Stories in this series
"And the Walls Came a'Tumblin' Down"
Remy catches Rogue in the midst of one of her more self-pitying moods and invites
her along on one of his late-night partying jaunts to New York City.
Rogue and Gambit play Bonnie and Clyde.
(Some sexual innuendo)
Rogue and Gambit experience the pain, disorientation and fear of a major life-changing
17 years after the events in "...Walls...," Rogue
and Gambit, now happily married and with children, reconsider what their happiness
Rogue and Gambit mourn the loss of someone dear.
Disclaimer: The X-Men characters,
and all other recognizable characters are copyright to Marvel
Entertainment Group. I am not Catholic but I do know something
about the religion. Any inaccuracies could be my fault or
they could be part of the story. (What, you think I'm gonna
tell you which? Pshaw!)
Copyright: This work of FanFiction and the original
characters (Alex) described within are the intellectual property
of K-NICE and her IRL persona. No copying, distributing or
editing of this material is permitted without the express
permission of the creator, K-Nice, under United States copyright
Relax, I won't sue you. I'll just ask my Cousin Tony to choke
you with his dreds.
The whole Iceman as a thief thing can be credited to Lori
McDonald and Valerie Jones -- This is not their Bobby but
they got me thinking along those lines.
Continuity: The following is an alternate future set
17 years after And the Walls Came Tumblin'
Thanks to Em-Spider, TimeSprite and Sparks for Beta work
© K-Nice 1999
(is in The Eyes of the Beholder)
Rebecca grinned as her daughter swung on the lower branches
of a large cypress tree that jutted out from the swamps into
the luscious lawn of the family mansion. Brianne was still
a complete and utter tomboy at ten, and her mother wouldn't
dream of discouraging her -- but white communion dresses were
not designed for tree-climbing, and it was only a matter of
time before her ten-year-old cousin Robbie tried to look up
Robbie was sitting on the grass, probably ruining his white
suit pants and watching the tree like it held the keys to
Rebecca sighed and fanned herself with one on the straw fans
kept on the verandah for that very purpose. She swept one
fine yet strong wrist along her cheek to wipe away some offending
sweat without dirtying her hands. Content that her little
girl would do herself no harm (though giving the dress up
for dead), she turned toward the impromptu game of catch that
had sprung up around the azaleas. Her oldest, a tall thin
thirteen-year-old named Etienne, and his much older cousin,
Michel, where tossing a football around, over the heads of
their younger siblings. Brian, Brianne's fraternal twin, was
frantically jumping into the air, trying to intercept the
pigskin and scuffing his white dress shoes with every attempt.
Unfortunately, he made little progress, since he kept colliding
with his cousins and second cousins who competed with him
for the right to play with the older boys.
Someone said something to her, snapping her attention back
to the conversation. "Rogue, honey, how long will y'all
be stayin' in New Orleans?" That syrupy voice could only
belong to her brother-in-law's wife (not her sister-in-law,
no way could she be related to such a . . .), Penelope, who
took pleasure in blaming Rebecca for everything and anything
that happened in the family. She purposefully used Rebecca's
old code name just to rub in the fact that she had retired
it. Penny was known to proclaim that a woman who couldn't
hack it as a mercenary and a mutant terrorist certainly had
no place as a thief. But then, that was why Rebecca had retired
from that life and put the name Rogue in a lock box along
with all the things it meant. Rebecca was a wife and a mother
and a thief. Nothing more. Nothing less. No excess baggage.
Of course, she had neither the inclination nor the ability
to explain that to Penny.
"Ah'm not sure, sugah, Ah'll have to ask mah husband."
Rebecca smiled sweetly with her lips and smirked with her
eyes. She rose gracefully from her wicker armchair and faced
her companions. There were about six of them, and they were
sitting around a beautiful glass table, under a welcome umbrella,
sipping lemonade and gossiping. "Ah'll be rahght back,
ladies. Don't y'all whispa 'bout me while Ah'm gone."
She favored the others with a genuine smile.
BellaDonna, who was trying not to snicker in her lemonade,
had been a friend for a long time. After they had gotten over
the whole "you stole my man, my memories and ruined my
hometown" thing, they found they could respect one another.
And Belle had so many wonderful stories and understood what
it was like to be a woman and a professional. Belle also wished
she had a excuse for fleeing the table. The other women
where neither thieves nor assassins in their on right, but
they were LeBeaus and their husbands were likely Guildmembers.
They were pleasant company, all except Henri's current wife,
who insisted she was matriarch of the family, even if Jean-Luc
had remarried. She had been regaling them with her arguments
for her superiority over their father-in-law's young wife
when Rebecca's mind drifted away.
Now, she stepped away from the flagstone verandah and out
into the lawn. She quickly swept her eyes over her children
to make sure they were behaving. Several male eyes swept over
her and reminded her that even at 39 she still looked as she
did the day she absorbed Ms. Marvel, forever changing her
aging process. Sure, there were the first hints of laugh lines
and crows feet that were still a decade or so in the future,
but at least she had her figure. She fought the urge to strut
around the corner. It was difficult to walk in grass in high-heels,
especially with the ground soft from the same spring rains
that made it so unbearably muggy, so Rebecca let herself float
just above the lawn. She stopped to wave and speak to people
who she barely knew but who had shown her kindness from the
first day she became a member of their family. She heard more
comments about the length of their stay but she again resisted
giving a definitive answer. Atlanta was nice, but she could
detect a little homesickness in Remy, no matter how hard he
tried to conceal it. She could understand his feelings as
she approached the main entrance to the house.
The grand white columns support a massive porch roof. The
mansion would reek of Old South if it wasn't for the mix of
people mingling at its entryway. There were only about eight
people there, but the variety they presented was astounding.
First with the Brotherhood, then with the X-Men, Rebecca had
been exposed to many more cultures and peoples than were available
to her in Caldecott County, MS, but the fact that all these
people were part of the same biological family still boggled
her mind. She gazed at the many shades, shapes and sizes and
smiled because this was the status quo that accepted her white
streak as normal.
They, too, greeted her, some disdainfully, others friendly,
and a few trying to curry favor. She handled them all as she
had learned from her mother, Mystique, from her friend, Charles
Xavier, and from her Papa, Jean-Luc LeBeau: a smile and a
lie for all those who cared to believe.
Once inside, Rebecca was able to ignore the rich furnishings
and classic architecture only because her mind was pondering
Penny's question. How long would they stay? They had come
back to New Orleans for Brian and Brianne's confirmation at
the Church of Thieves, which had become a huge family affair
since Robbie and some others were also confirmed at the same
time. With Memorial Day only a few weeks away, with the huge
family picnic and the parade and visiting the tombs and such,
it seemed they should just stay down instead of leaving and
Rebecca sighed and mounted the back stairs near the kitchen.
Usually, the LeBeau men, which included Remy, Henri, Jean-Luc
and few hangers-on like Lapin, would thrill to the chance
to barbecue and impress themselves, and their expanded audience,
with their bravado at pepper eating. However, shortly after
the ceremony Lapin and Henri had departed. Rebecca had ridden
home . . . to the family home wondering what the rush had
been. Now she made her way to Jean-Luc's (or Papa LeBeau as
she had come to call him) office, where they would likely
"Oh, Hi Des!" Rebecca stopped short to avoid colliding
with Desdemona LeBeau, her new mother-in-law. Des looked at
her, obviously not paying attention. Rebecca reared back.
The woman, though young in appearance, perhaps in her late
twenties, early thirties, had old, dangerous eyes. They seemed
to change as Rebecca stared, becoming carefree and youthful
again. They stood in the hall, observing each other in silence.
Finally, Des decided to speak. "Rebecca, you look lovely,
chere. I like de way light green plays wit' ya eyes. Ya rahly
should ware it more often." And seemed that Des knew
that Rebecca had worn enough green as Rogue to last her a
Des seemed to know a lot of things in that one look.
She herself still wasn't sure why she had chosen the dress,
except that it was her best Sunday-go-to-meeting that didn't
cost more than the GNP of a few small countries. But, for
some reason, Des reminded her of Raven, who had been her mother
when she needed one. Des had that same dangerous glint and
suddenly Rebecca realized that Des was not as young as she
seemed. In fact, she would bet that Des was nearly as old
as Jean-Luc, who was the oldest human she knew of at 174 years
(although he didn't have any exact birth records, he remembered
when Jackson Square had another name, and that was good enough
for most people).
Rebecca looked at her appraisingly. "Thank you, sugah.
Maybe we should make some time to talk latah, just you and
me?" Rebecca narrowed her eyes. If Des was hiding things,
and it was obvious that she was, Rebecca didn't want her family
to be hurt when the skeletons jumped out of the closet. One
touch was all she need but now was not the time. Des just
nodded absently and continued down the hall.
With her mind still mulling over the strange exchange, Rebecca
approached the oak doors of Papa's office. She could hear
muffled, angry voices and suddenly the door swung open violently.
Too startled to move, instead she stood her ground. The door
shattered as it struck her. Her invulnerability protected
her from the splintered wood but not so the person behind
"Oh mah god, are you alright?" Rebecca reached
blindly for the man who had been thrown down, his hand still
around the doorknob.
"Yeah, I'm fine, Rogue. You okay?" The voice was
cool and light and Northern -- Long Island to be precise --
and the hands that gripped hers as she pulled them from the
floor were unnaturally cold.
"Bobby!" Rebecca shrieked excitedly and ignored
his use of that other name. He was allowed to refer to her
that way because it reminded him of their time as heroes and
the torch he used to carry for her. She hugged her friend
without a second thought as to why he was there. She had not
seen him in the church, and while it had not come to her then,
she should have realized he was here when she saw little Robert
playing in the yard. She sighed again and lead him back into
"Robert . . ." Jean-Luc sounded upset, very upset.
"Your little outburst ruined de door, fils. You should
learn to control dat tempah." Usually such words would
be jovial coming from this man, who seemed to have the patience
of Job, but something was definitely up.
"We just don' appreciate bein' treated like chillen."
In a wing chair beside a picture window sat Rebecca's sister-in-law.
She did not usually speak up for her husband, letting him
fight his own battles, but apparently, things had gone too
far for her to sit idly by. Rebecca scanned the room quickly.
Henri leaned against the teak desk that dominated the room,
while Jean-Luc sat behind it. They both looked grim but not
necessarily angry. Remy was holding up a book shelf, his arms
crossed and his head down, causing his bangs to come down
over his angrily glittering eyes. Alex, dressed in the same
cream jersey dress she had worn to church, stared out the
window without expression. Bobby, who now stood next to the
doorjamb, was quickly becoming furious again.
"What's goin' on?" Rebecca was tense. She didn't
like fighting within the family and she knew it had to be
something serious for them to all be so upset. The LeBeaus
laughed together, cried together, and even killed and died
together, but they never fought each other. It was something
Rebecca had come to count on and appreciate. If she had been
raised in a family like this -- one where children never heard
their parents argue, where children were never harmed no matter
how mischievous, no matter how drunk their fathers were or
how vicious their mothers could be -- she was sure things
would have been different for her. Deep inside her, she felt
ill at the thought that such things might happen here, in
this family. She waited for an answer.
Alex spoke up, "Papa wants us to move back to Nawlins.
He refuses to acknowledge de fact dat we 'ave our own responsibilities
dat are keepin' us in New York. He won' accept dat we grown
folk wit' our own bidness to handle, not his personal lap-dogs."
Her tone grew uglier and uglier as she spoke. It was jarring
for a her to being acting this
way. She and Bobby were the very definition of "happy-go-lucky."
Yet Rebecca felt she could put a name on the younger woman's
bitterness. Alex wasn't aware of it, but what she really meant
was 'Remy and Rebecca get to live their own lives in Georgia,
why should we get collared and chained in the backyard?"
Rebecca sympathized, but what could she do? Jean-Luc had
made up his mind and the Drakes could either obey him or defy
him, each choice carrying its own consequences.
The hurt look that came over Jean-Luc's face at his daughter's
tone was painful to watch. "Pahaps we should take a little
break from dis. Dere's a whole buncha folk here and we should
be wit' our guests." He stood, carefully avoiding anyone's
eyes. "We will finish dis . . . later."
Everyone slowly filed out and returned to the luncheon party.
Rebecca was on her way out too, but Remy never moved, so she
dropped back and stayed to see what was on his mind.
"Sugah?" She sat in a reading chair and watched
as he sunk to his knees in the crouch she knew so well from
their experiences together in the business. After Rogue learned
to control her powers, she felt the need to bone up on her
"professional skills." Even before they got married,
Remy had worked with her to improve her abilities on the "dark
side." He had been her closest friend and her partner
even before he was her husband. During that time, she had
learned to recognize this as Remy's planning mode:
that distant, eerie look, his body tensed to move in any direction
but his mind clear and focused.
Remy lifted his head. "Papa want's one of us at 'ome.
Eider me or Alex. Wit'out de Elixir, he's startin' to age,
slowly, but still . . . And he wan's to be sure Henri will
have de support he needs when de time comes for 'im ta be
Guild Master." He paused to run a hand over his face
and through his shoulder-length brown hair, which had somehow
come l0ose from its clip. Not one grey hair, and very few
lines to his face made her glad he had taken the Elixir, though
at the time she had raged. He is so handsome, part
of Rebecca couldn't help but remark, while the rest of her
focused on his words. "Chere, we been livin' in Atlanta
fa years now and we settled dere. De kids have school and
we have work but . . . I t'ink we should come back to Nawlins."
He spoke quietly, softly. He was trying to avoid an outburst.
"WHAT!!!" Rogue was on her feet and pacing. "You
know we can't do that, Remy." Stop, wring hands. "We
cain't!" Start again. "You said it yaself, we're
settled up there, that's our home now." Turn. "We
cain't move now, it's the middle of the school year."
Turn. Stop. "Don't you remember why we left in the first
place?" Tight angry steps. "We couldn't even have
our wedding here, that's how many people wanted to kill us.
Ah've been an outcast all mah life, Ah won't bring mah chiljin
up that way." Stop. Turn. Stop. "No. We are not
moving to Nawlins. It's out of the question." Sharp head
nod. "Besides, we're down here for all the holidays and
for Guild business and the like." Start. "And another
thing -- How much help could Henri need, Ah mean, he's as
old as Logan for chrissakes! And there's only one Guild now,
so there's no reason for the Assassins to suddenly want to
break off, again, and fight a pointless, bloody war for a
couple hundred years, again. So he really doesn't need you."
Remy stood after the second time she nearly kicked him with
her vigorous pacing. He remained calm as she raged because
he knew from long experience that was the only way to discuss
things when one on them felt very strongly about an issue.
"First off, chere, you may have noticed dat nobody tryin'
to kill us anymore. Dat was 15 years ago! Some of dem people
are dead now." He spoke a bit more forcefully than he
intended, but it was true. She was about to interject but
he paused her with a look. He ticked off the next point on
his finger. "Deuxieme, we are not outcasts. I'm de friggin
heir-apparent, dere ain't a body in dis city dat wouldn't
lick my boots if dey t'ought in would give dem an in. And
its de same for you." He realized he was now pacing and
forced himself to sit still. "Troisieme, I'm de heir-apparent,
it should be me who stays, not Alex. It's part of de territory
but Papa knows how you feel so he gave us an out. And before
you suggest dat we take it, t'ink about Alex and Bobby. Bobby's
gotta be near his folks in case sumt'in happen to dem. And
dey're de real outcasts since Bobby ain't Guild." Rebecca
was about to protest when he held up his hands "Okay,
yeah he Guild, and maybe he don' suck dat bad but e'rybody
knows he got in so he could marry Alex and dey don' like it.
Fourth, and I don' wanna sound repetitious but, I'm de heir-apparent--"
They both grinned, the heat of the argument sliding away.
Rebecca sat beside him on the floor. "--and if Belle
were to challenge Henri, and she could, now dat de Guild's
are one and de same, I would have t' take a huge part in figurin'
out who would rule. T' do dat, I have to have de ear of de
Guild and Council bot', which means--"
"You need to be here. Why didn't you tell me any of
this before? Why keep all this from me?" Rebecca felt
hints of the fear she had felt the first time she had fallen
in love with this man.
"I didn't keep nuthin' from ya. We talked about dis
when we first moved, you just didn't t'ink 'bout it aftah
dat." He bristled a bit, the way he used to such a long
The accusation lay between them in the pained silence like
a specter of hells survived and demons best left behind. Rebecca
got up and walked to the window. She looked out at the people
gathered below, few of whose faces she recognized. She hadn't
realized how few of them she really knew personally. And they
were supposed to be her family. They were her family. They
accepted her and loved her. And she? She avoided them like
she avoided her old names. She knew she needed action, thrived
on it, even now. When it was just her and Remy, working together,
albeit as thieves, and making their marriage work in that
lovely suburban house in Atlanta, it was wonderful. But, throw
the Guild and the LeBeau clan into the mix and then what would
happen? She didn't want to risk her happiness.
Remy walked up behind her, placed his hands on her arms and
looked out over her shoulder. She could feel him smile. "Dey
sumt'in else, huh! Really, Rebichere, what we got in Georgia
is nice, real nice, but dis, dis is what we need. You and
me bot'. We need "home" and "family".
We always have and we always will. Why settle for jus' four
people who love and respect you when you could have a hundred?"
He released her and stepped back, lighting a cigarette.
She continued to stare at the tableau vivant below her. The
acrid smell of smoke reached her and the woman who was once
the fastest X-Man snatched the cigarette from her husband's
lips. "Ah thought you quit?"
"I did quit, I'm jus'--"
"Ya're just nothin'! Quit is quit as in none."
She right away recognized the cigarette as Papa's brand, from
the one time she had done the massive shopping that kept the
LeBeau mansion stocked. She hadn't thought about it in a long
time, but it had been fun to shop for them all. Even shopping
with Penny was better than shopping alone. Barely.
"I haven't had a smoke in fourteen years, chere . .
." He's irises gleamed red in their black sclera's as
an insouciant grin enveloped his face. She was not too busy
ripping the offending object to bits to notice that incorrigible
smile that had won her heart once upon a time.
"Were you funnin' me, Cajun?" Rebecca knew he was
but that was part of the game.
"Me, Chere? Never!" He slipped a hand around her
waist and plamed several more smokes from the cigarette case
on the desk. "Seriously, m'amour, you were lookin' a
little down, so t'ought I'd destract ya. We don' have to decide
now. Mon pere won' have time to 'arass Alex and Bobby until
tomorrow. Let's go make wit' de gracious hosts and such, hmmm?"
He was already guiding her out of the room.
As Rebecca ushered the children to bed late that night, she
walked past Alex' old bedroom. She stopped for a second to
listen to their agitated whispers and quiet tears. It was
well before twelve and the house was still gaily alight for
the most part, but their room was dark, foreboding. She was
the one that had paired Bobby and Alex together in her wedding
party. They had looked so good together as they danced, just
a bridesmaid and a groomsman, but that started the spark so
she had always counted herself partly responsible for their
happiness. Until now, she had felt good about bringing them
together. Tonight, she had the power to end their pain, but
her vaunted strength was not up to the task.
Remy's words played in her mind. Family was more than three
kids, a minivan and a picket fence. She had never been normal
-- not in Caldecott, not with the Brotherhood, not in the
X-Men, not in her sacred slice of suburbia. She was always
conscious of her difference -- a poor, abused tomboy, a mutant
who couldn't control her powers, a reformed villainess, a
secret criminal who decorated her living room using funds
from the ill-gotten gains of other criminals. Family was acceptance.
And this family accepted her. Family was being needed and
depended on. Rebecca was the only one who suspected Des was
more than a long-lost Guild scion nobody had seen in a while.
As long as Des was here, her family would have to be protected
from whatever danger she might one day present. Guilt over
eavesdropping overtook her, and Rebecca walked on past their
door and moved quickly towards the room she and Remy claimed
as their own on visits.
He sat in a chair, facing the window. With his elbows on
his knees, he seemed to lean into the view, where the moon
hung, an impossibly bright crescent, bathing the grounds and
the swamps beyond in celestial light. Rebecca's throat caught.
The night she kissed Cody flashed into her mind and faded
just as quickly. She put away the specters of the past --
daydreams and nightmares, successes and failures and always
the shame and sadness.
Rebecca tried to float into the room silently but he turned
anyway. She just smiled and beckoned him to bed. She had yet
to apologize for her doubts, but she knew just how to wipe
the pain away.
Finally, as the moon reached the other side of the house
and left them in half-remembered shadow, they lay silently.
Rebecca closed her eyes and imagined they were home in Atlanta.
She felt something slip away -- the security, the peace, the
pride -- to be replaced by a little bit of guilt and a desire
to conceal her true self. That is what Atlanta felt like and
she had never really noticed it before.
Rebecca ran a hand along Remy's arm muscles, still so well-defined
and his skin so smooth. He turned to her and hugged her close.
Quietly taking his hand, she whispered into his ear, "There
are good schools in New Orleans and we won't have any trouble
getting a baby-sitter."
And they would be happy.
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