Author's Note: This story contains spoilers for Cry Wolf and The Most Dangerous Game. Also, I hate the formatting on this site, if anyone knows how I can preserve the original formatting of my story please let me know.
Disclaimer: Not my characters, just my story.
Chapter 1: Utopia
"Sweet Home Alabama," Remy sang along with his car radio.
Rogue, in the passenger's seat, laughed, "Sugar, do meh a favor, do not try to become a singer."
"I'm wounded," Remy looked at her out of the corner of his eyes, "you don't like this southern boy's singing?"
"It's not so much that ah don't lahk it. It's more like….I hate it."
Remy frowned, "Just for that you're gonna be punished."
"Punished?" Rogue asked.
He nodded, "When we stop in Tennessee I'm going to give you a tickling you'll never forget."
Rogue giggled then looked at Remy's profile. She reached out and touched the end of one of his long hairs. "When are you gonna cut all this?"
"Cut my hair?" Remy asked, horrified.
She rolled her eyes, "Ah swear tha two days we've been on tha road it's gotten at least three inches longer." She paused, "Besides, you don't want to cover up that handsome face of yours do you?"
Remy didn't say anything.
"Remy," Rogue prodded.
"I'll cut my hair but you have to do something for me."
She raised an eyebrow warily.
"Not anything like that you pervert," he told her, "Unless you want to."
"Only if you want to be bouncing around mah head for the next few years."
"What did I tell you before? I can handle it."
"Anyway, what is it you want me to do?"
"Stop wearing those ridiculous clothes. You always look like you're going to some kind of a funeral."
Her jaw dropped, "AH look ridiculous? You're the one that dresses like Huggy Bear."
He looked down at the clothes he was wearing, the same clothing he'd been wearing since the day he'd abducted her. He chuckled, "Oh these. Actually they are clothes from a pimp. Had to switch clothes with him." When Rogue gave him a confused stare he continued, "But that's a whole 'nother story, trust me. When we get to Tennessee I'll change my clothes, I promise." He glanced at her again, "But you have to change out of those too."
"Fine, but where am I gonna find clothes, its not like we stopped by the mansion before we left New York."
"Leave that to me."
She frowned, "Are you going to steal clothing for me to wear? Because if you are Ah ain't gonna wear them."
"Hey, I'm a thief by profession only. I'm on vacation now and I do not work on vacations."
She leaned back in her seat, "Okay, but they better be stylish clothes and NO PINK! The last thing I need is to end up looking like that idiot ex-teammate of mine."
Remy heard the venom in her voice as she spoke about Kitty. He figured it had more to do with Kitty kissing Iceman than it did about the young girl's attire. He wondered, not for the first time, just how deep her affection had been for the little prick. Remy shrugged it off, no point in racking his brains about it.
"So what exactly is waiting for us in Tennessee?" Rogue was asking.
"You'll just have to wait and see, it's a surprise."
"You do realize the last time you surprised me ya kidnapped meh."
"Minor details," Remy scoffed. "Just relax, we're almost there."
Kitty Pryde turned the corner of a hallway in the east wing of Xavier's mansion. Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? She calmed the butterflies in her stomach but they began fluttering only a few seconds later.
She reached her destination, the butterflies were forcing there way out of her stomach and up her throat. Forcing her hand to form a fist, she knocked on a beautiful oak door. When it swung open she saw a visually drained and haggard Bobby Drake standing in front of her. His expression darkened almost immediately.
"What do you want?" he asked harshly.
The butterflies were released the moment Kitty opened her mouth; all she could manage was a choked, "Hello."
Bobby rolled his eyes, "That's not what I asked but alright." He began to close his door.
"Will you go out with me?" Kitty blurted out.
She saw the door stop., saw Bobby turn around to look at her, and saw the look of disgust on his face.
"You want to go out with me after you destroyed my last relationship?" he asked, astounded.
Kitty felt herself becoming angry, "Hey I didn't force you to kiss me."
"Hey you practically attacked me with your fish lips, I had no time to respond."
Kitty gasped, "I DO NOT have fish lips!"
Bobby continued, "And because of all of it, Rogue is out there somewhere with that lunatic, that, that-"
"Gambit." Kitty supplied.
"Whatever Fish Lips." Bobby turned and shut the door behind him.
Kitty heard the lock click shut and yelled, "YOU CAN'T BLAME ME FOR YOUR MISTAKES!" She sighed when he didn't respond and much more quietly she added, "And my lips are not fishlike."
"Woohoo! We're here!"
Rogue looked around, "Remy we're in the middle of nowhere."
"Ah ha, just what they would have you believe," Remy told her.
"Just keep looking."
From the front seat of Remy's old Chevy all Rogue could see was miles and miles of undeveloped land.
"Remy are you sure-"
"There!" He exclaimed, pointing far off in the distance.
Rogue followed with her eyes. She could make out some kind of a light headed in their direction, almost like a wave. "Remy what the hell is that?"
The look in her companion's eyes was that of a child's thrill and excitement.
As the wave came closer and closer Rogue began to panic, "Remy we need to move!"
He held her hand and smiled into her face. "Trust me."
She nodded then looked out the windshield just as the wave passed over them. The feeling was amazing; a mix between a spring breeze and what Rogue imagined flying must feel like. She closed her eyes to savor the moment and when she opened them she was shocked to see a majestic city before them.
"Remy," she breathed, "It's beautiful."
He smiled, "Welcome to the city of Florentine, the best kept secret in the east."
Remy enjoyed watching her gorgeous green eyes widen in amazement and wonder. "Some of the most powerful mutants made it their home, decided to create a utopia for mutant kind."
"So why haven't Xavier and Magneto gotten word of this? And how does it stay hidden?"
"The city is cloaked by some powerful psychics, combined they rival the power of even your former teacher. As for the secrecy, only those that pass the test may enter. The mutants who settled here realized they couldn't possibly hide all mutants, besides they only wanted mutants who weren't interested in communicating with the outside world."
"So why do you seem to have an all access pass to this world of dreams?" Rogue asked warily.
"Just follow me, I'll tell you after we meet up with Jerome."
"An old friend, trust me you'll love him."
As they left the car Rogue couldn't help but stare helplessly at her surroundings, everything was clean, everything was bright, and most importantly, everything looked so innocent.
"Hey Kitty Cat, what's the matter?"
Kitty Pryde looked at Alison in contempt. "What is it you need?"
"Can't a girl talk to her teammate without being snapped at?" Alison asked.
Kitty looked at her with suspicion, "Alison what exactly is it that you want from me?"
Alison shrugged, "I overheard your little conversation with Bobby earlier." When Kitty frowned Alison quickly added, "My room's right next to his."
"And…" Kitty prompted.
"Just wanted to see how you were doing."
Alison smiled, "Are you upset that Bobby doesn't want you or that he would pick that shut-in over a hot teeny bopper such as yourself?"
The younger girl looked at her and opened her mouth as if she was about to defend herself then closed it.
"It's the shut-in thing," Alison told her. "You and Bobby were over, finished, you didn't want him anymore but all of a sudden he wanted this new, more exciting girl." When Alison didn't get a reply she continued, "And the new girl was a criminal, a bad girl, just the type Bobby likes."
"Is there a point to this or what?"
Alison crossed her arms over her chest, "Not really, just thought it was interesting is all."
"Fine, you want to talk guys, how about Longshot?"
A frown graced Alison's face. "What about Longshot?"
"Well it seems to me, and everyone else in the mansion, that you keep throwing yourself at him and he keeps rejecting you." Kitty snapped her fingers, "Actually, come to think of it, so did Peter."
Alison let her arms drop and clenched her fists. "Be very careful Kitty or-"
"Or what?" Kitty asked, "You'll give me a light show?"
Alison shook her head, "This is why I don't hang out with teenagers." With that she left the room.
Remy led Rogue down a sidewalk in what appeared to be a suburban neighborhood. Rogue considered asking where they were going but knew she would only get his standard reply "Trust me." She continued to look around and smiled at the sight of children playing baseball in the middle of the street and dogs barking from backyards.
She found herself being led up a walkway to a single level house. It was a typical suburban house; flowers lined the walkway while perfectly manicured grass covered the front yard. Remy knocked on the front door, no one opened the door. Remy knocked again, more persistently. Finally someone opened the door.
An elderly man with green tinted skin threw the door open, "Remy you devil!"
"Franklin!" Remy threw his arms around the old man.
The man took a pair of glasses out of his breast pocket and put them on. "Oh, and what's this? You've brought me a pretty little lady."
Rogue blushed, "Hi, my name's Marian."
Franklin embraced Rogue and whispered in her ear, "What's a good girl like you doing with a guy like Remy?"
"Hey!" Remy exclaimed and the Franklin laughed.
"I'm just teasing," Franklin said. "Now come in, have some tea."
As they entered Rogue looked around, the house had a southwestern décor.
"So I'm assuming you told her about our city's little history." Franklin was saying.
"I gave her the reader's digest version."
They all took a seat in the living room.
"Ah'm assuming it's an interesting history," Rogue said.
"Oh it is," Franklin said. He got up, "Hold on, let me get a pot of tea going."
When Franklin left the room, Remy turned to Rogue, "Why did you use your real name?"
"Ah don't want him knowing Ah was affiliated with the X-Men," she whispered.
"Because everyone has their own opinion about us." She paused, "Trust me, it just gets tiring."
Franklin reentered the room, "Okay kiddos, now you get to hear me tell a little story."
Remy grinned, "Get ready for this one."
"Did you ever about the little colonial town, Roanoke?" Franklin asked.
Rogue nodded, "The one where all the colonists disappeared without a trace?"
Franklin smiled, "You know your history. Well anyway, no one ever knew where it was that the colonists went. Oh everyone speculated that they'd died from hunger or being attacked but no one could prove it, no bodies." Franklin continued, "But even if anyone did know what happened, they wouldn't believe it. You see, during the time that the colonists were settling into their little town they discovered something unusual, their children were all beginning to manifest different powers, abilities, or as they called them, curses.
"These children were the first stage in mutant evolution and because of this they all looked normal, no scales, no claws, none of the strangely colored skin we see today."
"So what did they do?" Rogue asked, "It's not like they would have just sit back and take it with ease, they were Puritans for God's sake."
Franklin looked at Remy, "Your girlfriend's smart." He turned back to Rogue, "You're very right. Because they were Puritans they viewed it as some kind of a damnation from God, that maybe they had done something wrong. So as their first year came to a close the village council decided it would be best to start looking for a place to hide the children. They knew that the English and other colonists would never approve of their monstrous children.
"So they planned and searched for ways to hide their children but failed in all of their ideas. In a land ruled by the King it would have been impossible to hide the children without being questioned about their disappearance. The final answer came to them months later, they needed to disappear with their children."
A whistling sounded in the background.
Franklin stood, "Excuse me for a moment."
Rogue looked at Remy, confusing bright in her eyes. Remy simply nodded.
Franklin reentered the room, and after handing each of them their own cup of tea he continued his story. "Anywho, the colonists kept tabs on all the mutant children, for precautionary reasons, and one day discovered a lone psychic. He was very powerful, could harness his power to do whatever he wanted. He had been using it to fool his siblings, make them see things that weren't really there. Simple things, like an extra biscuit at dinner or a spider crawling up his sister's dress.
"The colonists made him practice his powers day and night until he became the most powerful mutant in Roanoke. The council was pleased. They came up with the idea of having the child simply cloak the town from the outside world but that idea failed as the English might simply move new people in."
"So," Rogue said, "They moved out of Roanoke?"
"Kind of," Franklin said. "You see, they were split. About two thirds of the town thought it would be a good idea to find new land, build a new city and quiet literally disappear. Another third of the town, the people without mutated children didn't want to leave, they wanted to expose the children to the British Government.
Franklin sighed, "The colonists turned on each other. The majority group had no choice but to kill the minority. They planned it just right. The next time they would be contacted by the English would be in fourteen months, all they had to do was kill the minority and successfully hide their bodies."
Rogue's eyes widened.
Franklin went on, "There aren't any real details left over on how they managed to do this effectively. All we know is that the minority were successfully killed and the majority moved out to what they believed to be the far west and settled a village they called Florentine. When the British came to check on the colony a few months later they found it devoid of life."
"Wow," Rogue said, "That's an amazing story."
"But you don't believe it do you?" Franklin asked.
"I believe it, I just have a few questions."
"Shoot." Franklin told her.
"This expansive area they settled in, why didn't anyone else in the hundreds of years of settling and expansion, settle here. I mean, it ain't like they could see that there was already a city standing here."
"Rogue did you happen to notice your surroundings before the Light hit you?"
"Yes, Ah-" She paused, "How did you know my name?"
He touched his forehead, "Psychic."
"No, actually I watch the news frequently and I recognized you." He grinned. "Back to my original question…"
"Oh, yeah I noticed my surroundings. Everything was dead."
"That's another cloaking device, we've made the area look dead to the outside world. Now tell me, who would settle in an area without resources?"
"Mormons, gangsters, Mexicans, and Natives," Rogue answered. A confused look crossed Franklin's face and Remy fought the urge to laugh. Rogue went on, "Well those are the people who settled most of the western desert, especially the southern Nevada area."
"Yes, but the desert isn't expected to have any kind of resources. To have such dead land in the middle of Tennessee was strange, unnatural and rumors quickly began to spread among the locals about this land being touched by an angry Native American spirit."
Rogue nodded, "Makes sense."
"Got any more questions?" Franklin asked. "Although I'm a little fearful of your sharp wit."
Remy laughed and Rogue blushed. "Go ahead honey, ask him anything you want."
Honey? I'll have to think about that one later. "Well who is it that's hiding the city now? I understand how a growing boy could have had the energy to hide a small village, but I don't suppose there are any psychics here strong enough to cloak a city of this size."
"You're right, we don't have any psychics strong enough to keep us hidden on their own. That's why we have a group of psychics, each taking different shifts."
"Like a job?"
"Precisely. Although another beautiful thing about our city is that we don't make use of money. With no legal, federal printing presses, we've had to make do without money. So we are, in essence, a communist society."
Remy spoke up, "This society is proof that communism can only work when cut off from the influences of the rest of the world."
"Well I could probably argue that point," Franklin told him, "We're not a fully communist society. We still have leaders, higher powers and whatnot."
Rogue asked Franklin a barrage of questions, "So what was that wave of light we went through to enter your city? And if you really were cut off from the rest of the world then why is your city full of modern inventions? And how is it you know Remy?"
"I knew you'd get to the important questions," Franklin seemed pleased and took a sip of his tea. It didn't escape his notice that Rogue had not touched hers. "The Light, was the concentrated powers of our Psychics, when they sense someone who needs to enter the city they concentrate to open door of sorts. The Light is that door, it allows certain people to enter and exit. In that way we are not actually cut off from the rest of the world. Once a year we send a few scouts out to find out what's new in cutting edge technology. They bring it back here and we decide if it's really useful or not." He looked at Remy, "As for this one, I met him a long time ago when he was living with his father."
Remy looked into Franklin's eyes, begging him not to say anything more about Remy's father.
Franklin understood and continued with his story, "When I was working as a scout I had gone into New Orleans. You see we send scouts to all parts of the world to soak up culture as well as technology. I was sent to New Orleans to document different practices in local culture. I was busy studying voodoo in the French Quarter when I stumbled upon a gang fight. Long story short I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and they were pissed. I could see it in their eyes, they were going to kill me. Luckily for me a man by the name of Jean-Luc Lebeau was in the area, he called the cops then leapt in to help me until they arrived.
"After the cops came and disbanded the fight, Jean-Luc could see that I was in no condition to be left alone so he invited me back to his house for dinner and a place to sleep. It was there that I met Remy and the rest of his crazy Cajun family. I was so grateful to Jean-Luc I just couldn't lie to him, I told him where I was from. At first he didn't believe me, didn't think mutants existed. It was at that moment I told him his own son was a mutant. It was the only way to explain his eyes. Ever since then I've been close to the LeBeau family. They are quiet literally the only outsiders allowed to enter Florentine."
Remy looked at Rogue, "So what do you think?"
Rogue looked around at the house. She smiled gently as she said aloud, "I think you two are full of shit."
Ororo flew over the gardens she had planted just outside the mansion. She loved her Lilies. No matter what happened in her own life to throw her askew, her lilies were a beautiful constant reminding her that despite her own problems the world was still intact, still protecting her. She landed next to her lilies to inspect them. Just as she thought, some were beginning to wilt. She smiled, she knew better that to think the wilting was a sign of death. No, instead they were a sign of new life to come.
Ororo sat, cross legged, in front of them. She hadn't been able to think, eat, or sleep for the past few days and she knew why; Logan. She couldn't figure him out. She thought they had had some kind of a connection. He had understood her like Henry had. Ororo sighed, maybe Logan left to avoid her. Xavier claimed Logan had only left on a mission but Ororo knew better. Even if he had left on a mission he would have at least have told her where he was going.
All she could think about was the passionate kiss they had shared. It had felt so wonderful, so very good, until he pulled away. It wasn't like he hadn't wanted it to happen, he had kissed her back for a long while before he decided it was wrong. Ororo wondered if he had felt like he had been unfaithful to Jean. She quickly dispelled that thought. Sure he had once been attracted to her but it wasn't like she was some kind of an ex-girlfriend. But if Logan was feeling unfaithful to his true love did that mean Ororo was being unfaithful to Henry?
She felt tears threaten to spill out of her eyes. She missed Henry more than anyone even knew. She sniffed, knowing then that she hated Logan and Henry for leaving her.
"There are way too many holes in your story," Rogue told Franklin. "I was following you until you got to the part about going to New Orleans. If you were attacked by a gang then why would Jean-Luc help you fight them off? If he had called the cops then why wouldn't he just let them deal with it? And even if he did decide to help you fight them off, why wouldn't the cops have asked for statements from the two of you? It's standard procedure." She looked from one man to another, "And I saw that non-verbal exchange between the two of you."
Franklin winced, "Remy I'm going to leave this one to you."
Remy shifted uncomfortably in his seat, "I was going to tell you this, I promise you, but I was waiting for the right time."
Rogue crossed her arms over her chest, "You mean the fact that you were born into a criminal organization?"
Remy looked surprised, "I thought you had forgotten everything you learned about me. You said your absorption didn't last that long."
She shrugged, "Bits and pieces stayed intact."
"Well I might as well tell you the whole story," he told her, "Franklin's story isn't completely untrue. The gangs he came across were actually the Guilds." Rogue looked confused. "I'm guessing those are parts of the pieces that are missing from your memory." She nodded. "Well the New Orleans crime scene is ruled by the Assassin's Guild and the Thief's Guild. I myself belong to the Theif's Guild. Both Guilds were looking for Franklin, we had heard rumors of some mutant that had come from Utopia and both sent their own people out to search for him.
"When the Thief's Guild found him he had already been approached by the Assassin's Guild. Well more like attacked by them. My own Guild could not have that, they wanted to be the ones to be accepted to Utopia." He paused for breath. "I was with the Thieves when they found Franklin being kidnapped by the Assassins. My brother, Henry, told me to hurry on home and report to our father, the leader of our guild. By the time I'd gotten back, with my father, it was evident that a huge fight had occurred. Bloodied bodies lay everywhere. My father was just thankful none of his own people died." He smiled, "What we didn't know at the time was that Franklin had been on our side the whole time."
Franklin interjected, "My mission had actually been to find a Thief's Guild that we had been hearing about via the news. During the battle I had used my mutant power to give the Thieves an advantage."
"What is your mutant power?" Rogue asked curiously.
"I can turn anyone's cells from living to dead simply by thinking about it."
Rogue gasped, "So you have the power of Death?"
"Exactly," Franklin replied.
"But why did you need the Thief's Guild?" She asked.
"We realized that the easiest way to gain new technology would be to hire people to find it for us. We are a more peaceful people, we prefer spending our time finding cures for ailments and making other scientific breakthroughs; which also requires the use of more modern technology."
Remy nodded, "So when we brought him home he told us all about Florentine and its history. It was unbelievable at first but the idea grew on us. In fact it wasn't until he brought us here that we fully believed him. And as a reward for helping the town through the years, the City Council has given us full entrance and exit as we please."
Franklin nodded, "We offered them a place to live but they declined."
"Well what kind of a life would that be for a thief?" Remy asked, "What could we possibly do in a peaceful community?"
"Oh I don't know, get married, have kids, not worry about any of them being hated by the outside."
Rogue shook her head, "I don't think I'd be able to do it either. I know the outside is a chaotic place right now but I would rather live in chaos that in fabricated peace."
Franklin shrugged, "Our way of life isn't for everyone I guess."
"So why am Ah hear?" Rogue asked. "I'm assuming this isn't just a friendly visit."
Remy shrugged, "To tell you the truth I'm not sure. I got a message through the guild that Franklin was searching for me and the girl I was traveling with. How they knew I was traveling with you is beyond me."
Franklin laughed, "We have scouts everywhere Remy."
"So what is it you want exactly?" Rogue asked.
"We have reason to believe our city is under threat of being exposed." Franklin said grimly.
"By who?" Remy asked.
"You know of our exit policy, don't you?" Franklin didn't wait for an answer, "Everyone is free to come and go as they please, this is not a prison." He took a deep breath, "One of our former inhabitants, Gracie Diante, decided to move out of Florentine when she fell in love with some non-mutant on the outside. That was fine of course. But recently we have found graphic pictures of Florentine posted on a Conspirator's website. We continuously hack onto the website, from various locations, and delete all of their photos but they seem to have an endless s supply of new photos. The keeper of this website is non other than Gracie's husband, Larry Thompson, and we need the two of you to hunt them down and kill them."
Okay, probably not the direction people thought I was going to take it in but tell me what you think…even if it's just to tell me how much you hate it.
WOOHOO! REVIEWERS ROCK!
Rogue151: Well it only took two months but I finally decided to continue. I hope you enjoyed it.
Alwaysright: he he he, after my long hiatus I've returned with a Rogue/Remy centric piece. Hope it pleases you.
Cassandra Cheney: Wow I love that you reviewed! Please review more!
Bandnerd488: All smiled at your compliments. I promise to continue writing on both of my stories, I just take forever to get things done.
The Scribe3: You might get your wish, although Bobby seems to dislike Kitty right now.
T-Yeah, I don't know what's with Marvel turning Bobby into a jerk into almost every book he's in. I always thought he was an easy going guy. Ah well, things change.
Ishandahalf: Mmmm….beans. Anyway, the hair has to go, Rogue said so. And I'm sure Florentine has a Barbershop somewhere.
Rogue151: You really should read Ultimate X-Men, its really interesting the way they created different characters off of their templates for the original X-Men (Ah the raving of a comic book nerd) but yeah, Remy was pretty scary looking. I haven't seen a perm that bad since the 80s.
BFG: Well I sincerely hope this chapter kicked ass as well…or at least half ass.
Tammy: Yeah the panel with them kissing pissed me off but hey it ain't the X-Men without drama.
Next Chapter: Rogue and Remy find themselves diving deeper into a dilemma, Kitty tries for another play at Bobby but it seems he has another girl on the brain (and it isn't Rogue), and Alison…well you'll just have to read it.