How To Avoid Getting Hit By Lightning
by Zeelee

Rogue felt close to Ororo because Ororo was angry, like she was. The other X-men harbored resentment and hate, but none of them let it out like ėRo did, not even Wolverine. Ororo never hesitated to rant and rave about any topic, and biting remarks easily flowed from her tongue; but her teammates trusted her more than Rogue because Ororo also knew how to be kind, whereas Rogue had forgotten how.

The other X-men, they didn't understand. They hadn't spent their adolescence being tortured and used as a weapon, a worthless beast of burden. Wolverine knew, but he was locked inside himself so deeply that he was unable to commiserate. The demon boy--Kurt, was it? They'd never told her his name in Weapon X--he understood as well, yet strangely he harbored no anger, at least, none that she could see. It baffled her, even awed her a little, how gentle and calm he could be after going through the same shit she had. She had seen the despair in his strange golden eyes after they dragged him back from escape attempts, heard his German curses when they beat him, yet here at the X-mansion he seemed content, happy. She couldn't comprehend, couldn't identify with Kurt, so she avoided him. Cain understood, but he had chosen the other side, and refused to speak to Rogue after she ėdefected' to the X-men.

But Ororo--Ororo got it. Ororo was an orphaned African street rat: she'd known the depths of human cruelty since she could speak. Rogue had watched her reaction when they dragged Hank back from the labs, blue and dehumanized; she knew that Ororo let that experience fester like a wound, feeding it new seeds of anger every time Hank couldn't look her in the eye.

Of course, Rogue's fascination with Storm wasn't enough to conquer her reclusiveness. Ororo was beautiful, popular, fun, everything that Rogue wasn't. Rogue had barely said two words to her while living in the same house.

The day after Hank left, Ororo happened to stumble across Rogue in a secluded alcove in the library. Ororo had been running, and skidded to a halt when she saw Rogue, who froze like a deer caught in headlights.

"Oh, I'm sorry," said Ororo breathlessly. "I--didn't realize you were here. I'll--I'll just go."

"No, stay!" The exclamation was out even before she could stop herself. Rogue gulped, but continued, feeling oddly brave. "I mean, I'm just sitting here, I don't mind company." The truth was, Rogue needed solitude when reading, but the opportunity to finally speak with Ororo was far more intriguing than her mystery novel.

"Oh, okay." Ororo sprawled on a green armchair, craning her neck to see the title of Rogue's book. "What are you reading?"

"Oh, just some book." Rogue winced at her dull answer. "I mean, it's nothing very interesting, just another formulaic mystery, you know?"


There was an awkward silence. Rogue cast about for a topic, any topic, for conversation. "Is something the matter?" she blurted out.

Ororo's head snapped up. "No; why?" She was immediately on the defensive.

"I just, I mean, it's raining, so I just wondered if something was the matter," Rogue stammered, cursing herself for saying something so stupid.

"Well, I'm fine. Weather can happen on its own, without me doing anything, you know," Ororo snapped.

"Oh." Silence settled again. Shit, now I've pissed her off, Rogue thought. She tried to think of something else to say, but her brain was having a hard time functioning with Ororo sitting there looking so damn beautiful.

"You know, I'm still not used to being an ėX-woman.'" Ororo seemed to be speaking more to herself than to Rogue, staring out the window with an unreadable expression on her face. "I used to be a grubby little car-thieving punk in Redneck Central, and now, all of a sudden, people all over the world know my name. I'm involved in international politics; I'm expected to save the world on a regular basis." She chuckled, turning to grin at Rogue. "It's weird, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it is. Five years ago I was just a nobody, and now all of a sudden I'm this famous enigma: That Creepy Girl With The Killer Skin."

"Oh, come on--you're not ėThat Creepy Girl,' you're a hero, like all of us!" laughed Storm.

"No I'm not. You guys saved the world and appeared on national television; they still know me best from the Brotherhood."

Ororo laughed again, though she sounded uneasy. "Rogue, what are you talking about? You must have saved thousands of people in the last battle with Magneto: you stopped the nuclear meltdown from spreading, remember?"

Rogue shrugged, turning back to her book. Suddenly she didn't like this conversation anymore.

But Ororo wouldn't let it drop. "Rogue, you-"

"Look, I'm always going to be The Girl Who Can't Touch, all right? People can't get past that, ever, so just drop it!" Rogue took a deep breath, surprised at the force of her outburst. "And I... I accept that as my identity, okay? That's just who I am." Rogue stole a glance at Ororo. The other girl looked taken aback, a little hurt.

Ororo shook her head. "No."

"What do you-"

"No." Rogue could see her anger begin bubbling to the surface, her eyes flashing and tinged with fury. "That's what they want you to believe. They want to shove you down, to make you think that you're nothing more than your mutation; that's what that entire fucking Weapon X program was all about! Do you want to prove them right? Do you want to just give in?"

Rogue couldn't answer. Ororo was standing now, tiny bolts of electricity skittering over her skin, making her hair stand slightly on end. Rogue knew Storm's anger wasn't really at her, but she was still frightened.

Ororo closed her eyes and took several deep breaths before walking over to the window. There was a long silence before she finally said, "Look. Just because I'm black doesn't mean I have to listen to violent rap music and go on welfare or anything. Just because you're a mutant does not mean that that's all you are, Rogue."

"Oh, easy for you to say," Rogue said, feeling her own anger begin to rise to meet Ororo's. "Look at your mutation! You could be one of the most powerful mutants in the world if you tried; your powers allow you to fly or make it sunny or snowy or anything any time of the year! They don't cage you or forbid you from any human contact."

"Just because my mutation is--is powerful doesn't make me perfect," shouted Ororo. Rogue heard thunder roll in the distance. "I almost electrocuted a whole playground of children two years ago, did you know that? I hardly have any control and anyone around me could get struck by lightning or swept up in a tornado if I lose control!"

Rogue opened her mouth to retort, but Ororo barreled on. "But that's not even my point. What I'm trying to say is that if you see yourself as nothing but a mutant with a crippling power, which probably isn't even as bad as you think it is, you're letting all the bigots and soldiers at Weapon X win. I... you... you're so much more than that, Rogue." Ororo's voice petered out, and Rogue could almost feel the anger in the air dissipating. She was looking at Rogue in a strange way, an expression on her face that Rogue didn't recognize.

Rogue's throat was dry. You don't even know me, she wanted to say. How can you say I'm more when you don't even know me? But Ororo certainly looked like she knew her. Her eyes seemed to bore right through Rogue, leaving all of the careful defenses and cautions Rogue built around herself in shreds.

Ororo slowly came forward, as if Rogue was a dangerous crazy animal that could lash out at any second, and sat next to Rogue on the sofa.

Rogue finally found her voice. "But I'm not like you," she whispered, afraid to break the calm in the room. "I'm still not powerful or beautiful or interesting--I'm not even nice to people."

Ororo smiled, leaning in closer; Rogue found herself having difficulty breathing. "You don't give yourself enough credit," Ororo whispered back.

"It's not about--that's just the truth," Rogue stammered.

Something flashed in Ororo's eyes. "Bullshit," she said, and before Rogue could retort she leaned in and kissed her.

Rogue's heart stopped beating; she was certain the entire world had skidded to a halt, no longer turning on its axis. Then it began moving again, ten times faster than before. Rogue panicked, tried to shove Ororo off her, before she realized that nothing was happening. Ororo's skin wasn't touching her; she wasn't being drained dry.

Lightning. That's what it was: tiny currents of electricity danced between their lips, kissing Rogue's mouth just like Ororo would if she could, only this was...

Rogue wondered if she was being electrocuted, if that's where the dizzying sensation and floating feeling came from. Or maybe that's just what happened when you got this close to Storm; maybe this was her way of letting other people know what flying was like.

They broke the almost-kiss and for a moment just stared at each other, at a loss for what to say. Finally Rogue spoke up. "That was an interesting kiss--almost electrifying."

Ororo giggled uncharacteristically. "I've been practicing my control--did you like it?"

Rogue grinned. "Yeah. Not that I have much to compare it to, but you're an awesome kisser."

Ororo laughed again, and brushed her finger down Rogue's bare arm, crackles of lightning tickling Rogue's skin. "Glad you liked it." She reached up and touched Rogue's face in the same way, electricity protecting her from the poisonous skin. She leaned in and whispered in Rogue's ear, making the younger girl shiver. "Would you like me to do more?"

Rogue could only nod her head, gasping as glowing hands slipped underneath her shirt, lightning caressing her belly, shoulders, breasts. Ororo was sliding all over her, letting her lightning pets explore every inch of Rogue's skin.

Rogue moaned, sliding a gloved hand through Ororo's silky, tangled masses of hair. She heard the other girl sigh; Ororo had liked that. Rogue hesitated, then pulled both gloves off, letting bare hands slip through Ororo's hair, massaging her scalp and playing with the silver strands. Ororo closed her eyes luxuriously, wriggling closer to Rogue, purring against her neck. Rogue felt electrified, powerful, like someone completely different, someone who was beautiful and passionate enough to warrant the attentions of a weather goddess.

All students meet me in the Danger Room immediately, came Xavier's voice in both their heads. They jumped apart like scalded cats, looking around wildly as if the old man had caught them in the act.

Rogue blushed, pulling her gloves back down and adjusting her shirt. "I think we'd better go," she muttered, turning to leave.

She felt a hand grab her wrist, and Ororo's face swam into her vision. To Rogue's relief Ororo looked flushed and elated, not embarrassed or disgusted. "Would you like me to take you flying?"

Rogue's eyes lit up. How many times had she stared after Warren, Ororo or Jean, wishing desperately that she could join them in the skies? "Yeah, thanks, I--I'd like that a lot," she said shyly.

Ororo grinned and leaned in to kiss her one last time, lightning barely brushing Roguecs lips. "Great," she said, and was gone, running to meet Xavier.

Rogue stood in the library, reluctant to go down to the Danger Room just yet. She wanted to savor the feel of electricity on her skin, remember the smell of Oror's skin, spicy and warm. She glanced out the window, wondering what it would be like to actually go flying with Ororo, feeling the wind on her cheeks, seeing the world from a thousand feet above.

It had stopped raining outside.


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