Characters: Rogue, Gambit
Spoilers: X-Men Origins-Wolverine
Summary: Out of all the men in Rogue's life, he's the most unexpected.
Author's Note: I tried to keep this as canon with all the movies as possible.
They don't fit, they're not two sides of the same coin. He's the antithesis of her morality, willing to do anything if the price is high enough; her sense of right and wrong is black and white, no shades of gray or room for compromise. She's petite and curvy to his tall and lanky, her skin glows with pale health while his olive tones are dark from the sun and too much nicotine around the edges. She's young and has her entire future ahead of her; he's fought too many battles and can only ever see more coming.
Remy LeBeau and Marie D'Ancanto have little in common, but what they do have in common is so integral to their natures that it can't help but pull them together.
When Remy and Logan first show up at the mansion Rogue doesn't know what to make of him. He's a new addition to an equation of life that has long stagnated for its unchanging nature. She's always the untouchable queen, regal in her ability to brush off the harsh gossip of those around her (no amount of special abilities will stop children from being children); Bobby is always the sympathetic boyfriend whose never quite as faithful as he likes to pretend (Rogue can't blame him). Logan is the elusive father figure whose influence in her life crosses too closely to first love for her to ever be truly comfortable with his support, at least not in manners of romance. It was never a secret that he and Bobby didn't get along; two alpha mutants with mutual interest in her well being and the competition between them was a natural conclusion.
Remy, though, he was new and fresh and experienced in all manners of love and his unique eyes saw far too much for her to deny his conclusions.
"Why do you care?" Despite growing up in the same area of the country their accents were vastly different, her vowels hollowing out where his consonants often disappeared. Rogue noticed things like that, small little details of how she compared herself to him and noted all the differences as if they would make his insight into her prove false.
"I don'," Remy replied, pulling a cigarette from one of his pockets and lighting it carelessly. She didn't tell him that he couldn't smoke in the study; like Logan he wouldn't listen now that Charles Xavier was no longer here to enforce the discipline.
"Then why make the observation?" She asked, turning from the open window and studying him in the afternoon light. Outside the sounds of children and teenagers laughing and playing echoed up, drifting on the wind that lifted the sheer curtains and sent them billowing between the two lone occupants of the library. It was a nice day, the sun high in the sky and the wind only slightly chilled as it blew in off the ocean; the students were taking advantage and making the most of it with pool time and touch football, both leisure activities that Rogue couldn't participate in. Instead, she secluded herself her in the dim shadows of Xavier's fortress, a room only X-Men felt comfortable entering and even most of them avoided it. Rogue had thought she'd get solitude here but Remy proved her wrong.
"A talent for statin' the obvious?" Remy suggested. He moved to stand opposite her, taking in the scene below. Rogue fought the urge to touch the scars on his arms, rough jagged ones that stretched across sinewy muscle. She imagined that if Logan could have scars that would be what they looked like, hard things to match hard eyes.
"That's obvious," Rogue replied, unable to stop the small smile flirting at the corners of her mouth. Why was it that this man, old enough to be her father, could make her smile when her own boyfriend had failed to do so for far too long. "Why'd you let Logan bring you here?"
"It was getting too hot in my home town," he shrugged, "I t'ought a brief sojourn with an old friend might be nice."
"From what Logan tells me you two barely knew each other and haven't seen each other in over fifteen years," Rogue inserted, not believing the lackadaisical tone to his response for even a second. Just as he could read her so clearly she could do the same to him; the door swung both ways.
"Why do you t'ink I'm here, Marie?" He said her name the French way, the 'a' sliding long and musical along his tongue before ending in a strong 'e'.
"I think even thieves need someplace to hide."
"This isn't a very good place to hide," Remy jested as he turned from the window and slid into the shadows again. He was only a few feet away from her but the brightness of the sun as it lanced through the unlit library made it all but impossible to see him. "This building is one of the most publicized mutant strongholds in the country."
"Exactly, hiding in plain sight," Rogue pointed out, the soft tone of justification coloring her voice.
"And you, chere?"
She saw the vague motion of him nodding his head and let the silence build between them. Since coming here to the mansion, surviving the events of becoming an X-Man, Rogue had found her circle of friends sliding from people her age to those much older. Part of it was her abilities taking their toll, stealing her innocence and replacing it with grave maturity, but on the other end of the spectrum was the nature of her life. Rogue was a protector and though many of whom she protected were her age the role placed her above and separate, incapable of forming connections with them. She formed connections with those who shared her role instead, or at least those that allowed her to. Storm remained obstinate to Rogue's overtures of friendship; the betrayal of Rogue taking the Cure, however temporary it turned out to be, remained raw.
Rogue didn't know why she chose to say the words that had been circling round in her head for months now; didn't know why it's Remy she said them to when she had both Bobby and Logan prepared to be her confidantes. Maybe its because they would both comfort her and she doesn't want comfort. She wanted someone who would accept the conditions of her life for what they were, cold hard facts that couldn't be sugarcoated. Rogue wanted someone who had a hard life themselves.
"Do you know that babies will die if they aren't touched?" Her sudden change in conversation startles Remy but she continues before he can speak. "We studied it in psychology when I was still a student here. Lack of affection, physical touch, and they just waste away."
"You t'ink that'll happen to you?"
Rogue shrugged and moved away from the window, away from the light that blinded her from seeing the obvious. "I think I've lost ten pounds and there's a feeling in my chest I can't describe."
For all the ways they were different, Remy and Marie were alike in a very important way; they were both desperate for connections to other people. Remy found his connections in one night stands and stolen artifacts with rich histories that his own could never replicate. Marie found hers in stolen memories and forced friendships with people who pitied her more than actually liked her.
This was a connection that couldn't be faked, this one that formed unexpected between the bitter ingenue and the free-wheeling rascal.
Remy reached out, his gloved finger sliding through a white strand of hair to slide down her cheek. "Butterflies?"
Remy nodded, his hand falling to his side. He pushed off the wall of books and stepped past her, his trench coat dancing around his legs to whisper against her jeans. "It's getting hot in here, chere."
Rogue breathed deeply, her gloves rasping harshly on her jeans as she smoothed down the lapel of her shirt, fingers tangling in the long strands of her hair. "Yes, it is."
"Wanna go for a ride?"
"On your bike?"
His teeth looked sharp as he tossed a careless grin over his shoulder. "Is there any other kind?"
Yes, there was, just not for her, for them.
Without realizing Rogue found herself following him, her eyes connecting with his as she surprisingly found an answering smile lifting her lips. "Will you drive fast?"
"Is there any other way?"
"Will you stop if I ask you to?"
Rogue hesitated on the threshold of the library, the noise of outside fading in the distance as she moved away from the Institute's version of life and closer to an idea of life she could live with.
"Just one ride?"