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Master Thief

Title: Master Thief
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: X-Men
Character/Pairing: Gambit/Rogue
Rating: PG/K+
Challenge/Prompt: tamingthemuse #551: Orleans
Warning(s): Spoilers
Word Count: 1,222
Date Written: 18 February 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.

Dey've started calling me de master thief again. Heh. It's as much o' a laugh as it was before I joined de X-Men, if not more. I'm no master thief, not where it really matters. I couldn't steal my place into a team o' heroes long enough t' stay an' carve out a new life for myself. Every time I thought I was succeedin', somethin' ugly from my past would rear its head, an' I'd be forced t' make up more lies because nobody wanted t' hear de truth. Nobody would hear de truth wit'out turnin' from me. Even you, chere, left me when you found out one of my darkest secrets.

Heck of a ding is, dat wasn't even my worst secret. I've done t'ings. I've never lied 'bout dat. I might've kept de truth o' exactly what t'ings I'd done t' myself, but I've always been honest enough t' admit dat I've got a past. Like a stray huntin' dog, you offered me a home, but I couldn't stay. I never can, because de trail never goes cold long enough for me t' stay. Stayin' would put you in jeopardy -- put dem in jeopardy, but dat's not all dere is.

If you asked me t' stay, I would. If dey'd told me dey were willing t' let me stay, and meant it, I would've. But it was de killer on de team who told me I couldn't keep stealin' an' be an X-Man. Funny ding, dat. He's been told plenty o' times he can't kill an' be an X-Man, but he keeps killin'. Me, I steal 'cause I got to, 'cause somet'ing rears up from my past an' dere's only one I can take care o' it. But he didn't ask me any questions. None o' dem did. Dey just didn't want anyt'ing else t' do wit' this ol' Swamp Rat, this ol' thief.

I wonder if t'ings would've been any different if you'd still been there, but I doubt it. It ain't no secret why you never stay wit' de team any more. You'd rather run off wit' de Avengers dan face what we had wit' dem, or what we thought we had any way. But we never did have anythin' for long, did we, cherie? You never let us.

An' yet I still can't shake you out o' my system. I've walked dese streets a million times since I was a little kid wit' no roof over my head. I've got thousands o' memories on these streets, thousands even when ya count de ones dat ain't got you in 'em, an' yet, today, all I can remember are de ones wit' you. I remember how you danced in de rain durin' Mardi Gras one season.

I remember when you whispered my name an' pulled me close. We couldn't kiss, but dat didn't matter. All I ever really wanted was t' be close t' you. Dat's de real reason why I stayed wit' de X-Men long before I got suckered into wantin' t' be a hero. I came because o' Stormy, but I stayed because o' you. It never mattered much t' me dat we couldn't touch. I loved you any way. All I wanted was for you t' love me half as much as I loved you de first moment I saw you.

But 'round another corner, an' I remember you lookin' at me wit' such tears in your beautiful, green eyes. You never believed me, chere. You never once believed me. Guess I shouldn't blame you. How can you believe anythin' somebody full o' lies like me says? But den, how you tell de truth when you know de truth gonna get you kicked from de only real, lovin' family ya ever knew? Yeah, I had a home wit' de Thieves Guild, but there was never any love lost 'tween any o' us. But wit' de X-Men . . . Wit' de X-Men, I thought I could finally get love. Wit' you, I thought I finally had de real t'ing.

Orleans is wrapped in so many legends that fer some folks, it's hard t' sort out de legends from de truths. One o' my ol' favorites is dat o' soul mates. It's said dat when two people are soul mates, dey know it. Everyt'ing changes from de first moment dey look in each other's eyes. Dey can't lie t' each other; dey can't hide de truth. An' if it's a thief who falls in love, he'll never be able t' steal 'gain.

Funny t'ing dat, legends are so rarely true. I do believe, still, dat soul mates exist, an' I know you're mine, cherie, even if you never admit it. I've known I love you since de first moment I saw you. But my past still matters. Yours doesn't t' me, or even t' de X-Men. Dey all forgave you, even fer what you did t' ol' Carol Danvers, but dey can't forgive me. Dey can't forget what I am, or how I led killers t' de Morlocks. I tried t' tell y'all I didn't know who dey were, or what deir real intentions were, 'til it was too late, but nobody ever wants t' listen t' a thief.

I can hear you in my head 'gain now. You'd argue wit' me on dat. You'd tell me it isn't 'cause I'm a thief that nobody wants t' listen. Nobody wants t' hear lies, you'd say, but you just don't get it. How many times have you lied, chere? Has Wolverine? Or Stormy? Hell, even if the Professor lied t' us all, an' big time too. Ya know, I looked up Summers after everyt'ing went down. Even he didn't want me around.

An' as fer de not bein' able t' steal bit, heh, well, that's a laugh, too. I'm back t' stealin' wallets an' jewels every day. An' 'gain, de Professor stole. He even had Stormy steal for him once. Wonder what ol' Wolverine would have t' say 'bout dat. But no, let Remy steal . . . Let de ol' Swamp Rat steal again, an' nobody asks why 'cause nobody cares t' know de real reason.

My hands were tied. I had t' help my people. But nobody cares t' hear it. Nobody cares why. Not even you. Saw you on de news de other day, chere. You lookin' good, but you prancin' wit' de wrong team. You can go back t' de X-Men now. You don't have t' keep hidin' wit' de Avengers. De coast is clear. De ol' Swamp Rat is back t' what he's meant t' do, de only t'ing he good at any more.

I'm stealin' every day, but I never could steal de one t'ing I always wanted more dan anyt'ing else. I never could steal your heart. I never could keep your love. Maybe 'cause I couldn't earn your trust. I don' know. Guess it really doesn't matter now. 'Cause I can't steal back my reputation. I can't steal back my place wit' de X-Men an' especially not wit' you. I can't steal back yer love, if I ever had it in de first place. You won't let me anywhere close t' you now. I've got no hope o' stealin' your heart any more. Heh. Some master thief I am.

The End

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