Gambit flipped the King of Hearts around and around. The firelight flicked off of the shiny surface. It drew the eye. The repetitive motion drew Rogue in. She couldn't stop watching. It didn't matter that Gone with the Wind was playing on the television set, or that Jean and Storm were talking over her head. She was completely taken up in watching the flip-flop of a card. Remy didn't seem to even realize what he was doing. He was staring out the window, without even a beer next to him. He was curled up in front of the fire, but he was looking out the window. Or maybe into the window. It was nearly impossible to see past the flickering reflection of flames and reflections that danced across the surface of the glass.
Gambit flipped the King of Hearts around and around. He stared into the past. He could hear the tinkling of laugher and the sounds of glasses and silverware. He could hear the painful shattering of crystal and the high pitched scream of child wailing. It was the oldest memory he had. He looked into the window and saw the Christmas tree.
Rogue watched the card flip back and forth between his fingers. She saw Mystique fingers tracing over a gun, showing her how it worked. She could smell the gun oil and the cordite from the first time she fired it. The sharp report echoed through the caverns of her head, through the deadening effects of the earplugs. She could taste the sickeningly sweet smoke in the back of her throat and nearly gagged on it.
Gambit flipped the King of Hearts around and around. He stared into the beautiful blue eyes of his wife as they shared their first dance as a married couple. He heard the swish of satin and felt the delicate weave of lace beneath his fingers. He heard the squeak of soles on the hardwood floor, beneath the gentle waltz. He felt the eyes that of hate on his back.
Rogue watched the card flip back and forth between his fingers. She smiled shyly into Cody's eyes. She leaned into the kiss and felt the soft, warm lips against her own. She felt him pull her close. She felt his limbs beging to tremble and felt his mind shattering around her. She felt him disappear into her mind.
Gambit flipped the King of Hearts around and around.
Rouge watched the card flip back and forth between his fingers.
His eyes shifted and he looked at her.
She blinked out of her trance and looked into his eyes.
For the first time there were no walls. There was nothing left to hide. And there was no choice.
Remy dropped the King of Hearts into the flames.
Rogue tightened her grip on Joseph's hand. He patted it absently.
Remy turned and left the room.
Rogue felt the a dark bubble of memory try to erupt and swallowed it down.
Jean convinced herself that she was over-reacting. She hadn't seen scars bleeding.
She was wrong.
Author's Note: The King of Hearts is known as the "suicide king" because he has his sword behind his head. Sort of like holding a gun to your head.