X-Men Evolution NEXT

Truths

Jean sits up in her bed, her eyes wide open as she is restless. Her mind echoes with the disappointed voices of her peers from earlier. The voice of Professor Xavier stating his own disappointment of her lack of control, Allan's angered tone expression about her disregard for the safety of others around her, and finally, Scott's saddened attitude of distrust in her inability to take responsibility for her actions. The hardest part of her lonely night, however, does not come from the repetitive voices of disappointment, but from the emotional trail that followed the voices. The Professor's disappointment, Allan's angered frustration, and worst of all, Scott's saddened distrust in her. Jean had allowed these thoughts to replay over and over again in her mind to let them sink in. She understands why they all said and feel the way they do. And a level of guilt has built up in her heart as she slowly begins to accept the fact that she maybe losing control. But just Jean innocently begins to accept her mistake, a sudden emergence of frustrating arrogance washes through her thoughts. Feelings of unfairness begin to pout in her mind and she stands up from her bed. Jean switches her bedroom lamps on and begins to elegantly pace across her floor. She glances at the different displayed pieces of her art work. Pieces ranging from simple sketches to intricate molded metal sculptures decorate her room. Jean examines each piece with her quick glances, but then comes to halt at one particular covered sculpture. She slowly pulls the covering white sheet off the sculpture and lets the sheet drop to the floor. Jean takes a breath as she some what glares at the object resting on a sturdy bench. A multitude of organic shapes protrude from large bulbing head like center feature. A carefully detailed carve out face seems to appear like it is screaming from the head as if in anguish. The more Jean stares at the sculpture, she seems to slightly reflect its' painful emotions with saddened eyes. She reaches down to touch the sculpture, but then ignites her hand with near angered expression in a bright display of pyro-kenetic fire. The intense heat from her hand melts the metal mixture of the sculpture into a dripping mass. Her face almost becomes enraged but quickly subsides as she back away from the smoldering mass that has dripped to the floor. Jean catches her breath as she turns away to look at her clock. Nearly thirty minutes past midnight, and she feels wide awake. She sighs out a light breath and opens her closet to where her X-man uniform hangs.

Rogue looks at Allan with a tight lipped grin as they both sit Indian style in front of each other on his bed. Allan sits with his eyes closed, breathing gently as he seems to meditate. With her posture emulating his upright steady pose, Rogue smiles as she looks at him slowly up and down. Allan only sports a tight fitting white beater tank top and a pair of soft pajama like shorts as Rogue wears a black slinky form fitting silk teddy with matching bikini panties. They both sit in silence on Allan's bed, over the sheets and very still. Their knees lightly touch sitting Indian style with their hands resting on either knee. Rogue continues to smile silently looking at Allan. She then breaks the silence whispering, "Hey, ya didn't fall asleep, didja?"

Allan opens his right eye as he grins and squints at her. Rogue tilts her head looking into his open eye and whispers, "Ya still with me in there?"

Lightly chuckling, Allan opens both eyes and whispers to her, "Are you ready for this?"

Huffing out in whispering manner, Rogue says, "Always!" as she quickly leans forward locks her lips onto Allan's.

Allan reciprocates her loving embrace as she slides up to him and straddles his lap. Letting his hands gently glide underneath Rogue's teddy, Allan caresses her smooth back sliding his hand up her shoulder blades and back down to the small of her back. Rogue lets out a sighing moan as she and Allan kiss passionately. She arches back and gasps turning her face up at the high ceiling, "Ah don't think Ah'll ever get used to that."

Rogue looks back down at Allan gazing into his eyes. Allan slowly and gently slides his hands down her bare thighs. Sliding her hands to his face, Rogue leans in and deeply kisses Allan once more. The silence is only broken from both of their heavy breathing as they embrace one another. Rogue feels Allan's touch soften a bit more and she lightly chuckles, "Ya don't have to that gentle with me."

They look into each other's eyes and Rogue notices the level of compassion in Allan's eyes fill. His lustful expression softens to a gentler smile. Settling back on Allan's lap, Rogue softly asks, "What's wrong?"

Allan smiles at her and slide his hands around her waist while whispering to her, "I want to share something with you."

Giving him a coy grin, Rogue softly asks, "Isn't that what you're gonna do anyway?" as she lightly grinds her hips.

Chuckling and nodding at the same time, Allan grins and replies, "Yeah, well, that too. But this is special."

Sighing out with grin, Rogue sits back on Allan's and asks, "How much more special can somethin' like this get?"

Allan reaches up and gently caresses her cheeks with both hands and whispers, "I want you to relax."

Rogue looks at him with a curious grin asking, "What'd ya got planned for me? It ain't anythin' too kinky, is it?"

Staring at her with a softened smiling expression, Allan remarks, "Trust me."

Smiling back at Allan, Rogue lightly sighs gently blinking her eyes, then stares back at him with coy grin. She shifts her posture while still straddling Allan and watches as he slowly closes his eyes. With her arms draped over Allan's shoulders, Rogue begins to hear a light build up white noise. In a bright flash of white light, Allan's bedroom suddenly vanishes around them. Although brighter than anything she had ever seen, Rogue is not compelled to shut her eyes. The brightness around them slowly fades into kinetic sight of fast moving stars and blurred galaxies. Rogue's eyes widen as she realizes they are no longer in Allan's room. She feels Allan's arms around her, holding her close. A quick sensation of fear washes through her mind as she shuts her eyes and hugs him back with her legs and arms. Allan giggles, "There's nothing to be afraid of here, babe. Look for yourself."

Rogue slowly opens her eyes and glances around with her face pressed against his chest. She loosens her tight hug turning her head to look around and sees an infinite sky of swirling clouds of bright energy. Sparks dance around them like stars as Allan navigates through the multitude of colorful waves. Rogue looks back at Allan noticing he is still wearing his sleep wear as well as she. Yet, despite the air of infinite energy, she feels neither hot nor cold. Rogue feels the flowing of energy waves as they pass like warm beach surf. Taking a breath, Rogue asks, "Where are we, Allan?"

With a surprised expression, Rogue realized her voice is also echoing like Allan's. Their voices reverberate angelically out into the energy filled space. Allan smiles at her and replies, "This is a very special place."

Rogue smiles as she looks around them and states while chuckling, "It's more than special. It's like we're in… Heaven."

She suddenly looks at Allan with wide eyes. They float through waves of warm and cool energy. The sounds of echoing streams and distant laughter can be heard as Rogue draws closer to Allan. With content smile Allan remarks, "I don't know if this is Heaven, Rogue. This place really doesn't have a name. But I know that it is a convergence of energy. All energy, throughout existence. It starts here and it never ends."

"Ah hear voices, Allan." Rogue mentions as she glances around at the waves and clouds of glowing energy, "Ah hear, people, or somethin'."

Allan smiles with a happy disposition and tells Rogue as he maneuvers around her, "All things are made of energy, babe. It never dies, it transcends. And it all converges here, eventually. All things, Rogue, including dreams."

Rogue's smile brightens as she watches the flowing waves of energy loop by her and Allan. The infinite space glows as though there are limitless sun sets surrounding them. Echoing sounds of near angelic tone whiz by them and off in the forever distance. Allan floats closer to Rogue and asks, "Do you feel it?"

"Feel what?" Rogue returns with curious smile.

Gazing into her eyes, Allan's voice seems to echo into the infinite space as he whispers to her, "Everything."

A sudden surge of warm energy flows straight through her body. It begins to surround and blanket her as she slightly arches back. Rogue lightly gasps with her eyes shut as she feels an overwhelming sensation of ecstasy all over her body. She opens her eyes with smile of content to see Allan's human form begins to glow. Rogue looks down at her own body and realizes she is glowing in the same manner. Their shining forms draw closer as they reach out to embrace one another. Their bodies touch flashing brightly among the waves of energy and seemingly become one bright spark of light. Together they glow like a single star in the center of the infinite space connecting all existence.

Arching across the dark night sky, Jean guides herself above the streets of downtown Bayville. She carefully lands onto to high corner end of an office building and looks out over the city. Her mind still echoes with the voice and thoughts of her disappointed peers. Jean sighs out to herself, "I have a handle on this."

She closes her eyes and reaches out with her thoughts. Her telepathic mind begins to listen for any distressing thoughts. A multitude of echoing voices pass through her mind. All sorts of meandering thoughts ranging from simple turning decisions, to frustrated restless thoughts of the next day. Jean's mind hears lingering thoughts of possible sexual encounters from nearby late night bars, sad outcries of disillusioned alcoholics, and the insecure nervousness of the obvious egotistical. She smirks as she listens to the voices and would occasionally chuckle. Jean takes a breath allowing her telepathic reach to slowly turn empathic. With that, she can now also feel the emotions behind the thoughts. Some are genuine, others show false pretense. Jean feels little white lies and full blown betrayals, emotional breakdowns and cheerful triumphant. It is a near crowd like sound to Jean as she filters through the jungle of thoughts and emotions. But as Jean begins to concentrate a bit more, trying to isolate each thought, and distant cry for help catches her attention. Her enhanced senses hears woman's desperate call for help and Jean straightens her posture lookout over the city, trying to pinpoint a location. She reaches out with her mind listening for match thoughts. Jean then hears and feels a helpless sensation, emanating fear, dread and unfairness. With her expression turning stern, Jean leaps off the tall building and flies out toward the fear filled woman.

A blind decision in desperation, a woman runs into empty alley way. She pants and huffs as she breathes heavily, trying to run in her high heels. Her attempts at high mobility are hinders by her skimpy tight mini skirt outfit. Behind her two burly men chase after her ranting angry tones at her, which only fuels her fear causing her recklessly stumble over small piles of garbage left out by the neighboring closed eateries. The woman loses her footing and tumble to the cement panting and grunting out as she scrapes her legs and arms. The two unshaven men waste no time as they immediately approach her. She rolls to her back trying to shuffle away from them as one of the men starts gloating, "One way or the other lady, you're puttin' out."

Both men grin at each other and step forward to get closer to the woman. Tears run down the woman's face smearing her makeup as she begins to cry. The two men chuckle as they start to reach down at the frightened woman. They both suddenly feel a hard slapping sensation on their shoulders, then a sudden backwards jerk as they are both thrown away from the woman. The two burly men slide and tumble backwards back up the alley way grunting as they hit the pavement. Shaking their heads trying to regain their bearings, the men are quick onto their feet but stagger from the disorientation. They woman stares at the confusion while still on the ground and looks to notice Jean standing between her and the assaulting men. In a stern tone, Jean states, "Nothing good will come from this, gentlemen. This is your chance to walk away."

The men's expressions turn from surprised anger to a grinning confused look as they realize who is standing in from of them. One man steps up and tilts his head staring at Jean in her tight hugging X-man uniform. "This got nothin' to do with you, girl." He remarks, "But, if you want to party like that tease behind you, we won't mind one bit."

Jean's mind detects a sense of conflict within thoughts as she asks, "Party?"

A slight focus of her outgoing thoughts allows Jean to retrace their memories and emotional steps. She feels a sense of betrayal followed by frustration, anger and embarrassment from all three people. Jean's mind probe strikes the men forcing them to stagger back again holding their heads in pain. Her eyes widen as she suddenly detects the truth. She takes a breath and look down at the woman behind her saying, "You… wanted this to happen?"

The woman slightly shuffles back replying, "What? N… no… I just…"

Jean cuts her off adding, "Yes, you did. I sense it. You hide it well, but your anger gives you away."

"What're you talking about?" the woman asks with a somewhat fake expression, "I… I'm the victim here… help me!"

Jean stares down at the woman with focus eyes saying, "No, you don't want help. You want revenge. You seek punishment, to all men."

The woman's face starts to become saddened as she mutters out, "Stop it."

Jean continues, "No, you… were assaulted once. You sought justice, but it never came."

"Stop it." the distressed woman says again.

"No," Jean remarks, "you were hurt, deeply. Your anger festered, and grew even deeper into your soul. But there is something else."

Tears run down the woman's face once more as she sates loudly, "Stop it!"

Jean continues with a blank expression staring at the woman, "You… are diseased. It left you more than scarred, it left you infected. Now you lash out, trying to infect others… men. You seek vengeance on men."

The woman yells out, "I said stop it!"

Jean quickly turns her eyes back to the men who try to blind her with a lunging charge. A quick gesture of her left hand renders the two burly men immobile and suspended in the air surrounded by an aura of angelic white fire. The men struggle against the heated telekinetic force, but find themselves helpless. Jean turns her gaze back to the woman mentioning, "I sense more deception in you. You've played this game before. Preying on men's weaknesses, using your sexuality to draw them in. Then leaving them ignorant of what you've done to them. Your anger has turned you into a murderer."

The woman yells out with out bursting anger, "They're dogs! All of them! They deserve it! I want them all to BURN!"

Jean stands in silence staring down at the sobbing woman. Taking a deep breath, Jean expression towards the woman softens. She gesture the woman to leave with her eyes. The woman staggers to her feet and trots off away up the alleyway. She runs off into the darkness but is suddenly halted. Jean hears the woman gasp out and struggle as another voice speaks out, "So, you were just going to let this disease spreading whore run loose, to infect others with her bitterness?"

Jean maintains her telekinetic hold on the two men as she turns toward the voice. She notices the woman in the shadows being held by her throat. In a dim glowing manner, two yellow glowing eyes appear just in front of the gasping woman along with an ominous red glowing four corner star. Jean expression becomes nervous as she steps back slightly. The man's voice speaks again, "Let me, enlighten you on what you were about to do." As he steps out into the dimly lit alley with the woman in his firm grip.

Jean eyes widen in shock as she realizes she is face to face with Seth. Clearing his throat, Seth says, "You let her go tonight, tomorrow night she'll snag some poor schmuck at a bar, probably some lonely office twerp cheating on his wife, take him home and wambam, thank you ma'am. Now he heads home, gets a little wifey action, and now she is infected. May be the little wife is pregnant, so now their baby is infected."

Gripping the woman by her throat, Seth holds her up, letting her dangle and struggle against his titanic strength. Dressed completely in his unique uniform that nearly resembles Allan's Vanguard uniform, Seth chuckles, "It's kind of ironic, isn't it? Trying to decide who is the villain here. That's why I don't choose."

With slight flex of right arm, Seth shifts his grip on the woman's neck. Jean flinches a bit at the snapping sound of the woman's neck. Her once struggling body now hangs limp in Seth's gloved right. Through the eyeholes of his face plated helmet, Seth glares at the two suspended men in Jean's telekinetic hold. Two bright sparks shine out of his eyes causing the two burly men to yipe out in pain. Jean turns to look up at them and notices both men now hang limp, seemingly impaled on two separate energy glowing like blades. Jean releases her hold on the two dead men and drops them to the pavement in shock. The bodies flop to the hard ground as she steps away with wide eyes. She turns to look at Seth with an angry expression. Still holding the limp lifeless body of the woman, Seth closely examines her face remarking, "It's too bad, she was kind of hot. Oh well." As he tosses the woman's dead body to the ground as though tossing away liter.

Jean yells out, "Why did you do this!"

Seth casually approaches her and asks, "Why didn't you?"

Falling silent, Jean watches Seth strut around the dead bleeding bodies of the men. Using his right booted foot, Seth turns one of the dead men's faces toward him to get a better look and jokes, "Not much for talking, are they." as he chuckles underneath his helmet.

Jean ignites her power surrounding her body in angelic pyro-kinetic flames. She steps back into a defensive stance stating, "Get away from them."

Look back up at her with a sarcastic glare through his helmet, Seth simply pushes the dead man's face away, further damaging the body as the neck breaks from the force, and squares off in front of Jean. "Honestly, Jean," Seth says, "don't tell me you didn't sense their malicious intent. All three of them were out to undermine each other."

Maintaining her position, Jean keeps her eyes fixed on Seth as he casually steps around the two dead bodies. "I know you feel the same way I do about this, Jean." Seth adds, "That we just did your world a favor."

"That's not true!" Jean yells back, "And you're wrong about me, I don't condone murder!"

Nodding sarcastically, Seth replies, "Whatever you say, Jean. But we both know the truth. I'm just saying it's alright for you to feel that way."

"Shut up Seth!" Jean darts out with an angry tone, "I don't want to listen to you!"

With his eyes fixed on her, Seth approaches Jean saying, "Why, because you know I'm right?"

Jean yells out again, "SHUT UP!" as she lashes out with right arm sending a burning wave of white pyro-kinetic fire at Seth.

Ducking under the wave of fire effortlessly, Seth chuckles out, "Come on, I know you can do better than that."

The fiery wave strikes a nearby alley wall incinerating the bricks and cement instantly. Jean steps off to her left squaring off against Seth. The white flames dance off and around her body as she glares at him and states, "I'm going to stop you, Seth."

Laughing lightly underneath his helmet, Seth replies, "Good for you, Jean." He then sighs out with a nod, "But you have to catch me first."

In bright display sparking light, Seth streaks into the night sky arcing over the tall buildings. Jean is astounded by his speed, but nonetheless, ignites her power propelling her into the starry sky in pursuit.

With his head resting gently into his plush pillow, Charles allows his body sleep and his mind to dream. Since he was young, Charles had been able to control his unconscious mind. Allowing him complete access to his deepest memories and sift through the maze of thoughts. A lot of the thoughts are from his students, asking about the origins of their powers, prospect for their future, and their fears of rejection from the world. All these questions are asked with level of innocence that brings a bit of sadness to Charles as he knows he has little to no answers for them. Recent events in the past year have shown him that there are powers that go beyond borders of this world. The possibilities have now somewhat become limitless for his students, no longer confined to the realities of this one world. But at what cost he thinks. That one single thought dims his mind reflecting the small hint of helplessness he now feels. But as Charles begins to contemplate those thoughts, he senses a slight presence in his mind, a subtle hint of a shadow that seems to stay just outside of his telepathic peripheral vision. Concentrating his thoughts into one voice, Charles sighs out, "Tell me, N, why haven't you ascended along with the other First Beings of Existence?"

Stepping into his perception dressed as a cloak being with a faceless head, N, elegantly flows in front of Charles's sight. Like a ghostly apparition, N answers, "To have done so, would have left the new Vanguard blind and ignorant of dangers that come."

Charles smiles and remarks, "So in essence, you claim to be aiding Allan in his duties. Forgive this observation, N, but so far you have only proven to be a thorn in his side."

Slowly turning to Charles, N replies, "I claim nothing. For all great beings must endure if they are to succeed."

"That I will not protest. But I sense your presence now bodes a warning." Charles speaks out.

"Indeed." N replies, "The imbalance has begun. This world, as well as the Vanguard, is now clouded to my foresight."

Charles's expression becomes stern as he asks, "What does that mean, N? What is the cause of this imbalance?"

"The cause is now irrelevant." N adds, "The fate of this world now lies in the hands of you and your loyal students. They must endure."

But just as Charles is about to speak up, N fades away removing his presence. Charles is now left to contemplate these thoughts that now outweigh his earlier worries.

Rushing through the clouds in a streaking ball of white fire, Jean follows Seth's energy trail, or what she believes is his trail. She descends through the clouds into a late morning day. She gently touches down into a muddy field. Drops of rain sprinkle around her echoing a washing sound in the distance. Her red hair slowly gets sopping wet as she begins to glance around, search for any sign of Seth. But as she looks around, Jean notices she is in the middle of some kind refugee camp. Frightened faces and terrified thoughts overwhelm her mind. Jean quickly softens her expression looking at the scared ragged clothed people. She smiles and speaks out, "Please, don't be afraid of me. I'm not here to hurt you."

The frightened people slowly step out from their make shift shelters and tents looking at Jean with bewilderment. Most of the gathered mass are young children , single mothers and senior citizens. A handful of the people begin speaking a language unfamiliar to Jean as she shakes her head trying to understand. She reaches out with her mind, allowing the words she hears to saturate her thoughts. Slowly, every syllable and context becomes clear, and the peoples questions become understandable. "How did you fly just now?" "Are you an angel?" "It is a sign from God!" "Please help us." "Do you have food?" "Are there others like yourself?" "Will you help us find our father?" "Don't let them kill us!"

Jean steps back with an overwhelmed expression and speaks out in their language, "Wait, please, I'm chasing a very dangerous man. He is wearing a dark blue uniform and helmet. Have any of you seen him?"

An elderly looking man approaches her in calm manner and replies, "The only men who wear uniforms are the soldiers."

Jean stares back at the old man with a baffled expression and asks, "Soldiers?"

But just as the man begins to explain, a loud thundering sound shakes the ground. Bright flashes from fireball like explosions obliterate nearby shelters and tents, sending the people around Jean into a frightening panic. They dart in nearly every direction screaming in terror, tripping and stumbling over each other. Jean steps back and dodges a few panicking people as she watches the confusion. She wipes the dripping rain water from her face as she looks for the cause of their fears. Much to her frightening surprise, a hail storm of bullets wiz at and by her. The high velocity rounds ricochet off her newly developed super dense structure partially tearing small holes into her X-man uniform, but leaving her skin beneath unscathed. Jean turns her face away from the rain of bullets to see the tracer rounds that bypassed her mow the helpless running refugees down like tall grass. Jean's eyes fill with horror as she watches bullets spray into the terrorized people, piercing their backs as they run for their lives. Many die instantly from multiple strikes, flopping to the muddy ground causing others to trip over their dead bodies only for them to also be riddled with bullets. The sight of splattering blood and the piling of dead helpless people enrages Jean as she turns to look to where the bullets came from. Rumbling and crawling over the hill, a green drab colored heavy tank comes into sight followed a by a squad of seven heavily armed soldiers. All of which who are aiming their weapons into the refugee camp firing carelessly at the fear filled people. Looking further down the flanks, Jean sees more of the same, a single tank followed by a squad of men, firing into the camp. Taking a breath, Jean yells out in a echoing tone, "STOP IT! As she ignites her power in bright flash.

The advancing soldiers halt their charge as the tanks come to a sliding halt. Lashing out, Jean sends a stream of white pyro-kinetic fire at the first tank. In an instant, the hulking armored vehicle explodes into a ball of fire. Metal debris and shards are thrown from the explosion at high velocities striking the some nearby soldiers down. Some get caught in the explosion instantly burning to death. The other squads stare at Jean with terrified expression as they aim their weapons at her and open fire. Amidst the rainy weather, a barrage of exploding rounds and artillery come down on Jean position. Muddy splashes and smoke surround her as she slowly steps forward advancing toward them. With a gesture from her hands, Jean focuses her power at the tanks. Seeking out the gunner's minds, she pushes her thought against theirs and wills them to aim their own weapons at each other. Helpless against her power, the tanks gunners turn their vehicle weapon turrets at each other's position and open fire. Soldiers scramble for cover as loud artillery shells collide and explode destroying every tank on the rainy hill. Still enraged, Jean turns her focus upon the fleeing foot soldiers. Gripping her fists, Jean takes another breath and backs off powering down, watching them run and retreat. The dancing flames of her power simmer down as she lets the rain cool her thoughts. All around her, burns shards and heaps of obliterated tanks steam under the dropping rain water. In the background, the sounds of dying voices and cries are heard. A mixture of coughing a pleas for help echo throughout what is left of the refugee camp. Jean stands in the rain with a confused and saddened expression. Then, she hears one person clapping form behind her. She quickly turns to look and sees Seth standing a few yards from her. He claps his hands like he had just watched a play on stage as he remarks, "Nicely done, Jean. Brutal yet stylish. Of course, if it were me, I wouldn't have let any of them live."

Jean squares off against Seth and speaks, "You, knew about this! You wanted me to follow you here!"

Sliding off his helmet to feel the cool rain on his face, Seth gently wipes off the wetness and replies, "Of course I did."

"What is this place, Seth?" Jean asks in earnest, "What just happened?"

Placing his helmet back over his head, Seth glances around at the ruined refugee camp and at the smoldering remains of the tanks and responds, "Oh, I don't know. Somewhere in eastern Europe I guess. I was never good at geography."

Stepping up to one of the destroyed tanks, Seth reaches in with his right glover hand sifting through the debris. He chuckles and pulls out the charred remains of the tank driver. The severely burn out body partially remains intact with its' burned uniform still barely hanging off its' shoulders. The face is cooked over it now skeletal grin as Seth says, "And to answer your second question, Jean. What just happened is called 'ethnic cleansing'. It's a sad reality of the world you live in."

"This is not real. It can't be." Jean remarks with a bit of sadness.

Seth chuckles again, "Why not, because it's not on the nightly news? This is everyday, Jean. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not happening. Care to see more?"

Jean stares back at Seth dropping her guard as she senses an eerie truth in his voice.

Rogue's eyes fill with light as she smiles into the streaking horizon stars. Waves of energy pass through her energized body at unknown speeds. All around her, she feels the warm embrace of Allan's energy. She turns her eyes in front her and sees Allan's glowing energized body flaying parallel with her hers as they dart through the energy clouded space like shooting stars. As they streak through the realm, they leave a bright trail of energy that seems to follow their playful maneuvering. Both Rogue and Allan twirl, spin and spiral around each other like courting birds. Rogue would occasionally feel Allan's hands caress her. She finds it an enticing sensation as it only fuels their ecstasy. Their thoughts seem to meld giving Rogue the feeling of being person with Allan. She can feel his joy and love her, especially at this moment. Every sensation they experienced or had experienced, they now share. But can feel something even deeper. It nearly melts her heart with every breath and yet it brings her to cheerful laughter. Their energized bodies seem to fuse together spiraling into the colorful infinite space. Rogue feels Allan's loving embrace throughout her entire body and she giggles. Then she opens her eyes wide with a breathless gasp remarking, "Ah feel you, all over me, in me, around me. But it's not your power." as she looks in front of her with surprised expression.

Rogue continues as she looks out toward the infinite sky of energy clouds and stars, "This somethin' else, somethin' deeper. Oh mah God…" as she gently holds her hands to her chest and adds, "… this is you. Everything you are, every fiber. Ah feel, your soul."

A quick bright flash of light appears before Rogue as she floats among the energy and reforms revealing a smiling Allan. He gently reaches to her pulling her close into comforting embrace as he kisses her deeply. Tears roll down Rogue's face as she smiles into his eyes and she embraces him back. She catches her breath saying, "Ah can't believe you did that. That was so… Ah can't describe it."

Allan holds his face close to hers as he says, "I want you to promise me one thing."

Rogue smiles and breathlessly replies, "Anything."

With a content smile, Allan gently caresses Rogue's cheeks with both of his hands and says to her, "Promise me, that will never forget any of this, all the emotion and feelings you just experienced. Hold it all deep in your heart, and never let go."

Rogue gazes into Allan's eyes and asks, "Why?"

Gently touching his forehead to hers, Allan says, "Just promise me."

Reaching up and caressing his cheeks with both of her hands, Rogue smiles and returns, "Ah promise, with all my heart."

Allan shares her loving smile and embraces her into another deep passionate kiss. Their bodies begin to glow brightly once more among the infinite space, then bursts like a new born sun into flashing bright four corner star.

Jean turns her eyes away from the horror that has been presented to her. Seth calls out to her, "What are you afraid to look at Jean? This is the world in which you live in. The least you can you do is witness it's glories." He says with sarcasm.

Jean reluctantly turns to look, because no matter hard she tries to ignore the sight of it, she cannot escape its' smell. She draws back with a slight flinch at the sight of deep dug out hole, measuring about thirty feet wide and twenty feet deep. Piles in the hole nearly halfway, the dead bodies African children lay covered in a white powdery lime sprinkled over them. Jean nearly vomits as she gags at the smell death and the sight of mutilated bodies. She falls to her knees with her eyes tearing up. Seth remarks, "What a wonderful world, huh."

Jean glares at Seth with anger saying, "Don't belittle them, they're just children."

"Belittle?" Seth mentions, "An entire generation of children lie in that hole, killed by a rebel army just for being born on the wrong side of the tracks! And not all of them died quickly, no, I'm talking about a slow demeaning death of immoral violations after violations."

Jean tries to cover her ears as mutters out, "Stop it."

Seth continues with frustrated tone, "Oh, let us not forget the gang rape and sexual slavery we witnessed in the Congo. That's been happening for decades unchecked. Hell, that's probably a normal day for those people in that third world crap hole!"

"Stop it!" Jean demands still trying to ignore him.

Seth stomps his right foot on the ground forcing Jean to fall back onto her butt as he continues his rant, "Hey, Jean, is it me, or do you also think all those bombings and beheadings we saw in Iraq are turning into a weekly sport?" he asks with more sarcasm.

Jean grits her teeth with her eyes closed shouting out, "Stop it!"

Seth grins back at her and remarks, "What, can't handle the pressure? Remember the American troops we saw that summarily executed that entire Iraqi family out of anger? They could handle the pressure either. The pressure of trying to save people who apparently don't want to be saved! Does that suck or what!"

Tears run down Jean's face as she mutters out, "Please…"

Seth adds, "Please what? Lie to you? Is that what you want? Sorry, but world is a nice red apple with a rotten core. This is the world you decided to defend. Still think mutants and humans can live in prosperity? Still think you fight for the greater good? The people on this pathetic planet can't even get passed the color of their skins let alone get along with mutants! This is the world you and your cheesy X-people are trying so hard to fit into."

Seth kneels down to her and clutches her face making her stare into the hole of pile bodies and points saying, "Why don't you ask them where the justice is? Better yet why don't you ask the ones who did this to them?" as he points out to an approaching ragged military truck.

Both Jean and Seth get to their feet as a group of ten armed African rebel troops rush up to them. Jean allows their language to filter into her mind so she can understand them. In a demanding tone, one rebel demands while point his rifle at them, "Who the hell are you people! What are you doing here!"

Jean expression slightly angers as she asks calmly, "Did you kill these children?"

The rebel soldier darts out, "That's not your concern. Now back away!"

Seth grins and backs up casually as Jean asks again in much more demanding tone, "Did you and your men do this?"

"Back away girl, or we will shoot you!" the soldier threatens.

Jean's mind reaches out seeking answers and finds the gruesome truth. Images of torture and pain widen her eyes. The sick satisfaction she feels from them fuels her anger as she screams out. The soldier staggers back in fear as he watches white fire ignite all around Jean's body. The rebel soldiers immediately points their weapons at her and open fire. But the bullets melt before they even touch her flames. Jean glares at the men and yells out brightening her flames into an ominous bird shaped aura. A sudden focus of her mind sends a burning trail of fire incinerating the rebel soldier in front of herm in an instant. The other rebels try to run back to their truck in fear, but Jean's fire trail strikes the trucks fuel tanks. The truck burst into a wide ball of fire exploding in all directions shredding the rebel soldiers into burning carcasses. Jean continues to lash out, harnessing the flames from the burning truck and swirling it out to the surrounding areas. The flames begin to burn the African landscape like wild fire as nearby trees ignite from the burning tall grass. Seth steps up to Jean's side and looks upon the burning bodies with a slight grin. Turning to her, he mutters out, "Now that, was justice."

Jean gasps out of surprise dissipating her flames. Tears roll down her cheeks as she glances around at the smoldering damage. She looks down at her hands in shock and starts to breathe heavily. Seth then remarks with a wide grin, "It seems you and I are much more alike than I thought."

Staggering back in horror, Jean cries, "NNOO!" as she ignites her power once more streaking rapidly into the sky.

Seth stands among the charred landscape watching Jean fly away off into the distant sky. He takes a deep breath removing his helmet and mutters out, "See you soon."

Allan's room sits silently in the calm of the night. The large French style doors leading to the balcony remains wide open letting in a slight breeze into the large bedroom. The light from the stars and the three quarter moon shines in painting the scene in a silverfish blue hue. With flashing flare like spark, a bright four corner star brightens the room over Allan's bed. The entire room illuminates as both Allan and Rogue suddenly appear together, dressed in their sleep wear. Rogue still straddles Allan's lap intimately as they embrace. She gasps out with ecstasy arching her back, then catches her breath as she looks back into Allan's eyes. They both breathe heavily caressing each other. Allan swallows catching his breath as Rogue smiles with a coy expression remarking, "Whoa… that was… a good one."

Allan whispers back to her, "It only gets better from here on in, babe."

They both smile into each others eyes embracing into another deep kiss. But their moment of lust is lost at the sound of Logan clearing his throat. Both Allan and Rogue quickly turn their heads to the door to see him standing in the doorway with his arms folded in a frustrated manner. "So this is what the noise was." He states in his scruffy tone.

Rogue quickly slides off Allan's lap grabbing his bed sheets to cover herself. With and angry tone, she remark, "Logan, don't ya know how to knock!"

"Only when I'm tryin' to be polite." Logan replies with sarcasm.

Allan slowly stands up and slightly grins and stutters out, "Um, look… we uh…"

Logan cuts him off saying, "I don't care, alright. You two are old enough to do what you want. But when you start making a ruckus, waking up people, that's when it becomes a problem."

Slight giggles can be heard out in the hallway along with whispers. Logan speaks out toward the hall, "Don't think for second I can't hear ya out there. Mind your business and hit the sack, all of ya!"

Allan and Rogue glance at each other with slight grins trying not to giggle themselves. Logan turns his glare back at them and states, "Look, I know you two are crazy about each other. But you two gotta get a handle on this. You are startin' to set a bad example."

Allan nods in embarrassment replying, "Sorry Logan, we… didn't think… we were making any noise."

Logan shakes his head with slight smile and says, "Kid, you two weren't thinkin' at all if ask me. So start thinkin', now hit the sack, both of ya."

Chuckling lightly, Logan steps out shaking his head and closing Allan's door. Allan lets out breath of relief as looks over at Rogue. She looks back at him with a tight lipped smile as he whispers, "Were we noisy?"

Rogue grins and replies, "Ah didn't think so."

She and Allan both giggle lightly. Rogue quick hops off his bed saying, "Ah gotta use the bathroom. Ah be right back."

Allan watches her scamper out the room toward the bathroom up the hall. He turns to step out on his balcony and stares up at the stars. In low muttering tone Allan asks himself, "Ruckus?"


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