Nor Iron Bars a Cage

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I dont own these characters. R/R.

Its been three days since I saw Gambit and only seconds since I last thought about him. The anger burns like fire in my veins. I hate him. I hate him not just for threatening my life and the lives of my family but for also opening my eyes to the painful truths my life holds.

When convicts are released into society after their time in prison, they experience a peculiar emotion dubbed fear of freedom. These people become so entrenched in their life during incarceration that when they get out they cant function. For them, the real world becomes their prison. In many ways, thats what I am now. I could leave this island, leave this madness and go somewhere normal, yet I stay. This world is the only one I have. What hope do I have of surviving if I seek my fortunes outside its shores? Why would I bother if the world is full of monsters and scoundrels like him, their red-on-black eyes staring daggers into my heart while they charm me with honeyed words? Why live in a world like that?

Its Remys words that haunt me the most. Its the truth in them that makes me toss and turn in bed each night. I can deal with a broken heart even though everyone thinks Im some delicate flower who needs sheltering. Its the truths and the implications that sting me. I havent come out of my room since that night except to eat. Even then, I have no appetite and I dont have the stomach to listen while Wanda and Father debate politics and philosophy. Have I created my own prison here inside these walls? This palace, this city, this entire island is a monument to my father and our family but to me it represents nothing but a cage. Its a very attractive cage, make no mistake, but in Remy I discovered a taste for life beyond its bars. Its a life I simultaneously want yet fear attaining.

Wanda has tried to counsel me, tried to ease the pain of a heart shattered too carelessly and too quickly. She has no right to lecture me. She dares to tell me to remain suspicious of outsiders when shes practically dating an X-Man of all people. What does she know about passion and longing? All she has ever done is worship my father. She plays the dutiful middle child, always overly competitive for Fathers favor even though he gives it to her freely. Shes nothing but a condescending hypocrite and I hate her. If Im trapped then at least I choose the cage of my bedroom over any room with her in it.

What did I expect to find out there? Again, the questions nag me. I expected the world to open wide before me, a plethora of opportunities waiting for me just beyond the veil. Prospects dangled before me like forbidden fruit. He tasted good when I kissed him. He tasted like freedom and adventure. Is this how Eve felt when she heeded the serpents words and bit into that apple? Maybe thats the problem with paradise. Its wonderful until you realize its limitations and its faults. Once you do that, Heaven becomes Hell and your paradise is just a prison. Damn him for opening my eyes and breaking my heart all in one foul swoop. I was happy and content with what I had until he ruined it. Better to shield yourself with a delusion than face the cruel harshness of reality unprotected.

Would it be better out there? Is the grass really as green on the other side? The nagging doubts about Genosha constantly run through my mind. If I had gone with Remy, how long would I have been satisfied? Theres always a new cage to break free from. Like my father, I am never satisfied with a simple piece of Heaven when the whole world is within my grasp. Theres always a new cage, always limitations that keep me from finding happiness. Locking my dreams away and smothering them only makes them stronger.

I knew you were a snake when I helped you, Remy. I knew you would bite me and bite me you did with the cold poison of truth. You showed me the best and worst the outside world had to offer and now I see everything with more clarity. When Eve ate the apple, she became aware of her humanity and its frail limitations. She understood she was no longer invincible. Youve hurt me, Remy, and now I feel the walls closing in around me like never before. The worst part is realizing that when Im finally free I dont know whether I should kiss you or kill you.