A/N: I'm brand new to this fandom. Warning, I'm a RemyxRogue shipper, all the way, but to be honest I've only read a few of the comic's back issues (I'm working on getting my penniless self some more) and this fic is based before anything that I've actually read. Granted, is a wonderful invention. I love it, but it only takes me so far. I'm still rather confused to just how then entire Antarctica trial and abandonment went down, so if anyone could tell me, that would be lovely, b/c this takes place not long after that. I'm going to tell you now that I've taken liberty with some things… I believe I read somewhere that Remy didn't go back to live with the X-Men after the whole ordeal, well he did in this. Minor things like that. Hopefully I won't put a huge hole in the cannon…
If I have too many blaring mistakes, please let me know.
Chapter One: Sick Days
It had started with a sneeze here, a small cough there. It was nothing, of course. Nothing always seems to progress into a full blown cold when one allows it to. Now Remy LeBeau lay on his bed, curled as tightly as he could get to keep the warmth in. He didn't want to get up to fetch the blanket that he'd tossed off not five minutes before when he felt like his skin was on fire. How could the body be so fickle?
Something in the back of his mind told him that he was supposed to have met Rogue for lunch and then they had a Danger Room session with several of the others. The idea was shoved back with the one about getting up to get his blanket.
Remy let small groan escape his lips and he squeezed his eyes shut as tightly as he could, praying that his pounding head might quiet so that he could regain the few hours sleep that he'd lost the night before and he blamed for his current condition. He was sure that if he'd slept properly that he'd had been right as rain by this morning, but no such luck for poor Gambit.
He sneezed and shivered again, his tired mind finally admitting that he would be getting no sleep this afternoon. Slowly and almost unsteadily he stood and grabbed for his boots that he'd left at the foot of his bed along with his traditional long coat and two-fingered gloves. If nothing else, he'd make an appearance in the Danger Room as to avoid a lengthy and pointless lecture from good old Cyclops later on that evening if he chose to go eat dinner with the rest of them.
"He's late again, Professor."
Professor Charles Xavier sighed and nodded. "Yes, Scott, I'm well aware of that fact."
"Sir, if we continue to allow him to do this he's never going to be any help to the team." Scott turned away slightly, speaking slowly as if he were testing each word as he spoke. "We really know very little about him, Sir. Why is it that you allow him to continue here when we've seen nothing that merits trust?"
"Thought you'd put that behind," Logan's gruff voice came from his back.
"Glad to know someone here's on Gambit's side," a raspy voice came from the door. All eyes turned to see an ashen faced Remy LeBeau standing there, dressed more or less in his traditional outfit, sans the headdress. His hair was falling loosely around his face.
"Gambit, we've been waiting for fifteen minutes," Scott huffed.
The thief gave a shrug. "Sorry."
Remy looked over at the professor and flashed a wide grin. "I'm up for it," he answered the unasked question. It was obvious to the professor, and anyone who cared to notice, that Gambit was not at his top, but, as always, Xavier was ready to let Remy take responsibility for himself.
"Okay, everyone, get ready for the practice run," Scott said sternly. "We'll discuss your tardiness later."
When Scott had turned away from him, Remy made a face that brought a chuckle from Logan. The smaller man patted the thief's shoulder. "Someday he'll get the stick outa his ass."
"Ya really believe that?"
"Didn' think so," Remy replied with another grin. He watched Logan walk to the middle of the room where it would start and felt Rogue approach from behind. She placed one gloved hand on his arm gently.
"You look horrible, sugah," she said quietly.
"Like I told the professor, I'm up for it. Don't you worry none, chere."
Rogue rolled her eyes and gave him a little push towards the others. He was impossible more times than he was not and she wasn't sure why she put up with him. He turned to make sure that she was following and she gazed at him for a moment. Oh yeah, she was head over heels for the idiot swamp rat. That would just about do it.
The simulation started and everyone jumped into action. The team comprised of Cyclops, Jean, Wolverine, Storm, Gambit, and Rogue and the powers flew. It was the workout from hell, with everything from sentinels to Sabertooth, to the rest of the Marauders showing up, to Sinister himself. Not ten minutes into the simulation, Remy felt his head begin to swim. Everything around him felt blurry and he wasn't so sure of his ability to finish this one out. He shook his head, trying desperately to clear it. 'Just a few minutes more o' dis,' he reminded himself. 'Den I can go sleep 'till mornin' if need be.'
"Gambit, look out!"
Rogue was pushing him out of the way before he knew what was happening and he felt himself hit the ground, Rogue on top of him. The simulation came to an end abruptly and Xavier announced that that would be all that he was requiring for the day's practice.
As soon as the professor had left the Danger Room, Scott turned towards Remy, who was still in the process of trying to stand back up without finding his face meeting the ground. Whether Cyclops noticed how flushed Gambit had become or how he seemed to be swaying unnaturally, no one knew, but they did see their leader take out quite a bit of pent up frustration on the ill young man. "What the hell was that, Gambit? You've been showing up late for practices, and you can't even deal with those now. We are a team here, and you better start acting like it or when the simulations turn real, you'll be the death of us all."
"Oh, lighten up, Scott," Rogue drawled. "He's sick. He shouldna been here at all." She turned her attention back to Remy. "C'mon, sugah, let's-"
"No no," Gambit said with a strained smile. "I don' t'ink Cyclops is quite done wit me yet, chere. I'm sure he'd love to yell some more, non?"
Scott flushed with anger. "Perhaps he wouldn't be sick if he weren't up to all hours making mysterious phone calls to heaven knows who without so much of a word to anyone about it."
Gambit's eyes flashed darkly. "That's none o' yer business."
"Just get out," Cyclops snapped.
No one dared speak as Remy simply nodded, took two steps towards the door, and felt everything fade into darkness as he pitched forward.
Consciousness returned to him very slowly and he wasn't too thrilled when it did. The first thing that he was aware of was his aching head being egged on by the beeping of machines. He was obviously in the medical lab. The question was, how did he get there? The last thing he remembered perfectly clear was the simulation booting up around them in the Danger Room and from that point on things had become progressively more and more cloudy until finally everything was black.
Remy tried to sit up only to find that it was more of a difficult task than he'd imagined. There was a IV stuck in his left arm, dripping some sort of fluid into him and his headache was growing unbearable. He reached to pull the needle out when a voice interrupted him.
"Good to see you awake, Gambit," came the calm voice of Hank McCoy.
"Kinda wish I wasn'," Remy groaned as he fell back against the pillow. "How long've I been out?"
"For two and a half hours," Hank answered. "You've got quite a fever raging."
"You getting' rid of it?"
"I'm certainly trying to. It would help if you'd leave that IV there. Yes, that one." The hairy doctor moved around to take a look at the new readings that his machines had taken from the ill thief. "Fever reaches 103.5° F, dehydration, I'd say exhaustion?" He waited for Remy to give him a sarcastic look. "Did you keep lunch down?"
"I didn' eat."
"Ah. That explains something." He made a few marks on his chart. "How long ago did you start feeling ill?"
Gambit blinked a couple times, trying to clear his head. "Few days ago. It's jus' a cold, Hank."
"A cold tha' had you passin' out in the Danger Room, sugah," Rogue's voice drifted into his ears.
"Rogue's been here up until about twenty minutes ago when I made her go get something to eat. I'd rather not have two sick X-men to deal with…"
The young woman in question smiled. "Anda fine job you do of it, Hank. Remy's just a bad patient is all."
"Or no patient. You know, Remy, if you'd come in when the symptoms first started we could have avoided this."
"I thought I had it covered."
"Well ya didn'," Rogue answered him from his bedside, placing a gloved hand on his cheek. "Good heavens! You're still burnin' up! Ain't ya got that fever down at all, Hank?"
"I do, actually. It was 104 when he came in."
Gambit didn't hear much more of the conversation as he drifted in and out of a semi coherent state. Rogue's voice brought him mostly back.
"Remy? You hear me, swamp rat?"
"Ah said that someone's been callin' for ya all evenin'. Didn't leave a name or nothin', jus' kept sayin' he'd try back later. Know anythin' 'bout it?"
Remy groaned loudly. "Oui… Sadly enough."
Rogue glanced up at Hank, silently making a request of him. He nodded. "Well, I have other work to attend to. Rogue, please keep an eye on him. See if you can get him to drink some of that water there and I'll be down the hall if you need me."
"Thanks, Hank," the southern belle called after him before turning her attention back to the ill man before her. "So, what's all this about, Remy?"
"What's what about?" he murmured, slipping back into that wonderful, dreamless sleep he'd been sleeping up until about ten minutes before.
"The phone calls. Scott said somethin' 'bout 'em in the Danger Room."
"Did 'e? Dere not'in', chere."
Rogue frowned. "Remy, sugah,Ah wish you'd trust me…"
"I do!" Gambit rasped, eyes full open now and staring up at her. He struggled to sit up and found himself pushed right back down.
"Remy, you dolt, don' do that! You'll jus' make yerself worse."
"But Rogue… I do trust you. I love you."
"I know, Cajun," she whispered, kissing her gloved fingers and placing them on his forehead.
He sighed. "My father wants my help on somethin'," he murmured sleepily.
"You not going to do it?"
"No. S'not my place anymore."
"But he's your father, Remy…"
"And it's his job t' take care o' the Guild. Not mine. His. He don' need my help."
Rogue sighed and stroked his sweat drenched hair back. "You want any water, sugah?"
He shook his head, pain exploding as he did so. He didn't think he could stomach even that at that point. "Jus' wanna sleep," he murmured.
"Then do. It'd be good for ya." Rogue smiled as she realized he was alright sleeping and pulled up a chair. She'd stay by his side, where she belonged.
An hour later Remy was still sleeping peacefully. His fever had dropped back to 103 and this seemed to please Hank greatly. Rogue felt relieved. She'd been scared half to death when he dropped the way he did in the Danger Room. The only thing she'd noticed other than the main thought of getting him to Hank was Scott's oddly guilty look plastered on his face.
She heard the door swish open behind her and Logan entered, motioning for her to follow him quietly out. She looked down at the sleeping Remy and smiled, touching his face carefully. "Ah'll be right back, hon," she murmured as she stood.
She followed Logan out to the hallway where Professor Xavier and Jean were waiting for them. "How is he?" Xavier asked.
"Doin' better," Rogue answered, relief evident in her voice.
"Scott feels horrible about it," Jean said quietly.
"Well he should," Logan responded in a gruff tone.
"No… Remy's been sick for a bit now, he just doesn't know how to take care o' himself properly sometimes…" Rogue explained.
A silence spread through the four of them until Rogue glanced back toward the door. "Ah better go back in there…Ah don' want him wakin' up alone."
Jean smiled softly at her and nodded. "It's good for you to be there for him. You two have been through a lot."
Rogue looked down at this and nodded. She left quickly and opened the door to the med lab. She gasped when she saw him. He'd grown several shades paler in the last five minutes that she'd been gone, sweat beading up on his skin and sliding down to drench the sheet that was tucked around his bare torso. His breathing was coming in gasps and he was gasping out bits and pieces of a dream, best she could tell.
"Remy, hon, can you hear me?" she murmured softly into his ear, putting a gloved hand over his forehead to brush his hair back.
He coughed, struggling to breath. "Not again!" he gasped through his struggles. "Please… So cold…not again…"
Rogue was starting to get worried. "Remy? Sugah? Can ya hear me?"
Red on black eyes snapped open, wide and frantic. "I'm so sorry," he rasped, desperation sounding in his voice. "I'm so sorry. Roguey, please don' leave Remy… Not 'gain…."
He reached a hand up, groping for hers and she grasped his quickly. "Hank! Get in here!" she called, holding tightly to the Cajun's hand. "Hold on, Remy, shh… It's okay, sugah. Ah'm right here. Nothin' to worry about. Ah'm not leavin ya. Ya couldn't make me. Ah'll be right 'ere. You hear me? You hear me, Remy LeBeau?"
There was no verbal response from the man as he simply clung to her hand and tears rolled down his cheeks.
Hank came flying around a corner, glasses perched on his nose. "What happened, Rogue?"
"Ah don't know!Ah stepped out for a minute to talk to the Professor andAh came back and 'e was like this. Beggin' me not to leave."
He was shaking all over, clinging to her so tight in nearly hurt. His eyes were tightly shut again as if he were fighting the pain away. "So cold," he murmured through clenched teeth. "Roguey…"
"Ah'm here, Remy. Right here."
"I don't believe he can hear you, Rogue. He's having a rather vivid dream…. Or perhaps a memory fused with a dream like state."
Beast nodded. "I'd say so."
"Well can't ya wake 'im up?" Rogue demanded in a horrified whisper.
"He'll come out of it shortly. Keep talking to him. Let him know you're there. It's not so much that he can't hear your voice as your words. Your voice alone may help more than either of us know." He paused, as if debating over his next words. "If it's not too personal, Rogue, might I ask if you two… ever discussed what happened in Antarctica?"
Green eyes widened and then looked away. "No."
"Such a horrific experience for everyone," Hank murmured. "Perhaps it would be in both of your interest to take time to discuss it. It's your choice, of course, but it's a suggestion." He paused again and gazed at Remy's quieting form. "Ah look… He seems to have settled out a bit now. If you stay with him, I do think he should be alright."
Rogue watched Beast leave and felt the grip on her hand tighten again. She looked down to see Remy staring back at her. "Chere?" he rasped, eyes still clouded with fever.
"Hey there. Ya feelin' better?"
"Not by much," he admitted. "Did I talk in my sleep, chere? Gambit had strange dreams an'…"
"Remy…" Rogue murmured softly, reaching her free arm across his torso and laid her head against the blanket that covered his chest. "Ah'm so sorry, Remy."
"For wha'?" he asked, confused.
"For leavin' ya, ya dolt. I left ya t' die and Ah… Oh mah… Remy, Ah left ya t' die! How can ya even stand the sight 'o me?"
Remy sighed heavily and reached an unsteady hand to stroke her hair. "I love you, Rogue. I've said it before, I'll always say it… I love you, more 'n anythin'."
"Ah love ya too," she whispered.
The quiet moment was interrupted by the sound of a cell ringing. Rogue sat up, eyes darting to find it. "That shouldn' be on down here…"
"I'm surprised it's gotta signal… It's mine."
Rogue nodded and went to search through his coat for it. She found it just in time and opened it up. "Hello? Yeah, this is Remy's phone. He's sick, can ya tell me? Well, ya don' have to be rude about it, mistah. 'ere 'e is. Good grief…" She handed the phone to Remy. "Some friends you got, Cajun."
Remy frowned and cleared his throat, coughing as he did. "Oui?" There was a long silence and then a short conversation in French. Gambit's expression changed from irritated, to worried, to irate all in the five minute conversation. He seemed to be wrapping it up as Rogue listened and shut the phone off. Very slowly he pulled himself into an upright position and carefully swung his legs over the side of the bed, pulling the IV from his arm as he did so.
"An' jus' where do ya think yer goin', Mistah?" Rogue asked, a frown on her pretty features.
A/N: Well, there's the first chapter. I hope to either make it a two chapter story or make the other chapters shorter than this. Fifteen pages… Quite a bit more than usual for a chapter for me. Granted, I got what I wanted in there. Soo…. Anyone notice that I don't like Cyclops? Show of hands? All of you? Smart crowd you bunch are:grins: That means you'll review, right? Please? My addictions caffeine and reviews. Simultaneously, if possible. So give me a good cup of hot tea and reviews for next time I log on and I'll be one happy camper.