Title: Dance Among the Stars: What If...
Rating: PG I actually got it that tame...wow
Summary: Rogue takes some risks
Series: Dance Among the Stars #3
Category: Rogue POV, no sign of L/R at the moment
'though, trust me, it's on the horizon...
Disclaimer: If I owned all of these people, do you
think this would be a mere fanfic? No, it'd be canon,
blazoned on the walls, etc etc etc. So, let's just say
that, since you haven't seen this on the big screen,
in an authorized book, or on TV, the characters in it
aren't mine. Of course, if you hadn't wanted me to
write about them, why the hell'd you let 'em clamor
about in my head for gods only know how long, making
me have to write this? Hmmmm?
Archive: Ask. You'll receive. Trust me. I have no
Author's Notes: This one's kinda weird. I'm not quite
sure WHAT I was thinking when I wrote it, but I think
it fits in. I tried to tie it in.
< > indicates telepathic thought
One, two, three, four.
Four bright lights shining above my head. They are my
focus, my anchor in the relentless, torrential river
of my own memories.
If their memories had behaved as my memories now are,
I would have been so frightened that I would've begged
the Professor for help much earlier on.
My second battle was easier than the first. Strange,
isn't that? In a fair world, I could have progressed
in steps from slightly difficult to very dangerous. Of
course, no one ever said it's a fair world, did they?
We were sent to rescue a group of six newly-emerged
mutants from a mob which was chasing them through the
streets of Chicago. The last of the scared, confused
adolescents was boarding the Blackbird with Jean and
Storm guiding them and me standing outside for defense
just in case when three members of the Brotherhood
showed up at a run. I guess they figured they'd try
and recruit a few young, impressionable mutants who
wouldn't know how evil their intentions were.
They certainly didn't figure on me. Even I didn't
realized I was going to do it until I did.
We weren't looking for a fight with the Brotherhood
just then. It was pretty damn inconvenient, if you ask
me, for them to show up when we were in the middle of
a rescue mission with a mob probably only minutes from
finding out our location. So, I did the only thing I
could to do at the moment, up against the three of
them by myself.
The man who was obviously their group's leader came at
me fast. I stripped off my glove and ran to meet him.
I vaguely remember hearing Jean yell for me to stop,
but I couldn't. My blood was pounding, and I could
almost feel my skin itching in anticipation of what I
knew I was about to do.
He swung at me with a large fist that resembled a
rock. I grinned, ducked, and reached up to touch his
bare face with my bare right hand.
I held on only long enough to watch his eyes roll back
into his head. Pulling away wasn't too difficult,
actually. What he was, his mind and what could be
called his soul, repulsed me. I stood there breathing
heavily as he crashed to the ground. My hands began to
grow and harden, and I glared at his "friends" and
sneered. They ran.
Okay, so maybe I looked strange swaggering into the
Blackbird with fists twice the size which they
normally were. Maybe my eyes were bright yellow
instead of the brown they'd been moments earlier. But
did that warrant the tirade which followed?
"Rogue! What the hell were you thinking?" Scott yelled
at me from the pilot's seat. As soon as we were
airborne he turned. I could tell from his clenched jaw
that he was glaring at me, and that he was furious.
My guard was up immediately. "I saved our asses out
there, that's what I'm thinking now! All they needed
were some scare tactics used against 'em! Remember,
the bright ones are sent to do the recruiting, Scott,
or so you've told me countless times!" I yelled right
back, trying to ignore how much my hands ached.
"Enough, both of you! Rogue, come here and let me take
a look at your hands," Jean commanded from the doorway
that lead to the Blackbird's Small medical unit. I
"That wasn't exactly a smart thing you did back
there," Jean murmured as she examined my hands.
"I know, but I was the only one left to protect us
all, and I was pretty sure it would work," I replied
coolly, wincing a little when she pressed her
latex-covered thumb into the back of my right hand.
"How sure?" she asked.
" 'Bout 95%," I said with a twist of my lips that
might have been called a smile, if the person
describing it was in a good mood and had nothing
She sighed. "I have to admit, you did what I would
have done, Rogue, but that doesn't mean I'm not
worried about you," she told me quietly.
For the first time in a long while, I recalled our
conversation of over a year ago. I didn't like
thinking that I'd placed so much of a burden on the
woman who had tried so hard to be kind to me, and all
with a few pain-filled sentences.
I covered her gloved hand with my bare one. "I hardly
ever think about what my power can't do for me
anymore," I told her. It was true. Instead, I thought
only of memories in those days. The ones I had, and
the ones I might be able to collect.
Jean looked at me, as if searching for something.
Finally, her shoulders relaxed and she smiled
slightly. "Thanks," was all she said. It was enough.
"Your bones and musculature have been elarged and
hardened, as you can see. I'm a little concerned about
the flow of blood to and from your hands, but we'll
monitor you closely until the mutation begins to fade.
Don't worry, it shouldn't be too long," Jean said at a
normal volume as she ushered me into the main section
of the Blackbird. I nodded like this had been our
conversation all along.
Neither Scott nor Storm talked to me on the way back
to the mansion. I didn't really mind. I was busy,
actually, trying to press down the new memories, which
were incredibly dark and full of anger, pain and
loneliness. Those feelings were so close to my own,
the only differences in the twisted state of the new
feelings, the pleasure that the pain had brought the
man whose name I knew, after thinking about it for
barely a second, was Suicide. Well, yeah, he'd sure
I heard him calling my name as soon as the Blackbird
landed gently in the hangar. <Rogue, please come to my
I wasn't about to argue. I suddenly wanted away from
the people I'd let get so close as to call them
"friends," even though we weren't friends in the usual
sense. So I rushed out of the hangar and took the
elevator to the upper level, where the X-Men's
headquarters ended and the mansion which was a school
He was sitting behind his desk, wearing that calm look
which had always made me wish I could infuriate him,
just once. I wondered if he and Jean had been talking
telepathically about me. They probably were. I never
asked, not during that interview, not afterwards. I
"Rogue, please sit down," Professor Xavier said
heavily. He leaned forward and folded his hands on top
of his desk.
The Eric in me recognized this gesture was one he made
when he was about to give one of his "I'm not trying
to tell you what to do, but..." lectures. I groaned
inwardly, as quietly in my mind as I possibly could,
and settled into a chair facing him.
"Thank you. Now, Rogue, I'd like to say first that I'm
very worried for you. You are still underweight, no
doubt from training too hard and missing a meal or two
a day. That's not healthy for you, and you know it.
However, I've begun to think that you aren't merely
physically unwell, especially after Jean's report to
me earlier...Rogue, what were you thinking?" he asked
me, unconsciously echoing Scott's question from
earlier but in a softer, kinder voice.
I stared down at my hands, then I answered, "I knew
that we had to stop them. I was sure that scare
tactics were all that was needed, and I was right. The
other two ran. The third member of their little party
will probably wake up in a few days--unless that mob
got to him?" The thought hadn't occured to me, and it
made my voice sharper than I had intended to think
that Suicide might not survive. Strange, isn't it,
what having someone in your head will make you feel?
Protectiveness towards that guy was the last thing
that had been on my mind an hour before, but now I was
worried that he might be killed by that damn mob.
"No, his Brothers managed to get him to safety. But,
Rogue, what if you hadn't suceeded? What if they had
ganged up on you? You're not invulnerable, you know.
Logan is. You are not him, no matter how much of his
personality you may have absorbed," the Professor
said, his small smile acknowledging the faint traces
of Logan which could sometimes be seen in my behavior.
I seriously thought about this for a minute before
replying. "If those kids had made it here safely,
Professor, then it would have been worth it. As long
as we're playing 'what if' here, well, then what if
those goons had managed to get on the Blackbird? More
than my life was at stake, sir," I said slowly.
Professor Xavier nodded. "I see that you realized
that, instictively perhaps, and that you acted on it.
I can't say that I approve wholely of what you did,
but I understand, and I'm very proud of you," he told
I felt a burning sensation in my eyes. For the first
time in a long while I was close to tears. I let my
eyes shut and sat there for a moment, then I opened
them and smiled at him. "Thank you, Professor."
"You may go get some rest now, Rogue. You've earned
it," he told me.
I smiled and stood up, leaving silently and in a much
better state of mind than I'd been in on entering that
And when I got to my room, I laid down on my bed and
accessed the new memories. Maybe there was something
worth my time in them . . .
Five, six, seven, eight.
I count them over and over as I lay here and review my
life thus far. At the time I have just described, my
downward spiral, my dance of self-destruction, was
almost complete. I know that I am as near to normal as
I have ever been right now, so I can say this with
That wasn't the end, though. No, my climatic final
steps were close, but this time, no cigar.
You know what they say. Big claws, big....
~Sarah says from the Wolverine X-Fiction Site
It's the people who claim they're perfectly sane who really scare me.
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