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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


As Rogue enters the foyer, Jean, Betsy and Ororo descend the stairs, laughing good-naturedly. Rogue quickly turns away, opening the closet to shove her jacket inside. Composed, she closes the door and prepares to greet them.

"Goin' out?"

"Betsy and I decided to have a night on the town. We've been trying to get Ororo to join us."

"Ya should go, sugah, do ya good to get out and about."

"I am meeting Forge."

"Ah see."

Ororo sees Betsy and Jean to the door as Rogue walks upstairs. She's a bit surprised to turn around and find Rogue has disappeared. Ororo returns upstairs. Rogue looks up, surprised, as Ororo knocks on her door, then enters. She closes the door behind her.

"You have been crying."

"Must of got some dust in my eyes."

Ororo moves to the side of the bed, where she has brought hot water and herbal tea. She prepares a cup and offers it to Rogue. Rogue accepts, a bit uncomfortable by Ororo's prescence.

"This will help your headache."

Rogue sips.

"S'good. Thanks."

Ororo leans over Rogue. She tenses, feeling Ororo's lips gently kiss the top of her head, followed by a lingering hug. Rogue pulls away. Ororo, sensing her discomfort, feels a moment of sadness that this young woman has known so little love she cannot even accept a friendly embrace. Ironic that the same person who has often been the first to reach out in understanding, can withdraw so completely.

Remember, Ororo, she did not choose to withdraw. The decision has been forced upon her every day of her life since her mutation manifested. How can you expect her to willingly accept what you offer, when she knows that the touch of her skin on yours would cause her to absorb you.

"I am meeting Forge."

"So ya said."

"I thought, perhaps, you would help me with my make-up."

"Ya look fine."

"I would like your company."


"Why does that surprise you, Rogue?"

"We ain't exactly best buddies, Ororo. Not like you and Jean. Or Betsy."

"It is time for that to change. Come, little one. I need to get ready."

Rogue cracks a wry grin.

"Ya gonna make me?"

Ororo returns the smile.


Rogue waits, expecting a sudden gust of wind to sweep her into the hall. She breaks out in a fit of laughter when Ororo surprisingly grabs her by the ankles and physically pulls her off the bed. Rogue's bottom thumps loudly onto the floor.

"Like to see ya try that with Magneto!"

The laughter is contagious. The door suddenly bursts open and Remy rushes inside, cards in hand. His look of intense concern, coupled with the barely knotted towel around his waist, sends another fit of laughter through the two women.

"Sounded like de two a you needed help."

Rogue, in her best imitation of a southern belle in distress, responds to his genuine worry.

"Oh, Remy, help me! Save me 'fore ah die from laughin' so hard."

Remy grins, allowing her a bit of fun at his expense.

"Jus' 'member de boy who cried wolf, chere."

As Remy turns to leave, Ororo yanks the towel free. Rogue, unable to help herself, lets out an appreciative whistle at Remy's suddenly bared backside. He pokes his head back inside.

"Wan' t'see an encore?"

As one, Rogue and Ororo toss the towel to him and slam the door shut. Ororo stands, then offers her hand to Rogue. Rogue accepts. Together, they walk upstairs to Ororo's loft to prepare for her date.




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