"Remy, are you there?"
"I'll take that as a 'no', then, ach, I'll take to him later, perhaps he's asleep...."
The darkness was overwhelming. Cold darkness. The air was thick with a chill wind. In Remy's world at least, the sun had disappeared and all that was left was icy wilderness, ice and snow, a barren Antarctica...Antarctica....cold....arctic cold...
Moving his head weakly he stared blurry eyed at the empty bottles of Scotch and Vodka laying about the floor of the boathouse, the cigarette ends in the ashtrays and on his bedside table, the unwashed cloths scattered around, disarray....
Looking down again he turned his attention to the growing pool of crimson liquid on the floor. It was seeping into an old t-shirt and swirling down the cracks in the wooden floor disappearing out of sight. 'Soon, Remy, soon', was the only thing his brain could manage to pass as a thought. God, even his attempts to think were pathetic...
Like his life. Pathetic at one thing, lousy at the rest....
Pathetic.....cold and.....sooo cold.....
"I thought you were going to talk to the Cajun?", Logan put one foot onto the porch railings and used the other to push back on his chair so he was swinging, the front legs in the air. Lifting his eyes to look at Nightcrawler he took a long draw on his cigar and watched his old friend shrug his indigo shoulders.
"Ja, I was, but he wasn't in".
A puzzled look crossed over the Canadians face. He had passed by the boathouse only an hour or so ago and had clearly smelled both Gambit and a great amount of alcohol. Where could he possibly have gone in that short space of time with the drunken stupor he must have been in? He didn't come into the Mansion very much anymore, he avoided contact with anyone remotely aware of the reason for his lengthy absence which counted out him taking a walk.
"What d'you wanna talk to him about anyways? You never really knew him did you? Before you came here I mean".
"Nein", Kurt shook his head and flopped onto the chair beside his friend, "I was gone when he came here".
Logan nodded and thought about the dates in his head. Gambit had come to the X-Men about a year after Kurt had left to form Excalibur. The two hadn't crossed paths until after the whole business with Rogue and 'Antarctica'.
He growled at the memory of Gambit's return, although not because he hadn't wanted him to return, because he had despised the way Rogue had treated him. He couldn't look her in the eyes anymore for fear of cracking and giving her, her ass in a basket. He had often wondered what possessed her but dwelling on it was a lost cause, only Rogue knew her reasons and frankly he didn't give a damn.
Gambit and Logan had crossed swords, so to speak, on more than one occasion. Gambit won some and Logan won some. It was an even fight to the end. Logan had a feeling of respect running through him for Gambit every time though. They had come out at the end getting drunk in Harry's and having a good night's sleep collapsed on the floor to be woken the next morning by Harry and the cleaner pottering around, cleaning up the mess from the previous night merriment.
Yes, Remy was one of the few people he had total confidence in to come out fighting. He might be going through a rough patch but he would pull through, wouldn't he? He always did. It was something he was famous for. Him and Remy. The hard-ass's, the ones who weren't pure and clean. The ones who could be counted on too bear the burdens...
"I was going to give him my Bible", Kurt sighed and regarded his friend, "It's not that often I see him there but I have caught him in the Chapel a few times. He once spoke of how he was cast out for having 'Demon Eyes'. So I thought, 'what better a gift than a piece of his past that he can finally put to rights?'".
Logan smiled. Kurt had a cute idea but he had a cuter one.
"Why don't we just go down and put it on his bed? Maybe straighten things up a little, light a fire? Let him know that someone still cares?", Logan realised he was being sentimental towards Remy but he couldn't help it. He liked the kid a lot and he would help him in any way he could.
"Ja, that's a good idea", Kurt's bright do-gooder smile dispelled all the negative emotions and thoughts out of Logan's head.
"Let's go then".
Weaker. He felt weaker. Remy flopped his head forward, auburn tresses shielding his face and shoulders from the grim jaws of reality.
Finished, he wanted it finished. Gone from everyone's thought forever, not a trace left. No legacy, no memory, gone....gone...gone....He wondered how long it would take them to find him and then how long it would take before they forgot about him...
His mind was reaching clarity from last night's drunken rampage on the small place that was his boathouse. He was beginning to register a little pain from his arms, his wrists and a strange tingling sensation in his hands...curious. He wondered suddenly if they would remember the pain they had put him through, the hurt and the sleepless nights...he wondered if Rogue would remember all the wasted love he had shown her...he wondered if the Ororo would remember him with all of the manipulation they had been put through...
Suddenly a pang of regret touched Remy's heart as he thought of the two friends he would leave behind, Ororo, his wonderful windrider and Logan, his sparring partner and buddy through thick and thin....thick and thin...forever...cold...oh so cold....
Fear. Bright blinding fear was the last thing the Cajun thief knew before he closed his eyes. Fear of loosing himself, fear of the unknown, fear that none of them would, indeed, remember him...fear of never seeing Rouge's eyes again....
'Non, don' let it end like dis...not dis soon...Rogue....', he had promised her his last word but he hadn't uttered it to the world, just himself, his last thought like his first....a secret.
"Ja, do you remember the time that Jean slipped on the tiles and you - -".
"Stood and laughed until she swiped my ankle out from under me and damned near broke my neck! Yea, how could I forget...", Logan laughed, swinging the beer in his hands a little. They would find a way to cheer Remy up, just as Kurt had done for Logan in the past.
Kurt shook his last little chuckle out and then sobered.
"Do you think he will appreciate this?", the mutant indicated his parcel, a tightly wrapped parcel containing his Bible, his saving grace at times. He hoped it would be Gambit's. Lord only knew, the man had been through enough to deserve something.
"Course he will. He might not show it but deep down in that thick hide theres a lonely, scared man who wants anything he can get that resembles compassion - - love".
Kurt looked at his friend, surprised. He seldom talked this way about anything, or anyone. Kurt was beginning to wonder if there wasn't an underlying meaning to Logan's behaviour about Remy. Perhaps he found himself drawn to him; another kindred soul lost in a minefield of lies and deceit? Perhaps..
"He reminds me a lot of - - what the hell....?", Logan stopped at the top of the steps that lead down to the boathouse and sniffed the air. It was copper, dark copper tasting, blood tasting.
"GO BACK! GET HELP!!", before Kurt knew what was happening he felt Logan shove him in the direction of the mansion, "GET HANK!!". The stocky Canadian dropped his beer and raced down the steps, taking them three, almost four at a time. Missing the last one he stumbled at the bottom. It didn't stop him though. He rolled over and started running again. He had to get to him.
Stupid, he had been stupid. Logan had done what other people had been guilty of doing to him in the past, labelling him. He had labelled Gambit, he had labelled him a Survivor. One to the end. He had been wrong.
Wrenching the door to the boathouse open, unconsciously pulling it from its hinges in his mad frenzy, Logan glared at the alcohol bottles scattered across the floor. He couldn't see Remy but he was here. Then he saw it, he saw it clear as day beneath the door leading to the bedroom; a steady trickle of blood, thick, dark, artery blood, snaking its way down to the sofa. Dammit! He had done it, the crazy son of a bitch had done it!!
Logan knew the door would be locked and so, instead of trying it just incase, booted it open, breaking it down, splinters flying everywhere.
"No...fuck...Remy, no...", Logan's mouth fell agape.
Remy was in there all right, slumped over the bed and unconscious, wrists leaking his vital life's fluid onto the floor, bed sheets soaked - - no - - saturated with his blood. A sickly copper smell hung in the room, tangible and tangy.
Kicking bottles and cloths out of his way, Logan dropped to his knees beside Remy and felt for a pulse. It was there, very weak, hardly noticeable but it was there. Urgency swept over Logan as he began to rip the bed sheets apart. He had to bind Remys wrists stop the bleeding. It wasn't too late, he could do it, he could.....
"Screw you, Cajun", Logan swore, wrapping a strip of bedding around Remys pale wrists, "Your not getting away with it, dammit!! No way!! Not this time..."
"Logan?", a concerned shout came from the living quarters of the small boathouse, "Where are you?"
"In the bedroom, Hank! Hurry, he's fadin', I'm loosing him...", Logan smelled the sulphur and brimstone swirling around his head as the Gorilla sized physician clambered over the broken door. Kurt must have teleported them here, he knew how urgent it was.
"Move", Hank commanded in a voice that said, 'Don't argue or I'll move you myself'.
The rest was a blur to Logan...he didn't see Cecelia Reyes run to Hanks's side to help or Jean, or Kurt's hand on his arm pulling him away or even when he managed to walk outside to the dock. All he saw now was Remy's eyes. Those 'Demon Eyes' staring up at him. The red gone, as if his blood had been the very colour there...all black. Black. Dead. Dead and lifeless. Gone from a world they loved to watch and be a part off......
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