Childhood Innocence

Disclaimer: I do not own X-men Evolution, Beauty and the Beast (Technically they're both owned by Disney now...) or Goosebumps.

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Rogue felt like a bug. Her left cheek was squashed up against the fogged window of the cab and the applied pressure of it caused the condensation to start dripping down onto her shoulder and making her cheek sticky with moisture. And leaning heavily on her right shoulder wedging her body tightly against Rogue's was her 'sister' Kitty. Curled up on the seat like her namesake in the only position she could manage without being squashed by the numerous bags and suitcases scattered across the back of the cab. Logan's leather jacket was draped across her like a blanket. Rogue shifted down in her seat in an effort to get more comfortable Kitty groaned softly at the movement her button nose scrunching up in a fashion that looked almost rabbit like. Rogue stilled and with a sigh pressed her forehead back against the window, Logan would not be happy if she woke Kitty up. He was outside in the drizzle arguing with the taxi driver who was trying to short-change him.

A few dollars may not have made that bigger deal to most people but Rogue knew that Logan didn't have them to spare. Kitty had counted their money out at the Information kiosk at the train station while Logan and Rogue leafed their way through the guide to the town's hotels. They had enough to spend one night at the cheapest in town and the taxi ride over maybe enough for a meal the next day. Rogue knew they would have had enough for two nights at the hotel if it wasn't for her; the only reason they had had to take a taxi across town was because Logan didn't want her walking in the rain. She'd just gotten over her last bout of flu she didn't need to catch something else while her Immune system was weak. Of course Rogue's immune system was weak practically all winter.

But the last bout of flu had been a bad one. Rogue had been too far out of her mind with fever for most of it to remember anything beyond a couple of hazy details. She remembered the hotel bed she had all to herself was lumpy and that Kitty had to ask housekeeping for more blankets because she was shivering so much. She remembered throwing up all over the new blankets Kitty had gotten but what she remembered the most was being plucked out of her mound of blankets by Logan in the middle of the night and being taken to the hospital.

Rogue knew she would have had to have been really sick for Logan to go to a hospital. Kitty had filled in the blanks for her later. Apparently around ten at night she had started throwing up again even though the only thing she had consumed was flat lemonade. She had thrown up all over the extra blankets Kitty had been sent to get from the housekeeping who were of course no longer at the hotel, so the shivering started again. It wasn't until midnight when she started muttering and raving that Logan decided to go to the hospital. So he had wrapped her up in an old Army Issue Trench coat, told Kitty to bundle up and get their things together and the three were off into the night.

Kitty admitted she made the whole thing sound like some grand adventure when in actual fact it had been pretty boring. She and Logan had spent two hours sitting in the E.R with Rogue draped across the Canadian mans lap still muttering under her breath. Then Logan had to convince the Triage nurse and the rest of the on duty staff that his daughter had a rare skin condition he couldn't pronounce and they would have to wear examination gloves while treating her. Then they were all shuffled into a curtain room, Rogue got put into bed a couple of doctors wearing Latex gloves took blood samples and because she was well for all intensive purposes unconscious instead of making her swallow pills and drink medicine the Nurses gave her an I.V line.

And there they stayed until Logan overheard some of the Doctors talking about the suspicious circumstances in which Rogue had been bought to the hospital the following morning. He deemed Rogue to be well enough by then but just in case got Kitty to memorise the labels on her I.V drip and go find the medication it listed. Pocketing a bottle of high fever reducers and other such medication Logan lifted Rogue from her bed and re wrapped her in the trench coat and when Kitty returned to the room, the pockets of her pink snow jacket bulging with stolen medication the three left and were on the train to wherever they were now.

Rogue didn't bother learning the names of the towns she Logan and Kitty drifted through, they were never there for longer than two weeks, a month at the most. They had to keep moving Logan said. So that was how the three lived they would arrive, Logan would find whatever work was going until they scrounged up enough money to move on to the next town and start the cycle again.

Rogue turned her head away from the window as the door across from her opened to Logan, a halo of drizzle trapped in the beam of a street light behind him.

"Think ya can move without waking the Half Pint?" He asked

"No" Rogue drawled feeling slightly envious of Kitty's ability to sleep anywhere. Logan made a sound that coming from any other man would have been a sigh as he lifted a denim clad knee onto the seat and leant into the cab resting a hand on Kitty's shoulder.

"Wakey, wakey Half Pint" He said shaking the young girl gently. Kitty let out a groan and scrunched up her nose again but insisted on burying her head deeper into Rogues shoulder.

"Come on kid we ain't got all night" Logan insisted. Blearily Kitty opened her baby blue eyes.

"Mr Logan?"

"The one and only get yer bag"

Kitty unfolded herself and blindly groped for the tatty pink suitcase laying on the floor of the cab that held all her possessions. Upon finding it the young girl secured her hand around the masking tape enforced handle and climbed out of the cab over Rogues suitcase. An old leather thing that looked like it had been around since before the second world war.

Kitty Pryde was a small girl. No that was incorrect, saying someone was small gave off connotations of disproportion a better term to describe Kitty Pryde was miniature. Everything about her was tiny, at six years old she looked like she had just turned three, in a third world country, no less as the girl didn't have a scrap of fat on her. That had caused some interesting conversations over the years with nosy people who thought Kitty actually was three and pondered her lack of baby fat, something Logan highly doubted she had ever had even as a baby. Rogue wasn't much better, she may not have been as short for her age as Kitty was but she was just as thin.

Travelling the country trying to keep one step ahead of anti mutant sentiment and his unknown past wasn't the easiest thing to do and it was even harder when looking after two little girls but what else was Logan supposed to do? He certainly couldn't of left them the way he found them, on the streets outcast by their own families. Rogues parents hadn't waited until she mutated to be rid of her, she had spent her formative years in an orphanage that disposed of her the minute her mutation became apparent. Logan had found her wandering the streets in Mississippi wearing a pair of welding gloves, that were taped to her wrists so they wouldn't fall off. Kitty's story wasn't much better. Often Logan wondered who was better off, Rogue who's parents had never bothered with her or Kitty who's parents had waited until she was four and became a mutant to abandon her. Kitty Pryde had been born into a tight knit gated Jewish community (or Cult as Logan was inclined to believe) and when her ability to walk through things, or 'ghost' as Rogue had come to call it, developed Kitty was cast out, her parents were given the choice to go with her or stay. Logan had stumbled across her curled up outside the high fence that separated her previous home from the world. Kitty still talked in her sleep begging her parents to please let her back in, it was scary out here.

Grasping her pink suitcase firmly with both hands Kitty hurried out of the drizzle and into the Motels reception. Rogue grabbed her own suitcase along with Logan's and followed her. Both girls had been in so many motel receptions before they didn't even bother to take in their surroundings. Kitty dropped her suitcase by the door and ran up to the front desk standing on her tiptoes to see over it. Rogue rolled her eyes and nudged Kitty's suitcase out of the doorway with her foot while the younger girl jumped and braced herself against the desk so she could reach the service bell. She rang it as many times as she could before she lost her balance and slipped back down to the floor.

"Coming, coming" A voice rang from a back room separated from the reception by a bead screen, which made clacking noises as a middle aged woman with owlish glasses stepped through it. She ignored Rogue who was leafing her way through the pamphlets dedicated to the towns attractions and instead focused on Kitty who had put on her best 'cute' face complete with puppy dog eyes and an angelic smile.

"Hello Sweetie how can I help you" The woman asked leaning ever so slightly across the desk so she could see the little girl better.

"Hello" Kitty said giving a wave.

"I'd like a three bed unit please with a kitchenette and full bathroom please" She continued professionally reaching for the clip purse she always kept on a string around her neck and drawing out a roll of notes. Standing on her tiptoes she placed the wad of cash on the desk and slid it as far as she could reach.

"Umm Sweetie I'm afraid you have to be a little older for me to be able to give you that" The woman frowned, she had had plenty of experience with under-age girls wanting to rent rooms in the past, of course they had all had boys with them and hadn't been quite so under-age. What sort of three year old asked to rent a motel room and so politely?

"Our Dad's just outside, he sent us to get a room key" Rogue explained coming up to the desk.

"Look I'm sorry but he'll have to come inside and get it himself, I can't legally give a key to any under-age persons " The woman announced with a kind apologetic smile.

"Kitty stay with the bags" Rogue ordered Kitty scampered over to where Rogue had dumped her and Logan's suitcases. The older girl snatched the roll of money off the desk and headed for the door.

Logan was standing in the awning next to it out of the rain smoking a cigar. Three black plastic trash bags lay at his feet, one contained the last vestiges of the tinned food the three had been living off for the past month and the last two were filled with everything that wouldn't fit in the suitcases. The bags were too cumbersome to dragged around any more than they needed too and Logan sure as hell wasn't going to leave them unattended.

"Ya got the key?" He asked. Rogue shook her head and offered the cash up to him.

"You're gonna have to do it, Kitty an' me are 'under-age'" she explained crossing her arms across her chest stubbornly. Logan pocketed the money and pressed the end of his cigar into his forearm leaving an angry red mark on the skin. Rogue watched in fascination as almost as soon as it had been inflicted the wound disappeared.

"Look after the bags willya Stripes" and with that he made his way indoors.

He returned barely two minutes later carrying his and Rogues suitcases Kitty close behind him with her own suitcase and her left hand grasped firmly around a key with a piece of yellow plastic attached to it reading in big black letters '25'.

"Trade ya" Rogue grinned springing up from where she had been seated on one of the black bags.

"Sure kid" Logan handed the two suitcases to her and picked up the three larger bags before the three set out in search of their room.

You would think with all the amount of time Kitty had spent in Motel rooms during the past two years of her life the novelty would have worn off, no such luck. The minute Logan had opened the door that led to what would be their living room for the next 'however long' and flicked on the lights Kitty had shot past him and headed strait to the kitchenette where she began to dig through the cupboards.

"They've got cereal cups! I get the Cocoa Pops!" She yelled brandishing a packet of four Kelloggs cereal cups that contained Cocoa Pops, Country Store, Crunchy Nut and Fruit'n fibre.

"What?! No you don't! You got them last time, it's my turn, Logan tell her!" Rogue cried also brushing past the older Mutant and into the unit.

"No it's not!"

"It is so ya little liar!"

"Am not you are!"

"Pipe down both of ya! If ya can't stop fightin' about it I'm getting the Cocoa pops" Logan all but roared to be heard over the girls, who unfortunately both had voices that had a tendency to get alternatively whiny and shrieky when they were upset.

"Ain't it about time you two got ready for bed anyway?" He asked with a raised eyebrow. Kitty gently put the pack of cereal cups back into the cupboard secretly mourning her loss of cocoa pops and pouting at Rogue.

The unit only had one bedroom with two beds set up on either side of it, turns out the third bed Kitty had requested was a fold out one in the living room area. Kitty and Rogue placed their suitcases at the end of the bed they had claimed and began digging through them for their pyjama's before taking turns in using the bathroom that was just off their room and climbing into their beds.

"All right you two decent?" Logan's voice sounded from behind the door.

"Yeah"

""Yes Mister Logan"

The door creaked open and Logan entered the room Rogue switched the lamp sitting on the table in between her and Kitty's bed on as he turned off the main one.

"Here ya go Half Pint, thought ya might want this" Logan said offering a stuffed purple dragon to the young girl.

"Lockheed!" She cried happily sitting up to reach him. Lockheed was the only toy Kitty owned, as he was too big to fit in Kitty's suitcase he spent most of his time in one of the plastic bags along with other miscellaneous objects that wouldn't fit into any of the three suitcases. Logan knew Kitty couldn't sleep without him. Kitty set the Dragon down lovingly on the pillow next to her before settling herself under the covers.

"Can I have a bedtime story Mister Logan?" She asked sweetly.

"I dunno kid it's kinda late"

"Please!"

"All right, ya got one in mind?" Logan asked sitting down on the end of her bed. Kitty unsettled herself and rising to her knees crawled down the bed to her suitcase and pulling the Golden Books version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Logan took it out of her hands as she settled back down.

"Why am I not surprised? Don't ya know this book off by heart already?" He asked. Beauty and the Beast, especially the Disney version was Kitty's favourite story, she asked him to rent it for her whenever they got a unit with a VCR, she had found the book at the second hand shop for a quarter and had been asking Logan to read it to her ever since.

"Yeah, but I like it better when you read it"

"Fine. Once upon a time in a faraway land..."

"Also known as France Everyone knows Beauty and the Beast is set in France, that's why her name's Belle" Rogue cut in from her side of the room

"France is far away!" Kitty protested.

"Not to everyone! what if you live in Germany, then it's right next door"

"We're not in Germany so it is far away!"

"Whatever If I have ta listen ta that book one more time I am definitely gonna be ill!"

"So read somethin' else Stripes no ones stoppin' ya" Logan said defusing the situation before it could turn into another shrieking/whining match. Making a 'Humphing' noise in the back of her throat Rogue climbed out from under her own covers and pulled an old 'Goosebumps' book with a tattered spine out of her suitcase.

"...and they lived Happily Ever After" Logan finished closing the book and setting it down on the bedside table before standing up and pulling Kitty's blankets up to her neck making sure he didn't cover Lockheed's head.

"Time ta sleep Half pint." He said gently before turning to Rogue

"Lights out in fifteen minutes Stripes" Rogue nodded absently not raising her eyes from the book she was reading. Logan left the room leaving the door ajar. Kitty heard him setting up the fold out bed in the living room she wriggled down under the covers and after a couple of minutes of turning found a comfortable position she closed her eyes. Frowning she snapped them open again turning to Rogue

"Do you have to keep reading? The lights to bright, I can't sleep!"

"Yes, I'm up to the best part. Listen: The Counts fangs glistened like pearls in the moonlight, blood trickled from the corner of his mouth..."

"I'm not listening, I'm not listening!" Kitty screamed putting her hands over her ears.

"Ooh this parts got tons of blood!"

"Stop it Rogue!"

The door swung open to reveal a scowling Logan.

"Rogue what did I tell ya about picking fights? Especially with yer sister" He demanded Rogue snorted

"Yeah cause picking fights is something you never do and we're not even real sisters"

"Firstly Don't be a smart ass, ya know the rules..."

"Do as I say not as I do" Kitty and Rogue chorused, Logan nodded with a proud grin before continuing.

"Secondly, ya may not be real sisters but yer all the others got in this world so ya better learn ta look out for each other"

"But what about you Mister Logan we've got you don't we?" Kitty asked worry creeping into her voice, Logan felt his features relax.

"Yeah yer all ways gonna have me Half Pint. Okay time for little Kittens and Skunks to get some sleep " He said crouching down next to Kitty's bed and kissing her forehead, she propped herself up on her elbow to kiss his cheek before settling back down and wrapping her arms around Lockheed. Logan turned to Rogue taking the book out of her hands and placing it on 'Beauty and the Beast'. Admitting defeat and the loss of her extra reading time Rogue also lay back against her pillows as Logan ever so carefully kissed her hair covered scalp. She in return kissed the tips of her right glove and pressed them to his cheek.

"G'night girls" The gruff man said before flicking the lamp off, raising up and heading for the door.

"G'night Logan"

"Good night Mister Logan"

He cast a final look around the room as he quietly slid around the door, leaving it open just a crack as always.

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STORY NOTES

Father: This story is inspired by the fatherl/daughter relationship that Logan has with Kitty and Rogue.

Immunity: Those who have read my story 'Holy Matrimoy' will recognize my carrying on the Trait of Rogue having a weak Immune System due to contracting Glandular Fever at the age of seven.

Short: Kitty Pryde has always been depicted as being well tiny through just about all of her incarnations.

Backstory: I am well aware that Kitty's backstory may seem a bit unbelievable but I based it on an event described in an Autobiograhy by a woman who had grown up in a relegious cult in America, apparently a couple within the community had a son with Down syndrome and were 'encouraged' by the community leaders and elders to put him up for adoption outside the community.

Goosebumps: I actually never read Goosebumps as a child, they were well Boyish and I had an overactive immagination (I still do) So what Rogue read aloud isn't an actual quote from any of the books

Anyway That's all for now, please excuse any spelling and Grammatical errors you come across. Feel free to tell me what you think I accept Critisim just please be constructive and polite.

Ari Out!

And now on a completely unrelated note I present to you the Top Ten Reasons for Americans to Visit New Zealand as told by out Prime Minister John Key on The Late Show with David Letterman

10. Auckland Airport now has Cinnabon

9. We have the loosest slot machines in the Pacific Rim

8. It's only a convienant 20 hour flight away

7. It's like England without the attitude

6. Leno's on at 9 o'clock

5. Get the Whanau [family in Maori pronounced fa now] together Stay in a bach [what a beach house is called in the North Island in the South Island it's Crib] Crack open the Chilly Bin [Cooler] and slap on your Jandals [flip flops]

4. Visit in the next 30 days and I'll [John Key] pick you up from the Airport

3. 70% of our energy is geneated from renewable sources- they don't all have to be jokes you know

2. We drive on the left side of the road, like the British and Lindsay Lohan.

1. Unilke most of the world we still like Americans