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Warning: Sexual themes.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3


Chapter Two


"Yes, I have gained a measure of peace. My life is now truly mine. Of course, Momma didn't see it that way."

Remy had to wince as he imagined what Mystique did when she found out that her innocent baby girl was turning tricks. Going ballistic didn't even begin to describe it.

And Mary remembered.


Rogue's front door splintered as it was kicked in. Her eyes flew to the bedroom clock: 3:00 a.m. God, I thought I'd finally gotten away from this after I left the X-Men. Apparently I was wrong.

She flew up to the ceiling as she put on her black velvet gloves. Hovering above the door, she was in a perfect position to hit the person who just barged in her bedroom door with a downward thrust to the face. The intruder never saw it coming.

As the interloper lay flat out on the hall floor Rogue flew down and turned on the light.

Raven Darkholme, A.K.A. Mystique, lay flat on her back glaring with venomous hatred and betrayal at her adopted daughter.

Rogue sighed, knowing that while this confrontation may have been inevitable, there was no way she was looking forward to it. She took the first step and walked right past Mystique before she could start her tirade. Mystique wasn't expecting that.

"Where the hell do you think you're going, young lady?"

"I'm going to close as much of the door as I can, Momma. My neighbors are hard-working decent folks and don't deserve to hear you ranting and raving at me. There is ice in the freezer for your face. Help yourself."

This wasn't going as Mystique was expecting at all. Rogue didn't sound defensive or even exasperated. She sounded... resigned. Somewhere in the back of Raven's mind, warning bells started to go off. She ignored them though. She was right and she would MAKE Rogue see that if she had to.

After Rogue finished repairing the front door as much as she could, she came into the living room to see her mother there waiting for her with a bag of ice on her swollen cheek.

"Get packed. You're coming with me back to X-Factor. You obviously have no idea how to live alone. I just don't understand. Getting away from the X-Men was a splendid idea and I applaud it, but in heaven's name why didn't you come to me? You know I will always take care of you. Well, no matter, I'm here now and I'll fix everything. I'll go have a 'discussion' with your er, handler, and then we can leave."

Rogue sat on her own couch in her own living room and looked at her mother with a Mona Lisa smile and did nothing.

"What possessed you to take up a career as a common streetwalker? This is one of the most degrading ways to waste your life I can think of." At least you didn't go in to politics, Mystique muttered to herself.

Mystique continued ranting at her daughter.

"I know I raised you better than this. I've done some questionable things in my career but never have I prostituted myself..."

At that Rogue finally spoke up. "Yes, you have, Momma."

"What are you talking about?"

"You're doing it right now. Instead of being in prison like you should be, you sold your services to the government. You are their whore. Don't try to deny it, Momma. And don't say that it's a different situation. You know that it is exactly the same. You are their bought-and-paid-for pet metamorph. You have nothing to say to me, Momma."

Mystique was shocked at her daughter's assessment of her new career. She was even more shocked that her daughter had finely grown a backbone, at the most inopportune time possible.

"How dare you talk to me that way. After everything I've done for you? You ungrateful child." Mystique figured the best defense was a good offense. Although she wasn't sure why she was on the defensive. She hadn't done anything. Had she?

"I took you in when you ran away from home. I raised you. I exposed you to more of the world's wonders than ten 'normal' people will ever see.  I gave you opportunities to better yourself that most would kill to get. And this is how you repay me?"

Rogue just shook her head. "No more guilt trips, Momma. I'm not falling for it any more. I've repaid you for your kindness in giving me a home and love several times over. If you want something from me, you're going to have to play a different card. Try honesty. You might be surprised how well it works."

Now Mystique looked at her for the first time tonight -- really looked at her. Rogue was relaxed and perfectly at ease in her presence. No more child/woman desperately looking for approval. She was her own woman now. Complete. Or at least much more comfortable in her own skin.

Her daughter was all grown up and didn't NEED her protection any more.

"So, you fancy yourself your own woman now? Self sufficient? As you wish. If you are living and acting like an adult then you can answer an adult's question. Why are you a prostitute?"

The moment of truth for both of them.


Concluded in Chapter 3.


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