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"Rogue's Gambit"

Rogue's Gambit

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11

This story is unfinished.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Marvel comics which means the author doesn't intend to make any money off of them. This is more a spin off from the animated series with elements from the comics.
Any comments please email the author at:

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Part Eleven

Early the next morning Jean-Luc's reaction to Remy's disappearance sorely aggravated Rogue. He seemed to think it perfectly natural for Gambit to simply not return. The fact he denied any knowledge of his return to New Orleans made her see red because she knew Gambit would have made the time for a visit to his adopted father. She ground her teeth in frustration and tried again.

"Listen, Monsieur Lebeau, Ah know you don't trust strangers, but Ah'm askin' ya ta put yo' misgivin's aside. He could be in real trouble right now. Doncha have any idea where he might be?"

The head of the Thieves' Guild tapped his chin, apprising her with narrowed eyes, then appeared to make a decision. "You are de X-man Rogue, non?" At her nod, he sighed. "He did come here, but dat be more'n two weeks past. Still, don' t'ink Remy'd run off an' leave you, cheré. Last we talked he said he was goin' ta speak to da priest 'bout dose annulment papers. Don' know what happened after dat." He shrugged. "Can't very well ask de Guild ta look for him since he's not supposed ta be here. I'll keep my ears and eyes open though. Dat's all I can promise."

Rogue gave him terse thanks, then joined the others with a heavy heart. She shook her head at their questioning looks. Storm put her arm around Rogue's shoulders and gave her a brief squeeze before addressing the team.

"We must spread out to search the city. I believe he is still here. Logan, can you pick up any scent?"

Wolverine sniffed a few times, then grimaced. "Been too long. All I get's the stink of this place."

Storm turned to Jean. "Can you feel him anywhere near?"

The telepath closed her eyes, frowning in concentration. "There's something…he is in New Orleans, but what I sense is so faint as to be almost like a whisper. It might be merely from his last visit."

"We gotta try," Rogue protested, afraid they might just leave.

"Of course, my dear," Storm reassured her. "Jean, you and Rogue take this side of the city. Logan and I will try the East Side. Report whatever you find."

Rogue watched Wolverine and Storm head off, uncertain how they could ever search the entire city for one man…no matter how unusual that man might be. Painfully aware of her situation if they didn't find him, she placed her hands over her abdomen.

"Are you all right?" Jean's gaze searched her face, her blue eyes full of compassion.

Rogue hated it. Just because she'd had such a time with her powers and Scott and Jean had what some might call a "fairy tale" romance didn't mean she wanted the telepath's sympathy.

"Ah'm fine, just hungry. Let's git somethin' ta eat befoh we go roamin' 'round this place." Without a backward glance she stalked off toward a corner café they had passed on their way. She heard Jean sigh behind her and straightened her shoulders even more.

Curled against the alley wall and the dumpster, Gambit pulled his trenchcoat closer against the fine, cold rain falling. Every muscle and joint ached from his troubled sleep in this place, but not nearly as much as his soul. Last night he had stumbled away from Sinister's lab with one thing on his mind…to find a way to clean the filth from himself. No matter what else happened, he couldn't go to Rogue with this on his conscience. It wouldn't make any difference if he hadn't been a willing participant. He should have found a way to shut off his mind…his body…some way to not react tow what they did to him.

As much as he tried to stoke his hatred against Sinister he kept coming back to the fact the creature had some sort of terrible hold on him. From the first time they had met years back, Sinister had known exactly how to get whatever he wanted from Gambit. Never the one to pursue futile causes, Gambit turned the hatred from the object he could never reach to himself. Remy had taken lives before, but as far as he knew Sinister couldn't be killed. Too, the thing seemed to have some sort of perverse use for him…thief, mutant, man…each side of him held promise for the beast.

Gambit sorely regretted involving Rogue and wondered if she would miss him. She would survive without him. He didn't like the clinging vine type…her very independence and smart comebacks had been the initial attraction. He thanked God for them now…she'd need them. Not him. Never him again. Now she knew she could control her powers. She could find someone who wouldn't bring down such an evil presence as Sinister.

A violent shudder passed through him as he lifted his face to the gray sky. Water streamed down his cheeks, mingling with his salty tears. Dear God how he'd yearn for her. But he too would survive. For now he must hide himself away. Away from the Thieves' and Assassins' Guilds…away from the X-men and her. With great effort he pushed himself up and lurched toward the narrow alley's mouth. First he must find a way to purge himself. Perhaps Tante Matte could help. Though she had ties to the Guild he knew she wouldn't betray him to Jean-Luc and the others.

Rogue burst into the abandoned lab…seeing the slab with its leather restraints, the generator in the corner, the observation window. Jean had led them here with the information this was the strongest place she could feel Gambit. It stood empty now, but Rogue knew something awful must have taken place here. The team searched the building, finding evidence of Sinister's cloning experiments, but nothing more of him or Gambit.

"Damn! Where'd that maniac take him?" Rogue punched an empty locker she'd just finished riffling through to keep from weeping.

Wolverine paused beside her. "Don't think Sinister took him anywhere. His scent's goin' off by itself from the others. Fresh enough we should be able ta find him."

"Well, why didn't ya say so? Let's go!"

"Hold on, gal. Mebbe he don't want ta be found." Wolverine gave her a speculative look.

"Ya mean by me, doncha?" Her chin rose as she struggled against the pain.

The Canadian gave her a feral grin. "Rogue, what I smell here ain't pretty…there's some things I don't think the Cajun wants you to know. Can't blame him. Don't think I'd care to have anybody I cared about knowin' some of the stuff that's happened to me either." He placed a paw on her arm. "Let me go look for him. I don't always trust him…but I understand him. Why don't ya wait here while I go take a look-see?"

She squelched her questions, knowing Wolverine was most probably right. It still rankled. Well, she could be sneaky, too. "All right. But let me know what ya find, ya ugly brute, or Ah'll nevah fo'give ya."

Rogue watched him move out, then managed to evade Jean and Storm to follow him. They passed the seediest looking places, wandered through dank alleyways and twisting paths until Wolverine stopped beside a partially filled dumpster.

"This is where he spent the night. Scent goes that way." He marched over to her hiding place, crossed his arms and gave her a resigned look. "Gal, do ya really think I wouldn't know I was bein' trailed? Wind's behind ya."

"Ah gotta find him, Logan. Ah know ya meant the best, but Ah want ta be the one to bring him back…or have him tell me he don't want ta come back. Ah don't care what Sinister did ta him. Ah just want to tell him…"

"That yer carryin' his kid?"

"Wha…how'd ya know? Hank promised--"

"Come on, Rogue. Ya know I can pick out different scents. Well, yers fairly screams it." He chuckled, then sobered. "No wonder ya want to find him. Just be prepared for him not ta be too happy to see ya."

She swiped at her eyes, then glowered at him. "It doesn't matter. Ah just have ta know he's all right. Now which way'd he go?"

With a grunt, Wolverine gestured toward the alley's entry onto a main street.

"Well, lead on McDuff. Ah'll be right behind ya."

Gambit found Tante Matte without difficulty. She greeted him warmly, concern filling her chocolate brown eyes.

"Chile, what you go yo'self into now? No, don' anwer dat. Come inside an' let Tante Matte fix you a posset." She bustled around her kitchen, preparing her special brew.

He inhaled the familiar aromas from his childhood. Rosemary, pennyroyal, rue, incense of all sorts and some unidentifiable essence that came from the old healer. He had to tell her some of the horrors he'd been through, but first he'd take comfort in her mothering. A thing only she'd given him over the years. Matte returned with the steaming cup, motioning him to drink up. As he drained the mug he could feel her appraising gaze, knowing she could sense much from it.

"Dieu, you been through some tough times lately, haven't you. Tell me what you will…I can guess some of it. Dat creature Sinister been at you again?"

Remy couldn't suppress the start at her perceptiveness. "Oui, but dere's more to it den jus' dat."

"You finally found another woman?" Tante Matte peered at him. "It's dat Rogue, isn't it?" She tsked. "Thought she couldn't touch anyone. What kind of love is dat? Oh, nothin' wrong wit' likin' each other first…but it'll never lead ta anythin'."

For a moment, memories of Rogue's lovemaking overwhelmed Remy. He closed his eyes, reliving the feel of her against him, then pushed it away, knowing he had lost her forever. "Dere you're wrong. We been together…but after dis I doubt she'll want anythin' ta do wit' me. I need your help…I feel..." He swallowed the bile rising at the other, less pleasant memories flooding his mind.

"Tell me what happened. Den mebbe I can heal the wounds. Gotta know the nature of de injury 'for I can treat it."

He didn't tell her everything, but what he left unsaid Tante Matte filled in on her own. She made him take an herbal bath and took away his clothes to launder. When he finished soaking she gave him a robe to wear and attended to his scratches.

"De t'ings of de body are de easy ones ta deal wit', chile. I can only help some wit' de t'ings of de soul. For dat you need help from your woman." She stopped his protest. "If she loves you den dat love will heal de wounds dat monster left on you."

"But it's not fair to her to expose her to dat danger. Sinister's already tol' me he's not done wit' me yet. I can't take de chance he might hurt her."

"You t'ink dat's gonna stop her? If she loves you, she'll find you. You gonna turn her away? Hurt her yourself?" Matte snorted. "Some kinda love dat is…de kind you don't need ta give her. Now get yo'self onto dat cot an' git some rest."

She fussed over him, then once he laid down she began a ritual of spiritual cleansing. Though she'd told him she couldn't do it all, she promised him at least a start. He fell asleep to the sound of her chanting…the smell of incense strong around him.

"He's in there." Wolverine gestured to the balcony he and Rogue stood below.

"That's Tante Matte's place." She remembered it from when she'd tended Belle…when she'd first glimpsed what making love with Remy could be like from Belle's memories. The implications of his being at the healer's place slammed her hard. Oh Lawd, how bad had Sinister hurt him?

"Ah'm goin' up. Alone." She scowled at Wolverine.

"Whatever you say, darlin'. Can I let Storm and Jean know we've found him?"

"Not yet. Ah gotta find out…how he is…if he wants ta come back." She took a shuddery breath. "If'n he don't want ta come back, then Ah think we should leave an' say we couldn't find him."

"Don't ya think he should have the final say on that?"

"Of course!" She hesitated. "But if he don't want anythin' ta do with me…Ah'll call ya in…mebbe he'll talk ta you even if he won't talk ta me."

With sweating palms, she climbed the stairs. Tante Matte answered her knock, the look on her face as if she expected Rogue to appear.

"Come in, chile. He's in de next room." Matte ushered her toward the beaded curtain dividing her kitchen and treatment room, then left her alone with Gambit.

Rogue looked down on Remy, relaxed in sleep. As quietly as possible, she pulled a stool next to the bed. Determination lit her face as she pulled off her gloves and reached for his face. Instantly, his eyes flew open…the red irises dilated against the black sclera.

"No!" He flinched away from her touch.

Rogue despised the tears that filled her eyes, the way her lips trembled. He hated her. He didn't want her anymore, didn't trust her, wouldn't accept the child she carried. She got up so abruptly the stool turned over. Without a word she turned to flee.

He caught her arm, careful to avoid touching her bare skin. "Wait, cheré."

"Why? Ya don't want me here," she bit out, her voice choked with tears.

Despite his self-loathing, Gambit sensed her pain at what she perceived as his rejection. He couldn't bear her to think he didn't want her.

"Naw, dat's not true." He tugged on her arm. "Come on, sit beside me."

Reluctantly, Rogue sank onto the cot. "Now what? Y'all tell me it was a big mistake…that there's nothin' between us 'cept bein' team members?"

"Dieu, it's not like dat!"

"Then what? Tell me what happened. Ah need to know what made ya not trust me anymo'."

Gambit ran a hand through his damp hair. "Cheré, it's bad…real bad. An' I don' know if dere's any way ya'll ever forgive me for what happened."

"Oh, foh heaven's sake, Remy! Ya already tol' me 'bout the Marauders an' the Morlocks. What could be worse then that? Ah don't believe there's a really bad bone in yo' body…" She grinned for a moment. "Well, maybe one…but that don't count 'cause Ah like that bone."

Remy couldn't help it. He chuckled. Then he decided he'd better come clean with her. Better to have her turn away now than later.

"Ain't pretty, cheré,"

"Ah can live with it. But when yo' done, it's mah turn."

"Ya want me ta tell ya…or do ya want to see it? In my mind?"

"Ya'd trust me enough ta let me do that?" She growled at his nod. "Then why'd ya stop me befo'?"

"Didn' want ya ta see it wit'out talkin' to ya first." He smiled crookedly at her, then took her hand. "Any time, cheré."

Carefully, Rogue let the power seep through her, channeling it through her hand and into his. Barely a minute passed before she saw all that Remy had lived through the last two weeks. Her eyes flew open as he slumped against her. Tears streamed down her cheeks.

"Oh, Remy…what have I done?"

To be continued.


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