He's only taken three steps into the hall when he hears Rogue's
strangled cry. A surge of panic quickens his pulse. At that
moment, Ororo and Kurt reach the top of the stairs at the
far end of the hall. One glance at his stricken face brings
Storm striding to his side.
"What has happened?"
"Rogue ain't feelin' so good."
Kurt brushes past and hurries into the room.
"Gott en Himmel!"
A burst of smoke and sulphur as Kurt teleports. As the haze
clears Remy watches, stunned, as Ororo kneels beside Rogue's
violently convulsing body. Rogue's fingers scratch frantically
at the Genoshan collar still circling her throat. Ororo struggles
unsuccessfully with the collar's latch.
"Gambit, where are your picks?"
Dazed, Remy grabs a small leather packet from his worktable
and hands it to Storm. As she opens it, the ring he stole
from Rogue's room tumbles onto the floor. Ororo's quick fingers
snatch the bit of gold from the carpet. She recognizes it
immediately. A quick, wordless glance at Remy before she pockets
Another burst of smoke, and Kurt reappears with a medical
kit and surgical gloves. Storm snaps the gloves on before
using one of Remy's picks to snap open the latch. Rogue visibly
relaxes as the collar falls away. Remy steps forward, but
Kurt blocks his way. Remy shoves him to one side. Kurt's tail
reaches up and curls around the Cajun's waist, restraining
"Without the collar, Rogue's powers are not contained."
Kurt makes a point of handing Remy jeans, a long-sleeved
shirt and gloves. Remy accepts the clothing with a short nod
and dresses quickly. He kneels beside Rogue, resting a gloved
hand on her pale brow. A woman's voice, swearing sharply in
Scottish, precedes the arrival of Moira, Hank and Eric. Moira's
no-nonsense gaze pierces Remy's.
"Move ye bod, laddie. I cannae be workin' around
ye now, can I?"
Hank helps Eric move Remy aside before settling in beside
Rogue. Remy watches the flurry of activity, wondering how
everything went so wrong so quickly. Everything blurs together.
The concern on Kurt's face. Moira's voiced exasperation. Hank's
stethoscope flashing across Rogue's body. Her shallow breathing.
The weight of Eric's hand firmly on his shoulder. Moira's
voice, rising. Emphatically answered by Hank's disagreeing
"I'll nae be responsible for a bloody corpse!"
"Ye know she be needin' surgery, Henry, but ye're lettin'
the wishes of yuir patient supercede her welfare. It's damn
irresponsible, mon, an' I'll nae be part o' it."
"And I will not be a part of coercing Rogue into
a treatment she finds unacceptable!"
"But ye have no problem diggin' a grave for the lass,
With that, Dr. McTaggert grabs her medical satchel and storms
out, leaving a bewildered Remy to face the silence of the
room. He swallows hard. His eyes fall to Rogue's face, pale
and still beneath the comforter. Images come to mind, significant
in ways he didn't understand until now. Rogue in the medical
lab with Hank when Tseidel was rushed in. Wearing an examination
gown. Scott's adamant refusal to let Rogue return to New Genosha
because of "the risk."
"What de hell's goin' on?"
Eric steps into the hall. He motions to Remy. A simple, yet
subtly commanding gesture.
Remy glances to Rogue, then back to Eric, torn between staying
by her side, and finding answers.
"They will need to stabilize Rogue before she can be
With that, Eric turns and leaves, knowing without a backward
glance that Remy will follow. The young Cajun does not disappoint.
Continued in Chapter
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