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.
Chapter 9: Staying Away
Scott didn't hear from Rogue for the rest of the weekend. He called her numerous times, but he only got her voicemail. He didn't know Mystique had found out. He didn't know that she was being forced to make a decision between her mother and her boyfriend. The longer he didn't hear from here the more concerned he became. He hoped everything was alright and anxiously awaited the moment he could talk to her again.
The new week at school began like any other. There were tests to take, lectures to sit through, and homework to be done. It was typical by all accounts for the X-men and Monday was its usual drag.
"I'm and so not ready for my trig test this week," groaned Kitty as she, Kurt, Scott, Jean, and Evan walked through the halls, "I studied three hours last night and I still don't remember a thing."
"That's what you get for taking pre-calculus as a freshman," shrugged Evan, who was carrying his skateboard, "Gotta take baby steps when it comes to math."
"For some, maybe," said Kitty, "But I need it if I'm going to take AP courses."
"Good luck," said Kurt with a laugh, "I vouldn't last two veeks in zhose classes."
"It's not THAT bad," said Jean, who had taken a few, "You just have to be willing to do the work."
"Easy for you to say Miss Valedictorian," commented Evan, "Not everybody has your smarts."
"Evan, if you spent half the time studying as you do skateboarding..." began Jean.
"Wow, don't even go there," said Evan, holding his hands up in defense, "You have your passions, I have mine."
Jean rolled her eyes. Evan wasn't the most stellar student, mostly because of his work ethic. His stubbornness was hard to overcome, but if he was going to escape extra danger room duty he'd have to buckle down soon.
"Speaking of passions, you've been awfully quiet zhis morning, Scott," commented Kurt, "Anything vrong?"
With his hands in his pockets, Scott sighed. His anxiety got worse when he didn't see Rogue in the halls this morning. Either she was caught up in something or she was avoiding him. Either way he had a bad feeling about it.
"It's Rogue," he said distantly.
"Rogue?" said Jean, quickly taking interest, "I thought things were okay between you two."
"They are," said Scott, "We had a great time Friday night. But when I tried to call her the next morning, I didn't get an answer. I left her a ton of messages, but she still hasn't called back."
The others didn't know what to make of it. Scott and Rogue's relationship was complicated, but nobody denied for a second that they had a strong connection. It was just hard when she was with the Brotherhood.
"Eh, I wouldn't worry," said Evan, "Rogue's not one for consistency last I checked."
"Not when it comes to calling me," said Scott.
"Just give it time, mien friend," said Kurt, giving his friend a pat on the back, "Rogue probably has her reasons."
"That's what worries me," sighed Scott.
Down the hall, Scott saw the Brotherhood casually walking by. Rogue wasn't with them, but it didn't stop him from casting a suspicious scorn. It was hard to imagine how Rogue lived with those guys. They had been giving them trouble since day one. He was tempted to go up and talk to them, but Jean stopped him before he could.
"Let it go, Scott," she said, putting a hand on his shoulder, "I'm sure Rogue is alright."
"I hope so, Jean," said Scott, still full of uncertainty, "I just have a bad feeling, you know?"
"In that case I'd recommend skipping lunch, man," said Evan light heartedly, "Because I doubt meatloaf will help that feeling."
Scott managed a slight smile. Evan may have been flakey, but his sense of humor had a way of making things easier. Yet his anxieties wouldn't leave him. Something didn't feel right. And he would search all day if he had to in order to find out what was going on.
The day was not going well for Rogue as she sat under a tree during lunch reading one of her Anne Rice books. She had been dealing with a hard lump in her throat all week, bitter after her fight with Mystique. She was still gone on assignment, but the bitterness held strong as she remained caught between her lover and her mother.
She spent the majority of the weekend alone in her room. She cried more than she had in years, frustrated that her own mother would keep her from the best thing to happen to her in her miserable life. Mystique wanted her relationship with Scott to end. But it wasn't easy when her feelings for him were so strong.
'Ah can't believe it. Ah finally find someone Ah can really relate to and mah mama hates it. Why can't Ah just be happy for once? Why does the whole world have it out for meh?!'
Slamming her book shut, Rogue hugged her knees and stared off into the distance. She looked down at the bracelet Scott had given her, memories of the time they had spent together rushing through her mind. They were happy moments that she treasured, but there were still so many feelings she wanted to explore with Scott. And because of her mother, she may not get that chance.
She was lost in her memories, when suddenly a voice broke brought her back to reality.
"Rogue?" said Scott as he approached her from behind.
Her heart skipped a beat. The lump in her throat grew heavy with anxiety. Facing this boy was trying on her emotions, but she couldn't turn away.
"I've been looking for you all day," he said, sitting down next to her, "I called you six times."
"Ah know," she said, not looking him in the eye, "Ah got every message."
"So why didn't you call? I've been worried. Is anything wrong?"
Rogue still wouldn't look at him. Her heart was racing. Her vision was blurred by tears. Just being in his presence was a strain. It would make this all the more difficult, but it had to be done.
"Scott..." she began, trying to maintain control of her emotions, "Ah can't see ya anymore."
Scott's eyes widened with shock, a paralyzing feeling coming over his every limb.
"What? But...why? What did I do?"
"It ain't somethin' ya did, Scott," said Rogue, getting more choked up, "Since the day Ah first met ya, you've said everythin' that needed to be said and done everythin' that needed to be done."
"So why can't you see me anymore?" he pushed, not taking his eyes off her.
Rogue was silent for a moment, still unable to look him in the eye. She knew if she did it would make this a lot harder. And she didn't want to break down like this. She had to be stronger.
"It's...it's Mystique," she said bitterly, "She found out that we've been...ya know."
"Oh..." said Scott, his face flushing bright red.
There was an awkward silence between them. Rogue didn't want to have to do this, but she had no choice.
"How bad was it?" asked Scott wearily.
"Ah don't know if it could've gone any worse," she muttered, "Ah never saw her so angry. She said Ah had to break up with ya immediately and never talk to ya again. She threatened to take meh out of this school and send meh back to Mississippi if Ah didn't."
"She can't do that!" said Scott with outrage.
"She's mah mama," said Rogue, her words seething with anger, "She can do what she wants."
"Isn't she the same mother you said left you for months on end and was never there when you needed her most?"
Rogue clenched her fists in a rage. Mystique was her mother, but she hadn't been too motherly over the years. She was always gone, doing her own thing. Irene was nice to her, but it wasn't the same. She clearly had priorities more important than her own daughter, but there was little she could do about it.
"Ah'm sorry, Scott," she said, swallowing the lump in her throat, "Ah still feel for ya. Don't think for a second that Ah don't. But..."
However, Scott wouldn't let her finish. His heart sank to the pit of his stomach. He felt strongly for this girl. She meant a lot to him. But because of who her mother was, they couldn't be together.
"Don't..." said Scott in a low tone, getting up and turning away, "I understand."
Rogue tried so hard not to cry, but tears of sorrow wouldn't stop flowing. Her heart was breaking and the pain was greater than she ever could have imagined.
"Ah'm so sorry," she said, choked by her emotions.
"Don't be," he said, trying hard not to lose it, "Thanks for all the good times. I'll never forget them."
With those final words, he walked off. Rogue watched him with every step, her lips quivering as tears streamed down her face. She was so angry at the world, especially Mystique, for taking away the one bit of happiness she had found. But there was nothing she could do about it.
Still hugging her knees, Rogue buried her face in her arms. With nobody else left to comfort her, she broke down in a wave of tears.
'I'll never forget them either, Scott. Thank you.'
The rest of the day was a blur for Scott. He didn't talk to anybody or do anything. He just went through each class in a daze, his heart shattered in a million pieces. People tried to talk to him, but he just ignored them. He never thought it would hurt this much, losing someone he had such strong feelings for. It made him sad and angry, sad that he couldn't be with the girl he wanted and angry because her mother made it that way.
When the final bell rang, Scott waited by his car for the others. When they saw him, they knew he wasn't in a good mood. He was cold and numb, lost in his own world.
"Scott? You okay, man?" asked Kurt as he, Kitty, and Jean approached.
Scott didn't answer. He just set his backpack in his car and got behind the drivers seat.
"Let's go," he said in a low tone.
"Uh...okay," said Kitty warily, "Sounds like someone had a bad day."
"Don't start, Kitty," said Scott bitterly.
The younger girl was silenced, not testing the young man any further. Jean bravely sat next to him, looking at her friend with a concerned expression.
"Are you going to be okay?" she said, showing great concern.
Scott held his head low, not looking at his friend as he started the car and pulled out.
"I'll be fine," he said, hiding every last shred of emotion.
Kurt and Kitty exchanged worried glances. They were about to say something when Jean shook her head, signaling them to stand down. She knew Scott better than either of them. And if something was really bothering him, he had to deal with it by himself first.
'Don't push him, you two,' she sent them via telepathy, 'I think he needs some alone time.'
After her emotional breakup with Scott, Rogue went numb for the rest of the day. A bitter look of anger dominated her demeanor. Nobody dared to talk to her. Even teachers didn't want to push her. But none of that mattered. Her world was a mess. She could care less about school.
The Brotherhood sure didn't help. As the final bell rang, Rogue angrily stuffed her books in her locker and slammed it shut. She felt like going on a rampage, breaking everything that wasn't bolted to the floor. But that didn't deter Todd from making things worse.
"Yo Roguey! What's the matter? Ya look more pale than usual," he joked.
Rogue shot the younger boy a scathing look, causing him to back off.
"Whoa, bad day. Ah well, I know how to fix that. The guys and I are gonna go for a bite at the gut bomb. Wanna tag along?"
"Ah'll pass," she said bitterly.
"Suit yourself," he shrugged, "Guess I'll warn the others you're in another mood. Later!"
As the younger mutant hopped away, Rogue slammed her fist against her locker. It hurt, but she ignored the pain. Her life was falling apart and the so called Brotherhood she lived with couldn't care less. Taking her backpack, she stormed off. It would be a long walk home, but at least it would give her some time to think.
'It's gonna be one of those weeks.'
Later that evening, the X-men were participating in a regularly scheduled danger room session. It was nothing major, consisting of a series of obstacles concealing targets they had to destroy in a certain period of time. It gave Scott a way to blow off some much needed steam. He spent the majority of the afternoon wallowing in his room and blowing stuff up helped vent his seething frustration.
However, it was hard to keep his emotional state in check. Unlike the many other times he led a danger room session, he went all out destroying anything that moved.
"Three targets down! Two to go!" yelled Scott, blowing up traps of spinning mace with relentless optic blasts.
"Yeow! Vatch it, Cyclops!" said Kurt, having to teleport to avoid the shrapnel, "You almost hit me zhat time!"
"I got you, Kurt!" said Jean, putting up a telekinetic shield around him and Evan.
"Man, I don't know what's more dangerous...Scott or Logan's traps," he muttered, shooting barrages of spikes at incoming projectiles.
"Let's just get this over with before he goes Wolverine on us!" said Kitty as she phased through some metal blockades that sprang out from the walls.
Up on the observation deck Logan and Ororo watched the scene unfold below. Scott's unusual behavior did not go unnoticed. He was getting the job done, but not with his usual efficiency. Something was definitely amiss.
"Cyke's really goin' all out today," said Logan with a suspicious growl.
"Yes, I've noticed that too," said Ororo, sounding worried.
"He never goes all out," Logan went on, "That's my job. Something's wrong here."
"I agree," said Ororo, casting the young boy a worried look, "I hope everything's okay."
Down below, Scott continued his rampage. Turning the setting on his visor to it's most powerful setting, he blasted through a maze of paintball guns to hit the next target. He didn't care about collateral damage. He didn't care about doing it cleanly. He just had to vent.
"One more to go!" he yelled.
"I got it!" said Evan, aiming his spikes at the defenses surrounding the final target.
"No, just cover me!" ordered Scott.
But before Evan could comply with the order, Scott unleashed another raging optic blast. It destroyed the target and left a sizable dent in the ceiling, sending a shower of metal and shrapnel to the ground.
"Oh shit!" yelled Evan, scrambling to get out of the way.
"I got you!" said Kitty, jumping in and phasing him through the falling projectiles.
When the smoke cleared, the alarm sounded. The session was over and the job was done, but the mess left behind would definitely take some time to clean up.
"Jeez!" said Evan, brushing some of the metal scraps off his uniform, "I know you're having a bad day, Cyclops, but don't take it out on me!"
"Sorry," said Scott in a low tone, "I told you to cover me."
"I know," he spat bitterly, "But how was I supposed to do anything when you wouldn't give me any time!"
"Easy zhere, mien friend," said Kurt, calming his friend down, "It's over now. Let's just call it a day."
With a disgruntled sigh, Evan conceded. The look on Scott's face didn't change, but that didn't stop Jean from casting him a hard scorn.
"Alright kiddies, sessions over," said Logan over the intercom, "All of ya can file out. Except you, Summers. I wanna have a word with you."
"Great," muttered Scott, wiping the sweat off his brow.
Shaking her head in exasperation, Jean left with the others. Scott was clearly not in the right mood. She wanted to yell at him until her lungs gave out. But this was just Scott Summers being stubborn. For now, she'd leave the scorning to Logan.
When the others were gone and Logan arrived, Scott maintained his cold poise. Logan was clearly furious with his performance, but he could care less.
"You mind explaining yourself, kid?" he said angrily.
"We got the job done, didn't we?" remarked Scott, folding his arm in defense.
"Don't be a smart ass!" scorned the angry Wolverine, "You know what I'm talking about! You blew through anything regardless of who was in the crossfire!"
"Funny, don't you do the same thing?" quipped Scott.
"Not when I'm with the team!" said Logan, getting up in Scott's face.
Normally, anybody who faced this side of the Wolverine trembled. But Scott was too miserable to care. His heart was in pieces and his confidence was shattered. No amount of scorn from Logan could equate to that level of hurt.
"Kid, I don't know what's goin through that crazy head of yours, but whatever it is get over it!" said Logan sternly, "In the meantime, you're on cleanup duty for the Danger Room. Any questions?"
Scott remained apathetic and cold, caring little of any punishment he received.
"No," he said.
"Good. Now get to work."
Without another word, Scott sighed to himself and started the long task of cleaning up the danger room. He knew he was out of line, but he felt so numb. It was the only way he could stop thinking about Rogue. He had a lot to work out. And with a desolate danger room to clean, he had plenty of time to dwell over it.
Up from the observation deck, Ororo cast him a worried glance. This was not the Scott Summers they knew. He was so cold and bitter. Something was clearly bothering him. But given Scott's stubborn nature, he wasn't going to fess up anytime soon.
Scott spent several hours cleaning up the mess he made. When he finally finished, it was late. Most of the others were turning in, but he had homework to do so it was sure to be another restless night. But in his current state, it was probably going to be like that anyways.
After powering down the danger room, Scott changed out of his uniform and dragged himself up to his room. His body was sore and his mind was a mess. Tiring himself out did help somewhat. He was finally able to stop dwelling on Rogue, but he still felt so much hurt. And chances were this feeling wouldn't go away anytime soon.
"Ugh, what a day," he muttered, collapsing on his bed.
He wanted to lie in this state all night, but sleep was the last thing on his mind. Staying busy would help keep him distracted. At least that's what he hoped.
"Feeling any better?" came a voice from his open door.
Turning around, Scott saw Jean standing in his doorway wearing her usual sleeping attire. She bore a clearly disgruntled look. And after his earlier behavior, Scott could hardly blame her. Only now the guilt was catching up to him.
"A little," he sighed, "I think the Danger Room took it out of me."
"Right," said Jean, not convinced.
Closing his door, Jean sat down next to him on his bed. He didn't look her in the eye. He already knew she was mad at him and he didn't need to feel any worse.
"So are you ever going to tell me or do I have to probe your mind?" she said sternly.
Scott was silent, still reeling from what happened between him and Rogue. His thoughts were a mess. Jean clearly sensed it, causing her to put on a look of greater concern.
"Come on, Scott. I'm your friend," she said, putting her hand over his, "Please tell me what's wrong."
Giving her hand a squeeze, Scott let out an exasperated sigh.
"It's Rogue," he said in a low tone.
"Yeah, I figured," said Jean, "Did something happen between you two?"
Scott's expression fell. It wasn't any easier getting over what happened. But Jean was the one person he was willing to confide in.
"It's Mystique," said Scott bitterly, "She...found out."
"Oh..." said Jean, piecing the rest together, "I see."
"She wasn't too happy to say the least," he went on, "Rogue isn't supposed to talk to me or anybody else in the X-men or else she'll be sent right back to Mississippi. But knowing Mystique, she probably wouldn't stop there."
"So she broke up with you?" said Jean, sounding appalled, "All because Mystique said so?!"
Scott's expression contorted with hurt. His hatred for the shape shifter had never been stronger. But at the moment sadness superseded his anger.
"It's complicated, Jean," said Scott.
"Oh? How do you figure?" said Jean skeptically, "Does forcing her to break up with you make her love you any less?"
"No, love's not the problem," retorted Scott, "She's in the Brotherhood in case you've forgotten."
"Did that stop her before?"
"No, but it sure caught up with us and now it's over," he said morosely.
Jean let out a frustrated sigh. Scott Summers was a stubborn man, especially when it came to his feelings. He wasn't the most emotional person in the world. He cut himself off more often than not and this was no exception. It made Jean's situation all the more difficult.
"Sounds like this is Rogue's problem, not yours," she said.
"I know. I guess that's why I'm so frustrated," said Scott bitterly, "No matter how I feel about her, there's nothing I can do to change it."
"So you still love her?"
Scott's heart sank once more. Despite his anger, he couldn't escape his emotions.
"Yes," he answered, "I couldn't change that if I wanted to."
His voice was strained. Not knowing what more she could do, Jean slipped her arms around her friend and hugged him. Her embrace helped ease his anxiety. But the hurt in his heart hung strong.
"I don't know what else to do," said Scott at a loss.
"Only Rogue can do something about it, Scott. She's the one who has to deal with Mystique."
"I know! But I want to help her!" he said, his frustration getting the better of him.
"You can't help everybody!" said Jean in a firm tone, "I've seen you try with every conflict we face. But you just have to accept that there are some things you don't have power over. I know that's hard to accept because it makes you feel like you're not in control. Believe me, I know."
Scott didn't doubt her words for a second. He and Jean knew better than most people. Jean had struggled with her psychic powers while Scott was stuck wearing ruby quartz glasses for the rest of his life because of his optic blasts. Control was a big part of being a mutant. Neither liked it when they didn't have the power to manage a situation, especially Scott.
"I just...I wish things weren't so complicated," said Scott, swallowing the hard lump in his throat.
Managing a small smile, Jean took her friend's hand and gave it a warm squeeze.
"Yeah, me too," sighed Jean, "But I do know this though. If Rogue really does feel strongly for you, then she'll do whatever she can to make it work."
"Mystique won't let her," said Scott bitterly.
"Mystique isn't Rogue," reminded Jean, "She still has a choice. Just give her time and hang in there. I'm sure it'll work out."
Scott took comfort in her words. His feelings for Rogue were strong. He knew she felt the same way. They couldn't erase the connection they shared. Even if Mystique didn't approve, it was still there. All that was keeping them apart was the shape shifter's authority. But Rogue was a fighter. It was up to her to stand up.
"I hope you're right, Jean," said Scott, the tension easing.
"Just have a little faith," said Jean, glad to see some life back in her friend, "Promise me you'll try and get some sleep?"
"Yeah, I'll try," he said, managing a smile, "But homework comes first."
"It always does," sighed Jean, getting off the bed, "Goodnight Scott. Don't stay up too late."
"I won't," he assured, "Thanks Jean. Sorry for being such a jerk."
"It's okay," she said with a smile, "We all have our bad days. But even the worst have to end sometime. We just have to believe that the ones that come will be better."
Leaving Scott with those words to muse over, Jean went off to her room. She had homework as well and the sooner it was done the sooner she could turn in. Scott was still down, but he felt better having talked to Jean about it. She always had a way of cheering him up.
Grabbing his backpack, Scott took out a large stack of papers that he needed to go over for class. Having gone through the day in a stupor, he had to catch up. But before he began, his gaze drifted over towards his cell phone. He kept it on, just in case. If Rogue was going to make a move, he wanted to be ready. Until then, he would have to have faith that she would follow her heart.
Just as Scott was starting his homework, Rogue was in her room back at the Brotherhood house in an equally deep stupor. She spent hours on end staring at her phone. On one hand she had her mother. On the other she had her heart. It was not an easy choice, but she had to make one soon if she was going to lay this affair to rest.
Curling up on her bed, Rogue closed her eyes and let her thoughts drift. She had a lot of thinking to do. Hopefully, she would make the right choice in the end.
"Goodnight Scott," she said into the dark silence, "Wherever ya are, Ah still love ya."
Up next: Rogue begins to question her decision.