A Force Unleashed

Written by Darkstorm5000

Disclaimer: The X-Men and related characters in their various incarnations are the property of Marvel Entertainment.

This story is a continuation of my two previous fics, A Force to be Reckoned With and Land of the Silver Sun. While reading those stories will probably make this one more interesting, I think everyone should be able to follow what's going on in this one, whether you've read the other two or not.

----------------

Chapter 1- World Tour at an End

----------------

A little more than seventy-two hours had passed since the devastating attack on, perhaps, one of the world's top research facilities located on Muir Island, Scotland. What made it even more alarming, particularly to the mutant community, was the fact that large mutant-hunting robots called Sentinels had been deployed there.

Until a few days ago, Sentinels had been regarded as nothing more than urban legend. Now, those individuals that lobbied both in favor of and against enacting Mutant Registration laws fully understood that the very notion of anyone using Sentinel technology could potentially polarize both sides, and would obliterate any common ground that they had managed to find thus far.

After hearing the news of what had happened, the residents at the Xavier School for the Gifted in Salem Center, New York were still reeling from the aftermath and implications of the attack. They were bothered by what it meant in the grand scheme of things, but also were upset because this event had hit them close to home. They had learned that a small group of students and teachers from the school were on the island with the school's founder, Professor Charles Xavier, and were involved in a battle with the Sentinels that seemingly ended in a draw.

While a number of the mechanized machines were damaged and destroyed during the encounter, the X-Men code-named Storm, Shadowcat, Colossus, and part-time X-Man Banshee, received injuries as well. Despite fighting as hard as they could, the small band of X-Men were unable to prevent the Sentinels from spiriting away the director and founder of the Muir Island research facility, Dr. Moira MacTaggert. They also were unable to prevent Professor Xavier from being seriously hurt during the melee, where the injuries he received left him without the use of his telepathic abilities.

Two other residents of the school, who were half a world away on an adventure of their own in the nation of Japan, decided to immediately return home upon hearing what had happened. Their return was now signaled by the roar of a medium-sized motorcycle, as it pulled off of Greymalkin Lane and into the school. Following behind the motorcycle was a taxi-cab, which soon came to a stop on the driveway in front of the large and venerable mansion, early in the afternoon.

Also arriving with the duo was a new, and intriguing addition to their ranks.

"Never thought I'd miss this place." The X-Man code-named Wolverine, but who most simply called Logan said, as he got off of the blue motorcycle that he had ridden from the airport back to the estate, "Then again, I never thought I'd ever have a place to miss."

"I can un'erstand why you miss it." The young man named Remy Lebeau, also called Gambit replied, as he slowly stepped out of the backseat of the taxi that had followed Logan, "When you tol' me you lived at a school, dis wasn't quite what I had in mind."

"If the outside impresses you, wait 'til you see the inside." The young lady who had been named Marie D'Acanto at birth, but who mainly went by the name of Rogue answered, as she also emerged from the backseat of the taxi.

While Logan went over to pay the taxi-driver, Rogue and Remy went to the trunk of the cab to get their luggage. Remy was only able to pick up one bag, due to the fact that his right arm was in a sling. He had been wounded during a fight that he, Rogue, and Wolverine had been involved in back in Japan. So, Rogue removed the rest of their belongings and sat them down next to the curb. As she did, a voice from the front door of the mansion caused Rogue to look up.

"What, did you think you guys were gonna sneak up on us or somethin'? You should've called us when your flight got in, we would've come 'n picked you up." The teenaged girl named Jubilation Lee, although she would tell you in a heartbeat to just call her Jubilee said, as she walked over to give Rogue a hug.

"Ah know, but can't a girl surprise her best friend every once in a while?" Rogue replied.

"I think we've had enough surprises for a while, thank-you-very-much." Jubilee smiled, as she referred to the events of the last few days.

As the taxi left, Jubilee took notice of the man standing next to Rogue with his arm in a sling.

"So, you startin' some new fashion trend I haven't caught onto yet?" Jubilee asked Remy, as she looked at his arm and then back up at him.

"Naw, just got hurt doin' my good deed of de day is all." Remy answered, referring to the bullet he took saving Rogue's life.

After Remy made that statement, he then reached out to take hold of Jubilee's hand, raising it up to kiss it.

"Remy Lebeau. It's a pleasure t'meet you."

While Jubilee mockingly fanned herself with her left hand in response to the Louisiana native's greeting, Logan made a comment of his own.

"You've got alot of new folks to meet around here, Cajun. You keep that up, and your lips're gonna be all puckered out." Logan smirked, as he untied his belongings that were strapped to the back of the motorcycle.

"Trust me, these lips never get tired, Mon Ami." Remy boasted.

"Really?" Rogue said with a slight laugh as she looked up at Remy, who was still standing beside her.

"Really, Chere." Remy smirked, "Who knows, maybe someday I'll get t'show you."

Then, almost out of the blue, Logan made what seemed like an unusual statement.

"You can come out now, the coast is clear." Logan said, as he looked downward and continued to get his things off of the bike.

Rogue, Remy, and Jubilee looked at each other and then at Logan, wondering what he was talking about. Logan responded by slightly nodding his head over and upwards towards one grouping of trees, which were plentiful around the estate. Everyone instantly looked up into the trees, and after scanning the dark area around the branches above for a short time, Jubilee and Rogue soon looked back down. But, Remy had absolutely no idea what was going on.

"What're we lookin' for?" Remy asked Rogue.

"Oh, it's just Nightcrawler." Rogue answered.

"What's dat, like a spider or somethin'?" Remy inquired.

"No, it's like a person." Jubilee responded, "A person whose idea of a good time is playin' hide-and-seek in the bushes. You can c'mon down now, 'Crawler."

Just then, a large and thick puff of black smoke appeared in front of the small group. Once the smoke dissipated, what many outside of the school would consider to be an unusual looking individual stood before them.

"I was just sitting up there, waiting for the cab driver to leave. But, I hesitated to come down because I did not want to frighten your new friend." Kurt Wagner, who had proudly donned the moniker of 'The Incredible Nightcrawler' in the Munich circus where he had grown up, said to them through his heavy German accent.

"Homme, I come from New Orleans. I seen a lot stranger lookin' folks than you." Remy replied, trying to put Kurt at ease.

"First time I've seen you in fancy duds like that." Logan said, as he now commented on the dress shirt, tie, and dress slacks that Kurt was wearing, "They look good on ya."

"Danke. One of my classes had just ended, and I came directly from there when the mansion's security system signaled your arrival. I thought I would be the first to welcome you home, but it appears that somebody beat me to it." Kurt said, as he looked in Jubilee's direction.

"If you snooze, you lose, buddy." Jubilee responded with a boastful grin. Kurt then turned back towards Logan.

"By the way that you spoke before leaving, I did not expect your return to be so soon." Kurt told him.

"Neither did I. When I was watchin' the news report over in Japan, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out somethin' major's brewin'. So, don't go thinkin' I cut my vacation short on your account." Logan joked.

"Admit it, you cannot get enough of me." Kurt bantered with him, as he sat back on his tail using it for support.

"If that's what gets you through the night, Elf. I just figured if someone wants a fight with us, then my particular skills in violence 'n mayhem might come in handy." Logan responded, as he finally removed his duffle bag and a black case that contained the Honor Blade of the Clan Yashida, from the back of the motorcycle. He then looked up from the bike and over at Kurt.

"Say, why don't cha come with me. While I put this ride up, you can fill me in on what's been goin' on." Logan said, as he and Kurt began to walk alongside the bike, heading towards the garage in the back of the estate.

While Logan and Kurt left for the garage, Jubilee, Rogue, and Remy were surprised when another voice now made his presence known, as he stood at the front door of the mansion.

"Hi, Rogue." The voice said to her.

Rogue looked over to see none other than Bobby Drake talking to her, and the moment that she had been dreading since stepping on Mariko Yashida's private jet had finally arrived.

Rogue had gone with Logan to the other side of the world a few weeks ago to escape, and to try and forget the hurt of Bobby breaking things off with her. But, seeing him now and looking into that beautiful face of his, all of that hurt instantly came back. Rogue didn't know how to handle it, and had no idea what to say to Bobby.

So, she didn't say anything.

"C'mon, your shoulder must be killin' you after all of this traveling. Ah'll go find somewhere for you to lie down, until Ah find out what room your gonna be staying in." Rogue said to Remy, as she grabbed their things, including the Katana sword that Remy had given her as a gift. Rogue then looked over to Jubilee.

"Jube, can you grab his other bag for me."

Rogue then walked into the mansion past Bobby in a hurry, only giving him a brief and longing glance. Bobby knew it was what he probably deserved for the pain that he had caused Rogue, but it still hurt nonetheless. Then, Remy came up trailing behind Rogue.

Remy and Bobby briefly made eye-contact with each other. Bobby's ice blue eyes looked straight into Remy's red-on-black one's for a few seconds. Then, Remy continued on as well.

Jubilee then came up the steps to the front door and looked at Bobby, but she had no idea what to say to him.

While Jubilee went in behind Rogue and Remy, Bobby stood there thinking about how much he must've hurt Rogue, if she wouldn't even talk to him now. At that same moment, another teenaged couple at the school were currently not talking to each other.

But in their case, it was for other, very different reasons.

----------------

"Mmmmmmm…"

…Was the barely audible sound coming from inside of one of the rec-rooms in the mansion, right before one of the two individuals in there spoke.

"Why'd you stop? Is everything alright?" Kitty Pryde, who was appropriately enough code-named Shadowcat asked. The youngest member of the X-Men's junior squad was sitting on a sofa in the room, after a very long and passionate lip-lock had just abruptly ended.

"Everything is fine, Katya." Piotr Rasputin, the armored X-Man code-named Colossus replied, as he sat next to Kitty with his arm around her waist, holding her much smaller frame close to him, "And no, I did not cut my lip on your braces again, if that is what you are wondering."

"Who would've thought you'd be listing expensive dental wear as your only known Achilles Heel." Kitty smiled, as she teased him, "And this whole time I thought you were supposed to be 'Mr. Indestructible', Peter Rasputin."

Although Piotr was his name, the strongest member of the X-Men's junior squad also went by the American pronunciation of his name, Peter. He did so mainly to keep from having to hear some of his fellow students butcher his first name.

"When I turn solid, then perhaps. But the rest of the time, your mouth is more dangerous by far." Peter jokingly said in response.

Kitty then looked at Peter with one eyebrow raised.

"The way that last sentence came out, made it sound soooo wrong. It's a good thing that I know you don't have a dirty mind, or anything." Kitty pointed out, as she lightly tapped him on the nose.

"What makes you think that I do not?" Peter challenged her.

"Well, for starters, you blush anytime someone just mentions the word…'sex'." Kitty responded, putting extra emphasis on that last word. She then giggled a little, as she saw Peter's face turn slightly red for a fleeting instant, before she spoke again.

"Then again, you don't get all beet red like you used to."

"It must be due to your corrupting influence." Peter smirked again.

Kitty then leaned in really close to Peter, with their faces just a few inches apart.

"I guess a big, strong superman like you'll just have to do something about my menacing mouth, and its bad influence." Kitty said as she continued to smile, while she looked up at Peter with her deep, brown eyes.

"There is no way that I could touch you, if you did not wish it." Peter quipped with her, as he referred to her phasing powers, "So, you have little to be afraid of."

Suddenly, Kitty's huge smile turned into a very serious look, before she spoke again.

"I'm always scared when I'm with you." Kitty said in a hushed, and somewhat raspy voice, as she ran her petite hand down the chiseled features of his face, before she moved in and kissed Peter with every ounce of emotion in her being. Peter in turn, put both of his massive arms around her and squeezed her gently, all the while being cautious about his own strength.

Kitty and Peter stayed in their intimate embrace for more than a few minutes, before they were joined by an unexpected third-party.

"Ahem…"

As the voice lightly coughed, it startled Kitty and Peter. Peter instantly sprang to his feet, his face dotted with smudged lip-stick. Peter's sudden and unexpected movement caused Kitty to fall back, and accidentally phase through the sofa that they had been sitting in.

"Oh, um…, Hi, Mr. Summers." Kitty said, as she stood back up behind the sofa and right in front of her teacher, as she managed to regain her composure.

"We were just, uh--" Peter started, before he was interrupted.

"--We were just studying." Kitty finished.

Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, the field leader and tactician extraordinaire of the X-Men, couldn't help but put his hours on top of hours worth of training to use. He almost immediately noticed that there wasn't a book anywhere near Kitty or Peter. Normally Scott would have, at the very least, pointed out that fact to them. But, he could tell that they were both a little embarrassed at him finding them in such a private moment, so he decided to just let the subject drop.

"I was just passing by, on my way outside. The security sensors detected Rogue, Logan, and another unidentified individual on the premises." Scott told them.

"They're back? Cool!" Kitty said, with excitement in her voice.

"But, I am glad that I ran across you two. I hadn't had a chance to talk to you since you, and everyone else, returned from Muir Island last night. The Professor, Ororo, Hank, Sean, and myself have been pretty busy downstairs, going over what happened over there and planning what our next move will be." Scott informed them, "I just wanted to commend you two for the bravery that you showed in facing such enormous danger."

"Heck, all I did was get out of the way, before one of those 'out of control' science fair projects blasted me straight into tomorrow." Kitty replied, as Scott noticed that she still had a small bandage on her forehead as a souvenir of the battle.

"You said that you have been working on a plan. Have you discovered where these Sentinels have taken Dr. MacTaggert?" Peter asked, as he stood with his arms folded in front of him and looking directly into Scott's ruby quartz eyeglasses.

"Not yet. But, I'll be going into more details about what we have learned and what we intend to do, when we gather everybody together for a briefing in the morning." Scott answered.

With that Scott was about to leave the rec-room, to find someone else that he needed to have a word with. But, he suddenly remembered the other reason why he had needed to speak to Peter, in particular.

"Peter," Scott started, "Forge is flying in tonight from Dallas to take a look at those Sentinel components that were brought back on the Blackbird. Would you mind moving them out into an open area in the hangar a little later, so that he can perform a more thorough assessment?"

"Of course." Peter replied, as Scott then turned and finally walked out of the rec-room.

As soon as they thought Scott was gone, Kitty and Peter went to sit back down on the sofa together.

"Where were we?" Kitty asked with a big smile, as she looked over at Peter.

"Nearly getting ourselves thrown out of school." Peter replied, in a matter-of-fact tone.

"Well, we might as well go for some extra credit, while we still can." Kitty told Peter, as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled up close to him.

"Katya, have you lost your min--" Peter started to say, but stopped when the lips on the most dangerous mouth in the mansion interrupted him, kissing him once again.

As Kitty and Peter were in the midst of another passionate embrace, unknown to them, Scott could still hear them as he walked down the corridor. Scott couldn't help but think back to a time, in the not too distant past, when a young, red-haired co-ed totally caught her classmate with visual difficulties off-guard, with a display of affection in a vaguely similar situation. As he continued to walk to the back of the mansion and reminisce on days long gone by, a barely noticeable smile soon came across the face of Scott Summers.

------------------

In another part of the estate, Kurt and Logan had finally made it to the garage, where Logan went to park the bike inside.

"...That is about all that we have learned so far." Kurt said, as he walked behind Logan, who was pushing the bike into the garage in front of him, "We have some very strong suspicions as to the originators of those monstrosities, but nothing we can confirm at this point."

"I can give you one good guess as to who's probably connected to all of this. You do remember Stryker, and what he tried to do to every mutant on the planet." Logan said, as he took a cigar out of the pocket inside of his jacket and lit it.

"I will never forget." Kurt replied, as memories of his own manipulations at the hands of the Colonel swiftly came back.

"C'mon, let's go in and get us a couple of beers." Logan said to Kurt.

"Logan, you know that I rarely drink." Kurt told him.

"Pardon me, 'Saint Kurt'." Logan smirked, as he took the cigar out of his mouth for a moment and prepared to correct himself, "Then, let's go get me a couple of beers."

Kurt and Logan then began to walk from the garage back to the mansion, when someone appeared a few feet from them.

"Cyclops." Logan said simply, as his demeanor went from laid back and joking, to now being far more serious and a little tense.

"Welcome back, Logan." Scott replied, as he stood in front of him showing his, almost always, serious demeanor.

"I assume you came out here for these." Logan said, as he pulled the keys to the motorcycle, which actually belonged to Scott, out of the pocket of his jacket and tossed them through the air, "Your bike's all filled up."

While Kurt stopped to talk with Scott for a moment, Logan continued on to the house with his duffle bag over his shoulder and the important black case in one of his hands. He stopped, however, when Scott spoke to him again.

"Logan…" Scott said.

"Yeah?" Logan replied gruffly, as he turned around slightly to look at Scott.

"Why don't you hold onto these?" Scott said, as he tossed the keys back to Logan.

Logan grabbed the keys with his free hand and looked at Scott for a moment, surprised by the gesture. Then without a response, Logan continued on inside.

----------------------

Later that night, as everyone was settling in, Jubilee, Rogue, and Kitty were busy getting caught up on everything that had happened to them over the last few weeks.

Rogue told them about her experience in facing off against the ninjas of the Hand and the Yakuza mafia in Japan, two of the deadliest groups of assassins and killers in the world. Rogue also described and gave them a better understanding of the woman that Logan fell in love with over there, Lady Mariko Yashida.

Kitty talked about how she and Peter shared their first kiss together next to Lake Baikal in Siberia, where they finally revealed how they each felt. Kitty also went into further detail about what it was like coming face to face with the cold and inhuman eyes of a Sentinel robot on Muir Island.

Jubilee told the group about how the X-Men that were left home tracked down Alison Blaire, whom they believed to be in grave danger after members of the Brotherhood started a melee at her concert at Madison Square Garden. She also described how all hell broke loose, appropriately enough, when they finally located her in the Hell's Kitchen section of New York.

"It's still unbelievable." Rogue said, as she sat on her bed in her and Jubilee's room, "Alison Blaire, a real life superstar, is actually livin' here."

"It has all the makings of the next big reality show." Kitty remarked, as she was leaning back in a chair by a desk in Rogue and Jubilee's room, "Picture it, 'World famous entertainer moves into a small private school in upstate New York.' It'll make America say, 'Paris…who'?"

"But, you're forgettin' one thing. I don't think America is ready to see The Superhero Adventures of the Kids from Mutant High in their living rooms on a weekly basis." Jubilee told them, as she laid on her bed. Jubilee was laying there and staring straight up at the ceiling, when she quickly blew a large bubble with her chewing gum, which loudly exploded.

"Ah guess that, along with all of the other things that go on around here, would more likely land us on America's Most Wanted." Rogue commented.

"Speaking of being wanted, what's the deal with that major hottie you brought back here with you?" Jubilee, who was still staring at the ceiling, asked Rogue.

"Remy just wanted to make a fresh start from his old life, and agreed to come back here to help us out." Rogue answered.

"He looks like he's already helped enough. I passed him earlier in the hallway, and he was walking like he's still getting over from being run over by a train or something." Kitty stated, as she had only briefly seen Remy walking gingerly by, with his arm in a sling.

"Actually, he got shot savin' my life." Rogue informed them.

"I have gotta learn what your secret is." Jubilee said, as she finally sat up on her bed.

"What're you talkin' about?" Rogue asked, as she looked over to Jubilee's side of the room.

"You've got guys climbin' national monuments, jumpin' out of airplanes, and takin' bullets for you, for cryin' out loud. That's, what I'm talkin' about." Jubilee answered, as she referred to Logan, Kurt, and now Remy's actions in risking their own safety to help Rogue.

"Just dumb luck, Ah suppose." Rogue responded.

"That's more than just 'dumb luck'. Unless of course, you're the President." Kitty joked with her.

"Yeah, that's it, a mutant with 'political' powers. Watch the world tremble before me." Rogue equally responded.

The three girls all laughed for a moment at Rogue's response, and then Kitty spoke again.

"Well, I hate to break up our little gossip session, but there's some things I need to take care of before it gets too late." Kitty said, as she stood up from the chair that she had been sitting in, and started towards the door of the bedroom.

"Tell Peter I said Hi, since I'm sure that's where you're off to in such a hurry." Jubilee teased her, "When you say goodnight, just don't forget to leave his room or anything, 'Hot-lips'."

"Shut-Up..." Kitty simply called out, as she went down the hallway. While Peter's bedroom wasn't the destination where Kitty was off to, she figured it would be a waste of time to go back and try to convince Jubilee of that fact.

"You just reminded me, Ah need to go see how Remy is doin'." Rogue said to Jubilee, as she got up from her bed and headed towards the hallway as well.

"Well, since I'm the only one around here with a boyfriend that actually lives at a different address, I guess I'll just zone out here for a while." Jubilee said, in the now emptied room, as she put the headphones plugged into her MP3 player over her ears, laid back, and turned the volume all the way up.

--------------------

Next Chapter: The X-Men get a brief history lesson on the Sentinels, as they get a better understanding of what they're going up against…

--------------------

-A/N: Special Thanks to everyone that reviewed the last chapter of A Force to be Reckoned With.

Freelancer- Thanks for the review. I'm glad you liked the Professor/Ororo moment, I thought it would be interesting to see those two talking on a more personal level.

Lucas'sgirl- I'm not sure about it being a trilogy, I'll just keep writing until I run out of ideas. It just seemed to make more sense to start a whole new story, since I was ending the first two. I agree with you about Kiotr, and since you feel so strongly, I think you're gonna really like the first chapter of this story.

Navi-Zero- Well, you don't have to wait much longer…

MoonlightPhoenix3- Glad you like where this heading. As far as Juggernaut, what you said is the main reason that I haven't used him yet. When I do, I want it to be more than him just mindlessly running amuck somewhere.

TheDreamerLady- I'm glad you liked the last chapter, and are looking forward to this next one.

-A/N: Special Thanks to everyone that reviewed the last chapter of Land of the Silver Sun.

Moon Comix- With Gambit in the mix, the X-Men can't help but be changed. This next story is a combination/continuation of my first two, so I hope you want to check it out.

Star-of-Chaos- I don't think it'll be that bad…hopefully…

Lucas'sgirl- Lucky you, you get to be the only reviewer I respond to twice. I thought the Logan/Remy moment at the end pretty much told Remy where Logan stood, and gave Remy fair warning. As far as the Bobby/Rogue/Remy situation, I think that may be a potential powder keg just ready to go off.

Rogue Lockheart- Glad you love it, this next one is coming as fast as I can type it out.

Angel of The Fallen Stars- Yeah, I think you'll see that Bobby definitely still has some feelings for Rogue. With her and Remy becoming so close, its bound to stir up all kinds of interesting situations between the three of them.

enchantedlight- Glad you liked it.

ishandahalf- I'm happy you liked the Logan and Mariko farewell scene, I thought it was probably one of my better one's. Yeah, with Remy along for the ride, it'll be interesting to see how he gets along with all of the other, different personalities at the mansion.

Episodic- You're not giving Remy much credit, to think he'd give up that easily. The Sentinels are in hiding right now, but they'll be back out in the open soon enough. As far as Carol Danvers, I hadn't really thought about it. But, there's no telling what ending up with unexpected powers and memories on a permanent basis would do to a person, even someone as 'happy-go-lucky' as movie-Rogue is, so you never know…

Jean1- I'm glad you liked the ending, I wrote it that way because Mariko and Logan's story is far from being over. Yeah, I see that I obviously mis-understood your comment (as I hang my head in embarrassment). I agree with what you wrote about how their relationship would function, you could pretty much see that with the way Logan left their adopted daughter to live with Mariko in the comics. I also agree about the Rogue/Logan stories, I think Ororo's little comment about Rogue's 'crush' at the end of X1, inadvertently gave a huge push in creating most of those fics. Gambit always seemed like he had enough edge in him to relate to Logan, but he'd also like having somewhere to hang his hat and someone to come home to on a regular basis (whereas Logan would run off into the woods to be alone for weeks at a time).

haruechan- Hope you enjoy the torture to come. Rogue and Carol Danvers? Only time will tell. The future of Rogue and Gambit, heck only time will tell that too. There will definitely be some Romy, Kiotr, and quite a few unexpected couples in this story, so I hope you're ready.

X-men fan- I'm glad you liked both stories, and I'm glad you're looking forward to the next one because here it comes…