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FIC: Summer's End, 3/?, PG13/R, W/R

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  • fyrdrakken@JUNO.COM
    DISCLAIMERS POSTED IN PART 0 * * * The rest of the trip passed with little conversation. Emma made a few attempts at small talk that her traveling companion
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 1947

      * * *

      The rest of the trip passed with little conversation. Emma made a few
      attempts at small talk that her traveling companion let fall by the
      wayside. Rogue wasn’t inclined to chat with Frost. Little Marie Gordon
      from Mississippi might have babbled the trip away, out of nervousness or
      friendliness or a genuine desire to get to know her new headmistress, but
      Rogue had learned from Logan how to be comfortable in silence. Especially
      when there was nothing worth saying or no one particularly worth saying
      it to, and Marie’s first impression of Emma had left her inclined to be
      guarded around the older woman. Besides, she was still speculating on the
      conditions to be found at the Academy and debating methods of returning
      to her accustomed Logan-intensive lifestyle — two very absorbing topics.

      It was late evening when they arrived. Having stopped for dinner on the
      road (since they would arrive too late for the dining hall’s hours),
      there was not much for Rogue to do for the evening but start unpacking
      and go to bed. She met a very few people — three young men who helped
      carry her luggage inside in a single trip, and whom she wasn’t quite sure
      yet were students or staff, as well as the "Head Resident" at the dorm.
      The latter — a maternal woman who might have been a former student or
      hired staff for all Marie could tell — promised to introduce her to some
      of her new housemates the next morning.

      Marie was pleased to find she had been given a room to herself — albeit a
      small one. She wondered whether solitary rooms were the norm at this
      school or an exception had been made for her as a concession to her
      mutation. Whichever the case, the privacy pleased her. Sneaking around —
      for *whatever* reason — was much easier without roommates.

      * * *

      "I propose we spend today's telepathy period hacking into the minds of
      some of our favorite screen idols. A gold star to the first girl who
      discovers the awful truth about Tom and Nicole..."
      — Emma Frost, NEW X-MEN #2, by Grant Morrison

      * * *

      The next morning, Rogue was given the promised introduction at breakfast,
      passing her new housemates in a blur of names and faces. One, who
      gigglingly responded to Marie’s introduction as "Rogue" with the name
      "Catseye," volunteered to show her around the campus.

      The end of the tour was at Emma’s office, where Catseye’s knock earned a
      telepathic response. ::Thank you, Sharon. Marie, come in.::

      Marie frowned. [She could have just said, "Come in." She didn’t have to
      use telepathy.] Then she shrugged, opening the door. [Different strokes.
      Just because the Professor likes to keep the mental stuff to a minimum
      doesn’t mean that’s the only way to do it. And it doesn’t *have* to mean
      Emma’s pushy or anything like that.]

      [Doesn’t have to mean she isn’t, either,] Inner Logan warned.

      "Ah, Marie. Please sit down," Frost said, barely glancing up from the
      papers on her desk. "Now, I understand that you’ve been having some
      trouble controlling your gift? Which does what, exactly?"

      "Don’t you *know*?" [You had me yanked over here claiming you could help
      me control it better than Xavier could, and you don’t even know what it

      "I’ve been told you can borrow other mutant’s powers, and may leave
      people in a coma with a touch. But I want you to describe it in your own
      words. What does it feel like to *you*?"

      Slightly mollified, Rogue told her, "Like it’s their life pouring into
      me. Thoughts, memories... Powers, if they’re a mutant."

      "And it’s at the slightest touch? No way to prevent it?"

      Marie hesitated, caught between trusting this stranger with her secret
      and telling an outright lie. "Magneto was the third person I touched, and
      I managed to keep from taking enough to leave him in a coma." Which was
      true, without giving herself away just yet.

      "And does anything you absorb persist over time, or are all effects only

      "Powers fade. So do thoughts, but memories can linger, and the more I
      touch a person the stronger their personality is in my head." [*Massive*
      understatement.] Subliminal Logan grumbled in agreement.

      "Hmm. Interesting. Let me see..."

      And just like that, Emma Frost was in Marie’s head.

      Marie froze in shock. Inner Wolvie snarled angrily at the intrusion.
      Subliminal Erik, faded to a mere ghost over time, perked up at the
      familiar touch of mental fingers flipping through one’s thoughts. [Well,
      well, seems she’s a great deal less *principled* than Charles, isn’t she?
      Are you going to sit still for this, girl?] he inquired.

      [NO!] was Marie’s angry response, echoed by Logan/Wolverine.

      ::Don’t struggle, child, I’m just looking at your memories of using your
      power...:: Emma told her, not ceasing her rummaging for an instant.

      /David, quivering atop her bed in her old bedroom in Mississippi.../

      Marie imagined her mind as a Rolodex, with Emma flipping through her
      memories. She imagined herself slapping Emma’s hand, slamming the desk
      drawer shut with the card file inside — only to have her "hand" grabbed
      by Frost.

      ::I told you not to struggle,:: Emma told her, annoyance leaking through
      in her mental voice as she held Marie’s "hand" still and continued to

      /Logan, guilt and horror transmuted into frozen pain at the end of her

      [HEY! Get the hell out of here!] Subliminal Logan entered the fray,
      because only Marie was being "held" helpless.

      Not so helpless anymore, as Emma’s "grip" loosened with the distraction —
      but only until she had Inner Logan as well.

      /High above the harbor, struggling ineffectually to keep Erik Lensherr’s
      life from flowing into herself.../

      Realizing what memories would be turned up next, Marie struggled harder,
      Inner Logan fighting alongside.

      /Standing in a deserted classroom, lips and tongues exploring, delighting
      in the taste and feel of bare skin and lips pressed together.../

      Irate, defensive, and offended, Inner Wolvie dove into the brawl, shaking
      Emma’s control and pushing her away from those highly private memories.
      Even Subliminal Magneto and David helped, distracting Emma a bit more as
      Marie and her interior boyfriend shoved Frost away, combining efforts to
      "slam the door" behind her.

      Leaving it up to her interior committee to guard the perimeter and keep
      Frost from sneaking back in, Marie glared coolly at the woman behind the
      desk. "Not so easy to control a mob as a single person, is it?"

      Emma refused to be glared down. "That’s certainly one way of looking at
      it." A pause. "And so your ‘lack of control’ of your power?" A wry upward
      twist of one corner of her mouth.

      Marie returned it. "No longer a problem."

      "And you pretended otherwise because...?"

      Cards on the table now — *some* of them, at least. "Because the only
      reason my parents let me stay at Xavier’s was to get control of my power.
      If they knew I had it down, they’d yank me right home to Mississippi." A
      moment’s thought, then the observation, "If I’d known they’d try sending
      me to a different school, I might have gone ahead and told them."

      Frost laced her hands together, considering. "And was home so very bad?"
      A trace of sympathy creeping into her voice — whether genuine or merely
      an attempt to gain the girl’s confidence, Marie wasn’t sure.

      Realizing that the *real* question being asked was, "Why did you want to
      stay at Xavier’s so badly?" Marie avoided the true inquiry with a literal
      answer. "My parents were okay, but the rest of the town was — bad, after
      my mutation kicked in." She didn’t elaborate.

      "Ah." Apparently satisfied with the implication that Xavier’s had been a
      welcome refuge from anti-mutant bigotry — a truth, though not the entire
      one — Emma’s next question was, "And do you think this Academy will also
      be better than your home town?"

      Marie gave her a half-smile and an honest answer. "I’m waiting to see how
      it turns out before I go deciding one way or another."

      Emma nodded. "I see. Fair enough." Rising from her chair, "In that case,
      I think your schedule will be revised. If your control over your power
      proves satisfactory, we may change some of the allotted practice time for
      something more useful. Next week, I think — for *this* week, just follow
      this schedule and we’ll get an idea of where you would most benefit from
      the extra time." She handed Marie a sheet of paper, blocked out Monday
      through Friday with classes, "practice time," and study periods.

      Accepting the implied dismissal, Rogue headed for the door. Struck by a
      thought, she paused and turned back to the headmistress. "If I’m not
      pretending to be untouchable, should I get rid of my gloves and scarf?"

      Emma raised an eyebrow. "Are you safe to be around others without them?"

      "Yes. I’ve been going around in public without them for the past few
      months and haven’t had any accidents."

      "In that case, I think you may wear what you wish — within the dress
      code, that is." Again with an almost prim pursing of her lips, Frost
      resumed her seat.

      Marie let herself out of the office. Closing the door behind her, she
      thoughtfully peeled off her gloves as she walked away. [Dress code, hell
      — walking around without *these*, I *still* feel damn near naked!]

      [Good. I don’t want you shedding lots of clothes around all these kids
      without me here to fend the punks off.] Subliminal Logan’s opinion of an
      excess of bare-Marie-skin in his absence was on record.

      She felt a smile curling her lips. [Not a problem in this weather — it’s
      damn near cold enough for me to want to keep the extra layers on


      [Still — nice to be able to eat lunch without gloves and not be
      considered a safety risk...]

      * * *

      She Whose Quotations Are Both Exotic and Appropriate
      Keeper of his Deadly Startle Reflexes, Guardian and Examiner of the
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