BECOMING ROGUE STORY ARC

STORY SUMMARY: Rogue and Logan have become a team as well as a family. He helps her to learn who she is after the Cure destroyed what little control she had. But when the people who once took away Logan's memories accidentally take away Rogue's and a mysterious Cajun Thief rescues her, she is caught up in a worldwide manhunt for Gambit while Logan desperately searches for her.

DISCLAIMERS: All characters and organizations (with the exception of small, mostly unnamed minor characters) throughout the series are the product of Marvel.

CANONICAL NOTES: This story arc follows X1, X2, and X3 as canon for characters and events. All else is pulled from comicverse and mixed heftily with my imagination. Origins is ignored, except a few situations and characters twisted to my happy use.

LANGUAGE AND ACCENTS: Cajun French is courtesy of Heavenmetal (many thanks). French is courtesy of Disdainfully Arrogant and Marmottin (many thanks). I will not reproduce accents in this story arc. Imagine them in.


Breathing

- 1 -

Story Summary: She took the Cure thinking it would save her. It didn't.

Canonical Notes: Set immediately following the events of X3.

Acknowledgements: Special love to starlight2twilight, my lover of all things belonging to this story arc, and Irual, who has arrived later than most to the party and yet given me more feedback than almost anybody. A wealth of gratitude to ChamberlinofMusic and to mylove24 for inspiring this piece with your reviews of Without a Trace.

Author's Note: I thought I was writing this for Without a Trace. Turns out I wasn't, but I couldn't drop it anyway.


REALITY

- 1 -

Do you remember us? a voice whispered, hissed out the final letter in her mind as she lay tangled up in her sheets in the darkness of the night. We're still here. We haven't left.

There were moments when everything changed, when reality skewed and everything she'd ever known to be true faltered and failed, tumbling into pieces of ash before floating away. As she lay next to Bobby in her tangled sheets, breathing hard from nightmares and voices flashing across her mind like so much lightning, she came across a realization that forced all the comfort from her soul.

She had never loved Bobby.

Rogue gasped and twisted her fingers into the bedclothes beneath her. Where was the girl that had loved adventure, lived for it, talked her first boyfriend into joyriding her aunt's car, planned the trip to Alaska, studied a bar girl's art of coyness to get her first kiss? Where was the girl who rode motorcycles and laughed and dared, that picked the name Rogue?

Or was that a final act of defiance before allowing Cody into her own mind, deeper, twisting his psyche into her own to allow him room to breathe, even if it meant strangling herself?

She had never loved Bobby.

He was too tame for her, for who she used to be.

Do you remember us?

How much of her was her anymore? How much would be allowed to remain?


DROWNING

- 2 -

"It's coming back, Logan." Her voice was flat in her own ears, and she wasn't surprised when Logan stared at her.

He set down his fork, his cup of coffee, never noticing he'd spilled on the newspaper and a wet, dark ring was forming. He stared into the deadened eyes she had seen in her own face in the mirror, and for one long, endless moment, she was the little girl climbing into the back of his truck again, putting on him a burden that had never been his to shoulder.

"The touch?" he asked. Bewildered, perhaps, but sharp as ever. There was only one thing that could mean so much.

Rogue shrugged with a casualness belying her words. "Just the voices."

She was twisting in the sheets, screaming.

The stench of burning flesh drifted from the ovens of the concentration camp as needle sharp pain tatooed a number on her arm. Her limbs were too thin, getting thinner, and the sweat of her body made her feel like merely food for the ovens.

And this is what happened to God's people?

"The nightmares." She frowned and looked up at him. "Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm me or you."

She plunged her claws into the beating heart beneath her, waiting for him to die! The snarling beast's wounds healed over, faster than even her own.

"Do you even know how to kill me?"

Couldn't anyone kill her?

She woke up screaming, growling like a wild beast, without control.

Logan stared at her in horror. "Kid..."

He reached out, touched her face in a gentle caress, and she closed her eyes, fought back the urge to cry. For this. She was drowning for this.

"I'm drowning." She sank to her knees, fists balled against her sealed eyelids, as another person washed over her, became her.

"No!" she screamed, reaching out for her mother behind the closing gate, screaming as she smelled the stench of burning flesh. "No!"


TRUTH

- 3 -

Rogue woke in the slight moonlight streaming in through the blinds to land on the bed she and Bobby were sharing. Her heart slammed in her chest. Her skin was sweaty. The covers twisted between them both and he had clearly woken with her as he stared at her, propped up on one elbow.

"Have you tried sleeping pills?" Bobby asked.

She turned toward him, resisting the urge to snarl in his face. Pity, most of the psyches in her head weren't nice. She wasn't even sure which one was rolling under her flesh, threatening to break loose.

"Bobby, I can't stop it." The beginnings of a frown trembled around her mouth. "Anymore than the touch."

He sighed long and loudly and fell back onto his back.

The frown won out and for a moment, only Rogue inhabited her body. Not someone sweet and quiet like Cody. Not someone brusque and withdrawn like Logan. Not someone tactful, if menacing, like Magneto.

"What's it matter to you?" she demanded. "Seems to me, it only matters if it bothers you."

"That's not true," he protested, but she cut him off.

"It is true. It doesn't matter to you if I can't touch or if I have bad dreams as long as you have your perfect girl or can sleep through the night." She narrowed her eyes in a dangerous glare when he refused to meet her eyes. "It doesn't matter to you that I'm fighting just to stay me."

"That's not true," he said again.

She didn't believe him.


LEAVING

- 4 -

"You're always welcome to come with me," Logan offered as he packed his one duffel yet again in preparation to leave.

Rogue curled up a little tighter in his chair. "Running?"

He zipped up the bag and looked at her, really looked at her. "Nah. Just breathing. Sometimes you need some space to find yourself." His gaze held understanding, a precious commodity lately.

She nodded. "I'll tell Bobby."

She told him. She left him. She packed her bag and never looked back, riding away with Logan on his motorcycle.

Rogue took a deep breath of the afternoon sunshine, Logan's cigar smell, and motorcycle exhaust.

Don't you remember us? We're still here.

She didn't really care. She was Rogue.

And she was breathing.