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Chapter 1
Chapter 2

Nothing to Chance - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Jacque Koh
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 2

X-Mansion, Recreation room:

"I need to know!"

Betsy sat up on the sofa gasping for breath. She stared around her in confusion, she was in the rec room. The TV was on. Bishop and Warren were looking at her with curious expressions. She must have fallen asleep. The dream, which did not feel like a dream, was already beginning to fade.

"I have to remember. It's important. I have to remember." She gritted trying to grasp at the fading threads of memory. But it was gone, and she could no longer remember why it was so important to her.

"Betsy?" Warren shifted his position on the sofa to face her, "What is it? Did you have a nightmare?"

"Yes - no - I - I don't know anymore, I can't remember." She shivered as Warren's arms slid around her, lending her his strength.

"What was it, Betsy? What did you dream of?"

"It was - " Her brow furrowed as she tried to recall the dream, "I can't remember. It - it's gone now."

"Mustn't have been very important." He stroked her arm soothingly.

"Yes it was! I know if I could have just understood what happened, it would have answered all the questions ever thought of!" Her eyes were wild, as she clenched her fist, not caring that her fingernails were digging into the palm of her hand. "There - there was something - some way to get the answers I needed. Something important, but what?"

Warren held her, rocking her gently as she shivered in his embrace.

"Remy - Remy was there? He knew," she whispered into his chest, "There's something I can do if I chose to try. And I can't remember. I need to so much, but I can't remember. Remy knew ... something ... "

Warren's arms tightened around her when he heard the name again. "Damn Cajun."

"Excuse me?" Betsy shoved him away. Warren winced, as her eyes blazed at him in anger.

"Gambit's dead. And it was his own stupid fault." Angel bulldoze on, "Scott said it himself. Gambit left himself wide open for Harpoon and Sinister to hit him. Why are all of you beating yourselves up over his suicide? You never like the Cajun?"

"And that 'Damn Cajun' saved us!" Betsy came to her feet to stand over him, "We should have died. I saw it!"


"You know about my precognitive flashes? It doesn't come often, but I had one." Betsy hissed at him, as her arms moved to hug herself, "I had one the moment Vertigo hit us, and I saw our deaths."

"Betsy - "

"But it changed, Remy changed it." Her lip trembled as she turned her back on Warren and started walking towards the door, past the still silent Bishop who had picked up a discarded deck of cards. "He changed it to save us, and to change it he had to die. And for the life of me I don't know how he knew, and why he chose to interfere."

She shuddered again as she had another flash back to that fateful battle. Over and over again, the scene of their near death event played in her mind's eye.

Flashback - Psyloke's perspective, Sinister's Lab:

The X-Men were struggling to recover from Vertigo's attack. Their mutant powers momentarily crippled, but returning after Remy had destroyed the suppression generator.

She was not the only one to be shocked by Gambit's appearance. After the morning's altercation with Scott, and his departure, the X-Men had thought that they would not see him again for the rest of the week, much less have him suddenly appear in their hour of need.

Gambit had protected them then, when they had not been expecting his presence. Fighting for them with a ferocity which shocked them all. But he would need back up fast! He had taken the Marauders by surprise, but the ones who still lived were rebounding from his attack.

The need for the X-Men's recovery increased a thousand fold when Sinister stepped out of the shadows.

"You should not have come, LeBeau. I would have spared you."

"Maybe Gambit not want y' gift, neh?" The Cajun's swinging Bo smashed across Arclight's neck, snapping it before her hand could impact the ground.

Sinister fired an energy blast at him, but Gambit only laughed as he dodged the beam and leaped to the center of the room.

Psylocke didn't spare them a second glance as she sank her reactivated psychic knife into Scrambler's head. She cursed silently, the strength behind her blow was still lacking, and certainly not enough to knock Scrambler out of the fight. If she didn't try something else soon, the Marauder would have the time to use his powers on her and scramble her powers even further. Then again, Psylocke could count herself as one of the few X-Men who did not depend on mutant powers alone.

She hit Scrambler in the solar plexus with her other fist, doubling the hapless man over before he could fully recover from her feeble psychic attack. Her knee went up as his head came down, and the resulting blow gave Betsy the result she had originally desired with her psychic knife.

Free once more, she spun around looking for more targets. She was one of the first to see Remy's danger.

All his attention was focused on the man before him. The Cajun seemed to care not, that Blockbuster, and Harpoon were slowly making it back on their feet.

Psylocke had to blink when she saw Gambit spin his Bo over his head. She could have sworn that she saw a flickering shower of glitter which forming a circle around him. But she couldn't be sure.

"It ends, here! An' it ends now, Essex!" Gambit shoved the end of his Bo in the ground in front of him.

"I am not so easily taken in by occult tricke-"

"Gambit! Behind you!"

She had screamed at him from across the room, when she saw Blockbuster launch himself at the apparently oblivious Cajun. Harpoon was already liberating three of his harpoons from his quiver, and was readying himself to throw it at the attacker who had so casually broken his jaw.

But Gambit had ignored her, and what he did next both surprised and shocked the telepathic ninja.

In that instant, time seemed to move in slow motion.

Rogue crawled to her feet, also screaming for Remy to move, at the same time launching herself into a tackle to bring down Blockbuster.

Across the room, Cyclops looked up from the floor as the Inuit steadied himself to throw three harpoons at the Cajun's back. Bishop was diving forward, desperate to intercept the energy beam that Sinister was unleashing at the unmoving Gambit.

"Gambit!" "Father!" The screams sound simultaneously as Bishop and Scott react to his danger.

Scott shot a wide energy blast, but managed to disintegrate only two of the Marauder's energy harpoons. The third continued it's journey across the room intact and made it's target. The optic blast that followed knocked Harpoon out of the fight.

Bishop landed between Sinister and Gambit in time to catch some, but not the full force of the energy blast. Before Bishop could begin to re-channel the energy he absorbed, Sinister had crumpled before him as if he'd been pole axed, though he was apparently untouched. Behind Bishop, Remy had slid down his Bo.

From taking care of Blockbuster, Rogue rocketed to his side screaming, the fallen Marauders forgotten for the moment.

Psylocke's hands were over her mouth as her eyes locked onto the crimson pool, which grew beneath the fallen X-Man. But the blood isn't all that she sees. Contrary to the tragedy unfolding, another image had appeared to her. A scene, which blotted out the image of the X-Men's death, that she had seen in her earlier vision. This was a new scene, of some of the X-Men alive, and growing old.

The image disappeared as quickly as it appeared, leaving her suddenly aware of her approach to Sinister's prone form. The man's red eyes were wide in shock.

"Remy ... how ... did - ?" Then the light in his eyes faded and died.

Betsy looked up sharply to realize that she was probably the only one close enough to have heard Sinister's last words. The others were around Gambit. She knew without asking that he was already dead, though some others were not as accepting of the truth.

Flashback - Bishop's Perspective, Sinister's Lab:

The only thing Bishop is aware of, is the blood that he is kneeling in. He is only vaguely aware of Rogue kneeling beside him and helping him to perform CPR on the unresponsive body.

"You can't be dead, Remy. You can't be dead." Bishop keeps up his rhythm with Rogue, forcing air into the lungs of the body at measured intervals.

"Remy! Don't ya die on me, damn it! Ya can't die, Gambit! Ah love ya! Ya hear me, Swamp Rat?! Ah love ya! Breathe! BREATHE!"

Wolverine flicked Riptide's blood from his claws as he walked to Storm's side to give her a hand up.


"The Goddess cannot be so cruel, Logan." Tears streamed down her face as her mind tells her what her heart cannot accept.

"Come on, we should pull the kids off him." He told her quietly.

She can only nod numbly.

Storm knelt across from Bishop, and reached out to him. Her hand rested lightly on his shoulder, firmly but gently preventing him from bending over to blow air into Gambit's mouth.

At the same time, Wolverine reached around to grip Rogue's hands from behind her and stop her from continuing her pumping action on the unresponsive chest.

"Let it go, Rogue. The Cajun's gone."


Logan didn't say anything, but his hands are firm as they hold her back from continuing their futile revival attempts. Rogue leaned back into his arms as she began to keen. Her grief surrounding her, and drowning her in it's embrace.

Bishop reached around his neck to undo his bandanna. His numbed hands hesitate for just a moment before he can make himself lay the bandanna over Remy's face.

He noticed Storm look up as if she heard something. But she turned her face downwards again, and in that movement the slight jerk caused a single tear to leave her face and travel through the air, instead of flowing down her cheeks.

A single crystalline drop, which catches Bishop's attention in it's flight as it sparkles in the dim light.

X-Mansion, Recreation room:

A splash of a tear on his hand raised Bishop from his reverie. The time lost X-Men looked around him, almost forgetful of what had brought him to the rec room, or even why he had entered the room though he had seen Warren and Betsy dozing together on the love seat.

His eyes fell to the cards scattered at his feet, from a deck of cards, which might have been left behind after a forgotten poker session. Bishop had entered the room to retrieve the cards as soon as he noticed them. It was at that moment that Betsy suddenly cried out.

Warren and Betsy had long left the room, leaving him alone to absently shuffle the deck, just as Gambit had countless times.

Those cards now lay scattered at his feet like a shattered facade. A façade which was his life. It was only now that he could really see, that his past was gone. The X-Men still lived, and Remy, who should have become the Witness, was dead. Now, he was truly a man whose past will never exist, and who has no idea what to do about the future.

Bishop had sacrificed everything, which had been dear to him, to travel back through time to apprehend his era's criminals. He had been elated to find himself in the past of his heroes, the X-Men. And he had subsequently devoted his life to saving the X-Men from their supposed doom.

He thought he had accomplished that, when he intercepted the psionic blast Onslaught had directed at the X-Men. But was Onslaught, the killer of the X-Men they had all assumed him to be? Was he really the danger that destroyed them?

Doubt raged within him. He had intercepted that blast from Onslaught. A blast which would have killed the X-Men, had he allowed it to hit them. And he didn't. He thought he had triumphed over fate. But there was something wrong with this timeline, Gambit was with the X-Men then. He was suppose to have lived through to Bishop's time, yet he would have surely died with the X-Men then, if history had continued its course.

Was Onslaught's rampage truly the event which killed the X-Men? What if Bishop's presence had actually been a trigger to make Onslaught take a stronger offensive against the X-Men? What if Bishop's presence had caused Onslaught to make better plans, to make sure he took precautions of using deadlier force against the X-Men, especially Gambit? In the end, Bishop hadn't even save them from Onslaught.

Onslaught was vanquished by the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and the X-Men. It was the X-Men who remained behind to finally destroy Onslaught, when the Fantastic Four and the Avengers gave their lives to take him down from within.

In his past, there was life beyond Onslaught. He was defeated. If Onslaught had been the killer of the X-Men, then who would have been left, to strike the deathblow of that creature after the sacrifice of the other heroes? Was Onslaught the threat to the X-Men, or was it the one that just passed. The one that Gambit had circumvented. A threat, which Gambit would have survived, just like the Witness did, had he not taken an active role.

Bishop stared at the cards at his feet. Like a fallen house of cards, all his theories and beliefs were now shattered and torn asunder. And it was all theories he had reasoned out about the Witness. About Gambit ...

He had been wrong all along. About Gambit being the traitor, when it was actually Professor X. He was wrong about the event, which would have caused the X-Men's deaths, while allowing Gambit to survive. And now about Gambit being the only surviving X-Men to be part of his past.

He had been so arrogant to think that he alone could have changed the tide of history. Yet his contribution in saving the X-Men in that all-important event had been nil. He would have only died with them. Instead, the man who would have been his father had changed the event. And now, there will be no Witness to take in the orphaned boy and his sister.

Gambit was dead. Remy LeBeau would never become the Witness. Never become his father ...

And of himself? He had traveled to the past, and could have almost caused the X-Men's deaths prematurely with Onslaught. Like a house of cards, everything he had cause to believe in was gone.

Bishop buried his face in his hands, at that point he couldn't be sure if he wanted to just sink into despair, or to go mad first.

"dO yOU rEaLLy WaNt to STaY wiTH ME, miSTeR biShOp?"

Bishop let out a startled cry and fell in an undignified heap on the other side of the sofa.

"Believe me, old man. It is quite a fascinating place, but I don't think you humans are suited to want to live there for very long."

After the events of the previous summer, Bishop now knew better than to draw his gun on the little girl with her talking dog. He and Wolverine were left quite mad that afternoon, until Gambit intervened on their behalf. And since Remy refused to explain the incident, beyond what he had told them that evening, no one had any idea what had really happened.

The only thought which ran through Bishop's mind at the moment, was that it might be a very good idea to run.

<Don't' look back, run. Run.>

From shadow to shadow, darkness to darkness, she slipped between the planes of light and dark.

<Run, get away. Get away from the questions. Questions can hurt you. No one has answers, only more questions. Run, or you'll get hurt. Run.>

Psylocke didn't know how far she ran or even where she commanded her shadows to take her. The ability to shadow walk, was another of the 'gifts' of the Crimson Dawn. It had come with the gift of life, and the new taint on her soul.

<Why? Why was I given just that glimpse?>

A book, a tome? One death, a life gone through design. Answers slipping from her grasp. Answers she can't reach.

Into the shadows, and out again. Running from shadow to shadow. Something she had never tried before, and had wondered what limitations it had.

She tripped and fell against a wall. She had left the shadows, and finally she left them behind. Psylocke leaned against the white wall, panting from her exertion.

Warren would be worried about her. She had ran out on him in the rec room, upset with him. But why? He was only trying to be protective of her. Just like he always tried to be. He loved her. He loved her so much that he was desperate enough to give her over to the Crimson Dawn to save her life. Never asking the price. Never questioning the consequences.

She lived again, but she was lost. They couldn't understand ... couldn't begin to understand ... none of the others ... understand what was going through her mind now.

{Betsy? What is it?}

{Are you all right, Betsy?}

Her life had been twisted and molded without consent, until she was but a shadow of the British lady she had been raised to be. A class who could be called the gentry, but she wasn't even of this world. So who was she? How could she run away from herself, when she didn't even know who she was?

She was not Elisabeth Braddock, the British aristocrat, the model, a woman who was once voted one of the most beautiful woman in Britain. She was not Captain Britain, that was her brother's role, and even he had given up that name to become Britannic, and eventually just a scientist.

She was not the Psylocke who once loved Doug Ramsey, or she would have been interested to see Douglock who came to be with Excalibur. She was not the Psylocke of the armor, who was a warrior of the mind, skilled enough to take down Sabretooth, and destroy him with the power of her mind alone.

She was not Lady Mandarin the Hand's assassin, reshaped through the desires of the Mandarin when she had emerged from the Siege Perilous. She was not the Psylocke who had part of Kwannon's soul in her. The assassin's final gift to her had been to remove all that was her, and return to Betsy that part of the soul that was hers.

And yet ... if Kwannon had been through in her task, why did she still have the assassin's skill in combat. That skill, should have been a shadow. She should have returned to be the Elisabeth Braddock who had not known what to do, when she grabbed Storm's knife that first night when she tried to defend herself against Sabretooth.

Psylocke shuddered. "No, I can't abide being helpless."

She remembered saying this to Carol Danvers once, after striking down Rogue.

Kwannon, an assassin unskilled with the telepathic powers inherent in the body. Had she fought against Kwannon's gift to retain the knowledge of how to fight?

How much had she fought to keep of Kwannon in herself? Where was her own peace? Where was her butterfly?

Psylocke almost laughed at the absurdity of the question. But when was the last time she had used the butterfly motif when she used her powers? Why did she feel such a need to use the psychic knife almost exclusively?

Questions, questions - She couldn't run away from these questions. And that dream ... She knew it would have held so many answers for her. If she could only remember, why a book was so important.

Finally she looked up at the wall she was leaning against. Only it wasn't a wall, it was a column. And yet another question came to her mind.

"Where am I?"

"Now you done it, luvvie. You lost yer way, ain' cher? Yer in Washington, DC, Bitsy."

Psylocke swung in the direction of the voice. The first genuine smile she could remember in a long while, broke on her face.

"Hettie? Is that really you?"

"Ol' Hettie it is. S'bout time yer eyes started a workin 'gain, luv."


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