House of Leaves

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters and am using them for fun!

I'm haunted
By the lives that I have loved
And actions I have hated

Rogue twirled the brush in her hand before setting it back down on the sink. She pulled her hair up into a tight bun, shifting from side to side to see how it looked in the mirror. Sighing, she let the brush fall, smacking her lips in frustration as she stared at her reflection in the mirror. It shouldn't be this hard, she groaned, exiting the bathroom.

Her gaze traveled around the room she shared with Magneto, lingering on the subtle changes that had appeared since she'd moved in. A set of Stephen King books were stuffed into the bookshelf beside his historical novels, her copy of The Prince by Machiavelli resting beside his own. She moved towards the closet, ignoring Wolverine's low growl in her head as she passed by the set of handcuffs lying haphazardly on the bed.

She rolled her eyes in response, smiling as Magneto's presence huskily murmured erotic phrases, eliciting another growl from Wolverine and a terrified yelp from David. Her fingers traced over the closet door, letting the cold, metal soothe her.

She almost felt sorry for David being the only human in her head and having to deal with the other two's dominating presence. A wicked grin spread across her face as she pulled the doors open. She did delight in watching David squirm. Wolverine snarled in disgust while the Magneto in her head smiled.

You need to stop conversing with them, she reminded herself as she removed the clothes she needed. People will think you're going insane.

Magneto's presence chuckled darkly, the noise sending shivers down her spine. Mine, he stated and she sat down on the mattress.

Always, she replied, picking up the handcuffs and sliding her fingers across them, a soft smile gracing her lips.

xxx

Rogue tried to control her breathing, tensing as she listened to the myriad conversations surrounding her as the human students entered the school. I'm not sure I can do this, she thought, fidgeting with the car's air conditioning. Casting a sidelong glance towards the back of the school, she hoped Gambit and Pyro would hurry. Failure would not be tolerated by anyone in this mission.

There had been seven mutants attending this "model school", which was supposed to show that mutants and humans could coexist. All that changed when the seven teenagers were found murdered in the local park. A local chapter of the Friends of Humanity had publicly taken responsibility for the killings. The Brotherhood was going to take responsibility for them.

But the FoH didn't lead them to that park, she thought bitterly, her eyes narrowing as she looked back at the school. Someone in there did.

Her forehead creased in concentration as she watched the buses pull away, a few students straggling into the school. Pyro and Gambit ran towards her, motioning for her to start the car. She turned the ignition on, sighing with relief as the two entered the vehicle and she pulled out of the parking spot.

"Go, Rogue!" Gambit yelled, buckling himself in as she sped down the street.

She looked in the rearview mirror, a sad smile on her lips, waiting for what she knew was about to happen. A few seconds later, the back of the school exploded, the sound vibrating the car. She tried not to imagine the chaos they'd left behind.

They heard another explosion and Rogue swerved to avoid hitting another car that had stopped to allow emergency vehicles through. "Jesus, Rogue," Pyro muttered, "Get us to the rendezvous point in one piece."

She ignored him, her hands tightening on the steering wheel, pulling into the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart. She parked the car and they filed out, walking quickly towards the green Jetta with the handicap sticker. An old woman sat in the front seat, unlocking the car as they neared it.

"You're late," the woman informed them, flashing yellow eyes at them.

"By thirty seconds!" Pyro replied, sliding into the backseat with Gambit.

"Buckle up," the woman snapped and Rogue did as she was told, not wanting to piss Mystique off any further.

Rogue looked out the window as Mystique pulled out of the parking space, slowly driving through the lot. They watched as various police cars, fire trucks and ambulances raced in the direction of the school.

"Well?" Mystique asked.

"It was beautiful," Pyro commented with a happy sigh.

Rogue laid her head against the window, not quite able to believe she had just participated in destroying that school. She tried not to think of it as killing anyone, but rather as finding justice for those mutants who had died. Maybe if I keep telling myself that, I'll end up believing it.

"Did Magneto call with the FoH's location?" Gambit asked, borrowing Pyro's lighter.

Rogue pulled her arms away, wary of contact even though she wore long sleeves and gloves. "Not yet," Mystique replied.

"What are we supposed to do?" Pyro asked, rolling down his window and turning to see the smoke rising in the air.

"We wait," Mystique replied and silence fell amongst them.

Pyro's knee began bumping the back of Rogue's seat and she stifled the urge to turn and hit him. She knew it was his way of releasing the energy. Besides, she needed to save all of her rage for the FoH members. Eventually, Mystique parked at a diner, looking cautiously at them. "No one saw you?" she asked and they nodded.

"Let's eat," Mystique continued, exiting the car without waiting for a response.

Rogue sighed and followed, wishing it was time to leave. There was a nagging feeling in the back of her mind, telling her that something awful was going to happen.

xxx

Magneto hadn't called until well after dark. They had eaten at the diner and watched as the local news began showing footage of the destruction. Rogue's uneasiness began to grow with each passing minute. The locals looked suspiciously at them. She understood that mentality; they were the outsiders and something awful had occurred. They had slipped out of the diner, driving back to the Wal-Mart. After spending a ridiculous amount of time in the store Magneto finally called.

Now we're driving to some unknown location in the middle of the woods, Rogue sighed, watching the cars speed past them. Once the road was clear, Mystique pulled off the highway, maneuvering the car into the wooded area.

"Out," she ordered and they wordlessly complied.

The three followed Mystique through the forest. They entered a clearing and found Magneto and the rest of the Brotherhood waiting for them.

"Callisto is scouting out the area," Magneto informed Mystique and then looked at the other three. "The school?"

"Ka Bloom!" Pyro replied happily, making large hand gestures to match his words.

"Good," Magneto stated and turned away as Callisto appeared, Caliban close behind her.

"We may have a problem," Callisto said, looking anxiously at him.

Rogue bit her lip, wondering what that could mean. "They've got a kid," Callisto continued.

Magneto rose into the air. "Show us," he demanded.

The Brotherhood followed the two through the forest. Rogue listened as the sounds of drunken revelry became louder with each step she took. Her eyes grew wide as she took in the scene. Hate began to build up inside of her as her gaze traveled over the beaten, haggard form of the mutant child, crucified to the make-shift cross. Her fists clenched at her sides, eyes narrowing and she stepped forward, ignoring Mystique's warning to stay put.

Magneto grabbed her wrist, forcing her to stop, and pulling her back. "Remember the plan," he hissed in her ear before releasing his grip.

She nodded, stifling a gasp as she saw the child look up. "She's not dead," Rogue whispered, pointing to the girl, scanning the clearing where the FoH members were congregating.

None of them had noticed the child's revival, all of themintent on the beer they were now drinking as they boasted about their accomplishments. Rogue took off running towards the child, not wanting any of them to see the girl and kill her before the Brotherhood could get to her. She didn't think about her own safety, content in the knowledge that the Brotherhood wouldn't let anything happen to her.

She stopped in front of the cross, disregarding the commotion behind her. The girl looked at her with large tear filled eyes. "I'm gonna get you down," Rogue told her, looking at the large stakes that had been driven into the girl's hands. Oh god.

She tried to dislodge one, unable to pry it loose, and cringing as the child whimpered in pain. "Erik!" Rogue cried out, forgetting that she was to call him Magneto on missions.

The steaks dropped to the ground and she caught the child, flinching as the girl's face brushed against hers, the pull beginning in earnest. Rogue gasped, shifting the child and ending the contact. She quickly untied the girl and helped her to her feet. Turning around, she looked at the carnage before her, glaring at the mutilated men and women.

"Let's go," Magneto ordered, the helmet keeping her from seeing his face.

Mystique took the girl from her and Rogue began to follow her, stopping when Magneto placed a hand on her arm. She turned to look at him.

"You did well," Magneto told her before walking away.

She looked away from him, images of the school explosion flashing in her mind. "You did well," he repeated, wrapping a hand around her waist and tugging her along.

"Not all the students…" she began unable to finish her own thoughts.

"This is a war, Rogue," Magneto reminded her. "Their deaths will set an example."

She nodded, leaning against him for a few seconds. He released his grip on her as they neared the others and she cast one last look behind her, shaking her head at the bodies strewn on the ground. They are the monsters, she reminded herself. Not us.

xxx

Rogue looked out the window, staring down at the rocky shore below. She leaned her head against the glass and watched the waves crash below. Images of the school rose in her mind, the explosion happening over and over again. You're a killer, Wolverine growled and she blinked. Don't matter if you set that bomb or not.

Go away, she replied, pushing his presence away. She moved from the window and grabbed her robe from the back of the bathroom door. Tying it around her, she exited the bedroom and walked down the hallway. She passed by Magneto's study. She could hear him conversing with Callisto and Mystique and continued her trek, having no desire to know what they were planning. The less she thought about the missions, the better.

She descended the stairs two at a time before heading towards the hanger. I need fresh air. She pressed the button to the door, watching as the door opened. The sand was cold beneath her feet and she walked towards the water, wanting to feel it splash against her. A jagged rock scraped her foot, slicing a long, deep cut into the bottom of it. She cried out and hopped over to one of the larger rocks. She sat down and pulled her injured limb towards her.

She watched as blood seeped from the gash, looking black in the moonlight. Those kids dealt with a lot worse, Wolverine said and she glared at her foot, trying to gently brush the sand away from it. I'm going to get blood on my gloves.

"Rogue," Magneto said and she looked up. He was walking towards her, watching her curiously. "What are you doing?"

"I needed some air," Rogue replied, cringing as she continued brushing sand away.

"What did you do?" he asked, picking up her foot.

"One of the rocks attacked me," she replied indignantly.

"It attacked you?" he asked, vaguely amused, his fingers brushing the sand away. "We need to clean this."

"I know," she replied, twisting her foot in his hand. She looked back at the ocean. "It's peaceful out here. I can see why you picked this place to live."

"It used to be much quieter," Magneto stated, a sardonic smile on his face.

"How many of us are here now?" she wondered. "I lost count after the last group arrived."

"Forty-three including the children," he replied, extending a hand towards her.

She gripped it. "At least you have your own little wing," she told him as he pulled her up, helping her walk back towards the fortress.

"My own?" he asked, wrapping an arm around her waist.

"I only use the bedroom…and the study," she said, leaning against him. "And I only use the study if you're there and let me."

He snorted and she shrugged. "I can always go back to my old room if you want. Paige would love to have me back," she continued.

His grip on her tightened as he helped her step into the hanger. As soon as the hanger door shut, she was pushed roughly into it, his power steadying her so that her injured foot didn't touch the floor. His hands undid the belt of her robe, letting it fall open and reveal her sheer black nightgown. He pulled her forward, the robe dropping to the ground.

"Anyone could come in here," she gasped as his hands pushed the material up, harshly cupping her breasts.

He leaned into her. "Yes, they could," he whispered in her ear, letting his hands brush her sides before ripping the gown and tearing it from her body.

"Erik!" she shrieked before he captured her lips with his, pressing his body into hers.

Her hands grasped his shoulders as his tongue caressed hers, her legs coming up to wrap around his waist. She heard the sound of his zipper being pulled down and gasped as one of his hands moved between their bodies, roughly pushing two fingers inside of her. He began pumping them quickly, his thumb pressing against her clit and causing her to shiver in anticipation.

Her gaze locked with his, startled by the pride evident in his eyes. His fingers slid out of her, violently pinching her clit, causing her to cry out. She watched as he licked the fingers clean before he kissed her again. She tasted herself in his mouth, felt his erection press against her before he entered her and she groaned, tightening her grip on his shoulders.

He broke the kiss, his lips brushing her ear as he plunged into her. "So proud of you," he stated, taking hold of her wrists and pulling her arms above her head, pinning them with one hand.

"Why?" she gasped, gasping as his thrusts became harder.

"You were willing to risk your life for that child," Magneto replied, his free hand twisting one nipple.

"I knew none of you would let me get hurt," Rogue said, arching into the touch. "Was this my reward?" she asked, her tongue slipping out to lick her lips.

"I believe this is mine, my dear," he replied, smiling as her head thrashed wildly, hands straining against his grip as she came.

He thrust a few more times, biting her neck as he came hard inside her. He rested his head on the wall beside hers as they both regained control of their breathing. Slowly, he slid out of her and helped her stand, keeping her weight off her injured foot. She picked up the robe, slipping it on quickly and tied the belt securely.

A teasing smile spread across her face as she looked at the tattered remains of her nightgown. "You delight in ruining my favorite ones," she said accusingly.

He picked up the pieces and raised an eyebrow. "Bed, Rogue," he replied, helping her hobble out of the hanger.

She shook her head, leaning into him as they ascended the stairs to the bedroom. "So, what's my reward?" she asked as they neared the room.

A wicked smile spread across his face as the door opened and she quivered in anticipation as they walked into the room.

xxx

"You're sure she can move freely on that foot," Magneto said, looking intently at Mystique.

"I wouldn't want her along otherwise," Mystique replied, serenely.

Rogue nervously watched the two, unsure she wanted to know where she would be accompanying Mystique. "She needs to use her training," Mystique continued and Rogue glared at the two of them, talking as though she wasn't sitting in front of them.

"Very well, Raven," Magneto replied, leaning back in his chair. "You may take her."

I love how I never get a say, Rogue thought, crossing her arms at her chest. "Do I get to know what's going on?" she asked aloud.

"Erik needs documents," Mystique replied, finally looking at her. "I need to get them. You are coming. I will see how well you have been paying attention."

Rogue nodded. "When are we going?" she asked, raising an eyebrow as Mystique stood.

"Now," the blue mutant replied, walking out of the room.

Rogue's eyes widened in surprise and quickly stood. She hesitated at the doorway, giving Magneto a small smile before following Mystique. I'll never say goodbye, she reminded herself, fearful that if she did, it would mean they would never see one another again.

xxx

As the gunfire became louder, the number of guards rushing their way increasing at a frightening rate, Rogue was beginning to regret not saying goodbye. Things had progressed from bad to worse the moment she and Mystique has snuck onto the military base.

They had easily retrieved the documents and were in the clear until they met up again with the X-Men. Bobby had tripped an alarm and the gunfire had started, causing the four of them to duck and cover. Rogue looked frantically around the room, trying to deduce a way out alive. She knew to meet Mystique at the rendezvous if they became separated.

She spotted the air ducts, recalling the blueprints she had studied on the plane ride. If I can reach one… she thought, casting a quick look around her.

She moved to make a quick dash for it, freezing as a wall of ice rose up in front of her. "Come on!" Bobby yelled moving towards the wall, pulling the air duct cover off. "We can escape."

Mystique and Wolverine moved towards him and Rogue followed. Turning back to look at Bobby, her eyes widened in horror as a bullet broke through the ice, striking his chest.

"Bobby!" she screamed, crawling towards his falling body. She pushed over one of the office desk, giving her some cover as she kneeled before him.

He looked up at her, his eyes wide with fear. "Come on, Bobby," Rogue pleaded, cradling his head in her lap. "Don't die."

Tears fell down her face as she looked at the boy, watching him struggle to breathe. Blood continued to flow from his chest wound and Rogue tore off a piece of her uniform, pressing it against the injury.

This never should have happened, Rogue thought, shaking her head as she watched the life seep from him. You never should have been here.

"Bobby!" she cried as the boy went limp in her arms.

"Get up, Rogue!" Mystique shouted, pulling her up and out of harms way.

Rogue looked back at Bobby and then towards the men who had shot Bobby, eyes narrowing in uncontained fury. She went around the block of ice, sneaking up behind one of them, brandished a knife and slit his throat, watching as he slumped to the ground in front of her. As the second man turned, she dropped the knife, using Mystique's training to break his neck.

"We're leaving," Mystique informed her, slipping into the hallway.

Rogue cast one last look towards Bobby, watching as Wolverine moved towards him, his eyes widening as he realized the boy was dead. Rogue hurried after Mystique, ignoring Wolverine's cries for her to wait, hoping the sound of gunfire didn't herald his death as well.

"You did well," Mystique told her as they slipped through the hole in the fence.

Rogue didn't answer, happy when there was no response from the voices in her mind. They arrived at the rendezvous spot and Rogue felt numb as they boarded the Brotherhood's plane, unable to answer anyone's questions. Oh god, I'm going to have to tell Pyro, she thought, sinking into one of the seats.

She ignored the others on board, wanting to curl up in bed and cry herself to sleep. As she exited the plane she saw Pyro teaching the children about their responsibilities on the plane. I need to tell them all.

Rogue walked towards them, biting her bottom lip to quell her tears. "Bobby's dead," she whispered to them, quickly exiting the room, unable to take their shocked expressions.

She didn't allow herself to cry until she was alone in the shower, her tears spilling down her face as the hot water burned her skin. The water eventually became ice cold and she cried harder, the chill reminding her of ice roses and stolen kisses.

Eventually Magneto found her. He turned off the water and placing a hand on her back. She looked up at him, wrapping her arms around his neck and allowing him to pull her up. "The children are looking for you," Magneto informed her.

Rogue shook her head, unable to find her voice as she buried her head in his neck. "Eventually you will need to talk with them," he continued, carrying her towards their bed.

"I know," she said, her voice raspy, as he laid her down, tucking the covers over her body. "Pyro?" she asked, looking anxiously at Magneto.

"Avalanche is with him," Magneto replied, brushing strands of hair from her face.

Rogue nodded, biting her lip again, not wanting to cry in front of him. I won't be weak.

"You aren't weak," he said and she blinked, not realizing that she had said that aloud.

He lay down beside her, gently rubbing her back, his touch helping her drift into a fitful sleep.