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Chapter 1


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

Chapter 1

"Love, you mock us for your sport."

~ Sophocles (Antiogne)

When did it happen? At what precise moment did de game I be playin' turn into de real t'ing? What was it dat made me, Remy Etienne LeBeau, stop bein' only out for himself, not really carin' 'bout nobody else, to findin' himself in love wit' Rogue?

I t'ink about dis more an' more, what wit' all dat's gone down. I keep t'inkin' dat if I know *when*, den I be able to figure out what happened. I been narrowin' it down. I know it not happen up on Avalon, or even at dat picnic where she cook me all dat Cajun food and ended up wearing de boysenberry pie. I be jus' playin' dere, same as I was when I try t' kiss her at dat backetball game. Didn' really plan to. Knew what her powers gonna do t' me too well. 'Course, by de time we got out on our first date dat not be interrupted by a homocidal maniac, I so in love wit' her dat I not care no more. I jus' wan'ed t' feel her mouth on mine.

So, obviously, de moment came sometime 'fore dat. I know it not on Mojoworld, an' we never had no time when we were fightin' dat Hazard character or Stryfe an' his crazies. I t'ink it happen later, when both Rogue an' me be recoverin' from de wounds we got in dat battle. Her from flash blindness an' me from a concussion. Stuck at de mansion, we were both of us open t' anyt'ing.

His head hurt, like someone had taken his skull and put it in a paint shaker for a few minutes. Not sure he wanted to go to sleep with a concussion, even if Beast said it was alright, he'd climbed up to the roof to think. Then discovered he wasn't alone.

Rogue was sitting there before him, dressed in a green tank top and blue spandax shorts. Sunglasses covered the blinded eyes she no doubt kept closed. It wasn't the kind of clothes she'd normally wear, since they left her arms, legs and middle bare. She'd be too afraid of her mutant powers affecting someone else, which meant that she didn't expect to be disturbed.

Gambit stood silently, just watching her. She was a beautiful woman, exotic and graceful, and he gazed on her with pleasure for a few minutes. She didn't know he was there, after all. But it was obvious she was upset too, and he struggled to think of what to say.

Finally, he decided to just say something. "Pardon the intrusion, chere, but accordin' to Dr MacTaggert, you're still recoverin' from the optic damage Strobe caused. She'd restricted you t' complete bed rest."

Rogue hugged herself as if chilled. "Don't tell me, Gambit. You're here to fill the prescription."

Gambit shrugged, straightening the collar of his coat. "That wasn't my intention, no," he teased. "But since you brought it up..."

"Remy," she whispered. "If ya have any feelin's for me, any at all, leave me alone."

The Cajun looked at her for a moment, so lonely, so vulnerable, and took a deep puff of his cigarette before throwing it away and sitting down beside her. "S'funny," he said. "My feelings for you are the very same reason I'm staying."

They sat silently for a few minutes, only a few feet away from each other, not touching, not speaking. For himself, Gambit wondered what made him say what he had to Rogue, what made him mean it. He'd flirted with her, of course. He flirted with any woman, and of all the X-Women, she was the most available. The most unavailable, too. She'd been a challenge, and like all women he'd turned his attentions on, she'd started to fall for him. He'd expected it, but he wouldn't have sat on a roof in the middle of the night with those other women, not speaking or touching, just waiting for her to express her grief in her own time.

"It ain't fair," Rogue told him finally. "Again, ah'm hurt-- sluggin' it out against some equally pathetic mutant- for a place in a world that doesn't want any of us. A world in which ah don't ever have a chance o' findin' happiness." She ran a hand through her white striped auburn hair. "Fine. Life as an X-Man. Ah can deal with that. It's the personal side o' my life where everything falls apart." The hands grabbed hanks of hair, pulling. "All ah ask- all ah need- is somebody t' hold me." Her face twisted, stealing her beauty into a grimace, but he still kept watching her. "Stroke his fingers through muh hair. Promise me that everythin's gonna be fine... that all the cuts and bruises are worth it in the end." Her face turned in his direction, even though she couldn't see him at all.

"More than anything, Remy, ah want that person t'be you." She turned her back on him fully. "But that ain't ever gonna happen."

Stunned and confused, Remy stared at her. A woman professing her love to him was normal, to be expected. But the feeling's he was starting to have for her... she was so helpless, needing so much, and he wanted to help her. He actually found himself reaching to hold her, bare fingers to bare shoulder. To deny the impossible and be what she needed, forgetting himself.

Somehow, Rogue sensed he was there and slapped his hand away. "Don't ya get it?! It won't happen 'cause it can't!"

Her sunglasses knocked loose, she stared at him with green eyes that couldn't see, but reflected the incredible pride and power within her. The inner strength that, until this moment, he hadn't even known was there.

"My entire mutant power is about restraint," she told him in cold, even tones. "Ah can't touch another living person without fear of swallowin' that person whole! Their thoughts an' hopes an' dreams become mine. Ah got no control over my abilities!" She sneered. "An' you?!" He flinched involuntarily. "You got no control over yourself. Chargin' an object up an' throwin' it away-- that's your 'special gift'. Ah ain't an object, Gambit. Ah'm a woman. If ya can't... if ya won't treat me like one, then please leave me alone."

Shamed, the Cajun went away, and as Rogue sat on the roof, he paced through the manion, wondering what to do. To shrug his shoulders and turn to the next conquest would be the typical thing to do. The logical thing. Instead, he found himself taking a blanked out of the linen closet and going back up to the roof. Putting the blanket around her shoulders as he knelt, he pulled her back against his chest.

"Everything's gonna be fine, chere," he told her.



Oh, yes, dat be it. De moment I fell hopelessly and completely in love wit' Rogue. No doubt, no regret. I sat on dat roof an' gave myself t' her as sure as if she did drain me wit' her powers.

Now I know when my moment was. Know how I felt dat night, know how I feel now. Jus' hope dat, now dat I know de moment when I realized I love her, I can maybe, jus' maybe, figure out when Rogue stop.

This story is written with huge apologies to Scott Lobdell, since I nicked about 90% of the dialogue from Uncanny X-Men #297. Stole the whole plot from there too, pretty much. Whoops. Anyways, the characters depicted here all belong to Marvel and I am not making a profit of any kind off them.


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