At an undisclosed location in what appears to be a cell, a pensive Remy LeBeau sits, playing Solitaire and wondering what he’s gotten himself into. Nearby, Rogue, lying on a cot with her hands shackled at the wrists, suddenly awakes with a scream. Gambit tries to calm her, telling her she will be fine. He was tired of playing solitaire, he adds, suggesting they could play Hearts. You need three for that, pervert, she shoots back. Well, then they’re going to have to play a little war, he replies.
Coney Island, one hour earlier. In the wake of Gambit’s attack on the X-Men, Logan lies on the ground, half his face blown up, with his adamantium skull showing through in places. Storm flies down, concerned, and Wolverine rasps out that Rogue was taken. He gets up, announcing he’s going after the guy before he loses his stench. Storm tells him he is in no shape with half his face blown off. I’l’ grow ‘ack he mutters and walks on decisively.
Iceman intends to follow, but Colossus holds him back. Bobby warns him to get out of the way. Storm breaks up their brewing fight, telling Iceman they already have one missing kid. She’ll go after Wolverine. They are to head back to the Institute and wait for Xavier’s orders. She adds that, in case the Professor cannot pinpoint Rogue’s power signature, he should scan for a guy named Remy leBeau. They found him during their last recruitment drive.
Kitty, who has finally regained consciousness, asks Iceman what happened. One second Rogue was going all Kill Bill on her , and the next… Bobby replies that this isn’t about her. It’s about finding the girl he loves. With that, he leaves ahead of the others, moving away on an iceslide.
Back in the cell, Gambit tells Rogue to smile. He won’t hurt her. Seductively, she suggests he take off her handcuffs. Then she’ll do more than smile for him. He tells her that he’s been briefed on her gift and how she can drain the power out of anybody she lays a finger on.
Some gift. She scoffs. She can’t even hold hands with her boyfriend without putting him in the hospital. Gambit moves closer and touches her hair. Her boyfriend would be the one he saw making time with another girl, right? What does he want, she asks. Her forgiveness, he replies. He knows this went down in a bad way, but soon she’ll see this is all for the best. He rescued her. He got himself a life those X-folks could never have given him and she deserves the same. He swears that she is safe there.
Getting up and moving closer, Rogue breathlessly asks if she can tell him something. Anything, he tells her with a grin. My powers don’t just work through my fingers, moron, she reveals and suddenly kisses him. Rogue’s eye begin to glow red on black, as Gambit’s memories run though her brain.
A dressed mannequin, equipped with little bells, as one used to teach children how to steal. A threatening elder man holding a belt and telling the boy he has one minute to find the wallet. If he rings so much as one bell, he is going to be beaten severely.
A beautiful, blackhaired woman with an eyepatch crooning in French that she loves him.
A sadistic mad scientist threatening to cut up his girlfriend, alive unless LeBeau does as he tells him to.
Gambit shoves Rogue away, shouting at her to get out of his brain. A pity, Rogue replies in French with a crooked smile, as she uses Gambit’s power to charge up her shackles. She hits him with her charged shackles announcing in French and for my next trick--, as they explode. She grabs a deck of cards of the unconscious young man before blowing up the door.
Outside, a battalion of security men wait, asking if she is enjoying her stay with them. Life is hell, Rogue mutters dejected in French.
Back at the Xavier Institute, all the X-Men, save for Storm and Wolverine, are gathered around Xavier, who is using Cerebro to try and locate Rogue and Gambit. No luck so far, he announces. They didn’t even see in which direction the two of them went? Cyclops asks, disapprovingly. Dazzler retorts he shouldn’t blame them. That “white guy with the bad Mott the Hoople ‘fro” kept them busy playing Ultimates for the helpless humans.
Lebau knew how to handle each of them, Cyclops observes, meaning whoever he’s working for provided him with good intel and that doesn’t come cheap… If Gambit’s employers have enough resources, they might be able to afford the kind of psychic barriers organizations, like SHIELD utilize. Maybe SHIELD is behind this, Angel suggests. Or Weapon X, Nightcrawler worries.
Jean suggests she and the Professor combine their telepathy to broaden their search. Xavier commends her idea and asks everyone else to wait outside, as this will require a lot of information. Scott orders the others to go and waits until Jean reminds him gently that they need him to leave too. Telepathically, she assures him they’ll find Rogue.
Back at the undisclosed location, the armored goons order Rogue to not even think a wrong thought. Charging up a card, Rogue figures that they’d have shot already if they didn’t need her alive. They order her to drop the cards and, announcing that her daddy taught her to never fold with a hand like this, Rogue tosses a charged-up card at the man. While another goon orders the rest to use their tasers, Rogue uses her stolen agility and fighting skills to tear into the men.
She somersaults over the men and breaks a window with another card, figuring she’s homefree, until she gets a good look down … very far down – she is high up in a skyscraper. Too bad nobody had wings for her to steal, eh, somebody behind her observes. Rogue turns around to see a blonde man and woman, who are dressed in identical black business suits and are wearing similar glasses. Behind them, Gambit is slowly getting to his feet as well. The blonde introduces herself and her partner as Andrea and Andreas von Strucker, co-presidents of Fenris International.
Andreas adds that they sent Mr LeBeau to acquire her at Coney Island. “Acquire,” Rogue repeats, pissed. Mutants aren’t cattle, she shouts. They couldn’t agree more, Andrea replies, as she touches hands with her brother. Their hands begin to glow and energy rays emit from their free hands, disintegrating Rogue’s deck of cards. They are mutants, too? Rogue asks. With a half-mocking, half-conspiratory smile Andrea asks her not to tell the World Bank.
Andreas explains that the only way for Homo Superior to achieve true equality with mankind is through economic empowerment. But, in order to compete in a human-dominated business world, they need to use creative measures. Like corporate espionage, of which “Gambit” is one of their foremost practitioners, Andrea adds. The same scouts who found him also believe Rogue would make an equally successful competitive intelligence professional. Congrats, Mata Hari, Remy adds with a grin.
Y’all want me to be a spy? Rogue asks incredulously and Andrea, misunderstanding, assures her their team will be able to massage that accent to help her blend in with the world of high-finance. Why should she help them? They kidnapped her. Andreas explains that they require a certain degree of deniability in those matters. Their stockholders can’t know that mutants are in their employ. Do they really think she’ll throw her life away for cash, Rogue demands.
Gambit interjects that this is about more. These people can help her with her powers. Andreas agrees. Unlike Xavier, they have a vested interest in curing her of the limitations that keep her shackled to that school. If she agrees to sign an exclusive contract with Fenris, their patented bioengineering process will give her complete control over her abilities. Help them… and she will finally know what it’s like to kiss someone for real.
A New York skyscraper. Logan, whose face has grown back, is sniffing around. Storm joins him asking if he feels better. He was closing in on them, he explains, but the wind went dead on him. Nothing to carry their scent. Why didn’t he just say so, Ororo asks and raises the winds.
Wolverine warns her that she shouldn’t be there. What he’s going to do to Gambit won’t be pretty. He’s going to kill him because he beat Logan in a fight? Ororo asks. Wolverine explains it’s because he’s afraid of what he’s done to Rogue. She’s a fighter, Storm reminds him. She shouldn’t have to be, Logan shouts passionately. He explains that he and Rogue were both used and abused by the same monsters: Magneto, Weapon X… She could be the closest thing he has to a kid sister, but he never reached out to her.
Putting a comforting hand on his shoulder, Ororo assures him he’s been here for all of them. Whether he knows it or not. Sure. Like he was there to almost off Scott, he scoffs. He has changed since then, Storm reminds him. They all have. Understanding what she means, Logan addresses her as ‘kid.’ She’s not a kid, she insists calmly. Wind died down again, he observes. Let’s see what we can do about that, she replies and kisses him.