The Ice Capades
Remy LeBeau was surprised. He assumed that since this was
an ice arena, and ice was cold, that the arena would be cold.
It wasn't. Not that he would mistake the atmosphere for Miami
Beach, but the building was warm enough for his Southern standards.
That was good. After the emotional roller of the past 24 hours
or so, the last thing he needed was an irrational irritation
like a cold building. Ya turnin' inta a little ol' lady,
Remy, Logan, Tory, and Amy were walking the main concourse
of the Joe Louis Arena, heading toward the section where their
seats were located. Logan and Amy were arm in arm; Wolverine
not only comfortable, but actually enjoying their growing
intimacy. Gambit, however, was growing more uncomfortable
with it. Seeing the two together reminded him of better days
with Rogue, and it soured his attitude. Tory seemed to sense
this, and slipped her hand wordlessly into his.
They still had about fifteen minutes to kill before the national
anthems, so they walked and looked at the pictures and memorabilia
of great (and not so great) players from the franchise's 'storied'
"Ya mean I gotta listen t'two a dem?" Remy's hockey
education had begun.
Tory giggled at his total lack of knowledge of the sport.
"Sure. Got an American team and a Canadian team. Can't
just have one anthem 'cause the other guys'll feel left out."
"What about the Ruskies?" Logan was quieted briefly
by Amy's elbow. Logan and the women then started to argue
about the influx of Europeans in the league, and whether it
was good or bad. Logan's voice was almost playful, If y'can
call anytin'g he do playful! Gambit shook his head in
disgust, disengaged his hand from Tory's, and wandered off.
He was walked aimlessly, not too far from his friends, watching
the crowd, and occasionally looking at a picture or a plaque.
A black and white picture of a smiling man holding, what he'd
been told was, a goalie stick caught his eye. He sidled over
to it and examined the picture. He studied it for a moment,
mesmerized by something in the man's smile. He glanced at
the nameplate on the picture, and froze, as the man's Mona
Lisa-like smile mocked him.
He stood there for a minute, maybe two before the others
caught up to him. When Tory tried to take his hand again,
he jerked it away from her and stalked off with a curt "I'm
gonna go sit down."
She looked at Logan, who only shrugged. "Cajun's been
in a yank lately."
"Yeah, I've noticed. Is he this way all the time, or
do I bring the best out in him?"
"Somethin' sure wound 'im back up." Logan moved
over and took a look at the picture Gambit had been studying
moments before and grunted. "That explains it."
Tory walked over to the picture and looked. It didn't explain
anything to her. "That's a picture of Rogie Vachon. Why
would a picture of an old hockey player upset Remy?"
"That's his girlfriend."
"Rogie Vachon is his girlfriend?"
"No! Her name is Rogue. She came back home today,
and brought some dirt bag with her."
They began walking again, aware that game time was getting
close. Amy had taken Tory's arm right after Remy had stormed
off continued to walk with her, much to Logan's regret. She
had been quiet until this point. "How do you know she's
"I called while you were asleep." He added a hasty
"collect" before either could say anything.
"I don't get it. You called her house?"
"No, I called our house"
"You called your own house? Why?" Tory entered
"Me and Gumbo don't live there alone."
"You share it with this 'Rogue' person?" -- Amy.
"Yeah. 'N others."
"How many 'others'?" -- Tory.
"Let me think. There's McCoy, 'Ro, Guthrie, Drake, Bishop,
Prof., Betts, Fly boy (sometimes), Scott and Jeanie, but they
live in the boathouse, me and Gumbo. That's what eleven, no
twelve. There's twelve of us."
"Fourteen if you count this Rogue and the 'dirt bag',
right?" -- Tory again.
"Yeah, somethin' like that."
Tory looked at Amy, who's face was incredulous. "What
do you live in, some kind of commune?" Looking at Logan's
face, Tory almost burst out laughing; his expression was priceless.
"Never thought 'bout it that way before." He tried
to picture Chuck living in a 'free love' community. Lack of
hair aside, he just couldn't picture the Professor turning
on and tuning out. Still mulling this, and with Tory and Amy
laughing hysterically behind him, they found their section
and made their way to their seats.
Any hope they might have had of Gambit shaking his funk before
they arrived was dashed when they found their seats. He was
seated, leaning forward, his hands gripping the empty chair
in front of him. Logan was sure that, if he could see them,
the Cajun's knuckles would be white. As it was, they were
glowing softly as he kinetically charged the row in front
of him. Gambit was staring at the Edmonton goalie, apparently
unaware of the bomb he was making.
"SNAP OUT OF IT GUMBO! Look at what yer doin'."
Remy stirred, as if shaken from a dream.
"Eh? SHIT!" LeBeau let go of the seat, and the
building energy began to slowly drain.
"What's the matter?" Logan could hear both fright
and concern in the Stew's voice.
"Nothin' darlin'. Just don't go touchin' the seat in
front of ya for a bit."
"Uhhhhh, okay. . ." Neither woman said anything
more. They'd both come to accept the string of 'odd occurrences'
that seem to surround their new friends.
"What's up now LeBeau?" As soon as he asked the
question, Wolverine saw the answer: the Oiler goalie turned
his back, displaying his last name; 'Joseph'.
"Oh fer cryin' out loud! Get a grip, will ya?"
Logan cuffed the younger man upside the head. The two were
oblivious to looks from those seated nearby. Tory didn't give
it a second thought: she'd been with them the better part
of a day now, and was used to their strange way of interacting,
although she was now convinced she'd been wrong with her initial
impression of the two as the 'Odd Couple'. They were more
like two of the three Stooges.
Remy looked daggers at him, but didn't say a word.
"Look, LeBeau. Number 1, Ya don't know fer sure she
and 'Joseph' are together. Wait 'til ya get home, 'cause right
now, you're just guessin.! Number 2, you can't lose it every
time you hear the name 'Rogue', 'Joseph', or any of that scum's
other aliases. Yer gonna drive yerself and everyone 'round
ya nuts!" Remy was about to reply, but was cut off by
"Sloooooooooowly I turn, step by step. . ."
"Darlin', what the hell are you talkin' 'bout?"
Tory blushed crimson under their glares. She knew her outburst
was inappropriate at best, but she couldn't help herself.
"It's an old 'Abbot & Costello' routine. One of them,
I think it's Costello, freaked out every time he heard the
words 'Niagara Falls.' Every time someone would say 'Niagara
Falls' he'd go into a rant that started that way." Looking
at the dark scowls on the two men's faces, she added a subdued
"seemed was funny at the time. .sorry" as her voice
Remy and Logan looked at each other, then back at Tory. Amy
was standing with her back to the trio, trying unsuccessfully
not to laugh; she couldn't believe Tory was shooting her mouth
off after some of the relationships she'd been in.
After a moment the two X-Men began to chuckle, then laugh
and the tension melted away. Remy turned back to Logan.
"I'm tryin', Logan. It's hard, dat's all."
"Yeah, I know kid. Just hang tough. You can handle it."
"Oui." Suddenly uncomfortable that his love life,
or lack thereof, was the center of attention, again, Gambit
tried to change the subject. He pointed to the Oiler goalie
and asked: "So who's dat guy anyway?"
"That's Curtis Joseph, AKA 'Cujo'. . ." Gambit
cut him off, his voice low.
"He a mutant too?"
Wolverine shook his head, unsure of whether Gambit was making
a joke or not. "No Gumbo. Believe it or not, flatscans
can have nicknames too." Logan let his voice get louder.
"Anyway, he's one of the best at what he does. Just like
me," Logan added with a toothy grin.
"Well. . .why Cujo, anyway?"
"Think about it, Gumbo. CU - as in Curtis, JO - as in
Joseph. . ." Logan's voiced trailed away as the Cajun's
eyes momentarily glazed over. I'm gonna gut 'im if he don't
Fortunately for all concerned, the stadium announcer asked
for everyone to stand as they began the national anthems.
There was a short scuffle during 'Oh Canada' as the four rearranged
themselves for the game. By the time the puck was dropped,
Gambit was seated with Logan on his right, with Amy on Logan's
right. She was wearing a walkman so she could follow the game,
but she had the headset cocked off one ear so she could participate
in any conversation as well. Her arm was resting on Logan's
leg. Remy sighed and looked to his left. Tory was intently
watching the game. After a moment, he turned his attention
to the game, and shortly Tory's hand snaked onto his leg.
Ya t'ink I ain't gonna notice dat if I ain't lookin'?
Remy Looked back at Tory, who kept her eyes on the game and
ignored him. He sighed. What d'hell was dat song? If y'can't
be wit d'one ya love, love d'one y'wit?' He took her hand
in his, and tried to focus on the game.
Remy hated to admit it, but the game was actually fairly
entertaining. Two periods into the contest, and he had a very
rudimentary understanding of the game. His three companions
had taken it upon themselves to educate him on the game's
He was amazed by the combination of speed, finesse and brutality
that the players displayed. At the end of the second period,
the game was tied at 2.
Logan excused himself and began to work his way up the stairs
to the concourse. Tory looked at him curiously as he passed.
"Where's he off to?" Remy shrugged, while Amy responded.
"He went to call someone. I guess we're hooking up with
them after the game."
"Who's he calling, Remy?"
"Jus' some friends, I s'pose."
"Why didn't use our cell phone?"
"Don't know, but I did offer. Why don't you ask him
when he gets back."
Amy and Tory spent the intermission interspersing small talk
while watching the 'Score-O' game and the Zambonies make their
laps. Remy sat in silence, thankful the women didn't try to
include him in their conversation. He'd pretty much decided
that hockey, no matter how 'entertaining' it was, wasn't for
him. Come to think of it, neither was Tory. She was nice enough,
but she just wasn't...
"They'll be taking off in the next ten-fifteen minutes."
Remy looked up to see Logan's face about two inches from his.
"Yeah. Blinky wants Guthrie to log some night time hours
in on the bird, so he's along. I guess a whole group's coming."
"Dunno. Guess they heard first round was on the rebounding
Remy grunted. "Where dey gonna land?"
"That ain't my problem, Gumbo. I told 'em where we'd
be. It's their job t'get there. Now shut up; game's back on.
The third period went quicker that the first two, with the
Wings taking the lead with under 3 minutes left in the game
on a 'one-timer' by Lidstrom (from Konstantinov and Yzerman)
during a power play. Remy cheered with the rest of the crowd,
although he didn't know what a 'one-timer' was, nor did he
really care who Lidstrom, Konstantinov or Yzerman were. The
game ended shortly, with a final score of 4-2. The Darren
McCarty scored once more for the Wings - dumping the puck
in the empty Edmonton net after Cujo was pulled for an extra
Tory insisted they wait for the three star selection before
left. She explained to Remy that the three stars were the
players judged to be the best in that particular game. It
was one of her favorites parts of an NHL game. Remy just feigned
Finally joining the queue, they made their way up the stairs
and out onto the concourse. After a brief discussion, they
decided to try and catch the shuttle back to Greektown. Failing
that, they'd hop the people mover and go that way.
The group worked their way back to the gate near the river,
leaving the same way they came in. As they left the building,
Wolverine pulled up short, much the same way he had back at
the airport. Gambit, Tory and Amy stopped, ignoring the cursing
and pushing from the crowd. Tory and Amy were obviously puzzled
by his action, Gambit alerted by them as he watched the Canadian
close his eyes, tilt his head and sniff. After a moment his
eyes shot open, and he turned to Gambit.
"We got trouble Cajun!" He looked skyward, and
pointed east, over Canada, back towards New York. Gambit followed
his gaze. He didn't need Wolverine's sense of smell to see
the problem; it was now clearly visible, and closing fast.
"Shit! C'mon girl, we gotta get outta here!" Grabbing
Tory's hand, Gambit pulled her down the steep arena stairs,
Wolverine and Amy were close behind. Tory followed reluctantly,
protesting the entire way to the street level. Looking back
toward the river, she saw what had spooked the two X-Men,
and stopped dead in her tracks, like a deer caught by the
beam of a flashlight.
"Oh ... my ... GOD! Is that what I think it is?!"
"Oui, Dat's why we gotta go," Gambit tugged
at her arm, but Tory was rooted in her spot by fear. A deafening
roar filled the air as the metallic creature closed in on
the arena, quickly righted itself, then descended and came
to rest in the auxiliary parking lot between the stadium and
the river. Those who were still leaving the arena took one
look at the mechanical behemoth to the east before they started
screaming and running in mindless panic.
"Unit scanning for programmed targets." They could
hear the 'whir' of the monster's gyros as it's head turned
slowly from side to side, obviously searching for something.
After a moment, it stopped, it's 'eyes' locked on the group
of four. When it spoke, it's voice was mechanical and cold.
"Target designates 'Wolverine' and 'Gambit', with unidentified
Alpha Class mutant located. . . . . . . . Commence scanning
of unidentified mutant. . . . . . . Image and information
downloaded for future analysis." There was a brief pause
as the monster redirected it's attention back to the two X-Men.
"Mutant designates Wolverine and Gambit - you are ordered
to surrender by command of Onslaught. Resistance will be met
Amy tightened her grip on Logan's arm and shrank next to
him. While she could tell something was horribly wrong, she
had no idea what was happening. When she finally found her
voice, Logan could hear the quaking of barely controlled panic.
"Logan, what's going on?"
His reply was a low, guttural growl. "It's a Sentinel
darlin'. Look's like he wants t'play with me 'n the Cajun."
Continued in Chapter
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