Okay, I'm dedicating this fic to my dedicated reviewers: Don Draper's Bitch, CaraM, TheLetter5, thriller, ishandahalf, and Chica De Los Ojos Cafe - who was my most consistent reviewer! Thank you so much for your support!
And a thanks to my interlude reviewers: allyG1990, gabbsta, emotionalcrack, Valnar, ChamberlinofMusic, DancingtilSunset, vinh, WolfFenrisulfr, roguerulez, Lizzieturbo, Tiffany (I would so take fanart!), Wanda W, MissKitty680, and Sassyx22x. (I said I'd reach mid-point in the fic by summer.)
Warning to first-time readers - you have to read both It Takes Two and To Tango to understand this fic. Please do so. (Glad people liked the china action figure, I thought it fit Rogue so well! And then the OMT!)
Now this sequel will be more action packed than the original fic - a lot more, and there will be more subplots going on outside of Rogue & Remy. People noted Remy still hasn't made a love confession. Most of ITT, he's confused about his true feelings for Rogue – and there's no possibility that Rogue wouldn't pick up on the confusion rather that the depth of the feelings. But yes, he's not used to being so vulnerable. Rogue's with him,but somewhat resigned, she didn't give him time to say anything in response to her love confession - she's still insecure about his commitment to her as this chapter will highlight (and the Interlude). It will take time for them to repare the damage they did to each other last fic! (That is realism!)
Also, for those interested, Scott and Jean are going to get more focus in this sequel – I'm actually realizing that as the head X-Men couple, they're not only an effective foil, but are an action couple as well!
Now for those who've been waiting: this chapter will be short, but next one should be a monster.
And Three to Mess Around
by Rogue in Rouge (cool, my new name!)
Disclaimer for any of the law-minded readers out there: I do not own these characters, not even in action figure or sticker form. I do have some cool pics of them, but I don't own those either...
Rogue stood in the center of the room, card in hand.
She didn't bother looking in the closet, where his clothes were missing. She didn't bother looking at the balcony, where the door stood ajar just a deceptively innocent sliver.
She had already looked at the bed, thus the reason the card was tightly clutched in her hand.
Scott started to say something – and it was the knowledge he could say nothing good or positive or possibly helpful that undoubtedly sent her turning on her heel.
Kitty, hovering by the door, managed to snag Rogue's elbow. "Rogue, are you-"
So low that if it hadn't been for his enhanced hearing he wouldn't have heard, "He promised," she hissed, "He promised- not without-"
The card crumbled in her hand and she dropped it to the floor as she took off.
Kitty followed her.
Scott snorted. "I don't know why we're all surprised," he said acidly. "This is what Gambit does."
Professor Xavier still scanned the room. "Scott, a flight or fight response is very normal for humans – and to one who is unaccustomed to being offered sincere help, you can scarcely fault him for 'flying' last time," his brow wrinkled. "However, I am quite puzzled by this sudden disappearance."
Wolverine paced the length of the room, trying to distill what his instincts were telling him. Instincts were messy things, throwing a million, tiny signs that his body reacted to without thinking. Explaining them was always bothersome, especially when his instincts failed to result in immediate, explicit action.
"Logan, what is troubling you?"
All he knew was that his skin was itching to follow the energy-charging mutant. Except he couldn't.
"I couldn't pick up his scent in the garage," he said abruptly. He lifted his nose as he stood by the balcony door. "And if he went out this way, I can't tell."
Scott frowned. "What do you mean?"
The air stank of energy discharge, as if Gambit had let go of ten cards all at once. He was used to the singing stink of it, even in the man's room – when he got frustrated or antsy, he tended to burn off some energy literally. But this reek was enough to cover any other new scents. He turned on his heel, tracing his way to the doorway.
His eyes fell on the card Rogue had crumbled to the floor and a claw shot out. Spearing it, he lifted it up. He could only smell Rogue and Remy on it, which was no help. The bed likewise was no help; Remy's scent dripped from every pore, with the underlying, but thankfully fading, scent of Rogue and their activities.
He eyed the card. "What's that card Stripes' always carrying?"
Xavier raised an eyebrow, but responded. "A Queen of Hearts I believe."
Wolverine frowned at the face of the Queen of Diamonds, adorned by the message See you around, Chere.
"It's all off," he finally said, releasing the rest of his claws and shredding the card in one swift motion.
"You don't think he left of his own volition?"
Wolverine turned, giving a sharp nod.
"Are you sure?" Scott stepped forward. Dislike or not, Remy was now an X-Man and that put his well-being squarely on the team leader's shoulders.
Wolverine scowled at the boy and Xavier put up a hand. "I'll send out feelers," he said, "and keep an eye on Cerebro."
Scott bit his lip, unconsciously turning to the door. "Rogue – if it's not for certain…"
"We'll wait a few days until we know for certain."
She closed her eyes.
They were just joking around, sparring verbally, trying to re-set the boundaries of friendly, flirtatious banter.
She challenged him to poker, the irony they'd never even played cards together not escaping her. He played coy.
"I don't know chérie, y' might be a tad too distractin' f' Remy t' pay attention to de cards…"
He'd traced the edge of her shoulder and she reveled in his familiar touch. She batted her eyes.
"What, yah just gonna run scared? Afraid I might be too much for you?"
The undercurrent hit her unaware, swirling and dragging her into the dark, choppy waters of those things unspoken between them. He froze, eyes on her. She tossed her hair, trying to drag her smile back out of the deep.
"Actually, let's just go out to-"
He laid his hand on hers.
"Chere, it ain't like Remy done dis before."
She tensed without thinking, and like always, he proved a master at reading her body.
"Bella was different, wit' de Guilds and d'arrangement-"
The first (only) girl I eva loved…
"Yah don't gotta explain-"
She couldn't bear to hear it.
"T'ink dat's led to dis whole mess in the first place amoureux."
She stopped fighting.
"If I head out again, f' any reason, I tell you first."
The edges of her eyes felt wet as he pulled her gaze up to his. She tried the smile again.
"Dat gonna be a rule?"
His eyes stayed soft, the scarlet deceptively dark.
"Ah chere, I break rules. Dat's a promise."
A promise. Oh this boy could just break her heart.
"No fancy swear for a t'ief?"
He kept his eyes in hers, interlacing their hands to tug her left one up to rest on his heart.
"Don't need one amoureux. Y' got Remy's word."
And she'd wondered if that was really all she needed.