Stories by RogueStar
Gambit finds his way back to the Mansion ... and asks for a retrial.
Rogue and Gambit both suffer through reminders that neither of them can escape
their pasts. (Unfinished.)
"Blowing in the Wind"
In honor of the Gambit Guild's "Gambit Day," RogueStar writes a story of reconciliation and hope for Rogue and Gambit.
"The Briar Patch"
A dark, thorny look at how Rogue might internally view her powers. Takes place
after Rogue's emergence from the Siege Perilous.
A series of holiday-themed stories about personal despair and choices
for the future, featuring Siryn, Rogue, Gambit and Marrow.
A series of three stories written as a gift for the mailing lists Southern Comfort and Gambit Guild.
- featuring Gambit and Bebete (the green mist lady)
"Gold" - featuring Cyclops and Phoenix
"Myrrh" - featuring Rogue, Gambit and Nightcrawler
"Demain des l'aube"
Rogue mourns the death of her mother and plans to pass Raven's teachings on to her own unborn child.
"The Eighth Color of the Rainbow"
After his "death" at the end of the Magneto War, Joseph makes one last trip to Salem Center to say a very special goodbye.
In a pocket universe where Rogue stayed in the service of her foster mother Mystique, Rogue becomes known as the woman who killed Magneto. (Unfinished.)
"For My Daughter"
A woman in Mississippi writes a long-overdue letter to her daughter.
Rogue and Gambit think back to when they once decided to break up for good -- and laugh at their younger selves' naivete. Written in response to the recent X-book writing/editorial decision to break them up.
Just before Rogue and Remy are set to leave for their honeymoon, Rogue finally reveals the real reasons she's so uneasy about being with him. A response to Rogue and Gambit's rumored break-up in Gambit #16.
"The Horse of Another
Magnus, the Mage, demands a tithe from a small town every month. This time,
he wants the townspeople to deliver Rogue as his tribute, or else find for him
the mythical horse of a different color. (Unfinished. In revision.)
"The Sword and the Rose"
Sabrina and Remy LeBeau settle into their new roles as husband and wife as they
train and prepare to defend themselves in a world that has become even more
Rogue asks Gambit to accept the real her. A response to "All's
Fair..." by R.V. Bemis.
Rogue and Gambit make their piece and decide to get back together. In response
to Gambit #16.
In a different world, Mystique had early ties to the Thieves Guild and sent
Rogue to New Orleans to study the arts of thievery.
Gambit offers Jean a small comfort as she grieves over Cyclops' apparent death.
Inspired by UXM #386.
As Rogue lay dying, probably of the Legacy Virus, Gambit fulfills her final wish: one last dance.
"The Magician and the Butterfly"
Sabine Robbins leaves her settled life with Cody as a farmer's wife and runs away with a circus magician. Told from mulitple perspectives.
"A Matter of
When Soldier Alpha escapes the project and joins the rebels, it is up to a Black
Striper to bring her to justice. Unfinished.
Rogue stares at her reflection in the mirror and evaluates what she is -- and
isn't. X-Men: Evolution universe.
Queen and the Hunter"
Barely more than a child when she married Magnus, Rogue quietly defers to her
husband, then feels the urge to rebel. Age of Apocalypse.
to the Rooftop"
As they settle into their new roles as leaders of the X-Men, Rogue and Gambit
try to settle into another role as well: platonic friends.
(with Keri Wilson)
After their wedding, Rogue and Gambit record a farewell message of sorts
for Sehkmet Conoway. Sillyfic.
Sim Salem Project
An ongoing series of stories in which Rogue and Gambit are living a happy
suburban life with their precocious son, Luc.
"The Cherry Cookie Incident"
"The Sphinx's Question"
"Gotta Learn Them All"
"Saturday Morning in Salem Center"
"The Cabbage Patch"
Centering on the relationship between Rogue and Remy and on the growing human
intolerance of mutants, this story begins (in terms of "normal" continuity)
just before Bishop joins the team and ends just after LegionQuest.
When Mercy LeBeau comes to deliver some news to Gambit, she falls in lust with Iceman and chaos ensues. (Unfinished.)
After coming back home to the X-Mansion, many of the X-Men, including Rogue and Colossus, try to make peace with the ghosts in their lives. (Unfinished.)
(With Faith Barnett)
Just after the Trial of UXM 350, the various X-Men try to get on with their
in the Woods"
Banished to the woods after her disastrous encounter with Cody, Rogue is suspicious
when she meets a beautiful woman who wants to take care of her.
"A Window to Her Soul"
Colossus awakens and finds inspiration in Rogue's sleeping form.
elsewhere in Alykat's World:
"The Morning Paper"
Hank and Bobby miss seeing their favorite comic strip in the Sunday paper. A
tribute to Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.
(at (un)frozen and Stars & Garters)
Web sites: textualchemy, RogueStar's Galaxy, Caldecott,
in the House
A Walk in the Woods
For as long as I can remember, I've searched
for things to worship -- bits of rock, storm fronts, bugs
with turquoise glitter on their wings. But rocks chip, storms
churn themselves out, and bugs can be crushed with a heel
or a raindrop. Gods change colors and spin themselves new
garments every day. The most we can hope for is to be allowed
to watch. I have learned that the products of worship are
always two-fold. If you study the moon too hard for too long,
it'll fall down luminous upon you. And with moon in your eyes
and moon anchoring your feet, you can never see the stars
again. I'm looking for the place where worship finds balance,
where it does not debase me or exalt me so high that I cannot
return. Gods change colors and spin themselves new garments
every day. I want to be able to stand in awe of them, one
at a time.
~ Sheri Reynolds, 'Bitterroot Landing'
The child had been walking through the forest for what felt
to have been a thousand years. Time had lost all meaning for
her, as had distance. The trees had merged into an amorphous
mass of green without a landmark to break them or distinction
between them. The only difference, in fact, between when she
had first set out and then, was the frequency of the pain
that lanced through her legs and belly. An average folkloric
heroine might have taken the endless walking and the diet
that consisted primarily of apples, roots and nuts in their
stride, but a small, scared girl was physically incapable
Against her better judgement, she knew she had to make camp.
Preferably somewhere sheltered and hidden, when a fire would
not be seen by the townsfolk who still searched for her. A
fire was essential, she realised. Although hunting had depleted
the woods of a great deal of both predators and prey - Caldecott
had been a center of the fur-trade in days before animal rights
- there was still said to be everything from bears to wolves
in the woods by certain venerable citizens, whose main motive
was probably to prevent children from roaming in them. She
suddenly saw the wisdom of their words, although her flight
into the forest had not been by choice so much as from necessity.
Sinking down against a tree for a brief rest before she found
a suitable site to sleep, her mind returned as it always did
to Cody Robbins. The reason that she had been ... encouraged
to depart her hometown. He had been her only friend, the sole
person who had talked to the skunk. Her lips tightened in
a strangely adult gesture at the memory of the deprecating
nickname. Their insults had been without too much imagination,
but still stung in a way that defied logic, until they had
picked up some new words from a Friends of Humanity rag that
Creed had distributed. Mutie. Genejoke. Freak. Cody had been
her staunch defender against them, saying that she was as
human as he was, that the trick streak in her hair was just
a birthmark like the blotch on Adam's arm or the moles that
freckled Leanne's back. He had been the golden boy of the
class - son of the town's doctor, class-captain for four years
running, baseball star and mathematical whizzkid. She had
not known why he had bothered with her. He should not have
bothered with her.
The answer to that particular question had come on one sultry
Sunday afternoon, when the soup-plate blossoms of the magnolias
had been kindergarten stars against a paintbox-blue sky. Stubborn
and proud as always, she had been determined to show him that
she was capable of swinging on the boy's rope better than
he was. For all his fine qualities, Cody was a patriarch in
the making and had more than once made a comment about 'girls
not being able to use a boy's rope'. In her flimsy, white
dress, gloves and church-going shoes, she had quickly demolished
that particular fallacy by all-but-flying over and over the
broad river (1) at the end of the rope.
Finally, convinced that she had put him straight in that regard,
she had jumped lightly off it to land on her feet and grin
triumphantly at him. She had expected him to make a suitably
insulting comment but had found that he was watching her with
a strange intensity that had made her feel uncomfortable and
strangely gooey at the same time. The conversation still rang
in her mind like the bells that had sounded far away on that
"Tain't no such thing as a boy's rope, Cody! If'n Ah wanna
swing on it, Ah'll do as Ah please." (2)
"A' right, so ya proved how brave ya is. Now get down 'efore
ya fall inta the river," then the words that had been so sweet
and wonderful at the time: "If'n anything ever happened to
ya, sugah, Ah'd up an' die."
She had been nervous, scared of their relationship changing:
"Why ... why'd ya call me sugah?"
He had seemed lost for words - the golden boy whose show-and-tell
efforts were epic sagas to rival any bard and held their class
rapt: "Ah guess, 'cause underneath all yer tough words an'
even tougher wrasslin' yer just a sweet li'l thing. At least
Ah reckon ya are. 'Course, only one way t'know for sure ...
If only he had stopped there, she thought, if only he had
believed the true-for-once class gossip, believed that she
really was a mutie. No good human boy would have kissed a
freak, would have been more eager to kiss a snake or a toad.
At least the latter would have only given him warts. She shivered
as she remembered how the world had stopped making sense,
how she was suddenly Cody, thinking that he liked her
more than anyone else in the world, then becoming scared and
confused as he felt ... the something begin. She did not know
what to call the ... something, did not want to give it a
name, because that would acknowledge it existed. That she
was a genejoke, a freak, a mutie.
She sniffed, rubbing her eyes angrily with a decidedly grubby
hand to stop the prickling. She was no longer a child, could
no longer act like one since she had killed her best friend.
The three days it took the townsfolk to find them with their
shotguns had aged her more than any passage of years could
have hoped to do, while the days spent in the wood had honed
long-suppressed animal instinct. Woodchucks did not cry, any
more than a bird in the tree would mourn the loss of a friend.
Tears made one lose focus and in her current situation that
was one thing which she could not afford to do. As was, she
thought in alarm as the bushes behind her rustled, she had
come perilously close to it.
Whispering a quick prayer to the deities of the woodsman
- Smith and Wesson - she pointed the shotgun in the direction
of the noise. Her hand was steady, her finger resting on her
trigger, her mind steeling itself for the kill.
"Ah have mah gun trained on ya," she said, attempting to
make her voice deeper and older, grateful for the spaghetti
westerns of which Cody had been fond, "Come out 'fore Ah lose
To her surprise, a tall, slender woman, who her former townsfolk
would have called el-e-gant with all its connotations of scorn,
stepped out of the bushes with her hands spread in front of
her. In a purple dress that could only have been Gucci, and
looks which were exotic if they just missed being beautiful,
she could have been a department-store angel. It was the beginning
of a lifetime of worship for the child, although she did not
know it then, standing with her piece in hand and preparing
"You're the one they were talking about in Caldecott, aren't
you?" the apparition said with a smile that bordered on the
"Uh huh," the girl grunted noncommittally, not knowing whether
she was a decoy employed by the citizens or another well-meaning
social worker, "Who're ya?"
"A woman after my own heart," the hint of sly pleasure had
become full-blown, "Gets straight to the point over a barrel
of a gun. Well, a direct question deserves a direct answer.
As direct as things get with me, mind you. My name is Raven
Darkholme, or Ronnie Lake, or anything else I choose it to
be. Mystique'll do at a pinch, but you can call me mama or
something equally asinine."
She lowered the weapon slightly, "Ya a social worker?"
The statement seemed to amuse the strange woman beyond proportion.
She did not understand why her simple question had provoked
such hilarity, although she would later when Mystique told
her her real calling, which was as far from social worker
as day was from night. Laughing, she shook her head firmly:
"Absolutely not. I'm an ... antisocial worker (3),
"So, why are ya tryin' ta help me?" she did not understand
the pun, was confused by the motives and responses of this
"I don't know," she replied baldly, "I'll probably berate
myself for my stupidity tomorrow. Initially, it was because
Irene told me that I had to do it. Now, because, as I said,
you're a woman after my own heart."
"Huh," the gun fell limply to her side, green eyes rose to
meet hazel ones with a challenge in them, "Bet you'll stop
thinkin' that when you discover Ah'm a mutie freak."
For some reason, that made the woman angry. Her lips tightened
in a gesture similar to the girl's own, her irises blazed
golden. Her fists clenched at her sides, seemingly fighting
a psychological battle with some darker part of herself. Her
voice was very low and very urgent when she spoke again: "You
are a mutant, true, but you aren't a mutie or a freak or a
genejoke or whatever ignorant humans choose to label our species
A single word in the diatribe caught the child's attention,
"Our species? Ya're a gene ... a mootant too?"
"A shapeshifter, child, to be precise," she nodded her head
and, in the time it took to complete the gesture, became someone
else. Someone far more exotic with a double-edged beauty that
was that of a Hindi goddess. Her blue skin was still flawless
beneath auburn waves of hair. Her irises and pupils had both
drowned in a pool of yellow light, which watched the child
with a question in them.
"Wow. Can Ah do that?" childish awe at what seemed to be
a magic-trick had subsumed fear and apprehension. The indigo
lips smiled at her encouragingly, but there was a predatory,
possessive element to it which the child would only remember
and recognise years later on the Golden Gate Bridge while
holding the corpse of the world's greatest heroine in her
"We'll see," she stooped down to the girl's level and took
her chin in a gloved hand, "Irene thinks you can, and I don't
disagree with her on the principle that she's capable of making
me sleep on the couch if I do. In any case, you need to come
with me so I can try to teach you how."
"'Kay," the child agreed, knowing that this Mystique was
possibly her only chance of escaping the woods, the life of
a hunted animal. She seemed to care for her in a strange,
brusque way, and was certainly better than the syrupy social
workers whose care would last as long as it took to place
her in foster-care or a group-home. She had heard stories
about what happened to children in those sort of places and
refused to become another one. Besides, she argued stubbornly
with the part of her that was still cautious, it would be
pretty cool to be anyone she wanted to be.
"Now, do you have anything you need to take besides that
... shotgun?" her wrinkled lip showed exactly what she thought
of the archaic piece.
"Uh uh. Wearin' anything else Ah have," she indicated the
decidedly tattered, travel-stained and filthy clothes she
"So I can smell," she replied without malice, "A bath will
be in order when we get home, child. Possibly more than one.
Oh, and what is your name? I refuse to continue calling you
by that banal appellation. It's positively undignified."
"Sabine Therese Smythe," (4) the girl
replied with some embarrassement. She had always hated the
name, wished that her mother had had the good sense to name
her something plain and servicable like Jane or Sue or Anne.
The children had teased her mercilessly about it at school.
Mystique evidently was like-minded, rolling her eyes when
she heard it.
"Your mother read pulp romances, didn't she?" she commented
ironically, "Still, as I told you, we choose our own name
and identity in my family. So, what do you want to
The drop of black blood in the girl's veins, the part of
her that still saw herself as the townsfolk did, replied:
Mystique raised an eyebrow, "Better than the Daisy May or
Isabella Rose I expected from a girl of your age. Should we
go then, Rogue?"
The girl paused, knowing that there was nothing left to do
or say, but sensing that something was incomplete. She was
leaving her life as Sabine the Skunk behind forever, adopting
a new identity as a snake did a skin or Mystique did a face.
Although she did not mourn the loss, she wanted to commemorate
it, as an explorer would the discovery of a new world.
"Yeah, but can we stop off somewhere on our way home?"
When the children next went down to the river to swing over
it as a proof of their bravery, they were strangely quiet.
Cody had not yet awoken from his coma - the doctor held out
little hope for recovery - and their social galaxy was missing
its golden sun. Still, they suspected, the rituals of play
and fun had to be observed, or else the psychologist would
return with his cards and notepad to ask them how they felt.
So, after church on a sultry Sunday afternoon, they returned
to their favorite spot by the river, the spot where Cody had
been struck down by that mutie. In their bright dresses, the
girls looked like flowers beneath a sky that was as blue as
that in a kindergartener's paintbox. The boys in their suits
looked strangely somber, little mourners returning to lament
the passing of a friend, but they knew that that would change
after a few impromptu games of football and wrestling matches.
They laughed and joked lightly, uncomfortably aware that it
seemed a sacrilege of some holy place, but even that ceased
with the discovery of the writing. Betty Jordan was the first
to see the words gouged into the bark of the tree, ten words
which cast a pall over even the beauty of the Mississippi
morning: "Requiescat in Pace. Sabine Therese Smythe and Cody
Freddy Robbins." (5)
1. Ugh. The TRULY evil Unlimited #4 has
her going over a waterfall, but ... hello, Marvel ... there
are no waterfalls in the lower part of the Mississippi where
2. This story is kinda a rewrite of Unlimited
#4, but I've changed one or two details and fleshed out some
parts I felt did not make sense. Um, for example, with the
furore surrounding mutants, how is it possible that Caldecott
would not have picked up on the word to describe Rogue? She
would undoubtedly have heard it, and, although not understood
it completely, recognised it as an insult. Also ... hmm ...
if she vowed to stay away from people, how would she know
what they called her?
3. Antisocial = against society. Mystique
is a terrorist, so she works against society. :)
4. Heh. It's the only way I can explain
the discrepancy between Cody's surname being Smythe in one
book and Robbins in the next. Rogue's memories are jumbled.
5. Nocenti called him Freddy, but he's
Cody in all the rest. Again, explaining discrepancy.
6. Oh, and I'll be very impressed by anyone
who tells me the connection between this story and the quote.
There is one and it's got nothing to do with the fact that
they're both about Southern lassies who are victims of circumstance,
DISCLAIMER: All characters' are
the sole property of Marvel except for the odd group of children
who are their parents. The prose is all mine so comments to
This was inspired in part by the study of short-stories we
were doing in English, especially Faulkner's 'A Rose for Emily'
and Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery', as well as anything by
Kate Chopin and obviously XMU #4. Read any above if you have
time, because they're all fabulous.
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