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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19


Written by Courtney
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 7

Remy settled into the cushioned seat, locking his hands around the back of his neck. Rogue told him she was going to look for the food cart and bring them back some early breakfast.

After sitting comfortably for a couple minutes, he pulled the decks of cards out and slid them out from the box. He cut them roughly in half and took the lighter half of the two to mess around with. He fanned them out in his hand. Among the cards, the Ace of Spades stuck out most to him. Intrigued, he pulled it out of the fan and set the other cards aside. He peered at it curiously until the now familiar twinge of pain came. He shut his eyes to protect them from the light it would expel. Only when he opened his eyes, it hadn't exploded just yet. It was glowing red and it enveloped most of the card; the black from the spade still showed through, with a hint of red burning through the middle. It was like he was looking at a mirror of his eyes. A grin appeared on his face as the red seeped to the spaded part of the card and burst into embers. He didn't flinch at all as the embers landed on his fingers.

Rogue walked in as the card turned completely red and almost shrieked when she saw Remy still holding it. She saw the gleam in his eyes too. Once the embers had dissipated, she found her voice and timidly asked, "You okay?"

He turned and noticed her. "Hey. Yeah, I'm great. I like dis card t'ing a lot."

"Good," she responded as she set their food down. "Ah got us some orange juice an' Danishes."

"Hmm," he murmured as his eyes ran over the food. "Yum." Rogue took her seat next to him and took her pick of a cheese danish. "What card we missin' now?"

"Ace o' Spades."

She let out a halfhearted laugh. "Card a' death."

Remy's eyebrows quirked up at the statement. "Death?"

"Yeah. Kurt told me awhile ago. Ah dunno if it's some religious thing or just a myth or whatever."

"Why would dat make a difference?"

"After he moved north, Kurt became a regular churchgoer. He told me he did it ta pray foh me an' Momma. Ah always thought that if Ah had faith, Ah would get outta mah life."

"Look where y' are now." He smiled encouragingly.

"Yeah…" she said quietly. "Ah guess it actually worked after all this time."

Remy grabbed a blueberry Danish and ate a good portion of it before speaking again. "What do y' wan' do when we get t' Atlanta?"

Rogue swallowed the food in her mouth and took a sip of juice. "We gonna be able ta start lookin some sources on Xavier at this time o' mornin'? Ah don't wanna spend too much time in one place so the sooner we find out stuff, the sooner we’ll be there." She shivered involuntarily as the thought of Victor hit her from the back of her mind.

"Dat's fine. I dunno if libraries are open now dough… dat's the problem."

"We can try the operator," she suggested.

"Good 'nuff."

The train pulled into the station an hour later. As they stepped off, Remy silently thanked the Amtrak as Rogue walked ahead to some phone booths. He caught a glimpse of the clock in the station. It read 6:49 AM. He stifled a yawn. “C’mon, Remy!” Rogue called from ahead, fueled on the sugar and juice she had on the train. She stood by the payphones, their bag by her feet.

Remy made it up to her and she picked up the receiver. “You do the talkin’.” She lifted the phone up to his ear. “Mah voice is too small ta talk ta them,” she smiled.

“Y’ jus’ lucky my voice changed two years ago,” he grinned in return. Rogue pushed the ‘0’ button and Remy waited for the operator to kick in.

Hello and good morning. You have reached the Atlanta phone directory. If you know the number of the area code of the person you wish to call, press 1. If you know the name of the person you would like to call, press 2.

Before the voice continued, Remy pressed ‘2’.

You have chosen number – 2, it answered back in a choppy recorded voice. You will be connected to a phone company representative in a few moments. Please wait.

Remy gave thumbs up sign to Rogue. She nodded excitedly.

“Thank you for callin’, how can I help ya?” A bored voice said on the other end.

“I need t’ find a number f’ a place up north,” Remy answered.

A pause. “How old are ya, kid?” The voice rasped back. Her voice sounded coarse, most likely from years of smoking.

“Umm, fifteen?”

“Try again.”

“T’irteen,” he responded honestly.

“That’s better. Now, I don’t mean ta be nosy, but don’t ya think you’re up a li’l early ta be usin’ the phone?”

“Dat really any o’ y’ business?” Remy snapped back.

He heard her snort though the phone. “What name are ya lookin’ for?” She continued, bringing professionalism back into the conversation.

“Xavier.” Rogue watched him huff the name into the receiver.

“Is she makin’ you mad? Ah’ll talk ta her.” She started to pull the phone away.

“Non, p’tite. I got it.”

“Who’s that?” The operator asked.

“My sister. We’re lookin’ f’ our long lost rich grand pere an’ y’ not helpin’,” he spat.

She snorted again. “Do ya know the location?”

“North of D.C. Dat’s all we know.”

“One moment please,” she answered in a squeaky rehearsed tone.. The phone clicked and an advertisement started playing for tourist attractions in the area. Remy sighed into the phone and Rogue pulled it away from his ear.

“Ah’ll listen ta see if anythin’ sounds familiar.” He nodded in agreement and waited with her for the operator. Rogue drummed her fingers on the booth, beginning to get impatient. A yawn crept out her lips and Remy involuntarily mirrored the action. She grinned at him.

“We gotta find a place t’ rest, cherie.”

“Ah know. Only foh a couple hours though.”

“Sure. Dat shouldn’ be too har-“ Rogue put her hand up to signal the operator had returned.

“I found three results for the name ‘Xavier’.”

“Great. Thank you.”

“Wait. Are you the younger sister?”

“Umm, yeah.” She really didn’t like this lie, but she saw how Remy found it necessary.

“How old are ya, honey?” Southern charm leaked into the woman’s voice. Rogue smirked. Two can play at that game.

“Mah momma told me ta never tell that sorta thing ta strangers.” She did her best pouty Shirley Temple impression, her voice sweet as spun sugar.

“Oh, okay, sweetie.”

“May Ah have the numbers now? Ah’m awfully tired an’ me an’ mah brother would like ta get some rest.” She fought twirling her hair with her fingers, but the temptation was great. She always thought she’d be a cute actress.

“O’ course.” Rogue could feel her smile growing. Nice change a’ pace. She winked to Remy and he nodded, urging her to go on. “First I have Xavier Paper Corporation located in… Harrisburg, PA…”

“That’s not it,” Rogue decided almost immediately.

“Okay. How about this man, lives in a suburb in Westchester County, New York: Charles Xavier?”

Rogue paused for a moment, deep in thought. Her mind searched and searched for any memory of the name. Then the proverbial light bulb went off. “That’s it!” Her voice echoed through the near empty station, her excitement repeated over and over again. “Can Ah have the number?”

“All I have is the number to his boarding house… Institute for the Gifted…”

“That’s perfect!” She almost jumped up and down. Remy watched a grin spread on her face.

“Would you like me to connect you?”

She nodded eagerly on to the phone. “Please. Thank you, you’ve been evah so helpful!”

“You’re welcome honey. It was nice talkin’ ta you.” Then the phone clicked again.

Rogue turned her attention to Remy, the green in her eyes dancing with glee. “Should Ah do the talkin’ or you?”

“You can. See if y’ can get ‘hold of y’ brot’er.”

She nodded and held the phone closer to her ear, waiting. They didn’t converse for those few minutes, both too overwhelmed with their excitement to say anything. Her eyes brightened when she heard a ring after more than three eternal minutes of blankness. “Good morning, Xavier Institute,” an unusually cheery voice for the time of morning greeted after the second ring.

“Hi,” Rogue answered timidly. “Can Ah speak ta Kurt Darkholme, please?”

“Kurt is currently unavailable, seeing as how it is barely the beginning of the day,” the man laughed as if he had made a joke.

“It’s very important that Ah speak with him though,” she insisted.

He paused, and Rogue feared he had hung up since she didn’t hear the slightest bit of breathing from the other side. “May I ask who’s calling so I may pass this message onto him when he is awake?”

“No!” She shouted. “Ah’m sorry. Ah’m at a payphone in Atlanta an’ he wouldn’t be able ta get ahold of me, an’ it’s takin’ us twenty minutes ta find the number foh yoah school…” she rambled.

Remy gently took the phone from her. She squeaked a ‘no’, but relented and let him have it. “’ello?”

“Who is speaking now?”

“I be Remy.”

“Ah, Remy? I’m Henry McCoy, but you may call me Hank. Now, may I ask the significance of your call?” He sounded warm with his words, despite the word usage. Remy felt comfortable with him.

“My powers manifested yest’rday,” he said casually, repeating the word Raven had used on the phone. He only hoped he was using it properly and that it sounded smart.

“Interesting.” He sounded like he was taking notes. “Do you mind if I interrogate you on a few things?”

Remy shrugged into the phone. “Sure.”

“Great. Now, what sort of ability do you possess?”

“I blow t’ings up.”

“Fascinating. How?”

“I’m still gettin’ de hang of it, but it goes t’rough my skin…” and he explained the appearance of the object before it would explode. “I blew up my last home because of dem,” he added forlornly.

“Oh dear. I’m sorry, Remy. Were you and your friend injured in the accident?”

“No, we escaped. Her stepfat’er was up dere lookin’ f’her, so we t’ink he might have been hurt.”

“I see. Is your friend a mutant also?”

“Non. I t’ink she’s too young t’ be, she said.”

“Right. I forgot to ask you this before: age?”

“Tirteen. Rogue’s ten.”

“Rogue? That’s a peculiar title.”

Remy glanced to her, as she was eagerly watching him, absorbing every word that came out of his side of the conversation. “She wants t’ be called dat,” he answered simply.

“I won’t prod then.”


“I’m assuming you are Cajun, native to the bayou area in Louisiana, correct me if I’m wrong.”

“Non, y’ right. N’awlins t’ be exact.”

“And Rogue…?”

“Some place in Miss’ippi. She was never exact ‘bout where.”

“Wait… would it be possible to speak with her again?”

“Oui.” He handed the phone back.

“Hello?” Rogue asked.

“Hello again,” he greeted warmly. “Why did you so urgently wish to speak with Kurt?”

“Ah’m his sister.” She thought she heard him gasp. “Is somethin’ the matter?”

“No, nothing. When Remy mentioned Mississippi, it sparked my interest since Kurt has visited there many times but he was never clear on the intentions.”

“Ah understand. Do you think you can help us? Ah can tell ya everythin’ ya wanna know. Ah brought the idea of goin’ up there ta Remy after he blew up that orange an’ Ah guess Ah was gettin’ scared that we wouldn’t be able ta come up….”

“Of course you can come up here. That sort of decision can be made without conferencing with the others, since there is a mutant in need. And I’m all but positive Kurt would be ecstatic to see you.”

“Ah would be too.” She said wistfully.

“I’m trying to speculate what could actually be done right now. I could hang up with you, wake the others at this ungodly hour of morning, tell them that I’ve been contacted by you and a fellow mutant…”

“How about Ah wait while ya go an’ wake up Kurt? It’s been so long since Ah’ve heard his voice,” she suggested, her smile leaking into her voice.

“Oh yes, of course. Silly of me to neglect that thought completely. Would you be so kind as to hold as I page him? I answered the phone in my lab-“

“A’ course,” she cut short his ramblings, although kindly. She definitely liked this guy. He made her smile even though they were thousands of miles apart. “Ah’ll wait.”

“Thank you.” She heard the phone click again as he put her on hold and she turned to Remy.

“Ah’m gonna talk ta Kurt. This is so excitin’!”

“Dey gonna accept us up dere?”

“Definitely. Ah’ve only heard good things about them. Kurt thinks the world a’ them.” She pressed the phone closer to her ear when she heard a poof of air distantly on the other line.

“Hello?” A male teenaged voice picked up the phone.

“Kurt!” Rogue squealed into the phone.

“Bethany? My God, it’s really you!”

She hesitated at the name, but enthusiastically replied. “It is! Ah’ve missed ya so much.”

“Hank said you were in Atlanta? What are you doing there?”

She bit her lip. “Ah ran away from home.”

“Beth! How could you?”

“Last straw with Victor, Elf. Ah couldn’t take it anymore.”

“How did you expect to survive? How long have you been on your own?”

“Ah was only on mah own for a few days.” She left out that it was four days. “Another homeless boy saved me,” she then explained the situation over again about Remy and his powers. “So Ah figured we could stay up there with you.”

“How could you do this to Mom?” He said suddenly, almost accusingly.

Rogue glared into the phone. “Did she ever do a thing ta get me an’ her outta that house an’ away from him? Ah’m sorry, Kurt. Ah’ll feel sorry later, but as foh raht now, Ah needed out.”

He sighed into the phone and was quiet for a long moment. Rogue was afraid to speak up. “Alright,” he relented. “She is still our mother, though.”

“Ah know. Ah really don’t wanna think about her now though. The only thing that has me worried is Remy.” She glanced to him, his eyes still blazing red.

“I understand. We’ll have to talk things over with Scott but I’m sure we’ll make it down there later on today.”

She grinned. “Thank you!” She placed an over-exaggerated smooch on the phone, and she heard him laugh on the other end.

“We’ll find you. Don’t worry, Beth.”

She cringed again. “Kurt… one more thing.”

“What’s up?”

“Can ya call me Rogue?”

He paused. “Umm… I guess I should know the answer as to why, but as for how you came up with that one, I guess I’ll ask later.” She thought he disapproved and wouldn’t dream of calling her that, but then he answered, “All right. Rogue it is.”

She giggled. “Yay! Okay, whenever you get here, we’re plannin’ on gettin’ a room foh a bit since Remy has some extra money.”

“I’ll let the others know. See you soon… Rogue.” He almost slipped on the name, but he was still thrilled his baby sister would be living with him.

“Bye, Kurt.” She placed the phone back on the cradle and all but jumped on Remy to give him a hug. He toppled over and landed hard on his butt, but Rogue was happier than he’d ever seen her in their short time together. So the pain from his bottom didn’t bother him too much. “Ahh, Gawd, Ah cain’t believe it! You’re in, Remy! They’re gonna help you an’ let ya stay there an’ Ah’ll be with Kurt an’ away from Victor!” She pulled herself away from him and stood up, still jumping up and down.

Remy stood up and dusted himself off, huge smirk apparent on his face. “Did they say all o’ dat?”

She stopped jumping. “Well, why wouldn’t they help ya? The nice man that was on befoh Kurt sounded really friendly, an’ Kurt wouldn’t lie ta me.”

“Good point. C’mon, let’s go get a room.” He extended his hand out to her. She happily took it, grabbing the back pack with her other arm and slinging over her shoulder.

“Are we gonna just go to a motel an’ sleep foh a bit?”

“One wit’ room service, p’tite. An’ I’m suddenly cravin’ a bubble bath.”

“You read mah mind!” She squealed. She hopped next to him. They stepped out of the train station and found themselves in downtown Atlanta. Hotels were all around for tourists. Picking out the first one along the strip, Remy held open the door for the young Rogue and ushered her in.

After having no trouble checking in except for the usual strange stares of children checking in at eight in the morning, Remy and Rogue had a decent sized room with twin beds, a TV, and even a pool out back that was days short of being closed for the season. Remy all but ran for the bed, it being the first one he’d been in since too many months to count. He snuggled into the pillow, sighing blissfully to himself.

Rogue, too, bounded to the other bed, feeling a sense of security by the hotel. She checked out the window and only saw scattered leaves on the ground, some floating on the surface of the pool. Satisfied, she jumped into bed and nestled herself between the sheets. “Ah could sleep foh days,” she murmured, twisting herself so she could face Remy on the other side of the room. His red on black eyes blinked at her, slightly hazed over with his exhaustion.

“Already beatin’ y’ t’ it,” he yawned. His eyelids fluttered shut and Rogue watched him slip into slumber in no time. Suddenly very curious of the room, previous laziness was put off and she hopped out of bed. Finding herself in the bathroom, she wanted to take a nice long bubble bath as Remy had mentioned before. There was nothing impressive about the bathroom, but something about it just made Rogue want to clean herself.

She left the door slightly ajar to listen for the phone or for Remy if he were to wake up prematurely for any reason. By the door, she peeked out at him and watched him sleep peacefully. A wave of fatigue hit her then, so she stepped away from the door and pulled her shirt over her head, tossing it by the toilet. She walked by the mirror and caught a glimpse of her frail body. She traced her hand over the small yellow mark on her cheek. With a sadistic glare, she remembered waking up no more than a week earlier with a bruise that spanned the left half of her face. She shook her head before another image in her over productive mind could drudge up the memory. She glanced down at her naked torso and cringed. She had numerous nail scars across her stomach and arms, another scar from a bite wound just below her breastbone. With a shaky breath, she closed her eyes and slipped out of her jeans. Many more scars were below her hips and she didn’t want to scrutinize them now, nor ever.

She stepped into the tub and turned on the water. Glancing about so she wouldn’t see her skin, she found the complimentary bubble bath and dumped half the bottle in. She purposely turned the water on to scalding hot and stood in the water until it was knee deep with bubbles flowing over the edge. It burned at her shins and down, but she told herself she would get used to it. With a sigh, she lowered herself down and wanted to jump up and get away from the boiling water, but she would burn the skin away if she had too. She settled in with a whimper and let the heat hold her down.


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