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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16


Written by NicoPony
Last updated: 05/06/2007 06:22:13 PM

Chapter 5

Sarah woke to find herself strapped to a stiff bed in a steel cell. Her head felt as if it were stuffed with cotton, and her mouth tasted foul. She blearily stared up at the harsh white ceiling lights, trying to get her bearings. She found she could turn her head, albeit painfully, to take in the rest of the room. There was an IV stand and monitor beside her bed. A steady drip ran from the IV bag down a tube to the needle in her arm. She tried to jerk away, but found her biceps and wrists firmly strapped to the bed. The abrupt action only caused her arm to ache and her head to spin. She closed her eyes against the white glare of lights. At first, she heard nothing but the dull droning throb of machinery in the walls around her. It was several moments before she could pick out the thin wail of a wounded animal somewhere beyond the sealed doorway to her left.

No, she decided. It wasn’t an animal. It was a baby.

Somewhere nearby an infant was wailing. Eventually, she heard a dull clank, perhaps of a door opening, and the sound of wailing increased for a moment. Sarah’s heart was pounding in her chest. She looked toward the door of her cell, where a small square window gave her a view of the same white lights in the hall beyond. Slowly, the infant’s sobs fell quiet, and she heard the sound of a deep voice speaking. Though the words were unintelligible, the voice sounded as if it were comforting the infant. It rose and fell, as if in song.

Sarah felt her eyes drift close. She had no concept of how long she slept, but she was reawakened when she heard the same dull clank as before and the door to her cell was pulled open. Her eyes snapped open, and her heart nearly leaped from her chest. The same dark man that had attacked her in the access corridor stood in the threshold.

His hair was a nearly translucent white, and it seemed to float in weightless strands, like spiderwebs in a breeze. The pale hair framed a black, scarred face and those eerie blood-red eyes that shone with an inner fire. An acrid odor came from him, like the stink of electric wires on fire, which she could smell though he stood several feet away. She prayed he’d stay away, but her hopes were dashed as he approached her in three long strides.

“Do you remember me?” he asked, his voice was soft and torn, as if he had spent hours screaming at the top of his lungs.

Sarah didn’t want to look at his face, but her fear coalesced into fury as the feelings of hopelessness overwhelmed her. “You’re a murderer,” she spat.

The corner of his mouth lifted as he smiled slowly, revealing one long incisor. “You’re only half-right. Partial credit,” he rasped and leaned toward her. “Look closer.”

She had no idea what this man wanted, but her eyes unwillingly searched his face for the answer. Sarah jerked back in her bed with a sudden gasp. Her stomach heaved and she struggled to swallow.

“So you do remember me,” he said as he searched her eyes. “Though you may not know me.”

“No,” she whispered, though she recognized him now. Her heart refused to believe what her gut was telling her. “But...but why?” Sarah whispered.

“No, you do not know me,” he continued as if she hadn’t spoken. “Let us get to know each other a little better, shall we?”

“Gambit...please...” A tear spilled over one of her cheeks and down the side of her neck.

The dark man put his hand out to touch the tear, and lay his palm over her throat. She tried to swallow past the pressure on her Adam’s apple.

“It was me,” the man began. The eyes that bore into her face began to grow distant. “I was the one who brought them together. Those killers, the dregs of humanity. The ones that killed your family and destroyed your home.”

With sickening dread filling her, Sarah watched the man’s pinprick pupils flick back and forth, as if they were searching through memories. The words came slowly, as if coming from a great distance. “And then, when I’d brought them together, I took them to where your people were hidden. And I watched as they were slaughtered.”

Sarah tried to shake her head, the tears coming hot and fast now. She felt his long fingers tighten slightly around her neck. “No,” she said again. “You didn’t.”

“Didn’t I?” he asked, and his face clouded, as if he weren’t entirely sure of his own recollections. “I heard their screams, I saw them die.”

“Not all. Not me,” Sarah’s voice weakened to a squeak, and she raged against the sound of her own frailty.

The man who was not Gambit cocked his head, like a dog who’s caught wind of something distant. “No...” he said slowly. His pale brows drew together in confusion. “Not you. You didn’t die...I wonder why?” The hand on her throat tightened again.

“You saved me,” Sarah whispered. Her heart pounded as the realization dawned on her. She’d never connected Gambit to the man, wounded and bloodied, who had yanked her from the grasp of that sociopath Sabretooth. She finally had a face and a name for the man who’d rescued her from the horror of that night. The man who’d taken her from the tunnels and brought her into the light. That light that warmed her face and arms, at least, for those few brief weeks before she was whisked away again...back into the darkness. Pieces of memory quickly snapped into place, though the memories brought her no understanding and further confusion.

“Why---why are you telling me this?”

The man seemed to be struggling with his own confusion. His eyes finally focused and met her gaze. “Because, chere, I wanted you to know who I really was. And that there’d be no rescue this time.”

He pushed himself away from her and left the room, his long cloak swinging behind him. The cell door slammed with a resounding finality.

Sarah was left with nothing but the feeling of his fingers around her throat, choking on her own tears.


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