|Sat, 06 Feb 1999
Through a Mirror Clear 9/?
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Through a Mirror Clear
December 1998/January 1999
Her tears fell with the dews at even;
=Where do you want to go today?=
The darkness chuckled, its voice echoing mockingly in the cave that now served as her prison.
She didn't remember how the cold steel bars of her cage had come to give way to the rough rock that now surrounded her. The cave was almost completely dark, the only light allowed in the room peeking in from the cave's entrance.
'Am Ah dead...?'
From where she crouched in the shadows, she could see the mouth of the cave. It was open, seemingly unguarded. If she stepped through the portal, maybe she could escape into the light. But she couldn't will herself to do it.
Her cheek rested against the cold, uneven rock of the cave wall as she looked out, trying to find the light9s source. 'Maybe Ah really am dead...But if Ah am...is this heaven or hell?'
Through the mouth of the cave, she could see the faces of her friends -- her family, really -- standing over her with looks of mixed concern, anger and pain. But they were fuzzy and transparent, like ghosts. Although that didn't make their stares any less penetrating. She pulled her knees to her chest and buried her face in her arms, trying to hide from their gazes. 'Why can't you just leave me alone!' she cried out.
They showed no sign of even recognizing her plea and continued to hover over her. She turned her head slightly to watch them through the corner of her eye. The crowd of X-Men shifted slightly, making way for Beast. Unlike the others, he had shape and form, and she couldn't see through him. Rogue's head turned fully toward the mouth of the cave and her eyes widened when she saw the large hypodermic in his hand.
Then she blacked out.
"How are they doing, Cecilia?" Cyclops asked.
Dr. Reyes turned around at the sound of her name and saw Cyclops standing in the lobby area of the MedLab, with the rest of the X-Men gathered in and around the doorway. Holding up her hand to signal Cyclops that she would answer him in a moment, Cecilia turned back to Bobby to recheck his temperature. Apparently satisfied, she stood and motioned for the other X-Men to follow her into the corridor outside the MedLab.
With the others crowded around her in the narrow passageway, Cecilia began to feel claustrophobic. She had to take a deep breath and wiped the thin film of sweat from her brow before she answered the question.
"Bobby's condition is slowly improving, thankfully," she said. "Dr. McCoy and I had him on the operating table for about six hours, and we may have to go in again once the swelling goes down."
She rubbed her eyes wearily. "We're looking at four cracked ribs, a punctured left lung, a fractured left collarbone and damage to the right kidney. There's also some swelling of the brain, but that, mercifully, has gone down some in the past few hours. Tonight will be critical for him, but Bobby seems...quite resilient. It9s a mercy Rogue beating didn't do more damage."
An uneasy silence settled over the group, and many of them -- Warren, Scott, Storm and Jean among them -- dropped their eyes to the ground.
"Has he woken up at all?" Jean asked softly.
Looking up, Cecilia quickly scanned her eyes across the assembled X-Men. Storm, Logan, Jean and Jubilee stood almost in a huddle on her left, with Storm maintaining a small sphere of space around herself. Marrow leaned against the wall in front of Cecilia, picking at her teeth with a bone shard. On Cecilia's right, Warren stood next to Scott.
Cecilia thought she caught Jean and Scott exchange an odd look, and she idly wondered why the two married X-Men weren't standing together. Tired, she pushed the unspoken question aside.
"He regained consciousness briefly this evening. Apparently he rolled over onto his side, ripping out some of his stitches." Cecilia shook her head, frowning. "With the meds he's on, I hadn't expected him to wake up, much less attempt any kind of movement. Hank gave him another dose just an hour ago, so I don't think Bobby will be up again anytime soon. He needs to sleep so he can heal."
"And Rogue?" Storm asked.
Another tense silence settled over the group. Some, Warren especially, slouched uncomfortably at the mention of Rogue's name.
"We...don't know," Cecilia finally answered. "As far as we can tell, she's fine, physically."
"So why is she still...the way she is?" Jubilee asked nervously.
"We think it's like what happened three months ago. Whatever is wrong with her is more psychological than physiological," Cecilia answered. "So far she's only briefly regained consciousness since she's been back, and then only partially. She was delirious and thrashing about in bed, almost breaking things. Hank -- Dr. McCoy had to administer a rather powerful sedative."
"What about the baby?" Marrow asked from the back of the crowd. Everyone turned and looked at her with surprise. "Hey, someone was going to ask."
Cecilia wearily placed her hands on her hips to support her back, now aching after hours spent on her feet. "Dr. McCoy and I did some brief tests to make sure the baby is still breathing, has a heartbeat, all of that. Dr. McCoy is running some more intensive tests right now." She put her hands in her pockets and moved toward the door to the MedLab. "Now, if that's all...?"
Rogue awoke in the early morning hours. Cecilia had fallen asleep in the chair between Rogue and Bobby's beds, and Hank was nowhere to be seen -- probably sleeping in his own bed, she guessed. Yawning, Rogue stretched and sat up, then eased herself quietly out of the bed. She had a strange grin on her face as she tiptoed quietly out of the MedLab to her own bedroom upstairs.
Once there, she glanced out the window briefly before diving into the piles of clothes in her closet. Thin strands of daylight were beginning to work their way into the room. It would be morning soon, and the other X-Men would soon be waking up. Except for one teammate who was probably outside right now, if she knew his habits as well as she thought she did.
"So little time, so much to do," she sighed dramatically. "Time to get to work..."
She mumbled to herself as she dressed. "...takes a telepath to fool one...deception will work for only a while, but long enough...enhanced senses are another -- Well _this_ is certainly distressing!" Her ramblings cut short as she struggled to zip up her jeans. "If memory serves, this is the tightest pair of jeans she -- I own. Such a pity about that baby," she said, shaking her head as she rummaged through her closet for something sexy-looking that might fit. She held up a skirt for consideration. "It's just going to _ruin_ my figure."
Once she had finished dressing, she checked herself in the mirror and hastily rejected the t-shirt/miniskirt/thigh-high boots combination. "Too cheap. Besides, it's been _done_."
She tossed aside the clothes in favor of a black kimono robe and bare feet. With a quick glance of approval at the mirror, she stepped out of her room and made her way outside.
She found him out by the lake on the far side of the mansion grounds, where Logan always came for his morning exercises.
From behind a tree, Rogue took care to be downwind as she watched him go through the graceful forms of Tai Chi and then settle into a meditative position. Taking that as her cue, Rogue glided down to where Logan sat and set herself down next to him in the sand.
"Beautiful mornin', ain't it?" she said, nodding her head appreciatively toward the rising sun.
Logan opened his eyes and glanced at Rogue, then at the colorful spectacle in the sky. "Yup..." He surveyed the scene appraisingly. "Kinda reminds me o' that mornin' in Genosha after you an' Carol broke me out of that lock-up, after we took the train to their 'mutant camp.'" He sniffed in memory of that ordeal, and the hairs on the back of his neck began to prick up at the realization that something was wrong.
He swung his head toward Rogue, who, in the instant before his instinct, thought and action came together, lunged forward and kissed him, using her absorption powers to weaken and disorient him. She broke off contact just before he would have fallen unconscious, leaving him in a semi-conscious stupor.
Then she kissed him again, this time adjusting her powers such that, instead of merely absorbing his mind, she could twist it, reshape it.
She began prodding different areas of his mind, and Logan started to respond to her attentions, grabbing her hair and harshly kissing her mouth. She prodded some more, trying to tap further into his animalistic side, and he responded by muzzling her neck and letting his hands run roughly over her body. She prodded again, and her kimono was ripped off.
Even as her body purred with pleasure, inside Rogue screamed aloud.
"Why - are - ya doin' - this - ta me?" she spat out through clenched teeth.
=Because I can, my dear.=
=And because it suits my purposes.=
=Why the sour face, little one? Isn't this what you've always wanted? To be able to touch someone, _love_ someone, without the barrier of your powers? With me, you can have all of that -- and still be able to call upon your powers at will.=
"But this isn't the way I wanted it." Rogue had curled herself into a ball at the edge of her cave, her face pressed into her knees as she watched the events occurring outside her mind through the mouth of the cave.
=Relax, dear. If you stop fighting me, you may actually enjoy this.=
=Otherwise, this will be no fun at all for you.=
To be continued...