Home | Forum | Mailing List | Repository | Links | Gallery
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7


Written by Madeleine Villerot-Taylor
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 7

Life settled into a routine again, at least as routine as the crazy life of an X Man could be. They fought the occasional delinquent mutant or gang of mutants but none of their major adversaries showed themselves, especially nothing from Sinister, which frustrated them all.

Celestine would sleep the first half of the night while Remy would rest the second half. He was beginning to feel more like his old self and that meant late nights and less sleep anyway so it worked out well. Celestine started doing some academic work that Beast designed for her and she excelled at it. Remy worked out in the weight room, trying not to overdo it and bring Beast's wrath down on him but it was frustrating to be so far off his usual form. He kept reminding himself to be patient but it was difficult.

Others of the X Men noticed the similarities between Remy and Celestine, both in looks and in powers, even such things as their sense of humor but didn't mention it. Beast kept track of the alpha waves but refrained from many tests because he now understood why Remy had always hated the med lab. He was just relieved and pleased that Remy's injuries were finally healing well.

Logan came often to play cards with Remy, rarely winning but knowing Gambit wouldn't be cheating. Ororo visited frequently, watering the flowering plants she had brought to cheer up the bland infirmary walls. Bishop even stopped by once a day, uncomfortable but still wanting to make sure Gambit was progressing steadily.

Rogue was the one that baffled Remy. She had stayed away, sending thoughtful gifts such as the Wall Street Journal and a book about the greatest thefts in history along with a note jokingly asking which ones he was responsible for. But she hadn't visited, herself, until the day that he'd finally gotten word he would be going back to his own room, after just one more something or other that Beast had to check.

She came around lunchtime, carrying his nutritious meal through a straw which he'd understandably come to hate, no matter how good they tried to make it taste. She wore a soft green cotton dress that flowed lazily around her figure and showed it to perfection. He didn't hesitate to let her feel his response either, the delight he took in her beauty. She blushed as she approached his bed.

"Yah crazy swamprat. Yah better knock it off or Ah won't come visit you again."

He chuckled appreciatively but scaled back his emotional output as Jean had taught him.

"Ah've been scared to see yah, Remy."

#Why for, Roguey?#

"'Cuz I knew your powers increased and that you can read thoughts now almost without wanting to. And, Ah didn't really know myself what mah feelin's were so Ah didn't think it fair to inflict them on yah -"

#I guess dat makes an odd sort a sense. So, why now, chere?#

"Well, because Ah figgered 'em out!" She said it triumphantly, beaming.

#Aaaannnnddd….# Remy prodded.

"Well, silly, go ahead and let loose, then yah'll know!" she laughed.

He raised an eyebrow but did as she requested, letting her emotions through his shields, experiencing them in all their Technicolor beauty. He was stunned, overwhelmed, even awed. His heart swelled in answer, growing so big he didn't think he could contain it and he let his response wash over her. Tears of joy sprang to her eyes, blurring his image for a moment.

There was no judgment between them, no restraint, no underwater riptides to pull them down. Only love, being shared unconditionally for the first time between them, and it was strengthened by that joining. Remy had been cleansed of an act he had thought unforgivable and found himself able to love fully, holding nothing back. It shone from him like a sun, warming Rogue who was awash in its gentle loving light. They'd finally discovered their freedom to love and Remy tried to contain it to the infirmary but it spilled out into the mansion, making its various recipients smile goofily, suddenly happy for no known reason but accepting the gift nonetheless. Celestine, especially, basked in their emotion, healing more, rips inflicted on her own heart being repaired by the balm of love. But with it came a longing and she sought out Jean, the nearest thing to a mother that she could ever have had and without saying a word from her mind, just fell into Jean's waiting, welcoming arms.

Remy was finally able to clamp down on his emoting powers but anyone could see by his face that happiness had overtaken him.

"Remy? I wanna tell yah somethin'."

#Oui, cherie? You tell me de moon is green cheese and I be taking your word for it, no problem.#

She chuckled. "Mah name is Emerald. Emerald Ezilda Tucker. Ah know, really stupid, huh? Mah momma saw mah green eyes as a baby and said Emerald was the perfect name for her daughter and of course, Ezilda is a family name inflicted on a girl of each generation. Lucky me! At least, it wasn't mah first name, can yah imagine? Ezilda! Now, what are yah smilin' about, swamp rat?"

#You, chere, m'amour, your mama was right. Emerald is de perfect name for you since it's the same beautiful green that your eyes are.# He took her gloved hands in his. #But it's also appropriate because it's the name of a precious gem an' you are as precious to me. You are truly a stunningly beautiful femme. You have such courage and strength and deep beliefs; I realize how incredibly lucky I am that you love me in return.# He smiled at her, even with his jaw still wired shut, that winning smile of his that could melt her knees and this time she saw it reach his eyes fully, softening the heat there; his whole face glowed.

Rogue realized she'd been holding her breath and remarked dryly, "Why, it's true, sir, yah do know how to take a gal's breath away!"

They laughed together and she eased into bed with him, snuggling into his embrace, her face on his chest, making sure not to touch his flesh. They lay like that for quite a while, Remy absently stroking her chestnut hair and Rogue running her fingers over his slim torso.

Hank found them like that, scolding them only because Remy hadn't drunk his shake which the Cajun good naturedly sucked down and Beast gave him his walking papers. Remy gratefully removed himself to his own room and Rogue went him to see him settled and then left for a Danger Room session she'd had scheduled. Remy laid down, content for the first time in a long while.

A few more days passed while Jean worked with Gambit and Xavier worked with Celestine, exploring the limits of their telepathic and empathic abilities. During Celestine's training sessions, the Professor discovered an interesting trait, which, when he spoke of it with the others later, might aid them in finding Sinister.

"You have a photographic memory, young lady," Professor X told Celestine where she was nestled in the circle of Remy's arm.

#What does that mean?# she asked.

The Professor was there along with Jean, Scott and Hank. They were in the rec room where they'd found the two of them playing poker.

"It means you can remember details, recall specific aspects of anything you've seen or heard," Cyclops explained.

Remy's eyes narrowed as he looked at each of them in turn. #And you want t' use her t' git t' Sinister.# He stated it as a fact not a question, an undercurrent of mistrust lacing his words.

"Gambit, I would have thought you'd jump at the chance - " Scott said.

#You t'ought wrong, mon ami. Dere's something you not sharing wit' de rest of de class, Professor. Spill it.#

Charles raised his eyebrows but decided to let the flippancy pass. "She only recalled these types of details when we were deep in one of training sessions. Apparently, as one of her defense mechanisms for survival, she learned to submerge her awareness of this ability because it was too painful. So where an average person with an eidetic memory could simply recall a certain instance as though he were pulling up a file on a computer, we would have to - coax it from Celestine."

#Uh huh. I t'ink de very good reason it's been buried in de first place is a damn good reason t' leave it be!# Remy exclaimed, barely holding his anger in check. He could feel the fear in Celestine rising. #I am not gonna be lettin' you experiment - # he spat the word into their minds. # - on her. We both done had enough of dat!#

Charles was obviously a little taken aback by Remy's vehemence and Scott let his anger show. "We have to go after Sinister - by any means possible. After all he's done - to all of us but especially to you two - you won't even let her try to help? How can you - "

Cyclops wasn't allowed to finish. You'd have thought Iceman was present, feeling the coldness in the room. But it was obviously cold fury and Jean silently congratulated Remy on his control. She knew that if Remy had allowed his emotions free reign, they would all be seriously hurting right now.

#I won't let her be used like dat, Summers! And you'll have to go t'rough me to do it so you best t'ink long an' hard before attempting anyt'ing! I told her she wasn't gonna be hurt no more, not by Sinister, and not by any single-minded, narrow sighted, overzealous team leader like y'self.#

Jean could feel Scott fuming. "I think we ought to leave now," she said, trying to defuse the situation. Remy and Scott were locking stares and she didn't want them locking horns over this, too. "It's really up to Celestine and I don't think she's comfortable with this, are you, sweetheart?" They all looked at the little girl, her dark hair mussed as she shrank back into Remy's embrace.

She nodded morosely at them, letting them feel a taste of her fear. #I don't want to do it. I wish I could help but I don't want to go through all that again. The nightmares have almost stopped now and I don't wanna bring'em back. Please, don't make me.#

Remy hugged her tightly. #You don' gotta do none of dat, petite,# he assured her.

Scott nodded curtly, softly apologizing and he left quickly. Professor Xavier moved to follow him. "We won't speak of this again unless you change your mind and tell us so." He nodded farewell and left. Hank excused himself, saying something about viruses and microscopes. Jean stayed where she was, watching the pair.

She spoke to their minds, knowing that was what they preferred. #I certainly don't blame either of you. Sinister will show himself eventually. We'll just have to be patient.# She paused a moment, cocking her head to the side to look at them closely. #You two are certainly in harmony about a great many things, aren't you? I can feel…. Ah well, it's not important. Remy, you just keep healing, and Celestine, you keep studying. Okay?# And she waved as she left the room, leaving the two to sit in companionable silence.

Only a week remained before he could get the wires cut from his jaw and Remy relished the idea of finally being able to talk, yawn, snore, brush his teeth well!

The mystery of his and Celestine's 'connection' remained just that - a mystery. Hank didn't believe it was a natural occurrence caused by their proximity during Remy's power increase or the bond shared by both having escaped Sinister. In fact, he thought Gambit also suspected that Sinister had enacted some experiment on them both. But they were at a loss to explain it. And it begged the question; if this was one of his diabolical 'scientific' attempts, then why had they been allowed to escape? Hank had finally decided to run his own DNA tests on samples of both Remy's and Celestine's blood that he'd taken when they'd first been rescued

Now, Henry sat stunned at his desk, his head whirling with the realization that they were most likely at the mercy of one of Mr. Sinister's evil machinations. He shook off his stupor and bounded away to find Gambit.

He ran right into the very object of his search as he stepped through his door, knocking the slighter man to the floor. But Remy jumped up, acting as though he'd been touched by flames.

#Henri,# he breathed, his mind's voice catching and his red eyes narrowing.

"I don't know what it means though, Remy!" Hank said, realizing that Gambit had read his mind easily since his emotions were running rampant and they'd touched. They'd discovered that Remy couldn't control his empathic powers as well if he were actually touching a person.

#I'd come to tell you dat I've been having a headache and it occurs to me dat it's been since Jean took Celestine into town to shop.#

"This is the first time you've been separated by such a distance, isn't it?"


"Fascinating. Do you need something for it?" Hank asked as he half turned back to the infirmary.

#Non. I t'inkin' I be needin' it.#

"Needing it?" Beast repeated and then realization set in and he bounded off again, Gambit hot on his heels.

Celestine and Jean had hit all the stores but one. They planned on finishing that one off next and then lunching at Harry's Hideaway on the way back to the mansion. It seemed so cliché but females do like to go shopping, especially when the younger one had obviously never had anything of her own.

She didn't seem to notice any of the people who stared at the latticework of scars covering an otherwise angelic face. Jean had never considered how other people could react, since the X Men just didn't see it anymore. They all saw a wonderful, tenacious little girl -

#And I appreciate it, Jean.#

#I'm sorry, have I been projecting?#

#Not especially, but you had left yourself 'open' so we could talk whenever we wanted to,# Celestine said as they walked along, their bags bumping their legs. #I've basically forgotten all about it. It's not like when I'd been with Mr. Sinister and the Marauders would taunt me constantly, never letting me forget my deformity. They weren't particularly creative: Scarface, Fenceface, Ugly Duck, etc. And I always just had to take it. Or risk being beaten. I still don't know why Mr. Sinister stopped her from killing me.#

Jean stopped and turned to Celestine. #What do you mean, 'killing you?'#

Celestine seemed startled by her interest. #Well,# she stammered, #I'd been cleaning out one of the cages and Arclight had stormed in. It was obvious she'd expected to find something other than me but she had been drinking and she was pissed. She began the usual torment and I just stood there and took it. She'd gotten a bit wilder than usual and I had been starting to lose consciousness when Mr. Sinister had come in and he fired on her!# It was obvious that Celestine was simply amazed at such an action on the evil man's part. She continued, #I heard him say something about keeping the breed alive for a while longer since most everything was in place and something about jeopardizing an experiment. I never did figure out what he meant.# The girl shook her head, an empty gaze finally centering on Jean's concerned face. Phoenix smiled at her.

#Why is your code name Phoenix?# she asked, effectively changing the subject and Jean decided to go along with it.

#That is a rather long story. How 'bout if I tell you over lunch?#

Celestine agreed and off they went to continue shopping.


GambitGuild is neither an official fansite of nor affiliated with Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Nonetheless, we do acknowledge our debt to them for creating such a wonderful character and would not dream of making any profit from him other than the enrichment of our imaginations.
X-Men and associated characters and Marvel images are © Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
The GambitGuild site itself is © 2006 - 2007; other elements may have copyrights held by their respective owners.