Chapter 10 - Cellophane

The remote control sat untouched on the coffee table.

Hank McCoy put the video into the player, then went and sat on a large fluffy chair on the far left of the room. He adjusted his glasses. Logan, near snarling, stared at the television. He was leaning against a thick, hard pillar behind but more center of the room than where Hank sat. Evan took up the other fluffy chair on the far right of the room. He was spinning the wheels of his skateboard, which lay upside down across his lap. Rogue sat in a straight back wooden chair. It was as stiff as she was, though her pretzel impersonation contradicted the long narrow lines of the chair. Her arms were crossed. Her legs were crossed. Everything about her seemed to be tied in knots. Fred occupied the couch. He sat in the center, daring anyone to join him on it. He was half way through a candy bar, but suddenly lost his appetite. He spat what was half chewed into the wrapper. He folded the wrapper over the exposed candy and tossed it onto the coffee table directly ahead of him.

The candy knocked the control off the coffee table.

Hank adjusted his glasses.

Logan huffed.

Rogue scowled.

Evan spun the skateboard wheel.

Fred swallowed saliva. It wasn't quite a gulp. His mouth was fairly dry.

"A bunch of spineless..." Logan grumbled as he stalked up in front of the coffee table and picked up the remote. He stomped half way back to his post before he reached back to click it on and toss the controller back onto the table.

Hank didn't adjust his glasses.

Logan only turned around after he reached the post and leaned on it again.

Evan didn't spin the wheel.

Rogue still scowled, but she did look more like a knot than a pretzel.

Fred's mouth got drier, hanging a little open as it was.

The video was already playing and nobody wanted to rewind the two minutes they'd missed.

Kitty leaned on her mop handle. She blew her bangs out of her eyes, but the hair didn't budge. Then she wiped it with her forearm.

"Ick," Kitty said, realizing how sweaty she was. That was why she couldn't just blow the bangs out of their annoying position. The hairs had been plastered to her damp forehead.

She surveyed the remaining mess and leaned more heavily on the mop handle.

"Oomph!" she squealed as the mop jerked out from under her. A breeze, which she surprisingly welcomed, despite her frustration with its creator, marked Pietro's shift to her other side.

"Tired already, X-Geek?" Pietro sniped and snickered.

Kitty lunged at him, but he sped off... taking her mop with him. "Ugh! Why do I even have to help clean this mess up? I didn't even help make it."

"You are too clean, aren't you?" Bobby asked from behind her. He had been gathering trash on the other side of the dining room and was heading out to dump it for the second time.

Kitty looked over her still pristine, though sweaty, outfit. She grinned. "Ever mention how much I like my power?"

Then Bobby dumped the trash on her. Sure, she phased as soon as she realized what was happening, but it was too late. She had already been splattered by the messy remains of the food fight they were currently in the process of cleaning up. She could've phased the mess off her, but as she looked around, she felt a sort of camaraderie in being as dirty as the rest of them, despite the annoyance of having to help clean up. She admitted to herself that it had been kind of fun getting into this predicament. She half-wished she had been more involved in the making of it.

Tensions had been high when they'd all sat down for dinner that evening. Rogue, Logan, Hank, Storm, and Remy (who was apparently rooming at the mansion now) were all as quiet as plucked guitar strings in the vacuum of space. The absence of the Professor and that doctor chick they'd seen on the news was noticed with sharp curiosity. The doctor's companion, though seemingly amicable enough, was obviously uncomfortable with being in a room full of people he didn't know. The kids all tried keeping to their own hyper conversations, but the morose mood of the others infected them. Slowly, the conversations died out almost completely. That's when Rogue excused herself. The Cajun tried to follow her, but was stopped by Logan's hand on his shoulder.

"The thing with Rogue is ya can't try to force her too hard," Logan had grumbled to him.

Everyone had paused, rather shocked to hear Logan giving Remy such sound advice. Until, that is, Logan finished.

"And even then," Logan said, continuing with a slight growl, "You aren't the one fer her ta talk to."

Remy's brows shot up at that. "An' who is? You? A little old fer de petite don't y' t'ink?"

"Watch yer mouth, Gumbo," Logan said as he shoved Remy, who stumbled back towards the wall. 'She's like a daughter to me' was left hanging in the air. "Just you remember she's got a couple years before she's legal in this state."

Gambit never collided with the wall, though. Out of nowhere, Gambit's body shifted direction and sped sideways along the wall a good fifteen feet. Everyone was shocked and confused until Gambit slammed into the adjacent wall. The stopped motion revealed the cause of Gambit's strange movement. A furious, heaving young man with silver hair loomed over Gambit's crumpled form. Pietro had arrived and he wasn't happy.

"Not another drama," Amara had muttered in complaint as many of the others jumped in to break them apart.

Most hesitated, unsure of whose side to be on for sure. Pietro and Gambit both had been their enemies. Neither of them were members of the X-Men. There was an unlikely, edgy alliance, but even that had never been fully defined.

Then Bobby or Ray—Kitty wasn't sure which—yelled, "Get 'em!" and everyone... well almost everyone jumped in. Evan had merely lowered his head, shoulders hunched, like this added disturbance was just too much added weight for him to bear. Fists and flashes of powers whirled around him for a short while. Then he'd left, just as Rogue had, before the entire fight had turned into its silly completion.

He didn't know it until later, but the scuffle turned into a food fight of the most humorous heights.

Security video, even top of the line, was often without sound. The one that Gambit had pilfered from Milbury and Trask's installation wasn't an exception to that. It was, unfortunately, in full color, and extraordinarily focused, or so it seemed to the watchers. The view was from above, probably a forty-five degree angle, and encompassed the majority of the room. Three walls could be seen, though the shelves, cabinets, and counters along the edges of the room were vaguely blurry due to their distance from the camera. The beds, or rather, the slabs—as Rogue and the others had termed them—were in clear view.

Rogue was on one of the center slabs. She was awake, though evidently drugged. She was watching all the activity in the room with a hateful slurred glare.

Two slabs over, Logan was strapped down, awake, but apparently sedated. His expression was relaxed; limbs lethargic. A needle with a darkened tube stretching from it pierced his right arm. The tube led to a machine, which had a second dark tube stretching from it to the left arm of a woman on the slab beside him. The woman had blonde hair. Of the assembled group, Rogue and Logan were the only people who recognized her. It was the same woman Rogue had been forced to absorb when Magneto and his group had attacked the installation by surprise.

One doctor was beside the heart monitor at the head of the blond woman's bed. The heart monitor, though it was hard to see, registered a single flat, unbroken green line. She had no heart beat. She was assuredly dead. The doctor jotted in his clipboard, turned off her heart-monitor, and then walked away from her like she was nothing more than a med-school cadaver.

Three other mutants died in Milbury's tests within the first half-hour of watching the video. It didn't take watching all three deaths for Hank to realize what Milbury was trying to determine. It was a theory Hank had pondered from time to time, but never dared to truly consider testing. Milbury tested it. And he did so with a cold and curious demeanor.

Milbury had performed blood transfusions on five, now-dead mutants. They all received blood from Logan. One lived. Hank figured the survivor was the only person who had a blood type compatible with Logan's. The four they witnessed die on the tape, did so, apparently, of massive heart attacks. The doctors there did nothing to intervene. They merely took sterile notes and then walked on to the next one. Hank, though disgusted by the experiments, figured it was probably in the victims' favor that they suffered the heart attack. Several fatal repercussions stemmed from improperly matched blood transfusions. None of them were painless. Few were quick. Others merely allowed the victim to live on as a vegetable.

In seeing the test subjects die, Hank learned what Milbury and the other doctors learned. Logan's blood didn't heal others. If it had, it would've overcome the clashing blood types and the test subjects wouldn't have died.

As they were removing the body of the blond woman Rogue had been forced to absorb, they noticed her heartbeat faintly on the machine. Bemused, Milbury had her remain. No assistance to ensure her life was performed. One of the doctors got assigned the task of checking her vitals and drawing and testing some blood and tissue samples to make note of any changes in accordance with alternative readings on her heart and brain monitors.

Well, the watchers of the tape didn't know that for sure. But it seemed safe to assume as much when they saw one of the doctors occasionally check on her.

After that first series of tests, Logan was removed and other unrecognized mutants went through series of painful tests. The strange surgeries performed on them perplexed even Hank. As far as he could discern, most of the surgeries while Logan was gone from the room were much like anatomical studies, like sections of an autopsy on living beings. Before stitching each of the test subjects up, one of the doctors dumped in a bunch of tiny little objects—beads that were so small and slippery they poured like liquid. It wasn't a very large amount, only a small vial full for each subject, but it wasn't any substance known to Hank. As far as Hank knew, there weren't very many things that could be left inside a living being that wouldn't possibly cause fatal infections or trauma amongst the internal organs. Then again, there wasn't any reason they should assume that the substance was beneficial. The doctors, Milbury especially, seemed fairly unconcerned about the safety of his patients beyond living long enough to complete his tests.

Two of the mutants to undergo that procedure were Fred and Evan.

Watching this shocked all of them, mostly Evan and Fred. Neither of them remembered having any scars for what they saw happening to them. To be sure, Evan lifted his shirt to check. Finding no sign of the incisions or stitches or anything, he looked to Fred, who confirmed he'd never seen anything on himself either with a shake of his head. Evan looked back at Dr. McCoy, who gave an understanding nod, signifying he'd look into it after watching the video.

On the screen, Evan and Fred's turn was up. They were removed without any more ceremony than the others and two more were brought in and subjected to the same thing. Then two more. And two more after that. The procedure was quicker with every turn. It was like Ford's famous assembly line, only more grotesque.

Finally, halfway through a turn, they stopped. Rogue's awakening interrupted the procedures. As soon as coherence settled into her she began thrashing about and yelling things that those watching the video couldn't hear. Even in that prone situation she was still struggling.

Seeing her awake, Milbury made gestures that led the gaggle of doctors to cease their other works. They shoved the other experiments aside again like they were nothing more than med-school cadavers. But they weren't. Many were still alive, drugged, sober, cut open, half-stitched, and now ignored. Rogue was Milbury's primary focus and all else was dropped for whatever thing they next had prepared for her.

She was fighting the solid bindings at her arms, legs, and head, to no avail. Dr. Milbury inserted a needle into Rogue's arm. A tube was attached to it. Logan was brought in, sedated, collared—which is when those watching the tape realized that Rogue wasn't collared—and placed on the slab directly beside her. A second doctor was inserting a needle, a mirrored twin to Rogue's, into Logan's arm. One of the other doctors picked up a clipboard and took rapid notes as Milbury operated machinery that the tubes were connected to. Both doctors backed away, and watched intently.

The occasional whir of Evan's spinning skateboard filled in for the missing hum of the machine.

The tube darkened where it attached to Logan's needle. The darkness spread, quick because it was time-lapse video, through the tube, through the machine, into three jars, and up the tube leading to Rogue.

In frightened anticipation, Hank thought, Rogue and Logan are not the same blood type.

Rogue, on the video, went still. Her mouth was a stern thin line. Her brows were knitted together. Her eyes were fierce, yet frightened as they followed the trail of the darkness nearing the needle inserted into her arm.

Rogue and Logan don't have compatible blood types.

Just as the darkness reached Rogue's needle, Rogue clenched her eyes and fists.

Hank's mind raced. His understanding of what he was seeing on the video piqued due to his scientific knowledge. When blood types mix incorrectly, the blood clots. Heart attack, aneurysm, or stroke can result.

Rogue's mouth throttled open in a silent scream. Her back bucked up off the slab. Neither Doctor made any move toward her. They didn't even seem all that concerned. They seemed totally sterile—unemotional observance—while Dr. Milbury seemed fascinated in a menacing way. The longer it went on the more Rogue's body thrashed in her restraints. The image played out for about half a minute, and on time-lapse video, minutes were hours, condensed.

Hank flicked his gaze from the video to Rogue, who tried to ignore him. She didn't need telepathy to know he was thinking, "but you're still alive."

On the video, Rogue's body fell back onto the slab. A strange stillness settled in her limbs. Her chest rose rapidly, though, still, with labored, panting breath. Then, three bone claws sprung from each of Rogue's hands.

Milbury, hideously giddy, grinned. It was better than he thought. Her absorption ability wasn't just limited to her skin, but was active in her blood stream as well.

Makes sense, Hank thought as he watched the tape, the average body, mutant or non-mutant, is more susceptible to absorbing nutrients, medicines, and infections, etc. through the blood stream than through the skin. It suddenly seemed strange that he and Xavier never considered that possibility of Rogue's powers on their own.

With renewed vigor, Milbury directed the gaggle of doctors to more frenzied tasks. They scurried around the slabs looking like little white mice solving puzzles in a maze. The irony of it, the lunacy of it, the cringe-worthiness of it wasn't lost on those watching the video from the distanced safety of time and the wealth of comfort of the homey mansion. Several of the watchers stole glances at Rogue, curious and worried of her reaction. But she seemed to take no notice of them. Or at least she tried to seem as such. She stared straight at the screen with intensity as pricking and sharp as hot razor tipped needles.

On that screen, Milbury personally drew her blood. He then held the vial of it up in the light, so it appeared. His excitement over prospects to come from studying it was evident in his expression as he looked at the thick, slick, slithering blood in the vial, which he held up like a coveted badge for his own glory. Then, with a final parting instruction to one of the other doctors, he left, presumably to personally run tests on that vial of Logan-enriched blood of Rogue's.

The Rogue on the screen, lying prone on the slab, seemed to go even more still. Her breathing became shallow. Her lids lowered, losing their wide-eyed frightened effect, but didn't regain that determined pinch either. Her hand also weren't clenched, adding to her seemingly lethargic appearance. Observation of her posture as she lie there seemed to scream defeat, resignation to her lost cause. Despite that what Fred knew of her behavior during their time there contradicted that appearance, it even looked to him as though she'd simply accepted her fate.

Doctors removed the half-stitched up body from the slab at the far end. Seconds later, according to the time-lapse play out, guards brought in another mutant. This one was almost as fiery as Rogue in spirit, though in a more refined and haughty manor. Her short platinum blonde hair shook with her contained fury and she rattled off words unheard by the watchers of the video.

"Emma," whispered Hank as he watched. His fear for her safety was evident in his voice. His respect for her showed too, as it had been quickly earned when she had tried to help during the attempted cell break during Magneto's attack on the installation.

Two of the guards dragged Emma to the emptied slab and assisted doctors in latching the bindings to hold her down on it. One other guard handed some papers to the doctor left in charge during Milbury's absence. At least, the watchers assumed that. That guard remained when the other two left. The doctor in charge tried to shoo him out, but quickly gave up and left the guard to watch from his self-appointed perch near Rogue's slab.

Wolverine, watching, recognized the woman they brought in as well, just not of her in life. Her tight white clothes brought back vivid flash images of the final moments before they had escaped. If they were seeing her being brought in, then the end was near.

But, it wasn't right. Things were still missing, different, not exact as what he remembered seeing in the lab when he came to during all that commotion of the X-Men trying to break them all out. The blond in the tight white clothing on the end slab was still alive for one. Evan wasn't on any of the slabs, for another. And besides that, Rogue seemed physically all in one piece. It wasn't right. Something was missing.

He turned to Rogue, still impersonating a pretzel, and perhaps she sensed Logan's thoughts as he watched the video, because she turned and met his questioning gaze as well. Perhaps it was just mimicry of what she was doing right then on the video. The Rogue on the tape seemed to recognize the woman brought it, as well she should, for the very same reasons that Hank had recognized her. Upon seeing her strapped in, collared, and being hooked up to the transfusion equipment, the Rogue on the video, prone on the slab, bit her lip and turned away so she wasn't looking at the woman she seemed to hate seeing prepped for experimentation.

Unspoken, Wolverine asked Rogue with his questioning gaze, "But what about your legs? They were healing from recent injuries on our way out?"

Rogue said nothing. She just turned back to the tape. What could she say that wouldn't be shown soon enough?

It was all so transparent. She was transparent. Nothing but contrasts of lightness and darkness, intimacies raw and in need of stitching illuminated and projected for an audience's viewing displeasure. They were compelled to watch it, and that urge to see was a horror of its own.

"Monsters, aren't we all," Hank thought to himself as he succumbed, continuing watching as well.

To be continued in Chapter 11 – Reeling

More of what's on the video, Moira's agenda, and tensions between Pietro and Gambit.


- 14 days (2 weeks before DoR). Magneto briefs Remy, Piotr & St. John on the Brotherhood and X-Men members (Ch. 3, Pietro's memory). Pyro asks if Rogue's power is to imitate the dead (I love that!).

0 days: DAY OF RECKONING. 1st news broadcast of mutants. Rogue, Logan, Fred, and Hank are captured by the Sentinel and held as prisoners in Trask's Institution (research labs).

3 days: RAID ON THE INSTITUTE. Described briefly in prologue.

5 days: Fury sends Carol undercover at Trask's installation.

8 days (1 week and 1 day): Rogue convinces the prisoners to pass their blankets to Fred resulting in punishment from the guards: forcing an unconscious Logan's claws to pierce a collared Fred's skin and the winking guard (Renfield, Ch. 5) to break Rogue's legs (Ch. 4). Fred kept a shard of glass from the Dr.'s glasses, broken in Rogue's struggles (Ch. 4).

9 days (1 week and 2 days): Remy meets Carol and they both try to play each other for information (Ch. 5).

10 days (1 week and 3 days): Rogue refuses the doctor's many attempts to treat her festering broken legs (Ch. 5). Rogue first glances Dr. Milbury (though they do not speak to each other) while the more familiar doctor whispers to Fred (Ch. 5).

11 days (1 week and 4 days): Guards stop feeding Rogue; Fred shares his with her, exactly what they wanted to happen (Ch. 5). After giving the winking guard the nickname Renfield, Dr. Milbury formerly introduces himself to Rogue and informs her that Fred told them her name and powers, well, that she absorbs psyches (Ch. 5).

16 days (2 weeks and 2 days): Dr. Milbury catches Carol and Remy sharing information (Ch. 5).

23 days (3 weeks and 2 days): With Trask in attendance, Dr. Milbury tests the ratio of touch-time to retention-time when Rogue, suspended in an open cylinder, absorbs Logan, strung up by his hands, in order to weigh the possibility that Rogue could survive the adamantium bonding process (Ch. 5). Dr. Milbury reveals his agreement with Trask: Sentinels provide mutant research subjects in trade for progress on the bonding process (Ch. 5). Gambit reports to Dr. Milbury that the assault on the Morlocks is complete and Rogue discovers that they work together (Ch. 5). Rogue absorbs Carol Danvers (Ch. 5), who survives, though is technically brain-dead (Ch. 6). Dr. Milbury plans to use Rogue to create an army of multi-powered soldiers (Ch. 6). Remy is nearly crushed by Rogue's cylinder while trying to save her (Ch. 6). Magneto's new team attacks Trask's installation (Ch. 7). Magneto unknowingly uses Rogue's cylinder to pummel a squadron of guards (Ch. 7). Gambit and Rogue, collared, are taken away, and followed by Pietro, who snatches Rogue and tries to flee, but Rogue convinces him to help her try to free the imprisoned mutants (Ch. 7). Splitting up, Pietro sets loose one of the cellblocks, but Rogue runs into trouble (Ch. 7). Pietro and Emma try to stop guards taking aim on Rogue, but fail, and Rogue is taken down (Ch. 7). Pietro doesn't see what follows as he does what Rogue's closing eyes plead for him to do: he flees (Ch. 7).

35 days (5 weeks) – 42 days (6 weeks), estimated: AS SEEN ON THE VIDEO. Dr. Milbury kills four mutants while testing blood transfusions from Logan on them (Ch. 10). Carol appears to die from this experiment, but surprisingly again, survives (Ch. 10). During many of the experiments involving surgery, tiny bead like items are poured into the mutants (Ch. 10). Fred and Evan are among these, though they have no memory or physical scar to show for it (Ch. 10). Rogue suffers a blood transfusion from Logan, who's a different blood type and thus should be fatal, but lives (Ch. 10). Claws spring out of her hands, thus proving that her mutation works internally, at least via her blood, and not only with her skin (Ch. 10). Emma is brought in and strapped to the slabs to suffer Dr. Milbury's experimentations as well (Ch. 10).

42 days (6 weeks): RESCUE. Mentioned in prologue. X-Men discover that Rogue has new permanent powers that allowed her to survive the warehouse collapsing on her and prevents Jean and Xavier from reading her mind (Ch. 1).

56 days (8 weeks): PROLOGUE. It is revealed that Xavier changed the memories of Bayville inhabitants to make them forget that the X-Men and Brotherhood were the mutants involved in the news broadcast of the giant Sentinel attack.

70 days (10 weeks): CHAPTER ONE. Rogue's 1st week back to school. Pietro tries to rescue Rogue from the dastardly Remy, who has so evilly trailed the Queen of Hearts card on her cheek. How horrible of him!

72 days (10 weeks and 2 days): CHAPTER TWO. Logan flashes back on his memories of the rescue, prompting him to confront Rogue about helping more with the reconstruction of the institute. Surprise, she's been avoiding using many of her new powers because she'd killed those whom she'd stolen them from.

84 days (12 weeks): CHAPTER THREE. Sleepless Pietro confronts Gambit outside the mansion. Gambit gives him advice wishes him luck with Rogue.

85 days (12 weeks and 1 day): CHAPTER THREE. Rogue skips out of the overcrowded breakfast and ends up being confronted by Scott. She explains how she hides her constant floating/flying, to keep from getting caught. Rogue/Pietro locker and lake scenes. Wanda tells Pietro he's without honor.

87 days (12 weeks and 2 days): CHAPTER THREE. Gambit slices the tarp to sneak into Rogue and Kitty's room to watch Rogue sleep. He uses his spatial (kinesthetic) sense and empathic (charm) abilities as a way to 'touch' her. Rogue pretends he didn't wake her. Logan bursts in, missing Gambit. Smell's fresh blood on Rogue, but doesn't know it's because she popped a bone claw out ala Wolverine. Gambit left a card with a note on it (see Ch. 4) for her.

90 days (12 weeks and 6 days). News report/interview with non-mutant Dr. Moira McTaggert of the Muir Island Research Center catches Xavier's attention.

91 days (13 weeks): CHAPTER FOUR. Xavier, Logan & Hank meet with Moira McTaggert, who, to inspire faith in her so they could work out a trade of services, gives them guaranteed contact to Jean-Luc for the hiring of a thief to track down some of Trask's files. Rogue and Pietro skip school and spend the afternoon on the mansion's reconstruction by themselves. Pietro throws a fit when he finds the card from Gambit. Fred gives Rogue the Hope Chest. Gambit again waits futilely in Spades for Rogue, who doesn't show (Gambit's note on the card he gave her in Ch. 3). Pietro begins camping outside the Institute to watch for Gambit sneaking into Rogue's room (Ch. 7).

98 days (14 weeks): Gambit waits for Rogue at Spades, but she doesn't show (Ch. 6/7). Pietro is on his seventh night of camping outside the institute to obverse Gambit's stalker-like visits (Ch. 7).

105 days (15 weeks): Gambit waits for Rogue at Spades, but again she doesn't show (Ch. 6/7). Pietro is on his fourteenth night of camping outside the institute to obverse Gambit's stalker-like visits (Ch. 7).

112 days (16 weeks): CHAPTER FIVE. Gambit decides to only wait one more week for Rogue to show up at Spades (stage and spotlight references to standing in the cones of light on the street waiting for his leading lady to show). In remembrance, Rogue runs into Evan on her way to reveal the problem with her legs and chicken's out (Ch. 5). Pietro is on his twenty-first night of camping outside the institute to obverse Gambit's stalker-like visits (Ch. 7).

115 days (16 weeks and 3 days): Rogue attempts to, but chicken's out about telling the team about her legs again, this time after running into Fred (Ch. 5). Pietro is on his twenty-fourth night of camping outside the institute to obverse Gambit's stalker-like visits (Ch. 7).

118 days (16 weeks and 6 days): CHAPTER FIVE. Rogue freaks out, inadvertently revealing that she also possesses the additional power of telepathy, while trying to tell the team about her legs and Hank sedates her to calm her. She remembers several events that took place while she was imprisoned: meeting Dr. Milbury, meeting Trask, absorbing Logan and Carol, learning that Gambit worked for Dr. Milbury, being suspended in the open cylinder. She wakes from sedation during Wrestling Night (unofficial Thursday Family Night) and is plagued by the red-on-black numbers of her clock into going to meet Gambit at Spades the following night. So much so, that she stumbles downstairs to avoid them, and facing everyone, on impulse, shows them her dilemma with her legs. Psyche-Emma meets Psyche-Carol in Rogue's mindscape. Xavier calls the Guild and leaves the message as directed by the card Moira gave him (Ch. 6). Pietro is on his twenty-seventh night of camping outside the institute to obverse Gambit's stalker-like visits (Ch. 7).

119 days (17 weeks): CHAPTER FIVE, SIX and SEVEN. Rogue makes the team a southern dinner as thanks (Ch. 5). She brings a packed serving of the dinner to Pietro, who is on his twenty-eight night of camping outside the institute to 'observe Gambit's stalker-like visits' (Ch. 7). Rogue goes to Spades; Pietro (rendered telepathically invisible by Rogue) goes along to support her and prove he's not a complete, unrepentant jerk (Ch. 6). Though Gambit is there, they do not speak or directly interact (Ch. 6). Gambit leaves when the Guild calls him to inform him that Xavier has made initial contact via Moira's boon (Ch. 6). After flashbacking to the failed prison escape (see day 23), Pietro embraces Rogue, who permits him to, and sways to the music, vowing not to run again (Ch. 7).

120 days (17 weeks and 1 day): Xavier finds a card left by a Guild member (Gambit, though they don't know that yet) on his desk to coordinate a direct meeting (Ch. 6).

123 days (17 weeks and 4 days): CHAPTER SIX. News broadcast of the video of the Sentinel attack undoes Xavier's sacrifice (erasing the memories of Bayville). As a result, Xavier makes the final call to the Guild from the card left three days prior. Gambit is who meets him, and does so by sneaking in to prove his skills.

124 days (17 weeks and 5 days): CHAPTER SIX. Hank McCoy is scheduled to speak at the Bayville public meeting regarding the American mutant situation.

129 days (18 weeks and 3 days): CHAPTER EIGHT, NINE and TEN. The students prank each other: Kitty paints Kurt's nails pink and Kurt teleports Bobby's Spiderman underwear loose to wave them like a flag (Ch. 8). Rogue, in the middle of a tantrum, throws Kitty's dresser through the window and onto the lawn (Ch. 8). After failing to find any physical causes to the problem with her legs, Xavier and Jean persist in telepathic therapy, which also isn't working, thus further frustrating Rogue (Ch. 8). Gambit shows up, formally meeting the X-Men, who distrust his role in procuring Milbury and Trask's files from the imprisonment (Ch. 8). Moira also arrives to witness the success of her boon (Remy's involvement), and immediately guesses Remy's alternative motive (that being his interest in Rogue) for succeeding in helping the X-Men (Ch. 8). Inside Rogue's mindscape, Emma cites the current events in her attempts to persuade Carol that Rogue purposely imprisoned them in her mind (Ch. 8). Earlier in the day, Ray got suspended in an uneven scale of punishment after being involved in a brawl with other non-mutant students (Ch. 8). Xavier and Moira agree on the details of their trade (Ch. 9). Remy gives Xavier a disk containing medical and other records of the prisoners in Trask's installation as well as surveillance video of the last couple days leading up to the final rescue (Ch. 9). Pietro overhears Kitty and Lance on the phone and bullies Lance into telling them what is going on at the mansion (Ch. 9). Pietro attacks Remy and a food fight ensues (Ch. 9). Logan, Rogue, Hank, Evan, and Fred all watch the tape (Ch. 10).

Thank you for reading and reviewing.