Welcome one, welcome all!

So I guess I'm not dead, huh? To those of you who are aware of my other work, Mannequins, the next chapter is on its way! To those of you have no idea who I am, and will probably forget once you exit out (after reviewing, of course), I am E.V.A.N. B., better known as Le Rossignol de la Soiree. And hell yeah, I'm a girl.

A warning to all: this fan fiction is not meant to be a serious epic. It won't dance around the main plot point and mystery, it won't have the regular RoGambit angst, and it won't really be incredibly in depth and spectacular. It's a re-telling of our favorite Southern duo's story, many years after canon. It's meant to explore the characters and who they are, and who they are together. It will consist of TONS of italicized flashbacks, and, by the way, I'm currently working on a companion piece in the X-Evo universe, a one-shot titled "Up To Today".

Plus the chapters will all be very, very short. Because this fic is kinda meant to bring me out of writers block and back into the fan fiction world. Oh, and everything is present tense, so prepare yourself.

Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men, Rogue, or Gambit, since they belongs to Marvel. Duh

They think she can't see past her own small world where nothing makes sense, nothing matters. In some ways they are right. But mostly, it's they -- the ones who take care of her -- who are wrong.

She sees things, perhaps more clearly than they do. She can look into their eyes, and see the pity, even when she can't hear it. She knows what else they see her as. A child, who seeks solace by wrapping herself up in her mothers' skirt. When they ask her if she wants to walk in the garden, they always say for her to be careful dear, don't trip on anything. Not that it matters. If she so much as scrapes her knee, they will come rushing out from their hiding places where they have been following her from, carrying her right back into her white-washed cage. They never follow, though, if he is there.

They had tried, once, long ago. It was one of their first meetings, and the first one in the garden. She herself hadn't been there for too long, a month, maybe two, but she was still glad to see someone foreign inside the brick walls and spiked gates. They were in the court, with the benches and cobblestone paths. They sat down, and she was still slightly uncomfortable with him, not knowing what to say or do. He, on the other hand, was watching her intently, smiling like she was his special Christmas gift he had been asking for since last February. She had only just brought up the courage to say something, when suddenly his smile was gone. The next instant he was barreling over a worker hiding behind the bushes, and she was screaming.

She had never seen him angry before, and this was fury. This was rage. He had pinned the worker beneath him, scowling, with the eyes she loves so much burning. He reached into the brown duster he always wears and pulled out a playing card. Ace of Spades. She wasn't sure what he was going to do, but she knew it'd be dangerous. She backed away.

He must have mistaken it as a sudden fear of him. So to appease her, he tucked the card back into his duster, and stood and spoke to the man, "Never again." and that was it. He never tackled another worker, his eyes never scorched, and his smile would be consistent from then on. Except on their last meeting. Except when she asked him what she had always wondered.

"Did ya know me?"

They had been walking along the walls, she was brushing her fingers against the tamed ivy, and he was staring at her, as always, a slight smile -- which she now believes he never knows he has on -- decorating his face. But as soon as her question was voiced, it vanished. His jaw tightened and he looked away. He never looked away.

"Why y' ask, mon chère? Somet'ing botherin' y'?" He was calm, the questioned voiced soothingly, but she could see his nervousness. It was in his fingers, twitching for something to distract him, like a deck of cards.

"Ah mean, how else were ya suppos'd ta know Ah was here? Ya have ta know somethin' 'bout me. Like where Ah was born, or anythin' at all."

She could see the wheels in his head ticking, trying to come up with an excuse to avoid such a deliberate question. He couldn't. All he could do is distract her, which he knew wouldn't work on something so vital and important to her. So he tried his safest way out: tell half-truths. "I knew y', chère, fair 'nough. We worked t'get'er, f'r a pretty long while."

"How long?"

"'Bout seven years."

Her eyes widened in shock. "That long? Then ya have ta know 'bout me! Ah -- "

He stopped her before the thousands of questions she had bottled up for so long poured out from her skull and into her mouth. "I some t'ings 'bout y', oui, but y' weren't very open 'bout y'self."

She took his hand to pull him down to a stone bench -- different from the one he had tackled the worker from -- and he looked back to her. "Tell me. Ah want -- Ah need ta know this." He started to protest, but she let her heart unlock some of her constantly hidden emotions. Her eyes shone with tears, showing hurt, pleading for him to not try and slick his way out of this. "Please."

He sighed, and looked to his lap where his free hand rested. He touched her face. "I'll tell y', next time I come. I need t' t'ink about a few t'ings first. Den I'll come here an' tell y'. Anyt'ing y' want, d'accord

She wanted badly to shake her head make him tell her what she needed to know now. But he wouldn't, so she released his hand. "Ya promise y'll come back? Ya won't leave me here, right?"

He pressed his lips to her forehead. "Never."

He is supposed to come back now. Today. Today, she will see him again, and today she will know herself. Today, she already waits outside, lingering beneath a tree in the orchard, knowing he will be there soon, with answers. With her, and who she was. Who she wishes she is.

The sun is casting long shadows when he appears next to her, messenger of her former self. He settles next to her wordlessly, clutching some in his gloved hand. She sees a silver glint between his fingers, and she knows instinctively that it was once hers. She has no words for him, nothing to bridge the canyon between her and the shadow of who she used to be. But she knows he will not speak first.

She swallows, successfully quelling some of her fear and doubts, searches for something to say, and speaks with the confidence she can muster, "You're late." and she can smack herself. But she can't fathom what drove her to say something so, so --

He laughs, and her fears are easily fought away by the happy sound. "Yeah, chère, I know."

She blushes looks down to her hands, balled so tightly they became as white as the standard blouses, sweaters, and jeans of her "home". But she has succeeded in retrospect. She has broken the ice. Her next question is smoother, but still delicate: "What's that?"

His hand clenches tighter around the silver thing, as if to make her forget she sees it, and that she knows it must be hers. But he says it anyway. "Yours."

She looked back up at him with a slight smile, and it is not returned. Instead, he wears a look she has never seen on his face, but she can guess what it is. His eyebrows are knitted gently, and his lips purse. Worry. She has seen it enough on the workers to recognize it on anything. He says nothing else, and holds his still-closed hand to her, silently offering her his secret.

She covers his hand with both of hers and pries it open gently. She gasps.

It is a ring. A wedding ring.

She sees black.

Whoa. I bet you all saw that coming. Even if you didn't, can you guess who gave it to her originally? I certainly hope so. Otherwise... jeez what are you doing here?

And I also hope you noticed my extreme efforts not to say either of their names. Not that it matters. 'Cause what other couple has distinctly different southern accents, uses playing cards as weapons, and has eyes that burn?

So, I bet you all believe me now when I say this was gonna be short, huh? Well, I won't keep talking for fear that the A.N.'s will be longer than the actual text.

Bye now! And no Reading and Running! Only Reading and Reviewing is allowed here! Okay, so I'm guilty of the same crime but... I'm just a teensy bit of a hypocrite, you know.

E.V.A.N. B.

(But seriously, there's a little button that requires little-to-no effort for you to press, and then review my new fic. Bye for real now.)