TITLE: On Her Mind
AUTHOR: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these character, nor do I make any kind of money.
UNIVERSE: X-Men Evolution
NOTE: I’d like to restate that I have never read any of the X-Men comics. I have never even seen an X-Men comic. All statements made herein stem primarily from the first season of X-Men Evo and secondarily from a couple of really vague memories of the original cartoon and maybe a few bits and pieces of the first movie. So, if the Jos solution of “Rogue’s Physical Contact Dilemma” has already been disproved by the comics there was no way I could know about it.
It was another bright, sunny day, so it was a bit of a pity that it was a school day. Jean walked through the Bayville High corridors, thinking. She was going over two little events again and again inside her head. Last Saturday, she had walked past the bathroom and mentally overheard someone thinking… very particular kinds of thoughts about Kitty. Then, she’d seen Rogue who had put on different clothes. She had instantly assumed that Rogue had changed clothes after taking a bath and that it had therefore been her who had been thinking about Kitty.
As far as conclusions go, it wasn’t a very solid one. There were lots of people living in the mansion and they all took baths. It didn’t have to be Rogue who had been in the bathroom at that particular time. It could have been anyone. Preferably a male anyone who wasn’t Scott.
Secure in the knowledge that she hadn’t overheard Rogue’s private fantasies Jean cheerfully turned a corner and stopped. Rogue was standing there near her locker, apparently busy taking out some books. Somewhat further down the corridor was Kitty, apparently gushing over a few guys.
This wasn’t a very unusual scene. Kitty seemed to have crushes left and right and Jean had very often seen Rogue take things out of her locker.
Still… there was something not quite right. Rogue’s arm did disappear into her locker, but it wasn’t moving, her face was half-turned towards a blushing and stuttering Kitty and… was that a smile?
Jean stepped a little closer, hoping that Rogue didn’t notice her.
Yep, those were upturned lips sure enough. Rogue was smiling. And it was Kitty that made her smile.
Coincidence, obviously. Just because Kitty amused Rogue didn’t mean that the girl thought about her in a very particular kind of way.
Unfortunately, there was only one way to be really sure.
“Hey Rogue,” Jean said brightly and slightly louder than she was supposed to.
Rogue’s head snapped to the side, staring straight at Jean. The upturned corners of her mouth had turned into far more familiar and comfortable downward corners.
“Hi Jean,” Rogue said, not unfriendly.
“Wow, look at Kitty, eh?” Jean said, nodding in the girl’s general direction. “Two crushes at the same time.”
“Certainly looks that way,” said Rogue.
“Every time some cute guy comes along she swoons, isn’t that right?” said Jean. The brightness in her voice sounded forced. It was.
“Wouldn’t know,” said Rogue. “I just know that she didn’t hook up with any one of them.”
“Maybe it’s because she spazzes out around them, don’t you think?” Jean continued.
She wasn’t doing anything wrong, Jean considered. Just talking about Kitty, their mutual friend and co-hero. And if all this talking sort of accidentally triggered a mental scream from Rogue, then that was just a coincidence.
“That’s not a very nice thing to say,” said Rogue. “Sounds more like something I’d say.”
“Really?” said Jean, still waiting for that scream. The only thing she could hear coming from Rogue were vague impressions of hairbrushes and shampoo.
“Yes,” said Rogue, slowly and deliberately. “Really.”
“Well, in that case I guess I’m sorry,” said Jean, silently cursing the chaotic and nonsensical nature of the human subconscious. “I guess I’d better be going. Bye.”
Jean wandered off, none the wiser and quite convinced that she made a complete fool of herself.
There are several places in the human body where new cells are being produced at a slightly faster rate than anywhere else. These new cells push the above layer of older, and deader, cells away before they themselves die and are in turn pushed away by a whole new layer of cells. The dead cells that are being pushed away cease being actual cells after some time and are then known to the common man as “hair”.
This is another random bit of biological trivia that Rogue thought she would never have any real use for.
That is, until it really sank in that hair is dead. It’s not alive. It’s not really a part of the human body, it’s just something that frames it in order to trap heat.
Rogue found that whatever it was she absorbed from people could not be absorbed from a few layers of scales and protein strands. She could touch hair.
Which was why Rogue was sitting cross-legged on Kitty’s bed with a hairbrush in her hands. It wasn’t something Rogue had ever thought she would do. Brushing another girl’s hair had always sounded a little too much like “slumber party” to her.
“You notice anything strange about Jean lately?” Rogue asked, as she pulled the brush down Kitty’s hair for the umpteenth time.
“Hmm?” said Kitty.
Rogue smiled faintly. Kitty tended to go monosyllabic when Rogue was brushing her hair. It was the only kind of physical contact they had without any clothes getting in the way.
“It’s just that she seems kinda jumpy whenever she’s around me, you know,” Rogue continued.
“Hmm,” said Kitty.
Rogue rolled her eyes, put the brush down next to her and, after quickly checking that both their pyjamas were completely covering the skin, pulled Kitty into a hug, her arms wrapping around her waist from behind.
“Mind telling me where you are?” Rogue asked.
“My happy place?” Kitty suggested.
“Pink clouds, fluffy bunnies, that sort of thing?”
“That sort of thing,” Kitty said.
“Did you hear anything I said?” Rogue asked.
“Sort of,” said Kitty. “Something about Jean, right?”
“Well now, I’m impressed,” Rogue said. “You actually did manage to pick up one or two words.”
“It’s OK. I’d zone out too if I were you I guess.”
“Well, if you’d just let your hair grow longer so that I could brush it without any danger of touching your scalp…”
“Worth a shot,” said Kitty. “So what was that about Jean?”
“Ah, forget it,” said Rogue. “Wasn’t important anyway.”
“If you say so.”
“Well, goodnight,” said Rogue, before she pressed her lips on the cloth that covered Kitty’s shoulder. “If you need me, I’ll be over there in my own bed.”
Kitty chuckled briefly. “Goodnight Rogue.”
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