Disclaimer: The X-Men do not belong to 'lil ol' me, but to the good people at Marvel Comics and 20th Century Fox, now too I guess. I am making no money off of this fic, much to my chargrin;)

Author's Notes: Although I've been a huge X-Men fan for years, this is my first real attempt at a fan fic for it. I say real because there was one other that will never, ever see the light of day so long as there is breath in my body. Hopefully this one is better. I'm a devoted priestess in the church of Rogue and Gambit, so if you're looking for slash, move it along, pal. Nothing's wrong with it; I just don't write it. Also, this story can be construed as an alternate telling of the comic book universe, beginning after Gambit's infamous trial in Antarctica, although I'll be weaving cannon plot points in wherever I can. I hope you enjoy!!



by Kristen Elizabeth


Antarctica was a hemisphere away, but it felt more like a lifetime to the woman who sat on the roof of Xavier's School for Gifted Children watching the moon as it hung, full and luminescent, over the eastern United States. A strong breeze pushed through her chestnut and cream colored hair, but she couldn't feel the cold. She hadn't been able to feel much of anything in the past dozen or so weeks. Except maybe one thing.

Loss. Loss so potent and painful that there were times she hadn't even wanted to keep breathing. What was the point, she'd thought at those times. In her short, but action-packed life, she'd been given one good thing mixed in with all tragedy, rejections and heart-aches. But that one thing was gone now. And she had no one to blame for that but herself.

If she'd had any tears left, they would have been flowing. She hung her head and cursed rather loudly. This was what love did to you. It got you enchanted, under its thrall, to the point where you'd be willing to do just about anything for that one other person. Then, like a rattlesnake, it'd whip its head around and sink its teeth into your ankle, fill you up with poison, and leave you to die.

Leave you to die. Just like she'd left him to die. Was he dead? She couldn't feel him anymore, couldn't even hear him in her head. Or had she cut any connection when she'd walked off with the rest of the team through the snow and wind, denying him his home, his friends, and what he most wanted, herself? Even if he had managed to survive, would she ever even know?

"Prob'ly not, sugah," she told herself, standing up on the steep slope of the shingled roof. With both of her hands, she caught the mass of her hair up onto the top of her head and held it all there for a moment. "Prob'ly not."


She nearly slipped and fell when she heard the voice behind her, but two furry, blue hands caught her before she could. "Hank! Ya scared the hell outta me!"

"I am sorry." Dr. Hank McCoy considered her carefully from behind his small, wire-rimmed glasses. He still had his white medical coat on; obviously he had climbed onto the roof straight from the lab. "Perhaps if you had chosen a safer place to take a quiet moment..."

"Ah like the view," she replied, crossing her gloved arms over her halter top. There was a long pause. "Hank, what're the..."

The gentle creature they called Beast held up one hand. "The Professor wishes to speak to you, Rogue."

"Why?" The lump that had been rising in her throat became impossible to swallow.

"I'm certain he wishes to explain himself. He is waiting for you in his office." Hank offered her his arm. "I will take you down."

"Ah can fly, sugah," she reminded him. "How do ya think Ah got up here?"

Hank gave her a solemn look. "It would be best if you didn't from now on."

Her knees turned to jelly and her stomach grew tight. "Then...it's for real? Not just some sorta...fluke?" He said nothing. "Hank! Talk to me!! This is my life...my body we're talkin' 'bout! Ah have a goddamn right to know!!"

"Yes, you do. But I think you already do know, Rogue. And you have for awhile."

The patience and calm in his tone was almost too much for her to take. Her chin trembled. "Ah...Ah swear...Ah wasn't sure. Ah mean...Ah suspected. But Ah just thought...it couldn't happen like that. It shouldn't have happened like that. Oh my lord..." Her green eyes filled with the tears she thought had dried up forever. "Ah don't know if Ah want it to be true. Hank? Please...just tell me it's not true. Please."

"You know that I cannot. Because you know it *is* true." He extended his arm again. "Come downstairs and speak with the Professor. He is not angry with you, Rogue. He is only concerned for your well-being, physically and emotionally."

"But...Ah'm not well, am Ah?" she whispered.

He smiled wryly. "It's hardly a disease, my dear. If we take the proper precautions and monitor every step along the way, there's no reason why this can't be a joyful event."

"Joyful?" She shook her head. "Maybe ya'll can be joyful 'bout it. But all Ah see is a problem. And one-half of the cause of it isn't here. And won't be comin' back. Ever." Rouge froze. "Oh god...he ain't never comin' back, Hank."

She wasn't sure when she started to pass out, but the doctor must have caught her again and carried her inside safely, because when she woke up again, she was lying in her own bed. Professor Charles Xavier sat in his hover-chair next to her, concern evident on his kind face.

"Are you all right, Rogue?" he asked her.

"Ah...don't know." Her hands dropped down to her flat stomach. "Ah guess not."

The older man reached for her hand; she could feel his warm strength even through the material of her gloves. "Perhaps you should tell me what exactly happened in Antarctica."

"Isn't it obvious now?" Rogue asked, rather bitterly. "Ah mean...ya know me and him didn't just play cards in that cave that night."

"I wouldn't have expected you to have."

She blinked. "Ya mean...yer really not angry 'bout it?"

"Why would you think that I would be, Rogue?"

"Ah don't know," she shrugged. "Ah guess Ah figured ya'd think we should've been...more restrained or somethin'. We just kinda...leaped. Didn't look. Didn't think 'bout what might happen. Or how it might affect everyone else."

Xavier smiled and shook his head, rather amused by his southern X-Man. "That's the wonderful thing about love. You never really look first. You're not supposed to." He squeezed her fingers. "After everything you and he have been denied, I'd be a pretty horrible person to expect the two of you to turn down any chance to be together physically."

Her tears returned, but she made no motion to brush them away. "Ah just wanted to have what everyone else gets, Professor," Rogue said in the quietest voice. "Ah got him for one night. And now...he's gone."

The Professor said nothing. Now was not the time to tell Rogue that the man she loved was most assuredly still walking the planet. "And I am happy. For both of you. But there are very serious consequences now. And that's what we have to discuss."

She sniffed and nodded. "Ah understand, Professor. Ah'll start packin' in the mornin'."

"Are you planning on going somewhere?"

Rogue's smooth forehead pulled into a frown. "Well...yeah. Ah can't really do anythin' for ya now. With the team, Ah mean. Ah'm useless for the next year or so. Ah don't expect ya to house and feed some pregnant mutant who can't even help out anymore."

Xavier shook his head at her this time in disappointment. "After all this time, Rogue, you still can't trust that someone might want to help you just because, can you?" She lowered her eyes, ashamed. "Unless you truly want to, you will not move out of this house. You will stay here and let us help you through this. I won't lie to you. If you decide to keep this child, your life will never be the same. And with your unique circumstances, it's probably going to be the hardest thing you'll ever do."

"Ya know then...that Ah thought 'bout..." Rogue stopped.

"I know," he said as gently as possible a second later. "I felt your pain when you were standing in front of that clinic. Why didn't you go in and keep your appointment?"

"Ah...Ah still wasn't sure it was true." The lie tasted bitter on her tongue. She sighed. "All right...Ah was worried the doctor would accidently touch me or somethin'."

"Try again, Rogue."

She ran her tongue over her bottom lip, but her mouth was too dry to moisten it. "Ah can't kill my baby, Professor." Rogue pulled her hand away from his and pressed it against her throat to hold back the sobs that threatened to well up. "Whether Ah'm ready for it or not, it's Remy's baby. It's all Ah got left of him."

"I understand, Rogue." The Professor touched the top of her head. "Get some rest; we can speak more in the morning."

"Professor! No else knows, do they?"

"Only Hank and myself," he assured her. "No one else."


"Never trusted that Cajun traitor." Logan popped the top off of his third beer with one adamantium claw. After draining half of it in one gulp, he shook his head. "Only thing he *could* be trusted to do is knock up an innocent girl and leave her behind to deal with it."

"Yeah." Bobby Drake turned his own beer around and around in his hands as he stared at it. "Although, if Rogue caught you calling her an 'innocent girl,' she knock the shit out of you."

"And if I hear either of you say that Gambit was the one who did the leaving again, *I'll* knock the shit out of you both." Ororo Monroe entered the kitchen on silent feet, startling both men.

"You said 'shit', Ro," Logan said, blinking.

She gave him a look as she poured herself a glass of iced tea. "It is a word one hears on occasion in this house." She set the pitcher down. "*We* left *him* behind. Let's not forget that."

"It's not like there wasn't a good reason for leaving him there." Bobby raised his beer to his lips, but didn't drink. "She did the right thing; he didn't deserve her forgiveness. Especially not now."

Storm said nothing, only sipped her drink. "I assume you have both heard the latest rumor, then?"

"I don't gossip," the man called Wolverine assured her in a low, dangerous voice. "He just blurted it out." He pointed at Bobby.

The Iceman nearly choked on his drink. "Hey, I just said I heard something about it. And that I..." He blushed. "I sort of noticed Rogue staring at her stomach in the hallway mirror the other day."

"Surely that adds up to the truth of the situation," the dark-skinned woman rolled her white eyes.

"You gotta admit, Ro, she's been acting strangely for awhile now."

She looked at Logan. "She dropped the man she loves into the freezing cold wasteland of Antarctica. And yes, she still loves him no matter what she says." Her gaze slipped to Bobby. "She always will. Of course she's acting strangely."

"Listen, we all know they were together that night before the trial. And that everyone's powers were dampened." Bobby pushed his beer away. "It's not in Gambit's nature to turn down that kind of opportunity. So, it's entirely possible that she might be...you know."

"If something did take place between them, do you honestly believe she played the naive victim in it?"

After considering Storm's words, Bobby stood up and left the kitchen. Logan shook his head and drank the rest of his beer before picking up the younger man's. "Kind of harsh there, Ro. You know he's always had a thing for our southern belle."

"Life can be harsh, Logan. I merely pointed out a truth to him." She sat in Bobby's abandoned seat. The kitchen was quiet for a moment. That was one of the nice things about talking to Wolverine. He didn't feel the need to fill in any silences with mindless chatter. "I believe it might not just be a rumor." She watched him take a swig of beer. "I think Rogue is pregnant. We share a bathroom. I hear her cry at night. And throw up in the morning."

Wolverine crumpled the can in his hand. "If the swamp rat weren't already as good as dead, I'd kill him."

Storm sighed in disgust. "Staunch the flow of testosterone for a second, Logan, and listen to me. If Rogue is really is pregnant, she's going to need all of our strength. She's going to need her friends, whether or not she thinks she does. What she doesn't need is everyone blaming Gambit for the choices they made together."

"Yeah." He threw the can aside. "I guess."

"I'm leaving for Seoul in the morning on a mission with Shadowkat. I'd like to leave knowing that you will look after her. When this all comes out into the open, there's going to be a lot of judgments. But none so bad as the ones she'll make against herself." Storm stood up. "Be her friend, Logan, like you always have been. She trusts you."

He grimaced, but nodded. "I can do that, Ro."

She kissed his cheek, letting her lips linger a second longer than necessary. "Thank you."

"Hey, Ro," he called out before she left. "Be careful."

"I will be."

Her subtle scent lingered long after she was gone. Logan downed two more beers before he started up the stairs to check on Rogue.


She'd always known his hands would be hot against her flesh; even long before she got to feel them there, she could just tell. Everything else about him was hot, from the flames in his eyes to the spice he put into his cooking. What she hadn't known was how gentle his touch would be.

Rogue tossed in her sleep. That one night had been everything she'd ever imagined it would be. As well as everything she'd ever feared. Because while getting to experience lovemaking with the man she loved was as near to perfection as she'd ever know, it had also forced her to open up parts of her mind and heart that had remained shut for so long. He'd brought her out of the shell into which her powers and her life experiences had forced her to retreat. Every kiss, every brush of his fingers against her skin...he'd made her feel so alive.

They'd acknowledged it might well have been their only chance to be together, but they'd had no idea just how prophetic that admission would become in the light of day. But even if they had, Rogue knew she wouldn't have changed a thing. She'd needed him, needed to feel what his mouth felt like on her breasts, needed to understand the pleasure of his hard body between her thighs, needed to experience that intense moment between lovers when the pleasure blacks out the rest of the world, and nothing matters except the body entwined with your own.

Had she considered that making love with Remy that night might leave behind more than just a lasting memory? No, she'd wanted him too badly. He'd started to say something, but she'd shut him up with a desperate kiss. Talking more often than not led to fighting. They were just too explosive together, like fire and gunpowder. And there had been explosions, so many that night. One right after another with only Remy's body to anchor her. There was no doubt that when they didn't talk, they were perfect together.

It all ended before it even began. His betrayal, out in the open, had been too much for her to take. She'd still be able to taste him on her lips when she'd flown away from him without looking back. One night, one moment in time had been it for them. And now, she'd never be able to lay it to rest. Because there was a very permanent reminder growing within her body.

A gloved hand wiping away her tears woke her up. "Remy." She sat up in the dark, truly convinced for a moment that she could smell his wonderful scent. Cigars and bourbon, a combination she never knew she'd miss.

"It's just me, darlin'."

She tried not to let her disappointment show, but she couldn't help it. The man sitting on the edge of her bed wasn't Gambit. "Logan? What're ya doin' here?"

"I heard you crying all the way from the hallway." He raised an eyebrow at her. "You got something you want to talk about?"

Rogue shook her head for a second, before changing her mind and nodding. "Ah hate cryin'," she said, the words broken up by a sob. "Ah just...can't seem to stop."

"Ain't nothin' wrong with a good cry."

Logan thought she almost smiled at that, but it was just her lip quivering. "Ah miss him so much." Her shoulders slumped over and she buried her face in her hands. "Ah shouldn't have left him, Logan. Ah shouldn't have left him behind like that! Ah love him! How could Ah...do that to someone Ah love?"

"We all left him behind, darlin'."

"But ya'll don't love him like Ah do. Ya'll aren't...gonna have his baby." She looked straight at him with watery green eyes. "Wolvie...what am Ah gonna do?"

He put his arm around her carefully, grateful he'd not taken off his jacket before coming upstairs. "I don't know. But whatever you decide, you know you're safe here. Right?"

"Ah know. Ah'm not goin' anywhere, trust me. There's nowhere else..." She trailed off. "Ah can't do this on my own. Even if Ah can do it at all." There was a pause. "Ah have to do it. Ah have to do it for him. 'Cause Ah don't wanna forget him." Rogue blinked away her tears. "Ah just hope the kid gets his powers and not mine," she half-joked.

"I just hope it gets your looks and not the Cajun's. For the kid's sake."

This managed to get a smile out of her. It faded after a second. "Ah'm not a very good person, Logan. What if Ah'm a worse mother?"

"First of all, don't ever let me catch you sayin' you're not a good person again," he warned her with a dangerous finger in her face. "Second...you're gonna get a lot of help, darlin'. So, if the kid turns out fucked up like one of Jeannie and Cyke's...it'll be all our faults."

She laughed for the first time in weeks. "Thank ya. I needed that."

"Anytime. You got that? Anytime." He stood up, digging his hands into the pockets of his jeans. "Rogue...are you gonna tell everyone soon? 'Cause this house might look big, but it keeps no secrets."

"Can't Ah just let 'em all figure it out when Ah start inflatin' like a beach ball at a picnic?"

"Up to you."

She sighed and lay back against her pillow. "Ah'll tell the team first. Tomorrow. 'Fore the whole house starts talkin' 'bout me and Gambit."

He gritted his teeth under the weight of his own guilt. "Everyone likes to talk, darlin'. You just don't worry about it. Get back to sleep; you're sleepin' for two now."

"Two," she said after he closed the door behind himself. She covered her belly with her hands. "We're a 'two' now, baby. Ah won't be a 'one' again." Rogue closed her eyes. "But...Ah'm sorry. We won't ever be a 'three'."


The heat in the French Quarter was stifling, but the man sitting on one balcony overlooking Bourbon Street was entirely accustomed to the cloying humidity. He sat smoking a cigar with his feet propped up on the swirls and delicate patterns of the wrought iron railing. His white shirt was unbuttoned all the way down to his waist, but still tucked into his dark blue jeans; a wrinkled brown trench coat was draped over the chair next to his.

Down on the street, a drunken group of tourists sang off-key as they moved from one bar to another. They temporarily drowned out the sound of the saxophone player on the corner belting out old blues songs for a few quarters, but when they had passed, he could hear the tune again. It suited his mood. Haunted and lonely. It spoke to him about everything he'd lost. Everything that had been snatched away from him.

He flicked ash off to his side and reached for the half-empty bottle of whiskey. Not as good as bourbon, but it did the job. Alcohol made it possible to get through the nights when she came to him in his dreams, waking him up and making him sit on this damn balcony, watching the rest of the city get on with their lives. Drinking until he couldn't remember what her skin tasted like or what it felt like to be buried within her heat.

The bottle felt like lead in his hands. He blinked several times as he stared at it. What was he doing? She'd pound him senseless if she saw him like this. At least, she would if she cared anymore. But there was little chance of that. Caring would have kept her from flying away. Caring would have spared him a month in the bitter cold of the south pole.

"Mon Dieu." He extinguished his cigar in the potted plant by his foot. "It time for Gambit to be workin' again."

He was dressed within five minutes and sober by the time he reached the underground stronghold of the Thieves Guild. The assignment he was given seemed simple enough. And he'd be able to travel to Seoul. Lovely country, South Korea. He'd leave in the morning and get straight to it. It would take his mind off of her, and barring any complications, it would be highly profitable.

The chapter of his life in which she and the X-Men existed was closed, he told himself. And nothing would ever re-open it.


To Be Continued