Rogue yawned as she entered her bedroom and gave Gambit a perplexed look, seeing him lying on an air mattress wearing his usual bedroom attire. Well, she could only assume it was the usual bedroom attire as the lower half was covered up by the bed clothes, but this was Gambit she was dealing with here. It was freezing outside, so clearly the man was insane, even with the good central heating the mansion had.
"Not that Ah'm complainin' by any means," she said as she retrieved a pair of socks. "But wouldn't ya be more comfortable in your own bed?"
"Probably, but I wanted t' be here in case yo' had a nightmare. Cute pajamas."
A smile crossed Rogue's face and she giggled a little.
"Well, Ah, that's very sweet of ya, but ya don't need ta."
"I know. But yo' didn't deliberately try t' absorb me - I chose t' make yo' absorb me."
"You were tryin' ta -"
"And I know I have some pretty big nightmare level memories in here," Gambit cut in, tapping his head. "I just feel like I should be here. Just in case."
Rogue was silent for a moment, then laid down on her bed and looked at him as she pulled on the pair of gloves she kept by her bedside.
"Carol overshadowed most of the stuff Ah got from ya before Ah could really sort things out," she said. "Ah think were Ah ta get any nightmares tonight, she'd be responsible. Or, maybe Ah'll have a legitimate nightmare about that collar."
"Not the point."
She nodded slowly.
"Okay," she conceded. "Maybe then... Ah could ask ya about the thing with the bodies in the sewers?"
Gambit looked away and closed his eyes briefly.
"The Morlock Massacre. I'm so sorry yo' had t' see dat, chérie."
Rogue said nothing, only waited.
"It... I..." he stopped, took a breath and continued: "I had trouble controlling my powers. Everyt'ing I charged, I charged too much. We're talking entire building demolishing level here. I was a danger t' myself and everyone around me, so I went t' get help. His name was Nathaniel Essex, or Mister Sinister, which, if yo' ask me, is a much more appropriate name fo' him. He gave me brain surgery and in return I put together his band of Marauders. Once the gang was t'gether, his final task t' me was t' lead them down int' the sewers where the Morlocks lived undetected. I had no idea, Rogue. I had no idea what he'd ordered them t' do."
"They slaughtered them."
"And I helped them t' do it."
Rogue frowned, then levitated above the bed (just because she could) and moved so she was floating above him. She reached down and touched his stomach,
"Those scars say otherwise," she said softly.
She traced her fingers over the now faint white lines. She had a vague recollection of Sabretooth attacking her - no not her, him. The scars matched where Sabretooth's overgrown fingernails would have pierced the skin.
"I lead dem dere."
"Ya tried ta stop them once ya knew."
"It was the least I could have done t' make up fo' sending all those kids t' their deaths."
Rogue lifted her hand from his stomach and cupped his face instead, forcing him to look at her.
"Tell me Remy, if ya hadn't been involved, would Sinister still have arranged the massacre?"
Gambit's lips tightened.
"Lucky for you, Carol's good at being objective," Rogue said softly. "Ah'd hate ta think what muh reaction would have been like without her fresh, annoyingly loud voice in there to counteract your psyche's feelin's about it."
"Sorry about that too."
"Stop apologisin'. It was a good plan. It worked. It got us outta there."
"If Ah have t' kiss ya t' shut ya up, Ah will."
Gambit stared at her, then cracked a smile.
"Ahh, chérie, I have no idea what I did t' deserve yo', but I'd do it again."
"What? A girlfriend ya can't touch? Personally, Ah've been wonderin' how it is Ah manage ta attract any boyfriends at all."
"Lure o' the forbidden? We always want what we can't get?"
"Am Ah a challenge ta ya then?"
Gambit lifted his hands and took hers.
"I t'ink dat keepin' yo' is going t' be my greatest challenge, chére. And I'm t'inking now dere may even be hope, seeing as how you've got my mind inside your head and yo' haven't run away screaming."
"Yeah, well, Ah'm wonderin' how long it'll take before ya get frustrated with not being able ta touch me and leave."
"I'm touching yo' right now."
"Ya know what Ah mean."
"So we've encountered a lava pit in our adventure. We'll figure out how t' cross it."
"A lava pit? Ya comparin' muh mutation to a lava pit?"
"It doesn't have t' be a lava pit. Mebbe it's a deep gorge, or a wall o' fire, or a steep mountain or a... I don't know, ghost ridden woods?"
"Valley of the Damned."
"Well, dat sounds a little harsh."
"Dat's a matter o' opinion, chérie."
"Sure it is. The Valley part is muh skin, and the Damned are all muh psyches."
Gambit chuckled and Rogue grinned at him.
"Yo' are an amazing, strong, determined woman, chére. I've no doubt you'll get your powers under control."
"Thanks for your vote of confidence."
"And in the meantime, dere's always over-the-clothes groping."
"Yeah, that sounds alluring," Rogue said cynically.
"It is when I'm involved."
"Ya sound very sure of yourself."
Gambit chuckled and deciding he wasn't too worn out from the events of the day for a small demonstration, hooked his hands around her and pulled her down closer. He kept his right arm around her while his left cupped her breast.
"I was going t' show yo' later, but since it came up," he said as he charged the part of her pajama top directly touching his hand.
"Ah think Kitty may be right about ya havin' an obsession with chargin' muh clothes, Remy."
"Non, dis is only a light charge. Feel dat tingling sensation?"
"Ah'm rather familiar with it by now."
Gambti grinned at her and increased the charge significantly. Rogue drew in her breath sharply.
"The higher the charge, the more intense it gets chérie. Try not to jerk away; yo' might be invulnerable now, but I'm not, and neither is the mansion."
"What kind of explosion are we looking at here?"
"Dat's only a medium level charge so... probably everyt'ing from here t' Bobby's room," Gambit considered as he removed the charge.
"That's medium? Ah'd don't know if Ah want ta know what high feels like," Rogue commented as she floated back to her bed.
"I wouldn't try high on yo'," he replied. "Least, not yet, chére. You're a little too new at dis."
"Wait... so you've done high on someone before?"
"Yo' won't believe the reaction it gets."
"Ah'm afraid," Rogue said as she took her gloves off and put them back on the beside table
"Dat's not what yo' should be afraid o'."
"No, what Ah should be afraid of is blowin' up the mansion every time we make out."
"Especially as I don't limit myself to one charge at a time," Gambit said, grinning at her.
"My power isn't limited to my hands, chérie. There'll be at least three or four."
Rogue laughed and half-buried her head under her pillow.
"Actually, dis should be an interesting experiment," he mused. "I wonder if I can maintain six medium level charges at once."
"Six? What are the other two?"
"Why should yo' have all the fun?"
"Why indeed," Rogue snickered. "And for that matter, why am Ah not surprised ya found a way ta use your powers in the bedroom?"
"What can I say? I'm very creative."
Rogue giggled as she hit the light on her bedside table, turning it off. She yawned.
"After all that... Ah don't think Ah'm going ta have ta worry about havin' nightmares tonight."
I hope you've all enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I really enjoyed writing it, hahaha.
A special thanks to everyone who took the time to review. You guys are awesome, and your feedback meant a great deal to me. And it also had the added bonus of actually improving the story because some of your comments revealed things I needed to amend/add/clarify, for which I am grateful.
For those of you who have expressed an interest in a third instalment, I draw your attention to I Mock Your Shiny Toothpicks, now up.