TITLE: Kaboom
FANDOM: Wolverine and the X-Men
DEDICATION: For xtatriana and whiskpirate over LJ way, who ship Forge/Soup.
CHARACTERS: Rogue, Gambit. The rest of the Brotherhood by mention.
RATING: Teen. Language. Use (possibly even implied abuse) of prescription pain medicine and alcohol.
SUMMARY: When a mission with the Brotherhood goes wrong, Rogue has to make it right…and deal with the fallout.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yes, I know. This is not more "I Get By". However, more of that IS coming. Give me time, ladies and gents. I offer this up as appeasement – something to tide you over until I'm able to provide what you really want.

An explanation is perhaps in order. Over my stay at the andthexmen community over on livejournal, I've encountered more than a few individuals hankering for some Rogue/Gambit action in this particular universe. As I had some time and some inclination, I figured I might as well provide. "Kaboom" was born. Hopefully this may even inspire others to give it a go too.

Many, many thanks to the lovely Mercedes Watson for her input, encouragement, and general awesomeness. It's because of her that you're seeing this now. Cheers babe.

Call it fake, I call it as good as it gets
Nothing in this world is for real
Except you are for me, and I am so yours…

-Marilyn Manson "Ka-Boom, Ka-Boom"

She hadn't intended for it go down like it had.

The plan hadn't involved her dropping the guy, but things had been looking to go south real quick-like with the addition of the new variable. They had been breaking in to one of the many MRD buildings with the intent to cause mass destruction in the usual Brotherhood style, when some idiot had tried to get in their way. He apparently was after some information on one of the computers. The Brotherhood's plan to blow the place to kingdom come obviously didn't go over very well with him, as this would mean he wouldn't get what he wanted. After explaining all this in a thick southern accent that almost (almost!) made Rogue think of home, he proceeded to attack them with volley after volley of what she could have sworn were exploding playing cards. This, needless to say, was not a particularly good thing for any of the Brotherhood.

So, with Domino and Pietro's less-than-polite suggestion that that she suck the sonovabitch dry before he caused more problems for them, she'd yanked off one of her gloves and left his trench coat wearing ass collapsed on the parking lot asphalt.

Funny how stuff like that was happening more and more often now that she'd cast her lot with the Brotherhood.

The upside had been that she was left with detailed knowledge of the building's blueprints, which made setting explosives in all the right places a much easier job.

The downside is that now, as she collapses in to bed still dressed in her uniform, she has yet another voice in her head and a near-migraine to match. This is on top of the general injuries that missions usually entail.

"Things will be better in the morning," she tells herself as she crawls under the covers.

You actually believe that, chere? Or do you just feel better havin' said it?

There is a bottle of T3s and a glass of water on her bedside table. She pops two, and slugs back half of the water. Her pain, and the voice, float away in a narcotic haze shortly thereafter.

Sleep is quick in coming.

She wakes up in a cold sweat from a dream (a nightmare?) of New Orleans. Faint memories of dark alleyways, warm air, and thick wallets liberated from unsuspecting pockets mix with faces she has never seen and yet somehow knows. Graveyards, names, and the taste of good bourbon on hot summer nightsare there too. It's a mishmash of people, places, and things that combine in ways she doesn't quite understand. And yet, maybe she does.

Home sweet home, comes a voice, and lost in that strange delirium that follows nightmares, it does not cross her mind to wonder whose voice it is, nor whose dream she has had.

Then there is the accompanying urge to touch things; to hold them and feel them and twist their otherwise innocuous molecules in to weapons. In the logic of three in the morning, she knows that she could make her bedside table go up in a crackling red explosion with little to no effort. All it would need was a touch, and then…


She reaches out and touches, wanting to see it start to glow, wanting to feel it start to thrum beneath her fingers before bursting to pieces and absolutely devastating the room around her. She can feel her heart beating a little faster in response to the expectation of what's to come.

Nothing happens.

She blinks, and all of a sudden things become a little clearer.

"Shit," she murmurs, drawing her hand back as she realizes what she just tried to do. The want does not leave though, and that urge to touch is only growing stronger as she tries to deny it. Her hands begin to ache as though there's something missing from them and she works hard at ignoring the fact that there's a deck of cards in the living room that would fill the hole just perfectly.

She gets out of bed, going in to the bathroom down the hall – the opposite direction of the living room -- and splashing her face with cold water. The action always seems to help after she's absorbed someone. More awake, she is now more attuned to what of her mind is her right now, and what is the other. Looking up at the mirror, she doesn't see the pair of green eyes she's used to but strange red on black eyes she only recognizes because the latest addition to her mental menagerie knows them for his own.

They don't suit you, do they?

"Shut up," she mutters, bracing her elbows against the sink and resting her head in her hands. "Shut. Up."

She makes a decision to yell at the rest of the Brotherhood over breakfast for not thinking that maybe she'd appreciate knowing that she came home from their latest project with someone else's eyes. The decision is reversed just as quickly because she knows that they won't understand why it matters, and those that think they do will just see it as her sacrifice for the cause.

The kitchen is her next stop. She grabs a can of Dominik's beer out of the fridge – some shitty domestic brand that he only buys because it's cheap – and wonders in passing if she should go lift the cigarettes that Mortimer hides in the left-hand cabinet above the sink.


No, she is not a smoker. That's him, the other, and she refuses to indulge his whims. Experience has taught her that giving in to the new psyches only makes them stronger, and in turn harder to contain. Her grip on the beer grows a little tighter as she heads for the TV room. The can may not fit quite right in her hand – it's no deck of cards – but at least the want for alcohol is hers and hers alone.

It's kinda funny how you're so sure.

She grits her teeth and tries hard not to think of Logan while throwing open the large bay window at the far side of the room with her free hand.

She used to like sitting on the roof at the mansion. It had been a quiet place that none of the others really bothered to go. She could get her head on straight there. Of course, this was back before everything went to hell and she gave the X-Men and The Dream the finger before running away laughing in to the night.

It had worked then though. There's no reason for her to imagine that it won't work here too.

Getting up on to the roof one-handed is not difficult. You lean just right, grab the eaves trough, and swing on up. Simple as that. Never mind how easily she accomplishes this. Never mind that the dexterity she exhibits in performing this act is heads and shoulders above what she's normally capable of. Rogue walks along the roof and tells herself that all those years of practice in the Danger Room were at least good for this much. She does not feel him wanting to quirk a disbelieving eyebrow.

Taking a seat near the highest point of the Brotherhood's house and cracking open the beer, she looks to the East where the sun will rise in a couple hours or so.

"This will pass," she eventually tells the voice. She refuses to use his -- its name. Naming it gives it power, and it already has enough of that as it is right now. "This always passes. You'll go away just like the others."

Lie to anyone you like, girl, but not to me. Or yourself.

Her only response is to take another sip from her beer. It's the deepest yet. She licks her lips, taking an odd pleasure in wetting them that strikes her as wrong for some reason. It takes her only a moment to realize where that came from, and she instantly regrets the concession, however small. Its smile itches to cross her face.

"Screw off!" she yells, not caring if she wakes anyone. In a movement that's the offspring of anger and frustration, she throws the can off the roof and on to the ground below. She pretends that she can't see the bright magenta explosion as it makes contact with the ground.


I'm not going anywhere, and you know it.

Drawing her knees up to her chest, she hugs them tightly. The sun will rise soon, she tells herself, and it takes on the tone of a desperate mantra. Things will be better in the morning.