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Let Me In

By Nicolette Koh

Mend My Wounds

AN: FYI, Rogue has Logan's healing touch, Magneto's ability, Bobby's ice ability, Jean's telekinesis and a tiny bit of telepathy. She also has the psyche in her mind.

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The clinic in Lower Manhattan was already scorched and burned to the ground, just what Magneto ordered. A swarm of reporters and journalists were converging on the scene from every direction, with them came the quick pursuit of fire and rescue units. Pyro had used the distraction and gotten himself and Rogue to safety. For some reason, she had started wearing the hood again. Bobby tried looking hard for his former teammate but the crowd was too large.

The group of reports had barely managed to throw a single question before their attention was distracted by an all-too-familiar voice booming from the speakers of a nearby radio. Instantly, everyone gathered around one of the newsvans for a view of Magneto's face as he began his broadcast, addressing them formally as if he was the President himself.

"Today's attack on your 'cure' was only our first attempt..." He informed the world. Bobby shook his head in frustration.

"So long as this so-called cure exists, our war will rage. Your cities will not be safe. Your streets will not be safe. You will not be safe."

"You want a cure," he continued to watch Magneto on the screen. "You will have it. A cure to all that ails you." He didn't like the sound of that. But where Magneto was concerned, what else was new?

~~~~~

Back in the mansion, the remaining X-Men crew quietly joined the younger students in the common room to watch the same broadcast. "And to my fellow mutants," Magneto concluded, "I make you this offer and this warning: Join us or stay out of our way." That was it and then the broadcast switched over to the news-room and began to present a series of reports from around the country. The incident at Lower Manhattan hadn't been an isolated attack, but part of a coordinated group of simultaneous strikes throughout the nation. There'd been no X-Men present to protect the innocents and the results were ruin after gutted ruin, and a casualty list including a body count, that made many watching weep.

"What do we do now?" Kitty quietly asked. She tried to make eye contact with the older X-Men but they were too busy staring downwards. No one dared to tell the younger group that their friend was not going to be around anymore. Logan had immediately stalked out of the room and they heard a loud motorcycle roar in the background. Pete observed the group quietly: Kitty was nervous, Jubilee, for once, was quiet; Spike was idly playing with a loose thread on the couch; Bobby was nowhere to be found and so was Rogue; Blake was slouched in a corner with Uriel, both were whispering; Mr. Summers had his arms folded but chatting with Warren.

Storm wandered to the balcony and let loose her emotions outside. Dark, heavy clouds loomed and rain suddenly poured down heavily, drenching her from head to toe. The professor didn't even apprehend her for her actions. He slumped in his wheelchair, looking utterly defeated and lost. Everything was a mess. They needed time to mend their wounds, both new and old. However, time won't wait for them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pyro led Rogue away from the crowd and towards the chopper where Victor was standing. Victor frowned when a familiar scent hit his sensitive nose. Impossible...but she timed it well, he thought as he started the chopper and left for the headquarters. An uncomfortable silence stretched throughout the ride as none of them wanted to speak. Victor and Pyro shared similar thoughts but were reluctant in asking the obvious. As for Rogue, she was too pre-occupied of past events.

After what seemed like a half hour, the chopper descended gently into a clearing. Victor watched amusingly and held back a laugh as Pyro jumped out and stride over to her side to pull open the door. Ah love! She nodded her thanks and followed behind him as he led the way into a makeshift, large room that seemed cold and uninviting. She noticed Magneto's eyes widened just a little before passing, from looks of it, she understood he already knew who she was since she wore the very same dark green trench coat when they first met. Only at that time, she was the helpless, innocent, wide-eyed girl; now she has changed through certain events that forced her to learn that being weak was like a beacon. She had no intention reverting to what she once was. No longer will she be a victim but the predator; she was the Rogue after all.

Magneto watched as Pyro brought the hooded figure into the large foyer. As their guest walked closer, he immediately recognized the coat and his mind flashed back to their first meeting on the train. He had been after her gift so he could power up the machine. Now here she was, standing in front of the train, no longer hiding behind anyone. He was still unsure on how she could evolve to a powerful being. Last he saw her was a couple of years ago where she was still having trouble controlling her gift.

As he walked towards her, he smiled warmly and said, "Welcome to the Brotherhood. Tired of playing peacemaker?"

"Something like that." She lowered her hood after.

~~~~

Callisto stood beside her fellow Marauders and listened to their guest, all the while determined to figure the identity before it was revealed. When she heard Magneto mention 'peacemaker,' she snorted and muttered to herself what did Xavier say to coerce some of the powerful mutants to his side. She didn't hate the guy but always thought that man, being a genius and all, would have figured out long ago that humans despised everything a mutant stood for.

But no, Charles Xavier firmly believed humans and mutants can coexist together and achieve world peace. That man, who can easily rip a person's mind into shreds or control that being, chooses to give humans a chance. How many times is it going to take for him to realize his vision is impossible?!

As the guest lowered his hood, Callisto thought the figure to be some stuck-up, arrogant fool. It turns out quite the opposite and she was shocked along with the rest of them with the exception of Magneto, Sabretooth and Pyro. She noticed their leader smiled warmly, which then led her to assume that they had encountered her before. Her... not him, their guest was of average build but beautifully gorgeous southerner. She had pale, smooth skin, guarded eyes, and one lone silver streak.

"You've come to the right side, Rogue." Magneto gestured at each of his followers and they nodded at her when he said their names. "You already know Pyro and Sabretooth. That leaves three recruits: Arclight, Quill and Callisto." The girl who once became Magneto's little guinea pig was back and on their side, but still a threat to her. While the others were easily convinced and manipulated, Rogue sang a different tune; she was unpredictable, a wild card, and she just couldn't be trusted. 

I bet she's still a spy for them...

~~~~

After Eric had officially welcomed her to the Brotherhood, he told John to give their guest a tour of their HQ. He did as he was told, gently touching her covered arm as he walked towards another area, with Rogue trailing behind.

"Living room," he stated as he went past the room which Rogue saw tattered couches with a decent television.

"Kitchen," she shook her head as dirty plates and utensils sat in the sink. "We mostly order takeout since none of us can cook."

They then walked up a flight of stairs and walked through a very narrow, dimly lit corridor before stopping at the end. John pushed open the door and she stepped in. There wasn't much in there, just a bed, dresser, a stool and a nightstand. She dropped her duffel bag on the bed and sat on the edge of it. John took one glance at the empty corridor and figured he wasn't needed at Eric's side at the moment, went towards her with his hand closing the bedroom door with a touch.

He sat down gingerly on the other side of the bed and glanced her way. "Why were you heading towards the clinic?" He decided to start with the why and move on from there. She let out a soft sigh and stared at the wall for what seemed like an hour and replied vaguely, "I was waiting for you." She didn't tell him about the psyche in her mind; she didn't even know how to tell him that she had a voice in her head relaying instructions and their plans together for the future.

Confusion spread on his face, he frowned deeply, his eyebrows twitching, as he tried to understand her. "How did you know I was searching for you?" How did she know I was going to be there in the first place?

"I didn't," she silently hoped he wouldn't ask. Something wasn't right. Was there a leak? Eric mentioned it to him here in the office...along with Callisto and Victor.

He immediately got off the bed which creaked loudly in the tense room, and grabbed Rogue's shoulders firmly, making eye contact as he did so. "Who's your source? No one else knew about it." 

She settled for glaring and replied tensely, "I figured someone was going to cause some trouble and you showed up. Problem solved."

His hands squeezed her harder as he bore down on her, putting pressure. "Oh really? I'm not done..."

"Well, I'm done proving myself to you...of all people!" Rogue had enough. She got up suddenly and flung her hand to rid herself of his accusing statement. Her shoulders were sore from his squeezing. She stood right in front of him, stance locked in defensive mode, her arms tightly folded. It was enough to send up a spark of suspicion and Pyro knew there was something up her sleeve. 

"What's that supposed to mean? Look at you, all riled up at one small question." He moved closer until their noses were almost touching. "I bet you're still with them all along. You gonna suck up to Magneto and run back to give them the juicy news to Daddy dearest?" With a flick of his lighter, he surrounded himself with hot, dangerous flames and smirked tauntingly.

Rogue felt first before she saw. Fire surrounded them both but she refused to give in. "How dare you!" She hissed and the atmosphere in the room shifted drastically. "I left because Daddy dearest didn't like it when I broke his favorite pet," she said sickeningly and her eyes took on a darker hue. "So get this straight, Johnny, because I ain't saying it twice. I ain't going stand here and take your crap!"

A thick sheet of ice wrapped around her protectively against the hungry flames and covered the concrete floor behind and around her. They stood standing, guarded and tense, with their elements at a standstill. It was as if time stood still for them. A knock startled both of them out of their intense glaring contest. Pyro snapped his head so quickly at the intruder whereas Rogue merely tilted her head lazily at the sound. 

The Asian marauder trudged up slowly to the guest room. Oh why was he always sent around the HQ doing odd jobs for everyone else? The first week was slow and torturing; he was minding his own business outside, taking a smoke. The hairy Magneto's bodyguard came up to him and gruffly ordered him to fix the leak in their so-called kitchen they hardly ever use. He couldn't protest much and cursed himself for being so darn small. Callisto was out all the time and Arclight was lounging in the living room. And as days passed on, he was ordered by various members. Even the kid had dared to order him about, but he shot out sharp, poisonous spikes at his way. Quill scowled at the memory; the kid had managed to dodge every frigging one of them and left chuckling. 

This time, he was sent by Magneto to fetch their newest recruit down for a chat. He knocked once and the door gave way - great! Door's open too. - to reveal two very pissed off class-four mutants: the kid glaring and her merely staring at him with an arch eyebrow. Oh and how could he forget to mention that they were standing literally with fire and ice surrounding each of them! He gulped and looked down and noticed a very faint circle of both scorch mark and frost outlining them.

"Ummm, Magneto wants to speak with you." Pyro extinguished his flames and started towards the door but Quill sneered. "Not you, her." Rogue smiled, nodded her thanks and brushed past Pyro. She followed Quill behind, the frost still hanging onto her coat, leaving Pyro at her door.

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