This is a short story that has been plaguing me all day, just begging to be written. Rogue is able to touch and has Carol's abilities. I am not saying that I agree in having sex before marriage, I only used it for this particular story. I'm not entirely sure about Monet's abilities, so I just gave her TK in this story. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Only the idea is mine. Characters, other than OC's unfortunately, are not.

In a run-down diner on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia, Marie finishes her shift as a waitress. It was the only job she could find, considering her circumstances. The pay isn't all that great, but some of the regular patrons tip her well when she is stationed at their table.

She has tried to find a job as a mechanic, but it seemed like every place she went to, she was turned away because of some chauvinistic employer who believed that a woman could not possibly be schooled enough to be a mechanic. One even had the audacity to tell her that it wasn't a woman's place, that the only way she would be in the garage for more than the few minutes it took to drop of her car, was if she was one of the scantily clad models on the calendar prominently displayed on their wall. He even went so far as to look her over and inform her that with her looks and figure, it wouldn't be a problem for her in the slightest. After telling him off, using several choice words that would make even Logan blush, she stormed out of there, vowing never to return. Marie's been trained in that profession by two of the best, so she figures she can buy the parts herself, thereby saving her monstrous labor costs.

"Every penny counts these days." she muses to herself as she grabs her purse from behind the counter and heads out into the muggy late-afternoon air. She takes a deep breath, smelling the salty air coming in from the ocean a couple of miles away. Just as she is about to climb into her old beater of a car, she is intercepted.

"Marie! I was hopin' I'd run inta ya." Marie sighs in resignation as Jesse eagerly approaches her.

"I've gotta get home, Jesse. Make it quick." She replies, slightly impatient at the interruption. "It's been a long day, an' I jus' wanna spend some time with Eti."

Jesse flinches at the mention of that name, which doesn't escape her notice.

"That's precisely why I won' go out with ya. If ya can' accept him, then ya ain' gettin' with me. That's tha way it is." Marie states with a note of finality. "I believe we're finished, here. As far as I'm considered, ya got nothin' I wanna hear, so I'm leavin'."

"But-" He tries to respond, but she slams the door and starts the car, pulling away before he even has a chance.

Marie makes the drive home, listening to a rock station. One of her favorite Creed songs comes on and she smiles to herself.

Children, don't stop dancing

Believe you can fly

Away, away.

The song ends, just as she pulls into the small resident's lot at her apartment complex. It's a bit run-down, but it's clean and affordable. Her steps quicken with anticipation of what awaits her inside. Opening the door, a small blur launches itself at her, grabbing her legs and joyfully crying out: "Mama...Mama!"

Marie laughs merrily and tousles the small boy's head of auburn hair. "I take it ya missed Mama taday?" She asks playfully. The boy looks up at her, his red-on-black eyes causing her to catch her breath for a second. "He looks just like his daddy." Marie thinks sadly, wishing that things had gone differently for the hundredth time, but she doesn't have time to ponder those things buried deep within the recesses of her heart. Not at the moment. She smiles down at her son. "Were ya good for Wanda?" She asks with an arched brow.

"Yeah, I good." Etienne replies in a tiny voice, being only three. His grin is already disarming, being his father's son.

She glances over at Wanda, who chuckles softly and nods in agreement, then leans down and kisses the top of his head.

"Well then, since it's Friday night an' Mama doesn' haveta work tamorra, I'm thinkin' maybe we should go ta Mc Donald's."

As Eti runs around the room cheering, Marie turns to Wanda. "So, ya gotta hot date tanight?" She questions cheekily.

Wanda shoots her a smirk. "I don't know how 'hot' he may turn out to be, but yeah, I have a date. Have fun with Eti. I've gotta get ready." She leaves the room to go to her own, ruffling the boy's hair as she passes by.

Later that evening, Marie and Eti arrive home. After giving him a bath and reading him a couple of stories, she tucks him in for the night.

"'Night Mama." He says sleepily, yawning widely.

"'Night, Eti. If it's nice, we'll go ta tha beach tamorra." She promises, bending down to brush a kiss to his forehead. "Mama loves ya." She murmurs as she pulls the covers up a bit further.

"Wuv ya, Mama." He answers as his eyes flutter closed. Marie sits and listens as his breathing evens out, signaling sleep. She rises and stretches, turning out the light as she leaves her baby's room. Looking back, she smiles tenderly.

In the living room, she sits in her favorite armchair and turns on the TV. As she picks up a book to read, the memories come unbidden. Her eyes fill with tears as she remembers.

She'd met him in battle. He was one of Magneto's Acolytes. Oh, he was magnetic, all right. The way his eyes drew her to him, it was the most incredible and delicious sensation. After being captured and rescued from Area 51, Gambit made it a point to make a real pest out of himself. If she could count how many times she'd caught him out on her balcony, she'd be a rich woman. He was told time and time again that his attentions should be focused elsewhere, but she got a secret thrill, every time she'd caught him following her somewhere.

Then came the abduction and subsequent trip to New Orleans. That was the catalyst that drew them ever closer. Discovering that they'd both been down similar paths, they'd forged a bond that night, one that not even Logan could sever.

Yeah, he left her that night, but he'd explained earlier that he had some loose ends to tie up and he would return to New York when he was finished. During that time, she had absorbed Carol Danvers' abilities, in what was a horrible accident, but not long after, Professor found the key in her finally being able to gain control. True to his word, Remy showed up as promised, this time at the front door, flooring her. She'd tried avoiding him, but having him living in the same house made it that much more difficult, if not impossible. He eventually managed to win over the other residents, although some didn't need any convincing at all. It was a daily event to have some girl throw herself at him. While he enjoyed some minor flirting with them, he seemed to take a great deal of pleasure in pursuing the Rogue.

At length, it got to where she couldn't take it anymore. She'd agreed to go out on a date with Remy, just to try to get him to leave her alone. All it took was one date. They'd begun going out constantly after that, in time,becoming exclusive and falling what she thought was deeply in love, much to the jealousy of said 'other girls'.

On the one year anniversary of the night they began seeing each other, he'd proposed and presented her with an amazing ring. That night, after celebrating, she consented and they'd slept together. The next day, it all fell apart. After her Danger Room session, she sought him out to find out what their plans were for that night. She looked all over for him and finally went to his room and the sight she was greeted with stopped her in her tracks. She stared in hurt astonishment as she saw her fiance in a heated embrace with none other than Monet St. Croix, a recent recruit who had made it her personal mission to claim him as her own.

~He's mine, now.~, echoed triumphantly through Rogue's mind as she ran back to her room, not bothering to see if he'd even attempted to follow her. Rogue packed her bag, leaving the ring on her nightstand and flew down to the garage, climbing on her new Harley, a birthday gift from Logan and sped away, never looking back.

Rogue stopped at the Brotherhood house. She figured she at least owed Wanda an explanation. As usual, Toad was bugging her. The two girls became friends after Magneto disappeared in that whole mess with Apocalypse. They'd also found a lot of common ground, even though Wanda opted to remain with the Brotherhood afterward.

"Hey, why don't I go with you. I could use a change of pace." Wanda suggested.

"Are ya sure? I'm not plannin' on comin' back." Rogue informed her firmly.

"Yeah. I need to get away. I'm going crazy here, no pun intended, and John's still gone. I haven't heard anything from him."

"Okay, go get your things an' I'll wait, but don' take too long. I don' wanna be found out."

A few, short minutes later, they cruised down the highway, Wanda riding behind Rogue. First, they rode north, along the coast, then they headed south. A few weeks later, they decided to take up residence in Savannah, upon discovering that Rogue was pregnant. So many times during her pregnancy, she wanted to call the mansion, to tell Remy that he was going to be a father, but that voice persistently mocked her. ~He's mine, now...He's mine, now.~ would chant incessantly in her mind. She didn't want to dwell on the possibility of Monet answering the phone and on what Remy could possibly be doing in her absence. It was just too painful. On a chilly, rainy day in March, Etienne Rembrandt LeBeau was born. She wanted her son to have his father's name, if nothing else. The urge to call Remy was overpowering. Just as she was about to have Wanda dial the number, the thought struck her.

~Why would anyone care? It's not like they tried to find me, or anything.~

Rogue closed her eyes in anguish, cuddling her tiny son ever closer. Fine, if they wanted nothing more to do with her, then she would respond in kind. That day, Rogue died. Marie was re-born.

Marie cries in earnest with the pain of those memories. The pain of her regrets slice through her. If only things had gone differently.

XXXXXXXXXX

Many miles away, in Bayville, New York, Remy LeBeau sits on the roof of the mansion, watching the moon rise over the water.

"It's been three years! How long are you gonna let her keep her hold on you?" He thinks to himself. The past rushes in, causing him to bow his head in sorrow.

He felt a spark that day, when he was an Acolyte, facing his first battle with the X-Men. Rogue had everything he wanted and more. It was a red letter day for him, when she finally agreed to go out with him. He knew he had a treasure in her and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He proposed on the anniversary of their first date. She enthusiastically said yes. That night they spent together was incredible. It was beyond everything he'd hoped for.

Gambit knows what went wrong. He can sum it up in one name. One he never wants to hear again. Monet St. Croix. She was trouble from day one. The second their eyes briefly met in introduction, she'd made it her private agenda to break up the southern couple. She always followed him around everywhere. It really gave him a bit of insight on Rogue's part, with the way that was him not so long ago. Rogue reassured him, telling him that even though she might have seemed annoyed outwardly, in actuality, it made her feel good, knowing that she was wanted.

It was one week after their engagement. Monet came to his room, on the pretense of delivering a message from Logan. He'd waited for her to tell him what it was, but she'd muscled her way into his room, using her telekinesis to hold him still as she proceeded to make out with him, even going so far as to make him wrap his arms around her, to make it look more convincing. He felt Rogue's hurt and distress at the sight of them, even though it wasn't what she'd assumed. Remy tried to release Monet's hold, but she added her strength to the hold, making it even more difficult to break. After many moments of struggling, he'd finally managed to free himself and ran to Rogue's room to try to explain. The only trace of her that was left was her engagement ring, left on the nightstand.

He groaned in dismay at the sight of her empty closet. Rushing downstairs, he ran to the garage and found her Harley missing. He immediately hopped on his and rode to the Brotherhood house, only to be informed that she'd just left, taking Wanda with her. He rode onto the freeway, in the hopes of finding her, but it was as if she had disappeared into thin air. He rode south for a few days, keeping contact with Logan and the Professor, but she was gone. He returned, heartbroken and angry, only to find Monet with a Cheshire Cat grin, waiting up for him. He glared at her with scorching rage and went into his room, slamming and locking the door behind him. All he wanted, was to be left alone.

"Well, her plan worked. Roguey lef' me." He mutters bitterly.

After Rogue left, Monet attempted to take her place as his new girlfriend. He wasn't going along with that, hell no! All he wanted was his Rogue back. She tried to seduce him on numerous occasions, finally ending with him furiously telling her that he didn't want her. She meant nothing to him. Professor intervened, after the entire mansion endured several hours of their impassioned arguing. Remy was letting out a lot of pent-up hurt that night. Anyway, Professor decided then and there that Monet would serve her purpose better on another team. He too, was tired of watching the girl obsessively throw herself at Remy. So it came to be that Monet was packed up and sent off to Generation X, a satellite team located in Massachusetts. Emma Frost was in charge of that team and Monet needed to learn how to channel her telepathy into more...positive endeavors and she needed a constant eye kept on her. Who better than a stronger telepath for the job?

Remy wonders what Rogue is up to, these days. They tried to find her, practically scouring the whole country. Professor could find no sign of her with Cerebro, since she clearly wasn't using her powers. Remy looked all over the southern U.S. again, but turned up nothing, which surprised him. She was always telling him about how much she missed the south. He thought she'd be somewhere down there, for sure.

There isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't miss her. She's the only woman he's ever loved, the light of his life. He sighs as the familiar melancholy settles in. "Forever." He silently answers his own question.

Remy feels a breeze, as Ororo lightly settles down by him.

"You look contemplative tonight." She says, trying to initiate conversation.

"Oui." Is all she can get out of him.

"Thinking of Rogue again?" She inquires softly, her voice laced with concern.

"Always do." He replies quietly.

"I understand. There's times that I miss her, too." Storm states in a near whisper, staring at the water in the distance.

"Oui, I know she used t' tell me 'bout how she liked t' go t' y' if she had a problem. She trusted y', Stormy." Remy looks at her sincerely.

"Yes, I enjoyed talking to her. She was the one that encouraged me to take a chance with Logan. I would love the opportunity to thank her for that."

"I loved her. Wit' my whole heart."

"I know you did, Remy. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't regret bringing Monet here. If I had any idea of how much trouble she would be..."

"Non, non, don' go blamin' y'self. Y' didn' know she would do dose t'ings."

"No, I didn't. If I had the slightest inkling, I would have sent her to another branch team, immediately."

"But den again, mon Roguey didn' even give me a chance t' explain my side o' t'ings."

"That is true. I guess there are several instances of 'what if' in this case."

Storm falls silent, wishing she had taken the enamored girl elsewhere. Remy decides that a change of subject is in order.

"So, how are the newlyweds?" He inquires slyly, with a trace of the old teasing that used to be a natural part of him.

Storm has the grace to blush somewhat, but with a tiny grin.

"Ah, dat bon, huh?" Remy smirks slightly. "Dat's good. 'M happy de Wolverine treats y' so well."

"He is wonderful, but I'm more concerned with you, at the moment."

"Why? Has somet'in' happened?" He queries warily.

"No, but I have watched you become more and more despondent, the longer Rogue is gone. Remy, Professor and I discussed it-"

"Y' talked t' de Professeur 'bout moi?" He asks suspiciously, interrupting Storm.

"Only because I care, Remy. As I was saying, I spoke to him about your...situation and we think it might help if you took a vacation. It would give you a chance to relax and think things out."

"Y' know, I was t'inkin' along de same lines. I need t' get away f'r awhile."

"I have a vacation cottage in Savannah that you can use. I haven't been there for a few years, but you're welcome to stay there. The weather should be warm, but beautiful this time of year."

"Merci, Stormy. I jus' don' have de heart t' go back t' N'awlins. I know Mercy will try t' set me up wit' one o' her amies an' I don' wan' dat."

"No, you need the time to deal with your feelings for Rogue, before you can even think about pursuing another relationship." Storm answers agreeably.

"T' be honest, 'm not sure I wan' t' pursue anot'er relationship."

"You may surprise yourself in the future, but we won't argue that, now. Just go and try to have a good time. Hopefully, you will be able to come to terms with her choice. Professor has given you one month off, starting tomorrow. Good night, Remy." Storm smiles softly as she gracefully floats back down to the ground. Remy sits for a while longer, then stealthily makes his way back into his room. He needs to pack.