Disclaimer: Rogue and Bobby are Marvel's,
not mine. Yay them.
Continuity: Shortly before X-Men #45, on the roadtrip.
Note: Wrote this a fair while ago - first draft in May '98,
according to my notes, though they're never very accurate. I was practising
my Rogue (which, obviously, could desperately use the practise...
;-)) Found it today while going through my files, looking for something
I actually wanted to work on (didn't find anything. big surprise there).
It's not remotely original, it's a bit Remy/Rogue, which is now my
all time least favourite thing ever, and the ending sucks in a big
way, but I don't think it's quite as bad as I thought then.
So I figured I might as well post it. If it's crap, just blame it
on my two years ago self, and assume I've grown since. <g>
So now, Bobby, Rogue, and her exciting accent, in:
Rogue lay flopped on her bed, arms wrapped behind her head. Another
day, another hotel room. Another step closer to the place she didn't
want to go. Another inch closer to the truth. Go there or don't go
That was where the answers were. She could up and go look for them,
any time. She would too, she knew it. Couldn't keep away from it,
a sore on her soul she kept scraping up against, a scab she couldn't
keep from itching.
Not mah soul. Remy's.
But it was in her now, and she needed to take a closer look at it,
one of these days. And the eyes she needed to see it were in Seattle.
Go there or don't go there.
Flip a coin. Take a risk.
You a gambler, ain't ya?
No. Not today. Not yet.
Ah'm on a road trip, that's all. Ah'm lookin' to find mah
self, not Remy's. If there's even much of a difference these days...
Too wound to sleep, she slipped out of her room, into the hall, and
tried Bobby's door. It would be locked, of course ... except that
A slight smile lit on her lips at that; you'd expect a superhero
to be a bit more paranoid, but Bobby never had been. Never would be,
and she'd bet on that. Someone who'd seen the kind of things
he had oughta be less trusting...
Or mebbe he jus' forgot, neh?
She opened the door quietly, caught sight of a dark figure hovering
in the room -- and her heart stopped a moment before she realised
it was her own reflection in the wardrobe mirror.
Ah hate mirrors, she thought churlishly, though it was a
new hate, barely a week old. Born early one morning in another cheap
hotel, as she'd stared at her reflection in admiration. Beautiful
hair. Beautiful eyes. Pert nose, pouting lips. Wonderful body ...
that no one would ever touch ... and she'd punched the mirror in sudden
rage, despising the mockery it made of her beauty.
It shattered over her fist and feet, pieces of glass tinkling to
What a pretty sound, she thought distantly. Well, Ah guess
a mirror's gotta be good for somethin'.
"Rogue?" Bobby's anxious face had peered around the door, looking
at the broken glass in surprised worry. "Are you okay?" and she'd
turned on him, suddenly hating him, too, for his endless concern and
his unconditional friendship and his ability to touch, touch...
"Ah'm invulnerable." She spat the words at him. "Of course
Ah'm okay. Why don't ya use your brain and your eyes for once,
insteada jus' your mouth?" And then, Damn it, why's he have to
look at me like that, like some kicked puppy? He knows Ah didn't
"Look, will ya just get me a brush or somethin' to clean this up?"
He blinked at her stupidly, and she suppressed another irritated
outburst while he re-focused his attention on the glass. He shrugged
-- and she found that annoyed her too, just because.
"No need," he said, "I've got it." He iced over the fragments of
glass carefully, and pulled the whole lot into one big snowball, which
he dumped in the metal wastepaper bin. Then he pulled the ice back
out of the bin, leaving only the glass behind. "There." He looked
at his work in satisfaction. "But I don't do floors or windows, okay?
So you'd better not break any of them."
"Fine," she replied sourly. "Thanks. Ah won't." She threw herself
grumpily on the bed, trying to avoid his suddenly serious gaze.
"Rogue -- can I ask you something?"
A heartfelt sigh. "Ah guess."
"Promise you won't get mad?"
A derisive snort. "Ah'll do no such thing. Ah know the sorta
questions you like to ask Mister Drake."
His most innocent face, and: "No, it's nothing like that. Geez, you've
got such a dirty mind. Tsk tsk." He shook his head disapprovingly
and she laughed despite herself. "Okay, here goes then." He sat back
on his heels, apparently steeling himself for her reaction. "How come
you've never tried to control your powers?"
It was the last question she'd expected, and her temper snapped back
on line, right on cue. "What the hell are ya taking about? All Ah've
ever done is try to control them. Ah can't." She flounced
to her feet furiously, thinking, Drake, window, free trip to the
stratosphere. But he waved his hands placatingly as he fell back
on his butt.
"That's not what I meant! I mean -- artificially, y'know? I dunno,
a modified collar or something. Or inhibitor drugs. Or," he was warming
up to his subject in a big way, wasn't he, "you could've asked Hank
or Forge to try and find a way to block just your absorbing powers
and leave you the rest. Or something. But you never did. And
I'm just wondering -- why."
"Ah didn't want to control them artificially. It wouldn't be safe
for one thing. And I'm never wearing one a those collars--"
"I just suggested that as a--"
A finger waved dangerously close to his eyes: "Ah don't want
to mess around with drugs or mechanical devices or whatever. Ah want
to control them on my own. Can ya understand that Bobby, or is the
idea of self-control completely beyond you?"
"Fair enough. I just asked. And y'know, you did promise not to get
mad." He gave her the puppy dog eyes again, forcing her into a reluctant
"Ah did not." She sighed, the smile fading. "Ah guess ah can understand
why you'd think it was easier to control them some artificial way,
but it just ain't enough for me. Ah joined the X-men in the first
place so ah could learn how to control them myself, even though mama
offered to find me some other way. Only -- somewhere along the way,
ah guess ah gave up on that, cos I just never seemed to get any closer."
She sighed gustily again, but instead of offering sympathy, Bobby
just looked at her thoughtfully.
"So ... if you've given up on trying to control them naturally, why
don't you try controlling them artificially?"
"Why don't you shut the hell up?" God damn him.
"Sorry." He backed off, way off, but wasn't it just too late for
him to be makin' nice? "Just trying to help--"
"Well don't! Ah don't need your help, Bobby Drake. Ah only
let ya come with me cos ah figured you could use some time away yourself,
not so ya could spent the whole time gettin' on mah nerves!"
"Rogue, would you just--"
And she could stop there, and let him speak, but contempt was so
much easier, "Ya can't even control your own powers properly,
what the hell do ya think gives ya the right to tell me what t'do
with mine?"Aand she knew she'd gone too far as soon as the angry words
broke from her lips.
There were things they didn't talk about, it was understood. Bobby
wouldn't ask about Remy's memories, she wouldn't mention anything
to do with the 'E' word, even if she did know for a fact that whatever
Emma 'Bitch Queen' Frost had done to him still gave him screaming
nightmares. The subject was out of bounds, in a big way -- and now
she'd used it as a weapon, to win an argument he'd hardly even been
taking part in.
The shocked hurt in his eyes made her feel a bitch.
That's cos you're being a bitch.
"Bobby--" How many apologies before he tired of hearing them? "Ah'm
sorry. Ah didn't mean it. Ah'm just -- frustrated." And that, she
thought, was not even one of her better ones.
"I know Rogue. I understand that you--"
"Ya don't know." And she lashed out again, her anger returning,
again, yet again, so much easier to be angry, and something so comforting
about it... "You think ya understand? Ya don't have a clue
what it's like for me, goin' all my life never being able to touch
anyone, not for so much as a second." Full rant mode, clear the decks,
"No handshakes, no hugs, no kisses, no wiping anyone's tears away,
no-one ever wiping yours. You think ya can know what that's like?
You just try it mister, and see how long you last!"
"Okay." And he agreed, calmly, deflating her fury with a word,
"You're right. I don't know what it's like for you. So I'll try it.
And see how long I last."
He lasted three days, and freely admitted it probably would've been
less if they hadn't mostly been on the road, away from other people.
The experiment ended when he accidentally brushed the hand of the
attendant, handing over the cash at a petrol station.
He hadn't even noticed until she pointed it out.
"I betcha ya woulda noticed if he'd collapsed at your feet," she'd
said tartly, and didn't mention that three days was a lot longer than
she'd managed when she first got her powers.
"Okay, okay, I admit it. I confess my total inadequacy and incompetence.
Your life is suckier than mine. You are a far stronger and more wonderful
person than me. Now are you done gloating yet?"
Strong? Was she? She'd thought of herself as strong, once, a long
time ago. Thought she was tough. Thought she could handle anything
life threw at her. Until she'd kissed the Cajun, and he'd sucked all
of her strength right out of her.
It was supposed to be the other way around, wasn't it? She was the
one with the power. He was the one in the coma. But here she was,
falling apart at the seams, going crazy without knowing why.
Years she'd gone, not touching. Years, and years and years and years
and years and years and years and years and years--
Alone. Separate. Isolate. Trapped in her own skin, no exit, no visitors.
She'd learnt to cope with it. Accept it. Try not to think about it.
A body can get used to just about anything, after all.
And so she'd been just fine with it, she'd managed just fine and
dandy, until along came Remy LeBeau to rub her nose in it, to wave
love in her face, to bring it up, over and over and over again --
We can't touch, you can't touch. Can't touch, won't touch. Just
one touch, oh, just one touch, please...
You manipulative bastard, Remy. Why couldn't ya just leave me
And she wondered, not for the first time, if this desperate need
for contact, this sudden, pathetic inability to manage on her own,
as she had always done before, was really hers.
Maybe she could blame it on Remy.
No. Coward. It's you what's gotta deal with it, don't help none
to go throwing the blame on someone else. Even if it does belong there
... But if ya can't cope anymore, well -- ya could once. So you'll
just have to learn how to again, all over again. You can do it. Ain't
no choice, so suck it up and deal.
But she stared at Bobby's sleeping form, longingly.
Just one touch, oh, just one touch, please...
If she could just touch him ... just a little touch, nothing that
would hurt him. He was asleep. He'd never know, just sleep a little
longer in the morning. Wake up with a hangover from drinking he didn't
Was one little touch really so much to ask? A touch of human contact,
skin on her skin. Her hand went involuntarily to her own face, rubbed
hard against her cheekbone, feeling the slick sweat there. She leaned
into her own caress, desperately wishing it was someone else. Anyone
"Whu -- Rogue? What're you doing in here?"
She started as Bobby's sleep-filled voice invaded her fantasy, and
then smiled, turning on the southern charm that had, over the years,
become second nature to her.
Dere ain't not'ing I can't charm m' way out of...
"Ah -- Ah'm hot. It's terrible hot in mah room. Woo, even with your
powers, Ah just don't know how ya can stand it sugah." She
dropped impulsively to her knees beside his bed, as he sat up in puzzlement.
"Be a sweetie and cool me off some, huh?"
"You woke me up for this? Y'know, there's an ice-machine out in the
hall. Or you could do like one of those 'normal' humans you keep saying
you want to be, and take a cold shower..." But he held out his icy
hand anyway, inches from her face. She felt a breath of coolness,
heard a faint crackle, as he dropped the temperature around her body.
She shivered slightly and leaned forward a little. Just a little further
and she could touch him, taste him, she could...
She glanced up at his face. He hadn't moved his hand away, though
her lips were bare millimetres from it now. And he wouldn't, she knew.
But his clear blue eyes looked steadily into hers, and she felt suddenly
ashamed. She got up and moved away.
"So, you wanna tell me what this is about Rogue?" His voice was calm,
there were no accusations in it. There never were.
"Ah toldya, Ah was--"
"Hot. Yeah. And?" She let silence fill the room again, hoping he'd
break it himself, change the subject, let it go, he always
let it go ... but he didn't. Just let his question hang in the air
until she finally answered it.
"Ah wanted to -- touch you," she confessed defiantly.
"You -- you did?" But she missed the strange tone in that, as she
continued, suddenly passionate.
"Oh god, to touch anyone! Ah just want it so much, just to -- ah
don't know." Passion fled, and shame crept back in its place, status
quo, once again, again. "Ah'm sorry," again, "I know ah shouldn'ta
even thought of it but - Ah've gone so long, alone, y'know?
Sometimes ... sometimes ah just don't think ah can stand it another
"I know," he said softly. She didn't hear him. She never did.
He sat on the edge of the bed and she could feel him watching her
anxiously, feel him not knowing what to do.
"Do you really think it would help? To touch -- someone?"
She sighed as she admitted, "No. Not really. For a little while,
maybe. For a second. Ah don't know." She moved to leave. "Ah'm sorry
ah woke ya Bobby. I was just--"
"Hot?" and his eyes twinkled slightly. Forgiving her, as always.
One more time. She smiled her thanks at his understanding, and moved
toward the door.
He said, "Rogue, wait--" but he stood too fast, moved too close,
stumbled -- and his hand clutched against her arm before either of
them had time to stop it. For a split second his wide, horrified eyes
met hers and then he was falling and she was backing away and there
were thoughts in her head that weren't her own and they were all of--
"Oh. God. Oh God. Ah didn't know. Ah didn't know--" she choked
herself off and tried to push the thoughts away. The touch had been
so brief she hadn't gotten much,
much too much too much too much
and it wasn't hard to get under control.
But his unconscious body lay at her feet, accusingly.
She wrapped him gently in a sheet, careful not to touch him again,
and put him back in his bed. If she was real lucky, if they were both
real lucky, he wouldn't even remember it tomorrow. And tomorrow --
tomorrow they'd start heading -- for Seattle? For the truth? Go there
or don't go there.
Go. Go. Just go.
And, "Ah'm sorry," she whispered softly. "Ah'm so sorry." Deep in
an unnatural sleep, he didn't stir, and tears pricked her eyes again
as she slowly closed the door behind her.
He was funny, kind, generous, compassionate. A handsome man. A good
person. A wonderful friend. He was there when she needed him. He forgave
He loved her.
She wished it was enough.
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