Rogue awoke to the feeling of tubes in her arms. She clenched her eyes closed, not wanting to see Dr. Essex's laboratory around her again. It couldn't have been a dream, she pleaded with herself. They found me. Slowly, she opened her eyes, hiccupping as she saw the familiar metal walls of the fortress.
I'm home, she breathed, looking down at her arms. She heard a voice speaking from across the room, "Ah, you are awake."
She looked up, eyes widening in amazement as a large furry beast peered at her through glasses. He smiled gently at her. "I am Dr. McCoy," he informed her and she shivered, recalling Dr. Essex's greeting.
"Though, I have been told to use my true name while here," the blue mutant continued, picking up her hand and checking her vitals.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet," he quoted as he placed her hand back down. "I am Beast."
"Rogue," she croaked, raising an eyebrow at his use of Shakespeare.
"Yes, I know," Beast replied, carefully removing the tube from her right arm. "Your disappearance had this place in disarray."
"I doubt that," she replied, looking away.
"The little girl, Paige, I believe, was quite emotionally distraught," Beast informed her. "I had to prescribe a small sedative so the child could sleep."
"Is she okay?" Rogue asked, looking back at him with concern.
Beast nodded towards a set of chairs by the wall. Rogue turned towards them, smiling sadly when she saw the girl curled up on them, sleeping soundly. "This is the best she's slept since I have been here," he said as he walked around to the other side of the bed. "She put up quite a fight to be allowed in here."
Rogue looked questioningly at him. "Magneto did not want you disturbed," Beast said, removing the other tube. "He should be here shortly. He wished to know when you awakened."
Rogue nodded and watched him place the gloves he had been wearing in the waste basket. "Beast," Magneto stated from the doorway, and she looked towards him.
Magneto motioned for the doctor to leave. "She still needs rest," Beast warned and looked back at her. "I'll be back."
Rogue nodded and looked down at her hands, her gaze faltering on the number burned into her skin. The bed shifted under her, Magneto's hand cupping her chin and pulling her so she was looking at him. "I'm sorry," she told him, tears welling up in her eyes. "I was careless."
His other hand brushed her cheek, wiping away the tears that begun to fall. "Rogue," he began.
"I…I saw the MRA agents, but I couldn't leave Emma," she continued, shaking her head. "You would have been so mad."
His hand stilled and she leaned back into the pillows. "I never should have let you go," he stated, his voice hard.
"I failed you," she said, looking away from him and burying her head in the pillow.
He tugged her towards him, forcing her to look at him. "That is not what I meant," he said, brushing hair from her face.
She watched him carefully, her mouth forming a perfect 'O' as his fingers slid through her hair. He rested his forehead on hers for a second and her breathing became unsteady, unable to look away from his intense stare. His lips pressed against hers, hot and demanding, as his tongue pushed its way into her mouth, hungrily seeking hers. Her hands grasped his shoulders, eyes closing as she melted into him.
She felt his hand slip beneath the shirt she was wearing, caressing its way up her stomach. Breaking the kiss, she gasped, eyes opening. "Paige," she breathed, casting a worried look towards the sleeping child.
"Is asleep," Magneto replied, his palm brushing over one breast.
She bit her lip, silencing her moan. The door opened and they broke apart. Rogue stifled a giggle at the glare Magneto gave Beast. "How is my patient?" Beast asked, oblivious.
"Good," Rogue replied. "When can I go back to my room?"
"Eager to leave?" Beast teased, putting on gloves and then picked up her arm.
Magneto's gaze traveled to the numbers burned on her skin, his eyes darkening. "If I never have to see a needle again, I'll be very happy," Rogue said, smiling weakly. Images of the facility flashed in her mind and she shivered.
Magneto placed a hand on her arm, his fingers caressing her skin. "Your vitals are stable," Beast informed her. "You are free to leave. However," he continued, looking at Magneto, "nothing strenuous for the next six days."
"Thank you, Beast," Magneto said, waving his hand. The door opened behind them and Beast raised an eyebrow.
"It resembles a pair of shears," the blue mutant murmured with a smile.
"Huh?" Rogue asked, looking inquisitively at him.
"Marriage, it resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated, often moving in opposite directions," Beast replied, walking towards the door. He picked up Paige and continued, "Yet always punishing anyone who comes between them."
"Nothing strenuous," he repeated before closing the door behind him.
"I like him," Rogue said, giggling. She looked back at Magneto, her laughter ceasing. Her eyes widened in surprise when he pulled the covers off of her and picked her up. "I can walk," she groaned as he exited the room.
The hallways were deserted, though she heard voices behind the gymnasium doorway. "My room's the other way," she reminded him as he went left.
Magneto didn't answer. Her arms tightened around his neck as they neared the stairs. Tears began to form in her eyes and she buried her face in his neck. His footsteps echoed as he walked, her heart beating faster with each step he took. She heard the door open and looked up at him, unable to find any words. He laid her down on the bed, sitting down beside her. His fingers wiped away the tears running down her cheeks before he leaned in, pressing a soft kiss against her forehead. She closed her eyes, fingers entwined in his shirt.
"My love," he said and pressed a kiss on each of her eyelids.
"Erik," she whispered before he silenced her, his mouth descending hungrily onto hers.
She tightened her grip, submitting to his will. He broke the kiss, resting his forehead against hers. She looked up into his blue eyes. "My life," he told her and her tears began to fall again.
He moved off of her, pulling her body against him. She buried her head in his chest, clinging desperately to him. "Sleep, Rogue," he ordered gently, caressing her hair.
"I love you," she whispered as sleep engulfed her, pushing aside all of her doubts.
"Let's see exactly how much pain you can endure," Dr. Essex said, that smile she hated plastered on his face as he looked down at her. She thrashed about, trying to dislodge the straps holding her down. "You decide, X241," Essex continued, stepping to the side. Her eyes widened as she saw Magneto and the Brotherhood strapped to the wall. "You or them?"
Rogue awoke, crying out, clawing at the air in front of her. Strong arms enveloped her, crushing her against a hard body. "You are safe, Rogue," Magneto told her and she curled herself into him, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck and she buried her face in his chest, sobbing.
He pulled her up, cupping her face with his hands. "Look at me, Rogue," he commanded and she did. "You are safe. They will never touch you again."
She closed her eyes, remembering the guard's hands traveling up her body. "Rogue," Magneto urged and she looked at him with frightened eyes. "Never," he reiterated, leaning his forehead against hers.
"His hands," she whispered, closing her eyes, trying to shake off the feel of them.
Magneto's lips captured hers, his hands gripping her waist and pulling her towards him. She pressed her body into his, surrendering to her senses, trying to memorize his taste, the feel of his lips and tongue against hers. She shifted her body, moving her legs so that she was straddling his hips, her hands sliding up and down his shirt.
She growled as they broke apart, both breathing heavily. Her hands moved under his shirt, needing to feel as much of his skin against hers as she could. Erik grasped her hands, stilling her movement. She looked at him, pleading for him to understand as he removed her hands. He pulled the shirt off of him and she quickly followed his example, smiling at his amused expression as she tossed hers to the floor.
His mouth descended on hers again, his lips bruising as his hands moved to her breasts, rubbing them roughly. She arched into him, her hands running the length of his arms. Her hips began moving, grinding her against him, feeling him harden beneath her. He lips left hers, placing small kisses along her jaw line before he bit her neck, causing her to cry out and press herself harder into him.
She grasped his arms, fingers digging into his skin. She bucked hard, head thrown back, as he gripped her hips and dragged her harder against him. She groaned, leaning her forehead against his.
"Come for me," Magneto rasped and her fingers tightened their grip, head thrown back as she cried out, her control slipping away as she came.
He bucked against her one last time, biting her shoulder and groaning as he came. She leaned against him, both of them struggling to control their breathing. "I thought I was supposed to take it easy," she murmured against his chest.
He pulled her up so that she was looking at him. "That was easy," he growled, rolling her onto her back.
His eyes softened as he looked down at her, trailing a hand along her cheek. A knock on the door startled them both. He grabbed her shirt from the floor, handing it to her. The door opened once she had it pulled on. Paige ran into the room, throwing herself at Rogue.
Rogue wrapped her arms around the girl, hugging her tightly. "Don't leave me again!" Paige said, hiccupping.
"I won't," Rogue said, brushing Paige's hair. I won't, she silently promised, looking up at Magneto.
Rogue ran a trembling hand through her hair, her gaze focusing on the small strands of white that were beginning to grow. She frowned as she touched them, remembering why she had cut her hair back. Her hands gripped the edge of the sink, breathing becoming erratic as she was filled with anxiety. What if he decides… she shook her head violently, forcing the thoughts out of her head.
She looked down at the sink, letting the metal dig into her skin. "Rogue?" Magneto said and she looked up, watching him in the mirror as he walked towards her.
"How long before you tire of me this time?" she asked, staring at his reflection.
"What was that?" he asked, eyes darkening as he continued to approach her.
She turned towards him, crossing her arms across her chest. "I've heard it," she continued, brushing away the tears that were forming in her eyes. "Never enough." She shook her head, eyes narrowing in barely contained anger. "That's what you said and then you brushed me aside."
She shook her head, moving to walk around him, struggling when he grasped her around the waist. "Where do you think you're going?" he hissed in her ear, his fingers digging into her skin.
"Why do you care?" she snapped, twisting, trying to break his hold. She stopped and turned to look at him. "There are plenty of girls who would be willing to fuck you. Boys too, I'm sure."
He glared at her and she smiled, glad she'd hurt him. His grip tightened, his hands moving a few inches up so that they rested against her bare stomach. She felt the pull begin and she pushed with all of her might, trying to keep his memories back. His will was stronger and she closed her eyes, gasping as she was assaulted by his thoughts.
She watched as he heard the news of her arrest, shocked at his fury at Emma Frost. He tore apart his study in a fit of rage before leaving the facility, ignoring everyone who asked what was happening. Rogue grasped his hands, trying to pry them away, wanting the connection to end. Tears ran down her face as she saw the different facilities he had destroyed in his search.
She watched as he sat near the wreckage of the bar she had been taken from, cursing Mystique when she found him. The images twisted, showing him at the place she had been held, forcing open the various cells and letting the prisoners roam free. Her hands rested on top of his as she felt his annoyance with Pyro for calling for him, fingers interlocking with his when she felt his shock at seeing her alive, then the fast burning anger for what had happened to her.
The connection stopped and she turned around in his arms, leaning against him. "You are mine," Magneto said, his voice sending shivers up her spine.
"I am," Rogue replied, looking up at him.
He claimed her mouth with his, his lips crushing hers as he pulled her roughly against him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing herself into him, one leg coming to wrap around his waist. She groaned as her back hit the wall, her arms pulled away from him and shoved against the wall.
"The others wish to see you," Magneto informed her as he broke the kiss.
She nodded, leaning her head against his chest, attempting to control her breathing. He encircled a hand around her waist and pressed a kiss to her forehead before releasing her. She smiled as she followed him out of the room.
Rogue walked through the hallway, a forced smile on her face as she passed the others. There are so many. A hand brushed against hers and she hissed as her power pulled for a second. Brushing aside the confusion she had absorbed, she flexed her fingers, continuing her trek. How many of us are there?
We are the next step in evolution, Rogue, Magneto reminded her. Our numbers grow each day. She nodded, ignoring the looks she was receiving as she pushed open the kitchen door. All I want is something to drink, she thought as the door closed, cutting off the chaos in the corridors. A small smile graced her lips. Maybe I can sneak some of the Bourbon Gambit keeps hidden…
She walked towards the back cupboards, moving the bags of flour and retrieved the bottle. She heard the door open and froze, hoping that it wasn't Gambit, or-- god forbid-- Magneto. Casting a weary look over her shoulder, she saw that it was a mutant she didn't know. Rogue rose and pushed the cupboard closed, before walking to the refrigerator.
"Hi," the girl greeted hesitantly.
Though, to be fair, she isn't a 'girl'. She's probably older than I am. "Hey," Rogue said, pouring herself some milk.
"Your one of his, too," the woman said, pushing her glasses into place.
"His?" Rogue asked, unsure what she meant.
She watched as the mutant pulled her right sleeve up, revealing X184. "One of Dr. Essex's," she replied, shakily pushing her sleeve back down.
Rogue's hand touched her own number. "What's your name?" she asked.
"Jos," the mutant replied.
Rogue raised an eyebrow at that. "What's your real name?" she asked, crossing her arms across her chest, pushing away Magneto's laughter ringing in her head.
"Reis," the girl said and shrugged. "It's short for Reisender, which means traveler."
"Look, Reis, you are not one of Dr. Essex's experiments anymore," Rogue told her, pouring Bourbon into the lemonade. "You are a mutant and you are free. None of us will ever belong to him again."
You belong to someone else, Magneto added, sending chills down her spine. Rogue put the Bourbon back in its place and exited the room, leaving the girl alone with her thoughts. She walked through the hallway, happy that it appeared to be deserted now. I wish I was training with them. She frowned, knowing Beast had good reasons for her to build up her strength first before being involved in rigorous activity.
She snorted at the images Magneto forced into the front of her mind. Rigorous indeed, he said and she blushed as she saw herself in the throes of ecstasy through his eyes. She hastily took a drink to cool herself off, glaring as he chuckled. My favorite is this one, he informed her as images of her writhing about on the bed, her hands above her head flashed before her.
She coughed, almost spilling the milk as she passed by a group of new recruits, who were watching her intently. I'll make you pay for that later, she promised, stopping at one of the doors. Behave, please, she added before knocking.
The door opened, revealing a disheveled Pyro. He blinked a few times before smiling broadly at her and pulled her into a tight hug, careful to keep his skin from hers. "Shouldn't you be training?" she asked as they broke apart.
He dragged her into the room, glaring at the others passing by the door. He looked back at her, rolling his eyes. "I don't train with them," he said, moving to pick up a shirt from the floor, hastily pulling it on.
"Is that arrogance I hear?" Rogue asked, flopping down onto his bed. She raised an eyebrow as she pulled another shirt from amongst the bedspread. "Pyro, you need to learn to clean."
Pyro turned red, grabbing the shirt from her. The bathroom door opened and she watched as Avalanche exited, a towel wrapped around his waist. "Hey, Rogue," the other mutant greeted.
Rogue burst into a fit of giggles, falling back onto the bed. She wiped the tears from her eyes and sat back up. "What's so funny?" Pyro asked, glaring at her.
"Nothing," she replied, biting her bottom lip to stop laughing.
"I would kick you but you're not supposed to do anything physical for the next few days," Pyro said, sitting down next to her.
"I could take you any day," she said, nudging him with her elbow.
Pyro nudged her back. Avalanche let out a long bereaved sigh as the two began repeatedly elbowing one another. "You two are worse than Paige and Sam," he said, sitting down on the bed.
"Jealous?" Pyro replied, smiling as he wrapped an arm around Rogue's waist.
"Hardly," Avalanche said. "Magneto would crush you. And you don't like girls."
Rogue giggled as Pyro quickly released her, stopping when she saw the somber look in her friend's eyes. "You should have seen him, Rogue," Pyro said, shaking his head. "Emma came back without you and we all knew something was wrong. We could hear him yelling at her from the gym."
"Then he was gone," Avalanche added and she looked back at him. "We didn't think much about it at first. He used to leave every so often, before you and the kids came. But when he was gone for a week, Emma went and got Mystique."
"We started to hear about him on the news," Pyro continued, resting his head on his hands as he leaned against his knees. "He must have destroyed at least fifteen different mutant detainment facilities before Mystique found him."
Rogue pulled her knees up to her, leaning her head against them. "Paige was in hysterics," Pyro said, pulling her into a hug.
"It was crazy," Avalanche added, shaking his head. "I never knew she had so much strength in her."
Rogue smiled at that. "Then we found you," Avalanche said, brushing hair from her face.
"He wouldn't let you go," Pyro told her, and tears started sliding down her cheeks. He pushed her up, quickly wiping her tears away. "No more leaving, okay, Rogue? I think Bossman might level all of America if you did," he joked and she buried her head into Pyro's chest, crying harder.
"You're an ass," Avalanche said, smacking Pyro on the back of the head.
"Its part of my charm," Pyro retorted and she half laughed, half sobbed. "It was a joke, Rogue. Stop crying."
He pulled her up. "I know where Gambit keeps his beer," he told her, smiling wickedly. "We could grab some and have our own little 'Welcome back Rogue' party."
"Beast might not approve of me drinking," she replied.
Pyro raised an eyebrow, sniffing. "Say something again," he urged, leaning towards her.
She clamped her mouth shut. "Bourbon!" Pyro exclaimed, scowling at her. "You started the party without us!"
"There's Bourbon?" Avalanche asked, making a tsk tsk sound. "You've been holding out on us."
"It's behind the flour," Rogue said, smiling at the two. "I thought everyone knew about it."
"I do believe she is implying that we are dumb," Avalanche said, exaggerating his appalled expression.
She giggled at him and rose. "I've got to go," she informed the two of them.
"But our party!" Pyro cried, pouting.
"You two have it," she replied, moving towards the door. "I have a check up with Beast."
"Rogue," Pyro called and she turned back. "I…"
She smiled at him and walked out of the room, blowing the two a kiss as the door closed.
Rogue lay on the bed later that night, curled on her side, looking at the tattoo burned into her skin. Magneto's hand caressed her bare back, sliding slowly up and down her skin. She felt her power tug on him, closing her eyes as she listened to him. I would have destroyed the world in order to find you.
"I know," she replied, turning towards him, letting him pull her close. "I'd do the same for you."
"Good girl," he said, closing his eyes. "All mine."
And you are mine, she thought, resting her hand on his chest, before drifting to sleep.
Rogue entered the television room, her focus on the news report being shown. The others in the room were also watching the TV intently, eyes widening at the destruction the Brotherhood had created during their latest mission. Rogue leaned against the wall, smiling as the ruined hospital came into view.
"One hundred lost their lives during this latest terrorist attack," the reporter continued, the camera moving to show what had been the children's ward, "including twenty-seven children."
The room was eerily silent and Rogue crossed her arms across her chest. She was unable to feel any of pity.Not after what they did to me, she thought looking down at the tattoo.Pictures of the human children were displayed on the screen and she turned on her heel. It's us or them.
Walking down the hallway, she smiled as Rusty and Sam ran by, waving brightly at her. And we will win, she thought, waving back as she walked into the debriefing room, taking her spot beside Magneto, ready to learn what they would be doing next.