X-Men Evolution NEXT

Sleepless

The night just seems to be getting longer as Allan watches Hank move about in his air tight hazmat suit through the new make shift living quarters in the Danger Room. Securing several panels concealing air filtering systems and sensor suites, Hank finalizes the new additions to the chamber while humming the tune to Jeopardy. He looks back into the chamber over to where Allan has set up his living furniture. Quite an unusual sight, considering the size of the Danger Room itself, Allan's bed is pushed up against the far wall directly across from the main door. Two drawing tables sit near by, one with a pile of drawing pads resting on top, the other being temporary tech desk holding his holographic laptop. Two small night stands with bedroom lamps flank his bed giving his a somewhat even amount of soft light, instead of using the over head strobes that usually illuminate the large chamber. It has only been a few hours since this new revelation, but Allan seems to be making the best of it. With the help of Piotr, Forge and Hank, he has been able to transfer enough of his belonging to the Danger Room chamber without any more incidences. Up in the command center, Forge preps and secures the systems for the room below. He carefully thumbs through all the key external sensor grids assuring that the chamber is completely sealed off. He calls down, "Alright guys, everything is ready up here."

Hank glances up at the command center and acknowledges with a thumbs up. Allan stands near the main door with his hands in his pockets. His expression is both sad and embarrassed as he asks, "So, how long do I have to tough it out in here?"

Noticing Allan's mood, Hank walks up to him and pats him on the shoulder replying, "Not for too long, Allan, I promise. This is just to isolate the, uh… the immediate problem."

Allan slightly grins and chuckles as he remarks, "I never thought for an instant that something like this would ever happen to me."

Hank nods with a plain expression saying, "If I may, Allan, this unique predicament seems to be tied into your powers. I can only assume you are evolving as much as we are, so rest assured that this is not an unnatural phenomenon. Perhaps if you were to try to understand the nature of how you release the pheromones, you may be able to control it as you do your other gifts."

"Well," Allan replies, "I guess it can't hurt to try. But what about class sessions? I mean it's obvious the Danger Room is off limits now."

Hank sighs out, "Classes will resume as normal. Danger Room sessions will be held outside. For the mean time, Forge and I can adapt one of our air tight suits for you to wear, but I'm not sure how wise that would be. For now, the Danger Room is the only room in the Institute that is completely sealed off. Don't worry, Allan, we'll find a way for you to keep teaching. I'll contact the Professor in the morning to see what else we can do. Try to relax and get some sleep, it's been a long night for all of us."

Allan nods as Hank smiles and lumbers to the main door. A slight air hissing sound comes from the main chamber door as it opens, gently releasing the air pressure. Hank quickly steps through and the door seals shut, re-pressurizing the chamber. Standing on the fairly plush space rug at the foot of his bed, Allan slowly looks around the wide and tall chamber and sighs out. He keeps his hands deep in blue jean pockets and stares down at his bare feet as he sarcastically mutters to himself softly, "So, how do we solve this one, mighty Vanguard?"

The command center speaker flicker on as Rogue's voice speaks up, "How ya doin' down there, babe?"

Looking up at her from the chamber floor, Allan slightly smiles and slowly floats up to her level. Allan keeps his hands in his pockets as he and Rogue stare at each other through the observation window. Giving her a soft friendly smile, Allan remarks, "I guess the problems never seem to end with me, huh?"

Rogue shares his smiles and replies, "Ah'm here on behalf of the other girls. They wanted to apologize for they way they were acting towards you. They were just too embarrassed to come down."

"It wasn't their fault, or yours. According to Hank, it wasn't like any of you had a chance of fighting off what I was putting out." Allan says.

"Well, everything is goin' back to normal, sort of." Rogue mentions, "Whatever scent you're puttin' out is kinda wearin' off. Ah mean, Ah'm gettin' plenty of apologies left and right. The guys gotta good laugh out of it. But Ah know you weren't doin it on purpose."

Allan turns his eyes to Rogue with kind of a hurt expression remarking, "Look, uh… I'm not going to lie to you and say I wasn't embarrassed about this whole thing."

Rogue smiles as she tries to lighten the mood, "Ah gotta admit, it is kinda goofy."

"I agree," Allan says in return, "but it also got me thinking. We really don't know how long this has been going on, and the last thing I ever wanted to do is take advantage of you."

"Ya haven't been takin' advantage of me, Allan." Rogue replies.

Sighing out, Allan looks at her and asks, "How can you be sure?"

They both fall silent looking at each other through the observation window.

Finally getting the front living area some what cleaned up, the students all relax each in their own way. Piotr walks in reverting from his organic steel form to his human flesh saying, "I've taken the old couches out to the dumpster. Is there anything else?"

Logan glances around looking at the scorch marks on the walls and rug replying, "No that's 'bout it Pete, thanks for the assist." as he rubs his face with both hands.

Scott approaches him and asks, "You feeling alright, Logan?"

"What ever Allan was peltin' us with, is starting to wear off a bit." Logan remarks, "I also feel lousy about losin' my temper with him. I just felt so hostile at that moment."

Just then, Hank walks in removing the head piece of his hazmat suit saying, "Its' natural, Logan. Your instinctive reaction to Allan's pheromones is pretty typical among common male predators. To put it plainly, your instincts saw him as, competition."

Staring back at Hank with a sarcastic expression, Logan replies, "Thanks, I feel a whole lot better now."

Chuckling at Logan's remark, Hank tells them, "You can all relax and get some sleep, we will clean the rest of this up tomorrow. For now, Forge and I secured Allan in the Danger Room. There should be no further incidences." as he glances over at the huddle group of girls sitting on one of the few intact couches.

Scott shrugs his shoulders saying, "I don't think sleep is on the agenda tonight, Mr. McCoy. Whatever Allan's pheromones are made of, it's got everybody wired, like caffeine."

Rubbing his temples, Logan groans out, "Then I must be goin' through some major caffeine withdrawal, 'cause I gotta headache the size of the Grand Canyon."

Walking over to the huddle group of girls, Jean seats herself next to Amara and Tabitha asking them, "So, are all of you alright now?"

Amara slightly grins replying, "I guess, I mean, it didn't feel like we were doing anything wrong, but we were."

"It's kinda crazy actually," Tabitha adds, "I never thought I'd be crushing over a guy like that."

Wanda speaks up, "Not like we could help it, we all were gaga over Allan."

Allison buries her face in her hands muttering out, "God, that so embarrassing."

Jean gives them a friendly smile and says, "Don't be so hard on yourselves, according to Mr. McCoy, Allan's pheromones were pretty potent. I'm sure he's just as embarrassed as all of you."

"Try telling that to Lance." Kitty remarks while rolling her eyes, "I tried to explain what happened but he doesn't want to talk about it."

"He'll come around, Kitty." Jean explains, "He knows it's not your fault."

Tabitha grins and asks, "Wait, I know that all of us were trying to score with Allan in some way or another, but what'd you try to do that was so different from the rest of us?"

Kitty leans in with an embarrassed expression and explains, "It was the pheromones, alright? I tried… to invite him in my room… alone. Ok, I know it wasn't cool, Rogue is like my best friend, but at that moment, it felt like… the right thing to do."

With tight lipped grin, Tabitha adds, "I bet it did."

Amara lightly shoves Tabitha with her elbow and says, "She's embarrassed Tabitha. I mean, what were you going to do?"

Biting her lower lip with a grin, Tabitha is about to answer, but is cut off by Elizabeth who speaks out, "I appreciate everyone being verbally honest, but we all share this deep embarrassment, equally. Now if we may change the subject, the dirty thoughts are becoming very over whelming." as she rubs her temples.

Tabitha grins and asks, "Wait, what about you Jean? Weren't you affected like all of us?"

Shrugging her shoulders, Jean thinks for a moment, then replies, "Honestly, I did find Allan more attractive than usual, but I don't think my symptom were as bad as all of yours." as she shares giggles and smiles with all of them.

Trying to wind down in the rec room, the boys burn what is left of the late hours by playing table top or video games. Alex takes careful aim with his pool cue as he comments, "Man, I'm tellin' you guys, it was like watching a cheesy episode of The Real World. All those chicks fighting over one guy like that."

Lance breathes out in frustration, "Chalk it up for ' ' down in the Danger Room."

Playing air hockey with Kurt, Evan looks up at Lance and asks, "Hey, you're not blaming Allan for what happened?"

Kurt adds, "It wasn't his fault. Vell, technically it vas, but not entirely."

"Yah, those pheromones are just another power he has to learn to control." Evan remarks.

Todd hops up on the pool table and effortlessly balances himself in his toad like posture as he mentions, "Yo, Allan is like a walking 'Love Potion No.9'. Now that's a power I wouldn't mind losin' control of."

Fred glances back at them while facing the television and says, "He's not doin' it on purpose, Todd. You saw his face when the fight broke out? That 'love potion' smell is givin' more problems to deal with."

"Alright, alright," Lance speaks out, "you all have point. Sorry if I'm being a jerk."

They all grin and go about their gaming as Logan struts in with his usual tough guy demeanor. He glances around the room watching them relax. Clearing his throat, Logan asks them, "Any of you seen Remy?"

Sitting on the floor with Jamie and Sam, Ray looks over at Logan and remarks, "You talking about mister 'I'm too cool to hang out with'? He took off earlier."

Lance aims his pool cue and takes a corner shot as he adds, "Gambit is probably off stealing someone's car or something."

The boys all chuckle a bit as Logan says, "So he ain't back yet. What about Emma?"

Todd sarcastically replies, "Ms. 'Ice Queen' Frost is probably takin' a cold shower just like the rest of the chicks in the house."

The boys share another laugh while keeping up their games as Logan remarks, "Alright knock it off. Lights out in two hours, most of ya got school tomorrow."

Walking back out of the rec room, Logan stops in the middle of the hall and looks up at Piotr, who waits just out side the door. In a low tone, Logan mutters to him, "We better go look for him."

A spinning sensation flows through Gambit's head. It feels as though all the blood has rushed to his head giving him a pulsating headache. His eyes slowly crack open as he realizes he is being carried and held by both arms with his feet dragging limp behind. Gambit remains still as his captures drag him through a dimly lit corridor. With his head slumped forward, Gambit slightly opens his eyes a bit to get a quick glimpse of his surroundings. The two brawny men that carry him wear what appears to be matching blue uniforms almost resembling scuba gear. Their faces are covered with a flesh colored featureless face mask with only two slits for their eyes and one for breathing, giving them the appearance of emotionless drones. He could easily slip out of their grip and escape, but Gambit decides to play possum, curious about his new predicament. They enter an opening chamber where the two men drag Gambit into what seems to be the center of the room. Gambit flops flat onto his stomach as they release their hold. Still laying still, playing possum, Gambit can hear the footsteps of the two men walk away. His face lay against the cold marble like floor as he hears more footsteps in the dark corners of the chamber. A single strobe of light shines down on him blinding him to the darkness. A woman's voice speaks out to him, "Remy LeBeau, please do not insult us. We know you're already conscious. And yes, we know who you are. Now pick yourself off the floor, unless you enjoy being looked down at like some animal."

Gambit slightly grins as he slowly pushes off the floor and onto his feet. The light keeps the others hidden in the shadows, but he can hear slight breathing and movement of other bodies nearby. He rubs the back of his head, where he remembers feeling a hard strike that rendered him unconscious, and in the arms of his brawny captures. Now he stands, center stage, among their employers probably he thinks to himself. He would have made an easy escape if he hadn't flinched and stopped due to his sharp painful wounds that were inflicted by Sabertooth. Then Gambit realizes he feels no pain where the wounds should be. He quickly checks his side only to find his uniform ripped, but the four distinct cuts are absent, as though they were never there in the first place. This serves as both good and bad news he thinks to himself again. Clearing his throat, Gambit asks out, "Any reason why I ain't dead?"

Stepping into the light, Tessa replies, "Because we did not wish it."

A male voice speaks up from behind him in the shadows, "We gain nothing for killing a common thief."

Gambit glances behind him then back at the woman. He asks again, "Then why am I here?"

Just then, the large door behind him opens dramatically and Emma storms in with her billowing white cloak flowing behind her. She speaks out in stern tone, "What is the meaning of this? Why have you brought him here?"

Tessa steps back partially into the shadows as Donald steps in saying, "Patients sweet Emma."

Glaring at Donald, Emma scans the room with her eyes, staring first at Gambit, then slowly over at Tessa. She takes a deep breathe and states, "The silence of your minds is deafening! What secret could be so sacred that you have to hide your thoughts from me?"

"It is just a matter of trust, my dear." Sebastian says in a gentle tone as he approaches her from the shadows.

Gambit grins and stares back at Emma. "Dis where you been spendin' yo free time, chere?"

Emma gives Gambit a plain expression as she mutters out, "Leave now, Remy. This doesn't have to concern you or the X-men."

Another voice speaks up from the shadows. A voice somewhat familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, "I beg to differ, Ms. Frost. It is Ms. Frost isn't it? There is no Mister Frost, is there? Not that it matters to me, just thought I'd be polite."

The sounds of casual steps are heard in the darkness as Emma notices Tessa's coy smile glance over her shoulder towards the voice. Emma then notices both Donald and Sebastian turning to the voice and slightly bowing their heads. She speaks out to the voice, "Who are you? Your voice is unfamiliar to me."

The light in the large open room slowly begin to illuminate just enough to see figures in the shadow areas. Gambit chuckles as he stands in place and glances around at every one. He then turns his grin at Emma and says, "Looks like they share yo flare fo de dramatics."

The voice speaks out again in a friendly tone, "I like this guy, " he chuckles, "he kinda reminds me of… me, in a much simpler time. He's arrogant, egotistical, and sure of himself. Right now he's thinking of many ways to escape from this place."

Gambit adds a glare to his grin as he places a figure in the shadows with the voice. The man continues, "So what will it be Remy? Bombard us with your deck of kinetically charged cards, or will you energize and detonate the marble floor beneath our feet? Oh, and the three possible escape points you noticed, let's see, the window option. However you don't how high up you are. There's the obvious labyrinth of air ducts you could dive into during the confusion. But that trick only worked when you were a kid. But I hope you go for option 'C', go out the way you came in. It would just seem more dramatic, don't you think? Not to mention the rush you'll get from a terrific show of skill, right? Did I leave anything out?"

Holding his grinning composure, Gambit slightly nods and replies, "Bravo, mon ami, it seems you got me figured before I did."

In an arrogant tone, the man says in return, "Well, it does help to be partially telepathic."

Emma speaks up, "But that does not explain who you are and what business you have here."

"Calm yourself, Emma." Sebastian tells her.

Emma darts him a glare as she remarks, "Calm myself? For whom, this person who hides in the shadows? He speaks with such bravado to me and amongst the rest of you. Yet he refuses to show himself."

"That is enough, Emma." States Sebastian in a stern voice.

"It's alright, Mr. Shaw," the shadowy figure says in a chuckling manner, "I love a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind."

Tessa smirks at Emma and turns away just as Sebastian and Donald step back. The lights in the chamber brighten to a more comfortable setting, lighting up the entire room completely. As the room brightens, the man speaks, "For years I questioned who I was, Ms. Frost. But since those very ignorant years, I've found myself and established my own destiny. I've been called the angel death, bringer of chaos, even Ragnorak. They all have a nice ring to it. But most of the time, I usually mistaken for, the Vanguard."

Emma lightly gasps as Gambit's grin slowly wanes at the sight before them. Standing nearly twenty feet ahead of them, a man wearing a more conventional version of the Vanguard's uniform casually steps forward with his arms folded in front. His full face covering helmet looks more ridged instead of streamed line and is the color of cobalt blue unlike the Vanguard's blood red shine. He bears the same if not similar four corner star on his chest, but in the color of red instead of the shining gold. The over all colors are dark grays and cobalt blues where the Vanguard's are blacks and reds. His uniform lacks the smooth angelic shine of the Vanguard's, but the similarities are almost uncanny. Peering through the eyeholes of his conventional looking face plated helmet, the man speaks out in a familiar voice, "So please, speak your mind now, Ms. Frost. I'd love to hear what you think of me now."

Emma remains speechless as Gambit takes a defensive posture glaring at him muttering out, "Allan."

The man behind the helmet starts to laugh lightly, then chuckles out, "Technically yes, but unfortunately, a very, very resounding no. More unfortunate for you then me, my friend."

Shaking her head, Emma looks to Sebastian and Donald with a fearful expression and asks, "What… who have you gotten yourselves involved with?"

Smiling at her with an arrogant expression, Sebastian remarks, "We share a common goal, Emma. Absolute power."

Gambit sneers at the masked man and says, "I knew dere was somethin' 'bout you, Allan." as he steps back into a defensive stance pulling out his switch extending staff.

Laughing again behind his helmet, the man chuckles out, "As much as I would love for you to think that way about 'him', Mr. Lebeau, I am not the Vanguard. But I am a bit insulted that you think I am that jerk off though. No, the Vanguard we all know, and whom I've come to hate, is probably getting sweet with that cute southern Goth chick in one of the many plush rooms at that quaint mansion you call a school."

Gambit's sneer hardens into a glare at the masked man's last remark. Emma stares at the masked man with a baffled expression as she asks, "Then… who are you?"

Casually stepping by Emma tilting his head as though staring at her body, the man speaks out in a light tone, "Oh, I don't go by a single name anymore. I like to think I am the one true human of all existence. You look at the Vanguard, and you see the ideal. But you deal with me, your dealing with reality."

Emma tries to ignore his slimy stares as he struts around her. Then he leans in a bit closer to her and lightly mutters, "If you want, Ms. Frost, I can show you how real I can be."

Taking a deep breath, Emma steps away and turns to face him saying, "No, thank you." as she flashes a cold grin.

The man starts laughing again behind his mask as he states, "Forgive me, you're a very beautiful woman Ms. Frost, and being around strong, powerful men arouses you, I can feel it. Don't be ashamed, embrace it. It's second nature to you."

He then steps up to Gambit, who slightly shuffles back defensively. "Now, what to do with you." the man says.

Donald speaks up, "Wouldn't it be wise, my lord, to dispose of him now?"

"Yes it would indeed be wise, Mr. Pierce," the man says while keeping his eyes on Gambit, "but where's the fun in that?"

Remaining silent, Gambit takes careful steps dropping back into a defensive posture. The man notices Gambit's angered glare and chuckles, "You really don't like me, do you Remy? Or, is it, you don't really like, Allan? Hmm… is it because he took your would be girlfriend? It must really burn you knowing that she gives him her most intimate embrace on a daily basis. An embrace that pleasures him, but would kill you within seconds."

Gripping his staff tightly, Gambit grits his teeth trying to remain calm as them continues, "I remind you of him, don't I? Same voice, similar uniforms, maybe the same face, perhaps even the same desires. It must take a hell of a woman to pleasure the Vanguard. I may have to try out this Rogue myself."

He laughs lightly behind his mask at Gambit. Angered by his comment, Gambit quickly glance around him and spots Emma with a look of dread on her face. She telepathically speaks out to him, 'Don't do it, Remy!'

Gambit quickly turns his glare back at the masked man and yells out as he charges forward with his staff. The masked man awaits Gambit's charge standing his ground. With quick reflexes, Gambit alters his attack posture vaulting of his feet into high arching somersault at the same time kinetically charging up his entire deck of cards. In the middle of his twirling somersault, he launches a barrage of energized cards in circular manner. The cards spread out and in all directions detonating all over the room sending everyone scattering for cover. Smoke and debris riddle the chamber as the sounds of rumbling explosions subsides. Emma slowly picks her self up off the floor lightly coughing from the smoke. She looks around with hopeful eyes thinking that Gambit escaped in the confusion, but as the smoke clears, she catches the sight of him in the hard grip of the masked man's left hand. Firmly and effortlessly gripping Gambit by his throat, the man boasts, "Very, very cool maneuver, Remy. Kudos for creativity."

With a slight gesture of his left arm, the masked man tosses Gambit across the room against the far wall cracking the sheet rock . Gambit grunts out in pain as drops to the hard marble floor. Donald prepares to charge him with an angered disposition. But the masked man orders out, "Leave him, he's mine. Besides, his anger is not with any of you, it's with me. So how 'bout it, Remy?"

Gambit slowly picks himself off the floor taking a quick glance at Emma, who watches with fear in her eyes. He then turns his angered glare back at the masked man while kicking up his metal staff and says, "Let's dance, mon ami."

Taking a deep yawn, Forge wipes his eyes to remain awake while working vigorously in the new make shift lab he and Hank had built. Multiple monitors and screens reveal different real time information on Allan's current physiology. And try as he may, Forge is finding it a bit difficult to keep his tired eyes on all of them. Hank notices the young man's wariness and mentions, "All the guest rooms are currently occupied, but there are several beds in the infirmary if you need rest."

Grinning and stretching at the same time, Forge replies, "Maybe later, I just want to make sure I have these scans calibrated correctly."

Hank leans in to see Forge's progress and remarks, "You've developed a method of monitoring Allan's pheromone levels."

"It's just a matter of getting the right calibration, this way we can maybe help Allan understand how to control it." Forge adds.

Nodding, Hank marvels at the progress they have made in the few hours after they discovered the anomaly. Despite the somewhat disorganized appearance of the lab, everything is in working order and quite accessible. Several wire bundles line the walls as well as fuse boxes and circuit breakers to help maintain the power needed to keep the multiple machines functioning, all of which are connected to the Danger Room sensors and scanners. Dressed down for the night, Jean and Scott walk into the lab being careful not to trip on the hardware spread across the floor. Curious expressions appear on their faces as they look around. Scott asks, "How's Allan doing, Mr. McCoy?"

Hank turns around in his chair and replies, "He seems to be alright. We are just finalizing things for the night. You two should be getting to bed, you both have classes tomorrow."

Both Scott and Jean acknowledge him with a nod as they enter the lab. While Scott approaches Forge's station to look at his information screens, Jean walks over to the security monitors. She thumbs through the live image feeds of the main door to the Danger Room chamber and spots Rogue sitting in a crouched position staring at the large reinforced door. Jean slightly smiles with a curious expression, then glances over her shoulder to see if anyone is looking. She turns her gaze back at the monitor just before switching it off. With Hank and Forge busy with explaining to Scott the necessities of their hardware, Jean slips out of the lab and heads down the hall towards the Danger Room. As she turns the corner, she sees Rogue where she last saw her on the monitor, sitting across from the Danger Room main door in a crouched position. With a cheerful tone, Jean calls out, "Hi Rogue."

Caught a bit off guard, Rogue looks up surprisingly and stutters back, "Oh… um, hi Jean."

Wearing a pair of soft blue fuzzy bed room slippers, Jean lightly walks up to the chamber door staring it up and down then glancing over at the new special keypad Forge had installed for security measures. "So, are you still mad at everyone upstairs?" Jean asks.

Rogue shrugs her shoulders replying, "Not really. Ah'm just sittin' here, thinkin' about stuff. Why, were you affected by Allan's pheromones too?"

"A little bit," Jean says as she turns and smiles at her, "but not enough to drive me crazy like the other girls."

"…or like me." Rogue adds in a low tone.

Jean gives her a questioning stare as Rogue adds, "Allan is afraid that Ah'm also under the spell of his pheromones."

"That's unlikely. " Jean mentions.

Rogue smirks at her lightly asking, "How do you know?"

Jean takes a deep breath and explains, "Well, according to Mr. McCoy, Allan's pheromone problem started a few weeks after his 'burn out'. You two were already an item long before that happened. And from what I saw, all his pheromones did to you was make you a little bit of an over protective girlfriend."

They both smile at each other and giggle as Jean continues, "You know, these past couple of months Allan has been working with me and my new powers, I've learned he carries a lot of guilt with him. Being the Vanguard has put him in a very difficult position in his life. But ever since he met you, Rogue, he's never felt more human, and that is so important to him."

Rogue smiles as she stands up. With slowly slow baffled grin, she asks Jean, "So, you weren't completely affected by his pheromones, at all?"

Jean chuckles and remarks, "Rogue, please, let's state the obvious, Allan is a very cute guy. But I've grown to look at him like a big brother."

They both giggle again as Jean starts to walk away. But just before she turns the corner, she looks back at Rogue and mentions, "Oh, you didn't hear this from me, but its 007." as she points to the keypad on the chamber door and adds, "It helps to be telepathic. Always press pound first. Good night."

Rogue smiles watching Jean casually walk away. She then looks at the keypad taking quick glances over her shoulder to see if she is alone. With a deep breath, Rogue quickly types on the keypad, #007. A quick air pressure release with slight poof blow through her hair as the large chamber door slowly opens. Rogue steps in quickly and shuffles over to the inside keypad pressing the close and lock button. She looks over across the chamber and sees Allan sitting at one of his drawing tables looking back at her with a plain expression. Rogue grins and asks, "007, Allan?"

"I love those classic films," Allan answers, "Sean Connery was the best."

Getting up out of his drawing stool, Allan steps around his drawing table as Rogue casually approaches. Sighing out, Allan mentions, "You shouldn't be here."

"You don't always know what's right for me, Allan." Rogue tells him, "So quit tellin' me what should and shouldn't do."

Nodding, Allan replies, "Fair enough. So, what's up?"

Rogue struts up to Allan pointing her finger into his chest stating, "Ah'm getting' a little tired of walkin' on egg shells in the relationship. Its' bad enough Ah gotta deal with my dumb ass powers, now Ah gotta deal you mopin' around 'bout yours. Ah don't care what your stupid pheromones are doin' to me, right now all they're doin' is tickin' me off. Now Ah say we deal with this like two super powered civilized adults."

Allan stands in silence with his eyes wide open staring at Rogue innocently. He swallows a bit and replies, "Ok, sure."

Without another word, Rogue leaps into his arms wrapping her arms around his head and embraces him in a passionate kiss. The force of her leap pushes Allan back onto his bed as she falls on top. Rogue sits up holding him down on the bed with her hands on his shoulders. Allan takes a deep breath with a smile and says, "Wow, you know, we're probably being monitored."

Rogue slowly drops down to his face and says, "So what. By the way, my real name is Anna Marie." then embraces him in another kiss.

Shifting her kisses down to his neck, Allan catches his breath and remarks, "That's uh… that's a pretty name. Do you have a last name?"

Rogue slides back up to his face and tells him while looking in his red pupil eyes, "Ah'll leave that up to you."

They hold each other close as the sounds of their kisses and shuffling gently echo throughout the Danger Room chamber.

Yawning again with his eyes tightly shut, Forge stretches out trying to remain awake to finish his work. A slight beeping on his main monitor goes off. At first he ignores the sound due to his sleepiness, but then he sits up quickly as Hank walks in holding two mugs of fresh coffee asking, "Is that an alarm?"

Forge quickly clears his eyes then stares at his screens with intent eyes. "Whoa!" he exclaims, "Allan's pheromone levels just increased fifty percent, no wait, seventy five percent, one hundred percent! What's going on?"

Hank carefully places the hot mugs of coffee down as Forge check the others screens stating, "Let me check the thermal readings."

Hank looks at his screen and tilts his head with a wide eyed baffled expression. Forge speaks out with a confused tone, "That's weird, I'm picking up two thermal readings in the Danger Room right now. What's Allan doing…" just then Hank quickly turns off all the monitors in the lab.

Just before Forge can speak up, Hank quickly says with a smile, "I think we should it tonight and give Allan some privacy. He's been through enough, for now. We can analyze the information in the morning."

Forge nods while yawning and says, "You're right, Hank. It has been a long night. I'll see you in the morning." as he slowly stands up and walks out the lab.

Hank picks up his coffee and smiles shaking his head. He looks back into the lab just before walking out and mutters out with a grin, "Good night, you two."

Emma slightly looks away with her cold expression trying not to be affected by the outcome of the violent engagement transpiring before her and the other members of the Hellfire Society. The painful grunts and yells from Gambit as he suffers a beating from their newest mysterious member is starting to wear thin on her, but she holds her composure as she watches, helplessly. Gambit is slammed hard into the marble floor with a loud cracking sound that echoes throughout the open room. He grunts out as the sheer pain travels all over his now battered and broken body. The masked man kneels down to him pressing his right hand firmly on Gambit's left shoulder and says, "Now, I know I heard something break." as he chuckles peering through the eyeholes of his face plated cobalt blue helmet.

Gambit begins coughing up blood with more painful grunts. His eye tell the tale of a man who had suffered trauma as they are now blood shot red. Emma nearly flinches at the sight of Gambit's broken body. As he coughs and gurgles, he asks while looking up, "Why… don't ya… kill me… get it over wit?"

The masked man leans in closer while chuckling silently and says, "Because that wouldn't be fun, now would it? Besides, live bait works better than dead bait." as he begins to laugh over Gambit's beaten face.

Gritting his bloody teeth in anger, Gambit musters the last of his flagging strength grunting out as he reach up grabbing the masked man's helmet firmly and says, "Burn in Hell... Allan!" as he kinetically charges the helmet with both of his hands.

The man slaps Gambit's hands away while standing up quickly, but it is too late as his helmet explodes in a bright flash. Everyone in the room ducks or backs away with shocked expressions. Emma staggers a bit trying to understand what has happened. Gambit slightly grins with blood dripping off the side of his mouth while he lay flat on his back. But much to his dismay, the smoke clears to reveal the man still standing over him, this time without the helmet on. Gambit struggles with his pain, unable move as looks into the face of what appears to be Allan. He looks down at Gambit with sadistic grin nodding. Emma's eyes widen as she also sees his face. However identical, this face carries a scar the runs down the left side of his face, that travels over his left eye giving it a somewhat discoloration. The ominous yellow glow from his pupils differ from the Allan they know who's eyes glow more of a shiny red. With another hideous laugh, the man kneels back down to Gambit and says, "I said before, Remy. Allan Paran is the Vanguard. I, am the Enigma."

Gambit watches helplessly as the man raise his left fist high and swings it down upon him, turning everything black.


Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.