Rogue looked at her partner. Remy avoided her eyes as he worked on the card reader. His deft fingers split and re-twisted the wires. Her own fingers twitched in remembered patterns. She looked back down the dark hall. The door slid open while Gambit re-affixed the front panel. They slipped into the dark lab. The green glow of the power strips led the way to the mainframe they needed.

The wireless modem installed automatically. Gambit started the download to an off-site storage server. There was nothing to do but wait and Rogue's lips turned down into a frown. The barest wisps of memory were teasing at the edges of her mind. She went to the file cabinet. It wasn't locked. Given the security on the rest of the facility, the fact that someone got lazy didn't surprise her.

She flipped through the folders, looking for familiar names. She pulled the camera she always carried from the small bag of equipment at her waist. She found Jean's file first. She photographed the file. She did the same with Hank and Scott's files. She froze at Longshot's file, eyes tearing suddenly. She shook off the grief.

She paused when she found Remy's file. She recorded the information and pressed on. There was no one else in the cabinet that she cared about. Gambit removed the traces of his work from the computer and then cocked his head like an inquisitive kitten. She closed the last drawer with a careful click. They ghosted out of the lab, erasing their tracks behind them.

Rogue airlifted Gambit to his bike. "Dinner, chere?"

She snorted. "Meet ya at the Mansion, sugah. Cyke's waiting up for a report."

Gambit rolled his eyes. She waited until he'd started home before she took off, careful not to break the sound barrier.


Scott was standing in front of the window in his office. He was staring out at the lawn and the rosebushes that tangled around the outside of his bay window. The soft light from the pathway lights made them look like something out of a fairytale. In the reflection, he saw his office door open. He turned. Rogue offered a data card. "Gambit's on his way. He downloaded to a server and Ah don't know which one." Her fingers were twitching, twisting against each other. "Ah hate this kind of work, Cyke," she said. "Ah ain't that person anymore."

"I wouldn't have asked you if it weren't important," he replied. The set the card on his desk. "How did it go?"

"We're professional. We can work together even if we're not together anymore." She didn't step further into the office. "Ah'm going to get something to eat and then Ah'm going to bed." She turned and left him there to wait. Scott nodded once at her back. He knew she'd only agreed to do this because of his worries. Gambit and Rogue's final break-up fight had left half of the den looking like the aftermath of a Danger Room session. The only reason there weren't broken bones was Gambit's self-preservation instincts keeping him out of striking distance. It had taken two weeks before they were able to speak even somewhat civily to one another.

He settled behind his desk to review the information on the data card. The files made his stomach clench. They had to destroy this project before they got off the ground. He accessed the off-site database that Gambit had set up for information drops. The intelligence would get to Scott, even if Remy didn't. Their resident thief always thought in worst case scenarios when it came to professional jobs. It was relationships and friendships that seemed to blindside him. Scott grimaced. He'd told them both to be careful with each other. He shook off the thoughts.

Gambit strolled in to the office and settled into the visitor's chair. He had a bag of fast food settled on his lap. He offered a hamburger. "No thanks. I like actual meat."

"Suit y'self. Y' finally okay wit' the fact that me and Rogue can work? Not play. Probably not even eat dinner t'gether more'n once a week for awhile, but work."

Scott snorted. "Yeah. I've heard it from both of you now. You know I'll need you to slip back in to destroy this."

"Got a worm f' it already on the system. I'm guessin' y're worried about what Roguie gave y'."

"The paper files need to be destroyed. That can't be done remotely."

Gambit bit his lip. "Mais, let m' think on it. Don't want anyone t' notice."

Scott frowned. "I'm not so sure about that. We might want to make it a message that can't be disregarded."

"I ain't a terrorist and Rogue ain't either. Don't make her back int' that girl. Y' send me and Wolverine, d'accord?"

"Because he's so unnoticable."

Gambit snorted. "Non, if'n y' want t' make a statement, y' send the two of us. I'll get him in. He'll destroy it."

"Let me review the intel. Goodnight, Gambit."

"Night, cher." Remy put his feet up on the edge of Scott's desk and bit into his hamburger. Scott glared into the younger man's smirk. "Y' tell'n po' Remy y' don't want these fries he got f' y'?"

"Hand them over, then get to bed. Five o'clock session in the morning."



XM Bedroom