Subject: Family Matters, chapter 11
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 09:49:27 -0400 (EDT)
Remy was just about zoned out when the others came in to witness his next spanking. He was almost too tired to care that his bare butt was on display over the pillow on the bed, but he wasn't happy about it. He hated everyone seeing him lying there with his pants and underwear pulled down because he had just been spanked and was about to be soundly spanked again. He was trembling with exhausted anxiety. He really didn't want another spanking. Not that it mattered. He was going to be spanked again whether he wanted it or not. And he knew it.
When Logan pulled Remy back over his lap, he felt terrified and dismayed. His bottom still stung from the switching he had so recently received. It had hurt much more than he could have imagined. As soon as his bare bottom was again over Logan's knees, he was profoundly aware of his dilemma and deeply frightened. He really didn't know if he could endure another spanking.
"Logan, please. . .don't. . . not as hard. . .as last. . .time. . ." he pleaded.
Logan sighed. "Sorry, kiddo, this one will be even harder. Are you ready to hear the lecture on why it's not okay to drive when you're drunk?"
Remy shuddered. He didn't want it to be even harder. And he didn't want to hear a lecture at all. He knew it would just make him feel even worse. He desperately tried to remember that just moments before he had felt safe and loved. But all he felt was total panic and his eyes started filling with tears before the first blow struck.
"No, I don' need to hear about it," he said in a voice that was definitely trembling. "I know dat I was wrong."
"I'm not sure that excuses you from the lecture," Logan said firmly.
The switch blazed across his already sore bare bottom and involuntarily, he screamed.
"Why don't you try tellin' me what you understand about why it's not okay to drink and drive?" The switch descended several times as Logan was asking the question. Remy screamed again and again. His bare bottom skin had recovered a little from the previous switching, but it felt as if all his nerve endings were raw and exposed. He desperately tried to move his bottom away from the switching almost as soon as it began. Struggling against Logan's grip, he felt deeply ashamed that he was so frantic to escape and about the spectacle he was making of himself as he tried to twist his bare butt away from the punishing slashes of the switch. He was almost grateful for the confining bonds of the tight elastic waist band of his pulled down sweat pants across his upper thighs which prevented him from kicking and squirming hard enough to totally expose and humiliate himself. Logan paused for a moment and trapped him thoroughly with one leg across Remy's kicking legs and his hands pinned at the small of his back. He pulled Remy up tightly against his stomach and held him in an grip of iron.
"Tell me what you understand about why it is not okay to drink and drive," Logan ordered again.
"I can't. . ." Remy managed to gasp out between the slashing blows. " I can't. . .ta'k while. . .you . . .switchin' me." Logan continued to snap the switch across Remy's bare bottom. Remy started sobbing.
"Try," Logan demanded grimly. Remy swallowed hard and tried to comply.
"I. . . shouldn'. . .have been. . .out on. . .de main. . .roads," he gulped out.
"Yep," Logan added. "Even if you imagined that you couldn't do much damage on your bike, you certainly could have hurt yourself. And you weren't even wearing a helmet. What else?"
Remy continued crying very hard as the switch descended over and over. "I coulda. . . run int'. . .someone else. . .and. . .gotten dem. . .hurt."
"And you could have seriously screwed up another driver who mighta been tryin' to avoid your erratic drivin.' And they mighta crashed, tryin' to avoid hittin' you." Logan continued for him as he persisted in slashing red lines across Remy's bare butt.
"I. . .wasn'. . .t'inkin'. . .about it," Remy felt as if he wanted to die. This hurt more than anything he could have imagined. His bottom blazed and he wept hopelessly.
"Maybe next time, you will think about it. That you could hurt someone else when you are out indulging yourself," Logan said darkly. "That maybe there are other people in the world besides you with your goddamn stupid and self- destructive impulses."
Remy was stricken by Logan's criticisms and consumed with guilty shame and horror. He could imagine some other driver crashing while trying to avoid his careless, drunken driving. He could imagine crashing into another vehicle and watching the driver hit the steering wheel or a passenger go through the windshield. The switch continued to blaze against the tender flesh of his bare bottom. He was crying so hard that he was starting to shake. He had hoped that Logan had forgiven him. Instead, it seemed as if Logan was making him realize and forcing him to admit new reasons why he and his behavior were unacceptable. He was miserable, in dreadful pain, and sure that he was being told that he was thoroughly unacceptable as a person and had no right to be alive. That he was selfish, self-absorbed, destructive, dangerous, and worthless.
Logan welted the switch up and down his bottom so many times that Remy lost track of the journeys. He twisted and fought and tried to escape the punishing slashes of the switch. He felt deeply embarrassed as he realized that the others were watching his writhing bare butt. But he couldn't help himself. It hurt too badly for him to be still. And, the switch kept whipping across his butt. All he could do was endure and beg.
"Please, stop. . ." he sobbed over and over. "Please. . ."
"Sorry, kiddo," Logan said gruffly. "But none of these spankings you earned are going to be easy on you. They're gonna hurt and hurt bad." Remy's bottom and thighs got redder and redder and in places little purple lines appeared where the switch was leaving long thin bruises. Logan felt faintly sick and eased back a little but he continued to switch the boy. He wanted this spanking to be truly memorable. And he wanted Remy to think about it every time he even considered drinking and driving.
"L. . .Logan, please. . . pl. . .please. . . stop," Remy couldn't stop himself from pleading. His bottom hurt as if the fires of hell were alight in it.
Jean looked away. She couldn't stand Remy's sobs of pain. She caught a glimpse of Rogue's face which was white and horror-stricken and gathered the girl into her arms. Rogue clung to her gratefully and hid her face in Jean's shoulder.
"Pl. . .please. . . stop, " Remy sobs were shaking his entire body, "I. . .I'm s. . .s . . .sorry. . . "
"Logan," Hank spoke up as Remy's cries of pain started to upset him deeply.
"I'm almost done," Logan said grimly. He smacked the switch down about three more times across the top of Remy's butt, then three to the middle, and saved the last three blows for the tender skin right at the juncture of Remy's buttocks and thighs.
Remy was wailing like a child, sobbing even harder than the last time he was spanked. His bottom was blazing with pain. He laid over Logan's knees, crying so hard that he thought he was going to drown in his own tears.
He heard Scott clear his throat. "Uh, Logan," Scott said quietly.
"Actually, I'm not sure I could stand to see Remy spanked that hard again," Scott said soberly.
"Well, Scotty, that might be a real problem, because when I spank this boy for his self-destructive drunken ride over those dirt bike trails, it is going to make this spanking seem like a collections of love pats." Logan's voice was grim. Remy sobbed even more deeply. He couldn't believe it. He couldn't believe that his butt could hurt more than it did at that moment.
"Logan, he's in agony," Scott protested.
"Maybe, but he'll recover." Logan said firmly. "Look, Scotty, I don't like doin' this any more than you like watchin', but I don't want this kid to ever even think about drinkin' and drivin' again. Do you?"
"No," Scott acquiesced with a sigh. The pain in Remy's bottom eased slightly and his wails subsided into deep and desperate sobbing. Logan reached down and pulled Remy's briefs and sweat pants back up over his bare butt. It hurt as the soft cloth slid over his blazing bottom, but he was grateful to get his naked butt covered from everyone's eyes.
Logan gently pulled Remy over and gathered him into his arms, as he leaned back against the head of the bed. Remy clung to him gratefully and continued to cry with pain and shame. Logan held him tightly.
"Remy?" Logan asked.
"Wh. . .wh. . wh . . .at?" Remy gasped as he sobbed his heart out.
"Do you think that this spanking was more than you can endure?"
Remy shook his head as he shook with sobs. He knew he had earned it. He knew he had deserved it. He just wanted Logan to hold him and forgive him. He wasn't thinking beyond that.
"Do you usually hold him in your arms after you blister him?" Remy heard Cable ask thoughtfully.
"Yep," he heard Logan reply.
"Why?" Cable asked.
"Because I love the kid," Remy heard Logan answer. "I wouldn't bother to spank him if I didn't care. What do you think, Nathan, that I would wear my arm out spanking him if I didn't love him?"
"Just asking," Cable said quietly. "Thought I might learn something." There was silence for a moment and then Cable went on, "How long will you hold him?"
"'Til he stops cryin.' Which will likely take a long time. Tonight, I imagine I'll end up holdin' him 'til he goes to sleep. . .Go on, Nathan, ask me why again. I can see it on your face."
"Why?" Cable asked quietly.
"Because he needs it as bad as he needed the spanking I just gave him. Like I just told you, I spanked him because I love him. Now, I'm holdin' him cause I love him. It's all part of the same package. If you need a discussion about how all this works, now might not be the best damn time."
Remy continued sobbing as if his heart were breaking. He didn't have much idea what Cable, Scott, and Logan were talking about. He wasn't listening. He just felt hurt and ashamed of himself. At this point, all he cared about was some sense that he had been forgiven for what he had just been punished for. He clung to Logan desperately and felt deeply relieved as he felt Wolvie's arms tighten around him.
"Right now," he heard Logan say firmly. "I think this kid just needs some time alone with me."
Remy heard murmurs of agreement and heard the others leaving. He agreed himself. His bottom hurt, but even worse, his heart. He wanted to be alone with Logan and find out whether it was possible that he could be forgiven. Logan held him tightly and securely and Remy cried and cried.
"L. . .L. . .Logan," Remy gulped out after several minutes of deep and heartfelt weeping.
"Do I. . .do I. . .have. . .any right. . .t' even . . .exist?"
Logan held him even more closely. "Of course, you do, kiddo. Why do you even ask?"
"Cause. . .I don'. . .know. . ."
"Of course you don't know that, child. If you did you wouldn't act the way you have," he heard Logan sigh again. "Yes, you have the right to exist. And I want you to."
"But you. . .gonna keep on. . . spankin' me? You gonna. . .give me all dose. . spankin's you . . .said. . .you would?" His bottom still blazed and burned and it felt as if all the nerve endings were abraded and bruised. He felt sheer terror at the thought of any more spankings.
"I have to, Remy. You've given me no choice," Logan said. Remy thought for a moment that he was going to die. He sobbed so hard that he thought he was going to turn his stomach inside out. Logan took another deep breath. "Y'know, Remy, when you are cryin' like this and hurtin' so bad -- and believe me, I understand that your heart is hurtin' worse than your butt -- I want to stop it. I want to tell you that it's over. That you have been punished enough." Remy was listening carefully as he continued to sob.
"But I don't dare, Rem," Logan continued. "If I let it go, if I let you off without spanking you again, within the week, hell, maybe within days, you'd find some way to end up over my knees again if you damn survived to get there." Remy sobbed even harder as the truth of what Wolverine was saying hit him in the guts.
"I can't risk that, kiddo. I can't risk you. I can't risk you accidentally hurtin' someone else. So I gotta go ahead and give you what you're askin' for. And that means a lot more long, hard spankings. But we ain't gonna get anywhere with all this shit if you don't start talkin' to me about what you think you're doin.' " Logan's voice was firm.
"I. . .don'. . .know," Remy gulped out.
"Not good enough, kid," Logan said resolutely. " We gotta figure this out."
Remy sobbed deeply. He didn't want to talk about it. He just wanted to get himself punished, cry, be held, and get forgiven. He really didn't want to solve the problem.
"I don' know," he tried again to avoid the issue.
Logan sighed deeply. "Remy," he said firmly, "I will put you back over my knees, take your pants down again, bare your butt, and give you another spanking right now if you don't talk to me about what you think you're doin.'"
Remy shook his head and continued to cry. To his deep dismay, Logan turned him over in his lap. He was once again face down and bottom up over Logan's knees. He felt Logan's hand at the waist band of his pants.
"NO. . .please. . . don't . . .I'll t'ak. . . about it. . ."he capitulated immediately. His pants came down anyway. "Please. . .don't. . .pull down my. . .underwear. . ." Logan took his briefs right down. His bottom was bare again. He knew that another spanking was about to be delivered to his burning, sore, and blistered butt. He couldn't believe it and he was sure he couldn't bear it.
"NOOO," he screamed as Logan's hand came smacking down on his sore bottom. It hurt badly even though it was obvious that Logan was not using all his strength. "I'll ta'k. . . about. . .it. . .I promise. . ."
"Too late now, kiddo." Logan said. Remy was frantic.
"NOOO," he screamed again as Logan's hard hand descended on his blazing, bare, red bottom. He struggled again, screaming from the pain and trying to twist away.
"I'll. . . ta'k. . . about. . . it. . . I promise. . . I pr. . .promise," he sobbed out, desperate to do anything to stop this new and totally unexpected spanking. To his profound relief, Logan stopped after about fifteen firm spanks to his bare butt.
He laid over Logan's knees for a few moments, crying hard. Then Logan pulled his pants up and sat him up on the bed facing him.
"So talk to me," he ordered. Remy was sobbing so hard that he could barely breathe. He couldn't sit on his bottom because it hurt so badly. He fell over on his side.
"Please. . .hold. . . me. . ." he gasped. He felt desperately lonely and alone.
Logan was exasperated. "Why should I bother, kiddo?" he asked.
Remy shook his head and folded up on himself, wrapping his own arms around himself and drawing his knees up to his chest. "Cause, I need you to," he sobbed.
Logan sighed and gathered Remy into his arms again. Remy clung to him with deep relief.
"I'm. . . s. . .sorry," he gulped. "I'm. . . sorry."
"Why are we doing this, Remy?" Logan demanded.
"I don'. . . know. . ." Remy wept. "Please . . . don' spank. . . me again.. . I. .. .rea.... ly don' know."
"That's not good enough for me, kiddo, and I will spank you again if you don't do better."
Remy started wailing again with pain and despair and Logan held him closely to his chest until he quieted a bit. "Remy, calm down and talk to me," he said softly.
"I hate me. . .I. . .hate. . .me. . ." Remy sobbed out with utter devastating hopelessness. "I. . . hate me. . . .I . . . don' wan' . . .t'. . .live."
"Yep, kiddo, I know that," Logan said gently. "But you're wrong to feel that way. You don't need to hate yourself."
"I do. . .have to," Remy gulped out. "I've. . .been bad over and over. . .I worked. . .for Sinister. . .and now he has Bishop and Stormy. . . and I lied . . .and I hurt dat woman. . .and. . .now, I done all. . .de t'ings dat. . .I just done."
Logan considered telling Remy to stop talking until he finished crying so hard, but he decided that he might get more truth from him if he let him continue while he was in such a distressed state and hurting. He held him tightly and stroked him gently.
"Go on," he said.
"An'. . .it had t' be. . .my fault. . .dat my. . whole fam'ly. . . got killed," Remy was wailing again like a very small boy.
"I figured we'd end up back there again," Logan said sighing deeply again. "And I would guess that we will end up there again and again and again. It's a hard one to work through, isn't it, kiddo?"
Remy wasn't at all sure what Logan was talking about, but he at least felt understood. His wails of inconsolable grief quieted slightly.
"Remy, listen up, kid. Your family did not die because you were bad. It was a uncontrollable event. And it doesn't matter how badly you behave or how severely you're punished for it. They're never coming back to life. You're never gonna get to have the childhood you should have had." Remy's sobs intensified again. "But if you need me to be what I was to you back then, I'll do the damn best I can. And if that includes spanking you until you manage to learn to feel a little better about yourself, then, by God, I'll spank you until you forget you were ever able to sit down comfortably."
Remy felt inexplicably relieved and consoled. His sobs quieted again and he started to breath more easily.
"Here, kid, blow your nose and wipe your face," Logan said mildly. He handed Remy some tissues and Remy did as he was told and then put his face back down against Logan's chest. Logan held him again and Remy continued to cry.
"Logan, please. . .please," Remy gulped out, "I know dat. . . I deserve t' be spanked. . .an' pun. . .ished. . .but, please don' spank me. . .in front o' de' X- Force kids. . .I couldn' stand dat. . .Not fair t' me."
Logan sighed deeply yet again. He had made that threat when he was very angry and he wasn't at all sure that it was fair or justified. He had just been following Cable's lead. "I promise that I'll think about it, Rem. It ain't written in stone."
Remy's arms tightened around him in gratitude and he continued to sob as if he were being torn apart. Logan held him tightly and stroked him with comforting gestures. Remy's sobs quieted and quieted even more and then suddenly he was asleep, worn out from the day and the spankings and his sobbing. It was if his overloaded systems just shut down.
Logan held him for several more minutes and then put him down on his bed. He went to the door and went to the nearest com unit and found Hank. "He's sleeping, Hank," he informed him.
"I'll be right there," Hank said quickly. He was there in moments, looking at Logan with concern for Remy in his eyes. "Is he okay?"
Logan shook his head. "Not really. He's still in an agony of self hatred that makes no sense, blamin' himself about what happened when he was a kid. But he's okay for now."
"I'm going to put him back on an IV to replace the fluids he lost and get him some nutrients. He hasn't eaten today at all. And I may go ahead and put that leg in a splint."
"I obviously ain't no doctor, Hank, but you might try puttin' a sedative in that IV."
"I was planning on it, Logan."
Logan nodded and headed back up to Remy's room to continue the search through Sinister's files. He was determined to find Bishop and Storm.
Hank went into Remy's room and put an IV in his arm. He filled it with fluids and nutrients and injected a strong sedative. Remy stirred in his sleep but didn't wake up. Hank put a splint on his fractured leg. Remy continued to sleep deeply.
Logan entered Remy's room and found Scott and Rogue working on the files in the computer.
"How's Remy?" Rogue asked.
"Asleep," Logan answered simply. "And before anyone asks me anything else, he's also a mess. Says he did all this stuff essentially because he hates himself and can't get it out of his head that it was somehow his fault that his whole family got killed."
"Doesn't it help any at all that his whole family is right here and obviously alive?" Scott inquired with desperate confusion. He hated all this drama and angst. He just wanted Remy to just get over it and be okay. After all, he had never really dealt with his own trauma, watching his parents get killed and growing up in an orphanage. Remy's despair and emotions reminded him way too painfully of the traumatic memories and experiences that he had never resolved for himself.
"Scotty, now that he has his memories back, I think in some ways it makes it worse. Like it's part of the inspiration to set himself up to be punished for it by the very people who somehow he was responsible for getttin' killed. That's just a guess."
"It sounds like a good one to me," Scott said reluctantly and thoughtfully.
"Any news on Storm or Bishop?" Logan changed the subject abruptly.
"None. Are we finished talking about Remy?" Scott answered and asked.
"What else can be discussed about Remy?" Logan asked.
Rogue took a deep breath and answered, "Ah believe ya love him, Wolverine, but ah can't believe ya're threatening to spank him in front of the X-Force kids. Ah don't think he could stand that. It would kill him and it's not fair. You never told him that anything he did would leave him feelin' that humiliated."
Logan stared at her and shook his head. Another party heard from on that issue. "You might have a point, Rogue," he said. "He told me that he's not happy about it. I'll think about it. I'm worried as hell about Remy. And I only wanna do what's best for him. But I'm even more worried about Storm and Bishop and I wanna find 'em. Can we, please, get some work done?"
It was the middle of the evening when Logan arrived at the computers. They all worked into the late hours of the night. The team led by Warren had been called back from New York to help. They arrived late in the evening and went to other computers in the mansion to help with the search.
They had no luck; they found nothing that would lead them to the location of their team mates. And they were all exhausted. Logan hung grimly at the computers even as he ordered some of the others to get some rest. But even Logan, who was still healing from the fight with the Marauders, eventually had to get some rest.
Remy woke up, wide awake with no hope of going back to sleep, at about 3:00 am. His bottom hurt. He spent a few minutes reviewing his spankings and shuddered with trepidation as he contemplated the additional spankings that were to come.
But what really worried him was that he could sense Storm in his head. He seemed to "know" where she was and felt a connection to her.
He had not been in touch with his psychic powers most of his life and he wasn't at all sure if what he was sensing was real or a product of his imagination. He thought about waking Jean and asking her to link with him to find out.
But he didn't want to wake anyone up. He was already in so much trouble. He didn't want to annoy anyone in his family.
Even more, he wanted to redeem himself and earn forgiveness. He wanted to go out and rescue Storm and Bishop without help. Maybe then he could earn the forgiveness and gratitude of his team mates.
A quiet voice inside his head was alarmed and told him seriously that he was about to get himself in much more trouble if he went chasing off to rescue his friends on his own. He shook his head and chose not to listen. He didn't want to think about what he was doing. He just wanted to take action and rescue his team mates who were in trouble and without bothering another soul. And gain the gratitude and forgiveness from everyone else that such a feat would surely inspire. He didn't want to listen to voices warning him that he might be getting himself in even more trouble.
He had an IV in his arm again and a splint on his leg. Well, the splint would help him manuever. He ripped the IV out again. The voice that he was trying to disregard warned him that he had already gotten himself in trouble that day by jerking an IV out and leaving the med lab. He continued not to listen to himself except to argue that if he did know where Storm was and he did tell the others, they probably wouldn't even let him participate in the rescue because of his injuries. He was hungry, thirsty, and aching, but determined to try to find Storm and rescue her all on his own. He got out of bed and wrote a note:
"I'm not running away. I think I might know where Storm is. But I'm not sure so I don't want to bother anyone else with it. I'm going to check it out. I know I still have more punishment coming to me. I'll be back to take it. But if I can find Storm and Bishop, I want to go for it. Please, don't be mad at me. Remy"
He used his skills as a thief to sneak silently out of the mansion and go to the garage. His bike was totalled. Not an option. He hesitated and then took Logan's, knowing full well that Logan wouldn't be very happy about Remy "borrowing" his Harley without permission. The cautionary voice was almost screaming at him by that point, but he wasn't listening. He roared out of the grounds of the mansion, homing in on his awareness of Storm. He had no clear sense of where he was going, just a strong but vague sense that he could follow his sense of Storm to where she was.
He was soon headed out on the NJ turnpike. He stopped at the first service island he reached and quickly downed three burgers, two orders of fries, and two large Dr. Peppers. His mind cleared a little and he wondered seriously if he knew what he was doing. He knew was risking more trouble if he continued on his way. His butt was still sore as hell, especially after sitting on the bike for an hour. He remembered uncomfortably how hard he had cried and how miserable he had felt. And how embarrassing it was to get his bare bottom spanked in front of his teammates. He knew that if he continued his present course of action he would definitely get himself spanked again and maybe more than once. He shuddered.
But he could feel Storm like a beacon in his head. He wasn't sure exactly where she was or whether Bishop was with her, but he felt a desperate, driving need to go after her. He did want to redeem himself. He wanted to be the one who rescued Storm. His mind whirled with confusion.
Well, what could be de worse t'ing dat happens? he asked himself. *I'll probably get another blistering. Or maybe I'll just get hurt real bad tryin' to rescue her and die. Den maybe all dis shit be over and no one'll have to deal wit me and my fuck-ups no more.*
He sat at the table in the Hot Shoppe and tried to think it through. He really was tired of getting himself in trouble and making the people he loved mad at him. He tried to imagine what Logan would say to him and he could hear it pretty clearly.
*Boy, goin' after Storm on your own while you're injured -- up against Sinister and the Marauders -- has got to be one of the dumbest ideas of your life. If you do know where Storm is, why in hell are you going after her on a bike when we could get to her ten times faster in one of the blackbirds?*
He groaned as this thought came clear in his head. He'd already wasted time that could've been put to better use. He put his face in his hands.
Jean! he tried to connect to her inside his head.
Remy, thank goodness, her response was immediate. *We were worried about you. Do you really think you know where Storm is?*
Remy was confused. It was the middle of the night. Had his absence been discovered already?
Remy, Jean voice was warm and sounded slightly amused. *Go outside to where you left the bike you, um, borrowed.*
Remy felt butterflies in his stomach and stood up. He paid his bill and headed for the door.
Jean continued to talk to him, *You were calling me because you were ready to tell us where you are and ask for help?*
Yeah. Remy made it out the door and headed toward the back of the building to the parking lot where he had left the bike.
You made a really smart decision at exactly the right time, Jean commented. Remy felt distinctly apprehensive as he went around the corner.
He sighted Logan immediately, sitting on the bike and waiting for him. Remy's stomach froze, but he didn't see that he had much choice but to go ahead and approach him.
"Did you really think I wouldn't hear and recognize the sound of my own bike?" Logan asked him mildly. "And did you imagine that I couldn't track you?"
Remy shrugged. He didn't know what to say. His stomach was still frozen and he could barely swallow past the lump in his throat. He blurted out the first thing on his mind, "Are you mad at me?"
Logan's eyes widened for a second and he shook his head in disbelief. "Remy, you tore an IV out of your arm again. You left med lab injured to take on Sinister by yourself, taking with you the only lead that any of us have to the whereabouts of Storm and Bishop. You stole my bike and took off in the middle of the night. And you're asking me if I'm mad?"
Remy shook his head and swallowed hard. "I seem t' have some kind of gift for not t'inkin' real clear 'bout what I need t' be doin', neh?" He was trying to speak lightly but his voice still trembled slightly. His stomach churned. His gaze fell to the ground.
Logan reached out and took Remy's chin firmly in his hand and turned his face so that their eyes met. Logan's eyes were calm and steady and Remy's were miserable and starting to well with tears.
"Listen, Rem, I'm gonna make this quick and to the point. The blackbird is waiting for both of us over there off the service island and we're going after Ro and Bishop. I am tired of you acting impulsively and not thinking about the consequences. And you are going to be punished yet again for this adventure of yours. AND, if you ever, ever," Logan's voice went grimly stern, "ever take my bike again without permission except in a dire emergency, I will track you down, drag you to the bike wherever you are and whoever is watching, bend you over it, take down your pants, and blister your bare butt until you are screaming. Is that understood?" Remy nodded, feeling utterly terrified of the possibility. Tears spilled out of his eyes as Logan continued to hold his chin so that their gazes were locked together.
"So now you finally took the time to stop and think just before you got caught anyway. And you're scared as hell that it was too little, too late?" Remy nodded and closed his eyes as tears continued to fall. "Dammit, Remy, look at me while I talk to you."
Remy opened his eyes again and looked into Logan's eyes. He could barely see past the blur of tears.
"Remy, no matter how angry any of us are, we do love you. That ain't gonna change. And that's what you're really scared about, isn't it?" Remy nodded and his breath caught in a sob of relief. "You ain't losing us, kiddo. You might lose the ability to sit down comfortably for the next month, but you're not gonna lose your family."
"And look, kiddo, I'm pleased and proud that you took the time to stop and think and that you called us," Logan sighed. "Right now, we need to get on that blackbird and go after Storm. So, you need to pull yourself together and get ready to work. Can you do that?"
Remy took a deep breath and blinked the tears away. He was still looking into Logan's eyes which were full of concern and compassion.
"You're not really dat mad at me, are you?" Remy asked with a voice of wonder.
"I'm not overjoyed with you right now, but no, I'm not very mad at all. Which don't mean that you ain't gonna regret what you did tonight." Remy didn't give a damn about that right that moment. He had known all along that he was going to end up being made to regret what he had done. He was just relieved as hell that Logan wasn't furious. He took another deep breath and managed to grin faintly.
"Den I worry about dat later, mon ami. Right now, like you say, we got work t' do." His eyes began to glint with the usual unholy delight he had always taken at the prospect of missions to be fulfilled, booty to be taken, and maidens to be rescued.
Logan let go of his chin and nodded in satisfaction. He recognized that devilish light in Remy's eyes. He had managed to get their Gambit back, at least for the work at hand. And he was needed.
"If anything happens to my bike," he grumbled as they made their way to where the black bird was concealed.
"If anyt'ing happens t' de damn bike, you gonna take it out o' my hide, I know," Remy said lightly feeling better than he had felt in days.
"You got that right, boy," Logan growled with a faint grin. hey climbed aboard the black bird.
"Where is she, Remy?" Scott demanded as soon as they were on board.
"I don' really know, mon ami," Remy came forward. "I just got a general sense of direction not a location. Maybe it would help if Jeannie linked wit me."
Scott gestured toward his wife who immediately linked with Remy. *Show me what you have. And welcome back to the team, Remy.*
T'anks Jeannie. He took her to the beacon he felt from Storm. It was stronger with her linking with him, but still impossible to locate exactly, though it was easier to sense her general condition.
"We can't get an exact location, Scott," Jean said. "I don't think she's even fully conscious. But it seems as if Remy has link with her that none of the rest of us have. We can follow it to her."
"Which way?" Scott asked impatiently.
"South," Remy said confidently. "And slightly west, but only slightly." Scott took off heading south fast.
Hank approached Remy grumbling, "Let me examine you, you obnoxious brat, and see if you hurt yourself again." Remy submitted to Hank's exam without a word of protest. He looked around. Rogue was looking at him in amazement, surprised at his general cheerfulness. He winked at her and she smiled. It was good to see her lover back. Sam and Bobby were aboard, as were Warren and Betsy.
"Hi, guys," he said lightly. "When did you come back?"
"While you were sleeping," Betsy answered. "And before you scared the hell out of all of us by taking off like an idiot."
Remy shrugged, "Dat seem t' be part of my job description in de X-men dese days. T' act like a damn fool. Don' worry 'bout it, Bets. I'll pay for it in good time."
"I imagine you will, you irrepressible rascal, but it's good to see you in fighting mode instead of moping mode," she said sincerely.
"You're no worse off than you were before," Hank declared. "I suppose when we get to where we're going they'll be no keeping you on this ship while the rest of go after Storm?"
"Don' see how you gonna find her if I ain't dere to help. And try and leave me here and I come after you anyway."
"Well, if we get into a fight, will you try to remember that you're injured and that your leg is fractured? If you put too much stress on that hairline break it will snap the bone and you'll be useless. You can't do your usual kicks and spins and acrobatics. And Remy, if you ever pull another IV out of your arm again without permission, I swear, I'll get me a switch to use on you myself," Hank was looking straight into Remy's eyes with serious concern. Remy sobered a bit and nodded. He didn't believe Hank's threat for a moment, but understood the intentions behind the words.
"I'm sorry, Henri, I know you been tryin' t' heal me," he said sincerely. "I just could feel Stormy in my head and t'ought I had t' go after her. I didn't t'ink about askin' for help, cause I wasn't sure I wasn' just imaginin' it."
"I think your motivations might have been more complicated than that, Gambit," Hank said. "But apology noted and accepted."
"Jeannie?" Remy asked. "Would you stay linked to me?" Jean nodded. Once again the link to Storm intensified.
"A little more west, Scott," Remy directed. Scott complied.
Logan emerged from the back of the bird dressed fully in his Wolverine outfit. He threw a bundle of clothing at Remy. "We brought your clothes, boy. Even your damn coat. Go change and give us a yell through Jeannie if we get off course."
Remy took the costume that Logan had thrown to him with a deep feeling of satisfaction. They had planned to take him along even if he hadn't yelled for help. For the first time in many days, he felt fully accepted and a part of his chosen family.
Rogue went back with him to help him change into his colors. He stripped out of his sweats and after a moment of thought pulled down and stepped out his underwear. He usually didn't wear briefs under his uniform, just a jock which was included in the bundle Logan had thrown to him.
Rogue shuddered as she saw his butt. "Oh, God, Remy," she said.
"What cherie?" He was pulling his pants on quickly, pulling the stretchy material carefully over his splint. He tried to look over his shoulder. He couldn't see much although his bottom was still sore and tender.
"Ya got red marks and blotches all over your bottom and thighs, lover. And some bruises. It must hurt, sugah."
Remy shrugged. "It hurt like hell, p'tite, but I had it comin' and I deserved it. Ain' gonna kill me."
"Ya also got bruises, cuts, and scrapes all over yar body, love. And a splint on your leg. Ya sure ya ready to go up against the Marauders?"
"I got my fam'ly wit me, cher. We'll do okay toget'er." Remy pulled on his top and his head guard.
Jean, tell Scott he too far west now. Back east some more.
Remy shrugged into his duster gratefully. Using his powers of converting potential energy into kinetic energy drained his body of heat and left him very cold. He was much happier when he had his coat.
Rogue was in uniform and certainly not wearing the collar that nullified her powers. There was no way Remy could give her the kiss he wanted to give her so he took her gloved hand and kissed it gently. "T'ank you, cher, for stickin' by me while I act like a total fuck-up"
Rogue smiled at him and squeezed the hand holding hers. "No, sugah, not a total fuck up. Ya only been makin' about 95% on the scale." They came back out.
"We almost dere, Scotty," Remy called. "Where are we, anyway?"
"Atlanta, if you can believe it," Scott said. "We're over Atlanta, Remy. Home us in."
"CDC headquarters," Beast said thoughtfully as Remy and Jean did as they were asked. "What on earth is Sinister's connection to the Public Health Service?"
"I don' t'ink she in dat building," Remy said. "But nearby. Let's find us a place to land where we can be concealed."
They landed in a nearby wooded area which surrounded the home of the president of the adjacent Emory University, the Lullwater estate.
Hank fussed over Remy once more before they disembarked to start their search. "Don't forget that you're injured and that your leg is vulnerable. If you put too much pressure on that fracture, your leg will snap and you will be out of combat for more than a month."
"I got it, Hank. I got it. Let's go get Stormy." Remy was on fire with intense anticipation of finding his dearest and closest friend and foiling Sinister.
Scott looked around. "Betsy, stay here and stay in mental communication with Jean and Remy. I've kept a line open to Cable. If we get in trouble, get him immediately and direct him here to come after us with his team. Who wants to stay with Bets? She needs back up, too."
"I'll stay," Warren said somewhat reluctant to miss the action, but loyal to Betsy. The others disembarked.