Scattered Views

Part 1- 'My kingdom for a little comfort…'

Rogue clenched her hands into fists and bit down on her lip. She was watching the scene playing out underneath the window so intently that she bit down on her lip hard so it began to bleed. She barely noticed.

It was anger more than anything else, anger towards him, towards her and perhaps most acutely the anger she reserved for herself. Because she didn't care enough, almost a year together and she didn't care that her supposed boyfriend was kissing and fondling another girl right beneath her window. If she had loved him it would have hurt more, but that was a sentiment she had yet to endure. How was it possible to love someone you could barely touch, and someone who couldn't touch you? For to touch literally was on pain of death.

'Let's torch him, right here from this window!' Rogue startled, tried to push the voice back, she struggled, 'Come on…' it persisted, 'we'll really get iceboy hot under the collar, it'll be as funny as watching a snowman melt!'

Rogue lifted her fingers to her aching temple and grabbed her hair furiously, as she pulled on her locks intently; she focused on the pain of her hair entangled in her fingers, to push the voice away. And as the memories faded she breathed a sigh of relief. The voices, the images of those she had absorbed were becoming more persistent, it hadn't been her calling for Bobby's demise, it was Pyro, and his desire for an inferno that had threatened to come to the fore. At other times it had been Mystiques powers and voices, or Sabretooths, or Storms and any other number of mutants that she had ever come into contact with.

It had happened before this possession of her from various and conflicting personalities, and fighting them then had almost cost her life. And she had had Professor Xavier to help her purge them from herself, but this time, she was alone. Because she wanted to be, alone was best, untouchable and untouched.

The near war with the humans had cost too much, had taken too much from all the X-men, the professor included. And it had cost Jean her life. Rogue had witnessed her demise first hand, had touched her in those last moments, and so was left with the lingering image of her death. The memories, the images of a life lived, and a sacrifice made, all were encapsulated within her mind. And she saw it again and again, Jean-Gray's death.

It was then that the personalities, the various mutants started speaking in her mind, whispers of darkened desires, ancient grudges and lifelong friendships that crowded her mind and threatened once more to push her over the edge. But she was alone this time, not only because she chose it, but because the loneliness chose her. There was nobody else; each was engrossed in personal grief.

Rogue's battle had only just begun.