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"Free for a Second"

Free for a Second

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14

This story is still in progress.

Disclaimer: *ahem* Now then, class. Altogether now ... Marvel ownz theese charactwers below, they are cwalled the X-men, BUT they're messin' things up and weeee fan-fics are fworced to do new stwowies to keep each othwer ammuuussed. Sad bwut twue. :P
Note: I just wondered what it would be like if I flooded Wizard's mailbox, demanding that they force Marvel to explain the spooky disappearance of Rogue's twin stripes in her hair......*X-files theme melody*
Xie xie (thanks in Mandarin) to all the lovely ppl who have been kind enuff to put my stuff up on their page and my ex-editor, now co-writer, who's gone out of her way to help me big time (and I mean she contributed like 3/4 of this chapter!!!) -- guess how much she's getting paid? Let me count those jelly beans.  :)

Free for a Second

Part Four

The glare from the headlights of the moving cars on the street below illuminated the cramped room occasionally; casting huge, distorted shadows on the ceiling and walls. Then there was the whine of the vehicles rushing by, and their choked engines roaring away to keep the whole engineered frame going. Other than that, it was pretty much as quiet as a lower-class neighbourhood in New York could be.

Sitting by the windowsill, she stared at the rooftops of the uneven apartment blocks, watching out for the glint of a gun, or even the slightest unnatural movement. Sweat and blood mingled as the two fluids trickled down her forehead, the humidity in the messed-up room making it almost impossible to stop perspiring.

Rogue grasped her gun as tightly as her numb hand would allow her, her brain shutting out any pain signals that her wounds were projecting. Still, the hangover surfacing in her head was giving her a killer headache.

Kirst was right; how could she even hope to get away with the betrayal? But she sure as hell would try. And if she got her ticket punched before she could even manage to start a new life, then so be it. At least she wouldn't be their fucking whore anymore. She would go out with a smile on her face knowing her soul wasn't completely sold to the Devil.

"Ah'm still alive; ah'm not entirely cold and unfeeling" she whispered through parched, and split lips, still awed at the revelation. "Ah haven't gone completely numb."

Lethargy overwhelmed her, coaxing her eyes shut when she wanted to be awake. It was only when Rogue heard the jarring of the door that she clicked back into her assasin stance.

Gun pointed to the door and finger on the trigger.

Remy LeBeau just stood there and looked darkly at her, his eyes glowing gently like embers from a fire. Ignoring the weapon, he stepped into the apartment and set down the grocery bags that he'd been lugging.

"Ya can put it down now, p'tit," Remy busied himself by stuffing the perishables into the battered but operable mini-fridge by the wall. "Y'know by now dat gun's don' scare me none. An' dis is my house, my rules, an' I say no guns."

The woman set her gun down and sighed softly. "You should've left the first time round, Remy. You're a fool. Ya don't know what you're gettin' into."

Arms filled with bandages and antiseptic lotion, Remy strode over, ignoring everything she had just said, and began preparing to dress her wounds.

Rogue stared at him and wondered what his motives were. No one had been so kind to her since the day Portman had bailed her out of jail to save her neck. Even then, what she thought came from the goodness in the man's soul turned out to be ugly motive.

Would this man be the same? Like her father, like Portman, like Kirst? Kind to her to gain her trust, all to crush her and use her in the end...Remy brushed her hair back and cleaned the bloody gash on her forehead, picking out bits of glass as he went.

"Tell me if'n it hurts, chere." he looked at her uncertainly; all this must've hurt, hell the damn thing probably needed stitches, but she didn't even flinch. It was spooky.

"Ah just need a drink," He reached into his coat pocket and handed her a small bottle of scotch. "Ya gotta be kiddin'. After what happened? Ah don' think so."

"Den I get'cha some milk?"

Rogue nodded. "Anythin' but alcohol,"

Sipping directly from the carton, she watched the man warily as he unravelled the bandages.

Why didn't he leave me behind? After all, he got all the loot that he wanted from the Senator's home. What does he want from me? Ah have nothin'! Rogue's mind made an assesment of what had happened. How 'bout y'self, girl?

Offerin' Remy a deal wasn't the smartest o'things ta do. And neither was lettin' him get away with bein' too friendly. You should've shot him b'tween the eyes when ya had the chance.

So what were ya lookin' for after that instant connection wit' him? A li'l roll in the grass? Or would ya be so bold as to want something more?

She involuntarily swallowed, alarmed by the thought. Grudgingly, she acknowledged that she wanted someone she could trust. Someone whose favor didn't rely solely on what she could do for them. Maybe she even might want....She could feel it in her gut but she didn't want to make the wrong move, didn't want to be taken for a ride.

If'n ah fell for him and he ended up betrayin' me....damnit, it's happened too many times. Ah don't think ah can take it if he deserted me. she sighed inwardly as his warm hands framed her face, supporting her tired head as he diligently patched the gash up. Ah want this comfort too much. Ah need it too much. Ah can't let my desires and emotions blind me. Ah'd only be leaving myself open to attack.

She found it ironic. She wasn't afraid to die, but she feared being vulnerable...


I finished bandagin' her forehead and started lookin' 'round de rest of her face, tryin to see if dere be anytin' else dat need fixin. She was starin' over my left shoulder, and I took her chin 'tween my fingers and slowly turned her head from side ta side. Gonna have some serious bruises and lotsa swelling, but no'ting too bad. Her lips were split and torn at one corner, but dey'd heal quickly 'nough.

"Well, nothin' here dat won' heal itself."

Quick as lightnin', her eyes flicked to mine and locked onto dem. She fixed me wit' a stare full of questions. She be lookin' for sometin', but 'fore I figured out what, her gaze darted off agin.

Jus den seemed like all de emotion drained away from her face and I could tell she be tinkin 'bout sometin' a million miles from here. I leaned back a pace, wonderin' what ta do next. Was gonna be hard fer me ta see jus what needed mendin' while she be wearin' dat body suit. Jus' had ta figure out a way to tell her dat, wit'out her thinkin' de obvious. Not dat under normal circumstances, I wouldn't enjoy de sight, but not like dis. I shook my head. Why de hell I care anyway? What de fuck it matter?

Dere be plenty o'women in de world dat love to share my company, even if it for jus' one night. And most of dem don have one tenth of de baggage dis femme does. Why did I keep after her? I got what I wanted from last night's job. Well, almost all. Yeah, so dis one's hotter den hell, a man-eater. Beautiful and tough enough to hand you your ass on a plate, you not careful. Sharp 'nough to cut ya, if ya git too close. Et, ok, j'admit, I wan' ta sleep wit her, but dere's sometin' more.

Like when I look at her, I don' jus' see her, s'like I feel her. Shit, I don' know. T'ink maybe I be tinkin' too damn much. 'Sides, dis one gon take a lot o'work to git her to trust you, if she be capable o'trustin anymore. She be full o'hurt an hate, an' gonna rely on you  to help heal her. I'm not sure I'm ready to give dat much to any one woman jus' yet. Maybe it jus' be better to walk de hell away from dis one. Like I shoulda done las night, 'stead o'followin' her to her motel. Yeah, I t'ink dat's de right move, ... but de drownin' look in dose magnets she calls eyes just won' let me do it.


He cleared his throat and once again her eyes met his.

"Rogue, if you wan me to fix up any other wounds ya got, I'm 'fraid you gonna have to take off dat outfit."

She didn't move, but her eyes roamed his face again, trying to detect any hidden motive; the slightest smile, a blink, anything. She found nothing, but still she hesitated. It had to be a ploy. But the constant trickle of blood down her arm forced her to make a choice. She needed help and was in no position to administer it to herself. She slowly stood up, swaying slightly.

For the first time that evening she felt every bit of agony her body was in. She felt her knees beginning to give way, but fought to hold herself erect. He rose to help her, but she shrugged him away.

"Ah'll do it mahself." she informed him curtly.

He simply nodded, sat back down and busied himself preparing lengths of tape for bandaging. A hollow thud heralded the drop of each of her boots, followed by a sharp exhalation of breath as she returned to a standing position. She was obviously in an amazing amount of pain, but he wouldn't offer any further assistance unless she asked for it. Suddenly a tearing noise filled the room and when he looked up, he found her standing in a black sports bra and matching underwear. She'd simply torn apart her catsuit and pushed it as far down as she could manage, to mid-thigh level. Her face was contorted in an effort to conceal her pain. She didn't think she could manage to bend over again without passing out.

Rogue knew he was looking at her, waiting. He knew she needed his help now, but to her surprise, was respecting her wishes and refrained. Maybe she was wrong about him . More importantly, she was beginning to feel like a fool, standing here in front of a gorgeous man, half-undressed and stuck that way. Unable to move much further, she swallowed her pride.

"Ah don't think I can bend over one more time." she admitted. "Could you...."

Thankfully, he didn't make her finish the sentence.

"Sit." he told her, then gently lifted one foot into his lap and swiftly pulled the material down and off. He repeated the same manuever with the other leg.

Obviously uneasy, she averted her eyes from him.

"Chere, if I do sometin' dat makes you really uncomfortable, you jus' let me know, d'accord? I will stop."

To his disbelief, she looked directly at him and gave him a tentative smile.


The first thing he did was take a look at the knife wound on her neck. That probably could have used a few stitches as well, but he wanted to spare her as much pain as possible, so he thought for now, steri-strips would do. He soaked a gauze pad in hydrogen-peroxide.

"Dis is gonna hurt." He washed the cut out  and covered it with a light layer of iodine. Concentrating, he pinched the laceration shut, and quickly applied the steri-strips. They held the wound shut, and, satisfied, Remy coated the gash with a thin coat of anti-bacterial ointment. Lastly, he covered the whole mess with a gauze pad and medical tape. He moved on.

Rogue's throat bore distinct ligature marks, but nothing too urgent. As his eyes made their way down and across her shoulders, what he saw made him gasp. She had been wearing black, and though he knew she'd injured her shoulder, he didn't know she'd been shot. In the few minutes it had taken to dress her neck, blood had coursed down the full length of her
arm, covering it almost in its entirety.

"Merde! Why de hell you not tell me you been shot, woman!?"

She opened her mouth to reply, but before she could, her eyes rolled back in her head and Remy was barely able to catch her before she hit the floor.

She struggled through countless muddied thoughts and foggy nightmarish memories to open her eyes. When she did, she found herself laying on a bed, her wounds completely dressed, ice packs resting on her injuries. A light sheet had been pulled up and tucked under her arms and her hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Curiously enough, she was no longer in a great deal of pain. She spotted Remy across the room, asleep in a chair.

"Remy." she called to him.

Instantly he awoke and jumped to his feet, quickly surveying his surroundings. His scrutinizing gaze fell upon her, and realizing it was Rogue that had roused him, his expression softened somewhat.

"How you be feelin'?"

"B-better. Much better." Ah replied,  but ah shouldn't be. Mah head felt like it was full of clouds. Ah looked at him again and raised an eyebrow.

"You slip me something, Cajun?"

He noted the relaxed tone in mah voice and favored me with a smile as he nodded.

"Just out of curiosity, what was it?"

That damn grin again.

"Jus' a touch a morphine, chere."

Mah head cleared.

"Morphine!? How the hell did you git morphine?"

"Same place I got de rest o'dis stuff. De hospital." He said this like it shoulda been the most obvious thing in the world. Maybe it was the painkiller, but I guess I should been able to gather this mahself, used all that deductive reasonin' my trainin provided. He was a thief, he needed something he didn't have, but he knew where to get it.

He stole it. Duh.

Ah surveyed the room, trying to spot what else he mighta nicked. Bloody towels and gauze pads filled the trashcan under the table. On it lay a tray full of freshly cleaned medical instruments, a syringe, a small vile of clear liquid, and a small, squat, greyish object. Ah peered closer and recognized it as the slug which had previously been takin' up residence in mah shoulder.

"Wasn't dat bad a wound. Didn't hit nothin' major, jus' bled a hell of a lot. A few stitches took care o'dat. Also ya gonna have some major tender ribs, maybe dey be cracked, but I don' t'ink dey's broken. Otherwise, jus' lotsa cuts and bruises. I saved ya as much stitchin as I could."

As much as ah was tryin' not ta, ah was beginning ta trust the sucker. If'n he really was just after one thing, he coulda easily have taken it when ah was out cold, or when ah was drunk. Maybe that just wasn't his style, or maybe...

Well, let's face it. This was a huge heap of  trouble t'go through just for a score.

"How did ya know ta do all that, sugar?"

He shr ugged.

"Been in 'nough scrapes, seen 'nough friends git hurt bad. Jus seemed like a handy thing ta learn. Dieu, I had t'use it more den I wan' to."

Ah could tell he didn't much wanna tell me anymore. Ah tried ta sit up, and though ah was considerably less sore than before, it was still quite an effort.

"Maybe you gonna wanna take it a bit slower."

Suddenly, and for no reason, ah lost mah temper and railed at him, "What the heck do you care?"

Ah hadn't meant to yell at him, especially after all he done. But ah can't abide bein' helpless and bein' babied. After all those years of bein' taught, bein' forced to rely only on mahself, ah didn't know how to take his kindness. Ain't no one been that nice ta me in mah whole life. Not even people who wanted things from me. Remy was tryin ta win mah favor and ah didn't know why.

But it was workin', and ah guess that's why ah was mad. 'Cause he was makin' me feel and want things ah imagined ah never would or even could have before. And what could be one of the biggest points in mah life, if ah was to have on after tonight, could be nothing but a cruel game to him; ah hated that uncertainty. Ah meant ta find out now just what his intentions were.

"Shit." He was angry, and at a loss at what to say. "What you wan' me ta do, jus' left you dere ta bled ta death? Or worse, let dat Kirst guy rape you? Kill you? *Dat* what you wan?!"

He's avoidin' answerin mah question. Ah tried again.

"Why did ya follow me?"

He threw up his hands, frustrated. "I don know. Maybe its jus I'm a gentleman and wanna make sure you got home safe. Maybe I was stupid 'nough ta give a damn. Don' really matter what I tell ya, do it, girl? 'Cause all you gonna believe is dat I followed you hopin' ta git some action!"

He was right. Ah couldn't believe that someone didn't have an ulterior motive to helping me. There had to be something more. Ah pushed him a step further.

"So that's the truth ain't it? You just wanted to nail me."

"Mon dieu! I been tryin' ta show ya otherwise all night, tryin' harder den I ever done my whole life. And it ain't made one bit o'difference. Would I have put ya back together if dat's all I wanted?" Remy raked his hands violently through his hair in exasperation.

"Maybe it's just that ya don't like yoah women bleedin' all over ya."

He stopped his furative pacing and stood utterly and completely still, his fists clenched and shaking, his eyes narrowed and glowing like fire.

"Fine. You fucking believe dat if you wan'. I don' give a fuck. I don' know why I even bothered."

He strode to the closet and pulled a shoulder bag down from the shelf. Barely controlling himself, he threw a few things into the bag. Going to the sink, he snatched up his toothbrush and razor, and tossed them in as well. Then he whirled around to face me, still glaring.

"You kin stay here 'til your all healed up. Dere's plenty o'food and 'nough medicine ta last ya. Shit, take whatever da hell ya need. I, however, am getting da fuck outta here. Dere's plenty o'people in de world dat don' like me, want me dead. Least wit' dem it's 'cause I wronged dem, not 'cause I tried ta treat dem like a human bein'. T'ink maybe dey'd appreciate my company a bit more."

With a few long strides he was at the door, but fixed me with one last look, the venom in his voice clearly audible -- "Maybe one day dat frozen chunk o'ice you call a heart will thaw out. Good luck."

And he turned his back to me.

Ah sat there in shock. He was hurt. Ah had hurt him. Ah'd never done that to anyone before. Never been given the chance to. Sure, ah'd killed people, caused a lot of physical pain, caused others to grieve. But it was always mah actions, the killin' that caused and inflicted the pain, never mah word or emotions, or lack there of. And those actions weren't even really mine, they'd been dictated to me.

But ah *had* hurt him, the first person in mah life who may have actually have cared about me, and ah alone was responsible. There was no one else to take the blame but myself. As he walked out the door, ah realised 2 things for the first time in mah life: Ah was truly and completely sorry for what ah had done, and ah was desolately alone, hurt, and terrified.

Ah couldn't just let him leave. Not like this.

"Remy!" Ah cried out and frantically fought to get up from the bed. "Remy, wait!"

Ah managed three steps toward the door before the room began to spin, and ah crumpled painfully to the floor.



Continued in Chapter 5


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