Presented by an uncommon moment of peace, Rogue decided to take initiative in preparation for her upcoming meeting with the Avengers team later that day. Alone in her spartan quarters at the S.H.I.E.L.D. training base, Rogue opened her small closet and extracted the specially designed uniform that she would wear as Ms. Marvel of the Avengers.

A smile of pride flickered over her face as she ran her hand down the metallic gold lightning bolt on the front, her fingers brushing against the smooth material.

After graduating from high school a year early and undergoing two months of S.H.I.E.L.D. training, the Ms. Marvel identity finally belonged to her. Astonishingly, all of her efforts had paid off in the end.

True, she had sacrificed much of her free during the summer and school year to gain the necessary credits for graduation, giving up Friday nights out and other fun activities in exchange for studying school textbooks. At seventeen and a half years old, she had no social circle and she had never been seriously romantically involved with any man or woman. Despite that the latter would appall certain people, inducing shudders in the typical teenage valley girl at the idea of never having a boyfriend, it truly didn't actually bother her all that much.

Though, it was slightly lonely at times, to always have rely on herself, unable to trust anyone else. But such things were irrelevant; her aspirations were about to be fulfilled, and that was what mattered.

Almost two years ago, she had finally reached peace with herself and her mutation, allowing others to touch her skin without side effects if she willed. And six months ago, she had activated Carol Danvers's abilities, which had remained latent in her mind for almost three years.

Now, she had undergone her final assessment as an agent and was hours away from becoming an Avenger; though her stomach was somersaulting in anxiety, an inner calm had settled over her, freezing her tension and preventing most of her worry from cycling through her mind.

In order for Rogue to train with S.H.I.E.L.D., both Professor Xavier and Logan had needed to convince Nick Fury of her sincerity and trustworthiness. Because Rogue had demonstrated to him that she retained Carol's espionage and combat skills, she had only needed to complete an eight-week training course. Under normal circumstances, a new trainee should have roomed in the barracks with the other cadets, but due to the unusual nature of Rogue's situation, she had been allowed a small room with basic furnishings.

She had left both of her families behind: her wealthy blood family of the D'Ancantos and her adoptive family of the X-Men. Though the latter had protested and objected to her plans, they had supported her decision to move forward into the next level of heroism nonetheless. When she departed from the Xavier Institute to join S.H.I.E.L.D., Rogue had vowed that she would never forget either of her families, and she faithfully kept in contact with both of them.

Shaking away the memories from her mind, Rogue slowly but steadily donned her uniform. She didn't care to wear one of those skintight catsuits that would showcase her body as many of the other superheroines did. Thus, Ms. Marvel's uniform had been considerably restyled in a variety of ways, including the addition of lightweight armor lined within the suit despite Rogue's invulnerability. The black base color had remained, as had the lightning bolt emblem on the front, but instead of the leotard-type outfit of Carol's, this costume was an entire bodysuit, covering even her neck.

Her hands were clad in tight but durable black gloves capable of maintaining grip on both weapons and vehicular controls, while Carol's sleek black boots now had been replaced by thigh-highs edged with metal over the toes and ridged across the knees. Though this uniform was meant to be practical rather than a fashion statement, Rogue had been unable to totally resist her aesthetic inclinations, and the boots were, admittedly, vaguely reminiscent of the steampunk style.

Rogue was relieved that she had been permitted to revamp Ms. Marvel's image when she adopted her identity. She wanted to follow Carol's wishes and carry on her legacy as Ms. Marvel, but she didn't want to replace Carol. She wanted distinction from Carol's Ms. Marvel; she didn't want to be the same person Carol was.

If there was one lesson Rogue had learned from her months of isolation from the rest of the world due to her poisonous skin, it was that wishing and trying to be someone else were utterly useless. In the end, it was more important that one accepted herself for who she was and try her damnedest to achieve her goals instead of wasting her time by changing herself to meet the expectations and standards set by others who didn't appreciate her true character.

She was the second Ms. Marvel, separate from the first, which was why she would go by simply "Marvel" rather than Carol's alias. She would be an amalgamation of herself and Ms. Marvel, not merely a continuation of whom Carol was.

Dressed in her uniform as "Marvel", Rogue gazed at her reflection in the mirror. Tall, almost five-eleven; vivid green eyes, vibrant to a point of near eeriness; winter-pale skin, her ivory face with its serious, contemplative expression complemented by her rich, dark auburn hair, of which the dyed white streaks had now faded out (she hadn't the time to re-dye her hair lately); pretty, she supposed; and though not overtly noticeable beneath her armored suit, she was athletic and lean, with visibly toned muscles.

Content, Rogue pulled her mask over her head, designed to her specifications. The tough material completely covered her entire head and the upper half of her neck, leaving not a trace of skin, hair, or any other hint of femininity exposed. She looked in the mirror again, considering the foreign false face that gazed back at her, the mask betraying nothing about her, instead giving off a rather foreboding and vaguely threatening air.

Definitely not Carol Danvers, and certainly not the blue-eyed Ms. Marvel with her long, flowing golden hair, exposed, long limbs, and dazzling smile, beloved by the public, especially the cameras.

She was Rogue, and Rogue could be Marvel.


A/N: I wanted to write another part this fic that shows Rogue actually becomes an Avenger and she's proud of herself for achieving that. I almost included a "Mwhha-ha-ha-ha" moment from Mystique, but then I decided to let Rogue have her moment of piece.

Also, the reason Rogue was so young in the first chapter was so she could join the Avengers right out of high school. Kicking ass and taking names is her career path.

This story kind of ties into an Avengers fanfic of mine called "The Art of Substitution", which details the Avengers' reactions to Rogue joining the team. The only discrepancy between this story and that one is the timeline, but if you want to read it as a companion to this fic, go ahead and let me know what you think.

I wanted Rogue's Ms. Marvel boots to look like Huntress's boot in JSA Classified #3, which you can see here (just take out the spaces): http : / scans-daily . dreamwidth . org / 3187533 . html # comments

EDIT: I rarely comment on this stuff, but it's incredibly annoying that people have this story on their favorites/alert list and can't be bothered to leave a review about what they thought. I just want to know if it can be improved at all.