Rogue couldn't feel anything from the neck down, her whole entire body felt numb and her ears were ringing.
She could barely hear the light female voice calling out to her.
For a minute she
thought she was back at the institute, maybe Storm was calling her
from DR practice?
Nope, the voice had no accent. She opened her eyes and was surprised to see X-23 looking down at her worriedly.
"Are you okay?"
Rogue tried to open her mouth but her lips felt numb too. She graciously accepted X-23's hands and, with her help, slowly sat up.
She was deeply covered in snow. Her exposed skin was now bright red with a tinge of purple.
How long had she been here? Why was she here?
X-23 kneeled down besides her, "Are you sure you're okay? You really got knocked out?"
Rogue's head went into over drive as she began to remember what happed. She staggered to get up, but her legs were still too weak.
"Where's Yuriko?" Rogue groaned, remembering the long haired Japanese woman.
X-23 pointed out to the distance behind Rogue.
Rogue slowly turned her head to see foot steps going as far as her eyes could see.
"She probably ran off way before I woke up."
Rogue rolled her eyes; she didn't care about the other woman one bit. What was missing here? She looked around to see the snow still falling. Something was missing, she knew it.
"Oh God!" She looked at X-23 with tears in her eyes. "Where's Logan?" she asked frantically, finally remembering the explosion.
X-23 avoided her gaze and turned around.
"What happened?!" Rogue grabbed the younger girl's arm, not caring if their skin touched.
X-23 paused before speaking, grabbing Rogue and making sure that she was completely still. "I've been awake for a while Rogue, no one has come up yet."
Rogue could feel her eyes sting with tears. They weren't dead, they couldn't be. They shouldn't be. She struggled to get up and then gave up once realizing her legs were still numb.
"You have to stay still; your body is still in shock." X-23 tried to make her lean back, but the girl wasn't listening.
"Where are they?" Rogue asked forcefully.
X-23 knew that she wouldn't give up until she saw the damages with her own eyes. Slowly she pulled up Rogue and held her up, careful so as not to let any skin touch. They walked for a bit, the blast had thrown they far.
Rogue let out a shocked gasp when they finally reached Weapon-X, or at least where it last stood.
It was just a crater now. Deep and wide, Rogue could only assume that the distance was as long as five football fields. She looked down, hoping to see something that hinted that Logan and the rest were still alive.
All that rested on the bottom of the crater was rubble and a good of amount of snow sitting on top.
"No." Rogue covered her mouth, forcing herself not to throw up. It was all gone. "They still have to be down there."
There was no way someone could make it out alive; Remy had given all his power into making sure no one did. X-23 knew that, she had a sinking suspicion that Rogue knew that too. Otherwise she wouldn't be crying so much.
"No, no. He can't be gone. He can't!" Rogue dropped to the grown trying her best to hold back the sobs that were threatening to come out. Logan wouldn't have wanted her too, he would have wanted her to stay strong and be responsible. To make sure that she and the others were going to be okay with out him.
She couldn't believe it still, Logan had made it through the explosion at the mansion. Why not this one?
"Rogue?" she could feel X-23's hand on her back. "We need to leave. We can't do anything else here anymore."
Rogue shook her head violently, "N-no." she got up this time on her own, trying her best to steady herself. "A-Ah'n not going w-with out Logan." She stammered. A part of her knew she was crazy, but she was determined to not leave without Logan with her.
"Are you insane?" X-23 grabbed hold of Rogue's arm before she could climb down to retrieve Logan's body. "You can't go down there."
Rogue slapped her hand away; she could feel her whole body shaking with anger and adrenaline. "Watch me."
X-23 stood in her away with arms held out to make sure she had Rogue blocked. "That crater is miles deep. There's no way you can get down there, much less climb back up." She could see the tears begin to fall from Rogue's eyes now. Reality was now setting in the X-man.
Rogue massaged her temples, figuring out a new strategy. She wanted to hold off calling the X-men; she wasn't in the mood to telling them they had just lost another friend/teammate. Even more, she was afraid, she had let down and failed everybody.
"Alright. But they all had healing powers, won't that help?"
X-23 nodded, slightly agreeing with Rogue. "Yes. But with this sort of explosion, it might take months, maybe even years for them to recover."
It obviously wasn't the answer that Rogue wanted to hear. She wiped away the tears again and went back to thinking up a plan B.
The eerie silence between them was cut short by a loud noise and then by an even louder "YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!"
The two girls looked at each other and made a mad dash for the crater where the sounds had come from. At the bottom they could see what appeared to be…Gambit.
"Gambit!" Rogue called out. She could feel her heart skip a bit as Gambit began to shout and pump his fists in the air.
"He's lost it." X-23 commented, but her voice sounded just as relieved as Rogue's did.
Gambit was covered in dirt and what looked like a lot of blood, but he seemed happy. A few minutes later another person popped out from the pile of mess.
Deadpool cracked his neck, arms, spine, and just about every part of his body. His mask and suit was half burnt off, but he seemed to be in one piece. He looked at Gambit who was still celebrating his victory. "Dude, that was freaking awesome." He looked around at the mess and then looked up, amazed at how far away the girls were. "Shame we didn't have a camera, we could so totally put this on you tube." He looked up at Rogue and gave her a wave, "Hey cutie, you got any plans on how to get us out of here?" he yelled out.
Rogue wasn't quite worried about that yet, "Where's Logan?"
Deadpool was about to reply when both Logan and Sabretooth came up. They were each covered in blood and dirt. Sabretooth's uniform covered only half his body while Logan's shirt was completely gone. They each seemed to be missing a bit of hair.
"Gotta admit, bub." Logan patted the bald spot in his head and smiled, "yah do good work."
Gambit looked shocked still, he looked down at his hands, "I can't believe it, he's gone. He's finally gone." Gambit could finally feel himself smile sincerely. "I'm free."
Sabretooth grunted his congrats, "Glad you're happy kid. But we got bigger fish to fry." He sniffed around. "Where's Omega?"
Deadpool shrugged, "Probably changing his diapers or something. Not our problem anymore, buddy."
"Don't call me that."
Deadpool smiled, slapping Sabretooth on the back. "Okay pal."
Sabretooth was ready to jump him when he felt Logan pull him back. "Not worth it, bub." Logan whispered into the other man's ear.
Deadpool looked up and gave out a low whistle. "Seriously, they give us healing powers, claws, weapons, strength, agility, the whole nine yards. But no one thought about flying powers?" Deadpool asked incredulously, looking at the three men for support.
"We'll find something to pull you up with." Rogue shouted down. X-23 was half way on her to find something strong and long enough to pull the men with when Logan stopped her.
"Don't bother; we can get up on our own." Logan informed them.
"We can just climb up with out claws."
Deadpool loudly coughed, getting the attention of his three friends. "That's great, for you two. But Gambit and I are missing certain pointy things here." He waved his hands back and forth in front of their faces to make his point.
Logan swatted the merc's hands away and grinned. "Yeah, we know." He and Sabretooth both turned around.
"So who wants to piggy back with me?"
He couldn't see the look of horror on Deadpool and Gambit's face.
"Y'got to be kidding me."
Rogue, Logan, Gambit, and Deadpool had made it to the nearest city. Sabretooth and X-23 headed off on their own. Rogue tried her best, as did Logan, to persuade X-23 to join the X-men. But the young girl declined, saying that she wanted to live on her own for awhile before making another commitment to another group. She wanted to finally live without rules and regulation. Rogue and Logan thanked her and told her that if she ever needed a home, that she knew where to go.
Sabretooth on the other hand left without a word, Logan suspected that in no time that the blond feral man would become someone else's flunky.
Right now the three- Rogue, Logan, and Gambit- were at a crossroad. They were waiting for Deadpool to show up. Rogue and Logan were waiting for Cyclops and Storm to pick them up. Thankfully the city had tons of shops and hotels to get cleaned up and call home from. They all looked normal and casual in the new clothes.
"Are you sure that Sinister is gone?" Gambit asked anxiously, fidgeting a bit. He knew that Sinister could clone his flunkies on a minute notice, and wasn't so sure if there were anything or anyone who could bring him back to life.
Logan shook his head, "Honestly? I don't know, but I can't see how he would do that." he didn't what else to say to reassure Gambit. They both knew that Sinister was a genius with plans always up his sleeves.
Rogue eyed him for a bit, he looked better at least. She thought that he was back to his old self when he began to flirt with the cashier when he bough his clothes (for half price). The cashier didn't stand a chance against Gambit's charm, plus it didn't hurt that he looked good in his new clothes too. Black hiking boots, dark jeans, a black leather jacket over a blue-gray sweatshirt, his dark stubble and long hair made his eyes especially brighter.
Still, it didn't take that long for Gambit to sink back into his funk. He seemed to be on pin and needles as he waited for Deadpool to show up.
"He's gone, Remy. Yah don't have tah put your self through this anymore." Rogue advised him gently.
It eased Gambit slightly. "Yeah, I know." He sighed, rubbing the sweat from his hands off his jeans. "It's just dat. I need to know for good. Just a sign or anything to tell me dat he's finally gone."
Rogue rolled her eyes and smirked, "Yah blew him up to pieces, isn't that proof enough?"
Gambit smiled, finally relaxing. "Guess you're right."
Gambit turned around to what Logan was responding too. "Dieu, he didn't."
A dark red maserati pulled up next to the curb. The engine, along with the loud blaring music cut off and the door opened wide.
Rogue let her jaw drop; she instantly knew who the man was. But still couldn't believe it. Dressed in an impeccable white Armani suit, pink shirt, black wing tipped shoes, and sunglasses was Deadpool. His scars had cleared up, and he looked very pleased with himself as he caught two women eye him up and down.
"Somet'ing tells me you didn't buy dis wid your own money, mon ami." Gambit teased, he caught the garment bag Deadpool had thrown at him. He peeked inside the bag to find a tan Versace suit and blue shirt. "Nice." He arched his brows slightly, "Some old homme missing a few credit cards?"
Deadpool adjusted the lapels on his suit and smiled knowingly, "You know it." He winked at Rogue.
"I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that." Logan growled, crackling his knuckles.
Deadpool pointed at Gambit accusingly, "Hey, he's the one who showed me how to pick pockets!"
Logan shook his head and looked down at his watch, eagerly awaiting the X-men's arrival.
Deadpool looked back at Gambit, "I got probably six to eight hours till the scars come back. And there are some major hotties down in Atlantic City we have got to score on." He looked back at Rogue, "Unless…?"
While he did look good, the idea didn't thrill Rogue at all. He was still the same dangerous mercenary with a mouth. Rogue stepped closer to Logan, "No thanks. Ah'm good."
Deadpool grinned and leaned back against the trunk of the car.
"So." Gambit turned to face Rogue and Logan. "guess dis is it."
Logan grunted, he was slowly warming up to the young man. He stuck out his hand, surprising both Gambit and Rogue with his gesture.
"Sorry, about before." Logan offered, he hated to admit when he was wrong, but he figured that the Cajun deserved it.
"So where are you heading off to now?" Logan asked stiffly, ignoring the look Rogue was giving him.
Gambit rubbed the back of his neck a bit awkwardly. "First off to Atlantic City, den I gotta down to Opelousas." He grinned knowingly at Rogue. "Got a few friends to visit down there."
Logan looked between the two for a moment, catching the look. "Well, if you change your mind, there's always a spot for you at Xavier's."
Rogue's smile got wider as Logan handed Gambit an official X-men ID that Forge had sent over via e-mail.
Gambit took the small card in awe, "Merci."
Logan shrugged, "Just come through the front door this time, and knock. Got that, Remy?"
Gambit smirked, "Aww, you called me 'Remy'. James, I'm touched." He laid his hands on his heart, battering his eye dramatically.
Logan sighed, "Always gotta act like a smart ass, huh?"
Gambit laughed while nodding, "Pretty much or I'll end up like you." He pulled out a bag from behind the bench they were standing in front off. "It's for Summers." He explained as he handed the bag of clothes to Logan. "Tell him I'm sorry…for a lot of t'ings."
Logan understood what he meant. He got an earful from Beast and Storm when he called the mansion. It was one of the main reasons why Cyclops decided to pick him up.
"He really wanted to talk to you, along with Storm."
"Yeah, I know. I left her a note. Y't'ink she will be upset?" Gambit asked, he didn't want to break Storm's heart again, but he didn't want to upset her life again by reminding her of her past.
"I think she'll be okay." Logan looked at Rogue; he knew she was eager to have some time with Gambit before they went their separate ways. He stepped back a bit and pulled out his disposable cell phone. "I should check when the others are coming."
Finally the two were alone again. Rogue could feel her cheeks burn as Gambit checked her out in her new purple long sleeve tunic, black tights, and gloves.
"Sort of wish you were coming back with us." She told him honestly, she knew she was going to miss him. In the end, she had to admit he wasn't that bad.
Gambit smiled, he was hoping she was going to say that. "Maybe, one day." He waved the card between them. "Guess dis makes it official." He chuckled; he was finally going to be part of the good guys.
Rogue stepped closer to him, "Glad to see you back to normal."
"Not yet, mais close to it." He flexed his fingers, "No more pain and no more worries." He was to say something else when Rogue hugged him. Automatically he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer. "Hey," he pulled away from her but still kept his hands on her waist. "Why don't you come wid me?" he smiled at her reaction. "Y' gotta admit chere, we make a good team." He cocked his head over at Deadpool. "And Wade seems to really like you."
The three suddenly turned to see Deadpool holding up an old school boom box with music blaring from the speakers over his head.
"You're always hanging out with Wolverine, couldn't you find some time for me? Gambit's tired playing cards on fire. Don't you know Scott's in love with Jean? Totally helpless, so very hopeless yes its true pretty X-men rogue I love you" (1)
Logan brushed pass the two with a threatening glare in his eyes, "Where the hell did the bub get a boom box from?"
Soon enough the radio was sliced into three pieces.
"Hey! I paid good money for that, well not me exactly, but you get my drift!"
Rogue smirked, "As much as that does sound good. Ah think Ah'll pass." she looked over at Logan who was still duking it out with Deadpool. "Ah gotta stay. Logan and Ah, we still have work to do."
Gambit half expected this answer; he smiled easily and hugged Rogue again. "Can't say I'm not disappointed. My charms might be wearing off faster den I t'ough."
"Ah wouldn't say that."
Gambit grabbed her hand and kissed the back of it. "Till we meet again, mon chere." He gave her one last wink before getting into the car and driving off.
Rogue and Logan stood on the curb for a while as the car drove off out of sight.
"You're gonna miss him."
Rogue could tell he wasn't asking, it was obvious that she was going to miss him. She could already feel the tears run down her cheeks. "He's a good guy Logan."
"Yeah," Logan sat on the bench and continued to wait for Storm and Scott. "I know." Rogue sat down close next to him, and with out a word or warning Logan wrapped his arm around her shoulders in comfort.
"Yah think we'll ever see him again?" Rogue asked after awhile, brushing away the last tear.
"The Prof did say he would join the team eventually. Just a matter of time." He answered her honestly. He made a mental note to ask Charles exactly when Gambit would join the team.
"Just a matter of time, huh?"
Logan nodded wordlessly and watched Rogue through one eye as she pulled her legs close.
"Ah can wait." She was a bit taken back when she felt Logan's other hand wrap around her hand.
"We can wait together then."
Gambit and Deadpool had been driving six hours straight. Both were eager to kick back and relax in Atlantic City after all the drama they went through.
Gambit sat up suddenly at the sound of his name. He could have sworn he heard someone. He looked at Deadpool quizzically, "Did y'hear dat?"
Deadpool shifted his eyes away from the road, "Hear what?'
A chill went up Gambit's spine. The voice was so clear and daunting sounding. "Pull over. Now." He ordered Deadpool.
"Are you crazy?" Despite the talkback Deadpool pulled over to the shoulder and waited as Gambit unbuckled and stepped out.
Gambit looked around him wildly only to see a long stretch of road with a few cars whizzing past him and trees. He looked around, using his empathy to pick up any hostile emotions.
"What's up?" Deadpool asked through the passenger window. He could see the color on Gambit's face had drained.
"N-not'ing." Gambit got back into the car. "I hope" he added on quietly as Deadpool pulled into traffic and drove off.
He never saw the dark red eyes follow after him.
Slightly anticlimactic, but it does seem fitting.
Thanks everyone and I hope you all like this story.
1) The song is from Smoochknob