Death of a Dream
Chapter 11: Of Love and Hope
Gambit resembled nothing so much as a dying fish in that
moment as he gasped for air, mouth opening and closing helplessly.
Rogue idly mused that the illusion would be complete if he
were to fall to the floor and begin flopping around, and she
chuckled at that thought, despite the severity of the moment
and the state of her current situation.
He seemed to regain a bit of control as he heard her stifled
laugh, mouth closing with a snap of finality. "You mean...I'm
goin' to be a daddy, chere?" he asked, his voice still
weak and thin despite his regained composure.
The moment of humor fled, and she tensed again, knowing that
this moment was crucial, both to her, and her children's lives.
His poker face had returned, offering her little comfort and
reminding her that she had no idea how he might react to this
news. She simply nodded in response, not trusting herself
He stood up, rising from the bed as if rising from a dream.
One hand rubbed his angular, stubbly chin thoughtfully as
he turned away from her, letting the news sink in.
Rogue's heart sank as she watched him, the silence between
stretching out into long minutes of agony. Her eyes followed
him as he moved to the window, leaning down and placing his
hands on the sill to support himself. She could see that the
sudden announcement had held no less surprise for him than
it did for her, and perhaps even less joy. Her own happiness
seemed to depend on his reaction at this point, though she
knew that even if he turned his back on her now, she would
go on and raise the children by herself. The very thought
frightened her, and again, she was ironically amused that
after all she had been through in her life, all the times
she had stared death in the face, that this, the simple thought
of bearing children, shook her to the core of her soul. Still,
the silence stretched on, and finally, she could bear it no
longer. "Remy...Ah know this is--"
He turned back toward her, shaking his head. "Shh...no
words now, petite." He moved back to her side and sat
down on the bed again, placing a gentle finger upon her lips.
"You let ol' Remy have his say 'fore you be goin' on
She met his eyes tentatively, nodding as she tried to read
the expression within them.
He let his fingers slide from her lips then, coming to rest
on the thick comforter she had wrapped herself up in. His
gaze fell to his hand as well, staring at it as if he didn't
really see it, as if he were gazing off into some distant,
far away space. He began speaking, slowly at first, as he
struggled with the words.
"Ain't no secret, chere, dat dis cajun ain't never been
one much for settlin' down. All my life, I been without much
in the way of family, running from one caper to the next without
a care. I never wanted to care, chere. Carin' never brought
me anything but hurt. So I threw myself into a life of thievery,
becoming one of the best at what I did. I concentrated on
it to the exclusion of almost everything else in life. Den
Belle came along. I was promised to her, I never had a real
choice. Within de guild, you have responsibilities, duties
dat have to be fulfilled. What was between us...dat was never
really love, now dat I look back on it. It was simply a necessity
to bring peace between two guilds. Dere were other femmes,
of course, over de years...de one Sabretooth told you about,"
he visibly winced as he mentioned that, as if the memory caused
him physical pain, then pushed on. "And others, lots
of others. But love...? Dat was the one thing dat always seemed
to escape me." He broke of momentarily then, shaking
his head, and she resisted the urge to reach out and comfort
him, determined to hear everything he had to say before making
any kind of decision.
He sighed heavily, and continued. "So I did what I did
best all those years, livin' off whatever I could steal. I
convinced myself dat I was happy with dat, jus' me an' my
money. But all dat changed de day Stormy came walkin' into
my life. She showed me dat life could be so much more, dat
dere were things in this life worth believing in, worth fighting
for, worth dying for, even. It didn't happen right away, but
over time, de more time I spent with de X-Men, de more I came
to think the same way." He paused then, lifting his eyes
to meet hers finally as he spoke his next words. "But
it wasn't til you came along, chere, dat I started believin'
Her breath caught in her throat for a moment, and she almost
reached for him again. Then she shoved away the urge, reminding
herself that for all that he had said, he had really told
her nothing yet. For her sake, for the babies' sake, she had
to be strong. She couldn't afford to waste time on a man not
willing to make a commitment to his own children, more than
that, she didn't want to waste time on a man like that. She
steeled herself as she waited for him continue, preparing
herself for the worst even as some distant part of her hoped
against hope, praying for him to speak the words she longed
"I love you, chere," he repeated, affirming his
declaration of a moment ago. "I think I always have.
It was like I never had a choice, from de moment we first
met. But dis time...not havin' a choice seemed like one of
de best feelin's in de world. And still, for all dat I had
found love, for all dat I had found dis wonderful thing...I
couldn't believe in it enough to be straight with you."
His gaze dropped again, as if he were ashamed of his admission.
"I should have been...I know dat now. I knew it den,
truth to tell. But I was afraid to tell you...afraid it would
make you turn away from me. Dat I would lose de one woman
in de world dat I could truly love. And in de end...I did.
But not for de reasons I thought. If I had told you, if I
had just been straight with you, things might have been different
between us." He shook his head again, seeming to come
back from his reverie, eyes taking on a more focused look
as he looked to her again.
"Can't do nothin' bout de past, chere. If anyone knows
dat, it's me. I can't erase what I did for Sinister all those
years ago, and I can't change what happened between us in
Antarctica, either." He reached out, taking her hand
in his, leaning close to her as his eyes searched hers, seeming
to look deep within. "But I can decide what happens right
here and now. I got a chance to get all dat happiness we had
once, back again. An' dere ain't no way I'm gonna screw it
up dis time. I love you chere, more dan anything else in dis
world, an' be damned if I'm gonna walk away because our love
brought a child into dis world, even if I don't think I'm
ready for dat."
"Children," she muttered numbly, still shocked
by his words.
"Children?" he repeated dumbly, that stupefied,
blank look beginning to settle onto his face again.
For a moment, she thought he would faint as she nodded in
answer, and then, a bright smile began to spread over his
She nodded again, afraid to speak, afraid that somehow it
might shatter the moment, or wake her from what she feared
might only be a dream.
He laughed aloud then, throwing his arms around her and surprising
her with the intensity of his embrace. Nuzzling his head against
hers, the smile was evident in his voice as he spoke. "Hard
as I find it to believe chere, I think I must be de happiest
man alive right now. Imagine...we gonna have a family."
She smiled at last, wrapping her arms about him tightly and
squeezing him hard against her. Tears of happiness welled
behind her eyes as she heard him speak. At last, at long last,
she felt some hope for the future again; hers and Remy's,
their children's, and the entire world. "Remy...Ah don't
even know what to say...," she trailed off, surprised
again as he suddenly drew back from her embrace. She watched
curiously as he fiddled about the pockets of his trench coat,
seemingly searching for something.
"Drat..where did I...," he muttered, frowning,
then smiled as he seemed to locate what he was looking for.
"I was hopin' to do dis proper, chere...sometime after
all dis nasty war business was done, preferably. And when
I got up de nerve...," he added, voice lowering for a
moment. Then his smile returned, and he slipped from the bed,
sitting on his knees before her. "Took me some time to
procure dis from de X-Men's storage basement, but I managed."
He pulled a small pouch from his trench coat pocket and opened
it, pausing before drawing out whatever hid within it as he
looked up at her again. He leaned up to kiss her then, lips
meeting hers in a gentle, lingering moment, barely drawing
back as he pulled away and stared deep into her eyes. He reached
for her hand and pulled it up just below his chin, eyes not
straying from hers as he leaned down to kiss it and slipped
something onto one of her fingers. "Rogue...ma cherie...will
you make me de happiest man in de world an' marry me?"
She gasped, eyes filling with tears as she looked down and
saw her mother's engagement ring upon her finger, the emerald
and its surrounding diamonds blurring as her tears finally
spilled over. He must have gotten it from the things I
left behind at the mansion, she realized dimly.
"Sabine...mah name is Sabine, Remy...and yes, Ah will."
Later, as they lay entwined in each others arms, Gambit watched
her as she slept cradled against him, eyes closed peacefully
in contentment. He stroked her cheek softly with one finger,
drinking in her beauty with his eyes as he let his thoughts
drift. For all that the news had come as a surprise, he found
himself genuinely happy at the thought of raising a family
with Rogue, of finally attaining the happiness they had always
longed for together. What he did not relish, was the thought
of raising those children within the Brotherhood. True, he
had come here on the pretense of being an ally to the Brotherhood
while actually spying on them for the X-Men, but his true
motivation for coming here had been her. It had always been
about her. This woman whom he loved so fiercely, with everything
in his soul. He would die for her, he knew...and for their
children, doing anything he could to protect them. And letting
them remain here, with the Brotherhood, was not his idea of
She stirred slightly, and he snuggled close against her,
soothing her back into deep sleep. Holding her close, his
eyes stared off into the darkness, beginning to glow intently
as he plotted.
Continued in Chapter
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