-Two weeks later-
Rogue was doing good, she was busy with her college exams, danger room sessions, and life in general.
At the moment she was outside the mansion. Sitting on the bench that overlooked the gardens. Her head was down, looking at her notebook computer at a blank screen. She was supposed to write a poem for one of her classes, but being told to write one, and actually doing so were two different things.
Her cursor was blinking at her. She still had nothing. Rogue had always done her best writing at night, but Jean and Kitty were wanting to go out later on, so she had to get it done early. And it wasn't just that, she had a lot of things on her mind. Not that was different from the norm, she always had a lot on her mind.
The beginning of her poem suddenly sprung into her head, quickly typing it she just pressed enter when she heard someone coming along her path.
It was Joseph. If he hadn't seen her before she saw him she would have tried to make a discreet exit. She hated being disturbed when she was writing. She put her attention back to her poem, but knew from the soft sound of footsteps coming closer to her that he was going to interrupt her.
"Mmm" Rogue didn't even bother looking up, she was to busy writing the second line.
She could feel him staring down on her, and suddenly felt awkward. Rogue looked up from her computer "Did y'need something?" She was taken aback by his starling blue, very intense eyes, that were taking her in. Out of all the weeks he had been with the X-men, she hadn't really looked at him, to preoccupied with her life to really notice him.
"Just thought I would introduce myself I'm.."
"Joseph, I know" she finished for him.
"And your Rogue" he smiled at her his eyes twinkling. He sat down on the bench next to her without asking for permission. She narrowed her eyes at him and frowned.
He didn't seem to notice.
"You lived here long?"
Great he wants conversation Rogue lamented. She closed the lid on her computer.
"You like it here?"
"Yes, although a couple years ago I would have never believed I would end up here"
He seemed to think about that for a couple long seconds. His thoughts obviously elsewhere.
"I didn't really have anywhere else to go"
She didn't bother to ask him why, not wanting to stretch their conversation out longer then they had to.
"I'm sure y'will like it here just give it some time"
"Your probably right" he got up and looked around him and then back down at her "I've disturbed you enough. I'll leave you alone now"
He paused waiting for her to say something, she realized he was waiting for her to argue to the contrary, to invite him to stay with her. Boy was he going to be disappointed. Sure he seemed pleasant enough. But she wasn't one to make friends easily, and although she was trying to be friendly, she had more important things to do at the moment.
"Well then I will see you around" as soon as she said those words, she almost regretted them, it almost seemed like she was saying she wanted to, but she couldn't really care otherwise.
He looked downhearted at first, but then started to beam.
"OK, see you around"
He walked off, and Rogue watched him leave. She wouldn't lie to herself, he was an attractive guy. But she wasn't interested in him, although she knew many a girl around the X-mansion who would be.
She opened her computer waited for it to boot back up. She had a poem to finish. Hopefully nobody else would interrupt her.
An hour later she was back in her room. Her cat which she had named Selina was cuddled up in a little ball near her pillows. It was purring loudly, and even though Rogue had music playing, she could still hear it quite audibly. She was in the bathroom applying some eye shadow when the knocking started on her door.
"Come in" she put the eye shadow down and picked up some mascara.
She just finished applying it, when arms wrapped around her waist and a quick kiss was planted on her neck.
"Hey" she looked up in the mirror, Remy was looking at her warmly.
"Hey dere yourself" He noticed that she had makeup on, and was more dressed up then she usually was, even if it was just a pair of jeans, and a black shirt that had a glittery cat embedded on it "Goin' somewhere chere?"
"Yes, going out with Kitty and Jean" she bit her lip "I thought I told ya"
He broke their contact and lifted himself onto her bathroom sink. He sat there observing her.
"Y'probably did, Remy been a little distracted lately"
"I've noticed" she started putting her makeup away into drawers. "I'd invite you with us, but it's a girls night out"
"Well den, how 'bout Remy take you out to dinner tomorrow?" He pulled her toward him and starting pulling gently on strands of her hair.
"I can't, I promised the Professor I would baby-sit the younger students" Remy dropped his hand and looked thoroughly discontented. "But y'can help if y'want.. we can order a pizza or something..."
His mood didn't seem to pick up from her suggestion.
"Remy haven't seen much of y'lately... "
"I know, I'm sorry I've been so busy.."
"Well den how 'bout the night after tomorrow?"
"Sure Remy, that would be great"
When she said that his temperament finally improved.
"Good den, dat's decided"
He looked at her like he was seeing her for the first time.
"Y'sure are beautiful chere"
"Your not to bad lookin' yourself" Even with just the simple tan slacks and black t-shirt he was wearing Remy was still something to gawk at.
They both smiled warmly at each other. Jumping of the counter he hugged her tightly. She breathed him in, and once again reminded herself how lucky she was to have him. He released his hold on her and slowly trailed a hand down her face.
"When do y'have to go"?
She looked at her wristwatch.
"Not for twenty minutes"
He led her out into the bedroom. Turned up the music on her cd player and bowed before her and held out his hand. She took it, and they didn't let go of one another until Rogue had to leave.
Rogue was now at a bar, sitting between Jean and Kitty. It was dark and crowded and loud. But they weren't there for the usual reasons, not to drink or even to "interact" with the male crowd.
They were there for one reason only. To eat.
Scott had recommended the place to Jean telling her that they had the best hamburgers in town. He failed to mention that it was a little seedy, and had way to many wandering eyes in the place. If Rogue hadn't been so busy eating she might had felt uncomfortable.
"Scott actually comes here." Kitty was saying, pure skepticism in her tone.
Jean wiped some ketchup off her mouth with a napkin "That's what he said"
"This doesn't look like a Scott friendly type of place" Rogue shook her head, not able to imagine boy scout Scott in the place.
"Round four." Jean said, while indicating some people coming there way. They had already been hit on three times, two times before they even managed to find an empty booth to sit down in.
Two guys came their way, they wore clothes that looked tailor made, too good for the place they were in, and the way they approached them, with such confidence, Rogue could tell they were they type of men that were used to getting their ways.
"Hello Ladies." wasn't the best opening line she had heard, but at least it was a little less crass than some of the other things some other men had said to them so far.
All three girls stopped eating and looked at one another. Jean raised an eyebrow, Rogue rolled her eyes and Kitty let out a loud sigh. It was her turn to get rid of the men.
"You girls look like you could use some company." one of the guys said. Rogue had to admit, they were the best looking guys that had approached them yet, and actually seemed a little more courteous than the others had been, but it didn't matter.
Or so she thought.
Jean and Rogue looked back at Kitty, who seemed to suddenly loose her tongue. She was staring openly at the man behind the one who had been talking, and when she finally caught his glance she offered him a shy smile.
But Rogue was sure Kitty was still going to get rid of them, to send them on their way. Until Kitty opened her mouth.
"There's plenty of room." she said her eyes still locked with the guys friend.
Rogue nearly dropped her hamburger while Jean's mouth suddenly fell open with bewilderment. Rogue couldn't help but wonder how Jean couldn't have seen that coming.. her being a telepath and all.
The two men sat down next to Kitty, since Jean showed no sign of scooting over to make room. She was grateful to Jean for that.
The guys introduced themselves, Jack and Mike. Both were relatively good looking, Mike was lean, yet muscular, had a crop of red hair that went well with his mischievous smile. The other, Jack, was little shorter then his friend, and a little skinner as well.., he was the one Kitty seemed gaga about. He had black hair, what looked to be almost purple eyes and a more subdued manner than the other.
Not that Rogue cared. Didn't look like Jean was that interested either. All though Kitty sure was. She didn't try to hide it as she flirted openly with both guys beside her, though she aimed most at it at Jack. Mike couldn't seem to keep his eyes off Jean and Rogue couldn't stop shooting daggers at Kitty who didn't even notice. But there was one good thing that came out of it, guys stopped approaching them, thinking they were otherwise engaged.
When Mike finally realized that Jean wasn't interested, (she had only told him she had a boyfriend three times before it seemed he actually believed her) he said some words to his friend and left the booth, probably to find other more receptive company.
So Jean and Rogue talked amongst themselves, until they were done eating. Then they sat for a good ten minutes before they both decided they were ready to leave. But Kitty didn't want to.
"Ten more minutes." Kitty said, then tapping her head purposely and looking at Jean.
Jean turned to Rogue, leaned closer to her and whispered in her ear.
"Kitty wants us to go sit at the bar and wait for her."
"How do you know?"
Jean smiled at that and this time it was her who tapped on her head.
"She told me."
"I'm not goin' over there, there's too many people" she told Jean, but she wasn't listening, she was already grabbing her arm. And she was being dragged against her will. She barely had enough time to grab her wallet off the table.
Two men emptied two stools for the girls as they approached the front of the bar, but instead of getting some conversation or smiles all they got was some mumbled thanks from Jean and a very even look from Rogue. They guys got the picture relatively fast, but said a couple very rude remarks before leaving the two to themselves.
"This is fun." Rogue spat out, not able to hide the sarcasm or light anger that lined her words.
"Well the hamburgers were, good at least." Jean offered her a small apologetic smile.
"Not that good, not good enough to sit here, totally and completely surrounded, I've felt more comfortable facing Magneto and Apocalypse."
Jean actually laughed at that.
"I know what you mean."
The bartender came and asked them if he could get them anything to drink, Rogue asked for a Pepsi, Jean some water with some lemon in it. They just started to sip on their drinks when someone approached Rogue from behind. Someone that was stupid enough to place a hand around Rogue's waist.
"That does it!" Rogue shouted. She was sick of being hit on, sick of the leering eyes and sick of people in general. And to be touched by a stranger, even if it was just her shirt and not her skin, was cause enough for her to start lashing out in anger.
Turning around on the rotating stool she slapped the arm off her and pushed the offending man as hard as she could.
He didn't fall but instead bumped into one of the waitresses who herself fell, along with 5 drinks that landed on a couple who had been dancing.
And that one little incident, was enough to push everybody into berserksville.
The waitress tried to apologize, but the couple didn't notice her, instead all the saw was the drunk man who had caused the waitress to fall. Immediately the blond haired bimbo-ish looking girl who now had all sorts of drinks all over her way too short dress, started yelling at the drunk man while the man she was with tried to hold her back. At one point the girl thrust a very long fingernail into the man's chest.
The guy retaliated by pushing her. She crashed into her boyfriend? who after getting himself off the ground landed a huge fist into the mans right eye. That was when everybody else seemed to join right in.
It was like one of those old westerns, chairs were flying, words were shouted, and fists and legs were all over the place. The only thing missing was some cowboys and guns. That started in less then a minute after the offending man had touched Rogue.
"Look what you've done." Jean said slightly accusing her, although her words were light and almost humorous.
"The jerk deserved it."
"And this?" Jean waved her hand around indicated the sudden chaos that was going on around them, then she moved to the side quickly when someone was thrown in her direction.
"Are you trying to say it's my fault?"
"Yes, your too cranky sometimes..." Jean said "We better find Kitty"
The two kept moving around to avoid behind hit, pushed, kicked or jabbed.
It took them a good twenty minutes to get out of that place. It was the first fight they had ever been involved in that didn't get started due to them being mutants, so they were unable to use their powers to end things quickly, or to escape unscathed.
But they still made it out in time to get in their car and drive away... just as the cops arrived at the scene.
When the three arrived back home, they were arguing loudly, they weren't angry at one another, far from it. Although Kitty was mad that she never got a change to get Jacks number.
"There are other fish in the sea" Rogue told her, not able to find a better thing to her.
"Oh really, easy for you to say, since you already caught yours" Kitty narrowed her eyes at Rogue and stuck out her tongue. She then removed her jacket she had been wearing and threw it down on one of the chairs in the kitchen that they had just entered.
"What do you call that?" Jean pointed at Kitty's wrist where some numbers were located.
Kitty blushed at looked up at the two guiltily. "Oh I guess I got it after all.. it was so dark in that place I didn't know what he was writing on me."
"You let him write on you?" Rogue grabbed her hand and looked at Kitty's ink covered arm.
"Why not, it got him to touch me didn't it!" she took her hand back.
Jean went to the fridge and pulled out a half eaten white cake covered with chocolate frosting. She also grabbed three forks.
They all sat down. And dug in.
They also continued to argue.
It dint' stop until a very sleepy Scott entered the kitchen. It was now past midnight. He looked as if he had been waiting for them/Jean to return, although his clothes were slightly rumpled, which meant he probably accidentally fell asleep at one point.
"Jean your back.." his eyes widened and his jaw hung open "What the heck happened to you three?"
The three looked at him, not knowing what he was talking about. They all seemed to realize at the same time that he was talking about their appearance.
Rogue had one of her sleeves ripped off and a glove missing. Kitty had her hair half out of her pony tail, a broken belt hanging loosely out of her pants and her stains from thrown drinks all over her, Jean the most immaculate of the three, just had a small tear in her red skirt, but it was noticeable enough.
"Oh," Jean said calmly, "we went to the movies and then afterwards went to that place you recommended to get some hamburgers," Jean gave Scott an inquiring look.
"can't believe you sent us there" she shook her head at him and gave him a disapproving glare.
"Where?" Scott asked, forgetting or not caring at the moment that Jean hadn't answered his question fully. Although the X-men were known for getting into scrapes. In and out of their uniforms. Especially lately with all the anti-mutant groups sprouting up everywhere. Always in everybody's face, or around every corner. So the way they looked probably wasn't that out of the ordinary.
"The bar on fifth street"
"The bar on fifth street?" Scott said suddenly lost in thought, his head then snapped back up and he started to laugh.
""What's so dang funny?" Rogue asked, while suddenly getting the urge to throw some cake at the X-men.
Scott stopped laughing, although the mirth was still in his features.
"I didn't say the bar on fifth street, I said the bar on fifteenth street.. Man I can't believe you guys went to that place... even Logan won't go there."
Rogue couldn't believe it. She should have known the minute she bit into the hamburger and wasn't every impressed, especially since her and Scott shared similar tastes in food. Then something occurred to her.
"Jean?" The red head looked up at her, she had been lost in thought as if she was trying to sort things out in her head.
"Looks like all this" she pointed to there disheveled appeared "isn't my fault after all"
"No, it's both your faults," Kitty said pointedly while staring at the two with slight hostility, but then her mood brightened up when her eyes made there way back to her phone number covered wrist. "But at least it wasn't for nothing, I did meet Jack."
"Yeah that just makes it all worth while." Rogue said rolling her eyes at Kitty. Yawning she got up grabbed her fork and put it into the dishwasher.
"Well I think it's goodnight for me, I think that was enough fun for one night...," she waited until she was out the kitchen before she flung some words back at the three "especially the part where the cops showed up"
"Cops!.. What Cops? And are you going to tell me what happened to you guys or not!" Rogue heard Scott ask Jean and Kitty, his tone suddenly very serious, his words loud enough to follow her outside the kitchen as she made her way up to her room. She was just glad she didn't have to explain things for once.
Ten seconds later Kitty came barreling up the stairs behind her, obviously somehow able to retreat before having to answer Scott's demanding questions.
"Your evil." Kitty said pushing Rogue slightly while giving her a lopsided grin.
They parted and headed toward their rooms.
"Goodnight Rogue, we should do this again real soon."
"Yeah whatever y'say, nothing like a bar fight t'bond with your friends." She said sardonically.
Kitty chuckled and then disappeared inside her room. Rogue continued down the hall until she was in front of her door. Her eyes were drawn to the floor. A dozen pink roses were in an translucent green vase that was resting against the bottom of her door.
"Remy." she whispered while leaning down to pick them up.
She looked for a note that Remy was known for including when he gave her flowers but found none. Rogue was too tired to conceive that the roses obviously weren't from Remy. It wouldn't be until morning that she would realize that fact.
But by then the damage would be done.