Remy wakes up
Please, Read and Review. Hope you enjoy this Chap! Longest Chapter yet (without authors notes) at over 7600 words. This is probably as long as they’ll get and they’ll probably range between the length of this one and the first chapter – any longer and I think it tends to get hard to read and keep focused (at least in my experience)
Chapter 3: Awake
Robert “Bobby” Drake sat down with an aggravated sigh on a couch in the living room next to his friend Piotr Rasputin, a tall, muscled young man who had the ability to change his entire body into organic steel. Peter had just recently turned twenty, making him a few years older than many of the younger residents of the manor including Bobby himself. Piotr had been raised since the age of one in the United States when his parents moved there from their homeland of Russia.
Piotr looked up from the book he was reading and glanced over at his friend. “What’s up, Bobby?” He asked.
“Rogue.” Bobby said. “She keeps running off to the infirmary to help that Annie chick take care of that new guy instead of spending time with me. And she’s the one who started a fight when I wanted to spend some time with Kitty and get some help with homework from her!” He said, throwing up his hands in exasperation. “I don’t get her and her sudden interest in nursing either – she’s never been interested in this before and she knows she’d be limited from actual medicine by her powers, so why now that this new nurse comes in?” Bobby clenched his fists in frustration and ice crystals began to appear on the skin of his hands before he realized he was unconsciously using his powers and closed his eyes with a sigh.
Piotr nodded knowingly. He’d seen the past three days were very strained between Bobby and Rogue, especially when word had spread around the school after a student overheard a discussion between Rogue and Storm that Rogue had actually fought with the man who was still unconscious in the Med lab.
“Bobby, you need to cool down a bit,” Piotr said, and then grinned slightly. “No pun intended there.”
Bobby rolled his eyes at his friends attempt to inject some humor into the discussion.
“Bobby, you should just give her a bit of time to settle down and get over your fight. It didn’t help that she heard you talking to Kitty yesterday about her being impulsive when she confronted this ‘Gambit’ person, with her not really having any sort of offensive powers like the rest of us.”
“I think right now a big part of the problem between you two is that you don’t think before you open your mouth, Bobby. You know she hates being stuck with the power she has and you saying that just reinforced her belief that it isn’t useful. And just now, you said something similar about her power – what if she was listening right now? And I really think that any girl would be pretty insulted if her boyfriend implied she was impulsive and wasn’t strong enough to defend herself. As to her new interest in medicine, I think you should respect her interests and her choices, no matter how you feel about it.” Peter said.
Bobby sighed and passed his hands over his face. “Damnit, you’re right, Piotr. I really stuck my foot in deep this time, didn’t I?”
Piotr nodded and patted him on his back sympathetically. “Yes, you really did. But don’t worry, she’ll get over it soon enough. Now, you can be a man and apologize to her – maybe tomorrow when she’s calmed down a bit, or you can just keep fighting and break up bitterly. That is your choice, Bobby. If you do apologize to her, the best thing for you two would be for you to take her out to dinner somewhere or just take her out on the grounds for a picnic or something and show her that you’re dedicated to making things work between the two of you.”
A smile slowly grew on Bobby’s face. “That’s a great idea, Piotr! Thanks!” He paused and looked at his friend with a furrowed brow. “How is it you always have such good advice when it comes to stuff like this?”
Piotr laughed. “Well, besides the fact that I had some experience myself back in high school, remember I’ve got Illyana who has been dating since she turned fourteen so I’ve had quite a bit of experience in giving dating advice,” he said, referring to his seventeen year old sister who lived back home while attending her last year of high school.
Bobby stood up, a smile now fully on his face. “Thanks Piotr, I’ve gotta do some thinking and figure out the perfect date for Rogue and me.” He said with excitement now in his voice as he walked away.
Piotr looked back down to his book with a chuckle. He was quite able to admit to himself that all of his recent advice to Bobby to help him keep his relationship with Rogue together wasn’t entirely a selfless assistance to a friend. He was also doing it because he had a crush on Kitty Pryde – the girl he realized that Bobby may turn to if his relationship with Rogue went south. ‘Now if only she would notice me instead of Bobby,’ Piotr thought wistfully.
Annie Ghazikhanian walked back down to the Medlab after dinner and stopped in the doorway when she saw Rogue was already inside the room. She could see a fresh bag of saline solution which meant Rogue had already changed it for the night.
Annie had connected very quickly with the young woman, seeing a bit of herself in her. Because of her power, most people were at best politely detached with her and few wanted to become close to her. Annie had experienced much of the same as she grew up. Her entire grade-school and high school years she’d been shunned as a “nerd”. In college she’d gained more acceptance but even then the man who was Carter’s father had abandoned her once he learned their time together had resulted in her pregnancy.
She watched Rogue remove the dressings from Gambit’s wounds and replace them with fresh ones – his wounds were healing at an incredible rate, so Annie wanted to make sure his dressings were changed frequently to prevent infection from taking hold in the rapidly closing wounds, especially the deeper abdomen wound. She wasn’t entirely sure why he had not regained consciousness, but her guess was that it likely involved his fast healing rate taking up a large portion of his energy.
The roll of gauze that Rogue was about to put away slipped from her fingers and onto the floor and she bent down to pick it up, and then jumped slightly when she saw Annie standing in the doorway and dropped it again. Annie smiled and walked into the room as Rogue blushed and retrieved the roll once more.
Rogue tossed the gauze into a trashcan after its fall onto the floor. “Hey Annie, how was supper?”
Annie rolled her eyes. “Well, it was just like any other supper when it’s Logan’s turn to take care of it – Little Caesar’s pizza.”
Rogue giggled. “Yeah, he’s not much of a cook is he?”
“Nope,” Annie said, and then looked more seriously at Rogue. “Despite Logan being the one who bought, I was surprised you weren’t there. Are you feeling okay?”
Rogue shrugged her shoulders and sat down heavily on a wheeled chair next to Gambit’s bed. “Yeah, Ah’ve just not really had much of an appetite lately.”
“Bobby?” Annie asked, looking knowingly at Rogue’s glum expression.
Rogue sighed. “Yeah. All we ever seem to do is fight with each other lately. Yesterday Ah heard him tellin’ Kitty that Ah’m impulsive an’ can’t defend mahself because mah power is useless unlike ev’ryone else’s around here.”
Annie pulled another chair over and sat down next to her before placing a comforting arm across Rogue’s shoulders. “Rogue, I don’t know how you felt about Bobby back before I came here, but since you’ve started telling me about him and since I’ve seen you two interact, I have to say that it doesn’t really seem like he’s really dedicated to the two of you, at least deep down.”
Rogue looked down and whispered. “That’s what Ah’ve been afraid of. Ah’m really startin’ to wonder the same thing. Ah just don’t know what to do – mah first boyfriend is still in a coma from kissin’ me, an’ now Bobby doesn’t want to even get close to touchin’ me after we kissed an’ Ah started absorbin’ him. Sometimes Ah think no one will ever wanna get close to me an’ Ah’ll be alone ‘cuz of this stupid power.” Rogue said, clenching her gloved fists.
Annie squeezed her shoulders. “You’re not alone in thinking things like that, Rogue. I’ve sometimes wondered the same thing myself. Carter’s dad left me while I was still pregnant, and I’ve tried dating over the years but haven’t really had any more luck. Even if you and Bobby don’t work out, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you to find a guy that’s right for you.”
Rogue looked over to Annie and gave her a weak smile, happy that another person was willing to keep such close contact with her like Annie was willing to.
“Thanks Annie,” she said. “Ah’m really not sure how we’re gonna work out, but if Bobby keeps up like he has been, Ah think Ah’ll hafta break it off with him an’ let him be happy with Kitty if that’s who he wants.”
Annie patted Rogue’s back comfortingly and then stood up. “Whatever you end up doing, just remember you have friends like me and Ororo and Logan that you can count on to support you.”
Rogue smiled up at her and nodded. Annie walked over to Gambit’s bed and cast a critical eye over his bandages. As she removed a thermometer from a drawer and placed it in Gambit’s ear to make sure he had not developed a fever – something that could indicate an infection from his wounds – she looked back over to Rogue. “Thank you for all of your help down here taking care of him. I’ll make a nurse out of you yet.”
Rogue blushed slightly. “It’s no problem Annie. It gives me somethin’ to do and think ‘bout besides school and Bobby.” She looked at the clock on the wall and sighed. “Ah better get goin’. Ah still have homework to do before Ah go to bed.”
“Alright Rogue. In case I don’t see you again, goodnight and have a good sleep.”
“’Nite,” Rogue said as she walked toward the entrance of the Medlab.
Annie pulled the thermometer away when it finally beeped and saw that it read 101 degrees. She’d been worried about fever the first time she had seen it, but according to Storm her friend’s mutation seemed to keep his body at a higher temperature than most people.
Annie hummed to herself and removed the disposable tip and tossed into the garbage before she put a clean tip onto the thermometer and placed it back into the drawer. She walked to the back of the Medlab and through a door to where Xavier had set up an office for her. She sat back in her chair behind her desk and pulled out a book she had started to read during the past week. ‘If he doesn’t become conscious by tomorrow we’re going to have to figure out something to do,’ she mused to herself as she flipped her book open to the page she had bookmarked.
Later that night Rogue had completed her homework, and as she closed her book she felt her stomach growl. ‘Damn,’ she thought to herself, ‘now I’m getting pretty hungry. Guess I’ll head down and see if they had any leftover pizza.’
Rogue clicked her desk lamp off and left her room. She passed Storm’s room and saw her sitting on her bed reading a book.
She walked down the stairs, and avoided the living room when she heard the voices of Bobby and Piotr drifting through the hallway. She walked into the kitchen and found that it was deserted, but that wasn’t unusual at around eleven o’clock. She flicked on the lights near the counter and opened the fridge and bent down to look at the shelves for some sort of leftovers to tide her over until the morning.
Remy struggled to push himself to complete consciousness. He was almost certain he’d heard people talking near him, but he felt that the passage of time had become warped while he was unconscious – minutes seemed like hours and hours seemed like seconds.
He finally managed to open his eyes, and hissed out a soft curse when a glaring light above him sent a stabbing pain through his sensitive eyes. He groped around blindly for his sunglasses but felt nothing. He turned his head to the side, away from the light, and squinted at his surroundings.
He saw an IV stand, and cool metal walls and examination tables which led him to believe he was in a hospital of some sort. ‘What am I doing here?’ he wondered to himself. He pulled his arms further back and used them to help push himself up. He felt a twinge of pain in his abdomen and when he moved his hand he felt a tug and realized an IV had been taped to his arm.
He reached down and touched his abdomen and felt gauze over his skin and everything that had happened flashed back into his head. ‘Stormy must have taken me to a hospital or something. How long have I been out?’ He wondered to himself.
Remy glanced to the other side and saw a table and could make out the shape of his sunglasses lying folded on top of it. He reached out and managed to snag them nimbly with the tips of his fingers. He settled them on his face and slowly opened his eyes. He breathed a sigh of relief at the muted light and absence of a jolt of pain.
Remy stretched his arms and felt the tug of another bandage on his shoulder, and realized his entire torso was bare and he was only wearing a pair of pants. He grunted and glanced around the room which looked like a miniature hospital wing. The door was a thick metal door embossed with a large “X” symbol. ‘Maybe not a hospital,’ he thought, ‘maybe the school and Ororo’s X-men have a place to take care of injuries’.
Remy felt his stomach rumble violently, and he realized he was suddenly very hungry. He pushed himself upright and swung his legs over the table and onto the ground. He held the edge of the bed as he stood on weak and wobbly legs until they steadied. He reached out to the IV stand when he saw that it was wheeled, and gripped that for support. ‘No sense pissing off Stormy taking out my IV if I can just wheel it around,’ he thought to himself.
He took a step and then had to stop and grip the stand helplessly as his vision grayed out and he felt vertigo wash through him as blood rushed to his head from standing after his days in the bed. Once his vision cleared and he regained his sense of which direction up was, he padded barefoot towards the door with the IV stand rolling silently alongside him.
The door hissed silently open as he neared it, and he walked through, out into a long corridor populated by other doors with similar “X” symbols adorning them. If he wasn’t so hungry he would have let his curiosity lead him to investigate each room, but all he could think about was getting something into his stomach.
He glanced into one room, which was filled with weights, treadmills, and other work-out machinery, and confirmed his suspicions. ‘Either I’m in some sort of basement, or the X-men don’t like windows,’ he mused.
He walked further to the end of the hall and slowly walked up a set of stairs, lifting the IV stand to every step so he could pull on it to help himself up. He felt himself breathing heavily as he reached the top of the stairs. ‘Mon Dieu, how long have I been out of it?’ He wondered to himself.
He looked around and found himself near a large room that seemed to be an entrance area as he could see outside through windows near the door that occupied one side of the room.
Remy wandered down the hall and saw that the architecture on the ground floor was far different from the cool metal halls in the basement, and he realized that he was in the mansion where he had passed out in Ororo’s arms.
He heard the television blaring in one room and several people talking. He strained his hearing and realized they were talking about chemistry. Remy crinkled his nose. ‘Damn glad I’m done with all of that B.S.,’ Remy thought to himself as he hurried past the slightly open door of that room.
He walked further down the hall and reached another entranceway where a light dimly shone from inside the room on the other side. This one did not have a door but was instead a large open frame. He glanced inside. ‘Jackpot,’ he thought when he spotted a countertop and an area with several tables further in the room.
He rounded the corner and stopped dead when he saw he was not alone. A petite female figure was bent over, looking into the fridge. ‘Double jackpot,’ Remy thought to himself with a grin as he watched the girl. She was wearing a well-worn pair of sweatpants and a light t-shirt – it looked to him like a makeshift pair of pajamas. The light illuminated her long brown hair which had been pulled back into a ponytail. As she moved her head slightly to the side to grab what looked like a box of pizza, he saw it glimmer off a white lock of hair that was tucked behind her ear.
Recognition flashed through Remy’s mind. ‘Feisty girl,’ he thought, remembering the girl who had managed to catch him off guard and knock him on his back. ‘Damn, I /thought /she was cute. Didn’t even realize she had such a nice ass,’ he thought.
The girl straightened and turned with the pizza box in her hands. She jumped and made a noise that Remy could only classify as a squeak, and the pizza box nearly slipped from her hands. She raised a hand and pressed it against her chest.
“Jesus Christ! Ya scared the crap outta me!” She said, and he noticed her distinct southern accent, something he hadn’t caught during their earlier encounter. “What’re ya doin’ outta your bed?” She demanded. She moved her hand from her chest as her heartbeat slowed and no longer felt like it was going to burst from her chest.
The man grinned in the same lopsided way he had three days ago. “Sorry I scared you. I was jus’ enjoyin’ de view.” He said, nodding at her.
Rogue felt heat flood her face when she realized he was talking about her bending over in front of the fridge, and she was glad the low light would help hide her blush.
She let the fridge door close and set the pizza box down on the countertop. She finally looked back up to Gambit and saw he had his sunglasses on once again, and realized he must have just recently regained consciousness as his IV was still in and he remained shirtless. She gave herself a mental smack in the head when she realized she was rather enjoying watching the low light of the kitchen bounce across his body and off the tattoo of a playing card – the ace of spades – wreathed in fire on the bicep of his right arm.
“Ah was wonderin’ when ya were gonna wake up,” Rogue said. “Did Annie tell ya to get somethin’ to eat?”
Gambit frowned slightly. “Annie? Who’s dat?”
“The nurse down in the Medlab – the one that’s been takin’ care of ya?”
Gambit shook his head. “/Non/, I jus’ woke up an’ no one was down dere wit’ me. I was starvin’ so I decided to look for de kitchen.” He nodded to the box of pizza. “Mind if I have some?”
Rogue shook her head in uncertainty. “Ah don’t think Annie would want ya eatin’ pizza right away before she checks ya out. Besides, ya haven’t eaten in at least three days an’ ya’d probably end up pukin’ it up in a few hours.”
She saw him sigh in disappointment and quickly added, “Ah could make you some toast – Ah’m sure that wouldn’t upset your stomach.”
Gambit smiled. “Dat’d be nice. Maybe put some honey on it an’ call it good?” He asked hopefully. “Not really a fan of plain toast.”
“Okay, Ah’ll make ya some toast so why don’t ya go sit down at the table there. Ah don’t wanna get in trouble with Annie for lettin’ ya wear yahself out now that ya finally woke up.”
Gambit complied readily, already feeling his legs growing weak from the walk to the kitchen and his time spent standing there. He sank heavily into a chair facing the countertop and watched Rogue move around the kitchen.
Rogue popped two pieces of bread into the toaster and once they were browned she searched through the cupboards until she found a bottle of honey. Once she drizzled some over the top of the toast, she picked up the plate and the box of pizza and carried them over to the table. She set the plate in front of Gambit and sat down in a chair across the table from him.
She watched in amazement as he promptly devoured the first piece in two large bites and then, when he realized she was watching him, bit slowly into the second piece.
Rogue opened the box and removed a piece of pepperoni pizza and bit into it. “So,” she said once she swallowed her bite, “how are ya feelin’?
Gambit shrugged. “Doin’ alright. Dis hurts a bit,” he said, touching his bandaged abdomen, “but not too bad. Got no energy though.”
He watched her take another bite. “I don’ t’ink we been introduced, /une jolie/. What’s y’name?”
Rogue smiled and held out a hand, which he realized was gloved. “Ah’m Rogue.”
“/Enchanté,/” he said. He took her hand in his own and turned it and bent his head to brush his lips on her knuckles. He managed to hide a smile when she blushed.
“Most people call me Gambit,” he said, “but m’friends call me Remy LeBeau.”
“An’ can Ah call ya Remy?” Rogue asked tentatively.
“/Oui/, I’d like t’be friends wit’ you, Rogue,” Remy said to her.
Rogue smiled and slowly pulled her hand away from his and continued eating her pizza. After Remy took his last few bites of toast, he leaned his back against the chair and moved his arms above his head stretching the muscles that had been unused for nearly four days according to what Rogue had told him.
Rogue shot discrete glances as his muscles moved beneath his skin as he stretched and then looked at him in concern when his hissed out a breath and lowered his arms to discretely rub at his abdominal wound.
“Ah’m sorry,” Rogue found herself saying before she realized she was even planning to speak.
Remy quirked an eyebrow in both amusement and confusion. “For what?”
Rogue lowered her gaze and guilt crept across her features. “Sorry for hittin’ ya in your bullet wound. An’ -”
Remy grinned disarmingly at her and cut her off in mid-sentence. “No need t’apologize. You didn’ know I was hurt dere.”
Rogue shrugged, her gaze fixed on her hands which rested on the table. “Ah know that. Still feel bad about it though. An’ Ah’m sorry for not listenin’ to ya when y’said y’were here to visit someone. Ah thought ya were breakin’ in an’ when ya moved Ah thought y’were goin’ ta attack me.”
“Hey, I wouldn’ta trusted me either,” Remy said, slowly reaching across the table to tilt her chin and bring her eyes up from the table to him.
Rogue hit his hand away before it reached her. “No, don’t touch me!” she said, looking up, and Remy could see the same panic from the other day in her eyes.
Remy pulled his hand back and held both of his hands up, palms out facing her. “Sorry, Rogue. I wasn’ trying t’hurt you.” He said.
‘She’s acting like she’s been abused or something,’ he thought grimly to himself.
Rogue shook her head and took a deep breath. “No, Ah’m sorry. Ah know ya weren’t goin’ ta hurt me, Remy. It’s just…………. it’s mah mutation.”
Remy looked at her curiously. “You mean like when you absorbed my powers?”
Rogue sighed, readying herself for another rejection when he learned about her mutation. “Yeah. Ah’ve got poison skin. Ah absorb people’s powers an’ memories, and if Ah hold on long enough Ah could put someone in a coma or kill ‘em. An’ Ah can’t turn ‘em off. Ah can’t touch anyone with mah bare skin without suckin’ the life outta them.”
Remy had in the past few years developed a rudimentary empathy which allowed him to pick up the emotions of others, and he was able to read a resigned disappointment coming from her. She was expecting him to shun her because of her powers and inability to control them.
“Wow, dat really sucks. I know how you feel though, Rogue,” he said, placing his hand on one of her gloved ones.
She looked up at him and felt tears bristle at the corners of her eyes, and a small surge of anger well up in her. “How can ya say ya know how Ah feel?” She demanded. “Ah can’t touch /anyone/. Ah can’t feel someone else’s skin on mah hands or mah arms or mah cheek. Ah can’t even hug someone without bein’ worried unless Ah check ta make sure mah skin is covered and mah head is only near their shoulders. How can y’know what that’s like?” She said, tears finally leaking down her cheeks. She felt all her frustration over her powers and over Bobby rush out of her during her rant.
Remy looked down. “I know how y’feel cuz I couldn’ touch anyone for a long time either. I can put energy into t’ings by touchin’ dem, an’ make dem blow up. When m’powers first popped out, I was sixteen an’ I blew up an auditorium. I started blowin’ up ev’ryday t’ings toothbrushes an’ spoons, an’ soon it was pretty much anythin’ I touched. I was afraid t’touch my frère or my tante or my père because I thought I’d blow dem up too. I finally got control wit’ some help two years later, an’ even den I was scared t’touch people for a while.”
Rogue looked apologetically at him. “Ah – Ah’m sorry Ah snapped at ya, Ah didn’ know. Ah’m just so sick of most people tellin’ me they know how Ah feel when they really have no idea.”
Remy smiled, and then did what he had been trying to resist because of her earlier reaction – he brushed his thumb quickly over her cheek, swiping away the lone tear that sat there. He felt a slight tingle in his hand, but his contact was so brief it was hardly noticeable.
Rogue stared at him in amazement. “Thanks, Remy. For not bein’ afraid of me I mean. Only a few people ever try ta deliberately touch mah skin after they learn about mah power. An’ even fewer when they feel what it’s like when Ah absorb them.”
“Well, I don’t know how I could ever be ‘fraid of such a /belle fille/,” He said, this time not hiding his smile when she blushed. He decided he really liked seeing her like that.
Remy pushed his mirrored sunglasses further up the bridge of his nose, and Rogue remembered something she’d been wanting to ask him. “Remy, why do ya wear sunglasses all the time?”
“You sure you want t’know de reason?” He asked her.
When she nodded, he slowly removed his sunglasses. She saw his eyes were scrunched closed beneath them. As he slowly opened them, blinking slightly in the light of the kitchen, she gasped. The irises of his eyes were a bright red color, and the sclera surrounding the irises – usually white in most people and known as the “whites” of the eyes – was completely black. It gave his eyes a hypnotic, glowing appearance.
Remy moved quickly to replace the glasses when he heard her gasp, but she placed her hand over the one that held the glasses to stop him. “Remy, they’re gorgeous!” She blurted out, and then slapped a hand over her mouth, blushing brightly when she realized what she’d said.
He hesitated, looking at her for several moments as if trying to decide if she was just trying to be nice and was actually creeped out like most people or if she really thought they were ‘gorgeous’, and then folded the glasses and placed them on the table. “You t’ink so? Most people get freaked out when dey see my eyes.”
“Yes Ah do think so, Remy,” Rogue said, looking seriously at him as she removed her hand from her mouth. “Ah like ‘em.”
“Well, you’re one of de few femmes dat t’ink dat.” Remy said.
“How long have they been like that?” Rogue asked curiously.
“Long as I can remember. Dey usedta call me le diable blanc – de white devil – when I was young.”
“So is that why ya wear sunglasses all th’ time? So people don’t get freaked out?”
“Well, dat’s part of it,” Remy said, “dey are also pretty sensitive ta bright lights, so dese usually protect dem.”
Remy still looked somewhat uncomfortable about the subject so she decided to change the subject. “Ah like your accent. It’s Cajun, right?”
Remy’s posture relaxed visibly. “/Oui/. I was born an’ raised in N’awlins. Now let me guess for you – Miss’ippi, somewhere near ‘bama?”
Rogue laughed and grinned widely. “Yeah, Ah’m from Meridian. How’d ya tell that?”
Remy shrugged nonchalantly. “Got a t’ing for accents. Ev’ry place has got a slightly dif’rent accent an’ way dey use words.”
Rogue took her last bite of the second slice of pizza she’d removed from the box, and then moved her legs up onto her chair so that her legs were folded up against her chest and she rested her folded arms on her knees. “So, why’d ya come here to see Ororo?”
Remy picked at the crumbs on his plate. “Well, Stormy tol’ me I could check dis place out whenever I liked an’ said I got an open invitation t’dis X-men team she’s a part of.”
Rogue’s face lit up. “Really? Ah thought ya might only be here t’get help with somethin’ from Storm. If ya like it here an’ take her up on her invitation, we’d be teammates.”
A large smile broke across Remy’s face. “Y’mean you’re an X-man? Or would dat be X-woman?”
Rogue giggled and nodded. “Yeah, me an’ some of mah friends finally got spots on the team a few weeks ago.”
“Well den, I t’ink dat I might just take stay here.” He said to her. “Maybe I c’n help ya get your powers under control since I had de same problems wit’ mine.”
Rogues eyes widened and a small smile blossomed on her face. “Really? That’d be so great Remy, I –“
At that moment Ororo, who had apparently heard Rogue’s voice from the room popped her head inside the doorway. She had a worried look on her face. “Rogue have you seen-” She broke off and sighed in relief when she saw Remy sitting at the table with her student. “Thank God, Gambit. Annie left her office for all of ten minutes and when she came back you were gone. What on earth possessed you to leave the med lab when you just woke up, especially while you’re healing from two gunshot wounds?”
Remy looked sheepish. “Sorry Stormy, I woke up an’ I was starvin’ so I found de kitchen.”
Ororo walked over to him and raised an eyebrow at his empty plate. “You didn’t eat something that’ll upset your stomach did you?”
“No Ororo,” Rogue interjected. “Ah made him two slices of toast and that’s all he’s eaten. Although if Ah hadn’t been here he’dve eaten the leftover pizza.” She said, shooting a grin at Remy.
Ororo smiled at her. “Thank you, Rogue. It’s good to see someone around here has some sort of common sense.”
Remy gave both of them a mock wounded look. “Hey, I got common sense! It’s my stomach dat don’!”
Storm laughed and placed a hand on Remy’s shoulder. “Well, if you’re done eating we better get you back down to the med lab before Annie has a heart attack over a missing patient.”
Remy stood shakily and hastily gripped the IV stand to support himself. Ignoring his protests that he was fine, Storm grabbed his free arm and draped it over her shoulder. Rogue placed his plate in the sink and tossed the empty pizza box in the trash can and followed them out of the room.
Storm led Remy down the hall opposite to the entranceway, and stopped in front of a pair of doors which slid open when she pushed a button, revealing an elevator. “Damn, I woulda gone up dis instead of de stairs if I knew dis was here,” Remy said with a groan. Signs of his exhaustion were finally beginning to show on his face.
The doors slid closed after Rogue entered the elevator, and Remy leaned back heavily against the wall. To Rogue it was clear that he’d been supporting most of his weight himself using the IV stand so he didn’t put much weight on Ororo’s shoulders, and it had taken a lot out of him.
The elevator jolted briefly and began its descent to the lower level of the mansion. The doors opened, and Rogue moved to Remy’s other side and moved his arm over her shoulder. She took the IV stand from his grasp and held it in her own hand. She looked to the left at his face and raised an eyebrow, daring him to protest.
Remy’s red-on-black eyes danced and then he chuckled. “Alrigh’, alrigh’, guess ya caught me.” He said, and looked over at Ororo with an embarrassed grin when she realized what he’d been doing.
“Remy, just let us help you out. I know you’re too proud to accept help most of the time, but you’re injured and we both know that most of your energy goes into healing yourself when you’re hurt as badly as you were.” she admonished.
Remy signed in resignation and then leaned heavily on their shoulders as he came away from the back wall. As they walked him back he glanced over to Rogue with a grin. “Y’know, if ya wanted ta get dis close ta me all ya had to do was ask. I know dat most femmes can hardly keep their hands off me. Glad ta see I still got de touch even when I been shot.”
A blush colored her cheeks and she shook her head in exasperation. “Geez. Ah’m sure ya’ve been told this plenty of times, but you’re completely full of yahself.”
Remy laughed. “/Mon Dieu/, ya are a feisty one.”
The doors to the med lab slid open and they were greeted by an anxious Annie. They helped him to his bed and he lay back on the pillows with a sigh of relief. Rogue wheeled the IV stand back to its spot next to the bed, and Annie moved to the other side.
“You gave me quite a scare there. I’m not used to patients just getting up and walking away like that.”
“Sorry, woke up an’ was really hungry so I went ta get somet’ing ta eat. An’ don’ worry, Miss Food Nazi over dere made sure I only ate toast,” he grumbled, and nodded at Rogue but softened his comments with a lopsided smile.
“Well, I’m glad you’re awake. I was getting worried today that you still hadn’t regained consciousness. I was going to examine you once you woke up, but you look pretty beat so I’ll put that off until tomorrow morning. Tomorrow I think we can take this thing out of you as well,” Annie said, touching his IV.
Remy yawned and blinked. “Yeah, dat’s probably a good idea. G’night Stormy.” He said as he let his eyelids close.
“Goodnight. We’ll have to catch up tomorrow if you’re not feeling so drained.”
Remy nodded and then sleepily muttered, “G’night, Rogue,” as he drifted to sleep.
“Night,” Rogue said softly.
Ororo looked to the other two women, and raised a hand to her mouth to hide a yawn of her own. “Well, I think he has the right idea. I’m headed to bed. Rogue, you should probably head off too – don’t you have a seven o’clock class with Professor Xavier tomorrow?”
Rogue nodded and began following her out of the room while Annie walked back into her office to shut off the lights, and then started when she glanced at the clock on the wall of the med lab, which showed it was nearly one in the morning. “Damn!” She exclaimed, “Ah didn’ realize Remy an’ Ah were talkin’ that long.”
“’Remy’?” Ororo asked and looked curiously back at Rogue. “Where’d you hear his name? I don’t remember mentioning that.”
Rogue shrugged. “Remy told me. He said usually only his friends call him that an’ he wanted ta be my friend.”
Ororo looked at her with a surprised expression on her face. “Well that’s an understatement. He rarely tells anyone his real name unless he has known them for quite some time and come to trust them. I didn’t know his name for almost two weeks, and even then it was under special circumstances.”
“No, I didn’t, Rogue.” She moved her head closer to Rogue’s and lowered her voice conspiratorially. “Only thing I can think of is he trusts you, really has the hots for you, or both. Probably both, knowing Remy.” She said, and laughed when Rogue looked at her in shock.
“R-really?” Rogue asked, feeling both excited at the thought and ashamed for her excitement when a thought of Bobby flashed through her head.
“Probably, Rogue. You might not think it but you’re a very beautiful young woman, and pretty girls tend to be Remy’s weakness if they aren’t complete airheads and have a personality that he likes. Besides, from all the flirting I saw from him as we took him down I think it’s safe to say he likes you.”
Rogue stared at the door of the elevator in silence, trying to sort through her conflicted feelings.
“Rogue, I saw the way you two looked at each other. I know you like him - just don’t break his heart. I know you are dating Bobby and if Bobby is the person you love, then tell Remy that right away and he’ll back off. I just… I don’t want to see him hurt again.”
Rogue nodded with a heavy sigh, and then looked at her curiously. “What happened?”
Ororo glanced away. “He was really in love a year or so ago, and he caught the girl cheating on him. I don’t want to see him like that again.”
Rogue nodded in understanding. “Ah won’t lead him on. But heck, Ah’m not even sure if Bobby is the person Ah want to be with. We’ve been havin’ so many problems lately an’ Ah just think our relationship has started ta die.”
Ororo patted her on the shoulder. “Love, especially young love, can be really tricky. Lots of times it goes hot and cold. It gets hot very quickly but then everything cools just as fast.”
The elevator reached the top floor, and they exited it and walked down the hallways toward their rooms. “Ah was wonderin’, how did yah meet Remy?” Rogue asked Storm hesitantly.
Storm stopped at her doorway leaned against the door, which had been repaired, something Logan had seen to the day after the fight. “I’ll tell you the whole story someday, but a few years ago, before you and Logan arrived at the mansion, something happened to me and I woke up in Louisiana with my memory of everything after my fifteenth birthday erased. I was so confused because I didn’t look fifteen. Remy was the first person who found me and we spent several months together, roaming the East Coast, trying to get my memory back. We became good friends during that time, and for a while I even thought I was in love with him, but we realized we would never be anything more than good friends and now he’s basically become the younger brother that I never had.”
Rogue smiled. “Thanks for tellin’ me that. From what yah told me an’ from talkin’ with him, he’s a really nice guy. Ah wonder why anyone would want ta shoot him.”
Ororo placed a hand on her shoulder. “I don’t know who would have shot him, but I know that in the past he’s had to get involved with some less than savory people to get by and fit in where he grew up.”
“Y’mean, like criminals?”
Ororo shrugged. “Sometimes, yeah. The way he grew up that was normal – his family is very involved in that.”
Rogue looked at her thoughtfully and then a large yawn overtook her. She covered her mouth and then said, “Sorry, Ah guess Ah’m really tired. Ah better go to bed.”
“Goodnight Rogue. Have a good sleep. I may have you show Remy around the school tomorrow if he’s feeling up to it, and how my classes go.”
She watched Rogue nod and walk further down the hall to her room. Ororo then pushed herself off from her leaning position against the door and opened it up. She changed into some nightclothes and collapsed gratefully onto her mattress.
‘Less than savory is an understatement,’ she thought wryly to herself. She drifted off to sleep wondering which of Remy’s numerous employers decided they wanted him dead.
The black-clad young man slipped through the door of the abandoned warehouse. He walked past stacks of empty wooden crates and freight shipping containers that had been left in the warehouse. He moved down one aisle and saw a blond-haired man wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a long gray trenchcoat, sitting on a crate.
The blond-haired man looked up as he came into view. “Report.”
The young man nodded. “LeBeau has been taken care of.”
The blond-haired man looked sharply at him. “Are you sure Mister Boudreaux? You confirmed it?”
Émile Boudreaux hid his anger at being questioned. “Of course I did. Dis was personal. LeBeau is at de bottom of a river right now.”
“Alright. Here’s your fee,” he said, tossing a bundle of hundred dollar bills to him.
Émile flipped through the notes and then stuffed the bundle in his pocket. “Thanks for the opportunity,” he said. ‘Julien, I finished what you started. I hope you’re at peace now,’ he thought, his eyes rising momentarily heavenward. Émile turned and began to walk away, intent on getting back to New Orleans as quickly as possible.
“Oh, Boudreaux,” the other man called after him. Émile turned his head, and the man smoothly pulled a pistol with a suppressor protruding from its barrel. He pulled the trigger and Émile’s body fell to the floor as the man double-tapped his shot, sending two bullets smoothly into his head.
The man removed the silencer and placed it in his pocket, and then took a long rod from another pocket. The rod ended with sharp metal protrusions that emerged around the outside of the rod. He inserted it into the barrel and twisted it several times around the barrel, scratching sharply into the metal to change the barrel profile permanently, making any future bullet fired from the gun different from the two in Boudreaux’s body, rendering it impossible to match them to the gun.
He slipped the gun and rod into an inner pocket of his coat, and removed a thin cell phone. He flipped it open and pressed “1”, activating the speed dial, and pushed the Talk button.
The phone on the other end rang several times before a voice with a smooth timbre answered. “Yes?”
“That matter we discussed several days ago has been cleared up. The loose ends have been tied up and I just provided our assistant with his reward for his help.”
“You’re sure?” The voice asked.
“Yes, our assistant was quite certain he’d taken care of everything.”
“Very good. I’ll see you tomorrow morning at the campaign office for the strategy meeting.” The voice said before hanging up on his end of the conversation.
The man flipped the phone closed and removed a lighter from his pocket. He flicked the flint twice and sparks flew, igniting a flame at the top. He held it up to a pile of newspapers which rested on a crate, and they instantly flared up, the fire quickly catching on the crate below.
The man strolled from the building as the orange flickering glow of fire filled the warehouse behind him.
A/N: Well, hope you liked it. Plenty of ROMY goodness in this chapter. It’ll be a while before they actually hook up though – attempts will first be made by Bobby and Rogue to patch up and eventually end their relationship, etc.
And no, Émile, is not from the comics but rather a character of my own creation (his brother however is from the comics – for those that don’t know, Julian in the comics was killed in a duel he challenged Remy to)
Thanks to those of you who reviewed, I really appreciate the feedback on this story.
Right now I’m not sure when the next chapter will come out because this week is finals week, and Christmas week I’ll be soaking up the sun in Florida, so it might not be out ‘till the end of the month (hopefully it gets done sooner though).