Disclaimer: The X-Men characters,
and all other recognizable characters are copyright to Marvel
Entertainment Group. The Story belongs to me. Relax, I won't
sue you. I'll just get my Cousin Tony to choke you with his
This goes out to Marion because she wanted to see it on OTL.
This takes place starting a few hours after Rogue and the
rest of the X-Men return to the Mansion in XM #70.
© K-Nice 1999
(or Murder in the First)
As her confusion began to wear off, Rogue started to feel
an enormous guilt overtake her. She had left her lover, the
one man who had noticed her and cared for her, to die in the
frozen tundra of Antarctica. And surely, by now, he was dead.
Storm heard her sobbing through the open window. The gentle
goddess of the African plains was troubled by her friend's
wild emotional state. As team leader, Storm knew Rogue's problem
would have to be dealt with. But as a friend -- as a woman
-- she knew Rogue needed comfort, not a lecture.
She came into Rogue's room, trailing a breeze behind her.
"Child, what is wrong?" Storm knew it probably had
something to do with Rogue's cryptic statement that Gambit
was dead in her eyes. Obviously, Rogue felt bad about something
that had passed between them during their last mission. They
must have had a bad fight after the Trial and Gambit must
have departed angrily. She had watched their rocky relationship,
and from her vantage point, their current situation was just
"Oh, 'Ro, I can't believe I did it." Rogue buried
her head in Storm's lap as the weather-witch stroked her brown
and white hair.
"Now, Rogue, you were very angry with him for lying
to you, to us all. And you had been through a lot of emotions
in a very short time. I understand that you feel regret, but
I'm sure that when he calms down, he will return."
Rogue rubbed her cheek against the soft satin of Storm's
robe. She whispered into the fabric, "He didn't leave
me, 'Ro, I left him." Those last seconds played through
her mind again, dragging powerful sobs from her core.
Now, Storm began to understand. She created another scenario
in her mind. Rogue and Gambit must have fought on the way
home and Rogue had left him somewhere along the way. It was
not good, but it was not horrible either. She could still
offer the girl comfort.
"Well, that is something to be upset over, but I'm sure
Remy is doing every thing he can to get
back here." Rogue only cried harder. Storm continued,
"And all will be forgiven. He is himself given to fits
of temper. Surely he will understand the strain you were under."
Storm herself was trying to understand how Rogue, of all
people, could abandon another person, after the desertions
she had suffered.
"Remy knows people everywhere, I am sure he will make
out all right. For example, tell me were you left him. I am
sure he has associates there." Storm actually wasn't
as sure she tried to sound. Some of Remy's "associates"
wouldn't help him if his life depended on it. Even if their
lives depended on it.
Rogue debated telling Storm the truth. Storm was Remy's best
friend. But she was also one of Rogue's best friends, and
one of her team leaders. Rogue decided that she could at least
be honest with Storm, who was showing her so much understanding.
"Ah left him right outside the citadel. Ah ... didn't
want him to die ... in there." Rogue sniffled tragically.
Storm would help her to understand why it had happened. It
couldn't possibly have been her own fault.
Storm was assailed by a flurry of emotions -- fear, anger,
pain, disbelief, shame. How could this have happened? How
could an X-Man have done this horrible thing? How could
the man she had chosen as one of her few close friends, the
man she had called brother, the mutant she had made an X-Man,
have so obscene a resume? Storm was just beginning to deal
with the fact that Remy had had a share in the massacre of
the Morlocks. This revelation was too much. She had hoped
to have time to talk with Remy, to grasp what had really happened
in Seattle and in the tunnels. At the moment, she felt an
overwhelming desire to rain lightning on Rogue's tear-soaked
face until there was nothing left of the invulnerable mutant
except a charred, bleeding mass.
The Goddess within her had been wronged and divine retribution
would have to be paid.
Storm let her emotions slide away behind her reason. She
carefully lifted Rogue's head from her lap and stood up to
her full regal height. "I would suggest you inform Scott
of this as soon as possible. I, for one, am going to find
Remy." Ororo schooled her face and voice to royal neutrality,
shoving the roaring tides of her feelings away. She summoned
winds to carry her out of the window and sped away in cloud
of mist. There was justice to be done.
Rogue lay awake the rest of the night weeping, anticipating
the storm to come tomorrow when the rest of the team learned
of her actions. She had been the outlaw once. She wasn't sure
if she deserved to take that position once again.
One Week Later
Rogue lay crying in her room when the doorbell rang. She
was still upset by the reaction of her team, her family. She
had explained this the way they had happened. Beast had supported
the notion the Remy's own personality had been in control
when Rogue left him. Jean had been supportive of her plagued
emotional state. Yet it had not been all wine and roses.
While they tried to be sympathetic to her situation, Scott
had still put her on probation, forbidding her certain responsibilities
and privileges that came with being an X-Man. She had still
killed a teammate and until they could be sure that all of
Eric the Red's influence was gone, she was on restricted duty.
Even though most of the team had excepted her role in the
affair, Rogue was exhausted from trying to ignore the stares
she sometimes got. Some of her closest friends where acting
a little stand-offish. True, she was spending most of her
time in her room, crying loudly enough to shake her bed, or
tossing through sleepless nights. Logan still hadn't spoken
to her since they had all gotten back. With all the excitement
she could overlook his coolness, if it wasn't for the cold-eyed
way he looked at her sometimes.
Storm had returned from wherever she had gone, no longer
the comforting team leader, but ambivalent and silent. Rogue
had overheard her debriefing to Scott and gathered that she
had found Remy's body and returned it to his family in New
Orleans. Storm had not said why that had taken her three days
to accomplish this, but Rogue concluded that she had just
taken some time to grieve for her friend. Storm seemed almost
content, peaceful, in the wake of the death of one of her
friends at the hand of another.
Though Rogue was content to continue in her misery, the rest
of the team did not ignore the doorbell with such aplomb.
After the unexpected arrivals of Juggernaut and the Board
of Education official, the door was readily answered. Marrow
rushed to the door ahead of Cannonball, in a desperate attempt
at attention. She just loved scaring upworlders and whoever
had been so unlucky as to pick Xavier's Mansion for a little
door-to-door salesmanship was in for a faceful of Morlock.
She ripped open the door as Sam tried to pull her away. She
growled at the prissy-looking man on the front stoop, allowing
spittle to land on his crisp, government-issue dark suit.
Expecting a frightened response, she was disappointed when
he just flicked the liquid off his jacket and addressed himself
"Steven Panich, U.S. Marshals. I'm looking for Ms. Rebecca
"Sorry, sir, no one by that name lives here. What are
you looking for her for?" Sam was confused but not concerned.
That name didn't ring a bell and the guy didn't look threatening.
Cable had drilled them long enough that he didn't trust in
mere appearances so Cannonball was prepared to attack at a
moment's notice but intended to play it cool for now.
The man's calm did not waver. "Lying to me is a federal
offense, young man. Where is Rebecca McKenna?" His eyes
were angry but his face was as bland as always.
"Look, secret agent man, there ain't no Becky McKenny
here okay!" Marrow took 'snide remark' to a whole new
level, sneering at the upworlder-clown-in-a-suit. "See,"
she hollered at him "no Rebecca McKenna." She repeated
the name several more times loudly, mockingly. "Rebecca
McKenna, come on down. Come on ya, pretty little upworlder-soft-skinned-long-hair
-- Mr. Zoot Suit wants to talk to you," she sing-songed
in her grating tongue.
At the top of the stairs this was a motion. Rogue stepped
into view in jeans and a sweater, her eyes red and puffy.
She looked ... bewildered. Marrow expected her to make a fuss
about the noise and prepared a few harsh comments for Rogue's
sake. Rogue walked right past the teenaged Morlock, shuffling
with the appearance of a purpose.
When she reached the front door, she faced the man and said
softly, "I'm Rebecca McKenna."
Sam and Marrow looked at her in surprise. As they whispered
to each other, the man reached into his jacket pocket. "Then
this is for you." He simply handed her the folded blue
papers and walked back to his car.
Rogue didn't notice him leave. She was too busy staring at
a summons for her to appear in federal court in ten days in
Baton Rouge, LA. She, Rebecca McKenna, of Caldecott, MS was
being charged with Murder in the First Degree for her role
in the homicide of one Remy Etienne LeBeau of New Orleans,
Rogue nearly fell on the floor in shock. She sat down on
the front steps instead and cradled her head in her hands.
After all the things she had down with the Brotherhood for
Evil Mutants, this was the one crime she was being charged
with. A formal arraignment was scheduled in a matter of days
over a simple accident. Tears threatened to well up
Everything was going so horribly wrong. She had only wanted
to punish Remy for lying to her. She had never imagined that
she wouldn't be able to find him. Sure, he would be cold and
angry and maybe even a little frostbitten, but he wasn't supposed
Rogue wiped her eyes. She was a professional. She had avoided
courts all the time when she was with Mystique. She could
do it again. She got up and flew for her bedroom window.
Storm stood in her loft, pruning the dead leaves from her
plants. She smirked as she heard the marshal's car pull out
of the driveway. She had forgiven Rogue for what she had done
to Carol Danvers but Storm could not find forgiveness in her
heart for Gambit's death.
Storm had tried to cry for her friend that first night when
she had found his body, stiff and covered with a layer of
ice and snow, but she could not. Something stood between her
and her pain. Rogue hadn't just left him, she had left him
to die. Remy didn't even have a shirt on his back. As Ororo
thought about all the things Gambit had done for Rogue; the
sacrifices he had made to be with her; the way his eyes would
glow a fire-red when he would talk about her; all the nights
he had sat on the roof, alone and in pain because of Rogue.
Bitter bile rose in Storm's throat at the thought of Remy's
love being repaid this way. Some of it was the pungency of
how her own love had been repaid by Gambit, but she was not
yet ready to think about him in that way. There was something
she had to do first.
Vengeance had to been taken.
When Ororo had taken Remy's body back to his real family,
the Thieves Guild in New Orleans, she had let them in on her
plan. The perfect way to make Rogue pay. Killing her would
just stain Storm's own conscience, as would having her killed.
Physical harm was too difficult to inflict and far too fleeting.
The girl was already twisted and scarred on the inside, so
psychological warfare was out. There would be no way to measure
the effects. Storm had carefully crafted her plan on the long
flight from back to the place the whole thing had started,
the place where she had fallen in love with Remy LeBeau and
he had fallen in love with her. Their love was honest and
easy and pure and that place would always be theirs alone.
Storm spent a few moments hovering over the city, not sure
how to get things moving.
Once she had gotten started, however, it hadn't taken long
to convince Jean-Luc and the Thieves of the best way to avenge
Gambit's death. Though he had been in exile, he was still
considered the Prince of the Thieves Guild. His death called
for a response, especially since it had come at the hands
of a known mercenary.
Storm, too, was a thief and had lived most of her life as
an outlaw in one form or another. She had easily related Rogue's
history, her career as a mercenary and terrorist before she
joined the X-Men. Ororo believed that Rogue had murdered Remy,
but the hazy lines between murder and manslaughter had to
be drawn clearly before her plan could work. There was definitely
motive and opportunity. Intent was the tricky part, but what
else could her intention have been, leaving him in that condition,
under those conditions and so far away from help. Premeditation
was easy. The kiss in Israel and every time Rogue had thrown
large objects at Gambit's head indicated that she was willing
and able to do him physical harm and that she had tried to
kill him before. Storm just had to present her case properly
and no one would question her.
Storm had given the Thieves the impression that Rogue had
murdered Remy intentionally and for profit. Her past association
with Mystique did not make Rogue look like an innocent. In
fact, it had been the deciding factor in the Guild's eyes.
If Rogue was a professional, she could be taken down like
a professional, and the Guild had set channels for dealings
with such things.
Storm's suggestions made the plan that much more devious
and the revenge infinitely as sweet. The Thieves were more
than willing to use their influence to set the wheels in motion.
The dangerous glint in Jean-Luc's eyes as he waved a manila
envelope of incriminating photographs over the head of mostly-sleeping
District Attorney had reminded her of Remy. The Federal Court
Judge had taken some physical pressure but he too eventually
came around. Storm felt not a twinge of conscience as she
gave the court everything she knew about Rogue. It hadn't
taken much to avoid mentioning the X-Men; these people were
used to dealing with the Thieves' Guild, after all, which
meant they knew there were things they would rather not know.
Storm had become frustrated when the judge demanded Rogue's
real name for the summons. Jean-Luc supplied it. Apparently,
the Guild had started a file on one Rebecca McKenna after
the second time Rogue almost destroyed the city of New Orleans.
It was easy to trace her back through Cody Robbins' medical
After a flurry of late night and early morning activity,
they managed to get an indictment against Rogue in a matter
of hours. While it was not the same as a lightening strike,
Storm returned home with the knowledge that her divine retribution
was coming down swiftly on Rogue's head. Jean-Luc had assured
her that the funeral would not begin without her. Storm had
to return home to witness the serving of the papers.
Yet, despite the knowledge that all would be well, she had
still felt separated from her grief. She had stumbled through
the first few days hiding behind her goddess façade.
Now, in her life-filled attic room, listening to the sound
of Rogue packing, she almost chuckled at the irony of it:
using the law to get her revenge.
Remy would have appreciated the humor.
Her smile faded into a mask of pain as she finally mourned
her best friend and the friendship he had betrayed.
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