Lady Paperclip (paperclipbitch) wrote,
Lady Paperclip
paperclipbitch

"I Wrote Your Name Upon The Back Of My Hand", X-Men, Wolverine/Gambit

Title: I Wrote Your Name Upon The Back Of My Hand
Fandom: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (movieverse)
Pairing: Wolverine/Gambit {Logan/Remy}
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 3800
Genre: Slash
Copyright: Title is from Twilight Omens by Franz Ferdinand.
Summary: Set post-movie. Remy thinks about his answer, and settles on: “You’ve said that before.”
Author’s Notes: I started watching the film at 11:45 this morning (the first showing of the day; I was one of about three girls in the cinema, and the only one not dragged by a fanboy). It is now *checks watch* 17:05, and here is my first piece of fanfiction. Set in the movieverse, but possibly with bits of the comicverse because, you know, I adore Gambit endlessly and forever.

I'm pretty fucking proud of this, actually.



Twilight omens in my life
I keep hearing your name
I hear the radio sing your name.

- Franz Ferdinand

There are neon lights in New Orleans, and tables flush with new cards that swish when they’re laid down. There’s so much drink you’d be hard-pressed to recall your own name, and girls with smiles that aren’t so much affectionate as predatory, but Remy can take care of himself and always has.

There’s even a motorbike in reasonable condition that no one’s returning to reclaim, and five minutes with the right tools renders it his, even if the keys are still somewhere on the Island.

The one thing New Orleans doesn’t have is an answer, though the really annoying part is that there isn’t really even a question.

(Well, ok, there’s always: what the fuck happened? but then Remy’s fairly certain that there’s no one, alive or dead, who can reply to that; it was messy and inglorious and far too fast and everyone lost, as far as he can tell.)

He’d have done it, he knows, which stings in funny places in the late hours of the night. He’d have taken Logan with his metal bones and his sinister smile and brought him back here, housed him and fed him and entertained him until either his memories returned or he became ok with being an amnesiac.

Fuck knows why, but he would have done it, and so it’s probably just as well his offer was so abruptly rebuffed. Remy might be curious, but Gambit waits for no one, Gambit has his own things to worry about, and a semi-feral man with no recollection of anything is really not something he wants to add to his list of problems.

Really.
.

There are times, of course, when he’s got the best hand and he knows no one’s going to beat him so there’s no point in even bluffing, that his mind wanders. Back to the Island, tracing the horribly familiar steps.

Oh, not back to that narrow cell and the guards who only let him out because at first they were amused that the mutie scum had the tenacity to suggest he’d beat them at cards, and then because they wanted their money back. Security was more lax then, everyone was a little less scared. After all, then no one had escaped.

But he doesn’t go back there, that time has been shut away in a box in his mind and he might get it out when he’s ready and then again he might not, and most of his memories end up being full of falling concrete and fire.

Remy can’t say he doesn’t wonder what happened to Logan; where he went, whether his memories returned, whether the police attempted to take him in and just how messy that got. He thinks, sometimes, about the man he found lying on the ground, all torn clothes and wild-eyed confusion, more animal than man because instinct was all he had left in his head.

Sometimes, his thoughts stray to the body on the ground, dark hair against the dust, about the confusion in Logan’s eyes. Whether Logan remembers or not, Remy knows that she was important.

(It was about a girl, he thinks; it’s always about a girl.)

About then, it’s usually time to gather his winnings together and grin smugly at everyone else at the table, who are gnashing their teeth and accusing him of cheating – I don’t need to cheat against people as pathetic as you, he wants to say, but there’s no sense in inviting trouble when there’s enough hanging around as it is – and he can put away his memories with relief.

.

Three months after whatever the hell that was (as he’s taken to referring to it in his mind, at least), he gets a letter from Charles Xavier.

He knew he shouldn’t have given those kids his real name.

Sometimes, he thinks he might have gone back for Logan, to see if he was ok, to assure him the kids were gone and to get the both of them away from the collapsing facility, but he also knows he was running away from Charles Xavier and his school.

Oh, it’s admirable, teaching the kids how to pretend to be ordinary and how not to kill people when they blink, but that’s not what he wants out of his life. He likes his existence here, in New Orleans, where he can drink and gamble and fuck his way through the city, hearing his name spat with an interesting mix of respect and disdain. He doesn’t want to shut himself away and practice making things not explode when he’s angry.

Remy doesn’t bother replying and doesn’t get any more letters in the following months, so he hopes Xavier got the message.

He doesn’t need saving, after all.

.

Two years later, and he’s still living the same old life, only he thinks less about the past now and sleeps better because of it.

The past, however, has apparently decided to show up and kick his ass.

A man, face half-hidden in shadow, settles himself down at the table in one of the chairs left vacant when the loser ran off to weep (or, you know, hang himself) in an alley after being robbed blind. Remy might think about feeling guilty, but the man did keep coming back.

“What can I get for seventeen dollars?” he asks.

Remy thinks about his answer, and settles on: “You’ve said that before.”

The next thing he knows Logan is moving far too quickly, picking him up bodily and dragging him away from the game. Remy has enough time to yell: “Raise!” over Logan’s shoulder before he’s thrown through the door and they’re tumbling out into the alley behind the bar.

It seems the guy hasn’t hung himself out here, which is nice to know.

Logan keeps his hands fisted in Remy’s shirt, and slams him up against the wall.

“That shit is gonna get old real fast,” he says.

“Probably,” Remy agrees. He laughs. “Won’t say I ain’t getting déjà vu, though.”

Logan pushes him harder against the wall, and there’s the soft snikt sound that accompanies his claws sliding from his hands. The tip of one of them rests against his throat.

“Let me get one thing straight,” Logan growls.

(Well, Remy thinks, you sought me out.)

He worms one hand free, and manages to touch the edge of one of the claws. He cuts his finger, but that really isn’t important.

“Let me get one thing straight,” he says, and pushes.

Logan gasps as Remy kinetically charges his entire skeleton, every inch of metal in his whole body. Not enough to make it actually explode, but enough to be a warning. Then, abruptly, he lets the energy flow back into him, and Logan sheathes his claws again.

He shivers, and Remy knows enough to know that a lot of the shiver isn’t in any way to do with fear.

“You’re gonna buy me a drink for that,” Logan tells him, with the first hint of something that could possibly be a smile.

Remy shrugs, straightens his shirt and angles his hat better on his head. “Seems fair.”

.

“How much do you know?” Logan asks, several drinks later.

“I know all kinds of things, mon ami,” Remy replies, just to be infuriating.

Logan glares at him; it’s a good glare that says something along the lines of I will not hesitate to fuck you up and Remy has no doubt that he means it.

“How much do you know about me?” Logan half-snarls.

Remy shrugs. “Not a lot. You’ve never been particularly chatty.”

Logan sighs. “Right.”

He looks such a strange mixture of angry and lost that Remy feels compelled to give him something.

“You don’t like flying,” he offers.

“I know,” Logan snaps, and then frowns. “How do you know that?”

“I took you up in my plane,” Remy replies. He misses his plane, but he lost her in a high-stakes game months and months ago. He should be rich by now, but he isn’t; once a gambler, always a gambler, and he never gets to keep the things he really likes.

“Why?” Logan asks, reaching for the bottle they’re sharing.

“‘Cause you threatened to kill me if I didn’t,” Remy replies.

This time, Logan manages a recognisable smile. “Guess I haven’t changed that much, then.”

“Guess you haven’t,” Remy agrees.

.

“You got somewhere to stay?” Remy asks, when they’re both a little too drunk and it’s getting a little too early in the morning.

Logan shrugs.

“I’ve got a place,” Remy finds himself saying. When Logan gives him a confused look, he adds: “It’ll save you murdering someone for a hotel room key.”

“You think I’d do that?” Logan asks, tone expressionless.

“I ain’t ruling out the possibility,” Remy replies. “Why, you telling me you wouldn’t?”

Logan pulls a chewed cigar out of his coat and lights it.

“Just where is this place?” he asks.

.

A couple of days later, and Remy feels he should come clean.

“Look,” he says, when Logan is making himself crap black coffee ‘cause Remy tends not to eat and when he does it’s never at home so there’s nothing in the apartment, “I’m not gonna suddenly remember something if you hang around here. I’ve told you what I know, which is next to nothing.”

“You said you were my friend,” Logan replies, without looking at him. “When you found me.”

“You’ve seen my life,” Gambit replies. “I know your name and you don’t want to kill me – least, I don’t think you do – and by my standards that’s a friendship. Fuck, you’re practically my brother.”

He sees a shadow of a frown cross Logan’s face at that, but it’s gone in an instant. “You think of me as your brother?” Logan asks, and there’s amusement sliding across his mouth.

“Hell, no,” Remy replies.

Something dangerous and interesting appears in Logan’s eyes, and he says: “Good.” After a long moment, he says: “So I guess I didn’t give you a surname?”

“You said Logan,” Remy shrugs. “And only ‘cause I wouldn’t fly you anywhere until you gave me something to call you.”

Logan smirks, and takes a sip of his coffee, before making a face and pouring it straight down the sink. “Does the name ‘Wolverine’ mean anything?”

Remy shakes his head. “No. Should it?”

Logan laughs bitterly. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Jesus,” Remy sighs. “Talk about banging your head against a brick wall.”

.

“You came to the wrong place; I ain’t gonna sit down with you and a pack of marker pens and write down every clue we’ve got in the hope we can piece you together a personality,” Remy tells him, when it’s been almost a month and Logan is still sleeping on his couch and skulking the city by day.

Logan shrugs. “I like shitty cigars and cheap liquor, I don’t like flying and people who waste my time, and all I’ve got of the past are some dog-tags and some keys. I don’t see us getting a good story out of that.”

Remy thinks about this. “You didn’t trust me with your past the first time around, I don’t see why I should help you recover it,” he says. And then he can’t help adding: “I know what the keys go to.”

Logan looks expectant so Remy takes him outside to where he keeps the motorbike. Logan’s eyes light up as his fingers skim across the handlebars, and he looks slightly more human than he has done since he arrived here.

“I guess we can add motorbikes to your list of ‘likes’,” Remy observes.

Logan takes his eyes from the gleaming metal to glare at Remy. “You stole my bike,” he snarls.

“You weren’t coming back for it,” Remy points out, reasonably.

“I didn’t know I had it,” Logan says, partly to himself.

He sits down sideways on the seat, forcing the whole bike to dip momentarily under the weight of his skeleton. Remy’s going to have to replace his couch when Logan’s gone – if Logan goes – and he wonders if whoever pumped Logan full of metal foresaw these little mundane problems.

“You know how I lost my memory?” Logan asks, looking up at Remy. His face is shadowed, half-lit by a streetlight, and his eyes are bright and hollow.

“When I found you, you’d been shot in the head,” Remy replies. “More than once.”

“That would do it,” Logan mutters.

Remy sighs, and sits down next to Logan. “Yeah,” he agrees softly, “That would do it.”

.

Logan came to New Orleans to find Gambit, but there’s no saying where he was before that, or if he came with someone. He’s a mystery, and Remy finds himself caught up in this stupid curiosity and asking around. No one’s got anything, as expected.

“Maybe you’re trying too hard,” he suggests.

Logan frowns. “What?”

“Live for who you are now,” Remy replies. “I got all kinds of shit in my past, but I’m here, and I’m happy.”

“I don’t know who I am now,” Logan snaps, and then gives Remy a thoughtful look. “Are you happy?”

Remy isn’t sure, but isn’t about to say that. “I’m ok,” he replies.

Logan looks sceptical, but doesn’t bring it up.

“Look,” Remy says, when the silence has gone on too long and is wearing thin, “For all we know you’ll get shot in the head some other time and forget all over again. You’ll come back into this city in a few years’ time and we’ll end up having this conversation all over.”

Logan smirks. “I’ll remember you,” he says.

The way he says it uncurls something in Remy’s stomach, but he doesn’t think too hard about it.

“The way you say that, you make it sound like a threat,” he observes.

Logan laughs, tired and empty. “Who’s to say it isn’t?”

(Good point.)

.

“You gonna do this forever?” Logan asks one night.

They’re on the balcony of Remy’s apartment, sharing a bottle of something he found under his bed, which is pretty fucking potent, whatever it is.

“Maybe,” Remy shrugs, because he can’t imagine being anywhere other than here, in the lovely heat, playing with his cards and winning every argument ‘cause he’s just that kind of guy. “I guess I’ll die eventually.” He gives Logan a thoughtful look. “Do you think you can die?”

“I have died,” Logan responds. “More than once.”

“Think you can stay dead?”

Logan shrugs. “I’ll have to wait and see.”

It’s a sticky night and there are lights flashing all over this beautiful city of his, fighting back the darkness an inch at a time.

“How old are you?” he asks.

Logan scowls at him. “I know fucking less about me than you do, what’s with all the questions?”

Remy smiles. “Maybe,” he suggests, “I can irritate you into replying. Maybe your subconscious will come up with something.”

“That won’t happen,” Logan replies.

“Maybe you don’t get old, maybe you won’t die, maybe you’ll just do this forever and ever and ever,” Remy suggests thoughtfully. Drinking too much always makes him kind of philosophical.

Logan’s snarl is the only thing that warns him before the other man is unseating him, dragging him back into the apartment.

“I could kill you,” he hisses, claws sliding readily from his fists.

“Go ahead and try,” Remy responds calmly, and he can see himself reflected in Logan’s eyes, can see as his own eyes start glowing crimson.

Remy presses his fingers to Logan’s claws before the other man can move. He can only charge non-organic objects, but then Logan’s skeleton is metal, which is about as non-organic as it gets. The tips of Logan’s claws crackle violet, and Remy wonders what it feels like, to feel your whole body suddenly become electric.

“Stop it,” Logan growls.

Remy adds a little more charge, and spends a second wondering if Logan would actually die if his bones were to explode. But the Island was all about the experiments, and he’s not that man, much as he sometimes wishes he were.

Logan is gasping, but it doesn’t look like pain from where Remy’s standing. He’s annoyed for a moment, and then interested. Very, very interested.

Stop it,” Logan breathes, and when Remy keeps his hand where it is and crackles just a little more energy through him, he lets out something that’s an intriguing mangled mix of a moan and a howl.

“Do you want me to stop?” Remy asks, low and quiet and hard, and watches as another shiver runs through Logan. He’ll pay for this later, he thinks, and then decides it’ll probably be worth it.

Abruptly, he steps back, releasing the power and watching Logan’s claws stop sparking purple. Logan sheathes them, panting, and then looks at Remy with something determined and murky in his eyes. Remy has no time to move as he’s slammed up against the wall, and is just starting to think something like this is really becoming a pattern, we need to do something about this when Logan’s mouth crashes down on his, something that’s a bite as much as a kiss, and Remy reflects well, this is new, and bites back.

.

The sun is shining right into his eyes when he finally wakes up, head thick and muggy from whatever it was he drank last night, and all he’s got is a big black hole where the past few hours should be.

If this is what Logan feels like all the time then no wonder he’s such a dick.

Remy sits up and finally registers that his sheets have been torn to ribbons, his mattress is full of puncture marks, and in at least one place a bedspring has come free, sticking up hazardously through the remains of the bedclothes.

“Fucking hell,” he mutters.

There’s blood all over the sheets, and he’s fairly sure a lot of it isn’t his.

“Logan!” he yells, but he’s answered in silence.

He gathers the remains of a sheet that doesn’t look too much like he’s been massacring animals on it and wraps it around his waist, wandering through the empty apartment. There’s broken furniture everywhere and a hole in one of his walls and Remy knows he won’t have to look outside to establish the bike is gone.

Logan is gone.

The mirror in his bathroom reveals a fairly nasty image; he looks kind of like he’s been savaged by a wild animal, all bruises and scratches, and whether they were caused by nails or claws is debatable.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” he mutters between his teeth, and tries to work out if Logan attacked him, or if…

There’s a particularly prominent bite mark on the inside of his left thigh, and the only reason Remy can think of for Logan to bite him somewhere that intimate is something he’s not sure he’s ready to acknowledge. He tips his head and his hair falls aside to show his neck is ravaged red with something that looks kind of a lot like stubble burn.

“Fucking hell,” he murmurs again, looking from his ravaged reflection to the battered furniture in his living room, “No wonder that woman died.”

.

After a silence long enough to be awkward – long enough to tell Remy that Logan remembers a lot more of that night than he does – he starts getting postcards. Never with return addresses, and never with more than a terse sentence on it, but it’s an attempt at a connection that Remy kind of feels grateful for.

He wants to tell Logan to stop running after his past, that he won’t like what he uncovers and sometimes it’s better to just live in the now, but he has no way of contacting him. Sometimes, he wants to tell Logan to come back, that in spite of himself he misses him, but he knows that even if he could get hold of Logan he’d never admit to any of it.

The postcards come from all over the world, like Logan is running desperately from place to place, chasing hopeless leads. No one knows who he is, after all. Maybe he’ll never find out.

Eventually, Remy gets a postcard from Anchorage, Alaska, and then there’s nothing at all.

.

Epilogue

“What can I get for seventeen dollars?” a man asks, casting a shadow over the poker table.

Remy smiles, and doesn’t bother turning around. “You’ve said that before,” he says.

There’s a soft hint of laughter. “So have you.”

Remy looks at the men and women around the table, cards fanned out before them, and knows that he could beat each and every one of them and take the whole pot for himself. But some things are important, after all.

“Fold,” he sighs, tips his hat, and leaves the table.

Behind him, Logan is wearing a grin, and looks far less angry than Remy has ever seen him.

“You haven’t aged a day,” Remy observes, feeling a scowl crossing his own face. “It’s been what, twenty years?”

“Something like that,” Logan agrees. “Can I buy you a drink?”

“I think I’m probably gonna need one,” Remy replies, and follows him to the bar.

He remembers thinking that Logan looked older than him, but that was twenty years ago. Now, they’re much better matched, and it makes his smile rueful.

“Why are you here, Logan?” he asks.

Logan considers his answer carefully before saying: “A lot of shitty things happened, and I’ve found myself in charge of this school for young mutants.”

Remy thinks about asking but what about Charles Xavier, but decides that he’ll be better off without a concrete response; Logan’s expression has all kinds of suppressed pain in it.

“Right,” he says.

“Too many people have died,” Logan murmurs, and something in him has got easier because Remy can’t picture him ever saying any of this the last time they were together. “The Professor, and Scott, and Jean…”

(Ah, Remy thinks, it’s about a girl; it’s always about a girl.)

“Anyway,” Logan continues, “I wanted to offer you a job, a place at the school.”

Remy sighs. “I’m getting too old for this shit, Logan,” he says.

Logan smirks, arching an eyebrow. “Just how old do you think you are?” he asks.

Remy shrugs. “Younger than you, but then that ain’t saying much.”

“Come with me,” Logan says, soft and earnest. His mouth curls into something that’s almost a rueful smile. “Are you gonna do this forever?”

Remy finishes his drink, and considers his options. “I guess not,” he mutters.

Logan reaches out, and with curiously gentle fingers, pushes a lock of hair from Remy’s face.

“Is that a yes?” he asks.

It’s been a long time; it’s been too long, and yet Remy nods. “Apparently.”

.

Tags: character: gambit, character: wolverine, pairing: wolverine/gambit, type: slash, x-men
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