Sinister Punishments

Disclaimer: Have I ever owned them? (to avoid confusion… no I haven't) Author's notes at the bottom, one small warning though: I've definitely messed with some history here, but hey, it's fanfiction and the evolution verse. I think my creative license comes in realllll handy 'bout now.

Another quick warning (damn, I dunno when to shuttup) : Rated for language… I mighta over did it, but its me. Also for some… umm, let's put it as… physical scenes? Some violence too. We've got it all!!

Without further ado… Welcome to number 8 in my evolution verse series. Enjoy (o:

Sinister Punishments

The warm but chilling wind whipped through her hair as she slowly made her way back to the mansion silhouetted against the full moon. A few streams of light reflected against the white locks of hair framing her face, momentarily making her presence known in the night. She glanced back over her shoulder. "Ya still back there, Swamp Rat?"

"Oui, chere."

She stopped in her tracks. Luckily, Gambit was paying attention and didn't slam into her. "This is the last time Ah let ya talk me inta a late night on the town."

"I don' see why we don' jus' fly on de roof." He whispered, his breath tickling her ear.

"S'cuse me for wantin' ta do somethin' different." She snapped, while a small smirk appeared on her face. "An' besides, we've done that one ta hell already. They'd know ta look foh us up there."

"True." He simply replied.

"Let's get goin' again. Ah'm sure Kitty told everyone that Ah'm not in the room yet."

Remy nodded, taking a few steps out in front of her to lead the way back. He knew his way around the mansion grounds like the back of his hand now. He'd done enough sneaking around this place to do it blindfolded. "Y' have any idea what time it is?" He asked as he grabbed her hand tightly and swerved her behind a tree to avoid the security scanner.

"When we ditched Wolvie's bike it was 'bout one. Prob'ly 'round 1:30 now." She sighed. "He's gonna kill us for takin' it an' then leavin' it when it ran outta gas."

"Dat's what we get for tryin' t' play it 'normal', chere." He said in a hushed tone. His voice was husky enough though to run warm chills down Rogue's spine.

They ducked behind trees slowly, but swiftly until they were only a few yards away from the pool. They saw the moon's reflecting shining off the clear waters. "What do y' t'ink, chere? Moonlight swim?" He turned slightly to her to see her reaction.

She pouted in a failed attempt to hide her smile. "Not unless ya're plannin' ta wake everyone up, Remy."

"Eh… Dey're pro'bly up already. Let's go." He started to tug at her hand but she held fast.

"Not tanight, sugah. Ah'm beat as it is. Ah just wanna sneak inta bed an' call it a night. Especially since we have school tamorrow?" She hissed the last word of the sentence.

"Aww, is only one more day." He whined, his red eyes saying otherwise.

"Which means we have finals. Dammit, Ah'm thinkin' goin' out tanight was a really, really bad idea." Then she yawned.

"Y' sounded like Scott, chere." He laughed.

Rogue's green eyes narrowed. "That's it. Ya're not gettin' away with that one." She held his hand tighter and lifted him off the ground. She flew him over the pool. "Ya gonna take it back, sugah?" She smiled wickedly down at him.

He didn't make a lot of noise to stop her. He just shook his head. He knew she wouldn't drop him. She had enough sense in her to not wake up everyone in the mansion by dropping him from seven feet above the pool.

He was wrong.

Her fingers slid out of his and for a moment, time stood still. Before he began to fall, he grabbed her hand and brought her down on him while they dropped into the water. Rogue attempted to stop in the air before she hit the water, but with no avail.

They connected with the water, creating a huge splash. Rogue silently prayed that they could get out of the water before someone came outside. She gazed through the water at the Cajun, who could barely be seen through the dark water. She found herself running out of air, since she half expected to be pulled in with him and hadn't taken in enough to last her awhile under water.

She poked her head above the water, gasping for air loudly. Gambit came up behind her and pulled her back under. She let out a bubbled shriek before pulling herself to the surface once again. He floated up enough just to get his eyes above the surface, the chlorine slightly stinging the sensitiveness of the red on black orbs. His eyes showed his smile that was hidden under the night water. Rogue glared at him, wanting to yell at him for getting her all wet, but a sudden white brightness to her left blinded her.

She squinted and turned to her left, caught in a cascade of light. "Uhh, Remy? Ah think we're caught." He nodded as he shielded his eyes with his hand. A mild growl could be heard from behind the source of the light. Rogue nervously giggled. "Howdy, Wolverine…" She struggled underwater as Remy put his arm protectively around her waist. She didn't trust her sheer top to stay down in the water though. "Stop it!" She said in her own growling tone of voice. Remy's arm reluctantly slid away, but not without tickling the spot between her shoulder blades through her clothes. She shivered, trying to keep from laughing out.

Logan finally killed the flashlight. "You kids have any idea how much trouble yer in?"

Gambit thought of a smart thing to say back, but figured if he valued his life he should shut up. He just nodded his head in defeat. Rogue looked surprisingly at him, now knowing that if Gambit was giving in without a fight, she should as well. She quietly pulled away from him and swam to the edge of the pool to climb out. She was feeling way too subconscious to start flying.

Gambit followed her lead and got out behind her, trying his best to ignore how her clothes clung to her slim body. Wolverine knew it too "Keep yer eyes on the ground, Gumbo, and go straight ta yer room. The prof will deal with the two of you in the mornin'."

Gambit nodded once again and obediently kept a fixed gaze on the brick patio as he walked by Logan and Rogue. His shoes sloshed with every step and he fought hard to keep a smile from forming on his face. "Take yer shoes off before ya get in the house." Gambit once again followed Logan's barked orders and deftly slipped his shoes out of his boots before picking them up and walking into the house.

Rogue was about to follow him in to her own room, but Logan put an arm up to block her. She looked up at him questioningly. "What do ya think yer doin' out tonight?" He glared at her.

"We just wanted some fun. We didn't know we'd be out this late." She gulped, knowing what was coming next.

"And where would my motorcycle be?" He raised an eyebrow.

There it was. "It's, uh, a li'l under a mile away from here?" She tried pulling an innocent act, but with her dark makeup streaking down her face, it was hard.

Logan huffed angrily. "You better hope that Chuck goes easy on you two, 'cause when I'm done with you…" Rogue nodded eagerly. Ah shoulda know this was comin'.

"Can Ah go now? Ah do have finals tamorrow."

"Funny how you remember now." He said smugly. But he let his arm drop and Rogue took a few cautious steps past him before bending down to take off her saturated shoes.

"G'night, Wolvie."

She only received a near silent growl in response.

Rogue slowly made her way up her shared room with Kitty, trying her best not to drip everywhere on the expensive carpeting. She sighed loudly as she made it up the final stairs. "Damn this place for havin' forty stairs just ta get ta mah room," she muttered. She peeled off her sheer top, just to get the sickly clinging fabric off her skin. Ah hate feelin' clammy. She shivered. It was colder in the mansion than she actually thought, especially it being late spring. She walked a few more steps but then heard something behind her. She whipped around, thinking who else could possibly be up and out of bed this late. "Who's there? Y'all betta get yoahself back in bed."

"Hey, chere." Gambit stepped out of the shadows.

Rogue relaxed. "What are ya doin' out here still? Ah'm sure Logan is gonna be up till sunrise ta make sure we don't get inta any more trouble."

"Jus' wanted t' say goodnight. Homme can' stop me from doin' dat, can he?" He smiled.

"Ah guess not. G'night then, Remy."

He reached for her still gloved hand and pressed it to his lips. "Night, chere." A small smile appeared on Rogue's face. "'Not'er t'ing. Don' taste like pool water t'morrow, eh?" He laughed after licking his lips.

Rogue jerked her hand out of his reach playfully. She turned and continued going to her room. "Goodnight, Swamp Rat," she called over her shoulder, laughing.

She made it to her room, looking back once and saw that Gambit was gone. She shook her head at his antics and opened the door. She peeked in, seeing Kitty sleeping peacefully. Satisfied that she wasn't going to wake the freshman, Rogue strolled into the dark room that was only illuminated by the full moon. She threw her damp green shirt in the corner by the hamper. She quickly peeled off the rest of her clothes and changed into her pajamas. She took another quick look out the window to the moon, marveling in the stillness of the night. She was so tempted to go knock on Gambit's window and go out, but as her eyes wandered further down to the grounds, she saw Wolverine glaring up at her window.

Her eyes widened. Uh oh. Rogue played it off by waving lightly and then stepping away from the window and climbing into bed. She smiled to herself, remembering the fun she had with Remy that night, despite them being discovered. Then she drifted off to sleep.

Gambit woke up slowly when his alarm went off at 6:15 later that morning. He rubbed his head, thinking how less than five hours of sleep were not going to be enough to get him through two finals. He stretched and yawned, momentarily forgetting how screwed over he was for the exams. Now he remembered suddenly how screwed over he was with the professor. He moaned at the thought of being forced to do endless hours in the danger room as punishment.

He finally swung his legs over the side of his bed and stood up, stretching out his long limbs. He yawned again and made his way to the bathroom. With his hair hanging loosely over his eyes he could smell the chlorine still present in his hair. He inwardly grimaced at the scent and walked a little faster to the bathroom.

He made it there, then waited patiently by the door. He heard the water rushing already. He sighed and leaned against the wall, almost falling asleep again. His eyes lazily shut and his breathing deepened.

"Yo, man." Gambit felt a shake on his shoulder. "I'm finished in there." He opened his eyes again and focused on Evan. "You look like you could use some sleep." He laughed.

"Jus' a li'l bit, homme. T'anks for de bathroom." Gambit pushed against the wall to stand up and then he slowly walked into the still steamy room.

Evan just walked away, laughing and holding his towel around his waist.

Rogue managed to lug herself out of bed as well. She glanced across the room and noticed Kitty was still in bed. She took this as her chance to get to the girls' bathroom. She shut the door silently behind her and was ready to get the reeking smell of pool water off of her.

Breakfast was quiet for the two Southerners. They received suspicious stares from the other students around the table, and especially from Xavier. Rogue didn't attempt to talk to Gambit and vice versa. They just each acknowledged each other's presence by giving a curt nod when Rogue came down and sat down next to him.

"I'm giving rides today, if anyone needs them." Scott said a little louder, to include everyone in the conversation between him and Jean.

"I'll need one after school. I hate 'porting out of school." Kurt responded before shoveling more eggs into his mouth.

"Ah'll take one there, if ya don't mind, Scott." Rogue said, speaking for the first time this morning.

"No prob." He smiled, trying to lift the moods of her and Gambit, but it didn't work. Gambit was slowly finishing his eggs and toast while Rogue seemed uninterested in the food completely.

"Well, it's getting late. Everyone who needs a ride be by the car in, what, five minutes, Scott?" Jean said, pushing her seat away from the table.

"Yep." He did the same and picked up his and Jean's empty plate.

The rest of the students slowly finished their food and excused themselves from the table. Rogue was ready to get up until Xavier spoke. "Sit, please, Rogue. I wish to talk to you and Remy for a moment."

She gulped silently and turned to Gambit for some sort bravery. He just gave her a shaky smile. For once, he didn't seem on top of things.

"As you may have realized already, I'm quite disappointed with you two." They both nodded weakly, avoiding his gaze. He continued anyway. "You know that going out on a school night is prohibited, especially one that late. I, however, do not wish to spoil your first days of summer… that much."

This made the somber students look up.

"But do not think you are getting off the hook that easy. You are to stay home just this weekend when we have a beach trip planned."

Gambit sighed, but Rogue's face still stayed calm. Beach? Who cares 'bout the stupid beach. Ah was dreadin' wearin' a bathin' suit anyway.

"One more detail though. Wolverine will be staying behind and chaperoning you."

Rogue's jaw dropped. She knew there was a catch coming, but not that. "Professor… y' can' be serious leavin' us wit' him." Gambit spoke up. "We aren' exactly his favorite people as of right now."

"You have to keep in mind that this is punishment, Remy. You brought it on yourself. I have told him to simply keep an eye on you, and to also have you run a couple of training simulations. Nothing too hard."

"All raht. Ah guess we do deserve this, Remy." She turned to him with pleading eyes. "It ain't gonna be that bad."

"Easy f'you t' say. Wolverine c'n stand y'."

Xavier was now happy with his decision. "Alright you two. Finish getting ready. Good luck on your exams." Then he wheeled out of the room, leaving Rogue and Gambit to plan how they were going to survive the weekend.

"Ah'll talk ta ya aftah exams, okay, sugah? Then we'll figure out things from there." She got up once again from her seat. She reached down and gently squeezed Gambit's hand for a moment before releasing it.

"Fine. We walk home, chere?"

"Sure." She picked up her plate and walked out of the dining room into the kitchen. Gambit did the same a few minutes later, after pondering about how to get out the mansion this weekend.

Four grueling hours later, Rogue walked blindly out of the school, shaking her head in disappointment. No more late night dancin' on Thursdays for me. She sighed and leaned against the trunk of a tree while she waited for Remy. Her eyes stayed squinted at the bright sun peeking from behind the ominous storm clouds. Rain threatened to fall in a matter of hours.

She soon saw him walk out with the same look on his face. His hair was disheveled, and from the looks of it, he had been nervously running his hand through it. He did that when he couldn't think straight.

He caught Rogue's eye and made his way towards her. The second he was in front of her, he said, "C'mon. Gambit can' stay in dis place anymore."

She laced her gloved fingers in his. "Ah hear ya," she agreed, leading him away from the school and in the direction of the mansion.

They walked for five minutes in silence, just happy to be rid of school for the summer. But they knew what lay ahead of them was worse than any exams. "So what exactly should we do ta keep Logan off our tails all weekend?"

"Dunno, yet. De least we can do is de trainin'. After dat, we can jus' sneak around an' stay away from him. Like on de roof, possibly even in t' town…"

"Ohh, no. Ya're not pullin' that on me again. Ah don't feel like missin' out on mah summer vacation just because you wanna spend anotha night in the city."

"Fine, chere. No city for dis weekend." He relented. "But we stayin' away from Wolverine."

"O' course. There's no way in hell that we can avoid him the entire time though." Rogue complained. "Ah just wish Ah could fly straight up an' not come down till Monday."

"Dere wouldn' be any way for y' t' take Gambit wit' y', non?" He laughed.

She giggled half-heartedly back. "Ah wouldn' last through Saturday mornin' holdin' ya up."

"Hey!" He pushed her playfully with his free hand, but pulled her back with the hand still clasped in hers. "I guess we jus' gonna have t' play de weekend as it comes."

"Guess so," she sighed. She decided to change the subject. "So how bad did ya think ya did on yoah exams?"

"Ehh, chere, can we talk 'bout Wolverine again?" He whined. "Horrible, you?"

"Likewise. Tell me this ain't gonna happen again."

"It ain't gonna happen again." He said, mocking her southern drawl.

"That's it." She positioned herself behind him and lifted him up. "Ah can't stand walkin' for anotha 20 minutes listenin' ta yoah sarcasm."

"Gambit do somet'in' wrong, chere?"

She sighed before picking up her speed. "No, Remy. Ah'm just…" then she cried out in frustration. "Ah'm just pissed about how the weekend's gonna be. Spendin' it with Logan is not what Ah call fun. Ah don't see why goin' out couldn't have put off 'til tanight."

"Oh," he said, almost inaudible under the wind. "Y' know T'ursday nights are de best for dat restaurant. Dey always have de best bands playin' dere."

"Ah know, Ah know." She stayed quiet for the rest of the flight. Gambit chose to let her think things over. He couldn't help but feel a little twinge of guilt for dragging her out with him the night before, but she would have killed him if he hadn't taken her anyway. Damn, dis femme be confusin'.

Rogue landed right before the front gates so they could go in normally. She noticed Scott's car only a few hundred feet behind them as she and Gambit settled on the ground. He looked forward and inwardly sighed. Wolverine could be seen messing around with his motorcycle. "Gambit guessin' he not gonna let up 'bout de bike all dis weekend eit'er." He nodded in the direction of the garage.

"Well, here goes nothin', sugah." Rogue defiantly walked through the gates, with Gambit right on her heels. She kept her head up as she walked over to the garage. Gambit gave her credit for her chivalrous manner, but he still was skeptical of what she was going to do.

She half expected Gambit to tug at her hand and pull her away before giving Wolverine another reason for killing them this weekend, but he just stayed a few steps behind her and followed her right into the garage. Rogue took a deep breath and smiled, "Hey Wolvie. Ah don't mean ta get on yoah bad side or anythin', but is the bike okay? Ah heard that runnin' it completely outta gas could mess it up."

He looked up at her confused. Did she have a death wish or something? "It's fine." He replied gruffly. "I ran it all mornin'. Doesn't seem ta have any major damage, no thanks ta you an' Gumbo back there."

"Glad ta hear it. When are the othas leavin' foh the shore?" She placed an innocent hand on her hip.

"Don't know. Ya better find out, 'cause once they're gone, yer startin' on yer trainin'." He adverted his attention back to the motorcycle mirror he was polishing.

"Fair 'nuff. It looks like they're back now so Ah'll go ask 'em." She didn't smile, just gave him a snide stare to the back of his head for being rude and then turned to Gambit. "That went well," she whispered, knowing Logan had heard her.

Remy stared at her for a moment before taking her hand and leading her into the house. When they shut the door, he stopped. "What de hell was dat 'bout, chere? Y' tryin' t' make t'ings worse?"

"Ah felt like messin' with him. Just so he knows what's in store foh the weekend. An' maybe it'll drive him out…?" She raised a provocative eyebrow and then Gambit understood.

He grinned and kissed the top of her head. "Great idea, chere." Then he turned when he heard the Kurt bamf into the house. "We might as well get our battle gear on dough."

She nodded. "Meet ya in the danger room." She smiled again and then left him standing there, staring at her swaying hips.

"Dat girl will be de death of me." He said under his breath, smiling.

Rogue walked into her room where Kitty was pulling several items out of the closets. "Hey, Kit," she said, making her way to her side of the closet to get her battle gear.

"Hey." Kitty pulled another sundress out of the closet and threw it on her bed with the rest of the heaping pile of clothes she'd chosen. "I can't decide what to wear. There are, like, so many things you could wear, ya know?"

"Actually, things are kinda limited with me." Rogue said stiffly, turning away from the freshman after retrieving her dark green uniform.

"Oh, yeah, right." Kitty said defeated. "Do you have any suggestions though? If it's, like, too much of a problem I can totally ask Jean in a couple minutes."

Rogue turned back to her. She couldn't help but smile at Kitty's innocence. "Sure, where's the harm in pickin' out a few things?"

Kitty clasped her hands together. "Great! Thanks!" Rogue shook her head, silently laughing and walked over to Kitty's bed. Her eyes wanted to widen at the amount of summer clothing the girl had, considering she was from Illinois. Rogue couldn't remember if it got cold there or what.

"Umm…" she ran her gloved hand over the assortment of clothing. It stopped over a pale blue tankini. "Ya should take this… knock Kurt's boots off." She smirked as Kitty blushed and gave a little scoff at the same time. Rogue looked over the clothes again. "Maybe this sundress… definitely these shorts…" She picked the items off the pile and set them aside. Then she picked up three more tank tops. "These should be good."

"Wow," Kitty looked over the selected clothes, astonished. "I didn't know you had an eye for this sort of thing."

"Yah, well," Rogue averted her attention to the bed again. "Don't let it get 'round. Ah have mah reputation ta keep up here." She smiled as she looked up again to Kitty. "An' besides, if Remy found out, he'd pro'bly want ya ta take me shoppin' ta get somethin' besides mah dark clothes."

Kitty giggled. "Deal." She reached over to the new pile of clothes and gathered them in her arms. Then she placed them in her middle-size suitcase. "Thanks again."

"No prob, sugah." Rogue grabbed her uniform again and took off for the bathroom to change.

"Well, dis is de official beginnin' of our torture, chere." Gambit gazed around the danger room, ready for the simulation to start.

"Only if we look at it that way, Remy. A couple hours of trainin' an' we'll be fine ta do whatevah we want 'round the mansion. An'…" She leaned into Gambit's ear in effort to hide her voice from Wolverine in the control room. "…maybe we can even get the hell outta here if Wolvie takes off. There's no way he'll stay cooped up all weekend long."

Remy stared straight ahead as he felt her breath warm on his ear. "Sounds good. Y' do de talkin' wit' him dough. He likes y' bett'r."

Rogue nodded in agreement. "All raht." Soon there was a clank of metal, signifying the beginning of the simulation and the movement of targets. They separated to wait for the oncoming obstacles.

First the large rotating machine erupted from the floor, flinging several metal spikes in Rogue's direction. She deftly flew out of the way and waited for the next obstacle. Gambit, on the other side of the machine, threw several charged cards at the mechanical wires twisting their way towards him. He knocked out three of the four, each of them erupting in a small display of fireworks. The fourth of the vines ringed around his foot and sent out a small electric shock to make its appearance known. He looked down at it after feeling the shock and threw another card at it. It fell limp. He shook it off his foot and waited for another target.

Instead though, another clank of metal rang through the room and the machines disappeared. The two students looked up to the control room for some answers. "The other kids are leavin' now. They wanted to say g'bye." Wolverine said over the loud speaker.

Rogue and Gambit nodded and started to walk to the exit of the danger room. The found themselves in the hanger, since the others were taking the Blackbird to North Carolina. The professor was just getting into the hanger as Rogue and Gambit entered. "Ah, I hoped you two would make it here." He rolled over to them. "You do realize that you are not to leave the premises?"

They nodded reluctantly, trying to clear their minds so he wouldn't pick up on any of their plans.

"Very well. You two be good. Hopefully this will be the only time I have to cut you out of a team vacation."

"It will be, Professuh. Me an' Remy won't do anythin' like that again." Rogue turned to Gambit. "Raht?"

"Course, chere." He smiled at her and Xavier. Xavier smiled back from his chair and turned to the Blackbird.

Kurt bamfed to where Xavier's wheelchair used to be. "Guten tag." He said cheerfully. "Ach, I'm going to miss you, mein schwester." He gave Rogue a quick hug.

"Don't be gettin' mushy on me, Kurt. Ya'll be back in three days. That's nothin'." She said reassuringly.

Kurt's dark blue lips curled up into a smile. "I know. How much training are you guys scheduled to do?"

"Couple hours, mon ami. Not'in' too bad. We be all right." Kurt gave him an accusing look. "What?"

"Nothing, freund. Just make sure you don't get Rogue into any more trouble. I vant to be able to see her outside of the mansion again someday."

Gambit put his arm around Rogue purposely to boost Kurt's 'protective brother' mood. "Sure t'ing."

Rogue pursed her lips and pulled herself out of Gambit's arm. "Y'all go on the plane now. Have fun, an' bring me back somethin'," she joked.

Kurt nodded, his smiled back again. Then he bamfed out of sight.

"You just love riling him up, doncha?" Rogue pushed Remy playfully.

"What can I say, chere? It's fun fightin' ov'r y'."

"Ya know, sometimes Ah can't stand you." She said banteringly before she flew over to the plane where Evan and Scott were loading bags. "Hey, fellas." She landed gracefully next to Evan who was struggling with one of the bags. Rogue gave him a hand and pushed it onto the plane.

"Kitty does not know how to pack for a weekend." He said, almost panting.

Rogue looked again and it was Kitty's bag, bursting at the seams. "Thought that gal mighta put some stuff away. Guess not." She looked to Scott. "Need any help?"

"Nope, thanks though. Jean packs light." He said as he lifted Jean's gray tote bag up with ease. "But she buys souvenirs like mad. It won't be so easy when we come back."

"Just give me a hollar an' Ah'll be happy ta help out."

"I can't help but notice how good of a mood you're in these days. Especially today." Scott said suddenly.

"Yeah, if I was stuck here all weekend, I would go insane. Probably put spikes in every park of my wall outta boredom." Evan piped in.

"Ah dunno, it doesn't seem that bad ta me. Ah wasn't lookin' forward ta the beach anyway." Rogue answered, motioning to her gloves with a sigh. The two guys nodded in understanding.

"What about Remy? How's he taking it?" Evan asked.

"He'll be fine. He's got me ta keep him company." She smirked suggestively.

"That's it, I'm not touching that one." Scott laughed as he pushed another bag onto the plane.

"Well, y'all have fun. Logan's prob'ly waitin' foh us back in the danger room." She paused, noticing something. "Umm, y'all seen Remy? Ah left him back by the door when Ah came ovah ta talk ta ya." She glanced around momentarily before feeling a pair of arms slide around her spandex clad waist.

"Yep," Evan snickered as he saw Rogue's face brighten.

"Hey, mes amis. Y' have fun. Keep de girls away from lifeguards. Lose 'em like snap." Gambit squeezed Rogue a little closer to his body. "But take some pictures of em, eh?"

Rogue elbowed him and pulled out of his encasing arms. "Ya wanna spend time with me or with photos of Jean an' Kit in bikinis?" She snapped. She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned into the stairs of the Blackbird, waiting for an answer.

"Well, if Gambit could have y' in a bikini den his life would be perfect." He flashed his charming smile, but Rogue didn't look convinced.

She turned to Cyclops and Spyke who were trying to look busy and not seem like they were listening in on the fight. "Have fun, fellas. Ah have some trainin' ta get back ta." Then she shot straight up a couple feet till she could fly safely over the two mutants and her testosterone crazy boyfriend and out of the hanger.

"Merde." Gambit slapped his head. "Bad move, eh?"

"Yup." Evan nodded, pushing one of Ororo's bags onto the plane. "One thing I've learned about that girl: never ask to see more skin than what's showing. Not unless you don't intend to talk to her again, an' I doubt that, man."

"Bett'r go talk t' her den. See y' Sunday night."

Scott patted his shoulder. "Yeah, Good luck."

"T'anks." Remy mumbled as he plodded away. He figured he'd find her in the Danger room again, but when he stepped outside of the hanger, he saw her talking to Jean, Kitty and Ororo. T'ink Cajun. Would she want y' t' come up an' pull th' smooth talkin' act?

Gambit made his move and just walked up beside Rogue without touching her in any way. She acknowledged him standing there by shooting him a glare before resuming her conversation with the other X-Girls.

"I seriously can't wait till we get to the beach. I so need a tan." Shadowcat said, clutching another beach bag to her chest out of excitement.

"It's just nice to get away. Take a long break from life, ya know?" Jean said sighing.

"Heh, too bad Ah'm not getting' any of that break. Would be nice." Said Rogue sullenly.

"Well, if I'm not mistaken, you and Remy there have had a nice break already." Storm added, smiling to cover up the accusing tone.

"It be our fault if we couldn' wait?" Remy spoke up.

"I'm only saying that you know of the consequences." She replied, her warm smile never faltering.

"Well, Ah'm up ta sayin' bye ta y'all gals. So, have fun!" Rogue perked up, trying to change the subject slightly.

The other girls nodded. They all said their versions of parting and walked past Rogue and Remy to the hanger. Rogue ignored him standing next to her and started to make her way to the Danger room once again. Gambit carefully grabbed her arm before she strayed away. She twisted around, shooting him a death glare. "Somethin' ya want, Remy?" She spat.

"What Gambit do now, chere?" He let go of her arm and prayed she wouldn't stomp away at the chance of being free. She didn't.

"Ah don't like you embarrassin' me like that." She whispered, catching Remy by surprise.

"Embarrass?" He took a tentative step toward her.

"Ya know how Ah am 'round the othahs. Ah don't like them knowin' how we are an' all. Well, they know me an' you are me an' you… but Ah dunno. It's just like…" she caught herself sounding like Kitty and felt very vulnerable. Then she added quickly, "an' thinkin' 'bout me in a bikini is definitely askin' foh trouble."

Gambit couldn't help but smile at her sudden shyness. He decided to play on a hunch and kill the space in between them. He took a gigantic, yet limber step next to her and gathered her in his arms. She leaned her head against his chest. "Gambit sorry, chere. Didn' know we were keepin' t'ings quiet."

"It's okay, Rem," she purred against his chest. "Just from now on… so ya know."

"Gambit know now." He smiled into her hair. "Y' wanna get back t' trainin' now?"

Rogue pulled away with a small grin on her face. "Yah, let's get this ovah with."

After an hour lunch and even more training, Rogue and Gambit were spent. They wearily dragged themselves from the danger room, only to lean against the cold metal wall outside to get some strength back.

"Not dat bad, eh, chere?" Gambit panted sarcastically.

"Don't even start with me. 'Lease it's ovah and we can relax foh the rest of the night." She pushed herself off the wall and took a deep breath. She felt some energy left. Just enough to get her to the rec room to watch some TV and fall asleep. "Ya ready ta go yet or do ya need more time?" She smiled coyly. She loved having more vigor than Remy.

He only nodded, his breathing finally caught up. "Did y' want t' do anyt'in' special t'night?" He raised an eyebrow.

Rogue shook her head. "No way. Ah'm so beat Ah could just fall asleep raht here if Ah wanted to." She started walking a few steps, stopping to glance back at Gambit.
"Comin', chere." He sighed as he pushed himself off of the wall and balanced himself before he made his way to Rogue. She took his arm and placed it around her shoulders.

"Looks like y'all be needin' a li'l help there, sugah." She laughed. Gambit chuckled back and tightened his arm around her. They started making their way up to the dormitory part of the mansion.

When they made it to the main hall of the mansion, Remy finally broke the silence. "Dis is de only time we have t' do dis, right?"

"What, the trainin'? Ah hope so. Maybe Logan forgave us aftah tanight's session. We had ta be in there foh 4 hours straight aftah lunch."

Gambit nodded. "Oui. Murder."

"What's that, Gumbo? You want more trainin'?"

Rogue and Gambit stopped in their tracks and both looked behind them to see Logan standing there. "Somethin' y' want, homme?"

"Yeah, I'm goin' out ta get somethin' real ta drink. I can't stand this shit papaya juice anymore," he scowled in response. "I dunno when I'll be back, but ya better be here when I do."

They both nodded, half in fear and eagerness. "We be here. We not plannin' t' go anywhere."

"Sure." Logan said flippantly. "I'm plannin' ta go a little bit easier on yer sorry asses for the rest of the weekend, so don't ruin my mood and you'll be happy. Got it?" For good measure, he gave them each a look of death, enough to freeze them into the places they were standing for much longer than the weekend.

"We'll be here, sugah. Not like we'll have any type of transportation anyway." She smiled sweetly, brushing a white strand of hair out of her eyes. It fell back into place after she moved her hand.

"Now that you mention that, I hyped up the security around here. Nobody's goin' ta leave the mansion, and nobody ain't comin' in. So no roof or skies."

Rogue nodded dejectedly. "All raht. Ya got us."

"Damn straight I do. I'm outta here." He turned to grab his leather jacket off the coat hanger and then stomped to the garage.

Rogue and Remy stayed silent until they were sure that the hum of Wolverine's motorcycle had faded into the night. Rogue stared out the window into the cloudy sunset and sighed with boredom. "We bettah go check the TV Guide foh some movies Ah guess." She started for the rec room but Gambit put his hand on her arm. She looked back to him questioningly. "Ah don't like that look in yoah eyes, Rem."

That only made him smile more. "We have de whole mansion t' ourselves, chere. Why waste it watchin' TV?"

She turned around so she wasn't straining her neck anymore. His hand still remained her arm though. "What did ya have in mind then?" She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear nervously.

"Y'know dat t'ing de Professor has… de collar he brought back wit' him from D.C. way back when y' were fightin' Carol…"

"Ohh, no, Swamp Rat. Ah'm not breakin' inta anythin' tanight –"

"Den Gambit get it." His hand slid down to hers, squeezing it reassuringly.

"Remy, Ah want this as much as you do, but Ah don't wantcha ta get in trouble because of somethin' so foolish as that. We do fine without it…"

"C'mon, chere. It'll give us somet'in' t' do. Logan shouldn' be back till who de hell knows when." He did a fake pout and made his eyes form as best a 'puppiness' as he could. Rogue looked away smiling, unable to be caught up in the fiery cuteness.

"Fine. Ah have no idea how ya plan ta pull this off, but if any of the othahs find out, we'll nevah see the light of day again. More like the walls of the danger room." She shivered in the thought of that.

"Ain't nobody gonna find out, chere. It'll be back b'fore anyone t'inks of lookin'."

Rogue conceded with a smile. "Lemme go get changed then, sugah. Ah'm not likin' the feelin' this spandex is giving me." She looked down in disgust.

"Y' jus' get comfy, Rogue. Gambit do de hard stuff." Then he took off, running in the opposite direction of the stairs. Rogue bit her bottom lip in order to keep herself composed and then flew up the steps, knowing if she tried running she would have stumbled numerous times.

Gambit crept around the outer doors of Xavier's office, checking for any sense of more than necessary security. Seeing none, he took a simple bobby pin out his coat. He wiggled it around in the keyhole for a few seconds and with a click, the door squeaked open slowly. He got up from his kneeling position on the floor and tiptoed into the large room. He'd been in there before of course, but now it seemed a lot spookier. There weren't any lights on, except for the sporadic lightening strikes from outside.

The nimble thief moved quietly over to the Professor's desk. He ran his half-gloved hand over the mahogany wood and smiled. "Too bad Gambit gave up de bad life. Dis woulda been worth a lot of money in N'awlins," he murmured to himself.

He looked to one of the drawers and took a guess that his prize would be in the bottom left one. He pulled out his bobby pin again and worked the lock the same way he had with the door. After hearing an almost inaudible click, he pulled the drawer open without making a sound. He rummaged through the few papers on the top of a few items inside. He pushed the papers aside and found the collar deep in the back. Just lying there. Dis is too easy. Gambit looked around suspiciously, expecting a flashing light and alarm to go off. But all he heard was the rumbling thunder outside.

He retrieved the collar and slid the drawer shut, making sure to lock it once again. He walked across the room lightly and repeated the same procedure with the door after he exited the room. He hung the collar off of his finger and watched it dangle. He smirked to himself. "Way too easy."

Rogue stepped out of her room, dressed simply in skirt and tank top. Feeling a bit self-conscious with the amount of skin showing, she rushed back in and grabbed an indoor jacket to pull over her bare arms. Her ever-present gloves covered her hands. She flew back downstairs, looking for Gambit.

She found herself in the rec room when she heard steps coming. "Ah hope that's you, Remy."

"Course it is, chere." He walked closer to her, one arm behind his back.

"Did ya get it?" Rogue tried looking around his back. He held his arm out to her, revealing the thin silver collar. She looked to it and smiled, a rise of courageousness welling up in her. She looked to Remy and bit her lip.

"Figure y' should do it." He handed the collar to her. Rogue nodded in response, looking over the collar a moment. You can do this, gal. She brought it to her neck and clasped it in place. She felt her powers being drained in a painless way.

She looked to Gambit again and grinned. "They're gone."

He gave her a stare that could have melted an iceberg. "Y' ready den?"


He stepped closer to her once again, linking an arm around her waist. Rogue slipped off her gloves and threw them aside. Gambit pulled her closer and she wrapped her arms around his neck. She traced a finger around his jawbone, almost shivering at the touch of his warm skin beneath her trembling finger. She smiled though, wanting to bite her tongue from crying.

Gambit leaned down to her and brushed his lips against hers. Rogue closed her eyes and savored the light touching. She stood on her tiptoes to meet his lips more. She parted her mouth slightly to deepen the kiss and Gambit responded.

They stood there, kissing passionately for what seemed like forever to Rogue, but she loved every minute of it. The only other kiss she had experienced was right after the mess with Carol* and she had to admit that this one was a lot better. Now, everything was more passionate and not as urgent, as it had been those many weeks ago. (* In the Battle Within)

She pulled away, gasping for air. Remy did the same. "Damn, chere. Y' sure y' only did dis one time b'fore?"

"Ah think Ah would remember, sugah." She laughed. Remy leaned down and kissed her forehead. Rogue closed her eyes and held back a shiver. She smiled faintly as he kissed a trail down to the tip of her nose and then his lips met hers once again.

While they were more than preoccupied with this kiss, Gambit's hands slid up her arms and peeled off Rogue's jacket. She broke off the kiss momentarily to shake it off her arms. Then she wrapped her now bare arms around his neck, relishing in the new physical contact.

Remy found his hand on her hips as he lowered her on the dove white sofa positioned in front of the TV. Rogue placed an arm behind her to ease herself being lowered, while her other hand entangled itself in Remy's hair. He positioned himself so he wouldn't have his weight on her and then resumed kissing her.

He pulled away from her mouth and led a line of kisses behind her ears and down her collarbone. Rogue was about to sigh in pleasure, but opened her eyes in shocks as she heard a fuse short out. Then the two mutants were enveloped in darkness. "Shit, Remy. This cain't be good."

Gambit leaned up and gave her a short kiss on the mouth. "Jus' de storm, chere. More romantic dis way, eh?" His eyes blazed red as they quickly adjusted to the dark.

"Ah guess… but - " He put his finger on her lips to silence her.

"Y' want Gambit t' find a candle or somet'in'?"

Rogue nodded, kissing his fingertip. "Ah'll go with ya."

With her own eyes adjusting to the darkness, she could see his head shake. "Neh, chere. Gambit bring y' back somet'in' extra."

"All raht. But don't be too long. Bein' in the dark freaks me out sometimes." Gambit gave her another short but sweet kiss before getting up. Rogue followed his eyes until he left the rec room completely. Then she sighed and pulled her legs to her chest. She smiled to herself as she envisioned Remy's warm hands on her again. She ran a hand through her hair, getting nervous in the dark.

She turned to the sound of footsteps. "Back so soon, sugah?"

She did not receive a response, only a sharp blow to the head.

Gambit scrounged around in the drawers of the kitchen for a candle. Apparently the Professor didn't expect many blackouts. He was about to turn to go to Rogue's room, knowing she had some candles up there, but he froze when he heard footsteps. They were light, like that of a female. "Rogue, didn' Remy tell y' t' wait in de ot'er room?" He turned and his eyes focused on a mane of white similar to that of Ororo's. The girl standing there was about Kitty's height and her arms were high in the air.

"Feeling sick, Gambit?" She hissed.

He peered at her curiously, sizing her up. In a split second reaction, he pulled a spoon off the counter and as soon it was charged in his hand, it was launched at the white haired teen. The kinetically charged silverware exploded next to the girl, on the frame of the entryway. She shot away from the explosion and raised her arms again. "That wasn't nice." Wasting no more time, she sent out a psionic ringing that racked Remy's brain. He clutched his head in pain and withered to the hardwood floor. He was so caught up in covering his ears that he didn't notice a second presence enter the kitchen. He was swiftly knocked out with the back of a furry hand.

Another tall shadowy figure appeared behind the girl. "Nice team work, Vertigo," he turned to the ape-like creature looming over the limp form of Gambit. "You too, Hairbag." Then he twisted around once again to the shadow of another teen carrying a body over his broad shoulder. His curly hair dangled over the pale skinned body. "Good job, Ruckus. Let's get these two out of here quick. Who knows how long Sabretooth can keep Mr. Logan busy." The tall man said, his voice hollow and echoing.

Wolverine smacked his long time rival square in the temple with an adamantium packed punch. "Let's see yer healin' factor fix that in the next five minutes." He spat as the tall, cat-like man fell, splashing the newly fallen rain all over himself and Logan. All Logan wanted was a few beers, not a small encounter with Sabretooth. Too much ta ask fer, I guess.

He checked his watch. Almost 9:30. Should be gettin' back ta Gumbo an' River Rat. Who knows what they've done since I left. He got on his motorcycle after lifting it back up. Normally it would already be up straight on the kick stand, but Creed had knocked him off of it. "Not the smartest bub in the world." He mumbled. He revved up the bike and rode for the few short minutes back to the mansion in the tapering rain.

He drove up to the gate, which was mysteriously cracked ajar. He looked to the rest of the mansion. Not a single light on.

"Shit!" He roared as he drove to the gate. He was ready to cream Rogue and Gambit for sneaking out until he caught a glimpse of the doorknob. Melted. Not the work of Gambit. Fer two reasons, Logan thought. Gumbo doesn't melt, he explodes. An' why would the outside of the door be tampered with?

He absently sniffed the air. "Double shit," he muttered. "I smell something Sinister." He kicked the door open and ran in to contact Xavier.

Rogue stirred awake slowly with a throbbing pain in her head. She reached up to rub the sore spot, realizing her hands were tied together. She fully opened her eyes, only to see more darkness. Her throat felt hoarse, as though she had been crying. She looked around, trying to figure out where she was. She felt like she was moving, as if she were on some sort of vehicle. As if on cue, the driver hit a pothole or bump, ruling out Rogue's extra possibilities.

She looked around more, trying to get her eyes to focus on the dark like she had earlier. No such luck. Unlike the mansion, she didn't have the few lightening strikes to illuminate the room momentarily. She was in complete blackness. She decided to play on a whim – and a hope – as she spoke. "Remy? Please tell me Ah ain't alone in here…" she whispered.

"Hmm…" A groan came from the back of what Rogue assumed was a van.

She nudged herself forward towards the voice, her task difficult because it seems her feet had been shackled as well. She could feel the cold silver metal of the collar still present around her neck. She faintly saw the blinking red light that indicated it was on.

"Chere? Dat you?" Gambit croaked as if someone was stepping on his chest. Rogue saw a similar blinking light around his neck as well. She reached up and stroked his cheek with the back of one hand while the other flopped uselessly.

"It's okay, Remy." She whispered close to his ear. "We're gonna make it outta this." He nuzzled lightly against her hand. His breathing faltered slightly, but Rogue figured it was from regaining consciousness. "Ya aren't bleedin' anywhere, raht?"

He shook his head against her hand. "Got hit 'cross da back of m'head. Hurts like a mot'er." He reached with his taped-together hands to rub the pain on on the back of his head. "Y' not bleedin'?"

"No, Ah got knocked out the same way you did." Then she sighed, "Raht now Ah'm wishin' Logan didn't leave us at the mansion."

Remy stopped rubbing his head and found Rogue's hands in the dark. He clasped them together tightly. They were still uncovered, cloth wise, cold and trembling. His pinky finger grazed the thick band of duct tape holding her wrists together, as they were for him.

"Do ya know who they were? It bettah not be Mystique. That bitch has done enough 'motherin' ta put me in an early grave." She leaned her head against their clasped hands.

He ignored her question while the van pulled into a rough stop. They slid forward violently, banging into the front panel. Boxes around them shuffled as well, colliding into them harshly. Rogue slammed her shoulder hard, but choked on a cry of pain. It came out more as a whimper.

"Somet'in' wrong, chere? Y' hit somet'in'?" He whispered, concerned by the noise she made.

"Ah'm fine. Mah shoulder got bumped, but it's nothin'." Gambit blindly found the inflicted shoulder and rubbed it with his hands. Rogue winced as he touched the area. Maybe it was worse than she thought.

"Gambit t'ink t' jammed it int' somet'in'. It y' jus' banged it, it wouldn' be bleedin'."

"Ah'm bleedin'?" She frantically looked over her shoulder. "Ah didn't think it was anythin' more than a prick. Ah forgot what pain feels like so Ah just ignored it!"

"That's all it is. Jus' a cut. Calm down, chere. Dey don' need t' know we up." He rubbed his forearm against her shoulder to clean up the bit of blood that had formed with his shirt. "D'ya know what y' hit it on?"

"Ah think it was one of the boxes that got pushed 'round with us. The corner or somethin'."

"Makes sense." He glanced around in the dark, his glowing red eyes scanning. He saw the box that could have scraped Rogue's shoulder. It was more like a metal crate, with sharp corners. He was about to reach over to it and investigate a bit more when he heard Rogue gasp. "What?"

"People comin'." She whispered fearfully. "Ah can hear 'em comin'."

"S'okay. Jus' be quiet an' let Remy do dat talkin'." He saw her nod. She curled herself into the tightest ball possible and backed up behind Gambit. He sat protectively in front of her, staring to the back of the van, waiting for the doors to swing open.

It seemed like forever while they sat in the darkness waiting for the doors to open. If either of them had a watch on, the constant ticking would have pounded in their ears. Rogue had circled her arms around her legs and kept curled up behind Remy, who just glared at the door. In silence. Rogue held her breath, while it seemed Remy was huffing out angrily.

But it ceased when they both heard talking outside the van once again. "I don't see why we captured these kids." A gruff voice complained.

"We know one of 'em. You remember Remy, right?" An accented male voice answered back. Gambit mentally scowled. He knew if Rogue wasn't holding her breath out of fear she would be asking him what was going on and what the guy with the accented voice meant. Instead, she nudged him guiltily.

"It wasn't easy planning a break in on Xavier's mansion. We were lucky that lummox Creed also was indebted to Sinister." The gruff voice explained. "All you had to do was drive the damn van."

Rogue poked Remy in the back again. He turned his head back and saw her green eyes wide with fear. "Sinister?" She whispered to an extant that he could barely hear.

"Oui," he murmured back. "Shh… don' let dem see y' fear." He resumed his position of staring forward at the back of the van.

Rogue stiffened behind him as she pulled herself out of her ball. She stretched out her legs on one side of Gambit. Then she rubbed her face roughly to get her blood flowing again. She felt so sick to her stomach and her headache was back once again. Prob'ly nevah left. She sighed, letting a small whimper escape her mouth.

Remy turned again to look behind him to her. "What's wrong, chere?"

She slid up next to him. "Ah don't feel so good, sugah. Mah head is poundin' like a bass drum." She leaned against his shoulder. He noticed that his headache was down to just pain from the bump on his head. He figured Rogue had a concussion if it was lasting this long. He had no idea how long they had been knocked out and he wasn't into medicine or any of that, so he could only guess.

"Jus' try t' stay conscious. Passin' out will only make it worse."

"Mm-hmm." She closed her eyes though, hoping that not straining to see in the darkness would take the pain away. Maybe a little sleep wouldn't be so bad…



"Chere, get up." He shook the shoulder that she was leaning on. She lay still though. "Merde," he muttered harshly as he caught her from falling limply off the support of his body. He lowered her head softly to the metal floor of the can. He brushed her hair out of her face and gazed down upon it. "We gonna make it outta dis, chere." He repeated the words she had said earlier.

Just then, the van doors swung open and slammed against the body of the van with a clank. Light spilled in from the half-covered moon and from bright flashlights. Gambit held his hands up to shield the bright light from his sensitive eyes. He couldn't make out the shadows holding the flashlights, but he knew they weren't good.

"Remy!" One of them said. "Been too long, ya ol' bloke," said the accented voice from before.

"Not long 'nuff." The Cajun responded flatly.

"You think that after all the boss did for you that you can just take off without a fair exchange?"

"Oui. Don' see why I should let dat mad man do any more shit t' me." He spat back.

The teen clicked off his flashlight, while his associate kept his on. Gambit recognized his purple skin more clearly now. "Ya didn't know it was Jorge? I'm hurt." His dark lips formed a sarcastic pout.

"Y' gon' be hurtin' 'lot more when I get outta dis." He lifted up his taped hands.

Jorge and the other large teen with him started to laugh. Gambit only smirked back. They kept laughing until they saw the look on his face. They knew what Gambit was capable of. Why else would he be there then?

"Right," Jorge said, regaining his composure. "Slab, gimme the light and get the girl."

The huge teen obeyed and handed the flashlight over to the awaiting overly large purple hand. Then he reached into the van and grabbed Rogue's thin taped ankles. He started to tug on her usually indestructible body, but was stopped by Gambit's hands on her shoulder.

"Y' not takin' her." He threatened.

"Like hell I'm not." Slab growled back. He pulled harder on her legs and slid her body out easily. Catching a deadly glare from the Cajun, he carefully picked her up, watching that her head wasn't hit again and swung her over his shoulder.

"Come on, ol' boy. Yer turn." Jorge laughed. "You're walking though." Gambit pushed himself to the edge of the van, dangling his feet over. Jorge unsheathed a knife. "Don't think of doing anything either. There's plenty more of us nose since you last saw us, Remy."

"Aww, guess we gonna have t' introduce each ot'er properly den." He grinned.

"I mean it. You don't have yer powers."

"Who said I need dem t' knock y' ass down?" He swung his legs jokingly, mocking Jorge's threats. Jorge was less than amused. He took the knife stronger in his hand and pulled on Rogue's arms with his other. She hanged limply as the purple teen held the knife close to one of her forearms.

"Don't tempt me. She's just another pretty face to you so it shouldn't matter, right, mate?" Remy held a straight face. Jorge wouldn' do shit. He told himself.

Jorge's magenta hair glistened off the moon, which was just appearing out of a cluster of storm clouds. The silver knife did as well. He held it so the blade touched Rogue's moon pale skin. "You're telling yerself I won't do it, aren't ya? Try me." He slid the blade down her skin, causing a trail of red dots to form.

Gambit stood up outraged. He lost his balance, however, on his shackled feet. He landed in the mud, his face by Slab's feet. "Stop, please," he whispered. He didn't want to give in, but they just had to bring Rogue into this. They had to take her from the mansion, knock her out, give her a concussion and now mutilate her body to the point of physical scars? Dem bastards gon' pay.

Wolverine stomped around the mansion, picking up tiny clues along the way. He was happy not to smell any blood, but he did smell the people that shouldn't have been there. The only familiar one was that of Mr. Sinister. Wolverine had tangoed with him and his Marauders before but it seems like he had a new team going. He prayed Xavier's kids would never have to meet up with him, but it didn't look like he prayed hard enough. He was confused by Sinister's motives though. "Gumbo an' Rogue…" he said, catching sight of the damaged doorframe in the kitchen. It was in the pale light of the moon, since the generator hadn't kicked in yet.

That's another thing. Wolverine knew that if the power went out, the generator would back it up in a matter of 30 seconds. But the power hadn't gone back at all.

He decided to play on a hunch and check the fuse box out back by the pool. There was another one inside the mansion that worked the main power, but the generator controls were against the mansion in the back.

Logan found himself there, staring at the peculiar object protruding from the box. He pulled it out without worry and inspected it closely. Just a simple spear with a pointed end. He sniffed it and then growled. "Definitely Harpoon. Thought that guy was done with Sinister. 'Specially since it seems like he's got a new crew workin' fer him." He threw the spear down to the ground. Explains why the security system was breached too.

He didn't know a lot with messing with electronics, but he figured putting a few severed wires together would put the electricity back on. And he was right. After a few seconds, the fuse box buzzed back to life, and soon selected parts of the mansion were illuminated.

Wolverine trotted back inside. He followed Rogue's scent first and located it primary in the rec room. He saw the stray gloves and jacket and jumped to conclusions after taking in a different strand of Gambit's scent as well. "Oh my flamin' God." He scrunched up his nose in disgust. "I don't wanna know how they were plannin' ta finish that off, or how they did it." Then he thought, Maybe I do.

He followed Gambit's scent out of the room and decided to take a fainter one leading away from the kitchen since he knew the Cajun was in there already. The scent led him to the front of Xavier's office. "Oh damn." He stared in shock as the scent stopped right there. "That's kid's got balls. Now do I keep it from Xavier or what?" He smirked at the mess Remy had gotten into, Rogue too for that matter. "Better call the Prof an' get the team back here. Hope they liked the beach." His half-smile faded, knowing how much trouble the Southerners were actually in.

Gambit walked silently as Jorge led the way through the thick brush they were traveling into. Slab was following him closely, with Rogue still hanging over his shoulder. She hadn't woken up since she passed out in the van, and it had been well over 15 minutes since they started walking. An uncomfortable silence fell over the conscious trio as they treaded through the woods. Gambit dared not to speak, knowing something crude would come out. And with the way Jorge was acting, anything like that would put another mark on Rogue.

Remy instinctively looked back to her over his shoulder. Slab had hastily covered up the wound on her arm, but blood still seeped through the bandage.

"Keep forward, Cajun." Slab said in his strained 'dum-dum' voice.

Jorge turned at Slab's voice. "C'mon Remy. Can't keep the boss waiting much longer. He may have went with us to capture you, but he went ahead of us back to base." He explained.

"Where are we anyway?"

Jorge answered with his own question. "So, who's the girl? Never thought I'd see the girl who could break down yer barriers like that."

Gambit sighed, knowing what Jorge intended as an insult was true. "Y' work f' Sinister. Y' should know all 'bout her."

"Boss hasn't told us much, to be honest. And I'm quite curious."
"Dere's not'in' 'bout her y' need t' know."

"Really? Doesn't seem with the way you've been checking on her every couple minutes." He paused, finding a new question to taunt Remy with. "Also, why did we find her wearing an inhibitor collar already? Sinister hasn't told us about her powers, but I'm sure you made our job easier."

At this point, all Gambit was staring at was the ground, following Jorge as he sloshed amongst the roots and grass. He looked up at him then, staring into his pink hair with a fiery glare.

"Did I hit a nerve?" He said innocently as he heard Gambit huffing.

"I don' know what Sinister want wit me, but he sure as hell aren' gettin' away wit it. An' especially you. Y' hurt Rogue. An' dat pisses me off most of all. Don' be surprised if'n five minutes me an' her are long gone."

"You are in no position to be threatening me, Gambit." Jorge turned to stare at Gambit with his hollow white eyes. "You'll be lucky if the boss doesn't experiment with yer girl over there. And as of right now, I'm saying you're down on luck, ol' mate. Now, you can either shut up and be taken in calmly - and conscious - or you can join Rogue on Slab's other shoulder. Yer choice."

Gambit stayed quiet, internally thinking of how he could kill a guy made out of purple goo.

"That's what I thought." Jorge faced forward and started walking again, his long arms bumping into the trees. Remy stood still for a moment until Slab poked him in the back.

"Get moving." He said gruffly.

Remy complied, but couldn't help but open his big mouth. "Slab, why y' still workin' f'Sinister? I t'ought aft'r I got out y' would take my lead an' get everyone else away."

The large teen mutant was silent for a moment. "Not everyone was as lucky as you, Remy. You got out because you had the training to be able to slip. Some of us still can't believe you made it, especially out of Sinister's clutches."

"So de whole family is still here?"


"How sweet," Gambit said sarcastically. "Can' wait t' see ev'ryone den."

"I thought I told ya to keep yer yapper shut." Jorge snapped from the front.

"Consider it done, mon ami." He said back, stressing the last words.

"Logan, run this by me again." Ororo said into the phone as Jean gave her a weird look. Ororo stood silent for a moment while Logan explained once again the situation. "I'll tell Xavier and get everyone back there. Good-bye." She hung up the phone and turned to Jean.

"What is it?"

"Apparently we left Rogue and Remy alone to stay out of trouble and they get more than they handle."

By this time, Kitty had finished in the shower and was poking her head out of the bathroom door. "Did I miss something?"

"We're going home. Get your stuff together, child. I must go tell the Professor what happened." Storm left the room, leaving many unanswered questions that annoyed Jean.

"Someone better, like, tell me what's going on." Kitty stepped out of the bathroom, clad in her bathrobe with her brown hair twirled up in a towel. Jean just stared at her.

"I wish I knew. I tried brushing 'Ro's mind just a little bit and I got so many images thrown at me. You should have seen her face when Logan was talking to her."

Kitty walked over to her bag to pull out a couple items of clothing. "So I guess our vacation is over right?"

Jean sighed. "So much for a break."

Jorge led Gambit and Slab through the woods for what seemed like twenty minutes. Remy stayed quiet, thinking of a brilliant escape plan. Gambit get away from Sinister b'fore. He can do it 'gain. He was so deep in thought that he bumped into Jorge in front of him when he stopped suddenly. "Wanna watch were you're going?"

Gambit just shrugged and looked over Jorge's shoulder to see why they had stopped. Nothing seemed different. The forest stretched out in front of them for another couple miles. Jorge deftly pushed in a couple of knots in a tree and suddenly the ground dissolved a few feet in front of them. "Let's go."

Jorge walked down the flight of stairs that had appeared after the disappearance of the earth. Gambit scanned around for anything but was once again poked in the back. He followed Jorge into the pathway. He secretly wondered where the hell they were, state wise that is. Were they even in Westchester anymore? The last base he remember Sinister having was in Georgia and there was no way in hell they were all the way down there. The weather here was similar to that in Bayville, and not nearly as hot as it would have been in Atlanta for this time of year. It even felt slightly colder to him than he remembered from Bayville. He shivered.

He heard a soft moan behind him. He stopped in his tracks, as did Slab as Rogue stirred on his shoulder. "Remy?" She groaned. She tried opening her eyes, but her pounding head was too much to bear, especially with all her blood flowed into it.

Remy whipped around to her. Not caring what Slab would think or say, he spoke in a soft manner that neither of the Nasty Boys has heard before. "Shh, chere. Remy here." He stroked her red - almost blue - face gently.

"Where are we?" She asked weakly.

"Don' know yet, petite. Jus' stay quiet an' save y' strength." He cooed into her ear. He looked up to Slab. "Lemme carry 'er."

He stared back at Gambit blankly for a moment. "Uhh, Jorge?"

"Oh, go ahead. We're almost there anyway. Let them have some sort of closeness." The Aussie responded bitterly.

"Y' too kind, homme." Slab, with the utmost tenderness, took Rogue off his shoulder and placed her in Remy's waiting arms. He ringed the girl's arms around Remy's neck as well. "T'anks, mon ami." He cradled Rogue the best he could in his arm, which was a little difficult since his hands were still taped together. Rogue rested her head on his chest, looking slightly uncomfortable with the way her arms were around Remy's neck.

"An' ya said things were more romantic in that dark, why?" She mumbled.

"So Gambit was wrong. Oops." She shifted herself slightly in his arms with what little energy she had. "Try t' stay up dis time?"

She yawned. "Anythin' foh you, Swamp Rat."

"This is all very touching," Jorge cut in. "But contrary to popular belief, Sinister doesn't appreciate tardiness."

"Sugah, Ah really don't care raht now. Unless Mistuh Sinister has about a hundred aspirins ta get rid of this damn headache, we'll take our friggin' time!" Rogue suddenly snapped. She slumped into Remy again after the use of her small reserve of energy. Dammit. Bein' vunerable again sucks majorly. She inwardly scoffed.

Jorge, on the other hand, was surprised by her outburst. "Well, I'm sure he has something to suppress the present pain." He said, happy he found something semi-snide to say.

"Whatevah." She muttered into Remy's chest.

"Shh, chere. Save y' energy." He gave her a quick kiss on the forehead as they continued walking down the steps.

"You be quiet too. An' don't touch me. This is yoah fault we're in this mess. You an' yoah friggin' hormones. If mah head didn't hurt so much Ah would head butt ya. This really shows how much fun you weren't havin' all those othah times." She ranted. "'Let's get de collar, chere. It won' matt'r.'" She mocked.

"Rogue, why don' y' go back t' sleep? Y' gettin' cranky." He smiled. He didn't want to rile her up, but she was seeming more and more like herself every second.

"Both of you shut up!" Jorge exclaimed. He turned to glare at the quarreling couple. "And you," his white eyes narrowed on Rogue's hazy green ones. "Be quiet or you're going to beg for death after what the boss has in store for you. I'm making sure he carried everything out."

Rogue shrank back at the tone of the purple teen's voice. She'd never heard anyone her age talk with such venom. None of the Brotherhood boys had stooped that low. Remy held her closer and then whispered in her ear, "I won' let him do shit t' you."

Rogue nodded, then buried her head in his chest once again. "Can Ah go ta sleep?" She begged quietly. Her tone of voice had changed dramatically.

"I'll wake y' up when we stop walkin'," he told her furtively, keeping an eye on Jorge up front. Remy didn't need him to spaz out again.

She didn't respond, just snuggled as best she could in his arms. Within seconds after her shifting, she was asleep. Remy kissed her forehead again and then faced forward, paying attention to the steps he was taking down the dimly lit tunnel Jorge had led them. All three pair of footsteps pounded against the metal floor, producing a melody of echoes down the hall. Jorge was sort of squishing about while Slab had the heaviest step of all. Gambit walked normally, but he could still distinguish the sound of his feet from the other two. He could also see the end of the hall.

After another few moments, they reached a metal door. Jorge pushed a couple of buttons into the keypad. The door buzzed to life and then slowly slid open. Jorge stepped ahead and then Gambit followed into the brightly lit room. Squinting his eyes, he gently shook the sleeping Rogue in his arms. She just twisted in his arms a bit and mumbled something about wanting five more minutes of sleep. "Chere, c'mon."

"Fine, make me wake up. Ah don't care!" She muttered hoarsely, louder than what she would have liked. Jorge turned around and glared at her. "Umm…" she froze by catching his white-eyed glare. She suddenly didn't care though. Those eyes meant nothing. They weren't going to stop her and Gambit from getting away. They always got out of any trouble with a few hurdles in the way. Deciding this, she snapped, "Shove it."

Jorge kept his eyes narrowed. "Do ya want me to slash the other arm now?"

"Eat shit, sugah." She said sweetly. Gambit was torn between running out of there with Rogue because of the anger burning in Jorge's eyes, or bursting out in laughter by her spunk. Her headache definitely had to be gone.

Jorge growled as he unsheathed his knife once again. His feet turned to their purple goo form for easy lunging.

"Jorge, what is the meaning of this?" A hollow voice bellowed from the shadows.

"Umm, nothing, Boss. Just showing Remy's girl whose in charge here." He responded timidly, turning his head to the source of the voice.

"Your loyalty to me should be commended, Jorge." Then he laughed and made his appearance known by stepping out into the bright light.

Rogue's eyes widened. "You!"

"Excuse me?" He asked, taking a few steps towards her and Gambit. Slab and Jorge had shuffled away to where they weren't in the way. The tall man took another step before stopping, sadistic curiosity filling his blood red eyes. The light reflected off his blue armor.

"Ah… Ah saw you, in Bella's memories," she stammered. The silver skin and the red diamond embedded in his forehead were unmistakable. Same with his razor sharp teeth.

"So, Miss Boudreaux made it up to Westchester before I did? No doubt to take you away as she had planned from our previous encounter." He looked to Remy.

Gambit spoke up. "What did y' do t' Belle? Why y' bring her in t' dis?"

"She knew where you were, thanks to some associate of hers. In exchange for your location, I gave her an elixir that she could use against you. I knew she would go after you, so I made the elixir have temporary effects so I could still find you."

Gambit almost dropped Rogue after hearing this. "Y' sick. When I left here, y' were s'pose t' leave me alone. I don' owe you shit. An' y' had t' bring Belle in… merde."

"You act so surprised, Remy. You should know that no one gets to leave without proper… repayment." Mr. Sinister stayed calm with his flippant responses.

"So why y' bring her?" He motioned to the bundle in his arms. "Y' coulda jus' wiped her mind an' left her back at de mansion."

Sinister laughed. "You don't know me at all, do you?" He stepped forward at arm's length away from Rogue's face. He ran his pointed nail down her cheek. "She is a most interesting subject… with such a strange power…" His finger trailed down to her blinking collar. She grimaced under his touch.

"Get the fuck away from me."

"Or you'll do what?" He raised an amused eyebrow.

Rogue thought for a split second. Ah'm completely defenseless; Ah don't have mah powers, mah arms an' legs aren't goin' anywhere. The only thing Ah have left… In a moment's time, she coughed and spit a big loogey in his face. "Why does it seem that only bitch-ass adults like yoahself make me do that? Ya're not mah daddy rhat? 'Cuz only mah momma had the pleasure of havin' mah saliva on her face*." (* In Link to Her Past for those not caught up :o)

Sinister wiped the mucus off his face slowly. "And how is Mystique these days?" He asked cynically. Rogue matched his cold stare with one of her own. Still glaring at her he said, "Jorge, show them to their cell." He broke his eye contact from Rogue and bore his eyes into Remy. "You and I will talk later."

Remy's eyes blazed deadly red. "Be lookin' forward t' it."

The team made it back to Westchester in record time. It was just before midnight, and after a two hour flight back from NC, most of the team was worn out. After all, they had just spent a day at the beach, either swimming, tanning, or playing some sort of beach game. They had just gotten back from dinner at the boardwalk when Logan called the hotel.

He met them as they filed out of the Blackbird, Xavier rolling off first. "Good morning Logan." He stifled a yawn.

"Hey, Chuck. I went tracking the scents from the kitchen. Ended up in an open field."


"Yup. The scents blended in with fuel and I'm figuring they're long gone. One more thing, Charles: Sinister's involved."

"I see." He sounded angry, as if trying to suppress swearing. "Alright. I'll use Cerebro to try and pick up their brain waves. Hopefully they hadn't gone too far. Prep the others and fuel the Velocity."

"Gotcha." Logan walked past him onto the awaiting younger mutants. Scott stood out in front, the leader in him taking control. The others looked tired as anything. Kitty had her head on Kurt's shoulder, her eyes closed. Normally Nightcrawler would have been thrilled at the motion made by her, but his eyelids and tail drooped. Evan's back leaned against the rail of the jet steps. He was trying his best to keep his head up, but it kept dropping here and there. Ororo pushed on his shoulder.

He looked up to her with weary eyes. "Yeah, Auntie O?" He then yawned.

"Wake up," she said smiling. Her eyes were tired as well, but on the way back she had some herbal tea that had re-energized her senses. Spyke nodded, yawning again. He looked forward. Wolverine was patiently waiting for everyone to give him his or her undivided attention.

Scott stood ready, though behind his red sunglasses, he was fighting to keep his eyes open. "So, what's the deal?"

"Everybody listenin'? Cuz I ain't sayin' this again." There was a series of tired nods in the group. "Okay. I'm just gonna say that we're facin' an enemy you've never crossed before. An' he's dangerous. No idea what he wants with Rogue an' Gumbo, but it can't be good. All a' ya get in yer gear. We're takin' off in 15." There was another collective nod and then the team dispersed. Jean, Kitty and Ororo headed towards the girls' locker room on the side of the danger room to get their uniforms while the guys did the same for their respective locker room. Jean thought to herself again. So much for a break.

Rogue sat opposite Gambit in the cell, half-glaring, half-sleeping. Once they were put in the cell, she made an effort to get as far from him as possible, which was hard in the small 6 x 8 foot cell. A single light bulb flickered above them.

"Ah cain't believe this." She muttered to herself for probably the fifth time since they were left alone.

Gambit, only slightly frustrated, spoke. "What, chere?"

"That guy, Ah saw him in Belle's memories. He knows ya. You know him…" She looked at him, expecting an explanation. When none came, she shouted. "Care ta tell me what the hell is goin' on?"

"Y' don' wan' t' know, p'tite."

"An' why the hell wouldn't Ah?" Gambit knew if her arms could, they would cross over her chest. She got the angry pout down good though. It was clearly visible in the dim light.

"I can tell right now y' wouldn' understand."

"Try me, Remy."

"Guess I can tell y'. Y' about as violent as a worm wit' y' hands and ankles still taped." She didn't answer, just glared harder. "Are y' gon' let me talk wit'out interruptin'?" She nodded, softening her eyes a little bit, but she still stared him down.

"Bon, den." He drew in a deep breath. "Okay. Y' know what it's like t' want control." Rogue raised one eyebrow and opted to speak, but settled for a curt nod. "Well, Gambit didn' have control b'fore. T'ree years ago when my powers manifested, I had no control. Ev'ryt'in' I touch, boom. Was scared. Dat was when I was wit' Belle. 'Fraid t' touch her." He pretended not to see Rogue cringe. "Sinister found me… I found him… Forget how we exactly came across, but he said he could help. Went an' stayed wit' him for I t'ink a li'l ov'r a month. He toned down m'power an' did some ot'er stuff dat I don' even wanna know." He checked Rogue for some sign of expression. Her eyes had drained of all hostility and she seemed at peace.

"Can Ah talk now?" She asked timidly.


"Raht. So, what's all this stuff 'bout ya still owin' him still? Ya said it happened three years ago."

"Prob'ly laid off t' make me f'get 'bout de whole t'ing. T'ought I got away. 'Parently not." He sighed, looking away from her.

"What do ya think he wants with us?"

"Dunno. Prob'ly do some more of his shit experiments."

"Both of us?"

Gambit nodded somberly.

"The kind he did on you befoh?"

He nodded again.


"Y' can say dat again, chere."

"Is there anyway outta here?" She checked around the cell, seeing no windows.

"No clue. I met up wit' him in Atlanta when I was dere on business wit' mon pere. Den I go back t' Nawlins t' get some stuff t'get'er an' go back. Too chilly here t' be in Atlanta dis time o' year."

"Are we anywhere near Bayville?"

He shrugged. "De only t'ing we can hope is dat Logan doesn' plan a late night out."

She halfheartedly laughed. "Ah hope not." She pulled out of the ball she'd curled herself into and stretched out her legs. "Oh, shit," she gasped suddenly.


"What if they find out 'bout the collar?"

"Umm… maybe dey won' be too harsh?" He grinned sheepishly to lighten the mood.

"You an' yoah damn ideas. Kurt told ya not ta get me in anymore trouble."

"Gambit like pissin' off de elf." He laughed.

"Oh shuttup," she giggled back.

He stood up and walked the short distance next to her. Then he sat down next to her. She made a little attempt to squirm away, but his arms found their way over her head and down to her waist. She pulled her arms out of his and laid them on top. She leaned into his chest. "An' what if I don' 'shuttup'?" He leaned his face down onto her shoulder.

"Remy… not in here."

"I'm not doin' anyt'in' y' don' wan' me t'." He whispered. "I got a plan. Dat's why I'm dis close."

He helped her into his lap. "What kinda plan?" She whispered back.

"Dey're gonna come f'me soon, so I was t'inkin' I could get y' de bobby pin outta my pants."

"Bobby pin? Sugah, it ain't small an' this is not time for innuendo!"

"Seriously, chere. Dere's a bobby pin in my pocket from when I broke in t' de Prof's office."

"Oh…" She giggled, a small blush forming on her pale cheeks. "Are we bein' watched?"

"Most likely."

"That's why ya want me ta get it 'cuz it'll be real obvious foh ya ta just reach in yoah pants?"


"Fine. How should Ah get it?"


"Oh Gawd, ya're not serious are ya?"

"Y' need t' get it so y' can pick de lock on y' collar. Y' 'member how t' do dat?"

"Don't change the subject. Ya're absolutely serious we're gonna hafta…" She gulped. "Do that?"

He nodded.

She let out an exasperated sigh. "Yah, well, the boys are gonna get quite a show then."

"Dey'll jus' t'ink it's a spur o' de moment t'ing."

"Uh huh." Her voice lowered and sounded raspy. "Let's just get this ovah with." She smiled coyly, thinking this couldn't be too bad of an idea…

"Oui. Jus get it an' den we'll stop."

"Whatevah, Cajun." She leaned her head up and met his lips with her own. He responded fully. Rogue's hands immediately traveled down to one of his pockets. She inserted one of her hands as best she could. It didn't help he was sitting down.

"De ot'er pocket." He breathed, parting away from her lips for a moment.

"Ah cain't get in there anyway." She murmured back. "Ah be able ta unless ya're standin' up or lyin' down."

"Gambit fix dat." With his arms still around her, he pulled her down on top of him.

"Remy!" She exclaimed in a loud whisper.

"Shh. Jus' get it out." She kissed him in response. She went for the other pocket. She was smushed against his body, but she managed to wiggle one of her hands in. She prodded down as far as possible. Soon she felt the thin band of cheap metal with her fingertips. She reached down even father, trying to flick the small object up so she could clasp it easier. She finally curled her middle finger around it and slowly pulled it out.

"Ah got it." She panted, breaking reluctantly away from the kiss.

"Here." He sat back up and pushed her back up in a sitting position. He lifted his arms over her head and accepted the bobby pin from her quickly. "C'mere for a sec."

She fidgeted toward him and looked at him questioningly. In a deft movement, he leaned in and kissed her shortly, sliding his hands up to tuck the pin in her hand behind her ear. He pulled away and smiled. "Y' gon' be able t' get dat lat'r?"

"Yah, but why don't we just break out now? You can pick the lock on mah collar an' Ah'll bust us free!"

"Non, chere. Sinister s'pect dat. He be comin' f'me soon, so I need y' t' wait a li'l bit… like five minutes b'fore y' try pickin' da lock. Y' can do dat, I know y' can."

"Sounds good, Ah guess. But why wait? We can take out Sinister an' fly back home."

"I gotta settle de score. He keep comin' for me if dis isn' resolved now." They stared at each other in silence for a moment, a pair of footsteps echoing outside the door.

"Be careful, sugah." She whispered.

"Y' too. Pick da lock an' take out whoev'r is watchin' guard." She nodded. The both turned to the sound of the door unlocking and winging open. On the other side was not Sinister, as Rogue had originally expected. Instead, there was a young mutant about Gambit's age, tall and lanky like him too, but with long curly, white hair, accented by numerous streaks of pink. In the back of her mind, Rogue hoped this guy wasn't on to their plan. She felt the bobby pin uncomfortably behind her ear, eager to get out.

"Mr. Sinister will see you now." Remy looked up to him confidently. Then he glanced to Rogue and she timidly nodded. He smiled mischievously and got up from his seat next to her.

"Let's go, Ruckus." He said coolly to the mutant by the door. Ruckus kept his snide look on his face and led Gambit out. The door slammed shut behind them, but not without Rogue getting a quick glimpse of what lay outside. She saw Slab down the short hall, keeping some sort of intrepid watch. After the door shut, she leaned against the wall and slowly began counting down in her head.

Just as Logan had said, they were ready to go in 15 minutes. Everyone was clad in their battle garb and buckled into his or her seat on the Velocity. The professor wheeled on and took his spot behind Cyclops in the pilot's seat. He looked to Wolverine across from Cyclops in the co-pilot seat and simply said, "Seattle."

"All the way there? How did they get there so quick?" Cyclops asked.

"I'm not sure. From what I could gather, they've been there for almost 2 hours. I'm also sensing that Rogue and Gambit were abducted at about 7:30." Xavier stated, sneaking a glare to Wolverine real quick.

"Dammit," he muttered bitterly. "I should've been there. This is what I get fer wantin' some fresh air." And a beer, too. Wolverine added mentally.

'I heard that, Logan. But I do not blame you. Though I feel there is something else you're not telling … like how easily they were captured.'

'Another time, Chuck. This ain't a good time to worry about something that could definitely add to their punishments.'

"Agreed." The wise Professor said out aloud. "Scott, I'm sending the computer the coordinates of the base. Get the Velocity off the ground and then put her in auto-pilot."

"Yes, sir." Cyclops said, obediently following Xavier's directions. He switched on the engines and the XM-Velocity came to life. It rumbled slightly before moving forward. Outside, the waterfall separated and a large hidden entrance - or in this case, exit - appeared. The metal doors slid apart and out flew the jet. Moments later, it would seem just like solitary waterfall once again.

Back in the Velocity, the chatters were going once again. "We're going to Seattle?" Shadowcat asked. "That's, like, all the way across the country!"

"Yeah, man. I wanna know how they got there so fast. I'm sure it takes more than four hours to get all the way over there. It took two hours just to get home from North Carolina." Spyke said.

"Vell, Logan did say we're facing someone new." Nightcrawler began. "They probably have besser technology then we're used to. I mean, we've only faced the Brotherhood und they don't even have a jet like we do." He chuckled at their rivals' inadequacy, but the others just stayed quiet.

"For all we know, they probably could." Kitty said silently.

"Hey you guys," Jean said from the seat in front of Kitty. "Try to get some sleep. Going at our top speed we still won't be there in over two hours."

"What are Rogue and Remy supposed to do in the mean time?" Spyke asked.

Jean shrugged. "Let's hope they're keeping it cool and playing it safe." She whispered to the younger three. "From the sound of Wolverine's voice when he told us… This could be much harder than swatting down a Toad."

Kurt, Kitty, and Evan nodded, leaning back in their chairs and facing forward. Nightcrawler sighed and thought to himself, I told him not to get her in trouble again. He closed his white eyes, drifting off to the sleep he needed.

276 Mississippi… 277 Mississippi… 278 Mississippi… Rogue silently counted up to five minutes like Gambit said. She felt she needed more time, and she had never picked the lock in the inhibitor collar before. Dammit. She thought harshly. Ah know how ta do doors, not collars! 285 Mississippi… 286 Mississippi… Now Ah'm just gettin' anxious… just jittahs, gal. 291 Mississippi… 292 Mississippi… She had curled herself up in one of the corners farthest away from the door. Facing the wall, she came down to the last few seconds. 298 Mississippi… 299 Mississippi… 300. Here goes nothin'.

She took a deep breath and as nonchalantly as possible with her taped wrists, she reached up to 'tuck' her hair behind her ear. As she did, her fingers brushed against the thin strip of metal. She deftly collected it in her palm and lowered her hands near her neck. She shook her head a bit to loosen her hair around her face. She took another deep breath and brought the bobby pin to the tips of her fingers. Ah hope this works, Remy.

Closer and closer she edged the pin to her neck. Knowing where the keyhole was, she shoved it in. She wiggled it as Gambit had taught her, but she didn't feel it unlatch. "Ahh, c'mon!" She whispered loudly. She immediately cursed under her breath realizing she had spoken aloud. Unwilling to give up, she made another desperate attempt to hear the little click. C'mon, c'mon. She chanted in her head. She pulled it out, ready to put it in again for another try, but when the bobby pin broke contact with the collar, she heard the almost inaudible click she desired.

Her eyes brightened and she lowered her hands slightly down from her neck. The collar unlatched and hung loosely. She felt her power crawl back slowly. She grinned evilly, staring down to her bare hands. Her poison skin was back and she couldn't have been happier. With a quick snap, her wrists were free of their duct tape encasement. Reaching down to her ankles, she ripped off the dull gray tape. She let out a small squeak as the tape stuck to the minute hairs on her legs, but the pain was minimal as her invulnerability built back up.

Still slightly curled up in the corner, she formulated a new part to the plan. Ah bet they know Ah'm free. Let's let 'em think about it foh awhile. She snickered to herself. She started the long countdown once again. 300 Mississippi… 299 Mississippi… 298 Mississippi… 297 Mississippi…

Meanwhile, Remy was sitting more coolly than expected in front of a metal desk, painted with a disgusting shade of olive green. Had it been any other shade of green, the young Cajun would have loved it, since it had grown to be his favorite color, but if he didn't have his self control - and if he had his powers - that horrid junk of office furniture would cease to exist. Mus' still have m'selected taste f' de good stuff. He smiled to himself.

He must have been sitting in the room for about four minutes. Assuming as she did as he told, Remy figured that Rogue would be free by now. I ain' hearin' poundin' yet, prob'ly wanted t' chill in da cell a li'l longer. He smiled to himself once again. That's what he admired about her. She could always think despite the many voices in her head. That's one of the reasons he loved her too.

He tapped his fingers on the arm of the chair he was sitting in, beginning to get impatient. As if on cue, a door to the side of the room opened and out stepped Mr. Sinister. "Ah, LeBeau," he greeted as if he and Gambit were old friends. "And how are you?"

"Been bett'r." Remy said back. "B'fore we start de… discussion, wan' tell me where y' brought us?"

"Gladly." He took his seat behind the desk and bore his eyes into Gambit. "We're at my Seattle base, my main base."

"I guess t'ings change in t'ree years, non?"

"I only found in Atlanta because there was no way to get you to Seattle. Remember, you were only fourteen at the time."

"Oui, I know how t' count, t'anks." Gambit spat.

Sinister smiled and leaned forward in his seat, placing his elbows on the desk. "And I see you still haven't lost your wonderful personality."

"I could say de same f' your wonderful taste in furniture. Now what d'ya want wit' me an' Rogue?" He demanded angrily.

"You know what I want from you."

"Lissen, I paid my end of de bargain. Y' got t' have y' way wit' m'powers an' stuff. I don' owe y' not'in'."

"So you think, Remy. You should have known better than to run away. That's what makes me angry most of all. You were a fine addition to the team. Another year and you could have been the youngest member of my Marauders. You had so much potential."

"But I ain' bein' a bad guy!" Remy stood up. "I jus' wanted m'powers turned down an' live like none o' dis happened. An' now y' let m'new family know 'bout my past wit' you? Dey're gonna love dat." He noticed movement in the shadows as he stopped speaking. He figured it was either Harpoon or Blockbuster. Sinister only had his Marauders safeguard him. The younger 'Nasty Boys' were Marauders in training and did petty work for Sinister. Like keeping watch on a 'defenseless' prisoner like Rogue. Where is dat girl?

"LeBeau, you're making this harder than it has to be. Please sit."

Gambit glared at him, but took his seat after hearing a growl from the shadows. "What do I have t' do t' get Rogue outta here?"

"Now you're putting her in front of you? I must say, you have changed."

"Whatev'r, Essex."

"I can see I'm just beating around the bush now."

"Dat you are."

"Simple as it is, you're a fine addition to the team, LeBeau."

"Don' care. I'm on a bett'r one now."

"That's a shame, because the ultimatum was either join or become a lab rat. I still have some unfinished things to work on that were… suddenly cut off by your escape."

"Y' sick."

"So I've been told. Your little girlfriend will also be a great accessory as well. She can already fly, fight well, and is invulnerable. Imagine all the possibilities of what could be added." He smiled to himself at the sight of Gambit fire red eyes.

"But dat'll drive her insane!" Remy stood up once again, madder than hell itself.

"Small price to pay to be unstoppable." He looked to the form in the darkness. "Take him back to his cell." A large man, whom Gambit recognized as Blockbuster came out of the murkiness. Remy turned his head back to the silver skinned man and gave a final glare.

9 Mississippi… 8 Mississippi… 7 Mississippi… 6 Mississippi… 5 Mississippi… Where the hell is Remy? Does he expect me ta get him? 2 Mississippi… 1. Well, they had plenty of time ta come get me if they knew Ah was free… Let's try somethin' fun.

Still curled up in the corner, Rogue started whimpering. Before, she had seen little bars on the door close to the top. If Slab was still down the small hall watching guard, he would hear her hopefully-convincing enough-crying because it seemed he had a little of a soft side. He showed it a couple times, especially when he handed her to Remy before they were put in the cell.

While she worked up her tears, she wrapped the tape that was around her knuckles since she had no gloves. She knew she was going to get some unwanted thoughts in her head, but this was her small struggle to avoid skin contact.

As she built up her whimpering some more, her eyes grazed over the bandage on her left arm. It was nothing more than a piece of cloth wrapped tightly around her pale arm. She didn't feel any pain now, but somehow she could faintly remember that asshole Jorge slicing her skin. She must have been a little less than half conscious if it was more than a dream. She shut her eyes as she felt her faux tears spill over onto her cheeks. She opened them once again. Feeling slightly vulnerable emotionally, she had to know how bad the wound was. She couldn't remember getting hurt after she absorbed her invulnerability, though it hadn't been long.

She slowly untied the knot, but she quickly got impatient and tore it off. It took her eyes a second to focus on the wound. But when they did, she held back a gasp. The gash was about four inches long and the blood had dripped down her arm slightly, but all that remained was a thin layer of translucent dried blood that tinted her skin a pinkish-brown. Most of the leaking blood had saturated the cloth. For some reason, she was fascinated by it. She seriously couldn't remember any bruises or gashes since as far back as when her powers manifested. Something about a broken collarbone popped into her mind. She was momentarily happy with what she could remember, but then she realized it was one of Cody's memories. He'd fallen out of a tree when he was eight.

"Ahh!" She cried out. "Gotta sort these things in mah head!" Real tears spilled down her cheeks as she cradled her left arm in her right. Get a hold o' yoahself, gal. Since when do ya let the pain come through?

"Something wrong?" A voice called from outside the door. Rogue didn't dare turn around from the corner because the collar was off. If Slab was as dumb as he came off to be, he would come in the room expecting her to be defenseless.

Okay gal, time ta finish what ya started. "Mah arm… it hurts." She sniffled. "Ah think it needs a new bandage. It might be infected." She choked on a sob for good measure, though she was still hurting inside her head.

"Alright. I'll be right back with some stuff then."

"Wait!" Dammit, he ain't s'pose ta leave. She did some quick thinking. "Ah hafta go ta the ladies room too…" She requested shyly. Hey, who knows the last time she had a chance to go.

"Umm…" Slab thought for a second. "You don't need help, right? With your wrists and stuff taped? 'Cause, uh, I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with that."

"Ah'll be fine. Ah just need help there cuz Ah can't walk." She held in a snicker. Was he actually falling for it?

Her question was answered when she heard the door unlock and squeak open. She still faced the wall in a ball, trying to keep her face composed and covered. She heard the thudding of Slab's footsteps enter the cell and gradually walk near her. "Let's go." He put his hands on her shoulder to hoist her up. The second his hands clasped her bare skin, the hands went limp and Slab fell in a heap behind Rogue.

She on the other hand, closed her eyes and tried to make sense of the dense and confused images in her head. Slab knew little of Sinister's game plan, and not enough of the base though. "What the hell…" she whispered when she saw one answer. "We're in Seattle?!" She opened her eyes and stood up. She stretched out her sore limbs real good and then levitated herself about a foot off the ground. This feels so damn good.

She gave the room a final scrutiny and smiled. "What in the world happened in there?" She heard down the hall, footsteps quickly approaching. Uh oh, been discovahed. She quickly flew into the corner adjacent to the door so she wouldn't be seen. She once again pulled herself as high up as possible. Footsteps thundered down the hall. Not one, but two pairs. A large man entered the cell, one that Rogue had never seen before. And he didn't appear to be the same age as Gambit and the other cronies.

He glared down at Slab's unconscious form and growled. He also noticed the collar and little scraps of tape. "You buffoon!" He exclaimed to the still body. Rogue had ceased breathing at this point. He looked like he would be harder to fool and bring down.

"What happened, homme?" Remy stepped into the room, making sure to keep a good distance from the enraged man. He was grinning proudly though.

"Your little bitch of a girlfriend escaped." He whipped around to stare coldly at the Cajun. Remy wiped the smile away immediately. "You helped her, didn't you?" He stepped closer to Remy and grabbed his shirt collar. "If she escaped because of you, so help me, I'll make you wish you never met her."

"An' how does that work, sugah?" Rogue swooped down from the ceiling, using her feet to push off the wall. Her taped fist made contact with the man in the face and he fell hard.

Rogue landed next to Gambit. "Ain' never seen someone knock Blockbuster down like dat b'fore."

"It's very satisfyin'. Y'all should try it sometime." She grinned. Blockbuster let out a small groan on the floor. "We should star gettin' outta here, Swamp Rat. Ah got some stuff offa Slab, but he wasn't much help. We could use a li'l more…" She eyed the huge form on the floor.

"Non, y' ain' havin' his mem'ries in y' head. Jus' get me out o' de collar an' we'll figure somet'in' out."

Rogue gave him a bitter glare before going over to the previous corner to retrieve the bobby pin. She tossed it to him to avoid skin contact. "Get yoahself out," she spat. Then she looked to Blockbuster again. Who the hell does Remy think he is? Tellin' me who Ah can an' cain't touch. She took a step closer to him and brushed her leg against his arm. Blockbuster cringed violently while Rogue let out a startled gasp.

Gambit successfully unlatched his collar. Then he charged the tape around his wrists and blew them off, leaving him untouched. He heard Rogue's small cry across the cell. "Merde, y' didn'!" He ran over to her and let her collapse since they both had too much skin showing.

"Remy… It's so awful… oh gawd make it go away." Rogue knew from the way Gambit talked that Sinister was evil, but she never imagined any of this. It was like watching it from arm's length. Thoughts flooded her conscious. She couldn't describe any of them, but many of them showed Sinister's experiments that Blockbuster had been involved in. Either observing, or being experimented on himself.

Remy stood there helpless. He watched as Rogue held back tears of pain. He knew all she wanted was just some information on how to escape. She got in way over her head. He wanted to hold her and try to calm her down, but with the T-shirt he was wearing, his arms were bare and she would suck him dry if he gathered her into a hug.

He glanced around the cell, looking for anything that could help. Seeing nothing, he opted to get her out of there. "Chere, c'mon. Let's get outta here," he said soothingly. She stood there silent as if she hadn't heard him. He checked the room again, desperate for any option thrown at him. Blockbuster had gloves on. It's a start.

He stole the gloves and put them on. They were big for his hands, but it didn't matter. He stood up from the crouched position by Blockbuster and reached for one of Rogue's hands. He gently took her left hand in both of his. "C'mon, chere. Let it go. We be gettin' outta here." He repeated.

She blinked a few times. She then looked up into the red on black depths of Gambit's eyes and smiled weakly. "Yah, Ah wanna go home."

He smiled back, unsure if her mind had totally taken control of the thoughts. "Y' okay?"

She looked down, avoiding his eyes. "Ah'll get ovah it, like Ah always do. The sooner we get outta here, the bettah."

Gambit nodded, even though she still had her gaze fixed on the ground. He was ready to go, but then he suddenly asked, "Y' didn' see any of me in dere, non?"

She looked back up to him with watery eyes. "It might have been you. Ah couldn't tell. There was so much from that li'l contact."

"Did y' get anyt'in' useful?"

"Yah, Ah know where they keep aircrafts an' such. But first," she pulled her hand out of Remy's and hugged herself, rubbing her arms. "Ah wanna find a coat. Ah feel naked." She giggled.

"No prob, chere. Let's go." She took his hand again and let him lead her out. With her free hand, she pulled the door shut behind her. Using the knowledge she gained from Slab, she punched in a code to lock the door.

They came to the end of the hall. "Where did Ruckus take ya ta see Sinister?"

Remy tilted his head in one direction. "Dat way."

"Alraht. It's that way ta his labs an' office. The place they use as a hanger is that way." She motioned to the other direction.

"Den it's dat way we go. I ain' goin' back t' him." They started moving again, this time Rogue leading. They kept as close as they could to the wall, where most of the shadows were. They made it past the main room that they had first been brought in after the tunnel. Rogue saw a white lab coat lying on a table across the room. She was so tempted to rush over and grab it.

"Should Ah go foh it?" She asked Gambit in a hushed tone.

"I dunno, chere. Dere's a lot o' light 'tween us an' dat."

"Ah need ta get somethin' on me. That way we can just bust outta here tough the main door an' Ah'll be able ta fly ya without worryin' if Ah brush against yoah skin."

Remy relented. "Fine. I got y' back dough."

Rogue nodded her thanks and then peered around for any other presence. When she sensed none, she lifted herself above the ground and flew across the room. Without landing, she plucked the coat off the table and put it on. It was stiff with starch, but it was better than accidentally touching Remy.

She was about to head back over to him in the shadows when an overwhelming pain rang through her ears. She thought she heard herself scream out Gambit's name, but she soon found herself writing in pain on the cold metal floor. At a last ditch attempt to fight back, she reached other with her trembling bare hand. She looked up to see if she was able to touch anyone, but she felt nothing. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw a girl with stark white hair like Ororo's. Standing next to her was indisputably Mr. Sinister.

Kurt shook awake at the halt of the XM-Velocity. He glanced around hazily, seeing Kitty across from him doing the same. "Are we there yet?" He heard her mutter.

Jean turned back to them. "Yup. Either Xavier or Wolverine is going to prep us in a couple minutes."

Nightcrawler unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned up in his seat and stretched out his arms. Then he stood up to stretch out his legs and tail. "How long was the trip?" He asked to anyone listening while yawning.

Evan spoke up from behind. "I think I heard something about it being under two hours."

"Damn," Kitty said, stilly trying to wake up. "I felt like I got a whole night's sleep."

"You sound like it too." Kurt laughed. "I don't think I've ever heard you say a svear vord." Kitty froze and kept her cheeks from blushing.

"Oops. I'm just, like, used to getting up with only Rogue listening. And it's not like she cares." She giggled in her defense, pulling her hair out of her ponytail to fix it since it had slumped while she was sleeping.

Towards the front of the plan, Scott was working on getting the new XM-Velocity to go for when they returned. "Just like this, right Logan?"

"Yeah. You handled this thing pretty good. Thought it would have been harder for a kid like you ta get it goin'. Nice job, bub."

"Thank. So what's the plan of action from here?"

"Give me a sec and I'll tell ya along with the rest of the team." Cyclops nodded.

The professor motioned to Wolverine to begin. "Alright. As said before, this guy and his team are nothin' like the Brotherhood. In some cases where the Brotherhood has been nice enough to fight along side with us, the kids on Sinister's team show no mercy. He's got two bands, one of 'em is older with more experience an' then there's the younger group that abducted Rogue and Gambit. I'm guessin' they're yer age. With me, I'm taking Red, Elf, and Spyke." Each of them looked up at the mention of either their code name or nickname. "You guys are comin' with me to find the exact location of the base." He then looked to Storm. "'Ro, you, Cyke, and Half-pint are back up. Jean'll send you a distress call if we're in need of yer help. And," he then turned to Xavier. "You said yer' goin' ta monitor everythin' goin' on?"

Xavier nodded in agreement.

"Alright. Everyone clear?" A series of nods ran through the aircraft. "Let's go then." Wolverine pulled on his mask and walked out of the cabin. Jean Grey, Spyke, and Nightcrawler soon followed.

Rogue woke to find herself against a cold surface. She blinked her eyes a couple times to focus on her new surroundings. All she could see was a near blinding light suspended above her. She tried to life her head, but she was strapped down in some sort of helmet. She also attempted to lift her hands, only to realize that they had been shackled down too. She tested her powers against the restraints. She tired with her utmost strength to no avail. Ah thought Ah had mah powers… it feels like Ah have mah powers… why the hell cain't Ah get outta this? "Where am Ah?" She demanded, betraying the soft tone she intended to speak with.


"Remy! Where are ya?" She tried tilting her head in the direction of his voice, but she was completely immobilized.

"Ov'r here. Can y' move?"


"Me neit'er."

"What's goin' on? What happened befoh?"

"Femme named Vertigo knocked us out wit' her powers. She can send out an ear piercin' psionic wave. She did de same damn t'ing back at de mansion." He scoffed.

"I'll try to get a hold of Rogue, since Gambit has his mental shields. I'll probably only be able to remain in contact with her for a few moments without being detected," Jean stated as Wolverine sniffed around.

"Do that. Keep it simple. Just let 'er know we're here."

Jean nodded and concentrated.

"What do ya think's gonna happen ta us?"

"Dunno, chere. No way in hell it be good dough."

"Ah'm scared, Remy. Do ya think he'll pull a 'Mystique' an' make me-"

'Rogue, can you hear me?' Jean's quickened voice rang through Rogue's mind.

'Jean? Where are y'all at?'

'We're above ground, trying to figure a way in. Do you know how to get in?'

'Ah was unconscious. Try Remy.'

'I can't get through his shields. I'll definitely be discovered then if I send out anymore waves. I have to be brief. We're coming. Just don't do anything stupid. Stall if you have to. We'll be there soon.' Jean cut off the connection.

"What was it? Rogue?" Gambit asked concerned.

"We've got help comin'." She grinned, whether Gambit could see or not. "Ah don't wanna go inta details cuz Ah don't know many, but we're gettin' help."

She faintly heard him chuckle. "Good t'ing, den. T'ought for a second dat we'd be here f'ev'r."

"Ah'm not sure how they plan ta get in. Ah told Jean ta get in yoah head, but she didn't wanna test yoah shields raht now."

"Damn. Could've dropped 'em f'her if I would've known."

"Ya cain't do that. Who knows who Sinister's got workin' foh him. He might have a telepath up his sleeve an' find out everythin' about us in a split second."

Remy's mind shot back to his meeting with Essex. 'Imagine all the possibilities that could be added.' He would be willing to kill one of the Nasty Boys to make Rogue stronger. Then all Sinister would have to do is brainwash her to be evil, which wouldn't be hard since there would already be evil lurking in her mind. What if she willingly gave up information about the X-Men? "Hey, Rogue?"

"Yah, Remy?"

"Y' powers still turned on?" Though he couldn't tilt his head to see, he could get a tiny glimpse of blinking light below his chin.

"Ah think so. Ah can still feel mah strength but Ah cain't bust through. Ah don't feel a collar on mah neck either. Why?"

He suddenly remembered what she started saying before she was mentally connected to Jean. "T' answer y' question from b'fore, Gambit t'inks he's gonna pull a 'Mystique,' chere." An' he may be successful in switchin' y' t' da dark side too, since she failed. He added mentally.

Rogue fell silent. She took a few shallow breaths. "Not again." She whispered.

"S'okay, chere. We'll get outta dis. Don' worry."

"Not again, Remy. Seriously, Ah can't stand it anymore." She struggled again with her restraints. "Ah gotta get outta here. Cain't let them put any more voices in mah head." Blockbuster's memories flashed back to her mind. Except this time, instead of Remy or some other mutant, it was her lying on the lab table, with Sinister looming over her with his pointed teeth smile and blood red eyes.

"Chere, calm down. Y' said de ot'ers were comin'."

"But what if they're not on time? What if it's too late an' Ah'm stuck with some othah power an' another screamin' life in mah head?" She tired lifting her arms again against the shackles to no avail. "What cain't Ah get outta these damn things?" She shouted angrily.

"C'mon, Rogue. Calm down. He likes fear. He'll take it as a weakness."

"Remy," she said in an amazing quietness. "Fear is the last thing on mah mind."

"Is it, chere?"

"Don't you be tellin' me when Ah'm afraid, Swamp Rat." She spat. "You don't know nothin'."

"Fine. Jus' keep it quiet dough." He was slightly angry with her, but how could he blame her? Now is one of those times not to act like he knows what's going through her mind, he realized. Whenever she was stressed out, her mind leaked with stolen memories. Maybe some of his were floating around in there. Out of curiosity, he asked. "How much is goin' on in dere?"

"What?" Rogue once again tried tilting her head so she could give him a questioning look.

"In y' head. It is real bad now?"

She blinked a couple times. "Mainly Blockbuster's stuff raht now. It's what scares me the most."

He almost said back T'ought y' weren' scared but decided against it. She was talking semi-normally again. "It's okay. We'll get de Prof t' block 'em an' anyt'in' else dat comes y' way."

"Ah'm sick of gettin' things blocked, Remy." She whispered hoarsely, almost inaudibly. "Sometimes Ah just feel like livin' with 'em, even though it's a livin' hell."

Gambit fell silent for a moment. Regaining thought, he asked, "Why would y' want dat?"

"Ah dunno. Ah'm just… tired of everythin', Ah guess. An' Ah can live with 'em."

"Y' sure?"

"Don't question me, Gambit. Let me deal with mah issues by mahself."

"Dis is comin' outta nowhere, chere."

She sighed loudly. "Ah think about it everyday, Remy. Me an' mah curse." She sighed once again, almost to suppress a painful sob. "The best thing Ah can do is just go with it. Ah'm not gonna worry about control, cuz it's a meaningless dream."

Gambit just lay silent, absorbing her words. She had never really talked over her powers with him. And he didn't ever feel comfortable bringing them up, especially after Carol. Whenever she was feeling down, she would find herself in his arms and they would do everything they could with indirect contact. There was no need for them to talk about it if they could avoid it.

"I'm sorry," he said quietly.

"Foh what?" Rogue had thought to herself for the longest time that there was no way to help her. She would forever have poison skin and be a deadly weapon. One of these days, she feared, Gambit may get truly hurt and it wouldn't be just an hour he was passed out.

"For ev'ryt'in'. Bringin' y' in t' dis mess. F'bein' selfish earlier t'day 'bout de collar. I'm just sorry." Remy had no idea why he was apologizing. It seemed like a good thing to do with her mood.

"Ah… uh," she stammered. How was she supposed to react? Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of silence. "Me too, sugah."

His turn. "F'what?"

"Ah dunno. Just because." She giggled.

"Dat's bett'r. Happy y' back again."

If Ah'm back… "How many times have Ah lost it tonight?"

"Too many."

"Oops." She said sarcastically. "Shit happens."

"Damn straight it does." He laughed back. Rogue joined him in a laugh, but cut short. Her joy stopped immediately when she sensed someone approaching her bed.

"Remy?" She whispered, holding her breath so she could hear better.

"Quiet, p'tite." He obviously sensed the other presence as well. His kept his eyes shut against the bright light suspended over his bed, but he still had enough sense to know who it was.

"And how are my patients this early morning?" The voice belonging to none other than Sinister asked, cheery in its own way.

Neither X-Men answered. Gambit held his eyelids tight while Rogue concentrated on the light. Her eyes began to burn a little but in her most recent revelation, she decided she didn't care.

"Playing silent on me now? We do have way for making you talk."

An' how would that be? Rogue blinked a few times to moisturize her eyes and then focused past the light again. To anyone looking at her, she may have been dead, except for the sporadic blinking.

Sinister walked over to her table and loomed over her, slightly appearing in her peripheral vision. She acted as if she didn't notice him at all. He bent down next to her ear, just close enough for his cold, sour breath to chill her down to the core. "I know you know of my plans. Don't think you two weren't being monitored." A tingle ran down her back; an unsettling, discomforting tingle. She grimaced inwardly and her face slightly tightened.

Finally she spoke, through gritted teeth. "What do ya want from me?"

"Isn't that clear enough?"


"Shame. Well, my major plan was to add little by little some new energy to you and make you the mutant I always wanted for my own… but, I though of something much more… diabolical?" He looked to her for approval of his choice of words.

"An' what would that be?"

"You sure you want to hear this?" Rogue only bore her eyes harder into the light. That was enough signal to Mr. Sinister. Tired of not getting his full attention from her, he turned around to Gambit's bed. Not surprised with seeing his eyes shut, he spoke anyway. "LeBeau, I've come to the final decision that I have no need for you - completely. Your power is amazing, but I don't see you as being loyal. With Miss… Rogue over there, I can conform every aspect of her. I'm sure I don't have to go on."

Rogue gulped mutely. Oh gawd, Jean get here quick. "Don't put Remy in mah head." She murmured, shutting her eyes finally. She saw light spots in her darkness, making it not so dark after all.

Sinister turned back to her once again. "What was that?"

"Please," she begged. "Just let him go. Don't put him in mah head." Her voice grew slightly into the smallest form of a demand.

Sinister laughed lightly at her pleadings. "And since when are you in a position to tell me what to do? I could knock you both out easy and when you wake up, you'll already have twenty different personas."

Rogue huffed through her nose and sent angry chills down her back. "Don't fuck with me. You fuck with Rogue an' ya get hurt."

"Once again, I don't think you're understanding what position you're in."

"Don' be gettin' her pissed. I've been tryin' all night t' keep her under control. You mess it up, fine wit' me," Remy called from his bed.


"Ah wanna know somethin' though. Why cain't Ah break free if Ah still have mah powers?"

"Your particular restraints are made of a certain metal I'm sure you're familiar with."
"Adamantium?" Gal, ya shoulda known that.

"Of course."

"Makes sense."

"That reminds me, don't think I don't know of your friends upstairs. I've sent in some of my people to keep them company."

"Somehow I knew not t' expect any less from you, Essex." Remy muttered.

Wolverine tapped around on the trees with a single claw. Jean kept scanning the area for any easier way to get in. "Umm, you guys?" She finally spoke up.

"Vas?" Nightcrawler asked.

"We're not alone." She opened her eyes and locked them on a single part of the ground.

"What do you mean?" Spyke popped a couple of bones out on his arms and back just in case.

Jean just nodded at his motion. "I'm contacting the others to get here quick. I have a quick plan though." She relayed it to them mentally so they could not be heard by the enemy. 'Kurt, the others will get here soon. I just told them that I think Sinister is sending some of his team up. You and Evan will 'port down there and find Rogue and Gambit. Logan, you and me will hold off Sinister's team with the others. Everyone got that?'

'Ja, vhen do we 'port?' He looked around cautiously.

'There's a secret passage about to appear. It's the only way underground. With it open, you can use it to lead you to the others.'

'Sounds good.' Evan slid a spike into his hand for hand to hand combat if needed. As he did that, the ground that Jean had currently been watching dissolved and revealed a staircase leading down as it had before. Not giving the X-Men a second to react, the Nasty Boys jumped out, led by Jorge.

"G'day, X-men," he said. "Ready to surrender or should we give you guys a demonstration first?" He smiled smugly as he feet turned to their goo form so he could attack.

"Give us all ya got, bub. We're ready for ya." Wolverine popped out the rest of his claws and stood in his attacking stance.

'Kurt, Evan, go. Cyclops and the others are close. We can handle them.'

"Right." Nightcrawler looked to Spyke. Spyke nodded and grabbed the blue mutant's shoulder. In a second's time, they disappeared in a cloud of brimstone. Jean and Wolverine eyed the three other mutants stepping out behind Jorge. Wolverine recognized one as Harpoon, as he earlier feared still worked for Sinister. Another one was large, but as young as the Xavier students were. Logan also remembered his scent from the mansion as well. And the last one was another teenager with white hair accented with pink stripes.

As if it were a signal from behind, a lightening strike shocked the sky, illuminating everyone for a moment in bright light and then returning to the darkness of the forest. The only light that was seen was that coming from the moon, which had since retreated behind some clouds, compliments of Storm.

Jean stood close to Wolverine, using her mental skills to tell where the enemy was in the darkness. Wolverine did the same with his heightened senses. He growled lowly as he bore his eyes into them through the darkness.

A twig snapped behind them and a muffled "oww" could be heard. "Shh, Kitty!" Cyclops said. Soon they and Storm stepped out behind the awaiting X-Men, almost colliding with them in the dark.

"What are we waiting for?" Kitty whispered to Jean. She stood silent, staring straight ahead.

Jean finally spoke up. "Storm, we need a little light."

Storm nodded, though no one could see her. She dissipated the clouds away from the moon and then they and the Nasty Boys were once again in each other sights.

"Ya done fooling around now, X-Men?" Jorge said, smashing one of his huge hands into the other.

"Bring it on, bub." Wolverine challenged.

Nightcrawler appeared and disappeared all down the hall, finally reaching the end. Surprisingly, the door wasn't shut as he expected. He looked to Spyke mutely and put one of his three fingers to his lips. Evan nodded and tightened his grip on the bone in his hand. Kurt peeked his head in quietly to check if anyone was in view. He glanced around the room, slightly uncomfortable that they had made it this far without any trouble. He wasn't about to let this opportunity go to waste though.

"Let's go." He whispered lowly. He could barely hear himself utter the words, but Spyke understood completely. He held onto Kurt's shoulder again and then they teleported out of sight.

"I'm going to give you two a final few minutes to talk body to body." Sinister slowly stepped away from them, chuckling demonically. "Don't be too sad though. You'll be together always this way." He gave them another look over to make sure they had no way of escaping and then shut the door behind him.

"Gawd, Ah cain't believe this." Rogue muttered.

"Gambit neither, chere. T'ought I'd jus' be brainwashed an' be a lab rat."

"Well, Ah'm gettin' the brainwash here, Remy." She sighed. "Did Ah evah tell ya how much Ah hate mah powers?"

"I kinda got dat feelin' on m'own."

"An' how Ah said Ah could deal with the extra stuff in mah head? Ah can, but not with you in there."

"It ain' like I not be in dere already, chere."

"It's different. It'll be like Carol. Ya're sayin' ya'll be fine with it, but once ya're in there, it's gonna be hell. There's so much goin' on that even Ah don't know about, or wanna know about."

"Didn' say I was fine wit it, Rogue."

"Ya don't seem ta be doin' much ta go against it now, are ya?"

"Can' say da same f'you." He sighed angrily, then calmed. "Why de hell we fightin', chere?"

She let a tiny laugh escape. "No clue. Guess it's our way of avoidin' the inevitable."

"We're gonna get out. Y' said ev'ryone's here, non?"

"Ah'm guessin', but how long-" She stopped mid-sentence when she faintly heard what was the most beautiful sound in the world. BAMF! "Remy, did ya-"

"Oui, chere." He smiled widely to himself. "Try lookin' f'him. Still can' open m'eyes."

"Raht." She adverted her eyes to the direction of where she heard it. "Kurt?" She whispered. "C'mon, ya fuzzy elf." She said louder.

"Schvester?" A German accent rang muffled behind the door.

"Kurt! We're in here!" Another bamf was heard, followed by another a split second later. Rogue smelled the familiar scent of sulfur and brimstone. "How the hell did ya find us?"

"We just popped here and there," said Evan. He walked over to her table and leaned over so she could see him. She only saw his shadow against the bright light, but it was definitely more comforting to see her compatriot standing over her than Sinister.

"Can one o' y' find de lights? Too damn bright." Gambit called from the other side of the room. Nightcrawler spied around the room, but found no light switch. He didn't expect to. Evan had a different idea. With the spike he had pulled out earlier, he threw it into the light bulb suspended over Remy. With a crash, the light buzzed out and bulb fragments fell on the Cajun.

"Nice job, mon ami. Now we bett'r hope dat Sinister didn' hear y'!"

"Oh, shit. Sorry about that." Evan responded apologetically.

"Dere any t'ing around dat controls the shackles on dese t'ings?" He waved his hand around a little, showing how much he couldn't move.

Kurt checked around again. He saw a panel by the door through which him and Evan might have entered through if they used it. He walked over to it and peered at it curiously. "This might be something."

"Just hit anythin', sugah. It's worth a try." Rogue said reassuringly.

He nodded and raised his blue hand to it, gently skimming over the buttons. Nothing had a definite label on it, so it was a matter of guess and check. "If something goes wrong, don't blame me." He pushed a button cautiously, afraid of what it might do. For a second, nothing appeared to be happening, until Rogue cried out in pain.

"Ahh, turn it off, Kurt! It's makin' mah head ring! Like all the memories are floodin' out again!" The helmet on her head sent shocks through her temples and attacked every one of her senses. Kurt pushed the button again, in hopes that it would release and Rogue would go back to normal. Then he rushed over to her bedside.

"Are you okay?"

She panted slightly. "Yah. Ah'll be alraht. Just try again. Ya'll get it."

"Should I just get Kitty so she can fuse it out? She's better at this computer junk."

"If she can get down here quick, mon ami."

Nightcrawler nodded and then turned to Spyke, who was waiting by the door, keeping watch. "I got them for ya, man. Just be quick." With that, Kurt teleported out of sight, leaving Spyke with the strapped down Gambit and Rogue.

"Evan, y' don' hear anyt'in'?"

He stood still for a moment. "Nothing, dude."

"Jus' double checkin'. Y' did take out de light bulb. Someone's gotta know dat de X-Men broke in."

"'Crawler'll be back with Shadowcat in a sec. By then, we'll be able to bust this joint."


Rogue shifted her eyes in Remy's direction. "Ya okay, sugah?"

"Non, chere."

"Why not?"

"Somet'in' don' feel right. Like Sinister knows ev'ryt'in' goin' on an' lettin' us do it. Jus' so he can come out whenever he wants."

"Remy, don't say that. We're almost outta here! Hell, aftah Kurt 'ports us back above ground, Ah'm flyin' foh the Blackbird –"

"Velocity," Evan cut in.

"Raht, the Velocity, and gettin' in ta my spare uniform. Ah can't stand how bare Ah am with mah powers on."

"I have a question…" Evan started.

"Y' wanna know how me an' Rogue got caught, an' why she's not wearin' as much as she should?" Gambit asked flatly, as if he's told the story twenty times before.

The younger teen laughed nervously. "Yeah… heh, that's actually it."

"Whaddya t'ink, chere? Should we tell 'im?"

"He's gonna find out from everyone else." She sighed sullenly. "You can do it, though."

"Okay den. Pretty much, me an' Rogue were havin' a lil fun. I'm leavin' out dose details. But in order t' do dis, I got the collar dat de Prof used on Carol a couple weeks ago."

"Wait a sec… you broke into Xavier's office?!" Evan stared at him awestruck, not necessarily angry, but with a new sense of pride.


"Damn. Go Remy. So Sinister got in the mansion, how?"

"Ah think we figured it was the storm. Remy went ta get some candles because we didn't take into account that the back up generator shoulda turned on. One of 'em came down an' wacked me upside mah head. Did the same thing ta Remy while he was upstairs."

"Damn." Evan repeated. "Okay, this is making more sense now."

"It is?" Rogue asked. "Ah still get confused by it all. We were so stupid, Remy."

"We'll worry 'bout dat later. Got plenty o' ot'er stuff t' worry 'bout here."

"Ah'm so sick of this. Ah should be outta here by now." She pulled again on her restraints. "Where the hell is Kitty?"

Each of the opposing sides stared each other down for a few more moments before Jorge took the chance to attack. The others follow his lead and jumped the awaiting X-Men. Jorge took after Storm, while Jean was pounced on by Ruckus. He roared loudly at her but she sent out a telepathic sleeping notion that temporarily knocked off of her. Cyclops saw this as his chance to blast him far away from her. He rushed over to her and helped her up. "I'm fine. Let's finish off the others."

Cyclops watched as Wolverine was attacking one of the older enemies. He raised his hand up to his visor to blast the glowing harpoon out of his hand. Just as he let loose a beam of energy, Nightcrawler popped up in his line of fire. The battleground seemed to fall silent as all that could be heard was a 'bamf' and then a small cry from Kurt.

"Dammit!" Cyclops bellowed as he ran over to the fallen blue demon. Jean quickly followed him. "Kurt, say something." He slightly stirred and mumbled something in German. "Shit, Jean, can you get through to him?"

"I'll try." 'Kurt, can you hear me?'

'Ja. Was happened?'

'Scott was aiming for the guy attacking Logan and you 'ported right in front of his blast. How much pain are you in?'

'Mein head… hit the ground pretty hard. Besides that, I think I'm okay.'

'Alright, great. Just stay down, I'll keep a bubble around you while you get some energy back. Where's Evan?'

'Down vith Rogue und Remy. Had to come up and get Kitty so she could disable the controls…'

'I don't want to risk sending you down there if you can't think straight. Are they in any immediate danger?'

'It was clear vhen I was popping around that place. Almost deserted.'

'Okay, we'll give them a few minutes then. Just stay calm for a minute.'

'No problem.'

"He's fine, Scott. His head hurts, but he'll be good to go in a few. He needs to teleport Kitty down to where Gambit and Rogue are being held to disable some controls." She created a telekinetic bubble around Kurt, Scott and herself when she saw a strike of lightening erupt from 7 feet away. A loud Australian scream pierced through the ears of everyone within a 20-foot radius and suddenly a glob of purple goo flew over the head of Jean and the others.

"That takes care of him." Scott summed up. "There's Kitty!" He pointed over to where she was being corner by one of the larger looking teens. Slab charged her quickly, and pulled a major 'dum-dum' by running into the tree behind her as she phased through his body.

"Icksome, I have to stop doing that."

"Kitty! Come here!" Jean called.

Kitty checked around before advancing. It seemed that all of the enemy was down for the count except for the older guy that Wolverine was still facing, but nothing the Canadian couldn't handle. She kept low and rushed over to the bubble encasing her teammates. "What's going on?"

Scott spoke first. "Nightcrawler needed to teleport you down to Rogue and Gambit. There's some controls that they figured you could disarm. That should be enough to get them out of there and then you can return to the surface. That is, if we're not attacked again."

"Will you guys be all right if I go down with Kurt? I mean, you won't, like, need my help otherwise?"

"We'll be fine. Looks like Logan is almost finished with that big guy over there." Jean motioned with her head in Wolverine's direction. He had succeeded in knocking the larger mutant off and thrusting his claws of both hands into both of Harpoon's shoulders. "We should be good. There can't be many more, hopefully."

Kitty nodded and looked down to Kurt. "Are you ready to go or do you need more time?"

"I'm good. Ve need to get down there qvick." He took Shadowcat's hand and they were gone a second later.

They reappeared not where Kurt had planned. "Umm, Kurt?" Kitty whispered. "Where are we?"

"Don't know, don't want to find out." He wasted no more time in getting out of wherever they had transported. A pair of blood red eyes watched their moves from the shadows. Though they could not be seen, a crooked, yellow pointed teeth smile spread across the shadow man's face.

"Ah'm startin' ta get a li'l anxious… Shouldn't they be here by now?" Rogue wondered out loud. She realized she had spoken too soon when she heard him teleport in and the scent of sulfur filled the small lab.

"Sorry for the wait, you guys," Kitty started. "We were attacked on ground."

"Evan tol' us." Remy said. "Y' know what y' have t' do?"

"Yup. Show me where this thing is." Kurt directed her to the small panel on the wall. Kitty gave it a quick glance and laughed quietly. "This is totally up my league. Give me a second." She made her hand intangible and slid it through the panel. It quickly fizzed and popped like soda before letting out a small burst of electricity. She pulled out her hand in a flash. "That should do it."

Rogue apprehensively waited for the oncoming of another attack to her brain nerves, but none came. Only the feeling of air around her clammy wrists and ankles. She tilted her head and she could move. She turned to Remy, to see he was already sitting up, ready to haul ass. Her hands automatically raised to lift the helmet she was wearing so she could work on getting out herself.

She swung her legs over the side of the bed, the others keeping a good distance away from her and her bare skin. She sighed internally at their behavior, those it was probably unnoticed to them. "Anyone got a extra pair o' gloves or somethin'?"

They all shook their heads, but Kitty peeled hers off. "You can borrow mine." She smiled.

"Thanks, sugah." Rogue accepted them gratefully and tugged them on. Gambit was grateful as well. Blockbuster's gloves had been taken away while they were unconscious as had Rogue's jacket so he had nothing to offer her. He hopped off his bed and pulled Rogue to her feet by grabbing her hands.

"Let's get de hell outta here."

"Thought ya'd nevah ask." She reached up and snapped off Gambit's collar. "Any suggestions, y'all?" She looked to the others while straightening out her skirt.

"I could just 'port us up."

"You sure you're not, like, going to mess up like you did last time?" Kitty asked in a hushed tone.

"Y' messed up, homme?"

"Ja, before ve came down here, Cyclops blasted me by accident and I hit ze ground pretty hard. I guess it messed up my navigation."

Gambit breathed in hard. "Y' didn' go anywhere bad, right?"

"How should we know?" Kitty asked defensively. "It's not like we have ties to this place." Her blue eyes narrowed on the Cajun.

"Hey!" Rogue exclaimed. "Don't ya start puttin' this on Remy. He just wants ta know if anyone could have seen ya when y'all were poppin' 'round. Let's just get the hell outta here. Agreed?"

They nodded.

"All raht then. Kurt, let's go." She moved away from Gambit and took Nightcrawler's in her newly gloved hand. She reached out to Remy once again and he placed his hand in hers. Shadowcat grabbed Kurt's other hand gently while Evan slid his hand into her free hand to complete the link. Nightcrawler glanced around to the others and they all signaled they were ready. He shut his eyes and concentrated hard. When his thoughts centered, he disappeared, tugging the remaining teens with him.

Jean scanned the area, not sensing anymore approaching enemies. "I think that does it, you guys." She looked to Wolverine, who was coated in a thin sheet of sweat from his struggle with Harpoon. The Marauder was close to death after being stabbed with three claws in each shoulder. A pool of blood formed around his body, but Logan scoffed at him after healing from his minor injuries and then joined Jean, Cyclops and Storm.

"I don't smell anything either. We should be good fer now." He kept a wary eye on their surroundings.

Storm lifted the rest of the clouds from the sky, letting the full moon shine on them full. "Can you sense Kurt and the others? The others have been gone for a while."

The redhead lifted her hands to her temples again and concentrated. After a few moments, she spoke. "They should be here in a matter of moments."

As her last words escaped her lips, the rescue team of three appeared behind them, along with their rescued comrades. "Mission completed." Evan said proudly.

The team smiled but then looked to the two Southerners, curiosity filling their features. Rogue sighed. "Dammit, Ah don't hafta go through this again do Ah?"

"I t'ink I explained it last time, chere." Gambit laughed.

"Hey, Evan," Rogue started. "Ya know the story. Spill it ta the othahs while Ah go get some clothes on." Spyke nodded. "Where's the jet?"

"C'mon." Kitty started walking in the direction of the Velocity. "I'll show you." Rogue followed, but not without taking Remy's hand.

"Let's see if Evan tells the story wrong." She giggled quietly.

"Las' t'ing on Gambit's mind right now." He squeezed her hand gently, trying to reassure himself mostly.

She stopped in her tracks, and unlike the night before, he wasn't paying attention. She quickly flew out of the way to avoid skin contact. "What is it, sugah?"

"He's gonna keep comin' f'me, chere. No doubt 'bout dat. One o' dese days I ain' gonna be dis lucky."

Rogue looked him straight in the eyes and saw the red dim slightly with his attitude. "Remy," she cupped his face in her hands. "Ah'm nevah gonna let ya go alone, all raht? He messes with you, he messes with me. If this ain't the last time we'll see him, we'll be ready foh him next time." She rubbed his cheek with her thumb absently.

He sank into her touch, even if it was through gloves and not her bare skin he savored for only a short time. He smiled warmly. "Okay. I'm not sayin' I agree wit' y' takin' him on wit' me, but I just go wit' it now."

She smiled back. "Good, Cajun."

"Ahem." Rogue pulled her hands away from Remy and turned around to see Kitty leaning on a tree. "Are you guys, like, done? Don't get me wrong, this is totally sweet, but I'm as eager to, like, sit down and fall asleep till morning." The brunette smirked to show a lighter side to her stern tone.

"Comin'." Gambit said, this time pulling Rogue along with him.

Back at the mansion, dawn was peeking over the horizon as the XM-Velocity landed in the hanger. Rogue had drifted off after changing into her battle gear for the others safety. The look she received from Xavier was one to be questioned about though. After Kitty had led them on, she tried her best not to look at the team's mentor, but a twinge of guilt grew inside her. She looked to him and said in her most sincere tone that she was sorry. Gambit had expressed the same. He only nodded, his face next to unreadable.

The rumble of the landing had not shaken her at all, just the visions still plaguing her mind. They were only brief shadows, but it was unmistakable what was happening.

She had sat across from Remy on the Velocity in the back, and he could hear her slight whimpering. He only hoped the others had not taken notice. He kept an eye on her, seeing if there would be a reason for him to jump out of his seat to wake her up. She only tossed in her sleep lightly, so he stayed calm in his seat until the jet landed.

The second the engines were turned off, Gambit unbuckled his seat belt and reached over to shake Rogue. She hazily blinked her eyes and then focused on him, the corners of her mouth curving up at the sight of him. "Hi ya, Swamp Rat."

"Y' ready t' get yelled at?"

Her smile faded. "Ah guess as ready as Ah can be." They held back as the rest of the team filtered off, leaving them with Xavier.

"Come here, you two." He said calmly, his composure never dropping.

Remy pulled her out of her seat and tugged her along benevolently behind him. They stopped in front of the Professor, shame apparent on their faces.

"First I will start off by saying how grateful I am that you both are safe. I know you two are expecting more of a punishment, and I do know of the events that led up to your capture, but we will continue to do what we planned for this weekend. You two will remain on the premises for the rest of the weekend to rest up. On Monday, we all will return to North Carolina."

The teens perked up at the thought of that. "Ya're serious, Professor? Ah thought ya would've been majorly piss-, um, upset about the whole collar thing."

"Oh, trust me, I'm upset, but I had the feeling something drastic would happen if you were locked up the whole weekend. I didn't anticipate a visit from Mister Sinister though." His brown eyes fell on Remy, who was trying his best to avoid the harmless glance.

"'Not'er time, Professor."

"Understandable, Remy. Dismissed." Rogue smiled appreciatively and walked off the jet, pulling Remy along.

"Ya gonna be okay?" She noted his lagging stride and stopped walking.

"Will be, I guess. Jus' need t' call it a night." His red eyes dimmed considerably to condone his tiredness.

She turned to face him fully and smiled. "Ya want me ta carry ya ta bed?"

"Wouldn' dat be a sight," he laughed.

"It ain't like Ah nevah did it befoh."

He fell silent and thought about that for a second. "Hell, I've been babyin' y' all night." Rogue put her hands on her hips and pouted jokingly. "Go for it."

In a quick swoop, Rogue picked him up and hefted him to a comfortable position in her arms. In a mock imitation of her, he cuddled closely to her and nestled his head on her shoulder. She twisted her lip and smirked. "Ya know, if you weren't so damn cute in yoah sleep Ah'd drop ya."

"Den Remy go t' sleep. Nightie Night." He snuggled closer to her body and yawned.

She shook her head while quietly laughing as Remy shut his eyes. "Night, Swamp Rat." She hugged him tenderly and continued to walk out of the hanger, the thought of a lanky, 6-foot teen in her arms not bothering her at all.

The End

Okay, lots and lots of notes on this! First and foremost, it took me wayyyyy too long to write this (about 9 weeks when a usual story takes me about 2-3) so a lot of the emotions running through the characters change almost like snap. Sorry about that. But trust me, it's been a very trying couple of months. I'm really, very sorry if this story isn't up to my usual standards. I feel really bad that this isn't the best it could be. But hopefully you just paid attention to the plot (if there is one, can't tell these days) and not the mixture of emotions plaguing the characters (I tried to fix most but there were just some scenes that were just untouchable.) Another thing, heh, it took awhile to get into an actual story, didn't it? Truth is, I just started it out with the first line, thinking it was pretty creative. After ten pages, it barely started with the action. Another apology is due here.

More: Sorry about the cursing… I like it, and I watch way to much South Park (o:

The inhibitor collars: Hey, you're probably thinking, "why the hell should anyone be able to pick one with a simple bobby pin?" I dunno, and I'm not sure why I didn't just make Gambit take the key. Let Rogue show off the stuff she learned in Visitor from the Bayou. (If I remember correctly anywayz).

Mixing Evolution, the original animated series and comics: I do that a lot, noting this new addition. Not just the pasts, but well, the accents. I just read a story by :o) emphasizing this (W E M T A O W A T H I M C… or something like that) No, Rogue does not say 'sugah' in the evolution verse… hehe sorry, it's always been a fave thing of mine about her character. The villains are based off of what I've read, and watched. 'Jorge' may be spelled the way I've spelled it or the tradition 'George.' I read it both ways so I figured I should just use the less common one. I really have only seen pictures of the Nasty Boys from the animated series, so they were described the most.

That's enough ranting and/or apologizing. Please, please, please let me know what you think of this story. I already have a new idea for the next story in this series, and I want to know if you guys are still interested after this part. Thanks again for reading!