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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



He wakes to the sound of dying. Harsh, ragged breathing rattles through coarse lungs. Instantly, Remy fumbles for the light. The sudden glare reveals Tseidel's gray skin and dusky lips as she draws another labored breath. Remy vainly tries to carry her from the bed to the infirmary only a few yards away, but limbs weak from abuse collapse beneath him, sending both to the floor.


His voice cracks in a rough whisper. Tseidel's hand flutters to her throat. Another gasp. Again, he gathers Tseidel in his arms and staggers to his feet. Again he falters, then falls. Remy lifts her body onto his, letting her head fall back against his shoulder as he slips an arm to her waist. He grunts against the effort of dragging both their bodies across the floor. He hears the welcome sound of bare feet padding on linoleum. He whispers comfortingly against Tseidel's cheek.

"...hold on, p'tite..."

The room explodes in a flurry of activity as first Eric, then Kurt and Storm rush into the room. Effortlessly, Eric takes Tseidel from Remy's arms and hands her to Kurt. With a nod of understanding, Kurt teleports, leaving a bewildered Remy grasping empty air.



He bats away Storm's attempts to help him stand, pushing past her to the infirmary. He staggers inside in time to see Rogue preparing a syringe, unaware of Tseidel's growing terror. He stumbles against a tray of surgical instruments and grabs on for balance. Quicker than thought, Remy's body surges with energy, charging the metal beneath his fingertips. Scalpels and suture needles explode towards Rogue with deadly force.

"No needles!"

Rogue's eyes widen in surprised shock at the lethal volley directed towards her. She feels the tip of an adamantium scalpel prick her throat, then stop. She looks over to see Eric exercising his magnetic abilities to hold the metal instruments in check. With a flick of his hand, the items return to the tray.

Henry "Hank" McCoy steps from behind Rogue to survey the scene. He kneels beside Tseidel, quickly examines her, then glances at Remy. Remy forces himself to turn away from Rogue and focus only on Tseidel. Still, he can't help being puzzled by seeing Rogue in an examination gown. He smothers a fleeting thought of concern for her well-being.

"She need blood."


"She a vampire."

Rogue explodes.

"Ya didn't think ya should've let us in on that little bit o' information before now?! Ain't ya got a lick o' sense, Cajun? Holdin' back on somethin' like that nearly got her killed."

"Sometime trustin' de wrong person be jus' as fatal. T'ink you be understandin' dat better den most. N'est-ce pas?"

Remy's words cut quick and deep, causing Rogue to redden at his none-too-subtle reference to being left behind. Hank clears his throat loudly, diffusing the heightened tension.

"A--mutant--vampire, I presume?"

Remy nods. Hank raises an eyebrow, intrigued.

"Fascinating implications."

He continues to pat Tseidel's arm reassuringly as he raises the sleeve of her gown. He draws an examining light closer. Thick scar tissue from hundreds of old needle marks run the length of her bared skin.

"Oh mah lord..."

Rogue sets the syringe down, well away from Tseidel's eyes. She glances over to Remy. She's touched by the deep concern etching his face. And filled with hope that even after all he's been through, he hasn't shut himself off completely. He's still willing to feel. He's still capable of caring.

Ororo gathers units of blood for Tseidel and with Kurt's help, prepares them for consumption. As Hank lifts the first unit to her lips, Tseidel turns her head away. Remy's voice softly encourages her to take what she needs. Tseidel shakes her head.

Rogue observes her unexpected behavior, puzzled. A flash of insight. Rogue considers the situation, then realizes that if it were her, she wouldn't particularly care to have an audience of strangers watching her drink blood. With that, Rogue manages to usher the others out of the room. Before she leaves, she kneels by Tseidel to brush the hair from her eyes.

"We're gonna take good care o' ya, sugah."

Tseidel nods, then sips the offered blood. Immediately, her breathing eases. Tseidel offers a weak, grateful smile. Rogue stands to leave, then hesitates. Remy doesn't look up. Rogue chews her lip thoughtfully, then walks out without another word, leaving Remy and Hank to tend to Tseidel.

As she leaves, she hears Remy gently coaxing Tseidel to take more blood. For a moment, she can almost pretend that his softly spoken words are meant for her. Then reality sets in and Rogue forces her thoughts to other, equally pressing concerns.


Continued in Chapter 11.


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