She shouldn't be here. There is no way even Logan would approve.

But she is here.

Glowing crimson eyes smolder in the darkness of the back booth. They're fixed on her, intense, unwavering, even more pronounced on the black instead of white. A nameless (not) mutant picking up (or being picked up by) a nameless clearly mutant male.

She could not believe it. She held her hands above her and stared at them. Bare skin.

Bare. Skin.

She tried to sit up and was immediately washed with nausea.

"It passes," the nurse said, friendly. "It's normal."


She'd never been normal.

Part of her, the saner part, tells her she shouldn't be here. She should back away from this man with his hypnotic gaze. His face is a strong face; he's all planes and angles and rough and dangerous, and yet she's standing here, letting his hands slide gently under her shirt, continuing to caress her waist. Because of his Cajun voice.

"A girl like you shouldn't be here, chère." His voice was deep, thickly accented, a breath of fresh air.

She stopped her journey toward the bar and glanced around for the source. "Long way from New Orleans," she said, hoping he'd speak again.

A rich chuckle that did terrible things to her insides followed. "Long way from the River too, chère."

She saw him then, a lean, lithe, and too smooth, too handsome predator with the eyes of a seductive devil, staring at her from his own dark corner and a game of solitaire.

"Shouldn't be here, chère. ‘S not safe."

She studied him, momentarily lost in the sound of that friendly southern accent. "I'm used to danger."

He leans in close after a long moment. "Your place or mine?"

She doesn't even hesitate. "Yours."

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She'd never had a man before. Ever. Not even with Bobby. Not even through clothes. So she feels she has a right to be so nervous as he undresses her without rushing and slowly sets off a fire in her she'd never imagined was possible.

The scary thing is she had never imagined this possible. Her. Doing this. She is completely unprepared.

"Trust me," he whispers.

She stares into those incredible eyes, feeling sucked in and surrenders completely. He kisses her and it's like nothing she has ever known.

"We could just try."

Bobby was always trying to push the bounds on her powers. Trying to kiss her, to hold her. Now he wanted much more than that. He wanted what she could not give.

"Stop it!" She stared at him, hurt. "Why do you keep at it? You know I can't control it."

She's not controlling it now either. It's gone. It's really gone. She didn't really believe it until he was littering hot kisses across her naked back and touching her in places she's never been touched before.

"Don't do this for some boy." Logan was real. He was always real with her.

She could have told him all the reasons why. But the short of it was simpler. She was doing it for her.

He whispers to her in French, and she clings to him in the darkness, amazed at the feelings, the intensity of what is happening. She cries out and digs her nails into his skin. So much skin and so much heat.

"What's your real name?" Bobby had asked her once.

Right now, she doesn't really know.

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She wakes to the murmur of a man swearing softly. Her back is pressed against a lean, muscular figure and a hand grazes her hip. She tries to sit up and pull away, but winces at the soreness in her muscles. She turns toward him, sees his intense ruby red eyes staring at something between them, and realizes he's the one who's swearing.

He's staring at blood.

She catches her breath, having forgotten that little fact of her innocence, and takes in the expensive sheets. "I'm sorry about the sheets," she says softly.

That gets his attention. The crimson orbs focus abruptly on her and his voice is incredulous. "The sheets?"

She frowns, pulling further away.

He makes a cutting motion with his hand. "No virgin belongs in Gambit's bed."

That hits a raw nerve, but she silences her inner Logan and settles for her own girlish question. "Was I that bad?"

If he was incredulous before, he's uncomprehending now. She watches as he mouths the word 'bad' and shakes his head.

"Not the point, chère. You shouldn’t’ve been there in a place like that looking for a person like me." His jaw clenches visibly. "Promise me you won't do something stupid like that again."

"I don't owe you," she replies coldly and starts to swing her legs over the side of the bed.

He's too fast for her and captures her by the wrist and pulls her sharply against him.

Her face is centimeters away from his.

"Don't you?" he whispers.

Then he claims her with his mouth. The kiss is hungry and passionate and she finds she can't stop. His hands are all over her and by the time he releases her wrist, she's more than happy to stay in his arms, retreading the path of last night.

Finally spent, she tries to catch her breath on his chest. His fingers have returned to lightly running around her wrist. She knows if she tries to pull away, his grip will tighten.

"I thought virgins had no business in your bed," she says softly.

His breath hitches only for an instant. She feels his voice rumbling beneath her as he answers, instead of just hearing it.

"You're not a virgin anymore."

She wants to laugh, but it comes out as a sigh.

"I might have to go into places like that again. I can't promise anything."

His grip does tighten, but only slightly. "For a year then."

"I'll go in if it's for work." She doesn't want to give in. She doesn't want to fight him either, not after he gave her something she's wanted for so long.

But surprisingly, he nods and then he's kissing the top of her head and pushing them both into a sitting position. "A year. No personal business." His eyes burn like coals. "I'm sure by then you'll be fine."

"I was fine this time," she reminds him, quirking an eyebrow.

He kisses her on the mouth again, and she wishes he would stop proving to her just how much he's in control in this.

"Oui, chère. But you might not have been."

"Why do you even care?" She watches as his face shuts down into a blank mask and wonders what's wrong with asking her question. "You don't know me."

His fingers caress the white streak in her hair. "Non. But I know that you're someone's girl."

"She's my girl." Bobby had always been so possessive.

Sometimes, she just wanted him to shut up. She smiled at the new boy and offered her name.

"My boyfriend—"

His eyes flare dangerously. "Your boyfriend?"

"Soon to be ex." She studies him. "He's..." She searches for words. "I thought that being with him could make me normal. Less dangerous."

"I like you dangerous," the Cajun offers.

"I should go." Her eyes flit away. She can't stand this much closeness and intimacy with a stranger.

Gambit. She tastes the name on her mental tongue as she slides out of his bed and finds her clothes. If she's anyone's girl, it's Logan's. She smiles to herself. Gambit and Logan are a lot alike, she thinks. In the way she met them (bars), in the way they want to take care of her (though she's pretty sure they'd disagree with each other's methods), and in the way they seem so feral and untamed.

She takes one last glance at Gambit leaning back on the headboard. He's looking toward the window, smoking a cigarette.

"You someone's guy?" she asks, mildly curious.

"Non." He turns to look at her, those fiery eyes giving her another pause. "See you in a year?"

She laughs. "Maybe."

"What's your real name?" Bobby had asked her once.

"Gambit," she says.

His eyes flicker and he tilts his head in a question.

"It's Rogue."

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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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