Disclaimer: All characters belong
to Marvel comics which means the author doesn't intend to
make any money off of them. This tends to be a spin off from
the animated series with elements from the comics (no, #350
did not occur in this). This is a toned down version of a
Remy leBeau, better known as Gambit, paced the length of
the mansion's roof in the chill midnight air. He raked a hand
through his russet hair and ground his teeth as he glanced
up at the full moon. Ever since the X-men's brush with Sinister,
then the trouble with Bella Donna and the Assassins, he'd
become obsessed with one thought. To help Rogue find a way
to control her powers. The need to do this persisted like
an itch . . . one he hadn't found a way to scratch.
Brutal honesty demanded he admit the reason behind this preoccupation.
Despite the desperate circumstances, for just a short time
he'd been able to hold her. Been able to touch her, and receive
her touch in return without it knocking him unconscious or
killing him. Before, when he'd dared a brief touch of lips,
only his mutant powers had saved him. He'd never regretted
being a mutant and rarely, being one of Professor Xavier's
X-Men. Nor did he wish to Rogue to permanently lose her powers.
Yet, those very same abilities held her at arm's length. Perhaps
he should be content to know she felt as he did and leave
it at that.
"Merde! Remy, you're one Cajun fool. You should find
another woman 'stead a' wishin' for a star," he muttered.
He pulled a card from his trenchcoat, made it glow with power,
and fought the temptation to toss it in frustration. His thoughts
turned still darker. Once he'd called the Assassin heiress,
Bella Donna, his own. Now the mockery of that marriage skittered
against his mind.
Though Rogue deserved better than a footloose thief like
him, he couldn't help desiring her, wanting the best for her.
Her own lonely sadness called to him as she struggled to control
her mutant powers. A chill raced through him as he thought
of the recent events they'd survived. Yet the memory insinuated
an idea into his thoughts. Maybe such a device as Sinister
had used would work. Not so large, for it need only affect
a single room. Provide enough damping to allow her to touch
Self-derisive laughter burst from him. Who was he fooling?
He didn't just want for her to touch anyone, he wanted her
to touch him, maybe if he was lucky, kiss him. And maybe,
if she trusted him enough, let him make love to her. Then
perhaps he could claim her for himself, forever. He dismissed
the notion, though the aching emptiness lingered. He had nothing
he could offer her except his passion. Besides, he couldn't
plan on anything unless he found someone who would help him.
No problem to steal the device, he knew the location of one
of Sinister's old labs. But who could devise something small
enough to suit the purpose he wanted?
Hmm. Beast? The Professor? He hated letting anyone close.
Even those he fought beside. To reveal what he truly felt
for Rogue would give them power over him. Trust did not come
easily after his years in the Thieves Guild. Still, he wasn't
sure how much longer he could stand the swamp rat gnawing
in his gut as he watched Rogue's efforts to come to terms
with her past and what flowed between them.
He lowered the dimmed card, crushing it in his fist. So long
he had been alone. Though he enjoyed women, he kept his affairs
de coeur lighthearted. Not one of them since Belle had shaken
him as Rogue did. His lips curled in wry smile. Could it be
he wanted her so badly because he could not have her? Still,
even her friendship would be worth it if he could provide
her a means to end her isolation. After all, she might turn
her back on him. He grimaced with the deep certainty he deserved
no more for his own dark past.
The door behind him scraped open. He whirled, tensed for
attack until he saw the familiar shape silhouetted for a moment
against the brightly-lit doorway. Though he knew neither one
of them possessed telepathy, he could have sworn she had come
because she sensed him thinking of her. She walked toward
him, shivering with the cold.
"Whatcha doin' out here at this hour, sugah?" she
asked. Her husky voice, filled with concern and a certain
tense note, caused shivers down his back. "Ya'll freeze
your tail off."
"Jus' t'inking, chère." His hands fisted against
the urge to reach out to her, take her in his arms. Patience,
Remy, patience. "Why'd you come up here?"
"Oh, Ah dunno. Intuition, mebbe. Thought ya might be
feelin' kinda down."
She shrugged, her red mane of hair fluttering across her
face. With an irritated sound she tossed it behind her, then
clasped her arms tightly against her body for warmth. Both
movements pushed her lush breasts higher and brought her face
into focus. He swallowed and closed his eyes in pain.
"Ya okay, Gambit?" Her gloved hand touched his
He shook his head. "No, mon chèrie. Gambit has been
"Come on downstairs then an' let Hank take a look at
"Nothin' he can do for Gambit, though I 'ppreciate de
concern." He turned away, willing himself to not tell
her. Not to raise false hopes.
"What's wrong, Remy? Are ya sick?" She moved to
stand before him again and peered into his face. "Ya
do look kinda peaked."
He slumped in defeat. He couldn't lie to her, but he wouldn't
tell her everything. "Non, not ill. Jus' ailin' from
"Huh?" She frowned for a moment. Then, a bleak
look settled on her lovely face. "Oh. Sorry. Girl trouble,
He hesitated, almost afraid to say it. "Oui, but not
as you t'ink. De only trouble wit' Gambit's girl is he can't
hold her or love he like she deserves."
Rogue's eyes widened. "Oooh. Ah . . .Ah kinda thought
ya was jus' tryin' ta make me feel better all this time. Bein'
charmin' like ya are ta other women." She smiled a tiny,
weary smile. Her green eyes shone with unshed tears. "Ah
know you're a good man, Remy. Ya deserve better'n what Ah
can give you."
He brushed a stray curl from her face, resisting the urge
to do more. "Never, chère. Someday der'll be a way for
us t'be t'gether for more dan a fight. An' you can bet on
dat. Now, come on inside 'fore ya freeze your own lovely tail
Gambit herded her down the stairwell and into the kitchen
for a cup of hot cocoa. He cursed the misery in her eyes,
knowing he was responsible for some of it. She'd told him
of her first experience with her power. The boy she'd almost
killed with a kiss. Then, matters with Bella Donna, Cody,
and Candra hadn't help things.
Determined to make her feel better, he turned on his Cajun
charm and teased a laugh from her before they retired. As
he turned toward his own room, he sensed her gaze following
him. Somehow he knew despite his efforts she still hurt.
Continued in Chapter