Down-Home Charm Photo Album Songbank Fan-Fiction History Books Fan Art Miscellania Links
Fan-Fiction >
Alternate Realities >
"Death of a Dream"

Death of a Dream

Chapter 1: Homecoming
Chapter 2: Old Ghosts
Chapter 3: Strange Bedfellows
Chapter 4: Melancholy Memories
Chapter 5: Of Love and Betrayal
Chapter 6: Innocence Lost
Chapter 7: Of Friendship and Discovery
Chapter 8: First Blood
Chapter 9: Cast Out
Chapter 10: Revelations
Chapter 11: Of Love and Hope
Chapter 12: Stolen Lives
Chapter 13: Bad Dreams
Chapter 14: The Ties that Bind
Chapter 15: A Hero's Life
Chapter 16: Old Wounds
Chapter 17: A Time of Last Things
Chapter 18: The Final Countdown
Chapter 19: Battlezone
Chapter 20: Zero Hour
Chapter 21: A Glimmer of Hope

The sequel to this story is "The Resurrection Gauntlet."

Death of a Dream

Chapter 1: Homecoming

"What de hell happened here, Stormy?" asked Gambit, a look of sheer astonishment on his face as he stood overlooking the graves about him.

"The Shadow King," she stated simply, as if that explained everything. "And do not call me that Gambit. You push your luck just by being here."

He could not even feel grief. Not yet. It was too soon, too much of a shock. His brain was still trying to assimilate the information she had given him. His eyes roved the grave markers and their loving epitaphs with utter disbelief. It couldn't be, it just couldn't. So many X-Men dead.... His eyes searched the stones, looking for one name in particular. He had not seen her among the remaining X-Men, and now, he could not find her here, either. Living or dead he could see no trace. He had to ask. "Where is she, chere?"

Storm stared at him levelly for a long moment, something like anger flashing in her ice blue eyes. "Gone, like the others," is all she replied, turning slightly away from his gaze for the first time.

He forced himself to form the word, pushing it painfully through his rapidly tightening throat. "Dead?" he asked, putting as little emotion as possible into the question.

"No. Not dead. Just gone."

Relief coursing through him, he could hear her voice tightening with anger, and knew that he should not continue this line of questioning lest she become truly angry. He could not afford to alienate the X-Men now, not with the world in the state that it was. And still he could not seem to help himself. "Gone where?"

She spun on him, blue eyes flaring white with her power as lightning crackled into life about her form. "I do not care!", she shouted angrily, stepping menacingly closer toward him.

"Whoa, Storm. What Rogue did was unforgivable, but it wasn't his fault." It was Kitty stepping between them, Gambit recognized her from the brief time they had met once. Shadowcat, she called herself, as he remembered. Right now though, she seemed to be the voice of reason as Storm calmed herself, lightning fading with a hissing crackling of energy.

"Perhaps not, Kitty. But I find it almost as hard to forgive him for what he has done." With a last glowering glance at Gambit, she turned and stalked from the graveyard.

He sat in silence for a long moment, giving only a passing glance to Storm's retreating back before returning his gaze to studying the young girl before him. "Tell me, Kitty," he began, pausing to light a cigarette and puff on it thoughtfully. "What de devil happened here?"

She turned her eyes upon him, face set so hard that it may have well been carved from stone. "Exactly as Storm said: the Shadow King happened. What do you care anyway, Gambit? Rogue is alive, not here, but alive. There's no reason for you to stay, or pretend to care."

"Dat's harsh, petite. Despite what I did in my past, I fought alongside de X-Men for a long time. Shed blood and tears with dem, laughed and loved wit dem. Dey were de closest ting I ever had to a family," he crouched down, rocking back on his heels to look up and meet her gaze firmly.

"Funny...Rogue once said the same thing. It seems a villain always returns to his roots though...Magneto, Rogue...probably even you."


"Save it!", she snapped. "You wouldn't even be here if our numbers weren't so decimated right now. You want a place with us, Gambit? Earn it, prove it, be willing to die for it. Because if you betray us this time, you won't live to see another chance." And then she faded out of existence, cutting the conversation short and slipping through the ground as easily as a phantom. No doubt taking a shortcut to the base of operations below ground, he mused.

Sighing, he crushed out his cigarette in the grass, eyes drawn once again to the gravestones before him. So many dead, Rogue cast out from the group for some horrible crime he couldn't even imagine, finding himself back among his former teammates who would have sooner seen him dead than fight beside him, if things were different. Yes, the world was fast becoming a very strange place.

Storm stood before a massive bay window within the mansion, arms folded over her chest as she watched Gambit, still sitting in the graveyard as if he had been frozen there. Sensing a presence behind her, she did not turn as she began to speak.

"Am I being too hard on him?", she asked, her voice taut with the tension of conflicting emotions.

"I dunno, 'ro", came the gritty voice from behind her. She could hear him moving closer, and a moment later, she sagged back into his embrace as he wrapped his arms around her waist. "I think that's up to you, darlin'."

"Oh, Logan...", she sighed, comforted by his very presence, "with everything that has happened in the last two years, I cannot even seem to remember a time preceding this. I can barely recall a time when we fought for the good of humanity, a time before genocide."

He nuzzled his head against her neck, kissing it softly before replying. "And that's exactly why we need everyone we can get right now. Even Gambit. Everybody has done things they regret, 'ro, and some of those mistakes can never be made up for."

She could hear the change in his voice as he spoke, from gentle to deep sorrow in the space of a few words. "Logan", she turned, wrapping her arms around his shoulders as she faced him, "You did what you had to do...the Shadow King had her wrapped so tightly around his finger that there was almost nothing left to try and save-"

"That's just it, 'ro. She shoulda never even been there." He drew back from her embrace, his face suddenly looking much older with the weight of emotion. "She was just a kid. We sent her away from the X-men to try an' keep her safe, an' he went after her anyway." He ran a tired hand through his hair then, heaving a resigned sigh. "I keep going through it in my head, over and over again after all these years. You're right. I never had a choice. It was kill or be killed. But that don't make it right."

She moved to him, placing a hand upon his shoulder to comfort him. "I know Jubilation was like your own daughter, Logan. I am sorry it had to happen that way." It was all she could say. There were no words to soothe that kind of loss.

"See, 'ro?", he turned toward her, taking her hand and looking at her earnestly. " I can't change what I did. I'm always gonna hate myself for it, I can never live it down or outrun it. I can't even make up for it. As much blood as I've had on my hands, hers is the only stain that don't wash clean. There's no forgiveness for me, and probably none for Gambit, either. The only thing that keeps me going is the good I'm doing. That...and you."

She smiled then, leaning up to kiss him gently. For all that had been lost over the last two years, for all the death and pain, at least they had finally found each other, she thought. At least something good had come from it all. "What do you propose, then, my love?"

"I say we give the boy a chance. He's never gonna forgive himself for what he's done, but you can bet he'll spend the rest of his life trying to make up for it. We need that kind o' help."

She nodded, then frowned. "But what of his love for Rogue? Do you not think that will have any bearing on his choosing of sides?"

His eyes grew dark as he looked at her. "If it does, darlin', then I'll do what I have to do."

And in a citadel halfway around the world from her former teammates, the new leader of the Brotherhood awakened with a start.


Continued in Chapter Two


Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction / Fan Artwork / History Books / Photo Album / Songbank / Miscellania / Links / Updates

Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by Marvel Comics.
Privacy Policy and Submission Guidelines