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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



Rogue takes her time responding to Scott's annoying paternalism. Kicking off her boots, she leans against the couch and swallows the last of her beer. She waits until she's sure that he thinks he's won her over, then nails him.

"Maslow's Theory of Actualization."

Scott's jaw drops in stunned surprise. Ironic that he was the one to first introduce Rogue to Maslow's psychological theories. He had been pushing Rogue to give them a valid reason to pursue her plans for Remy's rehabilitation. He had pressed her for a decision based on reason, not emotion. She had delivered. Scott rubs the tension from his neck. He was fast discovering that Rogue's logic, like her punches, could be quick and merciless.

Ororo, in the process of refilling Hank's teacup, pauses.


As Hank adds sugar and cream to his tea, he takes a moment to elaborate on Rogue's blunt response.

"Maslow's Theory of Actualization states that as a person's basic needs are met, he progresses to a higher level of existence. In the vernacular, Rogue is saying that we should not be putting the cart before the horse. We must provide Remy with the basic necessities--food, shelter, clothing--before he can advance to another level, such as social interaction."

"Ah don't recall sayin' all that, sugah."

"Rogue, is there any reason we can't combine the two?"

"Ah was wonderin' the same thing mahself, Jean."

Ororo considers the two proposals, before joining in.

"Perhaps we could begin desensitizing on a simpler level. If Gambit has been tormented with water, begin reconditioning him with a single raindrop."

Professor Xavier finds himself nodding in agreement. After hours of arguing, the X-men are, finally, willing to compromise in the best interest of their teammate. Reluctantly, Rogue's words persuade him to more seriously consider her suggested course of action. There are, he admits to himself, risks involved in any endeavor.

"Scott, I'd like for you and Jean to coordinate a program of reintregation following Rogue's guidelines."

"Of course."

"As to the rest of her suggestions, I certainly have no opposition to anything which will provide positive reinforcement. I agree that for the present, Remy needs a highly structured, non-threatening environment. To that end, I would like a well-stocked refrigerator placed in his room, clean linens and daily physical therapy. All activity, for the present, must be precisely timed. It's important that he come to understand what to expect from us at any given hour."

"Hopefully, he'll go from just thinkin' about how to survive, where the next meal's comin' from, to bein' secure enough to plan a course o' action against his enemy."

"Which would be you?"

Rogue shrugs.

"Ah reckon ah'm the best choice considerin' the situation."

"Professor, if Rogue is successful in focusing our young Cajun's anger, perhaps we could then transfer that anger from Rogue to the Genoshans, where it appropriately belongs."

"I agree with Hank, Professor."


"I am--intrigued--by the suggestion that Eric and I participate in the encounter sessions. Rahne found them to be quite enlightening. Yes, Charles, I concur. I believe that my presence, along with Tseidel's, will do much to moderate Remy's anger."

A collective sigh of relief fills the room. The X-men disband, some breaking into smaller groups to discuss Remy's condition, others retire to their rooms to prepare for the coming day. Rogue, feeling a minor sense of victory, heads for the kitchen.


Continued in Chapter 9.


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