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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

A Friend in Need - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Paws
Last updated: 01/05/2008 11:51:22 AM

Chapter 2

This situation was more familiar than he cared for. How many times had he done this, waded up from unconsciousness to find his body somehow intact and breathing despite all odds? The pain in his side was fierce, and upon further assessment he could feel a myriad of tubes leading into him. It took a while for him to remember what had landed him in this position this time. Right. Logan. Merde. He didnt’ think the guy would actually run him through. Rough him up, sure. That was a mistake he didn’t intend to repeat.

God only knew what Sinister had done with him while he was out. The man was talented, he had to give him that, but he didn’t have any scruples about implanting things or running tests without permission. The only way to combat that was to stay conscious, and in his good graces. The word ally wasn’t really in his vocabulary - if you failed him, he’d find other ‘uses’ for you. He shifted, realizing with sudden sinking clarity, that the immobility in his limbs was only partially due to his weakness. He could feel padded restraints on his arms and legs holding him down.

His opened his eyes to the dim room, fingers scrambling for some purchase in them, trying to locate a vulnerability, as his eyes took in the multiple buckles that strapped him to the sides of the bed. He cursed inwardly. This was going to take time, and energy that he didn’t know if he had.

The sound of a door being opened jerked him out of his reverie. Definitely time he didn’t have. He braced himself for the inevitable, looking up. His eyes widened in sudden alarm. “Ororo?”

She hesitated only for a moment before crossing over to him, her face calm as usual, but the slight tightening of her lips bespoke a lot to him, in his long familiarity with her. He took in his surroundings fully, realizing he’d overlooked a crucial point. “Gambit.” She replied in kind, but it lacked any of the warmth that in normally had. “How are you feeling?”

He struggled to sit up a little more in the bed, but they’d restrained him well, familiar with his talents. Of course that only left him with more questions. “Why am I here?”

“You’ll pull the drain in your chest out, if you keep doing that. Henry left very specific instructions for you not to move.” She stopped at the foot of the bed, looking like she didn’t know what to do with her hands, waiting a long moment, searching his face as if looking for something. “You are here because we brought you back.”

He fought the frustration, not wanting to snap at her. “But why? It wasn’t your place.” He jerked impotently at one wrist, the think plastic IV line swaying in answering sympathy. “Where’s Xavier?”

Ororo’s face hardened a little at that, and he knew that he’d said the wrong thing. “Would have you preferred that we left you to drown in your own blood?”

“You’re avoidin’ my questions, chere.” He regretted the gulf that he could feel between him and the one person that he had always been able to count on.

Giving an irritated small sigh, she went to look at the instrumentation that patiently mapped out his vitals, rather than meeting his gaze. “Charles left a couple of days ago, while we were out on our mission. We aren’t in contact with him currently, but we expect that he’ll be back soon.”

He shifted as much as he could, poorly disguising his irritation. “Y’ still ain’t answerin’ me. What is it? Leaving me to die twice in Antarctica twice would have been too much for the morals of the x-men?” He regretted the words as soon as they were said, knowing that he was taking out his frustration at the situation on the person that deserved it the least. Still – what the hell was he supposed to do now that he had been taken here?

She had whipped around to face him. “That is not fair.”

“I know it wasn’t.” Her face eased just slightly. Everything was so subtle with his Stormy. You wouldn’t know how to read her if you didn’t know her – it was how she often earned her reputation of being aloof and cold, when she was far from it. “Y’ still should have left me there.”

It was a few moments before she answered. “Perhaps you are right, but I had no assurances that you would have survived then.”

“Maybe so.” He glanced down at his chest, thick with bandages under the thin blanket. “Maybe no.” He frowned with a thought. After that attack could hardly see Logan wanting to rescue him – the man was nothing if not single minded when he got down to a job. “What happened t’ Wolverine?”

Ororo paused again, carefully considering her words. “He was injured by your colleagues, along with Kurt. Logan has made a full recovery, but Kurt is still being watched very carefully. He hasn’t regained consciousness yet.” She watched him carefully as she spoke, looking for some sort of reaction for him he figured. Something he couldn’t give her, not when there was still a chance that this wasn’t totally blown.

“So what now?” He lifted a wrist slightly again in illustration. “What’s d’ plan, since Xavier is gone? I just get to wait like a trussed up chicken till he comes wanderin’ back?”

“You can hardly blame us for this.” Oh, she could be cold when she meant it. “Scott will decide. He’s been taking full command of the field, and in Xavier’s absence, the rest of it also falls to him.”

Merde. That could explain things. “He ordered y’ t’ attack the base then? Xavier didn’t know about it?”

She looked at him, suspicion clear in her features. “Why does it matter, Gambit? Why are you asking me all these questions?”

He went for the deflection. “I can understand being judged by Scotty. Thing is, it’s not really him that’s wearin’ the pants now, neh? And it’s not like I’ve really gotten along best with Emma. Femme has a way of findin’ me guilty.”

“And you are not?” The silence drug out again, heavy and uncomfortable. He remembered the days where they could simply sit together and not talk for hours, relaxed and at ease with each other. Now, he felt every second of it like someone was laying weights on his chest.

“I should leave you to rest. I’ve kept you too long – your injuries were severe. You were lucky to survive.”

He wanted to thank her for that – for what she’d done for him even with what she must think of him. But again the words were swallowed. “Ok. I’ll be seein’ y’ around.” His tone was flippant, and again he felt the sting of regret as she gave him one last long look on her way out the door. But that was his life. A long line of regrets.


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