It's a fact Gambit is irresistible to the female species. No surprise when baby Rachel Summers begins to adore him. There's no harm in that or in Remy's paternal love for someone else's baby. Rogue...
A/N: I was itching to write something. Anything that wasn't related to accounting or business analysis. This silly idea had been with me for a year, but never got translated into a fic. Thanks to my writer's block for other fics, it did, but into a three-shot. Wanted to keep it a one-shot, but it was impossible.
As usual, it's lengthy. But think of it this way, would you prefer reading your lengthy school and college textbooks or an X-men fic? :-D Hope that's a motivation.
For the time-line and stuff, it's a few years after Ascension, Rogue can control her absorption powers and some of the future visions have come true.
Hope you enjoy!
Remy LeBeau didn't hate kids.
On the contrary, they had proved to be indeed a blessing from God.
Like the time when Remy accidentally broke Professor's ten thousand dollar vase while having a friendly spar with his girlfriend's blue brother; Roberto provided the necessary finance to replace it. When he needed eyewitnesses to prove he didn't steal Scott's car and took it for a joyride, Bobby and Jubilee came in handy. Then there were all the times he needed equipment to carry out certain missions he was commissioned to outside the X-men; Danielle pointed him in the direction of Forge.
And what did these angels want in return for their services?
Well according to him: Absolutely nothing.
Things like stealing test paper questions, keeping mum about sneaking in or out of one's room; tips on how to impress or please certain lady friends, keeping Logan and Laura away while the couples can play—all these tasks to Remy LeBeau were just everyday, normal worth nothing. Why, he would've helped the kids if they only asked.
"Hey Remy," Jamie trudged up to the Cajun, with a can of beverage in his hand. "Flowers, cookies and apology note attached with the Queen of Hearts have been received by Rogue. Amara is ninety percent sure she has forgiven you for being away all the time."
"T'anks for de update."
"Oh and I got you a be—I-I mean soda."
Remy smiled. "Jamie…..I definitely see y' acin' your mid-term wit'out openin' de book. An' maybe even graduatin'….."
Jamie grinned innocently. "I really hope so too Remy."
Remy sighed contentedly and took a gulp from the can.
Kids were indeed a blessing from God.
"So how's Rachel?"
All kids were a blessing except—
"Cuter," Jubilee replied, smiling. "And she learned more new words."
—Babies. They were…totally different. And technically, they weren't kids yet.
When Jean had announced she was expecting, Remy had been more fascinated to see her expand like a balloon than the baby. In addition, he had been truly looking forward to witnessing Scott go through hell…...
"This baby has to be the most beautiful thing in the whole world. No…..you're the most beautiful thing in the whole universe, yes you are."
Remy raised an eyebrow as he observed the newest and tiniest member of the X-men in Scott's arms, wondering how it can be the most beautiful thing in the whole universe. All he saw was a ball with a bright pink face and a fuzz of red hair which held no resemblance to its father. "Y' sure it's yours homme? He looks nothin' like y'."
He received a glare in response.
"But I t'ink I see a little bit of Jean in him," he quickly added, too tired to pick a fight. A telekinetic giving birth equaled to destruction similar to Rogue's power surge. No use to add more to the chaos. He was thankful Jean wasn't having twins. "See? De hair an' chin? Exact copy of Jean's." He chuckled. "Makes him look like a girl."
Scott still didn't look pleased. "It is a girl, Remy."
Remy didn't need to think up of an excuse to cover Bobby's miscommunication. The baby started crying.
Scott's full attention immediately got occupied in defusing the crying. "Shssh.….it's ok….I'm here….it's ok…."
"Hmm….." At that moment, the Cajun realized something. If the same thing was repeated, which ofcourse it would be, it would mean less Scott…. less check on duties and other responsibilities….
A very impish smile spread across Remy's face.
Less rules and regulations…...
"Congratulations homme!" He patted Scott's shoulder. "She is de most beautiful t'ing alright."
But unknown to Remy, they had all been destined to share the same hell….
"Please make it stop." Remy begged, pushing the pillow deeper into his ears. "Mon Dieu! Dey're gettin' back at us. I know it! Gettin' back at all dose nights we kept dem awake wit' our se—noises. Why else wouldn't dey wait t' have kids till dey moved out of de mansion?"
His beloved chére didn't reply. Probably couldn't hear him over the shrill cries of the baby.
"Chére. I know y' don like usin' your powers, but t'ink 'bout all de good y'll be doin….. all de people who can sleep peacefully, if y' go give Rachel a lil tap, huh? What do y' say?"
He received no response.
"Chére?" He removed the pillow to get a look at Rogue. All he saw was an empty space where she should've been.
Remy winced at the memory. But that wasn't the worst part of having a baby. It was the constant:
"When is Baby LeBeau going to come? Rachel will need company!"
"Marry Rogue already Remy! So we can have Baby LeBeau!"
"I wonder what powers Baby LeBeu will have."
The pressure to marry Rogue and produce Baby LeBeau had been too much. He was glad he got out of the mansion before his empathic ability mistook everyone's feelings for marrying and having children for his own. But poor Rogue hadn't been so lucky, not to mention too subtle in throwing little hints now and then his way to propose to her.
Remy huffed annoyed.
Didn't everyone understand the things that marriage came attached with?
And what did the baby came attached with?
Loss of freedom.
Always being a good role model.
Logan and Kurt supervising him more closely than before.
Getting an actual job.
A stressed out and moody Mama Rogue.
Get an actual, honest and legal job—Mon Dieu! The horror!
Thieving was his life. It was his passion besides Rogue. Stealing turned him on, not women like everyone believed. He just couldn't bear the thought of sacrificing it to be a…a…..Scott type father material.
'Poor Scottie.' He recalled the sleep-deprived, unshaven Scott they had left behind. 'Hope de guy's still alive.'
He liked kids in general. They didn't come with a 24/7 responsibility. Responsibilities he wasn't ready to face.
Remy slumped in his seat.
The responsibility of being a father and the family's disappointment afterwards for not being able to live up to it. He just knew he would screw up. Or unseen events would screw it up for him.
They always did.
It had always hurt seeing disappointment on Rogue's face, but seeing the same on his kids would kill him. Especially if he had to compete with Scott Summers—Best Husband and Dad of the Year!
The soda can began glowing. Remy quickly dissipated the charge and sighed.
He hated to admit it, but in those particular areas, Cyclops seemingly defeated him.
"So Rachel, huh?" He joined in the conversation to distract his mind from….unpleasant thoughts of Scott being better than him. "De kid grew up? Can go t' de bathroom all by herself? Stopped cryin' in de middle of de night?"
"She's not even a year old," Kitty answered. "But she's the most cutest little thing now."
Remy remained unfazed by the baby's cuteness. "Has she stopped cryin' at four in de mornin'?"
"Seat belts," Logan announced their cue to landing.
As the Blackbird slowly came to a halt at the underground hangar, Remy caught sight of Jean, holding the dreaded little bundle considered a joy. 'Please tell me dey've moved out of de mansion.' He began praying. He was tired of finding excuses to leave the mansion and Rogue. 'Please tell me dey've moved out of de mansion.'
Everyone rushed out in a disorderedly fashion as usual. Still praying, Remy took his sweet time.
Girls immediately went for the baby, who seemed pleased with all the attention. The males were restraint with their emotions, except for Logan.
"Mon Dieu…" Remy uttered as he witnessed the feral Wolverine act like putty in the baby's hands. 'Please tell me dey've moved out of de mansion!'
"Yes Remy. We've moved out of the mansion," Jean's voice interrupted his praying. "You can sleep in peace from now on."
He gaped at her. "Wha—Y' can't read my mind. Or did y' get a power upgrade again?"
"No." Jean gave him a dry look. "But I can read your expression. Right now you're trying very hard not to grab somebody and dance away."
"Interestin'….." Remy smirked as he eyed her admiringly. "Can y' tell what I'm expressin' right now?"
He secretly enjoyed her reaction, glad to have the same affect on all women…..even married ones. "Strange….." He noticed someone missing. "Don't see our fearless leader around."
"Alex had a surfing accident," Jean informed grimly. "Nothing serious, but Scott wouldn't be convinced until he saw for himself."
Remy nodded understandingly. He had lost count of how many times he rushed back home for….almost similar reasons. "So, where's my river rat?"
Jean rolled her eyes. "She mentioned something about a surprise for her swamp rat."
"Really?" Remy had to restrain his imagination from running wild. Surprises from Rogue were always….mind-blowing. It was also a pretty good sign that she had forgiven him. And if she hadn't and the surprise was a form of punishment….
Remy stopped himself from drooling.
….then he was so ready to be punished.
A giggling Kitty holding an equally bubbling Rachel joined them. "Look Rachel. Who's that? It's your Uncle Remy!"
"Kitty for de last time, just Remy," Remy glowered. "It makes me sound…..old. When Uncle Logan gets t' be called Grandpa Logan, den I'll be Uncle Remy." He inched back slightly. "An' can y' not bring de baby so close t' me?"
"Why Remy? Are you afraid of babies?" Kitty asked, holding Rachel towards him like some kind of evil doll, which she somewhat resembled with her red hair and the choice of clothing her mother selected. She would make a perfect Chucky doll if she had a knife.
"Course not!" Remy denied. "I'm de guy who happens t' rescue babies from burnin' buildin' an' nuts who want t' offer dem as human sacrifice."
"Really?" Jean queried intrigued. "Then you must have a lot of experience with babies."
"Non." Remy shook his head before smiling cheekily at her. "But I do have a lot of experience wit' deir Moms."
"That just means you're afraid of babies," Kitty concluded while Jean sighed warily. "Ooh. Like Remy is so afraid of you," she cooed at Rachel, earning a laugh in response. "Yes he is."
"Hmm…" A contemplative look covered Jean's face. "Then why haven't we ever seen you and Rachel together since she was born?"
Remy shrugged. "Coincidence." Coincidence which he made possible and sensed the telepath was about to figure out.
"Look how big you've grown Rae!" Kitty continued to put a smile on the child's face. "Now I'll drive you to the mall and—Like oh my gosh!" she gasped. "Are those teeth? That's great! You're finally old enough to be my official muffin tester!"
Rachel's laughter vanished. Her eyes widened in terror. Before anyone knew it, she burst into tears. "Wahhhhhhhhhh!" Pitching herself forward in anguish, she desperately made a grab for the closest person, which happened to be Remy.
"Hey!" Remy cried.
"Kitty…..I can't believe you." Jean gave her a disapproving look.
"What did I do?"
Never the one to resist a damsel in distress, and hoping to prove he was definitely not afraid of babies, Remy scooped the infant into his arms. "See?" he declared triumphantly. "I'm not afraid of babies." He turned to look at Rachel. "Not afraid of y'."
It was then he noticed the absence of crying. Rachel was staring at him in absolute horror.
'Of course,' he thought bitterly and closed his eyes.
He had never held Rachel until now. He had always avoided her and babysitting related duties. She had only caught a glimpse of him, never an up-close look. It wasn't her fault she wasn't used to his demon eyes.
"T'ink y' should take her back Jean." He didn't want her to be afraid of him for the rest of her life by giving her a traumatic childhood experience.
A gurgle emitted from Rachel's throat before Remy felt chubby hands pat his face, exploring until they stopped at his eyelids. Latching onto them, the little fingers tried to pry them open. "Ga!" Displeasure was expressed at them being closed. "Ga!"
Before his unique eyes were gouged open, Remy opened them voluntarily.
Rachel stared back at him for a moment, before she squealed and….
Remy blinked incredulously.
…..broke into a toothless sunny smile. He never thought any femme would look great with the absence of teeth. But she did.
Unsurely, he smiled in return and spoke, "Uh….Bonjour."
She repeated in her own version. It was babble, but it was still understandable. And he surprisingly liked it. It was fun to watch kids learn a few tricks from him, but this felt…different somehow.
"Aww..." Kitty gushed. "I think she likes you."
"Yeah…..well…" Remy quickly composed himself before Jean began gushing on him too. "Y' should take her back now…"
Rachel let out a whimper before she suddenly grabbed his thumb and squeezed it.
A strange sensation shook the thief. He couldn't explain it. It was some odd tug at his heart as he gazed at his hand and the tiny hand coiled around it. He shifted his focus to the small face gazing at him. All he saw was gratitude for saving her from Aunt Kitty, acceptance and something which resembled….love?
Remy blinked in confusion, but his empathic ability confirmed it.
Nobody readily accepted him like that, let alone loved him. There were always more conditions to fulfill. From loyalty to the Guild, Acolytes, and X-men to his love for Rogue, he had to go to lengths to prove them all. But even then, everybody still suspected and questioned his motives.
It felt nice for a change to meet someone who for once, wanted nothing more from him. Even if that someone was just a baby.
"Rachel, honey don't," Jean warned, but Rachel had already pulled out a few cards from the dazed Cajun's trench coat before letting them fall.
She laughed in glee.
Remy couldn't help but genuinely smile at the simple act of mischief.
For the first time, he carefully cradled her in his arms.
"Good t'ing she has your eyes, Jean."
Rogue couldn't hold back her tears any longer.
The love of her life had finally come to his senses! Remy LeBeau had finally grown-up! Her swamp rat had finally become a man!
She had been truly convinced he never would and that she would be deprived of experiencing one of the most happiest and wonderful moment in a woman's life. He had given her so many reasons to doubt him over the years:
Scott and Jean's wedding day—She catches the bouquet. Everyone is happy for her, except Remy, who seemed a little sea-sick.
Lucas Bishop—Remy is more fascinated by the time traveling mutant and his futuristic weapon than the possibility that the X-men could be annihilated; their future generation could be doomed. And Bishop always changed the subject when she inquired about the existence of her and Gambit's children.
Henri LeBeau's wedding day—She again catches the bouquet. Remy again looks sick.
Phoenix—A powerful cosmic entity who possesses Jean, posing a threat to the whole universe. Words of love and sacrifice are exchanged between Scott and Jean, which almost bring Logan to tears. After the ordeal, instead of realizing a loved one can be taken away in mere seconds, Remy jokily comments Jean should've remained a little bad. Bad Jean was hot.
Carol Danvers—a powerful psyche of a teenage mutant girl she had accidentally absorbed during her power surge at the concert. Never knew of her existence until she possessed her. Instead of powerful words of sacrifice and commitment, Gambit flirts with Carol until Professor Xavier was able to find a way to safely lock the psyche away.
Belladonna Boudreaux—Instead of flipping his ex-wife the bird with both hands, Remy ends up being slightly affected by the swamp witch's tricks to break their relationship.
Rachel's birth—Remy stays far away from the mansion as possible.
"Is dat a yes?" Remy's voice broke into her thoughts.
Rogue sniffled as she gazed down at the man she hopelessly fell in love with. "Do you really have ta ask?"
Smiling, he slipped the diamond ring on to her finger. He then cupped her face and sealed their love with an everlasting kiss. Rogue's mind barely registered the applause that broke around them.
But all of those reasons—doubts were in the past. And this was the present. And Remy and her together would be the future.
"Excuse me! Everyone!" Remy clanked on his champagne glass to get everyone's attention. "T'night…dinner an' champagne is on us."
Another round of applause and cheers broke out.
Remy beamed at Rogue before they sat down at their table.
"Uh….Remy? Are you sure you can afford dinner? For everyone?" Not that she minded her beau spending lavishly. It was just that their present location looked like—to be honest—even way out of Professor X's league. "This place looks pretty expensive."
"'Course I can, mon amour." Remy reached across the table and took her hands in his. He kissed them. "Or shall I say, ma soon-t'-be-wife."
Rogue sighed and let herself melt under his intense gaze.
She still couldn't believe it.
She was about to become his wife. Mrs. LeBeau. Mrs. Anna LeBeau. Mrs. Gambit. Mrs. Le Diable Blanc. Mrs. Swamp Rat.
Remy LeBeau would be her husband!
Rogue grinned to herself.
She liked the sound of that.
It had been all so sudden. Rogue's mind still hadn't processed it: Remy sending her flowers and cookies with an apology note…..Remy returning from the mission and suddenly telling her to put on her best dress and taking her out and then—
"So, you lovebirds ready to order?"
"Yeah," Rogue smiled. It didn't matter. What mattered was Remy and her together forever, locked in holy matrimony until death(which didn't apply to X-men) do them apart. "Ah'll have— " She turned to the waitress and frowned. "Kitty?" She gaped at her friend, dressed in a waiter's garment. "What the hell are you doin'?"
"Taking your order," she replied perkily. "Congratulations by the way."
Rogue merely blinked at her. "When did you become a waitress?"
"I don't know." Kitty shrugged. "It's your dream."
"What?" Rogue exclaimed. "T-This can't be a dream! Remy…R-Remy proposed ta meh." She held up her left hand, displaying the sparkling engagement ring. "S-See?" She ran her fingers over the precious stone. "It looks and feels real." Because it was real. Very real.
"Uh-huh, Remy suddenly proposing isn't like weird enough," Kitty remarked with a cough. "And congratulations again, but it's still a dream."
"It isn't!" Rogue denied, mostly out of desperation.
"Like take a little look around you. Mr. McCoy is playing the saxophone, Jean is the manager and the waiter checking out your soon-to-be husband is Scott."
Rogue looked around and surely spotted all the people and things Kitty mentioned.
"Mr. Summers!" Jean barked, startling Scott out of his daze. "Get back to work!"
Rogue's heart crumpled. "No…"
"And since when did you have two kids?"
Rogue almost fell out of her chair. "Kids!" She followed Kitty's line of vision and spotted two kids having a fork fight.
She had two kids?
"Oh no not them. Those are your kids." Kitty pointed at two couples—adult couples. "With their respective spouses." One of the men resembled Remy, but with a distinct white stripe through his hair, while one of the women resembled her. "The children are your grandkids."
"Yup. They all wanted to be here for the special occasion," Kitty revealed. "So, would you like to hear our specials for tonight?"
Rogue let her head fall on the table.
"I don't know why it took me so long t' do dis."
Rogue wearily lifted her face to look at Remy, who suddenly grew forty years older, but shockingly retained his attractiveness.
"Our children turned out fine. Our grandchildren turned out fine." He cast a look over to their table and smiled nostalgically. "What was I so afraid of?"
Rogue covered her face in misery. This wasn't happening….
"Rogue? Chére? Y' ok?" Her seventy year old fiancé called before he started shaking her. "Rogue? Rogue, are you awake? Rogue…"
Rogue's dream burst like a soap bubble and she found herself jolted awake. Blinking her heavy lidded eyes, she glanced around before resting them on the digital clock.
She was in her room at the mansion which she shared with Remy.
There was no fancy restaurant.
There was no proposal.
No engagement ring.
No kids or grandkids.
She let out a hoarse groan and rubbed her face. She couldn't decide whether it was better to be married to Remy after they had grandkids or never to be married at all.
"Anna?" She felt her body being shook again. "Anna? Chére, are y' awake?"
She mentally rolled her eyes.
Obviously she was now.
"Remy…." She squinted, trying to focus on the two glowing red orbs that were attached to a devilishly handsome face, "it's three in the mornin'. Ah just gave you your homecomin' present." She seriously considered putting a sign on her forehead saying, no sex after midnight. "There was a time limit on your present." She turned her back to him and closed her eyes. "And it expired at midnight."
"Y' were havin' a nightmare," he stated worriedly.
"Tell meh about it," she muttered sarcastically. 'You proposin' ta meh in our seventies? What the hell were you thinkin' Remy?'
"Was it de one wit' de psyches lookin' like zombies?"
It had been years since she had any psyche-related nightmare. But since she did indeed woke up from a nightmare….
"Uh…..yeah." She threw in a little trembling and misty eyes for added effect. "P-Psyches….tryin' ta s-scare meh again….."
His arms immediately went around her and pulled her close.
Rogue sighed contentedly as she snuggled against him. Resting on the muscular, masculine body of Remy LeBeau always made the memories of nightmares disappear.
Except for her latest nightmare. It had to be the most bizarre manifestation of her fears and insecurities.
Completely ridiculous fears and insecurities, obviously.
However, thanks to her absorption powers, Belladonna's attempts to win Remy back and Remy's secretive personality, insecurity and suspicion had become embedded in her thinking process.
She couldn't remember the last time she did not think: 'He's still not home. Did he runaway with that slutty cashier? Did they secretly get married? They're makin' out in the storage room, Ah just know it!' when Remy went out to buy something as simple as groceries.
Most of the time, these doubts turned out to be absurd. Just because practically every woman Remy passed by winked, smiled or accidentally managed to get a grope of his scrumptious body, didn't mean Remy would forget her and submit himself to them. She had been insecure due to her mutation when Remy started pursuing her, always scared he would one day get up and leave her because of it. But did he?
Warmth and affection surged through her and she laid a kiss against Remy's cheek.
Remy tilted his face to look at her. "What was dat for?"
But sometimes, insecurity got the better of her.
Because of her mutation, for a year and a half, she had pretended she didn't feel the same way for Remy. It was silly and she was certain that a few years from now, she would be looking back at this moment, smiling at her inane insecurity while she prepared dinner for her Cajun husband and their children.
If Remy could become a one-woman man, then surely the possibility of a family man wasn't far away.
Hopefully before their eighties.
For now, she just had to remain extremely patient.
Besides Remy running off at the mention of marriage or baby as if they were the black plague, there were the Summers—Scott, Jean and now baby Rachel—a happy little family who just had to live three minutes away from the mansion, serving as a constant reminder of her longing to settle down.
It upset her similarly when she could not touch and had to witness Scott and Jean's intimate moments everyday in her high school life.
Apart from the Summers, there were other reasons for her wavering patience too:
Belladonna finally moving on with her life. No more attempts to kill her and make Remy hers—although she did threaten to kill them both if they took a step inside New Orleans.
Mutant human conflict finally getting close to being resolved.
No threat of the world coming to its end yet.
No more secrets on Remy's part—the relationship-ending ones anyway.
She could control her powers.
She had inherited enough from Irene to last her a lifetime. Remy had vast sums of money stacked in various offshore accounts making him close to a millionaire.
Mystique was making a genuine attempt to be a normal mother instead of a psychotic one.
Remy loved her. She loved him.
All opportunities even a fool would grab at if given. Except for Remy.
'Be patient Rogue,' she told herself, unconsciously tightening her hold on Remy. 'Your time will come…..'
"Uh…chére?" Remy suddenly rasped out. "C-Can't breathe."
Rogue quickly loosened her super-strong grip before her sweet Cajun broke his precious bones. "Sorry Remy," she apologized sheepishly.
"It's okay," he assured, trying to normalize his breathing.
Silence fell upon them. Her sixty percent probable future husband broke it though.
"I was just…wonderin' somethin'….."
"'Bout…" He trailed off. Rogue believed he succumbed to sleep until he finally spoke, "babies."
She shot up into a sitting position, almost making Remy topple off the bed. "W-What did you say?" She must've heard him wrong. It had to be…..something else….like rabies.
Rabies. It made more sense.
"Y' know….." He seemed reluctant to continue, as if fearing she would lash out at him, "babies."
'Oh. Mah. Gawd.' Stifling an uncharacteristic squeal of pure delight, Rogue placed a hand over her rapidly beating heart.
It had to be a sign. To finally settle down. Marry her!
But then again…..
Rogue's gaze traveled up to the ceiling. 'Oh you just love sproutin' surprises on meh, don't you?'
…..It could also mean he knocked up a woman or a girl a few years ago and now she's dead and left a child behind. Of course, it made perfect sense. Marriage would be the last thing on his mind. And if surprises like Remy's ex-wife can pop out of nowhere, then because of his one nightstands in the past, he definitely could have a child.
It suddenly explained why he seemed so distracted after his return from the mission. She had believed it to be jetlag, but now it obviously wasn't. It was a baby, with another woman.
And he waited till after his homecoming gift to tell her that?
"What about babies swamp rat?" Rogue's hands balled into fists, ready to make a dent on his utterly gorgeous face.
"Uh…Y' know Rachel is a baby."
"Uh-huh….." Rogue murmured, her mind playing out his next words. 'And I just found out I have one wit' a woman named—Hmm….I can't seem t' remember her name, but she had nice legs—'
"An' well….." Remy sighed. "I don't know."
"Just take a deep breath and say it." Rogue cracked her knuckles. "Ah'm ready for whatever you're goin' ta say."
"Jean and de baby all alone. Doesn't feel….." He grasped for words, "right."
Rogue blinked at him incredulously. She never expected that. "Well…..uh….." she found herself at a loss of words. "They…..they have a defense system which would make Sabertooth think twice about breachin'. Plus Logan's little cabin isn't far away. He'll be there if somethin' goes wrong."
"I know, but Scott's not dere an'…..it's kind of important for a male presence t' be around de house."
Rogue threw him a dry look. "You know, Jean would kill you if you said that infront of her."
He sighed. "Y' know what I mean. What if she slips an' hurts herself ? Who'll see de baby den?"
"She'll contact someone telepathically."
"What if she slips an' hits her head an' is unconscious?"
"Wow. Miss Perfect Daughter-Wife-Mother sure is clumsy tonight, isn't she?" Rogue rolled her eyes. "Why are you suddenly so concerned? When they were here, you wanted to get rid of them."
"Well I just…" he stammered, looking—for the first time in history—ashamed, "never noticed how Rachel's kind of…..small….an' she can't walk…..an' she can barely speak. Dat kind of makes her very vulnerable. She doesn't even have any powers. What she gonna do if someone does break in?"
"Shatter the intruder's eardrums by cryin'?" Rogue suggested with a yawn.
"Non. I'm serious." And to Rogue's surprise, he did appear it. "Dey're all alone out dere…..in de middle of de woods."
"What do you propose we do? Ask them ta come here?"
"Wouldn't dat be much, safer?"
"Trust meh. They're much safer there than here. Especially Rachel."
Remy frowned. "How?"
"If you haven't noticed, Rachel has sampled every liquid detergent, chemical, furball, plant and Kitty's creation with her mouth and stuck her finger in every socket in the mansion since she learned ta crawl."
Remy's eyes grew round.
"And then there was the FBI."
"Flyin' Baby Incident. She somehow got ta the balcony, climbed and jumped off the railing, hopin' ta fly like Mommy. Thank Gawd for Kurt, or else she would never have made it ta her first birthday," she narrated. "Poor Scott. Fainted right there and then." She was fully prepared to scold Remy for laughing at Scott's predicament. But shockingly, Remy didn't even crack a smile.
"Guess Scott isn't as responsible as we all t'ink," he commented slowly, almost bitterly.
"Rachel is a handful too," she reasoned, slightly baffled at the disappearance of his humor. "Oh and no one ever told Jean so if you want ta stay alive, pretend you never heard about the FBI."
Remy nodded. "Guess dat makes Rachel much safer at de boathouse."
"Uh-huh." An idea suddenly hit her and she spontaneously acted upon it. "In her own house."
"Mmm…." Remy murmured.
"With her parents."
"Scott and Jean."
"Livin' together. Happily married. Finally settled down," she emphasized, hoping he understood. "Never thought the day would come when Scott would propose ta her. He's always been so shy. Only the shy ones take so long ta ask their girlfriends ta marry them."
"Anna….." Remy gently took her hand. "I t'ink y' made your point."
Her heart did a double flip in her chest. "A-Ah have?"
"Oui. Boathouse safe. Mansion, not safe for de baby."
Rogue resisted the urge to scream and slowly pulled her hand away. "Okay then…goodnight," she managed to say without tearing her hair out.
"Goodnight mon coeur."
Rogue sighed wistfully.
My wife would've sounded so much better.
"Love y' always."
'Always?' she wondered.
Did he seriously wanted to stay the same way, always? Forever?
The proposal dream came rushing back. Fear seized her.
Or until they accidentally have kids and grandkids?
She buried her face in her pillow, secretly hoping to have the nightmare about marrying Magneto and giving birth to a son. Anything was better than Remy's proposal nightmare and reality.
Rogue sighed in relief as she heard the shrill sound of an infant. That must be her nightmare son, Magnus crying. 'That was fast.'
"Y' hear dat?"
Rogue frowned. How in the world could Remy hear her nightmare son's cries? Unless…she never fell asleep.
She cracked an eye open and groaned, still very much wide awake. The sound of crying still continued though. 'Very weird….'
There was no baby at the mansion. Though there was one at the boathouse…..
"Is that, Rachel?" she inquired, perplexed at their ability to hear the infant. Last time she had checked, super-hearing was Logan's department.
"Non." Remy pulled out a portable radio—used to catch the police band and which came quite in handy for his other job—from under his pillow. "It's de radio. It's catchin' de baby monitor."
The ear-piercing scream prompted them both to cover their ears.
"Ugh! Could you turn that thing off?" Rogue yelled.
"In a second."
"What?" Rogue removed her hands from her ears. "You want ta listen ta a cryin' baby?" That had to be one of the strangest things since the existence of mutants.
He climbed out of bed. "Just t' make sure everythin' is alright."
Rogue rolled her eyes. Not that again. "Can you listen ta it outside?" The crying drowned out her request.
Two minutes lapsed.
Remy started pacing agitatedly, occasionally running a hand through his hair. What resembled fear crossed his face. "W-Why isn't Jean attendin' t' de baby?"
Rogue could only stare at him in astonishment.
Why was he so worried that she wasn't?
"It's just, really late Remy."
"Or she slipped an' cracked her head open," he mumbled, pacing back and forth like a nervous soon-to-be father outside the delivery room.
Rogue couldn't resist a small smile at the thought. 'Someday…..' Her smiled faltered at his behavior over the hints she threw at him.'Or not.'
Six minutes passed, with no signs of decrease in Rachel's cries or any indication of Jean's presence. Even Rogue grew anxious. Remy on the other hand, was ready to have a panic attack.
"I'm goin' dere right now!" The thief announced resolutely, throwing on his trench coat.
"In your boxers?" she asked when he was about to rush out of the room.
"Chére, I'm Gambit," Remy stated in a matter-of-fact. "I can fight in de nude if I wanted."
"Remy? Rogue?" Jean squinted sleepily, while a wide-awake Rachel stared at the couple through huge tear-filled eyes. "What are—?" On noticing a pant-less Remy, awareness finally came upon her face before her maternal instincts kicked in. "What are you two doing here…..so late?" she inquired suspiciously, looking behind them, probably expecting to see the other X-men. "Is everything alright?"
Rogue knew if either she or Remy moved an inch forward, they would be greeted by a force-field. Or Jean might flung them away like rag dolls. She wouldn't blame the redhead for being so cautious. Powerful mutants had taken control of their minds so many times.
"Oui," Remy assured confidently, appearing cool and composed. It was hard to believe he had been close to panicking a few moments ago. "Me an' Rogue were just headin' for de lake an' heard de bébé cryin'," he lied smoothly. "Everythin' ok?"
"Yes," she replied tiredly, calming down a bit. "Rachel just had a nightmare."
As if being reminded of the nightmare, Rachel burst into agonized sobs.
"Sshhh…..Rachel it's alright….." Jean murmured soothingly. "It's okay…..."
"Uh-huh. Really? A nightmare?" Remy eyed Jean guardedly, almost convinced it was some shape-shifter in disguise. "We didn't hear anyone wit' her. Very strange, no?"
"Remy!" Rogue hissed. "What the hell are you doin'?"
"Get ready t' grab de baby," he whispered in response.
"Not strange at all," Jean answered before they both heard her voice in their heads. 'A telepath doesn't need to speak out loud to communicate.'
"Oh….." Remy realized before summoning a smile. "But y' really should get your security system checked." He changed the subject, trying to minimize the awkwardness of the situation. "It has so many flaws. Rogue an' I breached it like dis."
Rogue glared at him. She almost got her clothes burned, thanks to the security system.
"I will," Jean replied distractedly, trying to calm her little one.
"Well, since you have everythin' under control here, we better be goin'…." Rogue grabbed Remy's arm, about to drag him, but he didn't budge.
"Can I try?" Remy suddenly asked.
Rogue and Jean yelled simultaneously. Although Rogue's shout was more from surprise than from not being able to hear his voice over the baby's cries.
"Umm….Can I….try?" He repeated, though reluctantly.
Jean gave him a puzzled look, but agreed. "Alright….." She carefully shifted the wailing infant to him. "Just watch her—"
"Head, I know." Remy gently eased Rachel into his arms.
Rachel's sobs immediately quieted down into sniffles.
Rogue raised a curious brow.
Either Remy really was the most beautiful man on earth that his beauty stunned even the smallest of creatures or he was Rachel's real mother. Fathers could never stop a wailing child without the trusty milk bottle and squeaky toy. And sometimes, even with them, they were utterly powerless.
She recalled how Scott had tried from cuddling and making faces, to tailoring Danger Room holograms to SpongeBob SquarePants and other of Rachel's favorite cartoons. But Rachel's crying didn't subside. Jean only took her, whispered soothing words and viola!
And Remy only took the baby…
"Wow…" Jean articulated her amazement.
Dat's why male presence is necessary, Remy mouthed to Rogue before reverting his attention to Rachel. "What was de nightmare about petite?" he asked her softly.
Rachel peered at him before she began narrating in her baby language.
"Uh-huh," Remy nodded as if he understood perfectly. "Dat doesn't sound like a nightmare. Seein' Grandpa Wolverine in a pink dress an' doin' ballet—Now dat's a nightmare!"
Rachel giggled through her tears.
Watching the unusual, yet wonderful sight of Remy holding Rachel and making her laugh, Rogue couldn't help imagine him one day, holding a red-on-black(or green-on-black) eyed baby, and gracing him or her with the same paternal and caring look that he was currently bestowing on Rachel.
Rogue let out a long peaceful sigh before something suddenly occurred to her.
She studied Remy again, scrutinizing every inch of his chiseled face and found something which resembled genuine care and affection for the baby.
She blinked disbelievingly.
For Scott and Jean's baby….?
For an unexplainable reason, Rogue suddenly felt uneasy. "We really should be headin' back now Remy," she stressed, tugging on his trench coat.
"Sure…..in a second….." Remy answered vaguely, slowly rocking a drowsy Rachel.
"Second gone." And she had no reason for why she wanted to get him out of here as soon as possible.
"Ten minutes den. She's 'bout t' fall asleep," he indicated, cradling Rachel as if she was made of glass. "Why don't y' head back? I'll just put her t' bed den join y'. If it's ok wit' Jeannie of course."
"Of course it's alright." Jean was surprised and touched. "That's…..very kind of you, Remy." Kind and out of character. For a moment, Rogue wondered if she ever woke up from her dream.
"It's nothin'," he dismissed the gratitude. He turned to Rogue. "Y' goin' t' be ok, chére?"
"Sure," Rogue assured quickly, her mind still reeling around the strange turn of events. "Invulnerability. So Ah'll be…..goin' now."
Remy only acknowledged her departure with a murmur and turned back to Rachel.
With one last glance towards him from over her shoulder, Rogue took to the sky.
A feeling of insecurity began to surface, but she quickly forced it away.
There was nothing to be worried about. Remy was just going to place Rachel in her crib and return. It wasn't like he was going to disappear after that.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE HE IS!"
Rogue's sudden outburst made every mutant present choke on their breakfast.
"I-I d-d-don't know where…..he is…." Bobby repeated meekly, wondering what wrong he committed towards the Southern at nine thirty in the morning. "H-He never showed up for breakfast!"
"A-Are you sure?" Rogue anxiously searched everyone's faces for answers.
"Sure?" Tabitha looked offended. "A shirtless Remy making breakfast for you is the first thing we notice in the kitchen."
"I knew it! I knew zhis day would come!" Kurt slammed his fist down on the table. "One day ve'll wake up to find Gambit missing! Professor should check his valuables….see if zhey're missing to—Ow!" He yelped when the newspaper whacked his head.
"Not helping Kurt!" Kitty scowled at him before putting aside the rolled up newspaper.
"Well, I bet his ex-wife kidnapped him. Used voodoo magic to force him to marry him again," Amara articulated as she blow-dried her hair. Ray provided the required electric charge to the hair dryer. "Made it look like he left."
"But didn't she move on?" Jubilee contradicted. "She has a boyfriend now."
"Uh-huh. A boyfriend named Bandit," Tabitha indicated. "A thief with superpowers….wears a trench coat...used to be a superhero," she listed. "She's moved on alright."
Ignoring the fact that everyone knew about Remy's ex-wife's love life, Rogue directed her worry turned anger at Belladonna, the woman she was about to murder.
"Are you sure you looked everywhere Rogue? What about the boathouse?"
Rogue's anger diminished at Rahne's question. That was the last place she left him. But he wouldn't…..he couldn't possibly have…stayed. Could he?
The unexplainable feeling clutched at her heart again. She pushed it away.
"Scott and Jean's house?" Bobby laughed. "That is the last place a guy like Remy would hang out."
Bobby was right. Belladonna kidnapped him. She had to.
Remy staying overnight at the boathouse?
That was just hard to believe.
"I still can't believe it…"
Shock and awe.
Those were two things Rogue had rarely seen on Jean's face. Or for the matter, on any telepath's face. The only time she had witnessed those two on the redhead were when Apocalypse seemingly killed Professor Xavier and Storm.
And right now.
The reason, she had yet to figure out. But what she had gathered by the gibberish reply to her query about Remy's whereabouts, that reason happened to be Remy.
"Uh….could you repeat that?"
"I-I really thought he was kidding about rescuing babies from fire!" she said elatedly. "He's never been serious about anything. His immature acts, reckless behavior, utter disregard for any kind of responsibility, manipulative and sleazy —"
"Ah hope your goin' somewhere with this," Rogue interrupted, clearly not enjoying hearing the negative aspects of Remy's personality first thing in the morning.
"But last night Remy just…..he just…."
"He what?" What the hell did Remy do that struck Jean Grey in this state? Last night and Remy in the same sentence always promised disaster—for him mostly.
"He proved he really can be serious. He really can be responsible. Of course!" she suddenly exclaimed, as if all of Remy's secrets were revealed to her. "It all makes sense now." She appeared to be talking to herself rather than Rogue. "I'm finally beginning to see why Belladonna was so obsessed with him."
Out of a mixture of utter confusion and curiosity, Rogue asked, "why?"
"Well….Remy has…..so much…potential! Take for instance, he can cook…he can really cook!"
"Yes. Remy can cook," Rogue stated dryly, Jean's words making no sense at all. "Everyone knows that. Wednesday night is his turn ta cook." And everybody else's turn to visit the infirmary. Apart from her and those with healing capabilities, the rest of the X-men's stomachs didn't agree with Remy's motto of de hotter de better.
"No." Jean shook her head. "Not just food, but baby food too! A-And not just good baby food, but great and healthy baby food! A-And then the way he narrated Cinderella to Rachel, it was so so…..enthralling! But the lullaby he sang after that—" she paused to sigh blissfully, "it had to be the most beautiful thing in the whole world….."
Rogue listened intently, with a combination of fascination and shock.
One thing she believed she knew inside and out, better than anyone else was Remy. Suddenly hearing things like Remy making baby food….Remy reading Rachel stories…..Remy singing lullabies…..they just….it didn't sound at all like the swamp rat she knew.
"Jean? Are you sure you didn't, you know…..dream it all?" Or slipped and hit your head and imagined it?
"Don't be silly, Rogue. That would be insane."
Rogue tried to ignore the vacuum cleaner in the background, cleaning the living room on its own. "So, did you see where he went?"
"Nowhere," Jean answered dreamily.
Rogue gritted her teeth. "Where is he then?"
"In my kitchen."
Without waiting for an invite, Rogue brushed past Jean and entered the house.
"Tell him not to bother with the dishes." Jean called after her. "He's been so helpful already."
As Rogue approached the kitchen, aroma of breakfast—unmistakably Cajun—greeted her senses. The familiar voices made her stop at the doorway. Unnoticed, she quietly spied on the two people inside.
"Say bye t' Tante Mattie." Remy—alive, safe and looking sexier in an apron than ever—smiled. The smile, however, was directed at another green-eyed beauty.
"Bonjo!" Rachel seated in a high chair, shouted into the phone.
Remy chuckled and put the cordless phone aside. "Close enough." He then brought a small tray, carrying a bowl and a vase containing a single rose. "Here y' are." He presented it to her. "Tante's special breakfast for babies."
Rachel's eyes grew huge in fascination. Instead of reaching for the bowl, her small hand plucked the rose, ready to devour it.
"Non," Remy chuckled, stopping her from swallowing it. "Dat's for decoratin'." He picked up the bowl. "Dis is for eatin'."
Rachel made a face.
"Petite," he lowered his voice to a whisper. "Did I mention dat Tante's recipe includes a secret ingredient which can make y' fly?"
The infant's eyes grew huge. "Fly?"
"Uh-huh. Like your Mama…..but on your twelfth birthday." Remy then sighed dejectedly. "But since y' don' want t' eat—"
Rachel's mouth opened wide impulsively.
If a stranger had walked in on them, he or she would've been awed and touched by the spectacle and wouldn't take Remy and Rachel for anything but father and daughter. For Rogue, who had been longing to settle down, the scene should have left her thrilled.
Shockingly, it didn't.
The odd feeling from last night returned, stabbing at her heart. She struggled against it before it overwhelmed her. Bewilderment besieged her pretty features.
What was wrong with her? She should be happy Remy was showing interest in Rachel. It could be a sign he was finally ready for a family. But somehow, watching them interact made her feel…..well…she couldn't quite figure it out yet.
"Ogue!" Rachel repeated merrily.
Her presence had been finally discovered; and after full two minutes. It wasn't like Remy not to notice her or anybody else after two whole minutes. Then again, it wasn't like Remy to stay overnight at their leader's house and make breakfast for babies either.
"C'mon in!" He hastily pulled up a chair for her next to Rachel. "Have a seat."
Rogue hesitantly did, suddenly feeling the force of two's company and three's a crowd as she took a seat. But Remy's quick good morning kiss made the sensation evaporate.
Rogue smiled happily at him, but her joy was short-lived when a chubby hand reached out and took a fistful of her distinctive hair.
She ignored it. She had to.
Admonishing Rachel would mean facing her…..the big innocent eyes…..the chubby face….the ten tiny fingers and toes…. and then experiencing feelings she didn't want to deal with right now. So she concentrated on Remy.
"I was just 'bout t' call y'." Regret overwhelmed his face. "Hope y' didn't worry t' much when y' found Remy missin'."
"Worry? Nah. Ah…..Ah figured you would be here," she lied. 'After Ah checked the mansion, sub-levels, half of Bayville…..'
Remy sighed in relief. "Well, now dat y've joined us for breakfast, let me recite today's menu."
Rogue gawked at him. He had never used us whenever she sauntered into a fully occupied kitchen at the mansion. It had always been me or Remy or Gambit.
"We have Remy's special Cajun omelet, Remy's special croissants, Remy's special cookies dat chere loves an' ofcourse….." he trailed off, gracing Rachel with one of his gentle smiles, one he usually reserved for her and her only. "Tante Mattie's special breakfast for babies—" He finally freed her hair from Rachel's grasp before it became part of her breakfast. "—wit'out human hair or flowers." He sighed satisfied. "Bon appetite." He frowned on catching Rogue still ogling at him. "Is somethin' wrong?"
Indeed there was something wrong….with him….her….with Jean…..something was very wrong.
"No." She put on her all-is-well smile. "Why would you think anythin' is wrong?"
Remy's eyebrow shot up. "Well….y're…starin' at me."
"You're a very attractive man," she automatically replied.
Remy broke into a huge grin, his ego receiving its daily dose of flattery. "I'm glad y' noticed chére. But, y're starin' at dis Cajun's like he lost his mind."
"Have you?" Rogue asked seriously.
Maybe something happened to him on the mission. A very serious head injury. Head injuries can change personalities. Maybe that was what happened. What else could explain his sudden fondness towards Rachel—Scott and Jean's baby?
A hearty chuckle escaped from Remy's lips. "Non. Never felt better. Feel great, infact." His great mood supported his words. And there weren't any visible injuries. "Why?"
"It's just that...well," Rogue began, trying to sound less interrogatory as possible. "Jean told me some…..strangely interestin' things about you."
"'Bout me?" Rogue sworn Remy's ears moved in keen interest. "What kind of t'ings?"
"Oh you know, like your…..cookin'. ….." She helped herself to a dish of everything to keep up the charade of casual. "When did you specialize in baby food?"
"I didn't. Tante Mattie is de genius behind it." That explained why he was on the phone with her earlier.
"And then the way you read Cinderella ta Rachel. So…..entrhallin'."
"Non! I might've read a little bit of de beginnin'," Remy clarified as he spoon-fed the fervent Rachel. "I would rather watch Striperella or read your collection of pornographic novels."
Rogue rolled her eyes. "Remy, for the last time, those are stories with meaningful plots."
"Uh-huh. Is dat why gettin' laid wit' de next hot person is every character's purpose?"
"Ponno," Rachel tried to pronounce, capturing not only a smirk but Remy's full attention.
"Cute. But why not try somethin' simpler?" Remy suggested to the baby. "Like Remy LeBeau? Can y' say dat? Can y' say Remy?"
Rachel grew silent, as if pondering over the request.
He sighed. "Maybe not."
"Oh and you also sing lullabies….." Rogue unconsciously stabbed at her food. "Beautifully." She didn't know why it bothered not knowing these things about him before. She didn't need to be read a bedtime story or hummed a lullaby.
"I have a bad singin' voice…..It was just hummin'…." He responded absently, as if she had never spoken. "C'mon petite," he urged Rachel, bending to her eye-level. "I know y' can say it. Say Remy."
Rachel only crooned and wound Remy's goatee around her chubby fingers.
Remy turned his face and blew a raspberry against her palm, surprising her into laughter.
Illogical anger almost blindsided Rogue, who watched them. "Jean doesn't seem to think so."
Remy shrugged carelessly, smiling down at the joyful Rachel. "Women have a tendency t' over exaggerate…..blow t'ings out of proportion."
Rogue flared. "No we don't!"
"Hey Rogue!" Kitty's voice crackled through her com link. "I've assembled a team. We'll be ready to go in five to New Orleans to kick Belle's butt."
Rogue groaned and avoided eye contact with Remy whose trademark smirk couldn't get anymore bigger. "No need Kit. Ah found him. But a team? Aren't you overreactin'?" she admonished. "Why not just assemble every superhero on the planet next time Remy's not in plain sight?"
"But like….y-you said—" Rogue quickly disconnected her com link.
"Kitty," she began, shaking her head. "Thinkin' Belladonna kidnapped you….Pfft! Of all the ridiculous things….."
"Aww...Rogue….." Remy gazed at her, his unique eyes so soft with tenderness and compassion that it almost melted her heart. "Didn't mean t' scare y'. I really tried t' leave, but de fille started cryin' whenever I touched de door," he explained in a helpless tone. "De—" he lowered his voice to a whisper, "—nightmare really shook up de petite. One of Logan's Weapon X dreams."
Rogue gasped. From experience, she knew they were the most frightening. "But….How?"
"Mansion had psi shieldin' but boathouse doesn't yet. So nightmare got projected t' Jean an' t'anks t' de psychic link, t' Rachel," he mumbled dryly, with a hint of anger. "Y' t'ink it would be ok if some….accident blew up Logan's little cabin of solitude?"
Rogue rolled her eyes. Logan would literally kill Remy for it. "Ah'm sure Logan won't mind stayin' at the mansion till the psi shieldin' is installed here." He was more likely to leave altogether when he learnt Rachel witnessed his nightmare. He adored her more than all of them put together.
Remy looked like he would rather go with the first option. "Yeah well…..I had t' spend de whole night in Jean's Grandma's rockin' chair wit' Rachel. Just closed my eyes for a second an' next t'ing I know, it's eight in de mornin'."
Rogue listened to him in stunned silence.
For as long as she could remember, she had always envisioned Remy falling asleep on a rocking chair with a baby snuggled in his arms. A red-on-black eyed baby, ofcourse. She would enter a moment later and gift them both a goodnight kiss.
Now that cozy vision was hijacked by baby Rachel as Remy murmured French endearments, lulling her to sleep, with no sign of her or baby LeBeau.
"Wah!" The hijacker pulled her out of her thoughts as if she minded being left out of the conversation.
"Rogue was worried 'bout me cause I didn't come home," Remy explained to Rachel. "Just like your Mama does."
Rachel's head swiveled from Rogue to Remy. Her green eyes widened in shock and confusion. "Mama?" she asked Remy, pointing a stubby finger at Rogue, clearly mistaking the Mississippian for Remy's mother.
Remy blinked a few times before bursting into laughter.
Until now, Rogue had never felt conscious of her age. Remy was four years older than her after all. Jean should be the one worrying with an age gap of a few months between her and Scott. But women aged relatively faster than men…..
She tentatively touched her hair then face, searching for grey hair, wrinkles, lines…...old age. Did she really look older than Remy? Was he ashamed of being seen with a woman that looked his…mother's age? Is that why he was afraid to marry her? Because she would look like Grandma LeBeau after a few years?
"N-Non!" Remy chortled. "S-She's not my Mama. She's mon girlfriend."
"Gullfan?" Rachel questioned.
"Yeah Rogue's my…..well…." Remy finally got his laughter under control as he tried to clarify the simple matter. "Y' know….my princess. Oui! She's my princess."
A cradle robbing Queen would be more appropriate.
'Stop it! Stop doin' this ta yourself!' Rogue mentally berated herself. 'You're not even thirty for Gawd sakes!' And so what if women aged faster than men? Men died sooner than women.
'Oh Gawd no…' The future flashed in her mind: Remy dying before he could pop the question and then she spending the rest of her life in this boathouse with numerous cats after Rachel grew up and moved out—'No! Stop it!' she snapped at herself and purged her mind of such thoughts. 'Focus on the real issue!'
Remy had somehow gotten himself to the point of liking babies. Now he just needed a nudge in the right direction to…produce one of his own.
And promise a future filled with children instead of cats.
"Remy…What do you think about babies?" Rogue asked the question which had always sent him running out of the room like a man shot out of a canon.
A flicker of….something crossed his gorgeous face before he shrugged in his usual nonchalant manner. "Dey're ok."
"And?" she eagerly waited for an explanation to follow.
"Dey're ok," he repeated.
"Uh-huh." Rogue tried the direct approach. "Don't you wish that you had one of your own? Someone who had your...hair…..red-on-black eyes...handsome looks…hmm?"
Remy shook his head without hesitation. "What's de need? Rachel is enough."
Rachel was enough!
It took sheer willpower not to scream and chop Remy into pieces and let Jean's vacuum cleaner take care of the mess. And as for Rachel—
She stopped herself, suppressing any further resentful thoughts which she might regret later. Guilt pulsed through her. 'What's wrong with you?'
So what if Remy was showering his love and attention on a baby that wasn't theirs? Theirs couldn't exist yet due to him being such a yellow-livered coward!
Rogue fumed, but relaxed herself again.
The point was, why did it bother her? Both she and Remy were adopted. Kin and kith didn't matter. She had a foster brother and a psychotic foster mother. Remy's devotion to a baby he shared no legal or biological links with shouldn't matter to her.
Yet it did.
'God has given you the perfect man—funny, charming, body hotter than any male model in the world, reflexes and agility which can take a girl's breath away(and not just in the Danger Room) cooking skills of the best chef and now suddenly likes babies—Dear Lord what more do you want on the résumé of future husband?'
It was ungrateful of her. But a part of her felt conflicted.
Rogue let out an indignant breath.
She just couldn't figure out why!
Rachel gazed adoringly at Remy. Remy grinned back and the two began a thumb wrestling match.
Rogue apathetically ate her breakfast as she silently observed them, lost in their little thumb wrestling match as if nothing else in the world mattered to them. Her presence was forgotten. She was being treated like someone who didn't exist…was invisible. And it felt like….like…..
Rogue stopped chewing as she deciphered the feeling. 'No. Freakin'. WAY!'
…like Jean stealing Scott all over again. History repeating itself, in a strange sort of way. Jean stole Scott. Now Jean's daughter was trying to steal Remy.
It was silly!
It was outrageous!
And to prove everything was fine and she was overreacting, she decided to focus her attention on more important matters. Like an anniversary this month.
Remy didn't reply.
"Remy? Remy!" she shouted, a little desperate than she wanted to.
"Oui?" He answered, still locked in a match with Rachel.
"You do remember what this month is, right?"
"Our First-Time-We-Met anniversary. Of course I do."
Rogue bubbled with happiness.
It was a silly little ritual since Remy almost blew her hand off that day. Though he did explain the kinetic charge had been timed to go off after she threw the King of Hearts. She really didn't care. She wanted to remember that day when an angel in the disguise of a devil entered her life. "So, you'll be there?"
"I'll sleep dere so I could be dere," he promised.
Rogue grinned, her meaningless fears finally disappearing. She sighed dreamily. "Ah love you, very much. You know that right?"
"Uh-huh," came his distracted reply.
"Yeah….well….," Her high spirits went low again. "Just wanted ta make sure you knew." Before she could bury herself deeper in feelings of dejection, a hand cupped her face and the man known as Remy LeBeau covered his lips over hers, conveying just how much she meant to him in a soft, tender, heartfelt kiss.
Rachel was still locked in a battle with her opponent—Remy's thumb—to notice.
Slowly pulling back from the kiss, Remy flashed her a look that made her heart sing. He gently ran a hand through her hair and murmured, "I love y' t' Rogue."
"I lub ooh," another voice added.
Rogue's heart stopped beating.
Remy's eyes grew huge in amazement. "Chére ….." he whispered slowly. "D-Did y' hear dat?"
"H-Hear what?" Rachel saying something that resembled what she was denying?
"Say it again Rachel."
"A-Ah don't think it's appropriate for an infant to learn that." Especially if it was meant for Remy.
"Don't be silly chére," Remy dispelled. "C'mon Rachel. What was it dat y' just said?"
Rachel sucked on her bib as she gazed up at him dotingly. "I lub you."
Remy's eyes lit up. His expression was very much reminiscent of a father's, my child did that!
Rogue fully expected him to scoop the baby up and twirl around with her.
Instead, he turned to her. "Rogue, is it ok if I stay here a bit longer?" he asked, visibly radiating with joy at Rachel's first sentence. And having completely forgotten the tender kiss they just shared a minute ago. "Poor petite was so traumatized by de nightmare last night."
Rachel flapped her arms and let out a joyous laugh, appearing as if problems didn't exist in the world.
"Yeah….she seems…..traumatized alright," Rogue commented, fighting back a series of insecurity attacks at Rachel's proclamation of love for her boyfriend. "But sure." She somehow brought her frenzied emotions under control. "You can….stay. There's nothin'…..wrong in stayin'. Here. With Scott and Jean's baby. Rachel."
Alright maybe not under complete control.
"I t'ink it's a good idea. Just t' make sure she's goin' t' be ok. An' wit' Scott still not back."
Rogue quirked her eyebrow. So that was it.
Whatever obligation Remy felt he had toward Rachel, it was because of Scott's absence. Once he returned, Remy would most certainly forget Rachel. And his attention will be back to where it belonged. And maybe….just maybe he might feel like starting a family…..
"By de way, how was breakfast?"
Rogue finished the last bite of her breakfast and licked her lips. "Satisfyin'."
A/N: Err…..so how was it? Worthy of the next two chapters? I was really apprehensive of posting anything new with Evo having ended 5 years ago and Wolvie and the X-men cartoon out and all. So reviews will be really appreciated to squash my worries!