Ice Lynx and giveGodtheGlory have finally decided to bring you... yes, the chapter of the Grouch Saga you've all been waiting for (which means I, Ice Lynx, have finally got my computer fixed and my butt in gear to post it).

Beg and plead for the ending of this story, and we might be merciful:P

Or just review, it's just as good!

This is a teaser, the good part of this story is yet to come, but it won't without proper reviews!

Ice Lynx and giveGodtheGlory

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It was That day again. Steph wandered the Mansion, in such a mood that Hank had finally bundled the kids into the car and taken them to town to see a movie after she'd offered to set his fur alight if he didn't stop trying to cheer her up. Part of her felt lousy about it, but the other part was just too full of memories and sore to care.

Staring ahead of her blankly, she shivered and remembered what her father used to tell her when she was scared of something so bad that she actually admitted it to him.

"Cut that out, yer scarin' me."

Steph would have smiled at the words, but right now they were reminding her of what she was so scared of. Remembering the things he told her, what she and Rogue used to do in their free time, and the times where she'd garden with her mother terrified her, reminding her that any one of her remaining loved ones could be taken away at any time.

Something fell upstairs and she nearly jumped out of her jeans, heart racing in a flat panic. Giving a shaky curse, she held herself up on the back of a chair till her legs stopped quivering, then headed for the kitchen and Remy's beer. She didn't really like his brand, but it was all that was left now that she'd finished her own six pack right after Hank and the kids left.

As she opened the beer and sat at the table she felt even worse. It was bad enough she was getting drunk, but what if Hank and the kids came back? Shaking her head she pushed the thoughts from her mind. She'd go sleep it off later.


Or maybe not, she thought grimly. Maybe Remy would find me and send me to bed before I can drink too much of his beer. Maybe this is the first and only time he's more responsible than an acting mother of four.

"What?" she snapped as the Cajun walked through the kitchen door and arched an eyebrow at her.

"Dat Remy's beer. You don' like it, 'member?" He went to the fridge and opened it, then blinked. "Who drink yours?"

"Me," Steph mumbled. "What d' ya want, Rem?"

He frowned and came to sit across from her, his strange eyes studying her face. "What 'urtin' you, Cherie?"

Steph looked down at the stolen drink, his careful, uninformed voice breaking through to her in a way contradicting Hank's attempts to be sympathetic. No one mentioned the lost Gold Team unless it could be helped, so Remy remained in the dark as to the significance of the day.

"It's been seven years," Steph croaked. "Seven, to the freakin' day..."

"What day, Cherie?" He leaned forward, one big hand coming out cautiously to touch hers. "What 'appen seven years ago?"

Steph shook her head and looked away, but Remy moved his chair around the table and carefully put his arm around her shoulders.

She looked at the hand that covered hers, a tear sliding down her cheek. "I used to have a sister, n' a dad, n' a mom, but seven years ago they and some other friends went on a mission and..." She gulped and took another swig of beer. "They...they didn't come back."

He sighed and took his hand from hers, using it to gently press her head against his shoulder. "I sorry, Steph. Why nobody ever tell Remy dis?"

Steph replied with a grunt as she sipped the beer again. "'Cause, I guess, Bobby's touchy on the subject o' Rogue, my sister. They'd just got married when she...lef'...n' Kurt don't talk 'bout Ro, my mum. N' dad...well, he's known as the Wolverine. Not the daddy, is he?"

"Ro?" Remy's grip on her shoulders tightened, then fell away. "Steph, dis 'Ro..." He turned her to face him. "Her real name be Ororo?"

Steph blinked and then nodded slowly, noticing her friend's mood swing even through her alcoholic daze. "Yeah, what's wrong Rem? Ya know her?"

He clenched one fist unconsciously, his eyes gleaming in anger. "Ororo Monro de bes' frien' I ever have. She like a souer to me. I come 'ere lookin' for her, but dat ol' bald man only say she not here now, he don' tell Remy she dead."

Steph blinked. "The Prof. told ya that? Well, he didn't say she was livin' no more either." Her eyes seemed to gleam in the odd, drunk fashion they did if she was getting agitated on top of too many drinks. "Maybe he didn't feel like remindin' himself. Ya think o' that, Rem?"

He only glared at her, his chiseled face impassive. "She was my sister. I had a right to know!"

Steph set the beer down with a loud 'thunk', her eyes flashing. "Well she was my mother, and the Prof.'s bes' friend, n' maybe we don't wanna be reminded o' who we don't have, do we, Uncle Remy?" she said scathingly. "Maybe we don't wanna remember, n' that's why half o' us get drunk outta our minds this time o' year? T' ferget that we're fergetin' their faces n' voices, n' what they used t' say n' do? Maybe we don't wanna remember them!"

He stood with one quick movement and stood looking down at her with contempt. "'Den you ain' worthy a' dem anyway."

Before he knew what was happening Steph had broken the beer bottle over his head and ran out of the room, her sobs echoing off the walls and down the halls as she tore away from the kitchen in a panic, not slowing down to wonder why the glass had cut her hands as well or why she no longer seemed to be going through the mansion, but through a dingy, dark room where loud music and thick smoke hung in the air.

Suddenly she ran into a long, narrow counter and through her drunken stupor she suddenly realized she was in a bar. A thick arm set down a mug of beer in front of her.

Not pausing to wonder about such things she just nodded her head, and gazing transfixed at the beer, slowly started to drink it as her bleeding hands sending warm streams down her sleeves.

"Hey, $#, get outta my place," growled an Asian accented voice behind her, and she turned and very calmly smashed the heavy mug into the guy's face, sending him staggering back.

Three other Asian guys stepped forward with blood in their eyes, but at that moment there was a feminine shout.

"Patch! Get your hairy rear in here and break up this fight!"

The Asians scattered like quail, two pausing to grab their stunned friend and drag him along.

"What fight?" asked a gravelly voice that nearly stopped Steph's heart. A hand grasped her arm. "You causin' trouble, dar... Steph?"

Steph gasped, her eyes widening as she suddenly found herself staring at the man she had been mourning for the last seven years.