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Location: Xavier Mansion
1407 Greymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY, 10274

Storm lay back on the poolside deckchair, tilting her dark face towards the blue sky above.

It was a beautiful day. The kind of day Ororo Munroe used to read of in books when she first learn to read - " It was a bright and beautiful sunny day. The birds were singing and the wind was rustling through the leaves in the tree, and the flowers were swaying in the fields..."

Beautiful scenes, Happy scenes. She only wished she could have read of them when she was younger. It might have made her childhood less dark.

Little Ororo might have grown up a happier child.

" Whatcha doin' there hon'? This ain't no time for lyin' around."

The voice that interrupted her had a Southern twang to it, and she immediately recognised it.

" Relaxation, Rogue, is subjective."

Rogue, the Southern Belle of the X-men, came towards her clad in her swimsuit. Storm could guess what form her relaxation was to take.

" Well, ah ain't gonna waste a perfectly good day jus' sittin' around doing nothin'." She threw her towel over a nearby deckchair.

" Is Gambit coming?" Storm had a twinkle in her eye.

Rogue turned away, but Storm thought she saw her blush. " Ah don't know; ya know that Cajun... ya never know what he'll be doin' next."

She turned back to face Storm, her hair catching the wind. Rogue's hair was distinctive: brown with a white 'skunk-stripe' down the middle. Bobby used to say that anyone would be able to find her head in any crowd of heads, because " no one in their right mind on this planet would grow a skunk-stripe."

She smiled. Robert had changed little even from the early days. She had not known him when he had been a part of the original five X-men, but he reportedly had been as much of a joker as he was today.

" Who ya thinkin' of shugah? Ol' Forge?"

It was Storm's turn to blush.

" No. Actually, I was thinking of Robert."

" The Walkin' Ice Cube's in the house, if ya were wonderin'."

" It's been so long since we've been able to relax now."

" Well ah'm agreein' with ya," Rogue slipped into the pool. " Gosh, it's warm." She swam lazily around.

" I only wish the Professor were here to enjoy this beautiful day with us. He needed the rest."

" Same 'ere. Only the Professor'd most likely to lock 'imself in the study and not come out..." she laughed at the thought.

" I can't help but worry. His last public speech resulted in..."

" Ah know, ah know... Cable comin' in and shootin' him full of the Legacy virus..." she swam towards the edge of the pool, and faced Storm. " Don't get all worked up about it, shugah... the Professor'll be careful. And he's a big boy already - he can take care of 'imself."

" Don'cha worry a bit now hon'..."

" ... Jus' sit back, and relax."


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