Disclaimer: The X-Men belong to Marvel. I am not making any profit from this page.
Author's Note: This story takes during "On Angel's Wings." I realize that this scene may not make sense with the rest of the episode, but hey, it's called "fanfiction" for a reason. This isn't my best piece, but I thought it would be interesting to see this from Scott's perspective.
Warning: Not betaed, may contain errors.
Reviews and constructive criticism are always appreciated.
Scott is almost too focused on the activity of the hospital to notice when Rogue slips away and surreptitiously works around the various doctors and nurses in the bustling hallway to continue to her destination, wherever that may be.
For a moment, Scott is torn between following her, or respecting her privacy, because she obviously doesn't want company, clearly indicated by her clandestine actions. But then his stomach growls, and as he stands, his feet ache, a reminder of running around the Big Apple all day. Then he decides that if Rogue wanted some time to herself, she should've communicated, because he's not in the mood to deal with her sullen attitude today.
She sidesteps around the rushing hospital staff effortlessly, and Scott has to exercise all of his coordination to avoid crashing into anyone. Because his attention is solely directed at dodging people, he nearly misses glimpsing Rogue step into one of the elevators, but he still hears the automatic voice announce, "Fourth floor," before the doors swish closed.
Annoyance steadily rising, Scott sets his jaw and walks to the other elevator, pressing the button to close the doors before anyone else can join him. Scoot is fully aware that what he is doing could be against hospital regulations and that some orderly could spot them and call security, but hell if he's going to sit in an uncomfortable hospital chair and wait for Rogue.
It occurs to Scott that while he's standing here listening to Muzak play over the stereo system, they could lose the lead they traipsed throughout the freezing streets of New York City to find; the little girl could wake up, remain unconscious, or even die in the time they're wasting. Scott feels his heart twist at the notion of a child, so young and innocent, dying, and his anger at Rogue goes up a notch or two.
After what seems like an eternity, the elevator stops at the fourth floor, and when the doors open, Scott manages to catch sight of Rogue's back, clad in the down jacket that Logan eventually commissioned Jean and Ororo to drag her out to the mall to buy, sick of the phone calls from Bayville High School questioning why Rogue did not have a coat. This coat is apparently lilac, not that Scott can tell; he just remembers from listening to Jean regale him with the tale of the shopping exhibition. Despite possessing the funds for several dozen coats, Rogue had stubbornly refused to get another coat after some Cajun thief stole his trenchcoat back from Rogue, who had stolen it in the first place. Jean, tired of Rogue's attitude, had grabbed the nearest coat in Rogue's size, shoved it in her arms, then pushed Rogue into the checkout line.
Rogue turns, silently opening a door, and vanishes into a hospital room. The sight breaks Scott out of his recollections, and he follows her path down the hallway, wary of any passing hospital staff who might stop him. But this hall is surprisingly quiet; in fact, the only sound that Scott hears is the faint beeps of monitors through the doors of hospital rooms, all of which are closed. The eerie atmosphere causes Scott's skin to crawl, and he has to remind himself that he's a seventeen-year-old with optic concussive forces and combat training to stop himself from imaging juvenile horror scenarios.
His footfalls seem to echo off the walls, and he wonders how he'll know which room Rogue entered. But his worry is unnecessary; one door in the hallway has been left ajar, and Scott hesitantly walks in, mentally preparing himself for whatever may be there.
The room is small and if Scott had to guess, white, with no windows. There is no furniture beyond a small table next to the bed, which is also accompanied by an IV, heart monitor, and other hospital machines Scott doesn't recognize.
The bed's occupant is a young woman, perhaps in her early twenties, but her age is difficult to say because her face is covered by an oxygen mask. Through his ruby quartz glasses, Scott can see that her long hair, braided into a plait and reposing upon one shoulder, is the pale red he's learned to associate with blondes. On the bedside table are several poinsettias and bouquets of flowers, along with framed pictures of (presumable) family members. The girl is covered by a handmade quilt, pulled over her chest and under her limp arms.
Scott catches sight of a patient chart hanging on the bed's frame and beyond detailing when she was last fed by IV, the chart gives the occupant's name as Carol Danvers.
Standing there, staring at Carol's unmoving form, is Rogue. Scott is behind her, so he can't see her expression, but her breathing sounds off, inhaling rapidly, and exhaling in shaky bursts. Rogue begins shivering, her teeth chattering despite the warmth in the room. Her coat rustles, and Scott realizes she must have crossed her arms over chest as she often does. Maybe she's attempting to ward off the cold that seems so phantom to him; Scott is becoming uncomfortably warm at this point.
He wants to say something to her, to ask her why she's here, what she's doing, but his jaw feels as if it has been locked closed, and even if he could open his mouth, Scott wouldn't know what to say without upsetting Rogue anymore than she already is. The temperature in the room seems to increase as he discards ideas of how to get answers without seeming like an insensitive brute, and in the end, he's still at a loss of what to say.
Trying to distract himself from his discomfort, his eyes wander about the room, and rest on the patient chart again. And that's when he sees it.
A feeling settles over Scott similar to how he had felt when he had been playing baseball with the New Mutants, and Amara had swung the bat wildly, hitting him in the abdomen and knocking the wind out of him. This woman, only few years older than him, is dead as far as the world is concerned, perhaps for the rest of her life, if lying in a hospital bed can be called that. Comatose, and Rogue is here to pay her respects because . . .
Why is Rogue here?
Just as Scott brings his attention back to Rogue, a choking gasp emits from her throat, and she steps forward, taking one of Carol's still hands into her own gloved grasp. Rogue's shoulders are shaking, and Scott knows that she's crying.
Finally Scott manages to force the words out of his mouth. "Do you know her?" He winces at how loud his voice sounds in the quiet room.
For a few minutes, Rogue doesn't say anything, and Scott is sure she is deliberately ignoring him.
"Kind of," she replies, her voice surprisingly steady.
Scott is once again at loss to reply to this. A list of possible responses run through his mind, but before he can open his mouth, Rogue turns away from the bed, but gently places Carol's hand back on the quilt before she does so.
When Scott sees Rogue's face, her expression is cold and distant as ever, no trace of a single tear. Her makeup is still perfect like always, her eyes not red-rimmed and swollen, but an icy green, like a river frozen in the midst of its flood.
Rogue hasn't been crying after all.
"Let's go," she says, walking past Scott and out the door, jamming her hands into the pockets of her coat.
Scott hears her footsteps receding as she walks down the hall. Involuntarily, he shudders despite the warmth.
Rogue may not have cried, but Scott can't shake the feeling that she had wanted to.