Author's Note: I'll be the first person to admit that this is one of my weaker pieces. This idea just kept forming in my mind, so eventually I turned it into a story. I know the ideas presented in the story can be very stereotypical, and I don't mean to offend anyone.
Apologies to Jean fans and Scott fans; both suffered some character derailment in my story.
But I did get to put Beast in my story. That makes happy, 'cause he's one of my favorite X-Men. Except picture him as drawn by John Cassaday instead of his original design in the show. Here's a link to a picture if you haven't read the comics. .org/wiki/Hank_McCoy
Despite the beautiful spring weather at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, not a single student strolled across the scenic grounds. The basketball court was deserted. No one took their homework outside to bask in the warm glow of the sun while completing a worksheet about chemical elements and other such information that would never again be relevant to their lives.
Why was this? What kind of youth would choose to be inside when they could be soaking in the glorious sunlight?
"I don't see why I have to be here," whined Amara. "I mean, I got a "B" in English on my last report card." She looked around, a pout on her dark face.
At the moment, Amara was seated in the Institute's library. The chairs had been arranged in a horseshoe, with a chair placed between the two figurative prongs. The chair was currently vacant, but had he been there, Hank McCoy would've occupied it. The rest of the student body of the Institute filled the remainder of the chairs.
"Professor Xavier and Dr. McCoy decided to form this book club because of the frequent low scores on English tests," Jean explained patiently. "They're hoping that if we read a book and discuss it together, we'll gain a better understanding of literary elements and literature itself." She smiled at Amara. "I got a ninety-seven percent on my last report card, but here I am."
"But how come Rogue isn't here?" Amara persisted.
Bobby shrugged carelessly. "This probably cuts into her emo time or something." Then he smirked, very pleased with himself. "Hey, I used the words 'cut' and 'emo' in the same sentence, but not in the usual way! I don't know why Dr. McCoy thinks I need help with literary elements; it's obvious I already know all about irony." He settled back in his chair, his facial expression very self-congratulatory.
Jean looked at Bobby quizzically, then glanced at Rogue's empty chair. "Nevertheless, Rogue should be here."
"Why?" Tabitha questioned. "Unlike you Jean, Rogue has no need to prostrate herself as an example to be put upon a pedestal and admired."
Jean's lips tightened. "All students are supposed to be here," she insisted.
"Personally, I am not up to snuff with books, but Rogue is." Ray looked at Roberto. "Remember when we found her report card lying around?"
"Oh yeah, she had "A"'s in everything," Roberto recalled. "She had a one hundred and three percent in English, and that was her lowest grade. I was surprised because I expected all of the teachers to hate her because she's an angsty goth teenager."
"Guess Rogue doesn't have as much trouble with French verbs as you do, Jeannie," Tabitha said sweetly, taking a wayward satisfaction at the displeasure on the redhead's face when she heard she'd been bested.
"That's enough, Tabitha," Scott frowned at the smug blonde. "Every person has their own strengths and weaknesses. And the majority of us has a weakness when it comes to understanding literature."
"Well, I'll say this for the emo poster child. Rogue knows her stuff when it comes to books," Bobby flipped through his copy of The Catcher in Rye. "I don't know what half of these words mean."
"What's an emo?" Asked Jamie, clearly puzzled by the unfamiliar terminology.
"An emo is someone who wears a lot of eyeliner and listens to Marilyn Manson," Bobby replied. "Who decided we have to read this book, anyway?"
"That would have been Dr. McCoy." Kurt was also skimming through his copy of the book. "We are lucky not to be reading Shakespeare, you know."
"So Rogue's an emo?" Jamie wondered.
"Yep," Bobby turned to the window, his expression wistful. "It's probably going to be getting dark soon," he sighed.
"Emo is short for emotional, right?" Rahne queried.
"That's right," Sam affirmed from his chair between Bobby, and Roberto who wasn't even trying to hide the cellphone he was using to text. "What about it?"
"Rogue's one of the most, if not the most unemotional person I've ever met," Rahne said. "So she can't be emo."
"Yeah, that's, like, so true." Kitty paused in her regime of applying Pop Star Pink lip gloss to briefly glance at Bobby before returning to her compact mirror. "I share a room with her, and I've only ever seen her annoyed, and that's when I play my boy band CDs."
"Admittedly, that is a good reason to get angry," Evan said, and the rest of the males in the room nodded in wholeheartedly agreement.
A window pane could be heard scraping open, and a black backpack was tossed in and landed on the floor, before Rogue slid in through the window with movements more fluid and expert than a professional cat-burglar.
"I've always said so," Rogue replied smoothly, grabbing her backpack and crossing the room to her empty chair with a sinewy grace that seemed like it would be more at home in a smoky bar than a school library. The girl sat down, crossing her combat boot clad ankles. "So, how about this book, huh? I bet it's real interesting."
"Are you an emo, Rogue?" Jamie asked innocently.
Bobby tore himself from his rapture of staring longingly outside to grimace. "Oh Jamie, you don't understand the magnitude of what you ask."
"It doesn't matter if Rogue is goth or emo." Scott was trying to sway interest back to the book, not that anyone had really cared about it in the first place. Scott turned to Rogue. "Where were you?" He demanded.
"Happy hour," Rogue replied conversationally, reaching into her backpack and pulling out her Trig homework. "I hadn't been there in almost a week."
Everyone stared at her, except for Jubilee, who chose to state, "Rogue is more goth than she is emo."
Hank strode into the room. "I can't apologize enough for my inexcusable late arrival, children. Now, to begin our meeting-"
Tabitha stretched her arms over her head. "Well, which is it, Rogue? Goth or emo?"
"Oh dear," Hank sighed. "Another one of these discussions." He sat down on the last remaining unoccupied chair, resigned to referee to make sure no one strangled anyone else.
"If emos are the ones who wear eyeliner, how is it possible for Rogue to be a goth?"
"Goth girls can also wear a lot of makeup." Sam drawled. "If a boy wears makeup, though, he's an emo."
"Yeah, like that one kid in that Japanime show Jubilee likes." Roberto explained. "The guy with all the eyeliner. Narootoe, or whatever. He's really emo."
Jubilee rolled her eyes. "By any chance, do you mean Naruto?" She held up a folder depicting the anime characters from said show and pointed to the title logo. "And that isn't eyeliner, by the way."
"What's the difference between goths and emos?" Jamie wondered.
"Emos are just really whiny and weepy while goths just hate people," Bobby explained.
"Do you hate people, Rogue?" Jamie asked.
Rogue shrugged elegantly. Bored by the conversation, she had begun to doodle on her Trig homework. "Why not?"
"Duncan Matthews. Those cheerleaders who won't stop writing 'Go back to Dixieland' on my locker. The senior who sits behind me in Trig who keeps holding a cigarette lighter really close to my hair. My European history teacher, who always drops hints that I can stay after school for 'extra help.'" Rogue put finger quotes around the last two words.
"Ewww!" Jubilee exclaimed disgustedly. "Isn't he really old and married?"
"Yeah," Rahne answered. "He's my history teacher, too."
"And here is our evidence," Roberto said. "Because she hates people, Rogue is a goth."
Jean sniffed. "Rogue, I really don't think it's appropriate for you to advertise the names of those unfortunate enough to suffer the wrath of your irrational hatred."
"Trust me, sweetheart, you're about an inch away from making the list," Rogue said in a low voice.
Hank was concerned. "I don't think it's irrational at all, Jean. A student is attempting to burn you and a teacher may be trying to romantically engage with you? My dear girl, why didn't you say something sooner?"
"I think it's safe to say that Rogue is a misanthrope," Bobby declared.
"You know Bobby, I would be impressed with your vocabulary if it wasn't that I just don't care," Rogue said idly, not looking up from her Sharpie doodles.
"What's a misanthroat?"
"Misanthrope, Jamie." Hank responded. "A misanthrope is someone who hates mankind. Although I'm not quite sure it describes the situation here . . ."
"So in order to sum up this discussion, Rogue hates people, which makes her a goth, not an emo, despite wearing a lot of makeup, a trait frequently attributed to the latter, and Bobby believes she is a misanthrope. Am I right?" Rahne looked around, waiting for someone to correct her. Sam didn't fail her.
"I kind of feel that the jury was rushed on the whole 'Rogue: Goth or Emo?' debate." Sam said. "We never really did clarify. The general train of thought seems to be that Rogue must be goth because she hates a few people who torment her."
"She reads Goth Topic magazines and orders items from their catalogue during homeroom!" Evan argued. "With that consideration, I don't think it's that difficult to say which category she falls into!"
"Is that where you got that shirt?" Jubilee surveyed Rogue's corset-style black leather ensemble. "Pretty cool, chica."
"I don't really think it's fair to say that Rogue is all but required to hate people because she is a goth," Kurt said, looking troubled.
"To say that Rogue is a misanthrope merely because she has a goth dressing style is hardly a convincing argument," agreed Hank.
"Furthermore, I cannot fit the definition of misanthrope," Rogue leaned back in her chair. "A misanthrope is a human who hates mankind."
Bobby scratched his head. "I don't know if misanthropy is strictly limited to humans . . ."
"Are you saying you're not human?" Scott asked incredulously. "Because mutants are still humans."
"He's right," Jean concurred. "After all, we can still think and feel as humans do."
"I'm not saying I'm not human because I'm a mutant," Rogue said. "I'm not human because of the specific form my mutation has taken."
"What do you mean?" Kitty questioned, stowing away her compact mirror in her purse so she could give Rogue her full attention.
"After birth, human infants need physical contact with other humans, especially their mother. If this contact is not established, they die. I am unable to touch other people without draining away their very life force. Meaning that because I have survived without very much physical contact, I have developed into something beyond human," Rogue delivered this statement while not looking up from drawing on her math homework.
Silenced reigned in the library until Jamie asked, "So because you drain life force, does that mean you're a vampire?"
"Let me tell you honeycakes, your evolutionary state isn't the only thing you've developed!" Bobby leered.
"I can't believe you two!" Jubilee glared at the two boys. "Rogue freakin' pours out her heart, and the only things you can say is that she has a chest and ask if she's a vampire!"
All males in the room, sans Kurt, Jamie and Hank, glanced at Rogue's assets.
"At the moment, I'm beginning to hate a few more people," the Southerner growled. "And Jubilee, that statement was hardly heartfelt."
"One might go as far as to say Rogue doesn't have a heart," Roberto muttered.
"So Rogue is a sadist?" Bobby asked.
"Oh, God." Rogue stood and swung her backpack over her shoulder. "I was better off at the bar." She walked to the window and vaulted out.
"And I'm better off skateboarding." Evan walked to the library doors. "And Jamie," he said over his shoulder, "Rogue doesn't sparkle, so she can't be a vampire."
"Hello Hank," Xavier greeted his friend benignly. "How did the first session of the book club go?"
" . . . Let's just say I don't think Logan should be the representative from the Xavier Institute at the Bayville High School parent-teacher conferences this year," Hank replied cautiously.
Xavier frowned. "Odd, because he just stopped by to asked if he could be the one to go. He expressed particular interest in meeting Rogue's history teacher, for whatever reason."
"Maybe you should take a look in his mind," Hank suggested.
Xavier complied, then blinked several times. "Oh my God," he murmured.
A knock sounded on the door.
"Excuse me, Charles, but I have the new Danger Room simulation arranged," Ororo said, opening the door and walking in.
"Bad news, Ororo," Xavier informed her gravely. "You're going to be the one to attend the parent-teacher conferences this year to represent the Institute."
Ororo grimaced. "Again?"
Props to anyone who knows who the "guy with all the eyeliner" is that Roberto says is from "Narootoe."