Guilded Ties

Kitty leaned over and whispered close to Remy's ear. "That's Miss 'Ro. They call her Storm and she's got one of the biggest tempers around here when she's pissed."

He grinned back at her then whispered, "She also one o' de prettiest femmes."

She giggled softly. "How do you know?"

"Like I said, Chaton," he insisted. "I got de sense fo' dese t'ings."

Kitty would believe him too. He was right in his assessment. But how he knew...Well, that was beyond her.

She neatly passed along her notes in verbal format. He listened carefully, like he was really taking it in, and she was impressed at some of the questions he asked her.

"You already take this class?" she demanded finally, still whispering.

He chuckled. "Non. Jus' know de mat'. Had to."

And that was about as clear as mud.

When class was finally over, Kitty stood and gathered her books. "C'mon. I'll take you to lunch."

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The same jumbled laughter and voices of chaos washed over Remy from the dining room as last time. He didn't have the energy to deal with it. He planted one hand on the small of Kitty's back, to her startled reaction, and followed along behind her.

"Um...you okay?" Kitty craned her neck in his direction.

He nodded.

"Um...okay." She didn't argue, just led the way.

They settled in at the same table as yesterday. Bobby spoke up almost immediately.

"Hey! We didn't see you at breakfast. I was worried about you."

Remy raised his eyebrows and smirked. "No need. Jus' catching m' sleep." He wondered though. Bobby was worried about him? It begged a few questions he didn't really want to ask.

"Hey, sugah." The soft, sultry southern twang came from behind him and he tried to look up in her direction. "Yahr in ma seat."

"We coul' always share it," he quipped, then reached out to feel her emotions.

The same wave of pleased embarrassment with it's unique Rogue exasperation washed over his senses. He liked the feeling. He liked her.

"What color is y'r hair?" he asked. It was something he'd been wanting to know for a while now.

Rogue projected a few nasty emotions without much strength in his direction and settled in the seat next to him. He assumed it was a glare and grinned.

"Brown," she said brusquely. "For today, Swamp Rat, yah can have ma seat."

"Swamp Rat, hein?" He tilted his head in her direction. "Dat make y' a river rat?"

This time, there was some strength to the emotional backlash.

He still couldn't keep from grinning.

"Um...earth to y'all!" Jubilee put in a good imitation of Rogue's southern accent. "The rest of us like to converse too, you know."

Remy waved her on and settled in to enjoy the conversation around him. He applied his listening skills to their utmost, committing it all to memory.

Piotr, Bobby, and John got off a 'discussion' regarding which medium was more important and lasting, poetry or canvas. Bobby seemed pretty lost as he floundered between his opinionated friends, but Remy could have answered that pretty quickly. Paintings definitely brought in the bigger bucks. Kitty occasionally threw in comments in Piotr's favor—though she didn't really seem the type to properly appreciate impressionist art, but mostly discussed wardrobes with Jubilee and Rogue. Apparently, Rogue was the fashion princess around here with more gloves, scarves, and accessories than any of the others.

Kitty denied her lack of taste in clothes hotly, then turned to Piotr. "Do you like opera gloves or the little ones with those little strappy dresses?" she demanded.

The quiet Russian seemed stumped for a moment, so Remy decided to help him out.

"De little strappy ones shoul' usually have little gloves. De long ones go wit' opera gloves."

"Well, maybe ah lahke to make a statement," Rogue said dangerously.

"'M sure y'd look good whatever y' wore, chère," Remy replied smoothly.

Flustered confusion overtook the defiance in her signature. He grinned, especially knowing she had no idea how he could read her. Then slowly, he let the grin fade from his face, remembering his parting with Bella. He frowned and started in on the plate Bobby had helped him get.

One more thing he'd have to learn in this place. How to get his own food.

'Like touching all over again.'

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Remy slipped soundlessly across the tiles of the roof until he found what he was looking for, a comfortably sheltered place to sit down. He felt around carefully and settled in, leaning his back against an eave.

He felt around in one of the inner pockets of his trench coat and pulled out a thin, black phone. He flipped it open and dialed from memory and feel.

His Pere had trained him well. Be able to do anything without seeing your hands, in case you were in darkness. This despite the fact that his mutant eyes made darkness negligible. And never keep important names in an address book or on speed dial. Ever.

The phone rang twice.

"Bonjour. LeBeau residence," a heavily accented voice picked up.


"Remy, y' rascal! I told y' to call as soon as y' were settled!" His Pere sounded as excited to hear from him as Remy was to hear his Pere. "Y' been dere what? 'lmost deux days!"

"About one, if y' break down de hours," Remy said drily. He'd always found little things to correct his Pere on, just to prove he was still stubborn and independent.

It earned him a small chuckle. Then a serious tone overwhelmed Jean-Luc's voice. "Y' had any problems? Anyt'ing serious?"

"Non." Remy smiled thinly at the invisible view. "De Danger Room, it's good."

A brief silence. "Did dey start y' already?" A little disbelief and cynicism colored the voice. Ten years of being family had given the man plenty of insight into Remy's natural behavior.

Ten years off the street and Remy's instincts still didn't believe it. Trust didn't come easy to him and it probably never would. He was still his own person, even if now he had a father and brother and sister-in-law.

Remy shrugged with his uninjured shoulder. "I found de room. Coul'n't wait."

The silence lengthened and then his Pere sighed heavily. "Dat bad?"

"It ain' y'r fault, Pere," Remy said softly.

They'd been on the round since everything went down. Both blamed themselves, Remy for being the cause of so many deaths, Jean-Luc for not seeing it coming and finding a way to help Remy sooner.

"I shoul' o' seen it comin', fils." His Pere's voice was heavy with regret. "Y' were complainin' o' headaches fo' weeks, o' t'ings chargin' when y' weren' tryin'. I lived long enough wit' y' to know dat weren' good."


"Non. I'm de one s'posed to take care o' y', fils," Jean-Luc insisted. "Y're not still a bot on de street. Y're mon fils."

"Oui, Pere. I got t' go." Remy said his goodbyes and got off the phone.

He looked out on the world around him as the wind continued to pick up. He had noticed the change in an instant and waited for the hovering person below to come up.

She did.

"Remy?" a femme's voice asked from in front of him. Miss 'Ro.

He decided not to ask how she flew.

"Dr. Grey said you're missing your appointment." Slight disappointment in the voice.

He could read her emotions directly if he reached, but he had the empathy shut down. He settled for shrugging the same uninjured shoulder.

Ororo sighed and she moved toward him. In a flash, he was scooting backwards, scrambling away from her outstretched arms.


He slipped, almost lost his footing, dove out of the way of her next attempt, then slipped again, trying to find purchase... He dropped hard on his already hurt side, hissing out with the explosion of pain as he slid downward and finally stopped himself, barely clinging to the edge of the roof.

His side and front began to throb. It felt wet. He struggled not to lose his bearings, his balance, his grip.

Gentle strong hands took hold of his arms. "I'm sorry, Remy."

Remy let her help him.

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Jean looked up as Ororo walked in, leading a clearly disgruntled Remy. His face was a little pale and he wore an angry scowl.

"We agreed to meet up after lunch," Jean said softly.

Ororo let go of Remy's jacket. He smoothed it out with one hand.

"I've got a class..." Ororo paused. "He hit the corner of the roof when I tried to catch him."

"Of course." Jean dismissed her friend with a wave of her hand. "I'll look at it."

Remy stepped forward, then wavered for a moment. "Merde," he whispered, then went stumbling to the ground.

"Remy!" Jean reached out with thought to catch him as he went down.

He'd fallen unconscious. His shirt was wet and dark and Jean fought down the panic rising in her throat. "Scott! Help me get him up on the table."

Between the two of them, they got Remy laid out on the table and she pulled off his shirt then stared. "Did you see this?"

Scott swore softly. "They were purple before," he said of the heavy discoloration running down Remy's front.

They were an angry red now and he was bleeding from where he'd been hit.

"I've got to get him stabilized." Jean went into doctor mode and ignored her husband. She wanted to shake him, to scream at him, that bruises that size weren't normal. She shouldn't have let Remy get away without his physical earlier.

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Scott watched as Jean bent over Remy with a serious expression, sterilizing the wound and working to stop the bleeding. He couldn't name or describe almost any of what she did. He could only hope it was the right thing.

He should have mentioned the bruises.

Of all the times to hold back, this time could have cost a life. Scott sat down in one of the chairs to wait.

"Is he going to be all right?"

Jean didn't glance his way. "He seems to be the surviving type," she said drily.

That was only mildly reassuring.

"I'm going to take a look at his blood," she continued. "See if he'll be okay with painkiller."

Scott nodded helplessly.

Jean went about putting a small sampling of blood under the microscope then leaned over, fitting her eye to the glass, and studying it intently.

"Oh my..." His wife's whispered voice was one of horrified awe.


She lifted bewildered eyes to his. "Scott. He's still mutating. Right now. He..." She stared at her wounded charge.

He was coming to, struggling to sit up.

"No, Remy." She reached out and pressed him back gently. "Don't do that. You'll hurt yourself more."

Remy gritted his teeth tightly. "No...painkillers," he gasped out.

"Okay. We won't." Jean rubbed his shoulder. "You're going to be fine. Just let me finish getting you cleaned up."

Remy stayed still for a moment, his face towards Jean, then nodded and dropped back.

Scott watched it all with feelings of confusion. "Jean."

She turned toward him.

"What do you mean, he's still mutating?"

Jean glanced around helplessly, as if trying to find her scattered thoughts. "I...I need to get him stabilized."

It was the easy way out, Scott thought. Slip into doctor mode. He nodded sharply. But she was right. Remy was her priority right now. Not him.

He showed himself out.

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Remy tried not to move too much as the world swirled around him. Blackness flickered at the edges of his consciousness. He tried to stay awake. He really did try. The combination of exhaustion, blood loss, and pain finally won out and he fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

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