After Rogue and Hank leave, Eric Magnus Lensherr closes the
door firmly. Remy catches the unmistakeable snap of the lock
sliding shut. Instantly, every nerve tenses. Remy rolls nonchalantly
onto his back, silently praying that Magneto doesn't hear
his racing heart. He slips a hand beneath the pillow. Magneto
observes calmly. Only after he feels the familiar slickness
of a playing card between his fingers, does Remy LeBeau relax.
"You were correct in stating that Rogue does not understand.
For her sake, I pray she will never experience the atrocities
you and I have endured."
Eric walks over to Remy's bed and extends a hand expectantly.
An amused smile plays around the corners of Eric's mouth.
"I expect you would appreciate some assistance in relieving
Remy flushes crimson. Trying not to show the strain of his
efforts, he slides his feet over the bed and pushes himself
to his feet. Irritated, he knocks away Eric's offered hand.
"I c'n make it!"
Pride. An emotion Eric Lensherr understands all too well.
He gives Remy a curt nod, then steps aside. Soon enough, the
young Cajun will realize how truly vulnerable he is. The man
known as Magento has learned many lessons in his life. Lessons
he would, for Rogue's sake, pass along to this lost soul.
Remy's cry brings Magneto to his side.
"Let me see."
Remy raises an eyebrow, incredulous at the situation he finds
himself in. Before he can protest, Eric has brushed Remy's
hands aside and begun examining the still-tender genitalia.
Eric's jaw tightens. His fingers feel along the scrotum, then
shaft, finding ridges of scar tissue he knows intimately.
He bears the same marks. Remy squirms uncomfortably.
"I ain't enjoyin' dis."
"I suspect not, no more than you enjoyed the electrical
current the Genoshans applied to this area."
"No, Remy, the question is--why?"
Remy swallows. He lowers his eyes, suddenly ashamed.
"Dey were testin' my powers."
In his mind, he can almost hear the other X-men, especially
Logan, snicker at what his revelation implies. More than once,
Wolverine had made none too subtle comments regarding Gambit's
abilities and the resulting effect on the ladies. From Magneto,
there is only silent contemplation. Remy feels compelled to
fill the void with an explanation.
"Wanted t'see if de charges went throughout my body
or jus' through de hands. An' den...den t'see if dey could
use 'lectricity to--'jumpstart'--a charge."
A bitter smile tightens Magneto's face into a controlled
mask of anger. He sighs heavily.
"The reasons change, but the methods do not."
Remy raises an eyebrow, skeptical. Is it possible that this
man, a mass murderer on an inconceivable level, understands
and perhaps even concerns himself with, the sufferings of
"Are you in pain now?"
"Only when I gotta--ow! I gotta--"
Without warning, Remy feels a familiar burning sensation
moments before he loses control of his bladder, sending a
warm stream of urine onto Eric's leg. He chokes back frustration
at his body's betrayal. His fist slams painfully into a wall,
expressing more than words the surge of helplessness that
washes over him.
Adding insult to injury, his stomach joins the rebellion.
The first decent meal he's had in months is regurgitated with
little fanfare. Through the cramping heaves, he's vaguely
aware of Eric kneeling by his side, holding the hair out of
his face and speaking in a low, reassuring voice. The moment
"Can you stand?"
Remy shakes his head. At this point, he feels too weak to
think, let alone attempt physical movement. Magneto carries
Remy to the shower stall. A flash of memory. Eric notices
the stark terror brighten Remy's eyes a moment before the
Cajun's hands grip the sides of the stall, preventing further
Magneto swears silently under his breath. He steps around
Remy into the stall. Remy watches, amazed, as Eric turns the
water on and lets it fall across his body, completely unafraid.
Shakily, Remy eases his grip. Eric helps him into the stall,
strips off his soiled clothes, and quickly cleans him up.
Remy flinches as the water strikes his skin. He's been scalded
and numbed too many times to let his guard down.
Eric turns the water off. Leaving Remy to rest on the floor
of the stall, he bends to the task of cleaning the rest of
the room. He tosses the used towels into the appropriate laundry
chute along with his dripping shirt. With a clean towel, Magneto
quickly finishes with Remy, slips on a soft cotton robe and
carries him back to bed. Remy's eyes light on him curiously.
"Why you doin' dis?"
"Rogue thinks quite highly of you."
Remy sees the sudden iciness in Eric's eyes, hears the unmistakable,
if subtle, warning in his voice.
"And I think quite highly of Rogue."
With that, Magneto leaves to see to his own need for a shower
and change of clothes.
Continued in Chapter
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