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Chapter 1


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

Chapter 1

The season was late Autumn, early Winter. The wind that blew over the Mansion grounds had an icy, blasted touch. Everything was a mix of dirty gold and bloody red, as the trees shed their leaves, leaving them on the ground to die. Some of the trees on the grounds were already stripped naked, getting ready to hibernate through what promised to be a harsh winter. They just stood there like sentinels, twisted branches reaching into the sky, speaking of better times, of warmth and happiness.

Winter was on its way.

All of the X-Men were safely behind the Mansion walls, dressed in warm, comfortable clothing, which warded away the cold of winter. Together, the followers of Charles Xavierís dream created their own circle of warmth, happiness and joy. The whole team was part of this circle, except for the lone figure which sat out on the Mansion roof, all alone.

His trenchcoat snapping around him, Gambit looked out over the Mansion grounds from his vantage point from the roof, feeling the wind cut through the padding of his coat, trying to seep into his bones. The wind had risen to a sharp howl, screaming around Remy's ears like the shriek of a banshee, warning of coming Death.

Gambit afforded himself an icy smile as he considered the scene.

"Seems like Mot'er Nature feel de mood dat I be in, an' now she be actin' accordingly. Dis really be de most miserable day dat I can remember. It be just like me, an' it suit me just fine."

With a slight shake of his head, Remy reached within his trenchcoat and withdrew his packet of cigarettes from one of his deeper coat pockets. Lighting the cigarette with a glowing fingertip, Gambit took a deep drag and gently blew the smoke out through his nostrils, where the wind carried it away.

His thoughts empty and silent, Gambit stared over the grounds, his mind automatically taking in the scenes of late Autumn going over into early Winter. Letting out a small sigh, Gambit looked over to the low hanging sun that burned in the sky like a bloody, red ruby.

"Yeah, y'burn dere, but none of de warmth dat you be supposed t'radiate is touchin' dis Earth. It ain't nothing but cold, miserable and empty. Mus' be easy for you, aint' it? All dat you havta do is hang dere, waiting for de Earth t'turn."

Gambit let out a dry chuckle as he turned his eyes away from the burning sun.

His eyes latched onto one of the naked trees on the grounds. Involuntarily Gambit's thoughts turned to the source of his dark mood.

"Y'see how empty dat tree is? How dead? Dat be de way dat you leave my soul, chere.

I stripped down all de layers dat I be holdin' up t'protect me from de world, chere, an' I show you de Remy dat no one ever see. De real me.

I allow de deepest secrets dat I have t'be revealed t'you, but in de end, it don't seem t'be good enough for ya."

In an effort to relax himself, Remy took another deep drag from his cigarette, but it was useless. He was not in control of the anger he felt.

"Tell me. chere," he thought darkly, his red on black eyes blazing with anger as they bore into the naked tree, "what ever happened to de woman dat say dat she love me, no matter what de circumstance? She be gone now?"

"Y' always say dat we should have no secrets from one anot'er, an' when I finally muster up de courage t'reveal dem, you cast me aside?"

Gambit let out a hideous little chuckle at the last thought. It was dry and bitter, completely devoid of any humor.

"Now, y'be together wit' a man who had his memory wiped out, t'inkin' for some reason beyon' me dat he deserve another chance at redeeming himself? Ain't' dat be what I been tryin' t'do since I join de X-Men?

Still, you don' think dat I have done enough, but you give your greatest enemy a chance?

Y'cast me aside, in favor of Magneto?! You and de X-Men, both. Ironic, if you t'ink about it.'

Gambit rasped the words between clenched teeth, his heart filled with bitterness and contempt.

Letting out another sigh, Gambit just sat there, staring off into nothingness, trying to come to grips with the anger that he felt burning inside of him.

It was then that the song floated over to him, carried by the wind.

"Most prob'ly comin' from Kitty." Gambit thought absently, not really caring for the source of the music. All he wanted to do was keep a tight reign on his anger, before he truly lost complete control over what he felt. Even so, the introduction of the song hammered at his ears, and to his surprise, he was immediately drawn into the song by the strong, compelling voice of the vocalist.

The pronunciation of the words was loud and clear, and Gambit caught every word.

Sometimes it's never quite enough

If you're flawless, then you'll win my love.

Don't forget to win first place

Don't forget to keep that smile on your face.

The first verse of the song made Gambit grimace in pain as the words wrenched at his wounded heart, speaking to him, touching the source of his pain.

"I shouldn't be listenin' t'this shit!" Gambit thought, frustrated and angry with himself. Yet, as the song launched into the second verse, once more Gambit involuntarily listened. It was as if he was caught in a magical web, and there was no way to freedom.

Be a good boy

Try a little harder

You have got to measure up

And make me prouder.

How long before you screw it up

How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up?

With everything I do for you

The least you can do is keep quiet.

Be a good girl

You've gotta try a little harder

That simply was not good enough

To make us proud.

"Mmpph", Gambit thought darkly.

"Ain't dat de truth." he thought to himself as his mouth twisted into a sardonic grin. "Seems as if nothin' dat dis Cajun do be good enough.

Not for you, chere, not for me, not for de X-Men, not for anyone!"

He wanted to scream, if only to get rid of these emotions that was searing though his heart, burning, tearing but the intense anger of the vocalist's voice was thick and raw with power. It held him fast, forcing Gambit to listen intently to every word of the song.

I'll live through you

I'll make you what I never was

If you're the best, then maybe so am I

Compared to him, compared to her

I'm doing this for your own darn good

You'll make up for what I blew

What's the problem man,

Why are you crying?

The last verse came, and the song slowed down, hauling back all the anger that it expressed.

The vocalist ran into the last verse, singing it slowly, in a voice thick with sorrow, unanswered questions and unanswered pain.

Be a good boy

Push a little farther now

That was not fast enough

To make us happy

We'll love you,

Just the way you are,

If you're perfect.

As the last tendrils of the song floated away, releasing Gambit from its intense grip, Remy felt hot tears stinging his eyes. He was exhausted from the pain that burnt hotly inside his soul.

"I guess dat be all it come down to in de end right, chere?" Gambit asked himself as his gaze drifted over to Rogue's room.

"You only love dis Cajun if he be perfect. Oh, chere, wit' all my heart, I wish dat I could be dat, de man dat you want, but I ain't. I just be me."

"I love you, chere, wit' all of my heart. You be de only one dat I ever love so much, but it seems as if it ain't' enough, chere."

"I'm sorry, chere, dat I ain't what you want, dat I ain't perfect. "

Gambit felt something hot and wet sliding down his cheek. He touched his trembling hand to his face, and was surprised to find tears there.

"Stop dis LeBeau!" he chided himself. "Y'ain't some boy! You be a man, and you don' need t'cry!" Even as he scolded himself, deep inside his heart, he knew that it was useless. The raw emotion that the song invoked was stronger than his will.

It wanted release. It would not be stopped, not by him, not by anyone.

So, not knowing what else to do, Gambit pulled his legs up, and drooped his head between them. Silently, Gambit released the bonds that he held on his tightly controlled emotions.

With no one to see him, finally Gambit cried over the only woman that he had ever loved, the only woman that he could never have...


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