Private Lessons Part 5Private Lessons Part 5,(Incomplete fragment)Author: TheCostumer
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Characters: Magneto, Rogue, Charles, Kitty, Henry & the other kids. Part of the
"I'm still amazed that Professor Xavier didn't have a heart attack when he came back and found we were on the news." Rogue told Erik during one of her lessons. "I really think he took it very well."
"I would have to agree with you." Erik said as he let his fingers trail down her arm, idly.
It was part of his method to insist that once Rogue could manage touching safely, that she should practice doing so while talking, playing chess, or doing something equally distracting. While the lessons had moved into far more distracting territory long ago, they both made a point of practicing ordinary touch regularly while engaged in conversation. While Rogue had progressed quite far in being able to safely touch others for short periods while doing nothing else, any distraction tended to periodically break her control of her gift.
"I have been thinking about what he said, that our 'coming out' as mutants was probably what got so many of the other Trekkies at the convention to come out and say they were mutants later." Rogue said.
Erik thought it might also have been because a lot of those convention people suddenly found that they were mutants due to exposure to his device, but he avoided mentioning this to Rogue and just said, "Yes."
"Well, I've been getting this idea lately," Rogue said, playing with his wrist, "what if we try to make being a mutant the 'in' thing?"
"It is curious," Erik realized, "but I have been struck with the same idea several times since we made our first transfer. I suspect that it is one of your ideas that I absorbed."
"Mine?" Rogue seemed reluctant to think so. "I was thinking it was yours maybe, because I don't ever think I would have had that idea before."
"Why not?" Erik questioned, and felt a little pull of energy as Rogue let her concentration slip away slightly, then recover.
"Well, I thought that being a mutant was the ultimate un-cool thing to be before then." Rogue admitted. "I felt like it made me horrible, like I was diseased inside."
Moments like this in the conversation always made Erik feel like he'd had his insides kicked in. How could such a perfect creature imagine she was 'diseased'?
All he said was "And now?'
"Well, you seem to feel that being a mutant is the greatest thing in the world," Rogue pointed out, "And when I absorbed a lot of you, I think I started feeling a bit more that way myself."
"But you know, Rogue" he countered, "I've felt that way a long time, yet I really have never much noticed fads and fashions, and what people are on the covers of magazines from one year to the next. I started remembering all that in prison, and the memories of that were yours, certainly not mine. I swear to you I wouldn't have known anything about Beanie Babies, or Russell Crowe, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers before."
"Well," Rogue considered, "maybe it is 'our' idea, not yours or mine, but what happens when we scramble what we know together."
That sounded plausible, Erik had certainly felt well and truly scrambled with Rogue's memories in jail when he had first had the idea. Having her hand on his throat was making him feel a bit scrambled now as well.
"I even bought a "mutant turtle' comic book at the convention to remind me to speak with Charles on the matter." Erik added, trying to keep his own mind on the conversation. "But with Charles so busy back and forth to Europe the last three months, I keep putting it off. Besides, there is something about it that seems so farfetched."
"Weirder things become fashionable all the time." Rogue pointed out. "Bungee jumping, mini scooters, drag queens, and even tongue piercing."
"When I went to visit my tailor at the beginning of summer, I met two young men who seemed to have piercings nearly everyplace." Erik smiled as he recalled them. "I will admit that is one of the more amusing fashions of the new century."
"So why not us?" Rogue asked intently.
Erik liked the way she said "us." He found he worried sometimes that she hadn't fully accepted she was a mutant at times, so determined was she in trying to be "normal".
"Why not?" He smiled back.
"The only reason I see, is that people can't just become mutants if they want to." Rogue said. "For fashions to spread, people have to be able to copy them."
"Charles would point out that all sorts of minorities have become 'accepted' or 'tolerated' if not fashionable, without people copying them."
"But is 'acceptance' good enough?" Rogue demanded rhetorically, knowing his probable answer.
"I think you know my feelings on that, already." Erik admitted. "After all, I did nearly kill you last year because I don't consider it good enough."
He realized that she was comfortable enough with him, that she no longer jumped or pulled back when he mentioned the incident. On the contrary, she slid into a more relaxed position resting her temple on his collarbone, and knit the fingers of their left hands together as she sighed in resignation.
"Oh well," she said, "then our scrambled idea won't work then."
He decided later that her relaxation had been infectious. Otherwise he could not account for saying just then:
"Actually, it will." he blurted. "I've made an improved mutation machine, so people can become mutants if they want to."
Rogue jerked up at that, but didn't unknit her hand he noticed.
"It's true." Erik went on. "It is safe, small, discreet, and doesn't harm the operator." Even at that moment he couldn't quite believe he was throwing caution to the winds and telling a mercurial teenage girl his most valuable secret.
"You took it to the convention." she said, as a statement, not a question.
"Yes." He gulped, feeling curiously like he was about to be scolded by his nanny.
She just looked at him in silence for several seconds, then reached her hand towards his cheek, and kissed him. After a moment she stopped, began to stare at him again, and said:
"You know you are such a sneaky, devious, arrogant, dangerous son-of-a bitch that I can't seem to help loving you."
An awkward pause ensued. Rogue wondered in panic how that had slipped out, and where it came from. Erik looked equally flummoxed.
The pause lengthened to epic proportions. Rogue found herself having to push harder than usual to keep up the block on her power, as the tension seemed to amplify her skin's pull.
"Um, well, thank you." Erik finally managed to choke out in what he fervently prayed was a neutral, calm sounding tone.
"I mean..." Rogue tried to explain, but found herself unable to continue, since she couldn't explain what she didn't understand. She loved Logan, right? What had made her say what she had just said, she asked herself frantically. "I mean..."
"I understand..."Erik lied valiantly, hoping to pull them both out of this painfully awkward, dangerous territory they had suddenly wandered into.
"Do you?" Rogue asked earnestly. "I mean...if you do, could you please explain it to me?"
At that, the tension dissipated, while Erik went from an amused chuckle, to a full deep laugh, bringing Rogue along with him. Amazingly, Rogue's block on her own power didn't slip up even as the two of them dissolved into undignified hilarity in an untidy pile on the couch. The pull seemed to relax as they did.
When once he again found himself able to speak in complete sentences he offered, in a mock serious tone: "You mean that while your heart and soul belong to the Wolverine, you nonetheless cannot help but find me devilishly attractive."
Rogue snickered at that, as she was meant to.
"I am flattered, of course," he informed her archly, "even though I know that I am naturally irresistible to women."
More snickers ensued on both sides. Rogue finally managed to choke out: "You just have a magnetic personality..."
"Animal magnetism?" he countered, between their whoops and giggles.
"Magnetic attraction." she finally replied when she was able to form words again. She's had no idea Erik could giggle till now, yet that was undeniably what he was doing. And still her block on her power held. She suddenly realized how long it had lasted while they had been dissolved in silliness.
"Erik," she interrupted his hilarity, "I just noticed something! I've been leaning against you all this time, and I haven't had to even think to keep up the block. Even with all the laughing we've been doing. Is that freaky or what?
"That is definitely interesting," Erik said, sobering up instantly. "One would think all this would have made you drop it."
"Why do you suppose it didn't?" Rogue continued, "I mean, I'm barely having to push at all, even now."
"Perhaps it is to do with the way one feels while laughing?"
"Happy, you mean?"
"I suppose." Yet, he wondered aloud, "Aren't you happy generally when we practice? You seem so."
There was an uncomfortable pause.
"It isn't you," Rogue offered apologetically, "I'm not really a terribly happy person. In general, I mean."
Erik again got that odd feeling of being hit again. He knew he wasn't an especially happy person either, but it bothered him that Rogue should perhaps feel as despairing as he often did.
"I'd say I'm happier when I'm here talking with you than any other time." Rogue offered, afraid that Erik was offended that she wasn't always happy when she was with him.
Erik tried giving her one of his patent sardonic looks to cover his distress at the idea that Rogue felt even worse when he wasn't around. He did not want her unhappy at all. Ever.
"Well, except when I get a letter..." Rogue added.
They both smiled at that. Erik even flirted "I too, find myself delighted when you get letters from the Wolverine..." he smirked, "I find your enthusiasm quite infectious."
Rogue smiled back. Then felt guilty about that and tried to stop.
"Maybe," she proposed, "I don't get quite so happy because I'm conflicted or something..."
"That sounds likely," Erik agreed. "But you should consider trying to note if your pull gets weaker or stronger based on your emotional state."
"That makes sense."
"You might take notes to see if there is a pattern," he added.
"Oh, please NO," Rogue laughed, "this is the only 'class' I've got where I'm not taking notes!"
"We should also see if humor helps." Erik tried again to push their situation back into the safe confines of 'lessons', "There is some evidence that hospital patients who watch comedy films while convalescing, heal faster."
"So, like, maybe," Rogue mused, "I should see if I can hold hands with Bobby or John when they watch Adam Sandler movies?"
"If you think they are funny?"
"Not really," she admitted. "I like Monty Python reruns though. Sometimes they watch those."
"I'm surprised, actually," Erik mused. "I've never seen Pyro watch anything that did not involve lots of explosions."
"Oh, John is nearly as hooked on Monty Python as he is on Star Trek."
Erik imitated in an unfamiliar voice: "Is it a plane? Is it a bird? NO! It is Bicycle Repair Man!"
Marie snorted with delight.
"I rather like Pyro..." Erik admitted
"Of course you do." Rogue pointed out, "You like explosions too."
"...despite his fondness for the comic oeuvre of Mr. Sandler."
"Well, you've got to love his 'Chanukah Song' at least." Marie pointed out.
"You don't know?" She smiled again, "I will get everyone to sing it at you some time."
"That sounds like a threat."
"It's a treat." Rogue smiled at him broadly, "I think you deserve a treat," she added, then kissed him on the nose, "if nothing else, for figuring out a way to mutate the world without nearly killing me with this invention."
"You know," he agreed, "so do I."
And for the first time since they started their unusual 'lessons', he kissed her
Marie decided later back in the dorm, when she was unsuccessfully trying to sleep, that the treat went both ways.
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