Chapter One: Relief in the End.
As Marie drove out of Washington she actually found herself glad of the painful events she had been forced to endure.
First, Logan left after Jean died despite the fact she had been there to comfort him. It hurt, it broke her heart actually since she had been in love with him since she first met him all that time ago. She'd tried dating Bobby to show him she wasn't a kid, and well, Bobby was just a nice guy. Despite the fact she knew the stereotype of a Southern Girl clearly screamed she should go after the All American boy, Marie's heart had always been with Logan. She had thought him giving her his tags meant something. In the end, apparently it didn't but that didn't stop her from wearing them.
Then a month or so after Logan left, Marie walked in on Bobby screwing Kitty in his bed. In a way she had been relieved. She didn't want to feel trapped with him anymore, and he did deserve better. Still, she did feel hurt he'd betray her. He could have at least broken up with her first. As much as it would have been stress relieving to give Bobby and Kitty - who supposedly had been her best friend along with Jubilee - a piece of her mind she had merely wished them well, broke up with Bobby, and then decided to finally do something for her.
She had taken the cure, everyone had treated her worst then before when they had avoided her like she was a disease. Now, they openly mocked her, taunted her, and throwed insults her way despite the fact she was the self defense teacher. Working out with Wolverine had benefited her more then just seeing him all sweaty and sometimes shirtless. He had taught her well.
Now however she was leaving. He had left without a word to her when Jean died, so now she was leaving without a word to anyone. She did it on the spur of the moment so no one would expect or try to prevent her leaving. She had taken all her belongings, cleared out her bank accounts, and borrowed a simple silver Audi from the Institute's garage with a note to Xavier to say she'd repay him some day.
Once she passed the Washington border she let out a sigh of relief and all tension left her body. She hummed along to Destiny Child's 'Independant Woman' happily, half listening to the psyches in her head talk amongst themselves and half focusing on driving her new car.
The psyches in her mind had come back when she walked in on Bobby and Kitty. A few of them were outraged at the betrayal, more then Marie was, but although it had been a temporary loud burst, after that they had started out rather silent. She knew then that her powers were going to gradually come back unlike the first time she got them. Then again they could have come slowly the first time they came but because she had never absorbed anyone she hadn't been able to have any warning. Slowly day by day they got a little louder. Not by much but she could tell. It was rather nice hearing them again. It was like old friends returning.
It was mostly Magneto she could hear trying to talk to her, with Logan and Bobby in the background doing some male posturing. She could feel Cody's presence more then hear him talk. He had always been very silent, then again she didn't blame him with three strong male mutants in her head. One day, she told herself, she would have to absorb some females. All the testosterone in her brain was bound to end up rather irritating. For now though she enjoyed their return. She wasn't quite alone anymore.
Marie flicked the right indicator as she turned off onto the road that led to a decent motel. She had enough money this time to travel. She had been forced to hitch-hike last time with little to no money, and she had been just fine. She had survived. She was The Rogue. She was a survivor. She was a fighter. This time she had a car and money, so Marie was quite certain she could start out a whole new life quite fine. Still, she stuck to the quieter roads, went the long scenic ways to take in the view, and stayed the night in cheap motels so she could save her money as well as keep herself safer until she found somewhere she wouldn't mind calling home for a while.
It wasn't hard to get a room in places like these. She just handed over the required money, took a room key, and signed with a fake name in the sign up book. It was actually a surprise when she sat on the bed in her room and realised it was comfy. It even looked as well as smelt clean. Maybe her life was finally going to look up. Maybe this time she could control her curse. She wouldn't have it come back in a traumatic way this time. She was sure the trauma of her first kiss and the mutation kicking in right in the same moment had messed up her 'on/off' switch for her mutation and thats why she hadn't been able to control it, so she wouldn't kiss anyone. She wouldn't get close to anyone relationship wise, but she wouldn't put on her gloves - not until her mutation came back. It would be easier if it was just an accidental touch through hands. She would be able to tell the signs when her skin was turned back on, and she would know what to do this time. Marie was determined to gain control of her own life. She would not cry anymore. She would not be weak anymore. She would not be a victim anymore. She was The Rogue god damn it, and she was going to control her curse. She would show everyone she wasn't a liability. She would make them all stand up and take notice. She would become the mutant she was born to be, and she knew if Xavier could see her now he would be proud of her. In his memory she would do better this time. This was a second chance and she wasn't going to waste it.
Sure, she could whine, cry, and throw tantrums on not being able to touch soon since her power was coming back but that would not get her anywhere. She could wallow in her heartbreak of Logan's treatment of her, or she could stay angry at Bobby and Kitty for their betrayal, or she could take life by the horns and prove she wasn't some worthless child that couldn't handle the real life. She was going to break through this monotony, and god damn it she was going to be worth something. She was going to look herself in the mirror when her mutation came back and see someone she could smile at as well as be proud of.
Stripping herself of her clothes she then pulled on a pair of simple black sport shorts and a black tank top before slipping into bed. She buried herself under the covers - borrowing some from the other twin bed in her room to make her extra warm and snuggly - before fading into a deep sleep with peace for once inside her mind.
When she woke up, the sun flooding in through the holey white curtains, Marie couldn't help but smile.
For the first time in a while she didn't feel trapped, scared, or have this need to constantly look over her shoulders. Being alone, without the busy mansion, she didn't constantly have to have her brain on full power for the entire day. That had been so draining, constantly having to function at the highest level to stay alert and make sure there were no accidents, that it left her exhausted by the time lessons ended. Now, all she had to do was look after herself. She didn't even have to go into any places with other people unless she wanted to. She had no need to go from one end of a place to the other like at the mansion when she had not only been a student but also a teacher. No, now she could just live for her. Perhaps it was a little selfish but all her life she had lived for everyone else. When she had met Logan she had thought the time with him could be just for her, but then Sabertooth cut short her time with him, and then after they were safe the Xmen had taken them back to their place. A part of her even then still hoped it would just be her and Logan against the world, but then he saw Jean and everything went to shit right after that.
Marie stripped off her shorts and tank top before hopping into the available shower. It wasn't the best and she could only just get it to luke warm but she got clean and that was all that mattered. She got out, dried herself, and then pulled on a fresh pair of black knickers - she could not stand thongs or anything like that - along with a bra, black baggy tracksuit bottoms, a see through skin tight long sleeved t-shirt, and on top of that an emerald green tank top. Pulling her hair up into a rough bun, she was finally happy with her appearance and began to pack up her things.
It didn't take long to get out of that small city, and before long she was travelling towards Alaska. She had planned to go there but after getting 'delayed' in Laughlin City in Canada, she hadn't been able to make it there. She decided that she was going to do what she had always wanted to do. Go to Alaska, live in the snow in a cute cabin, and maybe even race a team of gorgeous sled dogs. She had always loved animals...
The sound of a car horn caused Marie to blink as she came back from her day dreaming. She found herself blushing and muttering 'opps' to herself as she adjusted the car off the grass and back onto the road where she had almost gone close to a hiker with his dog. She wouldn't have hit him, but it didn't stop herself from being embarassed and feeling guilty. She focused on driving for the rest of the day, eating the food she had 'permenantly borrowed' from the mansion instead of stopping off at diners for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She wanted to get as far from the Institute as possible as soon as possible. She really needed her space. When the sky finally turned pitch black with only the stars and a half moon for light did Marie finally decide it was time to stop for the night. Unfortunately she was in the middle of no where with no civilisation ( including a motel ) in sight, so she parked off onto the side of the road, made sure the car was thoroughly locked, put her seat back and curled up to go to sleep.
Probably not the wisest thing in the world but she was in the middle of no where. What on earth could really happen except running into a rogue bear?