For [community profile] heroines_fest!

Nov. 2nd, 2012 12:37 pm
whipsy: (Rogue)
[personal profile] whipsy
Title: In Denial
Characters: Rogue, Logan, Storm, Kitty, Warren, Gambit
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2070
Disclaimer: Marvel Comics and 20th Century Fox own.
AN: for [community profile] heroines_fest! Okay, so apparently the original prompt was: X-men (films), Rogue, navigating a relationship without touch, but for some reason I wrote this with navigating relationships without touch in mind. *headdesk* Didn't notice until right now when I was about to post, but it's close enough, right? >.<

No one had ever wanted to fix all her problems more desperately than Rogue, the girl herself was certain of it. She knew that relationships came in different shapes and sizes, but what took her longer to accept was that perhaps relationships simply weren't for everyone.

The way Rogue saw things now, it wasn't even worth getting upset over anymore. After all, there was next to nothing anyone could do about it; Beast and Moira had both tried and come up short. The young woman simply had to accept her fate and make peace with her mutant power. In fact, because of it, her professional life was great. She loved fighting, she loved being an X-men, and she was really, really good at it. The problem lay in her personal life.

Disillusioned, she tried to pretend it didn't exist. She'd gotten good at pretending, too. Especially the first few weeks after the cure failed completely. Anger to sadness to denial to regret to blame and back again. She went down the list experiencing damn near every emotion possible when basic human contact was denied her again.

Iceman's frosty lips she kissed for two whole seconds before he passed out. The day after he woke up, he told her it probably wasn't going to work.

Colossus's metal lips were next. The cool, hard, smooth surface was interesting, but Rogue craved warmth, softness... Oh well. No harm, no foul. They'd only been messing around anyway.

"Poor girl can't catch a break."

They all whispered it and Rogue was fed up. It was bad enough she felt sorry for herself, she couldn't stand everyone else's pity. If she got a dollar every time one of them looked at her with that stupid, sympathetic look in their eye, she would've made enough to buy that pretty Harley on sale one town over.

Really, what she wanted to do was just leave. Not tell a soul where she was going and just bounce. With Xavier and Jean both gone... Well, it would be rather easy to disappear.

She hadn't counted on Logan though. Or perhaps she had. Honestly, she's not sure which.

"You running again?"

"Tryin' to."

He gave her that look, the one he saves for when he was truly disappointed. Rogue looked away to be distracted by something, anything. The bus station was empty however.

Placing a heavy hand on her small shoulder, Logan said, "You're gonna be alright, kid."

It wasn't a question, but a statement and Rogue blinked back the sudden onslaught of tears. That's all he needed to say really. They'd had a few of those heart-to-hearts about the raw deal the x-gene had given her, so she didn't need or want another one of those. But when Logan, who didn't believe in anything except what Xavier's dream had come to mean to him, who couldn't remember a whole lot of what his life had been before he joined the X-men (and Rogue knew by the nightmares she still had sometimes that bad things happened to him and by him), that man, he believed in her.

He was also pissed at her though and she could see it when he crossed his arms over his chest.

"You coming home or not?" Her eyes were wide when she glanced up at him. "Told you long ago, kid, I ain't your father, I'm your friend."

She hadn't forgotten that. In fact, she kinda saw him as a little bit of both; a father figure and friend all rolled into one.

Rogue eyed her beat up duffle bag holding her few belongings. Most of them gifts from her friends. The book 'Ro gave her, the ipod with hundreds (probably more like thousands!) of songs courtesy of Kitty, the cashmere scarf and gloves Warren bought for her as a birthday presemnt... There was also the X-men suit Xavier had trusted her with. The sweater Jean and Scott had given her when she first arrived. And of course, Logan's tags.

Seems she'd somehow forgotten that there was more to relationships than romance. Take the man standing before her now. Unlike people at school, when Logan hugged her, he never flinched. Though with his healing factor, he didn't have to be afraid. But the thing was, there were others who'd lost that fear of being near her years ago. Storm, Kitty, even Warren, had all become such good friends of hers. Truth is, they were like her family. She couldn't touch any of them and yet they'd all found ways to touch her. They made her feel welcome, made her feel she was home.

Rogue didn't want to lose that. She was already navigating so many relationships without touch, why had she lost sight of what was truly important because of what happened with two teenage boys.

"Ah wanna go home," she said.

The raised eyebrow Logan gave her warned her she better be sure because she was going to be in a world of pain is she decided to take off again without telling anyone.

"Good." His hands fell to his side. "Let's go."

She picked up her duffle bag and threw it over her shoulder. They walked in silence out of the bus station.

"Anything happen while Ah was gone?" she asked, trying for small talk.

"Not much," he replied gruffly, with a sideways glance she nearly missed.

Something had happened!

"Logan, c'mon!"

He kept walking.

"Logan!"

"It's not a big deal. Just had a visitor, is all."

"Really?" she smiled, her curiosity piqued. Visitors had a way of causing quite a commotion at Xavier's. When Lorna showed up a few months back, the entire school was in a tizzy over the girl.

"Mutant or baseline?" she managed to ask before she saw his bike. She dropped her bag and a fist came to rest on her cocked hip. "Didn't think Ah was going back home or what?"

"Didn't know," he answered honestly. "Figured I'd enjoy the ride better on this either way," he added, mounting his bike.

"Do two people even fit on that thing?"

The helmet he offered was his only reply.

Rogue got on behind him. A little voice in the back of her head wondered why a ride on his bike couldn't have happened five years ago when they first met. The girlish crush had long passed, but this only served to remind her that apparently her life would always be a series of ill timed events.

"So tell me about this visitor?"

"No."

"No?" she laughed. "Why not?"

The engine came alive beneath them and they were off.

...

It took two days of almost non-stop driving to get back within the Westchester county line. Rogue realized that Logan knew she'd return with him, but brought the bike to keep conversations down to a minimum. He wasn't the chatty type.

It worked out alright though. It gave Rogue lots of time to think. About herself and what she wanted. Since she was pretty good with maintaining platonic friendship rather than romantic entanglements, she planned to stick to those types of relationships going forward.

The kissing and intimate skin on skin touching she couldn't do anyway, so what was left? What would she really be missing out on? The drama? Silly misunderstandings? Jealousy fights? Yeah, she could do without those.

With her newfound resolve, she would step foot in Xavier's once again. She was fortunate to have more than enough people she considered friends and family, so Rogue decided she didn't need anything else. And it felt good - so good - to take charge and not let her powers overrun her life.

By the time they reached the school, Rogue's shoulders and neck were stiff, her back was aching, and her behind was numb. Logan and his stupid healing factor walked away like nothing. She was tempted to borrow his powers... See, her powers would come in real handy if she wanted them to. They weren't all bad, she thought with a smile. Grabbing her bag, she followed him inside.

They were mauled by half the students. Kitty and Ororo clung to Rogue and didn't let go. And she was overcome with emotion when she realized neither woman had even stopped to make sure she was fully covered.

"Sorry Ah left," she whispered to them and she meant it wholeheartedly.

"It's okay," Kitty replied sweetly. "Just don't ever do it again!" she threatened.

"All right, give the kid some space," Logan ordered.

All the other students had smiled and touched the sleeve of her coat, but otherwise kept their distance as they mumbled varying versions of 'good to have you back, Rogue.'

Storm pulled back and placed one hand on Rogue's shoulder, "You had us worried."

"Didn't mean to," she promised. "Just had to work through some things."

"And did you?" the older woman asked.

Rogue felt confident in her answer, "Yes."

"You missed our movie date."

Rogue turned to see Warren, his beautiful angel wings out for all to see. Lately, when he was in the school, he went without his coat. It was something Rogue had suggested. She knew the burden of having to be overly dressed.

Heat rushed to her cheeks when he said the word 'date'. They had not referred to it as such, it was always just movie night and everyone was invited to the lounge.

"Think we can try it again?" he asked, now standing directly in front of Rogue. "I'm glad you're back," he added, enveloping her in a warm embrace.

It felt nice but it made Rogue nervous. She'd never looked at him as anything more than a friend- okay, maybe 'never' was an exaggeration. He was cute and very sweet. And rich, added a voice in the back of her head that sounded a lot like Jubilee's. The thing was she truly enjoyed spending time with him. Just hanging out. Rogue didn't want to ruin that with all the problems that came along with her life-sucking powers.

Before she could make a reply, someone behind her cleared their throat. Rogue turned to find someone she'd never seen before staring at her.

"Ain't no one gonna introduce me?" the newcomer asked with a sly grin.

"No," Logan replied at the same time Ororo stepped forward to say, "Rogue this is Gambit. He'll be staying with us for a while."

Immediately, Logan let Storm know he didn't agree. "That's not what we settled on, 'Ro," he growled.

But Rogue soon became distracted by the painfully handsome man who'd taken her hand in his.

"Remy LeBeau at your service," he winked before placing a kiss on the top of her hand.

The warmth of his mouth spread from her knuckles along every inch of her body. That simple gesture made her want to throw out her plan to stay single for the time being out the dang door.

"Rogue," she managed to reply when Kitty nudged her other arm.

"Care to show me 'round the place, Rogue?"

The way her name slid off his tongue made her heartbeat speed up. She couldn't quite place his accent though it was definitely southern.

Without meaning to, Rogue's lips turned up at the corners because she really wanted to give him that tour. If only...if only what? What was she even thinking? Lordy, she really was one of those stupidly hopeless romantics, wasn't she?

"Can't," she replied because cute or not, she wasn't going to waste anymore time wanting impossible things. Her mutation may have limited the type of relationships she could have, but she wasn't going to let it limit the life she led. Not anymore anyway. Besides, she was done crying over things she couldn't change.

"See ya around, Gambit," she smiled. Feeling better than she had in a long time, Rogue picked up her bag and disappeared up to her room.

Ororo watched the girl walk away with an unexpected bounce in her step. Before heading up the staircase, Rogue turned back to look at Gambit over her shoulder. Perhaps the small action shouldn't have worried Ororo as much as it did.

"You think she's really okay?" Kitty asked.

"If she isn't, we'll be here for her," Ororo replied with an encouraging smile. Still, the older woman hoped Rogue had actually managed to work through some of her issues. If not she was going to end up right back where she had been before running away.
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