Down-Home Charm Photo Album Songbank Fan-Fiction History Books Fan Art Miscellania Links
Fan-Fiction >
UXM #350 Aftermath >
"Through a Mirror Clear"

Through a Mirror Clear

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten

Future Chapters

Brunch with Mystique
A Night on the Town
The Return

Note: This is not the final version. It's still in the editing stages.

Chapter ???

Alive? He might be dead for aught I know,
With that red gaunt colloped neck-a-strain
And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane,
Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe;
I never saw a brute I hated so
~ from "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" ~
by Robert Browning

Bobby held the door open for Rogue as they walked back into the mansion. She looked down appreciatively at the bundle of roses in her arms and then smiled back at Bobby. "Probably better put these in water. Ah'll be right back."

Feeling rather proud of himself, he smiled bashfully at her. "Okay. I'll just be in the kitchen, then."

Bobby watched as she sprinted up the stairs to her bedroom, then headed toward the kitchen with newspaper in hand.

Logan was still there. By now he had turned off the television and was sitting at the table, glaring at the coffeemaker as if to will it to percolate faster. He reached out and grabbed the newspaper from Bobby's grasp. "Talk to her?" he asked as he set aside the Sunday advertising inserts.

"Yup," Bobby said, his chest almost puffing with pride as he walked over to the refrigerator.

"Good fer you," Logan murmured as he started reading the newspaper.

Bobby looked expectantly over at Logan, hoping to be asked for more information; when no such request came, he volunteered it himself. "She loved the roses," he said, reaching into the refrigerator for the carton of orange juice. "She said they were her favorites. Thanks for the tip."

"No problem."

Bobby grimaced with annoyance when the juice carton proved empty. "Hey! Who drank all the OJ?" He glanced at Logan, who studiously ignored him as he read the Sunday paper.

The disappointed Iceman looked back at the empty orange juice carton and made a mental note to freeze Logan's beers solid sometime. Then he reached into the freezer to pull out a can of juice concentrate marked with Cannonball's name. Well, this is an emergency...

Bobby found a clean pitcher and thawed out the frozen can of juice in the microwave, then dumped the semi-frozen juice out of the can and into the pitcher. He was so preoccupied with smashing the frozen bits of juice to a pulp that he nearly jumped with surprise when Logan spoke up.

"Hey, Drake...?"

Some errant drops of juice splashed up onto Bobby's face, and he furrowed his brows with annoyance. "Yeah?"

"Outta curiosity, you or Rogue see anythin'...different this mornin' when you were out there?"

Gruff manner and tone aside, Bobby could have sworn Logan looked almost...worried?

"Umm...Not that I can think of. I'll ask Rogue later, though. Why?"

"Nothin'...Just thought I smelled somethin'...familiar."

He left the room before Bobby could say anything else. For his part, Bobby looked curiously out the doorway after Logan and then returned to his juicemaking.

Logan hiked up the stairs to Storm's loft bedroom and knocked on the door. "‘Ro?" he called. There was no answer, so he climbed back down the stairs and walked outside to inspect the mansion grounds.

He found what he was looking for just outside the gates. The footprints were faint, but the scent was plain enough to his enhanced senses. Logan immediately recognized who their morning visitor had been; it only confirmed his earlier suspicions. Sniffing the air, he also detected Storm's scent.

So he's back now... ‘Ro must have gone after him. Guess she can handle it...


Storm followed the stranger to a small motel on the other side of Salem Center. She watched at a discreet distance as he stepped out of his car, stumbled into the motel office and walked dejectedly to a motel room. She finally saw his face when he quickly looked over his shoulder as he unlocked the door and slipped into the room.

"Remy...?" Storm mumbled to herself, steadying herself against a nearby tree. She'd had her suspicions about their morning visitor since he first sped away in his car, but seeing his face... the confirmation that her once dear friend was indeed still alive was enough to make her stagger as a flood of conflicting emotions hit her.

Overwhelming relief. Regret. Rekindled anger. Disbelief. Guilt.

In her heart, she had never quite accepted what the others had told her about Gambit's involvement in the Morlock massacre. In their first encounter, he had saved her life from the Shadow King, at a time when she was alone, de-aged and only in limited control of her powers. He had followed her to the X-Men. And as they fought side-by-side, she believed that Remy, bravado aside, had come to trust in Xavier's dream almost as much as herself. They had been friends, comrades, partners in crime -- almost family, even.

How could that be reconciled with the violent carnage of the Mutant Massacre? How could this man have been associated with a gang of some of the most bloodthirsty, ruthless beings she had ever met?

Her friend was not a killer. A "lady-killer," perhaps, but not a murderer. Gambit was playful, rebellious, a show-off. Devil-may-care attitude. Cool and calm in the face of danger.

Images flashed unbidden in Ororo's mind, memories of watching her friend in battle or in the Danger Room. He was so sure of himself, fighting almost as if he had been specially trained for battle. Well-placed punches, kicks, swipes of the bo-staff. He could spout witty rejoinders with the best of them, but there was a hard glint to his eyes as he expertly took down one opponent after another.

She tried to push the memories, the doubts out of her mind. Her friend was not a killer. Couldn't be.

He sat on the bed in his motel room, head in his hands, as he tried to come to grips with what had happened.

But nothing had happened, he told himself.

He could still picture her, standing mere feet away as she skimmed the headlines of the Sunday Times. He'd wanted to call out to her then. He wanted to see her reaction when she saw him after all this time...after all that had happened.

There were so many loose ends. Even if he was to leave and never see her again, he still wanted to talk with her, just once, to clear the air and find some kind of closure after everything that had happened.

Maybe then she would stop haunting his dreams. Maybe then he'd stop wanting to hurt her for what she'd done to him. Maybe then he'd stop wishing he could hold her again and tell her everything was going to be okay.

But everything wasn't going to be okay, was it? He'd seen the transformation she had gone through when Bobby came up to her with that damned bouquet of flowers. It was as if just seeing Bobby could completely brighten her day and make her happy.

He didn't want her to be happy with Bobby.

Maybe he didn't want her to be happy at all. After what she had done to him, did she really deserve happiness? Life had proved to him again and again that he certainly didn't deserve to be happy. Why, then, should she be luckier than him?

No. He deserved what she'd done to him. He'd been the demon that had infiltrated her soul and forced her to leave him behind, to die alone in the Antarctic wastelands. After what he'd done, he certainly deserved the punishment; it seemed only fitting that the fates had chosen to have his lover play the role of executioner.

Now that she'd purged herself of his influence, it was her right to move on.

But still...

A sharp rapping at the door interrupted his thoughts.

Wearily, Remy pulled himself to his feet and opened the door apprehensively. When he saw who his visitor was, part of him desperately wanted to slam the door shut and run away, although he knew he didn't have that option.

The thief in him chided himself for having been so stupid. As he stood dumbfounded in the doorway, the realization dawned on him that he should have known someone at the mansion would have figured out he'd been there.

Why did that someone have to be her?

"Um...Hullo, Stormy."

Ororo stepped cautiously into the Mansion, hoping that no one would notice her entrance. The clock in the entryway read 1 p.m.

Was it really that late? Was it really that early, for that matter?

When she had awakened, seven hours, ago the world seemed a much simpler place. Yet, seven hours ago, she also believed one of her best friends to still be dead.

Now, those seven hours seemed positively an age ago.

Wolverine was sitting on a couch in the common room. If Storm didn't know better, she'd think he was just napping. But his eyes opened and fastened upon her as she walked into the room, and she knew that he knew what had happened.

She only nodded in response to his unspoken question and walked past him to the stairway. They'd talk later. Now, she had a mission of sorts to complete.

The closer she got to Rogue's room the uneasier she became. Part of her wanted to freely express the joy she felt at the return of her friend. Another part of her worked hard at suppressing the uneasy emotions and memories that Remy's return had rekindled. She knew she would have to tell Rogue the news carefully, and be prepared for a potential emotional onslaught.

Rogue lay quietly on her bed, lost in thought. She'd intended to come upstairs for a nap, but sleep had refused to come, leaving her to her own ponderings. Listlessly, she twirled one of Bobby's yellow roses between the fingers of either hand as she chided herself for being so receptive to them.

Geez, girl. One minute you're all against havin' any kinda romantic deal, an' the next minute ya fall over the first guy ta give ya flowers. You're goin' soft, gal. Can't afford ta do this, not anymore.

She ran her fingers over the flower's soft, silky petals and sighed.

But there's something there between me an' Bobby. M'heart wants ta see where this goes, an' m'head's tellin' me it's a real stupid idea.

She idly waved the flower in the air, as if painting a picture on the ceiling.

Heart's been wrong before. Should Ah listen to it again this time?

Rogue rolled out of bed and put the flower in the vase with its friends, then carried the vase over to the window. She pressed her fingertips to the windowpane as she surveyed the grounds from her vantage point. She wasn't sure what she was looking for, but she had this odd feeling...

Her eyes focused on a point in the distance: the gated entrance to the mansion grounds at the far end of the driveway, where she'd gone to pick up the morning paper.

In her mind she relived that quiet scene from that morning. She'd gone down to get the newspaper. As she flipped through it, she'd felt a tingling at her seventh sense. Looking up, Bobby was there with the bouquet of flowers semi-hidden behind his back; Rogue smiled at the memory. Then she'd felt another tingle and had noticed Storm on her morning flight over the grounds.

But something didn't seem right.

She remembered feeling a slight chill as she picked up the paper. Skimming the front page. A tingling feeling, warning her of someone's approach. Bobby and the flowers. Another tingle. Storm.

Chill. Newspaper. Tingle. Bobby --

Wait. She'd felt a chill in June?

Could that have been another tug at her seventh sense?

But Bobby and Storm were the only people outside that morning.

The tingle had been such a short burst. It had to have been a quick breeze.

She narrowed her eyes as she scrutinized the area by the mansion gates.

It might have been a quick movement, too.

A sense of dread...almost fear...came upon her as realization hit.

Someone else had been there that morning.

Her senses sharpened and her nerves on edge, she spun around quickly when her seventh sense told her that someone was approaching her room.

Moments later, Ororo popped her head in the door.

"Rogue? Might we talk?"

"Um...Sure, Storm. What's up?"

Ororo hesitantly stepped into the room. Looking pointedly at the roses in Rogue's hand, she asked, "A gift from Bobby?"

"Um...yeah...He's...real sweet." Looking almost embarrassed, Rogue quickly set the flowers down on her bedside table. "So what's on your mind, ‘Ro?" She gestured toward the chair next to her vanity. "Have a seat?"

"Thank you." Storm brought the chair closer to Rogue and sat down. "For this, I believe you should sit down as well. There is much we need to discuss."

Rogue looked at Storm quizzically, then sat down on the edge of her bed. "Okay...Now you've really got me curious. What's goin' on?"

Ororo hesitated, unsure how best to begin. "Rogue, we had something of a...visitor...this morning. I followed him when he left..."

"He was hidin' behind the bushes by the main gate, wasn't he?"

Storm nodded in assent. Rogue stood and walked over to the window, turning her back to Ororo. She felt her throat begin to constrict, and she clenched her fists to keep hot tears from rolling down her cheeks. "Musta been watchin' when Bobby gave me those flowers..." Still facing the window with her back toward Storm, she gingerly massaged her now-throbbing temples.

For a few minutes, no one spoke, and an uneasy silence settled upon the room.

"He's back, isn't he?" Rogue finally said, almost whispering.

"Yes," Storm said simply, standing up. She stayed at a distance behind Rogue, ready to offer a shoulder to cry upon if needed.

"So how is he?"

"He is...well. We spoke for some time about...what happened..." Storm hesitated.

Rogue turned around and gazed curiously with red-rimmed eyes at her friend. "What did you tell him?"

"Only what was my right to say."

"So he doesn't know about...the baby yet?"

"I only told him -- briefly -- what has happened here in his absence, such as our recent...problems with the Shadow King. I did not feel it my place to tell him of your more...personal troubles."

"Good." Rogue returned to staring out the window.

"Rogue...he would like to see you."

Storm could see the building tension in Rogue's back and shoulders as Rogue battled to retain control of herself. "So...when an' where?"

Storm pulled a folded piece of paper from her pocket. "He wanted me to deliver a letter to you." She stood and brought the note over to Rogue, who quickly snatched it from her hand.

Ororo moved to leave. "I will be outside if you --"

"Wait. Please?" Storm could hear the pleading in Rogue's voice. "Ah don't want to do this alone."

Storm smiled reassuringly and moved to Rogue's side. "Of course not, child."

Rogue looked down at the note in her hand, then back at Storm. "Ororo -- thanks," she said uncertainly as she turned her attentions back to the letter. Nervously chewing on her lower lip, she held her breath as she unfolded the note.

It read simply:


I guess it's pretty obvious that we've got a lot to talk about. If you want to see me, meet me at Caruso's in Salem Center tonight at 7. If you don't come, I'll figure you don't want to see me, and I'll leave you alone.

Remy leBeau

Rogue felt her legs turn to jelly as they buckled beneath her, bringing her to her knees. "He's alive...," she whispered, her eyes brimming with tears. "He's back...and he wants to see me." Rogue's voice cracked, and Ororo saw a the churning confusion, relief and panic in Rogue's eyes as she looked up.

Storm knelt down beside her friend, who had begun shaking, and wrapped her arms around her. Rogue finally let spill the tears and sobs that had been building since Storm had first broken the news. Storm patted her on the back as Rogue sobbed into her shoulder. Finally, Rogue regained control of herself and disengaged from the embrace.

"Ah don't know if I'm silly with relief that he's alive, or terrified that he wants to see me," she said weakly, sniffing as she wiped her nose on the back of her hand.

"Do you know what you are going to do?" Storm asked her.

"Well...Ah...Ah owe it to him ta see him, at least just this once." Rogue picked a rose up off her bedside table and began fiddling with it. "Ah mean...after everything that happened, we do need ta talk..." She looked down at her swollen belly, nervously laughing as she patted it lightly. "After all, he should probably know about this li'l one, right?"

Storm placed her hand on Rogue's shoulder and smiled at her encouragingly. "Yes, he probably should."

Rogue smiled hesitantly at Storm, then fiddled nervously with the rose in her hand, testing each of the thorns on the stem; none broke through her invulnerable skin. Storm moved over to the window, gazing pensively out at the lush greenery of the mansion grounds.

"So how're you doin' with all this, Stormy?"

Storm looked over her shoulder at Rogue, surprised at the question. "I give thanks to the Bright Lady for his safe return."

"Don't go pullin' that goddess gig on me, ‘Ro. Ah know you better than that. How are you really doin?"

Ororo sat down on Rogue's bed with a sigh. "I cannot help but be reminded of my own failures when I think of him. And now that he is back...I find it difficult to reconcile my memories of the Morlock massacre with the Remy that I have known for so long." Storm paused. "Why is it that having such a dark event in one's past seems almost a prerequisite for membership in the X-Men?"

Storm smiled sadly at the unintentional joke. Rising stiffly to her feet, she said, "I should probably be going..."

She walked to the door, then looked back, doorknob in hand. "If you should need any help in...getting ready...tonight, I will likely be in my room, tending to my plants."

"Thank you, Ororo," Rogue said, smiling gratefully.

Rogue again lay on her bed, pensively tapping the rose stem against her comforter as she rested her other hand, still clasping the note, on her belly. She knew she had to see him, but her anxiety was getting the better of her.

Looking at the petals of the rose, she idly considered a round of "he loves me, he loves me not." If only things were that simple, she sighed to herself. We're not two teenagers with crushes on each other. It's so much more complicated than that.

Ah don't know if Ah even want him ta love me anymore...Certainly don't know how Ah feel about him anymore...

Just wish Ah could snap my fingers and this night'd be over.

She glanced over at the alarm clock next to her bed, then jumped up suddenly. "6:30?!" Rogue muttered a curse to herself as she lept to her feet and rushed over to her closet.

Hurriedly, she grabbed the first thing she could find, the outfit she had worn the night before on her date with Bobby. She moved over to the mirror, meaning to quickly dart in front of it to check her hair and makeup, but she caught herself staring at her reflection, comparing her present self to the one of six months ago.

Her face was thinner, and her belly definitely larger. She even thought she could see a wrinkle or two. And was that more gray in her hair, or just part of her white stripe?

Rogue closed her eyes and forced herself to take a deep breath, then tried to look at herself more calmly in the mirror. This "date" was making her crazy.

Gambit unfolded his menu for the twentieth time and glanced at his watch for probably the thirtieth. She was over an hour late.

I can' take this anymore. Stood you up, boy. What'd you expect? Love and kisses? Pah!

It's time I should be going.

Prob'ly just as well anyway. What I saw today... She's obviously let go. Time for me t'do the same.

He called for his bill and took a last sip of his wine. Once the waiter brought back his credit card, he quickly signed the receipt and walked toward the door.

A pay telephone near the restroom caught his eye on his way out, and he paused for a moment, debating whether he should call the mansion, or just consider this the end.

Nah...This gotta be the end. No more 'a this hoping and second chances an' shit. She don't show up, means she don' want to see you no more. Knew if you came back this might happen. Always a risk. Just gotta roll with the punches.

Need 'tget outta here.

Remy pulled his trenchcoat tighter around himself and bolted out the door, only to collide with a woman just outside the exit, knocking them both into the street.

Shit. First I get stood up, den I knock over a pregnant lady. Could dis day get any worse?

"Sorry," he mumbled as he got to his feet.

Inexplicably, the woman began laughing. "What's so funny?" he asked, annoyed. He offered a hand to help her up.

She mumbled an answer as he pulled her to her feet. He almost dropped her when she looked up at him and he saw her face.


She'd been pacing outside the restaurant window for the past half-hour trying to decide whether or not she wanted to go inside.

Ah can see him through the window. He looks angry, impatient. Keeps lookin' at his watch.

Ah should go in.

No...Ah can't face him again. Seeing him from out here's bad enough.

Ah can do this...Ah can just walk right in there and sit down at the table. Sure, he'll be upset about my bein' late, but it'd be worse if Ah didn't show up at all...

Rogue again peered through the window at Gambit's table. It was empty.

Shit. Way to go girl. Go and screw it all up again.

She sighed, then turned to look down the street, hoping to see him walking along the sidewalk.

Get a grip. Just find him this time.

As Rogue passed by the restaurant, a tall figure darted out, colliding with her and sending her sprawling into a puddle on the street.

"Sorry," the man mumbled as he pulled himself to his feet.

Almost against her will, Rogue started giggling.

Could this day possibly get any worse?

"What's so funny?" her "assailant" asked, a hint of annoyance in his voice. He stuck out a hand to help her up.

"Kind of a private joke," she said, accepting his help as she awkwardly tried to get back on her feet. Her smile disappeared when she looked up at his face.

"Hi, Remy."


To be continued.


Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction / Fan Artwork / History Books / Photo Album / Songbank / Miscellania / Links / Updates

Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by Marvel Comics.
Privacy Policy and Submission Guidelines