Jean sat quietly in Professor Xavier's office. Her plan with Wanda had succeeded. After Pyro's party, Gambit arrived at the mansion to accept the Professor's offer, officially inducting Remy into the X-men.
"Well, Jean, I imagine your days as a matchmaker are over now," the Professor stated calmly over his cup of tea.
Jean's face went slightly red. "I was hoping I could have kept you out of the loop," Jean answered sheepishly. "I was worried you wouldn't accept him based on the stunts he pulled in the bet. To be honest, I was worried about your reaction to the whole bet to begin with."
The kindly man smiled. "Now, Jean, I know it's hard to imagine, but I was once young too. Granted, I paid very little attention to the antics of both Rogue and Remy, youth will be youth. He was always meant to be one of us, and I am more than pleased that you picked up on that feeling. It marks great progress in your own abilities."
"If you knew he was supposed to be with us, why did you wait so long, Professor?"
"I wasn't the one hesitating, Jean. Understand that I act when people are ready. Mr. LeBeau wasn't looking to join that badly, up until Rogue."
"But what about New Orleans?" Jean asked impatiently. "That was quite awhile ago."
"Merely a push in the right direction. Gambit has been raised and conditioned in a very different environment from our own. It's hard to see yourself as a good person when you've been encouraged to be otherwise. He needed a catalyst."
"Rogue," Jean answered. "She was the catalyst, wasn't she?"
The Professor nodded. "Those two are two of kind. They understand each other, having been brought up in similar environments. You'll remember that it took us some time for even Rogue to realize that she belonged with us."
"Yes, I remember that."
"It wasn't much different with Gambit. Here, he can make amends for things he's done in his past. Right wrongs, and help bring about a better understanding of mutation, but more importantly, he's found what he's been searching for."
"Thank you, Professor. I know Logan's been giving you grief about letting him join."
"No, Jean. I think the thanks lies on you and certain member of the Brotherhood. Rogue may have been the main catalyst, but you two definitely took the necessary actions to ensure a positive outcome, benefitting more than one person."
"For awhile, I thought we were doing more hindering than helping."
"No one ever said that helping people was an easy thing to do, especially inconspicuously." The Professor smiled warmly. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting with Hank."
Jean smiled politely and left the Professor's office. Breakfast was definitely in order as her stomach rumbled loudly. She made her way to the kitchen as almost everyone was clearing their dishes and leaving.
Gambit and Rogue were together, they'd been practically inseparable since his arrival. They even made cleaning their dishes look like a world of fun. He'd whisper something and she'd burst into giggles before smirking something back to him in front of the sink.
Jean smiled; they had fast become a very close, secretive couple, often involved in their own little world—much to the jealousy and envy of a lot of other girls around the mansion. There was a mystery to the couple that no one but Jean, Colossus and now Kitty understood. Everyone wanted to know how long they'd been dating, and neither would ever give a straight answer. It was most frustrating to Kurt, who was still getting used to the idea that his sister had a boyfriend, but Colossus had managed to do an amazing job calming down the blue elf. Even Kurt couldn't complain watching his sister sparkle with happiness.
The two had finished up their dishes leaving a wet counter top and bubbles everywhere behind; somehow cleaning two bowls and some glasses had turned into a water fight. They gave Jean a slight acknowledgement before they left as Jean grabbed her own bowl and poured some cereal. She was surprised when Rogue came back alone into the now empty kitchen.
"Look, Jean," Rogue started rather uncomfortably. "I know we've never really been friends, n'all, and I, um, just wanted to say 'thank you'."
"I'm not sure I know what you're talking about," Jean answered innocently
Rogue gave her a sideways look. "I figured you'd say that," she answered, brushing hair from her eyes. "I know you had something to do with Gambit getting accepted. I also know you won't admit to it, but I just wanted you to know, that it really means a lot to me—to both of us."
Rogue gave and awkward smile before she walked back to the kitchen exit.
"You're welcome, Rogue," Jean called back.
Rogue turned, giving her a quick smile. "See ya around, Jean."
"Yeah, see you around," Jean replied, grinning back.
The day carried on at a slow hazy pace and Jean felt immeasurably good. She and Scott were going to movie tonight; tomorrow she was going to play basketball with Colossus and Gambit, who naturally was bringing Rogue. Things were looking up at Xavier's. She had learned a wealth of valuable lessons in tolerance and understanding, but not only that, she had made new friends.
She had never thought that she and Rogue would ever develop a real friendship, and even that now seemed to be a more plausible future. She had made a connection with a member of the Brotherhood, and after their plan hatched, Jean still stayed in contact with Wanda, often spending hours on the phone with girl.
Jean had developed a very strong friendship with Colossus, which poked at both Scott's and Kitty's jealous streaks, but Jean didn't care. The Russian man had quickly hopped up the list of her friends, and she considered him her best. It was rare to meet someone who understood who you were completely, and she felt that even with the language barrier, Colossus understood her, and she him.
He had even taken her aside one evening and showed her his sketches of Gambit, as promised. All had captured the Cajun's array of facial expressions and cocky mannerisms, but the very last one made Jean gasp in delight, confirming what the Professor had already told her about Gambit belonging.
"These is ones he does not know I drew," Piotr whispered with a secretive grin, letting her peek at the page.
It was a page filled with pencil sketches of the lanky villain Gambit, in full uniform, crouching down in an alley and feeding stray kittens trays of milk.
The incessant knocking wouldn't stop. With a gruesome scowl on her face she stormed towards the door, ready to kill whoever was behind it. She'd feel no remorse in the act either if her suspicions were correct as to who was pounding away on her door.
She ripped the door open only to find herself face to face with a long, triangular package wrapped in florist's paper with a pair of small, filthy hands clutching the base.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetums. These are for you," Toad croaked in what appeared to be his version of a seductive voice that made her cringe in disgust. "I'm sure you can put them to good use."
"Firstly, it's well after Valentine's Day, and secondly, I am not opening that," Wanda replied, already shutting the door on the repulsive, little man.
"But my Scarlet Sunshine, Baby—" his voice carried pathetically through the door.
Sometimes she wondered if Jean's offer still stood.
"Oh, I'll find a good use for those alright," she muttered to herself while focusing on her hex. He may have left the Brotherhood, but his 'smooth moves' hadn't, and frankly, she was sick of all of Toad's attempts to pull off obscene feats like the Cajun. It was time Gambit faced a few repercussions for his many outlandish, and often copied stunts.
At Xavier's, holed up in a classroom, Remy's patience was wearing thin. His class of new mutants had absolutely no desire to sit still and listen to what he was supposed to be teaching them. They also seemed to have no respect for the 'new guy' and had taken it upon themselves to act out as frequently as possible.
That's what it was. He had taken a job babysitting a ragtag band of future X-men. Why, he had more good in his one little pinky than this entire rowdy lot of them.
"Okay, seriously, mes amis," Remy began. "Settle down, s'il vous plait."
The class deliberately ignored him and carried on. He was ready to smack that Jamie kid. If he imitated his accent one more time…
"If you all could just turn to page—" Remy tried again with no luck.
"Hey, tell us the 'condom bouquet' story!" A boy named Roberto asked eagerly and several of the students shut up, turning their attention to Remy at the front of the room.
"That's simply an exaggerated rumour," Remy answered indignantly. "I sent no such thing."
The last thing Remy was going to do was marvel his class with highly inappropriate sex based stories. The lecture he imagined he'd receive from Summers was enough to play saint within the classroom walls.
"That's not what Boom Boom says," that Jamie kid piped up.
"Well, she was mistaken," Remy answered turning his evil glare to the chalkboard instead of on his students. "Page thirty-four, s'il vous plait."
Something in a plastic wrapper hit him on the head. Christ, now the little punks were throwing stuff at him. He had a good mind to stroll down the aisles and charge each and every single desk they sat at. He turned around, menacingly to face his class and decipher who had chucked stuff at him. All bets were that damn multiple kid.
Another small object bounced off his head and landed on the floor at his feet. It was small, brightly coloured and square.
"Son of bitch," Remy swore under his breath, recognizing the object on the floor as a condom, right before an indescribable amount down poured from out of thin air on top of him.
He stood amongst a pile of condoms that had appeared as if by magic… or a hex from a certain witch. His class cheered erratically. He already suspected that Wanda was behind the nearly impossible act, when Jean poked her head into his classroom.
"Gambit, Wanda phoned to say that you are 'positively the worst thing that ever could have came into the Brotherhood' and I'm not sure what that means, but—" Jean cut herself off short as she realized he was standing in an insane amount of condoms. "Oh… never mind, I get it now. Toad's pulling some Cajun moves."
Jean gave him a sweet, empathetic smile before closing the door and leaving Remy alone to explain the situation to at least twenty pairs of inquisitive eyes.
Remy turned to his class and clasped his text book shut, pulling up a stool and perching himself atop it. "So, mes jeunes amis, who wants to learn what I'm actually really good at teaching?"
Translations: "mes amis" – my friends "mes jeunes amis" – my young friends
"s'il vous plait" – "please"
Author's Parting Words: The encore was written for the many readers eager for Toad to actually try Gambit's moves that he wrote down religiously in his many notebooks. I like to think of it as one of those scenes that play out during and after the credits roll.
Thanks to everyone who read and everyone who reviewed. My apologies in not responding back to the many reviews these past few chaps. I have had a run of bad luck, starting with my husband commandeering our computer to do his work at home, to the fanfic site going wonky for a few days, and to top it all off, having to make an emergency trip to the dentist, due to a tooth infection. Turns out I need all four of my wisdom teeth yanked at once in mid April (being the earliest I could get scheduled in) I have been in an insane amount of pain and recently on antibiotics and large amounts of painkillers to keep me going until the surgery!
Once again, I would like to express my thanks to everyone who read and my sincere apologies in not responding (I'm not sure replies typed out by a drugged up me is a really good idea!) I hope to see you all at the next fic!