Categories > Movies > X-Men: The Movie > X3: The Ace of Spades

Chapter 15: Spark

by ShadowPikachu 0 Reviews

D.C. Debate and Romy begins!

Category: X-Men: The Movie - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance,Sci-fi - Characters: Rogue - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2009/07/18 - Updated: 2009/07/18 - 11024 words

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Disclaimer: X-men is owned by Marvel Comics and 20th Century Fox. I do not own X-men, nor am I making a profit from this work of fan-fiction. So don't sue me! Not that you'd get a whole lot from me anyway ;) I also don’t own John King or CNN!

A/N: Hey everyone, back again with another chapter. Lots of Romy this chap (let’s face it, pretty much every one from her out will have it!), with development of their relationship. Bit more Magneto and Creed, a little science lesson from the Professor, and more!
Thanks, everyone for the feedback last chap. Please Read, Review, and Enjoy!


Chapter 15: Spark

Rogue glanced away from Remy and over to Xavier. “Do yah think Ah’m okay now? Would it be safe if Ah were to…. touch someone?”

Charles nodded. “I believe so. With the way your mind has changed, I think it may be easier for you to handle each absorption. During your sessions you may need to clear up any new growths after you touch someone, but the hard work was already done by Carol’s absorption.”

Rogue smiled, and thanked him for his help before standing from her seat. Remy, somewhat reluctantly, released her hand and stood up as well.

Outside the office, Rogue glanced over to Remy. “Hey, Remy? Ah was wonderin’ if you’d come to Boston with me this weekend.”

“Boston?” Remy asked, a puzzled expression on his face. “As in Boston, Massachusetts? Why you wanna go dere?”

“It’s for Carol,” she explained. “We talked to each other while the Professor an’ Ah were in mah head. She wants t’say goodbye to her mom, an’ I was thinkin’ I’d go there on Sunday.”

Remy’s eyes widened in understanding, and he nodded. “Sure, /Chére/, I’ll come wit’ you if you wan’ me to.”

Rogue smiled widely. “Thanks.”

As they rounded the corner, Rogue saw Logan leaning against the wall further down the hall. She grabbed Remy’s arm and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Remy, Ah’m gonna talk to Logan, you go on ahead without me.”

Remy nodded and looked down at her. “Alrigh’. I’m gonna be makin’ lunch in a bit, so come to de kitchen when you’re done.”

Rogue smiled and released his arm, stopping next to Logan while Remy continued into the entry hall. “Logan.” Rogue said softly, her voice shaky – her emotions she’d been holding back coming to the forefront.

Logan took one look at her, and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, leading her out the garage door, and then out the back of the garage into the back yard. “You alright?” Logan asked.

Rogue leaned her head against his shoulder and sniffled. “Ah’m gettin’ there. Ah absorbed too much of someone, an’ Ah just needed time ta get used to it. The Professor helped me get started healin’ mah mind.”

Logan nodded, and they sat down on a bench. “This person….. were they tryin’ t’hurt ya?” He asked darkly.

Rogue shook her head. “No, Logan. Ah – a woman got shot, an’ Ah tried t’help her. She was a mutant too, an’ she was dyin’, an’ she touched me t’stop her pain. Now Ah’ve got a big piece of her in mah head, an’ she’s helpin’ me heal. The Professor says it might even help me get control over mah powers.”

Logan smiled, and squeezed her shoulder. “That’s good news.”

“Between mah healin’ sessions, an’ getting’ help from Remy, Ah’m startin’ t’feel good about things.”

Logan grunted. “Of course – the Cajun,” he said, sounding disapproving.

“Logan,” Rogue chided, “He’s nice. Please don’ be a jerk ta him.”

Logan chuckled. “I’m jus’ givin’ you grief, darlin’,” he said, nudging her shoulder with his own. “I know he’s a good kid. I actually knew his dad, way back when.”

Rogue looked up in surprise. “Really?”

He nodded. “He was jus’ a reg’lar thief back then, startin’ out, but Remy tells me he’s th’leader of the Thieves Guild now. Jus’ knowin’ that he raised him, I’d know he’s alright, but I’ve gotten to know the swamp rat a bit, too. Sorta reminds me of myself. Maybe even a bit more mature.” He grinned.

Rogue laughed. “Well, that wouldn’t take much.” She said teasingly.

Logan growled and poked her in the side, and she let out a squeak and squirmed out from under his arm.

“You like him?” He asked her, suddenly serious.

“Yeah,” Rogue said. “That’s why Ah told yah t’be nice to him.”

Logan shook his head. “Y’know what I mean, Rogue. Do you like him?”

Rogue looked up, a slight blush visible on her cheeks. “Ah do. Ah like him a lot, an’ Ah’ve been wonderin’, ‘specially the last day or so, what it’d be like ta be with him.” She said with a soft smile, before looking reprovingly at Logan. “An’ don’t yah go tryin’ t’scare him now.”

Logan grinned. “Well, y’told me you think of me like a dad, an’ what good father wouldn’t give their daughter’s boyfriend a scare?” He said innocently. “But don’t worry. I already gave him th’threat of disembowelment if he hurts you, ‘bout a week ago when I noticed he was sniffin’ around.”

Rogue rolled her eyes, but smiled warmly at Logan mentioning her comment of how she thought of him like a father. “Well then, Ah’m glad yah got that outta y’system.” She said, hugging him.

Logan growled softly in the back of his throat. “Not all of it. Now I’m gonna hafta follow through with that threat on Bobby. Been too worried about you to disembowel him yet.” He said darkly. “I can, if y’want me to.”

Rogue tensed slightly at his mention of Bobby, and looked up. “No, don’t hurt him. Ah – we woulda broke up anyway. It’s just, the way Ah found out, seein’ him kissin’ Kitty, an’ then the things he said, how Ah’d never find someone that would stay with me with mah touch….. Ah started believin’ him, an’ that’s th’reason Ah went to get the cure.”

Logan started to protest, but she shook her head. “Ah thought about it on mah way there, an’ realized he was wrong. Some people, like you an’ Remy, don’ care ‘bout mah powers. ‘Fact, it was the bit of you Ah have in mah head that got me t’really think ‘bout it.” She said, smiling warmly up at him.

Logan smiled back, and kissed her forehead briefly. “Glad I helped.”

He looked appraisingly at her. “Still, I could at least cut a few fingers off, or maybe some toes…..” He said, smiling.

Rogue laughed. “No dismemberment. But… if yah wanted to maybe give him a scare for bein’ such a jerk?” Rogue said, trailing off.

Logan nodded, sighing with fake disappointment. “I suppose I’ll have to settle for that.”

Rogue sighed contentedly, and leaned her head back on his shoulder once more. After a few minutes of them sitting silently together, she looked up to his eyes. “Logan, do y’think Remy likes me?”

Logan paused for a moment, stopping himself from saying ‘what sort of idiot wouldn’t?’ – he felt that might not go over too well with her at the moment, given the whole Bobby situation.

He nodded, smiling down at her. “Yeah. Else I wouldn’ta given him the warning.”

Rogue relaxed. “Ah thought so too, but Ah wanted t’be sure it’s not just wishful thinkin’ – me seein’ only what Ah want t’see.”

Logan shook his head. “It’s not. The swamp rat is nuts about ya. Ya should’ve smelled the jealousy waftin’ off of him whenever he saw you and Bobby together. I don’ think you’ve got anythin’ t’worry about on that front.”

He paused. “An’ from what you an’ he have said, I take it you don’ have anythin’ to worry ‘bout on the touching front either?”

Rogue beamed at him. “Nope. Y’should see him, Logan, when we work on getting’ mah control. He’ll touch me ‘till he near passes out, an’ then he gets up an’ does it all over again.” She said, a look of amazement on her face. “The feelin’ really doesn’ bother him at all.”

Logan nodded, and patted her head. “Good. Y’deserve someone like that.”

***********************

Erik strode into the room where the others had gathered. Aside from those he’d recruited among those at the community meeting, he had two new additions – much older and harder, both experienced criminals – that he’d gained from their convoy attack

One of the mutants they’d recruited from the convoy was James Madrox, in there for robbing banks. He had the ability to split himself into an apparently limitless number multiple copies of himself.

The borderline Class 4 mutant had been the imposing figure that stood directly to his left. The man’s name was Cain Marko, but he went by the moniker of ‘Juggernaut’. Once he gained momentum he was, in theory at least, unstoppable.

Eric held up the ‘cure gun’ he’d retrieved from the convoy that had been carrying Mystique. “They’ve put the cure in a gun. I told you they would draw first blood. They will force this on us, and have already begun.”

“What do we do? John asked.

“We will use this weapon as a lightning rod to bring more to our cause. Mystique sacrificed herself, and was struck down by this ‘Cure’ so that our cause may live on.”

“They bomb a hospital containing innocent mutants; we will destroy their clinics distributing this ‘Cure’.” He said, and nodded imperceptibly to John, who had asked permission earlier to begin attacks on the Cure clinics.

John nodded back, and slowly backed away from the gathering, heading for the exit.

***********************

Bobby walked down the basement hallway from the exercise room, and froze when he heard a soft SNIKT behind him. He slowly turned to see Logan standing directly behind him, the adamantium claws quite visible from where they extended from the knuckles of one hand.

“Logan, what’s up?” Bobby asked, feeling somewhat nervous as he eyed the sharp claws.

Logan growled. “You know ‘what’s up’, Iceman.” Logan said, moving menacingly closer until Bobby backed up into the wall of the hallway.

Logan waved his claws below Bobby’s nose for a moment. “I hear you been cheatin’ on Rogue. Hear you been sayin’ some not-so-nice things ‘bout her powers bein’ part of the reason you were doin’ it.”

“Logan-“ Bobby began, but Logan cut him off.

“Shut up, Iceman. You remember what I told you I’d do if y’ever broke Rogue’s heart?” Logan asked, letting the adamantium run lightly along Bobby’s stomach, causing him to suck in his breath and try to draw further into the wall.

“L-Logan, c’mon, we’re teammates. You’re not going to hurt me, are you? Listen, I’m sorry about what happened – I didn’t mean for Rogue to find out that way. I didn’t want to hurt her like that. Things just sorta got out of hand, and Rogue happened to see it.”

Logan pressed his claws against him with a bit more force, and then retracted them, pinning Bobby with a glare. “You’re lucky. I was just gonna gut ya and be done with it, but Rogue talked me out of it.” He snarled. “But ya listen to me now. Leave her alone. If she asks ya to talk to her, fine. But until then, keep away from her. She’s got enough trouble of her own without you coming up to her rubbing her nose in what you did to her.”

Logan stepped back. “If you don’t….” Both his claws sprang from his clenched fists again, and he looked meaningfully at them. “Got it?”

Bobby swallowed heavily and nodded, sagging against the wall in relief when Logan gave him a terse nod and walked away.

Logan smirked to himself – he could still smell the sharp scent of fear in the air when he reached the steps. Bobby wouldn’t be bothering Rogue for some time, he thought with satisfaction.

***********************

A knock on Rogue’s doorjamb caused her to look up from her desk where she was trying to finish up the work she’d missed the previous day when she went to the Clinic.

Dani stood in the open doorway, looking hesitantly in at Rogue. “Hey,” she said quietly. “Can we talk?”

Rogue nodded, feeling a bit bad that she’d been avoiding Jubilee and Dani the past several hours after she’d stormed away from Bobby. She stood up and walked over to her bed. She sat down, and patted beside her, inviting Dani to join her.

Dani sat down, and looked carefully at Rogue. “Are you really ok, Rogue?”

Rogue sighed. “Is everyone gonna ask me that now?” she muttered, but shot a smile to Dani to show she was just joking. “Yes, Dani, Ah’m okay.”

She looked at her dubiously. “Even with….. you know – Bobby?”

Rogue shrugged. “Ah guess. Ah’m still pissed at him, but Ah guess Ah knew for a while now that it wasn’t goin’ to work out between us. It…hurt the way Ah found out, an’ Ah’m not planning on forgivin’ him anytime soon, but Ah’m doin’ okay with it.”

Dani nodded, and then shot her a sly look. “And, would the Cajun you spent the night in New York with last night have something to do with how ‘okay’ you are about it?”

“Maybe,” she said with a small smile.

Dani grinned. “That’s what I thought,” she said smugly. “He asked you out yet, or does he not work that fast?”

Rogue flushed. “Dani! Ah swear, Jubes has corrupted you. No, he hasn’t ‘asked me out’ yet. Ah had some….. power problems, an’ we’ve hardly had time to even talk since last night. An’ Ah’m not sure how fast Ah wanna move after Bobby anyway.”

Dani put a hand on her shoulder. “I was just teasing you. And I’m certainly not as bad as Jubes is.” She protested.

Rogue’s eyes twinkled. “Y’gettin’ pretty close, lately. Speakin’ of Jubes, where is she? Ah thought shed’ve come with yah.”

Dani’s expression changed. “That was the other thing I came to talk to you about. She’s keeping Kitty company. Kitty’s pretty broken up about what happened – thinks you hate her now for what happened.”

Rogue’s eyes widened and she shook her head. “Ah don’t. If Ah hated anyone it’d be Bobby, not Kitty.”

Dani bounced to her feet and grabbed one of Rogue’s hands. “Then tell her that. We’ve been trying to convince her, but she’s been moping around all day.”

Rogue allowed Dani to pull her to her feet and down the hall to Kitty’s room.

Dani knocked on the door, causing Jubilee and Kitty to start. “Jubes, out here with me.” Dani said.

Jubilee shut her laptop and got up, walking out into the hall. Rogue stepped hesitantly into the room, and Dani shut the door behind her.

Rogue noted that Kitty wasn’t wearing even the slightest hint of makeup, and her face looked as if it had been scrubbed clean recently, so she figured she’d been crying.

Rogue gave her a tentative smile and sat down in Jubilee’s vacated spot, and Kitty looked down at her lap, avoiding her gaze.

“I’m sorry,” Kitty said quietly. “I’d take back what happened if I could. I didn’t expect him to do that, and I’m so sorry that you had to see that.”

Rogue shook her head. “Kitty, y’don’ have anythin’ t’be sorry ‘bout. You didn’ do anythin’ – it was Bobby. Ah heard what y’told him, ‘bout not wantin’ to go behind mah back.” Rogue sighed. “Ah don’ hate yah, Kitty. We’re still friends.”

Kitty looked up hopefully. “Really?”

Rogue nodded, and quickly found herself engulfed in a hug.

“Thank you, Rogue,” Kitty whispered shakily. “You’re one of my best friends here, and I was worried I’d ruined that.”

“Bobby might have, but you didn’, Kitty.”

Kitty nodded into her shoulder, and then pulled back, swiping at a lone tear on her cheek.

“Still friends?” Rogue asked, extending her hand.

“Still friends.” Kitty said with a small smile, shaking Rogue’s hand.

Kitty hesitantly spoke again. “Rogue, I told Bobby today that I’m not ready right now and I want to let everything cool down. I didn’t think you’d want to see him fawning all over me right after… what you saw. I told him we’d see about trying it out after Break.”

Rogue smiled slightly – Monday would be the start of the last week before their break, which was rather later than usual, with the first of May fast approaching at the end of their week-long break. “Thanks, Kitty. Ah think by then this’ll have blown over, an’ Ah might be able t’stand talkin’ to him by then.”

Kitty nodded. “That was sorta what I was thinking, too.”

Rogue stood up. “Well, don’ start any more mopin’ ‘round like Dani said you’ve been doin’ t’day, okay? Ah’ve gotta catch up on some homework, an’ then get some sleep, so Ah’ll see yah later.”

Kitty giggled and gave her a mock salute. “Okay, no more moping. Goodnight, Rogue.”

***********************

Rogue woke up when a weight next to her depressed the mattress, causing it to tilt slightly under her back. As her eyes opened, she nearly gasped when she saw Remy’s red-on-black eyes looking back on her. They seemed to glow in the darkness of the room – the only other illumination coming from the light of the half-moon, streaming in through the open window of her balcony.

Rogue sat up, the movement bringing her face closer to his. He smelled of tobacco and cloves, and his eyes seemed to darken as she sat up. “What’s wrong, Remy?” She asked him softly.

“I can’ stand it anymore, Chére,” he said, his voice husky and low. “I’ve wanted you since I first met you. You felt it, didn’ you? The spark between us?”

Rogue nodded voicelessly, her heart beginning to beat rapidly at his words, and faster when he moved even closer. His hand brushed her face, softly stroking her cheek, before it slipped into her hair, disappearing in her thick locks.

“I still feel it, Chére, even stronger now” he said, almost a whisper.

He slowly pulled her closer with that hand, and the next thing she knew, their lips were touching. She deepened the kiss, hesitantly at first, and then hungrily as her tongue swirled around his.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and felt his hand run through her hair, stroking the back of her head, while his other settled at the small of her back. She shivered, looking into his seemingly-endless red and black eyes, and he looked back at her with desire clearly visible in them.

Rogue didn’t even think about the fact that she was touching him until they broke apart slightly several minutes later, gasping heavily for breath with their foreheads resting on one another’s. And right when she was going to ask how he wasn’t unconscious and on the floor, he pressed his lips to hers again.

Thoughts of her powers fled her mind, and she moaned into his mouth, her body arching into his firm chest, when one of his hands strayed down past her neck and brushed lightly against her breast, circling back to brush by again.

Rogue gasped into his mouth when he touched her more firmly, and she felt a pool of warmth gathering low in her belly. She pressed against him, her kiss hungrily demanding more.

She squeezed her eyes shut and moaned when he complied with her nonverbal request, and his hand left her breast and moved slowly across her stomach. Her world dissolved completely when he touched her thigh, and –


Rogue woke with a start at a loud blaring sound and looked around, almost wildly, only to find no trace of Remy. She was panting heavily, and closed her eyes, trying to calm her body down. She slammed her hand down on the alarm clock’s snooze button, and instantly regretted it – having forgotten Carol’s powers – when it shattered into flying bits of wiring and broken plastic that showered the nightstand and the floor next to her bed.

She groaned, threw her head back into her pillow, and could feel the hot blush in her cheeks. That was the first time she’d ever had such an…. explicit… dream. Sure, she’d had numerous dreams in the past about kissing Bobby or Cody, or touching them without her gloves, but never something so detailed – so /sexual/.

She moaned, and closed her eyes, trying to ignore the feelings that the dream had created while also feeling frustrated at the fact that she’d woken up just as she was getting to the best parts.

‘/That was quite the dream, Rogue/,’ Carol’s voice echoed in her mind, causing her to let out a startled shriek.

“Shit, Carol, Ah almost jumped outta mah skin. Don’ scare me like that!”

She felt, rather than heard, laughter come over the link Xavier had created. ‘/Sorry, Rogue/.’

Rogue settled her forehead against her knees, and let herself fall down the link, and the next moment she was standing on her mindscape next to Carol. Carol gave her a grin, and she then realized what Carol had said. “You – you saw it?” Rogue asked, mortified.

Carol shrugged. “Parts of it, little flashes. I am a big part of your unconscious mind now according to your Professor, the part that gives you dreams.”

She threw an arm around Rogue’s shoulder. “Don’t be embarrassed by it, Rogue. I’ve had a lot more racy dreams than that. It’s natural. Especially when it’s about a guy as hot as your Remy is.” She said playfully.

Rogue blushed and looked away, but a smile appeared on her face and she sighed wistfully. “Ah know.”

She glanced back to Carol, and attempted to change the subject. “Did yah get any more trees fixed?”

Carol’s expression fell. “No, once you left, everything we were using disappeared. I think if you’re not here you can’t start healing them – I couldn’t get anything to appear because this isn’t my mind.”

Rogue nodded. “Ah was wonderin’ ‘bout that. Oh well, Ah guess that just means we get t’spend more time t’gether.”

Carol smiled, and opened her mouth to speak when they were both suddenly knocked off their feet when the mindscape shifted as if it was hit by an earthquake.

Rogue pushed herself up off the ground, looking around. “What was that?”

As if answering her, they heard a distant voice, indistinguishable but clearly a voice, and Rogue realized someone was talking to her outside of the mindscape.

“Ah better go, someone’s in mah room with me. Ah’ll be back later.” She said, turning to Carol.

Carol nodded, and then Rogue found herself back in her room, her eyes coming to focus on Ororo’s face.

“Rogue?” She asked with concern, pulling her hand away from where she’d been shaking her shoulder. “Are you okay? You were just sitting there, and your eyes were glazed over.”

Rogue smiled and nodded. “Ah’m fine, Ororo. Ah was in mah mind – it’s somethin’ th’Professor taught me.”

Ororo looked relieved. “Okay. I just came here to let you know the debate is starting in about thirty minutes, and I thought you might want to see Charles,” she said. Xavier had left the night before, and flown to D.C. where the debate was being held.

“Okay, Ororo, thanks.”

“I guess it was a good idea, given the state of what I assume used to be your alarm clock.” Ororo said, looking at the debris on the floor.

Rogue flushed. “Yeah, Ah’m getting’ used to mah new powers Ah absorbed, an’ one of them is sorta super-strength.” She sighed. “Now Ah need ta buy a new clock.”

Ororo laughed at her expression as she looked at the remains – Xavier had filled her in on the fact that Rogue seemed to have kept the powers of the person she’d absorbed, possibly permanently in Xavier’s opinion after having seen the way Carol’s psyche was embedded in Rogue’s mind.

“Well, after the debate, I was planning on a Danger Room session for the team, so maybe you can get a feel for your powers in there.” She said, and paused, hesitant. “You don’t have to come – Bobby’s going to be there, and-“

Rogue shook her head. “It’s alright, Ah’ll join yah. Ah’m gonna hafta see him sooner or later in class, so Ah might as well do it sooner. An’ Ah’d really like ta try things out with mah new powers.”

Ororo nodded. “Well, I’m going to go down to the living room to watch the debate.”

Rogue smiled as Ororo backed out of the room. “Ah’ll be down in a few – jus’ hafta clean up this mess, an’ get dressed.”

Rogue turned her head and looked at the remains of the alarm clock with a sigh, and grabbed her garbage can and began to sweep the pieces on her nightstand into it. And as she cleaned, she found her mind constantly, inexorably, back to her dream.

***********************

“Aside from our regular political analysts, we’ve invited other guests to discuss particular issues brought up by the candidates.” John King said, looking at the cameras surrounding the table at which he sat.

“Two of your guests will be discussing mutant affairs after both the Republican debate that starts in a few minutes as well as the Democratic debate being held later this afternoon. Mister Kevin Lovato of the ‘American Family Organization’, a national organization critical of the mutant rights movements will be one of our analysts.”

“For our second guest, we’ve invited Dr. Charles Xavier to join us. Professor Xavier has a PhD in Genetics from Johns Hopkins, a PhD in Molecular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine, a Masters in Behavioral Psychology from Princeton, and a number of honorary doctorates from various schools including Notre Dame and UCLA.”

The camera moved to Charles as he rolled his wheelchair onto the stage and up to the round table with King and Lovato.

“Thank you for accepting our invitation to provide a commentary on mutant issues, Professor.” King said, shaking his hand.

Charles nodded. “Thank you for having me, John. And please, call me Charles,” he said with a warm smile.

“Very well, Charles. Now, you are widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the fields of genetics and molecular biology, and the leading expert in mutant genetics, above even Doctor Henry McCoy, our Secretary of Mutant Affairs.” King said.

“Mister Lovato had a chance to give some background on his position and his organization a few minutes ago, and I was hoping you could get our viewers ‘up to speed’ on the issue of mutants, Charles. Let’s start with a basic question: what causes mutants?” King said, leaning forward on his elbows.

Charles’ eyes twinkled. “Well, John, the first thing I must make clear is that all of us, in our own way, are mutants. The word mutant simply means an organism that has been produced as a result of mutations in their genome. Each and every person on the planet is the product of a genome that is slightly different from everyone else’s, and those changes occur due to mutation. But for our discussion here, I’ll use the term as most people in the general public do.”

“Now, one thing we discovered with the completion of the Human Genome Project and our subsequent analyses of it – which are still on-going – was a small area in the genome dubbed the ‘X-gene’, which in reality is a small sequence of several genes that interact with one another.”

“The only real difference between a normal human and a ‘mutant’ is the amount of mutation on that string of genes. ‘Mutants’ have a slightly different version of one of those genes that is basically stuck in an ‘on’ position – which affects the interactions of the others – whereas baseline humans have a version of that gene which is in the ‘off’ position. That’s the only difference – on versus off.”

Charles laughed slightly. “If you want to think about it in a simpler way, it is really not all that different than you having your ‘blue-eyes-gene’ switched on rather than your ‘brown-eyes-gene’, or the genes that in part determine skin color, height, and facial features.”

“Okay, now what about this ‘Cure’,” King asked him, “how does that work?”

Xavier cleared his throat. “I’m not entirely sure, as the research behind it has not been released, and much likely will not be for some time due to patenting issues. But from what Worthington Labs has released, and from some educated guessing, I believe it may work as a sort of ‘gene therapy’ and bridge the mutation to the ‘Mutant’ version of the gene and switch it into the ‘off’ position.”

“And what is your opinion on the ‘Cure’, and all of the hype surrounding it?” King asked him.

“I think it may very well be a wonderful thing, certainly for those that have been harmed physically and psychologically from the discrimination and hatred against mutants that we see today. But I think we must be cautious, and I wish this had been debated as much as issues like stem-cells have. There are some serious ethical problems that must be considered. If you consider Mutants to be comparable to the damaged genetics that cause things like Downs Syndrome, and other genetic abnormalities, does that then mean we should consider those people also in need of ‘repair’, consider them ‘less-than-human’ in the way many consider Mutants? In addition, we must consider the question of using this on children. Should we have the ability to fundamentally change the very genome of our children, or should we let them grow up and decide for themselves? Such things could lead us to a very slippery slope in terms of genetics and genetic modification.”

“Yes,” King said, nodding, “There’s a lot of debate on those particular aspects on the cure, as you know if you’ve watched our rather… spirited debates every night here on CNN since the Cure was announced, and we’re very happy to get you on the air to talk with us about it.”

“Now, another question that has been brought up many times – actually it’s sort of two questions: Are humans the next stage in human evolution – are they the Homo Sapiens to our Neanderthals? And the second part is why now – why the sudden population explosion of mutants?”

Xavier smiled. “Those are both good questions, and ones that are still being hotly debated by the science community. I’ll address the evolution one first. A large portion of the genetics community believes that it is the case that mutants will be basically, as you said earlier, the next Homo Sapiens.”

“Now, I am somewhat more hesitant to make that assertion due to the nature of evolution. A genetic mutation can be either advantageous or deleterious toward the organism, and for a large part that depends on the surrounding environment and how that mutation affects their ability to successfully reproduce. Currently one could consider this to be deleterious due to the amount of discrimination and hate we see in our society against Mutants that could hinder their reproductive success. If it changes, however, we may very well be seeing the beginnings of the future of the human race.”

“As to the population explosion, most of us are unsure, although we all have our pet hypotheses. Some view it as ‘Mother Nature’s’ answer to the way we’ve been damaging our planet. Others believe it is a result of our nuclear age and subsequent radiation causing these mutations to increase. And so forth.”

“One of my personal hypotheses is that it is related to both the population of our planet and our travel breakthroughs of the past century like the automobile and the jet plane. We’ve reached a point in which we have so many people and so much interconnection between communities that those with a predisposition to producing a child with the mutated version of the gene are more and more likely to come into contact with one another.”

“In the past we lived in villages and small cities and it took weeks to get around by carriage or horse or foot, and it was far less likely that the predisposed would come into contact with one another, although it likely did happen from time to time: my intuition tells me that some of the ‘miracle men’ from the past – embellished through myth – may have been mutants.” He chuckled and looked at King. “For all we know, Moses may have been a mutant.”

King nodded, laughing. “That’s certainly something to think about, Charles. I’m afraid we’ll have to wrap it up here, as the candidates for the Republican primaries are about to enter the room for the debate. Thank you, Professor, for the very enlightening discussion, and we’ll be looking forward to your analysis after the debate.”

Charles smiled and nodded, sitting back and steepling his fingers. On a monitor nearby, he saw Graydon Creed and Richard Wagner enter the debate hall that stood only a dozen feet away behind one of the walls of the studio where Xavier now sat.

Wagner was much older than Creed, thinning gray and white hair atop his head and heavy wrinkles on his face contrasting greatly with Creed’s full head of hair and smooth face. It was one factor in Creed’s success – people were both worried about the health problems Wagner could have at his age, and they were also attracted to Creed’s youthful take on the policies – he had a large amount of support from those in the Under-40 demographic.

As they both sat down, and introductions and thanks were made, and the rules of the debate were explained, Xavier half-closed his eyes and reached out with his mind. He brushed past the dozens of minds in the room with him, and extended further, into the next room, past the camera crew, until he reached the two candidates. Wagner wasn’t senile or anywhere close as far as he could tell – that was one argument his opponents had made. Charles did sense an overwhelming feeling of resignation – Wagner felt that he likely no longer had a chance to win the race, especially with his rather ambiguous position on mutants he’d shown in the past.

He pulled away from him, and circled toward the man he’d come to see, and took a deep breath – what he was about to do was something he tried very hard to avoid: the invasion of privacy involved in entering the mind of someone without their consent was hard for him to justify to himself morally, but he had, from time to time, made exceptions and the seriousness of the matter at hand made this one of those times.

He reached out to touch Creed’s mind, and had to force down a wave of nausea at what he found there: pure, unadulterated, /hatred/.

Xavier forced himself not to pull out and get away from it, and delved deeper. The man was a walking shell of hatred against mutants- there was little else, besides some love for his wife, and his desire to become President.

Xavier couldn’t find what caused his hatred – he seemed to have locked that away deep in his mind – but he did find memories of his talks with Maldrone. Graydon, it seemed, loved being an invisible puppet master, and was filled with glee at the thought of publicly running the nation while privately influencing anti-mutant sentiment.

He was the secret backer of numerous anti-mutant organizations including Friends of Humanity, Humanity Now, Church of Humanity, the Human League, and Humanity’s Last Stand. As Xavier went deeper he found that one of his childhood friends was the leader of the shadowy terrorist group called the Purifiers who had attacked the San Francisco hospital two days before.

And then Xavier finally found what he wanted – a memory of a discussion between Creed and Maldrone close to a month ago. As he played through it, he heard them discuss the hiring of a thief, with Maldrone mentioning one named Gambit he’d heard about, and then discussing the hiring of the mercenaries to assault the mutant community that hid in the tunnels of New York.

Xavier pulled back, shaken both by the confirmation of his fears and the delving through Creed’s twisted mind. He’d experienced few minds more… evil than Creeds. Magneto did not come close – he was more a misguided man who was trying to protect his ‘race’ – in fact, the only mind he’d experienced that surpassed it was that of an African mutant he’d encountered around the time he’d met Ororo.

Charles attempted to push what he’d found further back from the front of his mind, and forced himself to focus on the debate when he realized Creed and Wagner were now being asked the first question. Xavier pasted a fake smile on his face, and turned his attention to them.

***********************

Rogue shifted on the couch into a more comfortable position in her spot between Remy and Dani as the debate wound down with each candidate’s closing statements. Most of the students were in the living room, packed in tightly to listen to the debate and watch the headmaster of their school speak.

The screen changed as they spoke to several of their regular political analysts, most of who felt Creed had won the debate, both on the mutant issues but the numerous other issues that had been brought up ranging from gay marriage to the economy.

Finally they switched back to the smaller studio where John King sat with Xavier and Lovato. “Let’s start with you first, Mr. Lovato – what did you think of the debate?”

The spectacled man cleared his throat. “Well, John, I agree with the majority of your analysts that Creed won this debate, hands-down. And I think his arguments on the mutant issue were among his strongest. I especially liked his points about the new Registration Act bill that is going to be introduced into the Senate. Really, I don’t have much to say – he summarized the position of those of us at the American Family Organization quite well and I have no real disagreement with him. Although I’m sure I’ll have some more to say when Professor Xavier is finished,” he said with a thin smile.

King looked over to Xavier. “What are your thoughts, Charles?”

“Well, I find myself in agreement with Mr. Lovato and the analysts – Creed definitely pulled off the win here in this debate. And I will agree that some of his arguments on mutant issues were among his strongest, and much better put-together than Wagner’s arguments. I will say that I do not agree with a single one, however, and I hope that in the actual election the democratic candidate can string together a more compelling rebuttal than Wagner attempted.”

“I’ll make it no secret that I’ll not be voting for Mister Creed, mainly due to the vast differences in our positions on not only mutants but other social and economic issues. One of my biggest disagreements with his arguments in this debate is the very thing Mr. Lovato commended him on – the Registration Act legislation.”

“He compares, in his analogies he used several times, mutants – fellow human beings – to firearms, to sex offenders, and to felons and the ‘registration’ of each. I don’t think that is in any way a productive argument, and in fact I think it is meant to dehumanize mutants and deliberately equate them to criminals of the worst sort, at least in my opinion.” Xavier said.

“I believe that this Registration Act, while it may remove something that Creed and his supporters see as a ‘problem’, creates a whole new set of problems. How will you get mutants to comply – will you force them to do so? Compulsory genetic testing? Who would have access to this database created by the legislation? The recent hacking attack on our very own Department of Defense servers shows that the safety of such information could be compromised in this age of computer hacking and espionage.”

“Creed says he wants the information available for the police in their databases to look up like you would a vehicle registration. This would mean each and every station computer, every police cruiser computer, could be accessed for the information. What happens when an anti-mutant group hires the hackers – or steals a police car – and comes away with not only the names and addresses of mutants, but also their powers, so they can pick and choose who to terrorize and assault and prepare beforehand to deal with the mutant’s abilities?”

“By his misguided attempts to ‘protect’ the American people, Mr. Creed and other like him will be greatly endangering the lives and livelihoods of mutants across the country.”

“Several of his other arguments showed a telling – and concerning – lack of knowledge on the science we spoke about earlier, but my major disagreement, as I said, is on the Registration Act, as well as this new ‘Proposition X’ he mentioned which the group ‘Humanity Now’ is introducing for a vote in Texas – when you begin legislating reproductive rights of groups of people, I think you have gone too far over the line.”

King nodded, and turned to Lovato. “Would you like to respond, Mr. Lovato?”

He nodded and cleared his throat. “Yes. First of all, Mr. Xavier, Graydon Creed is not ‘dehumanizing’ mutants with his statements. He is simply using analogies in order for people to more easily grasp his point about the need for this Registration bill.”

“Secondly, you talk about the ‘problems’ that could occur with the Registration. Now, I will grant you that the database could have problems with hacking or with access. But so do your DMV records, and so do your birth records with the state. Someone could hack in and steal your social security number, but that doesn’t mean we stop using them.”

“And finally, in my opinion, sometimes the smaller group has to make a sacrifice for the betterment of the whole of humanity. And that’s what we’re asking mutants to do here. Why are they so afraid to let themselves be known if they truly are harmless?”

King turned back to Xavier. “Charles, we’ll let you have the last word on this – we have about a minute before we need to go on a commercial break.”

“Let’s take your statements one by one, Mr. Lovato. Since you seem to like analogies, or at least Creed’s analogies, let’s make one here. Let’s say I was campaigning – you are a heterosexual, I presume – let’s say I was campaigning to make it the law that heterosexuals needed to register themselves in order to have sex and reproduce. And in my arguments I said ‘of course these people should register – we make people serial killers and sex offenders register all the time’. I would think that if you heard such comparisons you would be rather offended, and I think that is the case here with Creed’s comparisons.

“Now, you do have somewhat of a point with DMV and birth records. The difference is, you do not have a large population that hates you, and thousands of that population who want to kill you simply for being what you are. The difference between the DMV and the Registration is that the DMV does not tell someone your genetic makeup.”

“And toward your last point, mutants do not want this Registration, or in your terms ‘are afraid’ of making themselves known, because of exactly what I just stated – they are hated intensely by many, many people in this country.”

King broke in. “I’m afraid I’ll have to stop you there Charles. Thank you both for joining us – it’s been a very enlightening discussion, and we will speak once more this afternoon when the Democratic candidates begin their debate
.”

***********************

Rogue panted as they ran through the streets of a ruined city that looked like it would have been at home in a post-apocalyptic film. Lights from helicopters swept across buildings in the distance, and the sound of distant chattering gunfire filled the smoke-filled air as they moved past burning cars and smoldering ruins of buildings.

To her left she saw Logan take down two men clad in black holding automatic weapons who popped out of a burnt-out shell of a building that looked like it had once been a convenience store.

She heard the soft whir of incoming missiles, and snapped her head up. There were two, and were aimed in her general direction. She saw Piotr shift his body into his metallic form and brace himself to intercept one of them, but then she saw the second would arc to her left to where Remy was crouched near a car, glancing in the opposite direction over the hood.

She acted on instinct – and her knowledge that she still had Carol’s powers – and brought her fist down with remarkable speed onto the missile as it flew past. She heard a satisfying crunch, and it spiraled out of control. The sound caught Remy’s attention, and he leapt to the side as it spun past him and exploded under a wrecked car.

He landed neatly on another car, and he sent a nod of thanks her way, and then they were off running again – Piotr looking at her with amazement having seen what she’d done.

The sound of gunfire ripped through the air as a lone mercenary popped up behind them, apparently having hidden under a car they’d just passed. Several bullets flew toward Kitty, but passed right through her and Ororo as she grabbed both Ororo and Bobby and phased them along with herself.

The gunman began to stitch his bullets to the side toward the others. Rogue saw an opening, and darted toward him, her fist swinging in an arc toward his head – a punch that Logan had taught her months before.

There was a loud crack, and the man was sent tumbling like a ragdoll for nearly twenty feet before coming to a rest against a car tire, completely lifeless. Rogue turned back and flushed when she saw everyone’s looks of shock.

“What? That was the fastest way t’get rid of him. Let’s get movin’, people!” She said, her shout underscored by the sound of gunfire coming nearer.

“Ouch.” Remy said, looking at the body of the man, before he turned to follow Rogue. “Know how he feels,” he said teasingly to her as he caught up with her, shooting her a grin.

Rogue rolled her eyes. “Keep that up, swamp rat, an’ you’ll feel it again.”

“You know you love it, /Ch/-“ He broke off and tackled Rogue to the ground, and they skidded to a halt in the dirt inches from one another as an RPG passed three feet above them and continued its flight until it blasted into a nearby wall.

A moment passed with them merely panting heavily next to one another, and then the rest of the group was there, and they got back to their feet. Remy turned around – only to find their path was blocked by a dead-end alley.

The group dove behind several parked cars as automatic weapons chattered nearby when the soldiers that had been chasing them finally caught up.

Ororo’s eyes turned white, and several blasts of lightning hit the closest soldiers, knocking them off their feet, their guns glittering to the ground.

“Kitty, draw their fire!” Logan shouted.

But Rogue was already moving, wanting to test her powers as much as she could. She vaulted over the car even as Piotr tried to grab her and pull her back under cover.

Remy jabbed him in the side and shook his head, knowing what she was planning. “Let her go, Piotr, she knows what she’s doin’. Jus’ get ready.” He said over the noise.

The front soldiers saw Rogue and opened up on her. The bullets in the alley had felt like the rubber bullets they used here in the danger room, and now, being hit by these rubber bullets, it felt like they were hitting her with high-speed ping-pong balls.

More soldiers turned, pouring their fire into her as she strode toward them. Before she knew it she was slugging one man in the jaw, and suddenly Remy was behind her, hurling glowing playing cards at the feet of half a dozen others, the blasts instantly knocking them over.

Logan was not far behind, ripping into their ranks with his claws, and then the others joined in as well, and in mere minutes the entire brigade of mercenaries had been eliminated.

“Danger Room session end.” Logan said aloud, retracting his adamantium claws and wiping the sweat from his forehead as the hologram in the room sputtered and died, leaving them in the cavernous room.

“Damn, Rogue, are you alright?” Kitty asked her, looking her over for the tell-tale bruises of a rubber-bullet strike, having seen her take dozens if not hundreds of them.

Rogue smiled. “Yeah. Just fine.”

“Is this what the Professor mentioned-“

Rogue shrugged. “Yeah. Ah’m pretty much invulnerable from the powers Ah absorbed. If those were real bullets, theyd’ve hurt like hell and left bruises, but Ah’d probably be okay.”

Kitty looked at her with wide eyes and nodded.

Logan clapped a hand onto her shoulder. “Nice right cross, darlin’,” he said with a smile, referring to her first punch. “Good work, the lot of ya. Let’s go shower off – lesson’s over.”

***********************

Rogue toweled off her hair, slipping on a fresh pair of pants. Kitty and Ororo had already left the small shower area/locker room, leaving Rogue on her own. She glanced in one of the mirrors, and smiled to herself, thinking over the events of the Danger Room session.

This was the first time she’d felt…. good …. about one of their exercises. As they’d walked up the stairs and gone up the elevator to the main basement floor and into the showers, she’d seen a change in the others. They, likely unconsciously, seemed to have a newfound respect in their eyes when they looked at her.

In their past exercises, she’d felt like she was just bogging the team down. She’d felt like little more than a parasite – rarely able to help unless it was up close, always needing help to survive the exercise either from being protected or borrowing someone else’s powers. This was the first time she’d actually felt useful to the X-men.

Rogue set down the towel, and put on a T-shirt, and then set to drying her hair once more as she moved toward the exit of the shower room. Both the shower rooms exited into the back of their uniform room, and Rogue nearly collided with Remy as he exited the men’s shower room. He was slipping a T-shirt over his head, and as he pulled it down she saw that his hair was still damp from his own shower.

“Hey,” Rogue said quietly, gazing up at his face as he moved closer to her.

“Hey /Chére/, t’anks for savin’ my ass back dere wit’ dat missile.”

Rogue laughed. “Well, yah saved mine when y’knocked me down like y’did.”

“Oui, wouldn’ want dat lovely ass getting hurt,” he said, winking at her.

Rogue rolled her eyes, trying to fight a smile, and pulled the towel from its place on her head.

Remy grabbed her arm and looked at her seriously. “You did good in dere, /Chére/.”

Rogue smiled shyly and looked up at him through her eyelashes – she was almost startled when she realized just how close he was standing. “Thanks,” she said quietly.

She stood there, looking up at him, and then started to back away – set down her towel and leave – when she was startled by Carol’s amused voice echoing in her head: ‘/Kiss him, dummy/!’

Rogue stopped moving backwards, and then surprised Remy by darting forward to clumsily press her lips against his in a brief kiss, her nose bumping with his for a moment before she made contact.

She pulled back blushing heavily, and bit her lower lip nervously. “Remy, I-“

He grabbed her chin gently with one hand, and the next moment they were kissing again. And it was so much better in real life, Rogue thought to herself as she melted into the kiss.

Remy’s hand moved into her hair and she parted her lips for him, almost jumping at the nearly-electric feeling that passed between them when her tongue hesitantly touched his lips. It felt like the air around them was filled with a static charge.

Rogue moved her own hand to the back of his head, letting her other settle on his chest as he slowly deepened the kiss, running his tongue over hers, his warm lips moving slowly against hers.

And then it was over – much too soon for her liking – when Remy pulled back, breathing heavily both from the kiss itself and from the absorption he’d fought for nearly a minute-and-a-half. His hands moved down to hers in a familiar gesture from their sessions together, and he took the charge back into himself.

He released her hands and let his own settle on either side of her body, just above her hips, as he caught this breath.

Rogue looked at him nervously, again biting her lip. “So……”

Remy shot her a small grin. “So……” he echoed.

Rogue took a deep breath. “What does this mean, Remy?” She asked, her voice somewhat shaky.

He smiled gently at her. “I t’ink it means you want us to be more than jus’ friends.”

“And?” She asked quietly.

He ran his eyes over her face – she was looking up at him with wide, vulnerable eyes – and he knew that what he wanted to say was also exactly what she needed to hear.

“An’ it means I wan’ dat too, /Chére/.” He told her, his voice husky. He saw a dazzling smile appear on her face one moment, and the next she’d pulled him into a firm hug.

Rogue blinked back tears of relief, thankful her face was hidden in his chest, as he slid his arms around her. She blinked again, and then looked up to Remy’s warm eyes.

“Remy, Ah– with Bobby, an’ everythin’ that happened, it still hurts a lot. Can we take things slow? Ah want this, but Ah don’t wan’ things goin’ too fast.”

Remy nodded and kissed her forehead. “We go as slow as y’need, /Chére/. I figured you’d need t’get over Bobby an’ all dat. Actually was pretty surprised when y’kissed me,” he said, grinning at her, “but it was definitely one of de best ones I’ve ever had.”

Rogue smiled, a light blush on her cheeks. “Ah surprised mahself. But Ah’m glad Ah did it,” she murmured, laying her head back on his chest.

“Me too,” he said, his breath tickling her ear.

Rogue reluctantly pushed back. “We should go upstairs. Ev’ryone’ll be wonderin’ where we are – the other debates are gonna start in a few minutes.”

Remy sighed and pouted. “Alright.” He said, kissing her lightly on the forehead.

He put an arm around her shoulder as they walked toward the stairs. “So, you wanna keep dis quiet for a bit or tell ev’ryone?”

Rogue frowned for a moment. “Let’s… let’s not advertise it or anythin’ right away – Bobby’ll probably have a big blow up if he finds out we’re already… together,” she said, smiling slightly as she said the word. She looked up at Remy and grinned. “Let them figure it out.”

Remy grinned back and squeezed her shoulder in understanding as they climbed the stairs.

***********************

A knock on his door woke Remy from his sleep, and when he heard the door open he rubbed his eyes and squinted at the figure in the doorway. He sat up, throwing the covers off. “/Petite/? What’s up?”

Sarah stood in the doorway, twisting her hands together nervously. “I had another bad dream, Remy. And… I – I had a-another accident.”

Remy nodded, knowing the second part was the reason she seemed so nervous, and stood up and walked over to her. He took her hand. “Let’s go see,” he said gently.

She nodded, and followed him to her room. He opened the door and flipped on the light switch. He instantly saw the alarm clock at the side of the bed sparking slightly around the bone-spear that had impaled it. He quickly unplugged it, not wanting it to accidently start a fire. A quick glance around the room showed several more spikes, embedded not only in the bed but also in the closet door and the ceiling above her bed.

“Well, looks like y’need a new clock, /petite/,” he said.

He smiled gently at her, noting her nervous expression, and pulled her into a hug, kissing her on the top of the head. “Don’ worry, /petite/, dis is normal, an’ I ain’ mad at you.” He reassured her, recalling what Ororo had told him about her conversation with Sarah about her father and the way he’d treated her.

Sarah trembled in his arms for a moment, and looked up at him with a watery smile. “Thank you, Remy.” She said softly.

He placed a hand under her chin. “So. Still havin’ bad dreams?”

She nodded miserably. “Yeah. I thought they might be done – I haven’t had them since you stayed with me – but I guess not.”

Remy gave her a sad smile. “It takes a while, Sarah. I’m still havin’ dem too.” He glanced at her spike-filled mattress. “I’ll take care of all dis tomorrow. You wanna stay in my room tonight?”

Sarah gave a nod, but then hesitated. “Actually, could we go on the roof where you go when you have a bad dream?”

He smiled, surprised, and then nodded. “Okay, /petite/. Put on some socks an’ a jacket, an’ we can go out dere.”

Sarah smiled and scurried around the room, yanking on her socks and shoes. She put on a light blue jacket, and then looked excitedly at Remy.

He laughed softly and grabbed her hand once more, leading her back to his room. He pulled on a T-shirt and put on his trenchcoat and boots. He grabbed a large blanket from the closet in the room, and then opened the balcony door.

Remy grabbed Sarah, and hopped up to balance on the balcony railing. Sarah let out a squeal at the sudden movement, and looked at him with wide eyes. “Don’ worry /petite/, I got ya. Now, I’m gonna lift ya up onto de roof, an’ you sit down where I put you ‘till I climb up dere. I don’ wan’ you movin’ ‘round an’ fallin’ off, /hein/?”

Sarah nodded, and he shifted her in his arms, lifting her well above his head until she settled onto the roof, gripping the gutter tightly. He hopped down quickly, grabbing the blanket, and then sprang off of the opposite railing, landing nimbly on the roof next to Sarah.

He grabbed her hand, having to pry it from the gutter as she stared nervously at the ground four stories below. She finally relinquished her grip, and let him pull her to her feet. She gripped his hand tightly as he walked her over to his usual spot.

Remy sat down, and Sarah sat next to him. “This is m’fav’rite spot up here. Really beautiful bein’ able to see all dis.” He said, gesturing out at the forest below and the moon and stars over their heads.

Sarah relaxed, now sitting near Remy. “It’s nice back here where you can’t tell how high up you are.”

Remy chuckled. “Yeah. We’ll stay out here ‘long as you want, /petite/,” he said, and laid back putting an arm behind his head. Sarah followed his example, scooting up next to him so the back of her head rested in the crook of his shoulder, and she snuggled close, putting an arm over his chest.

Remy shook out the blanket he’d brought, and draped it over them – the chilly air didn’t bother him, but he saw Sarah’s cheeks already turning pink from the cool air, and he could see their breaths billowing out in a white fog of condensation in the moonlight.

They both looked up when the heard a noise below them, and they saw Rogue poke her head over the top of the roof. She looked surprised when she saw Sarah. “Oh, Ah’m sorry, didn’ realize you were…” She trailed off, and started to move back down to her balcony. “Ah’ll just-“

“It’s okay, Rogue,” Sarah called out. “C’mon up here with us.”

Rogue looked back up hesitantly, and Sarah smiled at her. She nodded, and pulled herself onto the roof, walking unsteadily over to them.

“You can lay down here with us,” Sarah said, patting the roof next to her with her hand.

“Ah don’ want to interrupt your time together….” Rogue said.

Remy shook his head. “You won’. Sarah an’ I want y’out here wit’ us.”

Sarah smiled at Rogue as she sat down next to her. “You have a bad dream too?” She asked Rogue.

Rogue shrugged. “No, Ah jus’ couldn’t get t’sleep, an’ then Ah heard you guys up here.”

Rogue leaned down, propping her head up with her hand. “Did you have a bad dream?” She asked Sarah.

Sarah pouted, and nodded. “Yeah. I got Remy to take me up here ‘cuz this is where he goes when he has them.” She said.

Rogue smiled, and looked past her to Remy. He shot her a smile, and then moved his arm under Sarah’s head, laying it straight out. “You can try getting’ t’sleep out here wit’ us, /Chére/.”

Sarah nodded, and squirmed so she was pressed closer to Remy, and looked expectantly at Rogue.

Rogue grinned, and moved over to lie down next to Sarah. She rolled onto her side, and rested her cheek on Remy’s outstretched arm.

Sarah looked worriedly at her when she moved to put her free arm out over Sarah and Remy. “Am I hurting you Rogue?”

Rogue glanced down and realized Sarah’s shoulder bone-growths were digging into her arm. She looked up at Sarah, and shook her head. “No, sweetie, you don’ hafta worry ‘bout hurtin’ me. Ah… Ah developed some new powers the other day, an’ one of them makes it really hard ta hurt me.” Rogue said.

Sarah nodded, and settled her head back onto Remy’s shoulder, now having to worry only about if she was hurting Remy.

Shortly after, her eyelids began to droop. “G’night Remy, G’night Rogue.” She whispered sleepily.

“Goodnight, Sarah.” Rogue said.

Before long, Rogue found herself drifting off as well, and was dimly aware of Remy moving the blanket to cover her as well, before she fell asleep.

Remy looked fondly at the two sleeping girls – his girls, he thought in wonder to himself. Rogue, his girlfriend; and Sarah, a girl he was coming to think of as his own child.

The events of the past several weeks, while many of them unpleasant, had played out in a way that had brought Sarah and Rogue into his life, and he didn’t think he could be any happier.

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A/N: Hope y’all liked this chap. Figured I’d tease you guys a bit first with Rogue’s dream (grins). So, official Romy is now here!

Right now it looks like I’ll be keeping up the update once a week at least until around the middle of August. After that, school starts up again and I’ll be busy once again and likely back to 2-3 weeks between updates, so I hope I don’t spoil you guys too much here. :-)

Next chap: lots more Romy, a bit more on Rogue’s new powers, visit to Boston, and some more plot development. See you all next week!

Oh, and so that the ASPCAC (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Alarm Clocks) doesn’t sue me: “no alarm clocks were harmed in the making of this chapter”. :-D
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