The cure is announced
A/N: Hey all. Took a bit longer than I thought it would. Hopefully next Chap will be quicker. Not a whole lot of Romyness in this chap, but we get see the plot move forward quite a bit (in regards to the X3 movie plot). And finally some Magneto! Please, read and review.
Chapter 10: Cure
“Come in,” Xavier said, looking up from his desk at the knock on his door. Ororo and Remy walked into the room, and he gestured to the two chairs in front of the desk.
Ororo had a worried expression on her face. “Charles, we need to talk to you about something.” She said, and then nodded to Remy.
He cleared his throat. “Professor, I know de name of de man dat hired me to show him how to get to de tunnels.”
Xavier looked over at him with a hint of surprise, and glanced over to Ororo. He smiled slightly. “I see you took my advice, Remy.”
Remy smiled weakly and glanced at Ororo. “Yeah, jus’ a little while ago.”
“Now what is this about the man that hired you? You didn’t tell me you knew who he was.”
Remy shook his head. “I didn’t. Not until today, when I saw him on TV standin’ wit’ Senator Graydon Creed. His name’s Ron Maldrone. He’s runnin’ Creed’s campaign.”
“You’re sure of this?” Xavier demanded sharply.
“Abs’lutly. He’s de creep dat hired me.”
Xavier frowned in thought, and looked to both Ororo and Remy. “And you think Creed could have been involved.” He stated flatly, already picking up the same thoughts coming from Ororo’s unshielded mind.
Remy nodded. “It makes sense, wit’ their association wit’ each other. I haven’ been followin’ de primaries closely, but from what Stormy tol’ me an’ from what I heard of Creed’s speech, he’s very anti-mutant. Wouldn’t s’prise me if dat extended further, an’ de less hateful side was what he showed to de world.”
Xavier sighed, nodding as he passed a hand over his eyes. “That is what I concluded as well.”
Xavier folded his hands on his lap. “Earlier this week I received invitations to the televised CNN primary debates this coming weekend - both the Democratic and Republican debates - to serve as a commentator on mutant rights issues that the candidates bring up. I had considered not attending, but it appears that it may be an excellent chance to glean information from Mister Creed.”
Ororo nodded, but still looked concerned. “Charles, what do we do if you find out he was involved?”
Xavier shook his head and sighed. “I am not sure, Ororo. I really don’t know.” He said. “I’m sure I will think of something when the time comes. If he is involved with what happened, I am disturbed at the thought that he could become President. If he’s willing to do such things secretly now, imagine what he would be willing – and, more importantly, able – to do as the leader of our nation.”
Ororo visibly shuddered. “He could make Stryker’s attack on us look like a family reunion. As Commander-in-Chief he could simply order some sort of black-ops attack on us and then claim we were terrorists if anyone talked about it.”
Xavier nodded grimly. “I know. We will think of something.”
“We have a problem,” John Allerdyce said, striding down the stairs of the underground metal bunker Magneto had created.
Erik Lehnsherr, more infamously known to the rest of the world as Magneto, looked up with a slight frown from a pile of newspapers and clippings John had procured for him while he had been traveling. “And what would that be?”
“Do you remember how before you left you told Mystique to get into the FDA, to look into those rumors we heard about?”
Erik nodded. “Yes, of course I remember.” He said with an irritated frown. “What is it – has she found something?” He asked, feeling his temper shorter than usual from the lack of sleep.
“She’s still not back. I’d thought she was just having trouble getting into the lab she found or finding the information, but she hasn’t contacted us for several days now. Then I got a message from Lorelei today.”
Erik nodded. He’d found and befriended Lorelei years ago, even before he’d met Mystique. She was, of course, a fellow mutant. She had the ability to subtly affect others with what amounted to subsonic soundwaves in her voice, leaving them more suggestible, lowering their inhibitions. With enough time – usually on the order of weeks – she could put someone under a full hypnotic trance without them even realizing it. He’d put her abilities to use, and she’d become an agent with the CIA years before, providing him with invaluable information.
“Her message says Mystique has been captured and is being held by the Department of Homeland Security.”
Eric closed his eyes and rubbed at his forehead, trying to forestall the pounding headache he felt coming on. “Damn,” he breathed. Of all the times for her to be discovered, it just had to occur now! He had been to Geneva, Montreal, and Lisbon over the past few weeks, gaining support among other mutants he’d met over the years.
He’d been developing a plan that could come into fruition as early as the next year, but that was dependent on how much financial support he could gain from his allies. He’d already received a rather sizeable donation from a middle-aged mutant named Sebastian Shaw, who was one of the main investors of a nearly century-old high end entertainment club business.
Now Mystique, who besides Lorelei was one of his best operatives for infiltrating the government and obtaining otherwise inaccessible information, was in government custody.
He opened his eyes and looked up at John. “Anything else?”
John nodded. “Lorelei said she should be able to get access to the information on where Mystique’s being held, if you want to break her out.”
Erik sighed wearily. “Tell her to send us whatever she can.”
Remy had just finished toweling off, when he heard three quick knocks at his bedroom door. “Just a minute!” He yelled through the closed bathroom door. He’d been woken once again by Sarah’s call to him, and finished talking with her, promising he’d pick her up “soon”. He grinned to himself – she didn’t know just how soon he was planning to pick her up. After he hung up, he had quickly showered, his stomach already grumbling at its lack of a prompt breakfast.
Remy slid on a pair of jeans, and was toweling his hair dry as he opened the bathroom door, letting a cloud of steam escape into the bedroom. Remy dropped the towel down, letting it hang loosely draped over his neck, and opened the bedroom door.
Ororo was standing outside, and a crowd of young students milled around behind her.
Remy quirked an eyebrow at her. “And what brings my belle soeur here dis early in de mornin’?” He asked with a curious smile.
“Remy, I know you only just talked to Charles about teaching, but I need your help today. According to Piotr, Scott packed up and left this morning – he’s taken most of his belongings from his room, and Charles can’t sense him near the mansion. I need to cover one of Scott’s math classes this morning, and Logan’s disappeared as well. I was hoping you could take over for my World History class for me.”
Remy sighed, and tousled his still damp hair. “Yeah, Stormy. Just a sec.”
Remy turned back to the room, slinging his towel into the open bathroom door. He pulled on a pair of socks and his boots and grabbed a T-shirt, pulling it over his head as he walked back to the doorway.
Ororo moved back and led him and the young students down the staircase to the ground floor. As they reached one of the classrooms, Ororo stopped. “Carter, please lead everyone to your classroom.” She looked to Remy and lowered her voice. “I put my lesson outline on the desk. All you have to do is follow what I have there and you should be alright.” She paused and smiled at him. “Thanks, Remy.” She said, kissing his cheek before she turned and entered another room.
Remy turned and eyed the children in front of him. Most were no more than 14 years old. He stepped up next to a brown-haired blue-eyed boy who was nearly 13 years old, and smiled at him. Carter grinned back and led the class to a room further down the hall. Remy had met Carter, Annie’s little boy, the previous night for dinner, and they’d quickly come to like each other.
They entered a room on the left side of the hallway, and the children quickly took their seats, not knowing what to expect from their new teacher. Remy snagged the papers Ororo had left, and leaned back on the front portion of the large desk at the front of the room, looking them over.
“Alrigh’, /Peeshwanks/. My name’s Gambit. Says here you’re learnin’ ‘bout European history right now.”
He pushed himself off from the desk, and his eyes slid over the class. “First, let’s go ‘round de room an’ tell me y’names, an’ den we can talk ‘bout de,” He paused and looked over the notes and then his eyes widened and he smiled in satisfaction at the topic of the class, “French Revolution.”
“Thank ye for teachin’ us, Mister Gambit,” a young teenage girl said to Remy with a heavy Scottish accent. She smiled shyly at him as she stood up from her desk to follow the others filing from the classroom.
He smiled. “Y’welcome, Rahne. Y’might just have me for a teacher a lot more de next few weeks.”
He watched as Rahne and the others filed out, and then moved forward toward one of the younger girls in the class. “Hey Sally, mind stayin’ a few minutes? I wanted t’talk to you.”
The young blond-haired girl nodded nervously at him. She sat back down in her seat, and Remy walked over and pulled one of the student chairs up in front of her desk and sat down. “D-did I do something wrong?” She asked him nervously.
He flashed her a grin and shook his head. “No, no – unless y’know somethin’ I don’t.”
“I heard from Professor Munroe what you been through. Just wanted t’say if y’wanted to talk ‘bout what happened down dere, y’can talk to me.”
Sally paled, and looked down at the desk, not saying anything.
Remy leaned forward, noticing the dark circles around her eyes. “You havin’ trouble sleepin’?” He asked her.
Sally nodded shyly. “Y-yeah. I have lots of bad dreams – everyone’s screaming and dying.”
Remy nodded. “It’ll help if y’talk to someone. Doesn’ hafta be me – anyone dat you trust.” He leaned closer, his voice becoming softer. “I have de same dreams.”
She looked up at him in surprise. “You do?”
He nodded. “I was down dere.”
Her face scrunched up in confusion. “I-I don’t remember you livin’ with us…”
He shook his head. “I didn’. I found out what was happenin’ an’ tried t’stop dem, but I got dere too late.”
She looked at him for a moment and then her face crumpled, tears coming to her eyes. “They’re all dead. Everyone I knew.”
Remy reached out and grabbed one of her small hands, and shook his head. “Not ev’ryone. Y’friend Sarah – she’s still alive. She was de only person I could save.”
She looked up at him, tears running down her cheeks. “She’s alive? Really?” She asked, shocked.
Remy smiled at her and squeezed her hand. “Yeah, she’s alive. I’m gonna bring her here t’morrow – she’s gonna go t’school here like you. She tol’ me you two got split up down dere an’ we heard on one of de radios dat you escaped.”
Sally nodded. “Yeah. I thought I was the only one left.” She said, and then gave Remy a shy hug. “Thank you, Mister Gambit, for tellin’ me that.”
He pulled back and smiled at her. “Y’welcome. An’ if y’need to talk ‘bout anythin’ I’ll listen.”
Sally smiled and nodded. Remy leaned back in the chair and snagged several Kleenex from the box on Ororo’s desk, and handed them to Sally. She wiped the tear tracks away, and blew her nose, and then stood up. “I should get going, sir. I’ve gotta go to another class now.” She said, starting for the door.
“Sally,” he said, causing her to pause and look back at him. “I haven’ tol’ Sarah you’re here. Be in de kitchen tomorrow b’fore class, an’ we’ll give her a surprise welcome to de mansion.”
Sally grinned. “Alright.”
As she left the room, Remy stood and stretched. He’d actually enjoyed teaching them – it had been a class he hadn’t thought he’d be teaching, but it had been…. fun.
Remy replaced the notes on the desk, and moved out of the room, flicking off the lights as he left. He turned and nearly collided with Ororo.
“Stormy!” He said in surprise. “Y’nearly gave me a heart attack,” he said, holding a hand over his chest, feigning shock. “Y’shouldn’ do dat to a poor guy.”
Ororo rolled her eyes. “Yes, I guess I shouldn’t sneak up on poor old men like yourself.”
Remy grinned. “Hey now, I ain’ dat old.”
Ororo smiled at him. “Whatever keeps you going, Remy.”
She surprised him by pulling him into a quick hug. “What was dat for, Stormy? Not dat I’m complainin’.” He said with a devilish grin.
Ororo blushed. “I just wanted to thank you for taking over the class.”
Remy shrugged. “Wasn’t any problem, Stormy.”
“How did it go? Did they behave themselves?”
Remy nodded. “Yeah dey did. I think part of dat might’ve been me bein’ someone dey didn’ really know. But it went good.”
His expression became more serious. “An’ I talked wit’ Sally after class.”
“And?” She prodded hopefully.
“An’ I c’n tell she’s havin’ trouble sleeping. Said she was havin’ bad dreams. I tol’ her she should talk t’me or someone else ‘bout dem, an’ tol’ her I have de same ones.” He said, and tried to ignore the concerned look Ororo shot him. “I think us talkin’ ‘bout it will help her out. An’ I tol’ her Sarah made it out of de tunnels – she was really happy t’hear dat.”
Ororo smiled at him. “Thank you, Remy.”
He looked at her with a raised eyebrow. “Dere any more surprise classes y’want me to teach?”
She shook her head. “Hopefully not today. Logan’s back – apparently he just went for a run in the woods after he got in an argument with Scott, and he’ll be able to take care of the rest of Scott’s classes today.” She then sighed. “But Scott is gone. Charles is going to use Cerebro to look for him, but I have a feeling he’s not planning on coming back.”
She looked up into Remy’s eyes. “Tomorrow afternoon Charles would like you to lead Scott’s Shop class. Apparently they’ve been doing something with motorcycles,” she said, and bit her lip to keep from laughing when she saw Remy’s eyes gleam eagerly.
“Ain’t a problem, Stormy.” He said with a lopsided grin. “Now, I’m gonna go get somethin’ to eat – I missed breakfast.”
Storm grinned and swatted him on the butt. He yelped in surprise. She looked at him expectantly. “Aw, can’t have you starving, now can we?” She looked at him thoughtfully. “Although you should hardly be hungry after the way you were pigging out last night with Rogue and Annie.”
Remy rolled his eyes and walked off toward the kitchen, grumbling something about intolerable weather witches, and ignoring her laugh that followed him down the hall.
“I think Remy rather enjoyed his little teaching experience this morning,” Ororo said as she walked next to her mentor.
Charles smiled up at her from his wheelchair. He’d ended his Mutant Ethics class a bit early when he’d noticed the weather begin to change outside. He’d found a somewhat upset Ororo outside, and asked her to come with him.
He’d managed to get her mind off of the Danger Room exercise earlier that morning which Scott had not shown up for – and the fact that he’d seemed to have left – by asking her how Remy’s substitution in her history class had gone.
“I was hoping he would like it. It would ease one of my many headaches if I could count on him to teach next year.”
Ororo nodded. “I think you should be able to. I also talked to a few of my kids, and they were quite pleased with him. They seem to think he’s the best teacher they’ve ever had,” she said with a smile, “I’m not sure whether or not I should be insulted or pleased.”
Charles chuckled. “So what is bothering you? Besides this morning’s Danger Room session, that is.”
“Magneto’s a fugitive, we have mutant in the cabinet, we’ve got a President who understands us. Why are we still hiding?”
“We’re not hiding. But we still have enemies out there. People like Creed’s assistant and likely Creed himself. And I must protect my students. You know that.” He said, glancing over at her.
“Yes, but we can’t be students forever.” She said, sighing slightly.
Charles laughed. “Storm, I haven’t thought of you as my student for years. In fact, I thought that perhaps… you might take my place some day.”
Ororo looked over at him, stopping in her tracks, a surprised expression on her face.
Charles shook his head and interrupted her. “Scott is a changed man. He took Jean’s death so hard. Yes, things are hard out there. But you of all people know how fast the weather can change.” He said quietly.
Ororo looked at him for a moment. “There’s something you’re not telling us.” She said, a statement more than a question.
Xavier looked away, and maneuvered his wheelchair past her, and she followed closely behind as they entered his office.
Ororo saw a well-dressed man inside looking at a painting on the wall of the office. His neatly combed blue hair, and the blue fur covering his body were an instant giveaway to Xavier’s visitor.
“Hank?” She said, surprised, and he turned around.
“Ororo! Charles!” He said, smiling at them. He stepped forward and pulled Ororo into a tight hug.
Ororo laughed, and pulled back. “I love what you’ve done with your hair,” she said – the last time she’d seen him he’d had it grown out much longer and pulled into a neat ponytail.
Hank smiled. “You too,” he said, commenting on her somewhat shorter hairstyle.
Hank turned and looked at the Professor, extending his hand. “Thank you for seeing me on such short notice.”
Charles smiled and shook his hand. “Henry, you are always welcome here. You’re a part of this place.”
“I have news.” He said, his expression becoming more serious.
“Is it Erik?” Xavier asked, somewhat hopeful.
Hank shook his head. “No. Although we are making progress on that front. Mystique was recently apprehended.”
“Who’s the furball?” A voice asked from the doorway, and everyone turned to see Logan standing there.
Hank let out a soft laugh. “Hank McCoy. Secretary of Mutant Affairs.”
Logan nodded and began to walk in. “Right, right, the Secretary. Nice suit.” He said, his hands in the pockets of his jeans.
Charles gestured to him. “Henry, this is Logan. He’s –”
Hank broke in with a nod of recognition. “Wolverine. I hear you’re quite the animal.”
Logan smiled tightly. “Look who’s talking.”
“You know Magneto’s going to come get Mystique, right?” Ororo asked, cutting through the building tension.
A knock at the doorway broke the remaining tension. Remy stood there, looking curiously at Hank. “Dis a bad time, Prof?”
Ororo shook her head. “No, come in.” She gestured to Hank. “This is Hank. He’s an old friend of mine.”
Remy stepped forward into the room, nodding respectfully toward the blue-furred man. “Nice t’meet you. Name’s Gambit.”
“It’s a pleasure.” He looked back to Ororo. “Magneto’s not the problem. At least not our most pressing one. A major pharmaceutical company has developed a ‘mutant antibody’. A way to suppress the Mutant X-Gene.”
“Suppress?” Logan asked him, sounding a bit skeptical.
Hank nodded. “Permanently. They’re calling it a ‘cure’.”
Everyone was silent for several moments. Remy’s eyes narrowed, not liking the idea, nor the repercussions it could have. Mutants were already treated bad enough. Now they could “cure” them of their abilities? He suspected it wouldn’t be long until it was demanded of them by those who hated them.
Ororo shook her had. “That’s ridiculous. You can’t ‘cure’ being a mutant.” She said, looking to Hank.
“Well, scientifically speaking –“
Ororo broke him off. “Since when did we become a disease. How can anyone in their right –“
“Dis –” Remy began.
Charles interrupted all of them quietly. “Storm, Gambit – They’re announcing it now.”
Rogue walked down the hallway away from the kitchen having just eaten a light lunch. She shook her head, trying to clear the images that kept playing through it. Images of the Danger Room session earlier that morning – of Bobby and Kitty in a rather intimate looking embrace.
She knew it was silly of her to be upset – she’d seen why they were in that embrace – but it had looked so…. real, that it had shaken her. She wasn’t all that sure that Bobby and herself would have a chance and seeing Kitty and Bobby like that had hit close to home to her – reminding her of what she hadn’t had with Bobby for weeks now. And what she now admitted she might want with Remy if he liked her as much as she liked him
The sight of a number of students quickly entering the living room caught her attention, pulling her thoughts from Bobby. She walked to the doorway and looked inside. A large number of students were gathered around the plasma television in the living room. According to the words streaming across the bottom of the screen, a nationwide news conference was being held in the San Francisco area – an announcement that involved mutants.
The picture on the screen showed a helicopter shot of the Bay area, the Golden Gate Bridge visible in the distance. It zoomed in toward an island in the Bay, one instantly recognizable to Rogue as the island of Alcatraz, formerly home to one of the most famous prisons in the country.
Rogue stepped further into the room and sat down next to Jubilee and Dani, her eyes on the television. The picture changed to show a middle-aged man with graying hair walking up to a podium. Rogue recognized him as Warren K. Worthington Jr., a billionaire pharmaceutical company owner – she’d done a short paper on him and his company earlier that year.
“These so called mutants are people just like us,” the man began, “their affliction is nothing more than a disease. A corruption of healthy cellular activity. But I stand here today and tell you there’s hope. And this site, once the world’s most famous prison, will now be the source of freedom for all mutants who chose it.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present the Answer to mutation. Finally, we have a /cure/.” He said proudly, holding up a syringe filled with some sort of fluid.
Rogue stared at the television screen, and felt her heartbeat speed up as she realized exactly what he was talking about. A cure? She could hardly wrap her mind around the idea.
“Who would want this cure?” Ororo asked from where she’d sat on one of the chairs Xavier had offered them. “I mean what kind of coward would take it just to fit in?
Hank looked over to her, his expression curious at her statement. “Is it cowardice to save oneself from persecution?” He asked her. “Not all of us can fit in so easily. You don’t shed on the furniture.” He said, smiling slightly.
“For all we know the government cooked this up,” Logan said.
“I can assure you the government had nothing to do with this.” Hank replied, looking him in the eye.
Logan snorted and shook his head. “Yeah, we’ve all heard that before.”
Hank looked indignant. “My boy, I have been fighting for mutant rights since before you had claws.”
“Did he just call me boy?” Logan asked Remy incredulously.
Remy smirked and nodded. “I b’leive he did. Now, I woulda jus’ called ya old man.” Remy said.
Logan chuckled and shook his head, looking again in Hank’s direction.
Everyone’s attention was then drawn to the doorway when Rogue walked in, an almost hopeful expression on her face. Behind her they could see several other students waiting in the hall.
Rogue almost stopped, seeing Remy in the room, but she had to know. “Is it true? They can cure us?” She asked, trying not to notice the slight frown that appeared on Remy’s face at her question.
“Yes Rogue, it appears to be true.” Xavier said reluctantly.
Ororo spoke up then. “No, Professor. They can’t cure us.” She said, and then stood, and walked over to Rogue, placing her hands on her shoulders. “You wanna know why? Because there’s nothing to cure. Nothing’s wrong with you.”
She looked around to the others. “Or any of us for that matter.”
Rogue’s eyebrows scrunched up, but she didn’t say anything, still avoiding looking in Remy’s direction.
“Ororo –“ Xavier began, but Remy surprised him when he interrupted.
“Dis thing ain’ just gonna be a ‘cure’. It’s gonna be a ‘solution’. I don’ think it’s gonna stop at somethin’ voluntary – dey’re gonna try t’force everyone to take dis to get rid of us. ‘Least dat’s what I’d do if I had somet’ing to take away de advantages dat de people I hate have.” He said.
He raised a hand to forestall an objection by Hank. “I know, I know. I’m not sayin’ de people dat made this hate mutants. For all we know dey’re tryin’ t’help people dat’re under all dis discrimination. But dat doesn’ mean everyone else won’ do it. Friends of Humanity, all dese other mutant groups, you t’ink dey’re gonna stop at a voluntary program when dey’ve got a way to get rid of us?”
Hank frowned, and nodded slightly. He couldn’t deny the logic behind Remy’s statement. But he didn’t see how, they’d be able to do anything remotely like that.
Xavier cleared his throat, bringing all their gazes to him. “Perhaps we should continue this discussion later. I believe it might be best for me to address all of the concerns and questions of the students at this news.”
Hank nodded. “Good idea, Charles.”
Charles smiled at him. “Thank you for visiting and telling us about this, Henry. Stay as long as you’d like – and don’t be a stranger. You’re quite welcome here at any time.”
Hank smiled back and shook his hand. “Thank you, Charles, but I really must be going. The President has asked me to visit Worthington Labs and talk to the lead scientist there about their ‘cure’.”
Hank nodded to the others in the room, and gave Ororo a quick hug. “It’s been a delight.”
As Hank walked out the door past a growing crowd of students, Xavier turned his wheelchair toward the doorway. “Best get the questions over with now,” he said with a sigh before leading the others out of the office.
Rogue stared down through the viewport of the Danger Room, mesmerized. Remy stood in the Danger Room, facing a training dummy the Danger Room had set up. He wore only a loose pair of pants, and a sheen of sweat was visible across his bare upper torso.
And then he was moving, and it was like he began to blur, his feet and hands making contact with the padded dummy almost too fast to follow. His legs moved in what looked like a deadly dance as his feet struck out time and again in a wide variety of kicks.
Rogue shook her head, and managed to tear her eyes from Remy. She turned and walked down the staircase that led to the Danger Room floor. She quietly pulled the door open, and stepped inside. She didn’t think Remy had seen her enter, but a few moments later his blows to the dummy slowed, and came to a stop and he turned to face her.
“Hey,” he said panting slightly, a silly grin on his face.
“Hi,” she said quietly.
Remy grabbed a towel from the floor, and wiped the sweat from his chest before draping it over his shoulders and walking closer to her.
“What was that?” She asked him.
He looked at her for a moment, confused, and then looked back at the dummy. “Oh, dat. Savate/.” He paused to use the towel to wipe some sweat from his eyes. “Actually, it’s technically /Savate de Rue wit’ some of de moves I was usin’.”
Rogue nodded, recognizing the term. “French kickboxing.”
Remy smiled. “Yeah. Savate de Rue is de street version – no limitations on just usin’ feet an’ hands, an’ it can be a bit dirtier.”
Rogue reached up and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, trying her hardest not to stare at Remy’s bare chest. To her embarrassment he noticed the direction of her gaze, and gave her a grin that made it feel as if the temperature in the room had risen several degrees. He dropped the towel, and grabbed a light T-shirt he’d laid near the door and slipped it on, much to her relief.
In one fluid movement he sat cross-legged on the floor, and gestured to her. She followed suit, sitting down across from him.
She looked up at him, feeling flustered and shy. ‘/How does he do this to me? /’ She wondered to herself – she felt like a young schoolgirl with her first crush. A slight blush was still on her cheeks.
“Remy, would yah…. would yah mind teaching me some of that sometime?”
He looked at her with a bit of surprise. “/Savate/? Sure, /Chère/.” He said.
Rogue smiled, her cheeks reddening a bit at the nickname he now used for her. She leaned forward, blowing a strand of hair from her eyes. “Thanks. Now what’d yah want t’talk about?” She asked him – earlier at dinner he’d asked her to meet him in the Danger Room.
Remy smiled. “Well, I thought we could work some more wit’ your powers.” Then he looked somewhat hesitantly at her. “An’ maybe talk ‘bout what happened t’day.”
Rogue let out a tremulous sigh. One part of her had hoped he wouldn’t bring up the cure, but the other part had been hoping he would – that he’d want to talk to her about it. “Okay,” she said.
Remy leaned forward with his elbows on his knees. “What d’you think of it? Dis ‘cure’?”
Rogue looked down at her lap, and bit her lip.
“/Chère/, I ain’ gonna get mad at anythin’ y’tell me, long as y’tell me how you’re really feelin’ about dis.”
Rogue looked up slightly, and sighed. “Ah- Ah’m not sure what ta think about it. Ah think it could be good for people that really have problems with their mutations. An’ then at th’ same time it seems kinda… Ah don’t know… cowardly t’do it.”
Her voice quivered. “Ah’m not sure what to do. Ah mean, this’d be perfect for someone like me to live a normal life, but –“ She looked down again. “Everyone will think of me as th’coward that couldn’ handle her powers an’ took the easy way out.” Tears appeared in her eyes. “An’ Ah’m even more afraid you’ll think the same thing. Ah don’t know what ta do.”
Remy shifted from where he sat, and she closed her eyes in resignation, thinking he was getting up – too upset to even talk with her. She was shocked when his hand slid under her chin, nudging her face up to look toward his. She felt his warm thumb brush away one of the tears that had begun to slide down her cheek, and she opened her eyes.
He had moved, but only to get closer to her. She found herself mere inches away from his face, and what shocked her the most were his eyes. The red-on-black eyes didn’t hold the disgust or disappointment she’d expected from him, but rather concern and something else. ‘/Affection?/’ She wondered, but tried to not get her hopes up.
He looked at her seriously, staring directly into her eyes. His hand finally eased from her chin as her ability began to drain him too much. “Rogue. I don’ think dat ‘bout you, an’ I’d never think it. You’re not a coward for thinkin’ ‘bout takin’ dis cure.”
He sighed and passed a hand over his face. “I won’ think anythin’ less of you if y’take it. You’ve had it worse than most mutants – yours just isn’ visible. I do wan’ you t’think carefully before y’do anythin’. An’…. I’d like us t’keep up our sessions ‘till you decide.”
Rogue smiled shakily and reached forward, carefully giving him a quick hug. “Thanks, Remy. Ah really needed t’hear that from yah.”
Remy smiled back. “I know – knew we’d be havin’ dis talk back when I heard ‘bout dis ‘cure’.” He looked at her and placed his hands on her shoulders. “I wan’ you to think really hard ‘bout it before you decide what to do. An’ jus’ remember you’ll be able t’get dis any time in de future, but y’might not be able to ever take it back. Sometimes we only realize what we’re missin’ when dey’re gone.”
She looked at him thoughtfully and nodded. She wiped the tears from her cheeks, and then smiled and pulled off her glove before she tentatively extended her hand out toward his.
Remy smiled and reached out to touch her hand and begin their next session. He’d given her something to think about – she could easily make the decision to give up her power, but it might not be so easy if at all possible to get it back once it was gone.
Privately he hoped she’d decide to not take the cure and instead continue working with him, but he quickly realized it was only because he felt she could very well regret taking it and carry that regret with her for the rest of her life.
Erik looked up expectantly as John entered the small hotel room they’d rented.
John looked at his expression. “You’ve heard then?” He asked Magneto.
Erik’s face twisted in distaste. “The ‘cure’? Yes, I heard as it was announced. This is just the beginning. We must begin to take action.” He paused and looked down at John. “What did Lorelei have to say?”
John sighed. “Not a whole lot. She says DHS is playing this really close to the chest. She hasn’t been able to find out where Mystique is being held. But rumor has it she’s going to be moved in two days. She said she’ll keep pressing her contacts to try to find out where.”
Erik nodded, and led John from the hotel room, and down the stairs to the exit. “I had hoped she could find out more, but no matter. The recruits?” He asked John, looking sharply at him.
“I found the ideal place for us to get some. Just down the road from here actually.”
Erik nodded and let John lead him down the street. After walking nearly a mile though a somewhat run-down neighborhood, they neared what appeared to be an old church.
Erik spotted a yellow flyer on a telephone pole, and squinted to read it clearly. ‘Community Action meeting – Holy Trinity Church, 7 P.M. – No Humans Allowed!’ it announced.
Erik pulled open the door and entered – the church seemed as run-down as the surrounding neighborhood. Broken plaster from the ceiling littered the floor around the altar, and debris from various vagrants that had inhabited the building in the past was strewn around the floor. Only the long pews and still-colorful stained glass windows testified to its previous use as a church.
Erik’s eyes ran appraisingly over the rather large crowd of mutants that had gathered and seated on the pews, more mutants filing in through the front door behind him and taking seats. He finally nodded in satisfaction, and seated himself in one of the back pews. When John followed suit next to him, Erik leaned over and quietly spoke to him, a small smile on his face. “I think this will do quite well.”
A/N: Hope you guys enjoyed it (thanks for all the reviews last time!). Sorry it took so long – aside from a move to a new apartment, some rather vicious plot bunnies attacked me in a different fandom than X-men and I’ve been dealing with them – perhaps they will develop into their own stories I’ll post, but right now they’re only in the beginning planning stages.
Watched X-men Origins, and definitely enjoyed it. Ryan Reynolds definitely impressed me as Deadpool (totally loved the breaking of the fourth wall).
Absolutely loved Taylor Kitsch as Gambit – a few disappointments (wish they’d done the eyes more than just glowing when he used his powers, and wish he’d put on more of a Cajun accent rather than the more generic southern one he used), but overall loved it – I think he captured the character quite well.
Anyway, next chapter will hopefully be faster. Sarah will be coming to the mansion next chap and there’ll likely be a lot more Romy. The big breakup will, I think, happen the chapter after that (if things play out according to the rough outline I have).