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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 curls into a tight ball, fiercely wrapping her arms around her body. Her eyes never leave the man she loves. His chest rises and falls, and rises again in the rhythm of deep sleep. She shivers. Her body may be by his side, but her mind is within, remembering distant nights in a distant place.

It begins with an overwhelming sense of loss, of leaving the lights of home and journeying into the darkness of the world. It stirs in Rogue's mind the memory of her own painful but necessary farewells after her powers manifested. From her father's house in Caldecott to the uneasy shelter Mystique offered. And, more recently, the sanctuary of Professor Xavier's X-men. All left behind in forced abandonment, because it was the "right" thing to do. Because some great unknown pulled her along in a new direction.

Remy Etienne LeBeau, however, left because of a woman. Rogue's eyes widen in shock. He was coming to her rescue. Or so he believed.

Oh mah lord...

Her head snaps back as if struck. She's assaulted by a whirlwind of images--like dark confetti razors cutting through her soul. The strength of Remy's experience compels Rogue's own body to react in sympathy. She doesn't notice as bruises darken her skin. The dull, achey beginnings of infection, then infestation. Rogue's nails claw her swollen thigh, seeking release from the consumptive larvae that have assumed nightmarish proportions.

Less than a man.

Reviled. Beaten. Starved. Degraded and dismissed as less than human waste. The dregs of mankind. Worthless. Through it all, he holds fast. Rogue sees herself through his eyes--the saving grace of his wretched existence. She knows the pattern too well. It's been replayed over and over with the other victims she's treated. They retreat from day to day reality, taking refuge in the past. Or seeking hope in the future.

In Remy's mind, it's Rogue's face, her hands, her voice reaching out to him, pulling him through the dark days and bone-chilling nights. His fingers may be curled in the rough, moldy bedding of the camps, but it's her body that he clings to. The scent of her skin that he inhales. When a guard yells at him, it's her playfully chiding voice from a Danger Room session that he recalls.

A life they've never shared unfolds before her eyes.

In a room alive with candles and crystal, he proposes. Before God and man, he willingly speaks the devotions which bind him to her for eternity. Husband and wife.

Rogue gasps as he leads her image into their new home--and makes a point of showing her the nursery. The Rogue that might have been leans against him. Both of their arms wrap around her waist, coming to rest on the soft swell that will one day be their son. Remy's eyes sparkle with pleasure. Rogue swallows hard, overcome by a sense of intimacy with Remy that she's never experienced until now. She smoothes the tears from her cheeks.

Less than human.

She cries out in sudden fury as the Genoshan guards pull Remy from his bed, dragging him across the compound to their quarters. Her muscles tense with his as he struggles. Her breath catches when his does as they both realize what the guards intend. Rogue's fists clench involuntarily. Her body trembles. A guard strokes his cheek. She flinches. Another guard runs his hand down Remy's back. Rogue curls up tighter.

He's thrown across a bed. She gasps at the roughness. His thoughts overwhelm hers. Rogue is vaguely aware of her nails digging into her shoulders as she falls to the floor in a fetal position. She slowly rocks back and forth, denying the truth of Remy's thoughts.

His memories overlap, contrasting what's happening in the camps with what happened to her outside of Harry's. A spark of guilt. He let her leave. He let her be attacked. And when he found Rogue's body after the Genoshans had raped her, all he could do was to try and pick up the pieces left behind.

Rogue cries out as he's violated, body and soul.

Maybe de Genoshans right. Maybe dis no more den what I deserve, eh?

Rogue's body reacts to the shock of Remy's body being thrown onto the rough wood floor after the guards finish and return him to his hall. For a moment, he doesn't move, doesn't make a sound. Slowly, he crawls across the floor, then stops.

Dis what it was like for you, Roguie?

He whimpers.

The initial strength of Remy's psyche begins to fade, enough for Rogue to regain some semblance of composure. She forces her clenched, aching muscles to relax, slowly unwrapping their death grip as she sits up. As she fumbles for the Genoshan collar, she issues a quick command to the Danger Room's computer. The crackling blue bars of Remy's makeshift holding cell disappear. The collar snaps into place around her neck.

Rogue gathers Remy's peacefully sleeping body into her arms, cradling him for several long, grateful moments. He's alive. He's safe now. She tries to comfort herself with those thoughts. She staggers to her feet. Physically and mentally, she feels like she's been through a Class 10 Danger Room session. Drained. The doors slide open, bringing her face to face with the others. Scott frowns at Remy's unconscious form.

"What do think you're doing?"

"Does he look like he's a threat, sugah?"

Her weary voice betrays her exhaustion.

"What about Mr. Sinister?"

"What about him? If ah wasn't a lady, ah might bring up all the times ya found yourself into hot water with that snake. Does that mean you were workin' for him? Ya gettin' worked up over somethin' that ain't happened yet, Scott."

Scott notes her condition with concern but steps aside, allowing her to pass. She walks unsteadily for a few yards, before sagging slowly to her knees. Immediately, Storm and Eric offer their assistance. At Storm's insistence, Rogue reluctantly eases Remy into Eric's arms. A moment later, she's surprised, but grateful, to find herself also being lifted up and carried.


"Yes, Rogue?"

"Ah ain't leavin' him again."

Storm's throat tightens with emotion.

"Of course not."

Rogue sinks into darkness as Storm follows Eric and lays her on the same bed as Remy. Eric throws her a quizzical glance.

"She did not wish to leave his side."

He nods in complete understanding. They leave, turning off the lights and closing the door to Remy's bedroom behind them.


Continued in Chapter 23.


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