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Fic: Dissipation (2/3 of the Be my Friend Trilogy)

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  • Redd <raggedyredd@yahoo.com>
    TITLE: Dissipation (2/3) AUTHOR: Redd (raggedyredd@yahoo.com) RATING: PG-13.. maybe.. I don t know DISCLAIMER: All characters are owned by Marvel Comics Inc.,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2003
      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
      nursery soon.

      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
      the Med-lab."

      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
      you want."

      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
      upstairs today."

      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.

      "Mornin' Chére."

      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...
      But Marie?"

      "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....
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