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FIC: The Price of Love 2/?

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  • rimmette@earthlink.net
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , May 22 5:08 PM
      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
      repeat it."

      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
      place?

      "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
      perfectly right.

      "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
      notice.

      "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
      rescue.

      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
      anything else.

      "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
      Rogue.

      She looked up at him, startled from her thoughts.

      "Yeah," I jumped in, answering for her. "It's still right by our
      room."

      "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
      fall.

      "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
      her."

      "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
      relationship?"

      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."

      *****

      TBC.
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