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FIC: Seasons of Growth Chapter 9

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  • novemberotica
    Title: Seasons of Growth Chapter 9: Out and About Author: November Tuesday Email: novemberotica@yahoo.com Rating: PG-13 Summary: Rogue and Kitty s first day
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2003
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      Title: Seasons of Growth
      Chapter 9: Out and About

      Author: November Tuesday

      Email: novemberotica@...

      Rating: PG-13

      Summary: Rogue and Kitty's first day of college.

      Continuity: Series begins 3 years after X1.

      Disclaimer: Marvel, Fox, Brian Singer yadda yadda yaddaÂ…

      Archive: Sure, and if it's someplace other than list archives, please
      let me know.

      Feedback: would make me so happy.

      Author's Notes: Thanks to N. E. Star for beta.

      Rogue was nervous about starting school, and Maggie's outburst didn't
      help. During the drive to the college, she felt as if she would lose
      her breakfast. Kitty's presence was a minor comfort.

      It was the first time either of them had ventured outside the haven
      of Xavier's at any length. Even though both of them passed as normal,
      they were both scared.

      Rogue parked in the south lot and there she and Kitty parted. Rogue
      had philosophy, Kitty had chemistry. They agreed to meet at noon in
      the student union for lunch.

      Rogue took a seat in the large lecture hall where her philosophy
      class would be. She doodled on her notebook and looked around
      nervously. She was about twenty minutes early for the class and only
      a few other students were in the room. They all appeared to know each
      other. There was no evidence that any of them were mutants.

      As the time for the class drew near the room filled up. People were
      chatting with each other and everyone seemed terribly self-assured.
      Her heart was pounding.

      The lecture hall was had long rows of tables. Three girls with
      sorority letters sat at her left, ignoring her completely. The seat
      immediately to her right was empty.

      A professor entered the room and opened his briefcase. He was an old
      white man with watery eyes.

      A short girl in a tie-dye shirt walked in and surveyed the seats. Not
      many were left.

      She walked down Rogue's row and asked "is this seat taken?"

      Marie smiled, so relieved to have someone to speak to, however
      perfunctorily. "No, it's all yours," she smiled.

      The girl's eyes were blue green and curious. Her nose turned up
      cutely. She dug a notebook from her bag and glanced at Rogue. "I'm
      Leah, how are you?"

      "Good. I'm Marie."

      "Do you know anything about this professor?"

      "Nope. It's my first class."

      "Me too. Are you a freshman too?"

      "Yeah."

      "Good, I'm not the only one." Leah said. Rogue was immediately
      relaxed in her presence. She thought that she had found her first
      friend.

      There were technical difficulties with the overhead projector,
      without which the professor appeared incapable of teaching, so there
      were another few minutes before class started. Teaching assistants
      passed out syllabi and Leah handed Rogue the pile. She took one and
      handed it to the sorority sister next to her.

      "Are you from around here?" Rogue asked.

      "Near D.C.. How about you?"

      "I'm from town," she said. She neglected to mention the House O'
      Mutants at Greymalkin Lane.

      She scanned the syllabus and was relieved that, thanks to Storm's
      philosophy class, she had at least a passing familiarity with each of
      the philosophers listed.

      "Do you live in the dorms?" Leah asked. She had a very simple earnest
      sweetness that made her easier to like.

      "No, I live at... home. Do you?"

      "I'm in Ray Hall."

      "How is it?"

      "It's ok. My roommate is a bit of an airhead."

      "Bummer. Do you know a lot of people?"

      "A few girls from my floor. I bet you know a lot of people, being
      from town."

      "Actually, I know no one. I went to a private high school. Only one I
      know other than you is my friend Kitty."

      "Well that's good. At least you know someone."

      "Yeah."

      The professor started to talk, and the room grudgingly became quiet.

      Rogue had been worried about classes. Even though she had graduated
      with honors from Xavier's a year ago she was apprehensive about the
      course load. However, after the professor went over the syllabus and
      started with the actual lecture about the classics, she felt more
      comfortable. She could do this.

      After, she took a deep breath and said to Leah as they gathered their
      things "are you doing anything for lunch?"

      "No, you?"

      "Yeah, I'm meeting my friend at the student union. You're welcome to
      join us."

      "Okay," Leah said, and just like that Rogue had a second friend.

      She was free until lunch, and she took that time to call Maggie on
      her cell. Maggie was playing with Essie and she had forgotten all
      about their earlier fight.

      Satisfied that things were okay at home, Rogue went into a study
      lounge in the humanities building and started on the three chapters
      of reading she needed to do before Wednesday.

      Noon came quickly and both Kitty and Leah were sitting outside the
      union. They were both waiting for her, at opposite ends of the same
      bench.

      "Hey. Kitty, Leah, Leah, Kitty. Leah's gonna join us for lunch."

      "Cool." Kitty was nervous about the outsider but knew that Rogue must
      have trusted her enough to invite her to lunch with them. When they
      went on missions, they had to trust each other with their lives.

      "Hi, nice to meet you." Leah said with her usual sweetness. Kitty
      relaxed a bit and shook her hand.

      Five minutes into their meal, all three girls were relaxed and
      joking. They talked about their majors, the people they had met so
      far, and the extracurricular they planned to get involved with.

      "So how was your class?" Rogue asked Kitty.

      "It was so cool. Professor Weiss is so funny."

      "My roommate had his class this morning," Leah said.

      "Oh yeah? What's she look like?"

      "Asian girl, really skinny, lots of makeup."

      "Okay, I know who she is," Kitty said.

      Rogue watched Kitty and Leah talk about the upcoming Dave Matthews
      concert. She was much more relaxed. Until she learned Leah's views on
      mutants the verdict was out, but she believed she and Kitty had made
      a friend.

      Rogue's writing class was very different from the philosophy class.
      There were fifteen students and they sat in a circle around a small
      room. The professor was young and casual. She had them begin by
      introducing themselves.

      One of the students had eyes the color of emeralds. It was a green
      not found in nature, especially in a black person. He was sitting
      very uncomfortably, fidgetting and making little eye contact.
      Definitely a mutant. Maybe he was a telepath?

      ~Hey, green eyes!~ Rogue projected as loudly as she could. He
      immediately looked up and scanned the faces in the room. Bingo. When
      he got to Rogue, she smiled.

      ~Relax, you're not the only mutant around here.~

      The guy's fear turned to a relieved smile.

      The transformation made her day.

      ~Thank god!~ she heard his voice in her head.

      ~Hey, there's a whole school of us down in Westchester.~

      ~Are you telepathic too?~

      ~No, but I'm experienced with projecting.~

      ~Wow. I'm Rakim.~

      ~Marie. People call me Rogue.~

      Then it was her turn to introduce herself. "My name's Marie. I'm from
      Mississippi, I have a black belt, and I have no idea what I'm gonna
      major in."

      Everyone laughed. They were all freshmen and none of them had a clue
      what they would major in.

      When it was Rakim's turn he said "Rakim, from Santa Monica, I wanna
      major in computer science."

      After class he approached her. "Hey."

      "Hey."

      "Are you going to the activity fair?"

      "When is it?"

      He looked at his watch. "Now."

      "Cool. Yeah, I wanna go."

      They stepped out into the September sun and made their way to the
      quad. Folding tables were stretched from one end to the other and
      each one had an organization's sign. The choices were practically
      endless. There was the Outdoors Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance, Phi
      Beta Kappa, The Society for Creative Anachronism, the Chess League,
      the Campus Republicans, Hillel, and the Socialist Club. And that was
      just one row. They strolled along, chatting companionably, the same
      conversation that everyone seemed to be having today: what's your
      major? Where are you from?

      Rakim stopped in front of the Gay-Straight Alliance table and picked
      up a flyer. "Hi," he said to the woman manning the table. Marie
      watched him curiously. All of his apprehension appeared to be gone.

      "You seem a lot more comfortable now than in class," she observed.

      "Being out I can handle," he said as they continued walking down the
      row of tables, looking around and lowering his voice. "It's being a
      mutant that scares the hell out of me."

      "Me too. I mean the part about being a mutant. I'm fairly straight."

      He smiled, and she admired his white, straight teeth. His skin was
      the color of dark chocolate.

      "What's this school you were talking about?" he asked.

      "Oh, have you ever heard of Xavier's?"

      "What's that?"

      "There's this guy named Charles Xavier who runs a school for mutants.
      It's where I live. He's probably the most powerful telepath in the
      world."

      "Get out!" Rakim was excited.

      "How did you learn to control your telepathy?"

      "Dunno. I just did."

      "Wow. That's not easy. My friend Jean nearly went insane before she
      learned to shield her thoughts."

      "I understand that."

      "Anyway, you absolutely have to meet Xavier. He's an amazing person."

      "That'd be cool. Why does he run a school?"

      "Because he's a mutant. And a lot of kids are abandoned. He takes
      them in, teaches them how to control their powers."

      "Is that how you met him?"

      "Yeah. A friend of mine took me there when I was sixteen. First boy I
      ever kissed was in a coma for three weeks. I have this ability to
      suck the life out of people. With mutants I absorb their powers. It
      took me a few years but now I can control it."

      "Hey, look!"

      She looked in the direction he was pointing in. There was a table
      labeled MSO. There was a man with horns and a green woman sitting
      there. The banner said "Mutant Student Organization."

      "I'm going over there." Rogue said. "You wanna check it out?"

      He looked around nervously. She could see his jaw clench and ripple
      under his brown skin.

      "Hey, it's ok if you don't wanna. Far be it for me to out anyone who
      doesn't wanna be outed."

      He smiled, amused. He looked over at the table again and said "sure,
      what the hell."

      "Hi," Rogue said to the green woman.

      "Hi, how are you?"

      "Good. I'm Rogue."

      "Sherry."

      "Hey," said the guy with the horns. "You're one of Xavier's, aren't
      you?"

      "Yeah," Marie said. "How'd you know?"

      He held his hand out. "Art Hawkins, class of `98. I think I saw you
      at one of those benefit things."

      "Oh, okay. Good to meet you." She shook his hand. "You must have
      graduated just before I got there. This is Rakim."

      Rakim cast an approving glance at Art. Rogue wondered if Art was gay.
      It would be nice if Rakim could hook up, or at least have a friend
      with something in common.

      Art gave Rakim a friendly handshake. Rogue got caught up in trying to
      have a conversation with Art, Sherry and Rakim all at once. Then her
      cell phone rang.
      "Hello."

      "Where are you?"

      "Kitkat! I'm at the activity fair. Did you know there's a mutant
      student organization?"

      "No way."

      "Yes way. I'm at their table. Come find us! I'll introduce you to
      some people."

      "Okay. See you in a few."

      "Okay."

      "That was my friend Kitty," she explained to Rakim. "She's on her way
      over."

      Rogue noticed some guys walking warily past the MSO booth. One looked
      contemptful and the other one just looked afraid. One of the benefits
      of her X-Men training was that she had learned to always be aware of
      hostile people in crowds. She met the eyes of the scared looking one
      and gave him a small smile. He smiled back nervously.

      "Was that Kitty?" Art said.

      "You know Kitty?"

      "Yeah, she came to Xavier's my senior year."

      "Really? Small freakin' world. She's on her way over."

      "I remember Kitty," he said. "She was this tiny wisp of a thing,
      scared out of her mind."

      Rogue laughed and thought of Kitty in the Danger Room, kicking and
      punching her way through an army of sims. "When did you see her
      last?"

      "It's been years."

      "I think you'll be surprised."

      Rogue felt someone watching her and she looked to see Leah standing
      at the Hillel booth. Rogue waved, and her stomach lurched. This is
      the moment of truth.

      Leah looked a bit surprised, but smiled and waved back. And her smile
      was genuine. She made her way over to the MSO table. "How was your
      class?"

      "Good," Rogue said. "Yours?"

      "Boring as hell. Are you a mutant?"

      Rogue felt like puking, but faked nonchalance. "Yep. Is that a
      problem?"

      "No, not at all." Leah said it earnestly, the way she said
      everything, and Rogue knew it was the truth.

      She introduced her to Rakim, Art and Sherry. Leah said hi in her
      usual friendly way.
      "Hey Leah," Kitty said, approaching them.

      "Kitty Pryde! Look at you!" Art said.

      "Artie! What the hell are you doing here?"

      "Grad school. How're you doing?"

      "Good."

      Rogue looked around in disbelief. Just this morning she had felt so
      alone and afraid, now she was surrounded by an instant group of
      friends.

      After Rogue got home she went to Xavier's office. He was still there,
      on the phone.

      ~Come in Rogue.~ He smiled at her and gestured for her to sit. He
      ended his call and smiled at her.

      "Hello, how was your first day?"

      She flopped tiredly on one of the chairs, smiling.

      "It was amazing. I met some of the coolest people. Did you know that
      there's a Mutant Student Organization? And I met this telepath. I was
      in my lit class and there was this black guy, and he had these
      unnaturally green eyes, and he looked like a nervous wreck. My Mut-
      Dar totally went off, and I projected at him. Turns out he was a
      telepath. I told him all about you. He'd really like to meet you.
      He's so cool; he learned to shield all on his own. And I met all
      these neat people."

      Xavier smiled. "I'm so glad. I felt like a parent sending their child
      off on the school bus for the first time," he admitted.

      "Well in a way, you are." He grinned at this.

      "What about Kitty, how did she fare?"

      "Really well. We met a bunch of cool people from MSO, and this really
      cool non-mutant named Leah."

      "That's wonderful. Do your fellow students seem to be tolerant?"

      "So far. A little curious, maybe afraid. Oh, and I met Art Hawkins!"

      "You did? How is Art?"

      "He's in grad school. I think he's an officer in MSO. Turns out he
      was here at the same time as Kitty."

      "I had no idea Art was in town. Tell him he must come visit."

      "He said he plans to."

      "Rogue, it's so good to see you healthy, happy and excited."

      She smiled. "Did you see Maggie today?"

      "Actually I did. We had lunch and I did some testing on her. She's a
      very gifted child, so smart."

      "I know. I'd better go relieve Essie. I just was so psyched, I had to
      stop in and see you."
      "I'm glad you did."

      When Rogue walked in the door of their suite, Maggie jumped up and
      ran to her with hugs.

      "I'm home," she thought, and she was never happier.


      Chapter 10 is up at novemberotica.com
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