Title: Dream of Guanyin
Author: Tirya King
Summary: The Acolytes need help and the only one who can is an enemy. Will Rogue give in to her darkest fears in order to help her kidnappers? Will she become what she hates for the sake of a child?
Guanyin (great spirit): one embodiment of reaching the great spirit is to cut yourself to give a piece to your patient. It is considered the most loyal thing one can do for another. Often one will have a dream in which the great spirit will instruct you on how to help another person.
A/N: This is a minor Romy which means that it will be there, but will not be the focus of the story. It will come and go. Read the A/N at the bottom of the page because it gives a Chinese 101 lesson you will need to know.
Dream of Guanyin
Part One: Zhaomu Yige Wulai
(To Recruit A Rogue)
"Are you sure this is such a good idea, mate? We're not exactly on her Christmas list y'know."
"I agree with John, Remy. You especially have not given her cause to come to our aid."
The Cajun sighed and ran his long fingers through his hair. "Look, do yeh want her help or non?"
Both of his teammates looked at each other silently, weighing their options. Coming to the X-Man was his idea and he was convinced she would help their cause. But he had to be mad to be so cocky about this. The Rogue was not easily convinced of anything, even by her own teammates.
"Well duh we want her help, mate," Pyro said, strangely serious for his usual manic self. "But she's one of the good guys. They don't help losers like us. Why are you so sure this will work?"
For his part, Remy wasn't sure why. There was just something about her; something that had him convinced she wouldn't abandon them. The look on her face when she came back to him in the bayou… it wasn't for obligation as a 'good guy' that she returned. She wanted to. She chose to help him and his father escape when she had every reason to leave. He would have left if he were in her place. He knew all too well the sting of betrayal.
"Jus… jus' trust ol' Remy, oui?" he asked of them. "De Rogue won' leave us hangin'."
"You'd better be right, Gambit," Piotr said. "We risk much coming to her."
"Hey, you trust dis Cajun an' he get yeh what yeh need," Remy replied with much more confidence in his tone. "Jus' let Remy do de talkin' an' we be out o' here in no time."
"That is what I was afraid you would say," Piotr said with much irony in his voice. But he let his comrade have his way. Remy had had much more experience than he in dealing with the feisty Southern girl, certainly more than Pyro as well. If there was anyone who could convince Rogue, it would be Remy LeBeau.
"Here she comes, gents," John said from his lookout point. They were hidden in a small alleyway near the school, waiting for her to walk past them. Remy noted with humor that it was the same alley he had stolen her from when he needed her services before. He hoped that her habits were the same; that she walked to and from school alone. It would not do for her to be surrounded by X-Men or to hitch a ride from anyone. She had to be alone.
As if the gods were listening to his silent prayer, Remy saw the Southern belle nearing the alley. No one was around her, all heading off to their various rides. Just as she neared the abandoned building the Acolytes were hiding in, a voice caught her attention, drawing her away from her route.
Gambit groaned in defeat, putting a hand over his demon-like eyes. It wasn't that he didn't like the petite Shadowcat, but this was rather important. Much more important than, say, who would be going with who to the Spring dance. Well, it looked like this couldn't be as secret as he wanted, but beggars couldn't be choosers. Straightening his jacket and putting on the most charming smile he could muster he turned to his two bewildered friends.
"Remy's goin' in, mes amis. Wish him luck!"
John and Piotr shared a look of dread that likened them to men before their execution. What had they gotten themselves into? Fortunately for them, Remy did not see this exchange for he was busy approaching the two X-Girls.
"…So then Amara told Bobby who told Rahne who told me that, like, Lance was totally going to ask me out to the dance next week," Kitty continued, behaving much like an excited puppy. It made Rogue smile despite herself. The bubbly girl was always good for a bit of entertainment even if it was at her own expense. Not that the goth would ever admit it of course…
"Bonjour, ma belle filles! Fancy runnin' int' yeh dis fine afternoon."
Rogue closed her eyes and silently counted to ten. She wasn't sure what she had done in a past life to deserve being dogged by the annoying Cajun, but it must have been unspeakable. Opening her eyes she saw said Cajun kissing her giggling roommate's hand gallantly. Better make it 20, Rogue. In German.
"Roguey, yeh alrigh'?" He asked, drawing her from her small meditation. He smirked as she opened her eyes to look at him. "If yeh don' watch where you're goin' yeh gonna run int' somethin'."
"Yeh mean like yeh?" she asked wryly. His devil-like eyes danced in mirth.
"In dat case, if yeh wanna run int' Remy, he'd be glad to catch yeh…"
"Shove off, Gambit," she snapped brushing past him. "Ah'm not in th' mood fo' yo' games. Ah had a lousy day."
"Remy's sorry 'bout that, cherie, but he needs t' talk t' yeh. He needs a favor." She stopped at that, looking back at the Acolyte and Kitty who had not moved as she walked away.
"Yeh need mah help? And you're actually askin' this time? Not gonna kidnap meh again?" Her words were laced with venom. He hid a wince at that. That had stung. So she still didn't forgive him for stealing her away and manipulating her. Not that he blamed her, but this would make it harder to make her cooperate. He really didn't want to force her hand in this. She had to come to him willingly.
"Please, chere, it would mean a lot t' Remy," he tried again, trying to make her see his desperation in his eyes but hiding it in his voice. No need to lose his cool in public. Her jade eyes narrowed and she turned her back on him, preparing to walk away.
"Ah'm sho' it would. But yeh can tell Remy that he can go and jump off a…" Her waving hand not holding her books was stopped by a gloved grip. She flinched at the contact and Remy immediately let go, sorry for making her uncomfortable. But he did not back up from her, blatantly invading her personal space still. She turned a furious glare in his direction, unforgiving of even the brief contact.
"Please, Rogue," he said quietly, for her ears only. "Ah need yo' help. If Ah could avoid it Ah would."
She held his gaze for what seemed like forever. His eyes burned into hers, revealing all that he would not say. But even as his desperation was all but tangible, it was his usage of the first person and her name that finally convinced her to listen. Rogue believed him when he said he had no other option but to come to her. No one could fake that look. Not even the self-titled Prince of Thieves.
She called over for Kitty, still drawn into his fiery gaze. "Kit, go on ahead home. Don't tell anyone else, ok? Ah'll see what this is all about."
Her roommate's flighty gaze at the two Southerners sharpened with alarm. "Rogue, are you sure? You're gonna…"
"Ah'm sure Kitty. If Ah'm not back before curfew, tell Logan, ok?"
Remy didn't offer any objections so the younger X-Girl nodded in reluctant agreement. She still looked a bit worried though. She was fine with the charming Cajun… that is, until he started talking business. He was dangerous and they all knew it. Magneto wouldn't have hired him if he wasn't. And Kitty knew better than to forget that.
Rogue saw her friend's nervousness and broke her stare with Remy to alleviate her fears. "Relax, Kit. Ah'm a big girl. Ah can handle an overgrown Swamp Rat. Ah jus' gotta see what he needs, alright?"
Remy's serious look softened to his usual carefree manner. "Trus' dis Swamp Rat, hein? He won' try anytin' t' harm ma chere. She only kick Remy's ass, oui? 'S alright, petite. Remy promises t' have her back 'fore ten."
Looking slightly more reassured, Kitty nodded again. "What do I tell them? I don't think Logan will, like, like it if I say you took off with an Acolyte."
Rogue looked back at said Acolyte who only shrugged. Sighing at his lack of help she thought. Wolverine could smell a lie a mile away, and Kitty wasn't known for her fibbing prowess. "Say… Ah met up with a friend from back South. Alright?"
The smaller girl sighed in relief. It was vague enough to actually pull off as truth. "Ok. So I'll, like, see you later then?"
The goth X-Girl sent a glare of warning to Remy. "You'd better, or Ah'll do more than kick his ass." He held up a hand, eyes wide with innocence she knew he didn't have.
Kitty ran off after that without ceremony, not eager enough for gossip to be caught in the Southern spat that was sure to arise as it did any time those two met. Once she was out of sight, Rogue turned back to Gambit, a skeptical look on her face.
"Ok, Swamp Rat, yeh got mah attention. Now what's this all about?"
Once more he didn't rise to her 'pet name' like he usually would. He looked down at the ground, oddly serious for once. It seemed that even when things were most dire he always had a joke or taunt ready on his lips. What could bring him to this level of sobriety now that there was no one around to impress?
" 'Xactly what Ah said, chere. Sometin' happened an' Ah need a favor."
Rogue shifted her books to the other hip, uncomfortable with this new Remy LeBeau. "Yeh already said that. Care t' elaborate? Like what th' job is for starts?"
" 'S complicated." His eyes looked into hers again as he tried to make his case. "Remy should explain it in private, oui?"
She visibly watched him pull himself together to be the cocky Cajun once more. This was the Remy she knew. She could deal with this one. "Lead th' way."
Without another word, the former Acolyte walked toward an abandoned warehouse in the nearby alley across the street. Rogue recognized it as the one where she was swiped from by Gambit the last time he needed a favor. Once inside, she was surprised to see both Colossus and Pyro. After Magneto's death, the X-Men had always assumed the two foreigners would have left for home.
"Is she in, Gambit?" the Russian asked quietly.
"Not until Ah hear th' details," Rogue answered for him.
Remy offered her a seat at a small card table. "Dis may take some time." Once she was seated, he began since neither of his teammates jumped to the occasion. "See, de trios o' us ain' 'xactly from de best o' situations, chere. Seem dat every mutant has dere own sob story, non? Well, when Mags wanted his Acolyte team t' put togetha', he used our situations 'gainst us. Remy, Piotr, an' John… de Acolytes ain' nothin' but blackmailed recruits."
"We always wondered back at th' mansion," Rogue murmured, a piece of the puzzle fitting in. Now her once enemies didn't seem so horrible as before. "So now that ol' Buckethead is gone, ya'll are free now, righ'?"
"Wish it were that simple, love," Pyro broke in to the conversation. Rogue was unnerved to see the usually gleeful mutant so downtrodden. What had happened to these mutants that they were transformed into miserable shadows of themselves? "But when Mags snuffed it, the deals he struck to make us join were gone."
"Cut t' th' chase, Pyro," she demanded, impatient with all the beating around the bush. "What happened an' why do ya'll need meh?"
John sighed, looking like one who had to choose the lesser of two evils. Apparently Rogue needed to know more than he wanted to keep the shameful secret.
"Alright, Sheila, you win. My family back in Australia… well, they aren't exactly what you'd call model citizens."
"Well, what exactly would yeh call 'em?" the X-Girl asked wryly. All she could think of was running through the bayou with a crazy family of Assassins after her and the patriarch and heir to another crazy family of Thieves at her side. If Pyro mentioned one word of either occupation, she was walking out on the job this instant.
St. John sniffed proudly, daring her to laugh at him. "My family is in what you would call the business of a delicate pharmaceutical and security nature."
The goth gave him a deadpanned look. "So yo' family's a bunch o' drug dealers and thugs." She commented dryly. Remy stifled a snort at his teammate's highly affronted expression. Piotr merely rolled his eyes at the display.
"So what's th' job?" she asked for the final time. She did not have time for this.
"Well, Mags promised to keep my folks outta trouble if I went and worked for him," John continued, blatantly ignoring the insult to his family business. "And not just from police, love. They're the least of our worries. Nah, we got plenty o' other enemies who ain't exactly thrilled with how much business we get."
"And now that your protection is gone…" Rogue surmised. The Acolyte nodded.
"It means it's Allerdyce season back home." His face grew darker in remembrance. "A week ago, my big sis and her family were gonna come to the States to bring me home now that my contract is up. One of my family's enemies found out about it. My brother-in-law's body was found in the hotel, but my sister and nephew are missing."
" 'S a warnin'," Remy nodded, well-versed in the happenings of crime organization rivalries. "Dey don' wan' de fireball goin' home. Dey tryin' t' scare yeh away."
"Why go through all that trouble?" Rogue asked, more interested now than annoyed. "What did yeh do that makes 'em so focused on yeh? It had t' have been big fo' them t' be so scared o' yeh comin' back. They had t' go t' a lot o' trouble t' get t' yeh…"
The red-eyed Cajun smiled proudly. "Dat's mon ange. Remy knew he needed yo brain in dis."
She was vaguely aware of flushing under the blatant praise, but remained focused on the fire manipulator. "Well, love, guess you could say I got a coupla enemies of my own when I got my powers." He scratched the back of his head, grinning sheepishly. "I'm not exactly the favorite Allerdyce on the planet. The fact that I'm a dirty mutant that works in the family business only makes it worse."
Rogue fought the urge to bang her head against the table. Much as it would hurt, knocking herself into oblivion seemed very tempting right now. "Does everyone have a criminal family? Mah mama's a terrorist. Gambit's a thief. And you're a drug dealer. What does your family do, Colossus? Sell children?"
The Russian looked less than amused. "I do not find this situation humorous."
"That makes two o' us," she agreed. Taking a deep breath, the goth forced herself to relax, "Ok, Ah get th' problem. So what do ya'll want meh t' do 'bout it?"
"Well…" Remy had the grace to look embarrassed. "Since yeh did such a bon job findin' Remy's pere, he thought…"
"Ya'll wan' meh t' zap th' bad guys t' find fireball's family," Rogue surmised dryly. "Glad t' know mah powers are useful t' somebody."
"It ain't like dat, chere," Remy defended himself to the annoyed X-Girl. "We wouldn' even botha' yeh 'bout it if we didn' absolutely need yo' help."
"Please, Rogue," John pleaded desperately. "I know you don't have any good reason to help me, but my nephew… he's only 5, and…"
"Did Ah say no?" she snapped, shutting him up. She saw a glimmer of hope in his flame colored eyes. At length, she sighed. She didn't even need to think about the answer. Not when there was a child involved. And that damn Cajun with his puppy… well… demon puppy eyes. "Ah least ya'll asked instead o' kidnappin' meh."
The Acolytes visibly relaxed, and Remy grinned down at her in triumph. "Well, Remy jus' wanted t' sweep yeh off yo' feet again, chere, mais de boys here didn' t'ink yeh'd take kindly t' it. Dat an' de Wolvie would have Remy's ass on a platter, non?"
She couldn't help but smile a little at his obvious wariness of her mentor. "He told meh t' tell 'im th' moment yeh came near meh again. Ah'd say this qualifies."
"Aw, no yeh don' cherie. If de Wolvie guts Remy, who be aroun' t' protect yeh from dese two ruffians?" he motioned to the other Acolytes. Mere innocents compared to him. She snorted rather unladylike at his insinuations.
"Ah'm a big girl, Swamp Rat, Ah can take care o' mahself. B'sides, Ah'm mo' worried 'bout yeh than them."
He grinned cheekily. "As yeh should be, mon chere."
John rolled his eyes, thoroughly grossed out by the pair. "Ok, will you two lovebirds give it a rest so we can figure this thing out? The sheila's in. Now we need to know how and where we need to go from here."
"Oui, yeh need t' get a permission slip fo' dis extended field trip, chere. Remy don' t'ink dey'd appreciate yeh jus' takin' off in de middle o' de day." Remy agreed. "We can do our plannin' on de way."
"On th' way t' where?" she asked suspiciously.
"T' de bayou, o' course. Ain' no one better than de T'ieves Guild in getting' info."
"Jus' what Ah wanted," she grumbled. "Another' enocounte' wit' you' family."
"An' what's wrong wit' Remy's famille?" he asked, offended that she wasn't leaping with joy.
"Ya'll are crazy, Swamp Rat! Every las' one o' yeh!"
"Remy's offended, chere. An' he t'ought yeh liked his famille."
"Oh yeah, Ah liked 'em all righ'. Ah liked 'em like Ah like a red hot poker shoved…"
"Yeh int' dat sort o' t'ing, chere?"
Rogue turned to Piotr who was watching their tirade half amused, half exasperated. "Can Ah kill 'im?"
"Much as it would entertain me," he replied, "we will need his family's assistance to find a lead on John's sister and nephew."
She scowled at this. "Can Ah kill 'im afte'?"
"Remy t'ink it's time fo' yeh t' go home t' get ready, hein?" he interrupted nervously, ruby eyes darting between Piotr and Rogue.
"So how are you gonna convince them to let you go, love?" Pyro asked, still a bit worried she would not be able to help him. Gambit was right. Without her powers, Pyro would have little to no chance in finding Samantha and Andrew.
She shrugged. Not very reassuring. "Don' worry 'bout it. Ah'll meet ya'll here at midnight, ok?"
"That sounds fine," Colossus said before his two comrades could question the poor girl further. "We will see you then, Rogue."
Rogue nodded and gathered up her books to go. "See ya'll late'."
The Acolytes watched her go. "See, Pyro?" Piotr assured him. "We'll find your family soon. We have Rogue to add to our ranks, da?"
"An' Remy's famille sho' t' have some info fo' us," Remy added.
John sighed absently, but allowed a faint smile to light his lips. Not a cocky smirk or an insane grin as he lights one of his fires, but a real smile.
Hold on, Sam and Andrew. Help is on the way.
End Part One
A/N: Yeah, I know I have two other X-Men fics I just started, but this one is being real nice to me and is offering to practically write itself. The others will be added to in due time, doncha worry. Also, as I am a Chinese major, I would like to use my knowledge of this language into this story. I will be using Chinese throughout as our heroes get closer and closer to their goal and will let you know pronunciations and meanings as needed. For now, I'll give a Chinese 101. Zh's are pronounced as hard J's. X's are pronounced like really light S's. 'Si/Shi' and 'Ri' are pronounced 'Suh/Sure' and 'Rur'. All other words with an ending of I is pronounced with the I sounding like 'eeee'. Um… and ending of 'ai' or 'ei' is pronounced with endings of 'I' or the Canadian 'Eh'. That's all I can think of for now. So for today, Zai Zhen! (goodbye)