Apocalyptic Paths

A Gambit-centric Alternate Universe fic by Vikki

Disclaimer:  Gambit and company are registered trademarks of Marvel Enterprises.  I do not claim to own them, no matter how much I may wish I did.  No profit is being made from this work of fiction.  Please do not sue me.

Flame Policy:  You flame, I kill – Ran Fujimiya

Author's pre-notes:  This fic is AU, meaning it takes place in a universe other than the Marvel one we all know and love.  Some things are altered only slightly; some things have undergone a great deal of change.  I'd like to think I've stayed true to Gambit's personality, but as this is my first Remy-centric fic, I can always use help.

Also, to give credit where it is due:  There is a fic entitled 'Running', by brattax23, from which I drew a lot of ideas for this fic.  Please read it here:  http://www.fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=792748  Needless to say, it's very good.

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Prologue: The Bad Dream Begins

            It was smoky.

            Belladonna LeBeau sat up in her bed and clutched her favorite teddy bear to her chest.  Monsieur Teddy was almost as big as her own small 7-year-old body.  She blinked sleep blearily from her eyes and sat up in bed.  "Mommy?"

            Mommy didn't reply.  Belladonna couldn't see in the smoke.  It made her cough.  She was scared.  "Mommy!  It's smoky!"

            Mommy still didn't answer.  Belladonna remembered from school that when it was smoky she should crawl to her bedroom door and see if it was hot, because smoke meant there was a fire.  She grasped Monsieur Teddy and let herself down from her bed, and she crawled to the door.  "Mommy!  Daddy!  Where are you?"

            She could hear crackly noises, but she didn't hear Mommy or Daddy.  Mommy and Daddy slept in the room next to Belladonna.  Were they still sleeping?  Belladonna knew that Daddy wouldn't have slept through a fire.  He woke up even when Belladonna was being as quiet as a mouse.  Daddy was a 'light sleeper' according to Mommy.

            Belladonna reached her door.  It was warm.  She remembered that she should go to her window and shout for help if the door was warm, but Mommy and Daddy were only in the next room, and she really wanted Mommy!

            She opened the door.  There was more smoke.  Belladonna coughed and buried her face in Monsieur Teddy.  Her eyes were burning.  She was crying.  She couldn't crawl any further because her chest hurt and her eyes hurt.  She wanted Mommy.


            Belladonna didn't look up because her eyes burned too much, but she knew who had said her name.  It was Remy.  Remy was the only one who ever called her 'Belle'.  Julien only called her 'Belladonna'.

Remy was coming up the stairs.  "Remy!"  She said into Monsieur Teddy.

            "Belle, where are you?"

            "I'm here!" she shouted, but her voice was muffled.  "I'm here!"

            "Belle!"  Remy was closer.  Belladonna could hear him running up the steps.  He was taking them two at a time.  He always did.  "Stay where you are, I'll find – there you are!"

            Belladonna still didn't look up because it hurt too much, but she felt Remy's arms wrapping around her, squeezing her.  They reminded her of Daddy's hugs.  She wanted Daddy.  "Are you hurt?"

            "Where's Daddy!?" Belladonna demanded into Monsieur Teddy's plush lining.  "And where's Mommy?"

            Remy didn't hear her.  "It's okay.  Everything will be okay."  He coughed.

            Except Belladonna knew that everything would not be okay, because the house was burning, and Mommy and Daddy were not here.  And neither was Julien.  Everything would only be okay if everyone was together and the fire was gone.

            Remy was tugging at her now.  "Come on, Belle, we've got to get out of the house," he said.

            Belle finally looked up at Remy.  His eyes were glowing.  Remy's eyes always glowed in the dark.  It used to scare her.  "I want Mommy!  Where's Daddy!?" she said again.

            Remy looked worried.  "I don't know.  But they said that in a fire you should get out of the house, right?"

            Belladonna remembered that.  She nodded and coughed.  "It's hard to breathe," she said.

            "It's the smoke.  Let's go!"  Remy crawled towards the stairs.  Belladonna followed him, still clutching Monsieur Teddy.

            They got to the bottom of the stairs, but the rug in front of the door was burning.  There was so much smoke.  Belladonna was crying because it hurt so much, and she couldn't stop coughing.  Remy was coughing a lot too.  "We – coff coff – have to go to a – coff – window or something," he choked out.

            "I'm – coff – scared!" Belladonna wailed.

            Remy didn't answer.  He tugged her sleeve and pulled her towards the dining room.

            The windows in the dining room were closed.  There was fire, but it wasn't near the windows yet.  Remy told Belladonna to sit down in the corner.  She curled up in the corner and hugged Monsieur Teddy as tightly as she could.  He smelled smoky.

Remy couldn't lift the windows because they were stuck.  He hit one of them with Mommy's wooden vase and it broke.  "I'm going to – coff – to push you through the window!" he said, lifting Belladonna and Monsieur Teddy.  "I'll come out right after you—"

But as Remy half-carried her to the window, she saw Julien walking towards them through the smoke – and from through the fire!  He wasn't even burned.  He looked angry.  "Julien!" she shouted.

Remy turned around very quickly.  "Julien—" he repeated.

Julien had a sword!  He pointed it at Remy's chest.  "It's your fault that Mom and Dad died!  It's your fault!"  He wasn't coughing.  It was like he wasn't in the smoke at all.

Remy was shaking.  Belladonna could feel him shaking against her.  "You – coff coff coff – what are you talking -!"

"Everything is your fault!  He wants you!" Julien screamed.  "I have to kill you!  I have to stop it!"

Belladonna's head was hurting.  It hurt so much that she buried her head in Monsieur Teddy and shut her eyes and cried and cried.  She wanted Mommy and Daddy.  She wanted to wake up.  It was all just a bad dream.  It was all just a dream …

She heard the fire get louder, crashing noises, and a window breaking.  She heard a strange voice.  And she was falling – falling in Remy's arms.

She fell back asleep, and the dream ended.

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Author's Notes:  Please assume all dialogue in the prologue took place in Cajun French, hence the lack of accent.

The infantile nature of a lot of the narration is the result of my efforts to get inside a 7-year-old's head.  I think I failed miserably, but it was worth a try.  Future narration will be a bit more … detached.  I'll try to spend less time inside any given character's head.

Uh, yeah – please review!  ^^x;;;; I do love reviews, and they are a wonderful motivator for me!