In a flash the Cajun is on his feet, striding back to the
mansion. Beneath the whirlwind of thoughts sweeping his mind,
he's dimly aware of Eric calling his name, senses the older
man's footsteps catching up to his. As he crosses the threshold,
Eric grabs his arm. Irritated, Remy shrugs him off.
"Have t'tell Roguie."
"Tell her what?"
Halfway up the stairs Remy stops and turns. Such a simple
question. Such a devastating answer. How to tell the woman
who has meant so much to him that she may be carrying his
child. All the while knowing that she may never carry the
child to term. If her mutant ability to absorb another person's
psyche acted on the infant, Rogue would be subjected to underdeveloped
thoughts that might permanently affect her. Their son, or
daughter, would never grow up.
How she gon' have a chile when she so sick?
Remy crumples to the landing, overcome with sorrow at the
thought of having yet another family taken from him. He was
never meant to dream the dreams of normal men. How could he
have forgotten the truth? A creature of the night. Far less
than an angel. Perhaps slightly more than a parasite. Stealing
through the shadows of other peoples lives, risking each breath
for a momentary brush with a reality he can never possess.
So he grasped for a bit of gold instead. Curled his fingers
around the comfort of cold metal against his skin instead
of the lingering warmth of a loved one's kiss.
This was what his life was destined to be. Not the X-men.
Not Rogue. Just Remy Etienne LeBeau. Still the gutter rat
scrambling in the dark for a bit of food and shelter until
Sinister was ready for the next experiment. Seattle was a
long time ago. Memories, even painful ones, lessen. And hope,
ever faint, stirs. He had forgotten. It had happened again.
Sinister had used him. Only this time, he had involved Rogue
as well, putting her life at risk.
Eric waits, patiently, sensing something more in the young
man's vacant gaze. Something precious and fleeting which gives
way to haunting vulnerability. Again, he reaches out. Remy
"Jus' need t'be alone, Eric."
With that, the lean Cajun again rises wearily to his feet
and continues to the second floor, leaving Eric alone with
his own troubled thoughts.
I suspect, my friend, we have both been alone far too
Remy stops in his doorway. The room is empty. He moves slowly
across the thick carpet, pausing only to grab a corner of
the coverlet and drag it back to the bed. He runs a hand across
the cold, rumpled sheets. Finds a white-tipped strand of auburn
hair on the pillow. Glimpses silk panties carelessly tossed
over the other side of the mattress. He hears the soft whir
of metal cutting through the air an instant before his hand
flashes up to catch the object. Rogue's collar.
The door closes firmly. And locks. A woman's presence. The
soft snap of a holster being opened. He can feel her eyes
scanning the room, cooly appraising the situation. The crackle
of leather boots as she walks over to him, putting him in
mind of the sound of a rattlesnake slithering through the
bayou. The sound, like her presence, grates on his nerves.
Fingernails on chalk board. He casually leans back against
the headboard, enjoying a small bit of satisfaction at seeing
her lips tighten into a thin line.
"Somet'in' y'need from me, Mystique?"
"What in the hell did you do to my daughter?"
It could be her tone of voice. Or her choice of words. Or
the fact that she has no qualms about getting in his face
as she demands an answer. It's irritating. And his response
is to give back as good as he gets.
"Y'wan' all de sordid details?"
Her palm cracks sharply across his jaw, stunning him. He
has a momentary flash of a Genoshan guard striking him, and
pulls back. Raven Darkholme, the mutant known as Mystique,
hesitates, wondering what draws her adopted daughter Rogue
to this man. Grudgingly, she acknowledges the Cajun's physical
attraction. If only he didn't have such a cock of the wall
personality. Too much like her son. Too much like her one-time
lover, Sabretooth. She eases her hold on Remy's shirt.
"Rogue's notes on your case indicate you impregnated
a woman while in the concentration camps."
Remy glances up, the surprise on his face evident.
"I take it you weren't aware of Rogue's involvement
in your recovery?"
Remy shakes his head, considering this new information.
"Tell me, LeBeau, were you wearing a collar like this
in New Genosha?"
If Mystique's physical assault caught him off-guard earlier,
her sharp insight into Rogue's true condition forces him to
reasses his opinion of her as a mother. Mystique may be many
things that turn his stomach, but she is also fiercely protective
of Rogue. Mystique's red nails tap impatiently against the
holster strapped to her hip and thigh. Her frown deepens.
"So am I to understand that in spite of the Genoshan
contraceptive Rogue may be knocked up? How? Divine intervention?
I did not raise Rogue to waste her life being barefoot
and pregnant for some Cajun casanova!"
Remy's eyes narrow. A familiar stubborness creeps into bones.
"Rogue wants de chile."
"What she wants and what she needs are two different
Remy slides off the bed, his eyes never leaving Mystique's
as he approaches her.
"I wan' de chile."
Mystique throws him a dismissive glance over her shoulder
as she brushes past.
"Get a cat."
As Mystique unlocks and opens the door, Remy's palm snakes
past and slams it shut, preventing her from leaving. She turns,
her lips curling into a mockingly agreeable smile as she crosses
her arms defiantly beneath across her waist.
"All right, we can do this your way."
"Jus' like dat?"
"I'm not an--unreasonable--woman."
Remy snorts at her comment.
"Tell me, though, what possible benefit will come from
Rogue knowing that she's pregnant with a child that will never
He opens his mouth to stammer a reply, then shuts it. Speechless.
A flush of crimson floods his face.
"She's always wanted a normal life. What could be more--normal--than
having a child with the man she loves? What do you think she
would be willing to sacrifice if she thought there was any
chance at all?"
Even to himself, Remy's voice sounds impossibly small.
"Are you such a selfish sonfabitch that you'd see her
dead for a child that you and I know will never exist?"
"...she got a right t'know..."
"Henri gon' find out."
"Nonsense. I'll convince Rogue to begin the chemotherapy.
When she miscarries, they'll see it as nothing more than excessive
bleeding as a result of her illness."
"Dis is murder."
"No, LeBeau, this is Darwin--survival of the fittest."
With that, Mystique pointedly opens the door and strides
out, taking a bit of Remy's soul with her.
Continued in Chapter
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