The Ice Capades
The interior of the airliner was dark and relatively silent.
The majority of the passengers were asleep; it was past 3:00am
after all. The two Stewardesses were pleased. They were understaffed
this morning, and sleeping passengers seldom caused problems.
The only real red flag was the drunk in business class. He
had apparently needed one or two martinis, although five or
six were probably closer to the actual number consumed, before
he could board the plane. He had put up a fight when told
that no alcohol was to be served on this flight, but after
a brief, and somewhat noisy struggle, he'd passed out. He
should stay that way, they agreed, until they landed at Metro
airport. Unfortunately, they didn't count on Remy LeBeau.
"We gonna go see a WHAT?" The Cajun accent rang
through the airplane. He was incredulous! Everything he'd
been through the past four or five hours; getting caught by
Storm in Rogue's room, breaking the windshield in the jeep
and the resulting accident. The exposure, not once, but twice,
of the raw emotions that caused both incidents. All this,
he went through, and for what? To go to...
"A hockey game." Wolverine hissed at his companion.
"And keep it down will ya? There are some people on this
tub that are tryin' ta catch some shut eye." He gestured
around the plane at the stirring passengers.
Gambit cast a cursory glance at the businessman seated next
to him. The man, obviously unsettled by the Cajun's outburst
and disheveled appearance, not to mention the red on black
eyes, quickly turned his back on the X-Man and pretended to
fall back asleep.
P'robly jes prayin' I leave him alone. Gambit resisted
the temptation to ask the man for the time. He turned to Wolverine.
"But you jes said we gonna go see a hockey game, non?"
This definitely was not what the Cajun had in mind for their
'night out'. One of the Stewardesses was making her way toward
the two men. The other was heading to the now awake drunk,
hoping to settle him down.
"Yeah, I did" answered Wolverine. He had the window
seat, and was looking out into the early morning darkness
"It was Chuck's idea really. "Thought it'd be good
for me 'n you to go see the Red Wings play." Logan turned
toward his teammate, "I used to play when I was a kid.
I don't really remember all that much. Chuck saw a memory
during a shrink session we had a while back. I think he thought
it'd help me remember who I was." Or how I was,
he concluded to himself.
"Dats fine, dats good, but what dat gotta do wit me?"
Gambit rejoined. "Hell, Gambit don' know nuthin' 'bout
no hockey. Know what? He don' care neither." The Cajun
was starting to work himself up into a frenzy again.
Why don't he give it a break already, I'm getting tired
of his 'me' 'me' 'me' crap. Wolverine thought to himself.
"Why didn't you bring Drake instead o' me? I bet he
love hockey. Only ice Gambit like be in his drink."
The flight attendant had been watching the two men as she
came down the aisle. She had noticed them when they boarded,
it was hard not to. They looked like a couple of drowned rats.
Yeah, they were quite the odd couple actually. So much so,
she had nicknamed them Felix and Oscar.
The taller one, Felix, was attractive, despite his appearance.
His clothes were disheveled and wet, despite the raincoat
he wore. At least he'd tried to comb his hair. He had a catlike
ease in his gait, and smiled pleasantly at her when he'd boarded.
But it was his eyes that really got her attention. They were
very exotic. Must be contact lenses, she thought idly
Oscar was exotic in his own right, although that was putting
it kindly. He too was soaked, his hair hanging down, matted.
He had some odd physical characteristics, besides that real
bad haircut, and he was awfully short. Yet he too had been
pleasant enough when they boarded.
They both had a vague aura of danger about them that she
couldn't really put her finger on. Normally a good judge of
character, she didn't think they'd pose any danger to her
or the flight, they just *seemed* dangerous. Guess I'll
find out now, won't I? She had arrived at their seats.
She bent over businessman in the aisle seat, who was softly
and realistically, he hoped, snoring. She cleared her throat
and tapped the Cajun the arm. He turned so quickly, she jumped
"What?" He didn't quite snarl, but it was close.
To her credit, the she recovered quickly. Might be wrong
about that danger thing. She smiled as pleasantly as she
could. Maybe the drunk wasn't going to be the problem after
She spoke to 'Felix'. "I'm going to have to ask you
to keep it down, sir. The others are trying to sleep."
She nodded toward the businessman in the aisle seat.
"So?" He looked straight into her eyes, challenging
her. "Why should I care 'bout dem?" He poked the
businessman in the ribs. "Dis guy ain't even asleep,
He was about to turn his attention back to the Stewardess,
when he felt Wolverine's hand on his shoulder. Logan's nails
digging into his flesh.
"Don't have to worry 'bout us darlin'. My buddy here,"
he dug his nails further into the Cajun's shoulder, eliciting
a minor grunt, "is going through some rough times."
He smiled at the woman, and looked at her name tag. "He
and his lady had a fight, Victoria," he added conspiratorially,
and smiled again.
The use of her name, or the explanation given, seemed to
put her at ease. She smiled at Wolverine, then looked at Gambit
who had sullenly slumped back into his seat. "I understand,"
she began, turning back to Wolverine. "I know it can
be rough." He nodded his agreement. "Please try
to keep it down, OK?"
"Okay darlin. Right, Cajun?"
Remy just mumbled under his breath, causing Wolverine to
poke him in the side. "Oui, right, yeah sure!" He
looked up at the Stew. "I promise t'be a good boy."
He smiled weakly, and turned to Logan and hissed, "dat
"That's fine LeBeau." He looked at the Stewardess,
but she was already walking toward the business class to help
her friend with the ever more belligerent drunk, happy to
be away from them.
Gambit was looking down at the in-flight magazine, when his
head was jerked back up by the hair. Wolverine, half crouching
on the seat, half in Gambit's lap, put his face nose to nose
with the Cajun. Oddly, the only thing that came immediately
to LeBeau's mind was 'least he brushed his teeth.
"Listen Gumbo" he snarled. "I...am...tired...of...your.
. .shit." The Canadian was visibly angry. He enunciated
every syllable. Their seat companion decided that this was
the perfect time to check on the status of the lavatory, and
"Hey, wait a..." He was cut off by Wolverine.
"Why don't you shut up fer a minute 'n listen ta someone
else fer a change?.. Ya' been sittin' around fer weeks, whinin'
'cause Rogue left you." He poked Gambit in the chest
to emphasis 'you'. "You," again the poke in the
chest, "think you are the only one with a problem. You,"
another poke in the chest, "are actin' like a spoiled
brat, an' I'm sick n' tired of it."
He stopped here to see if he were getting through. Gambit
was staring back at Wolverine, a hot fury burning, not only
in his eyes, but in his cheeks.
"Think of someone else fer a change. Ya might be suprised
by what happens." He threw the younger man back against
the seat. Gambit started to rearrange himself into a more
combat-ready position, causing Wolverine to jump back into
"You want a piece o' me, Gumbo?" Each word was
slow and derisive. They stared at each other, then Gambit
pushed the Canadian back into his seat.
"Lemme be!" He turned away and into himself again.
"Fine, Cajun. You jest sit there and think 'bout this...
" He stopped, listening to the growing din from business
class. The drunk was starting to get physical with the Stews.
Wolverine slapped the Cajun in the chest and pointed toward
"Think about someone else fer a change. Go help 'em."
Gambit turned and looked. The drunk was standing unsteadily
now, and it looked as if he were threatening the two women.
None of the other passengers were inclined to get involved.
Normally, Remy would have been there already defending the
'femmes,' Wolverine knew that. Right now, he just didn't care
what happened to the flat scanners. He looked back at Logan,
his eyes still smoldering, and said "ain't my probl'm."
Wolverine growled as he stood up and stepped over the Cajun.
"This attitude of yours is really gettin' to everyone.
You gotta grow up boy". He stalked down the aisle toward
the drunk, grumbling to himself the entire way. From a
punk to a drunk, like I really need this. . .
The drunk was getting louder. "I don' care wha time
ish, I wann' shomethin' to drink! Now!!" The drunk bellowed
and slammed his fist against the seat in front of him. The
Stews were beginning to wonder if this was going to get out
of hand. Victoria looked up, and saw the man she nicknamed
Oscar coming toward her.
Great, just what we need now. "Sir, will you
please return to your seat, we're having a problem here."
"I can see that darlin'. I just came to offer my assistance."
"That really won't be necessary sir. We have it under
control. Wolverine looked at the drunk who was now beating
the back of his seat rhythmically, chanting "I want Shtol-ly!
I want Shtol-ly". He stopped, and lurched toward the
"Yeah, it looks like it," he said sardonically.
"Why don't cha let me talk to him?"
Victoria looked from Wolverine, to the drunk, to her partner,
and back to Wolverine and shrugged. She would have to inform
the Captain, if this situation didn't change quickly. She
really didn't want to do that.
Logan smiled at her, then positioned himself between her
and the drunk, who was really getting ugly. He tapped the
man on the shoulder. The drunk wobbled as he turned around
and looked down at Wolverine. His eyes blearily focused on
the shorter man.
"You got muh drink, shorty?"
Wolverine inched closer to the man, ignoring his stench.
The guy smells like a distillery.
"No, but I got a little friendly advice fer ya buddy."
Wolverine reached up and put his hand on the man's shoulder,
in a confidential way.
"Get yer shtinkin' pawsh off a me, ya ami. . anilam...aminal."
He swatted at Wolverines hand, causing the X-Man to growl.
He had a sudden desire to show this clown what an animal really
"Now dat ain't a polite t'ing ta say, mon ami."
Unnoticed, Gambit had joined the group. He looked at Victoria,
smiled and said, "Mind if I join de party, petite?"
Without waiting for an answer, he pushed by the startled flight
attendant, positioned himself next to the growling Wolverine
and the glowering drunk, and continued.
"De simple fact of d'matter, and dese lovely ladies
will correct me if I'm wrong," he nodded toward the Stews,
"is dat it's after hours, and even do' dey wan' ta serve
ya," he again nodded to the ladies, indicating they should
agree with him, "dey can't" He paused, wondering
if he had made an impression. He hadn't.
Victoria had caught his signal, and nodded numbly. The change
in 'Felix's' manner and attitude was amazing.
"Don' care. I wan' a drink 'n I wan' it now!" Remy
and Logan exchanged looks, and positioned their backs to the
Stews, perhaps they'd need to be a little more 'persuasive'.
Wolverine went nose to sternum with the man, and growled.
"We ain't askin' ya anymore. We're tellin' ya. Shut
up and sitdown. NOW!" The last was a barked order, but
the man was too far gone te realize it. Or the danger he was
Wolverine was breathing hard, and had a feral smile on his
face. It reminded Gambit of their encounter on the roof top
earlier that evening.
"Gimme one goo' reashon why I should."
Wolverine's smile broadened. Gambit noticed it and thought;
dat not a good sign.
"I'll give ya six." Wolverine raised his fist toward
the man's face, palm inward...
Gambit pushed him out of the way, a dangerous proposition
in a good situation, probable suicide here. Dat what you
wan' boy? The thought flew through his mind almost too
fast for it to register.
The Canadian turned on the Cajun, saw who it was, and stopped.
After a tense moment, it seemed to register that the man who
pushed him was a friend, and Logan eased up, a little.
LeBeau blew a sigh of relief. Dat's what we need, Logan
poppin' claws on de plane. He leaned over his companion,
and under his breath, said "why don' you occupy dem femmes
for a minute." Wolverine grunted, and steered the Flight
Attendants away from the Cajun. A quick look at the surrounding
passengers convinced them that what was about to transpire
did not concern them. They turned away.
Making sure that his body was between the drunk and the aisle,
Gambit reached out, grabbed the man's watch, and gave it a
minor kinetic charge. It glowed briefly, then exploded with
a minor bang. The drunk cried out in pain and shock as he
reeled and feel back into his seat. The Cajun bent forward
and looked at his wrist.
"Dat ain't even a big one," he whispered. The man,
who was sobering up at a remarkable rate, looked down at his
wrist. The watch was gone, his shirt sleeve and the hair on
his were singed, and his skin was slightly burned. Gambit
"See my friend dere?" He pointed at Wolverine,
and the man nodded. "He got foot long claws dat pop out
o de back o his hand. Six of 'em!" Here he made a fist,
then turned his hand like he were accelerating a motorcycle.
The man's eyes widened. Bien. Mebbe dis boy gon' quiet
down after all.
"He wanted t'use 'em on you." The man swallowed.
Gambit smiled broadly. "Now, if you a good boy, he don'
do dat." This was like talking to a four year old. "You
gon' be a good boy?" The man nodded meekly. "Good.
If eit'er dem femmes come 'n tell me you actin' up, I'm gon'
sen' my friend down ta see ya." He smiled as he said
that, then poked the man in the ribs. "Un'erstan'?"
The man just nodded. Gambit stood up.
He turned to the Stews and Logan, "my new friend says
he gon' be a good boy now. Dere ain't gonna be no more trouble."
He nudged the man, "Oui?"
Victoria and the other Stewardess, who's name tag read Nancy,
smiled and thanked the two X-Man, who smiled and returned
to their seats.
Wolverine was grinning from ear to ear as they sat down.
He seemed to have his earlier rage under control. Their seatmate
hadn't returned from the head yet, and probably wouldn't.
The plane was only half full.
"That was beautiful. The look on that guy's face when
ya blew his watch!" Logan was actually laughing now.
Gambit just smiled.
"I thought you were just gonna sit there and pout. What
changed yer mind?"
Gambit shrugged. "Dunno. Mebbe you right. I been t'inking
too much lately, and it all be 'bout her...and me." Like
mebbe you goin' nuts LeBeau?
"She don't have a name Cajun?"
"Anyway," he went on without acknowledging Wolverine's
last question, "I couldn't let you pop de claws, mon
frer. Too many people get scared a you, DEN we be in trouble."
Wolverine stopped laughing and looked at the Cajun. Maybe
I am startin' ta get through to him?
He was going to press the issue further, when he was interrupted
by female voices. "Uhm, excuse us." The men looked
up, both flight attendants were in the aisle.
"We just wanted to thank you again, for what you did
back there." Nancy was speaking. She was smiling at the
two men, but looked troubled. "Incidentally, what exactly
was it you did back there?"
Gambit merely shrugged, while Wolverine responded. "My
friend here just talked a little sense into the boy, right?"
Gambit smiled enigmatically.
"Well, thank you again..." Victoria seemed to want
to add something, then thought better of it before she walked
away. Nancy smiled before she too walked away.
Gambit watched as they retreated down the row. "Now
dat's a couple of nice lookin' femmes, non?"
Wolverine smiled. "Hadn't noticed. I thought you were
still hung up on Rogue."
"Well...I guess I am. But, she ain't here, 'n I don'
know if she gonna come back. Non? 'Sides, ain't no harm in
just lookin'," yet even as he said it, he wondered that
Rogue was a subject he kept wavering on. He loved her one
minute, hated her the next. The depth of his feelings for
her, and how quickly they could change, scared him. 'Least
I still got feelin's fo' de girl, good or bad. He looked
at Wolverine, who had apparently lost interest in further
conversation; he'd turned his back on the Cajun, and shut
"All right LeBeau. Now how about you shut up and let
me get some sleep." Gambit nodded and closed his eyes,
he was exhausted. They activities of the night had taken their
Mon Dieu, he thought to himself. Hockey. Well Gambit
don't be doin' no wave. He sat there and contemplated
his situation, and after awhile the absurdity of it began
to sink in. He started to smile. Mebbe dis trip won't be
so bad, he though to himself.
"How come we gotta go to Detroit to watch dis game?
Ain't dere no hockey teams closer?".
"Why, I'm not sure. I think I been kicked out of the
Garden and the Island. Come to think of it, I may have been
banned from Buffalo, Jersey, Hartford, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh
too." He rolled over and looked at the Cajun. 'Least
he ain't poutin' no more. "Now shut up, Gumbo. I
wanna get some sleep before we touch down."
After a few moments of silence; "Logan, I can' sleep.
Tell Gambit a story." Logan chuckled, despite himself.
The Cajun too, smiled.
The two men slept for less than thirty minutes before the
Captain came on the loudspeaker to announce their impending
arrival at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Both men were used
to going long periods of time with little sleep, therefore,
both were refreshed after their nap.
The Captain went on to say the conditions outside were partly
cloudy, and the expected high for the day was in the 35 to
40 degree range. Remy shuddered. He wished Stormy were here
to heat things up a little. He was not a fan of the cold.
The plane landed without any further incidents. The passenger
formerly known as the drunk, had indeed sobered up enough
to keep quiet. He was the first one out of the plane when
the hatch opened.
The businessman who had been seated next to Gambit, had stayed
in the head until the plane was ready to land. He found a
new seat further in the back. By the time he went back to
get his carry-on, Gambit and Wolverine were already in the
queue of passengers waiting to disembark.
The two Stewardesses were by the hatch, greeting the passengers
as they left. Their smiles widened when they saw the X-Man
approach. After brief pleasantries, the two women thanked
the men again, Logan and Remy found themselves walking down
the ramp, and into the terminal.
Continued in Chapter
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