Summary: The one man who Remy thought would never tire of him had just admitted that he was a waste of time.

Disclaimer: I do not own the X-Men, nor do I own or have any rights to the song Hurt by Johnny Cash.

Author's Note: So I thought of this fic while I listened to my ipod on my way home from vacation. I can't seem to write a complete chapter for any of my continuing fics, but I haven't forgotten about them. Italics are song lyrics.

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel

He lay on his back and stared at the knife in his hands as he flipped it over gently, almost reverently. They had done a good job hiding things from him the last few months and he still wasn't quite sure how he had managed to find the black handled steak knife that he now held. He knew he had already tested his boundaries to extremes, but he needed this. He needed to make sure that he was still alive; that he was still human.

Remy watched the knife dig into his wrist and the blood immediately rushed out. He gasped at the pain before a haunted smile graced his lips. It wasn't a deep wound; he had cut across his wrist instead of down it. He wasn't trying to kill himself; he just simply needed to make sure he could still feel. He brought his wrist up to his lips and licked some of the blood that was flowing freely down his arms and hand onto the clean white sheets of his large pillowtop bed. It tasted coopery and he loved it.

No expense had been spared in his room. The walls had been reluctantly painted red at his request and he was given anything he asked for. He shouldn't be miserable, but he was. The large HD TV hung unused on the wall and his state of the art stereo sat unused on the floor below it. Every gaming system imaginable littered the cabinets and collected dust. A full wardrobe of designer clothing sat unused in his walk-in closet, each carefully hung up for his attention. The bookcase was full of books that he ignored, each a genuine first edition hardcover. Unfortunately, Remy didn't care about any of that.

I focus on the pain
the only thing that's real

He allowed tears to flow gently down his cheeks, but they were tears of happiness not regret. He could feel the pain of the open wound, he could taste the blood. He was alive, that's all that mattered; he was alive. Remy cradled his arm gently to his chest and closed his eyes. He was carefully not to apply pressure that would stop the flow of blood that he could feel slip onto his bare chest before it trickled down his sides.

He tried to hold his breath to allow himself to focus more clearly on the pain, but found himself breathless much sooner than he expected. His eyes opened as he realized more blood was flowing than he had intended. He reluctantly put pressure on the cut as he felt himself slip out of consciousness.

the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting

He awoke to find himself in a room other than his own. The lights had been dimmed so he wasn't blinded when he opened his eyes. This room was sterile and bright white, the kind of room that unnerved him. He tried to sit up, but a strong hand on his chest pushed him back down impatiently and he stared up at its owner with unfocused eyes.

He watched the man stitch his wound closed and couldn't help frowning that the man had used a drug to prevent him from feeling the needle that entered and exited his body as it worked to close his wound. Essex's eyes never left his work and Remy knew better then to try to sit up again. He simply watched the man work and realized that his anger was more extreme then the last time he had found Remy in such a state.

try to kill it all away
but I remember everything

The last time Essex had been understanding; the last time he had been gentle. This time however, Remy knew he had pushed the man too far. He knew that, but simply couldn't make himself admit that he had done it on purpose. He had wanted the man's attention just as much as he had wanted to feel the pain. He felt so lost, so hated, so alone. He didn't want to feel so alone and he didn't know another way to garner attention.

"Were you trying to kill yourself?" The man asked as he finished his task of sowing Remy up. He could have had someone else do it, Remy knew that, but he never did. He was always the one to tend to Remy.

"Non," Remy admitted. Before sitting up and allowing his feet to swing back and forth mindlessly. Essex had moved across the room and busied himself with removing his gloves and washing his hands.

what have I become?
my sweetest friend

"Perhaps next time I should simply allow it?" Essex replied angrily and Remy was worried that this time he meant it.

Remy nodded at the threat, but failed to fight with the man about it. He watched his feet swing and tried to lose himself in the monotony of the motion.

"Remy," The man spoke his name tiredly and Remy looked up to find him only a few inches in front of his swinging feet. He stopped the unnecessary motion immediately and Essex stepped closer between his legs.

everyone I know
goes away in the end

Without thinking Remy wrapped his arms around the man's neck and held him close. "I'm sorry," he mumbled into the man's shoulder as he held on tightly.

He felt more then he heard Essex sigh as he too wrapped his arms around Remy and rubbed his back uncharacteristically gently. "Why did you do it this time?" The man asked with angry patience once again filling his voice. It was a contradiction that Remy had long ago embraced.

"Thought you forgot about me," Remy replied being boldly honest

and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

The sigh was louder this time and Remy wasn't sure he should try the man's patience any further. Heavy fingers caressed his scalp harshly and even though Remy knew the man wanted him to pull away he held on tightly. "What suggested that?" the man asked as he resumed rubbing Remy's back.

"I don't know," Remy replied honestly.

"You are free to go whenever you choose," the man replied. "I am not holding you here."

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

Tears streamed down his face at the words, but he continued to cling to Essex. "Why?" he asked suddenly terrified at the knowledge that he would be thrown out soon. The man could word it any way he wanted, but Remy was not asking to be released he was asking to be given a purpose, a reason to live.

"You are of no use to me like this," the man admitted and Remy finally released his hold.

"Remy no use to anyone," he condemned himself as much as the man before him. He blamed Essex as much as he blamed himself for his current state.

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar's chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair

"You are not getting better here," Essex stated emotionless.

"I have nowhere else to go," he admitted.

"That is not my problem," the man reminded him before stepping away from the exam table that Remy was seated upon.

Remy frowned as he watched the man retreat to his lab work. "Don't you have assistants to do that?" Remy demanded.

"Remington, you try my patience," Essex informed him. "I have given you a full year and still I must watch you closely for fear that you will end your own life. Now you have admitted it is simply for attention, I do not have time for such foolish endeavors. Kill yourself on your own time. I have no more time to waste on you."

beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

"Why did you save me?" Remy demanded. The one man who he thought would never get tired of him had just admitted that he was a waste of time. If Essex didn't want him, then no one would.

A few minutes passed and Remy jumped down from the table and walked across the room to Essex's lab bench. He was about to repeat his question when the doctor spoke. "They had no right to condemn you to such a death," he replied without looking up at Remy.

"If you don't want me then you should have just let me die!" He screamed this time and his chest began to heave as he sucked in air maddeningly.

Essex didn't reply and instead he returned to his work.

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end

"So that's it then?" Remy asked accusingly. "You just gonna leave me somewhere too?"

"Anywhere you wish," Essex replied.

"What if I want to stay?" he asked unrelentingly.

"Then you must prove to me that you will stop this foolishness," he grabbed Remy's arm as he spoke. "If you wish to die tell me and I will allow it next time."

"Don't wanna die," Remy admitted.

"What can you offer me?" Essex asked.

and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

"Anything," Remy admitted. He would do anything to belong somewhere again. He felt so empty and useless inside; he needed a purpose. He needed Essex to give him a purpose.

"What about your morals?" Essex inquired.

"Dey died in the snow," Remy admitted.

"I do not wish for a repeat of our last venture," Essex reminded him.

The Morlocks, Remy had run. Remy had turned on Essex and run.

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

"Won't happen again," Remy insisted even though he knew it wasn't true. He wasn't a murderer and even Essex couldn't make him one. He would let the man down one day, but until then he would have a place to stay. He would have a purpose, he would have a reason to live. He would have a job to do, something to occupy his time, his thoughts, his energy.

"I do not believe you," Essex informed him.

"Don't send me away," Remy asked plainly.

"Very well," Essex relented.

"Merci," Remy replied.

"Do this again Remy and I will let you succeed," Essex reiterated.

"Oui," Remy acknowledged. The next time he tried he would be ready to die.

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

He walked back to his room and was thankful that the bed had been changed so he didn't have to stare at the blood stain that he had left. He looked into the mirror above his dresser and frowned at the sad pale reflection that stared back at him. Somewhere along the road of life he had lost himself and he wasn't sure how to find his way back.

He would stay with Essex because he didn't want to be alone and he could think of nowhere else to go. He would one day betray the man who had offered him a second chance at life, but until then he would be thankful because for the first time in his life he hadn't been thrown away.