Disclaimer: Stan! Come on, it was only a misunderstanding, we can work this out! Come on, honey, let's go and talk about it. Just bring along the rights to X-Men: Evolution and we'll all have coffee, yeah?
A/N: Welcome to my latest WIP! I'm glad to be back among you all!
This fic is based off of a country song called "Little Red Rodeo" by Phil Vascal. Technically, it should be done from the guy's POV, but the idea first came to me while listening to the song as a Rogue-centric fic. (And yes, I am aware that in the 90's show, Rogue did actually have the perfect car for this song.)
This story is dedicated to everyone who ever read, reviewed, favorited, or alerted me and anything I've ever written. You are all awesome people, and I feel better for having met you. (Individual chapter dedications will be posted with their chapters.)
So, without further ado, I'd like to begin. Indy? Ash? Ya'll wanna say anything?
They… don't appear to be around. Maybe next chapter?
Prologue: The Note
Bayville, New York
The Xavier mansion sat silently on its carefully manicured lawn, surrounded by gates in the front and woods all around the back. There was no noise at all coming from the grounds, outside of the occasional wildlife. The inside was nearly as peaceful, the stillness broken only by the soft snores and grunts of the mansion's inhabitants. The entire Institute was in slumber.
Well, most of it.
A window, French doors actually, opened on a balcony above the pool. A tall, lean, catlike figure slipped out onto the balcony, and paused, glancing back over its shoulder into the room it had just exited. Then, shaking its head, it proceeded to grasp the railing and lightly flip over the edge of the thirty-foot high drop…
And land lightly on its feet, having caught a convenient tree limb just before hitting the ground.
The figure made its way quietly to the garage.
Two minutes later, a surprisingly quiet purr from a motorcycle hit the still night air and the shape sped down the drive and through the front gates, which opened and closed for him readily, as they did for all the mansion inhabitants with a pass code.
The figure spared only a one final glance over behind as it picked up speed. The lights on the Institute lawn briefly caught a shine of red eyes behind the helmet's visor before the dark form turned its head and shot off into the darkness, without looking back again.
When Rogue awoke that morning, there was a note on her pillow.
I realize that coming to the Institute was a silly thing for me to do. You know-you've gotta know-I only came in the first place to be near you. Roguey. Je t'aime, chere. I know you don't feel the same way, but I have to tell you. I'm leaving now, getting out of your hair like you wanted. But I just needed to tell you that.
I love you, Rogue.
Charles Xavier had been awoken in some odd ways in his time. He'd woken to high pitched sirens, explosions, screams, gunshots, crashes, students pounding through the halls, Ororo's soft voice apologizing for waking him, Kurt accidentally teleporting into his bed at three in the morning, and with a terrible headache shortly after meeting Logan's little clone. But he could honestly say, without hesitation, that the oddest way he'd ever woken up was to the sound of Rogue screaming curses in French, English, and some other language that sounded like South African, nearly drowning out Kitty's rather pathetic attempt at pacification.
"Rogue, calm down."
The green-eyed Southerner glared at her friend and shrieked. "Calm down? Ah will not calm down! That lowlife, good for nothin', snake-charmin' Cajun is gone! An' he left a note!"
Kitty Pryde stared at her. "Isn't that a good thing?"
"No! It means he's a jerk, and too cowardly to face me, and that he snuck into our room last night while we were sleepin'. The note was on mah pillow!" Kitty's mouth opened in a little, round O.
Her furious face was streaked with tears. "Kitty… he is such an idiot!"
Her friend raised her eyebrows. "Okayyyy…"
Rogue began pacing. "Ah mean it! He's goin' on about how he knows Ah don' love him, an' he's accepted this as fact, an' God knows what else, an' he don' know anything! Hello? Who the halibut does he think he is? Ah do so lovehim! Where the heck does he get off tellin' me what Ah feel? Dagnabit, Remy LeBeau, if Ah wanna love you, Ah will, an' there's nothin' you can do about it!"
Kitty sat in shocked silence. Rogue and Remy's… connection was no secret. Something had happened in Louisiana. He'd made no bones about the fact that he was completely head-over-heels for her ever since he'd arrived, not long after the defeat of Apocalypse, roaring up to the Institute gates on a red and black Harley, wearing his old brown trench coat and his trademark smirk, and requesting permission to join the X-Men. Rogue acted annoyed, but Kitty could tell she was secretly pleased.
He'd flirted at first, outrageously, with every female in the mansion that was over the age of fifteen. But mostly with Rogue. Most of them would titter and then go on their way, but Rogue would glare, and snipe, and act upset. Remy seemed to get a kick out of irritating her, and though she flatly denied it, Rogue liked the attention.
And then she started flirting back.
Remy left the others alone then. His sole focus was Rogue. His smooth words and smoldering looks were directed at her alone. The fact that he would never get to act on any of his many promises and innuendos if she didn't get her mutation under control didn't seem to bother him. He was dead-set on his goal: Rogue. And suddenly, her irritation seemed more put-on than anything else.
Still, while Remy's feelings were perfectly clear, Rogue's were somewhat ambivalent. She liked Remy, obviously; she was attracted to him; but she never actually gave him a definition of what they were: friends, teammates, pseudo-lovers, playful rivals. The main reason for this was one that was so straightforward, it was almost certainly one that Remy never thought of. Simply put, Rogue had issues with relationships. Her mother betrayed her, and then her first crush/dance/guy-showing-interest ended up in a coma for three weeks. Her crush on Scott came to a close with a burning crash of the only non-mutant (or so she thought) friendship she had, a massive melt-down, and the single-handed destruction of most of Bayville. She'd been used, abandoned, and juggled for her whole life, and thus had no idea what to do with someone who truly adored her. She felt something for him, but she wouldn't admit to it. So despite all of Remy's declarations of love, and the blatant desire and affection constantly in his eyes when he looked at her, she never said the words back, and never let on how she really felt.
And now, apparently, that was coming back to bite her in the butt.
"Ah love him, Kitty. Ah don' know how, or why-especially when he pulls stunts like this, but Ah do. Why- why did he leave?" she collapsed onto the bed next to her shocked friend. Kitty hesitated a minute and then tentatively put her arms around the sobbing Southerner.
Just as Kitty was beginning to wonder if she should go get Storm (the older woman was much better at dealing with girls crying over men-a fact Kitty could attest to personally), Rogue sat up straight, fire flashing in her green eyes.
"How dare he? Who does he think he is anyhow? We have somethin'. He tells me he loves me, and then runs off to God-knows-where? Ah don' think so."
She stood abruptly, accidentally knocking Kitty backwards on her bed. The little brunette watched her nervously as she began rifling through her closet.
"Hmm?" the striped-haired girl's voice was muffled.
"What are you doing?"
Logan paced the living room. Since Rogue had awakened the entire mansion (and probably half of Bayville) at seven-thirty that morning (except for himself, who got up at the crack of dawn every morning-and he'd tar and feather anyone who said otherwise), Logan had been on edge. He'd gone tearing into the girls' wing as soon as he heard the screams, but when Kitty's white face had stuck itself out of the door to announce that no one was being murdered, but he probably would be if he stuck around (Rogue was a little man-hostile right now) he'd retreated to the living room, where he now waited for the next explosion.
All around him, mansion inhabitants lounged, stretched, sat, or lay on couches, the floor, and each other. Xavier had arrived soon after Logan, and Storm had been right behind him. They glanced at each other apprehensively, and settled in to wait. One by one, the other students had trickled in, until most of the mansion residents were present and accounted for.
Except for one.
Whispers were floating all around. Rogue hadn't exactly been quiet about the source of her ire, so pretty much everyone knew that Remy had taken off, leaving only a note for his chere. Jubilee and Amara claimed that it sounded romantic. Tabby rolled her eyes and stated firmly that she disagreed. Jean and Scott exchanged concerned glances. Kurt was scowling, a dark blue threat of vengeance complete with fangs perched on the arm of the couch. Bobby, Ray, and Sam were nearly oblivious, only barely paying attention, especially since they didn't pay much attention to Rogue and Remy anyway.
When Kitty dropped down into the room quietly, conversation slowed and soon stopped. They all waited for her to explain what was going on with the Gothic Southerner. Storm and Jean moved forward quickly, but she shook her head and glanced at the wide double doors. They all followed her gaze.
A minute later, Rogue pushed the door open and strode into the room, ignoring the instantly restarted buzz that followed her through the small crowd. They all got out of her way as she made her way to the fireplace where Logan had finally ceased pacing. Nobody wanted to cross her today.
She was dressed to go out, tight leather pants and a dark jacket over her usual green tank, feet in dark, leather, knee high boots, with a duffle bag slung across one-shoulder. Her hair was down on her shoulders, white stripes prominently on display.
"Rogue…" Storm moved forward, but stopped when the Professor touched her arm and shook his head.
Rogue glanced at her and gave her a small smile before turning back to Logan.
"Logan, Ah need a favor."
He raised an eyebrow. "Sure, Stripes, name it."
She cocked a hip. "Ah need to borrow your bike." Eyes widened and whispers started again. Borrowing Logan's bike was serious business.
He sighed. Refusing Rogue was hard enough when her voice didn't crack as she spoke to him. Under the circumstances, it was out of the question. He pulled the key out of his pocket and dropped it into her gloved, outstretched hand. "Don't bang her up."
She smiled a real smile this time. "Ah won't." Turning to the professor, she said, "Professor, Ah'm goin' after Remy."
Xavier folded his hands under his chin. "I see."
Jean spoke up. "Rogue, he's hardly worth-"
Rogue turned to her. "You don' know that, Jean. You don't. He's worth it an' more. An' if Ah hadn't been so dang cowardly, there wouldn' be any need fo' this li'l trip. He's mine, Jean, an' if he thinks he's getting' away that easy, he's got another thing comin'."
The whole room stared at her. She flushed, but held her head high. "It's summer. School's out, an' Ah don' got any previous engagements planned. Ah'm goin' after Remy, jus' him an' me, an' Ah'm bringin' him back with me once Ah catch him." She gave Logan a quick hug. "Thanks for the bike, Logan. Ah'll take care of 'er, Ah promise." She hugged her brother and Kitty. "Take care ya'll."
"Rogue." The professor wheeled forward. Rogue put on a determined face. "Ya can't stop me, Professor. Ah'm goin'."
He waved his hand. "Oh, yes, quite, I know that. I was simply going to ask that you allow me to keep track of you via Cerebro."
Surprised, she said, "Oh…well, yeah, Ah guess that'd be fine. Sure thing." He smiled at her. "Have a good trip. I'll connect with you by telepathy at regular intervals, so don't be alarmed if you feel my presence in your mind at times." She nodded. "Gotcha."
Storm came forward to offer Rogue her arms. "Are you sure, Rogue? I know that Remy loves you, but are you absolutely sure? You don't know where he's gone, or how far-"
Rogue cut her off. "Ah'm sure, 'Ro. An' actually, Ah've got an idea of where he might've gone."
With that, she turned and strode out of the room, passing Jamie on his way in, who was introducing Rahne to the phenomena known as country music.
Whoa-hoa, how fast can I go?
I've gotta catch that little red rodeo
She drove off with my heart
I've gotta let her know
Need the girl in that little red rodeo
Texas plates, candy-apple-red rodeo!
Jamie switched off his portable radio as everyone stared at him and Rahne. "What?"
Kurt shook his head. "Strange. Zat vas oddly fitting."
A/N: The Prologue is complete! What do you guys think?
Additional, Non-Spoiler Disclaimer: I do not own the song "Little Red Rodeo."
This is gonna be a long one guys. Probably my longest yet. I hope you're all up for it.
Hmph. Indy hopes dat you're up fo' it, chere.
What's that supposed to mean?
All Indy means is that ya koinda 'ave a habit of startin' fics an' then slowin' down on 'em so much that the story koinda falls apart.
*pouts* You two have no faith in me.
We'll 'elp ya, sheila, don' worry.
Thanks ever so. Where have you two been?
Next chapter: What do you do when your boyfriend goes AWOL? Grill his best friend of course. Use torture sparingly.