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Once more, there is some controversy about when the relationship became serious. Most people believe that it occured in Uncanny X-Men #297. Rogue was still blinded by Strobe and had hit the proverbial slough of despair, despite seeming cheery about her condition in X-Men #19, where she and Remy took a flight with him acting as the sonar. Sitting on the rooftop, in an image that would be ironically repeated in the future, she asked him:

ROGUE: Remy, if ya have any feelings for me, any at all, leave me alone.

GAMBIT: S'funny, m' feelin's f'r ya are the very same reason I'm stayin'.

Later, she confided in him that:

ROGUE: It ain't fair. Again, Ah'm hurt sluggin' it out against some equally pathetic mutant for a place in a world that doesn't want any of us. A world in which Ah don't have a chance o' findin' happiness. Fine. Life as an X-Man. Ah can deal with that. It's the personal side o' my life where everything falls apart. All Ah ask - all Ah need - is somebody t'hold me. Stroke his fingers through muh hair. Promise me that everythin's gonna be fine. That all the cuts and bruises are worth it in the end. More than anything, Remy, Ah want that person t'be you. But that ain't never gonna happen.

When he tried to touch her to comfort her or to show her that it was possible:

ROGUE: Don't ya get it?! It won't happen 'cause it can't. My entire mutant power is about restraint - Ah can't touch another livin' being without fear of swallowing that person whole! Their thoughts an' hopes an' dreams become mine. Ah got no control over mah abilities. An' you?! You got no control over yourself. Chargin' up an' object an' throwing it away - that's your 'special gift'. Ah ain't an object, Gambit. Ah'm a woman. If ya can't - if ya won't - treat me like one, then please leave me alone.

Although Gambit did get up and leave, then, he returned within minutes, showing his true intentions more clearly than any statement of love on his part could have. Placing a blanket around Rogue's shoulders, and holding her, he told her:

Is everything going to be fine?

GAMBIT: Everything's gon' be fine, chere.

ROGUE: Promise?

GAMBIT: Promise .

Shortly afterwards in the Gambit Limited Series, she admitted to Wolverine that she loved him.

After the deep emotion of Uncanny X-Men #297, X-Men #24 was a joyous escape, showing their first date without psychos or supervillains disturbing it! Coming on the heels of Illyana's death in Uncanny X-Men #304, the happiness of the moment was not unadulterated.

Horrible Gumbo!Gambit: Now, Rogue, we said no crying tonight, non? Been far too many tears sheddin' around our brood for th' last week.

Rogue: How can you blame us, Remy? Illyana died from some strange disease - an' she was just a little girl. Is it right that we're runnin' away like this - goin' out ta dinner and pretending to have fun?

Gambit: Don' cry, cher' - I don' wan' sound crass, but tears don' bring back th' dead. Believe me, I know. An' we've been doing what we can f'r her brother all week long, right? So what's wrong with tryin' t'be part of the livin' f'r just one night?

Rogue: Nothin', Ah guess. An' Ah wasn' cryin', Ah was spitting out that horrible gumbo!

Moreover, X-Men #24 also showed them trying to get to grips with each other and their problems - even though at the time they had no solutions, or none that they felt ready to find.

ROGUE: Hmm. S'pose not. How come ya never wanna talk about your wife, Belladonna?

GAMBIT: Why don' nobody know y'real name?

ROGUE: Why can't ya tell me how ya feel about me?

GAMBIT: Why won' ya ever let me show ya?

They stare in silence for they have no answers. Or none they feel they can give. Yet....

Despite the lack of clarity and certainty, they felt capable of giving each other some certainty about their future together and their hansom cab ride through the city became a symbol for their relationship:

CARRIAGE DRIVER: Where to, kids?

GAMBIT: Where would you like t'go?

ROGUE: Anywhere you do, Remy.

GAMBIT: Now y'sure thas' how y'wanna phrase it to me, hon?

ROGUE: Uh huh.

Following her declaration of trust, Gambit gave her - and the readers! - some indication of the true purpose of his flirtation. It was not, as Xavier thought, a dangerous game, but a genuine desire to have a stable relationship with her, something that could only happen if she was taken out of her comfort zones.

GAMBIT: This is how I've wanted it t'be since I first looked at you, Roguie. Beyond all th' flirtin' an' teasin', past all the games and uncertainty, I know we can be hurt, girl. Physically as well as emotionally. I know one kiss from you - one touch, flesh-to-flesh - might give me some serious hurtin', but I'm willin' t'take th' risk f'r you. You willin' t'do the same f'r me?

Rogue, then, finally reveals the true reason that underlies her unwillingness to take any risk when it comes to touching people - what she did to her childhood sweetheart - which Gambit respects and accepts, leading her to trust him with her greatest secret.

ROGUE: Ah... Ah can't. Ah want to, but Ah can't. Ah'm so afraid that Ah might hurt you like did to Cody when Ah was little - Ah kissed him. It was the first and last time Ah kissed someone out of passion an' if Ah hurt you, Ah know - Ah'd want t'die.

GAMBIT: Then we don' kiss, Rogue. Simple as that. Maybe thas' jus' fine right now for you an' me. Maybe we both have t'learn there's more t'love than th' physical. Let me take those tears from ya eyes, belle. Maybe this will work even better in th' long run, neh? Maybe we'll both end up learnin' what love really means. An' I can't think 'bout anyone else I'd rather try t'learn with, Rogue.

ROGUE: Remy - mah real name, it's... .

GAMBIT: Hush. Names don' mean nothin' t'me. Names don' make us what we are inside. An' I know what's inside you, chere, an' that's all that matters.

Onto next part...

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