panic!" cried the second one, saluting.

"Come on!" they yelled, and ran off.

Rogue shrugged and headed after them.

"Oh, merde," Remy mumbled. "Come on, let's go get her before she hurts herself."

Logan, Kurt, and Kitty rushed over, stopping the Acolytes. "Ok, bubs, what've you done with Rogue?!"

"Absolutely nothin', except kept her from buying an excessive amount of gelatin," Remy retorted. "She went dat way."

"You mean… you don't want to flirt with her or fight?" Kurt asked.

"No," said Remy, in a "duh" tone. "She's not in her right mind. It's not fun t' bug her if she doesn't react. Now she's all happy… t' tell y' de truth it's pretty creepy."

"Um, ok," said Kitty. "Come on guys, let's go get Rogue."

Rogue was quite a bit ahead of the X-men by now, and quite a bit behind Pain and Panic. "Where are you guys takin' me anyway?" she asked, panting, as they waited at a crosswalk.

"To the evil demon hangout, ain't it obvious?" Pain replied.

"Yeah," Panic agreed.

"Right, then," Rogue said with a shrug.

"Well, we caught up to her," said Kitty, watching as Rogue crossed the street and walked near them. "Like, what now?"

Rogue looked over at them, then addressed something none of the others could see. "Hey, guys, there's mah ride. Gotta go." She high-fived empty air and headed over to where Logan, Kurt, and Kitty were standing, gaping. "Hey guys. Is it past curfew already?"

BACK AT THE X-MANSION…

Rogue came back willingly enough, and, when she saw the bed in the med lab, immediately collapsed onto it and passed out.

"That was very weird," said Kurt.

"I believe it was even stranger for her," Xavier replied. "The sedative Hank gave her made her agreeable and caused her to hallucinate."

"What about?" Hank asked.

"I'm getting… something about sentient gelatin?"

(Yeah… that was weird, but it was a plotbunny that just wouldn't leave me alone. Jerry the Sentient Gelatin is from the comic Shaw Island, and Pain and Panic are from the movie Hercules.)