Subject: Family Matters, chapter 27
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 01:01:44 EDT
"I don' wanna eat not'ing," Remy said irritably as Logan offered him a California roll of sushi.
Logan frowned, but before he could speak, Hank interrupted. "Remy, you've had nothing to eat since you left the hospital," he said gently. "You need to eat something. You don't have to eat sushi. Tell me something you could eat and I'll make it for you. Whatever you want."
Remy thought carefully. "Some grits, Hank?" he asked.
Hank grinned as he saw several of the northern-bred X-men grimace. "How about some bacon and eggs with the grits?" he suggested. Remy nodded. Hank left for the kitchen.
Logan put a large dollop of wasabi on a negihama roll and popped it into his mouth. His eyes watered and he grinned happily.
"I'd bet that cleared your sinuses," Warren said with a grin as he put a much smaller amount of wasabi on crab roll.
Logan nodded and put almost as much wasabi on snapper roll that he swallowed quickly. The wasabi was also a great cure for the headache from his hangover.
Remy rose from the couch beside Logan and Rogue, squeezing her hand, as he passed, went to the window, and stared out.
Rogue and Logan exchanged a glance, and she gestured with her eyes to Logan that she wanted him to be the one to go after the Cajun. Logan grabbed another roll of squid wrapped with rice, dipped it in the hot green paste, and went to Remy.
"What's goin' on with you, kiddo?" he asked.
Remy shrugged helplessly. "I'm scared," he admitted. His eyes filled with defenseless tears. "I gonna be punished. . .even more dan Bobby, oui?" He slammed his head into the wall beside the window. Logan grabbed the kid's head and held it firmly.
"Now is not the time to be thinkin' 'bout it, Rem," he said emphatically.
"How I not gonna t'ink 'bout it, Logan?" Remy's voice faltered as his breath caught. Several tears spilled out and he angrily swiped at his face with the sleeve of his t-shirt.
Logan sighed. "Kidlet," he started.
"Dammit, Logan." Warren appeared beside them. "If Remy needs to cry, let him. If you're tired of holding him and want to take some time to eat, go on and eat. I'll sit with Rem."
Remy looked up with startled surprise. "I don' need no one t' sit wit me, Warren," he said shakily. "But t'anks for offerin'."
"I'm not fuckin' tired of holdin' Remy," Logan said roughly.
"But you do need t' eat, Logan," Remy said. "An' maybe it'd be a good t'ing for me an' Warren t' talk. I wanna go outside an' smoke anyway."
Warren glanced at Logan, who nodded his acquiescence, and went back to the sushi. "Lead the way, Rem," Warren said to Remy, following as the younger mutant went out to the porch, sat down carefully at the top of the steps, and lit a cigarette.
Warren sat down opposite him, leaned against one of the wooden columns, and stretched out his long legs across the end of the porch so that his feet were on the other side of Remy.
"I guess dat maybe you an' me need t' talk 'bout de Morlock Massacre?" Remy drew smoke into his lungs and held it there for a second. He didn't look at the other man.
"Yeah, Remy," Warren said quietly. "I think you and I very much need to talk about the Massacre. I don't think you've looked me in the eye one time since we all went out to Seattle."
A flush rose on Remy's cheeks and he took another drag from his cigarette. "I don' know what t' say t' you, Warren," he said miserably, still avoiding Warren's eyes. "You got hurt bad when de damn Marauders did de Massacre. . . an' it was my fault. Don' t'ink dat sayin' 'I sorry' would exac'ly fix anyt'ing. It was de wronges' t'ing I ever done. His eyes stung with bitter tears of shame.
Warren took a long careful breath. "Yeah, that's what I thought you were thinking," he said. He took another breath. "Rem, I don't think I've ever known you at all until the last few weeks since you've started to come clean with us. All I ever met before was the oh, so charming, suave, and witty thief who Storm dragged home and forced us all to accept. I didn't like you much."
"I know dat." Remy put out his cigarette and lit another. He looked down at the steps. "I don' t'ink I much wan'ed you t' like me. Den I'd have t' feel even worse." His eyes flooded with tears. "An' den after ever'one found out 'bout de ot'er t'ings I'd done, you star'ed bein' really nice t' me." His voice broke and the tears started spilling out. He once again angrily swiped them away with his sleeve.
"I found out I like you, Remy," Warren said. "And I still do."
"I don' know how you cou'd," Remy mumbled. "Dammit, Warren, durin' de Massacre, you got hammered t' a wall wit spikes an' lost your wings. Dey had t' be amputated. An' you got taken by Apocalypse who gave you dose damn metal wings dat you hate."
"Yes," Warren agreed. He took a deep breath. "And Kitty, Kurt and Piotr were so injured they almost died. We had to send them to Muir Island to be treated, and they've all stayed there, so, essentially, we lost them from the X-men. Not to mention the fact that hundreds of innocent men, women, and children were killed. You put all of that in motion. You started it. You gathered the Marauders together, you mapped the tunnels where the Morlocks lived, and you led the monsters in who did the carnage. An impressive piece of work, Remy, but not exactly something to be proud of, is it?" Warren's voice tensed as he recounted what had happened.
Remy's chest tightened and he was almost unable to breathe. His throat closed, and the tears swimming in his eyes started spilling out. His hands trembled as he tried to light another cigarette.
"You really screwed up, Remy," Warren went on, "and when I first heard about it, I hated you. I never wanted to lay eyes on you again. I heard all about the extenuating circumstances. That you'd been blackmailed and lied to by Sinister. That you didn't know the bloodbath was going to happen. I wasn't really impressed. You knew you were dealing with monsters, and you were cooperating with what you thought was an effort to kidnap some of the Morlocks so that bastard, Sinister, could experiment on them. Not exactly an admirable mission, was it, kid? Especially since you, of all people, knew what Sinister was capable of."
Remy's chest hurt from holding back the sobs that threatened to overwhelm him.
"Answer me, Remy," Warren demanded.
Remy shook his head, tears still spilling out, as he avoided Warren's eyes.
"Answer me out loud, Remy," Warren commanded.
"Non," Remy gulped out. "It was de wors' t'ing I ever done. An' I hate me for doin' it." His breath caught, and he held it, choking back sobs.
"And I hated you, too, Rem, and I couldn't stop thinking about it," Warren said quietly. "And while I was thinking about it, I found to my own amazement that I kept seeing you in my head. I kept seeing you laying your life on the line all the times we've fought together. I kept seeing you in the study as you risked everything that mattered to you to help us find out who the traitor would be." Warren took a deep breath and continued.
"I kept seeing the memories we'd been sent of your life and seeing you as that lost little boy who had a hell of a rotten life. I kept seeing how hard you've tried in the past few weeks to come clean and get honest. And seeing how much grief and punishment you've been asking for and getting. And seeing you in that cave during the exercise in the danger room when you were sobbing your guts out. No matter how hard I tried to keep hating you, I kept seeing the still very lost, very big boy who's trying hard to make amends and find redemption."
Warren sighed deeply and looked over at Remy, who was dragging shakily on his cigarette and staring down at the ground with a red flush of shame on his face and silent tears still spilling down his face. "I couldn't keep hating you, kid. No matter how hard I tried, I kept finding that I still like you and care about you a lot. And your pain and shame and guilt just touches my heart."
Remy looked up at the other mutant with shocked amazement and was even more amazed to see that Warren's eyes were shining with unshed tears. Warren shook his head. "Put the cigarette out and come here, kid. I think I need a hug as bad as you do." Warren kicked him gently on the butt.
Remy put the cigarette on the steps, stomped it out, and moved hesitantly toward Warren who hesitated not at all as he put out his arms and gathered the Cajun into a hug. "Remy," Warren said gently. "You weren't even there when I got nailed to the damn wall. You had nothing to do with me losing my wings."
"I put de damn Marauders t'gether an' led dem in." Remy's voice was muffled against Warren's chest, but still clearly on the edge of breaking.
"You tried to stop the killing, Remy. You didn't know it was going to happen," Warren said.
"I knew dey was a bunch of murderous psychopaths," Remy said angrily. "I shoulda known dat somet'ing bad'd happen. I shoulda known. An' I knew dat even de mission I t'ought I was on was wrong."
"Yeah, and we all have great 20/20 hindsight, kid," Warren said softly. "And, yeah, you fucked up bad, but Remy, try to stop beating yourself up about it. Hell, you're doing your level best to get yourself punished enough to pay for all of it. And stop avoiding me, will you? I care about you, Rem. I think you're pretty damn special. It kind of hurts my feelings when you won't even look at me."
Remy took a deep breath, felt it catch, and started sobbing. His arms went all the way around Warren, and he held on tightly. Warren hugged back just as hard and moved one hand in soothing circles on Remy's back. "It's okay, kid. Just let it go. You and me are okay with each other. And cry as long as you need to. I don't have anything else on my schedule."
* * *
Logan breathed a deep sigh of relief as he gazed out the window, watching the two guys on the porch.
"What, Logan?" Scott stood at his elbow. Logan gestured, and Scott looked out at the sight of Warren holding Remy tightly and soothingly as the young Cajun sobbed in his arms.
"I think I'm gonna buy the blasted Warren Worthington, the third, a case of single malt Scotch," Logan said lightly.
Hank entered with a tray of food, put it down on the coffee table, and came to the window. He looked out, too.
"Morlock Massacre?" he guessed. Logan nodded. "Well, about time that Warren and Remy worked that out between them."
"Good timing, too," Logan rumbled. "Took the kidlet's mind right off what's gonna happen to him this afternoon in the study."
Scott sighed. "I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I'll be to get all this damn melodrama over with and get back to business." He was taken aback when both Logan and Hank frowned at him.
"This is part of our business," Logan growled.
"I didn't mean it that way," Scott said helplessly and to the backs of his two friends as they exchanged a glance and walked away from him. "Damn It! Hank! Logan!"
Everyone looked up and stared as Scott raised his voice, and Hank and Logan turned back to him.
"You maybe have more thoughtless, tactless remarks to make, Scotty?" Logan asked with a eyebrow raised.
Scott's face reddened. "I didn't mean it the way it sounded," he said. "I'm sorry."
Hank put a hand on Scott's shoulder. "It's okay, Scotty," he said gently. "We all know how hard it is for you to handle emotional intensity."
Logan grinned. "And figured out many years ago you suffer from almost terminal foot in the mouth disease."
Scott flushed again, but tried to speak lightly, "Well, I'd ask Hank to try and find a cure, but I guess the Legacy virus is a higher priority."
Logan looked at Hank, who snorted at the expression on the other man's face.
"We could give him an E for effort," Hank suggested as he started laughing.
"Not even," Logan said. "Maybe a T for tryin' and an F for feeble. Oh, hell, Scotty. It's okay. And I was prolly over-reacting cause I'm so worried 'bout the kid. We're all under a lot of stress. I'll just add it to my list of reasons to beat up on you next time we're in the danger room."
"Well, gee thanks, Logan," Scott said. "Remind me sometime to tell you just how long my list is for you."
"Little better," Logan said judiciously. "Though it could've used about twenty degrees more of biting irony. I really think you oughta consider hiring a new writer. Or maybe just a dialogue coach."
Hank tried to stop laughing. "Logan," he gasped out. "Stop picking on Scotty."
"Really," Betsy joined the conversation. "It's not fair, Logan."
Scotty grinned suddenly. "Oh, I don't know. Speaking as the mouse, it's kinda interesting to watch the panther in action."
Logan started laughing hard and held his right hand up to Scotty who agreeably gave him a high five. "Good for you, Scotty," he sputtered. "Best line yet of the whole damn exchange."
"I'm not sure a panther would be interested in a mouse," Hank remarked thoughtfully.
"Hors d'oeuvres," Logan laughed out. He walked over to the couch and sat down with Rogue and Sam who were watching the TV with the sound muted and reading the closed captions. "What's on, kids?"
"'Xena' just ended," Sam said.
"Good," Logan laughed more. "I don't think I could cope with Xena. But I love to read the credits."
Sam stared at him. The credits were running and Logan watched intently. "There, Sam," Logan said. "Read that, 'No punitive and vengeful deities were harmed in the filming of this episode.'"
Sam and Rogue started giggling. "Do they always do that?" Rogue asked. Logan nodded.
"Almost always," he said. "Best part of the show. They do it on 'Hercules,' too. Is that on next?" Sam nodded. "Good, I kinda like 'Hercules.' Let's watch it."
"Is it a new one?" Sam asked. Rogue shook her head.
"Ah don't think so, but it has Ares in it an' ah sure like ta look at that man," she said.
Logan grinned at her. "You do like the 'bad' boys, don't you, girl?"
Rogue grinned back. "Ah like em naughty, but ya gotta admit dat Ares looks good in all that black leather. And he does have a cute butt."
"I don't gotta admit nothin'," Logan claimed. "But I'll take your word for it. And I like lookin' at Morgan myself. She in this one?"
Rogue shook her head and leaned against Logan. He put an arm around her. "I love ya, Wolvie," she said softly. He squeezed her tightly.
"Love you, too, sweetie," he said softly.
"Ya gonna make sure that Remy's okay?" Rogue asked. Logan sighed.
"Don't think I'd live if Remy's not okay," he said quietly. Rogue nodded and put her head on Logan's shoulder. They watched TV together.
Warren and Remy re-entered the room. Remy, for once, looked relaxed, though his eyes were red and swollen. Hank looked at him.
"I made you food, Rem," he said. Remy nodded, sat down on the couch beside Rogue and took the paper towel off the plate. He crumbled the bacon into the grits, broke the yolks of the eggs, mixed them into the grits, too, and started to eat, suddenly realizing he was ravenous.
He'd almost finished, as he watched 'Hercules' with the others, when the com unit chimed.
Remy froze and stopped eating. Hank sighed. Logan stood, went to the com, and growled into it. "That you, Chuck?" he demanded.
"Yes," Charles started. "I was about to say. . ."
"Well, hold it," Logan ordered. "We just managed to get your son to eat for the first time since we left Seattle. . .Oh, hell. . ." Remy ran out, retching.
"Never mind, Charlie," Logan said. "I think Remy just lost what he was eatin'. Whatta you want?"
"I'm ready for all of you to come back to my study," Charles said simply. "But I didn't mean to. . . Logan, is Remy okay?"
"No," Logan said. "How in hell could you expect him to be okay?"
Charles sighed. "I think it might be best to simply get this over with," he suggested.
"I think you're prolly right," Logan agreed. "We'll be there as soon as Remy gets back from throwing up."
Charles sighed again. "Thank you," he said. He paused and said, "Logan, I don't like this any more than you do. You know that, don't you?"
Logan sighed, too. "Of course, I do," he said simply. "He's our kid, Chuck. I love him as much as you do."
"I know you do, Logan," Charles said. "But does he really understand how much either of us loves him? Never mind. Of course he doesn't. We all have to cope with that."
Remy reappeared in the doorway, his face white and drawn. "Is it time?" he asked, shakily.
"We'll be there in moments, Chuck," Logan said. He turned to Remy. "Yep, kidlet, it's time."
Remy's eyes swam with tears. He gulped hard, then sank to his knees and started to sob. "I can'," he gasped out. "I can'."
Logan went to him and gathered him into his arms. "You gonna have to, kidlet. I'm sorry as hell, but you asked for it and you're gonna get what you asked for." Logan looked around the room and jerked his head toward the door. The other members of the X-family quickly filtered out, leaving Logan to deal with Remy who was crying hard.
"C'mon, Rem," Logan said gently. "Time to pay the price."
"I don' wanna be sp. . . sp. . . punished any more," Remy gulped out. "An', y'know what?"
"What, kiddo?" Logan asked.
"I don' wan' de scoldin' even more dan I don' wan' de. . .de. . ." Remy gulped out.
Logan held him tightly. "I gotcha, Rem," he said quietly. He stroked Remy's back. "But kiddo, you earned the scolding. You earned the spankings. Go ahead and cry it out, but you're gonna have to face what you've got comin' to you."
Remy sobbed. Bobby walked up and sat down beside Logan and Remy, grimacing as his sore butt hit the floor. He reached over and put a hand on his friend's shoulder.
"I wanted to know what was going on," he said. He cleared his throat and spoke again. "Remy," he started, "I was in your shoes a few hours ago. And I was just as scared as you are. But I think the worst of it is over for me. And I feel a hell of a lot better."
"De worst of it?" Remy gulped out.
Bobby shrugged. "The professor told me that I could expect more punishment. Like I might be grounded or such. That I'd been way outta line and that there would be more. It's okay. I'm just glad the worst is over. You will be, too. Really, Remy. You just wanna get it over with. Trust me on this one. You'll feel a whole lot better when it's done. I do."
Remy raised his head from Logan's shoulder and looked Bobby in the eyes. "You really feel bet'er now?" he asked.
Bobby laughed, grabbed Remy, and pulled him into a brief, heartfelt hug. "Yeah, Remy, I feel a hell of a lot better. I even believe that everyone loves me. Feel it in my heart. Makes any other punishment almost irrelevant."
Bobby pushed Remy out of his arms and looked at him intently. "C'mon, Rem, pull yourself together and go face what you brought on yourself. Where the hell you hiding the Cajun warrior I know so well? You turning into a whiny baby? Too scared to face the music? Just gonna stay here on the floor and cry? And whine about how scared you are?"
Remy flushed, balled up a fist, and hit Bobby hard on the shoulder. "I ain't no whinin' babe," he said irritably. "An' if you can take it you, you icy wimp, I guess I can take it, too."
Bobby grinned. Logan gave him a thumbs up. "Good work, kiddo," he mouthed silently as Remy rose to his feet. Bobby grinned again.
"Thanks, Logan," he mouthed back. Remy headed down the hall and missed the sight of Logan pulling Bobby into a quick hug.
"Ya done good, Bobbo," Logan murmured into Bobby's ear.
Bobby hugged back, briefly. "In case you don't got it by now, Remy matters to me." He followed Remy. Logan flowed to his feet and went after both of them, going to Bobby's side.
"I know you care 'bout Rem," Logan said quietly. "He's damn easy to care about. Wish he could figure it out."
"He will," Bobby said confidently. "Sooner or later."
Remy turned and glared at both of them. "You guys finished talkin' 'bout me like I some kinda dope who can' hear?" he asked. "I know you bot' care 'bout me. I know dat de whole damn family cares 'bout me. Sorta. Jus' wish dey didn' care 'bout me enough t' beat de hell outta me."
Logan snorted. "No one's gonna beat you, Rem," he growled. "You just gonna be spanked hard, and you got it comin'."
Remy's face went white as he glowered at Logan. "Gee, t'anks for remindin' me," he grumbled.
"Give me attitude, kid," Logan said, "and you gonna get a reality check."
Remy shrugged miserably and opened the door to the study. He gulped hard as he faced his father. Logan and Bobby came in right behind him.
"Remy," Charles greeted him.
"Daddy," Remy answered. His face was white and drawn.
Charles sighed. "Remy, I want you right in front of me. Now."
Remy gulped and stood in front of his father, trembling.
Charles turned to Bobby. "Bobby," he said, "this is going to be hard for you. I want you to sit with someone whom you trust. Both Hank and Logan will be punishing Remy. Choose someone else to sit with whom you want to have holding you if you fall to pieces."
Bobby looked around the room and his eyes met Jean's. She nodded, and he sat at her side.
Charles turned to Rogue, who was sitting on the floor at Jean's feet. "You, too, Rogue," he said. "Jean might be busy with Bobby. I think you need to find someone for yourself."
Rogue nodded and looked around herself. Scott caught her eye and motioned her over to sit on the floor in front of this chair.
Charles turned his attention to his son, who stood in front of him, his face white. "Remy," Charles said, "you're going to be punished." He turned to Logan. "Logan, take his pants down."
Remy flinched, blushed, and uttered an inarticulate sound of protest.
Charles sighed, again. "You can keep your pants up in front," he said, "but for the rest of this talk and the rest of your punishment your bottom is going to be bare."
Remy gulped hard. "I can take my pants down m'self," he offered.
"You'll not be allowed to," Charles said, sternly. "You've behaved like a disobedient brat. You acted like an irresponsible child, and you're going to be treated like one. Logan."
Logan went behind Remy and pulled his sweat pants and underwear down. Remy's eyes filled with tears.
"Remy," Charles said. "You dropped a bombshell on all of us when you told us that you'd been involved in the Morlock Massacre." Remy's breath caught.
Charles went on, "And you were told and told not to run away before we decided how to cope with your role in the Massacre. You ignored us and ran away. We'll deal with your blatant disobedience in a moment. Right now, we're going to deal with your participation in the Massacre. We realize that you had no clue what would happen. We know that Sinister was blackmailing you. But, you knew you were leading monsters into the Morlock tunnels. On a very questionable mission. Even worse, you kept it a secret from all of us. You should feel guilty as hell."
Remy nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
"So your first spanking comes from Storm, who was the leader of the Morlocks, then."
Remy's breath caught. "Oh, no, please," he begged.
"Yes, Remy," Charles said. "Jean, please help Storm control this child."
Jean nodded and used her telekinetic powers to propel Remy to the couch and bend him over the arm. Remy shivered.
Storm took the paddle, went to Remy, held him around the waist, and pulled him up close to her side. She pulled his pants and briefs further down his legs, baring the top of this thighs as well as his bottom. Remy cringed with embarrassed dismay and fear.
Logan slid down a wall, wincing again as his butt hit the floor. He drew his knees up to his chest and put his head down on them. He didn't want to even look. Nor did he want to listen, but he had not much choice.
"Remy," Storm said, "I know you're terrified of being spanked by me. In your head, it means that you were really bad. Well, in this situation, what you did was really bad. Keeping your inadvertent participation in the massacre a secret was unacceptable. You had no right to keep it a hidden from the rest of us. And that is why you're getting this spanking. Not because of the massacre, itself, but because you've been living a lie with us." She started paddling.
Remy gasped as the paddle smacked down and gasped again and again. His bottom reddened and burned, and he held his breath in a determined effort not to start sobbing.
"Stormy," he choked out. "Hurts."
"It's supposed to hurt, Remy," Storm said severely. "I cannot understand or accept that you thought it was okay to work for Sinister, participate in what you thought was a kidnaping that turned into a slaughter of innocent people, and then keep all of it a secret."
"I t'ought you'd hate me," Remy gasped out. "I t'ought you'd send me away."
Ro continued blistering Remy's bottom. "Remy," she said with deep exasperation. "You saved my life when you first met me. Why did you think I'd forget that little fact? I love you, you blasted brat. And, yes, you made a big mistake when you led the Marauders into the Morlock tunnels. You knew how dangerous they were. But Sinister was blackmailing you. That doesn't excuse the fact that you didn't even think to ask for help. And you should have long ago confessed." She smacked the paddle down again and again.
Remy's efforts to contain his sobs were failing miserably. One sob after another slipped out. "I sorry," he gulped out. "I sorry. . .Stormy, please, stop. It hurts. Bad."
"I fully intend for this paddling to hurt, Remy. You screwed up," Storm said sternly. "You deserve to be spanked until your bottom is blazing and you're sobbing so hard that you can hardly breathe."
Ro blistered three more hard whacks on Remy's bare butt. He started crying hard. "I sorry. . .I sorry. . .I sorry. . . " he gulped out.
Ro wondered what she would want if she were in Remy's place, took a deep breath, and delivered twenty more burning spanks.
"I know you're sorry," Ro said quietly. "You inadvertently participated in a horrendous slaughter of innocent Morlocks who had harmed you not at all and then never told us a word about what had happened. You deserve to be paddled thoroughly and you know it."
Remy's stomach clenched and he gritted his teeth as tears continued to stream down his face. The paddle Storm was wielding smacked down on his flaming bottom thirty more times. He was crying so hard that his stomach hurt.
"But you were lost, scared, and very young," Storm said gently. "You had no clue where to look for help. You'd been expelled from your family in the thief's guild, and you had not yet found us. And when you did find us, I can understand that you were afraid to tell us what had happened and what you'd done. So, I'm inclined to forgive you. I love you."
Remy sobbed miserably. "Stormy. . . . please. . ." he gasped out. Ro blistered ten more whacks against Remy's bottom and stopped.
"I'm done," she said quietly. She gave the paddle back to Charles and gently stroked Remy's back "I love you, Remy." Jean released the Cajun from her telekinetic bonds.
Remy pulled his pants back up in front, sank to his knees, put his head on the arm of the couch and sobbed as if his heart was breaking. His entire body shook. He couldn't remember ever feeling so lost, alone, and ashamed.
Logan's head snapped up.
Storm sighed with dismay as she listened to Remy's gulping, convulsive sobs. She knelt beside him and put a hand on his arm.
"Remy?" she began. He jerked away from her, put his arms around his stomach, and leaned over with his head almost to his knees. His sobs were deep, shuddering hiccups of intense pain.
The pain was not so much from Remy's blazing butt which indeed hurt badly. The anguish was in his guts and his heart.
Ro stared at him with intense distress.
Logan rose quickly, crossed the room, knelt beside Remy, and gathered the young man into his arms. "Is okay, kidlet," he murmured. "You're not alone. We're all here with you. Is okay. Ro still loves you. Hell, we all still love you."
"NON," Remy gulped out. He almost couldn't get any words out as he sobbed so intensely that his stomach hurt. "N'body. . .n'body. . .shou'd. . . love me. . . I. . .hate. . .me. . ..I hate. . ." He tried to pull himself out of Logan's arms, but Logan held him tightly.
"Yes, kidlet," Logan said gently, cutting Remy off. "We all fucking know how much you hate you. That's why you're gettin' spanked so hard. Cause we can't stand it. I love you. We all love you. And we want you to learn to care about your own damn self."
"Non. . . non. . . non. . ." Remy gulped out. Logan pushed him away, held him by both shoulders, and stared into his face.
"Oui, oui, oui," Logan said. He shook Remy gently and then gathered him back into a fierce embrace. "I love you. I can't speak for anyone else, but you gonna listen right now, while I tell you that I love you. Don't you dare dismiss that again. Just listen to me. I love you. And, damn me for even saying so, but I need you," Logan's voice broke and his eyes filled with tears. "I need you to be okay. I need you to be okay for me. I need you. Remy, damn it, do you hear me? Do you know how much I need you?" His breath caught.
Hank gasped and looked at Logan with startled respect and appreciation. He knew what that confession had cost. He dropped down from the ceiling fan and crouched carefully near Logan and Remy, waiting to be there for Logan when this crisis was over.
Logan's intense and heartfelt confession penetrated into Remy's gulping despair. He put his head into the other man's shoulder and suddenly relaxed. The young Cajun's arms went around Logan's chest, and he was holding on as tightly as Logan was holding him.
"I sor. . .sorry," he gulped out. "L. . .Logan, pl. . .please. . .don'. . . cry."
Logan's breath caught again, and he held his kid as tightly as he could without squeezing the breath out of him.
"I'll fuckin' cry if I wanna," he said shakily, his breath catching again and again. "I just need you to know you're loved. Kiddo, none of this is worth a damn if you don't know you're loved. Please, dammit, tell me that you know I love you."
Remy gulped hard, shuddered, and capitulated. "I. . .kn. . .know. . .dat you love. . .me," he admitted. His deep gasping sobs started to subside as he relaxed even more into his godfather's strong arms. "I know dat you love me. But I hate me. I sorry, Logan. Please, don' be mad at me."
Logan held the younger man as silent tears ran down his face. "Remy, I'm not mad at you. I'm just fuckin' scared and worried. Kidlet, what do we need to do to convince you that you're still loved and not alone? Never mind. Not even fair for me to ask you. You're too shaken up."
Logan thought as he held his kid. "Remy," he said carefully. "Do you really not know that Ro loves you? Will you let me swap you from my arms to hers? I know she wants to hold you. She loves you, too."
"Non," Remy gasped out as he cried hard again. "She cou'd never love me again after what I done. I been so bad. I. . .don' . . .b'lieve you."
Logan resisted an almost overwhelming impulse to shake this child until his teeth were chattering in his head. "Rem," he said carefully. "Ro is right beside us with tears running down her face. You're hurtin' her with your stubborn refusal to believe that she still loves you, and I can't cope with you hurtin' her. Stop it. Let her hold you and love you."
Remy sobbed even more deeply and tried to bury his face in Logan's safe and loving shoulder. "I sor. . . sorry," he gulped out. "I love her more dan breathin'. Ro? I sor. . .sorry."
Logan pushed Remy out of his arms and into Storm's. She caught the boy immediately and held him tight.
"I love you, Remy," she murmured softly as tears ran down her face. "I love you."
Hank grabbed Logan, pulled him into his strong blue-furred arms, and held him close. "Oh, Logan," he said softly. "You said what needed to be said. I'm so proud of you."
Logan shrugged and tried to pull himself out of Hank's arms. He wanted to be vulnerable about as much as he wanted to be lunch. Hank did not cooperate. He still held Logan as close as Storm held Remy.
Logan's entire body suddenly went tense and rigid. "Rem," he gulped out. "Send to the rest of those in this room what I'm gettin' through your link with me. I can't take it by myself. It's too fucking much." Tears were leaking down his face.
Remy gulped hard and did as he was told. He sent the memory which played obsessively in his head.
*Remy woke in the Morlock tunnels, bleeding and aching. He lay still for several minutes and then shakily ripped parts of his coat off using his powers carefully to burn off strips of bandages which he wrapped around his worst wounds, trying to stop the bleeding. He rose uncertainly to his feet and started to go back through the tunnels.*
*Everywhere he looked there were dead bodies lying in blood. He stared with shocked, guilty amazement and shook with despair, but kept walking and trying not to look at all the shocked, terrified faces of the dead. But he couldn't help looking at some of the grotesque and horrific sights. A small child who had obviously been gutted by Sabretooth. An adolescent couple who seemed to have died trying to protect one another. A baby with her skull smashed against a wall.*
*He was stopped by the sight of a mother who had obviously died trying to protect the two young children in her arms. All three had expressions of horrified terror. Remy had been in a state of shock, not feeling much of anything. But this sight was too much for him.*
*He sank to his knees and started sobbing, deeply and wretchedly, from far down in his guts. He wanted to kill himself right that moment and for a hasty moment considered charging himself up and exploding. The only thing that stopped him was his deep urge to make Sinister, Sabretooth, and the other Marauders pay for what had been done. For what he had unwillingly been made a part of.*
*He sobbed long and hard, then pulled himself to his feet and continued to make his way out of the tunnels with the sight of more and more bodies eating at him, a badly digested meal of guilt and shame.*
Ro was profoundly shaken by this memory of the horrible deaths of the people, many of whom she had known. These were people whom she had been supposed to be leading and protecting even though she had never asked for the job. It had been given to her when she had defeated their previous leader, Callisto, in combat. Leadership of the Morlocks had not even been her goal in the fight with Callisto. She had been fighting to retrieve Kitty, who had been one of the X-men then, from the Morlocks who had kidnaped and imprisoned the young mutant girl. But she had won the fight and had been made leader of the Morlocks, no matter how little she wanted or needed the job.
Storm trembled and took several deep, shuddering breaths. She knew the dead Morlocks were beyond her help, and she did her best to put her emotional reaction on hold so she could be there for the boy in front of her who needed her badly. She breathed again and again and struggled to find calmness within herself. It came slowly and gradually.
"Remy," Storm said gently. "You have to let this go. You have to put it to rest. You have to stop hating yourself so much."
"I can'," Remy gulped out. "I can'. I fucked up worse dan anyt'ing else I ever did. I didn' wan' t' hurt dese people. An' I did."
Ro shook her head. "You didn't mean it to happen," she said gently. Remy shuddered and shook his head. Ro stared helplessly out at the room.
Logan pulled himself out of Hank's arms, "Give him to me, Ro," he said gruffly as he took Remy from Ro, and held him tight.
"Remy," Logan said gently. "There's no punishment that would relieve you of this enormous burden of fuckin' mind-bogglin' guilt. But I'm about to put you over my knees and give you a paddlin' that'll leave you wailing with pain. Only thing I know to do that might help. And you gonna hurt bad, kidlet, by the time I finish. You gonna be hysterical. You with the program, kiddo?"
Remy nodded as he sobbed convulsively. He struggled not at all as Logan put the Cajun over his lap. Logan pulled Remy's pants back down to the middle of his thighs as Remy trembled with trepidation.
Logan gestured to Ro who handed him the paddle. Logan snapped it down on Remy's butt and continued to snap it down thoroughly. Remy's already sore and very red bottom heated up yet again as the paddle smacked down again and again, briskly and quickly.
Remy tried to contain himself for almost two minutes, simply gasping each time the paddle snapped down. Then he started to yelp and finally began to utter sounds that were close to screams of pain. He sobbed incoherently and simply could not speak at all.
Bobby curled up in Jean's arms and shook with sobs. Sam got up and paced frantically until Cable rose from his seat and gathered the kid into his arms, holding him tight. Scott leaned down and pulled a shivering, weeping Rogue up into his arms. He was shaking himself.
Logan smacked Remy's butt to a shade of dark, glowing red. "Rem," he said, "you fucked up. And you're being punished for fucking up. I'm gonna smack you thirty more times. And then, it'll be done and I want you to try to be done with hatin' yourself. You really fucked up, but you were under duress. You had no idea the Massacre would happen. You shouldn't have let Sinister blackmail you, but where did you have to turn for help? You didn't even know us then. But you know us now, and dammit, Remy, we all love you."
"L.. .Logan. . .is enough." Remy gulped out. "I. . .I got it. I. . .been. . .punished. . .enough. St. . ..stop, please."
"Not your call, kiddo," Logan said firmly, continuing to snap the paddle down. "I'm gonna make you feel so punished that you might be able to let go of at least some of this guilt."
Remy sobbed so hard that he thought he was going to throw up.
"Is this really enough, kidlet?" Logan asked roughly, his own eyes welling with tears. Remy nodded, shaking with heart-rending sobs.
Logan smacked two more spanks down on Remy's butt and stopped. He threw the paddle at the wall and with tears running down his face, stroked his kidlet's back as the Cajun lay over his knees sobbing as if he had been broken.
"Enough," Logan choked out, his chest tight with the sobs that were trying to escape. He gathered Remy off his knees and held him tightly against his chest. "Remy, kidlet, I know nothin' gonna really make you stop feeling guilty 'bout that damn massacre. You gonna need to do something to make amends. Something constructive."
"Like what?" Remy gulped out.
"I don't know, Rem," Logan said. "But we'll think of something. You ready to give it up for now. And get on with this damn punishment?"
"I don' wanna be punished any more," Remy sobbed out. "I hurt." Tears streamed down his face and he held onto Logan desperately. Logan's eyes continued to well with tears that spilled down his face. He looked up at Charles with a question on his face.
Charles sighed deeply and thought. "Remy," he said quietly. "I know your bottom hurts right now. You've just been spanked very hard. But both Ro and Logan were careful. I doubt you're bruised. The nerve endings in your bottom are just sore and smarting. After about twenty minutes in the corner, you'll be ready for your next spanking. Logan, hold him till he stops crying so hard and put him the corner."
Logan closed his eyes and thought for a moment about flying into an explosive rage to protect 'his' kid.
Hank watched him carefully. He knew Logan was on the edge of losing it. Logan made himself center. He breathed deeply and repeated mantras inside his head, going deep inside, until he could think clearly again. Tears continued to leak out of his blue eyes as he held the Cajun, murmured soothing noises, and stroked his back. "It's okay, Rem," he said gently, "it's okay. You ain't gonna be tortured. This is your family. We love you. You just gonna be spanked for running away and hurting yourself."
"I don' wanna be punished any more," Remy wailed. He was sobbing hysterically.
Logan turned to Charles and stared at him with tears still spilling. "Chuck, I know he's gotta be spanked for runnin' away and shootin' up, but maybe it should wait till tomorrow. This kid's a mess right now."
The professor sighed deeply and looked around the room. Bobby was crying softly and quietly in Jean's arms as she looked stressed. She nodded her head.
Scott had his arms around Rogue who was shaking with her head buried in Scott's shoulder. Scott's face was drawn and tense. He nodded also.
Bishop turned from the window out of which he had been scowling and added a nod.
Cable looked over Sam's shoulder as he held the boy and also nodded. "Maybe we should let some of these younger kids go. This is a bit much for them," Nathan suggested.
Charles nodded. "Not Bobby," he said quietly. "Rogue, I doubt you'd want to leave, but you can if you like." Rogue shook her head.
"Sam?" Charles asked. Sam tightened his arms around Nathan and also shook his head. Nathan shrugged.
Charles looked back at Remy whose sobs had quieted slightly as he waited for an answer. His son's bottom was a deep shade of flaming crimson and looked as if it hurt badly. Charles sighed again. "Remy," he said carefully. "I'm willing to postpone the rest of your spankings until you recover from the ones you just had." There were several sighs of relief.
Remy rested in Logan's arms for several more moments, then violently shook his head. "NON," he said explosively. "I don' wanna be punished any more at all. But if I gonna be, I want it over wit, now. I don' wanna wait no more. I don' care if I can' sit for de rest of de week. I just wan' it all over wit. An' I don' even understan' why I gotta have any more. Ain't dis been enough?" He started sobbing again helplessly and despondently.
The tension levels in the room went sky high again.
"Remy. . ." Charles started.
Logan held up a hand, held Remy closely, and started to speak as tears continued to spill from his eyes. "Kidlet, there's no way we can let it go that you ran away and hurt yourself. Would you really want us to?"
Remy shook with sobs and Logan held him close, on the edge of shaking with sobs himself. "Answer me, kidlet," he said roughly. "Answer me, dammit."
Remy felt Logan's shuddering chest against his own and tried hard to pull himself out of the morass of despair into which he'd fallen. "Oh. . . Logan," he gulped out. "I'm sorry. . .dat I'm upsettin' you so bad. Okay. Okay. I be honest." Remy took a deep breath that caught on another sob and as his sobs quieted he admitted. "Non, I not wan' you t' let it go." He sobbed again, relieved that he had told the truth.
"Thanks, kiddo," Logan said, trying hard not to sob himself. "I'm proud of you for bein' honest."
Remy's sobbing abated and slowed.
Charles took a long, deep breath. "You really want us to go on, Remy?" he asked carefully. Remy nodded without looking at his father. "Then time for you to go back into the corner," Charles directed.
Logan pulled Remy to his feet, allowing the young Cajun to pull his pants back up in front, and guided him to the corner, for once not whacking him along the way. He hugged his kid hard, put him in the corner, and said, gently. "It'll be okay, kiddo. It'll be okay. I gonna leave you here, now. But I gonna be with you in your heart and in your head every step of the way from here on out. You got that?"
Remy nodded, leaned his head into the corner, and cried quietly.
Logan stumbled back over to the wall and collapsed back down to his seat on the floor. Hank sat next to him and gathered the older man back into his arms. Logan didn't consider resisting. He let Hank hold him and simply let go of the tears that had been building in his chest and eyes.
The burning pain in Remy's bottom subsided as time passed, but he was horribly ashamed to be left standing there with his bare red bottom on display. He could hear Logan's almost silent sobbing and felt both miserable and oddly comforted. He managed to stop crying. Several more minutes went by.
"Okay, Remy," Charles said quietly. "Now, you're going to get your spankings for running away. First from me, then from Hank, then from Logan. Your pants stay down."
Remy gulped hard, and tears brimmed again in his eyes. "Daddy," he choked out. "Please, don'."
"Remy," Charles said firmly. "Over to me and over my knees, NOW."
Remy pulled his pants back up in front and stumbled over where his father was sitting on a couch. He choked, sobbed, and knelt on the floor next to his father's knees. Charles pulled the Cajun down over his lap, took his pants even further down, and started spanking with his very strong right hand. Remy clutched at a cushion on the couch and held on hard. He buried his face in a throw pillow.
"Tell me why you're getting this spanking," Charles demanded.
"Cause I ran away," Remy sobbed out, his voice muffled by the pillow. "Cause I didn' stay. . . here t' deal wit what I done. . . I j'st wan'ed t' fix it. I sorry. . .Daddy. . . please, stop." Remy was close to wailing. "You hurtin'. . . me." He wasn't able to stop himself from kicking almost uncontrollably, as he tried desperately to wiggle his burning bottom away from the continuing whacking spanks. Charles' strong left hand held him firmly at the middle of his back.
"Yes, Remy," Charles said inexorably. "A spanking's supposed to hurt. Running away was not acceptable. As you were told, over and over."
"Daddy," Remy gulped out. "I had t' . . .get away. An' I. . . done good while I was gone. I wasn' bad."
"That really doesn't matter, Remy," Charles said sternly. "You were told repeatedly not to run away. And you were told what the consequences would be if you did." Remy nodded miserably and accepted what he'd brought on himself.
Charles continued to smack his strong right hand down until Remy's bottom and upper thighs were a bright, almost glowing red. Remy was sobbing so hard that he was choking.
The fact that his father was delivering this memorable spanking and scolding made him even more miserable. "I'm. . .sorry," he gulped out. "D. . .Daddy. . .pl. . .please st . . .stop."
Charles delivered ten more stinging whacks to his son's bare butt and stopped. He stroked Remy's back gently and lovingly as the Cajun sobbed frantically.
Logan pulled himself out of Hank's loving arms and looked up at him. "I can't stand much more of this," he said shakily. Hank nodded.
"I know, Logan," he said gently. "I know how hard this is for you. Just do what you said and be there for Remy."
"Now, son, you're going back in the corner," Charles said sternly even as he gave Remy loving rubs to his back. He looked over at Logan who was sitting beside Hank, doing his best to stay calm. Charles sighed deeply again, knowing that Remy's punishment was hurting Logan almost more than it hurt Remy. "You're going to wait for Hank to spank you, next. Logan would you take my son back to the corner to wait for his next spanking?" Remy slid off his father's lap, knelt with his head against his Dad's knee, pulling his pants back up in front and sobbing hopelessly. His tears soaked his father's trousers. Charles leaned over and pulled Remy up beside him on the couch and into a hug.
"Wait a minute, Logan," Charles said quietly. He held his son tightly and spoke directly and quietly into his ear. "Remy, I still love you. I don't want you to doubt that for a moment. I can feel through our link that you're crying this hard more because you're upset that I was the one who just spanked you than because the spanking hurt. I want you to understand that I only spanked you because I love you."
"I know. . .dat, D. . . Daddy," Remy sobbed out, suddenly crying even harder. "An' I know how much you hate doin' it. Dat why it upsets me. . . bad. I hate it dat I let. . . you down."
Charles sighed. "Remy," he said quietly. "I'm going to open my mind to you completely. I want you to go in and find out for yourself just how I feel about you. I'm not disappointed in you at all. I think I might understand you and your passions and your impulsive behavior better than you realize."
Remy gulped hard and did as he was told. He went into his father's mind. "You. . .you. . .you do love me," he said in a voice of wondrous amazement. His sobs stopped for a moment, and then he started crying again with relief.
That's not all I wanted you to see, son Charles said inside of Remy's mind. I want to show you something.
*Charles took Remy to a memory of which he was deeply ashamed. He had been passionately in love with another mutant, Amelia Voight, when he had been very young. Amelia and he had had an intense love affair, but she had backed off and withdrawn. She didn't share his dream of mutants and humans living together in peace. She had wanted to hide her powers and live a quiet life without fighting for acceptance.*
*Charles had broken his own code of ethics. He went into Amelia's mind and altered it to make her stay with him. He left her no choice. He had hoped that if he made her stay with him for a while that she'd change her mind. He loved her intensely and didn't want to lose her.*
*The forced arrangement hadn't lasted long. Charles couldn't live with his own guilt and shame. He released his hold on Amelia and she had been enraged. To his intense regret and shame, his forced attentions motivated Amelia to join with Magneto.*
* Magneto, Eric, was one of Charles' oldest and dearest friends who became one of his greatest enemies. Magneto was a Romany whose almost entire family had been killed in the Holocaust. He had decided that the only hope for mutants was for them to establish their own country, separate from normal humans, as Israel had become a refuge for Jews. Eric, had long ago decided that normal humans would only leave mutants in peace if mutants made it clear that they could and would fight back if humans tried to hurt mutants.*
*Charles lived constantly with the guilty knowledge that he had impelled a woman he loved to join with his most personal enemy because she was seeking protection from his desperate need for her.*
Daddy, Remy communicated inside their heads. *T'ank you. You do understan' how I get driven by what I feel an' how I stop t'inkin'.*
Yes, my child, I do understand you, Charles communicated back. *I was almost as passionate as you when I was your age. I think I understand you. And, I cannot begin to tell you how much I love you.*
T'ank you. Remy was sobbing again with deep relief. He put his arms around his father and held him tightly.
Charles held his son just as hard. "I love you, Remy," he said aloud. "I want you to be okay. And, now we have to finish this punishment."
Remy's sobs went despairing again. He really didn't want any more punishment, no matter how deserved.
Cable patted Sam's back, let go of him, and started turning on lights. As Remy's punishment had progressed the shadows had lengthened across the room and the sun was close to setting. Nathan's hand shook as he flicked the switches on lamps around the room. Charles looked up at Cable and nodded gratefully. Nathan nodded in return and went back to Sam, whom he gathered back into his arms before sitting both of them in a large arm chair.
"Logan," Charles said quietly. "Please, take my son back to the corner."
Logan nodded and raised Remy to his feet, guiding him back to the corner.
Remy was sobbing so hard that he could hardly breathe. Logan hesitated and turned back to Charles. "I can't," Logan said. "I can't leave him here, cryin' this hard. I can't, Chuck."
The professor took a breath. "Do what you need to do, Logan," he said.
Logan gathered Remy into his arms, sat down on the floor, held the sobbing boy tightly in his arms, stroked his back gently, and tried to sooth him. "I love you, Rem," he said quietly. "We all love you."
"I don' feel. . .loved," Remy sobbed out. "I jus' feel bad."
"You felt rotten before you ever started bein' punished. We all want you to stop feelin' so bad. You're being punished, kidlet, because we love you," Logan said gently. "You need these spankin's. You're gettin' 'em cause we want you to stop feelin' so bad."
Remy put his arms around Logan and held on desperately. "I'm sorry. . . I'm sorry. . . I'm sorry," he gulped out. Logan held him tightly and murmured soothing and comforting sounds.
Remy's sobs subsided gradually. Logan sighed and dragged the young Cajun to his feet. "Back into the corner, kidlet," he ordered.
Remy gulped again, put his face back into the corner, and cried softly.
"Fifteen minutes this time," the professor ordered. "And then, Remy, you'll be spanked by Hank."
Remy sobbed harder. He didn't want to be spanked again by Hank whom he loved and felt loved by without question. It hurt his heart that he had misbehaved so badly that Hank was planning to spank him.
Logan went back to his seat on the floor beside Hank and shook. Hank gathered him back into his strong arms and held on tight. He looked around the room, knowing that he had to let go of Logan to deliver Remy's next spanking. Ro met his eyes, nodded, and moved over to sit next to the two men. She reached out her arms. Hank nudged Logan who looked up, hesitated, and then moved to Ro's arms. She held him tightly.
The minutes ticked by and the pain in Remy's butt subsided to simple soreness. He was still sobbing hard.
Hank rose, went to Remy, and took him in his arms. He held him tightly for a few moments, then dragged him out of the corner. He put the young Cajun over his knees and pulled the boy's pants back down to his thighs.
Hank sighed. "Remy, I don't want to do this, but I told you that if you ran away, I 'd spank you. I want you to understand that I'll do what I promised I'd do. And I will spank you again for hurting yourself."
Remy sobbed frantically. Hank's hand came down on his bottom and he sobbed even more desperately. Hank sighed again. "As I said, I don't want to do this, child. You've given me no choice."
Logan banged his head against Ro's shoulder. "Shhh," she murmured. "I don't like this any more than you do. But Remy has to get the punishment he was promised." Logan nodded, tears still spilling down his face.
Hank spanked Remy until his bottom was again red, pulled the boy into a hug, and held him. Remy put his face into Hank's shoulder and sobbed.
"I don't like doing this, Rem," Hank said gently as he stroked Remy's hair and back. The young Cajun sobbed convulsively and couldn't stop. Hank held Remy for several minutes, then sighed, and pulled the young man to his feet, allowing him to pull his pants back up in front, and put him back in the corner.
Remy was sobbing hard. He felt weak at the knees. "I can' stand up," he sobbed out. "I can'"
"It's okay, Remy," Charles said gently. "Go to your knees if you have to. You just have to stay in the corner until your bottom recovers enough for your next spanking. From Logan."
Logan's entire body went rigid. He pulled himself out of Ro's arms and glared at Charles. "I think this kid's been punished enough," he said tensely.
Charles looked at him. "You told Remy you'd spank him if he ran away," he said quietly. "You want him to think you don't mean what you say?"
Logan was almost overcome with rage. Before he could utter a sound, Hank was crouching in front of him and looking him calmly in the eyes. "You had better think a moment, 'kiddo'," he said quietly. "You're getting confused about who you are and what Remy needs you to be for him. Get clear before you make a mistake." Logan shut his eyes, shook himself, and opened his eyes again. The rage was gone.
"Thanks, Hank," he muttered quietly. "I owe you. Big time."
Hank chuckled and drew Logan into a hug. "Yes," he said softly. "I'll tell you later how I'll collect on the debt."
Logan managed a chuckle in return. "I hope to hell and back that it doesn't involve me getting whacked again," he said quietly.
Hank grinned. "We'll discuss that later, old friend. Not now."
Logan pulled himself out of Hank's arms, punched him hard on the arm, and rose. He went to Remy and knelt beside him.
Logan gathered his kid into his arms and held him close as the Cajun sobbed, put his head into Logan's shoulder, and hugged back.
"Kidlet," Logan said gently. "I promised you a spanking for running away. And I'm gonna deliver. But as far as I'm concerned you already got the spankin' for shootin' up. Gave you that one on the blackbird when we landed." Logan looked up with a questioning glare at Charles who nodded mildly.
Logan gently pushed Remy out of his arms and over his lap. He raised his right arm and asked, "What did I tell you I'd do if you ran away, kidlet?"
Remy just shook his head, and Logan's hand descended on his pink bottom soundly, then descended again and yet again as Logan smacked him over and over on the same spot, right in the middle of Remy's bare butt. "Answer me, kiddo," Logan demanded.
"You. . .said. . .you'd. . .sp. . .sp. . ." Remy choked, unable to even say the word asked of him.
Logan's hard hand descended again and again, three times on each target area he aimed at and the bare flesh beneath him reddened. "Yeah," he said. "I told you that if you ran away, I'd spank you soundly. And what did you do?"
"I. . .ran. . .away," Remy gulped out. "I sor. . .sorry, Logan."
Logan continued to spank, down one side of Remy's bottom, up the middle, and down the other side. Remy's bottom reddened and he sobbed wordlessly.
Logan spanked until Remy's bottom was as red as a boiled lobster and quit. Logan stroked Remy's back gently and ran his fingers through Remy's tousled auburn hair. "It's okay, kidlet," he said gently. "It's okay. It's over now. You fucked up. You been punished. It's over from me. I think you only got a few more spankin's to endure."
Remy sobbed as if his heart was breaking and Logan pulled him into a fierce embrace. "It's okay, kidlet," he murmured. "It's almost over."
"One more," Charles said quietly. "I'll count the spanking I gave my son last night as his punishment for shooting up. So, he gets one more from Hank for shooting up drugs. Logan, as soon as he calms down, put him back in the corner. He doesn't have to stand up unless he wants to."
Remy gulped with relief, and his sobs started to subside. He clung to Logan, and Logan held his kid as tightly as the kid was hanging onto him.
When Remy's sobbing had quieted to slight hitching breaths, Logan raised him to his knees and put him back in the corner.
"You wanna be on your knees, kiddo? Or standing up? Your choice, kidlet. And I love you."
"On. . .my. . . knees, Logan," Remy gulped out. "I. . .can' stand right now. Too. . .upset. . . An' I love you, too. . . an' need you more dan I can say."
Logan nodded, as tears ran down his face. He put Remy back in the corner, reluctantly let go of his kid, and knelt beside him for a moment, too distraught to move.
Hank was beside him, gathering him into a fierce hug. "You did just fine, Logan," he said gently. "Let me take you back to Ro. She needs to have her arms around you as badly as you need to be hugged."
Logan offered no resistance. He was shaking with sobs that he didn't want to release. He let Hank take him back to Ro and relaxed into her arms.
"Oh, love," Ro said gently. "I know this is hell for you. It is for me, too. I hate all of this. I can't stand Remy hurting this badly."
Remy knelt in the corner, sobbing hard, as the red in his butt once again faded to pink.
Charles looked around the room again, so distressed that he was trembling himself. Bobby was simply sobbing in Jean's arms. Sam was crying in Nathan's embrace as Cable glowered intently at the floor. Rogue was weeping and clinging to Scotty whose face was white as he held her tightly. Bishop was frowning out the window. Warren and Betsy were holding each other tightly and both were tense. "Hank?" Charles said. "It's up to you to finish this punishment."
Hank sighed deeply and went to Remy, sitting beside him on the floor. He gathered the young man into his arms. "Remy," he said gently. "I really don't want to spank you again. But I promised you that if you hurt yourself again, I would. So, I owe you a spanking for almost killing yourself. I'm sorry, Rem, but I have to give you what you asked for."
Remy shook hard, nodded, and hugged Hank back. "Go ahead," he murmured, almost beneath his breath.
Hank gently took Remy over his knees and started spanking. "Tell me why you're getting this spanking, Remy," he said quietly. "Tell me you understand."
Remy shuddered, sobbed, and tried to comply. "I shot up. . . smack. . . OWW. . . an' almost killed.. . .myself. . .OWW. . . I didn'. . .mean t'. . .H. . . Hank. . .OWW. . . I didn' mean t'. . . I sorry," he gasped out. The blazing spanks landing against his bare bottom forced him to punctuate his explanation with yelps and gasps of pain.
Hank spanked hard for at least five minutes until Remy was sobbing so hard that he couldn't even think about speaking.
Hank stopped and gathered the young man into his arms. "Shhh," he murmured. "It's all over now, Rem," he murmured. "This punishment is done. You've been spanked hard and it's done."
Remy sobbed desolately. "I been so. . . bad," he gulped out. "I . . . hate me."
Hank blazed another spank against Remy's bottom. Remy yelped.
"Remy, none of us wants you to hate yourself," Hank said. "All of us love you deeply. You need to hear it from all of us?"
Remy shook his head frantically. "Non," he gulped out. "I jus' wan' Logan. I wan' Logan. I wan' Logan."
Logan was out of Ro's arms immediately, dragging his kid out of Hank's arms, and pulling him into his own.
Logan reached down and pulled the boy's pants back up. Remy sobbed gratefully and clutched at Logan, holding on as if his Logan was in only anchor in a sea of turbulence.
Remy cried hard, sobbing and sobbing for a very long time. Logan held him, murmured soothing sounds, and waited.
"I tired. . .Logan," Remy gulped out.
"Kidlet," Logan said, "I'd bet you're worn to a frazzle. But, do you know you're loved?" Remy nodded, still sobbing. He was crying too hard to articulate any words. Logan nodded and hugged his kid tightly. "I love you, kiddo. I love you and damn me, but I need you, too." His breath caught again. Remy sobbed even harder.
"I. . . need. . .you. . .t' need. . . me, Logan," Remy choked out, still sobbing.
Logan nodded and held the Cajun as tears rose in his eyes. "You need me to keep telling you, kidlet, how much I love you and need you?" he asked roughly, his voice breaking. Remy shook his head and continued crying.
As Remy sobbed, he relaxed more and more, molding his body against Logan's fierce embrace. His sobs quieted and his breath caught and shuddered again and again. Suddenly, the young Cajun's body went slack, and Logan nodded with satisfaction as Remy simply cried himself to sleep. Remy was beyond overwrought. He was exhausted.
Logan looked around the room. "I'm taking this boy to bed," he announced. "Anyone got a problem with that?"
"Logan," Charles said. "You can put him on a couch in this room."
"No," Logan growled. "I wanna put this kid up in his own damn bed in his own damn room, where he'll feel safe. Is that fucking okay?"
Charles nodded. "Yes, Logan," he said. "But I don't want to leave him alone. I want someone there with him."
"I'll be there," Logan said roughly.
"No, you won't be," Hank said clearly and emphatically.
Logan turned his head and glowered at Hank. "Why not?" he demanded.
Hank looked back at Logan. "You're worn out. Your healing factor is exhausted. I'm insisting that you spend the rest of today, not that much is left of today, and tomorrow on bed rest. I'm not listening to one word of argument. If you even start, I'll make you regret it. And I don't care who's watching."
Logan stared at Hank for a moment with his mouth open.
Cable started laughing. Logan shot his eyes toward Nathan, glared, and turned back to Hank. "Are you fuckin' serious?" he demanded. "Oh, hell, I can see it in your eyes. You're serious. Fuck. Who's gonna take care of Remy?"
"Not you," Hank said quietly. "And not me. I'm going to be taking care of you, you idiot berserker. Someone will be there for Rem, but not you or me."
Rogue sat up. "Not you, Rogue," Logan said. "The kid'd die of embarrassment if it was you, girl."
"I wouldn't mind," Storm started. Hank shook his head.
"No, Ororo," he said gently. "You still haven't recovered from your injuries. I want you resting, too."
"Who then?" Logan demanded, blinking back tears that rose suddenly in his eyes.
"I am the boy's father," Charles said.
Logan and Hank both blinked and looked toward the professor.
"Uh," Logan said, "Sorry, Chuck. You just got so many things ta do that it didn't occur ta me. . . "
At the same time that Hank said, "Sir, I'm sorry, but, it didn't occur to me that you'd have the time. . ."
The professor chuckled and cut them both off. "Logan, please, take my son up to his bed. I'll watch over him. Then get yourself back down to med lab and follow Hank's orders. You do need rest."
"I hate rest," Logan grumbled as he rose to his feet with Remy in his arms. He glowered at Hank and then at Charles. "When this kid wakes up, he's gonna need me. You both know that. He's gonna need me. And no one else. I don't care how much I need to rest and recover. I wanna be there for him when he wakes up. Is that a fucking problem?"
Charles looked at Hank who seemed to be the current authority on dealing with Logan. Hank shrugged and said quietly, "Yes, Logan, when Remy wakes up, you'll be the first to know and you'll be allowed to be with him. I can't think of anything else that makes sense."
Charles looked around the room. "We also need to think about dinner. I doubt any of us are hungry, right now. But I'd appreciate if someone brought me a sandwich in a while."
"There's plenty of sandwich meat and leftovers in the fridge," Jean said. "I imagine most of us can fend for ourselves. I'll bring you a sandwich, sir."
"I'll make something for Logan," Hank offered.
Logan nodded, carried the young Cajun up to his room, put him on his bed, and gently stroked the kid's face. "Love you, Rem," he mumbled.
Hank had followed him and nodded as Logan turned away from Remy and back toward him. "Now, Logan," he said gently, "you're going to bed."
Logan glared at him. "You think I don't know that this is part of punishing me?" he demanded. "For wearing myself out. And I sure as hell hope you know that I'm cooperating. 'Cause I sure as fuck don't have to."
"Logan," Hank said, "I don't think you're stupid. But why don't you think of it as appropriate consequences. Your healing factor is exhausted. Do you want me to demand that you take your pants down and show me your butt? If those bruises are healed, I'll back down."
"Fuck you, Hank," Logan grumbled. His butt was still sore as hell and he knew the bruises weren't healed.
He followed Hank down to med lab and climbed into bed. He picked up his book and started reading again without even looking at Hank. Hank shrugged, and left. He was back in about twenty minutes with a plate of sandwiches. Logan took the plate, absently, barely looking up. "Thanks," he murmured, picking up a sandwich, as he continued to read, obviously totally absorbed in the book.
About an hour later, Hank checked on him again. Quiet tears were running down Logan's face as he turned the last few pages of "More Than Human."
"Logan?" Hank asked softly.
Logan looked up at him. "This book always gets me," he said shakily. "Gets me bad. Goddamm, but Ted Sturgeon could write."
Hank sat down beside Logan on the bed and nodded. "When he hears 'Welcome'?" Hank asked gently. Logan nodded, tears still dripping down his face.
"Would be so nice to not feel so alone," Logan said. Hank sat down on Logan's bed, gathered Logan into his arms, and hugged him closely.
"Logan, you're not alone," he said softly. "You have been, but you need never be so alone again. You have a family who loves you."
Logan pulled himself out of Hank's arms and sat up, holding himself around his chest. "I know that, dammit. I just don't know how to be loved by anyone. And you fucking know that. I been too damn used to being alone. It's my natural state of being. It's who I am."
Hank shook his head, grabbed Logan, and pulled him back into his strong blue-furred arms. "You pull yourself out of my arms again," he said quietly, "and your butt's going to be smacked again. I'm not warning you again. Lying to me's not going to be tolerated. Nor will it be tolerated you pulling away from the love I'm trying to give you. Logan, you're allowed to be a cynical, irreverent, misanthropic iconoclast. But you're not allowed to reject the love we have for you."
Tears welled in Logan's eyes. "Okay, okay, okay," he mumbled. He relaxed in Hank's arms and hugged the blue beast back. "I'm sorry," he said so quietly that Hank could barely hear him even with his hyper-mutant hearing.
"And I forgive you," Hank said gently. "Logan, you need to sleep. I can give you a sedative."
"Rather have some booze," Logan muttered.
Hank chuckled. "Then, I'll get you some 'booze', old friend. What flavor do you want?"
Logan pulled back and looked at Hank with startled surprise. "You serious, Hank?" he asked.
Hank paused and grinned. "Yes, Logan, I'm serious. I kind of want to get drunk, myself," he said. "I enjoyed not one minute of punishing Remy. My heart was breaking as we spanked 'your kid.' And, yes, I know how much he's 'your kid'. No matter how much the rest of love him, he's all yours. And I don't envy you. The child's a disaster area."
Logan chuckled and relaxed in Hank's arms. "Why don't we hit that bottle of 18 year old single malt MacCallan that Warren's been hiding behind the rest of the bottles in the liquor cabinet? And could we play some music?"
Hank laughed. "Okay," he agreed. "Single malt scotch and music. What music do you want, Logan?"
"Is there a CD player down here?" Logan asked. "I wanna start plannin' a tape to make for Remy."
"Yes, Logan," Hank said. "There's a CD changer right here in this room. What do you want?"
"Cyndi Lauper's 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,' and 'Into the Woods' and 'Yentl' and. . ." Logan shook his head. "I don't know yet what else I wanna put on the tape for my kid. Sisters of Mercy 'Some Girls Wander', and 'First, Last, and Always' and 'Floodlands' and whatever Smashing Pumpkins has on it the song about 'the killer in you is the killer in me.' And the Police's greatest hits album. With 'Message in a Bottle'. And the Stones 'Gimmee Shelter'."
Hank laughed. "Logan, your tastes in music are so eclectic as to be almost insane," he said. "But I understand why you want every one of those albums. I'll be back in a few minutes." Hank let go of his friend and went after the scotch and music.
Logan laid back down on the bed and waited for Hank to come back.
To be continued. .