Subject: Family Matters, chapter 13
From: Dswdiane@aol.com
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 10:51:03 -0400 (EDT)

Family Matters, chapter 13

Remy went to the study and got on the communications system. He called Muir Island. Moira's image appeared on the video screen.

"Hi, Moira," he said. "How are you?"

"As well as could be expected," Moira said in her soft Scottish accent. "And none too happy with you, young man, for the stress and worry you've been putting your father through."

Remy gulped. That didn't sound good at all. "I'm sorry, Moira," he said.

"You should be, child. You really should be." She looked at him sternly and then relented a bit as she saw the very real contrition and remorse on his face. "You want to talk to him, I sincerely hope?"

Remy took a deep, deep breath, "Yes, please," he said. He waited for few moments and then Charles was there on the vid screen in front of him. He felt like a child who had been very, very bad, about to see his parent for the first time since his misbehavior. He was scared.

"Hi, Daddy," he said shakily, using the name for his father that was first up in his head. It was the only name that felt right at the moment.

Charles looked at him carefully from the video screen. "Are you okay, son?" he asked gently.

Remy's eyes filled with tears. "No, sir," he said.

"What's wrong, Remy?"

"It's complicated," Remy said carefully, trying to blink back the tears.

Charles sighed. "I know you've been soundly spanked today and I know about the memory you recovered. When you get upset, it transmits through our link. And I check to see what's going on with you."

"Oh," Remy said, in a quiet and very unhappy voice. His eyes continued to well with tears. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bother you."

"It doesn't bother me to know what's happening to you, child. What bothers me is when I don't know what you're up to and you're getting yourself into trouble."

"I'm kinda good at doing dat, aren't I?" Remy said. "Gettin' myself int' trouble." He was trying to speak lightly but his voice trembled.

"You've been entirely too good at it recently," Charles said with displeasure. A couple of the tears welling in Remy's eyes spilled out and down his face.

"I'm sorry," he said miserably.

"So is that what's bothering you, Remy? The spankings you've gotten and the memory that came back to you?"

"No, sir, dat's not all of it," Remy said unsteadily.


"I'm scared as hell dat you're mad at me, too," Remy said in a rush. He looked down at the floor and away from the eyes of his Dad. He wasn't sure what he saw on his father's face, but it certainly wasn't reassuring love and compassion. Oh, there was love and compassion there, but there was also pain and what Remy saw as stern disapproval. He felt that he was being measured and evaluated and found wanting. Tears continued to spill from his eyes.

Charles sighed deeply, "Yes, child, I'm very angry with you. Very, very angry," he said. There was definitely anger in his voice. Remy took a deep shuddering breath and felt a tightness in his chest as he tried to hold back the sobs that threatened to overwhelm him again. He hated his father being angry with him.

"I'm sorry," Remy said. "I'm really sorry. Please, don' be so mad at me."

"Remy," Charles said sternly, "what choice have you given me? You've been self-destructive as hell. I don't like it. I've been worried out of my mind, child. I don't want to lose you." Remy tried very hard to swallow past the lump in his throat.

"I'm sorry," he said desperately. "I didn't mean t' worry you."

Charles felt a surge of deep impatience. He raised his voice slightly, "You didn't MEAN to worry me? Remy, that has to rank up somewhere very high among the most idiotic statements of the year. You didn't mean to worry me. You took your bike out, rode it drunk, injected unknown drugs into your body, and then, drunk and high on drugs, crashed yourself into a tree, screaming for help just before losing consciousness, and you say that you didn't MEAN to worry me. You weren't thinking about me. You weren't thinking about any of us who love you. I don't know what you were thinking. I doubt you were thinking at all." Remy wasn't sure he had ever heard Charles Xavier sound so angry before. It cut through him like a knife and his breath caught in a sob.

"I wasn'. . .t'inkin' at all," he admitted, trying to control his urgent need to start crying. "An' I'm. . .sorry."

"That makes about ten times you've told me that you're sorry in less than ten minutes," Charles said acerbically. "I'm not impressed. Let me amend what I said to you before. I'm not just angry. I'm furious. You were irresponsible, self-destructive, and acted with no regard for the feelings of those of us who care about you. I don't know how you can begin to justify your behavior. I'm disgusted with you." Remy felt as if he had been punched in the stomach. He took several deep shallow breaths.

"Daddy, I know dat I was really, really bad. . ." he began.

"Bad?" the professor's voice was as cutting as a whip lash. "Bad? Your behavior was beyond bad, child. You repeatedly violated the room restriction that I gave you. You broke the law more than once, driving drunk, using drugs. You risked your life more than once. Then you stole Logan's bike and ran off to risk your life again."

Remy simply wanted to put his hands over his ears. He sank to his knees, holding himself tightly across the chest and trying to control the sobs that threatened to overwhelm him.

"Your behavior was disrespectful, self-indulgent, and disgraceful. I have been appalled and shocked. I think you deserve every blazing spank that you've been given and promised, and I'm more than a little tempted to give you a spanking, myself, just as soon as I get home."

That was it. Remy started crying hard. He wanted to die right then and there on the spot without any further scolding from his father. The very thought of his father spanking him filled him with terrified dismay. Charles looked at him and sighed deeply. He was angry as hell, but also worried.

"Child, you're putting me a bind," he said quietly. "If I reassure you and tell you all is well, what message am I giving you? That it's okay to hurt yourself? If I let you know how angry I feel, I have to watch you fall apart and worry about you sinking into an agony of self-hatred. I'm very angry. What do you expect from me? Dammit, Remy how can I cope with this?"

"I don' know," Remy held himself and cried. He felt lost. And he wanted Logan, but he wasn't about to ask for him. He knew Logan needed to get some sleep and also knew that he was part of the reason that Wolverine was so deeply exhausted. In his present state of mind, he felt as if he were all of the reason.

"Remy, are you alone?" the professor demanded.

"Yes, sir," Remy sobbed out. But not for long. The door opened behind him and Hank came in. He went to a couch in front of the vid screen and sat down. He reached out for Remy, picked him up easily with his strong arms, and pulled him into an embrace. Remy didn't even consider resisting. He buried his face in Hank's shoulder and sobbed deeply. Hank faced the image of Charles on the screen.

"I heard him crying," Hank said simply. "Thought he might need some support."

"Where's Logan?" the professor asked.

"Sleeping. Left Remy in my care. How much do you know about what's been going on?"

"I know every time the boy gets upset. It transmits to me immediately. So, I know he's been spanked several times in the past two days and managed to recover a seriously traumatic memory."

"I didn't know about the memory," Hank said. The professor sighed again.

"He was raped by an older boy when he was ten or so," Charles said bleakly. "And he later probably killed the other boy when he was attacked again."

A surge of rage swept through Hank and he held the sobbing boy more tightly.

"Son," Charles said carefully, "I know you're upset, but can you listen to me?"

"Yes, sir," Remy gulped out.

"Tell me if I have it all straight, please, as has been reported to me by Scott?" Charles requested. Remy nodded. "You had been sneaking out of the room restriction that I put you on and drinking?"

"Yes, sir."

"After drinking a lot, you chose to leave the mansion and replace the bourbon to avoid getting caught. You decided to attend a concert and called your teammates in San Francisco and seemed to think that it was okay to lie about what you were doing and where you were." The professor put a strong emphasis on the word "lie."

Waves of intense shame flowed through Remy's body. He felt hot and then cold and profoundly guilty as he heard his father's report of his unthinking behavior. "Yes. . .sir," he admitted.

"You then smoked marijuana and injected a white powder into your veins that you thought was cocaine, but could have been almost anything and turned out to be mostly amphetamines?"

"Yes, sir." Remy heard the anger in Charles's voice and knew he deserved it.

"And then you finally realized that you were in deep trouble and that you couldn't keep lying about what you had been doing. You realized that you were going to be punished. So you went back into the club, drank more, smoked more marijuana and then drunk, high on drugs, with no capacity to think rationally, took your bike to the dirt trails and rode it so recklessly that you crashed. Not wearing a helmet. Seriously risking your life."

Remy was sobbing so hard that he couldn't answer. His father's irate, matter- of-fact description of his behavior was almost unendurable to him. He nodded.

"And I was stuck here, knowing that you were badly hurt and not knowing how badly. Worried and upset." Charles sighed deeply yet again. "So we got you home and treated and I was told you were mostly okay. And then you took off again by yourself to rescue Storm and Bishop from Sinister. From Sinister who had hurt you badly in the past and whom you knew could defeat you. And up against the Marauders all on your own."

"Yes. . .sir," Remy sobbed out. "But. . ."

"I know, Remy, you somewhat came to your senses and got in touch with the team before you committed yourself to that particular insane course of action. And I'm glad. But do you really think that your last minute recovery of some sense of rational behavior excuses all the self-destructive idiocy of what you had already done?"

"No. . .sir," Remy continued to cry. The stern disapproval he heard in his father's voice cut him to the bone.

"Remy, what do you expect me to say to you about all that?" Charles asked sharply. "Do you really think that I'm going to tell you that it's okay to risk your life and behave irresponsibly? I don't think so."

"I'm. . .sorry. . .Daddy, please. . ." Remy was so distressed that he could barely gasp the words out.

Charles shook his head and looked at Hank, "I can't handle this long distance. I need to come home and deal with this boy in person."

"I think that might be a good idea, sir." Hank held Remy tightly as he cried. "Are you at a point with Piotr at which you think you can leave?"

"I think so," Charles said.

"How has it gone?" Hank asked.

"It has gone as well as could be expected," Charles answered. "I told him what Remy remembered and he was very upset. We talked extensively and I think he's reached some acceptance that what might occur is a possible time- line that can be avoided. He's still very worried. And he's still uncomfortable about the time he spent with Magneto. But he agreed to stay closely in touch with all of us, especially me, and to get some help coping with his feelings about all the trauma and confusion he has endured. I think that I can safely come home. I'm going to ask the Excaliber team to bring me home with their ship. I should be there within a few hours. Can you take care of Remy until I can get there?" Hank nodded. Remy continued to sob.

Remy was totally despondent, deeply ashamed and very frightened. He was terrified of coping with his father's anger when the professor got home. He didn't want to be scolded again and he was scared as hell that his Dad was going to spank him. If that happened, he was sure that he would go into a crisis of despair. Hank held him, but he was unable to derive much comfort from being held.

"Remy," his father said sharply. Remy tried hard to pay attention. "Listen to me, right now. You are not worthless. You did good work on the rescue of Storm and Bishop even if you did do it without the okay of your team leader. I do love you. Are you capable of taking that in?"

Remy nodded again. He pulled himself free of Hank's embrace, sat up, and looked at his father. "I just hate it dat you're so mad. . .at me. . .I won' say. . .dat I'm sorry again. But I hate it dat. . .you feel like. . .you gotta come. . .back here. . .Just to cope. . .wit me."

"I want to come back there, just to be with you, son," Charles said gently. "I never wanted to be away from you to begin with. You're dealing with a lot right now. I want to be there with you to help you. Again, I love you."

"Dad. . .Daddy. . ." Remy gulped. He hesitated. He wanted to know and didn't want to know. He took a deep, sobbing breath and made himself ask. "Are you gonna. . . are you gonna punish me, too?"

Charles looked at him thoughtfully. "I don't know, son," he said. "I'm seriously considering it." Remy's stomach filled with ice and he went into a new paroxysm of deep and anguished sobbing. Hank pulled him back into his arms and held him tightly. Hank nodded at Charles.

"We'll look forward to having you back, sir," he said. Charles nodded and signed off. Remy tried to take some comfort in Hank's arms. It didn't work. He was terrified of what awaited him when his father returned.

"Remy," Hank said gently, "talk to me about why you're so upset."

"He's really, really mad at me," Remy said.

"Yeah," Hank said thoughtfully, "and what did you expect? Like I said before, do you think that anyone who loves you will want to throw a party at the thought of you risking your life? And is that really all you're so upset about?" Remy shook his head.

"I t'ink dat I'd rather be dead dan have. . .my Dad. . .punish me," he sobbed out.

"What do you think he meant, Remy? What kind of punishment?" Hank asked.

"I t'ink he's gonna. . . sp. . .sp. . ." He couldn't even make himself say the word.

"You think he might spank you, himself," Hank said for him. Remy nodded. He was shaking with sobs. Hank sighed and held him as tightly as he could. "That may not have been what he meant, Rem. And even if it was, what makes that so much scarier than being spanked by Logan?"

"Because. . .because. . ." Remy had some difficulty articulating the answer. "Wit Logan, it's no big deal. . for him. . .it might scare de hell out o' me. . .but, it's like I. . .been bad and I know it. . .and he knows it. . .and it's de price. . .I gotta pay. . .like he's just matter-of-fact about. . .it having t' be done." Hank nodded.

"Wit my Dad. . ." Remy started crying harder even as he thought about it. "Wit Daddy. . .oh, Hank. . .it'd be a really. . .big deal. . .He'd never do it unless. . .I had been really, really. . .bad. . .and he was really. . . really mad at me. . .and really, really. . .dis. . .disappointed." Remy's face was streaming with tears.

"I think I understand what you're saying, child. And it makes sense to me." Hank said gently. He continued to hold Remy very tightly as he sobbed desperately. He was back in a black hole of despair.

"Remy," Hank said, "I don't know if a spanking was what the professor meant by punishing you. And I would imagine if he did spank you, it would only be because he was very angry and disappointed. But, Remy, don't you realize that he would only feel that way because he loves you?"

"Dat's part of what. . . makes it so bad," Remy sobbed. "Dat I let him down. . .dat bad." Hank nodded again. He understood. His heart hurt for Remy's obvious pain, but he didn't know any words that would comfort him. He had done his own share of scolding the boy and had felt his own share of anger and disappointment.

"So," Hank said, "a part of what you're crying about is the fact that you really are ashamed of what you did." Remy nodded. "Well, go ahead and cry, child. You need to grieve about it."

Remy nodded again and cried for what seemed like hours to him. As before when Logan had been holding him as he cried, he started to feel some growing sense of peace. His sobs tapered off and he relaxed in Hank's arms, until he was almost limp and the sobs were just occasional shudderings of gasping breath. He laid in Hank's arms for a few minutes, feeling loved, and then sat up and pulled away.

"I wan' t' go outside," he said shakily. "Can I go outside?"

"Don't see why not," Hank said kindly. He reached over to a table beside them and handed Remy some tissues. Remy took them, blew his nose and wiped his face.

"T'anks, Henri." His voice was still trembling. "I sorry dat I be such a mess."

"It's not a problem, Remy," Hank said.

Remy nodded and stood up, heading for the door. He turned back. "Henri," he said. "you weren't one of my godfat'ers, but you loved me as much as dey did when I was small, and it seems like you still do."

"Yes, Remy, I find you very easy to love."

Remy looked down at the floor and mumbled slightly as he admitted, "I love you, too, Hank."

"I know that, child, but thank you for saying so," Hank said gently.

Remy nodded and went out the door to the kitchen, where he got himself several beers, out of the mansion and to the dock. He lay down carefully on his stomach and lit a cigarette. He wanted to smoke and drink until he felt totally sedated.

His butt still felt warm and sore from the spankings he taken. He was still deeply scared at what awaited him when his father got home and apprehensive about the next spanking that Logan would deliver. He gulped down a beer and smoked one cigarette after another. He was lighting one from the butt of another, looking out over the water and contemplating his dilemma, when he heard footsteps approaching him.

"Ah was gonna come to your room, sugah, but ya don't seem to be there," he heard Rogue say above his head. He looked up at her and tried to grin.

"No, p'tite, I wan'ed to smoke myself into an early grave," he said lightly. "I hopin' t' accomplish it before de sun goes down."

Rogue sat down, cross legged, on the dock and took a swallow of Remy's beer. "How'd things go with you and Scott and Logan?" she asked.

He shrugged. "I t'ink maybe me and Scotty now okay wit each ot'er, probably more okay dan we ever been before."

"And Logan? Though ah'm not sure why ah'm even askin.' If things weren't okay with ya and Logan, ya'd be a total mess. But ya do look like ya been cryin' pretty hard, sugah."

He shrugged again. "I got my butt blistered again, for sneakin' out an' takin' the bike. An' I called my Dad and got yelled at, and he's on his way home, probably to yell at me some more." He tried to speak lightly, but his voice was miserable.

Rogue looked at him with compassion. "Oh, sugah, ya sure have yaself in a heap of trouble this time."

"You mad at me, too, cherie?" Remy asked carefully, looking out over the water and not wanting to meet her eyes. She shook her head.

"No, Remy. Just worried about ya and worried that ya goin' to cry yaself sick before ya get through all this punishment ya brought down on yaself. And ah'm worried ya gonna keep doin' this shit, sugah," she said quietly.

Remy nodded. "I worry about dat a little myself, p'tite," he said. "Both dat I gonna cry myself sick and dat I gonna get me in trouble again. Oh, t' hell wit it." He lit another cigarette. "You maybe wanna go somewhere an' make love before I catch anot'er round of hell from dis damn platoon of parents I done found for myself?"

"Ah think ah could be talked into it, love," Rogue grinned at him. "Could we do it somewhere out here?"

"De grass can feel a little scratchy," Remy grinned back.

"Ah bet we could find a blanket in the boathouse."

"Bet we could."

"Finish your beer, sweetie," Rogue said lightly as she got up to look. She was back in a moments with a blanket in her arms. "Ya not in any hurry are ya?"

"No, why would I be?"

"Then let's sit here and talk a little more, sugah. I feel like we ain't talked in ages."

Remy opened another beer and offered it to her. She accepted. "Ah caught your attack on Scrambler," she said. "Ya looked good, sugah. Ya looked real good. Ah liked that divin' roll ya took at him before ya swept him off his feet."

He grinned again and they started to discuss the mechanics of the battle in which both had participated.

Hank had gone back to med lab to check on Ro as soon as Remy left for the yard. She was just waking and stretching as she woke.

"Hi, Hank," she said sleepily. He moved over to her and gave her a quick exam.

"Hello, Ororo," he said. "You seem to be fine. How are you feeling?"

"Hungry, and poorly dressed." She looked down with distaste at the hospital gown she was wearing. "Is there any reason I can't get out of here, change and eat?"

"My dear Windrider, consider yourself released from medical care," Hank said graciously. "Go on up to your loft and change. I'll go to the kitchen and prepare you a special Hank McCoy omelet."

"Mmmm," Ro said appreciatively. "Just do me a favor and go easy on the hot sauce."

"Your wish is my command," Hank said.

He made his way to the kitchen and started to chop onions, green peppers and cheese. Ro came down again wearing long, silky, light blue shorts and a matching top. She looked out the window over the sink and laughed. Hank came and looked over her shoulder. She was looking down at Remy and Rogue on the dock. Rogue was obviously threatening to pour a beer over Remy's head and he was flowing up from his stomach to his knees and reaching out to grab her under her arms. He held her up as if threatening to drop her into the lake. She dropped the bottle. Remy let go of her, dove to his stomach, and grabbed it before it fell into the water. Rogue shot up into the air and came down on Remy's back as he rolled over throwing her off as he held the beer over his head. He put the bottle down and dove at her, pinning her by the shoulders as he straddled her waist with his legs. They were both laughing.

"You know, she could probably throw him across the lake if she used her full strength," Hank said thoughtfully.

"I think they both know that, Hank," Ro said, smiling. "How is our explosive young Cajun? And what on earth has he been up to that has him in so much trouble? Logan said he would tell me, but he's sleeping rather deeply."

"Did you go by his room?" Hank asked.

"Didn't have to. He's asleep in my bed." Storm smiled into Hank's eyes. He nodded, deeply relieved that Storm and Logan seemed to be resolving whatever problems they'd had. He went on with his omelet preparations and filled her in on Remy's exploits. She listened with fascinated horror.

"Cocaine?" She was aghast. " He injected it?" And then in a few more moments, "He took his bike out on the dirt trails while he was drunk and high?" And then after a few more moments of narration, "And he crashed it. Of course." Her voice was not happy.

She continued to listen as Hank brought her up to date, making toast and buttering it as he cooked omelets for both of them. By the time he had finished the whole story the food was ready.

Storm took another look out the window. Rogue had picked up the blanket and both she and Remy were walking off the dock. Remy took off in dead run toward a grove of trees, launching himself into the branches and swinging up. Rogue rose into the air and flew after him. Storm caught her breath as she saw Remy catapult himself into the air toward another tree that seemed impossibly far away. He caught a branch and swung himself up and away from Rogue who continued to fly after him. Remy launched himself again toward another limb and the two of them disappeared into the trees.

"Hope that girl has her collar with her," Storm said with a grin. She sat down at the kitchen table with Hank, and they started to eat.

"Well, I gather from what you've told me that Remy should consider himself lucky if he's able to sit down comfortably within the month," Ro said. "By the goddess, Hank, this is good." Hank nodded his appreciation of her praise.

"I'm delighted to be of service," Hank said and then continued the discussion of Remy. "And, judging by experience so far, I may need to hook him up to an IV for fluid replacement if he continues to cry as much as he has been."

Ro sighed. "He needs to cry, Hank. He has about twenty years of tears saved up. I guess I don't really need to tell you that, but I think he still has to cry about how it felt to be lost and abandoned as a child and how it felt to endure the traumas and neglect of being a street kid. And how it felt to be ostracized by the thief's guild, replicating the trauma of his abandonment as a little boy. I do think what's happening right now is upsetting him, but some of that upset is because of the ways what's happening evoke his past, especially his terrors of abandonment. I really do think that he's about twenty-two going on five most days. And on other days, he seems to be about twenty-two going on fifteen. I cannot believe he injected a white powder offered by a stranger into his veins. And I absolutely can't believe he took Logan's bike without permission. Talk about playing with fire. The part that worries me the most, though, is the disregard for his own safety and life."

"I think his self-destructiveness is what has all of us the most upset, Ororo. I also think Logan is prepared to give Remy the two hardest spankings of his young life for shooting up that powder and taking that reckless bike trip into that crash. I don't think any spanking he's had so far is going to compare. I have a feeling that Remy is going to seriously regret those behaviors."

Ro sighed again. "I think he wants to be spanked, Hank."

"I don't think he's prepared for the severity of the spankings he's going to get," Hank said mildly. "And I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was right about what the professor plans to do."

"Remy will be heartbroken if his father spanks him," Ro said quietly. "But it might do him some good."

"It would do him a lot less harm than the harm he's risked doing to himself." Hank picked his plate up and carried to the dishwasher.

"I'll clean up, Hank," Ro offered, carrying her plate over behind him. He shook his head.

"No, Ororo, you're still on the recovering patient list. Go on back up to your loft and wait for our favorite berserker to wake up. I'm sure he would love to have your face be the first thing he sees when he wakes. And he deserves it."

Ro smiled at him and left the kitchen. She headed back up to her loft. Logan was still sleeping soundly in her bed. She sat on a window sill and looked out at the landscape around the mansion. After about an hour, she watched as Remy and Rogue emerged from the grove of trees into which they had gone. She swung herself out of the window, called up a gentle wind, and rode it down to them.

"Hello," she said softly. "And, Remy, dear one, thank you for finding me." She gathered him into her arms. He hugged her tightly.

"I was so worried about you," Remy said.

"I'm fine, Remy," she said. "How about you?" She released him from her arms and looked at him searchingly.

"I'll be okay," he said uncertainly.

"Sure," Storm said gently, "and I would enjoy being kidnaped by Sinister again. You're not okay, child. You're seriously upset. Is there anything I can do to help?"

"It helps to know dat you okay, Stormy," Remy said. "Ot'er dan dat, do you know about de t'ings I did?" She nodded. He took a deep breath. "Can you tell me dat you still care about me even t'ough I been so bad?"

"I know about everything you did, child. And I still love you, very much. But, I do believe you deserve every moment of punishment you've been given and every moment you've been promised," Storm said seriously. Remy nodded unhappily. "Remy, you will survive it all."

"I know dat," he said. "But I don' like it."

"You're not supposed to like it, sweetie," Storm said. "It's called punishment for a reason." Remy nodded again, still not happy, but accepting her reasoning. She hugged him again. "I might have more to say to you, later, Remy, but right now, Logan is sleeping up in my loft and I want to be there when he wakes."

"Ya guys okay, now?" Rogue asked hopefully.

"I think we might be on our way to being okay," Storm said. "But I do want to be there when he wakes." She looked carefully at Remy and noted that he was still seriously unhappy. She put a gentle hand on his face. "Remy, you wouldn't be in so much trouble if we didn't love you."

"I know dat," he said. "I mostly just mad at me."

Storm stroked his face again. "Sweetie, you don't need to be angry with yourself. Let it go and enjoy your time right now with Rogue."

He nodded, but still looked depressed. She sighed, hugged him again and flew back up to her loft.

When Logan woke, it was close to sunset. Ro heard him stirring and left the window to sit on the edge of the bed. Her face was the first thing he saw when he woke up.

He smiled up at her and reached a hand up to her face, caressing it along the side. "Hello, darlin,'" he said. She leaned over to kiss him and he held her away. "Oh, no, darlin.' The inside of my mouth feels like the outside of an alligator. I need a toothbrush."

She laughed and motioned him toward her bathroom. "There's a new one in the drawer, love."

Logan was back in moments. Storm had made up the bed and was sitting against the headboard and waiting for him. He sat beside her. She told him about Remy calling his father. Logan nodded.

"I do care about what is going on with Remy, but darlin,' you and I need to talk about us," he said.

"I agree."

"Where did we leave off in San Francisco?" he asked.

"You were blithering nonsense at me about feeling uncomfortable about the fact that you enjoy spanking me," she said.

"Blithering, was I?" Logan looked at her askance. "Seriously, Ro, I think that was a part of why I was so angry. I had to get it straight in my head."

"And do you have it straight now?" Ro asked. There was still a faintly mocking tone in her voice.

Logan turned to her and looked her full in the face. "I know what you're trying to do, darlin.' And believe me, you're in enough trouble already that you don't need to be tryin' to provoke me into spanking you. We still have matters to settle about you gossiping about our private affairs with Forge and then knowing how I felt about it, gossiping again with Rogue."

Storm shivered and felt some trepidation. Logan sounded decidedly annoyed. "I shouldn't have done either," she said quietly. "And I'm sorry."

"And is this how our relationship is goin' to work, Ro?" he asked quietly. "All about your needs and wants? Am I not allowed at all to talk about my fears, my concerns, and my doubts about myself? We just gonna drop any real discussion about why I was so angry and upset? I take care of you and your needs and take care of myself with no help from you?"

Storm was stricken with shame. "No," she said. "no, please, love. I was just playing with you. I wasn't thinking that you might not have finished what you were trying to say before. I do want to hear about it."

"I'm not sure I believe you," Logan said. He looked down at his own knees and pulled them up to his chest putting his chin down on them. He hated feeling so vulnerable, but he was also tired as hell of always being strong and in control. He had thought long and hard about why he had gone into rage with Ro and, much as he didn't really want to talk about it, he also knew that he had to talk about it or else face another relationship gone down the drain.

"Please, believe me," Ro said. She saw the pain on Logan's face and realized that he needed her to listen. "Please tell me."

Logan took a deep breath. This was difficult. He was very good at taking care of others and unaccustomed to asking anyone to take care of him.

"When you told me that you had told Forge about what you and I had been doing, I was ashamed," he said. "As long as only you and I knew about it, I didn't have to think about what it meant. Once you told Forge, all I could think was that he knew I was some kind of monster who gets off on hurtin' people, includin' my lover. I was aroused by hurtin' you, darlin.' What am I supposed to think about that? What am I supposed to think of myself?" Ro thought about what he was saying and answered carefully.

"Are you aroused when you spank Remy?" she asked.

"Good God, NO," Logan said. "I hate it. I hate his pain and his tears. I only do it because it has to be done." He thought for a moment and went on, "I think, sometimes when he's made me really mad, I feel satisfaction that he's gettin' exactly what he deserves. And even then, by the time he's crying hard and obviously hurting bad, I hurt for him."

"So, there's nothing really that you enjoy about hurting someone you love," Ro said thoughtfully. Logan nodded.

"But, darlin,' I have truly enjoyed spanking you," he said.

"My love, my darling, is it not possible that you're aroused by the fact that I'm so aroused? Is it not possible that you get enjoyment from me being so excited?"

Logan thought about it and nodded. "Okay, love," he said, "you have a point."

"So, does it not matter that you care enough about me to give me what I want and need?"

"I think I got the point, darlin.' I ain't exactly stupid," he said.

"I'm sorry," Ro said. He shrugged.

Logan was grateful for her analysis of his feelings, but he wasn't finished. "There's more to discuss, darlin.' Another part of what you told Forge really bothered me."

"What was that?" Storm looked worried.

"I don't think I got any problem recognizing and accepting the needy, guilty, scared child in you, Ro. But I can't raise her, sweetheart. If we gonna be lovers, darlin,' I wanna be your partner, not your parent. That's the only way it could work for me."

Storm was shaking her head. "No, Logan, that's not what I meant at all. When I told him that you might just think she was worth raising, I meant that as a project for both of us. Not as your responsibility. And I would want to feel just as responsible for the needs of the child in you. That child I think I met recently when you were in such an unreasonable fury."

Logan sighed. "Ro, sometimes I feel as if the child in me died years ago. I can't even remember being a kid. But I think you could be right that the only hints I get of me as a kid are in my feelings. Especially the powerful ones that I don't understand." He looked moodily out the window for a few moments. "Okay, darlin,' I think we got ourselves a deal. And I'm sorry I put you through such hell when I was in an unreasonable rage."

The com console chimed. Storm sighed and responded, "Yes?"

"Dinner." Warren's voice announced succinctly. Ro looked at Logan. He checked the smells in the air and nodded.

"Pot roast," he said appreciatively. "I'm hungry, Ro. Tell him we'll be down in five."

"You'll be down in five," Warren repeated. "You don't need a translator, Logan." Logan looked at Ro who sighed again.

"We can finish this after we eat," Logan said. "I think you behaved badly when you gossiped about me to Forge and Rogue. What do you think you deserve for behaving so badly?"

"Maybe the same thing that happened to Remy earlier today for behaving so badly," Ro said softly.

"Say it, Ro," Logan demanded.

"I think I deserve to be put over your lap and spanked," Ro said.

"What happens after you go over my lap and before I spank you, girl?"

"You'll take my pants down. And take my panties down. And bare my bottom."

"I'm gonna put you over my knees, pull down your shorts, take down your panties, and spank you with my hand. Then, you're goin' in the corner with your panties still down. When I get you out, I'm gonna bend you over, and spank you with your hairbrush. Then you're gonna kneel on the bed with your panties still down and your bare bottom up in the air and I'm gonna use my belt on you. Then, back to the corner and then I'm gonna bend you over and switch you. When I finish with the switch, you're goin' back over my knees for another spankin' with my hand."

Ro shivered with dread and anticipation. It sounded like she was facing the longest hardest spanking of her life.

"And I have an assignment for you to be thinking about while I'm spanking you," Logan continued. "I want you to be evaluating what hurts the most and what stings the most, because I want you to help me figure out exactly how I'm gonna spank Remy tomorrow when I blister his butt for shooting up drugs and how I'm gonna spank him the next day for crashing his bike. I fully plan to give that boy the longest, hardest spankings of his life and make sure he never forgets how much they hurt."

Ro shivered again. She wasn't exactly sure how she felt about being a test case for Remy's upcoming spankings, but she could understand Logan's desire to research the matter.

"Yes, sir, my dear," she said.

"And right now, you and I are going to go eat," Logan said. "And all through dinner, you're going to get to think about the spanking that you're getting later on tonight." Ro nodded and felt herself getting very wet between her legs. Logan took her hand and led her out of the loft.

Rogue and Remy had been snagged by Warren, Betsy, and Bobby to help finish preparations for dinner. They had set the table and helped carry out the food. The huge table was almost covered with platters.

The X-Force kids had eaten earlier. Remy looked around the table as it started to fill up. It seemed that it had been a long time since everyone had been home at once. Once Logan and Storm wandered in, Remy realized that only the professor was missing. He looked down at his plate which he had filled with pot roast, gravy, potatoes and vegetables and abruptly lost his appetite.

"This is wonderful," he heard Logan say. "Who cooked?"

"Me," Bobby claimed with a cheeky grin.

Betsy punched him on the arm. "You cut up the vegetables, you nit," she said. "I, on the other hand, made the gravy."

"And the gravy is delicious," Jean said.

"Has anyone done any work around here today?" Scott asked. "We still need to be going through Sinister's files."

"And, now that we have Ro and Bishop back," Warren said, "my team needs to get back to New York. I think we might be making progress at the Hellfire Club."

Bobby groaned. "You and Bets just like all those dressed to kill parties," he protested. "And me and Sam don't even get to go. We're just gofers."

"And very good gofers," Betsy said kindly. Bobby made a fist and held it up as if he were about to punch her on the arm, but dropped it quickly at Betsy's warning look.

Remy tried to take a bite of his food and felt nauseated. He chewed and swallowed and tried to resist the urge to push his food away.

"I'd like you guys to stay a couple of more days," Scott said. "We need help with all of the files we got from Sinister."

"No problem," Warren said lightly.

Great Remy thought. *Even more of an audience for the next spanking I get.* He pushed his plate away.

Hank looked at him, with worried concern. "When's the last time you ate, Remy?" he asked.

"I dunno," Remy said quietly. "I had some beers earlier today."

"Why don't you at least try to eat your carrots?" Hank suggested. Remy looked up at him with outraged exasperation.

"EAT my carrots," he sputtered. "Eat my carrots? Mon Dieu, Henri, I'm not five years old!" Bobby laughed out loud.

"You sure?" Logan asked. "Coulda fooled me a bunch of times."

Remy looked at him with murder in his eyes. "I'm quite sure, mon ami. An' would you like to wear dis plate o' food on your head?"

"Food fight, food fight," Bobby cried gleefully.

"Remy, don't you dare," Jean said firmly. "Bobby, stop it. Don't encourage him."

"I could even charge dis damn plate up and den t'row it at your damn head," Remy said dangerously. "I sure dat your damn healing factor would kick in wit'out you gettin' damaged."

"REMY!" Scott warned.

Logan was laughing. "Go ahead, boy. Charge up the damn plate and heave at me. Bet it would make you feel a whole lot better and I sure as hell don't care if I get exploding food and china all over me."

Remy picked up the plate and considered. Bobby, Logan, Hank, Rogue, and Betsy were laughing. Warren, Sam and Bishop were grinning. Scotty, Jean, and Ro were looking at him skeptically. He put the plate down.

"Don' t'ink it'd be worth it," he said. There was a second's pause and then suddenly Remy charged and tossed the dinner roll he had sneaked into his lap, launching it straight at Logan's head. Logan raised his hand casually and with a "snikt," a claw emerged, neatly hooking the explosive roll just as Cyclops pulled down his glasses and blasted it. Scott put the glasses back up, turned and looked at Remy.

"Okay," he said. "That was funny and harmless. And enough."

Remy shrugged. He felt a little better, but still not hungry at all. He decided that he might at least enjoy sitting with his family even if he didn't want to eat. Logan was staring indignantly at Scott. "I think you just blasted off the end of my claw," he growled.

"So grow it back," Scott suggested. Logan examined the end of his claw for a moment and then retracted it back into his hand with a shrug.

"Remy," Hank said gently. "Even if you have no interest, it really would do you good to eat something." Remy glared at him.

"I'm not hungry," he said with frosty dignity.

Hank started to speak again, but Logan cut him off, "Hank, if he don't wanna eat, it's okay. Let him be."

Remy shot Logan a look of gratitude and then the door opened and the professor entered in his hover chair. Remy's heart sank and he felt even more nauseated. He barely listened as Charles joined the dinner table, was greeted joyfully, and answered questions about his trip to Muir Island. Remy was aware that his father had not greeted him and didn't even begin to suspect that it was mainly because he wasn't even looking at him. He picked up his fork and pushed his food around on his plate. He involved himself in a fantasy of the carrots attacking the potatoes and set up their separate armies in various attack formations.

"Hey, Remy," Bobby said softly, "I bet if you sent a carrot scout out to hide behind the meat, the potato general would never notice that his armies were being observed."

Remy looked up at Bobby and grinned. "I don' t'ink so, mon ami," he said. "De onions done allied demselves wit de potatoes and dey spying on de carrots."

Logan almost choked as he started to laugh. He got up and came over to stand behind Remy's chair and to examine the battle formations. "I think those carrots are dead meat if they got both the onions and potatoes allied against them," he said. "Of course, you could deploy a special attack force of the carrots . . ."

"No, no," Bobby interrupted, objecting, "the pot roast is dead meat."

Several people groaned and Warren and Hank each lobbed a dinner roll in his direction. He caught them neatly and started to butter them. "Thanks," he said happily. "I wanted more rolls and they were gone."

Charles sighed. He had eaten a little and was no longer hungry.

"Remy," he said, "Are you through eating?"

"Yes, sir," Remy said quietly.

"I want to see you in my study, now."

"Yes, sir," Remy said again.

"Hey, Rem, if you aren't gonna eat any of what's on your plate, give it to me," Bobby suggested. Remy nodded and passed his plate. He was surprised when Bobby's hand came up and grasped his wrist, squeezing it gently. Bobby said very quietly "Don't sweat it, Remy. I know you're in trouble, but it'll be okay." Remy nodded, grateful for the support.

The platters of food on the table were empty. Jean and Sam rose and started clearing the table.

"Strawberry shortcake for dessert," Warren announced.

"Logan, would you be willing to join us?" Charles asked.

"Of course," Logan said. He gently kissed Ro on the top of her head as he headed for the door. He turned back to the table. "There had better be shortcake left for me when I get back," he warned.

Remy rose and followed his father and Logan out. He was deeply scared and miserable. As he passed by Hank, Hank reached out and touched his arm. He looked down into Hank's compassionate stare and tried to manage a grin.

"You don' have t' save no shortcake for me," he said. "I don' guess I deserve any since I didn' eat my damn carrots."

Hank's eyes twinkled. "We'll save you some anyway, Gambit. There's probably as much vitamin C in the strawberries as in the damn carrots."

Charles steered his hover chair into the study and directed it over to the couch. He pulled himself out of the chair and sat down on the couch, using his powerful upper body strength to position his legs.

He looked up at both Logan and Remy. "Are you even going to say hello to me, son?" he asked mildly.

Remy swallowed hard. "Hello, Daddy," he said simply. Charles nodded.

"Logan, what are your plans for this boy?" the professor asked.

"He's gonna get spanked tomorrow, very hard, in front of the whole team for shooting up that blasted white powder. He's gonna be put in the corner with his pants down and then spanked again," Logan said. "And the next day, he's gonna get the same for wrecking his bike. And in the next few days he's gonna get more spankings for lying, for sneaking out of his room restriction and for deserting his post." Remy's eyes welled with tears.

"Thanks, Logan," Charles said. "I think I can handle him from here."

Logan nodded and left. Remy shuddered. "Daddy," he said and then he stopped. "Never mind."

"What?" Charles asked.

"I was just gonna tell you dat I'm sorry again," Remy said unhappily. "An' I know you tired of hearing it."

"I'm very tired of hearing it, son," Charles admitted. "And I have decided that you would benefit if I spanked you, myself, in addition to all the spankings you're going to get from Logan."

Remy's breath caught in a sob. "Oh, please, no, please don't."

"I'm going to spank you, son. Right here and right now. And you're going to cooperate. If I have to call Logan back to help me, I will. If I have to call Hank and Scott, I will. Are you going to make that necessary?"

"No, sir," Remy was already crying. He dropped to his knees in front of the couch on which his Dad sat, put his arms on the cushion, put his head on his arms, and sobbed as if his heart were breaking. "But, please, don't, Daddy. . .please. . .don't"

"Remy, I don't think you've given me any choice," Charles said firmly. "I'm very, very angry with you. I don't like you hurting yourself. I think you need to be spanked by me. I think it'll make a very strong and lasting impression on you."

Remy wanted to die. "Please, don't, Dad. . .Daddy. . .I don' t'ink I could bear it. . ." Charles sighed and pulled Remy into his arms.

"Remy," he said gently. "I'm going to spank you and spank you long and hard. I don't ever want you to risk your life again. I think that the knowledge that you might get a spanking from me might discourage any future impulses to be self-destructive. I don't want to do this, but I think it might help you learn to control yourself. I want to keep you, child. I love you." Remy was sickeningly conscience-stricken.

"I'm sor. . .sorry. . .Daddy. . .please. . ." Charles held him tightly and let him cry for several minutes. But the professor was resolved.

Charles turned Remy into position, face down over his knees. Remy didn't resist. He didn't even think about it. His stomach felt as if it were being stabbed with knives of ice. He felt his father's hands at the waistband of his pants.

"Daddy. . .Please. . ." Remy's voice was desperate. "Don't take. . . my pants down. . .please"

"Remy," Charles said firmly. "I'm going to bare your bottom. Your pants are coming down. Getting your bottom bared is part of the punishment."

Remy's stomach clenched with dread and shame as his father pulled down first his pants and then his underwear. He put his hands over his face and sobbed as he felt his underwear coming down. As soon as his pants were down and his bare bottom was up over his father's knees, it became an inescapable reality that his Dad was truly going to give him a spanking. He felt terrifyingly young and vulnerable.

"I think, son, that you're about to find out just how much strength I have in my arms and hands," his father said. Remy felt a very hard hand smack down on his bare behind and he yelped with pain.

The spanks continued relentlessly. Remy cried out again and again. His father's hand smacked across every inch of his bottom several times until it was stinging and burning with pain. He sobbed hopelessly and after many minutes, he was unable to stop himself from frantically reaching his hand back to try to protect himself. Charles grabbed his hand and held it strongly against his waist.

"If you struggle at all, I'm simply going to stop and add five more minutes to this spanking," Charles said quietly. "If you struggle beyond my ability to control you, I'll call for help."

Remy was desolate. The spanking hurt and hurt badly against his already sore butt, and he was deeply distressed and he was distraught about who was spanking him. He loved and respected his father more than any other person alive.

"Dad. . .Daddy. . .pl. . .please. . .stop," he sobbed out.

"Son, I'm not stopping. This spanking is going to be long and hard. I never wanted to be put into the position of having to do this, and I want to make it damn unlikely that I'll ever have to do it again," Charles said very sternly. Remy was devastated. He was already quite sure that he never, ever, ever wanted to be spanked by his father again.

And it was a very painful spanking. Charles did have immense upper body strength. His bare hand hurt more than the switchings and the paddlings Remy had received in the past two days. His bottom felt as if it were on fire. The pain, shame and humiliation were almost unbearable. He tried very hard not to struggle against the blazing spanks his father was applying to his bare butt. He failed and started to kick, frantically trying to escape.

His father paused. "Okay, Remy," he said quietly. "That adds five more minutes to this spanking. For right now, I'm going to let you lie for a few minutes and get yourself under control."

"I'm. . .s. . .s. . .sorry," Remy gulped out between sobs from deep inside his personal black hole of despair. He heard his father sigh profoundly and then felt a another barrage of blazing spanks landing on his very sore and burning bottom. He put his free hand in his mouth and bit down hard to try to contain his urge to struggle away from the pain. His father continued spanking him.

"Pl. . .please. . .st. . .stop. . .please. . ." Remy choked out over and over. He was wailing from the pain and in agony from the anguished shame he felt. He rocked back and forth over his father's knees, trying to move his butt away from the very hard hand that kept descending on his bottom, hoping that his Dad wouldn't interpret his desperate movements as fighting. He continued to plead with Charles to stop.

"Okay," he heard his Dad say to him. "That's it except for the extra five minutes I promised you. I'm going to let you lie here and recover for a couple of minutes and then we'll finish up."

Remy didn't know how he could possibly endure another five minutes of being spanked. His bottom burned. He heard his father sigh again.

"Remy, I know this hurts badly," Charles said, "but you can and you will endure five more minutes." He smacked his hand down again across the middle of Remy's bare behind and continued to spank him soundly.

It felt like much longer than five minutes to Remy. It felt interminable. His bottom was blazing with pain and felt swollen. If he hadn't been bruised before, he was quite sure he was bruised now and that some of the bruises would be perfect prints of his father's firm hand. He was sobbing so hard that his whole body was shaking. And he continued to beg his Dad to stop.

Finally, he felt his father's hand rest gently on his flaming bottom and then give him a couple of gentle pats.

"It's over, Remy," Charles said. "I'm going to leave you lying over my knees for a few minutes before I pull your pants back up. I think your bottom is way too sore right now to endure having them up yet."

Remy agreed. He felt as if every nerve ending in his butt were raw, exposed and on fire. He was wailing like a small child and with his bare bottom up and blazing with pain over his dad's lap, he felt like a child who had just received a very severe and very well deserved spanking. He really didn't feel much older than the age of five he had so vehemently protested at the dinner table. His father let go of the hand he had been holding firmly at Remy's waist. Remy reached down with it to try to rub away some of the pain. He was startled to realize that all the muscles in his arm ached from the force his father had used to restrain him.

"Remy, in just a few moments, I'm going to pull your pants back up," Charles said gently. "Do you want me to hold you?"

"Y. . y. . yes. . .s . . .sir," Remy sobbed out. He was so far into the black pit of despair that he knew he would never find his way out by himself. He felt his underwear coming back up his legs and winced as the material hit the soreness of his upper thighs and bottom. Then he felt his pants come back up.

His father's arms reached out to hold him and he cooperated fully and collapsed against his Dad's chest putting his face against his shoulder. He felt Charles's arms encircle him and he continued to cry.

"I'm. . .s. . .s . . .sorry," he gulped out. He felt helplessly lost and ashamed.

"Remy," Charles said. "As far as I'm concerned, this is over. It's not over for you, yet. You're still going to be spanked by Logan for what you did, and you deserve it, but I'm over being angry with you myself."

"Den. . .pl. . .please. . .tell Logan. . .not to. . .I can' stand any more of dis," Remy sobbed. "It hurts, Daddy. . .my bottom hurts. . .bad."

"Spankings don't hurt for long, son," Charles said. "Your bottom will recover and be ready for the next one. And it will hurt just as bad. That's what getting spanked is about. It's a temporary pain that is supposed to teach you a lesson about what happens when you misbehave. And you misbehaved rather spectacularly." Remy couldn't stop his desperate crying. He really didn't want to be spanked again and it really didn't matter to him that his bottom might recover before the next one. The pain was intense. He didn't want to feel it again. And he didn't want to feel so humiliated and ashamed over and over and over.

"I can' stand. . .it," he protested.

Charles sighed. Remy's pained anguish mattered to him, but Remy's seriously self-destructive behavior was much more of a concern.

"You're going to have to stand it, child. And then maybe the next time you're inclined to drink and drive or inject strange white powders into your veins, you'll remember the consequences and it will give you pause and you'll make better choices. And those of us who love you won't have to risk losing you." The professor sighed again. He didn't seem to be helping Remy much and he wasn't sure what he needed to say to comfort him. "Remy, surely you realize that you scared us badly?"

Remy was in despair. His father was not giving him the reassurance he wanted and needed. He was simply being reminded of why he was in so much pain and so deeply ashamed of himself. He was crying hard and barely listening to what his dad was saying, but he caught the word "bad." That was exactly how he felt: as if he were so "bad" as to be almost worthless. He gasped for breath against his deep sobbing and then struggled to hold his breath to stop the sobbing. It started to work. He removed himself from his feelings and went into a trance-like state in which he felt nothing much at all. It was a talent he had developed while he had been a street child. It was nothing like the relief he had felt when Hank and Logan had held him while he cried out his pain. It was simply and purely a disassociation from all feelings. It worked to control the pain, but it did nothing to resolve it.

He shuddered a couple of times and then simply stopped crying. He felt as if there were a layer of heavy air between him and everything in the environment including the embrace of his father. He was aware of his body, but not really connected to it. He had retreated to a small room inside his head and felt safe and calm there, removed from his feelings. He pulled himself out of his father's arms and sat up. He winced from the pain in his sore butt and then cut that off, too.

Charles was aware that something was wrong. It was as if his son had shut off or shut down. He was very worried.

"Remy?" he asked.

"I okay, Dad," Remy said quietly.

"I don't think you're okay, son," Charles said firmly.

"No, I fine now. I just wan' t' go up t' my room," Remy said quietly. "Is dat okay?"

"No," Charles said. He yelled inside his mind for Hank and Logan and got their attention immediately. "I don't think that's a good idea. I don't like what seems to be happening right now. I do love you, Remy."

Remy fought an urge to say "So what? Big fucking deal." And he fought another urge to fall back into his father's arms and lapse back into his overwhelming feelings. He stayed in his state of detachment.

"I just wanna go t' my room, please, sir."

"No," Charles said again. Hank and Logan entered. Remy sighed with exasperation, stood, and went over to the window.

Charles looked at Hank and Logan. "Something is very wrong with Remy."

"Try sending us what happened," Hank suggested. Charles complied.

Hank and Logan exchanged glances. "He's dissociated," Hank said flatly. Logan nodded.

"Dissociated," Charles sighed. "Of course, I should have known. So what do we do with him."

"Get 'im back," Logan said grimly. "And, Chuck, when we do get him back, would it be okay with you if I handle him for a bit?"

"Of course," Charles sighed. "You seem to understand him and what he needs better than I do."

"That bothers you, doesn't it?" Logan asked quietly.

"A little, but I know that you have more in common with him than I do. I've never had the kind of trauma he's had. And I've never felt the kind of guilt, shame and despair that he seems to experience."

Logan nodded. He knew more than he wanted to about trauma, guilt, shame, and despair and had used his own share of disassociation in his time.

Logan went over to Remy who had been vaguely listening to their conversation, but mostly just watching the wind blowing through the trees outside.

"Remy," he said firmly. "This ain't gonna work and you ain't gonna get away with it. Not today or any other time."

Remy wouldn't look at him. He felt safe in his little room inside his head and had no intention of leaving it. Logan grabbed him by the arm, jerked him around, marched him over to the big leather chair, and sat him down. Remy distantly felt pain blaze through his punished bottom again, but he ignored it.

Logan took Remy's chin in his hand and lifted his face so that their eyes met. Remy's eyes were faintly glazed and he tried to avoid Logan's intense, loving, and stern gaze.

Logan wasn't having it. He held Remy's face firmly. "I want you back here, kiddo. I ain't going anywhere at all until I get you back. You got that."

Remy was aware of feeling trapped and of a distant despair that he wanted to avoid. "I don' know what you talkin' bout, mon ami," he said.

"Oh yes, you do, boy. I know what you're doin' and I know why. Now, you're gonna do exactly what I tell you to do or I swear, I'll put you over my knees, bare your butt, and spank you soundly. I'll bet you anything that you can't keep this up if I'm blistering you."

Remy shuddered and felt nebulously outraged and put upon. "What you wan' me t' do?" he asked sulkily.

"Breathe," Logan ordered. "Breathe deeply and while you're breathin,' get back in touch with your body and your guts. I mean it, boy."

"I don' wan' t,'" Remy protested.

"And I don't care what you want. Are you gonna do as I say or are you going to go over my knees?"

Remy closed his eyes. Logan shook him gently by the chin. "No," he said firmly. "You gonna look at me, kiddo."

Remy opened his eyes again and started to breathe deeply as he had been ordered to do. He looked straight into Logan's blue eyes and saw nothing there but love and concern. He began to feel the tightness of his chest and the sinking dread in his stomach.

"Good," Logan said. "Now, get the hell out of your head and get back down into your guts, child."

Remy shuddered and did as he was told. Feelings rushed back into his awareness and he burst into tears again, sobbing deeply. Logan nodded still holding Remy's face in his hand. He patted his cheek gently.

"Good boy," he said with satisfaction. He pulled Remy up out of the chair, sat down in it and pulled Remy back down into his arms. "It's okay, kiddo. It's all gonna be okay."

Remy shook his head. "NO," he protested. "It's. . .not.. .okay." He was crying very hard.

"Tell me about it," Logan suggested gently.

Remy shook with sobs and could barely talk, but he tried. "Daddy's still mad. . .at me. . .and. . . I don' t'ink I can stand. . .t' be spanked. . .again."

"Remy," Logan sighed. "Your Dad wasn't telling you about why you still needed to be spanked because he was still mad at you. He was just giving you a reality check. He wasn't still scolding you."

"No?" Remy asked shakily. Logan looked at Charles who was very upset.

"No, son, and I'm sorry. I didn't mean to keep scolding you. I meant it when I said I was no longer angry with you," he said.

"Remy, we're all pretty damn upset about you hurtin' yourself," Logan said. "And I promise you that I'm gonna give you every spanking that you earned, but if your butt is bruised and tender as hell tomorrow, I'll give you a break. I ain't interested in torturing you, kiddo."

Remy sobbed deeply, "I really don' wan' t' be spanked any more at all." His bottom hurt badly and he was very scared.

"Remy, do you really not know that I love you?" Logan asked. Remy shook his head.

"I feel like I don' deserve t' have. . .anyone love me," he gulped out.

"That don't matter, kiddo. I love you anyway. And you do deserve to be loved."

"No, I don.'" Logan sighed and then blazed a firm and resounding spank against Remy's bottom. Remy recoiled from the pain and then relaxed into Logan's arms, crying hard.

"Don't argue with me about the fact that you deserve to be loved," he said firmly. Remy nodded, not about to utter another word of argument. "I love you. Your Dad loves you. Hank loves you. I'm gonna ask you again. How would you really feel if we let you off the hook and you got no further punishment for your insanely self-destructive behavior?"

Remy shuddered again and then told the truth, "I wouldn' feel loved."

Logan nodded with satisfaction and held Remy tightly as he cried until he ran out of tears. He subsided into occasional shuddering gulps.

"You okay, now, Remy?" Logan asked.

"I t'ink so," Remy admitted.

"Don't you have some unfinished business with your dad?" Logan asked. Remy nodded. "Then go work it out with him." He pushed Remy to his feet. Remy hesitated for a moment and then went over to the couch. He sat and stared down at the floor.

"Remy," his father said gently, "look at me please." Remy looked up and into Charles's eyes doubtfully. Charles simply held out his arms and Remy moved hesitantly into his embrace.

"I'm sorry," he said. "About goin' away like dat."

"It's okay, Remy," Charles said gently. "Thank you for coming back to us. You did scare me, son, but I think I understand why you did it. I wasn't doing a very good job of comforting you, was I?"

"I t'ought you were still mad at me," Remy said softly.

"No, son, and again, I'm sorry." Charles's arm tightened around his son, who put his head against his shoulder and relaxed.

Hank looked at Logan and grinned. "You're really good at this, you know," he said.

"So when do I get rich?" Logan grumbled. He looked over at Remy and Charles. "So why don't we all go eat some strawberry shortcake? It's damn good."

Remy shuddered. "I can.' I not hungry." He still felt somewhat sick to his stomach and his butt still burned with pain.

"So, come sit in the dining room with your family, Remy," Beast said softly. "Try to take in the fact that we all love you."

Remy was abysmally aware of his swollen eyes and tear streaked face. "I really, really just wan' t' go back to my room," he said.

Hank, Logan and the professor all looked at one another. Charles sighed and acquiesced. "Okay, son. Go on up to your room. I'll look in on you later." Remy nodded, rose up out his father's embrace and fled.

"Is he going to be okay?" Charles asked.

"After a while, Charlie," Logan said. "Maybe after a long while. He's a badly damaged kid." Hank nodded.

"Do you really think he should be spanked any more?" Charles asked. Both Hank and Logan nodded immediately.

"Think it would break his heart if he weren't," Logan said. "And I think it would take him less than a week to get himself in trouble again."

Remy shut the door to his room and lay down on his bed on his stomach. He still felt deep despair.

There was a knock on his door. "Who?" he asked.

"Me," he heard Bobby's voice. He was surprised. He and Bobby had never been close, and he had been astonished at all the support that Bobby had offered him in the past day.

"C'mon in," he said. Bobby entered and sat down in Remy's window seat. He looked out the window and spoke carefully.

"I think that maybe you and me might be members of a very small club, right now," he said. "The people who been spanked very hard and very soundly by your father."

Remy was startled. "You been spanked by my dad?" he asked.

"Oh, yeah," Bobby said ruefully. "I was about 15 years old when I came here and I was a hellion. I got my butt spanked more than once. And I hated it every time it happened and I deserved it every damn time. I just wanted you to know that you weren't alone in feeling this kinda of misery. And I'll tell you that you and me aren't alone. I'm pretty damn sure that Scotty got spanked at least once when he was young."

"SCOTT???" Remy was aghast.

"Oh, yeah," Bobby grinned. "Scotty was always overly responsible and there was at least one time that I know of that he took on too much and got all of us in a jam. The professor rescued us, but after the rescue, he called Scotty into his study and kept him there a long, long time. When Scotty came out, he looked pretty miserable and he cried about half the night. I heard him. Hank went in and tried to comfort him, but he was definitely disconsolate until the professor came up and intervened."

Remy stared at Bobby, grateful for the information, but not sure what to do with it. "How'd you know dat I got spanked by my Dad?" he asked suddenly filled with fear that his spanking had been audible to everyone in the dining room. He thought he would die of embarrassment if all of his friends and teammates had heard the sounds of the whacking spanks and his desperate crying.

"I didn't know," Bobby said. "I just guessed from the look on his face when he was taking you off to his study. That's how he always used to look when I was gonna get it. Kinda grim and resolved. And like he was about to be forced to do something he really didn't want to do. Ye gods, Remy, we couldn't hear anything. That study is soundproofed six ways from Sunday." Remy breathed a sigh of relief.

"Remy, all I'm trying to say to you is that you aren't alone. I know you feel miserable, but you can get over it and get on with your life." Bobby stood up, came over to the bed and put his hand on Remy's shoulder. "I know we haven't been close before, guy. But I'm discovering that I like you a lot. Hang in there, bud."

Remy nodded and Bobby went out the door. Remy laid on his bed for awhile and then got up, went over to his window seat, and lit a cigarette. He stared out over the dark yard for awhile and smoked.

There was a gentle knock on his door and then Rogue came in. She took one look at his face and came over to hold him tightly. She was wearing the Genoshan collar that nullified her powers.

"What happened Remy?" He told her. She sighed. "Ah can't believe the professor spanked you. You must feel awful."

"I not happy, cherie." He pulled himself out of her arms and lit another cigarette. "Would you be willin' t' go get me something?"

"Sugah, ya shouldn't be smokin' in the house. Hank and Storm would be furious."

"So what dey gonna do, cher? Spank me? I don' care." Remy said irritably. Rogue sighed again. Remy was obviously "in a mood."

"What do ya want me to get for you, Remy?"

"Bourbon," he said simply. "And if dere still ain't no bourbon, I'll drink scotch. No, second t'ought, how bout some of dat Canadian Club?"

Rogue sighed yet again. "Sugah, do ya really think it's a good idea for ya to drink?"

"Rogue, if you don' wanna get it for me den don't. I'll just go get it myself. I just don' wanna leave my room right now. I don' wanna see nobody. And I wan' a drink. Bad. I'm tired an' I'm stressed out as all hell an' I wan' a drink."

Rogue was out the door immediately and back in less than five minutes with a bottle of Jim Beam.

"Ya drank up the Wild Turkey, sugah, but ah found this in the back of the cabinet collecting dust. And ah warn you, love, ah think Logan mighta seen me carrying this up here. Ah saw him comin' out of the dining room with Storm when I was headed up the stairs."

"She see?" Remy opened the bottle and took a slug straight out of it. He shuddered as it hit his stomach.

"Don't think so. She was behind him and ah scooted around the bend in the stairs pretty quick."

"Den I ain't gonna worry about it. Logan ain't gonna care if I want a drink. He's had a few in his life, himself. I gonna get some water to mix with this. Wish I had some ice." He grabbed a water bottle he kept beside his bed.

"Ah'll go get some," Rogue said quietly.

Within a few minutes, they were settled back on the window seat with two glasses, the water bottle, and a bucket of ice. Remy mixed a drink for himself, gulped it down, and made another. Rogue, who was sipping at hers, looked at him with worry.

"It's okay, cherie," Remy said quietly. "I know I been drinkin' a lot lately, but I don' t'ink dat I'm gonna be no alcoholic."

"And how do ya know that, sugah?"

"Cause I did dis when I got t'rown outta de thief's guild an' I got so sick of myself dat I tried to be an alcoholic. I tried to drink all day everyday and it just made me sick as hell an' I didn' like it. I don' really t'ink dat I gotta addictive personality."

Rogue looked pointedly at the cigarette in his hand. He laughed.

"Okay, okay," he conceded. "I got one addiction. But I tell you, cher, I tried shootin' up heroin when I was in Seattle and I didn' like dat either."

"Remy!" Rogue was shocked. He shrugged.

"I done a lot of t'ings dat I ain't proud of, p'tite," he said lightly. "I guess now dat you know about some of dem, I might as well stop keepin' all my secrets. If you wanna get de hell away from me, I wouldn' blame you."

"It's a little late for that, sugah," Rogue said tartly. "Ah'm already in love with ya."

"Good," Remy said, "cause I'm pretty much in love wit you, too." He took another swallow of his drink and leaned over to kiss her.

"Ya wanna make love, Remy?" she asked. He nodded, rose, picked her up in his arms, carried her over to the bed, and put her down on it. He lay down beside her and they started to undress one another. Rogue got Remy's pants and underwear off and looked carefully at his butt.

"Well, sugah, your butt sure is pink and it has a collection of red blisters, but it don't look very bruised."

"Great," he sighed. "I was kinda hopin' it'd be bruised as hell."

"Why on earth?" Rogue demanded.

"Cause I really don' wanna get spanked again t'morrow and I don' t'ink Logan would if I was all bruised."

"Ya want me to try to give ya some?" Rogue's eyes twinkled.

"I don' t'ink so, cher," Remy laughed and gathered her into his arms, kissing her deeply. He moved his mouth down her naked body and kissed her everywhere, licking and sucking on her nipples and then between her legs until she felt maddened with desire. He nibbled gently at her clitoris and she suddenly found herself remembering the last time he had taken her panties down and spanked her bare bottom. The vivid memory took her over the top and she orgasmed intensely, shaking and pushing his face away.

He watched her face as ripple after ripple of ecstasy swept through her body and felt deeply satisfied.

"Ah want ya in me, Remy," she demanded. He was more than ready and entered her. He rocked against her and gently thrust in and out, making sure that his hardness rubbed against her clit. He teased her with it, slowing down and speeding up as she thrust her whole body up against him. He saw the growing excitement on her face and the red flush rising on her breasts.

"Grab my butt, Rogue," he requested. "Hold it hard." She did as he asked and he felt the pain blaze through him as they both came.

He fell against her shuddering with relief and she stroked his hair gently.

"That was good," she said simply.

"I t'ought so," he agreed. They laid quietly for several minutes and he rose off of her.

"Remy, ah'm so sleepy that ah'm not sure ah can keep my eyes open for another minute," she said groggily.

"Go t' sleep, cher," he said, holding her. She curled up and went out. He held her for a few more minutes and then rolled over. He didn't feel sleepy at all. He sighed, got up, went back over to the window seat, poured himself another drink and lit another cigarette. As he leaned out the window to blow the smoke out, he could vaguely hear Storm screaming from the loft above his head. He grinned and hoped that Storm and Logan were enjoying themselves.

He continued to drink, smoke, and listen. It was obvious from sounds he heard later that Storm and Logan were indeed enjoying themselves, but he still felt not at all as if he could sleep.

He tried very hard to moderate his drinking, alternating bourbon with glasses of water. He really didn't want to be drunk, but he did want to feel sedated. He went back to the bed and lay in the dark, trying to sleep. It didn't work at all. He was tormented by guilt, fear, and despair.

"Oh, t' hell wit it," he said quietly to himself at about 3:00 am. He got up, dressed, grabbed a bag out of his closet and started to pack. Lighting yet another cigarette, he sat down at his desk and turned on the computer.

"I'm running away," he typed out carefully. "I don't plan to be gone long. I just want a few days away from all this trouble I'm in. I'm going to take one of the blackbirds and I'm going to leave it where it can be found, but I'm not going anywhere that I can be found. I just want some time by myself. Please, don't be mad at me, oh, hell, I know that all of you are going to be mad at me. But I can't eat. I can't sleep and I don't know what to do. I have to get away and be by myself. I love you, all of you. But I need some space to get my head together, I think. I'm sorry."

He looked at the note and considered it. It wasn't quite right, but it would have to do, so he printed it out and left it on his pillow. Rogue stirred slightly as the printer came on, but didn't wake. Remy picked up his bag, grabbed his bo, and went out the window and down the side of the house.

He headed for the hangar where the blackbirds were kept and silently and quietly opened the lock on the door. The blackbirds were resting on their launch pads. He opened one of them, went in, and started the pre-flight inspection. It was low on fuel. He sighed deeply and got out again to fuel it up.

Logan was standing in the doorway with his arms across his chest, glowering. Remy gasped and felt as if his heart simply stopped.

"What in the hell do you think you're doing?" Logan demanded.

Remy felt hot and then cold and felt rushing waves of fear and despair. He stared at Wolverine with desperate confusion and had no idea how to respond. He had been caught and he was in trouble again. He sank to his knees and clasped his arms across his chest.

Logan saw Remy's face go white with terror as he knelt down. He sighed deeply. "Kiddo, when are you goin' to learn how acute my hearing is?" he said gently. "I heard you gettin' ready to go and I sure heard you goin' out your window."

Hank suddenly appeared in the door. "What on earth is going on?" he demanded.

"And Hank hears good, too, boy," Logan said. "What do you think you're doing?"

Remy doubled up over himself and started to cry, deeply and despondently. Logan looked at Hank.

"I think that he thought he could run away," he explained. Hank nodded.

"I think he thought wrong," Hank said. They exchanged a glance of frustrated exasperation. "What are we going to do with him?" Hank asked Logan.

"I think maybe step one would be to figure out why the hell he thought he needed to run away," Logan said. Hank nodded. Logan approached Remy, knelt beside him and gathered him into his arms.

"It's okay, kid," he said gently. "You ain't necessarily gonna be punished for this escape attempt. We just need to know what you thought you were doin' and why."

To be continued.