Categories > Movies > X-Men: The Movie > Bittersweet Memories

Chapter 4

by demonascreamin 0 reviews

And as mad as Charles had been at that moment, he couldn't help but allow a small smile to form on his face when Erik turned towards him saying "what? You know you were thinking the same thing."

Category: X-Men: The Movie - Rating: R - Genres: Angst,Drama - Characters: Magneto,Professor Xavier,Rogue - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2011-10-19 - Updated: 2011-11-07 - 3654 words

Chapter 4

Pulling out an array of pens and pencils Rogue began setting up her desk so she would be ready to take notes for class. Mr. Summers, Cyclops, had assigned them to read Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and today they were supposed to be going over symbolism throughout the novel.

Rogue was a little worried, she had read the novel; sort of. Every time she would try to read she found herself dozing off from the lack of sleep she'd been able to get, and inevitably a memory would follow.

Oddly some were repeats, but she had remembered two new memories quite vividly.

Erik and Charles, The Professor she reminds herself, were sitting outside on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. A chessboard was set up between the two of them, but it had taken a backseat to the conversation they had started on CIA involvement and what role they as mutants played in the scope of things.

She could remember how the wind flowed freely slightly nipping at her fingertips. Still picture the sun slowly making its descent downwards, having settled down behind the Washington Memorial. She could still see how the light reflected off the water surrounding the Washington Memorial, giving the entire monument the illusion of having a golden glow. Remember the trees, whose once green leaves were in a transition to browns, oranges, and reds.

She could still feel the slight trickle of tension weaving its way in between the comfortable friendship the two had fallen into quite easily. Erik had firmly believed, still did in fact, that another mass genocide was imminent. Charles didn't exactly share that view, not in the slightest. He trusted the humans, knew they were capable of change and hate was not the only option. He believed that coexisting peacefully with the humans was a completely viable option. And now that they'd laid their hands out for the other to see, the knowledge that they disagreed had brought them to a stalemate.

It was almost heartbreaking to see from the outside. Here were two men, who had felt an immediate connection to one another. An instant bond that they were able to create, and now their seemingly perfect friendship had the possibility of being threatened. All together tragic in Rogues mind.

The other memory was slightly more humorous, well to an extent.

They were standing atop a gigantic satellite dish, Charles and Erik, only this time they were not alone; there were two other boys there with them.

One of them wore glasses; he was a tall gangly boy with pale white skin and brown hair that flopped down across his forehead. He stood at the far end of the walkway atop the dish. He was dressed rather neatly, with a white button up shirt and charcoal grey tie that peeked out from a grey sweater. He wore a black coat that was buttoned up to the top button. He was gripping the bar surrounding the landing looking expectantly at the other boy who was wearing some sort of flight suit.

The other boy was in between Charles and Erik; he had a head full of messy red curls. Blue eyes looked down warily at the ground looming beneath him. He was wearing a grey tracksuit that had a harness of some sort strapped across his chest. There was a wedge of yellow and black fabric connected from his arms to his sides, that when he moved his arms gave the appearance of wings.

He seemed very uncertain about what was going to happen when Charles suddenly gave him a comforting hand on the shoulder and reassured him that he wouldn't have to do anything he didn't want to.

The redheaded boy's eyes snapped up to glare at the other boy accusingly. He didn't trust him, and made sure that the boy knew that fact.

Charles sent the bespectacled boy a glance as if to say 'don't say a word'. He was trying to reason with the boy next to him that they didn't have to do this right now, when suddenly Erik stepped forward and gave the redheaded boy a sharp push.

The boy went tumbling forward screaming as he began to plummet to the metal dish below.

Charles had jumped forward, shocked that Erik had simply pushed the boy he'd been trying to calm down. Erik stood there, hands wrapped across his chest looking down expectantly as the boy continued to careen downwards.

Then just as the boy passed over the lip of the dish he was suddenly pushing himself upwards with his screams, and soon he was sailing up to cloud level as he began getting a hold over his new skill of flight.

Erik had smirked watching the boy who was now lost in the surge of being able to fly. And as mad as Charles had been at that moment, he couldn't help but allow a small smile to form on his face when Erik turned towards him saying "what? You know you were thinking the same thing."

Rogue shuddered slightly and made a mental note to never be alone on a satellite dish with Erik. He obviously was not above pushing a child from atop the structure. And for the first time since that fateful night atop Lady Liberty, she was thankful that her hands had been cuffed in place to the bar.

Grabbing one of her pens Rogue flipped open to a clean page in her notebook looking up attentively waiting for Cyclops to begin his lecture.

She was scribbling away trying to catch every word that rolled past Cyclops' lips when she felt a yawn erupt past her lips. Bringing a hand up to her mouth she yawned again and felt her eyes begin to blink rapidly as she tried to wake herself up.

Last night had been a rough night, but not because of any resurfaced memories, no she had tried finishing her required reading, and things didn't go quite as planned. She had ended up sprawled out across her desk amidst a sea of books she had been putting off reading. The sleep had been fitful, and when she had finally sunk into a comfortable lapse of sleep her alarm had begun blaring signaling the start to a new day.

Feeling another yawn move past her lips Rogue allowed her head to drop slightly so it was resting on her left hand. She continued writing with her right hand, but she soon found her hand trembling as she fought to keep her eyes open.

Breathing deeply she felt the pen drop from between her fingers and her last resolve to stay awake slipped away. Her eyes drooped shut soon after the pen rolled to the desktop, and Rogue didn't bother to even try to open them again. She let sleep claim her, the continuous stream of speech coming from Cyclops lulling her into an even deeper sleep.

Inhale close eyes. Exhale open eyes.

I'm staring down the barrel of a gun; a very much loaded gun. I can feel the metal humming in front of me, and even though the weapon aimed at my face could possibly bring death, I feel a surge of excitement flow through my body.

I know it's wrong to face death so willingly, almost tauntingly with open arms, but I've lived through worse.

There's a clicking metallic sound as the gun is cocked. I take another deep breath as my eyes flicker from the barrel to Charles who is holding the gun in place.

"You're sure," he asks looking tentatively at the gun in his hand and then beyond the barrel to me.

I sigh nodding slightly. 'Don't back out on me, I need this.'

"I'm sure."

Charles grimaces at my response suddenly appearing even less sure of his ability to do what I've asked.

"All right," he replies, almost as if he's trying to convince himself that this entire situation is just that; all right.

Taking a deep breath he raises the gun higher, steadying it in front of my face.

I feel the cool steel of the barrel press against my forehead and against my better senses the corners of my lips twitch pulling themselves into a shark-like grin as I stare at the gun anticipating the bullet that will soon be traveling down the barrel.

I need this after all. In this moment I can assert control, I can stop the bullet; this time.

I'm grinning wildly at the prospect of being in control of the outcome. I can feel my cheeks begin to burn from the pull of my smile.

I'm ready for this. I want this. I need this.

Charles' eyes slip shut as he brings his finger to rest on the trigger. There's a sharp intake of air and then his eyes shoot open and he's stuttering out an apology.

"No. No, I can't. I'm sorry," he drops his hand and the gun falls uselessly, forgotten entirely, by his side. I feel a frown form on my face, but before I can respond Charles is continuing.

"I can't shoot anybody point blank, let alone my friend."

'I need this; you can't take this from me.'

My hand reaches out for the gun and soon I'm guiding it back to rest against my forehead. Holding the barrel in place I look at Charles, eyes flashing with a sense of danger.

"Oh come on. You know I can deflect it," I reason.

'I need this. Please don't deny it.'

"You're always telling me how I should push myself," I shoot back almost mockingly as I twist his own words back on him.

'You can't; I need this.'

Pulling the gun back forcefully out of my grasp, Charles glares at me. I can almost feel the anger that is rolling off him in waves as he stares at me, an appalling look on his face.

"If you know you can deflect it then you're not challenging yourself," he grits out.

Sighing exasperatedly he looks at me thoughtfully.

"Whatever happened to the man who was trying to raise a submarine," he asks as he lifts his hand to give me back my gun.

Shaking my head vehemently I stutter out "Wha—I can't," grabbing the gun I shudder. "Something that big? I need the situation, the anger."

"No, the anger is not enough," Charles replies staring at me evenly.

My eyes narrow "it's gotten the job done all this time," I bite out.

Charles shakes his head "it's nearly gotten you killed all this time."

His eyes light up and I know he's getting ready to present a compromise.

"Come here," he says patting my shoulder as he turns to the stone wall at the edge of the manner. "Let's try something a little more challenging," he calls out.

It unnerves me that he's so sure I will follow; perhaps he's in my head.

I don't dwell on that thought but allow my feet to carry me forward until I'm standing next to Charles at the wall.

"You see that," he asks pointing to the satellite dish at the edge of the property.

I nod suddenly feeling uncertain where he is going with this.

"Try turning it to face us," he replies nonchalantly as if he's just asked me to pass him the salt rather than rotate a gigantic satellite in the distance.

My eyes flicker over the dish, I've never had to move something that big on a whim. I'd always had anger on my side, fueling my powers, pushing me to greater accomplishments.

Swallowing I turned back to look at Charles. My eyes must have screamed uncertainty because he gave a slight nod of approval before eyeing the dish behind me.

Taking that as my cue, I turned to face the dish and raised my hands up in front of me.

Fingers outstretched my hands shook as I tried to call out to the dish. Grinding my teeth together I grunted trying to push harder. My hold was weak and even though my arms were trembling filled with tension as I grabbed at the air I knew it was all in vain.

Gasping for air I crumpled against the wall, my hands falling down underneath me. I can hear my heart thumping loudly in my ears and feel my cheeks flaring red from the breath I didn't realize I'd been holding. Slumped over the wall I pushed myself up to rest on my forearms while I got my breathing under control.

There is shuffling on the gravel behind me and then I hear Charles' voice.

"You know, I believe that true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity," he speaks sounding confident.

Feeling my heart rate return to normal I pushed off the wall to face Charles.

"Would you mind if I," he asked wiggling his hand before raising two fingers to his left temple.

I wasn't sure what he was going to do, but I felt myself nodding in approval.

Fingers resting on his temple his eyes slipped shut.

I felt a small intrusion at the edge my mind and then a feeling of warmth began to spread throughout me.

An image of mama appeared in my mind. She was lighting the menorah as she gazed lovingly at me. It would be our last Hanukah together, but that thought fell away as I focused on the moment.

Over the candles I can see mama smile. I felt a rush of feelings wash over me. Happiness. Warmth. Affection. Love. Safety. Protection. Home.

It wasn't until the image faded that I noticed the tears prickling my eyes. Letting out a shaky breath my gaze flashed to Charles.

"What did you just do to me?"

Wiping away a tear, Charles looked to me smiling reassuringly.

"I accessed the brightest corner of your memory system,' he spoke sounding rather proud. Eyes softening he smiled, seeming to radiate pure warmth as he continued softly "it's a very beautiful memory Erik, thank you."

I dropped my gaze to the ground as a nervous chuckle burst past my lips.

"I didn't know I still had that," I whispered in awe.

Charles was suddenly standing next to me studying me intently, as if trying to figure out how to word his next statement, before he opened his mouth to speak.

"There's so much more to you than you know," he spoke carefully. "Not just pain and anger, there's good too, I felt it," he continued more confident in what he was saying. "When you can access all that, you'll possess a power no one can match. Not even me," he finished softly.

I stayed quiet letting the words sink in. As the final three words made their way through my mind I realized that my previous assessment at the CIA compound had been utterly wrong. Charles did have faith in me; perhaps too much, but he believed in me and that's what was important.

The comforting pat on my shoulder knocked me out of my thoughts and I raised my head to look at Charles who was smiling brightly.

"So come on, try again."

Turning to the satellite again I gave one last look to Charles before focusing completely on the dish.

Letting out a breath to calm myself I replayed Charles' words in my head as I raised my right hand up slowly until it was poised outstretched in front of me.

'Between rage and serenity.'

Thoughts of Mama came to mind.

Mama, warmth, safety, love, acceptance, Charles, not alone, belief, trust.

It became a repetitive mantra echoing in my mind as I stretched out through my fingers to the metal in the dish. I felt the metal hum beneath my hold, felt it move to my call as I rotated my hand.

Safety, love, Mama, trust, Charles, belief.

Arm shaking I felt a tear run down my cheek but I ignored, instead focusing on my mantra.

Love, Mama, safety, Charles, trust.

I could hear the satellite creak in protest as I commanded it to move, and I felt a surge of pride begin to quell in my stomach.

I felt, more than saw, Charles straighten up next to me as he watched the satellite shift. He gave me a quick look before turning back to the dish a small smile reaching his lips as I managed to completely turn the dish towards us.

I begin to laugh, face splitting into a big grin as I stare at the dish and what I've accomplished.

Dropping forward I allow myself to breathe in relief. I can hear Charles' hearty laugh as he gives me another friendly pat on my back.

"Well done."

I look at him smiling radiating gratitude, but then again he must already know; he had after all believed from the get go.

We are both laughing softly, relishing over today's training success when Moira sticks her head out of one of the windows.

"Hey," she yells out towards us. "The President's about to make his address," she calls out before retreating back inside.

Whatever sense of pride and accomplishment we were sharing suspended in time has been broken by Moira's interruption.

Charles ceases his laughing and gives me another pat on the shoulder before heading off to the mansion.

I sigh looking at Charles' retreating form as I drag a hand over my face.

'There's so much more to you than you know.'

Grabbing my gun off the ledge I slowly trudge back to the mansion.

'This had better be important Kennedy.'

Rogue felt a slight nudge dig into her side. Her first thought was to ignore it and continue sleeping, she so desperately wanted sleep; however, when the nudge returned rather persistently this time, Rogue's eyes fluttered open.

As her eyes adjusted to the light around her she suddenly realized that she was not in her bed but rather sitting in her desk, having fallen asleep in the middle of Cyclops' English class.

Rubbing wildly at her eyes Rogue silently cursed Erik for his emotional memories. She didn't think she could handle any more from him, not after today anyway. It had been a wild range of emotions in what no doubt probably took a matter of minutes. It was utterly exhausting to relive.

Mind flashing back to the memory Rogue felt her hands begin to twitch slightly as she gripped the edge of her desk.

Moira MacTaggart. She had never met the woman before, but as of now she hated her entire being.

Erik had finally found some peace, a sense of comfort, at least that's what she had felt. And no sooner had he felt that warm presence of acceptance and sense of pride in what he had accomplished, was it suddenly squashed by this woman's nagging reminder of a Presidential Address.

Rogue's knuckles were turning white from the grip she had on the table but she couldn't bring herself to let go; she was far too angry.

There was another soft nudge and this time Rogue looked up to see Bobby giving her a curious look.

"Are you ok," he asked softly before motioning to her hands which were still poised in a death grip on the edge of the desk.

Sighing Rogue slowly relaxed her grip on the desk. Closing her eyes, she swallowed back the sarcastic remark that was bubbling in her throat and instead settled for arranging her face in a composed manner before replying in a clipped tone "fine."

Bobby's eyes narrowed in scrutiny as he looked at Rogue quietly. Dropping his gaze to his paper he mumbled "you were crying when you woke up."

It wasn't a question more a statement, an invasive one at that. Rogue didn't feel like talking about it, least of all to Bobby. They were trying to sort out a relationship that would work for them, and things were already complicated enough without throwing in the fact that 'Hey Bobby guess what, your girlfriend is slowly losing it having to relieve the memories of the man who tried to kill her atop Lady Liberty a few months ago.'

Pulling her gaze away from Bobby to focus on the board where Cyclops had written something about carpetbaggers representing corruption in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. "I don't want to talk about it," she replied tersely.

Eyes flickering to the clock on the wall Rogue silently began to count the seconds left until she could leave and avoid this conversation all together.

1 minute. 60 seconds. 60, excruciatingly long, seconds. It was nearly a lifetime of waiting.

Bobby shifted in his seat to face Rogue defiantly pushing is chin up as he asked "why not," apparently insistent on getting an answer from her.

Rogue focused on the clock. 45 seconds.

"I'd just rather not," she spoke defensively hoping he would just drop it and stop asking.

Bobby remained quiet and Rogue was thankful. 30 seconds.

Her eyes followed the slow path the red second hand was taking around the clock. Slowly it clicked its way around the face; 15 seconds left now.

"I think I should have a right to know why my girlfriend is crying," Bobby spoke sounding hurt.

Grinding her teeth together Rogue shut her eyes tightly; she did not need this right now. The bell sounded and Cyclops gave a reminder to the class that next week they would be starting The Great Gatsby.

Rogue stood up grabbing her binder before whirling around to face Bobby. Face tingeing red Rogue sent a glare to Bobby as she shoved her binder into her backpack roughly.

"You just wouldn't understand so just drop it already," she snapped as she finally managed to pull the zipper shut on her bag.

Throwing the bag over her shoulder Rogue stormed out of the room leaving a very confused Bobby still sitting in his desk.
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