Remy arrives at the Mansion
A/N: Slightly early release because I had a bit more time to write this week. Remy comes to the Mansion this chap. Please, Read and Review.
Chapter 2: Arrival
Logan tore his adamantium claws through the chest of a soldier, and crouched under the fire of another, before springing out of his crouch into a leap at that man, first slicing the barrel off his gun, and then stabbing the soldier in the chest.
He panted lightly and then grinned as ten more soldiers ran into the room with their guns raised. He leapt at the nearest ones with his metal claws raised for killing blows, when suddenly they fizzled out of existence.
Logan growled with frustration and retracted his claws back into his knuckles, the skin they had sliced open to burst forth closing up and healing in seconds due to his healing factor.
He stalked out of the Danger Room, and was met by Ororo, a regal middle-aged black woman with shockingly white hair – known by many at Xavier’s school as Storm – who had shut down his Danger Room simulation. “What’d ya do that for, ‘Ro? I was just gettin’ started with that sim.”
Ororo smiled at him apologetically. “Sorry, Logan. The professor needs my help for the next hour or so, and I was hoping you could fill in for me for my Physical Education class with the younger kids.”
“Why can’t Scott do it? Or the elf?” Logan asked.
“Scott… he’s in one of his moods again. And Kurt is in New York City meeting with someone for the Professor. Please, Logan, just an hour. You know all the younger kids love it when you teach them.”
He sighed. This was the third class this week he’d had to substitute while Scott Summers – known as Cyclops – grieved in his room. He’d taken the death of Jean Grey, who he had been in a long-term relationship with, quite hard. It had been nearly as hard for Logan who had loved Jean as well, but where Logan coped physical activity – including the fighting session he had been working on – Scott coped by moping around in his room.
“Alright, ‘Ro, but just this one class.”
Ororo smiled gratefully. “Thanks Logan. The kids are waiting by the door to the grounds.”
Logan grabbed a towel from one of the locker rooms by the Danger Room to wipe off the small amount of sweat he had worked up in the session. He walked swiftly up the stairs to the ground floor level.
Ororo’s class of younger kids consisted of young mutants between the ages of around 8 years old and 14 years old. As a result of the wait, they were already teeming with energy.
By the time he entered the main hall, several were already in the process of getting into trouble. “Rahne, change back and stop running around the mansion with Marie – you’re going to end up breaking something or getting claw marks in the floors.” He said to a small wolf, who quickly morphed back into a red-headed teen who had been chasing around her friend who had tiger-like features complete with a tail.
He turned quickly to see a blond-haired teen holding a glowing orb in her hand. “Tabitha, don’t even think about blowing that up in here, or you’ll have ten laps around the grounds.”
Once they had calmed down, the group of children crowded around him with excited expressions on their faces. Besides the three that he had scolded, there were twelve more, each with their own unique powers that they had come to Xavier’s Academy for Gifted Youngsters to learn to control.
The newest addition to Ororo’s class was a young blond haired girl who Kurt – known by many as Nightcrawler – had found with the direction of Xavier after the Massacre. Her name was Sally Blevins, and she had apparently escaped the killing of the mutant community in the Tunnels.
Xavier had been counseling her over the past few days, but she was still just as quiet and un-talkative as she had been when she arrived – something Xavier believed was due to what she had witnessed. She had escaped only because her mutant power, the ability to create a force-field to envelop her entire body, had protected her from the mercenaries.
“Alright you little runts, Storm wants me ta get some exercise outta you. So, how about some pushups and then a few laps around the yard?” He asked them, resulting in load groans from each student.
“No? Well then, how ‘bout we play some basketball?” He asked, and was answered by a chorus of cheers from the students.”
Logan sighed with relief as the last of the students filed into the door of the mansion. They had played several games, including one that allowed the use of their powers, something that they had begged for the first few games.
Logan made a mental note that he needed to get some new basketballs to replace the ones that had been inevitably blown up, ripped up, and launched into the woods surrounding the mansion during that game. He was glad to see that the last game had tired out even the most energetic of the group.
Ororo was waiting outside at the door as he let the students enter. “Hey, Logan, how was the class? Did they behave themselves?” She asked as the students went straight to the kitchen to get something to drink.
“Went fine. They shouldn’ be little balls of energy for the rest of the day. Took a while for them to behave, though, an’ they destroyed a few basketballs.”
Ororo smiled gratefully at him. “Well, thanks for taking over for me.”
Logan shrugged, but she saw a hint of a smile on his face. “Sure thing, ‘Ro. I’m fine with the little ones. Just don’t try t’get me for the teen classes – too much drama.”
Ororo grinned. “I’ll remember that when I need your help again. I talked to Charles, and he is going to look into hiring someone to fill in for classes. He thinks Scott might be like this for a long time – he’s really having trouble dealing. But anyway – how was Sally?”
Logan lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “She did pretty good actually. Seems like she an’ Rahne are startin’ to become friends. She-“
He cut off in mid-sentence and turned his head to the side and sniffed the air. Ororo jumped in surprise as the adamantium coated claws of his right hand sprang out.
He looked at her with an intense expression. “We have any new visitors here today?”
Ororo shook her head. “No, not that I know of. Is someone…?”
Logan nodded once. “Someone’s on the grounds an’ they got past the security systems without anyone seein’ ‘em.”
He turned to her. “Get the kids someplace safe and then get up there. I’ll tell Charles while I head up to see to our little visitor.”
She hurried to follow the children and announced that they were going to skip their next class and were to follow her to their dormitories. ‘Good choice’, Logan thought as he made his way toward the stairs that led from the ground floor to the first floor – the dormitories were on the opposite side of the mansion from where their intruder was, and there was easy access to the escape tunnels in case things got too rowdy.
Logan pulled his communicator from his pocket and clicked it on. “Hey Charles, we got an intruder somewhere on the grounds. Can ya get me any read on this guy?’” He said as he brought the communicator up to his mouth.
Charles’ voice echoed over the speaker moments later. “Logan. I can get very little on our visitor – he seems to have some sort of mental shield or energy disruption up around his mind, and it dampened his thoughts enough that I never sensed him entering the mansion - there is no doubt he is a mutant. He’s somewhere on the third floor.”
Logan growled and said, “I’ll take care of it,” before he started up the stairs.
Rogue strode angrily along the third floor corridor toward her room. She’d just stormed away from Bobby after they’d had a fight. She’d finally talked him into spending some time alone with her out on the grounds – they hadn’t spent much time together the last few weeks and despite the pep talk from Logan, she felt she was drifting even further from him.
As they were walking toward the door to the grounds, Kitty walked past them and into the kitchen. Bobby then remembered he had been waiting for her to get out of class to ask her for some help with homework. Kitty was a veritable computer whiz, so most in their computer class inevitably came to her for help.
The spat that followed ended with Rogue leaving. It still echoed through her mind.
“Some boyfriend,” she said angrily, “ya’d rather spend time with other girls than with ya own girlfriend.”
That stopped Bobby cold and he was slow in trying to follow after her as she walked away. She saw his movement from the corner of her eye and spun around and waved her hand to silence him. “Whatevah, Bobby, jus’ leave me alone an’ go “study” with Kitty,” she said sarcastically.
“Fine! I will!” He said and whirled around toward the kitchen doorway.
Rogue felt a tear trickle run down her face and she angrily swiped it away wither her gloved hand.
Her troubled thoughts were interrupted as she passed the door to Storm’s room and heard the crashing sound of glass breaking, and a low muffled curse. She knew Storm was not in there as she’d passed her on the main level after the fight. Her heart skipped a beat when she realized it had been a male’s voice.
Her mind whirled through what she should do. Her body settled on action, and before she realized it she had removed her gloves and moved toward the door. ‘If it isn’t anyone I know I’ll drain him unconscious and get the Professor,’ she thought. ‘I’d never hear the end of it if I went running for help – Bobby’d get proven right that I’m nothing but a liability with my power’.
She threw the door open. At the other end of the room there was a dark haired young man. The back of his trench coat was still hanging over the edge of the open window that he had climbed through, and he was kneeling next to a vase that lay shattered on the floor.
His head snapped up toward the door as she entered, and his surprise was obvious even with his eyes obscured by a dark pair of sunglasses.
“What th’ hell are ya doin’ in here?” Rogue demanded, letting her leftover anger at Bobby fill her voice.
He set down the shards he had been gathering and stood up. “Bonjour, jolie femme,” he said in smooth French. “I’m jus’ here t’visit a friend.”
“How’d ya get past the security system?”
The man grinned and his eyebrows shot up over the rims of his sunglasses. “Security system? Dat’s what dat t’ing was? Mon Dieu, I cracked dat wit’ my eyes closed.”
She clenched her fists, and the man raised his hands. “Whoa dere, I don’ wanna fight wit’ you, petit. I’m jus’ here f’some help.” He said.
He shifted one foot back toward the window, and accidentally stepped on a piece of the broken vase, which forced him to jerk his body forward to catch his balance.
The only thing Rogue saw was that it looked like he was going to attack her, so she struck out first. She lashed her right leg out at him in a low kick, which he managed to block with the hand he had thrown forward to keep his balance. He raised his hands again and was about to say something before her fist slammed into his stomach.
That had been one of the first things Logan had taught her – “Your opponent will be a lot more focused on the pain or getting his breath back if ya hit ‘em in a vulnerable place. Even better if ya can get to the family jewels”.
As the young man doubled over and grunted in pain, she followed Logan’s advice by continuing through to bring her knee to his groin, but he stumbled backward and her knee hit his forearm. Then he straightened and turned two of her kicks aside with quick hand blocks.
Rogue hid a grimace at the pain in her hand after the punch. ‘Either he’s got some freakin’ hard abs or he’s wearing some sort of body armor,’ she thought.
She then feinted with a punch and snapped her foot out to sweep his legs from under him. He landed on his back with a grunt and she leapt onto him and reached out and placed her hand on his stubbled cheek.
Through his daze after his head smacked against the ground, Gambit felt a pull in his body and felt his energy begin to drain out of him through the girl’s hand. His hands came up and he shoved her away from him, and he felt exhaustion rush over him as her hand broke contact with him.
He gritted his teeth in pain as he pushed himself off the ground. He saw her stagger back in a crouch and then stand up. Her hands had begun to glow a bright magenta and he realized she was looking at them in horror. She looked up at him with red-on-black eyes expressing terror as she felt energy surge through her in massive waves. “What is this?” She shrieked. “I-I can’t control it!”
Another wave of energy passed through her mind, and she stumbled to the side, catching hold of the lampshade of Storm’s table lamp. It flared brightly, and Gambit’s eyes widened as she caught her balance and let go.
“Get down!” He shouted as he rammed into her, tackling her onto Storm’s bed. The lamp exploded, and the pressure wave was strong enough to slam air into them in a violent burst as pieces of the lamp and the table below it pattered down on Gambit’s back.
He looked down into the terrified girl’s face. “Gimme your hands, femme!” He urged her as he groped for her wrists. “Let me take de charge from you – I c’n control it for you.”
She frantically shoved her hands into his, fear still in her eyes. She watched in amazement as he grasped her hands and slowly the magenta glow began to fade from her own and into his own. He pulled his hands away and she saw the muscles in his jaw working as the aura began to fade from his own hands.
He let out his breath and relaxed as it disappeared. He managed a slight grin down at the girl he was currently straddling. “Dieu, y’should be careful takin’ powers from people y’don’t know.”
The adrenaline rush in Rogue began to die out and she shakily smiled back. “Thanks.”
“Y’welcome. An’ really I was tellin’ de truth b’fore, I’m jus’ here t’visit Stormy-“
His sentence was interrupted as the door that had been pushed close by the blast of air flew off its hinges and a tall man with a stocky build barreled through.
“Fuck.” Gambit said when the man’s face twisted in anger. He knew how this must look to the man – him straddling this young woman, pressing her to the bed.
He sprang off her to his feet and had his bo staff out and extended just in time as the man charged him with an enraged yell.
Logan had been near the second flight of stairs when his heightened hearing picked up Rogue’s scream and the resulting explosion, and he dashed the rest of the way up realizing she had come into contact with the intruder.
His claws sprang from his fist as he charged the man who had pinned Rogue underneath him, and he slashed out at the man’s bo staff which had seemingly appeared out of nowhere hoping that slicing it into pieces would make him think twice about fighting him.
Logan was caught off balance, however, when rather than slicing through it like butter, his claws merely bounced off the staff with a loud clang.
“Logan, stop! He wasn’t doin’ what you were thinkin’!” Rogue said – things were happening so quickly, both men moved almost too fast for her to follow. She knew then for sure that the mysterious mutant had merely been defending himself against her and had gone quite easy on her – had he moved like this before she wouldn’t have lasted more than a few seconds.
“What the hell?” He said, not hearing Rogue in his rage and surprise – adamantium, which his claws (and entire skeleton) were coated with, was the hardest and strongest substance known to man, and his claws had always cut through any material he had come across.
Logan’s claws slid along the staff and sliced through the metal footboard of Storm’s bed. ‘Whole damn staff must be made of adamantium,’ he thought to himself, ‘how the hell did he get something like that?’ he wondered.
He began striking faster, managing to get in a solid punch to the side of the man’s head, retracting his claws before it connected – he wanted to take this creep alive – and finally grabbed the staff itself and strained his muscles to use the staff to toss the man into the wall with a heavy thud.
“Logan, stop!” Rogue yelled as she pushed herself up from the bed, but he still didn’t hear her as he extended his claws – two on either side of his neck and the middle slowly until its tip touched the man’s throat.
The man smiled grimly at him. “I wouldn’ be doin’ dat, homme. If you hurt me, dere’ll be trouble,” he said, nodding downward slightly.
Logan looked down and saw that the man’s staff was touching the floor, and that a purplish glow was radiating from the tip and along the floor, causing it too to glow.
“Y’see, dis whole floor is charged, an’ if I die, dere’s gonna be one big messy boom.”
All three heard a gasp from the doorway and Logan looked out of the corner of his eye and saw Ororo entering the doorway of her room with Xavier outside behind her in his wheelchair.
She stepped further in. “Logan, let him go – he’s a friend of mine.” She looked over to the other man. “And Gambit, behave yourself!”
Logan hesitated until Rogue said, “Please Logan, he wasn’t hurtin’ me.”
Logan lowered his hand from the man’s neck and stepped back, slowly retracting his claws. He watched as the glow on the floor seemed to dim and then pull back and up through the tip of the staff and then to the man’s fingers.
The man, Gambit, shrugged. “Sorry, Stormy,” he said.
“If you’d just learn to use the front door like everyone else, you wouldn’t have had that problem.” She said sternly, although a grin broke out on her face, ruining the effect.
“Well, I thought I’d avoid de attention of a welcomin’ committee if I didn’ use de front door. Guess I learned my lesson from de unwelcomin’ committee here,” he said with a lopsided grin, nodding at Logan and Rogue.
Ororo laughed and closed the distance between them while he still stood leaning against the wall. “It’s great to see you again, Remy.” She whispered as she pulled him into a tight hug.
She grew concerned when he weakly returned it, and a soft groan of pain escaped his lips when she squeezed him tighter. She looked up into his face and saw that his mouth was set in a firm line, and she quickly realized that his breath was coming in ragged, shallow gasps.
She pulled him away from the wall, and he leaned heavily on her shoulder. “Gambit, what’s wrong?” She asked him worriedly. “Are you hurt?”
He nodded tightly and staggered forward a bit, putting more weight on Ororo’s shoulders. “Hmm, yeah, Stormy. I don’ feel too good here. Dat chargin’ an’ fightin’ with M’sieur Claws an’ une jolie dere took a lot outta me. I t’ink I’m gonna take a rest…” He murmured, before promptly passing out.
Logan moved forward quickly to help Ororo catch his weight, and helped her lift him over to her bed. Now that he wasn’t focused on the man being an intruder, he caught another distinct scent from him.
He looked to Storm. “Think he’s bleedin’ somewhere, ‘Ro. I can smell it.” He said. “Also hasn’t bathed for a few weeks from the smell of him. Sure he’s a friend of yours?” He asked her jokingly when he saw the worry fill her eyes when he mentioned Gambit was bleeding, trying to get her mind off of it.
A weak smile flitted across her face. “Yes, Logan, he’s my friend. We need to get him down to the Med lab and see how badly he’s hurt. Help me lift him.”
With Logan’s help, Ororo moved Gambit down to the first sublevel and into the Med lab. Rogue followed the two close behind and Xavier wheeled his chair along behind them. Rogue wanted to help and felt terrible that she’d attacked Storm’s friend apparently enough to injure him if Logan had smelled that he was bleeding, but she didn’t know how to help other than carry Gambit’s bo staff which she had picked up after he passed out.
A black-haired female in her early thirties looked up, startled by both their sudden entrance, and by the unconscious man they were carrying.
They set him down on an examination table as she stood up and rushed over. Ororo looked to the woman who she had befriended in her short time at the school. “Annie, this is a friend of mine. We think he’s been injured and he just passed out a few minutes ago, and Logan thinks he smelled blood on him.”
Annie nodded, looking down at the unfamiliar young man. Annie Ghazikhanian had been an ER nurse before she had been hired just shortly after Jean had been killed.
Her son, Carter Ghazikhanian, was a mutant with telekinetic powers, and she had brought him to Xavier to get him help controlling his powers. Xavier learned she was a nurse, and they had come to an agreement: Carter would receive free schooling if she worked at the school at least part time as a nurse for both the children and the team. She had quickly decided to stay at the school full time, despite her initial fear of mutants, which was quickly overpowered by her love for her son and her experience with the denizens of the mansion in her first few weeks. Xavier had given her one of the vacant rooms so she could live with her son.
Rogue set down the staff and helped Annie and Ororo remove Gambit’s trench coat. Logan whistled loudly when he saw the body armor he was wearing. “Damn. That looks like some sorta custom made Modular Tactical Vest – damn tough stuff – military grade armor. Looks lighter than standard issue. Kid musta paid through the nose to get this.”
His eyebrows hiked even higher and he pointed to a hole in the armor near the abdomen, which was slowly filling with blood. “Well double-damn! Hadta have been a top-quality sniper rifle he got shot by to be able t’penetrate it like this. Someone really wanted to take this kid out.” He said to Ororo as she began running her hands along the armor and expertly undoing the hidden catches to get the armor off.
Annie cut the shirt that he was wearing underneath his armor down the center and along the sleeves to remove it easily without disturbing her patient. Storm pointed out another gunshot wound to his left shoulder, and what looked like another older wound that had been stitched up and was now nearly healed.
‘That could have happened any time in the past week or so.’ Storm thought to herself, remembering Remy’s amazingly fast healing abilities that were linked somehow with his mutant powers. ‘Not anything close to Logan,’ she thought, ‘but absolutely remarkable for any other mutant.’
Ororo shook her head. “What’ve you gotten yourself into this time, little brother?” She whispered softly as Annie inspected the wounds.
Annie looked up. “He patched himself up pretty well – used some QuikClot on his abdomen wound to stop the bleeding and tried stitching his shoulder wound. They both reopened recently – was he participating in any sort of strenuous physical activity today?”
Rogue looked down guiltily. “Ah thought he was a burglar an’ thought he was gonna attack me an’ Ah fought back.” She saw the blood pooling even more – ‘I went and punched him right there when I hit him in the stomach, and landed with my knees there when I went to absorb his powers,’ she thought, feeling sick to her stomach as she realized she had been unknowingly striking him in an already injured part of his body where it would hurt the most.
Annie nodded, and looked to Ororo. “The bullets do not seem to have hit anything vital, and it looks like he removed the one in his shoulder. I’ll have to remove the one here by his lower ribs, which could be a little tricky to get out.”
Xavier, who had been silent until then, furrowed his brow for a moment and then looked up at Annie. “I’ve asked Miss Pryde to come down here. I’ve been working with her to fine-tune her powers, and I believe she has become skilled enough to be able to remove this bullet from our young friend here and keep the trauma to a minimum.”
Annie smiled. “That would be excellent Charles. I’ll see what I can do about making sure this shoulder wound is cleaned out while we wait.”
Ororo stepped aside to allow her room to work, and walked to the other side of her friend. She brushed some hair from his face and stroked his forehead. His face looked tired, and yet peaceful at the same time. She saw that he had several days’ growth of stubble on his face, accenting the roguish good looks that she had seen attract many a young woman – including herself for a short time.
Rogue watched Ororo brush the hair out of her friend’s face, and realized Ororo cared deeply about him, but it seemed like a maternal or sisterly care rather than the care of a lover – something Rogue had wondered when Storm had first greeted Gambit.
‘Not that I would blame her,’ Rogue thought, as her eyes traveled over Gambit’s well-toned body, blushing slightly, ‘he’s hot, in a frazzled, scruffy sort of way.’
Ororo walked over to where Rogue had set Gambit’s Bo staff, and expertly collapsed the staff. She had talked him into teaching her how to use it, or at least some basic moves and blocks with it. She lifted his discarded trench coat to slide the staff into the inner pocket he kept it in, and a slip of paper fluttered out onto the floor from one of his pockets.
She knelt to pick it up and looked at it. It was a reminder scrawled in Remy’s handwriting that read: “Call H. and S. tomorrow.”
She guessed that “H.” may have stood for his brother Henri, who she had met once, but she had no clue what the “S.” could stand for except for “Stormy”, a nickname he had given her and teased her mercilessly with in the weeks she had spent with him.
She folded the paper and slipped it back into its pocket, and in the process felt a large bundle of papers which she pulled out curiously. She suppressed a gasp and quickly shoved them back into the pocket – it had been a large bundle of hundred dollar bills.
‘You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, Remy.’ She thought to herself, wondering what job he had pulled off that had left him with a large wad of money and two fresh bullet wounds.
Katherine “Kitty” Pryde grumbled darkly to herself. She had been giving some homework help to Bobby Drake – also known as Iceman – when Professor Xavier had telepathically asked her to come to the Med lab.
The “help” involved a little bit of helping him with homework, and a large amount of flirting between the two. She had had a large crush on Bobby for over a year now, and she could tell that he liked her. She felt slightly guilty, as he was already dating one of her friends, Rogue, but she had seen their relationship deteriorate over the weeks after Jean’s death, and she had noticed the growing amount of attention Bobby was now paying her. She wasn’t entirely sure he even realized the shift in his attitude and behavior, and he seemed to still be quite overprotective of Rogue, even with the souring of their relationship.
She entered the Med lab, and saw Professor Xavier waiting for her. “Hello, Kitty,” he greeted her with a smile, “We could use your help with something that your abilities may be of great use for us,” he said, turning his wheelchair and moving toward the exam table.
Kitty saw Ororo, Logan, and the new nurse, Annie, standing beside an unconscious young man, examining a wound in the lower left portion of his abdomen. Kitty felt the pang of guilt return when she spotted Rogue standing near Annie, watching what she was doing.
Xavier wheeled around to that side and gestured for Kitty to join them. “Our young friend here has been wounded by a bullet, and I would like you to attempt to phase it out of him. I know we haven’t worked intensively on phasing through organic substances yet, but I do not believe this will be very difficult for you.”
Xavier had been working with her, helping her to learn to control her powers in more ways than just phasing herself through objects. They had worked first on her phasing objects that she held, and worked their way up to phasing through machines and learning to “feel” or “sense” the differences in composition of the different parts, and then on extending her phase field to that part only.
Kitty bit her lip nervously, and felt reassuring telepathic thoughts coming from Xavier. “Okay, I’ll give it a try,” she said, looking down at the young man. “Who is he?” She asked curiously.
“He’s a good friend of mine. Do you remember a few years ago when I was gone for about five months?” Ororo asked. At Kitty’s nod, she continued. “He helped me out of a rough place back then, and we became close friends.”
Kitty nodded, and looked down at the man in front of her. ‘Damn,’ she thought, ‘this guy is cute. He can’t even be that much older than me.’ She reached out to place her hand on the young man’s abdomen near the wound.
Rogue looked on, and watched Kitty’s bare hands move along Gambit’s muscled abdomen. She felt a flash of jealousy, and she realized she wasn’t entirely sure if it was from the fact that Kitty was able to touch people without worrying about sucking the life out of them, or if it was the fact that she was touching this person in particular. She shook her head to clear it, trying not to remember the strange, animal attraction she had felt when he had straddled her stomach, her hands gripped in his, and his lopsided grin he’d flashed her.
Kitty took a deep breath and closed her eyes as her hand slowly began to phase through his body. Her brow furrowed as her hand went lower, and she bit her lip in concentration when she “felt” the metal of the bullet, and began to extend her field around it, careful to not phase out any of Ororo’s friends’ internal organs with it.
She lowered her hand down and past the table and solidified her hand and the bullet, letting out a deep sigh of relief as she dropped the bullet onto a tray near the exam table.
She ran her hand through several more times to pick out any small bits of shrapnel she had missed, until she could no longer sense any metal.
“I think that’s all, Professor.” She said.
“Thank you very much for your assistance, Kitty. I think that is all we needed. You may return to your studies now if you wish.”
“Alright, Professor. Is he gonna be okay now?”
“He should be okay once we patch him up,” Ororo said as she flashed Kitty a relieved smile and give her a grateful squeeze on the shoulder. “Thanks for helping him – he means a lot to me.”
Kitty returned the smile. “You’re welcome, Miss Munroe. See you in class tomorrow.” She said as she turned and left the lab.
Annie moved to the spot Kitty had vacated, and swabbed the wound with a Betadine disinfectant to kill any bacteria that had been introduced since the wound had re-opened. She looked up briefly at Rogue. “Hey, could you stitch that shoulder wound for me while I take care of this?”
Rogue looked at her uncertainly. “Really?” She asked. Rogue had become interested in medicine after the events at Alkali Lake – after Jean was gone – and had quickly developed a friendship with Annie, who had taken her under her wing and started teaching her basic medical care.
Annie smiled reassuringly at her. “Yes Rogue, you did a great job last week when Jamie cut his arm up messing around in the mansion.”
Rogue smiled back hesitantly, and nodded her head. She shuffled through a drawer near the examination table until she found a small package containing a suture thread. She ripped open the cardboard backing and removed the atraumatic needle – an eyeless needle with the surgical thread already attached to cause less damage to tissues because of a slimmer body without the eye, and to save the person using it the time of threading the needle.
Annie had already disinfected the wound, so Rogue only had to suture it shut. She place her gloved fingers of one hand on the skin on either side of Gambit’s wound and pressured the edges of the wound closer together as she pushed the needle through one edge and across to the other and pulled it tight. She carefully repeated the procedure to create a line of three stitches along the wound, using the common simple interrupted stitch method.
As she tied off the last knot, leaving it to the right of the wound so it didn’t get into the wound as it healed, she snipped off the remaining suture thread and carried it and the packaging to the trash. She wrinkled her nose when she saw the fingers of her white gloves had been stained with his blood from holding the wound closed and tying the knots. ‘Oh well, there goes another pair of gloves,’ she thought to herself.
Professor Charles Xavier pulled Rogue to the side once she had finished while Annie finished with Gambit’s abdominal wound. He asked her what had occurred in Storm’s room, and she explained what had happened including the loss of control over the powers she had absorbed.
“Hmm… Ororo, exactly what abilities does our young friend have?” Xavier said as Rogue finished her retelling.
“I’m not sure exactly what it is, but he can charge anything he touches with some sort of energy and make it explode when he lets go.”
Xavier nodded thoughtfully. “Rogue, I think this may actually be helpful – I think that it is not just your own power that you struggle to control, but any touch-based power like Gambit’s. We’ve been focusing so much on control of power in general, but not your touch in particular. I’ll have to think on this before our next training session on Friday.”
As Rogue looked back to the examination table, she saw that Annie had finished patching up Gambit’s wound and had taped gauze down over it to prevent infection. Annie had just set up an IV and taped it down on his arm, and she was hooking up a bag of saline solution to provide fluids to him that he had lost through bleeding since he had been injured.
Annie turned to the four who stood back observing her. “Okay, that’s all we can do now besides wait for him to wake up.”
“Can I stay in here by him?” Storm asked.
Annie smiled. “Of course, Ororo,” she said, and then turned to Rogue, “Rogue, why don’t you come by later tonight and I’ll show you how to change a saline drip.” Her eyes twinkled mischievously. “That way I can get you to remember to do it for me.”
“Alright, Annie, Ah’ll see ya after dinner.” Rogue replied.
Professor Xavier turned his wheelchair in the direction of the door. “Come now,” he said to Rogue and Logan. “Let’s leave Ororo some private time with her friend.”
Rogue followed Logan and the Professor from the room, casting one last glance back at Ororo sitting next to her unconscious friend’s side.
Rogue exited the room and made her way slowly up the stairs to the main level of the mansion and walked across the building to the staircase that led to the upper floors. She noticed several curious young teens peeking out of the kitchen at her, and she rolled her eyes in exasperation – Kitty had already been motoring her mouth about Storm’s mysterious friend.
Rogue was almost to the stairs, in the process of tugging off one of her stained gloves, when Bobby saw her. “Rogue! Kitty says there’s some unconscious dude down in the medlab, and she said you were down there – Rogue! Are you all right? Are you hurt? You’re bleeding!” Bobby said when he saw her bloodstained gloves.
“Ah’m fine Bobby,” Rogue said, “Ah’m not bleedin’. Ah helped patch up Storm’s friend.”
“Rogue, about before, I’m-“ Bobby managed to say before Rogue cut him off.
“Please Bobby, why don’t ya just leave me alone. Ah’m really not in the mood to talk to ya right now. Ah don’t wanna get into another fight.” Rogue said with a dismissive wave of her hand at Bobby. She saw Bobby flinch back slightly and she realized she had gestured with her ungloved hand. She felt hurt well up inside – she knew he probably didn’t even realize it and it was an unconscious flinch, but it still hurt her when she was reminded that even her boyfriend couldn’t touch her and in fact appeared to be afraid of even coming close to touching her.
Rogue turned away from him and strode quickly up the stairs, ignoring Bobby’s protestations that carried up the stairs after her. She walked toward her own room for the second time that day, this time the well-ordered hallway was marred by the door to Storm’s room which was open and hanging on only the bottom hinge as the other had been ripped away from the door frame when Logan burst into the room.
Rogue turned the doorknob of the door to her own room and pushed the door open. She moved over to her bed and sat heavily on it, and pulled her glove on her other hand off one finger at a time and then tossed both into the trash can that sat on the other side of the room next to her desk.
She tossed herself backwards, her head onto her pillow, and closed her eyes. Then she felt the tears begin to leak from under her eyelids and down her cheeks. She felt emotionally numb after her fight with Bobby and his reaction to her at the base of the stairs, and physically drained from her short, intense fight with Storm’s friend.
As she felt sleep overtake her she wondered why, not for the first time, she’d ended up with one of the worst mutant abilities possible – one that prevented her from something that was a very human need and desire: physical contact.
A/N: Well, hope you enjoyed the chapter. I’m trying to keep pretty true to the movie personalities of everyone, so I hope I’m doing pretty decent. A little nod to the comic book fans with some of the kids in Logan’s class, and with Annie – you’ll recognize the characters if you’ve read them (Annie and some of the kids will be developed soon in the case of Annie and later on in the story in the case of some of the kids/teens).
Thanks for all of the reviews, everyone, I really appreciate the feedback. Now, I released a bit before I’d planned (originally was going to be next Tuesday) because I’ve got a paper due Monday and two tests to take this Monday and Tuesday and then I’m flying home for Thanksgiving. Next chapter will probably be out in two to three weeks (depending on how my tests go and how much time I get at home to write next week).