Disclaimer: All characters belong
to Marvel comics which means the author doesn't intend to
make any money off of them. This tends to be a spin off from
the animated series with elements from the comics (no, #350
did not occur in this). This is a toned down version of a
They spent most of the night talking and making love. Both
agreed the past should remain the past, but Remy knew it had
an ugly habit of rearing its head when least expected.
Despite Rogue's protests, he returned to his room around
dawn. What little sleep he got felt better than what he'd
had in years. He woke late the next morning, whistling while
he showered, then went to Rogue's room. When he knocked, she
answered in a bathrobe; her hair tousled and eyes heavy with
"Mornin', chère. Ready for breakfast?"
She smiled sleepily, waving him in, then closed the door
behind him. He waited for her to return, then pulled her into
his arms, breathing in the smell of her . . .him . . .them.
The scent made him want to pull her back to bed, but the growling
of both their stomachs demanded another hunger be satisfied
"How 'bout I order us some room service?" he asked.
"Sounds good ta me, sugah, but first . . ." Rogue
pulled his head down, pressing her lips against his, then
plunging her tongue into his mouth. A few minutes of kissing
left them both breathless.
"Guess Ah need ta take a cold shower." She laughed,
then sauntered off to the bathroom.
"Hunh! She's not de only one," he muttered, watching
her hips sway against the soft material.
To distract himself, Remy called for room service then went
over to pack the device away. If he didn't turn the thing
off they'd be back in the sack in no time and they needed
to return to the mansion as soon as possible. He picked it
up, his gut clenching. Both lights were dark.
He pressed ons without a change, then opened the back to
check the batteries. No sign of life in the check strips.
How long had the thing been on? He looked at the clock. Nearly
eleven. He replaced what he suspected were long dead "D"
cells and finished putting it back in its box. He couldn't
explain why Rogue and he'd been able to kiss this morning.
Curious, he took a card from his pocket and charged it. Well,
his powers were intact, but what of hers?
The bathroom door swung open with a cloud of steam. So much
for a cold shower. Rogue emerged with her hair wrapped in
a towel, another, larger towel wound around her body. She
smiled, then pouted when she saw he'd put away the device.
"Darn, an' here Ah thought we'd have some time together
befo' we left."
He shrugged, cold rippling down his spine, then reached for
her. She yelped and batted his hand away with the towel from
"What're ya tryin' ta do? Get yo'self hurt?"
"Let me touch you, chère. Don' think you'll harm me."
If he were wrong she'd have to ship him back to the mansion
on a gurney.
She snorted. "Yeah, right. Haven't ya learned yo' lesson
yet? Last time we touched without somethin' ta help ya ended
up in a coma."
"Humor me," he insisted and reached out again.
"It's yo' funeral," she muttered, tears welling
in her eyes as his hand connected with her bare skin.
Nothing, but the tingle they'd shared the night before.
"What the heck?" She frowned and pushed him away.
He flew back against the bed with more force than the little
shove she'd given him warranted.
"Hmmm. Let's see," she said, then closed her eyes
and began to rise from the floor. "Now let's try somethin'
Rogue landed at the foot of the bed, then crawled up beside
him. Cautiously, she stretched out her bare hand to touch
his face. Nothing . . .no sudden flow of energy from him to
her, just the feel of her soft hand against his face.
He grinned. "Mebbe it jus' took you trustin' me and
bein' close for you ta control your powers." She looked
unconvinced, so he pulled her down on top of him. "Want
ta try another experiment?"
Her face reflected her doubts, but she didn't try to stop
him as he removed the towel and started moving his hands over
her. Soon she didn't seem to care about the how or why of
it as she enjoyed his ministrations. Just when things had
proceeded to a point where they didn't want to stop, room
service knocked on the door. Remy sighed and Rogue laid her
forehead on his chest.
"De got great timin', don' dey?" he asked rhetorically.
"Come on. Best get you dressed so nobody else get's ta
see what a great body you got."
Rogue stuck her tongue out at him and strolled back to the
bathroom to dress, switching her bare backside at him. Mmm,
mmm . . .what a woman he'd got himself.
The knocking persisted. "Yeah, yeah, don' get yourself
in a knot."
He rose, adjusted himself and opened the door. Breakfast
arrived, which they shared in companionable silence. Checkout
at twelve meant no time for what they wanted to do before
they went back to the mansion, so they left for the airport
in a state of simmering tension.
"You didn't!" Jean Grey-Summers protested
to Professor Xavier and Henry McCoy that same afternoon. "What
in the world made you do such a thing? Don't you think it
might scare her off even more?"
Before Xavier could speak, Hank answered her worries. "I
don't believe that is the case, Jean. The feelings between
Rogue and Gambit have been building for years now. I believe
this will bring about a logical conclusion to that tension."
"Then what? It's not like the situation between Scott
and me. What do they know about each other? What do we know
about them?" she insisted.
Charles Xavier merely smiled enigmatically before he spoke.
"Jean, perhaps you should realize that these very differences
actually make them better suited for each other. In fact,
I would not have sent Gambit with the device if I didn't believe
Rogue was nearly ready to gain real control of her powers
. . .without it."
That took Jean aback for a moment as she thought of the implications.
"But if she was about to do that, why did she need such
a thing as that device?"
"Because,' Xavier continued, "she wouldn't believe
me if I told her. I had no trouble contacting her, but I believed
it in both their best interests if I sent Gambit to her with
a means of helping her."
"I don't know . . ." Jean straightened. "Oh,
they're back. Wait . . .oh, my! I don't think she'd want me
to know that!" She blushed.
"Yes, she's broadcasting rather loudly isn't she?"
The Professor couldn't help grinning himself. "We'll
have to work on her shields a bit more. Just a moment."
He concentrated on Rogue's signal. *Welcome back, my
dear. You might want to work on that shielding I taught you
before you left. Jean and I can sense just about everything
you're feeling right now.* Rogue's wave of acute embarrassment
rippled through the two telepaths, then abruptly the sending
quit. A gratified smile spread over Xavier's face. "I
believe she'll do better now."
The door to Xavier's office burst open as Jubilee bounded
in shouting, "They're back!"
"Thank you, Jubilee. Show them in if you will?"
Jean's eyebrows rose at Rogue's attire. Gone were the gloves
and long sleeved outfit, replaced by a short sundress. Behind
her the Cajun lounged against the doorframe, seemingly at
ease. While Jean had never been able to read him easily, she
felt it was only a pretense. Xavier took the matter out of
"I'd like to speak to Rogue and Gambit alone. If you
will excuse us?"
"Certainly, Professor," Hank said as he escorted
Jean and Jubilee out. Then he leaned toward Gambit and whispered,
"Let me know how the device worked later, will you?"
Gambit nodded, then moved into the office to take a seat
"I am glad you have come back . . .both of you. I'd
rather the members of this team worked their problems out
here, among friends, rather than leaving." He held up
a hand as Rogue began to protest.
"I understand what motivated you, Rogue. And I want
you to know you're not the only one who's left when confronted
by such difficulties. Lord knows I've had my share of problems
and haven't always dealt with them as I should. However, I
should hope in the future such practices would cease. Running
away doesn't solve anything. At the risk of sounding cliched,
one can't run from oneself."
Both of the people in front of him squirmed uncomfortably.
He took pity on them. "Anyway, I would like to discuss
the outcome of this . . .venture. I would say it is most likely
Rogue has discovered she can control her powers without the
device I sent?"
Gambit and Rogue exchanged startled glances, then Rogue spoke
up. "That's probably true, Professor. Ah don' know how
or if it'll last, but seems like I can touch someone without
absorbing them if I concentrate."
"I see. Have you tried it with anyone else besides Gambit?"
Rogue blushed, then shook her head. "Been too afraid
ta do that. 'Sides, doubt anybody'd be fool enough to try
Gambit laughed. "Yeah, 'cept mebbe dis fool. She was
real careful not to touch anybody else on de way back here,
but took de chance ta wear somethin' besides her regular gear."
Xavier could see the gleam in the Cajun's eyes as he looked
over at Rogue. No, he corrected himself; it was more than
that . . .there seemed to be real caring in his expression
and a touch of protectiveness.
"Rogue, would you be willing to let me touch you?"
"Ah don' know, Professor. Wouldn' want ta hurt ya .
. .the others most definitely wouldn' look kindly on it."
"I'm prepared to take that chance. It is my belief you
will not harm me."
She turned to Gambit, then. "Remy, if ya see anythin'
like what's happened before, pull me away."
"Okay, chère. Jus' remember . . .you control what you
do. Gotta concentrate." He gave her a crooked smile and
"Ready when y'all are, Professor." She held her
Charles moved over to where she sat and placed his hands
in hers. He noted how soft they were and cool, almost chill
to the touch. Though he knew she must be nervous he felt no
jolt of energy, no pull of her psyche to absorb his. Satisfaction
settled on his face.
"You see. I told you just before you left that I felt
you were close to controlling your powers. Why did you refuse
to believe me?"
Rogue hung her head. "Ah didn't want ta believe ya,
Professor. It was safer fo' me not ta touch others. Ah didn't
have to take chances with relationships . . .ah been hurt
too many times."
"Ah know things most likely won't be perfect 'tween
Remy and me, but Ah'm willin' to try."
"What of your side of this, Gambit?"
"Pr'fessor, I tol' you b'fore I left I wanted ta help
Rogue. Didn't tell you everyt'ing. I've loved her a long time
. . .mebbe from de start. You know I can't offer her marriage
like Scott did ta Jean, but if I could, I'd ask her to be
Xavier sighed at their once again startled looks. "You
must realize the consequences of shall we say . . . less than
Gambit hit his forehead. "Chère, I'm sorry . . .I didn'
t'ink. Mon Dieu, what a fool!" He turned to Xavier. "Pr'fessor,
I must contact someone in N'Awlins . . ." He scrambled
from the chair and ran out of the room.
"Remy? Now where's he off ta?" Rogue turned back
to Xavier, her face turning bright red. "Y'all don't
think I might be . . .uh, in the family way, do ya, Professor?
Ah mean, it was just one night."
He could see other thoughts running through her head. Gambit
had hardly been a monk in his lifetime. Suppose she had to
worry about other things?
"Let me reassure you in one way, my dear. He has a clean
bill of health. You should know I require all my X-men to
have annual physicals, including checks for 'social' diseases."
He swallowed a smile at her dismayed expression. "As
for the other . . .it's a bit early to tell, don't you think?"
Rogue groaned, rubbing her temples as though her head ached.
"Ah jus' don't know what's come ovah me."
"Let's concentrate on one thing at a time. You still
need to practice your shielding and the ability to control
your powers. I wouldn't push it at this time. Wear what you
usually do for the most part. We aren't certain how you'll
react when you're awakened from sleep."
Xavier gave her hands a gentle squeeze before releasing her.
"Why don't you go upstairs and change into something
more appropriate for the Danger Room? A good workout might
make things look better."
"You're right, Professor. Ah'm all wound up right now.
See ya at dinner." She stood up and turned to leave.
"And Rogue . . ."
"Don't blame yourself or Gambit too much for what happened.
You're both good people."
She just gave him an odd little smile and muttered under
breath, "Yeah, right, sure Ah am."
Charles Xavier contemplated what she had said sadly. No matter
what anyone did to reassure her of their trust, she still
didn't see herself as having any worth. Even Gambit, the self-blamer
of them all, had more self-esteem than she did. He had hoped
allowing them to have some time to themselves and letting
them discover each other would have boosted her morale. Well,
only time would tell . . .that and whatever the wily Cajun
had to discover from his contacts in New Orleans.
Continued in Chapter
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