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Claremont's Return

Stories by Indigo

"The Last Bug Hunt"
Tragedy befalls Nightcrawler and Rogue when they take a vacation to Hawaii together and run into the Brood.

Sinister and the Marauders try to atone for their past crimes -- through housecleaning.

"Recipe for a Really Bad Day"
Takes place sometime after the X-Men's battle with Alpha Flight in UXM 355. Scott takes the PMS-striken Rogue, Jean and Psylocke to the DMV to renew their drivers' licenses.

"A Rose by Any Other Name"
Rogue calls a team meeting to finally reveal her real name.

A number of poems written by the prolific fanficstress about the skunk-striped maiden.

elsewhere in Alykat's World:

The World is a Playground
When the Avengers get involved with the satellite launch of X-Men #80, something goes wrong, reverting all the X-Men back to childhood.
(at The Danger Playpen)

"The Race"
The Hellfire Club, Xavier's and the Massachusetts Academy all vie for the right to contact a mutant whose powers have just manifested, and Bobby and Emma, leaders of two of those contingents, explore some unresolved issues.
(at (un)frozen)


Web site:

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 -- 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 here t'day."

"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 smile.

"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 the windrider.

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. Go on."

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 curious.

"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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