Title: Complications Author: Les723
Original Source: X-Men Evolution Characters: Rogue / Gambit
Rated: T Genre(s): Romance
Chapter(s): 5 Status: Incomplete
Synopsis: Remy Lebeau’s life is going well. He’s got a beautiful girlfriend, Belladonna, and everything he could ever want. What happens when he meets a new femme that he just can’t have? Can he get her, or will things stand in his way? AU. NO POWERS. ROMY
*Sits before a small fire on a clear night in a tiny wooded area. Feeds a leaf of paper into the small fire and watches as it browns then blackens and crinkles to ash.*
Welcome Readers to another installment of fan fic reviews. Don’t mind me, I’m just your reviewer, the Fan Fic Reviewer, I review the Good, the Bad, and the Never Should Have Existed stories in the fan fic universe. Today I’m going to review a fic titled Complications by Les723. *Holds up a small stack of paper.* It’s an AU story taking the setting/characters from the cartoon X-Men Evolution and primarily focuses on the couple Romy (Rogue & Remy/Gambit), my favorite couple in the world of X-Men. So, instead of keeping with the world of mutants the story instead takes the characters and puts them into a non-mutant setting and fills it with drama.
*Takes a sheet of paper from the stack and feeds it to the fire and sighs.* I suppose I should stop stalling and get on with this review.
This *shakes the stack of papers* was agonizing to read! I jest not. Before the end of the first chapter—THE FIRST CHAPTER—which is only 2 1/2 pages long in MS Word, I wanted to die. Before the end of chapter two I was assembling my noose and during chapter three dangling from the end of that noose seemed like paradise in comparison to reading this travesty! Here are a few pictures of my comments while reading this story:
Fifteen pages of that! After a while I gave up on commenting because there were just so many things about this story making me mad and it was driving me crazy! So how should I do this…? Mmh… I know.
I’m going to take Readers on a journey, chapter by chapter, because as much as I try not to review stories like this, I want to give my fellow Readers a taste of what I went through without going through the madness as well. Typically I don’t go chapter by chapter because I want Readers to read the fics for themselves but this time I’m trying to prevent Readers from going through this harrowing experience.
Chapter one, we meet the Cajun as he plays a friendly game of cards with some friends before being pulled away by his girlfriend, Belladonna, whom Readers may know from the comics. Apparently Belladonna pulled Remy away from his game of cards to show off a large diamond she bought. There’s an exchange where Belladonna’s hurt by Remy’s disinterest and he charms her into good humor only to have her return to discontentment over another trivial matter. He leaves to get ready for an impromptu date and so Belladonna can get ready which apparently takes her an hour. They finally leave for a night on the town when Belladonna decides she wants Remy to buy her some flowers from this flower shop she recently found.
*Throws two more sheets of paper into the fire.* Sorry, apparently thinking about the story as I recount it is very painful. Ah-hum. Let’s continue. The pain’s sure to go away eventually.
Chapter two opens with ONE LONG ASS PARAGRAPH detailing Raven Darkholme’s (Mystique’s) life. I am not joking. Here’s the paragraph in MS Word:
Yeah… This is how chapter two starts before finally introducing Rogue who apparently works for her mother, I’m guessing part-time, and is just a terrible employee. I’ll touch on that one in a second. Remy and Belladonna show up. In case anyone didn’t read that the long paragraph above, Raven owns the flower shop Belladonna wanted to get flowers from.
While Raven helps Belladonna search for flowers, Remy decides to go flirt with the “belle femme” he sees listening to her CD player. There’s an unhappy exchange (on Rogue’s part) before Raven asks Rogue to find some Fire and Ice Roses. This is where I say that Rogue is a terrible employee. Rogue goes into the back to look for the roses that she knows aren’t there because she took the last ones home. Of course it’s brushed off as a “perk” since Raven’s her mom and the owner of the store so she can take whatever flowers she wants for free. What utter bullshit!!
*Crumbles a sheet of paper and tosses it into the fire.*
I realize that this is “AU” but speaking logically, what employer would think that it is good business practice to let his/her child steal from inventory without adjusting the inventory stocks? Heck, even if an employer allowed his/her child to take from inventory every now and again, why would the employer not force the child to wait until the end of the workday when there are no more customers who may want that product? Seriously!
It doesn’t help that Rogue doesn’t own up to her theft but just says that they ran out and she forgot to say anything. Which I call bullshit again because even if—IF—this was a mom and pop type shop there would be some sort of inventory tracking system because how else would they know when to restock? Then there’s the lead time to consider… Look at all these business considerations that aren’t taken into account in this story, it’s horrendous! Raven’s business will go down pretty quickly.
Back to the story. So Rogue says that they’re out and Raven tries to help a now irate Belladonna pick out something else. Rogue and Remy have another round where Rogue decides to unbalance Remy by reciprocating the flirtation. It’s not even good flirtation either. They are interrupted again as Belladonna found flowers that made her happy and Remy—allegedly—pays Rogue for them and whispers about seeing her around. End scene.
*Two more sheets of paper end up in the fire.*
I say that Remy allegedly pays for the flowers only because I don’t know how he paid. Money isn’t mentioned and he doesn’t hand her card. Then Rogue doesn’t check the price of the flowers or calculates the total; it bothers me that I have no idea how much or how these flowers were paid for. There doesn’t seem to be a register that handles cards or cash, the flowers apparently don’t have a barcode, nor does Rogue write down the flowers and how many are now leaving inventory! It boggles my mind!! How does this shop stay in business?!
*Takes another deep breath and feeds three sheets to the fire.* I’m going to run out of paper before I get to the end.
Chapter three! Hurray! It starts with Remy recounting the date after leaving the flower shop and how everything went downhill and Belladonna was content with be discontent throughout the evening until the end when she says how it was “fun.” *Rolls eyes.* I get the fact that the Reader’s not supposed to like Belladonna and there’s supposed to be this sense of “Remy is dating the wrong girl,” but it’s coming on too strong. At this point I need to ask, “Why is he dating her in the first place?” Last I checked normally people date someone for a reason and it’s not typically so they can bitch about their significant other. So what is it about Belladonna, the woman who seems to frustrate Remy to no end, which attracted him to her in the first place?
Anyways, Remy decides the only cure(s) for his horrible night are alcohol and pretty women, and he goes to a bar called “Wolverine’s.” Can anyone guess who owns this joint? Remy sits at the bar and waits for a bartender who is not in sight.
Meanwhile, Logan is trying to convince Rogue that he doesn’t need her to work the bar while she persists that he needs the help. Eventually she wears Logan down to the point that he agrees to let her work the bar and have Red, Jean Grey, work the floor. Oh! Maybe she’s a better employee at her dad’s work than at her mom’s flower shop! ^.^ I can hope.
Logan serves Remy a drink and let’s “Red,” who was supposed to be bartending but apparently was more interested in flirting, know to work the floor. Rogue enters in a simple sex-appeal outfit (I have no idea why the outfit needed to be described) and helps one customer before Remy calls her over. Of course Rogue comes over to help only to discover it’s the guy from the flower shop and they have another exchange of “flirtation.” I’m not entirely certain it can be called “flirtation” so much as Rogue going “get lost” and Remy thinking she’s playing hard to get.
Rogue tries to leave but Remy grabs her wrist and refuses to let go until Rogue asks for his order. Reluctantly Rogue submits to his request and asks for his order to which Remy replies, say it with me people, “You.”
Logan, being the protective father that he’s portrayed, intervenes and instead of kicking the harasser (Remy) out, he tells Rogue to go home. Good to know she’s a horrible employee at either business. At the flower shop she steals and can’t handle money transactions then at the bar she can serve only one customer before she gets sent home. Awesome!
Surprisingly enough though, Logan is a protective father only as far as telling Rogue to leave when she’s getting harassed but not so far as to call her taxi, offer her a ride home, or call Raven to pick her up. Nope. Rogue has to try and hail a taxi while Remy perches on his motorcycle offering her a ride. Eventually Rogue gives in and accepts Remy’s offer.
That seems reasonable, right? Accept a ride from the guy who has been flirting with you despite having a girlfriend—I love how that gets ignored. It’s good to know Rogue doesn’t have a brain in this story. If she did she would’ve gone back inside and called a taxi, even ask Logan for the money if needed. *Crumbles another sheet of paper and pitches it into the flames.* That’s neither here nor there though.
Chapters four and five are just one, two-part chapter so I’m going to recap them both. Remy goes to a fundraiser event for the Worthington family… *Stares blankly at the fire.* Why was Remy LeBeau invited to a ritzy fundraiser being hosted by the Worthington Family? I could understand it if he was there on a job (i.e. stealing), but he’s not. He was—allegedly—legitimately invited to the shindig. *Blinks several times.* I just don’t get that kind of nonsense.
But I digress, a lot, at the fundraiser he meets Rogue and her friends Wanda (Scarlet Witch) and John (Pyro). Out of all the characters in X-Men Evolution why choose these two yahoos to be Rogue’s friends? Whatever! They chat for a bit. Wanda and John giving out more information about Rogue than two friends should give to a stranger. Honestly, if my friends gave out as much information about me to a stranger who I described to them as a stalker, heads would roll.
Enter Warren (Angel) who ends up being Rogue’s boyfriend. *Another paper ends up in the fire.* Remember when I mentioned how I “love” the fact that these characters just ignore the fact that Remy has a girlfriend? Well, I love how Rogue has ignored the fact that she has a boyfriend this entire time. Golly, golly gosh. Who knew?
Warren makes a speech about the fundraiser and then ends it with a marriage proposal. *Rolls eyes.* Rogue accepts…woo-who… This is killing me. Rogue says, “Yes,” and Remy apparently has a brain fart because he can’t perform basic math. There’s this point where, for whatever reason, Remy tries to estimate Rogue’s age. Now, recall that Wanda and John were spilling all this information about Rogue before, among that information was how long Rogue and Warren had been dating (4 ½ years) and how old they were when they started dating (Rogue a freshman in high school and Warren a freshman in college). I don’t know how Remy got 22 years old from that but whatever.
There’s this bit in the story about Rogue being a “young wife” and this sense that the characters (and perhaps Les723) are against people marrying when they’re in their early 20s. Wanda comments on Rogue being a rich, young wife and Remy mentions that he thinks she’s too young to marry. Then Rogue lists off her future plans beyond getting married and it just sets up the rest of the story (whenever it gets written).
In the end Remy decides to “just be friends” as a way to get closer to Rogue.
*Wheezes.* Oh my God I made it! This story is horrible! I touched on some of the things that bothered me while reading but here are some things that were just continuous.
The accents. I get it, Remy and Rogue have distinctive accents and I get that it’s cute to type their dialogue as though they’re speaking, *raises hand* I’ve been there and done it before. Truthfully though, it’s more of a headache to read. Sure, spelling “I” as “Ah” and “me” as “meh” is okay but to read something like this: ‘Wondah wha kind of perv will bothah meh tonight.’ It gets annoying. It’s already established that she has a southern accent and that Remy has a Cajun accent, they don’t need to be written in.
The other thing about the accents is consider the original source, X-Men Evolution, while the accents are present in the comics, the 90s cartoon, and the movies, they’re not quite as strong in Evolution. Sure Rogue has a southern accent and Remy using a French word every now and again, but their accents aren’t as strong as they are written in this story. Keep the original source in mind and do not try to mold it to fit other sources (the comics, other cartoon series, etc.).
Plus, if the accents are going to be typed in as dialogue then every character with an accent (John/Pyro) needs to have his/her accent typed as well. Having him say “Shelia” once does not make it an accent. It’s just a matter of fairness and consistency.
Another issue was formatting. There are chapters with there’s no spacing between paragraphs and they’re not indented so it’s just clustered together. Quotations appear when they feel like it, I guess. The same goes for periods and commas. There were times when I had reread sections to figure out what was thought, dialogue, or action.
Then there’s the blatant use of plot devices; oh, Rogue works at the flower shop Remy happens to appear at; oh look, Rogue works at the bar where Remy decided to stop for drink; oh, Remy got invited to a fundraiser event hosted by Warren Worthington III who happens to be Rogue’s boyfriend. *Throws a sheet of paper into the fire for each example.* Seriously? Coincidence my ass! That’s just poor story-telling!!
No one can honestly say that there was no other way for them to meet up. They couldn’t meet at a coffee shop, book store, music store (he knows what kind of music she listens to), at a community function, hospital, library, department store, restaurant, etc.? *Sigh.*
Then there was the significant other situation that bothers me. How am I supposed to believe that Remy and Belladonna are dating when it’s clear that Remy doesn’t like her? Slapping the title of boy/girlfriend includes the fact that at some point they were mutually attracted to each other. In this story I don’t see it. I am just hit over the head repeatedly with the fact that Belladonna is the wrong girl for Remy yet he doesn’t seem to want to get out of the relationship.
Then there’s Rogue and Warren. I’ve got nothing against people who wish to marry young, but I have something against the set up this story creates. They get engaged while Rogue has a lot of things she wants to do with her life first and while attraction is noticeably building between her and Remy. Sorry but I can tell what’s to come in the future. What Warren will expect from Rogue as his fiancée/wife will be vastly different than what Rogue wants, Remy will cater to what she wants, and Rogue will take him over Warren. Subtlety would’ve been better on this point.
A good example of showing when two people who are together but shouldn’t be is in a movie I saw called “Sophie’s Revenge.” The hints are subtle and they build over time during the movie to a point where the characters can no longer ignore them. It’s actually pretty well done. The subtlety from that movie is what would better convey what is going on in these relationships. *Shrugs.* I think so anyways.
Phew. I think that about does it for this story. Man…
So what is my conclusion? This story is good for nothing but kindling. *Points at the fire and the burnt pages within.* It’s horrible on so many levels that it became painful to read. Are there going to be people who end up liking the story? Yes, there will be and that’s in part because it appeals to certain people who aren’t bothered by the contrived relationships, the plot device “meeting” places, the less than bland interactions, the inconsistent formatting, or the lack of realism. I am bothered by these things so I don’t like this story.
Is there anything redeeming in this story? In the story itself, no. There isn’t a redeeming quality in this story. The characters are skewed in their personalities in such a way as to make them unlikeable (and these are characters I love!), the pacing moves too fast, the formatting is a headache, the situations are beyond believable, and it’s just too in-your-face about where the story’s going to go. I feel like I already took the journey without having to go on it. The only saving graces in this fic are in what it didn’t do.
- Rogue and Remy didn’t have sex.
- Belladonna and Remy didn’t have sex.
- Rogue’s boyfriend is Warren rather than Scott. If it had been Scott then he probably would’ve cheated on Rogue with Jean, or there would’ve been the side triangle of Rogue x Scott x Jean.
Is there anything that could make this story better? A lot of things would need to be done. In fact a total rewrite would need to happen. There is no way to redeem this story, in my eyes, as it is now without trashing it entirely and starting anew. The concept is fine but the execution is atrocious! I would say it’s best to put it down.
Would I recommend this story? No. Thus why I’m trying to spare as many people as possible by recapping the chapters. If Readers still wish to read the original fan fic, then by all means go for it.