Angel sat on her bed, absently reading what was, in point of fact, an extremely trashy romance novel. On the other hand, at least it was an extremely trashy mutant romance novel. Or at least the author blurb claimed she was a mutant, and the main character in it was a mutant. With her ankle broken, she didn't have much chance of her usual activities, which were gymnastics, though she could still walk the youngest students through some basic gym exercises.
There were also a number of carefully perused college brochures on her nightstand. It had been almost a year now since she'd graduated from the school itself, longer since she'd graduated to X-Men status. She'd taken a great deal of time off to tour with Auntie Amanda's circus and that had been a great deal of fun. And then she'd come home and fallen in love.
But what now? Did she want to be a super-hero? She had the costume, she had the code-name, and she had the field experience already.
It wasn't like she could hold down a regular job. Well, she maybe could, but try to apply for a job as an obvious mutant and see how far that got you. Even using her image inducer wasn't a guarantee. The thing had been known to fail on occasion, and simply couldn't disguise the fact that she was covered with fine fir or that she didn't actually have the right number of fingers. It always looked like she was giving people the Vulcan salute.
That was the same problem with college, really. Too many chances for something to go wrong. Even on the more liberal campuses, there were few openly mutant students enrolled, and in recent years only a handful of that few had managed to make it to graduation before being driven off. She was not afraid of a challenge, far from it. But she was also not sure that was something she wanted to deal with, day in and day out.
And in point of fact, Angel Wagner, in her natural state, did not exist. Her driver's license and any and all records pertaining to her showed the girl her image inducer indicated her to be. They were based on what she would look like had she not been born a mutant, but they were a lie.
She was aimless and she knew it. The Institute offered some college level courses, and she could take those, of course, and maybe she would.
A knocking on her door frame caught her attention and she looked up to see her mother standing there. "Oh, hey, Mama."
"Hey there, Little Darlin'," Rogue replied, smiling. "Can Ah come in?"
"Sure thing. Take a load off."
Rogue entered and sat herself down by Angel's bedside. Concern for her daughter still lined her face. "How's your ankle today? You need anything?"
Angel shook her head. "Nah. Ah'm not in any real pain or nothin'. And Ah can still reach anything in here, even without gettin' up."
"Good, good," Rogue agreed, and then seemed to be at a loss. "Ah... Ah'm real proud of you, Little Darlin'. I hope you know that."
"Course Ah do, Mama."
"It's just... Ah'm really starting to see what a young lady you've grown into. All the things you've done in the past months, between that Silver Samurai rat and now that mess with Mojo... Guess Ah always still just thought of you as mah little girl, when you done growed up on me."
Angel laughed. "Ah'll always be your little girl, Mama. But thanks. That means a lot to me."
"Chargin' through the gates of hell after your beau... That takes guts, girl," Rogue added. She seemed to consider something, and nodded to herself. "Speaking of which... you two are bein' safe, right?"
Angel nearly jumped off the bed, then settled into an embarrassed grin and blush. "You, ah, you knew about that, huh?"
"Little Darlin', with who he is and who your folks are, Ah'd've been more surprised if you weren't. 'sides, Ah'm your mother. Ah've got special senses to tell me this kind of stuff."
Angel still felt flush beneath her fur. "An'... you're okay with it? Ah mean, Ah know maybe we jumped into things pretty quick..."
Rogue tussled her daughter's hair. "Hey, if you two're in love, Ah'm not gonna say no. Ah spent way too much time not knowin' what love was to deny it to anybody." She laughed. "Course, Ah don't think your daddy's figured it out yet."
Here came another embarrassed grin and blush. "He's gonna hit the roof when he finds out, ain't he?"
"Ah'll calm him down. He wasn't exactly the most chaste youngin' himself, you know."
"Just sayin', is all."
Angel shook her head. "Ah really don't need to hear that kind of talk. It's embarrassin'."
"Part of mah job description."