Sins of the Father
An X-Men One-Shot
Written by RogueMoon
It had been a week since Gambit had returned from fighting a man he called "New Son." Or perhaps it was "New Sun." Whatever the spelling, all were quite certain whomever it had been could not hold a candle to Remy LeBeau's cute buns. The man made sure the mansion was aware of this fact for some reason.
Whatever had happened during the fight, the mutant's powers – after suddenly flaring up and briefly granting Gambit status as an Omega – were now back to their usual level. The Cajun, when asked, would shrug and make a comment about 'burning out'. Burning out what was obvious. It was the how that those worried about the strange fluctuations were, well, worried about.
But it was Friday afternoon and such worry could be put on the back burner. The couple hundred students now residing at the school, who obviously were kept in the dark about certain aspects of their teachers lives – such as Gambit being a thief, power flares, etc – were mostly hanging out at the regular backyard barbecue. Some were off campus doing normal activities like movies and shopping. But the majority, especially among the younger students, were scattered across the expansive lawn at the back of the mansion.
A group of them had started a game of frisbee, another large number were swimming, quite a few were already lined up and waiting for the burgers and dogs that would soon be taken hot off the grill. And still more were just laying about or running around laughing, using their powers without worry.
The mutant known as Rogue watched from the lifeguard tower, covered in a wetsuit that left nothing to the imagination. She had many admirers from amongst the student population and one in particular within the staff.
The material was the standard wet suit material, but had been made to give the illusion of her wearing a green and yellow one piece. Flesh colored cloth stretching out over her neck, arms and legs. She had gotten it for him. And he, of course, did not disappoint in his obvious appreciation of her.
She wiggled her fingers, hidden by yellow kid gloves, at him where he lay stretched out in all his glory... well, not all his glory, he was wearing a bathing suit. A very skimpy one by any standard. And she enjoyed the view as much as he enjoyed his of her. As did many of the female population of the school.
Sometimes, Rogue's life did not entirely suck. Being the object of jealousy from amongst her students for not only her good looks, but for unquestionably having the most attractive boyfriend living in the mansion, gave her ego a nice little boost.
"Hey Stripes, if you'll stop oggling Gumbo for five seconds, could you tell me whats up with the crowd forming near the tree line? Winds going the wrong way and I can't get a smell off it," Logan called up to her and she had the presence of mind to blush guiltily before checking the pool and then looking out over the grounds.
A group of students, growing as it slowly moved toward the mansion had gathered around a singular figure. One that was hard to make out at first, the sun competing for Rogue's sight. When she did manage to make out an all too familiar form, she picked up the bull horn and shouted for all students to begin an evacuation drill.
Logan and the others were instantly on alert as the students themselves groaned as they gave up their activities and began moving to one side of the field or the other, lining up and waiting for the teachers to get to the proper groups or the designated student leader to take charge.
Frost sent a question to Rogue as the crowd around the intruder dissipated and it she found no need to give an answer. The man did so for himself.
Walking casually toward the gathering forces of the X-Men, hands clamped behind his back, was a man who needed no introduction to any of them. Mr. Sinister.
The field team poured into one central spot, the patio in front of the pool, doing their best to keep the scientists' attention on them and not their students. Now mentally linked by Xavier, they had Forge checking the security tapes and Frost scanning the grounds for any sign of the Marauders.
Xavier, seated in his hover chair, moved himself in front of the team, which spread out like unfurled wings around him.
"That is far enough, Mr. Essex," he called out when the man was within ear shot. Scanning the man's mind had, of course, been useless. He was just as skilled a telepath as Charles. To his mild surprise, Sinister actually did stop in his tracks. "What do you want here?"
The man smiled, pointed teeth like a shark exposed to the field. The students edging forward to try and see and listen to what was going on, catching his attention as he casually glanced around before answering, "I am here for my son."
"I'm not your son, Sinister!" Scott barked angrily, "You-"
"I was not referring to you," the cold tone interrupted as an equally cold gaze was settled on Cyclops. "Contrary to popular belief, my world does not revolve around Scott Summers and what new underwear he's wearing or who he's sleeping with. Though I am disappointed you have given up on nightly activities with Mrs. Grey. So much potential wasted." He sighed and shook his head before looking back at Charles, "I am here for my son. He should be expecting me."
Before Xavier could answer the cold, red eyes slid away and settled on another man, "Aren't you, Remington?"
Gambit's face had contorted into a snarl of disgust and hatred, his fist balled up and his eyes glowing as red at the man claiming to be his father.
"You know why I'm here, my boy."
The Cajun spat on the ground.
A sigh of suffering, "If you don't want the tissue to decay and cause internal issues, such as infection that could lead to tumors, it will have to be removed. And while my patience with you and your tantrums has grown exceedingly thin these last few years, you are still worth more to me alive than dead."
The rest of the X-Men were looking between Gambit and Sinister. Most of them confused over the conversation. Not that Sinister claiming to Remy's father was much of a surprise - he had used the same ploy in regards to Scott and Alex - but rather that Sinister wasn't just trying to kidnap the man. They definitely wanted answers and they definitely didn't want harm to come to the students.
Xavier's voice entering their minds and asking that they not make the first move was all that held most of them back from just destroying the guy. Logan especially.
"You ain't my father," Gambit growled out, anger pouring off him in almost palpable waves. It was painfully obvious that he was stalling for time. But with Xavier's words, no one was sure why. "My father is Jean-luc."
"Your adoptive father. The one that stole you from m-"
"He stole me from de gutter!"
"After you were stolen from the hospital by their guild and left in the care of Fagan to see if you could fulfill their insufferable prophecy."
"You ain't my father."
"It's Remy. Gambit to you."
"-time grows short and I am in no mood to deal with your tantrums." It was a threat.
Gambit's body seemed to shake as his head finally fell. A clear sign he had given in, "Fine. But it happens here. In Henri's lab. Henri gets ta watch and help if needed. The Spooks get ta watch too. Don't want no funny business."
Sinister's response caught the rest of the observers – those close enough to hear – sufficiently off guard that they didn't immediately step in to stop the doctor or Remy as they began walking inside. Essex following Gambit.
Logan flexed his claws and all eyes fell to the Professor, who was simply watching the two walk off with a contemplative look in his eyes.
Henry? Please lock down the basement and prepare for the immediate arrival of a patient and his... doctor. I do not want the doctor to have access to anything except the medical facilities. And only the necessary ones.
A surprised acceptance followed and then Xavier entered the mansion on the heels of Gambit and Essex. He could feel the eyes of the other X-Men on him. Their confusion and worry.
Take the students off alert and close the pool. Order out for dinner, but get them inside and into safer conditions just in case. I do not sense any immediate threat from Sinister, but that could change. Once the students are taken care of, I want the rest of you to begin standard guard rotations on the Med Lab for the duration of Dr. Essex's stay. Emma, I want you and I to take turns watching him for any sign of psychic tampering he may attempt on Remy.
There were protests, of course. But when had that ever stopped any of them from doing things like this?
The students were not at all thrilled at having to stay inside for the time being. But by now they all knew it was because of the strange man who had appeared at the far end of the grounds and had what some said sounded and looked like an argument with the teachers before being led inside.
The teachers were asked questions about this. The students dying to know the answers because this was obviously very gossip worthy. They avoided asking Mr. Logan. In turn, he avoided gutting them.
One of the students took matters into her own hands. She could talk to machines and it was easy really, for her to get access to the security cameras in the below ground levels. Everything was empty until she got to the Med Lab. At that point, she had all the TV's in the student rooms – avoiding the three lounges because the teachers didn't need to know about this – showing the footage as the sexy Mr. LeBeau entered the medical facilities followed by the strange visitor. After a few minutes she finally got the system to cooperate and give her sound.
It was astonishing to the teachers how fast all the students seemed to want to go to their rooms and watch TV for the rest of the afternoon. If their minds had not been so focused on Mr. Sinister being in the basement, they might have looked into it further and not brushed it off as the wasting of today's youth.
The students, for their part, tuned into the unfolding drama that at the very least was something interesting to do. Popcorn was made, sodas were drunk. All eyes and ears were held in rapt attention to the life and times of Remy LeBeau.
"Oh my stars and garters," Hank whispered as he dropped his notepad, eyes wide and glued to the man behind Gambit.
"Allo, Henri. Need you ta do me a favor, sil vous plait," Remy said quietly, stepping into McCoy's line of sight to get the doctor to focus on him. The low whir of Xavier's chair announced the professor's arrival while Hank turned to the Cajun.
"I suppose this favor has to do with a certain geneticist that happens to be quite the thorn in the side of our fine institution, my acadian friend?"
Gambit nodded, "Oui. I need ta have somet'ing cut outta my head. He's done it b'fore. Knows what he's doing. I want you ta help and keep an eye out while he does his t'ing. De professor has already agreed ta watch him so he don't go poking around like a spook."
The furry blue man nodded as he picked up his notepad, eyes going to Sinister, who was inspecting the room and picking things up that certainly didn't need to be picked up, "Oh my! Do put that down! Its a highly unstable acidic compound that I've been working on and I fear even the slightest jostling could cause it tremendous harm."
Sinister's eyes flicked to Beast, boredom evident even as he carefully replaced the vial, "This primitive location will be sufficient for the task."
"Primitive! I say, these facilities are top of the line, the very heart of what is known as state of the art and-"
"And they are far cry from what I have access to. My own facilities and research are a hundred years more advanced than yours will ever be, Doctor McCoy. However, I did say they would suffice. What forms of anesthesia do you have on hand?"
Frowning and feeling quite the sense of wounded pride, Hank straightened his glasses and went to one of the cabinets, "I have Bupivacaine, Ropivacaine, Methohexital, Thiopental, Daizepam, Midazolam, Ketamine, Fentanyl, Sufentanil, Buprenorphine, Butrorphanal, Nalbuphine, Pentazocine."
"No Enflurane or Sevoflurane?"
Hank shook his head, "No gases."
Essex tsk'd and shook his head, "Remington reacts better to inhaled agents than intervenous. His system is sensitive to drugs and his body can have quite the adverse reaction to something as common as Bupivacaine. Use the Thiopental. Of the ones you have, he should have the least issues with it."
The man turned and began looking through the supply cabinets while Gambit sat on the bed, waiting patiently.
Of course McCoy wasn't going to keep quiet, "Might I know what you are looking for?"
"I am about to conduct a very delicate operation on my son-"
A muttered "Ain't your son" came from Remy's direction.
"One that requires me to open up his head and get to the brain stem. To do so, I must have the proper equipment. I am looking for that so I can get this over with as quickly as possible. I have already wasted too much time with this errand as it is."
McCoy looked from Sinister, who had begun pulling sterilized equipment out of some of the cabinets, to Gambit, who was sulking on the bed, and then to Xavier, who only nodded without taking his eyes from their 'guest'.
Giving a loud sigh, the furry blue doctor went to the sink and washed his hands, then dried them and slipped on a pair of rubber medical gloves. He prepared the local anesthesia and brought the full needle over to his patient, gently grasping Remy's left arm. The devil-eyed man stiffened at first and it was only after he forced himself to relax that Hank slipped the needle in and pushed the drug into Gambit's system. A quick bandage stopped what little bleeding there was and he tossed the used instrument into the sanitation bin before helping Remy lie down on his stomach. They'd need access to the back of his next if this was a surgery involving the brain stem.
As Remy started to pass out, he could hear Beast mutter quietly to himself. He didn't particularly like what he heard either. Too late for regrets though.
The students were already gossiping about the "my son" comment the strange, still unnamed player in this little drama had given in regards to Mr. LeBeau. No one had missed that and speculations were flying even as the two mis-matched doctors brought the surgical tools to the table and began pulling Remy's hair back, shaving part of it off near the base of his skull.
The camera angle changed and the viewing window to the surgical theater could be seen over the shoulders of the doctors as they washed their hands again and changed gloves. Rogue was standing, hands and forehead pressed against the glass. Professor Summers was next to her, his hands on the guard rail. Beyond the two of them were the rest of the senior staff. The X-Men.
The strange man, Doctor LeBeau perhaps? brought the scalpel to the back of Remy's neck and a thin, dark line appeared as it moved carefully downward toward his spine. Dr. McCoy took a towel and wiped the blood away, both from Gambit's neck and from the scalpel, before the next cut was made. A line perpendicular to the other, at the very top. A "T" cut.
Once more the blood was wiped away.
Only the sound of metal clinking against metal could be heard as the blade was placed next to its fellows on the surgery tray. Perfectly and precisely where it was first picked up from. A pair of clamps were taken next and the back of Remy's neck was pealed slowly open.
Blessedly, the cameras did not provide that level of detail, though several of the more squimish viewers did have to make a break for the bathrooms.
It was a surprisingly short surgery. Only a half hour from the time the back of Gambit's neck was opened to the time something was carefully cut out – in slow stages – and placed on a second tray near the one with the tools.
Maybe Mr. LeBeau had some sort of brain tumor?
The his neck was closed and the careful stitches came. The strange man was very skilled at this. Probably a professional surgeon. He was pretty disturbing to look at, sure, but several of the medical students were impressed with his ability. They were sure that any other doctor would have taken at least an hour to do the same procedure. And probably wouldn't have been able to do it on what appeared to be short notice.
Then the talking began again. The student body leaned forward so they wouldn't miss a word as once more the camera angle changed.
Sinister removed the bloodied gloves and began checking Gambit over, fingers moving lightly over the exposed skin to feel for a proper pulse, undue tenderness, the usual. Hank busied himself with moving the tools aside. They could be sterilized later.
"When should we flip him over?" McCoy asked, deferring to the unwanted guest, much as he disliked doing so. At least he didn't have to worry about the doctor being incompetent with his hands.
Sinister glanced over, the same bored expression he had worn the entire surgery, giving the impression that this was routine to him. It probably was. Hank repressed a shiver at the thought as the other spoke, "We can do so now, actually. We will simply have to prepare proper support for his head."
Beast was undeniably fascinated as he watched Essex lift Gambit's body with the same care that one would give a newborn. Such gentleness was not something he was accustomed to witnessing from the man.
Sinister didn't seem aware of the slight awe he had inspired in the other doctor as he lifted Remy up and twisted his body so he could lay on his back. One arm wrapped around his waist, hand firmly in the small of his back while the other supported the man by the back of his head, "Put the head board at a fifty degree angle."
Hank complied, less wary of the man now that the surgery was over. And had gone surprisingly well.
"Do you have anything that will keep a pillow in place at the top?"
Beast went to his desk and opened a drawer, rifling around before holding up, "Duct Tape, it's like the force. It has a light side and a dark side and in the end it is all that holds the universe together."
Sinister raised an eyebrow, "So long as it holds a pillow to the table and allows the pressure to be kept off the stitches."
McCoy chuckled and held the pillow up to the mattress, "Where do you want it."
"I want two, actually," Essex replied, moving Remy's body and leaning it back to see where the man would lay once unsupported. "The first should rest under my hand. The one that is supporting my son's head."
Frowning at the term 'my son', Hank put the pillow in place with one hand and with the other used the duct tape to hold it there, "And the second?"
The hand slipped out from under Gambit's head and down to the dip between his shoulder blades, "Here."
A second pillow was squeezed in and once more the duct tape proved its mettle.
Once satisfied that the support was sufficient, Sinister pulled his hands away and clasped them behind his back. Giving Beast an appraising look, he ran through final instructions, "Depending on the dosage you gave him, Remington should awaken between 10 minutes to 2 hours from now. Should he stay under even a second longer than that, I expect you to notify me at once. A communication device will be provided. It is also a possibility that he will begin to hallucinate just prior to awakening. It is best that he not be strapped down, no matter how he might flail about. Unless you put an inhibitor on him, in which case, being held down would be no issue and is certainly better than having him put undue strain on those stitches. Also, it is best that nothing be within four feet of the bed, lest he grab something and begin blowing himself and the room up. Once he is awake he will need a pain suppressor. I have found that simple over the counter aspirin is the best, in double the recommended dosage at four hour intervals for the following 36 hours. He should keep pressure off his stitches for the next 48 hours. Keep him in this bed and in this position if you can. I am fully aware of how stupidly stubborn he can be. After that, he can return to his normal sleeping patterns but is not allowed any strenuous activity for at least two more days after that. I would prefer a full week of recovery but I doubt he will allow you to keep him from doing something positively innane for that long."
A sigh as the man pinched his nose, obviously thinking over what else was needed, "Ah yes, the stitches should not get wet while they are in, someone else will have to wash his hair to keep shampoo and water and whatever else he uses from making contact with the thread. The stitches should be able to come out in two weeks. No sooner, no matter what."
Another pause and the silence stretched out long enough for Xavier to cut into the conversation, "Will that be all then, Doctor Essex?"
The man looked over at Gambit and nodded, pulling a small device from his belt and handing it to McCoy from across the bed without looking, "It will self destruct in two days."
"Of course it will," Hank muttered and once more addressed Sinister. "We seem to have an audience and I do believe a certain young Mississippian with a mean right hook would like to come in and make sure her erstwhile boyfriend is all well and good. However, there is not much room in here for more than those already in attendance. Will you be accommodating the apparent need for visitors?"
Essex didn't reply to him, his gaze was locked Gambit. A black hand reached up, brushing long bangs away from a relaxed forehead and tucked the auburn hair behind one ear. The fingers moved to the other side of the man's face, repeating the process.
"I will always be there for you, my son," he said to the unconscious Remy, voice gentle and genuine in a way that surprised even Charles. Eyes widened and jaws dropped beyond the glass as the X-Men watched Essex lean forward and press a soft kiss to Gambit's brow. Then he straighted and stepped through a just formed tesseract portal as if the entire surreal scene had never happened.
"OH MY GOD! MR. LEBEAU IS MR. SINISTER'S SON!"
The students were in an uproar. Several of the upper classmen, while never having seen Mr. Sinister before, knew that was the moniker of 'Dr. Essex.' It was something required of those who had regular and easy access to the world outside of school to learn. To keep them safe. Sinister was known for approaching young, impressionable mutants as Dr. Essex in hopes of gaining new experimental subjects.
And while most of the younger students hadn't known that Dr. Essex and Mr. Sinister were one and the same, they certainly had heard of Mr. Sinister. He was one of the bad people to watch out for. Like Magneto, when he wasn't making a social call to play chess with the Professor.
And while some still wouldn't correlate the two together, they did fully understand the uproarious declaration that rang through the upper levels of the school.
Mr. LeBeau was Mr. Sinister's son.
This was way better than any soap opera.
Roughly 45 minutes after Essex left, Gambit let out a low moan. His hands began clutching the sheets and were quickly covered by the gloved ones of a concerned girlfriend who tried to calm him with soft coo's of encouragement and love. This tactic actually seemed to do the trick as red on black eyes fluttered open and attempted to focus on emerald green ones.
She smiled at him.
He smiled back.
All was right in the world.
Then Cyclops walked in and started demanding answers.
Both of the southerners gave him the middle finger.
Choruses of "ooooo! Sick Burn!" and "Oh, no they didn't!" and "O.M.G! That was sooooo cool!" could be heard echoing out of the students rooms as Logan finally made his way upstairs to check on the buggers. It was his turn. He was pleasantly surprised to find that none of them were in the rec room or lounge. They all seemed to be in their rooms, some gathered in groups of ten to twenty, all splayed out on the beds and floors, watching something on TV.
From what he could see in the few rooms he glanced in, they all seemed to be watching the same show. Probably a movie. Didn't seem to be porn and that was good enough for him.
Shrugging and biting on his cigar, he trudged back to the lounge and turned on the game. Which game? Whichever happened to be on. He'd get a beer at the commercial break.
Xavier had joined the room again, Beast leaving to sit in the observation room, note pad in hand and ready to discuss the particulars of the surgery with the X-Men still waiting there. Namely Storm, who was incredibly worried for her brother.
Gambit shut his eyes and held Rogue's hand, squeezing it for comfort as the aspirin he had just taken kicked in.
"We have, of course, been aware for some time of your ties to Mr. Sinister," Xavier began. "And of course we are fully aware of how he enjoys manipulating others. But we should know, and Dr. McCoy especially should be aware of this, what exactly was that procedure that was performed on you today. It was obviously performed before."
Remy frowned and sighed, "He was takin' out dead tissue. You know how when I first went ta him about control? He removed some o' dat from tissue from my brain stem. When my powers were going out o' control a few weeks back... It was cause I had it put back. I burned de power out about a week ago. Used too much too fast. De tissue was dead. Had ta be taken out. Monsieur Sinister was right about dat. Not sure how he knew it was de time... but he did. And it had ta be done."
"I see. And who put it back in?"
"Monsieur Essex. In de 19th century. Some time travel be involved. You know, de usual," he dismissed the matter with a half hearted smirk and a wave of his hand.
"I see. And the matter of him claiming to be your father?"
Gambit turned his head and glared at the wall, "Jean-Luc is mon pere."
"Of course. Hank has specific instructions regarding your recovery he will go over with you sometime in the next hour or so, I'm sure. Rest well, Remy."
Xavier floated out, leaving Scott and Rogue with the man of the hour. Summers let out a loud sigh and crossed the room to stand on the other side of the bed from Rogue. A moment of tense silence and he finally let out a forced, "I'm sorry."
The Cajun chuckled and shrugged, waving his free hand, "S'okay, fearless leader."
"He kissed you."
The look of shock on Gambit's face was worth the three seconds of silence Cyclops took before elaborating, "On the forehead. After the surgery was over. Said he'd always be there for you then leaned over and gave you a kiss. Like he was saying good night. The same way my mother and father used to do to me and Alex before the crash."
The silence in the room could have killed Banshee. The Cajun's face had gone blank, unreadable. His grip had loosened and Rogue was now the one squeezing his for support.
Scott pressed his lips closed, his arms now more wrapped around himself than just crossed over his chest. He turned and headed for the door.
"Technically... you just as much my father as he is."
Scott stopped and looked back. Remy's eyes remained trained on that distant spot that didn't exist.
"It's true dat his blood runs through mine. But so does yours. I'm... I'm kind of a clone, I guess. Of him and you dat was placed in ma mere's body. She's in here too. Not quite a clone, just... mixed up. I got my eyes from him. He told me dat once. Dat I got my looks from her, my eyes from him... and my energy conversion from you. His precious experiment, Scott Summers."
The last was quite bitter. And it made Cyclops wonder how Remy had found out. Gambit supplied the answer a moment later, as if no one else existed but the two of them and this would never be known by any other.
"He told me all about my parentage after de massacre and I went ta turn in my resignation. Did it ta try and keep me dere. One last ditch effort. Tried to invoke family loyalty or somet'ing. 'Cept he never been family ta me. Hadn't ever met you either. And ma mere... well, she was dead. Never knew her. Didn't believe him at first neither. I mean... how does dat even sound?"
He laughed a dry, humorless laugh, imitating Sinister, " 'Oh, Remington. You are the genetic offspring of a mutated man and an mutant child who was only four years old when I took his DNA from him. And of course your mother, she had such potential. The x-gene didn't express itself in her, but she was a wonderful carrier for it. Oh the possibilities! A pity she had to go and die. You have her good looks. And my eyes. Your other father? Oh, nothing much, just your mutant ability to convert energy from one form to another. You should stay. Family shouldn't abandon each other over the deaths of a few dozen genetic dead ends!' "
Another bitter chuckle and Remy went quiet, still staring.
Scott opened his mouth. Shut it. Opened it again. Walking back around the bed he looked down at Gambit. Not at his face. More at his lower chest/stomach area. It wasn't a really focused gaze. "I don't know what to say to you."
"Don't have ta say not'ing, homme. It means not'ting."
"De fearless leader. Dat's all ya are. Dat's all ya need to be. Not looking for anyt'ing from you. Never have. Never will."
Softly, "I'm sorry."
"You an' me both, homme.You an' me both."
Someone was going to get rich off this. This topped any soap opera script ever written. Including that way awesome vampire one from back in the day. One of the students recorded the whole thing. Copies were already being made. Television networks were already being contacted with the pitches. "Mutant Reality: School for the Gifted" (working title) had to be picked up by someone. There was too much good drama not to take it! And it was way better than any other reality show out there.
And the person who sold the pitch? Well, they were fully willing to take the punishment that would come. They'd be rich by then. They could deal with it. The X-Men might not be so keen on it, but hey, progress waits for no mutant!
Wonder if they could get a confessional from Mr. Sinister?