Bobby Drake leans across the doorway to Rogue's room, smirking.
Behind him, Hank regards Rogue congenially. She tosses the
hair from her shoulder and eyes her two companions with a
steely, if amused, gaze.
"Let me see if ah got this straight. Ya want me to change
into mah pajamas, put on this blindfold, and let the two o'
you lead me Lord knows where? No offense, boys, but ah don't
"That's it? No argument? No pathetic attempts at persuasion?"
"My dear Rogue, far be it from me to debate the positive
influence this excursion would produce when you are clearly
determined to pursue other activities. Of course, you do
realize that the social event which Robert and I have gone
to such lengths to arrange for your benefit would meet several
of Jean's requirements for the group interaction phase of
"Meanin' ah don't have a prayer of bein' on active status
unless ah agree."
"Gold star for you, Roguie!"
Moments later, after changing into peach-colored pajamas
and allowing herself to be blindfolded, Bobby and Hank carefully
guide her downstairs to the living room. At the last step,
her foot catches.
She feels Logan's strong arms lift her over the last step
and set her down. She frowns, puzzled by the feel of his kimono
beneath her fingers. She starts to remove the blindfold. Logan's
hands catch hers, stopping her.
"Not yet, Rogue."
His palms rest lightly against the small of her back, guiding
her forward. Plastic. Cold plastic beneath her feet. She hesitates.
To her right, she hears Bobby cackle gleefully a moment before
he gently tugs her wrist.
"What am I s'posed to do now?"
"Get down on your hands and knees."
"It is all right, child."
Ororo reaches up from somewhere below. Rogue feels the hands
of her teammates ease her onto the floor. She's curious by
how precisely they position her hands and feet. Wonders about
all the plastic beneath her.
Jean's laughter-filled voice comes from Rogue's left shoulder.
"I'm right here, hon."
"All ah gotta say, sugah, is ah'd better be gettin'
serious interaction points for this one! What on earth --
She feels a body bend over hers and tenses. Somebody's ankle
slides against her hand.
"Let me get that for you."
Scott unties the blindfold, revealing Rogue, intertwined
with several other X-Men, across a sheet of plastic marked
with red, blue, green and yellow circles. Bobby, holding a
spin card, winks at her.
"That's right, Rogue! You've made it to the semi-finals
of the Midnight Mutant Madness Twister Tournament! But I should
warn you, my Mississippi mudfly, you face some fierce competition.
Who will walk away with the grand prize? Will it be our fearless
leader, Scott Summers? Doubt it. The beautiful yet incredibly
nimble Ororo? Perhaps our newcomer will defy the odds and
deliver the upset of the century!"
Rogue glances around the room. Sleeping bags line one wall.
"Friday the Thirteenth" flickers across the large
screen tv. She sees tapes for "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes",
"Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "The Thing"
on the console. Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire"
blares from the stereo. Bowls of munchies and bottles of pop
complete the scene.
"A slumber party? Y'all are crazy!"
Hank glances up from her feet.
"Ah, but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for."
"Right foot green!"
The situation devolves into an energetic scramble.
"Sorry 'bout that."
"Move your elbow!"
"What is the grand prize?"
"Scott's 'Collected Works of the Three Stooges'."
"What?! I never agreed to that!"
"Left hand yellow!"
"Heads up, sugah, ah'm comin' over!"
"Right hand yellow!"
"Losing my balance -- "
"Apologies, Ororo, I did not intend to grab your shoulder."
"Henry, that was not my shoulder."
"Left foot yellow!"
"Bobby Drake, you are makin' that up!"
"Are you admitting defeat?"
"Just spin the card!"
Bobby flicks the spinner, watches, then cracks a wide grin.
"Right foot yellow."
"There's no way."
"Uhm, if ya could just move -- yeah, ah think ah can
Rogue's sudden loss of balance sends everyone crashing to
the floor in a fit of laughter.
"Or maybe ah can't."
The evening wears on, and even though Rogue finds herself
caught up in the mood, still, her thoughts turn to the one
X-man whose presence is noticeably lacking. Remy LeBeau. Gambit.
"Is there anything we haven't done?"
"Rogue, this is your night, any ideas?"
"Only one thing ah can think of -- s'mores."
"'Roro, ya haven't lived until ya try 'em."
"How fortunate, then, that I anticipated your cravings
and procured the necessary supplies. Will you do the honor?"
"Mah pleasure, Hank. Back in a minute!"
Rogue leaves, grabbing a handful of empy glasses on her way
into the kitchen.
>>Jean, what do you think?<<
>>This was good for her. She really has been enjoying
herself. Now that she's more relaxed, I'll try to push her
a little harder in our next therapy session. Maybe I can finally
get through to her.<<
Continued in Chapter
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