Fandom: X-Men movies/X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Pairing: Logan/Remy (Wolverine/Gambit)
Spoilers: For X-Men Origins: Wolverine and some stray (old) X-Men comics.
Disclaimer: These characters are, of course, owned by Marvel and not by me. I also quoted dialogue from the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was written by David Benioff and Skip Woods.
Notes: Thanks to lick_j for cheerleading this!
Over the last year or so, I've fallen down the well of Logan/Remy fics. Tragically, it seems I was a few years too late on this-- a lot of the comicverse fic for this pairing seems to have disappeared with Geocities, and the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out in 2009 and spawned surprisingly little fic. But why? You might argue that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not a particularly good movie, and I would agree with you on that count. But think of it as an asset: any fanfiction you write or read is almost guaranteed to be more coherent than its source material! Also, COME ON YOU GUYS, Hugh Jackman and Taylor Kitsch? COME ON.
Ahem. Anyway. Here's a quick rundown on the movieverse versions of these characters, since I think that is the version where this ship makes the most sense, and also the version where there is the least amount of complicated backstory to wade through. In my own fic I tend to pull in pieces of comics canon as it suits me--particularly to fill in Remy's backstory-- and I'll be doing that here, too. However, this is mostly a movieverse essay.
Logan, aka Wolverine, aka James Howlett (if you're nasty)
Baby, everybody's had to fight to be free
-- Tom Petty, Refugee
Widely regarded to be the most badass of all X-Men, in movieverse Logan is shown to be born in the early 1800s, along with Victor Creed (aka Sabretooth), his half-brother. He has a healing factor that makes him nearly invincible, and his bones (including his claws) are covered in adamantium, an indestructible substance. After his bone claws manifest in childhood, Logan kills Thomas Logan, who killed Logan's dad, but wait, Thomas Logan is really Logan's dad. (Uh, hence the name Logan.) So, little Victor tells little James, "We're brothers, Jimmy, you realize that? Brothers protect each other. You have to be hard now, hard enough that no one can ever touch us." So, Logan spends the next hundred years or so with Victor in various armies, where their healing factors and superhuman senses make them awesome soldiers. This all happens during the opening credits, but it's pretty safe to assume that these two kept to themselves and didn't make a lot of friends during these years. This all explains why Logan and Victor are such emotionally healthy individuals.
Anyway, they go on like this until the 1970s, when the two are sentenced to death by firing squad for killing a superior officer in Vietnam. They survive the firing squad, and William Stryker recruits them for his special team. Logan eventually gets sketched out by Stryker's questionable ethics and Victor's lack of self-control, and he walks away to become a lumberjack in Canada. Obviously. He also falls in love with Kayla Silverfox, a gentle schoolteacher.
Kayla: Why the moon is so lonely?
Kayla: Because she used to have a lover.
Logan: You tell this to the kids?
Kayla: No. His name was Kuekuatsu and they lived in the spirit world together.
Logan: Oh, this is a true story.
Kayla: Mm-hm. And every night, they would wander the skies together. But, one of the other spirits was jealous. Trickster wanted the Moon for himself. So he told Kuekuatsu that the Moon had asked for flowers; he told him to come to our world and pick her some wild roses. But Kuekuatsu didn't know that once you leave the spirit world, you can never go back. And every night, he looks up in the sky and sees the Moon and howls her name. But... he can never touch her again.
Logan: Wow. Koo-koo-ka-choo got screwed.
Kayla: Kuekuatsu. It means the wolverine.
(Sidenote: uh, wolverines don't howl, and that is a folktale about wolves. If this is any indication of how Kayla teaches, the kids in her class are all probably very confused about what sounds animals are supposed to make. But never mind. Wolverine it is.)
Logan apparently quite enjoys his six years of calm civilian life until Stryker comes along and asks Logan to rejoin him.
Stryker: I have a job for you.
Logan: I already have a job.
Zero: Lumberjack? Eighteen grand a year?
Logan: Eighteen five. And I haven't had to kill anybody.
After Logan declines Stryker's offer, Stryker arranges for Victor to "kill" Kayla, knowing that this would be the thing that would most upset Logan.
Kayla had always insisted that Logan was "not an animal;" Victor said that Logan was an animal, just like Victor himself. Infuriated, Logan agrees to let Stryker coat his bones with adamantium so he could have his revenge against his stronger brother. Stryker says that in order to survive the procedure, and to defeat Victor, Logan would need to "become the animal." In response to this--and in tribute to the folktale Kayla told him--Logan asks for new dogtags to be printed with the name "Wolverine." Then, armed with an indestructible skeleton and a whole lot of rage, he seeks out Remy LeBeau, the only person to have escaped from Stryker's secret prison/research base, the Island.
Remy LeBeau, aka Gambit
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep
-- Kenny Rogers, The Gambler
In the movieverse, Remy apparently got his nickname in Stryker's facility because he routinely beat the guards at poker. This makes little sense, because a) why would you give Remy access to playing cards if you are trying to keep him imprisoned and b) really? these prison guards were chatting and said "God, this guy's so good at poker we ought to call him 'Gambit'?" but never mind. Gambit it is.
Remy's primary mutant power is to manipulate kinetic energy--he can charge any item and cause it to explode. The bigger/heavier the item, the more potential energy it has, and the longer it takes to charge. His typical weapon is a deck of playing cards--quick to charge and they look cool when he throws them. In comics, his powers also encompass his preternatural charm and varying levels of empathy. In comicverse, Remy is also a master thief, and is in fact the adopted son of Jean-Luc LeBeau, the leader of the New Orleans Thieves Guild. Remy's only in the movie for about ten minutes total, so we don't really get that much backstory on him there, but Fred Dukes calls him a "street hustler from New Orleans." When we meet him he's dealing poker and clearly owes some people some money--and has a sense of humor about it.
Logan: Are you Remy LeBeau?
Remy: Do I owe you money?
Remy: Then Remy LeBeau I am.
He looks young, but he'd already been imprisoned and experimented on for two years--and was the only person who'd managed to escape from the facility. We can assume he's a tough customer. Logan approaches him and inquires about Victor Creed and the Island. Upset by Logan's dog tags and questions, Remy knocks Logan through a wall. Remy escapes, then returns to break up the fight that has since erupted between Logan and Victor. Remy hates Victor, who captured him and brought him to the Island in the first place. He ends up agreeing to take Logan to the Island--Three Mile Island--in his Cessna, which he won in a card game (and learned to fly at some point, apparently).
Remy: Don't like flyin', huh?
Logan: I'm fine, just concentrate on what you're doing.
Remy: Are you sure? You got a little bit of sweat on your, uh, brow there.
Logan: Very funny. Just keep your eyes on the--
Remy: On the what? On the clouds? Keep my eyes on the clouds?
Screencap by AcidBanter, edited by me
Despite their initial fight, Remy already feels comfortable enough to tease Logan on their flight over. (Of course, in the plane, Remy has the upper hand--Logan needs him.) But despite the teasing, there's still genuine goodwill between the two men.
Logan: If it makes you feel any better, this is really gonna hurt.
Remy: Well yeah, it kinda does, actually.
Logan: Good luck.
On the Island, he helps Logan after one of the power plant's cooling towers collapses, checks on the other mutant captives at the base, and then returns to find an amnesiac Logan. He briefly convinces Logan to leave the Island with him, but Logan is derailed by finding Kayla's body and he ultimately refuses to leave with Remy. Cue end credits.
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late"
-- Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower
Screencap by AcidBanter, edited by me
When Logan meets Remy, he's consumed with the idea of revenge. For his dead girlfriend. (Who it turns out actually isn't dead, but then dies after all.) It's maybe not the best start to a relationship, but consider: after getting shot in the head, Logan doesn't even remember Kayla anymore, so he'd be ready to start anew with the handsome stranger who claims to know a little bit about Logan's past.
Even in the short time they know each other in the movie, Logan and Remy learn they could trust each other. Remy agrees to take Logan back to the place that Remy most fears, because he believes Logan can stop Stryker. Logan--whose enhanced senses give him a leg-up in determining whether or not he can trust someone--lets Remy drop him out of a plane into the ocean. Remy trusts Logan enough to split up and go after the kids (and think about that--he's agreed to run off, by himself, into the place he absolutely did not want to ever return, with no further questions asked), and Logan trusts Remy to be competent enough to save them. (Though, in fact, Charles Xavier has beaten him to the punch.)
Remy: You miss me?
Remy: You know, when you said you were going to kill everyone, I thought you may just have been exaggerating.
Logan: Do I look like a man who exaggerates?
Remy: You're welcome.
Logan: There's kids trying to get off the Island. Split up. Go!
Remy: I'm on it!
But when Remy comes back to meet Logan, he sees his new friend healing from a shot to the head.
Logan: Who are you?
Remy: What do you mean who am I? I'm the guy who brought you here, now we gotta go.
Logan: Where the hell am I?
Remy: I'm a friend. A friend.
Logan: Yeah? What's my name? What's my name?
Remy: Your name is Logan. You have to trust me. We have to go. Follow me.
And he does follow him, at least until he looks around and sees Kayla's dead body. Though he doesn't remember her, he can probably smell himself on her. Bewildered, Logan chooses to remain on the Island alone--a decision made in a moment of panic, and one that I think he would almost certainly come to regret. But Remy respects his choice (and knows that there's probably no way he could force Logan to come with him), tells him, "Good luck," and gets himself the hell of the island. So, what's next?
Remy is the first person Logan would remember meeting post-amnesia. Though he initially parts ways with him, why wouldn't he later seek him out? I think that Logan would almost certainly seek Remy out eventually, after he realized his memories weren't returning to him. Remy would be the first person Logan remembered, and given Logan's skills at tracking, I have no reason to think he wouldn't eventually find him. (Of course, Remy is skilled at evading pursuit, but I don't think he'd mind being found by Logan.)
Screencaps by AcidBanter, edited by me
Evidence: Logan left his brown leather jacket on Remy's plane--the same one he wears in X1, set 15 years later. Obviously he must have met up with Remy at some point to get his jacket back. (No, there are no other jackets like that in the entire world. Just that one. And it has sentimental value that Logan no longer recalls.)
So, what happens when they reunite (besides the return of leather goods)?
Remy is an incredibly charming, handsome flirt. He can get into pretty much everyone's pants without much of a challenge, and I'd venture that that would easily include Logan. (Logan, with his enhanced senses, would perhaps be extra-vulnerable to Remy's charm.) It's not hard at all to imagine a one night stand scenario between these two--during the events of the movie or afterward.
Logan is a possessive, protective lover. After leaving Stryker's team, all he wanted was a quiet life with Kayla. When Victor killed Kayla, Logan, shall we say, lost his shit. What he needs is a lover who can take care of himself, and perhaps even one who can take care of Logan if need be. In Origins: Wolverine, Remy's afraid of Stryker, but he isn't afraid of Logan. But at the same time, Logan doesn't want to be an animal; he's made that choice quite clear. Unlike Stryker or Victor, Remy wouldn't want Logan to "be the animal," but he would understand the kind of adrenaline rush Logan gets from fighting.
But what these two really want--dare I say it--is real trust and real love. These two have both had upbringings that would make it hard for them to connect to others. For most of his life, Logan only had Victor, and look how that turned out for him. And Remy can easily make shallow connections, but given his lifestyle, would probably find it hard to find anyone he could really rely on in his personal life. But Logan and Remy have already learned to trust one another. (Post-amnesia Logan could quickly re-learn this.)
There are few people who would understand the sense of violation of being experimented on by Stryker. Logan and Remy can relate to each other. They can rely on each other. They're two men with deep senses of honor and responsibility, even if neither of them particularly subscribe to conventional systems of morality. Though they both hide behind sarcasm, if they decide to pledge their loyalty to someone, that's a serious commitment. Too, both Logan and Remy have done some things they aren't too proud of. They could both benefit from a lover who would understand where they were coming from.
You may be thinking, "Both of those characters are pretty aggressively heterosexual in canon!" Whatever, guys, so was Ted Haggard. Anyway, Remy, to me, is an omnisexual flirt. And Logan is so over-the-top macho that he's practically a Village Person. Let's call them heteroflexible. Besides, when has canonical heterosexuality ever stopped fandom? Never.
Also, the movieverse timelines make Remy's canonical love, Rogue, a bit age-inappropriate for him. I mean, if age difference is your kink, by all means ship them in movieverse, but for me, a 30-something Remy and a teenage Rogue is a bit squicky. (Hundred-something Logan and 30-something Remy is totally fine, though. That's both a flip joke and the way I actually feel, since they're both adults.)
Why you should be reading and writing Logan/Remy fics
Hey baby, I'm just about starving tonight
I'm dying for some action
I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
Come on now baby, gimme just one look
You can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
-- Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark
Screencaps by AcidBanter, edited by me
Just do it, come on.
Okay. Look. I don't want to objectify anyone here, but have you looked at Hugh Jackman and Taylor Kitsch? Should their characters not be making out like, all the time?
Sorry, is that too shallow? Fine. What do you want in a story? Do you want witty banter? That's pretty much the only way Remy LeBeau is capable of communicating. Do you want a gruff dude who has difficulty expressing the depth of this feelings--although they are oh, so very deep? Well, have you met Logan? Do you want acrobatic sexual acts between two very athletic gentlemen? Ahem. Do you want guys tenderly comforting one another after terrible nightmares? Oh, they're both so very troubled. What about two men who have both been cut off from their birth families, forging a new family unit themselves? Or how about a jealous, possessive lover having difficulty coping with the fact that he's involved with a preternaturally attractive man? Seriously, whatever your fic kinks are (sexual or otherwise), this ship can accommodate it.
Elsewhere on the internet
I'm out in the jungle
I'm hungry to hear you
-- Simon & Garfunkel, Why Don't You Write Me
A Logan/Remy LJ community.
WWOMB Logan/Remy archive
The Wonderful World of Make Believe's Logan/Remy collection, mostly comicverse.
Wolverine & Gambit Yahoo!Group
A still-active Yahoo! discussion group for the pairing.
This is, of course, totally subjective. These are my personal favorites, but there are a lot more stories out there (especially in comicverse). I also only rec'd one story per author, but most of these authors have other good stuff, too! Read them allllll. Also, I used the ratings assigned by the authors (hence a few stylistic inconsistencies). Basically, all of these stories should only be read by adults. But whatever, I'm not your mom.
Also, I'm always hungry for more Logan/Remy fics, so please feel free to suggest more favorites in the comments!
All the Words to Gimme Shelter by eva_roisin, Mature
Told in time-traveling snippets after the end of Origins: Wolverine, this fic does a lovely job of depicting Logan trying to put the pieces of his past together.
Equilibrium by kuriadalmatia, R
After X2, Professor Xavier invites erstwhile X-Man Remy LeBeau to enhance the mansion's security. So begins a wonderfully competitive, teasing relationship with Logan. Also, adorably, Jubilee finds an adult mentor with an explosive power like hers.
Hunger by ephiphanyx7, Adult
Logan keeps making them move from town to town; Remy finally realizes that Logan's looking for a place to settle down. A great look at how frustrating yet sweet Logan's inability to express his feelings can be.
A Little More than Kin by jasmasson, Explicit
I am personally not generally a fan of Logan/Victor stories, so I didn't really want to like this Logan/Remy/Victor threesome fic. But it turned out to be totally hot and startlingly in character.
Silk Over Splinters by Ponderosa, Explicit
Super hot sexy times between Logan and Remy, set during their night in New Orleans during the film.
Survive by saddle_tramp, Mature
Post movie, Logan tracks down Remy. They work at a bar and live happily ever after. Sexy and yet adorable.
No Direction Home by, um, renata_kedavra, Adult
Sorry, I know it's pretty gauche to rec my own fic. But the reason I wrote it in the first place was because I was so mad that, as far as I could find, no one had already written this story, which fills in the gap between Origins: Wolverine and X1, and incorporates Remy as a member of the movieverse X-Men. Also, lick_j made some totally awesome art to go with it, hurrah! (The art is also available at the above link.) If like a hundred more people wrote fics with this exact plot I would read them all. I'm just saying.
Spring Break-Up by enemyfrigate, Explicit
After Antarctica--if you are not familiar with comicverse you should know that at one point the X-Men abandoned Remy on Antarctica and it's all very complicated and afterward there was just, so much angst--anyway, after Antarctica, Logan finds Remy kicking around New Zealand and they hide out in a cabin and Logan helps Remy recover and then they have some sweet, sexy sex. It's hurt/comfort without being torture/comfort.
My Good Boy series by eoen, Adult
This is a whole BDSM series that starts off with the plot point that Logan and Remy have to pose as a couple for a BDSM convention, on a train, because art thieves. Do not question the likelihood of such an occurrence and simply embrace how hot it is. There are a lot (a LOT) of hurt/comfort comicsverse fics where Logan helps Remy recover from being raped, which is clearly a lot of fans' cup of tea. No judgment, but it isn't my thing. But I'm all for consensual BDSM, especially when it's to stop art thieves. (Also, I'm not trying to conflate rape and BDSM or anything.)
Training by x-tricks, Adult
This is another author's sequel to the above story where Logan and Remy are a faux-couple at a BDSM convention on a train. Again: really hot, if this is your cup of tea. And, bonus: in-character.
Go Easy by Ponderosa
Gorgeous colors, sexy poses. Safe for work.
The LeBeau-Howletts by lick_j
Adorable faux-photobooth shots of Logan, Remy, and Jubilee. Safe for work (but if you poke around lick_j's LJ you can also find some hot, decidedly NSFW Logan/Remy art.)
megan_moonlight's Logan/Remy recs list
Ponderosa's Logan/Remy recs list
Slash-Pimp Logan/Remy recs
Whispered Words X-Men slash recs