Chapter 1: Hard Times
AN: Hey! Slickboy444 here! Bringing you yet another X-men fic! People have been so kind to me throughout my writing endeavors that I keep getting inspired. On my last few fics "Darkness and Light" and "No Rain" I have been given wonderful feedback even though their length or quantity is nowhere near that of "X-men: Evolution of the Heart." All the wonderful feedback has helped me develop my skill and refine my talents. Now, my constant daydreaming has led me to write this fic, which I hope you all enjoy!
I got the inspiration for this fic from three very special fanfiction authors; Aro, angyxoxo (formerly known as Remy's Ange), and Leafee LeBeau. All three of which are wonderful authors for Romy, or Rogue/Remy pairings in case you don't know. Next to Scott/Jean and Ororo/Logan, Rogue/Remy is probably my next favorite pairing. That, and I just think Gambit it undoubtedly cool! This is my first ever attempt to write a Romy pairing so please bear with me if I mess up. If anybody out there likes Romy fanfiction, I highly suggest you check the three of them out! My favorite being angy's "A Different Way to a Perfect Ending" and "The Wedding!" That or Aro's "Growing" or Leafee LeBeau's "Home Sweet Home." Any of these are awesome! And if any one of you three are reading this, thanks for the inspiration and thanks for writing such wonderful stories! So this story is dedicated to them and I hope you all read their work as well as mine!
Plot Summery: It's been 3 years after Apocalypse and 2 years since the Phoenix. Scott and Jean are engaged and now home for the summer and much of the X-men are in a state of calm for now. Colossus has joined the team, Magneto has disappeared along with his children, Mystique is gone, and the Brotherhood has disbanded. This leaves Remy LeBeau without a job and without a home. He is in exile from New Orleans, he has a large bounty placed on his head that even his own family seeks to collect, and on top of it all a mysterious man calling himself "Sinister" is after him. Now he is stuck in Bayville, for it is his only place of sanctuary…That, and he has been growing very close to a certain southern mutant from the X-men that has been taking a great interest from him as well. But there is a lot more to this "Sinister" guy than meets the eye. Why does he want Remy? And why does he also seem to want Scott as well? The answers may shock you in "Sinister Secrets!"
Pairings: Scott/Jean, Rogue/Remy.
Rating: PG-13 mainly for blood.
Note: 'these mean character thoughts or psychic communication.'
Disclaimer: I don't own X-men in any way, shape, or form. They belong to Marvel so please don't sue me! I have nothing.
This fic is dedicated to angyxoxo, Aro, Leafee LeBeau, Sentoris, Communist Penguin, Diaz, Darkness1, Enchantedlight, KSimonT-X, Reddfire, Mrs. Jean Grey-Summers, and of course Wen (You especially rock!).
I implore you all to PLEASE REVIEW! Feedback is always a big help to me and my writing. It lets me know what I need work on and it provides inspiration for me to keep on writing! Please send them to me at my email address or post them on the fanfiction website! Thank you all and I hope you like my story! Now, I give you my first ever Romy, "Sinister Secrets."
LET THE SHOW BEGIN! BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER TO REVIEW!
In the heart of the city of Bayville New York, a lone man waited on the bench in the park through the balmy June weather. He had been on the same spot for hours now, for he was waiting for something…Well, more like someone. His name was Remy LeBeau, also known as Gambit. As he waited, he casually shuffled a deck of cards…Passing as much time as he could before 'she' arrived.
For the past year, Remy had held up in Bayville despite this being one of the darker times in his life. Originally, he was a thief and a pickpocket from New Orleans down south. Everyone in his adopted family were also thieves as well. His father, Jean-Luc, and all of his brothers and cousins were all a part of a criminal syndicate and he had grown up in that setting. To them, money came first…Family always came second. And it was for that very reason why he was in exile from his own home.
A while back he had been recruited by Magneto to be a part of his mutant team known as the Acolytes. As a part of that team, he did numerous tasks to further his cause in exchange for money and protection from the increasingly tumultuous crime world back home in New Orleans. But three years ago after the whole Apocalypse incident, Magneto had pretty much disappeared off the face of the Earth along with his two children, Wanda and Pietro. The Acolytes then disbanded uneventfully with Colossus going home to Russia and then returning to join the X-men, Pyro returning home to Australia, and Sabertooth pretty much disappearing as well. And it wasn't just the Acolytes, the Brotherhood of Mutants had also ceased to exist. Mystique had completely disappeared, Todd and Freddy returned to showbiz with a traveling circus, and Lance returned to his hometown of Chicago. This left Remy alone and no reason to be there, so he naturally went back to New Orleans…But shortly after he arrived he was in for a rude awakening. Only days after his return…Remy learned that a rather large bounty had been placed on his head by a mysterious individual. That, and his reckless abandonment of his criminal family had alienated his father and the rest of his adopted relatives. Now, they were out to get him partly for the money and partly for revenge. Either way, he couldn't stay long with all the crime syndicates in Louisiana after him…So he fled back to Bayville where he thought it was safe. But that soon turned out to be a terribly wrong assumption.
Even in Bayville, he was looking over his shoulder every ten seconds out of paranoia. The price on his head was not restricted to his home city…It was here as well. Any gang involved with crime knew about the hit…So Remy was forced to live under the radar. He had no phone…No house…No job…Nothing. He just wandered the streets of Bayville stealing what he could for money, sleeping in any place he could find, and fighting off whatever money-grubbing threat came his way. Even for a man who had grown up in the criminal world, it was becoming all too much. A life of crime was leading him nowhere…And each day was a struggle. He had less than 20 dollars in his pocket, his clothes were old and torn, his hair was a mess, and he hadn't had a decent meal in days. The city of Bayville was far from perfect. Mutants like him were scorned, there wasn't a whole lot to steal, and law enforcement was a little stricter…But he still stayed. And the reason for him staying had less to do with his pride…And more to do with his heart.
"Remy! Over here!" yelled a female voice from afar.
Gambit's ears immediately perked up as he arose from his seat and went to the source of the voice. As he got closer, it became clear that it was that of the X-woman known as Rogue…The main reason why he was still in Bayville and still alive for that matter.
"Cherè…You came," said Remy as he approached the southern belle.
"Of course I came ya stupid swamp rat!" said Rogue with a grin, "Sorry, but it's just been hell finding time and excuses to come out here. Ya haven't been waitin' too long, have ya?"
"Remy's been waitin' long enough…But it's worth it," he said as he managed to flash her one of his winning smiles.
Rogue just smiled back as she linked arms with him and started walked downtown for a bite to eat.
In three years after the Apocalypse ordeal, Rogue had really grown. Thanks to the help of Adam Leech and the Professor, she now had control over her powers and could touch. She was now a freshman in a local community college and still lived at the Xavier institute. She still had the same gothic dress sense and still wore the same kind of makeup that she always had, but now she wasn't afraid to show more skin and be more open. Rogue was pretty much Gambit's only real friend and companion in the world now. With everybody seemingly out to get him, she was the only one who understood him. As Remy himself had once said, they had been down the same road before. And in doing so he had found something in her that only made him want to be around her more. While he was always told that a thief wasn't supposed to fall in love…There was no denying that his relationship with Rogue was getting a lot deeper with each passing day.
"So how's life been treatin' ya cherè? Things at the institute goin' well?" asked Remy as they walked down the crowded streets.
"Can't complain," replied Rogue casually, "It's been hectic with school windin' down for the younger ones. I think Wolverine's on the verge of pullin' his hair out."
"Heh…I'd hate to be around him when he's like that," replied Remy with a laugh.
"Aw, he's not so bad once ya get to know him. It's getting on his bad side that ya gotta worry about. Frankly…I think he's a real softy at heart."
"But he still probably wouldn't hesitate to tear dis ol' Cajun into pieces if he found out that you were comin' to see me every week," remarked Remy, knowing Logan's temper.
"He's just overprotective of everybody. He still can't seem to get around the fact that I'm 20 years old and a grown woman."
"Sounds like the man really needs a girlfriend," laughed Remy.
But to Rogue…That actually didn't sound like a bad idea given how stressed he had been lately.
"Oh…An' before I forget Remy, Piotr says hi."
The Cajun mutant couldn't help but smile. Piotr "Colossus" Rasputin had been his only real friend while he was with the Acolytes. And while he couldn't really stay in touch with him because of the danger involved, it was still nice to know that he was doing a whole lot better than he was.
"Merci cherè, you be sure to say hi back to him for me. So how's the ol' Russian been?" asked Remy.
"He's been doin' great. He and Kitty have been eyein' each other lately ya know," said Rogue with a smirk.
"Kitty? Your ol' roommate?"
"The one and only," replied Rogue, "Ever since that nasty breakup with Lance, she's been spendin' a lot of time with him. I can tell by the look in her eye that she wants him."
Remy couldn't help but laugh. His old friend was falling for the peppy valley girl that Rogue had roomed with for years. In a way it sounded right, Kitty helping to raise Piotr's spirits and Piotr being the strong, understanding guy that Lance Alvers most certainly was not. At least things were going well for one of them.
"What about you, Remy…How have things been goin' for you?" asked Rogue.
The expression on his face quickly sank as he let out an exasperated sigh.
"I've been better cherè…Da whole criminal world still seems to be after me. I can't stay in one place too long…I gotta look over my shoulder every ten seconds…And I can't even find myself a decent place to stay."
Sensing his despair, Rogue gave his arm a gentle squeeze to help alleviate his anxiety.
"Ya know ya could always come to the institute, Remy. I'm sure the Professor will give ya a chance if you just try."
"We've been over dis Rogue," said Gambit shaking his head, "Remy doesn't belong there. There's no place for a washed up thief in the X-men. Besides…Nobody there would ever trust me after fighting alongside Magneto."
"But I trust ya, Remy…" said Rogue, still adamant in her desire to help this man, "Ya've proven to me that yer not a bad person."
"Ya, only after a lot of beggin' on Remy's part. I don't know how ya can ever trust dis swamp rat even after he's kidnapped ya," replied Remy with a great deal of self-loathing in his tone.
"But it's not safe for ya out here!" said Rogue in response as she looked in to his hollow eyes, "People are after you…Ya have no money…No home. The institute can really help ya if you just give it a try."
"As much as I want to mon amour…I'd only be takin' the danger with me if I go there. And I don't think I could ever live with myself if somethin' happened to ya because of me."
Rogue couldn't help but sigh as she leaned in closer to him as they continued to walk the streets with the sun setting over the horizon. For over a year now she had been growing ever closer to this man…This man who was once an enemy. But she had come to know him so much better now. She could see that he had a real heart…And he was one of the few people who ever understood her. He had worked very hard to gain her trust…And in the end he succeeded. He had made it clear that he stayed in Bayville mainly for her. She had come to really like his company…And while she had been trying to deny it for months now…She believed that she was falling in love with Remy LeBeau. And as that thought drifted through her mind, the memory of how they got to this point began to replay again as it had many times before.
"Ugh…Lousy mid terms," grunted Rogue as she made her way to her car in the Bayville High parking lot.
She had stayed many hours later than usual cramming for mid terms. This was her senior year and she thought she would be happy that this it would be over. But because of the exams, she was just plain stressed. Most of the others had left hours ago and she was eager to just go home and soak in a nice hot bath.
But as she approached her car, she suddenly sensed a presence come up from behind her. Reacting defensively, she quickly turned around with every intention to fight whatever this was away.
"Who's there!?" demanded Rogue as she quickly turned around.
"Whoa, whoa! Easy Rogue it's just me!" said a shocked Remy LeBeau.
"Gambit?!" said Rogue in disbelief, "What do you want?"
"I just wanted to see you again cherè," said the Cajun mutant in a calmer tone.
Rogue then took a step closer towards the man who had once kidnapped her. However, her apprehension towards him soon wavered as she took in his raggedy appearance.
"Well, why would you wanna see me? And what on Earth happened to you?" asked Rogue sounded more curious than angry now.
"Remy's had a streak of bad luck lately. Not long after you and your friends beat that Apocalypse guy, somebody put a price on my head and now everybody in the world wants to collect. Even my own family wants that money and they're already pissed at me for leaving to join Magneto in the first place."
"That doesn't answer my question swamp rat," said Rogue.
"I can't go back to New Orleans…Remy's officially in exile now. My family wants me dead…Every criminal syndicate out there wants me dead…And I've got nowhere to go. I got no money…No home…Nothin' cherè. I've been runnin' for months now, but everywhere I go…Somebody's still after me."
"But…Who? Who would put a price on yer head in the first place?" replied Rogue, taking note of the seriousness in his red, Cajun eyes.
"That's just it…I don't know. But whoever it is…They've got me fitted for a toe tag and they're doin' everything they can to get it tied."
Rogue let herself process this for a brief moment. He looked quite different from the man who had abducted her a while back. His clothes were a lot messier, his hair greasy and unwashed, and the look in his eyes were just too deep to ignore. Rogue took a step closer towards him…No longer feeling threatened by him anymore.
"So why come to me?" she asked.
The Cajun mutant just shot her a smile that made her heart beat faster than a drum.
"Because you're the only one Remy can trust now cherè. You're all that's left. I don't know who's after me…But you're the only one I can turn to now."
"And how do ya figure that, Cajun? How do you know I just won't go to the police or collect the money fer myself?"
"Because I know you cherè. Remember, we've walked down the same paths in life. We've been down the same roads. I understand you Rogue…I learned that about you that day I kidnapped you. You're all I have left…I gave you my queen of hearts. I know dis ol' Cajun don't deserve it…But please believe me."
And with that, Remy LeBeau held his breath in anticipation for her answer. He had come to Bayville for only one reason…To see her one last time. He knew all these years of being a thief were coming back to haunt him…And if he could go back and change it all he would do so in a heartbeat. But that was impossible now…He was at the mercy of people just like him. And now his life was a living hell…And if anybody could understand…Rogue could.
The southern belle just looked back in to his weary, red on black eyes. This truly was the look of a lost man…Lost in many of the same ways she had been lost as well. And while he was running and running with nothing more than the clothes on his back, she was living in a warm, cozy mansion with friends and family surrounding her. To her, there was just something about this man that kept drawing her in. There was just something about this man that had stuck with her after all this time. She didn't know what it was…But after he had abducted her and gotten to know her, she felt that he did have a heart. He wasn't just some thief…He was a lot more than that.
Managing a smile, Rogue slowly reached in to her pocket and pulled out the queen of hearts that he had given her on that fateful day. Remy could only look back in shock.
"You…You kept it," said Remy in disbelief.
"Of course I kept it, Remy," said Rogue, "You'd be hard pressed too find a time when it's not in my pocket."
That got the Cajun mutant to smile in a way he hadn't in some time.
"Has it been bringin' you good luck cherè?" asked Gambit curiously.
Rogue thought back as to how her life had changed since she got this card. Since the last time they met she and her friends had beaten Apocalypse, stopped the Phoenix, she had developed a closer relationship with her brother, Kurt, and on top of that she could touch now. Briefly, she contemplated whether or not she should tell him that she was in control now. But in the end…She felt that could wait.
"Yeah…I think it has," she finally responded with a smile.
"Then you should keep it cherè. At least one of us is having good luck…And you deserve it a whole lot more den I do."
With a heavy sigh, Remy felt it was high time he left. He had done what he had come to do…And he didn't want any of his bad luck rubbing off on this girl.
"Well…I guess it's high time I be on my way cherè," said Remy after a prolonged silence.
"What do ya mean?" asked Rogue in a worried tone.
"I came here to see you…I came here to say goodbye. And I've done that now…"
"Wait…Don't go," said Rogue as she moved in closer to him, getting a heavy whiff of his Cajun scent that made her go weak in the knees.
"But…It's dangerous Rogue," reasoned Gambit, but the more he looked in to her eyes…The more determined he became to not walk away.
"I don't care…Look, you gave me a chance once and got to know me better than I knew myself. Now, let me return the favor Remy."
The sound of her voice caused butterflies to do cartwheels in his stomach. Every logical cell in his body was urging him to leave and not torment this girl any more. He just kept telling himself that he doesn't deserve someone like her…He doesn't even deserve to be in her presence. But a nagging voice in the back of his mind forced him to stay. He just couldn't run away from this girl.
"What do you have in mind cherè?" asked Remy as he continued to debate with himself.
Rogue than managed to smile…Casting somewhat of a calming effect on the weary Cajun.
"Come on swamp rat…I'll take ya to dinner. My treat," she said walking back to her car.
The mere mention of food made his stomach growl…But still, he questioned whether or not he should go. The lingering danger of being around him still hung over his mind…But he knew now that if he ran…He may never see this enchanting young woman ever again. And that thought alone…Sealed his decision.
"Come on Remy…Don't make me kidnap you," said Rogue with a smirk as she opened the door to the car.
Remy LeBeau couldn't help but smile as he went over to the passenger side and hopped in.
"Ya still with me over there cherè?" said Remy as the sound of his voice bought Rogue out of daze.
"Oh…Yeah sorry," as her daydreaming ceased, "Just thinking."
"About what?" asked Remy curiously, noting the mischievous look in her eye.
"Oh nothing…" replied Rogue with a smirk as they arrived at the restaurant. "Here we are…Ya hungry swamp rat?"
The young Cajun's stomach just growled again, knowing it had been a week since his last full meal.
"You kiddin? Remy could eat a whole cow."
And with that the two southerners entered and wasted no time getting their food. The restaurant they were at was a Cajun food grill. It was the first place they had gone on that fateful night Remy had first confronted Rogue in the Bayville High parking lot. Since then they had gone out on numerous 'dates,' but Rogue would never openly admit that it was anything more than a simple friendly excursion.
Rogue suppressed her laughter as she watched Remy devour two whole plates of food. Everything he ate was in fairly large portions and smothered in hot sauce. But when he was down on his luck like he had been, he knew he had to make the best of this opportunity or starve to death in the end. While a side of him felt guilty for accepting food from this girl after all he had put her through, she had made it clear that she wouldn't take no for an answer. Rogue didn't want to just stand by and let a man like him suffer…Even though her reasons for helping were a bit more complex than that.
"That really hit the spot cherè," said Gambit with a satisfied look on his face after finishing his meal.
"I'll bet…" commented Rogue as she looked at the two large empty plates that he had just wiped clean of any trace of food.
"Sorry for Remy's table manners…But when you're so hungry that your stomach starts eatin' itself ya just can't help it."
"It's okay…You're still not as bad as Kurt," assured Rogue as she got the check.
"Thanks for bein' wit' me cherè…It really means a lot to me," said Remy as they both prepared to leave.
"Don't mention it Cajun…Besides, somebody's gotta keep you outta trouble," said Rogue with a grin.
"Are you flirtin' with me again mon amour?" said Remy as they started to walk out in to the night.
"Don't push it lover boy," replied Rogue in a somewhat playful tone that not many people would have recognized because only Remy could bring out that side of her.
The night was clear and peaceful…Perfect for this time of year. The summer humidity had waned and the balmy June night had descended over the city of Bayville. Neither of them wanted this night to end right here and now. They knew the time would come when they had to part again for another week, but it just made them want to treasure the time they had even more.
"It's almost eight now cherè. What time do ya gotta be back before the Wolverine starts fumin?"
"Relax Remy, I don't wanna leave just yet…You let me worry about how I'm gonna handle Logan. Just focus on us now," assured Rogue as she took his hand and started walking with him down the busy streets.
"Sounds good cherè…Remy will do just that," said the Cajun mutant with a smile as he seemed to forget all of his bad luck ever so briefly in the presence of the southern belle.
For over an hour, the southern couple just walked around the illuminated streets of Bayville making small talk. They talked about everything from college, to parents, to current mutant affairs. They had no real destination in mind…They just wanted to enjoy each other's company for the time being.
But as they walked and talked their way around the city, neither of them were aware that a mysterious man had been watching them from afar. The man stayed in the shadows, taking note of their actions, their demeanor…Everything he could. His focus never waned…His eyes never wandered as the mysterious man continued to watch Remy and Rogue from afar with a great deal of mystery in his eyes.
"I see you Remy. You think you're crafty enough to escape my eyes, but your little tricks of thievery won't help you here. You can run all you like…But nobody escapes me…Nobody escapes Mr. Sinister."
AN: Well, that's the beginning! And so begins the prelude to this story! So what did you all think? What do you think Mr. Sinister wants with Remy? This is only the beginning, be on the look out for more action, mystery, and romance in future posts! So how did you all like my first real shot of a Romy scene? I've never done a story centered around this pairing, so please bare with me if I make any mistakes. The next chapter will feature the return of Scott and Jean. I hope all you Romy and Jott fans will like where this goes because there's plenty of more story to tell! I urge all of you to send me whatever feedback you can! Send it to me via email or post it on the fanfiction website. Either way, please review! They are always a big help to me and serve as a great source for inspiration! Thanks for reading and best wishes to you all!
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