A/N: I realize that it has been a very long time since I updated this, but I was stuck. My thanks go to chloe08 for pestering me twice a week during Robin Hood rehearsals to finish this. Sorry it took so long!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I don't have a plot for this story. Actually, that's not true. I have ideas. But there isn't really a plot. Just a string of interesting events in the aftermath of... stuff. Yeah. Hope you find this chapter enjoyable. And I hope you'll still stick around, even though we're not really going anywhere. We'll still have fun, right?

Chapter 3: Gambit

In no time at all, the Professor had summoned the entire team to the Rec room. The new team now consisted of the old members - Jean, Cyclops, and Storm - as well as some new graduates - Rogue, Bobby 'Iceman' Drake, Peter 'Colossus' Rasputin, and Kitty 'Shadowcat' Pryde.

Rogue and Logan sat hand-in-hand on the sofa. All eyes, including hers, were on him, waiting for him to begin. Although some of them had not known him personally, they were all anxious to hear what had happened up in Canada.

At last he cleared his throat and spoke. "I found the old Weapon X facility in Alberta. Place looked near abandoned, just sitting out there on the lake. But they'd moved underground, and they were waiting for me. I'd been their only successful experiment during the entire program, and they wanted me back for 'tests and observation.' Guess they didn't know how much I dislike being caged.

"Soon as I saw the trap they were trying to drag me into, I just turned around and left. So they brought out some serious heavy force to bring me down. Sorry about the bike, Summers, but I doubt anything smaller than an eighteen-wheeler would've half-survived the blast they dealt that thing. Bike was pulverized. Did me a good number too. I was still recovering from the blow when they showed up.

"I can only guess at the experiments they've been runnin' in that facility since I left, but that guess is a pretty good one. Apparently, with their mutant gone, they'd turned to working on the native wildlife. An entire pack of wolves with some kind of physical enhancement. Pretty sure their teeth and claws were tipped with adamantium, too. Either way, they must have been darn hungry, or just very well trained, to do what they did to me.

"There were about seven of 'em. Three grabbed my right arm, two grabbed my left, and the other two started gnawing at my shoulder, right where the two plates came together. Don't think I'll ever forget the sound they made when they popped off. Like metal grinding against bones, mixed with the sound of nails on a chalkboard.

"And then they carried 'em off, just like that. And I was left out there alone for three whole days, waiting to heal. With no claws and no other way to get back, I just started walkin'. Got about halfway, too, when my legs gave out. That musta been when Scott and Jean showed up. Much as I hate to say it, I'm glad you got there when you did."

Once he had finished, no one spoke for several minutes. At last the Professor broke the heavy silence. "We are glad to have you back, Logan. And I am aware that you need your rest after such a strain on your healing factor. But there is something that I need you to do. There is a mutant nearby that has caught my attention. He may be dangerous..."

Logan interrupted before he could go any farther. "I don't think you heard right, Xavier. My claws are gone. I can't do your missions anymore."

"You did not let me finish, Logan. I need you to go because you will not be threatening to him. He has been terrorizing people on the streets for about a month now. So far he has not seriously injured anyone, but we need to know just what he is capable of. Think of this as more of a reconnaissance assignment than a seek and destroy mission."

"Well, why me? Can't you send someone else? Scott, I'm sure you'd love to go."

"Scott and Jean have other things to attend to, and Storm is too busy here helping the newer members of the team get adjusted. I'm afraid there is no other choice, Logan."

The tone in the Professor's voice indicated that the decision was final. But Logan offered one final shot. "All right, I'll go. But I'm not going alone. I want Rogue to come with me."

"Go on. Pick a card." He was tall and lanky, with a shock of brown hair held back by a dark blue headband. With the long brown trenchcoat and fingerless gloves successfully completing the street urchin look he was obviously going for, Remy LeBeau was every inch the perfect con artist. The unfortunate man sitting before him at the small table he had set up had mistakenly been sucked into his latest scheme.

"Go ahead," Remy repeated in his thick Cajun accent. "You know which card it is. It is so simple. Just pick a card."

The man hesitated before replying. "Not this time, buddy. Last card I picked blew up in my face!"

"Then I am afraid you lose." With that he began to shuffle the cards into his deck. A collective moan from the onlookers caused him to stop, a sly grin creeping across his face. "You disappoint these people," he said, replacing the cards on the table. "One more card."

With a sigh, the man examined the three cards before him a moment before choosing one. "That one."

Remy gave a wink and the cards all exploded in a brilliant flash of light. The crowd gave a cheer as the man was thrown to the ground in surprise. Remy simply beamed with pleasure down at his victim.

Several feet away, Logan and Rogue watched the entire spectacle from the alley in silence. They waited until the crowd had dispersed before approaching. "Think he's dangerous?" she whispered.

"We'll know soon enough. You know what you're supposed to do?"

"Isn't there some other way to do this?"

Logan held up his fists rather helplessly. "No claws. Otherwise I'd just threaten the info outta him." He paused a minute. "You know I hate to do this to you, kid."

"I know." They exchanged one last glance before she left the alleyway and began moving in the stranger's general direction. She wasn't comfortable with what she had to do, but it was the only way to do this without drawing unnecessary attention. Putting on her most charming smile, she sauntered up to him as he was packing up. "That sure was some trick," she drawled in her thick southern accent. "Where ya headed now?"

"Across town." His voice was calm and even, and he never even glanced at her. "Why do you ask?"

"Just curious." One hand slipped out of its glove. "Man with talents like yours must make a lot of money. So how much would it cost for a kiss?"

At last, he turned to look at her, and her breath was stolen away by the sight of his eyes. The pupils were a beautiful, soft red color, ringed by blue-violet irises. She caught herself wondering if this was what Scott's eyes might look like beneath his visor.

The buzz in her head interrupted her thoughts. What's the matter, kid? Lovestruck? Gettin' all caught up in your job? You got work to do.

"For you," Remy was saying, seeming just as taken with her, "I would give a kiss for nothing."

Then get it and let's go! Without another word, she grabbed his face with her ungloved hand and pressed her lips against his, drinking in his mind in moments. A look of surprise froze on his face for a second before he fell to the ground, unconscious.

"Got it?" She jumped, not having realized that Logan had walked up behind her. Nodding silently, she helped drag Remy's limp body to the waiting car.

A/N: Sorry if you find that any of this isn't plausible. I try my best. And, in the course of this story, I plan on introducing a new character for every chapter. New characters will include those who were in the movies but are no longer in the story due to the changes I have made. I'll still find a way to fit them in. Oh, and some characters from the comics that weren't in the movies but should have been.