Disclaimer: None of this, except
for the art and the story, is mine, it's Marvel's
Note: Thanks to Ana for her comments about chapter
1. She kinda reminded me of 'gamble', and I finally realized
that 'child of death' isn't the only story that is waiting
to be written :)
I know, I'm a lazy, doughnut munching couch potato, that is
more eager to read than to write fanfics. I'm sorry that this
chapter took so long :)
My sincerest thanks also to Michi-chan, who helped me typewrite
this chapter and made great contributions to improve the style
Gamble of Life
"All X-Men report to the War Room!" Cyclop's voice yelled
through the intercom. Remy winced and nearly dropped his breakfast.
"Could anyone PLEASE tell Cyke ta calm down or switch off
Rogue grinned and turned the volume of the com down to a
"Merci, Roguie, ya saved dis cajun's life!"
"Oh, really?" an evil grin appeared on her face and she turned
the volume fully on. Unluckily Cyclops repeated the order
at this moment and he yelled even louder. When the ringing
in his ears had stopped, Remy glanced at Rogue angrily. He
took a cornflake, charged it with kinetic energy and snipped
it over to her. Rogue dodged it easily, but Bishop, who had
just entered the kitchen, didn't. The charged flake landed
straight in his face, exploding with a tiny cloud of smoke.
"Oops, je suis désolé, mon ami." Gambit lifted his hands
in a defensive way when Bishop's face became more and more
sinister and angry. Rogue took a few steps back to get out
of the danger zone when he slowly walked towards the Cajun.
Suddenly he stopped and looked down at Remy.
"Cyclops called us to the War Room. I wanted to pick you
Then, he turned around and walked out of the kitchen, rubbing
the place on his nose where the flake had hit it.
Rogue slouched in her seat in the blackbird and looked out
of the window.
Great, another one of these fantastic missions where we
have to fight some supervillainous mutant who threatens humankind.
And what will happen? After risking our lives we'll see some
news on TV about the outlaw mutant gang called X-Men, who
caused trouble again.
She growled disgusted. Suddenly she felt a hand on her shoulder
and jerked up.
"Easy, chère. 'S jus' me. I happened ta notice ya're a bit
uneasy 'bout de mission, aren't ya? What's wrong, chère?"
Rogue looked up at Remy and her emerald eyes met his red-on-black
ones. It should be up to her to cheer him up. She remembered
very well Cyke's gaze when he had informed the team about
the upcoming fight against Sinister. Ever since Remy's dark
secrets concerning Essex had been revealed at the so-called
trial, Cyclops had been untrustful towards the cajun. And
Remy had very well noticed that Scott considered him to be
an additional, unnecessary risk to the mission. As if he would
turn his back to the X-Men - after years of fighting side
by side with them, the group where the guys were, that mattered
most to him - to rejoin Sinister's Marauders. But Scott had
never liked Gambit, so he was most likely to think the worst
of him. And he would observe Remy's every step during the
mission to ensure his loyalty towards the X-Men. Rogue knew
this annoyed her cajun teammate. But nonetheless he was there
to cheer her up. Rogue smiled at him to show she appreciated
his care for her.
"Nothing, shugah. Ah'm just a bit tired of those 'villain
shows up, we show up, villain's defeated'- missions."
Gambit grinned wickedly.
"Would ya prefer a 'villain shows up, we show up, we're defeated'-mission?"
She had to laugh.
"Well, at least that would be something new."
They both laughed out loud, till tears flooded their eyes,
and their bad mood had disappeared.
"Now, now, my dear fellow teammates. We're heading for a
very serious mission. May I ask you why you're laughing while
danger, probable injuries, or worse, a bad TV program awaits
Hank McCoy aka the Beast peeked over the backrest of Rogue's
seat. He grinned at his two teammates, showing that he appreciated
a bit fun in their all to serious lives. Especially when two
of his teammates were concerned, who had very little to laugh
about recently. But before any of them could respond to Hank's
teasing, Cyclops turned around saying:
"Okay, let's move! Storm and her team will check the lab
and make sure that the files are save. My team will deal with
the Marauders. Stop them from getting into the lab at any
Rogue let the hot water trickle down her body. She yawned
and closed her eyes. The mission had been like she had predicted.
It had been easy for them to defeat the Marauders - since
Sabretooth hadn't been with them this time - and they had
secured the computer files concerning the Legacy Virus. Nom
she was tired and every muscle in her body was tense and ached.
She stepped out of the shower, wrapped in a towel, not caring
that water still dripped from her wet hair.
In her bedroom she started to dry her hair with a towel and
closed her eyes, trying to relax.
What's wrong with me? Ah nevah felt so entirely tired
and indifferent. It seems ta me that Ah'll nevah get rid of
that somber mood again.
She sat down on the windowsill and watched the sunset. She
saw her reflection in the glass of the window and wondered
when she had become this. She saw the fatigue in her
features and the obvious depressive mood in her face.
Rogue remembered her childhood. When she had been a little
girl, she had been full of energy, with bright, brilliant
eyes and a clever mind. But especially she had been a dreamer.
She remembered her mother telling her fairy tales about heroes
and beautiful women. They always had had to fight very hard,
but in the 'Happy End' every struggle had been forgotten.
She remembered herself looking out of the window and dreaming
of her knight in shining armor, that would protect her and
momma from daddy when he was drunk. Dreaming of her heroe
thet would never let anyone harm her and prevent the other
kids from calling her freak because of her unusually colored
hair. Instead, he would make them play with her and be her
friends. She has had one friend, Cody, but that one wouldn't
have stood up for her. His momma hasn't liked her and had
forbidden her son to be her friend. Rogue remembered.
She remembered the day Cody had broken the rules to meet
her. And kiss her.
She remembered too well her powers manifesting themselves
for the first time and she remembered Cody falling into a
coma. She had been older then, not dreaming of her knight
anymore. But of Prince Charming. Even after the Cody Robbins
incident, she had hoped for her prince to come and rescue
her. Take her away from the people in Caldecott calling her
a vampire freak, who drains the life out of people. Take her
away from her mother accusing her of causing her daddy to
rage and hurt. Take her away from her mother sobbing and excusing
for her harsh words. Take her away from her once beautiful
and kind, now broken mother not being able to take the pain
anymore and committing suicide. Take her away from pain and
But her prince hadn't shown up, and she had made her was
herself. And even more pain and hurt had awaited her. But
whatever had happened to her, no matter how desperate she
had been, she had always believed in her prince to come and
taker her to a better life. Since she had been a child, she
had believed in magic. And in that magical emotion called
'True Love'. In spite of her powers, in spite of her crimes,
she had always believed that there was a little amount of
magic in the world, that was supposed to lead her to her true
love, to luck and happiness, to a better life where nothing
and no one would harm her. Once she had thought she had found
it in Remy.
Rogue looked at her reflection with disgust twisting her
face. Magic! She wondered how she could have ever been so
Remy moaned while he put on his uniform. These continuous
battles annoyed him. He preferred a show in big style with
a spectacular final, not little struggles spread over weeks.
Essex and his petty Marauders were really getting on his nerves.
An' de same goes fer de ot'ers. Never seen Roguie so tired.
He pushed the thought away. Rogue occupied his thoughts too
much already, but as someone who had had to learn early to
survive, he knew he'd better concentrate on the mission now.
Distraction could cost him his life. Sinister wasn't a merciful
He went to the War Room without knowing what kind of trouble
the Marauders caused this time. He was late. Scott had already
finished his speech
Lucky me, Remy thought, grinning.
The X-Men were already about to leave for the Hangar Bay
when Scott held him back
"Gambit, you're late. Storm'll inform you about the details
of the mission."
Cyclops looked at him accusingly and Remy hurried to catch
up to his friend.
"Bonjour, Stormy. So what's on today's schedule?"
"First, don't call me that ridiculous name. Second, we're
heading to an empty warehouse. We're suspecting that Sinister
hosts a lab there, where he stores his files concerning the
Legacy Virus. We'll go in, copy his files and come back. I
would be glad if we could solve the problem with him once
and for all."
Remy glanced at her surprised. Ororo Munroe had always been
a rather peaceful person, who estimated high every living
being. It worried him that she even thought about using rather
radical measures to stop Sinister. The stress had to be nagging
at her as well as at him.
They reached the blackbird and everyone took his seat. It
was unusually quiet during the flight. Remy sat next to Rogue,
but the southern belle seemed far away in thoughts. She seemed
tired and depressive again, but Remy himself wasn't in the
mood to cheer someone up either, not today. As he watched
her profile, he was nearly overwhelmed by the emotions and
thoughts of the last few days. He still loved her, but he
had no hope to reconcile with her. How could she love somebody
like him? He had committed too many crimes. The Morlock Massacre
was entirely his fault and he hated himself for it. He didn't
deserve her love, but he had deserved her words in Antarctica.
He didn't know why she had offered him her friendship, but
maybe that was part of his punishment. Seeing her every day,
being near her and far away at the same time, reaching out
to her with his heart, but knowing that he'll never have her
love again was even harder than leaving her.
Remy jerked up when Cyclops yelled his orders. They had arrived
at the warehouse and the fight was near at hand. Again, Remy
told himself to concentrate on the mission.
The X-Men entered the warehouse and stopped when they found
it dark and empty. Everyone looked around confused, then Logan
motioned for them to be quiet and stand still. He laid down
on the floor and pressed his ear to the ground. Then he looked
at his teammates and pointed down to show them, where their
enemies hid. Cyclops motioned silently for them to find ways
down, and everyone started to search.
Gambit went straight to a wall and started to palpate it.
He grinned mirthlessly, when he heard a soft 'click' and the
wall moved slightly to one side, giving him entrance to a
dark passage, that was behind the wall. His experiences with
Sinister served him at least one time for a good thing. He
winked at the others to show them the hidden access to the
sublevel lab. They assembled in front of the hole in the wall
and entered it.
After a few minutes the passage ended in a coven with a cylindrical
hole in it's middle. Light emanated from that hole and the
X-men went to the edge to look down. About twenty yards below
was the lab, where Sinister was working at the moment. The
Marauders slouched on the floor and were obviously bored.
The team assembled in silence and Cyclops motioned for them
to attack. Rogue flew to Gambit and grabbed him while the
other X-men with the ability to fly, whether caused by wings,
the control over the weather or telekinesis, took care of
their remaining teammates. They flew down, ready to attack
the surprised Marauders.
A terrible fight broke out and especially Logan fought with
berserker fury. He immediately caught the attention of Sabretooth
and their eternal fight went to another round. The other Marauders
were no amateurs either and were immediately fighting back
with a force that could make one doubt that they've been taken
by surprise. But the X-men were prepared and willing to defeat
them and soon it was obvious that they would achieve this
goal. Sinister stood beside and watched the triumph of his
Suddenly something like a grin came to his face and he slowly
walked towards a box that stood in the corner of his lab.
He took out a weapon nearly half as big as a man and far more
deadly. It reminded a bit of Bishop's plasma rifles and, like
them, seemed a bit alien and in the wrong place - or rather
time. Essex pushed a button and a security shield appeared
around him. He charged the weapon and called out for the fight
"X-men," he said with a loud voice, "one blast of this weapon
can rip you apart easily. Leave my lab now, or you'll never
leave it again!"
Cyclops' answer was an optic blast, but because of the security
shield it couldn't even tickle the geneticist.
Sinister smiled devilishly and pulled the trigger. He had
aimed at Rogue, who was nearest to him, and stood uncovered.
She was airborne and could easily evade the blast, but it
hit the wall behind her and a piece of concrete took the X-woman
down. Sinister aimed at her again, obviously relishing the
Remy's heart stopped when he saw the scene unfold in front
of him. Rogue was slowly getting up, still dizzy from the
former impact and certainly wouldn't manage to evade a second
Remy saw Sinister moving his finger towards the trigger like
in slow-move. All he could think was that another blast would
harm Rogue. HIS Rogue. He screamed her name, but he couldn't
hear his own voice, only his rushing blood. He ran towards
her, but his legs didn't seem to belong to his body. He was
too slow, he knew that, but he could just hope that Sinister
was even slower.
Rogue's eyes fluttered up, her beautiful emerald eyes, and
met his ones, confusion written all over her face. She wasn't
aware of the situation, the danger, she was in. Remy felt
his heart reach out to her and repeated his mantra to not
be too late over and over in his head.
When he had diminished the distance between them to a few
yards, he leapt. His own perception was still alien to him,
as if he would move through viscid syrup. But then he felt
Rogue's shoulders in his grip and her body moving out of Sinister's
firing line with him. he heard a peculiar noise, like a plasma
blast would sound in slow-move, but all he could feel was
joy, when he saw Rogue unharmed and protected by his body.
Then came the agony.
Storm couldn't believe what she was seeing. The second blast
from Sinister's evil weapon had brushed Gambit's back while
he was protecting Rogue. Now, his body laid sprawled on the
floor of the lab. Ororo prayed to the Bright Lady that her
cajun teammate was just unconscious. She saw how Rogue tried
to sit up in spite of the numbness her former encounter with
concrete had caused her. She saw how the expression of the
southern X-woman changed from dizziness to disbelief and finally
desperation as she saw Gambit's lifeless form on the floor.
She saw her lips move slightly but couldn't hear if she was
Cyclop's voice snatched her out of her numbness.
Storm called for the powers that have caused her codename
and demanded the winds to carry Remy's motionless body to
the hole in the ceiling. In the corner of her eye she saw
Logan pull Rogue to her feet. She was still apathetic and
stumbled several times when he dragged her out of the lab.
Rogue sat in the infirmary, her gaze locked on Remy's pale,
lifeless face. Hank was examining him, but the frown on his
forehead already told his teammate that he had nothing good
to say when he finally was finished.
"Luckily Gambit wasn't fully hit by the blast, but even so,
there's not much I can do for him..."
Rogue heard a strangled scream from the door, where Storm
was standing, but she couldn't avert her eyes from Remy's
still form. She couldn't feel anything at all, except numbness.
"...so all we can do is hope. I don't understand..." Hank
continued and winced at the last word, "...what this weapon
did to him. It is as if the very structure of his body has
been torn, though there's no visible bruise. I can't think
of a way to treat an injury like that. I can only stimulate
his immune system and hope it will be enough."
Storm left the room, sobbing, and Jean followed to comfort
her. Hank was studying Remy's medical files and left his southern
teammate done with her thoughts.
Rogue's eyes wandered over the Cajun's face as if she wanted
to burn every single feature of it into her memory. Like he
had burned himself into her soul since the first time she
had seen him. Rogue remembered every moment they had spent
together. She had once read that ninety nine percent of one's
life are daily life. But the remaining one percent, the high
and low points, is what defines you as a person and forms
Being an X-men meant having much more than one percent of
these times in her life, but even there you could define highs
and lows. And Remy had been there - or even caused most of
them. Rogue remembered how he had made her feel. Overjoyed
when she had thought she'd never feel joy again, and devastated
when she had thought that nothing could hurt her anymore.
But most of all he had made her love again when she had felt
condemned to a loveless life and he had made her feel loved
when even she couldn't have loved herself.
Yes, Remy LeBeau had caused some of the lowest points in
her life, but now she realized that he never did it intentionally.
She had been devastated when she had found out that he wasn't
an angel at all, but now she realized that he had been HER
angel all along. He wasn't that knight or Prince Charming,
that you recognize immediately because of his shining armor
and clean slate, but suddenly Rogue knew that this man in
the infirmary bed would try his best to be anything she ever
needed or wanted. And she knew what she wanted. She wanted
When this realization struck her, she noticed that she had
known this all along, but the knowledge had been locked up
in her subconsciousness. Now it had worked it's way outside
when she had seen her beloved's body lifeless on the floor
of Sinister's lab. She had whispered his name then, but it
had been as if she had spoken it for the first time.
After Rogue had absorbed Ms. Marvel, she had often prayed
for the saving of her soul, but had stopped when no answer
from above had arrived. Now she saw this answer in front of
her, and Rogue started to pray again.
She woke up with a start when the Beast softly touched her
shoulder, hoping for the best, but fearing the worst. She
still held Gambit's hand, even in sleep she hadn't let go
of it. She looked up at Hank McCoy's tired but smiling face.
"I don't know to which gods you prayed, my dear Mississippian
mudcake, but make sure to thank them. Our cajun friend is
recovering with an unbelievable speed. He will soon wake up."
Rogue's eyes grew wide and her mouth opened, but nothing
came out. Several expressions crossed her face and suddenly
she ran out of the infirmary, leaving a confused, blue-furred
Rogue sat on the roof, as always when she was brooding. She
didn't know what to feel. Of course she was thankful and relieved
that Remy was alright, but she was also anxious to meet him.
Having finally gained clarity about her feelings and dealing
with them were two entirely different things. She was afraid
of meeting Gambit, of looking in his eyes and not seeing love
for her anymore. She had done terrible things to him, although
he had always been kind to her. Okay, maybe he had 'betrayed'
the X-men, by not telling them about his past (although nobody
knew everything about HER past, either, but nobody seemed
to care), but she had betrayed him and the love they had once
But nonetheless he had risked his life to save her back in
Essex' lab. Did that mean he still loved her? And, if yes,
would he still love her after the injuries he had endured
because of her?
When she had arrived at this point, she heard someone open
the window behind her. Rogue caught her breath when Remy climbed
out. They stared at each other in silence, but then Rogue
cleared her throat.
"Uhm...hi!" she said
"Hi." he answered with a peculiar tone in his voice. He was
obviously waiting for her to say something.
"Ah'm glad y'all're fine again, Gambit."
"Hank wouldn't lemme go yet. But ya know how much I hate
Rogue answered in the affirmative, then there was silence
again. Finally, she pulled herself together and looked right
into her former lover's eyes.
"Remy, Ah ... uhm ... thank ya. Ah mean for pushin' me outta
Sinister's fire line. For getting hurt in order ta protect
"Ya're welcome" he mumbled, still with this peculiar voice.
It seemed that Rogue thanking him wasn't what he had hoped
"But why?", Rogue continued with a small voice. "Ah mean,
I'm nearly invulnerable, I coulda taken this blast more easily
than y'all did. Why did y'all risk yoah life jus' ta spare
me a little pain?"
"Mebbe ya don't t'ink very rationally when de woman ya love
more dan anyt'ing in de world is concerned." he whispered
staring at his feet.
"But Ah ... Ah thought y'aa'd hate me after all that Ah've
done ta ya."
"Chère, I could never hate you." Remy looked at her with
sad eyes. "But I understand it if you hate me. I've done terrible
things in my past, ya must consider me a monster."
Rogue felt a sting in her heart when she heard this.
"No, shugah, nevah. The Morlock Massacre wasn't yoah fault.
Ya nevah harmed anyone intentionally. Y'all're not responsible
foah what happened back then."
A flicker of hope went on in Remy's soul, but it wasn't bright
enough to light this doubtful place.
"If ya really t'ink dat way, chère, why was de revelation
at de trial enough ta make ya leave me ta die?"
His red on black eyes burned like fire in her soul and she
had to avert her emerald ones.
"Ah wasn't mahself back there." she finally whispered. "Ah
hadn't only absorbed yoah memories, but also yoah mind and
attitude towards the Massacre. Yoah blamed yoahself foah it
and Ah absorbed that. Normally Ah can deal with alien emotions
flooding mah mind, but in Antarctica Ah couldn't sort out
which were mah emotions and which yoah's. Maybe that was because
Ah felt hurt and betrayed because y'all hadn't trusted me
enough ta tell me first-hand. Ah was so disappointed that
an evil villain had to show up to reveal a secret y'all weren't
willing to reveal yoahself. And then Ah did what Ah'm best
at, Ah flew. Ah locked mahself up in the deepest corner of
mah mind, just so Ah wouldn't have ta 'feel' anymore. Ah let
yoah absorbed emotions wash over me, not realizing that they
washed mah own ones away. Or maybe Ah was just too hurt ta
care if they did."
"And now?" Remy asked
"And now Ah realized that Ah've nevah proved mahself very
trustworthy ta ya. Ah've turned ya down whenever problems
occurred. But nonetheless, y'all offered me back in Seattle
ta absorb ya and find out all yoah secrets. Ya gave me thousand
'second chances' when Ah would have let ya down immediately
if our roles had been reversed. Ya're the best thing that
ever happened ta me, Remy LeBeau, and Ah love ya."
Remy felt tears in his eyes when he pulled her close and
promised to never let go of her again.
To be continued.
Note: This is just the beginning,
so stay tuned!!! The first four parts are just the prelude
to the REAL story...
PS: Sorry, I can't write fighting scenes (->the lab ... ugh)
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