Well here it is, the final chapter, wow, I had a lot of trouble deciding to put this up, kinda didn't want it to end. Some of you may not like the ending, but please don't hate me. If you hate tragic endings, you may want to stop now…
Chapter 6: House of Cards
Remy woke to Anna's soft voice saying his name and her small gloved hand shaking his shoulder.
"Remy? Remy, wake up." Anna urged him in a hushed tone.
Remy sat up from the cot where he had moved to for the night, incase he fell asleep and lost focus on the kinetic energy that had surrounded his body, protecting him from Anna's mutation. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and threw the thin blanket from his body, having dressed after leaving Anna's side during the night. He stood up and smiled down at Anna, his thoughts travelling back to the night, but as he looked into her eyes he realized they were full of fear.
Remy hadn't heard the voices at first, but they had obviously woken Anna, who threw on her clothing and woke Remy up in a panic. They came from the other side of the door, and even though Remy couldn't hear what they were saying, he could tell by the tone that they were not happy.
Unsure of what to do, Remy looked around the room for another way out, but there were no other doors and no windows. Not wanting to charge out into the unknown, he figured he'd let them come to him, whoever they were. He positioned himself between Anna and the door, waiting for whatever would come next.
Remy didn't have to wait long. With a loud bang, the door was kicked in. The man, who stood in the doorframe, where he had braced himself to take down the door, was a short and burly man with unkempt black hair. His chest heaved in and out with angry breaths and his eyes were wild. He took a step into the room, stopping for a moment. He raised his nose and sniffed the air.
Anna gasped behind Remy and he could hear her footsteps as she begun to back away, the strange man's actions all too familiar to her as her thoughts flew back to that night and how Creed had done the exact same thing when he had entered the barn. Panic took over and Anna wasn't paying attention as she backed away, her feet became tangled in a fallen blanket, sending her crashing to the floor. Remy rushed to her side as she started shaking, her eye not leaving the small man that seemed to have the same mannerisms as Victor Creed. Remy helped Anna up, but she stayed glued to her spot, frozen with fear.
"Logan!" Scott's stern voice came from behind the short man, "What the hell are you doing?"
"Don't ya smell it, one-eye? The kid's one o' them. I recognize his scent. He was there when those psychos attacked this place." Logan spoke to Scott but glared fiercely at Remy.
All the blood seemed to run from Remy's face as his heart seemed to stop. Scott and Kurt entered the room, their expressions revealing their confusion at Logan's words. Remy wondered, as his heart began beating hard and fast, if anyone else could hear it, his house of cards finally tumbling down around him.
Three razor sharp claws popped from each of Logan's hands as he took another step forward, that animalistic look in his eyes unnerving Remy.
"Heard tell, that the kid who led them through the sewers that night, had the eyes of the devil. Seems they were right, weren't they?" Logan leered at Remy, daring him to deny the allegations or make a move to get away.
"Logan what on earth are you going on about? Who did Remy lead?" Kurt asked quietly, but Scott stayed silent, his face turning to stone as Logan's words sunk in.
"Is it true Remy? Did you lead the marauders down here?" Scott asked with an eerily calm voice.
"What are ya askin' him fer?!" Logan turned on Scott. "He's just gonna lie! For Christ's sake, he got Warren killed!"
Scott ignored Logan, his focus glued to Remy.
Remy looked away from the men before him in defeat. He had been cornered and it would do him no good to lie. His eyes weakly found Anna's and he took a deep, slow breath, speaking to her and her only.
"Please don' hate me petite." Remy whispered softly before he answered Scott.
"Oui. Remy was hired ta do a job, but he had no idea what was gonna happen…what dey were gonna do." Remy hesitated, but continued when no one said anything. "I found all the targets, brought dem together an' got a hold of de city blueprints. I led dem through de sewer...I didn't know, mon dieu, if only I had known…I…I might hav' been able ta do somet'ing. De man who had hired me, he tol' me dat it was just a lab he needed ta disappear, dat de people I had rounded up, dey would be able ta make dat happen." Remy paused and turned to Logan and Scott.
"Ya gotta understand, dis place, it was no hospital. It had children, oui, but dey weren't normal, weren't born naturally. De man, Essex, he was playin' god here, an' when he decided dey were of no more use, he ordered his experiments ta be exterminated. It wasn't right, dey were still children, no matter how dey came ta be. De men…de marauders…dey enjoyed it…I…I was not'ing but a coward. I ran, as soon as I saw what dey were doin' I ran, grabbed a petite femme wit' bone comin' outta her face all which ways, an' tried ta save her, but…Creed stopped me. He took her from me…picked her straight outta my arms…an'…an'…" Remy shuddered and turned suddenly, his stomach churning violently from the horrible memory as the stench of blood seemed to hit his nostrils.
"I say we gut 'im." Logan spoke suddenly, tired of listening to Remy try to explain his actions. Remy said nothing, nor made any moves to stop Logan, feeling that he was finally ready to pay for his misdeeds of the past, not seeing much of a choice otherwise.
Remy tilted Anna's chin up and lent down, hating the fear he saw in her eyes.
"Sorry petite, tried m'best ta be better." Remy spoke softly as he leaned forward, intent on kissing Anna one last time if he had to die. Maybe if she put him in a coma, he wouldn't feel any pain.
"NO!" Anna twisted from Remy's grasp and before he could stop her, she was standing in front of Remy, the fear replaced by determination. Remy stared in amazement, relief washing over him. Anna didn't hate him.
"Get outta the way kid." Logan grabbed Anna's wrist, his thick fingers pushing the fabric of her shirt up, causing his skin to come in contact with hers.
Anna's eyes widened as her mutation activated. She paled at what she saw and dropped to her knees, slipping from Logan's grasp, who stood dazed. She doubled over and grabbed her sides. She screamed.
No one moved as the bone claws popped from Anna's hands. Her hair blanketed her face, but Remy could see the tears flowing as they dropped to the floor unhindered. He dropped to his knees beside her, unable to stay away when she was in so much pain, but she pushed him away violently. Remy could only watch as Anna pushed herself up and ran out the door, pushing past Scott and Kurt in a panic. He went to follow, only to be stopped by Logan, his face etched with anger as he recovered from Anna's touch.
"Where d'ya think yer goin'?" Logan asked.
Before Remy could answer an alarm sounded throughout the hospital. Logan turned and sniffed the air before cursing. Scott looked to him in question.
"Creed." Logan growled before taking off out the door, Remy quickly forgotten.
Scott however scowled at the silent Cajun, whose eyes widened at the mention of Victor Creed's name.
"Kurt, you stay here and watch him. Don't let him leave; we'll have to deal with him later." Scott commanded before turning and running down the hall. Remy went to follow, but was stopped by the fuzzy elf as he closed the door.
Panic set in on Remy, he had to leave, had to find Anna.
"Kurt, please, mon ami, I have to go." Remy begged, but Kurt only glared at him.
"Warren vas mein freund. You ordered a death sentence upon him. I vill not let you leave until you have been rightly judged for vhat you have done."
"It was a mistake dammit! I'm not tryin' ta get away; I just want ta find Anna!"
"My friends vill protect her, she vill be fine. You need not pretend to vorry." Kurt answered Remy coldly.
"You don't understand what she did ta him. She nearly killed him. If Creed's out dere, he'll recognize her scent an' seek her out. He'll go after her an' no one will be able ta stop him. You've fought him, you know what I'm sayin' is de truth!" Remy was becoming frantic.
"And you think you vould fair any better?"
"I have ta try! I made a promise ta de femme an' I intend on keepin' it…" Remy's eyes narrowed as he took out one of his cards and charged it up, "…an' I don' care who I have ta go through ta do dat."
Kurt could tell that Remy was serious and he knew a losing battle when he saw one. He looked nervously to the closed door and back at Remy, the high pitched alarm still sounding off in the hallway. Remy didn't really want to hurt Kurt, he would if he had to, but he tried once more to convince him that it would be the right thing to do.
"What if one of your friends gets hurt out dere? Would ya be able ta forgive yaself for bein' up here instead of out dere doin' everyt'ing ya could?"
Kurt just stared at Remy, letting the words sink in, and then he hung his head in defeat.
"You are right. Ve must go vhere ve are needed."
Kurt grabbed Remy's arm and they disappeared into a cloud of purple smoke.
They ended up in a hallway near the entrance to the hospital. They could hear the battle that raged beyond the hall, as some people pushed past them to find safety and others ran towards the fight in an effort to help. Kurt and Remy went unnoticed in the chaos, and, though dazed from the teleporting, the reality of the situation quickly sunk in, causing Remy to take off full speed towards the attack.
As Remy exited the foyer he stopped dead in his tracks, the scene before him all too familiar, and he wondered if he had gone back in time for a moment, the players all there, all the same. The marauders were attacking ruthlessly and without hesitation, trying to make their way further and further into the mutant stronghold and although they were few in numbers, a grand total of nine psychopaths, they made up for it in power and brutality. Remy saw Scott, Jean, Sam, Henry and Ororo holding them off, along with a purple hair ninja, a giant man made of metal, a man made of ice and a few others. Remy's memories begun to play tricks on him, swearing that he could hear John Greycrow laughing insanely.
"We're the Marauders! We kill mutants! Who's next?"
Suddenly Remy became nauseated, not from his memories as before, but from the way his sense of up and down was quickly distorting. Instinctively he covered his eyes while reaching into his coat. Gritting his teeth he took a blind step forward and with practiced aim threw a handful of charged cards in the direction of her. A green and white haired girl who, for as long as he had known her, had no name, born in a strange and savage land and mutated by Essex himself. The girl went flying from the powerful explosions, hitting the floor several feet away from where she once stood.
Gravity seemingly restored, Remy removed his hand from his eyes as the dizzy feeling faded. She grabbed her head, Kodiak helping her back to her feet. Instead of anger, the green haired girl smiled as though she had just seen one of the funniest things in her life. She let out a low whistle, and although no one stopped their fighting, attention was all shifted to their green haired teammate, who simply pointed with a twisted smile upon her lips, alerting them all to their former sewer guide, who had appeared out of the masses.
Something in Remy's heart dropped. It was then that he knew he was once again somehow connected to this attack. He was their target, the reason they were here, the reason they were killing. They had followed him again. What he didn't know was why, but it didn't matter as the guilt seemed to tear open fresh wounds upon his soul. How could he have let it happen again? And why? What could he possibly have that they would want?
If didn't take long for Remy to find the answers to the questions running through his head, as the marauder's scent hound wrapped a strong arm around him and held one of his razor sharp claws to Remy's neck.
"So LeBeau...joined the do-gooders? Don't they know whatcha did the first time around? Getting' their buddy killed down here, or did ya even bother tellin' them?" Creed's voice taunted Remy with a sick pleasure, "Guess the secrets out now, ain't it?"
Remy grabbed one of the bleached bone necklaces hanging around Creed's neck, charging it in his anger. As Creed let him go, Remy released the energy, letting the string of bones explode. Creed only laughed as the smoke cleared from his charred skin.
"Where is she Cajun?"
They were here for Anna, not Remy.
"Where's who Creed?" Remy countered, he hadn't seen Anna yet, it may have been a naïve idea, but perhaps if they thought Anna wasn't here, they'd leave.
"The frail that messed me up in that barn down in Mississippi. Told the boss 'bout her. He wants her for his…collection." Creed took a swipe at Remy, who dodged him effortlessly, "Told 'im she was with ya, made 'im even more excited. Essex has a special place in that black and twisted heart of his fer ya, don't he Cajun?"
Creed was able to catch Remy, getting a hold of the collar of his shirt. Remy didn't answer his question, never wanting to think about why Essex would find him so…special.
"Dropped de femme after I realized she couldn't be touched. Not much use ta me, neh?" Remy despised himself for speaking about Anna so heartlessly, but it was all part of the act, he had to play the part.
Creed only grinned at Remy, pulling the demon eyed boy closer to him so that they were nose to nose.
"Don't lie ta me LeBeau. I can smell the frail all over ya. She's here an' the boss don't care whether we take her dead or alive. DNA is DNA no matter if it's warm or stone cold." Creed laughed before he threw Remy across the room and straight into the chaos, so that when Remy was able to get back to his feet, Creed had disappeared into the confusion.
Before Remy could get back to his feet, something strange happened. If anyone had been watching, they would have seen a small hand rise straight out of the floor and grab Remy by the wrist. Remy's body felt strangely light as he was yanked suddenly from his floor to the sewers below. He landed hard and looked up to see a short girl with freckles and curly brown hair that hung past her shoulders, standing before him. Behind her stood Jubilee.
"This is him?" the brown haired girl asked Jubilee.
"Yup. Get him outta here; I gotta get back to the brats." Jubilee took off past Remy and around a corner, while the brown haired girl grabbed Remy and pulled him up.
"Hi I'm Kitty and you gotta help me with Anna. No time to explain." Kitty introduced herself quickly before taking off with Remy in tow, never letting go of his wrist.
Remy kept up with the small girl, but as they approached the far wall and it seemed Kitty had no intentions of stopping, he tried to do it for her. Somehow the girl was able to drag him along even though he was a foot taller than her.
"Trust me!" Kitty yelled at him as they seemed to fly at the wall. Remy braced himself for the impact and closed his eyes…but nothing came and when he opened his eyes again they were in a different area of the sewers.
"What are ya petite?" Remy asked as they ran at another wall, going straight through the solid concrete with no resistance.
"Just a girl who can walk through walls." Kitty answered simply, "This is our floor."
Suddenly they were running on air, as if going up an invisible staircase. Kitty took them straight through the ceiling, finally letting go of his wrist as they stepped onto the floor of the place Remy recognized as the medical lab.
"We have to get back to the others in the emergency bay with the children, but she won't let us near her, and I refuse to leave her behind. Jubilee said you'd be able to get her to come." Kitty finally explained to Remy, who looked around.
There in the corner was Anna. She hugged her legs to her body, her face buried in her knees as she rocked herself back and forth. The claws had disappeared, dried blood staining her knuckles where the open wounds had once been, now completely healed over.
"He's here. Ah smelled him. Don't how Ah know it's him but it is. Oh gawd, he's gonna kill meh. Ah don't wanna die." Anna spoke as though she were having a conversation with herself.
"Who ya talkin' ta, petite?" Remy asked as he slowly approached Anna.
Anna looked up surprised to find that she was no longer alone.
"Remy? Ah…was talkin' ta Sam. Ah got so scared, he was just bein' nice ta meh." Anna answered as though Sam were in the room with them.
"Ah know he ain't really here Remy, Ah was just so scared." Anna explained as she saw Remy's eyes fill with a strange concern.
"Tis okay petite, but we gotta go, Kitty says dey have a place where day hide de children. She wants ta take us dere and keep ya safe." Remy held his hand out to Anna, who took it and pulled herself up with his help.
The three ventured out into the hallway, Kitty taking the lead, signaling whenever the coast was clear. The one obstacle would be getting past the battle that seemed to rage on, neither side giving in to the other. For the most part the three went unnoticed, dodging fighting participants in order to get through to the other side. It might have been easier if Kitty was able to phase them all, but in Anna's panicked state, Kitty thought it might be far too much of a shock for the girl and she wouldn't let Kitty near her.
It was Kitty who saw it, out of the corner of her eye. They had been spotted, and as Kodiak threw his charged harpoon with uncanny aim, Kitty jumped in front of Anna and reached to grab her arm, hoping to phase them both and have the harpoon glide through them harmlessly, but something happened, before she could even touch Anna the blade pierced Kitty. The harpoon seemed to have become stuck in Kitty's back and she fell to the floor silently.
Anna screamed and Remy grabbed her, but it was too late. Creed tore the two from each other, tossing Remy to the side and pinning Anna to the wall. Remy pushed himself up only to have Creed turn and grin at him.
"She reeks of you Cajun. Guess ya found a way 'round the touchin' problem, didn't ya?" Creed turned his attention back to Anna, her eyes huge with fear. "Knew there had ta be a reason he was keepin' ya around. Bet he don't touch ya like I did, does he? Ya still think about that frail? About how good the pain felt? I know I do. Maybe we should have a go at it once more before I tear you apart, how's that sound?"
Rage was the last thing Remy had felt. Blind rage.
Remy was too young; too emotional. In all reality, he was stupid, with no real experience in the world of kill or be killed. He had charged at Creed without a second thought, without a plan. His mind full of bloody images as he slammed into the monster and knocked him away from Anna, who fell to her knees in shock. They fought each other as though they were animals, Remy becoming as much of one as Creed already was, taking out all his anger on the huge man who always seemed to be there for the worst parts of his life. After several moments of this, Creed became bored of their playing and decided to put an end to it.
Creed struck Remy, his razor sharp claws making an incision from Remy's belly straight to his chest. Remy stopped, grabbing his stomach in shock before falling to the floor. Before Creed could finish the job however, Kitty came running, looking as though she were a ghost, Logan behind her. Logan took over the fight with Creed, drawing him away from the bleeding Cajun on the ground.
Anna paled and looked to Kitty for help, but Kitty was unable to speak, something not right about the way she looked. Anna crawled over to Remy, the battle forgotten, time frozen as tears slipped from her eyes and looked frantically around for someone who could help. She didn't know where to put her hands, the blood flowing freely and pooling around them both as Remy's insides seemed to slip from his wounds.
A strange smile formed on Remy's face.
"It be very cold all of a sudden chere." Remy said it as though it was funny, causing Anna to let out a horrible sob.
"Don't leave meh Remy. Please don't leave meh. Ah need ya. Ah love ya. Please…" Anna begged as more tears flowed, "…ya promised."
Remy turned his head, which seemed to take all the effort he had left, and looked at Anna.
"Don't have ta leave ya ange." Remy's strange smile widened, "Remy made ya a promise, he intends on keepin' it. But ya have ta help him."
"Ah…Ah…" Anna stumbled on her words, unable to comprehend what he was saying to her.
"Gotta hurry now petite, Remy ain't gonna survive dis."
Anna looked to Kitty to see if what he was saying was true. Though she couldn't speak, her look of sadness said it all as she shook her head slowly.
"Not'ing I want more anyway, petite, den ta be wit' ya forever. A part of ya forever. One lasting kiss."
Anna's sobs continued as she leaned down, her warm tears falling on Remy's cheeks, but before she could make contact, Remy spoke once more.
"Please forget all the wrong I've done petite. Don't resent Remy, you've helped him become better, become someone ta be missed. Just remember he'll always be here." Anna could feel Remy's hand as he raised it for a mere second to rest it on her heart, "Remy's story started on that strange night chere. It started with you…leave out all the rest."
"Ah will Remy. Ah promise."
"Je vous aime Anna. Avec tout mon Coeur."
Anna closed her eyes and closed the gap between them, her heart racing as strange memories flooded her mind. Remy could feel the strange sensation as all his energy was taken from him, and, as Anna gasped, the shock of so many things rushing into her mind so rapidly, and pulled away; he grabbed her wrist with his last bit of will, wanting to be a part of her life, if not in body, then in soul. He would never leave her.
Slowly his lips parted once more as he mumbled softly as though he were in a dream.
"Leave out all the rest…"
Well this is it. I know, it's kinda tragic, but when I started this story, this was the ending I already had in mind and kinda had to work backwards in order to get to it. I somehow see it as the ultimate romantic ending, having Rogue and Gambit become one.
It is a little bit open ended, but I didn't feel right continuing the story as it was mainly from Remy's point of view. I have a follow up story from Rogue's point of view if demanded, but I need a little break to get some of the one shots out of my head and onto paper. Way too many ideas going through my head now that I found that I enjoy writing.
Big, BIG THANK YOUs to everyone who read, reviewed, faved, and put me on alert! I was absolutely amazed that so many people enjoyed this and am so thrilled I was able to get through a story and finish for the first time ever!
Tamarai: Thanks for the wonderful reviews; I've been unable to reply to them because of the whole chapter thing, but thank you very much!