Note: This story is a mockery of continuity.
Darwina, an anti-X-men yet pro-Gambit fan who heard a comment I made and said, "Kill Rogue off." (Rogue fans, now you know who to go after.) It was what she said that set the wheels in my head in motion, churning out the basic plot for this fanfic.
Ruby (no, not Ruby Lis), a part-time Gambit and Rogue fan who almost tore my head off when I told her my idea for the story. She came up with the idea of how I should handle Rogue's powers in a weak attempt to console herself.
Query : Why is she a part-time fan?
Answer: 'Cos she's only a fan when she has cash on hand ;)
Gamine, who fired off a whole volley of questions at me, challenging my poor already taxed to the limit, crammed full of exam material mind (Hmm...that could be why I flunked everything...), forcing me to re-evaluate doubtful situations. Nasty ain't she? Still I must thank her for some of her rather creative ideas.
"I'm sorry. I've done all I could for her."
The usually verbose Henry McCoy found himself at a loss for words. It was one of those rare occasions.
"It's alrig't, Hank. I'll jus' go in an' keep 'er company...if dat's alright wit' you." Remy sounded tired.
Hank nodded his approval then added, " Rogue's powers appeared to have diminished in her current weakened state to an almost negligible extent. Just thought you might want to know."
"T'anks Hank," Remy murmured as he took in the full implication of that.
"Essex...no..." came Rogue's shuddering gasp as her body convulsed in pain.
"Shush chere, it's okay. I'm 'ere." Remy reached over and tenderly caressed her cheek. It tore at him to see Rogue in such a fragile, vulnerable state. He never thought that Rogue could be hurt. She was arguably one of the most powerful member of the X-men. Her super-strength, invulnerability and her ability to absorb another's memories, powers and energies through skin contact made her an invincible opponent. Almost undefeatable. Not this time.
Remy happened across her when he was taking a stroll out into the woods. She wasn't breathing then. He panicked. For a moment, he stood over her bloodied, battered body, stunned, in shock, unsure of what to do. Then pure instinct took over, he knew only one thing; he must not let Rogue slip away just like that. He started giving her mouth-to mouth resuscitation, praying he was not too late. He did not care if she absorbed all his memories, all he knew at that point in time was that he would be lost without Rogue. He could not let that happen. Could not. Must not. Not ever. He loved Rogue.
As soon as she started breathing, he cradled her in his arms and took her back to the X-mansion where she could receive full medical attention from their resident doctor, Henry McCoy.
Jolted back to reality, Remy focused his full attention on Rogue. Her emerald-green eyes glazed over with a mixture of terror and agony.
"Remy...Essex..." she whispered through her veil of pain. He watched as Rogue's eyes gradually fixed on him, understanding returning to them. "Remy?" Her fear increased a thousand-fold. Remy could sense it through his latent emphatic abilities.
Remy went over to her, slipped his arm around her slim waist and slowly lifted her off the bed, resting her head against his shoulder and supporting her with his body. He was careful not to hurt her anymore than she already was. She clasped his fingers in her ungloved ones. Her eyes brimmed over with tears. For the first time since her powers emerged, she was able to touch another without any fear of hurting them.
"This is how ah always wanted it ta be, Remy. Ta be able to touch ya without hurting ya in any way." Rogue said softly.
Dis isn' how I want it t' be. Not if y' are 'urt , not if I'm goin' t' lose you forever.
"Remy? Ah want ya ta know...ah don't care about your past, about your connection with Sinister...a-ah...whatever ya done, it's all over, no need to bring it up again." Rogue attempted a weak smile. "Promise me one thing, sugah." He nodded.
"Don't hit yourself over the head foah what ya've done in the past. It doesn't matter to me. No matter what ya've done, ah'll always forgive ya...because a-ah loved ya, Remy LeBeau. Always remember."
Choking back the tears that were threatening to overwhelm him, Remy reached over and covet her mouth with his own. Rogue closed her eyes, savouring their last moments together, indulging herself in the warmth of his body, the softness of his lips, hugging him possessively, unwilling to let go.
I knocked again. "Gambit?"
Rogue's death had cast a shadow over the whole mansion. There were no more laughter, no more silly bantering, no more joking around and teasing one another. Even Drake was subdued. When Rogue died, she took that all away with her. With time, I knew it would all return. Time heals all wounds, or so they say.
Remy was most affected from Rogue's departure from this plane of existence. Ever since Rogue's funeral, Remy locked himself up in his room, not even joining us for meals, claiming he wasn't hungry. I knew the Cajun loved Rogue. I just never thought that his feelings for her ran so deeply.
It doesn't take a telepath to see how badly the boy is hurting. I can sense all his emotions. He is unknowingly channelling them out through his emphatic abilities to everyone else in the mansion. Pain, tearing through his soul. Guilt at his failure to save her. His rage will consume him. Soon.
I tried to reach out to him. Nevertheless, if even Storm couldn't make him come out from his shell. What could I possible hope to achieve from it? I really don't know. Well, it couldn't hurt to try. I turned the doorknob. Surprisingly, it was unlocked. The door swung open soundlessly.
Remy was standing silently at the window, deep in thought. He was dressed in his combat uniform. His black and fulsia suit flowed over his smooth muscles. His characteristic brown trenchcoat highlighted his slim agile form. A pair of kelvar boots completed the look. His reddish-brown hair was tucked away under his head mask. His fringe fell softly over his eyes, obscuring half his face. It wasn't hard to figure out why he was the resident heart-throb of the X-men. At times, even I am swayed by his suave ways.
"Gambit?" I went over and put a hand on his shoulder. He did not acknowledge my presence whatsoever.
"I know we're not usually not close terms..." I could feel his rage, bubbling, boiling, he could barely contain it. "Talk to me Remy. If not me, talk to somebody, anybody. Just talk. Don't keep it all bottled up inside, sooner or later, you're going to blow. I can feel it, Remy. You're walking on the edge. You'll destroy yourself."
He made no reply.
He looked at me, his red on black eyes glinted dangerously. The air crackled, seemingly charged with his powers. Something told me that if I had spider-sense, it would be going crazy. Looking at him like that, the feral look in his eyes, overwhelming rage and sense of loss, the power he wielded barely contained...I knew then, how powerful, how truly dangerous he was. The boy was a ticking time-bomb, a dormant volcano that could erupt suddenly and violently with catastrophic results. I wanted to be anywhere but in his room at that point in time.
"I'll be alrig't, Jean. I was jus' goin' out for a walk."
I was relieved. He finally came to his senses. "Will you be joining us for dinner?"
Perhaps I was eager to get away from Remy. Perhaps I truly believed him. Whatever the reason that made me leave in a hurry rather then continue pressing him and finding a reason for the sense of danger I felt doesn't matter anymore. It is too late to stop him now.
When your 'eart an' everythin' inside y' is burnin' like fire, y' don' pour water on it. Y' quench de fire wit' de blood of your enemy.
"...Sinister..." Gambit hissed venomously.
"So you return...my prodigal son."
"I am not your son."
"Oh...but you are, my dear Remy."
"You killed Rogue." Remy's fists glowed an ethereal shade of white.
"On the contrary, Remy, you did."
"LIAR!" The computer next to Sinister glowed a dazzling white-hot, then exploded in a brilliant flash.
Sinister seemed unfazed. He simply walked to another computer, typed in some commands and said, "Watch and learn."
The overhead screen flickered to life replaying scenes of a recent event that Remy had kept locked away in his mind when he plunged into a sea of denial.
"Sinister! Ya leave Remy alone!"
"You don't think I could ever hurt my own flesh and blood, do you? Unfortunately, I can't say the same for you."
The look of shock was apparent on Rogue's face. "...What?... Remy's your...it can't be..."
"Non! Don' listen t' him!"
"Just before Rebecca died, I took an egg from her ovary and froze it, preserving it, till I required it's use, say...19 years ago?"
"Ahh...my dear Remy, the perfect spy, the perfect weapon. All my genetic samples of the X-men would not have been possible but for you. I had you adopted into the Thieves Guild to be trained as a thief, to pick up skills that would otherwise have been beyond your reach. I planned for you to join the X-men. Did you think it was but mere coincidence that you met Storm? I implanted a microchip into your mind prior to all these. I can control your every move, your every thought, the X-men never suspected it. All this time, you've been handing over to me the materials that I required, stolen right from the X-men's midst. With a touch of a button, I made you forget you ever had any connection to me."
"...no...YOU'RE LYIN'!" Remy was livid.
"How could ya do that?! Remy is a human being, not some puppet you can bend and shape to suit your whims and fancies!"
"Correct Rogue, Remy Essex is more than a puppet, in his veins flow the blood of the Essex family, from his loins will spring forth a new generation of Alpha-class mutants, powerful descendants of Nathaniel Essex."
Rogue could scarcely bring herself to acknowledge the sudden turn of events...Remy was Sinister's son...all the secrets of the X-men, known to the Sinister. "The X-men...they must be told the truth."
"Non." Remy's balled-up fists glowed. Fire blazed in his blood-red eyes. His cold stare chilled Rogue to the bone.
"Remy, the X-men are your friends, we will help ya."
"You will not be tellin' anyone." Remy was strangely calm, seemingly emotionless, expressionless.
"Remy...what are ya...Remy...stop!"
Remy watched as Rogue's entire body glowed, watched as she squirmed on the ground in agony, heard her screams linger and reverberate throughout the room long after she had passed out. He had been conditioned by Sinister to kill anyone who discovered his deep dark secret. He felt no pain. No guilt. It was merely something that needed doing.
"It not be possible. I can' charge an organic body."
"No. You dealt with Rogue most creatively, charging the dead cells in her body instead. I am proud of you."
"But I didn' touch..." Remy pleaded.
"Of course you didn't. You are far more powerful than you realise. You have the ability to charge objects up psionically, without touching them."
"Mon dieu...W'at 'ave I done?...I killed Rogue...It can' be..." Remy crumbled, falling to his knees, overcome by horror and revulsion at who he was, what he had done. He slammed his fists into the floor, and let the tears fall. He would stop this horror. He would end it all.
"I can stop you, father, I will no longer be your puppet." Remy said softly, his head bowed.
Sinister calmly watched as Remy psionically charged the molecules in the air, harnessing the kinetic energies in them, bending them to his will. He rose up lightly, buoyed by kinetic air molecules, hovering in mid-air like a demi-god. His eyes blazed a deep crimson red, power dripped from his clenched fists. The entire room glowed faintly, increasing in intensity with each passing moment.
"You will not do it. You cannot. Much like Rebecca, your nature is not one of destruction."
With a loud cry of rage and anguish, Gambit released all the kinetic energies that were his to command. Explosions rocked the little building in St. Louis, a towering inferno blazed, erasing all of the devil's work.
The Cajun Casanova chuckled softly as she grasped for him and missed. He glided backwards in a taunting manner, as if challenging her to follow him. She tried to let him know of the impending danger, the precarious situation he was in but to no avail. Her body simply refused to respond. She could not move, could make no sound, could not call out a warning to him. She watched helplessly as he drifted further and further away from her into the deep dark abyss that lay beyond the yawning doorway of the building. Darkness engulfed him as he entered the bowels of the devil's lair. The building collapsed on itself and vanished.
She cried. She had tried so hard to save him from certain doom. So very hard. The ruined building in St. Louis haunted her slumbers. There was a short rap at the door, then someone entered. It was Wolverine. Storm hurriedly dried her tears.
"You okay, darlin'?"
"I am fine...I...I miss him so much, Logan."
"We all do, darlin'"
"He was like a brother to me. I let him down. I failed him. He paid the price of my failure with his death." New tears spilled over her coffee-brown cheeks, framed by a mass of dazzling white hair.
"I won't count him out as yet..."
Storm checked her tears. "What do mean? Jean couldn't find him, not even with Cerebro's help."
"I could sense the residual energies left by Gambit. He destroyed the building."
"No. I couldn't smell any blood. Neither Sinister's nor Gambit's."
"They're still alive. I can feel it in my guts."
"If they're alive, that would mean Remy's with..."
"Bright Goddess, protect him."
You failed. You may have destroyed my life's work but you could not bring yourself to destroy me.
You think that by destroying yourself, you have ended my horror. My reign and dominion over you. How very wrong you are. I have added the unique DNA of an external into your genetic make-up. You cannot be destroyed. You are merely in a state of suspended animation. I will decide when the time is right, when I have need of you again, I will resurrect your body. Renew your vigour and willingness to serve the man who has given you life. You will be mine once more. Not Gambit, not Remy Etienne LeBeau but Remy Essex, the one true son of Nathaniel Essex.
Ironic is it not, that you won the battle but ultimately, lost the war.