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Chapter 1


Written by K-Nice
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

Gambit was in a daze. His pulse hammered and his sense were dulled yet oddly sensitive, like a pin-prick through cotton.

He looked down at himself, uncomfortable in the unfamiliar uniform. The material scratched his legs and arms. He noticed distantly that he was flecked with blood and carried a strange bundle in his arms.

Ignoring that for the moment, he glanced around the chamber. It was stark white, and from where he crouched, he could see blood, splattering several pristine surfaces. White, so it was not the Tunnels and he heard no screams so it was not a dream.

He stood slowly as he was approached by another figure, wearing a similar uniform.

He couldn't quite hear what the man said. He was fixated on Rogue's face. Her haggard form lay listlessly before him. She was limp and exhausted and he doubted she would be conscious for much longer. Her face was drawn with pain and she was covered in sweat.

He desperately tried to understand what was going on. Something in his mind made the connection for him and he realized the blood was hers.

Tears welled up in his eyes and he felt a moan rumble in his throat. Rogue was collared, the red and green lights on the power suppresser mocking him in their festiveness.

One thought seemed to make it through the haze. 'It all happened so fast.'

Rogue tried to move her head. She knew it was important to look up for some reason. There was something she should need to see but she just couldn't find the energy. It gnawed at her as a lesson her mother had taught her, only she couldn't remember who her mother was.

That's when she noticed the Genoshan Collar and the utter impotence of her limbs.

She struggled not to lash out, to fight. Rogue stifled a moan and tried to assess her situation. Her tired eyes were pained by the bright lights that glowed down on her from above. She hovered between states of consciousness, fighting with every weapon she had to remain alert but she was swiftly losing the battle.

She realized all the things she couldn't feel, like her legs or anything else below her waist. Slowly she began to feel something. It was like a cramping in her stomach only lower and deeper. She reached for the sensation, hoping it would help her get in touch with her situation.

Then all she felt was pain. She contracted her muscles to push it away but it seemed to grow within her.

She slipped into nothingness.

He tore his eyes away and stared at the man, who now had his hand on Gambit's arm. His ears where filled with the sound of his own blood rushing to his head.

Slowly, though, the words began to filter in. " . . .LeBeau . . . LeBeau . . ."

He tried to pay attention, but his eyes drifted back to Rogue's prone form. She grunted in pain and he was suddenly covered from his thighs to his ankles in more blood.

Hands grabbed his shoulders and demanded his attention. "Hehn?!?" he managed to meet the man's eyes. The rest of the face was hidden by a mask of some sort.

"Mr. LeBeau. It's all over. You did a fine job, you both did. Now, let me have it." He indicated the bundle in Gambit's arms and something in Remy rebelled at the idea of giving it up.

The man sighed and spoke in the slow, calming manner reserved for those dangerously near to a violent breakdown. "Please. Let me have it. I just need to cut the umbilical cord. Please. It will only take a minute." As he coaxed, Gambit slowly came to himself.

"It's over?" He sounded so bewildered that the doctor tried not to laugh at him. He let the man take the bundle from his hands and stood there, dumbfounded.

It had all happened so fast.

"Yes, sir. You have a healthy baby boy. You both did well, very well." As he spoke, the doctor cut and clamped the umbilical cord and wrapped the little form in a receiving blanket. "You did very well, Mr. LeBeau. Most of our father's stay away from the delivery area because of all the fluids but you handled it like a pro." He gave Gambit a once-over as placed the baby in his arms. "Well, you are a little worse for wear-I think you have some afterbirth on your scrubs there-but that's a small price to pay for bringing your own child into the world, don't you think?"

Remy stared at the man's pleasant smile and tried to return it. He looked down at the red, squirming form in his arms and lost himself in the motion of those tiny hands. He didn't even notice as the doctor put a hand to the small of his back and guided him to were his wife lay. Rogue was being propped up by the nurses, who urged her to stay awake.

Remy looked into those beautiful emerald eyes and then looked back at their son. A soft smile took over Remy's face and he felt an emotion heretofore unknown to thieves and vagabonds like himself: Contentment. He said nothing, just angled the baby closer to her so she could see those perfect little ears. Rebecca's eyes misted over, with joy instead of pain and she stroked those smooth little legs.

Storm was tempted to fly down the aisles of the hospital. Bishop on the other hand had grabbed an intern by the throat and shouted "Delivery" until the young man quivered in fear. Scott had just looked at a map and herded them all in the right direction.

An obstetrician stopped them as they approached the delivery room. "I'm sorry folks," she said, in a brusque manner that reminded them of Moira Mactargett, "The shows over. You'll have to wait in Maternity."

Hank worked his way to the front of the mob and tried to convince the doctor otherwise but she seemed unswayed.

Storm collapsed into a hard plastic chair, disappointment clear on her face. "I can not believe it is over so fast."

Logan sat beside her a patted her hand. "That's how these things go, darlin'."

They stared at the little boy, soon to be christened Etienne Cody Lebeau, and counted over and over again: 2 eyes, 2 ears, 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 eyes, 2 ears, . . .. The littlest LeBeau opened his little mouth and kicked his little feet. In two or three days, when he opened his green on black eyes, they would marvel at that too. Now, they looked at him and looked at each other and said silent prayers for their good fortune.

After two years of heartbreak, three years of marriage, nine months of pregnancy and 12 hours of labor, it all seemed to flash by so quickly.

They sat there like that, as a perfect little family, so excited to be together, until the nurses insisted on cleaning their little divine gift. Then they just had each other to hold and that was pretty good in itself.


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