Remy picks up Sarah
A/N: Hey all, thanks for all the feedback last chapter everyone! Here we have a pretty decent sized chapter (one of my longer ones). A nice amount of Romy, and we learn some things from the pasts of both Rogue and Remy. And Sarah, finally! Enjoy!
Chapter 11: Flight
“This is perfect,” Graydon said with a smile, looking up from the papers and across the hotel room to Ron. He had swept for any listening devices in the room, and ended up finding one which he promptly smashed and tossed off the balcony.
He’d settled in the hotel for the night, and the next day he would be making his first speech after the Cure announcement. He’d just finished looking over a copy of the speech they’d prepared for him.
Graydon set the speech aside. “I don’t think this announcement could have come at a better time. I was a little worried about the Pennsylvania primaries next week, but with this, I don’t think we’ll be able to lose.”
The race so far had been close between himself and his opponent, Richard Wagner, and while Graydon had narrowly won in important states like Texas and Ohio, his lead was a little too small for his comfort. He needed a large win in Pennsylvania, and then a sweep in the states holding their primaries after that in May to clinch the nomination.
Ron nodded. “I don’t think Wagner stands a chance now that we have something like this to back up our stance on mutants.”
“Alright,” Graydon said. “Now, about the organizations. I saw the clip of the sermon of the Church of Humanity that CNN played. We need to make sure the rest start emphasizing this Cure. Talk to Friends of Humanity and the Anti-Mutant League and make sure they get as vocal as possible.”
“We need the public to know that this Cure shows just what we’ve been saying all along – mutants are freaks of nature, and no one should have to live in fear of them, especially when we have the ability now to remove the thing that makes them mutants.”
“I think this will also help us push through the Registration Act - people will be clamoring for mutants to register so they know who has taken the Cure and who they still should fear.”
Ron nodded, and stood. “I’ll start getting into contact with them tonight. Hopefully they’ll start the media campaign after your speech tomorrow morning.”
He paused by the door. “Oh, by the way, that merc who talked to the police and claimed Friends of Humanity hired him – I just heard the unfortunate news that he got into a disagreement with someone in the prison yard and was shanked to death.” He said, an twisted smile on his face, before he left the room, hearing Graydon’s short laugh as he went.
Rogue tossed the sheets off of her body as she heard soft footsteps in the hallway. She glanced at her clock and realized it was slightly after four in the morning. She crept to the door and slowly opened it. She peeked out and saw Remy walking down the hall toward the stairs, wearing his trenchcoat. ‘/What is he up to/?’ Rogue wondered. ‘/Only one way to find out/,’ she thought to herself.
She moved to her dresser and threw on some clothes and left the room. She quietly tailed Remy, following him down the stairs but always staying a floor above him as he descended. She felt an odd thrill creep through her at the little game she was playing, and wondered if this had been the feeling Remy had been talking about when he described going on a heist.
She heard him pause for a moment as he reached the stairs to the basement, and she froze in place, holding her breath until he started down the stairs. She followed more slowly, and because of that she almost lost him, but she managed to spot the tail of his coat swish through the door to the hangar.
She frowned and followed, peeking through the doorway. She saw the ramp to one of the smaller planes was lowered, and light from the inside cast shadows across the concrete floor of the hangar. She crept forward, and was startled when she heard the whining of the hydraulics as the ramp began to rise.
She made a decision in a split second, and dashed across the hangar floor. She made it onto the ramp as it closed, and she suppressed her instinct to gasp for air. She moved quietly behind the last set of seats and squeezed between them and the bulkhead, sitting on the cool metal floor.
She sat quietly for several minutes as Remy flicked through instruments on the panels in front of him and finally started up the engines. A low rumbling vibration built up as the engines spooled up, and she distantly heard a klaxon sound as the doors above them opened.
‘/What did I just get myself into?/’ She wondered.
The klaxon on the basketball court, and the low rumbling as the jet took off woke a number of people from their sleep. Bobby Drake was one of them. He stumbled out of bed and looked blearily out the window, and caught sight of the glowing afterburner on the small jet.
He pulled on a shirt and left his room. He was a little worried he’d forgotten about a mission and had been left behind, but as he racked his memory he couldn’t think of anything they’d had planned.
His worries were eased when he saw Piotr and Storm in the hall on the next floor, trying to get the students to get back in their beds.
Within about ten minutes, they’d gotten everyone back in their rooms, and Bobby followed Piotr down to Xavier’s room. Ororo had gone upstairs, promising to be along in a minute.
Bobby rapped on the door, and Xavier opened it – he’d put on a nightgown and was moving about in his wheelchair. “Bobby, Piotr, come in,” he greeted them.
A few moments later Ororo, who looked worried, entered the room with Logan. “Didn’t realize we set up a mission for tonight, Charles,” Logan said dryly.
Xavier smiled ruefully. “We didn’t. But it appears our new friend decided to set one up for himself, and borrowed one of our planes.”
“Can you get any read on him?” Ororo asked, worried.
Xavier shook his head. “Like I told you, his powers render his mind unreadable to telepaths. I can, however, get a read on his passenger.”
Ororo’s eyes widened. “Rogue?” She guessed, and he confirmed it with a nod.
“I knew it!” Bobby said angrily. “I knew we shouldn’t trust him. We let a guy into the mansion that the Professor can’t even tell what he’s thinking, and now he’s stolen our jet and kidnapped my girlfriend.” He scowled, remembering something he’d heard. “Scott said Gambit is a professional thief. Who knows what he’s going to do?”
“Bobby!” Storm said angrily. “He wouldn’t steal our jet, or kidnap Rogue –” She began.
“You’re just saying that because you’re the one that invited him here and you don’t want to be responsible for what he does.” Bobby broke in heatedly.
“Enough, Bobby.” Xavier said firmly, causing him to shut up. “Rogue has not been ‘kidnapped’, nor does she feel she is in any sort of danger. In fact, the impression I got off of her was that she snuck onto the plane before he took off.”
He paused and looked to Ororo. “As to stealing the plane, I do not believe he has. He’s merely using it to pick up a friend – something he told both Ororo and myself he was going to do.” Ororo’s eyes widened when she realized what he was saying.
Charles shook his head in amusement. “Although I must say I did not think that this would be the method he chose to get there.”
He turned his gaze to the others in the room. “Now, Gambit has promised to teach shop class this afternoon, and I believe he is a man of his word, so I expect both of them will be back before lunchtime.”
“Now let’s all go back to bed, and give ourselves time to calm our tempers,” he said looking directly at Bobby, “and get some sleep before classes tomorrow morning.”
Bobby fumed silently for a moment, and then turned and strode out the door. He was followed shortly after, at a more sedate pace, by the others until only Ororo and Xavier remained.
Ororo sighed. “I’m really sorry about this, Charles,” she began, but stopped when he shook his head gently.
“Give it no thought, Ororo. When he’d mentioned he was going to pick up Sarah, I should have realized he had no personal transportation and asked him how he would get down there. I never guessed he’d borrow our jet, although now that I think about it, I shouldn’t be suprised.” He said, smiling. “I must say having him around may just keep us on our toes.”
Ororo laughed. “It definitely will.”
“If you will excuse me, I think I will try to get back to sleep,” Charles said with a smile.
Ororo nodded, and closed the door behind her. She shook her head, walking back to her room. ‘/Remy LeBeau, you are getting a good talking to when you get back/,’ she thought to herself.
The engines stopped whining loudly as the jet leveled off several minutes into the flight. Rogue cursed to herself when she felt a cramp starting in her leg where it was pressed to the cold floor.
She was startled when Remy suddenly spoke out loud. She could hear amusement in his voice. “Y’can come out now, y’know. I’d think it’s pretty uncomfortable back dere for you.”
Her breath caught in her chest, and she slowly peeked her head over the seat back. She could see Remy’s grin faintly on the glass of the windshield, but his eyes never left the control panel.
She sighed and stood up, stretching her leg and relieving the cramp. She walked slowly to the front of the plane and sat gratefully in the soft seat of the co-pilot’s chair.
Remy looked over at her, the grin still on his face. “Y’did pretty decent, Chére,” he said with amusement. “Didn’ even realize anyone was followin’ me ‘till I got to de main floor.”
Rogue started at that – she’d thought it was odd how he paused before walking down the basement. “So yah knew Ah was followin’ yah an’ y’just let me get onboard with yah?” She asked incredulously.
Remy nodded. “Knew someone was followin’, an’ den I saw it was you from de cockpit when y'stuck your head through de door to de hangar. I figured I might as well let y’tag along. I c’n definitely use de company for de trip, and you’re probably one of de only people I’d want t’spend time with, cooped up in dis little plane.”
Rogue tried to hide a smile at that. She looked out the window at the clouds that they were flying through, and then down at the GPS screen in the instrument panel, noting they were flying southwest.
“So where is it we’re goin'?” Rogue asked curiously. “Are you gonna steal something?”
Remy laughed. “No, /Chére/, I tol’ you, I’m gettin’ out of de business.” He said. “No, we’re goin’ to a place in north Louisiana.”
Rogue’s eyes widened in understanding. “Oh! Sarah?” She asked knowingly.
He nodded. “Yeah, tol’ her I’d be pickin’ her up dis week, but I didn’ tell her when. Wanted t’surprise her.”
Rogue laughed. “Well, coming in a jet will certainly be pretty suprisin’,” she remarked wryly.
Remy grinned back as he eased the jet higher, and then kicked in the autopilot. “Dat’s what I’m countin’ on.”
“So Ah take it yah know how to fly?” She asked, amused.
Remy nodded over to her. “Yeah, flew some cropdusters back home – friend of mine taught me. Flown a few private jets. Learned how to fly dose just b’fore my powers came out, goin’ on business trips wit’ my pére – our pilot took a likin’ to me an’ my eagerness ‘bout flyin’, an’ he even let me pilot an entire trip wit’ him watchin’ me.”
“Also happened t’borrow an old military jet in Columbia,” he added. When she looked at him incredulously, he shrugged. “You really don’ wanna know” he said, shaking his head as he remembered that particular caper – his first mission with the Thieves Guild.
He sat back, and turned slightly in his seat. He pulled out a pack of cards, and opened them up, shuffling them smoothly from hand to hand. “Looks like we got ‘bout three hours at dis speed. Wanna play a game?”
Rogue’s eyes lit up, and she turned her seat to face his. “Sure! What did yah have in mind?”
“Well, we could do somethin’ simple, like War, or Crazy Eights” Remy said nonchalantly, “or we could do somethin’ else. Ever play strip poker?” He asked innocently.
Rogue’s jaw dropped. “Remy!” She exclaimed, blushing furiously.
He broke into laughter at her expression, and almost lost his grip on the deck of cards. “I’m just playin’ wit’ you /Chére/.”
Rogue shut her mouth, and sent him a mock glare as she tried to fight down her blush. “As a matter of fact, no, Ah haven’t. Never even played regular poker.”
Remy looked at her sympathetically. He could hardly imagine someone never having learned to play his favorite card game. “Well den, would you like me to teach you?”
Rogue bit her lip to stop a smile from spreading on her face. “Ah can take mah own clothes off perfectly fine without anyone teachin’ me, thank yah very much!” She said primly, trying to hide the amusement in her voice.
Remy stared at her in amazement for several moments, and began laughing again. “/Touché/,” he managed through his laughter.
This was a side of her that he hadn’t really seen before – willing and able to match his teasing and banter with her own. And it was a side he decided he liked – typically the women he had his flings with didn’t care about his teasing and jokes, or they became flustered when he did joke and flirt with them. Few actually responded with the same.
“Well,” he said, “If you’d like me t’teach you how t’play poker, I can do dat.” He said as he got his laughter under control.
Rogue smiled, and nodded, and then pressed a button on the control panel, which extended a small table from the console.
Over the next two hours, Remy taught her the basics of poker, both Five-Card draw, and the version he considered one of the simplest for someone new to it to learn: Texas Hold’em.
He finally shuffled the cards, and began to deal them out. “Y’seem to have caught Hold’em pretty good- let’s play dat.” Rogue nodded eagerly and he continued. “Since it doesn’ look like you got any pockets in dat outfit I’m guessin’ we ain’t gonna be playin’ for money.” He said with a smile.
Rogue shrugged. “What d’yah wanna play for then?” He opened his mouth, and she shot him a mock glare. “Don’t yah dare say clothes,” she scolded.
Remy grinned. “While dat would be nice, I was gonna suggest this. How ‘bout each time one of us loses, we tell de other person a story ‘bout ourselves.”
Rogue’s expression softened. That was something she hadn’t expected him to suggest, but she really liked the idea. “Really?” She asked.
“/Oui/,” he said, smiling. “I know I’d like t’get t’know you better, an’ dis’d be a good way.”
Rogue smiled. “Alright. Deal me in.” Once he’d dealt to each of them, she reached out and gently snagged his sunglasses from his face. “Ah don’ have anythin’ t’hide mah eyes, so it’s not fair if yah wear these,” she scolded.
Remy gave her a pout, and she felt her heart skip a beat. “Alright, /Chére/,” he said, flipping the cards around in one hand before sending them effortlessly fluttering to the other. He dealt out two cards to each of them, and set down the deck.
The first bet, he folded, having a Two and an Ace. The next hand he went in pocket aces, and the River card – the fifth card turned over – turned it into a three of a kind, beating our Rogue’s two pair.
Remy smoothly pulled the cards back together and began shuffling. “So, tell me somethin' ‘bout you dat I don’ know.”
Rogue leaned back and thought for a moment, and nodded to herself as she came to a decision. “How would yah like t’hear ‘bout mah sister?”
Remy shook his head. “You got a sister?”
Rogue nodded. “Ah did. Her name was Anna. She was only a year younger than me. We were best friends – did almost everythin’ t’gether.” She laughed slightly. “Ev’ryone that met us thought we were twins, we looked and acted so much alike.”
Rogue sighed. “She died when Ah was fourteen. We were out with some friends at a creek we swam in ev’ry summer, an’ she was tryin’ t’show off to a guy she liked. She dove inta the water, but Ah guess it wasn’t as deep as she thought it was.” Rogue sniffled. “She broke her neck, an’ by th’time we realized she wasn’t comin’ up, an’ managed to get her out, she’d drowned.”
Remy, who had placed down the deck as she began talking, looked at her in concern. He reached out and placed his hand on top of hers, squeezing it gently. “You okay, /Chére/?”
She gave him a bittersweet smile and wiped a lone tear from her face with her free hand. “Yeah.”
He gave her a comforting smile. “Sorry, Rogue. Didn’ plan on dis makin’ y’cry”
She shook her head, and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “It’s alright, Remy. Ah thought Ah was over what happened, an Ah wanted ta finally tell someone Ah trust about it.” She smiled gently at him. “Ah haven’t even told Bobby or anyone else at th’mansinon that.”
She pulled her hand back and straightened up. “Let’s keep playin’.”
He nodded, still looking at her, and then began dealing – he recognized she didn’t want to dwell on what happened, and was pleasantly touched that she’d told him something she hadn’t even told her boyfriend about.
Rogue folded the next two hands, but Remy won the one after with a 10-high straight over Rogue’s 9-high straight.
He paused for a moment to glance at the instruments to ensure the jet was still running properly, and then turned back to Rogue.
“So what yah wanna know?” She asked him, expecting a request for another story.
Remy looked thoughtfully at her. “What’s y’real name? Y’know mine, an’ I’d like t’know yours.”
“It’s Marie. Marie D’Ancanto.”
“Marie,” he said softly. He looked up at her with a smile. “Pretty name.”
Rogue blushed slightly. “Thanks. Ah started goin’ by Rogue when Ah left home. Just wanted t’get away from all those memories.”
Remy nodded in understanding. “Know what dat’s like,” he said, thinking of the day his own powers emerged.
He shuffled the cards once more, and dealt them out, and this time he was surprised when his two of a kind was beaten out by Rogue’s three of a kind. He been unable to figure out her tell .
He leaned back in his seat. “Well, Rogue, what d’you want me t’tell y’about?”
Rogue smiled. “How about one of yah jobs. One of yah most exciting ones.”
Remy’s eyebrows rose, and he sat for a few minutes, deep in thought. “Okay /Chére/, let me tell y’bout de time I got hired t’steal for de government.”
Rogue propped her chin up with her hand, and looked at him intently as he began to tell her his story.
”Shut up,” Remy hissed to the nervous man next to him. Alfred Monmouth was aging, his head balding and his eyeglasses having the appearance of thick coke-bottle glass. He was a short, fat man, who seemed to be constantly nervous.
Remy turned his attention back to the wall in front of him. They’d managed to make it past the perimeter guards and to the back of the building.
Remy glanced at his watch. “Alright, accordin’ to my man, de security system is goin’ offline now t’do some software upgrades. We got half an hour. Stay close to me an’ move when I move or we’re both dead, hein?”
Alfred nodded rapidly. “S-sure.”
Remy moved closer to the wall, and traced a small square shape along it with his ungloved index finger. As his finger ran along it, a glowing magenta line appeared. When Remy finished the shape, he removed his finger, and turned his head to the side and squeezed his eyes shut.
A muffled thump sounded, and dust and particles flew up at their faces as the material he had charged exploded. He waved his hand to clear the air, and then kicked in the remaining material, and climbed through the hole in the wall.
Inside, he landed in a crouch, and crept over to a control panel in the corner of the hallway they were in. Remy popped open the control panel, and played with the wires inside, setting up several bypasses.
Although the system itself, with the motion sensors and security cameras, would be down, the photo-electric beams along the halls would still be up and linked to a basic alarm so that if anything crossed the beams, it would still alert the security staff.
His bypasses would keep sending the signal that the beam was not interrupted, while not actually reading the information from the beams themselves.
He stood up, satisfied, and glanced at Alfred. “Let’s go!” He whispered, and took off down the hallway at a full run. He ran through the maze of hallways, the blueprints running through his mind. They descended to what amounted to the basement level, and made their way to a small, back hallway that ended with a heavy steel security door.
Remy frowned at the sophisticated electronic lock. These things took all the fun out of the job, he thought to himself as he pulled out a small device and hooked it up to the lock. It began to whir as it ran through numerous possible entry codes – relying on machines was nowhere near as exciting as actually breaking into a safe with just your hands and your ears.
Remy leaned back against the wall as the device attempted to break the lock, and thought about what had brought him to this heist.
He’d been contacted over a week ago by a foreign man, and had gone to meet him. He’d been quite shocked when he found out that the Egyptian government wanted him to steal for them.
They had information on a seller of stolen art and items, and knew that he had a very valuable scepter that had belonged to an Egyptian Pharaoh. The scepter had been stolen several years before from an Egyptian museum, and they had finally tracked it down, and wanted Remy to get it back.
Remy readily agreed – they were offering him quite a tidy sum, and he wasn’t going to complain. And really, what could be more fun than stealing something back from someone that bought the item from another thief? The only sour note was that he had to agree to take Alfred along.
Alfred was supposedly an expert in Egyptology and art history, and they wanted him along to confirm the authenticity of the scepter before Remy removed it from the vault. The man just talks too much, Remy thought, listening to him mutter nervously to himself as he paced back and forth in the hall.
Remy was broken from his thoughts when the device beeped, and the door swung open with a hiss of pressurized air. Remy removed the leads from the device, and tucked it back into his trenchcoat.
He pulled the heavy door the rest of the way open, and entered. Only to stop dead in his tracks as he faced a large door with a combination lock built into the front of it. “Merde,” he whispered – his information hadn’t told him about this door.
He sighed and shook his head. ‘Oh well, at least I get to do it the fun way this time,’ he thought to himself.
He pressed his ear against the door, and spent the next several minutes working out the combination, listening for the distinct clicks, and feeling for the kinetic vibrations by reaching out with his powers.
Finally, the last number clicked, and he stepped back as the door swung open.
Inside, he realized just how enormous the vault was. He could distantly see the back wall over the rows of shelves and standing objects that filled the room. He saw paintings from the Renaissance, ancient books behind glass panes in temperature controlled environments, statues from Greece and Rome, ancient weapons, and hundreds of other items.
He carefully made his way through the room until he reached the area containing Egyptian artifacts, and a quick search revealed a long, golden scepter embedded with red and green gemstones.
He turned and looked through the other objects as Alfred examined the scepter. He was running his hand over a collection of coins from Ancient Rome, when Alfred announced that the scepter was the real thing.
Remy nodded absently, and walked back to it. He reached into a pocket and removed a long cloth bag, and carefully slipped the scepter into it before tying off the top of the bag. As he stood up and got ready to strap it to his back, he froze when he heard the distinct sound of a hammer of a gun being pulled back.
He turned slowly to see Alfred looking at him with a steely expression, a pistol pointed steadily at Remy’s chest. His nervous expression and demeanor was gone, having clearly been an act.
“Whoa, dere, let’s talk dis through. Jus’ put away de gun, Alfred.”
Alfred sneered at him. “Shut the hell up, Mutie. In an hour you’ll be locked in here, and I’ll be selling this scepter to a very interested collector from New York. The Egyptians were stupid enough to hire me, and it looks like you were stupid enough to go along with them. Now, slowly, set the scepter down and slide it over with your foot. We don’t want you to drop it if I shoot you. Might damage it.” He said with a grim smile.
“Alright,” Remy said softly. “I’m gonna put it down right now.”
Remy slowly bent down and began to place it on the ground. A shout sounded from the entrance to the safe, and four security guards entered with weapons drawn. Alfred’s eyes widened, and he dove behind a bookshelf for cover, firing blindly at the guards moved toward him.
Remy, out of sight from the guards in his crouch, rolled swiftly in the direction opposite of Alfred, and quickly crawled in the direction of the vault door. He heard a grunt and a cry of pain as one of the guards was hit by Alfred’s wild shots.
He crept past them, one row down, as they moved in on Alfred’s position. Remy firmed up his grip on the scepter, and then rose from his crouch and sprinted for the vault door. He heard a shout behind him as the motion caught the eye of one of the guards, but he was already through.
He slammed the vault door shut, and heard a ‘ping’ as a bullet hammered into the door. He moved out of the small room, closed the second door, and breathed a sigh of relief. Both doors locked from the outside, so there was no way they would be getting out until someone let them out.
He sprinted up the stairs and through the corridors once again, and paused near the photo-electric beams, to pick up a playing card that leaned directly in the path of one of them.
He’d suspected there was more to Alfred than what he’d seen, and hadn’t trusted the man. Because of that, he’d set up his bypass to the security beams with a tiny charge in the center of his wire, set to destroy the bypass wire twenty minutes after he placed it.
As they had moved through the hallway, he had surreptitiously dropped one of his cards to interrupt the beam. Once the bypass self-destructed, the signal of the interrupted beam had been sent, alerting the guards, who had made their way down to the vault to check on it.
Remy chuckled to himself as he slipped out the hole he’d created in the wall, and made his way once more past the perimeter security. Alfred would soon run out of bullets, and would have to surrender to the guards, and once they were all let out when someone realized they had been gone for too long, he’d be taking a nice trip to prison.
‘Now all I need to do is turn this in for my money,’ Remy thought as he hopped onto his motorcycle and gunned it down the street, the adrenaline rush still pumping through his veins, making him feel giddy as he wove in and out of traffic toward the hotel where the Egyptian government agent was waiting for the scepter.
As Remy finished his story, Rogue, who had watched him with rapt fascination as he told it, shook her head in amazement, and laughed. “Wow, Remy, were all your jobs like that?”
Remy shrugged and smiled. “Some do have their excitement. And dere can be quite a bit of double-crossin’ when y’work wit’ others like dat.”
“Ah can’t believe yah knew he was gonna backstab yah, an y’already had planned for that.”
Remy grinned. “Well, when you’re in de business, y’learn quick to plan for as many ways for your heist t’go wrong as you can. I had no idea if he was going to do dat, but I could tell I shouldn’ trust him. If he hadn’t double-crossed me, de alarm woulda still gone off, an’ we woulda had t’fight our way out, which woulda been easy goin’ wit’ my powers.”
Rogue smiled at him. “Thanks for tellin’ me that, Remy.”
He nodded, grinning back. “Anytime y’want t’hear a good story, jus’ ask me.” He said, and then his attention was drawn to a beeping from the control panel.
He turned and looked, and then absently gathered the cards up in one hand and slid the deck into his pocket. “Guess dat was our last game – we’re comin’ up on de place,” he said, and Rogue nodded, pressing the button to retract the small table.
He pulled the jet off of autopilot, and began bringing them in lower until they were brushing inches above the treetops, so that no one in the nearby town would see their approach.
Remy lowered the jet down onto its landing pads in a small clearing in the woods a mile away from Henri’s house. Remy unbuckled his restraint harness, and stood from his seat as he shut down the engines, and ran through a quick post-flight check on the instruments.
He glanced to Rogue, who had also stood, and was stretching her legs after the long flight. “We made it,” He said with a grin, and walked toward the control panel that opened the ramp. He and Rogue walked down the ramp when it settled down on the ground, and he closed the ramp behind them as they stepped onto the grassy meadow.
“Dis way,” he said, pulling lightly on her arm, leading her in the direction of Henri’s secluded home. As they walked through the trees, Rogue was reminded of their horse-riding trip just a few days ago.
The morning sun was out, illuminating patches of forest that weren’t blocked out by the trees. After several minutes of walking, they came upon the edge of the forest. A few hundred yards away, Rogue saw a young girl kneeling along a row of small bushes, digging a hole with a small spade. The purplish-pink hair that hung down into her face as she dug, and the bony protrusions along her arms, exposed by the T-shirt she wore, identified her immediately as Sarah, who she’d seen in Remy’s memories that flooded her head in a jumbled mess since she’d first touched him.
She also saw an older man also digging nearby, and he looked familiar to her as well – at least, familiar to the piece of Remy she had inside her psyche.
Rogue started to walk further out from the forest edge, but Remy grabbed her arm and held her back. She turned her head to ask him what was wrong, but he placed a finger to her lips and shot her a grin. “Shh. I’m gonna have bit of fun with her.” He said quietly.
He smiled at the sight of Henri and Sarah digging in Henri’s garden – it was one thing that Remy was always surprised by from Henri – he just didn’t seem like the gardening and landscaping type, but he had developed a love for it. Remy slipped a hand into his trenchcoat and pulled out his cell phone. He flipped it open, and dialed Henri’s cell number.
He watched Henri drop his spade and fumble in his pants pocket before answering the phone. “Remy!” He said. “I see you finally replaced your cell phone. Gotta say I’m surprised you’re up so early,” he teased.
“Yeah, yeah,” Remy grumbled. “Decided I’d surprise Sarah with an early call for a changed,” he said slyly.
“Alright, I’ll put her on,” Henri said, and Remy saw him hand the phone to Sarah who had been watching him expectantly.
“Hi Remy,” Sarah chirped brightly, settling the phone between her ear and her shoulder so she could use both hands to continue digging.
“Mornin’, /petite/, how you been doin’?”
“Good! I went out on the lake again yesterday.”
“So, Henri got you workin’ hard for him?” He asked, giving Rogue an amused glance.
“Yeah,” she said, “I’ve been helpin’ him in his garden.”
She set down her spade and grabbed the bush next to the hole and placed it inside. The root bulb stuck up visibly.
“You need to make de hole deeper, /petite/. Otherwise it’s gonna die sticking up like dat.” He said in a nonchalant tone.
“Oh, sorry, Remy, I -” She said, beginning to nod absently before she froze as she realized what he had said.
“What?” She asked, confused.
“If y’leave de top of de root bulb stickin’ up liked dat, de bush you’re plantin’ won’t get enough nutrients t’live very long.” He said innocently, and nodded to Rogue as he began walking out of the forest.
“How do-“ Sarah began, and looked around wildly. She spotted him, and her face lit up. She dropped the phone next to the plant and took off running toward Remy.
He grinned at her, and knelt down as she closed the distance between them. “Oof-” he managed as she leapt onto him, throwing her arms around his neck. The force knocked him over, and he landed on his back.
“Remy!” She shouted excitedly, burrowing her face in the hollow of his neck. He smiled and hugged her tightly, not even feeling the bones on her face digging into his neck or the bones on her arms and shoulders poking at his arms.
He chuckled as he got his breath back, and reached a hand up to fondly rub the back of her head as she gripped his neck tightly, as if afraid that if she let go he’d leave again.
He moved one arm from around her, and set his hand against the ground, pushing himself up to get his feet under him so he could stand. He stood, and held her tightly, easily carrying her weight in his arms.
He glanced at Rogue who was looking at the two of them with a fond smile. He settled his chin on the top of Sarah’s head. “I missed you, /ma mignonne/.” He whispered to her.
She finally pulled back a bit and looked up at him with her blue eyes, which sparkled with unshed tears. “I missed you too, Remy. So much. Glad you’re finally back,” she said, and shyly kissed his cheek.
He grinned at her. “Told ya I’d come an’ get you dis week,” he said, giving her a wet, sloppy kiss to the forehead.
She crinkled her nose cutely, and reached up with one hand to wipe it away. “Eww. You’re messy.”
Remy laughed, and shifted her in his arms, and she finally realized he hadn’t come alone when she saw Rogue standing nearby. “I’d like you t’meet my friend, Rogue.” He said.
“Hi Rogue, I’m Sarah,” she said brightly, and Rogue shook her tiny hand, looking amused.
“Nice t’meet yah, Sarah. Remy’s told me a lot about yah.”
Sarah blushed, and then her eyes widened. “You’re Remy’s horse lady!” She said excitedly.
Rogue quirked her eyebrow at Remy.
“Yeah, she’s my horse lady.” He said, his lips twitching with suppressed laughter, and looked up at Rogue. “I was talkin’ to her when y’came to get me for our ride,” he said in explanation.
Rogue smiled and nodded.
Sarah beamed up at Remy. “Remy said he’s gonna teach me to ride horses when we go to the school.”
At that point, Henri had made it to them, walking at a much more sedate pace than Sarah. “Didn’ ‘spect to see you here today, you ol’ swamp rat.” He said.
His eyes lit up when he saw Rogue standing off to the side. “Well, well, Remy, who’s dis belle fleur/? Dis de /femme dat invited you to de school?”
Remy shook his head. “/Non/, Henri. Dis is a friend I met at de mansion. Rogue, dis is my /frère/, Henri. Henri, dis is Rogue.”
Henri took her hand, and bent over it, his lips brushing the back of it. “D’lighted t’meet you, Rogue.”
Rogue noted that he looked nothing like Remy – he was taller, more heavily built, and wore a bushy moustache – and recalled that Remy had told her he’d been adopted into the LeBeau family. “Nice to meet you too, Henri.” She said.
Henri smiled and turned back to Remy. “Why don’t y’all come in, an’ I’ll make y’ some breakfast.”
Remy nodded. “Alright. But den we got to get goin’,” he said.
Rogue looked at him in surprise. “We do?” She asked – she’d been expecting she would miss the entire day of school, figuring he’d want to spend the day here.
Remy nodded to her. “Yeah, I’d like t’stay, but I promised Stormy I’d teach de Shop class for her, so I need t’get back dere.”
Henri looked at him in surprise as they began walking. “Alright, who are you, and what have you done with my brother?”
Remy grinned, and shifted Sarah in his arms for a better grip. “I’m just coverin’ for an’ absent teacher. But dat ain’ all – de Prof dere wants me t’think ‘bout teachin’ full time next year when dey get a bunch more students.”
Henri shook his head in amazement as he led them down toward his house. “Gone for a week an’ a half, an’ dey start turnin’ my brother /respectable/.” He said the last word in a mock horror. “Never thought I’d see the day dat Remy LeBeau became a school teacher.”
Remy smirked at him as he opened the front door for them. “Look who’s talkin’, /m’sieu jardinière/.”
Remy walked straight to the kitchen. He pulled a chair out for Rogue, who sat in it, blushing slightly at the gesture. As Henri bustled around the kitchen, preparing simple eggs and toast for breakfast, Remy pulled another chair out, and sat down as well.
Sarah shifted, settling easily onto his lap, and changed from holding onto his neck to wrapping her arms around his left arm. He smiled reassuringly down at her, understanding her clinging. “Don’, worry, /petite/, I ain’ gonna leave you b’hind again.” He said softly, and he was rewarded with a beaming smile.
Thirty minutes later, their plates clean, they began to prepare to leave. “Hey, Sarah, why don’ you show Rogue your room.” He pulled a small duffel bag he’d folded up in one of his trenchcoat pockets. “She c’n help ya pack up all your clothes an’ stuff, okay?”
Sarah looked up at him for a moment, and finally nodded, releasing his arm reluctantly, and hopping off of his lap. Rogue smiled at her as she skipped over to her side, and Sarah returned the smile. “C’mon, Rogue. I think Remy just wants to talk with Uncle Henri without me hearin’,” she confided, a knowing expression on her face.
Rogue laughed and bent down closer to her. “I think so too,” she said, throwing a smirk his way. “Let’s just let him think he’s won, and go pack your stuff,” she said, in a conspiratorial whisper that was loud enough for Remy and Henri to hear.
Sarah grinned, and shyly took Rogue’s hand and led her upstairs to her room, leaving Remy to chuckle at them as they left the kitchen. “Looks like I’m gonna get double-teamed from now on,” he said to Henri.
Henri nodded knowingly. “So what’d you want to tell me ‘bout?” He asked.
Remy quickly explained how he’d seen the man who’d hired him with Graydon Creed. Henri shook his head. “Damn, Remy, when you get into somethin’, you don’t stop till you’re nose deep, do ya?”
Remy nodded ruefully. “Dat seems to be de way it goes wit’ me,” he agreed.
Henri sighed, and was silent for a moment, and then his expression changed. “So. Dis Rogue – I c’n tell you got de hots for her. You bangin’ her yet? Cuz’ it sure don’ look like you got to de break-her heart stage yet, which wit’ you usually follows right after.”
“Henri!” Remy protested indignantly, and then lowered his voice. “No, we haven’ done anythin’. She’s datin’ some kid at de mansion. Though between you an’ me, she don’ seem happy with’ him, an’ I don’ think it’ll be lastin’ much longer.”
He shook his head. “Even den, I don’ plan on doin’ dat to her.”
Henri rolled his eyes. “Dat’s what you say wit’ all your flings, Remy. Two days later you got a cryin’ /femme/, or a red handprint on y’cheek, or both.”
Remy looked him in the eye, a serious expression on his face. “Not dis one. Rogue’s… diff’rent.”
Henri’s eyebrows rose. “Really?”
Remy nodded and sighed. “Yeah. I’m fallin’ for her, Henri. Dis is real – I can feel it.”
Henri looked at him, scrutinizing his face, and then a broad grin broke out. “Damn, Remy, you really are!” He said in surprise.
Remy nodded. “An’ other than bein’ just as beautiful, she’s de complete opposite of Bella.”
Henri surprised Remy by pulling him into a bear hug that left Remy seeing stars when it was over. “Happy for you, /frère/. I was worried Bella’d hurt y’too much an’ you’d spend y’life like y’have de past few years.”
“T’tell de truth, so was I. But I t’ink I’m startin’ t’get over it, an’ den I met Rogue….” He trailed off, glancing fondly in the direction of Sarah’s room.
Sarah tugged on Rogue’s gloved hand, pulling her into the bedroom Henri and Remy had set up for her. Rogue set the duffel bag on her bed, and Sarah moved over to her closet, and began pulling clothes off the hangers. She handed Rogue several shirts. “Could you fold these for me?” She asked shyly.
Rogue smiled. “Sure.” She said, and began to fold them neatly. “Yah got a nice room here. Remy get yah all these clothes?”
Sarah nodded proudly. “Yep! He got them the day after he took me here.”
Sarah tossed several more shirts in a pile on the bed. “It’s nice havin’ a girl around,” Sarah said. “Remy an’ Uncle Henri are nice but they’re also /boys/,” she said, crinkling her nose.
Rogue laughed. “Well, there’s plenty of girls at the mansion, so you won’t have to hang around the boys all the time.”
Sarah began to fold her pairs of shorts and pants, leaving the shirts for Rogue.
“So, are you a mutant too?” Sarah asked. “Remy said that the school is for mutants,”
Rogue nodded. “Yeah, I am.”
Sarah’s smile dimmed. “My power’s not very cool like Remy’s is. I just grow all these bones,” she said unhappily, gesturing to her face. “I hope your Professor can teach me how to control it so I can look normal.” She looked up at Rogue. “What are your powers? Can you blow things up like Remy?”
Rogue shrugged. “Mine aren’t very cool either. Ah absorb people’s powers when ah touch them, an then Ah can use them for a little bit.”
Sarah looked at her dubiously. “That sounds pretty cool. You can have anyone’s power!”
Rogue smiled ruefully at her. “It would be, if Ah could control it. Ah can’t, so anyone that touches mah skin gets absorbed. It can hurt them if Ah hold on for too long.”
“Oh,” Sarah said quietly. “I guess that isn’t so cool then.”
Rogue nodded. “Nope. But Remy’s been helping me learn to control it.”
Sarah looked up at her curiously as she opened a drawer, and began to pack her underwear and socks into the duffel. “I thought the Professor was helpin’ people?” She said, confused.
Rogue nodded. “He is, but we’ve had trouble with mah powers.” She saw Sarah’s worried expression and quickly added. “Ah’m sure the Professor’ll be able to help yah, Sarah. It’s mah mind that’s the problem, an’ it doesn’ want ta help me control mine, so I have to talk it into helpin’ out,” She said, simplifying the details for the young girl.
“Remy’s helpin’ me b’cause he had th’ same problem when his abilities came out.” She concluded.
Sarah nodded thoughtfully. She glanced shyly at Rogue. “Could you use your powers on me? I wanna see them.”
Rogue started to shake her head, but then saw the pout, and pleading look that appeared on Sarah’s face. “Are yah sure, Sarah?” She asked her doubtfully.
Sarah nodded. “Yeah.”
Rogue considered it for a moment and then sighed and hesitantly pulled off one of her gloves. “Don’t panic if y’feel somethin’. Ah’ll only touch you for a few seconds, b’cause I don’t wanna hurt you.”
Sarah nodded, and reached out and grabbed her hand. She gasped as she felt a tingling sensation across her body.
Rogue jerked her hand away, and Sarah looked up at her. “That felt weird,” Sarah said, crinkling her nose.
Rogue smiled and opened her mouth, when she felt a strange sensation along her arms. She heard the sleeve of her shirt rip, and found herself gazing down at small, bony protrusions poking through. The sensation wasn’t painful, it felt odd, almost like her bones were softly grinding together elastically. She felt the skin on her face tighten, and several smaller growths poke out long her forehead.
Sarah stared at her in amazement for a moment. “Now we’re twins!” She giggled.
Rogue smiled at her, and glanced into the mirror, and saw that she indeed had nearly identical bone protrusions to what Sarah had. She was shocked when Sarah gave her a firm hug.
“Thank you, Rogue. I don’t feel so alone seein’ someone that looks like me.” She said with a watery smile. “An’ I don’t feel so ugly anymore.”
Rogue’s eyes softened, and she pulled her back into the hug. “Yah aren’t ugly, Sarah. Ah think you’re one of the cutest little girls I’ve ever seen.”
Sarah sniffed into Rogue’s shoulder, and then moved her head and smiled up at her. “Remy says that too.”
Rogue smiled back down. “Well, Ah guess he can get some things right,”
Sarah giggled, her mind momentarily off of her mutation. “Yeah. He even got up early today. Usually I hafta call him to wake him up.”
Rogue smiled, and stuffed the folded shirts into the duffel bag. A few moments later, she felt the same grinding sensation, and looked down to see the growths she’d absorbed from Sarah had disappeared.
Sarah ran to her bathroom, and came back with a toothbrush, a hair brush, and several bottles of shampoo and body wash, which she piled in on top of the clothes. She zipped up the duffel, and smiled to Rogue. “That’s it,” she said.
“Alright,” Rogue said, and shouldered the duffel bag. “Let’s go see what Remy’s up to.”
Henri looked seriously at Remy. “Got a call from Dan Down yesterday. He suspects y' alive, tried t’get me to confirm it.”
Remy sighed, and ran his hands through his hair. “Was thinkin’ he might. He’d know I ain’ dat easy t’take out.” Remy shrugged. “If he calls again, tell him t’keep it quiet. I trust him. Anyway, I was already plannin’ on goin’ to him de next few days if he’s still in New York. I’m gonna need new IDs now, an’ he can probably get me a new bike.”
Henri nodded. “Okay, Remy.” He said, and paused when he heard footsteps down the hall. Sarah and Rogue walked into the room, and Rogue set down the stuffed duffel bag near the door.
“All packed, Remy!” Sarah said excitedly.
He smiled at her. “Good. It’s time for us t’get goin’.”
She nodded. “Alright!”
She turned, and ran to Henri, and jumped up, giving him a firm hug. “I’ll miss ya, Uncle Henri,” she said.
Henri grinned down at her. “I’ll miss y’too, Sarah. Now I’m gonna hafta work on my garden an’ go out on my lake all by myself.”
Sarah smiled slyly. “Well you can always do that with that Mercy girl you were talkin’ to ev’ry time we went into town.”
Henri’s mouth dropped open, and Remy laughed loudly. “Oh, what’s dis? Henri got hisself a girlfriend?”
Henri shot him a disgruntled look. “Maybe,” he muttered. He shot Sarah a mock glare. “Y’better run along now, or I’ll hafta toss y’in de lake for dat.” He said, before breaking into a smile.
Sarah giggled, and ran behind Remy, clutching his trenchcoat. Remy smiled, and shook Henri’s hand firmly. “Keep in touch, /frère/, I’ll let you know how things are goin’.”
“See y’Remy. Try not t’get into trouble anymore.” Henri turned to Rogue. “Rogue, take care of dis bullet magnet for me, /hein/?” He said, gesturing to Remy.
Rogue laughed and nodded to him. “Ah’ll try. Nice meetin’ yah, Henri.”
Remy opened the door, and grabbed Sarah’s bag, and gave Henri one last wave before he closed the door behind them. “Alright, /petite/, let’s get walkin’. I landed de jet ‘bout a mile around from here.”
“Jet?” Sarah asked breathlessly.
Remy grinned and nodded. “Didn’ I tell y’dat? De school’s got its own jet.”
Sarah grabbed his arm and began pulling him toward the forest where she’d seen him and Rogue exit. “Let’s hurry up then! I’ve never been flyin’ before!”
Remy laughed, and he and Rogue quickly had to break into a run to catch up with her as they entered the forest.
A/N: Hope you all liked it. Next chapter will not have a whole lot of Romy (perhaps only one scene). But we will get to see the arrival at the mansion, and a bit of TeacherRemy. And I think the other events of the chapter will make you guys quite happy even with the lack of Romy (I’m sure you can guess what I’m talking about ;) )
This one took a bit longer than I expected, mainly because I wrote and rewrote Remy’s heist scenario a few dozen times. They ranged from stealing a sarcophagus with a mummy inside, to breaking into a museum to steal a Picasso piece.
Real life has also been a bit hectic, but I found some time to pick up the latest issue (#422) of X-men: Legacy comic-book. I snagged it the instant I saw the artwork on the front of Rogue and Remy kissing!
Well, that’s about it, see you next chap, for those that haven’t read the comic and don’t want it spoiled.
For those that have read it, or do want it spoiled, read on:
Warning: Spoilers for the comic issue ahead
Rogue can finally control her powers now (hopefully for good)!
I’m a bit excited that they used a similar idea to what I had for this story’s Rogue to get her powers back – kinda cool to see your ideas show up in the actual comic. And it seems like Rogue and Remy are healing their relationship – hopefully the writers don’t break them apart again (getting a little annoyed at that).