We, the Waiting
"I'm a mutant but not a bad one like Magneto a good one like Doop and X-Statix and when I grow up I'm gonna join the X-Men and get married to Wolverine so you better not act prejudiced around me. 'Kay?"
It was the X-men's third day in the old Maitland house, located in the quiet little town of Peaceful Pines, Connecticut, and Adam Maitland had come to a conclusion.
He did not like them.
They were cleaning his house, re-arranging his furniture, playing with his model. They were worse than the Deetz's, noisier than them and eerier. Yes, he, a ghost, found them to be abnormal. He had seen one of the girls run through a wall, and seen one boy turn blue and sprout a tail. He had heard them talking about being mutants, but this was... Not what he had expected, to say the least.
Was this what teenagers today acted like? Oh, how he missed the days when the only kid in the house was a moody young goth girl, who could see and respect them. Those were the days...
Barbra, on the other hand, was far from pleased over the intrusions in her home. She didn't dislike what they did as badly as how she'd felt about Delia Deetz. That woman had been insane.
Oh, but she did like those kids. She has always wanted kids of her own, they were trying but then, there was the accident. Obviously, ghosts can't have kids, it said so in the handbook. So when Lydia moved in, and they got to know each other, she had been so happy. They helped her study and she talked to them, being the only one who could actually see them.
And now that there may or may not be another girl in their house, that could see them, Barbra was happier than she had been in 17 years. Sure, Adam but a bit of a damper on her spirit, but there was really nothing that could ruin this for her. She would just have to wait and see.
"Ouch!" Evan Daniels cried out sharply, as a branch flew into his eye. Rogue turned and glared at him, before continuing forward, waving her arms about to shield herself from another murderous tree-branch.
It had been Logan's oh-so-genius idea that the best way to resurrect X-Men training was through a hike in a forest not far from their new home. Safe to say, the back troupe was now plotting a fair revenge.
The 'back troupe' was made up of Kitty, Kurt and Evan, the three of them spending their time plotting and complaining, and cracking jokes at the way Rogue and Jean would 'accidentally' elbow each other. In front of the two girls was the Fearless Leader Scott, who was completely oblivious about the two girls behind him, trying to push each other off the road.
In front of him again was Wolverine, who would only occasionally turn around to send the back troupe death glares, and shout at them to get their asses in gear.
"I swear to God, if he makes us do something like this again, I'm quitting the X-Men," Kitty muttered as the teens began closing in on the end of the forest.
"I second that one," Evan said, hands in front of his face. That one branch in the eye had really scarred him. Safe to say the trees were lucky he wasn't carrying a machete.
A sly grin spread across Kurt's lips.
"Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?"
He hunched forward, whispering the wicked details of his pay-back plot. In short, it involved shaving cream, maple syrup and about a hundred alarm clocks going of at the same time. (Kitty made note that his plan was basically just ripping off the Parent Trap.) The others soon sported the same grins.
Ororo Munroe's morning had started off as one of the most wonderful ones in weeks. A nice cup of tea in the front yard with a good book, and no screaming teenagers. Then Xavier had left to go meet Hank McCoy at the Massachusetts Academy. Alright, no big deal, Logan and her could handle the kids themselves for a few days.
And now, with them out of the house, all was calm. She rather liked this town, the fact that it was so rural. Years in a city like Bayville made her long after a simpler kind of life. But something about this house still unnerved her.
Not the fact that a young girl had disappeared, never to be seen again, 17 years ago and no one seemed to think much of it. Or the fact that the people who had once owned the house had drowned in a river that could be seen from the front yard. It was all because of a book.
She had found it while cleaning the attic, dusting off one of the bookshelves. At first she thought it was a joke. The title it self was so ludicrous it could hardly be anything but. So she had taken it out of it's place, deciding to take a look, just to satisfy her curiosity.
None of it's content made sense, the way it would jump from one topic to something, seemingly, completely irrelevant from one page to another. And the publisher! She didn't know what to think, but knew that it was for the better that she hid the book from the children. Goddess know what they would make of it.
But part of her wondered if it was true. If what she had found wasn't really a Handbook for the Recently Deceased...
Scott Summers hadn't thought too much about what Mr.Illes school for boys would be like. He knew their stay there was only temporary, and he was certain it would be like any other school. Apparently he had to be missing something big, because he didn't see the problem Evan and Kurt were making it out to be.
Though he had to admit, the 'new' uniform wasn't his favorite part of the gig. He could only imagine the kind of hell Jean was giving her own teacher over them.
"Well, we lost Scooter again," Evan muttered, and Kurt turned his head toward where he was pointing. Behind them, still standing at the curb where they had been dropped off was Scott, a rather dazed look on his face.
"Jean," they said in unison, sighing - in a over dramatic, cartoon-ish way - as they did.
"Yeah well, if I had a girl like Jean I'd probably be actin' the same way," Evan said as the two continued up towards the school. Kurt stopped dead in his tracks and stared at the boy.
"As Kitty vould say," the German boy put a hand on his hip and an in exaggerated valley-girl accent said, "that is, like, totally gross."
"Aw, come on. You gotta admit, she's hot."
"...Ja," Evan smirked, "but she's still Jean! ...Besides, I'm happy with Amanda."
"What are we talking about?" Scott asked catching up with them
"The fact that you two both have hot girlfriends, and that the last girl that showed any interest in me was Kiden Nixon back in 6th grade!" (3.1)
Scott's face was blank, as was Kurt's. Evan muttered something before stomping off and in through the doors of the school. The boys outside took their time, staring at the building. It was like the school in Little House on the Prairie, except this one looked ready to fall apart.
At 9 A.M sharp they clutched their ears. The school bell certainly worked.
Jean Grey was the kind of girl who usually found school to be rather amusing. But she had her limits, and this girl Cassandra, and her posse, had made her reach that limit and further. It was lunch period, in which all the 87 students at the school made their way outside to a group of benches and tables behind the school building. Cassandra had insisted they sit with her and her friends.
It was positively horrifying. Cassandra was talking about something (Jean had blocked her voice out the second she opened her mouth), Rogue was sitting at the end of the table glaring daggers at the younger girls and Kitty looked like she wanted to rip the girl's tongue out.
"And so, like, I was like, no, that's so gross."
"You are so totally awesome, Cassandra," one of the girls commented. Cassandra grinned.
"I totally know! Like, aren't I just the most?"
"And Ah am so out of here," Rogue muttered mockingly, got up from her seat and hurried back inside the school building. Jean never thought she'd see the girl willingly go back inside a school.
Kitty turned to face the redhead, a terrified look on her face. "Tell me I don't sound like that."
Jean gave her a reassuring smile. "Please. You're a regular Professor Higgins in comparison." (3.2)
The brunette sighed in relief.
"So, what are you th-," Cassandra paused, and looked around bewildered. "Where'd the European girl go?"
"Eh, Rogue had to um, she had to..." Jean fumbled, trying to make something up.
"She just had to uh, powder her face!" Kitty interjected.
"Oh. Cool," the blond paused. "Well, what are you noob's doing today?"
"Um, nothing special really," Jean glanced at her friend, hoping that Kitty would come up with another excuse. There was none. "Just... nothing."
"Then you can like totally invite me over!" she said enthusiastically. "I'm like, dying to meet those guys you mentioned!"
"Ah hate you gahs," Rogue muttered as the last bell rang and the girls of Ms. Shannon's school made their way out. The sun was shinning outside, birds were chirping, and Rogue was brewing a storm of her own. "Ah can't believe ya invited her over!"
"We didn't," Kitty whispered back. She glanced around nervously to make sure the person in question wasn't close enough to hear. "She invited herself!"
"Kitty! Rogue! Over here!" Cassandra made her way towards them, leaving her crew behind. (Kitty noted that the five or so girls now looked completely helpless.)
- "Ah think Ah'm gunna kill mahself," Rogue said through clenched teeth and a fake smile.
Jean sighed. "I second that."
"We're back!" Kitty shouted as the girls arrived at the Maitland House. Rogue was the first one through the door, and the second she was inside she shrugged off her jacket and sprinted up the stairs. Seconds later they heard her door slam close.
"Was that Rogue?" Ororo's familiar voice asked as came into the hall to greet the girls. She smiled warmly, and when her eyes fell on Cassandra they went wide. The girl sported a ridiculously deep tan, a fake one at that, which she could tell by the way it rubbed off on the girl's white blouse. Her hair was a striking blond, which she guessed was as unnatural as her skin.
However, she quickly recovered from her moment of speechlessness and politely said, "Hello, my name is Ororo Munroe. You must be from Ms. Shannon's school. "
- "Hello Ms. Munroe. My name's Cassandra Skaaren, I'm Jane Brewster's granddaughter," she curtsied (much to Jean and Kitty's amusement). "And yes, I do attend Ms. Shannon's."
- "Jane's granddaughter? How nice."
"Yes, and I have to say, I totally love what you've done with the place!"
"Why," it took some time before Ororo could find the right words, she was trying her best not to laugh at Kitty who was making faces behind Cassandra's back. She covered it with a cough then continued. " Why thank you Cassandra. That's very nice of you."
Cassandra smiled and promptly made her way past Storm and into the living room. Once certain that she was out of ears reach, the younger X-girls burst into giggles and Storm gave a light laugh.
"Where did you find this one?"
Her eyes wandered up the stairs. Rogue had gone and locked herself in her room. Understandable, she would have wanted to get away from this if she was in the girl's position, but she wished she would try to make some... well, not necessarily friends, that might be a bit much to ask, but at least acquaintances.
- "Rogue! The others have a friend here. Couldn't you come downstairs?"
"Sorry miss Munrow," came the muffled, southern voice. "Ah've got a lot of homework ta do." Classic excuse.
Jean and Kitty decided it might be best to keep an eye on Cassandra and went to the living room, while Ororo returned to the kitchen, to put on another dishwasher. Six teenagers, plus Logan, knew how to go through plates and glasses.
She turned around, hearing Logan growl as he ventured inside the kitchen. Silently she laughed and he pulled out one of the chairs, sat down and stuffed a cigar between his teeth.
- "I see you've met their new friend."
He took a long, slow drag at the cigar, while staring out the window. Slowly he turned his attention to the so called Weather Goddess, glaring at her.
- "That kid's insane, 'Ro."
- "Oh, I strongly doubt that, Logan. She's just ... eccentric." She poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down opposite from him.
"Ya know what she said to me?" Ororo shook her head. "That my hair was, and I quote, like, totally awesome," he shuddered and the woman burst into laughter, so hard that tears formed in her eyes. "And she's flirtin' with the Porcupine."
A choking sound came from ivory haired woman, and Logan's gruff laugh filled the room.
"That guy Evan, is so cute."
Jean, who was trailing behind Kitty and Cassandra, looked slightly disgusted, and judging by the thoughts flying around Kitty's head she was pretty sure the younger mutant agreed. Furthermore, Evan had been completely taken aback at how openly Cassandra flirted with him, much to Scott and Kurt's amusement, who had muttered something like 'careful what you wish for'.
- "Where'd he go, anyway?" Cassandra asked, looking around. Kitty cast an unsure glance in Jeans direction.
- "I, uh, I think he went upstairs."
Cassandra smiled and swiftly made her way up the stairs. Jean and Kitty exchanged looks, before hurrying up after her.
- "So, um, Cassandra," Jean began slowly, hoping to slow the girl down in her pursuit. "How old did you say you were?"
- "13," she answered, without stopping to look at the redhead.
- "Well, Evan's 16 and,"
"That is so sweet!" the blond exclaimed, turning to give Jean a sickly sweet smile. "You're worried about me getting hurt. You are such a great friend!"
Jean's eyes went wide as the younger girl hugged her, all while she sarcasticly thought to herself, 'Right. I'm protecting you'. At the moment she wanted nothing more than for the blond to let her go, but when she saw Kurt and Evan further down the hall, heading for Rogue's room, she hugged her back. And to Cassandras shock kept her there until the boys were out of view.
Cassandra looked oddly at her. 'Oh- my- God. She is so gay.'
Jean glared at her, having her heard thoughts.
"Girl, you gotta hide us! That girl is insane!"
Cassandra's face broke into a smile, that made Kitty cringe. The younger girl grabbed the X-girls by their hands and dragged them towards Rogue's room.
As soon Cassandra had opened the door with the Night of the Living Dead poster on it, Jean and Kitty where hit by the familiar smell of brimstone. And though the girl made a remark about the smell, that's not what shocked the two mutants.
"Rogue!" Jean cried, watching with fearful eyes as her friend staggered towards her bed. She rushed to her side, trying to steady her, while Kitty tried to deal with Cassandra's fascination with being in Lydia Deetz's old room, and getting her out before anything happened, that might expose them as mutants.
"Get offa' me!" Rogue shouted, as Jean tried to put her arms around her to help her stand. Rogue pushed her away, so forcefully that she almost hit the wall. Jean gasped at the impact of the girl's blow in her lower stomach, and felt a chill run through her body when she noticed that Rogue wasn't wearing her gloves. They had to get Cassandra out of here before something happened.
"You," Rogue said, turning to face to the blond, a hateful glare in her eyes. Kitty looked at her friend, a confused look on her face. That wasn't Rogue's voice.
"Claire," she spat the name at Cassandra.
Cassandra looked horrified, and took several steps backwards until she bumped into Kitty.
"That, that's my mom's name," she whispered, her voice, and entire body, trembling. "How do you know that?"
"You, you're just like her aren't you?" Cassandra pointed at her. Jean and Kitty's eyes locked, and the brunette nodded, understanding what she had to do. "That freak!... You're a freak!
"Get the hell out of my room Claire!" Rogue shouted, and it was all too obvious that it was not actually Rogue speaking, shouting at them. "All of you, get out of my room!"
Cassandra didn't need to be told twice. She sprinted out of the room, screaming the whole way. Kitty hurried after her, to find Logan and Ororo, leaving Jean behind to telepathically handle Rogue. Halfway down the hall, Cassandra only a few feet ahead of her, she phased through the floor.
She landed in the kitchen, where Logan, Ororo and Scott were sitting. They all stared.
"It's Rogue," she said frantically. "Something is wrong!"
Logan was on his feet and heading for the stairs in a flash, and as he made his way up the stairs Cassandra Skaaren ran past him, and out the door.
"I'll handle her," Ororo told the two teens. "Go help Logan."
They didn't need to be told twice.
"Rogue, please calm down." Jean said softly, trying to calm her friend, while trying to pry her way into the girl's mind. It was all a blur of colors, patterns, bones. Rogue was in there somewhere, in some strange world, fighting for control of her mind.
"Stay outtah mah head Jean!" she shouted, clutching the side of her head in one hand. The telepath could see and feel her pain, and the feelings that whoever she had absorbed was channeling. "For yah own good, stay out."
In a flash of movement, with a force Jean didn't know she possessed, Rogue grabbed her, and throw her out of the room and into the wall. She could hear a sickening crack as she hit the wall, and slid to the floor watching as the door slammed close in her face.
She turned her head to see Logan, followed by Scott and Kitty, rushing down the hall. "She's absorbed someone, and whoever it is, it's trying to control her."
Logan's eyes fell on the door. "Rogue! Rogue open the door!" he shouted, pounding at the woodwork.
"It's Rogue anymore," Jean whispered, just as Kurt and Evan teleported into the hall.
"We heard screaming."
Before anyone could answer, Logan grabbed the door, and with a loud roar he tore it off it's hinges.
They all stared in shock at Rogue's limp body lying on the bedroom floor, surrounded by shards of glass, the broken mirror in front of them and they gasped at the ghastly voice that cried out,
"It's show time!"
------------3.1 Kiden Nixon is from the NYX series. Sadly, none of the characters there ('cept X-23) get any attention these days.
3.2 Professor Higgins, from My Fair Lady. Classic.
Well, I have mixed feelings about this chapter... Particularly about the ending, about adding BJ's catchphrase to it. Any opinions?
Okay, I admit, the opening quote is completely irrelevant. But I've been reading so much Runaways that I had to include something, and Molly is just too cool to be denied. And if you haven't read the series yet (it's by Marvel) go read it now! (Well, after you've reviewed anyway... Pretty please?) (for the record, the quote is supposed to be without comma's...)
Hope this chapter was to your liking!