Disclaimer: Silly fangirl, X-Men belong to Marvel!

AN: This drabble was written in response to a challenge from my writing group to incorporate one of three sentences. I chose: "He looked down at the tofu bucket with a sense of gathering doom."


Fair Play

Remy should have known that all of his bragging would get him in trouble one day. But it never bothered him, after all, he was Remy LeBeau, Prince of Thieves, King of Hearts, Le Diable Blanc. He thrived on a challenge, on any new adventure--his tante would say (usually accompanied with a glare and a firm thwap with a wooden spoon) that if trouble didn't come looking for him, he would get tired of waiting go looking for trouble himself.

That was before he had met Rogue. The girl just plain refused to be impressed with him, it didn't matter what he said, did, or didn't do to her, she would just look at him, make a smart comment and move on. That, of course, was unacceptable and he could not let it lie. Especially with her eyes sparkling like they did when she was irritated and the way she thrust her chest forward when she got aggressive and the wonderful things that her aggravated stomping away did to her hips...

No, Remy certainly wasn't lacking in the challenge department. Especially now. He looked down at the tofu bucket with a sense of gathering doom. Usually he wasn't one to complain about sneaky tricks--he always had his own ace up his sleeve--but he was sure that this wasn't playing fair.

What did I do t' deserve dis... he thought, before wincing as his brain not-so-helpfully supplied a list. Well, yeah, but dis... And then his brain cheerfully called up the memory of how this whole bet had gotten started in the first place.

It had been Rogue and Kitty's turn to clean up after dinner, and he had wandered into the kitchen to bother a certain Southern spitfire. One thing led to another and before he knew it he was bragging about his superior cooking skills. Kitty was giggling at the both of them, and Rogue had turned around from the dish washer and was assessing him with a calculating look that really should have made him run for cover. But his tante had always said that he had more balls than sense...or maybe that was his brother Henri?

"So you're sayin' that ya could take anything and turn it into a culinary masterpiece?"

Remy nodded confidently, "Anyt'ing."

She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes, "Would ya care ta place a small wager on that?"

Remy felt his heartbeat accelerate. "Chere, dis Cajun don't do not'ing small."

"An' here Ah thought nothin' was beneath ya. All right, Swamp Rat. Name your stakes."

"T'ink y' should tell me de terms of de bet first, ne?"

Rogue crossed her arms, "All right. Ah give ya the basic ingredients. Ya can add whatever spices ya like. Ya have one hour ta turn it into a 'culinary masterpiece.' It'll hafta pass a panel of three judges--Ah'll pick one, you'll pick one, and Kitty can pick one. They can't know the stakes. Is it a bet?"

"Stakes?"

The calculating gleam in her eye only sharpened. "Ya were the one who said ya never did anything 'small--'"

Remy a little offended at the disbelief in her voice.

"--so Ah think Ah should hear yours first."

Remy smirked. "Fair enough. Hmm...if I could have de Rogue do anyt'ing, what would I do..."

Rogue snorted, "Don't act like ya ain't got a list."

He paused in sorting through his alphabetized and itemized mental list to leer, "Don' be gettin' me confused wit' your own self. Remy knows dat y've been y've been up late at nights dreamin' 'bout what dis Cajun could do t' y'."

He hoped that blush spreading across her face...her neck...downward... was an indicator of her embarrassment and not her rage. It was so rare that he got a blush out of Rogue that it made it hard to tell. Den again, de consequences of eit'er are usually de same...

But to his surprise, this comment was not followed up with immediate violence. "Ya gonna choose your stakes or not, Swamp Rat?"

She must want t' win dis bet bad. The thought only increased his eagerness, so he quickly picked one of his top five, "I win dis bet, den you've gotta call me by my name. Not 'Cajun,' not 'Swamp Rat,' 'Gambit' or 'Gumbo.' M' name. Remy."

He knew that he had surprised her when she dodged the question, "Don't think ya use your own name enough?"

He crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, "Dose are de terms. Take 'em or leave 'em."

"For how long?"

"For how long, what?"

"For how long would Ah hafta call ya by your name."

Remy grinned at her and shrugged. "Why, forever, cherie. I tol' y' I don't do small bets."

She blanched.

"Well, mebbe I let y' keep Swamp Rat occasionally. It's kinda like an endearment, non River Rat?"

"Endearment mah ass," Rogue muttered.

"It certainly is," he agreed, tilting his head to the side to try and catch a better glimpse of that particular piece of her anatomy.

"Fine," she bit off the words. "Ah accept your bet. Ah'll get ya the ingredients tomorrow."

She turned to Kitty, who had been following their conversation like an audience at a tennis match, and said, "Now ya heard the terms. It's your responsibility ta make sure that we stick ta them."

Remy thought that Kitty looked far too enthusiastic about the prospect.

"Good." And with that Rogue left the kitchen.

She was out of the room before a thought occurred to Remy, "Wait a minute, chere! Y' forgot t' tell me what your terms were!"

"No Ah didn't! Ya forgot ta ask!" she yelled back.

That was when Remy first thought that he might have made a mistake. But confidence in his cooking skills quickly overcame his foreboding and he shook his head at Kitty, who was busy laughing at him. "So petite, who are y' t'inking of choosin' as a judge?"

Kitty only laughed harder.

Now he was standing in front of a bucket of tofu, some wild rice, and several green vegetables that he didn't even recognize. Rogue had plopped them in front of him with a smile and a "have fun."

It had already been fifteen minutes of him just trying to wrack his brains to figure out what he could do with tofu.

I've worked wonders with crawfish; frog legs an' escargot cower at m' hands. But dis...

No, this was definitely not playing fair. It's not even meat!

Remy began to realize that this was one bet he just was not going to win.

He really, really wished that he had asked her what her terms were.

fin


AN: That's the last of my pre-prepared drabbles. I'll be working on "Letters" tonight and tomorrow, so until then just remember: dead authors write no tales!

Drop me a line and let me know what you think!