She wakes with a start, sensing someone else in the room.
"Not to worry, p'tite, Gambit here."
She returns his warm grin with a scowl. Her green eyes glitter
darkly as she watches him gather odds and ends from the medical
lab, then return to her side. She responds to his greeting
with her own sarcastic version of his bayou accent.
He ignores her, prompting a more antagonistic response.
"Is that s'pposed to make everything all peachy keen?
Ah don't think so, sugah. Ya wasn't even enough
o' a gentleman t'see a lady home."
"You forgettin' who left who?"
"Didn't see ya in any hurry to come after me, Cajun.
'Course, ah'm sure it had nothing to with ya fawnin' all over
Celeste. N'est-ce pas?"
In a burst of anger, Remy shoves the suture tray into the
wall with a resounding clang.
"You t' ink I WANTED you to be hurt?!"
"Ah think you gave it the ol' X-Men effort by runnin'
your mouth off at Harry's." He reaches out to stroke
"Never meant to hurt you, Rogue."
She flinches away from his touch.
"Ah never said ya hurt me."
"'Course not. Dat partial invulnerability more den skin
deep, eh? Nothin' an' nobody gon' get through. Maybe Bobby
right. Maybe Mississippi river rats got hides a steel."
"Did ya only come down here to finish what ya started
Her words burn deep, she sees it in his eyes, in the sudden
slump of his shoulders.
"Genoshans caused you some serious hurtin'. You gon'
need to be exercisin' your muscles, keep 'em flexible while
you recuperate. Henri put me in charge a your physical therapy."
Suddenly the trauma of the last two days weighs heavily on
Rogue. She's tired of the aches keeping her awake at night.
Tired of of thoughts clouded by sedatives that offer no relief.
Tired of snapping at everyone.
For the first time since her attack, she reaches out for
comfort. Her hand slips easily into Remy's. She leans her
head against his shoulder, drawing on his strength for support.
His hold on her tightens.
"Ah reckon we both said things we shouldn't have."
He strokes the top of her head soothingly.
"For what it worth, ma cherie, I am sorry."
She's surprised that his touch is as firmly methodical as
Hank's. He continues the examination, thoroughly testing flexibility,
estimating strength and considering possible tissue damage.
Rogue smiles to herself, realizing that he is studying her
with the same concentration he applies to picking a lock.
Analyze. Calculate. Decide a course of action.
She jerks away with a gasp as his fingers flick the sole
of her foot. He chuckles at her reaction.
"Don' t' ink you need to be worryin' 'bout reflexes.
Can you roll over?"
She grunts with the effort. He helps ease her onto her stomach.
His palms move smoothly across her neck and shoulders.
Don't pass out on us yet, sweetness.
Rogue clenches her teeth against the memory. She presses
her palms tighter against the pillow, fighting the urge to
gag at the feel of someone else's skin against her own.
Come on, girl, it's only Remy.
"You tense, chere. Ain't good for de team. Ain't good
He lightly compresses her rib.
She bites her lip against the sudden stab of pain, trying
in vain to stifle a gasp. Immediately, Remy eases his touch,
changing from firm pressure to gentle stroking.
"We almos' done. Better?"
"Gran'mere used to kiss my hurtin' away."
His breath tickles the small of her back as his palms slip
lightly to her hips.
His lips brush her waist.
...gonna enjoy you, mutie girl...
She hears his voice, low and throaty, feels his palms dampen.
It's more than she can bear.
"Ah'm gonna be sick!"
Reflexively, Remy snatches a nearby basin. One hand holds
the pan for Rogue as the other smooths the hair from her face.
Dry heaves wrack her body for several long, tense moments.
Eventually, Rogue regains control. Grateful for the reprieve,
she sinks back under the covers. She's asleep in moments,
exhausted from the unexpected exertion.
Dis ain't de way I wanted t' ings to be.
Continued in Chapter
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