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Warnings: Mature themes throughout the story, dealing with rape, torture and the psychological traumas of imprisonment in a concentration camp. Sexually explicit scene in Chapter 23.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Author's Notes



There was a time he believed. Santa Claus. Easter Bunny. God. There was a time for hopes. A time for dreams. There was a time when heaven and hell were abstracts discussed late at night over Lowenbrau and five card stud. His life before the X-men. His life before Rogue.

Remy LeBeau wakes slowly. He doesn't open his eyes. What's the point? He doesn't need to see to feel the weight of the dead and dying bodies suffocating him. The mass graves of New Genosha.

The Genoshans throw lime in the pits, to eliminate any undissolved bones that would betray the true nature of this site. It does nothing to relieve the stench of his own filth. It does nothing to eliminate the buzzing and biting of black flies drawn to the bodily wastes and decaying flesh.

His palm rests lightly on his sunken skin and prominent ribs. Bitterly, he considers that if it weren't for the scabs, he would have nothing holding his body together. His body, now criss-crossed with the fine, white lines of scars. Six months ago they were bloody welts. Now, they are only reminders of his descent into New Genosha--hell on earth.

Four months ago, three months even, he would have been ashamed to have her see him this way. By the time she did arrive, only last week, he was too overcome with relief to care. If he was less than a man, less than human as the Genoshans insisted, still she had believed he possessed something more and had come for him.


How could he have been so wrong about her reason for being there?

He closes his eyes tighter against the remembered pain of his abandoned salvation. Still, the image burns in his mind. The beauty of her in flight, taking out the guards of New Genosha. His voice, surging with hope, calling her name. The sudden clarity of the confusion on her face at seeing him. Finally, the harsh realization on his part that she did not expect to find him here. The X-men had come, but not for him.

He had watched her hovering, undecided, until someone's voice crackled in her headset, reminding her of the importance of her mission. She had mouthed something to him, whether a promise or a prayer, he couldn't say. And it didn't matter. The New Genoshan military was fully activated and attacking the X-men. Rogue made her decision and flew off.

This man, who had thought all feeling had been beaten from him months ago, weeps. Salt from his tears burn the open wounds on his face. After the X-men's assault, the guards intensified the torture. As if such a thing were possible. Genocide. Mass graves. Mind games.

Remy LeBeau opens his eyes and turns his face to the woman next to him. Nicola. In death, she looks even younger than her years. His fingers can barely reach her belly, can barely reach the pronounced roundness of a child that will never be. His child. He closes his eyes against the gray light of morning. He expected to be dead by now. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is stubborn.

How long had he been with the X-men? A year? Five? In all that time, he had repeatedly tried to convince them, especially Bishop, that he would never betray them. Nothing would cause Remy LeBeau to betray his own kind. Over the past six months, however, the mutant known as Gambit has learned that there are no absolutes in life. During all of his time with the X-men, with Rogue, he would never have believed that she could abandon him.

Until he had witnessed her betrayal with his own eyes.

A spark burns within. Revenge. It's as good a reason to live as any. He runs a rough tongue over cracked lips. With a single word, it begins.



Continued in Chapter 2.


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