GAMBIT: Page 3 of 12

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1st November 2011

Gambit was horrified by the disaster he had wrought and sought to make amends in some way. A few months later, while attempting to separate an art owner in a mansion in Cairo, Illinois from his wealth, he ran into Storm. The X-Men’s leader had, at that point, been reduced to the age of a pre-teen by the mad villain, Nanny. Storm barely had any memories of her life as an X-Man and had returned to her thieving ways. Worse, she was being chased by the Shadow King and his Hounds. Gambit, who had his suspicions about the girl, intervened on Storm’s behalf, making her fight his own. Together, they escaped the Shadow King’s minions. Storm settled in with Gambit in New Orleans and they teamed up as thieves, playing Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #266-267]

Eventually, they were found again by Nanny. The confrontation enabled Storm to regain her repressed memories and she left to find the scattered X-Men with an intrigued Gambit in tow. Upon reaching the Xavier estate in Westchester, Storm explained to Gambit why the mansion was in ruins; it had been blown up by one of the X-Men’s foes – Mr. Sinister. Remy sarcastically remarked, “like the name,” as if he had never heard of the man before. The pair were met by Banshee and Forge, who had been searching for the missing X-Men, and soon the entire team was reunited during a crisis in Genosha. [Uncanny X-Men Annual #14]

Gambit fought alongside the X-Men, learning as much as he could about them without revealing any details of his own shady past, not even his real name. Only Wolverine had his doubts about the Cajun, which led to a Danger Room duel between them that Gambit easily won, as he rigged the fight by distracting Wolverine with a holographic simulation of his arch-enemy, Lady Deathstrike. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #273-277] When the original five X-Men rejoined and the mutant heroes were divided into two squads, Gambit became part of the Blue team under Cyclops’ leadership, whereas Storm led the other team. [X-Men (2nd series) #1]

He became interested in one of his new teammates in particular, the young woman named Rogue, and started flirting with her, despite her off-putting manner and the obstacle of her uncontrollable power that prevented anyone from touching her. They started becoming more and more interested in each other, even though their first date was disrupted by a villain’s attack. [X-Men (2nd series) #4]

Another teammate held quite a different opinion of Gambit, though - Bishop, a policeman from a possible future, newly arrived in the present. In his timeline, the X-Men had died after being betrayed from within and Bishop realized that the one person alive who knew what happened – the so-called Witness, also known as LeBeau – seemed to be an aged Gambit. When Bishop shouted out his last name, Remy was offended, as so far he had not revealed his real name to any of the X-Men. Bishop became deeply distrustful of Gambit, believing him to be the man who would one day betray the X-Men, leading to the team’s death.

To make matters more complicated, a very angry Belladonna chose this day to seek Gambit, demanding his help with a Guild problem in New Orleans. The X-Men, especially Rogue, were astounded to learn of his past, most of all that he was married. Gambit and the X-Men hurried to help Belladonna. What seemed to have started as a war between the Assassins’ and the Thieves’ Guild was actually an attack by the alien Brood on both factions. With the help of the Ghost Rider, the X-Men managed to beat the Brood and save the Guilds’ children, though this fight seemed to have cost Belladonna’s life, shortly after she and Gambit had made up. [X-Men (2nd series) #8-9, Ghost Rider (3rd series) #26-27]

Rogue was understandably disappointed but, over the adventures that followed, she and Gambit grew closer again. While out on a date, Rogue admitted her fears of being afraid to hurt Remy with a touch. He assured her that they wouldn’t kiss then and that they both should learn that love was more than physical. Remy hoped that together they could learn what love truly was. [X-Men (2nd series) #24]

One night, Gambit’ brother, Henri, arrived at the mansion with pressing news: Belladonna and Julien were both alive and there was trouble brewing. Henri was then struck down by assassins working for Julien and died. Accompanied by Rogue, Remy travelled to Orleans to find that Belladonna had indeed survived the battle with the Brood, though was trapped in a comatose state. Her father asked Remy to get her some of the Elixir of Life, which gave the Guilds their near-immortality, to bring her back. However, the Guild’s benefactoress, Candra, was about to give the elixir to the Thieves Guild at the next turn. Gambit did not care for any of the old rites and violated the pact of both guilds with Candra, trying to steal all components of the elixir. Along the way, he learned that elixir could have some unwanted side effects, as it had been used on Julien and he was now addicted to it, trying to steal the potion for himself, rather than his sister. After several complications, Belle eventually got a small taste of the elixir: enough to revive her, but with her memories gone, thanks to what may or may not have been an accidental touch by Rogue. The Guilds followed Gambit’s lead and stopped bargaining with Candra at all, realizing that they had become dependant on her false promises. [Gambit (1st series) #1-4]
The incident had quite an effect on Rogue. Not only did she have to face the possibility of Gambit still caring for his wife, despite her not recognizing him anymore, but also, thanks to the memories she had absorbed from Bella Donna, she now knew what it was to be like to kiss Gambit and be intimate with him. At the same time, she knew she could never have it for herself. Back in Westchester, Gambit noticed that Rogue was acting peculiar, sometimes repeating things Bella Donna had said to him in the past. Gambit was so disturbed by it that he even confided in Professor Xavier about it, despite them not knowing each other very well. [X-Men (2nd series) #31-32]

During that time the Professor admitted Sabretooth as a patient and prisoner to the mansion, hoping to help him. Sabretooth taunted both Gambit and Rogue with tidbits of what he knew of Remy’s past and told Rogue not to trust Gambit – as he’d break her heart. Sabretooth eventually told Rogue about his meeting with Remy back in Paris and left Rogue wondering what kind of man her boyfriend was. [X-Men (2nd series) #28, 33]

Soon after, Bella Donna eventually sought revenge on Rogue for stealing her memories by abducting Cody Robbins, Rogue’s first boyfriend, whom she had accidentally put into a coma with a touch. Rogue travelled to New Orleans and both women had it out. This time, Gambit followed Rogue to help, just like she had before him, and again he and Bella Donna found themselves pitted against each other by Candra. Together, Gambit and Rogue came through, while Bella Donna, now leader of the Assasins Guild, was eaten up by her own hatred. [Rogue (1st series) #1-4]

Back in Westchester, Gambit helped Storm and her friend, Yukio, against a group of the mysterious techno-organic Phalanx, who wanted to destroy mutants. During the confrontation, it became clear that Yukio knew Gambit from his thieving days. Apparently, they had met over a contract in Milan and whatever happened back then had left Yukio deeply distrustful of Gambit. In fact, she even warned Storm that leopards like Gambit wouldn’t change their spots. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #311-313]