A Rogue/Remy piece by LithiumAddict (a.k.a. Percy O'Leary) for Green Amber (a.k.a. The Countess). A belated contribution to a Christmas exchange, describing how it all really should have gone down in the Supernovas arc.
Merci beaucoup for everything, Countess dear. Here's to Ichiruki, Romy, and all stops in between.
One week, Scott said.
She's been kicked off the team for one week.
He justifies it by citing her rash behavior as of late (This from the guy who once upon a month ago offered her leadership of a so-called rapid response unit, claiming "I can see the difference between recklessness and inspired improvisation"), but the damning sympathy that had corrupted his words said otherwise.
He figured because he'd lost Jean more times than either of them could count, he had an idea of what was going through her head. The kicker here was that he probably did. Which was why Rogue had sworn viciously, fluently, and continuously for the twenty minutes it took to throw together a bag and get to her car.
She had made her exit loud and angry, squealing her tires on the gravel road that led from the garage to the mansion gates in a last pathetic attempt at an eff-you-Summers-you-don't-know-me that not even she believed as she drove off in to the noonday sun.
Rogue hasn't kept track of how long she's been driving since then, but she knows that the time can be counted in days. She's probably been gone longer than her allotted week already, which bolsters her wounded pride somewhat. There's comfort in the consistency of the highway – it blurs together in a mess of yellow lines, cities, and nights spent in cheap hotels that doesn't require any thought at all. All she has to do is drive.
"Cause it feels like a movie about losing, only this time it's us and we're counting on a surprise ending, only this time it never does come--"
"And that's what you get for falling again; you can never get him out of your head--"
"I would have followed you to California--"
With a click, the radio is turned off and the car falls in to silence aside from her unspoken damnation of the musicians. Why is it they have nothing to say but words that speak right to her?
The dead quiet is uncomfortable. She knows there's a case of CDs under the passenger seat that would alleviate this, but she's not even going to touch them. They're mixes that he made back before everything went to shit, and she knows those songs are going to speak to her just as loudly, if not more so.
She's distracted from this line of thought by a familiar sign.
Welcome to Valle Soleada.
Rogue purses her lips as she presses onwards, unsure if this is where she really intended to go, or if she's ended up here by some cosmic coincidence (or joke, as the case might be). She's unsure if she really wants to know.
What she does know is where she's going to end up going from here. It's inevitable, and it takes her all of five minutes to wind her way through the streets to a house that's achingly, wrenchingly familiar.
She kills the engine but doesn't leave the car. Her seat is comfortable and she doesn't feel like leaving it yet, even hour after hour after hour in it.
This isn't exactly true.
She likes it better than the real reason though. It's easier to accept that she likes where she is rather than that she's scared of where she's going.
It takes her exactly twelve inhalations, thirteen exhalations before she works up the necessary nerve to pull on the handle and step out on to the street. It's another six breaths before she can actually walk the ten steps from the driver's side door to the sidewalk. The house waits patiently as she goes through this, looking down at her with stony window-eyes that reveal nothing.
It's been a couple years since she's lived here. Nearly every moment of that time is pressed in to her memory with an unmatched clarity; this house holds all her memories of anything normal. A home of her own, a job that didn't require her to put her life on the line on a regular basis, a boyfriend who for all his shortcomings (and hers too, for that matter) genuinely cared about her.
Happy, Lucas? We're working on it.
His words echo through her head, but they're spoken in her voice, the cool detachment she's perfected as of late tainting them past repair.
This be reality.
When he had said that, he had been reassuring her in a moment of doubt. The words had been comforting and optimistic. Now they're just hollow, mocking her with how almost-right they are. It's so close.
His words. Her voice.
This be reality.
This is her, standing outside the house they used to share. This is her with a car full of memories and a broken heart hidden somewhere inside her chest. This is reality. She's alone.
"So what now?" She asks the house, and she's pretty sure she's yelling. "What now?"
There's something heavy on her chest that she starts to feel more keenly, realizing there was a part of her that expected he would be here, waiting for her.
He's long gone now, doing god-knows-what god-knows-where, and she's standing outside the house they used to live in.
He's moved on, and she can't help but move back. She'd find it funny if it didn't hurt so damn much.
Her fists ball and she lets out a long, loud, vocal-chord tearing scream. People are likely looking at her, but she's past caring.
The silence that follows is unsettling to say the least. She wraps her arms around herself in a sort of hug and swallows, the hurt somehow appropriate.
This is where she's supposed to feel better. This is where the frustration is meant to go away. This is where she's expected to move on from.
She doesn't. It doesn't. She's not.
It's then that her cell phone rings. Fishing it out of her pocket, she flips the thing open.
"Yeah?" She asks thinly, a slight gravel to her voice that belies hoarseness to come.
"Rogue, where the hell are you?"
"California." She replies, touching her hand to her cheek and pulling it away only to see the remnants of tears on her fingertips. Had she been crying?
"California." Sam repeats flatly. Rogue can hear him suck in an uncomfortable breath, and she's almost sorry. She grits her teeth and hopes that she sounds stronger than she's feeling.
"Say what you've got to say Sam."
She can guess that he nods at this.
"Emma wants to come after you herself and drag you back to the mansion kicking and screaming. Scott's managed to hold her off so far, but that's not going to last much longer. Mystique's getting antsy, Victor knows something's up, and Bobby is this close to hijacking the blackbird and going to look for you himself."
"And what about you?"
There's a resigned sigh.
"Just get your ass back here in one piece, you hear me?"
She snaps the cell phone shut without another word and jams it in to her pocket. Her jaw is locked tight as she gets back in her car and guns the engine harder than she ought to, and the tires squeal in painful protest as she pulls away from the curb in a dangerously tight U-turn before heading back the way she came.