Hank closed his eyes and took a deep breath for the third time. He tried to open the closed door in front of him, but couldn't manage the courage. He blamed it on lack of sleep due to the research he kept himself busy with. But really, he knew it was the people on the other side of the door. The ones that put the knot in his stomach. The ones he dreaded telling the news of what happened to a teammate. The ones that were once predicable, but now were impossible to understand. Over the course of the year the once called family had broken apart and repaired itself time and time again, losing pieces every time. Thinking back he had to admit most of those time were caused by one person. Remy. Many nights he found himself wondering how one person could effect one family so much and not even try. Once more he took a deep breath, and before he dropped back into thought he pushed himself through the door. "Morning."
He looked around in an attempt to judge the attitudes of the people around him. To try and chalk up the situation he had just stepped into. He noticed the tired features on Ororo and Jubilee's faces, covered lightly with worry and concern. A very saddened Jean was next to Scott, who was trying to pull off his best leader attitude. Looking to the other side of the table he could see why. Warren had returned. He was sitting in a stare down with Bobby, who was at the other end of the table. Bishop was in between them, most likely placed there by Scott to keep the ex-friends from killing each other. He sighed and took his place at the front of the table. "I am assuming that everyone who wants to be here has arrived, so I will proceed. Remy is stable at this time. Beside from the obvious malnutrition and blood lose, he has been through a great deal of trauma. He will need everyone's support. I do suggest that everyone take the time to put away there grievances towards Remy. We have been given another chance to set things right with the young man, I do not want to see anyone waste it. He has been punished enough for things in his past that he may or may not have done." Hank heard the snicker from across the room. It took everything in his power not to jump the table and hit Warren himself. He thought the man would have learned by now. "Do you have a problem Warren?"
Warren rolled his eyes as he swivelled his chair to look at Hank instead of Bobby. "I am just trying to figure out why the hell you are making it sound like he's dying. We obviously can't get rid of the bastard. How many lives does that thief have anyway?"
Hank glared at the man in front of him. He never remembered Warren being this arrogant. After everything that he has been told about Remy, he still won't admit he is wrong. Hank could not imagine having so much hatred in his soul that he would turn out like Warren, cold and bitter. Hank just shook his head. Anger quickly turned into sympathy. "Warren, I pity you. I hope one day you will stop being such any egotistical fool and finally admit you are wrong. Until then, I want you nowhere near Remy. As a matter of fact I don't want you anywhere near my lab. Even if you were dying I would have to question your admittance."
Warren's mouth dropped open in surprise. When he looked around the room he could see everyone's face harbor a similar smile. He swiftly stood from his chair and stomped to the door in anger. Before exiting he turned and faced them once again. "You will see I'm right, he will end up killing you all. When he does, don't expect me to save you. You were better off leaving him in that lab to die!"
Hank flinched when the door slammed behind the man he once called friend. Someone he had known since his beginnings at the mansion. Someone he had seen make worse mistakes then any X-men. He just could not imagine were it went so wrong with his winged friend.
Scott cleared his throat and addressed the shocked team. "I would ask everyone to stay away from Warren at this time. I would love to go deck him again myself, but I think it has been done enough. Please Hank, continue with the briefing."
Hank dropped into the big chair behind him. He was to distraught to be formal. These were friends, no family. "Warren was right, I was making it sound like the young man was dying. There is a reason for that. I am not sure of any other way to say this, but Remy is dying."
"Goddess no!" Storm buried her face into Jean's shoulder and began sobbing.
Hank closed his eyes as he heard the thunder and rain begin again. For weeks he listened to that rain. Now it is here again, and he was not sure if there was anything he could do about it this time. The quick thought came to him. What if he dies, will it always rain? Will it wash us away? Will it take away everything in it's wake? Then we will have to start a new. Maybe it is for the best.
Logan sat in the big chair that had been carried down to the lab earlier that day. That and the television, DVD player, and half the movie collection in the house. It seemed like him and his lover had a nice nest going. If it weren't for the chemical smell and the constant tense feeling coming from Remy he would be fine with staying for awhile. He knew Remy hated it in the lab though, especially after what had happened the last month. He made Hank promise they were out of there as soon as possible. Hank agreed, but it would be at least a week before Remy could be moved to his bed. Logan brushed the lose hair from Remy's sleeping face. He sighed at the rising heat coming from his lover's forehead. The fever was something they just could not get to break completely. Logan heard walking coming towards the lab and turned to greet the maker of the noise. No one had been admitted in to the lab to visit yet. Hank wanted to make sure everyone was briefed before, so they knew what to expect. Logan knew the second the briefing was over that would be the end of that. Logan smiled when the door was opened by Hank. "How did it go?"
"As well as expected. The meeting took longer then I planned. A lot of unexplainable questions were brought up, and I am hoping you or Remy can explain some of them. I was hoping to talk to him before the barrage of people come down. They are all very eager to see him." Hank began checking IVs and monitors, frowning at the temperature. "I see he still has a fever. That concerns me."
"You and me both, Blue. So what is it you're wanting to ask Remy? I don't know if he up for a game of 20 questions."
Hank took the chair on the opposite side of Remy. He took off his glasses and rubbed the arch of his nose. "There are a few things that came up, one that is very important to know the answers to. I do not know if Remy will give us those answers though. He is very hard headed sometimes."
Logan chuckled. "Maybe you'll get lucky. Once ya have him talking he will keep going until it gets too painful. Ya just have to catch him in the right mood I guess." Logan shrugged. "I figured out that if ya ask him when he's tired ya get more out of him. Catches him off guard."
Hank raised an eyebrow at Logan. "Do you have a tactic for everything when it comes to this boy?"
"Have to Blue. Like ya said, he's hard headed. Getting anything out of him is like pulling teeth. He trust ya though, so I think he will open up. As long as the rest of the crew isn't hovering over him at the time."
Hank nodded. "That is why I asked the others to give me time with Remy before they came down. I want answers, and so do they."
Logan looked worriedly at the blue doctor. Concerned for his lovers well being. He knew how X-men could be when they were curious. He didn't want Remy to feel like he was on trial again. "Hank, what are ya wanting to know?"
Hank saw Remy's eyes flutter. He stood and smiled at Logan. "You are about to find out, my Canadian friend. Lets see if that little tactic of yours works."
Logan growled. "Ya ask him something I don't like and all questions stop."
Hank nodded again. "I believe ya will want to know the answers to this question as well." Hank looked down at Remy who was finally waking up. "Good morning Remy, how do you feel?"
Remy slowly took in his surroundings and yawned. "I feel a little tired and sore, but alright." He reached over and took Logan's hand.
Hank patted his patients arm and smiled. "Good, I was wondering if I could ask you a question. I will not lie to you, it may be a little difficult, but we need to know the answers. All of us do."
Remy looked at Logan worriedly. "Logan?"
Logan did his best to reassure Remy. He wouldn't let this go too far. "It's alright darlin', if ya don't fell comfortable answering the question then don't, but try."
Remy looked back at Hank. "Alright."
"First, I want to tell you that we are all truly sorry about what happened in Antarctica. We condemned you to death, and we had not right to do so. It pains us to realize that we never once asked you the details of what happened to you in the tunnels. We assumed what occurred and now we understand that all of us were incorrect in our findings. What we believed is impossible. You could have never worked side by side with Sabretooth. We know that now. What really happened?"
Remy looked at Hank is surprise. Non, they can't know. "What makes y' think I couldn't work with Sabretooth?"
Hank looked at Logan and received a shrug. He didn't have to be a telepath to know what Logan was going to say. It is me asking the questions, so I have to tell him. Damn. "Remy, we know what happened when you were in Paris. Your father told us when he was here for your funeral...or the clone's funeral. We also know about the time you were molested as a child." He saw the tears come out of Remy's closed eyes and thought to himself that the questioning is over, Logan won't let him continue. He was surprised to find out that Logan didn't intervene. Not only that, but he watched Remy take a deep breath and open his eyes, ready to talk. This must be that 'mood' Logan was talking about, maybe we will get some answers.
Remy sighed. It was time. Time to come straight with everyone, with Logan, Hank, the whole X-men team. He figured it would be best to do it now with two people he trusted, then with the whole group. They deserve the truth, and maybe he deserved to have the burden removed from his shoulders. He may not ever get the chance again. "You're right, I can't work with Sabretooth. The man scares me more then anything. He has been stalking me all my life. Since I can remember he has haunted my nightmares."
Logan didn't want to interrupt, but he was already a bit lost. "Remy, I didn't think ya knew Creed until that night in Paris. Are ya telling me ya knew him before that?" Remy looked at Logan with eyes full of pain. It hit Logan then. The only painful childhood memory Remy had ever told him was the rape. "Remy, was he..."
"Oui, he was the one who hurt me when I was a child." Remy cringed at the gasp from both sides. It was almost like a sick stereo sound that seemed to fill his ears.
"Ya told me ya didn't know who the guy was! Ya lied to me?" Logan's temper flared slightly. He had never been lied to by Remy, even before they were lovers. "But I didn't smell the lie on ya, why?"
"It wasn't a lie. I didn't know who he was at the time. He was just another man off the street. I never learned who he was until Paris. I recognized him when he attacked Genevieve. I thought it was just some sick twist of fate that it was him, that there was no way he knew who I was. But when he...attacked me that night I found out I was wrong. He knew everything about me. He had been following me my whole life. He knew where I was, what I did, when I did it, and with who. I spent a whole week just trying to think of how he did it, how he tracked me that whole time without me knowing, and why. That's what scared me the most. If he managed to follow me for almost ten years without me knowing, what stopped him from doing it again. When I was kicked out from the guild a year later, he was the only thing on my mind. I had no protection from him. The worry caused so much stress that my powers went haywire. That's how I ended up with Sinister." Remy looked down at the blanket draped across his waist and began playing with the threads. He didn't want to look at there faces. He had lied to his lover, and his friends.
Logan brushed back Remy's hair and caught his lover's eyes. "None of that was your fault. I don't blame ya for being scared to tell me or anyone else. I just wish ya would have told me earlier."
"I was afraid to tell y' Logan. I thought y' wouldn't want me if y' knew Creed was following me. He interferes with your life enough."
"Hell and high waters couldn't keep me away from ya darlin'. I love ya, and no sick bastard is going to keep me away from ya. One day ya will get that through your thick skull. Now answer Blue's question before he goes out of his curious mind." Logan smiled at Remy, grateful to receive one in return. He knew the light bantering would take away from Remy's tension.
"I told y' already. I was tricked, I didn't know it was going to turn out like that. I would have never took them there if I knew they would kill them."
"We know that Remy, we are not out to blame you. We just don't understand how you could lead a man like Creed, being as fearful as you were of him, and knowing how evil of a man he was." Hank glanced at the clock and noticed he had about thirty minutes before the others arrived. He hated to hurry Remy, but he still had questions and he was not going to get answers with everyone around.
Remy shook his head. "He wasn't there. I didn't lead him thorough the tunnels. Hell they didn't need me to lead them anywhere, they had a map."
"What?" Logan and Hank chimed in unison. They were both answered with a wave of Remy's good hand, telling them both to let him continue.
"When I took the job Sinister told me that the people I was gathering were doctors and scientist. He said he wanted to help the Morlocks, but the X-men were keeping them hostage in the tunnels, not allowing them to seek help above ground. I believed him. I contacted the so called doctors through email and message couriers, I never met them. When all of the contacts arrived they were disguised, they played their part. Sinister made sure to keep me away from them until it was too late. He knew all they had to do was open their mouth and I would've been able to tell they weren't doctors. They weren't the sharpest group. It's amazing what an image inducer and a gag can do for a Marauder." Remy allowed a small smile creep across his face when he heard Logan snicker. He had to admit that the confessions were helping a great deal, he could feel the burden lifting. It felt cleansing. He took a deep breath and continued. "When Sinister told me he wanted Creed to go as protection I told him it was a bad idea. He agreed to keep Creed out of it as long as I came up with someone else to play bodyguard. So I hired Black Hawk. I thought that was the end of my job, but he asked me to go with them through the tunnels to disarm the security systems. Told me that the X-men would kill the Morlocks before allowing them to escape or have help from outside doctors, so no one could know of the doctors entering the tunnels."
"He told you that WE would kill the Morlocks?" Hank was shocked by this idea.
"Oui, I didn't know any of y' at the time. Sinister had never done wrong by me yet, so I believed him. I took them through the tunnels and disarmed the security systems. When I disarmed them all we were at the mouth of the main tunnel. That's when Creed showed up and all hell broke loose. He had followed us. The Marauders turned off there image inducers, and started taking orders from him. That is when I knew that something bad was going to happen. I tried to get Black Hawk to understand who Creed and the others were, but he didn't listen. Come to find out later, Sinister had already killed the real Black Hawk and replaced him with a mindless clone. I tried to stop them, but that is when Creed attacked me. After I got Sarah out, I thought for sure my fate would be in the hands of that monster, but I woke up in a hospital instead." Remy wiped away tears from his face he didn't know he had shed. He looked at Logan, fearing to see hate in his eyes. He only found love and acceptance. He looked back at Hank, hoping to find similar fellings, only to meet confused eyes.
"Remy, why didn't you tell us this at the trial? You did absolutely nothing wrong. The only thing you were guilty of was doing a job you thought was right. If I would have been in your place I would have done the exact same things. Why never tell us the truth?"
Remy shrugged. "At the trial I never had the chance. Erik the Red was so busy turning everything around on me. Betsy was telling the bits and pieces she picked up. And then the whole Rogue thing. She never even absorbed the memories from me. I don't know who put them there, but they weren't from my mind. Before I could say anything everyone had made up their minds and I was left behind. When I got back no one cared to ask, so I just kept my mouth shut. I was just happy to at least have a place to stay. I didn't think anyone would believe me anyway."
Hank could not help but feel miserable. If he didn't feel bad enough for the hell Remy had been through, he had to hear this. He had to find out it was all based on a lie. They had hated him for all the wrong reasons. He looked at Remy for a long moment. Realizing just how young the Cajun was and the things he had been through in such a short life. Before he stopped himself he found himself pulling Remy into a bear hug. "I am so sorry Remy. For everything I did and the X-men did. You did not deserve any of it."
"Um...Henri. It's alright. Merci...I think..." Remy didn't know what to do, this took him totally by surprise. He was happy to have Hank's forgiveness, but this felt a bit odd, and really uncomfortable. Being held in a tight embrace only made him feel trapped. He wanted to push away from the doctor, but he didn't want to hurt his feelings. He just bit his lip, trying to stop the memories that threatened to flood his mind.
Logan could smell the rising fear from his lover. He shook his head. For a doctor, Hank wasn't been too smart about the situation. "Hank, put him down. You're scaring him for Christ's sake!"
Hank let go of Remy and stepped back. He could see the retreating fear in the young man's eyes. It felt like a knife twisted in his gut. "Remy I am so sorry, I wasn't thinking."
Remy shook his head. "Don't worry about it Henri. I know ya won't hurt me. It's just going to be a little akward for awhile. Y' didn't do anything wrong."
"Actually Remy, that was something else I wanted to bring up. When you were subject to this kind of trauma in the past, did you go through consoling or professional therapy? I thought maybe we could set you up with something you would be comfortable with. No one was ever aware that you had been through such an ordeal, so it must have worked wonders for you."
"Oui, the so called therapy I had worked wonders, but it is not an option anymore." Remy smiled. If they only knew what the so called therapy was. Hank would probably have an army of shrinks on him and Logan would probably make sure he had one very dead cousin.
"May I ask why it is not an option?" Hank raised an eyebrow at Remy's sudden change in mood. Remy seemed a little too happy for the subject at hand.
"I'm more interested in knowing why he's smiling. I know that smile, he's up to something." Logan grinned. He had seen that look on Remy's face a hundred times. That smile was normally plastered on the Cajun's face when he was about to shock someone with something unexpected. Obviously what ever this miracle cure was had a story behind it. Logan wasn't sure he wanted to know.
Before either men could question Remy the door came open. Ororo and Jean walked inside, almost tripping over one another to get to the bed. Hank looked at the above clock and noticed it was exactly the time for visiting hours to begin. Remy gave the two men a tired wink. "Guess that story will have to wait for later."
Logan huffed. "It won't be waiting too long. It is something we need to work out."
Remy nodded. "I know, but not now." Remy looked up at the girls that just enter and gave them a smile. "It will keep, it's not a story for the ears of such lovely ladies."
Logan rolled his eyes and stepped back giving the girls room to talk to Remy. He knew his lover was giving them a show. Flirting and bantering to give them the appearance of being fine, to comfort them. But he could hear the genuine happiness in his lovers voice. Talking about the past always seemed to help his lover, he wondered why he was so much against it. He was glad to finally hear the full story of the massacre. He also was angry at himself for never asking. It disturbed him greatly hearing about Remy's involvement, but decided to forgive and forget. Never bringing up the subject, afraid to reignite flames of anger and distrust in his lover. Now he wished he would have asked sooner. He wished they all would have. He took a deep breath and cleared his mind. Now was not the time to live in the past and dwell on should haves and could haves. He had other things to worry about now, like his lover slowly dying. He looked around and noticed Hank had vanished into the laboratory.
Logan made his was into the small glass room and cleared his throat, announcing his arrival. Hank looked up at him from the microscope. "So how's it going with this cure of yours?"
Hank sighed and his shoulders dropped in defeat. "I am not sure how Sinister created a virus like this. It does not react like any virus I have ever seen. Everything I have tried does not effect it in the least, almost like its not a virus at all."
"Maybe it's not a virus. Is that a possibility?"
"It looks and mimics a virus too closely not to be one. But anything is a possibility. I have never seen a virus react to DNA before, that is almost impossible. I am doing all I can."
"I know Blue. I'll just feel better when I know my boy is healthy and out of this lab."
"No doubt you will will spoil him rotten when he is well. If he begins eating solid foods again and his symptoms do not worsen he may leave the lab. He will still need to take it easy of course. He is well enough now to go with you on short walks. Maybe you can help him take a shower later and get some new clothes, if he is comfortable of course. I would like to put him on some kind of therapy soon too. He has peaked my interest with this therapy he had before."
"Yea, I am curious to know about this 'therapy' he had too. I saw the look on his face. It is obviously going to be a method neither of us approve of."
"You think? Well what ever it was, it worked. I never suspected anything from the young Cajun."
"I didn't either, until it was something he really couldn't hide anymore. He still has a few hang ups. But knowing what that bastard did to him, I'm surprised he lets anyone touch him at all."
"Indeed." Hank pushed his glasses back onto his head and looked through the microscope again. Frowning when nothing happened. He sighed and turned again to look at Logan. "Could you do me a favor. Will you ask Jean and Ororo to leave a blood sample for me to work with. I would like to try anything I can. Not having a family link with Remy concerns me. I think there might have been something there that would help."
Logan chuckled. "Have ya tried to link him with Scott? Seems like everyone's a Summers around here."
Hank let out a laugh. It had almost become an inside joke with all the Summers and their connections. "I actually tried that one when Remy first arrived to the group. He had told me he did not know his parents and that set of alarms in my head. But no, he is not a Summers. Not even a distant relative."
"Good, I don't think I want to be pulled into that family circle." Logan stood up from the door frame he had been leaning on. "I'll get ya that blood, if ya promise to help me get that therapy story out of the Cajun later."
Hank gave Logan a feral grin. "Oh yes, I will get that story out of him next chance I get."