People don't realise how most of any language is spoken through gestures. Gestures as simple as a curl of a lip or a crinkle of the eye, but Marie did. She noted them with such intensity that many felt slightly awkward around the southern girl.
She always had felt that these gestures where an unspoken opportunity to people like her. Those who could never be able to have a physical side to a relationship, never be able to have a proper relationship. Never be able to be able to feel a hug, a handshake- a kiss.
Gestures where designed to give her that connection to a person and become closer to them, to form a bond.
Although she put Kitty and Jubilee in the "friend" category, Marie found that she found her closest friend in a certain Ororo Munroe. Even though their opinions did differ in certain areas, (their mutations: a Gift or a Curse?) they found a friend in each other and a common friend in Dr Hank McCoy.
However after a few months of an equal three way friendship, Marie noticed the gestures. The laughs would end in shared, secret smiles between them. Gentle teasing, flirting. Time spent together, leaving an uninvited Rogue to her own devices. But then the bombshell happened.
One day she walked into Hanks study, wanting to ask his opinion on a book she was thinking of ordering when she saw them. Dr McCoy leaning back against the wall, his hands resting on Storms waist as she stood against him, her arms around his neck, pressing close. Touching.
And with a remnant of Logan, she turned and ran.
She tried to find sanctuary within the Professor. Although Charles Xavier remained wary of the young mutant he let her share his office, reading, writing, studying, laughing. Marie realised he was wary of her. She held his lifelong friend inside her head. Once she offered him a chance to speak with him in her mind "He wants to speak to you, you know" The Professor originally declined, but after a few months he asked her permission to take her up on her previous offer.
But what the Professor found scarred him. This young child- no. This young woman has not a mind like any other he had come across. Many minds where like a river, ever flowing thoughts, emotions or feelings, twisting, flowing, running freely. Others like a maze, twisting and turning to find a new facet in the mind.
But he found himself standing in a corridor and although he saw this before it was with telepaths of a high control level who knew the journeys within their mind, a hallway of direction and stability. But this- This was completely different.
There were huge steel doors, covered in chains and locks, the roar of voices behind them- banging shouting, cursing- and at the end of this long hall, this prison, stood Marie, a large canvas in front of her, an ever changing picture in front of her. Noticing him behind her, she turned; a large splash of light blue overtook the picture behind her.
"So. How does this work" she asked, shifting her bare feet to rest atop one another, wiggling her toes.
"Well it is your world, your mind." he explained "You need to lead me to where you want me to be". All the while fully aware that this young girl could cause him a lot of harm if the situation turned sour.
She smiled shyly, turning to a secondary corridor to her left, "He's his way" she mumbled.
This corridor was different. There was an eerie silence compared to the first one. The large steel doors were sealed tight. No openings, no handles, no identification to who they housed. Rogue gestured him to move forward, the door opening as he moved forward, revealing Eric, sitting there, regarding him calmly.
"Hello there Charles. Glad you've come for a visit."
After a few hours he withdrew from the room, but as he walked back down the corridor to the exit of her consciousness, he noticed her. He stopped and watched her stand in front of the second door, staring. Her hand resting against the cold hard surface, not moving closer, but not moving any further away.
He wondered who it was to be making her make a gesture like that.
Marie wasn't blind to Bobby's feelings towards kitty. When the inevitable came, his hands a little icy, his eyes lowered and the words "I don't think this is working anymore" she just smiled, nodding in confirmation and gave him an awkward pat on the shoulder. However she didn't notice Logan tensing up behind the tree a couple of meters away. However she did notice that Bobby had a large bruise on his face and a few dislocated fingers at dinner.
However the first time she received a gesture that made her mind go blank, didn't make her try and figure out the reasoning behind it, what it would lead up to or how she should reciprocate came that Saturday night.
She had been sitting on a small sofa in the rec room, which had been deemed as her seat and hers alone, when the Wolverine had dropped down beside her, pulled her socked feet into his lap and started rubbing them absently while he focused on the TV, some documentary rattling on about car engines.
Rogue wasn't the only one who stared at him open mouthed. After an hour she felt her eyelids droop with sleep, jarring open only when Logan slugged back another gulp of his beer.
She woke up that morning half lying on his chest, half slipping into the sofa. Someone had dragged a blanket over their legs, his hands were twitching against her sides. She laid her gloved hands on his, her fingers resting between his knuckles.
A little gesture.
He had drooled on her hair.