Disclaimer: Not mine. Never was never will. Sadly.

Rogue was a fighter.

And she hated taking the easy ways out.

She didn't know why - was it because of the way Mystique and Irene raised her, to always hold her ground and when threatened, attack? Or would she be like this even if raised by a mother who baked cookies on Sunday afternoons? She didn't know, but supposed it didn't really matter either way.

What she knew, however, was that she could fight. And did it, maybe on more occasions that necessary. She fought in the Danger Room, like her life depended on it (even though it was just a simple simulation). In school, instead of letting other bully her, she fought - for respect, for better grades. She fought at the Mansion - for the TV remote, for the bathroom, for her turn in picking a movie on a Saturday night. Instead of succumbing to overwhelming depression, she fought with herself - endless battle with inner demons and fears. She also fought with her psyches - for peace of her mind.

Therefore, when her powers first emerged at the age of ten - it was only natural for her to fight - not them, but for control.

So she fought.

Everyday, she would get up at 5:30 a.m. to meditate and practice focus with Logan, only to slip in bed just before 6:30 for additional half hour of sleep (plus, she really didn't want Kitty or anyone else to know - if it wouldn't work, pity was the last thing she would need).

Day after day, she would sit with the Professor to build her mental shields and sort though absorbed minds, painful memories, nightmares and her own fears.

She would stay with Dr. McCoy in the med bay while everybody was out and playing, so he could poke her with his needles and test every little fiber of her body, helping Rogue understand the nature of her mutation (some of the test were so humiliating Rogue blushed when thinking about them).

If she didn't have children, it would be because she didn't want them. If she didn't wear sleeveless tops, it would be because she didn't want to. If she didn't have sex in the back of her car, it would be because she didn't feel like it.

It would be her choice, only her, and a choice she fought to have.

So when one sunny Tuesday afternoon Professor gathered them in the rec room and announced that Forge invented a bracelet suppressing mutant's powers and asked Rogue if she would like to have the only existing copy - she declined.

Well, of course, she was tempted. She could just put the bracelet on and go jump Gambit straight away. Or go skinny dipping with the girls. Or tear apart her long-sleeved T-shirt and run around in a bikini top. Or just hug Kitty and thank the valley girl for putting up with her for so long (she knew she wasn't the easiest person to room with). One little device, and she could be free of her 'curse'.

But putting on the bracelet felt like surrendering. Like saying "I'm weak. I can't deal with my powers." Like betraying herself and throwing away all those hours with Logan, Professor and Dr. McCoy.

Besides, knowing her luck the bracelet would fall apart the moment she touched it.

So she declined – to others' endless surprise.

"But... Wasn't it always your desire to touch?" asked Storm, dumbfounded as the rest of the Mansion, looking at her expectantly.

"Yeah, exactly. You really don't want it?" inquired curious Jamie.

She said that really, she didn't want it (that would be the easy option out. And Rogue didn't take the easy ways).

"But, like, why?" insisted Kitty.

"Because..." Rogue said, small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth, "I'm a fighter."

Please keep in mind that English is not my first language!

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