Remy lays Rogue on the examining table, allowing Jean to
replace his coat with a sheet. Henry (Hank) McCoy, resident
philosopher and blue-furred doctor to the X-men, turns his
attentions to his fallen companion. Remy reaches down to unfasten
the collar. Hank stops him.
"It will be easier to examine her, my friend, if we
do not have to concern ourselves with Rogue's absorption abilities."
Remy nods, and slips his hand from her neck. Hank wonders
if the others notice the Cajun's brief caress of Rogue's cheek.
"Her color's bad. Breathin's worse. You wan' de ventilator?"
Hank listens briefly to Rogue's lungs, then nods. He lifts
the sheet to begin his examination as Remy gets the necessary
equipment. He vaguely realizes, with some satisfaction, that
the others have also assumed basic medical procedures.
Storm grabs the rubber tubing and syringe to withdraw blood
samples. Jean prepares the suture tray and runs instruments
through the sterilization cycle in the autoclave. Scott establishes
an i.v. In this room, even as in the Danger Room, they work
as a team.
Hank glances quickly over Rogue's body. Mentally, he notes
probably injuries, various abrasions, bruises, almost certainly
cracked or broken ribs. Noticing several oval, finger-sized
bruises on her hip, he lifts the sheet further.
"Oh my stars..."
She isn't alone. Rogue remembers that now. Someone else --
who was it? Wolverine. Wolvie's here, too. He'll help her
get out of here, she knows he will. If only she can get away
from these damn Genoshans. She feels hands pressing against
her. Then bodies. No room to move. Not enough air to breathe.
She gasps, then opens her mouth again to call Wolverine's
name. Something thick and wet slips in. The guard groans as
he kisses her. She fights back the only way she can.
Always in his medical training, Henry McCoy was taught to
remain dispassionate, clinical. To observe the facts of an
ailment and treat it accordingly. Over the years, he has found
it increasingly difficult to remain detached as he realized
his patients were his family. How could he cite cold diagnostics
to a dear friend in need of a reassuring pat on the hand?
His gaze fastens on the dried blood on Rogue's inner thigh.
He glances up, seeing the concern creasing the faces of everyone
around him. He turns, pretending to organize his surgical
instruments as he wipes the sudden dampness from his eyes.
Remy feels the slightest movement of Rogue's lips against
his fingers as he eases the plastic ventilator tubing into
her throat. Then the sudden clenching of teeth.
"Remy -- ?"
"She's bitin' me!"
As Scott and Storm carefully pry Rogue's teeth apart, Remy
yanks his hand free. Storm chuckles at his discomfort.
"As I recall from your various exploits, you do not
normally have an aversion to biting."
"Depends on where de bitin' take place."
He winks at Storm, enjoying the sudden flush of embarassment
creeping across Scott's face.
" -- Wolvie -- ?"
Rogue's eyes flicker open, unfocused. She struggles against
the pain, struggles to get up, get free. Hands again. Firm,
but not rough. Not like the others. Still, she resists the
She senses Jean's calming voice in her mind.
Sudden pain rips the scream from Rogue's throat as her body
arches against the agony. Remy pales.
You really t' ink de worst was over, mon ami?
Rogue's flailing hand knocks against Scott's, and he grabs
it without hesitation. Her grip tightens painfully. Remy notices
that Scott doesn't flinch. He leans closer, letting his other
hand rest soothingly on Rogue's brow. A wave of inadequacy
surges through Remy LeBeau, as he catches the flash of gratitude
in Rogue's eyes.
She feels it then. The quick, sharp prick of a needle into
her skin. The medicine rushes through her blood even as a
single thought blankets her mind.
>>You're safe, Rogue.<<
A flood of warmth that comforts her soul, stills her restlessness
as she drifts back into the darkness.
Hank scratches information onto a pad of paper. As he hands
the sheet to Scott, he feels Jean's steady gaze. Her thoughts
catch his. For a moment, Jean reads the concern in his troubled
eyes as easily as she senses it in his thoughts. Hank's eyes
flick towards Remy, then back to Jean. She understands, and
says nothing. Scott accepts the paper.
"Please contact Dr. Elliot regarding the items I've
noted as soon as possible."
He leaves as Remy watches, suspicious.
"What dat all about?"
"Merely requesting additional supplies from a colleague.
Now then, might I suggest that you and Ororo see if there
is anything our resident southern spitfire might need from
her room to be more comfortable?:
"You can suggest what you like, Henri. Gambit
Storm slips her arm easily into his, gently nudging him away
from the examining table.
"Do you truly believe you are helping by keeping Henry
from treating Rogue?"
"Dat true? You don' wan' examine her while I'm here?"
"The way you're glaring at me, no, not particularly."
Remy grunts in reluctant agreement, allowing Storm to guide
him from the room. Jean brings the suture tray to Hank. As
he reaches for a needle, her hand lightly covers his.
"Henry, how serious is it?"
Again, he struggles for detachment. State the facts. Treat
"My preliminary exam indicates a high probability that
a sexual assault occurred."
"Oh -- God."
She is a dear friend. Has been for many years. As her arm
reaches around his waist in a reassuring hug, his clinical
Continued in Chapter
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