Gambling

Post X2/Alternative X3, Rogue and Scott go gambling down on the Bayou. Enter Remy LeBeau, is he Xmen material? Rumors of a familiar red head seen with Hellfire Club. ROMY, LoganJG, ScottFrost

I: Change of Scenary

It had been nearly three months since X-men team member Dr. Jean Grey had made the ultimate sacrifice for her friends. The time had passed slowly for her surviving friends. Rogue glanced down at the dog tags hanging around her neck, a constant reminder of a promise to return from a dear friend. His original set were now buried somewhere in that accursed mountain but this new set was courtesy of a forced field trip to the mall thanks to the ever persuasive Jubilee.

A few weeks after Jean's death, Logan felt the urge to travel once more. He wouldn't disclose where to exactly. Rogue had the suspicion that he wasn't sure himself about his destination. Stryker had truly wounded the Wolverine deeply with dangling snippets of his past before him like bait.

"Are you sure about this?" Scott asked from the driver's seat of the dark blue sports car convertible for the umpteenth time. He watched Rogue fingering Wolverine's dog tags once more. "We can always go back to the mansion."

Rogue looked at Scott Summers with a raised brow. It was hard to believe he was the same stuck up wonder boy she had met nearly a year and a half ago. His hair had grown slightly wild and there was a bit of stubble on his jaw. He looked a lot better than he had during the first days of his grief but he was far from healed.

"Are you crazy?" Rogue replied, emerald eyes sparkling with the excitement of adventure. "You need a vacation and I could use one myself." Her Mississippian drawl was becoming ever more obvious the further south they traveled.

Scott raked a hand through his windblown hair and laughed at his own reckless behavior. Ever since the incident he had felt half alive. But his team members seemed to have made it their mission in life to pull him back from the depths of depression. Most surprisingly was the behavior of Wolverine and Rogue. It was as if the two had tag teamed together to keep him sane.

"I'm still not sure how I allowed you to talk to me into this," Scott confessed when he came to a stop light. A sign to the right showed the number of miles left before they were to enter the Louisiana state border.

"Are you serious?" Rogue laughed at her companion. "I just had my eighteenth birthday and you're going to take me to the casinos."

Scott sighed softly to himself as he put the car back into gear after the light changed to green. "There are more important things you can do when you turn eighteen." He glanced at Rogue from the corner of his ruby visors and she merely folded her arms over her chest, encouraging him to continue.

"Well there is voting and serving in the armed forces," Scott replied.

"There is also smoking and buying lottery tickets. And up until twenty years ago, one could legally drink at eighteen years as well in most of the South." Rogue replied with a grin as she watched Scott's jaw tighten in annoyance. If there was one thing he couldn't stand, it was being proven wrong. "Besides, there's talk of Louisiana changing the minimum age of gambling to twenty-one and I'm so not waiting three more years."

"Why did you ask me on this trip again?" Scott asked exasperated. "What about Bobby or Kurt?" He wracked his memory for the names of some of Rogue's classmates. "Or maybe Jubilee or Kitty would have been fun to have on this little road trip."

"Honestly Scott!" Rogue exclaimed, staring at the man beside her in disbelief. "First off, ever since the whole St. John incident Bobby hasn't exactly been the same. He went to spend the summer with his family in Boston. They are seeing a family counselor to help his parents cope with exactly who he is."

Rogue felt a sadness within her gut at the idea of Bobby having to endure the harsh words that his family was sure to throw at him. They couldn't really accept that he was a mutant, but maybe one day they would be able to understand that being a mutant didn't make you non-human. "And my brother, Kurt, he was practically a monk! Do you honestly think he would allow me to go gambling?"

Scott frowned at the idea of a blue fuzzy elf with a tail twitching back and forth lecturing Rogue about the immoralities of gambling. Compared to the German, Cyclops felt rather free-spirited.

"And besides, Kitty and Jubilee are both still seventeen. It wouldn't do any good to spend my eighteenth birthday with them doing stuff only eighteen year olds can do when they aren't eighteen." Rogue looked over at her silent companion. She needed to choose her words carefully. Ever since the destruction of the mansion and the loss of his love he had felt superfluous and unnecessary. "And besides all that, I wanted to share this with you." Rogue told him softly.

Hidden behind ruby visors, Scott Summer's ice blue eyes that would never be appreciated for their beauty welled up with tears. They were his mother's eyes, but no one would ever know that. "Thanks Marie," Scott told the young woman beside him softly.

Rogue grinned coyly. "No problem, Sugar."

oooooOOOOOoooooOOOOOooooo

Remy LeBeau, also known under the alias of Gambit, was making his rounds. The Guild had recently been contracted to pull a job off one of those casino river boats that floated along the mighty Mississippi River.

His unruly auburn locks fell over eyes that were hidden behind a pair of designer sunglasses. His hypnotic gaze was currently causing another femme to fall desperately in lust of him. He cast the blond haired beauty another charming smile before he sauntered past her.

He didn't have time to seek out the pleasures of such fine company. Besides, the large diamond engagement ring on her finger was blinding him. Not that seducing an engaged woman had ever bothered him much in the past, but at this moment in time it was something he wasn't willing to do.

Remy moved his lean, tall form to stand along the railing of the river boat as he watched more passengers come aboard. His thoughts dwelled upon his recent family problems. His adopted father had presented him with a solution that would supposedly solve all the conflict and hatred between the Thieves and Assassins Guilds.

It only required him to marry his childhood best friend. That really didn't sound like such a bad deal. But then, Remy LeBeau was not known for his sense of commitment and he knew that he wouldn't be able to stay faithful to BellaDonna. She knew that too and she said she didn't mind.

Gambit knew better than that though. If he did ever marry he would at least hope that he could be optimistic about staying faithful. So, without a final decision made about the union he took this job on the river boat. Perhaps a few days on the Mississippi would clear his mind.

Absently, Remy pulled out a long cigarette from the inner pocket of his suit jacket. He still felt faintly uncomfortable wearing such expensive clothing. He would prefer his trench coat and body armor any day, but that would cause him to stick out from this rather elite crowd.

He proceeded to release enough kinetic energy into the tip of his cigarette that it lit on fire. He raised the death stick to his lips to take a drag but paused when an exaggerated cough behind him caught his attention.

"I was hoping for some fresh air. I didn't come outside to inhale those toxic fumes," a sugary sweet voice with a delightful Southern accent spoke at his back.

Remy turned towards the woman, a devilish sly smile playing on his lips. If he had been a lesser man he might have dropped his cigarette at the mere sight of the beauty that had spoken to him. She was standing there in an elegant black cocktail dress with long silky emerald gloves that reached past her elbows. Her hair was piled upon her head in an intricate twist of dark brown locks with a few white wisps framing her perfectly sculpted face.

"My chere," Remy began as he brought the cigarette to his lips, enjoying with pure arrogance as her emerald eyes followed his movement and settled upon his mouth. He pulled the cigarette away after he took a drag from it. "Were you concerned about this Cajun?"

Rogue frowned at the man before her. Who exactly did he think he was? "They'll be the death of you," she informed him, crossing her arms over her chest as she frowned at the way he was staring at her. "What?"

Gambit flicked his cigarette over the side of the boat into the churning waters of the great river and continued to smile at Rogue arrogantly. "My chere, belle petite was worried," he said as he reached his hand out for one of her gloved ones and pulled it to his lips. His eyes, hidden behind dark shades, were locking intensely with her emerald ones. He kissed her cloth covered knuckles and then stood back to his towering height, never taking his eyes off of her.

"The name is Remy LeBeau. What do the other angels call you my chere?" Gambit inquired in his suave voice that often resulted in a good evening for the Cajun thief. If he was hoping for the same result here, he was gravely mistaken.

The Southern belle withdrew her hand as if burned. His hypnotic gaze appeared to not be affecting her in a manner in which he was used to; instead she seemed annoyed and angry with him.

"I don't have time for this, swamp rat," Rogue growled at him. Her emerald eyes narrowed as she searched his face for some clue. "Why are you wearing those sunglasses anyway?" she asked, in spite of herself. She wanted to turn on her heel and return to Scott inside but felt her feet inexplicably glued to the floor.

Remy smiled at her attitude. She would make an excellent challenge for an otherwise boring venture. His perfect white teeth gleamed in the darkness, for they were on the east side of the boat while the sun was busy setting in the west. He reached up and slipped his glasses down his nose to look at her over the brim of them.

Rogue gasped at the sight of the red on black eyes. Gambit quickly slid the shades back up and sighed silently to himself. It would figure that she would think he was some freak. Le Diable Blanc was probably exactly who she thought haunted the deck with her now.

"You're a mutant," Rogue whispered in shock. For some reason she didn't think they would run into any mutants here. Living in a school dedicated to mutants she forgot that they also lived in the real world as well.

"Rogue!" A masculine voice called just inside of the casino of the river boat. It was quickly followed by heavy footsteps and a young man wearing red ruby eye glasses and a fancy suit. He looked over at Gambit with obvious disapproval before putting his hand upon Rogue's elbow to pull her back inside. "Come on, I know the perfect game to start you off on."

"Alright, Scott," Rogue answered, pulling her gaze away from Gambit, but not before giving him a careless smile. "Let's go gamble!" she exclaimed excited, hauling the man beside her through the throng of gamblers inside.

Remy LeBeau watched her leave. "So that belle's name is Rogue," he thought aloud. He pulled another cigarette from his pocket, but then looked at it distastefully and put it back untouched.

The notorious thief then slipped into the crowds and followed the interesting pair he had just met on the deck. 'Scooter' obviously didn't like him if he couldn't even muster the manners for a proper introduction. A confident smile curled Gambit's lips as he thought the reason for that rudeness was justified. "Better watch your girl, because no femme is safe once Gambit got an eye for her."

A/N: This takes place post-Xmen 2 movie. I'm taking artistic liberties, but the plot isn't too implausible. For the sake of non-English people reading this fiction I won't be writing Rogue and Gambit's accents. revised 6/3/08