Author's Note: It's been a very long time. Sorry for the delay! Please enjoy!
Le Diable Blanc-the white devil
Vraiment, monsieur?-Really, sir?
ma amie-my friend (referring to a girl)
"So, I told him that I would, like, never ever date him!" Kitty exclaimed, finishing her story. "And he was just, like—" Kitty's voice trailed off as she noticed the far-off look that had entered Rogue's eyes. "Rogue?"
"Hmm?" Rogue instantly focused all her attention on Kitty. "Sorry. Ah was just . . . thinking." Kitty smiled reassuringly and placed a hand on Rogue's gloved one.
"We both know that they won't stop until they get a cure for you," Kitty told her. "You're gonna make it through this." Kitty's voice sounded so sure and Rogue didn't have the heart to contradict her. She believed in Logan, Remy, and Jean. She knew they wouldn't rest until they discovered the answers that Hank so desperately needed. She, on the other hand, wasn't sure if she could hold out long enough. Rogue prided herself on being a fighter, but it was getting harder and harder for her to keep her eyes open and focus on anything. Even the psyches had gone silent, an odd warning that signaled that something was seriously wrong with her.
"Kitty," Hank said gently, his face etched with worry. "Why don't you go get Rogue something to eat?" Kitty glanced at him and then at Rogue, her mouth hardening into a thin line. She nodded slowly and walked out the door. Hank sighed as he close the door behind her. He met Rogue's gaze and then flipped through her chart.
"What is it?" Rogue mumbled, her voice laced with drowsiness. Rogue shook her head—she had to stay awake!
"Rogue." Hank began and he sat on the side of her bed and placed a hand on her gloved ones. He squeezed her hand gently and smiled grimly. Rogue felt her heart plummet. She had seen Hank do this comforting gesture only once before—when he had been telling a patient that there was nothing more he could do for them.
That patient had died the next day.
"Just tell meh." Rogue muttered. She needed to hear the words to be sure.
"Rogue," Hank said sadly. "I've been over your most recent test results."
"And?" The Southern Belle urged.
"Your body is shutting down, faster than I could've predicted." He explained. "At this rate, you won't survive the week."
"An' the cure?" She whispered.
"If I can't stop what's happening right now," Hank began quietly. "The cure won't be able to help you."
"Ah see." Her voice was clipped and her tone was calm. It was almost like it was a surreal dream—her impending death. It was like she was watching this scene in a movie theater somewhere far away from here. There was a sense of detachment.
"But, Rogue, I do have a sort of semi-solution." Her eyes widened and a spark re-entered them once more.
"What do yah mean?" Hank pulled out a vial with a small green liquid in it.
"This is a stabilizer that Mystique managed to synthesize together," Hank informed her. "If I inject it into you, the nano-bots will be slowed down. Their programing will be disrupted."
"But?" Rogue added. She knew that if this stabilizer was all good news, Hank would've given it to her by now.
"But, the stabilizer will force you into a coma," Rogue nodded her head and stared out the huge window of that gave the occupants of the infirmary a chance to see the outside world. It was getting close to sunset and the sky was filled with light hues of orange as the sun began its descent. "And it's only a temporary solution. The nano-bots will still continue their destruction just at a slower pace. For you to fully recover, we'll still need the cure."
"But this'll buy them more time, raght?" Rogue mumbled, mesmerized by the sun. She had never noticed how beautiful it was before. How many times had she seen the sun and thought nothing of it? Now, close to death, all she wanted to do was stare at it.
"Yes," Hank answered. "But, Rogue, I'm letting you make this decision. I can't guarantee you'll come out of the coma if we give you this stabilizer."
"Hank," Rogue muttered, a smile gracing her lips as she faced him once more. "Ah trust yah." He nodded and then took the vial.
"I'll be back in a second." She nodded and he exited out the door.
Yah scared, chere?
"No," Rogue answered his psyche. She was a bit relieved he was still there. She had been afraid that she would have to go through this all alone. "Ah just gotta have faith."
Remy will stay wit' you chere. He ain't gonna leave you.
"Ah know," Rogue answered him, a sad smile gracing her lips. "Ah know." The door opened once more and Hank grimly entered with a syringe. Rogue rolled up her sleeve and faced the window as she felt the sting of the needle. Immediately, she felt the stabilizer's effects and as her eyes drooped and she felt light-headed. She only had a minute tops to remain awake for her possibly last time.
Rogue, Remy loves you.
His psyche said it with such fierceness that it was almost like he was beside her once more. As she felt her eyelids close, Rogue prayed that she would be re-united with once more.
Remy charged and immediately engaged the man in hand-to-hand combat. He needed to test the limits of this man before he could take him down for good. This man—whoever he was—certainly knew what he was doing. He could keep pace with Remy and had even managed to counter some of his attacks. Frustrated, Remy jumped back and charged a few card. Glowing a vibrant magenta, they flew across the room and exploded.
For a second, Remy waited.
It was a second too long for the mysterious man charged through the smoke and punched Gambit in the stomach. Cursing, Remy defended the best he could and tried to assess his options. He needed the plans and keeping this guy alive would also be a good idea. He probably knew who was responsible for this whole fiasco.
Jean's voice screamed through his mind and Remy almost got distracted enough to let his guard down. He needed to buy more time!
Bit busy here!
He dodged a punch and then quickly counterattacked.
Remy, you've got to hold on a bit longer. Logan is coming to help you out while I probe the minds of the guys who attacked us here. Just give Logan two minutes to get to you!
"You're not as good a fighter as everyone says, Gambit!" The man exclaimed as he continued his aggressive assault. "I was expecting a bit more from Le Diable Blanc!"
"Vraiment, monsieur?" Remy questioned. He needed to buy time. The question was how? "Let Gambit show you a card trick!" He threw cards in quick succession, creating multiple explosions and enveloping the room in smoke. Swiftly, the Cajun pulled out his Bo staff and waited for the impending counterattack.
"Honestly," The man complained dramatically as he wiped dust off from his clothes. "Couldn't you just die?"
"Afraid not, bub," A voice growled from the shadows. Remy had never been as glad to see Wolverine as he did at that moment. Now, this mysterious man was outnumbered and could be defeated. "The honor of killin' the Cajun goes to me!"
"Wolverine," The man greeted with a slight nod of his head. "How are my men?"
"Unconscious," Wolverine growled. "Now hand over those plans." There was pause and Wolverine unleashed his claws. "I ain't askin' again!"
"Really? Well—" The man's voice was cut off as Jean stepped in, obviously concentrating on her powers.
"Give him the plans." Jean growled and the man did what she ordered, handing the papers to Remy.
"Damn telepath," The man managed to choke out. "Can't read my mind though. Too much training to keep you out."
"Now, who are you?" Jean asked.
"You will never know!" He shouted.
"No use," Jean mumbled. "I can't get a read."
"We have what we need," Logan muttered. "Deal with him later."
"Turn around and walk for two hours." Jean commanded and immediately the man began to move.
"This isn't over!" He yelled and Remy shook his head. He didn't think it was either.
"Well," Jean began with a small smile. "That was quite a lot of excitement." Remy nodded his head and then looked at the plans. Staring at them, his eyes widened in realization.
"Dese ain't de plans!" Remy exclaimed, a note of hysteria entering his voice.
"What?" Jean said, her mouth falling open in shock. "What are they then?" Remy's expression grew grim. He knew exactly what these papers in his hand were and he knew who was responsible for this.
Why hadn't he seen it before? She had always sworn revenge against him and had always threatened him and Rogue! He should've seen it, should've known! God, he was such an idiot!
"These are letters," Jean whispered. "To you, Gambit. I don't understand."
"Simple, ma amie," Remy told her with his mouth set in a hard line. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
And Belladonna certainly had enough fury within her to make Hell look like Antarctica.
"Belladonna?" Wolverine questioned and Remy nodded.
"We have to go see her then!" Jean protested.
"It's a trap," Logan stated matter-of-factly. "She wants us to go to her cause we're desperate. Then, she'll take Gumbo here for the price of Rogue's cure—"
"Vas-y," Remy mumbled, beginning to walk back to the jet, when Jean grabbed his arm and pulled him back. "Jean?"
"Logan's right!" She exclaimed. "This is what Belladonna wants!"
"Alors?" Remy questioned. "Remy don't care what we have to do long as chere recovers."
"Gambit, please!" Jean pleaded. "We need to think this through. If we go into Belladonna's trap without even thinking this through—"
"The Thieves' Guild," Logan interjected quietly and he met Gambit's gaze. "They might be able to help."
Remy didn't want to go back home—there were too many memories there, too many people that he had abandoned. He didn't want to get swept up in Guild politics, but Logan had a point. Using the Guild as a defense might force Belladonna to give up Rogue's cure or incur the wrath of the Guild. It was a fact that no one wanted war between the Guilds—not even Belladonna.
"D'accord," Remy sighed. "Mais, we go now!" Jean and Logan nodded and the three of them took a quick look around for the plans before realizing that the plans were long gone. Dejected, they got back on the Blackbird.
"We're getting a transmission!" Jean informed them and three huddled around the screen. Beast's face filled the screen and instantly Remy felt his heart plummet.
This couldn't be good.
Author's Note: Wow! Long chapter! I hope you enjoyed! Please review!