X-Men Evolution NEXT

Heart 2 Heart

Rogue closes her eyes as she feels the warm water lightly spray over her body. The soothing sound of the shower and the refreshing feeling of steamy bath puts her mind at ease. Thoughts of her night and early morning play over and over again in her mind and her heart beats faster. Rogue leans her head back letting the shower run over her face as she clutches her chest feeling her racing heart beat. She runs her fingers through her wet hair washing out the shampoo as well as running her hands all around her fair skin rinsing off her body wash soap. Letting the water lightly beat off her, Rogue leans forward with both hand against the shower wall facing the water. Taking deep breaths with her eyes closed in the running shower, she suddenly turns and leans back on the shower wall. She wipes the water from her face and opens her eyes muttering to herself, "Ah can't stop thinkin' about him."

Rogue turns off the shower and grabs her towel. She leans over a bit drying her hair then starts to run the towel over the rest of her body. Rogue looks up while drying her legs and catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Slowly straightening up, Rogue holds the towel up against her chest as she slightly turns sideways staring at herself in the mirror. Looking at her body up and down, she mutters out again, "What would someone like him want with somebody like me?"

Down stairs in the kitchen, Allan assembles a foot long sandwich on the counter. He hums a tune and bobs his head to a beat as he tosses on slices of roast beef and with diced lettuce and pickles. He looks around for knife to cut his sandwich in half and spots one on the other side of the kitchen. Allan gesture with his right hand towards the knife as it flies off the far counter and gently flips handle first into his palm. Then with single slice down the center of the thick sandwich, he cuts it in half. Allan leans down sniffs the aroma of the freshly made sandwich and sighs out, "Oh yeah, thing of beauty."

Just then, Sam, Ray, and Jamie come mopping in wearing their X-men uniforms. Allan calls out to them, "Hey, the Three Stooges, all dressed up with nowhere to go."

Sam says, "We were scheduled for a Danger Room session, but Mr. Logan is out commission again."

"I'm afraid he'll be out of the game for a bit." Allan adds, "But he's recovering pretty fast, so don't count him out. I'll be covering for him until he's a hundred percent."

Ray asks, "So no sessions today?"

Allan replies, "We start up tomorrow, bright and early. Well, early at least."

Sam glances at Ray and Jamie, then looks back at Allan with a curious expression. "How did the, uh, the mission go last night?"

"Well we didn't die, if that answers your question." Allan remarks, "We found Sauron, dealt with him, came home. I'd give you three the gross details, but I'm about eat."

Jamie asks, "Are you gonna be choosing new members to replace the X-men?"

Allan remarks, "Wait a minute, nobody is replacing anybody. The X-men are just out of the game for a while. The Professor and I have been discussing the possibility of assembling a back up team, but nothing is solid yet. So don't get your hopes up, little man."

Placing the two sandwich slices on a paper plate, Allan picks up the plate and shuffles over to the fridge pulling out two sodas and slides them into cargo shorts pocket. Holding the paper plate in one hand, Allan heads out the kitchen door saying, "I will keep you dudes in mind if we do decide to assemble that team. Later." and walks out as Sam, Ray and Jamie cheer out and high five each other.

Allan heads up the stairs with the sandwiches balancing on his right hand. He walks down the hall towards Rogue and Kitty's room, but then stops right by the door hearing raised voices through the door. Rogue's voice speaks out, "Look, Ah already told ya, nothin' happened. And if somethin' did, it would be none ya'lls business. Now get out so Kitty can get some sleep!"

Allan lightly knocks on the door gritting his teeth nervously. The door violently opens as Rogue glares out the door darting out, "WHAT."

With a nervous grin, Allan simply asks, "Hungry?" as he hold up the two sandwiches on the paper plate.

Rogue's glare softens as she slightly smiles at Allan. Then she slowly turns and glares back into the room. Allan looks in and sees Tabitha, Wanda, Amara, Jubilee and Elizabeth standing there with innocent smiles on their faces. Kitty lies in bed with a concerned expression and shrugs her shoulders at him. Rogue looks back at Allan and mutters, "Let's go to your room."

She lightly grabs Allan by the strap of his white beater tank top and pulls him away from the room shutting the door behind her. Tabitha remarks, "Wow, touchie."

Elizabeth speaks up, "Well, what do you expect. We were asking her such an odd question, especially after what she has been through."

Tabitha chuckles, "Since you put it that way, Betsy. If she was with Allan all night, what was she put through?"

"Don't be gross Tabitha." Kitty says as she looks up from her bed.

Wanda remarks, "I saw through the window when they showed up this morning. It was funny looking, but she wasn't really pregnant. It's quite obvious now."

"And did you all see how she dragged him off like that?" Tabitha points out, "Like they were an old married couple or something."

Jubilee gasps out, "Whoa, do you guys think they got secretly married last night?"

Wanda shakes her head as she walks out with Elizabeth not far behind. Kitty rolls her eyes out of frustration and covers her head with her blanket saying, "Oh my God, would you people just get out my room, please!"

Rogue tows Allan into his room tugging his tank top strap. "You're not mad me at me are you? I mean, I just made you a sub, and it's good."

She closes the door behind them and sighs out in relief, "It's not you, Allan. Ah just can't stand all the gossip and talk that goes 'round. They make such a big deal we when people hook up in this place."

"I noticed." Allan says as he watches her sit back on the end of his bed. "So what was their deal?"

Allan takes one of the sandwiches and hands the other half to Rogue on the paper plate. She takes the plate as she says, "They saw both us comin' back this mornin' dressed they way we were. Ah can't believe they actually thought Ah was havin' your baby."

"Wow, you must have really looked convincing." Allan remarks as he takes a bite out of his sandwich.

Rogue bite into her hers as Allan sits closer to her. Swallowing her bite, Rogue says, "Still, it was kinda fun, and the look on their faces were priceless."

Allan reaches in his cargo short pocket and pulls out two drinks handing one to her. Rogue smiles and gently takes the canned beverage saying, "You're so nice to me."

"How else should I be to you?" Allan asks.

Rogue shrugs her shoulders as she pops open her drink. She takes a sip and replies, "Ah dunno, Ah just didn't think guys like you went for girls like me."

Allan leans back on his bed asking, "And what kind of guy do you think I am, Rogue?"

She takes another sip of her orange soda and replies, "Well, you're kinda out goin'. Your also very laid back, but very passionate about what you do. You value friendship highly, and Ah do mean 're like one of those artsy cute guys who don't care what they wear in public, but look good when they're wearin' it. Ah mean, you're just overall cool, and cool with everybody around you. For me, you're almost too good to be true. I guess that sounds kinda lame." as she smiles bashfully.

Allan raises his eyebrows and says, "No, you're being honest. But you really think I'm all that? You're not just saying that because your powers don't affect me?"

Rogue smiles biting her lower lip and replies, "Ah'll admit it, being able to touch you helps, a lot. And the fact that you're a hot motorcycle driving art teacher, kinda makes you sexy."

"No way, I am not all that." Allan remarks shaking his head, "You gotta have me confused with somebody else. What about that gumbo guy, um, yeah Gambit, what's his deal? He seems to have a thing for you too. Did you two have something going on?"

"With Remy?" Rogue replies, "A while back, Ah thought we were. Ah mean we helped each other out, even saw one another a few time. But it wasn't anythin' like this. Ah thought he was good lookin' and all, but you really can't trust the guy. First of all, he was workin' for Magneto, and he's also a thief."

Allan lays back smiling at her and asks, "So, did he steal your heart?"

Rogue places her sandwich on the paper plate and moves it aside as she leans in closer to Allan saying, "No, because if he did, you wouldn't have it now."

She smiles as Allan reaches over and caresses the side of her face gently. Allan asks, "Not hungry?"

Rogue shuffles closer to his face replying, "Not for a sandwich." as she leans in over face and lightly kisses him.

Their lips slowly part as Allan looks up at Rogue with a grin and remarks, "Wow, don't you just love the taste of roast beef?"

Rogue laughs out and hugs him deeply as they embrace lying on his bed next to their fresh sandwiches.

Irene walks through the condo hall way, guided by her cane as she slowly makes her way to Mystique's room. She reachs down for the door knob and opens the door gently. Mystique looks up as Irene walks in asking, "I'm hearing a lot of preparations going on. Are you going after Allan Paran again?"

Mystique replies, "Not quite, I'm just going out to confirm something, that's all."

"You have to stop him, Raven." Irene adds, "My visions haven't changed. He will kill her if you do nothing!"

" I am aware of your visions, Irene." Mystique replies, "But I also have to consider all other possibilities."

Irene quickly adds,"Such as the possibility of my visions being wrong?"

Mystique remains silent as Irene continues, "It may be possible, but I know that I am not."

Irene staggers a bit rubbing her head. Mystique quickly moves over to her to keep her from falling, but Irene holds her back saying, "It's nothing, I'm fine." She then begins to speak eerily calm, "It is becoming clear, Raven. Things will be set in motion to which it will be too late for you to act. You must play your part, or all will be lost."

Then, Irene turns and walks back out of her room. Mystique watches her with a concerned and baffled expression as she slowly walks out into the hall. Taking a deep breath, Mystique grabs her cell phone and speed dials Sean demanding, "Get over here and pick me up."

Sean replies on the other end, "Sheesh, alright bosslady."

Evan lies in bed, along with some of the other Morlocks in the infirmary. He groans out tossing and turning under his sheets as his body is showing signs of his external bony shell returning to cover him again. It is a painful sensation as Evan feels his skin slowly gives way to his mutant power. Hank tries to calm him, "Evan you must try to lie still, I know it hurts. But struggle is only making it worse."

Evan groans out, "I can't help it, Mr. McCoy. It's ... it's happening so fast, all at once."

Hank mentions, "Please remain calm, I'm trying to help all of you."

One of the more mutated member of the Morlocks, Lucid,speaks out, "No one can helps us. So let us go!"

"You are not a prisoner here." Hank replies, "But to let you go in your conditions will most certainly make things worse."

Evan groans out some more as the other in the infirmary get restless. Hank does his best to calm the situation down but to no avail. Suddenly, Allan speaks out in a echoing tone, "That's enough!"

They quiet down and look to the infirmary entrance. Allan stand firmly with his arms folded and his eyes glaring at them. Rogue stands just behind him with a stern glare herself. Lucid looks at Allan and says, "Who put you in charge pretty boy?"

Allan walks over to the frog like looking man and stares at him intently saying, "I said chill out."

Rogue walks into the room saying, "Everyone, Allan is here to help."

Hank approaches Allan and asks, "Is there anything else you can do for them Allan. They are in a lot of pain."

"Officially, I'm not suppose to." Allan says, "They all willingly gave themselves to Sauron like a religion. But I have some favors to pull, and I might be able to bend or pretzel the rules a bit."

Allam step into the center of the room in the same manner he did when he healed the Brotherhood. Hank and Rogue watch as Allan closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Allan breathes holding his hands out to his side and whispers out, "Judgement."

The infirmary begins to lightly hum as everyone looks around them frantically. They watch Allan body glow angelically white like a distant star in the night sky. The light from his body expands and washes over the entire room flashing brightly. Rogue, Hank and the other shut their eyes tightly as the light overwhelms them. Then with a loud washing sound, the light dissipates. All around the infirmary, where there was once open floor, stand numerous and ominous beings. Each one unique looking as the next, and just as eerily still. Rogue looks at them and quietly says, "Ah know these guys. They're the 'first beings' Ah met in Allan's mind."

Hank simply remarks, "Absolutely fascinating."

In one loud speaking voice, the First Beings say, "YOU SUMMONED US, OUR VANGAURD."

Everyone in the room cover their ears accept for Allan, who just squints at their voice saying, "Yeah I did. But first, lower the volume, please. I hate when you old guys do that."

The first being glance at each other, then one step forward saying, "Very well, they will speak through me. What wisdom do you seek?"

Allan gestures to the bed ridden Morlocks. The being steps up to Evan's bedside and stares at him. Evan leans away from the ominous figure. He glances at his size and look. Although, covered in a cloak like draping, Evan sees his heavily armored body underneath. The seamless armor reflects the only the images of stars and space. His face is half covered by single face plate revealing only one glowing eye that seems to glare at Evan. The dark blue and gold armored being speaks out, "You can do nothing. They have chosen their own fate. As do all creatures of physical nature."

Allan remarks, "Yes, but it was one of us that did this them. His interference has disrupted their evolution."

"And now it guides their future. Their decisions are not the Vanguard's responsibility." the being adds.

Hank raises his hand and says,"Um excuse me. Forgive my intrusion, but I heard you say, creatures of physical nature."

The being turns to Hank and replies, "Correct, creatures such as yourselves."

"So, as the Vanguard, Allan cannot judge the decisions of physical creatures when it involves the power of , how can I say, meta-physical creatures such as yourselves." Hank remarks, "He can only keep the power from getting too chaotic."

The being simply replies, "Correct."

Hank nods his head and says, "But, the meta-physical creature, Sauron, is now dead, and his power diminished. They have made their decision, and here they lay. Simply allow them to make one more."

The being glance at each other nodding and turn back to Hank saying, "Very well, the Vangaurd may give back what Sauron has taken away. No more, no less."

The cloaked being turns to Hank and Rogue saying, "Our Vanguard chooses his allies well."

One by one, each being begins to walk away in flashing light dissappearing from the room. Allan watches as the last one vanishes through the wall and remarks, "Those people are so dramatic." as she shakes his head with a smile.

Turning to Hanks, Allan says, "Mr. McCoy, you da man." as he points from the hip with both hands.

Hank smiles and watches as Allan closes his eyes again. His body glows again brightly as ripples of energy wash over the Morlocks.

They each feel a warm sensation in their bodies as the pain and agitations they were suffering fades away. Rogue and Hank watch with wide amazed eyes as the light slowly dissipates. The Morlocks look at themselves, some slowly roll out of bed and stand when couldn't at first. They each stagger a bit from the effects of their injuries, but the drawn out pain they each felt is now absent. Evan looks at his arms and body and gasps out, "What happened?"

With his force of will, Evan realizes he can control the rate of his exoskeletal powers. He forms armor over his body, then retracts it back. He looks up at Allan with a wide smile of hope. Allan returns his smile in silence, winks then walks out of the infirmary casually.

Evan looks around at the others as Hank checks on them at the same time. He turns to Rogue and asks, "Who...who is that guy Rogue?"

She glances to where Allan had walked to, then turns back to Evan replying with a smile, "That's my boyfriend."

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