Disclaimer: Do not own X-men Evolution, just read and enjoy
Ophelia was a tempest cyclone
A goddamn hurricane
Your common sense, your best defense
They wasted , and in vain
For Ophelia 'd know your every woe
And every pain you'd ever had
She'd sympathize and dry your eyes
Help you to forget...
And help you to forget
And help you to forget
Rogue blinked her eyes several times, in rapid succession, her surroundings a grey colored blur. "Aw damn," she muttered. It shouldn't have been a surprise that they were back in the colorless landscape, but she couldn't help the twinge of disappointment that settled in her stomach. Unlike the time before, they weren't surrounded by the disquieting dark grey boulders, but in the middle of what appeared to be rows and columns of the things, each one only a few feet apart from its neighbor. Rogue didn't know what was worse, that every time she came here, things were different or that she expected them to be the same.
Glancing beside her, she was comforted by the fact that she wasn't alone. Remy was sprawled out, legs and arms akimbo his jaw hung loose, a rattling breath and a slowly rising chest the only indication that he was alive.
Biting her lip, the last thing she wanted to do was interrupt his well earned sleep, but the idea of staying in such an unnerving place frightened her more than a grumpy Cajun. She reached over and none too gently began to poke and prod him awake. Thankfully it didn't take long; after the first gentle stab with her index finger, Remy didn't move an inch. Rogue continued poking him, becoming more and more frustrated as the minutes passed before she realized what was going on. Slapping her forehead, Rogue quickly stopped attempting to poke the senseless man and instead leaned down to his ear.
"Remy!" she hissed loudly, then quickly ducked her head to avoid being pummeled by angry fists as the Cajun began to flail about as he woke up finally.
His cinnamon colored hair tousled, his head popped up, only one eye open and he stared at her, his eyes out of focus, "Howza whazit?"
Giggling, Rogue shrugged apologetically, "Sorry sugah, ah feel bad since ya'll were sleepin' so peaceful lahke, but ah just couldn' stay another second in this god awful place alone."
His sleepy answering smile was sweet and sent flutters through her body. "Notta problem chère, shouldn' have fallen asleep anyways." He sat up and stretched his arms far above his head, the cracking of his spine audible in the bleak atmosphere. Standing up, he extended his hand and helped Rogue to her feet, the momentary touch was enough to cause an ache for both of them. They knew this place hindered their ability to feel, but the memory of their one and only kiss seemed almost too cruel.
Feeling the ache spreading, Rogue quickly retracted her hand and smiled sadly at Remy, hating the pained look crossing his face. "Sorry sugah." she said softly.
His eyes crinkled softly in understanding, "C'est d'accord Roguey."
She breathed deeply and let it out in a gush, "So...what should we do now?"
He shrugged, "The same thing we do every night?" he rubbed his hands together diabolically, "try and take over the world!" Remy let out a cackle which echoed softly through the nothingness.
Rogue blinked at him, stunned, "Darlin', no more cartoons with Jamie, 'k?"
He blushed slightly, "Can' help it belle, the boy, he has the best taste in Saturday morning 'toons."
Smirking, Rogue ruffled his hair softly, "Good to know. So," she clapped her hands together, "since we are currently surrounded by these diabolical lil things," she gestured at the rocks, "where to?"
Shrugging, Remy looked at her blankely, "Don' have a clue chère. Why you look' at Remy' fo?"
" 'Cause last tahme yah were the one who touched one of the damn thangs LeBeau!"
"That don' mean it'll be Remy dis time!"
He threw his hands into the air as if to surrender to the sassy woman before him, " 'Sides, don' really know where we'd be headin', n'cest pas?"
Rogue sighed softly, the gust of air doing nothing to interrupt the stillness of the environment, "Ah think that may be the scariest part about it sugah."
He didn't have to say a thing, and she knew that. The understanding that their future, immediate or otherwise, was a little on the grey side needed no verbal confirmation. Instead, Remy gently wrapped his arm around her shoulders and gave her an unfelt squeeze, but Rogue knew what he was doing and her heart swelled with affection at his gesture. She rested her head on his shoulder and smiled, "Course, does it really matter where're headin' darlin'?"
He shook his head and gave her an answering grin.
The answering slow honeyed drawl laced itself around her, "Naw belle, we'll be fine."
Rogue closed her eyes and smiled at the comfort his words brought her. It amazed her how close they had gotten in the past few..how ever long it had been. It felt like aeons at this point, but for all she knew it could have just been a few days. In the silence that tried to fill the void around them, Rogue knew she wouldn't be able to leave this man now; too much had happened.
A twinge of regret hit her stomach at the realization that she may never get the chance to see if she even could leave him.
She bit her lip softly and glanced upwards at him, "Remy, do yah'll regret what we did back there?"
"Ya mean wit' Bleu et des autres?"
Rogue nodded, her eyes never quite leaving his. She wanted no lies between them.
Remy shook his head, his hair bouncing from side to side, "Non, Remy don' regret a t'ing chère. How could he? Ya got ta see ya're frére et we saved dose people."
"But the mansion-"
He grabbed her hand and holding it in front of her face, he caught her eyes and lightly gave the fingers within his grasp a butterfly kiss so what she couldn't miss his action, "De mansion will still be dere, non? We'll get back Roguey, don't ya worry none."
Her smile seemed to brighten the gloom hovering around their bodies. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Lightening flashed across Professor Xavier's office floor. The shadows shuddered as the light from the sky strike threatened to penetrate their secluded corners. Xavier sat at his desk, his fingers steepled as they often were when he thought of heavy thoughts and he ignored the tempest ravaging his mansion and grounds.
And they were heavy thoughts indeed. Already, there was less than forty-eight hours to go before Remy and Rogue's fate was decided and Charles Xavier was trying desperately to think of a way to get everyone involved out of the mess and keep Scott satisfied. It wouldn't do for the future leader of the X-men to be shamed in front of his troops.
It was currently four in the morning. Xavier, Storm and Hank had stayed up throughout the night after Emma had left them in the med bay. Hour after hour had passed as Charles sat at Rogue's bedside, concentrating on trying to find two more signatures in a sea already over populated by them. Beyond Rogue's natural mental walls, which were strong enough as it was, she also had her defenses she had developed with the professor's help. Those weren't the problem to get by.
Charles was still in awe. The construction of Rogue's mental defenses left him breathless with its complexity. It wasn't just that with almost every attempt, he was blocked with something akin to a fifty foot silicone wall. No footholds to be found anywhere. It was also that with every pry of his mind, he was bombarded by every personality Rogue had ever come in contact with. And not just every personality, but every incarnation of that personality. Every time Rogue had touched a person, there was a separate psyche for them in her mind. There was little wonder why anyone who tried to go against the sassy southerner was ambushed by the multitudes that resided within her mind.
One time, Charles came up against three different versions of Jean; their combined strength of telekinesis had been enough to forcefully shove him from Rogue's mind scape. The next, he had taken a beating from Wolverine, the Blob and the Hulk. Apparently, every psyche in Rogue's mind was fiercely protective of her, whether or not they were friends or enemies in reality meant little in the micro universe that appeared to be Rogue.
Which is why he was sitting in his darkened office, looking for all the world like a figure from an Edgar Allen Poe short story as he tried to puzzle out how to get around Rogue. Even in a coma, she still maintained her position within the mansion as one of its most difficult denizens.
A hesitant knock tried to interrupt his reverie. He chose to ignore it, hoping they would decide that he was not within. It was such a late hour after all, the mansion should have been asleep.
Tilting his head upwards, Xavier caught sight of Ororo standing in the illuminated doorway, her long pure white hair in a single braid traveling down her side.
Bleary eyed, she stared at him, still half asleep, "What are you doing up?"
A weary smile crossed his lightly lined face, "What else my dear Ororo? Thinking. Hoping. And praying for a miracle."
Nodding, she walked through the door and shut it softly behind her. "You know you don't have to do this."
"What is stopping you then?"
He breathed deeply and exhaled before speaking. "Partially? Rogue and Remy. Another part, is for Scott and the other children. The last part, I am ashamed to say, is me."
Storm stood there, her tired expression one of complete shock. She shook her head from side to side quickly as if to clear the space between her ears, "I'm sorry Charles, did you say you? Why would you stop yourself from halting this madness?"
"I wish I could say I don't know my dear," Xavier rested his fingertips lightly against the bald pate of his head, "But I know myself well enough to understand that isn't the case."
"Then what." She crossed her arms tightly across her nightgown covered body and watched him closely, "Your pride? Charles, is that what this is about?" A partial nod was all the answer she needed.
"If that is the only reasonable explanation that I am going to get at four in the morning for why this farce of a debate over two of our student's lives hasn't been stopped yet then I don't know who you are anymore Professor."
A soft groan escaped the older man, "You don't think I know that Storm? Every time I go down there and fight to bring at least one of them back from where ever they may be within Rogue's mind, I cannot stand that I let Scott goad me into giving him at least part of what he wanted. At the time, it seemed the smartest thing. I felt confident that between myself and Emma we would succeed."
Storm snorted loudly at the mention of the blonde telepath's name.
"Yes, I agree. It was silly of me to think so. Not just for myself, but for those two poor souls downstairs who now have less than a chance."
Silence came between them. The rain continued to beat against the window in an almost calming tattoo as if to assuage the hurt feelings between them. Storm understood that for all of his extraordinary gifts, Charles Xavier was still just a man of human make, filled with faulty flesh and blood. That didn't necessarily stop her from being upset over his decision to play Russian roulette with two of the student's lives though.
Choosing to ignore the admission to humanity, Storm chose the high road instead. "Did you come up with anything new at least?"
"Nothing except that it appears Rogue's mutation has been developing faster than previously thought. Before, she only had individual psyches for everyone she touched. Now she has multiple. One for every time she touched someone."
"Oh my goddess," Storm whispered, startled at the latest update, "But that doesn't explain why Remy was able to throw himself into Rogue's mind."
Xavier nodded, "True enough, but I believe that our resident Cajun has been keeping several interesting secrets up those voluminous sleeves of his. Such as his power limits and utmost capabilities. Remind me to ask Logan to give him a full run through once we get them back."
Ororo smiled and gave a small laugh, "Logan will love that, he's been itching for someone to spar against since Mystique trashed the tv."
A troubled expression crossed her face and her ice blue eyes clouded in thought, "Charles. If Rogue's mutation has been...changing, for lack of a better word, does that mean that since she has a copy of every person she's ever touched, maybe several times over, she'll be able to have skin to skin contact finally? Can't she just 'tap' into their ability for normal contact?"
"No, I'm afraid not." he replied, his voice soft and heavy at the admission.
Charles looked saddened by the knowledge, "Rogue's gift is to borrow abilities, powers, traits, fellow gifts. To touch skin to skin...that isn't one of them, it's something she already has the ability to do whether or not she knows it. To touch another person isn't necessarily considered a gift in the evolutionary cycle of things."
For a minute, both of the teachers looked equally frustrated and pained at the thought being deprived of something so necessary to live a happy life.
"Is there anyway we can influence Ms. Frost into helping us? Gags and blindfolds help."
Charles blinked at the tall woman and smiled indulgently, "Now Ororo, I know how you must feel about this-"
She interrupted him, her blue eyes flashing mischievously, "Torture is always an option as well."
"But Logan would help..."
"I don't believe that would do any-"
Storm huffed and threw up her hands, "Fine! We'll sick the children on her, Jamie and Rahne leading the charge."
"Now that might work."
As far as Rogue could tell, they had been stuck in Limbo for a following day and night since she woke there after Germany. They had been a long few days, filled with arguments, cajoling and pleading between herself and Remy. They couldn't agree to agree, or even agree to disagree about what they should do. As far as Rogue could see, Remy believed that if they continued to travel via the boulders then eventually they would get out. She just wanted to smack him; they were traveling within her mind, not along a Monopoly board for God's sake, this wasn't a game. She got the feeling that here there was no "Pass Go, Collect $200."
Rogue on the other hand, couldn't quite get a clear picture of what was happening, but she felt that Remy wasn't entirely off his rocker about what was going on. She could tell that it was important for them to interact among the people she had been meeting. More than likely that was why she knew most of them, though she didn't quite have an explanation for the Sinister episode.
It was night time again. Or at least, that was what they guessed. It was period of time in Limbo, as Rogue had dubbed it, where the grey surrounding them grew darker, a more menacing shade of grey than the pearlescent color they were used to.
She glanced to the right of her and frowned. Remy was lying on the ground, his right arm was being used as a pillow and his left as a rudimentary blanket across his middle. His mouth was open and husky snores kept escaping, his hair falling towards the ground and around his head in a dark reddish brown halo. He had been sleeping for the past few hours, and comfortably at least it appeared. Lucky guy, Rogue watched him jealously, she hadn't been able to sleep more than half an hour before a sense of disquiet forced her awake and her brain had been playing games with her ever since.
It all came back to those damn boulders.
Glaring at the one a few feet before her, Rogue silently willed it to burst into flames. Levitate. Turn bright blue. Grow legs and sing Buck Cherry's "Crazy Bitch," she was willing to take anything at this point. Something to break the quiet menace those hunks of earth seemed to exude. Of course nothing worked. She didn't really expect it to, but it would have been something different.
The darkened quiet sunk into her bones and Rogue shivered as memories flashed through her mind and senses. Fire. Horses. The screaming of women, men, children and animals as they fought and begged for their lives.
The sobbing of Jubilee as they found her huddled in a room, her body drenched in the crimson splatters of her own blood.
The ice blue intensity of Pietro's gaze, the clink of the ice in her glass as it was tipped towards her lipstick bedewed mouth.
She couldn't get rid of them, any of them. The good, the bad, the painful and the excruciating. But then it got worse. Then the memories weren't even hers.
She saw the walls as it caved in, the smell of the dust as it swirled around her and the screams of natives and tourists alike. Her throat was raw from shouting, she wanted her mommy and daddy.
The burst of flavor on her tongue. It was her first kiss, but she could already tell that the distinct tingling of her taste buds came from someone that was pure male. Opening her eyes, she was elated and shocked to see a tall man standing before her wearing bright ruby red shades that glinted sharply in the sunlight.
Prickles. The pinpoint prickles that stabbed her skin repeatedly, then jabbed and twisted. The bone deep ache that wouldn't go away. She felt the terror ooze from her pores at the knowledge that she was being tortured for something she did. But she couldn't remember what. Didn't she train the way they wanted? Kill the way they wanted? She couldn't understand why they needed to put those sharp things into her hands. They told her it was because of someone named Weapon X. Unsheathing her claws, she stared at them in a fury, the pain a blinding force.
Shaking, Rogue pulled herself back. Halting gasps rasped through the still air as she tried to force oxygen into her lungs. Gripping her arms tightly around her drawn knees, Rogue could feel every foreign part of herself warring against what she supposed was her true nature. She was being torn apart and the temptation was almost too much. Already she could tell, that if she hadn't pulled herself back when she did, everything she was would have disappeared into the ether and Rogue would have been no more.
Another glance at the boulder did it for her. The damn thing was taunting Rogue anyways, it needed to be taken care of. And Remy didn't need to know. He would have tried to stop her anyways. Claiming they needed to stick together, that he needed to take care of her. Protect her.
Rogue thickly swallowed the bile was it crawled up her throat at the idea of Remy throwing himself into danger's path for her. It was bad enough things almost came down to that back with the circus. If it ever did actually happen, and he got hurt, Rogue didn't know what she would do. The memory of Vegas flowed through her thoughts as well, causing her to wince.
The early admission that she cared too much for the over bearing, arrogant, cocky man blossomed into outright fear. She needed to make sure he was safe. And apparently the safest place in her mind was in Limbo, surrounded by all the rocks the eye could see for miles and miles.
Quickly, she stood up as quietly as she could. Remy shifted in his sleep, moving closer to Rogue; her breath caught in anticipation of his awakening. How could she explain the need to leave him?
Her breath escaped almost in the same instant as she realized that he wasn't waking up, just making himself more comfortable. Rogue bit her lip at the sight of him, drinking him in as a last memory if need be. Hopefully she would be back, but it was plainly obvious that she could no more rely on what happened within her mind than she could on her powers. Taking a deep breath, Rogue turned and walked towards her staring partner, the rock she had been mentally planning its demise for hours.
Standing beside it, Rogue allowed herself to stand still for a few minutes to see if she was able to feel the almost primal need the rock had previously imposed on herself and Remy. A small, sad smile curved her lips at the realization that she could feel it starting in her heart as the beat turned slightly irregular. She reached out her gloveless hand.
Turning her head at the last moment, Rogue caught a final glance at Remy as the world began to coalesce into television-esque snow. Before everything went blank, her thought was that her fear was going to be realized. She was finally getting the chance to see if she could leave Remy, and it scared her to death.
With a yawn and a few blinks of his unusual eyes, Remy woke up and tilted his head to the side towards his companion with a characteristic grin, " 'ey, Chère..." He fell silent at the realization that she wasn't beside him.
In a blink, Remy LeBeau was fully away and scanning the grey landscape for any sign of his Rogue. None. Not even a flash of auburn hair with white stripes in the distance. No ranting, shouting or harsh mumbling.
His eyes flicked from spot to spot and side to side as he fought to figure out what was going on. As far as they had come to know, there was no one or nothing in this...Limbo..as Rogue called it, except for them. So she couldn't have been kidnapped, could she? A cursory glance at the ground told him no. No footprints. Then he mentally called himself an idiot, of course there wouldn't be footprints.
Cursing he ran a hand through his rumpled hair. So where could she have gone? There wasn't anywhere to run to. Besides, Remy sort of thought that they were beyond that by now. Their kiss back at the circus certainly told him that much. Facing towards the sky, he squinted in the direction of where the sun was supposed to be. The last time he had seen her, she had been lying beside him on the ground. Then he had fallen asleep, and that had been the last truly conscious memory he had of her.
Though since Remy was an incredibly light sleeper due to years of Guild training, he could wake up in an instant from the slightest sound. Though that grew more difficult the more comfortable he felt in a setting. Then he merely had waking dreams. Constantly running his fingers through his cinnamon colored hair, he thought back to the prior night and realized that he'd actually had a number of such dreams. But as usual had only chalked them up to a faulty REM cycle.
Rogue muttering, swearing and glaring at something in front of her was the first one that caught his attention. A quick check around their camp area showed that the only object that could be glare worthy was a boulder a couple feet's distance from their sleeping spot; though knowing Rogue as he did, Remy wouldn't have been surprised to know she was bitching out an inanimate object.
The one that caught his attention though, as he cast his memory back, was the one of Rogue getting up from the ground, gracing him with a sad glance then walking towards said inanimate object.
Instantly Remy's eyes were open wide and he turned towards the boulder in fear.
"She wouldn'..." he muttered, as his long legs quickly jogged him towards the rock in a few steps. Remembering the pulsing feeling throughout his body, Remy closed his eyes and waited for it to hit him.
He stood there for ten minutes.
Nothing even so much as tingled.
With a harsh curse word, Remy shot forward and started touching the rock, stroking it, hitting it, coaxing it. He even tried to dig under it with no luck. Wherever Rogue had gone to, Remy couldn't follow.
He was going to kill dat fille when he finally got his hands on her again.
Jean was leaning against the window jamb, her normally smooth forehead wrinkled and her arms crossed as she watched the spectacle in the garden.
The storm that had ravaged the night before had left the mansion grounds glowing. It had gone from overcast to dousing the grounds in brilliant sunshine. Something almost every kid in the mansion was taking advantage of. Frisbees and bodies were flying through the air, muffled shouts and shrieks of delight vibrated against the window pane, just barely catching Jean's attention.
Instead, her light green eyes were focused on the only two stationary figures that were bathed in the sunlight. She was tall, blessed with long blonde hair which was currently perfectly coifed and a slinky white ensemble. And her manicured hands were caressing the arm of Jean's boyfriend. And Scott wasn't exactly pushing the bimbo away as far as she could tell, at least that's what it looked like from the blush that was flushed along his cheeks.
The kind of fury only a redhead can accomplish coursed throughout her body. Her hands morphed into fists as she fought to retain at least partial control over her rampaging emotions. It would not look good for the professor if his guest turned up dead by telepath.
Pushing herself away from the glass, Jean made her way outside and towards the pair, the world around her awash in a reddish light from the bloodlust that had taken over.
Standing a few feet away, Jean stood there, her arms crossed and hip cocked to the side as she watched them exchange sweet nothings. "Ahem."
Jean had to give the bitch credit, she never moved an inch. Scott on the other hand, jumped a foot to the left and flushed scarlet to the tips of his ears.
"Jean! W-w-we've been looking all over for you. Weren't we Ms. Frost?"
Ignoring the fuming redhead behind her, Emma simply batted her lashes at Scott and said only just loud enough for Jean to overhear, "Were we darling? I thought we were just getting to know each other much better. And Scott," she trilled a soft laugh and slapped lightly at his arm, "I told you, please call me Emma."
To his credit, Scott knew when he was in trouble and tried to extricate himself from the blonde's clutches, but her nails gripped him tightly. Flustered, he looked down at her then back at his furious girlfriend, "Uh Jean, we were just discussing the Remy and Rogue issue. That's all, I promise." His blush reversed rapidly as Emma laid her golden head on his shoulder. He never saw her smirk at the younger woman.
Tossing her long hair over a shoulder, Jean sneered at him, "Oh, don't let me stop you Scott. Why don't you just go on having fun with your little friend. Come find me when you decide it's time to beg for mercy."
"That's right dear, go on inside. Scott and I will be in later. Please tell Charles not to wait up."
Jean flinched as if struck and continued to walk with determination back into the mansion. All along behind her she left a wake of muttered curse words and hexes towards the blonde witch. Slamming a door behind her, Jean quickly turned towards the kitchen.
Once there she yanked open the freezer, grabbed a gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream, chose the largest spoon she could from the drawer then plopped herself down into a chair and dug in.
Turning towards the voice, Jean swallowed the lump of ice cream lodged in her mouth and started ranting to Kitty about the injustice of men in the world.
Kitty being Kitty simply nodded, grabbed a second spoon and started into the ice cream herself.
After a solid half an hour of listening to Jean gripe about Scott and his idiocy, Kitty laid her spoon down on the counter and looked at Jean. Her warm brown eyes were serious and still red rimmed from the tears she had shed the night before.
"Jean, I'm not saying that like you should breakup with Scott or anything. But maybe you should take a look at what's going on here."
Crunching on a particularly big chunk of chocolate, Jean looked at the younger girl quizzically, "What do you mean Kitty? I'm sitting here, you're sitting here, we're eating ice cream. And that bitch is still making moves on Scott; that's what's going on here."
Kitty rolled her eyes, clearly exasperated, "You know, for a smart person you're acting pretty frickin' dumb at the moment."
Jean just stared at her blankly, the light green mint ice cream slowly melting on her spoon.
"You know what? Like never mind." Standing up, Kitty dumped her spoon in the sink and left the kitchen.
A scowl lit up the redhead's pretty face when it wasn't the petite brunette who walked in but her optically challenged boyfriend. "Where's your new friend Scott?"
She couldn't be sure, but the way he stopped walking towards her and cocked his head to the side was a sure sign that Scott was blinking at her in confusion. "Emma? She's just trying to fit in at the mansion Jean. Honestly, I'm disappointed in you, I would have thought that you would want to welcome her here."
Jean opened her mouth in fury, ready to throw a diatribe his way but in a typically oblivious fashion, Scott continued to barrel on, "Afterall, she is on our side in the debate tomorrow."
"Of course it doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous, rich and older. Isn't that right? You know what Scott, save it. Right now, I don't even know you."
Leaving the ice cream carton in the middle of the table, Jean studiously ignored her stunned beau as she quietly walked out of the kitchen finally understanding what Kitty meant. There was definitely more going on.
At the moment, Rogue was truly wondering why she felt it had been better to leave Remy behind in Limbo. All she wanted to do was sit down, drop her head into her hands and whimper.
Instead of being dropped into some unrecognizable alternate world, where she could come face to face with someone who was the exact doppelganger of someone she knew, Rogue had no words to even name where she was. At this point, she was even contemplating clicking her heels to get back to the grey landscape she had come to know as somewhat normal. This was not normal, not by any stretch of the imagination, and Rogue's imagination had been working in overtime lately.
The world around her was filled with what appeared to be movie screens. She couldn't take a firm count of just how many, because they were slowly revolving around her, each one was almost as large as the IMAX she had seen once on a field trip into New York City.
Considering the amount of random traveling that Rogue had been subjected to recently, it wasn't so much the fact that she had now been shoved into an unnameable place, or that it was filled with movie theater screens that almost had her on her knees and crying for her maker.
It was the fact that the screens kept flickering back and forth between her own personal memories and the memories she could only assume came from all the people she had ever absorbed. Already she had seen the scenes that had already flitted through her thoughts earlier; Storm's, Jean's and X23's memories. But on the screen to her left and slowly making it's way around, she could see Bobby coming out to his family as a mutant. She could hear Toad being sucker punched time and time again simply for being disgusting.
She could hear the Professor telling her that there might never be a way to help her control her ability. She could see her mother, with a much younger Rogue, probably about five or six if the pigtails were any sort of age marker, sitting on her lap at night with a story book in front of them. The next scene showed that same woman, her adoptive mother, morphing into Mystique. Then she was drugging Rogue for Apocalypse.
She could finally feel. But she felt everything. The ache centered around her eyes as they squeezed out tear after tear. The heavy press of guilt, anger and fear that was searing on her heart and lungs making breathing a fight for every bit of air.
Up until now, being inside her head hadn't been like this. This was an overload of every assault of the senses that had Rogue spinning. Every time someone got hurt, whether it was a stabbing, electrocution or even a stubbed toe..she felt it. Every heartbreak; the number of times that Lance had cheated on Kitty, Kurt with Amanda and her family, Remy with every girl he had ever come in contact with. Every piece of their fear, their terror. All of their love. The pleasure every touch, every kiss had ever brought them.
She could see, feel the sensation of sex. It wasn't the first time for Rogue to have such sensations coursing through her. Her powers weren't so forgiving as to allow her the decency of respecting a person's private moments. But the onslaught of feeling every occurrence of every single person at once was torture; the amount of love, hatred, pleasure and pain that coursed through her body had Rogue arching her back and curling her toes in a silent plea for help. Help that was no where near coming to her rescue. She wanted to die.
Sobs ripped themselves from her chest but she couldn't hear them, could barely feel them as they wracked her body. She was too caught up in the whirl of living multiple lives and experiences to care about what was happening to her own self. She wanted Remy.
Just at the thought of him, suddenly the timber of the scenes floating around her changed to moments featuring Gambit. His adoption by Jean-Luc, his training with the Thieves Guild, falling in love for the first time with the Assassin's premier daughter Belladonna. The tears were still pouring down her pallid cheeks, but Rogue ignored them for this insight into the life of the man who had suddenly come to mean so much to her. Then they changed; no longer was the background around Remy filled with swamps, spanish moss, and the swirling ironwork of New Orleans, but with snow, the mansion and her.
Tears once more filled her eyes, but these weren't flavored with fear or anger, but with loss. She had wasted so much time fighting her attraction to him. Rogue had thought for the longest time that Remy had just been playing with her, toying with her emotions for fun; he was such a wonderfully handsome man, charming and charismatic that it never made sense for him to want the one woman in the mansion who could never do much for him.
But now she could clearly see, hear, feel and know for certain, Gambit cared for her. On all the screens before her, swirling and spinning as their apparent wont, she could see the pulsing frantic quality that he seemed to acquire after her injury. The crazed look in his dulled eyes as he ran around the town, first trying to find Mystique then Mastermind. The gentle way he had stroked her hair as carefully as he could so as to not touch her, they way he had defended her right to live. She saw everything in the days prior to his appearance beside her, up to his decision to sacrifice himself for her.
Every fight she'd had with him about how he had ended up stuck in this twisted realm with her finally came out, the realization that he was too embarrassed to tell her the truth. He came because he felt he had let her down. Rogue could practically taste his feelings towards her on the tip of her tongue, and it was sweeter than any ice cream she'd ever had.
Gathering what strength she had left, Rogue stood up and dashed the remnants of her tears from her face. Her fists were balled at her sides, the short, bitten nails digging fiercely into the flesh of her palms. She took a deep breath and pulled every feeling that threatened to overtake her further into herself.
"Fuck this." she said quietly. Then her voice picked up speed as she continued talking to the ether, "I want to go home. I want to go back to Remy. I want my head back and I want out of this freakin' Wonderland!" She was screaming by the end of her, her chest heaving in the effort. The screens around her slowed but they never stopped. Nothing else responded to her tantrum.
Practically growling with anger, Rogue walked over to one of the screens and reached out her hand to touch the very edge of it. The feeling was warm, as if she had stepped into a just drawn bath, it tingled throughout her body and her fingers vibrated. Playing on it was Jean's first date with Scott. A thrill of wonder flashed through Rogue momentarily at the realization that she no longer felt the buzz of jealousy at the sight of them together. Then she became entangled in the scene before her.
The tingling increased until Rogue felt like she going to vibrate completely apart. But it wasn't a painful feeling, more as if every nerve ending was turning numb at the continued sensation that pounded throughout every part of her. Then it was as if everything she was hearing from the other screens become background noise and what her ears most focused on was instead the screen she was touching.
She gasped at the change of sounds that began to assault her and was greeted with two shocked expressions on Jean and Scott's faces as they turned towards her. She inwardly winced at that since previously they had almost been in the midst of what she was sure would have been a rather passionate kiss; though to be honest she had seen enough of that in the past and was glad to have bypassed it here at close quarters.
"Rogue?" Jean asked tentatively, her hand still intertwined with Scott's own.
Rogue couldn't help what came out of her mouth next.
"What the fuck?"
Scott winced at the sugar sweetened curse word that poured from Rogue's lips as soon as it registered, "Do you have to say things like that Rogue? Honestly."
"Y'all can see me? Y'all can hear me? Hell!" She cried in surprise, "y'all know me?"
They glanced at each other then back at her, concern plain on their faces. "Are you ok Rogue?" Jean asked softly, her tone giving the impression that she was ready for Rogue to crack and start talking even more gibberish.
Scott looked equally nervous, "Should we call the Professor over?"
Rogue ignored their queries for the time being, choosing instead to simply walk over and grab Jean's shirt covered arm. She tugged on the cloth covered appendage, barely hearing Jean's surprised exclamation. "Holy hell," she breathed, "Scotty boy, ah'd get ready iffen I were you. Ah think ah'm about to go out lahke a light."
Scott barely had time to catch her before Rogue dropped to the cement.
Lounging on his back, Gambit stared at what he supposed was the sky, swirling with dimmed white clouds throughout the grey backdrop. He looked like he was relaxing; his legs crossed leisurely at the ankles and his hands behind his head. But if one were to look far more closely to see the lines framing his normally lush mouth they would have realized that this seemingly cool young man was really a boiling hotbed of anxiety and frustration. In fact the only reason that he was in this position in the first place was because he had discovered that sitting up as he joyfully planned Rogue's demise at his bare hands became a strain on his back.
He still could not get over the fact that she had gone off to God knows where without him. Did she trust him so little that she felt she could do more if she wasn't saddled with him? If only he was able to pick her brain; that thought left him chuckling grimly, after all where was he to begin with?
He sat up; of course. Her brain. The place of Rogue where she could never escape, or be free. Every part of her that could be was now centered in her head. That meant that no matter where she went...quickly, Remy stood up, cupped his hands around his mouth and started shouting into the empty landscape.
"Rogue! ROGUE! Can ya hear Remy chère?"
His voice never even echoed, he never figured it would have though. There was nothing for it to bounce off of in the first place. Silence was his reply, but the more Remy thought about it, the more it made sense. Rogue technically couldn't go anywhere. She was already physically in a coma, but if the Rogue he had just been making time with was any indication, she was mentally fine.
He could only hope that where ever she was now, her thoughts, the psyches and the personalities that went with them wouldn't allow for her to get hurt. He still didn't have a clear idea what might happen to her if she got injured within her own mindscape. And he got the feeling that he didn't want to find out.
Undaunted, he continued calling for Rogue every few minutes, if only to hear the sound of a voice uttered allowed, even though it was just his. It was something more than the voice that kept calling him several choice names in his own thoughts. If anything it kept him as a constant reminder in the back of her mind. Assuming that some part of her could hear him.
Tired of calling out for someone who wasn't going to answer him, Remy fell silent after ten minutes or so. Then he heard it.
It wasn't Rogue answering back to him, that was for sure, but it was something that he recognized and that definitely caught his attention.
Before where there was nothing but swirling fumes of grey, now if he squinted his eyes together tightly, Remy thought he could just make out a slim figure in the depths of the fog. As he continued to watch closely, it was still several minutes before he could mentally affirm that he wasn't going crazy and that yes, whatever or whoever it was, actually was growing larger. Which meant they were getting closer as well.
Cursing softly beneath his breath, Remy quickly began to scan around and shuffle his feet in case he ran into the barrier he and Rogue had literally (at least on Rogue's part) crashed into. In fact, he hoped to find it sooner than later; who knew if the bogey clocking in quickly was a friendly after all?
Frustrated with the lack of invisible barrier, Remy silently cursed every deity he could think up quickly. In the dim swirl of the fog, the figure which had been so distant not five minutes before was now much darker in definition. It was with an acute sense of relief and despair that Remy realized the body walking towards him was, first off, familiar and secondly not female. Which meant it wasn't Rogue.
Taking a deep, calming breath, Remy cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted into the ether, "Bonjour mon ami, to what does Remy owe de pleasure o' dis visit?"
The answering sound wasn't so much as verbal as it was a growl, but that was enough for Remy to confirm in his mind who had appeared before him.
When the smaller statured man appeared before him out of the mists, Remy bowed at the waist and smirked at the Canadian, "Monsieur Wolvie."
Logan tilted his head, "Cajun."
Even here, Remy found it fascinating that Wolverine was never without his ever present bit of stogie lodge in the deep corner of his mouth, like a barnacle on the hull of an ancient boat. Gambit had to admit though, as far as visitors went though, Logan was definitely the lesser of many evils that could have come popping up from no where.
Glaring at the younger man, Logan's eyes slitted till there was almost nothing left of the warm brown color to see, "Where's Rogue you little shit." His eyes darted from one side of the obvious camp to the other and every space in between.
Remy tsked loudly, "Now Wolvie, is dat any way t' talk t' Gambit?"
"Where is she."
He shrugged in reply, but his answer was sharp and filled with all the answer and frustration that had been coursing through him since he'd woken up that morning, "Gambit don' know Monsieur, Remy woke up dis mornin' and she was no where to be found."
Lifting his face into the air, Logan closed his eyes in apparent concentration, gently slipped the cigar into his hand and breathed deeply of the air. Remy watched him and smirked.
"What Cajun." the stockier X-man snapped, his eyes still firmly closed.
"Don' believe ya're gonna find anyt'ing by takin' a whiff dere."
"And why is that." Was the reply, a growl beginning deep in Logan's chest, though Remy ignored the warning.
" 'Cause dis is Limbo, dere ain't anyt'ing here ta smell."
A smirk graced Logan's strained and creased mouth, "That's what you think gator bait. There's a difference though between us."
Remy's answering sneer was so hard it looked etched on his otherwise handsome visage, "Et what's dat."
"By some weird quirk of fate, yeh're actually real." Opening his eyes, Logan appeared to abandon his hunt, for, Remy could only suppose, Rogue, and stared intensely at him, "I'm not. You can't smell anything 'cause yeh're not a psyche. I am. Now shut yer trap and let me work otherwise we'll never find her."
Wisely, Remy left Wolverine alone to his sniffing as he sat down to process this latest bit of information. So he had been wrong; this wasn't the Logan that he knew. The so called 'real' Logan, this was the Wolverine that Rogue had at some point absorbed. Knowing Rogue and Logan as he did, Remy could readily guess that it was when Logan was feeling particularly fatherly for the wayward, more than likely injured, female mutant. "Find anything yet?" Remy drawled lazily.
Logan bared his teeth at the Acadian.
"Remy'll take dat as a no den, oui?" he murmured, delighted to having pissed off even psyche Logan. After all, everyone needed a hobby.
Five minutes passed. "How 'bout now?"
Ten minutes; "Now?"
"Shove off Cajun."
Remy was feeling generous, so he waited an additional ten minutes before taking another poke at the man. "Are we dere yet?" he whined, his impression of a car sickened child sadly dead on.
Logan's head whipped around and shot a fury riddled glare at the grinning man child. Remy held up his hands, his face shining with innocence as his eyes twinkled with devilry. "Quoi? Can' blame a man fo' tryin' can ya? Call it incentive mon ami, de faster ya' figure out where Roguey is, the sooner ya get rid o' moi."
The psyche sniffed delicately at the idea, then he grinned at Remy, his sharpened teeth glinting oddly in the dimmed light. "Fine Cajun, I'll hold ya to that. 'S bad enough we already got one of ya in here, sure as hell don't need two." Then turning his head back around, Logan continued to sniff around to find Rogue's signature, or whatever it was he was looking for. Remy wasn't going to ask.
Gambit fell silent and wondered at the Logan shaped psyche. It walked, talked and acted like the crusty mutant he had come to know and filch alcohol from, but there was something slightly off.
"When did Rogue absorbed you." He quietly asked.
Watching closely, Remy noticed that Logan's shoulders tensed slightly. A split second of thinking had him wondering if maybe that was a personal question, like religion, politics and a person's sex life before over two hundred pounds of metal bound muscle was voluntarily hurled at him. In the back of his mind, he could appreciate that at least he didn't have all three claws brushing against his throat, but just the one.
"Why d'ya ask there Gambit?" Wolverine snarled, his expression dark.
With all the nonchalance he could muster, Remy shrugged his shoulders, careful not to jolt the blade against his neck, "Ya jus' look different den de Wolvie Remy knows back in de Mansion 's all."
The blade never moved. "Different how swamp trash."
Remy stared at him in disbelief, "Ya're seriously wantin' ta have dis conversation now mon ami? When Rogue is out dere doin' God knows what? Mon Dieu, Monsieur Loup Garou, Gambit t'ought dat maybe ya knew better den dat." Mourning the loss of his bo staff, Remy braced himself and shoved with all his might at the man. Though he couldn't feel the contact between them, that didn't stop Remy was feeling the force it require to even move Logan an inch. The man may have been a psyche, but he was as solid as Remy. Separating, the two men sat on opposite sides of the camp and fell quiet.
"She absorbed me after the rest of the psyches got the better of her. The last time things in here became an issue." Remy nodded, it was before he knew her. Before he knew anyone at the mansion.
It was a full fifteen minutes later before Logan raised his head, his nose wrinkled in frustration. "Quoi," Remy muttered tiredly, he was sick of this waiting, "Can' find her after all den?"
"Can it pretty boy, I found her." But the tone in which he said it had Remy's ears perked in worry.
"Where? Is she alright?"
Logan shrugged, pulling the cigar out of his mouth he released a stream of smoke then replaced it, "Don't know iffen she's fine, but I think I can get us there."
"There where." Gambit demanded, his voice growing soft as he quickly walked around the campsite destroying any signs they were there.
"Where the rest of the Psyches are brainiac, the Mansion."
She stood outside of the Professor's office and breathed deeply, coaching herself. She could do this. She was an X-men, one of the leaders, she could totally do this. Unconsciously, she raised a slim hand and flicked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear. Tugging the hem of her pale blue button down shirt and wiping away the creases in her knee length khaki skirt, Jean stood upright, squared away her shoulders and knocked softly on the thick oak door.
Then she knocked again because the first time hadn't been loud enough.
She could hear the voices of Xavier, Ororo, Logan and Dr. McCoy in there, and could readily guess what they were discussing. She just wanted to be a part of it.
Ignoring the rules of polite society and ethics, Jean could allow herself to be dissuaded from her current mission by a close door. Closing her eyes, bringing the tips of her fingers to her temples and concentrating hard she decided to knock a little harder, only this time right on Charles Xavier's brain.
An answering buzz into her thoughts told her that her entreaty had finally been noticed, "Yes Jean, please come in."
Another deep breath just to stabilizing her failing nerves and the tall redhead walked into the austere office. She fought the muscles in her face to keep from wincing at the sight of so many disappointed faces aimed towards her. Before she had been so preoccupied with dealing with Scott she hadn't been thinking clearly, but now she was willing to change that. And deliver a stinging blow to the backstabbing, boyfriend stealing blonde bitch to boot.
She nodded solemnly towards Beast and Storm, flicked her fingers towards Logan as a greeting but the bulk of her attention was fixated on the Professor. She smiled softly at the grandfatherly figure, "Professor."
He nodded, his clear blue eyes fixed on her face, "Hello there Jean. To what do we owe the surprise of your visit?"
Blinking back a sudden rush of tears that fought to destroy her temporary facade of calm, Jean quickly blurted out, "Emma!"
Charles frowned, "Ms. Frost?"
Logan sniggered off to the side, but Storm silenced him with a harsh glare.
Jean nodded, her bright green eyes wide, "Yes! Do you know that she has been undermining your authority? The children are a complete shambles and I don't know what to do with Scott anymore-"
"And that isn't because he's been making time with the Barbie?" Logan interrupted dryly. Jean shot him a glare, her former friendly attitude towards the older mutant now forgotten.
"Logan, behave." Was the quiet command from Storm.
Jean scowled and realized she would have to face the facts. "Ok fine, she's trying to steal Scott from me."
Charles gestured with his hands out to the side, "What would you want us to do about this?"
"Get rid of her!" She cried loudly.
A low cough from the corner interrupted. "Charles, she may have a point, though Ms. Grey's motives aren't altruistic. Do we really need Ms. Frost any longer?" Hank asked carefully.
"Does this mean that I can finally throw the bitch out on her surgically enhanced ass?" Logan muttered, glancing hopefully at Xavier.
"How would you know it's surgically enhanced?" Asked Storm, curiosity overcoming her better judgement.
He shrugged, "Could smell the silicone."
"No Logan." Charles allowed a small smile to break through his currently dour expression, "I'm sorry to say that I cannot allow that. She is still my guest here. And Jean, I apologize but there is nothing I can do."
Out of everyone in the office, the only two who didn't seem upset or furious over this news was the Professor and Storm. They were placidly calm in the wave of angry words from Logan and Jean, as well as the stream of reason from Beast. But Charles remained steadfast in his decision.
In a huff, Jean threw her hands up, "Fine! Let the boyfriend stealing bitch stay here."
"How magnanimous of you Jean." Storm replied dryly, "To allow a guest to stay in a home in which you too are, technically, a guest." Jean pointedly ignored the older woman.
Hank and the Professor exchanged looks full of meaning, "You know," Beast said to no one in particular, "She will be gone in a day or two depending on the outcome of the decision tomorrow."
Her glittering green eyes slitted skeptically, Jean's gazed lingered on the two men. She understood what they were saying; and truth be told, she had never been completely comfortable with Scott's need to play God. "I'm in then." Jean answered the unasked question.
Logan spoke for the four fully fledged X-Men, "Good on you kid."
Jean didn't answer, instead she nodded and turned on her heel, walking back through the office door and down the hall. Hank excused himself a minute later, saying that he really needed to get back down to the med bay.
Storm watched through the window the parade of rambunctious children cavorting on the lawn, as Jean and Beast left the room. "Was that necessary Charles?" she asked softly.
He nodded, "Yes," he replied, his voice equally soft, "I believe it was. She never would have left the matter alone otherwise."
"Chuck, do ya really think this is gonna work?"
Xavier shook his head, "Logan, I truly do not know. But we will make it work."
It wasn't the first time in recent days that Rogue had woken up only to find herself disoriented by her surroundings. But as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, they widened on their own accord at the sight which greeted her.
It wasn't some scene out of a science fiction novel, nor was it filled with the Munchkins and their ruby slippers. What shocked her was that she was in her room.
She was lying between her black sheets and dark green comforter. If she looked up at the ceiling, that was her punk rock poster. Her laptop, compliments of the Professor on her eighteenth birthday, was on her desk. A desk which was still delightfully littered with pieces of paper that had such inconsequential bits of information on them such as "Monday at three PM," and "Note to self: don't mess with dragons." Her bookshelf was still dotted with the occasional vampire book, Harry Potter novel and she knew that if she were to lift three strategic spines from their spots she would find her dirty little secret awaiting: a few choice romance novels that she refused to let Kitty see for her own safety and reputation.
As the feeling of astonishment crested over her, it was quickly replaced with the tingling sensation of panic. Why was she back in the Mansion? And did that mean that Remy was here too? What if he had been left behind all because she had tried to be noble and save him.
Flinging back the covers, Rogue slipped on her doc martens, which had been handily lingering next to her bed on the floor. A quick glance at the mirror showed her a sight she was almost relieved to see again, a dark green three quarter length sleeved shirt with silky white gloves covering the rest of it, dark washed flared jeans traveled down her legs and her face was smothered in its customary dose of makeup. Wincing at the extreme amount of war paint she had covered her face in, Rogue quickly scrubbed a majority of it away with some remover she had on her dresser. Remy never did like how much she wore.
Silently, she slipped from her room and tiptoed down the hall. She was in the Mansion, that was for sure; the dark oak paneling could never be mistaken for any other place, but how could she be sure that she was really home? For all she knew, this Mansion could have been filled to the brim with unfriendlys.
Never mind that it had been Jean and Scott she'd run into before. Could never be too careful after all.
Walking along the hallway, Rogue was careful to stick to the shadows when she could. Dodging from one doorway to another, she stopped occasionally to listen and make sure that no one was around. What struck her as odd, when she was walking along, was that she never heard a thing. It was as if the Mansion had been deserted.
Throwing her eyes quickly from side to side, she was satisfied that no one was around. Her stomach had been rumbling for the past few minutes and she was getting desperate to fill the ache. Sliding her body into a crouch, she smoothly moved to the stairs and prepared to walk down them when she stopped with a start.
Leaning over the landing, Rogue kept her body low to the ground as watched what was happening. There was Jean, and Scott and Kitty...but there were at least two or three of each. And they were all talking; well at least in the case of Kitty they were all talking, in the case of at least two of the Jean and Scott couples they were sitting on a bench in the hallway making out to the disgust of not a few of the people who walked by.
She blinked quickly, her eyes flying open and closed in shock at the sight before her. Multiples? Of everyone? Then an even bigger shock walked by. Or more appropriately, lumbered.
Marko Cain, aka Juggernaut. Charles Xavier's brother. Startled, it took every inch of her well earned will power for Rogue not to exclaim loudly at the appearance of one of the X-men's most hated enemies. Following Cain were two Kurts, one on each side of him, yapping like puppies at their master's heel. All three of them jabbered down the hallway, taking no notice of any of the other multiples of people around them.
Rogue rubbed her eyes and shut them tightly for a minute. Was she hallucinating? Or just going plumb mad by now?
A girly shriek erupted from her as she whirled around, startled almost out of her skin. There standing before her was Lance and Wanda. Or rather, Lance and two Wandas. Gasping loudly, and clutching her chest, Rogue glared at him sharply, "What the hell was that foh yah moron? Yah scared the shit outta meh."
He smirked at her and the pair of Wanda Maximoffs crossed their arms and rolled their eyes in a scarily synchronized movement, "Good, you're awake. The tightass and Jean wanted to know when you would rise from the dead."
Knowing when she was busted, Rogue strove for a semblance of cool as she stood up and gestured over the railing at the couples below, "Which pair sugah." she deadpanned.
All three of them sniggered and one of the Wandas piped up, "Does it matter?" The other one watched Rogue for her answer, her vivid blue eyes flinty in their lack of telltale expression.
Rogue ignored that question for the time being, she had the feeling it might be a trick. Instead she chose to answer the question with one of her own, "What's goin' on down there? Up here...everywhere! Why are there so many of you?" she flapped her wrist limply at the Wandas then gestured down on the ground floor where the parade of multiples continued to walk hither and thither.
Lance blinked at her, his expression one of confussion, "Huh?"
Wanda number two rolled her eyes again, "Dumbass," she muttered and smacked the Brotherhood boy upside the head, then she turned to Rogue, "What's going on, is that every single one of those people down there is someone you absorbed."
Rogue glanced downstairs again, "Ah don' see why there'd be so many o' them though..."
Wanda number one snorted, " Of course you don't, why would you. When was the last time you ever thought about us in here?"
"Wait, so ah'm still stuck in mah head?" Her tone was one of dismay.
Lance looked at her sympathetically, "Must have been a bitch to wake up and think you were back home huh." Then he brightened, "But hey, look at it this way. You're the only Rogue in here."
Both Wandas reached up and slapped him this time. And hard too, if his yowl of pain was any indication. Rogue gifted the two women a small smile of thanks. "Moron," they said in unison.
Wanda number one squinted at her and glanced around as if Rogue was hiding something, "Where's Gambit?" Her twin nodded, her eyes wide in anticipation.
"Yeah," she asked breathlessly, "We've been waiting to see him again."
Rogue eyed them closely,"Again?"
All three of them squirmed slightly. It was another voice that answered her question.
"Everything that has happened in your mind. Every episode prior to now, we've all seen and experienced it with you my dear." She turned completely around to find the Professor watching her with something akin to affection on his face.
A faint blush tinged her cheeks a soft pink, "Everythang?"
A benevolent smile was her answer, "Yes, but I promise no one in here will mention it to you without your permission. This is your mind after all." He spread his hands out in a gesture of goodwill, "Be the master of your domain Rogue." A crease of worry interrupted the smooth expanse of his forehead for a minute, "Though, to be frank, I was beginning to get worried. You were supposed to be here days ago." Beckoning her to follow him, Rogue left behind Lance and the two Wandas as they moved down the hallway.
"Why's that Professor?"
He kept silent as they continued along the corridor. As the minutes ticked away, Rogue could feel her anxiety multiply with every step until her nerves were buzzing with stress. She didn't dare ask him again for fear of getting an answer that she didn't want, choosing instead to wait until he told her of his own accord. Ignorance was supposed to be bliss apparently, though at the moment and from the knots she could feel forming in her neck, Rogue would have to argue for otherwise.
They were finally in his office and Rogue was experiencing a wicked feeling of deja vu before he answered the question. "Every time you went into an 'episode,' you went deeper into your coma. This is your last stop."
Feeling the tension zinging up and down her senses, Rogue's stomach plummeted at Xavier's words. "Wait," she held her hands up in a 'stop' motion, "So yah're saying that every tahme ah was thrown inta one of the lil 'scenes,' ah was being forced deeper and deeper inta this damn thang?" He nodded, his eyes sad. She took a deep breath and decided she'd come to grips with that bit of news later. In private. When she could destroy some Mansion property and blame it on someone else. "Then what didja mean by this was mah last stop Professor?"
His mouth opened and closed. Then repeated the movement again and again as Rogue waited patiently for an honest answer. "I don't know." he said at last, "just that every psyche here at the Mansion knows that this is the end."
Fear replaced the anxiety that shot through her at his words. The end? In what way? "So what do ah do?" she choked out. Homesickness had never seemed quite as bitter as it did now.
When she and Remy had been talking about staying with the circus, Rogue had readily agreed; but every part of her left something unsaid, it had been easy to agree that she would be happy to stay there...but only since some small part of her had supposed it would be easy to get home. She had never figured she would be stuck, with nothing but her own mind as her constant companion. Her mind and all the victims her powers had stripped of their very essence.
She wouldn't last very long, that much Rogue understood.
"So, if every tahme I went somewhere else ah fell deeper inta this coma of mahne," Her face tightened of its own accord, "What about Remy?"
Charles shook his head, "To be honest my dear, we don't have any idea why Mr. LeBeau was here in the first place. He is not a psyche, and arrived here of his own accord. There is no telling how his travels with you have affected him personally."
Bile rose in her throat at the idea that she may have inexplicably harmed Remy. Before everything, she may not have had such a problem with a little pain, but after all they had done together, shared with each other...the idea that he may be in trouble because of her was horrifying. "What can ah do." she whispered, her face frozen in a mask of tragedy.
He looked on her kindly, though she was thankful to notice that there was no pity in his gaze. "Whatever you feel you must Rogue."
"What," she shot back, her voice soaked in sarcasm, "No pearls o' wisdom from the great and all mighty Oz?"
His expression was placid and she crumbled before it, "Ah'm sorry. Ah jus' don' know what tah do." To her horror she could feel tears begin to prickle at the corners of her eyes. With herculean effort, Rogue stifled them before they could fall. But the tightness of her throat told her they weren't completely gone.
The Professor rolled from around his desk and gently took her gloved hand. "My dear, go, get something to eat and drink. Take some time to think things through. I'm sure they will become clear before too long."
"Ha," she snorted, "Rahgt."
"You never know."
Rogue looked at him for a minute, as if trying to divine just what the older man meant by that, but when she couldn't pick up any telltale signs on his features, she left the office.
"So what'd the boss man want anyway."
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, "Why do yah wanna know anyways Mama?"
The tall lanky youth standing against the opposite wall from Xavier's office door smiled cheerfully and shook out his dark brown hair, "How'd you know baby girl?" His grin never budged as he transformed into she, but the tone of the smile swiftly altered from cheerful to maliciously gleeful as quickly as Mystique's distinctive skin tone blossomed.
Rogue smirked, " 'Cause it's inevitable, yah always hafta bug the hell outta meh; stalk meh, piss meh off. Gee Mystique, ah think yeh're getting a mite predictable there."
"Gator bait ditched you didn't he."
"No Mama." Mystique didn't look convinced, her bright pupil-less yellow eyes narrowing at her daughter's suddenly flushed face.
"I saw him kissing you."
"Mama, ah kissed him." A soft smile accompanied the memory.
Mystique sniffed angrily, "What I want to know is why you stopped him from killing Sinister."
Rogue's footsteps faltered for a split second as she walked back down the hallway, towards the kitchen. So Mystique saw that did she; Rogue refused to allow her adoptive mother the chance to belittle Gambit. "Because it would have changed him, and ah didn' want that."
"Pansy ass Cajun."
At those words, Rogue whipped around, slipping her glove off in the same motion. Gripping Mystique by the throat with her still covered hand, Rogue dared to pull the woman towards her. "Don' yah ever dare say that about Remy again. Yah hear meh?" Rogue knew that with a simple shift of her body Mystique could easily loose herself, but if what Xavier said was true and she was master of her mind, then it was time she took control. Involuntarily her fist squeezed lightly on her mother's throat.
The soft expression Mystique spared her daughter looked odd on the trained assassin and anarchist's face, but Rogue understood. In her own round about way, the woman only wanted what she believed was best for her only daughter. What Mystique had never quite understood was that what she wanted and what Rogue wanted were never going to meet, because there could never be a middle between them. "Understood Rogue."
The itching sensation to squeeze the life from the woman she had always known growing up as Raven Darkholme was almost irresistible. Then Rogue released her. She had long ago learned to resist the seemingly irresistible.
"How's Irene?" she asked nonchalantly, her strides once again carrying her towards the Mansion's industrial sized kitchen, their tiff all but forgotten.
Mystique shrugged, "Dear, you never absorbed her."
Rogue's throat tightened, she had forgotten. "O' course." she answered softly, "ah forgot." Never before had she ever wished she had absorbed someone in retrospect, but then again, never had Rogue imagined herself in quite this position. It would have been nice to see Irene once again.
"Mutter!" A dark bounding shape came bouncing along the hallway and launched itself at Mystique, who caught the mess of legs, arms and a tail before hugging it and smiling. He glanced at Rogue, a single fang gleaming out of the side of his mouth as he nodded at her.
Rogue awkwardly waved, "Hey Kurt." But she didn't stop. Didn't want to have a conversation with this Kurt; who knew which time it had been that she'd absorbed him, he could still imagine her the enemy, a friend or even his sister. After everything that had happened so far during the course of her stay at the Mansion in her mind, she couldn't afford to lose her cool at the sight of her family joined together. No matter how dysfunctional they would be. The rest of her trip downstairs was uneventful.
Down in the kitchen, Rogue glanced quickly left and right. She took in the heavy duty oven and stove, the stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and the immaculately clean island. Then she saw the giant sub zero fridge and inwardly rejoiced, for some reason she was starving. And the kitchen was empty of any and all inhabitants.
An unexpected benefit of being back in the Mansion, no matter that it wasn't the 'real' one, was that she knew where everything was. So without very little trouble, Rogue soon had a massive turkey sandwich and a huge glass of ice cold milk ready to be eaten. Plopping herself at the table, she grabbed up her food and took a large bite, moaning involuntarily at the taste of food.
"So that's what it takes t' get such sounds t' come from dat mouth, eh?" a smooth, low voice drawled right behind her.
Dropping her sandwich on the plate, Rogue spun around in her chair and came face to face with Remy. He was leaning against the kitchen island, arms and ankles crossed and his eyes glittered with amusement at the sight of Rogue with her cheeks puffed out with food staring at him like he was a ghost.
With a huge amount of effort, Rogue swallowed the semi-chewed food and rasped at the apparition, "It can' be...they told meh that yah weren't here!"
Pushing away from the island, Remy winked at her and spun in a tight circle. "Been hittin' the bottle, Roguey?" he teased.
Ignoring her food, she stood up and warily moved towards the Remy-like figure. Staring into his amazingly similar eyes, Rogue reached out and touched his chest and was pleasantly surprised to find that he was solid feeling. She didn't know, since none of the psyches made a sound as they moved around whether or not they'd be solid to touch. Curious, she pushed on his chest harder. Then when he didn't budge, she tried to shove him.
"Ow! What ya be pushin' on Remy fo' ya naughty girl? Leave de kinky stuff fo' de boudoir, d'accord?" He groused, rubbing the sore spot.
Jumping back in shock, Rogue watched him warily, "Rems?"
His ears perked up, "New nickname? Gambit like dat one chère. Sure beats Swamp Trash, or Swamp Rat. T'ough, gotta admit, it be sexy when comin' from ya Roguey." He winked at her and gifted Rogue a toothy smile.
"Yah can' be here. Yah gotta be one o' the Psyches or somethin'." She shook her head sadly.
"Like we'd take him." A loud familiar snort came from the kitchen doorway, and as Rogue watched, Logan stalked into the room, made a beeline for the fridge and grabbed a beer. Tipping it back, Wolverine helped himself to a long pull. Smacking his lips together he sighed and then glared at Rogue, "And iffen yeh hadn't left the Cajun behind, yeh might have known that he doesn't belong in the Mansion."
Rogue nodded, her eyes now fixed firmly on Remy's own, "Yeah," she said softly, "The Professor said somthin' lahke that. Jus' thought ah was- oh Remy!" She threw herself at him, her tears almost inaudible in his chest, "Ah'm so so sorry sugah, if ah'd have known ah never would have left yah behind lahke that!"
Remy shot Logan a pointed look, and with an ill-muffled grumble the older man left the kitchen. But not before shooting Remy his own look of warning. Choosing to ignore Logan for the time being, Remy decided instead to pay attention to the sobbing girl in his arms. He wrapped them firmly around Rogue and clutched her to his chest, fighting his own truckload of tears as they fought to join hers. He didn't know what to do with a tearful Rogue, so he ran his hands down her smooth, silky hair and murmured soft nothings to her in an attempt to soothe.
"Shh...Roguey, it's fine. Calm down chère, Remy be here maintenant." He rested his cheek against the crown of her head and breathed in deeply her own personal smell. A gentle chuckle vibrated his chest, "Fille, what de devil were you t'inkin', goin' off like dat wi'out Remy? Somethin' coulda happened t' ya and den where would we be hein?" He clutched her more tightly to himself and murmured into her hair so softly that she almost imagined she had only heard things, "Where would Remy be wi'out ya ma fille? He needs ya."
Wiping her eyes, Rogue smiled tremulously at Remy. "Ah missed yah too sugah, ah was so worried." Throwing caution to the wind, and since her dignity had already left after her dramatic exclamation, Rogue lifted herself onto her toes, tilted her head up and met Remy's lips squarely with her own.
His muffled moan met her breathy gasp. Remy's arms tightened around her, pulling her flush against his body, giving every impression of never letting her go. Which was good because Rogue had thrown her own limbs around his neck as her mouth moved sensually against his own.
If Rogue had thought their first kiss was enough to last her, she was glad she had never actually formed that particular inkling completely. She would have been wrong, oh so completely wrong but incredibly happy to be so. Kissing Remy was like nothing she could ever describe; it was hot, cold, smooth lines and firm lips. Shivers throughout her spine, the sensation of burning in her own body. Then the sounds; she had never expected such noises to come from her. Nor such sounds from him. Every time he groaned, or murmured softly into her neck Rogue could feel herself melting further and further into his embrace.
Sucking in great buckets of air, Rogue pulled back and stared at him wildly, "Remy," her voice was warm and breathless, "Ah, ah'm so so-"
His fingers halted the path were words were on, "Remy don' t'ink so mon coeur. No apologizin' after a kiss like dat." he whistled low and sent her a panty dropping smile, "T'ough, if ya do wan' t' continue apologizin', Remy can t'ink of several ways..."
She laughed loudly and shook her head, the straightened strands of her auburn locks fluttering with the movement, "Not now, though maybe lateh sugah." she winked at him and bit her bottom lip unconsciously, still slightly shy and unused to such activities.
Remy groaned, "Chère, do Remy a favor s'il vous plaït, and don' do dat again unless ya wan' t' spend de rest o' de night in ya're room."
Rogue smirked and quickly stripping her hands of their gloves, tossing them behind her, ran her fingers through his reddish brown hair, relishing the silky texture. "Remy," she began thoughtfully, and not without a little hesitation, "Don' yah think it's strange that ah don' seem tah drain yah." She bit her lip; since their journey to Germany, the fact that they could touch skin to skin had been weighing on her, but she had been afraid to broach the subject. What if once she'd acknowledged it, this miraculous gift had simply disappeared?
Moving until he was sitting at Rogue's spot at the kitchen table and with her in his lap, Remy leaned his forehead against her temple, "Sure Roguey, Remy's t'ought so time and again since dis fiasco started."
"What?" she exclaimed, wrenching her hands free from his hair to his frustration if his pout was any indication, and facing him, "But yah never said a damn thang!"
He grinned at her unabashed, "Dat's cause Remy ain' about ta look a gift horse in de mouth. Or stop dose kisses o' yourn." He quickly pressed a quick one against the corner of her mouth in a preemptive assuagement of her temper.
Slightly mollified, Rogue settled further into his embrace, but refused to let go of the topic, "But yah're not curious?"
"Surely curious, mais oui, but Roguey, considerin' everyt'ing dat's been goin' on, why don' we just take it for what it is and be happy dat here we can jus' be Remy and his belle?" Remy whispered it softly into her ear, the hot breathe affecting Rogue more than she was going to admit. The boy didn't need more fuel on the fire that was for sure, he was already dangerous enough as it was if the Wandas reaction were any sort of indication.
But she nodded. Whatever happiness she could get would be well worth the questions it would inevitably dredge up. With a small grin, Rogue leaned back and nipped at his ear then laved it with her tongue, dancing inside as she listened to his muttered oaths against her and her "hottiness". She pulled back and smirked at him, her breathing uneven at their proximity.
His own breathing heavy, he squinted at her, his eyes darkened with something she was beginning to recognize as unadulterated danger, "Fille, ya're in trouble ya hear?"
Pertly, Rogue stuck her tongue out and hopped off his lap. Moving to another chair, Rogue tugged her sandwich towards her and started shoveling it into her mouth and chugging milk. Remy looked at her askance, "Tu as faim?"
Rogue continued chewing as she looked at him, the question plain on her face.
"Ya're hungry den?" he clarified, chuckling at the chipmunked look currently adorning his chère's face. She simply stuck her tongue out at him again.
One of the Kurts came walking in at that point, and stopped in the doorway at the sight of the two of them. "Vhat ist going on here?"
Remy shot Rogue a droll glance before turning towards Nightcrawler, "Ya're sister decided to channel one o' de Chipmunks, Remy's jus' tryin' t' decide iffen it's Alvin, Simon, but he's leanin' more towards Theodore. Always did have a t'ing for the cute chubby ones." he tease, winking at Rogue.
Rogue was instead gesturing towards him wildly trying to catch his attention before he could say something. Something like he just had; kicking his chair hard, Rogue glared at him and threatening him with various finger gestures, her cheeks still comically puffed out with a few rather large bites of her sandwich. Remy just looked at her like she was insane; Kurt on the other hand appeared startled.
"Schwester?" He asked, the words ending up garbled. His eyes were bugged in excitement and confusion.
Choking down the too big bite, Rogue hissed angrily at Remy. He just looked at her and shrugged innocently; and she knew it wasn't his fault, she didn't think he'd come against the multiples this Mansion had to offer yet. Straightening her face out, Rogue turned towards Kurt and smiled as gently as she knew how.
"Kurt, where's Mama? And the other Kurt?" Remy shot her a confused look but she just grinned. Kurt's exuberant grin died a little at her question and his expression became as of someone who had been put out slightly. Rogue sighed inwardly knowing that hers was not the first question one should hear after learning you have siblings.
He shrugged, "Swimming and Mutter is off in ze Danger Room vith Logan. Ze're are some...frustrations." He wiggled his eyebrows up and down and giggled. Rogue and Remy gagged.
Wiping his mouth on Rogue's napkin, Remy turned to Kurt, "Other Kurt? What, one not enough any more?"
Rogue couldn't have asked for better timing than that, because just then Lance came walking in with not only the Wandas but three Pietros, two Blobs and a Toad. The expression on Remy's face was well worth the mess her makeup became as tears of laughter coursed down her face. Scrubbing what little makeup she had left on, she turned back towards her food. And then changed her mind. Abandoning her sandwich as soon as she noticed both Freds were eyeing it hungrily, Rogue moved back onto Remy's lap since the kitchen had become slightly cramped.
Sitting on Remy's lap, his arms wrapped tightly around her; partially out of shock, she knew and partially just to hold her (she hoped), Rogue was justified for her trade of places when one of the Wandas began to twirl a lock of hair around a finger and eye Remy with a look Rogue could only justify as akin to a lion stalking a gazelle.
She shot her a glacial glare and turned her attention back to her spooked beau. "Remy, sugah, it kinda happens lahke this." The story took a lot less time to tell than it had to learn, but she was justified to see that Remy took everything in stride.
"So..." he gestured at the crowd around them and one eyebrow rose into his hairline.
Rogue nodded and shrugged sheepishly, "Sorry hun, looks like mah powers are more prolific than we knew."
He blew a breath out in mock exhaustion and nuzzled the side of her neck, "Dat's ok belle," he breathed on her, "Explains de trips."
"Trips? What trips?" Toad asked loudly. Rogue grimaced at the sight of him, Toad's eyes were following a rather loud fly and with a sudden movement, his tongue shot out and snared the insect within its sticky confines. "We goin' on a trip, yo?"
She chose to block out the entourage and focus on Remy instead, "Whatcha mean sugah?"
He slid his hand into her own and pushing her off of his lap, he tugged her out of the kitchen and back up the stairs. "Remy wants t' go some place where we won' be listened in on Roguey." he called over his shoulder as he made his way past all of the rooms on the second floor.
Stopping suddenly, Remy gingerly pushed open a door. He stuck his head in and Rogue saw a light glow around his body and then they were inside the room. She was surprised to see that they were in the library.
He walked her over to a pair of cushy chairs, bathed in a soft light from the able lamp between them. He gestured for her to sit and Rogue settled on the chair, shooting Remy a quick confused look for his secretive actions.
"Remy sugah, what's goin' on?"
Reaching over, Gambit gently took Rogue's hand in his and brought it to his lips, barely ghosting a kiss over her knuckles. Her smile in return was involuntary and warm.
He sighed, and shook his head, "Sorry chère, Remy didn' wan' all o' de psyches t' know everyt'ing." Rogue was heartily confused and told him so.
"Aw Roguey don' it make sense?"
She slowly shook her head, her eyes still focused on him and her eyebrows furrowed.
Remy blew a heavy breath out and raised his eyes to the heavens. "Remy sees it kinda like dis. Ya got lots o' people in ya're head, oui?"
As he was talking, Remy stood up and walked around the library, his hands flying in various gestures as he spoke, tying to get his thoughts together. He was confused enough as it was, no need to tangle Rogue up as well. "Well, den dey came from de people outside."
Rogue rolled her eyes, "No shit sherlock. Even ah coulda told yah that...or hell, any of the folks out there coulda done the same."
"No..no," his hair flung from side to side, and his gaze seemed to beg her to understand, "Roguey, belle, what've ya always told Remy about ya powers?"
"That they're a pain in mah ass?"
"That if ah could, I'd switch with anyone in a heartbeat?"
He growled at her, "Non! Ya told Remy dat every time ya touched a person, den ya got dere thoughts and memories. Even dere powers fo' a shor' time."
Rogue's breath caught in her throat and she coughed. "Ya'll mean that every place we've been tah was because of them?" She rasped n anger.
"Indeed Rogue, but we thought you already knew that."
Startled, both Remy and Rogue instantly went into their primary fighting positions, but seeing that it was only the Professor interrupting them, they immediately fell back.
Flush with embarrassment at almost attacking her mentor, Rogue bit her lip and slid a glance towards Remy. Then a second one as she couldn't recognize the expression on his already normally impassive face.
"Professor, ya mean ya knew but didn' tell de fille?" She was surprised to hear anger in Remy's normally smooth voice.
"Honestly Mr. LeBeau, we never imagined that Rogue hadn't a single clue as to why she was jumping from place to place. Everyone in here thought that she was controlling her movement."
A cry of hysteria was quickly muted by Rogue, but then she began to laugh loudly. "Yah seriously thought that ah was making mahself go from nightmare to nightmare?"
To her satisfaction, Xavier at least looked a little sheepish. Still laughing, Rogue began to calm down when Remy came up behind her and place his hands on her shoulders, rubbing his fingers soothingly along her arms. "I suppose it could have required further examination at the time."
"Further examination?" She exclaimed, furious, "What the fuck Charles, Remy and ah were stuck in Las Vegas battling Mr. Sinister, we almost died foh Gawd's sake!"
Xavier opened his mouth to deliever a rebuttal, but Remy jumped in. "Uh yeah, Remy was kinda wonderin' about dat as well." He kissed the top of Rogue's head and glared at the Professor, "Ma belle has never seen Monsieur Sinistre, how de hell did he manage to worm his way inta here o' all places?"
Remy had to admit, Xavier's answering expression did nothing to make him feel better; in fact it made him feel like the scum found at the bottom of a sink trap.
"Well Mr. LeBeau, I rather think that instead of asking myself that, you should ask yourself." Uncharacteristically, the Professor smirked coldly, "Afterall, no one else here has quite had the same experience with Mr. Essex like you."
Remy blanched an icy white beneath his natural tan. Herself shaken, Rogue still reached out and tightly wound her fingers with his desperately trying to pour all the affection and understanding she could into his chilled hands. "How....?" Gambit asked, his voice catching roughly.
Xavier rolled slowly over to them and motioned for Rogue and Remy to take their seats. Once seated, he rubbed his eyes tiredly and sighed, "You'd imagine that in here we wouldn't get tired, but that's untrue. Especially as of late. Things are definitely changing." He graced the two younger mutants with a kindly smile, "I am sorry for before, but everyone thought you already understood."
Remy made a rolling motion with his hand, "Get on wit' it already old man." Rogue hissed at him, but he ignored her.
The Professor raised a placating hand up, "No need to get upset Mr. LeBeau."
"And why no'?" Remy sneered.
"Because you're not supposed to be here at all. It's not supposed to be possible."
An inarticulate cry wrenched itself from Rogue and she fought to tear her hand back from Remy's grip, "Ah knew it!"
He swiftly gathered to him, gripping her flailing limbs tightly to his body and tilted her fury filled face towards him, "Rogue, listen ta Remy. He said 'not supposed ta be possible,' dis is Remy, he swears it." Wiping away the beginnings of tears, Remy gently kissed her eyelids, her nose, her cheeks and finally her mouth as she trembled against him.
Sniffling, Rogue laid her head against his shoulder and clung to his body, "Ah know, ah'm so sorry Rems...this is just all too much for meh."
Gently he hushed her and kissing her softly one last time, he turned back to the Professor, "So what happened hein? Remy just lucky like dat?"
"Something like that."
The room was empty of people, save for the two on the medical beds. But she knew they wouldn't tell a soul. Smoothly, she made her way across the sterile environment to the longer of the two figures. Roping a stool over to the side of the bed, she sat down gingerly and settled herself in for a long night.
She was a woman on a mission, and hell be damned if she didn't succeed. Resting her palms open beside his head, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to be taken over.
It was different than she'd imagined, being inside Gambit's head. It had taken her a bit longer than would have thought, but it was just chalked up to being tired; it was in the wee hours of the morning after all.
Moving quickly through the boring, office like landscape, she came to the "receptionist." "I want to talk to Remy."
The bubbly, petite Asian American teenager popped a giant pink bubble at her, "No one's allowed to see the Great and Powerful Remy," she quipped, ignoring her guest in favor of an outdated magazine.
"I don't give a rat's ass, let me in."
The nurse outfit looked slightly out of place on Jubilee's slight frame, but that didn't mean the authority in her eyes belonged anywhere else. "Listen brainless, I just said-"
She rolled her eyes and huffed, "Don't make me tell Bobby that you were sifting through his porn collection again."
"I have no idea what you mean," the teenage girl said, lifting her chin up delicately, "Who is this Bobby?"
She squinted her eyes and looking down was satisfied, "Hey, I've got these on...wanna let me in now?" She pointed down at her feet, a pair of brilliant ruby slippers sparkling in the dull light.
"Well," Jubliee chuckled and slapped her cellulose free thigh, "Now that's a horse of a different color." She laid down her magazine and bowed, waving the intruder through the door to the other side.
Rolling her eyes, she mumbled under her breath as she passed through the doors, cursing Remy's twisted sense of humor that the pass code into his brain was from the Wizard of Oz of all places.
Past the pure white swinging doors, any order that had been in Remy's "waiting room," vanished. For a split second, the idea of sticking around was intolerable, and she started backwards before realizing that there was no going back. Not until she'd gotten hold of it at least.
It was a technicolor spray; as if the skittles rainbow had exploded within the Cajun's very mind. Translucent figures wandered, skipped, ran and otherwise moved to and fro across the otherwise empty space. They blended and blurred together until she could barely tell what was going on and which emotion was talking to which.
Walking up to one, she thrust her hand out and catch it by the shoulder and was shocked to find that her hand passed straight through the azure colored body. Peering a bit more closely, she could see that she recognized the figure. It was Scott. But his shoulders were bowed and his head ducked low; his hair was tousled, but not, as she could readily admit, in a sexy manner, but something more reminiscent of a bum.
The blurry figure hummed slightly and raising its head, blinked at her sleepily, "Hm?"
"Where's Remy?" She had no time for pleasantries, and to be honest she didn't want them.
He yawned until his jaw popped loudly, sounding for all the world like a muffled gunshot, "Dunno, hasn't been around in a while."
"When was the last time you saw him?"
He blinked again and raising a hand, scratched his hair just behind his ear, "Dunno...coupla weeks maybe?"
She sighed, already frustrated with him, "Who talked to him last?"
"She's over there," He pointed into a vague direction then dropped his hand as if there wasn't any feasible way he could have held it up any longer.
More than a little disgusted, she moved onward. Walking straight through some blurred, multicolored figures and scooting around others. When she saw one sitting alone, she knew exactly she'd found the right emote.
She was petite and delicately boned, her cheekbones high, her lips pouty and her eyes large. Her colored was even more washed out than the others, and her outer edges seemed to flicker dully. "Rogue?"
In answer, the figure of Rogue raised her head. She could tell that sometime before, her coloring had been that of a deep, dark red. Almost blood red. Now she was faded, almost more grey than red.
"Where's Remy?" was the repeated question.
The answer was different. "Gone."
"Gone?" she asked quickly, sensing a lead, "Gone where?"
"To her." The dulled figure of Rogue smiled slightly as if only she held the secret.
Looking skeptically at the dissipated figure before her, she had one other question, "Who-I mean, what are you?"
The Rogue like figure shook her head, "It's a secret."
"Theirs of course." Then she fell silent, her words completely dried up and she knew that was nothing more to get from the Rogue shaped emote.
Pulling herself back, she blinked and sneezed in the stillness of the med bay then chuckled to herself. After all, the truth shall set you free.
You guys know the drill...read and review. I like the way this is going so far, but every time i sit down to my computer it always changes, so give me an opinion.
I've already apologized for the lateness of the update, but since I also gave an explanation I'll just go one step further and say...I think this chapter was well worth the extra time it took to write.
Thank you all, and I love that everyone seems to like my story so much!