Chapter 2

Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Gotye, Somebody I Used to Know

She sighed and threw another sweater on her bed. Friday night and here she was cleaning out her winter clothes. The pile swallowed her bed. Well, she thought, sticking out her chin in a much more defiant gesture than she actually felt, it was something that had to be done. After all, being a mutant super-hero/teacher wasn't all aliens trying to conquer the world. No, sometimes it was just downright normal. Or, some variant thereof.

Rogue hadn't felt normal for quite some time.

Between just being a mutant and all of the crap the X-Men seemed to attract, she'd grown pretty accustomed to being abnormal. It was something she had to deal with, so she did. But lately, since becoming Legacy... Well, she didn't rightly know.

Casting a sideways glance at her nightstand, she saw her cellphone. Its cool black casing gleamed under the lamplight and taunted her with its indifference. She licked her lips and pressed them into a thin line. Palming it in a sudden spring to action, she squeezed her eyes shut. She brushed her fingers across the screen, and stared. No missed calls. No voicemail. No nothing. In the back of her mind she could hear Rachel Summers, the school's resident telepath, telling her that the Dark Ages were over and that it wasn't unheard of for the woman to call. She chewed her lip; maybe she should. Eric would probably take it as a good sign since she'd been the one to leave Utopia. But somewhere farther back, swirling within the depths, was another voice twanging southern and spittin' fire. And she could see hands on hips and brows low over eyes. "Don' yah dare, gal! Don' you call that sorry excuse for—when Ah get outta here, Ah'm gonna kick you clean to next year!"

She deflated, air blowing the white forelocks of her hair off of her forehead. Sliding the phone back into its place, she shook her head. That had been happening a lot lately. The voice. It was familiar, tugging at the corners of her mind until she could feel a strange ripple run through. It was pushing at Legacy, trying to shove her away, trying to make her obsolete. It took all of Rogue's concentration to keep that voice at bay. And she didn't understand from where it could be coming.

Raking hands through the rest of her hair—long, auburn tresses—she gathered it into a ponytail and tied it behind her head before turning back to the boringly daunting task of weatherizing her wardrobe. She pulled at the bottom drawer and clicked her tongue when she found that it was stuck. Sitting on the floor, she put her feet on either side of the drawer and tugged. Off-track, that's what it was. It slid open a tiny amount and she peered into it. The sliver of space did little to enlighten her to its contents. Groaning, she curled her fingers over the lip of the drawer and pulled with all her might. The wood moaned, protesting its trackless journey, but fell with a thud to the floor.

It was a trench coat. She fingered the black material, a strange feeling coming over her. Which was illogical, she scolded herself. Why would a jacket invoke memories? Pulling it out of the drawer, she tried it on and checked her mirror. She rolled her eyes and felt her lips twist up. Damn it if she didn't remind herself of Gambit. Stooping back down, she investigated the next item in her drawer. A sheer pink negligee. She swallowed, scooped the intimate object from the drawer's recesses and stared at it for a second before setting it on the carpet beside her. She pulled out other things: a dried red rose, a book of poems, a blanket, and a queen of hearts.

There was something important about them, but, and she knew it sounded preposterous, but lately she couldn't remember things. Well, she could—everything that happened during and after Legacy, and some things from before. But many things from that time in her life before she became Legacy seemed disconnected from her. Hazy. It was the little things, the things that made up a person. The things everyone desperately wanted to remember or cling to when times got rough. Whenever she came across things like that, the ones that had clearly meant something to her before, she often drew a blank. Staring at the pile beside the drawer, she was saddened to find that this was one of those times.

Before she knew what she was doing, before she could think to stop herself, she was smudging tears from her cheeks. And that voice...all twang and fire...was sassin' her again. "When Ah get outta here, yah best be gone!"

She fisted her hair and tugged at it, groaning at the strangeness within her. That voice was going to make her crazy. And yet, there was something about it that offered her solace. It...she couldn't put her finger on it. But it was like the groggy feeling right before really, truly waking up. Pinching the bridge of her nose, she looked down at her strange little pile. She considered throwing everything into a trashbag and shoving it onto a shelf in her closet, but decided against it. Whatever they were, these objects had meant something to her. She couldn't treat them with such insensitivity.

As she started to put them back, something caught her eye. Pushed up against the back of the drawer, its face against the wood, was a photo. She felt her breath catch in her chest. Swallowing, she reached into the drawer and tried to slide the picture up. It was stuck, its edge secured in the joint between the back and the bottom. She considered just yanking it up, but chewed her lip as an image of it tearing in two came right to mind. Shrugging, she smoothed it down, a familiar face smiled back at her. It was her—green eyes glowing, lips parted into a wide, open smile. She squinted at her image, confused by the happiness she saw radiating from her face. Beside her, arm slung across her shoulder, was Gambit. He wasn't looking at the camera, his eyes were on her face, and the wattage of his smile mirrored her own. Brown hair pushed over the top of a red bandanna and stuck out in a myriad of directions. And she blew out an unsteady breath.

He was handsome. She'd give him that.

Scratching her fingers down her arm, her gaze was brought to the trench coat she still wore. The ripple at the edge of her consciousness was beginning again and she steeled herself for-"Remy?" But it didn't come from her mind; it came, instead, from her lips.

That the voice sounded much like the one in her head confused her.

Her eyes were drawn back to the photo of the two of them and the happy smile on her face. And the crinkles edging her eyes. And his arm slung around her shoulders.

She snatched her hand back as if the chromogenic scalded her; it flipped back up, its face burying against the wood frame once again.

She was shaking. Shaking and swiping her hand down her leg, trying to rub out the warmth in her hand. She grappled the items and tossed them helter-skelter into the drawer. Choking on a shallow breath, she yanked at the coat, removing it and shoving the black fabric onto the pile. She palmed her eyes, holding her hands there, hiding herself from her discoveries.

Tears leaked from under her hands, kamikaze drops off her chin.

Presently she peeked above her fingers and stared at the disheveled mess of the drawer. It sat, unmoving, non-threatening on her bedroom floor.

It scared her to death.

It left too many questions.

Screwing up her courage, she knelt beside the drawer, lifted it and pushed it back into her bureau. Letting out a breath, she tugged on its hardware. It pulled easily toward her, allowing her another glance at its disemboweled contents.

Back on track.

And she slammed it with a little more power than necessary.

She ran to her closet and threw the door open with a false gusto. Grabbing her uniform, she tossed it over her shoulder. It landed in a pile on her bed. In a matter of seconds, she had peeled her street-clothes from her body and was zipping the top of her uniform.

She needed to release the fiery pit growing within her stomach. Kicking her door open, she stomped down the hall. She hoped a Danger Room training sequence would fix it, or at the very least, lessen the southern drawl spitting obscenities at her from the back of her mind.

X

Legacy was a part of her now...or was her...or had been her...

It was all very confusing.

Especially for Rogue.

What she knew...or remembered...was that the world, her world, had slipped into an alternate reality. It was remarkably less friendly than the original, and mutants were regularly hunted and executed. It didn't matter if they were two months or two hundred years old; if they were considered "super-human" they were expendable. The lucky ones met a bloody death by firing squad; the unlucky ones...were captured and pumped for information.

A resolute few gathered together to keep the humans at bay and to salvage what little of their lives they had left. Rogue was there—or, rather, Legacy was there. They were in fact, one in the same. But Legacy knew this bloodied and broken world as her home and had no recollection of her true origin. Her job, decreed by the mutant leader, Magneto, was to imprint those mutants around her so that if and when they died, they would not be forgotten. A sort of morbid historian.

He protected her. He protected all mutants. And she harbored a little crush.

Remy was there as well. Infuriatingly handsome, he was sort of her guardian angel, swooping in and rescuing her whenever she was in danger. And there was something there, a pull of some kind. But whether she was pulled to him or he was pulled to her or they were pulled to each other, she didn't know.

She knew that she kissed him.

Their final mission together, the one that would restore their reality, loomed before her as they dangled on a string. She was scared. She was nervous. And he was infuriatingly handsome. So, she kissed him and claimed it was for luck. But deep down, she wasn't sure why.

And there was that crush on Magneto.

Their mission was successful. The world slipped back into its actual time-stream. Everything was back to normal.

But Rogue still had Legacy in her head. Still recalled her emotions. In fact, they seemed to trump her own. And she found herself further confused by her already-strained relationship with Remy and intrigued by the crush she had on Magneto...uh, Eric. The pull from Legacy was too strong, too new, to ignore...and she and Remy had so much history, so much to work through... She decided to avoid reopening old wounds and fell into Eric's open arms.

And she was happy.

Really.

But that voice... The southern-fried temerity argued the point quite well.

There were so many schisms in her memory that she had all but forgotten her relationship with Remy. She remembered big things...Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, Australia...but not much from before. She remembered being in love, but not how she got there. The little things had fallen through the cracks.

Perhaps that was why that drawer had unnerved her.

She didn't remember any of them. Those things had been precious enough for her to save, and yet, she couldn't recall the meaning of them.

She was considering this as she stood in the shower after a physically exhausting Danger Room run. She tilted her head back, the water pasting her hair down her neck and over her shoulders. She pulled her hands down her face, wiping away the excess water and gathered her hair into a ponytail behind her head before letting it all fall down her back. She rolled her shoulders and stretched her neck. Her fingers crawled up, fingering a thin white line that ran vertically down her chest and skirted alongside her right breast. The water's heat made it glow brilliant against her skin. She chewed the inside of her mouth, her eyes intent upon the scar. She had seen it before, of course, but couldn't quite place it. Not for the first time, she wondered what would have left such a mark upon her body.

Rubbing her hands up and down her face, she took a deep breath. "Ah gotta get some sleep."

X

When the telepathic alert came at eight in the morning, Rogue was in the middle of a tumultuous dream. She was flying around a red light, a beam really, that spread across the ground and shot high into the sky. It reminded her of Cyclops' optic blast, but wider, rawer. She was flying around it, her hands clawing into it like she was trying to tear it away so she could reach its center. And she was certain that was exactly what she was trying to do. There was something within its glow, something that she wanted but couldn't, for the life of her, reach.

"Rogue!" Rachel Summers' voice sliced through the beam.

Rogue flew back, her fingers straining to hold onto the red. They curled through it; she screamed in frustration as she was hurled back into consciousness.

"Rogue?"

Her head throbbed as she blinked blearily in the filtered morning light. Her body was stiff, a sure sign that she hadn't moved all night. Moaning, she rubbed her eyes.

"Wake up, Rogue."

She looked around; no one was there. Telepathy. "Ah'm awake." She said inside her head, hoping Rachel would hear her and stop the intermittent call.

Rachel's voice flooded her brain. "About time. Logan's called a faculty meeting in twenty minutes."

"What? It's Saturday morning."

"Don't shoot the messenger."

"This is ridiculous. Ah'll still be in my pajamas."

"You won't be alone. I'm not moving out of this bed until I absolutely have to."

X

When she padded into the faculty lounge twenty minutes later, she was not in a better mood. Her dream had left her with a hazy feeling of another life and it all made her head swim. She slumped down into a chair; Rachel was on her left, the chair to the right was empty.

"Rough night?" Rachel asked, arching an eyebrow.

"No, Ah was just doing some spring cleaning."

"Still haven't decided to come out of the dark ages and call Eric yourself, huh?"

Rogue's brow furrowed. "Oh," she replied as the meaning of Rachel's words sunk in. "Yeah, no. Somethin' just won't let me do it." She decided to leave out the part where the something was actually a voice in her head. She didn't think that would go over too well. "You seen Remy?"

Impossibly, Rachel's eyebrow raised even higher. "No. I think he stayed at his apartment last night." Her brow furrowed as she watched Rogue's face. "Logan didn't have me contact him."

"Morning." Bobby Drake mumbled, stifling a yawn and scratching his hand down his hip. Grumbling something about Saturdays being sacred, he lowered himself into the chair on Rogue's right side.

Rogue's hand shot out, fingers splayed over the chair's cushion. "Saved."

He quirked a brow. "Uh, Rogue?"

"That's Remy's seat."

Bobby glanced around the room; several people were staring back at him, questioning looks on their faces. He swallowed and fixed Rogue with a confused one of his own. "H-he's not here. All the chairs are full."

She twisted her head, taking in the room around her. Bobby was right; there was no where else to sit. Opening and closing her fingers, she retracted her arm and hugged it to her body.

Bobby eyed her warily as he took the seat. He caught Rachel's eye; she shook her head slightly.

"Good. You're all here." Logan stalked into the room, his boots loud against the tiled floor.

"Why are we all here?" Bobby whined. "Saturday, Logan. My one day to sleep in."

He was ignored. "I got a last minute faculty assignment to share with you." He thrust a thumb over his shoulder. A woman with dark skin and braided hair emerged from behind him. He continued, "Most of you know Cecilia." She pursed her lips and managed a halfhearted wave. "She'll be taking over the health class."

"But that's Remy's class!" Rogue's voice brought everyone's eyes to her.

Logan's grin was downright spooky. "Yeah, it was, but he's gone."

She shook her head, green eyes creased with concern. "What? He wouldn't just..."

"He's on a mission."

The room seemed to suck in a breath; bodies tensed instinctively.

Sam Guthrie spoke up first. "X-men business?"

Logan shook his head, his eyes still on Rogue's face. "No. Private sector."


Thank you for reviewing! Please continue to leave a comment. I appreciate constructive remarks!

I know that this might seem like a different kind of idea with Rogue. And while I don't want anyone taking this chapter as me thinking she's out of her head for going to Magneto, I do think (and it was hinted at) that a personality-residue from Legacy remained within Rogue. And why wouldn't it? Her powers have always left a tinge of another's psyche. (Granted, in this case, the other psyche is actually her...sort of.) I do think that Legacy's personality played a role in her decisions, possibly even overshadowing Rogue's persona at times.

And, let's face it, her relationship with Remy has always been like a runaway emotional rollercoaster; she can only have so many tickets...

Unless she bought the fun pass... ;)