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In the Future

Stories by RogueStar

"Always Coming Home"
Gambit finds his way back to the Mansion ... and asks for a retrial.
"Mending Fences"
Rogue and Gambit both suffer through reminders that neither of them can escape their pasts. (Unfinished.)

"Blowing in the Wind"
In honor of the Gambit Guild's "Gambit Day," RogueStar writes a story of reconciliation and hope for Rogue and Gambit.

"The Briar Patch"
A dark, thorny look at how Rogue might internally view her powers. Takes place after Rogue's emergence from the Siege Perilous.

"Cantique Noel"
A series of holiday-themed stories about personal despair and choices for the future, featuring Siryn, Rogue, Gambit and Marrow.

Christmas 1998
A series of three stories written as a gift for the mailing lists Southern Comfort and Gambit Guild.
"Frankincense" - featuring Gambit and Bebete (the green mist lady)
"Gold" - featuring Cyclops and Phoenix
"Myrrh" - featuring Rogue, Gambit and Nightcrawler

"Demain des l'aube"
Rogue mourns the death of her mother and plans to pass Raven's teachings on to her own unborn child.

"The Eighth Color of the Rainbow"
After his "death" at the end of the Magneto War, Joseph makes one last trip to Salem Center to say a very special goodbye.

"Fallen Skies"
In a pocket universe where Rogue stayed in the service of her foster mother Mystique, Rogue becomes known as the woman who killed Magneto. (Unfinished.)

"For My Daughter"
A woman in Mississippi writes a long-overdue letter to her daughter.

Rogue and Gambit think back to when they once decided to break up for good -- and laugh at their younger selves' naivete. Written in response to the recent X-book writing/editorial decision to break them up.

"The Happiest Night"
Just before Rogue and Remy are set to leave for their honeymoon, Rogue finally reveals the real reasons she's so uneasy about being with him. A response to Rogue and Gambit's rumored break-up in Gambit #16.

"The Horse of Another Color"
Magnus, the Mage, demands a tithe from a small town every month. This time, he wants the townspeople to deliver Rogue as his tribute, or else find for him the mythical horse of a different color. (Unfinished. In revision.)
"The Sword and the Rose"
Sabrina and Remy LeBeau settle into their new roles as husband and wife as they train and prepare to defend themselves in a world that has become even more uncertain. (Unfinished.)

"I Am"
Rogue asks Gambit to accept the real her. A response to "All's Fair..." by R.V. Bemis.

"Indian Summer"
Rogue and Gambit make their piece and decide to get back together. In response to Gambit #16.

"The Intolerable"
In a different world, Mystique had early ties to the Thieves Guild and sent Rogue to New Orleans to study the arts of thievery.

Gambit offers Jean a small comfort as she grieves over Cyclops' apparent death. Inspired by UXM #386.

"Last Dance"
As Rogue lay dying, probably of the Legacy Virus, Gambit fulfills her final wish: one last dance.

"The Magician and the Butterfly"
Sabine Robbins leaves her settled life with Cody as a farmer's wife and runs away with a circus magician. Told from mulitple perspectives.

"A Matter of Pryde"
When Soldier Alpha escapes the project and joins the rebels, it is up to a Black Striper to bring her to justice. Unfinished.

"Miss American Pie"
Rogue stares at her reflection in the mirror and evaluates what she is -- and isn't. X-Men: Evolution universe.

"The Queen and the Hunter"
Barely more than a child when she married Magnus, Rogue quietly defers to her husband, then feels the urge to rebel. Age of Apocalypse.

"Return to the Rooftop"
As they settle into their new roles as leaders of the X-Men, Rogue and Gambit try to settle into another role as well: platonic friends.

"Sek, Lies and Videotape"
(with Keri Wilson)
After their wedding, Rogue and Gambit record a farewell message of sorts for Sehkmet Conoway. Sillyfic.

Sim Salem Project
An ongoing series of stories in which Rogue and Gambit are living a happy suburban life with their precocious son, Luc.
• "Confiteor"
• "The Cherry Cookie Incident"
• "The Sphinx's Question"
• "Gotta Learn Them All"
• "Happy Anniversary!"
• "Home Nursing"
• "Saturday Morning in Salem Center"
• "The Cabbage Patch"

"Smoke and Mirrors"
Centering on the relationship between Rogue and Remy and on the growing human intolerance of mutants, this story begins (in terms of "normal" continuity) just before Bishop joins the team and ends just after LegionQuest.

(With Alexis)
When Mercy LeBeau comes to deliver some news to Gambit, she falls in lust with Iceman and chaos ensues. (Unfinished.)

After coming back home to the X-Mansion, many of the X-Men, including Rogue and Colossus, try to make peace with the ghosts in their lives. (Unfinished.)

(With Faith Barnett)
Just after the Trial of UXM 350, the various X-Men try to get on with their lives. (Unfinished.)

"A Walk in the Woods"
Banished to the woods after her disastrous encounter with Cody, Rogue is suspicious when she meets a beautiful woman who wants to take care of her.

"A Window to Her Soul"
Colossus awakens and finds inspiration in Rogue's sleeping form.

elsewhere in Alykat's World:

"The Morning Paper"
Hank and Bobby miss seeing their favorite comic strip in the Sunday paper. A tribute to Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.
(at (un)frozen and Stars & Garters)


Web sites: textualchemy, RogueStar's Galaxy, Caldecott, Doctor in the House

Disclaimer: An incidental piece to hopefully break the evil writer's block I have been labouring under recently. The characters are still Marvel's, the prose is still mine and the commentary should still be sent to

Demain des l'aube

Demain, des l'aube, a l'heure ou blanchit la campagne>
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais, que tu m'attends.
J'irai par la foret, j'irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps
. . .
Et quand j'arriverai je mettrai sur ta tombe
un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyere en fleur.
- 'Demain des L'Aube', Victor Hugo

Really, you cannot think that you will cut yourself free of me so easily. I live in you, in your bones, in the delicate coils of your mind. I made you. The thoughts you find, the moods you carry. Your blood whispers my name. Even in rebellion, you are mine.
-'White Oleander', Janet Fitch

It was a time of morning that should not have existed, caught as it was between sunrise and moonset. The smoke-blue sky was fading to primrose and pink with a few persistent stars stubbornly clinging to the belief that it was night. The air was chill and frost formed tiny diamonds on the etiolated grass, like tear-drops on a skull, melting where they were touched by warm feet. Consequently, her rabbit-tracks were still visible in the crunched leaves, twigs and skeletal blades; the indentations in the mud. Leading through the woods that surrounded much of the mansion, they followed no noticable path, zigging and zagging seemingly by the walker's whim.

Ultimately, however, the footprints led to an unremarkable circular clearing in the middle of which a cairn stood. Composed of gray, smooth stones taken from the depths of the lake, it marked the final resting place of Raven Darkholme, Mystique, mother to this woman.

With difficulty, Rogue eased herself into a sitting position. Her husband, particularly solicitous in the past few months, would have been horrified if he had known she was there. She grinned at the thought of the lectures he would give her later on 'her condition', as he euphemistically called it, and 'ca femme'. Despite five years of marriage and five-hundred conversations on the subject, Remy had never understood her love for and fierce loyalty to Raven. How could he with his devoted, extended family who stuck together so tightly because a single chink could provide ingress for an assassin's blade? As a result, he had never liked the manipulative, tempestuous woman who had adopted, trained and cared for her; her mother who had seemed the truly invulnerable one of both of them.

The phone call had come early in the morning, an indication of sure disaster. Always a light sleeper, Rogue had woken instantly, force of habit causing her to scrabble for the weapon that was no longer beside her bed. A legacy of Raven's training. She had climbed out from beneath the covers, silently cursing whoever was on the other end of the receiver, and padded down the cold, dimly-lit hall. The moonlight had oozed through the cracks in the blinds, creating stripes of light and shadow on the floor that had shifted with the wind. She had felt strangely light-headed, nauseous, fearful of the inevitable ill tidings.

"Hello?" her voice had cracked, echo-splinters shattering on the walls, floor and ceiling.

"Ms Darkholme?" the speaker on the other end had sounded officious, impatient, anxious to get home to his wife and children, "I'm Colonel Cookson? Of S.H.I.E.L.D.?"

"Oh?" she had held onto the table to steady herself. The buzz in her head had been overwhelming by then, a million bees coursing through her skull, and she had not trusted her muscles to remain firm. With the nature of the lives that the X-Men led, it could have been an infinite number of tragedies.

"Your mother is dead."

Mystique was dead? Impossible, yet she had known no other, real mother - her biological one had been inattentive and laconic in her upbringing, had all but pretended that her child did not exist. Numbed beyond grief or understanding by the blunt statement, meaningless despite its simplicity, Rogue had asked: "How?"

"Shot while trying to break into the Agee Institute. Our operatives caught her red-handed. She resisted arrest and we had to use lethal force."

She had shaken her head, the professional within her incredulous. In the end, it had been a peace-keeper's bullet that had caused her death, during a routine operation. No daring escapade, grand gesture or foolish risk. Just a press of a trigger from someone who had only seen her as a criminal, a terrorist, to be eliminated. Not at all the death she would have expected for Mystique.

"But that's impossible," her voice had become shrill, insisting on a truth she had known more surely than anything else: Raven was invincible, untouchable.

"I know this must be a shock. You probably didn't know about her activities," the agent continued, unstoppable, monotonous, "She had been wanted on grounds of treason, terrorism, sabotage ... you name it ... for some time."

"Ah..." she had stopped, common sense reasserting itself over pride. She had been about to tell the man exactly how much she had understood exactly what Raven was doing, how she had been involved herself in trying to build a world that was safe for mutants by tearing down the old, brick by brick, "Ah see."

With horrible detachment, she had noticed that she was shaking, that every nerve and muscle in her body was thrumming, prepared to outsing the pain. Sinking to the floor, she had clasped the receiver as tightly and as desperately as a hand keeping her from falling into insanity.

"Ah see," Rogue had repeated, hearing footsteps echo and shatter down the hallway. Rumpled by sleep, Remy had appeared from their bedroom door, rubbing a hand across his luminescent eyes. He had mouthed a silent query which she had answered with the wave of a trembling hand. It was no-one for whom he cared. Mouth tightening, he had made his way to the kitchen and she had heard the familiar sounds of cups clattering. His solution to any disaster was always plying the person with gallons of overly sweet, milky tea.

"Do you want to come collect the body?"


Her husband had reemerged, carrying a tray with a blue-daisied mug on it. The cheerful design had seemed vaguely incongruous, surreal in the moonlight and the moment. He must have been really worried about her to use his powers to heat the water, she thought, as he usually was too proud of his skill as a chef-cum-gourmet to shortcut anything in the kitchen. She had taken the beverage almost unconsciously, swearing as her hand had shaken and the tea had spilled. Grimacing, Remy had taken it back from her and had sat down next to her on the floor, obviously concerned.

"Is everything all right, Ms Darkholme?"

"Yeah. Just knocked somethin' over. When do you want me to fetch ... her?"

"Nine tomorrow. I'll tell Hughes to expect you."

"Fine. Thanks."

Courtesy, persistent as always, had subsumed sense. Why had she thanked that truculent man who had not expressed sympathy, who had not seen her as important enough to console? He had shattered her universe in a matter of minutes and had not bothered to repair what he could, to glue it together with the small, meaningless politenesses that somehow held it firm.

"Good night, Ms Darkholme."

"'Night, Colonel," she had replaced the receiver, reality reasserting itself with the subtlety of a wrecking ball. Mystique was dead. Raven had been shot. Her mother had been killed. Treacherous tears had prickled at her eyes, yet she had known feared that if she had given into them, she might never have regained control.

"Qui etait-il, cherie?" (Who was he, dear?)

"A Colonel Cookson," Rogue had replied, controlling each nerve as she had been taught, regaining composure with each faciomaxillary muscle, "From S.H.I.E.L.D."

"Qu'est-qu'il a voulu? A-t-il . . . ?" (What did he want? Did he . . . ?)

Remy had left the statement deliberately unfinished, but she had understood the implications with the special connection that married couples often had. Had he unearthed something about her past, so carefully concealed by Mystique, so beautifully remade into the image of model citizenry?

"No," she had shaken her head emphatically, "That ain't it. Momma ... momma ... Oh gawd, Rem."

The psychological disciplines and the last of the blessed numbness had collapsed in an instant. Silent tears had begun to trickle down her face, the legacy of a childhood where a mother had had no patience with her baby's howls, where crying had been futile.

"Shhh," he had placed an arm around her shaking shoulders, letting her burrow into the space between chest and neck, "Qu'est-qu'il a dit, ma belle femme, mon bel amant?" (What did he say, my beautiful wife, my beautiful lover? - 1)

"She's dead," Rogue had sobbed, "Killed in th' field. Th' sorta thing she'd' ve called damn stupid from anyone else. Th' sorta thing that she'd've torn strips off any member o' th' Brotherhood fo'."

Offering her a clean handkerchief on which she blew her nose loudly, "Shh, boit ton the et je telephonerai Kurt. Il doit savoir." (Shh, drink your tea and I will phone Kurt. He should know.)

"Yeah, Ah guess," she had sniffed, selfishly reluctant for him to leave her, "But can't it wait until sunrise, at least? Can't see that knowin' now or later would make any difference."

He had nodded his agreement, tightening his grip around her and stroking her hair abstractedly. His face was inscrutable, contradictory - she knew that he did not mourn Raven's passing, possibly saw it as a good occurance, but regretted that it had caused her pain. She had sipped the lukewarm beverage, more sugared milk than tea, unstoppable tears tracing silvered lines on her cheeks. She had spent the rest of the night in that manner, keeping silent vigil for the woman who had been killed, watching the raven's-eye moon follow its course through the sky towards dawn. (2)

In this strange nontime, the same celestial body hung gibbous in the pastel sky. Bleached by it, Rogue placed her bouquet - green holly intertwined with white heather - on the cairn, where it would fade eventually as all the other flowers had. It was a meaningless gesture, Raven would have told her, tracing the stripe in her hair, touched in spite of herself. She began to speak, dwelling on the humdrum and seemingly unimportant, telling her of the weather, fashions and politics, the impending birth of her first child and how ridiculously over-protective Remy was being, the successes and failures of the team.

Satisfied that the intangible bond with Raven had been reestablished and cursing her clumsiness, Rogue held onto the cairn as she hoisted herself to her feet. Unconsciously, her hand found her distended abdomen where a tiny heartbeat fluttered beneath perception, like the wings of a fledgling. In its delicate sac of tissue and fluid, the child squirmed its protest at the sudden movement, the change. She would have to tell it about Raven, about its grandmother, who would have rejected the term as too domestic and appointed herself its teacher instead. She would have to share Raven's lessons with it in her place - how to not hesitate to kill but grieve for the dead, how to believe fiercely in a cause, how to hold those she loved closer than any hope, how to wear a thousand different faces but not lose her true one, how to be a Darkholme.



Author's Notes:
1 - it translates terribly from the French. Oh, and the bel is quite correct - it's a special, masculine form that comes before a vowel.
2 - the raven's-eye moon image is shamelessly pilfered from 'White Oleander' by Janet Fitch. Very good book, incidentally.
3. - The translation of the verses quoted from Hugo's poem go as follows. Excuse any mistakes or lack of poetry, I'm doing them myself.
"Tomorrow, before sunrise, at the hour when the countryside is bleached,
I will go. You see, I know you are waiting for me.
I will go via the forest, I will go by the mountain.
I cannot stay away from you for long.
And when I arrive, I will place on your tomb
A bouquet of green holly and of flowering heather."


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