CHAPTER IX

If I had my way I'd wish them away,
but I can't find the magic inside of me.
I'll give my best, cause I can give no more,
but your problems aren't solved so easily.
I'm not someone that you should run to.
I've been, often, as broken as you,
more often than you'd like me to.
If I could heal all the pain that you feel,
I'd gladly cure all that ails you inside.

- Wake-Up Call by AFI

- - - - -

Panic is one of those natural defense mechanism employed by the body, its neighbors with denial and displacement. It's that one emotion we will indulge in once in awhile because we truly can't help it. We feel such an unbridled terror that panic is our only plausible option. And panic is not easily controlled by force of will, its present each and every time we have that emotion. It's something that won't go away.

And what more reason for panic than an out of control mutant?

People were flooding from every pore imaginable of the club. It didn't even look like it could contain that many people in the first place. Maybe they had all been passed out and hidden under the tables so as to not distract other patrons. But he highly doubted it.

Remy was being shoved every which way and it was all in a sort of haze that he observed it all. It was almost as if he was moving faster than everyone else in the room. That, or everyone was moving average and he was at a snails pace. It was almost like a blur created around his figure.

He had experience moving through crowds, having used them to his advantage several times before. But this time he wasn't out to pick any pockets. This was a mob, not a crowd, and they all wanted to reach the exits as quickly as possible. He barely slid out of the way of a bulky man, who had a woman attached to his arm.

His action of avoidance made him nearer to another woman, who upon the disturbance looked up. A sly smile formed as she pressed herself a little closer towards his body. Remy offered a weak grin before he moved on, leaving the woman to the crowd. It was amazing to think that she would act that way in a crisis, or what they believed to be one. But she didn't know that Rogue was in here somewhere, and she was in trouble.

Everywhere there were people. In every way he went, his only direction was opposition. Going against the current of bodies towards whatever had caused this. He had no doubt the girl he was looking for would be there. She had a knack for trouble. They were alike in that sense. His tinted eyes met those of another, and he saw the terror lying there. He'd seen it reflected upon him several times on account of his eyes. This time though, it wasn't caused by him.

As he moved away from the eyes, they followed him, reflecting confusion. Just as rapidly as that action took place, they moved forward once again, focused. But he had glimpsed the confusion. The wonderment at what he was doing, willingly going towards the source, whatever it was. They thought he was insane, and maybe he was. But in all honesty his brain was focused on where that terrified scream had emitted from.

It was another few minutes before he finally propelled himself through the last barrier. And he stumbled when he reached open space. His head had snapped down to his chest, and he gazed forward again. What he found was frightening.

It was a circle of bodies. All of them just crumpled unto the floor in various states of unconsciousness. Glancing down at his feet, he noticed that he had tripped over one of them. There was a heavy layering of them around the edges of the circle, but they seemed to get thinner as he worked his way to the center. It was almost as if people had begun to run away from whatever had caused this to happen.

The thinning continued. He glanced down at a man that looked his age, and was wearing a green shirt with a yellow design imprinted on it. Next he came upon the prone form of Bobby. Leaning down, he checked to make sure the boy was still alive before continuing to look for Rogue. Bobby would be there when he got back.

Walking a circuit around the bodies, he didn't notice her. It was the second—perhaps the third or fourth—time that he went around that he saw a shock of auburn hair and a small piece of white peeking out. Normally he would have seen this right off the bat, but he was panicked. There was a reason he didn't notice though; someone was on top of her, a blonde someone. Hauling her off, as gently as he could, he turned the mystery woman so that she lay on her back. He felt for vital signs and only got the faintest vibration from her pulse. That didn't bode well.

Remy looked back at Rogue. And he almost didn't recognize her. First off her hair was different, cut into bangs and almost choppy layers. Her emerald eyes were caged beneath eyelids with a considerable amount of dark makeup he'd seen on many women before. It usually gave off a sultry appeal. And her outfit was something that he hadn't seen on her before. Sure he'd been at the mansion for a month or so, but he'd gotten a feel for people's comfort zones.

Jubilee liked vibrant colors, centering on yellow, which she loved to off set with black. Kitty was more into pale pinks and blues. Stuff that fit with her home in Chicago. Betsy loved purples and typically darker clothes. Ororo as always liked to look sophisticated. But she could be daring at the same time. He liked to think that had rubbed off from his time spent with her. Rogue really went all over with her clothing, but she favored things that showed little bits of her skin at a time. Not this much.

Not that he was complaining, but it would have been nice if she was conscious, and hadn't just spent the last day in the med lab.

Carefully, he wiped a stray tress of auburn from her face. It stuck stubbornness to her parted lips. She'd been screaming. His partially gloved hand ran along her soft hair. What happened to her? He was considering the best way to pick her up, not knowing the damage when he heard a noise. Straightening he let a card slip into his hand while looking for the disturbance.

A small brunette form emerged from the crowd. She'd literally gone through them all. Her hazel eyes were wide and searching. Horror was written across her features. She moved through the bodies with a sort of dazed reverence. She stopped when she saw Bobby. "Oh my god," bending down she had the same reaction as Remy, to check his pulse. She looked up and her eyes caught on his form. "What happened?"

"Not sure. But Rogue's over here."

No sooner had he said that that there was a crack in the air and sulfur became apparent to the senses. Among the odor was the rest of the search party. They stood in shock for a good time. Logan was the first to move, his head moving and his nose sniffing the air insistently. He turned towards Remy and it was like he honed in on what he saw, and smelt.

Immediately he was over there and kneeling down beside Rogue. Much in the same manner that Remy had, Logan brushed a piece of hair back from near her face. Then he lifted her back, letting an arm lope there and then the other under her knees. He stood up, cradling her to his chest and looking down at her worried.

"I got her," his usual gruff voice was hoarse.

Snapping from their haze, Jubilee walked over towards Kitty near Bobby's body. Together they both heaved him up, putting his arms around their shoulders while they attempted to balance him. Piotr walked over to the pair, and deposited Bobby's form across his shoulder.

Remy looked down at the blond woman. Something nagged at the back of his mind about her. Gingerly, he bent and picked her up. He walked towards where the others were now assembled. Kurt kept looking down at Rogue, trying to decide what had happened to her. Hank and Ororo just stared at the scene around them.

"Who is that?" Ororo asked when he had finally approached.

"M' not sure. Found her atop Rogue. Figured when she wakes up, she might be able to help us out."

Hank nodded while still surveying the scene. "I believe we should vacate the premises, the police will be here in no time."

"That is probably a good idea. Come on Remy, we're leaving."

- - - - -

It had taken a little bit to get everyone organized. It seemed as though everyone had someone in there arms. Warren had collected Betsy from the floor. Piotr had Bobby, who he'd taken from Jubilee and Kitty, Remy had the mysterious blond woman and Logan had Rogue. They had gotten them all back to the mansion and into the infirmary. It has been decided that with the authorities no doubt arriving, they should not be found there.

"Remy, put that woman in the far room. Piotr, Warren, if you would put them in the double room. And Logan, if my original patient could be returned to her room, that would be appreciated," Hank directed his patients whereabouts like a conductor instructed musicians.

The furry mutant expressed a desire to have someone sit inside each room until the occupants awoke. Logan and Kurt moved to stay in Rogue's room, while Piotr, Warren, Kitty and Jubilee went to Betsy and Bobby's room. Since Ororo had set about to help Hank that left Remy to stay with the mystery woman. There was a whole room in between this one and Rogue's.

The closest he could figure to what had happened at the club was that she had somehow started to absorb people. That or someone went crazy with a bat. But as the people had no marks on them and looked randomly yet systematically knocked down, it couldn't be some crazed person with a wooden length. Or aluminum depending on their damage range. Not that it mattered because he ruled that possibility out.

So how was Rogue absorbing people?

He'd never personally felt the effects so he wasn't sure of the signs, or the after effects. Although from knowledge of other students he had gleaned that it was instantaneous and it felt like she was drawing the life right out of them. Some of the males said they wouldn't have cared how weak they got from it, as long as she gave it in the form of a kiss.

Somehow Remy didn't think she'd have done that. Thinking back to when he'd first met her though, he couldn't help but wonder why he didn't get absorbed. He'd kissed her. He remembered that vividly. And if not, he sure couldn't forget the nice slap she'd given him the next time she'd seen him up close, as a thank you. He grinned briefly; she was beautiful when she was angry.

Turning his head he looked down at the blond woman. Where did she fit into all of this? If Rogue had been absorbing people, she would have had the foresight to remove herself from the others. Maybe this woman had wanted to do something about an out of control mutant? She'd been hostile and forced Rogue to make a move. Or, in a different direction, maybe she had been trying to help. She could be a fellow mutant or just a sympathizer.

Can't very well convict her before she wakes up. Not a very ethical way to live. Still he almost wished that things would fit into nice categories. But life rarely fit guidelines. Some things just didn't apply. Humans were one of those things. They didn't like to fit the molds that are made for them, currently breaking out to be completely different.

Remy wasn't quite sure how long he leaned against the wall, observing the comatose woman. But it was long enough for Hank to finish checking the other patients. He stuck his head in and requested that Remy come out into the hall for a minute. Everyone else who was conscious was there too. They all looked questioningly at the doctor.

He adjusted his glasses in response. "Ororo and I," he tilted his head in her direction. "Have decided that its probably best if we implore one person to stay down here to watch over them all. That way they can inform the rest if there's a change."

"I'll stay," Logan volunteered immediately. Right behind him was Warren.

Before any others could offer their time, Hank held up a hand. "We know that volunteers are not the problem. Simply the fact that it is night presently makes a difference in the decision. For that reason we believe the resident insomniac should take the first watch."

Remy simply blinked, although the action went unnoticed while he wore his sunglasses. "Y' sure dis is de best idea?"

"Absolutely. You four," she motioned towards all those that had been in the joined room. "Need your rest, you don't run on energy. And Kurt, you're not made of energy either."

With a grunt Logan voiced his disproval. "And what about me 'Ro?"

"You, Logan, cannot sit still for long periods of time. I do not want any rash action on your part," Ororo looked him straight in the eye, showing that she was not about to back down.

Letting out a growl the feral mutant turned around and stalked out of the infirmary. Kurt followed, waiting until he was near the exit to port out of there. The four teens looked back at their friends before following in the same manner.

"So, dis means Remy's got de late shift non?"

Figuring that he might as well be comfortable, we went into Rogue's room and propped himself on one of the chairs in there. He used the edge of her bed as a place to rest his feet. He crossed his arms and bent his head slightly. From here he could clearly see what happened in all of the other rooms. To most people it would appear that he was resting, but he could see perfectly around him. A trick of the trade that he'd learned.

In the room that held the blond woman, Hank and Ororo were assessing her health. And they were talking. With the walls as barriers, he couldn't discern what they said, but he could read their lips.

"Hank, what do you think happened in there?" Ororo turned from setting up an IV in the woman's hand.

The blue mutant turned towards her, looking up from a chart. "Honestly, I'm not sure. No one has any marks upon their skin, no discolorations to show blunt trauma. I'm at a loss for what could have knocked them all out. No poisonous gasses were present; otherwise more would have been affected."

"Earlier you said that the cure wasn't permanent, so couldn't it be Rogue's mutation activating?"

"It is a possibility yes," Hank ran a large hand over his brow. "But, from what you've told me about her unique mutation, she would have had to sustain skin contact with someone. And I simply don't think it possible to absorb all of the people we found and in such an array as they were."

She wiped an ivory lock from her forehead. "There could be an aftereffect of the cure, something that would be missed, especially since the cure was believed to be lasting. We have no clue what the ramifications of an injection that can erase part of your DNA would do once reversed."

"No my dear, we do not. But whatever it was, I do not think it was by fault of Rogue herself. Or this woman for that matter," He looked down at the blond he was currently documenting.

"Any clue what happened to her?"

He checked her blood pressure trying to figure out as much about her as possible. "As far as I can tell, she was absorbed. But based on what Remy says, she had prolonged contact, much longer than any of the others."

"Could she have been absorbed permanently?" Ororo asked, worried for the woman and her friend lying in a room not far off.

"You're asking questions that can't be answered. But there are a few things that can be resolved," he reached into the pocket of the woman's pants, which caused him to receive a confused looked from his companion.

"Hank? What are you doing?"

Extracting a plain black wallet, he grinned triumphantly. "Finding out who our mystery guest is," he opened it and sighed at what he saw. Without hesitation he handed it over to the white haired woman.

She dictated it aloud. "Carols Danvers. Employed Government Agent. Known Mutant." She knew what this meant. Another mutant knocked out a mutant working for the government that already didn't trust mutants. Her azure eyes looked up into Hank's. "This isn't going to end well."

"I fear my dear, that you are correct."

- - - - -

Sometime later Hank and Ororo left the med lab all together, leaving Remy alone with the patients. He had went and turned off all of the lights in the rooms, relishing in some freedom to remove his sunglasses. He still wasn't comfortable taking them off. Although, around Rogue he didn't have to worry. It was the same with Ororo.

He started to slip into his thoughts once more when he heard a small groan. Turning his head he looked to the bed's occupant, but noticed no change in her disposition. That left him to go back to his musings. It wasn't necessarily a path that he wanted to go down, left too much to wonder. Too much to chance.

Another groan made him look to discover nothing had changed once again. He resumed thinking things over. Was it possible to be guilty for something you had no control over? It didn't seem logical to him. She groaned again. He looked. And it was a few more minutes before the process repeated.

He wasn't sure how many times he'd looked over because of some small noise, but he was becoming annoyed already. He heard another groan and muttered, "Y' mind stoppin' dat?"

And low and behold, she did. It was perhaps a good five minutes of silence before a groan split the air again. Red eyes narrowed to look upon the still form. They widened with what they saw; Rogue was floating.

Her small frame was a good six inches off of the mattress, with the sheets hanging limply around her. Her hair fell down around her head, barely touching the pillow below. Transfixed, Remy stood and walked until he was near her head. One of his hands reached out towards her, but was stopped when her pale hand caught his. Hey eyes snapped open, and they were blue.

Quicker than he knew she could move, Rogue had him flipped on the floor, sitting atop his stomach, with her knees pinning his arms. One of her arms was across his neck, pressing down on his jugular. "Who the hell are you? Where am I?"

There was no trace of a southern accent.

"Chére, I t'ink y' counseling on how to treat a homme," Remy breathed while feeling her arm tighten slightly.

"Am I somewhere in the south? Or did you employ the accent to throw me off?" She looked down at him, her blue eyes hard and calculating. "Answer me!"

"Y' in New York, where y' been for de last somet'ing odd years. An' de accent's all Remy," he added with an award wining wink.

She just brushed it off. "I'm Agent Carol Danvers, and I don't take being captured lightly. Not to mention the fact that you're attempts at flirting are unwanted…"

"Hey!"

"And as such, I'm going to have to arrest you."

"With what p'tit? Case y' hadn't noticed, we're not on y'r home turf," Remy was confused to say the least. Rogue thought she was some government agent. And her eyes were blue. And damnit, she wouldn't budge, which normally he wouldn't have a problem with but it would be nice for her to be in the right state of mind. Maybe if he kept her talking she'd snap out of it.

"I'm sure I can make due," And she did just that. Her hand went up to the medical bed and the rail beside it. She gripped one of the portions and clenched her hand. The metal wrenched and broke. She repeated the action on the other side. Satisfied she moved off of Remy briefly, enough to haul him upwards and then around. She brought his hands behind his back and crushed the metal around them. "That work for you sweetheart?"

"Remy knew you were warming up to him," he offered a slow grin, one he usually used to charm random women. He'd used it on Rogue before and it held no effect.

She just rolled her eyes, before exploring the room. She finally rested on the window, noticing the three other beds. "Caught others too, hmm?" She didn't wait for an answer but just scrutinized the other patients. Noting nothing familiar with the first two, she looked at the third. What she saw made her gasp and twirl to face her captor who was now her prisoner. "What the hell did you do to me?"

"Ain't dat a loaded question," Remy muttered under his breath, while standing casually as if a pole wasn't wrapped around his wrists.

Advancing towards him menacingly, she growled. "Why is there a body over there that looks exactly like me?"

Remy grinned, knowing she'd hate this answer. "Because dat's y' belle."

"I should have known that you would lie," she stalked the room and looked into the shiniest surface she found. What she saw made her eyes widen. "What happened to me?" Her breathing was slower, and her eyes showed confusion. Then they narrowed in anger and turned towards the source of her troubles. She went towards him again.

This time though, a soft fuchsia light filled the air followed by a crack. And then Remy was massaging his wrists. "Were dose really necessary? Remy's fine wit' de kinky, all y' had to do was ask."

"How dare you…" she had started to levitate slightly. And she was coming towards him, slowly. Then all of a sudden she stopped. Her hands went to her head, and her breathing became more labored. She floated to the floor and collapsed to her knees. "No, no…no." she muttered. Her body crumpled a few moments later.

Waiting to make sure this wasn't some trick, Remy walked over to pick up Rogue's form, though that had definitely not been Rogue. It was just plain strange. He deposited her back upon the bed and hoped that something like this wouldn't happen again. Just to make sure, he fastened the leather and lambskin lined restraints he found on the other side of the bed to her wrists. Maybe that would deter any further attacks. And yet, he didn't believe he would be that lucky.

- - - - -

She couldn't sleep. She'd tried but nothing seemed to be working. How could she sleep when one of her best friends was down in the med lab? Not to mention the fact that two other friends were there. There was also some unknown woman who fell into the equation somehow. Thinking over all the variables in it, Kitty remembered why she never fancied math much in school.

Exiting the refuge she had hoped to find in her room, she made her way to the stairs. Her small feet tread over the worn but lush carpeting on the floors. She had loved the excitement of living in a mansion when she first arrived. Who wouldn't? It was like a fairytale come true. One of those silly things little girls always dream about, finding a better life somehow, an increase in her situation. She had gotten the mansion yet missed out on the prince.

And really, the glitz and glamour life wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It had flaws, just like everything else. For instance how the mansion was inhabited by mutants. Waking up to find your toothbrush melted again or your doorknob iced because John and Bobby were at their tricks again didn't really fit. None of it fit, especially not having to watch your friends get hurt.

Her head was down as she ran a hand through her hair. Nothing was simple anymore. She really couldn't expect it to be. It would have been nice, regardless. Her feet fell on chilled tile and she knew she'd reached her destination of the kitchen. Her hand automatically went to flip the lights on, but instead sailed over the switch already in the up position.

"Damnit Jubes! I can't believe you left the lights on again!"

"Zen perhaps it is a good thing it was not her."

Kitty whirled around, ready to attack whoever was in the kitchen. When her eye fell upon the muscular build of Piotr, who was shirtless, she relaxed and flushed. She ran a hand through her hair, a mirror image of minutes ago. "Sorry, I'm just a little on edge. You know?"

"Da, I know what you mean Katya," Piotr sat at the counter with a mug in front of him. Although his fingers were looped through the handle, the liquid was still brimming near the edge. It had long since gone cold.

Ben and Jerry were calling her. And she answered their call by going to the freezer and extraction a quart of Jamaican Me Crazy. She lifted the top, letting it rest on the counter to reveal the chunky pineapple sorbet with the passion fruit swirl. She extracted two spoons and sat down at the stool next to the Russian. She offered him one of the spoons. Silently she wondered to herself how she could act this well around him.

He accepted with a skeptical look. "Sorbet?" He waited for her to take a bite before trying some himself. It was good, but he fully expected Kitty to want something more creamy and chocolately. The girl was a bear for anything containing chocolate.

Swallowing, she had to offer him a sheepish grin. "What can I say, I like to be healthy. Or…at least appear healthy. My parents were health nuts. Always with the organic foods so that I would grow up in good shape. I couldn't look at any junk food for awhile; it just reminded me what I couldn't have. And then guess what?"

"What?"

"They sent me to an institute where I'm surrounded by junk food!" Kitty laughed, as if the joke never got old with her.

Another scoop of sorbet was accompanied with a smile. "It looks like some of their teachings worked," he motioned towards the sorbet they were both eating out of.

She shrugged. "Can't teach an old dog new tricks, I guess. Besides, it's not like it would matter now with all the Danger Room session to keep me fit. I'm probably healthier than my parents ever hoped for."

Piotr nodded as they let a companionable silence come between them. "What are you doing up so late anyway?" He figured it would be the same reason that he, himself could not go back to sleep.

"Rogue." She answered practically silent. "I just don't know what's going on. Like, what happened when she collapsed in the hall and then when she woke up and just left? She looks so different right now. I don't know, it's like when she came here the first time and was in the med lab. All the uncertainty and worry. I had hoped with her taking the cure that this would all go away."

"Unfortunately we are never zat lucky. "

Kitty let out a chuckle. "Tell me about it. Ever since I came here it's like having a bullseye painted on your back. If something could happen, it will. Never gets dull that's for sure."

He noticed how her last sentence had been a bit wobbly. Thinking only to comfort his friend he draped an arm around her shoulders, giving a squeeze to let her know he was there. She looked up from the quart of fruity frozen desert she'd been drowning in. A small smile crept over her face.

"Thanks Pete," she leaned into his shoulder, glad to have someone to lean on.

"It's no problem Katya," Piotr smiled down at her. Sometimes she reminded him of his little sister. Most of the time though, she was just undeniably Kitty-like that she resembled no one else. "Have I ever told you about my sister?"

Her head lifted slightly to look into his eyes. "I don't think so. But you know me, scatterbrained."

He grinned at her joke. Kitty could remember almost anything if she wanted to. "Well, her name is Illyana. I call her my little snowflake because she'd always the first out in the snow," they sat there for quite awhile, as he retold various stories about his sister and his life in Russia.

- - - - -

While waiting to see when Rogue would wake again, Remy had extracted his deck of cards from his trench. He back in his seat, eyes trained on her form while his slender fingers worked through the deck. Cutting it, rearranging it, shuffling. He did it all without a thought, it was habitual to him.

It was during one of the times that he had rearranged the deck in numerical order of each suit that Rogue woke up again.

She turned on her side, her arm trailing behind. It was still fastened to the side of the bed. The resistance was what woke her. Blearily her eyes opened, to close quickly at the semi-bright lights in the room. She opened them again and closed them in quick secession. She went through blinking until her eyes had fully adjusted. The whole time Remy just watched her.

Curiously, she tugged on her arms, testing the restraints around her wrists. Her palms met the bottom of the mattress and she pushed herself into a sitting position. All the while, her eyes surveyed the room. They were brown this time. Finally they landed upon him, and a smirk crossed her features.

"Well, hello there."

Remy just watched her, waiting to see what would happen this time. He really didn't feel like getting attacked again. Personally, he'd much rather just have Rogue back to health and sanity.

"A silent type huh? I guess your looks make up for it. This supposed to be some nurse thing, 'cause personally I think the roles should be reversed. I've even got the outfit somewhere," she gave a wink as she purred the last part.

"Be nice to know y're name."

"Names. They're such a restriction on things. I mean, I think I'm restricted enough already, don't you think?" she motioned down towards her hands with a sly smile. "Not that I have anything against bondage, just makes things a little interesting."

"At least dis time y' aren't tryin' to kill me," he stated more to himself than anyone else. He ran a hand through his hair, wondering at what point he should go retrieve someone else.

"Aww, have a bad time with your last date? I promise to be good, just come a little closer. I'm almost certain this crap lighting isn't doing you any justice."

He remained firmly where he was. Just sitting there shuffling his cards, staring at her. She motioned him closer with her fingers but he didn't move. It wasn't Rogue. He didn't even know who the hell it was. Apparently she had some sort of active sex life though.

"Come on gorgeous! Bring those cards over here and we'll play some strip poker. And I have to tell you, I'm horrible at poker," she was wearing that grin again, the one that just radiated a come hither.

"How 'bout we play a game and if I win y' tell me your name?" he got up from his seat and walked a little closer.

"Where's the fun in that?" she noticed he stopped his journey when she said that. So she quickly remedied the situation. "Alright, but what do I get if I win?"

"I remove de restrictions."

"That's all?" she was disappointed, she was hoping she'd get a little more if she won the game. To show her disappointment with the turnings, she pouted, jutting out her lower lip. She was giving him the puppy dog face.

Running a hand through his hair he sighed. "What else do y' want?"

She bit her lip in speculation with a wicked gleam in her eye. "How about I tell you that when I win? And…if you win I'll tell you my name."

"De accord. We'll do a game of Texas Hold 'em." He shuffled the cards trying to figure the quickest way to win this game and figure out the current possessors' identity.

"Southern and French. What'd I do? Hit a jackpot?"

Remy gave her a look and she played it off with a laugh. He dealt out the cards from her bedside. He looked at his cards and smiled internally. He was going to find out who this person was and hopefully why Rogue had absorbed them.

"Why are you so fixated on my name?" She looked up from her cards and directly into his eyes. She took the fact that they were red on black all in stride.

"Can't a homme be curious?" His brows crinkled in mild annoyance. But he didn't let any of it follow into his voice as he relaxed his muscles from showing his emotions on his face.

She rolled her brown eyes. "Yeah, sure. Anyway, I've got to tell you those have got to be the best contacts I've ever seen. I mean, they completely cover your eyes, I don't see any white at all," she had stopped looking at her hand and was staring at his face.

"W'at if I told y' dey weren't contacts? Dat I was really a mutant?"

"Then I'd have to say you've got to be the sexiest mutant I've ever seen. I mean, if I received a nickel for every time I saw someone as fine as you, I'd have five cents. Besides, it's not like I can judge, I mean that would be hypocritical of me being one myself and all," and with that she slid her hands out from the lambskin cuffs.

"Y' could have gotten out of them anytime, yet you didn't?" Remy was confused with this girls actions.

"Well, I was hoping something a little more entertaining would result from remaining in them. Obviously that's not going to happen, well until I win this game," she gave an impish grin.

He smirked. "I wouldn't count on it, fille. Put y're cards down," She did, and he had her beat, easy. He laid his own down with the same satisfied smirk. Her face fell slightly.

She made a face, her brown eyes crinkling. "This sucks. Would you have let me win if I kept the cuffs on?"

"Non."

"Damn," she fell back unto the bed with an exasperated sigh. Then she looked up again, as if studying him. "You know, if you were a new hamburger at McDonald's, you've be McGorgeous."

Remy's face fell slightly, remembering that this wasn't Rogue at all. It was some girl who still hadn't told him her name. "Y' still gotta tell me y're name."

That didn't deter her in the least. "What's wrong? You look a little sad and gloomy. What you need is a little vitamin me."

"W'at are y'? A collection of cheesy pick-up lines?"

"Only for you. I'm sick. My medicine is to talk to you," she even let out a fake cough with a roguish grin attached.

He let out a snort. "Y're sick for sure."

"Well, then I think you should know, I'm wearing Revlon colorstay lipstick. Want to help me test the claim that it won't kiss off?"

"S' not going to work. An' y' owe me a name incase y're sex-addled brain forgot," Remy collected his cards again and shuffled them, looking down at Rogue's body.

She pouted and crossed her arms. "Man, you are not fun at all. If I tell you my name can we at least do something fun?"

"I'll t'ink about it," he drawled with a small smile.

"My names…ouch," her eyes became unfocused and her hands went to her head. The nails gravitated inwards and dug into her soft flesh. She let out a few protests while vehemently shaking her head. Then, just like with Carol, she went limp.

"Dat was interesting," Remy said to himself, now that Rogue was out again. "Doubt anyone'd believe me if I told dem what really happened anyway." He sat back down and began to shuffle through the cards waiting for the next outburst from Rogue and the never-ending cycle of psyches she had within her head.

- - - - -

"Ugh, I must of hit one too many," groggily her hand went to wipe her head, ridding it of any perspiration. Sitting up, she noticed that she wasn't alone in the room. "Who the hell are you bub?"

"Better question is who y' are homme."

"Great," she let out an exasperated sigh. "Not only do I wake up with a headache, but I find out I made it down south. Ain't that right Gumbo?"

Remy perked an eyebrow. "Well, dis has to be an improvement, at least y're familiar."

She stretched, soothing out the aches and pains from her unused muscles. "Familiar to who? I never saw yer ugly mug in my life."

"Remy'll have y' know dat deres quite a few femmes dat'd disagree wit' dat."

"Do I look like a woman to you Gumbo?" she asked as she started to get out of the bed. Almost immediately the Cajun came over to make her sit back down. Remy had chosen to ignore that last statement. "Get yer hands away from me, I'm leaving wherever this is. Don't like hospitals."

"We've got dat in common den," Remy decided maybe talking would be the best course of action. As long as he didn't find out he was really a she things might go smoothly this round.

"That's nice, but I don't care. I'm leaving."

"Dat would be a negative Wolverine," his eyes were glowing slightly, waiting in apprehension for the other person to make a move. Unfortunately though, he couldn't do anything to damage Rogue while whoever was in her could do all the damage they liked.

"And you're goin' to stop me?" She laughed. "I'd like to see that."

Remy took out a card and charged it slightly, holding it in his hands. "Don't want to hurt y' homme. Just get back in de bed."

She didn't listen and moved ahead, which forced Remy to loose his card near her feet. It exploded on impact and sent her reeling back. She found her footing quickly. "Nice party trick kid. Try mine." And with that, six identical claws came through her pale knuckles. But instead of adamantium, they were bone.

"Notice anyt'ing different?" Remy asked as she started a predatory approached towards him.

"Like what?"

"Y'r claws."

She looked down and blue eyes widened. "What the hell? Where's that cursed metal?" Her eyes trained on his form and narrowed in malice. "You're going to pay for whatever you did Gumbo."

"Remy didn't do anything," Remy explained as he backed into a wall. Quickly he turned as three claws embedded themselves into the portion of wall where his heart would have been. "Now dat ain't nice." He threw a card near her feet again, sending her flying into one of the machines around them.

She got up with a growl. "Its on kid," and she charged at him again, wielding those claws like they were naturally part of her hands. Each and every cut made would heal instantly, leaving Remy in an interesting position: To put more charge in the cards to hurt her, which she would heal, or risk that she might not heal when she eventually passed out again.

- - - - -

It was between the fourteenth or fifteenth game of solitaire that she woke up again. He was sitting amid the destruction that Wolverine had caused. He'd tried to clean up the worst of it, but some things just couldn't be taken care of. Again her eyes were blue, but it was softer this time. She yawned when she woke and stretched her arms up like a cat. Then she rubbed her eyes, trying to rid herself of the sleep. She looked innocent doing that, like a child.

"Where am Ah?"

Her voice definitely was southern, even Mississippian, but it sounded too young for her. There was a glimmer of hope that somehow this was going in the right direction. He watched the blue eyes search the room and land on him. He just stared back, wondering what the ploy would be this time.

"Excuse meh Mister, but could ya tell meh where Ah am?"

"Y're in de hospital," Remy answered trying to figure out who this was. It was like a game now, trying to figure out who all the people were. Wasn't really an enjoyable game to be sure, since most often the people reacted violently to him. There had been others besides the Carol, Logan and the pick-up line girl. To say his night was interesting was to say the least.

"Oh," her eyes went wide as she looked down at her body. For some reason she didn't notice that things weren't exactly as they should be. "What happened to me?"

"Y' had a bit of an episode. Nothin' real serious, but y've been out for a little bit," he supplied, hoping that somehow this manifestation would get him closer to Rogue. Besides, it's not as if he hadn't ever told a little white lie before.

"Where're mah parents?" Her voice was so tiny. She was nervous and scared but trying not to be. Whoever this one was, they weren't old enough to know the world yet.

Remy ran a hand through his hair. He was making half of this up as he went, which wasn't difficult. "Dey were here just a few minutes ago. Doctor sent dem home. He didn't want them to spend de whole night here and den not be awake when you woke up."

"But Ah just woke up now so then…" she seemed confused about it, as if trying to work it all out.

"Well, den we just not tell dem 'bout dis non?" He gave a little wink, to show it was a secret to keep just between them. This was turning out to be more like talking to a child then he would have imagined. Why would Rogue have absorbed a child?

"And who are ya?"

The question made him stop wondering why the absorption happened. Just that it did. "Specialist called in t' help y'. Yo'r parents want y' back to health as soon as possible."

She looked down at her hands for a moment before her baby blue eyes glanced at him once more. "Oh," she looked around the room, wondering to ask what all was wrong or just forget about it. "Are those cards?" She chose to forget.

"Oui," curiously, he wondered if the kid would even know that little bit of French. But she nodded slightly as if in understanding, so he didn't make any other attempts to answer.

"Wanna play Go Fish?"

It was so unexpected that he almost laughed out right. He watched as she folded her legs up under her, so that she sat cross-legged. It left enough room at the end of the hospital bed for him. "Sure, but I gotta tell you, I play a mean Go Fish," Remy admonished as he climbed into the open portion of the medical bed.

"Nah-uh! I always win, expect with Anna 'cause that girl cheats," she was smiling, and her blue eyes sparkled with an innocence that Rogue had long since lost. She watched as Remy shuffled the cards in his hand like an expert.

"Anna huh? She y'r girlfriend?" He was showing off, just a little. It was for the kid, that's what he told himself. It was for the kid that he was elaborately shuffling. He had a talent with cards after all, why not use it?

She looked scandalized by his question and amended it rapidly. "Nope. She's mah best friend. We race toads with one another. But she always finds a way to cheat," she quickly picked up her cards, making it seem like Remy would steal them or see what her hand was.

"An' y' just let her?" They each had seven cards, and so were now allotted the time to check over their hand. After that it was determining who would go first. "Y' go first, y' de sick one an' all."

She looked down at her cards speculating, and then back at him, as if sizing him up. "Nah, Ah cheat right back," her grin was full of childlike mischief. "Do ya have any sevens?"

He threw down the seven of spades he had in his hand. "I'm Remy," deciding it high past time they introduce themselves, then he'd know who the child was, although still be missing the significance of who he was to Rogue.

"Cody. Cody Robins."

"Well, Cody, y' got some Queens?" Remy looked over the top of his cards, holding them near his chest. The kid already admitted to cheating, no sense in making it easier for him. Besides, it was fun.

"So where are ya a specialist from?" Cody gave him a smirk before ordering. "Go Fish."

"Naw'leans," Remy dejectedly picked up a card from the top pile, adding to his hand so that it was once again full of various cards from the deck.

"Really? Ah've always wanted to go there. Anna would jump at tha chance to meet ya, she loves Cajun things," he asked for a three and in return got a fish. "Ah think that she'd pack up and move over there sometimes the way she goes on about how great the city's supposed to be."

"Sounds like a great fille," he still wasn't sure who the 'Anna' character was. It couldn't be Rogue; he'd learned her real name here was Marie. But she hated to use it. Marie wasn't close to Anna. Not to mention that Rogue seemed to hate anything and all things Cajun, including for the most part him.

He grinned. "Yup she is. It's too bad she got this skin condition; it means we have to be more careful now," he seemed forlorn at that fact, like it tugged on his heart slightly to have something change in his life, even if it was just something like that.

"Skin condition?" That didn't raise any questions about the boy's friend. It was curious, because to have a skin condition in the south would be hell for the host. Long sleeves and full legged pants were murder when it was muggy out.

"Yeah, her Momma and Auntie Irene say she's got to be covered up all the time from now on, no exceptions. So we can't go swimmin' anymore or jumpin' in puddles. And it seriously makes it hard to go and capture decent toads," his face fell a little more with the continual talk of it. "Any Jacks?"

"Just de one," Remy threw down a Jack of Diamonds that he'd been holding on to. "Dat does sound like a downer. Guess y'll just have to be stealthier in y'r escapades hein?"

"Ya've no idea. But Anna and Ah'll come up with something. Personally Ah think they're just over reacting cause that girl has such pale skin. Probably afraid she's gunna burn or something," he put down the twos Remy had quested about. "Although, she'd gotta wear these gloves all the time now. Best if when she wears a t-shirt, they reach all the way past her elbows. Like opera ladies. Ah get to tease her non-stop about them then."

"'M sure she'll appreciate it too. Let's hope she gives y' a head start before comin' after y'," he suggested, knowing the type of girl this Anna was. It reminded him of Bella. Well, at least when Bella and him were children. The current Bella was none to childlike, and didn't exactly have qualms about killing him as soon as she saw his red on black eyes.

"She'd catch up. Anna's pretty fast 'cause her momma signed her up for gymnastics and that means she's gotta go running at least once a day. Most of the time she just chases meh and says it's a run," he smiled at the memory. "She's always running after meh because of something Ah supposedly did. Do Ah look like Ah'd put worms in someone's sandwich?"

Remy had to chuckle at that. The description of their friendship was like his own with Bella. Minus, of course, the fateful meeting where she tried to use him as target practice. "Y' two sound just like one of m' old amis down in de Big Easy."

"Really? Me an' Anna have only known each other for a few years. 'Cause her momma, Auntie Irene and she only moved to Caldecott for a bit. That's when we found out we were best friend. Of course mah one friend Freddy think Ah'm gunna catch cooties from Anna. But that's just silly," Cody said making 'Freddy' seem extremely wrong in his assessment.

"Freddy's just jealous dat y're friends wit' de fille instead of him. In a few years he won't t'ink she's got cooties. Y'll probably have to bat away de boys wit' sticks. No doubt Anna'll help y' out wit' dat, 'specially if she's anyt'ing like Bella." Remy smiled faintly at the memories they'd had together. He hoped that this Cody, wherever he was right now, still had Anna for his friend. It wasn't fair to have them turn out the same way that he had.

"Is that yah're friend?"

"Dat's her. Now, seeing as 'm whooping y'r butt at Go Fish, how 'bout y' tell me how y' and Anna met?" He grinned down at the thirteen pairs of cards he already had arrayed out on the bed before him. The kid only had eight. That left six pairs in play and he'd have to get all of them if he wanted to win.

"Yah're trying to distract meh so ya can win!" Cody proclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at Remy. But his accusation fell as soon as the Cajun looked for the culprit that Cody was pointing at. He fell into boyish giggles.

"I would never do such a t'ing. 'M much sneakier."

Cody stuck out his tongue at the older man. "Ah can tell ya lyin'. There's no sense denying it."

"Lying?" Remy's hands flew to his chest as if wounded. "How in de world would y' know dat 'm lying? I'll have y' know 'm one of de best liars dere are."

"Well, do ya always smile when ya lie?" Cody's face was full and bright with his smile. "Any fours?"

"Go fishing y' rat," he grinned at the boy. "Y' got dat big ol' river near y' f'r dat. Seeing as y' live in Mississippi an' all," Remy couldn't deny that he was having fun with this manifestation. Kid reminded him of his cousin Lapin when he was younger.

Cody grumbled while retrieving a card. He looked at it and grinned. "Any Queens?" He watched with glee as Remy dejectedly put down his Queen of Hearts. Cody placed it down with the Queen of Spades.

"Y' best take care of dat card, she's one of m' favorites."

"Ah'll keep that in mind. Any sixes?" he grinned as the Cajun threw down another plastic rectangle with six red hearts on it.

Remy stuck his tongue out at Cody. "Y'r cheatin'."

"Say's the liar."

"Just keep playin'. 'M going to win dis game somehow," he scowled down at his hand, a measly two, a five and a King. They weren't going to do much for him as he'd already inquired about all of them.

"Someone's a sorry loser!" Cody taunted. Then he yawned, his blue eyes blinking out the sudden onslaught of drowsiness. He yawned again. "Ah'm getting sleepy. Did ya give meh some more medicine?"

"It was time for y' next dose. Best if y' just go to sleep," Remy replied, playing the part of the specialist doctor again. He wasn't looking forward to the next person to come from Rogue. He'd almost forgotten that the kid was even in Rogue's body.

"Night Remy."

"Bonne nuit kid."

- - - - -

It was almost morning now. He'd spent most of the night wrestling different personas in Rogue's head. The last of which was Cody, who had really been no problem at all. He'd actually enjoyed that one. The kid was just as he'd called him, a kid. He wasn't exposed to the harsh realities of the world. He didn't have all of that to worry about. Or, at least didn't at the time of absorption.

Remy had no doubt that if the sun shown down here, it would be. It was just getting to be early enough for the sun to take rein over the moon for dominance of the sky. Sometimes, the night watch really was the worst of them all. He still didn't believe anyone was going to take his side that he didn't destroy the room single handed. Maybe he could get a swing vote out of Kitty.

Figuring the others would be around soon, he went to go check on the other three patients. He'd ignored them for most of the night, having been otherwise occupied with Rogue—or rather whoever was currently in control of Rogue. The doors swished when he entered Betsy and Bobby's room. They were both breathing regularly, as if they were just sleeping. Which in essence, they were. His feet traveled over to the next room. The one that held Carol Danvers.

"Y're kind o' a bitch," Remy muttered looking down at the woman's unconscious form. He checked the same thing that he had with the other two. Her breathing was shallower than theirs, but had been since the previous night. "Not dat Remy put all de blame on y'. Remy'd be a lil' cranky too if he woke up in a place he didn't know. Not dat he'd attack de attractive stranger…"

Walking back to Rogue's room, he sat back down in the now familiar chair. He took out the deck that was missing a few cards since the encounter with Wolverine. His fingers fell into the rhythm of shuffling the cards as he let his eyes shut and take in the moment of calm. They had been few during the night.

The soft shifting of blankets was what made him open his eyes again. Rogue was slowly turning from her position on her back to her side. Her arm cradled close to her body as her legs folded up underneath her. A lazy hand made its way to caress her temple. With its withdrawal, her eyes opened and for the first time that night, they were her usual emerald in color.

She blinked and surveyed her surroundings, yet found little. She turned to her back and slowly edged herself into a semi-seated position. Then she looked near where he was. "Where am Ah?"

Remy was relieved to hear her familiar southern drawl, but it could be a ruse. "Y're at McDonalds. Would y' like a happy meal wit' dat?"

Rogue rolled her eyes. "Removing the giant elephant on mah head will due for now, thanks."

"Ah, Roguey s'nice to know y' back in y'r own skin again," he moved to turn on some more of the lights in the room. Then he brought his chair closer to her bedside.

She groaned. "What, do ya and Jubes conspire ta make up nicknames Ah'll hate?" she sunk a little lower on the bed, reveling in the warmth, yet not quite understanding why she was here. She noticed he looked like he was about to answer and held up her hand. "No. Don't answer that, Ah want to live in blissful ignorance. How long have Ah been here?"

"Since last night."

"That's good," she gave a sigh of relief. "Ah don't know why Ah fell like that, lucky you were there though. Otherwise it would have been the next morning when someone found meh."

"Chère, dere's somet'ing I should probably tell y'," his shuffling increased in speed slightly, the only sign that he was at a loss for words.

"Whatever it is Swamp rat—" she tucked a hair behind her ear mid-sentence and just stopped. She gripped a chunk of hair and brought it near her face. Her eyes widened as she saw its appearance. "What the hell happened to mah hair?!?"

"Well, see dat's de t'ing. Y' went a little crazy after y'r fever," seeing that she was waiting for him to continue, with narrowed eyes, he let out a dejected breath. "Merde I wish Henri was here."

"Ah wish the mansion was made of chocolate but not everything comes true."

"Y' wish de mansion was made of chocolate?"

"That's not the point right now!"

Remy raised his hands in defeat. "All right, all right. What was Remy—I sayin'? Oh. De best way to start dis is probably to have y' look out de window."

Grudgingly, Rogue did so. What she saw made her gasp and cover her mouth with her hands. "What happened to them?" She could see Betsy and Bobby in an adjoined room next to her. The room farthest from hers held another woman who she had never met before.

"Y' happened Rogue," he said quietly, not enjoying in the least having to deliver this particular news.

She whirled. "What? How did Ah do that? The last thing Ah remember is passing out in the hallway! And ya just told meh that Ah've been in the med lab since last night."

He grimaced; she was right in that sense. "Dat's m' fault. Wasn't quite sure if y' remembered any of de previous night. Y' collapsed in de hallway two nights ago. Y' woke up yesterday night and took off to one of de clubs downtown."

"All right, say that's true. Then how did Ah end up hurting them?" Rogue motioned towards the three bodies in the other rooms. She had her confusion rooted firmly in her eyes. There was no denying the fact that she had no clue what had just happened to her.

"As far as Henri explained it, de cure doesn't work."

"WHAT?"

"De cure doesn—" he began again when she gripped his arm. "Chère, I kind o' am attached to dat arm."

"Shut up," she hissed. She was trying to process what he'd just said. The cure didn't work. Her salvation didn't work. This meant that just as she was loosening up in her attire again, she'd have to cover up. Her curse would return to kill the blessing she'd had before. "Ah can't believe this. Does this mean that mah powers will come back?"

"Already came back. And wit' dem, a few others. Betsy's in dere 'cause she tried to get into y'r mind and stop y'. Bobby…well de best we can tell is dat he got absorbed by y'," Remy felt like the perpetual barrier of bad news. He noticed each word he spoke made her shoulders slump a little lower and sink farther into the pillow behind her.

Rogue closed her eyes, trying and hoping beyond hope that this was all a dream. Some sick twisted dream of hers. It's not like she hadn't had ones where she'd lost the cure, or never received it. "And what about that woman over there? What'd Ah do to her?"

"Absorbed her we t'ink. Found her unconscious atop y' when we got to de club."

She ran her hands through her hair, stopping momentarily when they came out sooner than usual. She growled in frustration, before burying herself in the pillows behind her. "Gawd, why couldn't mah life by simple? Ah could have not been a mutant and stayed with mah parents in Meridian forever an' been happy. Instead Ah get to be a mutant, again, and have crazy things happen to meh!"

"On de bright side, life's more interestin' dis way. 'Sides, y' got to meet me dis way," Remy had a charming, yet at the same time entirely fake, smile on. He'd even made a small hand gesture.

Despite herself, Rogue let out a chuckle. Sometimes Remy could alleviate a situation as easily as breathing. Her laughter though soon turned into coughing. It was so severe that it shook her small frame. Remy went to get a glass of water, returning to offer it to Rogue. She accepted gratefully, and took a drink.

"Thanks. Don't know what came over meh."

"Well, y' did have a bad fever after y' fell, maybe it's a side effect," Remy informed her, still quite worried at the amount of coughing she'd just done so soon after waking up.

"So what exactly did Ah do while Ah was…otherwise occupied?" She tucked a remaining white forelock behind her ear, leaving her eyes wide and searching.

He ran his fingers through the cards still occupying his hand. "Y'r appearance f' one t'ing was different," Rogue raised an eyebrow, coughing once more and grappling for the water glass. She clutched it like a favorite toy. Once she stopped, he continued. "Don't quite know how, mais y' changed y'r hair. Looks kinda cute by de was, liked it better before…but beggars can't be choosers non?"

"Swamp rat," she warned lightly feeling a blush warm her cheeks at the out of the blue compliment.

"Anyway, y' had on clothes dat y' wouldn't normally wear, otherwise dis place would run out o' cold water. An' 'm sure y' weren't exactly actin' like de Rouge we all know," he mentioned the last part with the hint of a smirk across his face.

"You're not sure?"

"Wasn't dere chére. Iceboy's de one who got close to y' before y' went comatose on us."

"Oh, well—" she coughed again, which she'd done numerous times during the conversation. She took another drink from the water glass. It was right after the swallow that she coughed up the first bit of blood.

Crimson stained the pearly whites of the bed sheets. A few more horrible coughs before Rogue simply fell back on the bed. Her eyes fluttered closed. One of her hands reached out towards him. After that gesture her whole body began to convulse. That's when Remy ran for help.

- - - - -

"Can you believe this?" Jubilee was walking down the metallic hallway next to Mr. McCoy.

The large furry mutant looked down at the young woman with slight confusion. "Can I or can I not believe what?"

"Well," she took a deep breath, which was always the precursor for a long winded monologue from pyrotechnic. But this time she was stopped when the small hand of Kitty Pryde covered her mouth. "Perhaps now is not the best time Jubes."

Jubilee made a face at her friend who simply returned it. Hank watched on with amusement at the antics of the two girls. They were used to having people in the med lab that they'd cover it with defense mechanisms, even ones so trivial.

"You can be such a jerk sometimes chica," Jubilee protested huffily while crossing her arms. Her lips were just beginning to form an award winning pout that she'd practiced in the mirror to be perfect.

"Stick and stones can't break my bones and your words will never hurt me!" Kitty countered with a self satisfied smirk upon her features.

The Asian girl rolled her eyes. "You've got it wrong Kit. The sticks and stones will hurt you. Geez, you can't even get a simple phrase right."

"Oh no, I got it right," her grin increased in intensity. "I'll simply phase through the sticks and stones."

"That's cheating!"

"That's being a mutant."

Jubilee was sending nasty looks at her friend as they rounded the corner. Kitty in turn just laughed them off, having been on the receiving end several times before. Right as they came around the corner, they were knocked flat into the floor. Jubilee went up on her elbows to see none other than Remy LeBeau draped across hers and Kitty's legs.

"Fine morning for a jog Remy."

"Bonjour p'tit," Remy greeted breathlessly. He quickly stood up and helped the two of them to their feet. He was a gentleman after all. "Doc, y' better come quick. Rogue woke up—"

"Well then what are we waiting for?" Jubilee started towards the rooms.

Remy caught her arm before she got too close. "Dere's a problem t'ough. She was awake and fine while we were talkin'. Den she started coughing and then she coughed up blood. Now she's convulsing on de bed."

"I suggest we hasten our way to her then," Hank advised while walking quickly towards Rogue's room. "Remy, Jubilee, Kitty, go and try to hold her down. I'm going to retrieve something that will hopefully calm her down." He left the room, leaving the three young people to stare at one another before they went towards Rogue.

Hank was rummaging through various cabinets looking for the appropriate sized needle for the injection he planned to use. As he was doing this the doors swished open, emitting another person to the lab. He looked up briefly and saw that Ororo had walked into the room.

"Hank, what's going on?"

He went back to his searching. "It seems that Rogue has woken up."

"Really?" She moved towards the window where she could just barely glimpse into Rogue's room. She noticed Kitty, Jubilee and Remy all crowded around the young girls bedside. "Then why are you looking for something in here?"

"Seems we have a bit of a problem with my patient. Would you prefer the short hand or long hand version?" He pushed aside a length of tubing used for drawing blood. That wouldn't be necessary.

"Short hand I believe."

"That's just as well, that's the version I was given as well. It seems that Rogue woke up, and began coughing at some point. This at a certain time escalated into coughing up blood. I believe the strain from that made her pass out and her body began to convulse," He stood from where he was looking under a cabinet to walk cross the room and begin searching another one. "I know I put it somewhere…"

Ororo went over to look through the window again. This time the scene was very different. She saw the three still holding on to Rogue, but suddenly Kitty went intangible as five needles went right through the space where she had occupied. The three locked eyes and then stared at the room as various machines began levitating off the floor. Remy said something to the two girls, who nodded in response. Kitty climbed unto Rogue's bed and sat on top of her, bracing her arms and legs. That left Remy and Jubilee to the task of setting the rooms machinery down as quickly as possible.

"Hank, I think you should hurry along with whatever you are looking for," the weather goddess's voice was a little strained as she watched the scene unfold before her.

The furry mutant stood up triumphant with an appropriately sized needle in his hand. He fitted the needle to the base of the drug he intended to inject. "Why ever would that be? She was simply convulsing when I left her…" his eyes traveled to the window to witness what was happening in the room. "My stars and garters."

"My thoughts exactly."

"I have to go help them," he made his way through the door and into Rogue's room without any more preamble.

She looked through the window once more to see Kitty phase Hank right before a spoon came close to his head. It embedded itself in the wall. She made up her mind and walked over to the phone attached to the wall opposite her. Picking it up she dialed a number she hadn't for a very long time.

"'Ello, you have reached the Muir Island research complex. Dr. Moria MacTaggert is unavailable at present. If ye leave a message, we will get back to you as soon as possible."

"Of all the times not to answer your phone Moria," Ororo heard the click at the end of the recording. "Moria, we need your help. Something's happened to one of the students and I don't know if Hank can handle it. Please come as soon as you get this message."

In England a petite woman ran towards the phone. Her short brunette hair was in a mess after long hours spent over her work. She was huffing by the time she picked up the phone. "Ororo? Ororo! Come back! I need to talk to you!" All she received was a dial tone. "Brilliant, bloody brilliant."


Author's Note: All right, I realize how late this chapter is. And…I'm not going to make excuses. I am sorry that I got sick though. This chapter's mostly from Remy's point of view as well as a little snippet from Kitty and Piotr.

Reviews Lovestoread, I'm glad you liked it. Yeah, Rogue isn't through the woods yet power wise. Logan and Rogue have a nice father/daughter like relationship whether they admit it or not, its there. Remy's got to be a gentleman, otherwise Tante Mattie might have to get out her wooden spoon.

Coming Up: Surprises from an old friend.

Translations:

Bonne nuit – Good night

De accord – Agreement. (Basically okay or fine.)

And, here's a little preview as an apology for the long wait.

"What was that call about?" A chin came to rest upon her shoulder. The own had to stoop down as his frame was taller than hers.

Moria leaned back into his comforting embrace. "It was from the Xavier's. Ororo called about one of the students; she said that they're in trouble," her hands took off the spectacles that sat upon her nose, letting one hand massage her temples to help alleviate the stress there.

"I'm sure she can have Hank take care o' it, as long as he's not too engrossed in his chemistry set," his strawberry hair shook as he laughed. His green eyes alight with the memory of his old friend.

"Sean, be nice!"

"I am nice!"

She rolled her eyes. "Anyway, she said Hanks there and doesn't think he can deal with this," the sentence hung open. Something that Hank McCoy couldn't handle was something indeed.

"Something Hank can't deal with? I never thought I'd see the day," Sean removed his head from her shoulder and pulled her closer to him. The fact in the matter was that there was little Hank could not handle by himself. The man was a walking fountain of knowledge.

"Me neither." Her eyes closed as she tried to think of what to do next. And what could possibly have happened to one of the students at Xavier's. Nothing seemed amiss when she'd gone for Charles's funeral a few months ago.

"So are you going to go?" He looked down at the woman he held in his arms.

Moria looked up into his face. "I have to. I mean if it's something that dire…" She didn't even want to finish the sentence. She'd met many of the students in the institute before and she didn't want to see any of them hurt. It was hard enough there having three teachers gone without adding another problem.

"Don't worry, I'll come with ye. I've been wanting to see Theresa anyway. Not to mention this way we can return some things to them."

She sent a small glare at him. "Rahne will be happy to see her again," her mind was made up. They were going to New York first thing in the morning.