Pairing: Rogue/Remy "Gambit" LeBeau
Warning: Image-heavy post, not dial-up friendly in the least!
Since I don't want to plagiarize myself (and already wrote quite a long character manifesto for the
The Many 'Verses of the X-Men
There are many variations on this superlative Southern couple, and I don't want folks who are new to either fandom or pairing to get confused, so I've included a brief definition of each of the various universes wherein the stories I recommend are set:
1. 616 Comicsverse - the main Marvel comics universe; the X-men were added to the comics continuity in 1963 as a thinly veiled metaphor for the Civil Rights struggle in the United States. Rogue was adopted and raised by mutant terrorists (Mystique was one of her mothers) and started out as a bad guy and member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (yes, that really was the name, way back then. Subtle, huh?), but came to the X-men and Xavier's school in her late teens or early twenties, when all other attempts to find help in controlling her mutation had failed. Eventually, she became a good guy, and a stalwart part of the team, but only after she had taken the powers of Ms. Marvel for herself, permanently. The absorption also caused many mental issues for Rogue. Interestingly, her first appearance in comics canon is in the Avengers Annual #10.
In this universe, Remy's first appearance comes in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #266. He is the adopted son of the King of the Thieves Guild of New Orleans, married to the daughter (and later leader) of the Assassins Guild, and quite the bad-boy ladies' man.
Rogue and Gambit met at Muir Island, and were both members of the X-men with an on-again, off-again romance which has lasted longer than any other couple in X-men continuity, with the sole exception of Jean Grey and Scott Summers.
2. Movie-verse - the three X-men movies produced in 2000, 2003, and 2006, as well as the Wolverine Origins movie from 2009. Rogue ran away from home when her mutation manifested at the age of sixteen and put her boyfriend in a coma (which also happened in 616), and encountered Wolverine in a seedy bar in Canada, where he gave her a ride. They were taken in by the X-men after an attack by Magneto's Brotherhood on a wilderness road. (The two are much closer in the movie-verse than they initially were in 616, where Wolvie hates and distrusts Rogue in the beginning.) In the third movie, Rogue takes the Cure to remove her mutant power of absorption, but a scene with a similarly-depowered Magneto at the end suggests that the Cure was only temporary.
Gambit appears in the first three movies only as a name on a computer screen, but has an important connection to Wolverine in the Origins movie, where he provides the feral mutant with transportation to the mysterious "Island." Stories set entirely in this universe often try to reconcile the continuity differences in a way that allows Rogue and Gambit to be together in some way.
3. XTAS - X-men, the animated series with adult protagonists,1992-1997. This series stays quite faithful to the early days of the Rogue and Gambit era of 616, but has less complex complications from Remy's past and Rogue's previous family. Early on in this universe, a solution is found to remove Rogue's powers mechanically, but she chooses to keep them because they give her a better opportunity to protect other mutants.
Rogue and Gambit's relationship in XTAS is quite similar to their relationship in 616 continuity.
4. Evo or Evolution - X-men: Evolution, an animated series with teenaged protagonists, 2000-2003. In this, Rogue is an angry Goth girl whose powers manifest unexpectedly at a party, placing the first boy who ever asked her to dance in a coma. She runs away from home, is mentally tormented by her adoptive mother Mystique's shapechanging abilities, and refuses to join either Mystique's Brotherhood or Xavier's school at first. She ends up in Bayville, the main setting of the series, as a new student at the same school attended by Xavier's protégés, and it takes a while for them to accept her.
Remy is still the adopted son of the head of the Thieves' Guild, but as the series begins, he is no longer in New Orleans, but instead serves Magneto as a member of the Acolytes, who often come into violent conflict with the students living at Xavier's and training to control their mutations.
Rogue and Gambit meet on a battlefield; later, he kidnaps her to get help in saving his adoptive father. He also stalks her rather a lot.
5. WatXM - Wolverine and the X-Men, a short-lived animated series (2008) with elements from 616, Evo, and the Ultimates comics. In this series, Xavier is in a coma and the X-men have scattered, until Wolverine decides to bring them together after being psychically contacted by a future version of Xavier (derived from the Days of Future Past storyline from 616). Rogue, however, refuses to rejoin the team, and instead works with the Brotherhood. Gambit is an independent thief and mercenary in this version of the X-Men.
Gambit and Rogue never actually met during the single run of the series. Naturally, this leaves things wide open for fics set after the run of the show!
6. Ultimates - Ultimate X-men, a darker, grittier reboot of the original 616 continuity (and for Avengers fans, the origin of the version of Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson in the movie-verse). In this reality, Remy was a runaway thief with a heart of gold, and Rogue was a rebellious girl targeted by his employers, the evil Fenris International, who wanted to use her powers as a weapon. They offered her a suit which would give her control, but she refused to work for them. When the X-Men came to rescue her, she and Gambit ran away to Las Vegas together, where a confrontation with Juggernaut led to Gambit's death and her permanent absorption of his powers.
Rogue and Gambit authors, myself included, tend to write fusion fiction, sometimes without entirely intending it, but the main setting/s for each story below is/are included next to the title. My own preference in Rogue and Gambit stories is for darkly romantic and angsty, but I already posted a whole lot of those recs! So, you'll be getting a mainly sweet and light list, with a few darkly emotional pieces included.
Fic Rec #1: The Rogue's Gambit (Movie-verse)
Rating/Warning(s): Adult, one-shot
Why This Must Be Read: What might have happened in the movie-verse if XMO: Wolverine hadn't been added to canon: Rogue, newly cured after X3, picks up a stranger at a bar. It's a short, but intense piece that's both poignant and entirely in character, and it lays the groundwork for a future relationship between the two.
Bonus links: the two subsequent stories, Real (one-shot) and Carnal (WIP)
Fic Rec #2 Rasputin (Movie-verse)
Rating/Warning(s): Mature Adult (prostitution, violence, death, drug use, language, BDSM, child abuse)
Author's Summary: Mutilated corpses. Mutant prostitutes. A missing 10-year-old. Friends with secrets. Detective Marie D'Ancanto goes undercover to solve one of MacTac's bloodiest cases which may be tied to her oldest buddy, Pete Rasputin.
Why This Must Be Read: This is much more of a mystery than a romance, but xenokattz loves her Rogue and Gambit, and it shows in a myriad of subtle ways throughout this utterly gripping story. (I can hardly WAIT for LeBeau, which will be the third story in the series.)
Bonus link: D'Ancanto, the first story.
Fic Rec #3: Queen's High (Movie-verse, post X-3, no Origins, no Cure; a few Evo-verse characterizations for minor characters)
Author's Summary: In order to prevent Rogue from doing something socially unacceptable, Logan sends her away from the mansion (and her cheating boyfriend) to recruit one certain Cajun. This may or may not have been a good idea.
Why This Must Be Read: It's a recruitment drive; it's a hilarious goose-chase. It's the most aggravating day Remy's had in a long while, and it's all Rogue's fault. She has no idea what she's started or what her own games will do to her... and for her.
Bonus link: Queen's High Playlist
Fic Rec #4: Threads (all 'verses, all media)
Rating/Warning(s): Adult, Drama/Romance
Why This Must Be Read: This story is a fantastic interweaving of multiple "what ifs" in the various universes inhabited by Rogue and Gambit, and is just a pure delight to read. Ludi's language is lovely, her emotions are strong, and her touch is deft. Also, she really knows her Rogue and Gambit!
Fic Rec #5: Running (Movie-verse)
Rating/Warning(s): All Ages
Why This Must Be Read: A short, fantastic, poignant connection between the "bitter ingenue and the free-wheeling rascal" of the four X-men movies.
Fic Rec #6: Hazard (completely AU to any set of canon)
Author: Neurotic Temptress
Why This Must Be Read: How can one describe an ill-fated romance, murder, and mystery in a small town full of prejudice? One word: heartbreaking. Well, maybe two, because this story is also gorgeous.
Fic Rec #7: How the Mighty Have Fallen (616 Comics/Movie-verse, with a dash of Evolution)
Rating/Warning(s): Teen, fluff
Why This Must Be Read: A drunken Rogue bids on a sexy bachelor at an auction, and gets far more than she could ever have imagined. It's cute, it's got great characterization, and there's a rare (at least for this pairing, usually) happy ending. Funny and sexy!
Fic Rec #8: Normal (Evolution)
Why This Must Be Read: Those of us who are "normal" or "average" sometimes really wish we had special powers or abilities, or stood out in some way. This story is a great example of that old 'grass is greener' syndrome. Gambit badly wants to become "normal," and has very little idea as to what that might actually entail. Sweet, light, and fun, with just enough emotional confusion and misunderstandings to cause entertaining and emotional trouble.
Fic Rec #9: Playing Both Sides (WatXM with a hint of Ultimates)
Rating/Warning(s): Mature (for some sexiness and some language/violence)
Why This Must Be Read: Intrigue, double-crossing, undercover shenanigans (in all senses of "undercover!"): this is a fantastic follow-up to the series, and I think that making it an official part of WatXM canon is the only possible choice.
Fic Rec #10: Elemental (more Movie-verse than anything else, some comics)
Rating/Warning(s): Adult (violence, medical experimentation, brainwashing)
Author's Summary: Someone is after the Summers brothers. The bad news is they've already succeeded in taking Adam. The worse news is that Scott, Remy, and Alex have to work together to save him. And you thought the Brady Bunch was dysfunctional.
Why This Must Be Read: I love the overall story, where there are many more Summers brothers than in comics canon, but my favorite parts are OF COURSE the Rogue and Gambit interactions, which are tempting, snarky, adventurous, and sexy. This is the first story by xenokattz that I can remember reading, and I love to go back to it again and again. And then again.
House of Cards, a fanfiction.net listing of 124 of kirabutler's top Rogue and Gambit story recommendations. If she picked them, you can count on them being wonderful!
1. I compiled the images into the combinations you've seen here (and filling the blanks in that red X was super-fiddly, just FYI), but the images themselves have come from comicvine.net, uncannyxmen.net, marvel.com/universe/Ultimates_(Ultimate)
2. Side trip to the character manifesto links to my Rogue manifesto on either my own journal or het_reccers, depending on where you started out.
And finally, I'll leave you with the magnificently gorgeous two-page spread from X-Men #204 (the "adjectiveless" run of the 616 series a few years back), a look inside Rogue's dying mind at the strongest memories of her romance with Gambit, both good and bad. You won't be able to read most of the text at all, as much of it was just gibberish in the original artwork, but if you're a fan of the pairing, you'll recognize MANY iconic moments from nearly forty years of love, reinterpreted by the artists of this specific issue. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!