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Chapter 1

Looking at a Woman - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Lori McDonald
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

It's not my business to decide

How good you are to me

How valuable you are

And what the world can see

Only that you try to understand me

And have to courage

To love me for me

-Rescue Me


Bobby Drake did not want to be where he was.

The mutant codenamed Iceman crouched by the door to the office, keeping watch and seething inside. Glancing back into the room, he could just see the dark form of Gambit as he went through the files. He wasn't bothering to use a light to see, though. His red on black eyes were photosensitive during the day, but endowed with incredible night sight.

Damn Cajun can probably see everything in this room. The thought irritated him, as did the other man's relaxed attitude. They were in Graydon Creed's office, the man who had founded the anti-mutant Friends of Humanity, and Gambit had no right to act so nonchalant. Bobby's irritation at that, combined with the extreme success the Cajun had had in using his powers to get them in here, fanned the anger inside him. Anger he always felt when he was near the Cajun.

"Aren't you done yet?" He hissed under his breath.

The shadow at the file cabinet hesitated, then Bobby saw him turn and put his finger to his lips.

Bobby's own lips tightened. "I said-"

Instantly, the Cajun was in front of him, kneeling only a foot away with his hand over Bobby's mouth.

I never wan'ed y' on dis mission, so jus' shut- up," he whispered. Then he was gone again, back to the cabinet.

Bobby was humiliated. Cyclops had sent them here to get information on the Friends of Humanity so the X-Men could better combat them. The mission was given to Remy LeBeau, but Cyclops had asked him to go along too. As backup and to keep an eye on the Cajun. The Friends were wealthy, and Scott was a little worried that Gambit would revert to form and rob them blind at the same time he was lifting information. Bobby agreed with that sentiment and had been waiting for the Cajun to take something. Had been hoping for it in fact as proof of what a loser he was. He was not impressed to see him touch nothing but the files.

Bobby's embarrassment and anger deepened. I can't believe I've been shut up by a retired, second rate thief. He glared at the shadow. I never liked you, he thought towards him. Gambit didn't react. Asshole.

Finally, Remy found what he was looking for. Bobby jumped in spite of himself as he appeared in front of him again. Gambit didn't say anything. He just stuck a disk in his coat, crooked a finger for Bobby to follow and slipped out the door. Feeling angry and a little redundant on this mission, Bobby followed him.

He felt even more useless when they didn't come across a single Friend of Humanity on the way out.

The two X-Men walked down the sidewalk, ignoring the midnight crowds that surged around them.

Gambit glanced at Bobby sideways through the sunglasses he wore to hide his eyes. "Somethin' eatin' you, homme?"

"I was expecting more action. That was too quiet."

The Cajun smiled condescendingly. "A good job not s'posed t' end in runnin' fire fights an' 'splosions, Drake. Y' do it right, you do de pinch an' dey never know you been dere."

"Don't patronize me!" Bobby snapped, his voice crackling like ice.

Gambit ignored the sudden chill. "Ain' patronizin'. Jus' tellin' de truth. You don' know 'bout dese t'ings, so keep quiet 'fore y' embarrass y'self."

A blond, Bobby always blushed very red, and he did so now. Angrily he grabbed the Cajun's arm the cold of his grip causing the taller man to shiver involuntarily. He suppressed a grin.

"Don't you tell me what I don't know."

With a twist, the Cajun yanked his arm away. "'Bout dis, you don' know nothin'. You ain' trained t' do anyt'ing like it."

Bobby stared at him in disgust. "You're proud of what you did? Of stealing?"

Gambit stopped and faced him. "What your problem? We got what we need. The list of where de Friends meet. What it matter how we get it?"

"I'm surprised you didn't empty the safe while we were there," Bobby groused.

"What you say?"

"Okay, you two. Hand over your wallets, or else."

Bobby looked up to see a punk in a gang jacket standing before them, holding a switchblade. "Hurry it up," the punk ordered.

Bobby's fists clenched and the air dropped about five degrees around them, their breath becoming visible before them all. Before he could do anything more, however, Gambit took off his sunglasses.

"Fuck off," he said succinctly.

The punk's face paled. "Mutie," he whispered, then ran off, screaming "Mutant!"

Remy put his sunglasses back on. "I hate New York."

I can't believe it! He showed me up again!

Grabbing the Cajun's arm again, he spun him around to face him.

"Are you stupid?!" He yelled. "Are you trying to make sure that everyone knows what we are?"

Another twist and Gambit was free again. "I not de one who was gonna freeze de punk where he stood, non?" He was yelling too, ignoring, as Bobby did, the increasingly nervous crowds around them. A space began to open up around the two. The didn't notice that either, circling each other like snarling wolves.

"You don't deserve to be an X-Man," Bobby bit out. "You're just a second-rate criminal!"

"Dat don' mean much comin' from a loser who can' control his powers fully an' blame ev'r'body else for it!" Gambit retorted.

Something inside Bobby snapped in a freezing blaze of hatred.

Ice exploded across him, subtle, manipulable, replacing his flesh and blood body. His arms raised and more ice came from them, arcing towards the Cajun.

Gambit moved. One moment he was standing in front of him, the next he was arcing over his head, twisting around to land on his feet behind him.

Desperately, Bobby tried to turn enough to catch him in another blast before he could use his own, explosive powers. Belatedly, he remembered what he'd learned in all the danger room sessions together.

Unless you were Wolverine, taking Gambit on in up-close, hand to hand combat was stupid.

But, Gambit didn't attack. Instead, he started to yell and somehow what he said was worse.

"You MORON! An' you say I not be a good 'nough X-Man?! Look 'round you. We only t'ree block 'way from Creed's office!"

Bobby looked. People were running in all directions, screaming, and the familiar, baret wearing Friends of Humanity were racing towards them in cars and on foot. They were all armed.

Oh, shit! I can't believe this!

Without another word to him, Gambit turned and ran. He'd looked for a moment like he wanted to fight, but Cyclops had told them not to engage in combat with the Friends for any reason. It'd only help their cause against mutants.

Bobby hesitated a moment and Gambit vanished down an alley. The Friends were getting closer and he cursed.

I better keep an eye on that Cajun before he gets in any more trouble.

Creating an ice slide under his feet, he swept after the Cajun. The Friends of Humanity raced along behind.

He found Gambit running flat out along the alley, dodging around or leaping over piles of refuse and garbage cans. His long trenchcoat streamed behind him as he ran.

Damn, he's fast, Bobby thought. Not as fast as my ice slide, though.

Almost nonchalantly, Bobby pulled up alongside him, the head of his slide even with Gambit's shoulder.

"Running out of breath, are we?" He asked casually.

"Get off dat t'ing now! It a neon sign sayin' Shoot me!"

Bobby blinked angrily. "So? We go up and they'll never catch us."

A sneer. "Didn' y' notice? De guy runnin' shotgun in dat black jeep back dere be carryin' a rocket launcher! You go up, he turn you t' ice cubes. Now get off!"

Again, Bobby burned with embarrassment. Stopping the slide, he leaped off and ran after the Cajun.

Gambit didn't wait for him, vanishing in a burst of speed around another corner.

Wait up! Bobby thought angrily. He could hear the Friends coming down the alley behind him, and the cracking sound as they forced their way past his ice slide.

Hey, maybe I should just freeze the alley so they can't follow us.

He ran around the corner, preparing to freeze that section of it. He didn't get the chance, though, as someone grabbed his arm and threw him through a door into a dark room that reverberating with a distant beat.

Gambit slammed the door shut.

"Damn, you cold," he muttered, shaking his hand.

"Why'd you do that?" Bobby cried. "I was about to stop them from following us."

Gambit shook his head in disgust. "Ain' you never heard a de flankin' maneuver? Half a dem was movin' t' cut us off. Now go human. We gotta get outta here."

Bobby let the ice around him melt away, wondering if he'd ever stop being humiliated by the Cajun.

He's enjoying this too, damn him. What a loser.

Human again in appearance, he watched the Cajun pull off his partial head mask and shake his long hair loose, then close his trenchcoat to hide his uniform.

"Come on," Gambit ordered. "We in de back a' an underground club. All we gotta do is walk out. T'ink you c'n handle dat?"

Bobby burned red. "Of course. What do you think I am?"

Gambit grinned mysteriously. "We'll see."

He opened the door and the music from the other side hit him like a brick. It was loud, painful, grating, and Bobby was glad he'd abandoned his ice form. He'd have worried too much that this kind of music would shatter it. Even now, it hurt.

Seemingly unaffected, Gambit put his hands in his pockets and walked out. Taking a deep breath, Bobby followed.

The door opened out onto a hallway that led towards a flight of stairs heading down. Gambit was already near the bottom when Bobby reached the top and stopped.

They were in a church, stained glass still in the windows and the great cross on the wall. But the pews had been removed and the floor was packed with people, all writhing in rhythm to the heavy metal music that reverberated through the walls. Lasers and strobe light flashed, blinding as the the music deafened.

Gambit stopped at the foot of the stairs and mouthed something up at him that Bobby couldn't understand. Gesturing for him to follow, he disappeared into the crowd.

Bobby almost turned back. He wasn't overly religious, but he did believe in god and there was something horribly sacrilegious about putting a club in a church. Gambit's obvious familiarity with the place only disgusted him more.

I bet he's been here lots of times. He walked down the stairs, musing to himself as he did so. I wonder, if I told Professor Xavier about this, would he boot him off the team? Sheah, right. The Professor calls him his 'Big Success'."

That was one of the cores of Bobby's hatred for the Cajun, and even as he pushed his way through the dancing throng after him, he knew it. Bobby had been one of the original X-Men, hand-picked to help fulfill Xavier's dream. Gambit had just shown up one day, tagging along behind Storm and settling into the mansion like he owned the place. He was exactly the sort of person the X-Men had started out fighting against, yet when Xavier's eyes lit on them both, it was Bobby that caused them to fill with disappointment.

So I need to work on my powers more. At least I can be trusted, he thought grumpily.

Of course, that wasn't the only reason to dislike the Cajun. There were plenty more, as he could see when he neared the bar.

Gambit was leaning back against the bar, his arms around the woman who lay against him, his face buried against her neck. She opened her mouth in a silent laugh as he patted her backside. Bobby couldn't see exactly where her hands were on his body, except that they were low and he had a feral grin on his face.

Bobby came up beside him and slapped his shoulder, a lot harder than was strictly necessary. Gambit looked up at him, his eyes hidden behind his sunglasses.

"Are you out of your fucking mind?!" He bellowed. "We didn't come here so you could get laid!"

Gambit grabbed his shirt and pulled him close so that he could hear. "What, you jealous?" Bobby turned red and Gambit continued. "De Friends be in de buildin'." Bobby's mouth closed with a snap. "Felicity here saw dem, saw me, put two an' two t'gether an' warned me. Now she givin' me a reason t' take her downstairs."

Bobby blinked. "Why?"

Felicity turned a face painted with far too much make-up on him. "Because that's where the escape tunnel is."

"De Friends got a description a me," Gambit explained. "An' even if dey don', dey watchin' all de doors an' I can' jus' walk by wit'out bein' noticed. Dey not gonna wonder 'bout you t'ough, so you jus' walk out safe. We meet in ten minutes t'ree blocks down t' de east, neh?"

Bobby looked at Felicity. She was young, until he looked in her eyes. "You're a whore, aren't you?" He asked without thinking and immediately felt Gambit's fist cuff his ear painfully.

"Manners, homme! She not have t' help us. Now get movin'."

With that, Gambit stood up and moved away with Felicity, swaying like a man drunk would. He had one arm around her waist, the other hand brazenly cupping her breast. His face was buried in her thick hair, ostensibly nibbling her neck. For her part, she seemed to be half hoping him up, her mouth open in a laugh he couldn't hear. The two disappeared down a flight of stairs, right past a man in a red beret who didn't give them a second look.

Slowly then, trying to look natural, Bobby headed for the main entrance, where more men in red berets were crowding the bouncers. His heart was almost in his throat when he got there, but a fight broke out between the Friends and bouncers and he walked through without incident.

The usual night sounds of New York were a blessed relief after the head-shattering volume inside. Leaving the club behind, which, he saw, was appropriately named Blasphemy, he walked east for three blocks and leaned against a lamppost to wait.

Gambit showed at last ten minutes late, smoking the end of a cigarette. Bobby looked at the smudge of lipstick on his cheek visible under the lamppost.

"Do you know a lot of New York hookers?"

Gambit flicked the butt away. "I know hookers in ev'ry city I been in. Dey always know what goin' down. Felicity be an old friend. She been hookin' since she was fourteen." He looked sad.

Bobby didn't believe it. "You certainly took your time."

A shrug. "She wan'ed t' talk. She don' get t' do dat much, so I had a smoke wit' her. Dat okay wit' you?" He started walked down the street.

"Just peachy," Bobby muttered as, again, he followed.

There was a sneaking suspicion entering the young man's mind, a disgusted fear of what Gambit may have done. The more he thought about it, the more likely it seemed and his skin turned to ice again as the hate blazed anew.

"So tell me. Were you fucking her when you were dating Rogue?"

Gambit stopped in mid-stride and turned towards him, his expression almost confused.


Bobby's teeth ground together. "You were, weren't you? The whole time you were seducing that innocent girl, you were getting your rocks off with hookers! No wonder she ran away from all of us! She was sick of your filth!"

Gambit's jaw was working soundlessly, his eyes glowing with a red rage like hellfire. His hands began to glow too and Bobby reacted.

This time, Gambit didn't dodge in time. A pillar of ice rose up beneath him, shooting him upwards, then arcing over to send the Cajun tumbling to the roof of the six story building they'd been beside. Bobby came up to the roof himself to see Gambit roll to a halt against the far wall.

He was bruised, but that wasn't enough for the demon raging out of control inside Bobby's heart.

"You asshole!" He screamed. "You fuck up everything around you! You don't deserve to be an X-Man!"

Gambit pulled himself to his hands and knees. "You t'ink you get away wit' dis?"

"Oh, yeah," Bobby said as he stepped off his slide onto the roof. "I'm the good one. I don't have people coming back in time and accusing ME of being a traitor. I'm not a professional thief. Even if you tell Xavier, he'll believe me. And if you let him read your mind, he'll see exactly what kind of man you are. He'll have you out of the X-Men so fast it'll make your head spin. Then Rogue'll come back."

Gambit climbed to his feet. He was limping, Bobby saw, his left ankle twisted but he ignored it and began to move toward him. A card dropped into his hand from his sleeve and started to glow. Bobby froze it.

And they say I can't control my powers, he thought grimly. "Try that again and I'll freeze all the blood in your body."

From the look on his face, Gambit believed him. It was exhilarating.

Gambit tried a different tack. "What make you t'ink dat gettin' rid o' me make Rogue come back?" He asked almost reasonably.

Bobby blinked. "She has to. I'm-"

"Waitin' for her? She don' know dat." Gambit limped around him to where he had more room to move. "How long you know Rogue? Since she was eighteen? Almost all de male X-Men know her since den. How many a you look at her an' see a woman, though?"

"I did," Bobby whispered.

Gambit was moving closer, his face flushed and feverish. The air was dropping in temperature from Bobby's powers, ice forming on all surfaces while snow fell from the sky. The Cajun's costume and coat weren't designed to resist this kind of cold and Bobby could see the body heat being leached out of him. He didn't care.

"Why you not tell her?" Gambit asked, his teeth chattering. "Why you not hold her hand, take her out, give her a reason t' dress up, tell her she beau'iful, tell her you love her?"

"With her powers, that'd just be cruel."

Gambit laughed hoarsely, leaning heavily on his left leg while he favoured the other. "An' it not be cruel to preten' she ain' a livin' woman full a life an' need? Lookin' at a woman ain' enough. Women are people. Dey need to be more dan objects, even when dey seen day way wit' de best a intentions."

Bobby shook his head. "Rogue didn't want your attentions. She didn't know how to react to you."

"Course she don' know how t' react. I be de first man who wan' t' touch her since she be thirteen!"

He was only a few feet away, leaning even more heavily on his left leg. Snow fell around him, whitening his shoulders and hair.

Suddenly, Bobby realized something. Shit! He's leaning on the leg he hurt!

Gambit twisted, and his uninjured, right foot lashed at Bobby's face. Bobby dodged enough to take only a numbing blow to his shoulder instead of a broken jaw. Then Gambit went down, his twisted ankle unable to support him on the slippery ground.

Enraged, Bobby threw himself at him, hands closing around the Cajun's throat, squeezing off his breath in a freezing grip. Gambit tried to charge the ice surrounding him, but the merest touch crippled them with frostbite. and the energy went nowhere.

"You loser!" He screamed. "You think you're so much better than me, don't you?! But you're nothing but a petty criminal. You're not good enough for Rogue. She needs someone who respects her and has a clean past, not one filled with stealing and lying and-"

"And murder?" Remy rasped.

Bobby's grip loosened slightly. "What?"

"How Rogue... gonna react... when she falls for you... an' kisses you... an' sees me die on... dis rooftop, neh?"

Oh, God, what am I doing?

Slowly, Bobby released his grip and Gambit rolled over, coughing and heaving into the snow, now steadily freezing to ice.

"I'm sorry," Bobby whispered, shaking now almost more than the Cajun.

After a minute, Gambit managed to look at him, his eyes defeated and regretful. They looked the way Bobby felt. "Bobby," he said patiently, as though explaining something to a child. "Rogue didn' leave me 'cause a my past. Ultimately, she lef' me 'cause I couldn' have sex wit' her. She never been touched, so she t'ink dat sex an' love be de same t'ing, an' dat she can' have one wit'out de other. I know dat not true, but den I have sex wit'out love all t'rough my life. De closest I come t' act'ally makin' love t' a woman be de kiss I had in Isreal wit' Rogue."

He coughed again and wrapped his arms around himself, rolling over onto his side. His body temperature was up, Bobby saw, but only because of his fever. Bobby didn't know what to say to him, his anger replaced by guilt.

"It don' matter how much you or I love Rogue," Gambit told Bobby softly. "She gonna latch onto de fist man her powers don' affect an' it ain' gonna matter who he is. I coulda been a saint from heaven an' she still woulda left me."

Bobby sat there in the cold with the Cajun, his enmity gone. Slowly, Gambit stopped shivering.

"Rogue easy t' love... when y' don' wan' t' have t' go more dan halfway... or work at it... Don' use her... as an excuse not t' try... an' stop blamin' others... instead a y'self," Gambit whispered. Bobby winced. Doing things halfway was the story of his life, and even he had to admit that he preferred to blame others. He'd never tried to get close to Rogue, to be more than her friend, and now that she was gone, it was easiest to blame Gambit for it.

"You do somet'ing?" The Cajun whispered. "It ain' cold no more."

There was a massive crack behind him and Bobby turned to see the stone of the roof crack in two. It was fifty degrees below zero now and the building couldn't wistand it.

Neither could Gambit. He'd stopped feeling the cold only because his body heat was almost gone. He was freezing to death.

I never would have thought I could beat the Cajun, Bobby thought, putting a hand to his cold forehead. Yeah, right. The only reason I beat him was because he didn't want to fight me.

It'd still be easy to leave him. The Cajun wouldn't be able to escape alone in his condition and the Friends of Humanity would undoubtedly find him. They'd take care of any evidence.

Bobby thought about it for a few moments, then bent over him. "Come on," he groused. "I'll take you home." Pulling Gambit to his feet, he slung him over his shoulders fireman style and carried him back towards his slide. "But don't think this means I like you. I still think you're a loser."

"I wouldn' dream a it," Gambit muttered weakly and coughed.

Abruptly, a bullet went past Bobby's head and he threw himself to one side, unceremoniously dumping Gambit on the roof as he did so. Peering over the edge, Bobby saw the Friends of Humanity below, heading for the building.

"Damn, I think we've been spotted."

Expecting one of Gambit's sarcastic rejoinders, he was surprised to hear none and turned to see Gambit lying sprawled in the snow, his skin icy cold.

What do I do now?

Leaving Gambit wasn't an option anymore. Bobby knew he'd never be able to forgive himself, not now. But if they ran, the Friends would blow them out of the sky. He looked back down at Gambit. Fighting might be even worse. Gambit was already half frozen. If the temperature dropped even one more degree, he could die from the cold.

Sometimes I wish I could make heat, instead of just generating cold. He paused. Cold... can I remove the cold? He stared at Gambit's ice tinged face. There was no help there. His lips twisted. There was never any help from Gambit.

Concentrating, he touched the cold, the wonderful, magnificent chill of it. He let it fill him, connecting him to the ice in the air, on the roof and in Gambit's blood. Then he called it back to him.

It was backwards to anything he'd ever done before. Like exhaling when your lungs were empty. His skin boiled and he wanted to stop, but he remembered Gambit telling him he only did things halfway and the insult of it drove him on.

It seemed as though it took hours, but the Friends of Humanity were still climbing the stairs of the building when Bobby opened his eyes again.

The snow and ice were gone, the night balmy again. They were in him now. He looked at the Cajun lying a few feet away. Blue eyes met red on black ones.

"I don' know what you did," the Cajun told him. "But I don' t'ink you should listen t' anyone who tell you y' don' know how t' use y' powers." He groaned and bent his head over until it touched the ground. He coughed.

In spite of himself, Bobby smiled. "Thanks, Gambit," he murmured. "Maybe you're not a complete asshole." Gambit looked up at him. "I mean, you do recognize brilliance when you see it."

Gambit blinked at him blearily, then his eyes flickered at something behind him.

Bobby turned to see armed Friends of Humanity coming over the side of the roof. "There they are!" One of them yelled. Behind Bobby, Gambit erupted in an out-of-control coughing fit.

Even as the Friends opened fire, Bobby called on the cold again. The bullets shattered and Friends yelled as the air around them dropped thirty degrees. Bobby's eyes narrowed and their weapons turned to blocks of ice.

"Don't you guys know when you're out of your league?"

"Don't patronize me, mutie," their leader growled. "Neither of you will escape us tonight."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard it all before."

"Iceman," Gambit gasped. "I t'ink... I don' feel so good... cold..."

Shit. He's freezing again. I gotta get us outta here. He smirked. Listen to me. I must be out of my mind. I guess everyone was right when they talked about common enemies.

For simplicities sake, he created ice shackles to hold the Friends on the roof. Then he stepped up beside them and used them for cover while he fired ice at those on the ground, freezing their weapons, shattering their vehicles, sending them scattering in all directions. It was easy, less difficult than the simplest danger room exercise. When it was over, he turned back to get the Cajun and use an ice slide to take them home.

Bobby stood in Xavier's office despondently, staring at his feet instead of at the two men sitting across from him.

"What happened, Robert?"

I tried to kill a fellow X-Man because I couldn't face the fact that everything that's gone wrong in my life is my own fault.

He was being quiet too long, too unsure of what to say, hopeful and fearful both that the Professor would 'hear' what he'd just thought. Cyclops spoke up again.

"According to Gambit, the Friends of Humanity tracked you from their office and he got too close when you used your powers to stop them."

Bobby shut his mouth to stop himself from looking surprised. "Pretty much, yeah."

Cyclops sighed. "So what we end up with is Gambit down for the next six weeks with pneumonia and the Friends of Humanity with a full colour record of a mutant attacking humans. And to top it all off, we lost the information we needed because it shattered in the cold."

Bobby's head hung even lower. "I'm sorry," he managed.

"Sorry isn't good enough. I can't believe you caught your own teammate-"

"Scott, please." Xavier put a hand on Cyclops' arm. "Iceman showed a high level of control over his powers when he saved Gambit. We can't fault him for that." He nodded at the young man. "We'll want a full report, but not today. Go and rest."

Relieved, Bobby all but ran out of the office. Outside, he wandered through the mansion, and in a few minutes found himself outside Gambit's room. A ragged coughing sounded from within. Steeling himself, Bobby went inside.

Gambit was lying propped up on half a dozen pillows in the bed. A bottle of antibiotic pills, Kleenex boxes, a remote control and magazines were scattered over the blanket. He was staring at the ceiling, but looked over as Bobby came in.

Bobby opened his mouth to speak, closed it, shifted uncomfortably and stared out the window. Silent except for the rattle of his breathing, Gambit waited for him to say something.

Finally, the words came. "Why- why didn't you tell Xavier what I did? Why cover for me?"

Gambit shrugged, his eyes cold. "'Cause you be right. You be de one dey believe an' I didn' wan' t' prove myself by lettin' Xavier walk t'rough my mind."

Bobby looked away again. "I don't like you Cajun. I never did and I don't think you deserve to be here, but I am sorry for what I did to you."

A burst of hacking interrupted the Cajun's answer. "Bobby," he gasped at last. "You don' like me 'cause we be too much alike, at least in dat we both fuck up our lives. We jus' go 'bout it diff'rent." He tried unsuccessfully to get comfortable. "You never do more dan you have t' do t' get by an' I go out an' do damn stupid t'ings. Den you handle it by repressin' y'self an' blaming ev'rybody else while I party 'til I can' feel nothin' no more. You feel like a loser an' I feel like scum." He laughed hoarsely. "We both so messed up we look at each other an' t'ink de other tryin' t' come 'cross like some big success story. No wonder we hate each other so much."

Bobby glared at him. "You're full of it."

"See? Tol' ya."

He shook his head. "You're hopeless."

Gambit leaned his head back again. "No more dan you, homme."

Bobby turned red and stormed to the door. "I should have let you die."

The Cajun yawned. "Tell dat t' Rogue de next time y' see her."

Bobby left the room, slamming the door behind him.

Damn, he thought. It was the only thing he could think of to say.


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