By Tahiru 18 Comments
Doing a little reading has already told me that there are a lot of people against the idea of Gambit and Laura being even remotely interested in one other beyond a mentor, friend or partnership status. One of the biggest reasons for this seeming impossibility being their age difference. This, "better" relationship candidates, and other suggestions have made the list of cons against the idea, but leave me unconvinced. What would be so wrong about Gambit and Laura becoming a couple?
I'll begin by letting you all know that I am not a Rogue fan. I adored her in the 1990's X-Men cartoons and older material because her character was more along the lines of a fun-loving, spit-fire, Southern belle. Despite her inability to touch others, she was a shining example of someone who could overcome her problems, stay positive and forget herself for the sake of others. Over time, she has become a doom and gloom machine that centralizes so much on how miserable her "untouchable" life is that it's unbearable. Not that she doesn't have her fun and confident moments, but they seem to have depleted.
Now, I can't say I'm very educated in the Rogue department, (having ignorantly avoided much of her material), but this is the general conclusion I've met, and the reasoning behind my avoidance. I just don't like her. If you'd like to attempt convincing me otherwise, be my guest, but she is not who this blog is about.
With my dislike of Rogue's personality in mind, the Gambit x Rogue relationship no longer works for me. Though considered the extremely popular, timeless romance of the century, I have a hard time getting excited about it. Gambit is a free spirit. Rogue was the crack in his whip that has--to me--lost its bite. He doesn't need her negative, emotional dead-weight dragging his own personality into the dirt.
On the X-23 side of the board, #1 love candidate, Hellion, doesn't make the perfect match either. Again, I'm looking at the most popular pairing to find myself unimpressed. True, Laura is obviously smitten with him, and Hellion has his moments, but I think she deserves more. I can understand why she might love him. He's a bona fide jerk, but Laura is not the type to judge others without first understanding the reasoning behind their actions. She may look at him as an underdog; someone, like herself, that struggles to express his emotions. The problem lies in Hellion's blinding lack of affection toward her in return and willingness to open up. Like I said, he has his moments. He saves her life here, sacrifices himself for her there, protects her on the sidelines . . . but where's that unashamed statement of love? Probably hiding somewhere deep behind the cold-cut comments.
Laura's childhood was, to the exception of her mother's efforts, completely love-deprived. She is trying to find her humanity, unlock her emotional barriers and understand what it means to live a normal life. For the relationship between Laura and Hellion to work, I see the need for Hellion's own emotional barriers to break down, for his cruelty toward Laura to be explained and for him to open up to her. This similarity between he and Laura is something that certainly strengthens the relationship's potential, but it's like trying to put the same sides of a magnet together. They both need to be "opened," and the likelihood of either being able to accomplish the task for the other seems daunting. Perhaps this is where Gambit comes into play. . . .
Gambit understands Laura. In the little time he has come to know her, Gambit respects Laura, is a relatable and brilliant mentor for her (considering his background and what he has learned from experience), and--above all else--cares about her a great deal. He is exactly the person she needs to help her discover herself and has already shown signs of emotional development because of her time spent with him. Even Wolverine has struggled to be this person, simply because of his standing as a father figure. Gambit is an open-minded, simple and sweet, risk-taking, fate-chancing, unbridled character: everything Laura aspires to be. If anyone can crack the kid open, it's Gambit.
So, let's say Gambit's efforts are successful, and Laura becomes a free and confident spirit as a result of her time spent with him. This would certainly lay the groundwork for the potential Laura x Hellion match-up, so swinging in that direction would no longer trouble me. But after all Gambit and Laura have been through together by this time, what if they hit it off? Why not skip Hellion all-together? Oh yeah. There's that oh-so-terrible gap between their ages. . . . Really?
Since when has Laura considered herself a child? Both she and Gambit have admitted she is anything but. Her level of maturity ranks higher than many, average adults. I wasn't in favor of this myself, but we must also remember she was a prostitute at one point. Engaging in sexual activity with those older than herself would not be out of her comfort zone or capability. And Gambit isn't a stickler when it comes to love and romance. Since when would he restrict himself where love is present?
. . . I've already said too much. Let me step back a moment and say that, if nothing else, respect this as food for thought, speculative and just my opinion--a blog, if you will. This has been on my mind simply because I've seen next to nothing supporting the idea. Am I the only one who wouldn't mind the thief and assassin sharing some sparks?