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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: Ben<jamin Russell> Franklin <Richards> (The Master of RetCons)says: All the X-Men belong to Marvel, but Marvel belongs to Toy-Biz. Lesson boys and girls: A penny saved is a penny urned. <Histeria :)>
Copyright: Confusion (The Opium Philosopher) say "People who steal K-Nice fic should sleep with both eyes open."
Thanks to my wonderful friends and beta-readers--Edana, Em, Sparks and Time (in abc order) -- for their help and their comments. Any errors are not their fault and are probably due to the fact that I keep copying the wrong version, thus retaining nasty little mistakes. Oh well...
K-Nice 1999



A form, little more than shifting shadow, crept through the tunnels that ran beneath Crescent City. It paused, now and again, as if to get its bearings. Against the dark dankest of the cavern-like, stone-walled space, the form moved more boldly, faster. Gradually, there were hints that this figure was real, human, male.

Then it disappeared. The man, known to some as Firestarter, who had attempted to identify the strange apparition was disheartened at its swift dissolution.

Then, he was dismembered.

The shadow pulled its sword from the soft flesh of his would-be assailant and sheathed it at his hip. He turned his head, molding his tall, thin form to the wall. Four people marched past. The scratch of their boots the only sound they made. The man remain as still as the hundred year old stone around him.  He erupted from his place as soon as it was prudent.

He schooled his heart to normal beats and walked softly on cat-sure feet. But he did not hold his breath.

The scent of magnolias wafted through the hall. The sweet, homey aroma gave the man pause as he scurried down the corridor in the opposite direction.

So the Rogue herself was here. She had not just sent her minions, the Brotherhood. No, she had come in person to finish him off in person. The Gambit would have chuckled if he did not fully know the viciousness that plagued the once gentle soul who was desecrating his home. He would suffer any pain for the sake of Crescent City and the Thieves who swore allegiance to its Guild. His own title was chosen for him by his long dead father to mold him for that very purpose.

Pressing his body into a mossy stone alcove, he silently counted the footsteps that ran past. He counted four approaching but only three fading into the darkness beyond his range. Whoever stood there was clearly waiting for him.

He stepped out from the wall once again, this time to face her. She was resplendent in deep green robes, her cloak parted barely enough for the hilt of her sword to protrude through. Her brown hair was streaked with white, a sign of a prostitute, but was piled high on her head, as was the fashion with noble women, not gutter wenches. To which group this vision of violent beauty belonged had been hotly debated among the Guild Council.

"You are the Gambit, are you not." It should have been a question, but her inflection was so liquid that he could not tell for sure. Her voice was smooth, tempered with the heat of an Old River Valley summer and the fires of hell. She had to see him face-to-face, this man prophesied to die for sake of the Delta's strongest family. She would not leave without making sure the legend came true.

"You are the Rogue." They acknowledged each other with curt nods. "A pleasure." He smiled, a calm, calculated gesture that melted the hearts of some and froze the hearts of others. He could not gauge her reaction even as he stared deeply into her emerald green eyes.

There was no posturing. No philosophical debate. They both knew what had brought them to this battle. He knew her to be the young upstart that had wrested control of Old River Valley's mercenary Brotherhood from her adoptive mother, becoming the first woman to hold the title Rogue, a sign of respect for the best warrior among Delta's pirate community, and turned a scraggly band of Magnet-worshippers into well-regarded mutant strike force. She knew him to be the last living heir of the LeBeau clan, leading the enigmatic Thieves' Guild to ascendancy in Crescent City and all of Delta. They both had their eyes on the lands of Delta and beyond so neither could afford to tolerate the other's continued existence.

He did not reflect on the first time they had met, the hope and promise their respective parents had placed upon the encounter. She ignored the stirrings of childhood love, so innocent and pure, now tainted by death and greed.

They knew what this quarrel was about--the Thieves had beaten out the Brotherhood for a coveted contract with a man whose name was whispered even by the hardened men like Patch Logan and Nicholas Fury--and nothing more. Certainly nothing as personal as a dishonored promise, nothing so fragile as a broken heart.

The silence held, by mutual decision and the crackle of combat lit flames within them both. Each stepped back, with their own graceful strides held in tight check

She swept her cloak aside in one polished gesture. Her sword hilt gleamed silver, catch light that was barely there. Her gloved fingers twitched towards it, but she held her hands out delicately, as was the custom, and curtsied, her full skirts growing damp with blood and water.

He let his red-black eyes glow fiercely as he bowed. It was a formal bow, one he learned in Briton. He bent his knee and put one leg behind him, bowed fully at the waist, his right arm sweeping across his body. The incongruity of his actions and his devilish appearance startled her. He flowed up with his sword drawn, already spinning to the attack.

They met each other blow for blow. She put such strength into each blow that Carosella would envy her. He battle partner bent under her pounding. His strokes were sure and even, not as strong, but more accurate. Lord Wagner, and his fortune, had fallen under those steady, artful blows, and the woman rumored to be his sister now struggled valiantly against them.

His agility matched her speed. Her strength matched his skill. On the battle raged, no words spoken except the clang of steel on steel, which echoed out into the moist, verdant walls. An overhead swing caught him off guard. He moved to block.

Triumphant in his success, he flowed onto the attack and found her blade twisting in his side. The pain changed something inside him and he turned his body so as to trap her sword within his flesh. Energy flickered over his hands and sword as he completed the stroke. Her eyes seemed to light with appreciation of the move, finally understanding why he was called the Gambit. She smiled, even as her head slumped forward, tethered to her body by her spinal cord and little else. He knelt, the blade still in him, and closed her eyes, which seemed to sparkle to the very end.

In death, she had lodged her blade against his ribs, and he fought for several panting moments to free it. The noise of their conflict had reached the ears of the Brotherhood. He could hear them in the distance, their heavy footfalls too loud to belong to Thieves. He cursed them as little better than Marauders.

The Marauders were scum--a wild, cruel coven of killers who reeked havoc in Delta and beyond to Prairie and Lakeland in the north, and to the Deadlands beyond the Horizon Mountains and up in the city-states of York and Columbia. He put them out of his mind and slunk back into the shadows.

His eyes shut tight, so that their unhallowed light might not give him away, he placed one hand on the wall and the other to his side, were he had been fatally wounded. Of course, the Benefactress had given the Thieves' Guild a powerful gift. It was this Elixir that he called on now to survive his grievous injury. He felt the healing balm course through his veins and bid it to run faster still. He had little time to waste on himself--his people were still under attack.

The man with no name but great power had always dealt with him through a man called Scott "Slim" Summers. Tall and powerfully built, Slim was clear thinking, more a leader than a lackey, but he had kept a strict code for his master's security -- meeting in public squares and taverns, sometimes accompanied by a psychic he called Maddie -- and had never entered into the realm of the Gambit's underworld, which was indeed prudent on his part. LeBeau was thus surprised when he tripped over the man's body, both because he was rarely so clumsy and the man did not belong here. And certainly not with his eyes bored out and his flesh pocked with hundreds of bone-stars.

Recognition of Whirlwind's signature weapon caught him and wouldn't let go. He stopped to consider this new turn of events. There was a skirmish between his body and his mind, one ready to collapse, the other just getting started. He absently flicked blood from his fingers, the wound in his side knitting up slowly. If Slim had come here . . .

He ran, full tilt back to were he had left his Guild fight the bulk of the Brotherhood. He had sought to draw the fight away from them, to live his title. Instead he had abandoned them to the slaughter.

The nameless evil, more shadow than man, slipped away as the young leader fell to his knees in the blood and entrails of his people. The shadow grinned, a fanged smile that stopped hearts at its mere mention. His subterfuge had succeeded in wiping out both upstart groups. More importantly, it had left one extraordinary survivor.

Perhaps, in some other day or time, he would have made a fine Marauder.

Instead, the red-black eyes flared like the final embers of a fire, stirring one last time as Mariner sunk one of his large, glowing harpoons through the boy's heart.

The shadow paused--a pity and a waste--and continued down its dark, eternal path.

 


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