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Stories by Danae Bowen

"Human No More"
Rogue slowly dies of a progressive illness that strips her of her powers and then her health.


Rating: G
Post Date: August 10, 2000
Disclaimer: Rogue, Gambit, Hank, Kurt, Mystique, etc, all belong to the Marvel Universe and their creators. I only borrowed them for some fun. Author's Note: I have been out of the X-Universe for quite a while now, so you'll have to forgive me if this is redundant, or can be contradicted by what has already happened. I'm STILL trying to catch up. Which bites, cause these mutants used to be like family to me.. knew them better than most real people. Anyway, I stupidly wrote the story before catching up on the last eight months, and then once I did catch up, tried to fix it. Anyway, like I said, forgive me if it's not perfectly within the X continuum.
Summary: Death and disease take over once more.

Human No More

She was dying and she knew it. Hank McCoy hovered over her, testing everything possible, trying everything known and unknown, but there was little he could do. It started off slowly, slight weakness where before there was none. It advanced rapidly, always tired, circles under her eyes, black outs. She had no control and that scared her more than the concept of death.

No one knew what was wrong with her, it was unprecedented, but then, so was she. The powers she was losing were not hers to begin with, but they had become a part of her, and their death meant her own. Her invulnerability was the first to fade, mid battle, knocking her to the ground, splitting her skull. Hank had patched her up, although it had taken weeks for her to fully heal. Remy LeBeau had been her constant companion since then. Even though she'd not been kind to him of late, the moment he heard of her trials, he'd been there.

Her super strength was the next to die. She'd spent many years learning how to control her mutant strength. How to pick things up without crushing them; shake a hand without breaking it; open a door without tearing it from its hinges. What was happening now was nothing like when the High Evolutionary deprived her of her powers. This was not the effect of some outside source. Now she was as weak as a baby. Even a full glass was too much for her sodden muscles, she was left with nothing. Loss of super strength meant loss of strength entirely. Again, Hank had been there, trying to help her tone her newly weakened body, but she was too gone to truly help. Although she learned once more to feed herself, relearned how to walk and work, she felt her uselessness to the team overwhelm her.

Finally, her flight evaded her. Even when her legs refused to hold her body weight, she'd been able to levitate herself into the air and get to where she wanted to go, but now, no longer. She was confined to where she lay, her body's essence slowly fading into the world around her, and she could no longer fight.

The end was close, everyone around her knew it, but they all remained upbeat for her sake. She was so young, once so full of life no matter what ruination she'd seen, but now she lay staring at the roof of med lab waiting the final battle.

Another needle into her arm. Another wince of pain crossed her face. Another look of regret flashing in Hank's eyes.

"Any luck, Beastie?" she asked in a soft whisper, never meeting his gaze.

"Not yet, my dear, but there is always hope."

"Thanks, Sugah, but Ah was there when we lost Illyana. Ah know the routine."

Remy approached, taking her hand gently in his bruising the now over sensitive flesh beneath her glove.

"Don' t'ink like that, Roguie. We find a cure, Remy promise."

Rogue turned her head away from the look of determination in the red black eyes of her would-be lover. She'd become yet another woman in Remy's life to cause him such grief.

Without warning, her body stiffened, jerking up and sideways on the bed, her face contorted in a spasm of pain.

"REMY!" the only word to come to her lips, forcing past in a scream, the strongest sound she'd made in forever.

"Remy here, Chere. Hold on, please!"

The word was foreign upon his lips, but there was no plea strong enough for him to force her to live.

The world around her began to fade as her body continued to convulse. Spittle appeared on her once flawless chin, fingers forced into stiffened claws and skin changed colors from white to black. Her last essence of power drained away from her.

"Dear Christ, Hank, what happ'nin' to her?!"

"The last of her powers are fading, Remy. She's losing her original mutant ability. Her cells cannot cope with turning human; she is destabilizing. Her body is, for lack of a better term, falling apart."


"I cannot." The Beast hung his head in sorrow as he finally put down his medical equipment. "There is nothing more I can do for her now. This disease is centered at her genetic base. I just did not have enough time to help."

With tears clouding his eyes, Remy moved to Rogue's side once more. He peeled the ever present gloves from her clawing fingers. Placing himself upon her medical bed, he took her straining hands in his one of his own, resting the other upon her tortured cheek.

"Remy here, Chere. You jus' close your eyes now, and try relax. Remy stay wit' you long's it take."

He never knew if she'd heard him or not, as her body convulsed once more.. then again ... and fell still. Her eyes remained open, unfocussed but upon his face, and all he could hope for was that his presence had given her some comfort. Still, he refused to move, sitting there beside her for long hours while the others left the room. His finger tips gently closed her dead eyes; his face buried in her matted hair.

He had loved Belladonna and had lost her. He had loved Rogue and had swiftly ruined what they could have had. Now there was no chance left to fix the mistakes. Humans and mutants alike were guilty of the same thing: the belief that there would always be enough time for the actions of today to bear no effect on tomorrow.

Now there was no tomorrow. Not for Rogue, and not for Gambit. He died with her. One could not exist without the other. Now there was only Remy LeBeau, leader of the Guild, but no longer an X-Man.

He stayed for her funeral, no tears falling from his cold, dead eyes. He left immediately after, denying his SUV for the motorcycle he had once loved to ride. Never again would he return to that mansion where death had taken away the only thing for which he had cared.

Far away, unseen by anyone, a woman with blue skin screamed in agony. Though she'd carried no telepathic ability, she felt her daughter's life slip out of her agonized body and ever so slowly drift off into the fog of nothingness.

Mystique had always tried to look out for Rogue, never wanting her to suffer, but now that was over. She was free to be whomever she wanted. With her daughter dead, who would care?

Bonded by people, if not blood, Kurt Wagner mourned his sister's death in the privacy of a chapel far from the others. He had long since taught himself to believe in the power of the great beyond, the belief in a God that would watch and care for them all, but now his faith wavered. His sister had been so alive and full of love for those around her. Her life had already been so tortured; how could a merciful God take her away so young?

He shook his head and walked out of the chapel. Grief and confusion cut straight through to Kurt's soul.

One person laughed on this day of tears. One person raised his hands to the skies and howled a cry of victory. He had done it. He had created the perfect tool of destruction for mutant kind. Diseases had cures, weapons had faults, but he had learned the final secret. Mutants could never be human.




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