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Chapter 1

Between the Guns and the Cards - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Jakafe
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

The wind that blew against his face smelled like salt, it wasn't anywhere near the pier, but the rigid dryness of the scent would be enough to underline his discomfort at the time being. Still with the Grifter mask tied round his head as a red bandanna, and a neat Harley Davidson on his riding hour, Cole Cash speeded up every last minutes he could get a grip on, before the man reached his destination towards a particular bar.

The most annoying part of the night was when he turned his back to play poker with the rest of his teammates. And while they kept on protesting against his will to back off from the game, Remy LeBeau spontaneously volunteered to buy the beers and chips instead. This specific idea of the Cajun was gladly accepted eventually, although some men still insisted that he too would gamble along, just to see whether his luck stayed, or betrayed him instead.

What ravages of spirit conjured this tempestuous rage

Created you a monster, broken by the rules of love

And fate has lead you through it, you do what you have to do


A semi-crowded place that got an atmosphere of old spices, and authority that's how I judged Harry's Hideaway. And it's just gotta fit to the fact the swivel chairs kinda classic in an urban way, the music coming out from the jukebox was one of those timeless types, and the bartender, whom I took the privilege to naming as Harry, was definitely my last take to decide what kinda bar this was. A damn good one. I chuckled, the simplicity of this place symbolized its grandeur.

"What can I get you?" Harry asked me, wiping the shiny surface of his wooden bar table with a piece of chamois cloth.


"Which ones?"


"Comin' up."


Well, this is kinda nice a Harley outside Harry's Hideaway? Good one, too with the paint job and everything wonder who owns it. Ah, I'll probably know the homme when I'm inside anyway. Wow I didn't realize there's a new neon sign


I pulled a cigarette pack underneath my tunic, along with it my lighter. Lit one up, and started smoking five minutes had past, I ended half of it. God, I've been doing these things since He knows when can't help it, you add up a coolness factor in every breath you take with nicotine on your lungs, and put happiness on top of it all, then you have yourself a pretty world. A perfect one, almost.


The air inside this place was slightly thick with smokes good, this means I could too. Harry's figure was spotted right away as he gave one guest a shot glass filled with brandy. The good bartender lifted his head, and found me standing in front of his entrance door. A broad smile came to his face as he greeted me.

"Remy!" He exclaimed, I approached him quite casually until the bar table suspended us, we firmly shook hands, I returned the friendly grin, and we talked.

"Need lotsa beers, 'Arry you wanna worked dat out f'r moi?" I asked him, there was no more hesitation reflecting from his eyes as he nodded.

"Sure buddy, but I gotta problem for ya." Harry explained, "I ran outta them." This statement made me froze "Don't worry! Gimmie the cash, and I'll tell Jimmy t'get them for ya at the storage back at my house."

His right hand spread before me, I then waited, heaved a sigh, involuntarily pulled the money that everybody collected from my wallet, gave them to the damn guy, saw him smiling even wider, and watched him leave as he told me to wait for half an hour or so. If I gotta wait, then the others gotta wait too

I went over to the public phone, those guys better know the plan's not going as directed earlier. Two quarters were inserted, then dialed the number for X-Mansion

"Xavier *hic* hotline service, how may we *hic* be any assistance?"


"Sam, give me the phone. No, you're drunk, give me the phone! Logan!!" It's Jean's voice.

"Uh, Jeannie " She definitely can't hear me, being too busy grabbing the handle from Sam and presumably unable to do so, unless she uses her telekinetic stuffs I regret saying that.



"Arhm, Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters."

"Jeannie, it's Gambit."

"Remy, is something wrong?" it's pretty amazing to hear her voice suddenly turned worried, "You could just message me telepathically, you know?"

"Yeah, know dat chere, but judging by de scene y'got goin' on over dere, voices in y'head 're de last t'ing ya want, rig't?

"Point taken, Cajun but tell me, what is it?"

"Harry ran outta beer."


"Relax chere, de man's on ta it as we speak, I'll be 'ome wit dozens 'o beer, jus' gon' be late, dat's all."

"You sure?"

"Yup, tell de ot'ers 'bout it 'kay? I gotta go."

"Okay Remy, take care."



That guy sure packed a lotta money musta been one of those party-doers. But judging by his age, it ain't the time anymore low chuckle coming in. Funny his voice sounds familiar. It's just a matter of seconds before he came towards my direction and took a seat two chairs away. I didn't look, just concentrating on the brandy shotshe and Harry seems to know each other pretty well, seeing how friendly they got themselves in. I think I got friends like that once John and Reno are probably two of 'em probably.

Speaking of Reno he and Pris really dig the tunnel of love recently I'm happy for them, I really do. Maybe they could be on the spot where Zanna and I've failed to land upon. Hell, I'm not even sure of what kinda target did the two of us aimed at, while we're still 'together' sometimes I think it's just sex. No feelings ever there to be noticed I told her apparition that I loved her but still. No target.

"No target." I realized those words were out from my mouth, I was mumbling so I drank again, and the glass was emptied once more, Harry came quickly to fill the shot maybe for the third time. Brandy smokes unsteady payment my life.

"Tell me 'bout it."

I turned to whoever said that last prompt, and he was looking at me with a smile. That Remy fella. Again, his voice sounded so recognizable, but how? How the hell could I end up knowing a guy like this one? Oh, right Cole, that's rhetoric, remember? That didn't seem to matter for him, as he stepped down from his chair, and started approaching me.

"Ma apologies, monami." He said, "'Ave I been rude?" a quite thick Cajun accent was definitely this guy's voice colour. I shook my head, telling him a negative answer.

"Nah " A shot was gulped down quicker than the previous one, "But seriously, you're not tryin' to pick me up here, are you?"

He laughed rather loudly because of that, and I found myself doing the same thing too. This night was gonna be better than I'd speculated before after all right that moment, I noticed my cigarette's getting shorter, put it out on an ashtray, and he introduced himself. Spreading a hand to me, he said his name;

"Remy LeBeau"

We shook hands, his grip was easy and assuring at the same time. By the time I made an eye contact with this guy, I noticed that he got eyes like I've never seen before. All blacks, with red irises and pupils. He seemed to have received my surprise, but he took it well though. It's all clear in a snap of thought he's a mutant.

"Cole Cash" I said.


That's familiar.

"So, you're throwing in some sorta party or something?" Cole asked me, while lighting a cigarette after taking it out from its pack, and started smoking. This was his second time, I believe.

"Sorta party, oui me an' a couple 'o friends." I paused, shifting my eyes to see his, "Jus' killin' de nig't, I guess."

The blonde homme nodded, there was pride underneath his ignorance, and he's not too shy to let it showed from each word that he's chosen. That kinda descriptions sounded just like Logan and someone else. How come guys like those get the chance of being that spot of a friend for me? How come nice, good to the bone, goody-goody toe shoers fellas always ended up as my antagonists? Oh, that's good question Remy, maybe it's because YOU already ARE an antagonist! Arrrghh.


Man, he looked pretty depressed all of a sudden

"You okay?" I asked him, even though he's not reacting by the first line of my question, it's typical for everyone to answer with a 'yes'. But then again


Cole, that instinct of yours really gotta be sharpened. We wait, seconds and seconds passed us, whatever problem he got on his head right now was kinda heavy, judging by his face. Remy turned to me, we made the second eye contact, he read my eyes, and I read his.

Shame, rejection, fear, and doubts reflected way too clearly throughout them and I wonder what he'd discovered in mine. Probably got him all mixed up, I myself don't even know anything else these pair of blues capable of telling anymore except an unclear story about the twisted lives that I've led so far.

"W'at makes ya so much a st'anger t'yourself, Cole?"

Okay, that one's good, Cajun. How the hell did he figure that out?

" I got reasons" I replied, the tone was so cold, I could virtually felt the tip of my tongue frozen, "And so far, got no plans to share them."

"I'm not tellin' ya t'do dat " He tried to soothing me, to my unconscious reaction, it's actually working, "Dis Cajun know 'ow it felt t'ave y'privacy violated, y'heart brok'n, an' y'life turn'd ta shit

"An' he would try at nuthin' t'extend ev'ryone's patience on dat matter, monami."

"I appreciate that, Remy." My calmness eventually overcame the slight anger, this fella was more than I would've been able to bargain. His friendliness, his tones he could have the whole world as friends, but why do I still feel those isolated sorrows every time he started to speak?

Forgot about the brandy shots, the plan to get drunk and everything Harry was looking at us. Maybe he didn't want me to pay him sure Cashthat's very logical. What's his purpose by filling my glass again?


Damnit, you had always been able to control your words, LeBeau, why not now also? I sighed, dying to get my own hands on a few glasses of shots as well just to fill in the gap of time I found myself trapped in what the hell took Harry and those beers so long?

Hmph waiting. Yeah, I was good at that I still am, proofed it to the whole X-Men when they left me high and dry, not to mention cold back in Antarctica. Well, that happened about a year ago, I got almost everyone's trust back except Angel's. Like it matters? Yes it does

"Can I ask you something?"

"Go a'ead."

"How does it feel to understand people's secrets?"

Cole, of all the questions in the world, why must you bring up this particular one?

" Makes me feel kinda low, act'ally" I answered pretty honest, "Since I got a whole bunch 'o dem back in m'past."

I heard him chuckled, that was relieving enough for me. Not long, we turned silent again other customers were leaving, it's getting late, I'm mooning over myself Cole maybe too. The more we shut ourselves up, the more I recalled his whereabouts on my memory but still where is he?

"You're a good guy, Remy don't ruin that."

" I can't, even t'ough I wan' to"

"Now ya did it." His resentment made me laugh, even with all the sharpness of his tongue, the homme couldn't bring himself to sarcasm, I knew he meant it to be so, and therefore I thanked him.

And fate has led you through it, you do what you have to do

"Hey Cajun, Jimmy's back! Where's your car?" the owner of Harry's Hideaway told the dark-eyed mutant, who was just resting his whole weight by leaning both his lower arms to the bar table.

"De red jeep, monami." Gambit's body was straightened right away, this really marked Grifter's sign that his newest acquaintance was about to leave. So far, he only took three shots of brandy that wasn't much, and far from his expectations. All because of this guy?

Remy paused before he got ready to walk away from the man he's facing, Harry and that Jimmy guy went outside first. No one's looking at nobody in the X-Man's heart, there's a stone that couldn't be removed no matter how hard he tried. All because of this dude?


They didn't say goodbye. Remy left his standing spot the minute his car keys were out from his pocket, and Cole brought one more gulp of brandy into his throat and that made four shots.


Well, there goes a soon-to-be friendship and I thought they got along pretty nicely. What a shame young people these days really don't know how to make good companies. Too many private thoughts.

"Merci, 'Arry!"

"Yeah, no problem."

I saw Remy put down the last crate of beer in the back of his car before I left him alone. Went back inside the bar, and the other guy suddenly left too friends, you'll never know. I loudly chuckled.

And I have the sense to recognize that I don't know how to let you go

"I always wanted to know how'd you really got out from prison." That was a loud statement coming from Grifter's mouth, it stopped Remy from going inside the jeep, and successfully nailed him to the ground he's stepping on. This is getting to the point, huh?

"It was you, wasn't it?" Cole said, again it's a statement standing proudly in front of Harry's Hideaway entrance door, he waited.

No reply.

He didn't know what Remy looked like back then, all he noticed was that there's this Cajun who could light a cigarette without any matches or lighter, friendly enough to offer him something that he could smoke with, and that's just it. He remembered the voice! Husky, deep, full with charmNice trick

Yeah, he remembered the guy who got solitary. His name, assured all, of course Nick Fury once came to their cells and released him by doing some job for S.H.I.E.L.D. He knew the guy was blonde, he saw him between the shadows at times including when they were splitting out De ugly one

Cole Cash, didn't receive any answers, Remy seemed to ignore him, even though he's probably not. The X-Man stepped inside his jeep, made the jumpstart, hit the gas, and left. No effort to stop him, and requested for a furthermore explanation why, Grifter?

This mercenary member of the WildC.A.T.s heaved a sigh, his eyebrow creased, symbolizing a perfect picture of being doubtful. Oh what the hell, he was getting tired and couldn't wait to go back home with Pris and Reno. They'd probably be sick worrying about him yeah, right. Three to five more steps forward, and he would've reached his Harley but he didn't.

(What the--?)


Grifter jumped, high when he landed again, he ducked, not more than half a second, his guns were ready aiming at the subject. A relatively small blow occurred later a few feet behind him, but that didn't make any distractions. He had no idea what kinda grenade that was, but it glow brightly in red, and thin like a card.

"Better pray that ain't my Harley you blew" Cole threateningly warned his attacker, but when his eyes began to put a perfect focus on the subject he stood up slowly. Disbelieved... "Why?"

"It'd been a while, eh monami?" Gambit greeted, leaning his upper left arm to one of the Jeep's frames. Although it's quite far, Grifter still could see which expressions his former cell mate was using. Relieved.

" Yeah, Cajun It's been a while."

Remy smiled, so did Cole as soon as he put his guns sheathed again, they got their memories back. Long time ago, these two individuals had met, a brief yet good conversation was even held between them, when Nick Fury came to their cells, he told Cole a proposal that was hard enough to reject, so he took it. They parted. Cole did meet Remy's soon-to-be teammate named, Jean Grey and years later, he met the Classic X-Men.

"Y'got nuthin' else t'do t'nite, rig't? Why don' y'come wit' me?" Gambit offered an informal invitation, his counterpart raised an eyebrow, "Y'messed up wit' Fury, den y'pr'bly gotta messed up wit' a couple o' m'friends, as well" this perception was interesting to Cole, even though surprised, he wanted to make sure.

"Your friends?"

"Dey call demselves de X-Men."


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