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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



"Can you make it?"

Something in Scott's voice conveys a deeper concern than whether or not Remy can navigate the final steps to the waiting U.N. transport. Remy responds with a quick nod. He accepts Scott's hand, allowing the strength of the older X-man's grip to help him board.

"Storm, Wolverine, we're ready to leave now."

Remy glances over in surprise.

"Dey stay behind too?"

He follows Scott's gaze to the rear of the plane, where Storm and Logan are securing a small metal box. It only takes a moment for Remy to recognize it: his child's casket. He slides a hand across the cold metal.


Logan snorts, betraying gruff annoyance.

"Got Rogue ta thank fer that. Gal nearly blistered my head cussin' me out until 'Roro an' me promised to bring the kid back. Damn psychic links."

The Canadian's voice quiets. His hand rests possessively on one corner of the casket as his eyes meet Remy's squarely.

"We bury our own, Cajun."


He feels the weight go out from under him, and suddenly he's falling to his knees, cradling the casket as if it were a lifeline. Ororo's fingers stroke his hair slowly, her voice soothes his soul. Her hand guides his cheek to her breast and he allows himself to be comforted in her embrace.

He sleeps fast in Ororo's arms. When he stirs, she's there with soft assurances and gentle touches, quietly chiding him to close his eyes and go back to sleep. He sighs. Wearily, he wonders if the fleeting impression of her lips against his brow is real or imagined. Ororo's hand smooths the last wrinkles of tension from his forehead as he again succumbs to exhaustion.

When the transport touches down in Madrid for refueling, Ororo moves from Remy's side to join Scott and Logan in the front of the plane.

"How is Rogue?"

"Moira found a tumor. Malignant. Apparently Sinister was trying to remove the right ovary when he cut into the growth instead. Hank said she could've bled to death if Logan hadn't been there."

"I was an' she didn't. End of story."

"She is undergoing surgery, then?"

Logan's eyes darken, but Scott answers for them both.

"Jean said that Mystique and Kurt agreed to the hysterectomy."

Ororo arches an eyebrow.

"Did Rogue agree?"

Scott nervously clears his throat. His eyes flinch from Ororo's cool gaze. This time, Logan responds.

"Darlin', ya know she wasn't thinkin' straight when they took her outta here."

Ororo lowers her eyes.

"She will be devastated."

"She'll be alive."

Remy wakes to the jostling of the transport touching down. He rubs the grit from his eyes, scratches at the bristly shadow on his jaw and chin. A quick glance out the window reveals their destination. Muir Isle. Ororo comes to his side. The warmth of her smile doesn't clear the shadow of worry from her eyes. He staggers to his feet, then looks questioningly from the opening cargo door to the casket. Scott and Logan join them.

"We'll take care of it, Remy."

Remy swallows, struggling with an uncomfortable feeling of gratitude for a man he is more often than not at odds with.


He follows Ororo as she leaves the plane and strides quickly across the landing strip to Moira's complex.

Mystique lets out an exasperated sigh. She turns sharply from Rogue's bedside, letting the staccato click of her heels against the tile floor convey her frustration. She stops suddenly and turns to make another point. She's momentarily taken aback by the cold fury settling into Rogue's eyes.

"If you ask me--"

"--ah didn't ask ya did ah?"

"Don't get smart with me, girl."

Moira physically intercedes between the two.

"Take yuir bloody ass elsewhere, woman."

"Mystique, I have warned you about upsetting Rogue."

Hank doesn't even try to keep the subtle growl from emphasizing his words. Mystique stands fast.

"You're damn lucky, Rogue. Someday you'll come to your senses and appreciate your situation. Why would you want a brat underfoot?"

"Is that what ah was to ya, 'momma'? Underfoot?"

"Of course not. You proved quite useful."

With a half-choked cry, Rogue rolls onto her side.

"Oh God almighty..."

From the corner of her eye, she sees Kurt reaching for her hand, and pulls back.

"All o' ya--just leave me alone!"

Remy walks slowly down the long corridor, squinting against the flourescent lights. Absently, he brushes a stray hair from his eyes. He hurts. Not the sharp, twisting pain he felt when Rogue was in immdeiate danger, but the deep, dull ache of loss. Of grief. He stops just outside the door, staying in shadow.

She's probably sedated. She'll never know he's here. Still, he needs to check on her. The noise brings a tightness to his chest. It isn't much. A single, choking sob that could have gone unheard. He watches Rogue's fingers clench and unclench the sheets. Notes with increasing concern the tears falling onto her cheeks and then to the pillows.


Their eyes meet. It is a moment of hesitation, of indecision. Remy walks slowly to her side, acutely aware of Rogue's eyes following every step. He places gloved hands over hers. She weaves her fingers through his. It becomes a moment of reconciliation as his tears join with hers.


Continued in Chapter 38.


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