As Rogue lay unconscious on the surgical slab, Logan paced continuously, trying to stay patient as the professor probed her mind, trying to wake her up from the slumber Jean had placed her under.
How could he have been so careless?
He watched as the blue fur-ball, Hank checked Rogue's vitals for the third time in the past hour. To say the wolverine was pissed was an understatement, he had allowed the red haired goddess fool him once. How many more times would it take to get it through his thick skull? His only care in the world was HER! The girl lying on the slab. This was the last time he would leave.
Xavier concentrated as he pushed against the barriers of the girl before him. They were stronger the the woman and dear friend he had called "Jean", from her he had seen glimpses that had stimulated his curiosity for her intentions towards rogue. He already knew that the moment she had first encountered Wolverine and the young scrawny girl on the mansion steps, Jean had felt a...drawn sensation towards Rogue, which at the time they had all mistaken as attraction towards him. But from the disorientated images Jean-no Phoenix, had been projecting...Xavier now knew it was not the invincible warrior that had taken her interest it was the girl with the features of a china doll.
A child with bloodied hand-print on the side of her cheek.
Two words whispered.
Fiery red hair whipping across a shadowed face.
Black veins. Pain.
And Xavier now knew, the only way they were going to get answers, was from the one sleeping...
"Her psychic barriers are too strong for me to get through to her." The professor announce. Gaining Logan's attention.
"From what I have analysed, her senses are responsive to stimulation. Rogue is aware of her surroundings, just unable to respond." Hank replied as he wrote more notes on a clipboard, before adjusting his spectacles as they slipped down the bridge of his nose. "Logan, try communicating with her, it may be her emotional distress that is preventing."
Logan nodded in agreement and pulled up a stall next to where she lay. "Kid, come on. We need your help to find out what's going on, and find Phoenix before she does any more damage. You have to let Wheels in-"
He was interrupted by Kitty phasing through the elevator doors, "Rogue! Wait don't!"
The professor stopped probing Rogue's mind for a second time, and the three men turned to look at the young girl who had interrupted them.
"Shadow-cat, I see you have returned, I'm guessing the others have returned with you? Were you able to find her?"
Kitty took a moment to catch her breath. "No, we couldn't. But we found Magneto-I mean-His powers are back!" Everyone froze. Silence. The only sound was the Elevator doors opening and Storm stepping through. Logan growled.
"Couldn't find Jean," The weather witch repeated the already announced information, "Any progress with Rogue?"
No one answered.
"With all do respect professor, you can't go into Rogue's mind." Kitty remembered why she was here in the first place.
"And why is that my dear?" Hank question.
Kitty hesitated, "She used to have nightmares. But not-" Just as Xavier wheeled around the surgical slab, Rogues hand fell from where it lay, catching the skin on the professor's hand. Everyone disappeared and everything turned white. It took a few moments for him to grasp the situation.
"Professor?" He had entered Rogue's mind.
Expertly wheeling his chair around he found her. He found her standing in the white dressed in white. "Rogue, my dear. You have us all very worried, are you alright?"
Her eyes softened and gentle smile graced her face, "I am alright professor, just a little tired."
He nodded and looked around at the empty white, "Where are we in your mind?"
"Jean likes to call this purgatory, after the dimension balanced between the living and the afterlife." She laughed, "I call this the white. Everything here is empty. Nothing. Silence."
"Jean? Rogue, do you mean...Did Jean ever enter your head?"
A confused look came over her face "I'm not sure..."
"Rogue, what is going on? Do you know where the Phoenix is? We have to find her before she-"
"She won't kill good. If you're here, It means my powers are back." she turned to him, "Professor, I need to open the connection, too many memories."
Rogue's explanation was too cryptic and Xavier was running out of time, "Remember what Rogue. What is going on?"
She calmed, voice monotone, eyes like glass. "The beginning. How all things begin, how continuity is broken. Something changes."
He grit his teeth as a nauseous sensation came over him, her mind was too strong, too much...He had to open the connection.
They were in a room. A little girl's bedroom. Spectators.
A little girl stood before them, fear rolling off her in waves as a shadow grew bigger and bigger until it loomed over her. "The pattern" Rogue said, as she and the professor watched the child version of rogue quake as the body of a man without a face, stood over her. He slowly began to undo his belt, letting it drop to the ground. Next to come off was his shirt, and the girl began to cry and whimper. A beg, a cry for her mother.
"Rogue, what is this?" The professor began to feel uneasy, silently praying that the event about to unfold was not in the context his rational mind had conjured.
"Just watch." Rogue murmured, mild fascination laced in her voice. And he did. He watched in pain as the man grabbed the little girl. This was the deed, the so-called pattern? Bile rouse in Xavier's throat as he continued to watch.
Two minutes had passed, the child still screamed as she was penetrated in the most brutal and sickening way. Three minutes, the child was still screaming and blood ran down her legs. Four minutes, He could not take any more, "Rouge, stop. I cannot watch this!"
It was her mind they were in, she kept him still. Then everything began to slow, fire came and a black filled the room. The man was on the floor, head on the other side of the room.
Xavier watched as the man's head rolled to a stop in front of his feet, his features coming into view and eyes rolling to the back of his head. Blood was everywhere. Xavier's eyes trailed back to the little girl, only to find, what stood in the dead man's place was a woman. He instantly recognised the silky red hair. "Jean?" But this wasn't Jean, this was Phoenix.
He watched as the Phoenix, bent down to the little girl, soaked in blood. and placed a hand on her cheek. "I gave you life. I take life. You are...Anne Marie."
Everything went black. They were now outside the mansion, Logan and Rogue now walking up the steps. black again. In Logan's truck, his eyes switching between her and the road. Black again.
"What is your name?"
"...I don't have one."
"Then I'll name you Phoenix. Like a dragon!" The little voice giggled.
Stray tears fell from Kitty's eyes as they all waited for the professor to leave Rogue's mind. She knew what he would find there and anxiety and fear built for her, Marie. She had seen the Pictures Rogue would subconsciously sketch in her free time. She hadn't wanted anyone to know, and kitty vowed she wouldn't tell. But now...Rogue was Marie and only Marie. She knew it wouldn't have worked between Marie and Bobby.
She had seen.