the pearl

La Brea (Tar Pits Remix)

A remix of La Brea by Kate Elizabeth.

Brea was named after the street she was born on. Rogue went to L.A. once as a child, and remembers the tar pits on La Brea, the stinking black mass bubbling from the lakes, the recorded voice of the elephants shrieking as their statues stood frozen in time.

Brea's got eyes like those lakes and, sometimes, when she laughs, she reminds Rogue of those elephants just a little too much.


She isn't like the other kids at school. She's strong, rough, not afraid of practically anything — not even Rogue. The other kids keep their distance, to the point where Rogue thinks she could walk through a packed hallway and an instant one-foot-wide space would magically appear around her, but Brea just can't keep herself away from her. Brushing her hair out of her eyes, wrapping an arm around her shoulder, nudging her side, kicking her leg, touching touching touching all over like she doesn't realize what could happen.

When she first found out about Rogue's powers, she laughed. Later that night, she wrote out a long list of all the things Rogue could do in bed that didn't require body-to-body contact, with the occasional stick-figure illustration and pictures ripped out of catalogs that Rogue didn't even know existed.

Bobby ended up finding it before she did. Brea laughed at his face and then turned it green, rearranging the molecular bonds. That's her ability, and, right now, all she can do is change colors. Green skin for jealousy, white-blonde hair where it should be raven black, prisms and sparkles in dust motes around Rogue's face...

Brea's not like the other kids. Her mutant ability isn't dangerous. She never takes her life seriously. And she doesn't expect Rogue to wait around for Logan.


Despite her touching, Brea's always careful. They spend the night watching British comedy, and Rogue's curled up next to her, both of them covered in neck-to-ankle pajama sets they bought each other as Christmas presents.

Brea's has palm trees on them. Rogue's has the Statue of Liberty. Only Brea would make a joke like that.

Rogue falls asleep halfway through a movie about the meaning of life or something. When she's shaken awake, the tv's turned off and Brea's standing over her, a hand on her shoulder, shaking her gently. "C'mon, told me you'd watch these movies with me..."

Rogue groans and shrugs off Brea's hand. "I wanna go to bed..."

Brea shakes her head and sighs. "Fine, fine..." She reaches out a hand to pull Rogue up from the cushions.

Rogue looks at the hand and then looks down at her own. Chipped pink nail polish on pale fingers, fine tracery of veins showing through. She puts her hands down, and sighs.

"What?" Brea asks, still holding out her hand.

"I'm not wearin' my gloves," Rogue mumbles.

"Oh, for christ's sake..." Brea leans down, closer than she's ever been to Rogue. She feels an arm wrapping around her waist, warm skin against the thin cotton of her shirt, so close that Rogue can see the faint fluttering of a pulse in her neck. Da-dum da-dum da-dum.

She lifts Rogue up so effortlessly, so comfortably, then slips her arm into the crook of Rogue's elbow and begins walking her down the hall. Rogue nearly has to run to keep up with Brea's stride and she tugs back just a bit, trying to get her to slow down. "What's the hurry?" she asks, her voice still drowsy.

Brea stops suddenly. Rogue crashes into her, Brea's warm body up against hers, and she steps away quickly, an instinct she's had to learn. Brea's face is barely an inch away from Rogue's and she's looking at her like she can see past Rogue, see past the mutant genes, and see Marie, right there. "I'm getting you to bed, Rogue. I'm getting you to bed right now."

"Why so fast?" Rogue whispers, amazed at how close (so close!) Brea is to her.

Brea closes her eyes, shakes her head, and takes a step back. "You don't wanna know, baby. Let's just get you to bed."

Rogue frowns, but follows Brea, up until the door to her dorm room, where she sleeps in the same room as Kitty and Jubilee, where they give her a wide berth and never try to wake her up if she's late. Right outside it, Rogue looks at Brea again, sees the bitten lip and the nervous looks, and she feels like she's on the edge of a dark hole, wading in those lakes in La Brea, and she has to know.

"I'm not goin' to sleep yet," Rogue says, looking up at her defiantly. "I'm not going in there until you tell me what the hell is goin' on."

Brea looks up, her eyes angry and frightened and wide, big black pools in pale white skin that Rogue feels like she'll just sink into. "Stop it..." Brea says, so softly and so frightened.

Rogue leans in closer. "What is it?" she asks. "What are you scared of?"

"I'm not scared," Brea snaps, but it's pitched too high, it's too tense, there's something in there...

And something in Rogue snaps. She leans in even closer, pushing Brea up against the wall. "You are too," she growls. She's near-panting and she's rough and angry and she knows something is happening...

And Brea kisses her.

It's brief — too brief — and it's so brilliant and floating and those lips on hers so sweet so kind...

And Brea's backing away, leaving Rogue gasping in panic and lust. Brea's backing away, and she's alive, staring at her with those eyes and flicking her tongue over those lips...alive alive alive.

"How?" Rogue whispers, touching her fingertips to her mouth, shockingly alien after the strange sameness of lips against lips.

Brea's breathing hard, propping herself up against the wall and pushing suddenly sweaty hair out of her face. "I've been training," she rasps. "Learning how to do more than just change my haircolor...I change myself and I can touch you..." She smiles roughly. "I didn't think I could do it...until tonight. When you were sleeping."

Rogue feels dry, pale, fragile. "I—I can't..." she whispers. "I'll hurt you."

Brea lifts herself up off the wall, up and off and pushes Rogue against the other wall, by the door where her bed is, the bedroom she shares with no one, because she's just come here and it was easier to open up a new room than find a new bed. She pushes Rogue against the wall and wraps her arms around Rogue's waist, her eyes on the same level as Rogue's, pressing her body against her tightly. "I can do it, just not for that long. It really doesn't hurt, sweetheart..."

Brea presses against Rogue even tighter, thigh against thigh, hip against hip, breast against breast and Rogue hasn't felt this much body since she woke up with Logan dying on top of her and this is different, this is so good that she can barely hear what Brea's saying, just feels it all and she wakes up just to hear Brea say "I want to, Rogue. I want to do this."

"That's...oh god, don't..." Brea's mouth is on her neck for only a second, and it's just enough for her to stop because she has to remember what it feels like, before it never happens again. It's also just enough for all those memories, all those questions, all those doubts to go deep deep down away from her. She fumbles for the doorknob and opens the door, stepping back further and further, into the bedroom, down on the bed, unbuttoning pajamas and slipping under sheets and both of them are skin to skin, touching all over and Rogue's just coming over and over and over, just coming from the sheer beauty of touch.

She feels the sheets and the bed and that skin against her and there are only the faintest of touches of skin against skin and the briefest of moments and Brea's eyes are wide open right until she comes, big black pools to sink deep into and get mired in and her fingers are in sticky wet warmth and sweetness and she tightens and sucks her down even further.

This X-Men story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at