Remy follows Storm into a room he has entered dozens of times.
A room like any other. Except that this one is Rogue's. He
stops just inside the doorway, jolted by the realization that
he has absolutely no idea what he is doing here. He envies
Storm's graceful ease as she walks precisely to the vanity
Sometin' to comfort Rogue. No problem, eh, t' ief? Been
in dis room often enough. Mabye de stuffed pink leopard in
de corner? Or does she like de giraffe on de bed better?
He glances up to see Storm, hand on hip, watching him.
"What, exactly, are you doing?"
Self-conscious under her quizzical glance, he tosses the
leopard back into the corner.
Still, she stares. Her gaze burns through to his soul, dissecting
his intentions. He saunters to the window, stalling to regain
his composure. He hears the soft clinking of glass as Storm
sorts through the bottles on Rogue's table. She clears her
throat to get his attention.
"I believe Rogue would appreciate a robe to keep her
He nods. Storm smiles, finally locating the skin cream she
gave to Rogue for Christmas. She hears the smooth sound of
wood on wood as Remy opens the bureau drawer. She coughs politely
to cover the sudden fit of laughter that threatens to erupt.
She crosses the room, wondering what his reaction will be
to his discovery.
He lets out a low whistle.
Ah chere, de t' ings you be keepin' from me.
Layer after layer of brassieres and panties, neatly folded,
line the drawer. He inhales. The scent of Rogue's favorite
musk perfume intoxicates his senses. His fingers reach beneath
a lacy black bra to the panties beneath. Pure silk.
Can't be faultin' your tastes in clothes, n' est-ce pas?
Storm slams the drawer shut, barely giving Remy time to yank
his hand out.
"I hardly think you'll find appropriate clothing in
"Don' know 'bout dat, warmed me up right quick."
"Be that as it may, you have made little contribution."
"Yah? An' let's see what lil' trinket you turned up.
He snatches the jar from her before she can protest. As he
reads the label, his scowl deepens.
"Really t' ink Rogue's gon' be worried 'bout wrinkles
The sudden crash of thunder rattles his spine. Storm's eyes
flash as brightly as the lightning streak outside. The ice
in her voice chills his soul.
Bad move, mon ami.
"Perhaps you did not notice her bruises? Or the abrasions?
This lotion is a special blend that will ease the burning
of her skin. It also contains a soothing cinnamon aromatic
to calm her nerves."
Somet' in Rogue might need to be more comf' table.
"'Bout dat robe?"
"I believe she has a plaid flannel robe in the closet."
Scott returns. He sees Gambit's lean form darkly outlined
against Rogue's window.
No surprise there.
He turns his collar up against the early spring breeze. Walks
briskly along the shortcut to the kitchen.
>>Jean, I'm home.<<
>>Henry wants to know if you have everthing.<<
>>I think so. How's Rogue? Can I talk to her?<<
He stops by the kitchen and grabs a cup of coffee.
>>I could use a cup myself, handsome.<<
Scott scrounges a carafe and prepares a frest pot of coffee
as he continues his mental dialogue with Jean. He grabs bagels
and cream cheese to add to the potluck breakfast.
>>Rogue's groggy from the sedative. The ventilator
will make it hard to carry on a decent conversation. Would
you like me to psi-link you?<<
>>Think she'd mind if I just popped in on her thoughts?<<
>>I'm sure if Rogue doesn't want you inside her
head, she'll let you know in no uncertain terms.<<
Jean's psychic chuckle teasingly brushes his mind. Silence.
Then Rogue's lethargic thoughts intrude. Scott uses his years
of experience with Jean to dampen Rogue's psyche, keep her
from overwhelming his own.
>>Rogue? It's me, Scott.<<
>>Can I get you anything?<<
>>...don't s'pose ya could slip some java in mah
>>Not without Hank or Jean giving me the sound thrashing
I'd probably deserve.<<
He struggles to clarify the jumbled state of her drugged
thoughts. A single image begins to form.
>>...ya were the first one...<<
Scott pauses. He wonders momentarily if the sedative has
her confused. He transfers the coffee and bagels to a tray
and carries it to the others. Hank glances up as Scott enters
the infirmary. For once, the wit and wisdom of Hank McCoy
remains unvoiced as he resumes stitching a deep laceration
on Rogue's arm. His very silence speaks louder than words.
Rogue's injuries are serious.
>>...ya forced me...<<
The thought jolts him. The tray drops heavily to the table
with a loud metallic clang. He turns sharply towards Rogue.
He notes her glazed, half-closed eyes and wonders if it was
only his imagination.
A burst of concentration and the thought solidifies, taking
Scott's breath away. He remembers.
Rogue was the newest member of the team, accepted in spite
of loudly voiced protests and general resentment. At one point,
most of the members were ready to abandon the school, abandon
the dream and it founder, rather than allow a member of the
Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to join. Grudgingly, the wayward
mutant's presence was tolerated, if not celebrated.
They were under attack. Professor Xavier, unconscious from
sustained injuries, remained in the infirmary. Mastermind
was controlling the X-men, leading them to believe that Scott
Summers, as Cyclops, was their enemy. He needed a telepath
to convince them otherwise. Jean? Jean was--gone.
Quickly, instinctively, Scott developed a plan. Using Rogue's
abilities to absorb another person's powers, he would create
a telepath by having her touch Professor Xavier.
He remembers. Remembers tricking Rogue in the Danger Room.
Carrying her, unconscious, into the infirmary.
>>...didn't think twice about it, did ya?...<<
>>It had to be done.<<
Cracking the vial of ammonia to wake her. Uncovering carefully
manicured nails as he stripped the glove from her hand. The
contrast of her bare hand to his glove a second before he
placed it against the professor's skin.
Their combined struggle to help her erect the necessary psychic
shileds before a thousand lives, a million thoughts swept
her into oblivion. Scott Summers remembers touching Rogue's
soul. Stunned. He never suspected the depth of her compassion.
Never considered the positive influence that could result
if her misplaced devotion to the Brotherhood could be focused
into loyalty to the X-Men.
Never before shared the consuming need to be loved.
"Wha--? Oh, Jean. I was just--"
>>...first to force me...to use mah powers...<<
"You've been linked to Rogue long enough. She needs
"Just a minute."
Before he relinquishes his psychic link, Scott reaches across
the years, reaches out as he should have done long ago, and
draws Rogue into the warmth of his mental embrace.
>>I'm sorry, hon.<<
Continued in Chapter
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