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Blind Gambit

Gambit and Rogue returned to the Xavier Mansion and were assigned to Havok's team. (Havok is Alex Summers, Scott's brother). They asked to be removed from this team; Rogue stated that they want to have some time to themselves. Alex understood and they headed to Scott's office. When they arrived, every Xman was already in his office complaining about assignments. Scott declared to all that there will be no adjustments to the team assignments.

Cerebra detected a new mutant and an Xmen team was dispatched to China to investigate. This team consisted of Havok, Iceman, Polaris, Wolverine, Juggernaut, Rogue and Gambit. They found a mutant named Xorn. There were many dead people around, and Iceman did not believe it was due to Xorn's head warping the Earths gravity. As the team discussed what their next move was ... eight Immortals appear, known as the chosen protectors of the ancient Chinese homeland. A fight ensues.

Gambit's opponent was an Immortal with the power of nature. She had trapped Gambit in some vines, and taunted him to fight the earth. Gambit had difficutly with his powers and tried to coax them into charging a card. Gambit's opponent realized he had no powers, but consequently gets pushed off a cliff when Rogue crashes into her. Then a gun is fired; the bullet passed by Gambit, still trapped, hitting the card he is holding. The card explodes, Gambit is burned, and he began covering his eyes. Alex ended the fight with his powers, and the Xmen headed to the X-Jet. Rogue announced to the rest of the team that Gambit was blind. Gambit was dependent on Rogue to guide him and tell what was going on. The Xmen fought off the Chinese Army and Collective Man. They eventually returned to the Mansion, and Gambit went to the medlab for treatment.

In the medlab, Rogue apologized to Gambit for her part in causing his injuries, but Gambit was bitter and snapped at her. He said that he finally got his powers back but she cost him his eyes, and then said "Maybe next you could amputate a leg or two, then laugh when I fall over". Rogue stared at him and walked out. Nurse Annie told Alex that Gambit's anger at the world was part of the healing process.

Nurse Annie Ghazikhanian was charged with tending to Gambit. However, she had decided to leave the Institute, and did not tell anyone when she finally did so. Likewise, she didn't cancel her session with Gambit. Gambit was in the infirmary and asked Annie if the card he was holding up was glowing. He received no response and became quite fed up with rehab, and since Annie was not there to tell him not too, he removed the bandages covering his eyes. As he removed them, he saw an image in the glowing card - members of the new Brotherhood of Mutants.

While Gambit may have been blind, he wasn't completely defenseless, when the new Brotherhood of Mutants attacked the mansion, Gambit and one of the Stepford Cuckoos (Mindee) helped Gambit by being his eyes. He was able to use his powers to fight off their attackers. Gambit and Mindee became trapped and Jay Guthrie swooped in and picked them both up and flew out of danger. The Xmen defeated Black Tom and his Brotherhood of Mutants. (End of Austen's run on the books, enter Claremont to repair things for new writer Milligan).

It was now Christmas time at the Institue. Gambit had been working with Elixir in rehab (Elixir has healing abilities). Elixir and Sage had formed a plan to restore Gambit's eyesight. Elixir apologized to Gambit for not being able to heal his eyes. "You play the cards you're dealt" stated Gambit, but Josh replied "Or you start over with a fresh deck." Elixir informed Gambit that Rogue had been waiting for him by Iceman's mistletoe tree. Gambit sensed someone there and complimented her on her sense of style. Gambit and Rogue embraced, he told her that he's missed her and they kiss. Sage told Gambit that she wasn't Rogue, and her power threw him backward. Gambit yelled at Sage to not walk away, and asked her if she was messing with his powers again. He removed his glasses and could now see.

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