My hundredth reviewer happened to be KariHermione. As a gift for her (and celebration for me), I offered to write her a drabble of some sort. She wanted something set in the I-Get-By-verse, and offered up the prompt of a wedding where everything goes wrong. It took a little thought, but something finally came. I don't know if this is quite what KariHermione had in mind, but here it is and hopefully it suffices.
Continuity-wise, this falls after Chapter 6. It plays no actual part in "I Get By"; it's just the same characters from the same universe in the same general time period. An aside-story, if you will. You could probably even read this without having read "I Get By" at all, but hey – I'm the author and not exactly the most objective source, y'know?
And before you all open fire, Angel/Marrow is a viable ship, not to mention kinda canon. Kinda. So no hurting, m'kay?
So, for all of my readers and reviewers, but mainly KariHermione, a gift from me to you. Enjoy.
"So," Jeanne-Marie whispered. "Who saw this one coming?"
The this one in question was a marriage between Sarah and Warren , two former Xavier students who were currently tying the knot on the main green where some time ago, funerals had been held.
Memorial markers bearing names now only whispered throughout the school – Jean Grey, Scott Summers, and Charles Xavier – looked on soberly, a silent reminder of times past and comrades lost that cast a distinctly subdued air over the proceedings.
Jeanne-Marie received an elbow to her left side, courtesy of her brother. Remy, who was seated to her right, said nothing.
"They're trying to kiss." Jean-Paul reminded her archly. The couple did, and the generous smattering of applause that followed covered the next portion of the teens' conversation.
"It's not going to last." Jeanne-Marie commented dryly, reclining in her chair and tugging at the hem of the new skirt she'd bought especially for this occasion. "Relationships like these never do."
Jean-Paul snorted. Yeah, like his sister was an expert on healthy relationships.
"Ever the cynic, are we?"
"Someone has to be."
She would have continued in this vein, detailing just how she knew all this to be true, but Jean-Paul was back talking again, and not to her. His observation was directed towards Remy, currently dressed in a sharp-looking suit that he'd apparently had couriered up from home a few days ago.
"You look tense."
Remy shrugged, his knee bobbing along to a beat that neither of the twins could hear.
"Don't make me sic Jeanne-Marie on you. What's going on?"
"Since when I am I something to be sicced?"
This question was ignored as Jean-Paul reached over his sister and poked Remy.
"You wouldn't like her when she's angry."
The words came out in an ominous singsong that bordered on ridiculous and earned him a sharp (though half-hearted) smack from Jeanne-Marie. Remy sighed, knee still jiggling uncontrollably.
"Met Marrow once. We didn't z'actly hit it off."
"Oh really?" Jean-Paul murmured, looking towards the blushing bride as she was introduced for the first time as Mrs. Warren Worthington, trying to figure out under what circumstances the two might have crossed paths. Remy wasn't elaborating though, and now was not the time to push. A mass exodus had begun, all those present rising from their seats and heading for the Mansion itself.
"Come on." That was Jeanne-Marie. "We should probably get inside. It's time for the reception."
The reception itself was held in the main hall, which had hardly needed further ornamentation for the occasion. Opulent enough in and of itself without the addition of flowers and tables, those gathered around to celebrate with the happy couple did so amidst the decadence that only old money could buy.
A small string quartet made up of students worked their way through a surprisingly good rendition of Pachelbel's "Canon" as everyone poured in and arranged themselves at the tables that had been set up earlier in the day. Immaculately white tablecloths, fine china silverware that presumably belonged to the Worthington family, and simple floral arrangements consisting of white lilies made up the entirety of the décor.
"Classy." Jeanne-Marie whistled, fingering the crisp linen napkins. Her brother laughed.
"Jeanne-Marie, queen of the understatement, strikes again."
He himself was still wondering what on earth had possessed the couple to invite the entirety of Xavier's student body to their wedding, but didn't plan on dwelling too much upon it. Catered food was catered food, and whatever they were serving was bound to be better than whoever was on kitchen duty might have rustled up otherwise.
Jeanne-Marie ignored her brother's slight, grazing her fingertips along the edge of her dinner plate. She didn't know much about bone china or anything like that, but she was willing to bet this was expensive stuff.
She looked towards Remy now, intending to bait him in to conversation and out of his distracted funk with some cutting witticism he would have no choice but to respond to. Upon realizing that he wasn't paying attention at all – his attention was settled on a certain brunette with white stripes sitting across the room – she changed tactics.
"What do you think, Remy?"
He perked up at the sound of his name, head snapping towards Jeanne-Marie in a too-quick sort of way that advertised an obvious guilt.
"You're looking at her, aren't you?"
It may have been worded as a question, but it came out like laying blame.
Remy didn't particularly care for outright denial, being much more fond (though not necessarily any more skilled) of the 'sidetrack and avoid' approach.
"The silverware's from Tiffany's." He tried, gesturing with his chin towards the place setting in front of him. "Worthington's got good taste."
Come on, Jeanne-Marie, he appealed silently. Just let it go. Just. Let. It. Go.
She rolled her eyes, apparently not hearing his psychic plea.
Remy opened his mouth to point out that he was very hopeful, thanks for asking, but true to form, Jeanne-Marie managed to stop him in his tracks before he could get a single word out.
"Go." She instructed, shoving him up and off his seat. "Chat her up."
Remy looked towards Jean-Paul as though he'd actually find help there. He found only a head-shake.
"I'm with her on this one, Remy. Go." The cold stare that he received in return prompted some justification. "You'll thank us for this later."
He honestly did mean this, no matter how much it made him sound like a nagging mother, but the words came out with a certain degree of reticence. The I'm going to kill you both later on Remy's part didn't need to be spoken – Remy's face said it for him as he slunk off towards where Marie was seated.
Jean-Paul sighed, looking towards his sister with a question on his mind that worked its way to his tongue after an acceptable distance lay between them and Remy.
"He will thank us for this later, right?"
Jeanne-Marie only laughed, tugging again at her skirt. Stupid static cling.
"I don't know about that. What I do know is that I'm sleeping with the door locked tonight. Fearing for my life and all that."
Her brother's forehead creased in contemplation.
"Honestly, I'm not sure that would stop him."
She said nothing, only giving a soft little hum of agreement.
It took a little time, but he managed to make the journey of twenty feet to where she sat, and had finally worked out just how to approach her (he would sit down on the chair next to her, strike up a conversation, and when the inevitable lull between words fell he would suggest she join him in a dance and she would smile that little, awkward smile of hers and nod and it would be perfect, and dammit he needed to learn to keep his imagination under control). Just as he was about to take his seat and make some suave and witty comment (and what the comment would actually be he had absolutely no clue – it would be suave and witty though, he was sure of that), Bobby somehow brushed past him and captured Rogue's attention with the smile and the offer of a hand.
"Wanna dance?" Bobby asked, and that little awkward smile that Remy had planned on receiving when he offered the same damn thing was given away to the Iceman.
A cool fury burnt in the pit of his stomach, combined with the distinct desire to kick himself.
Idiot, came the internal reprimand. Idiot, idiot, idiot.
He made to turn back for where he'd come from, but managed to catch the possessive glare Bobby sent his way before doing so.
The chorus of idiot, idiot, idiot repeated itself and he found himself unsure of whether it was for himself or for the guy Rogue was now dancing with. Probably both, he conceded moodily.
Right. Gonna leave now. I'm gonna walk away.
However good these intentions might have been, his feet didn't listen. Rooted to the spot, Remy watched as the Rogue and the Drake kid stood there, each wrapped in the other's arms and swaying to music that wasn't quite reaching his ears. The two of them looked comfortable. At ease. They seemed happy to be together, and he couldn't bring himself to look away.
He recognized this for the self-flagellation that it was.
You're a sick bastard, you know that?
It was the soft curve to Rogue's mouth and the gentle melting of her body in to Drake's that were the clinchers.
Cut your losses and go, he told himself firmly.
This time, his feet listened.
Remy returned to where he and the twins had been sitting only to be gifted with apologetic shrugs.
"Well, your timing was a little off, but other than that--"
Jeanne-Marie whacked her brother again.
"Shut up, Jean-Paul."
He sat down in his chair, hands itching to do something other than finger the cuffs of his jacket uneasily.
"It's Wednesday, yeah?"
"Uh-huh. Wednesday the fifth. Why?"
When Remy swore, typically it was under his breath and in French. Today, he didn't even bother to mask his frustration through either volume or language.
"I need to hit somethin'. Bad. An' my next scheduled session's not 'till Saturday."
Both of the twins nodded in sympathy. As students, they weren't allowed in the Danger Room unless it was scheduled, structured, and supervised. Individual sessions to work out frustration through physical violence were right out for newbies like them. Such was a privilege that was now only slowly being permitted to roster X-Men as it was.
Remy yanked the tie around his neck loose, pulling it off and stuffing a good three quarters of it in to his left pocket. He needed to blow off steam, needed to calm down somehow. He needed to get out of here.
The first thing he could think of was the first thing that came out of his mouth.
"You guys wanna pay some poker?" The question was weary. "M' feelin' like some poker."
There was no pause to hear the answer. He was up and walking away as soon as he finished speaking, the end of his tie flitting behind him like a small tail. Jean-Paul and Jeanne-Marie locked worried eyes for only a fleeting second before following.
For those curious, some footnotes:
Remy's comment about him and Marrow not really hitting it off is a nod to their comic relationship; specifically the Morlock massacre, as well as the X-Men "What If #106", of which I am particularly fond.
The white lilies mentioned as being at the reception is a tip of the hat to Green Amber, my dearest Countess and personal beta. "White Lilies" is the title of a fic she's been working on, and that I've been betaing/fangirling over ever since it's conceptual stage. It's yet to be published, but it's good stuff – an Evoverse piece, it features some screwed-up Romy, some messed-up Jott, and a Remy/Scott road trip peppered with snark, attempted homicide, and burnt toast. She's set it to the side for now in favour of the Bleach fandom, so if you're at all intrigued, go bug her to work on it. She claims her muses are fickle things, but I know they can be bribed.
Thanks for reading, folks. Hang in there – Chapter 7 of "I Get By" is coming along swimmingly and should be up shortly.