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"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 5: Of Love and Betrayal

Rogue's hand shook as she poured them a drink, her voice only slightly more stable as she effected an air of casualness. "When Psylocke told me about this plan, ah wasn't sure you'd go for it. Ah, mean, you did make contact with them first."

Gambit smiled slightly and leaned back in his chair, regarding her with that same playful look she remembered so well. "I thought you'd be with dem petite. It took me almost two whole years to work my way back from Antarctica, you know, what with all de warfare across de continent. When Psylocke contacted me a few weeks after joining dem, and told me where you were...well, I knew I had to see you again." He gave an appraising glance about her chambers, then looked back to her. "And look at you, chere. Livin' the good life it seems."

"Yeah, only the best for the master's highest ranking," she replied, barely managing to keep the sarcasm from her voice. She walked toward him slowly, thoughtfully, nodding as she handed him his drink. "So why'd you come back, Remy? You coulda just kept on goin', forgotten about all of us, carved your own niche out in this new world."

"I probably could've chere...might even have me my own faction of de Brotherhood by now if I hadn't stopped in to check on de team. But it all worked out, no? I'm much more useful to you as part of de X-Men. Besides," he continued, his voice lowering just a bit, "dis way, I get to see you more often den I would out in the field."

"So you came back for me? Even after what ah did to you?" She could not keep her voice from shaking this time.

He took the drink and set it aside, laying a hand upon her arm and meeting her eyes intently with his own. "Yes, chere. I came back for you. I couldn't blame you for leavin' me like dat...I deserved it, I knew I did. But now dat you an outcast from the group too...well, we birds of a feather, no? Difference is, I got an in dat you don't."

"Ah wonder if they'd take me back in now, too...after what ah did..." she said, her voice distant.

"I'm only dere cause dey need more bodies, chere, not cause dey want me dere. You an' me, we got no home anymore." He pulled her closer to him, drawing her up against him. "But we still got each other, chere...if you want it dat way," he added, his voice growing low and husky.

"Remy...," she whispered, struggling to regain her composure, "Ah'm here cause ah got nowhere else to go. got a second chance."

"Ain't no place in dis world for me without you by my side, petite," he whispered back, his lips barely an inch from her own.

She gazed deep into his eyes for a long moment, thoughts reeling. She had forgotten the effect he had on her...after two long years, could there be anything left between them? Despite the logic that insisted against it, she knew in her heart that she still loved him. More than that...she was so alone now...she needed him, needed someone to care, someone to hold onto. And if he still loved her, as he claimed to, did it really matter that he would be betraying her former friends, her now sworn enemies? Her own betrayal was already complete, despite the fact that she hadn't desired it. Could she judge anyone else for theirs?

"Chere?" he asked, his voice almost seeming to plead.

There was never any decision to be made, she thought, as she lifted her lips to his, eyes closing as she gave herself over to the passion in her heart.

He stiffened suddenly, surprised, and she drew back, recognizing the source of his fear. "It's alright, sugah," she whispered, pulling off her gloves and tracing the outline of his lips with one finger. "I can control it, now."

It was all he needed to hear. He grabbed her in a tight embrace, pulling her almost roughly against him and returning her kiss with a passion of his own, passion too long denied.

The world around them seemed to ignite and catch fire, and they gave themselves over willingly to the flames.

"Shouldn't Gambit be back by now?" asked Kitty, yawning as she stretched out on the sofa.

Firestar shot her a quick look, then looked away just as quickly, glancing up to see if Bobby had caught it. He had.

"Yeah, he should," Bobby answered casually. "Where the heck was he running reconnaissance to anyway? Back to Antarctica?"

"That's not funny, Bobby," Firestar said, rising from her seat.

"What, Angel?" he asked, half-rising from his own seat.

She spun on him, her anger suddenly coming to the fore. "Just because you're jealous of him is no reason to--"

"Whoa, look at the time," Kitty suddenly interjected. "I need to get to bed. G'night, guys." She was out the door before either Iceman or Firestar could move. They hardly even noticed.

"Jealous?" Bobby asked, incredulous. "Of that...," he trailed off, sputtering for words.

"Then what is it that you hate about him so much? You have yet to say one nice word to him or about him. And don't give me that crap again about the Morlock tunnels! If Kitty can get past it, so can you."

"Look, Angel," he said, his voice softening. "You know how I feel about you. But besides that, I don't want to see you get hurt. He's bad news. He broke Rogue's heart and now--"

"And Rogue betrayed you all, too didn't she? Why don't you rant about her? Get over it, Bobby," she spun on her heel, turning away from him and walking toward the stairs.

"He's up to no good, Angel," Bobby said quietly. "I know I can't convince you of it, but I feel it in my bones."

"Goodnight, Bobby," she said with a note of finality, stalking up the stairs to her room.

Bobby fell back onto the couch with a heavy sigh and settled in for a long night with the VCR.

Gambit stretched and rolled over in the bed, a smile still lingering on his face. "I got to say, chere, dis control over your powers has turned out to be a wonderful thing." He leaned over and kissed her gently on the lips, eyes glimmering a soft red, like dying embers.

"Mmmm...ah'm just glad to have you here," she murmured, pulling him close against her, eyes half-closed as sleep tried to claim her.

He smiled once more and kissed her on the nose, reluctantly withdrawing from her embrace. "I got to go, chere, they'll be wonderin' where I'm at back at de mansion. And I got to hit de shower first, clothes and all, or else Logan'll smell you on me."

"Not yet," she pleaded, trying to draw him back to her. "We've seen so little of each other...ah miss you..."

"I miss you too, petite. But if dey notice me missing too long, my cover might be blown. I can't exactly give you de information you need if I'm dead, now can I?"

"I suppose not," she murmured, finally releasing him, watching him go with half-lidded eyes. "Be careful, Remy."

"I will, chere." He flashed her a devil-may-care grin, blew her a kiss, and was gone.

In the inner sanctum of the Brotherhood's new base, Psylocke sat smiling, psionic amplifier increasing the power of her thought as she reported in.

"It is going well, master. It seems Gambit's love for Rogue shall be the X-Men's undoing."

She felt his approval briefly through their psionic link just before the connection was cut short. Removing the psionic amplifier from her head, her smile twisted and grew as she continued. "And if it does not, it will at least bring about Rogue's undoing. Either way, I win."

Several guards outside the door of the inner sanctum suddenly shivered as the sound of wicked laughter echoed eerily from within.

And outside the Australian complex, as he waited for Gateway to open the portal that would send him on the short trip back to Salem Center New York, Remy LeBeau dragged heavily on a cigarette and wondered just what in the hell he had gotten himself into.


Continued in Chapter Six


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