Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men Evolution, or anything related to it. Just read the damn story. ^-^
Chapter One: Waking Up in Vegas
"Cherie? Come now, I need you to wake up."
Rogue grimaced in her sleep. That voice was so irritatingly familiar. It had been bugging her for the past couple of hours, but she was too exhausted to get up and investigate the cause of it. In her dreams, she kept hearing someone who sounded just like Remy LeBeau—that sneaky son of a gun. After they had parted in the swampy bayous of Louisiana, she had seen neither hide nor hair of him. Now he sounded closer than ever.
Cracking open an eye, Rogue found herself staring a single bloodshot eye into the calm, collected gaze of the Gambit himself. There was a moment's silence as they looked at each other.
"Fuck this," she muttered and rolled over so that her back was facing Remy.
"Cherie," he tried again.
"Go away. Stay in my nightmares where you belong."
"I hate to disappoint you, but this isn't a dream."
Rogue scrunched up her brow. She was starting to feel uneasy in the pit of her stomach as a nagging suspicion possessed her. There was a possibility that Remy actually was hovering over her, that he had done the unthinkably stupid and kidnapped her. Again.
All of a sudden, his lips were at her ear. "This is very important, Rogue. I can't afford to continue being a gentleman if you insist on ignoring me."
"Go to hell. I don't feel good."
"Ah, I was afraid that would happen. You did have quite a lot to drink at the wedding."
That uneasy feeling returned, redoubled by Remy's cryptic statement. What wedding? What was he talking about? And more importantly, why did her head hurt so damn much?
As Rogue tried to surface any memories of the night before, she found herself drawing an enormous blank. No, no, it'll all come back to me. I'm just tired, is all. This is just some stupid dream, and in a minute Logan is going to get on my case for sleeping in again. But as the seconds ticked by on what sounded like an old-fashioned grandfather clock Rogue didn't remember having in her room, she realized that she couldn't remember anything at all.
Alarmed, she opened her eyes.
The first thing she noticed was that she was lying beneath a set of cardboard sheets that belonged to what was obviously a king-size bed. Rogue sat up, slowly, because her head felt as though someone had beaten it with a sledgehammer. Her hand clutched the temple of her forehead as she blinked bemusedly at the ornate furniture surrounding her. The room was completely unfamiliar to her.
"Where the hell am I?"
"Our suite," Remy replied.
Rogue nearly jumped out of her skin. She had forgotten that he was there. At the sound of his voice, she turned swiftly towards him and saw that there was an aggravatingly smug smile on his face as he stared at her—as though he found her sleep-tousled appearance endearing for some reason.
Wait…why is he looking at me like that…?
Looking down at herself, her eyes went wider than a set of dinner saucers. "W-what is this…?"
"Um…pardon my French, but why am I in a fucking wedding dress?"
"Well," he said calmly, "is that not what a bride would wear to her wedding, Cherie?"
Her mouth went dryer than sandpaper—not that it made much of a difference. Her tongue already felt like a wad of cotton someone had stuffed in her jaw. Frantically, she tried to find evidence of falsification, but to her rising horror she saw a bridal veil on the floor by the bed. Even more disconcerting was the expensive-looking ring curled around her finger like an ostentatious gold snake. The diamond reflected a little of her dumbfounded expression back at her, mocking her.
Feeling on the verge of tears now—which, for Rogue, was saying quite a lot—she glared daggers at Remy.
"You have one minute to explain what happened last night before I beat the living snot out of you."
"I'm afraid that's going to have to wait."
"For what?" she demanded.
All of a sudden, there was a crisp knock on the door. Without preamble, Remy got up from the mattress and strode across the room. He took a moment to glance through the peephole.
"Who is it?"
"Room service," the bellboy replied. "We have the breakfast you ordered, Sir."
Remy's expression brightened. He opened the door and let the man in, giving him plenty of room to set up the vast, steaming tray of eggs, sausage, potatoes, and a number of other morning delicacies by the bed. Rogue's jaw dropped as the pleasing aroma reached her. She was so surprised that she didn't notice how amused Remy seemed to be by her reaction.
Taking advantage of her distraction, he quickly tipped the bellboy and showed him out of the room before locking the door. As the deadbolts slid into place, Rogue realized that she just missed out on the perfect opportunity to escape. She looked downright furious as Remy slid beside her and handed her a plate.
"What is all of this?" she muttered darkly. She was eyeing the plate as though she would have liked nothing better than to smash it over his head.
Remy did not seem fazed by her sour mood. "Food. And I suggest that you eat some, Cherie. The only thing you had to eat last night was a slice of wedding cake and a case of hard liquor."
"Whose wedding was it?" she snapped.
Rogue didn't think she heard him correctly. "Whose???"
Remy smiled serenely into her snarling face. "Ours. That is to say, yours and mine." When it still looked as though she didn't believe him, or didn't understand, he leaned in and nuzzled her ear. "We're married," he said in an as-a-matter-of-factly tone of voice.
So startled was she that she forgot about her initial inclination of punching him in the face. This was a nightmare. There was no way he could be telling the truth. No way in hell.
"Who decided that?" she growled, jerking away from him. "Besides, I'm only seventeen! Legally, I can't even get married for another year."
Remy produced a card from his sleeves so quickly that Rogue flinched. Then, realizing that this wasn't one of his exploding playing cards that he was so fond of, she cautiously took it from him. She found herself staring at a very realistic non-driver's license ID card. It listed her as being twenty-one.
"A fake ID? You made me a fake ID???"
"Indeed, I did."
"So, technically, that means this marriage isn't real. All I have to do is go to a courthouse somewhere and pull out a birth certificate."
"Cherie, we both know that you don't have one."
"You don't know that."
"Where would you possibly get any records of your birth? Do you honestly think Mystique gave birth to you in a hospital?"
Rogue went dead quiet as a smoldering rage filled her. How dare he bring up that…creature? How dare he? He knew how she felt about Mystique; he should understand just how sore of a subject it was with her. It was like this guy was begging to be killed in a slow, painful manner.
In anger, she turned her face away from him. She did not want him to see her blinking back those angry tears that were rapidly filling her eyes.
Remy's expression became slightly clouded. "Rogue?" he said softly.
"Screw you," she snapped. "I hate you. If this is real, then I want a divorce."
"No," he replied simply.
"Then let me go."
Letting out a quiet scream of frustration, Rogue kicked away the covers and stomped towards the nearest door—which just so happened to be the bathroom. Remy frowned and immediately went to follow her. He knew that if she beat him to the door he wouldn't be allowed in, and there was still the matter of business to attend to. As adorable as she was right now, she would just have to have her temper tantrum later, at a more appropriate hour.
Catching her by the arm, Remy pulled the furious young woman back to him. "Cherie, I haven't finished talking to you. Kindly, don't walk away from me."
"I don't care what you have to say," she snapped. "Let go of me!"
Remy sighed. Things weren't going the way he had planned, and this was starting to get tiresome. Still…she did look cute with that menacing scowl on her face. The sight of it made him smile.
"I can't let you go. Not until we take care of business and this honeymoon is over. Understood?"
Rogue stopped struggling for a moment to give him a venomous look. "What do you want with me?" she demanded quietly. "Why did you drag me here, get me drunk, and force me to marry you?"
"Well, when you put it that way, it sounds like I did something wrong."
There was a long, icy silence as she stared up into his eyes. Remy decided that it was best not to push his luck any further. If she got any angrier at him, it might just compromise his plans for today; something he couldn't afford to risk. Not now.
"Cherie," he said. "I admit that it was most ungentlemanly to snatch you from the comfort of your home on such short notice. Unfortunately, I didn't have much choice in the matter. This is a rather urgent situation."
She didn't say anything. It appeared as if she was trying to bore a hole into his brain with her eyes.
"Did someone hire you to capture me?" Rogue demanded bluntly. "Or is this about your father."
"No. This has nothing to do with Jean-Luc. What I'm doing involves only you and me."
"But what is it exactly that you think you're doing?" she asked, narrowing her eyes at the thief. "Knowing you, marrying me wasn't the only thing you had in mind when you brought me all the way to…to…" she trailed off as she looked uncertainly around the room again. "Where in the hell are we, anyway?"
He smirked. "I never told you? Why, Cherie, let me be the first to introduce you to the fine, fine city of Las Vegas."
Miles away, back at the Xavier Institute, an alarming discovery was being made.
It was no surprise to anyone when Rogue failed to show up at breakfast that morning—she was normally a late riser, and it was pretty typical for someone to go back upstairs and drag her down to the kitchen. If left to her own devices, she would probably sleep until noon and end up late for school.
Considering the girl's grade-point average it was clear she couldn't afford to miss too many of her classes, anyway. Making sure she actually made it to school was the least her surrogate family could do to make sure she got her diploma next year. At least, that was what they told themselves when they faced the dilemma of actually waking her up and facing her wrath.
"Come on, I did it yesterday," Kurt complained when Kitty attempted to bully him into the task.
"Yeah, but you're her brother," she argued. "She has to get along with you, Mystique being your mother and all, right?"
"You know she doesn't like to talk about that. Besides, just because we happen to be related doesn't mean that she won't try to hit me like last time!"
"Well, I'm not doing it! The last time I tried to wake up Rogue, she ended up touching me. I was unconscious and she had phased all the way into the mansion's ceptic tank! Do you think she was bouncing on her heels to thank me after we fished her out?"
Kurt shuddered. "You were lucky to escape with your life..."
As they were arguing over whose turn it was to do the dreaded deed, Logan happened to be coming down the stairs. Hearing their dispute, he heaved a sigh and stomped into the kitchen. Normally, he wouldn't get involved, but he had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach when he woke up this morning. Something in the air seemed…different.
Normally, what Logan smelled as he walked around the Institute was a mixture of scents belonging to everyone who inhabited the place. If it was changed, it was either because someone was here who shouldn't have been…
…or someone had left.
"All right," he said slowly. "Just this once, I'll bite. What's going on?"
"We're trying to figure out who should go get Rogue. She's still not up yet."
Logan let out a low growl under his breath. "You know, the more time you waste arguing, the less time you'll have to get back to whatever it is you need to do before you leave. So I suggest you all suck it up and figure this out."
"Hey, I know," said Kurt. "Logan can do it. Rogue would never hit him; not unless she was suicidal or something."
"I wasn't volunteering, you know."
"Oh, please," Kitty begged, knotting her hands as she looked up at the older man. "You know how bad of a mood Rogue gets when she first wakes up. And we have to leave in less than twenty minutes!"
Logan considered it for a moment. "Fine," he grumbled. "But I'm not making a habit of this, understand?"
They nodded, looking vastly relieved. Shaking his head in annoyance, he turned around and trudged back upstairs. As he went, he noticed the odd scent again and didn't like it one bit. It was familiar, too. Sort of like tequila, only a bit more…human.
Maybe it's a person with tequila in them, he thought. He scowled at the thought. Great. The last thing we need is for some of these idiots dipping into my private stash. The only thing wrong with this picture was that Logan didn't drink tequila. He preferred regular beer.
So, someone must have smuggled some in somehow. Wonderful.
As Logan got closer to Rogue's room, he noticed that smell seemed to solidify into a definite cloud. He paused by the door and breathed in through the crack. Without a doubt, it seemed to be coming from inside the room.
Rogue had better have a good explanation for this.
Clenching his hand into a fist, Logan pounded on the door. He waited for thirty seconds before knocking again. "Rogue," he barked. "Answer the door."
When he still didn't get any reply after that, he decided to unsheathe his claws. There was no way that she didn't hear him. His pounding was loud enough to wake up a swarm of molten lava monsters slumbering deep within the center of the Earth, practically. He figured she was ignoring him on purpose.
So, quite easily, he kicked in the door.
Logan expected to hear a scream, or possibly to catch sight of Rogue flinching out from beneath her covers as he stalked over the threshold. But that didn't happen. That was because the room was entirely empty.
But it was locked from the inside, he thought in confusion. Seconds later the scent returned in full force, causing him to stop dead in his tracks. He sniffed again, just to make sure there was no mistake.
"Gambit," he snarled under his breath.
"Las Vegas," said Rogue slowly.
"You mean the Las Vegas? The city that never sleeps?"
"I think you're mistaking this for Gotham City."
Rogue ignored his quip in the wake of this disturbing development. She stared, wide-eyed, at her bare feet, which seemed to stand out against the lush red carpet. It could not mean anything good if Remy was telling the truth about their current whereabouts. The city had its own rules, for crying out loud. They aren't kidding you when they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
"Why Las Vegas?" she asked, shooting him a suspicious look. "I mean, besides the fact that you can get married within thirty seconds' notice."
"What better place to get rich quick than the City of Riches?"
Rogue pulled away from him, disgusted. "So that's what this is about. Money! I should have known, you sneaky, conniving bastard." Folding her arms, she went to stand by the window. Of course, the shades were drawn, so she couldn't see outside. "And I suppose you want me to help you cheat and win a ton of cash."
Her hand was creeping towards the shades. Smoothly, Remy intercepted her, standing in her path.
"You catch on quickly. I'm impressed."
"What if I don't want to do this? What if I refuse?"
Remy shook his head from side to side. His smile was condescending and smug. "I don't think you will, Cherie."
"You sound so confident about that. How come?"
"Well," he said slowly. "Let's just say that I have an offer you can't refuse."
Remy caught her wrist seconds before she could bludgeon her fist into his ribcage. He tutted as he brought her hands in front of him, pausing to plant a kiss on the back of her gloved knuckle. Rogue grimaced in disdain.
"Look," she snapped, hoping fervently that she wasn't blushing, "it's bad enough that you went and kidnapped me. Do you have to go and be all cheesy on top of everything else?"
"A man in love will do crazy things sometimes," he replied.
"Don't start in with that bullshit. You don't care about me. You're just doing this for the money, you said so yourself."
Remy didn't say anything. He simply stared into her face, measuring the hate in her eyes.
"And this upsets you?"
"Don't be stupid."
"Good. Then you shouldn't feel too badly about the offer I'm about to make with you."
Rogue went quiet, turning to him with vague curiosity in her face. This had better be good, you son of a bitch, she thought as she regarded the shrewd expression on his face.
"I'm listening," she said.
Remy smiled. Hook, line, and sinker. "Good. Now about this marriage, I can see you're quite hostile about it. But what if I were to tell you that it's only temporary?"
"I'd say you're full of shit. That kind of thing doesn't fly. Not even in Las Vegas."
"True. Legally, we are husband and wife. No getting out of that unless you were to somehow escape my clutches and file for annulment or divorce; which quite frankly, is such a long messy process. It's a waste of both your time as well as mine."
"You should have thought of that before you pulled a stunt like this."
"Perhaps. But imagine how much smoother things will go if I were to give my consent for the annulment."
Rogue sighed. "Let me get this straight, then. If I help you with this heist you're planning, you'll cancel this marriage? And you'll leave me alone for good?"
"If that is what you want, then yes. I'll do that."
She considered this for a moment. If she said yes, then she'd be playing right into his hands, and that was the last thing she wanted to do. Plus, there was always the chance that he would go against his word. Rogue didn't trust Remy for a damn, not after everything that went down in Louisiana. And the fact that she hadn't seen him in at least six months…the fact that he didn't even bother to call or write, or even visit…
She shook her head. She did not care about that. Not anymore.
But if she said no, he probably wouldn't even let her out of their hotel room. She'd be his prisoner. At least if she was walking around the city, there was a better chance of her making a quick get-away should the need arise.
Then again, she could just leave right now. But as she went to remove her white gloves, Remy seemed to be watching her intently. She frowned at the look in his eyes. He seemed way too sure of himself. Maybe using her powers wasn't such a good idea.
Her hesitation seemed to be palpitating in the still air of the hotel room. Laughing quietly to himself, Remy closed the gap between them. There was nothing behind Rogue's back except for the wall, making it all too easy for him to capture her lips in his.
Rogue waited for the nauseating sensation that overwhelmed her whenever she was thrown headfirst into someone else's mind. But all she was aware of was this sense of alertness, this vitality that crawled through her body.
She realized that her powers weren't working a few seconds before this strange feeling overwhelmed her.
Her knees seemed to give way as Remy kissed her, but at this point his own body was pinning her to the wall, supporting her. Instinctively, her hands reached for his shoulders, trying to steady the rest of her in the wake of all these foreign emotions. She felt strangely elated and hated herself for it.
Oh, hell no.
Mustering every ounce of dignity and self-restraint she had left, Rogue pushed Remy away from her. Without him holding her she collapsed onto the carpet, her breath coming out in shallow gasps. Her cheeks were flushed, but without a mirror there was no way for her to know that. It was probably a good thing too. Knowing that she was blushing would have only made things worse.
"What…what did you do to me…?" she demanded, her eyes wide and frightened as she stared up at him.
"I kissed you."
"Yeah, but why didn't it hurt you? My powers…why aren't they working?"
Remy seemed amused by her reaction. "Oh, they're working all right. All you need to know is that I figured out a way around them. Perhaps if you were to cooperate, I might let you in on the secret. Hmmm?"
Crap. This was not good. If he was telling the truth—and Rogue had no reason to doubt him after that blunt demonstration he had just given—she had just lost the only advantage she had against him. It also made things that much more confusing. What good was she to him without her powers?
"Oh, my God…" she whispered.
It was really very terrifying, being alone and powerless in a hotel room with someone like the Gambit. Rogue's hands were shaking as she hugged her arms to her sides, trying to rid herself of the goose bumps. What was she supposed to do without her powers? What did he want from her?
But, wait a minute. Remy didn't say that Rogue had lost her powers. He just said that he knew a way around them. Like that's any better, she thought bitterly.
"All right," she sighed, her voice flat in defeat. "I'll do it. It's not like I have much of a choice, do I…?"
"None whatsoever," he replied.
It was official. This was a nightmare. But then, that's what you get for waking up in Vegas.
A/N: So, yeah, it's a blatant reference to the song "Waking Up in Vegas," by Katie Perry. Don't like it, not my problem. The story is the main deal, so…yeah. What did you think so far? As you can see, it is somewhat AU. I'm basically writing it under the premise that Rogue hasn't seen Remy since "Cajun Spice," and that this is the first time she has seen him in a long time. So, naturally, she isn't too thrilled to be married to him.
You can imagine how this is going to turn out, I hope.
This is the beginning of what will hopefully be a long, hilarious fanfiction, ladies and gentlemen. And before you guys start pointing red flags at me about Rogue's powers, let me reassure you with this: I thought everything through. Everything, from her powers not working to the constant power play you'll see between Remy and Rogue. Some parts will be serious, but I also promise lots of laughs.
If you enjoyed this, wait until you see what happens in Chapter Two, when the fun begins. Review now, or suffer my displeasure.