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X-Men: The Movie

Stories by Pallas

"The Hardest Thing"
Rogue learns that she might be able to control her powers. But can she survive the journey?
(in progress)


DISCLAIMER: Nope, I unfortunately don't own any of these lovely characters.
SUMMARY/TEASER: Rogue learns that she might be able to control her powers. But can she survive the journey?

The Hardest Thing

Chapter 1

"Here, take this. I'll be back for it."

The way her face lit up when he closed her hand firmly around the tags was worth the sacrifice. Her smile faltered, though, when he turned to leave.

"Bye." She called softly.

He didn't reply. This wasn't goodbye. Instead, he walked out the gate. He sighed. He had along way to go.

A flash of light caught his eye, and he noticed Cyclops' motorcycle leaning on a wall. He couldn't help the sly grin that crept up his face. Glancing around to make sure no one was watching, he pulled the bike up and booted it up with the key left so conveniently in the ignition.

And then he was off, leaving behind probably the only true home he ever had, leaving Jean Grey, leaving behind the professor and his students - leaving Rogue.

Rogue watched Wolverine as he roared away on someone's motorcycle, and only returned her attention back to the game that she was playing when he was out of sight.

"Hey! Rogue! You there?"

"Hmm?" She asked, turning her attention to Bobby.

"You just let the ball through! We lost!"

"Sorry." She mumbled.

He smiled and shook his head. "That's okay."

As she was walking away, he called out to her retreating figure. "Do you want to come to my room tonight? Everyone else is."



No. She had done this before. She hated parties. She could only sit on the wall, while everyone else was dancing, hugging ... touching. "I can't," she said shortly.

He nodded, obviously disappointed. "Well, see you later." He said softly.

She didn't reply.


She looked up at the professor's approaching figure, and smiled.

"Why so sorrowful?" he asked, concerned.

"No reason. I guess the fact that anyone I touch almost dies just caught up with me lately." She said bitterly.

He smiled. "That's what I wanted to talk to you about. I may be able to help you with that, dear."

She looked up at him, wide-eyed. "You what?" She asked incredulously.

"I know that you want to be able to touch people again. I've been searching for a cure, and may have found an answer. It isn't exactly a cure, but..."

"I'll try it!" She said, interrupting him.

He smiled, and turned, motioning for her to follow him.

As they moved to the "underground" section of the school, the Professor elaborated on his find. "I've searched for and found another mutant who has the same power as you. She has learned how to control it, to turn it on and off, so to say."

Rogue nodded, hanging on to his every word.

"She's at the school right now, and she will probably stay until you are in sufficient control of your power."

Curse, you mean. Rogue thought darkly. To never be able to touch… she had halfway resigned herself to a life in isolation, and losing Logan had almost made her completely withdraw from society. She was, after all, a menace. Bobby's words to her earlier, although it hadn't really been him, stung her. There was some truth in them.

But now, the chance to control her powers. It was like a blessing. She silently breathed thanks to whatever god or goddess had smiled upon her.

She was snapped out of her thoughts by the professor's voice.

"Rogue, I'd like you to meet Madame Thenadier. Madame Thenadier, Rogue, also known as Marie."

"Allo, nice to meet you. My name is Marie, too." Madame Thenadier said, with a slight accent. She was a tall woman, with long black hair and stunning green eyes.

Rogue smiled in return. "Ah prefer to go by Rogue ... it's easier."

Madame Thenadier nodded. "I understand, chere. I go by Exile."

Rogue frowned. "Isn't that a little… extreme?"

"No, Mon chere. I think that it is rather fitting."

Rogue nodded, accepting the woman's name. She glanced at Professor Xaiver. "How did ya know my name was Marie?"

He smiled. "I know in my own ways ... you know, Wolverine was quite worried about you when he arrived here. He cares about you."

She looked down, coloring. "Ah know. I guess he jus' understands what it's like to not be able to touch anyone." Looking up, she clarified, "He hasn't got many friends."

Xaiver nodded. "I'll be going now." He said, smiling. "You two need to talk, I believe."

He left, leaving Rogue and her new teacher in his office.

Exile broke the silence. "You know, once you learn to control your touch, you will begin to develop other powers. I'm a telepath, and I can fly if I need to."

Rogue looked up with wide eyes. "You can fly?"

"Yes, Mon chere."

Rogue smiled. "I've yet to see anyone fly, I mean, really fly-up way high, ya know? The closest thing to flying I ever saw was when Loga-Wolverine was lifted by the wind."

"Ah, yes. The mysterious Wolverine. I have heard so much about him, yet I know so little. Tell me about him."

"Well, he might not be called handsome, but he is sure nice enough. The professor has a picture of him somewhere." She smiled. "He gave me this," she said, pulling the chain off of her neck and giving it to her teacher.

Exile studied it for a moment, and returned it to her student. "What's his mutation?" She asked.

"He heals faster n' anything I've seen, n' he has metal claws an' metal all over his skeleton. Professor Xaiver thinks that he might likely be a hundred years old."

Exile smiled. "Hmm ... I want to meet this Wolverine, he sounds interesting."

"He comes off a little gruff at first, but he's nice to people who don't hurt him or annoy him."

"Annoy him?"

"He's mean to Scott sometimes."


So Exile had met Scott.

"What can ya teach me, ah mean, about my powers?"

Exile smiled briefly, a strange sort of pitying smile.

"I won't be teaching you until later, Mon chere. You will have to either rid yourself of your powers, or subdue them enough to be able to touch a living being."

"There are two ways to do this. You can either find a mutant who's willing to trade powers with you - but the outcome might be worse than what you have, or you may not find a mutant willing to trade."

Rogue shook her head violently, reaching up to finger the streaks of white that adorned her hair, standing out against the reddish-brown. She knew how that would happen, and she knew that she didn't - couldn't - go through the pain of her powers being ripped from her body again. This time, there would be no Logan to save her.

"The other, Mon chere, is much more dangerous. It also is not a scientific procedure. There are Shamans, witches, who can send you to a place where you confront your fears, and your powers. I know a few who chose that path- one of them is still in a coma.

Rogue frowned. The first option was looking good now. But … she knew that she wouldn't survive another spin in Magnetos' machine, even if it were to good ends.

She looked up at Exile. "Let me think for a bit." She said softly.

The woman nodded. "But certainly, Mon chere. Tell me when you are ready." She smiled, and stood up. "I will see you tomorrow, no?"

Rogue nodded absentmindedly, thinking.

"Goodbye then, Mon chere."

Exile leaned forward and gave her student a kiss on each cheek before she left.

Rogue blinked when the door shut. Then she reached up and touched each cheek, savoring the warmth left from the other woman's physical contact. There was obviously more to Madame Marie Thenadier than she was admitting.

Because nothing at all had happened to her when she touched Rogue's face.


To be continued.


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