A Whole New World

"What're you doing up so late, John?" her sweet, loving voice asked from behind me as I stared at the sky.

The stars weren't out but I could sort of see them if I concentrated hard enough. What I saw were not stars that actually exist in the night sky in the country but a faded image of them that I'd last seen about seven years ago when I was about nine or ten years old and my powers hadn't awoken yet and my family didn't hate me as much as they did on a daily basis back in the city. Out in the country everything was better: my dad wasn't drunk and hitting me and my mom acknowledged me and acknowledged the fact that she had to take care of me…it was nothing like it was at home on a daily bases…there it was the exact opposite. I continued staring up at the empty sky, trying hard to hold onto that image that had nearly disappeared except for on nights like this: when I couldn't sleep because my mind was too busy with thoughts of what was out there. What existed beyond the protective and guarded gates of this institute? There had to be something more than this – more than just a place where you can and will eventually spend the rest of your life in, being protected and considered one of the family…. I know I'm crazy for not wanting it, but I just don't. I want a family, of course! Who doesn't? But just not this type. I want a family who will let me be who I want to be and not just someone who follows orders and is willing to roll over when told to do so. I don't want a family whose leader is someone who can't see that I'm not meant to be kept and caged. I want a family whose leader can see that I need to be free to use my powers as I see fit and in no other way…. But I'm just kidding myself with that idea of a family…there was no family like that. There're only two types of families that I'm talking about. The first one being the type of family that everyone at the institute (except for me because I have no part in that family) is part of: a good, loving, nurturing family who thinks it best to use their 'gifts' for the purpose of good only. What is 'good' exactly? Does it really exist? Can I touch it? Whatever. And then there's the second type of family that is type that Professor X says that his long time friend Magnus Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto is the leader of: a family in which the members are chosen only by their strength and knowledge of things and follow the orders of their leader (which are most of the time to use their powers for their needs and not the needs of others) up until they hear something they don't like and they run away from that like they have from everything else in their lives. Maybe the Professor was trying to get at something with that little explanation…maybe that I should never have run away from my family in Australia and come here because I wasn't wanted here. Or maybe he was just being quintessential Professor X: trying to warn me of something…. What though? Either way, neither of those families would fit me if I ever left the confines of the institute.

Yes, there is a chance that I might not get out, but most of the signs point to 'yes'.

"John?"

Except for that one: Marie a.k.a. Rogue. I could never leave her behind. Even though she wasn't my girlfriend, I still loved her. Yes, I loved her. Not very quintessential of St. John Allerdyce, is it? Nope, not at all. But it's true. I love her and if I ever chose to leave, I'd ask her to come with me because I could never leave her behind with these people. She wasn't like them. She was different. When the others asked me what I was doing up so late, looking at the sky, they could never understand it. But Marie understood it before I even told her why I was up so late. She could tell what type of person I was from the very day she met me. She was the same type of person at heart though on the outside she pretended to be the type of person Bobby was. That's the only thing I didn't like about her at first but then when she showed me that she had the ability to be two types of people and why she needed that ability I kind of understood why she needed to be two different types of people. Since she was in love with Bobby, she needed to be one type of person to stay that way otherwise she'd fall in love with someone else…she never said who…and she just wasn't ready to fall in love with that person yet. And she needed to be the type of person I was because that's who she naturally was and she could never deny her natural self…. That part always confused me. How could she just pick up on how to be another type of person? Why couldn't she just be who she was? Was she worried that Bobby wouldn't love her if she didn't act a certain way? Well, if that was the case then she was denying her true self anyway because she's not being her real self with Bobby. But, whatever, as long as she was herself with me I left her alone about that aspect of her life. I will say this though: if she was my girlfriend, I'd love her whatever way she acted and that's how it would be and she'd be doing a whole lot more touching than she does now.

I turned to her and said, "Huh?"

"What're you doing up so late?"

She was perfect at this angle. The moon hit her just right, making her glow like the angel she is. Her milky white skin looking like the purest of silk, soft and warm to the deadly touch. Her head was tilted to the side in a questioning way as she stared at me, waiting for an answer. Her eyes reflected what she felt inside and at the same time the moon's shimmering surface. Only Marie's eyes could do that. Not Storm's dark brown ones or Jubilee's maliciously glittering eyes. Only Marie's. Her mouth was turned upside down in a frown from thought and her lips, so full and ruby red, were slightly parted…. God, I wanted to kiss her so bad. She'd never let me though. I knew that from experience. When she'd first began going out with Bobby, who everybody thought was my best friend even though I had none, I'd gotten her to chill with me on the roof or this balcony at night and I'd tried to kiss her but I was always stopped just short of a centimeter from her lips. I wasn't stopped because she was scared Bobby would find out…she was scared she'd hurt me. That doesn't mean I'd stopped trying though. I still try every now and then to kiss her and she never used to mind but now she's changing…due to hanging around Bobby all the time, I guess. Now every time I try to kiss her, she pushes me away and says, "What if Bobby finds out? I don't want to hurt him. No, John." I kept trying, but I've yet to kiss her. Let me tell you this though: when I do kiss her, it might kill me but I wouldn't care because I'd die happy. That's how much I loved Rogue: I was willing to die for a single kiss from her lips.

Most things didn't hurt me in any way whatsoever, but this did. Not that she wouldn't kiss me, because I knew that she would one way or another, but the fact that she wouldn't let herself live. She used to let herself live, on a small scale, but she did. She told me about how she was planning on traveling when she graduated before she put her boyfriend in a coma, but I guess a few months with Bobby changed that. It probably would've changed faster had I not been there to slow down the process. But whatever the case was, the fact is that she won't let herself live. She won't kiss me because she's scared she'll hurt either Bobby or I (now it's mostly Bobby she's scared of hurting), and she won't listen when I tell her to just take a risk. God forbid that she might like it and make a change in her life.

"The sky…it's calming…. You? Why are you up so late?"

She shrugged. "Couldn't sleep. Kept tossing and turning and I almost woke Jubilee up, so I decided to come chill out here…. I didn't expect to see you here."

"You know me better than that, Marie."

"Don't call me that. That's the past. Rogue is my name now."

"Why do you fear the past?"

"Because I -," she faltered.

"Because you're scared to be you, right? Because you're afraid of being who you really are? Why do you care if Bobby gets hurt by who you really are? He's to pussy to take a fucking risk, Marie. He doesn't know what it's like to live so he has no problem not living, but both you and I know that it's killing you not being able to be who you are…." I stepped a little closer to her, snapping her out of her shocked stage. "Go back, Marie. Be you. Take a risk."

"And I suppose you think I can do it just like that?" she asked, snapping her fingers to emphasize her point.

She began walking back inside through the glass door to the balcony, but I grabbed her by her bare shoulders and pulled her back. I could feel her draining me but it didn't hurt so I just held onto her.

"John, let go. You'll -," she said, trying to shrug my hands off.

I held on tighter and asked, "I'll what? Die? Marie, I'm way past being scared of death."

"I said stop calling me that!" she yelled, throwing my hands off of her.

"Stop trying to be something you're not," I said as she stopped dead in her tracks on her way back inside.

I can show you the world

Shining, shimmering, splendid

Tell me princess, now when did

You last let your heart decide?

"Be who you are. Let me take you back there…let me kiss you," I said.

"I can't," she whispered, her head hanging. "I won't."

"Why, because Bobby or Logan won't like it? Are you afraid of taking away their innocent little girl? The one who's never done anything remotely fun?"

"No!"

"Liar! You are afraid! Marie, you're letting them decide who you are! You can't let them do that. They don't run your life, you do! You decide what you do and don't do. Listen to your heart because you know it's telling you to do what's good for you…not them."

I can open your eyes

Take you wonder by wonder

Over, sideways and under

On a magic carpet ride

"How? How can I just go back?" she asked, lifting her head and looking at me with tearful eyes.

I stared back at her for a few seconds before stepping forward and reaching out to pull her forward by her hips. She was warm despite the cool night air. My arms wrapped around her waist and slowly, still staring her in the eyes, bent down and kissed her. I thought being drained was supposed to hurt. I could feel her draining me again, for a longer period of time this time, but it didn't hurt like the faces the idiots she accidentally touches make.

She pulled away. Her eyes were glazed over and her mouth was slightly open. She stared incredulously at me and said, "Wow…that was…."

"Amazing? I know."

She scoffed, but didn't say anything.

"Hopefully that said what I needed to tell you."

She nodded and I knew she understood. She took a risk just now by just kissing me for that long and that's how she can just 'go back'. She needs to take a risk…a few risks actually.

I began chewing on my lower lip as I considered asking her what I planned on asking her.

"Run away with me, Marie," I blurted out. "Come with me. We'll live…I don't know where…but we'll live."

A whole new world

A new fantastic point of view

No one to tell us no

Or where to go

Or say we're only dreaming

She stared at me for a minute and then said, "One day, John, we will. Not tonight though. Tonight we need sleep." She kissed me on the cheek and walked inside and across the living room to the hallway where her room was.

One day…. One day we'd run away together.

The Next Night

We'd just sat down on the couch to watch some prime time television (it sucks) and the kid who doesn't sleep was just sitting there, smirking as we searched for the remote control.

"Kid, you want to help us out here?" asked Marie as she lifted a couch cushion and then slammed it back down in a failed attempt to locate the control.

"Okay," he said. He just faced the TV, blinked and the channel changed to some late night horror movie.

"Thanks," said Bobby, smiling his million-dollar smile and sitting down next to Marie, leaving me to sit next to the kid.

At around eleven o' clock Bobby said that he was tired and was going to sleep, leaving Marie and I on the couch with just the little kid who didn't sleep.

I looked over at Marie, who was also falling asleep as she tried to stay awake to finish watching the movie and I nudged her a little to wake her up.

She sat up and looked over at me sleepily and asked, "Huh?"

"Today…let's go today.'

She blinked and then nodded. "Let me get a few things though before we…" She looked over at the kid who was staring at her like an owl, which is probably what you could call him since he looks like one with those glasses of his. "Before we go."

I nodded and got up to go to my room. "G'night, kid."

"G'night, Pyro, Rogue."

Marie and I left the living room and walked into the hallway where I rooms were. She went into hers and I went into mine, where Bobby was already laying in his bed, tossing and turning because he was, as usual, hungry.

I scoffed and went to my drawer and pulled out a couple of notebooks in which I kept some of the pieces I've written like poems and short stories. I'm working on a novel and that's what was inside the thickest notebook. I threw them on the bed gently so as to not make any noise and then I pulled out the little clothes I had in the drawer and an old rucksack. I rolled my clothes up so they'd fit better and then I stuffed the forever hidden notebooks in between the clothes so that if Marie decided to take a peek in there she wouldn't see them. I looked around the room and saw the CD collection that Bobby and I had put together when he first got here and just kept adding to it: Linkin Park, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, Eminem, 50 Cent, D12, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Blondie, Run DMC, and Public Enemy just to name a few. Bobby's CDs were mostly 80s rock and rap and mine were most of today's genre of music. I grabbed only four CDs: Eminem, 50 Cent, Linkin Park, and D12. I left the rest for Bobby to keep so he could at least break out of that 80s shell of his. I put the CDs away and threw the bag over my shoulder.

"Later, Bobby," I whispered and walked out of the room, closing the door behind me. I almost felt sorry for leaving Bobby alone as I went off to find somewhere new with his girlfriend, but then that feeling quickly faded as I thought of how Bobby had stopped me from burning those guys in the museum today…how he'd stop me if I let him come along. I shook my head and leaned against the wall to wait for Marie.

She came out of her room a few seconds later, a bag slung on her shoulder and Jubilee following her, rubbing her eyes.

"Jubilee, go back to sleep. I'll call you when I get to a payphone or something," begged Marie, pulling on her gloves.

"No. Uh-uh. I have to say goodbye to the both of you," she said, pulling Marie into a hug. "Be safe, okay? You too, John. Be safe." She hugged me too and kissed me on the cheek. She might have still had feelings for me from about two years ago but it might not be like it used to be when we were dating.

"Bye, Jubes. We'll call, okay?"

She nodded and waved goodbye as we walked away.

We'd 'borrowed' Scott's new Jaguar and were now on the road to somewhere.

"How do you work the radio?" Marie asked, leaning forward and trying to read the buttons in the dark.

I switched on the light for her and she found the button to turn the radio on.

Scott had it set on some oldies station and that song by that guy was playing. You know, the one that's theme song for Aladdin: A Whole New World. That was playing on the radio.

A whole new world

A dazzling place I never knew

But when I'm way up here

It's crystal clear

That now I'm in a whole new world with you

(Now I'm in a whole new world with you)

Marie smiled and said, "A little ironic, isn't it?"

I smirked and turned the volume up. I know it's kind of childish of me, but I've always loved this song. It kind of gave me hope, you know? But in this moment it gave me a peek into what was waiting for Marie and I out there:

Unbelievable sights

Indescribable feeling

Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling

Through an endless diamond sky

Marie's smile had faded a little and she was just staring out the window at the passing scenery. "John?"

"Yeah?"

"What's it like out there? What's going to happen to us? Is it weird that I'm scared?"

A whole new world

(Don't you dare close your eyes)

A hundred thousand things to see

(Hold your breath it gets better)

I'm like a shooting star

I've come so far

I can't go back to where I used to be

"No, it's not weird and whatever happens to us happens to us…as long as we're together nothing can hurt us…. From what I remember, it's a jungle out there if you're not ready for it. But if you're ready for it…it's not so bad. There's so many things out there that are worth being scared a little for because once you see it or experience it…you don't want to go back to living with out it."

"I'm scared."

"Me too…but just keep your head up and you eyes open. You'll survive long enough to see the beauty of everything out there. And if something along the way scares you more…just hold on to me…because chances are I'll be just as scared as you are, but we'll get through it. Besides, things can only get better from here, right?"

She smiled. "Yeah."

A few hours later we stopped at this gas station on the road and we got out of the car to get some food at the store. As soon as she stepped out of the car, Marie stretched and looked out at the road, smiling. I walked over to her and put my arm around her shoulders.

"This is it," I said, pointing to the road. "It all starts here."

She nodded and sighed. "I love you, John."

My heart skipped a few beats but then when it started up again I smiled and said, "I love you, too."

She buried her head in my chest and said, "C'mon, let's get some food."

I nodded and let the tank fill up as we went and loaded up on sodas and junk food.

I paid for the stuff and the gas and then back in the car, Marie was back to staring out the window, except this time she had a smile on her face.

I smiled too because I knew from that smile that she was ready for what was out there for us. She was of course scared, but I was with her to protect her form anything bad. I'd never let her get hurt and she knew that. We'd handle everything that came our way with as much ease as was possible and then when the time came we'd enjoy out red-letter moments, chasing our horizons and sharing them with each other in this whole new world that was ours for the taking.

A whole new world

(Every turn a surprise)

With new horizons to pursue

(Every moment red-letter)

I'll chase them anywhere

There's time to spare

Let me share this whole new world with you

A whole new world

(A whole new world)

That's where we'll be

(That's where we'll be)

A thrilling chase

A wondrous place

For you and me