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Hate Is An Understatement
Mist hung amongst the streets like a cool, smoky blanket,
twisting coyly into the damp, dark alleys as the pale moon
hung restlessly in the starless night. Despite the modern
lamp posts that shone brightly with harsh light, the streets
of New Orleans still retained its French charm, like a scene
from a romance novel set in the 1800s, the prime era of society.
The lanes were empty...Except for an adolescent boy who stalked
the roads at this untimely hour of night. The busiest district,
lined with night spots, left behind him, he ventured into
the silence of the impending scarcely populated part of the
town. He pulled the collar of his trenchcoat higher, almost
masking his handsome face completely. His red on black eyes
scanned the area around him, making doubly sure that he was
not being followed. He pursed his lips and gave out a low
A light draft rustled through his hair as his fellow team
mate glided from the roofs above and settled herself next
"Y'sure this street's deserted?" Rogue whispered
into his ear.
"Positive p'tite...anybody be trailin' us?"
"Not the last time Ah checked."
"Ok," Remy sighed. "So far so good."
Rogue cocked her head to one side, gazing inquiringly Remy
who had been whistling through gritted teeth ever since the
Blackbird took off for the mission.
"Sumthin's botherin' ya...and it ain't the mission ain't
it?" Rogue went straight to the point. Remy did not reply,
instead he stared far off into the distance, his face shrouded
in a stony mask. It was not his usual poker face and the realization
sent a chill creeping into Rogue's skin. They continued to
walk, their footsteps lightly echoing across the pavements.
"Ah know this is hard f'r ya,"
Gambit chuckled. "Sure is...probably everyone be wantin'
"Ya did what ya could y'know."
"Mebbe. Unfortunately, chere... ya be the only one who
Rogue looked down at her trudging booted feet, contemplating
on what had just passed between them a few nights ago. Rogue
knew Gambit's pivotal point in his life...Well, the surface
of it, anyway, since it was only the information that he agreed
to give away. Rogue's grip on her jacket tightened as a strong
gust of wind pushed at her with full force, and she realized
, for the first time, that it was a cold night. Gambit grunted.
"What's so funny?"
"Just de fact dat they guard de bayou wilderness wit'
a fortess and done nuthin' wit' de streets."
Rogue looked around her, smiling slightly to herself. Remy
was right. It was rather funny if one thought about it long
enough. The military was so engrossed with surprise attacks
from the swamps that they failed to establish even a tiny,
bit of security by way of the streets. If Remy and Rogue had
taken the muddy route, they had probably run into an ambush.
"Once we reach de end of de streets...be prepared for
"Cuz dat's where de bayou starts."
"Where the heck are they?" Bobby tapped his fingers
impatiently on the arm of his seat within the metallic cocoon
of The Blackbird.
"Relax Ice cube...I'm sure Rogue an' Gambit are doing
fine," Warren sighed, a tad annoyed by Bobby's constant
complaints. It was no secret that Robert disliked the Cajun.
He was never at ease ever since Remy moved into the mansion
and became part of the team. Though the others scoffed at
his fanatical suspicions, they could not help but feel a little
uncomfortable when they dismiss nagging thoughts of Bobby's
words being true. Though he often jumped the gun, Robert was
sometimes a good judge of character.
Wolverine growled. The familiar cynical rage rumbling in
his chest. "Should've let me go with 'em, Slim!"
"They're no longer kids, Logan..they can carry this
mission out as good as the rest of us," Cyclops turned
his gaze to the short, rather compact man that stood a whole
head lower than him.
Wolverine shook his head ruefully. "It's not 'bout them
deliverin'...it's about havin' someone ta watch their backs
when they couldn't do it f'r themselves."
The anger in his eyes was estinguished and in its place a
fatherly concern etched itself into his grey orbs, making
him look as old as the years he had endured in his difficult
"Shouldn't they be at the bayou by now?" Betsy
asked tonelessly as she continued to polish her katana blade.
"Jean?" Cyclops glanced at his beautiful flame-haired
wife who reluctantly placed her delicate fingers to her temple
The elegant pavements gradually merged into crumbling dirt
paths. Remy and Rogue were passing by the garden district
and slowly approaching the blinding darkness of the bayou.
With every step, a feeling of dread tugged at Remy's heart
and his legs felt as though they were slowly turning to lead.
But he kept his cool and continued to brave against his fears
that lurked behind the corners of every wall. Soon, they could
hear the monotonous song of the crickets and feel the uneven
footholds of the muddy earth as they faced the mass of insanely
tangled vines that marked the thresh hold of the dense swamps.
Rogue stared at the looming wilderness as if in awe, somehow
the bayous appeared more impending at nights. She swallowed
hard, trying to clear her parched throat. Remy grasped Rogue's
hand and turned to look at her in the eye.
"Get ready chere..no turnin' back now."
*Rogue?* Rogue jumped slightly at her name being mentioned
by the telepathic prowess of Jean's psychic mind.
"What is it chere?" Gambit asked worriedly when
he felt Rogue tense suddenly. Rogue held her free palm up,
*Where are you and Remy now?*
*We're just about ta get inta the swamps.*
*Excellent...we're on our way...you know where to rendezvous.*
*We'll see ya later,*
And she was gone. Rogue took a deep breadth and looked at
her Cajun partner, anxiety pulling at the edge of her eyes
and yet a sort of perverse excitement illuminating them also.
Gambit felt his own fears dissipate as he gazed into her warm
emeralds and felt his own attraction to danger returning to
his veins. His hand was still entwined with hers, and they
both had no intention of pulling away. They smiled slyly at
each other as Remy heard the words he had wanted to hear Rogue
say ever since he laid eyes on her.
"Lead the way, sugar."
And he gladly obliged.
Continued in Chapter
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