FIC: The Price of Love 2/?
- The Price of Love 2/?
For Disclaimers, etc. see part one.
Rogue's having one of her "Erik" days.
Her paperclip sculpture of what can only be described as some sort of
quasi-pyramid is growing large enough on her desk to attract
attention in our small class. It's unreal the way she can keep it
standing. It looks fragile enough that a breath might knock it over,
but as long as she's concentrating, I've never seen anything take
down one of her masterpieces.
She told me once how she did it, but all the details about balancing
the positive and negative ions inherent in the metal sounded like one
of the professor's physics classes. I already get enough of that in
school, thank you.
I know, one month from graduation, and I've developed a serious case
of senior-itis. Jubes is much worse than I am, though. She barely
does any homework at all and spends her time in class looking out the
window, passing notes, or...
"Rogue, in what year did the Six-Day War take place and who were the
combatants?" Miss Munroe asked.
Dammit, I hate it when she does that. She'll talk on and on about a
subject and then, when you least expect it, she'll attack. Questions
fly at random students like sniper fire, and if you don't answer
correctly, you're dead. At least she didn't call on me.
"1967. Israel attacked Egypt, Jordan, and Syria," Rogue answered
dully, without taking her eyes off her sculpture.
Now I know for a fact that Rogue didn't read the lesson, but on
her "Erik" days, she seems to know more than Miss Munroe herself.
"Erik loves history and lives for the news," Rogue'd told me
once. "He thinks if you don't learn from history, you're doomed to
It just isn't fair. It's like she has a full-time expert whispering
the answers to her. It's not just her, either. I know that the
telepaths try to read minds during our tests. It got so bad a while
back that Dr. Grey or Professor Xavier had to come in during exam
time. Why can't I have a useful mutation like those? It's not like
phasing through my table'll help me get higher marks.
"Kitty, what lands did Israel gain as a result of the Six-Days War?"
Miss Munroe asked, catching me distracted again.
"Umm," I answer, drawing the sound out into a sentence to try and
give myself a chance to think. Israel... lands... I should know
this. I'm Jewish for heaven's sake. Where's all that fighting take
"Uh, the West Bank," I start.
After a long pause, she nods, and says, "Yes, continue."
"The, um, Gaza Strip?"
"Uh huh," she encourages. "Three more."
Three more? Three? You've gotta be kidding me. Call on someone
else. But I know she won't. She'll just stand up there staring at
me until I'm done or until I get it wrong.
"Well, um, there's... let's see... Jerusalem?"
"East Jerusalem. Right. Two more."
Two... two... C'mon, there's...
The tinkling of falling paperclips distracts me from my impending
doom as the pyramid collapses on Rogue's desk. When I turn to look
at her, I can see that she's already up and running out of the room.
"I'll get her, Miss Munroe," I say, jumping up and running out before
she can order me back. Saved by the Rogue!
Of course I'm concerned for my friend, nothing's ever distracted her
enough to drop a sculpture before, but that doesn't mean I can't be
extremely grateful for escaping Miss Munroe's attentions.
As soon as I got out in the hall, I knew that there was nothing
wrong. In fact, for the first time in over a month, Rogue seemed
"Logan!" she screamed as she jumped into his arms.
I swear, if he didn't have that metal skeleton, that bear hug
would've broken a few ribs. He didn't seem to mind, though. He was
smiling, actually smiling, and hugging her right back.
"Good ta see ya, kid," he said with a chuckling laugh.
"What's up?" Jubes whispered, coming up behind me, having taken the
chance to escape class, too.
"Logan's back," I answered with a whisper of my own.
"What are you doing back so soon?" Rogue asked as Logan set her down.
Logan looked a little puzzled. "This coming from the girl who didn't
want me to go?"
"Yeah, but the Professor told me ya left to find your past. I
figured that's a lot to find, and I..." Rogue looked down at her
feet. "I guess I didn't expect to see you back so soon."
"Well, I could go again," he said in a teasing tone, reaching down to
pick up his bag.
"No!" Rogue blurted out, then took a second to lower her voice. "No,
that's ok. You can stay."
"Good ta know I'm welcome."
"You always are. You know that."
"I'm beginning to get the idea," he said with another smile.
Geez, the guy hadn't smiled the whole week and a half he'd been here
before. Of course, most of that time he'd been in a coma, but still,
this much grinning was almost unnerving.
"Is Jeanie around?" he asked, looking around the foyer.
Because he looked away, Jubes and I could see what he didn't.
Rogue's smile cracked and fell into a million pieces like the Ming
vase Peter'd bumped into last year. She tried her best to piece
herself back together, but there was no way that Logan'd fail to
"She's in D.C. with the Professor," Jubes said, stepping out from
behind the pillar where we'd been eavesdropping and coming to Rogue's
Logan looked up at her and I came out to stand next to her, figuring
it was pointless to stay hidden now that Logan knew someone was here.
"D.C., huh? How long 'til she's back?" Logan's attention rested
solely on Jubilee, giving Rogue a much needed chance to pull on a
mask of normalcy.
It was a mask she was used to wearing, especially around our
concerned, well-meaning teachers. Their hovering, cloying attentions
after the whole almost-dying, Magneto-and-Logan-absorbing thing had
felt suffocating to me, and I wasn't even the focus of it. Rogue's
whole I'm-ok-you're-ok demeanor was a defense mechanism more than
"She should be back on the weekend, right Kitty?"
"Huh? Uh, yeah, on Saturday," I answered.
"Sounds good. Is my room still free?" Logan asked, looking back to
She looked up at him, startled from her thoughts.
"Yeah," I jumped in, answering for her. "It's still right by our
"Ok," Logan responded. Then, looking back at Rogue with a slightly
confused expression, he said, "Well, I'll just get settled then." He
picked up his bag and strode off towards the main staircase.
Jubes and I quietly walked over to Rogue, each taking a gloved hand
in silent support. It was only after we'd heard his footsteps ascend
the stairs and drift away completely that Rogue's tears started to
"Why'd he ask for Jean?" she asked in a high-pitched, almost weepy
voice. "I know he flirted with her, but I didn't think... I mean,
the part of him I absorbed didn't have those kinds of feelings for
"Maybe he wanted to see her 'cause she's a doctor," I proposed.
Neither Jubes nor Rogue said anything to that, they just looked at me
like I was the dumbest form of life. Oh yeah, he has that healing
thing. Duh, Kitty. Real smart there.
"Well... I mean...," I stuttered, "you don't know why he wants to see
her. It might not be what you think."
"What else could it possibly be?" Rogue asked.
Jubes and I looked at each other, but neither of us had an answer.
"You see?" Rogue whined. "He still thinks of me as a kid."
"Well you still are a kid," I said.
Rogue and Jubes looked up at me with startled, almost betrayed
expressions. Whoops, so not the right thing to say. Kitty, keep
your opinions to yourself.
"I'm eighteen," Rogue protested.
"Yeah... well... you know..." I stumbled over my words, trying to
explain. "He's probably so old everyone's a kid to him. Besides,
you're still in high school. Are you really ready for a serious
Rogue actually stopped to think about that one. "Maybe not, but I
know he cares about me. I can feel it. He should wait for me,
shouldn't he? I mean... Jean?"
I can agree with that one. "Yeah, she's practically married."
The school bell interrupted our discussion as classes let out. The
student body is so small that we only have enough students to fill
two classrooms. Even with Dr. Grey and Professor Xavier gone, school
went on as usual. We just switched around between two teachers
instead of four.
"C'mon it's time for English and Mr. Summers'll make us recite poetry
if we're late," I said, pulling Rogue into a sideways hug and leading
her back to Miss Munroe's class and our bookbags.
"Yeah," Jubes added with a sly grin, "and don't sweat the Wolvster.
We'll get 'im straightened out."