Pairings Included in Manifesto: Rogue/Erik "Magneto" Lensherr, Rogue/Remy "Gambit" LeBeau, Rogue/Logan "Wolverine" Howlett, Rogue/Victor "Sabretooth" Creed, Rogue/Warren "Angel" Worthington III
Warning: Um. I may have gotten a bit carried away, here... this thing got huge! Uh, and... it's also really not dial-up friendly. (Also, I apologize for the abuse of the lj-marquee function: I'd originally intended to use it only for the icon strips, but lots of the picspam is wider than the firm margins for the community, something I discovered only after both working on this for days, and then posting.)
Enormous Blurb, Massive PicSpam, and Fic Recs with Bonus Links:
A Rogue by any other name would smell as sweet, and the X-Woman known as Rogue has more aliases, incarnations, and admirers than just about any other character in the vast and complicated interlocking universes of the X-Men franchise. In fact, no one even knew her real first name until twenty years after she made her debut!
No matter what you call Rogue: Ace, Anna LeBeau, Anna Raven, Anna Marie, Anne-Marie Rankin, Carol Danvers, Chere, Dr. Adler, Dr. Kellogg, Irene Adler, Legacy, Malicia, Marian, Marianne, Marie D’Ancanto, Miss Smith, Mrs. LeBeau, Ms. Marvel, Mutate #9602, Reaper, Stripes, Thor (yes, she wielded the hammer and carried the title in an alternate universe!), or X7; regardless of her varied iterations: sweet Southern Belle, angry Goth chick, runaway terrified of her powers, petty thief and criminal, tender woman yearning for love, co-leader of an Apocalyptic rebellion, or one-woman army of amazing destructive force; whether you know her from more than half a dozen comic book main and alternate universes, from at least three animated series, from the first three X-Men movies, or even from video games, she's always and forever the inimitable, astonishing, amazing Rogue.
She's a lover, a mother, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. She's sexy, strong, and tragic. She's stubborn, charming, confident, insecure, flirtatious, and naive. She's a terrorist and a freedom fighter; she's a murderer, a mechanic, and a lawyer; she's a follower and a leader; she's a victim, a willing sacrifice, and a savior; she's a villain and she's a hero. And she is, without exception, the character I love most in the world.
Part of the reason that I love Rogue so very, very much is that she's a dynamic character in the X-verses. She's ever-changing, always growing. She's practically a poster-girl for character development, but some things --important, fallible, human things-- are constants in her psychology.
For one thing, she's fiercely loyal. Once a person wins her trust, they have it until she's beaten over the head with brutal evidence that the trust was misplaced. Is this always a good thing? Of course not, especially when her loyalty blinds her to rather important flaws and faults in the people to whom she's given it. It's particularly bad when her loyalty and trust come up against unpalatable truths, and she makes painful decisions in the heat of anger and anguish. Believe me, she's made more than her share of those sorts of misery- and angst-inducing mistakes!
However, even when her loyalty takes a vicious knock, it still makes for beautiful storylines and possibilities, both in canon and in fan fiction. If one can be said to learn from one's mistakes, Rogue's loyalty and the consequences of living it make her one of the most educated people on the planet. Truth be told, if she were less stubborn, she'd probably be less painfully educated. But Rogue's just as bad at admitting mistakes as she is at shifting loyalties, and that character flaw is one to which I can most definitely relate.
For another thing, she's self-sacrificing . She repays the smallest of kindnesses with extravagant, meaningful action. She's come so close to death, so many times, and always by placing herself between those she loves and danger. It's as though the isolation imposed by her powers (more on those later) has compelled her to reach out to others through means that many people --even super-powered ones-- would never even consider.
Rogue's also incredibly determined to Do The Right Thing, whatever it may be, and no matter what it costs her. Mind you, she's not always clear on what the right thing actually is, but she is always trying.
And where someone like Phoenix destroys stars and snuffs out planets without a blink, or shreds her beloved boyfriend and mentor to their component molecules, or simply revels in sensation without counting the cost to others, and yet is forgiven time and again because she's the golden girl of the original X-men, Rogue has to fight every day for acceptance and especially love; she struggles to do what's right by the rules she's been taught; she makes mistakes and strives to do better; she spends her life struggling, being rejected, failing, and trying again.
Now that's heroic.
"That's why we do it, Joseph.
For the innocents, the ones who ain't been taught t' hate yet.
Our hope for tomorrow. Change is gonna come..."
Who among us hasn't dreamed of having superpowers? Who wouldn't like to be better, stronger, faster; to be special and amazing; to be different, noticed, and admired? Well, those are the upsides of possessing an active X-gene, or the genetic mutation which allows for all of those nifty powers in the many X-men universes, not to mention in many derivative shows and movies.
Rogue's experience with the X-gene is very different, and very, very tragic, which is another of the reasons I love her so much. Her skin is dangerous, even deadly, to touch. Prolonged contact can put a person in a coma, or even kill them. Limited contact might knock her victim out. And unlike many, many mutants with dangerous powers, the overarching truth and tragedy of her existence is that she never learns to control her powers of absorption. (Strict recent 616-canonists, hush.) Time and again, Rogue denies herself the fundamental comfort of basic human contact, because she fears that she'll hurt, maim, or even kill another person.
But it's not always about her powers' effect on other people; Rogue's no sappy, sugar-coated saint --another reason to love her-- and sometimes that reluctance to absorb another person stems from pure self-defense, or even fear and prejudice. When Rogue absorbs someone else, that person's memories and personality take up residence in her brain. Various canon and fan fiction writers treat this tremendous handicap differently; for example, sometimes those echoes fade away. Much more frequently, they do not, and Rogue's mindspace can begin to resemble a screaming, shouting, protesting crowd. This agony has even driven her to the brink of insanity, and beyond.
Rogue: Sometimes. Sometimes not. She's in here somewhere.
But she can barely make herself heard.
Too many voices. Most of them shrieking or pleading.
She's -- trying, but she's not -- holding together all that well.
Not only that, sometimes she acquires the physical attributes of the person she's absorbed, and fear of that effect becoming permanent is sometimes part of her reluctance to absorb another person.
However, her greedy skin has also made her one of the most powerful mutants in Marvel. When she absorbs another mutant, their powers become her powers, and she can hold many more than one. Sometimes, she keeps those abilities for a short while. Sometimes, they become embedded in her genetic code, with the other mutant dying or losing those powers permanently. And sometimes, when it's been utterly necessary, she has absorbed an entire set of teammates' powers, and become a one-woman army for a short while.
When push comes to shove, when the world is on the line, in those defining, do-or-die moments, Rogue rises above her own looming fears, eternal longings, and many insecurities to do what has to be done.
Can you remember what it was like? A normal life... with Remy, perhaps? Oh, my...
What's it going to be, Rogue? The boy's going to die anyway... why should you suffer?
Rogue: No. You don't know anything about me, Candra. Ah can't... an' ah won't.
My powers are coming back. Ah'm gonna fight you.
Fight you with everything ah have.
Is it any wonder that so many love her, despite her flaws and fears? Sadly, no matter with whom she's involved, or in which universe, Rogue's got some serious relationship issues: another thing that makes her so dear to my heart. Once again, no matter how powerful she may be, it's her humanity, her fundamental sweetness, and her inner vulnerabilities that draw men to her, and both those same insecurities and her poison skin that keep them away (even if, sometimes, ways are found to get around that deadly power of absorption and give the Untouchabelle --my pet name for Rogue-- a little lovin').
People 'ship her with Gambit, her devil-eyed fellow Southerner. People 'ship her with Magneto, whose powers of magnetism can create an infinitesimal field between their bodies. People 'ship her with Wolverine, and use his healing factor to balance out her innate mutant power. People 'ship her with Cyclops, claiming that his kinesthetic awareness and energy-based powers somehow make it possible for them to touch. People 'ship her with Pyro, Joseph, Pulse, Iceman, Sabretooth, Isaac, with dreams, aliens, and even robots....
In fact, people have managed to 'ship Rogue with just about any character, from Marvel or from other realities, and I've seen some remarkably creative ways to get around the drawbacks of her poison skin. She's paired with so many people that I even once heard her referred to as the mansion bicycle, "because everyone rides it sometime." (And yes, that did make me laugh, even though Rogue is much closer to lady than slut.)
Let's face it: Rogue gets paired with so many different men because she's such a richly detailed, multi-layered character, because she's so complex that there's always something within her personality that appeals to another, because her skin is such a challenge, and because she's just that awesome. Plus, she's gorgeous. Look at her, for goodness' sake!
You're going to get a variety of pairings in this character manifesto, I promise, but my One True Pairing for Rogue, the one I always want no matter in which universe my best girl lives, will always be with Remy "Gambit" LeBeau.
Gambit: I have a list but I left it in my other pants.
Remy's the quintessential bad boy and ladies' man. When he was introduced to the X-men, it was at a time when men were supposed to try to be more sensitive, politically correct, and gentle; in contrast, Remy smokes, drinks, swears, sleeps around, and has unbreakable ties to the amoral Thieves' Guild and the incredibly dangerous Assassins' Guild. He's also a master thief, liar, deceiver, and manipulator. He's both died, and been Death itself. Not to put to fine a point on it, though he's protective of small children and (sometimes) kind to strangers, he's got a boatload of his own emotionally crippling baggage and the morals of... well, he doesn't really have any morals that others admit they recognize, though he's definitely got his own sense of honor.
Frankly, if this were a 'Ship Manifesto, I'd give you a lot more on his background and the sufferings he's faced thanks to his demonic red and black eyes, his dangerous kinetic powers, his adoptive families, his enemies and his heroism, the women he's dared to love, and why I love him so much. My love is not weakened in the slightest by the fact that he's also one of the sexiest Marvel males out there.
But this manifesto is about Rogue, so I'll limit myself to talking about why I believe the one, the only, the best and truest and most complete relationship pairing for her is with Gambit.
For one thing, their love at first sight has endured for decades in comics canon, let alone in fan fiction. They've been beaten, battered, betrayed, and broken by one another and by circumstances, but there is a core of emotion to their relationship so strong and pure that they reunite time and time again, though death and Hell and worlds ending should bar the way. Even during those times when one or both of them are with someone else temporarily, there's something in their souls that draws them inexorably together.
Been with a lot of women, but with her... Just never felt this way about anyone before."
For another, each of them makes up for the things the other lacks. Rogue is Gambit's moral compass, and the woman for whom he gives up all others, setting aside his philandering ways to be with her, whether they can touch or not. Gambit is Rogue's heart, and the man for whom she would not only die... but dare to live, and even to laugh, despite the tragedies of her existence.
Gambit: Oh, th' pain.
Rogue: Hush, Cajun, an' get up!
Gambit: Mus' be paralyzed.
Rogue: Convenient position.
No matter how different they seem on the surface --he falls into bed in the blink of an eye where she's the next best thing to a nun; he's a con-man who almost never stops laughing where she's a hero with more reasons to weep than most; he's looked upon with suspicion by the X-men for years where she eventually becomes a trusted leader and friend-- they are far more alike in the depths of their hearts and souls.
Both are adopted children, and carry deep wells of pain from rejection inside. Both are lonely, desperately seeking someone who not only understands them, but values them just as they are. Both dream of love, and fear that they're unworthy to receive it. Both have done horrible things in the past, and strive to atone for their sins. Both are defined, even imprisoned, by their dangerous powers (Remy is fully capable of destroying the world), while longing to be seen as neither more nor less than thinking, feeling, human beings.
They recognize the humanity and the flaws in each other, but they also see the beauties and the strengths. What's more, they help each other to see those things in themselves. Simply put, they're stronger together, better together, than they are apart.
But I choose to see the joy. The miracle is that we live.
The responsibility of living is that we try to make the world a little better.
Dirge, he don't see dat. Best he figures,
I cry, I bury myself so deep in grief I become dead myself.
Ain't dat easy, mon brave.
I love these people. I love Rogue.
I choose t' honor their lives an' what dey mean t' me wit' a celebration.
My soul won't ever be lost, Dirge,
because now an' always, I choose to laugh!
Unfortunately, no matter how wonderful Rogue and Gambit are together, they have a history of hurting one another, too. Maybe the balance of agony and joy is why they've lasted so long; maybe, without those moments of despair to overcome, the triumph of their love would be less, just as the first physical expression of their love at a time when they were without their powers would have meant less had they not had to live and love so long without it.
Trust is always a huge issue between them. Rogue wants Gambit to tell her everything and to share all of his secrets, both good and bad; Gambit prefers to rely on her powers of absorption to pass on the unpalatable truths about his past, as a method that's easier --for him, at least!-- than talking about them. Gambit draws women more easily than honey does flies, and he's a sensualist; Rogue is always keenly aware of the dangers of her skin and the limitations it places upon her physical expression of love, and it's just about impossible for her not to be both jealous and suspicious.
Their mutual trust is not aided by the fact that he kept his marriage secret, or that her shape-shifting adoptive mother Mystique attempted to seduce him on more than one occasion. Mystique constantly whispers into Rogue's ears that Remy is not good enough for her, that he'll ultimately betray her and cheat on her, and Rogue is insecure enough to sometimes think that her mother might be right. It doesn't help one bit that Rogue's impulsive actions when hurt or angry have left Gambit abandoned more than once, as she flees the pain he makes her feel. Matters are never improved by the special, long-lasting friendship --and maybe more-- which Gambit sees between Rogue and Wolverine, and which makes him jealous in his turn.
Simply put, the relationship between Rogue and Gambit has issues. So many issues. Enough issues to open ten magazine stores. But again, as ever, as always, it's the challenges they face and overcome that make them so dear to my heart. Nothing in this world or any other is strong enough to keep them apart for good; even dying is just one more bump in their rocky, tumultuous, romantic, tragic, exuberant, amazing road together.
Gambit: (holding her) As if I'm gonna let you punch out on an exit line like dat, Chere?
In her solo series, Rogue herself makes the best argument for why she and Remy belong together, forever. Touch or no touch, sorrow or joy, sickness or health, with or without powers, he is and will always be the only man for her. Always.
Not without hooverin' up everything on his hard drive.
Well... except for Campbell...
Just 'cause I can touch a guy, doesn't mean I gotta.
It's just... those months with Remy, I got used to it. Being touched.
Being held, skin to skin. Was like... bein' alive.
Bein' connected to something bigger than me.
Now I gotta face the rest of my life without it.
Unless I get it from a man I don't even like... there is somethin' about him...
A kind of boyishness I could maybe find attractive. If I was interested in boys, that is.
But I ain't. I like men. No... not even men.
Just one man in particular...
The only guy I'd ever go through life with, touch or no...."
Back to the 'Shipper Manifesto
Time for the recs at last, and if you made it through that enormous blurb and massive picspam, I thank you with all of my heart!
I should mention that I tend to favor very sexy, frequently dark stories. In the spirit of het_reccers, I've tried quite hard to make sure that the warnings for each story are comprehensive.
Fic Rec #1: D'Ancanto (Movieverse)
Pairing: Marie "Rogue" D'Ancanto/Remy "Gambit" LeBeau, Rogue/Warren "Angel" Worthington III
Rating/Warning(s): Mature (language and violence)
Bonus Link: Fanmix for D'Ancanto, created by lithiumlaughter
Why This Must Be Read: From the author's summary: "Drugs. Multi-state gangs. Mutant-killing virus. Civil unrest. Plot to assassinate a racist senator. Just another Tuesday for Marie D'Ancanto, NYPD detective in the country's first Mutant Crimes Task Force."
Put all of these elements together with a post-Cure Marie who's tough as nails and chock-full of personal issues, who breaks some of the laws she's sworn to uphold, who's not afraid to get down and dirty, who loves her enormous, stinking, amazing city with all of her heart, who misses her family at Xavier's no matter how much they don't seem to miss her, and who just does not need any more emotional complications from a blackmailing thief and scoundrel, thank you very much, and you've got movie-verse Rogue the way she should have been portrayed all along.
Fic Rec #2: The Ante (X-men: Evolution)
Pairing: Rogue/Gambit (multiple secondary pairings)
Rating/Warning(s): Mature (innuendo, language, violence, crack humor, UST, angst, sexual situations/graphic imagery, implied incest, death). Also, this is a 29-chapter WIP, but so, so worth it!
Why This Must Be Read: From the author's summary: "When Remy LeBeau left Rogue on the shore of the Rippers' bayou hideout at the end of 'Cajun Spice,' he slipped a solitary playing card into the palm of her hand. It was a conciliatory gesture — an offer for friendship, an unspoken apology, and the beginning of a less-than-friendly game between rivals. A year has passed, the stakes have been raised, and Remy is not a person who folds before the bluff gets called."
kirabutler is, quite simply, one of the very best Rogue and Gambit writers out there. Her favored playground is Evo-verse, where her rich language, astonishing command of imagery, passionate love for New Orleans, brilliant understanding of character, and undying adoration of Rogue and Gambit create a gestalt of emotion, beauty, comedy, and tragedy that will suck you in so deeply you will never, ever want to leave.
Fic Rec #3: Freedom and Necessity (fusion of the atmosphere of X-Men Noir with elements of the X-Men: Evolution's Apocalypse storyline)
Author: eyelessblade and vikingprincess
Rating/Warning(s): Mature Adult (explicit sexual content, extreme violence, sexual abuse of a consenting partner)
Why This Must Be Read: From the authors' summary: "In the dark underbelly of Prohibition-era America, the seductive mutant Rogue will do literally anything to retain control over her powers, even serve the nefarious needs of evil Clan Akkaba. But when her work requires her to murder an entire group of not-so-innocent Assassins, the stakes become too high. She turns to the best thief in the world, one Remy LeBeau, in order to help her complete her mission and regain her independence. But her secrets are ones that he’d kill to know, and her actions are ones that he’d die to avenge."
These are Rogue and Gambit at their most broken, their most tragic.
Imagine a Rogue who never had the guidance of Xavier and the X-Men, a super strong, outrageously sexy, invulnerable woman with no moral compass whatsoever, but only her own raging desire for freedom from her mutant curse, and the willingness to do literally anything in order to get it.
Imagine a Gambit who once had true love, but wasn't quite ready to settle down, so he went wandering for a while, then returned home to find his entire world shattered.
Imagine vengeance and desperation and incredibly steamy sex; imagine fantastic international heists entwined with gangsters, molls, and an adventure worthy of Indiana Jones. Oh, and imagine your heart breaking into little, bitty pieces.
Fic Rec #4: Symbiotic (X-Men: Evolution, AU)
Pairing: Rogue/Gambit (implied Belladonna Boudreaux/Gambit, Carol "Ms. Marvel" Danvers/Gambit)
Why This Must Be Read: From the author's summary: "Take a volatile agreement between Rogue and Carol Danvers, mix in a spicy Cajun, stir up romantic misunderstandings, and let it simmer. As if love triangles weren't difficult enough, what if there are three people but two bodies?"
While Carol Danvers isn't a major part of Evo-canon (squint and you'll miss her, seriously), the premise for this story is an awesome one that takes the comics canon and twists it beautifully to enhance Evo-reality: a terrible accident means that Rogue and Carol are using Rogue's body as a time-share. Unfortunately for Rogue, Carol's pretty bad at sharing; worse yet, while Rogue can't touch people while she's in control of her own body, Carol... can. And she thinks Remy looks like just the man to sate all of her desires.
The romance that grows between Remy and Rogue throughout this story is beautiful, bittersweet, and tragic... of course, because that's just how the pair of them roll, all the way to an ending with a shocking twist.
Fic Rec #5: The Wanting Time (Movieverse)
Pairing: Rogue/Logan "Wolverine" Howlett
Link: Unfortunately, the chapters don't link to each other, nor are they all tagged by the author.
Rating/Warning(s): Mature Adult (graphic sexual description, language)
Why This Must Be Read: This fic is scorching hot, panty-melting sexy, and just all-around gorgeous. Rogue's inability to touch is not glossed over, but is very creatively dealt with in a way that can make even non-Rogan 'shippers think that this is the one true pairing for Rogue. Wolverine's animalistic side is most definitely an important part of the relationship. And did I mention, hot?
Fic Rec #6: The Art of a Con (X-Men: Evolution with a dash of 616 canon; AU after Season 1.03)
Authors: eyelessblade and vikingprincess
Rating/Warning(s): Mature Adult (violence, explicit sexual description, language)
Why This Must Be Read: From the authors' summary: "Rogue's world turned upside down at a school dance when she accidentally absorbed a star quarterback and discovered she was a mutant with an awful gift. When Xavier and his team of do-gooders came chasing after her with shiny happy recruitment speeches, she chose instead to make a deal with her adopted mothers, and won two years of freedom studying art and adjusting to her mutation in New York City. But Mystique's come up against a dangerous deadline, and even if she has to hire a couple less-than reputable members of the Thieves' Guild to kidnap Rogue, she's getting her daughter back. Now."
How is evil defined, and who gets to write the definition? Just because someone claims to be good, does that make it true? And how are a couple of confused teenagers with scary mutant powers supposed to decide those things when they're still discovering how to live their lives?
This coming-of-age story explores those questions, as well as taking a look at the destinies that weigh heavily on both Rogue and Gambit. As fugitives on the run from the expectations of their adoptive families, antipathy becomes attraction, and attraction becomes love. Unfortunately, the world isn't willing to leave them alone, and even the people who seem the kindest are more than willing to use the two young mutants for their own ends.
Excellent characterization for the two leads, plus the dead-on voices for the Evo-verse Brotherhood and X-men characters, are strong throughout; add that to the fast-paced action and adventure of the story, plus its sexy scenes, and it's a must-read.
Fic Rec #7: Blind Sight (616 comics)
Pairing: Rogue/Gambit (plus other canon pairings)
Author: Valerie Jones
Rating/Warning(s): Teen (violence, crime, angst, torture, depowered mutants).
Why This Must Be Read: From the author's summary: "When Operation: Zero Tolerance turns into a full-fledged mutant hunt, Remy must use all of his resources to keep the X Men safe while they search for a way to bring Bastion down."
People really overuse the word "epic" these days, but there is no more suitable term for Valerie Jones' huge and brilliant WIP of 64 chapters and over 330,000 words... so far!
It's a friendship fic; it's a coming-of-age story; it's a deep and abiding romance with more than its share of troubles and complications. Rogue and Gambit have never had an easy time with their comics canon relationship, and Valerie Jones is most definitely respectful of that canon truth while putting her own skilled spin on the two, as well as the world-shaking events around them.
Also, the fic title isn't just a metaphor, folks: Remy is blind, and despite both that and the ways in which so many of the X-men hate and mistrust him, he becomes both a hero and a leader . Not only that, Rogue finally sees the painful truth of her long-time love, as well as more than a few things about herself. Her character growth is subtly woven into the overarching plot, and while she's a bit spoiled and childish at first, I cannot say enough good things about this heroic, tender, astonishing, complicated, deadly, heartbreaking story.
Fic Rec #8: Splintered Shadows (Movieverse)
Pairing: Rogue/Erik "Magneto" Lensherr
Link: http://demented-allure.livejournal.com/?skip=20&tag=splintered%20shadows (use the "forward" link to get to the later chapters)
Rating/Warning(s): Mature Adult (language, sexual description, violence)
Why This Must Be Read: Could anything be more improbable than a relationship between Rogue and Magneto in the movieverse? He tried to murder her, after all, a 'necessary' sacrifice to his ambitions and plans for world domination. She hates her powers; he's all about mutant superiority. She has no control over her mutant abilities; he's literally the Master of Magnetism. The only thing they have in common is the x-gene.
And yet, when Mystique takes Rogue in as their powers start to return after taking the Cure in X3, circumstances give the mutant terrorist and assassin no choice but to place her protégé in Magneto's custody for a while, forcing two bitter enemies into close proximity.
Rogue's trapped between her loyalty to Mystique and a growing attraction to Magneto. Magneto fears that she's come to care far more for his cause than for him. Add in a spiteful Pyro, a fearful Brotherhood, and a growing anti-mutant hysteria sweeping the nation, and any reader will be hard-pressed to pause in devouring this story in huge gulps.
Fic Rec #9: Torn (Movieverse/616 comics; written before XMO: Wolverine existed)
Pairing: Rogue/Wolverine, Rogue/Victor "Sabretooth" Creed
Authors: laenwyn and skybluerae
Link: http://laenwyn.livejournal.com/?skip=20&tag=torn (use the "seek" button to page to later chapters, and work from the bottom of the page to the top to read in order)
Rating/Warning(s): Mature Adult/NC-17 (angst, UST, language, masturbation, voyeurism, sexual description, cutting, and yet more angst)
Bonus Fics: What happens afterward? Find out in Beyond Redemption (Rogue/Victor: adult - language, violence, darkness, smut, and angst), and Amaranthine (Rogue/Victor, adult - violence, smut, angst)
Why This Must Be Read: When the villainous psychopath Sabretooth actually joins the X-men, Rogue is "caught in some kind of emotional tug of war combined with a twisted, seductive game of hide and seek," just as one chapter says.
She's supposed to be a squad leader, she's supposed to be tough and in charge. She's definitely not supposed to be letting her lifelong crush on Wolverine distract her from her mission even as he's refusing to take her orders or treat her like the woman she is! Then, when Sabretooth starts stalking her like his own little sex-toy, and gives her a lot more honesty than Wolverine has over the years, Rogue's better nature doesn't stand a chance against her baser instincts.
The things I especially enjoy about this story are the ways in which Rogue is torn back and forth, the way that readers are kept guessing until the very end as to which feral mutant will finally win her as his mate, and the incredibly steamy, raw sex scenes.
Fic Rec #10: Promised Land (pre-Movieverse AU; written before XMO: Wolverine existed)
Pairings: Rogue/Gambit (past Emma Frost/Gambit, present Kitty "Shadowcat" Pryde/Bobby "Iceman" Drake)
Authors: eyelessblade and vikingprincess
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17 Mature Adult (not worksafe story art, explicit sexual description, attempted rape, slavery and sexual slavery, BDSM, extreme violence, torture, many minor character deaths, hot- and cold-blooded murder, major angst)
Bonus Links: The story is a song fic; click the link to listen to Something to Believe In by Poison, or go here to simply read the lyrics.
Why This Must Be Read: From the authors' summary: "The world ended not with a bang, but a whimper, when the Plague swept the United States and then the world, throwing civilization into chaos. Murdering bands of raiders and mutants brutalize tiny settlements of survivors, while in a small corner of Manhattan, Remy LeBeau leads a group of people who want something more. But when they are attacked by a vicious young mutant with more power than he's ever seen, can the risk of trying to tame her be worth the cost?"
In a word, this story is intense. The broken world which the characters inhabit is a brutal and unforgiving place, where everything takes second place to survival and almost every decision made is purely ruthless. Everyone is bent or broken in some way, and the sociopathic behaviors in the story may hit readers quite hard.
Despite that, some of the touchstones of the Rogue and Gambit's personalities shine through: his humor, her sweetness, their compelling mutual attraction, and a love that grows despite the harshest of conditions. Just the same, you'd better have a box of Kleenex handy, as the tragedy of their romance is also kept quite intact.
Check out Luciademedici's Rogue and Gambit Rec List. Be sure to explore the comments, too, as there are more fic recs contained within them.
You can also grab some lovely icons from 50 Themed Rogue Icons by fatal_kiss
And yet more picspam: Full-sized images, some from above (since they were compressed for the sake of keeping the collages somewhat smaller), some that I didn't manage to work into the text of the Rogue Manifesto. Enjoy!
Image sources: comicvine.net, uncannyxmen.net, livejournal.com
Artists and icon makers: Julie Bell, Black, Ed Benes, Clayton Cain, Mike Choi, danu_mactire, erikssiren, Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, Greg Horn, Andy Kubert, Megan Lara, Sonia Oback, pinayflavaa, redcirce, Danielle Torres, Jaime Tyndall, vikingprincess, wolverina01. No icons made by others have been used unless I already had permission from them to use the icon in question for myself.
References and quotations: marvel.com, uncannyxmen.net, Gambit comics, Rogue comics, X-Men comics.
Icon strips and collages: vikingprincess.