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"Hate Is an Understatement"

Hate Is an Understatement

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13

This story is in progress.

Disclaimer: All these zesty, cute, cuddly characters are owned by Marvel...Which technically leaves me with nuthin'! :o) So NO WAY they can sue me..err..right?
Vicki: I should think so. See all those spoofs poking fun at the Marvel crew?Even with that, the fan-fic writers are still relatively safe. :)
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Hate Is An Understatement

Chapter 7

Rogue leaned against the banister of the front porch and looked up into the night sky. She had changed into her cut-off jeans shorts and baby-tee. She shifted her gaze to her unattended bruises. She had only applied a cold compress fighting against the pain that numbed her arms. Sensing movement behind her, Rogue deduced that it was Gambit, no doubt. She could feel his graceful strut, she gave a little snort of contempt.

"What d'ya want?" she asked a little exasperated, wondering if Cajuns ever took hints.

Rogue turned to look at him. Gambit shrugged, saying nothing. Rogue stared at him for a while with weary eyes, she was so tired. They stood looking at each other for long moments as if trying to memorize every expression, every line, every curve. Remy shoved his gloved hands into his jeans pockets and walked towards his Harley which was parked right out front. He stood next to it and motioned for Rogue to go to him. Sighing deeply, she did as she was told. Remy held his hand out to her.

"What?" she said, a mite impatiently.

"Go f'r a ride wit' me?"


"Dunno...anywhere I guess."

Too tired to argue, and the idea of going for a nice long ride suddenly sounding so appealing, Rogue agreed and placed her hand in his. Soon they sped out into the lone road that snaked through the woodlands within the Institute grounds. They rode in silence. Rogue's arms were draped weakly around Remy's lean waist, as she laid her head onto his warm back, looking upwards into the dark skies. The stars were so beautiful, she had the strongest urge to fly up into the heavens, away from the X-Men, away from Cody, away from the world...Away from reality. Then it happened, a sense of remorseful dread tugged at her heart. It was so sudden and before she was even aware, a single tear slid out of her stinging eyes. It trickled down her smooth cheek, wetting a path. She sniffed and started to tremble. Remy must have sensed her grievous plight, she felt him place his warm hand over hers. Deeply touched by that small, simple gesture, Rogue gave into her bitterness and sobbed quietly. Streaks of tears stained her lovely face as she cried herself to sleep.

Remy stared up into the starlit night from the rooftop, random thoughts drifting in and out of his troubled mind. Nights usually reminded him of his home back in New Orleans. In Louisiana, nights were never boring...Nor lonely for that matter. Jazz parades, the famous Mardi Gras, the masquerades....the beautiful streets, the French Quarter, his family...Belle. But he could never go back...not after what he had done. All that he and Belle had worked for disintegrated into cinders by one reckless moment of anger and pure hatred. The memory was fresh on his mind, it had barely been a year.

"Hi," a soft voice shook him out of his trance. It was Rogue, dressed in her pajamas. Gambit smiled to himself, eyeing the oversized pink T-shirt that covered her slim body up to the knees. He had always assumed that Rogue would wear something more...Sassy than that, maybe it was just his imagination. She sat next to him, looking up at the full moon. "What were ya thinkin' about?" she asked, not looking at him.

"New Orleans."

"Ah see."

Gambit turned to gaze at the girl who had turned from his enemy to his friend. He did not realize when exactly. It was just that the friction that had existed between them eased over the past few days and they welcomed it. Remy chuckled.

"Wha'cha laughin' about?" she frowned and eyed him suspiciously. She tugged self-consciously at the hem of her shirt. Maybe she should have worn somethng else...

"Oh nuthin', chere..Just dat we used hate each other so much dat none of us could ever survive dis time together here without one of us plummeting down from de rooftop."

Rogue smiled. "Remy...At th' time...Hate couldn't even come close!"

"Why?" Gambit looked at her tenderly.

"Why what?" Rogue asked, a little confused.

"Did y' hate me so?" He turned back to look at the sky

Rogue was silent, she could not think of anything to say. She stared at the lean-muscled boy sitting next to her who was upon the threshold towards manhood, looking..Searching for the reasons that once fueled her hatred towards him. It was rather difficult to concentrate, Gambit was not wearing any shirt and was only clad in a pair of black Nike shorts. Tanned skin, muscled and smooth, hair spilling over his red eyes that gleamed dangerously in the night..A light smile splayed across his lips.

"Ah don't really know exactly...Well, not anymore, but the reasons back then; ah was sure of them as hell! Ah guess Ah was a lil' suspicious."

"Of what?"

"You..Duh!! It's just..the way ya move..the way ya sweet-talk." Gambit looked at her defensively and Rogue quickly added, "Hey! Don't blame me if ya have moves like the devil himself!" She laughed.

"Oh chere..You be breakin' my heart! I t'ought you found that attractive!" Gambit pouted playfully.

"That's just it! Before people could ac'tually have the chance ta hate ya...Ya turn on that charm of yours and women fall at'cha feet. Just felt ya were too pleased with yerself."

"An' now, chere?"

"Oh Ah still think yer still too pleased with yerself," Rogue nodded, laughing.

Gambit sighed. "In other words...Conceited, neh?"

"Hey, you're the one that said it...but Ah don't have a problem with that anymore."

"How come?"

"Ya sure ask a whole lotta questions, sugar." She fiddled with the sleeve of her shirt shyly.

"An' y'sure avoid de answers a lot, p'tite."

Rogue looked down, unable to meet his gaze. It was more of a defense than a question, she asked, "What d'ya want me to say?"

Gambit opened his mouth to speak, the words rose to his throat but never made it through his lips. Why did he feel so unsure of himself around her? Even at a tender age of 19, he had been with a lot of women and yet Rogue was so different from anyone that he had ever met. She evoked feelings in him he thought never existed, the need to make her smile, to comfort her if she should ever shed a tear. Could it be love? Remy shuddered momentarily...He had been with so many women that he could not even tell if it was for sure. Maybe it was just lust...Rogue was a challenge, a delicate situation that could not be rushed.

Though she had complete control over her absorbing powers, she was saintly innocent, naive and ignorant of the hold she had on men. Remy had seen how hungry eyes clung to her full, young figure. She did not even notice she was radiating sexuality like what she was doing now. She fidgeted with the collar of her soft pajamas nervously awaiting a reply from him not realizing that Remy was looking at her apprehensively. She had tied her unruly hair into a ponytail and the stubborn tendrils that refused to be confined caressed her cheeks. Her lips pouted naturally, her deep emerald eyes downcast, sooty lashes shading them.

Remy felt his body reacting. He could not help it, he just had to touch her. Reaching out, he ran his knuckles gently over her smooth cheek, relishing the way her cool silky skin felt under his warm one. She started slightly at his touch, totally unsuspecting a move like that. He inched closer to her until he could breathe in her fresh scent. She could catch a whiff of his fragrant, musky one, a blend of cologne and tobacco. He cupped her chin with his thumb and forefinger, turning her head to face him. She saw desire igniting his bright eyes, it frightened her a little...Her face flushed immediately. His warm lips brushed against hers in a light kiss; she pulled away slightly, but didn't protest. He bent his head for the liberties of a longer one. His lips descended upon hers again and she could feel his tongue smoothing over them, urging them to part. She opened her mouth to him and his tongue slid in, erotically stroking hers. Meekly, Rogue responded and Remy's flesh burnt. She began to shake, but his hand held her slim waist and pulled her closer, steadying her.

She's so beautiful, he thought to himself, relishing her touch.

Rogue found herself getting bolder and her hands slid up...She thought she heard voices...She broke the kiss immediately, realisation setting in. She slipped away hastily, her instincts right, just as Scott and Jean approach the very bannister she was on. The intruding couple were unaware of the electricity that had just ran through the two Southerners.

Watching Rogue run lightly up the stairs, away from him, Remy ran a hand through his hair and let out a silent curse.

"I don' like dis one bit," Gambit slipped a cigarette out of his trenchcoat, searching for a lighter.

"Nobody asked for your opinion!" Iceman snapped.

Remy lit his cigarette with Logan's lighter and took a long drag, staring Bobby into a corner. He had always managed to do that with his queer eyes. And yet, they worked at his will, becoming attractive if he wanted them to. Rogue smiled, suppressing a chuckle as she watched Robert "Iceman" Drake shift uncomfortably within his seat. The X-Men had gathered in the War Room after Professor Xavier had summoned them.

It was ridiculously early, close to dawn before, and Remy had a problem waking up. But there proved to be a cure for his mysterious ailment when Rogue had dropped by his room and started singing '100 Bottles Of Beer on the Wall' at the top of her lungs. By 99, he couldn't take it anymore and threw his pillow at her screaming for her to stop. He smiled over the remembrance. Her singing voice wasn't as attractive as the rest of her.

"Whatcha smilin' about swamp rat?" Rogue inquired, whispering to him as the others discussed about issues way out of their interest.

"Nuthin' chere...anywayz..I don' see why you and I gotta go f'r dis mission...we be kids..I mean we got immoral, sinful stuff t'do!" he joked, winking.

Rogue crinkled her nose in mock disgust."Ugh! As if!!! Dream on....dream awaaaayyy..." she continued, imitating the song.

Remy cupped his ears and begged playfully, "Please chere..none o' dat!! Had enough already just now!!"

"Hmph!" Rogue tossed her hair vainly and nudged him in the ribs at his insulting comment. All the X-Men were exceptionally glad that the two teens of the household had become close but none made any comment about the friendship at the time. Too engrossed were they in the latest mission.

"Alright you two... knock it off!" Scott chided gently.

"Sorry dad!" they replied in unison. The X-Men snickered, even the Professor who sat at the head of the table, smiled...his lips quivering threatening to erupt into a hearty laugh. Scott glared at his comrades harshly.

After they had sobered a little, the Professor proceeded with the briefing, "Gambit, I understand that you might be under a lot of pressure about where this mission is heading, but your participation in this one will benefit the team greatly, with your skills and your knowledge of the streets of New Orleans."

Remy puffed, unleashing a twisted chain of smoke into the air as the others waited for his reply. He shook his head ruefully..almost sadly, "Cain't believe I be doin' dis." Rogue smiled tenderly while the others sighed with relief. Gambit's past had been a tough one and by going back to New Orleans, it would be catching up to him very soon.

What went down in New Orleans? A team of scientists had recovered an ancient Shi'ar spacecraft within the muddy depths of the Louisiana bayous. It was a rather small spacecraft, probably for solo transportation and it was wrecked hundreds of years ago. But it was enough evidence to uncover a truth, that could lead to further conspiracies and greedy ambitions, about an alien life form that happened to be one of the greatest allies of the X-Men.

" we're supposed to destroy evidence without anybody knowing... what's the big deal then? Why send out the whole team?" Bobby stroked his jaw absent-mindedly.

"We have close enough relations with the Shi'ar empire as well as their advanced technology. Every Shi'ar spacecraft boasts of great energy sources for warp speed. I fear that this one is no exception...there is bound to be some sort of a powerful battery; engine fuel if you will," Professor Xavier explained slowly, his eyes rather distant. "It cannot fall into the wrong hands and therefore, for assurance that we do not fail, I have called upon every X-man."

"The location's hard to miss...guarded by the military...there is a possibility of the Secret Service hanging around too, but we're not too sure. Still, we have to be prepared all the same," Scott began punching the keys of the main supercomputer. The screen flickered for a moment and then the scene of the dig came into vision. Remy sucked in his breath.

' be so close t'de French Quarters.'

"There it is...The Blackbird'll be on stealth mode so we should...." Cyclops' words fell on deaf ears as Remy watched the screen intently, unwanted memories unlocking itself out of the prisons of his subconscious mind.

Tres impossible...can't be doin' dis. But I'm an X-Man now, can't be runnin' away like I always used to. It's a simple mission no? Get in, destroy, get out....without bein' seen o'course. Shit! Doubt tha'll ever happen...the be havin' eyes.


Continued in Chapter 8.


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