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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



The last remnants of daylight fade into darkness. Often, Rogue's gaze drifts elsewhere, mirroring her wandering thoughts. Remy remains quietly by her side, allowing her moments of introspection. Sometimes, he squeezes her hand. Sometimes, she acknowledges the squeeze with one of her own. Jean and Scott bring her dinner and visit briefly. Kurt looks in on her, but quickly leaves just as Rogue realizes he's in the doorway. Remy wonders at the sudden chill between the two, but doesn't comment. It's been a rough day all around.

"Penny f'r your thoughts, girl."

Rogue averts her eyes. Her lower lip trembles. Her voice, when she finally does speak, is soft, regretful.

"Maybe ah deserve this."

Sudden tears spill onto her cheeks. Remy eases onto the bed and pulls Rogue closer. She settles her body carefully against his. Remy's breath catches in his throat as the woman he loves finally accepts his embrace. Without reservation.

"Y'can' be keepin' dis inside, chere. Talk t'me."

"Ah was just thinkin'--'cause o' what ah did to Carol an' all--maybe this is some way o' balancin' everything."

Remy sighs. He understands only too well. During his months in New Genosha, his own thoughts kept returning to Seattle, trying to find some reason, some purpose for his torment. Rogue studies his face, trying to read the distant expression.

"Penny for your thoughts, sugah."


Remy's arms tighten around Rogue, drawing as much support from her as she does from him. Rogue slips her arms around his waist.

"Ah know a lot o' people died."


Rogue untangles her arms from Remy's waist, shifting position until she guides his head to rest on her breast. She holds him in her arms, gently stroking his hair and quietly coaxing him to tell her everything. Unconsciously, Remy's body curls into a fetal position next to Rogue.

"I'd been hearin' rumors in de back alleys a the Big Easy. Went on for months. Seemed like a good joke at the time, y'know? Figured some a de guild jus' havin' fun at my expense. An' if the police had to let me go 'cause one witness swore I was here an' another swore I was elsewhere, well, I wasn' about to be puttin' myself behind bars. N'est-ce pas?"

Rogue giggles at the thought of Remy willingly handcuffing himself and surrendering to the police. She brushes tears of laughter from her eyes.

"Oh, lordy--ah can jus' see it now, Cajun! Ooooo--ow!"

She bites her lip at the sudden twinge.


Rogue nods.

"Pain medication wearin' off."

"Y'need Moira?"

Rogue shakes her head.

"The i.v.'s set up for automatic doses. Ya see a white cord with a box on it?"

Remy runs a smooth palm along the sheets, finally retrieving the i.v. control line. He ties it loosely around the bed rail, putting it easily within Rogue's reach. He steadies her hand as she pushes the button. As the i.v. fluids drip into her arm, he feels her body again relax against his. The grateful smile she flashes sends a rush of warmth through his blood.

"Better, p'tite?"


She brushes the hair from his eyes, then lets the back of her hand drop down to his cheek.

"So, sugah, how did ya end up in Seattle?"

Remy exhales slowly.

"One night de Assassins set me up for de kill. Guess I been too much underfoot what wit' me an' Belladonna gettin' serious."

Immediately he feels Rogue's muscles tense at the mention of his ex-wife's name. He gives her a gentle hug.

"De kill was quick an' clean--real professional. Only one problem."

"It wasn't you."

"Non, but it could a been. I tell you true, cherie, my own mama maybe not able to tell who was who. Lookin' at de body--felt like I lost one a my own. Both guilds wanna know what's what so we start askin' around, makin' contacts. Ev't'ing come back to one point--Seattle. Few days later, I get my own invite."

A bitter smile draws his lips into a thin, hard line.

"Nothin' like a night at de theater, eh?"

He rubs his thumb slowly across his fingers, wishing for the familiar feel of a cigarette. His voice softens to a whisper. His gaze becomes distant.

"...nothin' like dat night...before or since..."

"Not even New Genosha?"



He nuzzles the warmth of her breasts, tightens his hold on her waist.

"Seattle was a bleedin' a de soul."

"What--what did you see?"

"The devil himself."


Remy nods.

"An' his clones. Lookin' at row after row of his bastards, I started understandin' jus' what he stole from me. I could feel de anger, de fire, burnin' through my veins. More den I could control--an' I jus' knew if I didn't let it out, I would die."

Rogue closes her eyes, letting herself slide into the lethargy of the pain medication and the familiar rhythms of Remy's voice. Something that he said nudges the fuzziness in her mind. Something important. She frowns, trying to grasp the elusive bit of information. A single word, "clones", passes fleetingly through her thoughts. Distracted by the weight of sleep creeping into her limbs, she lets the thought fade.

"Didn't ya think about what would happen?"

"Wasn' t'inkin' 'bout much at all. Jus' seein' all dey men I might have been. All dey ways Sinister had twisted my genes into whatever he wanted. Wasn' jus' me, Rogue, it was all a us, all a de X-Men. Mostly Sinister was testin' how my genes could be cloned in combination wit' Scott's."

He waits for words of comfort that never come.


"She's asleep, Remy."

Remy frowns as the looming shadow of Scott Summers intrudes into what had been an intimate moment. He lithely rolls off the bed and faces Cyclops squarely.

"Sneakin' up on a body like dat good way t'get y'self dead real quick, mon capitan."

A tight smile plays across Scott's lips as he glances first at Rogue, then back to Remy.

"I came in to check Rogue's i.v. Besides, you weren't exactly in an attack position."

Remy's lips broaden into a sardonic grin.

"Don' know 'bout dat. T'ink maybe I was in a good 'nough position to advance an' conquer, eh?"

A sudden blush creeps across Scott's face at Remy's double entendre. The Cajun's low chuckle echoes softly. Rogue stirs. Remy's face softens as he turns to her and soothingly caresses her forehead until she settles back to sleep.

The sudden change in attitude from cavalier to concern does not go unnoticed. Scott studies the couple, considering the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Remy is as much a victim of Sinister's machinations as he has been.

He senses Jean's presence as she comes to his side and slips her hand across his back. Suddenly, questions he cannot answer surge through his mind. Thoughts of Madelyne--the clone Sinister made of Jean. Curiousity about what might have happened to Remy in Seattle. Doubts about what he himself might have done in the same situation.

He feels the familiar touch of Jean's mind with his.


>>Maybe I was wrong.<<

Jean squeezes his hand warmly even as she sends her reassurances through their psychic link. Through their connection, she understands that he's referring to the reservations the X-men have had about being able to trust Remy LeBeau.

>>Maybe we all were.<<

As Jean moves to check Rogue's bandages, she catches Remy's eye. He gives her a curt nod of acknowledgement. Scott crosses over to the i.v. and quickly checks the settings. Rogue groans, then rolls over onto her side, sighing deeply as she snuggles into the pillow. As Remy draws the sheets across her shoulder, Scott catches his arm.

"You and I still have unfinished business."

Sensing the rush of tension emanating from Remy, Jean rests her own hand lightly on his shoulder.

"You need to talk....please, let us help."

Remy raises a curious eyebrow. He spares a quick glance towards Jean before turning a more appraising gaze to Scott. Disdain thickens his voice.

"You wan' help me?"


Scott's answer, quietly firm--unwavering--touches Remy's scarred soul. He kisses Rogue's covered shoulder, then follows the older X-men into the corridor.


Continued in Chapter 39.


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