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 9: Cast Out

Gambit knew he was in trouble the moment he stepped through the portal and back onto the mansion grounds. Instinctively ducking and rolling to the left, he nonetheless lost his balance and hit the ground, hard, as a blast of solid ice took him in the side. Ribs aching with the impact, he rolled again, struggling to regain his feet and take stock of the situation.

He had barely made it to his knees when a thin beam of intense light hit him square in the chest, knocking him backward into the grass, forcing the air from his lungs and leaving him gasping for air. Flat on his back, he rested there for a moment, feigning being stunned while charging the card that he slipped from his coat sleeve. He knew the identities of the two who had ambushed them from their powers alone, and he knew that they would never hit him while he was down.

"So how was your trip down under, cajun?" came Bobby's voice from just beyond his range of vision, and he could almost see the sneer on the younger boys face. Gambit smirked, and continued to play dead. Let them think I'm beat, he thought, they think they got the upper hand, they'll get sloppy. Just a little closer, he thought, just a little closer ice-boy, and you're all mine.

Bobby's face appeared above him, sneering, just as Gambit had suspected. "Consorting with the enemy, Gambit? They got a word for that, you's called treason. And you know the penalty for that, don't you?"

"Yep, dat I do," Gambit shot back smoothly, even as he hooked his foot around Bobby's ankle and tripped him to the ground, simultaneously leaping up and letting the card fly from his grasp. Quickly, he dodged to the side, avoiding the resulting explosion which hit Bobby full in the face, knocking him unconscious. "But you see, I have dis strong aversion to bein' dead.." Yeah, snappy banter, Gambit, he thought, head turning quickly from side to side and looking for a way out. That's only half the threat you facin'. Where was Da--?

Her light blast slammed into him so hard that he thought he was dead for sure...almost wished he was, his body hurt so bad. He groaned as he attempted to rise again, not feigning being stunned this time when his muscles refused to obey. His eyes rolled within their sockets, and he blinked them rapidly, trying to refocus enough to see what was going on around him. With an excruciatingly painful effort, he turned his head to the side, every muscle creaking in protest. Dazzler was busy tending to Bobby, probably worried that he had blasted the boys head right off. He had hit him hard, and the kid was probably still unconscious, but he would recover from it soon enough. Gambit planned to be long gone when he did. But how?

Forcing his bruised muscles to move, he craned his head up, to the West from where he'd come, and was rewarded by the sight of Gateways portal, still held open, as if in invitation. Gateway, my friend, he thought, if you listenin', I could sure use a rescue here.

The portal remained where it was...even worse, Dazzler had discovered Bobby was still breathing and was about to return her attention to him. They had gotten the drop on him alright, either that or he was losing a few steps. Probably a bit of both, he decided, biting down hard on the inside of his mouth to keep from crying out as he writhed through the grass toward the portal. Just a few feet more, he thought, almost there.

He heard a movement behind him and instinctively rolled to the left. This time his reflexes paid off, even though his muscles screamed in pain, and the light blast seared the ground right next to his face. He blinked hard as the smoke caused his eyes to tear up, and tried not to think about what would have happened if he hadn't moved in time. Almost desperate now, he shoved himself forward, fingers just touching the crackling energy around the edge of the portal. It was enough. The sound of running footsteps faded behind him as the portal drew him in and snapped shut around him. An instant later, he lay facedown in the hot sand of the Australian desert.

Rogue eased back onto her bed, curling up tight within the luxurious satin sheets. She had missed practice this morning, for the first time in the past five months she had spent in the Brotherhood. She expected a knock on her door at any moment, either Nightcrawler or Creed coming to see what was wrong, but suprisingly, so far, she had been left completely alone. She had left Summers in charge of the group in her absence, knowing how much he relished the mantle of leadership, almost to the point of hating Rogue for taking the position he thought was rightfully his. Sometimes, she thought it was only the thought of his fate at the masters hands if he harmed her, that held him in check. Boy, if Summers could see me now, she thought, and chuckled wryly.

She ran a hand through her unkempt hair, and heaved a shuddering sigh. She couldn't understand what was wrong with her. Ever since her mutant powers had developed, she'd never been a sick a day in her life, not even a sniffle or a cough. And yet, here she was today, curled up on her bed like a baby, focusing all of her attention on keeping her breakfast at bay. It couldn't have been the meal, she thought idly. She'd been eating grits and toast for breakfast for most of her adult life. So what did that leave?

She rolled onto her side and drew the blankets up close around her. There was one other alternative, one she didn't even want to consider. The very thought made her soul shrink in terror. But if that's what it was...well, everyone would know soon enough, wouldn't they? Maybe she should just bite the bullet and schedule an appointment with Black Beast to run a test for the Legacy Virus. At least then she would know for sure. But in her heart, she was already convinced that was what it was. After all, what else could break down her formidable immune system after all these years?

Laying a hand on her stomach to calm it, she bit down on her lower lip and concentrated against the nausea that threatened to overwhelm her. It worked...for about 2 minutes. Lying weakly before the toilet, arms resting on the smooth porcelain, she finally gave in to the tears behind her eyes.

"You did WHAT?!" Storm thundered, absolutely livid as she stared at the two faces before her. Lightning seemed to leap from her very eyes as her stare bore into them, and it took every bit of control she had to keep from lashing out with her power.

"Ororo...what...?" Bobby stared back, utterly confused. He cast a sidelong glance at Alison, wondering if she had any clue as to what was going on. But from the look on her face, she was just as shocked as he.

Storm continued speaking, very slowly, as if she were trying to contain her emotion by not letting her words come out too quickly. "You mean to tell me...that you nearly killed Gambit and then drove him back through the portal?"

"Um..," Bobby looked to Dazzler again, as if for support, but she kept her eyes downcast. "Well...yeah...," he finished weakly, taking a step away from Ororo in case her anger should explode.

Ororo would have throttled him in that very moment if not for her years of training in control of herself. Instead, she spun, turning her back to him as if the lack of his image would help calm her anger. "Do you realize what you have done?" she asked, her tone deathly quiet.

"Um...apparently not. I mean I THOUGHT we were saving the teams collective butt..."

She closed her eyes, bowing her head in sadness as she spoke, "You've sentenced one of our teammates to certain death."

"But Storm! He would have turned us in to them! And if it's gonna be him or us, I'd rather it be him."

"You have no idea what is going on here, Robert," she said, shaking her head. "But then, perhaps that is my fault. Were I in your place, I might have done the same. But then, I am the leader of this team, and report to no superior. You should have consulted me first, Robert."

He stood, open mouthed and silent, completely taken aback by her attitude.

"He was working for us, Robert," Storm continued more gently. "When Psylocke contacted him, it was not as if he had a choice but to go there. It was either that or death. I decided that we could turn it to our advantage by having him report back to us everything he could about our enemies. I did not tell anyone, except for Logan, because I did not want to alarm you any more than you already were."

He fumbled for words, hardly believing what he was hearing. " do you know he was working for us, really? He could just as easily have been telling THEM about US."

"Trust, Robert," she said, moving to the window and staring out at the coming dawn. "I had to trust him. More than that, I wanted to trust him. We have so little we can depend on now...if not each other, then what?"

The question was rhetorical, and for once, he didn't feel the need to make a flip comment. "But what about Psylocke?" he asked instead. "She could rip his thoughts from his mind in an instant and find out everything she needed to know about us."

Storm nodded and leaned against the window pane, considering. "I thought about that, too. But I decided that it was worth the risk, to learn as much as we could. If that had been her objective, she simply would have done it to begin with." She paused momentarily, seeming to collect her thoughts. "No, I suspect Psylocke had another agenda. Though what, I could hardly guess, besides that it will not bode well for anyone."

Dazzler shifted her weight from one foot to the other, maintaining her silence though it was clear that she was extremely uncomfortable by now. Bobby looked back to Storm, suddenly feeling very guilty for his actions. "You should have told us, Ororo. We would have found a way to deal with it."

Again, she nodded. "I see that now. But it is far too late to change things. I can only pray to the Bright Lady that she helps him with what he is about to face."

Bobby's brow furrowed, and he regarded her intently, trying to gauge the meaning of her words. "What do you mean?" he finally asked.

"Because now that he no longer serves a 'purpose' as a pipeline of supposed information about us...," she shuddered, not wanting to think about it. "Bright Lady preserve him, when Psylocke finds out."

"Hey Wagner," Summers called across the room as he toweled himself off. "What's with your sister lately, anyway?"

Nightcrawler hung suspended upside-down from the ceiling by his tail, smiling innocently as he met Summers penetrating look. "Vas?" he asked, wide eyed.

Summers sighed in exasperation and took a few more steps toward Nightcrawler, letting the towel drop to the floor, forgotten. "I said, what's the matter with Rogue?"

Nightcrawler returned his simmering gaze for a long, silent moment, then finally dropped to the floor, smile broadening into a grin. "There's nothing wrong with Roguey Rogue. She's doing just fine...for a woman in her condition," he added, his voice dropping slightly, as if he conferred some great secret.

"Condition?" Summers blinked in confusion, obviously not understanding the meaning behind Kurt's reference.

Kurt sighed and shook his head in mock sorrow. "Just like your brother focused on duty that you hardly stop to notice what's going on around you."

Now Summers eyes did flare, gaze narrowing dangerously upon his teammate. His expression grim, his words were clipped as he replied, "Do not ever mention my brother again if you value your life, Wagner."

Kurt shrugged easily and let the remark slide off. "Whatever you say, Herr Summers. Besides, it's bound to hit you in the face sooner or later, given another couple of months."

He cut him a sharp look, folding his arms over his chest and shifting his stance backward a bit. "Is she...sick?"

"Ja," Kurt nodded, smiling.

"Then...why are you so happy about it?" Summers asked suspiciously.

Kurt raised his brows, looking genuinely suprised. "Why am I so happy?" He began to chuckle mirthfully, highly amused by Summers inability to see what was right before his face. Laughing aloud, he slung an arm around the younger man's shoulders companionably. "Because, my dear boy...I'm going to be an uncle!"

Kurt would have paid money for a picture of the expression on Summers' face at that moment.


Continued in Chapter Ten


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