Logan stopped by the infirmary and saw that there were some changes again.
Rayne looked sad and upset but Hayley looked a little more alive.
Logan caught Hayley's eye, "Hey kid."
She looked happy to see him too and gave him a little smile, "Hey."
He sighed and pulled her into a hug, "Feeling better?"
"Yeah a little," She smiled happy to have him holding her. She was glad to have Justice's contact too. The familiar scents and faces made her feel more comfortable and more at ease.
Logan pulled back looking into her soft blue eyes, "You wanna talk?" He touched her cheek gently with the back of his hand.
She made a face, "I really don't feel much like talking."
Logan kissed her head and stood apart from her, he grabbed the curtain and opened it to show Justice's empty bed and Rayne sitting up staring blankly at the news. Hayley sighed.
"You don't need to be shut off from the rest of world," He sat in the chair next to her bed.
She nodded, 'Why had she felt more comfortable with Justice than Logan?'
Beast popped around the corner, "I thought I heard another voice." He stared hard at Logan, "Visiting hours are over, sir."
He crossed his arms expectantly and then sighed looking at Hayley's happier face, "Ok, ten minutes." Beast walked to Rayne to take her vitals and before she could object a thermometer was pushed in her mouth.
Logan looked at Hayley, "I'm here for you, you know that?"
She managed a smile for him, "I know Lo'."
"Plenty of people want you back on your feet," He smiled and kissed her head as he stood and was startled to see her flinch. "I'm here if you need me," He said a little sad at her defensive posture.
She felt like a heel as she watched him go, "Lo'," She said before he could leave. He turned and regarded her. "I'm sorry," She said and managed a weak smile.
He pressed his lips together in a grin and nodded, "Get some rest. Tomorrow's a new day."
To her surprise he didn't leave but went over to Rayne as Beast finished with her. He leveled his gaze at her and she cowered from him.
He sighed and wondered if it was just him that was scaring these women, "They treatin’ you all right, kid?" He smiled at Rayne.
She nodded at him shyly, "Fine," Her whiskers twitched nervously as she spoke and her eyes were big as saucers.
He didn’t like that she was still afraid of him. They had gotten off to a really bad start and he wasn’t sure what it would take to win the girl’s trust now, "I'll have Al send you some clothes in the mornin’."
She nodded quickly hoping he would leave soon, "Merci, monsieur," She kept her eye’s averted from his.
He left then, shaking his head at the unfathomable women.
Hayley watched him go still feeling guilty about flinching. She knew she trusted him with her life. She sighed and listened to the baby monitor.
Beast came over to her and began to take her vitals as well, "Where did your brother go for your food? Timbuktu?" He sighed wondering if Justice was fooling around somewhere when he should be back here.
Hayley shrugged. She really wasn’t hungry but she was sure they would make her eat something.
Beast finished and heard the doors snap open.
Warren walked in with a slightly guarded look but smiled and walked bolder when he saw Justice wasn’t there.
Hayley looked at him then pulled the covers up on her.
He smiled noting she didn't look as spooked as she did earlier. He lowered his head then feeling bad that he hadn't help prevent the horror she went through today.
"Hayley, I am sorry for what …." He stopped, seeing it was still a sore topic when she turned her head towards the wall.
Rayne's whiskers twitched and she growled low. She believed that he was truly sorry for what had happened, but she could also tell he was up to no good. She could feel his desire for the other woman and she wanted to scream at him. How dare he make advances to her after what she had been through. Rayne didn't get along with Hayley but she didn't want to see the other woman treated like this. Being fought over like some peace of meat. The thought angered Rayne more and her eye’s glowed as she continued to growl.
Warren smiled politely at Rayne then pulled the curtain closed to give them privacy. Rayne snorted and wondered if he was really that stupid.
Surely they all knew by now how good her senses were. She might not be able to see them anymore, but she could certainly hear them. She could even hear Hayley’s unborn child’s heartbeat without the monitor. Rayne wanted out of the infirmary. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could stand it all.
Beast came back to the room and sat down on an empty bed with his laptop and began his tedious computer work.
Hayley's eyes widened when Warren pulled the curtain to, and she found herself making it warmer in defense, "What do you want?"
He stopped smiling, "I’m sorry, I didn't realize you still weren’t up to having company," He said sadly, "I just wanted to check on you. See how you were doing."
Hayley felt a little guilty like she did with Logan.
"Don’t feel bad, It's just me," She sighed.
Warren touched her hand and jerked back at the scorching feel, "Do I offend you that much?" He said rubbing his slightly toasted hand.
"No, I …." She looked at the sheets for help and thankfully Warren seemed to understand.
Warren heard sounds like tiny hoof beats and he looked at the monitor. "Is that your baby?" He smiled. She nodded feeling even more exposed. "Hayley, we come from a familiar background, and I hoped that would help us relate better," He smiled. "I know you are hurt and I know what you have gone through lately with your father and all." He sighed and sat back, "Despite my good fortune, I have always hid my wings in fear of being seen as a monster."
Hayley pressed her mouth together in a weak smile, "Sounds like you would have more in common with Ally then, she hides her mutation trying to fit in to." She moved slightly to get comfortable and wished he would go away.
"I wish I could have done more to help you," He sighed and looked down, "The whole thing could have been prevented."
"How so?" She narrowed her eyes at him. Was he saying she asked for it? He smiled and sat forward so she could her him better, "If you had been my lady, I would have kept you in the mansion where you would have been safe. Not drag you out where you would be exposed to danger," He saw her frown at his words so he tried to lighten things up. "You would have been so enraptured by my caring presence that you would have had no want to leave," He said with a coy smile.
"What?" Hayley shook her head. They both heard a snort come from Rayne's bed and Hayley almost laughed. 'I’m beginning to like that girl,' She smiled to herself.
Warren ignored it and looked at Hayley seriously, "Maybe some night soon, we could have some coffee and talk."
"Warren," She sighed, "I am seeing Remy right now."
"Are you?" He gave her a taunting grin then dropped his voice down lower, "I wouldn't depend on that if I were you."
Hayley sank in the bed, recalling her fears on the subject.
Warren felt like a heel but knew it was probably the truth, "A baby chases most guys off you know. Especially to find out what Gambit did about who the father was, and well….." Warren whistled, "Me? I wouldn’t be afraid to be honest. It would be the woman I would be in love with and the rest would fall into place as it should," He looked meaningfully at Hayley. Thoughts of sending her child away to the best schools came to mind. "I could also provide everything a proper lady needs and deserves," He smiled.
Hayley felt tears sting her eyes. She thought about how Remy might not want her now and she looked at Warren's hopeful face. He seemed to speak of a lady and she knew he meant her. She had guessed he had been interested in her before because they had both come from wealthy backgrounds and had the same come kind of upbringing.
"Warren," She said and wanted to cry, "I am with Remy. If it turns out he doesn't want me then I will be alone. I don't want to go into this now." She wiped the unshed tears from her eyes.
The doors snapped open and Justice walked in with a tray of food and smile until he saw Warren, then he moved to Hayley's bed with his eyes on the Angel.
"Something I can do for you Worthington?" Justice said as he placed Hayley's tray down beside her.
Warren kept his perfect posture and flawless smile, "Just seeing how Hayley is doing and offer an ear if she needed to talk."
"That's nice," Justice grit his teeth and grabbed his arm, "No, let me walk you out." He put a sufficient amount of pressure on Warrens arm to motivate him and was grateful Hayley didn't notice it. She just seemed to stare at a wall.
Warren got up and followed Justice's firm grip and as soon as the doors snapped closed Justice lunged in his face.
"Must not like those wings, huh?" Justice brought himself closer to the mutant who still stood taller than himself.
"Justice be practical, old man," Warren smiled undaunted.
Justice heard the doors swish open and saw Beast standing there and his eyes grew wide when he seemed to understand what he interrupted.
Hank stepped forward and pushed them apart, "This, will not happen here."
Justice turned to Warren and his eyes flashed blue at him, "Leave her alone, Worthington."
Warren tossed him a nonchalant smile and moved away from them slowly.
Beast made a mental note to return Hayley to her own room soon, but looked at Justice, "What took you so long?" He shook his head and gave Justice a nudge back into the infirmary.
Justice noticed Warren's visit had affected Hayley, she looked sad. Justice sat down and before she could answer him he sighed and touched her mind.
"Hayl, that's not true," Justice looked angry at the ideas Warren had put in her head.
"I don't doubt Remy, I doubt me," She mumbled," After all I have done, it might be time for a new start."
Justice rubbed her head playfully, "Do that and Logan, Remy and I will find you." Hayley looked at him and knew he was serious, 'Would Remy want me that badly?'
"Stop that," Justice barked and sat down opening her juice box and handing it to her, "It's not like he doesn't have feelings for you," He chuckled, "You are more then just pen pals for crying out loud!" Justice stood, satisfied she was drinking her juice and pulled the curtain spying Rayne's vacant stare at the television.
He grabbed the extra juice and banana he had brought for her. Before Rayne knew it Justice hit the bed he was supposed to be sleeping in with his stomach and rode it over to her like a boogie board thrusting a closed container of juice and the banana to her.
Rayne snapped up almost swiping at him but his comical grin got the best of her.
Justice winked, "Hello there." He gingerly placed it on the bed and smiled, "Thought you might want a snack."
"Yo' crazy," She laughed finally, "Yo' know dat?"
Hayley laughed at her brother's comedic display for Rayne too, "He's been told that many times."
Justice stood up, "Can I get you anything?" He spied Beast out of the corner of his eye.
"I certainly hope you are up to par in the morning, Justice," Beast sighed pushing him to the bed until Justice sat like a disobedient child, "Then perhaps the atmosphere here can return to normal."
Justice moaned, "Am I that bad?" He looked to Hayley and Rayne for help but they agreed with Beast with teasing looks in their eyes.
Beast exhaled hard and then turned the television off that had been once again going on about the ordeal at the restaurant. Then he wandered to the smaller room looking up through the window every so often at the now docile patients who chattered amongst themselves.
Justice looked over at Rayne wanting to cheer her up. "Pssst," He hissed at her and she looked at him again with a little smile, "We goin’ over the wall at midnight. Pass it on."
Hayley and Rayne both rolled their eyes at him and he sighed, "Come on! What else is there to do around here?" Then he sat up straighter, "Let's break out and raid the fridge or something." He smiled but both women were staring at the foot of his bed.
He followed their look to the blue mutant who was standing there with his arms crossed and a cross look on his face. Justice threw his hands up in defeat. "I'll be good and go to sleep, ok?" He said seriously to Beast who merely sighed and wandered off.
Once Beast was gone, Justice jumped out of bed and grabbed his bed pushing it against Hayley's.
Hayley got bumped slightly, "Justice?" She watched his nutty grin, and at that moment he reminded her of Imp when she was up to no good.
Justice cackled running over to Rayne's bed, "Going for a ride, so hold on." He winked at her.
Rayne held on and laughed wondering what he was going to do next. He pushed her bed against his that was already pushed to Hayley's.
Then stood, watching their quizzical
stares, "Perfect!" Then he climbed on the bed between them.
"Now, we can sleep together," He let a maniacal laugh as Beast came
back out to scold them again. Justice pointed to Rayne, "She made me do
Rayne slapped his arm and looked innocently at Hank.
Beast was about to argue but laughed at the pajama party, "Just stay in the beds, please. And try to get some sleep." He sighed and went back to work.
Justice chuckled, "Now, I can tell Storm I had two women in my bed." He winked.
Hayley laughed and settled back but Rayne fell silent and somber. She slid under the covers and shuddered hearing Hayley's baby monitor closer to her now.
Justice raised an eyebrow at her spooked expression and turned on his side, "Are you all right?"
Rayne nodded, feeling a little comfortable with Justice and his goofy ways, he reminded her a little of Remy. She knew Justice had his body slightly touching his sister so Hayley would know he was there but she couldn't have been more surprised than when Justice reached over and took her own hand. She swallowed hard when he gave her hand a pat. She looked at his face. It looked as if he would fall asleep any second. Rayne wanted to jerk her hand away from him but couldn’t. She felt that he truly wanted to comfort her. Her clawed hands didn’t seem to bother him any.
A big sigh released her tension as it felt almost like Remy was there with her now and so she let him hold her hand. She had to admit that the stranger’s contact felt good and reassuring. This was puzzling to her. It wasn’t something she was used to. She closed her eyes and tried to summon the oblivion of sleep.
After an hour or so of semi-sleeplessness Rayne's eyes flew open hearing a loud thump. She jumped up and scanned the area. Justice was gone.
"Justice?" Rayne said quietly. An exhausted Hayley slept on undisturbed.
A hand popped up in between Justice’s bed
and hers and Rayne almost screamed.
"Down here," A voice called from under the beds.
Rayne cautiously looked through the gap between the beds as Justice emerged from it, looking rather miffed. "Why can’t they make these things more comfortable, and longer!" He grumbled, crawling back on the bed.
Rayne shrugged and watched him as he fell right back to sleep. She didn’t have any problems with the bed.
She was nearly asleep again when she heard another thump and saw that Justice was missing from his bed again.
She saw that Hayley's eyes were still closed as she continued to sleep through the ruckus, "Justice?" Rayne called tentatively.
His hand rose from the floor again but this time he didn’t rise up. "Can you pass me my pillow and blanket so I can just sleep down here?" His hand said to her.
Rayne couldn't help but giggle. She had never had a conversation with a hand before. She passed him his things and peered down through the gap. She smiled at his silly looking face as it fought sleep long enough to arrange the pillows and blankets, "Night, chere." She heard him mumble a goodnight followed quickly by snoring. Rayne watched him for a while as he slept soundly. She liked this silly man. Too bad his sister was here though. It could be a really cool place without her causing trouble. Well, her and that nasty clawed Wolverine. What a strange place fate has brought her to. She rubbed her sleepy eyes, curled up under the covers and thought of the happy times she and Remy had spent together.
Rayne woke with a start from a bad dream. Her heart felt like it was doing cartwheels in her chest and she couldn’t catch a good deep breath. Faint remnants of the nightmare nagged at her mind and she shook her head trying to get rid of them. The lights in the infirmary were dimmed so she figured it was still nighttime. She yawned and rubbed her eyes. Hayley shifted slightly and moaned and Justice snored contentedly. Beast was sitting at a desk staring at a computer monitor.
She crept quietly over to the bathroom, opened the door just enough to turn the light on then pulled the door back closed. She smiled as she saw a thin beam of light shining from the crack under the door.
Beast was still at the desk and seemed not to notice she was up.
Justice snorted and woke up slightly. He smacked his lips and mumbled something about brown sugar.
Rayne then stealthily made her way to the
infirmary doors. She looked back to where Beast was still sitting, engrossed in
his work and smiled as she slipped through the doors.
After making it through the second round of doors she was out in the hallway and home free. She crouched down, padded her feet then sprung off down the corridor. She was free!
Hank fancied he heard a short ‘yieeee’ as he came out of a deep concentration. He stretched the knots from his muscles and got up to check on the patients. His heart stopped when he saw that Rayne’s bed was empty, and then he saw the light coming from the bathroom and sighed with relief. Justice was back to snoring and Hayley was sleeping soundly. After fixing himself a coffee he went back to his work.
Rayne stepped off the elevator on the ground floor and looked around. All was quiet and still in the mansion and she loved it! She sniffed the air, turned her ears listening to the subtle noises around her as she slowly made her way to the front door. A flash of light made her jump and she dropped in a crouch. Boom! The thunder rolled and made the mansion tremble. A storm! Rayne hopped up and ran to a window. She loved rain! The water began falling from the sky by the bucketful’s. She blinked at another flash of lightening then danced to the beat of the resounding thunder.
Quickly she made her way out the front door and stood on the front porch smelling the fresh, moist air. A mist from the rain clung to her whiskers and made her giggle. A twitch of her nose sent water droplets flying from the fine hairs. She felt as electrified as the clouds above and wanted to dance to the joy in her heart!
Hank thought he was listening to see if Rayne was all right. He looked to the floor and strained to hear any sounds. Nothing but the baby monitor and Justice’s nasal vocalizations, ‘Surely she is finished in the lavatory by now.’
He gingerly walked over to where the beds
were and saw that Rayne’s bed was still unoccupied. And, the bathroom door was
still closed. He lightly rapped on the door. No answer. Worry creased his brow
and he tapped a little more urgently, "Rayne?" Still no answer. His
heart was pounding now and he decided to open the door. "Oh my stars and
garters," Beast grumbled, "She’s gone, again!"
Gambit had fallen asleep while watching television and a monotonous stream of talk shows and old movies kept his slumber company. He woke up when he heard an incessant rapping. He picked his head up and followed the noise to his door.
"Merde," He grumbled, getting
tired of these late night interventions, "Now what?"
He groggily made his way to the door and opened it. He was surprised and worried to see Hank standing there, "Wha’s goin’ on, mon ami?"
Beast cleared his throat, "Well, I’m
not quite sure, my friend. But Rayne has left the med lab and I can’t find her.
I checked her room already with no success so I thought maybe she was
Remy walked back to his bed and flopped down exhausted, "Rayne girl, what am ah gonna do wit’ yo’?"
"Should I wake Logan and Ally? Or perhaps Alex?"
Gambit rolled off the bed, stood up, found his cigarette’s and lit one, "Nah, lets see if ah can find her firs’. Ah don’ think she’s tryin’ ta leave. Mebbe she jus’ havin’ a look around. Dat infirmary wouldn’ be her favorite place ta be for too long. She prob’ly got stir crazy an’ took a walk."
"Perhaps you are right," Hank needed to get back to the med lab so he wanted to find Rayne soon, "Shall we take different directions or look together?"
"Check da kitchen yet?" He flicked ashes into a tray.
Hank shook his head no.
"Lets start there, then split
up," Remy offered.
Rayne was in heaven! The lightening and thunder were moving off but the rain still poured. She grinned and bolted out into the falling sheets of water, squealing with delight. It was cool out and the rain was cold but Rayne continued to run and jump around. She twirled in circles and danced and thanked God for the miracle of rain.
After an extensive twirling she fell to the ground dizzy and exhausted. She plopped backwards and let the water pound her face and body. At that moment, life was good. Eventually though she began to feel the cold and the rain was getting to be too much, so she decided to go back inside. She ran back to the front door, opened it quietly and hopped inside.
On their way to the kitchen, Mc Coy and Gambit had just come down the staircase by the front door when Rayne appeared in the front door. All three stood looking at one another.
Rayne stood there soaking wet and a large puddle quickly surrounded her. She smiled sheepishly at her brother and Beast, "Um…it’s rainin’."
"Obviously," Was all Hank could think to say.
Remy looked at his troublesome sister as she stood there shivering. She was totally soaked, her hair was pasted to her head and the tips of her ears poked out comically. Her whiskers twitched, still wet and she sported a crooked grin that rivaled his best.
Finally he couldn’t help but laugh, even
though he was mad at her for giving him a fright, "Rayne girl, yo’
She ran up and gave him a big hug to which he sputtered and wiggled, "Hey! Arrete sa! Ah don’ wan’ get all wet now."
To that she hopped up and threw her arms around his neck and wrapped her feet around his waist, "Dis better?" She giggled as he tried to extract her wet body from his. But she held on tightly so he relented and just returned her hug twofold.
"Yo’r a mess, little one. Yo’ know
dat? Guess dat’s why ah love so much," He kissed the top of her head,
"Now, s’time fo’ yo’ ta go back wit’ Hank. Get some dry clothes on an some
Rayne released her hold on him and slid happily to the floor, "No worries, Yo’ go ta bed too Remy. Yo’ look like somet’in’ da cat dragged in."
Gambit snorted and started back to bed, "Nite, cherie. See yo’ in da mornin’."
Beast held his arm out to Rayne to escort her back, "Shall we, my dear?"
Rayne frowned a bit, "Ah don’ really wan’ go back dere. Can ah go ta ma room?" She sneezed and rubbed her nose.
"Not tonight," He was worried now about her catching pneumonia and wanted to make sure she stayed warm and dry tonight, "Perhaps tomorrow night, barring your not catching a cold from tonight’s escapades.
Rayne shook her head to shed some of the water droplets that were tickling her. Then she grabbed a hold of Hanks arm and off they walked.
Rayne woke up again only this time the lights were all on. She rubbed her itchy nose and grumbled. There was a scratchy feeling at the back of her throat and that upset her, ‘Please not a cold. Ah wan’ outta dis place!’ She heard Alex and Justice talking to Hayley. Beast rounded the corner and announced that Justice was free to go. ‘Great,’ Rayne sulked, ‘Now ah’ll be left in here wit’ her.’
She sat up and caught Hanks attention with a wave, "Can ah leave too?" Then she sneezed, ‘Damn!’ "Yo’ didn’ hear dat."
"I indubitably did, young lady," He said with a toothy grin, "Looks like you caught a cold last night. You are to stay in here a while longer."
"Encore? Come on, now! Ah can’ stand anymore a dis," She protested loudly and kicked the sheet off her feet. She was tired of being cooped up in the infirmary and she was tired of being so close to Hayley and her problems. She wanted to scream! Instead, she flopped back down on the bed, pulled the sheet over her head and grumbled.
Justice jokingly said, "We love you too, grumble puss." But that hit Rayne the wrong way and she snarled. "Well, so much for my comedic sidekick," He joked again, "It would seem that the gumbo’s gone sour this morning." He chuckled but not a sound came from Rayne’s direction.
Doctor Mc Coy walked to her bed and pulled the covers back a bit, "Time to check you out, my dear." He held up the thermometer then stopped short. Rayne’s eyes were glowing brightly and she snapped her teeth at him. "Ok, maybe later then," He took a step back then walked away, leaving her to her bad mood. He wasn’t in the mood to get bit.
Remy bounced in with a broad grin and Rayne looked at him hopeful. He waved to her then walked over to where Justice and Alex were standing by Hayley’s bed, "How’s ma joli noir dis mornin’?" His smile faded when he heard a low growl coming from Rayne’s direction.
Rayne had pulled the covers back over her head again. She was so angry and fed up that she couldn’t see straight. She wanted out of there. She wanted to run and hide from everything. ‘Hayley, Hayley, Hayley! Ah hear ‘bout her once more an ah’m gonna claw someone’s eyes clean outta dere head!’ She continued a low rumbling growl.
"Bad mood dis morning’, eh petite?" He walked over and jokingly ripped the covers off her.
She was quickly up in a crouch and the growl turned into a sharp hiss. He took a step back from her because her eyes blazed with amber light and she had an insane look on her face.
He wasn’t sure if she was going to attack
him or not, "Calm down, chere!" His heart raced further when he saw
that her claws had dug into the bedding and was tearing it open, ‘Sacre,
Rayne girl! What did dey do ta yo’?’ He thought about what Logan had told him
about the failed experiments not having any tags, that they would kill them.
What did they do to his sister? Why was she acting like this? Was it some kind
of conditioned response? She had no tags. She failed. Is this why? What
happens? What was the failure? What was the success supposed to be? He held his
palms out and took a few more steps back as she dug her feet in getting ready
to spring at him. She continued to snarl at him and ground her sharp front
Alex telepathically suggested to Remy to continue to back up and give his sister time to calm down. He heeded her request and backed all the way to a desk then sat down. No one in the room moved for a few minutes because they were afraid that it would set her off further.
Rayne’s anger abated after a few minutes and she became aware of what was happening. She bolted off the bed in embarrassment, ran into the bathroom and slammed the door.
Remy ran to the door and slapped it with
his palm, "What’s gotten into yo’, girl? Come out a dere. We gotta
"No! Leave me alone!" Rayne screamed back.
Gambit looked to the others for help but when he got only shrugs, he turned back to the door, "What’s wrong, little one?"
Rayne screamed again, "Pas rein! Go away!"
"Espesces de tete dure! Don’ be so stubborn, girl," Remy was at his wits end in dealing with both the problems of the females in his life right now. He didn’t know why she was acting this way and that made him angry. Just last night she seemed fine, but now… ‘Women!’ If he lived two hundred years he would never understand them. He pounded on the door. If he had to force his way in there and make her stop acting like a child he would, "Open dis door, now!"
"No! No! No!" She screamed, then the scream turned into plaintive wail, "Remy, please help me! Ah can’t take anymore. Ah can’ live lik’ dis. Ah don’ wan’ live lik’ dis anymore!" Rayne looked at herself in the mirror. Looked at what was done to her and a rage swelled inside. She slammed her fist on the glass and it shattered. She leapt around the small room avoiding the falling shards.
Gambit stood silently in shock not knowing what to do next. He heard the mirror break and after the other night he was afraid that she might do something to harm herself. Justice moved him aside and pulled the door off its hinges.
Remy stepped inside and saw that his sister had squeezed herself in between the wall and the toilet. Rayne’s hands covered her face and she was crying in deep sobs. He knelt down and studied her a moment, not sure how to proceed and felt uncomfortable talking to his sister while kneeling so close to the commode, ‘Couldn’ she have picked a better place?’
He sighed, "Rayne?…chere?" He
looked back over his shoulder and looked at Alex who was now standing in the
doorway. She looked back at him and shrugged not knowing how to advise him. He
turned back and rubbed his chin.
Her crying slowed but she wouldn’t look at him, "Ah feel lik’ ah’m gon’ die Remy. Dis pain is killin’ me."
"Won’ happen, petite," He reached over to touch her arm, "Come on now." She growled and he pulled is arm back to his side. "What did dey do ta yo’ in dat lab chere?"
There was no response from Rayne but Alex
caught a glimpse from Rayne’s mind. It was the same woman’s face she had seen
before in Rayne’s mind, only this time the woman was laughing maniacally.
Gambit was beyond frustrated now and raised his voice a bit, "Tell me what’s de matter! Tell me what’s wrong? How can ah help if yo’ won’ tell me?"
Again no response from Rayne except a
strangled sob, and again Alex saw something, but this time it was not about the
lab. It was Edval. Alex realized that it was a memory flash from when he raped
Rayne. She felt sick inside at this memory and the others she had witnessed
when she was in Rayne’s mind a few nights before, "Edval," She said
quietly and Remy snapped his head to look at her.
"What about Edval?" He was worried now that the evil creature had taken over his sister’s mind again. He looked back to Rayne, "Edval botherin’ yo’ ‘gain?" He did touch her arm this time and Rayne pulled her hands from her face and glared at him with her eyes burning.
Alex was hit with another memory from Rayne’s mind. This one was of pure hatred and anger. For just a split second she saw a baby’s face, then nothing but white hot rage, "Oh my God," Alex said softly and kneeled down just inside the door to the small room. Remy backed up a bit and looked at her expectantly, knowing she was using telepathy because her eyes glowed faintly.
"Rayne honey, did you get pregnant from that rape?" She wasn’t positive it was so, but if it was, she knew that the girl was carrying a terrible burden. One that was damaging her life and sanity and Alex wanted to help her and let her know she wasn’t alone.
Rayne covered her face again and pulled into a tight ball.
Remy shook his head slightly trying to make
sure he understood what had just happened. He knew she was raped but hadn’t
even considered the possibility that she would have conceived. "She was
jus’ a kid, jus’ eleven years old," He wondered aloud, "Dat can’ be
right." He looked at Rayne like her body would tell him the truth,
"No, dats not possible." Rayne made a strangled sound and moaned pitifully.
"Ma bon Dieu an ceil! Dey banish yo’ after…an den yo’…" It was too much for him to handle, his face went pale and he felt like a knife had just been thrust through his chest.
Alex pressed for a bit more information, "What happened to the baby?"
Rayne went quiet again then started to growl. Alex saw again the white hot hatred coming from Rayne’s mind and it scared her to think that perhaps Rayne had killed the child, "Rayne, did you get an abortion?"
Rayne violently shook her head, "No, ah carried da chile." She growled harder and her body tensed, "An ah hated it, ah hated dat ah carried it. Everyday, ah wanted to claw it outta me. It was an abomination! It was Edvals bastard seed growin’ inside me!" She snarled and screamed, "Ah hated it! Ah hated me’se’f for carryin’ it. Ah wished ah could die. Ah wanted it ta die!" Rayne slammed her body against the wall as much as she could in the tight place. As if that would knock the agony out of herself.
Alex again saw images of Edval raping Rayne and more images of a newborn babe, "What happened to the baby, Rayne?"
Rayne dropped her head to the floor and draped her arms over her head, "As much as ah hated it, ah couldn’t destroy da life, an’ so ah carried it ta term." She trembled at the memories that now flooded her mind, "Ah spent da time lookin’ fo’ someplace ta put it. Ah found a couple dat was tryin’ ta have dere own but was havin’ trouble. Figured it’d work out both ways. So after ah delivered it, ah left it in dere house an never looked back." She finished, stared at the floor and rocked herself.
Remy, pushed back against the wall and thought over what he had just heard. It was like some horrible nightmare and he wanted to wake up. He had looked for Rayne after she was banished years ago but he could not find her. If only he could have found her, he would have been able to help her. He felt now as if a force had drained all his energy away and he couldn’t move.
Rayne stirred, "Ah should never have gone into da woods dat day." She moaned, "Ah should have stayed at Tante’s."
‘Dat day,’ Remy remembered, ‘De day ah found Rayne in da woods.’ He recalled that day and he now remembered something he had forgotten, "Oh Ye Yaille! Oh God forgive me!" He wailed and tore at his shirt, "Ah was suppose ta meet yo’ dat day! But ah got side tracked by Belle and ah didn’t find yo’ ‘till later…‘till after…Oh God Rayne! It’s ma fault! It’s all my fault!" He writhed in the pain realizing that he could have prevented what happened to his sister. He was supposed to meet her but he had met Belle along the way and forgotten. He had forgotten her and something terrible had happened to her because of it!
Rayne heard Remy’s agonized cries and it broke her heart in two, "No!" She screamed and crawled over to her brother, "No Remy!" She slammed her arms hard into his side, "Don’ yo’ dare blame yo’se’f. Yo’ did not’in’ wrong. Yo’ here me?" She beat her fists on his chest and cried, "It wasn’t yo’r fault! Yo’ listen ta ME!"
Gambit wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly, " Please forgive me Rayne. Please forgive me. God, ah’m so sorry." He held her and they both cried hard.
Justice dropped to the floor behind Alex and wrapped his arms around her as she too cried. After all, she had shared some of those painful memories that were Rayne’s. She thought about Hayley and what she is going through. She looked over at Hayley who was sitting on the bed hugging herself and rocking. Justice and Alex then both got up and went to her.
Hayley noted that Justice and Alex were coming to her and she sighed. She was thankful that she had them here. Rayne only had Remy, and now Hayley felt as if she had taken Rayne's only family from her by having a relationship with Remy. She listened to the exchange between the man she had gotten so close to and his sister and she felt ill. She wouldn't like it if she had needed Justice only to have Justice when some other woman didn’t have his attention. She couldn't let Rayne go through her pain alone. She wanted to go to Rayne and tell her she understood now, but she knew she was the last person Rayne would want to be near. She tried to shrug Alex's hug off because she felt guilty that Rayne's problems had gotten so bad that she had violently turned on her own brother.
Justice pulled her into a hug and she fell apart on her own brother's chest. He usually understood his sisters and they would always need him too. Hayley bit her lip and looked at Justice wondering if he understood just how much they needed him.
"Shhh now Remy, be still chere," Rayne smoothed his hair and rocked him, "Laissez-faire ma chere couer. Whats done is done. Let it be now." He buried his head under her chin and his body shuddered with emotion. "S’ok now, Don’ worry," She smiled wistfully, "Be happy, chere. Please. Ah need yo’ ta be happy Rem."
Rayne held him close and continued to rock him. She was completely drained, "No more a dis now. Let’s not talk anymore of it. S’all water under da bridge." An idea struck her then and she sang softly, "When yo’r weary, feelin’ small. When tears are in yo’r eye’s, Ah will dry dem all. Ah’ll take yo’r part, Oh when darkness comes, an pain is all aroun’. Lik’ a bridge over troubled water, Ah will lay me down."
"Chere," Remy snorted slightly, "Dats sweet an all petite, but…" He wiped his eyes and looked at her, "But dats tres corny, non?"
Rayne looked at him in mock hurt, "What? Yo’ don’ lik’ ma singin’?" She sniffed, wiped her own eyes then grinned, "Dere now, feel better Rem?" He nodded. "See, corny ole songs have dere use, non?" She chuckled and looked at his face. He looked like he was just tortured, "Was it dat bad?"
He nodded again and laughed. He marveled
at this enigma before him. How was it that she always managed to turn her
tragedies around so that she was taking care of him instead? ‘Women’ He
waggled his head.
Rayne sighed deeply, "Rem, ‘member dat time we stayed out all night? We laid on da ground, watched da sky an talked till dawn."
"Ah ‘member how much trouble ah got into," He said playfully, "T’ought Papa was gonna skin me alive fo’ havin’ yo’ out all night lik’ dat. He an Tante’ were worried sick." He recalled how he was made to clean all the rooms in the guild house the next day in punishment.
"Tante’ made me work so hard de next day, dat all ah watched dat night was de insides of ma eye lids!" She smiled remembering how much fun it was watching the night sky with Remy, "Me, ah t’ink it was worth it. Ah always loved spending’ time wit’ yo’. Though yo’ did get me in a lot of trouble, cherie."
"Me? Ah got yo’ in trouble?" He snorted loudly, "Yo’ instigated most of it, yo’ rascal!"
Rayne just snickered, "Hey Rem?"
"Take me fo’ a walk?" She looked at him hopefully.
"Anytime, ma belle-soeur," He hugged her, "Anytime." He stood up, stretched the stiffness out of his muscles then helped her to her feet.
Justice had closed the curtain around he and his sisters when they went to Hayley’s bed, so when Remy and Rayne walked out into the room and through the doors, they didn’t have to face anyone. Beast was in a corner staring at a computer screen. They couldn’t see the matting on his furred cheeks from the tears that had fallen.
Hayley looked at her brother and sister, hardly believing what had just happened. She shook her head and began to disconnect her baby monitor. She was being stared at by Justice, and Alex and Alex shook her head and began to re-gel the contacts for the baby monitor with an exasperated look at Hayley.
"Forget it Alex, I am not staying in here," Hayley said decisively.
Justice and Alex backed off seeing the tiger again for the first time since her ordeal with Sabertooth.
Hayley found her robe and pulled it on.
Beast noted the movement and rushed over with a sigh, "I would still like to run some tests on you and the child, to make sure that you are both out of the woods."
"Hank," Hayley said, losing her patience quickly, "Don't pretend you didn't hear any of that." She pointed to the bathroom where Rayne had been.
Justice shook his head, "This jealousy nonsense has got to stop, Hayl." He pointed his finger at her, "And, If Hank thinks you should stay, then…."
But Alex quickly put her hand on Justice's mouth to shut him up. "We won’t go in your mind, Hayl," She promised, "But tell us, why do you want to go?"
"That poor kid is crazy with grief," She sighed, suddenly on the verge of tears, "She is being forced to live through those horrible memories because of me." Hayley's tears fell a little and she pushed them angrily away. "What I am going through now, she has already been through. And she was a child then for God’s sake! She was on her own and living on the streets. No family, probably no friends." Hayley shed more tears, "While I am here," Hayley sighed, wiped the tears away and straightened up trying not to cry for Rayne or herself any longer, "She will keep reliving it. You saw what it’s doing to her. She almost attacked her own brother because of the rage she has pent up inside. It’s not right to put her though that."
Hayley bound the robe around her waist and almost cried again, noticing it was rounded more than she had last looked. Rayne had called her baby an abomination. She was full of hate and rage the whole time she carried the child. Hayley wanted to love this child regardless of who the father was, or how it was conceived. She tentatively placed her hand on her belly. Yes, she would love this baby.
"Hayley, perhaps I could separate you or make some other arrangements…….." Hank began to suggest but Alex intervened and shook her head.
"We will see her to her room and we can monitor the child there," Alex crossed her arms. "She's right," She sighed, "Rayne is in no condition to be upset right now."
Beast grumbled knowing he was outvoted by the three, "I want to perform more tests on you and the baby later on today." He looked down his glasses at Hayley, "The first twinge or unexplained thing you encounter, and I want you here stat!"
Hayley gave him a little smile and nodded but walked out of there as quickly as her feet would carry her.
Alex sighed wondering if this would torment Hayley later as it did Rayne. She raced after Hayley as Hayley ran off in the opposite direction Remy and Rayne had taken.