Queen of Hearts

"You will be fine, cheri. You got people watchin over you."

He had said those words to her on the banks of the Mississippi only a few weeks ago and yet they still echoed through her head. She had spent the entire flight back to the Institute trying to figure out what his game had been, everyone had one. Almost no one did anything for free, not even the Professor, sure his motives were a little purer than those of some of the others but he still wanted obedience and respect.

Not that Rogue really had much of a problem with either those things where he was concerned but it did get bothersome when everyone expected the same despite their actions. You get what you give, Rogue had learned that the hard way. Maybe that was why Gambit had been so easy to get along with. They both knew that neither trusted the other; but there was a strange comfort in the knowledge that neither of them expected anything from the other except eventual betrayal, or at least that's how Rogue looked at it.

At least that was until this morning, she had found another card. And now she was sitting on her bed looking at both cards lying on the bedspread before her trying to figure out what it meant. Her mind drifted back to their time on the train on the way down South. Compared to what it could have been like it was actually ALMOST a pleasant experience

"What is with you and cards?" she had asked one evening when she had finally tired of the silence and she was sure he had long since tired of playing solitaire. She had had to cock her head to one side to be able to see him out of the corner of her eye.

"Well, it's like havin' fifty-two explosive tucked away in one little pocket. I always save her last." Remy said with florish as he held up a card. As he brought it down to his mouth to give it a small kiss before tucking it back away Rogue saw it was the Queen of Hearts.

"Queen of Hearts?" she was sure there was a bemused expression on her face.

"My lucky lady. She's gotten me out of a whole lotta jams." Remy said with mixed emotions in his voice as though it were both a good and a bad thing all at once.

"Then I need a deck of those." Rogue said glumly thinking about the situation she had created back home before she left, well been kidnapped.

"It's nice havin' someone to watch over you, Rogue," his voice was barely above a whisper as he said that, as though his thoughts were somewhere else.

The barest hint of smile crossed her lips as Rogue looked down at the cards, the meaning of the second one, the King of Hearts, suddenly becoming clear to her. He was watching over her. That's what the card meant. He was nearby, if she needed him. She stopped a moment; after all it is a little strange to be happy that the man that kidnapped you only a few weeks earlier was watching over you.

His words echoed through her mind again ; "It's nice havin' someone to watch over you, Rogue," and as screwed up as it might be she was happy that he was watching out for her. There was something about him that just seemed RIGHT about him.