It should have been the best news of her life. Instead Rogue stared at the phone, in a potent mix of fear and dread, trying desperately to comprehend what she was hearing.
Bobby. Awake. Seven years sleeping and, whatever she told herself, she had given up believing that door could ever revolve its way open again.
"Mrs. Drake?" The woman's voice on the other end of the phone was compassionate. "I know this must be sud—"
Rogue cut her off abruptly. "Thank ya. Ah'll be right down."
She felt like she was dreaming as she hung up the phone and turned around to face the other occupants of the kitchen. Logan was clearly able to read the shock on her face and trying to figure out what it meant. Storm looked concerned. And Remy...
Her thoughts faltered abruptly. "Bobby's awake," she said flatly and brushed past the students filtering in. She didn't exactly flee out of the kitchen, but she walked very briskly.
Upstairs was no better. None of her clothes were good enough. She could barely even remember what Bobby used to like. She'd spent seven years becoming her own person again and, to him, nothing but a single long night had passed.
She should have known this was going to happen. Her hand hesitated reaching for a shirt, and she shuddered. That soft voice in the back of her head, Bobby's, had been getting quieter and quieter, silent for more reasons than a man she should never have gotten so close to. Always silence before the dawn.
She couldn't breathe as she sat down on her discarded clothing choices in the middle of the floor, couldn't breathe, couldn't stop sobbing, not sure why nothing in the world would reconcile. This was supposed to be the best moment of her life. This wasn't the best. Not even close.
What kind of a horrible person am Ah?
Bobby was her husband. Her husband. She should want to see him, hold him in her arms again, hear his quiet laughter, see the love shining in his eyes.
This was all her fault. She had put him in that coma, and she had failed to keep his memory alive. How could she stare into that faultless love and know she didn't love him back?
He falls in love without even trying, a mistake for sure, but he cannot bring himself to regret it. This is the year he has nowhere to go, the year he learns he is a mutant, and only the Professor's offer of a scholarship to a school for "gifted" students could hide the details from his anti-mutant parents.
Then he meets Rogue. She startles him. She's soft southern charm and shy laughter, still afraid of who she is, but he wants to love her and then he does. Never mind it's a mistake, he can't touch her, have her in all the ways that are supposed to matter.
Never mind, he thinks, as he buys her gloves and she buys him shirts, as they pour sweet dreams and plans into each other's minds and hopes into each other's hearts and love...
She was there when he woke up. He reached up to try to touch her, but with a sad smile, she caught his bare hand with her gloved one and shook her head, and suddenly he knew what had happened. Hadn't it been just yesterday he was knotting his tie at the mirror, a new one he thought she would like, when she touched him and he wondered why her eyes were suddenly blue?
Like a revolving door in revolving days, passing through sleep and waking, through cures and gritted teeth, but this. This. I’ll always be here, no matter where y'all have gone. I’ll always be here waiting, speaking to that part of you I keep.
It had been years: he saw it in her face, her eyes, the many subtle ways she'd changed. It had been years and he had slept, knowing nothing about her life, her pains, while she had every part of him still awake.
We never write, we never write.
"Rogue," he whispered, tightened his hand over hers. "Rogue."
She smiled, pained and bittersweet, and held on tightly in return.