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Author's Note: The views and opinions expressed in the story content do not correlate with the views and opinions of Artemis's Liege.
The moment Rogue saw the room where she was going stay, she knew: the most annoying thing about sharing a room with Kitty Pryde was going to be the décor.
Pink walls trimmed with white. A thick, fluffy white carpet to match. White curtains with pink rosebuds printed on the fabric. Lace doilies on the honey-colored elm dresser, and the full-length mirror just by it was wreathed with a vine of silk roses. Most horrific of all, posters of boy bands smiling and looking cute, taped to the walls.
In Rogue's overloaded brain, shell-shocked by the assault of pink, it occurred to her that roses did not grow on vines.
Rogue took a deep breath, and exhaled very quietly, then walked over to the unoccupied bed and set her black duffel back on the floor. She then surveyed the room again, as if she hoped that her surroundings would shift into a style and color she'd prefer.
"So," Kitty said perkily from the door, where she was standing and drumming her fingers against the doorframe. "What do you, like, think?"
Rogue nodded, unwilling to disparage her roommate's taste in decoration when the X-Men had been kind enough to offer her a place to live. "It's great," she replied, doing her best to disguise her dread with a smile.
She supposed that that she must have been convincing, because Kitty smiled brightly in return.
Apprehension hung in the atmosphere of Charles Xavier's study. The room was decorated with a classic style, with wood-paneled walls, a large carved desk, and brass ceiling lamps to illuminate the polished oak interior, but the serene surroundings did little to diffuse the feeling of approaching disaster. All occupants of the room seemed vaguely tense
Charles sat at his desk and surveyed the grim faces of Logan and Ororo. "I presume that this visit is about the rooming situation?"
"Forgive me, Charles," said Ororo, her manner regal as ever, "but I have serious doubts about the prudence of the idea."
"Chuck, those kids are going to kill each other," Logan stated flatly in his usual low growling tone.
"Take it from me: teenage girls can be extremely territorial," Ororo agreed.
"I think that their circumstances will be beneficial to them both," Charles replied with a smile. "Let's give this a trial period and see how it goes. It's possible that everyone will be surprised by the results."
Logan sighed. "Actually, Chuck, I think that everyone expects bloodshed, destruction, and disaster to be the outcome of this." He noticed Ororo and Charles's perplexed stares. "What?"
There was nothing more relaxing than taking a cold shower on a warm September morning after an early jog, Rogue decided as she combed through her long damp hair. She quickly gathered her hair at the back of her head, and with a quick twist, wove a knot, which she then secured with an elastic band, temporarily, until she found a hair dryer. She donned a black sweatshirt, zipped the font about halfway, and then tugged on a pair of gloves. She turned towards the door, then reconsidered and glanced back at the mirror to study her reflection.
A girl dressed almost entirely in black looked warily back at her; the ivory skin with light purple shadows under her eyes made green irises seem too vivid and wild, as if she were on drugs, and stood out in stark contrast to a pale complexion. The white streaks in her rich auburn hair caused her whole appearance to look artificial.
It wasn't much, Rogue knew, but she would just have to cope with it.
Quietly opening the bathroom door, she spotted the unmade bed and the pink pajamas on the floor, and gathered that her roommate was no longer asleep, so now she could switch on the radio as loud as she wanted. However, instead of turning to the stereo system, she grabbed her backpack from where she had tossed it beside her bed after arriving home from school yesterday, too elated by the adrenaline rush of a Friday night to stow it away in the closet as Kitty had told her numerous times, and set it carefully in the closet.
It would be a good idea to go out today, Rogue decided, as she applied pale lavender eyeshadow, mascara, and a shade of lip gloss carefully selected to bring color to her face without washing her out. She didn't want to stick around and get roped into some asinine activity Jean had planned, or for one of the adults to see her and think that she had no life. There wasn't much for her to do here at the mansion, anyway. Although she didn't have much homework because the majority of her teachers had given tests on Friday, which she had found easy and felt confident that she had done well, she still had that French report to work on.
She could go downtown to the public library, maybe stop at a café for a mocha, and check out a few of the boutiques. She had been looking for a few new pieces of jewelry, and her stepmother's birthday was approaching, and she knew that she should try to find a designer silk scarf the woman so loved.
Definitely a good idea, Rogue concluded. Spying the pink box where Kitty kept her hair styling supplies, she rummaged around and removed the hair dryer, which was, in true Kitty style, a bright fuchsia. Rogue had left her own hair dryer at home during her last visit, and she doubted Kitty would mind if she used hers –after all, Kitty had no problem borrowing her jewelry.
Before taking the dryer into the bathroom, Rogue set her black backpack on her bed and stuffed the satin designer wallet her stepmother had given to her into her front jeans pocket, so she could leave as soon as she was done drying her hair.
Yawning, Kitty made her way into the dining room after spending almost forty minutes in the library, scouring the shelves for a book she planned to use to help design her art project. She was mildly surprised that the only person at the breakfast table was Jean, who was dressed in her soccer uniform and sipping a glass of orange juice.
"Good morning," Jean said with a smile.
"Hey," Kitty greeted her. "Where is everybody?"
"Kurt and Evan are out with friends, Ororo and Professor Xavier left for a conference, Logan is enjoying not being bothered by anyone," she paused, looking at Kitty, "and Scott had to run a few errands and offered Rogue a ride into town with him."
Kitty didn't miss the way Jean frowned or her subtle change in tone as she said the last part. Eager to impress the popular older girl, she said, "I wouldn't worry about Scott liking Rogue, Jean. I mean's he can't even touch her. He's not attracted to her in that way at all." Kitty felt like a traitor to her roommate as the words left her lips, but she shrugged off the guilt. She and Rogue weren't actually friends, anyway.
A conflicted expression settled upon Jean's pretty face. "Scott can date whoever he wants, Kitty. After all, I already have a boyfriend." She stood. "I have to go to soccer practice."
With a sigh, Kitty watched Jean exit the room, knowing that her comment, which implied that Jean had feelings for Scott, had upset the other girl. Jean had always insisted that she and Scott were just friends, but from the way they looked at each other, Kitty could just tell that they had feelings for one another.
After a lonely breakfast of cornflakes and fresh fruit, Kitty returned to her room, hoping that she would be able to start her art project. However, as she entered, she noticed that Rogue had left the one of the sliding doors of the closet open. She walked over to shut it, but was distracted by the sight of Rogue's clothes. The dark colors and unfamiliar materials were nothing like her trendy and conservative wardrobe. For a split second, she was tempted to try a few items on, but then she scoffed at herself for being silly, and opened the book for her schoolwork.
The assignment from art class seemed fairly simply: photograph a landscape and using the photo as a reference, then paint the landscape. However, one of the requirements was that the landscape must connect in the middle, with an independent design at each end, essentially reimagined on both sides.
While she paged through the book of landscape paintings, trying to gain inspiration, her gaze kept drifting back to the closed closet. Finally, in a futile attempt to satisfy her curiosity, Kitty rose from her desk, stretched, then walked over to the closet, opening the door and gazing at Rogue's clothes.
What would it be like, she wondered, to be Rogue? To strut around in dark clothing and have a bad attitude?
Being a goth meant that one hated the world, shopped at Goth Topic and scorned the cheerleaders and sports teams. They disrespected authority and challenged traditional views, looking down on others for conforming as if they were mud on their black leather boots. They listened to MCR and hated Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch, mocking all who entered the franchises' doors.
Goths had a darker lifestyle than most would prefer, Kitty knew.
Of course, she should really return to her schoolwork . . .
But Rogue wasn't here. If Kitty just so happened to try on a few items of her clothing, what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her . . .
Kitty began flipping through the hangers, selecting an article of clothing here and there that she liked and would probably fit her.
The first thing she chose was a short sangria red skirt composed of uneven tiers of cotton, very slightly ruffled at each hem. She matched this with a pair of her own black tights that shimmered a metallic gold when under direct light.
The first shirt that caught her eye was a knit sheer shirt with long sleeves, a floral pattern woven into the lace, and scalloped edges. The form-fitting shirt with its rounded neckline barely exposed her collarbone.
After searching for a few more minutes, she found another shirt that she liked mainly because of the style of the sleeves, reminiscent of a peasant blouse. Black and clingy, the material was ruched around the gold zipper that went down the entire the front. She quickly donned this, wearing it over the lace shirt.
Shoes were problematic, because Rogue wore a larger size, and most of Rogue's shoes had heels, which Kitty had trouble walking in, anyway. So she was gratified to find a pair of black leather Dr. Martens that were knee-length with only a one inch heel. She was particularly fond of the red roses that were embroidered on the outer sides.
The classic carved wood jewelry box that Rogue owned held many beautiful pieces, but now Kitty selected matching, wide, plain, stainless steel bracelets, and an old-fashioned oval-shaped filigree pendant that hung on a chain. She clasped the pendant around her neck, tugged on a pair of black elastic gloves that went just past her wrists, and fastened the bracelets over the material.
Her accessorizing was interrupted when she heard the door to the room click shut. Whirling, she found Rogue standing by the door, an expression of curiosity on her face as she scanned Kitty's ensemble.
"You know, you don't look half bad," she said appraisingly. "Want me to help with your hair and makeup?"
"Um . . . sure?" Kitty was taken aback by the other girl's lack of outrage at someone else using her clothing without permission, and wondered what would've occurred had the roles been reversed.
"Sit on the bed," Rouge instructed, retrieving her black cosmetics box edged with metal. She applied the makeup to Kitty's face with the skill and care of an artist creating their masterpiece. Her gloved hands moved easily around Kitty's face, and she seemed to know exactly what to do.
When the makeup was finished, Rogue proceeded with hair styling, first releasing Kitty's hair from her high ponytail, carefully brushing it out, then weaving several strands of Kitty's hair into a braid, lightly spritzing mousse over her hair after she was finished.
"Done," Rogue informed her, setting the brush and can of mousse down on the bedside table.
Carefully, Kitty stood, and made her way over to full-length mirror, the silk roses draped on the frame a sharp contrast to her edgy dark outfit.
The clothes didn't fit properly; in fact, she resembled a little girl playing dress-up in clothes too large. The tight lace shirt fit fine, but the other black shirt, which fit Rogue very nicely, the neckline just barely hinting at her generous chest, hung loose around Kitty's bust, causing the neckline to appear lower than it was due to her slight cleavage. The red skirt had flattered Rogue's long athletic legs, but because Kitty was a good four inches shorter than her, it was too long, going down to just above her Dr. Martens, and ruining the effect.
But her makeup and hair looked much better than the rest of the outfit. Rogue had brushed the wavy brown hair that she normally wore tied back, until it lay straight, then created a deep side part. A smooth French braid, less than an inch wide, began by her scalp at the full side of the part, and had been fastened at the side of her head with a clip decorated with a black chiffon flower about four inches wide, pearly white beads in the center and silver glitter along the edges.
The blue eyes that Kitty had always considered her best feature had been traced with mocha-colored eyeliner above and under her eyelashes. Peach eyeshadow that almost matched her skin exactly covered the eyeliner below her lower lashes, while the pale gray and light silver shadow swept over her eyelids hid the rest of the eyeliner. Kitty knew this was a technique to ascertain the eyeshadow wouldn't accidentally be rubbed off.
The cosmetics make her look older, more adult. Powdered foundation had been brushed over her face, mascara lengthened her lashes, and the eyeshadow styled to give her smoky eyes, along with the wine-colored lip gloss, gave her face a sultry look, quite different from her usual natural and wholesome style.
A question arose in her mind, and she turned to Rogue, who was packing away her cosmetics case.
"Why do you do dress like this?" Kitty asked. She had disdained Rogue's fashion choices from the beginning, but now she was intrigued.
Rogue sat the case back onto the shelf, then came to stand beside Kitty. "Well, for one thing, it's the simplest way to hide my mutation. The goth girl style often uses tights, leggings, and gloves."
"Not anything else?" Kitty considered her with her eyes. "Not to rebel against your parents or anything?"
Rogue shrugged, but Kitty noticed that she then crossed her arms over chest as if she were uncomfortable. "My father is too busy with his corporation to pay much attention to me, and my stepmother has never actually told me she doesn't like my wardrobe. Out loud, that is." She gazed at herself in the mirror for a few seconds. "Also, it's a way to fit in and stand out at the same time. Yes, I'm subscribing to a high school fashion stereotype, but I like the goth style rather than just being generically fashionable and forgettable."
Uncertain if the last sentence was a jab at her, Kitty decided to let it go, but persisted with her queries, unable to comprehend her roommate's manner of thinking. "But doesn't it get tiring? People mistaking you for a practicing witch, and everything?"
"Yes, but at school almost everyone is afraid of me, so I don't really mind," Rogue replied, with a hint of dark amusement in her tone. "I'm not a big fan of humanity as a whole in the first place, so I don't mind it very much when they don't interact with me." She seemed to be aware that she had provided Kitty with a rare sliver of insight to her mind, and brusquely turned away, walking to the door, quite possibly to escape further questioning. "Later."
As her roommate exited, Kitty concluded two things: one, while Rogue could do the goth style justice, she herself could not, and two, she didn't understand her roommate's way of thinking or motivations, and even if they became close friends, she probably never would.
Kitty gathered her own clothes together, deciding to stick with her own style, but to leave her makeup and hair the way it was, just for today.
A/N: A Separate Peace was assigned for summer reading, and so I decided to write a story about my favorite fictional roommates. Although, Kitty and Rogue's friendship is nowhere close to being as twisted as Gene and Finny's relationship (whatever it was). This is my first Kitty and Rogue where they're actually at the X-Mansion, the first was slightly spooky AU. In this fic they aren't quite friends yet, but getting there.
Also, Kitty seems to have formed her idea of "goth" from reading "My Immortal".
The background I used for Rogue in this fic is detailed in another one of my stories, "Dischord".
Let me know what you thought. Peace!