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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. :)
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Free for a Second
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.
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,
"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
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
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
"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
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.
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
Swallowing deeply, she made her decision.
"Uh, Remy. " she looked at her feet. "Ah can't
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
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
"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
"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
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
"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.
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
He heard the desperation in her voice. He couldn't refuse
"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
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