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
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
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
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
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
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
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'
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,
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
"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
"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
"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
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