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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



Under the cover of Storm's mist and Mystique's gunfire, Remy escapes with Rogue. He feels the air burning his lungs, fatigue creeping into his bones as his still-recovering body reacts to the physical and mental stress of the mission. Still, he shifts Rogue in his arms and makes his way unsteadily through the slaughterhouse. He pauses only long enough to try and contact the others. Static crackles through the headset, cutting through Forge's and Hank's voices. Reluctantly, Remy uses the psi-link with Jean to let her know he has Rogue.

Without warning, an explosion rocks the slaughterhouse, knocking Remy and Rogue several yards away. As the Cajun climbs to his knees, bullets strafe the air, sending him sprawling back to the ground. He quickly scans the area--then feels his stomach tighten. He's on the wrong side. In the mine field. The same place where Nicola was shot. Rogue stirs. Her shoulder knocks against the metallic glint that marks the top of a mine. In the instant that he hears the mechanism activate, the briefest moment between life and death, he reacts.

Quick as thought, Remy grabs Rogue and rolls to the only place that offers protection--the pits. He feels her fingers clutch his back even as he tries to shield her from the rougher ground. The mine explodes, sending a shower of grit and rock raining down on them. Rogue's body tenses in pain beneath his. He hears her muffled cry against his shoulder, echoing his own despair as he once again finds himself surrounded by death and decay.


He's tired, too distracted to filter Rogue's thoughts through the psi-link. There's still pain, cold stealing the warmth from her blood. But now he senses new emotions creeping into her thoughts, along with the grief comes regret. Sorrow over what might have been. Quiet acceptance.

...this is it, gal...last hurrah...

Remy Etienne LeBeau succumbs to a grief unlike any he has ever known. He never wanted it to come this. Never wanted anyone, especially not her, to be here in the pits with him. He's had his fill of death. Deep within, a familiar anger stirs, snapping like fire through his veins. He remembers another thought that sustained him during his imprisonment. The desire to see this island burned to ashes. Energy glows around his fingertips.

He catches himself before he does any harm, choosing instead to slowly distribute the power across Rogue's gown, easing her chill. She curls into the warmth with a sigh. The morning sky comes alive with another air assault. Remy cradles Rogue closer, reaching out through their fading psi-link to keep her with him. Rogue's lips move silently, too weak to form words. Remy concentrates. Her mind brushes his, light as mist.

>> t'aime...<<

She's never spoken to him in his own language. In better days, trying to teach Rogue a phrase or two of his native Cajun became a running joke during their Danger Room sessions. More than once, her response to his teasing had been to swear that she would only speak French when the last breath left her body. For a moment, her eyes focus clearly on his and he understands. His throat tightens as he realizes that the joke has been on him. Rogue's French is better than his.

Her hand slips into his. She lets her head drop weakly to his shoulder. Another jolt of pain strikes. Rogue winces. Again, Remy reaches out through their link, replacing Rogue's pain with another image, one that, in their own way, they've shared even though it has never been. His arms tighten around her waist as the squalor of the Genoshan death pits gives way to the crystal and champagne of their wedding reception. Tears dampen his cheeks as they dance beneath the chandelier of the ball room.


Wolverine's throaty call breaks the spell.

"Logan, ici mon ami!"

In a second, Wolverine's keen eyes peer over the ledge, quickly scanning the two X-men. One glance at Rogue and he's instantly leaping into the pit to her side.

"Sinister butchered her."

"Ya don't have ta tell my what I can see fer myself. Lettin' her absorb my healin' factor should do the trick."

"Henri said--"

"Won't take care o' the cancer, but no reason it won't work on the rest o' this mess."

With that, Logan removes his gloves and gently takes Rogue's face in his hands. Nothing happens. He grunts. Without hesitation, he drops his lips to hers, only to be rewarded with the faintest sensation of Rogue's fading powers. Still not enough for her to absorb him.

Wordlessly, Logan strips down to his underwear. Remy raises his eyebrows in surprise, then begins to understand as he watches the older X-man carefully drape Rogue's arms around his neck, settles her bare thighs across his legs, holds her body against his. He's putting as much of Rogue's skin in contact with his as possible. Giving her every chance for her dying body to take the life she needs from his.

"...c'mon, darlin'..."

A sudden frown crosses his face as he listens to Rogue's chest.

"She ain't breathin'. No heartbeat. Okay, Cajun, now we improvise."


Logan places lightly extended claws on either side of Rogue's chest. He nods to Remy.

"Charge 'em up."

"Y'can' be--"

"Do it!"

Remy steadies his hands over the claws and concentrates on controlling his power, containing the deadly energy to a fraction of what he would normally expend. Blue light crackles across the adamantium, then explodes in a small, popping jolt through Rogue's body. Remy jerks back, surprised to see the energy arc from Logan's left hand through Rogue's body and then to his right hand. Rogue draws a sudden breath, then exhales. Logan cracks a broad grin.

"Ya done good."

Remy stares for a moment at his hands, then out across the New Genoshan camps. Finally, his eyes meet Logan's.

"Y'get Roguie back to de others, y'hear?"

"I'm not leavin' ya, Remy."

"I be countin' on dat."

With that Remy inexplicably takes advantage of the sudden lull in gunfire to head back towards the remains of the slaughterhouse.


Continued in Chapter 36.


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