"Well, well, well," said Sinister as he appeared in the door of the sitting room. He began to applaud the two fallen bodies. "Bravo and brava, what a splendid performance."
Rogue was lying on the floor, skin pale, hair and limbs akimbo as she had fallen. Remy was on the floor sprawled in the opposite direction. He was only pretending to be unconscious. Do somet’ing! his mind screamed. I’m tryin’! he shouted back. Got to get up before Rogue came to. Because Rogue would be him, the dark, dominant part that she had absorbed and freed him from. Gotta get up before Sinister came over. Because if Nathaniel got within striking distance he was dead. Couldn’t get up because he seemed to be paralyzed. Merde.
Rogue stirred. "No…" she moaned. Remy knew it was his subconscious-turned-conscious talking.
"Remy," said Sinister. "You little faker. I see you there, playing possum."
Possum would prob’ly do better in dis mess den I am…
"Rogue!" Rogue suddenly screamed, sitting bolt upright. Her eyes were black and kinetic energy writhed around her. Remy felt the dark, familiar mind broil over into his own. He knew in that second he was dead, that the illustrious life of Remy LeBeau would come to an end in Nathaniel’s parlor. Knew it when his own damn mind gave him the whammy…wait.
"Dat’s not right," he said aloud. He could feel Rogue’s thoughts in his own mind. If he could feel Rogue’s thoughts that would make him telepathic. If he was telepathic…
"No…" breathed Sinister. "I don’t believe this…" Remy jumped to his feet like a cat, eyes and equal mixture of red and black and blazing mad. He grabbed Rogue, who was still snarling patois curses, and pulled her to his chest.
"Well den," said Remy LeBeau, thief, telepath, and a man with a new lease on life. "Homme, we got to work on dat."
The psychic scream linked with the wave of kinetic energy that went straight out from Gambit’s body like a glowing tsunami, energy of the physical and astral planes combining to reach Sinister’s mind, blowing it to tiny, fractured shards. Spreading from the upscale house outside Savannah, echoing up to the stars and free-falling back down, causing Professor Charles Xavier, recently returned from his vacation in Florence, to spill his welcome-home tea down his brand new Italian silk tie.
Homecoming was awkward, to say the least. Rogue was treated coolly by Jean and Scott, dosed with Xavier’s perpetual understanding, and held with a certain sympathy by the other women at the school. Gambit’s life went back to surprisingly close to normal. The rest of the team, except for Rogue and the good-hearted Storm, ignored him. He lived in the boathouse, listened to the lap of the water against the pilings, and thought of the Louisiana bayou. The mistrust was not so easy to block out now, what with his new telepathic powers. Jean politely refused to teach him the basics of control, and Remy was loath to subject himself to Xavier’s kind fathering. He went to Massachusetts and spent a week with Emma Frost, who gave him a no-nonsense crash course.
When he came home, within a day, he knew he couldn’t stand Westchester anymore. The colonial house, the lush grounds, and the utter coldness of the people who had called themselves his friends was driving him over the proverbial edge. Just before dawn, on a Wednesday, Remy was creeping past the main house to his car, the Kharmann Ghia having be extracted from legal quagmire and returned to him. He didn’t expect, or want, to make a clean getaway. "Runnin’ like a swamp rat again, eh LeBeau?" She was standing by his car in her pajamas, high-necked green Chinese ones in silk. Remy set down his bag. He couldn’t sense any hostility from her, just sadness. Sadness, disappointment, and resignation. Suddenly, Remy felt tears slipping down his cheeks to mirror the ones on Rogue’s. Damn them all, these people who had made him run. Made him always moving, never finding peace, a wandering spirit lost in a vast world not of his making.
"Yeah, chere," was all he said, struggling to keep his voice from cracking. She came to him and wrapped him in a hug, and he returned it, feeling her softness next to his own worn form.
"You comin’ back?" She knew there was a good chance the answer was no. But Remy surprised even himself.
"Oui. I am. Bet on it." He took her chin and looked into her teary eyes, knowing his own weren’t much better. "I promise." He let his hand fall back to his side. "You still be here for me?"
"Of course I will, you stupid Cajun thief!" Rogue shouted. "I love you!" Silence fell, as both of them took in the implications.
"I love you too," said Remy slowly, but with a sureness. "I love you too."
"Go," choked Rogue, her tears starting anew. "Go on. Still got some things you have to do." Remy nodded and picked up his bag again. He put it carefully in the back of the car and then put his hand on the driver’s side door.
"See you soon, Marie."
"Be safe, Remy LeBeau." She stood back as he vaulted the door and drove away down the drive, the gates opening and closing indifferently. Marie watched the car until it was a speck against the evergreens. She turned back to the mansion, but instead went along a side path to the boathouse. She had learned things about the X-Men in these few days that her world had been flipped on its end. So-called friends and false sympathy, loyalty given by hypocrites. Things she could live without. Remy’s furniture was still there, smelling of smoke but usable with an airing. Rogue curled up in his bed, the indentation of his head still on the pillow, smell of his cologne and a few copper hairs still on the sheets. The dawning sun reflected off the water and came into Rogue’s new room, blinding and bittersweet.