Hank knew it was getting late. He didn't realize how late it was getting until he looked at his watch. 1:30? Stars and garters, everyone else must be asleep by now.
Everyone except the thief skulking around outside his laboratory. What was Remy doing? He never came down here. It was no secret that he hated the medlab. Was he sick? Or hurt? Did he need help? Obviously he needed something, or he wouldn't have been pacing outside in the hallway for the past hour, making enough noise to raise the dead, although he probably didn't realize it. He was waiting for something. Maybe trying to build the courage to ask for help. It was, unquestionably, un-Remy-like behavior to ask, even if he needed it. He'd once walked around on a sprained ankle for nearly a week because he'd been too afraid to ask for help. So for him to be down here at all, even considering it, he must be desperate. Perhaps it would be better to simply rip the band-aid off.
"Can I help you, Mr. LeBeau?"
Remy jumped. He must not have realized the furry blue mutant could hear him. Cautiously, he entered the lab. The doctor didn't turn to look at him, focused on the bubbling test tubes in front of him.
"I think so," came Remy's response, playing up his lazy accent. Overcompensating.
Finally, Hank caught a glimpse of the Cajun. He looked anxious. Pale. Of course he's anxious, he hates it down here. So what is he doing?
"I need help with something."
"Of course, Remy. How may I be of assistance?" he asked, turning fully to look at him.
"I gotta do something I don't really want to do."
"Would it help to talk it through before you act?"
"I don't think so. Better to just go for it." Remy chewed his lip and looked around anxiously. "You ain't got any cameras or nothing down here, do you?"
It was a baffling and frankly concerning question from the thief, and it caught Hank off-guard. "No, why?"
"And anything I tell you, you can't tell nobody else, right? Doctor-patient confidentiality and all that?"
"That's right. Anything you say to me is strictly between us."
"Yes, Remy. You can say anything to me. No one will ever find out."
"Good." Remy took his hand out of his pocket. He was holding a handgun, aimed at Hank's face. "You have some files on that there computer of yours that I need."
"Remy, what are you-"
"You're going to give them to me-"
"What's going on?"
"-no questions asked, and no one gets hurt, got it?"
"Put the gun down, Remy. There's no need for that."
Remy relaxed his arm. "Gun's down, but if you try to fight me or call for help or breathe the wrong way, I got cards in every room of this house and they'll all go boom."
"I understand," Hank said. It was a lie, he did not. What was making Gambit act this way, betraying the X-Men like this, threatening lives? A sniff revealed that this wasn't some shapeshifter, this really was Remy, and he really was doing this.
"Go sit in that chair," Remy ordered, gesturing to it with the gun. Hank obeyed. From its position, Gambit would be able to watch his hostage as he worked on the computer. The thief plugged his thumb drive into the tower and set to work, furiously typing and clicking.
"Remy, may I ask you a question?"
"Why are you doing this?"
"Got some bad people I need to pay off." He continued clicking, never once looking up from the screen but watching Hank's every move in his periphery. "I wasn't going to threaten you, Hank, but you caught me. I was out of options, and I need these files."
"You could have just asked me," Hank said.
"The less you know about what I'm pulling, the better."
Hank tried to reach out psychically for help, but the telepaths were all asleep. Remy finished up what he was doing, pulled the thumb drive out of the computer, and finally looked up to Hank. "One word about this to anyone, boom."
And Remy was gone. Once his footsteps had retreated, Hank went to the computer and sorted the files by date accessed. Remy had copied two files, the medical records and genetic sequence of one individual: Rogue.
"Oh, Remy, good, you're back. I expected you to take a bit longer."
"Well, I didn't. I have your files right here. Everything you could ever want on Rogue."
"Excellent. These will thrust my research decades into the future. Isolating inhuman powers, it's really quite fascinating what your lady love does, when you get down to the science of it. Give them to me, and-"
"You gonna keep your promise?"
"Yes, yes, no more human experiments. You needn't fear, Remy, I'm nothing if not a man of my word."
Remy held out the flash drive. Essex took it, but Remy did not let go. "You use this information to hurt people, I'll kill you."
Remy relinquished the files, though he couldn't help but feel it was the start of something very, very bad.