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

Dark Secrets

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: 2007/06/16 - Updated: 2007/06/16 - 5838 words

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Untouchable
Chapter 14: Dark Secrets

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Jean and Rogue met up with the Professor in his study, eager for answers after experiencing the mysterious visions from Rogue's nightmare. She came to him pale with worry, something that did not go unnoticed by the Professor. After sitting down and telling the story, Xavier saw the visions for himself. They were every bit as disturbing as described and raised some very interesting questions.

The figure in the image was clearly Mystique. The setting was very dark and ominous. There was also a major lack of clarity, hinting there may be more.

"So what's the word, Professor?" said Rogue after having allowed the Professor to see what she experienced, "What the hell do these dreams mean?"

The Professor mused over this for a moment, going over what he had just sensed. Rogue had a look of intent in her eyes. Clearly, she wanted answers. But given the nature of what he saw, they may not be pleasant.

"I can't be certain, Rogue," said the Professor honestly, "But near as I can tell, what you experienced weren't exactly 'dreams' in a sense."

"What makes you say that?" said Jean curiously.

"I've sensed dreams before," he said confidently, "Dreams are unique to the mind. They tend to be scrambled and unclear, usually involving only limited feelings and sensations. And this was far too clear to be a dream."

"Too clear?!" exclaimed Rogue, "Ya call somethin' like that clear? Ah saw mah mother in that mess and Ah don't know what it means!"

"Easy Rogue," said Jean, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"Like hell!" she scoffed, shaking off her gesture, "This ain't somethin' floatin' around in y'all's mind! And if it wasn't a dream, then what the hell was it?!"

"A memory," answered the Professor, "It could only be a memory."

Rogue settled upon hearing that. She stopped and thought about it for a moment. Thinking back to the vivid images, it made too much sense. Suddenly, a hard feeling formed in the pit of her stomach.

"Tell me, Rogue," continued the Professor, "Since your powers manifested, how many people have you absorbed?"

Rogue rubbed her head. Thinking back to all those unpleasant moments where she got a rush of memories and abilities was enough to make her head spin. It wasn't a fun experience, even if it did give her a powerful rush. But the things she absorbed weren't the kind of things she wanted floating around in her mind.

"Dang, let meh see..." she mused, "First there was Cody, this guy who went to mah old school. But Ah don't remember much from him. Then there was Scott durin' that whole thing with Blob."

"Is that all?" asked Jean.

"Nah, I absorbed Lance, Toad, and Pietro a little while Ah was at the Brotherhood. But that wasn't very much. Hell, it didn't even knock them out. The only time Ah absorbed enough to knock somewhat out was Cody and..."

Suddenly, Rogue's expression fell. It hit her like a splash of cold water. There was only one other person she had absorbed to any great extent. Her heart jumped up into her throat, choking her ability to form words. Yet still, she got out a single name.

"Mystique..." she said, hugging her shoulders, "Oh God, what have Ah done?"

Turning away, Rogue refused to face Jean and the Professor. Jean attempted to console her and this time Rogue didn't brush her off. The memory of that fateful moment back at the motel came rushing back. All the anger, frustration, and rage rose to the surface and the southern goth languished in the cold hard truth.

"Rogue...what happened?" asked the Professor calmly.

Taking a deep breath, Rogue continued to look away. Her face blushed at the embarrassment that still hung strong from that moment. But if she was to have any hopes of deciphering this memory then the Professor would have to know the full story.

"It ain't pretty, Professor," she warned.

"I understand," he said calmly, "If you don't want to tell me..."

"No, Ah should," she sighed, biting her lip as she went over the embarrassing memory, "Ya remember the night Ah left the Brotherhood. Ah met up wit Scott, we had sex in a motel, and Mystique barged in on us. But that's not all that happened."

Xavier's listened on, despite how embarrassing the story was for Rogue to recall. Jean had a similar look, still getting over the details Scott had told her. But clearly there wa something they all overlooked.

"Without gettin' into too many details, mah mama was pretty furious," said Rogue, looking away as her face flushed bright red, "She was gonna hurt Scott and we obviously weren't in any condition to fight."

"I see," said the Professor, taking a moment to digest this, "So what happened?"

Rogue let out another sigh. It didn't get any easier reliving this moment. It haunted her ever since her arrival. Yet she went on in hopes it would give her some answers. Having these memories in her head was hard enough.

"We had some pretty nasty exchanges," she said bluntly, "Ah tried to reason with her, but...well, ya know mah mama. So...Ah drained her. Ah drained her so much that she passed out. If Ah held on any longer..."

But Rogue couldn't finish. She couldn't even conceive of such a notion and the Professor didn't make her. Her story had confirmed it. Mystique had to be the source of these memories. Rogue was deeply distraught. Not only had she put her own mother in a coma, but she absorbed more than she bargained for. But what these memories meant, was still in question.

"It's alright, Rogue," said the Professor in a reassuring tone.

"How is it alright?!" she exclaimed.

"With this knowledge, I can use my powers to uncover more," he stated confidently, "I know this is difficult for you, but there must be a reason why this memory stands. Unclear as it may be, there is something to it. And with your permission, we can find out together."

The idea of reliving the nightmare again didn't sit well. Rogue had endured enough nightmares for one day. But so far the Professor had shown that he was sincere with his promises. Since her arrival, he had done so much for her. He had done more than Mystique ever had, but she still had that sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. There was something about this that wasn't right. But there was no turning back now.

"Rogue please..." began Jean.

"Alright," she sighed, "Are ya sure there's anythin' left to find?"

"I'm positive," assured Xavier, "Just relax and open your mind, Rogue. You can do this."

Taking a deep breath, Rogue sat down in the chair across from Xavier's desk. Wheeling around so he was facing her, the powerful telepath placed his hands upon her temples. He could sense great distress within the young woman, but a few gentle words of encouragement helped set her mind at ease.

'It's okay, Rogue. Everything is going to be okay,' he told her telepathically, 'Let my voice guide you. We'll find out what these images mean together.'

Through the dark, stormy night the cloaked figure ran. Only this time, her face was clear. Mystique was on the run, holding a wailing baby in her arms. And through the shrouded ambiguity, more images emerged.

Suddenly, the scene flashed back to a dark castle. In a lab laden with ominous machinery, wires and tubes were going in and out of a newborn infant. The innocent cries of the child echoed throughout the area as a dark figure with a cape loomed over the table. Suddenly, Mystique stormed in and gasped in horror.

"You monster!" she cried, grabbing the baby and making her escape.

"Stop her!" demanded the shrouded figure.

The rest of the scene played out. Mystique ran to escape the attack dogs. A dark figure flew through the ominous skies, pursing the desperate woman. The baby continued to wail, covered only in a brown cloth and guarded by the shape shifter.

Then they reached the bridge. Mystique struggled to maintain her balance, gasping desperately as she clung to the child. Then it happened. The board on the wooden bridge broke, she stumbled, and the infant baby fell into the raging river below.

"NO!!!" she cried, reaching out to the child in vain.

Suddenly, lightning flashed and the image of the baby was revealed. His skin was blue, his eyes were yellow, and he had only three fingers on each hand. And as the waters swallowed his infant form, he cried until his image faded into the night.

Collapsing in a fit of sorrow, Mystique clutched the side of the bridge. Tears were streaming down her face as she cried her heart out. The attack dogs stopped just before the bridge as the hovering figure descended to her side. Wrought with sorrow, Mystique gazed angrily at the man before her.

"Why? WHY?!" she cried.

But no answer came. She just kept crying, unable to forget this agonizing sorrow for what she had just done.

Then it happened again. Another flash changed the scenery from the stormy night to a crisp, peaceful morning full of sun. Now the area was covered with tall trees and the raging river was a mere creek. Light penetrated the thick leaves, illuminating two figures working near a cottage on the banks. Suddenly, a man looked over towards the creek and gasp.

"Mien Gott!" he gasped.

Running over to the river, he knelt down to find a blue skinned baby covered in cloth. He was still alive, his yellow eyes gazing back at the figure as he picked him up and held him in his arms.

In the distance, a cloaked figure watched as the man and his wife gathered around the little boy. They rushed him into their small home, protectively cradling the mysterious boy. Turning back towards the river, the cloaked figure was revealed as Mystique. A slight tear fell down her eyes as she swallowed her emotions, pulling the hood back over her head and leaving the baby in the care of these strangers.


Pulling out of her mind, Xavier gasped at what he saw. Rogue clutched her head, drained from the mental strain. But she had seen it too. Now one question had been answered and a host of others were arisen. What stood out most was the identity of that poor infant boy.

"The baby..." said Rogue in a distraught tone, "Was...was that who Ah thought it was?"

The Professor's expression contorted anxiously. He had just witnessed something that defied any logical explanation. But there was no denying it. He knew what was there. Looking at Rogue, he hesitated to speak. She had endured enough shock in her life, but this was clearly something that couldn't be ignored.

"We had better speak to Kurt," said the Professor, wheeling back behind his desk.

"Kurt?" said Jean in confusion.

"Yes, summon him to my office at once," said Xavier strongly, "There is something we must discuss."

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

At the Brotherhood boarding house, things were lazy as usual. Freddy was making himself a sandwich, Pietro was plastered to the couch, Todd was chasing flies near the garbage can, and Lance was practicing on his guitar. Mystique, however, had not been seen all day. She stayed sequestered in her room and nobody dared disturb her. Her mood hadn't gotten better since Rogue left, but now she was ready to do something about it.

Upstairs in her room, Mystique gathered her things in preparation for this fateful move. At the same time, she was having a heated debate over the phone. Anger still burned within her, but she had a right to be angry given her predicament.

"I'm telling you, Raven. This is a mistake," said the voice over the phone.

"I know what I'm doing, Irene," said Mystique, picking up a letter and stuffing it into an envelope, "You said it yourself. Your visions say Rogue is lost. But I will NOT let that happen!"

"You're letting your emotions get the better of you again," argued Irene, "If you go through with this you may only make things worse."

"I'll risk it," said Mystique sternly, "She's my daughter and I already lost one of my children to Xavier. I am NOT going to lose another!"

There was a brief silence over the phone. Sealing the envelope up, Mystique made her choice. Her determination knew few bounds. This was her family that was at stake. Nothing was going to keep her away from them. But on the other line, her long time friend expressed great concern.

"Be careful," warned Irene, "Seeing as how you won't listen to me, I suppose I can only wish you the best."

"I'll need it," said the shape shifter, "I'll call you when it's over."

Hanging up the phone, Mystique took a deep breath and opened her closet. Inside, she found an old cloak she hadn't so much as looked at in years. A wave of difficult emotions shot through her being, but she set them aside for the time being. She had a mission and she was going to see it through.

"I'm coming, Rogue," she said in a low tone.

Setting the cloak on her bed, Mystique grabbed the letter and went downstairs. There she found a half asleep Pietro casually flipping through the channels on TV.

"Get up, Quicksilver. I've got a job for you," she said sternly.

"Can't it wait till after wrestling?" he groaned.

"NOW!" she bellowed, grabbing the remote and throwing it away.

Her forceful tone was enough to get Pietro off his lazy butt. Not one to risk further injury from an angry shape shifter, the speedster stood before the desperate Mystique.

"I need you take this letter to the Xavier Institute," she said, forcing the envelope in his hand, "Leave it on Rogue's bed."

"Rogue?" scoffed Pietro, "Don't tell me you're still trying to..."

"DON'T ARGUE WITH ME, JUST DO IT!" bellowed Mystique.

"Okay! Okay!" said Pietro, putting the letter in his pocket, "Don't get your panties in a knot."

Mystique was tempted to sock him for that comment, but he was gone in an instant before she could make a move. Already full of anger from this ordeal, the shape shifter retreated to her room. Grabbing her cloak she took a deep breath and prepared to move out. This was not going to be easy, but she had no choice. She had to get Rogue back.

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

In the Professor's study, Kurt was filled in on the revelations from Rogue's memory. Jean left them for privacy sake. It was definitely an important moment, given it involved Kurt. At first it seemed too fantastic to be real. But the Professor was not one to make bold claims unless he was completely sure. And while Rogue was still reeling, Kurt was filled with a newfound curiosity.

"So zhis baby in Rogue's dream vas me?" said Kurt, still amazed by such a story.

"Yes, I'm certain it was," said the Professor.

"But...Mystique?" said the young mutant, still full of questions, "Vhy vas she zhere? And if zhis memory is hers..."

But before he could continue, Rogue interrupted.

"Ah told ya, we don't know!" she said, still greatly distressed, "All Ah know is Ah'm stuck with this memory and there ain't nothin' Ah can do about it!"

"Rogue please..." coaxed the Professor.

Rubbing her head, Rogue sighed in a wave of distress. This whole affair was messing with her mind. It struck at the very foundations of her life. And now it seemed her life was getting tangled up in Kurt's as well. Like it or not, he was a part of this now.

"Vhat do you zhink, Professor?" asked Kurt, eager for answers, "Vhat could zhis mean? Are Mystique and I connected somehow? And if ve are does zhat mean I'm connected to Rogue too?"

Rogue cast Kurt a strange look, but he remained fixated on the Professor for answers.

"I can't be sure just yet," said Xavier, "I need to look into this further."

"Zhen let me help!" said Kurt intently.

"I'm afraid that won't work, Kurt," said the Professor seriously.

"But zhis involves me!" he said strongly, "Don't I at least have zhe right to..."

But the Professor was quick to silence him.

"You do," he said honestly, "I just have to confirm a few things. Then I'll let you know. I promise."

Kurt's expression sank. Having grown up in a foster home he always wondered about where he came from. Here was a new revelation that could very well shed light on who he was and he had to wait in order to find out the truth. Such a notion didn't sit well with him.

"Okay," he said with an apologetic tone, "Sorry for going off like that, Professor."

"It's quite alright," said Xavier with a reassuring smile.

"It's just...I've always vondered about my past," he mused with a sullen look, "My foster parents could never find anything, but I zhink about it every day. You can't ever know vhat it's like."

Upon hearing this, Rogue abruptly got up and left the room. Hugging her shoulders, she hid her expression from Kurt and the Professor. Seeing this, Kurt ran after her. He owed her as much for being the one who endured that nightmare. And clearly this ordeal had struck a chord.

"Rogue? Hey Rogue, vait up!" he said as he ran over her.

Once they were out of sight, the Professor allowed this new information sink in. The images of what he saw were disturbing enough and he wasn't the one having nightmares about them. But Kurt was right. He did have a right to know and so did Rogue. What he sensed was serious. And it would require serious action.

'Logan, Ororo...please report to my study,' he sent via telepathy, 'There's something we have to discuss.'

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

Storming down the hallway, Rogue shut out the rest of the world. Her good mood from earlier was replaced by distress and conflict. She had endured enough complications since her powers manifested. Now she had this looming over her head and she wasn't even sure what it was. She needed some space. She had to make sense of it all.

"Rogue! Rogue, vait up!" said Kurt from down the hall.

But she didn't stop. She just kept walking.

Frustrated by her stubbornness, Kurt teleported in front of her and forced her to stop. Still bearing a look of conflict, she tried to pass him. But Kurt wasn't about to let her off that easily.

"Dang it, Kurt! Leave meh alone!" she spat angrily.

"Come on, Rogue, can't ve talk?" said Kurt with a sincere look.

"Does it look like Ah wanna talk?!" she shot back.

"No, but shouldn't ve anyways?" said the blue mutant, still standing in her way.

Rogue scoffed, storming past Kurt and slipping into her room. But the younger mutant responded by teleporting again, appearing right beside her bed. Growing increasingly annoyed, Rogue's poise became more threatening.

"Will ya knock it off already?" she scorned, "Ah already told ya Ah don't wanna talk about it!"

"Fine, zhen I'll do zhe talking," said Kurt vehemently, "I know Mystique is a sore subject. You cringe every time somebody even mentions her name."

"Ya don't know the half of it," she muttered.

"Oh? You zhink you're zhe only one broken up about zhis?" said Kurt defensively, "Look at me, Rogue! I'm a blue fuzzy demon! Do you have any idea how hard my life has been because of it?!"

Rogue was silenced, turning away from the younger boy. He was hitting an emotional chord. She wouldn't admit it. True to her stubborn nature, she refused to acknowledge the truth. She may have been a loner and an outcast, but Kurt had it much worse. Like it or not, they had more in common than she was willing to admit.

"You and I both had foster parents," said Kurt in a calmer tone, "And even zhough my parents loved me, I've always yearned to know vhere I came from. Haven't you felt zhat vay too? Haven't you ever vondered about your real parents?"

Rogue's expression turned to one of honest understanding. Casting Kurt a sympathetic gaze, she let out a tired sigh.

"Of course Ah have," she said in a low tone, "It's just...Mystique was a really good mother to meh, believe it or not. Even after she left, Irene was really nice and Ah never had to worry about not bein' loved."

"I know zhe feeling," said Kurt with a reassuring smile, "But zhat doesn't answer zhe questions ve vant."

"That's for sure," said Rogue, returning his gesture, "It's just tough because mah mama has changed a lot since the days she used to push meh on the swing outside our old house. She's a different person now. Y'all know that better than anybody."

"Tell me about it," said Kurt with a chuckle, "But doesn't zhat make finding out zhe truth all zhe more important? I mean, vhat if ve're connected somehow?"

"Connected?" questioned Rogue.

"Ja, you saw it yourself. If zhat baby really vas me in your dream, is it really possible? I mean, vhat if ve're related? Vhat if..."

Kurt soon trailed off in his words. A heavy silence soon followed. Neither Rogue nor Kurt added anything to the matter at hand. The possibilities were too great to imagine. They had both been adopted. They had both lived their lives not knowing where they truly came from. Then something like this comes along. It was a lot to take in.

Rogue looked away, hugging her shoulders in distress. Suddenly, something caught her eye on her dresser.

"Rogue look..." began Kurt.

"Hey, what's this?" said Rogue, cutting him off.

Curious, Kurt looked over Rogue's shoulder as she took the envelope. There was no address. The only mark they could see was Rogue's name in bold black marker. Her hands shook as she held the envelope, sensing there was something profound inside.

"Do you usually get mail delivered like zhis?" wondered Kurt.

"Of course not," said Rogue, rolling her eyes.

Fixated on the envelope, Rogue hesitated to take action.

"Vell? Are you going to open it?" pushed Kurt.

"As if Ah can't," muttered Rogue, tearing the paper.

Her mouth went dry as she unfolded a sheet of white paper. She immediately recognized the handwriting. It had to come from Mystique. It took her a moment to scan the text, but as soon as she finished her demeanor tensed. Kurt could sense it and quickly became intrigued.

"Vhat is it? Vhat does it say?" he asked eagerly.

"It's mah mama," said Rogue in a grim tone, "She wants to meet meh...alone."

"Vell are you going to?" said Kurt, quickly taken by the opportunity to meet the woman from Rogue's dream, "Maybe ve can ask her about..."

"We?" said Rogue, narrowing her gaze.

"Yes, ve!" said Kurt firmly, "I've said it before! I'm involved vhether you like it or not! And I'm not letting zhis go until I get some answers!"

Rogue shot Kurt a firm gaze, but the look on his face was clear. He had waited for a moment like this all his life. Nothing was going to deny him this moment. Even if Rogue fought him the whole way, he'd just fight back. There was no way around it.

"So vhere does she vant to meet?"

Crumpling up the letter, Rogue closed her eyes in remorse.

"The construction yard near the Brotherhood boarding house," she said in a low tone.

"Zhen vhat are ve vaiting for?" he exclaimed, "I can get us zhere in a snap...if you'd just let me."

Seeing the urgent look in his eyes, Rogue couldn't push him aside from this one. The vivid memory of his infant form falling into that river played over in her mind. He deserved to know the truth. They both did. Taking his hand, she swallowed her uncertainty and put on a strong poise.

"Okay," she said with renewed determination, "Let's go."

And in a bamf of burning sulfur, Rogue and Kurt were gone leaving the crumpled letter to fall to the floor.

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

As evening settled, Professor Charles Xavier sat near the fireplace in his study. Looking into the burning flames, he was stuck in a state of contemplation. In his mind the scene with Mystique and the infant boy played out. There was a lot of conflict in those images, but there was no getting around what he had sensed. He had seen it clear as night and day. There was only the matter of how it would affect two of his students.

Standing beside him, Logan and Ororo shared his tense state. Having learned of the incident themselves, they were equally concerned. Rogue's presence had already caused quite a stir. Now they hat this matter fall into their lap. And many questions still remained.

"So you're sure that was elf in that memory?" said Logan, breaking the heavy silence.

"Of course, Logan," said Xavier, not taking his eyes off the fire, "There is no doubt. That child was Kurt."

"But are you sure it's a memory from Mystique?" inquired Ororo, "Perhaps Rogue picked it up somewhere else."

"I'd like to think so," said Xavier, folding his hands over his face, "But from what Rogue has told me it's the only logical explanation."

"So what's it all mean?" said Logan as he chewed on a toothpick, "Mystique dropped Kurt in a river as a baby. Gotta be a reason."

With a melancholy expression, Xavier bowed his head in remorse. This was not an easy issue to confront, but it could not go ignored. What he had discovered would surely rock the lives of his students. And Rogue had already suffered a great deal from Mystique's betrayal. Any further revelations would be difficult for her to absorb.

"Did you find out anything more?" asked Ororo.

"Unfortunately yes," sighed the Professor, "As you well know, Erik and I once worked together and Mystique is an associate of his. Using the Xavier Protocols, I have confirmed what I suspected. I just don't know how I'm going to tell Kurt and Rogue."

"Well don't they have a right to know?" argued the former weather goddess, "I know Mystique is an enemy in many ways, but they deserve to know their past."

"Careful, Ro," warned Logan, "Sometimes there are things in yer past you'd rather not know. It makes livin' in this messed up world that much easier."

The Professor had to take both sides into consideration. On one hand, Logan had a point. He knew better than most people how difficult a dark past was and how great a burden it could be. But Ororo was right too. He couldn't keep something this big from Kurt and Rogue. They placed a lot of trust in him being honest with them. It was only right that he returned the favor.

Logan and Ororo watched as their mentor contemplated the situation. It was not a decision to take lightly. But it was one that would have to be made.

"Well if yer gonna tell em, I recommend ya tell em soon," warned Logan, "Cause the longer ya wait, the harder it'll be."

"I know," said Xavier with a sigh, "I wish I could contest this further, but Kurt and Rogue want answers. I suppose I should tell them."

Logan and Ororo exchanged weary looks, but they didn't debate the Professor's choice.

"Do you want us to be here?" asked Ororo, "Maybe Rogue would benefit from Scott's presence as well."

"I think she would too," agreed Xavier, taking a deep breath, "I just hope they're ready to accept this. But I suppose it's better they find out this way rather than..."

Suddenly, the door to the Professor's study burst open and Scott came rushing in with Jean following close behind. He had an urgent look on his face and a crumpled up piece of paper in his hand. Clearly, he had just entered the conflict as well. But it just so happened he came in as things grew exponentially more complicated.

"Professor!" he said, short of breath, "Rogue and Kurt are gone! I think they've gone out to meet up with Mystique!"

"What?!" exclaimed Logan, grabbing the letter and reading over it.

A hard feeling formed in the pit of the Professor's stomach. This was not good. Kurt and Rogue were walking into a trap that would only result in heartache. It was exactly what he wanted to avoid. Now they may already be too late.

"Oh dear," gasped Ororo as she read over the letter, "What do we do, Charles?"

"Gather the rest of the team," said Xavier in a low tone, "We have to get to Kurt and Rogue before the situation gets any worse."

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

For nearly an hour, Kurt and Rogue waited at the construction sight. The sun had set and the air was crisp. Clouds shrouded the night sky and thunder could be heard in the distance. It reminded Rogue of the very memory that brought them to this point. It was too eerie, as if fate was playing right into this fateful moment.

Kurt relentlessly paced, scanning the area for any sign of the shape shifter. The answers to his past felt so close, but never in a million years did he think they would come from Mystique of all people. He had a strong feeling that this was important. His foster parents had never been able to give him the answers he wanted. Now they were finally within his grasp.

"Vhere is she?" groaned Kurt, running his hand through his hair.

"How should Ah know?" exclaimed Rogue, "It's not like mah mama's ever been one to be there!"

"Jeez, take it easy, vill you?" shot Kurt, "You're not zhe only one distressed here!"

Rogue let out a frustrated groan. There were a million other places she could have been at the moment, but only this one mattered. The sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach didn't fade. If anything, it got worse with each passing second.

"Ah'm sorry," said Rogue sincerely, "Ah just have a really bad feelin' about this."

"I understand," said Kurt, casting her a sympathetic gaze, "You're in good company."

Another silence fell over them. More thunder sounded in the distance. The wind picked up, rustling the trees and sending a cold chill through the tense air. Rogue hugged her shoulders, her legs shaky with distress. She never felt this uncomfortable before. She just wanted this night.

'Dang. Where's Scott when Ah need him?' she mused, craving the comfort of her boyfriend's embrace.

Suddenly, a presence emerged from the trees and broke the silence.

"Rogue?" came an all too familiar voice.

Kurt and Rogue jumped at the sight of the cloaked figure. She was dressed exactly as she was in her dream. Slowly, she approached them. Rogue felt a chill run down her spine, taking a step back and maintaining a defensive poise.

"It's alright, my daughter," she said, pulling back her hood, "I'm not here to fight."

"Mystique..." said Kurt, quickly drawn to her presence.

The shape shifter's eyes widened at the company Rogue had with her. She half expected Scott to come with her and in the back of her mind that would have been easier. Facing this boy at a moment like this would only complicate things even further.

"What's he doing here?" she asked, shocked by Kurt's presence.

"He's with meh!" shot Rogue bitterly, "And we have questions! First off, why the hell did ya call meh here?"

"To talk," said Mystique strongly, "I was hoping we could sit down and work things out. I want us to be a family again. But I wanted to do it alone."

"Sorry, but I had to tag along," said Kurt, taking a step closer to the menacing shape shifter.

"This is between me and Rogue!" said Mystique strongly, "You're not supposed to be caught up in this!"

"Vell I am!" shot the young man, "I need to know zhe truth! And I'm not leaving until you tell me!"

"What the hell would I know?!" exclaimed Mystique, getting more defensive.

"For starters, vhy did you drop me in a river?"

Mystique's eyes widened with shock and horror. The usually confrontational shape shifter was silenced in a way neither Kurt nor Rogue had ever seen. She took a step back, looking into Kurt's yellow eyes with a mixture of dread and anger. Her fists clenched as a hard lump of emotion was lodged up in her throat. This couldn't be happening. It was too soon.

"How...how do you know about that?" she stammered, "Who told you?!"

"Ah did," said Rogue strongly.

Mystique looked at Rogue in bewilderment.

"You?!"

"Yes, mama, it was meh," said Rogue, "Remember when ya tried to kill mah boyfriend and take meh away?"

Mystique shuttered at the memory. It was bad enough seeing her daughter in bed with Scott Summers, but being drained was almost just as painful. If she had known her memories would find their way into Scott's mind, she would have thought twice before acting the way she did.

"Turns out Ah got more then Ah bargained for when I knocked ya out," she went on, "Don't even try to deny it. Ah got your memories floatin' around in mah head and Ah think ya owe us a damn good explanation! And if ya want either of us to ever listen ya better tell the truth!"

Mystique's gaze narrowed on the angry eyes of her daughter. She came here with a goal, but she never could have anticipated this. Her secret was out. There was no running from it any more. The hard memories came rushing back, reminding her of the tremendous pain she had suffered. Swallowing the hard lump in her throat, the shape shifter had to face the cold hard truth.

"Please..." said Kurt in a calmer tone, "I just vant to know."

"No...you don't," said Mystique in a dark tone, "But seeing as how you're too foolish to live with the ignorance of bliss, I'll tell you. It's true. I did drop you in that river. But I was trying to save you!"

"Save him?" said Rogue, still uncertain of her sincerity.

"Yes!" she exclaimed, fighting off a tear, "Drain me again if you want!"

"But vhy?" said Kurt, his heart pounding with intent.

Taking a deep breath, Mystique revealed the secret she had kept buried for so long.

"Because...you're my son, Kurt," she said, unable to hide the strain in her voice, "And Rogue is your adopted sister."

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

Up next: Kurt and Rogue face the cold hard truth.
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