Challenge: Word #190 at 15_minute_fic LJ comm

Not beta'ed.

Sorry for the long wait for updates. Hope to start writing more regularly. I'm currently 80+ deep in a 365 original/fandom fiction/poetry challenge on lianamir dot com, so feel free to ask for any particular fanfic you want. Thank you for reading!

rats xp (I have fun with catching folks doing what they're not supposed to. And the mansion is so full of amicable busybodies!), Lucky's Girl (Way to pick my favorite parts! Thanks for reading and letting me know your favorites. I have a soft spot for family relationships, even Guild ones.), Hawaiichick (Brevity is the soul of wit, as they say. No, actually the chapters are short because they have to be written in 15 minutes to the title-word prompt. Kinda crimps the waxing eloquent thing. Glad you're enjoying it!), Chellerbelle (My favorite bit was the Jean-Luc/Remy interaction, though the rest is going to sting a bit. Jean-Luc waited too long to retrieve the relationship.), Indigo-Night-Wisp (I think you nailed the elements in this one, though I admit, Rogue's concerns are valid. Gambit's liable to get himself in serious trouble without letting anyone know. I can't blame her for worrying. But I do feel for Remy here. This was a hard chapter to write in a way.)

And onto the story.


Rogue could hear them all from in her bedroom while trying to study, and she was still feeling restless from the lack of word. That swamp rat did his level best to keep her in the dark about just how much could and did go on with his adopted family, but she hadn't been part of the Brotherhood, raised by Mystique for crying out loud, for nothing. She knew perfectly well that Gambit might be in over his head and in very real danger.

With a small growl to herself and a groan that she was really going to let him interfere with the one aspect of normalcy she actually had left—school—when he wasn't even on the premises, Rogue stalked down to Cerebro herself and knocked with more politeness than she felt for the Professor.

"Come in, Rogue."

She ignored the faint amusement in the Professor's voice and opted for barreling in with her request. "Could you check for me and make sure the swamp rat's not dead?"

This blunt and less than flattering demand was clearly unexpected, or at least its phraseology. The Professor opened his mouth as if to tell her so, then hesitated, then sighed and moved his hands to the controls. "Wait outside and I'll be with you in a moment."

Rogue hesitated herself for a moment, then unbent enough to say, "Thanks," before going out in the hall to wait.

Remy hated telepaths. Meddling, tiresome, disrespectful by their very nature. A low thunderstorm grumbled through his mind at the clear intrusion of a man who had promised never to intrude.

He sensed Professor Xavier's mind for only an instant, but it was long enough to know that someone was poking in his head without permission, regardless of the faint trace of an apology left behind.

On his face, he showed nothing. Anger would not serve Remy while trying to stave off all the arguments his adoptive father's arguments for returning to the Guild and staying long enough to take up some real responsibility for his family heritage.

"Y're supposed t' be de Guildmaster one day!" Jean-Luc reminded him again, shock at Remy's disinterest making him yell the words.

Guildmaster. The honor inherent in such a proposition should have brought Remy more than a calculated lack of caring. Remy was adopted and younger than Henri by years, but the Guild had made Remy heir. It flew in the face of tradition and showed respect beyond regard. For Remy to refuse to take any steps toward his future position was lower than an insult. It was downright backstabbing betrayal.

Finally, he leaned forward, realizing anew how much he would have to make his position clear. "'M not y' pawn o' prophecy," Remy stated in clipped fury. "'M not de pawn y' c'n use t' rule dis Guild. 'M not Belladonna's destiny. 'M Gambit. I choose m' future."

Jean-Luc swore. "Y' still my son!"

The two men stared at each other, locked in face off and stubborn ambiguity.

"Am I?" Remy finally said softly. He didn't wait for an answer. He stood out of his seat and swiftly exited without another word.