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Edit: This is a re-post due to several revisions.

Author's Note: The views and opinions expressed in the story content do not correlate with the views and opinions of Artemis's Liege.

Sam and Rogue friendship. Considering they're good friends in the comics, it's kind of surprising there are so few fics about it.


Insomnia wasn't a problem that afflicted Sam Guthrie often; it had been much more prominent during his childhood. Unfortunately, he was still struck by the occasional bout of sleeplessness on an estimate of twice every six months and with each turn he was reminded of just how awful it actually was.

Sam fell back on the couch in the Rec room of the Xavier Institute, muffling his groan with a pillow that matched the curtains perfectly. This was agonizing. His body was begging for sleep and no matter how many hours he lay in bed, his mind refused to shut down and allow him to rest. The hour was nearing two o'clock in the morning and he had school tomorrow. Playing the "I'm sick" card and begging off was always an option, but that would mean he would have make-up schoolwork to complete when he returned.

A diversion from his thoughts of woe was provided in the form of a fellow teenager, a goth girl who joined him on the brown leather couch, allowing her body to sink into the comfortable cushions as she glanced at the television screen.

"Hey," Rogue said casually, as if there was nothing unusual about the two of them being alone together in the Rec room, a place where she rarely ventured if not dragged there by her vitriolic best buddy and polar opposite, Kitty Pryde.

"What are you doing here?" Sam asked, puzzled by her sudden appearance.

"I just got in," Rogue explained briefly. Sam was somewhat surprised to hear her usual sarcasm gone from her tone. "What are you watching?"

"The Stepford Wives," Sam replied.

"The original or the remake?"

"Original."

"Groovy," Rogue said flatly.

They sat in silence for several minutes, the movie enrapturing them as is played out on the screen before them. The lights in the Rec room were dimmed; Sam only bothered to flick one of the switches when he walked in, in hope that the muted light might lull him to sleep. Light and color played across Rogue's features, softening her expression.

"Were you out with Regan?" Sam glanced at her knowingly.

A perfectly plucked eyebrow rose, the poised expression a stark contrast with the goth-punk hairstyle created by her white bangs. "What of it, Sam?" Rogue watched him carefully.

Sam shrugged. "I just don't get it, that's all. I mean, she's all blonde and captain of the field hockey team and the dance team. She's a junior, so why would she be wasting her time around a freshman that's . . ." He trailed off awkwardly.

"Goth?" A faintly amused expression crossed Rogue's face. "It might be hard for you to believe, Sam, but Regan and I have a lot in common."

"Like what?" Sam demanded. "Have you seen the way she bullies other kids, Rogue? She causes other girls run away in tears because she makes such nasty comments! She's basically a horrible person!"

"And you think I'm not?" Rogue scoffed.

She held eye contact with him for a few moments before turning away and watching the TV screen. Unable to resist, Sam noticed that the long-sleeved clingy black shirt she wore was sheer and the shirt over that was a blood red envelope neckline that emphasized her curves. Suspicious of her attire, Sam's eyes flicked over her face, studying her makeup. He knew it. Wine-colored lipstick and eyeliner arranged as what Jubilee referred to as "smoky eyes." Rogue had definitely been at a party tonight.

"Why do you do it?" Sam blurted out the question before he had a chance to think about how Rogue would respond.

"Why do I do what?" Rogue returned.

"The whole partying thing with Regan," Sam said, heat creeping into his face. "It's not like you even drink that much when you're at those parties. Those people aren't who you choose to hang out with so why-"

"Regan and I have common interests. Our friendship is beneficial to both of us," Rogue stated.

Sam frowned. "Yeah, you keep saying that, but I don't get how it is."

Rogue sighed, as if she was exasperated. She turned to focus her cold green gaze on him. "I'll explain this to you once and one time only, Sam. The reason Regan and I are friends is because we both are malicious people and we recognize that in each other. You're right that normally a junior in high school would never bother with a freshman, but you also have to understand that the group Regan surrounds herself with are only included because they're pretty. They have no loyalty to one another. They'd all backstab the others for a chance to get to the top of the social pyramid."

"And the reason Regan trusts you is because she knows you don't care about the social pyramid?" Sam asked, beginning to catch on.

"Exactly. She knows that I don't bother with that stuff, so she keeps friendly with me because I'm someone she can hang out with and talk without worrying I'm going to blackmail her or something." Rogue buffed her nails on the minimal material of her shirt.

"So you play designated driver for Regan at these parties?" Sam inquired.

"Yes," Rogue affirmed.

"But . . . you don't have a license. You're too young to even get your permit," Sam pointed out.

"That doesn't mean that I don't know how to drive," Rogue replied.

The two allowed this comment to end the conversation for several moments.

"Hey, Rogue?" Sam said.

"Hey, Sam?" Rogue replied, her tone bored.

"What you told me about you and Regan doesn't explain the partying." Sam stared at Rogue. "I mean, it's not like you have to. And you know that you're breaking curfew and that you'll get into trouble if you get caught."

"Does there have to be an explanation for everything with you, Sam? Can't something be that way because that's just how it is?" Rogue sent him a challenging look.

"Maybe it's because it's two A.M., but your philosophizing skills are definitely somewhat lacking," Sam replied jocularly.

For a moment, a corner of Rogue's mouth twitched upward and Sam was certain she was going to smile. "So, Guthrie, what's your explanation for being up so late?"

The smile slid off Sam's face and he shrugged. "I can't get to sleep."

"Insomnia?" Rogue questioned.

Sam nodded.

"So you decided to spend the night watching TV in the Rec room, which the teachers all avoid like the plague because we're angsty teenagers and they don't want to listen to us whine more than they have to." Rogue flicked her cold, green gaze around the room. "I think the only reason Professor Xavier designated a Rec room was so he didn't have to watch us teenagers mope around his mansion and wear down the carpets."

Sam grinned. "Yeah, he probably had you in mind."

An amused scoff emitted from Rogue's throat and silence settled between the two.

"You still didn't explain the whole partying shtick," Sam said hesitantly. He knew he was being a nag, but he was curious to hear Rogue's answer.

He didn't get one. Rogue was silent.

"Are you trying to run away from something?" Sam asked. "Drinking to try to forget?"

Abruptly, Rogue stood and sashayed over to the door, opening it. She paused in the entranceway.

"I already did my running," Rogue said, her voice soft, but serious. "And there's no reason for me to run anymore. Because nothing is going to come after me."

With that, she left the room and vanished into the dark hall.

The door clicked shut behind her and Sam pounded his fist into the cushion in a combination of frustration and confused. He had been so close to actually talking to her about stuff that was real, stuff that mattered, but he had pushed too hard, and she had walked away.

Rogue hadn't liked the way he asked her questions. So what was she hiding? What she afraid he would find out?

Weariness suddenly flooded his body, and Sam found himself too exhausted to move. The only thing he could do was flop down onto the couch, wondering if he could repair the damage of the exchange between him and Rogue tomorrow.

Sleep remained just on the verge of claiming him, and pieces of the conversation replayed in his mind.

"She's basically a horrible person!"

"And you think I'm not?"

But there really wasn't any reason for Rogue to say something like that. Sure, she partied, but Sam had never heard of her using drugs. Driving without a license and underage drinking were both illegal, but neither were that bad . . . but then again, neither were good . . . and she did those things knowing they were wrong. So if Rogue thought it made her a bad person, why did she do it in the first place? Rogue wasn't even outwardly malicious unless someone provoked her, kind of like a snake, actually.

"Are you trying to run away from something?"

"I already did my running. And there's no reason for me to run anymore. Because nothing is going to come after me."

So Rogue had been running away from something. But whatever she had done was buried, it was over . . . but the drinking and partying spoke for itself. Rogue wanted an escape, something to distract her, because whatever it had been that she had done still haunted her . . .

Eventually, Sam slipped into oblivion as sleep claimed his mind, only to be awakened four hours later by the alarm on his wristwatch. Barely stirring, Sam lazily switched off the alarm before remembering where he was and sitting up in a panic. He took a deep breath to calm down, then stood and stretched, running a hand through his locks of sandy blonde hair.

Sam returned to his room and began preparing for the day, stepping into the shower for only a few minutes, just enough to become fully awake. Even then, his progress was slower than usual; he just couldn't seem to focus on anything thanks to his lack of sleep.

He was exiting the Institute with the rest of the New Mutants when he saw her, inwardly grouching about not being able to have breakfast due to being short on time.

Kurt and Kitty raced to claim the front passenger seat of Scott's car, but Rogue took her time, not bothering to run. It wasn't that she was apathetic; she simply did not care enough to try to win and get the shotgun seat.

Sam hadn't thought about her at all yet that morning, but then the broken record started again in his head, and Rogue's words ran through his mind once more.

"I already did my running. And there's no reason for me to run anymore. Because nothing is going to come after me."

Sam watched her for a few minutes, before Bobby slapped playfully on the arm and said, "C'mon man. She's hot, but good luck asking her out, she's way too cold. Get moving."

Sam scoffed at Bobby's incorrect assumption, but continued to Ray's car, covering his thoughts by laughing and joking with his friends.

Rogue was wrong, though. She was still running, even if she realized it or not.

Even if she didn't want to realize it.


A/N:

Regan Wyngarde was a character from the comics. I use her as one of Rogue's friends at Bayville High. She's also mentioned in my fic "Southern Hospitality" and "Defrosting an Ice Queen".

As for what Rogue did that she's running away from, see "Empty Silences" or "Fallen Heroes".

Constructive criticism is always appreciated.