A/N: a quick note for everyone: someone asked in a review if a pride was like a pack…answer, yes, for some reason canines (like wolves) have packs whereas felines (like lions) have prides but there basically the same….Second note, this is the last chapter to this story….and the last story for now, at least until I hear back from my beta and until I can finish these other stories I have going
Rogue stood her ground as an enraged Harry held Remy tightly in order to not do something he might regret. "I said to start explaining."
Warren swallowed, thinking this could be the perfect time to understand his own emotions and to confess what he had done. "We were captured after completing our mission. At first we were chained inside a cave until someone called Erik the Red released us. He led us to a room setup as a mock courtroom. I was supposedly used to defend Remy, who was on trial, but never got that chance as Erik the Red was in complete control the entire time. We learned that Remy had once worked with Sinister and led a team of killers into the tunnels beneath the city. There was a race of mutants hiding there called the Morlocks. Remy's team murdered almost the entire race, only a few were able to flee to safety. After learning that Remy led the team, ones that cost me my wings when we went to save the Morlocks, I," he paused, eyes closed, "I had fled, torn with the knowledge, leaving Remy behind at the trial. I wanted to blame him but somehow I couldn't."
Harry closed his eyes as well, breathing deeply when Scott took up the tale, "After Warren fled, Erik the Red dropped the Citadel down around us. Rogue took off through a window with Remy in her arms while the rest of us escaped the falling rubble. I had always felt that Remy was scared of his past. I just didn't understand why, though I suspected. Sinister was always a scary subject for most of us. At the trial I understood fully. Sinister got him when he was young, probably when his powers were out of control like Remy once told me. Remy suffered beneath the man's hands until he got the chance to flee. I know Sinister well. He chooses his prey and refuses to let go. I've been a favorite for years as has Jean. Sinister also chooses his victims and one way or another, if they are destined to die, he will find a way to make sure they die, no matter whom is involved. I never asked about Remy's past because the entire team has secrets and a past they are ashamed of. This team was and hopefully still is about second chances. But Rogue had taken a team decision on her own. She flew Remy several miles from the Citadel." He hurried on as Harry grew more angry, a murderous look in his eyes as he inched towards Rogue, "I…we didn't know until she came back empty handed. Warren and I left the Blackbird in Betsy's hands to find him."
"Where was he? Why did she leave him?" //She must pay! Avenge our Thief! She hurt what was ours!//
"Antarctica." Scott wasn't too sure why he answered but he suspected it was the need to keep Harry from his rampage, "And they believed he deserved death for his past."
"They!" Scott's eyes widened as he let that slip. "Who are they?"
Warren immediately put in, "Jean and Rogue."
Harry flexed his fingers, claws itching for blood. Sheik was anxious to punish. Scott immediately jerked his arms as he tried to leap for the closest woman, "No! I can't let you do this."
Emerald eyes turned silver, anger echoing from his tensed body as Sheik took over, "My pack."
Scott silently pleaded with Logan to aide him, sighing in relief as Logan held his mate close, "As team leader, I must decide, Harry. I need to know the truth. I need to know if it's really their desire or if Remy's really an Empath and influencing them with his grief."
Severus sighed. He hated dealing with incompetent fools but if Potter got involved then things would really get messy without learning anything, "Allow me." He swept forward, pulling a familiar vial from his robes as several X-men quickly grabbed a still groggy Jean and Rogue, despite rogue's super strength and their wobbly attempts to fight back. He held their chins as he forced them to swallow several drops of the liquid, and then stepped back.
Scott frowned, wanting to stop this still unknown guest when Remus placed a warm hand on the small of his back, murmuring in his ear, "Trust him." His body reacted to that husky whisper and warm hand but he fought for control. He refused to allow his body to jump his second lover until everything was settled. He followed Remus' instructions, asking Rogue first.
Her strong conviction came out loud and clear despite the glazed look and mono-tone, "He deserves to suffer just he made them suffer! He lied to everyone. He did nothing to help the Morlocks, giving them unneeded death instead! We don't need his lying, murdering self here!"
Scott inhaled deeply, trembling as Jean had felt the same way. His heart broke. He couldn't do this to the team or Remy. He refused to send Remy away. "Bobby, call Moira. X-factor will be receiving two new members. I don't want either of them here any longer." He turned to walk away before realizing something else, "If anyone else feels the way they do, pack up. Remy stays." He had to walk away but he was firm with decision. Jean had once believed in giving second chances but she would tear the team apart if she remained. So would Rogue. Remy deserved a chance to feel safe and wanted. Scott knew what it was like to feel alone and unwanted. He felt safe himself with the team, knowing they would aide him whenever trouble arose, especially Sinister. He wanted Remy to feel the same way. No one deserved to be in that man's hands.
Harry and Sheik wanted nothing more than to tear the two women apart but they left it in the hands of a very furious weather witch and second telepath. After all, both knew how nasty a female could be when angered. Ginny and Hermione had proved that before when they were still his friends, even after the betrayal. //Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn. How right that applies now, Sheik. We are needed here more than there.//
//Protect pack.// Harry turned to follow Hank, pulling Logan along. He was worried about Remy. According to the story, Remy was in the cold wilderness a lot longer than Scott or Warren. Perhaps later he would find a suitable punishment for Warren's betrayal. After all, Sheik saw that the man went back, standing up to the two angry powerful females to save a pack member. Warren willingly put his life on the line, knowing what could happen to him but determined to bring home a breathing Remy LeBeau. In a way, that was possibly the only reason Warren would survive and remain pack.
Scott followed with Remus at his side, glancing back at the two women, "Will they be fine?"
Severus nodded once, "It'll wear off shortly. But they'll be groggy for now since neither received an antidote. Perhaps it's a good thing for you."
Remus smiled, tugging the sluggish team leader to his side, "It'll be fine, Scott. I promise."
Scott smiled tiredly, eyeing the staggering thief, "Sinister won't be happy. He'll never give up on Remy. He'll always be around to capture us until we can find a way to get rid of him for good."
Remy glanced back, overhearing, "Remy leave."
"No, Remy, I want you to stay. We may lose two powerful members but we gained three, Harry, Remus, and Severus. They can take their place. We already have two flyers and a telepath without needing more. We'll manage as we always have. Besides," Scott grinned, trying to lighten the mood, "I will never find another well trained Master Thief."
Harry nuzzled the slowly warming throat of his Thief, "My Thief."
Remy shivered but not with the cold this time. He was still wanted, still desired. His past with Sinister didn't matter with most of the team, at least not to those who count in his mind. His flings with Rogue or his flirting with every pretty female didn't matter to Harry. He was still wanted in Harry and Logan's bed if the feelings he absorbed meant anything. "Oui," was whispered softly. Maybe it was time he stopped running and accepted this chance with a new family. Eager to remain, he allowed Hank to poke and prod, to check his health. He was home.
Logan eyed both his mate and their occasional lover. He would fight tooth and claw against Sabertooth to keep his mate as well as Remy. Both were important to him and Wolverine, neither desired to lose either, especially their mate. But as he watched Remy suffer through the medical exams, he silently swore a promise. He would find a way to put Sabertooth down for good. He refused to allow that feral to have any access to either younger man. Harry and Remy was his.
Scott and Remus were silently swearing to find a way to keep their boys safe as well. Scott knew that Sinister wouldn't give up but he refused to allow that man to ruin anymore of his team's life. He was determined to keep Remy among them, just as determined to keep all his team together.
"He was mine!" Sinister growled angrily, destroying several delicate instruments as his team of Marauders cowered in a corner, not willing to lose their limbs or life if they could help it. He glared at the monitors, reviewing the tapes of the trial. The trial had been successful until that blasted Rogue flew off with Remy deep into the snow. He sent his team to search but the X-men beat them to it. They still kept the thief among them. "I will have you again, boy. I will have you all at my disposable. I swear I will next time." He thrashed his equipment more, lashing out at anything with his anger and power blasts.
Sabertooth lay back, smirking as his sensitive hearing picked up Sinister's anger. Well, Kitten, seems we'll still get to play. He couldn't wait for the next round. Perhaps next time, Boss'll bring along Gumbo to play with. He couldn't wait for his next encounter with Wolverine either. "Can't wait, boys." He really couldn't. If he could destroy Wolverine, perhaps Kitten and Gumbo would actually be his, for good. "Oh, yea can't wait." He closed his eyes, picturing his Kitten in throes of passion and Gumbo arching beneath him, both panting, both bleeding from his claws. He could still faintly taste their richness. "Next time."