Valle Soleada, in the not so distant future.
The sound of soft bells tinkling made Remy snap his eyes open and grab the air, instantly catching the chubby wrist in his hand.
"Aw!" a tiny voice squeaked.
"I heard that," Remy answered. "Try again."
The miniature mirror image of himself, save for his mother's sparkling green eyes, gave him a sour pout before returning to the other side of the deck. Nimbly flexing his fingers, the small child prepared for another 'heist'.
"Dès que t'es prêt, Papa," the boy shouted, his voice catching in the wind.
"Ready." Remy smiled, settling back into his chair and closing his eyes.
Olivier was getting better, and Remy was quite proud. He'd barely turned four and could already make it across the creaky, wooden deck without Remy hearing a sound. It was once he'd reached the pockets that he'd set off the bells that Remy had tied to various parts of his coat.
Again the bells jingled and Remy caught his son's wrist.
"Picking pockets is an art, there's a rhythm to it," Remy explained, sliding off his coat and hanging it on the back of the chair. He slipped his fingers into the pockets, swiftly pulling out the contents of the pocket without a single bell moving.
His son looked at him with sheer awe and adoration, eager to try again himself. Remy couldn't help but grin. It brought back his own early memories of learning the family trade. Some would argue that Olivier was too young to start learning, but Remy disagreed. The boy was sharp and possessed a cleverness well beyond his years. Not to mention, he'd acquired his mother's tenacity and determination.
Olivier was about to try his hand again, when the patio door slid open. His little hand froze suspended in the air.
"Remy!" Rogue snapped in shock, and both Remy and Olivier shifted their eyes guiltily. "You had better not be teaching my son how to pick pockets!"
"Chere," Remy began smoothly with a charming grin that his son immediately copied. "There's no harm in it. It's not like he's actually stolen anything… yet."
Rogue sighed, cocking her hand with a reprimanding tone on her hip.
"Remy, you promised. No thieving until he was at least seven. That's when you and Henri started."
"We're just playing, Mom. Honest," Olivier replied innocently.
Rogue simply raised her eyebrows. "Ollie, what would your Uncle Logan say?"
"He'd say 'like father, like son!'" The boy beamed, and Rogue had to turn away to hide her smile. It was almost impossible to scold the boy when he used that winsome charm of his. He was just like his father. Almost to the point where Rogue was ready to just give in and let Remy have his way and train their son. At least Jean-Luc and Henri would be thrilled.
Her side of the family would tolerate it. God, if Storm had to keep an eye on the silverware again the next time they visited, Rogue was going to have Remy's head.
She gently bent down to Olivier's level, and the darling boy gallantly threw his arms around her neck, planting a big kiss on her cheek.
"Try and stay out of trouble," she whispered, and he kissed her cheek again.
Rogue always had the worst time holding her ground when Olivier would affectionately give her big hugs and kisses. Even after six years of being able to control her mutation, any time her son touched her, her heart would skip a beat and she'd almost start sobbing tears of joy.
She'd never envisioned that she and Remy would actually be able to have children. It had been the greatest day of her life when the control she'd spent so many years trying to obtain finally came to her. Shortly after that, Olivier had been conceived, and now their second child was on the way.
It had been a hard decision to make when she and Remy had decided it was best to take time off from the team and the Guild, choosing instead to raise their children as normally as two mutants could in a world that still feared them. They had bought a beach house in Valle Soleada, a small community by the ocean that promoted the peaceful cohabitation of mutants and humans.
Remy still took Guild jobs when a Master Thief was needed, or when a cagey mood struck him, but Rogue could never bring herself to leave Ollie and join the X-men in battle. She took her role as a mother very seriously, leaving all the danger and excitement for someone else. Choosing instead to live her life as a wife and a mother. She found that it was an adventure she never tired of.
They visited both the mansion and New Orleans quite frequently, and Olivier was adored and loved by everyone, especially by his Uncle Hank. The large, blue man never seemed to tire of the boy's endless questions and always seemed to have an answer that suited Olivier's curiosity.
Most of the time, Logan seemed unsure and uncomfortable around the child, not being used to kids at all. But since Olivier was fascinated with the adamantium claws, Logan spent his time slicing various objects in half for the child's amusement. Her entire family had accepted and embraced her decision to remain out of the eternal fray.
Olivier let go of her neck, and angelically went to play with his trucks instead of his father's coat. Rogue turned to her husband to address the real reason she'd come outside.
Remy still had on his charming but mischievous smile as he slowly moved his hands tenderly over her now larger stomach in a gentle caress.
"What do you need, ma cherie?" he asked fondly before giving her a quick kiss on the lips, ignoring Olivier's muffled giggles at their open display of affection.
She gave him a shy smile, sliding her hands up to cup his face in between her palms. "We're all out of chocolate ice cream, and I'm craving it something fierce."
"Of course," Remy answered heroically. "I'll run to the store and pick some up."
He pulled away from her and slid his hand into his pants pocket and frowned.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"I can't find my keys," Remy answered, puzzled as he checked his other pocket. "I could've sworn I had them on me. They're not on the table inside are they?"
Olivier began to laugh loudly as the sound of keys jangled in the air. Both Remy and Rogue turned to see their son proudly holding Remy's keys in his outstretched little hand, shaking them joyously in a taunt that could rival his father's.
Rogue's arms were folded immediately across her chest as she gave Remy a patronizing look. She sighed with a hint of a smile. "Now I'll never be able to keep him out of the cookie jar."
Translations: "Dès que t'es prêt, Papa." - "Whenever you're ready, Dad."
Author's Note: Thanks to everyone who read and enjoyed this story. I am quite happy with the way it turned out! Thanks to all who took the time to review, it is much appreciated and I enjoyed reading every response to my most recent fic. Thanks for everyone's patience as I updated grammar on previous chapters. Lastly, I would like to give a huge, supremely special thanks to abthetis for generously taking the time to volunteer and translate my French. I look forward to working together on many more Romy fictions!