Look for story information in part 1.
Rogue prepared for her first class and was gathering her books and
other possessions. She had not even caught a glimpse of Logan. Maybe
he had gone down to the gym, or then he had gone outside.
He often left without telling what he'd do and where he'd go. He
just left. Sometimes Rogue couldn't help asking herself if he was
cheating on her.
She left her room with her books under her arm, and her long, white
cotton gloves on. She could never leave the room without them. They
constantly had to follow her. That they made her hands sweat and
itch, and also brought a huge amount of other inconveniences, were
not avoidable. She had to wear them.
Why did she have to become allergic to the serum? Life was really
not very fair.
Rogue had almost forgotten all about the man who professor Xavier
spoke about in the auditorium only a good hour ago, and didn't give
him any thought while she cruised toward the English classroom.
Storm was to be her teacher. She was not as stern as Cyclops, but
she didn't like students who were late.
Rogue suddenly bumped into someone. Surprised and somewhat shocked
she dropped her books, which fell to the floor with a bang. She
gasped before she could stop herself. Dumbstruck she looked up to see
whom she had run into.
It was a man she had never seen before. He was short, barely any
taller than she was; slim and lithe, but fit and strong at the same
time. He was middle-aged with large, brown eyes which looked into
hers when they halted.
There was no doubt. This was the man professor Xavier had spoken
and warned them about. "Be polite, but nothing more."
- I am sorry... Rogue squeaked and put her hand to her mouth. She
hoped she had not hurt him or angered him in any way. It had been an
- It was my fault, doctor Lecter said comfortingly. I wasn't paying
attention. Are you alright, my dear?
Rogue managed to nod shyly. The man didn't sound dangerous at all.
Then she looked down at the books she had dropped. Doctor Lecter did
too. When she bent down to pick them up, he did too, and offered to
He was a lot faster than she was. He had collected every book and
half of everything else she dropped in no time, and rose with her
belongings in his arms.
Rogue felt her face became all red. The man's kind behaviour
embarrassed her, since she was not used at all being waited like
that. And by a stranger!
- Here, the doctor said with a smile and offered her the books. I
hope nothing broke.
Still embarrassed Rogue accepted the books and murmured "thank
you". Her hands had become all sweaty inside the gloves.
- I'm sorry, I wasn't looking... she murmured.
- No, the fault was mine, doctor Lecter replied. I tend to get a
little absent-minded sometimes.
- Sorry for asking, but... you're the guest who arrived yesterday,
aren't you? With Magneto? Rogue couldn't help asking.
Hannibal Lecter laughed. - Yes, that is probably correct. My name
is Hannibal. And what could be the name of such a beautiful young
He held out his hand against her. Rogue moved her books onto her
left arm and took his hand. Now when she was wearing the gloves, it
- Eh... I'm Marie, she said and returned his smile. But they call
me Rogue, she added.
The doctor raised his brows. - Rogue? Why?
- I'm not sure, really. It just happened to be that way. Most of us
here have a "nickname", referring to our powers. I assume "Rogue" has
nothing to do with my power, but...
- I like Marie, said doctor Lecter. Tell me, are you from the
Rogue laughed. - Yeah, matter a fact. Meridan, Mississippi. How
- I can tell by your accent. I like your accent.
- Thanks. No one's told me that before.
She was a little surprised, but certainly very flattered. She
started wondering why professor Xavier practically had forbidden
everyone to talk to this man.
- "Hannibal"... she said thoughtfully. That's unusual.
- I know, the doctor smiled. I have had terrible nicknames, but I'm
not telling you!
- It's exotic...
- Yes... so are your gloves. It is very warm in here. Why are you
wearing them, if you don't mind me asking?
- No, it's okay, Rogue said. Everyone knows. It is my "power", so
to speak. My mutation. I can't touch other people. If someone comes
in contact with my bare skin, I absorb their energy. They might die.
Doctor Lecter shaped his mouth to an "o". - Oops, he said gently.
That was not a very nice "gift"!
- I know, it's a curse!
- Do you have to live with it for the rest of your life?
- Yeah, obviously.
Suddenly Rogue thought of where she was actually heading. The
English class! She had to be quite late by now!
- Jesus, I gotta run! she called. My class begins... My class
*began* five minutes ago!
- I am sorry if I've been keeping you, said Hannibal. Those books
look heavy. Allow me to help you carry them.
- No, that's really not necessary, I...
- Please, sweetheart? It is only an honour to help such a charming
young lady. Allow me, please?
Rogue handed him the books, laughing. - Very well! she said. It's
your back! But now we have to hurry so that Storm won't boil me alive!
- You go ahead, I do not know where you're headed.
Rogue and Hannibal hurried through the corridors until Rogue
finally reached the classroom where the class went on. When they
approached they could hear a dull murmur come from the inside,
despite that the door was closed.
- Oh, damn, they've started! she sighed and stopped.
Doctor Lecter returned her books.
- Oh, thank you! Rogue breathed and took them from him. You're
really strong for...
- For my size? For my age? the doctor laughed. I get that a lot.
- I didn't mean to...
- No, it's alright. Now go inside so your teacher won't get angry
with you. Who is your teacher, by the way?
- Storm, Rogue replied.
Hannibal lightened up at once. - Ororo Munroe? Can you please thank
her for taking such good care of me last night? She is really a
- I'll do that, promised Rogue. Thank you so much for your help.
But now I have to go inside.
- Of course. Very nice to meet you, Marie.
- The same. You don't seem bad at all!
Rogue avoided Hannibal's questioning eyes by quickly sneaking into
the classroom. Afterwards she could hardly believe how she could have
said something so stupid. Why would he be bad?
When Logan went back up after another intense exercise hour in the
gym, he went directly to the kitchen to get something to eat. He made
three sandwiches, which he ate, and drank a bottle of beer, which he
found in the refrigerator. Then the hunger - and the thirst - were
somewhat sated, and that was enough for now.
He started wondering what he would do the rest of the day. He was
no teacher, like the other X-men. Nor did he have any education, so
he was unable to assist Jean in the lab, making a new serum for
It annoyed him. Sometimes he couldn't help feeling a little
redundant here at the mansion. It felt like he just took, without
giving anything back.
Logan decided to go to his room. In the corridor, before he got
there, he met Rogue. She brightened up when she saw him, and gave him
a cheerful smile.
- Logan? Where have you been? I thought you'd gone out.
- No, I was just down in the gym, he replied. But what about you?
Shouldn't you be in class?
- I have a free period, Rogue said, slightly indignant. Did Logan
believe she was shirking?
- Oh. I was just heading for the... Logan murmured and tried to
walk past Rogue, but she stopped him by seizing his arm with her
- Logan, she said seriously, what is it? Are you avoiding me? I
really think we need to talk.
- Talk? Logan tried to sound surprised. What should we talk about?
- Last night, for example. Don't you think I understand? You avoid
me and spend almost all your time in the gym, our out, not to have to
think about our real problem. *That* is what we need to talk about.
She sounded very determined. Logan sighed. Of course he knew how
right she was, but it was really nothing he wanted to admit or
discuss. Especially not now.
- Honey, please...
- Stop! Stop running away! You don't have to stick together with
me, if we're having it this way. It might be best if we broke up,
because this simply doesn't work! You're only feeling bad, and so I
am! exclaimed Rogue.
Logan didn't answer. That fact that she came out with exactly that
which had troubled him for months didn't make it easier to accept. On
- Marie, do we have to...
- I love you, Logan, said Rogue in a low voice. Now both her voice
and lower lip trembled. I can't help it. But I don't wanna make you
unhappy like this. Think about it, please? I'm serious. There is a
stalemate soon. Consider this carefully, and then tell whether you'd
like to continue, or not. Logan? I'm really serious. Okay?
Now she stepped aside to let him pass if he wanted to. Logan turned
to her and gently placed his hand on her shoulder.
- Marie... he said slowly, uncertain of how to continue. I... I'm
sorry. I've treated you badly, I realize that now. I'm so sorry. I
don't wanna lose you.
Rogue shook her head. - You haven't treated me badly, Logan, she
said. Don't worry about that. But I think you know what the problem
is, don't you?
- I can't touch you.
- Maybe I will. Some day. I won't give up my hope.
- Is hope really enough for you?
- Yeah, Logan replied truthfully. It is. I don't want to break up,
Marie. I hope you don't want to, either.
- No, of course not, Rogue said faintly.