DISCLAIMER: Owned by Marvel (who
owns way too much), not by me. No money made by me, don't
sue. And no, they have NOT canonically made Rogue's name in
the comic the name she gave in the movie. I just decided to
run with it.
THANKS: to Matt Nute and Frito for encouragement.
FEEDBACK: to firstname.lastname@example.org
-- net, not com.
ARCHIVE: Usual permissions apply.
PERMISSIONS: Okay to POP-UP, but not to MST.
A Rose by Any Other Name...
"Okay, ah suppose y'all're wonderin' why ah called you all
"Ja, a little, Rogue, considering that's the most cliched
opening line I've ever heard." Kurt Wagner, known to the world
at large as Nightcrawler, balanced on one hand on the back
of his chair.
"You got somethin' on your mind, darlin'?" Logan, known to
the world at large as Wolverine lit a cigarillo and took a
drag off it. He winced, then ground it out on the back of
his hand. "Sorry 'Ro." He gave a faint, brief, apologetic
"Thank you, Logan, my friend." Ororo Munroe, known as Storm
to the world at large, smiled politely in gratitude for her
friend and teammate's gesture of respect. The Cajun threw
an affectionate arm around the windgoddess.
"Okay, mebbe they're not wonderin', chere, but I am." Remy
LeBeau, known as Gambit, fidgeted uneasily with the cigarette
in his hand. "Sooner we get dis meeting over with, sooner
I can get a smoke without offendin' Stormy."
Storm winced. "How many--" she began.
"--Times have I told you never to call me that?!" chorused
the rest of the X-Men around the table: Piotr Rasputin, the
metal Russian powerhouse called Colossus, shook his head affectionately.
Psylocke, the English-Japanese ninja whose true name was Elizabeth
Braddock, smirked back at Ororo. Henry McCoy, known to the
entire world as The Beast, also grinned playfully back at
Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring Askani'son Summers took
a deep breath and patted Neal Sharra on the shoulder. "Don't
mind them, Thunderbird. The X-Men have an odd way of unwinding
after a big battle."
The newest X-Man nodded deferentially, then flashed a smile
at Rogue. "Please, continue."
Warren Worthington, the high-flying Angel, smirked at the
second X-Man (third if you count the one who now called himself
Proudwalker) to carry the Thunderbird name. "Yeah, Rogue.
Jean Grey, known as Phoenix yawned. "Yes, please do. It's
late and some of us could use a long hot bath and a week or
two of sleep."
Rogue waited for the boisterous prattle to stop again, and
smiled sheepishly. "Well, seein' as Logan an' Kurt an' Betsy
an' Neal all voted me in as this team's leader...ah figured
it was about high time ah shared my real name with y'all.
Ain't much of a leader if y'all can't trust me, and ain't
much trust comin' from my direction if all y'all know t'call
me is Rogue, right?"
The X-Men pondered this for a second. Shrugs and nods circled
the table. X-Men were X-Men. Actions were more important than
names to most of them.
"You've been an X-Man for years now, Rogue," Jean said softly.
"You've long since earned your trust as far as we're concerned."
Logan backed this up. "She's right, darlin'."
"Just the same," Rogue murmured, "Ah felt like ah should.
So here goes. My real name..."
Everyone leaned forward.
"Yes?" Remy arched a curious brow and tried to look bored
and disinterested. He didn't succeed.
"Marie?" Kurt echoed.
There was a thud from the other end of the table. A pair
of blue feet indicated that this revelation had apparently
literally bowled over the Beast. "Marie. I had never seen
it coming. Got me right between the eyes!"
"All right, then, Marie it is," Logan chuckled.
"Yeah," Rogue retorted defensively. "Marie."
"You kept us all dancin' on a string an' wonderin' an' thinkin'
it was somethin' big, and your name is MARIE?!" LeBeau leapt
to his feet, cinematically swept his coat behind him, and
stalked over to get a finger right in Rogue's face. "Damn,
chere, talk about anti-climaxes!"
"Really," Warren agreed, slinging an arm around Betsy. "I
mean, Warren and Betsy are fairly mundane names, but you don't
see us making a production out of it."
Rogue sniffled. "Ah..."
"It's a perfectly lovely name, Rogue," Neal leapt to Rogue's
defense. "Don't let them bother you about it."
"But her name is Marie!" Remy protested, flailing
his arms wildly. "I could see her wantin' to be all secret
about her real name if it was -- oh, I dunno, BOB, or Thimblepfister,
or Rutabaga ... but your name's MARIE, girl. It's a perfectly
nice, normal name!" He sat back down, shaking his head. "I
dunno whether t'laugh or be mad."
"What did you think we were going to do?" Cable asked, genuinely
"What did you think we were going to say?" Kurt wondered,
arms spread in equal consternation.
"Ah dunno..." Rogue murmured sheepishly.
"...It's not like your name was Dexter or Buttercup or Red
Hiney," Hank added helpfully to the tirade Remy was still
continuing under his breath.
Logan patted Rogue on the shoulder. "It's a fine name, darlin'.
Don't let them bug ya about it. I'm glad you trusted us enough
t'share it." With that, he walked out of the room, not sparing
the others a backward glance.
Rogue sat up in her room a few hours later, gazing out her
window at the moon-washed landscape of the mansion's grounds.
The hubbub over her name had died down after Logan's departure.
Remy had continued his ramble, with Hank egging him on late
into the night. "I could SEE if her name was Fred! Or if her
name was Penelope Hortense Ophelia Bettina Esmerelda ... but
MARIE?!" He probably would've stopped sooner if Hank hadn't
egged him on with ridiculous suggestions of other painfully
awful names that would've been less of a letdown than 'Marie.'
Now, though, the house was quiet. Rogue kept catching glimpses
of the other X-Men heading through the woods -- strolling
quietly, dashing, or leaping through the trees. They flew,
they teleported, they moved in the manners most consistent
with their personalities.
Curiosity finally overwhelmed the southern X-Woman, and she
flew silently from the window to see where they all were going.
By the time she caught up, though, only Logan remained --
and his destination was clear. He was in the graveyard, standing
by the memorial stone that had been set up after Scott Summers
had sacrificed himself to Apocalypse months ago.
Like altar sacrifices, items were piled up before the stone.
A bush of odd, white flowers with brilliant red centers was
freshly planted around the stone. Beside it, there were two
cartons of Silk Cut cigarettes. A piece of volcanic obsidian
held down a picture of Scott, Hank, Bobby, Warren, and Logan
all sitting around a table at Harry's, drinks raised.
As Rogue watched, Logan let something thin fall from his
fingers. He grinned wryly, saluted the stone, and loped off
into the woods.
Rogue dropped down for a closer look now that she was alone.
The cartons had "DAMN IT, LUCKY GUESS, SLIM" written across
them in Remy's neat, florid script.
Logan, however, had dropped a hundred dollar bill on the
pile of offerings to Scott's memory. Across it, in Logan's
broad, loopy handwriting, was scrawled:
And beside a kiss of lipstick on the stone itself, a post-it
note. "You always could see past all the icing and cut right
to the heart. That's why I love you. -- J."
Feeling a bit like a voyeur, Rogue backed away from the little
stack of offerings and turned back to the house.
"Tomorrow mornin'," she said to herself, "Scott gets himself
a big ol' bouquet of bougainvillea and roses from li'l Marie."
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