1963-07-06 - Sanity check
Summary: Fleeing the trainwreck that is the Summers brothers' reunion, Rogue and Sam recoup in the backyard.
Related: Yogurt Break
Theme Song: None
cannonball rogue 

Only reasonable to find the girl who wanted fresh air outside. Only reasonable she has a wide circle of space around her while she rests on her forearms in a perfectly vertical position, her sock feet pointed towards the sky. She could be barefoot, but there are times to break the rules of reality and this is one of them, particularly what with everything going so tits up for the Summers brothers. Their world has just cracked, and what role she played may come out sooner or later. What secrets are there in the Institute among so many telepaths?

But there she is, staring at a dandelion poking out of the grass in all its yellow glory. Petals peer at her while she stares at it, the glorious peacock sana absolutely useless when it comes to staring down the horrors of nature. A weed. How did that escape the landscapers and the students? It surely doesn't now, while she's left to stare blindly forward.


His heavy-footed approach nothing subtle in spite of the beat-up sneakers he wears, Sam Guthrie flops onto his back in the grass just next to Rogue, shading his eyes from the sun with one forearm. "Please tell me you got some beer," he says. "Whiskey? Or even a cigarette? Ah reckon today is as fine a day as I'll ever have to start smoking."


"Just how old do you think I am? They barely let me have a cocktail even if I show my ID, which isn't worth a thing because my name is whatever it says there." Rogue bends her legs, pressing her feet to her thighs, making that position even more ludicrous in its demand on her forearms. "How did it go? Was it the wrong decision to send in Alex, do you think, or maybe they'll both get tipsy, hug, and the world will finally have a score in our favour?"


"Ah just found out you only gotta be 18 to drink in this state," Sam says, with a level of reverence appropriate for imparting the secret of eternal youth, or the perfect dry rub. "New York is a crazy, crazy place." He removes his arm from his face and stares into the clear sky. "Of course, you also gotta have money, which Ah don't. Maybe the Professor's got Xavier Institute Special Reserve or somethin' Ah can get for free."

He turns his head to look up at Rogue's impossible stance. Well, less impossible for someone who can hover. But with her yogurt skills it's hard to say what's possible or not. "Ah think they're better off gettin' it over with," he says after a thoughtful silence to contemplate the quantum mysteries of her pose. "But Mr Summers — um, the Scott one — don't seem to agree. And it's his business."

The joys of a drink! All the same, women have different standards than men for a tipple; find a bartender willing to serve an unescorted young woman. There aren't many unless the last name is Rockefeller or some such. "New York is a lovely place. An electric one, the very centre of the universe in some ways. I imagine the British think the same of London, too." And the Russians of Moscow, but that's another issue altogether. "You may need to find your way to make a pay cheque with those horses. It might help. Not everyone can be a Worthington the Third or Fourth or Fifth." Poor Warren.

The stance is merely a challenging one, and had he a wall, Sam might be able to try, though she's suspended on her forearms and using the core strength of her body to keep from moving too much. "I will let them figure it out. The gentlemen do not need to be interrupted. Darlin', there are days I wish life were simpler for us. It feels like every day has a new headache."


"Tell me about it," Sam answers, rolling onto his side to face Rogue. "Between arguin' with Alex about politics and rushin' Scott past whatever waitin' period he had in mind for his long lost brother, Ah think the Guthries and the Summerses might be headed for one o' them Hatfield and McCoy situations."

Sam's blue eyes drift upward in a languid roll. "Ah sure am a testament to the power of southern diplomacy."

At least there's one bright point that he can cling to: "Ah did, in fact, pick up a weekend job at the tack store," Sam tells Rogue. "Think they're mainly interested in the 'authentic country boy accent,' but Ah know my way around a barn well enough to be of use. Problem is, Ah can't in good conscience keep the money for myself when Ah got ten brothers 'n sisters needin' support back home."

"You best not. That would never satisfy the Professor, and you surely won't be at loggerheads like that." Somehow Rogue picks out of thin air what and whom the Hatfield and McCoy clans are, thus overcoming the feud. "Besides, Hank -is- a McCoy, though maybe not the ones from… South." The pause lingers there, and she drops back onto her knees, then sprawls out into the grass in front of the dandelion. It will not be added to her hair, though nearly any other flower might end up among those flaming locks.

Then, she allows him to talk, for surely there must be some joy to the world for them to share a conversation. "You probably can do a fine job with the horses. I'm happy to hear that you ended up working for them. The tack store is a start, and you might get your way up to a stable soon enough. Is the professor going to accept your recommendations if you write him something up?"


"Ah don't want a feud!" Sam clarifies, a little bit indignantly, as he flops back onto his back. "That's the last thing Ah need! Got enough problems worryin' about money, and schoolin', and my stupid powers not workin' right. All while Ah'm surrounded by a bunch of Yankees, beggin' your pardon, who might as well be little green men for all that they make sense to me, and vice-a-versa. Airplane."

The last word might seem a little bit incongruous, until the farm boy lifts one hand and points. There is, in fact, a lazy little contrail unzipping its way across the sky.

"The professor said he would consider it if Ah planned the whole thing out and presented it to him, professional like," he says, shrugging his shoulders the best he can while prone. "Nancy's helpin' me out with it. Ah tell ya, the girls around here really got it together." He shakes his head wonderingly. "Ah know about horse stuff, and Ah built a barn or two in my day, but you would not believe the sort of plannin' that goes into a big fancy stable like the Professor would like. Wirin', and square footage, and costs for lumber and feed. Feel like Nancy 'n me are openin' up a business together, some days."


How ironic; she's a Bohemian, yes, and New York raised, but those moments when she slips into her more natural accent might put her somewhere in the reach of Scarlett O'Hara. Not perfect, mind you, but the ear used to the musical tones could probably imagine her walking the leafy squares of Savannah or sipping tea in Charleston, so perhaps she is a half breed Yank who summered at Hilton Head. Maybe, and maybe not.

"You can't say we are all that different. We all have the same struggles. Do you know, it must be glorious to grow up where none of the oddities stand out so much, and no one really worries about whether or not a man is a little too strong or a girl a bit too quick with animals. Maybe it has ever been so." She dreamily twirls the flower around on its stalk, careful not to pick it from its mat of barbed leaves. The sigh that punctuates the afternoon is altogether too soft to be loud.

"I'm glad you and Nancy can figure this out. We need that stuff," she adds.


Privately, Sam can't really make heads or tails of Rogue's accent. He would never be so rude as to point out that it migrates from north to south faster than he can follow, of course. In fact, he envies its ephemeral quality, so different from the thick drawl his every word is obliged to slog through to be understood. Still, picking out which of her modes of pronunciation is the ground on which all the others grow is as far beyond his linguistic abilities as uttering a hard T.

"We all got our crosses to bear, for sure," Sam agrees hesitantly. "Ah don't know if they're all the same, though. And we for sure find different ways of dealin' with 'em, if that mess today is any indication." He plucks a blade of grass, twirls it between thumb and forefinger, blue eyes watching its motion listlessly. "Ah should just try to focus on my own business. Keep my nose down and think about horses 'n textbooks." He places the grass on his lips, then blows it upward as far as it will go. "Ma would say somethin' about idle hands. Probably smack me but good, too."


"Now, if we were all cursed for being idle, it would bode badly for all of us. I don't know about you, but there are more hours in the day than I have things to do, sometimes. Often times." Rogue lies on her stomach, kicking her feet lazily like the young woman she is, and isn't. Free spirit in a glass prison, as it were. "Like right now. I finished up all my studying and papers, and while I suppose I could go clean up my apartment or water my plants, what is that going to do for me once they are done? I sit there nicely? It sounds like I need a hobby and you need to be less hard on yourself. We need our ways to relieve stress, and I tell you, sometimes it's rewarding to walk the streets of the city and remind myself I don't have it so bad. You could find the same instead of living in a realm of musts and shoulds and oughtas."


"Ah know Ah'm lucky to be here and have all this," Sam says, sitting up and trying to figure out where the blade of grass he just sent on a trip fell to Earth. (It's stuck between a few creases on his sleveless shirt.) "Ain't never felt so well-fed in my life, for starters," he adds with a nod toward the back of the mansion, in the general direction of the eatery. "But just 'cause God blessed me don't mean Ah ain't gotta earn it. Ah got my obligations back home, and to this place, and the Professor." He shrugs and flops back again with a sigh, the grass blade yet undiscovered. "Sure, Ah'm gonna make time to visit the city. Not to mention every once in a while Ah gotta lie down in the grass and stare at the sky until Ah don't feel like Ah'm gonna go crazy anymore." He shifts uncomfortably, draping one gangly leg over the other. "But when Ah get back up, ah gotta get back to work. Ain't showin' proper gratitude, otherwise."

Shoulders roll back and Rogue flips onto her back, staring up to the blue sky that arches overhead. Arms beneath her head, she stretches into a place. "I think that sounds heavenly. Would do you think you'll go crazy?" The question hangs in the air, same as the plane travels over the sky, a marvel of modern technology. Her gaze flows shut, and she finally resolves herself to comfortably residing in a semi-relaxed state. It's all good, at least on that front, unless he reaches out and tries to shake her hand or something.

Sam's answer is immediate and definitive: "Worry." He lets out a slow sigh, then elaborates, "Ah think Ah'll go crazy from worry. Worry about my family and how they're gettin' on with no one to provide. Worry about what's gonna happen when they put me in a class and realize just how dumb Ah am." He grunts, a long, displeased sound. "Heck, the whole reason Ah'm here? Ah used my powers to save a man from a cave-in at the mine where Ah worked. Now, of course, Ah realize that the Professor was hopin' Ah could join the X-men and save more people like that."

His head turns to look at Rogue, blue eyes showing a bit of desperation and, yes, worry. "But that was all luck! If Ah hadn't been right in the mine, standin' right next to the guy when it happened, Ah couldn't've done a dadgum thing to help. So Ah worry because Ah gotta learn somethin' useful to do with my powers before the Professor realizes he's wastin' his time."

He shifts his head and pillows it with his arms, mirroring Rogue. "Not to mention my worries about normal boring stuff. Keepin' my job, makin' friends, maybe meetin' somebody special. Everybody else seems to handle it all so easy, and Ah'm over here feelin' like Ah'm gonna lose it every dang second."

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