It was late morning when Rogue raised her tousled head from Remy's pillow. She hadn't slept much, yet she still felt better than she had in months. It was so good to be home.
Remy lay nestled and content, his arms wrapped around her while he slept. She glanced around for a clock but found only shards of melted plastic. She stifled a giggle, He never was much of a morning person. She watched him lazily as he slept, taking in his steady breathing and the way his unruly hair fell artfully across his features. She traced his strong jawline with a gloved fingertip, loving the way he leaned into her hand as she did, a small smile shaping his full lips.
As much as she would have liked to just stay locked away with him in their own private bubble, she knew it would never fly. Already she could hear the early sounds of the mansion beginning to stir as the rest of the household slowly awoke. She kissed the air beside Remy's cheek and gingerly eased herself out of his arms and off the bed. He wasn't eager to let her go and tightened his grip several times in his sleep before she succeeded in pulling away.
Padding out into the hallway with a yawn, she headed towards the kitchen, intent on coffee for two. He always woke up in a better mood when greeted with coffee. She paused in the doorway of the kitchen blinking against a stray shaft of sunshine. The bright room was surprisingly empty, a rarity in the Xavier houshold. There was but a sole occupant sitting at the large table enjoying their breakfast.
Joseph looked up from his cereal to see Rogue standing in the doorway. His heart gave an erratic jump. She looked incredible. Her tumbled curls were loose and cascaded down her back. As she walked into the room a splash of sunshine hit the curls, revealing honey highlights amongst the coppery tresses. She wore only a dress shirt and it showcased stunning toned legs and adorable bare feet. Giving a lazy one sided smile, she drawled "Mornin, Ah thought Ah was the first one up" her voice was like honey and peat smoke. Deep and sultry but with a sweetness that made you want more. Sauntering over to the table, she sat down across form him.
"Morning person" he shrugged. "So, that was quite the reception last night. You must be a pretty big deal around here" He found himself teasing her.
She grinned "Oh Ah am, but Ah'll try not to let it go to my head." she bit back a giggle "Don't worry, I'll put in a good word for yah. How are you liking the chaos that is mansion life anyway"
"You know, I can't really complain" he leaned forward with a grin, forgetting momentarily that though she sat before him, it was another man's shirt that she was wearing. Another man who laid claim to her heart. He shouldn't be flirting with her. But in those few moments of light conversation he pushed all thoughts of Remy Lebeau from his mind and just enjoyed the company of the Southern belle.
Remy woke slowly, his face pressed against his pillow. The scent of magnolia clung to the fabric. It was Heaven and he inhaled deeply, a smile on his face. Reaching out to pull her close to him he found the bed empty.
His eyes flew open. He couldn't have dreamt it, she had to be here!
He jumped up and looked about the room franticaly. At last breathing a sigh of relief as he spotted Rogue's clothes in a pile on his chair. He ran a hand through his rumpled hair and took a deep breath. She was here, just not in the room. She must have ventured out, probably intent on some breakfast. He smiled to himself, maybe he could convince her that breakfast would be best served in bed.
Throwing off the covers he rolled out of bed and headed out into the hall, grimacing at the bright light streaming in through the windows.
He was not a morning person.
At the base of the stairs he heard her laughter ringing from the kitchen. He smiled to himself, Dieu how he'd missed that sound. It was good to hear it form her now, though it probably meant she was with Kitty and it would take some skill to steal her away. Lucky for him, he was a master thief.
Sauntering off to the kitchen, he rounded the corner to find her laughing and chatting, not with Kitty, but with one of the newest members of the household. Particularly a certain enemy clone. Remy had been uneasy about the white haired copy since his arrival, but seeing him sitting with Rogue put him on edge instantly. He remembered all too well how Magneto had kidnapped Rogue. How he had forced her to do his bidding and almost killed her. The twin strips of platinum that framed her face were a constant reminder.
"Chere" it was sharper than he wanted it to come out and her head swiveled round instantly.
"Mornin Sugah. I just came down to get us some coffee" Even her pretty smile wasn't enough to dispel the uneasy feeling he had growing in the pit of his stomach.
"Oh" he glanced at the coffeemaker, still cold and unplugged.
"Ah guess Ah got a little distracted." she rose slowly to make the coffee, watching Remy carefully. Remy ignored her and went to sit at the table.
"Haven't really seen too much of you since you got here Homme. Where was it you were from?" only a fool would have termed the question as friendly. It was a direct challenge and Joseph knew it.
"South America" his answer was intentionally vague.
"South America" Remy mused, rubbing a finger over his lower lip in contemplation "What was it you did down in Ol South America" his eyes burned with disdain, barely held in check.
Joseph smiled humorously, clasping his hands tightly in front of him on the table. His gaze stayed fixed on his twined fingers "That's really none of your business" he grit out
"Coffee?" Rogue asked cheerfully trying to dispel the tension.
"I'll take one Chere" Remy smiled and turned back to a stone faced Joseph. He leaned forward bringing his elbows up to rest on the tabletop " Now, how is it exactly that a clone of Magneto gets to be a part of the X-men?"
Rogue eyes grew instantly large and she dropped the mug she had been holding. It hit the ground with a deafening crash and splintered into pieces.
Remy turned towards her but kept his eyes trained on Joseph "You Ok Chere?"
"Ah'm sorry" she stammered glancing at Joseph "Ah just didn't realize is all. Ah mean ..Ah should have recognized..." she trailed off aimlessly her gaze studiously on the floor.
Joseph breathed deeply, trying to keep his emotions in check "You just arrived from Muir Island I believe. Perhaps you met my sister Lorna. Green haired gal, she's kind of hard to miss" he forced cheerfulness into his voice and prayed she would look up.
Remy voice was black, accusing "Lorna ain't really your sister though is she. I mean, Magneto's not your father." he stood with his arms crossed in front of him " He's you"
Joseph jumped to his feet his fists banging down on the table, spilling the remains of his cereal. "I AM NOT MAGNETO" Remy took a step forward, eager to meet the challenge and Rogue was instantly between the two angry men
"Remy! That's enough. It ain't Joseph's fault what Magneto's done. None of us get to choose our beginnings." She looked from one man to the other and back again, gaging their reactions. "Now both of you can just calm the heck down" her tone demanded obedience.
Remy glanced down at her and smiled "Desole Chere." He placed a gentle kiss on her curls and turned to leave the room. At the door he raised a hand in a wave. Without turning he called. "Later Mini-Mags"
Rogue huffed in exasperation and turned to give Joseph an apologetic smile. "Don't pay him any mind, He's just a big ol grump until he's had his coffee"
Joseph gave a tight smile "No harm done"
she poured two cups and with a parting smile went to find her fool hardy man and give him a tongue lashing from which he would not soon recover.
Betsy slinked back from where she had been standing, just out of sight of the kitchen doorway as Remy stomped past. A mischievous smile curved her features. Tempting the Louissiana man had proved to be more difficult then she had imagined, and with the frizzy haired bitch back at the mansion, she'd been at a loss about how to continue. It seemed that a solution had just presented itself. A plan forming, Betsy retreated back to her bedroom moments before Rogue left the kitchen, coffees in hand.
Thanks to those who reviewed and who have stuck with this story despite the long absences.
Anyone else missing JP?