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
"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
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
"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
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
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
"He comes off a little gruff at first, but he's nice to people
who don't hurt him or 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
The woman nodded. "But certainly, Mon chere. Tell me when
you are ready." She smiled, and stood up. "I will see you
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
To be continued.
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