AN: For those of you who are reading this and haven't actually watched Wolverine and the X-men, the MRD is the government agency in charge of taking care of mutants. And by 'taking care' I mean hunting them down and locking them away (amongst other things). Also I would like to add that this show is awesome and if you haven't watched it you're missing out *nods head vigourously*
Chapter One: The Date
Rogue stopped short of the mall doors.
"Ah'm not going in there," she said.
Kitty turned to look back at her with a puzzled frown.
"Umm, it's the mall, Rogue. If you want to go shopping, you kinda have to go in."
"What, are there sales on today or somethin'? It's way, way too crowded in there."
"Aww c'mon, you're all covered up. You'll be fine."
Rogue shook her head, empathically no.
"Y'all go on ahead. Ah'll meetchas back home."
"Rogue -" Bobby began.
But Rogue turned her back and walked off. Storm, Kitty and Bobby looked at each other, contemplated going after her, and dismissed the idea. They went inside and Rogue headed down the street. It wasn't until she hit the cafe on the corner that she realised she didn't exactly have a ride home and sighed. Oh well, since she was down here she'd do her own thing for awhile and then call them later to see if they were done yet. Or maybe she'd call Logan.
For a time she just walked, dawdled even, with a spot of window shopping on her way. Rogue didn't know why she even agreed to come on this stupid trip. It wasn't like she actually needed to buy anything. Along for the company, she supposed, and now she didn't even have that. Unless you counted the numerous voices in her head. They weren't all that good for meaningful conversation though.
Rogue turned the corner and saw a fight up ahead. Great, now she'd just walked into a war zone. She was about to turn around and go back, when she realised that the fight was rather one-sided: five against one. Although judging by the other two bodies on the ground, she got the impression that the staff-wielding, explosion-throwing mutant may actually have the upper hand. Still, she didn't think he'd mind if she helped him even the odds.
She approached and tapped the first guy she reached on the shoulder. He turned, and she punched him across the face, kicked his feet out from under him and elbowed him in the stomach. He hit the ground, winded.
"Bonjour, cherie," said the mutant with the red on black eyes, as he disabled the man on him.
"Afternoon," Rogue replied.
The mutant took down another as Rogue took her glove off and touched her second on his bare arm. He dropped to the ground. The last man standing looked at them both, then ran off for dear life.
"Remy LeBeau," said the mutant, holding his hand out to her. "A pleasure t' meet yo' cherie."
Rogue looked down at his fingerless gloves, and put her own glove back on.
"Rogue," she replied. "Have a nice afternoon."
She started to walk off, but he caught her hand. As she turned he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it gently.
"It would be remiss o' me not to properly t'ank yo' fo' your assistance t'night, cherie. May I perhaps take yo' out for dinner?"
"It's a little early for dinner, don't ya think?"
"A drink den? Dere's a li'l coffee shop not far from here."
Rogue hesitated as she looked up at him and into his eyes.
"Sure," she said finally. "Why not?"
"Enchante," he replied suavely.
He then took the liberty of slipping his arm around her waist and to lead her to the coffee shop. Rogue stiffened.
"I'm not going t' hurt yo' cherie. 'Specially after I just saw yo' take someone down just by touchin' them."
"Sorry. Ah'm just not used ta people gettin' so close t' me. Ah can't control muh mutation so anytime someone touches muh skin..."
"Every time. Gambit," she added pointedly.
Gambit grinned at her.
"I wondered if yo' would know me, X-man. I'm actually surprised yo' came t' my aid, given our history."
Rogue shrugged as they walked together down the street.
"Firstly, until Ah got a closer look at ya - and those eyes of yours - Ah didn't know who ya were. Secondly, it wouldn't have made any difference ta muh decision even if Ah had. Five - seven against one? Normally those aren't very good odds."
"Ahh, noble as well as beautiful."
"Flattery will get ya nowhere."
"Your blush says otherwise, cherie. And here we are. Inside or out?"
There was no way she was going to have a drink with this guy without plenty of witnesses. Which begged the question, why had she conceded to having a drink with him anyway?
Nevertheless, the two picked a table. At first the conversation revolved around what they were ordering, but after their order was place, the conversation dwindled into silence. An awkward silence, Rogue felt, from the way he looked at her so intently.
"What are ya starin' at?" she demanded finally.
"The most stunning woman I have ever laid eyes on."
"Huh, well, perhaps aftah we've had drinks, ya should ask her out on a date."
Gambit reached over and took her hand.
"Mebbe I will," he said seriously.
"You're very touchy-feely, aren't ya?"
"A dangerous game ta play with the untouchable."
"I like a good challenge."
"Is that why ya play the traitor and spy for Senator Kelly?"
Gambit raised his eyebrows.
"I'm no traitor, nor spy, cherie. I'm a t'ief, and I work fo' the highest bidder. Simple as dat."
"Nothing's that simple."
"Mebbe, mebbe not."
"What kind of a man sells his loyalty?"
"A mercenary. But as a t'ief, it's my skills I sell, not my loyalty. Same as any other tradesman."
"Tradesman? That's a funny way ta put it."
"A tradesman sells his skills and expertise, cherie. I t'ink it's applicable."
"Would ya stop callin' me that? Ah'm not your darlin'."
"But yo' are so very darlin', cherie."
Rogue was seriously considering just walking away when their drinks arrived. Rogues' face lit up at the amount of cream they had put on her iced chocolate. She would so totally come back here again. Gambit chuckled softly.
"Shush you," she said, picking up her spoon to scoop some of the cream off.
"Aww, chere, yo' don't mean dat," he said. "You'd miss out on my conversation."
"Ah don't know, it might be worth pursuin'."
"I t'ink yo' might be worth pursuing."
Rogue rolled her eyes.
"Give it a rest, Cajun. Ah don't care how charmin' ya think ya are, it ain't gonna get ya anywhere."
"And dere yo' go, issuin' challenges again, cherie."
"Ah'm not - you're incorrigible."
"Yo' forgot handsome, irresistible, -"
"Verbose, arrogant, -"
"And devilishly clever."
Rogue snickered. Gambit mentally scored a point for getting her to smile. And such a pretty smile at that.
"So, tell me cherie -"
"Ah told ya not ta call me that -"
"What brings yo' t' dis neck o' the woods?"
"Some friends of mine were goin' shoppin'. But Ah don't do crowds."
"I don't usually do dem either, unless I'm working."
"Pick pocket as well, Ah suppose?"
"Should Ah check ta make sure Ah still have muh valuables?"
"Oui and non. On the one hand, yo' really shouldn't trust me, cherie. On the other hand, I don't steal from beautiful women who come so valiantly t' my aid."
"But since ya just told me not ta trust ya..."
"Exactly. And what's more, yo' can't accuse me of being a traitor if yo' don't trust me and I do somet'ing dat gets yo' int' trouble, now can yo' cherie?"
"Ah just love the way ya justify everythin' with ya distorted logic."
"See? I knew you'd warm up t' me."
"Have an answer for everythin' too, Ah see."
More idle chit chat followed and continued long after they'd finished their drinks.
"Anyway, Ah should really get goin'," Rogue said finally.
"O'course," Gambit replied. "May I escort yo' home? Or wherever yo' may need t' be?"
"Ah don't need an escort, Cajun. Thanks for the drink."
"You're welcome, cherie."
Gambit went inside to pay and when he came out again he saw Rogue had already left. Oh well, he always knew where to look for her if he - hello, MRDs at one o'clock. Time to bail. Gambit slunk into the shadows, looking for the most optimal escape route.
"Looks like that last thug came back with friends," he heard Rogue's voice from behind. "And they brought guns."
"I hate guns," Gambit muttered.
"Says the guy who causes just as much damage with his explodin' playin' cards."
"More, actually. What do yo' say we get out o' here?"
"They have the road blocked off."
"Den we'll just have t' improvise. Dis way."
Before Rogue could manage a protest, Gambit grabbed hold of her hand and pulled her further into the alley. There was a basement door, locked, although that proved to be only a minor obstacle for the master thief. They got inside and shut the door behind them just moments before the MRDs entered the alley.
"This is what happens when ya get inta fights in the street," Rogue muttered.
"Dey started it," Gambit dismissed as he started up the stairs, still holding Rogues' hand.
"I know. That's hardly the point. And stop haulin' me around."
Rogue pursed her lips together at his silencing, but said nothing as he let her go. Carefully he pushed open the door, looked out, then gestured to her to follow. Neither said another word until they reached the exit and made it back outside again.
"How are yo' for gettin' over fences, cherie?" asked Gambit as he pulled out his staff and extended it.
Rogue looked around and spotted the bin.
"Ah can make it," she said.
While Rogue took the time to climb up onto the bin and from there over the top of the fence, Gambit vault himself over.
"Show off," Rogue said once they were on the other side.
"Whatever works," Gambit shrugged with a slight shrug. "We should be able t' circumvent the MRDs now."
Indeed it didn't take them long from that point to evade the MRD roadblock, which they did with ease.
"And now, cherie, I must take my leave. Unless, o' course, yo' want that ride, after all?"
Gambit took her hand and kissed it.
"Until we meet again, ma chere."
"Stop callin' me that."
Gambit chuckled and slipped off into the shadows. Rogue rolled her eyes, then had a moment of panic as she remembered that she just had drinks with a thief and promptly checked her pockets. Everything was there, and even her money was all accounted for. Damn good thing for Gambit he'd kept his hands to himself. More or less.
Rogue pulled out her phone then, and started to dial the mansion.
"Oh you're kidding me," she muttered. "What do ya mean out of range? Fine. Whatever."
Guess she would have to start walking until she got back into range. You'd think the coverage would be better around here. Evidently not.
Meanwhile Gambit was slipping back into the MRD controlled territory. He had to take a round about way, but he had no intention of just leaving his motorcycle behind. Like that would ever happen. Once he and his motorcycle were reunited, Gambit pulled out, sped down the street full ball and jumped over the road block. He gave a cheeky wave to the MRDs as he continued down the street.
Just before he reached his turn off, he spotted a familiar green and brown figure ahead. Curiousity got the better of him and instead of taking his turn, he continued on ahead until he came alongside Rogue.
"Well, cherie, seems we've met again sooner than I anticipated. Not dat I'm complaining."
"Ya were anticipatin' another meetin', huh?"
"But o' course. It's a long walk back to the mansion from here. Yo' sure yo' don't want a lift?"
"Phone's out of range."
"So you're going to keep walking until yo' get in range?"
"That's the plan."
Gambit chuckled, and pulled up in front of her.
"C'mon cherie, it's not like I don't already know where yo' live."
Rogue pursed her lips, a little annoyed at being cut off. Then she sighed as she weighed her options and conceded. It might be awhile before she got back in range again, and the MRDs made her nervous. Gambit grinned as she climbed onto the bike and reluctantly put her arms around him.
"Yo' can put your hands down lower if yo' want, chere."
"On second thoughts, maybe Ah should walk after all."
Gambit chuckled and started off again, not giving her the opportunity to get back off again. He definitely enjoyed this aspect of doubling on a motorcycle, plus Rogues' form fitting uniform - even with the jacket - made the closeness very, very interesting. For Rogues' part, it wasn't nearly as interesting: just how much stuff did he keep in that trench coat?
It was just starting to get dark by the time Gambit pulled up outside the mansion gates, and he caught Rogue's hand again as she got off the bike. What was it with him and his obsession with taking her hand anyway?
"Uhh, thanks for the lift," she said.
"Not a problem, chere. So, how about Saturday for our second date?"
"Second date?" Rogue repeated. "Ah wasn't aware we went on a first one."
"We snuck around, got drinks and I drove yo' home, chere. Sound like a date t' me," Gambit replied, grinning as he kissed her hand and finally let it go.
"Well, Ah -"
"Pick yo' up at seven, chere," he replied, cutting her off.
"Ah never agreed!" Rogue yelled after him, but the roar of his engine made she uncertain as to whether he actually heard her.
She stood there in indignant shock as she rode away.
"The nerve," she muttered to herself as she plugged in her security code.
The gates opened and closed behind her and she continued down the driveway to the main doors.
"Arrogant, stuck up, smarmy, presumptuous jerk. A date, he calls it. Right, like Ah really wanna date a low-life like him."
Still... it had been awhile since she'd last been on a date. Actually, come to think of it, unless you counted that night with Cody the day her powers manifested, she had never even been on a date. Who wanted to date the untouchable woman?
Gambit apparently. And baring the fight and the MRDs they did have a nice time.
Rogue was on the stairs when the door opened, Logan looked down at her.
"I was just about to come look for you," he said. "The others have been back for an hour."
"Wow. Has it really been that long?" Rogue asked in surprise. "Huh."
Logans' eyes narrowed as Rogue stepped past him and walked inside, getting a whiff of a very familiar scent all over her.
"Hey, Rogue, what took you so long?" Kitty asked, spotting her. "We've been worried."
"Yeah, where have you been?" asked Bobby.
"Oh, Ah, uh... Ah've just been... " Rogue paused, then a smile grew on her face, "on a date."