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After Gambit's Return >


Chapter 1
Chapter 2

This story is in progress.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Marvel. I do not make any profit from these stories, and no one else is to post, copy, print etc this story without my permission. All other relevant disclaimer stuff is to be considered said.
This is an alternate story line taking place right after Uncanny X-Men #375 right after the Psycho-Drama. I have borrowed a few scenes that are a direct quote from issue #375 and I have mentioned other portions of issue #375 as necessary for this story.
Please enjoy! Let me know what you think!


Chapter One

"What?!" Gambit exhaled in shock as the room came back into focus. He had been attacked by the Dark Pheonix, the Professor was speaking, he realized. Remy tried to make sense of the situation.

" ... and I sympathize with your confusion, under the circumstances. Even played out in your minds, such a psycho-drama involves a high level of risk for all concerned. A risk I couldn't have even considered without the combined support of X-Man, Cable and Jean. It finally proved to be the only way to firmly establish your identities beyond any shadow of doubt, since I discovered that the team had been infiltrated."

"Infiltrated?! Y'put us through dat hell as a TEST, t'satisfy some paranoid delusion?!! Far as I'm concerned, Xavier, dat jus' proves how far GONE y ... "

Storm and the Prof. had gone on with all their justifications of why they did what they did, but Remy had stopped listening. He wanted to yell, and make 'them', the ones involved in the psycho-drama feel the torment and anguish he had felt, holding Rogue, helpless as she died in his arms. While she bravely told him to get on with his life ... that it never would have worked between them ... that actually scared the hell out
of him more than anything else. Had she meant it? Had she been trying to spare him, give him courage to continue living without her even with her last breath? Had it even been her saying those things or was it his own fears of what he thought she would say being used against him by the telepaths? He didn't know, but he sure as hell planned to find out.

She couldn't stand it. She felt as though she had been violated. Violated by people she would have only hours before given her life to protect and fight beside, and more importantly trusted her life with. Rogue wrapped her arms about herself trying to control the shock, revulsion and betrayal she felt. She looked around the room. Marrow looked freaked, her eyes were darting around the room trying to watch everthing and everyone at once. Remy was still doubled over, breathing hard. Kitty didn't look in much better shape holding on to Peter. Rogue turned her attention to Storm. Storm was looking at Jean and Scott, so she turned her attention to them and wished she hadn't. She felt her blood begin to boil. Quickly she looked at Cable, Nate and Xavier. She was still shaking but not from shock. She was angry. More than that, she was livid. Calm. They were all so damn calm. Jean resting her hand on Scott's shoulder, Cable, leaning so non-chalently against a control panel. Nate, quiet and impassive. Even Storm, she who guarded her freedom - free will above all else, didn't reflect even a sliver of remorse for what they had done. At that moment Rogue hated them. Storm, Nate, Cable, Scott, Jean and especially Xavier. Xavier, the man who preached control, and never using one's powers against another for one's own personal gain, had not only crossed that line as far as Rogue was concerned he had spit on it. And the others had gone along with it. If they would do such a thing once what would stop them from doing it again when THEY felt justified. Rogue felt sick as the enormity of what they had done to her and the others washed over her again.

Rogue didn't trust herself to speak just yet; knowing that if she did, everything would come out in a jumble of emotion; anger, hurt, betrayal. She needed to gather her wits, and then have it out with them. She felt someone watching her and glanced up. Cable was observing her. Was it pity she saw in his eyes? Concern? She wasn't sure, but she didn't want anything from him. She felt sick just being in the same room with them. She pulled the hood of her costume up and over her head, pulling back into the shadow it created. Xavier was moving out of the room, talking about going back to the medilab to see about proof of an infiltraitor or something. Rogue didn't care. She watched them all leave. Then she noticed Cable walking towards her. She moved to walk past him, but he blocked her way.

He cleared his throat and blurted "You sure pack a whallop Rogue. Nearly took my head off with that kick of yours. Didn't even see you coming. If Jean hadn't deflected most of the force of that kick with her force shield, I probably would have died."

"Well you know what they say. 'Ya can't always get what ya want.' Or deserve. Get outta mah way Cable or this time I will take yoah head off." She couldn't help the anger that resonated in every word she spoke. She glared at him with an intensity that was unnerving.

Cable was shocked speechless. He knew there were going to be hard feelings, but, Rogue's hatred was stunning. She meant every word she spoke. He didn't need his telepathy to verify that fact. It was in her stance, her voice, her eyes. He also knew that if he didn't move, whe would take him apart. He had been trained all his life for battle, and his confidence in his abilities never waivered, but now, here, looking at this woman, peer, compatriot, he actually felt stirings of fear.

Perhaps it was a guilty conscious that made him feel as he did. He wasn't sure, but he backed away from her, and Rogue walked out of the room without looking back.

It had actually taken the concentrated efforts of both he and Jean to suck Rogue in to the drama. Rogue's complex mix of Kree, Carol Danvers and herself made it particularly hard to read Rogue's thoughts let alone project such an encompassing scenario into her mind. It was partially the reason why they escalated matters so quickly, so that Rogue wasn't able to break the hold, or see past the illusion. He hadn't wanted to apologize for his part in the scenario. It wasn't like him to apologize for anything he did but, this, it just didn't sit right with him. It was deceitful and underhanded. He sighed. It was done now and he couldn't undo it. they would all have to live with the consequences, whatever they were. he left the room and headed for the medilab.

"It wasn't necessary. If the professor felt there was an infiltraitor there were so many other ways to determine it. Besides, with Wolvie being killed that should have been enough to give anyone a clue who the spy was. We've seen him recover from worse wounds than what Scott told us about." Kitty said while sipping a cup of coffee at the breakfast table the next morning. She looked at the others around the table with her. Rogue, Remy, Peter, Kurt and Sarah. Peter was nodding in agreement.

"Da. We have all given so much to the team, to Xavier, to the dream. To be treated so callously ... " Peter trailed off shaking his head.

Remy spoke up next. "Some of us more dan others 'course. I mean, okay, nobody know me too well, an I sure 'aven't been an angel. Pete dere, he left de team to join with Magneto for a while and Sarah, only jus' joined up. But, dat don' explain the treatment against Kitty, Kurt and Rogue. Dey been fait'ful to Xavier and de dream since de get go. It wasn't right."

Kurt said quietly "I don't understand how the others could involve themselves in this ... " he trailed off as he caught a movement coming towards the kitchen door. Storm entered the kitchen. She smiled at the table in general but knew she had interrupted something. Everyone there had suddenly stopped talking the moment she entered. She tried to brush the feeling of being an interloper off and went towards the coffee pot. Forcing a cheerfulness she didn't feel she said "It's a lovely morning don't you think?"

No one responded.

She went on "I must confess that I arose early this morning and took to the skies, just to enjoy the day break. Apparantly, I'm not the only one to rise early today."

Still only silence.

Ororo felt very unwelcome and uncomfortable. Desparately, she tried to think of something to say that would melt the hostility she was feeling directed at her. She had known the others would feel hurt by what had happened the previous day, but she hadn't been prepared for how strongly the animosity would be directed at her. The kitchen was as silent as a tomb with the exception of the spoon connecting with the coffee cup as Storm stirred milk into her cup.

She was about to try another approach when Scott and Jean entered the room arm in arm. "Good morning everyone." Jean started cheerfully but came to an abrupt halt as she picked up on the tension in the room. Storm actually dropped her spoon on the countertop. Jean glanced at Scott and then around the table. No one had even moved.

Storm looked imploringly at Jean, who began to walk further into the room and said "The coffee smells wonderful. Scott do you want a cup?"

Picking up on her cue Scott nodded, saying, "Sounds good. Anyone else want one?"

No one at the table even looked at him.

"Kurt?" Scott questioned, deliberately, talking directly to him.

Kurt suddenly stood and said to the table quietly, "I have things to take care of."

In a puff of smoke and smell of brimstone, Kurt was gone.

There was suddenly more activity at the table. Sarah, who was wary around everyone again spat, "Can't stand bein' in the same room as those three," got up and left, deliberately pushing her chair back and into Scott.

"Sarah?!" Storm called, but stopped when Kitty also rose at that moment. "Kitty? We haven't had much time to talk lately. I thought perhaps we could get together ... "

"No!" Kitty said emphatically.

"Perhaps later on then ... " Storm persisted.

"Kitty and I have plans for later on." Peter spoke up. He also rose from the table and left with Kitty without saying another word.

Storm looked helplessly at Scott and Jean. Trying desperately, to form some sort of communication with those left, Scott, Jean and Ororo looked at the two remaining at the table. Remy and Rogue. Remy had changed seats and was now sitting next to Rogue. She was staring at her lap. One gloved hand on a coffee cup, the other being covered by Remy's. Jean noticed that Rogue appeared to be shaking. Storm also noticed and quickly came forward to sit on Rogue's other side.

"Rogue, you are unwell?" She asked in a quiet concerned voice.

"Get away from me." Rogue whispered, her voice shaking.

Scott took the seat beside Remy. "What's wrong? Rogue?"

She didn't look up and she didn't answer.

"Remy, perhaps we should take her to the medilab. Let Moira or Hank look at her."

"Don' bother yerselves." Remy growled, pulling his arm away from where Scott was touching him.

"Rogue?" Jean tried, coming up behind her. "You have to tell us what's wrong. We want to help you ... " she reached her hand out to lay on Rogue's shoulder.


"W-what?" Jean asked, pulling back in shocked dismay.

Rogue was still trembling, but finally looked up and stared first at Storm and then Scott. Her eyes glittered like jade ice.

"Liars!" she said more forcefully.

"What do you mean? Rogue, we know you - all of you are upset about yesterday. You have every right to be, but please ... " Storm  tried desperately to calm Rogue. She reached her hand out to take Rogue's hand. It was a mistake. Rogue swatted her hand away, jumping up out of her seat. Her chair, slammed into Jean who stumbled backwards with a cry of alarm and pain. Scott was on his feet in an instant, coming around to help Jean. "Rogue! Be careful. With your strength you could have hurt someone."

"Hypocrites! Liars!" Rogue said clearly with a deadly intensity that brought Scott up short. "You make me sick." She started to say more, but stopped herself. Turning, she started to leave.

"Rogue, wait!" Jean called out.

"Remy, please!! Ororo pleaded "Talk to me."

"Non. The time for talk is gone. When you had the opportunity to speak you didn't. You used us all. Like you always do." He followed Rogue out of the room.

"By the Goddess." Ororo whispered. Her hands rising to cover her face.

Her arms wrapped around Scott's waist, Jean bent her head so her forehead rested on Scott's chest. "My God, Scott. What have we done?"

Cable walked in at that moment. Xavier, following in his wheelchair.

"Jean, what's wrong?" Xavier asked. "Both Cable and I heard you cry out in pain. What happened?"

"The pain. The anger in her voice. Scott, she HATES us." Jean continued talking to Scott not really aware of Xavier or Cable.

"Who?" Xavier asked again.

"She's talking about Rogue, right now" Ororo answered "but it's more than just her. It's all of them. Charles, this is a nightmare."


Continued in Chapter Two


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