One-shot, ROMY. It's not exactly like the other stories out there... Hope you enjoy! I actually put in accents for once!
She was always beautiful to him, always stunning and gorgeous and perfect. Even under the makeup (which, he knew, wasn't as much as she liked people to believe; she needed no foundation to pale her face, needed hardly any eye shadow or liner to darken her pale skin, didn't bother with mascara), she was a wild beauty.
She has only grown more beautiful over the past year and a half he hasn't seen her.
"Rogue!" He waves at her and she hurries up with her bag to say hello. "Y' came!"
"How could Ah not, sugah?" She laughs heartily. Her skin, tanned now from her time in Mississippi, is radiant and bronze in the New Orleans sun. Her hair has grown out, and she has stopped straightening it. The wild curls stop just below her shoulder blades. She never dyed the white streak brunette; it is prominent and frames her face. Her emerald eyes are the same as always, shining and beautiful. She is wearing a green tank top and a pair of denim shorts.
"Y' changed!" He smiles. "T'ought y'd never ditch de Goth makeup, hahn?"
"Thought ya'd never settle down, but ya proved me wrong jus' as much." Though she is smiling and warm, he can barely hear the underlying accusation.
"T'ings 'ave changed." He shrugs, trying to ignore the pang in his stomach.
"Ah suppose." She tosses her duffel bag at him.
"Seems like y' got what y' were lookin' f'r out dere." He gestures lightly to her bare, tanned arms and legs. She laughs happily, twirling around.
"Ah love bein' able to wear normal clothes again, sugah!" She smiles brightly. "The feel of the sun on my skin, cold water from a swim! A Southern gal like myself should never have to wear clothes like that, Ah'm tellin' ya."
"Remy coulda told y' dat plenty o' times." He agrees with an appreciative whistle. She laughs and slaps his arm. It feels… almost the way it once did, before all this, before she left, before he agreed to the damn-
"Are ya listenin' to a word that is comin' out of my mouth, Swamp Rat?" She glares at him, hand on her cocked hip. He can't help a small chuckle; it is her signature position, angry and sarcastic. "What's so funny?"
"Y', River Rat. Y're de funnies' damn t'ing in de world!" He laughs at her, laughs with joy at seeing her, laughs with a tinge of sadness because she is not his.
"Fightin' words, Rem! What was it?" She clutches her heart dramatically, reminding him of himself. "Ya wound me, Swamp Rat! Wound me!"
"Remy'll show y' wounds." He laughs.
"Ah like my part better." She says with a frown. "Trade back."
"Non, can't do dat. Sorry."
"Tough shit." She laughs. "This makes me think of Mardi Gras. And your damn guilds."
"Moi aussi." He says softly, and her eyes meet his for a split moment. Immediately, as if it never happened, they return to the conversation. "Damn guilds involved in dis too."
"'Cause of Bella." She nods.
"How'd-" He stops when she taps her head gently, a sweet smile on her lips.
"Now, can Ah meet the bride to be?"
"'Course, Roguey." He reaches over to ruffle her hair. She stops him with a surprisingly strong grip and grins. "Bella! Come out 'ere, petite, got someone Remy wants y' t' meet!"
A pretty blonde flounces out from the mansion. Her hair, slightly wavy, shines golden in the sun. She is tanned as well, muscular, gorgeous.
"Oui, mon cher?" She asks with a smile, and an unhappy look at Rogue.
"Dis is Rogue- 'nother mutant. Rogue, dis is Bella, Remy's fiancé."
"Pleased ta meet ya." Rogue sticks out her hand, with Bella grips gingerly.
"Oui." She nods, though doesn't seem to share the sentiment. "Will y' be attendin' de wedding, Rogue?"
"Well, Ah got the invite." She laughs again. "So, Ah think so."
"I'll see y' dere, den. I got t' get back t' putting de finishin' touches on de rehearsal dinner, so I'll be seein' y' later." She plants a quick but firm kiss on Remy's lips, as if to remind Rogue that the Cajun is very taken.
"She's friendly." Rogue laughs as the blonde saunters back in. Remy grimaces, but can't help a small laugh.
"She don't mean any harm, chere." He smiles easily. "She can't help but be high-strung, oui?"
"Don't call me that." She isn't smiling.
"Pourquoi?" He is confused.
"Your gettin' married tomorrow, Rem." She forces a strained smile on her face. "Ah ain't your anythin' anymore. Not your dear especially."
"Not m' amie?" He asks softly.
"Ah can be your friend." She says softly, looking at the ground. They are interrupted by a loud BAMPH and exclamations.
"Mein schwester!" She is pulled into a bear hug by her German brother, laughing. "I have not seen you in so long!"
"Six months, Kurt!" She laughs, pulling away.
"Six months." He sighs wistfully. "You got control! You said you vere getting close!"
"Yeah." She grins. "It's nice. Ah like it."
"And Gumbo here can't push you around! You can beat him up now!" Kurt's eyes widened in excitement. "Can I vatch? Please?"
At Remy's questioning look, she flushes.
"Ah hadn't, uh, told him about that yet, Kurt." She mumbles.
"But zat vas months ago." His brow furrowed in confusion.
"Drop it, Kurt." She rolled her eyes, but the Cajun didn't miss the look of regret pass over her face. The blue boy laughed.
"Well, I need to get back to the ozers anyway. I'll tell zem you said hi." He smiles, ignoring the fact that she sends no such message.
"C'mon, Remy'll show y' t' y'r room f'r de stay." He leads the way gallantly. She laughs, and follows him through the large house. She has flashes of this house in her memory. She can almost lead herself, but makes no attempt to do so.
"Y' know, Remy hasn't seen y' in a year an' a half." He points out in a would-be casual voice. "Why is it dat every homme et femme in de mutant world gets t' see y', mais not Remy?"
"Ah'm at your wedding. Isn't that enough?"
He is silent.
"See y' later, oui?" He looks away from her as he opens her door. "Got t' help Bella plan de rehearsal dinner.
Green eyes watch him go, flooded with unshed tears, hurt and angry. They watch as he turns the corner, trench coat billowing behind him in his angry stride.
"Qu'est-ce tu fais?"
"Ah don't speak French as well as Ah used to." Her voice is tired. He walks up behind her.
"Asked what y' were doin'." He tries to smile. "'Course, Remy knows. Y'r lookin' for a midnight snack."
"Never outgrew that habit." She says softly.
"Sometimes, t'ings shouldn' change, y' know." He replies. "Gumbo alright wit' y'?"
"Yeah." She hops up to sit on the counter beside him as he heats up a bowl for her. They are silent, each silently recalling times in the Institute when both Southerners would spend two hours in the kitchen cooking a snack. Teasing and laughter had woken the others at times; so different from this overbearing silence.
Memories take up the stale, empty air of the kitchen. Memories of laughter, of secrets, of flirting and teasing and happiness, a stolen kiss, a frightened girl and a love struck boy, memories, memories-
"Here y' go." He places the bowl in front of her, and she begins to eat.
"Damn. Your aunt is a good cook." She nods appreciatively.
"Y' already knew dat." He says softly. "Memories, oui?"
"Ah… Yeah." She looks at her food. "So, when did ya finally give in? Agree to marry Bella?"
"Eh, not t' much o' a hardship. Go way back, her and Remy." He grins helplessly. "Not de worst match in de world."
"Ah guess." She finishes eating in silence, leaving to put her bowl in the sink. He is staring at her, a quirky little grin on his face. "What?"
"Y' have…" He smiles. "Let Remy, d'accord?"
He gently wipes the gumbo on her lip away with his thumb; but his hand stays, cradling her face. She is still, green eyes wide as she stares into his red-on-black. Without a word, their heads move closer together. His lisp meet hers, a gentle soft kiss. The sort of kiss he always imagined to have with her, before she could touch him, the sort of kiss he never got.
He tastes of spices and tobacco. She had pictured his taste to be the same as his scent; she was right. Somewhere along the way, somewhere between the bowl of gumbo and being pushed against the wall as the kiss deepens, she remembers Belladonna.
"Stop it, Rem!" She pushes him away.
"What?" He breathes out, confused momentarily.
"You're gettin' married tomorrow!" She growls, eyes flashing in anger. "Ya can't just kiss me, can't just call your dear! You're engaged. She's sleepin' upstairs!"
"It was an arranged marriage!" He bursts, gripping her hand. "I never wanted de damn t'ing, Rogue!"
"Ah know. But here ya are, 'bout to get married!" She looks close to tears.
"What did y' 'spect me t' do, Rogue?" He demands. "Wait f'r y'? Pine an' pine, an' know dere was no way t' make y' come back t' me?"
"Ya knew a way outta this!" She accuses him. "Ah know ya did! But you're marryin' her, ya hold her hand and kiss her, ya act like ya love her!"
"How else could I make y' come back?" He feels that familiar pang again; his heart tugging to be free, his heart tugging and yearning to be with her. "Y' didn' have t' leave, damn it! Pourquoi? Why would y' jus' leave like dat, no explanation?"
"They had a chance to cure my powers!" She shrieks. "They did, if ya can't tell!"
"So did Hank, an' y' know it!" He shouts at her. "Y' didn' have t' leave, Rogue! But y' did! Y' left, y' left y'r famille, y' left y'r friends, y' left me!"
"You're such a damn hypocrite!" She shouts back at him. "Ya didn't have to go off and agree to the fucking marriage, did ya? Ya could've gotten out of it, and ya didn't! You're the one getting married, damn it!"
"Y' left!" He can't seem to get past that fact. "Merde… I would… Would have done any damn t'ing y' wanted. I wanted t' wait fo' y', wanted t' be wit' y'! And y'… y' just left! Why would y' do dat to me?"
"Ah loved ya!" She doesn't remember if she's shouting because she's filled with rage or because she is hurt and broken. "Ah loved ya so much, and… What coulda come outta it, Rem? Nothin', nothin'! Ah couldn't touch ya! Not that ya noticed! Ah had to… Ah had to leave."
"J'ai adore toi!" He rages at her. "I always loved y'! And y' ran 'way! Why? 'Cause o' a damn kiss in de kitchen? 'Cause y' realized I loved y'? What de hell was it, Rogue?"
She just stares at him, unshed tears shimmering in her eyes. She doesn't know how to tell him what it was; everything. She loved him, it scared her, she ran and ran and ran to be free, and love wouldn't leave her alone. She ignored him for a year and a half, desperate to be free, desperate to be as invincible as her skin, desperate to free herself from the possibility of hurt. And she knew the hurt would come; that damnable kiss in the kitchen ruined everything, just like this one-
"Y'… Y' okay?" His voice is softer now, his hand delicate as he takes her arm and leads her to a chair. "I didn' mean t' yell… Or… Kiss y'."
"Ah… Shouldn't have done that." She doesn't know what she's talking about; leaving him or shouting at him.
This time, when he kisses her, it is short and sweet and he pulls away.
"I'll miss y', Rogue."
"Marie." She says, almost inaudibly.
"Marie. My name is Marie."
"Mon cher, we're gettin' married t'day!" Bella kisses his lips, softly. He is less enthusiastic. "What? Y're not excited? Dis is y'r weddin' day, Remy."
"Remy knows. It was more excitin' de first eight times, oui?" He laughs. She joins him after a moment's hesitation. Everyone is, of course, so damn excited. And he? He wishes things were different somehow. They are sitting at the table, eating breakfast, and he can't focus on his fiancé at his side.
All he sees is an exhausted girl with green eyes.
"Remy, are y' listenin' t' moi?" She demands at his side.
"'Course Remy is." He grins. "Just keep gettin' sidetracked. 'S not ev'ry day un homme gets married, oui?"
"We're gettin' married!" She laughs happily. "I've dreamed o' dis day since I was a li'l girl, since de day I met y'. An' den datin' y'… Dis is a dream come true, oui?"
Rogue's eyes flash in surprise and hurt, and he can feel them boring into him.
"O-Oui." He mumbles back.
"Excuse me." Rogue stands up. "Jet lag."
"Let me help y'." Remy stands up, but she simply looks at him with an unreadable expression.
"Ah think your fiancé would like to be with ya on your weddin' day." She says icily. "Ah'll be fine, just need a nap."
With that, her whirlwind of Southern beauty and anger spins out of the room. Bella looks at her leave with a strange face, and turns to her betrothed.
"Y' said "me". Y' never…" She looks at him, desperate for reassurance.
"Don' worry 'bout it, Bella." He kisses her forehead.
"Oui." The beautiful Cajun girl nods with a smile. "After all, I get de big prize. I'm de one y'r marryin'."
"'S jus' de nerves, Remy, we all get dem when we get married. D'accord?" Henri tries to reassure his obviously unhappy brother. The younger man is brooding, staring out the window at something no one else can see, thinking thoughts no one else can hear.
"Oui." He agrees softly. "Jus' de nerves."
Nerves must be beautiful, then, to be the thing that bothers him now. They must have wild, curled hair with white streaks. They must have shining green eyes, dark full lips, tanned skin that practically glows in the sun it was obviously meant to bask in. They must speak in a soft Mississppi drawl, must be fiery and easily hurt, frightened of betrayal.
"Y' should be happy." Henri sits next to him. "Belladonna's a damn pretty thing."
"Oui, mais je préfère brunettes." He says softly.
"What?" Henri stares at him.
"Rien. Not'in' at all." The man's red-on-black eyes flash and he stands. "Suppose it's 'bout time for dis Cajun t' get married, den, ain't it?"
"Oui." Henri nods. "Y'll be fine, Remy."
Minutes later, as the priest drones on, he is stiff and the nerves continue to bother him. Those damned nerves, just out of reach, smelling of the outside, tasting like spice and the river-
"Speak now or forever hold your peace."
He hopes she will speak, will stop this from continuing.
No shouted objection, no soft and desperate Southern drawl to interrupt the ceremony.
He feels a crushing dread crawling over him. In minutes, simple minutes, he will be married. Trapped for life in a never-ending relationship that he never wanted to begin with. Bella, shining in happiness, hidden beneath a white veil, sickens him. The desperate sense to run, to make a mad dash for freedom, is very overwhelming. He almost acts on it.
"-take Belladonna Bordreaux to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
He can't speak.
"Remy!" A hissed whisper from beneath the veil.
"Remy does." He finally mumbles. As the priest speaks to Bella, his eyes watch the ground. In mere moments, after a sung "I do" from damn Belladonna, he will be married.
"You may now kiss the bride."
He turns to her, his hidden wife, and as he reaches back to pull away her veil, he half expects shining emerald eyes to meet him. He hopes for wild curled hair tumbling down her back, white bangs framing a smiling face.
The shining blue eyes of Belladonna tear his heart to pieces as he bends to gently touch his lips to hers. Cheers raise from all sides of the church, and they walk out to the damn reception.
He is married to a poisonous plant, to a blonde beauty that he doesn't want, to a damn Cajun when all he wants is the Mississippi. People come and go, faceless and blurred figures drifting in and out of sight, congratulating him, commenting on the beautiful ceremony.
"Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. LeBeau." A soft Mississippi drawl catches his ear. He turns, with damn Bella on his arm, to look at her. She is gorgeous, in a green dress. She is easily more beautiful than Bella (something, he is sure, the Assassin has noticed), and obviously did not try to be so.
"Merci beaucoup!" Bella says warmly, now that they are married in the eyes of the lord, now that there is no way for Rogue to take him from under her nose, now that she is Mrs. Remy LeBeau.
"T'anks." Remy murmurs.
"Ah hope you have a wonderful life together." Only Remy can detect the angry pain lurking beneath the surface, the love and longing he himself feels, her true meanings a blur of sadness and love and longing and betrayal.
"I t'ink we will. Don' y', mon cher?" Bella looks at her husband.
"Oui." Remy says softly. "Rogue… I hope y'll keep in touch dis time."
"Ah'll try." She replies. Which lets him know the truth. She will not. It will be too painful for her, too impossible for her to speak to him and not be with him. She is not a mistress; she will not be the other woman. He wouldn't wish that on her anyway. She deserves to be the first, the best, the most loved and important.
"T'ank y'. F'r comin'. Even t'ough y' never did show me how de hell y' planned on beatin' me in a fight." He is teasing now, light, trying to keep away from the sadness and pain just under the surface.
"Ya couldn' handle it anyway." She looks at Bella once more. "Good luck, Rem."
With that, she walks away.
Out of his life.
Leaving him to a woman he doesn't love, to a life he never wanted.
He doubts he will see her again.
He doubts he can learn to love Belladonna.
He doubts the bayou will ever be as beautiful or as perfect as the shining Mississippi.
He's always liked green better than blue anyway.