Down-Home Charm Photo Album Songbank Fan-Fiction History Books Fan Art Miscellania Links
Fan-Fiction >
after X-Men #45 >


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 returns, momentarily surprised not to find Gambit waiting in her room. Part of her wants to seek him out. The other part, the "sensible" part she tells herself, convinces her that he still needs time. She begins gathering the broken bits of her vanity mirror.

The air grows chill. Rogue pauses, sensing something, or someone, beyond the darkness. Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpses a shadow passing across the fractured mirror. She rises slowly, tension tight in every muscle. A crunching footstep. Rogue starts, then catches herself when she realizes it is her own heel grinding the glass to a powder against the hardwood floor. Her nervous laughter ends abruptly when she glances up to see a face that is not her own staring back.


She's overwhelmed by conflicting emotions, memories of this man that have no place in her experience. Pain, yes, she can understand, but--gratitude? The gnawing sense that she owes Sinister a debt which he is collecting bit by bit, causing her to forfeit her soul one breath at a time.

She sees him triumphant among a deteriorating theater in Seattle. A self-satisfied smile playing across his face even as the ceiling collapses in a rain of fire at his feet. She remembers. His low, rumbling laughter drowning out her tortured scream. Rogue frowns, concentrating. No. Not her scream.


A wave of nausea rushes through her body and Rogue falls to the floor, doubled-over. Her face watches from a hundred slivered reflections, and suddenly she's scared. Frightened to the core by the unknown. It's the same gut-level fear that once gripped Remy LeBeau as he demanded that Sinister reveal the truth about the Cajun's existence. Even as a memory, Remy's anger and frustration are too intense for Rogue to contain.

"Am ah s'posed t'be here or NOT?!"

She has no idea what the words mean.


Magneto's voice does little to penetrate the haziness in Rogue's mind. A hand on her shoulder. She overreacts, violently shoving Eric away into Storm's steadying grasp. Rogue shudders, letting the last, fleeting image fade into nothingness, leaving her drained. She accepts Storm's outstretched hands, grateful for the strength of her support. Rogue's eyes dart across the room, puzzled.

"Y'all the only ones here?"

"Were you expecting someone else, child?"

Rogue lowers her eyes from Storm's penetrating gaze. She tries to shrug it off, turning back to the broken glass. Eric kneels to help.

"No, o' course not. Jus' de shadows o' mah own imaginin' spookin' me."

Storm reacts to Rogue's choice of words and the subtle change in her southern accent.

"Gambit has often said the same thing--using those very words."

"Do tell."

Storm crosses her arms across her waist in a manner that clearly indicates she expects a more detailed explanation. Tonight, however, Rogue has no patience for Storm's well-intentioned concern. She slaps the dustpan to the floor in irritation.

"Ya got a point?"

"Merely an observation, Rogue. Neither you nor Gambit have divulged the reason for your compulsion to journey to Seattle. Neither have you addressed the unfortunate circumstances surrounding your moment of intimacy before the crystal wave struck."

Iciness shadow Rogue's emerald eyes.

"'Unfortunate circumstances'? Is that how ya see it?"

"I did not intend--"

"Ain't the time or the place to go there, sugah. Maybe the best thing is for the two o' ya to get on out o' here an' let me get this mess cleaned up."


Rogue takes the broom from Eric's reluctant hand, gently shoving him towards the door.


She closes the door, leaving a puzzled Eric and Storm shut out. They walk slowly down the hall and ascend to Storm's loft without a word passing between them. Inside, they settle in to what, over the past few weeks, has become a congenial routine of an evening snack and philosophical discussion. This night, however, Eric focuses on Storm's true concern.

"Your depth of loyalty to the Cajun is admirable."

Storm paces, allowing her gaze to rise to twinkling stars peering through the skylight.

"I would rather it be effective."

Eric offers Storm a cup of herbal tea. She sips, lost in her own thoughts of Remy's condition.

"Are you so certain it isn't?"

She sighs. When she lifts her eyes to Eric's, he sees the shimmer of unshed tears. He takes her hands in his, squeezing them with a gentle, reassuring strength. His voice is low, but optimistic.

"Do you think Rogue broke her own mirror, Ororo?"

The light of hope brings a sudden glow to her eyes.

"I did not consider--but Rogue has said that if Gambit could begin to focus his anger outside of himself, he would begin healing."

"It would seem he has taken the first step."

"Bright Lady, I hope for Rogue's sake, as well as Gambit's, that this is truly the best path to follow."


Continued in Chapter 17.


Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction / Fan Artwork / History Books / Photo Album / Songbank / Miscellania / Links / Updates

Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by Marvel Comics.
Privacy Policy and Submission Guidelines