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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7

Rogue’s Gambit - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Belle Bayard
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 3

Almost as soon as he lay down, he fell asleep. He dreamed tortured things, full of Rogue, Sinister, and Candra. In them, Sinister and Candra taunted him with promises of making it possible for Rogue to be his if he did as they wished.

Then, as Gambit reached out for her, she changed before his eyes into a hideous monster with giant stump-like legs threatening to crush him. He ran, but behind him the rapid thumping of those splayed feet grew louder. He jerked away just as they reached him. Someone pounded at his door. A quick glance at the wall clock confirmed the lengthening shadows in his room . . . he'd slept most of the day.

"Gambit, wake up!" Jubilee's frantic voice brought him to his feet. Pulling on his clothes, he opened the door.

"What's wrong, petite?"

"Rogue's missing. I went to the roof, like you said. Then I went to the mall, in case she left without me. But I couldn't find her anywhere. Nobody's seen her since night before last."

"Have you told de pr'fessor?"

"Yes. He's tried to reach her, but so far he hasn't had any luck in locating her. I don't know what to do." She burst into tears. Gambit took her into his arms, fighting the fear he had driven his sweet Rogue away.

"We'll find her. Gambit promises. Come on, let's go ta de Ready Room."

Professor Xavier and Jean Grey looked up as Gambit and Jubilee entered.

"Good, you're here. Jean found this in Rogue's room." Xavier handed Gambit a sealed envelope. "I think you should read it."

On the front, in feminine handwriting, was Gambit's name. His real name. He frowned, then tore it open. As he read, he could hear her soft voice; see the sheen of tears in her beautiful eyes.

"Dear Remy,

I care about you, too. More than you'll ever know. But it's not fair for you or me to be so close and not be able to touch. I can't stand to see you suffer because of me. So I'm going away. Don't worry about me. I can take care of myself. Maybe someday I'll come back. If the X-Men ever need help, the professor knows where he can find me. Take care of yourself.


"Gambit?" Jean touched his arm. He blinked against the moisture in his eyes, hating the worry and pity he read in her gaze.

"She's gone, mes amis, an' it's 'cause a' dis worthless Cajun." He folded the letter, returned it to its envelope and put it in his coat. "She say you know where ta find her, Pr'fessor." He looked at the man he saw as his friend and teacher. "If you do, I mus' go dere. Alone."

The professor scribbled him an address, a knowing smile touching his face. "Before you leave, I have something for you. Hank and I worked on it after you returned. We managed to reconstruct the mechanism from those parts and plans." He held out a small box.

"Is it . . .?"

"Use it wisely, Gambit. And bring our girl back safely."

"I'm in your debt fo'evah, Pr'fessor." He turned to depart, when Jubilee tugged at his sleeve.

"What's going on around here?" she asked, annoyed and puzzled.

Gambit hugged her. "When Gambit returns, you'll find out. Be patient. 'Til den, ask Storm if she'll take you ta de mall."

"Oooh! As if that's all I care about!" The teenager stamped her foot.

Gambit laughed and hurried out. In his room, he read the address the professor had given him. He'd have to fly to South Carolina. No matter. His attention focused on the professor's gift. He opened the box and found a metal gizmo with a red button and a green button. Beneath it lay a card in Beast's scrawl.

"Covers no larger than a 10'x10'x10' area. Depress green button to activate, red button to deactivate. Effects will last only until deactivated. Runs on four "D" batteries for approximately 8 continuous hours."

He grinned for a moment, both in anticipation and at Beast's use of something as mundane as ordinary batteries, then sobered. This thing he must protect with his life. If it fell into the wrong hands it could put a mutant at his or her enemy's mercy. He packed the small box in his suitcase, then called for a flight. This time he'd use more conventional travel. The next available plane to Charleston left at eight o'clock, in two hours. When he opened his door, Wolverine stood before it, fist poised to knock.

"Need a ride?'

"Oui, but how . . .?"

"The professor said ya might be goin' on vacation. Said ya might need wheels to the airport." Wolverine shrugged. "Nothin's goin' on around here. Thought I could use the excuse to get out."

"Much obliged, mon ami."

Despite Wolverine's maniacal driving in the near dark, the ride to the airport seemed to last forever. Gambit checked in, had to prove the device harmless to the airport security, then proceeded to pace in the waiting area until boarding time. He felt an internal clock ticking, as though he was a time bomb set to explode.

When the flight finally took off, they were in the air no more than an hour. He retrieved his luggage and caught a taxi. The driver assured him he knew the address and within fifteen minutes, deposited him in front of a respectable girl's school.

Gambit's eyebrows rose at the place. He could hardly believe his Rogue would seek sanctuary here. Feeling conspicuous in his jeans, black T-shirt and trench coat, he climbed the stairs and knocked on the door. A heavy-set, middle-aged woman in a severe gray dress answered the door. Her face screwed up in disapproval at his appearance.

"May I help you?"

"Oui, Madame. Lookin' for a young woman who arrived here earlier dis mornin' or yesterday."

"No one has checked in recently. I'm sorry." She shut the door in his face.

Gambit shook his head. The professor was rarely wrong. He pulled the scrap of paper from his pocket. This was the address. Despondent, he turned and walked down the stairs to the sidewalk.

Something made him look up at the second story windows. Behind the frilly curtains, someone watched him. He stepped out of the street lamp's light and shaded his eyes. He frowned. The person had moved away.

"Fine kettle of gumbo you got yourself inta dis day, Remy leBeau. If she's dere, she don' want ta see you." With his suitcase between his knees, he sat on the curb. Again he was so close, but so far away.


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