Orla: Hello! This time I'm doing the introduction (applaud
or die now, thank you) The only way I could do this is by
tying Jaelle up with tape. What's that Jaelle? Sorry, I don't
know what "Mmmph Mmmph" means, I guess you will
have to stay there. (By the way, it has come to my attention
that I am known as the evil twin, this is untrue -I am the
insane, violent evil twin -please get this right for future
Anyway, an introduction to Rogue 1/2:
A battle in China goes terribly wrong! (Well, what can
you expect when it's right over a place called Jusenkyo?)
Now Rogue is avoiding cold water like mad, Bobby is running
after her with kettles of hot water, Mystique is trying to
kill Xavier and Magneto and his Acolytes are attacking! No
Storm! Don't call up a rainstorm!
Now for a continuity note: Mystique and Sabretooth
are in X-Factor in this story and Magneto is leading the Acolytes
and living in Avalon -well stuff it! Who needs accuracy?
Also, a competition: if you can spot all the Ranma
1/2 references you get a chocolate fish (in spirit -it would
be messy to email) and we will certify that you are as insane
Okay, that's all from me (Jaelle is getting free -- I need
Love and Daggers, Orla (The insane, violent evil twin).
Disclaimer: We have no money! Don't
sue us! They're not our characters. The premise is copyrighted
to Rumiko Takahashi (or Takahashi Rumiko if you're one of
those pedantic people who absolutely has to point out
that in Japanese the family name comes first) and the characters
are copyrighted to Marvel Comics (or Comics Marvel, whatever).
We wouldn't hurt them, we treat them as though the're our
own, no money is being made from this, yadda yadda yadda.
Scent of a Mutant
"X-Men - Sanjo!"
"Bobby, that's Japanese, not Chinese!"
"But I don't know the Chinese for go!"
"Never mind, WATCH YOUR BACK!"
"Storm, help me!"
"She's a bit tied up sugah, Ah'll help."
Scott shook his head as he surveyed the battle scene from
his vantage point on a clifftop. Below him the X-Men struggled
against the Acolytes. Normally, this would have been relatively
easy, the Acolytes for the most part being pathetic losers
:-), however in this case there was a minor hitch (well, major
actually) Magneto had joined the fray. Even now he had Iceman
at his mercy. Rogue flew to assist the beleagured X-Man. Exodus,
seeing the threat to his lord, moved in to head her off with
a vicious power burst. However Exodus had forgotten the history
his lord shared with Rogue. As he approached, Rogue was surrounded
by a magnetic shield. With a gesture Magneto brought the bubble
closer to him.
"Why are ya doin' this Magneto?" Rogue asked him
Magneto sighed, the always seemed to be having this conversation,
"I do what I must Rogue," he said tiredly, "For
the good of our kind, to protect us."
"Those people were just scared when that boy manifested
his powers. They didn't mean to hurt him."
"It's no use Rogue, we've been through this before,"
he said. "If you will persist in defying me, then one
day you will have to take the consequences. But today at least,
I can spare you." A magnetic blast pulsed through the
bubble and Rogue fell from the sky. Magneto watched her fall,
secure in the knowledge that her invulnerability would protect
Below, a small Chinese man was very surprised to see a beautiful
American woman fall from the sky and land with a resounding
splash in a large pool. He picked up a small sign by the pool
and looked at it, "<Oh too bad sir...>"
Rogue 1/2 Theme song:
(to the tune of first season Ranma 1/2 theme)
Yappa pa yappa pa don't know what to do,
My heart is not a game, it's poker to you.
Yappa pa yappa pa feel like such a shrew,
Who needs cheres? Don't you dare make me wild like you.
Before you femmes got on their knees,
Rogue Rogue it's me you always tease.
Since the day I ran into you,
Rogue Rogue you stole my powers and you
Don't you dare go and make me wild like you.
Somebody tell me why it's so hard
To say those three words; "I love you"?
If I let myself give in to you,
I'll become just a part of you!
Before you come in like a breeze
Won't you stop and ring the bell please?
Before you make my heart a home
Why not let me love you on my own?
I'd be better off without you
But just tonight it's alright
Until tomorrow alright.
Every time your hands touch me,
Rogue Rogue you make me feel dizzy.
Someday we may be more than "friends",
Rogue Rogue you've gone and done it true,
Don't you see you've absorbed me into you!
Rogue 1/2: The Scent of A Mutant
The battle finally over (another draw, noone died and the
bad guys got away but empty-handed), Cyclops gathered the
X-Men around him and realised with a start that one of their
members was missing. "Where's Rogue?" he demanded.
"I haven't seen her since Magneto er... saved her."
"Saved her? You sure bout de phrasing dere homme?"
"Do not forget Gambit, that Rogue and Magneto have had
a long friendship." reminded Storm.
"Friendship? Is that what we're callin' it these
days?" asked Wolverine with a grin.
Gambit looked blank, "What you talkin' bout?"
There was a silence. "Oh, did Rogue forget to mention
that?" asked Iceman. "Uh, well you see..."
"This is totally irrelevant," Scott interrupted.
"Rogue is missing and we have to find her. Jean, can
you 'hear' her?"
Jean Grey put her fingertips to her temples, "I think
I've found her... I think..."
"Her thoughts are very confused, but I do have the location."
She pointed to the valley of pools below them, "Down
"Well, let's be goin'!" snapped Gambit.
The Chinese man was mumbling to himself quietly as he waited
for the kettle to boil and was slightly surprised when Beast
tapped him on the shoulder."<How strange! I not recall
that spring.>" he said (in Chinese).
"Nihao," said Beast politely, "<We're looking
for a friend of ours. A young woman with a white streak through
her hair. Have you seen her?"
"<Oh sirs, very bad trouble.>"
Gambit panicked, even though he didn't speak Chinese, he
knew something was wrong, "What? Where's she at?"
"I am endeavouring to find out Gambit," said Hank,
"Please be patient."
"Patient? We find her uniform floatin' in one of the
pools and you 'spect me to be patient?"
"It's true Hank," said Jean, coming forward with
the soggy uniform. "We found this over there." Hank
turned back to the man, "<Please tell me what happened?>"
"<Oh very terrible sirs,>" said the man,
as Hank translated, "<Your friend, she fall in cursed
Jusenkyo spring, Spring of Drowned Skunk. Very tragic story
of Skunk who drown in spring 500 year ago. Now whoever fall
in spring take a body of skunk!>"
Hank finished translating and there was complete silence.
Then Bobby leaned over to Wolverine; "Well, I guess we
know what kind of herbs they use in that Chinese tea now."
"Bright Lady, look over there!"
The others all turned at Storm's gasp. A very wet, very bedraggled
skunk with brown fur and green eyes was coming towards them.
"No," said Scott, "This is too ridiculous.
Even for us."
Spying them, the skunk came charging up and rubbed itself
against Gambit's boots.
"Eugh," he cried, recalling an unfortunate incident
in his youth. "Get it away from me before it stinks me
up!" He kicked the skunk, which promptly charged him
and took a chunk out of his boots.
Bobby looked impressed, "That's one smart skunk!"
Jean just stood there, her mouth wide open. Scott gave her
a worried look, "What is it?"
"The thoughts of the skunk... it... it... it IS Rogue!"
Hank leant down and peered at the skunk which was looking
distinctly peeved. "That is impossible Jean, there is
"Hank, it's true. The skunk's mind is Rogue's... this
whole cursed spring thing is true!"
Gabit (who'd been hopping up and down in pain) groaned. "I
don' believe dis!"
"Is she goin ta be stuck like that forever?" asked
"I hope not," murmured Storm.
Hank turned back to the Chinese man, "<Is there anything
we can do to change her back?>"
"<Oh yes sirs, please to use hot water.>"
The man indicated his kettle which had now boiled.
"You're not serious 'bout dis?" asked Gambit. "It's
Jean glared, "You doubt me?" she asked frostily.
"How's your foot gumbo?" asked Wolverine.
"You're not seriously expecting me to believe dat all
I gotta do is pour dis water over dis skunk,"
asked Gambit, suiting actions to words, "And den it...."
"HOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTT!" screamed Rogue, "HOT
HOT HOT HOT HOT!!!"
"Oh my God!"
"Oh my stars and garters."
"Hey, she's not wearing anything!" said Bobby.
"Heeeeeey, she's not wearing anything..."
he repeated, with a lecherous expression on his face.
Storm ripped off her cape and threw it to Rogue, who wrapped
it around herself.
"BOBBY! SHADDUP!" she yelled. "Ah nearly drowned
there! I didn't know skunks couldn't swim! Thank God Ah've
The others agreed, (some of them a little belatedly) and
Rogue turned to Gambit. "By the way Remy, about that
little kick from before."
After Gambit's nose had stopped bleeding, the team decided
to leave as quickly as possible.
The Next Morning:
Rogue's alarm clock went off at 8am as usual, tinkling it's
familiar tune, "Yappa pa, yappa pa..."
"Alright alright Ah'm up already! Quit it with the cheerful
music!" Rogue snarled. She blinked sleepily, grabbed
a towel and a change of clothes and staggered towards the
bathroom, looking for her usual cold shower to wake her up.
She thought about the events of the day before and shuddered.
Thank God it was all over. "Must remember to punch Erik
in the nose next time Ah see him," she muttered, and
turned on the shower.
It was the usual mayhem at breakfast:
"Bobby, you ice over my cereal one more time and I'm
"Jean, can you pass the butter?"
"Aagh! By hand! By hand!"
"You didn't say."
"Jean, why is the butter floating in mid-air?"
"Drink your coffee Scott."
"I see Graydon's gaining in the polls."
"I know a certain someone with blue skin and red hair
who's going to be unhappy about that."
"I know a whole bunch of people not a million miles
away who are already unhappy about that."
"Speaking of, has anyone seen Rogue this morning?"
"Maybe she sleep in?"
"Wanna go wake her cajun?"
"Last time I do that, she t'row a pillow at me. Den
I t'row it back. She not speak to me for a week."
"Would somebody please feed the cat?" asked
There was a pause.
"We don't have a cat." said Psylocke.
"Then what's this furry thing rubbing against my legs?"
Everyone looked at Hank, but he was at the other end of the
Everybody looked down.
"Oh dear," said the Professor, "Everybody
stay calm, if we don't scareit, it won't spray us."
The skunk gave him a disgusted look.
"Hot water! Hot water!" cried Bobby.
Warren walked in with a kettle in his hand, "Can't wait
for your morning coffee huh?"
Gambit grabbed the hot water just before Bobby did. "What
you be tinkin of?" he demanded, "No wait, don't
Psylocke, Warren and the Professor looked confused. And the
comprehension dawned as Jean telepathically filled them in.
Meanwhile, Bobby and Gambit continued to wrestle for the kettle.
"I got it," said Bobby.
"Fine, you want it?" asked Gambit, using his powers
and letting go, "It's yours."
"Yipes!" Bobby dropped the kettle.
Hot water sprayed everywhere, and as the steam cleared the
rest of the X-Men brushed at themselves and glared at the
"Thanks a lot guys," growled Wolverine.
"You can say that again sugah," drawled
a familiar voice.
"Rogue!" cried Gambit, hurrying towards her.
"No! Don't touch me you fool!" Rogue held up her
hands to ward him off. *ZAP* "Damn, too late. Now I gon'
be tinkin' in cajun all day. However... oh Bobby..."
her voice was sweet as she picked up a piece of toast and
charged it. Bobby yelped and ran for it. Unfortunately, not
fast enough. Jean stepped over the comatose man and wrapped
the tablecloth around Rogue.
"So, it really is a curse."
"Well, it's confirmed." said Xavier from the Danger
Room observation deck. "Cold water triggers the transformation
and hot water reverses it. However, we have yet to conclude
what, if any, powers she retains in her changeform."
Jean and Psylocke stood amongst the buckets of hot and cold
Rogue sighed, "Again? Alright, hit me."
Psylocke hurled the cold water at Rogue.
"Yeow! That's COLD!" Rogue-skunk shook herself
and glared at Psylocke. The look clearly saying, 'did you
have to use ice water'?
"Okay Rogue," said Jean, "We know you can
understand us so please demonstrate what, if any, powers you
Rogue-skunk whuffled and pointed her nose at Betsy, who knelt.
Rogue-skunk rushed up to the ninja and laid her nose against
Betsy's bare arm. Nothing happened.
Betsy smiled, "Oh she's so cute like this." She
ruffled Rogue's fur. Rogue promptly bit her.
Betsy's cries brought Warren and Gambit running. As Warren
comforted Betsy (who was using words no proper English lady
was supposed to know) Jean explained to Gambit what they were
doing. Gambit grinned, "Can you fly chere?"
Rogue-skunk ran up to a little ledge and jumped.
Jean picked the dazed skunk off the floor.
"Well that answers that question."
Gambit was laughing hysterically. Rogue-skunk glared and
charged him. Gambit fell to the ground and saw large stars
as Rogue-skunk jumped up and down on him.
"Okay," said Jean, "She does have her strength."
"How... oof... nice... argh... of... owww... you to
notice!" gasped Gambit. He glared at Rogue-skunk, "You
are so uncute like this chere!"
Rogue was soon changed back (after Gambit and Warren had
"This is awful," she sighed, "Ah can't go
through life dodging cold water. It's bad enough not being
able to touch anyone!"
"Well," said Xavier," We could go back to
Jusenkyo. Hank and I have done some research and there is
mention of a spring of drowned girl - that should turn you
back to normal."
Rogue glared, "Was it too much effort for you to have
done the research before we went there in the first
Bobby ran in, "Uh Professor... the... er... X-Factor
people are here."
"Good," said Xavier, "Is it Forge or Polaris?"
Mystique sighed impatiently. She would never have agreed
to have come if it wasn't for the chance of seeing Rogue.
What really annoyed her was the fact that Sabretooth had been
sent with her.
Xavier entered, "Good afternoon. I trust we can finish
"Don't worry Chuck, I don't wanna be around here longer
than I have to be," growled Creed.
At that moment there was a loud splash.
"BOBBY! YOU JERK!" screamed Jean.
Mystique raised an eyebrow, "Trouble in paradise?"
Xavier looked distinctly embarassed, "Well..."
"By the way, how's Rogue?"
Xavier looked even more embarassed, "She's... fine."
Mystique and Sabretooth looked at each other. They'd been
around long enough to be able to tell when someone was lying
blatantly through their teeth.
Mystique stood and loomed over Xavier, "Tell me Charles...
is something wrong with my daughter?"
Bobby burst through the room, "Mad skunk! Mad skunk!"
he ran across the room and leapt out of the bay windows. An
extremely pissed-off skunk barrelled into the room, skidded
on the wooden floor and crashed into the couch.
Mystique frowned, "I can't say I like your taste in
pets Charles. Or is this your new security system?"
The skunk looked at her and whuffed. A terrible sense of
doom washed over Mystique as she looked into the familiar
"Oh no... don't tell me..."
Sabretooth sniffed, "Hey, that smells like..."
"Xavier! You I kill!" Mystique leapt at the Professor,
morphing into a fanged monster with purple hair. Xavier hastily
threw himself aside.
"It wasn't me! It was an accident! Magneto did it!"
"Pitiful!" cried Mystique, "I thought better
Rogue-skunk, having had enough of this, darted out the door.
Mystique turned, "Oh my baby! Don't go!"
"Don't worry," assured Sabretooth. "I can
sniff her out," he grinned. "Course I could do with
Mystique said nothing.
Sabretooth inhaled deeply and then gasped and choked. Mystique
smiled, "Ooooo, does the poor widdle puddy-tat smeel
Sabretooth collapsed, eyes watering. "Yep... *wheeze*
she's your kid."
Rogue strolled into the room in a bathrobe, steam rising
She smiled, "My, Ah didn't know ah could do that."
Xavier sighed, "Could someone turn on the airconditioning?"
Just then the alarm went off.
"Wrong button!" Xavier yelled.
"No, right button! We're under attack!" yelled
Scott, barreling into the room. "It's Magneto and the
[Sounds like a band. Josie and the Pussycats. Jem and
the Holograms. Magneto and the Acolytes... *THWAP* Owww...
that hurt Orla. - Jaelle. Mwahahahahaha - Orla.]
"Oh great," said Sabretooth, "It's a visit
from the loser brigade. Don't worry tho kiddies. Raven and
I will protect you."
"Good plan," said Mystique. "You go charge
them and I'll watch your back."
"No no ladies first."
"I'm no lady. After you, I insist."
"Will you two stop arguing and come fight already?"
Rogue demanded as she finished buckling her uniform and flew
out the bay windows after everyone else.
Sabretooth and Mystique glared at each other and charged
The fight was fast and furious, with the Acolytes putting
everything they had into it. And in the middle of the fight,
Rogue once again found herself confronting the master of magnetism.
"Rogue," said Magneto, "Get out of
my way. This mission is too important to let anything stop
me. I must have that information."
"You got bigger problems that that sugah," she
spat, "Erik Lensherr prepare to die!"
"You seek to stop me fair one?" he asked in an
injured tone, "Very well then. I am the Master of Magnetism!
The one they call the Blue Thunder of Avalon!" With that
he "threw" a steel bar at her. Rogue started an
attack run when Storm shouted, "You are not welcome here
Acolytes! Begone!" The Mistress of weather gathered all
her power and unleashed it in a huge deluge of wind and rain
against the Acolytes. Unfortunately, Rogue was quite close
to the Acolytes.
"Storm NOOOOO!!" she shrieked, and Magneto stared
as she fled, trying to outrun... He blinked again as a crack
of lightning illuminated the now dark grounds. He could see
her costume falling, and in it something wriggling. Noone
was nearby - the X-Men were all trying to chase off the remaining
Acolytes so he followed Rogue down. He caught her uniform
a foot above the ground and was surprised when a skunk fell
out of it. He stared some more when it tried to charge him.
Magneto picked up the wet animal and looked into it's green
"Who did you absorb this time?" he wondered.
The skunk glared at him. He could hear the rest of the X-Men
approaching so he touched the bedraggled creature under on
arm and flew away.
"We failed to get the information my Lord," Exodus
started as soon as they arrived back.
"I am aware of that Exodus. This is a setback but not
a major one. We shall merely have to rely on other sources."
Magneto brushed him off.
"Are you alright Lord? You seem a little preoccupied,"
one of the other Acolytes asked.
"I am quite alright Unscionae," Magneto said. "Everybody
get cleaned up and have their injuries taken care of. I shall
be in my quarters if I am needed."
Inside his quarters he pulled Rogue-skunk out from a fold
of his cloak and dropped her on a table.
"What am I going to do with you?" he wondered.
The skunk turned and whipped up her tail.
"Rogue, we are in space. All of our air is recycled.
If you spray here we will all suffocate." he said, hoping
that she didn't know enough about the workings of his asteroid
and the air conditioning system to call his bluff.
Rogue-skunk sourly turned back to face him and glared.
"Thank you," he said gravely. "Now just behave,"
and he walked into the adjoining room. Rogue-skunk watched
him go, turned away, and then turned back as her attention
was caught by the sound of rushing water and the faint tendrils
of steam that floated out of the room.
Erik lowered himself into his large deep bathtub, grateful
that even standing up the water reached only midway up his
chest, as the warm water eased his aches. He was half-frozen
from Storm's storm and this was just the thing to rela...
He straightened in surprise and stared at the bubbles coming
from the opposite end of the bath.
"Rogue?" he asked and moved towards them.
*WHOOSH* Rogue's head surged out of the tub as she stood
Erik's jaw dropped as she wiped her face and pushed her hair
out of the way. They stood there for a while.
"My Lord, here are the results of those tests you..."
Exodus' voice trailed off as he looked up from the papers
he was carrying. "I... uh... ummm... is there anything
you need Lord?"
"Just another towel Exodus," Erik said tiredly.
"You can leave it out in my main quarters."
"Yes sir," Exodus departed hastily.
Erik looked at Rogue, who was still glaring at him. "Would
you like to explain this?" he asked.
"Me? This is all your fault, Erik!" she
snarled, throwing the soap at him. He easily avoided it...
and the shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razor, mirror
and soapdish she also threw.
"Rogue, will you please calm down?" he asked.
"I will not! This is your fault Erik, you jerk!"
she aimed a punch at his nose, but he caught her arm and held
it, "Calm down!"
"What?" Rogue stared at his hand gripping her fist.
"You... you can touch me?!!!"
"Of course I can," replied Erik, "Now will..."
Erik's head rocked back as the force of Rogues slap left
a perfect imprint of her hand on his face. Rogue got out of
the bath, wrapped a towel around her, and stalked back into
the other room.
Erik rubbed his cheek gingerly and grinned suddenly, "She's
so cute when she's angry." he murmured.
"I can't believe dat you used a rainstorm Stormy!"
"I am tired of hearing you go on about it Remy! I have
already apologised several times!"
Scott hit the table. Remy and Storm glared at each other
one final time and then looked away. The X-Men were gathered
in the Ready Room discussing the battle with the Acolytes.
Well, trying to anyway - Gambit had not stopped shooting his
mouth off since they began.
"Yes I agree that it is distressing that we lost Rogue,
BUT remember that Magneto failed in his objective." Xavier
"But Charles," said Jean, "Don't you think
that he'll use Rogue as a bargaining chip to make us give
him what he wants?"
"I expect he will."
Bobby sighed, "It's a pity we can't get Magneto to Jusenkyo
and make him fall into a spring... that would keep
him out of our hair."
Everybody looked at Bobby.
"Wha... what did I do now?"
"My goodness," murmured Betsy, "Bobby actually
had a good idea!"
"Hmmm... if we did get Magneto to meet us at Jusenkyo
then we could also look for the Spring of Drowned Girl,"
said Beast. "Then once he brought back Rogue we could
turn her back!"
"Wait a minute," said Jean. "What are we thinking?
How could we wish the Jusenkyo curse on anyone? Even
"Yes, well you have a point," conceded Scott. "We
can't lower ourselves..."
"Are you kidding mon ami?"
"I hope he falls into a mean one bub!"
"Ha! Imagine a cat or a pig with a bucket on its head!"
"Good one Warren!"
"No charge Bobby."
"Bright Lady - let Magneto take the plunge!"
"Oh sorry Jean, I got carried away."
Xavier hid a smile, "I can see there is a consensus
- to Jusenkyo!"
"Yeah!" everybody except Psylocke posed dramatically.
"Ummm... I hate to point this out," she said. "But
how exactly are we going to find the Spring of Drowned
"And that's when Ah realised Ah had been cast into hell!"
Rogue finished her story with a dramatic flourish. Magneto
shook his head, "I am truly sorry that it was my action
which caused this Rogue. Please forgive me."
Rogue sighed and smiled, "Oh Magnus, of course Ah...
Magneto ducked the desk that hurtled at his head.
"Who do Ah look like? A Good Samaritan? Ah hate you!
Rogue leapt at Magneto, fists ready. Magneto grabbed a cup
of cold water nd threw it at her. He then plucked the soggy
(and irritated) skunk from the depths of the robe she had
"I told you to behave, whatever form you're in!"
he commanded sternly.
"Stop that! Now, as I am indirectly responsible..."
"Alright alright, as I am directly responsible
I will help you to find the Spring of Drowned Girl and turn
you back to normal."
Rogue-skunk squeaked excitedly. Magneto smiled, "Hmmm...
this may work to my advantage... I can use you to trade for
that information I need."
Rogue-skunk bared her teeth, Magneto set her down hastily.
She jumped up and down on the table, shaking it and creating
"Rogue, this isn't helpful!"
"Uh... Lord?" Exodus came in rather tentatively,
then he saw the skunk.
"Aaaaaagh! vermin on our sacred ground... it must be
Magneto plucked Exodus out from under the remains of the
desk he had just thrown at his devotee. "Whatever made
me do that?" he wondered out loud, dragging the unconcious
Exodus out into the hallway. "I could have just stopped
him with my powers. Hey! What the..."
Rogue-skunk scampered past him and down the hallway. Magneto
dropped Exous with a thud and charged after her.
"Rogue! Come back here!"
The Acolytes were extremely astonished when a skunk crashed
through the wall of the audience chamber and skidded to a
"Wow!" said Scanner, eyes wide. "A mutant
skunk... is Lord Magneto allowing us pets now?"
"Don't be silly," said Milan. "I'm sure there's
a perfectly reasonable explanation for..." His voice
trailed off as Magneto rushed into the room. The Acolytes
bowed but he ignored them and grabbed the skunk by the scruff
of its neck.
"I suppose it didn't occur to you to use the door at
least?" he demanded of the wiggling animal. "You
aren't helping yourself at all."
The Acolytes stared as their Lord tucked the skunk under
"Now behave," Magneto told it. "Or I'll use
hot water and take you to the Springs stark naked!"
Magneto then realised where he was. "Uhh..." he
drew what was left of his dignity together. "Carry on,
carry on." and stalked out.
Rusty Collins leant over to Scanner, "Do you think the
pressure of his position has finally taken its toll on Lord
Magneto went back to his chambers and placed Rogue-skunk
on his bed, wrapping her in the covers to prevent escape.
He then contacted the X-Men.
"We've been expecting this," said Cyclops, after
Magneto had made his demands. "Alright, we'll bring the
information - you'll meet us at Jusenkyo, in China, in seven
Magneto frowned, what were the X-Men planing? Still, he'd
intended to go there himself anyway. Besides, once he had
the information and then rescued Rogue maybe she would be
so grateful that... Magneto's hand went to his nose as he
felt a slight dampness. Damn, nosebleed.
"I will come," he told Cyclops in a muffled voice
and quickly cut the transmission.
He wiped his nose and went to the bed, "Rogue, we need
There was a muffled wuffle from under the bedclothes.
"Well, of course you can't talk as a skunk!"
Magneto picked Rogue-skunk up and went into the bathroom.
The hot water was sill in the tub, although it was no longer
as warm. He threw her in.
Rogue surfaced, blinking water out of her eyes, "What
d'ya do that for?" she demanded.
"I need to talk to you," he said. "I've spoken
to the X-Men and they've agreed to exchange you for the information
I require. We're meeting at Jusenkyo in 7 hours, which means
if we leave now we'll have about five hours to search for
the Spring of Drowned Girl."
"Well, why didn't you say so? Gimme my clothes!"
"Umm... unfortunately we left them in a puddle back
at the mansion."
"What are we going to do then? I certainly can't go
to Jusenkyo in a dressing gown!"
"How about in a carry-cage?"
"Not unless you wanna be picking your teeth up offa
"I thought you'd feel that way," Magneto said.
"Unfortunately we're somewhat short of casual clothes
up here, and if I'm transporting both of us and meeting the
X-Men I don't want to waste power I might need creating you
clothes so..." he put an Acolyte uniform down by the
"Oh no, Ah ain't wearin' that!"
"There's no other option! The only clothes not in this
design are mine!"
Rogue fumed, "Alright, but you gotta lend me one o'your
"Because Ah don't wanna be recognised by any o'mah friends
wearin' this stupid getup."
"Humph. We're leaving in 20 minutes, be ready."
"He took the bait," reported Scott. "He's
meeting us at Jusenkyo in 7 hours."
"So if we leave now, we'll have 5 hours to find the
Spring of Drowned Girl!" said Storm. "Let us depart
"You know, we still haven't figured out how to find
the spring," said Betsy.
"Oh... something will turn up."
Two hours later:
"Ah can't believe you brought me here to find the Spring
when you don't speak a word of Chinese!" snarled
Rogue, adjusting her helmet.
"Not true, I know "Nihao" - it means "hi"!"
Rogue swiped at him, "That is not what I meant! How
are we going to find the Spring when we can't even read the
Just then a small Chinese man stumbled onto them, "Oh
hello sirs. You need help? I am official Guide to Jusenkyo."
"You again? Hey, how come this time you can speak English?"
Rogue asked, recognising him.
"Speak many languages sirs. You need Guide?"
"Yes," said Magneto, "We most certainly do."
"Then follow me. Oh, be careful you not fall in that
Spring." he pointed one out
"That spring full of pirahna."
"Spring of Drowned Pirahna?"
"No no... is not cursed... is just full of pirahna."
"Oh." Rogue and Magneto looked at each other and
floated a foot off the ground, "Lead on."
The Guide walked into the brush.
[Background Music: Road to Nowhere]
The X-Men land and follow Beast as he reads signs. Betsy
takes Warren and Bobby with her and Jean takes Scott and Gambit
as they split up to look, having had a telepathic crash course
in Chinese. Wolverine and Storm stay with Beast.
Scenes of the X-Men and Magneto and Rogue just missing each
other - Betsy and co bend over to read a sign on the ground
and are obscured by a bush as Magneto and Rogue follow the
guide past... then they stop and take a side path. Just as
they get out of sight Scott wanders down to the main road
and so on... This goes on for four hours.
Gambit, Cyclops and Jean rounded a corner and stopped in
shock. There was Magneto, arguing with a Guide, and next to
them was Rogue in an Acolytes uniform with a spare helmet
"I... I don't believe it," said Cyclops.
"I'm sure there's an explanation," said Jean.
"Grrrr... Rogue you dummy! What you be doin' wit dat
jerk!?!!" Gambit charged up to Rogue and tackled her.
"Whoulfn. Hey!" she said, "What are ya doin'?"
"Why you joining him?" Gambit demanded.
"Oh sure, dat's why you're wearin' an Acolytes costume!"
"Geez Gambit, listen t'mah side for once would'ya?
He's only tryin' to help me find the Spring..."
Rogue was cut off as a magnetic bubble surrounded her and
lifted her away from Gambit.
"And what are you doing here so early?"
asked Magneto. "Is this some kind of trick?"
"We just tryin' t'find the Spring of Drowned Girl,"
"What an amazing coincidence. So am I. So why dont we
make that the appointed rendezvous? See you there in
an hour." Magneto, Rogue, and the Guide floated away.
One Hour Later, at the Spring of Drowned Girl:
"At last," said Magneto. The Guide had finally
brought them to the Spring (after taking them past the Springs
of Drowned Pig, Cat, and Duck). Rogue looked dubiously at
the pool, "Are you sure this is the one?"
"Oh yes sirs."
"Okay... cause Ah don't wanna turn into anythin' else."
"That must be it!!!"
Magneto and Rogue turned and saw the X-Men charging towards
"Right," said Rogue. "Well Magnus, this is
where Ah leave ya!"
Magneto sighed, "I thought you would."
Rogue flew up into the air, but before she could fly away
Magneto drew a bottle of water from his cloak and threw it
"You bast... *whuffle*" The helmet fell to the
ground, Rogue-skunk inside it. Magneto picked her up, she
bit his hand. He smiled, "That won't work dear Rogue,
I'm wearing reinforced gloves."
The X-Men arrived on the other side of the Spring. Cyclops
held up a disk.
"Here's the information you wanted Magneto, hand over
"Hand over the disk first."
"Ha!" said Gambit. "You t'ink we fall for
dat one? No - you give us Rogue first."
"No, the disk."
"How about sending them over at the same time?"
Everyone looked at Psylocke. Cyclops scratched his neck in
embarassment. "Well yes, we could do that."
Magneto cleared his throat, "Of course, that was my
next suggestion." He held up Rogue-skunk. She squealed
frantically, her noises roughly translating as, 'Ya have gotta
"Ready?" asked Cyclops.
Cyclops threw the disk, Magneto threw Rogue-skunk.
The disk hit Rogue-skunk on the nose. She scrabbled frantically
in the air for a moment and then fell like a stone. *SPLASH*
"The disk!" Magneto saw it floating in the spring,
"Well," said Psylocke, "I believe everyone
lost on that one."
"Rogue chere!" Gambit knelt at the edge of the
pool. The water bubbled and Rogue flew out.
"It's not everyday you see that," said Bobby,
his eyes goggling.
"Owwwwww!!!!" A bolt of magnetic energy had hit
him on one side and a charged card on the other Rogue dived
for the abandoned Acolyte costume and at a speed almost surpassing
Quicksilver's, pulled it on.
Magneto smiled at Rogue, "I'm glad the cure worked."
"Oh, really?" Rogue glared at him, a green low
surrounded her body. "Ya throw me around like that and...
and... grrr...." She picked up the Jusenkyo sign. Magneto
backed away, "Rogue, calm down."
"Shut up... you... you... you idiot!"
She swung the sign in a wide arc and hit Magneto with all
her considerable might.
"Oh my stars and garters," Hank shaded his eyes
as he looked into the sky, "With that trajectory he should
land right on Avalon's doorstep."
"Alright," growled Rogue, "Who's next?"
The X-Men scattered. Unfortunately Bobby caught his foot on
a root as he ran and fell. Jean paused in her flight and half-turned
undecided, should she help him or not? She eyed Rogue who
was bearing down on him and shook her head. *After all,* she
consoled herself mentally, *He was asking for it*.
"Aw c'mon Rogue, can't you take a joke?" begged
Bobby. Rogue shook him, his teeth rattled together nicely
from his upside down position as she grasped his ankle.
"Of course Ah can sugah," she smiled sweetly. "So
now Ah'm goin' t'play a little one on you."
"Jean! Scott! Help me!"
"You're on your own!" Scott yelled from behind
Rogue flew into the air, "Okay Bobby, pick a Spring."
"B-but I can't read Chinese, I don't know what they
"Ah'm aware of that... now PICK A SPRING!!!"
Bobby shut his eyes and pointed.
"Sayonara sugah!" Rogue threw him. There was a
loud splash. Scott gasped, "I can't believe she actually
"I can," said Jean.
"I have to check on Bobby," said Scott.
"Sure hon, I'll make sure Rogue has calmed down."
Scott ran off. The rest of the X-Men approached Rogue warily.
"So, ummm... how are you doing?" asked Warren.
Rogue stretched, "Oh Ah feel much better!"
Gambit put an arm around her, "Nice to see you back
Rogue shook him off, "D'ya mind Gambit? Ah haven't forgotten
your treatment of me!"
"Hey," Wolverine spoke up, "I didn't know
penguins inhabited China."
They all turned, a penguin was coming towards them... on
an ice slide.
Rogue giggled, "Oops! Looks like Bobby found the Spring
of Drowned Penguin!"
Jean frowned, "Where's Scott? I can't hear him on our
psychic link... oh no!!!" She went pale and swayed. Wolverine
"What's up red?"
"That I suppose," Psylocke pointed. A bear cub
was ambling towards them, a ruby visor over its eyes.
"Scoot! Darling!" Jean ran to her husband and picked
Rogue groaned, "Now we're gonna have to find the Spring
of Drowned Man!"
Jean looked up, she was smiling, "Oh I don't know, perhaps
it will be okay."
They all gaped at her.
"Well... I get cold feet in winter, a nice furry bear
would be just the thing to warm my toes, and he's so kawaii!"
Magneto hit one of the airlocks on Avalon with a thud. An
alarmed Exodus let him in the space doors.
"Are you alright Lord?"
Magneto staggered into his quarters. "I will be fine
Exodus. I just want to relax and forget the past 24 hours."
"Perhaps a hot bath would help my Lord?"
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