"Hatred is for the Weak"


"The Story Where Chellerbelle Goes a Little Crazy Creating OCs"

Warning: Contains sexual situations with varying levels of consent, low level violence, and potentially offensive/controversial topics (most are "one scene only"). Opinions expressed are strictly those of the character expressing said opinion.

Disclaimer: Not associated with Marvel, nor do I claim any sort of ownership on their characters, teams, etc.

Special Thanks: To my best friend, Joyful, who was good enough to let me bounce ideas off her, provide me with some insight into how college works in the States (I don't even know how it works in Australia! Haha), and stopped me from making a number of mistakes out of ignorance. Thanks Joy, I couldn't have done it without your help. (Any remaining mistakes are my own).

Final Notes: This story fits into movieverse canon, up to and including the alterations they made to Gambit's mutation in X-men Origins: Wolverine. The one thing it doesn't include is the bonus scene at the end of X3, wherein it's suggested that Professor Xavier is still alive. I am also doing a different take on Rogue's powers, one I feel is a natural extension of her abilities.

Updates will be once every two days, rather than daily, as all chapters are longer than normal.

Chapter 1

Granada, Spain, 23 years ago:

Remy gasped for breath as his body grazed the sandy bottom of the shore. Another wave hit him while he dragged himself up the beach with shaking arms and legs. It was all he could do to pull himself beyond the water before he collapsed. For a time, he just lay there and after what seemed like forever and not long enough, the fifteen-year-old finally picked himself up. His eyes scanned the shore.

"Etienne!" he called.

There was no response. Remy started staggering down the beach, looking desperately for his younger cousin.

"Etienne!" he called again.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. Remy had been Etienne's Registrar on his Tilling; the event that would initiate Etienne as a fully fledged thief in the Thieves Guild. The theft had gone without a hitch. They had the prize in their pocket, only to get picked up by slavers on the way home. Breaking out of the cells hadn't been a problem, getting away from the guards had been harder, but they'd been separated when they'd jumped off the fortress wall into the sea.


He had to find him.

Stryker's Island, 21 years ago:

Remy peered through the bars at the four guards sitting around the table playing poker. There were five other prisoners—all mutants—dressed in stupid, orange uniforms, in five other cages just like his. The cages were small; there was just enough room for Remy to lie down, as long as he didn't mind his head and feet touching the sides. Something was negating his powers too; try as he might, Remy couldn't charge up the cage at all, or anything else within it. And since he was dressed in regulation clothing, he didn't even have any lockpicks to free himself with.

"What's the buy in?" Remy asked the guards.

A couple of the guards snickered. The one closest turned to face the seventeen-year-old and grinned at him.

"More than you can afford, kid," he said.

Slowly Remy held out his hand, a wedding band sitting on his palm. "Is this enough?"

"Hey, where'd you get that?" demanded another guard, whose ring finger was noticeably missing a ring.

"Found it," Remy lied.

"Well, it's mine," the guard said, standing up and starting to walk over to Remy's cage. "Hand it over."

Remy pulled his hand back and held it against the centre of his chest.

"Can I play?" Remy asked plaintively.

Another one of the guards laughed.

"Let the kid play," he said. "He ought to be good for a few rounds' amusement."

"Fine, you get to play," said the irate guard. "Now hand over the ring."

"Chips first," said Remy.

"I could get to like this kid," said the guard who thought Remy amusing. "Give him his chips, Steve. If he still doesn't hand over the ring, we can always beat it out of him later."

New Orleans, 19 years ago:

It was a cold, windy night and Henri was not all that happy to be out in it. Unfortunately, his dear, pregnant wife had cravings for potato chips, of which they had none at home. So, loaded up with bags of multiple varieties of chips, Henri headed out from the shop to his car in the all but empty parking lot. He frowned when he saw a bedraggled figure standing by his car. His clothes were all but rags and he wore a pair of sunglasses.

"I thought I recognised your car," the man said wearily.

Henri stopped in his tracks. He knew that voice!

"Remy?" Henri asked, staring at him. "Is that you?"

"Oui," Remy replied. "It's me."

"We thought you were dead!" Henri exclaimed, dropping his bags, closing the distance and wrapping his arms tightly around his adopted brother.

"Close," the nineteen-year-old said with a bitter voice. "I was in hell."

"What happened?" Henri began as he pulled away. "No, tell everyone all at once. Better that way, d'accord?"


"Come on," Henri said, unlocking the car, then picking up his bags off the ground. "We'll get you cleaned up.

I know everyone's going to be excited to see you alive and...alive."


It was almost like in the movies; the moment Bella Donna laid her eyes on Remy she raced towards him, arms outstretched. A big grin appeared on Remy's, and he wrapped her up in his arms and whirled her around before kissing her passionately.

"You're alive, you're alive," Bella Donna almost wept, holding him close as he set her back down on the ground.

"Well, you know me, chère," Remy replied. "I'm just too stubborn to die."

Bella Donna laughed and pulled away his sunglasses. Her gasp was quite audible, and would have gotten all those in the council room to stare, had they not already been watching. Where bright red eyes should have been there were only plain brown ones, and the whites of his eyes were actually white.

"What happened to you?" she demanded.

Remy gave a half shrug. "Kidnapped. Used for mutant experimentation."

"A likely story," sneered Julien, who was one of the on-lookers.

"Julien," Marius said warningly, and then strode over to Remy. "There had been some...speculation that your abrupt departure was to avoid a certain wedding."

"If you want to check the validity of my story," Remy said, trying to sound respectful when that was the last thing he was feeling at the moment, "the men I was taken by were working for one William Stryker."

"That won't be necessary," Marius replied. "The rumour in question was largely put into circulation by the one who set you up in the first place."

"Julien," Henri said darkly, glaring at him.

"Just how long have you known this, Marius?" asked Jean-Luc, his casual tone doing little to mask his anger.

"The information only came to me recently," Marius answered with dignity. "Given that I didn't believe you when you told me you didn't know where Remy was, I will understand if you don't believe me. The real question now, however, is what to do with the one who put the peace between our Guilds in danger in the first place."

All eyes fell on Julien.

"You didn't really expect me to just stand by and watch while this piece of street trash married my sister?" Julien demanded. "I just wish I'd gotten to him before he defiled her."

In the blink of an eye, Bella Donna pushed away from Remy and slammed her fist across Julien's face.

"How dare you!" she practically screamed at him. "How dare you take Remy away from me! I was worried sick about him, you heartless bastard!"

"Heartless? I did it for you, Belle," Julien shouted back at her. "To protect you from this lying, faithless, worthless thief. He doesn't deserve you, and you don't deserve to be trapped into marriage with him."

"Maybe I want to marry him, did that ever occur to you?"

"Frequently, that's what worries me! You can do better!"

"Absolutely," Bella Donna agreed. "I could have done better, but you decided to main my future husband! Just look what you've done to his eyes! I don't even want to think what else those cretins you sold him out to have done to him."

Remy looked away, feeling very uncomfortable with both the fighting and the staring. The talk of marriage didn't bother him; leading up to the wedding it did as he wasn't sure if he was ready, but after being in Stryker's clutches for two years, getting married sounded like the greatest idea ever.

"Maimed him?" Julien repeated. "Hey, if anything, I did him a favour. He looks normal now."

"Normal?" Remy spluttered as his head shot back up and he glared at Julien with rage. "A favour? I'll do you a favour!"

"Everyone, please calm down," said Jean-Luc as Henri put a pacifying hand on Remy's shoulder.

"I am calm, old man," Julien practically spat at him.

"Julien, that is quite enough," Marius said tersely and then turned to his fellow Guild Leader. "Jean-Luc, in the interests of keeping the peace between our Guilds, I leave it to you to determine Julien's punishment for his crimes against your son and heir."

Julien protested that he hadn't done anything wrong, but his objections were silenced as all those in the council room looked at Jean-Luc while he contemplated his decision. Had Jean-Luc received the news of what Julien had done prior to Remy's return, the sentence would have been simple: either rescue Remy and bring him back alive, or be executed. However, as Remy had been returned to him, and having lived two years worried and grieving, Jean-Luc was reluctant to inflict the burden of losing a child on Marius. Besides, that seemed more like punishing Marius, rather than the real culprit, Julien.

"Gouge his eyes out," Jean-Luc said finally, with a voice of ice.

"What? No!" Julien shouted. "You can't do that!"

"And do it after the wedding," Jean-Luc added. "I want Remy and Bella Donna marrying to be the last thing he remembers seeing."

Meridian, Mississippi, same year:

Carrie walked into the maternity ward and smiled when her eyes laid on her sister, Priscilla, holding her newborn baby girl in her arms. Her brother-in-law, Owen, was sitting next to his wife.

"Congratulations," Carrie said warmly.

"Thanks," Priscilla replied.

"What have you decided to name her?" Carrie asked.


New Orleans, 18 years ago:

Remy kept his eyes on the man across from him at the poker table. The other two players had folded, and were smart to do so too, given the cards on the table in this game of seven card stud. In front of him were his seven cards, three turned over. The four upside cards were the Jack of Spades, the Five of Hearts, the Five of Spades, and the Jack of Hearts. On the other side of the table, the remaining player had his three downside cards, plus the Jack of Diamonds, the Ten of Diamonds, the Nine of Diamonds and the Eight of Clubs.

The stakes were high; Remy's motorcycle was on the line. For that matter, so was the other guy's plane, and he seemed quietly confident the keys were in his hand.

The other player turned over his three downside cards, one by one; first, the Eight of Diamonds, then the King of Diamonds, and finally the Queen of Spades.

"Straight to King," he said.

Remy forced himself to keep his breathing even as he turned over his own cards; the Ace of Spades, the Two of Spades, and finally the Jack of Clubs.

"Full House," said Remy, "Jacks over Fives."

Remy reached in to take the pot.

"Wait," the other player said. "Give me another chance to get my plane back."

"Désolé, mon ami," Remy replied. "But you have nothing left to bet with, and I don't take IOUs. Oh, and by the way? It's my plane now."

New Orleans, same year:

Bella Donna's eyes narrowed as they caught the stain of red lipstick on Remy's shirt. Remy didn't seem to notice and collapsed on the lounge next to her.

"Thought that meeting would never end," he said.

"Yeah, I bet that came as a real disappointment, Casanova," Bella Donna replied sarcastically.

Remy held in an exasperated sigh. This was the first and last time he ever got Bella Donna pregnant. There was no way he was going to handle all these mood swings a second time (he wasn't even sure he was going to survive it once).

"If I never see Billy-Bob again, it'll be too soon," Remy replied with false cheerfulness, standing up again. "I need a drink. Did you want anything, chère?"

"Sure," Bella Donna said sweetly. "The name of the putain whose lipstick you're wearing!"

Remy frowned at Bella Donna in genuine confusion.

"What lipstick?" he asked.

"What lipstick," she repeated mockingly, and pointed at his shirt. "That lipstick, you whoring bastard!"

"Huh," Remy said, glancing down at the shirt and finally noticing the mark. "That lipstick would belong to one Bella Donna Boudreaux. Though really chère, I'm disappointed you would call yourself a putain. It's not nice to call yourself names."

"It's not mine," Bella Donna insisted. "I think I would have remembered getting lipstick on your shirt today."

"It's probably from a few weeks ago," Remy replied with a shrug as he pulled out the bourbon and a glass. "This was the only reasonably clean shirt I had left. Which reminds me; I have to do laundry."

"A likely story. It's not even my shade."

Remy regarded Bella Donna with a raised eyebrow and a slight smirk.

"Oh yeah? How much do you want to bet that if I go through your make up right now, I'll find this exact shade?"

"And you're not wearing your wedding ring."

"I never wear jewellery when I'm working unless it's part of the job. You know that," he replied, trying not to sound as exasperated as he felt.

"It's because I'm fat, isn't it?" Bella Donna asked, now bursting into tears.

"Mon dieu..." Remy said, rubbing his forehead and closing his eyes. "Belle—"

"You don't love me any more."

"Of course I still love you. Don't be stupid—"

"Oh! So now I'm stupid!"

"That's not what I—"

"Well, next time you can carry the baby, you ungrateful, selfish little brat!"

"Please, please, please make the baby a boy," Remy mentally begged.

"It's a girl," Tante Mattie announced.

"Ohhh," Bella Donna breathed as she took the tiny child into her arms. "Oh, she's beautiful."

"Just like her mère," Remy said with a proud smile on his face.

"Not quite," said Bella Donna.

Remy was about to ask, when he saw for himself: Jacqueline Armelle Boudreaux-LeBeau had his original red-on-black eyes.

New Orleans, 17 years ago:

Remy ran his fingers along Bella Donna's arm as they lay in the bed together.

"Désolé, mon cher," she said. "I'm not in the mood."

As her back was towards him, Remy didn't bother keeping the disappointment off his face.

"Yeah," he muttered under his breath as he turned over. "That's new."

Remy gave a low whistle as he walked down the main hallway at the Boudreaux Mansion with Emil.

"That's some good dough," he said. "What's the job exactly?"

"That's what the meeting's all about," Emil replied. "We'll get the details then."

"When's the meet?"

"Tonight," Emil said slyly. "House of the Rising Sun."


"Client's choice."

"Merde," Remy muttered as they passed the training rooms. "If Belle finds out about this, she'll kill me. She's already paranoid about me cheating on her."

"How's she going to find out?" asked Emil. "No one knows 'cept us."

As the pair continued down the hallway, Julien ran a finger down the sharpened blade of his sword. His blindness may have made him all but useless as a field agent, but he'd always been a good swordsman and he was outstanding as an instructor.

Julien was definitely looking forward to telling Bella Donna all about Remy's little visit to the brothel, with some choice editing, of course.

"I'm not cheating on you!" Remy yelled at Bella Donna the following day. "I was meeting a client!"

"A client who just so happened to want to meet at a brothel? How convenient!" Bella Donna shouted back at him.

"Sure, convenient for Emil," Remy snapped. "Look Belle—"

He was cut off by the sound of his daughter crying.

"Now look what you've done!" Bella Donna exclaimed. "You've woken Jacqueline! And I just... You can put her back to sleep."

"It'll be my pleasure," Remy retorted hotly. "At least I know Jackie trusts me."

New Orleans, later that year:

Remy glanced over at the nervous passenger in his plane.

"You don't like flying, huh?" Remy teased Logan.

"I'm fine, just concentrate on what you're doing," Logan replied shortly.

"You sure?" Remy said, grinning at him. "You got a bit of sweat on your brow there."

"Very funny. Just keep your eyes on the—"

"On the what?" Remy asked, looking back out the front window. "The clouds? Keep my eyes on the clouds?"

"You're going up and down like a freaking yo-yo here!" Logan snapped at him. "Where'd you get this thing anyway?"

"Oh, this is my baby," Remy replied as he hit the console affectionately. "I won her in a game. Jacks over Fives."

"Great," Logan muttered.

"Relax. We're almost there."

New Orleans, 16 years ago:

Remy was on his way down to the pool at the Boudreaux Mansion with Jackie sitting on his hip, and holding her floaties in his free hand, with their towels over his shoulder. He was just coming to the end of the bushes hiding the pool from the path, when he heard a familiar laugh. A smile appeared on his face and he was about to turn the corner and call in greeting to his wife, when he heard a male voice. Bella Donna murmured something back and Remy looked around the corner just in time to see Bella Donna kiss one of the Assassins, Franco. He swallowed hard as he watched their kissing become more intimate, and hands going places he hadn't been allowed since before Jackie was born.

Later, when Jackie was down for her afternoon nap, Bella Donna found Remy staring out the open window in the private living room at the Boudreaux Mansion. (They had three living rooms; one at the LeBeau Mansion, and another one in their actual own house). At first she wasn't going to say anything, but then she caught a whiff of cigarette smoke wafting in with the breeze.

"What have I told you about smoking in the house?" she demanded.

She deplored that habit ever since he'd picked it up a few years back.

"Nothing," Remy replied, his voice thick. "It was my decision from day one that I wouldn't smoke around Jackie. She's asleep, and by the time she's back in here, the smoke'll be gone."

"Well, I'd prefer it if you didn't smoke around me," Bella Donna said tersely. "It's disgusting."

"And I'd prefer it if you weren't cheating on me, you hypocritical cow," Remy snapped back at her, flicking the rest of the cigarette out the window. "I know about you and Franco."

Perhaps if Bella Donna had admitted it civilly, rather than lashing out, things might have happened differently. As it was, Bella Donna didn't like the fact that she was feeling guilty about her little affair, especially when she felt completely justified in having one.

"Well, maybe if you weren't cheating on me, I wouldn't have to go elsewhere to satisfy my needs," she retorted hotly.

"Merde, Belle!" Remy exclaimed, turning to face her. "I'm not cheating! And I've tried to 'satisfy your needs' plenty of times, and you always turned me down!"

"Because you were cheating!"

"I was not! You seriously have to stop being so paranoid—"

"Paranoid? Paranoid? When my husband doesn't wear his wedding ring—"

"I've told you time and time again, I don't wear it when I'm working unless it's for show."

"—visits brothels—"

"It was a business meeting!"

"—stays up late at night—"

"I'm a thief! What the hell do you expect?"

"—and comes home smelling of perfume!"

"Okay, that does not happen that often. I can't help it if the people I'm with don't know when too much is too much."

"Oui, the women that you're with," Bella Donna retorted, glaring fiercely at Remy. "Julien was right about you all along. You're nothing but a lying, worthless piece of trash."

Remy felt liked he'd just been slapped in the face. He stalked to the front door and left, only giving Bella Donna a glance at his tear strained face and red eyes as he passed. The door slammed shut behind him and Bella Donna was shocked to realise he'd been crying.

At first Bella Donna wasn't worried, figuring that Remy probably just needed to blow off some steam, but when he still hadn't come home after two nights, nor returned to either the Boudreaux or LeBeau Mansions, she put the word out to find him. Only an hour later he'd been located.

"Henri!" Remy greeted in his inebriated state. "Come join the party."

Remy was in the hot tub, presumably naked, with a couple of girls who were at least topless. There were a number of empty bottles along the edge of the tub, and one in Remy's hand.

"No, I don't think so, Remy," Henri replied. "It's time to go home."

"I am home," Remy insisted. "I've got food and drink and shelter and belle femmes to keep me company. What more could a homme want?"

"How about some self respect? You're coming home—"

"Self respect?" Remy repeated. "Let me tell you something about respect: It's over rated. Everyone talks about respect. You gotta respect this. You gotta respect that. You gotta respect your wife. You gotta respect your husband. And does anyone ever respect anything? No. Nobody ever respects a damned thing."

"Belle's been worried about—"

"Belle?" Remy practically spat. "She's the worst. The worst. She's cheating on me with Franco. I saw 'em. She's probably been cheating on me all this time and that's why she's been paranoid about me cheating on her 'cause she did it first. 'M not going back to her. Not going back to her ever."

Henri was quiet for a moment. It seemed that Bella Donna left something out of her story.

"What about Jackie?" Henri asked finally. "Are you going to go back to her?"

Remy froze.

"Jackie?" he repeated.

"She misses her papa," Henri said gently.

"She does?"

"Of course she does."

"I miss her too," Remy said, and then his face lit up. "I know she's mine. She has my eyes. My real eyes."

"Oui, she does," said Henri.

It wasn't until after Remy had sobered up, gotten some sleep and spent some play time with Jackie that he and Bella Donna spoke again, at which point Remy had come to a decision.

"They found you at the Rising Sun," she said accusingly.

"Yep," he drawled, his eyes focused squarely on his game of solitaire.

"I knew it! You have been—"

"I'm getting so sick and tired of this argument, Belle," he interrupted. "Until deux days ago, the only person I have slept with the entire time we were married has been you. I don't even care if you don't believe me any more. Quite frankly, if it weren't for the fact that our marriage was arranged and our respective Guilds require us to stay together, I wouldn't be here right now. I would be getting divorce papers written up. But no, we're stuck with each other. So here's the plan, Belle; any time you want to try to work things out, all you have to do is stop cheating. While I'm waiting, I think I'm going to pick up a mistress or trios."

"In addition to the ones you already have?" she retorted snidely, unwilling to admit she may have been the one in the wrong.

"Ball's in your court, chère," Remy replied. "And it ain't even mine."

Meridian, 14 years ago:

Marie placed the little plastic chair down on the linoleum kitchen floor next to the stool. Sticking out her tongue, she stepped up onto the chair, and then climbed up onto the stool. Marie looked at her Aunt Carrie, who was busy stirring something in a bowl with her back to her. With a gleeful smile on her face, Marie reached for the cookie jar, foolishly left out and open on the kitchen bench. She reached inside, grabbed a cookie and was climbing back down again when Carrie turned around.

"Why you cheeky little rogue!" Carrie exclaimed.

Marie ran out, giggling, as soon as her feet touched the floor.

New Orleans, 11 years ago:

"Jackie?" Remy asked in concern, kneeling by the bed where his daughter was crying. "What's the matter, Sunshine?"

Jackie sniffed.

"Everyone's picking on me," she said in between crying-induced hiccups.

"Picking on you? Why are they picking on you?"

"My eyes," Jackie replied, sniffling. "They said I'm bad and I've got devil eyes and someone even said I was the daughter of Satan. I'm not, am I?"

"Of course not!" Remy insisted. "You're my daughter, not Satan's."

He bit back a comment about Bella Donna's credentials.

"You know," he went on. "I used to have eyes just like yours until some bad men took them away. Sometimes the kids used to pick on me too. They used to call me 'Le Diable Blanc'."

"They did?"

"Uh huh. There's nothing wrong with your eyes, Sunshine. I wish I still had mine. I think I've got some photos of when I was a kid before the bad men took me. Do you want to see?"

Jackie nodded.

Meridian, 8 years ago:

"Now, does anyone know the answer?" the teacher asked the class.

At first there was no response and then Marie shyly lifted her hand.

"Yes, Marie?"

"Five?" Marie said hesitantly.

"That's right. Now, if you'll all turn your books to page twenty-seven..."

New Orleans, 5 years ago:

Remy paced back and forth across the living room floor, much to Bella Donna's exasperation.

"Would you stop that?" she demanded. "She's going to be fine!"

"She should have been back hours ago. What if—"

"You know sometimes the Tillings run a bit late, especially if they decide to celebrate somewhere before returning," Bella Donna pointed out irritably.

"Or something could have gone wrong," Remy said. "What if they got picked up by the cops? Or slavers? Or—"

"Don't insult our daughter," Bella Donna interrupted indignantly. "As if she'd... Wait, slavers?"

Remy might have responded to Bella Donna's puzzled query, had not the door opened at that moment and Jackie came waltzing in.

"Jackie!" Remy exclaimed. "You're alright!"

"Of course I'm alright, Papa," Jackie replied with an amused smile. "Actually, I'm better than alright; I'm awesome."

"Everything went well, I take it?" Bella Donna asked.

"Never saw me coming."

"That's the whole point."

Meridian, same year:

The torch under Marie's chin lit up her face in an unnatural way as she and her friends sat in the tent.

"...and still to this day," said Marie in a low voice, "whenever you pass the house, you can still hear the hearts of his victims; thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump."


The other girls proceeded to scream and Marie grinned, stifling the urge to giggle at the satisfactory result of her prank.

New Orleans, 4 years ago:

Jackie looked at Bella Donna and Remy apprehensively. They were sitting together on the same lounge at home. This particular combination was quite enough to send the warning bells off in Jackie's head. There were only two prearranged occasions where her parents were capable of getting along: Anything Guild-related (a good thing, given that the Guild was literally the only thing keeping their marriage together), and special "Jackie" events, like her birthday. The rest of the time, however, they avoided each other like the plague, unless they wanted a fight and/or to rub their latest partner in the other's face. Remy slept in another room.

"Oh good, you're home," said Remy, and he patted the lounge between himself and Bella Donna. "I—we—need to talk to you."

"Okay," Jackie replied uncertainly, sitting down with them.

"It's like this," Remy said. "I want to move out. I've found a nice little place downtown to live, where I can do my own thing without...without irritating your mère. You'd be welcome to stay with me, if you want, else you can visit any time."

"I highly recommend calling first," Bella Donna said dryly.

"Belle—" Remy began with a frown.

"So that's it?" Jackie asked, "you're just going to leave?"

"No," Remy replied, shaking his head. "It's completely up to you, Sunshine. If you want me to stay, I'll stay."

"Oh thanks," Jackie said sarcastically. "So if I say I want you to stay, I then have to feel bad when you and Maman can't get along."

"Don't be silly, Jacqueline," said Bella Donna. "Your père and I stopped getting along before you were even born."

"For once she's right—" Remy began.

"Don't start—" Bella Donna cut in.

"—we're going to continue fighting and playing our little games of one-upmanship," Remy continued as if Bella Donna hadn't said a thing. "In my case, that's literal one-upmansh- uhh, nevermind. The point is, it's going to continue regardless, and we feel that you're old enough that you could handle us living in deux different places. I'm still going to be nearby. You'll still be able to see me everyday. It is far more important to me that you're happy with whatever our living arrangement may be, than what our living arrangement is."

"You don't have to decide now," Bella Donna added.

Jackie pressed her lips together, frowning as she looked away from both of them. How dare they put this on her? He was her father! She didn't want him to leave. She loved both her parents and it just wouldn't be the same if she couldn't have both of them at once. She was so caught up in her personal distress that she didn't notice the magenta glow lighting up the lounge.

"Remy!" Bella Donna scolded.

"It's not..." Remy began even as he deactivated the charge, and then stared at Jackie with a small, delighted smile appearing on his face, "me."

Bella Donna looked at him, and then at Jackie, who had only just registered what had happened. Jackie lifted her hands from the lounge and stared at them.

"Did I..." she started to stay slowly.

"Oui, Sunshine," Remy replied, his smile looking prouder. "I guess that answers that question, no? There's no way I'm moving house with you manifesting powers, 'specially ones you inherited off moi."

"Really?" Jackie asked hopefully, looking up at him.

"Of course," Remy said, running his fingers fondly through her long, light brown hair. "I wouldn't leave in your hour of need."

Jackie smiled and hugged him tightly. "Thank you, Papa."

Meridian, 3 years ago:

Marie knelt on her bed and traced her carefully drawn out line on the map above the head of her bed. Beside her was David, laying on the bed with his head on a pillow at the foot.

"...Niagara Falls. Up the Canadian Rockies," Marie said and turned to smile at David, "and then it's only a few hundred miles to Achorage."

"Well, won't it be kind of cold?" David asked.

"Well, that's the point, stupid," Marie replied. "Otherwise it wouldn't be an adventure."

David smiled at her tolerantly. "And when are you going to do this?"

Marie half shrugged as she laid down on the bed beside him. "I don't know."

David sighed as he rolled onto his side to face her.

"After high school," Marie said, "before college."

Marie looked down at her fidgeting fingers, suddenly feeling shy. David didn't say anything, but moved up close to her and leaned on his arm. Marie looked back up at him, and swallowed nervously as they slowly but surely moved into each other. David's lips grazed hers for the briefest of first kisses. Marie's heart was pounding as their lips met again only a moment later. She felt something rush into her, a sudden injection of energy, and with it curious images of watching herself trace out the line on her map, playing football, David's parents, school...

Marie pulled back from the kiss, her eyes wide with alarm. She saw David fall back on the bed as strange lines faded from his face and his eyes rolled into the back of his head as he gasped for breath.

Marie screamed.

New Orleans, 2 years ago:

Remy stood out on the driveway of his new abode, leaning against the wall, smoking a cigarette. He knew he could just smoke inside, it being his home and all, but Remy was in a long standing habit of not smoking around Jackie, at least not indoors, and she was busy putting her things together in her second bedroom. Both he and Bella Donna had been relieved when Jackie consented to Remy moving out. It was out of the blue too, as the subject hadn't even been brought up again.

Bella Donna pulled up on the street in front and Remy watched as she got out of the car, taking a cardboard box with her. She gave him a condescending look as she marched over to him.

"That's a disgusting habit," she informed him for only the millionth time.

Remy gave a slight shrug. "So are you."

Bella Donna coughed as Remy deliberately breathed smoke in her face.

"What the hell you doing here anyway?" he asked, turning his head away from her. "This is supposed to be a Bella Donna free zone."

"You left some of your crap behind," she replied, hefting the box.


Bella Donna didn't say a word, she didn't have to. She merely lifted the box and flung its contents—a large quantity of decks of cards—all over Remy. One might not have hurt, but many hitting him in the same place caused Remy to cry out in objection.

"If I never see another playing card again," Bella Donna said as she turned her back and swaggered back to the car, "it'll be too soon!"

Salem Center, New York, same year:

Marie took a deep breath and touched Jean's outstretched hand with her bare skin. The contact was brief and Marie pulled her hand away quickly. Jean shook herself free of the dizzy spell that followed.

"Sorry," Marie said.

"It's fine," Jean assured her, and then gestured around the danger room to the features of her telekinesis training program. "It's what we're here for. Now, why don't you try moving some things?"

Marie nodded and concentrated. She managed to shift the simulated car, the desk, the chair and a thick book, amongst other things, before Jean's powers wore off. However, the pencil and the coin were beyond her.

"That's normal," said Jean. "There's a lot of variation in what size a telekinetic can handle. Most telekinetics—there are exceptions—can move larger objects a lot easier than smaller objects."

"But I borrowed your telekinesis," Marie pointed out.

"And if you had also absorbed my years of experience and practice you would have also been able to move the pencil and the coin," Jean replied patiently. "I've never really had any problems moving large things—not that it doesn't still take effort. However, smaller things require a lot more finesse. Also, sometimes telekinetics can find it easier to move things a long distance, than to move things a short distance. Next time you borrow my powers, I want you to try and move a large object by a quarter of an inch."


New Orleans, 1 year ago:

Jackie looked up from the TV as her father swore and hung up the phone. He then went to a nearby drawer and started pulling things out.

"Something wrong?" she asked.

"Worthington's ready to go public," Remy replied as he gathered his things for the trip. "I have to get to San Francisco."

"Did you want me to come with?" asked Jackie. "Or am I staying here?"

"I might be there awhile," Remy said after a moment's thought. "You'd better stay."

"Aww nuts," she said, paused and then asked slyly: "So, were you planning on telling Maman?"

"None of her business."

"So, can I stay home alone then?"

Remy paused at the hallway leading to the bedrooms. Jackie grinned wickedly at him.

"Sure," he said finally. "But if you throw any wild parties, be sure to clean up afterwards."

Salem Center, same year:

"This wasn't what I wanted," said Bobby, feeling a little guilty as he looked at Marie, home from her abrupt trip to San Francisco.

"I know," Marie replied gently. "It's what I wanted."

She reached out and took his hand with her bare one.

New Orleans, 5 months ago:

Remy reluctantly sat down next to Bella Donna at the table in the restaurant.

"What's this about, Sunshine?" he asked.

Jackie put down the college brochure on the table in front of them. "This is where I'm going in September."

"You're joking, right?" said Bella Donna, not even bothering to look.

"Not at all," Jackie replied.

"You don't need a degree to engage in the family business."

"Sure, I don't need one, but some of us still have them," Jackie pointed out. "And I bet they sure come in useful."

"Well," said Remy as he flicked through the brochure, "if it's what you want."

"I wasn't asking for permission," said Jackie. "I was telling you."

"Heh, that's m'girl," Remy replied with a grin.

"Don't encourage her," Bella Donna said, and glared at Remy before turning back to her daughter. "Perhaps you've forgotten, but you're supposed to be running the Guild one day."

"How could I forget?" Jackie asked. "I don't see what's wrong with me doing my own thing for a few years. It's not like I have to take over as soon as I come of age, geez."

"I don't see anything wrong with it either," Remy said, putting the brochure back down on the table. "I wish I had a chance to gallivant before having to settle down."

"So you decided to make a chance after we were married instead," Bella Donna said acidly.

"Let's not fight, please," Jackie cut in before Remy could retort. "If it will make you feel better, Maman, I will be happy to do any jobs and Guild leadership training during the summer. But I really want to do this, and I don't want to be fighting with you deux about it."

"Got no argument from me," Remy said. "So, you planning on staying at home or in the dorms?"

"Dorms," Jackie replied. "I could do with a change of scenery."

Salem Center, 4 months ago:

"New Orleans?" Bobby practically exploded. "You're joking, right?"

"Umm, no," Marie replied slowly. "I thought I was quite clear."

"What's wrong with going to college here?" Bobby demanded. "Why do you have to go all the way to the other side of the world?"

"Louisiana isn't even on the other side of the country, stupid—"

"May as well be."

"I don't see what's wrong with me wanting to go to school down south," Marie said firmly. "Okay, it's not Mississippi, but I'm not really sure I want to go back to Mississippi anyway. And I like New Orleans."

"What wrong is that you won't be here any more," Bobby replied, almost pathetically. "And I'll miss you."

Marie shook her head.

"I don't belong here any more," she said. "This is a school for mutants, and I'm not a mutant any more."

"That's crap and you know it," Bobby said. "The Cure might have turned your powers off, but you're still a mutant. And the Cure is wearing off, you know."

"Not everyone," Marie replied firmly. "Only a small percentage of mutants who took the Cure have had their powers come back. It is a drug, after all, and no drug anywhere is effective on 100% of the population."

"One of which was Magneto."

"I'm still going, Bobby."

Bobby closed his eyes and sighed. "I guess this means we're over then."

Marie snorted derisively. "We've been on a downhill slide for awhile now, Bobby. This'll be good for both of us."

"I'm going to miss you."

"I'm going to miss you too."

New Orleans, Present Day:

Marie walked down the hall, dragging her wheeled bag along behind her and peering at the numbers on the doors.

"Aha," she said, and then glanced down at the piece of paper in her hand to double check the number.

Satisfied, Rogue shoved the paper into her pocket and opened up the door. Holding the door with one hand, she walked inside dragging her bag in after. There was a sink to her left and another door—presumably to the bathroom—to the right. She moved just past the little entryway, into the bedroom. There were two single beds, one on each side of the room. There were also two wardrobes and two desks with small bookcases on top.

Her new room mate was already there, putting her things away. Her long brown hair was tied in a braid down her back and she wore a pair of short shorts and a rich magenta shirt. Marie coughed lightly as she stopped in the middle of the room and the other girl turned around, revealing a pair of brown eyes to match her hair. Marie smiled and held out her hand.

"Hi, I'm Marie," she said. "We must be room mates."

"Must be," the other girl replied taking her hand. "I'm Jackie. Nice to meetcha. Question: How do you feel about mutants?"

Marie blinked, taken slightly aback. She hoped this wasn't going to be the beginning of a disaster.

"Umm, well," she said, "my last boyfriend was a mutant."

"Good enough," Jackie replied, and abruptly her eyes changed from brown, to red with black sclera, eliciting a gasp of surprise from Marie. "I'd hate to have to hold the illusion around you all the time."