A few minutes after Scott had sent most of the teams to gather their stuff, Rogue walked into the Blackbird hanger. She could tell from the silence and the hollow way her footsteps rang out across the cement that she was the first one there.
While some, like her best friend Jubilee, thought the hanger was creepy, she was thankful for the second of peace to be able to piece together the events of the last couple hours.
She walked into the jet and tossed her old duffel bag underneath her seat and locked it in. It was the same duffel she had taken all those years ago when she left home after her disastrous first kiss. She smiled faintly as she ran her fingers over the worn green canvas imagining the story that the bag would tell if it could talk. It had been through everything with her. She straightened up after adjusting the pack and sat in her usual seat, leaning her head back against it as she closed her eyes. The lighting was still dim inside the craft since neither Scott nor Storm had started the engine.
Rogue let out a large sigh when she thought of the packed bag beneath her seat. The reason it hadn't taken her long to put her bag together was the fact that it was already packed. Her vacation was supposed to start today. It was the beginning of the summer and she had just completed her first year of college. She had been promised this trip for a long time and now that it finally was going to happen this comes up. Not that she was begrudging the mission...oh screw it, yes she was. Of all the days!
She sunk lower into her seat and tried to ignore the voice that was bitching in the not so back of her mind. She was so involved in that she missed the tell tale signs of heavy footsteps signalling that she was soon to have company. Rogue jumped when a heavy thud echoed through the craft. She flew towards the ceiling and was stopped suddenly when the metal roof slowed her descent.
She opened an eye as she rubbed a hand over her hair mussing it up even further than the impact with the ceiling had. "Logan," she half growled. He smirked at her before settling his large frame in the seat next to her. His legs stretched out as he slumped in the chair, not bothering to buckle himself in. Rogue sighed and leaned back against the seat, the drumbeat in her head reminding her of the horrid day this had morphed into.
"Don't call me that."
He looked over at her, one eyebrow cocked.
She refused to look at him and stared intently at the back of the seat in front of her. Her pact to ignore him lasted less than a minute before she answered the question she knew he was wondering. It was sometimes a curse to understand him so well.
"I'm 19. I have a year of college under my belt and three years of work experience. I'm not a little kid anymore."
He nodded slowly. "I don't think you've been a kid since you left home," he said carefully.
She gave him a small smile. "I know you didn't mean it like that. I've...I've just been having a crappy day. I was really looking forward to the trip and then this comes up. It just put my off on the wrong foot. Sorry for being a pain."
Her head dropped to rest on his shoulder, her long brown hair cascading over his arm.
Logan picked up the strand of white hair and twirled it around his finger and giving it a quick tug before releasing it. "As soon as we get back, we'll go on our trip. I promised you two years ago if you went to school we'd go."
Rogue lifted her head up and smiled in pure joy. "I'm holding you to that."
They held each other's gaze, amusement and something deeper apparent in both the green and hazel depths. Their reverie was broken when a cascade of voices and laughter echoed through the hanger. They both moved back slightly and faced forward. As Jubilee and Kitty bounded through the doorway, Rogue glanced at him from the corner of her eye. "Since the trip is postponed for the time being, I don't suppose I could...persaude you to tell me where we are going."
The corner of his mouth twitched before his expression went back to its normal arrogant boredom. "Not a chance, darlin'."
She stuck her lower lip out, but was quickly distracted by her two best friends.
***New Orleans, Louisiana***
The jet landed on the outskirts of New Orleans in the middle of a fallow field. The team exited the jet to stand outside and wait for orders. Scott carefully made a record of where they had landed before cloaking the Blackbird. Gambit looked around and then groaned. "What is it wit' de warehouses and de bad guys?" His accent seemingly growing thicker once they landed on Louisiana soil.
The younger team all nodded. "They might as well hand out invitations," Jubilee muttered as she checked her nails to ignore the look of reproof Scott aimed her way.
He narrowed his eyes at her indifference, but switched to the matter at hand. "We're not sure if this is where their base of operations is, but there have been reports of suspicious activities in this area as well as this being in the centre of all the areas that the disappearances have been coming from. Now remember everyone, there have been rumours of trafficking so please pay attention to your surroundings. We don't want anyone disappearing."
He opened his mouth, but was interrupted by a flash of dark smoke and Kurt appearing in the middle of the group.
"I am sorry for my lateness. The professor asked me to come and assist."
"Glad you're here to help, Kurt. Sounds like we need whatever we can get," Rogue said with a smile.
Scott nodded his agreement and carried on. "We'll split into pairs. I want each of the younger ones with a senior member. Bobby, you'll be with Kurt. Storm with Kitty. Rogue you go with..." His eyes stalled on Jean, but Wolverine growled, "I'll take her."
Scott nodded and paired Jean with Gambit and Jubilee with himself. "Alright. I want us all to stay together, but if we have to separate don't lose your partner." Everyone murmured their assent and stalked off towards the large building.
***Three Hours Later***
Jubilee, Kitty, and Rogue all dragged themselves through the door of the hotel room that had been rented for them. The warehouse had been empty with nothing in it but several large mouse abodes and dirty mattresses by burnt out campfires. Scott had decided they should stay and see what they could find, so the team headed into New Orleans and booked some rooms. Storm was also staying with the girls, but went with Jean and Scott to pick up food for everyone.
"Why am I here instead on my vacation," Rogue moaned into the pillow she was face first on. Kitty mumbled back something unintelligible before passing out on the other bed. Unfortunately, before Scott would agree the warehouse was empty they had to scour the all three stories and the roof as well.
Jubilee pried herself out of her uniform. "Uck, I'm covered in stuff I don't even want to think about, chica. Mind if I nab the shower?"
"Feel free, I'll take one after I eat." Rogue glanced over at the snoring Kitty. "And I think she'll take one tomorrow."
"Thanks," Jubilee called as she sauntered into the bathroom.
"Oh and Jubes, I'm gonna go check on Logan. I'll be back for dinner."
"Knock yourself out. And tell Wolvie I said it's always a pleasure to see him prance around in his leather jumpsuit." She shut the door with a laugh as Rogue shook her head.
She quickly changed her uniform to a pair of white capris and a loose black tank top. She slipped on a pair of flip-flops and headed down the hall. She knocked on room 303 and waited. Logan opened the door a crack a looked out at her. "Hey."
She smiled. "Hey, can I come hang out with you for a bit?"
He paused, "Um...well," He looked down. She followed his gaze as much as she could through the small opening and realised he was only wearing a small towel. "Oh my g...I'll come back after your shower. Sorry!" Her cheeks were bright red as she backpedalled down the hallway. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the door as she battled her embarrassment. Through the door she could hear Jubilee singing and Kitty snoring. Not wanting to deal with it, she decided to take a walk.
In just a few minutes she was walking down the quiet street that the hotel was located on towards the busy downtown strip off New Orleans. She thought about Remy and reached to her side when she realised her forgot her purse and phone in the room.
"Oh bother it. Of course, I forgot it. Damn Murphy's Law." She heaved a sigh and looked around. It was just dusk and the light was smoky making it difficult to see. As much as she wanted to continue on, she turned around to go back to the hotel. It wasn't worth the lecture she would get if Scott or worse yet, Logan found out she went out at night without her phone.
"Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes. It's been awhile, now hasn't it? What do you say that you and I go and get...reacquainted?