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
Notes: This is an Elseworlds Gambit & Rogue fic.
Prequel to "Perhaps, In Some Other
Time." Follows "Maybe, On Some Other
Day" by 6 years.
© K-Nice 1999
York was resplendant in white. Emily had been delighted the
first time she saw snow, but even after many hard winters
in Plymouth, she was still fascinated by its cold purity.
"Robert, you will escort Miss Darkholme to the Inner
Circle's New Year's Ball." The words belonged to Lady
Frost, but the sarcastic, mocking tone belonged the one and
only Robert Drake. Emily found herself giggling and tried
to control her laughter.
"Drake, you are so silly." Emily regretted it the
moment she said it. Drake stiffened at her side, his hands
gripping her gloved fingers tightly. The temperature in the
carriage plummeted quickly and Emily struggled to appologize.
"I didn't mean it in a bad way, Robert. I meant ... you're
fun to be around."
Robert released her and moved to the other side of the bench
seat, staring out at the snow-covered city from between the
white velvet curtains. Emily had nearly overlooked the fact
that Drake was Lady Frost's "protegé." She would
never marry him but she kept him tied to her because she found
him amusing. She was in the carriage behind them, preparing
to make her big entrance. She had chosen Jason Wyngarde, a
fellow member of the Inner Circle, as her escort, but she
brought Emily along so Robert would be nearby.
In the cold silence, Emily played with the fingers of her
gloves. She wore them as more than a concession to current
fashion. She was still not in full control of her mutant abilities,
even after all her time at the Frost Academy. But now, she
didn't think she would have to worry about using her absorbing
powers ever again.
As a present for her coming out party, Miss Danvers had allowed
Emily to absorb her powers one last time. What Carol did not
know, was that, even though every touch still triggered a
reaction, Emily had learned to control how much she absorbed
and how much she let go. Over the years, Emily had slowly
kept pieces of Carol, enough to give her incredible strength
and speed. She had even managed to fly once. But that was
a secret for Emily to keep to herself.
Her emerald-green silk hoop-gown shimmered in the light reflecting
off the snow banks has she disembarked from the carriage.
Robert held her hand rather absently and they waited as Lady
Frost and Lord Wyngarde came out onto the entry way. Frost's
slim-cut white gown was sure to cause a stir and as Emily's
place to stay in her shadow and soak up the gossip.
At least that was the plan. But as soon as they entered the
ballroom, Emily was on the lookout for the one person she
was eager to see tonight.
Remy LeBeau, her childhood friend, was supposed to be there.
His father had died recently and his brother was now in charge
of the Thieves' Guild. Emily had written with her condolences
and Remy had responded. He was very eager to reaquaint himself
with her, as they were engaged to be married, at their parents'
concensus. Emily too wanted to see how her old friend was
She was not the little girl he had known anymore, and she
wondered if they were still compatible. Not that it mattered.
They had shared in their parents' promise, swearing to abide
by the marriage contract. Whether or not she still loved him,
she would go through with the engagement, if only to honor
Mother Irene, who had died one year too soon to see her decision
come to bear.
As he was not readily present before her, Emily was content
to enjoy the company that was. Sitting at the table assigned
for Lady Frost, Emily found herself talking and laughing with
Robert. She turned down several dance requests so as to listen
to him tell story after story.
Emily envied Frost, who had stolen the man's heart before
Emily herself was in a position to contend for it. Drake was
a good, honest man, however. He was not the sort that could
accept Emily as she was, a criminal in training. He respected
her as the daughter of leaders of a religious cult, not the
child of very clever frontwomen for an illegal training ground
for mutant ne'erdowells.
As the evening went on, Robert grew tired of watching Wyngarde
and Frost dancing indecently in the middle of the packed ball
room. He bowed before Emily and swept her out onto the floor.
He was a fine dancer, quick and graceful. They waltzed close
to the string orchestra, then over near Mr. Fisk and his massive
table. Robert steered them away from that area, unaware of
Emily's fascination with the powerful, legendary gangster.
He pulled her back toward the dias, this time coming up along
the side of the ballroom, instead of straight through the
Emily was transfixed by a scene that broke her young heart.
Remington LeBeau, handsome and dashing in black, was sitting
at one of the head tables as they danced by.
He was sitting very close to a young woman with blonde hair
and violet eyes.
He was holding her hand. Her hand was on his knee.
He was whispering in her ear. She was giggling
He was kissing her. She was leaning against him, practically
in his lap.
Robert, oblivious to what Emily was seeing, tried to lead
her in their dance toward their table.
Emily stood stock still.
Her eyes flashed angrily and when Robert pulled at her again,
she pushed him off his feet.
She was about to plow straight through the lace tablecloth
and fine china that separated her from Remy's throat, when
she felt a presence in her mind.
#Let's not cause a scene, Miss Darkholme. I'm sure there
are other ways to get what you want.#
Emily looked up and it seemed that Lady Frost was staring
straight into her heart.
She helped Robert to his feet and walked calmly up to the
table. Remy looked up as they approached, a smile of recognition
breaking through. There was liprouge on his mouth and chin.
The young woman at his side placed her hand on a dagger hidden
in the folds of her skirt. She didn't recognize the face,
but she did know that look. Trouble had arrived. "Hello,
have we met? I'm BellaDonna--"
Emily ignored her. "Remington LeBeau, the engagement
is off!" She said it through gritted teeth, but she managed
not to scream.
The shocked, hurt look in his eyes almost gave her pause.
Possibly, had she lived another life, she might have forgiven
him, enjoyed a happy life as his bride. As it was, she had
seen to much many, shared too many memories, to let it go
Emily turned away, stalking toward her table with Robert
Frost was right. There were other ways.
Continued in Perhaps,
in Some Other Time
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