A/N: Ok a bit of a quicker update this time! Thanks for the reviews. I'm so glad you all like it.

Just a quick pointer: Raven and Irene have no connection in this story and Kurt isn't German (mainly just because I'm not good at writing accents, especially not German ones). Also there may be some continuity issues with Rogue's age, she's just turning 26 (Remy's 28) so please either forget or ignore anything I've said about age or time scales before!

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Chapter 4: A Trip Down Memory Lane

The remainder of the day had passed between them in relative silence, but now, at night, in bed together, Rogue knew she needed to break that silence. She knew Remy would never ask her to tell him anything about her past, and she also knew that that was the reason she had to tell him; that she wanted to tell him.

Rogue stared at the back of the strong, silent figure lying next to her for a moment before lightly brushing her fingertips over his skin.

"Remy…sugah you awake?" she asked softly.

"Bien sûr chère," he replied turning over to face her. He gently ran a finger down the side of her face. "What's wrong?"

"Ah wanna tell ya 'bout everything that happened to me before ah came to New York…but ah need you ta promise you'll let me finish before you say anything."

"Je promets."

Rogue nodded acceptingly before getting out of bed and padding over to the closet. She rummaged around for a moment before removing a large book-shaped object. She made her way back into bed and nestled against Remy's now upright figure.

Rogue opened the book across her lap. Remy saw that it was a photo album. The only photos of Rogue he had ever seen were the few she had on display in the apartment, of her and the others from Xavier's. She'd said she was 17 in the oldest one. He had never seen her any younger.

Rogue was staring intently at the picture on the first page. It was a portrait of a woman and a young girl. It was clearly Rogue and her mother. They looked so alike; both had soft, auburn, curls and the same big, beautiful, green eyes.

Remy saw a tear drop onto the protective plastic covering of the page as Rogue ran her fingers over the photo. In a comforting gesture he placed his arm around her shoulders, but remained silent.

"That's ma Momma," Rogue said lovingly. "Her name was Irene. Ah loved her so much. She died when ah was 8. It just broke ma heart…"

Rogue turned the page of the album, revealing more happy family photos. There was a man in these ones that Remy presumed to be Rogue's father. The photos mainly captured candid shots of them laughing and playing; at the beach, at Christmas, on birthdays.

"It changed Dada too. He didn't know what to do without her; she'd been his whole life since they were kids. He couldn't even look at me anymore. Ah used to love it when people said ah looked so like ma Momma, but now ah hated it. All ah wanted was for ma Daddy to pick me up in his arms and tell me that it'd all be ok, and that he loved me…but he couldn't do it. That was the start of it all… Daddy started drinking…and when he was drunk he'd shout at me saying how much he hated me for looking so like her. Ah don't blame him…ya see ah was just a constant reminder of what he'd lost; he'd never be allowed to move on. So ah left."

Rogue breathed in deeply and wiped away the tears from her eyes.

"Ah stole some money and travelled as far away as ah could. Raven found me two weeks later, cold and frightened, sleeping in a station. She offered to take me home and feed, wash and clothe me. She seemed so nice and trustworthy that ah couldn't refuse. And ah didn't want to refuse; ah wanted someone to look after me again the way ma Momma had. Ah stayed with Raven after that night and ah was happy again. She took me in as her daughter, and ah loved her almost as much as ah'd loved ma real mother. Ah wasn't alone; Raven had adopted two other kids, both boys, Kurt and Victor. Ah loved both of them like brothers; we were one big happy family again. We moved around the country a lot, but us kids never minded. We always had each other at a new school. Kurt and ah are the same age and Victor was 2 years older, but that didn't matter."

Rogue had turned over several pages of photos of her and Kurt and Victor. Remy almost wanted to laugh; the three of them couldn't look any less related if they tried. But he could clearly see from the pictures how happy they were together. Oddly, there was only one photo of Raven. She was an attractive woman, in an austere way, with dark red hair cut into a sharp bob, and she was smiling a big smile in the photo. But there was something, Remy thought, about her eyes that he didn't like…something cold and merciless.

"All the time ah was with Raven she made us do activities. Kurt and ah both did gymnastics. He was a natural born acrobat; he should have been in the circus. Victor did boxing; he was a real savage fighter when he wanted to be. We all had martial arts and weapons training. At the time ah thought nothing of it…hell! There were kids down in Mississippi doing far stranger things. By the time ah was 14 ah could beat someone twice ma size. That's when the truth came out. Raven had obviously decided that we had become skilled enough to start earning our keep. She told us that whilst she was a business woman, it was a very specific kind of business…assassinations ta be exact. Raven took few, but exclusive and expensive jobs. We moved across the country tracking down high profile targets. And now Raven wanted to expand the business, making it a family enterprise."

Rouge's words dripped bitter sarcasm, but Remy could tell that beneath it she was still that teenage girl who felt betrayed.

"Kurt and ah were horrified. We escaped as soon as we could. At least she taught us a few things that worked in our favour. We headed to New York, trying to get as far away as possible, and that's where Xavier found us. Ah swear that man has some kinda distressed teenager tracking device, the amount of us he's helped!"

Rogue's tone suddenly became sad, "Victor stayed with Raven. He had his own issues; he was like a wild animal that had been caged for too long, and this seemed the ideal way to let loose. There isn't a day goes by though that ah don't regret leaving him with her though. He deserved better than that…ah should have tried to make him leave with us."

Rogue sighed sadly. However, her tone changed when she spoke. Remy could clearly hear the fear in her voice.

"Today was the first time ah've heard from Raven in twelve years. She wants something, ah know it."

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A/N: well there you go! I hope I didn't bore you with plot. There will be some more romy action soon, I promise.

As always – R&R. Thank you.