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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13


Written by Flitz
Last updated: 08/24/2008 12:48:30 PM

Chapter 7

“What the hell was that!” barked Logan crashing his way into Xavier’s study, Shield agents rushing beside. Fury straightened his uniform front, holstering his sidearm a decidedly disgruntled expression on his face. Xavier rolled his way toward the exit waving away the smoke curling throughout the room.

“I’m afraid that was Remy,” spoke Xavier disappointment clear in his eyes.

“Xavier convinced me it would be a good idea give Gambit access to his powers, apparently he was wrong,” stated Fury glaring at the professor. He pointed to the two guards, “Jeffers, Beckett, find Gambit and haul his ass back here, now!” he demanded. Any sympathetic feelings the commander of Shield had felt for the young teen evaporated when the youth charged up his inhibitor, flinging it wildly. The resulting explosion had detonated outside, though still managed to create the hazy atmosphere that was now prevalent. A man used to situations souring quickly Fury had jumped up quickly blaster in hand, but the mutant thief had vanished.

“Wait!” shouted Xavier throwing up a hand as if he could halt the men, “Do not go after him, it will only agitate him further. He’ll perceive it as another attack worsening both our prospective positions. Gambit has already given his word that he’ll stay…I’m sure he hasn’t left the grounds. Let me send someone less confrontational. Think of all he has lost, I am sure he just needs a little time to process all of it,” Xavier bargained.

“Processing? Is that what you call launching a bomb?” scalded Fury, unlit cigar finding its way into his mouth.

“He could have easily thrown it towards us as away if his intention was to do either of us harm. Perhaps it was his powers reaction to the removal of the inhibitor,” suggested the professor quickly.

“Probably just didn’t want to blow himself up,” Wolverine muttered darkly, receiving a sharp glare from Xavier.

Colonel Fury eyed his expectant officers and the lined face of Xavier, debating his decision. Xavier’s first idea had backfired spectacularly, but they would continue to be involved through Gambit, they had to be willing to take one another’s suggestions.

“Fine,” Fury admitted gruffly, “you can send one of yours, but I want confirmation that he’s onsite, before we pack up,” he said sternly. “I can get him a few days, a week at the most before I send someone to collect him for his first assignment.”

“A week!” exclaimed Xavier satisfaction of winning the first argument dying quickly. “The child needs more time than that, you saw the same scene I did! Remy needs time to recover,” the professor protested.

“That all the time I can give him Xavier,” Fury replied shaking his head gray eye staring down intently at the professor, “You don’t understand the implications of our agencies getting dibs on a Guild thief. This is completely unprecedented. You’re lucky to get a week with the requests for his talents I have piling up on my desk.”

“And if you send him on a mission before he is ready? What then?” proposed Xavier.

“Ya really don’t know what yer dealing with do ya Chuck?” said Logan interrupting the conversation with a disbelieving chuckle. “Guild thieves are the thieves to go to when ya wanna make sure something gets done, discrete and untraceable, they’re the best. I’ve seen them shut off their emotions at will for an assignment, pretty damn spooky if ya ask me.”

“I did no require your input on his matter Logan, however I will take that under advisement,” spoke Xavier coolly.

“I’m just saying ya should watch it Chuck. Gambit ain’t a pet you can keep locked up, hell he’s not one of those runaways you seem to collect either. He’s a sneak thief. A damn good one, which means you can’t tame him like you have the rest of your projects.” The professor opened his mouth to deny the charges, but Wolverine overrode him growling, “Thieves are loners, wanderers, it’s in the blood, ya can’t keep a thief chained up like this, he’ll snap. Ya should get rid of him before he causes more trouble than a busted window, or you’ll regret it.”

“I am afraid that’s impossible,” stated Xavier, “His brother has turned him out of his home Guild…and I have adopted him. And Logan, I’m sure you’ll remember that many of the students expressed similar doubts about your position here.”

“Yeah,” he snorted, “but if I go off you’ll hear me coming,” he said displaying his claws. A Guild thief with explosive powers…this whole place will go up in one great big bang. Ya won’t see it coming, just wake up one morning sitting on a stockpile of napalm,” Wolverine warned.

“I am sure that will not be the case,” said Xavier dark brows drawing down, battling his anger at Logan’s innate pessimism. “I’m sending Ororo to locate

Gambit, we can wait somewhere else for her conformation,” the professor continued sternly, casting an unobtrusive glance to what had formerly been a picturesque window.

Gingerly perched on the apex of the Institute’s roof a sunken form sat curled up upon itself, arms wrapped tightly around drawn up legs utterly detached from his surroundings. The night wind tugging at already tousled auburn strands whipping them about. The thief huddled but whether from the chill wind or the emotions within it was uncertain. He had never imagined his life could be utterly destroyed so quickly. Though quickly was a relative term, he wasn’t really able to grasp how much time had elapsed. Like so many other things in his life it had eluded him, only causing further confusion as he tried to pin it down. How long had he been perched on the slick shingles of this roof? How long since he’d knelt in an alley warm blood soaking though his jeans, how long since he’d left New Orleans? Arrived at the Institute, escaped, fought Shield…how long since his brother had disowned him, casting him out? The young Cajun couldn’t begin to place a time with the events and he rubbed the bridge of his nose distressed, for someone with a near perfect memory this loss of time was a alarming.

He remembered glaring highlights if not the specific times, his brother’s parting shot and his muted surprise when Xavier agreed to let him have his powers back. Fury had gazed at him suspiciously chomping his jaw as if he had a foul taste in his mouth. Slowly, almost as if against his will Fury drug a small gray rectangular device from his uniform pocket, tossing it grudgingly into the thief’s waiting palm. Snatching it instinctively Remy took a moment to recognize the Shield acronyms emblazoned on it before running it hurriedly across the collar. The mediocre light dimmed as the passkey came in contact with it. An unobtrusive click and a small gap in the circuit appeared dropping into the teen’s hands.

Pent-up power cascaded down his body in a crimson rush, an awing sight, gleaming ruby pupils relit fiercely, his enhanced vision returning throwing the room into a collage of sparks each one calling it’s own song, begging for him to release their energy.

The red-hued energy slithered toward his upper arms flowing in a blaze of flame cumulating at his hands white hot sparks leaping off closed fists. The air filled with the deadly symphony of his power as it came alive crackling and hissing at its restraint. The mutant thief easily coaxed the energy into the collar he still held, charging rapidly taking on the same coloration as his powers.

A sharp whine broke out as a casual toss sailed the charged metal across the room. Glass splintered nosily shattering against the frame as the collar struck detonating on impact. Shock waves shuddered the room at the explosive release, and Xavier and Fury threw up their arms shielding from the impressive expansion of light. Smoke billowed in the room, wavering slowly through the demolished window frame. The red eyed youth had followed the collars path out the window and found his way onto the roof before they could notice his departure.

Fearing his temper might do worse the young thief had left quickly, not wanting to remain in the presence of men integral to his incarceration. Escaping to the roof was a temporary measure a best, but it held significantly more promise than the interminable woods he had so recently become acquainted with.

The young mutant thief couldn’t face Fury or Xavier not with his head mired so deeply within his own thoughts, returned powers frightening in their intensity. A gruff laugh that more likely resembled a moan escaped his clamped jaw as he carefully laid his head against his left knee. The man he had most respected and loved, his father, had been murdered. His own unwillingness to leave his father’s side had lead to an abducted by the government, forced to work for them. A stranger he had never known professed to adopt him, and it was all done with the gleeful consent of his own brother. A small power spike was the least of his worries.

Henri’s words had cut deep, but part of him couldn’t help but think that Henri had been right, his exhausted brain churning out supporting evidence. He had been the only thief present for his father’s death and Guild thieves were duty-bound to protect each other, especially their Guild Master. His powers he had worked so hard to control hadn’t alerted him to the danger, but if they had, would he of reacted in time? Could he have been able to save his father? The question ragged at his soul, but he knew it was useless to debate the point. Jean Luc was dead, and he had been the only one there with the possibility to save him. More than a thief or a mutant, he was his son, he should have been able to do more for his father than witness his last breaths. Jean Luc had took him in as his own son, trained him in his profession, and he had done nothing to save him. Henri was right, he’d failed. And fate had seen to it he was punished for his indiscretions sending him into the grips of Xavier and Shield.

The realization clamped his gut painfully and he wrested his mind away from the thought, attempting to distract himself with the folder Henri had left behind. The red haired Cajun’s hand hovered over it, ghosting the lines. He desperately wanted to touch it, open it, but feared his powers would obliterate it before he got a chance to view the contents. Another though twisted in the recesses of him mind, he probably shouldn’t open it. His luck, if he had ever had any, had well and truly deserted him. Whatever was left to him in the envelope might only serve to hurt him again, he wasn’t sure his sanity could take any more blows and survive.

A faint buzzing of newly activated senses informed him someone was approaching, kinetic sense easily picking up on the eddies in the energy field. Unnoticed by him the air subtly gained warmth, warding off night air. The normally boisterous teen waited in silence something he had been practicing often of late, hoping whoever it was would leave him alone as he so obviously wished to be.

Snatches of memory stretched by ultimately variating between his encounter with Henri and Jean Luc’s death. The two fleshed together, and now it was his father face before him, telling him he couldn’t come home, his brother laying dead in his arms. Shaking his head to dispel the image Remy tried to sink farther away from it, unable his kinetic sense still registering another’s presence.

The distressed teen brought another scowl to his face, something that came relatively easy, throwing it at the person who didn’t have the courtesy to leave him in his solitude. “What de hell y’ want homme?” he snapped out. Crimson eyes were narrowed shrewdly but did not convey surprise at seeing the white haired woman hovering a few feet away.

Having finally gained his attention she lowered herself gracefully and walked the few remaining steps to the teen steadily, sitting down beside him crossing her legs at ease despite the precipitous location. “I have simply come to see how you are faring,” Ororo replied solemnly.

“Well y’ can tell dem dat Gambit’s fine neh? Y’ can go now,” he growled, facing away from her, angered that they had thought he’d recant his word.

“I am sorry to hear about Jean Luc,” she replied setting her hands on her lap, light blue irises paired with cat-like pupils gazing unflinchingly into the red haze of the teen’s eyes produced by noiselessly crackling pupils.

“I’m sure,” he replied grouchily tilting his head so his newfound bangs fell over his forehead messily, hoping the woman would leave. He’d recognized her from the woods, and wasn’t in the mood to socialize with anyone who had chasing him on their resume. Storm held back an impatient frown, the professor asked her to find the teen, ensuring his well being along with his location.

“I’m aware we did not meet in the best of circumstances,” spoke Storm, “in fact I do not believe we have met at all. I am Ororo Munroe, or Storm if you prefer.” The teen skittered a glance to her,

“How nice f’ y’,” he sneered, “I’d tell y’ m’ name chere, but f’ all I know, it be Remy Xavier right now.”

“Of course,” Ororo murmured distantly searching for another way to connect with the troubled teen. Anyone else accessing the mutant thief would see nothing more than what he projected, an insolent youth simply sniping at any one within distance. An expert at controlling her own emotions Storm knew what turbulence could be hidden underneath calm waters, and the red haired youth seemed intimately familiar with misdirection. Silence descended again, and Ororo sat unassumingly, creating and rejecting several courses of action before deciding to be as direct as possible. “Did you like the fog I sent you?” she asked simply.

“What y’ be talkin’ bout chere? Y’ bump y’ head o’ somet’in’?” he returned with a slanting glance out of a crimson eye, a slight shift of his leg belied his interest, passing as it was.

“We are all mutants at this Institute. Controlling the weather is my power, which is why I am called Storm. I beckoned the clouds to give rain hiding your scent from Logan, created fog to obscure your corporal form and brought forth lightening to destroy the disturbance you made in the soil.”

“Even if I did believe y’ did all dat, why would y? Y’ don’ know Remy, no reason to help him,” he accused.

“Not directly,” she admitted, “but I knew Jean Luc,” she added soft blue eyes covering the disbelieving features of the slender figure before her. The young thief seemed to be studying her features ardently and she held her breath under his inspection.

“Y’ don look like y’ be lying chere,” he said quietly voice taking on a smooth rolling quality she hadn’t detected in his jeers. “Where’d y’ meet him?” he questioned.

“It was a long time ago,” she said absentmindedly, scanning the forest beyond, relaxing into her memories. “You are aware of all the other Guilds,” she continued not seeing his answering nod. “I…I was a thief when I was younger. My parents died unexpectedly leaving me orphaned. I was taken in by a man named Achmed, he taught me to be a thief. I was happy as a pickpocket or so I thought, for several years,” she replied.

“Your father visited one day, and he took me aside from the rest of the children. He spoke of a woman, a seer that she had told him of me, that I wasn’t supposed to be a thief, the fates had something else in mind. Jean Luc offered to help me disappear from that life,” she trailed off, a small frown gracing her features. “I didn’t believe him at the time, but the next year he came again, and I took him up on his offer. I had begun to feel guilt over stealing, usually from people who probably needed the money as much as I.”

Remy continued to stare intently as Ororo finished her story, careful to keep the minute threads of charm wrapped around her, straining to detect any hint that would prove her story was fabricated. “I did not want to leave Africa so he helped me find my mother’s tribe. I stayed with my people for several years as I discovered my powers, living as their Goddess.”

“Y’ didn’ know him f’ very long den neh?” pointed out the thief. Jean Luc was often away for Guild business, he could have met her as she claimed. But estimating with the cloudy time references she gave, and the fact that she appeared a few years older, he was sure had still been on the streets when she had met up with Jean Luc. She couldn’t have known about him.

“On the contrary, Remy” she returned with a small smile hinting over her delicate features, “Later Professor Xavier contacted me and brought me to America to become a part of this Institute, first as a student, then as a teacher. Your father learned I was in the States and we have been corresponding since that day. That is how I knew it was you. He spoke of you often, I believe I have a picture of you somewhere in my loft,” Ororo mused.

Remy turned the information over in his mind, she had helped him because Jean Luc had helped her. But it had to be more than a simple trade of favors if they had been in contact for years.

“I’ve neva heard him speak of y’,” the lithe teen said twisting a shingle corner between his dexterous fingertips.

“We kept our correspondence confidential. Technically Jean Luc stole another Guild member’s apprentice, a charge the Guilds do not take lightly.”

The young mutant thief didn’t reply simply gazing out at the manicured lawn, the mention of Guild rules dissolving his short-lived respite from his own thoughts, exhaustion nipping behind. It was foolish tipping his hand and letting the others see how upset he had become, but he even he had a limit of how much he could take and not feel it. He had been dealing with it as he’d been taught, pushing aside his emotions for the job, only the thought of returning home keeping himself in check.

But after what Henri said, there would be no going home, ever. He’d ripped away everything that held any importance to him and traded him over to Xavier with no more qualms than exchanging vehicles. It brought back darker memories of being treated as a commodity, a thing, but the teen jerked away from it. There were only so many problems he could deal with at once.

The knowledge that Ororo was at the Institute, someone who had known his father and could share in his grief eased his suffering minusculely. He believed her tale. His charm wasn’t a lie detector, but it made people comfortable enough that the truth would generally spill out. However ally or not, the teen didn’t expect his stay to be pleasant.

He only had a year to live out at the Institute, but his indentured service to Shield would last as long as Henri demanded it. He had gained Master status which had allowed him his pick of lucrative assignments. But this job wasn’t an offer, it was an order, and he couldn’t go against it. Despite the thieves technological involvement in many ways they still followed their archaic beginnings. The young thief had no illusions left to him, refusing his Guild Master especially in light of recent matters, would result in his death.

He pushed his bangs back again, unaccustomed to the motion, watching the carriers of Shield dust off flying into the dark sky. The red haired thief couldn’t feel relief at their absence, knowing they would return only too quickly. Heaving a sigh that struggled out the Cajun’s throat he took another sideways glance at the woman who called herself Storm. She appeared very calm, though whether it was a natural aptitude or an aftereffect of his charm he wasn’t sure.

Storm caught his eye and gestured to the envelope that sat pressed underneath his knee, “Are you going to open it?” she asked concern imprinted on her exotic features.

“Mebbe,” he muttered but made no move to touch the bulky folder.

“I’m sure it’s very personal,” replied Storm quietly, “I will leave you to open it yourself.” She walked over to a near skylight unlatching it neatly, “This goes to a staircase in the loft, feel free to use it when you depart. I am sure it is a much simpler way of digress than your original ascent. Do not stay out much longer, it is late,” the former goddess chided, taking her own advice exiting through the skylight.


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