"Keep an eye on him, he looks like a goner."
His eyes opened slowly but just a crack though, he couldn't get them any higher than that. Where was he? Why did it seem like he was seeing and hearing and feeling everything as if through water? He couldn't move. There were bright lights over him and people's faces were fading in and out of the light and he knew something was wrong, so very very wrong but couldn't figure out what. Was he dead? Was this heaven? Couldn't possibly be. He would never see that place. Where was he? Why couldn't he move anything? The faces picked him up and moved him before putting him back down. An ever brighter light was shined in his face and everything became enveloped in it until it all became black again.
"Do we have an I.D. on this guy?" One of the ER nurses asked as the doctors prepared to work on the young kid who had just been brought in. She'd remember this for a while; gunshot wounds weren't too common in Bayville.
"Yeah," Another nurse said who had been handed the personal belongings that were removed from the patient's person by the paramedics. "Remy LeBeau, 19 years old, looks like he's from Louisiana."
Rogue sat on the couch, in her favorite lounging position. Sprawled on the couch, one leg hanging down the other bent and on the cushion. Her one arm rested on her bent knee and the other propped up her upper body and face which had a completely bored and tired expression on it. The Professor wanted to talk to them about what had happened tonight and she was sure he would save a special 'talk' just for her after everyone left. She knew it all by heart. Why did she do this, there were other ways of relieving stress, if she just asked he could help her, and blah blah blah. Only one thing was on her mind at the moment and that was finding out where that ambulance that had Remy in it had gone. He didn't have any relatives, no one would claim the body and she wasn't going to let him be buried in some damn pauper's field with a number and a name for a gravestone.
She glanced over at Jean. The older girl was sitting in an armchair, knees hugged up to her chest; she rested her chin on her knees. Her eyes were glassy with unshed tears, but she was no longer crying, just seeming to stare at nothing while a bruise in the shape of a hand print slowly blossomed on her face. Kurt and Kitty were sitting together, Rogue noticed that they were fidgeting, like they wanted to hold hands but weren't too sure of themselves. Scott wasn't pacing as Rogue expected him to be, instead he was standing next to Jean's chair, looming over her like a protective beast of some kind. Once in a while one of the new recruits would try to subtly sneak by, which they weren't successful at. Rogue shot glares at them, scaring them off. She didn't much feel like being gawked at and whispered and pointed at and was pretty sure no one else did either. Finally, about ten minutes later, Ororo and the Professor entered the room. They didn't look altogether mad and yet they certainly weren't happy. The professor spoke first.
"The events that have --"
"Where is he?" Rogue interrupted. She knew the Professor was not in the mood to be interrupted and with her involvement in this while fiasco was probably on the verge of being thrown out. But she did not care. She needed to know if Remy was dead. "Ah know ya know where he is."
"You are in no position to be making demands, child." Ororo spoke for the professor from the other side of Jean's armchair. The air around her seemed to shimmer with barely restrained emotion, harkening back to her days as a goddess; the beauty of it was lost on Rogue. "The professor and I have decided that since you can not be trusted that you will be under my personal supervision and are not to leave this mansion with our express permission and an escort, understand?"
Rogue was not deterred by this new development. "He's at Bayville General, isn't he? That's the only hospital around here that they would take him to. . ."
Ororo's ire seemed to grow with every word that slipped from Rogue's lips. Charles, sensing that this would not do well for the delicate situation at hand, stepped in. "I would highly suggest a policy of silence for the time being." He told Rogue.
It had taken a good bit of negotiating on his part to keep Ororo from taking more drastic measures against Rogue. The silver haired woman cared deeply for Rogue, as she did for all other students, and she was just as frustrated as he was when it came to Rogue's disciplinary problems. But, he had told her, Rogue needed to be dealt with later. There were more pressing matters at hand, like the police wanting to take them all in for questioning about Duncan's death and the accident with Kurt's holo.
The mansion was about to be thrown into a very difficult place and Charles was amazed that all of his precautions and protections that he had put into place had became unraveled in one night. He could not wipe the mind of every resident in Bayville that had been there, statistical fact said that he was bound to miss someone. And it would only take one person to talk to the right person to set off a hysteria that had always seemed like it was lurking around the corner until now. He spoke with the children as he contemplated all this, hearing each one of their individual stories. They did not match in points and those were the spots where they were keeping something from him. He would not pry, deciding that they had all been through enough for one night and knowing that it would all settle out eventually. Later on that night, with a sigh as he went to bed, he already knew that Rogue was breaking the new rules imposed upon her.
Escort mah ass. Rogue thought as she snuck out the window. She had made sure that Kitty was asleep, even going so far as to poke her exposed foot (which had been hanging off the bed) a few times. The valley girl had just mumbled incoherently and rolled over. She hit the ground and stayed in a crouched position, getting her bearings on where all the security devices were at. She took a deep breath, a sudden and huge wave of tiredness coming over her. The incident at school with Remy and the handkerchief seemed like a lifetime ago though not even 24 hours had passed. No time to dwell on that now, she needed to move before one of the cameras swung around and spotted her or she thought something too loud and woke the Professor. Dodging and darting and sprinting and jumping and falling in just the right way got her off the grounds safely. It was ironic that all the skills she needed to sneak out she learned in the Danger Room. It was almost like they were teaching her how to get out of this place.
Rogue started down the street, putting her hands in her pockets with just her thumbs sticking out. She had changed since the party, the clothes feeling oddly dirty and not in the physical sense of the word. She had chosen to change into black jeans, black Converses and a dark blue long sleeved t-shirt that had the Aerosmith symbol stamped on the chest. The streets were eerily quiet this time of night, putting her slightly on edge. Funny how that she didn't feel safe in crowds and at the same time, at nearly 2 am on a desert street, she still didn't feel altogether safe. Rogue laughed at herself; maybe she finally really was going crazy with paranoia. Wouldn't surprise her in the least.
Only a few cars passed her as she walked to Bayville General. Her mind was blank with white noise, thoughts flowing through it like water. Some time later she had walked across the small town and into Bayville General's emergency room. She walked up to the receptionist's desk where a tired looking woman greeted her.
"Can I help you?" she asked Rogue.
"Yeah, do ya have a Remy LeBeau in here?"
"Let me check." The receptionist said and turned to her computer and began typing sporadically at the keys. Rogue waited, hugging her arms to herself. She was tired and a little hungry and needed to sit down. She couldn't stop looking around, her eyes went form one thing to the next, constantly looking around. She was sure that she probably looked like some kind of crazy, walking into a hospital at three in the morning and acting like she needed a fix. But the truth was she was just nervous. She was about to find out if the only person who ever really bothered to get close to her—no matter how much she hated it—was dead or alive. Since when did she start caring so much about him?
He could be at another hospital. Rogue thought, the images of a bloody and dying Remy flashing before her. He would have died on the way there if they done that.
Rogue blinked and focused back in on the receptionist. "Yeah?"
"What is your name and relation to Mr. LeBeau?"
A shaky breath escaped from Rogue as it felt like she deflated with the evacuation of anxiety from her. "Anna, Anna LeBeau. Ah'm his sister." She lied.
The receptionist nurse nodded. "He's just gotten out of surgery, he's very lucky to be alive. They're putting him in Intensive Care, room number 16. Would you like me to have someone show you up there?"
Rogue nodded. "Uh-huh." He was alive. With the knowledge of that fact, all feeling of weariness, hunger and pain fled from her and was replaced by this single fluttering sensation in her chest. An escort came down with a radio clipped onto his belt and led Rogue up to the third floor of the hospital and down hallways into Remy room. When they got to the room, the escort simply pointed to the door and kept on walking as if he were doing something else. The door was closed and the blinds for the window into the room drawn shut. A simple placard was on the gray door and it read: IC16. Rogue placed a gloved hand on the door knob. It was quiet in this part of the hospital, no TV turned on too loud or people talking or someone calling for a nurse. Just the faint buzz of the fluorescent lights overhead. The knob turned with a squeak and Rogue entered the room.
It was dark. Only the light from the various monitors next to Remy's bed were giving off light. Rogue looked at his feet, two lumps at the bottom of the bed under the sheet. Then her eyes traveled up to his knees, then his waist and then his chest. Her eyes stayed there. He had a hospital gown on but it was left open to display the bandages and stitches from the recent surgery. Barely, his chest rose and fell with the steady rhythm of respiration. Her eyes moved from his chest to his face. There was a tube down his throat and the false hope that Remy was breathing on his own left Rogue.
Rogue took a few steps backwards and stumbled into a chair, more or less falling into it and sitting down. He looked dead. The door to the room opened and she jumped, turning scared eyes to the doctor that had just walked in and flicked on the light
"Ms. LeBeau, I presume?" he asked, extending a hand.
Rogue shook his hand and as he did so, stood up. "I'm Dr. Hinton." The doctor introduced himself.
"Your brother is a very lucky man. Quite a fighter." He continued, checking monitors and making notes on a clipboard.
"Is he gonna be okay?" Rogue asked quietly, not caring for the doctor's cheap banter.
Dr. Hinton sighed and motioned for Rogue to sit. He sat as well in a chair next to the door and placed his clipboard on the one next to his.
"The paramedics said there was a girl with him at the scene. Was that you?"
Rogue nodded, unable to speak from the sense that the doctor had something terrible to tell her.
"So you know that your brother was shot twice?" Again, Rogue nodded. "One bullet went in near his heart, and hence the massive blood loss. The second one went in not to far from the first one, punctured his lung and exited before it could cause any further damage. If this was all that had happened, I'd say that Remy would be able to go home in about a week or two at the most. However it seems that Remy hit his head pretty hard on the ground when he fell and we're not sure how extensive that damage is. I'm waiting on the results of a MRI but it seems as if there could be a chance that Remy could have trouble coming out of unconsciousness."
"What do ya mean, trouble?"
"At the best it could mean that he stays groggy for a few days and sleeps a lot or at the worst, he could stay comatose for a while. It all depends on what those test results show me."
Rogue nodded silently, letting the doctors words sink in. Remy could be comatose for a while. This was all her fault. There was a chance that Remy might not ever wake up because of her, because she invited him to this stupid party. Vaguely, she registered the doctor's hand giving her covered shoulder a comforting squeeze before leaving.
Maybe she was being morbid, but Rogue knew that Remy wasn't going to wake up.
She blinked slowly, deliberately. Her eyes were glazed over with thought and stared past the ceiling. Past the ceiling and into herself. She had let Duncan fall to his death. She killed him. How many times in the Danger Room had someone been falling and she caught them with a thought? She barely even had to try any more and yet she couldn't even save Duncan.
Maybe she wanted to see him dead. Maybe she was secretly disgusted with herself for being with a person like him. He was an ignorant, chauvinistic, arrogant and slightly disinclined to intelligent things. She, on the other hand, was smart, pretty, friendly, outgoing, and tried to be as open-minded about things as possible. They didn't even go together, the only thing they had in common was sports and some mutual friends.
And then he hit her.
It was funny how that one action revealed so many things about him. So many things . . . Jean was surprised she hadn't seen them before. More than surprised, she was appalled at herself. Duncan had only wanted her for one thing and one thing only and she thought they were in love. Thinking back, Jean relieved all the things she had let go over the past few months; a snide comment here and there, an insult there and here, numerous let downs. Why had she changed for him? Where had the fiery redhead gone? Was she even the same girl who had masqueraded as a Bayville Siren? And then she let him die. She changed herself (and it wasn't for the better) for him, sold herself out for him and then watched him, let him die.
Who have I become? Jean thought as she rolled over on her bed, now facing the window with her back to the door. She needed sleep badly but it would not come. Try as she might, every time she closed her eyes, she was confronted with the image of Duncan flipping over the balcony and then the image of his mangled body far down below.
There was a knock at her door and Jean rolled over, the door seeming to open of its own volition. The back-lit silhouette of Scott stood in the door way.
"Are you okay Jean?" he asked.
"I'm fine." She said, sitting up in her bed.
Scott gave her a look that said he didn't believe her.
"Really, I am." She tried to reassure him.
Scott shook his head and stepped into her room, closing the door behind him. "You're not Jean. I can hear you." He pointed to his head to indicate that she had been projecting to him.
"Oh, Scott, I'm so sorry. I didn't even realize I was doing it."
"It's alright. I understand, you've been thought a lot today, er, yesterday." Scott said, offering her a small smile. "Do you wanna talk about it?"
"Not really." Jean said, but patted a spot on the bed near her knee. "Could we talk about something else though? I kinda wanna get my mind off of it."
"Sure." Scott sat on the spot she had indicated and could help but noticed that she even managed to look pretty at this ungodly hour. Knock it off; he scolded himself after noticing this. She just watched her boyfriend die.
"Anything in particular you wanna talk about?" he asked.
"No, just talk to me. Tell me about something, anything."
"O . . . kay." Scott said awkwardly. He knew she was going to make this hard. "So . . . uh. . . how 'bout them Cowboys?"
Jean smiled. "I have no idea about them. I don't follow football."
"Oh yeah, I forgot, basketball's your thing."
"But I have always wondered what a first down was."
"There's not much to it. Its ten yards on the field from where the ball is."
"That's it?" Jean said. "I don't get it."
"It's like this. . ." Scott was about to go into a crash course about the basics of American football when a knock sounded at the door. Jean didn't even have time to say 'come in' before Kitty phased through the door looking worried.
A/N: Y'all are lucky we just got a blizzard around my neck of the woods or else this would have taken until spring break or even later to get out! Few Things: this is probably going to be a romy-centric story. It could end up involving Kurt and Kitty and Scott and Jean, but it might not. Depends upon how much effort I'll be able to put into this. So if three chapters in its all Rogue/Romy-ish don't say I didn't warn ya. Review and you might be rewarded with another chapter (provided I don't have school, that is)!