The one-shots in this collection are based purely on whimsical ideas of mine, as well as annoying plot-bunnies. Some deal with 'normal' X-men issues, and some are completely random. Enjoy.

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It did not feel like something that was going to take over my life and destroy it. It felt like a subtle flower instead of a manipulative demon. That's the mystery of heroin. - Corey Feldman

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Rogue could relate to the undesirables and pariahs of society, because she was one of them. No matter how often the X-men showed their support, no matter how sweet Kitty was to her, no matter how many times Remy snuck through her balcony and left roses on her dresser; she was still different. She had never fit in with humans or mutants around her, and maybe she never would.

It was this thought that caused Rogue to stop that day, that mormal, chilly day.

She'd been walking to the bus stop after school, with her combat boots squeaking and her bag thrown carelessly over her shoulder, when she'd seen the homeless man. He looked lonely, deserted- just like her. The swarms and clumps of people walking down the sidewalk just waltzed right past him. Did they even notice him? Did they ignore him? How could they not feel pity for his hungry, empty eyes?

She bit her lip and looked down at her cell phone. Three minutes until the bus got there…but she knew as soon as she'd seen that man that she wouldn't be making it to the mansion on time.

She crossed the street and weaved through the parked cars and taxies like an expert.

She dug into her pocket and retrieved a crumpled, dirty twenty dollar bill. She tried wiping it on her tights to clean it some; then handed it to the man.

He only stared at her. She could see him more clearly as she approached, and she realized suddenly as she looked at his new clothes and clean appearance that the man wasn't homeless at all. His eyes weren't empty from starvation, they were empty because the man before her was high off some drug she didn't want to know about.

Her pale cheeks flushed crimson from anger, and she shook her head in disgust. She felt stupid. The bastard deserved no more sympathy than Sabretooth himself.

She made to turn.

"Wait- don't leave me!"

His hand wrapped around her bare arm in an impossible grip, and she cried out when the transfer of life force began. His memories, his thoughts, his wants, his need for more heroin in his veins- she didn't want it; she didn't want any of it!

"Lemme go! Please-" His own elevated state began working on her, and her knees buckled beneath her weight.

Civilians around her asked if she was okay, and they tried helping her. She screamed for them to go away, to not touch her.

"They'll get me if I'm alone. The shadow people. They'll get me!" he rasped.

He died, and she felt it like it like a punch in the gut. And then, 'she' and 'he' were no more. There was only 'they' and 'they' needed it.

That was all they could think about.

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She ignored it at first. But her head pounded and his whimpers echoed in the recesses of her mind. He needed it, she needed it. She was Rogue, she was Corey.

It would feel so nice. All her pain would leave. The voices would go silent. Only one hit- just one more, and then she would stop. She would quit the stuff for good and get her shit together. She would beg Kerry to come back, she would get a decent job, she would get to see her little girl again.

But after she got a hit. Just one more hit.

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It took eight seconds, eight seconds, for it to work its magic. Her mouth went dry, her face got warm, and her hands and feet became so pleasantly heavy. She just wanted to sit there- in that strange apartment- forever.

The man- she knew somehow that his name was Mark, that he'd been her dealer for years, that he gave her a needle to use, gave her the stuff, the stuff she needed so very much- sat next to her on the grimy sofa and wetted his lips.

"So," he began, watching as she untied the shoestring from around her arm, "you said you were a friend of Corey's?"

She nodded, licked her lips, too. Her mouth was so dry!

She could see the stars through the ceiling; she could feel the ants marching along her spine like an army.

Mark's brown eyes traveled down to her thighs. He smiled and rested his hand on her knee. She was too fuzzy to tell him to back off.

"I'm usually not too keen on random people showing up at my doorstep," she could smell the staleness of his clothes and breath, she could see the buildup of grease on his blonde hair. "but if you're a friend of Corey's, then you're a friend of mine."

She got a sudden burst of energy, and she stood. "Ah gotta go. Dinner time soon." Was she really talking as slowly as she felt? Everything around her was shifting and swaying slowly back and forth- like a dream. A rainbow-colored, saccharine dream.

"Come on, honey. I just hooked you up with some extra, can't I get some repayment?"

He kissed her, and it was only slightly marvelous that she could touch, especially since it was sloppy and wet and disgusting; she felt her stomach churn.

"My mouth is too dry-" She managed to place her hands against his chest and push. "-and Ah really do have to go. Ah'll tell Corey you say 'hi'." She ignored his heated glare and gathered her bag.

Tell him you'll be back tonight.

"Ah'll be back tonight," she slurred.

Some of the anger left Mark's face, and instead he smiled. "Alright. I'll have some more of this stuff at a discounted price, just for you, kay?"

She just wanted to leave.

Thank him.

"Thanks."

She dragged her feet down the stairs of the apartment complex and hailed a taxi. Once inside, her head fell back against the seat. She watched the top of the car. The ceiling moved.

They came to a stop. She sat up and looked out the window. "At the mansion already?"

The man gave her a funny look, and she realized she'd spoken aloud. Rogue giggled and gave him the amount due.

"Damn tweekers," the man spat, then zoomed away.

She shrugged, and headed inside. The swaying motion returned, only this time she felt energized, and maybe even hyper.

She ran up the stairs and slammed the door. She laughed and threw herself on her bed- landing smack dab on something warm and spicy-smelling.

"I assume dis means yo' happy to see me, chère."

Don't look him in the eyes, Corey warned.

She kept her gaze on her green comforter. "What are you doing here? If Logan smells you you're dead and Ah'm grounded."

She got up and headed to the bathroom.

Splashing water on your face won't sober you up. He's going to know…he's going to catch us…

His paranoia spread through her and her heart pounded harshly against her rib cage. He would know, Remy always knew. Would he tell the professor? Would he try and stop them?

"Chère?" He entered the bathroom as well; she could feel his eyes boring into her. He flipped on the light and they both panicked.

She spun on him. "Turn the light off!" She trembled, the nice feeling was leaving and anxiety was taking its place. If the lights came on he would see; he would know-

She hit the switch and darkness returned to the room. Before she could leave he grabbed her by the shoulders and stared into her eyes. She could see the shock and disbelief.

"Yo'-"

Corey freaked, she freaked. She freaked like the time Corey's wife walked in on him while using. He'd beaten her that night. He'd been so afraid she would tell-

She stomped on his foot as hard as she could and ran from the room. He couldn't follow her into the hallway, and for the time being she was safe.

She wanted to go to the professor and block Corey from her thoughts, but the stuff was already in her veins and she wanted it more than anything.

Maybe someday, she could tell Remy and he would be happy because the stuff was magical and it took the poison away from her skin. They could touch; and she knew from the psyche in her head that Remy hadn't even kissed another woman since he'd met her the year before. He was wound tight, ready to burst: and seeing her laying on her bed at night when he came to watch her sleep, smelling her violet shampoo, her tossing and turning- it was driving him to the brink.

She could convince him to approve.

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She hadn't believed Corey when he'd warned her of the cravings. After all, one injection couldn't hook her, not her. Others got addicted to things, not she. She was too strong, too smart.

But that didn't seem the case when she left the mansion three hours later.

Corey murmured directions and she told the cab driver.

Where are we going? We have to get to Mark's, Ah want to feel it again-

We need to get money from my apartment. The cops are going to identify my body soon, and we need to get there first.

She remembered then that she killed a man. For some reason, an emotional block separated her from that thought. Corey didn't seem too mad, either. As long as he got the smack and as long as she got the smack: both were content in their current state.

She exited the cab and looked up at the grey building. She recognized every inch of the place, even though she'd never been there. She knew to kick the front door before it would open. She knew to avoid the fourteenth step because it was covered with dry vomit. She knew to feel above the door and retrieve the extra key.

Her knowledge was no different once inside the actual apartment. She'd left her laundry on the floor because she hadn't gotten a fix in six hours and needed one so badly…the dishes from last week were still piled in the sink because she had to run to the bank and get cash for her fix-

She went into the bedroom and lifted the mattress. She wasn't worried about prints because of her gloves.

Her eyes widened and a feeling of euphoria overcame her. All that money, all those twenties- it would last them weeks!

She'd emptied her backpack and brought it with just as he told her, and she set it on the floor and began filling it with money.

How did you get all this?

Ever hear about the 24th street bank robbery? He chuckled. Courtesy of yours truly.

For a moment her stomach cramped, but she ignored the feeling and stuffed the money into the bag.

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She wasn't the only one who seemed to have plans with Mark that evening. Two cars were parked out front and when she knocked on the door, it opened to reveal a trashy-looking couple on the couch and a black man leaning on the counter.

"Hey there." Mark stepped out of the way to allow her inside; then proceeded to lock all four of the locks.

She leant against the wall and pulled a fifty from her bra. "Ah need five. Ah'm in a hurry."

She heard Corey scolding her for her lack of politeness. She added a sweet smile.

Mark shook his head. "Always in such a rush." He brought out his scale and weighed each individual baggie. He handed her the junk and leant close to her ear. "There's an extra sack, just like I promised. Come see me tomorrow and I'll H you up, kay?" He licked the arch of her ear; then unlocked the door and opened it for her.

She ran down the stairs until she got far enough away from his door, and then sat on a step and ripped open the package of needles she'd found at Corey's apartment.

She mixed the powder and water in the chamber of the needle, then shook it up to mix it well. She grew excited, eager even. She needed this, she needed this so badly. After she finished the amount she'd just bought- she was done. She would go to Xavier and tell him what happened, she would apologize to Remy and try to work things out, she would get some help-

She main lined it and the magic filled her veins. Ecstasy.

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Remy was waiting for her in front of the gate; she'd half expected he would be.

His face was the perfect picture of gorgeous rage. Only her Cajun could look pissed and oh-so-sexy at the same time.

She stood in front of him and looked at his neck instead of his eyes, just like Corey instructed. "Sorry about earlier."

He raised his eyebrow, as if to say: that's all you've got? "We need to talk, petite."

Dread formed icily on the edges of her high, she didn't want him to bring her down. "Ah'm tired. Can this wait?"

She punched in the access code and strode past him. She knew he would just climb up to her balcony and that she'd have to face him in her room. The thought both terrified and thrilled her.

Sure enough, she opened the door and he stood in the opening of the swinging French doors. His form was just a lump of blackness due to the lack of light, but his fiery eyes smoldered against the dark.

She continued to ignore him, and pulled out her mp3 player. She popped in both of the ear buds and turned the sound to full blast.

She had no idea how long he let her lay there, and when she looked up out of curiosity and annoyance, she realized he'd been taking the chance to watch her.

"So I was right den." He swallowed over the lump in his throat; the betrayal was back in his eyes.

She couldn't hear him, but she could read lips. She rolled over onto her side and closed her eyes. She didn't want to deal with his accusations and questions. She was just so happy…why couldn't he let her be happy?

In a motion so swift she had no time to react, Remy ripped the headphones from her ears and threw the device across the room.

He got right into her face, and even though she'd never seen him so furious his smell still aroused her.

"What are you doin'," she whispered. His lips were close enough to feel his soothing breath against hers.

"I was 'bout to ask y' de same t'ing," he spat, and then twirled away from her; fists bunched at his sides. He was using every ounce of patience he had so he wouldn't blow something up, and she sat straight against her pillow.

"How long, hein?" He faced her again, his expression was strained. "How long y' been shootin' up?" He grabbed her wrist and ignored her cries.

He pulled her burgundy sleeve up and stared at the pale flesh of her inner arm. The injection sites were knew, and cherry red. She could feel his anger and rage boiling to the surface.

"Ah-" What could she say to make this better? How did one tell her boyfriend she did heroin?

Instead of yelling or breaking up with her or even demanding she explain every detail, Remy only sighed and let his head hang.

"Pourquoi?" His pain was like a kick in the stomach. "Didn't I try makin' y' happy in any way I could? I quit t'ievin', quit partyin'- an' dis is what I get? A heroin addict of a girlfriend?"

His admonishment hurt badly, but she knew she deserved every harsh word he threw at her. What could she say? She couldn't tell him the truth. He would tell Xavier and then he'd take away the H, and she wanted it more than she wanted food or water. She had to lie, and though she hated doing that to Remy- she had no choice.

"It wasn't about you, shuga. The psyches- they were gettin' out of control, they wouldn't be quiet. My head hurt so bad, Remy-"

It was working, he could never resist when she widened her emerald eyes just the tiniest bit.

"Ah knew it was wrong, but Ah just wanted them to shut up." She began to cry, her gloved hand found his. "What will Ah do? Ah know Ah can't keep doin' this, but how will Ah find peace?"

Remy's face softened begrudgingly and he brought her close to his chest. "Oh, chère. It'll be okay. Remy will figure all of dis out, d'accord?"

Rogue nodded and buried her face deeper in his chest. Part of her watched in horror at her lying trickery; the other part smiled- because fooling him had been much too easy.

"Y' can't keep doin' dis, I won't let y', comprenez?." His mouth was set in a firm line, and his eyes were still blazing with leaping anger. "I'll find some other way to help y', je promets. Y' just have to give me some time-"

"Okay, Remy. Ah'm so sorry."

"I know y' are, Roguey." He grinned and pulled on her hand. "Come with me on a walk, de moon is tres belle!"

Her smile became stiff. She wanted nothing more than to curl up in her bathroom and get a couple more fixes…but being with Remy always sounded wonderful, so she consented.

.

He held her hand as they strolled around the park. "I want y' to talk to Xavier or something, chère. Dat shit? Dat heroin? It ain't nothin' to play with- it'll hook y'." He shook his head and squeezed her hand absently. "Ga lee...Seen some a de best lose deir lives cause a dat shit, an' I won' see y' do de same t'ing."

She rolled her eyes. "Xavier's the last damn person Ah'd talk to about this!" She pulled her hand from his and snorted. "He knows we've been hangin' out, he doesn't like it but he knows you wouldn't do anythin' wrong to me- but if Ah waltz into his office one day and tell him Ah've done heroin he might think a bit differently."

For a moment he just stared at her, and she was convinced he was going to call her out on her lie.

"Whaddya wan' me to say? What y've done is coo-yôn-and-I'm just worried is all. If anyt'ing happened to y'-"

The anger and frustration left her small body, and she leant into his embrace. "You don't need to worry about me. Ah have you, remember?"

She just hoped he was enough, and Corey knew that he wouldn't be. Corey knew that nothing: not a little girl, or a beautiful wife, or a supportive family could stop it. As far as he was concerned, she was doomed just like he was.

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She wore sunglasses to school the next day. She didn't care about the idiots at school gossiping, but she knew Kitty and the others would start asking questions if they saw her pupils.

Kitty paused in the middle of singing along to a bop-bop pop song, and leaned over towards Rogue. "A little tired from Remy's moonlit visit last night?" She waggled her eyebrows.

Rogue smirked; the magic in her veins made her disposition much more cheery. "Ah guess you could say that."

Kitty's eyes widened; pleasantly surprised. In general- Rogue was not a people person, but in the morning she was even more hellish. "You're, like, in a good mood today, Rogue. Are you sure you and Remy didn't do anything other than walk…?"

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A month passed by. It was blurry and nondescript. She began dipping into her bank account because Corey's funds were getting low.

Her clothes were beginning to hang from her frame, but Remy only watched her. She told him to stop worrying, she was just under a lot of stress.

And because he was so deeply in love with her and blamed himself for her drug use; Remy accepted her words, but made sure she was by his side whenever possible.

He hated himself for keeping quiet. The urge to tell someone, anyone, smoldered and eroded away at his throat. Rogue was killing herself, and he was just watching while it happened.

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"Rogue-"

He got that look every so often. She knew, despite her inexperience; that it was lust and that Remy had to contain every thought and gesture when he was around her. He knew the thought of hurting him terrified her, so he didn't push. But every so often he would ignore her warnings and fears and touch her. Of course, it was through her clothing and was more rubbing and caressing through cloth and kissing through scarves than actual meeting of flesh, but she got off during those little excursions and it was so very hard for her to put her hands on his shoulders and ask him to stop; when all she wanted to do was keep going.

But, as they stood on the balcony and his hands rested on her hips, then her ribs, then the sides of her breasts- she felt no fear. Just warmth- and a raging lust of her very own.

She almost wanted to tell him to discard his gloves and clothes; that they could touch now, but she didn't. Her mouth wasn't working properly and telling him that would lead to questions, and questions to answers, and she just wanted to enjoy what he was making her feel.

One of his thumbs moved against her nipple. She gasped and clung to his arms. He brought her closer and backed her slowly into the room.

Before she knew it, the back of her legs hit the bed and he pushed her onto her back, laying flush against her. She could feel every groove and bulge of his body: she could feel that he was hard for her.

His gaze seemed to penetrate her brain. "I love y'."

She tangled her hand in his long hair and wrapped her legs around his waist: effectively bringing him closer. She didn't want declarations of love or tenderness. She wanted him to ravish her; she wanted him to get rough and nasty like she'd seen in his memories. She wanted to hurt inside, she wanted to bleed, she wanted to feel. She felt so good and she was so ready- she didn't want to wait anymore.

He pulled her shirt off and threw it across the room. His hot mouth found her breasts and she could feel what he did through her bra. His tongue worked her into a frenzy; she whimpered and arched her back, and grinning when she saw his control begin to slip away. She was tired of him holding back for her sake.

That's it, lose your mind, sugar.

He lifted her and nearly ripped away her skirt. He left her tights on. "Y' sure?" he managed through the haze of desire.

Rogue growled impatiently and told him not to stop.

His breathing was ragged and his mouth went to her inner thigh next. He nibbled her there and she hated him for knowing her so damn well.

He traveled upward; she trembled when his warm breath puffed right here, and when his finger joined in to work her in there.

The belle lost all semblance of sanity; when she came she made no attempt to quiet herself. Dots of color danced in her vision and she rode the wave of ecstasy for an immeasurable amount of time. Remy, however, went silent after her outcry and looked towards the door.

Not twenty seconds later the hinges of the bedroom door were ripped from the wall as Wolverine barreled through.

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Wolverine ranted and raved after Remy escaped. He shook his finger in her face and asked her how she could do that with a guy like Gambit.

He threatened to track him down and castrate him. He threw in her face the fact that she was seventeen- not even a legal adult, and that Gambit was much too old for her. He called him a pervert and a scoundrel.

At that point she got fed up. She was high at the time- her inhabitions floated away somehwere up in the sky. "Ah've been in your head, Logan. Ah know all of your thoughts and desires. Do you want to continue callin' my boyfriend a pervert?"

He'd only looked at her; taken aback by her cruelty. He murmured something about fixing her door in the morning, then left.

She went in the bathroom and shot up so she wouldn't have to think about how very close she and Remy had been.

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They were still laughing about the whole ordeal half a month later; she and Remy. It'd been tense when Rogue first brought it up, but her Cajun knew how to make her laugh in any situation, and soon they forgot it altogether and enjoyed their afternoon with each other. The sun was warm against their faces, Rogue was glad for the excuse to wear sunglasses. Her head rested on his chest, and his arm was wrapped around her narrow shoulder.

Warmth, and something akin to wanting grew rampant between the two. They both knew they had unfinished business to attend to; needed to attend to- Rogue shifted in frustrated discomfort, Remy kept her angled away from his groin.

He knew he could initiate things and that she would consent, but he couldn't stop thinking about all the things working against them: Rogue's recent experimentation with drugs, Wolverine's awkward discovery of their relationship, and most importantly- the fact that he was still married to another woman. He loved Rogue with all his heart, but he couldn't stand the idea of taking her while still legally bound to someone else.

"I want y'," he confessed. "I'm tired of waitin', chére." He still couldn't face her; he had to tell her. He hoped she would understand.

Rogue shifted her position so should could stare at him. Excitement made her heart flutter. "Then what's holdin' you back?" Her voice was demure; her cheeks rosy. She took in his Adonis-like profile and she wanted him.

Their gazes connected and his scarlet orbs flashed. "'Cause I-" She saw his throat working. She'd never seen the chatty man speechless before. "I have to go away for a little while, Rogue."

He felt her go stiff.

"My père called me dis mornin'."

He could see the hardening of her features as she turned away.

"He said Bella Donna was willin' to agree to a divorce-" He scratched the back of his head. "We got married when we were eighteen, and ever since den I've been tryin' to end it. She held on for five years, mais she's finally come to her senses. Dis could be my only chance to get rid of her once and for all."

She smiled, and returned her head back to its original resting place on his chest. "Ah'll be waitin' for you, shuga."

His body slackened in relief; he kissed the top of her head.

She tried desperately to keep the emotions within her tame.

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When he dropped her off he kissed the top of her head, and in that silky, melting voice, told her when he returned that nothing would keep them apart.

She understood the meaning, and with a cry she couldn't hide, Rogue jumped up and threw her arms around the Cajun's neck, and wept in his embrace.

"Marie, chére, don't do dis to Remy!" He kneaded circles in her shoulders and lifted her into his embrace. Her legs curled around his waist. "Y' know how it kills dis homme when y' cry!"

She knew it was true, the sight of her shedding just one tear was something Remy could not handle. To her shame, she'd used the weakness against him several times in their many heated arguments.

He used his gloved thumb to swipe away the makeup beneath her eyes. She did her best to calm herself. "Dat's my fille courageuse." He grinned. "Can I see dat pretty smile?"

She tried, but her lips trembled too badly. She saw him sadden. "W-will you call me?"

He held her even more fiercely and stared into her eyes. "Mais sho'. What a silly question!"

She nuzzled her face against his neck, using her silky hair as a shield. She wanted to tell him she could touch him, she wanted to tell him she was terrified because Bella Donna was gorgeous in a way she could never hope to be, she wanted him to come inside and make love to her, she wanted to tell him the truth…

"Ah love you, Remy." She kissed his lips for the briefest of moments. "So much."

His throat tightened; she never said it first. "Je t'aime aussi, my beautiful girl. I'll be back before y' know it." He chuckled. "And den I'm gonna drive y' crazy with all my annoying antics, d'accord?"

She really laughed then.

.

When she got to her room she slammed the door shut and broke a lamp; she pretended it was Bella Donna's face as she drove her foot through it. She threw cd's against the wall and ripped the sheets on her bed. She was furious, she was losing her mind. She was pathetic, too- since when had she become the possessive, needy type? That wasn't the Rogue she knew.

She blared the darkest, most screechy music she owned, and shot up heroin while she banged her head back and forth to the beat.

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Rogue soon realized that Remy had been the only thing standing between her and the dark abyss. She lost herself in the pleasure of getting high, being high, and staying high. Corey's insatiable hunger became her insatiable hunger, and together their hunger swallowed her will to fight.

.

He called Rogue before she went to school, when she got done, and then as she got ready for bed, every day for two straight weeks. He told her about his Tante and her superstitious ways, he told her about his brother Henri and his wife Mercy. He told her about the crocodile that managed to find its way into their backyard, he told her about his walks down to the corner of Bourbon and Royal to visit his favorite Cigar Shoppe. He told her about his solitary rides in the family air boats through the thick swamps.

She smiled, and laughed, and commented in the appropriate places, but hearing him so happy killed her. She wished vehemently she could make him so ecstatic, so care-free. All she did was bring him grief and frustration.

He kept pushing her to tell him about her daily doings, but she shied away from the questions. She'd done nothing but shoot up heroin, and go to Mark's house to buy more heroin.

Soon, she began avoiding his calls altogether. She was so ashamed of what she'd become; she was afraid he'd hear it in her voice. He'd always known her so well.

.

When she didn't pick up a couple times a day, he thought nothing of it. When she didn't pick up for days at a time, he felt hurt, but made no mention of it and assumed she was busy. When a week went by: he panicked. He called her cell phone, he left dozens of recordings on her voicemail, he sent message after message to her email; nothing.

He called the mansion soon after and Kitty answered the phone: "Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters, this is Kitty spea-"

"Kitty, it's Remy," he cut her off; desperation made his timbre coarse. "Where is Rogue? She won' answer none of my calls-"

"Remy? Where have you been? We thought Rogue was with you! We've been-"

He heard a muffled argument through the earpiece. His vision swam. Rogue wasn't there, Rogue was gone.

His mind inevitably wandered to the night she'd briefly told him about the state she'd been after Apocalypse's attack, how sullen and depressed she had become. She'd told him things never went back to being normal and that in a moment of weakness she'd almost ended her life. She'd also told him (albeit reluctantly) that he was the one thing that truly made her happy. What if...what if she really couldn't survive without him?

"Where is Rogue," Wolverine snarled. "You pulled this shit once before, bub, but I let you go. That won't be happening a second time-"

Remy was terrified and furious. "Listen to y'self y' damn idiot! Why would I call here if I had Rogue? If she was with me we'd be long gone!"

Wolverine was silent for an immeasurable amount of time. "She's been gone for five days and I can't sniff her out. I can't find her, I don't know what to do."

"I'll be on de next flight out." He slammed down the phone and fought back hysteria. Five days…five days.

He made good on his word and drove to the airport.

.

When she woke Remy was holding her head up as he rinsed her off with warm water. The bubbles in the basin tickled her arms and legs.

"I'm gonna wash yo' hair next, a'ight?"

She forced a nod. She felt his soaking gloves support her neck. His other hand lathered her hair with shampoo. He lowered her slightly and the water rinsed away the suds.

"Remy-"

.

Remy spoke with the professor, it was the first time he'd actually been invited inside the wealthy-looking place.

With a grave voice Xavier explained to him that the psyches in Rogue's mind made it difficult to pinpoint her. He'd keep trying, he said, and meanwhile, Remy and the others could join Logan in scouring the city.

Remy was out the door and on his bike before Xavier could say anything further.

.

"Remy?" He held her as they drove. She looked out the window and saw the trees whipping past. "Where are we goin'?"

He wept.

.

He visited her everyday at the same time. For the first month she wouldn't even come out of her room. She would hear from some of the girls that he stood in the lobby for two hours every time, and then left the fresh bouquet of magnolias on the table, where he knew she'd receive them.

She hated him for a long time. She was aching and hungry for something they wouldn't let her have. She couldn't touch anymore, she was in pain, she convulsed, and so she hated him.

.

Remy caught up with the Wolverine eventually, and together they searched the streets of New York; leaving no club, store, dumpster, or car unturned. They went door to door and Remy used the picture of Rogue in his wallet to show the people; Wolverine sniffed them out just to make sure. Kitty, Nightcrawler, and Amara took one side of town; Ororo, Scott, and Bobby searched another.

Nightfall came. The kids went home but Remy and Logan stayed out until the wee hours of the morning. Eventually, they had no choice but to return to the mansion for food and rest before they collapsed from sheer exhaustion.

.

Seeing her hooked up to all of those wires and machines was agony.

He fantasized about freeing her from it all and just taking her away. They'd go someplace warm and tropical; maybe Hawaii, and he'd treat her so good. He'd give her everything she wanted, and even things she didn't ask for. All of his ideas of how to get around her skin would be a reality, they'd make love in a luxurious hotel on the beach. He'd buy her margaritas and other sweet, alcoholic beverages, and when they were drunk he'd somehow carry her back to their room. In the warm darkness, they would confess their undying love beneath the big moon.

Remy started at the sound of wheels on the floor. He turned and Xavier was there.

"I'm coming to block that man from Rogue's conscious thoughts," he explained. He seemed saddened by the thought.

Remy held Rogue's gloved hand while Charles closed his eyes and raised his hand above her forehead.

.

When the second month came round Remy was still visiting her every day, and she was still refusing to see him. He would just sit outside her door for hours: speaking to her and hoping she was listening. Sometimes she blared the t.v., sometimes she began talking with the other girls in an effort to drown him out. She hurt him because she was still hurting, she wanted someone to blame. And Remy, being the self-judging man he was; let her. He completely took full credit for her addiction. If he'd said something earlier, maybe things would have been different.

But he hadn't, and the woman he was in love with wanted nothing to do with him.

.

There wasn't much that came to mind when she tried thinking of her last binge. She recalled wanting Remy more than air- but he never came; heroin became her only companion. And then the day everything fell apart, she remembered going to school with her friends; who, by this point knew something was wrong with her, and she remembered walking in a daze- like she hadn't really been there, and then she was at Mark's apartment and his lips were on her neck and she held a needle in her shaking hand.

After that, things came to her in washed out flashes. Mark's hands on her breasts, and she pushing him away. Heroin binge. Mark's hand in her panties, and she pushing him away. Drug deal; exchanging money with the customers. Heroin binge. Mark pulling her shirt over her head, and she pushing him away. Heroin binge. Drug deal; exchanging money with the customers.

Then she was outside with Mark on the porch. Corey had been chatting away in her mind and she hadn't cared. Her legs had been cold, Mark's tongue was in her mouth. She knew, from some detached place in the sky, that he wouldn't stop until he got in her pants, and that eventually he was going to rape her and she'd be too high to do anything about it.

She could remember waiting for the revulsion and fear to crop up with this thought; it never did.

There was a growl and a French curse and then she felt the red warmth of Mark's blood. There were arms around her; petting her, pleading with her, she felt their tears on her own face. She looked up and saw red-on-black. She breathed in and smelled cigarettes mixed with cinnamon. She'd felt herself smile.

.

For the first half of the third month she came out to see him, albeit begrudgingly, and the look on his face made some of her anger dissipate, but only a small amount. The way his eyes blazed and his grin widened, and the way he just…glowed: it was too perfect a picture for the hate to burn as hotly in her heart. He loved her; he loved her more than anyone she'd ever known.

She turned right back around and heard him fall to his knees. She was sobbing before she got back to her room. The emotion and dedication leaping from off of him- she didn't deserve it. And though the pain of withdrawal was no longer sharp, it was still there: a constant ache in her bones. They said eventually the physical cravings would go away, but the mental ones never would. She'd have to fight her whole life not to give in.

She wanted so badly to give in.

The second half of the third month was the complete opposite. She came out every day and they chatted; though nothing serious was ever brought up. They understood they'd have to hash things out eventually, but for the time being- while things were still delicate and easily ruined; they left well enough alone.

And when she told him about the friends she'd made and the progress she and the professor were having with her absorption; Remy's eyes stayed glued to her face and he memorized every inch of her in detail.

When she asked him about it he'd simply said: "It gets lonely at night. Sometimes, if I stare at y' long enough y' in my dreams."

She fell in love with him all over again.

.

When her first morphine drip was lowered she turned murderous. She scratched and bit and pulled and demanded they let her go. Her face was pale, her eyes were not her eyes. She clawed at her skin and Remy pinned her hands to the side. She cursed him and threw every secret he'd ever told her back in his face, and didn't stop until he crumbled beneath the pummeling of her words and left the room.

She wept in utter relief and held him tight when he returned a few hours later.

.

Her vision was unfocused at best, but she could still read the sign when Remy pulled into the parking lot.

'Rehabilitation Center' was all she could make out, but that was more than enough. She cried and tried to run. He held her tight, and half-carried half-dragged her to the door. She kicked him and bucked in his embrace. He was strong until the tears increased and she began to beg.

"Please, Rems, don't leave me here!" Her hands went over his stomach. "Ah'll never do it again, Ah promise! Please don't leave me- do you remember what happened the last time you left me alone?"

There were tears rolling down his cheeks. His mouth was firm and his eyes were closed for a very long time.

"Ah love you, baby, Ah love you so much! Don't leave me, Ah need you!"

For a second she saw him weaken, but then his frame turned back into stone. He threw her over his shoulder and carried her through the doors.

"Marie Darkholme," he said to the receptionist over Rogue's screams.

Two attendants came and held each of her arms.

"Fuck ya!" She seethed with rage. "The fuck ya think ya are? Call my Mama! She'll get me out of here, she's the only one that loves me! Ya good for nothin' piece a shit! Ya ain't worth the cologne ya steal ya fuck up! Ah hate ya! Ah hope ya fuckin' die! Ah wish Julien had finished ya off! Ah wish Ah never fuckin' met ya!"

They gave Remy a sympathetic nod and took her away.

To this day, he can still hear her screams echoing down the hallway.

.

He and Logan found her on the third day of the search. She'd been sitting outside on a porch step; wearing nothing but an oversized t-shirt. There was a man next to her, and his mouth was seared to hers. A hand held her breast, the other was creeping up her smooth thigh.

Skin on skin. Touch. Remy could only stare, his anger boiled up but Wolverine was the one to attack the man.

Rogue only stared on blankly; not even flinching when some blood from the man's lip splattered across her cheek. Her expression did not change when Wolverine through the half-conscious man through the apartment door.

And then she'd looked at him; and his gut clenched because she did not recognize him. Her pupils were so dilated he couldn't see the emerald of her irises.

He held her and asked her why. His tears fell on her and she'd patted his back absently. He promised her that whatever happened with that bâtard didn't matter and that she was still the love of his life and that he would take care of her and never, ever let her get hurt again.

With a laugh she asked him who he was and why he was crying, and in the same breath she offered him a hit of that 'magic shuga'.

.

He carried her from the medlab into the bathroom. He shut the door and peeled away the dirty shirt she'd been wearing, and threw it to the floor. She tried apologizing for all the horrible things she'd spat at him the other day, and for the thousandth time he brushed away her worries and kissed her forehead.

The muscles in her legs were too cramped up for her to hold her own weight, so he lowered her gently into the warm water and supported her head.

She drifted off, and when she woke she was dressed in sweatpants and one of his sweaters. They were in a car, he held her while they drove.

"Remy?" Her warm breath hit his neck, she ached to kiss him. "Where are we goin'?"

The trees whipped by and something soft and jazzy played quietly.

He wept, and then there was screaming and hatred.

.

She was released at the beginning of the fourth month, and Remy was waiting for her outside; grinning and adjusting his shirt nervously. She laughed at him and kissed him fiercely. The pull was barely there.

They went out as both a celebration of her freedom, as well as an early birthday dinner. She'd be turning eighteen in a matter of weeks, and Remy confided in all seriousness that he planed on proposing.

And as she sat there: completely absorbed in his words- he told her his dream. He told her about their honeymoon on a warm beach, and how they'd visit Louisiana so his family could finally meet the fille he'd talked so much about.

"And maybe my Tante Mattie will be able to put some meat back on dem bones." He winced. "I sure hope y' gain yo' breasts back soon-"

She threw her fork at him.

.

The lure of heroin never left her. It was an omnipresent yearning in her life, it carved away her insides and made her feel empty. The physical chains to the drug were no longer there, but the mental ones were, and at times she thought she might cave underneath the desire to invite the monster back into her veins.

But she didn't. Remy was always more than enough to fill that emptiness and make her whole.


Grr. This was NOT supposed to be posted until I got my act together and worked on TIAD, but I just couldn't help myself! (You jinxed me with all your talk of 'self-restraint', aiRo!...oh, and did ya notice the happy ending?)

This story and the chapters within are the result of my never-ending playlist of Coldplay. Each installment is based on the feelings a certain song made me experience. I will post the title of the song at the end of each chapter.

The information on Heroin addiction, use, and withdrawal are thanks to a health-nerd friend of mine and the internet. Links will be posted on my website. (eventually that is)

Song: Violet Hill from the album: Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

Next time: three hearts, two bodies.

Feedback is encouraged.