Gambit put the final touch on the bomb trigger. It left him with nothing to do for the next three hours. He wasn't getting out of the compound until after sundown. The intel he'd been sent for rode happily on the thumbdrive tucked into the pouch secured around his waist. His borrowed uniform pulled at the top of his thighs. He frowned down at them. He settled his shoulders, ignoring the sharp complaint from his right upper-arm.

Time to do some more damage. He smoothed his uniform into acceptable lines over his body armor. The "Summers" over his heart made him smirk. He kicked the dead man's hand into the corner and rolled a barrel in front of him.

He slunk into the kitchen and fixed himself a snack. "Hey, man, got extra?"

Gambit fixed a second sandwich and handed it over. "Here."

"Thanks. I hate night shift-change." The man, boy really, put his head on the table. The thief hummed in agreement. His eyes burned from being up all night in the forest observing.

"Where you working tonight?" Gambit kept his voice steady. His current accent was nondescript mid-western. It was modeled after a Nebraska native he knew better than he wanted to.

"Books. I should never have gotten that accounting degree."

Gambit snorted. They finished their snack in silence. Gambit put his dishes in the sink.

"I'll wash. Thanks, man."


"Burke. Maybe I'll see you around."

"Yeah. Maybe." Gambit moved out into the halls. He nodded to men as they passed, careful to keep his eyes down.

"Get a damn haircut, Summers!" An older man in a neatly pressed uniform frowned at him.

"Yessir!" He saluted. The man returned it absently. Gambit found himself in the main electrical room without being challenged. He rearranged a few of the obviously amateur connections. Thanks, Rip, he thought idly as he tucked a loose connection against the wood. The older Marauder had given him a crash course in practical electronic sabotage. It wasn't that different from thieving, but it did let him know what wouldn't be noticed. He looped another connection around the copper pipe and damaged the insulation with his pocketknife.

The last time he'd run point for an assassin he'd been married to her. He hid a grin. She'd paid him with favors. He wasn't getting anything but satisfaction in a job well done for this one. She'd be appalled.

His internal clock told him it was fifteen minutes until the loops began. He made his way to the back door.


Wolverine's eyes snapped open when the light dipped below the horizon. He unfolded himself from the lotus position. He stretched. The small grind of metal on metal in his shoulders was as familiar as it was annoying. The moonlight filtered through the new growth of the trees like drops of Spanish lace.

He breathed in deeply. He smelled small animals and birds, but dismissed them. The rot of the composting leaves and twigs filled his nose next. It was also unimportant. Finally, he found the scent of oil and gunpowder.

His prey.

He moved through the underbrush. He could hear the crackle of cheap radios. He scanned the branches for cameras. He avoided their gaze until he found one marked with a pink card tucked behind it. He spotted the second camera and ducked down the path that was so neatly laid out for him.

The unmarked fire-door swung open to let him in exactly on time. He raised a brow at the silent figure just inside the door. Gambit nodded once. He turned with none of his usual teasing flair. The younger man slid through quiet halls. Wolverine followed his ghosting moves exactly.

They came to rest outside a central office. Its brass name-plate proclaimed "Commandant." Gambit stood to the left of the door. His back was stiff and straight like one of the "soldiers" they'd observed for the past two days. It matched the appropriated uniform. Wolverine raised a brow at the name on the shirt. Gambit quirked a smile at him.

The door eased open on oiled hinges. The desk lamp cast a pale halo around the man's silver-haired head. Wolverine crossed the floor in three steps. He drew his sword and removed the man's head in one smooth motion.

He shook the blood off of his blade, then wiped the remainder off on the man's clothes. "Got what ya need?"

Gambit nodded sharply. He fixed the security as they left. His feet mad no sound as they stole into the forest. Wolverine took the lead. A strange thump startled the birds. Wolverine spun around to face the direction of the compound.

"Weapons lab." Gambit shrugged. "Should've stored things proper." Wolverine snorted. His shoulders eased and he took off toward the motorcycle at a loping run. The thief muttered a curse, then matched his speed.


Logan and Remy lounged in Scott's visitor chairs. The field leader was behind his desk, scanning through the intelligence they'd brought back with them. The gash on his cheek was healing well and the bruises around his throat had faded to a yellow-green. "Did you deliver the message?" His voice was lower than usual and Logan growled low. The thief twitched at the sound. Scott did his best to ignore it, though his heart-rate sped up. That was not a happy-Logan noise.

"Killed the head son-of-a-bitch."

"I'll have a list for you two."

"Charles know?" Remy's voice was a smooth, emotionless purr and that was every bit as frightening to someone in the know as Logan's growls.

Scott shrugged. "He's down with Kurt trying to help Rogue. What he doesn't ask about, I won't tell. I'm not feeling particularly non-violent these days."

Remy snorted. "That leash gets might tight, non?" He took a sip of bourbon. "How's Lizabetta?"

"She's better. The knee surgery took well and Warren's got a nurse for her in the City. She says she'll be back to work in about a month. Will you plan out some exercises?"

"Should never've let Henri talk m' into takin' classes." He rolled his eyes. "Oui."

"I'm shipping these passwords to Kitty. Any ideas on other fronts?"

Logan shrugged. "Chuck and Red are workin' the legal end. Figure me and Gumbo'll work the other direction."

"Warren's lawyer is suing for damages. Gambit, ideas?"

"You willin' t' drop m' leash?"

Scott studied the men across from him. Remy's tattered jeans and well-worn sweatshirt didn't inspire confidence. Logan's wife-beater wasn't much better. They were both still angry at the Human's First bastards. However, they were both calm with it. Scott himself was anything but.

"Free rein. Give me plausible deniability with Charles, but I want details when the jobs are done. Try to minimize collateral damage. If you get arrested, I may or may not come and get you out. If you get captured, we'll come for you. And if you destroy the movement with no hint of powers? I'll buy you your own bottle of Johnny Walker Black."

"Nah. More fun t' steal yours." Remy yawned. "I'm 'bout t' fall asleep. See y'all for breakfast."

"Dinner, you mean?"

"Non. Plannin' t' sleep fifteen hours, me. Don't sleep well during jobs." He finished his drink and set the crystal tumbler on the side table.

The door shut behind him. Scott leaned back in his chair. "How's his arm?"

Logan snorted. "Hurts him when he moves too fast, but it ain't slowin' him down. How's Ro? Heard from Moira today?"

"Last report was that she's awake and doing well. Better than expected. She sent a video email to Remy."

"Good. Yer workin' fast. Tryin' to get it done before Chuckles remembers yer as mean as the rest of us?"

Scott snorted. "Hardly. I'm just keeping my mind off of my ribs. We did the non-violent uber-Christian thing and what it got us was three rape victims, multiple injuries, and a stack of newspaper clippings arguing whether or not it matters if mutants get beaten. Fuck it. This is the last time I turn the other cheek."

"Huh. Sounds like yer channeling Mags."

"He's my other daddy." Scott smirked.

Logan laughed. "Get me the list and I'll take care of it." He stood. "I'll grab Bobby and get lunch started."

"Sounds good." Scott turned back to the intel his best spies had brought him. His hand fisted as he read down the list of targets. Frost's corporation, Warren's business, the school in Boston, Xavier's, Harry's, the university that sponsored Alex, Kurt's new parish, the mutant-friendly homeless shelters, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU. The list kept scrolling.

He considered for just a moment, then found his way to the anonymous server in Genosha that Kitty had set up for him. Magneto wouldn't mind sponsoring this action if it got traced back there. He dumped all of the data onto a website and directed his message boards toward it. No reason to let Remy and Logan have all the fun after all.


XM Bedroom