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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10


Written by Cat Smith
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 3

It was Tuesday. Rogue, Bishop and Ororo had spent all last night asking people who knew Remy when they last saw him, and tracing leads, which, unfortunately, came to no avail.

Rogue sat on the sofa in the living room. She had been inspired by Storm's example, and she felt that if Remy had died, she would have felt it, in her heart. Her white streaked auburn hair was dishevelled and she didn't care. She just sat staring at the blank television screen and waited for night to fall. Almost of all Remy's friends were creatures of the night, which mildly disturbed her. What disturbed her more was that none of them had seen him since just after... Seattle. All of the X-Men had agreed when she'd asked that Gambit had gotten alot quieter, and had a lot less vivacity to his personality. She felt the low, sinking feeling that this was all her fault and that the only man she'd ever loved hated her. She tried fiercely not to cry and stared concentrating at the TV. She heard the door open and she bit her lip as she forced the tears not to come. It was Joseph. Rogue gazed at the young man with bright white hair and pure grey eyes. The man once known as Magneto looked at her with sorrow in his eyes. Not for her Cajun amour, whom he had not liked much, but for the obvious pain it was causing her. He cared for her a great deal, as she had been extremely kind to him when she every reason to despise him. Joseph sat on the couch next to her.

"Well." He said, and couldn't think of anything else to say. Rogue looked at him nonchalantly. He looked at her eyes deeper and saw the incredible pain within them and wondered why it felt so familiar to him. "Rogue, first, I would like to say thank you for being there when I needed you. Now I would like to be here for you now you need a friend."

A piece of floor was looked at dejectedly.

"Rogue?" A hint of worry entered his voice.

"Ah don' wanna talk 'bout it, J. Jus' leave me 'lone." She said it quietly, on the verge of tears. Joseph sat beside her and held her as the unwanted tears spilt from her eyes. "Oh Joseph! Ah jus' know he hated me after what Ah'd done t' him."

Joseph looked down at the sobbing form in his arms. "Rogue? Rogue, look at me." She did so. "Gambit fought me for you. Do you think he would fight a man who he probably thought of as the most powerful, evil person in the world over someone he hated?" Rogue shrugged. "He wouldn't. He seemed to care for you a great deal, and you for him for some strange reason. While I don't pretend to know much about him, that is one thing I do realise."

"If he cares fo' me so much, how come 'e's bin' ignorin' me?"

Joseph smiled. "Either because he's an idiot, or he's hurting."

"That's the truth, Rogue darlin'." Both Rogue and Joseph looked up startled at Wolverine's sudden appearance. The Canadian looked rough, all stubble and hard edges, but he still had an aura of amused sagaciousness that showed just how much of the world the man called Logan had been forced to see. "The Cajun's been hurtin' deep, an' the two a' you really shoulda talked before he did somethin' stupid."

Rogue tensed up. "Wha... What are ya suggestin', Wolvie?"

"I'm suggestin' that Gumbo did somethin' stupid, like not watchin' his back. The boy's got a lot o' enemies, an' he knows it." Rogue's Irish eyes narrowed. "Check his enemies, Rogue. You been in his head. Try ta 'member who he was most scared of. Ya might well find th' answer t' yer little riddle." Rogue jumped up and left the room.

"Where do you think she's gone?" Asked Joseph, but as he turned around, he discovered that he was talking to himself, as though Logan had never been there.

Rogue flew out over the lake to Jean and Scott's boathouse home. It was raining again, heaving down in river fulls. She landed softly outside the quaint little house and knocked cautiously on the door. The handsome-in-a-stiff-way Scott Summers opened the door. Behind his chunky ruby quartz lensed glasses, Rogue couldn't clearly read an expression, but he sounded surprised when he said:

"Rogue? Uhh... How can I help you?"

"Well, for one thing, you could let her in!" Exclaimed a cheerful voice from behind him.

"Oh, yeah..." murmured Scott as Rogue stepped in and smiled.

"Thank ya, Jean. What would Ah do with out ya?"

"Be cold and wet?" Jean chuckled, with a glimpse at her lightly blushing husband. Jean smiled at the small chuckle she got from Rogue. "So, Rogue, what can I do you for?"

"Well, Wolvie kinda jus' gave me an idea." Rogue followed Jean into the living room as Scott went grumbling into the kitchen. "He said that if ah could remember some a Remy's mem'ries then ah mahnt be able t' find him..." She looked down and her eyes glazed. "Or ahvenge him." She whispered. Rogue looked up, defiance shining in her eyes along with the tears. "Ah want ya t' help me. Ah'd ask Betts, but she's..."

"Acting a little out of character?"

"Puttin' it mahldly. So will ya help me?"

Jean looked at her, thinking about what Rogue had just asked her to do. She could do it of course, as the second... as the world's premier telepath, but she wasn't sure of the effects or the morals of the issue. "Rogue, I'm not sure it would be right to go through your memories looking for something that's personal to him, and maybe you as well." She saw and noted the spark of anger and impatience in Rogue's eyes.

"Although I could do it, it might hurt you..."

"Ah don' care."

"...and I don't really see what it'd accomplish."

"Well, Jean, lemme tel ya what it'd "accomplish". It would let me maybe find the only man ah evah loved alive. If not, it'd let me kill the damned son of a bitch who hurt him. He'll regret th' day he laid eyes on mah Remy. An... an it'd let me understan' 'im better... somethin' ah'm not sure ah do anymore." Jean looked at Rogue, trying to figure whether she should do this or not.

"You don't need to understand someone to love them, just like you don't need to touch someone to love them." She saw Rogue flinch. "Sometimes, a touch can tear a couple apart as easily as it can bind them closer together."

"Oh, Jean, Shugah, ah know all 'bout that." Rogue intoned bitterly.

Jean put a comforting arm around Rogue. "Rogue, honey, I'm just trying to say that... I don't know, it'd feel wrong, I..."

Tear-filled emerald eyes looked unwaveringly into Jean's. "Please, Jean. Ah need this. Ah need to know how ah feel. Ah need to know what Remy won't tell me. Ah need to know... who did it." The last part was said in a quiet voice, and Jean didn't need to be a telepath to know that the brunette in front of her was hurting badly. She looked at her, hesitating for a moment. "Well... Alright. Charles wouldn't approve, and I'm not sure I approve, but I'll do it because I've felt that confusion, and I've felt the pain of losing a loved one." Rogue smiled and threw her arms around Jean. "Thank ya, shugah. Ah'll do anythin' t' repay ya." She settled more comfortably on the sofa and closed her eyes.

Jean loosened her telepathic abilities and let them hover for a moment, adjusting to Rogue's hectic thought patterns. A gentle telepathic shove pushed Rogue into unconsciousness. Her telepathic self, a ghostly version of her body came out of her own body and dove into Rogue's mind. The wave of nausea from the journey passed, and Jean Grey-Summers looked around.

The mindscape of Rogue was organised chaos. A castle with a beautiful garden stood in the middle, but on closer inspection, it was only a cardboard cut-out of enormous proportions. The Mississippi river cut through the middle of the entire landscape. The sky was lilac, and the ground a lush green where she was standing.

Winged horses flew in the sky, along with birds that Jean was sure didn't exist. She turned, and saw a much darker part of the mindscape, and Jean started to walk toward it, assuming that she wouldn't find any of Gambit's dark memories in the bright fantasy that surrounded her. When she was nearly there, she remembered Rogue once talking about a time she'd retreated deep inside her mind and found shadow-selves of those she'd touched and absorbed all out to get her. Jean postulated that they'd try to hurt her as well and created psi-armour to protect herself.

Just in time! Spiral barrelled into her, knocking her off her feet. Jean created a sword and swung at the six-armed teleportress that had nearly killed her and the X-Men many times. The flame haired beauty glared down at the woman at her feet.

She was entirely made from shades of grey, a living ghost. Jean's head jerked up. She'd seen something move in the realm of shadows that lay before her. She called forth an inferno that lit the deepest of deep shadows. Jean shuddered. It reminded her of the Phoenix, in all it's terrible glory and power.

Before her lay a seedy downtown area full of night-clubs and brothels, and in every corner was a grey ghost, just as Spiral had been. Jean radiated an aura of power so that the ghosts would leave her alone.

With any luck, Gambit'll be among these shades and I can ask him what is happening. She couldn't see him. Loki, Mojo, some Genoshan guards, Sabretooth, Gateway, Magneto, and Nightcrawler were among the hoards around her. As Jean walked on, she noticed a few of the spectres were 'dead'. They had knife wounds, and were lying on the floor. Jean frowned. She continued to walk on, more cautiously. Behind her, a pair of violet eyes glinted dangerously.

As she went deeper into the city, there were less and less ghosts. She looked at the city around her, and was sure she recognised it. Wasn't it New Orleans? She wasn't sure, she'd only been there once. It certainly hadn't been as quiet as it was now. She walked further into the city, and then turned around. She couldn't do what Rogue asked if she couldn't find Gambit.

"Jean?" Asked a husky Cajun voice. She spun round, her scarlet locks flaring out behind her. There he was. Crouching on the roof of a three story house nearby. He jumped down beside her with complete nonchalance. He had a slight bit more colour than the rest of the shades, and Jean still found him very attractive. If Scott knew how much she was attracted to him, he'd kill him.

But, she thought, there's no harm in window shopping as long as you don't try anything on. She smiled a little. "Remy! Thank goodness you're here! I need to talk to you." He took her arm and started to lead her away into shelter.

"Oui, cherie? Den y' must tell me all 'bout it." He led her to a large house with French windows all around. Jean frowned.

"What is this place?"

"It's my house."

"Nice." Jean let her psi-shields down a fraction as she settled on the very comfortable velvet sofa that sat in front of an open log fire. Remy sat next to her, looking at the floor. She looked at him, wondering why he had a wash of colour when everything else was grey.

"So what ya need t' be askin' me 'bout cherie?" he asked looking up at her.

"I wanted... Well, Rogue asked me to ask you what you were keeping from her."

Remy's dark eyes glittered in the dark and Jean caught her breath as he grinned sexily. "Did she now?" Jean couldn't say anything. She was bewitched by him. He leant over her. He was going to kiss her, and under his spell she was unable to stop him. As their lips touched, a flood of memories rushed into her mind, and as her consciousness rushed back to her own body, she was haunted by he ghostly image of a red diamond.

Seconds after she awoke, Rogue's eyes fluttered open and settled on Jeans disconcerted face.

"Sugah?" she asked. Jean looked at her, slight fear and anger in her eyes.

"I know who we need to talk to."

Later on that evening, an select group of X-Men had met in the War Room of the Xavier mansion. Rogue, face hard, eyes angry, stood beside a cool Phoenix.

Gathered in front of them were Storm, Bishop, Cyclops and Wolverine. Cyclops' visor flashed crimson in the dim light. He was mad.

Jean's eyes passed over the assembled X-Men. She took a deep breath, If you're not up to this, Jean... said Scott through their psychic bonds. Don't worry Scott. I can handle it. You can't play leader all the time, husband mine. She told him with a smile.

"Alright. I guess you're all wondering why I called you here." Another deep breath. "I might have a lead on Gambit."

Storm looked up hope shining in her blue cats eyes. "Thank the goddess..."

Jean held her hand up before she could continue. "You're not going to like it, Ororo. Rogue asked me to scan her to see if there were any of Gambit's memories buried deep within her subconscious. Needless to say, there was. I... I can't remember much of what he... told.... me," she hadn't even told Scott exactly how he'd told her.

"But one thing shines through the other foggy memories. He wanted to tell me this. he has a connection with Sinister."

Storm's eyes widened in shock. She was speechless. Sinister had been responsible for one of the most negatively influential parts of her life - the Mutant massacre, in which the helpless mutant clan of Morlocks had been slaughtered mercilessly by Sinister's flunkies. "What... what did Remy do for him?"

"We don't know," replied Scott, the anger he was feeling showing in his tight voice. Sinister had also played a large part in his life, using him and his family as pawns in his genetic experiments. "But we intend to find out. We are going to charge his lab in Paris that we were told about by Nathan. People, just remember this. Under no circumstances try to kill or harm him. We don't want to lose any people in this operation. As much as I'd like to be rid of him, it's not going to happen."

Bishop spoke up for the first time. "So what exactly are we supposed to accomplish by doing this? It seems a fruitless attack, to me."

"What we're gonna accomplish, sugah, is that we're gonna find out (a) what his connection to Remy was, (b) if it was him that hurt him and (c) if not, how can he help us."

Bishop looked up at her in astonishment. "Help us!? You think that...?!"

Wolverine cut him off with a growl. "I don't know what's goin' through the rest o' yer heads right now, but before we start judgin' LeBeau, how's 'bout we find the facts out first. An' , Bishop? If LeBeau means anything at all to Sinister, he'll help us. We'll just have to watch our backs."

"Watch our backs?! This is preposterous! I don't know why I allowed myself to talk my self into this! I know, because the man raised me, that he isn't worth bothering over."

"If that were true, why are you makin' such a big deal over this, sugah?"

"Because I allowed myself to be fooled. The Witness... LeBeau is evil, and if he is dead, then good riddance."

"An' where 'xactly does that leave you?" Rogue's voice was even, calm, and she hadn't changed position, while Bishops voice was getting louder and louder, and his posture was becoming more threatening by the minute. But then he stopped, and started to think about it. In a quiet voice, he realised the truth.

"It would leave me and my sister dying from hunger and cold and cut-throats on the streets."

"Ah thought as much." She gazed around at the X-Men. "Let's go."


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