"Ah think we're actually goin' t'make an anniversary dinner,"

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

"Pervert," Remy LeBeau shot at Rogue Darkholme. Long legs dangling beneath her, she was sitting on the dressing table and watching him get dressed. Even though she vowed and declared to herself that she was only waiting for him because he was so slow, she had to admit that it was not an unpleasant way to pass the time. Most women would have paid good money and a lot of it to be able to watch her husband dress (or undress, but that was a matter for later in the evening). Heck, even she might have given a few dollars for the privilege, especially if he would have delayed putting his shirt on for a few more hours. Remy had a very nice chest. Not that she would ever have confessed that to him. . . .

"You wish, sugah. Ah've seen it all before, an' it ain't that great."

"Really?" he said with an amused note in his voice, as he crossed the room to stand over her, "I guess dat explains why ya're drooling all over ya Donna Karan."

Smiling up at him, she slid her arms around his neck before murmuring in her most seductive tones, "You don't need to worry about a shirt, you know. Ah'd be happy to miss dinner and go straight to th' evening's . . . uh . . . entertainment."

With a regretful expression, "Much as I hate t'disappoint m'petite pervert, we have t'go t'dinner tonight, if only t'break our anniversary curse."

Pulling a face, Rogue kissed him then let him finish dressing. He was right. They had to break the streak of bad luck that had started on their very first anniversary, when they had booked reservations at the Ciel des Etoiles - five stars in the Michelin guide and white tie only - months in advance, only to arrive at its blackened shell on the night. The pommes frites - french fries in a one star, blue collar restaurant - had set the place on the fire the previous evening. They had spent the remainder of the evening being shunted from one fully booked restaurant to another, until they had ended up celebrating their first year of marriage over McChicken McBurgers and McVanilla McShakes.

It had taken a second, equally disastrous anniversary to convince them it was more like a curse than a stroke of bad luck. Having wised up to the wisdom of depending on restaurants, they had decided to have a picnic in the mansion grounds. At first, everything had been perfect. Remy had used every pot in the house in his pursuit of the ideal lobster bisque. She had trawled every bottle store in the city in her pursuit of the expensive champagne she knew he loved. They had scattered candles all over the lawn, so, even if the stars were covered by clouds, they had a constellation of their own on the earth. She had just thought it was a wonderful evening, when she realised that all the ants in Westchester agreed with her and were prepared to go to war over the eclairs. After an hour of slapping the creatures off her legs and trying to look suitably seductive while doing so, Rogue thought it could not get any worse, at which point it began to pour. The rest of the night was spent wrapped in a thick blanket and eating take-away pizza.

When Luc was born the next year, he added a whole new dimension to their anniversary disasters. They had known they would be unable to go out for their third anniversary with him being so young, and had resolved to have a simple dinner at home. Remy had prepared pasta puttanesca, she had set the table with flowers and candles, and, as they had sat down to supper, they thought they might have escaped the anniversary curse that year. However, Luc had chosen that time to make his presence known with an ear-splitting howl. He had had no reason to cry, other than sheer contrariness. He had been not hungry. He had not been wet. He had not even been tired. The remainder of their anniversary had been spent gulping down a few mouthfuls of food in between trying to put him back to bed.

The fourth, catastrophic anniversary was not his fault, however. They had just dropped him off with Jubilee who had promised to take care of him, when Logan had come barrelling down the stairs and had yelled that the Dark Riders were attacking downtown New York. The night had been spent in pitched battle, transporting people to safety and taking down the enemy with minimum fuss or damage. By the time the Riders were in police custody, she and her husband had been too tired to do anything more than collapse on the downstairs sofa and sleep. The fifth was similar, although it was Magneto rather than the Dark Riders and the hall floor rather than the sofa.

Still, this year was going to be different. They had planned for every eventuality. They had phoned the restaurant to make sure it had not burned down overnight. They had dropped Luc off at Storm's home to spend the night with Ainet. They had checked police reports and news channels to make sure the world was not self-destructing around them. They would have a proper anniversary yet, come hell or high water, which they probably would!

"Yeah, Ah think number six is gonna be the lucky one," Rogue said wryly, knocking on the table on which she was sitting, "Touch wood."

"Oui, I can't see anyt'ing goin' wrong now," he said blithely, straightening his collar then picking up his car keys and jingling them, "Do ya wanna drive or should I, cherie?"

"Much as Ah hate ta say this, you'd better," she replied with an exaggerated sigh, stretching out a leg to reveal a strappy, roman sandal, "These shoes weren't made for drivin'."

He chuckled, "I see m'prayers t'de patron saint o' sexy shoes have been payin' off. We might actually arrive at de restaurant in one piece, t'anks t'dem."

"Yeah, we might get there safely but we'll also be five hours too late t'make our reservation," she shot back, "You drive like an old woman, LeBeau."

He opened his mouth, but the strident ring of the telephone cut off any answer he might have made. Rogue felt her heart sink into her strappy sandals. Knowing the jinx on their anniversary, it was probably not a salesperson wanting to know if they were happy with their long distance carrier. She mouthed at him to leave it alone or she would personally remove his spleen with a butter knife. Her husband grimaced apologetically at her as he picked up the receiver.

"Hello. Darkholme-LeBeau residence. Remy speakin'." There was a long pause before he spoke again: "Oui, I understand, Stormy. I'll be right over t'pick him up. I'm sorry f'r de trouble. . . . Bye."

"What form has the anniversary curse taken this year?" Rogue said lightly, trying to hide the disappointment in her voice.

"Our beloved son - an' I stress de beloved - has just thrown up in Ororo's backyard an' is now complainin' dat he feels sick. So, it appears dat we'll be spendin' our anniversary lookin' after a pukey, four year-old," Remy sounded worried, despite the casual words. He was overprotective of Luc in the extreme, treating every scrape as if it needed major surgery and every cold as if it could become pneumonia at any moment. By the end of the night, what sounded to be a tummy bug would have become food poisoning or even gastro-enteritis in Remy's eyes, and their son would be rushed off to Beast for treatment at around about midnight. And, impossible as it seemed, he had mellowed in the years since Luc had been a baby.

"Mah, it just seems like they get more an' more romantic by the year," she sighed, "While you go fetch him, Ah'll run a bath and turn down his bed."

"I'll be back in a bit," Remy paused at the doorway, a faint smile on his lips, "Oh, in case I don' get a chance t'say it later tonight, happy anniversary, Madame LeBeau."

Arching an eyebrow ironically, "Yeah, happy anniversary, Mistuh Darkholme."

*

END

*

blows on 'fic and it floats away As suspected, it's fluff! Characters are Marvel's, except for Luc who belongs to Rogue and Gambit. Do you wish to get into an argument with them over him? If so, I hope you have good, medical insurance. Comments to brucepat@iafrica.com or to hopes_angel2@hotmail.com if the former is not working.