Death of a Dream
Chapter 10: Revelations
Psylocke paced agitatedly back and forth through the central
chamber of the complex. Things were not working out according
She had already received word of Gambit's speedy return to
Australia and his expulsion from the X-Men, an event that
sent her scheme spiraling out of control. His 'purpose' as
a pipeline of information from the X-Men was now rendered
invalid, completely destroying her plans for reintegrating
him into Rogue's life. Now that he no longer served a purpose,
the master would surely decree the cajun's death. He had only
survived this long on the master's good graces, which Psylocke
had pleaded from him. She had convinced him that the cajun
could eventually lead the X-Men right into their laps, given
adequate time to regain their trust, avoiding the need to
confront them on their home ground. And to avoid a battle
in the X-Mens backyard was something the master wanted to
avoid at all costs, something all of them wanted to avoid.
The Shadow King had succeeded in killing all the telepaths
in the world, save herself, whom he had spared, but the end
result of that was something no one could have forseen. Each
of them had died an agonizing death, their brains shattered
into a thousand tiny fragments by the psionic wave the Shadow
King had unleashed upon the world. That part, at least, had
gone according to plan. But he had not counted on the psychic
residue their horrible deaths had left behind. Dying in so
much anguish, the psionic energies left behind in their passing
became the Shadow King's greatest bane. It was ironic, Psylocke
thought, that even from beyond the grave, the former X-Men
still thwarted him. Their combined psionic energy, concentrated
in the place they had died, created a psionic shield around
the mansion grounds with a backlash hard enough to fry even
the most hardened telepaths brain. Their dying mental screams
still surrounded the mansion, forming a 'telepath kill zone'
where even the Shadow King could not enter. One could not
even get within a mile of it before developing a monstrous
headache, she knew from experience. So they had reformed their
attack strategy. It would be easy enough, they had supposed,
to send their lackeys to take care of the X-Men where they
could not. But as they soon came to realize, even those who
had been touched by the Shadow King could not enter there.
The Shadow King had not followed the tenets of most telepaths,
he did not use his power simply to touch or communicate with
the mind of another. Instead, he reached into the mind forcibly
and twisted things, bringing the darkness of ones soul to
the fore and destroying all else. They had his touch upon
them, however slight, the manipulation of their neural passages
and brain waves making them succeptable to the deadly psionic
energy surrounding the mansion. They had died in less time
than it took to scream. The surviving X-Men, it seemed, were
safe and sound tucked away in their home.
At least from anyone twisted by the Shadow King or herself.
That was why the Brotherhood needed all the willing recruits
they could round up, though those were few and far between.
Rogue herself had the touch of master upon her, and far too
much of his attention, as well, in her own opinion. Gambit
had been the first hope to come along in some time...he could
lead the X-Men to them, which Psylocke highly doubted though
she had convinced the master of such. Or, more likely and
far better to Psylockes liking, he could persuade Rogue back
to the team and take away the threat to the masters empire.
Rogue might be leader of the Brotherhood, but her heart remained
that of a hero. By the same token, the master was far too
fond of Rogue, a weakness created by the host body he wore,
no doubt. That weakness could be far too easily exploited,
and Psylocke meant to see that it never came to that. If the
master lost his hold on this world, everything she held dear
would crumble around her. She would die before she let that
happen. And if the master ordered the cajun dead now out of
some strange form of jealousy, her best chance at eliminating
Rogue as a threat would be gone. Would that she could simply
kill the girl and be done with it. But she knew that if she
did, her own death would follow at the masters hand, another
testament to his remaining feelings for Rogue.
Damn, she mentally cursed her own misfortune. She needed
the cajun, he was no good to anyone, dead. But the master
would surely see to his death...unless she could convince
him of another use. Her pace increased, fueled by her restlessness
as her mind searched desperately for a new plan. She needed
"P-pregnant?" Rogue mouthed the word, unable to
find her voice as she echoed the Black Beast's pronouncement.
"Why, Rogue," the Beast said with feigned surprise,
"you look so terrified that one would think I had just
told you that you DID have the Legacy Virus."
Nightcrawler snickered from his perch atop the lab table,
but remained silent as he caught a simmering glance from his
"H-how far along?" she asked, forcing the words
from her throat. She had hardly gotten them out when another
wave of nausea hit, causing her to groan and clutch at her
"About two months, I would say." The Beast turned
back toward his monitor, entering a few more pieces of data
from his notes.
"But...how?" she asked, more to herself than anyone
else, completely shocked by the revelation.
Nightcrawler snickered again, and this time, was unable to
hold his tongue. "Sister, if you need to ask 'how', I
believe there is a certain cajun who would be happy to show
you the correct procedure. Again."
She flushed bright red, embarrassed as much by her own question
as his response. "Ah know HOW, Kurt. Ah just can't believe
it." Her mind reeled with complete and utter astonishment.
All her life, she'd never even been able to touch anyone,
much less kiss or experience anything more intimate. She'd
given up hope long ago of ever having a family, that dream
with the little cottage and a white picket fence, it hadn't
been meant for people like her. She'd never imagined that
she'd even be able to touch another person without fear of
draining them of their memories and abilities, much less have
children with them. And now...she was...
The Black Beast's voice cut into her thoughts, continuing
in his calm, methodical way. "The fetuses are extremely
healthy; developing at the normal rate, all vital signs stable.
And, according to the DNA samples I managed to extract, male
For the second time that morning, her jaw sagged against
her breastbone. "FetusES? As in more than one?"
she asked, her voice rising with panic.
"That much more to love, liebling," Nightcrawler
soothed, leaping to her side and kissing her on the cheek.
She stared at him as if he had lost his mind, then decided
that he probably had as he grabbed her in a tight hug and
grinned like a fool. "We're going to have twins!"
he proclaimed excitedly, seeming overjoyed.
Rogue moaned and clutched her stomach again.
"Angel--" Bobby nearly fell backward down the steps
in an attempt to save his face from being caught in the slamming
door. Regaining his balance, he sighed and put his hands on
the door frame, continuing his sentence to the hard wood in
front of him. "Angel, you've got to come out of there
sometime." He flinched and nearly fell again as he heard
a glass object shatter against the other side of the door
in the general vicinity of his face. "Alright, have it
your way," he sighed in a resigned voice, turning away
from the door and starting down the hall.
"Girl troubles, Drake?" came a raspy, slightly
amused voice from just around the corner. A moment later,
Logan stepped into full view.
"Yeah, you could say that." Bobby sighed again,
looking back toward the closed door. "You think she'll
ever forgive me?"
"If there's one thing I learned in this life, Drake,
it's that anything is possible. 'Course, I wouldn't go holdin'
my breath if I were you." Logan chuckled and lit a cheroot,
squinting at Bobby through the resulting cloud of smoke.
Bobby waved the smoke away in annoyance, his face drawing
up in a disgusted expression. "I think holding my breath
would be preferable to inhaling that rot."
"Puts hair on your chest, Drake." Logan puffed
cheerfully on his cheroot and leaned against the railing.
"You get any hairier, Logan, and we'll have to put you
on display as 'The Missing Link'," Bobby chuckled. Already
ducking from the expected blow, he was surprised when Logan
only cut him a sidelong glance, one corner of his mouth turning
up around the cheroot.
"Well, that'd be two X-Men you put in the pages o' history,
Bobby immediately looked chagrined, smile fading from his
face as he muttered under his breath, "Looks no one is
ever gonna forgive me..."
"Well, 'ro's still plenty mad at you, that's for sure,"
Logan said, keeping his voice non-committal.
"Speaking of which," Bobby said, looking around,
"where IS good old 'ro today? Last I remember, she almost
fried you alive for smoking in the house."
"Out tendin' the gardens. She'll be gone for the better
part o' the day. And you'd best be worryin' about yerself,
Drake, 'cause when she--"
"Logan!" Ororo's voice sounded angrily through
the house, and both Bobby and Logan flinched as a door somewhere
downstairs slammed shut. "Sounds like she's close,"
Bobby whispered, his grin returning.
Logan nodded, looking right, then left, thoughtfully.
"Logan! I know you are here, I can smell the smoke!"
Her voice sounded much closer.
Logan looked at Bobby, then down the hall again, calmly taking
another puff of his cheroot. "Race ya to the doghouse,
They both took off running down the hall like all the demons
of hell were at their heels.
Gambit was sitting at her bedside, nursing a glass of bourbon
when Rogue returned to her room. She stopped dead, not having
expected to see him for several days. "What're you doin'
"Jus' couldn't stay away, petite," he said, smiling
charmingly as he set his glass aside and rose to meet her.
His expression changed rapidly from happiness to concern as
she passed right by him and threw herself down on the bed.
Frowning, he sat down on the bed beside her. "Petite?
She buried her face in her pillow for a long moment, not
answering him until he nudged her gently. Sighing, she rolled
over and met his concerned gaze with a wan look. "No,
Ah'm not alright, Remy."
"You are lookin' a little green 'round the gills, chere,"
he agreed, observing her pale complexion. "Was wrong?"
"You don't wanna know," she replied, rolling her
eyes up toward the ceiling.
"C'mon, ma cherie. You can tell ol' Remy," he coaxed,
slipping into what he apparently thought was his charming,
third person speak.
Finally annoyed, she sat up, meeting his gaze firmly this
time as she asked, "How do you feel about bein' a daddy,
She watched with complete satisfaction as his jaw fell from
Continued in Chapter
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