DesertionChapter 9by ShannaK

Disclaimer: I own nothing X-Men, Marvel, X-Men movie or anything related to them in any way.

Thanks for the patience. I am trying to get as much finished on this as possible before May 1 and the corresponding X-Men Origins: Wolverine premier. That of course will call for new fanfiction stories! Anyway, I got complaints on a True Blood story about the character Sookie's southern accent being distracting when written. Since she and Rogue are played by the same actress, hmm both having southern accents, I figured I would try without writing the accent in the X-Men movie realm as well. I wrote in Gambit's still since I think it's important and really, just necessary. Let me know what you think of that change as well as the chapter.



Picking up Remy as the man slept quietly and soundly passed out, Rogue followed her teammates and their new guests out of the Blackbird. She saw Logan ahead going through the large X doors at the right of the hangar and continued after him. He still held Xavier's seemingly comatose body and was heading to the infirmary. Behind her, a few of the prisoners were led by Beast in the same direction. Beast himself carried her friend Kitty, now stirring slightly in the blue man's arms. As the Rogue paused to look around the hangar, she saw her friends and their new companions covered in white dust, some in white jumpsuits, others in their team uniforms. Emma was leading some to the living quarters as Scott and Storm could be seen engaged in thoughtful and resigned conversation on their way to the main briefing room.

The walk to the infirmary was short and she tried to keep her mind occupied with the fact that Remy was finally with her again rather than the now more than obvious wounds and scars that marred his skin beneath the jumpsuit he still wore. Hank and Logan worked their way towards the last two rooms of the infirmary and placed their patients in the open beds. A male nurse mutant came out of an office nearby and began to hook up machines to Kitty as Hank McCoy did the same with Xavier. Each began reading vitals and taking notes on statuses as Logan fell back and moved to the third room where Rogue now laid Remy on an identical hospital bed.

Rogue looked up at his approach and stepped back as the nurse moved in to set up Remy's machines around him. She gave a tired smile to the man who had trained under Beast for the past several years. She vaguely recalled absently that his mutation was to block noise and create complete silence around him. As the beeping began at Remy's machines she turned to Logan and opened her mouth to speak.

"She's fine Rogue. Wakin' now and she'll recover from the injuries. You did good kid."

Rogue shut her mouth and looked into her friend's eyes. With a small shake of her head and a smirk, she turned her face back to Gambit's quiet form, nurse still moving around him hurriedly. His burns were examined and catalogued and photographed while pain medication was put into his system.

"Ah wish we woulda found y'all sooner Logan."

"Rogue, we survived. There's nothing more ya coulda done than ya did. Let me tell ya though, it'll be a while before I take another trip again kid. This one, he's tough like you."

Rogue nodded silently. "Those burns'll heal pretty quick. He heals a bit faster, not like yah but still better'n most. Somethin' with tha heat in his body." She uncrossed her arms and turned away, facing Logan. "Can ya stay with 'im while Ah clean up?"

Logan nodded as Dr. McCoy entered the room and began fussing around the Wolverine man. "Logan, I will need to check your vitals and have you clean up before returning to your room. We need to be sure to monitor…"

"Yeah, yeah, let's just get it over with huh?"

Beast nodded with a thin smile and nod at Rogue before briskly leaving the room again, heading towards a supply closet. Rogue stepped towards Remy's still but breathing form and, bending over slightly, placed a gentle kiss on the hair on the top of his head. She opened her closed eyes and looked over his silent features, choking back the knot of emotion in her throat. With a small shake of her head, she turned and faced Logan's careful expression. Her lips quirked in a half smirk as she stepped towards him. With a quick movement, she wrapped her uniform clad arms around him as she pulled him towards her in a tight embrace. She smiled a bit more as his arms returned the hug. Rogue had to pull away as tears threatened to overflow onto her cheeks. A few stray ones fell but she turned away and squeezed Logan's bare hand with her own gloved one before making her way from the small room.

On her way out of the elevator and towards the dormitory rooms, she ran into Ororo, now changed and white hair flowing behind her. The authority the woman exuded was inspiring. Even as Scott had returned to the mansion, she had maintained her strong standing, allowing for the two to now co manage the team, school and mansion. Rogue could see the relief and determination on the woman's face and was a bit surprised when her mentor paused at the entrance to the elevator and gently reached a hand out to Rogue's shoulder.

Rogue looked to the woman and let the relief she felt show in her ever so small smile. Ororo returned the gesture with a relieved grin of her own. They had succeeded in their mission more than they had hoped would be possible. Both the missing male mutants had been retrieved, several other mutant prisoners and an unexpected find of Xavier as well. Now came the task of treating the physical and psychological wounds. The two women both knew pain first hand in differing scenarios and understood the time it would take to heal. The worry did not entirely dampen their excitement, though with relief came their tears as well.

"He's down there now. I think getting cleaned up and watching over the others with Beast."

Ororo nodded and turned quickly to the still open elevator. It shut smoothly after her and Rogue turned away to head to her own room. Her friend had held in her fears to keep the school together and to keep them all focused on the missions to find and successfully retrieve their teammate and Rogue's friend. Rogue had followed suit as one of the lead team members and had continued strong, searching databases, raiding already emptied labs and helping with daily duties around the mansion.

As the woman let the warm water fall on her tired body for the shower she desperately needed now, she found her legs weak and her knees buckling under her. Falling, head in hands, body curled against the side of the shower, Rogue let the water bead down her streaked hair. The tub filled with dirt and white dry wall, now clumped and sliding towards the drain. It barely registered with Rogue as the tears ran down her face and the violent sobs racked her still curled body. He had been gone for so long, she had started to wonder if perhaps it had been too long, that perhaps it had been too late. She had feared that perhaps he had finally gotten himself into a situation he could not get himself out of.

Peering into that life without him near, having had him far away for so long, she had cringed at the thought but not allowed tears. Her heart and mind had not let her think of it as a true possibility because it would change her life, change her. So she had carried on searching desperately, letting her training and experience take the forefront, turning off her fears and hopes to let her professional abilities shine and work for her when she needed them the most. Now, her heart broke for all the stress she had been under and all she had worried about. Remy was safe and alive and downstairs, not far from her now. All she could do was hope that he made it through his experiences there well enough to return to her in spirit as well as in body. She knew the pain and knew that he had been through terrible things in his own life before. The Rogue needed to know that her Gambit was okay and still with her.

Letting the tears stop and the water wash them away, Rogue gently pulled the wet hair from in front of her eyes and looked up at the water as it fell onto her face. Her breathing quieted and she pulled herself up from her crouched position on the smooth floor of the tub. As she went through her shower routine, a small smile began to grace her features. After dressing and grabbing her laptop and phone, she headed down to the kitchen to pick up a quick snack. Passing the X-Men main computer room downstairs, she paused and entered. On the large screen, several documents were pulled up as well as a video paused at the bottom left corner. Bobby sat at the head station, pulling the information and doing a preliminary scan of the computer hard drives Kitty had pulled. A file with Remy's name popped up and Rogue moved further into the room with a hitched breath. The words made her choke on the air trying to get through to her lungs. Results of experiments, details of chemical interactions and more flickered across the screen until a file with documented photos popped up. The first Bobby opened paused on the screen and Rogue faltered, the sob in her throat caught, alerting Bobby to her presence.

He quickly switched to the desktop image, a scene of New York in the snow, but the image was burned into Rogue's vision and mind. Remy, tied to a flat lab bed, the burns covering his arms up to his shoulders and streaking slightly down the right side of his face. She briefly recalled a mark on his face in the short amount of time she had seen him since the rescue. Seeing it fresh and open hit her hard. The date on the picture had been in large text at the top of the photo. It was dated two weeks after his final phone call and that had been so long ago. This had just been the beginning of what he went through.

Bobby was at her side in an instant, reaching out gently with his hands on her shoulders, his eyes seeking out her attention as she stared blankly at the soft and incongruent scene of a snowed in New York countryside.

"Rogue, Rogue, are you alright? I'm sorry, I didn't know you were there."

She pulled herself out of her daze. "No, no Bobby, it's okay. I'm fine. It was just a shock is all, seeing all that up there like that. Are you alright?"

Bobby took a step back and allowed Rogue the space to straighten and compose herself. He had been seeing Kitty for a few years now. Rogue was the only one who knew he had a ring hidden in their room upstairs for the girl.

"Been better you know but she's tougher than she looks, she's getting checked up on by Hank now." Rogue smiled as she stepped to the computer and began to copy all the stolen information onto her laptop. Bobby paused at his ex's silent strength and fury hidden behind the green eyes he had once gotten to stare into. "Rogue, about what happened down there…I know I don't understand but, well, I worry and if you need anything…"

Rogue's computer beeped and she flipped it shut before turning to face her friend. "Bobby, you don't need to worry. I'll be fine. This just isn't going to happen to anyone I love ever again." She gave him a trademark smirk and, eyes flashing in a way that always threw the Iceman off balance. Rogue flipped her hair over her shoulder and made her way to the computer room's door. "I'll see you later Iceboy."

The Rogue sauntered out of the room and down the hallways towards the medical labs. As she reached the window to Remy's room, her eyes found his still form covered by the standard white sheet. He was hooked up to an IV and his pulse was steady and comforting. From the doorway, she saw his chest rose with reassuring breaths and she felt her own heart rate and breathing steady to match. Her lips moved up into a soft smile at the sight of him before her.

"Please wake up Remy. Be okay sugar."

Her whispered thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a shrill ring. Her phone rang and vibrated in her hand. Putting down her other supplies, she lifted the phone to her eye sight. The number was restricted and Rogue's head dipped slightly in response. She glanced briefly once again at Remy to make sure he slept peacefully. Silently, she moved to the doorway and clicked her phone.


A young male voice came across the line to her ear. "Verify your name an' code s'il vous plaît?"

Rogue pulled a gloved hand through her hair and turned her back to the room. "This is Rogue, code Queen of Hearts." She sighed as she relayed the code Remy had set up for her. A soft snicker could be heard on the other end and Rogue frowned. "Oh just talk to me already would you Henri?"

"Name an' code verified. This be Henri, code Jack and coke." A pause from the other end before continuing, "It be true den? Did ya really find him?"

Rogue but her lip at her friend's question. Remy's brother's voice was quiet and full of anticipation. She nodded subconsciously as she spoke. "Yeah, he's here, asleep, healing, but here."

Henri breathed a heavy sigh of relief at her words. "Thank god. Contacts heard 'bout a collapsed lab in de California desert an' den Mercy mentioned she heard from you 'bout California. You bot' be alright dere chere soeur?"

"We're both safe now and we'll be alright."

"Bien. Jean Luc be in meeting now but he'll call t'night. We all been worried, good to know Remy's got you behin' him chere. Please tell mon frère when he wakes dat we miss 'im bien?"

"Bien Henri, bien."

"Did he fin' him, in da facility?"

"Did he finish the job you mean?" Henri sighed with regret pulsing through his response. Rogue's voice softened a bit. "Yeah, yeah he did. The professor is also here. He hasn't woken yet either, but he's here and safe too."

Voices could be heard on the other end and when Henri returned to the phone, his voice was short. "Rogue, we received information from da man on da inside at da main offices. Apparently deir schedule has moved up parce que of California. Dat be all I can say now but you should know, we be movin' in on da place soon."

Rogue leaned her back against the window, back facing Remy's room, and sighed. It had to be done. Hopefully it would help stop the senseless violence, put an end to plans that didn't accomplish their means. Nodding, she responded, "How soon Henri?"

"Less than a month petite. You tell your team yet da details?"

"No, not yet, but the briefing is soon. I was hoping Remy would be awake to go with me, but we'll see. They will be on board Henri, please tell Jean-Luc not to worry."

Reluctant acceptance held on to both their voices and the short silence that followed. "Bien ma petite. Mercy insisted I give her love ta you and mon frère. S'occuper de vous et Remy hein? We will talk again soon petite,"

With a click, Henri was gone from the other line. Rogue flipped her cell phone shut and took a deep breath before turning to re enter Remy's room. The worst was not quite behind them yet. She may have found her Gambit and the others, but now they had to complete what they had started before it was too late. The organization was moving fast and had to be stopped before everything went public and the organization's creations couldn't be stopped anymore. Right then, she and Remy were the only ones who knew what was going on. She could guess that Logan had started to get the idea, having been an example for the organization to base their processes on. How happy they must have been to have him in their labs. Had they even realized what it was that they had? Thank goodness he had only been there a few months, not long compared to her own time and now even Remy's stay.

She paused at the doorway, laying her cell phone on the small table and staring at the man who'd fought for her, for their kind so much. She hadn't known before he disappeared exactly what he was doing but Henri and Mercy had filled her in as soon as they had had it confirmed that he was off radars. His face was scarred on one side and hands, arms bandaged. Everything else was hidden securely beneath the sheet. Stepping towards him quietly, she grazed a gentle, gloved hand over his face. Biting her lip, she felt the first hot tear form in her eye.

A bandaged hand on her gloved one, a whispered term of endearment and then the glowing red of loving eyes broke her from her thoughts.

"Chere…" His voice was husky and low from disuse, overuse, she couldn't tell and knew it could be either. She lowered her eyes, lowered her head, kissed the bandages on his hands before sitting in the chair beside his bed. Taking the water cup and straw from the nightstand, she brought the straw to Remy's lips and watched as he continued to stare at her as he drank. Finished, she replaced the cup and leaned her head against his torso while he gingerly lifted a hand to stroke her hair.

"Did it work? Dey all get out?"

"Yeah, the professor's next door, Logan's already healed and the others are being patched up by Beast."

"Dat was Henri on da phone non?"

Rogue lifted her head and found his eyes with hers. She nodded slightly and continued, "Your father will call back but Mercy and Henri send their love."

"Ah, chere, dere be more ta it dan dat but you be right. Remy don' want ta hear it right now. Right now, he only wants his Rogue near. So long without ya…"

Rogue gave a small smile, which he attempted to return. Her eyebrows furrowed in concern and her hand returned to his face. He didn't flinch but he watched her face carefully. "It be bad non?"

"Worse than it should have been Remy. You should have told me."

Her eyes spoke volumes and Remy had to close his to the vast emotion there. With a sigh, he opened his mouth to continue but was cut off by his girl's voice.

"But I know why you didn't. God, Remy why did it have to be like this. Worst fears and all that sugar. What they did to you…"

Remy shook his head as best he could from his position. "Chere, we both been dere. Remy'll survive, dere be plus finir. Da thought of ya mon amour, dat be getting dis Cajun through anything."

Rogue's heart was pounding hard and fast against her chest. She knew he must be feeling it all coming off her in waves. She could see it in his eyes, the notion that they were safe together, the need to be this way, close. She reached her gloved fingertips to her lips and kissed them. With a smile, she lifted the fingers to Remy's lips, to press the invisible kiss to them. Her smile brightened when he kissed her fingers back, his eyes dancing before her. Rogue took a deep breath and brushed the hair from around his face.

"Sleep Rems. You need it. I need you on this sugar."

Remy's eyes closed and with a small nod, he let his head fall back to the pillow. "I be here mon amour." She started to pull away to sit back in the chair and let him be, but he grasped her wrist in such a quick movement she hadn't thought him capable of it so soon. "Rogue, before, you tell Remy now ta tell ya but I must now. Je t'aime Rogue."

There was more behind the words, Rogue could feel the depth of the words hang in the room, enveloping her and warming her. Gulping, she was not surprised or taken off guard. The Rogue was once again not alone, her equal, partner, match lay before her, red eyes now searching hers. She would give him that reassurance. After everything, they were cut the same, molded the same, made to perfectly complement and care for one another.

"I love you too Remy."

The cocky grin she loved spread across his rugged face and she could see the glow renewed in him. The silence between them remained but words were simply not needed. Remy had survived the labs, had survived the escape and now his angel sat with him, watching over him. Now he could sleep, now he could rest and be prepared for what they knew they would face next. This woman before him was the strongest he had ever met and he knew now more certainly of her pain and of her strength. He felt his eyes betray him and begin to close but the sight of those green eyes reading him, feeling him, matching him, gave him the strength he needed to look past for the moment what he'd been through. There would be time for that and she would be there throughout he knew.

Rogue lay her head on the edge of his bed and Remy's expression turned peaceful as his hand rested on her hair and hers was gently folded against his side. Logan stopped at the doorway, Ororo standing just behind him. The pair stood, staring at their sleeping friend and her Cajun.

"I have never seen Rogue so at peace."

"They deserve it, all those two've been through. He's like her ya know…a bit dark, a lot of fight?"

"Logan, we all become darker with these times and the fight comes out in us. This is why we must protect them, each other. I fear this may just be the calm before the storm."

" 'Ro, let's get to our room, if this is the calm, darlin', we're taking it now."

Storm and Wolverine embraced briefly, a kiss to seal the promise of their future activities and away the couple went.

Remy's eyes fluttered open, taking in the empty room. Glancing at Rogue, he sighed reluctantly and closed his eyes again. The calm before the storm indeed…let the calm last a bit longer…the storm promised to be so forceful…


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