Remy sets the flannel robe aside, intrigued by a carefully
wrapped garment hanging deep in Rogue's closet. He brings
it out. His heart skips a beat as he uncovers an ivory satin
"Somet' in Rogue should be tellin' me 'bout?"
"No more than you should have told her."
Storm rescues the dress from Remy's careless grasp, hanging
it up for a better view.
"I'd forgotten how truly lovely it is."
Remy unties a pouch from the hanger. He empties it of a set
of five rings. He frowns, puzzled.
"What de -- ?!"
"As Rogue explains it, her grandparents were high school
sweethearts. At the time of their courting, there were certain
-- traditions -- in place. As the relationship reached a deeper
level of commitment, the beau would present his intended with
a symbol of his affection. A ring."
One by one, Storm lifts the rings from his hands.
"The ruby was the first one, the sweetheart ring. The
first promise of marriage. The second promise. The engagement
Remy glances as the final golden circle in his palm.
"Yes, but her grandparents were buried with their wedding
"She has never said."
He picks up the heart-shaped ruby and engagement rings. He
holds them to the light. One glance reveals the truth.
"Nice work, but dey stones are fake."
Storm, turning back to Rogue's things, responds distractedly.
"Does Rogue know?"
"Yes. Rogue's assault has upset you more than you have
mentioned. Otherwise, you would not be so concerned over what
would normally be trifles beyond your notice."
"Why you say a t' ing like dat?"
Storm sits on the bed, studying Remy carefully.
"Since joining the X-Men, you have shown no interest
in Rogue's personal life unless it affected you directly."
"Dat's a lie!"
"Is it, Gambit? Then tell me, what is Rogue's favorite
His eyes gleam with self-assurance.
"Hah! Dat de hardest t' ing you can ask me? Green."
Storm shakes her head. Remy's broad grin fades.
"Don' mean nothin'."
"Do you think I did not notice how lost you were when
you entered Rogue's room? The stuffed animal you picked up
was a joke. Rogue was getting even with Bobby by making him
spend a fortune at the fair to win it for her. Even now, you
are more concerned with saving face than troubling yourself
to learn what her favorite color is."
Storm adds the flannel robe to her other items and prepares
"Think about that, my friend. If Rogue does not survive,
I at least, will have truly known her. I enter this room and
sense her presence surround me. When you enter, you notice
only the amount of cleavage her blouse reveals."
"Dat was uncalled for."
"It is accurate. Take care, Remy. Those rings
are among Rogue's most valued possessions."
She turns her back to him.
Valued possession. Pah! T' ieves on de streets learn early.
A rush of memories. Gutter rat days. Blood-letting nights.
And always, always the hunger.
De only value a t' ing has is how many days it can keep
your belly full. How many nights it can keep you out de alleys.
As he studies the rings in his hand, a familiar yearning
tugs his soul. His house in New Orleans. Empty. His marriage
to Bella Donna. Annulled. No lights to welcome him in from
the night. No voice calling out in concern, asking if he has
arrived home safely. No arms to warm the chill air from his
bones. Until the X-men. Until Rogue.
She spares a quick glance over her shoulder.
"Her favorite color?"
For a moment, he doesn't think she will tell him. She turns
back to face him from the doorway.
"Robin's egg blue."
Continued in Chapter
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