A.N.: Hey, all. This is an A.U. of the most awesome X-Men couple, Rogue and Gambit, in which Rogue is not and never was, an X-Men, but Gambit is. Mystique plays the mother role, in her own way, alongside Irene Adler. Everything else pretty much went according to the Evoverse way, just no Rogue. And sorry, no accents; I failed miserably at those, there are some words in French, but it will be kept to a minimum.
Disclaimer: I really, really, really wish I could own the X-Men, even if just a little bit, but no such luck; this is all thanks to the awesome Stan Lee.
Thoughts and French
"Mrs. LeBeau is here"
Remy LeBeau raised his head at hearing his secretary's, Regan, voice. Putting his elbows on the desk, he put his thumb and forefinger to the bridge of his nose to try and make the headache that had been pounding his head for the better part of the day.
It'd been a bad day, very very very much so. It was ruled by Murphy. All that could have gone wrong; had gone wrong. All of it. And it was only 2 in the afternoon.
Since the two years he'd been in charge of the X Enterprises after Scott Summers had jumped ship, Remy was used to having these types of bad days. He'd taken the challenge of taking care of the X-men's cover up business of custom cars and bikes for their vigilante ways, with both eyes open, and was glad for the challenge… but some days, like this one, that he remembers time spent down southern Mississippi, so close to his loving lady New Orleans, but not there, in those young careless years, without responsibilities…fixing and driving bikes…
Usually, the things that went wrong were in a decent equilibrium because things went right too. But today… today was not going that way.
That very same morning there had been a call from one of the providers of engine parts to inform him that the shipment would not be on time. A paint company in Germany that had spent some time trying (and failing miserably) to find a misplaced shipment had contacted him to inform him, as if nothing had gone wrong, that the shipment had never really left Germany. And just to put the cherry on top, Professor Charles Xavier, his leader, had called him from Muir Island to tell him that he'd be back at the mansion tonight with special guest for the mansion.
"Moira McTaggert, Sean Cassidy …and Psylocke, their latest student, who is a very talented young lady. She's single, a very powerful mutant and excited about meeting you. I hope you will spend the weekend at the mansion" had been what the professor said.
Professor didn't beat around the bush, and had never passed an opportunity for one of his elder and most esteemed team member to be presented to potential female friends, as much as Remy had asked him on occasion not to do.
Remy could feel the sweat rolling down his back. The air conditioning had stopped working this morning, in the whole building, and even if the repair man, Forge, had been called, he'd left for lunch a little over to and a half hours ago, and hadn't been heard of since. Keeping in mind that it was indeed July, and it was naturally humid in New York, it was very bad. It had been bad enough that one of the employees had gotten sick, and had had to go home. Also, just to make his day even better, his laptop had stopped pressing the letter A, and about a half hour ago, just crashed, so Remy was forced to go back to the old pen and paper method of calculations.
The way things were going, the last thing he needed was a visit from his estranged Tante.
"Tell her I'm busy" he said to Regan, the secretary, "Better yet tell her that I'll have dinner with her on Thursday"
Having dinner with his Tante whenever she ventured up north was the only way his Tante would not burst into his office immediately.
"I don't think that it's about Tante dinner, sir"
"How come? You'll notice it is, my Tante always wants me to have dinner with her every week."
In his thirty two years of life, Remy could not remember his Tante not wanting him to have dinner, no ordered him to have dinner with her, as she did with his older brother and all of his cousins in New Orleans. One of the many reasons he'd left at his first chance of freedom to the mansion, and later ran from them for similar reasons to Mississippi.
"It's not your aunt."
"No?" said Remy surprised "Then it must be Mercy"
Remy loved his sister-in-law Mercy. Poor woman had to put up with his brother on a daily basis, while taking care of two toddlers. They were a handful, but he loved them so.
"No, Mercy, Henry and the boys are in New Orleans." Said Regan
Dang, I'd forgotten. Who else could it be? No one else from my family knew where I was…and more so, had no reason to contact me.
"Mon saint mère?"
"Er, no. It's not her either."
"Well then, I don't know any other Mrs. LeBeau." Answered Remy, now feeling slightly irritated.
"Well, that's interesting" commented Regan, "I say this because she says she's your wife."
Rogue didn't react. Her gaze was set in the magazine in her hands and her mind was set on trying to think in what to say.
"Mrs. LeBeau?" the voice said with more force.
Rogue jumped in surprised, and noticed that the secretary was talking to her.
"I'm sorry, I …" was wishing all will go well "I was distracted"
"Mr. LeBeau will see you in his office now" announced the secretary
"Thank you" said Rogue putting the magazine away and liking her lips.
Right after, she tried to smile with all the grace and easiness she could muster, and director herself o the door. On the other side of this door was the 6'1 man that she'd married.
Rogue took in air, in an attempt to clam herself, swallowed, and closed the door trying to smile as if nothing was wrong.
Remy looked surprised to hear his name being said by her, but, nonetheless, stood up from his chair and put his hands in his pockets.
"Hey, Roguey" said Remy using the nickname that he'd always used for her.
"Rogue" she corrected him, "Ro, if you prefer."
Remy didn't answer.
"I suppose you're surprised to see me here" Rogue commented.
Remy raised an eyebrow.
"Let's juts say your not part of the usual Mrs. LeBeau that come here" commented Remy with sarcasm
Even, if some part of her was dying to hug him, she knew she couldn't. They would never be friends again.
"I shouldn't have done that, shouldn't have used your last name." Rogue rushed to apologize. "I don't usually do that."
"Thank God." Said Remy
"I've done it just…because…well, I didn't know how busy you'd be now that you're president and that stuff. I didn't know if you'd see me or not."
"I'm not the Mother. You don't have to ask for permission" answered Remy.
"Well, but I didn't know that" said Rogue, now getting a little defensive. "This right now has nothing to do with the Remy LeBeau that I remembered" she added observing the elegant office with leather seats and a great view over all Manhattan.
True, it wasn't the Vatican, true, but it wasn't the tiny apartment above Mickey's Bike Shop.
"It's been a long time, and things have changed. You've changed too. Now you've made a name for yourself, right?"
Rogue got the feeling that Remy said it in a defiant tone, and had to bite hard to keep herself in check.
"Very good. I've changed too" answered Remy in a cold voice.
"Yes, now you wear a tie."
"I have many"
"And a suit"
"Yes, I have many of those too."
"It seems that things have gone well for you."
"Things have always gone well for me, Roguey." He said walking closer, "Even when I was fixing bikes"
The Remy LeBeau that Rogue had known was a young man that was in no hurry to do anything, and that money didn't really matter, a young man that only wanted to live in the South doing what he loved doing.
"Yes, that's true. In fact I'm very surprised that you've stopped working with bikes and left the south. It was what you liked, what interested you, what you loved."
Remy moved his head in a 'no' motion, and
"What I loved was the liberty to be myself, not having to deal with others expectations of me. Turns out I couldn't be myself in Mississippi, and, now here, I am free. This is what I wanted. Nobody forced me. I am here because I choose to be here, but enough about me" he said. "How have things been for you? I'll tell Regan to bring us some coffee. Or do you prefer some sweet tea?"
"I won't drink anything, because I can't stay" said Rogue.
"After ten years? Well five since we've seen each other last, but don't tell me you were just passing by" Remy said in a skeptic tone, "It's obvious that you came specifically to see me, so sit down. Regan, bring us in some sweet tea. Thank you." He told Rogue, and spoke to the intercom.
Rogue took in air, in hopes of keeping herself calm. That man spoke like the company president; giving orders. Rogue sat down, it was true that she'd come to see him for something specific, but she wanted it to be a short and civil meeting, but Remy was turning it into a social visit, that would not go well with her plans.
Rogue reminded herself that she must keep going, that she should have done this a long time ago. She needed to do this, needed to make things right with Remy, forget the past and keep going on with her life.
So, she sat on the arm of one of the leather chairs, and tried to keep her calm and usual charm, for which she was known, and have a calm conversation with Remy. It would be good to talk to him. But it was hard to keep informal and educated, when what she really wanted to do was stare at that man sitting across from her.
Remy LeBeau had always been a handsome man, but never had he been imagined in a suit and tie. To begin, he hadn't even worn one to their weeding day. But then again the weeding had been about five minutes long, in Court, and had consisted of getting a weeding license, repeat the vows and sign some papers. That's it. When they left the Court they were husband and wife.
Rogue looked at him, trying to find the young man full of life that she'd married. He wasn't as tan as she remembered, and he was slightly bigger, but his eyes were still as profound and as attractive as always, with their odd red and black pigmentation. But his hair was no longer as long as it'd been, but now it was cut short. He looked stronger, from what his white shirt allowed her to see. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, like even though he was the president he'd have no problem getting dirty if it was needed. His whole look was finished by a green tie.
Rogue wondered if all his ties were as conservative as that one. It didn't really matter. At twenty two, Remy LeBeau had looked great in jeans and ratty work shirts, and now at thirty two, with a clean suit shirt, and conservative tie, it was devastatingly better.
And it made her want things that couldn't be.
Rogue closed her eyes.
When she opened her eyes she saw that Remy had sat down across from her, and was looking at her.
"Well, mon femme, where have you been all this time?"
Mon femme? It was true that legally, I was still his wife, but had never expected him to refer to me as such.
"I've been in a lot of places" answered Rogue.
"As you wish. Maybe it will be a bit boring to you, but you wanted to listen. I went to California…"
"You mean when you left me?"
"When you say it like that you make it seem like I abandoned you! And I didn't do that. You know that perfectly. The idea of us to get married was yours, and you perfectly well why I did it, and why you did it. You offered to…"
"…to marry you, oui, I know," interrupted Remy. "So you could get the money Irene left you, get you diabolical mother of your back, and live your life. I remember perfectly."
"It wasn't exactly like that."
"It was exactly like that."
"I mean that, at that time my mother wasn't like the devil to me, but I didn't want her to control my life. She was a strict traditional mother that wanted me to obey in going to a university, and marry whom ever she chooses."
"And you didn't do that." At that Remy smiled, before continuing, "are you telling me that you regret what you did?"
"No, of course not. I did what I had to do. You know perfectly. You saw me when…" Rogue stopped, she didn't want to remember. "Now, I understand better, really. I'm older, and more mature, I've gone back to Mississippi, and seen her again."
Remy gave her a surprised look.
"She had a stroke a few months ago. I found out, because I still talk to Greydon, my brother. He called me up in when I was in Seattle, and told me she was in ICU, and could possibly die. At that moment I decided that I needed to make things right between us, so I went back to Mississippi. It was the first time I was back since…since…"
"Since she told you weren't her daughter?"
Rogue now remembered the anger she'd seen in Remy when she'd told him what her mother said. Now, with a different perspective that only time gave, she understood her mother better, but at that time, she had preferred to turn around and leave.
Rogue didn't want to think about the amount of years that they'd spent separated.
"Yes," Rogue answered twisting her fingers, "When I went back, I went back thinking that my mother might not want to see me, but it wasn't like that. She was so happy to see me," Rogue smiled, "When she saw me, she held my hand and asked me to stay." Rouge now had teary eyes, "I've stayed in Mississippi since then."
"In her house?"
"No, she'd love that, but I prefer my privacy. I'm not a little girl anymore, so I've rented an apartment in town. I've been there since May. The first thing I did was… swing by Mike's and… look for you."
"To see if I was still working on my perfect bike?"
"I didn't know you've left Mississippi."
"I didn't think you'd care."
Rogue grit her teeth. She didn't want to fight.
"I even went by your old watering hole."
"Really?" Remy said indifferently. "Now it's an office building."
"Yes, I saw. What happened to Jean-Paul?"
"He went to be a show girl in Vegas, before I left."
"A couple of years ago?"
"No, I left Mississippi long before that. It's not the only place in the South good for bikes," he said, without giving an explanation of where else he'd been. "I've been gone for a long while."
"I read an article in the Star about a bike mechanic that had turned rich…"
"Rumors" answered Remy, putting his poker face on. "You know how journalists like to exaggerate things. What happened was that we were selling more mainstream bikes and cars, and Jean suggested that we advertise, to give a new outlook. It was her suggestion, true, but it was ultimately my decision." He explained seeing Rogue surprised face, "And you see, one thing led to another, and I made some money, and now my long lost femme comes to see me."
Again with the wife comments.
"Yes, we have to talk about that."
But, Rogue couldn't take advantage of the moment, because Regan choose that specific moment to knock on the door, and enter with sweet tea and some snacks.
The woman looked professional and efficient, but couldn't help but stare at Remy and Rogue, like she was in the middle of a battle field, and was afraid of somebody blowing her head off at any given moment.
"Thanks, Regan," said Remy, "I don't think that you've met my wife; at least, not officially. Regan this is my femme Rogue, Rogue this is Regan."
The secretary looked at him with wide eyes.
"Really? So this wasn't a joke?"
Had he told his secretary that he was married? No, that couldn't be.
"It's a pleasure to meet you…finally" said Regan.
Finally? So Remy had talked about her to other people? Rogue was confused.
"Regan, please, don't send in any more calls and tell Shiro to not come" Remy told his secretary.
"He's already on his way."
Rogue stood up.
"You're busy," she said. "I don't want to be a bother, I'll leave…"
"No matter" Remy went on, as if Rogue hadn't said anything. "When he gets here tell him to come another day, that I'm with my wife, and that she and I have things to talk about."
"No, really, we don't have to talk right now" protested Rogue.
"Tell him to get an appointment next week" added Remy.
"Are you listening to me? I don't want you to have to change your appointments because of me. I don't want to bother you. I should have called before coming," apologized Rogue, walking towards the door.
"It doesn't matter, really." Remy assured her, "That's all, thank you Regan." He added to the secretary. "Sit and come tell me what you wanted to tell me," he ordered Rogue once alone. "But first try the cookies. Jean makes then and they are delicious."
"Stop doing that! I haven't come here to have lunch with you, Rems! Why are you presenting me as your wife? Don't do that!"
"It was you that showed here, saying you're my wife," said Remy taking a bite out of a cookie. "I was simply confirming it."
"Your secretary already knew you were married," objected Rogue.
Truth was she'd never imagined that he would go around saying to people that he was married.
"Well, yes, I am married. You know it better that anyone that you're my femme," insisted Remy taking another bite of the cookie.
"Would you have preferred to look like a liar to her?"
"No, of course not," sighed Rogue. "I just didn't expect you to shout it to the world. In the article I read about you, you never mentioned being married. It aid that you went out with many single women," added citing the article.
"Many?" said Remy laughing, "It's true, I've gone with women to work dinners, but they've all been friends or acquaintances."
"But they didn't know you were married."
"The majority of the time I don't know I'm married, really!"
"Yes, you're right" said Rogue. "I'm sorry. I was selfish in marrying you. We shouldn't have done it. In reality, I shouldn't have permitted that you do that."
"It wasn't you who permitted anything," Remy corrected. "I offered. You just said yes. In any way, it wasn't that big a deal," he said shrugging.
"To me it was."
Marrying Remy, had allowed her access to the money her other mother, Irene Adler, had left her upon her death, and allowed Rogue to free herself from her mother, and start a new life, and Rogue was aware of how much she really owed Remy.
"Well, tell me about you. Last time we saw each other we didn't get a chance to talk."
The last time they'd seen each other had been five years ago, when Rouge had a show in Mississippi, and Remy had shown up with a beautiful women at his arm. Rogue forced herself not to think about it.
"I was very busy," Rogue commented.
"That true. Things have gone very well for you."
"Yes," answered Rogue.
"You're a well know painter now, textile artist, and company owner… how many shops do you have now?"
"Four." Rogue said, "I opened one in Mississippi last February."
After leaving Mississippi after their wedding, she'd gone to study art in Cali. There she'd worked with textiles, while working at a fabrics shop. As always being into art, she'd put both things together, and had started designing canvases and textile that called the publics attention.
Since then she'd thrown herself in her art, and that had become quite sought after. Her work was now only sold at her stores and some galleries.
"Yes, I've worked very hard. To get to where I am," was all Rogue said.
"I've noticed you have needed any other favors from me."
Rogue took a deep breath.
"I know that night I behaved very badly towards you."
The last time they'd seen each other was the only time they'd seen each other after the weeding. Rogue had gone to Mississippi for a last minute show. At that point in time, she wasn't as well known as she was now, but she'd wanted to do it to show her mother that she was doing well on her own, and even if it was not admitted to anyone, much less herself, to see Remy, to show him that his faith had been well placed.
She'd sent an invitation to her mother to the show, and had waited anxiously for her to show, but she hadn't. Remy, though, had shown up. When she saw him, handsomer than she'd remembered, she'd been about ready to fall over backwards.
To start with, because she hadn't thought he'd show up, because an old friend had mentioned that he hadn't been around, and also because of the tall, white haired, beautiful woman that accompanied him. As soon as Remy had seen her, he'd gone directly to her.
"Hey. I'm so glad to see you! You're fantastic," he'd said. "And everything looks incredible. This is Ororo Munroe, she writes for the Star in the art section."
In no way had he presented her as his wife. Rogue told herself that it was normal because it had dimply been a marriage of convenience, a favor Remy had done her. And, apparently, Remy still thought that she needed favors, because he'd shown up with a journalist whose specialty was as an art critic.
That had infuriated her. She no longer was that little girl he'd married. It was true that she'd been very sharp, and brusque, which had confused Remy, and on another note, even of it pained her to admit it, the fact that he'd shown up with another woman hadn't really helped.
Rogue had acted cold and indifferent during the whole show, and was only back to her calm self, when Remy and his beautiful companion had left. The calm was short lived though, because Remy came back at the end of the show. By himself.
"What the hell was that all about, chère?" he'd asked getting her alone in a hallway.
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"You know damn well. If you want nothing to do with me now that you're famous, that's fine. You can do whatever the hell you want, but there was no need for you to be so rude towards Ororo."
"I wasn't rude! And I'm not even famous," Rogue defended herself. "I assure you that… I didn't mean to be rude, but I wanted you to know that I don't need your help. I don't need you to rescue me!"
"In no way did I mean for you to think I was rescuing you. I only wanted to give you a hand, but don't worry. I'll just tell Ororo to not write that piece about you! Forget this. Bye," he'd said turning around to leave her.
"Is that all?" Rogue asked.
"What more do you want?"
"I thought… I thought that, maybe, you'd brought the divorce papers," said Rogue with a dry mouth.
Remy looked at her very serious, and Rogue forced herself to look him in the eye.
"No, I don't have the divorce papers."
"Oh…" said Rogue feeling a great and ridiculous relief, "Well… whenever you want to get divorced, you just have to tell me," she said trying to sound indifferent.
"Yes, of course."
Rogue hadn't seen him since, hadn't heard anything from him, and hadn't even attempted contact until today.
"I apologize for that night. I was trying to make my way by myself, because I'd already depended so much on you. I didn't want your pity."
"You think I did it out of pity?"
In that moment their eyes met, and an electric current ran though them both.
"Yes, that's what I think," said Rogue trying to maintain her composure. "I shouldn't have married you. Now that I know who I am, and what I am capable of doing, and I owe it all to you, so I come here to give you my most sincere thanks and…to bring you this," she said getting something out of her bag.
"What is it?"
"The divorce papers," answered Rogue. "It's about time, huh?" she added with a smile.
Remy didn't smile, his eyes looking at the papers with a fixed stare.
"I know I should have done this sooner, and I apologize for taking so long," Rogue apologized. "In reality, I thought you'd do it."
Remy didn't say anything. He was very serious.
"Yes, I know I should have done this a while ago," Rogue kept going, somewhat nervous, "The truth is this is a simple formality, we both know I'm not going to ask for anything. Of course, there is no child support, nothing of that sort. Nevertheless, if you want your part of my company, it is with in your rights."
"No" said Remy raising his voice.
"Whatever you want," said Rogue with a breath. "I just wanted to offer, just in case. Well then, this'll be easy. All you have to do is sign, and I'll take care of the rest," she said getting a pen from her bag.
Rogue gave him a surprised look.
"Of course, I understand if you want to call your lawyer to go over it, that's fine."
"Well…al that's left is signing" she said giving him the pen.
Remy didn't move. Rogue then noticed his pen in the pocket of his dress shirt.
"Oh, you have your own pen, 'course."
Remy left the folder with the divorce papers on the table.
"There is no divorce."