Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Untouchable Rogue

Taking a Chance

by slickboy444 0 Reviews

Mystique recruits Rogue before the Xmen and gets caught up in the growing conflict. But everything changes when she starts falling for their leader, Scott Summers. Scott/Rogue.

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: R - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Cyclops, Rogue - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2007/03/23 - Updated: 2007/03/23 - 6536 words

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Untouchable Rogue
Chapter 2: Taking a Chance


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

The week moved on like any other for the X-men. The Professor kept himself busy looking up new mutant signatures, Ororo spent some extra time with her sister and nephew, and Logan scoped out the rodeo as it entered town. For Scott, Jean, Kurt, and Kitty it was a little less productive. After their initial encounter with Rogue, they had kept their distance. She remained hostile and untrusting not just to them, but to everybody. But Scott remained hopeful his chat with her hadn't been in vain.

Rogue shared only one class with any of them. Luckily, the class she shared was with Scott. He didn't pester her, wanting Rogue to decide for herself. But she hadn't said more than two words since her first day. For all he knew she ripped up that paper with his number on it the second he left. It was stressful for Scott because he felt as though he could really connect with Rogue, but she expressed little desire to connect back.

"Scott?" said Jean, knocking on his bedroom door.

"Door's open, Jean," said Scott with a restless tone.

Jean entered, finding Scott slumped over his computer with a look in his eye that hinted he hadn't moved from this spot for a while.

"Are you still working on that paper?" said Jean, the look on his face a clear giveaway, "You've been at it all afternoon."

"I know," sighed Scott, "I just want to get it done so I can have a clear head for my math test on Friday."

"But that paper isn't due until Monday."

"I know. I just...I want to get it out of the way."

Jean cast Scott a skeptical look. She knew him well enough to understand why he did these things. But it didn't make them any less annoying.

"Right...I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with Rogue," she said, folding her arms assertively.

"It doesn't!" said Scott, "Well...okay, maybe a little. It's been three days and she hasn't said a word. I thought I really got through to her."

"Scott, give it a rest," said Jean in a frustrated tone, "Rogue's a complicated person. She probably just needs time."

Rubbing the sore temples of his head, Scott let out an exasperate sigh.

"I know," he said in defeat, "I guess I set my expectations too high."

"No, it just shows you have hope and there's nothing wrong with that."

That got Scott to smile, helping to ease his mood. Jean smiled as well, happy to get through his stubborn will of his.

"You need to unwind," said Jean, "Why don't you come with me and Logan to the rodeo? That may get your mind off things."

"Rodeo, huh?" said Scott, looking over at the clock, "What time does it start?"

"8:00."

"Damn," muttered Scott, "Sorry Jean, but I just have a lot of catching up to do."

"Scott..." groaned Jean in frustration.

"I know. It's not healthy," admitted Scott, "But I'd rather keep myself busy tonight."

Jean wanted to push further, but Logan was leaving soon and she didn't have all night to convince him. Scott was in one of his moods where he distracted himself with work to take his mind off whatever was bothering him. He always did this when he was stressed and it worried her a great deal, but she conceded for the sake of not keeping Logan waiting.

"Fine," she sighed, "But one of these days, you're going to burn yourself out. And I'm not looking forward to seeing you dragged off by the men in white coats."

"Guess I'll just have to make sure you're sound asleep when they haul me off," said Scott, managing a lighthearted joke despite his mood.

"You need to work on your sarcasm."

"I know. I'll see if I can squeeze that in later tonight," said Scott with a grin, "In the meantime at least one of us should enjoy the night."

"It's also a recruitment run," reminded Jean, "Wish me luck."

"Hope it's better than mine."

With one last concerned look Jean left Scott to his work. It still worried her, but she had a recruitment mission to attend to. Scott was just so stubborn at times and this situation with Rogue really had him on edge for some reason. Right now he was entrenched in this mindset of his and there was nothing she could do about it. And while she had a rodeo to look forward to, Scott had a night of homework on hand.

Looking at his half completed paper, Scott let out a tired sighed. Jean may have been right about him trying to distract himself from the whole Rogue situation, but that didn't make it any easier. He had so many things on his mind there seemed to be no end to it.

"Man it's going to be a LONG night," he groaned as he got back to work.

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

Across the city of Bayville, the residents of the Brotherhood boarding house were up to their usual late afternoon activities. Lance was practicing on his guitar and Todd was lounging on the couch watching TV. And as always, Rogue secluded herself in her room with books and homework.

Mystique was a no-show like always, running off to do errands for whoever it was ran this crazy club. It irked Rogue to no end that she put so much emphasis on her duties as a subordinate than her duties as a mother, but she kept her silence on such matters for the sake of not making things worse. It didn't help that she left her and the boys unsupervised. It already showed in the declining state of the house, but Rogue wanted no part of it. The boys of the Brotherhood weren't easy to get along with so she kept her distance. But that didn't stop them from annoying her.

"Hey Roguey! You still alive in here?" said Todd as he hoped into Rogue's room unannounced.

"Dang it, Todd! How many times to Ah have to tell ya, DON'T call me that!" she scorned.

"Sorry girlfriend, but you need some air. What the hell you been doing all afternoon anyways?"

"None of your business," said Rogue, throwing one of her books at the annoying teen, "Just leave meh alone."

"Fine! Sorry I showed a hint of concern. Just thought you might want to go out for a little fun while yo' mama's at that rodeo recruiting that guy she told us about."

"Ah'll pass," said Rogue indifferently.

"Suit yourself," shrugged Todd, "But seriously Roguey, you need to get our more. You're pale enough as it is."

Rogue tossed another book at him, but he just jumped out of the way and left her to her solitude. She let out a frustrated sigh and slammed the door. She rubbed her sore temples and looked out the window to watch Todd and Lance drive off. There was never any telling what kind of trouble those two could get into, but Rogue wanted no part of it. Nevertheless, Todd he was right about her needing to get out more. She was miserable at school, miserable at home, and miserable all around.

It didn't help that Mystique had been running off so much lately. She was becoming more focused on her job than her daughter and it was getting really frustrating. She thought that living with her would help make up for all the lost time they racked up when she was away, but now she was giving them even more to make up. It was a complete no-win situation and Rogue hated it.

"Ah need a life," she groaned, collapsing on her bed.

Looking over at the clock, she saw it was nearly eight. The sun was setting and there was nothing to do. The boarding house wasn't exactly a playground. Other than the TV in the living room and the gym in the basement, there weren't many activities to pass the time. Usually homework and books were Rogue's main source of entertainment. Turning to her side, her eyes drifted towards her dresser. Aside from all the makeup and goth clothing she had strewn about, there was the small slip of paper Scott had given her earlier in the week.

Reaching over, she picked up the slip of paper and read over the fateful number. For a moment, she debated with herself over what to do. Sure, Scott seemed like a nice guy, but he was from a different world. She was part of the Brotherhood and he was a part of the Xavier Institute. They were sworn enemies, yet he reached out to her more than anybody in the Brotherhood had so far. And for that reason, she couldn't help but be curious.

'Ah can't believe Ah'm thinkin' this. Mama would hate it and it's not like we've got all that much to talk about. But still...'

Rogue let out a defeated sigh. This evening wasn't going by any faster and if she was this bored, she might as well do something to get her mind of it. And besides, she might as well see what the big deal was about with these X-men.

"Oh what the hell," she said to herself, reaching over to her window and picking up the phone she kept in her room in case her mother called, "Ah hope Ah don't regret this."

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

Back at the Xavier Institute, Scott was stuck. His paper still wasn't finished and fatigue was catching up with him. On top of that, a major headache was forming. He had already taken some aspirin, but it was slow to act. He could no longer concentrate so he closed his books and collapsed on his bed with an exhausted sigh. Looking over at the clock, he wondered if he should have gone with Jean. A rodeo would have been a lot less frustrating than this. Maybe a nice long break would help.

"Maybe Jean was right," he said to himself, "I am going to drive myself crazy at this rate."

His eyes started drooping and he let out a tired yawn. Maybe an early start on sleep would help. He sure couldn't do any worse. But just as Scott was beginning to nod off, his cell phone rang.

"Who could that be?" he groaned, "It better not be Paul playing phone pranks again."

Flipping open his phone, he saw it was an unknown number. Curious, he answered.

"Hello?"

No response.

"Hello? Is anybody there?" he asked again.

Over on the other line, Rogue bit her lip. She wasn't sure what to say. She didn't even know why she bothered calling. But there was no turning back now.

"Hey," she said.

"Rogue?" said Scott, his eyes widening at the sound of her voice.

"How'd ya know it was me?"

"Uh...accent," said Scott, his fatigue quickly fading.

Rogue mentally slapped herself, but it was nice knowing he could pick out her voice over the phone. It wasn't like they had talked much, but it showed he remembered her. Something about that made her smile.

"So uh...what's up?" she asked, not knowing what else to say.

"What's up?" said Scott with a slight chuckle, "You haven't said a word to me or anybody else all week. Is something wrong?"

"What? No!" said Rogue defensively, "Ah'm just bored outta mah mind. There's nothin' to do here."

"So you called me," said Scott, smiling to himself, "Guess I should be honored."

"Don't let it go to your head, Summers," she scorned, "Yer the one who gave me yer number."

"I know. I just didn't think you'd use it."

"Well to be fair...neither did Ah."

While the two teens couldn't see it, they both smiled. It was awkward and unexpected, but it sure beat being alone and miserable on a school night.

"So...how's Bayville treating you?" asked Scott, staring up a new conversation.

"Sucks ass," she quipped, "Did Ah look like Ah was havin' fun all week?"

"Point taken," sighed Scott, "But it'll get better. High school's never been easy for me either."

"Speak for yourself. Ah took ya for a grade grubber."

"Well you'd be right. Sure, I get good grades, but that doesn't mean I really go crazy over it."

"So then why do ya do it?"

"Because it's the right thing to do," said Scott, lying back casually on his bed, "I figured since I got a second chance here at the institute, I might as well use it."

"A man of principle Ah gather," said Rogue, her voice dripping with sarcasm, "Ah've never cared too much for that stuff. Nobody really gave two squats about meh back home. Mah mama, Mystique, was gone for months on end."

Scott's eyes widened with shock upon hearing that last part. He shot up slightly in his bed, not knowing if he heard her right. She was Mystique's daughter. That took a moment to process. He never took shape shifter to be the mothering type, but then again it would explain why Rogue was so distant. He made a mental note to mention this to the Professor later on.

"Wow...you're mother is Mystique?" said Scott with shock.

"Adopted mother," muttered Rogue, "Ah don't remember mah real parents."

"Oh...I know how that feels," said Scott, finding it hard to believe that Mystique had maternal instincts, "I'm an orphan too."

"Yeah right," muttered Rogue, "You?"

"It's true," said Scott seriously, "Do you think I'd joke about something like that?"

Rogue was silent, now feeling bad for what she said. But in a sense, it was oddly comforting that she had something in common with this boy.

"Ah'm sorry," she said.

"Don't be," assured Scott in a lighthearted tone, "It's more than enough that you've taken the time to call me."

"Don't get cute, Summers."

"What? You don't like cute?" he said, getting a little more playful.

"Ah like it fine," said Rogue, leaning back on her bed, "Just not when someone acts like a smart ass."

"Duly noted. I'll just stick to cute."

"Aw, such a gent," she said in a sarcastic, yet playful tone, "Sure you weren't born in the South too?"

"I'll double check my birth certificate just in case," said Scott, starting to enjoy himself.

It was a strange feeling, talking to another person with such ease. And Rogue was actually enjoying it. This was probably the first decent conversation she'd had with someone since her powers manifested. She was actually smiling and laughing, a rare event especially for her.

"Are you laughing, Rogue?" said Scott playfully.

"No!" she said, getting defensive again.

Scott gave her the silent treatment, making it clear he was not convinced. It only took a few minutes of awkwardness before Rogue conceded.

"Fine," she said, "Ah was laughing. But if you tell a soul..."

"Oh my lips are sealed," assured Scott, "Trust me, if there's one thing we mutants can do, it's keep a secret."

"Good enough for meh, boy scout," said Rogue, smiling as she lay back in her bed, "So tell meh...how do you survive high school in this crazy northern jungle."

"It's a long, arduous story," sighed Scott.

"Ah don't mind listening," shrugged Rogue.

"Well..." said Scott, taking a deep breath, "It goes like this..."

And for the rest of the evening, Scott and Rogue kept talking. They went through a wide range of subjects ranging from school to upbringings. Rogue told Scott a few stories about growing up in the south and Scott talked about his early years at the mansion. They left out certain intimate details given that this was their first real conversation and trust they were still working on trust. But the conversation kept going and it wasn't long before they lost track of time. The sun set and restlessness subsided. For two people who shouldn't have had a lot in common, they kept finding new things to talk about. It was completely unexpected, but they were quick to embrace it.

"So this danger room thing actually makes stuff real from holograms?" said Rogue, still lying on her bed, relaxed and at ease for the first time in a long while.

"Yeah, I don't know the exact science of it," said Scott, "But it works. I have the scars to prove it."

"Sounds a lot better than here. All we have is a gym in the basement and Ah'm the only one who uses it."

"You work out?" said Scott, still learning new things about this girl.

"Been doin' it for years," she said proudly, "Mah mama was big on teaching meh self defense. Ah was a black belt by the time Ah was eight and Ah like to keep mah skills up to par."

"Wish some of the others here had your dedication," sighed Scott, "Kitty and Kurt are good, but they don't take training seriously enough."

"Ah know how ya feel," sighed Rogue, "Nobody here at the Brotherhood trains. It's like they expect their powers will win every fight."

"They'll be in for a shock if they get in a situation where they can't use them."

"That's what Ah've been sayin'. But do they listen?"

"Nope! Never."

Scott and Rogue shared another good laugh. Rogue wasn't used to laughing this much, but she couldn't help it. Scott Summers sure wasn't the guy she thought he was. He was actually nice to talk to. It meant a lot to her since she had so little reason to smile lately.

"We're gonna go crazy one day, ya know?" said Rogue.

"I don't doubt that," sighed Scott, "Sanity is a luxury in this world."

"So how do you propose we stay sane?"

"I don't know...but doing what we're doing right now sure helps."

"Yeah...it does," said Rogue with another smile.

There was another silence between them, but they had grown accustomed to the feeling. It wasn't so awkward anymore. Comfortable silence was a rare thing in a conversation, but somehow they made it work. They had lost themselves in a conversation at a time when they needed it. Rogue couldn't help but feel grateful. Scott really made her smile. And if she wasn't mistaken, this conversation was more than just friendly.

"Scott..." began Rogue.

Suddenly, Rogue heard footsteps across. Knowing that it could only belong to her mother, she looked at the clock and panicked.

"Ah hell! Mystique's back," said Rogue, "Ah can't believe Ah lost track of time!"

"What? But it's only..."

However, Scott too was surprised to see that nearly three hours has passed since they started talking. It sure didn't feel like it had been that long, but they had little time to reason why at the moment.

"Ah'm sorry, Scott. Ah've gotta go," she said, "Thanks for the chit chat. Ah'll talk to ya later."

"Yeah...later," said Scott.

As they both hung up, Scott fell back on his bed, looking at his phone with a big smile on his face. He couldn't believe someone who shut so many people out could be such a fun person to talk to. Now he actually had something to look forward to at school tomorrow. And despite having a three hour conversation with her there was so much more he wanted to know about this girl, maybe more so than he was willing to admit.

Back at the Brotherhood house, Rogue put her phone away. She kicked herself for letting it drag on for so long, but she couldn't help it. Talking to Scott was so different. She never carried a conversation on that long. But there was something about this boy.

"Rogue? Are you still up?" said Mystique, knocking on her door.

"Uh...yeah, mama. Just reading," she said, quickly grabbing her book.

"Well come downstairs," she said, "We've got a new member I'd like you to meet. His name is Fred Dukes."

"Ah'll be right down," she said.

Mystique, having no reason to believe she had been talking to an X-man went back downstairs. Rogue let out a sigh of relief, glad she had side-stepped that little drama. She knew her mother wouldn't approve of her befriending the enemy. But she didn't concern herself with such matters at the moment. Talking to Scott made her happy and if her mother couldn't accept that then it was her problem.

'Dang, that Scott Summers is really something. He might actually give meh a reason to go to school tomorrow.'

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

The next day, Scott was restless. Staying up late while talking to Rogue really did a number on him. But it had been worth it. He found a genuinely nice person to share a conversation with. He went over every detail of their talk before he fell asleep last night, analyzing all the ways it was so amazing. He went to sleep with a smile. However, when he told some of the others, they were a lot more skeptical.

"So let me get this straight," said Kurt as he walked with Scott to class, "You spent nearly three hours talking to Rogue last night? The same Rogue who hasn't said more zhen two vords since she got here?"

"I kid you not man," affirmed Scott with a grin, "We really clicked. I totally lost track of time talking to her."

"Dude! She's still Rogue!" reminded Kurt, still not convinced, "How did you manage to keep her on zhe line?"

"Believe it or not, Kurt, she's really fun to talk to. Did you know she learned karate and boxing when she was eight? Did you know she's loves swimming? She also loves to read and even told me she wants to be a writer one day."

"Sounds like you two had some real chemistry going," said Kurt with a grin.

Scott blushed, rubbing the back of his neck. He tried not to think of it in that sense, but it was hard to deny when he looked back on it.

"It's...not like that," said Scott, "It was just one conversation."

"One that lasted three hours," reminded Kurt.

"True, but that doesn't mean we're...you know."

"Vhatever dude," shrugged Kurt, "Just be careful. She's still Rogue."

"I know," said Scott, "But there's a lot more to her than I thought. I'm going to try and keep talking to her."

"Zhink zhat'll get her to join the institute?"

"Right now, she doesn't need the institute. I think the best thing she could have right now is a friend."

"Right...a friend," said Kurt, laughing again.

As the bell rang for first period, Kurt and Scott stopped by their lockers to get their textbooks. Scott kept looking around for Rogue, but she tended to avoid crowds so he gave up quickly. Talking on the phone was one thing. Socializing in this hostile world was another.

Down the hall, Kitty and Jean emerged from the growing crowd with their books in hand. Jean was restless after having stayed late at the rodeo. It didn't help that the guy they were trying to recruit was picked up by Mystique. Add to that, Scott told her about his long chat with Rogue. And for many reasons, that didn't sit right.

"So, like, how's this new guy? I hear he's already left his mark on the lockers," said Kitty.

"You mean Fred? He's alright," said Jean, "When he doesn't get temperamental, that is."

"Are you still going to keep trying? I hear Mystique already has him on the hook."

"Couldn't hurt to keep the doors open," shrugged Jean.

"You mean like with Scott and Rogue?"

Jean shifted uncomfortably upon hearing that. It shouldn't have been a big deal. Scott was just reaching out to a potential recruit. It didn't mean anything more than that. At least that's what she kept telling herself.

"Jean? Hey Jean?" said Kitty, concerned with her friend's lack of response.

"Huh? Oh, sorry Kitty. Just spaced for a moment."

"Right," said Kitty, not convinced for a moment, "Don't tell me Rogue has you worried. So she talked to Scott. Big deal."

"I know. It's just..."

"I mean it's not like she's attracted to him," the young valley girl continued, "It's not like they're going to..."

"Kitty!" said Jean, stopping her cold.

"What? What did I say?"

Jean wanted to scorn her friend, but held herself back. She had no reason to be angry. Rogue probably wasn't attracted to Scott. She didn't strike her as one to be attracted to someone like him anyways. But the thought still concerned her.

"Nothing," said Jean, "I just..."

"Just what?" asked Kitty, "Come on, Jean. What's up?"

"Never mind," she said, shaking her head, "Forget about it."

Kitty was tempted to push further, but Jean made it clear that this was a sore subject. So despite her better judgment, she let it go for now as they approached the boys.

"Ladies," said Kurt, closing his locker.

"Hey," said Jean, "You guys ready?"

"I am," said Scott, "But it looks like that rodeo wore you out."

"Don't remind me," said Jean with a yawn.

"You know, there has been an invention called coffee zhat could help," commented Kurt.

"Thanks for this groundbreaking news, Kurt, but I'll manage," said Jean.

"Fighting school, Mystique, and training without caffeine," grinned Scott, taking her arm as they walked to class, "Logan would be so proud."

Jean laughed, the earlier tension lightening with the presence of her best friend. Even though the situation with Rogue bothered her, it didn't stop her and Scott from being friends. No matter what happened, she didn't want something so important to be compromised.

But while she and Scott were walking to class hand in hand, Rogue caught a glimpse of them from down the hall. She had come in late looking for Scott, hoping to catch him before the final bell. But seeing him hold hands with that redhead changed her plans.

'Damn. Ah can't believe Ah fell for it.'

It finally made sense. Now she knew why he acted the way he had. He put himself out there making it sound like he understood her so she would be attracted to him. But it was all fake. Locking arms with his girlfriend proved that. Rogue was beyond angry. She had her first peaceful rest last night since her powers manifested after talking to Scott. Yet in the three hours they talked, he never went into a lot of detail about this Jean girl. From the looks of it, they were close. And from her perspective, it was too close.

With a renewed bad mood, Rogue stormed off to class, ready for another miserable day.

'How do Ah keep gettin' into these messes? Dang it, Scott. Why did talkin' to you have to mean so much?'

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

Later that day, Scott restlessly walked into his sixth period English Lit class. So far the day had been more eventful than he would have liked. This new guy from the Brotherhood, Fred Dukes, was really bad news. He and Duncan Mathews ended up causing a food fight in the cafeteria. In the end, he stepped in and Fred didn't take to kindly to it. But Jean wouldn't give up on him and it gave him a bad feeling.

Scott was glad that at least he would have a chance to talk to Rogue in this class. He hadn't seen her all day for some reason. He kept looking for her, but she stayed out of sight. But as he walked in and sat down next to her, he quickly picked up on her mood.

"Hey Rogue," he greeted, "What's up? You okay?"

She just turned away from him, not even making eye contact.

"Rogue? Is something wrong?"

There was still no response, just the silent treatment. It surprised Scott since they ended their conversation last night on such a high note. It didn't make any sense. What had happened since then?

"Don't bother man," said Scott's friend, Paul, "She won't talk to anybody."

Rogue heard that, but ignored it, keeping her focus away from Scott. She'd let him keep trying, but it wouldn't do him any good. She thought she could trust him, but he still wasn't honest with her. It was proof enough he was just another tool for Xavier.

Scott didn't say another word. He just sat down and as class started. But he couldn't keep himself from looking over at Rogue, watching her as she kept to herself the whole time. But as their luck would have it, their paths just couldn't stop crossing.

"Okay people," said the teacher, "I know you don't want to hear this, but midterms are drawing near and based on these quiz scores, I don't think you all have been going over the plays enough. So in that case, we're going to have a little project."

A series of groans echoed through the room.

"I know. You don't want to do it. But for the sake of accommodating you're lack of interest, I'm letting you work in pairs for this. I'm going to assign two people a scene from a play to act out. You'll have until Monday to get it right and if you do well, it'll reflect on your test score, deal?"

Nobody argued, but it was still an assignment and nothing sucked more than assignments over the weekend.

"Alright then. First up, Mr. Summers, why don't you and Rogue do act four from the Glass Menagerie?"

"Ooh, fate is a cruel mistress," whispered Paul.

"Shut up," groaned Scott.

Scott looked over at Rogue with a solemn glance. Rogue didn't seem too enthusiastic about the assignment. But at least this would force her to sit down and talk with him. Maybe then he could find out what he did wrong.

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

After the final bell, Scott met up with Rogue at one of the picnic tables outside the cafeteria. He asked her if they could at least rehearse before they left, but the only response he got was a callous 'fine.' It wasn't a good sign, but he hoped she'd mellow a bit before then. But by the time they got started, she was still being stubborn.

"Come on, Rogue. We're not going to get a passing grade if you don't at least read the play," said Scott, growing increasingly frustrated.

"Why should Ah care?" she said bitterly, "Ah ain't the grade grubber here."

Slamming his book shut, Scott had reached his limits. Rogue was stubborn, but this was taking it too far.

"Okay, what did I do?" he said, not hiding his aggravation, "What did I do to make you hate me all over again?"

"What did ya do? What did ya do?!" shot Rogue, "Ah actually had a decent conversation with someone last night, thinkin' he really went out of his way for meh, only to find out this mornin' that he's just a lyin' teachers pet!"

"Whoa, back up," said Scott, "What happened this morning?"

"Ya can stop the game, Summers," she said bitterly, "Ah know what ya did. Ya acted like you were attracted to me only to get me to talk. That way Ah'd be more open to join yer little X-club."

Scott looked at her with a confused expression. He didn't know what she had seen to make her come to that conclusion. It wasn't so much that she called him a liar more so than she surmised he was attracted to her. That wasn't true. Was it?

"You think...Rogue, I don't know what you saw, but that's just wrong. Last night wasn't an act."

"Oh? Then why were ya so buddy with yer girlfriend this morning?"

"Girlfriend?" said Scott, still not knowing what she was talking about.

"Will ya quit playin' dumb already?!" she yelled, "Ah'm talkin' about you and the redhead!"

Scott's eyes widened with shock. He didn't remember anything that would send that message, but apparently Rogue took it as such.

"You mean Jean?"

"Whatever her name is! But Ah saw it!" she yelled, "You're such a pig, ya know that? Ya went out of yer way to make a girl feel special just to hang up and smooch with some pretty cheerleader! Do ya do this to all the girls ya recruit?"

Scott was against the wall. Rogue must have spent all day piecing this together. And judging from the way her makeup was starting to smear, it hit her hard. She was angry, more so than he could have imagined. It all happened so fast. She was really adamant about this, but Scott couldn't let it stand. Taking a deep breath, he reached over and placed his hand over hers.

"Rogue, Jean is not my girlfriend," he told her calmly.

"Yeah right," she said, pulling away.

"It's true," he went on, "She's my best friend. I've known her since I was twelve. What you saw in the halls wasn't unusual. We've always been close. But that doesn't mean we're...you know."

"Why should Ah believe you?" she said skeptically.

"Touch my head and absorb my memories if you want," offered Scott, "Go ahead and put me in a coma if it'll convince you. But last night was NOT an act! Just look at me, Rogue. Why don't you believe me?"

He recaptured her gloved hand with his, drawing her gaze to his face. Rogue didn't want to look, but she did anyways. His eyes were covered, but the look of sincerity he bore was unmistakable. Rogue still thought it was an act, but it was hard to look away when her emotions got the better of her.

"Ah...Ah just don't know if Ah can trust you," she said, still bitter.

"Then at least give me a chance to earn your trust," said Scott, "Friendship takes a while, but they're always worth having. That's why I'm so close to Jean. I treasure my friends. It's all that keeps me going sometimes. I know it's hard, but...if you at least give me the chance to show you, then maybe..."

Scott was never the best with words so he found himself trailing off. It did seem to calm Rogue. She didn't have that look of rage in her eyes anymore. It wasn't much, but it was a start. Friendship was an alien concept before. She never had many growing up. There was just so much she wasn't sure of.

"So...all that stuff about you bein' attracted to meh," she began, "What about that?"

"Well I..." stammered Scott, his face flushing bright red.

He wanted to deny it, but he couldn't get the words out. He didn't think he was attracted to her. He didn't think he dropped any hints. Then again, maybe he did without knowing. It wasn't like he was good with his emotions.

Scott kept trying to say something, but he kept stammering. Rogue actually found herself smiling at his predicament. It felt nice after being so angry and bitter all day. But it was enough to convince her that maybe he was telling the truth.

"Sorry, maybe Ah shouldn't have asked," she said, sharing in the embarrassment.

"No. You had every right to," said Scott, "I just...I didn't know I came off like that."

"Sorry if Ah thought ya did," sighed Rogue, "It is kinda stupid Ah guess, thinking a guy could find me attractive."

"Why do you say that?" said Scott, "You're beautiful, Rogue. You just push people away too much."

"Beautiful huh?" she said, smiling again, "So you do find me attractive?"

"Well uh..."

Scott fell into another trap. Rogue led him right into it and he followed. He didn't think too much about what he was saying, but there was no taking it back. But seeing Rogue smile was worth it.

"Damn yer gullible, Summers," grinned Rogue.

"You don't fight fair, you know that?" said Scott, still blushing.

"Well if it makes ya feel better...Ah think you're cute too."

Another round of embarrassment fell over them, but this time it wasn't as awkward. It was nice to get this out of the way. Rogue kicked herself for making such wild assumptions. She almost blew a chance at a real friendship. Luckily, Scott showed just how dedicated he was. It was something she couldn't help but admire.

"Look, Ah'm sorry for goin' off like this," she said.

"Don't worry about it," assured Scott, "It was a misunderstanding, that's all."

"You're too forgiving, ya know that?"

"I know I am," he smiled, "It helps let my friends know I'll still be there for them even when we're not on the best of terms."

Rogue smiled again, feeling so much better that they got this straightened out. Scott was a genuinely nice guy. She didn't think people like him existed. But in this case, she was glad to be wrong.

"Tell you what," he said, "What do you say we forget about today and get back to..."

Suddenly, he was cut off by a familiar 'bamf' noise. And in a puff of smoke, Kurt appeared atop the table with an urgent look.

"Dude! Something's come up! Jean's gone missing!" he exclaimed.

"What?!" said Scott, shooting up from his seat, "Where? What happened?"

"I'm not sure, but zhe Professor says zhat Blob guy is involved. Cerebro traced them to zhe junkyard!"

"Son of a..." grunted Scott, "I knew that guy was trouble! Let's get going! We have to find her!"

"Aye aye, captain!" said Kurt, grabbing his friend's shoulder and preparing to teleport away.

Looking over at Rogue, Scott saw a look of disappointment on her face. He knew Jean was in trouble, but he couldn't leave without setting things straight. He refused to make the same mistake twice with this girl.

"I'm sorry, Rogue. But I have to..."

"No...go ahead," she said in a low tone, "Go help yer friend. She needs ya."

With a conflicted look, Scott nodded and Kurt teleported him away. Once again, Rogue was left alone to think about what had happened. Only this time, she had a lot more to muse over. Her cynical side wanted to believe that Scott was still just leading her on, but the more she talked to him the harder it was to deny.

This guy actually wanted to be her friend. Even after she yelled at him with wild accusations, he stubbornly held firm. The guy really was dedicated to his friends. He just proved that again by going after Jean. That kind of dedication was something she couldn't touch. But it was something she desperately sought to experience.

'He really does care for his friends. He's willin' to go above and beyond to help them, even when they disrespect him.'

A wave of guilt consumed her for blasting him for trying to manipulate her through lies when in reality, she was the one liar. He wasn't giving up on her, even when she had. She couldn't just forget about something like that.

'Ah've gotta make this right. Scott went out of his way to help meh. It's time Ah return the favor.'

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

Up next: Rogue takes a chance to help the enemy for the price of a friend.
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