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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16


Written by NicoPony
Last updated: 05/06/2007 06:22:13 PM

Chapter 4

Rogue was kicking her legs to free herself from the tangled sheets when her adoptive mother, Raven, entered the MedBay.

“Did’ja bring my socks like I asked you?” Rogue asked without preamble.

“I always hated it when you were sick,” Raven said, and threw the pair of balled socks at her daughter. “You’re so crabby when you’re sick.”

“And I hate it when you ball up my socks like this,” Rogue snapped. “It stretches ’em out.” She un-rolled the socks, which were bright pink with little green dancing frogs. Rogue aimed a glare at Mystique, but yanked on the socks without comment.

“You’re welcome,” Raven said snidely. “And once you’re done adjusting your attitude, you can welcome your visitor.”

“I don’t want any---” Rogue began, but the door to the MedBay reopened to reveal the man known as Pulse. He was holding a vase full of flowers. This was his second visit in so many weeks. She’d thought he had learned his lesson after the first visit, but apparently not. At his first visit, he’d patted her head like she was a sick child, and then she’d bent his pinkie finger backwards until he said ’uncle.’

“Hello, Rogue,” he said as he approached her bedside table.

“Pulse,” Rogue didn’t bother to disguise the flat disappointment in her tone.

If Pulse noticed her tone, he gave no indication. He placed the vase on the side table. “I brought you some get-well flowers,” he said, gesturing to the vase, as if Rogue wouldn’t have recognized them as flowers. For good measure, there was a card reading ’Get Well Soon’ tucked amongst the blossoms.

“Isn’t that nice?” Raven prompted.

“Looks like they’re workin’, I feel better all ready,” Rogue said as she threw her legs over the side of the bed and stood.

“Rogue, you shouldn’t be out of bed,” Raven chided.

Rogue clutched the back of her hospital gown together and faced her mother. “I said I’m better, Mystique. Don’t treat me like I’m an invalid.”

“You are an invalid, Rogue, which is significantly better than what you very nearly were...a dead body on a slab!* Don’t you think it would be wise to wait until we can fully understand the nature of the virus you’ve been inflicted with?”

Rogue sighed and rolled her eyes before marching over to the cabinets, which contained extra linens and her clothes. “Hank says the Strain 88 virus was created for me, and reacts to my physiology. It’s not transferable through the air or body fluids or anything. Y’all wouldn’t even be in here if Hank didn’t think it was safe.”

“I wasn’t worried about me, I was worried for you,” Mystique said.

Rogue ignored her. “D’ya mind?” She asked Pulse, trying not to show him her exposed back. “I’d like some privacy.”

Pulse had been staring at her, and it took a moment before realization dawned in his eyes. “Oh, right, sorry,” he said, and to Rogue’s annoyance, only turned around instead of leaving.

Rogue struggled to smother her exasperation. Maybe Mystique was right, and she was being crabby. She yanked open the cabinet and removed the sweatpants from the shelf. She was just pulling a tee shirt over her head when the door swished open again.

“What is this, a convenience store, or the MedBay?” Rogue snarled as her head emerged from the neck of her shirt.

Sam Guthrie at least had the courtesy to look embarrassed. “Sorry, Miss Rogue,” he said as he peeked through the open door. “I was only lookin’ for Mystique.”

“What?” Mystique asked. “What for?”

“Val Cooper just hailed the Conquistador, there’s been an incident,” Sam replied. “Cable wants you on board.”

“I suppose that all depends on the type of incident involved,” Mystique said.

“Val didn’t give all the details,” Sam said, “but from what I gather, two mutants have been murdered.”

“Did she say who the victims are?” Rogue asked, as she tugged down one of the legs of her sweatpants.

“Val said she didn’t know for sure, but they think it may be the Shaws.”

“The Shaws?” Pulse asked with surprise.

Mystique shot him an unfathomable look, and Pulse did his best to hide his surprise.

“D’ya know them?” Rogue asked dryly.

Pulse opened his mouth to reply, but he withered under Mystique’s gaze. Finally he stammered: “Oh, uhm, no. Not personally. By reputation only.”

“You said, ’Shaws’, plural,” Mystique said. “Do you mean Sebastian and Shinobi? I thought those two didn’t get along.”

“Maybe they killed each other,” Rogue muttered as she searched out her sneakers from under the bed. “Good riddance.”

“I don’t think so, Miss Rogue,” Sam said. “Val says Homeland Security is crawling all over this case. We’ve gotta go, Cable’s waiting.”

“All right,” Rogue said as she straightened from tying her shoes. “Let’s go.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” Mystique said. “Get back in bed.”

“I think Miss Raven’s right,” Sam said to Rogue. “You look a little green around the gills.”

“Thanks for the advice, Sam,” Rogue drawled as she pushed past Pulse and Mystique and through the door. “I’ve had quite enough motherin’ for today.”

(*See X-Men #196)


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