Title: Seasons of Growth
Chapter 1: The Bridge
Author: November Tuesday
Rating: NC-17 for naughty words
Pairing: Eventual R/L
Summary: A bridge is crossed.
Continuity: Begins 3 years after X1.
Archive: Sure, and if it's someplace other than list archives, please
let me know.
Feedback: is my lifeblood. Please please please!
Rogue blocked every punch, hands moving effortlessly, elegantly, like
a dance. When the redneck stumbled, she kicked. The man made an "oof"
noise and fell to the wet alleyway, knocked out. She spun and sure
enough there was another. Right hook to the ear, jab to the solar
plexus, efficient breaths out, each punch. Saw one sneaking up on
Jubilee. "Jubee, behind you!" she barked. Jubilation spun and parried
her assailant's blow, landing a strong kick to the sternum.
Rogue's movements were sure and quick, her body strong, her eyes
clear and alert. The redneck was coming on strong now, delivering
smarting punches to her face. She whirled, stepping away, using her
momentum to deliver a kick to the head. She missed and the kick hit
his shoulder, with enough force to make him stumble. Then she felt
another one on her back, crook of his strong arm like a vise on her
neck. She feigned dizziness and spun out of the chokehold.
Bobby flash-froze the attacking redneck and Rogue kicked him. He
shattered into a million pieces. One more coming at her and she
landed one perfect punch to his face.
The lights dimmed once, and then the sims disappeared. They were in
danger room gray.
"You guys get better every day. Rogue, you're brilliant. I want you
on the A team. Now are you guys gonna attend your own graduation or
what? Chop chop!" Scott was up on the balcony.
Rogue smiled. Cyclops was certainly full of piss and vinegar today.
He was proud of his graduating class, especially of the four who were
practicing. "What time is it Scott?" Kitty asked.
"Two thirty. Get a move on. There's diplomas to get and beer to
"Sir yes sir!"
It was a fine late April day. There were twenty-nine in their
graduating class. The warm sun shone on silver-gray robes and
mortarboards, and the kind words of Professor Xavier fell on them,
warm and light as the sun.
Each of them collected a diploma from Xavier in turn, giving a
handshake or hug or kiss on the cheek.
Some families were there, those who still had families. Jubilee's
parents and sisters applauded loudly when her name was called.
Bobby's mother shifted in her seat and appeared constipated, fearing
that, with a diploma from Xavier's in hand, he could no longer try to
not be a mutant.
Rogue's parents weren't there. She hadn't seen them in four years.
Hadn't seen him in over three.
Still, she graduated with high honors, tossed her tassel to the side,
and smiled radiantly. Her friends applauded loudly and she pulled
that close to her. Her home was here, her family here. It was enough.
Twenty-nine mortarboards were tossed in the air, all fell like a
shimmering cloud, and they were graduated.
Robes fell into a pile on the lawn; graduates emerged in their multi-
colored finery. Rogue was beautiful in her blue satin dress. The
white streaks in her dark hair shone like platinum. The sun was like
a drug on her bare arms and she hugged her friends without fear.
Traditionally on graduation night Scott and Jean took the graduating
class to their cabin in the woods. This year was no different. Once
they got used to Cyclops being out of teacher mode, they relaxed.
Xavier even showed up and had a few glasses of wine.
They had crossed a bridge and landed on the other side, and
everything was different. The night was wild and beautiful and full
of life. There was a lot of laughter in the house, in the surrounding
woods, like the fireflies that lit and settled.
She felt happiness rise and sit high in her throat.
Rogue had a head full of wine and she walked out into the cool night
to clear her head. Kitty was sitting on the porch smoking a sweet
"Kittycat." Rogue sat down next to her, put her arm around her,
borrowed a hit of the clove.
Kitty leaned into Rogue's shoulder. "I can't believe we're done."
"I know." Nostalgia and alcohol had drawn out the Mississippi in
"Scary, ya know. The whole world out there."
"Yeah. Really." Then, she let go, and came back to the here and
now. "I'm drunk."
"Surreal, ain't it?"
The slam of the screen door heralded John. "Aww, the lovely ladies
have a little lesbo action going on."
Kitty held up her middle finger without turning around.
"No, Johnny, we're waiting for you to watch." Rogue said wryly. She
exhaled a plume of smoke and handed the clove back to Kitty.
John, undeterred by Rogue's deflection, sat down on her other
side. "You two having fun?"
"Oh yeah. How about you, Johnny?"
"Yeah, man. We're graduated."
Rogue took the cigarette back and handed it to John. She put an arm
around each of them, held close. "I'm gonna miss you guys."
"I'm not going anywhere," Kitty said. She was going to stay at the
mansion and go to college in town.
"Me neither. I'm gonna get my X-man on."
"Which X-Man would that be?" Rogue giggled.
He affectionately pulled her hair. "Smartass."
"Well, isn't this a Kodak moment." Cyclops came outside and sat with
"Okay, you've been confusing us all day." Kitty said. "Who are you
and what have you done with Mr. Summers?"
"Mr. Summers has hung his teacher hat up for the year." Scott
casually straddled the porch railing and took a sip of beer.
"Are you always like this around new graduates?"
"Yep. Everyone having a good time?"
"What the hell are you guys smoking?"
Rogue took the clove from John and handed it to Scott. He took a drag
and gagged. "That's what you use to make your closets smell nice, not
Inside, there was a lively debate on German philosophers. Rogue
drunkenly made a coherent argument that Kant was not all that far
removed from Plato. With her hair flowing, eyes always close to
laughter, and face red from liquor, she was beautiful.
Later, before returning home, Rogue saw Scott sitting alone on the
porch. It was almost dawn. Dark blue light was beginning to filter
through the trees. "Hey."
"Hey Rogue." He lifted his beer bottle to her. "To the class of two
She clinked her cup against his bottle. "You all right out here? You
look kinda melancholy."
"A little. Just taking a breather."
"She went back home."
"Hence the melancholy."
She couldn't believe that she was discussing her teacher's
relationship problems with him. Former teacher.
"I'm proud of you Rogue. You've come a long way in three years."
"Thanks. This is weird, I guess. Everyone's moving on, everything's
"Well, some things are gonna be the same. Are you gonna put on the
leather and fight evil with us?" He was grinning. She could tell that
it crinkled his eyes, under the visor.
Rogue smiled. "I dunno. Though I'm incredibly flattered that you want
me to be an X-Man."
"Well it's yours if you want it."
"Let me get back to you on that."
"Any time. So what are you gonna do?"
"Storm gave me a job as an RA. And I'm going to TA for Hank's bio
"You'll be good at that."
"Do you still miss Logan?"
Rogue blinked. It had been years since he had left. She thought of
him every day of her life but it had been a long time since she had
spoken to anyone about him. He was her secret, in her head, her
thoughts. "Where did that come from?"
"Hey, it's a valid question. We were a little worried about you at
"I'm not some lovelorn fucking little girl!"
"No you sure aren't."
Rogue calmed down. "Sometimes I do. Sometimes I won't think about him
for days. Sometimes I miss him so much it hurts. I'm still furious at
him. I'm so pissed off at him. It's weird."
"Love is like that."
"Ok, you are just way too pensive. What's going on with you and
"We're taking another hiatus."
vAnother? You mean you guys split on a regular basis?"
"I wouldn't say regular. We were off for a while a few years back."
"Do you think he'll come back?" Scott asked.
Rogue raised her eyebrow. Everything was coming back to Logan. That
was the way of her private thoughts, not of her conversations with
"I dunno. I've forbidden myself from obsessing about it." She kicked
a bit of dirt sideways with her bare foot. "It's so weird to think of
you and Jean not being an item. You're more of an institution than
the freakin' school."
He smiled. "Maybe. I'm sure we'll wind up together. But right now we
need to keep it on hold."
"This is so weird to be talkin' to you about this stuff. You were my
teacher like, yesterday."
"Well now I'm your friend. Drinkin' buddies." He held his beer bottle
up to her.
She knocked her plastic cup against it. "I like that. Okay."
They were quiet for a long, companionable minute. Rogue yawned. "I
think I'm gonna go home."
"Are you sober?"
"Totally. This is water."
"Will you drive me?"
Scott stuck his head inside. "Anyone wanna ride back to the mansion?"
No one answered affirmatively. "Allright. I'm goin' home. Don't burn
the place down."
"I resemble that!" John called. Laughter followed from inside.
Scott tossed Rogue his keys. They were quiet on the drive back. Rogue
felt tired and happy. This was the proverbial first day of the rest
of her life.
The school grounds were quiet and still. She pulled the car into the
garage. She cut the engine, and before she could open her door he
turned to her.
"You look really pretty tonight." She couldn't see his eyes but she
knew he was looking at her. His comment shocked her to the core. She
had never seen him this way before, and she was stunned to learn he
saw her that way.
"Thanks." Her first thought was that he was drunk, but she knew he
wasn't that drunk. Her heart was pounding.
His fingers rose slowly to touch her chin. When he kissed her, she
blinked and leaned in and her eyes fluttered shut. For a second she
feared the pull but it never came. She pulled back a hair's breadth,
breathed a small gasp of air, then she was kissing him more.
He pulled away, breathless, and smiled at her. "Night," she
whispered, and went upstairs.
She passed her room and went directly to the communal balcony.
She leaned against the building, heart pounding, touching her lips
with her fingers. For some stupid reason she'd thought that the next
man to kiss her would be Logan. She'd certainly never dreamed it
would be Scott.
She wasn't disappointed that he'd kissed her, her heart was pounding
and her whole body was humming with excitement.
Still, she closed her eyes and made the inevitable comparison. If it
had been Logan - what would he feel like?
Her fingers spread over her bottom lip and she sighed and went back
Chapter two is up at Novemberotica.com