The Cast of Shadows
Chapter Eight: Standing in the Shadows
It was late when Kitty stole into their bedroom. Rogue lay facing the wall, eyes open and feigning sleep as her roommate tip-toed past to the bathroom. She listened to Kitty’s preparations for bed: her usual rinsing-brushing-plucking-poking sounds issued forth from behind the ajar door. In spite of her codename, stealthy, Shadowcat was not. Kitty stumbled over to her bed, mumbling sleepily to herself. Several long moments passed before Rogue turned over to lie on her back. The room was still and silent save for Kitty’s soft breathing. When she was certain her roommate was asleep, Rogue pushed her bedcovers away, and sat up.
Silently, Rogue crept from the room. She paused in the hallway, looking up and down the darkened corridor. Seeing no one, she slowly walked towards the hall to the boy’s wing. A sound caused her to stop before Scott’s bedroom. Muffled voices came from behind the closed door, one of them sounded female. It sounded very much like someone was weeping. Rogue
decided that Scott and his brother must have taken a turn borrowing the DVD player from the rec room. From the sound of things, Scott sure had weird taste in movies.
Rogue continued down the hall, finally stopping before a door which was left slightly open. She hesitated, chewing her lip nervously. Finally, she reached forward and tapped softly on the door. When she received no immediate answer, she exhaled loudly. When Kitty had returned to their bedroom, signaling the end of her vigil by Remy’s side, Rogue had hoped that Remy might have been released from the MedLab. Rogue frowned at the door, and chided herself angrily. What did you think you were doing here in the first place?
An unexpected voice called out to her. “What d’you want?”
Rogue started, and was momentarily flooded with paralyzing nervousness. A heavy silence, laden with expectation permeated the room beyond. Shyly, Rogue pushed the door open and looked in.
“H-hi,” she stammered, as her eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room. Her gaze fell upon the figure seated on the bed silhouetted against the blue-black rectangle that was the window. She could see his eyes glowing dull red in the dark.
“What do you want?” he asked again, his voice hoarse and weary.
“Ah wanted t’see how you were doin’,” Rogue replied.
“I expect y’want t’hear all the sordid details,” Remy said bluntly, an angry tinge to his voice. “I’m surprised y’don’t got Kitty hangin’ on yer ear telling you all about it.”
Rogue flushed, embarrassed, a feeling which quickly turned to irritation. She had come to see if he was okay, what right did he have to jump all over her? “Looks like you’ve still got your nasty attitude, so Ah assume you’re doin’ just fine.”
“Oh yes, just fine,” he said sarcastically. “Thank you so very much for your concern.”
She bit back a sharp reply. Of course he wasn’t fine, that much was evident from the slump of his shoulders and the hollow sound of his voice. Despite his efforts to anger her, she felt a twinge of sympathy. It prompted her to act on her original plan which had sent her down the hall in the first place.
“Are you tired?” she asked. “Kitty came in and just crashed. Ah’m surprised you’re still up.”
She was answered by a dry laugh. “Tired? Course I’m tired. I’m exhausted, in fact. Doesn’t mean I’ll get any sleep. No, I’ll just lie here, starin’ at de walls like I usually do.”
“D’you need somethin’ t’help you sleep? Some pills ... warm milk or some such?” Rogue asked.
“Nothin’ short of a sledgehammer to de head is gonna help me.”
Something about the unhappy finality to his voice triggered her reaction. “Ah could help you,” Rogue said softly. She could feel his eyes on her, and although she could not see his expression, she could guess his reaction; head cocked to the side and eyebrow raised, giving her a dubious look. She continued. “Ah helped Jean once, with her powers. Ah could probably do the same for you.”(1)
“Oh really ... you can help me?” he said, his smirk evident in the tone of his voice.
Rogue scowled into the darkness. But something made her press on. She wanted this, badly, though she pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind. “When Jean’s powers had gotten out of her control, Ah gave her a little tap, and took some of the edge off.”
“You absorbed her, to help her control her powers?” Remy asked slowly.
Rogue nodded, but in the darkness, she wasn’t sure if Remy could see her. “Yes,” she said.
“And so now you think you can give me a ‘little tap’, and help me out?”
“That’s right,” Rogue said. He's making this easy, she thought.
“So you think y’can mosey on over here and absorb my powers, to take some of the edge off?” By now his voice had made an imperceptible change.
Rogue was beginning to feel unsure of herself, but agreed with him anyway. “Well, yes. Somethin’ like that.”
“Something like that!” his voice was loud and harsh and he leapt to his feet. “How much of me do you want to take? Haven’t you had enough? Now that I’ve confessed how I feel, you wanna suck it out of my brain?”
She was shocked by his outburst. When she had come up with this idea while she was lying in bed and waiting for Kitty, she had spent the time plotting out how their conversation would go. She would come up with the suggestion, seemingly out of thin air, Remy would be grateful, and he would reach out for her and she would embrace him kindly, benevolently...
“No!” Rogue cried suddenly. “Ah wanted ... ah wanted ... To help you. That’s all!” That wasn’t entirely the truth, but Rogue shook the thought away. “You can be so cruel sometimes, you know that? Maybe your powers are all out of whack, maybe that’s why you’re so haywire. Don’t you think you could be hurting me when you snap like that?”
Remy suddenly looked defeated and turned away. “I’m ... sorry,” he told her, and he truly sounded sorrowful. Rogue relaxed. There he went, flying from one extreme to another in a matter of seconds. He sat back down on the bed. Rogue timidly walked toward him.
“Okay,” Rogue said. “Ah’m sorry too. Ah probably shouldn’t have told Kitty what you told me in confidence. Can we start over?”
Remy sighed. “D’you still want to absorb me?” he asked her, sounding defensive and backing up slightly.
“D’you want to sleep tonight?” Rogue asked.
There followed a long pause. The two stared at one another for several moments. Rogue wondered if he was considering her offer or if he was just working himself back up to another tantrum. He suddenly extended his hand to her.
“All right. Go to town. Just try not to take too much,” Remy told her.
Rogue nearly snatched off her glove in her haste, but forced herself to slow. She nodded at him and slowly reached out her bare hand. When her hand approached, a bright blue spark flew from the tips of his fingers to her own. She jerked her hand back and smiled awkwardly. “S-sorry,” she breathed before reaching forward again. Her fingertips brushed his and trailed up his fingers to his palm. Time seemed to move in slow motion, allowing her to savor the brief contact of his skin to hers. Her lips parted and she gave a tremulous sigh. Abruptly, she took her hand away.
Remy was staring at her. Rogue found herself staring back at him. “Was dat it?” Remy asked. “Dat was easy.”
Rogue ripped her gaze away and looked down at her hand. It was tingling slightly. “Nothing happened?” she said. “Nothing happened!”
“Are you sure?” he asked her. “I thought I felt something. Tingly.”
Rogue shook her head. “There should have been something. Like a pulling sensation. But nothing happened. Ah touched you! Ah touched you with mah bare hand!” She looked at her hand in disbelief. “Ah have t’try it again,” she said, and she could not prevent the hunger and desperation that had entered her voice.
He gave her a wary look. “Maybe...” he began, and then shrugged as if he had just changed his mind. “Well, I was going to try dis anyway. What could happen?”
Rogue eagerly leaned forward to take his hand again, when a voice at the doorway brought her up short.
“Rogue, what are you doing in Remy’s room at this hour?” The pair turned to see Storm in the hall, dressed in her nightgown with her hair disheveled from sleep. “The boy’s wing is restricted to you after the hour of ten p.m.”
Rogue stood, guiltily looking down at the floor.
“And Remy,” Storm continued, irritation was evident in her voice. “After all that has happened, why are you not in bed, asleep? The two of you do not even have the sense to keep your voices at a reasonable level.”
“Storm--,” Rogue began, but the woman cut her off by raising her hand.
“Rogue, return to your room. Whatever drama you are playing out can be continued in the morning. Rest assured we will be discussing this incident with the professor upon his return.”
Rogue sighed unhappily and felt tears prick her eyes. But what if in the daylight, whatever she had just felt stopped being true?
“Come,” Storm beckoned and took the girl by the arm to lead her away. “Remy, I think it is time for you to turn in.”
“Turn into what?” he mumbled, lying down on his bed. “You might not like what you find in de morning.”
Rogue heard Storm’s angry sigh as she pulled her by the arm and steered her out of Remy’s room. Rogue looked longingly back at Remy’s door after Storm had pulled it shut. Maybe she was just dreaming this and none of it was real. Maybe she wasn’t in trouble, maybe she wasn’t being escorted back to her bedroom. Maybe she hadn’t really touched Remy. Despite Storm’s perturbed look and Rogue’s imminent punishment, she prayed she wasn’t dreaming. It was real. It had to be.
To be continued.
(1) That was in episode 15, Power Surge
Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction /
Fan Artwork / History Books /
Photo Album / Songbank /
Miscellania / Links /
Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof
are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an
unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by