Author's Note: My somewhat AU explanation for Evolution!Rogue's background. Borrows some elements from comics Exiles and X-Men: Noir.

Mystique doesn't even glance up at Logan when he storms into her office at Bayville High School. Rather, she continues typing on her sleek laptop computer for a few more minutes, until a feral snarl of impatience escapes from his lips, to which she responds with a look of profound annoyance.

"I assume you have a reason for being here, Logan," she states coolly. "Don't waste my time. Explain why you are in my office."

Angrily, he thrusts the piece of paper at her. She accepts it, scanning the sheet rapidly.

Mystique raises an eyebrow. "And just who is it that I'm supposed to be handing over to Charles's custody?"

"You know very well who," Logan growls at her. "The girl. Rogue." The goth kid is hardly forgettable and Mystique of all people should be aware of the situation regarding her.

Mystique smiles, and Logan tenses at the unexpected reaction. "Ah, yes. I'm not surprised Charles's has taken an interest an interest in her."

Logan frowns suspiciously. The wording of that statement is odd. Charles isn't particularly interested in Rogue. He's just offering her a safe place to live, same as he's done for the rest of the X-Men. "He didn't 'take an interest in her.' He just offered her a place in the X-Men after she discovered that you lied to her."

Mystique merely smirks at him, clicks an elaborate pen, and proceeds to begin filling out the custody sheet.

"Aren't you at least going to try to prevent Charles from taking legal custody?" Logan asks in disbelief. It's totally unlike Mystique, he knows, to be ready to cooperate with anyone, let alone the X-Men.

"Is there a reason I should?" Mystique glances at him.

Logan doesn't like the look in her eyes. "Seems strange that you would go through so much trouble to get Rogue to trust you, then write her off so quickly."

Mystique only smirks at him again, then returns her attention to the paper, filling in the blank lines with elegant penmanship. "Really, Logan, Charles doesn't even know her real name?"

"Chuck didn't think that it was a good time to badger her with questions," Logan replies brusquely. "And you've taught the girl to block her mind from his telepathy."

A fond look crosses Mystique's face, as if she's proud of her former protégée.

This is weird, Logan knows. He's seen Mystique work herself into a psychotic rage over less than this; there is no way she should be so serene about the matter. Not unless she's planning something.

"Which reminds me: I'm supposed to ask you a few questions about Rogue's family situation." Logan glares at her. "What is her real name, anyway?"

"Anna Marie Rosemary D'Ancanto," Mystique replies casually.

"Rosemary?" Logan echoes in disbelief.

"I didn't name the girl," Mystique irritably responds. "Blame that on her parents."

"Who are?" Logan demands savagely, hackles rising. Mystique is giving up this information without a fight, for no reason he can figure out. Of all things, Mystique should be fighting to get Rogue back. Whatever her motives are for cooperating, this can't be good.

"Her father is Lucius D'Ancanto, the current owner the Chemical Bank Corporation," Mystique informs him promptly. "Rogue also has an older brother in college, Julian, who, to the best of my knowledge is just a regular human. Her father remarried two years ago to a twenty-three-year-old woman named Isabella."

Logan frowns. "And this guy just let you take his daughter?"

"Mr. D'Ancanto always sent his children to boarding school and summer camp. I believe at the moment he's under the impression that Rogue received a full scholarship to Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Children. With thanks to Jason Wyngarde," says Mystique smugly.

Logan slams his fist on the mahogany desk. "You mean you lied to him about his daughter's whereabouts and gave him the name of Charles's school?"

Mystique is totally unimpressed by Logan's anger. "The girl needed a strong role model in her life. I have no idea where her biological mother is, and that vapid, free-spirit stepmother will definitely not suffice. Her father has no time for her, and her brother is in another state. Can you blame me for trying to give her some guidance?"

"That wasn't 'guidance,'" Logan snarls at her through clenched teeth. "You were trying to deceive her. You wanted her convinced that the X-Men were out to kill her so that she would hate us."

"Looking back, that was wasted energy on my part," Mystique muses. "I needn't have done that. Rogue could have reached that conclusion on her own."

Logan narrows his eyes. "What do you mean by that?"

"With the consideration that he's a telepath, one would expect that Charles would know these things." Mystique finishes filling out the paper. "Here you are, Logan."

He glares at her, not moving to accept the paper. "Why." He speaks the word as a statement rather than a question.

Mystique quirks an eyebrow. "What are you asking, precisely?"

"Why are you just letting Charles take her?" Logan asks forcefully. He watches her carefully, but she doesn't react as he expected.

The vulpine smirk twists her lips once again. "Are you sure you want to hear the answer?"

"If I didn't want to hear the answer, I wouldn't have asked," Logan states flatly.

The smirk doesn't fall from Mystique's lips; the self-satisfied expression never once flickers as she stands and saunters over to the large windows in her office. She gazes out the window for a few moments with a smile reminiscent of the Cheshire cat.

Logan has just opened his mouth to threaten her when she finally replies.

"Rogue has chosen to leave my Brotherhood and forsake what I've taught her. If that's what she wants, fine. Charles and his X-Men may have her, but in the end, she's mine. Her ultimate fate is in my control. I can take my time and decide if she's useful, and I can easily steal her back. Or I can leave her with you."

Mystique turns to look at him, and sunlight glints off her glasses. "I can do whatever I want to Rogue, Logan. You don't seem to understand that. I can break her if I choose. I can shatter her mind, push her to the depths of insanity so I don't have to kill her myself; she'll do the job for me."

Logan's claws pop out of his knuckles and he lunges for her. "You sick bitch!"

Fluidly, she moves and dodges him without even changing form. "I'll give her to Charles, but I've already planted the seeds of betrayal in her mind. Thanks to me, you and the X-Men will never be able to trust her completely, and she won't be able to trust you."

"You're twisted," Logan snarls.

"What's the matter?" Mystique questions mockingly. "Have you become protective of Rogue, Logan? Does she have you feeling all warm and paternal? Don't bother. She's nothing like Kitty Pryde. Rogue is a killer. I created her, so her motives are of no surprise to me. You and the X-Men, on the other hand . . . if you knew what she's done-"

Though Mystique's warning about Rogue disturbs him, Logan focuses on the other things she said, and he interrupts her. "What do you mean you 'created her'? "

"Don't make me repeat myself, Logan. I already told that Mr. D'Ancanto sent his children to 'summer camp.'" A devious expression settles upon Mystique's face. "It just so happens that Rogue's was . . . special."

"What have you done to her?" Logan demands aggressively.

"Whatever it took to push her to be one of my operatives," Mystique's cold grey gaze never leaves his face. "It's almost a pity that I've lost her . . . Rogue was almost the perfect soldier. She had flaws, of course, but still . . ." Mystique trails off.

Again, the vibe strikes Logan that the woman is dotingly reminiscing about her former charge. The feeling that she's manipulating the X-Men sets him on edge. It causes him to grit his teeth, and not for the first time, he wonders about the depth of Rogue's loyalty, which currently resides with the X-Men. Logan is fully aware that it can only be considered temporary at best.

Mystique settles in her stately leather chair. "You may go now, Logan."

The realization that there's nothing more he can do about this situation hits Logan and, grabbing the paper off the mahogany desk, he stalks from her office, yanking the door shut behind him.

His footfalls echo in the empty, institutional halls; the students of Bayville High School are all in their classrooms, either attentively taking notes or catatonic from listening to the teacher drone.

Logan rounds a corner to go out the exit, and very nearly collides with another person. It's that one goth kid, Rogue, or Anna, or whatever the hell Mystique said her name was.

As her cold green eyes flash with momentary fire, somewhere in the back of his mind, Logan wonders vaguely why she doesn't use her real name.

"Oh, hey," she says, recognizing him.

"Howdy," Logan growls, moving past her.

In his peripheral vision, he sees that she begins walking again, either going to class late or skipping her class altogether. Logan has his money on the latter.

The thought nags him as he strides out of the cold school into the warm sunlight. Does Mystique want Rogue to be a part of the X-Men? Is this what the woman was hoping for all along?

The feeling of impending doom in his chest tells Logan that the X-Men will find out in due time.


Her adoptive son pauses in his tinkering with his latest science project, which she already knows will win first place in the contest, but she doesn't tell him this, because she doesn't want to spoil the surprise.

"Yes, Irene?"

"Bring me the telephone, please."

"Of course." Doug's footsteps sound across the polished hardwood in the kitchen, and then enter the living room. Gently, he presses the receiver of the cordless phone into her hand.

"Thank you."

The abrupt ringing of the telephone cuts off Doug's reply, and Irene answers smoothly. "Raven. How are you?"

"Excellent, Irene. The knowledge that allowing Anna to join the X-Men will only lead to her inevitable return brings me considerable satisfaction."

So Raven believes her, then. Irene is unsurprised; this is exactly what she planned, after all. She had informed Mystique about what she had foreseen, but she had deliberately neglected to inform her lover that Rogue's betrayal of the X-Men was uncertain, only a possibility.

"Excellent, Raven. I look forward to your return."

Irene barely focuses on the exchange of goodbyes; her thoughts dwell on her adopted daughter.

The entire reason that compelled Raven to spirit Anna to Mississippi each summer without the knowledge of the girl's father was the prophecy. Irene sometimes regrets ever informing Raven of Anna's destiny. The girl was robbed of her childhood; her summers were spent unwittingly training as an operative for Raven, while the boarding academy she had attended demanded every ounce of her effort during the school year.

The knowledge that it was she who created Anna's situation initially weighs heavy on Irene's shoulders. Had it not been for her, Anna could have lounged and relaxed during the summer instead of learning the methods of hotwiring cars and martial arts, courtesy of Raven, under the guise of 'Aunt Carrie.'

Of course, now it falls to Irene to set right what once went wrong.

Anna needs the X-Men. She needs Charles to remind her that there's hope, needs him to help with the obstacles her mutant abilities supply. She needs good, moral people to remind her of her own humanity.

And so Irene will allow Anna to stay with the X-Men, because she needs them more than Raven needs her.

A/N: Rogue's past sort of a combination from Earth 616, the Exiles, and X-Men: Noir. In Exiles, she was an expert thief from a wealthy background. In my stories, she's constantly entering and exiting the X-Mansion by climbing in and out of windows, because she was trained as an agent by Mystique.