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Chapter 1
Chapter 2


Written by Sov Rin
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 2

Professor Xavier studied the young man sitting on the chair across the desk, waiting for his response. Outside the window, he could hear the sound of a snowball fight that appeared to have escalated into a conflict that might well require UN intervention. From the chorus of Kurt's name in tones ranging from shock to outrage, he suspected no peace treaty would be reached soon.

"Dis ain't exactly my kinda place, don't t'ink no one'd be willin' t' welcome Gambit in wit' open arms neither."

Xavier smiled faintly, he could not read the thief's thoughts, nor would he if he could, but the tone and expression had made his reply a tentative question hidden in a blasť grin.

"I'm not saying you might not have to earn some trust Mr LeBeau, although you appear to have your supporters. Both Rogue and Ororo came within inches of demanding I offer you a place, Logan was less tactful and told me I would be."

Gambit smirked lightly to hear that, Storm he knew had extended her friendship fully once Evan was safe, trying to make him remember her from before. He hadn't, not really, save for occasional images of a taller girl with hair the colour of snow. But it seemed important to her, so finally he had pretended to recall, and won a smile that had made it worth it. Rogue though had been avoiding him as much as she could, even so far as to claim a headache and avoid leaving her room until it was absolutely necessary. To hear she wanted him to stay after all was surprisingly good, that she had touched on his mind and wasn't insisting he be shown the door. Or window, which ever came first. Wolverine though, there was the big shock ... maybe he just wanted him around to beat on some in this Danger Room they kept on about.

The sounds of play filtered through to him as he replied at last. "Den what do y' want from me if I stay?"

Silence reigned once more, this conversation had taken so long they might have been thinking in chess moves rather than words, weighing how the conversation would go before they spoke.

"You have shown you are a more than capable fighter, I expect there is a great deal you could teach the students."

Gambit waited, there was more, and they were on the edge of the centre of the conversation now. Something they had both been dancing around, his occupation. Both men knew what it was, both men knew he was now as marked as he ever was. It wouldn't take long for word to get around what he had done. If he was lucky, he'd just never get hired again. If he was unlucky, a Guild Member was take it as a further dishonour to the family and have him killed.

"And ... you are a Guild Thief. I can't pretend to know precisely what this is, but I am aware it is a rare thing indeed. We are in a dangerous place and time, your contacts and training would be invaluable in ensuring we have the information we need and the ability to protect ourselves from those who would take ours."

There is was. Both men were watching each other calmly, but the tension in the room had increased, somehow even drowning out the sound outside.

"Remy an ex-Guild T'ief, and whatever I call myself, stealing still illegal."

That didn't bother him, but what Xavier was asking clearly bothered the other man. It stepped on none of his principles, but it trod dangerously near them.

"Of course, and not something I would ask of you unless of extreme urgency. In fact, should you decide to stay with us, your occupation will have to change. I understand you did not finish High School, I would enrol you at the school immediately."

Another long pause as the seconds on the Grandfather clock ticked by. At last Gambit nodded and stood with a grin.

"Desolet Professeur, I guess y' got an ex-t'ief under y' roof fo' a while."

With a twitch of a smile Xavier watched him leave, then rolled his chair to the window to watch his students enjoy the winter.

Shaw stood amongst the rubble that had once been The Hellfire Club, staring down at the now useless black bag that was one half of the portal. Spilling out of it was a badge, scorched by fire but the X emblazoned upon it still visible. It was gone, all gone, for the sake of a bet.

Once she had recovered his White Queen had cursed him for an arrogant fool and left, taking the half cyborg Donald Pierce, her White Bishop. Where they were now he had no idea, Wynguarde had left soon after without even having the grace to speak to him.

All was in ruins. Between them the X-Men and the Brotherhood had left no two stones standing, none of the files remained to him, and yet he smiled. A terrible dark smile he had no faculties to tell was tinged with madness.

Ruins could be rebuilt and vengeance need never be immediate.

One foot came down deliberately upon the Com Badge, he ground it into the earth and heard it shattering. And he laughed.

In his laboratory, a scientist flicked absently through copies of the files he had taken. Without looking at the woman across the room, he spoke quietly and in excellent humour. Something for which she was most relieved.

"Arclight? We will soon be having guests. Two gentlemen and a lady. Please make their accommodations ready."


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