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"Free for a Second"

Free for a Second

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
Chapter 14

This story is still in progress.

Disclaimer: All recognizable X-men characters are property of Marvel. I am not profiting financially from writing fan-fiction, so if anyone wants to sue me, you'll just have to take my rubber-duckie. :P (hey it rhymes!)
Note: Guys and gals and Kree who have read the other chapters will know that this is an alternate reality story, where the Rogue is not our Rogue, and the Gambit is not our Gambit, but they do have the same beauty and good looks, they have the same wunnerful characters. And...and...Y'all get the idea. :)
Enjoy and then mail us!
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Caroline -

Free for a Second

Part Five

Blood splattered across the flawless marble tiles, followed by the dull thuds of fists connecting to a body.

"Gaaaaahhh!!" The victim cried out helplessly as the blows rained down on him.


Crack of the jaw.

"Incompetent bastard!"

Snap of a rib.

"Worthless piece of shit!"

The burly man who had been executing the beating stopped abruptly and pulled the leather gloves off from his hands roughly. Beads of sweat rolled down his face that was contorted with restrained violence, but he hardly heaved from his exertions.

"S-sir..." Kirst attempted to plead thorough broken teeth with his superior. "Portman, gimme another chance, please."

"Another chance??" Portman whirled around and roared. "Whatever for? To let you screw everything up again?"

With a snap of his fingers, two men clad in black suits appeared hauled Kirst off the floor; he was too drained to put up the slightest struggle. Portman tightened the belt of his smoking jacket and drew a long breath on his cigar, blowing the smoke into Kirst's face.

"You're a loser, Kirst. Always letting your personal conflicts get in the way of a job. Weiland must've been crazy to assign you to Watch Sabine. I should've done this a long time ago," He narrowed his eyes and sneered. "Get rid of him, boys."

Kirst's eyes widened in a mixture of fear and anger, his mouth opening to let out a string of curses only to be silenced by the fumes of chloroform. As the effects of the gas took over, the last thing his eyes saw was the look of contempt on Portman's face.

The evening wind blew up the dirt on the sidewalk, pieces of scrap paper floating by occasionally. Children were already locked up safely in their homes, away from the danger that lurked the streets at night in the form of robbers, gangsters and drunk drivers.

He walked alone, his trenchcoat whipping in the wind, a backpack on his back, and his chestnut hair an unruly mess. Remy LeBeau dangled the cigarette on his lips loosely and rubbed his unshaven jaw, his mind deep in thought. Barely an hour into leaving her behind in the apartment, that nagging feeling inside his head was telling him to turn back already. His pride, however was another story. He was still angered by her words, her cynicism, but most of all, her obstinacy.

Why should I go back? he engaged in an interpersonal reasoning with himself.

He'd tried to help her, even tried to show her cared. And in return he'd gotten a proverbial slap in the face. He clenched his jaw, bitterly remembering the spite in her eyes as she accused him of trying to use her. It wasn't often that he put himself out like that for someone else. And contrary to her beliefs, he hadn't expected anything in return. But he got something alright.

A goddamn insult!

Well, that was something he could definitely live without. He quickened his pace.

She be an assassin. She kin take care o' herself.

Despite his resolve to ignore any surfacing thoughts of her, visions of the past night plagued his mind. This time the memory was not of her spitting insults, but of her lying helpless, injured on his bed. Would she be able to defend herself now? It was only a matter of time before they tracked her down, and he doubted she'd be in any condition to put up much of a fight. However, his temper overpowered his concern as it flared again at her hateful rejection of his attempt to reach out to her.

Ain't my problem now. I tried, and she made it clear she don' wan' my help. Damn hothead could start a fight in an empty house.

Turning up his collar, he pressed on.  Voices off to his left caught his attention and he looked in their direction. Two prostitutes were negotiating with an over-weight middle aged man. He could see the driver sizing up the duo with a predatory sneer, one that stirred something inside of Remy. A last image of Rogue stopped him in his tracks. Kirst salivating over her prone, bleeding body, his intention quite clear in his shark-like eyes. If Kirst went after her now, there was no doubt that he'd be able to have his way. In spite of the pain she had caused him, Remy Lebeau was not the kind of man who would allow that to happen to anyone.

"Mon dieu, Remy. You really goin' soft." the Cajun muttered under his breath as he swiped the cigarette from his mouth and dashed it to the sidewalk, brazenly stamping it out. Exhaling a last cloud of smoke, he turned round and quickly began retracing his steps.


She slammed her fist on the wooden floor and winced. No matter how hard she tried, her legs just wouldn't cooperate; they remained numb and limp.  Her skin was dripping with perspiration from the humidity in the slovenly room, and her arms were laced with scratches from the unpolished floor, inflicted when she tried to push herself up.

Rogue knew she'd been stuck here, sprawled on the floor for close to an hour. Who knows how long she'd have to stay here before she got her strength back. Right now, it was just the helplessness that bugged her. Tears of frustration and exhaustion moistened her eyes. Resignedly, she rested her face against the wooden floor and closed her eyes.

Okay, she admitted, so she needed his help. So she wished Remy would come back. She'd be buzzard bait without him. But her guilty, underused conscience nagged at her, letting her know that wasn't the only reason she wanted him to return. She wiped away the tears that stole down her face, still reluctant to display her feelings openly, even when she was alone.

A gentle rhythmic vibration against her cheek snapped her mind to attention. Her ears picked up the dull thud of approaching footsteps. Her senses came alert immediately, emerald eyes charged with vigilance.

Shit! she cursed silently.

She tried once more to heave herself off the floor, but it was no use. Panic set in. There was no way she could make it to her gun. Her eyes rapidly scanned the floor around her, looking for anything she could use as a weapon. Her eyes came to rest on a beer bottle that lay within her reach. Snatching it up, her fingers tested the weight of the bottle, evaluating the damage it could inflict if anyone attacked her. Her only chance was if she had the element of surprise and could lure her attacker into close range. Currently she was in plain sight, the bed the only accessible cover. With supreme determination, she manage to drag her protesting body under the bed, re-opening the wounds that had just begun to heal. Sweat blurred her vision as she peered out from the shadows, waiting for her prey to emerge.

The footsteps grew louder until she could see a pair of legs visible up to the knee, hesitate just outside the door. Rogue tried to identify intruder, focusing on his shoes and clothes. However, the details ran together as her sight faltered again, the room swimming as the trespasser proceeded to approach the bed.

She held her breath, body tensed, as the stranger dropped to one knee beside the bed. The sheets were pulled back, and she swung the bottle with everything she had at the face that appeared. A strong hand caught the bottle millimeters before it smashed against its target. Radiant eyes bore into her unblinkingly.

"Good to see you too, chere."

She blinked, clearing her eyes


He removed the bottle from her grasp, and, after setting it aside, he helped her out from under the bed. His face betrayed no emotion as he knelt on the floor on one knee, then moved back from her, putting space between them. Relief flooded her mind.

He'd come back and she wasn't going to fuck it up this time. She was too tired to keep up that veil of cool independence. Half-leaning, half-falling, Sabine used the last reserves of her strength to close the gap between Remy and herself, clutching at him as she slumped wearily against his body.

They stayed there for a few moments neither one of them uttering a word. Uneasy in this new territory, Rogue was acutely self -conscious and a bit embarrassed at the way she'd lost her cool at the sight of Remy. Second guessing herself, she pulled away from him slowly and propped herself up on her elbows, eyes never meeting his.

"Ah'm...It's just ah'm relieved to see it was you," she strained for an excuse. "Ah thought you were Kirst."

Remy studied her, confused. For a moment he thought she'd changed her mind about trusting him, wanting his help. He'd felt something in that embrace and she had sounded genuinely happy to see him. Now it seemed her indifference had returned. Well, if that was the way she wanted it.

"Look,  it ain't goin' ta be long 'fore dey figure out where you are, and you in no condition to fight. Thought it'd be a waste o'my effort to have saved yer ass last night only to leave you a sittin' duck here. Can't  be havin' dat on my conscience so I'm goin' make sure you get to a safer local, den you on your own."

Damn it, girl! she thought, noting the chill and control infused into his voice, Ya done it again. Drove him off. What the hell is wrong with you?

She looked up at him, momentarily focusing on his features,  trying to read them. His stoic expression did not mar the appeal of his scruffy, yet cleanly structured face. Nor did it mask the emotions that played in his eyes.

Hurt, anger.

Why was it so hard for her to reach out to him?

He stood and glanced down at her expectantly, waiting for her to rise. He didn't know that she couldn't stand on her own. Hell, it had taken her nearly an hour and nearly passing out for her to admit it to herself.

Well, stupid, face it. Ya got two options. Ya can stay here on the floor in your underwear and continue to feel like a jackass, or ya can swallow your pride, act human, 'n ask for his help. Make up your mind, girl. Do ya want his help 'n what comes with it? Or do ya wanna be alone again? Alone and on the floor in your skivvies with a splinter ridin' up your butt??

Swallowing deeply, she made her decision.

"Uh, Remy. " she looked at her feet. "Ah can't stand."

He did nothing. Of course he'd get her off the floor, whether she asked or not. But he hesitated for a moment, hoping she would actually ask.

Damn, she thought. S.O.B's gonna make me say it. Well? Go on then, she told herself.

"Could ya help me?"

It was such a small thing, but it made all the difference. His face softened somewhat, a ghost of a smile tickled his lips.


Remy slowly knelt down by her side and gingerly scooped her up. Rising slowly, he lay her on the bed.  Rogue winced slightly and closed her eyes  as she stretched out all the tight muscles in her body.

"Better?" he asked and she nodded, still working out all the kinks.  He favored her with a lopsided grin when she opened her eyes and then tilted his head in the direction of the ground.

"So, you were down dere de whole time den?"

She gave him a hard stare, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Glad ah amuse you Cajun."

He smirked back at her. His eyes drifted to her arms where he noticed the fresh scratches. He took her by each wrist and examined the wounds. Matching cuts ran all over her stomach and upper thighs.

"Kind o' you to make new work for me while I was out."

She said nothing as he went for the anti-septic and more bandages.  Silently she watched him, though grateful that he'd returned, she wondered why.  If the situation had be reversed she would've  been in the next state by now. But here he was. Remy sat down next to her, putting his tools on the makeshift nightstand next to the bed.

"So" he looked at her directly, "You goin' ta tell me what 'xactly I got myself into?"

"It's best you know as little as possible."

"Best for who, chere? Figure I'm in up to my neck now anyways. T'ink I deserve an answer."

As much as she wanted to, she couldn't argue with him. After all he'd done, the very least he deserved was to be told what he was up against. But not now. She was too exhausted from the night's trials.

"Look Remy, it's a long, complicated story and ah ain't up for it jus now. Ah reckon we got a little time 'fore they find out where we are. Ah jus need ta rest a spell, then ah will tell you what you need to know."

But only that, she thought. He didn't need to know the how's or the why's she'd become an agent. Just who it was she was working for and what they were capable of.

Though he'd rather not be kept in the dark any longer, a quick once over on Rogue convinced him that the most pressing concern right now was to get her healthy again. Banged up and bleedin' as she was, it looked like she'd have to get better just to die.

"Okay den. We fix you up, get you rested. But den you come clean. D'accord?"

"D'accord." she nodded.

His attention returned to her wounds. "Merde. You  really gone and scraped y'self up good girl."

"Ah had a bit o'help from that emery board ya call a floor." She picked a splinter from her forearm. "Haven't ya ever been down there before?"

She wondered why he hadn't noticed the hazardous condition of his floor.

"Now chere..." he said in mock innocence, his unusual eyes wide. "WHY would I have been down there?"

Unable to help it, a fragile smile flickered across her face.  He had taken her question the wrong way on purpose, but his response amused her nonetheless.

"Now really, if I'd known dere was goin' t'be people rollin 'round on it, 'specially people in der underwear, believe me, I'd a sanded it."

He grinned at her, glad to see that the mood of the evening was becoming a bit more pleasant. Decidedly less agitated , he set about to dressing her wounds. While he was distracted attending to her , Rogue allowed herself to study him once more. Though his face was quite serene, his shadowed eyes were deeply focused. Oddly enough, a mental image of a boy scout earnestly tending to a bird with a broken wing came unbidden to her mind. But she was no bird, and Remy sure wasn't any boy scout.

A smile once again threatened to overrun her face and she suppressed an impulse to run a finger over the line of his strong, stubble clad jaw, wondering if it too would feel like sandpaper. She watched as his nimble hands gently cleaned her cuts, noting the ripple of the muscles in his forearms as he worked. Remy's fingers delicately brushed against her stomach, the sensation giving her goose bumps that she hoped he didn't notice. If he did he said nothing. With deliberation, she pushed away all other thoughts, reveling in the feel of his touch. It wasn't often she experienced a moment like this and rightly enough, she wanted to savor it. Finishing with her stomach, he prepared a fresh gauze pad with hydrogen-peroxide.

He hesitated. "Maybe you wanna do this?"

Sticking to her resolve, Sabine lifted one leg and rested it in his lap, letting him know, to some extent, she did trust him. He cleansed both legs quickly, not once straying from the task at hand. When he was finished she was shocked to discover that she almost disappointed that he hadn't tried anything. Instead, he pulled the sheet up to her waist.

"Dere you go. Hope that didn' hurt too much."

He was smiling at her again with those mesmerizing red on black eyes. She wondered briefly what other women felt when he smiled at them like that. She herself, felt a sensation that she could only place once before: the kiss back at the hit at the Senator's grounds. His hand was resting on hers creating a seductive warmth and she wondered what it would be like if...

His hand pulled away as he turned to clean up the nightstand. Not wanting to lose this feeling, to have him leave her side quite yet, she swiftly forced herself more upright.



He turned to face her and she moved before he could react, pressing her lips to his urgently.

Now DIS is a surprise. he thought before he was lost in the embrace. Gently cupping her face, he pulled her more deeply into the kiss. She responded by clasping her arms around his neck. They drew closer, his arms slipping down to wrap around her back. Drew closer still, until they were pressed tight against one another, her emotions overriding the protest her injured body made.

Sabine didn't want to let go, this was too wonderful, too unreal.  But if she didn't come up for air she was going to pass out.

Maybe that 'd be nice, she thought. To slip into blackness, mah last thought of  this moment, his kiss.

But that was probably no the best way to go out right now.

They both broke off at the same time, quietly gasping for air. Their foreheads were pressed together, arms still around one another.

"Thank ya, sugar..." It was barely a whisper.

He kissed her briefly on the lips and rose to straighten the mess. Rogue leaned back on the pillow, watching him, not letting herself reflect on what had just occurred lest she might try and dissect it mentally, ruining it. She silently waited for him to return, wanting him to. When he did it was with another painkiller. She stifled her instinct to ask what it was and let him place it in her mouth. Remy held the cup for her and she almost burst at laughing at him and herself. She wasn't crippled, she could hold the damn cup. But it was a display of kindness so she accepted. Maybe being somewhat helpless wasn't so bad. Actually it was beginning to seem rather fun.

"Well, 'bout time we both get some shut eye."

He traced her good cheek  gently and carefully with  the back of his hand; she shivered slightly. Then he turned away from the bed and flicked off the light switch.  Soundlessly he padded to the bathroom, shut the door, and turned on the shower. Sabine's eyes began to close and she dozed lightly, letting the rhythmic drumming of the shower to lull her.

A scuffle of feet awoke her and through slitted eyes, she saw Remy pass the foot of the bed, with only a towel wrapped around his waist. The room was cast in blue from the moonlight coming in through the window. Just barely enough to see by, but not enough for him to notice she was not quite fully asleep. As quietly as he could he opened a dresser drawer, removing a few items. Quickly he stripped off the towel and dried off, unaware Rogue was watching. She knew she shouldn't, but so close to sleep, her will was gone and curiosity won out over decency.

He slipped into a pair of boxers, and, grabbing the comforter that lay in a heap at the foot of the bed, he settled in a chair by the far wall. Something inside her sunk. Sabine didn't want to be alone right now with this  feeling, only partially drug-induced. She was too weak to fight sleep much longer. Forget the rules she'd been taught,  right now, she wanted him close by. She wanted to know that of someone came bursting through that door, Remy would be at her side. She wanted to feel safe.

"Remy..." It came out soft and slurred.

Startled , he looked up sharply.

"You still awake?"

"Mmhmm.." She couldn't really focus or form thought  but she tried anyway. "....come 'ere...."

He rose and walked softly to the bed. Her eyes had closed.

"Wha'cha need, petit?" he whispered.

"Sleep here....."

At his hesitation, she opened her eyes.

"Chere, git some sleep. You hurt, you need de whole bed. De painkiller ain't makin' you think right."

He kissed her forehead and turned to go. She grabbed his hand limply.

"Don't go...."

He heard the desperation in her voice. He couldn't refuse her.

"Shh, s'okay." he comforted her as he returned to her side. "Remy will stay right b'side you, if you want." He carefully crawled over her to the other side of the bed. Climbing under the covers, he lay on his side facing her. "I be right here."

Now too tired to even speak, she shimmied sideways, closing the space between them, leaning into his warmth. Remy lay one arm across her, cautious not to touch her bad shoulder. In the darkness he reflected on how the tables had turned. Finally, Rogue drifted off to sleep and he soon followed.


Continued in Chapter 6


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