The Gambit's Fire

She's moving about in the Danger Room, circling Logan. She whirls on him, swinging her leg out in a vicious kick and catching him on the chin. He starts to stumble backward, but shoots out a hand to try and take her with him. She grunts and throws herself out of the way.

A foot apart from each other on the Danger Room floor, they don't even stop to catch their breath.

He rolls over, claws unsheathed. She leaps up from the ground, and it's back to punches and kicks, grunts and groans, as one or the other makes contact. He's a harsh, brutal force that just keeps coming back and coming back. She dances lightly around his attacks, then launches into her own with as much brutality.

He meets her with a right hook. She deflects it off her arm and swings her other fist towards his gut. He catches the hand, twists it, and she drops with a cry, promptly swiveling her legs beneath her to wrap around one of his and successfully yanks him down after her.

They grapple and roll. His claws come out again, near her face. She uses her flexible limbs to great effect, locking down his legs and digging the elbow of her free arm into his neck. He can't reach her with his claws unless he releases the arm he's still twisting. Shooting pains run up that member, but she ignores the pain, struggling and growling as she fights for an advantage.

He twists the limb further and suddenly she cries out, unable to contain it. Her body follows after it, easing the pain somewhat.

"Now that I got your attention, kid..." he says.

Her head comes up in surprise and she gives him a curious look. She's still looking for a way to fight him, to regain some sort of advantage.

Logan starts to pin her down. "What's with you and Gumbo?" he says. He grunts when her knee finds purchase and slams into his belly.

"I don't"—she catches the back of his knee, hard—"know what"—he rolls on top of her, not bothering to support the crushing weight of his adamantium skeleton—"you're talking"—the breath shoots out of her with a whoosh, but she still manages to finish her sentence—"about."

She suddenly worms her good arm under his and pulls hard, flipping him over and landing on top of his back, pinning him down on his stomach and her arm beneath him. She bites back the pain and hangs her head down into his face. "Surrender?"

He tries to be stronger than her and throw her off, but she smirks as she stays neatly on top, allowing physics to do her work for her. She is holding down the mighty Wolverine.

"Fine," Logan says with a huff. He releases her arm and rolls away from her.

The pain hits her then in full. She lets out a loud string of curses and yanks up the sleeve, checking for injury. "You could have dislocated it," she protests, rubbing at the bruises Logan has added to her growing collection.

He changes the subject. "You know exactly what I'm talking about it." Something hard and unyielding looks back at her from his eyes.

She sighs and rolls her own. "Men," she mutters.

"Rogue..." His exasperation, drawn out impatience, his knowing expression, it's all a part of their close relationship that has lasted from the time he first gave her a candy bar to eat and admitted to her his name.

Yet and still, a small part of her twinges, swings viciously into play, plucking the tendrils of unhappiness that have spent the last few years settling into her being. He doesn't trust her. He doesn't think she can handle what she has begun. She turns away from him.

"I promised Warren I'd do the routine scans on Cerebro," she says casually. "Coming?"

She can hear the low growl of frustration rumbling in his chest, though he bites it off at the mouth. But he follows her.

"Kid, you can't trust him," he says.

She glares at him, but does not answer.

He sighs and watches her shut down the Danger Room simulation, close out their session, and lock the doors behind her.

"I never asked your opinion, Logan," she replies, turning away, walking away, making it clear that is the end of the matter.

The silence that falls between them is surprisingly comfortable as they walk along the hallways of the mansion's sublevels. Disagreement has never been bitter to them. Their respect for each other is too strong. They reach the doors to Cerebro still wrapped up in silence. It holds a sort of reverence now as she goes about the work of typing in the security code, kneeling for her retinal scan, waiting as he waits for his.

They are cleared. The doors open. They walk into the inner sanctum, the workplace, and the refuge of the man behind the dream, the X-Men, the school, Charles Xavier.

She lopes down the straight catwalk, conscious of the belt slung around her hips with the symbol X marked clearly on it. She's always so conscious of those little things that make her part of his dream when she enters this room. It seems impossible, unthinkable, that he is dead.

But he is.

He has been since Alcatraz, and she is on her own in maintaining the dream and it's viability in her heart. She's the only one in her mind keeping it alive, the only convincing her that staying here with no powers was the right thing to do, fighting for the dream that mutants and baseline humans can work together. For a time, she was proof that it was true.

She reaches the control center of Cerebro and enters her pass code into the database.

Logan follows her, watches as she works over the controls, does her evaluations, runs her scans, double-checks security measures...halts, one gloved hand frozen over the panel.

"That son of a—" She cuts herself off abruptly. She kills the graphic twirling across the small display before Logan can see it. "Logan, wrap this up, would ya? I gotta go."

"Rogue, what?"

But she doesn't wait to hear it.

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He had taken one glance at the clock, seen the early hour, and collapsed back onto his bed. It smelled like her. He got up, changed the sheets, and tried again. Finally, he had slept, slowly sinking into wearing dreams and painful memories.

"Remy-cher. You know I want you," she told him.

He looked into her bright blue eyes, traced one hand across her supple body. What did it matter when her brother wanted him dead?

He held her to him anyway, possessively, studying her.

The abundance of her golden curls. The warmth of her curves. The cold, sharp prick of her knife at his throat...

He wakes instantly, arms up and grappling with the heavy weight of a leather-clad body above his. He struggles with the feminine form, remembering an Assassin, blonde curls trailing.

Is she really trying to kill him?

Suddenly in the pushing away, he recognizes silvery white hair, familiar curves, and the angry flash of green. He grips her arms to hold her up and still.

"Rogue?" he demands, disbelieving.

But she has effectively pinned him beneath her between her legs, one arm holding down his own, one hand pressing a knife near to his throat, and it hits him like a shock, hard, pummeling his gut. He has allowed her too close, too familiar, too much a part of him.

He didn't wake up.

His thoughts race, calculate the distance from door to bed, realize with horror that her presence did not wake him, stir him from his restless dreams. The implicit trust that denotes rings all of his alarms.

He didn't wake up.

He always does.

"You hacked into the database," she accuses him harshly, and he forces his attention back to her.

Her face hovers above his, features hard, green eyes violent with the fierceness of her feelings, the same color as when she wants him, and the thought is too much. She's no stronger than Bella. With a sudden twist, he grips her wrist, gaining control, charging the blade against his neck. Lurid magenta glow glides up the silver and he warns her with his gaze.

"I can kill you, chére, just as easily as you could kill me," he says, voice light and even. He's spent a lifetime walking among Assassins and knows just the right tone to settle against her.

"Then we'll both die," she states, unyielding, eyes narrowed, hair falling like a curtain around them both.

He curses and tightens his grip on her. She grits her teeth and he knows it hurts her.

"I was supposed to be in there." He wants to shake her. "We're on the same team, chère!"

"Bull." She presses her point with the blade.

"Dieu! I'm a Thief, chère," he says, suddenly exasperated with her misunderstanding. "Were you even listening when Storm introduced me?"

Her eyes darken and he realizes she wasn't.

He gentles his voice slightly. "She asked me to go over the security systems and see how we're doing. You can verify it with her."

He partially reabsorbs the charge, watching the play of light over her face as she suddenly looks uncertain, almost frightened. He takes the rest into his skin and yanks on her wrist while twisting his legs up in hers to roll them over. She cries out sharply and he lands atop her, knocking the breath out of her with a whoosh.

He catches the knife in his hand and raises an eyebrow.

"Believe moi?"

If her arms weren't effectively pinned, they'd be crossing her chest just now as she glares at him with the full impact of her fiery, flashing eyes. He smirks at her, leans in close, painting her face with his breath.

"My estimation of them security systems just went up."

The words draw a reaction as she bucks up against him, flexing her legs and nearly unseating him. But he has too much experience in this position, and he holds her down, grinning broadly, enjoying the burn her struggles ignite.

She falls back with a grudging resignation. Her angry glare still spears him. "Let me up, Gambit," she mutters.

"Don't think so, chérie," he says blithely, drawing a startled glance. "Don't think it's safe." He smirks, draws the edge of the knife down near her breast.

"Lord, you swamp rat!" Her knee comes up and catches him inside his leg at the same time that one of her arms pulls him nearly under her in a play for control.

He tightens his grip on her, rolling with her, entwining their limbs even further when she takes dominance.

He clucks at her. "If you wanted the top, you only had to say so." He grins at her flushed face, the surprise in her eyes, the hair falling down about him in wild beauty after their tussle. He hauls her up against him with his arms and their faces are mere centimeters away, warming the same air with their heaving breaths, and he catches himself in her gaze, in the play of emotions across her face, in the fear and the desire, the uncertainty, the wanting, the breathing...

Dieu, she's so beautiful.

"Rogue," he whispers.

His brother always laughed at him and the multitude of endearments he lavished upon women.

"Do you ever call them by name?" his brother asked, already knowing the answer.

"Why should I?" He merely shrugged it off. "They don't have a name."

For a night or an hour, nameless, faceless beauty.

"Rogue," he whispers again, savoring the sound, and she stares at him, not comprehending the meaning, yet utterly wrapped up in the moment.

He's not holding her so tightly any more, and she could break away so easily, but neither of them notice. Her hands wind down around his neck and she closes the gap between them with a searing, passionate kiss.

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Fire burns across their skin.

He can't get enough of her. Her taste. Her scent. The feel of her. Heat and moist skin and silken hair beneath him. For once, it's a struggle as she fights for dominance, then surrenders to him with a fierceness belying her softness. He runs his fingers across her thighs, his teeth across her neck, one hand buried in the softness of her hair. Her heat burns him and for once, he doesn't fight it.

It's the first time she isn't a virgin to him.

She knows him now and her hands trail across him, exploring him, fisting her hands in his shirt, pulling it off, and shoving it away. Her legs wind around his waist and he groans as she presses against him, then rolls them over again, taking the top.

"Rogue," he whispers, drunk on her name, her fire, her heat.

He catches the zipper of her leather bodysuit in his teeth, and he feels her gasp, the stiffening of her body as he pulls it down, kissing the flesh revealed beneath, across her breasts, her stomach, lower. She begins to writhe.


He pulls away and rolls them over again, pressing his weight against her. A low, keening moan starts from somewhere in her throat before pushing through her lips.

"Believe moi?" he asks, holding her down, not moving, not allowing her to move.

Her back arches upward, her body desperately trying to maintain their burning dance. "Yes," she whispers, the sound ragged and harsh. She starts to make some sound but catches it back into her throat. Her nails dig into his shoulders, pulling him closer.

He lowers his head to hers and takes her surrender.

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He smokes a cigarette after, surprised at himself, wondering if it was only charm that drew her to him, that quieted the raging beast of her suspicion and fury, or if just maybe...

He shouldn't be doing this to himself. He knows it.

He stares down at her, her faintly ragged breathing, the way her eyes have captured his and soften on his face, so knowing, as unreadable as his own.

He cannot look away.

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    The Gambit

    STORY SUMMARY: Rogue enters into dangerous liaisons with a mysterious Cajun Thief. Both get more than they bargained for.

    DISCLAIMERS: All characters and organizations (with the exception of small, mostly unnamed minor characters) throughout the series are the product of Marvel.

    CANONICAL NOTES: This story arc follows X1, X2, and X3 as canon for characters and events. All else is pulled from comicverse and mixed heftily with my imagination. Origins is ignored, except a few situations and characters twisted to my happy use.

    LANGUAGE AND ACCENTS: French is courtesy of Heavenmetal and Wanda W, who is also my very wonderful beta (huge thanks!). I will not reproduce accents in this story arc. Imagine them in.

    (UNBOUND) entries are in drafting phase and are likely to change radically before complete.



    1. The Rogues Gambit
    2. Carnal
    2.01 The Gambits Rogue
    2.02 The Gambits Meaning
    2.03 The Gambits Feeling
    2.04 The Gambits Fire
    2.05 The Gambits Words
    2.06 The Gambits Seduction
    2B. Real

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