Burn the Night Away

It's three in the morning and I'm still not sleeping cause I'm running your race. The mountains you've been climbing seem like they have steepened since I decided to pick up the pace. If the whole world told me I should disappear, could I fall right next to you? Just let me Burn the Night Away, oh baby, let me Burn the Night Away. I think you're not the simple things you say to me, that get me through the day. You keep me wide awake, you keep me wide awake. ~Burn the Night Away- There For Tomorrow

Massachusetts, 2052.

Marie looks out over the balcony and sighs contentedly. They really had picked the perfect venue for the reception, it was beautiful and secluded and she knows she'll never forget this night.

"What are you thinking about," Nathan murmurs, his chin rests on the top of her head.

"I'm thinking about how happy I am, cher. Can you believe we're really married?"

He smiles warmly and presses his lips against her ear. "It's sort of like a dream, isn't it? It seems like only yesterday I was pulling your hair and putting frogs in your spaghetti." His expression is wistful, loving.

"That was yesterday," she deadpans.

He nips the sensitive flesh of her neck and pleasant shivers go down her spine. "You're going to pay for that on our honeymoon, baby."

She laughs and turns into his embrace. "Why not make me pay for it tonight?" She smirks seductively and wraps her arms around his neck. "You know how much I like doing it in hotel rooms. Besides, it sounds good to finally get this dress taken off-"

He silences her with his lips, and for timeless moments they just hold each other. "I might just have to do that, Mrs. Summers."

Their mouths connect again, and she feels it all the way down to her toes. Nate was a godsend, the man she'd been unknowingly dreaming of since she was a teenager. She'd gone through many a bad relationship, and out of no where, he appeared, and he saved her, just like when they were children. She'd been a fool in high school to ignore the feelings she'd had for him, but she has him now and forever, and that's all that mattered.

"Do you want to go back inside? Mom was trying to sneak the wine away from dad last time I checked."

She laughs heartily. "While I'd simply love watching the humor that I'm sure would ensue, I think I'll stay out here a little bit longer, just for some air."

His eyes sadden with understanding, his white hair gleams in the moonlight. "He would've been here to give you away if he could have, Marie. You know that."

Her throat becomes tight. "I know, cher. And uncle Logan was wonderful for doing the honors, it's just-"

"He's not your father, I know. No one will ever be able to replace your dad, baby. What you're feeling is normal."

"I'm over his disappearance, really I am, it just stings a little, ya know?"

They both turn to look as Nathan's mom comes out onto the porch. Her thick, white hair is frazzled and her turquoise eyes are blazing. "I'm so sorry to interrupt, honey, but I need help carrying your father out of here. The old fool is drunk, and he's creeping out the waitresses."

Nathan looks back at Marie with an apology in his eyes, but she only smiles and waves him off. "Go ahead. I'll be right here waiting for you."

He kisses her on the cheek and gives her a wink before going over to his distraught mother.

"Why didn't he like getting drunk when we were young? God he was always such a tight ass-"

Jean hangs back for a moment, and winks at her daughter-in-law. "I got rid of my knuckle head son so you two could have some privacy. He won't be distracted for long, so make it quick, okay honey?" She closes the balcony doors behind her.

There was really no hope of figuring Jean out sometimes, and Marie shakes her head in amusement, and descends the staircase leading from the balcony into the garden.

She stares into the pond, fighting back sadness. She wasn't the kind of woman to feel sorry for herself, but was it so wrong to ache for her father on her wedding day?

A rustling of leaves catches her attention, and her head snaps up. The figure of a man leaning against a tree sends alarms going off in her brain, and her hands curl into fists and begin to glow a bright fuchsia.

"Who's there? Show yourself!"

The man steps forward away from the shadows, and the moon washes him in a romantic glow. "I see Jeannie's still sharp as a tack. Nothin' gets passed dat femme."

That accent...She quickly assesses the stranger. He was tall, and she could tell by the shape of the suit he wore that he was quite muscular, yet lean. His hair fell over his eyes, but she can still the shimmering crimson of his pupils.

This handsome man is her father, the young face before her cannot be much older than she is, but she's positive. She can feel it in the rapid beating of her heart, in the ache in her temple.

"P-pere?"

He propels himself in the air, clearing the pond, and lands before her gracefully. His grin is devilish, and his eyes go over her like a starving man looks at a feast. He wanted to drink in every detail. He'd watched her for years from afar, but she was so beautiful up close. His little girl was all grown up.

He moves as if to touch her cheek, but then lets his hands drop to his sides.

"Never thought one of mine would marry a Summers." He shakes his head and chuckles. "Bet Scott had a heart attack when y'all told 'em."

Marie does not speak. Her eyes are wide and her mouth is open. She's in shock, because even though as a child she hadn't believed her father was dead, she never thought she'd be seeing him. But here he is, right in front of her. Younger, but still the same man.

"What happened to you?" She wants to end the small talk, there is betrayal in her eyes. "Why did you vanish into thin air? Why do you look like..." She sweeps her hand across his youthful body. "...this?"

He heaves a sigh and clasps the back of his neck. "I was afraid you'd ask dat-"

"Of course I asked it," she snaps. "You show up out of nowhere after eighteen years, you let me think you were dead. Goddess, you could have at least written me once in a while!"

She's becoming hysteric, and Remy rests his hands on her bare shoulders. "Calm down, p'tite. I know dis is hard for y', mais I wanted to see my girl get married, I wanted to tell y' dat I t'ink of y' and de boys every minute of every day-"

She shrugs off his hands and distances herself from the pleading man. This was too much for her, it hurts to badly. "All these years…what did you expect? Did you expect to be able to waltz in here and work your charm? Did you just expect me to forget all the hurt you caused me and welcome you with open arms?"

He smiles a sad smile, his hands slide in his pockets. "I didn't t'ink dis would be easy, I knew it wouldn't. But I did expect de love to win out, I thought dat maybe I could make y' understand why I did what I did-"

"Nothing you can say will erase the past. I cried every night for five years, my trust in men is so bad that I constantly hurt the man I love-" She hides her face in her hands and weeps. "You hurt me so bad, pere."

His arms go around her, and she does not pull away. Instead, she presses her face against his solid chest and breathes in his cologne. He still wore the same cheap fragrance, and he still smelled like the same aftershave and he still smoked the same cigarettes.

And she missed him so much she can no longer revel in her anger. "Je t'aime, pere."

"J'taime, aussi." His voice is raw, and with a start, she realizes her father is crying, too.

He kisses both of her cheeks, and then her forehead. She stares deep into his red-on-black eyes, and she smiles. He left her, he hurt her, but he had always loved her, of that she is sure. The ridiculous sums of money her mother would receive, unable to explain it's origins, the candies and other precious trinkets that she'd find under her pillow in the morning, the 2038 Mustang that had suddenly appeared at Caleb's dorm, the random presents left in Jeremy's room- it had all been him!

She'd suspected it then, but she knows it now.

"Y' maman, how is she?" He'd kept tabs on Ororo and the children of course, but he wants to know how she is mentally and emotionally, he wants to know if she's happy, if she hates him-

"She's doing great. She got remarried a few years ago, to a wonderful man named Bishop. They met at the gardening club."

"I bet she was de prettiest bride dere ever was," he murmurs warmly.

He wipes his eyes but does not take his free arm from around her shoulder. "Dat boy…he treat y' right?"

She laughs and rolls her eyes. "He's great, so don't start pulling the 'protective father' thing. I already get enough of that from uncle Logan…"

Remy purses his lips in thought. "Nathan- y' love him don't y'?"

Her expression softens. "With all my heart."

"What would y' do to stay with him?"

"Anything." And she means it.

He focuses on the moon, his voice lowers to a whisper. "Would y' give up your mortality? Would y' leave y' kids because he went to a place they couldn't follow?"

She understands what he's trying to say. "Pere, you're talking about that woman, aren't you? The one everyone talks about?"

He speaks around the throb in his throat. "Oui. She's de one. Fell in love wit dat girl de first second I seen dem eyes, even though I didn't know it at de time. Ever since den, I've been addicted, p'tite. I lost myself when I lost her."

Marie racks her brain, trying to remember the face of the woman who had enraptured her father so thoroughly. She thinks back to the mansion…back to the photo albums with her smiling plump lips and her blazing emerald eyes-

She remembers Christmas, when mother had taken her for a quick visit at the mansion. There'd been a photo on the mantle, she'd asked about it, and her mother had cried and said: "Rogue." She hadn't said anything else the rest of their visit. She recalls thinking the woman had been beautiful, too beautiful. She'd been indescribable, too gorgeous, too heart-breakingly exquisite for words! She'd been like a fallen angel, a woman crafted by the most talented hands in Heaven.

No wonder her father held on and never let go.

"I'm sorry, Marie," he says simply, but his voice is packed with so much emotion and sorrow it takes her breath away.

She wants to wipe away his tears and assure him that she loves him too much to hold a grudge. "I forgive you, pere." Her words are a glorious gift.

And just as he promised eighteen years ago, her pere tells her his adventures in the sky.

"Marie?"

She whips around and looks up at the balcony. Her husband's concerned face makes her panic.

"Were you…talking to someone?"

"Of course not," she lies smoothly with a chuckle. "I was singing, cher, that's all." She gives him a wink and blows him a saucy kiss. "I'll be in soon, Nate."

He knows her too well to believe what she tells him, and she knows it. But one of the great things about Nathan was his patience, and she knows he won't pester her until she's ready to tell him.

"That was-" Her father isn't behind her when she turns back around. It's just her, the moon, and the crickets.

"No-" She bunches her dress in both hands and bounds up the stairs and into the reception hall.

So don't look back, the hour glass is running empty. You've got me buried with your every move, your fine lines have me at a loss of memory. I'm right beside you in an empty room. If the whole world told me I should disappear, could I fall right next to you? Just let me Burn the Night Away, oh baby, let me Burn the Night Away. I think you're not the simple things you say to me, that get me through the day. And it's so hard to catch your feelings when you always run away. ~Burn the Night Away- There For Tomorrow

He finds her hovering, arms spread, in the parking lot where he'd left her, and takes the chance to appreciate the shine of her waist-length curls, the shape of her trim body in the flowing, silk dress she wore.

"Chere!" He calls up to her, but she does not respond.

He isn't alarmed, because this has happened often before, quite frequently actually. Though Phoenix was gone for good, Rogue had still absorbed her powers and abilities, and along with those came the burden of the all-knowing mind. She could hear the thoughts of every living thing in the universe, and sometimes she lost herself in the sea of voices.

But he'll always be here to reel her back onto land.

"Ohhhhhhhhh cheeerrrrrrriieeeeeeee!"

She whips around as if waking from a dream, and beams when she sees the figure of her lover. "Remy!" She lands on her bare feet, and throws her arms around his neck.

When she'd been a toddler, he'd allowed her to play around their ranch barefoot. He hasn't been able to convince her to wear shoes since.

"I missed y'," he whispers in her hair. He'd been gone a total of thirty minutes, but when two people were as connected in body, mind, and soul as he and Rogue, even that short separation was painful.

She kisses him on the lips, instantly noting the rawness beneath his eyes. He'd been crying. "How did it go, shuga?"

"Better den I could have ever imagined, chere. We talked, we hugged- she…she forgave me, Rogue!"

Seeing him happy makes her heart soar, and she laughs and weeps right along with him. "Oh, Remy." She holds his face in her smooth hands, "Ah'm so very happy for you! Ya deserved this, ya earned this."

Barely eighteen years had passed since Rogue's resurrection, and her body had not yet been fully restored to its twenty-two year old self. They got looks when they went out sometimes, because he looked at least twenty-five. He hadn't wanted to make her uncomfortable with the negative attention, but she'd simply kissed him harder and said she didn't give a damn what they thought.

From then on, he hasn't cared, either. Besides, her eyes were much older than their years.

"It must have been so hard, tellin' her goodbye." The belle looks up at him, face full of aching sympathy. "Ah want to hear everythin'."

Remy opens his mind, and she enters him gently, handling the precious memories with care and love. She stops at a dark patch.

"Remy," she removes her fingers from his temples. "There's somethin' in your thoughts…did anythin' bad happen?"

He shudders, his eyes go distant. "Not until I got real close to her." He trembles in her embrace. "I could feel her dyin', slowly mais surely. I could sense dat she was agin', every second she sped closer and closer to death at a pace I'll never know again-"

He knows he's said the wrong thing by the crushing of her face. Rogue thought she'd done wrong by him, she regretted giving him part of her essence and making him immortal. Not because she didn't love him and want him by her side every waking moment, but because he had so many ties still left in the world. She'd made peace with the fact that she could not see the X-men, except from a distance, he had not.

When he'd snuck into his old home and planted gifts for his children, there had been hurt and remorse written all over her.

He wishes she could understand just how much he needs her.

"I know what y' thinkin', chere." The cajun pats her backside playfully. "An' stop it. Y' know bein' wit y' is like bein' in Heaven without dyin', an' I would make de same choice a million times."

She holds him tight.

"Y' hear me, girl? Where's dat pretty smile?"

She tilts her head and smiles for him, and his insides fill with warmth. "Dere we are. Dis is much better, non?"

He always knows how to stop her hurt. "What now?" she asks suddenly, good mood restored. "Where should we go next? Italy? Germany?" Rogue laughs in excitment and tugs him along eagerly.

"As long as I'm wit y', don' matter." His pulsating eyes make shivers go down her spine.

"Ah love ya, Remy."

"Love y' too, Roguey, for as long as I live." They both know he means forever.

.

They all stare at her heaving chest and glittering eyes.

"Marie?" Nathan approaches her slowly. "Is something the matter?"

She shakes her head and tears of joy pool beneath her eyes. "He's here! Mommy he's here!"

"Who, darling?"

"Dad! Dad came and spoke to me!"

Logan kisses his pregnant wife spontaneously and hops from his chair. "I told you I smelled that sonovabitch, Rachel! He's been keeping Rogue to himself all this time-" His grey eyes glitter eagerly.

All of the guests, young and old, make it outside just in time to see the Phoenix flap her massive, fiery wings and take off into the night sky.

"Oh my stars and garters..."

Warren drops his glass of champagne, and for once, Betsy is struck speechless.

"That young man..." Ororo murmurs, "-it really is Remy! Goddess be praised!"

"And look," Scott slurs and leans even more heavily on Jean for support, "She's carrying him in her chest, right where her heart should be."

All go silent.

Jean only smiles and pulls her husband close.

"Who's ready for some cake?"


I can't believe it's done. My first completed, multi-chaptered story is done :( I really want to thank all of you for reading and especially for reviewing, you guy got me through with all of your feedback.

aiRo25 (the amazing author we all know and love, and may even obsess over, I know I do...) has graciously agreed to slap this fic into shape. I.e correcting grammar, spelling, and all that other stuff I completely suck at.

So come back some time, and enjoy the new-and-improved Scorch.

And now, for the last time...

AlpineWood: I did throw a pretty unexpected curve ball at you guys by making Rogue a baby, huh? Haha I hadn't even planned on doing that, but then I remembered she was reborn, so...I cried like a baby writing the last scene between the X-men, because I hate endings! I don't like saying good-bye, and to say good-bye to my family like that would break my heart. I'm glad you liked the butterfly-messenger, I was trying to think of a symbol for Rogue, and then I remembered at the end of chapter 15, it said her eyes fluttered like a butterfly. Thank you for all the reviews ;)

SevenIsMyLuckyNumber: Thanks sweetie. All your feedback and support has been greatly appreciated, and I hope to keep hearing from you.

aiRo25: I'll be looking forward to that PM ;) I want to thank you for all the constructive crit you've given me, it's really helped and I'm major excited and honored to have you beta for me. All your sweet compliments and encouragment has really pushed me, if it wasn't for the reviewers I don't know what I'd do!

Cassie: Your reviews always leave me smiling, and I TOLD you I'd make you guys shed happy tears at the end, not sad ones ;) Don't let your heart burst, I need you!

UncommonSpirit: A new reviewer! I'm so happy to hear Scorch connected with you. KNowing the readers are enjoying what I post makes it al worth it. Hope you liked the last chapter as much as the rest :)

PriestessKikyou: I feel bad for his children also, but unfortunately, not everyone could have a completely happy ending, and that's why I wanted to post this last chapter, to show that Remy never forgot about the kids of Storm, and so that he and his daughter could have some closure. Thanks for all your feedback, hope to hear from you more :)

A: Honestly, I can't believe it's over, either. This fic has been a part of my life for almost a year, and it's a little sad seeing it end. Thank you.

It's been fun, y'all.

Lovingly,
Merr2.