This is a little something cooked up between myself and Lucida Lownes.
I haven't the foggiest idea if there's a regular Star Trek convention in New York or not, so I'm just going to take creative license and say that there is.
You will probably get more out of this if you do watch Star Trek, but I will do my best to make To Boldly Go Where No Mutant Has Gone Before accessible to those who don't. Please don't hesitate to ask if you're confused on anything.
This story begins a few years after the events of X-men Origins: Wolverine.
Gambit appraised the Xavier mansion as he drove down the driveway on his motorcycle. It was a big place, extensive grounds, very fancy. He could probably bypass security in ten minutes flat. He wouldn't though, mostly because of the beautiful young woman flying down to him.
"Remy," Storm greeted.
"Well, look at you, Stormy," Gambit exclaimed as he pulled off his helmet. "When you told me you had your powers under control now, you weren't kidding."
"Not in the slightest," Storm replied as her feet touched the ground. "And don't call me Stormy."
"What do you want me to call you then?" Gambit asked.
"How about 'Ro? Or just plain Storm?" she offered as she walked with him to the main doors.
"Just Plain Storm?" Gambit repeated as they stepped into the foyer. "There's nothing 'just plain' about you, chere."
Storm groaned, feeling much like she should have seen that coming.
"I couldn't agree more," said a young man in the foyer.
"Remy," said Storm, "this is Forge. Forge, this is Remy."
"It's nice to finally meet you," said Forge, holding out his hand. "'Ro's been really looking forward to your visit."
"Aww, I'm touched," Gambit said as he reached into his pocket for his cigarettes.
"No smoking inside," Storm said.
Gambit reluctantly put the packet back in his pocket. "Was a long trip chere,"
"I'm sure you'll have a chance to pump yourself full of chemicals later," Storm said dryly.
"Here's hoping," he replied cheerfully.
From there, Gambit was introduced to the other residents of Xaviers: the brainy and acrobatic Hank McCoy; the uptight young man behind the red glasses, Scott Summers; the red-headed beauty, Jean Grey, whom Gambit made a mental note to seduce later; and the man himself, wheel-chair bound Professor Xavier. There were also a handful of teenagers to whom Gambit paid very little attention.
"So, what do you think?" Storm asked him later that evening.
"Got yourself a nice place here, chere," Gambit replied as he looked out over the balcony. "Gone a long way from that little pickpocket I remember."
"Hmph," Storm snorted.
"How long have you have Forge been dating now?" he asked.
"Three years, give or take."
"He treat you well?"
"Well enough," Storm replied. "I imagine you're still playing the field."
Gambit shrugged and took a long drag from his cigarette.
"Ever think about not running any more?" Storm asked. "Settling down somewhere?"
"Making an honest living?" Gambit suggested mischievously. "Now why would I want to do a thing like that, Stormy?"
"Never know, Remy, you might like it. I know I do."
"You want me to stay."
"Well, I certainly didn't invite you here to tempt you into stealing anything."
Gambit laughed and Storm smiled at him. He smiled back and reached up with his free hand to flick a lock of hair out of her face.
"Forge is a very lucky man," he said.
"I didn't think you'd stay," she replied.
"That's 'cause you're smart, even if you do have high hopes," Gambit said with a smirk. "What's this place got that I can't get anywhere else?"
"Family," Storm replied quietly.
Gambit was quiet as he stubbed out his cigarette.
"In my experience, family's better the further you are away from it. Once you start getting close, that's when you get stabbed in the back," Gambit said.
"Remy - "
"I know what you meant, chere, mais this Cajun ain't interested in insinuating himself in any family."
"Not interested, or not ready?"
"Does it matter?"
"It does. What happened in New Orleans... I know Jean-Luc and Henri still care, full exile or no. I care."
"I know. I care about you too, 'Ro. That's the only reason I came at all, but only to visit. I won't be staying."
"Maybe I'll get lucky and you'll change your mind," Storm said. "It's not just me. We could use a man of your talents here."
"They already have a thief in you, chere," Gambit pointed out.
"No, I meant in combat, stealth, that kind of thing," Storm explained. "We're both learning and teaching the students and ourselves how to control our abilities and defend ourselves."
"You appear to be doing just fine without me."
"I can beat everyone here."
"Either you've improved a lot, or everyone is lousy."
"Care to find out?" she asked. "It's been awhile since you and I last sparred."
"It has indeed," Gambit agreed. "All right. By the way, I hope you don't mind, but I have a thing on this weekend so I might not be around much."
"A thing, huh?" Storm mused. "Did you think I wouldn't notice you chose to come down the same week the Star Trek convention is on?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Gambit replied.
"I may not have known myself if it weren't for the fact that Forge is a fan," Storm went on knowingly. "Never know, you two might bump into each other there. Or you could carpool."
"You won't catch me at a Star Trek convention."
"Well of course I won't. I don't go to them."
Early the next morning, Gambit was rather bemused to find that his sparring session with Storm had garnered an audience.
"We appear to have drawn quite a crowd," Gambit mused as he extended his telescopic bo-staff and smirked at the fascinated reaction it got.
"Indeed," Storm replied, her own practice staff in hand.
For the first minute or so they just circled each other casually.
"Just going to wait for me to make the first move?" Storm inquired.
"What makes you think I haven't already?" Gambit asked in reply.
A slight smile appeared at the corner of her mouth and disappeared just as quickly as she struck. Gambit countered easily, but neither had expected anything less. Everyone watched eagerly as blows increased in speed and skill. They both moved with such precision and style it almost seemed more like a dance.
Gambit jumped into the air to dodge the swing that came under his feet. He twisted mid air and grinned when he found Storm had anticipated his landing with a blow to the back.
"Aww chere, you have improved," he teased her even as his staff met her knee.
"I should hope so," Storm replied, twisting over the staff before it could floor her.
Gambit took advantage of her unbalance to tap her side. Storm just blocked it in time, as well as the flurry of blows that followed, and even succeeded in getting the upper hand by getting behind Gambit and pinning her staff under his chin.
"I think I may have actually won one," she said smugly. "Now, how does this go again? Bang, you -"
Storm's reverie was interrupted by Gambit leaning backwards into her, effectively becoming a dead weight and forcing her backwards. While Storm worked on staying upright, Gambit swung his staff backwards, clipped her behind the knee again and with a rap to her knuckles on the backswing, Storm was forced to let go and hit the ground. Gambit turned, grinned at her and put the end of his staff under her chin.
"Bang," he said. "You dead."
"One day," Storm sighed.
Gambit chuckled and retracted his staff. While one hand out his staff away, the other hand reached out to Storm to help her up.
"A most impressive display," said the Professor.
Gambit shrugged and glanced at Storm.
"Answer's still no," he said.
"Can't blame me for trying," Storm replied.
"Sure I can," Gambit told her. "I can't fault you for it though."
Storm laughed softly.
Gambit looked at the convention centre. Look at all those geeks, all dressed up in their little Star Trek costumes. He wouldn't be caught in a Star Fleet uniform. No way.
Besides, with eyes like his, who needed a costume?
A couple of hours into the convention, a Borg started waving at him.
"Hey Remy," he said. "'Ro said you might be here."
Gambit paused and looked the Borg over, complete with robot arm, leg and eye piece.
"Forge?" Gambit asked.
"Yep," Forge replied proudly.
"Well, you sure go all out on the costume," Gambit said, eyeing off the arm and leg which actually had moving parts.
"Actually, these two are real," Forge replied. "The eye piece is just for looks. I was in an accident a few years back. Good thing for me I have the all so awesome mutant power of inventing stuff, right?"
"Sure works out in your favour," Gambit agreed. "Excuse me."
"Hey, uhh, Remy," Forge said, hurrying to catch up with him. "We should hang out."
"Should we?" Gambit asked.
"Well, yeah. I mean, hey look how much stuff we have in common."
"So far I'm just seeing Stormy and Star Trek," Gambit replied and then was promptly distracted by a green woman. "Ooh Orion Slave Girl -"
"I prefer Seven of Nine, myself," Forge replied.
"Each to their own," Gambit said and attempted to move away.
"Hey Remy -"
"Look, Forge, we can 'hang out' later," Gambit said impatiently. "I gotta go do my Captain Kirk impersonation, if you catch my drift."
Forge blinked. "But you're not even in a Star Fleet uniform..."
"Picking up femmes," Gambit replied. "Not all of us are lucky enough to have a Stormy."
"See," Forge insisted, putting his real hand down on Gambit's shoulder, "that's what I wanted to talk to you about."
Gambit sighed as he reluctantly watched the green-painted woman walk away. She was a very modestly dressed Orion Slave Girl anyway.
"What?" Gambit asked.
"Well, I'm kinda thinking about proposing," Forge admitted.
"Shouldn't you be telling Stormy that?"
"Well, yeah, I will, I mean..." Forge stammered and then sighed. "See the thing is, you're kind of the closest thing she has to family outside of the X-men and -"
"What, you want my blessing or something?" Gambit asked, bemused. "Stormy's perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She doesn't need my approval."
"I know that," Forge replied. "Doesn't mean it wouldn't still be nice to have it."
A woman in an Original Series Star Fleet uniform walked past.
"As long as Stormy's happy, I don't have a problem with it," Gambit replied. "Now if you'll excuse me, but given a choice between a Borg and a femme in a little red dress, I'd rather talk to the femme. Later."
Later in the dining hall over dinner:
"So what did you think of the convention, Remy?" asked Forge.
"What convention?" Gambit asked.
"You know, the Star Trek one we went to today," Forge said, confused.
"You like Star Trek?" Scott asked Gambit incredulously.
"Don't know what you're talking about," Gambit replied leisurely. "I was busy working today."
"Just what is it exactly that you do?" Hank asked curiously.
"You didn't tell them?" Gambit asked Storm.
"Not everyone," Storm replied in bemusement, looking forward to seeing how this conversation was going to play out.
"I'm a thief," Gambit said casually as he pushed his next mouthful of food onto his fork. "I was casing a place I'm planning to rob."
There was silence as everyone stared at him. Storm hid her smile and Forge just looked confused.
"So you see," Gambit went on, "I couldn't possibly have been at the... erm, I mean, yes I was at the convention. All day, in fact. And if you hear anything about the Crowne Plaza being robbed in a couple of weeks time, it wasn't me."
"I'm confused," said Forge.
"By the way," Gambit said after he swallowed. "Would the telepath who's currently prodding at my mind stop it? It's a little distracting."
"Jean," the Professor said reprovingly.
"Sorry Remy," Jean said bashfully.
"I'm sure you can find a way to make it up to me," Gambit replied suggestively.
Jean blushed and Scott opened his mouth to object.
"Perhaps we could have a 'sparring' match sometime," Gambit said innocently. "But not tomorrow. I have more casing to do. Erm, I mean a convention to go to. The convention is on tomorrow as well, right Forge?"
"Uhh yes..." Forge replied, still confused.
Jean started slightly at the feel of hot breath on her neck and hands that slipped gently onto her waist.
"Well now," Gambit's voice purred in her ear. "Aren't you just a sight for sore eyes?"
"Uhh, hi Remy," Jean said, a little nervously.
"You wouldn't happen to be free tonight, would you chere?"
Jean licked her lips slightly before answering: "Well, actually I have plans with Scott tonight."
"Hmm," Gambit murmured. "Pity."
And as quickly and silently as he arrived, he left, leaving Jean blushing. For a moment she was a little disappointed that she already had plans with Scott.
The night before Gambit was to leave, he made his way down to Forge's lab.
"Bonjour," he greeted as he stepped inside.
"Huh? Oh, hi Remy," Forge replied.
"I come at a bad time, mon ami?" Gambit asked as he watched Forge fiddle with a funny dome-shaped gadget on the bench.
"No, no, it's good," Forge said. "What can I do for you?"
"Well, I'm going to be leaving early tomorrow morning," he said. "Figured I'd say my good byes now. Whatcha working on?"
"Gee, already? You haven't really been here that long," Forge said. "This? It's a transporter."
"A transporter, hein?" Gambit inquired, amused. "Working on making real Star Trek technology?"
"Sure, why not?" Forge asked. "You have to admit, it would be really useful."
"Depending on what you used it for, sure," Gambit replied with mischief as he leaned on the bench.
"Why do I always get the impression you're talking about something else?"
"I don't know, mon ami. Why do you?"
"You're a very strange person."
"This coming from a cyborg," Gambit said, grinning at him. "Making much progress on it?"
"Well, I figured out how to make things disappear," Forge replied. "It's the reappearing part that's the problem. I keep thinking I'm missing something."
"The things you're making disappear perhaps?"
"I thought so," Gambit said cheerfully. "I've got other good byes to make, but ahh, be sure to send me an invite to the wedding, hein?"
"You... you think she'll say 'yes'?" Forge asked hopefully.
"She's been with you three years, no? I'd say the odds are in your favour," he replied, holding out his hand to Forge, just in front of the transporter. "Until next time."
"Thanks," Forge said, shaking Gambit's hand with enthusiasm. "Thanks so much, I -"
Forge cut himself off as his other hand fumbled across the buttons. Before either of them had a chance to react, it powered up, surged and both men felt a kind of static run over their bodies. The static gave way to disorientation.
"What the hell just happened?" Gambit asked at the same time Forge said: "Hey, that's where all this stuff went."
Gambit glanced at Forge, then at a pile of junk in his lab he hadn't noticed before.
"You got all your transporter stuff back?" Gambit asked.
"Well, in a manner of speaking..." Forge said uncertainly.
"What do you mean, 'in a manner of speaking'?" Gambit demanded, even as he answered his own question when his hand phased through the bench. "Did we just get transported?"
"Umm, well, yes..." Forge said.
"So get us back," Gambit demanded with quiet forcefulness.
"What do you mean, you can't?"
"Not without help from the outside," Forge said as he moved through the furniture in his own personal test. "The machine is on the outside, ergo we need someone on the outside to use the machine. I think it must have sent us to some kind of parallel dimension... In fact, gauging from the way that our bodies can phase, I'd wager we've been sent outside of the normal frequency range and -"
"Spare me the technobabble," Gambit cut in. "How do we communicate with the outside?"
"Well, umm, Professor Xavier and Jean are telepaths," Forge pointed out. "They might be able to sense us."
"Sense you," Gambit corrected. "My powers provide me with a static shield. Telepaths can't read my mind, 'least not easily."
"Oh, well, they can read mine," Forge said assuredly.
"Good," Gambit said. "So let's go find them and you can tell them how to use the machine to get us back."
He started off, realised Forge wasn't following, looked back at him with and glare and let out a long breath.
"You said you didn't know how to get things back, didn't you?" Gambit practically growled.
"Well, I, uhh..."
"Merde! You had better start putting that invention power of yours to work, homme, or I'm going to -"
"Let's go find the Professor," Forge interrupted hurriedly. "At the very least we should let everyone know what's happened."
Gambit said nothing. He didn't need to; his silence was enough to make Forge wince. They stepped out of the lab and made their way to the elevator.
"All right," said Gambit. "How do we get up?"
"Umm well, we've been phasing through furniture. Maybe we can phase through the elevator shaft as well?" Forge asked.
The two glanced at each other, then they stepped tentatively through the elevator doors and into the elevator which was conveniently on that level. There was another pause and the Gambit stepped up into the air. To his surprise, he was actually able to walked on the very air and he and Forge walked their way through the roof of the elevator and up through the shaft.
"Well, this is an odd sensation," Gambit muttered.
"Yeah," Forge agreed.
They made it to the ground floor and from there they located Professor Xavier in his study.
"Hi Professor," said Forge. "Umm, you can hear us right?"
They looked at the Professor expectantly, but he went on writing. Forge stepped through the desk and waved his hand in the Professor face.
"This had better work," Gambit practically growled.
"Professor!" Forge shouted.
Forge attempted to force the matter by touching him, but just like the furniture and the walls, Forge's hand just phased right through him.
"He can't hear you, can he?" Gambit said dangerously.
"Don't look like it," Forge replied. "I... I guess his telepathy doesn't work on this frequency. Oooorrr maybe we should try when he's using Cerebro? That amplifies his powers."
"I don't care what you do, or how you do it," Gambit said. "Just as long as we get out of here."