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Alternate Realities

Stories by K-Nice

"And the Walls Came a'Tumblin' Down"
Remy catches Rogue in the midst of one of her more self-pitying moods and invites her along on one of his late-night partying jaunts to New York City.
"Get Some"
Rogue and Gambit play Bonnie and Clyde.
(Some sexual innuendo)
"So Fast"
Rogue and Gambit experience the pain, disorientation and fear of a major life-changing event.
"Happiness"
17 years after the events in "...Walls...," Rogue and Gambit, now happily married and with children, reconsider what their happiness really means.
"Pro Veneratio"
Rogue and Gambit mourn the loss of someone dear.

"And Then I Remembered..."
Belladonna returns to Salem Center to make her peace with Gambit.

"Blood and Bone"
NYPD detectives Remy LeBeau and Ororo Munroe investigate a horrific string of rape/murders that hit closer to home than any of them realizes.

"Crown of Roses, Crown of Thorns"
After being stripped of their powers by the High Evolutionary, Rogue and Gambit meet at a bar and rehash old arguments and scars.

"Divine Retribution"
When Storm learns of Rogue's abandonment of Gambit, she avenges her friend's death in an unconventional way.

"Falling in Love: Once More, for Old Heart's Sake"
After reconciling during the Phalanx battles in space, Rogue and Gambit go for one last motorcycle ride together. Assume OZT and the Trial of Gambit never happened.

"Heated"
Excerpts of some of Rogue and Gambit's arguments come to light in this answer to Em's 350-word challenge.

"The Human Touch"
A young "Reb" recovers from a beating delivered by her mother.

"I Get So Lonely"
Rogue traces back her history with touch as an addiction and her self-imposed loneliness.

"Lost Lies"
When Gambit returns to the X-Men, he must wade through the lies and half-truths he and his teammates still tell each other.

"Maybe on Some Other Day"
Emily Darkholme and Remington LeBeau are betrothed to each other by their parents.

"Possibly in Another Life"
Six years after "Maybe on Some Other Day," Emily eagerly anticipates an upcoming ball -- and her first chance in years to see Remy LeBeau again.

"Perhaps, in Some Other Time"
The Rogue and the Gambit, leaders of the Brotherhood and the Guild, respectively, face off for what will likely be their final battle. Sequel to "Possibly in Another Life."

"Perfect Pastel Pink"
Rogue decides to indulge herself in something she never had as a teenager -- a prom dress.

"Reality"
Rogue tries to see only what she wants to see when she goes back for Remy.

"She Has Issues"
After their latest breakup, a drunken Gambit tries to call Rogue and let her know what's on his mind.

"Snipers"
Rogue accompanies Mystique on a stealth mission. Written for Em's 350-word challenge.

"Taking Prisoners"
Gambit and the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants take on the mysterious Center to save mutantkind. (Unfinished.)

elsewhere in Alykat's World:

"Beauty Comes to Those Who Wait"
After decades of marriage, Bobby and Cecilia still go to Brooklyn regularly to have Cece's braids redone.
(at (un)frozen)

"Broken Promises"
Iceman deals with his feelings of guilt and loss after his father's death.
(at (un)frozen)

"Cold Front"
When the young students of the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters enjoy the hot summer sun, Bobby longs to return to the cold. Takes place during the X-Men's early years.
(at (un)frozen)

"Spring Thaw"
Bobby decides to leave the X-Men permenantly and get a "real" life, while Gambit struggles to feel alive again after being rescued from the Antarctic. (in progress)
(at (un)frozen)

"Stolen Identities"
When Bastion came to the X-Mansion, he took everything. Now that the X-Men have returned home, each of them deals with that loss in their own way.
(at (un)frozen)

E-mail: kcmknice@yahoo.com

Website: Center Stage

Disclaimer: The X-Men characters--Mystique, Destiny, Jean-Luc LeBeau, Rogue, Gambit, etc -- are actually in this fic. Harras et al would never recognize them but they do belong to Marvel, not me.
Copyright: Pain and Panic await those who swipe this fic. And they're just itching to cause some Chaos after their Disney stint.
Notes: This is an Elseworlds Gambit & Rogue fic. Prequel to Possibly, In Another Life and Perhaps, In Some Other Time.
K-Nice 1999



The pounding of the horses' hooves on the hard dirt track precluded any meaningful conversation, but Irene and Raven managed to communitcate. With subtle stares and quiet hand gestures, they made their picks from the young men and women who jockeyed their mounts around the center dias. The little cocktail table where the two woman and their guest sat shook with the fury of the passing race.

It was time for the yearly Power Derby. The mornings races where run, not with hired jockeys, but with the young sons and daughters of the most powerful families in the world. The winners set an unoffical ranking among the contenders.

While winning was a coveted position, it was often dangerous, since those children sometimes had accidents befall them before the day was through. Their own daughter, Emily was in among the leaders, preparing to break from the pack. She was a stunning horsewoman, enough to make Raven wonder where she had been raised before she was left at their compound.

Emily's grandparents had brought her to the House of Lehnsherr several years before when they were converted to the teachings of Magneto. They had left to make a pilgramage to the Holy Land, rumored to be the last resting place of Magneto, somewhere in the middle of East Ocean. They had never returned, and Raven and Irene had taken the child as their own.

Watching her grow from pigtails to pageboys had been one of the few joys in Raven's life among the Mangusmonks. While Irene was a willing convert, Raven had reservations. She had known Erik, personally, after all. She saw the House of Lehnsherr and its Brotherhood as a means to an end--gaining power and influence. All that money coming in was nice too, since religion was the oldest scam in the book.

A slight shifting at her right caused Raven to turn to their companion. She exchanged a glance with Irene, but the woman had no mystic answer for the unspoken question. What was on Jean-Luc's mind? He had made a beeline for them as the race began, claiming their table was better for watching the races. Which was a lie, since he had a box seat, but then again, so did Sebastian Shaw.

Suddenly, the leaders appeared from around the corner. Raven spotted Emily making a push from around the outside, her red-brown hair streaking out behind her. But in one look, she could tell the girl would never make it.

At the head of the pack, Remington LeBeau was being edged to the inside by Shinobi Shaw. Shinobi's gelding was pressing forward hard, as if it knew this was the last lap, the last chance for glory. Remy's mare, on the other hand, appeared to the struggling. Shinobi's whip flew and the gelding pulled into the lead.

Raven spared a quick look at Jean-Luc LeBeau, expecting to read dissappointment, perhaps anger. Instead, there was an intense look of anticipation on that aristocratic facade. Irene sat up sharply and Raven turned to see what all the commotion was about.

Emily plowed right into Shinobi. It was a hard hit, which sent both riders forward and then backwards very quickly, nearly throwing them from their horses. Raven's heart caught in her throat at the sight of red on her daughter's cheek.

The horses recovered their balance quickly, but it was too late. Remy and his mare were suddenly a blur, rushing towards the finish as if they were one creature.

Jean-Luc remained in his seat, a satisfied smile slowly spreading across his face. "Well, that boy certainly has a way with women! Excuse me, ladies. It appears I must make an appearence at the Winner's Circle. I'm sorry about your daughter. If she is feeling up to it, maybe you will join us for dinner?"

Raven would have spit nails if she wasn't so worried about Emily. His son had tricked Shinobi into blocking Emily, effectively putting his two competitors out of the running. It was devious, far too devious for a 13-year-old boy to think up on his own. At least any thirteen year old Raven was familiar with.

Irene graciously excepted the offer and the leader of the Thieves' Guild was gone.

Raven exploded. "The nerve of that man!" Then she said nothing more, helping Irene gather her skirts and striding toward the finish area in her own split riding skirt.

Emily was dismounting dejectedly. The red on her face was a cut from a whiplash and Irene had to grab Raven's arm to keep her from attacking Shinobi. The boy was being berated by his father Sebastian only a few feet away. He was rather small for a 15-year-old, but Raven chalked that up to his Asiatic heritage. His mother was from beyond the West Ocean and looked even farther away as she stood nearby and ignored her husband's tirade.

"Mother Raven, I'm sorry I failed. I have brought shame on the House of Lehnsherr and the name Darkholme." Emily kept her head down to hide her tears. Her mothers had campaigned mightly on her behalf. There where other children among the Mangusmonks that might make better riders, but they had insisted Emily be given a chance. Now, she had failed.

"None of that now, child. We must return to our rooms and prepare for dinner." Irene ushered them both back to the Guthrie Mansion to be primped and combed and powdered for the evening.


As they walked the halls to grand stairwell that would lead them to the dining area, Raven mulled over Irene's forewarnings. They were to keep Emily's mutant nature secret from Jean-Luc. After all of Sister MacTaggert's work, even several trips to York to consult Dr. Xavier, they were still unable to understand the girl's power. Xavier had been clear that she was not a pure psychic, and as such, he would not take her on as a student. It was cruel that the Brotherhood could train so many mutants, yet Raven's own daughter could not be helped.

If an alliance was to be made, it would be on equal terms. Raven would not make Emily a freak among mutants by revealing her to the Guild leader. If they could conceal the information long enough, Emily might even gain training after the fact, as the Guild was very swift to embrace its mutant members. They had resources even the Brotherhood did not.

Irene's cream gown was replicated on Raven, only in deep royal blue. Emily, though six years shy of her debut, wore a complimentary floor-length dress, smoothing out her rough, gangly edges. Her hair was carefully styled to hide the white streak that branded her as her mother's bastard child.

When they came down into the dining room, they were lead into a private chamber off to the side. It was more of a parlor. but there was an intimate table setting near the fire place.

Jean-Luc LeBeau and his youngest son, Remington, rose from their seats to greet their guests. Raven placed Emily at a seat next to Remy, getting an approving response from Jean-Luc. The girl and boy stared at each other then avoided eye contact with anyone through most of the meal.

The dinner was pleasant. The food was exquisite and the conversation interesting. Jean-Luc was as charming as usual, though Raven sensed an uncharacteristic eagerness in his tone. When the meal was cleared away, and the children shooed into a corner, the real intrigue began.

"I was wondering Raven, Irene, what are your plans for young Emily?" Jean-Luc balanced his coffee cup on his knee watching the children play with an air of nonchalance.

Irene took up the thread. "Well, there is of course her schooling, which has been well taken care of by the Monks."

Raven interjected. "But she will spend some time in Plymouth with a dear friend of ours, Miss Danvers. She will be formally introduced to society there." Irene would have glared at Raven, had Jean-Luc not been watching their every move. Danvers taught at the prestigious Frost Academy, but she was really a spy, and almost everyone who worked the Dark Arts--spying, thieving and killing--knew it. Certainly Jean-Luc did. Raven was presenting a challenge, making it clear that girl would be more than a simpering trophy.

"Indeed." Jean-Luc could barely contain his surprise. Danvers introduced a dangerous variable into his plans. "Remy leaves in the fall for Briton. He is to complete his education under Lord Cassidy." He meant Thomas, not Sean, but they did not need to know that.

The conversation was interrupted by loud giggling. It seemed the two in question where getting along swimmingly.

Irene took the opportunity left open by the sudden silence. "However, we were looking to see dear Emily promised, to the right sort of family, before she got any silly ideas in her head, as girls are wont to do when they go off to strange new places."

"We might be able to make an arrangement."

Irene and Raven seemed to exhale all at once. Finally, they would have a firm answer to Farouk, who had taken a fancy to the child. Not to mention access to Guild's resources.

Jean-Luc also felt relief. He had planned this moment from the first time he set eyes on the boy, hiding under his mother's murdered body, which was still warm from its descecration by Shaw's lackeys.

Maybe, on another day, he would have given Remy a choice. But the race had decided his fate for him.

He couldn't keep the grin off his face. Jean-Luc's hard effort was coming to fruitation. Control of the House of Lehnsherr was control of the Magnet-worshippers. Religion had great power, greater power then even Shaw's Inner Circle. Sabastian would finally be punished for daring to attack Crescent City.

He glanced at the children, who seemed to be talking, if the quiet, serious expressions on their faces where any indication. Things were definitely moving quickly between them.

Raven smiled at her daughter and her betrothed. They made a happy pair.

For a couple of pawns.

 

Continued in Possibly, in Another Life

 


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