Don't own it. Love it. Require reader participation to reproduce exact accents. You know the drill.

Thank you for all the feedback on All's Fair about the Emma/Logan idea. Here's where I get to focus on the spectators to the events of that fic and we'll see if those two become friends or less or more. Ought to be fun.

Aide vous-même. - Help yourself.


Important information about Chess:

Chess is played on ranks and files. Ranks are numbered 1 - 8 from the White's back to the Black's back. Files are numbered a - h from the White's left to the White's right.

The Queens occupy the file of d and the Kings the file of e. Queenside pieces are on files a - d; Kingside pieces are on files e - h.

NOTATION:

b = black, w = white

Q = queenside (from player's perspective at start), K = kingside (from player's perspective at start)

Q = queen, K = king, R = rook, N = knight, B = bishop, no notation = pawn

[a]# = board position (file and rank) the piece moves to

[a]x# = means board file a pawn moves from while capturing and its final board position

x# = means board position a piece moves to while capturing

Keep this in mind for reference, please!


Spectator Sport

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All's fair in love and war.

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Chapter One:

The Queen's Gambit

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In chess, White always plays first. Please welcome the White Queen...

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The Queen's Gamibt is a chess opening consisting of three moves.
A gambit involves the sacrifice of material, usually one or more pawns.

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White 1st Play: wd4

The pawn that occupies the position in front of the White Queen is moved forward two spaces.

Emma Frost frowned at Logan's nonchalant reaction as he sat at the kitchen table, smoking a cigar and playing solitaire late at night. She had just brought up his intolerable behavior toward Rogue, and he had, in effect, brushed her off.

"Logan," she tried again. "You do know she's fuming."

"Good," he mumbled around the cigar.

She waved off some of the smoke. "At YOU, Logan! Not Gambit!"

Logan eyed her while still looking over his cards. "He deserved it."

"She made the bet!" Emma pointed out yet again. "She's the one who put that on the table."

"Like I'm supposed to let him see her like that."

"It was her night clothes, Logan. Not her underwear." Emma crossed her arms. "Though the way you're going on about it, you'd have thought it was going to be naked."

That finally got his attention. He growled at her, matching it with a deadly glare.

She tapped her foot impatiently. "She decided to play poker with him because she had a crush on him. It's the first time she's shown interest in anyone since Bobby. And about time, too."

"If you expect me to agree with you, doll, you might as well give up now."

"Oh, come on!" She sat down across from him, sacrificing a tiny bit in dignity to put them on equal footing. "He's also the only one creative enough to get around her mutation."

"Just keep talking." Logan played down another card. "Give me another reason to skewer him."

Emma grinned. He'd played right into her gambit. "I've got a better idea."

He grunted, indicating she should continue.

"Imagine this." She trailed one finger across the table while imagining it herself. "Gambit completely at Rogue's mercy for a month. She is fuming, remember."

Logan narrowed his eyes. "And how do you intend to pull this off?"

"Rematch."

Logan's eyebrows shot up. "You were there, right? You saw her get stomped into the dust on the poker table."

Rogue was a decent poker player, even a good one, but she had been no match for the Prince of Thieves. He'd wiped the table with the three opponents before Rogue, and took in quite a pot. Rogue had figured she'd lose, so she made sure she bet something that might get his attention anyway: a look at her nightclothes.

Emma, Jubilee, Kitty, and even Ororo pitched in to help her find the perfect set that wouldn't get Logan's claws out and that would atract Remy's interest. They'd found a lovely burgundy lace negligee that hinted instead of displayed.

Logan had Remy up by the claws when he found out.

So Rogue had lost the game and the opportunity. And in the way of illogical teenage girls, she blamed Gambit.

If Emma could get the two together for that long and appease Logan's ideas of revenge, then she would be way ahead of the game in matching up the charming Gambit with the elusive Rogue.

"We'll train her," she insisted to Logan's skeptical expression. "You've been playing for a century, more or less, and can teach her the game and strategy. And I'll teach her all I know about people reading, tells, and bluffs. Give us a year and no one'll be able to beat her."

Logan scratched his chin thoughtfully. "Rematch, huh?"

Emma smirked. "A month of slavery for the Ragin' Cajun. What do you say?"

"I think..." A slow, wicked grin spread across Logan's face. "I like it."


Black 1st Play: be4

The pawn that occupies the position in front of the Black Queen is moved forward two spaces. Final position is in front of 1st play white pawn.

Logan had no problem meeting Emma's challenge. He corralled the angry Rogue, who had taken to beating the mess out of his punching bag in her off hours, and fed her a few lies about not knowing that she had put in that bet, figuring Gambit was up to his usual stuff. She didn't believe him, but she wasn't supposed to. She was just supposed to calm down enough to listen to the plan.

She did.

She blinked. Her green eyes widened and her mouth formed a small 'o.'

"You think it'll work?" she asked him, all innocence and beauty.

Did Emma really think he'd ever leave his girl to a guy like Gambit?

"Yeah, kid. We'll have you playing like a pro."

Rogue was in.


White 2nd Play: wc4

The white pawn that occupies the position in front of the white Queenside Bishop is moved forward two spaces. Final position is next to 1st play white pawn and katticorner to 1st play black pawn.

Rogue had no problem sacrificing her social life to poker training for twelve months. Which meant the social life entered poker training.

Jubilee was a natural. No one could determine anything around that crackling bubble of gum Logan kept telling her to remove.

Kitty was always too serious, but Emma liked to leave scorekeeping to the otherwise untalented (in poker, that is) phaser.

Siryn tended to squeal too much, but she could pull off some marvelous bluffs, even getting the other players to fold when she carried a total mismatched set that would've been high card at best. (Her high card was a ten).

Dazzler was exceptional with her technical skill, but the quieter she got the better her hand. Her real poker face only kicked in at Full House or better.

Rhane would've been a nice partner, except she ate all the refreshments. So they made her bring her own.

All in all, Emma had a nice crew to work with and soon Rogue could read the expression off a stone. Logan taught them the skills, and Rogue was a natural. Eventually, it would be Jubilee and Rogue playing their final chips with Emma and Logan.

It wasn't until all parties had lost out consistently to Rogue that they deemed her ready.

In all that time, they kept Gambit unaware by feeding him the female attention of aforementioned social life. Dazzler even got his name out of him (Emma did not want to know under what circumstances): Remy LeBeau. Emma felt a bit aggrieved at this development, seeing as this whole thing was a matchmaking plot for her, but it was worth the gambit.

She threw Rogue to the wolves.

Well, Gambit.


The Albin Countergambit is one of Black's possible Defenses against the Queen's Gambit.
It also offers to sacrifice a pawn in the interests of a better positional play.

Black 2nd Play: be5

The black pawn in front of the King moves forward two spaces. Final position is next to 1st play black pawn and katticorner to 1st play white pawn. All four pawns are in a position to capture.

Gambit took the bait. Rogue. A slave. For a month.

His red eyes had practically glowed with barely disguised delight.

Logan felt like skewering him on the spot, especially remembering Emma's comments about the romantic potential of this, but he was assuaged by the dangerous gleam in Rogue's eye.

This was about revenge.

So he contentedly played ref alongside the White Queen, who made no bones about reading their minds to ensure no cheating. Of course, she herself wasn't allowed to help either side.

Logan was surprised Remy agreed to the terms. Normally, the Cajun vehementally blocked out any telepathic activity, but he lowered his shields and said, "Aide vous-même, Queenie," earning a glare from Emma over the nickname.

Logan noticed the instant everything changed.

Remy narrowed his eyes at his cards, the chips, Rogue. "Just wondering what you're up to, Chere."

Rogue laughed wickedly. "I'm out to win."

And win she did, much to both Logan and Remy's shock. Logan was positively delighted, even if he hadn't realized she was that good.

This was about revenge. And Remy LeBeau, the Prince of Thieves, the Gambit, the King of Hearts was about to pay up.


White 3rd Play: wdxe5

The 1st play white pawn moves to the 2nd play black pawn position, thus capturing the black pawn.

Both parties played their gambits. White took Remy's and he lost his free status for thirty-one days.

Emma Frost was counting on her chess skills, where both of the men were thinking in terms of poker. If she played this right, Logan would think that their own side was winning, but Remy's gambit would pay off anyway.

After all, it was an excellent Black defense.


A defense is any opening made by Black.