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

Growing Closer

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: 2007/03/30 - Updated: 2007/03/30 - 6499 words

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Untouchable
Chapter 3: Growing Closer


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

Mystique restlessly tapped her pen against her desk as she repeatedly checked the clock. It was getting late, too late for her tastes. Rogue was not the most punctual person in the world, but even she made an effort to be on time. She expected this sort of thing from Lance and Todd, but not her own daughter.

"Damn, where is she?" wondered the shape shifter.

They were supposed to meet half an hour ago. She specifically told her to come to her office when she was done studying to discuss new recruitment for the Brotherhood. Magneto was already working on that son of his and with Fred Dukes on board she had to get things squared away so she didn't become too distant from the group. The way she saw it the closer she was to them, the less likely she was to join Xavier. But she wasn't making it easy.

Her door opened, breaking her train of thought for a moment. But she was quickly disappointed to see that it wasn't Rogue. It was Lance and Todd.

"Mystique baby! What's shakin'? Where's Rogue?" asked Todd as he hopped in.

"If you want to keep your bones intact you won't call me that again," she said with a scowl, "And I don't know where Rogue is. I was hoping you two had a clue."

"Don't look at me," shrugged Lance, "Last I checked she was going over some assignment with Summers."

"Summers? As in Scott Summers from Xavier's?" said Mystique suspiciously.

"Yeah, but it was just an assignment. Didn't look like they were having a lot of fun with it."

Mystique was both relieved and curious. She didn't like her daughter being around the Xavier kids, especially Scott Summers. Even if it was for an assignment, that still didn't sit well with her. She just knew they were going to try and bring her to their side, which was something she was determined to prevent. Rogue may have been slow to adapt to life with the Brotherhood, but she refused to lose her. One way or another, they were going to have a nice long talk about this when she got back.

"Fine," she muttered, "Now where's Fred?"

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

In a junkyard just outside the city limits, Freddy "Blob" Dukes was on a rampage against the X-men. He had just arrived at Bayville and already people were making fun of him. First there was that Duncan Mathews jerk who called him stupid. Then there was the incident in the cafeteria where he slipped, causing everyone to point and laugh. It made him so angry. One person, however, was nice to him. Her name was Jean Grey. She was the first person to see past his appearance. He thought he had finally found a friend, but when she started pushing him away he refused to let her go without a fight.

After being knocked out in a scuffle in at school, he tied her up and set up a nice little date in an old shack. He intended on making this a night to remember, even if Jean resisted. Nobody was going to take this away from him. But that didn't stop some from trying. Wolverine showed up first, attempting to take Blob down with his claws. But he was just an insect that Freddy easily threw to the ground. Cyclops and Nightcrawler were next. But the more they fought, the angrier the Blob became.

"Is that all you got?" yelled Fred as Scott tried to blast him with his optic powers, "I'm the Blob! I'm invincible!"

"Where's Jean?!" yelled Scott, turning up the power.

"You're NOT taking her from me!" he shot, "I'll rip you apart before I let her go!"

"Sounds like my kind of challenge!" growled Wolverine, jumping on his head and putting him into a choke hold.

Blob fought furiously, causing more chaos. While this was going on, Jean was in the shack, levitating broken glass with her telekinesis to cut the ropes Fred had tied her with. Her head had a major cut, but she was determined to get out. Fred had taken this too far. She wanted to be his friend while he wanted more than she could give him.

"Come on! Come on!" she grunted, focusing her mind.

Finally, she got the ropes free and rubbed her sore wrists. After making quick work of the ones binding her feet, she looked to make her escape.

"Great. Now how do I get out of here?"

Suddenly, Kurt appeared in a puff of smoke.

"Hey zhere, mien friend," he smiled, "Need a lift?"

"You're a lifesaver, Kurt," smiled Jean, taking his hand as he ported her out.

Returning to the battle outside, Fred had Scott and Logan on the ropes. Logan had been slammed face first into the ground, causing a large indent while Scott kept trying to blast him. But he was an immovable behemoth, fighting harder with every ounce of determination they set forth.

"Can't...breathe!" grunted Logan, trying to fight Blob's imposing strength.

"Let him go, Fred!" yelled Jean, using her telekinesis to throw scattered car parts at the hulking Blob.

"Jean?" he said, loosening his grip momentarily, only to get a face full of car parts.

Now he was really mad. Not only was she insulting him, but she acted as though she liked him. Being made fun of was one thing, but being had was something else. And Blob was not going to let it stand.

"ERRRRRRRR! I'll show you!" he yelled.

Grabbing Logan by the face, he flung him right at Scott. When their bodies collided, they were knocked into a daze. Blob then turned his attention towards Jean and Kurt. He grabbed the nearest rusted car and lifted it with ease.

"Nobody makes fun of the Blob! Nobody!" he yelled, throwing it right at the duo.

"Oh boy," said Kurt, grabbing Jean and porting her out of the way before the car impacted.

Scanning the area, Blob grabbed another car and prepared to continue his assault. But while his attention was diverted, Rogue slipped into the scene unnoticed. After surmising that there was only one junkyard close enough to be the one Kurt mentioned, she ran through several back alleys to arrive on the scene. Her eyes quickly fell on the unmoving figures of Scott and Logan. Freddy was on a real rampage. It couldn't go on. And she just happened to owe Scott a favor.

"Sorry, Scott," she said, taking off her gloves, "Consider this mah apology."

Touching his forehead, Rogue felt the rush of Scott's powers and memories. She was careful only to get a little, but she still picked up on some memories. They were fuzzy, some depicting some really intense imagery, but she set aside those memories for the moment and focused on the task at hand.

"Hey Blob!" she said, drawing the unsuspecting teen's attention, "Ah know this ain't your strong point, but think fast!"

Before Blob could put down the car, Rogue unleashed the full power she had absorbed from Scott, hitting Blob with an optic blast with the equivalent force of a freight train. Caught out of position and unprepared, Blob couldn't resist this time and was sent flying.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Blob landed in a large pile of garbage nearly a mile away. He now had a face full of garbage. Above him, he heard the birds squawking away. Still fuming with rage, he yelled out.

"STOP MAKING FUN OF ME!"

Fred's voice was a faint echo as Rogue helped Scott and Logan up. Scott was a little slow from being drained, but okay nevertheless. Logan shook off her help, bearing a look of mistrust for the Southern Goth who was still part of the Brotherhood. But Rogue could care less what he thought. This was about helping a friend.

"Are ya alright, Scott?" she said, helping him back to his feet.

"Getting there," he groaned, "Is it always this draining?"

"It'll wear off," she assured.

Kurt and Jean then appeared, looking equally confused on what happened. As soon as Scott saw her, he set aside his pain and ran up to her.

"Jean!" he said, throwing his arms around her and pulling her into a close hug, "Are you okay?"

"I am now," said Jean with a smile, "Thanks to you guys."

"Ya got some taste in men, Jeannie," grunted Logan, "I hope I don't have to do this with future boyfriends."

"I'll try and be more careful, Logan," said Jean.

Turning towards Rogue, the redhead showed her gratitude. She may have been with the Brotherhood, but this showed her loyalty wasn't completely to them. She didn't have to help them and she'd surely get chewed out by the others when she got back. But that didn't matter to her. Helping her friend came first.

"I owe you one, Rogue," said Scott, smiling at the girl who had intrigued him so much.

"We both do," said Jean.

"No...you don't," she said as she turned and ran away.

Even though she tried to hide it, hearing those words felt good. Rogue was never one for emotions, but helping them felt right. However, this would surely upset her mother and make her life all the more complicated. Into the sunset, she disappeared. But Logan, Scott, Jean, and Kurt watched her the whole way. She had their gratitude, even if they didn't have her trust. It wasn't much, but it was something to build off of.

"Guess you were right about her, Scott," said Jean.

"Right nothin', she's still with the Brotherhood," reminded Logan.

"I know," sighed Scott, "But I think it's a good sign. She may not be one of us, but she's still a friend."

Jean smiled at Scott's words. Rogue's friendship with Scott still troubled her, but after what just happened she was less skeptical. Her intervention surprised everybody. Nobody else in the Brotherhood would have done what she did. She was different from them. Only time would tell if she was an ally. But to Scott she was a friend and that was good enough for now.

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

Rogue wandered Bayville for the next three hours, not wanting to go home directly to face her mother. Once Freddy told her what happened, she'd be furious. She helped the X-men while fighting one of her own members. There was no way she could talk herself out of this one. Her mother was going to let her have it. She hoped time would calm her down, but that didn't always work well with Mystique.

Keeping her cell phone turned off, she went home through the longest possible route. Along the way, she let her mind wander. The powers she absorbed from Scott had long faded, but some of the memories remained. They weren't much, but they were pretty intense. She saw faint images of a boy falling from a burning plane and living alone in an orphanage while his eyesight slowly deteriorated to the point where he had to wear a blindfold. There was a lot of loss, loneliness, and festering inner pain. It seemed strange that a guy surrounded with the support of many would have these kinds of thoughts, but that only made her more curious.

'Dang it! It's bad enough Ah can't get Scott out of mah head. Now he's in mah head.'

Letting out an exasperated sigh, Rogue thought back to that fateful fight with Scott. She couldn't believe she revealed she was attracted to him. She was Rogue, the pinnacle of anti-social behavior. And she was attracted to Scott Summers of all people. Sure, he was cute. He had a great body and a nice smile, but that was just hormones and nothing more. At least that's what she kept telling herself.

Approaching the Brotherhood house, she heard a the strong echoes of yelling. She recognized some of it as being her mother's while the rest sounded like Freddy. She was so not looking forward to confronting them. But unless she wanted to sleep on the streets, she had to see this through. Entering through the front door, she passed the living room where Freddy was on the couch while Mystique paced restlessly. She was rubbing her head, dealing with a heavy migraine. But when they both saw Rogue, anger ensued.

"YOU!" yelled Blob, getting off the couch and running towards the Southern goth, "I'M GONNA MAKE YOU PAY FOR..."

"ENOUGH BLOB!" shot Mystique, "Lay one hand on my daughter and you'll never gorge on solid foods again!"

"No way! Not after what she did!" shot Blob.

"I'll deal with her!" said Mystique strongly, "Go annoy Todd and Lance while Rogue and I have a little talk."

Fred was still fuming. Nothing would make him feel better than ripping that girl a new one. He shot her an angry glance, but she just scowled back in defiance. It was clear she had Mystique's tendencies, but that didn't mean Fred had to like it.

"Fine..." he said, storming off, "But she better watch herself!"

Once he was gone, Mystique folded her arms and cast Rogue a hard scold. She could take one of the Brotherhood members being bested by the X-men, but not when it happened at the hands of her own daughter. She was supposed to be one of them. And yet she helped them fight against one of her teammates.

"Well?" said the angry shape shifter.

"What do ya want me to say, mama?" replied Rogue, "That Ah'm sorry for stoppin' Freddy from goin' to town on the X-men?"

"It's a start."

"Well Ah'm not!" shot Rogue, "What was Ah supposed to do? Ah couldn't just let him..."

"He's one of us, Rogue!" yelled Mystique angrily, "You're supposed to help your teammates! Not the enemy!"

"Some teammates," scoffed Rogue, "Ever since Ah got here, Ah've put up with slime in mah bed and a broken floor boards from tremors. They don't seem to like meh and Ah honestly don't like them either. Hell, the X-men have been more welcoming!"

"They're the ENEMY!" reiterated Mystique, "You are not to associate with them! Do I make myself clear?"

Rogue stared down her mother's angry glance. She had never defied her like this, but she had to for the sake of keeping the only friend she had. She could have argued with her for hours on end, but Mystique was every bit as stubborn as her. And with that in mind, Rogue reluctantly capitulated.

"Fine," she conceded.

"And when you get a chance, apologize to Fred," she added, "This house is chaotic enough. I don't need internal conflicts."

"Whatever," said Rogue, not looking forward to that, "Now if you'll excuse meh, Ah have homework."

Mystique wasn't convinced. Rogue may have given in, but that didn't mean she had accepted her words. She was too stubborn for that. Shaking her head in frustration, the shape shifter collapsed on the couch. Working as a principal and a henchmen of Magneto was bad enough, but dealing with her daughter was a challenge all its own.

"Teenage daughters..." she muttered, "Now there's the real menace to humanity."

Up in her room, Rogue collapsed on her bed. It had not been a good day. First she fought with Scott, had a very awkward moment with him, and then went on to rescues him and his friends while pissing off her mother in the process. It wasn't fair. Nobody else had to deal with this shit. So why was fate so cruel to her?

"Mah life is hell," she groaned into her pillow.

She was tempted to let herself fall asleep like this. Perhaps tomorrow would be better. It's not like things could get any worse. Now she lived in a house where her mom was hostile and so were the guys she lived with. She might as well be living inside one of her morbid books.

Suddenly, her phone went off. Letting out a tired groan, she picked it up and answered it, hoping this would be quick so she could get back to moping.

"What is it?" she groaned.

"Hey," said Scott over the line, "Just calling because I never got a chance to say sorry about today and thank you for everything you did."

Rogue's face lit up, the life returning to her shattered spirit as a smile formed on her face.

"Uh...yer welcome, Scott."

There was a brief silence, but Scott had said what needed to be said.

"Well, I'll see you tomorrow. If you want, we'll forget about the mess today and make up for it. Deal?"

"Deal," said Rogue without hesitation, "Later sugah."

"Yeah...later."

The smile never left Rogue's face as she hung up. Even if her mom was angry and the rest of the Brotherhood hated her, she still had one reason to wake up in the morning. Her life may have been chaotic, but at least she could say she had a friend in the midst of so much chaos. Scott Summers was a nice guy who made her smile. And now that she had his thoughts going through her mind there was no denying that they were growing closer.

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

Days passed and despite the stern warnings of her mother, Rogue continued to hang out with Scott. She kept her distance from the rest of the X-men, but Scott understood. With such tensions it was easier to keep things simple. Talking to him became one of the only things keeping her sane in dealing with the Brotherhood and school. Whenever she was around him, it was the only time she smiled. That alone made him worth knowing.

Things didn't get any easier. Over the course of the next few weeks, Mystique brought in another recruit that caused nearly the same commotion as Freddy. His name was Pietro Maximoff, or Quicksilver as he liked to be called. And in true Brotherhood fashion, he was arrogant, rude, and cocky. He even hit on Rogue the first time they met, which almost earned him a one-way ticket to the emergency room from Mystique. It didn't make living in the Brotherhood house any easier, but Scott helped hold her together.

On Scott's end, it was equally eventful. Along with Pietro going to the Brotherhood, the X-men got a new recruit in Evan Daniels, Ororo's nephew. He got caught up in a conflict with Pietro that landed him in jail temporarily. Thankfully, he was proven innocent and was now undergoing training with the X-men under the codename, Spyke. Evan tended to be a little rebellious, caring more about skateboarding and hanging out than being an X-man. But he still had skill and the X-men helped refine it.

"Come on, kid! Don't slow down on us now!" yelled Logan from the end of the obstacle course.

Atop a large ramp with traps along every step, Evan rolled down on his skateboard, his body armed with boney spikes that he shot out at paintball guns and swinging mace. Jean also provided some hindrances along the way, but he kept he pushed forward.

"Fifth time's the charm!" grinned the young teen, firing spikes at incoming medicine balls.

"Don't get cocky, Evan," said Scott from up in the observation deck, "Here comes the home stretch."

"Piece of cake!"

Nearing a large gap covered with defenses, Evan skillfully swerved past a few paintball guns and hit a few lingering mace traps with his spikes. The finish line was just ahead. He was going to beat his best time. But before he could cross, a hidden mechanism in the floor came up and sprayed his path with super slick oil.

"What the...whoa!" he exclaimed, losing his balance and falling just short of the finish line.

Tumbling hard from the wipeout, he scrambled past the line with a frustrated grunt. He had been so close, only to be cut off by a cheap trick at the end.

"Hey! No fair!" he said, looking up at the observation deck, "You never said anything about a trap like that!"

"No, but I did tell you to expect the unexpected," said Scott over the loudspeaker.

"Man, what a jip!" frowned Evan, taking off his helmet.

"Get used to it, kid," said Logan, "Real missions won't be fair."

"Whatever," he said, catching his breath, "Still a cheap shot though."

Up in the observation deck, Scott recorded Evan's scores while Ororo and the Professor took note. Evan was still new to the team, but he was making progress despite the earlier complications that brought him to the institute.

"You're nephew is catching on, Ororo," commented the Professor.

"Yes, but I think his attitude still needs work," she sighed.

"He's a teenage boy. He's just got some growing up to do, that's all."

"Don't we all," she said with a lighthearted smile.

"Some more than others," said Scott, looking over Evan's stats.

As he logged the data into the computer, Kurt appeared besides him with his phone in hand.

"Hey Scott, your phone's going off again," he said, tossing his friend his ringing phone, "Nice ring tone by zhe vay. Very old school vith zhe Metallica songs."

"Uh...thanks Kurt," he said, stepping aside to answer.

Letting the Professor and Ororo finish the log, he flipped open his phone and answered.

"Hello?"

"Hey sugah. Did Ah call at a bad time?" came a familiar accented voice.

"Hey Rogue," said Scott, a smile forming on his face, "No, I just finished in the Danger Room."

"Glad Ah called then. Are ya too sore to grab a bite at the Gut Bomb?"

"The Gut Bomb? Sure!" said Scott, his night just perking up, "Why? Anything wrong?"

Rogue hesitated slightly, an act that didn't go unnoticed by Scott. Rogue may have been introverted, but she was not good at hiding her troubles. But she kept her poise despite her obvious hints.

"No reason," she said, her voice stammering, "I'd just rather hang with you than the rest of the boys here. Pietro's bein' a jerk again."

"He's ttill hitting on you?" asked Scott, anxious about such a notion.

"He never stopped," sighed Rogue.

"Well I'll get you out of there for a while," assured Scott, "Want me to pick you up?"

It was tempting for Rogue, but she was on thin ice with her mother as it is. And seeing her drive off with an X-man wouldn't help matters in the slightest.

"Better keep your distance," she sighed, "Ah'll wait for ya a couple of miles down the road."

"I understand," said Scott, "I'll be there in an hour."

"Sure thing. See ya then."

"Yeah. See you."

Closing his phone, a wave of concern came over Scott. Rogue sounded a little distant this time. She usually carried herself very well. It's part of what made her so interesting to be around. He had only known her a few weeks, but he could already pick up on when something was amiss. And she wasn't exactly good at keeping such things secret.

Scott started making his way towards the elevator. He had to shower and change before meeting up with Rogue. Along the way, he passed by Jean.

"Hey Scott," she greeted, "Want to watch a movie with me and Kitty tonight?"

"Sorry Jean, but I just promised to meet Rogue at the Gut Bomb for a bite. Rain check?" said Scott, still hurrying to the elevator.

"Oh...okay," said Jean, her expression sinking.

"We'll make up for it," assured Scott, "I promise. I'll see you later."

"Yeah...later."

With the clock ticking, Scott went upstairs to prepare for his little rendezvous with a Southern beauty while Jean hung back in an awkward state. While it was becoming increasingly common for Scott to hang out with Rogue, it was starting to get to her. There was something in the way Scott carried himself around her that made her wonder just how close he was growing to her.

Having been friends for years, Jean knew Scott very well. But recently, her feelings for him had grown a bit more complicated. She thought time would help put things into perspective, but Rogue's arrival had changed all that. It wasn't so much that she was with the Brotherhood. It was more so that she and Scott seemed to have chemistry. It was still unclear how strong it was, but it didn't stop her from worrying.

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

An hour later, Scott and Rogue were casually eating at a table in the Gut Bomb, a popular fast food restaurant not far from school. They had to be careful about meeting up. Rogue made up an excuse to go jogging and Scott picked her up at the end of the street. Since Mystique's mood wasn't getting any better, but it was worth it for Rogue. Besides, she was starving and a nice greasy burger was just what she needed.

"Easy Rogue, slow down," said Scott, laughing at her table manners, "You're eating like Kurt."

"Sorry," she said, swallowing a bite of a double cheeseburger, "Ah'm just really hungry. Ever since Fred joined the Brotherhood, food's been pretty scarce."

"I can only imagine," grinned the older teen, taking a sip of his drink.

Rogue tried not to make a fool of herself, but hunger did that to a girl. She spent half an hour putting on makeup for this outing to a simple fast food joint and she was already messing it up stuffing her face. But Scott didn't mind. She still had a long ways to go to match Kurt's level for table manners.

"Sorry about all the secrecy we've been havin' to go through," she said, taking a break from her burger, "Mystique's been bearin' down on me a lot more lately."

"Don't worry about it," assured Scott with a smile.

"She's really startin' to bug meh," she said in a frustrated tone, "She won't let meh have any friends except for the Brotherhood."

"Sounds pretty rough."

"You have no idea," she sighed.

"Bear in mind, I deal with Wolverine," reminded Scott, "And when he has a bad day, he takes it out on everybody."

"Just like mah mama," she laughed, "Hell, maybe they ought to date."

"Now that would be an interesting match. They'd probably kill each other in the first week."

"But at least it would give them something better to do than yell at us."

"As if they'd ever stop."

The two teens let out a round of laughs. With so much chaos with the Brotherhood and X-men, it was nice to get away. Scott and Rogue had grown fond of times like this, meeting up casually and talking about problems they couldn't tell others. Their friendship had grown a lot. But in some ways, it was growing beyond their grasp.

Scott and Rogue made small talk for the rest of the meal. When they finished, the hour was getting late. They had school tomorrow and their respective elders would chew them out if they weren't back by curfew. But that didn't stop them from drawing their little meeting out.

"Wanna go for a walk?" said Scott on a whim.

"Sure," smiled Rogue.

After throwing their trash away, the duo walked out past the parking lot and down the busy streets of Bayville. They stayed close, but Rogue kept her distance knowing one slip could knock Scott out cold. She had grown used to it somewhat, but deep down she wished she didn't have to.

They walked in a comfortable silence, enjoying the time they had together. Scott was tempted to ask why she called him out like this. He knew something was up, but he didn't confront her initially. He came to realize over the weeks that Rogue didn't like bringing up such matter off the bat. But since they had lightened things up, it was time to get the full story.

"So are you going to tell me or do you want to put it off?" said Scott, not wasting any time.

"Is it really that obvious?" she sighed.

Rogue diverted her gaze, weary of confronting this. She wasn't looking forward to it, but she didn't want to leave it hanging. It had been bothering her long enough.

"Come on, you can tell me," said Scott, "Is it about Mystique?"

"No. Not really," she said, still not looking him in the eye.

"Then what it is?" he asked, growing more curious.

Rogue bit her lip, knowing it was now or never.

"Well...remember what happened a few weeks ago with Blob? Ya know, when Ah used mah powers to absorb yours so Ah could stop him?"

"Of course," said Scott with a smile, "I still owe you big time for that."

"And Ah keep sayin' ya don't," she reminded, "But it's not just that."

Rogue stopped, causing Scott to hold up as well. They had entered a park just outside a mini-mall. It was quiet and more secluded than the busy streets. Here, it would be easier to open up. Even so, Rogue was not good at this sort of thing and struggled to get it out.

"When Ah absorbed your powers," she began, "Ah got more than just bazooka vision. There was more. Ah...got a rush of your memories too."

"Oh," said Scott, shifting slightly, "Uh...how much did you get?"

Rogue knew Scott was a very private person. He didn't like opening up. Even though she used her powers to save them, she invaded his privacy and got a lot more than she bargained for.

"Ah didn't get much," she assured, "Ah saw a plane crash, an orphanage, and a lot of loneliness. Some of it was pretty intense. It's kept me up a few nights."

Scott didn't say anything. Talking never made this any easier. He had hoped Rogue didn't get too much of his memories. Some of them were very unpleasant. He had been trying to shut them out for years, but they always came back to haunt him.

"Ah'm really sorry. Ah don't have a right to know these things about ya, but..."

"You have nothing to be sorry for," said Scott in a low tone, "You couldn't help it."

"That doesn't make it right."

"No...it doesn't."

There was an uncomfortable silence between them. The memories Rogue absorbed still hung strong. Images of a boy jumping out of a burning plane with his brother still haunted her. Watching that same boy grow up alone in an orphanage with the images of his parents' death scared into his mind was equally hard. It was more than she could have ever expected from a boy like Scott.

"Ah had no idea," said Rogue distantly, "Ah never thought...Ah mean, how do you live with somethin' like that and function as this strong leader type?"

"It still haunts me every day," said Scott with a deep sigh, "I don't like to show it, not even to my closest friends. But there are some things you just can't forget."

"Ah know," said Rogue, moving a little closer, "Ah can't imagine what it must have been like. But Ah've been there too, ya know? Ah don't even remember mah real parents."

"At least you had Mystique. She still cared about you growing up. It's a lot different at an orphanage, especially when you're brain damaged and nobody wants you."

The bitterness in Scott's tone silenced Rogue. He was a lot harsher than he intended, but this was a very tough subject for him. Only an elite few knew the details, Jean and the Professor being one of them. But even they couldn't understand the loneliness he felt with these memories haunting him every waking hour.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't..."

"No," said Rogue quickly, "Ya should."

Taking his hand, Rogue leaned into his warmth, lending what comfort she could. She had to be careful not to make skin contact, but it was better than nothing.

"I'm sorry you have to share my pain," said Scott, easing in this girl's presence.

"Scott, you've gone out of yer way to reach out to me when nobody else would. Sharin' a pain Ah can understand is the least Ah can do."

That got Scott to smile. Not many people could relate to what he had been through, but Rogue was special. She was more special to him than he could have imagined. Already, he had shared with her secrets he rarely talked about. But he took comfort in knowing a girl like her could understand.

"It sucks not havin' anybody," mused Rogue, "Ah know that better than most people. Back home, Ah was the outsider because Ah dressed and act so differently."

"Hey, that's what makes you unique," said Scott, playing with the white streak in her hair.

"Didn't stop others from teasing meh," she muttered.

"I can relate. Having brain damage in an orphanage is a license for everybody to give me a hard time. And it's because of that damage I can never control my powers."

"Ah know how much that sucks," she said in a morose tone, "Maybe that's why we keep risking our butts to hang out like this. We just want someone who understands."

"Yeah...maybe."

Another silence fell over them. This time, it wasn't as awkward. It was comfortable and reassuring, knowing they understood without having to say the words. Scott gave Rogue's hand a firm squeeze, sending a wave of shivers through her body. Even if their skin couldn't touch, his warmth was comforting. It was the first sense of security she felt since her powers manifested. She didn't want to let it go.

For Scott, it was a strange moment. For the first time, he was with someone who really understood what it was like to be trapped. Others like Logan, Kurt, and Jean could at least control their abilities to some extent. He and Rogue didn't have that luxury and it really went a long ways in relating to her.

Looking at her face through the red hue of his shades, she looked so beautiful in the moonlight. He wasn't afraid to think she was beautiful. His heart raced, unable to keep pace with his feelings. It was happening so fast. He wasn't even sure what was going on anymore.

"Rogue..." he said.

"Scott..." she said, drawn into the moment as well.

Slowly, their faces drifted closer. Time lost all meaning as a wave of new feelings surfaced. Neither of them knew what was happening. Hearts raced and common sense went out the window. Emotions were going full throttle. They were so close. Something was happening between them.

Then at the last second, Rogue pulled away.

"No," she said, diverting her gaze, "Ah...Ah'm sorry, Scott. Ah can't."

The world came rushing back to the both of them. It was like a splash of cold water to the face, leaving them both reeling with confusion.

'Wow...what just happened?' thought Scott.

Rogue turned away, hugging her shoulders. She couldn't believe what almost happened. Had she really lost that much control of herself? She could have killed him if they continued, but it was hard when she wanted so desperately to feel his touch.

"I'm sorry, Rogue. I..."

"Don't be sorry," said Rogue, "It's just...Ah'll level with ya, Scott. Ah may be attracted to ya more than a friend. You're the first person who's ever been halfway nice to me. Ah know it's stupid, but..."

"It's not," said Scott, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"Why? Don't tell me a guy like you can really like a gal like meh. Just because ya say Ah'm good lookin' doesn't mean anything can come of it."

Scott was silent. He wasn't sure how to respond to that. Rogue had become a great friend, but his feelings for her were still developing. He wasn't sure how deep they were or even if they were that serious. But Rogue already made it clear she felt something for him. Scot just didn't know how to process that.

"You shouldn't have to deal with this," said Rogue, tears forming in her eyes.

"Come on, Rogue," said Scott, not wanting to see her cry, "You mean more to me than a pretty face. I can talk to you about things I could never talk to anyone else about. That really means a lot to me."

"Ah know. It means a lot to meh too, but..."

"No buts," said Scott, drawing her gaze towards his, "I won't lie to you, Rogue. I'm attracted to you too. And I don't want us to avoid each other just because things get complicated."

There was a hint of anxiety in his tone. Scott could do so many special things, but dealing with his emotions wasn't one of them. Rogue understood that. She felt foolish for revealing she may be developing feelings for him, but knowing he may have the same feelings helped. However, her powers remained the major obstacle.

"What about...ya know," she said, looking down at her hands.

"Things can change. I know that better than most people," said Scott, giving her hands a firm squeeze, "You may be able to control your powers one day. I could still be blind, but I learned some degree of control because of the help I got from the Professor. You just need to have hope and not shut the world out."

It was a far out concept. Being alone for so long left little room for hope in Rogue's life. She never had much to look forward to except the life her mother laid out for her. But if Scott, a guy who lost so much, could still hold on and become this wonderful person, then why couldn't she? It was a lot to think about, but as she felt his grip a sense of comfort came over her.

"Ya really think mah powers will change?"

"I don't know for sure," said Scott honestly, "But I do have hope."

Rogue still wasn't sure, but knowing he had faith was enough to get her to smile again. It felt good having the support of someone who understood. Maybe having feelings for him weren't so outlandish after all.

"Come on, let's get some desert before we go back," he said, "Let's not let drama ruin the rest of the night."

"Yer a real gent, Scott," smiled Rogue, taking his hand in hers, "But this time, Ah'm buyin'."

Smiles returned as the easy going spirit from earlier returning despite the emotional moment they just endured. It was a strange experience for Rogue. He really did have an affect on her, more so than she ever could have imagined. Scott couldn't escape it either. A close bond was forming between them. They may not be able to take it very far because of Rogue's powers, but that didn't stop their feelings from growing.

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

Up next: Thing develop for Scott and Rogue while a chance to go further comes from an unexpected place.
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