She was here.
She was safe.
Remy couldn't believe his eyes. He'd barely let himself hope all the time he'd been searching for her, that he'd actually succeed in finding her; and now to see her looking so vibrant, took a huge weight off of his chest
Of course, he'd known she was all right, but still…
His eyes skimmed her eagerly, taking in how much she'd changed in the three and a half months she'd been gone. She looked so different, beautiful still but not the same exactly. Her dark auburn hair was shorter and curled around her shoulders attractively and her face seemed thinner, her eyes older. He let his gaze drift as he dropped his tote bag to the floor, until he reached her stomach and then he couldn't hide his surprise at the sight of her rounded stomach.
Hell, he hadn't expected her to look so…so…pregnant.
As if on cue, she laid an arm across her stomach protectively, drumming her fingers on it gently as she met his gaze with a defiant one of her own.
He couldn't take it anymore.
He crossed the room in one swoop and scooped her up in his arms, hugging her as tightly as he dared, trying to be careful not to press too hard against her stomach as he did so.
He didn't care if they'd been apart when she'd left, that they'd been fighting. He'd missed her, nearly driven himself crazy finding her and he'd be damned if he wasn't going to show her how he felt.
He was unprepared though, for just how she expressed how she felt at seeing him.
She popped him one.
He was blissfully hugging her, thinking how he never wanted to be far away from her again when she pushed back, smiled sweetly at up at him and then proceeded to slug him, right in the eye.
"What da hell" He grunted as he stumbled back, taken completely off guard.
Of all the reactions he'd expected from her that was the one furthest down the list.
Okay, so that was a lie, it was close to the top, given the way he'd acted the last time they'd spoken but still.
Rogue, for her part didn't say anything. Just picked up the face cloth she'd dropped and headed for what he assumed was the living room.
She was happy to see him, he was positive about it.
Why had she done that?
Rogue bit back a half giggle, half sob as she headed down the hall to the den. She hadn't meant to hit him. He'd just taken her by such surprise, showing up like that and on a day when she was more stressed out then she'd like to admit, it had just happened.
That being said, she was glad to see him.
She just sure as hell wasn't going to admit it off the bat.
How had he found out where she was? who had told him? And why had it taken him so long to show up? She had a lot of questions to ask. Rogue stopped in her tracks as she reached the living room. She had a feeling the little minx on her couch had all the answers she needed.
"Jubilee." She called softly, as she approached the figure on the couch. One look at her pale friend, told her now wasn't the time to b asking any tough questions. "Here, Ah got you somethin for your head."
"Thanks." Jubilee whispered, as Rogue pressed the gently cloth to her head. "Ouch!"
"Ah know." Rogue soothed. "It hurts, this'll help Ah promise."
"Was that someone in the kitchen?" Jubilee asked. "I thought I heard someone."
Rogue didn't answer; she was worried because Jubes didn't look good to her. "Are you dizzy, or nauseous?"
"A little." Jubilee admitted. "But I'm okay really."
"Ah think we should go to tha hospital, just in case." Rogue said.
"No." Jubilee protested." Really, I'm okay" She cleared her throat. "You didn't answer me, was someone in the kitchen?"
As if on cue, the some one appeared in the den doorway, causing Jubilee's eyes to widen. "Oh."
"Dat was a fine, hello chere." Remy said as he stepped inside.
Rogue looked at him for a moment as she sat down beside Jubilee and tried to look at the bump on her forehead, and then she spoke quietly. "Ah'm sorry, you took me by surprise, is all."
"Dat's puttin it lightly." He said, fingering his eye lightly then looked at Jubilee. "Do you want ta tell Remy, what's goin on, or should he guess?"
"No need." Jubilee said. "I'm fine."
"No, your not." Rogue said then looked Remy up and down. "And we're going to the hospital, no more protests." She rose awkwardly and then helped Jubilee up, settling an arm across her shoulders to help her. Without another look at Remy, she headed for the door and then stopped and turned. "Are you comin, Cajun?" She asked.
"'Course." He said as he headed to her side.
"Good." Rogue said as she tossed him her keys. "Then ya'll can drive, let's go."
Rogue was beginning to hate hospitals.
With a sigh, she leaned against the wall outside the exam room and studied the floor, trying her damnedst not to look at the person leaning casually against the wall next to her. She was trying not to stare at him, or blurt out any of the many questions that she was dying to ask him.
Remy, wasn't being nearly as courteous.
He'd been staring at her thoughtfully in one way or another since they left the house, speaking only to ask for directions to the hospital; and he hadn't spoken a word since they'd brought Jubilee inside. He'd just followed behind her into the emergency room and then later the exam room when the doctor had called them.
Now, however he spoke, looking up from the deck of cards he was shuffling absently.
"Where's Logan?" He said.
"He's in Jackson." She said stiffly. "He won't be back until late tonight, or early in the morn'in."
"What happened?" He asked.
"Some one tried to mug us." Rogue lied. She looked at him sideways and to his surprise, smiled. "But they didn't get far."
"Remy believes it." He muttered, fingering his eye again. "Pregnant or no, ya can still pack a punch P'tite."
"Well." She admitted grudgingly. "Ah learned from the best."
"Damn straight." He muttered. "Remy still has the scars."
"Then you shoulda learned ta duck faster." She said.
"Touché." He said with a sigh.
He couldn't believe this, his mind couldn't comprehend it. Yesterday, he'd been going mad looking for her and how, here he was with her and they were having a casual conversation. It was beyond his comprehension.
"Stop that." She said crossing her arms over her chest and looking away.
"What?" He asked.
"Staring at me, you've been doing it since we left the house." She said in a fatigued tone. "Your making me feels nervous."
"Why, would li'l ol' me make you nervous darlin?" He asked in a smooth seductive tone. "That's the last thing Remy wants ta do."
"Then don't stare." She said, her heart skipping a beat. He still had the power to make her want him more then ever.
"Can't help it." He said as he stepped closer and closed the distance between them. "You've changed a lot since the last time I saw you."
"Ah've expanded." She said ruefully as she cupped one hand across her stomach and rested the other on her lower back.
"You've gotten more beautiful." He said as he brushed a hand across her cheek.
"Don't." She said softly turning away, tears burning her eyes.
"Don't swoop in here, with your charmer ways and think thing'll be okay." She said. "After, what you last said to me, after how we fought that's really demeaning to both me and you."
She pushed away from the wall, and began to walk back towards a cluster of chairs she'd seen just down the hall.
"Where are you going?" He asked
"Ah'm pregnant Remy." She said. "Ah can't stand anymore, my legs hurt. Ah need to sit down."
With a sigh, she lowered herself onto the plastic chair, and wasn't surprised that he followed her down the hall. She yawned and rubbed her temples, then her eyes. She was exhausted, in more ways then one.
When she sat down she shook her head. "You think we can just go back to the way things were? You didn't want a child Remy, let alone one that ain't yours, Sugah."
"Remy don't care anymore, so long as we're together." He said. " It don't bother me Anna, really."
"It has too." She said with a sigh.
"It don't." He said. "I was adopted Rogue, blood ain't that important to me." He picked up her hand in his. "We can make it work."
"And forget about what you said to me, what Ah said to you?" She asked with a shake of her head. "No, we can't just go back to the way we were."
"Den we'll start over." He said. "That's why Remy's here Rogue, I don't want to walk away anymore."
Down the hall, the doctor came out of Jubilee's exam room and headed towards them. "Ms. Carlton?" He asked.
"That's me." Rogue said, in a worried tone. "How is she?"
"Fine." The doctor assured her. "She has a very mild concussion. I don't think there's anything to worry about, you can take her home. Just keep an eye on her for tonight."
"Thanks Doc." Rogue said in relief.
"She's quite resilient." The doctor said. "I'm sure she'll be fine by the day after tomorrow."
"Ah'm glad to hear it." Rogue said.
"I'm going to go get her discharge papers." He said. "It won't take long."
"Great." Rogue said. "Thanks a lot doctor." She turned to Remy as the doctor moved away. "Let's go get her; Logan'll be goin crazy if he comes home early and find's us not there."
"So this conversation's panned?" He said coolly.
"For now." She said gently. "Let's get Jubes home, okay and then we'll see what happens." She patted his leg. "You wait here, and Ah'll be right back with her."
She rose, and had only taken a few steps when a wave of dizziness over took her. Closing her eyes, and leaned over and rested her face in her hand as she tried to fight it off.
"Anna!" Remy said jumping up and catching her by the forearms.
"Ah'm alright." Rogue said as he slid an arm around her back to help support her.
"The hell you are." He said. "Doctor!"
"No." Rogue protested weakly, as Jubilee's doctor hurried back to them. "Ah'm, alright, just dizzy is all."
"Did this just start now?" The doctor asked as she straighten up.
"Yeah." Rogue said. "But, you know Ah haven't eaten much today and Ah'm tired so it's probably nothing."
"I think we should take a look just in case, yeah?" The doctor said.
Rogue opened her mouth to speak, and another wave hit her, causing her to lean against Remy.
"Yeah, I think we should take a look." The doctor said silencing her protests. "It won't take long." He looked around. "Curtin three is open, why don't you go lie down and I'll be right there to check you out."
Rogue nodded and let Remy lead her off, not even aware of the fact he had his arms wrapped around her intimately. "Looks like Remy got here jus in time." He said as he helped her lay down.
For once, Rogue didn't disagree with him.
By the time they reached Rogue's front door, the sun was setting low on the horizon. They pulled up and Remy stopped the SUV with a soft jolt. "Here we are girls." He said as he pulled the keys out of the ignition and leaned back against the seat. "Home, sweet mausoleum."
"Very funny." Rogue said as she slid out carefully, holding her stomach.
"Well really, what in da God's name made you buy this crypt?" He asked
"Rent." Rogue said through clenched teeth. "And Ah liked the space of it."
She turned to Jubes and helped her out of the car gently, all the while feeling fatigue pull at her heels. Thank god, the doctors had said that she and the baby were okay. Exhaustion, tempered by lack of food had caused the dizzy spells, like Rogue had guessed. Of course, they'd only found that out after she'd been poked and prodded and had blood drawn. Between her and Jubes they'd seen enough doctors's today to build their own hospital, and if Jubilee was feeling anything at all like Rogue, then all she wanted to do was sleep.
Rogue unlocked the door and they headed inside in a slow trudging parade. "Ah don't think Logan's home yet." Rogue said as they entered the quiet house.
"Good." Jubilee said as she caught how bad, and sickly she looked in the hall mirror. "I don't want him to see me like this." She picked at a strand of limp purple hair. "I'm going to take a bath, and then go to bed."
"It's barely eight." Rogue pointed out. Normally, Jubes was the night owl, awake long after Rogue; herself had called it a night.
"I know but I'm exhausted." Jubilee said. "I think this is special circumstances."
"Ah agree." Rogue said with a yawn. 'Ah think Ah'm headed the same way."
"Definitely." Remy agreed as Rogue shot him a dark look. "Don't look at me like that Anna; you heard what da doc said food and rest."
"Ah'm a big girl, Ah can take care of mah self." Rogue said through gritted teeth. "Ah don't need you to ride in here like a prince on a white horse and rescue me."
"Chere, Remy think that's exactly what you need." He said bluntly "And mostly you need protecting from your self."
"And on that not, not that I wouldn't love to stick around for the fireworks." Jubilee said, extricating herself from the situation. "I'm off to bed." She smiled at Remy and headed up the stairs. "Good night."
"Night." Rogue and Remy said together.
"Okay, you next." He said.
Rogue was about to protest when he swept her up into his arms. "Which ways your room?" He asked.
"Put me down, you no good Cajun!" She squealed.
"Dat way huh?" He said starting up the stairs, despite her protests and attempts to stop him. When they reached the top, he stopped. "Point it out." He said. "Or Remy'll guess."
"That one." She said sourly, pointing to the master bedroom.
Remy nodded and kicked opened the door gently as h looked around. "Nice." He said dropping her unceremoniously in a heap on the bed. He cocked his head. "Do you have a guest room I can stay in?"
"You show up here, break into mah house, act like nothing has happened, take charge completely and now you want to stay here?" She asked in disbelief as she sorted herself out.
He shrugged and raised an eyebrow at her.
Rogue knew she was beat.
She could no more ask him to leave, then ask her heart to stop beating, and if he left again he'd surly be taking it with him packed in his travel bags along with his soap and her good sense.
"Down the hall, to your right." She said as she stretched out on the bed.
"Great." He said.
"Don't get any ideas." She said, not opening her eyes. "We have a lot to talk about, that's why Ah asked you to stay."
"Remy knows." He said smoothly as he turned and left the room, and Rogue finally left herself relax into her pillows.
Why did she have the feeling, she was totally and utterly…screwed?
She was dozing fitfully, half an hour later when there was a knock at her door. She stirred and opened one eye, yawning. "Come in." She slurred in a tired voice.
"Remy." She said with a sigh. "What did you do?"
Remy shrugged as he nudged the door open with a shoulder and entered carrying a tray in his hands. "Da doctor said you needed to eat." He said flatly.
"You cooked?' She asked in disbelief.
"More like microwaved." He said bashfully. "Beef stew Remy found in your fridge."
"What else did you put together?" She asked, looking at the fully loaded tray.
"A small salad, a whole wheat bun and some cut up peaches." He said. "Also some pecan pie I found and a couple of Oreo's for good measure."
"Ah honestly don't know if Ah can eat all this." She said
"Put a good dent in it's all I ask." He said, tipping the spoon towards her.
"If Ah eat like this all the time, Ah'll get fat." She protested.
"Pssfh." He snorted. "No your not."
"Ah already am." She said.
"Let me tell you something, Remy carried you up here, your not putting on weight." He raised an eyebrow. "Remy thought pregnant women were supposed to gain wait, you as light as a feather." He grinned at her. "You need good ol Cajun food, pick you right up."
"And your gonna cook for me?" She asked.
"You betcha." He said. "Gotta prove, I'm good to have around for something."
Something about the way he said that bothered Rogue. She knew that Remy had spent most of his life being forced to prove himself to one person or another. She wasn't going to be another person in that line, not if her life depended on it. "You never have to prove yourself to me." She said firmly, taking his hand in hers.
For a moment he studied her hand, gently massaging it in his own. "Better be careful, Remy might start to think you actually want him around."
"Well, we wouldn't want that, would we?" She said with a forced smile. Truth was, she did want him around, more then ever. She just didn't know if she deserved him or not.
She could feel the tension between them as he leaned in and kissed her gently. Months of being apart, for now what seemed like the stupidest reasons fueled them and before she knew it she was kissing him back whole heartedly.
And then the baby kicked.
Common for her, bit totally new for him. She could tell by the way, his gaze ripped down to her stomach in surprise as the ripple continued.
With a sob Rogue pulled away. " Remy stop." She whispered.
"Why?" He asked emotionally. "We both want this, you know it."
"Ah know." She said " But we can't go back, everything's different now."
"Remy don't care." He said. "We can make this work."
"We both made choices." Rogue said. "And now we have to live with them."
"As long as we live together, I don't care." He said flatly.
"How can you be so naïve?" She said " How can you act like nothin happened?"
"I can't." He said, he took her hand and held it over his heart. " It's all here chere, but my papa used to say what don't kill you makes you stronger, and you learn from your mistakes and start over."
"And you think we can?"
"I do." He said.
"Then you're a fool."
He sighed and rose. " Maybe." He kissed her hand. " But I'm a fool, that's not going anywhere, any time soon." He nodded to the tray. " You better eat up, dat's not gonna stay warm forever." Without waiting for her to responded, he turned and left, shoulders hunched and she knew she'd hurt his feelings.
Rogue took a bite of stew, and then tossed down the spoon in rage. What the hell was wrong with her? She'd missed him, wanted him and yet when she was finally with him, she acted like a raving bitch. She had no call to be like that with him, it was just as much her fault they'd broken up, and she'd been the one to run, not him. She could have at least said she was glad to see him, given him a proper hello, instead of venting her anger with her fist. She could have talked with him sensibly instead of shutting him down every chance she got.
It had taken a lot for him to search her out and find her. He could have just left her alone, and never looked back but instead he'd looked for her. He was practically begging for another chance, and she'd gone out of her way to hurt him.
It was like apart, she'd wanted him and now together all the bitterness, and anger was rising to the surface, and she didn't know what do. It scared her, because she didn't want to lose him again and she knew she would if she didn't stop doing what she was doing.
She scooped up another spoonful of stew, and made a promise.
Tomorrow, she was going to apologize first thing and maybe…just maybe things would get better and clearer then.
Arguing woke Remy early the next morning from a solid sleep, and he rolled over with a groan. His second morning in Mississippi and already things were starting to feel like home.
"What the hell?" he muttered as he rolled carefully out of bed and looked at the clock.
Who the hell was arguing at 6:45 in the morning?
"Dammit Jubilee, listen to me."
Oh, Logan was back, that explained it.
With a yawn, he sat up in bed and stretched as he looked around Rogue's guest room. He liked it; it was painted a deep Teal with cherry wood accents. It reminded him in some ways of the Louisiana bayou's where he'd grown up, green and lush.
Of course, he'd have like the room a lot better if Rogue was sharing it with him, or better yet if he was sharing her room down the hall and only viewing this room as an outsider.
He rose with a grunt and pulled a t-shirt on over his boxer shorts as he went. Dressing and showering could wait until later; he wanted to know what the hell was going on.
He headed out into the hall and almost tripped over Rogue as she came out of the bathroom, looking a little worse for wear. "You okay?" He asked. "You lookin a lil'green."
Kermit had nothing on her.
Of course, he wasn't going to say that to her. He had a strong inclination to make it to his next birthday with all his favorite and most prized body parts in tact.
"Ah'm fine." She said in a raspy voice as she pulled her robe closer around her bulging frame. "Just ah little morn'in sickness is all, nothing a cup of coffee won't cure."
"You might have to wait; Remy thinks tha kitchen might be under siege." He said.
"By who, Logan and Jubilee?" She waved a hand at him in a dismissive fashion. "This is just foreplay for them, Ah swear. An hour from now, they'll be setting the sheets on fire, and making the rafters shake like they always do."
"That's a truly disturbing image, thank you." Remy said as he shook his head to clear it.
"You think? try livin with it day in and day out."
"We did." Remy pointed out.
"Not in as close a space." Rogue muttered as she heard something break and prayed it wasn't one of her favorite dishes. "Trust me, stay here for awhile and you'll never complain the mansion is too big and lonely again. Ah've never heard a couple so loud"
"I didn't need to know that." Remy said as they walked.
"Know it; if you stay here you'll hear it." She shuddered. "Don't get me wrong, Ah love them both to bits, but it's the first time Ah've ever wished Ah was deaf."
Remy laughed. " Remy thinks he knows what you mean."
"No you don't, but stick around and you will." She coughed as she flipped her pony tail over her shoulder.
"Remy plans too." He said, giving her a sideways glance.
"Plans to what?" She asked.
"Stick around." He said as they approached the noisy kitchen.
"Oh, really." She said with a raised eyebrow. "And if Ah protest?"
"Too bad." He said as he started to back the kitchen door open. "Remy's here to stay, whether ya'll like it or not."
She could live with that.
Still, in a confusing way she felt obligated to protest. " You didn't want anythin to do with this child, any child I might add and yet you want to stay here and work things out. Whether Ah like it or not?"
"Damn straight." He said then smiled as he went inside. " But I didn't mention workin things out right then and there, dat was all you chere hmmm?"
Rogue cursed. She walked right into that one.
Quickly she changed the subject. "When'd Logan get back anyway?"
"'Bout an hour ago." Remy said.
"Then their right on schedule." Rogue said as they faced the situation.
Inside the kitchen was in fact, a battle ground. Jubilee was on one side, and Logan the other. Both were glaring at each other, while Logan paced back and forth like a caged…well Wolverine.
" You're over reacting." Jubilee said gently. " It was nothing."
" Nothing, you got attacked Jubilee." He said. "And then to top it off, you weren't going to tell me."
"That's not true." Jubilee said. " I was just going to wait until things got a bit better here."
"That doesn't matter a bit now, because we're all going home." He indicated to Rogue. " Rogue too." He cocked his head at he eyed Remy, standing casually beside Rogue. ' Good, you're here."
" Nice to see ya too Logan." He said wryly.
"What's this 'bout Rogue goin home?" Rogue said with a raised eyebrow. "New news to me."
" You have too." Logan said. " It's not safe here, you don't know the half of it." He turned to Jubilee " And you"-
"Ah know everythin." Rogue interrupted.
Logan pivoted on his heel and stared at her. "What?
" Ah've talked to Xavier." Rogue said. "Ah know as much as ya'll do."
For a moment Logan looked like he'd been slapped. "And yet… you've stayed."
"Ah've stayed." Rogue said.
"Why?" Logan said in horror.
"Ah'm not gonna let them run me outta mah own house." Rogue said in an annoyed voice. " Or out of this town."
"The town didn't even exist until a few months ago, we don't know what's going on here." Logan said. "Except that it's dangerous, and getting more so. You need to leave, go home where it's safe to have your baby."
" No." Rogue said stubbornly. "Ah'm staying here, but you can Jubilee can go home at any time if you want too.'
"Not a chance." Jubilee said.
" Big chance sweetheart." Logan said. " You're getting on that plane tonight if I have to carry you, Rogue as well."
"And you're staying right?" Jubilee said. " Your gonna wait this thing out and see what happens?"
Logan didn't say a word, confirming his answer and Jubilee shook her head. "Ah told you once before, I'm with you till the end, you can stick me on a plane all you want, but I'm just taking the next one back again."
"Jubilee." Logan pleaded.
"No." Jubilee said. "And I don't want to hear about this again." With that she turned and stormed from the room. A few moments later , Rogue heard a door slam upstairs and knew Jubilee had retreated to her room to brood.
Logan turned on Rogue. " You're putting yourself and your child in danger here if you stay. We don't know what's going on, it's gonna get bad before it gets better you know that."
"Ah do." She said. " And Ah'm ready to fight."
" Is this attack not a flashing exit sign for you?" Logan said through gritted teeth. " You need to go."
"Ah need ta defend mah home." She said. " Ah need to see this thing through."
"Why?" Logan asked again.
"Ah don't know." Rogue said, knowing he was right, she should have more sense and leave, for the baby's sake but she just couldn't. "Maybe, because Ah love mysteries and this is about as damn close to one as Ah'm ever gonna get."
Logan looked at her for a moment then he stormed from the room as well, heading in Jubilee's direction.
"Well." Remy said as he cleared his throat and plunked himself down at her kitchen table. He hadn't spoken or even been mainly acknowledged in the conversation but now things were quieter and he could talk. "Remy's definitely not going any where now."
With a sigh, Rogue rubbed her temples and then shook her head to clear it. With a grimace she walked over to Remy and grabbed his hand, pulling him up to face her. "Come on." She said leading him to the door.
"What? Where?" He asked perplexed.
"Out for breakfast." Rogue said simply.
"Why?" He asked.
"You think Ah was kidding before, don't you?" She asked then rolled her eyes." Ah meant it Remy, twenty minutes from now, your gonna be embarrassed to hear them."
"You're joking." Remy said with a laugh.
"They put Colossuses and Kitty to shame." Rogue said, listing the mansion's most prolific couple. "Not to mention Jean and Scott."
For a moment Remy gave her a skeptic look, Rogue didn't care. She fired him back her patented are you really willing to take that chance and suffer major psychological damage? glare and stared him right back down.
"You right, it ain't worth it let's go." Remy said in a rush.
"Great, Ah know this good diner a bit from here, we can go there."
"A diner, for breakfast?"
"Yeah, they have great waffles. Ah like'um with fried chicken."
"Fried chicken? Did I hear you right, girl?"
"Or maybe, Ah should get them with a slice of pizza this time."
"Dear god, give dat poor baby a break."
"So you like it here?" He asked as they ate. "You like bein away?"
Rogue answered carefully as she swallowed a mouthful of pizza. "Sometimes."
"Why?" He asked. "Why don't you just come home?"
"Because Ah need this," Rogue said.
"You need a Podunk town in the middle of nowhere?" He said with a raised eyebrow. "Over 500 miles away from your friends." He coughed. "People who love you."
"Yes." Rogue said. "Ah told you before, Ah need a normal life and this town is mah chance."
"Not according to Logan, D'accord?" He said. "He don't think you're safe."
"He's bein neurotic." She said, knowing full well she was lying.
"Is he?" Remy said. "Lookin at Jubsie, I don't think so."
"Ah'm fine." Rogue said. "What happened with Jubilee, it's never happened before and it won't again." She pushed her plate away." Ah'm full."
"Good." He said. "Let's pay up and take a drive together."
"No, Ah think Ah better go home, make sure Jubilee and Logan haven't destroyed the place." She said as she stood up awkwardly.
"Rogue," He said catching her arm as she passed him and holding it gently. "Baby, please?"
For a moment Rogue eyed him and then she sighed. "Why?"
"Because Remy wants to do some sight seeing." He said.
"Ah thought you said this was a Podunk town?" She asked.
"It's true." He said catching her hand and kissing it. "But as long as you're here, from now on, it's my Podunk town."
"That's not funny." She said as they left.
"Wasn't supposed to be." He said as he opened the truck door and helped her in and then hopped inside himself.
For a while they drove in what rapidly became a bitter silence and Rogue felt herself growing frustrated. She kept her gaze averted and stared out the window, watching as he drove them towards the park in front of the court house.
About half a mile from there Remy had finally had enough. He cursed and with a sigh, hit the brake, cursing them to a stop.
"What are you doin?" Rogue asked, as she looked around at the almost empty street. The public gardens were across it and she made a mental note to take the baby there when it came, it looked nice enough.
"We need to talk." He stated flatly.
"Here?" She asked, looking around.
"Where else?" He asked. "Right now, I can't think of a better place. "
"Why?" She asked as she rubbed her temples.
"Because we need to get this out." He said "It ain't good for either of us to be walkin around with all dis hanging over us."
"Thank you Dr. Phil." She muttered and then winced. That had sounded too harsh, even for her. She sighed and looked out the window towards the park.
"That's real nice." He said with a sigh.
"Sorry." She said "Ah just find it hard to think you'd expect me to take ya'll back with open arms given the way you acted the last time Ah saw you."
"Me?" He said. "Remy's not the one who acted rash, chere, scared yes, rash non."
"Your saying Ah acted rah?" She challenged. "At least Ah was willing to try!"
"You ran away!" He thundered as he plowed his fingers through his hair. "Where I can come from, dat's cowardice, not initiative."
Without another word, she yanked the truck door open and hopped out. She wasn't going to sit around and listen to that, when she didn't have too. She headed towards the gardens, and knew from the sound of heavy foot steps behind her, that Remy was right behind her. Rogue sighed again, and headed for the small stone bridge that covered the pond. She'd have to face him down at some point; at least here if he really pissed her off she could throw him in.
The idea had merit.
She gazed out over the water as she leaned on the stones and barely glanced his way when he lounged beside her a moment later. "Look." He said after a moment. "I'll apologize for what I said, but I won't apologize for having convictions. That's a part of me; there what makes me the man that I am."
"Ah know.' She said quietly. "And Ah'd never dream of asking you to change."
"But you did." He pointed out. "You asked me to put aside everything I believed in."
"And trust me." She finished off. 'And you couldn't even do that after five years, what's that say?"
"That I was scared, P'tite." He admitted. "You wanted to change everything and I just wasn't ready for that."
"And you call me a coward Cajun?' She asked. "Sounds like the same damn thing ta me."
"Maybe." He retorted. "But at least I'm here, I want to make things right."
"And Ah don't?"
"I think your trying to push me away." He said "And it ain't gonna work."
She glanced at him sideways. "You don't know anything Remy, you haven't been here."
"No, but I've been every where else lookin for you." He said.
"Ah didn't ask you to do that." She pointed out. "You could have moved on."
"It's that what you think Remy's like?" He asked in astonishment.
"We both know you would." She said. "You could have any women you wanted; it wouldn't be long before Ah was just a notch on her bedpost."
"Now that's a damn insult!" He said, his face going red with rage. "After five damn years, you know better den that!"
With that he turned and walked away and Rogue laid her head on her arms. There, she'd done it, she'd spared then both a whole mess of pain and complications. It was just better off that way for both of them.
But he came back.
When she looked up a moment later, he was standing there watching her. He wasn't willing to give up, no matter what. "Why do you do this to each other?' She asked with a short half laugh, half sob. "We both missed each other like crazy, but we're fightin like cats and dogs.' She sighed. "All the old stuff comes back again, like we never apart."
"Maybe it's like a bad wound." He said. "You need to get rid of the infection, all the bad stuff before you can move on and heal."
"Do you believe that?" She asked.
"Ah don't know." She said. "You were so stubborn."
"And you were rash." He said.
"But you were mean.' She said. 'And hurtful."
"And you haven't been."
"Then we're both at fault aren't we?" She said with a sigh.
"Stubborn at stone, the pair of us." He agreed cheerfully.
"So where do we go from here?" She asked as she watched the ducks on the water.
"Home." He said. "Back to your place, for now."
"We can't just go back." She said. "To much has changed."
"Den we start again." He said.
"It may take a while." Rogue said. "It might not even work."
"Do you want to be the one who says w didn't try?" Remy asked.
"No." She agreed. "But this don't mean we're back together."
"Den what's it mean?" he asked as he pushed a strand of hair away from her face.
"It means you can stay." She said. "And we'll see how things go from there."
Remy nodded. "Alright den."
It was good enough for him
…for the moment anyways.
However, that didn't mean in the future he wasn't going to try and win her back. On the contrary, it made things a game, and if there was one thing he liked, it was a good game, because he was always the winner.
When they arrive home an hour later, the house was quiet.
"Did day kill each other?" He whispered to her.
"No." She said. "Their probably sleeping."
She glanced at the clock. "Ah should start dinner, its mah night to cook."
"You want me too, cook ya nice spicy Jambalaya, and fix ya right up." He said.
"Sounds good." She said. "You cook Ah'll stir."
Within the hour, the scent of spices and shrimp were pervading the kitchen, and Rogue was beginning to wonder how she'd ever walked away in the first place. "Your lucky Ah had shrimp and saffron." She said as she watched him hover over the pots.
"Luck ain't got nothin to do with it, you're smart." He said, as she glanced at her sideways. "So?"
"So what?" She asked.
"So it is as bad here as Logan said, are you unsafe?"
Rogue took a moment to answer. "We're not sure yet."
"Dat's code for it's bad." He said.
"It could be." She said with a sigh. "We don't know yet."
"But you've been attacked." He said. "More then once."
"Attacked once, scared once." She said. "Really, Ah'm okay."
"She spent time in the hospital." Logan said as he stepped into the room.
"What!" Remy said, his eyes flying to hers.
"Oh, blood, contractions, vividly lewd cursing, the whole bit."
"It was just a scare…and why don't you seem surprised ta see him Logan?" Rogue said, giving him the eye.
Logan shifted uncomfortable from one foot to another and changed the subject. "She was in there almost a week."
"And you were planning on telling me this when?" Remy asked.
"Never." Rogue said bluntly. " What, don't give me that look Louisiana, you just got here, Ah'm not gonna just stop and give you an up da date play by play in one day."
"Fair enough." Remy said. He was worried though, he had a feeling that it was a good thing he'd showed up when he did. Rogue needed to go home; he could see that, whether he had to carry back on his Harley or she went willing, it didn't matter. He knew talking Rogue out of Legacy and back to Xavier's wasn't going to be easy but he also knew it was for her best interests.
Now if he could just convince her of that…
"Is that Jambalaya?" Jubilee said as she strode into the kitchen.
"Sure is." Remy said as he gave it a hearty stir. "Hungry?"
"Starving." Jubilee said then as if realizing who she was talking too." Oh, hey, Remy…your…here." She turned to Rogue. "Has isn't great that Remy's here?"
"Real smooth Jubes." Logan said as he started to set the table. "You should work for the C.I.A."
"Very funny." She whispered as she helped him. "It's not like it's a big surprise to us, now is it."
Rogue had hurriedly tossed together a salad, and a basket of French rolls, so she set them on the table then went back to Remy. "Ummm." She said as he stirred in more shrimp over the rice. "Smells, real good."
"It'll taste better." He said as he offered her the spoon to try. "Careful, it's hot."
Rogue carefully took the spoon and tried it, savoring the rich taste and smell. "Your right," She said as she took another bite. "It does taste better."
Remy took her by surprise, and leaned in and kissed her quickly. "And you taste even better, Mon Coeur."
Rogue felt all her emotions begin to crash around inside of her and she opened her mouth to protest but to her surprise, Remy pulled back, tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear. "Shall we eat?"
"Yeah." Rogue said as he carried the soup pot over to the table and ladled up everyone a bowl. She'd never wanted him so badly in her life, in fact she was aching fiercely but she knew it was best to take things slow, to see how they went.
"So," She said as they ate. "Why didn't you seem surprised to see Remy, Logan?" She gave him a look. "Or for that matter, you Jubes?"
"Why would I be?" Logan said perplexed. "He was here the night before last."
"When?" Rogue asked.
"After midnight, when Jubes got back. I could smell him with you." Logan snorted. 'Why do you think I left for the day? I wanted to avoid the theatrics, I knew where coming."
"You were here?" Rogue said as her gaze flew to Remy and she dropped her spoon, splattering Jambalaya on the table. "That was you, it wasn't a dream?"
Remy shrugged. "Remy followed Jubes from the airport to here. I was outside, I heard you crying and I couldn't stand it." He reached out and ran his fingers over her cheek. "I took a chance."
"How'd you get in?" Logan asked.
"The trellis outside P'tite's window." He said simply.
"You climbed the trellis?" Jubilee said. "How Shakespearian"
"So it was really you that night?" Rogue said, obviously both hurt and confused. "And you were never going to tell me?"
"I would have." He said. "When the time was right."
"Like when it suited you?" She said.
"Like when you were calmer."
"Ah thought you said no more secrets."
"It wasn't a secret."
Remy sighed as she lapsed into silence. Great, and after all the progress they'd made during the day.
Rogue didn't say a word for the rest of dinner and when she was finished she turned to Jubilee. 'Do you need help cleaning up?"
"No, we've got it." Jubilee said. "If you're tired and want to go rest."
"Meaning?" Rogue said with a smile.
"Meaning they can do them." Jubilee said, jerking her thumb over to Remy and Logan.
"Thanks." Logan and Remy said together.
"Ah is going to bed." Rogue said, not meeting Remy's eyes.
"Are you okay?" Jubilee said in concern.
"Fine." Rogue said. "But Ah'm really tired."
"No problem, go get some sleep then." Jubilee said then turned to Logan. "I'm going to phone Genny, have fun boys." With that she turned and left the room, leaving the two men alone together.
With a sigh, Logan rose and began clearing the dishes. "She's not okay." H said over his shoulder to Remy. "I don't care what Rogue says about herself, she's under way to much stress."
He turned to fetch more dishes and wasn't surprised when Remy grabbed him and pushed him against the counter, his eyes blazing with fury. He'd known it was coming, he was just glad that Gambit had waited to confront him
"You knew." He spat. "You knew I was going crazy looking for her, and you said nothing! You're supposed to be my friend."
"I'm her friend first, and she didn't want you here." Logan sneered as he extended his claws with a Snikt! "Now you'd better let go before I tear you a new one Cajun."
"Fine." Remy said as he let go. "But don't you dare think Remy's gonna forget this Wolverine, not by a long shot."
"Do you think I care?" Wolverine said casually.
"You'd better, friend, or you'll regret it" Remy said.
"I don't like being threatened Bub." Logan said menacingly.
"Do you think I care?" Remy mimicked.
With that he turned to leave the kitchen, he wanted to make sure Rogue was alright before he settled in for the night.
"Hey Cajun!" Wolverine said, causing him to turn.
"What?" Remy said.
"You better bottle that anger up." Logan said as he faced him. "And use it wisely."
"Why?" Remy asked.
"Because as long as she stays here, she's gonna be in danger, I can smell it." Logan shook his head. "It's bad here Gambit, and it's only gonna get worse. Especially for her."
"I'll remember that." Remy said.
"You'd better, her life depends on it."
With that he pushed past him and tossed him the dish cloth. "Have fun with the dishes."
Remy caught the cloth and watched him go. He had a feeling Logan was right. This place was dangerous for all of them, but Anna was the center of it.
The question was…why?"
To be continued…