Categories > Movies > X-Men: The Movie > X3: The Ace of Spades

Chapter 4: Acclimation - Morning

by ShadowPikachu 0 Reviews

Remy's First morning at the mansion

Category: X-Men: The Movie - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance,Sci-fi - Characters: Rogue - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2009/01/01 - Updated: 2009/01/02 - 6175 words

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Disclaimer: X-men is owned by Marvel Comics and 20th Century Fox. I do not own X-men, nor am I making a profit from this work of fan-fiction. So please don’t sue me! Not that you’d get a whole lot from me anyway. ;)
AN: Please Read and Review. Hope you enjoy this chapter, and thanks for all of the reviews I received last chapter


Chapter 4: Acclimation – Morning

Remy groaned as sleep left him. He rubbed away the rheum that had formed on his eyelashes during the night, and cracked an eye open to reach for his sunglasses. He placed them on his head and pushed himself to a sitting position on his bed. He glanced at his watch and saw that it was just past six o’clock. Remy squinted behind his sunglasses as a bright light flared across the room as the door to the office in the back of the Medlab opened, and he realized he had been woken by Annie entering the sliding door at the front of the Medlab.

Annie set a book she had been carrying down on her desk and turned around back to the lab. “Good morning,” she greeted him cheerfully. “Sorry if I woke you up, I like to get an early start to my mornings.”

“S’okay,” Gambit said as he yawned. As Annie walked closer to him he realized she was dressed in sweatpants and a hooded jersey. “You gettin’ ready ta work out or somet’ing?”

Annie nodded. “Yeah, I was going to go for a run around the grounds of the mansion, but since you’re awake, why don’t we give you a quick checkup and get that IV out of you?”

“Oui, dat’d be great,” Remy said, relieved that he’d get it out of the way early.

Annie walked over to a drawer and pulled out a thermometer, and placed the tip in his ear, depressing the button. “Here, hold this right here until it beeps while I grab a few things,” she said.

Remy grabbed the bottom of the thermometer and held it while she grabbed a stethoscope and several other instruments. As she moved back and placed them on the table, the thermometer beeped, and she took it from his grasp, removing the tip from his ear. “Hm, still 101. Ororo said it was normal for you to run a few degrees higher than most people?”

“Oui, dat’s about right. Usually its 100 or 101,” Remy said.

Annie nodded and placed it back on the table. She grabbed an otoscope and turned the light at the end on. “I’ll just give you a basic checkup, so ears, eyes, throat, and heartbeat,” she said, “Could you turn your head and tilt it to the side?” When he complied, she inserted the tip of the otoscope into his ear and peered through the low-magnification lens, checking the health of his ear and ear canal. She repeated the procedure with his other ear.

She checked his throat, and felt the lymph nodes below his jaw. “Okay, could you remove your sunglasses?”

He hesitated, and she knew why. “Don’t worry, I’ve already seen them when I checked your pupil reaction while you were unconscious.” He removed the glasses and she tested his eye reaction to movement and had him follow her finger around with his eyes. She finally put the stethoscope to her ears and placed the bell to his chest, listening for some time to his breathing and heartbeat.

She stood back and smiled at him. “Well, I have to say you’re one of the healthiest people I’ve seen a few days after they were shot twice.” She moved to the cabinet and removed a bandage. She took his arm into her hands and peeled the tape off before gently removing the needle of the IV. She peeled away the back of the bandage and secured it over where the IV needle had punctured his skin.

“Alright, I want you to take it easy the next few days, and I want you to come back down here sometime this afternoon so I can check how your wounds are healing up. I think they might be healed enough to take your stitches out. You should probably go get some breakfast and get some more food in your system and you’ll probably not feel as tired later today.”

“Alrigh’, Annie. I’ll come see y’later t’day. Thanks for takin’ care of me. ‘Preciate it.”

“You’re welcome, Gambit, but you should really be thanking Rogue. She’s been working with me, learning some medicine, and she did most of the work - she stitched up your shoulder wound for me and she’s been in here changing your bandages every day.”

Remy smiled. “I’ll hafta remember dat.”

Annie grinned back, and her eyes widened when she remembered something. She walked over to the other side of the room and grabbed a black T-shirt from a countertop, and tossed it to him. “Here, Ororo went out and bought some things for you since we had to cut the shirt you were wearing to treat you. I think she put all of your body armor and stuff in a guest room she’s getting set up for you.”

“Thanks,” Remy said as she walked toward the exit, “have a good run,” he called after her.

Remy looked at the t-shirt in his hands and pulled the collar over his head. He shoved his arms through the sleeves and hissed out a breath as the stitches in his shoulder pulled painfully at his skin.

He pulled the shirt down the rest of the way and slowly stood, testing out the strength of his legs. ‘Better than last night,’ he thought as he wobbled only slightly. Remy slid his sunglasses back onto his face and slowly walked to the exit of the room. He moved down the hallway and punched the button to call the elevator, wanting to avoid the steps as much as he could.

As the curved door of the elevator slid open on the main floor, he realized that the halls were just as deserted as they had been the night before. This time even the television was silenced and the lights in every room he walked by were turned off. He smiled to himself. “Guess dey’re not mornin’ people. Dey’d learn t’get up early like I did if dey had Sarah-“ he muttered and then broke off as he remembered exactly why he had come to the mansion.

His eyes widened, and a curse slipped from his lips. ‘Merde, I haven’t called her and Henri in three days now. She’s probably freaking out right now. Henri probably is too. I’ll have to call them today,’ he thought to himself.

Remy entered the kitchen, and moved straight to the fridge, which was this time not occupied by Rogue. He pulled the door open and bent down, holding onto the side of the fridge to keep his balance. His eyes jumped quickly across each shelf, analyzing each item with the same speed and organization as he did when he was casing a location for a future hit.

His eyes settled on a large carton of eggs, deciding to keep it simple and bland so as to not upset Ororo. He pulled the egg carton out and set it on the countertop. He began opening cabinet doors until he found one that contained skillets and another with plates. He pulled one of each out and placed the skillet on the stove after turning the burner on.

Remy walked over to where he had seen Rogue take the bread from the previous night, and he removed two pieces which he threw into the toaster. Turning back, he opened the egg carton and pulled out two eggs. He expertly cracked the two shells and allowed the contents of each to spill neatly on the warming skillet.

Remy tossed the eggshells into the nearby trashcan and moved back to the fridge. Opening it once more, he grabbed an opened half-gallon cardboard carton of milk, one of several similar cartons in the large fridge. He shook it and realized it was nearly half full.

Remy let the door to the fridge close, and he tweaked the end of the carton open. He tilted the open end above his mouth and began gulping mouthfuls as he turned back toward the stove. He stopped and lowered the carton and barely avoided accidentally spitting out his mouthful in surprise when he saw Rogue standing in the doorway.

She folded her arms, and a mock frown appeared on her face as she watched him swallow the milk in his mouth and quickly swipe at his lips with the back of his hand. “Ya better not be plannin’ ta put that back in the fridge now. Ah bet Ororo’d just love t’hear yah’ve been drinkin’ from the carton.”

Remy’s eyes widened behind his sunglasses, and he set the carton on the countertop. “Hey, now, let’s not be too hasty dere. I’ll finish it up with m’breakfast. Don’t t’ink Stormy would be int’rested in dat information at all.”

Rogue’s grinned and she walked into the kitchen and pulled a stool from under the countertop and sat on it, leaning her elbows on the counter. “Didn’ expect ya ta be up this early.”

Remy leaned on the counter across from her, glancing at the skillet to check on the eggs. “Well, neither did I, but dat Doc of yours, Annie, was gettin’ somet’ing from her office an’ I woke up when de doors opened, so I figured why waste m’time tryin’ to fall back to sleep? What’re you doin’ up dis early?”

Rogue propped her chin up on the palms of her hands. “Ah’ve got class at seven that Ah’ve gotta go to, an’ Ah wanted ta get some breakfast before Ah went.”

Remy glanced once more at his skillet. “How d’you like your eggs?”

“Um, usually sunny side up, why?” Rogue answered him.

Remy pushed himself away from the counter and grabbed a spatula, which he used to scrape the two eggs off the skillet and onto the plate before they cooked any further. He stepped across to the toaster-oven and pulled out the two browned pieces of toast he had put in it, and placed them on the plate.

Remy smiled and set the plate down in front of her. “Dere you go, toast and two eggs sunny-side up.”

Rogue gave him a shy smile. “Really, Remy? But ya were makin’ this for yahself. Ya should eat it.”

“Well, you got only twenty minutes till y’class, an’ I got all mornin’ t’make myself breakfast. Now y’better eat up or de food’ll get cold.” Remy said. He moved back to the skillet and cracked two more eggs on it and let them begin to cook.

He leaned his elbows back on the counter and watched her begin to eat from behind his sunglasses. She dipped the toast into the runny yolk and whites of the egg after every bite. As she finished with the first piece of toast she reached out and snagged the carton of milk he’d been drinking from earlier and poured some into her mouth.

She set it down and saw him looking at her incredulously. “What? Ya’ll thought ya big ol’ men’ve got the copyright on that or somethin’?” She asked him, her eyes twinkling. “Ah was just givin’ ya grief b’fore.”

Remy barked out a laugh. “Well, ya sure got me den. I was wonderin’ how t’run away from lightnin’ bolts aimed at my ass if you tol’ her I was drinkin’ from de carton.”

Rogue giggled – something Remy found himself wanting to hear from her often. “That’d be quite a sight. Ah’d pay t’see that.”

Remy smirked. “My ass? /Dieu/, all y’have t’do is ask an’ I’ll let y’see it. I don’ require money for dat. Now, if people wanna touch it or somet’ing, I charge unless de person doin’ de touchin’ is a /belle femme/.”

Rogue blushed. “No, ya pervert. Ah meant Ah’d pay t’see Ororo launchin’ lightnin’ bolts at ya, ‘specially when y’got such a dirty mind.”

“Right, I’m sure dat’s what you meant.” Remy said with a wink.

Rogue rolled her eyes, took another bite of toast and said, “Thanks for makin’ me breakfast by the way. Ya got the eggs ta a good consistency. Ah like it.”

“No problem. In fact, I hear I should be thankin’ you.”

Rogue looked at him with a bewildered expression. “Thank me for what?”

“Well, Annie tol’ me you been takin’ care of me, stitchin’ my shoulder an’ changin’ my bandages, my IV an’ all dat. Said ya did all de hard work for her. So thanks. I owe ya,” Remy said seriously.

Rogue turned near-scarlet. “Ah, it wasn’t – Ah – Annie really tol’ ya that?”

Remy nodded. “Oui. So, you int’rested in nursin’?”

Rogue shrugged, her face slowly returning to its normal color. “Yeah, Ah guess. Ah don’t know, Ah just got into it a few weeks ago when a friend of ours died on a mission. She usedta be the nurse here, an’ when Ah met Annie Ah started getting’ interested in it.” She glanced down at her plate, and even without focusing on his empathy he could feel embarrassment and disappointment from her radiating through the room. “Only, Ah think Annie an’ Ah both know Ah’ll never be able ta get serious about it an’ actually go ta school for it or anythin’ with mah power like it is.”

“Don’ talk like dat, Rogue. I’m promised ya I’d help you control y’powers. Den y’can go an’ be a nurse or whatever you want. An’ when I promise a belle femme like y’self somet’ing like dat, I keep it. Okay?”

Rogue nodded and smiled, feeling overjoyed that he’d been serious about helping her the previous night. While she knew the Professor was doing his best to help her, she didn’t really feel like she was getting anywhere. Remy had been in her position before, and had the same type of power and had gone through the same lack of control, so he had personal experience that could possibly help her gain control over her own power.

Remy glanced at the clock, and said, “Hey, y’said you had class at seven, right?”

Rogue nodded and said, “Yeah, why?

“Well, now ya got only ‘bout seven minutes.”

Rogue’s eyes snapped to the clock, and she gasped. She dragged her last bite of toast through the remaining egg and stuffed it into her mouth. She scrambled off the stool and rushed from the room with a quick backwards wave and a mumbled “See ya later!”

Remy smiled to himself and scraped the eggs he was cooking onto his plate. He set his plate next to the one Rogue had left behind in her rush, and sat down on a stool.

He straightened up as a tall, very muscular young man walked into the room. He stopped when he saw Remy sitting at the counter, and then walked over to him and extended a hand. “Hello, you must be that friend of Storm’s I’ve been hearing about. I’m Piotr Rasputin.”

“Bonjour, I’m Gambit. Nice ta meet you.” Remy said, grasping his hand and shaking it firmly.

“So, are you feeling better? The stories that were circulating through the mansion ranged from you being near death with gunshot wounds to being deathly ill with some sort of disease, and everything in between depending on who you ask.”

Gambit laughed. “Well, I did get shot an’ was out of it a few days while I healed, but I don’ t’ink it was anyt’ing close to ‘near death’.”

Piotr looked at him, surprised. “Your mutation is like Mister Logan’s?” He quickly rephrased when Gambit looked at him in confusion. “He’s kind of a professor here. He heals extremely fast – I heard once he got shot in the head and healed in like one or two minutes.”

Gambit shrugged, the description not really matching the few he’d encountered since coming to the mansion. “Well, def’nitely not dat fast, but I can heal pretty quick. Got shot a few days ago an’ I t’ink your nurse, Annie, I t’ink she’s gonna take out my stitches later today.”

Piotr nodded and then walked over to a cabinet and pulled out a box of cereal. He poured a heaping bowlful and took some milk from the refrigerator and poured it over the top.

“So, where are you from, Gambit?” He said, trying to strike up a longer conversation.

“Was born an’raised down in N’awlins. I’ve traveled ‘round de country de past few years, an’ I got a place down near D.C. dat I’ve been livin’ in for a year now. How ‘bout you?”

“Well, I was actually born in Russia, and my parents moved over around the time I turned one. Ever since then we’ve lived in Illinois. You know where Joliet is?”

Gambit nodded. “Yeah, just outside of Chicago. Drove through dere a few times t’get to de city.”

“Well, I lived there until I got out of high school. My mutation developed about halfway through high school and eventually started developing too fast, so I came here after I graduated, to get some help. Professor Xavier – don’t know if you’ve met him yet – actually came to my house and invited me to the school. Before that we had no idea where to go to get me some help.”

Gambit shoveled the last of the eggs onto his fork and put them into his mouth as he looked almost wistfully at his plate. When he swallowed, he said, “Almost wish he could’ve come t’me. I had lots of trouble controlling m’powers, an’ I had ta figure dem out on my own. But den dere’s only so many people dat he can help at one time, an’ de world’s full of mutants dat need a lot more help den I did.” He said with a shrug.

Piotr nodded. “Yeah, he can only do so much.”

Gambit stood and grabbed both his plate and the one Rogue had left behind and took them over to the sink.

Piotr turned his head and asked. “What do you do for a living, Gambit?”

Gambit hid a grin, and talked over the noise of the faucet as he washed the two plates. “I’m actually a jeweler an’ an art seller.”

Piotr looked at him in surprise. “Really? I would’ve pegged you as some sort of professional gambler or a chess player or something with your name and all.”

Gambit laughed. “Well, I do like t’gamble but I don’ make a profession out of it. ‘Sides, sometimes acquirin’ t’ings and den hopin y’can sell dem for more can be a gamble itself. What d’you do or want t’do when y’get outta school?”

Piotr actually looked somewhat embarrassed. “Well, don’t laugh, but I’d really like to be a professional artist. I love drawing and painting pretty much anything.”

Gambit shrugged. “I ain’ gonna laugh /mon ami/. If dat’s what you like an’ what you’re good at den go for it.”

Piotr looked at him sheepishly. “Thanks. I’m just used to people thinking I should get into basketball or something because I am tall, or get into some sort of science or engineering. They usually don’t think of me being an artist.”

Remy finished cleaning the two plates and grabbed a towel and dried them off before he placed them back into the cabinet. He turned back to Piotr. “Hey, Piotr, d’you know if Storm is awake yet?”

Piotr nodded. “Yeah, she’s usually awake by now. She’s going to be in class in about an hour, but she should be up. In fact I’m surprised she hasn’t come to get breakfast yet.”

“Thanks. I’m gonna try t’find her, so if she comes here, tell her I was lookin’ for her.”

“Alright,” Piotr said as Gambit walked toward the doorway of the kitchen, “Nice meeting you Gambit.”

“Same t’you, Piotr,” Gambit said.

Gambit walked slowly down the hall, wondering if he should attempt to find Ororo, or just wait around until she showed up, when spotted a familiar shock of long white hair appear as Storm walked down the stairs.

“Remy!” Storm said. “I didn’t expect to see you up this early. I take it from you not having your IV that Annie already checked you out? Or did you just take it out yourself?”

Remy grinned at her. “Non, Stormy, Annie already gave me a checkup.”

“Well, are you feeling better today?”

Remy nodded. “Oui. An’ I just ate some breakfast. Finally startin’ t’feel some energy come back.”

“Good.” Ororo said, and then grabbed his shoulders and yanked him into a firm hug. “You scared me Remy. I’m so glad you’re all right. I thought I was gonna lose you,” she whispered into his ear, her voice breaking on her last sentence. She felt tears of relief come to her eyes.

Remy held her in his arms and rubbed her back when he heard her sniffle quietly. “S’okay /ma soeur/. I ain’ dat easy t’get rid of.”

Ororo let out a watery laugh and rested her forehead on his shoulder. “You’d better be planning on telling me what you’ve been up to.” She put her mouth to his ear. “And what trouble you’ve gotten into for that wad of hundreds in your trenchcoat.”

Remy signed resignedly. “I know Stormy. I’ll tell ya later – it’s a long story. Sorry I ain’ been callin’ ya lately. An’ sorry I scared you.”

Ororo pulled back and looked up at his face. “It’s okay Remy. I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to call you either.”

Remy reached out and swiped away a tear that had fallen down her cheek. “Annie tells me y’already got a room ready for me. You still tryin’ t’get me to stay here?”

Ororo’s eyes fell to the floor. “Well, I was kind of hoping you had come to stay. But if you just came for some help you know I’ll help you with anything.”

Remy grinned down at her and reached up to chuck her affectionately under the chin. “Jus’ playin’ wit’ ya Stormy. I was comin’ here t’see you an’ check dis place out b’fore I got shot. I been t’inkin’ of takin’ you up on y’offer for a while.”

A smile made its way onto Ororo’s face. “Well then, let me show you your room before I have to go teach my class.” Ororo said, grabbing his hand and leading him toward the elevator.

The elevator stopped on the third floor, and she led him to a room toward the eastern end of the hall. She opened the door and let him walk in. The room was about the same size and layout as hers, and had a door that opened up onto a small balcony.

Remy sat on the bed, leaning his back against the headboard. “Nice room, Stormy.”

Ororo sat down near the foot of the bed. “Glad you like it. I talked to Professor Xavier and the room is yours if you do want to stay. On one condition.”

“What’s dat?”

“You tell me what happened. Charles needs to know if there’s any danger to the students from whoever tried to kill you.”

Remy sighed and leaned his head back, removing his sunglasses. “Non, dere’s no danger now. Long story short, I took a job an’ my employer paid me half upfront. Dat’s de money dat was in my coat. I did de job, an’ I was headin’ out to see you an’ check dis place out for a friend of mine dat’s havin’ problems wit’ their powers, an’ maybe take y’up on your offer for myself. Guess my employer didn’ want someone out dere dat knew about de job he pulled, an’ hired an assassin.”

“Dey shot me while I was ridin’ my motorcycle over a bridge on a long straight stretch of road – musta been wit’ a sniper rifle – an’ I went inta a river. Stayed under for a while, an’ y’know how long I can hold m’breath, until dey figgered I was dead. Damn waste of a fine bike.” Remy said, shaking his head in regret. “Dey t’ink I’m dead an’ I’m fine leavin’ it dat way, so ev’ryone here ain’ gonna be in danger.”

Storm waited quietly for several moments, and realized he was struggling with deciding whether or not to tell her the entire story of why his employer had wanted him dead. She patted his knee. “It’s okay Remy. You can tell me the details later when you’re ready. As long as we don’t have to worry about someone hunting you down here, that’s all I need to know now. And your friend is welcome here if he or she wants to come.”

Remy nodded gratefully to her, glad for her understanding of him.

Ororo placed her hands on her knees and stood up. “I’ll let you get settled in. All of your stuff is over on the dresser, and I went out and got you some new clothes. I have to get back downstairs and grab something to eat before class. I’ll be done at around noon, so you behave yourself until then, okay?”

Remy rolled his eyes. “Okay Stormy. You make it sound like I’m gonna run around de mansion stealin’ everyt’ing I can find.”

Ororo looked back at him with a raised eyebrow. “And that would be unusual for you how?”

Remy grinned back at her. “Well, you got a point dere. Don’ worry Stormy, I’m too tired to go stealin’.”

“Okay, Remy. I’ll see you around lunchtime.”

Remy forced himself upright off the bed as Ororo walked out the door. He walked over to the dresser where Ororo had neatly folded his trenchcoat. He grabbed it and tossed it onto the bed.

Remy first removed the collapsed bo staff and set it on a nightstand near his bedside that was occupied only by a small lamp and an alarm clock. Remy grabbed the bundle of bills that Ororo had discovered and set it on the bed.

He grabbed several pouches from various hidden pockets, and unzipped each, making sure his lock pick kit and other tools of the trade were all intact. He then pulled out a slim plastic case. He popped it open and sighed in relief when he saw his cigarettes inside had remained dry during his watery plunge. ‘Guess they told the truth about it being airtight,’ he thought to himself.

Remy ran his hands along the inside of the coat to check on several concealed throwing spikes – double pointed bo-shuriken around five inches long – he kept as a backup if he ran out of cards to charge. He had fastened them in tight Velcro loops to make for easy and quick removal, but when he felt only two of his usual four, he realized it had made it easier for them to get lost in his fall.

Remy pulled out two packs of cards and shuffled through them. One deck was warped from water exposure, and he tossed it into a garbage can, but the second had still been wrapped up in its cellophane packaging, and when he tore it off and shuffled through the cards he saw that it had kept them dry. He slid the deck into the pocket of his jeans, glad that he still had a set to use.

Finally he reached the pocket he had been dreading, and pulled out a thin cell-phone. He flipped open the cover and attempted to turn it on, but nothing happened. He pried open the battery cover, and groaned when a small trickle of water emerged. “Fuck!” He knew that with water infiltrating that far that the phone was ruined. He squinted into the battery compartment and gently removed the SIM card, so he could keep his data and put it into a new phone, and placed it on the nightstand.

Remy picked up the bundle of hundreds and peeled several out, which he pocketed. He replaced most of the rest in his trenchcoat and placed the trenchcoat back on the dresser, but he folded several bills and placed them in the battery compartment of his phone - tossing the ruined battery into the trash can - and then replaced the battery cover and placed the phone under the soil of the potted plant that sat near his balcony. From his experience as a thief, he would never keep all of his valuables in the same place if he could help it: no sense making it easy for another thief.

Remy stepped over to a low dresser across from the bed. A television set and a cordless telephone rested on top of it. He grabbed the telephone, grateful that he wouldn’t have to wander the mansion in search of one, and carried it over to the bed. He leaned against the headboard, and dialed his brother’s number.

The other end rang three times before it was picked up and a smooth baritone voice answered. “Hello, dis is Henri.”

“Oh, really? Damn, I thought dis was de number for a phone sex hotline.” Remy said.

“Remy? Thank God you’re alright!” Henri said, sounding relieved. “What the hell have you been doing? You haven’t called in days!”

“Sorry. You were right. Dey sent someone after me.”

“Are you alright?”

“Oui. Now at least.”

“Did you take care of him?” Henri asked.

“Non. I played dead. Not dat hard t’do wit two bullets in me an’ fallin’ in a river an’ all. He’ll report back dat he took me out, so we’re safe now.”

“/Dieu/, Remy you were /shot? Again?/”

“Yeah, de coward had ta sit back wit’ a sniper rifle an’ couldn’ take me on man to man. Lucky I was gettin’ a sore ass an’ was movin’ around on my bike seat right den only got me in de shoulder an’ de stomach.”

Henry sighed heavily. “Damn, Remy. You healin’ up?”

“Oui. Made it to Stormy’s place b’fore I passed out. Dey got a damn sweet little private hospital here. Been out of it de past three days an’ jus’ woke up last night. Already almost back to normal.”

“Good. Well, glad you called. Was wonderin’ if I’d hafta take care of Sarah without you.”

Remy’s voice became tense. “How is she?”

“She’s been a mess since de first day y’ didn’ give us a call. Tears in her eyes anytime she thinks about you. She’s been hidin’ away in her room de past few days, an’ ain’ been eatin’ much, an’ she don’ do much besides sit on her bed or stare out de window. I been worried about her.”

Remy sighed heavily. “Damn. I thought she might not be doin’ well. Can I talk to her?”

“Yeah, I’ll take y’ to her,” Henri said.

Remy heard the outside noise for a minute as Henri carried the phone from wherever he was over to Sarah’s room.

Remy heard him knock on her door, and a muffled voice answer. He heard Henri open the door, and say “Hey dere Sarah. I got someone dat wants to talk to y’.”

Remy could hear a sudden rustling of sheets and the phone being fumbled with. “R-Remy?” Sarah’s soft voice came over the phone.

“Hey /petite/, you been a good girl for Henri for me?”

“Yeah, Remy.” Sarah said, her voice trembling. Then Remy heard a sob over the phone. “I-I thought you left me or you were dead like ev’ryone down in the tunnels. I thought I’d n-never see you again.” She said, sobbing openly.

Remy felt his heart break. “Sarah, I ain’ gonna leave you,” he said, his own voice becoming husky. “I’m sorry I scared you /petite/. I hadta take care of somet’ing so de men from de tunnels can’t ever hurt you again, you understand? I’m at dat school I was tellin’ you about now, an’ I’m gonna talk wit’ de main professor here an’ see if he can help ya.”

“Y-you’re gonna come back here?” Sarah asked him quietly her sobs died down.

“Of course, /ma mignonne/. I’ll be back soon as I can.”

“Will you call us every day again?”

“Yeah. How ‘bout dis – I’ll call you ev’ry day right at dis time, an’ if I don’ call ya, you make Henri call me ‘til I pick up. How’s dat sound?”

Sarah sniffled quietly. “Okay, Remy. Please come back soon. I miss ya.”

“I miss ya too /petite/. Be good for Henri for me, an’ eat somet’ing for me. You won’ do y’self any good not eatin’. I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?”

“Alright Remy. Here’s Uncle Henri,” she said.

There was another rustling as the phone was handed back to Henri. “Hey.”

“I’ll come see you two prob’ly in a week. I tol’ Sarah dat I’ll call dis time ev’ry day, an’ if I don’ she’s supposed to get you t’call me ‘till I pick up. Cell phone got ruined an’ I probably won’t be able t’get another for a day or two, so call me back here. You got paper?”

“Yeah, jus’ a minute.” A small amount of time passed, and then Henri said, “Okay, I’m ready.”

Remy walked over to the handset charger, and glanced at the phone number listed on it. “Jus’ call 914-555-4865. Dey’ve got diff’rent extensions. Mine’s 4023, an’ y’should be able t’get to de main line if I don’ answer.”

“’Kay. Hope Sarah’ll start eatin’ an’ getting back t’normal now dat she knows y’ okay. She really cares ‘bout you Remy.”

“I know. Don’ know how I got ‘tached to her so quick but I feel de same way ‘bout her.”

“Aw, Remy, we both know y’ got a soft spot for pretty /femmes/. Dey always get y’ wrapped around their little finger.” Henri laughed. “Now y’ take care of y’self, an’ no more getting shot. Seems like y’ tryin’ t’break de record for getting’ shot de most in a month or somet’ing.”

“I’ll try. Talk t’you tomorrow, /mon frère/.”

“G’bye, /petit frère/.” Henri replied, and Remy heard the click on the other end of the line.

Remy set the handset on the dresser and slouched down until he was lying on the bed. He felt emotionally drained, and he was surprised when he realized the front of his shirt was wet. He reached up and felt tear tracks still moist on his cheeks, and he realized he must have been crying right along with Sarah and hadn’t even realized it.

‘Dieu,’ he thought, placing his forehead in his palms, ‘/can’t stand that I hurt her like that, even if I couldn’t have helped it. Henri’s right, she’s already got a hold of my heart/.’

He settled himself on the bed and set his watch, which had survived the river by being waterproof, to wake him up in a few hours and then let himself doze.

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A/N: Hope you guys enjoyed it. Sorry it took a bit, but between Holiday shopping, work, and a week down in Florida with my family I haven’t been able to get much done. Was going to post this yesterday, but ended up watching the Twilight Zone Marathon on SciFi, and going out and partying with some friends.

Next chapter should be out in about two weeks if everything goes alright – next semester starts on Monday so it’ll depend on my immediate workload.

Next Chap, Remy begins to meet more of the denizens of the mansion. /]
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