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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


Written by Steve Paul
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

Night: Its' darkness matched his mood. He sat alone, on the roof of the mansion. The mist of his breath mingled with the smoke from his cigarette. A light drizzle fell adding to his growing depression. He'd been this way for awhile now, his "friends" had learned to increase their distance over the past weeks. Was it weeks or months. He didn't know, or really care at the moment.

Shit! he thought to himself. Dis ain't no good. Sitin' here feelin' sorry fo' yaself. Gotta get over dat girl. She always boltin at de first sign o'trouble. Should be use to it b'now Lebeau. But he wasn't. Deep down inside he knew he never would get used to Rogue's "need to think things out."

Dunno Lebeau. May be time to cut your losses. Rogue don' trust ya enough t'stay wit' ya, mebbe ya don' belong here no mo'. He frowned. He'd been on the roof long enough that he was soaked, he knew he should go in, but the weight of his contemplation held him in place. Dat what ya want? Quit de X-men? The thought was both frightening, and exhilarating. He'd have to return to a life of crime, but that wouldn't be a problem.

His thoughts were interrupted by a soft noise behind him and to his left. Shit, dis rain be fuckin' wit me. Probably jes' Bishop. The thought passed through his mind quickly as he dropped a card into his hand and began to charge it. Probably just Bishop, but better to not take any chances. He spun, no small feat on a wet, angled surface, and cocked his arm, ready to throw. His red on black eyes landed on the source of the noise - a raccoon had jumped from a nearby tree and was studying the Cajun with keen interest, perhaps sensing the danger it was in. More than likely wondering what a human was doing here in the rain. Jes' a 'coon he thought, and started to lower his arm. He hesitated a moment, half wanting to blow it to pieces anyway. Sometimes it hurt less when he could inflict pain on others. It didn't work very often, and it had stopped completely some time ago, but still . . .

As he was starting to raise his arm again to strike, a second figure jumped from the tree, landing on the surprised animal. A soft 'snikt' was heard as a single bone claw was extended and quickly retracted. Although he had seen worse in his battles with the X-men, Gambit was shocked at both the speed and savage force of the attack. He at least had a reason to be upset. Logan, he knew, had his own reasons for everything he did. Lebeau tossed his card off the roof before it reached critical mass.

"Ya use one of those things on a critter this small, ya lose all the meat gumbo." Gambit supressed a laugh, he wasn't sure if it was genuine mirth at the situation, or merely a cover for his disgust as Wolverine began to dig in.

He watched, fascinated. The older man was a mess. He'd been living in the forest surrounding the mansion for a while now, and it showed: His hair was matted with dirt, and blood, and his clothes were little more than rags. Still, Remy respected Wolverine. Most people who knew Wolverine respected him, it could be very dangerous if you didn't. For Gambit, however, it went a little deeper. Wolverine was a loner, like him. Although Wolverine was a loner by choice. Dat ain't exactly true in my case, Lebeau thought bitterly. He called over to the other man.

"You know Logan, de fridge be stocked wit food. D'aint no need to be eatin' raw 'coon."

"Thanks for the tip" was the only reply.

After an awkward moment or two, Gambit decided he'd seen enough. "Uh, Logan, I t'ink I be goin'. Gonna get me some warm food."

"'Coon is warm, gumbo. But I didn't come up here for a snack." Logan responded, not bothering to look up between bites "I came to see you."

"Uh oh, I don' know if dis be good", Gambit thought to himself. His response to Wolverine was "Was up mon ami?". No need to antagonize a man who had retractable claws and enjoyed raw meat.

"I gotta go on a trip and I need backup."

"Where to? Who else be goin'?"

"Just us. Detroit."

Gambit thought for a moment "A deux? Detroit" (although this actually came out 'Day-twah') "What be happenin' dere dat dey need only you 'n me?"

"Ain't that kind 'o trip gumbo." Wolverine replied, with what appeared to be a smile, although considering the blood and fur, the result was less than friendly. "You 'n me are goin' out fer a night on the town in the motor city. Got a problem with that?"

"Yeah, I t'ink I do" was Gambit's first thought. That was followed quickly "Non, dis ain't good". He was, however, curious. "Why me?"

"Well," answered the Canadian, "You'd be more fun than squint or wings. I'd probably end up doing a little ice carving if I went with Drake. I figured you or Hank could use a change of scenery, but I can't drag Beast's sorry blue butt out o' his lab. . .So that leaves you."

What Wolverine didn't say was the whole idea came up during a long shrink session with the Professor. It was all basically Chuck's idea, and on his tab, so why not baby sit the melancholy Canjun for a night? Might do both of 'em some good.

Lebeau thought the offer over for a minute. The wind was starting to pick up a bit, and it was beginning to rain a little harder as well. He rarely socialized with any of the male X-men. Maybe it was time to quit feeling sorry for himself. He hadn't been to Detroit in years, but he still knew some places, and people. Might be able to find a lady for Wolvie as well. . .Still, it begged the question 'why a night on the town in Detroit?' New York, Boston, and even Philadelphia were all closer to home. . . This question he put to Wolverine.

Wolverine looked at the Cajun closely. It looked like he'd been outside for hours. The guy was a mess. "Might as well look as bad as ya feel," he thought. "Works fer me."

"I'll tell ya on the way. I'm gonna go get cleaned up - got some of Rocky's fur stuck in my teeth." He smiled again to illustrate his point. "Meet me out front in half an hour. And don't be late. Got it bub?"

"Yeah, sure" was the Cajun's only response. What was he getting himself into?


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