X-Men Evolution NEXT

Delirium

Rolling gently in bed, Rogue moans out with a smile of contentment. With her eyes closed she reaches out to her left, but her arm just flops onto an empty pillow. She opens her eyes and yawns as she notices she is alone in bed. Sitting up, she slowly gazes her eyes around her room. Rogue arches her back as she stretches and yawns some more, and looks to her left on the other side of the bed and sees the plush pillow of her significant other. She smiles wide and dives her face into the softness and sniffs the scent. She has always loved the smell he had about him. "Ginger bread cookies." she says to herself with a grin.

Rogue rolls over onto her side of the bed as she sprawls out. Then she looks down quickly at her body and realizes she is completely naked. She giggles and reaches over to her left grabbing her bathrobe hanging off reading chair. They have been celebrating their anniversary all night, and she was amazed she wide awake. Rogue then points her nose up and sniffs. She smiles as she mutters to herself, "Ah smell bacon."

She playfully hops out of her king size bed, quickly darts into her large walk in closet, and slips on a matching bra and panty. Then she grabs a pair high cut denim shorts that hugs the curvature of her hips and upper thighs. She reaches up and grabs one of her favorite white cut off t-shirts with a purple sacred heart printed on the front. Rogue tugs the short t-shirt in place over chest and checks to make sure her stomach in only showing. She glance over by her shoe rack and sees her dark colored gloves, and was just about to grab them to put them on, a routine she had made a habit ever since her mutant powers manifested. Rogue grins and quickly heads out her bedroom door tying her long brown and white striped hair back into a pony tail, leaving her gloves behind. She lightly scampers down the carpeted hallway passing several closed doors to both her left and right as she trials her hands letting her fingers lightly drag against both sides of the hall. She walks to the end where the hallway opens to an industrial looking spiral stair well that leads down to a tall and wide living area. The smell of bacon and eggs fill the room as she descends to the first floor step by step. Rogue steps lively onto the shiny wooden floor with her bare feet and walks her way to the kitchen area. She takes quick glances at the living area leading up to the kitchen and she smiles with deeper content. They live in a very wide open space home that was converted from an old warehouse into a plush spacious loft condo. Large solar sensitive windows allow the morning sun to gently shine through. She looks up at the open sky light and sees a clear blue sky through the opened panels. Rogue turns the corner into the kitchen area sniff the air and playfully says, "Now Ah know ya got sausages sizzlin' in here too, right?"

Standing by the stove dressed halfway in his unique shiny uniform, Allan looks back at her and grins replying, "Heads up."

He catapults a piece of sausage in her direction and with precision land it directly on a biscuit roll sitting on a plate at the edge of the center serving table. She giggles and says, "Always on target, huh?"

Her heart always races whenever she wakes up to see his smiling face every morning. Rogue remembers the first time she seriously fell for him, and her feet had not touched the ground since. She was afraid things would change after they got married. That she ends up living the life of a house wife married to someone like a doctor who's always on call. Rogue was worried Allan's responsibilities as the Vanguard would over shadow everything. But it was quite the opposite, for everyday since their marriage has been a new adventure. None more exciting then the adventure of exploring each other. She grins walking up to him and pinches his butt saying, "Mornin' stud."

Allan turns to her and wraps his left arm around her bare sides and replies, "Mornin' to you too babe." as they kiss passionately by the sizzling stove.

He gazes into her eyes and asks, "Did you sleep ok?"

Rogue smiles and seats herself on one of the cushioned bar stools and replies, "You kiddin'? Ah was knocked out, baby. Ah think you forgot Ah don't have that super cosmic sexual stamina you got." as she smiles.

Allan chuckles as he flips some eggs in the pan, "I would have stopped if you said so."

Rogue replies as she looks Allan up and down from behind, "Allan, sweetie, Ah'm not complainin'."

She notices his uniform slacks and boots and remarks, "Goin' out to save the universe again, huh?"

Allan glances at himself and says, "Oh, um, not really. Kal just called, and asked me to help him deal with some kind of galactic border dispute thing, out by the Fios system."

"Ah thought you hate dealing with politics and stuff." Rogue says.

He chuckles and smiles as he pulls up a stool next to hers and replies, "I doubt there's going to be any negotiating between two rival star fleets. Kal asked me to come along to help keep the battle isolated. We should be back a little after lunch."

Rogue smiles at him as he sets up a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit for her. "Why're you so good to me?" she asks.

Allan takes a sip of his orange juice and replies, "Why wouldn't I be?"

Taking a bite out of her biscuit, Rogue swallows and takes sip from Allan's orange juice. She remarks, "Well, Ah feel like Ah haven't done enough for you. Ah mean, you help me get my first big break as a writer. You help me build a life in this beautiful city. You make me breakfast almost every mornin'. Ah hardly remember the life Ah had before Ah met you."

"It's just who I am, hon." Allan simply replies.

Rogue smiles as she reaches over and hold his hand. She pulls him over to her and embraces him into a deep passionate kiss. Allan shuffles all the way to her leaning into their kiss. Sliding his hands down to her bare sides, then down to her butt, Allan picks Rogue up quickly and seats her back on the center serving table. She moans out then giggles as she whispers, "Here? Now?"

Allan grins at her and replies, "Why not?"

Rogue wraps her legs around his waist and says, "What if somebody walks in?"

They lock lips deeply as they intimately embrace on the table. Allan inquires as he kisses her neck, "Like who?"

Rogue breathes heavily as she feels his body against hers at the same time feeling his hands gently caress her skin. Just then, the front door indicator beeps as someone knocks and calls out, "Yo! Hello, anybody home?"

Both Allan and Rogue put a halt on the steamy moment. Allan backs off and leans back against the counter as Rogue sarcastically grins at him saying, "Kal's always been about great timin'."

Allan smiles at her as she straightens her outfit a bit and slides off the center table. Heavy footsteps approach them as a large, bald and indigo blue head peeks around the corner calling out again, "Um, hello, you guys home?"

Rogue has gotten use to Kal's sudden appearance, a large muscular body frame that stands twelve feet tall and about six feet wide. His face is nearly featureless with only a wide mouth and two glowing yellow eyes. Yet she finds his face to be one of the most cheerful she has ever seen, giving him the disposition of a gentle giant. Rogue smiles at him saying, "Mornin' Kal. Ya hungry?"

Kal replies, "Oh no, thank you, I just had a kettle full of pancake batter earlier, I'm good."

Allan and Rogue chuckle at his comment as Kal comes into their full view. He brandishes a set of armor that resembles an ancient gladiator, making his appearance seem more menacing despite his large grin. Allan walks behind Rogue embracing her then kissing her neck as he says, "I gotta go babe."

She smiles and watches Allan walk around her putting on his uniform top then picking up his padded gloves and helmet. She speaks out, "Remember, we have to be at the gallery for your showcase at seven pm."

"We'll be back way before then." Allan answers, "What are you gonna do today?"

Following Allan and Kal through the wide open living area to the front door, Rogue replies, "Ah have to meet my editor around eleven, then Ah volunteered to teach a class over at the institute."

Allan raises his eyebrows as he glances at her and adds, "Looks like you got your day cut out for you."

Turning to her just before putting his helmet on, Allan says, "Tell everyone I said hi. And you have fun today."

Rogue leans up on him and kisses him lightly on the lips and replies, "You have fun too, babe."

Kal places his large gladiatorial like helmet over his head and adds, "Fun? You kidding, five hundred thousand battle cruisers trying to blast each other out of the stars? We're going to have a blast." as he smiles adjusting his armor.

Rogue stares at Kal, then slightly glares at Allan. Slowly sliding his helmet on hiding his face, Allan clears his throat giving Rogue his innocent eyes peering through the eye holes. He then looks up at Kal and remarks, "She could've gone without hearing that, thanks a lot."

Kal looks down innocently and says, "Well I can't lie, you know that. Truth being told it's more like five hundred thousand and two battle cruisers."

Allan looks back at Rogue and tells her, "Um, yeah, we'll play it safe, trust me."

"Ya better, tough guy." she sternly says.

With that said, Kal ducks and slowly squeezes his way through the front door while Allan slowly follows. Rogue shuts the door behind them and giggles as she hears them bantering with Allan fussing at Kal about his compulsive honesty and Kal saying how he can't help it.

The rest of her morning goes off without a hitch as Rogue gets dressed up to meet her editor. Although a far cry from goth days, she still wears plenty of purples and blacks which include a low cut blouse, a pair of snuggling leather pants and thick sole boots. She leans in a bit closer to the master bathroom mirror as she applies her usual make up. Rogue carefully adds color to strategic parts of her complexion and begins to space out. The bathroom goes silent as her image in the mirror seems to shift. Suddenly, Rogue is staring at the image of herself when she was younger, a young troubled teenager with a chip on her shoulder. Her dramatic and youthful appearance floods her mind with flashbacks of time that seemed so long ago. A time when the panic of dealing with homework, high school crushes and cliks ran side by side with saving the world from utter destruction and living as a young mutant in world that shuns them. Rogue slowly straightens her posture as she looks at younger self. She reaches over with her left hand rubbing her right shoulder area as she feels a slight throbbing pain. She then notices the image of her younger self in the mirror begins to slowly bleed from the same shoulder. Then with a surprising gasp, she sees a spear like weapon pierce her bleeding shoulder violently. A sharp pain causes her yipe out as Rogue blinks her eyes rapidly. She gasps again, then finds herself standing alone in her bathroom holding her right shoulder firmly. Looking up into the mirror, she sees only her reflection staring back at her. Rogue sighs out closing her eyes and realizes she dropped her make up on the floor staining the white tiling with purple eye shadow.

Stepping out into the sunny day, Rogue points her condo remote and auto locks down her loft home then turns to gaze at the city she has called home for over four years. Large spires of metal and glass building tower in the clear horizon. A pleasant breeze blows through her hair as she closes her eyes smells the clean air around her. Where they live is so convenient for her work as a writer. So many areas where she can seat herself to brainstorm within walking distance with public transportation being the most reliable in the world, she can get any where in the city in just fifteen minutes. Rogue reaches down at her left wrist and turn on her inhibitor bracelet that prevents her mutant absorbing power from affecting others around her. A device that has given her so much piece of mind she casually walks down the street into the open plaza nearby where she meets with her editor. They sit at one of the many coffee and donut shops that line the court yard. A somewhat tall and slender woman, Rogue's editor just adores her work and has been excited being apart of her success. She has been a best selling author for over three years and her newest addition to her horror/romance novel series promises to send her over the top. Needless to say, the review of Rogue's next novel goes off without a hitch.

With shining smile on her face, Rogue makes her way to the city's main art center where she and Allan own a quaint art gallery. She remotely lets herself in and verbally commands the lights to turn on as she casually strides through the showcase area. Rogue glances about the room looking at the many pieces she helped Allan collaborate on, then makes her way into the back offices. With another remote clik, she opens a back hidden door leading into a side chamber. There stands another door in the center of the room. A common looking brown door with a brass knob and hinges. It appears to lead to nowhere until l her turns the knob and slowly swings the door open. Through the doorway she sees and another chamber that seems to exist only with in the door. Rogue smiles and walks through closing the door behind her and steps into an open room specially built for this door in particular. The room is the same shape and dimensions of the chamber back at her gallery, except this one is built in one of the many chambers beneath the Xavier Institute. She sighs out with the content that Allan maintained, with his power over all energies, the dimensional flux connecting his world to hers through this doorway. Rogue walks to the main elevator and makes her way up. As she arrives to the surface and exits the elevator, she sees that the institute still bustles with young mutants running around enjoying their youth. Not much has changed as far as the grounds are concerned Through the windows she can see the gardens which Ororo still maintains, and which constantly get trampled by some of the boys playing ball too near to them. The interior of the mansion still has its' classical feel to it as she walks through the halls. A familiar voice calls out to her cheerfully, "Hi Rogue! Checking out the old stomping grounds?"

Rogue looks over to see Tabitha walking over to her with a wide smile on her face. She smiles back as they give each other big hugs. Tabitha quickly lets go and huffs, "Whoa, that's gonna take some getting use to, you now being able to touch and all."

Rogue chuckles and gestures to her inhibitor bracelet saying, "One of the many benefit of living hundred years into 'a' future."

Tabitha chuckles as well and asks, "So what's up girl, what brings you back to this side of existence?"

"Kitty asked me to substitute her class while she's on vacation." Rogue replies.

Raising her eyebrows and grinning, Tabitha inquires, "So, how's married life?"

Rogue shares her grin and sighs out, "Perfect."

They both giggle as another voice calls out to her, "Well, well, look who decided to drop in."

Looking toward the voice, Rogue sees Allison standing up the hallway with hands on her hips with a sarcastic glare in her eyes. Rogue stands firm and folds her arms with her own sarcastic glare of her own. Allison, dressed in her tight 'if looks could kill' uniform, strides up to Rogue and looks her dead in the eye asking in a sarcastic tone, "What happened, did Allan divorce you?"

Rogue stares at her with stone cold eyes and replies, "You wish."

Tabitha rolls her eyes and says, "Knock it off you two."

Just then Rogue and Allison chuckle a bit and roll into laughter as they smile and hug like sisters. Allison remarks, "Oh my God it's good to see you Rogue!"

"Ah really missed you guys." Rogue says, "Ah would've visited a lot more, but Ah've been so busy with my writin'."

Allison grabs Rogue's hand and ushers along with Tabitha as she says, "Well then, let's get you caught up with the local gossip."

While they lead her around the mansion grounds, they tell Rogue the latest of all what's been going on at the institute since her last visit. She learns that the Professor has taken a sabbatical with Magneto to Eastern Europe to help develop a new up and coming mutant colony called Genosha. Lance and the Brotherhood had been recruited by SHIELD to serve as their super powered response unit. The new job has put a strain on Kitty's relationship with Lance and they had decided to separate for time being. Ororo has been placed in charge until the Professor returns. And with the help of Emma they seem to have everything under control. Of course, Kitty thinks Emma is secretly manipulating things her way, a typical conspiracy theory. Scott and Jean remain here as head instructors along with Hank. There is also a small rumor going around that Scott's relationship with Jean is on the rocks and he has been secretly seeing Emma for months. Rogue brushes that off as just a rumor, seeing how Scott was around Jean when they were younger. Logan sometimes comes back to visit to make sure things are still in order around here, and to see Ororo, who he's stayed close too. But lately he's been off doing his own thing with an old partner from his past along with other super powered individuals. So Rogue thinks it's highly unlikely she will see her old mentor and friend anytime soon. The rest of the X-men are still around, though the roster seems to change slightly on a monthly basis. The only members who stay constant are Cyclops, Shadowcat, Iceman, and Colossus. The other members filter in and out whenever they are available. Most of the time those members filter into the other support X-teams located around the globe, like the team in England lead by Psylocke and her brother calling themselves Excalibur, or the New York City based team X-Factor, lead by Cyclops's brother, Havok. The feeling of content overwhelms Rogue once more as she listens to the stories of the progress they have all made in their lives. Even Tabitha has taken up a new interest studying modern dance, while Allison has been working out deals for a record contract. It is a bit strange to hear how much all of her friends have grown up, especially hearing about Kitty's sudden emergence as a computer genius. Rogue remembers a time when her former roommate would worry herself to the bone about her grade in their computer science class. Tabitha and Allison lead Rogue to the main study room where a ten students sit around and wait. Allison gestures her in and says, "Well, here's your class, good luck. We'll talk later, ok?"

The two blonds walk out leaving Rogue smiling at the young mutants. Introductions are made as she gets know each student. Despite her absence at the Institute, Rogue, as well as the original X-men have become legends to a lot of the younger generation. So naturally, Rogue has their undivided attention as she picks up where Kitty left off, teaching Power Practicality. The class is geared more towards common sense and Rogue finds herself answering questions more about her early days as an X-man and about her husband. She understands their curiosity and gladly answers the best she can, without revealing too many intimate details. Although not the first time she has been the in the spot light, she gets a little nervous like way she did during her first best selling book signing. But Rogue maintains her composure, and just smiles answering question after question. She gets a break as another familiar voice speaks up saying, "Time's up kiddos, it be Danger Room time."

Rogue glances over to the door and sees Gambit poking his head through. He speaks out again, "Come on, up 'n' at 'em, get geared up, I'm handlin' yo workout sessions t'day."

The students gradually gather their notebooks and bags and slowly make their way out. Rogue watches each one as they pass her saying 'goodbyes'. As the last student walks through the door, Gambit enters and closes the door behind him grinning at Rogue remarking, "Lookin' good, chere."

Rogue smirks at him as she leans back on the front desk and says, "Don't call me that, Remy."

Nodding, Gambit replies, "Right… um… so, how's life treatin' you in da future?"

"Can't complain." Rogue replies as she folds her arms.

Remy fall silent for a few seconds, then adds, "Look, Rogue, it be a bit awkward for me, but…"

Rogue interrupts and quickly asks, "How's your wife?"

Stunned by her question, Remy clears his throat and replies, "Belladonna? She's fine, I guess. Well…we, um… we ain't talkin' right now. It kinda complicated, you know."

"It's always complicated with you, Remy." Rogue remarks as she gets up and starts to walk past him.

Remy quickly and gently takes her hand stopping Rogue in her tracks as he says, "I wanted t' say I'm sorry for what happened."

Rogue sighs out and replies, "Ancient history, Remy. You know, Allan's father told me something during the day of our wedding. He said, 'be forgiving, but never forget.'"

Nodding lightly, Remy smiles and let's Rogue's hand go. Rogue looks up at him and adds, "You're my friend, Remy. Ah do care about you, which is why as a friend, Ah'm gonna give a bit of advice. Start bein' honest, especially to Bella, she's you're wife. Ah can't stress how important that is."

Remy smiles while looking down and says, "I was never good at dat, huh?"

Rogue returns his smile and reaches to adjust the collar to his uniform and answers, "Well, admittin' your problem is the first step in improvement."

They both chuckle as Rogue adds, "Ah have to get goin'. Allan 'n' Ah have gotta big night ahead us, and Ah still have got a lot people to visit while Ah'm here."

Rogue caresses Gambit's cheek and smiles at him just before walking out the door. Gambit quickly says to her, "Tell Allan I said he be a lucky man."

Rogue glances back at him and smiles, then turns the corner walking up the hall.

With a few hours to spare, Rogue takes the time to visit the rest of her friends on the grounds. She catches Ororo tending to her gardens where they hug and catch up. Then she makes her way to see the Xavier Institute's first couple, Scott and Jean Summers. Sitting around sharing drinks, Rogue notices a bit of distancing between the two, but pretends not to notice. Quite an awkward scene to her as she remembers them, at one time, being Mr. and Mrs. Perfect. It would seem she has been missing out on some good drama, and a good part of her is thankful as well. She tries to catch up with the others, but learns they are now located with their respective teams over seas. She manages to catch up with her step brother Kurt via phone call. He had joined the Excalibur team along with Psylocke and Magma. It's a lasting phone call of heart filled laughter and emotional tears. Rogue learns that Mystique had also been recruited by SHIELD along with the Brotherhood, and has kept her nose clean. Rogue smirks at the thought, wondering how long Mystique would keep up that clean record. Lastly, she pays her respects to her foster mother, Irene Addler, who's grave is located in private secluded spot on the estate. The Professor was very kind to give Irene a beautiful resting place over looking the coastal bluff. Heading back to the house, Rogue takes in the scenery slowly. These grounds were her world for such a long time, and will always be her home in her heart. But now she must return to her new world.

After passing through the dimensional flux doorway, Rogue spends the rest of her late afternoon getting ready for gala event. Allan had arrived from his excursion with Kal a few hours before she did and has spent his afternoon finalizing the art showcase at the gallery. Now they bustle in and out of their bathrooms prepping themselves for the evening. Rogue sits in front of her vanity mirror, tediously putting her hair up and touching up her make up while Allan manipulates the energies around his head restyling his jet black hair at the same time putting on his black slacks. Rogue smiles at the sight of Allan using his powers for domestic purposes. She asks, "So how'd the border dispute go today?"

"Well," Allan replies as he buttons up his white shirt, "it was disputed. I mean, five hundred thousand battle ships cutting each other up with laser cannons left and right. I spent half the battle trying to avoid two hundred tracking plasma torpedoes."

Rogue giggles and asks, "And where was Kal?"

Allan shakes his head and chuckles out, "Oh him? He spent half the battle laughing at me while I tried to avoid those two hundred tracking plasma torpedoes."

"You guys are a crack up." she chuckles out as she place the finalizes her hair.

Smiling at her comment, Allan glances over at her and asks, "How was everything at the Institute? Anything happen?"

"Where do Ah begin, babe." Rogue remarks, "It looks like Scott and Jean are havin' problems. Kitty and Lance pretty much called it quits. Remy is tryin' to work out his marital problems. There is so much goin' on over there."

Allan chuckles and snorts adding, "All that on top of saving the world too, huh?"

"Pretty much." Rogue replies as they both laugh.

The evening begins with unveiling of the art pieces within the gallery. Numerous paintings, sketches, sculptures and digital pieces line the every corner of the vast room. Friends, colleagues and clients walk around and gaze at each piece either critiquing or complimenting it. Not all the pieces are of Allan's talent. Quite a few are from other local artist he tries to help promote as well. One quality Rogue always loved about Allan. His giving heart reaching out to those who started off like he did, a struggling local artist. Allan is approached by countless admires of his work ranging from your high executive to your down to earth art collector. Hired waiters walk around offering small finger foods and drinks to the crowd while a live band play a mix of jazz and reggae. Lighting in the gallery was carefully picked out by Rogue, who picked a mood of ambience to match the music playing in the background. Rogue was not with out her own group of admirers, finding her self signing copies of her bestselling books and posing next to certain art pieces that Allan borrowed her face for. Throughout the night, Rogue and Allan would glance at each other while they conversed with admirers. Rogue would catch Allan looking her up and down from behind. Her dress is definitely eye catching made of a red silk like material. A backless feature revealing her smooth fair skin as it is held up around her neck by a matching colored leather choker. The dress hugs the curvature of her body down to her waist then flows out into a soft train covering her legs. Allan telepathically speaks to her, 'You know what I'm thinking?'

Rogue smiles lightly as she mingles with the crowd and focuses her thoughts to him replying, 'Do Ah need to guess?'

Allan continues, 'I'm thinking I'd like for to do your cowgirl routine tonight.'

She nearly stumbles as she hears Allan's thoughts and giggles looking over at him. Allan takes a quick glance at her and gestures with his eyes for her to follow him out to the back gallery patio. Rogue grins at him and starts to make her way while works his way through the crowd following her. She steps out into the clear night onto the patio and walks up to the edge railing overlooking the river. The moon and city lights dance off the ripples while a light breeze blows gently by her making her dress flow out dramatically. Allan walks up behind her and embraces her lovingly. She tilts her head allowing Allan to kiss her bare neck. Rogue smiles mutters out, "It's a perfect night."

Allan runs his hand down her sides and adds, "Not yet."

She turns around facing him, then passionately locks lips with him. She whispers out, "Down boy, we still gotta party to tend to. We have all the time in the universe after that."

Allan looks into her eyes and smiles, then replies, "The waiting always kills me."

They embrace out under the moonlight. Then Allan says, "I better get back inside, you coming?"

Rogue remarks, "In a minute, I could use the fresh air."

Allan gently rubs the dimple on her chin before turning back to head inside. She steps casually around too look out over the sparkling river and takes a deep breath. The sound of flowing river water soothes her mind and mixes with the echoing jazz tunes from the party. Her mind drifts as she closes her eyes listening to the gentle sound of water. Then a gradual mix of voices echo from the running river splashes. The sound is very faint, but distinguishable. Rogue opens her eyes and looks out over the water as the voice flow with the water, "Forgive me Rogue." the voices say

As though out of instinct, Rogue responds, "Forgive you for what, Irene."

She suddenly gasps out as she feels a sharp pain over her right shoulder. Rogue grasps her shoulder with her left arm and looks, but notices not visible injury. The voices echo again, "NNOOO!"

The sharp pain strikes again forcing her to grunt out and stagger. Rogue quickly braces herself up again the railing and starts to breathe heavily. Then just as the pain sudden struck her, it quickly fades away. She stands up right and catches her breath and mutters out, "That was weird."

Then a familiar voice calls out to her form her right, "Hello, Rogue."

She quickly turns her head to the voice and steps back. Stand near the railing across from her, Charles Xavier looks out over the river taking in the scenery. She smiles and remarks, "Professor, wow, what're ya doing here? Ah thought you were at the Genosha colony?"

Charles looks over at her and says, "It's time to wake up, Rogue."

She chuckles and replies, "What're you talkin' 'bout, Professor. Hold on let me tell Allan you're here." as she starts to quickly head in.

"You cannot, Rogue. " Charles darts out to her, "I am not really here, and neither are you."

Rogue stops and looks over at him asking, "Professor, please stop. You're startin' to scare me."

"I am sorry, Rogue," Charles adds, "but there is no other way to tell you. I have been trying for a while to find your consciousness. You have been trapped within this vision. It seems real, I will agree to that, but it is not. Your mind was caught in one of Irene's premonitions. Whatever she injured you with has interlocked with your absorbing powers, thus absorbing Irene's mutant gift as well as whatever energy was used. It was very difficult to find you and it may become impossible to find again if you do not wake up now."

Rogue swallows and looks into the gallery window seeing Allan mingle with the gathered crowd. She begins to tear up as she looks back at Charles, saying, "Ah think you should leave now, Professor."

"I will not leave with out you Rogue." he tells her and adds, "I know it seems real, and in many ways, it is. But you are not really here, you know this. Your injury has put you in a near coma. Your mind drifted into this vision as you began to dream. The nature of Irene's power almost made it impossible for us to find you."

Rogue asks, "Us?"

"Yes, Jean and Elizabeth are here maintaining our connection." Charles answers, "And it's putting a strain on them as well."

Rogue looks back into the gallery window and begins to cry, "Ah can't leave him, Professor. Ah love him so much!"

Charles closes his eyes and says, "I know Rogue. Allan still needs you, but he is not here."

Wiping her tears away, Rogue swallows and straightens her posture. She approaches Charles and smiles, then glance back at the gallery saying, "It's so perfect, Professor."

Charles returns her smile and replies, "It is indeed, Rogue. Now let's go home."

The world around Rogue flashes brightly as Charles lightly takes her hand. She feels her self being rushed forward, as though riding a rollercoaster down a slope. Her perception sudden changes as she stares with wide eyes at the far wall of the infirmary. She gasps out loudly, "ALLAN!"

Kurt cries out, "Whoa, everyone she's awake!"

Rogue quickly glance around her and sees Charles at the foot of her bed, Jean to her right standing next to Kurt, and Elizabeth sitting off to her left. Hank stands off to the side of Charles and smile at her saying, "Welcome back."

Charles, Jean and Elizabeth open their eyes and smile at her. Kurt props a soft pillow under head helping her sit up as he says, "You really had us vorried."

"How long was Ah out?" Rogue asks.

Jean smiles and pats her blanket covered leg saying, "Three days. I just arrived yesterday."

Elizabeth asks with concern, "How do you feel? What do you remember?"

Rogue swallows as she glance around with her eyes, then replies, "Ah feel, ok Ah guess. And… Ah think… Ah remember everything."

She smiles a bit, then covers her face and begins to cry out deeply. Charles mutters out to the others, "Let's give her some time alone."

The other three nod then smile at her with sadness as they slowly walk out of the infirmary leaving Rogue to cry in silence, dealing with her harsh reality.


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