Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Sinister Soldiers

The Meaning of Faith

by slickboy444 0 Reviews

The Evo world is forever turned upside down when a man named Dr. Nathanial Essex begins a project known as Shadow Cell from which the lives of Scott, Jean, Vincent, Wanda, and X23 are changed forev...

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance, Sci-fi - Characters: Avalanche, Berzerker, Blob, Boom Boom, Cannonball, Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean, Magma, Magneto, Mr. Sinister, Multiple, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Quicksilver, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Shadowcat, Storm, Sunspot, Toad - Warnings: [?] [V] [X] - Published: 2007/02/05 - Updated: 2007/02/05 - 7162 words

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Sinister Soldiers
Chapter 63: The Meaning of Faith


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As time went by for the residents of the Xavier Institute, things continued to settle. The five mutant soldiers of Shadow Cell were finally gaining acceptance among their peers...Well, at least as much acceptance as five of the deadliest soldiers ever trained could muster, that is. After saying goodbye to the General and forever leaving the military behind, Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Vincent Freeman, Wanda Maximoff, and Laura Logan could finally move forward with their lives...No longer feeling so bound by the past. And while there would always be certain parts of it that they would always have to deal with, there were so many other things that they refused to let go of. And no matter where this new life would take them, they would never forget where they had come from.

As for Mystique, she too began to gain more and more acceptance as her overall demeanor was aided through the help of her children and her Shadow Cell friends. She still had this cynical side to her that so often defined who she was, but it was easy to see for anybody who saw her that she had never been happier. She had her children in her life, she had friends who understood her, and a growing place at the mansion. And for that, she was grateful. She had seldom had any second chances in her life. And for that reason, she would NOT squander this one.

In the eyes of the rest of the students, both regulars and New Mutants alike, they were learning to truly see these once trying enemies as friends. Some, such as Tabitha, Bobby, and Kurt, grew somewhat fond of their new friends and their witty take on civilian life. Others, such as Warren, Remy, and Betsy, came around a bit slower, but eventually, they too came around and even learned to like some of their more redeeming qualities. Even Mystique wasn't seen as such an enemy anymore. They all learned to practice and train with them, learning as much from them as they were. The five mutant soldiers of Shadow Cell and Mystique would always have to contend with where they came from, but in the eyes of the X-men, they were now so much more and it gave them all plenty of reason to have faith in the future.

**************************************************

Kurt had been walking around the mansion with a seemingly perpetual smile on his face ever since he and Kitty started going out. He just couldn't help it. She just made him feel so amazingly good inside that it was hard for him to believe that a guy who looked like a blue fuzzy demon could have the heart of such a beautiful angel.

He could honestly say that he was quickly falling head over heels for this girl. She was someone who had helped him through the rough times and had learned to see past his appearance for the kind of guy he truly was. He was truly grateful to have a girl like her in his life and while he didn't know how deep things were between them now, he had all the faith in the world that it would continue to grow as time went on.

It was almost six in the evening as Kurt made his way down the hall, all dressed up for yet another date with Kitty Pryde. He was brimming with excitement, eager to share yet another memorable night with this girl. He wore the same wide grin that had so often dominated his face since he and Kitty came clean with their feelings, but before he could make his way to the foyer...He was stopped briefly by his mother, who had been waiting for him in the library.

"Kurt...Hey Kurt, do you have a minute?" she said, stopping her son in his hurried stride.

"Mother? Yeah, of course, but Kitty's vaiting for me. Ve're going out on another date," he said as he entered the room with his once estranged mother.

"I see..." she said, unable to suppress her smile upon hearing that, "Well don't worry, this will only take a minute."

Just then, Rogue passed by as well, looking as though she had just come back from the gym. As soon as Mystique saw her, she quickly brought her in as well...Wanting both her children to be present for this.

"Oh Rogue! Wait! You got a minute?"

"Huh? Oh, sure mamma. What is it?" asked the southern born mutant as she walked into the room where her adopted family was there waiting for her.

"I just...I wanted to take care of something that I've been meaning to do for some time now," she said, her tone growing a bit emotional, which was quite a rarity for someone like her.

"Vhat do you mean?" said Kurt, growing a tad concerned.

Taking a deep breath, Raven Darkholme went on with what she had been planning in her head for weeks now. She didn't say another word as she reached into her pocket and pulled out two finely made golden watches. And while they didn't look very pricy by any stretch of the imagination, it was the little surprise that Mystique had put inside that would hopefully make these little gifts truly priceless.

"Here...Consider these a couple of extra late birthday gifts," she said as she handed the watches to each of her children.

"A watch?" said Rogue curiously, "What are you..."

"Open them...Take a look inside."

Following their mother's words, Kurt and Rogue went on to open the fine, golden watches and as soon as they saw what was there, their hearts skipped a beat, for it was truly a sight to behold.

"Oh mother..." gasped Kurt, his hands trembling as he took in the inner display of the watch.

Carefully set in each watch was a rather old looking picture. Each of them depicted that of a young child, one that they quickly recognized as being them. For Rogue, her picture showed a smiling little girl that looked no older than five years old. For Kurt, his picture showed an infant blue child wrapped in a blanket. It was probably the oldest pictures of them they had ever seen. But in addition to the pictures, there was also an engraving that seemed to say it all.

"A mother's love is timeless," said Rogue, reading the inscription, her voice quickly becoming choked with emotion.

"Yes...I know I haven't been the mother I should have been for you two over the years," said Raven, so desperately wanting to get this off her chest, "I've abandoned you, lied to you, and fought you and your friends. But now that I'm here, I want to make up for the time we missed."

"These...These pictures," said Kurt, still trying to digest the sight of the old photographs that were permanently instilled inside a glass display.

"I've had those with me for over a decade," said Mystique, smiling as she saw the looks on her childrens' face, "Even during the bad times, those pictures gave me the strength to move on. They gave me hope. They gave me faith. And now I'm giving them to you because I never want you to forget that regardless of the past, you have a mother who loves you more than anything. And consider this to be a small token of that love that you can hold onto now and forever."

Mystique had vowed that she wouldn't cry from this moment, but such a vow was utterly shattered as so many pent up emotions came pouring out all at once for her. She once thought that she had lost her children forever...She once thought that they would never know how much she loved them. But with these little gifts, they would hopefully always remember just how much they meant to her even after she was long gone.

And for Kurt and Rogue, it was hard not to be overcome with emotion at this point...For this moment symbolized just how far they had come. And now, after having lived lives of such sorrow and isolation, they could truly call themselves a family.

"Mother, I..." began Kurt, swallowing the lump in his throat and trying to get the right words out.

"You don't have to say anything, son," assured the shape shifter with a grin, "Just know that..."

However, Kurt didn't give her a chance to finish, for he practically threw his arms around her, pulling the woman who gave him life into a strong embrace. There were tears in his eyes, but he didn't care. This was something he had been waiting for. This was something he wanted so badly. It was a new beginning for both him and his mother. And it was a beginning that he hoped would blossom now and for many years to come.

"Thank you, mother...Thank you," he said, not hiding the emotion in his tone.

Mystique felt tears in her eyes as well. Even though she had tried so hard to hold them back, years of being away from her children just made that impossible to bear any longer. This was her son...Her own flesh and blood...The baby boy she once dropped in a river all those years ago. Yet here he was, hugging her as any boy would hug their mother. And it was a feeling she knew she would always relish from this day forward.

Soon, Rogue joined in as well, unable to fight her tears as well. Having always been so alone and isolated, it was a welcome feeling to have the woman who took her in when nobody else would in her arms. Despite all the lies and deceit, here she was bearing her soul...Here she was bearing the raw truth of her soul. The past could never be forgotten...But now she had faith that their future was full of promise. For now she could say that she truly had a family...And that she was a rogue no more.

"Mama..." choked Rogue, throwing her arms around the emotional shape shifter as well, joining in the embrace, "Thank you."

Kurt, Rogue, and Raven had all been through their own personal hell over the years. So many times, it felt as though every force in the universe was working against them, trying to keep them from feeling the happiness that they so sorely desired. But now, on this fateful day, they had something new to hold onto. They had something that they could truly have faith in. They were a family now and from this day forward, they would never forget it.

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After the deeply emotional moment with his family, Kurt took a moment to dry his eyes and collect his thoughts before heading down to the foyer to meet up with his girlfriend. There, Kitty was already waiting for him, wearing a beautiful blue dress that seemed to make her all the more angelic to him. Such a sight once again brought a smile to his face, for now he felt as though he truly had it all.

"Hey fuzzy...You ready?" said Kitty with a warm smile as she took Kurt's arm and pulled him close to her.

Feeling the watch in his pocket, Kurt's heart swelled. He had a mother who loved him, a sister who would always be there for him, and a beautiful girl at his side...What more could anybody ask for?

"Ja...I'm ready," he said, snaking his arm around her waist, pulling her closer to his warmth.

"Hey...You okay, Kurt?" said Kitty, noticing a slight change in his voice.

Kurt just looked back into those beautiful blue eyes that had always so captivated him since the moment he saw her and smiled. Then, much to Kitty's surprise, he leaned in and gave her a soft kiss on the lips. While it shocked her at first, she didn't fight it in the slightest and willingly kissed back. She wasn't sure what it was that had prompted this, but she sure as hell wasn't complaining.

"Don't vorry liebe..." said Kurt Wagner as their lips parted and they made their way out the door, "Everything's perfect."

**************************************************

Down in the danger room, shards of metal were flying and deafening explosions were echoing throughout the area. While some may have been startled by such noise, it was just a fact of life for the five mutant soldiers of Shadow Cell, who were once again letting themselves unwind after another hard days work at the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters.

"Come on Phoenix! You're getting slow girl!" yelled Wanda over the noise as she skillfully and smoothly warped a series of giant mace traps that had sprung up out of the floor.

"Oh come now Scarlet Witch! I'm just getting warmed up!" said a flying Jean Grey as she soared through the air engulfed in a haze of fire.

"Ugh, you've been watching those weird ass cartoons with Bobby again, haven't you?" grinned Laura as she tore through a few high level mini-sentinel robots with her claws.

"Yeah, only puns that bad can come from mindless TV animation," laughed Scott, using his advanced energy powers to punch a hole through several barrier walls separating him and his comrades from their objective at the center of the room.

"Oh just shut up and help me rip these things to pieces," said Jean as she unleashed a wave of telekinesis that disabled the central defense turrets.

The scenario, which had been going on for nearly a full 15 minutes now, was finally almost over. It was yet another high level task that some of the resident students had helped Beast program in an attempt to show Shadow Cell up. But as they had learned since their arrival, it took a lot more than a few extra traps to slow them down.

"I'm almost there, guys! Cover me!" yelled Vincent as he plowed through a maze of sentinel droids that tried to dog pile him, only to be thrown around like a tennis ball.

"Don't worry babe! I got your back!" said Wanda with a grin as she used her guns make quick work of a few more droids while converging with Jean and Laura to finish the job.

Then, with no more obstacles in their way, Vincent and Scott finished the job as they made it to the center and destroyed the primary target, which to them was a very poor and half hearted representation of a core power station, with a few supercharged energy blasts. Once the target was down, the buzzer sounded, proclaiming that the scenario was over and they were once again victorious.

"So much for Bobby, Jubilee, and Kitty's so called 'ultimate' program," said Laura, doing a few quick gun slinging tricks as was often her custom at the end of a mission.

"Better luck next time I guess," grinned Scott, "But I can see some good to these things. It's reassuring to know that we haven't lost our touch."

"Oh trust me, Scott...We'll never lose our touch," said Vincent confidently as the scenario around them faded.

"Spoken like a true warrior..." grinned Wanda, affectionately taking her lover's arm.

That got Vincent to grin widely. Having grown up in such a world that took everything from him, the way of the warrior as taught to him by Father Michaels, Mr. Kansuke, and Shadow Cell would always hold a special place in his heart and soul. While there would always be things that he would regret, he refused to forget his honor and that of his friends. And even though some times were more trying than others, Wanda was always there to help him through it.

"So what do you think, guys? Want to do another round?" asked Scott as they all caught their breath for a moment.

"Actually...There's something I must take care of," said Vincent as he abruptly turned to make his leave, "I'll catch up with you guys later, but there's somewhere I've been meaning to go for quite a while."

"Wait!" said Wanda, quickly recognizing a slight shift in his demeanor that could only mean that this was something serious, "Want me to come with you?"

Vincent stopped to think about that for a moment. Looking back at his lover, he saw this pleading look in her eyes...This look that seemed to hint that she knew something was wrong. It didn't necessarily surprise him. After all, he was never really good at hiding things from Wanda. This was something very important to him...Something that he had to do for the good of his soul. If for anything, this was to help lay to rest one of the most important parts of his past. And when he remembered just what he was going to have to do, it became clear to him that he would need this girl now more than ever.

"Well...If you want to," he said to her, a noticeable level of uncertainty in his tone, "I guess I sure could use you for something like this."

"Then it's settled," she said decidedly as she laced her arm with his, casting him a reassuring smile, "Just lead the way. You know I'll always be here for you, Vince."

"Yeah...I know," he said with a warm smile, planting a soft kiss on her cheek as they made their leave.

Such a sight caused Scott, Jean, and Laura to smile as well, for it was nice to see their friends making up for all the years that they had spent holding back from one another. It showed just how far they had come, not just as a unit, but as true comrades. They fought together, they bled together, and they triumphed together. And regardless of what the future had in store for them, that was something they would never forget.

"So I guess it's just us?" said Laura, feeling ready for another round.

"Actually...I think I'll call it a night too," said Jean, letting out a slight yawn, which was rare for anybody who knew her, "I'm a little tired."

"Tired? We've only been at it for two and a half hours?" said Scott, a hint of intrigue in his tone.

"Yeah, I know. I just...I've been feeling a little out of it lately," she said, trying to make it sound as though it was nothing serious.

Scott, however, wasn't convinced. He followed his girlfriend and long time lover out the door, always concerned with her well being whether it was on the battlefield or in training. He could sense something on her mind through their link, but he just couldn't quite put his finger on it. And near as he could tell, neither could Jean.

"Jean, wait!" said Scott, stopping her in the hall and gently taking her arm in his, "Are you sure you're okay hun?"

Jean hesitated slightly...Which was something she NEVER did. Honestly, she wasn't sure why she was feeling this way. She knew it was nearly impossible for her to be sick. Her enhanced body functions saw to that. But that only made her more concerned. Yet nevertheless, she was quick to reassure her lover.

"It's okay, Scott. Really, I'm fine," she said to him in her most convincing tone.

Scott was still concerned, but in seeing that pleading look in her eyes, he simply conceded to her word and planted a soft kiss on her forehead to let her know that he truly did care and would always be there for her.

"Okay, but if anything is wrong..."

"Don't worry lover...You'll be the first to know," she assured him.

She found herself firmly grasping his strong arm with hers, leaning in close to his warmth for comfort as her mind continued to dwell on this sudden burst of fatigue that she so rarely ever felt before. Add to that, this wasn't the first time it had happened...In fact, it had been happening quite frequently lately. Maybe it was because she was eating more, for she had been a bit hungrier than usual. But that was just because Ororo had been breaking in a new stove in the kitchen lately. At least, that's what she kept telling herself.

She knew it was impossible for her to get sick. Hell, they had walked head on into fields laced with VX influenza and Anthrax before and come out as healthy as the day they were born. Their enhancements made illness practically impossible. Hank said it himself when he gave them all a check up. Their healing capacity could wipe out any pathogen that dared to enter their bodies. So then why was she feeling so...So strange? There were only so many possibilities, one of which was...But no, she wouldn't allow herself to think such things. It was impossible. It couldn't happen...Could it?

While Scott and Jean were making their way back up to their room, Laura was still lingering in the danger room a bit, doing a thorough check of her guns to make sure that there was no wear or tear. Up in the observation deck, Logan simply found himself simply looking back down at her with a proud smile...Reflecting on just how far she had come since her arrival.

For the past few weeks, she had been calling him 'father' more regularly. It was a title he doubted he would ever get used to, but every time he heard it, it made his heart swell. He may not have been the sentimental type...Not by a long shot. But whenever he looked at this girl who bore his own flesh and blood, it brought out feelings in him the likes of which he thought he'd never feel. It was tough being a father to a 14 year old teenage soldier...That much nobody could deny. But through trials and tribulations, it was a job he intended to carry out no matter what. She was his daughter...He was her father...And no matter what they future may bring, that much will never change.

"They've come a long way, haven't they?" came a warm, yet familiar voice from the sliding door entrance.

A grin once again formed on his face, for he didn't even need to turn around to know who it was...For only one being on the face of the planet could possibly speak with such warmth.

"That they have, Ro," he said as the former weather goddess walked up beside him, standing close enough for him to get a whiff of her intoxicating scent.

"And I notice that Laura's been smiling a lot more lately," she commented, watching along with her feral friend as Laura did a few more gun slinging tricks.

"Yeah, I noticed that too. Guess that means I'm doin' somethin' right."

"It would appear so. And this coming from a man who once told me that he wasn't capable of being mushy."

"Well to be fair, that's before I became the unexpected parent of a fourteen year old girl," said Logan with a slight laugh.

"Yes, well, I guess it goes to show you just how much things can change in a short period of time."

"No kidding," said Logan, letting out a deep sigh as he face became a bit more serious, "But I gotta tell ya Ro...I still don't really have a clue as to what I'm doin' here. I mean, I don't know how to be a father. I can barely handle myself at times. So how do I handle a girl who's been through the same hell as me?"

Ororo simply smiled as she took her friend's hand and leaned in close to him, allowing him to take a good long whiff of her sweet, intoxicating scent.

"Simple...By doing what you're doing now," she told him, the warmth in her voice sending waves of inexplicable sensations through the being of the raging Wolverine, "You're a better father than you think Logan. You sell yourself too short at times. You may not see it, but I can see that you have a true heart beneath that tough exterior. Others see it too...Laura included. There really is a man worth loving in that burly shell you bury yourself in...A man that you should be proud of no matter what that nagging voice of yours may say."

Logan wasn't an emotional man. He was never too keen on 'getting in touch with his feelings' so to speak. But when he heard the words of this woman that had once been revered as a goddess, he felt something brewing within him...Something that made him think differently of the kind of man he was. Maybe it was finally beginning to dawn on him...This whole having a family thing. And because of this, and the guidance of a very special woman who had been there for him every step of the way, it was as if he actually had a reason to be happy...A reason to smile...A reason to open up.

He found himself slipping his hand around Ororo's waist, pulling her close to him and allowing them both to soak up the warmth of one another's bodies. As overwhelming as it was in some ways to have this beautiful woman here in his arms, Logan still managed a warm smile. After all, how could he not in the presence of a goddess such as this.

"You'll never give up on me, will ya darlin'?"

"Of course not, Logan," she said, her tone growing more emotional, "I...I know it sounds crazy. And honestly, I don't have any idea what I'm doing either."

"What do you mean, Ro? What are ya tryin' to do?"

Ororo felt her knees grow week, not knowing if this was the right time or if this was the proper moment. But after living through the battle against Shadow Cell, helping the five mutant warriors adapt, and watching everybody around her grew and matured after so much hardship...She was tired of holding back. If this was how it was all going to come out, so be it. She wasn't sure why she was doing this now...But in her heart, she had faith that this was right.

"Logan...What I mean is...Is this..."

What happened next nearly gave Logan a heart attack. In one swift motion of passion, she leaned forth and pressed her lips against his in a deep kiss. His eyes widened at first, but he didn't fight it in the slightest. Instead, he simply sank into it and kissed back. Every last one of his senses were inundated with a maze of new feelings...But not just any feelings...Good feelings. These were the kind of feelings he didn't want to let go of...The kind of feelings that had always been there, but had been unable to express. Now here he was...Kissing a true goddess.

When they finally parted, there was a brief silence between them. There was any number of things they could have said to one another, but the most meaningful of these things had already been said through this one act.

"Wow..." said Logan, nothing short of astonished by what had just happened, "What was that?"

"Um...A kiss?" said Ororo, blushing profusely now.

Logan just shot her a wolfish grin as he cupped her chin with his hand and drew her close once again.

"Ya call that a kiss?"

With a warm laugh that seemed to speak volumes, Logan and Ororo met in another kiss...This time to merely show affection and love. Smiles never left their faces as they remained in an embrace, for at long last, they had finally gotten this off their chest...They had finally come clean. It had been a long, complicated road for the both of them...But the end was definitely worth it.

And while they weren't aware of it, their tender little moment did not go unnoticed by Laura, who was still down in the danger room looking back up at the observation deck with a wide grin on her face. It was quite a sight...Seeing her father in the arms of a woman who was already such a powerful figure in their lives. But it was a very welcome sight nonetheless. She may not have been born with a family, but maybe...Just maybe...There was hope for her after all.

**************************************************

Later that evening, Rogue found herself in simply laying back on the couch in the upper level loft area. She took a moment to reflect on everything that had happened and just how much had changed over the course of the last couple of months. Not long ago, mutants were secret, her mother was an enemy, and she was forever doomed to not know the simple feeling of touch. Now all that had changed. So many things were different now.

She still had the watch her estranged foster mother had given her securely in her hand and for the last half hour or so, she had been letting her thoughts drift as she lay there mesmerized by it's gentle golden aura. Here she was...The Rogue...No longer cursed with her inability to touch. Here she was...The Rogue...No longer alone, for she had a real honest family with a little brother she adored and a mother who loved her to death. And here she was...The Rogue...No longer doomed to a life of isolation, for she could touch now and share the joys of closeness and intimacy with somebody she cared about.

And as her luck would have it, that somebody just happened to walk in through the door.

"Hey there, cherè," said Remy as he casually made his way over towards the southern belle, "You okay?"

Rogue just smiled back warmly at her boyfriend, feeling too happy to care at this point with everything she now had in her life. It was a smile that Remy would never get tired of...A smile that made him feel happy as well. And with the way everything had been going for them, they both had plenty to smile about.

"Yeah...Ah'm great, Remy," she said as she sat up, giving her Cajun boyfriend a place to sit, "Just had a little heart to heart with mah mama."

"Oh...Dat's good to hear. I take t'ings wit her are gettin' better."

"Yeah...Ah guess ya could say that," she said as she then showed him the watch, "She even gave meh and Kurt a little somethin' to make up for some of the unpleasantness. It may not seem like much, but it's more than enough to meh."

Looking down at the watch, Remy laughed some what at the cute little picture inside and the sentimental engraving. While he never did pin Mystique as being the sentimental type, it was nice to see that she had a real heart when it came to her kids. And as long as it made Rogue happy, then that was okay with him.

"Aww...Ya look so cute as a young'un," he teased, earning him a playful swat from his girlfriend.

"Yeah, yeah...Laugh it up. It's the only baby picture Ah've got now," she said as she closed the watch, "It's crazy though, ain't it? Ah mean...It all seems so different now...Like it just happened in the blink of an eye."

"Yeah, I know what ya mean," said Remy as he snaked his arm around her, pulling her in close to his warmth.

"Ah have mah mama back...Ah have mah powers under control...And Ah have a life that Ah'm happy with," she mused as she found herself sinking into his embrace.

"Don't forget ol' Remy, cherè."

"Oh don't worry swamp rat...Ah couldn't forget ya," she said with a warm smile, playfully running her hand down the side of his rugged face, enjoying the warm feeling of her skin on his, "And ya know...There's no way Ah could have ever made it through all this without ya. Even when Ah couldn't touch...Even when Ah had nobody...You were there for meh. Ya never gave up on meh."

"Of course I didn't, Rogue," said the Cajun born mutant, his tone growing more emotional as he felt her warm touch, "Remy loves you, cherè...He loves you more den he'll ever be able to put into words. You are de most amazin' femme in de world. An' don't ever forget dat I'll always be there for you...Thieves honor."

His words caused Rogue's heart to skip a beat, for she never thought she'd ever get a chance to hear such things from anybody. She thought she was doomed...She thought she wad cursed. She thought she would never be able to love or grow close to anybody. But despite this curse, she had still fallen head over heals for this man who had been willing to endure so much for her. And after so many years of loneliness and isolation, all those pent up emotions came pouring out.

"Ah love ya too, Remy..." she managed to get out as a few tears began to form in her eyes, "Thank ya...For bein' the best man a cursed girl could evah ask for."

"Well don't worry, cherè...Ya ain't cursed no more."

From there, Rogue and Remy met in a deep, passionate kiss. All the trials and tribulations that had once stood in their way all came crashing down, for this was truly a new beginning for them...A new point in both their lives that they could build off of. Where they went from here was anybody's guess, but with a feeling so strong between them...They were confident that wherever the future led them, they had everything they needed to guide them on the right path.

"Mmm...Oh Remy," gasped Rogue, years of pent up want and desire from being unable to touch boiling over in the heat of passion.

"Cherè..." gasped the young man, overwhelmed by Rogue's fervent actions.

Soon, the two impassioned southerners rose to their feet, still in an embrace. The heat between them was growing...The yearning to be close was just so strong. They couldn't take it anymore. They had to be together. They wanted to be close. They wanted to be intimate.

Eventually, they made their way to Remy's room, which thankfully wasn't too far from the loft, so nobody saw them. Once they were there, they shut the door and fell onto Remy's bed, still locked in an embrace, gasping and moaning for air. One by one, they removed one another's clothes, unable to hold this in any longer. Having not been able to touch one another had been so hard and now that there were no more barriers, they wanted to have this experience together...They wanted to share this passion together.

"Remy...Oh God...Ah want ya...Please...Ah want ya," gasped Rogue, now half naked atop her sexy, Cajun lover.

"Don't worry, cherè...You'll have me...You'll always have me."

Making good on his word, Remy captured her lips once again as the finished stripping each other bear so that they were now completely naked. And after having taken out some 'protection' that Remy kept in his dresser drawer, the two southern born mutants went on to make love. They were fervent, passionate, and energetic in their movements...Feeling all the years of frustration simply melting away as if they were never there to begin with.

Soon, the room was filled with gasps and moans as they dragged on their lovemaking for as long as they could muster, wanting to savor this sweet moment together for as much as possible. They committed every wondrous sensation to memory, for this night would not only go down in history as their first time together...The night when all their pent up feelings came to ahead. And no matter where the future took them now, they would always remember this fateful moment together.

"Rogue...Mon amour..." panted Remy as he collapsed onto the bed, feeling completely drained of his energy after what he and Rogue just did.

"Mmm...Remy...That was wonderful," said Rogue softly as she collapsed atop him, savoring the warm feeling of her naked flesh against his.

"Remy don't know if he'll be able to walk in de mornin'..." he said, managing a slight laugh.

"Well...Ah guess that's what happens when ya make love to a girl who's had a lot of pent up feelings over the years."

"Heck of a price to pay," said Remy, still gasping for air, "But for you...Remy will pay it gladly."

Rogue couldn't help but smile as she sank into her lover's warmth. It was a feeling that neither of them ever thought they would experience...A moment neither of them thought they would get a chance to have together. But through struggle and strife...Triumph and loss...They had managed to truly find something with each other that was worth all the toil. And after this one night, their future together seemed so wrought with possibilities...So full of hope. And they had ever intention of seeing it through...Now and for many years to come.

"Ah love ya, Remy..." said Rogue softly as she slowly began to drift off into a world of dreams in the warm arms of her lover, "Thank you...For this wonderful night."

"I love you too, mon amour," said Remy, placing one last kiss upon her forehead, "An' don't worry...Dis night is just de beginning. Because if there's one t'ing dis whole mess has taught me...It's dat we can't be afraid to squander a single moment together. And I promise, from dis night forward...I won't waste another second with ya."

"Mmm...Ya know Ah'm gonna hold ya to that."

Upon hearing that, Remy simply held her tightly and grinned.

"Remy wouldn't have it any other way."

And from there, the two lovers drifted off to sleep, still wrapped in one another's arms. So many years of pent up emotion was finally free and at long last, they could finally make good on the time they had together. A promise had been made. A vow had been undertaken. And both Rogue and Remy had every intention of seeing through till the very end.

**************************************************

The gentle night around the Xavier Institute had once again fallen silent as many prepared to turn in for the night. There were still the usual late night dwellers, primarily Logan, Ororo, Shadow Cell, Hank, and the Professor. Everything seemed settled. All the tension and turmoil since the sentinel incident and the epic fight with Sinister and Shadow Cell was finally beginning to fade. Everybody was finding their place. Everybody was learning from this grand experience. The lies and uncertainties that once hung over them now seemed so much lighter. It wasn't as if they weren't there, but not they had hope. They had faith. And lies or no lies, it was the faith in their hearts that gave them the most hope for a brighter future.

However, despite the peace and serenity from there outside, there was still something brewing from within...Something strong and profound that was sure to bring yet more change. And it all centered around one of the bathrooms in the upper levels that was adjacent to the room that Scott Summers and Jean Grey shared.

"Oh God...No," gasped a shocked and dazed Jean as she sank to the cold floor, hugging her knees as she looked at a small readout on the side of the bathtub, "This...This can't be happening. It...It's impossible!"

She was breathing in short gasps. Her mind was going a mile a minute. She had suspected that something had been wrong with her. But now she knew the truth and her system just couldn't handle it.

She had been through so much hell in her life. She had felt her whole family die within her mind, she had endured the hardest training ever conceived, she had become one of the deadliest soldiers ever to walk the Earth, she was ranked as one of the most powerful psychics in existence, and she had killed countless enemies throughout the course of her life as a member of Project Shadow Cell. She had been to the top of the Himalayas, inside the thick ice of the Antarctic, through the jungles of Central and South America, across the deserts of the Middle East, over the vast waters of the three great oceans, past the deepest and darkest parts of Siberian Tundra, and into so many other places that few people could begin to imagine.

She had fought some of the scariest figures in the world. Terrorists, murderers, radicals, aliens, rapists, drug lords, mob leaders, militias, and even supernatural forces...Yet they all paled in comparison to what she was facing now. For the first time in a long while, she actually felt scared. She, one of the most powerful soldiers in the world, was scared. Because of all the challenges she had faced before, this one was by far would be the most daunting.

"Pregnant...Oh God...Pregnant," she said to herself, still not believing this, "I...I'm going to be a mother...I'm going to be a mother."

**************************************************

AN: Well, it's finally upon us...Only one chapter left. Over 63 chapters, numerous trails and tribulations, and an entire reworking of the X-men Evolution universe...And it's almost over. At long last, "Sinister Soldiers" is almost over. Even stories of such length must have an end and this one is no exception. To date, it is my longest story ever conceived...And by far, one of my greatest accomplishments, except for "Hellfire and Brimstone." Only one chapter left people! One chapter...And this story will be over. There are still but a few things left to resolve. Now that Kurt and Kitty are beginning to blossom, Raven has made peace with her kids, and Rogue and Remy have shared a long overdue moment together...That leaves only a few more matters to take care of. And once they're done, this epic tale will be over and a new day shall dawn. I sincerely hope you all have enjoyed this story thus far and as always, I urge each and ever one of you to REVIEW! There's not much time left! Send them to me via email or post them on the fanfiction website! Thank you all so much for reading this long story of struggle and strife thus far and I wish each and every one of you the best!

ONE MORE TO GO! ONE MORE CHAPTER! REVIEW WHILE YOU STILL CAN!
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