Subject: Family Matters, 20
From: Dswdiane@aol.com
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 1998 22:51:09 EST

Family Matters

Chapter 20

Remy came into the dining room and went to his usual seat at the table. He was bemused to find a soft pillow in the seat. He shot Logan a grateful glance which Wolverine returned with a grin. He sat down gingerly and winced as his sore butt hit the pillow. It was endurable.

Charles passed the salad around, the bread, the bouillabaisse, and the fritters. Remy took large helpings of all and waited politely until everyone was served. He then dug in with a huge appetite. He was hungry and this was the comfort food of his childhood when he had been in the Thief's Guild.

Remy was carefully avoiding his father's eyes and feeling uncomfortable with the interaction they had had earlier. He wasn't at all ready to say he was sorry. He still wasn't very happy about the memories he had discovered. He wasn't feeling very forgiving about the fact that he had discovered he was some kind of test-tube created genetic freak.

On the other hand, he wasn't comfortable feeling estranged from the professor. He didn't know what to say and was sure he didn't want to try to deal with it at the dinner table. So he avoided Charles's eyes and continued to eat. "Dis is good, Logan," he said.

"Made it just for you, kiddo," Logan said quietly as he began to eat .

"T'ank you," Remy said as he poured the soup over his bread and inhaled it like a starving child.

Warren glared at Wolverine. "And how much mess did you leave in the kitchen, Logan?" he asked, irately.

Logan grinned at him. "Why don't you go look and see, birdboy," he suggested. Warren looked at him warily, got up, and went into the kitchen. He came back, shaking his head in amazement. "You even washed the blasted pots and pans you cooked in," he said in a dumbfounded voice.

"Wasn't any point in leavin' em dirty once the food was in serving dishes," Logan said mildly as he ate salad. "And the bouillabaisse pot is still soaking in the sink."

Warren shook his head and sat down again to eat. There were broad grins all around the table. Several folks started quiet conversations with the people sitting near them.

Bobby looked over at Remy and noted that he looked as if he'd been crying hard. "What happened to you, man?" he asked quietly.

Remy shrugged. "Let me tell you later, Bobby," he said, just as quietly, as he ate like someone who was starving. Considering the amount of food he had consumed in the past few days, he probably was close to starving. He was tasting the ketones in his mouth that usually indicated the body was starting to burn muscle tissue.

"Any luck on locating blasted Sinister?" Logan asked.

Scott grimaced. "None," he said shortly. He put his spoon down and poured some cheese sauce over his fritters. He took a cautious bite and grinned. "This is damn good, Logan. And not fair to me at all. I'm supposed to cook tomorrow. I can't follow this with anything comparable."

"And we don't need to eat like this every night," Jean said firmly.

"Oh, yeah, Scotty." Bobby grinned. "Just do your usual tuna casserole. We'll survive."

"Ah like Scott's tuna casserole," Sam protested.

"I like it, too, Sam," Bobby responded. "It just seems to be the only thing Scotty knows how to make. Oops, sorry, I forgot. He knows how to make hamburgers, though he usually overcooks them. And he's a whiz with hotdogs and baked beans out of the can." Logan and Hank snorted quietly. Warren laughed out loud. Most of the others were grinning hugely, though Jean and Ororo tried to hide their smiles.

"Not true and not fair," Scott protested. "I make salads and spaghetti. . ."

"Oh, yeah, Scotty, you make great spaghetti as long as we have Ragu in the house."

Even Jean was unable to stop herself from laughing. Scott glared for a moment and then grinned. "Okay," he said, "I'm not the best cook in the world. I have other talents."

"Y'know, Scotty," Logan said conversationally, "there's this strange and bizarre phenomenon in the world called cookbooks. I would think that you, of all people, could follow directions."

"I don't have time to read cookbooks," Scott said defensively, losing his grin.

"Our loss." Bobby grinned. "At least we only got to put up with Scotty's cooking once every couple of weeks." There were several more laughs. Remy continued to eat hungrily. He grabbed several more shrimp fritters and downed them.

Scott changed the subject. "So, sir," he directed at Charles. "What's next on the agenda?'

Charles looked over at Remy, who was still not meeting his eyes, and sighed. "For tonight, nothing," he said. "We've all been working hard. I think everyone should take some time tonight to relax and unwind. We'll have a busy day tomorrow."

Bobby grinned. He was more than ready to relax and unwind. The next words of the professor froze his heart. "I'd like you to come to my study after dinner, Bobby," Charles said. "We have issues to discuss." Bobby gulped and looked at Remy who shrugged, helplessly.

"I didn' tell him not'ing, Bobby," Remy said, very softly, for Bobby's ears only.

Bobby grimaced an acknowledgment and looked at the professor. "Yes, sir," he said. "I'll be there." He lost his appetite and pushed his plate away, feeling dismayed.

"Thank you, Bobby," Charles said with no emotion. He turned to the rest of the table. "Tomorrow morning, I want Remy in the danger room with me, Jean, and Betsy. Remy, you need to learn how to use and control your psychic powers." Remy still couldn't meet his father's eyes, but he nodded.

Scott was still feeling stung by the criticisms of his cooking, but he decided to try to make a joke. "Well, that would be swell if Remy can just bring himself, for once in his life, to follow orders. Which seems to be just about beyond his abilities."

Remy froze. He was not feeling particularly jocular about all the trouble he had been in that day. He pushed his plate away and glared at Scott. "Oh, dat very funny, mon ami," he snapped, with real anger in his voice. "I not very hungry any more. Can I be excused, please?"

Everyone stopped eating and looked at Remy with concern. Storm caught Logan's eye with a pleading expression in hers. Logan sighed. "Hey, Rem," he said. "I think Scotty was joking." Scott sat frozen in his seat.

"I didn' t'ink it was very funny," Remy glared at his plate. "An' I wanna go now. Is dat okay?"

Logan sighed again. "Remy, I made a good dessert. You really want to miss out on it?" he asked.

Remy paused and Scott lost his temper. "Goddammit, Remy, do you have to be so fucking sensitive to every casual remark? I was joking," he protested.

"Oh, dat was real fucking funny, Cyke," Remy glared at Scott. "An' I not amused at all. I wanna go. Anyone got a problem wit dat?"

"Yeah," Logan said gently. "None of us want you to go, kiddo. Scotty didn't mean to piss you off."

"I don' fuckin' care what de hell Scotty meant t' do," Remy picked up his plate and held it tightly with his hands shaking slightly. "I know I'm a total fuck up and it don' matter how hard I try not t' be."

"Rem, if you throw that plate, you gonna be in a world of trouble," Logan said firmly. "I won't spank you again with your butt so sore and bruised, but I will drag you over to the corner, take your pants down, and make you stand there. We're all damn tired of you throwing your meals across the room. And you know damn well that you don't want to be in the corner with your pants down and your blistered bottom on display."

Remy glared at Logan, thought about it, and put his plate down. He pushed his chair back so hard that it fell over. He rushed out of the room, still not meeting his father's eyes.

Logan glared at Scott. "Thanks a lot, Scotty," he said. "The kid really needed that remark."

Charles sighed deeply. Scott flinched. "I was just joking," he protested.

"Oh, it was real damn funny, Scotty," Bobby flared. He directed his power at Scotty, freezing Scott's plate to the table and Scott's hands to his fork.

Scott winced with pain and impulsively tried to jerk his fingers away from the ice on the fork. His skin came off on the ice and he started bleeding.

"Bobby!" Jean protested, rising to help her husband. Bobby glared, picked up his own plate and threw it against the wall. The plate shattered.

"I'm fucking sick and goddam tired of everyone picking on Remy," he announced furiously as cheese sauce and bouillabaisse ran down the wall and puddled around the pottery fragments on the floor.

Rogue shook her head and rushed out after Remy. Charles pushed his hover chair back from the table and looked sternly at Bobby. "Bobby, I want you in my study, NOW," he said implacably.

Bobby froze in horrified dismay. He might have already been in trouble, but he was now in deep, deep trouble. "Yes, sir," he gulped.

Sam looked around the table unhappily. Jean and Hank were dealing with Scott's bleeding fingers. Logan was glaring down at his plate while Ororo looked at him with concern. Bishop stared carefully at nothing much. Betsy and Warren were looking at one another with concern.

"Ah guess that y'all ain't gonna want the dessert that me and Logan made," Sam hazarded.

Logan started laughing, helplessly. "No, Sam," he choked out. "I doubt anyone is interested in dessert right now."

Hank started laughing, too. "Hey, the night is young," he said. "And the dessert isn't going anywhere. It'll still be there when we're ready to eat it."

"And what the hell I supposed to do about cleaning up?" Warren demanded.

"Oh, fuck it Warren," Logan gasped out. "Just put in the fridge and get over it. Anyone who wants apples baked in white wine will come and get it."

Charles nodded grimly and guided his hover chair toward the door. Bobby gulped hard and went after him. Charles paused in the doorway. "Leave the mess on the floor," he ordered. "Bobby will clean it up when I'm through with him."

* * *

Bobby faced the professor in the study sulkily. "I'm sorry," he said defensively. "I was mad. What did you want to see me about?"

Charles sighed, moved his hover chair to his desk, took the paddle out of its drawer, and went to the couch. He pulled himself out, holding the paddle, and looked carefully at Bobby whose face was white with fear and trepidation and tight with defensive irritation.

"Bobby," he said, "how long have you kept marijuana in this house?"

Bobby blanched. "Uh. . ." he said.

"Yes, Bobby, I'm asking you how long you have kept illegal drugs in this home."

"A long time," Bobby admitted reluctantly.

"And how long have you thought you were competent to drive while high on pot?" Charles asked relentlessly. Bobby flinched and felt dismayed. "No, Remy didn't tell me. But I am linked to him."

"I can drive while I'm high," Bobby protested. " I compensate. Drive slower and more carefully. Really."

Charles sighed. "Sorry, Bobby, but that isn't good enough. What did I tell you about what would earn you a spanking again?"

Bobby glared at the professor. "If I shot up drugs. If I drove drunk," he said. "I didn't do any of that. I know how to drive when I'm high."

"And you know how to throw your food against the wall," Charles said.

Bobby flinched again. "I was just mad about Remy being yelled at again," he said, desperately.

"Is that a good reason to throw plates and food?" Charles asked. "Don't you think that all of us are a little tired of flying shards of glass? Don't you have any concern for the fact that someone might have been hurt?"

"I threw it away from the table," Bobby argued.

"And freezing Scott's hand to his fork?" Charles asked.

"He wouldn't have hurt himself if he hadn't tried to pull his fingers away. It would have melted," Bobby continued to protest. His bottom was starting to tingle with anticipation. He really didn't think there was going to be any way out of the spanking he was about to get. But he was determined to try to talk his way out of it.

"So, you think it's okay to drive while you're impaired from smoking pot? And you think your anger about Remy and the fact that you threw your plate away from the table excuses you for that particular action? And was it Scott's own fault he got hurt when you froze his fingers to his fork? Do you have an excuse for keeping illegal drugs in this mansion? Especially knowing that, as mutants, we have enough trouble with the rest of the world without risking arrest."

"Oh, hell, Professor," Bobby said uncomfortably. "Nobody cares about pot. I asked Charlotte about it one time and she just laughed. She told me there isn't a cop worth a damn who's interested in busting people who use pot." Charlotte was a New York City detective who had long ago befriended the X-men.

"I might buy that one, Bobby," Charles said grimly, "but do you really think the rest of your excuses hold water?"

Bobby swallowed hard and walked over to the one unbroken window in the study. He looked out. "I really do know how to drive when I'm high," he said quietly.

"Bobby, we'll do an experiment if you like," Charles said firmly. "I'll put you in med lab and have Hank test your reflexes, reaction time, reality orientation, and short term memory to establish a base line. Then I'll allow you to get high and test you again. What do you think the results would be?"

Bobby swallowed again. He knew what the results would be. He had come close to running a stop sign he hadn't seen while he had been high and had almost pulled out in front of another car. He had also been totally disoriented more than once and not sure he knew where he was. He shook his head and didn't quite trust himself to speak.

"What if a child had run out in front of the jeep while you were driving high?" Charles asked. "Are you sure you would have reacted quickly and appropriately? And even if you were driving slowly and carefully, are you sure you could have handled it if some other driver had made a mistake in front of you?"

"No, sir," Bobby said tightly.

"And if someone had gotten hurt, how would you have felt? Wouldn't you have wondered for the rest of your life if you might have prevented the accident if you hadn't been high?" Charles continued implacably.

"Yes, sir." Bobby's voice was almost inaudible.

Charles realized that he was breaking through Bobby's defensive anger and pressed on. "And how do you really feel about hurting Scott?"

Bobby swallowed hard again. "I didn't mean to. I wasn't thinking."

"You didn't answer me," Charles said sternly.

"I feel bad." Bobby's voice was tense as he remembered the brief surge of horror he had experienced when he saw Scott's bleeding fingers.

"And do you really think it was okay to throw your plate at the wall?"

"No, sir." Bobby's stomach clenched as he stared sightlessly out the window. "But I really am tired of Remy being so upset. I really am." His voice was shaking.

"I understand that, son," Charles said gently. "None of us are very happy with it. And I think Scott felt pretty badly that he had set Remy off again. Don't you?"

"I guess so." Bobby's voice shook even more as he responded to the loving concern he heard in the professor's voice.

Charles sighed. "Bobby, unfasten your jeans and get over here to me," he said quietly.

Bobby shook his head and turned a pleading face to Charles. "I'm sorry," he said fervently. "Please, don't."

"Don't what?" Charles asked.

"Please, don't beat me," Bobby begged.

"I'm not going to beat you, Bobby," Charles said. "I'm going to spank you. Do you really think you don't deserve it?"

Bobby gulped yet again and tried hard to blink back the tears that rose in his eyes. "No, sir," he said, unfastening his jeans and walking slowly and reluctantly to where the professor sat on the couch. His face was burning as he looked down into Charles' face. "I'm really sorry."

"I know you are, Bobby," Charles said as he took Bobby's arm and pulled him face down over his knees. "And I'm going to make sure you remember how sorry you are right now for a long time." Bobby shuddered and grabbed a throw pillow to bury his face in.

"Please don't," he pleaded again. Charles sighed and put his hands into the waistband of Bobby's jeans, pulling them down to just below his bottom. Bobby trembled as he felt the professor's fingers at the waist of his underpants and blushed furiously as they were pulled down to join his jeans, leaving his bottom completely bare. He clenched his buttocks and gasped with shock and pain as the paddle slammed down across the middle of his butt.

He then gasped again as the paddle came down near the top of his right bottom cheek and then again as it hit again in the same spot. The third time, he yelped with pain and continued to alternate gasps and yelps as the paddle slammed down, over and over, three times on each spot all the way down the right side of his bottom and then up the left.

Charles paused for a moment as he finished the circuit and Bobby held his breath. Then he felt blazing pain as the professor simply started over. Tears were streaming down his face and his yelps slowly turned to shuddering, reluctant sobs.

"Please. . .stop. . ." he gasped out. "It. . .h. . .hurts."

"Bobby," Charles said, "it's supposed to hurt. This is a spanking. And a well deserved one." He continued to snap the paddle down three times on each spot before moving an inch lower, and then as he finished one side, moving up an inch at a time higher on the other.

Bobby started crying freely and helplessly and he couldn't stop himself from reaching a hand back to try to protect himself. Charles smacked the paddle down hard against bare knuckles and Bobby almost screamed with pain as he snapped his hand back to his mouth and sucked on his reddened fingers. The professor continued to paddle him relentlessly.

Bobby started to try to move away from the punishment and his legs kicked involuntarily. Charles paused again. "Do you want me to call Logan or Hank in here to help me restrain you?" he asked.

"N. . .n. . .no, sir," Bobby sobbed out. "But it. . .hurts. . .Pl. . .please, stop." He willed himself to be still and endure the pain as the paddle continued to smack his bare bottom. He struggled to stop the involuntary sobs that shook him.

"I'll be stopping soon enough, son," Charles said. He finished one more circuit and then smacked about ten blazing blows against the underside of the curve of Bobby's behind. Bobby yelped as each blow landed.

Charles stopped. Bobby breathed a sigh of relief and then his heart sank as he heard what the professor was saying to him.

"I want you to get up from my lap, Bobby," Charles said firmly, "and take yourself with your pants still down over to the corner. And I want you to stand there for twenty minutes. Then, you're going to come back over here and I'm going to spank you again."

"NO!!" Bobby protested, holding his breath to stop the sobs that still shuddered through his body.

"Yes," Charles said sternly. "You earned more than one spanking, son. This was the first one, for driving while you were high on marijuana."

Bobby was stricken with dread. He shook his head in protest as Charles took him by the arm and pulled him up. He landed on his knees on the floor, grabbing at the waist band of jeans and pulling them up to cover himself in front. He turned a pleading face up to the professor, with tears still dripping despite his efforts to control them.

"Pl. . .please. . .d. . .don't. . ." he gulped out. "Please."

Charles put a gentle hand against Bobby's cheek. "I'm sorry, Bobby, and I don't mean that as an apology but as an expression of my sympathy. You've gotten yourself in very bad trouble and I'm giving you the punishment you earned. I don't like it and I'm sure you dislike it even more than I." His voice grew sterner and harder. "Now, get up and get you bare bottom over to the corner. NOW."

Bobby stumbled to his feet and, still holding his pants up in front, staggered over to the corner. He rested his forehead against the wall and shuddered, his face burning with shame. He had never before felt so hurt, humiliated, and embarrassed in all of his young life. His bottom burned like it was on fire and he was acutely aware of the feel of his pants and underwear pulled down to his legs, exposing his blazing butt to the room.

The minutes passed slowly and some of the pain in his bottom subsided. He leaned against the wall, filled with trepidation about the spanking to come.

* * *

In the dining room, Betsy, and Bishop were clearing the table. Logan was still glaring down at his plate. He rose suddenly and strode into the kitchen where Warren was putting leftovers into Tupperware containers. Logan gathered up a roll of paper towels, sponges, a bucket of water, and a couple of paper bags and went back to the dining room. He knelt beside the mess Bobby had left on the floor and started to pick the pieces of broken plate out of the food mess and put them in a bag. Scott looked up.

"Logan," he protested, "the professor asked us to leave that for Bobby."

Logan looked up at him and grinned. "And we all know how good I am at following orders, Scotty," he said. "Sorry, but I think Bobby has enough on his mind without having to worry about this mess. Besides, I kinda felt like throwing a plate myself when Remy rushed out of here so upset. And, goddammit, Scotty, don't look so damn stricken with guilt. You can't help that your timing was lousy and your humor lame. You had no idea how volatile Remy has been today. I don't blame you. Much."

Scott flushed, then rose and came over to help Logan clean up the mess. As he knelt to assist, Logan grabbed his wrist and stopped him. "Let me get the glass, Slim. You don't need to cut your fingers again. Help with the food if you want."

Scott flushed again, embarrassed about the bandages on his fingers that had been cut both by the glass in the study and his impulsive pulling away from the ice on his fork.

"Hey, guys," Jean said, "let me help." She concentrated for a moment and the shards of the plate separated themselves from the soup and cheese sauce, rose in the air, and deposited themselves in the bag. She then used her telekinetic powers to lift the food mess from the floor and dumped it on top of the crockery bits in the bag. Greasy stains were left on the wall and floor, but most of the debris was cleared.

"Thanks, darlin,'" Logan grinned at her. "Your talents sure come in useful at times."

It was Storm's turn to flush as she felt another surge of the jealousy that she had experienced earlier that day at the easy, warm affection in Logan's voice as he spoke to Jean. She shifted uncomfortably in her chair.

"We're going to need some 409 to get those stains out," Hank suggested, going to the kitchen to get some. He was back in seconds with the spray bottle and a couple of extra sponges. "Scotty, you don't need to get those band-aids wet. Why don't you carry out the trash as Logan and I clean the wall and floor?"

Scott nodded and gathered up the first paper bag to take out to the trash. Logan and Hank sprayed wall and floor and started to clean with the sponges. When Scott came back, he used the paper towels to wipe up behind the others.

"Would you like me to put on some music, guys?" Jean asked.

"Yep," Logan responded. "Good plan, darlin.' How about the New World Symphony?"

"You got it, Logan," Jean went to the stereo and looked through the CD's.

"The New World Symphony?" Hank raised an eyebrow at Logan.

"I like it," Logan said simply, continuing to scrub. The opening bars began to play.

"Soothing, yet stimulating," Hank commented. "Quite astonishingly appropriate to the task at hand."

"I just like it, Hank," Logan growled, with a grin. Hank grinned back at him. Scott opened another bag and put in the filthy paper towels.

"I really didn't mean to set Remy off again," Scott said unhappily. Logan looked up at him and put a hand on his arm.

"It's okay, Scotty," he said. "Wait a bit and go find the kid and apologize. He might not be receptive, but there's no harm in trying." Scott nodded. In minutes the wall and floor were clean. Scott took the bag of towels to the kitchen.

Hank looked carefully at Logan who continued to sit on the floor looking at nothing. "You okay with what happened earlier with you and Remy?" he asked.

"No," Logan said simply, still staring at the floor and listening intently to the symphony. Betsy and Bishop had disappeared into the kitchen to help Warren clean, load the dishwasher, and wash the remaining odds and ends. Scott, Jean, and Ororo looked curiously at Hank and Logan.

"What happened earlier?" Scott asked. Logan looked over at Hank and nodded and Hank explained.

Scott's mouth dropped open as the explanation unfolded. "Remy has a bunch of my father's DNA?" he asked incredulously.

"Yep," Logan said succinctly.

Scott continued to stare with open mouthed amazement. "But that makes him my little brother almost as much as Alex is," he commented.

"Yep," Logan said again. Scott shook his head again and sat down on the floor. Hank continued his explanation as Logan continued to stare at the nothing.

"Oh, Logan," Jean exclaimed with sympathy in her voice as Hank concluded. "Don't feel so bad about it. Remy was pushing you hard. And I think you gave him exactly what he was asking for." Logan shot her another grateful glance and Ro felt another surge of jealous resentment.

"I still don't like it that I strapped the kid when I was so angry that I couldn't see straight," Logan said firmly. Everyone was startled when Jean suddenly started laughing. They turned to stare at her.

"I'm sorry," she choked out as she continued to laugh. "I was just think of an interview I once saw with Rosanne, you know the TV Rosanne."

"The broad who scratched her groin after singing 'The National Anthem' at a baseball game?" Logan asked.

"Yes, her," Jean's laughter subsided but she looked at Logan with a twinkle in her eye. "She said that she couldn't understand the people who instructed her to never strike her kids in anger. Wondered if she should maybe hit them when she was feeling festive."

Hank snorted while Scott and Sam laughed aloud. Logan grinned at Jean again. "Point taken, darlin.' Thanks," he said.

Storm rose. "Logan," she said with grim determination. "Could we talk, please? In my loft."

Logan looked up at her with a puzzled expression on his face and nodded. "Of course," he said.

"Ororo, wait a minute," Hank protested. "I still think Logan needs some help with what happened between him and Remy." Ro started and flushed, looking very confused.

Logan scowled. "I'm just fucking fine, Hank," he grumped. "If Ro needs my attention, she's got it."

"I can wait," she said quietly.

"You don't need to wait, darlin,'" Logan said firmly. "Let's go." He rose from the floor, flowing effortlessly to his feet.

Ro looked at Hank and shrugged helplessly as Logan took her hand and led her out of the dining room.

* * *

Remy leaned against the wall of his bedroom staring out the window. He was shaking with rage and confusion and wanted a cigarette badly, but he didn't want to leave the safety of his room. He thought about the promise he had made to his father not to smoke in the house.

"Fuck it," he said explosively, pulling his smokes out and lighting up. "And fuck him."

"Fuck who?" Rogue asked quietly as she opened the door and slipped into the room. Remy almost jumped out of his skin. "Sorry, sugah, ah didn't mean to startle you."

"I'm a lit'le on edge, cher," Remy said tensely as he drew deeply on his cigarette. He continued to glare out the window.

"Fuck who?" Rogue asked again.

"Fuck my goddamm so-called father and de wheelchair he rode in on," Remy said bitterly. "And fuck Scott Summers and his sanctimonious superiority. Fuck em all."

Rogue sighed. "Fuck who all?" she asked patiently.

"All de goddamm X-men."

"Ah happen to be one of the X-men, Remy, and so are ya," Rogue said.

"Den fuck you, too," Remy threw the cigarette butt out the window and lit another. "And fuck me."

Rogue closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, willing herself to stay calm. "Ah have fucked you, Remy," she said acerbically. "And ah wouldn't mind doing it again. Matter of fact, that might be the best thing we could do right now. It might calm you down some."

Remy was almost startled enough to laugh, but he was still too angry to relax. "I not in de mood, cher," he said tensely.

"Ya just determined to hang on to being mad, aren't ya, sugah?" Rogue's voice was growing increasingly irritated.

"I'm not fucking hanging on t' bein' mad, goddamm it, Rogue," Remy whirled on her, glaring. "I am mad. I have every fuckin' right t' be mad. I didn't ask t' be put t'get'er like some kind of fuckin' genetic jigsaw puzzle. It's not my damn fault dat my so-called mother didn' even wan' me. An' it's no damn wonder dat I'm such a fuck up dat I can' stay outta trouble for more dan five minutes at a time. Just fuckin' got born dat way."

"None of us asked to be born, Remy," Rogue said impatiently. "Ah sure didn' ask t' be born a mutant. And neither of my parents wanted me once they found out ah was one. Ya ain't the only one who's had some problems in life, sugah. Why don't ya stop feelin' sorry for yaself."

"I am not fuckin' feelin' sorry for myself," Remy snapped at her.

"Then what do ya call it, sugah? Ya maybe just throwin' a tantrum like a little two year old?" Rogue's voice was harsh and irritated.

"Oh, yeah," Remy glared at her. "I'm just t'rowing a fuckin' tantrum like a baby. Just like you were bein' a needy baby when you got sucked in by Mystique. And I guess you were just t'rowin' a damn tantrum when you almost destroyed de life of Carol Danvers by absorbin' her powers?"

Rogue gasped with shocked pain as Remy brought up one the most painful memories of her life, one about which she felt the most guilt. And then stared at him, opened mouthed, as he went on. "So, you felt bad about dat an' came runnin' t' de wonderful Professor Xavier and his fuckin' wonderful X-men to help save you from your own damn fucked up self. An' dey has done such a good job dat when you come help me in New Orleans wit my problems wit de Assassin's Guild and de T'ieves Guild, when you come t' try t' help me save de life of Belladonna, you just had t' touch her and absorb all her memories of me and leave her none of de memories of how much we loved each other when we were kids. You just had t' take all dat away from me so you could have me all t' yourself."

Rogue felt a surge of overwhelming guilt, accompanied by a surge of explosive rage. "Ah was wrong t' do dat, Remy," she said furiously. "But ya ain't got no call to bring it up right now, goddamm ya. Ya had kept so many secrets from me, that ah went somewhere ah shouldn't have gone. And ah done apologized for it over and over."

"An' dat's sposed to make it all okay?" Remy asked bitterly, lighting yet another cigarette and glaring out the window.

Rogue crossed the room in a flash, snatched the cigarette out of Remy's mouth, threw it out the window, grabbed him by both shoulders, and slammed him up against the wall. She was not wearing her collar and she was more than capable of picking him up and throwing him out the window right after the cigarette. He went still and stared at her in shocked amazement.

"Ah don't have to listen to this nasty, mean obnoxious bullshit, Cajun," she spat out furiously. "Yeah, ah've made some goddamm horrible mistakes in mah life and ah'm ashamed as hell of some of them. But that ain't no reason for ya to be throwing them in mah face. Ah've done mah damn best to make up for them by working with the X-men and ah think ah've done a damn good job."

"Oh, yeah," Remy glared back at her. "All de X-men but me done made up for all de mistakes dey done make in their lives. But I just a fuckin' hopeless fuck up. An' all de rest of you just a bunch of perfect do- gooders. None of you even know about the worst mistake I done made in my fuckin' life. So I ain't never gonna be okay, and if being okay means being like my so-called fat'er or de wonderful Scott Summers, den I don' wan' t' be okay. Fuck all of you. And let the fuck go of me." He reached up and shoved hard, catching Rogue off guard. She had loosened her grip as they had been yelling back and forth at one another, and his shove knocked her off balance. She stumbled backwards and almost fell on her butt.

Remy's eyes widened with horror. He hadn't thought he could push hard enough to disengage her.

Rogue re-centered herself, raised her hand, and smacked Remy across the face using only a fraction of her strength. He caught at her wrist and she pulled away easily and smacked him again across the other side.

Remy retreated backwards and bumped into the wall, wincing as his sore butt hit it hard. Rogue was in his face.

"Ya ARE actin' like a spoiled rotten two year old havin a tantrum," she said furiously. "And ah'm damn sick of it. We all know ya been havin' a rough time an' we all been lovin' ya the best we can. But ah'm startin' to think that just maybe ya ain't worth it. An' right damn now, ah'm so damn mad that ah don't even want to be lookin' at you." She gave him a final withering glare and went out the window, flying fast and furiously.

Remy put his hand to the rapidly fading red mark on his face and felt a dismal sinking in his guts as he watched her disappearing high into the sky. He felt intensely nauseated.

There was a knock on his door and he felt a new surge of irritation. "Go away," he said sharply.

"Remy," Scott stuck his head in the door. "I really need to talk to you."

Remy closed his eyes, put both hands to his head, and glared at his sometime team leader. "NOT now," he demanded.

Scott's face was resolute and determined and, as usual, he let his predetermined plan of action get in the way of his sensitivity to the immediate situation. He stepped inside the door and closed it.

"I think you need to hear what I have to say to you," he said carefully, oblivious to the fact that Remy was at that moment less capable of listening than Beethoven would have been after he lost his hearing.

Remy just stood, glared at Scott, and waited, wondering what new hell Scotty as going to put him through.

* * *

Logan sat himself wearily on the window sill in Storm's loft and faced her as she started to pace the room. "What is it, darlin'?" he asked.

Storm took a deep breath and let the words start to spill out. She told Logan about the surge of jealousy that she had redirected into anger with Remy and about the continuing surges of jealousy that she had felt as she watched and listened to the interactions between him and Jean. She continued to pace, her face flushed and waited for his response when the outpour of words ceased.

Logan sighed deeply and put a hand to his forehead. He was starting to get a headache. "Why in hell can't we get attacked by Juggernaut or something?" he asked the ceiling rhetorically. "It would be a hell of a lot easier for me to deal with this than all this fucking tsouris."

"This what?" Storm asked in confusion.

"Yiddish word," Logan said quietly. "Means highly emotional dramatic problems, sorta."

Storm stared at him. "Well, excuse me, Wolverine, for bothering you with my tsouris," she said tightly.

Logan sighed again. "Wasn't quite what I meant to imply darlin," he said. "Ro, I do love Jean. I'll always love Jean. What in hell has that got to do with you and me?"

"I know that," Storm said miserably. "And it has nothing at all do to with you and me. I just feel awful that I took it out on Remy and not too pleased that I can't seem to get over it."

"Come here, darlin.'" Logan said gently, holding out his arms. Ro walked over to the window and Logan pulled her into an embrace. "We all fuck up, sweetheart. Hell, I do it more than most folks. And I've had a longer life to do it in. I fucked up bad with Remy just tonight."

Ro rested in Logan's arms, still feeling miserable. "I think I want you to punish me," she said quietly.

"Do you," Logan asked just as quietly. "Would that really change anything? Would it really make you feel better?"

Ro shook her head, still feeling miserable. "I don't understand why I feel so jealous," she said. "It's not like me."

"Probably doesn't help you think that part of what went wrong with you and Forge was his feelings for Mystique," Logan offered.

"I lose everyone I love," Storm's breath caught and her eyes filled with tears. "I lose everyone. And I know that sooner or later I'll lose you."

"Well, I'm not plannin' on that happening any time soon, my love," Logan held her tightly and Storm continued to cry. Her sobs went deeper into her guts and she began to shake.

"Oh, Logan," she gulped out. "It was so awful when we were buried in the rubble and my parents died."

"I know, love, I know," Logan stroked her back.

"I think my father was killed almost immediately," Storm went on. "But my mother was still alive and she held me tightly and told me it would be okay. That someone would find us and that I would be okay. I think she knew she was dying." Storm's sobs went so deep that she was almost unable to talk. "She. . .she. . .talked to me about how proud she was of me. . .and she. . .told me. . .that she knew. . .that I would . . .grow up. . . to be the woman that she and Daddy wanted me to be. . ."

Ro was sobbing so hard that for several minutes she couldn't speak. And then she started to gasp the words out again. "She. . .had. . .a. . .harder. . and harder. . .time. . .saying anything. And then she gasped out to . . .to. . .always remember. . .how. . .much. . .they . . .l . . .loved. . .me. She went very still. . .and I knew. . .I knew. . .oh, Logan. . .I knew she had died. . .and I cried. . .and cried and begged her to talk to me." She was sobbing almost hysterically. "I was. . .so . . .scared. . . so. . .scared. And her body, her body got colder and colder. . .and it was like the cold seeped inside of me and froze me. And I stopped feeling anything. . .I thought I'd never feel anything again. . ." Ro sobbed from her guts so deeply that her stomach hurt. The tears streamed from her eyes and she shook.

Logan held her with tears leaking down his own face. "Darlin,' have you ever cried about this before?" he asked quietly. Ororo shook her head. Logan shook his head and continued to hold her. "And you want me to punish you for feeling this bad and hurt? That makes no sense to me, darlin.'"

"Pain would make it go away," Ro sobbed out.

"I don't think so, love," Logan said gently. "I think you done been through the worst pain anyone could have. There ain't nothin' gonna help but dealin' with it. Go ahead and cry."

"I'm s. . .sorry," Ro gasped out.

"Nothin' to be sorry about," Logan said, holding her closely. "Just cry it out." Ororo clung to him and cried until the tears ran out.

She felt a strange and welcome sense of peace and pulled back from Logan's strong arms, looking into his face which looked back at her with loving concern. "Thank you, my love," she said tremulously.

"Da nada." Logan shrugged, still holding her closely. "Listen, dear one, and listen carefully, will you?" Ro nodded. "If you want to play at spanking games, I'll happily play with you. But, what you and I got between us ain't no game, darlin.' When your pain or anger is real, we have to deal with it with no games. That's what havin' a real relationship is all about."

Ro shuddered and spoke explosively, "I want to be punished. I need to be hurt."

"No," Logan said firmly. "It was not your fault."

"It was my fault when the Morlocks died," Ro was possessed by a fresh bout of sobbing. "I was their leader and I let them die."

"Ro, you never asked for or planned to become the leader of the Morlocks," Logan said quietly. "You had to fight Callisto to rescue Kitty from 'em. It was their rules that when you defeated their leader, you automatically became their leader. Wasn't your choice. And you had to rescue Kitty. Wish I'd been there. I would've gutted Callisto. They were out their minds to kidnap Kitty and think they could force her to marry Caliban just cause he had the hots for a sixteen year old. And Kitty was as much your kid as if she had been born to you. You loved that girl."

"She was yours as much as mine, Logan," Storm's tears quieted slightly and she looked up at her lover with affection. "You taught her a lot. And, oh, how I miss her."

"She's not that far away, darlin.' Just off at Muir Island with Kurt and the rest of Excaliber."

"She's still on the other side to the world, Logan," Ro protested. Fresh tears rose in her eyes. "But I don't blame her for wanting to be away. This house holds far too many memories for her of Illyana." Ro's breath caught again as she remembered the death of Illyana, who had been Kitty's best friend and the first mutant to die from the Legacy virus.

"I miss Illyana, too," Logan said softly. "I guess we always will. It never seems right when someone that young dies. It was hard as hell on Kitty and not very easy on Jubilee."

"And I miss Kurt and Piotr," Storm gulped out, naming two more of the X-men who had left to join Excaliber in Britain. Piotr was Illyana's older brother and her death had devastated him.

"Me, too, love. Me, too."

They were both quiet for a moment, lost in the memories of the earlier group of X-men who had included Kurt, Nightcrawler, who had been close to being Logan's best friend and Piotr who had been known as Colossus because of his ability to turn his flesh to impregnable metal.

Ro's breath caught yet again and she started to sob again. "But none of that has much to do with the poor Morlocks who were slaughtered without us being able to do a thing to help or stop it. And they were my responsibility, Logan. I was their leader whether I asked for it or not." Her sobs shook her entire body. Logan held her tightly, with tears rising in his own eyes. The slaughter of the Morlocks had been horrific.

The Morlocks were mutants who could not pass as normal humans. Many were grossly misshapen and deformed. They had hidden from persecution in the abandoned tunnels beneath New York City. For reasons which could only be guessed at, Sinister had sent the Marauders to kill all of them and the X-men had arrived in time to save only a few. It had been the occasion of a memorable and intense fight between Sabretooth and Wolverine.

Ro continued to shudder with intense sobs. "They. . .were. . .my responsibility. . .and I. . .failed them. . ." Logan sighed deeply. He knew he could make more attempts at reassurance but at this point he figured it would be best just to let her cry herself out.

* * *

Scott looked at Remy with grim determination. "I came up here to apologize to you, Remy," he said. He was totally unaware that his voice was so tense that he sounded much more angry than apologetic.

Remy stared at him with frustrated amazement. "An' what de hell makes you t'ink dat I care?" he asked, crossing his arms across his chest and leaning his shoulders back against the wall, carefully keeping his butt away from any contact.

Scott's mouth dropped open and he shut it again as he shook his head. "Remy," he tried to say patiently with his voice still strained, "I wanted to tell you that I was sorry that I said what I said at dinner. I was just trying to make a joke."

"An' it was real fuckin' funny, Summers," Remy said bitterly. "So why don' you take your damn apology and go shove it?"

Scott's stomach clenched and his hands closed into fists. He took a deep breath and tried to control the anger he felt surging through his guts. "Remy," he tried again. "I'm trying to tell you that I was wrong to say what I said about you. It was insensitive and inconsiderate. I'm really sorry." His voice was miserable and he was obviously trying hard.

For a moment Remy felt the beginnings of tears aching at the corners of his eyes. But Scott made the mistake of continuing to talk. "I had no idea of what all was going on with you," Scotty went on. "And I certainly had no idea that you are almost as much my little brother as Alex. I have as much of an obligation to you as I do to him. . ."

"An' I'm sure dat it makes you sick t' your damn stomach," Remy interrupted. "I never asked or wan'ed t' be your goddamm 'little brot'er. And I ain't goddamm little anyway. I just as fuckin' big as you are, you sanctimonious, self-righteous son of a bitch."

"That's not what I meant, Remy," Scott said tightly. "I only meant that you're my brother, too, and I didn't know. . ."

Remy cut him off again, "An' I didn' know either. An' I don' like it any more dan you do. From what I done been learnin,' and from what I know bout my damn life, it woulda been better for everyone if I just hadn' been created in some damn, mother-fucking test tube. I don' belong nowhere and I don' belong wit no one or not'ing."

"Goddammit, Remy, you're not listening to me at all," Scott said explosively, his temper finally shredding. "And I am sick and goddamm tired of you yelling at me while I am fucking trying to apologize."

"Oh, yeah," Remy said coldly. "De great and wonderful Oz tries to apologize for all de damn manipulations behind de damn curtain. I t'ink maybe you gettin' yourself mixed up wit de damn professor. But you be de real son of his heart, neh? I just de test tube created monster dat got no business even bein' here among de good citizens of Emerald City." Remy started to feel sick and shaky as his psychic link to Storm picked up on her sobbing anguish in her loft. He clenched his arms more tightly over his chest and tried hard to maintain some semblance of control.

"Goddammit, Remy, your father loves you," Scott exploded. "I don't know the circumstances of your birth. It hasn't happened yet and might never happen in this time line. But you have no right to dump on your father. You have no right to hurt him or any of us who care about you. Why are you being so damn unreasonable?"

"Cause I'm a fuckin' fuck up," Remy said tensely. Storm's anguish was eating at him like a cancer in his nerves. He could barely maintain control. He tried to put up shields, but they were little use against the intense grief and sorrow of the woman whom he thought of as his true mother. She mattered to him.

"Well, then why don't you try, why don't you make an effort to stop fucking up and rejoin the human race?"

"I ain' human, asshole. I'm a fuckin' mutant. An' I ain't even a naturally occurring mutant. I was cobbled t'gether in a damn test tube. I just a fuckin' freak. An' I don' need or wan' your damn apology. An' I don' need or wan' you. I jus' wan' you t' go de fuck away."

"Goddammit, Remy, I'm sick and tired of being yelled at," Scott snapped. "I don't like being yelled at. I came up here to apologize. There is no reason for you to be so nasty and insulting."

Storm's agonized pain was vibrating through Remy's body. He held himself tightly to control the shaking. "Well, dat just who I am, Summers. I just a nasty, insulting, useless waste of goddamm space. If you don' like it, why don' you just get de hell outta my room where I never wan'ed you anyway? Like, I askin' you, why don' you jus' go de hell away? I wan' t' be left alone."

Scott shook his head, so angry that he was almost explosive. He took a deep breath and another and tried to speak calmly. "Okay, Rem," he said tightly. "I'll leave. . . I'll leave you the fuck alone. But I would like you to remember that I came up here to apologize. I would fucking appreciate it if you could remember, at some point, that we all love you."

Remy resisted an impulse to fall to his knees and start crying. He was invaded by Storm's grief. "So, fuckin' fine," he snapped out. "You all love me so much. None of you would damn love me if you knew what all I done. . . Please, just go the fuck away, Scotty. PLEASE."

"Well, thanks so much for your gracious acceptance of my apology," Scott said. He glared at Remy and went out the door, slamming it behind him.

As soon as the door shut, Remy sank to his knees, flooded with Storm's sorrow. Tears rose in his eyes and he felt crazed with agony. He dragged himself closer to the wall and smashed his head against it again and again. The pain vibrated through his head and body.

The pain calmed him. The self destructiveness satisfied his hatred of himself. And the intensity of the hurt released endorphins in his brain. Storm's anguish continued to invade his mind and heart. He was not particularly happy with the estrangement between him and Rogue, him and Charles, or him and Scott. He quite clearly understood that all of the problems were his own fault. He slammed his head again against the wall and felt a shattering explosion in his ear. For a moment he saw stars and felt dizzy. He rose and looked at himself at the mirror, feeling satisfaction as he looked at he red marks on his cheek.

He headed for the door.

* * *

Storm continued to sob in Logan's arms. "Oh by the goddess, Logan how my heart broke when the Morlocks were slaughtered. They were my people. . .and I failed them. . ." Her voice broke again.

Logan continued to hold her tightly while his own eyes welled with tears. "It wasn't your fault, Ro," he said softly. "None of us were there. None of expected it to happen."

Logan's head suddenly snapped up as the door to the loft opened. He relaxed as Remy slipped in quietly and felt concerned at the tight, white faced look Remy was wearing. He wondered about the red blotches on the side of Remy's face.

"I was dere," Remy said, his voice so tense that he could barely get the words out. "I put the Marauders together and led them in."

Ro's sobs stopped completely and she sat up, staring at Remy, her eyes wide with shock. "You did WHAT!" she demanded in aghast amazement.

"I was working for Sinister," Remy said tightly. "He ordered me to put the Marauders together and lead them into the tunnels. He had ordered me to explore the tunnels and map them out. I didn't know what they had been ordered to do. And, I tried to stop them. I picked up a little girl and got the hell out of dere as soon as de slaughter started."

Both Logan and Ro were staring at him with astonished amazement. Remy took a deep breath, shuddered and went on, "I shoulda tried to stop dem, but I was scared as hell. So I just ran. Like a fucking coward. Like a baby."

"Why didn't the professor find that in your mind when he and Jean went in?" Ro demanded, her voice cold and tight.

"I don' know," Remy said miserably. "It was de worse t'ing I ever done. I t'ink I had hidden it even from myself."

"And what in the name of the goddess to you expect me to say to you, Remy?" Storm demanded. Her tears had frozen in her eyes and her heart was like ice.

"Dere ain't not'ing you can say t' me, Stormy," Remy said, his voice almost dead. "I don' deserve t' be here. I don' deserve t' be an X-man. I don' expect you t' be able to forgive me. I just wan'ed you t' know de truth about what a monster I really am."

"Don't you dare call me Stormy," Ro rose and started to pace. "Don't you dare."

Logan looked back and forth between Remy's drawn white face with it's red blotches slowly turning to unmistakable bruises and Storm's grim and furious expression. He closed his eyes and sighed deeply.

"I sorry, Stor. . .Ororo," Remy said quietly and miserably. "I t'ink maybe I should just get out now."

"Oh, no," Storm whirled on him and fastened him in place with an icy glare. "You aren't going anywhere, young man."

Remy flushed. Logan raised his hand, palm open and tried to intervene. "Ro, darlin,' I think maybe this should be discussed when both of you have had a chance to cool off."

"The hell with that," Ro said with quiet fury, not even looking at Logan. She continued to stare at Remy. "How dare you have stayed here at this mansion knowing what you had done? How dare you have let me love you and invest my heart in you, knowing that you killed my people? How dare you have kept this secret from all of us?"

Remy's hands went into fists and it was all he could do to stop himself from hitting himself in the face. He jerked his gaze away from Ro's and walked over the window. "I wan'd dis t' be my home," he said, so quietly that it was almost inaudible. "I wan'd t' do some good t' make up for de bad t'ings I done."

"How could you ever do anything to make up for killing the Morlocks?" Ro demanded furiously.

"He didn't kill a single Morlock, Storm," Logan said reasonably. "He didn't even know that Sinister was planning to have them killed."

"What in hell did he think Sabretooth was going to do when he led him to the Morlocks?" Ro insisted. "Sit down and have a tea party? Did he think the Mad Hatter would maybe appear and officiate?"

Remy clenched, unclenched, and reclenched his fists. He took a deep, shaking breath and then punched himself in the face almost hard enough to knock loose a tooth. He reeled backwards and then punched himself again on the other side of his face and managed to knock himself into a wall. He raised his fist again.

Logan was on his feet and at Remy's side in a flash. He grabbed the boy's arm and twisted it up and behind his back, forcing Remy down to his knees. "That's enough," he said grimly. "That's enough from both of you."

Remy tried to swing at himself with his other fist and Logan grabbed that one, too. He glared down into Remy's face. "Stop it right now, child, or you will regret it, I promise you." Tears sprang to Remy's eyes both from the pain in his head and the angry concern he heard in Logan's voice.

Ro's mouth had dropped open when Remy hit himself. She felt a new surge of intense anger and watched as Logan got the Cajun under control. "Oh, that was a cute manipulation, Gambit," she said bitterly. "Are you trying to make me feel guilty for being angry with you? I'm not buying into that game."

"NOOO," Remy tried to twist away from Logan and bang his head against the wall. He failed. His voice shook with the raging tears that threatened to escape. "I HATE MYSELF," he announced. "I wan' t' hurt myself."

"And I said that I have heard enough from both of you," Logan said grimly, dragging Remy to his feet. "Ro, I'm taking Remy down to his room. I'll be back up here for you as soon as can. I know you're upset as hell and I don't blame you."

"Good," Ro said coldly. "Get him the hell out of my sight."

Logan closed his eyes again and counted internally to ten. He knew Ro was too upset to be thinking about what she was saying and he knew he needed to get Remy to a place where the Cajun could calm down.

Remy shook with suppressed sobs and allowed Logan to pull him out of the loft and down to his room. Logan essentially tossed Remy onto his bed and stood in front of him with his arms crossed over his chest.

"Well, that was one fucking hell of a bombshell to drop on Ro out of fucking nowhere," he said quietly.

Remy curled himself up into a ball and quaked with agony. He was sure he had lost Ro's love forever and was fairly sure that Logan was disgusted with him.

"How did you manage to bruise your face, kiddo?" Logan asked grimly. "With your fists?"

Remy shook his head. "I banged my head against the wall," he mumbled.

"Oh, good," Logan commented. "That sounds real constructive. . .though I guess it's about as constructive as me slashing my own face with my claws," he added thoughtfully. Remy wasn't really listening. Logan stared down at him and thought carefully. He was torn. He knew Ro needed him. He knew Remy needed him. He wasn't sure which way to turn. And he already felt guilty as hell for spanking Remy while he was in a rage. He sighed deeply and took a few steps toward the bed.

Remy sat up. "NO," he yelled. "You leave me de fuck alone, Logan. I don' need you. I don' wan' you. I wan' you t' go away. Go take care of Stormy. She hurtin' bad. I can feel it t'rough my link wit her."

"Rem," Logan tried to start out patiently. "You seem to be hurtin' pretty bad, your own self. . ."

"I AM NOT," Remy clenched his arms over his stomach which threatened to rebel at any moment and dump his dinner all over the floor. "Just go away, you fucking asshole. Unless, you have some goddam overwhelming need t' beat on me again."

Logan looked at him thoughtfully. "I think you need a spanking right now, kiddo. I think you need one bad. And I think maybe I oughta deliver it."

Remy's eyes widened with shock and he pulled himself back toward the head board of his bed. Logan advanced upon him, sat himself down on the bed, grabbed Remy's arm, and pulled the Cajun kid face down over his knees. Remy struggled fruitlessly as Logan took his jeans and underwear down, baring his bruised and welted bottom.

Logan drew in a sharp and dismayed breath. He wanted to spank this boy again about as much as he wanted to take on Sabretooth with both arms missing. Remy gasped and steeled himself. This was one time he was damn determined not to cry. He went away inside himself.

Logan paused and took another deep breath. "Remy," he said tightly. "You butt is way too bruised for another spanking. I'm not going to do it. You're off the hook for this one." Logan jerked Remy's underpants and jeans back up again and sighed deeply. He badly wanted to turn the kid in his arms and simply hold him, but he was sure that Remy would resist.

He was also aware that his kid had dissociated yet again. "Kiddo," he said gently, "I know you're out of your mind with being upset, but you have to come back."

"No. I. Don't." Remy said, gritting his teeth.

"Would you let me hold you, Rem?" Logan asked gently.

Remy shook his head as he pulled himself off Logan's lap and curled up again on his bed. "I don' wan' you right now," he choked out. "An' Ro needs you. She hurtin' bad, an' it's all my fault. You go t' her. I be okay." He pulled himself together and managed to kill all his feelings. He even managed to give Logan a weak and minimal grin. "I really okay now, Logan." He was putting on the best of acts.

Logan stared at him with skepticism. "I don't believe you, kidlet," he said. "But I'll go to Ro if she needs me. Will you promise me to stay right here and not go any damn where?"

Remy nodded, looking up at Wolverine with a face full of honest compliance. Logan continued to look at him skeptically, but shrugged. "Remy, if you are lying to me right now, if you take off, I will track you down and blister you until you are sobbing for mercy. You got that, kidlet?"

The affectionate nickname ate Remy's guts Logan like sulfuric acid eating through steel. He gulped and grabbed on again to his ability to dissociate.

"I got it," he said quietly. "An' I'm not okay, but Stormy needs you and I can wait."

Logan stared at him carefully. He didn't like what he saw, but his need to be with Storm was knawing at him as badly as a mother's need to be with a sick child. "I mean it, Remy," he said. "I want you right here when I come back."

"Oh, fuck you, Logan," Remy spat out. "Where de hell you t'ink I gonna go?"

Logan nodded with satisfaction. Remy's angry response made sense to him. He started to move toward the door.

"Logan," Remy said desperately. Logan turned and looked at him. "D' you t'ink dat dere is any way Stormy could forgive me for gettin' de Morlocks killed? Could you?"

Logan sighed. He was intensely distracted by Ro's obvious distress and he answered only the first part of Remy's question, "I don't know, Remy. I can't begin to tell you." Remy nodded and Logan went out the door.

Remy rose from his bed and started to get his things together. He was leaving. He knew he didn't belong in the Mansion any more. He knew he didn't deserve to be a part of the X-men.

To be continued. . .