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Author's Notes
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20


Rogue dumps another load of jeans into the dryer. A week has passed. Still, the tension between her and Ororo remains. She sighs, lost in thought. Hopefully the offer she is about to make will ease the situation.

Give it time, sugah.

"A penny for your thoughts, Rogue."

"'Lo, Storm."

"Remy said that you have been looking for me?"

"We need to talk."


"About Rochelle."

Rogue catches the sudden iciness in Ororo's eyes.

"She's still here, inside me. Ya can talk to her, if ya like. Ah don't mind. She needs ya, gal. She's just a scared little girl who doesn't understand what's been happenin'. Ah know things ain't right between the two o' us, but it ain't right to let the trouble between us keep ya from bein' with one o' your own."

"Rochelle is dead."

"Maybe so, only she don't know it."

"And what of you?"

"Ah can take care o mahself."

"It was very difficult for you when you were sharing your life with Carol. You willingly offer to again place yourself in the same situation. Why?"

Rogue turns away, keeping herself busy by sorting and folding the laundry. She shrugs her shoulders, trying not to remember the comforting warmth of Storm's arms holding her fast.

"Rochelle's a sweet kid."


Ororo waits, silent. When Rogue offers nothing further, she pursues the conversation.

"I appreciate your offer, more than you will ever know, my friend. You tempt me to defy the natural procession of our lives. Regretfully, it would not be in the best interest of either you or Rochelle."

Rogue's hands slow, as she absorbs Ororo's words, still trying to remain indifferent.

"The Baoule have always believed that the soul journeys on to a better place after death and then is reborn. I would not deny my goddaughter the opportunity for her moment of peace. I would not deny her the chance to be reborn into a better life--the full, joyful life she should have led."

Ororo picks up the dropped end of a sheet and helps Rogue fold it, bringing the edges together. As Rogue accepts the corners from Ororo's hands, she pauses, struck by a thought.

"Ya can still say good-bye, y'know."

Ororo nods.

"It will not be in the Baoule way, but it will be more than I would have had."

"Why can't ya have a proper funeral?"

"There is no body, Rogue."

"Hell, sugah, girl's been usin' mah body for everythin' else. What's a burial between friends?"

She chuckles at Ororo's stunned expression.

"Listen, ah know how it sounds, but it only makes sense. What better way to help Rochelle adjust and move on?"

Ororo slowly shakes her head.

"It would not be--"

"Ororo, it's what she wants."

"Very well then, I will begin the preparations."

Ororo's sudden smile warms Rogue's heart.


Continued in Chapter 14


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