With Presents Come Pasts

Jamie yawned and rubbed his eyes before closing them and leaning his head on the overstuffed chair he was curled up on.

It was ten o'clock now and he hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. He also had two extra training sessions today just out of bad luck with scheduling. Needless to say the boy was dead tired and it didn't take long before he was out like a light.

No one seemed to notice him fall asleep in the chair by the fire. They were all eating their seconds and thirds of cake slices and sitting around Chloe as she tore open the neatly wrapped presents on the coffee table.

Chloe's already huge smile grew when she took the lid off the small box that John had given her, revealing a small, yet sturdy and durable lighter.

It was shiny silver with a ruby-like jewel design that was more orange then red that made a flame on it on one side and her name engraved on the other.

"Oh wow! This is totally awesome!" She exclaimed, hugging John tightly in thanks.

John was a little taken back by this but he smiled anyways.

"And just think what fun you and I can have around this place now that we've each got one. Stick with me Shiela, I'll show ya how to really make use of this thing." He said, gesturing to the lighter.

"Remy don' tink dat be a good idea." Remy said, eyeing the mischievous look in John's eye. The look he knew all too well.

"I'm offended mate!" Pyro said in mock form. "You don't think I'm a good example for your kid sister?" Pyro asked, ruffling Chloe's hair playfully to her dislike before she fixed it.

"Non, Remy don' tink y' be a good example fo' any o' dese teens. Gambit's seen what y' do when yo' roun' fiya." Remy remarked, gaining a small scowl, a roll of the eyes and a grin from Pyro.

"True, true." John said heartily

Chloe smiled and picked up the next box. She'd already gotten a necklace from Jean, a cell phone from the adults, which is the thing everyone got when they turned sixteen, one of those fuzzy pink sweaters from Kitty and a DVD gift card from the guys along with a bundle of gifts the Guild sent to her.

"Okay dis one be from Remy." Gambit said, handing her a small square box.

She took it and shook it close to her ear. "Well its not jewelry." She said. She examined it skeptically and looked at her brother with a raised eyebrow.

"It's not gonna blow up is it?" She asked.

"Non, don' be silly petite. Jus' open it." He said.

She eyed him once more but then decided it was safe and began opening the wrapped parcel.

Remy smiled and sat back down, lifting Rogue into his lap in the process.

The Goth only scowled at him and sighed in aggravation in return.

That stupid deal she'd made with him meant she couldn't claw his eyes out of remove his manhood because of anything he did. This was going to be the longest night of her miserable life.

"Do Ah really have ta do this?" She asked in a complaining tone.

She'd stopped trying to squirm long before when she realized her efforts were futile and it looked as if he were actually taking pleasure in her twisting and turning.

"Aw come on chere. Don' tell Remy y' ain' enjoyin dis." He whispered into her ear.

She didn't answer him. She didn't say she was enjoying it, but what made him grin was that she didn't say she wasn't liking all the attention either.

Remy brushed his thumbs over her arms in a rubbing process, which seemed to make her loosen up at melt a little in his arms.

Rogue had to admit that she liked this. She wouldn't admit it if it cost her, her life, but she liked it.

"Oh no way! This is so cool!" Chloe exclaimed, breaking Rogue and Remy out of their own trains of thought.

Rogue looked up and Remy smiled, knowing that was the reaction he would get.

"Thank you." Chloe said, hugging both him and Rogue since the girl was stuck on her brother's lap.

Remy had gotten his little sister something she really liked. It was a deck of Cajun designed cards that were clearly from the South with intricate embroidered designs on one side with a suit on the other.

Not only that, the cards were a mixture of red, black, and gold.

The first thing she thought of when she saw the cards was her brother, and that in itself made her smile gleefully.

Remy laughed at her enthusiasm and kissed her on the top of her head. "Anniversaire heureux petite souer." He said to her. (Happy Birthday little sister)

"Le meilleur un je jamais avais." She said, leaning back and looking at him. (The best one I ever had)

Remy hadn't noticed that Rogue had made her way onto the seat next to him. Either that or he just didn't see it as a problem right now since he was having a hallmark moment with his sister. Either way Rogue had gotten away.

Xavier noted that Logan was smiling. The Le Beau's had come a long way since they had first come into the lives of the X-men.

Progression had definitely taken place; Remy was feeling less stress over the responsibilities of being a guardian now that he had the X-adults to help where a nineteen-year-old boy couldn't.

He was after all, not an actual parent. He didn't know how to raise a child, let alone a hormonal female adolescence having to deal with her newfound powers.

Chloe had also improved in the way that she had unquestionably gotten out of the deep depression that she kept falling into every time she had a flashback or blamed herself for the accident.

It had now gotten to the point where she could think about memories of her parents and not get depressed and closed off. Just as long as the actual accident didn't pop up in her head she'd be fine.

If it did then all that hard work they'd all done, in all she'd worked at, would all go down the drain.

Logan knew this was, though highly unlikely, very possible. But he also knew that as long as Remy was there he would never let that happen. He loved his sister too much for her to go through anything like that again.

Logan just hoped that the worst was over for the two when it came to the loss they'd recently suffered through.

"As do I Logan. As do I." Xavier said in a voice that only Logan could hear when the telepath picked up on his screaming thoughts.

"And as long as nothing happens I think that they will both be just fine." Xavier added.

"I sure hope you're right Chuck." Logan said, getting back to the party.

"Okay now open ours." Amara said, motioning to the CD case shaped gift. It was from Amara, Jubilee, Tabby and Rahne.

"Oh you guys didn't have to. I mean you already got me the bracelets and the make-up." Chloe said, motioning to the gifts from before by the table.

"Yeah well we did anyways so open it." Jubilee said.

"Hmm. . . Wonder what this could be." Chloe said sarcastically. Clearly it had to be a CD.

"Oh just shut up and open it." Tabby said at her smart-ass comment.

"Alright, alright." Chloe said, laughing. She was having so much fun. Nothing could ruin this feeling she was having or the fun she was having. Or so she thought.

She tore off the paper and saw what CD they had gotten her. Suddenly the room had two very tense teens in it as Chloe stared blankly at what was before her.

Rogue could feel Remy tense up and mouthed 'What's wrong?' to him. She saw that he was watching Chloe intensely for some sort of reaction. Why, she didn't know.

Xavier and Logan also saw the gift and the look on the girl's face and on Remy's. They knew that the reaction wasn't a good one and there had to have been a reason for that.

Logan stood but Rogue motioned for him to not make a scene. He sat back down, realizing that it probably would have been a bad thing to say anything.

There in front of Chloe was something she never thought she'd see. It made horrible memories rush back into her mind and pain to surface once more.

"Its. . ." Chloe let out.

"Its Evanescence. We figured you'd want it seeing how yours broke." Tabby said.

"Oh. How did you. . ." Chloe trailed off in an almost inaudible voice. It sounded so weak and feeble.

"Know yours was broken?" Jubilee finished for her. "We saw that yours had a big crack in it when we were helping you unpack when you first moved in." Jubilee explained.

"Oh." Chloe answered.

Remy tensed and shut his eyes, waiting for the tears, but they never came.

He opened his eyes and though her face was a dreadful pale that made Rogue look tanned, she didn't show any signs of breaking down.

'Maybe it don' remind her o' de accident.' Remy mused.

"So Chloe," Amara asked. "How'd you crack it anyways? I mean that's one huge line. Did you step on it or something?"

'Or maybe not.' Remy winced inwardly.

"Or something." Chloe said in the drained voice. She knew very well how she'd gotten the CD broken.

She was listening to her favorite song on her Evanescence CD when the accident occurred. When the truck swerved and hit them, and when her parents left her forever.

In the crash she had her CD player hooked onto her buckle so it went through the window with her. After the glass shattered though, the player came loose and it broke when it hit the ground. The CD fell out of it and cracked as well.

"Don't you like it?" Rahne asked.

"Huh? Oh yeah, I love it." She said in a voice that could have been a little more enthusiastic.

"Well then lets put it on so we can listen to something while we party!" Tabby said, yanking the CD from Chloe's grip and placing the disc in the player before Chloe could protest.

"Oh, I don't think-" Chloe tried to say but it was too late. Tabby had already hit play.

'Just don't let it be that one song! Please don't let it be that one song!' Chloe pleaded in her head desperately.

Unfortunately the begging in her head did no good. To her horror, the song that came on was in fact her favorite song, the same song she'd been listening to in the car.

*You cried I'd wipe away all of your tears.

You scream I'd fight away all of your fears

I held your hand through all of these years*

Suddenly as she heard the lyrics that she'd feared even thinking about listening to since the accident, the memories flooded back and she found herself in the back seat of her dad's car.

Her parents were arguing as usual but this time she knew what was coming next. She yelled in horror for her dad to watch out as a truck came swerving into sight and hit them.

"Chloe?" Kitty asked, shaking her.

Chloe snapped out of it and looked around. Jean had noticed something was wrong and turned off the music, and she noticed that everyone was now staring at her.

"You okay?" Scott asked.

"Oh um.. . yeah. I'm just kind of tired you know." Chloe said, blinking back the tears that began to swell.

She saw that they all looked skeptically at her.

"I'm fine. Really!" She assured them, standing up and faking a yawn.

"You know what, I really am wiped. I think I'm gonna hit the hay if you guys don't mind. Thanks again for the great party. I had a lot of fun. G'night."

They all watched as Chloe yawned in an unconvincing way and quickened her pace as she ran up the stairs without showing her face again to anyone.

Rogue mouthed if Remy was okay when she saw the look on his face and took his hand in hers, squeezing it comfortingly. He returned the smile with a weak reassurance but didn't answer.

They all looked at each other for answers but all they got was silence and Remy sighing and standing to his feet. He walked out of the room and after Chloe without saying a word.

Rogue soon followed him before any of the adults could tell her otherwise. The other X-men all went their separate ways.

"Poor Jamie. He tired himself out." Storm said, getting ready to pick up the sleeping boy.

The phone rang. "Miss Munroe its for you." Bobby said, handing her the phone.

"Don't worry about Jamie. I'll like take care of it." Kitty said, grabbing the boy and phasing him through the wall.

Xavier invited John and Piotr to stay the night since it was late so Pyro decided to follow around the girls and flirt, which meant he was closely followed by Logan.

Piotr decided to walk in the other direction where Storm told him Jamie's room was.

"Well that all went well." Hank sighed, sipping his coffee.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Remy stood outside the room, thinking about exactly what to say. He sighed, took a deep breath and knocked on the door. No answer. He wasn't exactly expecting a welcoming committee.

Remy slowly turned the knob and creaked the door open.

"Petite? Can Remy come in?" Remy asked.

No answer. He walked in and saw that she wasn't there. Then he saw the balcony door open just a crack and he smiled.

Remy walked out onto the balcony and noticed the gigantic pine tree with towering sturdy branches that were covered with pine needles. Gambit smirked, knowing too well where his sister was.

He used his arms to pull himself stealthily to the branch above him and did the same thing to the branch above that and so on, doing a few swinging flips up just because he could.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Okay squirt, its like past time for you to go to bed." Kitty said, watching Jamie scoot further under the covers.

"But I can't sleep." The boy argued.

"Sure you can. You were doing it before. Just close your eyes and thing about. . . think about happy thoughts." She suggested.

"Like what? Like human and mutants getting along?" He asked the valley girl.

". . . Yeah. Like that." She said, smiling at his innocence and the thought he brought up.

"Tell me about it?" He asked.

Kitty sighed in defeat and sat on the foot of his bed.

"Okay but just once. You've only heard it like a million times before." She said pointedly.

"So now I'll have heard it a million and one times. Please!" Kitty sighed and Jamie cheered with his eyes, knowing that she'd been defeated.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"You gon' stay up dere fo' de rest o' de night dere fille?" Remy shouted up at the very highest branches of the tall tree.

There was no answer. Remy sighed and looked down at his attire and sighed.

"Y' betta be wort dis petite." He called up, taking hold of the branch over him and pulling himself stealthily up onto it with his arms. He kept doing so to each branch above him until he came to a stop.

"How'd you know I was here?" Chloe said as he got in an uncomfortable sitting position.

"Are ya kiddin? Y' been climbin longa den yo' be walkin. O'course y'd go scalin' a tree when y' wanted ta be alone or pass de time by. Perre used t' have ta climb up int' de trees in de Bayou at all hours in de night cause y' refused t' leave de trees. Y' always were de weird one." Remy said to her.

"This coming from the boy that blows stuff up with his fingertips." She retaliated.

"So why y' up here chere?" He asked, studying her thoughtfully.

She shrugged in a bored way as if she didn't know what he was talking about.

'So she's gon' make dis hard on Remy den.' The Cajun thought to himself.

"Well if Remy didn' know any betta he'd say dat y' were maybe a lil shaken by de unwelcome trip down memory lane non?" Remy asked.

She didn't answer.

"Well if y' were den Remy'd tell ya dat it be okay t' have dese feelins an' t' wanna cry." He paused, waiting for a reaction.

When he got none he continued.

"An' dat y' already be a brave fille fo' makin it trough all dis. It not stupid t' feel bad." He told her.

Remy was about to continue when he felt himself being engulfed in a tight hug and felt Chloe's face burrow into his chest.

The older boy smiled halfheartedly and stroked her back soothingly until she calmed down.

"Dere be one mo' present fo' y' petite." He said. She pulled away from being latched onto him and looked at him curiously.

"Another one?" She asked.

"Oui, Remy figured it be best t' give y' dis witout de ottas." He said reaching into his pocket and retrieving a small rope that dropped down to the ground.

"Now techniquement Remy was s'posed t' wait till yo' actual sixteenth birthday but m' tinkin now would be good." He told her, smirking. (technically)

She raised her eyebrow skeptically at him. "You got me a rope?" She asked dully, knowing that wasn't the actual gift.

Remy smiled at her and tugged on the rope, hoisting up a medium sized box that was attached to the end of the rope, sitting on the ground.

She eyed him and looked down at the box.

"It ain' gon' blow up petite. Jus' open it." He told her.

"Alright, alright. Give me a second." She said, reaching for the box and tearing it open.

In it was another box. She looked up at him with confusion etched all over her face.

He laughed at her expression and took the box from her. He lifted the top off the shoebox-like package and she reached in, carefully lifting up her gift.

"Oh that's so nice. Um. . . what is it?" She asked, tilting her head and the gift to get different perspectives of it.

"Oh, Remy fo'got." He said sheepishly. He reached into his trench coat and pulled out a small, black, velvet box. He flipped it open, revealing a beautiful sparkling diamond ring with tiny intricately designed diamonds covering the band and one much larger diamond in the center, sticking out among the rest.

"Wow!" She breathed.

"Y' bes' be careful wit dis. It be de family ring on de' femme's side." Remy told her, grinning at the pure enthusiasm on her face.

"I remember those stories. The youngest girl in the family gets the ring on her sixteenth birthday until the next generation. Tante Matte broke the tradition and gave it to mom and . . ." Chloe trailed off.

"And mom was supposed to give it to me." She said quietly with a small smile on her face. A tear fell from her eye and down her face, not unnoticed by her older brother.

"Oui. She woulda if she coulda." Remy said. "An' if y' think about it she still did. Jus' needed Remy t' be de delivery boy. Jus' like ol' times when she had Henry an' I runnin errands fo' her wit de guild." Remy said, smiling at the small memories going through his head quickly.

"Yeah. You're right." Chloe said, hugging him once more.

"Thank you."

"Aucun problème petite. Jus' let Remy breathe." He said as her strong hug threatened to cut off some of his circulation. (No problem)

"Oh sorry." She grinned.

"So what's this got to do with that?" She asked, referring to the beautiful ring in one hand and the unidentified object in her other.

"Watch." He said, taking the ring and the object from her.

She watched as he said, curiosity overwhelming her.

The object resembled a golden egg, about two or three times larger then a normal sized egg. Its bottom was flat enough so that it could stand on its own but there was a stand in the box for it anyways.

The egg had elaborate designs in gold and silver and was rimmed near the bottom with the same diamond designs on the ring. There was a small slit on the bottom of it but that was it. Besides that there were no scratches, no marks, no flaws. It looked like something only royalty would deserve.

She watched as Remy held up the ring in front of her and then placed it securely into the slit in the egg. She looked even more confused when she saw that the ring's bang fit perfectly in the opening.

Remy then twisted the ring in the hole and Chloe heard a clicking sound as if something had been unlocked.

Remy flattened his palm and held the egg in it in front of her. She looked in awe as a small turning disc came down from the egg and made the egg turn in a spinning fashion.

Then the egg mechanically opened. It came apart slowly all at once. It looked as if the egg had been carefully sliced evenly five times around and the egg was completely disabled.

The reason that the egg folded back like that was so that it could reveal what was waiting inside. A small light shined at the bottom and in the egg was a small platform with two dancers twirling around, matching the Cajun/Southern formal music that was coming from the egg somewhere.

The girl dancer was clad in one of those old dresses you'd see a southern belle wear to a party back in the day. Even if it was only a figurine, and a tiny one at that, it was still beautiful and accentuated by the small light under it.

The male dancer had her in his arms and they looked to be ballroom dancing Southern style. He was wearing a dress shirt and dress pants. It was amazing that they were so intricate with their designs that they looked just like actual tiny people.

The lights danced around the dolls and Chloe's eyes were wide with pleasure, excitement, and amazement. It was magic. Pure magic. Remy could tell that she had quickly fallen in love with it as it pulled her into a blissful trance.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

". . . And in the end the cruel principle and his followers were run out of Bayville and the rest of the mutants and humans got along in peace, ignoring their differences for the most part and living life without disgrace or having to hide who you were." Kitty concluded as she finished the story.

She looked to see if Jamie was showing any signs of entering the stages of sleep. There were none. Jamie was still wide-awake, looking at Kitty as if he were expecting another story.

"Okay Jamie its time for bed now." She told him. He pouted and sulked at her.

"But Kitty its only ten. I'm not even. . ." He Yawned widely in the middle of his sentence. ". . .tired!" He told her.

Kitty raised an eyebrow. "Okay then, what do you suggest I do to make you tired?" She asked. He was starting to crack, now all she had to do was keep it that way.

"Another story!" He said enthusiastically.

Kitty rolled her eyes. Okay I'll be right back with a special bedtime book for you." She said, smiling and leaving the room.

XXXXXXXXXXX

Piotr walked along the halls passed all the rooms. He wasn't really sure which room he was allowed to stay in for the night. John was still downstairs so he couldn't help him and all these doors looked the same. He heard the familiar sound of a young girl's voice coming from one of the rooms.

"So the mean principle sent away all the mutants even though they didn't do anything?" He heard another voice ask.

"Yep. Now let me finish the story." He heard Kitty tell the other voice.

"So anyways. . ." The sound of Kitty's voice became distant as Piotr continued his walk down the halls. At this rate he might just be able to find his room by sunup.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"So it's a music box?" Chloe asked, examining her new gift with a new perspective, now knowing what it was.

"Oui, an' de ring be de key. Be careful wit bot' does tings petite. Dey each be ol' tings from de family. Dey each be very old so treat em' wit care." Remy explained.

Chloe nodded her head and hugged him again. "I think this was my best birthday yet." She said, smiling.

"So everytings good den?" Remy asked.

"Oui. Son le mieux. Just like my brother." She said, kissing him on the cheek and jumping out of the tree gracefully. (Yes. It's the best.)

"Nuit Remy." She said, taking her new possessions and making her way across the lawn before the motion detectors in the sprinkler system came on. (Night Remy)

"Nuit." He said, even though she was long gone. Remy sighed and rolled his eyes as the sprinkler system came on. He didn't bother dodging the random drops of water as he walked back to the institute. Thanks to his sister his Trench coat was already stained with sap from the pine tree.

XXXXXXXXXXX Kitty walked down the hall to the med lab where Hank practically lived because it had all his papers and experiments in the next room. She opened the door, knowing that Hank was still downstairs having coffee with the rest of the adults. Kitty expected to be the only one in the room. She expected wrong.

"What are you like doing in here?" She asked.

"I got lost?" Piotr offered, standing in the middle of the room with confusion written all over him.

Kitty couldn't help the muffled laughter coming out of her. The scene in front of the girl was priceless. There in front of her stood a well over six foot boy with his hands in his pockets looking like a lost little kid. For some reason she found it absolutely hilarious.

"Well." She started, clearing her throat to stop the giggles as she talked. "You can just come with me. I'll show you where you're room is but we have to run a little errand first." Kitty said.

Piotr nodded as Kitty searched the room with her eyes, her hands on her hips.

"Hmm. . . Ah-ha!" She declared, reaching for the thick, hard-covered science book on the desk. "Okay let's go." She said.

He looked at her with curiosity but followed her lead just the same.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Remy walked back to the institute and went through the French doors on the side of the house. He was still sopping wet from his encounter with the sprinklers. He trudged into the empty living room and shook his head to rid his dripping hair of the water.

At least he thought the room was empty. He looked up when he heard someone clear their throat and looked up suddenly.

What he saw before him was not what he had expected. Rogue stood there with her arms crossed over her chest, tapping her foot and raising an eyebrow questioningly at him.

"You wanna tell meh why ya soakin wet?" She asked, brushing the drops that he'd shaken onto her without knowing she was there.

"Non, not really." He said, striding over to her.

"Sprinklers got ya didn't they?" She asked knowingly.

Rogue stepped in his direction, nearly closing the gap.

"Everything okay now?" She asked out of concern. Remy sighed and smiled at her, taking another step closer, but not yet closing the gap between them.

"As okay as it gon' get at de moment." He said, running his hand through his hair.

She looked at him again and couldn't help but notice that, though sopping wet, he did look really good.

"Haven't we been here before monsieur?" She asked, referring to their little experience in the rain a while back. (See Rainy Days)

"Oui, but as I recall mon chere, Y' were also soakin wet las' time. An' y' had t' wear dat cute lil numba Remy liked so much.. . ." He said, trailing off as if picturing it.

He was brought back to reality when Rogue threw a pillow at his head.

"Perv." She told him, glaring half-heartedly at him.

"Oui, but it ain' Remy's fault y' so damn hot." He argued in a low voice in her ear.

Partially because he knew it made her shiver every time and partially because there was a 50/50 chance Logan was within hearing distance of the conversation and he really didn't feel like running after the badger that night.

She began to walk away but he grabbed her by the arm and stood there for a second as their eyes met and with his smirk her own eyes widened in horror.

"Le Beau Ah'm wornin ya. If yer thinkin' bout doin what Ah think yer thinkin' then don't ya dare!" She told him sternly, trying to brake free from his easily held grip.

"What chere? You tink Remy's gon' go an' do sometin like dis?" He said, pulling her toward him in a way that made her twirl until she was locked in his embrace, the space between them gone.

"REMY!" She shouted, hitting his arms as he trapped her.

"Damn it Cajun! Now we're both soakin wet!" She exclaimed. Because he was wet to begin with, when he held her, it got her wet as well.

"Oui but chere y' gotta look on de bright side." He said happily.

"And what would that be?" She asked in annoyance, not even bothering to avoid his eyes even though they were only mere inches apart.

"Well now it be more like dat day y' were recallin b'fo. Stead o' Remy bein de only one wet, now be bot' be soggy. Jus' like las' time!" He said cheerily, kissing the top of her head.

"Oh joy." She said, her voice dripping with nothing but sarcasm.

Remy just laughed, kissed her head again and hugged her tightly to him.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Okay that's it.

Sry it took me SOOOOO long to update! Writer's block MAJOR! And u know, I still have it! Can you believe it!?!?!?

The thing is that I'm gonna be stuck in this old boring house with no real TV, very little heating and nobody my age or anything to talk to for the next FIVE DAYS! So all I'll have is the warmth of my laptop and typing my story as entertainment so I'll have more done hopefully by the time I'm home. That's the good thing, I'll have time to catch up with the story. If I don't type then I'll go bloody insane! And then none of ya'll get to read the story! :P

Feel my pain people. Because my Thanksgiving weekend is about to become hell! Kill me, Kill me now!!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING YOU GUYZ.Or at least you guyz in America. All the rest erm. HAPPY. NORMAL DAY!!!!

Okay well hope ya'll liked it! Got any questions just ask. Thanx for all the reviews to the last chapter. Review for this one now plz!!!!

-AngieX