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FIC: Summer's End, 2/?, PG13/R, W/R

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  • fyrdrakken@JUNO.COM
    DISCLAIMERS POSTED IN PART 0 * * * Somehow Marie had been expecting her parents to personally transfer her to the new school. So when a minivan from the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2001

      * * *

      Somehow Marie had been expecting her parents to personally transfer her
      to the new school. So when a minivan from the Massachusetts Academy
      appeared at Xavier’s front gate the very next weekend after that phone
      call, it came as a shock all around. [Yeah, I *know* New York is a long
      way up from Mississippi, but they could have waited for a long weekend or
      spring break or something, or taken a few days off work, or flown up and
      rented a car or something. If they care so much about *which* mutant
      private school I go to, why aren’t they inspecting this one personally
      before leaving me there?] She didn’t get to share this complaint with
      anyone, being too busy packing up her clothing and other things. Kitty
      and Jubes, already shocked by the news of her transfer but doubly so by
      the abruptness of the move, helped with the packing, and a number of
      others — Logan silently among them — helped carry bags and
      hastily-scrounged boxes from her room to the vehicle outside.

      Yet another reason to resent the suddenly-imposed deadline was the
      inability to give Logan a *proper* farewell. Marie was mobbed by friends
      and teachers from the start of the packing until her final departure, all
      of them milling around helping or getting underfoot, swamping her with
      assorted well-wishes and tearful goodbyes. No time for a private
      one-on-one with Logan.

      Her best opportunity came when the last of her things had been loaded.
      Professor Xavier by that point was out on the driveway, backed by Scott
      and Jean, expressing well-bred annoyance to none other than the
      headmistress herself. Emma Frost had personally made the trip to
      Westchester to fetch Rogue, who was feeling singularly unimpressed by the
      honor. A fair percentage of the mob had chosen to witness the debate, or
      perhaps just to inspect the Professor’s counterpart. Marie had no
      interest in the extremely polite argument — the *real* decision having
      been made by her parents, this was nothing more than an ineffectual
      protest on Xavier’s part — and would have the entire drive to
      Massachusetts to get acquainted with Frost. Logan was far more important,
      and right now seemed to be about the best time she’d have to avoid
      attracting the attention of most of the potential eavesdroppers.

      Except that she couldn’t think of anything to say — between the two
      categories of "things she wanted to do" and "things she felt safe doing
      in front of witnesses," there was nothing in common. Logan saved her from
      her dilemma, removing his dogtag and placing it in her hand again. It
      meant the same thing as it always had — hers to keep until they saw each
      other again, a promise that they *would* see each other again. As he
      closed her gloved fingers around it yet another time, he said, "Things’ll
      work out."

      She smiled, and saw the answering smile in his eyes that he hadn’t
      allowed to reach his face. In the emotional atmosphere of the mass
      farewell, she felt it safe enough to risk a hug. He inhaled deeply,
      getting one last dose of her scent to last him until the next time,
      however much of a wait that might be — she knew, because she was doing
      the same. With her face against his shoulder, she murmured for his ears
      alone, "I’ll check out our options and let you know..."

      Pulling back, she saw that he had allowed the smile to leak out onto his
      face — which was just as well, since the underlying sadness had begun to
      well up in his eyes. Taking the dogtag in her hand, she hooked the chain
      around her neck, pulling her hair over it and dropping it into
      concealment behind her shirt. He watched the silent promise — to wear his
      name against her heart — and then ducked back out of the crowd.

      Marie knew that he might have apparently disappeared right now, but would
      be finding a vantage point to watch until the minivan was out of sight.
      Sighing, she made her way around the van to the low-key argument between
      the various adults present. "All packed up," she said, interrupting
      Xavier’s exhortation to at least wait for the nearest break in grading

      "Ready to go?" Emma asked with a charming smile.

      Rogue studied her and decided that Frost probably couldn’t help being
      beautiful, composed, and sophisticated — but it certainly didn’t make her
      much more likeable. "No — but the car’s loaded."

      The headmistress gave her a look elegantly balanced between disapproval
      at her rudeness and indulgence at her youthful outspokenness. Marie
      suspected that once Frost was no longer trying to "win her over" — or
      performing for an audience, as the case might be — the indulgence would
      disappear and the disapproval would turn several degrees chillier. "In
      that case, let’s be off," was all she said.

      "Goodbye, Rogue!" chorused Kitty and Jubes unhappily. She actually saw
      the pauses as they took a deep breath each before cautiously giving her
      the hugs that they so clearly felt were indicated under the
      circumstances. Marie refrained from sighing at the unnecessary caution.
      After all, neither one *knew* that it was unnecessary.

      "Take care, Rogue," was Scott’s contribution, and Jean added, "We’ll miss
      you." Another hug each, Jean rather more cautiously than Fearless Leader
      Scott, whose stiffness seemed more attributable to an excess of Leaderly
      Dignity than to any nervousness at her mutation. [Pretty damn careless of
      you, Scooter — that’d be one hell of a "gift" for my girl to absorb
      accidentally,] Subliminal Logan grumbled.

      "Remember, Rogue, you always have a home here if you want it," Xavier
      said. There was a firm promise lurking in the back of his eyes.

      "Oh, I want it — it’s my parents that need convincing," she murmured.

      "Perhaps," was his enigmatic response. Marie wondered if he were
      referring to the freedom from certain parental controls that came with
      one’s eighteenth birthday — more than a year and a half from now, in her
      case — or to her own previously demonstrated tendencies to up and leave
      when a situation seemed untenable.

      Was he actually implying that he would help hide her here, against the
      wishes of her parents, were she to run away from the Massachusetts

      Marie really *did* want to hug Charles at that point, but it seemed a bit
      tricky to bend that low — especially with the pretense to maintain of her
      dangerous skin. She felt a sudden urge to kiss him on the cheek instead.

      Or better yet, the top of his head. The wheelchair left him at a
      convenient height for it, and the ensuing reaction might even be the one
      thing that could keep her from being shipped off with Frost.

      "Might" being the operative word. The stated purpose of her transfer was
      to get better training in control of her gift, but with her parents’
      permission given and her baggage all in the Academy’s van, Marie had a
      nagging suspicion that it might take more than a few seconds of
      unprotected skin-on-skin contact to keep Frost from taking her out of
      there. She had no real basis for this idea beyond her own unpleasant
      initial impression of Emma, but there it was.

      Marie decided to settle for the hug after all, making it into a sort of
      sideways one-armed effort with her head turned away to keep a
      "protective" layer of her own hair between their faces. "Thanks for
      everything, Professor."

      "I *am* sorry I couldn’t do more to help you with your gift," he said
      softly, for her ears alone.

      Straightening, she replied, "Don’t worry about it." And smiled.

      Without actually coming right out and *saying* that she had control now,
      she did the next best thing and let her total lack of concern in that
      particular area shine through in her expression. Xavier might not have
      been able to clearly read the oddly layered collection of minds between
      Rogue’s ears — even had he been generally inclined to snoop through
      other’s private thoughts without cause — but he was a perceptive observer
      of human behavior, and he was able to read enough in that smile to give
      him pause. He nodded thoughtfully, eyes never leaving hers, as the regret
      left his face to be replaced by something else.

      Marie turned away before she had quite identified the "something else,"
      to find Frost frowning at her.

      The expression smoothed itself away so quickly one might almost have
      questioned its existence. "And if that’s it for the goodbyes, I think
      it’s time to go now." With a graceful, poised motion of one slender hand,
      Emma indicated the minivan. Marie accepted the silent instruction, moving
      around to the passenger side and climbing into the front seat.

      "Goodbye, Rogue! Goodbye!" came the chorus, with Jubilee adding, "Don’t
      forget us, chica!" and Kitty reminding, "You’ve got our phone number!"
      Marie waved as the van backed, circled, and headed down the driveway and
      out the gate.

      As they passed the school walls and her friends, teachers — and lover —
      were out of sight, Marie leaned back in her seat with a sigh. Kitty’s
      last comment had brought something to mind, and she turned to her new
      headmistress. "What’s the policy on phone calls in the dorms? Do we have
      our own phones, or is there a house phone at least, or a pay phone,

      "There are a few phones on the first floors of the dorms and in a few of
      the common areas. Outgoing calls only, I’m afraid, and no calls at all
      after midnight, barring emergencies. And we ask that all students
      remember the phones *are* shared, and not monopolize the line for too
      long." Emma’s face had an almost prim expression.

      [Ah, well, could be worse. Might be hard getting privacy — or even to a
      phone at all, if there’s a line waiting to use it — but at least they
      don’t seem to be cutting off all outside communication...] "I guess
      there’s always e-mail..." she commented, watching Frost in her peripheral
      vision to see her reaction.

      And a reaction there was — an almost distasteful set to the mouth for an
      instant, before speaking. "There *are* computer labs, for term papers or
      other assignments, and internet access *is* available, but we generally
      prefer that the computers be used for mainly school-related purposes." A
      pause, before the almost grudging admission, "Although usage of the
      computer lab for personal or entertainment reasons is allowed, so long as
      no one with an academic purpose is kept waiting."

      Marie nodded, satisfied for the moment. [I wonder if they monitor what
      the students do online, or block certain sites or anything like that?
      Think I’ll save that question for later — don’t want it to sound too much
      like I’m looking for ways to send secret messages out of there...]

      * * *

      She Whose Quotations Are Both Exotic and Appropriate
      Keeper of his Deadly Startle Reflexes, Guardian and Examiner of the
      Adamantium-Revealing X-Rays, and Official Listener for the Occasional
      Aussie Vowels

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