Two hours ago he was at Harry's. He had spent most of the
day indulging in wine, women and song. Or at least cold brews
and the heat from hustling a few good games of darts. And
Celeste. The past few days he had fallen into the same routine.
Get out of the house early. Come home late. Avoid Rogue.
Until events fell into place tonight that forced him to deal
with his feelings. She was gone. That much he had been expecting.
Girl was always running away from her problems. Storm, Eric
and Valerie were gone too. That was the first sign that this
wasn't one of Rogue's usual 'leaving to think things out'
jaunts. Finding out that Scott and Charles were locked in
the study sent a definite chill of warning down his neck.
Jean's psychic request to join her and Hank downstairs was
the final bit that had his nerves heightened with tension.
He had walked in, not knowing quite what to expect. Certainly
not prepared to see Jean's head tilted against Hank's shoulder
as they watched a dozen tv screens. It hadn't taken long for
the news to slam home. Whatever information wasn't force fed
to him from the televisions, was provided in quietly subdued
tones from Jean and Hank. Rogue had decided to join Valerie's
U.N. mission to New Genosha. Storm and Eric made a last minute
decision to accompany her.
The plane was shot down shortly after entering New Genoshan
air space. The U. N. had convened an emergency session and
the representatives were outraged, demanding that the United
States spearhead an immediate all-terrain assault. Of course,
the fact that New Genosha was rumored to possess advanced
weaponry that many of the U.N. members would love to get their
hands on, was never mentioned on record. They had left him
then, politely leaving him to sort through this latest crisis
while Hank concerned himself with Rogue's health, and Jean
concentrated on the logistics of the pending rescue mission.
Remy rubs the weariness from his eyes. The noisy babble of
a dozen reporters in one language or another, all echo the
same litany. Tragic disappearance of the U.N. entourage. No
radio contact. The New Genoshan government denying any involvement,
but oh so graciously offering their full cooperation in a
search and rescue mission.
His eyes light on a grainy bit of film transmitted from the
surveillance camera on board the plane. Twenty seconds that
tear through his life. Even with his eyes closed, he can see
the flickering images burned into his mind. Relives those
moments of seeing Rogue's face, blurred by the smoke and fire
on board, looking over her shoulder from the pilot's position.
His thumb flicks across the remote. Frame by frame he clicks
through the scene. As he has ever since the transmission was
received. Even through the static, the final words are chillingly
"Ah can't hold her together--we're goin' down!"
He can count on one hand the number of times he's seen that
look on Rogue's face. Fear. He can count on one hand the number
of times he's felt his own guts knotted this tightly.
**Into de lion's den.**
He hears a metallic whoosh as the doors slide open and Logan
"Cooper just got back. Chuck an' Cyke are grillin' her
He sets the six pack squarely in front of Remy, removes two
cans and with a quick snikt of his claw, pops the tabs
on both. He takes a couple of quick gulps, then wipes the
moisture from his lips with the back of his hand. Remy remains
still, absorbed by the flickering glow of the televisions.
Logan saunters over to the screens.
He pops the claws on his left hand and slices through the
electronics, sending a shower of sparks and burned metal raining
to the floor. All of the tv sets fizzle and fade to black,
leaving only the monitor with Rogue's face still working.
Logan studies Rogue's face for a long moment and his eyes
darken with sudden shadows. Without a word, he reaches out
and turns the tv off. He walks back to Remy and settles heavily
into a chair. Remy lifts bleak eyes to his, bitterness adding
a tight edge to his voice.
"Rogue de only woman I know--y'tell her t'go t'hell
an' she does jus' dat."
Logan grins, remembering his own run-ins with Rogue's stubbornness.
He takes several more gulps from the can of beer, draining
it. He lets out a satisfying belch.
"So, we go after her. What's the problem, Gumbo?"
"T'ink y'know what de problem is, homme."
Logan's eyes narrow, his demeanor somber.
"Why don't ya spell it out fer me anyways."
Remy lowers his head to his hand, his voice an imperceptible
whisper to any except Logan's accute hearing.
"I can't go back dere."
A look of steel glints against Logan's no-nonsense gaze.
"Ain't like we're askin' ya ta take the ankle express,
Cajun. Blackbird will have us there in no time."
Remy's jaw hardens.
"Y'makin' jokes at a time like dis?"
"Ya makin' excuses fer not doin' what ya gotta? Thought
I taught ya better."
Logan rises, scowling.
"Thought I knew ya better."
Remy's fingers tighten into fists, an outer expression of
his inner conflict. His life has always been one of quick
decisions. Snap judgments, no questions asked. When you're
a thief on the streets, your next hour could be your last.
No time to second guess your actions. No time for regrets.
Not like his life with the X-men, where every breath seems
to have lasting repercussions. He struggles, not with his
decision, but with the acceptance of a destiny decided long
ago--the moment he met Rogue.
"What time we leave, mon ami?"
Remy nods in agreement. Easily. Without pause. And in that
moment he realizes that he has accepted what his heart has
always known. He won't leave Rogue behind.
Remy's licks his lips nervously. He knows the others wouldn't
understand but maybe, just maybe, he can tell this man the
truth. Kindred spirits. Both trying to work on the side of
the angels. Both knowing what it's like to have crossed over
the line into less than admirable actions.
"Got another problem."
Logan turns and faces him from the doorway, his eyebrows
furrow in concentration.
"Roguie may be wit' chile."
"What you t'ink?"
A broad grin lights Logan's face as he shakes his head with
"Just what we need, another LeBeau underfoot."
"Y'don' understan'--she can' have de baby an' continue
wit' de chemo treatments."
Logan runs a rough hand through his thick hair with a sigh.
"Rogue don' know--but Sinister might."
Logan slaps the locking mechanism on the door with a growl.
He strides angrily back over to the table. He grabs Remy's
chair and forcefully turns him around. He leans into the Cajun's
face, all trace of humor replaced with a cold fury.
"Was Cyke right--did ya set Rogue up?"
Logan hauls Remy roughly to his feet.
"Look me in the eye an' tell me the truth!"
"Sinister been usin' me. T'ink maybe he wan' use Rogue,
too. Don' know for sure, jus' puttin' t'ings together. But
dey pieces fit."
Logan inhales deeply, letting his senses sort through the
truth. Remy's gaze is concerned, but steady. His scent tinged
with fear, but not the bitterness of someone who's lying.
Logan eases his grip on Remy, then slaps him lightly on the
"I believe ya."
"What do we do now?"
Logan gives him a gentle shove towards the door.
"Get some sleep. We got a big day ahead of us."
Continued in Chapter
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