TITLE: Down the Other Path
AUTHOR: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters and am not making a profit.
NOTE: For Rogue month, a quick little rewrite of a scene from the first X-Men Movie. Kind of.
It was a nice, sunny day at Xavier's School for the Gifted, but Rogue couldn't enjoy it. She sat by herself on a small bench underneath a tree. Somewhere ahead of her, students were walking around, chatting, playing basketball. Rogue wasn't amongst them. Very definitely wasn't amongst them.
After all, they didn't have to worry about killing people with a touch.
Rogue absentmindedly scratched her knuckles. She'd never had her skin torn apart by the steel... no, adamantium claws beneath, but she remembered the pain.
No, not remembered. She wasn't Logan so she couldn't remember. But she knew about the pain. She knew how fierce it was.
So... knowing yes, remembering no.
Semantics could be a great distraction sometimes.
But it never lasted long. Unbidden, unwanted, Rogue's thoughts swerved back to last night when she'd tried to wake Logan up from a nightmare and had got stabbed through the chest because of it.
And then she'd reached out with her hand.
The next thing she knew, the other kids moved out of her way like a sea parting in front of a genuine prophet.
Rogue scratched her knuckles again. Adamantium really itched.
Rogue blinked. She hadn't noticed the two girls walking up to her and sitting down next to her.
"You looked pretty gloomy, so we thought we'd go cheer you up or something," said the girl with the black hair and yellow coat. Jubilee, if Rogue remembered correctly.
"Well, when she says we thought, she really means she thought and I just went along with it," the other girl said. Kitty.
"Thanks," said Rogue. "But I'm alright."
"Yeah, you really look like it," said Jubilee. "Sitting alone all by yourself."
"That was redundant," said Kitty.
"Whatever," said Jubilee. "Anyway, how are you really doing?"
"Confused," Rogue admitted. "A bit scared perhaps. All the other kids have been avoiding me."
Jubilee laughed. Kitty glared at her.
"Jubes, stop being insensitive."
Jubilee waved a hand in front of her face. "Sorry, sorry, but c'mon. OK, yeah, some jerks have been avoiding you, but let's face it, you've decided to sit down on the only isolated bench on the grounds."
"But you had an accident," said Kitty. "It happens. And yes, some may be a bit afraid of you for a while, but they'll get over it."
"After all, you're not the first kid who's ever almost killed someone around here," said Jubilee.
Rogue looked at her strangely. "Was that supposed to comfort me?"
"Sure it was," said Jubilee. "I mean, there was this one time that Kitty and me were..."
"Er-hem," Kitty coughed.
"...engaged in something together," Jubilee continued without missing a beat, "and then my powers kind of accidentally let loose. Burned her up pretty bad."
"But I'm fine now," said Kitty. "As you can see."
"So," said Jubilee, "the point is we're not mad at you, we're not afraid of you and if you want we could go do something right now."
"Like what?" Rogue asked.
"Like something that doesn't involve sulking on your own," said Jubilee. "So how about it?"
Rogue looked at Jubilee and couldn't help but smile back at her. "Sure. Sounds like fun."
Jubilee grabbed Rogue's hand and pulled her to her feet. Even through the glove, the mere feeling of someone (someone who knew) unconcernedly grabbing her sent shivers through her body. And when she looked at Jubilee...
Whoa. Logan thoughts.
Definitely Logan thoughts. Because it was Logan who could have that kind of thoughts, however brief, about teenage girls and not Rogue, right?
Jubilee, apparently oblivious to Rogue's thoughts, said, "Hey kittens, aren't you coming with?"
Kitty looked at Rogue and Jubilee with an intensitity that made Rogue feel a bit uneasy. Then she suddenly brightened. "No, I just remembered I still have that stupid Physics project to work on. But you two go ahead, you know. Have fun."
"Well, if you're sure," said Jubilee. "Later."
Rogue felt herself being towed along by Jubilee. She didn't know where they were going and what they were going to do once they got there, but she didn't much care. She had a feeling she could trust Jubilee to come up with something fun.
Not really looking where she was going, Jubilee collided with Bobby.
"Whoa, sorry," said Jubilee. "You alright?"
Bobby said nothing. He just looked at Rogue, gave Jubilee a murderous glare and stalked off.
"Yes, I'm fine too, thank you!" Jubilee yelled after him. "Man, what is up with him?"
"Don't know," said Rogue. "Maybe he's just in a bad mood."
"Could be," said Jubilee. She winked. "Or maybe he's just mad that I'm eloping with his girlfriend."
"I'm not his girlfriend," said Rogue.
"I know, I know," said Jubilee. "Of course, you know, the way he looked at you in History yesterday... if it were up to him..."
"But it's not up to him," said Rogue.
"No," said Rogue. "I'll elope with whoever the hell I want."
Jubilee smiled like an angel. "Really?" she said.