There are few things that excite Gambit as much. A breathless kiss from a young woman’s lips. How she rolls her nylons off so easily. The way perfume hangs in the air long after she has left. These things have their momentary attraction. But, the fine art of stealing fine art – that makes Gambit’s heart race. It is never about the crime. Anyone can do the crime. The trick – the thrill – is getting away with it.
Some people, they call it “déjà vu.” That inescapable feeling you’ve lived this moment previously. Long before Remy LeBeau became the X-Man known as Gambit, he was a thief. Young, charismatic and some would call him fool-hardly. What he can’t escape is the feeling that he has lived this moment before, and for the first time, he knows he’s about to get caught.
Years ago, somewhere in London…
Gambit uses his powers to charge up a small knife, so he can easily cut through a painting to steal a scroll hidden behind it. He opens a window and jumps through it, ignoring the fact they’re many stories up. Gambit safely lands on his feet on the streets below and feels content about himself.
Unfortunately, he gets snuck up by a female police officer, who orders Remy to put his hands where she can see them – now! The agent smiles that she got a tip about Gambit, and it seems he’s been cleaning lots of other people’s houses in this area when he hasn’t been asked to. Gambit wants to assure the officer that once she has heard his side of the story, she won’t be so quick to judge him by his actions.
The officer handcuffs Gambit and notices his accent, asking if he’s a Frenchman. Gambit corrects that he’s a Cajun. The officer tells the Cajun that he’s a long way from home and picked the wrong city to break the law in. And that’s all she needs to know. Gambit realizes the officer has no reason to believe him, but he claims he’s not responsible for the other thefts in this area. The officer explains to Gambit that, back at the station, she’s got a computer to run a check on him. And, if she finds so much as an unpaid ticket, he’ll be going to jail for a very long time. Gambit doesn’t like that.
He turns around and asks the officer for her name, to which the officer introduces herself as Alexandra Davis. Gambit finds that a lovely name. Alexandra isn’t impressed, and explains that the wagon will be here any minute. As he hears the police sirens coming closer, Gambit wants to say something about the painting he… acquired this evening. It was stolen from a Frenchman by the Nazis during the war. It has changed hands several times since then but, after tonight, it would have been returned to its rightful owner.
Alexandra corrects that Gambit has still broken the law. Gambit knows that. But, he cannot go to jail. Alexandra can believe him: he would never survive jail. He asks about the “tip” Alexandra got about him. Not letting her finish, Gambit asks if the tip Alexandra got came from a woman. Alexandra admits that, but… Not letting her finish, Gambit says he already assumed that. He has been “set up.” He’s only asking for a favor. He wants Alexandra to throw this little fish, and tomorrow night she will catch a much bigger one. Gambit knows that in Alexandra’s own eyes, she sees herself as a gambling woman. She has to take this chance on him.
Gambit disappears into the fog and, a few seconds later, quickly throws the handcuffs back at Alexandra, leaving her thinking.
The next morning, the police station…
Alexandra has stared at the phone half the morning. It only makes her feel more like a fool. Alexandra tells the phone to ring, wondering why she believed Gambit. She also wonders how he got out of those handcuffs. Detective Andrews approaches her with some coffee, asking her if it’s true. When Alexandra asks what he’s talking about, Andrews states that a painting was stolen last night, on the beat she was walking on. Alexandra is afraid so. Pouring her some coffee, Andrews tells her she’ll never make “detective” if she lets them slip through her fingers. Alexandra thanks Andrews for his insight, and walks back over to her desk.
While Alexandra was talking, Gambit snuck unseen through the open window and left her a note. It’s a playcard, on which stands “Pier 27, 5 A.M.”
Later that night, 5 A.M…
Standing on the docks, Andrews believes that this is a waste of time. He doesn’t know how Alexandra talked him into coming here with her in the middle of a cold, damp night. Alexandra jokes that it’s only ten past, and suggest Andrews gives it a little more time. She hears someone running toward them!
It’s Yukio! While running, Yukio is impressed by the nine successful heists she pulled. She can say good-bye to London now, and say hello to Tokyo. She almost regrets having to tip off the cops about LeBeau, but somebody had to take her fall. Unseen by anyone, Gambit throws a charged up card between Yukio’s feet, causing her to trip and fall down. She also drops her back of stolen jewels, which roll to the feet of Andrews. He has Alexandra arrest her.
Gambit recalls that there has never been a great deal of love between him and Yukio. She’s a thief as well, but less… particular about her victims. He also knows that this little “turn-about-is-fair” will do little to help that situation.
The following night, on a rooftop in the city…
Gambit, while smoking a cigarette, tells Alexandra they did well together. Alexandra confirms that, with Yukio’s arrest, Andrews put through the paperwork to make her “detective.” And Andrews might even make Inspector off this case. Gambit believes that this could work. He could work one side of the fence, while Alexandra works the other. It could be… beneficial for the both of them.
Alexandra doesn’t think so. She means, she can see how it would be beneficial for LeBeau, but she could never live with herself, no matter what he gave her in exchange. Gambit, moving closer to Alexandra’s body, smiles to her that people can change. Alexandra smiles back that she doesn’t think Gambit will change. She thinks he’s a dangerous man, and maybe that’s why she is attracted to him, even though it goes against her every rational instinct. But Gambit can make no mistake: he has no future here. They share a kiss before saying their final goodbyes.
Gambit recalls that this was one hundred proof swagger. Pure false bravado. The truth was that this woman had trusted him, and trust was something Remy hadn’t experienced in a long, long time. He needed that. He’d been on his own so much, been such a loner, that maybe he forgot how important it was. Alexandra reminded him of that, and because of that, he owes her. That is when this terrible illusion of the kiss fades away, and a horrible memory of Alexandra’s death haunts him now.
Gambit is left with only a promise he made to himself that he will find Alexandra’s true killer. He doesn’t understand how. But he’s been living… reliving… a memory from a time he first came to London. A young man with a crush on an honest police-woman. Years later, she was found dead. Brutally murdered in the line of duty, bringing Remy back to London. And all the evidence led to his teammate, the X-Man known as Wolverine!
Imagining he’s holding Alexandra’s skeleton, Gambit recognizes Wolverine’s shadow on the wall behind him. Getting furious at Logan, Gambit calls out to her, promising he’ll come for him. Remy starts to run, only to disappear into the shadows.
At his headquarters…
Arcade cheerfully laughs, having witnessed everything happening to Gambit. He compliments the “author” of this “story”: Martinique. She thanks him for the compliment. Arcade promises Mastermind that this is far, far superior to anything her daddy could come up with (God rest his soul). Martinique, going to stand behind Arcade, doesn’t think God has anything to do with this. She suggests they start with act two. Arcade can’t wait, and tells her to raise the curtains.
Arcade rigs a virtual reality headset that can psi-link with Mastermind’s illusions. In other words, what she sees is what he gets. And now, it’s time for another show.
Some time in Japan…
Wolverine has all the time in the world. He doesn’t know what he did to deserve this much happiness. But, when he’s holding his Mariko in his arms, it truly feels like he’s got all the time in the world. And yet, after spending the night making sweet love to Mariko, something is making him crazy. As they lay in bed together, Logan can’t sleep, as he’s trying to remember a name that’s on the tip of his tongue, but can’t pull it through.
As right as all this feels, being there in Japan, he can’t shake off the feeling that it isn’t right. He notices that Mariko is also still awake. Talking to her in Japanese, Logan claims that he has never been this happy his whole life. And he doesn’t want to jinx it, but he keeps wondering how long it can last. Mariko smiles and explains to Logan-san that ghosts of the past are merely that. They cannot harm them in all of the tomorrows. Mariko thinks the love she and her husband share will last forever. Logan doesn’t doubt about that for a second. Logan tells her to get a little sleep, as she feels like getting a little air. Sporting an evil grin on his face, Logan leaves, not hearing Mariko begging him not to go.
Wolverine recalls that ghosts are very important to the living here in Japan. It makes him kind of wonder if Mariko is trying to warn him of something. Logan is confident there’s an opponent for him out there. He’s keeping downwind, making it hard for Logan to pinpoint the guy. But Logan can tell his foe is out there in the dark. He smells… tobacco?
Going to stand nearby a tree outside, Logan calls out to his foe that he might as well can come out now. Suddenly, Logan gets hit by a charged-up bo-staff! Getting hit by it several times, Logan’s face is quickly covered in blood. Growing angrier, Logan admits that first blood is for his enemy. He hopes that was the guy’s best shot because he won’t get another one. He looks up, and recognizes his enemy… it’s Gambit!
Gambit states that this is about the blood. The blood of all the women he killed back in London. Remy claims that the ghosts of those women will haunt them forever if they don’t go back there. Logan refuses to go back. Whatever he may did or didn’t do, Logan shouts there’s no way he’s going back! And the Cajun isn’t half the man who can make him go back.
Taking Gambit’s staff away from him, Logan punches the Cajun in his face and tells him to leave before he does something they’ll both regret. He tells Gambit he shouldn’t have come here. Logan explains he found something there. A piece of what he thought was gone forever. Here, he can still be a man and not the animal he was becoming. He asks Gambit to go, now that he still can.
Arcade and Mastermind smile at this.
Gambit claims that he isn’t giving Logan a choice in this. Angrily growling at his teammate, Logan snikts out his claws, ready for another battle. Wolverine states to himself that he can’t say he never warned the Cajun. He has all the time in the world, and it is never going to be right again. Furious, Logan sticks his claws right through Gambit’s stomach! With his final breath, Gambit calls out to Logan.
Mastermind compliments Logan at this. Arcade grins, wondering who said theater is dead!