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

Drawn to the Lodestone Rock - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Dandelion
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 4

"Mother, Mother!! Watch me!" The little blue-eyed boy did a series of cartwheels along the forest trail. "Mother did you see me? Did you see?"

"My beautiful Eric, of course I did." Her eyes twinkled and her smile was proud and loving. "What talent you have, my child. What talent."

The forest went on forever. Deep greens and scented pine filled the boys senses. What beauty surrounded him. What love. "Watch me again Mother!"

She gathered him in her arms. He threw his arms around her neck and rested his head on her shoulder. She smelled of soap and crocus. She was the most beautiful woman in the world. "My dear Eric. Such great things I see in you. Never lose your way, you have destiny in your blood. Never forget."

The forest seemed to thin, it looked barren and empty, he felt something pricking his skin, he turned and found himself pressed against a barbed wire fence. He looked back to his mother to ask why they were there.

To his horror, her sweet, smiling face hollowed. Her cheeks sunk in, the rosy skin paled to a sickly yellowed shade. Her eyes lost their luster and looked haunted. She withered slightly and dropped him.

"Mother!" he crouched next to her. "Mother!!" hot tears stung his cheeks.

"Never forget, my beautiful Eric." she rasped in a voice torn raw with despair. "You are stronger than they. Stronger than them all. You have destiny. Never forget...my beautiful child.." she withered away still more than collapsed into a pile of dust.

"Don't leave me mother, please." The blue eyed boy wept, grasping at the piles of dust and ash that had moments before been his mother.

Harsh laughter jerked him away from the dust. He found himself in a pit surrounded by corpses, more were being thrown down onto him. Men in uniforms and helmets stood far above raining the corpses upon him. Their eyes were like fire and their faces were as demons. They changed from human to demon and back again. The blue-eyed boy cowered away from them. "Save me." he whispered.

The raining bodies became dirt. The dirt stung his skin and burned at his eyes. He clawed his way through it. "You are stronger than they, my beautiful child."

He could feel the stinging dirt in his mouth, in his lungs, he knew he was dying. Then suddenly, he was breathing air, filthy stinking air choked with death, but air. He climbed out of the pit of death. "Save me." he whispered.

"Mongrel!!" a voice growled. "Filthy dog!" The demons who had buried him were upon him. Kicking at him, tearing him to pieces. "Gypsy!! Die a mongrel's death!!"

The little blue-eyed boy screamed.

Remy was a night owl, he never much cared for the early hours in the mansion. He had been riding his bike along the abandoned roads reveling in feeling free again. Now he was back, he got a drink from the kitchen and headed to his room.

That was his intent. Something compelled him to bypass the dormitories and wander towards the infirmary. He was glad because he heard the thrashing from down the hall. Then a strangled, desperate cry.

Remy dropped his drink and ran.

Magnus was still asleep. He thrashed in his bed throwing covers and wires around in a chaotic mess.

"The poor bastard.." Remy covered the distance between the door to the bed in one leap and grabbed Magnus by the shoulders.

The grip paralyzed the man for an instant then his fighting focused onto Remy. As did his powers. A magnetic jolt shot through Remy arms painfully. He felt his hair standing on end. His grip tightened involuntarily, his teeth ground together. His muscles contracted violently and he shook Magnus roughly, trying to wake him and pull away from the assault at the same time.

"Damn it wake UP!!" With a Herculean effort, Remy threw himself away from Magnus' tortured sleep and succeeded in dumping the other man onto the floor. He landed a few feet away still twitching from the force of the shock.

But he had succeeded. Eric was awake. He gasped for breath thanking anything and everything that was holy for the fresh air. It burned him as surely as the stinging dirt, but it was a burn he relished. It was pure and it was real. He lurched to his knees and forced himself to calm down.

Then he saw the body.

Remy was sprawled on the floor, blue bolts of energy crackling around him. His body twitched in violent convulsions, still reacting to Eric's jolt.

Eric reached for him to see if he was still alive. He prayed that he was still alive. As he reached for the body the bolts of energy jumped and flew to Eric's hand and disappeared in his grip. He looked at his hand for a moment in wonder then reached out again and jiggled Remy's leg.

"Get AWAY from me!!" he screamed and kicked the leg out while moving across the floor out of his reach.

And there they sat staring at each other.

Eric recognized him, it was the young man with the flashing red eyes, that found him when he first arrived. "I'm sorry." He managed. "I didn't mean -- I didn't know --"

Remy ran his fingers through his hair. <Nightmare,> he thought. <Woke up from a few those in my time.> "It's okay. You didn't mean to, I understand. We're okay." His muscles still contracted from the electricity that had gone through him "You pack quite a punch." His attempt at humor was forced, but Eric appreciated it all the same.

"How's Rogue?" The words flew out of Eric's mouth without him even realizing it. Remy's jaw dropped. Eric sat with a dumbfounded look on his face. A heavy silence hung in the air.

"She's okay." Remy answered hesitantly. "She is taking some time for herself."

Eric had glimpses of the brown haired young woman with the stripe.

He saw her in the jungle. "Who is she?"

"She's wonderful." Remy said quietly. His gaze went to the floor than back at Eric. "Must be hard, eh? T'ings comin' to your head and you don't know why."

Eric covered his eyes with his hands. The horrific visions of the nightmare wouldn't go away. Why were they there? What had been done to him? "Who am I?" his voice was barely above a whisper. He let his hands drop and looked at Remy questioningly. His eyes seemed to beg for an answer.

And Remy found himself in the unusual position of not having the words. Who was this man? He had thought of Magnus as his enemy. Plain and simple. But this man sitting before him was no enemy. And Remy wondered if Magneto as he was, was ever truly his enemy as well. "I don't know Lensherr. I thought I did. I was wrong. I'm finding I was wrong about a lot of t'ings."

"Haven't we met though?"

Remy's face screwed up into a thoughtful expression. "Weeelll," he hedged. "I guess you can say dat. I mean we had a few run ins. But we never met formally." He reached across the room and held his hand out in greeting. "Remy LeBeau. Dey call me Gambit."

Eric took his hand and shook it firmly. "Gambit? Peculiar name, isn't it?"

Gambit shrugged. "Yeah. But we all got dem peculiar names. Code-names. We're the X-men, it's part of the rules. Course some of us don't go by real names at all. Take Rogue. Don't nobody know her real name. 'Cept for her and maybe a handful of people we never seen." He shrugged. "Nobody knew my name either for a time. Den Bishop come along and start shouting it so ev'rybody know it." He paused. "Don't nobody know if Bishop is his real name now dat I t'ink on it. Don't seem quite fair huh?" He looked at Eric. "We didn't know your real name for a time there either. Funny dat."

"Who was I?" Eric's voice was more demanding this time.

Remy shook his head. "Can't be telling you dat Lensherr. You have to remember on your own. But I can help you. Man's got a right to his past." He got to his feet and held out his hand to Eric. "Won't be pretty though."

"I figured that out already." Eric tried to shut the demonic faces out of his mind. "When do we start?"

Gambit shrugged. "Nobody pokin' around during the wee hours. How about now?"

Eric had a determined look on his face. "You read my mind."

Remy nodded. "Follow me den." He led him down the halls to a set of double doors. "Dis a sort of trophy room. It's as good a place to start as any. Lots of memorabilia of the X-men. Maybe something spark your mem'ry here." He opened the doors.

Eric looked around, the walls were full of pictures and bookshelves. A large portrait of Xavier dominated one wall. Eric recognized Jean in a number of pictures, she was so much younger. Then his eyes caught another large portrait on another wall. A man will silver hair and sharp blue eyes. A man with a noble expression. Eric closed in on that portrait his eyes wide.

"My God," he whispered. "That's me!"


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