Disclaimer: I do not own them

Wow! It's finally Chapter 4. Sorry for the long update. I was pregnant, and just gave birth to a healthy baby boy on 23rd June 2008. So most of my stories are having slow updates. But I will still write. I hate it when a story stops half-way.

Summary: Rogue is finally able to touch but she is dying. Is it too late for love?

Living For The Present: Chapter 4

Rogue and Jean reached the kitchen, followed by the others half an hour later. It was a special day for both of them as it was the day of their graduation. Since Jean was in medical school, she had an extra year in her course of study, which explains why she and Rogue graduate on the same day.

Scott had graduated the year before, majoring in English and Literature and now a junior teacher back in Bayville High - the professor had somehow managed to convince Principle Kelly. Kelly however would not allow Scott to take too many classes, which works well for Scott, so he could spend more time at the institute in danger room lessons and teaching the other students.

Rogue and Jean are the top students in their field of study, and they had to give a speech later at the graduation ceremony. Everyone was proud of them. Once Rogue and Jean finished their breakfast, they took off for school in Jean's SUV. They have to be early and left the others to come later for the graduation.

It was nine forty five and most of the guests were already seated. Rogue and Jean were peaking through the curtains backstage.

"Did you see them?" Jean asked.

"Do yah mean them as in them or just Scott?" Rogue asked cheekily.

"Rogue! You know I would want all our friends to come for our graduation." Jean said, as she tried to take a peek through the curtain above Rogue's head.

"Ah I saw them. The same place we sat when Scott graduated the year before." Rogue pointed out to Jean. "Wasn't that hard to spot a fidgeting brother anyway."

"Everybody get into your position," a teacher announced. "It's starting in five minutes"

"So how do I look?" Jean said, adjusting the graduation gown and hat.

"Yah always look great." Rogue said.

"Thanks. You too. And good luck for the speech" Jean said as she took off for her position in the group.

The receiving ceremony took off well, presented accordingly to the course of study. First was Medical Science, seconded by Business and Finance followed by Mechanics Engineering. After the receiving ceremony was the speech from outstanding students. Jean was first and as she stepped to the microphone, she recalled how she had gone berserk when she was in Bayville High due to the evolvement of her powers. And she hoped that history would not repeat itself. Rogue and Scott had picked up her thoughts and they simultaneously, gave Jean their support and told her not to worry.

"Good morning professors, teachers, students, ladies and gentlemen." Jean started as she took the stand. "Thank you for coming to our graduation ceremony. Your presence is truly appreciated. It has been an honor to be studying in this prestigious school and working closely with my fellow lecturers and friends for the past four years. My journey here was not always a bed of roses but it had been wonderful nonetheless and I could never thank enough for all the support that had been given from my mentors and my friends. It has always been my dream to go to medical school to become a doctor and to give back to society. Now I am here with my dreams fulfilled. Thank you."

Jean stepped down and joined the seats where the top and distinction students were seated.

'Nice speech but its kinda short. Ah was expecting something longer from you' Rogue telepathically told Jean.

'Well I'd love to tell everyone that I would want to do research on mutants genatics and how we evolve and to create better understanding amongst human and mutant and thus regain world peace.' Jean said sarcastically.

'Now you sound like you are part of a beauty pageant. World Peace!' Rogue imagined Jean with an evening gown on stage smiling and waving to the audience saying 'World Peace'

'Anyway, I am glad it went smoothly' Jean said. 'I was afraid that my powers might go out of control, just like in Bayville. That was a nightmare'

'But nothing happened, everything is fhane' Rogue assured Jean.

"Next is the top student from Mechanics Engineering, Rogue" a man spoke at the stand.

'Guess it's my turn' Rogue stood and walked towards the stand as she replied a 'thanks' to Jean's 'Good luck wish' telepathically.

"Thank you, Mr. Jansen." Rogue thanked the man who introduced her to the audience earlier. "Good morning to everyone in here. It is an honor to be standing here and receive the award as top student for my course of study. Ah had always been interested in automotives ever since Ah was a child. And it is a dream to be …" An acute pain hits her head and Rogue fell onto the floor.

...

Rogue woke up in the med lab. Hank was on his desk reading some documents.

"W-what happened? Why am ah here?" Rogue tried to sit but fell back onto the bed. Her head was spinning. "Mah head…"

"Do you remember anything Rogue?" Dr Mc Coy asked.

"Ah was giving a speech. Then ah felt pain in mah head and then everything went black." Rogue said. "Wait! How long am Ah out this time?" She remembered the last time she was in the Med Lab, she was out for two weeks.

"Not to worry my dear. You came in only this morning." Dr Mc Coy explained.

The door of the Med Lab swished opened. Kurt, Kitty, Wanda, Jean and Scott came in. Kitty rushed to Rogue the moment she saw that Rogue was awake.

"Are you like alright Rogue? We were all so worried for you. Like what happened out there? You never like ever fainted unless you like got hit in a battle. Are you sure you like alright? Kitty was ranting.

"Ah'm fhane. Can I be discharge now? Please?" Rogue begged Dr Mc Coy.

"I believe so you can Rogue. Your results will be out tomorrow and I hope you will come see me tomorrow. Oh I took the liberty of scanning your head while you were unconscious."

"But ah feel fhane" Rogue said.

"Just come. Right after breakfast" It wasn't a request and Rogue knew that tone. Dr Mc Coy may be a nice gentle beast but when it comes to attending and follow up of his patients, one could never argue with him. And his rare use of serious tone in his voice would always make one dare not argue with him.

...

It was breakfast and the kitchen was chaotic as ever, It would never change, Rogue reckoned, even when they are old - really, really old. And today is worse than normal because neither Wolverine nor Storm is around. However, she was sure that in the future, there would be new recruits whom would definitely be more hyperactive than BoomBoom or Nightcrawler. She had finished her breakfast and went over to the sink to wash her bowl before heading down to the Med Lab.

"Going to visit Dr Mc Coy?" Wanda asked, whom at the same time keeping John from creating a fire in the kitchen.

'Rogue, please come to my office.' The professor called in her head. 'And Dr Mc Coy is here' the professor said before she could tell him that she got an appointment with the Doctor.

"Nope. I'm heading down to the professor's office." Rogue pointed to her head.

"What is it about?" Wanda asked and Rogue simply shrugged.

She made her way down the hall to the Professor's office, wondering if there was something wrong with her brain scan. As she opened the door to the Professor's office, after granted entry, not only Dr Mc Coy was there, but Logan and Storm as well. And her stomach flipped.

"Rogue, do take a seat and make yourself comfortable" the professor said, giving a warm smile.

"Am ah in trouble Prof?" Rogue queried. And she hoped they had not found out that she adjusted something on the X-van.

"No it's not about the X-van" Rogue tried to look innocent. Damn telepath! Picking up thoughts that are not suppose to be read. The professor smiled faintly at the girl in front of him.

"It's about your brain scan results. I'm afraid it's bad new." He had his head lowered.

"What was that supposed to mean?" Rogue stood up from her seat. "Am ah sick or something?" she demanded. Rogue looked at Storm and Logan and then to Beast. Storm hung her head low while Logan simply sighed. "But – But ah feel fhane. Dr Mc Coy, what is wrong with meh?"

Beast showed her brain scan. "Rogue, I'm afraid you are having a brain tumor. That is the reason why, you sometimes have headaches and occasionally, you would get acute pain in your head which leads to unconsciousness - like yesterday."

Rogue fell back to her chair. "Is there anyway to get it removed? Or eliminate it? Can't I use Logan's healing power to get rid of it?"

"I'm afraid it's impossible. Surgery to remove it is too risky. As for Logan's healing power, it doesn't work on it. You had used Logan's healing power on few occasions haven't you? And yet the tumor is still growing."

"So since there is nothing to be done. Am ah…Am ah goin' ta die?" Rogue asked; her head down. Everyone was silence and she understood. "How long do ah have?"

"Stripes –"Logan was already by her side, his hand on her shoulders. And she could sense Storm's emotions although she had said nothing.

"It's ok Logan." She looked up at her surrogate father. "Ah need to know"

"According to my calculations…Six months" Dr Mc Coy said.

"Oh My God! This is so not happening!" Kitty and Wanda phased through the door. Kitty was weeping and Wanda head hung low, who had been eavesdropping.

"I know this is going to be difficult for all of you. But I will be here for you, Rogue." The professor said.

"We will all be here for you Stripes" Logan squeezed her shoulders.

"Will ah be able t' go fohr missions or danger room sessions?" Rogue looked at Hank. "Will ah endanger my friends?"

"For now, yes you can go for missions or Danger Room sessions. But your tumor is growing. There will come to a point that you will not be feeling good." Hank explained.

"Ah would like a favor Professor." He nodded in anticipation. "Ah'd like t' go fohr a vacation, with Kitty, Wanda and Kurt if yah don't mind"

"B-But. You're not feeling well. What if something were to happen to you?" Kitty asked. Her crying had subdued.

"Kit. If Ah have only six months t' live. Ah'd like t' spend mah time with mah best friends and mah brother. And if anything were t' happen, Ah knew, th' three of yah will take care of meh" Kitty ran to Rogue and hugged her, while Wanda walked towards the two and gave a hug.

"It is settled than. Once you have decided where and when your vacation is, I'd get the necessary arrangements." The professor said.

...

"So which piece is nice?" Rogue held out two bikinis for Wanda, Kitty and Kurt to see. "Th' green or th' black?"

"Green / Black" Kitty and Wanda said at the same time.

"Come on. Help meh decide. Kurt which one?" Rogue asked her brother's opinion.

"Why ask me? And why do I have to be in here and not outside with the other boys? Swister, I find it hard to imagine you in bikini. You are my swister!" Kurt had his face on his palms. "If Amanda were to ask me, I can easily answer to that" and he grinned sheepishly. Rogue glared at him. "Ok! OK! Both are nice. Take both. Anyway, we will be away on a cruise for two weeks. You will need more than one pair of bikini. And I think the blue one is nice on you too."

Mean while outside the store…

"Why do we have to be out here?" John whine. "Wanda wouldn't let me in and see her try her new bikini. I've told her to get red or orange because it reminds me of fire."

"Comrade. I would rather be here than in there. You wouldn't want to shop with Kitty." Piotr told John while he read the papers.

"But it's not fair. The elf gets to go in." John peered through the windows.

"Think it this was my friend. Wanda wanted to surprise you with her purchase and you should learn to be patience." And that got John stop sulking and whining.

...

"So found anything you like Rogue?" Jean came with a pair of bikini in her hands. "I've got these. And I think those two pair will look great on you Rogue. Why don't you give it a try?"

"Well, ah think ah'll take these two and the blue one." Rogue headed for the changing room.

Once Rogue went to the changing room, Kitty fell to the floor and started to cry. "How could she be so happy? And pretend that everything is alright with her. And the thought that we are going to loose her soon, just hurt so much. And she'd just go with her everyday life with a smile"

"Kit. You can't do this! Not in front of Rogue!" Kurt said.

"Kit. Kurt is right. She needs us more than ever. She wants to live her life to the fullest and make everyday happy memories for us. And if she comes out and see you crying like this, it will hurt her tremendously." Wanda pulled Kitty up.

"They are right Kit. She's trying hard to make us not feel sad or guilty that she's going to be gone, always the selfless Rogue. So you have to pull yourself together - for Rogue." Jean said. Kitty nodded and wiped her tears.

"I know. It's just so hard." And she put on a smile, for her friend.