Rogue storms down the long corridor to the Danger Room, closely
followed by Eric. She seethes at the silently flashing yellow
lights indicating that the mansion has been secured and is
on stand-by alert status. She hears Scott's voice rising above
Storm's a moment before she turns the corner. Rogue wastes
no time in confronting him.
"Is this your idea of conductin' a therapeutic
Scott folds his arms across his chest as he turns to face
"What do you know of Remy's involvement with Mr. Sinister?"
Rogue staggers against the wall, assaulted once more by the
sudden vision of a fireball sweeping through a Seattle theater.
Only this time, the lone survivor steps from the shadows and
ashes into the cold light of the streets, fully revealed.
Once more, she feels a dread fear weighing down on her. She
needs to run, as fast and as far as she can. A single thought
pounds through her mind, pulsing in time with her heart--don't
look back. But she needs to know if the destruction was complete.
Don't do it. The memory is as compelling as if it were her
own, not merely a stolen moment of Gambit's life. She glances
over her shoulder, reliving his nightmare as his foot catches
and he falls.
She starts, surprised at Ororo's hands grasping her shoulders
and the troubled expression in her eyes.
"Ah need to see him."
"I don't think that would be wise, Rogue."
"How smart was it o' you to push him too far?"
Scott's face turns crimson. Logan steps to her side.
"Ya need a hand, darlin'?"
"Ah think it would be best if ah did this one on one.
Y'all knew ah was gonna have to face up to Remy sooner or
She steps into the Danger Room, letting the door engage and
lock behind her with a metallic finality. The room is surprisingly
quiet. Only the faint hum of energy and the soft padding of
her bare feet as she walks over to the cell. Remy's eyes gleam
crimson in the shadows, watching every step she takes. Rogue
swallows. She has the distinct impression of being stalked.
"Hear ya been causin' the others some grief, Cajun."
"Grief? Y'don' know de meanin' a de word."
The stark planes of his drawn face and gray skin add an edge
of truth to his words.
"It ain't just about New Genosha, is it? It's Seattle,
A smile flickers across Remy's lips. He's as willing to indulge
her as a cat is to patiently track a robin before springing
the final, killing stroke. He takes a long, slow drag from
"Y'still don' know."
Rogue drops to her knees by his side. She reaches out, but
he recoils from her touch. Her voice softly cracks.
"What did he do to ya, Remy?"
"Kept me alive."
The resignation in his voice clearly indicates that he considers
Sinister's decision to have been less than merciful.
"This ain't livin' an' ya know it."
He exhales, sending another burst of smoke from his lips.
"T'ink maybe Logan understan' dat, too."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
He snuffs the cigarette into nothingness.
"Sometime y'got to put a wounded animal out a it's misery."
Rogue's chin lifts defiantly.
"That ain't an option!"
Remy notices the sudden color flooding her cheeks, the added
sparkle of anger brightening her eyes. A small part of him,
somewhere deep within, realizes that she's fighting for him,
that she's finally reaching out to help him. Unfortunately,
the thief in him wins out, reminding him of too many other
times when his loyalty has been misplaced. Her anger rekindles
his own. His hands snake through the bars, grabbing the collar
of her robe and pulling her close. His words are harsh, ragged.
"What y'got to offer t'keep me here, girl?"
His palms cup her breasts, adding meaning to his words. Rogue
tries not to flinch, even when he runs his thumbs slowly around
Rogue reaches up to remove the Genoshan collar from her neck.
She tilts her face to his. She sees the sudden understanding
in his eyes. More, she sees the sudden glimmer of hope shine
through the pain. His is the look of a condemned man who,
at the moment of his execution, finds reprieve. All he has
to do, is believe in his own salvation. All he has to do,
is trust the woman who betrayed him.
"You t'ink you dat good?"
"How good ah am is somethin' best experienced firsthand,
The corner of his mouth twitches at having his own words
thrown back at him. Still, he knows what absorbing him will
cost her. He's seen it before, when Rogue absorbed Gregory.
The knot of anger tightens. He has been consumed by his need
for revenge and now, Rogue has offered up the perfect solution.
What better revenge than to have her understand, "firsthand",
the torture he endured.
His mouth clamps possessively onto hers. He's surprised when
her lips part willingly beneath his. One hand tightens in
her hair, the other keeps her body pressed tight against his
own. He hasn't held a woman like this since Nicola. A brief
tingle of pleasure surges through his body before he succumbs
to Rogue's powers. Blessed oblivion. Finally.
Continued in Chapter
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