A/N: Special thanks to everyone for reviewing the last chapter.
Moon Comix- Yeah, I don't necessarily have anything against Bobby, or a Bobby/Rogue relationship. I just decided to include Romy in my story since, in all likelihood, we won't be seeing that in the actual movies.
ishandahalf- You better believe it, not a lot of guy's would take a bullet for their mother, let alone for a girl that they just met. Then again, as Remy's starting to realize, Rogue isn't like most girls. As far as the shocking news, just scroll down a little and you'll find out…
Jean1- I'm glad you liked the fight scene, I try to strike a balance between good action and showing the dimensions to a character's personality. I'm also glad you liked Remy's self-observtion, I was wondering if any readers would pick up on that rather subtle line. Logan and Remy might seem to be very different, but they might be more similar than either would ever care to admit. As far as Logan settling down, I think with Mariko it was just a case of bad timing. I mean, he made it all the way to the altar and appeared that he was more than ready to go through with it and get a taste of married life. Hmmm, a married Logan…
Lucas'sgirl- It's fine about the update, I take them whenever and however I can get them. I'm just really glad that you liked the last couple of chapters. And of course, Gambit can be loveable…
Episodic- Yeah, I've been reading/hearing those rumors too, which at least gives us something to ponder. Glad you liked the last chapter with the action, Romyness, and Logan/Mariko. I'm not sure what I'd call them either, but I hadn't really thought too much about it, especially since I keep getting reviewers that think Mariko Yashida and the rest of her family are just a figment of my imagination (I only wish I was that good.) As far as the last sentence, I know, I can be a stinker sometimes…
haruechan- Glad you liked the action and the plotlines with Logan/Mariko and Gambit/Rogue. Looks like you'll get your wish to find out what's going on at the school, and who knows, maybe the end is closer than you thought…
Star-of-Chaos- Glad you liked the battle scene, and how Remy risked it all for Rogue.
FreakyXGoth- Looks like you're gonna get your wish now…
…Was the sound heard by Remy Lebeau at the bedroom door, where he was currently lying down.
"C'mon in." Remy responded, to which the door immediately opened.
"Ah thought you might be getting hungry." Rogue said to him, as she walked into the guest room at Mariko's penthouse, carrying a tray with her.
Remy took one look at Rogue and thought that she looked as stunning as ever, despite the fact that she hadn't done anything out of the ordinary. All she had on was a simple white hooded sweater with a small 'X' insignia on the upper left side, a pair of white sheer gloves, and matching pair of Lycra pants. Outside of maybe Belladonna, the girls that usually caught Remy's eye were the ones that either wore way too much makeup, or way too little clothing, neither of which described Rogue.
After seeing Rogue for the first time on that night he broke into Mariko's home at Agarashima, Remy couldn't figure out why a girl who didn't fit into those previous descriptions, continued to stick out in his mind. But, after getting to know more about her over the last few days, Remy had finally figured it out.
Rogue was unlike any girl that he had ever met before.
"Let me help you wit' dat." Remy said, as he went to sit up on the edge of his bed, but did so a little too quickly. He felt a sharp pain go up into his right upper back near his shoulder, the area where he had been shot.
"Just lie back and relax." Rogue told him, as Remy's facial expression relayed how he felt, "You just got out of the hospital yesterday, and those pain killers the doctor prescribed'll only do so much."
"I'm just glad to be outta dat place. Another day, and I would've been climbin' de walls." Remy replied.
"Please, you were only in there for a couple of days." Rogue pointed out, as she sat the tray down on the nightstand. She then sat down on the bed next to Remy, in between him and the nightstand, "Besides, Ah figured you would love having all of those pretty nurses waitin' on you hand and foot."
As Rogue sat down beside him, Remy couldn't help but notice the unique perfume fragrance that she was wearing. At that moment, he thought it was the sweetest scent that he had ever smelled.
"They were all right, but it ain't nothin' like de way you been waitin' on me hand and foot, Chere." Remy smiled, as Rogue helped him with his meal. Since his right arm was in a sling that kept that side of his body stabilized while he healed, he only had use of one good arm at the moment.
"Then you'd better enjoy it while you can, 'cause trust me, it ain't gonna become a habit." Rogue said in a very serious tone.
"Yes, ma'am!" Remy sarcastically replied, in an equally serious tone.
Rogue looked at Remy sternly for a few seconds, but she couldn't keep herself from busting out with laughter. Remy loved her laugh, it wasn't overly sophisticated or sexy, but he could tell it came from somewhere that was genuine and deep within.
While they sat there, Rogue also thought about how Remy made her laugh, and she also thought about her feelings towards him in general. She had come to Japan originally to sort out her feelings for her ex-boyfriend Bobby Drake. While Bobby was the one that had dumped her, Rogue believed that she was in love with him, and even now, still had strong feelings for him. But, she also had feelings for Remy that were growing stronger everyday, which only complicated matters further.
After Remy had finished eating, Rogue got everything back together and put it back on the tray sitting on the nightstand.
"Is there anything else Ah can get for you?" Rogue asked, as she stood up and faced him.
"You know, I could really go for a smoke right 'bout now. Been a couple days since I had one." Remy replied, which caused Rogue to come unglued.
"You're supposed to be tryin' to get healthy again! Last time Ah checked you didn't have a healing factor, which means the last thing that body of yours needs is smoke pollutin' it! Plus, Ah'm sure Mariko doesn't want her home smellin' like cigarette smoke, Ah mean, Logan doesn't even smoke in here and he smokes like a damn train. On top of that--" Rogue continued blasting him, before she was swiftly interrupted.
"All right, All right, I get de point. You worse than my Tante Mattie, de woman dat raised me back home." Remy conceded, "How about a glass of juice instead, unless dat's a banned item too."
"Ah'll bring you some in a little while. First, you need to get some rest." Rogue smiled as she calmed down, before helping Remy lie back down in the bed.
Rogue then picked up the tray and left the room, closing the door behind her. As the scent of her perfume continued to linger in the room, Remy laid in bed thinking about what Rogue had said to him.
"Yeah, never met a girl like her before." Remy thought, as a big smile came across his face.
Just as Rogue was walking back towards the kitchen from Remy's room, Logan and Mariko entered the suite through the front door.
"What'd they say?" Rogue said to them, as she stood in the living room holding the tray.
"Well, it looks like your boyfriend lucks out again." Logan replied from the entrance, "The Japanese authorities vouched for Lebeau with Inter-Pol, saying he was instrumental in taking down Harada and the rest of the guys in the Jigoku underworld, and helping to throw a monkey-wrench in the criminal ring around the Asian-Pacific rim. So, Inter-Pol decided to help in getting most of the charges against him dropped. I guess it also didn't hurt the Cajun to have a lady in his corner that's on a first name basis with the Prime Minister."
Logan then looked over at Mariko, whom he had been referring to.
"Considering all that Remy did to help me in my time of need, it is the least that I could do for him." Mariko responded.
"Man, that kid sure did get around. He must've been wanted in countries from just about every part of the globe." Logan said, as he and Mariko were taking off their coats by the entrance.
"Ah'm sure he'll be more than happy to brag about it later. Ah guess Ah'll ask him…" Rogue was saying, before she suddenly stopped, dropping the tray full of empty dishes that she had brought from Remy's room. She just stood there, silent, looking directly at the big-screen television in the living room of the penthouse suite. Rogue had turned the TV on earlier, but she had turned the sound down so that she wouldn't wake Remy up.
"Rogue, what's the matter darlin'?" A concerned Logan asked her, as the television was facing away from him.
"Muir Island, Scotland. Isn't that the place the Professor said he and the others were headin' to, after they left Siberia?" Rogue asked him, referring to the trip that some of her classmates had made. It was to attend the memorial service for Peter Rasputin's brother, Colonel Mikhail Rasputin.
"I'm pretty sure that's what he said." Logan answered, "Why're you askin'?"
"Because, something bad happened there. Something real bad." Rogue said in a tone that relayed how bothered she was by what she now saw in front of her.
"Turn it up." Logan said, as he and Mariko came over from the front entrance area to the sofa, and sat down in front of the TV. Rogue grabbed the remote to turn up the volume and stood close by, as the three of them saw an island that looked like it had been turned into a warzone.
Our top story remains the apparent attack on Muir Island, one of the top genetics research laboratories in the world located off the eastern coast of Scotland. It has yet to be determined what exactly provoked the action against the Muir Island research facility, but eyewitnesses report seeing large robots flying over the island. Although their existence has yet to be confirmed, Sentinels have long been rumored to have been in existence, as a contingency against an increasingly hostile mutant populace.
Which begs the question, what links, if any, do Dr. Moira MacTaggert and her research facility have to such mutant terrorist groups...
"Mutant terrorists mah ass! Those are mah friends you're talkin' about!" Rogue shouted, as she finally broke her silence.
"Rogue, just calm down, so we can hear what else they have to say." Logan said as he tried to calm Rogue, which was a switch on their usual roles.
"Forget them! Ah'm gonna find out what's goin on, straight from the horse's mouth." Rogue said angrily, as she left and quickly went into another part of the suite.
While Mariko and Logan continued watching the report, Rogue went into another room to make a very important phone call to a cell phone in Salem Center, New York.
"It's your quarter and a half." A voice on the receiving end of the phone said to Rogue.
"Jubilee?" Rogue asked.
"Yeah." Jubilee laughed a little as she responded to Rogue, "You actually think anyone else would own up to having a name like this."
"Ah guess not." Rogue replied, "Ah just saw the news. What in the world's goin' on?"
"I've been calling your hotel since this morning, but I didn't get an answer." Jubilee told her, "It looks like some maniac with too much time on his hands decided to turn a bunch of killer robots loose on the public."
"I'm sorry, me and Logan have been kinda busy over here, and I hadn't gotten a chance to tell you that we were staying somewhere else." Rogue apologized, "But, it's true? There really were Sentinels over there?"
"Uh-huh." Jubilee confirmed, as she was in the middle of doing her nails. She had tried to find something to distract her from the news that had been running through her mind since the night before, "Storm, Colossus, Shadowcat, and Siryn's Dad ended up fighting with them over there."
"Are they okay?" Rogue asked.
"Depends on your definition of okay." Jubilee answered, "If you mean, are they still breathin', then yeah. But, those Sentinels knocked everyone around pretty good. Kitty and Terry got banged up a little, but Ororo was blasted by one of those things and got hurt pretty bad. Heck, the Professor got hurt so bad that he can't even use his mind powers right now, and those things took off with the lady he went to visit, Dr. MacTaggert."
"That sounds horrible. Do they know who did this?" Rogue continued to inquire.
"Not yet. Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Beast have been down in the War Room, beatin' their heads together tryin' to figure it out. None of the world's major governments seem to know either, which means we're probably dealing with your typical, mutant-hating nut-job." Jubilee revealed, "The rest of us have been doin' crowd control upstairs. The X-Babies are totally freakin' over it, and I can't say I much blame 'em."
"Ah thought the Professor told us that the guy who built the first Sentinels died years ago, and that the whole program was dismantled and swept under the rug?" Rogue asked Jubilee.
"Well, it looks like somebody else decided to go back and lift that rug up again." Jubilee commented, "Anyways, Mr. Summers has the school on high alert, until they get what the real deal is. We would send the Blackbird to get you two, but right now it's under a ton of rocks on Muir Island."
"That's fine, Ah think we'll be alright." Rogue responded.
"If someone's declared open season on mutants, I don't think any of us are gonna be alright." Jubilee told her in a worried tone, which was something that they rarely heard from the lively teenager.
Jubilee and Rogue continued to talk for a few more minutes, before Rogue said that she wanted to go tell Logan what she had found out. Jubilee told Rogue to call her cell, if she and Logan needed to get into contact with them for any reason.
Rogue then got up and went back into the living room, to tell Logan what she had learned.
"So what'd you find out?" Logan asked Rogue, as he and Mariko were still sitting on the sofa watching the report on television.
"It was pretty bad." Rogue answered, "Jubilee said everyone took some nasty bumps over there. But, she said the Professor got hurt so bad that he lost his powers."
"Chuck's a tough old bird, he'll bounce back in no time." Logan said to Rogue, as he tried to convince himself of that fact as well, "At any rate, whoever's behind this just bit off a mouthful of trouble."
Logan then solemnly turned towards his lady-love, and spoke.
"I need to go call the airline. Me and Rogue are gonna be headin' back home, so we can get to the bottom of this." Logan told her.
"You are more than welcome to use my private jet for your trip." Mariko offered.
"Thanks, M'iko. You don't know how much I appreciate that." Logan told her, as he leaned over on the sofa to give her a kiss as a small token of his gratitude. When Logan told Mariko thank you, he was referring both to her sheer thoughtfulness behind the gesture, and also to the fact that he had such a hard time traveling through airport security because of his adamantium skeleton, "I'm gonna go call McCoy, and let him know we'll be on our way back."
Logan then got up to got to the other room that Rogue had been in previously, when his young friend stopped him.
"Logan." Rogue said to him.
"What's up kid?" Logan replied.
"What about Remy?" Rogue asked him, wanting to know where the New Orleans native now fit into their plans.
"What about him." Logan replied simply.
"Logan…" Rogue said in a slow, drawn out tone.
"Oh, all right. The Cajun can come back with us if he wants." Logan told her, "But I'm tellin' you right now, I ain't walkin' or feedin' him."
"Ah'm pretty sure they said the same thing about you, back when we first showed up at the mansion." Rogue responded.
All Logan did was smile at her comment, before he continued on into the other room.
While Logan went and called home, Rogue went to Remy's room to talk to him. After knocking on the door and realizing that Remy was awake, Rogue went and sat down on the bed next to him. She explained to him what had happened with the Sentinels, and the reason that she and Logan were now going back home. She then asked him if he wanted to join them?
Remy immediately had reservations about going, but his anxiety had nothing to do with a fear of fighting giant killer robots.
"You really t'ink a guy like me belongs at a private school?" Remy asked her, "I don't t'ink I'd really fit in at a place like dat."
"You mean to tell me that you met Logan, and you have doubts about whether you'd fit in over there." Rogue said jokingly, trying to put Remy at ease, "Besides, it's more than just a school. They teach us to use our powers to help and protect people. Didn't you tell me back at the Silver Samurai's home that you were tired of your old life? This is the perfect opportunity for you to start a new one."
"Dis Professeur, you really t'ink he gonna want a guy wit' my past hangin' 'round there?" Remy asked, still unsure if Rogue's proposal was such a good idea.
"Professor Xavier is a pretty good guy. He's the kind of person that looks beyond what you might've been, to see what you could be." Rogue told him, "Plus, if he doesn't like you, he'll just use his powers to make your head explode."
With that comment, Remy just looked at Rogue nervously with a stunned look on his face.
"Ah'm only kidding, Ah'm only kidding." Rogue giggled, letting Remy know that she had finally pulled one over on him.
"You know, ain't nothin' funny 'bout dat, Chere." Remy said to her, as he himself soon cracked a smile at her joke.
"So, are you in?" Rogue asked Remy.
"I don't know, I've gotten used to flyin' solo for a good while now. But, I guess I could try it and see. So, yeah, count me in." Remy finally agreed, as Rogue put her gloved hand over his, "Just hope I know what I'm gettin' myself into."
Little did Remy know how those words would come back to haunt him.
The next morning, Rogue, Logan, and Remy arrived at the airport to begin their trek back home. Rogue and Remy went ahead and boarded the plane with their luggage, while Logan stayed behind with Mariko to do one last, final thing.
And for Logan and Mariko, it was a good-bye that neither of them had planned to or really wanted to say.
"I really hate doin' this to you." Logan said to Mariko, as they embraced each other near the boarding gate outside, "Soon as I take care of everything back home, I'll be on the first thing back over here."
"You do not need to apologize. I understand why it is that you must leave. It is 'Giri', -Duty, to one's cause and to one's family. If the roles were reversed, I would do the same thing." Mariko said, as she and Logan then gave each other a long and very passionate kiss, "But, I will count the days until you return to me."
"So will I, M'iko." Logan said, as they kissed once again, "Well, I could keep this up all day with you, but I got a plane to catch."
"Before you do, there is something I must give you." Mariko said to him as Toru, the head of her staff at Agarashima, brought a long black case to her.
"You don't have to give me anything. You're already givin' me a quick ticket back home, that's plenty enough." Logan replied.
"This is more than a simple gift." Mariko said, as she handed the case to him, "Open it."
Logan opened the case, and was shocked at what he saw inside.
In the case was the Honor Blade of the Clan Yashida, the sacred symbol of Mariko's family, which had been passed down for generations.
"I had intended to present it to you in a more formal ceremony, but recent events seem to have prevented me from doing that." Mariko told Logan.
"M'iko, I…I can't accept this. I ain't nowhere near worthy of it." Logan said to her.
"If anyone is worthy of possessing it, it is you Logan-sama." Mariko responded, "You are a true example of what a Samurai should be. You are my Chosen, bonding us together with you as my honored warrior, but also as the man that now holds my heart."
"With an endorsement like that, I guess it'd be downright rude of me to refuse it." Logan said, as he took the black case into his hands, "I don't have a family heirloom or nothin' to give to you, but I can give you this as a reminder of me."
Logan then took off his favorite brown Stetson that he was wearing, and placed it on top of Mariko's head.
"It's a couple sizes too big, but you can keep it warm for me until I get back." Logan told her.
"I will cherish it." Mariko said, as she pushed his hat up a little and kissed Logan one more time, before he went to board her private jet.
Logan got on the plane and sat down near one of the windows, where he could now see Mariko standing out by the gate and clutching his hat close to her body, fighting back tears. Just then, Remy came from the front of the plane, heading towards its back.
"What're you and Rogue doing?" Logan asked Remy, after his shirt collar had made sure that his eyes were dry before he spoke.
"She's up front wit' de pilot. She wanted to see if takin' dis plane off was anything like takin' y'alls plane off back home. I tried tellin' her dat they're all probably de same, but she just had to see for herself." Remy told him, "I'm on my way to de back, de pilot said they had a bar back there. You want I should bring you somethin' back?"
"Nah, I'm fine for now." Logan replied, "But, sit down for a minute 'Slick', me and you need to have a talk."
"What, you gonna give me another speech on not bein' old enough to drink?" Remy asked Logan sarcastically as he sat down in the seat next to him, while the plane prepared to take off.
"As long as you're not a loud drunk, I could care less. Besides, with all the things you been into, underage drinkin' would be at the bottom of that list. Which brings me to my point." Logan said to him.
"Which would be?" Remy inquired.
"Despite your age, you've been around the block a few times, been to all kinds of places, met all kinds of people, done all kinds of things." Logan surmised.
"Yeah, I s'ppose you could say dat." Remy agreed.
"Well, Rogue hasn't had that chance to really see what the rest of the world is like, like guys like us have." Logan began, "She's a good kid, always lookin' for the best and true qualities in everybody. She even trusted me and gave me a chance, back when no one else probably would have, myself included. Rogue thinks that everybody can be redeemed, and who knows, maybe she's right. But me, I ain't that optimistic. The girl cares about you, I could tell that the instant you two laid eyes on each other, and I think it's good that she's startin' to move on past the heartbreak she's been dealin' with."
Logan then leaned in really close to Remy, to make sure that he heard what he had to say as he talked in a very serious tone.
"But with that said, I'm only gonna tell you this once. If you do anything to hurt her or add to the grief that she's already had to deal with in her life 'Cajun', I'll personally balance the scales with your hide."
After relaying his message, Logan then gave Remy a huge smile and patted him on the back.
"Why don't you go see about that drink, and bring me one too?" Logan said, with his huge smile still present.
"Yeah, sure. I t'ink I definitely need one now." Remy said in a hushed tone, as he stood up and continued his trip to the back of the plane.
Just as Remy was going to the rear of the plane, Rogue appeared from the cockpit.
"What were you two talkin' about?" Rogue asked, as she could hear that Remy and Logan were discussing something, but she wasn't able to tell what it was from the cockpit.
"You know, just guy talk." Logan responded, "So, is your curiosity satisfied?"
"Yeah, Ah suppose so. This plane looks like a breeze to fly, compared to getting the Blackbird off the ground." Rogue answered, "But, my curiosity's got me wonderin' what in the world you and Remy could find to talk about."
"We were just swappin' cookin' recipes." Logan smirked, "I thought you'd be tickled pink that me and your boyfriend were actually gettin' along."
"Ah don't know about him bein' my boyfriend yet." Rogue told Logan, as she sat down in the seat next to him, "But, Ah really don't understand why you don't like him. In some ways, he's a lot like you."
"If that's the case, then I know you can do better." Logan replied.
"If he is anything like you, then Ah know a girl can't do much better." Rogue asserted.
Logan let a small smile be his only response to Rogue, before he turned to look back out of the window. As their airplane took them out of Japan's airspace, Logan, Rogue, and Remy were now on their way back home.
And the X-Men would never be the same again...
To be continued In A Force Unleashed…