Left Behind






She was a solid student, drawn to the arts but not afraid to tackle more conventional subjects. She was quiet in a pensive sort of way -- the kind of quiet that is initially disconcerting to almost everyone. She was polite, kind, and all those little things that propelled the average person out of mediocrity. But most of all, she was there. And Being there - Xavier's school for the Gifted - meant that she was a part of something, a member of a group. They were all unique but hey were unique together.

Scarlett Amara Winoa was glad to finally have somewhere to belong. She was not quite twenty yet but she had been on the run for over seven years when she, at long last, hitched her wagon at the school. Now she had six scheduled classes, three guaranteed meals a day, and a cozy, comfortable room that she shared with only one other person. She even had friends. It was the kind of life of which Scarlett had never dared dream.

There was little time to devote to regretting the past and Scarlett was thankful for that fact. There were things that she was afraid of but she took comfort in knowing that they were all behind her.

Or, at least, so she thought.

"Scarlett, you're gonna be late for history. Miss Monroe won't like that. Stop lolly-gagging."

Rolling her eyes, Scarlett descended the stairs to meet her room mate and de facto best friend. "You never, ever used the word 'lolly-gagging' before today. You're definitely stretching this Southern Belle thing a little too far, Marie."

"You've got the mysterious thing goin' for you. I've got the Southern thing. We use what works." Rogue grabbed her friend's hand in her own gloved one. "Come ON. The sooner we get there, the sooner we get out."

Scarlett raised a misleadingly delicate brow. "I beg to differ, my dear, hopeful girl. The day Storm lets us out two seconds before the strike of two o'clock is the day I eat your hood."

"This might just bee your lucky day." Rogue grinned happily and strode through the classroom door.

Too happily. Obviously, Scarlett was out of the loop. "Hey - what do you know that I don't?"

"Let's just say that there might be someone I want you to meet after class."

"Sounds ominous," Scarlett whispered as she slid into her assigned seat. Rogue sat beside her as Storm began her lesson: day five of the fall of the Roman Empire.

True to prediction, the lecture was ended and dismissed almost ten minutes early - a veritable coup all things considered. Scarlett eyed Rogue cautiously but allowed the young woman to half lead, half drag her out of the classroom.

Storm stopped them at the door. "He's with the Professor." Rogue smiled her thanks and continued to pull Scarlett along behind her.

"He? Wait! We're hustling for some guy?! Marie, he'd better be awfully cute."

"Be serious."

"I'm dead serious." But she was not. Everyone knew that Scarlett did not date. She had plenty of male friends but any boy who had tried for anything beyond friendship had been gently rebuffed from Scarlett's very first day at the school. There had been numerous attempts to change her MO. So far, none had been successful. Although Rogue was almost certain Scarlett was heterosexual, even she had not found the nerve to ask her friend about the peculiar behavior. It probably was not worth the effort. There were things that Scarlett simply did not talk about. Rogue understood.

"He's a old friend, Scarlett. You'll like him."

"Oh -of course." But she had no time for sarcasm as Rogue thrust her through the open door of Professor Xavier's office.

Jean Grey, Scott Sommers, the Professor and another man already waited inside. Rogue threw herself into the third man's arms and Scarlett froze in her tracks.

"Logan." Scarlett wondered vaguely if the word had come from her own mouth or from Rogue's. Her's she decided hastily seeing the unusual looks both Ms. Grey and Mr. Sommers were sending her.

"Mara." At least he seemed as stunned as she.

"Scarlett," she corrected. Updated.

"You two know each other," the Professor supplied.

"How observant." Her tone was caustic. Scarlett winced but did not apologize to the Professor.

"Still a bitch, I see."

Anger. Scarlett felt it radiate from him. Anger - hot, wet, all-consuming and oh-so-very-Logan. His anger she could manage. "And you're still a turn-on in the teenage set," she gestured to Marie who, in the confusion, had yet to let go of Logan. "Some things never change."

Point. Set. Match. From experience, Scarlett knew she was at the end of her winning streak. She was quick on her feet, quicker than him, but without the element of surprise, she was a lamb to slaughter. So she did what she knew for sure she did the best.

Scarlett turned and ran.

All eyes focused on Logan who had managed to dislodge himself from the stunned Marie. He shrugged. "We've met before."


_______________________________________________________


The adults expelled Marie from the office almost immediately. No surprise there. The real surprise lay in how quickly they regained their wits. Scott poked his head out the door and spotted Rogue where she waited. "Could you...."

"Find her?"

"That sounds good."