Subject: Family Matters 5 (fantasy, , M/m, punishment)
From: DSWDiane@GNN.com (Diane)
Date: 1996/08/10

Family Matters, Chapter 5

Please see the disclaimer attached to chapter I. Once again sincere thanks to Dr. John, sting, and particulary Idgy and Vashti without whose help, support and editing, I would be lost.


* * *

Rogue, as a matter of fact, was on kitchen duty with Jean and Bobby. They had been preparing supper for all which both Jean and Rogue had decided would consist of jamblaya, red beans and rice, and other Cajun favorites.

"I still don't see why we are catering to Gambit," Bobby grumbled. "He certainly don't deserve to be rewarded for what he's done." Rogue didn't even look at him.

"As near as any of could figure, everything Storm took up there for his breakfast came back down here with dirt all over it," Jean said quietly. "We've got to get him to eat. And I'm not at all sure he doesn't deserve to be rewarded. He was terrified by the ordeal last night. I think it took a lot of courage to allow us to learn all about him. AND, the early memories he recovered were quite traumatizing. AND, he has been and is being punished. How would you like done to you what was done to him?"

Bobby shuddered. "All right, all right, I just hate all this hot stuff."

"So, use your powers to cool it off, Icey boy, sugah," Rogue suggested with a grin. She started to fix a tray for Remy.

"I suppose you're going to be taking it up to him?" Bobby asked.

"Ah was plannin' too."

Scott had entered as the last two sentences were exchaged. "Not this time, Rogue," he said. "My turn. The professor asked me to. And don't look so disappointed. You can go see him after supper." Scott took the tray.

* * *

Remy was still on the window seat, still with tears leaking when the knock came at his door. He felt a moment of hope. "Rogue?" he asked with a cracking voice.

"No, Scott, delivering your supper." He opened the door and came in.

Remy felt a deep, sinking feeling in his gut. He wasn't sure he was ready to see his team leader at all yet, and certainly not looking like he was sure he must look. He turned his face to the window.

"I not be hungry, Scott. An' I don' t'ink I wanna see anyone right now."

"Except Rogue, I suppose. Look, Remy, you're going to eat. And you are going to see me. The professor asked me to talk to you."

Scott was shocked by what he could see of Remy's swollen, tear streaked face. Even as he watched another tear ran down the side of the face that he could see.

He had known that Gambit felt guilty, but hadn't realized the extent of his misery. He felt an urge to hold him as he would have held his younger brother if Alex had been hurting so badly, but he didn't think Remy could handle it from him.

"Remy, why are you crying?" he asked with concern and kindness in his voice. The gentle tone just set Remy off again with a new set of gulping sobs.

"I don'. . . deserve ever'one. . . t' be . . .so nice t' me," he managed to gasp between the sobs he was trying again to stop.

Scott stared him with worried dismay. Remy held his breath and got his sobbing under control.

"Remy, you deserve the appreciation and gratitude of all of us. Because of your courage, we now know who the traitor will be and steps can be taken to stop the tragedy from happening in this time line. You took an enormous risk in allowing us into your mind."

"It don' change de t'ings I done. Cyclops, how can you of all p'ple even stan' t' be in de same room wit me after you know I worked for Sinister who done hurt you more dan an'one?"

Scott took a very deep breath. "That it is one of the things I want to know more about, Remy. But from what I understand from your father, yes, he told me, that he was your father. Sinister approached you right after you hurt that Interpol woman, while you were crying and throwing up in utter guilt and horror at what you had done."

The mere mention of Tanya sent Remy back over the edge. Sobs wracked him so deeply that his whole body shook. Scott sat down on the other end of the window seat and put a hand on Remy's knee. Remy jerked away as if the touch had burned him and drew his knees up to his face, leaning his forehead against them and crying hard.

"Can you at least hear me if I talk to you?" Scott asked. Remy nodded. "Sinister made you believe that he was doing research to learn more about what makes us mutants. He told you that you could help. He convinced a battered, guilty 18 year old boy that he could do something useful. And by doing so redeem yourself."

"Outa de fryin' pan. . . an' into de. . . fire." Fire. Icey guilt stabbed through Remy like a knife.

"Remy, you were a lonely, frightened kid, looking for someone to help take care of you although being you I'm sure you no more admitted it to youself then than you do now that you're an old man of about 22."

"I knew. . . right from wrong. . . I weren'. . . no fool. I mighta been. . . a kid, and mebbe. . . in o' lot of ways. . . I still am. . . but I knew. . . better. I ain.'. . got no. . . 'cuses, Scott."

"Remy, stop trying to talk until you stop crying so hard. Just listen to me. I'm not making excuses for you. I'm trying to understand and I'm trying to help you understand. You've got to have some compassion for yourself. I'm not sure you were entirely clear about right and wrong. Who did you have to teach you? The damn Thief's Guild? The other savage little street kids in New Orleans?"

"I'd had. . . you when. . . I were lit'le. . . an' my fat'er. . . an' my 'Wolvie'. . . an' Stormy. . . an' Jean. . . you were all. . . lak par'nts t' me. . ." Remy shook with sobs.

"I thought I asked you to stop trying to talk while you're crying like that," Scott said with affectionate exasperation. "You didn't remember any of that."

"I t'ink. . . my heart. . . did."

"Will you shush! Yes, I think your heart did which is why you rescued Ororo and came here to join us and have fought at our sides for several years now. You've saved all our lives more than once. You've risked your own life more times than I can count. You helped keep Logan alive after Magnus sucked the adamantium from his bones. I've never seen you hesitate to save a life, no matter what the risk to yourself. You've never let me down when I've depended on you, even if you do talk way too much and make jokes all the damn time no matter how inappropriate the time and place."

The words mainly went in one ear and out the other, but they did register somewhere for later consideration. Scott sighed realizing he was not getting through the determined guilt and self flagellation.

"For what it is worth, Remy, I forgive you. I want you to continue to fight by my side. When you are ready, I want to know everything you know about Sinister. It might help in the future. Now, you have got to calm down and eat."

Remy shook his head, "I can't, Scott. I j'st can't."

He continued sobbing. Scott shook his head, feeling helpless and overwhelmed. "Is there anyone who could help, right now?" he asked.

Remy thought of Rogue and opened his mouth to ask for her, but to his own surprise he heard himself say, "I wan' Logan."

"Then I'll get him for you." Scott stood and reached out and put a hand on Remy's shoulder. Remy accepted it without moving and felt touched at Scott's obvious concern.

"You're still wanted here, Gambit. This is your home. We are still your family, now even more than ever," he said firmly. Then he turned and walked out the door. He felt deeply unsettled as he heard Remy's sobbing simply intensify.

* * *

Cerebro had informed Scott that Logan was still with Storm in her loft. He hurried there, knocked on the door, and entered, thinking he would find them still in "discussion." He was shocked to the teeth to find them curled up in bed, obviously naked beneath a sheet. Logan sat up and shook his head.

"Scotty, didn't anyone ever teach ya to wait after knockin' till someone says 'Come in'?" Storm laughed. Logan patted her. "Time to get up anyway, darlin.' It's about dinner time. What is it, Cyke? You look upset."

Scott continued to stare at two of his oldest friends and teammates. Logan and Ro? Well, actually it made perfect sense in an odd way. He shook himself back to the business at hand.

"Remy. He hasn't eaten all day, and I just tried to talk to him, and Logan, he's crying like the end of the world has happened and can't seem to stop. I asked him if he wanted anyone at all and he wants you. God knows why."

"Like I said, got myself a whole society of guilt ridden former thieves on my hands," Logan grumbled. Storm giggled. Logan considered giving her bottom a firm smack, but decided Scott had enough to digest. "I'll go to the boy as soon as we get dressed. Do you think you might give us a little privacy or do you want to watch?"

Ororo swatted at him and he caught her hand and swatted back. To hell with Scott's sensiblities. He whacked her bottom firmly.

Scott blinked and decided to take himself elsewhere, very quickly. He turned.

"Wait a damn minute," Wolverine ordered, reaching down beside the bed for his jeans and pulling them on under the sheet. "Tell me what happened. Did you come on like Mr. Perfect team leader? Did you scold him? Chew out his Cajun butt?"

"NO," Scott said indignantly, "he was crying when I walked in with his supper tray." Scott quickly filled Logan and Storm in on the gist of the conversation.

"So, the boy's just wallowing in guilt?" Logan had gotten up and was buttoning his shirt.

"He's miserable, Logan."

"Yep. See ya later, Scotty. I might get to dinner some time or another."

"I'll see you at the table, Scott," Ro stretched languidly.

"See you both." Scott got out.

"I gotta go, darlin.' The boy needs me."

"I understand. You know I love him."

"Of course. You think I don't?"

"I know you do. He be one o' your kids now like Jubilee." She gently imitated Remy's Cajun accent.

"Did I tell you he said that?" he asked.

"Mmmhmm, do I be one o' your kids, too, sweet one?"

"You be well on your way to being my woman, woman. And you have a phone call to make."

Ro sighed, "Yes, sir, you dominating bully."

"And don't you forget it." Logan turned to leave and then turned back. "Let me see your bottom, darlin.'"

She rolled over obediently and took the sheet off her bare behind. Logan shook his head. "Sweetheart, you got bruises all over butt. You get some ice on that bottom of yours tonight. I mean it. And don't you dare do anything to earn yourself another spanking because I will make you wait for it until some of those bruises heal up."

"Yes, sir, again. I'll call Forge right after dinner."

"Good." He gave her a quick, deep kiss and hurried out.

* * *

He didn't even knock at Remy's door, but went right in. Remy was still curled up on the window seat, with his sobs subsiding to quiet gasps of pain.

Logan looked at the miserable young man and shook his head. He was across the room in a moment. He pushed Remy out of his way, sat down behind him and gathered him into his arms. Remy curled his long legs up beside him in the seat, leaned his face and chest against Logan, and started to sob again as if he were being broken in half. Logan encircled him with his huge arms and held him tightly.

"Child, child, what is it that hurts so bad?" he asked gently.

"Can. . . I, pl'se. . . j'st. . . send it. . . t' you?" Remy was sobbing so deeply that he could barely talk.

"Yes, boy." Logan opened his mind.

The images he received brought tears to his eyes. Remy poured into him his childhood memories of what his "Wolvie" had meant to him and of how deeply he thought he had betrayed the influence of his early childhood parents and surrogate parents. He was consumed with guilty shame.

Logan was shaken and touched. Flooded with memories of a little boy to whom he had meant the world. And, he was also swamped with the pain of the big boy who needed his love as much as the little one had.

"Remy, stop this, now," Logan ordered. "Or I will spank you again right this minute. Stop this self torture or I will spank you long and hard."

Remy sobbed and shuddered. There was a pause. "I t'ink I wan' you to. I be so bad," he was shocked to hear himself saying. "NO. I did't say dat."

"Yes, you did," Logan said firmly. "Look at me, Remy. Look at me now!"

Remy turned his tear drenched face up to Logan and was shocked to see the tears welling in Wolvie's eyes. One spilled over as he watched. His face went stricken.

"I. . . sorry. . ." he gasped. He reached up with one hand to touch the tear on Logan's face.

"You don't need to be sorry that you touched my heart, boy. And I really don't want to spank you again, but I will if you need it. Is that what you need, kiddo? Be honest with me."

Remy shut his eyes and put his face back down against Logan's chest. "I don' know what I need," he sobbed. Logan waited patiently, holding him as he cried.

"I t'ink, I just wan' to die," Remy admitted.

"And I 't'ink' that admission may have just settled the question," Logan's voice was full of a touch of very real anger.

Remy felt an icey terror in his guts that stilled his sobbing. He clung to his "Wolvie." "Dat be the way I really feel," he protested, swallowing hard.

"That's not a feeling, boy. The feeling is despair and self hatred. Wanting to die is an escape. Running away." Logan's voice was still patient, but still with that edge of anger. Remy's stomach clenched.

"I wan' t' run away." The tears were flowing again. "I don' know how to escape from my own self 'cept by dyin,'"

"I will not let you run away if I have to punish you until you are broken," Logan said decisively.

"You want'd. . . t' die when. . . when Magento. . . hurt. . . you" Remy was sobbing so hard he could barely talk. He was deeply scared and hurt by the stern, steeliness in Logan voice.

"Yeah, boy. I wanted some peace. But I came back. For Jean. For all of you who needed me, including you."

Remy pushed his face into Logan's chest and cried as if his heart were breaking. Logan shook him, gently.

"Have you thought for one moment those of us who love you, you selfish child? Are you totally unable to think of anyone but yourself? Are you unaware that you are loved -- and needed -- by all of us. Or do you enjoy wallowing around in your self pity?" There was a tone of deep exasperastion in his voice.

Gambit jerked himself out of Logan's arms and retreated to the other end of the window seat. He was crying so hard that his his heart hurt.

"Dat not be fair," he sobbed. "I t'ink you all be better off w'it out me." Logan said nothing and waited. Remy continued, "I done hurt Rogue wit my memories. I know dat most o' de ot'ers probab'y ashamed to have me here. I been drivin' you an' Stormy t' distraction 'cause you care ab't me, and I ain't worth carin' 'bout."

Remy on some level was aware he was setting himself up for his own doom, but he went ahead, "I t'ink it might be best f'r ever'one if I j'st kill m'self," he sobbed.

Logan's response was quick and sure. He took Remy by the arm and pulled him to his feet in front of him. "Unbotton and take down your jeans, boy," he ordered firmly.

Remy shivered and considered disobeying. He thought about several likely consequences and reconsidered. He did as he was told.

"Pl'ese, don' spank me bare," he begged, feeling a clutching terror in his gut. But he took his jeans down to below his bottom.

Logan looked into the scared and shamed face of this boy whom he loved. "Remy, I will bare your butt every single time I have to spank you. As I said before it hurts more that way. And you deserve the humiliation." Besides which Logan had no intention of inflicting a hard spanking without being able to see what damage was being done to the bottom under his hands. He knew how strong he was.

Logan pulled him face down over his lap. Without a second thought he took his briefs down, baring his behind. Blood rushed to Remy's face as it was fell toward the floor. He braced himself with his hands on the floor, feeling deeply embarrassed and ashamed. He also realized with some surprise that he felt somehow relieved. With his naked, upturned bottom, very exposed and vulnerable, he felt like a naughty child. A very bad boy, about to receive a very well deserved punishment.

Logan was shocked and surprised at the purple bruises on Remy's bare butt. He hesitated, unsure what to do. Still, it was obvious what the boy needed and wanted, and Logan began to spank quite quickly quite hard.

It hurt like blazes from the first smack against Remy's already sore bottom. He yelped from the intense pain and within minutes was struggling to get away. Logan held him firmly by the waist and when Remy started to twist and kick, he paused to pin the boy's flailing legs between his own. Remy was effectively trapped.

"I am sick and damn tired of your relentless beating up on yourself, Remy. I am tired of your threats to hurt yourself leaving all of us in a misery of grief. I am tired of your guily depression and your refusal to eat. I am tired of worrying about you and if you ever make another threat to kill yourself, I will wear my arm outr spanking you again." Logan's firm and angry words burned against Remy's heart as hard as his strong hand against his bottom. "And I am not real thrilled with you throwing the breakfast that Ro made for you at the wall." He went on, "I'm not blind, boy. It's obvious that's exactly what you did."

Remy felt again icicles in his guts. The scolding hurt even more than the spanking. He sobbed until tears were pouring down his face and snot running out of his nose.

"Pl'se, stop, Wolvie, please. It hurt," he begged as the fire built in his naked butt.

"Stop spanking you, child, or stop telling you why you deserve it?"

"Both, pl'se," Remy sobbed. Logan snorted, shook his head, and continued to spank.

Remy was unable to stop himself from trying to protect his bottom with one of his hands. Logan grabbed it and held it against the small of his back.

"There's a whole house of people, here, who love you. Do you think we're all idiots? Do you think you know more than anyone? And yes, you are driving me to distraction with all this guilty self abuse. I care about you. Ro cares. Rogue loves you. Your father is delighted to have found out that you are his son. Scotty is worried as all hell about you. Why are you so determined not to care about our feelings about you? You aren't even being honest with yourself about why you feel so bad."

Logan continued to rain quick and firm spanks to the sobbing boy over his lap. Remy's bottom and upper thighs were bright red where they were not adorned in purple bruises. He twisted and tried to move his butt away from Logan's punishing hand, but he had nowhere to move and the hand slammed repeatedly into into his bare behind.

Remy couldn't remember ever feeling so punished except for maybe when he was expelled and exiled from the thieves' guild. And that was a different kind of punishment that left him feeling lost and unloved. It was clear to him that this spanking was delivered with love. And it was up close and very personal. And it hurt like hell.

His whole body was racked by his sobs until the sound of his sobbing was louder even than the whacking spanks that popped against his bare butt. All the fight and struggle drained out of him and he lay unresisting over Logan's lap, crying harder than he had ever remembered crying in his entire life.

"I'm strongly tempted to put you in the corner when I finish this spanking and make you stand there bare botttomed, " Logan informed him.

Remy felt as if his heart had stopped for a moment. He felt absolute fear in his chest and belly. As if he would die of shame if Logan did as he threatened. Sobs continued to shake him as he laid still and accepted his punishment.

"But, not this time, child. I think you've been punished enough. But if you ever threaten to hurt yourself again or succeed in hurting yourself, you will get both, spanked soundly, sent to the corner, and then maybe spanked again. This behavior will stop."

Logan delivered about ten more stinging whacks to the bare bottom over his knees and then stopped. He pulled Remy's briefs and jeans back up over his bottom and then gathered the sobbing boy back into his strong arms.

Remy put his face back into Logan's chest and felt Wolverine's arms encircle him. He kept his own arms crossed over his chest, aching from the scolding and fiery pain in his butt. He was crying very hard.

"It's okay, child," Logan said gently, holding the sobbing boy. "You have been spanked and scolded enough.'

A war raged within Remy. He wanted, so badly, to cling to Logan, but he was ashamed of his desperate neediness.

"It's over now, child. Do you realy have any doubts that I love you? I was your Wolvie when you were little. I'm still your Wolvie, now."

Remy could not believe what his ears had heard. He was still loved. He sobbed as if his heart were breaking. He removed his arms from his chest and hung on to Logan as if his sanity depended on it. Perhaps it did.

"I. . .sorry," he gulped out.

"Hush, child, you got nothing more to be sorry about. You have been punished and I forgive you. Don't try to talk until you stop crying."

Chapter 5, part 2

It seemed to Remy as if he were never going to be able to stop crying. His sobs would pause and then his guts would clench up again and new sobs would burst from his heart. Logan held him tightly.

"Remy, cry as long as you need to cry," he said quietly. "I ain't goin' anywhere."

Remy's sobs deepened and he shook with pain. "I don'. . . deserve. . . you t'. . . love me," he tried to say, "I don'. . . de. . . serve . . ."

Logan reached down and smacked his blazing butt. "Stop it," he ordered sharply. "I love you. Don't fucking argue with me about it. I. Love. You. Child. And so do a lot of other people. Remy, do you not have a clue about how easy it is to love you? Never mind, don't try to answer that now. Cry yourself out."

Remy continued to shake with wracking sobs.

Logan sighed deeply and tears welled in his blue eyes. "Remy, you are very easy to love," he explained patiently. "You are bright and funny as hell, even if you constantly mouth off when no one wants to hear it. You are 'tres,'-- to use your silly patois -- easy to love. I know you have had a horrible past, but you have gone beyond it. You have proven yourself over and over with us to be a decent, honorable person. X-men ain't fools, boy. We've seen your concern and compassion."

"Remy, you have a passion to do good and be good. You have made amends for your bad behavior in every way you knew how. And you have been punished for the bad things you done. I should know. I've blistered your butt, twice, now."

"What. . . you mean. . . when you said. . . dat I not. . . even bein' honest. . . 'bout what. . . really. . . hurtin' me?" Remy sobbed out.

"I think Hank could answer that better than me, kid, but I think, maybe you are blaming yourself for surviving when all the rest of us were killed. They call it survivor's guilt. A guilt that you lived when everyone you loved, everyone who was important to you was killed. They say a child, or hell even an adult in those circumstances can think it's all his fault, that he's somehow responsible. Knowing you, I'd bet that's just what you thought. But I'm telling you, kiddo, you were the victim of a horror, not the perpetrator. You weren't -- and aren't -- that powerful."

Remy was listening, but he could not let go of his guilty grief. It overwhelmed him again; he had never cried so deeply. Logan held him tightly and let him cry. As Remy felt Logan's arm tighten around him, the older man's words started to sink in, and he felt an easing of his inner pain. He sobbed with relief, as the his guilt and self-hatred ebbed ever so slightly. He clung to Logan and cried so hard that his whole body shook.

Logan held him gently and did his best to comfort the boy in his arms. His heart ached for his pain.

He heard a quiet knocking at the door. "Who is it?" he demanded, gruffly.

Ororo answered softly, "Just me."

"Okay for Ro to come in, kid?" Logan asked. Remy nodded still unable to speak. "C'mon in, darlin.'"

Ro walked in carrying a basket. She looked at Remy with deep concern."The professor asked me to come up here and help. I think he has picked up on most of what's been going on," she smiled gently.

"T'rough. . .his. . .link . . . wit. . .me . . ." Remy gasped between deep sobs.

Yes, son. his father's voice came to his mind. *As upset as you are, it's been hard for me not to know what has been happening up there.*

Remy sent him an inarticulate sense of his guilty shame and his beginning feelings of some relief.

Yes, child, please let go of some of it. his father's voice said clearly. *Logan is right. You are very easy to love and you are loved, very deeply, in this home.* Remy tried to make sense of that through his pain as Charles continued, *I'll come talk to you later. For now let your 'godparents' take care of you. And, by the way, Logan is right. A lot of this terrible guilt you feel is a very old feeling. An irrational response to what happened when you were small. Try to listen. I'll be with you soon.*

Remy drew a breath as if were about to speak to Storm and Logan.

"Remy, do not try to talk while you are crying so hard," Storm said. She looked at Logan. "Did you spank him again?"

"Yep. Had to. Boy was threatenin' to damn kill himself. He was really asking for it."

"Yes," Storm agreed with a deep sigh of concerned exasperation.

Remy's arms tightened around Logan and he gulped out, "I. . . so. . .sorry." He felt deeply contrite about his suicide threat and knew it had been seriously out of line.

"Remy," Ro started to remonstrate.

"Hush, darlin.' If he needs to talk, it don't matter how hard he's crying. Let him say what he needs to say. And as for you, kiddo, if you're saying you're sorry that you scared me and pissed me off by threatening to off yourself, well, the apology is appropriate and accepted." The affection for both of them was obvious beneath the gruffness of Logan's voice.

"What you got in that basket?" he asked Ro.

"The professor suggested that a couple of ice bags and some aloe might be needed up here," Ro's eyes twinkled at Logan as she remembered his previous suggestion that her bottom might need some ice.

"Good plan," he grinned at her. "But let's try to get him calmed down, first. Remy, can you try to send to Ro some of what you gave me: Your memories of her and me as your godparents?"

Remy was so upset that he had little control. Suddenly Storm was engulfed with a sea of little boy memories that shook her deeply. They were images of Wolvie, herself and an adorable -- and mischievious -- very small version of the Gambit she had known and loved for years. Her eyes swam with tears and she was shaken to her soul by his images of her as an all knowing surrogate "mommy." She could feel the weight of his deep, admiring love.

She knew for a fact that she had never been so beautiful and wise as she had seemed in the eyes of the child, but she also knew how deeply little children idealize their parents. Like her she thought, this child had never had missed the storms and rebellion of adolesence that allow the idealization to fade to an honest appreciation of the real people those parents happened to be.

With a sudden shock, she realized that what they all might be facing was that long delayed adolescent chaos from Remy. She took a sharp breath and felt a moment of dismay. The trouble Remy was capable of getting himself into if he played out that drama had the potential to disrupt the entire family for some time to come.

Well, she thought to herself or so she thought, *He will do what he has to do to heal. She heard Charles chuckle within her mind. Professor! Are you avesdropping in my head?* she asked indignantly.

*Can't help myself on this one, Ororo. He is my son. And, I think you are right. Remy will do what he needs to do to heal. And God help him. I'm terribly afraid he will have trouble sitting down for weeks to come.*

"Ro, come sit beside me," Logan suggested. She sat down beside him in the deep, large window seat and leaned over to put her own arms around Remy from behind. Her face rested against his back and she held him as tightly as Logan did.

Remy was cushioned between two of the people he most loved in the entire world, enveloped in their loving concern. He continued to cry, but his sobs began to ease. He could feel the strength and warmth of their love.

"Remy," Storm said, "You once told me that you would always 'be there' for me and you've always honored that promise. You went with me to Cairo when my teacher and protector was dying. You have confronted me more than once with my own true feelings and made me realize what I really felt and wanted." Ro sighed and tried to sense if Remy were listening. "You are very dear to me. I have cared about you -- and loved you-- since I met you. I simply want you to forgive yourself."

"I. . . don'. . . understand. . ." Remy sobbed.

"You don't have to understand, boy," Logan said. "Accept it for right now. Even if you can't understand how we see the Remy that we love, just try to take it in." Remy quieted and shuddered, an occasional gulping of air all that remained of his sobs.

"I think it's time to take him over to his bed, Ro," Logan suggested. Ororo nodded and stood. Wolverine pushed Remy to his feet and guided him over to the bed, pushing face down onto the mattress. Remy simply complied, doing as he was guided to do.

"Take his pants down, Ro," Logan directed. Remy tensed up, tightly. "No, boy, you aren't going to be spanked again. You just need some healing." Remy shivered again as he felt Ro's gentle hands pull down his jeans and underwear. His embarrassment was intense, and he reflexively reached back for his pants.

"Remy," Ro said firmly, "I've seen your cute, bare bottom before and the way you've been acting, I'm afraid I'll see it again, unless you get over this relentless quest for punishment."

Her eyes met Logan's above Gambit's prone body. She knew a little bit, herself, about a relentless quest for punishment. His eyes answered her with amused understanding.

Remy's bare butt was red, blistered, and bruised. Storm rubbed the aloe on it, very gently and then put the ice bags on. She leaned forward and kissed his damp cheek. "I love you, fellow thief, more than you could ever know."

Tears welled again in Remy's eyes. "Love ya, too, Stormy," he said as the aloe and ice relieved some of the pain in his very punished bottom.

"Now," Logan looked at Storm with stern determination. "Have you made that phone call, woman?"

She shook her head. "I'll do it, right now," she said.

Logan nodded, but did not smile. "I'll stay here with Remy until someone else comes to take care of him. He don't need to be alone and he won't be left." Storm nodded and hurried out.

* * *

The phone rang in Forge's quarters. He looked at Raven who was still with him, listening intently as he told her about his relationship with the windrider. "I assume that if I asked to leave you would pretend to leave and then sneak back in shape shifted into a plant or some such," he stated dryly. She nodded with a wicked smile. He scowled at her, "So, get out of sight, woman. If this is Ororo, I don't want her to know that you're listening to our problems."

Mystique retreated to the background as Forge answered the call and switched on the visual. It was Ororo.

"I'm sorry, Maker," she began. "I was very angry when I called you before. That wasn't the right way to reach an ending and a goodbye."

"Ro, shouldn't we try to do this in person, not over the phone?"

"Isn't that a part of our problem? That we can never seem to be want to be in the same place, in person, unless we've been trapped together without our choice?"

"I don't know what you mean." Forge's heart was heavy with hurting grief.

"You don't want to be one of the X-men. And you clearly told me when you proposed to me that you expected me to quit being a member of the team and devote my life to being your wife. You would be more than welcome here in the mansion, but you insist on being miles away, working for X-Factor, and want me to give up being a part of my family to be with you."


"Maker, Shaman, I thought then that I could do that for you. I realize now that you, in some ways, knew me better than I knew myself." Ro sighed. This was going to be even harder than she had dreaded. "My own life is important to me. As it should be. I could not have given up myself for you. That is what you asked me to do. And I deeply resent your harsh evaluation of who I am and who I want to be."

"I really don't understand, Ro."

"Why did you think that I needed to give up my work with the X-men to be your wife? Why did you think it would be selfish on my part if I didn't want to? Would you give up your work for me?" Ro could hear the anger in her voice. She took a deep breath before she spoke again.

"You told me that I was still that little girl in Cairo, buried beneath the rubble with my dead parents. Except that now you said, I was allowing myself to be buried beneath my responsibilities to the X-men. You used the work I love and do well, to as an example of me behaving like a self-involved child. Did it never occur to you that my work has meaning to me as a competent adult who enjoys what I do?" Storm's voice was controlled, but the deep feeling was unmistakable.

Forge took a deep breath. What Ro had to say held a great deal of truth. He felt a moment of shame at his demanding possessiveness. "But," he protested, "why Wolverine?"

It was Storm's moment to pause. She gathered her courage. "Because he can accept who I am -- all of me. Because he can allow me to continue the work I want to do with him and do it with me as my equal, even accepting me as the team leader who gives him orders." She grinned, "As well as Logan accepts anyone's leadership which isn't much. . .And because he knows and understand that little girl from Cairo and can hold her and give her what she needs."

Forge was nonplussed, confussed, and irritated. "Which is?" he asked.

Storm hesitated. She took several deep breaths and contemplated the consequences of honesty. Her integrity won out. "He recognizes the needy, hungry, guilty child within me. The child you so thoroughly rejected and abandoned. I tell you the truth, Maker, he has doesn't abandon that child. He might just think she's worth raising." A small smile softened her face. She hadn't realized how she really felt until she heard her own honest words. She took another deep breath and continued,

"And when I've been bad, he spanks me." She tried not to notice his astonished expression. "He punishes me and is still there for me when I cry and repent. You just walked away. You didn't try to help me. You ran away."

Tears welled and spilled out of her eyes. She could not believe that she had finally managed to tell him about her deepest needs and wants.

Forge was shocked and surprised beyond his ability to respond. He was utterly speechless for several seconds.

"You, YOU, wanted to be punished and spanked?" he finally managed to choke out. He had always viewed Storm as a powerful woman. He had never realized that the child within her needed something he had never provided.

"You never really knew ME, at all, did you, Forge?" she looked at him with pain and disappointment.

"I guess not," he said carefuully.

"So can we, please say to each other, a respectful, loving, caring goodbye to our attempts to love one another? It did not work. I am with Logan, now. What we were and what we might have been is past."

Forge took a very deep breath and looked over to he corner of his room where Raven waited patiently, an amused smile playing on her lips.

"Yes," he said. "I'll let go of you. And I will love you forever, my beautiful rider of the winds."

Tears flowed down her cheeks as she said, "And you will always be a part of my heart, dear Shaman."

Tears swam in his eyes and his hand shook as he hit the button to disconnect. He turned to Raven who lay upon his bed waiting.

"Oh, how very touching and 'tweet," she said mockingly. "So the powerful Ororo likes to get her bottom spanked! Isn't that a hoot?"

His deep grief was rapidly overlaid with profound annoyance. He glared at her. "I don't think I've ever met a woman more deeply in need of a blistering spanking than you," he said firmly and quite seriously.

Raven lay upon his bed on her side, with her head propped up on one hand. She shifted slightly and laughed. "And do you think you are man enough to subdue me, overcome me, and deliver one?" She asked in a teasing, seductive tone of voice.

Forge's hand itched with the desire to strip down her skin tight white shorts, bare her bottom, and spank her soundly.

"And then do you suppose we could finally fuck each other as we've both wanted to do for years?" she continued to challenge him. "Just like I'm sure old Wolvie fucks the bejesus out of Ro after she's has her spanking. Oh excuse me, I'm sure that those two only 'make love.' Storm would never do anything so vulgar as fucking. Logan, on the other hand. . ."

"Logan," Forge cut her off grimly, "is more of a gentleman than I think you're capable of understanding."

Raven was stung to real anger "You might be surprised, love. Remember, I did try to seduce him, and I'm not at all sure that all I wanted was a one night stand. And you will also notice that he turned me down when he could have enjoyed my little charade and played along. I know more about Logan than you may realize."

"I'm sure he realized that 'raising' the hellion of a little girl in you would require the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, and the persitent, determined leadership of Moses. Not to mention, probably the endless frustration of Sisyphus."

"My, my for a Native American you do know your Old testament and Greek mythology, don't you?" Raven said mockingly. "Do you have doubts about your own ability to tame that hellion? Not quite man enough to handle me?"

Forge's patience was at an end. He approached the bed with what looked to be close to murder in his eyes. Raven's eyes widened. Although she had been deliberately taunting him, she has not really quite believe he might carry through. She started to roll quickly away and to her feet. Too late.

Forge gripped her hard by her red utility belt around her waist, snapped it open quickly and dropped it to the floor. She struggled against him, kicking him soundly in the shin. He winced, but tightened his hold on her waist, unfastening her weapon holder which joined the belt on the floor.

She raised a hand to hit him, but he caught one wrist and then the other in his bionic hand, clamping them close together and fastening them at the small of her back. She struggled furiously, but he bent her over his steel and bionic leg and trapped her kicking legs between his mechanical leg and his flesh one. Her hands were trapped in his, her legs caught between his, her butt over his leg. Her struggles were futile.

He used his flesh and blood hand to strip down those white, tight, leotard like, short pants encasing her fanny, and then without much pause stripped down her blue tights. Her bare bottom was naked over his knees.

She shivered and contemplated turning herself into a tiger. Somehow she didn't do it. She wasn't really frightened, and she was more than a litle aroused -- not that she would give him the satisfaction of knowing.

"If you do this, Maker, I'll report you, " she threatened. He barked out a short, derisive laugh.

"To whom, you pernicious, annoying, little bitch. I'm sure Val would be distraught to learn that you got your bare bottom thoroughly spanked " Forge said with sarcasm. Val Cooper was the government liason to X-Factor who had had more than her share of trouble with Mystique's determined refusal to cooperate with the team. Raven had a penchant for following her own often misguided intentions, no matter what the cost to those around her.

He looked around the room and without loosening his grip on her, and picked up a flat leather sandle from the floor beside the bed. He raised that sandle high and slammed it into her bare behind. Raven gasped, but even before she finished her gasp, the sandle came slamming down again and again. It blazed fiercely against her bare and vulnerable butt.

She felt a painful burning, but she laughed out loud, "Can't you do better than that, you wimp? I can barely feel those sweet, little love taps."

He raised his arm even higher and spanked much harder.

"OUCH . . .NO . . .OUCH . . .YEEEOWWWWW. . . " Her ability to make smart ass remarks deserted her as she was dragged into the painful reality of a seriously hard, bare bottom spanking. And Forge was quite serious about this particular spanking. He was still smarting from the truth of Ororo's acurate critisisms of him, and he was thoroughly angry with Raven's impudent, disrespectful arrogance.

He spanked her long and hard, until she was yelping and protesting every strong spank that blazed against her bare and naked fanny. She didn't cry, of course. Mystique had an incredible toleration for pain and a capacity to deny her feelings that would confound a superbly competent analyst.

But the burning fire of pain he delivered to her butt left her gasping and breathless. It seemed to her as if he spanked her for hours, relentlessly. Her bottom burned with stinging pain and she wiggled and began to scream.

The spanking continued. Raven felt a moment of dismay. She had wanted a spanking as a prelude to sex. But this was real punishment. And it didn't seem that he would stop soon. Her bottom felt as if it were on fire.

"Maker," she gasped between the spanks raining down on her butt. "Okay. That's enough. Stop."

"In your dreams, girl. I'm going to spank you until you realize that none of this is a game."

Raven's breath caught in a sob. Her feelings for Forge were not a 'game.' He mattered to her. "Not. . . a game. . . really. . . please," she started to cry.

"It's about damn time you realized that my feelings for you and your's for me were not a game, woman," Forge said savagely as he blistered her bare behind.

She sobbed in earnest. "I. . . never. . .really. . .thought . . .they . . .were," she admitted. "I. . .just. . .never. . .have. . .known. . . how. . . to get. . . through to. . .you."

Forge paused and thought about what she had just said. He had always held her an arms distance away, while responding reflexively to her teasing flirtation. He did care about the decent and loving person that he could see beneath her persistent anger and frustration about being a mutant in a world that would not accept them. But he continued his relentless spanking of her bare bottom.

"You still need this punishment and you need it bad. Some of your selfish, arrogant behavior has been beyond the boundaries of ethical and resonsible guidelines and you know it." He was right and she knew it. But, oh dear God, this spanking hurt, badly. She continued to sob, more because of the anger in his voice than the pain of her richly deserved spanking.

"I am tired beyond belief of your stubborn persistence in pursuing vengeance against those who have harmed the ones you love. I am tired of you insubordination and defiance. I am tired of you stirring up trouble, just because it's fun." With each scolding word, the sandle slammed into her butt. She twisted futilely in every direction trying to escape while sobbing at the truth of his scolding. "Do you think it would be remotely possible to occasionally pretend to cooperate?" he asked still delivering spanks.

"Yes," she sobbed. "I. . .promise."

"Your promises have been about as reliable as a broken clock." His voice was still cold with fury. Her sobs changed to the gasping wails of a child.

"I'm. . .sorry. . .Maker. . . I'm. . . sorry," she gulped out feeling deeply hurt at the anger in his voice. He continued to spank her for several minutes, deriving stern satisfaction from her desperate, childish wailing. He knew that he had succeeded in making her feel truly punished.

He stopped and put the sandle down. Then he reached between her legs and fingered her gently. She was very wet and she gasped through her sobs as his finger found her clit and carressed it. Still sobbing, she started to move herself back against him. He fingered her harder and faster and suddenly she was overcome with a wrenching orgasm.

He waited for her moaning, shuddering release to subside and then raised her to her feet. "I think you need some time in the corner with your butt bared to think about why you needed this spanking," he said, quietly. He spanked her with his hand every foot of the long walk over the furthest corner of his room. He placed her face first in the corner.

"Bend over," he ordered. She complied, thrusting her bare bottom out.

He retreated to the bed, sat, and watched her dance a little dance of pain as she bounced on her legs and tried to relieve the burning pain in her butt. He felt turned on and harder than he could ever remember.

After about ten minutes, he approached her. "Bend over more," he ordered. She did as she was told.

He dropped his pants and underwear. Mr. Cock sprang up, full and engorged with blood and lust. As she stood there, bent over in the corner, pants and tights down, he entered her from behind.

She arched her back and pushed back against him. He thrust into her deeply and repeatedly. She ground her vulva against his groin and burst into a second all consuming orgasm. Her knees sagged.

He put his one hand around her waist to hold her up and with the other he reached around her waist and caressed her clit. She shuddered again into a cataclysmic release.

He pounded into her over and over as she came, again and again. His breath caught and his own release overcame him. He groaned deeply as he released his juices into her receptive vagina. They both sighed deeply.

"Now, what, Maker?" Raven teased.

He struggled his way back from his orgasmic ecstasy and chuckled. "Now, I think, maybe, you need another spanking," he said. She gasped with dismay and dread.