Downtown Salem Center, New York
A young girl, looking like Rogue, passes by, hugging her mother and father. The girl says that, if she can’t get the tech-job, she can always take the one at the Med Center and work there until she’s getting another offer. Her father tells her that’s a smart move and she sure has got her head on her shoulders.
The mother, Pat, agrees, jokingly wishing the same could be said in her daughter’s taste of men. The girl defends herself by saying that she dumped her ex-boyfriend Brian weeks ago and doesn’t want to hear about it anymore. The mother apologizes, explaining that she only said it because she is still finding his jewelry around their house. She asks how many piercings he had. The girl doesn’t find it any funny, saying that Brian had less than 12 piercings.
They go buy icecream’s together. The girl says to her parents that they’ll probably like her new boyfriend, Simon, a lot better. Simon’s just a set designer, but at least his age is approvable. The father can only cheer at the decision. The girl asks if Simon can come over to dinner next Sunday but, before they answer it, the girl says she already invited Simon. The parents agree, as the girl suddenly gets a huge headache. The girl, Dana, her face has suddenly changed. She explains to her parents that someone bumped into her accidently and she must have lost her balance. The mother notices how pale she looks and thinks it’s because of the heat, so they decide to go sit down for a while.
The folks don’t notice Rogue standing behind him, with her glove out and hand free. Rogue knows that she shouldn’t watch them like that, but she just couldn’t resist the sight of a happy family. Rogue remembers that she has the mutant power to absorb anyone just by touching them. That person’s personal memories and if they have special abilities become Rogue’s for a short while. There are some side-effects to it but, if Rogue doesn’t hold on too long to them, no harm is done. Rogue puts her glove back on, not caring about the little happiness she “stole” for herself. Rogue hates her powers, because they mean that she doesn’t have much of a chance to have a real family to herself. She can’t be a true lover, or a mother.
Rogue drives back to the Xavier Institute, not being able to think about the real thing. She cheers herself up, thinking about the real deal, that she at least has got a man. But that man can’t even see her. A blind Gambit walks out of the school, asking if it’s her. Rogue goes over to him, saying that it is. Rogue kisses Gambit and asks how he is doing. Gambit claim’s that he’s all right, now with her back. And, because Rogue is the only chance he’s got to go outside, he wants to have their walk now. Rogue apologizes to Remy for having taken so long and not even end up buying anything. Gambit says it’s all right, she just needs to apologize. Rogue does, thinking in herself that she won’t apologize, but she only did it because she had nothing better to say.
Rogue and Gambit walk for a while, without saying a word to each other. Rogue believes that it’s all right, because no couple talk to each other all the time. Rogue thinks about the happy life Dana led, and she is so caught up in the thinking she doesn’t notice that Gambit trips over a tree trunk. Rogue apologizes and tries to get Gambit up, but he becomes angry and tells her not to fuss him so much. Rogue again remembers Dana’s life. Rogue tries to get Gambit up, but he again tells her not to fuss him and slaps her in the face! With the touch, Rogue absorbs Gambit’s memories and, with that, his blindness. Rogue comes in a dark landscape and hears Gambit calling for her, asking if she’s there. Rogue says she is and snaps out of her memory. Rogue now realizes that Gambit depends on her, and he hates it.
Rogue is called away to run a mission for the X-Men, and she has never been happier to go. They depart in the Blackbird and Havok thanks his team for showing up in such a short notice. Havok explains that they’ve got another possible new mutant emergency which they must attend to. Havok stops his explanation, as he notices that Rogue isn’t paying much attention. Alex calls for her, saying that Rogue should try to stay with them. After all, this mission brings the X-Men to Dodson, Mississippi, where Havok thought Rogue is from. Rogue has another flash-back about a man and a woman walking happily, and confirms to Alex that he’s right about that. But, in her thoughts, Rogue has her doubts about it, finding it hard to tell with all those memories she stole over the last years.
The mutant the X-Men are supposed to track down has powers that are going out of control. The team doesn’t really know what her powers are but, from local reports, it seems that, wherever the mutant goes, the laws of physics go haywire and people stop living. The Blackbird lands, with some sort of green energies sparkling all over the area. Polaris jokes and says hi to Mississippi and Iceman jokes back by saying he loves the country, because you never have to look for a place to land. Rogue takes a look around; she remembers the place. She used to come here with somebody.
The X-Men find the mutant, who appears to be just a little girl. The girl’s terrified and sitting aganst a building. She’s shooting green energy waves all around her, causing things to break apart around. Rogue’s surprised to see that it’s just a kid. Polaris asks what they are going to do with her. Juggernaut finds it simple: he just wants to take her down, so he rushes into the fight. Havok tries to stop him, but Juggernaut won’t listen. The mutant girl uses her powers and green energy makes the Juggernaut fall down. The X-Men rush over to their fallen teammate and Havok remarks how the attack looked an awful lot like a heart attack. Havok asks if anybody knows CPR. Iceman says he does, but doesn’t see the point into saving the Juggernaut’s life. Havok tells Bobby he didn’t ask for his opinion and orders him to do the CPR.
Iceman does as told and Havok notices that, wherever the mutant seems to go, she unknits the fabric of reality. Havok doubts that the attacks are intentional and they see the mutant sitting scared in a corner. Rogue can feel her pain and thinks that she looks familiar; like she knows the young girl. Polaris finds sorrow for the girl, asking what they can do to approach her. Havok just doesn’t know, finding it all just a bad dream. Rogue remembers that she used to be there, at the exact same spot the girl is sitting. Rogue has a flash-back about a house, and hears someone calling for her mother. As the halls of the house go deeper and darker, hard knocks on the many doors come, calling for a mother. Rogue snaps out of it and says, “momma.”
The building starts collapsing on the girl. Polaris uses her powers to slow the destruction down, but the bricks fall on the mutant, nonetheless. Alex thinks she might be all right if her powers kicked in, in time. But he doesn’t dare approach her, because they could all end up like the Juggernaut. Alex wants to split up for recon. He and Polaris turn around and can’t find Rogue anywhere. Rogue walks back to Iceman and the Juggernaut, thinking to herself that nobody else is better suited for this mission than she is. After all, she finds she hasn’t got much to life for.
Rogue doesn’t care if the girl gives her a heart attack. Heck, she might even do her a favor, Rogue thinks. And, if Rogue can save the girl at the same time, the better. Rogue goes over to the Juggernaut and plans to absorb his powers, as apparently he won’t be needing them for a while. Rogue takes one of her gloves off, asking Iceman how the Juggernaut is doing. Iceman explains that he’s stable, but needs medical attention. Iceman wants to ask about the girl, but withdraws his question when he notices that Rogue has taken off her glove. Rogue explains to Bobby that she needs to borrow the Juggernaut’s power. Iceman tries to stop her, remembering about what happened to Gambit. Iceman believes that by absorbing the Juggernaut, she might as well end up having a heart attack as well. Rogue doesn’t care, saying they’ll find out soon enough; she touches the Juggernaut. During the absorption, green energy floats around Rogue and the magical image of Juggernaut’s helmet floats about her head like a halo.
Five minutes later…
Rogue throws some heavy bricks out of her way and eventually finds the girl. Rogue asks the girl if she’s trying to find her mother. The girl confirms she did, but then she got trapped. Rogue knows that, but tells the girl not to be afraid, as it would only make things even worse. The girl understands, but she isn’t scared, as this place makes her feel safe. Rogue reaches her hand to the girl, telling her she’s safe with her too. Rogue tells the girl to take her hand and promises that the bad stuff is over, and she’ll figure things out together. Both hands touch each other, ending up with Rogue absorbing the girl.
Meanwhile, Havok and Polaris have made it to Iceman, asking if he can see anything. Iceman says he can’t just yet. Alex feel sorry about himself, as he should have done something to stop it by himself. Now, Rogue is risking her life for this. Havok realizes that, now with Gambit on the disabled list and the Juggernaut out for at least a few weeks, if they loose Rogue now that would mean half the team out of commission. Iceman tells them to look up; it is Rogue, carring the girl in her arms. Rogue introduces the X-Men to Lauren, saying she absorbed Lauren and promises that she is harmless now.
A few minutes pass and Alex asks Rogue if the team’s going to be okay alone with Lauren now. Rogue says they will, as Lauren shouldn’t get her powers back any time soon. And, even if she would, Lauren would only be a danger if she’s upset or scared. That is what triggers her powers. Polaris takes Lauren on the Blackbird and Alex says he’ll take Rogue’s word for it, but Alex still doesn’t like leaving Rogue here. Rogue agrees, but she promised she would find Lauren’s mother. If she wouldn’t, this would all seem like kidnapping. Rogue has picked up a few memories of Lauren, giving her some clues about where to find the mother. But the images weren’t stable, all blurry. Rogue thinks that must be because she is so young or traumatized. Havok wishes Rogue good luck in figuring it out and promises he’ll send someone back for Rogue tomorrow. Alex goes in the Blackbird, joking to Rogue not to think this as her own personal taxi service, as the fuel is expensive.