TITLE: Dissipation (2/3)
AUTHOR: Redd (raggedyredd@...
RATING: PG-13.. maybe.. I don't know
DISCLAIMER: All characters are owned by Marvel Comics Inc., and I am
using them without permission. I am not making any money from them.
FEEDBACK: Is always encouraged and appreciated.
NOTES: This is a companion piece to Be My Friend, and takes place
about 4 months after that story. Sorry this took so long to get out.
Thanks to Bronze for a great beta, I've tinkered with it since then,
so any mistakes are my own.
Rogue always looked forward to her midnight swims after a
long and exhausting day. During the day the pool was a public domain
where you could often find at least a handful of students and
faculty, but in the quiet hours of the night it belonged solely to
her. That's where she indulged herself. Swimming nude left every inch
of her deadly skin exposed set free to feel.
With the doors locked and the lights out she didn't fear
anyone seeing her, much less anyone coming too close. This time was
hers, hers and the inky waters- that precious span of time when
nothing and no-one else existed.
As much as she wished it, tonight she couldn't lose herself
in her quiet ritual. Her mind simply kept replaying the day's events
like a VCR stuck on auto repeat. She slapped the water in
frustration, sending up a thunderous splash. Giving up the pretense,
she got out of the water and sat brooding in a chair letting the days
events wash over her.
It had begun with a visit to the make-shift nursery in the
med-lab where tiny, little Hope was winning the fight for life. Born
too early, Hope had hung on tenaciously and was making daily
improvements. They were optimistic that she would be in her own
After visiting there, Rogue had made her way down the hall to
check on Hope's mother. Unfortunately, it seemed that as Hope
improved, Kitty's status responded with coinciding deterioration.
Rogue's heart cried out as she watched the woman who was once her
best-friend erode away into nothing.
Sometimes Professor Xavier, Jean, or Scott would come and sit
beside Rogue to offer comfort, but she always politely declined,
usually by putting on a cheery face and telling them she was "fine".
What was fine? Nothing was fine anymore.
For the most part, Rogue chose to bear her grief behind a
thick wall of silence. Only when she was alone did she truly let her
reserve slip, though. At those times she wept like an inconsolable
child, and raged at the injustice of the world. Even though she knew
what she was getting into, when Kitty came to her and told her she
was dying, nothing could have prepared Rogue for the realities of the
situation. She had stopped going out on missions, for fear of what
she would find when she got back.
For some reason the burden was heavier and harder to bear
today. Rogue couldn't quite put her finger on exactly what it was
that was making her heart heavier than usual. As she was giving
herself over to her mounting grief there beside the pool, it clicked.
Today it struck her with full force that Kitty was really going to
die. For all these months, a large part of Rogue had believed that
Kitty was going to miraculously beat this cancer. And after Hope had
been born, and Kitty had begun rapidly deteriorating, Rogue had still
clung to the hope
that "good would prevail". But somehow, the rules of good and evil
didn't apply to cancer.
Even though Kitty still hung on to a spark of life, she was
already starting to disappear. Hank McCoy had explained that because
of Kitty's power her particles were simply drifting further and
further apart until they dissipated altogether. Rogue was sure that
Dr. McCoy and Jean had used some highly technical term for it, but
all it meant to her was that when it was all over she would vanish,
as if she never existed at all. There would be no body to bury, no
physical proof that she was dead. As it was now, Kitty couldn't hang
on to her solid shape
for more than a second or two, and that was only with supreme effort.
More than anything else, Rogue hated goodbyes, and she was
mad as hell that she had to face one. She was also angry at the
cancer that couldn't be cured, but mostly she was angry that Kitty
would never get to know the precious, little baby named Hope.
After Rogue's tears were spent, she dressed herself and
headed back towards the Mansion. On her way through Storm's gardens
she ran into a grim faced Logan.
It was if a part of her already knew before she asked, "Is she..,"
with her heart beating in her throat.
Rogue watched him nod, and felt almost as if the world were
moving in slow motion. "Which?" she managed to choke out.
"Kitty," came Logan's gravelly reply.
All at once, relief coupled with deep unrelenting grief
through her. Unable to stand under the weight of it, Rogue leaned
into Logan's opening arms. "What am I gonna do?" she whispered
Logan tightened his arms around her, his voice gruff with
emotion, "Yer gonna do exactly what ya promised, Marie, yer gonna
raise the kid."
Burying her head against Logan's flannel clad chest, she
cried, "I'm not sure I can do this on my own. I'm so scared of
messing up." Rogue paused before adding quietly, "What about Remy?"
Logan grunted and snapped, "Marie, ya know that all ya have
to do to get help around here is ask, and any number of people would
be more that willing to volunteer. As far as the swamp rat goes, what
does he have to do with anything? He signed papers."
He had to strain to hear her muffled answer, "He didn't
completely sign the forms, and we haven't been able to track him down
to get it signed. I'm afraid that he'll come and take Hope away."
Logan couldn't help but snort, "Him raisin a kid on his own
would be like... Me or Sabretooth tryin. Besides, we'll just give him
an incentive to sign the damn things." Logan extended his claws.
Moving out of his arms, hands on her hips Rogue said, "That's
not how I want things handled." But she did crack a small smile at
the picture of Logan, Sabretooth, and Remy with a baby. Letting her
hands slide from her hips she said quietly, "So, is there anything
left of Kitty to say goodbye to?"
Logan shook his head and said, "Chuck said that he'd put
together a memorial service for her, but that you are just supposed
to rest. The service will probably be after the kid is released from
Rogue nodded and looked around the dark gardens. Digging a
toe in the dirt she said, "Let's get back upstairs before someone
else decides to come and offer condolences."
Looking uncomfortable Logan growled, "It's okay to cry... If
Choosing not to answer, Rogue headed towards the Mansion,
with Logan in tow. She just felt empty, like there were no tears left
to cry. Once they were back in their suite, they headed towards their
respective beds. After hearing Logan clear his throat several times,
Rogue said, "What Logan!?"
"Just wanted you to know that if ya need anything.. I..."
"I know." Rogue interrupted. "Get some sleep." Before she
nodded off she let her thought dwell briefly on Logan, the man who
brought her here only to leave her to search out his past, was her
rock. Logan offered comfort in his own way, and sometimes she even
let herself lean on him just a little. He was her friend, her
confidant, and her roommate.
The next morning came early, starting with pounding on
Rogue's bedroom door. Blearily Rogue got up and wrapped her robe
closely around her before opening the door to find Scott standing
there. Running her fingers through sleep tousled hair she stated, "It
had better be good, cause I'm not having a good morning."
Scott looking like he hadn't yet gone to bed said
wearily, "Jean sent me to tell you that Hope will be ready to move
Rogue's face softened, "Thanks, Scott. I think you oughta get
some sleep before ya fall over, though."
"Can't. We've all got classes."
"I'm sure the Professor would agree that in light of the...
situation, we should call off classes. Go get that much needed sleep
Giving Rogue a weak smile, Scott said, "We should be
comforting you, not the other way around."
Looking him in the eye, Rogue said seriously, "We all lost
someone. Not just me. Y'all don't have to walk on egg shells around
"Gotcha. I'll see you later Rogue."
After Rogue shut the door, she had several moments of panic.
They didn't even have the nursery started. Flinging open the
connecting door between her and Logan's bedrooms, she found that
Logan was already gone. Damn the luck. Taking a deep breath she
forced herself to calm down. Hadn't Logan said that people would help
if she asked, so now all she had to do was ask.
Rogue set about getting ready. Putting on her oldest clothes,
and gloves, she opened the door and turned down the hall that would
lead her to the kitchens, where there should be students and staff
congregating at this ungodly hour of the morning. Coming to the
dining hall doors, she entered almost hesitantly. There she ran into
the last person she would have expected to see.
Rogue cleared her throat and blurted, "What are ya doin here?"
"De Professor called."
"Oh. Have ya seen Hope?"
"Non. Merde, Remy never meant f' t'ings t' end up like dis..."
Looking up from clenched hands Rogue whispered, "She's yer
daughter. Ya have a right to see her."
Remy's face got hard, "Y' needed Remy t'sign papers?"
Rogue looked back at the floor, "Yes, but can I ask a
Looking impatient, Remy said, "Oui."
"Why? Why are ya givin her up?"
Remy shrugged, "Its what is best for de bébé. Remy's a t'ief.
Dere's no place for a bébé."
Her voice wary, Rogue said, "That's the reason? Yer not gonna
decide that ya want her back?"
"Sometimes, we can't 'ave what we want, Chére. Me raisin' de
bébé, be like Sabretooth raisin' a bébé. It's jus not meant t'be. You
take good care of de petite."
Rogue eyed the Cajun before offering, "You can visit her. You
can still be part of her life."
"Mebe one day. De papers, Rogue?" was the non-commital reply.
"In Professor Xavier's office."
Not replying, the grieving Gambit headed to Charles' office.
Rogue watched Remy's departure, and she felt a huge weight
lift from her heart. A noise in the dining hall alerted her to the
fact that every eye was on her. Snapped out of her trance-like state
she said, "Shouldn't y'all be in class or somethin'?"
"Awww.. Miz Rogue. Mr. Summers canceled classes today."
"Oh." Glad that Scott had taken her advice, it dawned on her
that with no classes today, there were plenty of people to help put
the nursery together before Hope moved in. "Well, since everyone is
free today, I guess y'all need something to occupy ya, and I have
just the thing."
Quickly gathering the needed supplies and workers, she got
them busy changing Logan's sleeping room into a nursery. Of course,
having so much help, it only took a few hours to complete the
transformation. By the time Logan came up to make sure Rogue ate
lunch, the last of the students were filing tiredly out of the room
and Rogue was standing in the doorway looking into what used to be
Logan's room, with silent tears running down her face.
Alarmed, Logan gruffly asked what was wrong, momentarily
distracted from the fact that he no longer had a place to sleep.
Rogue sniffled, "It just hit me that Kitty is really gone, and now
I'm responsible for this little person. Its just a lot of
responsibility." Taking a gulping breath, she dissolved into racking
Logan clumsily patted her back and murmured soothing nonsense
sounds. After a while Rogue looked up with a watery smile and
said, "I can do this. I'm gonna do this. Both Kitty and Remy have
faith that I can."
Looking at her as if she'd lost her mind, Logan muttered, "Of
course ya can, who said ya couldn't." Never would Logan understand
the female mind, most especially the complex mind of Marie.
Rogue giggled, "So are you ready to go get Hope?"
Slinging his arm across her shoulders Logan said, "Sure...
"Yeah." Rogue answered as she navigated them towards the door.
"Where'm I gonna sleep?"
"Well, Logan, I kinda figured that you'd sleep..." Rogue's
voice was a whisper at the end of the sentence, and only Logan could
hear. But no-one missed Logan's roared, "What!" in response, or
Rogue's echoing laughter as they made their way to get the newest
member of the Xavier Institute.
<<<TO BE CONTINUED>>>
End ACT II Please rejoin us after the intermission....