"Well, Momma, as hokey as it sounds, I just want to
"I never heard of Mother Teresa turning tricks."
"I'm not a saint, either, Momma."
Rogue sighed. This was not going to be easy to explain. She
hadn't even fully explained it to herself. All she knew was
that she was happy with her life. Was there anything wrong
"I was gone from the mansion for just two weeks and
bored out of my mind. I promised myself that I wouldn't go
back to fighting but I wasn't sure what to do instead. I had
gotten this apartment with the money you set up for me years
ago. Funny, I didn't remember that I was a wealthy woman the
whole time I was at Xavier's.
"Yes, Momma, I do thank you for having the foresight
to set up those bank accounts all those years ago."
"Anyway, I was leaving the grocery store one day when
I heard two of the bag boys talking. They were idly speculating
as teenage boys do when they see a beautiful woman -- or any
woman for that matter -- when one said, 'The heck with her
body, I'd pay just to hear her talk.'
"Well it got me thinking. Up until this time I had invested
my whole sexual identity in my body. I could attract men with
it, but that was as far as I thought I could take it and I
didn't want to be considered a tease. I never considered my
sexuality in a context outside of intercourse before.
"Sex without my body would be perfect. No risk of diseases,
no having to worry about touching in the heat of the moment,
no worry about getting pregnant, no real consequences. All
it required was a healthy imagination. Eroticism is all in
the mind anyway.
"Yes, Momma, I know it's also for the most part sex
without consequences, or depth. It didn't even require real
passion. I could finally totally protect myself from harm.
I could have my cake and eat it, too."
Rogue suppressed a smirk with difficulty. "From the
look on your face, I can tell you didn't think I was that
"Momma, you can't live with a house full of telepaths
and absorb other people's memories for a living without learning
to question your thoughts and motivations. You never know
when someone is going to try to mess with your mind or a nasty
memory fragment might try to attack you."
"Didn't Xavier help you at all, Rogue?" Mystique
mentally relived the pain of watching her baby girl go mad
trying to deal with the thoughts and feelings that were not
her own try to consume her mind.
"He did what he could to wall them off, but the Kree
psychic shields I inherited from Ms. Marvel made it practically
impossible to do anything more. Now, of course, I'm glad he
didn't get any further into my mind."
"What do you mean?"
"I think Beast could have helped me with my control
a long time ago, but neither of us thought of it -- or if
we did, I'm sure Professor X made us forget. He wanted to
keep me dependent and confused about my sexuality."
"As much as the thought of that man in your mind makes
me want to rip his head off, I can say that while you were
under his roof, at least you weren't a slut. What is this,
Rogue? Are you finally manifesting your teenage rebellion
in this horrible way? Do you hate your life this much? Do
you hate me?"
"Oh Momma, this has nothing to do with you. And, no,
I don't hate you. In fact, I think I understand you a little
better now that I have been honing and using my 'feminine
wiles.' Sometimes its pretty fun." Rogue gave a hesitant
giggle. "The first time I tried it in front of a man
instead of over the phone I almost gave the poor old geezer
"Oh, don't say that." Raven moaned. "One time,
I actually did give the man I was supposed to be seducing
a stroke. The mission was a complete washout."
As their eyes met, there was a connection that was made.
A bond forged by mutual experiences. Not the bond of a mother
and a daughter but a bond of two women dealing with the wonder
and the travesty that is men.
And the moment passed.
"It started with phone sex. It was so easy to turn these
men on. I never realized how many lonely, not to mention just
plain horny, men there were out there. Ya know, it wasn't
just men either. Some of my best repeat customers were women.
Anyway, after about four months I got bored. Since I was in
the business anyway and I hadn't done anything degrading --
well, nothing grotesque -- I decided to stick with it for
a while. I was going to join an escort service, but some of
the other girls from the phone sex company I was working at
quickly dissuaded me from that idea. They said the men were
just to grabby, and with my condition I'd be in a world of
hurt. So I looked into some other options that were more to
my taste. I thought about being a stripper, but that was to
impersonal. I wanted to make a real connection. After a bit
of checking around, I took a three month course and got a
limited masseuse licensee. Not as a masseo-therapist, just
a regular masseuse.
"Believe me, it was hard to make the necessary connection
with gloves on all the time. Massage is not just a physical
act. There's a mental component to it as well. There's a whole
lot of empathy that goes with skin-to-skin contact. I think
being a masseuse has helped me learn how to lower my mental
barriers so that I could be receptive even with gloves on.
I think I'm a better person now because of my training."
Raven wasn't sure how to deal with this new information.
While she was relieved that her baby girl, no, grown daughter
was learning how to be intimate, her methods were questionable
to say the least.
"Well, empathy is a large part of any relationship,
be it a one night stand or a lifelong commitment. I know that
you closed yourself off from the world because of some of
the things I made you do. For that, I am sorry. But -- and
I'll deny I ever said this -- couldn't you have just gotten
Remy to teach you how to love yourself and others? The man
is NOT what I want in a son-in-law, but he does now how to
love a woman."
Rogue blinked. Then a devilish smile formed on her face.
"Is there something you want to tell me, Momma?"
Rogue just nodded and dropped the subject. It was none of
her business, and Remy and her mother were both consenting
adults. Being exposed to so many types of sexual situations
had done one thing for her: Rogue was no longer the jealous
type and she wasn't nearly as possessive as she used to be.
Of course, that didn't mean that she wanted to have an 'open'
relationship. She definitely wanted an exclusive one, but
she knew that it was okay if Remy was attracted to other women.
It was part of his charm power. As long as he kept it under
control, she had no worries.
"No. At that time I was in no way prepared for intimacy.
It would have ended badly if I had let him force me into something
I wasn't ready for.
"So, as I said I worked at a massage parlor. It wasn't
too bad. There were no sexual liaisons while I was working
there, or at least none that I was aware of. Mostly the men
either came in for a straight massage or a special. A special
is where you also talk to the customer while he is getting
his massage. It's sort of like acting in a play. You have
your script to read to create the fantasy the customer wants,
usually about what an awesome macho stud he is.
"I didn't do too many of those. Mostly I just did regular
massages. It was after a regular massage that one of my customers
suggested that I had the right stuff to work as a prostitute.
At first I was offended, but then he explained that anyone
who could give such a great massage with gloves on must be
special. So he offered to introduce me to a very exclusive
"At first I wasn't to sure what I was getting into.
It was a rather intense interview, as if I was applying to
be a corporate VP. The written test was difficult, but the
exam by the psychologist was worse. I really had to dig deep
into my own head before they let me join. They don't want
any crazies or extortionists near their clientele.
"After I was accepted they gave me a two-week course
on seduction and role playing. I guess my job is a cross between
a performance artist and a sex therapist.
"I'm there for those who have a sexual need that they
can't satisfy through normal means. Mothing perverted, just
different. Most of the time my customers leave better people
than when they came to me. And that is why I like what I am
Raven frowned. This would require some more thought. Her
bab... her daughter wasn't turned out on a street corner
in hot pants and a tube top somewhere. It seamed that Rogue
was now a professional. Not just any pro either, she was a
Femme de Joie. Definitely a few cuts above a common street
"Tell me about Mandy's."
So Rogue began to tell her about the international organization
that she belonged to. She was well-paid as well as well-protected.
Every client was 'entertained' at a different 4- or 5-star
hotel, and security guards were in the next suite in case
the client tried anything. Rogue was allowed to turn down
any client without question, but after the third time she
would have to talk to Mandy's staff psychologist to see what
the problem was. There was a generous retirement package,
and the service was quasi-unionized.
"Hmmm... I think I know the organization you are referring
to, but in '46 it was called 'Amanda's.' I never worked there,
but I was a client once. I was checking up on them. Making
sure they weren't shakedown artists. For the most part, I
was impressed with their operation."
"So, mama, what do you think?"
After a pause, Raven decided on the truth. "I think
you're not hurting yourself. Other than that I have no comment
you would wish to hear."
It wasn't a glowing endorsement and validation of her lifestyle,
but Rogue wasn't looking for one. She was very happy with
the little she did get and with the knowledge that her mother
wouldn't be actively discouraging her choice of lifestyle.
"So Momma, are you and Valerie Cooper still feuding?"
Rogue asked with a smirk.
Raven just glowered at her.
"Momma didn't like it, but she really couldn't do anything
short of kidnapping me. You know she would have if she felt
I was in over my head."
Remy decided that he liked this Mary person sitting in front
of him. She was confident and in control of herself. Two qualities
he found very exciting.
"Have you mastered your powers yet?"
"Actually, now that I feel that I have some control
in my life, it hasn't been a big issue for me. I really hadn't
felt a need to get control. Do you know of any reason why
I should?" Mary asked bluntly.
Remy mentally rocked from the blow. No misunderstanding that
question. This was it, he could tell. An ultimatum. Was he
worth her time or not? They had walked the walk. Now she was
asking if he would talk the talk. She had always been an all-or-nothing
kind of girl. Before, she thought she had to settle for nothing.
Now she wanted it all.
As the past and present swirled through his mind he stopped
at one perfect moment in time. Remy and Rogue together in
a park with his arms wrapped around her waist as she flew
a kite for the first time. She was magnificent as he saw the
unabashed joy she found in the activity. A joy he'd never
known or thought he could. Until now.
Author Gab: Well, I could write
more but I want to know if anyone wants to read more first.
I am working on other projects. If someone else would like
to write more in this story or backplots, let
me know and I'm sure I'l give you permission.
P.S. That remark about Valerie Cooper is a nod to the 'Tales
of the Twlight Menshevik' series by Tilman Stieve.
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