"The basic formula of all sin is: frustrated or neglected love."- Franz Werfel
It was nearing three in the morning but Rogue couldn't sleep. She rolled over trying to get comfortable but nothing worked. She had been having trouble sleeping for the past few nights and she couldn't work out what it was.
At first she had told herself it was because she wasn't used to having her own room. Kitty had recently moved out leaving the whole room to Rogue. So it made sense to assume that because there was no Kitty talking to Lance the phone until two in the morning while she was trying to sleep. And no Kitty keeping Rogue awake all night crying about what a hood Lance was would affect her sleeping.
Initially it was strange not to hear Kitty mumbling in her sleep but Rogue had adjusted after a while and was able to sleep just fine. She was forced to admit to herself that her insomnia had started after she had gotten back from her "trip" to New Orleans. After she had met Remy Lebeau.
Rogue though that she should be furious with him, he'd kidnapped her and used her to rescue his loser of a father.
But she wasn't.
Rogue wasn't sure what she was. Maybe confused was the best word. She was starting to feel something funny every time she thought about him. It was that same butterfly-in-your-stomach-floating-through-life feeling she used to get when she looked at Scott.
But she was past that now. Jean had Scott and they were happy. There was no use messing with that. Scott had never felt the same way about her that she had felt about him.
It had taken a while, and a lot of tears to realize that no matter how much she liked him it wouldn't happen. And now she was past him and she wasn't falling for anyone else ever.
It was worthless no one would ever want a girlfriend that they couldn't touch; she was destined to live out her days without love. Rogue had accepted that, accepted that she would be alone so falling in love would just be painful and worthless.
She wouldn't do it.
She couldn't fall in love. No one would catch her she'd just hit the ground with a thud.
At the same that Rogue was trying to fall asleep another insomniac was sitting up in his Louisiana hotel room playing solitaire.
He had realized that he couldn't actually win this game because he didn't have the Queen of Hearts. Remy wondered what had possessed him to give it away.
It wasn't like just giving someone flowers or a gift certificate or something else impersonal. The Queen of Hearts was kind of like giving his heart away as a "sorry I kidnapped and used you" present.
He didn't quite know how it had happened. He found out that his father was being held prisoner and as much as he hated his father Remy knew that he was going to have rescue him.
As he was going to need help he kidnapped the X-Man known only as Rogue and buttered her up with his famous charm. He really didn't care about her he just needed her to absorb the men's memories so he could find his father. After that Remy didn't know what he would do with her. Send her on a train back to Bayville, leave her in Louisiana amidst the Mardi Graw confusion he had hadn't really taken the time to figure that out.
But there had been something about her that he couldn't explain. Something that had possessed him to give away the Queen of Hearts. She was just so different than any other girl that he had met, like when she gave back the wallet he had stolen without even noticing his reaction. He never asked her about it after all she was an X-Man that's what they do give back wallets that you rightfully steal.
She had truly thought that he was bringing her to New Orleans out of the goodness of his heart. She had been absolutely furious when she found out the truth. But it didn't matter he was in he didn't need her anymore.
But she had come back and saved them. Because that's what X-Men do they come back and rescue you even if you trick them. That was the difference between thieves like him and heroes like her, heroes come back.
There was something about the way that she called out "this is my family" when the X-Men arrived. Not "this is the team I'm being forced to fight for of else I'll end up on the streets." She truly cared about them and they cared about her. She truly loved them they really were her family.
There was something about her that had caused him to give the Queen of Hearts away.
Rogue had given up on sleep it just wasn't going to happen she knew that. She had tried to read Dracula but was starting to lose its allure after the fifth time, she had tried to listen to music but nothing sounded right. So now she was just sitting on her bed with the light on staring straight forward at the wall.
She shut her eyes trying to get rid of the feeling. You don't fall for the guy who tries to blow you up, the guy who kidnaps you.
And when you can't touch you don't fall for anyone.
Unable to resist the urge Rogue climbed out of bed and walked over to her dresser. She dug through a small pile of black clothes until she found what she was looking for.
It was an ordinary looking playing card slightly bent up at the corners from being held so much and kept in pockets. It was the Queen of Hearts. The card that Gambit always saved until last, the card that he had given to her.
Rogue stared at it for a moment as if she was in a trace, slowly she flipped it over the picture didn't change. There is no upside-down on a card, no difference either way you look at it. Always constant, never changing.
She wished that she could be that constant. No emotions hurdling out of control. No falling in love and not being able to face it. Always right side up
She shook her head removing herself from the trance. Why was she obsessing over a stupid card? It was no different than any other card. Gambit didn't like her. Nobody would ever fall for Rogue. He just gave her the card as a sorry gesture. It didn't mean anything she was being stupid.
Rogue usually didn't trust anyone. Why did she believe that he was just taking her to New Orleans because he liked her? The guy had tried to blow her up and she had trusted him.
Carefully Rogue turned the card over and looked at the back. Sighing she shoved it back under the pile of clothes.
"Ah don't care about him," she whispered to herself. "He's just a stupid Cajun."
Remy placed the five of hearts on the six of spades. He was sure that if he still had the queen he'd win. But that was the last move he could make the game was over.
He shoved the cards into one big pile in the middle of the table. It was really late he should sleep but he just wasn't tired his thoughts were rushing too fast. Thoughts about an untouchable Goth.
He couldn't be in love. Not with her. She was an X-Man and he was so far from that. She would never care for him.
And besides he didn't care about her. He had just given her the card to be nice. Right?
Carefully he sorted through the deck until he found the other three queens. He had always thought of them as sisters the Queen of Hearts was always his favorite. She was the most beautiful woman she had saved his neck many times. And he had given her away. Just like that. He wouldn't be able to save her until the end because she was gone.
Why had he given it to her what had he been thinking at the time? Was he just feeling bad for everything he'd done and thought it would be a nice thing to do?
Or had it been something more?
Carefully he inspected the other queens, spades diamonds, and clubs all beautiful. But not the same.
Nothing could be same.
He didn't care about her. She had just been a girl who had happened into his life and no she was out of it.
But if that was the case why couldn't he stop thinking about her?
Rogue sat down on the side of her bed and stared down at her feet.
Gambit had thrown her heart into a state of confusion.
She loved him.
She hated him.
She needed to forget him
But she couldn't.
Remy stacked the deck of cards up and put them in their box. There was no point in playing anymore.
This was Rogue's fault.
She had somehow found her way into his heart without his knowing it.
He loved her.
He hated her
He needed to forget her.
But he couldn't.