Hank McCoy studies the concerned faces of the X-men, pondering
the ramifications of the information he is about to reveal.
How to advise them that the young mutant known as Rogue, unable
to touch or be touched for most of her life, has been brutally,
repeatedly, raped. As he begins, Wolverine, in full uniform,
appears in the doorway. Flecks of blood stain his costume.
He retracts his claws as he joins the others.
"Where have you been?"
"Trackin' the Genoshans who nailed Rogue."
"Girl could a used your healin' powers here, mon ami."
"Ya think I didn't offer, Gumbo? They messed with her
head, made her skittish about anybody layin' a hand on her.
Might be interested in knowin' that the Genoshans were the
same ones that Rogue an' me dealt with the first go around.
Turns out they were still holdin' a grudge against her for
"And if the situation recurs?"
"Trust me, 'Roro, it won't happen."
"Ahem, if we may proceed? My examination indicates that
Rogue was sexually assaulted by two, possibly three males."
"Goddess -- !"
Hank glances towards Remy. The Cajun's eyes gleam crimson
against the sudden pallor of his skin. His fingers continue
to manipulate the deck of cards in his hands. He snaps the
cards together, misses, disregards the resulting 52 card pick-up
that flops onto the floor.
"How dat possible?"
"Apparently the Genoshans have modifed their collars
to allow them to filter a mutants abilities. In addition to
other injuries, Rogue sustained internal abrasions which could
lead to scar tissue and the loss of sensation. I would emphasize
that I do not, however, anticipate scar tissue developing."
Hank sips from his glass of water, easing the constriction
in his throat.
"The initial AIDS and STD tests have been negative.
I will, of course, conduct follow-up tests over the next three
to six months. Finally, the necessary precautions have been
taken to prevent conception."
A familiar tingle electrifies his skin as Remy LeBeau's mutant
ability to charge objects erupts. Scott yanks Jean away from
the table a second before the computer explodes in a mass
"Gambit -- !"
The raw emotion flooding Remy's face extinguishes Scott's
reprimand. He reaches out, only to have the Cajun knock his
Remy shoves past Jean. He storms onto the patio, only to
feel Jean's telekenetic hold bring him to a standstill. Seconds
later, he hears their footsteps softly approach. Jean's hand
slips to his shoulder in a gentle squeeze. When she speaks,
her voice is low and full of concern.
"Remy, we're here to help you."
He sees Scott's hand slip around her waist. The simple gesture
of a husband devoted to his wife. A simple gesture marred
by a hundred complications if he were to attempt it with Rogue.
The burst of anger dissolves into grief.
"Dis ain't de way I wanted t' ings to be for Rogue."
Continued in Chapter
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