Subject: Family Matters,1, (fantasy, M/m?, nc)
From: DSWDiane@GNN.com (Diane)
Date: 1996/08/10

Family Matters, Chapter 1

This a story about the X-men who are characters from comic books produced by Marvel comics. I am taking off from a story I found on alt.comics.fan.fic written by Valerie Jones called "Betrayal." Neither Valerie not Marvel has given me permission to use their characters and ideas, but events in her story and prior events in the X-universe had been inspiring fantasies somewhat apppopriate to this NG.

The beginning of this story is mainly a explanation of events that have led up to the drama to unfold. What should be explained is that the character named Biship is a time traveler from a future in which all the X-men were killed as a result of a betrayal by own of their own. He has reason to believe that Remy Lebeau (aka Gambit) either is the traitor or knows something about the treachery. Remy has come to believe that Bishop might be right and has agreed to a pyschic probe into his memories to see if he might know something that would save the lives of his teammates.

As I repost this story, I am aware that recent events in the Marvel universe have revealed the "traitor." Just consider my story a different timeline.

If you are under 18, go away.

* * *

The air in the study was tense. The Professor and Jean had been in Gambit's mind for what seemed like hours. Only minutes before Betsy and Emma, two powerful telepaths themselves who had been asked to "stand guard" psychically, had warned that the Professor and Jean had finally reached the areas where the damage had been done to Remy's innate and seemingly unused telepathic abilities.

Rogue was clutching Remy's hand as he curled up in a huge arm chair in a state of anguished tension. His eyes tightly closed as he endured this requested investigation of his mind. He had hoped that such an investigation might reveal what he might unconsciously know about the betrayal of the X-Men. He knew that all of the guilty secrets which he had so industriously hidden from the X-family would be discovered and that his greatest fears would be realized. He had no doubt that when the psychic expedition had ended he would be expelled from the mansion and the X-Men. He knew without a doubt that he would lose the respect, affection, and caring of all the people who mattered most to him.

The two telepaths had already discovered his most shameful secrets: During his late adolescent thieving days, they had found the time he had lost complete control of his anger with the woman Tanya. She was an undercover interpol agent who had seduced him, betrayed him, and helped with an illegal interogation of him involving torture. He had escaped, hunted her down, and taken his revenge with even worse atrocities than had been inflicted on him. When his rage subsided and he came to his senses, he had fled from the battered Tanya in a state of nauseated horror and guilty self hatred.

He had been found by Sinister who had been watching him as he watched many "promising" mutants. Sinister had offered him refuge and an opportunity for useful work assisting with "experiments" on the genetic basis of mutations. When Gambit finally realized the obscenities in which Sinister was really involved, he had tried to run away. Sinister had caught him and beaten him to a bloody, broken-boned pulp, imprisoning him until he pretended contrite, apologetic capitulation.

He had then bided his time. While assisting with Sinister's obscene, genetic experiements on human and mutant subjects, he had stockpiled strategically placed volatile chemicals. When the opportune time came, he had used his explosive ablility to ignite the chemicals blowing up Sinsiter's lab. He had also ended up burning to death the clones who were the subjects of Sinister's "experiments. For all that Remy believed that these clones had no future anyway except horrible pain and death at Sinister's hands, he also perceived them as innocent victims of his own attempt to escape. He had hoped, how he had hoped, that he had succeded in killing Sinister, too. Remy had fled, his ears ringing with the screams, once again full of self hatred and guilty shame.

Later, to his horror, he discovered that Sinister had lived and would hold Remy's "crimes" over his head forever for the purposes of blackmail. Remy had attempted to deflect Sinister's interest in him by telling him about the existence of the psychopathic, savage mutant, Sabretooth. He had suggested Sabretooth as a likely candidate for Sinister's band of twisted mutants known as the Marauders. But again, to the Cajun's horrified dismay, his attempts at self preservation had led to unspeakably horrible events. The combination of Sabretooth and Sinister had resulted in the massacre of the Morlocks, mutants who were unable to "pass" as normal humans who had lived in the tunnels beneath NYC.

As the Professor and Jean had discovered these horrible secrets Remy had kept so carefully hidden, he had relived the events with tears of pain, regret, and guilty shame pouring down his face. He could feel intensely their nauseated revulsion at his behavior, and he had no doubt he had lost their caring and acceptance forever.

But now, they were reaching deep into his unconscious to the time he had completely lost before his first memories as an abandoned five year old, wandering the cruel streets of New Orleans. He had seen his mother killed, his father's lifeless body, and the deaths of all the adults and the children with with whom he lived. He had witnessed the total destruction of his entire five year old world. The traitor had then picked him up to snap his neck and his immature telepathic powers had bloomed. He had reached into the mind of the psychotic who was trying to kill him and had slain him psychically.

Without experience or training, he had been unable to disengage from the mind he was destroying. His five year old brain had been sucked into the death throes of a dying psychotic. In the resulting trauma, he had somehow created a vortex that had swept him up and deposited him back in time in the streets of New Orleans.

His five year old mind had registered all of this trauma as "completely unacceptable," and he had relegated to his deep unconscious all memories before he woke, confused, bewildered, and scared on a rain swept New Orleans street. He survived as a street urchin, an experience filled with abuse and violence until he was finally adopted into the Thief's Guild as a wary, damaged 11 year old boy.

Now, in the professor's study, he was reliving the intense trauma of a small old child watching the brutal and inexplicable murders of all the adults upon whom he depended for protection and nurturance and the ghastly slaughters of the other children with whom he lived. Remy came up out of the chair with an inarticulate, wordless scream of intense despair. He slid to the floor on his knees, screaming and sobbing. Both Betsy and Emma erected immediate shields from what they feared would be an intense psychic blast. Emma imperiously waved Rogue away from Remy who was in an overwhelming state of pain of a terrified small child.

Wolverine had been watching the proceedings intently. He had always felt a close and empathic connection with the young Cajun whose anguished guilt reminded him of his own struggles with his savage, barely tamed nature. He brushed past the White Queen who glared at him furiously and gathered the much younger man into his arms. Remy fell against Logan's chest, sobbing as if his heart were breaking.

"LOGAN!" Emma Frost hissed, "it is not safe."

"Emma, you may have icicles where most of us keep a heart, but I don't," Logan growled back at her. "The boy is in pain and if I can help him, I will. And if he does blast me, last I checked, my healing factor works in my brain as well as anywhere else."

Remy was sobbing so deeply that his tears rapidly soaked the flannel shirt that Logan was wearing beneath his usual jean jacket. Logan folded his huge, muscular arms around the young Cajun and held him tightly.

The psychic tension in the room eased. Betsy took a deep sigh of relief and looked at Emma.

"Well, it seems to have helped," Emma admitted begrudgingly. "Charles and Jean seem to be getting what they need with less resistance from Gambit."

Wolverine chuckled. He had a deep appreciation of the old adage that old age and treachery could always overcome youth and skill, and as far as anyone knew, including himself, he had more age than any of the other mutants in the room including Charles Xavier, himself.

"AMMA!" Remy screamed the Shi'ar word for mommy. "NOOOO. . ."

Logan's huge arms held him tightly as he stuggled and sobbed. Moments passed. Remy's face changed to one of a wary quarry.

"Aunt Jean," he said quietly with confidence as if he were under the protection of some one he trusted. Then, "Daddy. . .no, daddy, please. . . " As the X-family watched, Remy visibly went into a state of profound shock. His features slackened and went blank as if he had seen an incomprensible horror.

He seemed to recover with a new series of anguished emotions. "Auntie Jean, Auntie Jean, where are you going? Don't leave . . ." Remy was deep within the suddenly recovered memories of a terrified small child. His face changed again to angry wariness and then was stricken with repeated horrors. Finally, his face set into terrified resolve for several minutes and then crumpled into paralyzed horror.

He sobbed with utter terror and hopelessness. Logan held him as if his life depended upon on it, and Remy clung to him as if he were drowning and his arms held the only hope for survival. Remy sobbed himself into utter, despairing exhaustion.

The Professor and Jean abruptly opened their eyes and shook themselves back into current reality. The rest of the X-men sighed with relief and directed their attention to the Professor. He closed his eyes and took a long, deep breath.

"Remy is definitely not the traitor," he announced, "although he was there when the treachery occured. As a child, who somehow sent himself into the past. And no one in this room is the traitor. The discussion of the treachery can wait. It will not occur for several years and we have time to prepare. What needs to be discussed now is Gambit's past and how we will deal with him."

Charles Xavier's word registered with Remy's barely functioning, barely adult mind. He shuddered and started to tremble with anguished fear. Logan's arms tightened around him, and he hid his face against the soaked flannel shirt.

"Emma," Charles said, "thank you for your invaluable assistance. We could not have done this successfully without you, but what comes next is family business. Will you be kind enough to excuse us to deal with our own?"

The White Queen shrugged gracefully. "That was quite an interesting trip," she said, "Do you suppose someone may tell me how this all works out?"

"Whatever we decide is appropriate," Charles took her hand and kissed it. "Thank you again for your help."

Ms. Frost exited. The Professor looked around at the assembled group of the family of X-Men.

"I think all of you should know what we found in Remy's memories. I also think you should know that he expects us to expel him from the group when his past has been revealed, but I think we all have the right to know and draw our own conclusions."

To his own dismay, Remy started to cry again. He couldn't remember a time in his entire life when he had been able to cry. It had never been safe. Now it was as if some huge internal dam had burst and twenty years of accumulated tears were pouring out. His usual defenses against feeling anything at all had been swept away in the flood, and he was still in a state of shock and confusion. His five year old memories had been lost to him for all of his life. The Professor was 'his father', Lilandra, 'his mother'? None of that made any sense. Nor did he have any idea what he was doing on the floor in Logan's arms. It certainly felt safer there than he thought he would feel anywhere else in the room, hell, in the whole damn world, but it also felt distinctly 'uncool.' And he was a young man who prided himself on being very 'cool.' He desperately wanted a cigarette, but he was pretty sure that the proceedings in the study were not going to allow him a break to go outside and smoke.

He tried to stop the tears welling up in his eyes, but he couldn't think clearly past the icicles piercing his stomach with fear as he contemplated his history being told to the X-men. He could not digest or comprehend the revelations about his origins. All he could think about was uncovering of his guilty past. His behavior toward Tanya. His association with the despicable Sinister. He KNEW that his "family" would soon ostracize him and set him back out on the streets alone. He did not deserve their love and acceptance. He was hopelessly damaged and flawed. What the hell difference did it make any more whether or not he maintained his 'cool?' He was going to lose everything that mattered to him anyway.

"Logan," Charles said, "thank you for what you did in taking care of Remy. You made it possible for us to finish this task."

"De nada," Logan shrugged. "The boy was hurting."

"You may want to let him go now to face what is coming on his own," Professor Xavier suggested.

Remy choked back a protesting sob of terrified dismay. Logan's arms tightened around him.

"I don't think so, Chuck," he rumbled. "Whatever the kid did, I plan to be here for him."

Gambit took a deep breath and willed himself to pull himself together. He pushed back from Wolverine's chest and looked at him with eyes full of pain.

"You're goin' t'end up wantin' t' spit on me," he said quietly, "I can handle it wit'out you."

"I doubt it," Logan said comfortably, "you stay right where you are, Cajun."

Remy struggled within himself for about four aguished seconds and then with soundless relief put his face back against Logan's massive chest. Tears continued to run silently down his face and into Logan's shirt. He couldn't remember ever wanting a cigarette so badly in his life.

Jean took Rogue's gloved hand. She knew how much Rogue loved the young thief from New Orleans and she worried that the revelation of Gambit's past sins would deeply upset her.

"Let me start by telling all of you the incredible abuse and trauma that Remy suffered as a child surviving on his own in the streets of New Orleans," the Professor described the violence and pain of Remy's childhood, explaining the survival skills he had had to learn to make it day to day without adults to care for him in the predatory streets. Then, he went on to briefly describe the exposure to the teaching of the Thief's Guild with their amoral influence on the growing boy. Finally, he started the story of Tanya who had seduced the adolescent boy in order to entrap him.

The icicles in Remy's stomach intensified as Charles told the story of his escape from Interpol and his unforgivable entrapment and torture of the woman who had tricked him and betrayed his trust. It was the most shameful memory he had from a life filled with behaviors that tormented his conscience. His breath began to catch again in sobbing anguish, and he reached out and pulled Logan's jacket over his face to hide from what he imagined was the disgust and revulsion of the people to whom he was deeply attached.

And indeed, the faces of the other X-men were studies of horror and dismay as they listened to the story that the Professor told.

Logan listened without much surprise. He knew all about savage impulses. Nothing he heard upset him in the slightest. His arms continued to hold the desperately unhappy young man whose face was hidden beneath his jacket.

Charles told the entire sordid story stopping before the final revelations about Gambit's early childhood. He didn't think it appropriate or fair to tell the others whose child Remy really was. He wanted their reaction based upon the behavior described.

Remy's guilt, shame, and pain overwhelmed him. His sobs choked him and he started to hypervenhilate with his gasping despair. Logan shook him gently.

"Stop it," he ordered as softly as he could with his rough growl. "Yeah, you've been a rotten brat, but no matter what happens here tonight, it's not the end of the world for you."

Remy took a deep and ragged breath and tried to calm down a little. It was very hard. It was clear that Logan, at least, was not as appalled as he had feared, but it didn't matter. He KNEW that he was soon to be expelled and rejected by the people who mattered more to him than any he had ever met before. He pushed his shamed face deeper into Logan's arm pit and pulled the jacket tightly over his face. He was not really looking for comfort for all that he felt oddly comforted by the rough texture of the material over his face and Logan's huge arms around his chest. He mostly just wanted to hide forever and never come out.

"So," Professor Xavier concluded, "That's Remy's story. He expects us to turn him out. What say you, my family?"

There were several moment of silence. Each of the X-men looked deep within themselves to their own most abhorred shadowy selves. Each took a deep breath.

Storm spoke, "I found Remy. I brought him here. He saved my life and I think he is essentially a good person, no matter how badly he has behaved in his past. If the rest of you decide to expel him, he will still be my friend and brother."

Professor Xavier sighed with relief. "Is there anyone here who wants to expel him?" he asked.

There was a long silence. Jean looked at her husband, Scott, perhaps the most righteous and rigid of all the X-men. He shook his head, his eyes behind his ruby quartz glasses filled with sorrow at the pain of his weeping team mate clinging to Wolverine.

"He's not the traitor?" Bishop asked.

"No," Charles answered, "he is perhaps the most hurt and damaged victim of the traitor."

"Then he deserves our compassion and support," Bishop spoke for them all.

Remy could not believe what he was hearing. He had always been betrayed and rejected by those whom he had trusted and loved. Could it be that he could be forgiven? He still was unable to show his face.

Charles looked at each of the members of the X-family. They all concurred although some still looked dismayed and distraught.

"Is there anyone here who doubts that Remy needs and wants to be punished for what he has done?" he asked.

Silence. Remy shivered with fear and tried again to still his gasping sobs. He had no idea what the Professor (his father? No, stay away from that thought. . .) might have in mind.

"Logan, will you be willing to act as my agent and deliver the punishment that Remy needs?" Charles asked.

Logan hesitated, still holding Remy in his powerful arms. "What in hell do you want me to do?" he asked.

The Professor moved his powered hoverchair to his desk, opened a drawer, and pulled out a wooden paddle which several members of the family recognized from their previous encounters with it's potential for severe punishing whacks.

"I want you to use this on his butt," he said simply.

Logan chuckled, "I think I can handle that." He took the paddle from the Professor.

Remy gasped and his lightning reflexes had him half to his knees and away from Logan in less than a second. Logan's equally swift response caught Remy in a vise like grip around his upper left arm. Remy's eyes blazed with the feral rage and terror of the street child he had been and a card appeared as if from nowhere in his right hand. He struggled against Wolverine's powerful hand.

Logan's eyes met his with calm authority. "Think about it, boy," he said quietly. He nodded down toward the card. "And don't even begin to think about charging that up and making a mess in Chuck's study. DROP IT."

Remy's eyes met his, and it was as if they were the only two people in the room. The fey and feral light faded from his eyes as he looked into Logan's firm and compassionate stare.

"Think about it, Cajun," Logan said again. "I know you, boy, like I know myself. You want to be punished. The things you've done are eating you alive. Think about it."

Remy thought about it with an exhausted mind that felt as if he had been to hell and back. He had relived so much of his life that evening that he honestly didn't know if he were four or eleven or seventeen or twenty three. Whatever age he was he felt an agony of guilt and despair.

"Think about it," Logan said as if repeating a mantra. "You could leave. I'm sure we'd let you go without a fight. Or you can take the punishment the Prof has offered. And I will hurt you. I promise you that you will feel hurt and more punished than you ever imagined you could feel."

"Like when. . .I. . . lost my. . .Amma?" Remy felt icicles crowded by sobs gathering in his chest.

"No," Logan said firmly. "That wasn't a punishment, kid, that was a tragedy that was not your fault. What we're talking about here is punishment for what you did to that damn Interpol woman. And what you did to escape from Sinister. That's what's earned you punishment. Think about it."

Remy tried to think. He imagined leaving, walking out, lighting up. Taking his Harley with the wind blowing in his face. Alone. Again.

He dropped the card and closed his eyes, escaping from Wolverine's penetrating gaze. Then he put both hands to his face and covered it, dropping to both knees beside Logan and bowing his head. He nodded once in capitulation. Logan's hand still gripped his arm.

"Go ahead," he whispered, feeling terror at the pit of his guts.

"This is what you want?" Logan asked gruffly. Remy nodded again, unable to speak, but totally prepared to accept what ever was done to him.

Logan pulled him face down over his lap.

"Don't fight me," Logan warned, "Or I'll hurt you more than you imagine you could be hurt."

Remy was terrified and deeply embarassed, but he knew that whatever was done to him was a merciful punishment for what he had done. His hands covered his face in anguished shame.

"Take his pants down," The professor directed.

"NO!" Remy protested with horrified dismay.

"Humiliation is a part of what makes it a punishment," Charles said with far more calm than he felt as he worried about his abused and damaged son.

"And it hurts more this way," Wolverine said in a practical and matter of fact tone. Remy felt simply and plainly that he would die of embarrassed shame, but he had chosen to submit and some powerful part of him felt determined to see this ordeal through.

Logan pulled Remy's sweatpants down to his knees, and then he reached into the waistband of his briefs and took them down to the middle of his thighs. All of the people in the room were treated to the sight of Remy's bare, hairless butt across Wolvie's lap.

"It is a very cute bottom," Jean whispered to Rogue who giggled in spite of herself. And it was. Very cute and soon to be very blistered.

Remy felt as if the icicles in his stomach and chest were becoming a veritable ice storm of astonishing proportions, but he also, to his own surprise felt a sense of overwhelming relief. It was out of his hands. He was not in control.

Logan slammed the hard wooden paddle into Remy's vulnerable, bare behind. It hurt. It blazed with a fire of pain that matched the icey fear in his guts. Remy bit his tongue and declared to himself that he would endure his well deserved punishment with no further tears and sobs. He was mistaken.

Logan spanked him thoroughly. The paddle rose again and again, whacking into Remy's bare bottom, spanking mercilessly. His bare butt cheeks reddened and burned.

Remy bit into the hand that covered his mouth and felt his breathing go ragged. Tears started down his face hidden beneath his hands. It HURT. However much he deserved the punishment, he was dismayed and distraught at how much it hurt. To his own dismay, he was soon sobbing despite his efforts to contain himself. He couldn't understand it. He had been hurt much worse in many a battle. He had been hurt much, much worse when Sinister had beaten him bloody. He had been battered, bruised, shot, stabbed, and endured torture without tears. But this simple experience of a child's punishment left him feeling totally unglued and crying as if his heart were breaking.

His bottom and upper thighs were a brilliant scarlet and blistered by the time Logan stopped the punishment. He looked at the professor.

"Take his pants back up," Charles directed. Logan did as he was asked and without asking futher questions, he raised the sobbing boy back into his arms and held him tightly. Remy buried his embarrassed face back into the comforting folds of Logan's jacket and cried and cried.

"Remy, you will be confined to your room for the next week, and unless I am somehow convinced otherwise, you will be spanked soundly every single day of that week," Charles ordered.

Remy's sobs increased. Logan held him tightly and glared at the Professor as only Wolverine could glare. Charles igored him.

"During that time, I want each and every one of you to visit Remy and re-establish some kind of relationship with him with which each of you can feel comfortable. Remy! I know that right now, you can not meet the eyes of anyone, but this is your family and we will work this out."

"Yes, sir," Remy gasped between heartrending sobs.

"And so, enough for tonight. Let's all go to bed. We'll finish this discussion tomorrow," the Professor directed.

The room cleared. Jean and Storm pulled a protesting Rogue out bodily. "Rogue," Storm scolded. "He's too humiliated and upset to deal with you, now. He's feeling and functioning like a child. He doesn't need to cope with the questions and concerns of the woman he loves."

Professor Xavier met Wolverine's glaring eyes calmly.

"He's had enough," Logan came close to snarling. "I'm not spanking him again, and anyone else will have to come through me."

The Professor sighed. "You may be right," he admitted. "It's hard for me to think clearly about any of this. He's my son, Logan."

Wolverine's eyes widened with startled surprise.

"Yes," Charles said, "when the slaughter happened several years from now, he somehow sent himself back into the past to survive. He still can't forgive me for dying and abandoning him. He was a very small boy, and in some ways he still is. I don't know, Logan. I've been in his mind. There are mountains of guilt. I don't know if this will be enough."

"He'll let us know, Chuck. If he needs his butt blistered again, he'll find a way to push it, and I'll accommodate him."

Professor Xavier put his hand to his aching head and nodded. "You're probably right," he admitted. "Remy!"

"Yes, sir," Remy sobbed. He had barely heard the conversation going on above his head and it had certainly not registered in his consciousness. All he was aware of was the awesome pain in his bottom and a sense of being very bad and very well punished. He was totally overwhelmed by his own intense feelings.

"I know you can't believe this right now, but we all love you." Charles's eyes were full of tears as he looked at his newly discovered offspring.

His words barely registered with Remy who simply continued to sob against Logan's chest. Charles shook his head and powered his hover chair toward the door. He looked at Logan. "Will you, please, take care of him for me?" he asked humbly.

Logan nodded. Charles exited.

Remy pulled Logan's jacket desperately over his face. Logan shook his head and took the material out of his hands, uncovering the Cajun's face. "Look at me, kid," he ordered. Remy shook his head and kept it down. He didn't want to look at anyone, possibly for the rest of his life. Logan took his chin in his hand and pulled his face up to meet his.

"Look, Cajun," he said firmly, "I just gave you a paddling that I hope you will never forget. But I am still right here and I ain't going anywhere. You are a part of my family, and I am not going to let you self-destruct. Do you hear me?"

Gambit nodded with his eyes closed. "Look at me," Logan ordered again, using his hard right hand to deliver a blazing smack to Remy's tender butt. Remy winced with pain, but his eyes snapped open to meet Logan's. What he saw there was loving acceptance and concern. He could not stop crying, but the timbre of his sobs changed to ones of relief.

"I'm going to take you to your room, Remy, and I will stay there with you as long as you need me." Remy's felt a confusion of guilt, shame, and relief. Could it be okay? Could he still be a part of this family? It seemed as if it might be possible. That his sins could be punished and forgiven. That maybe Logan, at least, could understand and forgive. He shook his head again full of confusion.

"What is it, boy?" Logan asked.

"I. . . don't t'ink. . . you ever called me Remy. . .before. . ." Gambit sobbed.

Logan chuckled and pulled the him to his feet.

"No," he admitted, "and I think you know what that means, boy. Now let me take you to your room."

To be continued. . .