This story picks up a few months after Cajun Spice and after the team has defeated Apocalypse. I have most of the story prewritten, but it may still take me a while to post. Between working full time and going to grad school, free time isn't something I have a whole lot of. But please read and review! I really would like to know what people think of this. Enjoy!

Layla


In the aftermath of Apocalypse the arrival of one business style envelope addressed to Rogue went easily overlooked. With just a few weeks left until her 18th birthday she'd already started receiving the myriad of credit card offers that came with legal adulthood. Had anyone been paying attention to the mail, they might have wondered about the lack of return address or noticed that the only name on the address line was Rogue, no last name. But with so many other things to focus on the envelope was simply tossed in with the rest of the similar looking letters intended for Rogue and forgotten.

It another took two days for Rogue to bother tackling her Mt. Everest of junk mail. She tossed three new credit card offers in the trash with an eye roll that prompted Jean to grimace in sympathy. "Stupid credit cards," Rogue mumbled and reached for the next envelope.

Ripping it open with obvious annoyance, her eyes widened and her mouth fell open for just a moment before she schooled her face into a normal look of annoyed boredom. A quick glance around the kitchen confirmed no one had noticed her reaction. She quickly folded the envelope in half and slid it into the pages of the book she'd set beside her on the counter. Feigning apathy she went through the rest of the mail. "Nothing but junk", she muttered, just loud enough to be heard and ignored, before grabbing her book off the counter and heading calmly to her room.

She settled on the edge of her bed, pulling the envelope from between the pages. She dumped the contents on to her comforter and stared for a moment. Gingerly she picked up the playing card in her gloved hand. The back showed an image of a gold fleur de lys decorated with green jewels on a purple background. In case the post mark saying New Orleans hadn't been enough to tell her where he was, she could now confirm he'd stayed in Louisiana.

She turned the card over. The ace of spades. Gambit had told her he always saved the Queen of Hearts for last, but she'd noticed from their various encounters that he opened with the ace of spades. Wondering at his meaning, she set the card down and picked up the scrap of paper that was folded neatly in half. Scrawled in black ink were 3 lines.

Well done, chérie.
Sorry I missed the party.
Should you need me, 504-555-5967

Running her finger along the edge of the card, she briefly considered tossing both the card and the note in the trash. She hadn't forgotten that their last little adventure had been a well played game designed to gain her help or that it had started with him kidnapping her. And just because she understood why he had done what he'd done and stopped Logan from killing him didn't mean she'd forgiven him carte blanche for tricking her. But in spite of the conniving, she couldn't deny that somehow, amidst all the tricks, she'd had more fun on that little jaunt down south with him than she'd had in a long time. And he'd been right about her needing to leave and get away. It had helped her. She just had no plans to tell him that.

And he had felt bad about using her. That had actually been the thought she'd grabbed when his finger touched her cheek. The one that had pulled the rest of the disjointed fragments into focus. He'd known he needed her in order find Jean-Luc, but he'd not liked having to play her. He just hadn't thought she'd go along if he'd asked outright. And given their tumultuous history, Rogue couldn't exactly say he was wrong. Particularly given her frame of mind at the time.

It was the same circle she'd traversed every time she'd thought back to their trip. To like or not to like, that was her question. The fact that he'd not bothered to help them with Apocalypse nagged at her though.

She picked up the note and reread his words. Did 'Sorry I missed the party.' mean he'd been otherwise engaged and not considered the end of the world a high enough priority? Or was he being sarcastic and tossing back at her the lack of invitation?

That made her pause. Had anyone even bothered to ask him to come? She couldn't remember. She'd been so focused on working out the details with Logan and Nick Fury to get Mrs. Leech and Dorian to help that she hadn't even thought to mention him as an option to the others. And she doubted any of them had considered him, except maybe Piotr Rasputin, but he'd been a last minute arrival. And she'd not even been certain where Gambit was at the time. Piotr probably hadn't known either.

She hissed. He didn't even have to be in the same city, and he was confusing her. She should probably just burn both the letter and the card and casually mention to Logan that Gambit had made contact again like she'd said she would.

But she slipped the ace of spades into the frame of her dresser mirror, beside and just slightly behind the queen of hearts he'd given her. Since she and Kitty no longer shared a room, she didn't have to hide them. The letter she tucked into the nearly invisible pocket inside her cosmetic bag. It didn't show through the lining, and no one would think to look there. Just in case.


So Rogue isn't going to tell any one she knows where Remy is...hmmm.

Chapter 1 should be up shortly. Let me know what you think.