the pearl


Rogue was slowly learning the rules of Xavier School. Oh, sure, there were the official rules, like "No excessive profanity, no excessive tardiness, no skipping class, no fighting, no using your powers against another student maliciously...oh by the way, Rogue, we're really sorry about that time Mystique pretended to be Bobby and made you run away. In fact, we're really sorry about the whole Magneto kidnapping you and basically using you as a battery for his huge killing machine. We really weren't expecting that. Sorry!"

She got all those rules (well, except for the last one...they waited on that until she came back with Logan muttering in her head and a nearly punk rock white streak in her hair) the first day she went to classes, Professor Xavier leading her on a not-so-grand tour (she found out Logan got a much better tour than she did, the fun of sharing someone's memories) through the school, showing her the classrooms, the dorms, the laboratories, the practice rooms, the garage, on and on through the gigantic house, making the occasional small talk and dropping in the occasional rule. No going into the Danger Room without telling anyone. No opening up the chemicals cabinet without telling a professor.

After the big tour, Professor Grey took her aside and told her the more...gender-based rules of the school. Keep the girls' bathroom clean. Any personal items you need could be easily purchased, if you just left a list or something before the weekly store trips. No sneaking down to the boys' floor at night. Teenagers are teenagers, yes, but please have some respect for the other people sleeping in the room. Rogue bit her tongue to stop from making a comment about what happened the last time she was on a bed with a boy and just nodded along with Professor Grey.

The official rules she figured out right away, and everything was cool. Well, except for the whole kidnapping thing, and having Logan's memories running through her brain. But even with the surly attitude and the weird craving for cigars (making do, instead, with a lone pack of cigarettes she picked up on the road, not really planning to smoke them...until now), she was a pretty regular student here at the Xavier School.

And eventually, she started picking up on the generally unspoken rules of the school. The ones that weren't in any books, the ones that Professor Xavier probably didn't even know about, which would be hard, considering he was a big telepath and all, but...

Rogue picked these up slowly, from stories, gossip, and the occasional experience. She didn't realize that "malicious intent" was debatable when Bobby froze the remote to prevent anyone from switching the channel, especially if it was on Cartoon Network. She heard that it was also best to let Bobby use the shower first thing in the morning, because pipes were known to freeze for no reason. And she discovered early on to never let Jubilee turn on the microwave, not to mention that startling Kitty awake would result in her landing on the tv room couch, one floor down.

The rules weren't too difficult, and Rogue slowly felt herself getting into the proper swing of things. And the one day, when a new kid came in and she overheard Jubilee mentioning that "Rogue has this occasional need to go to Popeye's, like every time we go to town...," she smiled and knew that, finally, she was a part of the team.

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