Archive-title: Rogue and Gambit
Charles Xavier looked up from his desk. "Yes, Gambit?"
"Can I talk with you alone for a few minutes?"
Gambit entered the study, closing the door behind him. "I
need your advice about something that I'm planning."
Xavier frowned. "This plan wouldn't happen to involve Rogue,
"Yes, it does." Gambit paused for a moment, looking as close
to uncertain as Xavier had ever seen him. "May I sit down?", he
asked, doing so at Xavier's nod.
"You know that Rogue's been becoming a bit unstable lately."
"Yes, I know. While I have trouble directly reading her
mind, I have noticed that the other team members have been on
edge when she's around. I haven't been able to get any clear
impressions, though. Could you fill me in?"
"Well, it's been little things that are adding up. Her
temper seems to be running a bit hotter than usual. She's taking
too many risks, both in training and in actual combat. She's
becoming much too violent than is normal for her. I honestly
think that if our last few foes had been ordinary humans rather
than mutants, she might have killed someone accidentally."
Xavier nodded. "That fits in with the images that I was
getting. What do you think is the cause?"
Xavier gave Gambit a blank look. "I'm afraid I don't
"You know that Rogue and I have become involved over the
past few months."
"Give me _some_ credit, Gambit. I have eyes."
"Then you also know what she's going through because of it."
"Well, I know that she's been under a great deal of
"That's a mild way of putting it. She's been nasty to
everybody in both teams, and everybody's afraid to talk to her
for fear she'll tear something apart. Maybe them."
Xavier sat in silence for a few minutes, considering. "I
have an important question for you, Gambit. Please answer it
honestly. I promise you that I won't mentally affect your answer
in any way."
"Do you love her?"
"Yes," Gambit answered immediately, "I do. That's why I have
to _do_ something for her! She's tearing herself apart, and
there's nothing I can do about it! I hate seeing her in pain,
Xavier. I have an idea that might work, but I have to find a way
for her to agree to it, and she's been avoiding me because of the
way I make her feel. Professor, you've had more experience with
her than I do, and I have to admit that you're the smartest man I
know. What do I do?" He slumped into his chair.
Xavier brooded for a minute. "Gambit," he asked, "are you
willing to take the risk that she will absorb your personality?
"Yes," he answered, "if I stand any chance of helping her.
I've already lost one woman that I loved. I don't want to lose
Xavier took out a Post-It Note, wrote something down on it,
and handed it to Gambit. "Can you get to this location in the
next twenty-four hours?"
Gambit looked at it. "Yes. I have some connections that can
get me there."
"Good. Here's what you're going to do..."
As Gambit left the study, he caught a whiff of cigar smoke.
He sighed. "What is it, Wolverine?"
The enigmatic Canadian stepped out of the shadows of the
hall. "I overheard you and Xavier. I want to make something clear
between us. Rogue is going to be in a very vulnerable position if
this plan of yours goes through. I don't want to see her get
hurt. If she does, you answer to me." With that, he popped out
his claws with their characteristic SNIKT! "Understand, Cajun?"
Gambit looked at Wolverine steadily. "I want to help her. If
I hurt her, I won't try to stop you. I have to get going."
Rogue was flying at a leisurely pace, heading due west.
Xavier's instructions had been puzzling, she thought, but she
knew better than to defy the man. She pulled the note out of her
uniform jacket again, looking at it:
"Rogue: You are to rendezvous with an individual in
order to gain some information which is of vital importance. This
mission is COVERT. You are to be incognito. You are to pack the
1. Your best dress
2. Makeup kit
3. Two changes of clothes
It is likely that you may have to spend several days at this
location. I suggest packing some toiletries.
On the back of the note was a set of coordinates. Rogue had
memorized the location before setting out, and her communicator
gave her present position.
Rogue noticed that she was nearing the rendezvous point and
started to slow down. Looking about her, she saw that the only
landmark to be seen was a small cabin, with smoke drifting lazily
from the chimney. She decided to land there.
Looking at the front door of the cabin, she saw a folded
piece of paper with a prominent 'X' on it. She removed it and
opened it up:
"Rogue: your contact will arrive shortly. You are to go
inside, put on the dress, and wait. Xavier."
Rogue shrugged, confused, and went inside.
The interior of the cabin was lit by candlelight. A
fireplace, with logs blazing merrily, was set in one wall. A
table was set in the center of the cabin, with plates and
silverware for two. A small kitchen was in one corner of the
building. A large fur rug lay in front of the fireplace, with a
small, plush sofa behind it, facing the fire. An open door
revealed a small bathroom, and another, shut door was next to it.
Rogue looked about her, trying to find any clues as to the
purpose of the entire situation. She was tempted to open the
closed door, but decided that Xavier knew what he was doing. She
sighed, exasperated, went into the bathroom, and started to
undress. She looked, nervously, at the front door, and decided
to shut the bathroom door.
It took Rogue about ten minutes to change and put her face
on. Her dress was an exact duplicate of the one which she had
worn on the day that Omega Red had attacked. When she was done,
she cleaned up after herself and entered the main room again. She
sat down at the table and waited.
After about ten minutes, there was a knock at the front
door. She got up, walked to the door, took a deep breath, and
Gambit stood there, dressed in a tuxedo, holding a bouquet
of roses. "May I come in, chere?" he asked.
"Okay," Rogue said, "I am officially stumped. Gambit, what
the hell are you doing here?"
"I'm your contact," he replied.
"My contact !?! What'd you do, put a gun to Xavier's head?"
"Just trust me, chere," Gambit said, and entered the cabin.
He went over to the oven, which Rogue realized was on, and looked
inside. "Good. Dinner's almost ready."
"Now wait a minute. You made me trek all the way over here
just to keep that dinner date that we missed?"
"Well, you're wearing the same dress, aren't you?"
"That has nothing to do with it! I should..."
"Hush, chere," he interrupted. "Just have dinner with me,
and I promise to explain everything afterwards."
Rogue fumed for a few seconds. "What did you make?"
They ate in silence. Rogue had tasted Gambit's Cajun cooking
before (and drank about a quart of water later when he wasn't
watching), but she had no idea that he was this good at ordinary
French cuisine. The duck was delicious, and the chocolate mousse
that he had produced from the refrigerator was heavenly. The
tension in the room, however, had increased to a tangible level
during the course of dinner.
"Okay," she said after they were done. "What's this all
"Xavier decided that you needed a vacation. I offered to
provide you with a few days rest. Besides, I felt we needed to
"There's nothing for us to talk about," she said tightly.
"I think there is. Look, Rogue, we can't keep our
relationship at the state it's in now. It's not good for you and
it's not good for the team. You're coiled tight as a spring, and
you're going to snap soon if you don't do something about it."
"And what do you suggest I do?" said Rogue, her voice
breaking. "Damn it, what do you want from me? The one thing that
I want from you, the one thing that I need most of all, is the
one thing I can't have!" Tears started to fall down her face.
"Do you think I don't want it?" she continued, sobbing. "Do
you have any idea how much I do? All I want is a kiss, a caress,
a hug, a goddamn pat on the back! The only time anyone touches me
willingly is when they're punching me through a wall. The one
time I was finally rid of it for good, they..." Her sobs became
frantic, coming close to a wail.
Gambit felt totally helpless against this display of
emotion. He had steeled himself for all possible reactions, he
thought, but he was not prepared for this. Not knowing what else
to do, he put his hand on her covered shoulder. "What did they
do, chere?" he asked.
Rogue slowly composed herself. "Do you remember that time we
were in Genosha?"
"Yeah," he said, "but it's something I'd like to forget."
"It wasn't my first time there. Wolverine and I were
ambushed and taken there once before, before you joined the
"I didn't know that."
"Neither of us likes to talk about it much. Wolverine almost
"Died? I thought the man was practically immortal."
"There was a mutant there named Wipeout who could erase the
mutant powers of others. Wolvie and I both lost our powers for a
few days." She paused, hesitant to go on.
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to," Gambit
"I want to. I want you to understand. I don't want any
secrets between us."
"I was placed in a cell alone. A pair of guards came in
during the night. They..." She fell apart.
Gambit quickly put on the gloves he had kept in a pocket of
his jacket, and pulled Rogue's head to his chest. He was crying
"It wasn't your fault, chere," he said soothingly, "there
wasn't anything you could do."
"I should have done something," she croaked out. "I should
have been able to fight back."
"Don't worry," he said, gritting his teeth. "I'll take care
"No! I don't want anyone else to know! You have to promise
to keep this a secret between us!"
"All right," he said reluctantly, "I promise."
They sat there, Rogue's head in Gambit's lap, for a long
time. Finally Rogue got up, composed herself, and looked at
"Thank you," she said. "I've needed to let someone know for
a long time."
"Why didn't you tell Xavier?"
"I thought about it for a while, but I was afraid he'd think
that I was too broken up by it to stay on the team."
"Why not Wolverine, then?"
"I wanted to be able to deal with this myself. Besides,
Wolverine has had too much in his own life to deal with lately. I
didn't want to burden him with mine. I just hope he never finds
out. He'll destroy a lot of innocent people in a quest for
revenge. I just want to leave it behind me now."
They sat there, talking quietly and honestly, for several
hours. While Gambit was reassuring her again, insisting that she
had done nothing wrong, Rogue fell asleep on his lap. Gambit
picked her up, put her to bed, and fell asleep on the sofa.
The next morning, Rogue awoke to the smell of frying bacon.
She got up, changed into jeans, a T-shirt, and a turtleneck, put
on her gloves, and went out to see Gambit.
"How do you like your eggs, chere?"
"Over easy, please."
Gambit fried her two eggs, serving them to her with hash
browns and coffee. He let her eat in silence, waiting until she
was done to talk to her.
"Are you feeling any better?"
"A little. It just felt good to be able to open up like
that. I really needed that, Remy. Thank you."
"What do you want to do today?"
"Do we have to do anything? I mean, couldn't we just walk
around here for a while and talk?"
He smiled. "No problem. I'll pack us a lunch."
They spent most of the morning wandering around the woods,
talking with one another, each trying to fill in their gaps of
knowledge about the other.
"There's not much I can tell you about my childhood," Rogue
said. "I've absorbed the memories of so many other people over
the years, I'm not sure what memories are mine anymore. The only
ones I can really be sure about are the ones which come after I
got back from the Savage Land."
"Why's that?" Gambit replied.
"Because I haven't absorbed anyone since then. I lost my
powers for a while when I was there, and I've been very careful
not to use them since I got them back."
"Well, growing up in a thieves' guild isn't exactly what I'd
call the most stable way for a kid to grow up. I spent most of my
life running from the cops. I wasn't very good when I first
"Did you ever go to jail?"
"I wound up in a youth center for a while. It wasn't the
nicest place to spend an adolescence."
"Were you ever hurt?"
"No. The guild emphasized staying in shape, so I was able to
take care of myself. How does this spot look for our picnic?"
They had stopped at the edge of a small lake. A gentle
breeze was carrying the smell of the evergreens. A sheltered,
mossy knoll was nearby, covered in shade.
"Looks good to me," said Rogue. "Let's eat."
Gambit spread out a checkered sheet and they sat down. As he
took out the food, Rogue realized that the menu looked familiar.
"Hey, wait a minute. Isn't this the meal I cooked for you the
last time we had a picnic?"
"That's right. Given what happened that day, I thought that
we deserved a second chance at the whole thing."
"You promise that no former loves of yours are going to pop
out of the trees?"
They ate quietly, both lost in thought. Rogue seemed much
calmer than she had been the previous night. After they had
finished, she flopped onto her back.
"Whew!" she said. "I'm stuffed!"
"Are you sure you don't want dessert?"
Rogue smiled slightly, getting an idea of what was going to
happen. "What do we have?"
Her smile widened. "Why, yes. I'd love some."
Gambit took out a large pie. "Here. You can slice it," he
said, giving it to her.
Rogue held it in her hands, judging the weight. "I have a
better idea," she said innocently.
Gambit sat there, pie crust sticking to his face, as Rogue
collapsed onto her back, laughing hysterically. "Justice has been
served!" she shouted.
Gambit, looking as dignified as one could under the
circumstances, said stiffly, "This does not bother me, chere. Do
you know why?"
"No, why?" she said, giggling.
"I made more than one pie," he replied evilly.
She stopped laughing.
Now it was Gambit's turn to laugh like a lunatic. "I _knew_
you were going to do that, chere!"
Rogue got up slowly, looking innocently at him. "Tell me,
dear," she said seductively, "is that water deep enough to swim
He looked at her appraisingly. "Yes, I checked. Why?"
"Just making sure," she said, smiling. With that, she picked
him up and tossed him into the lake. He turned in mid-leap,
however, turning his dive into a cannonball which soaked Rogue as
Rogue sputtered as Gambit resurfaced. "Tell me, Remy... is
there any particular charity that you're fond of? Or would you
simply prefer flowers?"
"Oh, quit complaining and jump in! The water's fine!"
She stood there for a moment, considering it. "You have to
promise to keep your distance. I'm not the world's greatest
swimmer, and I don't want to absorb you accidentally because I'm
Rogue removed her shirt and slipped out of her boots and
jeans, leaving her in a T-shirt and panties.
"If you take off much more, chere, I might not be able to
keep that promise."
"Just keep back, you pervert," Rogue said cheerfully, and
dived in. She stayed under for a few seconds, surfacing about
eight feet away from Gambit.
"What did I tell you?" exclaimed Gambit. "Perfect!"
"Nah, I've made better dives."
"I wasn't talking about the dive, chere."
"That's sweet. Bullshit, but sweet."
They swam around for a time, splashing each other and
laughing. Eventually, they both climbed out and, facing head-to-
head, sunned themselves on a large rock.
"How do you feel now?" Gambit asked her after a time.
"Ummm, much better," said Rogue lazily. "I haven't been able
to relax this much in a long time."
"Well, why don't you relax on your own for a little while? I
have to get started on dinner. I'll call you when it's almost
"All right," she replied. After a moment's reflection, she
sat up and asked him, "Are we alone out here, Remy?"
"Yep. Xavier owns the land for miles around. Apparently,
he's had this place for years. He says he keeps it in case the
X-Men need to hide out for a while. The land is fenced off around
the perimeter. Why?"
"Just asking. Can you do me a favor?"
"When it's time for dinner, can you shout ahead and give me
some notice when you come to let me know?"
He shrugged. "No problem. It should be a few hours anyway.
Try to stay out of trouble, chere." With that, he walked off in
the direction of the cabin.
Rogue waited until he was out of sight, then slipped out of
the rest of her clothes and jumped back into the lake. She had
skinny-dipped all the time when she was growing up in the bayous
of Mississippi, but had been forced to abandon that guilty
pleasure after developing her powers and joining the X-Men. To be
able to do it now felt glorious, reminding the young woman of a
simpler, happier time in her life.
Rogue bobbed happily in the water for a while, letting her
body float. She then decided to try some inventive diving, using
her flight powers to do maneuvers which would have earned her
gold medals at any swim competition. After climbing out and
sunning herself on the rock again, she started to become drowsy
from the heat, and sank into a meditative state.
She thought back to Gambit's kindness the previous night.
She could admit to herself now that she was in love with him, but
she found that she was afraid to take the next step. Was she
ready to commit herself to a man who had only recently come into
her life? More importantly, was it fair to ask him to remain with
a woman who he could never be intimate with?
She had never told anyone, but Rogue had seen more of Gambit
than he probably realized. A few weeks earlier, she had been
flying back from town late at night when she just happened to
buzz by Gambit's room. The curtains of his room were open, and it
appeared that he had been coming out of the shower. He was
clothed only in a towel, which he proceeded to remove in order to
dry himself. The bright lights of his room reflected off the
window, allowing her to view him unobserved. She had gazed at his
body longingly until he went to bed and turned off the lights, at
which point she had flown back to her room and masturbated in a
frenzy, sobbing regretfully all the while.
She had been too ashamed to tell anyone, and avoided the
team telepaths for several days afterward. Thinking back to that
day, however, was arousing her again, and nobody was around to
interrupt her this time. The heat which was building between her
legs was becoming too insistent to ignore. She looked about to
make sure that she was alone. Reassured, she lay back again,
bending her knees so that her feet were flat on the rock.
She began by slowly and lightly stroking her face and neck,
imagining that her fingers were Gambit's. She felt the feathery
touch of his caress moving slowly down her throat towards her
chest. They tantalizingly circled each breast, moving slowly
upward towards their peaks. As she felt them pinch her nipples,
she let out a soft moan, overcome by the sensations. Inching down
her stomach, they caused her to arch her back as she shivered
with pleasure. They grazed the sides of her hips, and started to
move down her legs, but then stopped, moving back up towards her
sex. They brushed softly through the curls of hair to be found
there, sending the most delicate signals to her brain. Tracing
lightly through the auburn locks, they moved slowly towards her
labia. They lightly traced the edge of her lower lips, knowing
the exact spot which would bring her over the edge, but then
skirted around it, leaving her craving for resolution.
Rogue pictured Gambit's body in her mind, visualized him
standing before her, taking her gently into his arms, bathing her
body with caresses, drowning her in kisses. His hands moved
slowly down her body, joining hers at her sex, where they
expertly played counterpoint to her own efforts.
The wind blowing over the lake became his breath, flowing
over her naked body. That sensation of engulfment sent her over
the edge. She came in loud gasps, writhing in ecstacy, losing all
sense of outside awareness.
As she came down from her plateau, she was overcome by a
wave of pleasant exhaustion. Her last thought before dozing off
was that it was a good thing her invulnerability protected her
The next thing she knew, she heard Gambit's voice in the
distance, calling her name. She moved like lightning, grabbing
her clothes and diving back into the lake all in one motion. She
stayed underneath the water, putting her T-shirt and panties on
quickly while holding her breath. When she surfaced, Gambit was
just coming out of the cover of the trees.
"Chere! Dinner's almost ready. I thought you might want to
wash up and change before we ate."
"Uh, yeah... thanks," Rogue said uneasily. "I'll be there in
a few minutes."
"All right." He looked at her curiously. "Is something
"No," she said, trying to look innocent. "Why do you ask?"
Gambit looked thoughtful for a moment, then shook his head,
as if he was disregarding what he saw. "No reason. You'd better
hurry it up." With that he walked off.
As soon as he was out of sight, Rogue waded back to shore
and got dressed. She decided to beat Gambit to the cabin, and
flew off at top speed. When she got there, she threw off her
clothes and jumped into the shower, making sure that she scrubbed
away the remaining scent of her recent activity. She found a
towel after a moment's search through the cabinets, dried herself
off until her skin achieved a rosy glow, and styled her hair in a
fashion which she hoped would appeal to Gambit. She then wrapped
herself in the towel and opened the bathroom door.
Gambit was at the kitchen counter, his back to her, slicing
some vegetables. "You all done?" he asked, not looking at her.
"Yeah," she replied. "Don't turn around."
"Wouldn't think of it."
"And put down the mirror."
She went to the bedroom and closed the door, then changed
into her other set of clothes: jeans, cowboy boots, and an off-
the-shoulder blouse. She made certain to put her gloves on, put
her things away, and walked out.
"Need any help with dinner?" she asked him.
"Nope, just finished," he said, dumping the vegetables into
a pot of boiling water. "You can set the table, though."
"All right. What's the main course?" she asked.
"Well, I decided to try something fancy. I hope it turned
"What is it?"
"Veal mousse baked inside a beef ribcage."
"That must have been expensive."
"Only the best for you, chere."
She blew him a kiss. Gambit blinked. "You know, that's the
first physical sign of affection I've seen from you since we
A stricken look came over Rogue's face. "I'm sorry."
"There's no need to be, chere," he said gently. "You had to
learn to repress physical actions that the rest of us take for
granted. It's going to take a long time to break that self-
"Break it? What do you mean?"
"Ask me that again after dinner. Looks like the vegetable
course is almost done."
"But you just put them in."
"I was just blanching them."
"Where'd you learn to cook, anyway?"
"Part of being a good thief is being able to hide in plain
sight. The guild made sure that I learned a lot of different
skills so that I could lay low for a while if the situation with
the law got too dangerous. I apprenticed for about a year under a
gourmet chef. I picked up a few things, and taught myself after
"Did you ever think of going straight?"
"A few times. My heart just wasn't in it. I'm a devious
little weasel by nature. Sometimes I wonder what would have
happened if my parents had raised me to be a stockbroker or
something like that. I might have been the next Michael Milkin."
"I'm trying to picture you in a suit and tie. I just can't
"Neither can I. There, the vegetables are done. Let's eat."
The meal proved to be as delicious as the previous night's.
The meat was cooked to perfection, and the dessert, chocolate-
covered cream puffs, was a meal all on its own. When she was
done, Rogue leaned back in her chair. "If you keep stuffing me
like this, I'll have to double up on Danger Room sessions just to
keep from blimping out. Why don't you cook like this back at the
"Oh, sure, and have everyone expecting this kind of cooking
all the time? 'I find my life is easier the lower I keep
"Who said that?"
"Calvin," he said, grinning.
"Cute. What's next?"
"Is sitting on the rug in front of the fireplace too cliched
"I think I could live with it."
Gambit waited for her to get comfortable on the rug, then
poured glasses of champagne for both of them. "Here you go,
"Thanks", she said, sipping at the drink. "Now, what's all
this about 'breaking my conditioning?'"
Gambit's face suddenly became very serious. "Rogue, I want
you to listen to what I have to say very carefully. I'm going to
ask you to make one of the most important decisions of your life,
and I want you to know what you could be letting yourself in
A worried frown came to Rogue's face. "What do you mean?"
He looked straight into her green eyes. "I love you, Rogue.
I think you've known that for a while, although I never got up
the courage to say it before. I want to do whatever I can to make
you happy, whatever the risk. For the past few months, I've been
talking with the scientific geniuses of the super-hero world,
trying to see if there was any way to permanently remove your
powers, or at least find some way for you to keep them under your
Rogue swallowed. "What did you find out?"
"Well, Tony Stark said that his research wasn't running in
that direction, and Doctor Doom wouldn't return my calls. Reed
Richards did talk to me, but the news that he gave me wasn't very
"What news was that?"
"Because we're mutants, the energy that our cells carry is a
vital part of the natural energy balance of our body's nervous
systems. Altering that energy causes changes in the energy
pattern of the organism. It doesn't do much in the short term,
but disrupting your powers with some kind of outside agent could
cause cancer, a breakdown of your nervous system, maybe even
death in the long run."
Tears started to form in Rogue's eyes. "Then there's nothing
we can do, is there?"
"Hold on a minute. After I talked with Richards, an idea hit
me. What do you do if someone is being electrocuted?"
"Well, you grab something nonconductive to hold them with."
"Exactly! If the circuit isn't complete, you can't get
shocked. Well, what if we break the circuit of your power?"
"I don't get it."
"I'll be right back. Don't move." Gambit got up and went
back to the kitchen, opened the cabinet underneath the sink, and
pulled out a large, wrapped gift box. He brought it to Rogue.
Rogue untied the ribbon and opened the box. She pulled out a
large sheet, made of white satin. "What am I supposed to do with
this?" she asked, confused.
Gambit took it from her, and held a large length of it
directly in front of her face.
He quickly draped the sheet over her head, pulled her to
him, and kissed her full on the lips.
She was shocked for several seconds, then was forced to
inhale in order to breathe. The pressure of Gambit's lips on hers
was luxurious. While she had kissed others in order to absorb
their powers and memories countless times before, she had to
limit her contact with them in order to avoid a permanent
transfer, so the entire process never took more than a few
seconds. Gambit's kiss, however, was long and lingering, and full
of passion rather than the panic which was the usual reaction of
those who she had absorbed over the years. She wrapped her arms
around him and held him tightly, wishing the moment would never
Gambit, however, eventually had to breathe, and he broke the
"I wasn't sure how you would take that," he said, panting.
"What do you mean?" she replied, still somewhat in shock
from what had just transpired.
"Well, some people might consider what I just did to be
sexual harassment. After all, I didn't ask your permission before
I did it. Are you angry at me?" he asked, worried.
"Angry? How could I be angry? That was the most wonderful
thing that's ever happened to me! I haven't been able to maintain
contact with someone for that long in years! How did you think of
"Well..." he said reluctantly, looking embarrassed,
"remember how I told you I had a lot of different jobs before
meeting Storm and the other X-Men?"
"Well... I was once the bartender at a place that billed
itself as an 'exotic dance club'."
"Come on, chere, I'm a thief. Maybe you were expecting my
background to include psychiatric training? I had to work in some
places in order to survive that I wouldn't be caught dead in
"Just go on with the story, Remy."
"Well, there was a dancer there who was incredibly pretty,
but she was also very shy. She knew a lot about the way men
think, though. She had to find a way to entertain the customers
without actually coming into contact with them. Finally, she came
up with several ideas that worked."
"Well, she became a very good fan dancer, for example. She
worked with a lot of backlight, so her silhouette was all that
was visible. The customers were usually entertained, and she
never had to embarrass herself. But what got me thinking was the
other method she used. She used a sheet instead of her fans in
order to do more, ah, inventive dance moves so that the customers
would throw more money on stage. I decided that if she could use
a sheet as a barrier to sight, than you could use one as a
barrier to touch."
"Makes sense. I wonder why I never thought of it."
"Probably because you had trouble being objective about the
whole thing. They're your powers, so any ideas that you might
have had about them would be from a subjective point of view.
I've been watching you ever since I joined the team..."
"Ha ha. I realized that you had conditioned yourself so well
that you avoided touching anyone even when fully clothed. You
hadn't just associated touching anyone with your bare skin as
something to be avoided, you had generalized it into an avoidance
of touching anyone, period. That's probably why it never occurred
to you to try this."
"I thought you said you didn't have any psychological
"I started reading up on the subject when I came up with
this idea. I wanted to be sure that I wouldn't hurt you because I
didn't know what I was doing."
"So what do we do now?"
"I'm leaving that up to you. If you want, I'll pack
everything up and we'll head back to the mansion right now."
"You have got to be kidding. Remy LeBeau, you just taught me
how to deal with what's been the curse of my life. You expect me
to just get up and go home?" She sat, thoughtful, for a few
moments, then asked him, "Did you bring your costume with you?"
"Yeah, but it's still packed, why?"
"Can you get a few of your throwing spikes for me?"
Gambit looked confused for a moment. "I don't understand."
"Just do it. I'll explain in a minute."
He shrugged, saying "All right," got up, and went to the
"There's a CD player in my bag. Could you get that, too?"
"Got them," he replied, walking back in after a few seconds.
"Give me the spikes," she told him, while spreading out the
sheet as wide as it could go.
He handed them to her "What are you planning?"
She gave him an impish smile. "Trust me."
Rogue flew up to the beam directly above them, which spanned
the width of the cabin. She laid the edge of the sheet flat
against the beam, and pinned it into place with the spikes. When
she was done, the sheet was suspended from the ceiling, blocking
Gambit's view of the fireplace. Even folded in half, a lot of it
was bunched up on the floor. "Move the sofa back and sit down,"
she advised. He did so. Rogue looked at the CD in her player,
advancing it to the place that she wanted. She cleared her
throat, then said somewhat loudly:
"Ladies and gentlemen..."
"I don't see any of either here," Gambit interrupted.
She ignored that. "Tonight, for the first time anywhere, we
are proud to present to you the Siren of the South, the Daughter
of Dixie, the Beauty of the Bayou, the one and only... Rogue!"
She started the player. Ray Charles began singing "Georgia on My
Mind." Gambit clapped and started wolf-whistling.
Rogue stood behind the sheet, knowing that only her
silhouette was visible to Gambit. She started a slow, sinuous
dance which caused her shadow, enhanced by the fireplace, to
slide all over the sheet. She looked down, however, then stopped
"What's wrong?" asked Gambit.
"This is going to be pretty tough to do with these boots on.
Give me a sec." She sat down on the floor, tugged off her boots,
and tossed them into the bedroom. She then stood back up. "We'll
take it again from the top."
"You know, if this was back at the bar, you probably would
have been fired for that."
"If this was back at the bar, it wouldn't be a free show."
She reset the player, and began again. She glided slowly
along the length of the sheet, turned to her side and arched her
back, stretching her arms above her head. She then lowered her
arms, peeled off her gloves, and, looking from behind the curtain
at Gambit, tossed them at him. After a few more minutes of
dancing, she twirled about, then slowly lifted her blouse over
her head and removed it. She looked around the curtain at Gambit
again, holding the blouse in her hand. "You want?" she asked him
"I want!" he exclaimed, grinning. She tossed the blouse to
him. He caught it easily, then looked at it critically. "Maybe I
can start a collection."
"I think that could be arranged. I wonder if the Danger Room
could be programmed to simulate a strip bar."
"I don't know, but I'd love to see the look on the
Professor's face when you ask him."
Rogue doubled over in laughter at that. "Well, since I've
gone this far," she giggled, "I guess I should keep going."
"Should I start tossing dollar bills towards you?"
"Can I keep them?"
"We'll talk about it," he replied.
She moved her hands down her bare chest - she had not worn a
bra - towards her waist. She began unbuttoning her jeans, bumping
her hips as she did so in order to add a bit of showmanship.
Gambit's whistles told her that she was obviously doing a good
job of it. As she slid the jeans off, she let them bunch up
around her feet, and struck a pose for him. She then picked them
up and threw them to him.
"Well?" she asked him, looking around the curtain. "Should I
go for broke?"
"I would be highly appreciative," he replied dryly.
She grinned at that and ducked back behind the curtain. She
ran her hands up and down her body one last time, then slipped
out of her panties, leaving herself nude. She then tossed them to
Gambit. "Well, that's it," she said slyly. "What shall I do
"Rogue," Gambit said softly, "come out from behind there.
Please. I want to see you. Not a shadow or an image. You."
Rogue was taken slightly aback. "I don't know if I can."
"Please don't be afraid. I just want to see you, that's all.
I'll stay right here, I promise."
"All... all right."
She stepped out from behind the curtain and faced him,
silently. He gazed at her for several seconds, and then tears
started to form in his eyes. Rogue became very confused. "What's
wrong?" she asked him softly.
It took him a moment to respond. "God, you're beautiful," he
choked out. He sat there, silently, for a few more seconds, then
got up. "Just stand there," he told her. "Don't move." He walked
around her several times, looking her up and down.
Rogue was surprised to find that she was not in the least
bit embarrassed. She was, in fact, relieved. Most of her previous
episodes of nudity had occurred during combat, when she had no
control of her exposure to others. Now, however, she was in
charge of the situation, and she knew that she was with someone
who would not pose any threat to her. That feeling of security
was a welcome relief.
"I've dreamed about what you looked like," said Gambit, "but
I never knew..." He composed himself, then said "Wait a minute."
He grabbed the sheet and tried to pull it down, but found that
the nails were holding it in place. "Can you get this down?" he
"No problem," she said. "Step back." She walked up to the
sheet, floated up to where she had placed the spikes, and pulled
them out. The sheet fell onto the floor. Gambit took it and
spread it out on top of the rug, with most of its length going
beyond it onto the hardwood floor. "What are you doing?" Rogue
"You'll see," he replied. "Lie down. On your back."
She did so. "Relax your body completely," he told her. "Let
me do all the work." He then picked up the free end of the sheet
and covered her with it. The size of the sheet was such that she
was covered from head to toe, with about two yards to spare to
"What are you going to do?" she asked.
"Whatever you want," he answered gently.
"Kiss me again." He kneeled down beside her and did so.
Rogue took the initiative this time, trying to keep him in
contact with her through lip pressure alone. They stayed together
for a long time, leaving them both breathless.
"Stand up," she told him. When he did so, she peered out
from under the sheet. "Your turn now. I want to see you, too."
"Okay. But I want you to understand something first."
"All of this, this whole thing, I've done for you. The
purpose of tonight is to bring you pleasure. That's my first
priority. I just want you to do what makes you feel good. Tonight
I'm going to indulge you completely. I want you to be completely
selfish for the next few hours. You've denied yourself for far
too long. Don't worry about me."
He got up and unbuttoned his flannel shirt, throwing it onto
the sofa. He peeled off his T-shirt, then sat down on the floor
and removed his boots and socks. He then stood up, unbuttoned his
jeans, and pulled them down. He stood for a moment clad only in a
pair of briefs, through which it was made readily apparent that
he was aroused.
"Looks like I'm not the only one getting pleasure out of
this," she said archly.
Gambit looked down in consternation, then turned around and
opened the front of his briefs. "Down, boy," he said. Rogue
doubled up in laughter.
He turned around. "So, you think that's funny, do you?" he
said sarcastically. Rogue was too breathless to answer him.
"This, chere, means war!" With that he pounced onto the floor
next to her and started tickling her with a vengeance.
"NO!" she cried, reacting to his tickling by laughing like a
maniac. He kept her in torment for a few seconds, then stopped.
She didn't move for a few seconds, but tried to catch her breath.
"Oh, you fink... I'm going to get you for that."
"Not tonight, you're not. Now just turn over and relax." He
covered her up with the sheet again after she did so. He then ran
his fingers over her head, massaging her scalp through the sheet.
The sheerness of the satin acted as an oil would otherwise,
becoming a medium for friction. Rogue just closed her eyes and
"Keep your eyes closed," he advised her. "I want you to do
nothing but feel."
He moved down to her neck, and made small circles on her
shoulders using a bit of pressure. Her spine was next to be
served, as his fingers traced its edge on either side. He moved
down to the small of her back, then back up, widening his strokes
so that the whole of her lower back was kneaded and stroked. Her
shoulders were expertly ministered to, and he lightly traced his
way down to her ass and legs. He kneaded her ass as he would a
piece of bread dough, and elicited a small moan from her.
"Like that?" he asked. Rogue could only let out a soft,
contented hum in reply. He rubbed the backs of her knees, then
moved up slightly, moving his hands from the insides of her upper
legs upward towards him. Taking hold of each ankle in turn,
through the sheet, he bent each of her legs back, flexing the
knees. He then moved down to her feet, where he followed the
arches, then playfully tweaked each of her toes, causing a bit of
giggling in the process.
"Turn over," he said gently. She did so, and after adjusting
the sheet somewhat, he took care of her upper thighs, then moved
up to her hips, where he moved along their edge and then advanced
towards her stomach.
"You missed a spot," she told him.
"We'll take care of that in time," he replied, then began
making wide circles around her stomach, making sure to contact
all of her belly muscles. "I wonder if your bellybutton is
ticklish," he said idly.
"Let's not find out," she replied.
"Oh," he pouted, "you're no fun." He moved up to her chest,
and traced the edges of her breasts in a figure-eight motion,
moving slowly up towards her nipples. Taking them one at a time,
he placed his thumbs on her nipples, and moved down the hills of
her breasts repeatedly, making a star pattern. This caused Rogue
to arch her back slightly, humming again. He then moved up to her
neck again, lightly tracing the outline of her throat. He cupped
her chin in her hands, and stroked its underside. Following the
ridge of her jawbone up her cheeks, he firmly rubbed the bones
behind her ears. He then lightly massaged her temples, moved his
hands firmly up her forehead, and finally glided his thumbs
softly across her closed eyelids. He ended the massage by kissing
both of her eyes, and finally kissed her deeply on the lips.
"It's over, chere," he said. "You can come out now."
Rogue slowly roused herself. Gambit was surprised to see
tears in her eyes when she removed the sheet from her head. "Are
you all right?" he asked.
"I couldn't possibly feel more right," she said languidly.
"I never thought I would ever feel anything like that in my life.
Oh, thank you, Remy. This has been the most wonderful experience
I've ever had."
"Well, we're not done yet," he replied. "Come on, get up."
Rogue slowly stood up, and untangled herself from the sheet.
"Spread out the sheet again over here, near the wall." She
did so. He measured off about two feet with his hands. "Now sit
down, with your feet at about here."
After she had done so, he walked behind her and picked up
the remainder of the sheet, then draped it over her head, fully
covering her body.
"What am I supposed to do now?" she asked.
"Wait a sec," he said. Rogue heard a small "oomph" just
behind her as Gambit sat down. She felt his arms wrap around her
as he pulled her close to him. She was able to feel his warmth
through the sheet, feel his breath on her neck. "I'm going to
scoot us back against the wall, so our backs have some support."
She bumped a little bit as they moved back.
"All set?" he asked.
"For what?" she replied.
"This," he said. "Just relax." He started kissing her
through her cover, nuzzling her neck, while moving his hands up
her stomach towards her breasts. She felt him lightly trace their
surface, then rest at her nipples, which he lightly pinched. She
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Oh, yes," she breathed. "Do that harder, please."
"Okay," he said with a smile in his voice. He increased the
pressure. Rogue's gasps became louder. She leaned her head back,
cradling it into his neck. She felt the pressure of his lips
against her cheek, and moved her head so that she met them with
her own, joining him in a kiss.
Gambit slowly moved his right hand down her belly, ending
when it reached the cleft between her legs, and slowly started
stroking her labia, all the while continuing to stroke her breast
with his left hand. She gasped at the new sensation, and began
undulating her hips in time with his caresses. "A little lower,"
she advised him.
"As my lady commands," he replied. He started to quicken his
pace. The buildup of feeling quickly became too much for her, and
her gasps became louder and more frantic as she neared her
On impulse, Gambit started nibbling at her ear. That sent
her over the edge, and she moaned and writhed as her climax hit
her, nearly flattening Gambit against the wall. Breathing became
difficult for him, but he continued to stroke her to two more
When she came down, she collapsed in his lap.
"I take what I said before back. _That_ was the most incredible
experience I've ever had," she said, gasping.
"I'm glad," he moaned.
"Oh my God, I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"I'll be okay. It was worth it to see you like that."
She leaned back into him, putting her head back into his
shoulder. "Do we have to go now?"
"Tell you what," he said softly, "let's just stay like this
for a little while." He stroked her cheek through the fabric. "I
love you, chere."
"And I love you, Remy LeBeau. I think I have ever since I
met you." They lay together in silence for a time, feeling the
beating of one another's hearts, bathed in the moonlight coming
through the window.
After a while, Gambit said "Can I ask you a personal
"What," she replied, "and we haven't been as personal as
possible with one another tonight? What is it, my love?"
"Well, I've asked all the other X-Men, your foster mother
Mystique, and checked all the records I could find, but I still
haven't been able find the answer for the one big question I have
"And what's that?"
He drew her closer. "What's your real name?"
She was silent for a minute. "This has to be a secret
"You know how good I am at keeping secrets, chere."
"Okay, then," she replied. "I guess if I can tell anyone,
it's you. My real name is..."
T H E E N D