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Warnings: Mature themes throughout the story, dealing with rape, torture and the psychological traumas of imprisonment in a concentration camp. Sexually explicit scene in Chapter 23.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Author's Notes


PART 2 with you...

Half-remembered memories of a theater. your time of need...

Fire. An explosion, maybe. A shudder that collapses the ceiling into ruins. Over time, the dust settles. I have always been...

As before, Rogue wonders why, instead of conveying comfort, those words chill her soul. The words, along with the chill, are part of her inheritance from Gambit's psyche. Bits of his life forever embedded into hers as the result of one kiss. If she can identify the teasingly familiar voice, she will understand all she needs to of the underlying fear which drives Remy to hide his life in lies. The thought brings little comfort.

All mah life ah've been runnin' away. Nevah far enough or fast enough. Seems like mah past is always catchin' up.

The limousine turns onto the final leg of its journey to the winding driveway of the Xavier estate. Rogue stares vaguely at the slowly passing scenery.

Always bringin' me back, kickin' and screamin'.

Tseidel Romanov listens inattentively to the buzzing small talk between Dr. McTaggert and Kurt Wagner. She's more intrigued by the young woman seated across from her. Tseidel realized that there was something more to her rescue. Something beyond the possibility that she could cure the Legacy Virus.

She had known the moment she had seen this young woman hesitate, mid-air, before the mutant who had introduced himself only as Remy. She had expected to see his eyes burn with anger when Rogue abandoned him to rescue her. Tseidel had not been prepared to see the flicker of hope fade into stark desperation.

Rogue's eyes catch hers. Tseidel returns her gaze, silently curious.

Were ya worth it, gal?

Rogue's thoughts wander. After she left the X-men, she drifted into Amnesty International as a "special operative". Her background in group dynamics, socialization and learned behaviors combined with her strength and innate compassion, proved invaluable in the rescue and treatment of torture victims.

When the information on New Genosha came in, Rogue's previous Genoshan experiences made her a natural choice. Because the information involved a mutant with the reported ability to cure the Legacy Virus, Rogue had convinced Dr. McTaggert to join a preliminary surveillance team. And Kurt? Kurt jumped at the chance to play "big brother" and volunteered to accompany Rogue. For her own safety, of course.

It should have been simple, routine even. Get in. Verify the information. Get out. Unfortunately, the mutant they sought was part of a line of prisoners being led to execution. Suddenly it became a matter of life and death.

Should've been a piece o' cake.

The surveillance team was unprepared for an assault against the armed forces of New Genosha. They had planned for a covert operation. Low-key. Nothing flashy. Hastily, Rogue and Kurt slapped together a rescue attempt. While he and Dr. McTaggert led the Amnesty International team to safer ground, Rogue would try to fly in and rescue Tseidel. She had less than fifteen seconds.

The limousine pulls to a stop before the centuries old mansion. Kurt, the gallant gentleman as always, teleports to the other side of the door to hold it open for the ladies. He bows before offering his hand in assistance to Tseidel. She accepts with a tight smile. Dr. McTaggert brushes him aside while Rogue impatiently gets out on the other side.

Rogue planned to go back for Remy as soon as the rest of the team was safe. Had promised him as much before she had flown off to rescue Tseidel. The Amnesty International team had barely gotten airborne before X-Factor appeared to "escort" them back to Muir Isle. Val Cooper had immediately started in on Rogue, citing the political repercussions that were going to result.

Rogue had tried to listen, tried to understand the fuss. In her heart, she believed that the rest of the world would have enjoyed a chance to bring the Genoshans to trial for crimes against humanity. Then, she had understood. These had not been crimes committed against humanity. These were crimes against mutants.

Cyclops and Professor Xavier had been waiting when they arrived at Muir Isle. Between them and Val Cooper, Rogue was made to understand that the United Nations had entered into tentative negotiations with New Genosha regarding the concentration camps. All of the camps. If Rogue attempted another rescue, the negotiations would be ended. She might be able to save Remy, but it would be at the cost of hundreds of other mutant lives.

She would've taken the risk--if they hadn't physically restrained her. Rogue chewed her lip thoughtfully. Standing before the mansion's entrance, she still wasn't sure if she forgave them for that. Only yesterday, they had received word from Hank that Remy was safe. The circumstances surrounding his return were still unclear, but Gambit had appeared at the mansion in one piece. And nothing was going to keep Rogue away for another minute.


Continued in Chapter 3.


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