A/N: Hi all, already back with the next chapter! Sarah makes it to the Institute, Remy teaches, and more. Not a whole lot of Romy, but there are several events I think you’ll enjoy, and it sets up for a very big event next chapter (and no, you won’t be able weasel hints about it out of me so don’t try! ;) ) Enjoy, and please, leave feedback – definitely appreciate all the reviews I get for this fic.
Chapter 12: Breakup
“Wow,” Sarah breathed when she caught sight of the sleek black jet. “We’re gonna fly in that?”
Remy moved ahead, and lowered the ramp. “Yeah, Sarah. Climb on in.”
Sarah raced up the stairs and walked past the leather-upholstered seats. She moved up to the front, and leaned against the arm-rest of the copilot’s seat, looking at the complex control panels.
She turned to the side when she heard the thump of the ramp locking in a closed position, and Remy walked past her, scooping her up and settling her on his lap as he sat down in the pilot’s seat. Rogue sat once again in the copilot’s seat across from them.
Remy reached past Sarah to start the vertical takeoff. Once they’d cleared the trees, he lifted the landing pads and pulled back the thrust lever, causing the jet to pick up forward speed, and he began pulling back on the yoke to climb to a cruising altitude.
Sarah watched his movements in fascination as the jet clawed its way into the air, but finally bored of it, and sat forward on his lap to look out the side windshield. “Everything’s so small,” she commented in wonder, watching the houses and roads shrink as they got higher.
Remy exchanged a smile with Rogue. “Yeah, we’re up really high, /petite/.”
He watched her work her jaw for a moment. “Remy, my ears feel funny,” she said, looking back at him.
Remy nodded knowingly. “Dat’s because way up here de pressure is diff’rent, an’ your ears hafta adjust.”
Once they leveled out, her ears stopped bothering her, and she sat back, watching the wispy clouds float by as they passed through them. “I like flyin’, Remy.” Sarah said, quietly.
Remy punched on the autopilot, and moved his arms around her waist, hugging her tightly. “Good.”
After over thirty minutes in flight, Sarah began to squirm on Remy’s lap, having grown bored with looking out the window. “Can we play cards, Remy?” She asked, looking up at him with wide, pleading eyes.
He grinned at her, and nodded. He carefully stood, and set her back down in his seat, and he walked to the back of the jet and grabbed a heavy-duty tool-box, which he dragged over to the two seats. Rogue pressed the button that extended the table, and Remy sat down on the toolbox in front of it as Sarah and Rogue turned their seats.
A deck of cards appeared effortlessly in his hands, and he shuffled them several times. “Whatcha wanna play, /petite/?”
She smiled happily. “Well, if Rogue wants to play too, we can do Go Fish,” Sarah said, looking questioningly at Rogue.
Rogue smiled back. “That sounds fun.”
Within moments, Remy had dealt out seven cards to each of them, and spread the remaining cards across the tabletop.
Sarah sorted through her cards, and looked at Remy. “Remy, do you have any threes?”
“Go fish,” he said, and laughed when she gave him a pout and reached for the pile of cards.
Remy slowed the jet as the neared the mansion, and was glad that no one seemed to be outside on the basketball court. He hit the button on the console to open the hangar, and he could hear the warning klaxon just barely over the roar of the engines keeping the jet hovering in place. The huge doors opened slowly, and he let the plane drift until it reached the opening, and then began to ease off on the power, allowing the jet to lower down, and finally settle gently on its landing pads.
He stood up, and began to lower the ramp. As it started to lower, he glanced back at Rogue. “Looks like we got an audience.” He said quietly, nodding his head toward several figures entering the hangar bay.
Remy grabbed Sarah’s hand, and walked with her down the ramp, Rogue following closely behind them. Ororo and Logan stood near the entrance to the hangar, and he made his way over to them, and gave them a nod of greeting.
“/Bonjour/,” he greeted. “How are y’doin’?”
“Y’mean aside from gettin’ woken up at three in th’mornin’?” Logan asked dryly.
Remy smiled hesitantly. “Yeah, sorry, ‘bout dat. Didn’ ‘spect y’jet to have so much kick to it or I woulda started slower.”
Ororo rolled her eyes. “It wasn’t so much that, Remy, as it was the alarm on the basketball court going off,” she looked to the young girl gripping Remy’s hand tightly. “I assume this is Sarah?”
Remy nodded. “Yeah. Sarah, dis is my friend Stormy, an’ de hairy guy over dere is Logan.”
Sarah moved partway behind Remy, clutching shyly at his trenchcoat, and waved to each of them.
Ororo walked up to Remy, and bent down, offering her hand to Sarah, who shook it hesitantly. “Hi, Sarah. Welcome to our school. And thanks for being the one that got this lug to finally visit me,” she said, swatting at Remy’s midsection.
Sarah smiled, and giggled. “Thank you, Storm.” She eyed Storm’s short, shockingly white hair. “You’ve got pretty hair,” she said shyly.
“Thanks - ” Ororo began, smiling, but the conversation was interrupted by the doors to the hangar opening loudly to admit Bobby, and Remy could see Jubilee, Piotr, and others in the hallway.
“Back to steal some more from us, /thief/?” Bobby asked, somewhat venomously, an angry expression on his face as he glanced to Rogue who stood close to Remy.
Sarah’s eyes narrowed as she looked around Remy’s coat at the boy who had barged into the room. She felt an instant dislike for him – not only had he been rude enough to disrupt what had been, in her opinion, her very important discussion with Storm about her hair, but he was also being nasty to /her/ Remy.
She was going to say something to him, but at that moment, Remy turned, and bent down to place a hand on her shoulder. “/Petite/, why don’t you have Rogue show y’around de school. I’ll be along wit’ you in a bit, but I got some discussions to have.” He said.
She saw him shoot a pleading glance to Rogue, and within moments Rogue had taken her hand. “C’mon, Sarah, let’s see if we c’n find the Professor, an’ show you around.”
Sarah reluctantly released her hold on Remy, and let Rogue lead her toward the exit. Sarah shot one last glare in the rude boy’s direction – and was happy when she saw Rogue do the same – before Rogue took her out into the hallway, which was filled with a number of other people.
They had reached a curved set of doors when they opened, revealing an elevator inside. A distinguished-looking older man, with a bald head, moved out of the elevator, directing his wheelchair using controls on the armrest.
He smiled kindly at her, and she looked back at him shyly, gripping Rogue’s hand tighter. “Hello there, you must be Sarah,” he said, and she nodded.
“Welcome to our school. My name is Professor Xavier.”
“Hi. You’re the Professor that helps mutants like me?”
Xavier nodded. “Yes, and I can’t wait to talk to you more, but I sense a bit of trouble in the hangar that I must go and defuse. Let’s talk later today about what schooling you’ve had, and we can figure out what classes you should be in.”
Sarah nodded excitedly. “Okay!”
Xavier laughed softly, and glanced at Rogue who was glancing worriedly back at the room she’d left Remy and Bobby in. “Rogue, could you take Sarah up to the kitchen? I believe Remy has a surprise waiting for her up there,” he said.
Rogue nodded absently and led Sarah into the elevator as Xavier began to move toward the hangar.
As the doors to the hangar closed behind Rogue and Sarah, Remy looked scornfully to Bobby. “’back to steal some more’,” he repeated mockingly to Bobby, “What exactly did I steal in de first place, Ice-boy?”
“Our jet!” Bobby said, pointing accusingly at the jet now cooling on the hangar floor.
Remy let out a disbelieving laugh, and looked pointedly at the jet. “If I stole it, den why is it back here? If I really wanted t’steal it, you’d never see it again. An’ last I checked, dese jets are for de X-men, an’ I b’lieve I’m one of dem now.”
“That doesn’t mean you can just grab one of our vehicles, and take it God knows where –”
“Louisiana.” Remy interrupted calmly.
“Huh?” Bobby said, looking at him in confusion.
“I tol’ you where I went. Louisiana.” Remy said slowly.
“Whatever. You can’t just take our jet, and coerce my girlfriend into going wherever you want to go.”
“Ah, an’ here we get to de real reason you’re pissed. You don’ care dat I borrowed de jet – you can’t stand Rogue spendin’ time wit’ me. Here’s some news for ya – I didn’ make Rogue go wit’ me. She followed me, an’ den snuck onto de jet all by herself.”
“So you got a problem wit’ dat, talk t’her ‘bout it. Maybe if y’didn’ treat her like crap like you been doin’ since I got here, an’ realized she’s her own person an’ dat she can make her own decisions, she’d spend more time wit’ya, an’ wouldn’ sneak onto jets wit’ me, an’ do whatever else she’s done dat’s got a crawdad down y’tighty-whities.”
He could see in Bobby’s eyes that his comments had struck home with him, but Bobby tried to hide it with his angry expression. Remy saw Ororo about to break into the argument, but he shook his head imperceptibly at her. He didn’t want her getting pulled into his feud with Bobby.
“Yeah, whatever. You still can’t just take our jet whenever you want just because you want to run off on some ‘mission’ that you made up. They’re for important things, not for ferrying thieves on their errands.” Bobby said.
“Y’can call me a thief ‘till you’re blue in de face, Ice/boy/ – you tryin’ t’use it as an insult, but it just a compliment to me. An’ as far as usin’ de jet for important things to de X-men: I jus’ went all de way to Louisiana t’pick up a little ten year old girl who’s been abused by her father for bein’ a mutant, an’ only wants t’be able t’control her powers so she c’n fit in an’ not called a freak by all de bigots in dis world.” He said heatedly. “If helpin’ her ain’ exactly what dis school, an’ de X-men is about, I don’ know what is.”
Bobby’s mouth worked for a few moments and then snapped shut, unable to come up with a response.
“I must agree.” Xavier said from the doorway. “I said last night, Gambit informed both Ororo and myself that he had made the acquaintance of a young mutant who had trouble controlling her powers, and that he would be bringing her here this week. Logan and Piotr, in fact, knew the basics as well because they helped him set up her room this weekend.”
“Bobby, whatever is causing this animosity between yourself and Gambit, you need to deal with it and calm your temper. Gambit is one of us now, Bobby.”
Bobby threw his hands up in frustration and stalked out the door. Remy heard him mutter something under his breath as he left the room.
Xavier looked to Remy as the doors closed. “Please try not to provoke him, Remy. He’s struggling with the reactions of having told his family he is a mutant, on top of his jealousy of your friendship with Rogue and their own changing relationship.”
Remy sighed, and let the anger that had built up in the argument leave him. “Y’right, Charles. I’ll try m’hardest, but I’d swear dat boy don’ need no help gettin’ provoked ‘bout things.”
Logan had watched the argument in silence, and was secretly more impressed by Remy now than he had been even when he’d gotten to know him. Remy had been oddly calm through the argument, and then here he was agreeing he’d try to not provoke Bobby. ‘/Kid’s damn sure handling this better than I did with Scott, /” he thought wryly.
Charles nodded to Remy, pleased with the concession. “Now, about our wake-up call this morning…..” He said, smiling at Remy.
Remy looked away, scratching the back of his head. “Sorry ‘bout dat. Didn’ think it’d be so noisy.”
Xavier nodded wryly. “Next time, let us know where you’re going beforehand, and more importantly when you’re going.”
Remy nodded, gently reprimanded. “You got it.”
“Good.” He said, and appeared satisfied that that part of the discussion was over. “I met your young friend on my way down here. Very nice little girl. I sent her upstairs with Rogue to the kitchen,” he said, looking knowingly at Remy, who he knew had asked Sally to surprise Sarah there.
Remy smiled. “Good.” He looked more seriously at Xavier. “You think you can help her?”
“I need to spend some time with her to be sure, but from the surface scan of her mind I believe I should be able to. I think she simply had the misfortune of her mutant abilities revealing themselves very early. Her mind was not developed enough to handle them properly and now I think she just needs to work with them as she grows older to gain the correct control over them.”
Remy let out a sigh of relief. “I hope so.”
He glanced to Ororo and Logan and then back to the Professor. “I’m gonna go check on Sarah, an’ den get ready for dat class you wanted me t’cover. Who’m I teachin’ by the way?” Remy asked.
Charles smiled. “The shop class today is for the younger students – the same you taught history to, so try to avoid getting too technical with the motorcycle lesson.”
Remy nodded. “D’you mind if I bring Sarah along t’meet ev’ryone?”
Xavier shook his head. “Not at all, Remy. I think that would be a good idea. After you are done with the class, perhaps you could bring her by my office so we can discuss what classes to place her in, and I can get a better idea of her mutant abilities.”
Remy smiled. “Alrigh’ Professor,” he said as he walked toward the hangar door.
Sarah looked around the hallways of the ground floor curiously – she’d never really seen anything so large and majestic. Rogue led her to a wooden door, and pushed it open.
Sarah glanced around, seeing the refrigerator, and realized it must be the kitchen. She froze in midstep when her gaze moved over to the countertop where a blond-haired girl, close in age to Sarah, sat on one of the barstools, swinging her feet idly as she read a book.
“S-Sally?” Sarah asked softly.
The girl looked up, and an enormous smile spread on her face. She slammed her book closed, and hopped off of the barstool, racing over to Sarah. “Sarah!” She exclaimed, pulling her into a rib-crushing hug, her mutation unconsciously forming a force-field along her skin where Sarah’s bone-growths jabbed into her.
Sally pulled back. “I thought you were dead,” she choked out, tears on her cheeks. “I thought I was the only one that escaped them.”
Sarah felt tears come to her own eyes, and she hugged her friend again. “I thought I wasn’t gonna make it out,” Sarah said. “That man that chased us was gonna kill me, but Remy saved me from him. We heard on their radios that you escaped from them.”
Sally nodded, managing a watery smile. “Professor Gambit told me that. He wanted to surprise you so he told me to wait here in the kitchen ‘till you came.”
Rogue smiled at the two girls – it was quite easy to tell that they had been best friends before the attack on the tunnels, and, she thought sadly, it reminded her of the close friendship she’d had with her sister when she’d been their age.
Rogue quietly moved to sit down at one of the tables, absently watching the two girls catch up, and mulled over the past several hours. Rogue was glad for their time together on the jet, Remy teaching her to play poker, and then trading stories about one another as they played.
And then she’d met Sarah. The way Remy acted around and toward Sarah was so…. adorable, she thought to herself. He was like a big brother who was wrapped around her finger; or even, she mused, almost father-like toward her.
For her part, she could see how he’d bonded with her so quickly. She already felt she had a soft spot for the girl. Sarah was an odd study in contrasts: her bubbly personality was contrasted by her shyness toward others, but it seemed that shyness only extended until Remy introduced her. It seemed to slip away once she knew Remy trusted the person and called them a friend.
She could also see a bit of herself in the young mutant – struggling with her powers, wanting desperately to fit in, rejected by her parents. The memories Rogue had glimpsed when she had touched Sarah briefly came flashing back in her mind.
She could almost feel the slap from the angry mustached man which sent her flying across a small bedroom as he called her a freak.
She could feel the horror as she ran from a hulking brute of a man, glimpsing blood soaked bodies of people she knew lying in the tunnels.
Rogue shook her head, clearing it. From what she’d glimpsed in the memories, she knew Sarah had been through a very traumatic, short life so far, and she hoped Remy, and Xavier’s school, could give her the support and love she needed.
Movement near the door of the kitchen caught Rogue’s attention, and she saw Bobby striding past, muttering angrily under his breath. She breathed a sigh of relief when from what he saw he was in one piece. She’d been a bit worried about leaving Remy alone with him, especially after Xavier’s comment as she’d taken Sarah upstairs.
She was glad that he hadn’t spotted her in the kitchen. From the mood he was in when she’d seen him in the hangar, she knew talking with him would only result in another fight between them. The fact that she’d been avoiding him the past several days wouldn’t have helped things either.
She sighed softly, frustrated. She knew, deep down, that things weren’t working, but the thought of breaking up with him frightened her. She could very well never have a boyfriend willing to accept her power. ‘/But I could get the Cure/,’ she thought, not for the first time since it had been announced, ‘/and then I wouldn’t have to even think about that/.”
She truly didn’t know what to do about that. Remy had given her a lot to think about with his comments, and she wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t be something she would regret.
She was broken from her internal conflict when a smooth voice came from the kitchen door. “Y’like your surprise, /petite/?” Remy asked, leaning against the doorjamb.
Sarah’s head snapped away from her conversation with Sally, and she dashed over to Remy, hugging him tightly. She looked up to him, a pout on her face. “You didn’t tell me Sally was gonna be here.”
He smiled down at her. “Dat’s de surprise part,” he said cheekily to her.
Sally stepped up next to Sarah, and Rogue stood from the table, making her way over to him, her eyes running over him. “Yah alright, Remy?”
Remy smiled at her concern. “Yeah Rogue. Iceboy an’ I had a little argument an’ den he ran off. Got a bit of scoldin’ from de Prof, ‘bout avoiding flyin’ in de middle of de night, but dat was about it.”
Remy glanced down at Sarah. “Alrigh’, /petite/, let’s show y’to your room, /hein/?”
“Alright!” Sarah said excitedly.
Sally smiled at her. “I’ve gotta go to class now.”
Sarah’s expression dimmed for a moment. “Okay, Sally. I’ll see you later.”
As Sally left the room, Remy reached down and grabbed Sarah’s hand, and looked back toward Rogue. “You goin’ t’come wit’ us?”
Rogue smiled fondly at them. “Ah’ll ride up with yah, but Ah was gonna go take a shower in mah room.”
They took the elevator to the third floor, and walked down the hall. Rogue broke off, opening the door to her room. “Ah’ll se yah two later,” she said.
“Bye Rogue,” Sarah called back as she and Remy continued down the hallway.
“Dat’s my room here,” Remy said to Sarah as they walked past it, tapping slightly on the door with his knuckles. He stopped two doors down from his own, and opened the door.
The room was around the same size as his, and had a similar layout, but he’d decorated the room similar to the way he’d let Sarah decorate her room at Henri’s. The bedspread was a cerulean blue – Sarah’s favorite color - and the towels in the bathroom were a similar hue.
He smiled as he watched Sarah’s face light up when she saw the room. She moved in slowly, looking at the large room in wonder – it was close to twice the size of Henri’s guest room, and had one of the most enormous beds she’d ever seen. The drapes on the far side of the room were open, and she realized they were in front of a patio door that led out onto a balcony.
“Wow, Remy, I love it!” She exclaimed, walking over to run her hand over the soft bedspread.
He grinned down at her. “Good. I decorated it wit’ some of de others here. I’ll let you get unpacked. I gotta change an’ get ready to teach. I’m teachin’ de younger kids, an’ de Professor said you can come along too if y’want, get t’know some more kids your age.”
Sarah’s eyes lit up. “Okay, Remy! I can’t wait! I really liked it when you taught me French.” She said softly.
Remy smiled broadly. “I’ll come get y’when I head downstairs.”
Sarah gripped Remy’s hand as the entered a door past a room filled with computers, and walked down a hall, into an enormous garage filled with a number of vehicles. Six others were there already for the class. She relaxed slightly when she noted that one of them, a young girl, had catlike features – pointed ears, a furry appearance, and even a long tail extending from the seat of her pants – she was truly among others who struggled with their mutations when they became visible, and it made her feel like she was back at home in the tunnels.
More students made their way into the garage, all of them excited for another class from Remy, and all looking curiously at Sarah. Finally, when the last person entered, Remy leaned back against a support beam in the garage, and greeted them.
“Alright, y’all. Looks like we’re gonna be seein’ a lot more of each other de next few weeks. I’m gonna be takin’ over for all of Pr’fessor Summers’ classes while he’s gone.”
He placed a hand on Sarah’s shoulder. “I’d like you t’meet Sarah. She’s gonna be a new student here, an’ probably goin’ to be in de same classes as you all.” Sarah waved shyly to the other students.
Remy leaned forward. “Okay, today we’re gonna be talkin’ bout motorcycles. How many of y’here have ridden one wit’ y’parents or someone y’know b’fore?”
Sarah’s hand shot up proudly as she remembered the long ride on the back of Remy’s bike down to Louisiana. Other than her, only Rahne raised her hand.
Remy nodded. “Dat’s ‘bout what I expected with y’all bein’ as young as you are. If y’ever get a chance to do it, make sure you give it a try.”
He turned and gestured to a Harley Low-Rider that sat in the middle of the garage. “A motorcycle is similar to a car in a few ways. ‘Sgot an engine and wheels an’ all dat. But dere are a lot of diff’rences. De parts are a lot smaller, an’ keepin’ it maintained is a lot more important b’cause it’s all dat’s between you an’ a spill on de highway.”
“Today, I’m just gonna show you de main parts of it, an’ how t’check dem out. I’ll try not t’get too technical for ya.”
He walked over to the bike and patted the wheel. “Let’s talk ‘bout tires. Dese are even more important den in a car, ‘cuz if one of dese suddenly goes flat, you’ll most likely wipe out.”
He glanced around the faces of the students who were looking on with interest. “Did Scott ever show y’all how t’check out tires?”
A girl in the back – the catlike one Sarah had noticed earlier – raised her hand. “Yes, Maria?”
“Um, he showed us how to use one of those gauges to check the air in a car tire, but that was about all.”
Remy nodded. “Alright den, gather ‘round an’ I’ll show you some more.”
The students squeezed in closer, and he rolled the bike forward. “When y’lookin’ at de tires, you ain’ just seein’ how much pressure dey’ve got, y’look for little bits of glass or nails at you might have picked up while y’drove, because if y’keep drivin’, you might hit it just right an’ it’ll go through de tire.”
“De other t’ing to look for is for crackin’ or bulgin’, which c’n happen in older tires. De rubber gets weaker as dey age, and starts crackin’.”
He pointed to a spot on the wheel, and they all leaned in closely to peer at it. “Dis tire has a bit of crackin’ here, an’ it looks like de bike isn’t used much or maintained very often. I’d definitely change dis tire before I ever rode dis bike.” He said seriously.
He moved to the side of the bike, and crouched down, pointing to the chain. “De other important part of a motorcycle is dis chain. Y’all have seen a bicycle chain, an’ how it makes de wheels move?” The entire class nodded. “Well dis is de same sort of thing, ‘cept it de motor runs it ‘stead of you pedalin’.”
“You got to make sure you keep dis clean, an keep it lubricated so it keeps turnin’ real smooth. You also hafta check all de links to make sure dey’re not damaged, ‘cuz if dis breaks while you’re ridin’, it could really hurt someone when it flies off.”
Rahne raised her hand. “What do you use to clean it?”
Remy smiled at her. “Good question, Rahne. First, I usually just take out an ol’ toothbrush I don’ use anymore, and scrub all de dirt an’ grease off de chain. After dat, dere’s some special motorcycle chain lubricants y’can get to spray on de chain.”
Then he grinned at the students. “Finally, y’got t’make sure y’keep dat toothbrush in de garage, b’cause y’never want t’accidentally put it in your mouth after y’use it on de chain.”
The rest of the class flew by when Rahne asked him to show them the engine, and he spent the rest of the time doing that. He finally replaced the cover over the engine, and wiped his dirty hands on an already dirty towel, and dismissed the class.
“See you guys later,” he called after them.
Sarah walked up to him, and handed him a cleaner rag she’d spotted near a workbench. “So what’d y’think, /petite/?” He asked.
“You’re a really good teacher, Remy. I could tell everyone else really liked the way you taught us.”
“Well, dat’s good. I tried t’make it not too borin’ for you guys.” He finished wiping his hands clean, and tossed the rag back onto the worktable. “Alrigh’ /petite/, Professor Xavier wanted t’meet wit’ you after class, an’ den after dat I though I could give you a little tour ‘round de mansion so you won’ get lost.”
“Alright, Remy,” Sarah said happily, grabbing his hand and skipping along next to him as he led her out of the garage and toward Xavier’s office.
Rogue sat reading a book in the living room later that evening – while Remy gave Sarah a short tour of the school – with Jubilee, Dani, and a number of the younger students, gathered around the television.
The Fox 5 Evening News was on, the weather forecast playing across the screen. As the cameras went back to the main desk, Rogue’s attention was drawn to the screen when the banner across the bottom changed to announce their coverage of the Cure.
A young reporter, who looked like he was barely out of college, stood in front of a large public health clinic. A line of people stood outside waiting in a long line, as they were admitted one by one past two security guards.. Among them, a large number had visible mutations, from scales, to fur, to one hulking person who appeared to be made of stone.
To the left of the line, a group of protestors was visible, holding up large signs. The reporter put a microphone to his mouth. “I’m here in New York City at one of the many clinics across the country that are administering the Mutant Cure produced by Worthington Labs.”
“The clinics received their shipments of Cure doses this morning, and since then each clinic has been flooded by mutants wishing to take it. We talked to one mutant who took the cure earlier this morning.”
The scene switched to a brightly lit afternoon, where the same reporter stood next to a brown haired woman whose face they’d blurred. “How do you feel now that you’ve taken the cure?” He asked her.
She replied with a shaky voice, clearly trying not to cry. “Amazing. It’s so relieving to be…. normal. When I became a mutant, everyone shunned me. Horns grew out of my head, and my skin turned blue. I couldn’t go anywhere without people looking at me or ridiculing me. I’ve been attacked several times by mutant-haters.”
“And now…. I look like everyone else. Someone on the actually smiled at me on my way to the interview. It’s a dream come true. I think a lot of mutants who have visible mutations like I did will be taking the Cure, just to stop the discrimination against them.”
“Thank you for sharing your story with us,” the reporter said. “One final question, and something of much debate since the Cure was announced: do you still consider yourself a mutant, having taken the cure?”
The woman sighed. “No. I think deep down I’ll always carry my experiences as a mutant with me, but I don’t consider myself a mutant anymore.”
The picture moved back to the live feed. “Of course, there are many mutants who refuse to take the Cure, and are protesting against it,” he said as the camera scrolled over the large group of protestors outside the clinic behind several barricades that kept them apart from the line into the clinic.
“One of the protestors granted us an interview this morning.”
The picture changed once again to a young man who looked close in age to Rogue. His ears were sharply pointed, and long, wolf-like fangs were visible in his mouth as he talked. “This ‘cure’, is nothing more than a way for mutant haters to discriminate against us more. They think evolution can be “cured”. I’m sure the early Neanderthals had similar thoughts about Homo Sapiens. The fact is, we, Homo Sapiens Superior, are the future of the human race, and these bigots want to try to destroy the very part of our DNA that has evolved using this Cure.”
“And this cure is only the start. The Nazis had something that they called the ‘Final Solution’, and when you think about it, that’s just another word for ‘Cure’. Next thing you know they’ll be tossing us into work camps and after that they’ll start exterminating those who refuse to take the cure.”
The reporter looked a little troubled by the direction the discussion had moved, so he asked another question. “All these mutants behind us are lining up to take this cure, and are relieved to get it. What would your opinion be on them?”
The man scowled. “They’re bleep cowards is what they are. No mutant who even has a bit of a backbone would take this. They’re too afraid to face reality and have to reduce themselves to humans to ‘fit in’.”
The scene shifted once more to the live feed. The man stood there for a minute as he got a cue in his earpiece, and began speaking. “The protests have thus far remained non-violent, but there have been several threats from radical mutant groups issued recently.”
“The cure, was announced this Monday when it received approval from the FDA for distribution. For those interested, there are three clinics in the state of New York administering the cure. Hope Clinic in Albany, John Edwin Clinic in downtown New York, and Washington Health Care Clinic in the city of Mount Vernon, near the Bronx.”
Rogue cracked her eyes open blearily as a sound on the roof pulled her from her sleep. She heard it again, and smiled to herself when she realized it was Remy once again walking on the roof.
She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and sat up in bed, yawning. She turned, and set her feet on the floor, standing up slowly. She grabbed a light jacket, intending to join him on the roof.
As she walked toward her balcony, she heard a soft knock on her door. ‘/If Remy’s on the roof, who could that be/?’ she wondered to herself, padding softly back across the room.
She opened the door, and saw Sarah standing in the hallway, garbed in a pair of pink and blue pajamas. Sarah, who had been glancing down the hall snapped her head back to the front as Rogue opened the door.
“Sarah, what’s wrong?” Rogue asked in concern when she saw the tear tracks on the young girl’s cheeks.
Sarah threw her arms around her and sobbed. “I had a bad dream.” She mumbled into Rogue’s shirt.
Rogue rubbed the back of her head comfortingly, glad that she’d slid on gloves as she got ready to go onto the roof. “It’s alright, sweetie,” Rogue whispered. “It’s over now.”
“Tell me what it was about, Sarah. Ah always feel better talkin’ about mah dreams.”
“It was- I was down in the tunnels, but the man that attacked me hurt Remy, an’ I couldn’t get him to wake up.” She said, sobbing.
“Oh, Sarah,” Rogue said softly, looking down at the shaking girl. “It was jus’ a dream. Remy’s fine.”
Sarah shook her head frantically. “No, he’s not in his room. I looked for him and he’s not in there. An’ then I remembered where your room was.”
Rogue pulled back and placed her hands on Sarah’s shoulders, and looked her in the eye. “Sarah. Sarah! Remy’s fine. Ah just heard him walkin’ on the roof a minute ago. He goes out there when he wants ta think.”
Sarah sniffled, and wiped at her nose, looking at Rogue hopefully. “R-really?”
Rogue smiled. “Yeah. Yah must’ve just missed him. Want me t’get him for yah?”
Sarah smiled shyly and nodded. “Yeah.”
Rogue pulled back, and walked toward her balcony door. She once again found herself balancing precariously on the railing, pulling herself up enough to see Remy sitting in the same place he had been the last time she’d been up there.
“Remy,” she called out, and he looked over to her, a smile growing on his face.
“Come t’join me, /Chére/?” He called back.
Rogue shook her head. “Ah was gonna, but Sarah came t’mah room. She had a bad dream, an’ was scared when she couldn’ find yah in your room.”
He looked up with concern evident on his face. “She down dere wit’ you?”
Rogue nodded, and began climbing back down when she saw him stand. As she stepped down onto the firm ground of her balcony, a sudden noise to her left caused her to jump in fright.
She spun, and came face to face with Remy who’d already jumped down next to her. “Damnit, Remy, don’t do that to me!” She said, pressing a hand over her chest.
He gave her a soft smile. “Sorry /Chére/, dat’s de fastest way down.”
He walked through the door to Rogue’s room, and was greeted almost instantly by Sarah leaping into his arms. “Shhh, /petite/, it’s alright.” He said as she gripped him tightly.
As her shaking subsided, he picked her up in his arms. “C’mon, Sarah, let’s let Rogue go back t’sleep.” He said, glancing over to Rogue with a grateful look on his face.
Sarah nodded into his chest, and then poked her head up over his shoulder to give Rogue a smile. “G’night, Rogue. Thanks.”
Remy carried Sarah out into the hallway, and began to close the door. He poked his head in once through the gap. “G’night, /Chére/. Mebbe another night,” he said, shooting her a dashing grin that made her blush, and only able to nod mutely as he closed the door the rest of the way.
Remy carried Sarah back down the hallway to her room, and placed her on her bed. He pulled the covers back over her, and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Go back t’sleep, /petite/.” He said softly.
Sarah grabbed his hand, preventing him from moving toward the door. “Remy, could you stay with me tonight?” She asked hesitantly.
Remy smiled gently at her and nodded. “Scoot on over.”
She squirmed until there was room for him on the bed, and he sat next to her, leaning back against the headboard, and she snuggled in close to him, closing her eyes. He stroked her hair soothingly, and smiled to himself as her breathing evened out. He closed his own eyes, laying his head back against the wooden headboard, and felt himself drift slowly to sleep.
Remy woke the next morning to find Sarah still snuggled against him, looking up at him with a smile. “Mornin’, /petite/,” he grunted, rubbing at the crick in his neck that had formed during the night from the position he’d slept in.
“Good morning, Remy,” Sarah said brightly. “Thanks for stayin’ here with me. I didn’t have any more bad dreams.”
He smiled down at her and mussed up her hair with his hand. “Dat’s good, petite. Sorry I gave y’ a scare last night.”
“That’s alright, Remy. What were you doin’ on the roof, though?” She asked curiously.
Remy sat up further. “Thinkin’. I had a bad dream last night too, an’ sittin’ on de roof helps me clear my head.”
Remy finally stood up and stretched. “Get dressed, /petite/, an’ I’ll make y’some breakfast, okay? Knock on my door when you’re ready.
“Alright, Remy,” Sarah said, jumping out of bed and padding over to the dresser and pulling out some clothes as he left the room.
By the time Remy started cooking breakfast, Rogue and Ororo had arrived in the kitchen, and he began cooking extra for them. He finally set the four plates down in front of them, each covered with eggs, toast, and bacon that he’d picked up when he had been in town and frozen when he got back.
The previous day, Sarah had met with Xavier, and they’d talked for several hours about how much schooling she’d received. He’d decided to place her in classes with Sally, but have tutoring available to her in some subjects like math and English which she was a bit behind in from her time in the Tunnels.
As they finished, Remy cleared his throat, causing the three of them to look up. “Stormy, I’m gonna be gone most of de day today, an’ I was hopin’ you could watch Sarah for me when she’s not in her new classes.” He said hopefully.
Ororo nodded, and shot a smile at Sarah. “Sure, Remy.”
“Where are you going?” Sarah asked worriedly.
“Into New York City. I’m gonna catch up with an ol’ friend of mine.”
Ororo frowned. “Remy, you told me that-“
He raised a hand, cutting her off. “Not for anythin’ like dat. I’m just meetin’ him to talk. He was callin’ Henri an’ doesn’t believe I’m dead like ev’ryone else does. ‘Sides, he’ll be able t’hook me up wit’ a new bike.”
Ororo’s frown softened a bit. She knew how much he loved his motorcycles. “Well, just be careful.”
“Have a good trip,” Rogue said quietly, as she finished off her breakfast. “I’d offer t’come with yah, but Ah’ve got class.”
Rogue and Ororo both thanked him for making breakfast, and excused themselves to get ready for the school day. Minutes later, only Remy and Sarah remained in the kitchen. “You better get ready for class too, Sarah. My taxi’s gonna be here any minute now.”
Sarah nodded, and grabbed his hand, looking up at him seriously. “You’re comin’ back, right?” She asked.
Remy smiled, and leaned down to kiss her cheek. “Always,” he whispered into her ear.
She giggled as his breath tickled her hair, and hugged him tightly. “Good.”
He stepped back, and tickled her sides. “Now get goin’ or you’re gonna miss y’first real class. Should be back by dinner time. I’ll pick us somet’ing up on de way home.”
Sarah squirmed away from his tickling fingers, giggling, and then put on her most mature face, crossing her arms over her chest. “You better be careful, like Storm told you to.” She said, before marching out of the room.
He chuckled as she left, and cleared up the dishes before sliding on his trenchcoat and walking out the front door to a waiting cab. It would be a bit expensive for a ride all the way to the City, but he planned on having his own bike for the ride back, and he couldn’t exactly do that if he took one of the mansion’s vehicles to get there.
He slid into the back seat, and slipped the cab driver a 50. “Thanks for pickin’ me up so fast, mon ami. I’m headed to downtown New York.”
The grizzled old African American man stepped out of the pawn shop – one of many similar looking store-fronts along the crowded block – to the usual sound of heavy traffic, horns honking, and people talking loudly on their cell phones as they walked down the crowded sidewalks. He began to lock the door behind him as he left for lunch, when a smooth, accented voice sounded from behind him. “Fancy meetin’ you here, Dan.”
Dan Down spun quickly and found himself looking into a pair of red-on-black eyes. A broad grin broke out on his face, and he grabbed the owner of those eyes into a bear hug. “Remy! You ol’ thief! Nearly gave me a heart attack there.”
“S’good to see you again, Dan.”
Dan released him, and opened the door, gesturing to Remy. “Well don’ just stand there, Cajun, come on in!”
Remy nodded his thanks and entered the small pawn shop. The shelves were littered with electronics, jewelry, coins, and various other items for sale. Dan moved into the store, turning the lock on the door, having already turned the “Closed” sign.
Remy glanced around, mentally casing the place, working out what each item could go for. He nodded to Dan, looking impressed. “Looks like you’re doin’ pretty well up here, Dan.”
Dan barked out a laugh. “I shoah am. People here in the city like buyin’ an’ sellin’ heck of a lot more than down in N’Awlins.”
Dan had grown up in the Big Easy – his parents and their parents had lived their all their lives, and his great grandparents had been slaves on one of Louisiana’s many plantations. He’d met Remy years ago, when he first started his assignments for the Thieves Guild, and they’d become good friends.
Dan pulled out two camping-chairs from behind the counter, and sat down in one, offering the other to Remy. “I knew you wasn’t dead, Remy.” He said as Remy sat down. “Ev’ryone was sayin’ it, but I knew you ain’t that easy to kill.”
Remy grinned. “I know. Henri told me you’ve been pesterin’ him, so I decided to come visit.” He paused, and sighed heavily. “Dis time it was pretty close though. If I hadn’t been wearin’ my vest I’d be dead right now. As it is, I had t’hide in a river ‘till de shooter left.”
Dan nodded. “I heard Boudreaux was braggin’ about puttin’ you in the drink.”
Remy’s expression darkened. “Boudreaux?” He demanded, looking shaken. “Was it-”
Dan shook his head. “No, it wasn’ Bella. It was Émile. Guess he jumped at the chance to take you out soon as he heard ‘bout the contract. Hates you for what happened with Julien.”
Remy sighed and shook his head. “I’d thought he did. Didn’ expect him t’go dis far though. Guess in a way I’m lucky it was him – only been wit’ de Assasin’s guild for a few years now. If it’d been someone more experienced, I might’ve not gotten so lucky.”
Remy glanced up. “You still been takin’ care of my apartment?”
Dan clutched his chest in mock pain. “Why, Remy LeBeau, it hurts that y’even have t’ask me. ‘Course I been takin’ care of it. Drop by once a week t’water your plants and pick up your mail. Not that you use the place more’n once or twice a year,” he groused.
Remy smiled. “Thanks, Dan. An’ I might be usin’ it more often now. I’m stayin’ at a place upstate wit’ some friends.”
Dan’s face lit up. “Well, make sure you come visit me more often now. It’s always nice t’see a friendly face from my Louisiana days.” He settled back in his chair. “So, other than comin’ here to shoot the shit wit’ me, I’m sure you got somethin’ you want, so spit it out.”
Remy chuckled. “You know me too well, you ol’ rummy. I need a new bike. Lost de other one in de river.”
Dan winced. “Shit, Remy. That was a nice one. But I c’n get one for ya, if you’re gonna be ‘round for a few hours. Anythin’ else?”
“New ID. Can’t go ‘round usin’ my old aliases without someone findin’ out I’m still around. Need a driver’s license, motorcycle license, passport – de usual.”
Dan grinned. “That won’t be a problem. I been getting’ used to you needin’ that, so I already got some set up for ya.”
He stood up. “Let’s go get some lunch an’ stop at my place an’ I’ll grab those for you, an’ call someone ‘bout gettin’ you a bike.”
Remy stood up as well, and followed him out of the store, and down the short walk to a small diner on the corner of the block.
Rogue walked slowly away from Bobby’s bedroom. He hadn’t been in it, so she figured he would likely be downstairs.
She’d thought it through that morning, as she tried to fall asleep after Sarah’s visit to her room, and had decided it was time she stopped this avoiding game they’d been playing, and to clear the air, and see if he truly wanted to make things work between them.
She reached the bottom floor, and glanced in the kitchen and the living room, but she only saw a few other students. She walked past the library and computer lab, and was about to give up on the search and try to find him at lunchtime, when she thought she heard his voice further down the hall coming from one of the empty classrooms.
She walked down toward it, curious as to what he was doing in there. The door was open slightly, and she could hear a rustling of clothes inside. She placed her hand on the door and was about to push it open. Then she froze, numb with shock, at the scene visible through the narrow gap.
Kitty was sitting on one of the desks, and Bobby was standing and leaning over her, their lips locked together in a passionate kiss. Books lay strewn around the desk, making it clear they had been in here studying earlier, before their present “activities”.
Rogue felt her heart being ripped apart as she watched Kitty – her flushed face turning to the side as she responded to the kiss. Rogue wanted desperately to look away, but it was like watching a horrible car accident – as much as you want to, you just can’t look away.
Kitty’s hands suddenly came up, and she pushed Bobby away, gasping heavily for breath. “B-Bobby!” She said, stuttering slightly. “I-I…. what was that for?”
Bobby had already regained his breath, and leaned back in closer to her. “I’ve wanted to do that for days now, and I couldn’t stop myself anymore.” He said in a low voice, bending his head back down toward hers.
Kitty placed a hand on the side of his face and gently pushed him back. “But Bobby, what about Rogue? Did you break up with her?”
Bobby looked away. “No, but I can’t keep it going between us anymore,” he said quietly.
Kitty’s hand rubbed Bobby’s cheek, and Rogue felt almost nauseous, seeing them together, touching skin to skin in a way she was unable to. “Tell her. Until then, none of this, Bobby. Rogue’s my friend. I won’t cheat on her like that. I want this – between us – to happen, but not behind Rogue’s back.”
Bobby closed his eyes and sighed. “Alright. I’ll do it today,” he acquiesced.
He pulled back, and sat in the chair in front of Kitty. “I really thought I could handle it. The no-touching, the absorbing, all of it.”
He shook his head. “But I can’t. I don’t think anyone could for much longer I have.”
Kitty nodded knowingly. “I don’t blame you. It really sucks for her, though. You can move on, but it’ll be so hard for her to find someone.”
Bobby sighed. “I know. I think that if she doesn’t learn control over her powers, she’s never going to have a relationship that lasts. People just can’t handle that sort of thing for long. She’ll never find anyone that can accept the no-touching for long.”
Rogue slowly removed her hand from the door, and quietly walked away from the room, away from Bobby, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Ah guess Ah have mah answer,” she muttered bitterly to herself, striding up the stairs.
She walked past Remy’s room, only too aware that he wasn’t there for her to talk to, and she made it to her room without running into anyone. Once inside, she whirled and slammed her fist angrily into her door. The next moment she cursed silently at her temper as she nursed her bruised knuckles, and collapsed numbly onto her bed.
Part of her couldn’t believe Bobby had been putting the moves on Kitty, all the while stringing her along while already planning on dumping her. The rest of her told her it didn’t really matter. Bobby didn’t matter anymore. Their relationship was dead and done with, and she was alone. And there was nothing she could do about it. She felt so empty inside, seeing them together, confirming the end of the relationship in graphic detail for her.
She choked back a sob as she remembered Bobby’s reasoning, and put her face in her hands. “He’s right,” she whispered. “Ah’ll never find anyone like this.”
She sat there for several minutes, as her tears slowed, her mind racing. She finally stood up – a determined expression set on her face – and walked to her closet, pulling out a light coat and a small duffel bag and then pulled out her cellphone.
She walked out of her room half an hour later, her bag over her shoulder. She nearly made it to the elevator before she was greeted by Piotr exiting his room. “Hey Rogue, have you seen Kitty?”
Rogue’s mouth set in a firm line. “Probably still swappin’ spit with Bobby,” she said bitterly, and then regretted it when she realized what she’d seen would hurt Piotr as well.
She turned her head toward him. “Ah’m sorry, Piotr, Ah didn’t mean t’snap at yah like that. It’s just. Ah saw Bobby kissin’ her a bit ago, tellin’ her he was gonna break up with me t’be with her, an’ Ah’ve been in a bad mood.”
She felt sorry for him when his face fell noticeably at the news. “Oh. Well, thanks for telling me. I’m sorry about you and Bobby. I’d hoped things would work out between you.”
Rogue shrugged. “Thanks, Piotr. Sorry ‘bout Kitty, Ah know yah liked her.”
Piotr blushed lightly and nodded, looking at her in surprise, and then noticed the duffel bag on her shoulder. His brows furrowed. “Are you going somewhere, Rogue?”
Rogue looked down and nodded. “Mount Vernon.”
Piotr’s eyes widened – he too had heard the announcement the previous day. “You’re getting the Cure?”
Rogue looked around and lowered her voice. “Yeah. Ah can’t handle it anymore. This power nearly killed mah first boyfriend, an’ it’s lost me mah second already. Ah’ll never have a relationship that lasts, ‘long as Ah have it.” She looked at him pleadingly. “Please, don’ try t’stop me, Piotr.”
He looked at her, carefully examining her face. “I won’t, Rogue. It’s your choice, and I understand why you’d want to do it.”
Rogue smiled and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Thanks, Piotr. An’ if you could keep it quiet for a while, Ah’d appreciate it.”
“Of course,” he said, smiling warmly at her. “Are- Are you going to come back after….?” He asked, trailing off.
Rogue nodded. “Ah’m plannin’ to.”
“Good. I’ll see you later then,” he said as she stepped into the elevator. “Good luck, Rogue,” he called as the door slid shut.
The elevator dropped to the main floor, and Rogue slipped out the front door, unnoticed, and walked down the drive to the yellow cab she’d called for. She sat down in the back, and settled her bag on her lap. “Mount Vernon, please.”
“You got it, ma’m,” the young driver said with a thick Brooklyn accent, and started up the vehicle, and Rogue stared blankly out the window as the mansion faded into the distance.
A/N: Hey everyone, hope you liked it! Well, there’s the breakup (although Bobby doesn’t really know about it yet so I guess you could say it’s the first part of the breakup).
I had a lot of time this week, and this chapter seemed to just pour right out onto the page without much trouble. IT was a little longer than I’d actually planned, but the whole “Sarah’s Bad Dream” part sort of popped up out of nowhere and slid neatly into the chapter. Love it when my muse is working overtime. :)
The next chapter could take 2 weeks or so - unlike this one, because my family is coming into town for the Fourth, and staying for about a week, so I won’t have much spare time.
Thanks for all the reviews/feedback last chap. Next chapter we find out about Rogue – will she take the cure? A bit more Romy next chap if things go as planned.