X-men Evolution Fan Fiction / X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ BurnOut ❯ Chapter 2 ( Chapter 2 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Warren awoke in a hospital bed in one of the residence rooms. His head was ringing. An oxygen mask covered the lower part of his face. When he raised his hand to remove it he felt an IV pulling at the crook in his arm. A gloved finger gently tapped down his hand.
“Doc says you should keep that on for a little while longer,” Rogue's voice peppered his ears.
“How long?” he whispered through the perforations in the plastic encasing his mouth.
“Dr. MacTaggert said your oxygenation levels have to stabilize. And they've been pretty good for the last few hours so that thing might come off tonight. You are pretty indestructible, you know. After what you've been through you should be practically dead. You heal almost as quickly as Logan.”
“Where's Jean?” the weak voice asked.
“Jean's with the Professor.”
“I have to see her,” Warren sat up, jerking the tube feeding oxygen to his mask.
“You can't see Jean right now,” Rogue responded, touching his shoulder. “The Professor needs to be alone with her and you need to rest and get well. Jean will be okay. You saved her.”
“She saved me,” Warren said as he fell back and closed his eyes.
Rogue felt a pang in her gut. A noontime shaft of sunlight streaming through the window illuminated one of Warren's feathers as it slowly circled down to the floor. Even beautiful Warren Worthington, like every other man she'd ever met, was in love with Jean Grey. But Rogue, his old friend, who, with some support from Logan, had rescued the world by sending Apocalypse into a time rift, was invisible.
At least Scott had been there. Mystique had floored him, but Rogue and Wolverine were able to peel him off the ground. Limping, Scott had joyfully embraced her in victory. And while airborne, en route to the Institute, Scott was by her side as she tended Kurt's wounds. Sparked by their proximity and shared elation, Rogue's old passion for Scott took flame. For a moment, brushing up against him during turbulence, she thought it might be returned. But then the plane touched down. Scott didn't stop to glance in her direction before running off to find Jean.
Rogue wanted to hate Jean - for being so perfect, so gorgeous, so powerful, and, no matter what was happening, the center of the spotlight - but she couldn't. Sometimes Rogue felt so psychically connected to Jean that she didn't know whether her emotions were her own or Miss Grey's.
Nearly a year earlier, when Jean first experienced the expansion of her powers, Rogue had touched her. Jean was lost in a chaotic vortex spawned by a surge in her abilities. Rogue served as a psychic conduit enabling Jean to focus on the person who knew her better than anyone else, supposedly, Scott Summers. Telepathically linking the two of them, Rogue saw Jean through Scott's eyes and vice versa. The impossibly beautiful redhead was everything, every particle in the universe to him. And for her, the sweet young man with the ruby quartz glasses represented safety and security; he would ground her on Earth and keep her from shooting off into oblivion.
Rogue and Cannonball aided Kurt getting out of the aircraft. Despite her desire to seem disinterested, Rogue turned to watch Scott rush over to Jean. She was levitating above them all, staring into the distance, and didn't appear to be aware of him. Then she became incandescent. The bright burst hurt Rogue's eyes. Before Rogue could blink, Jean rocketed into the stratosphere. Part of Rogue soared away with her.
Looking down at Warren resting, Rogue saw behind his lidded eyes. He was with Jean Grey at that very moment. The telepathy Rogue retained from the several times she had touched Jean was getting stronger. She and Warren were weightless, enveloped in Jean Grey's telekinetic energy, gazing into her dazzling green eyes.