Two years later

Giddy anticipation filled the air as the students, alumni and mentors positioned themselves in front of the camera. It was end of another school year and Xavier wanted to commemorate the moment and take a group photo before some of his mutants went their separate ways. Of course some would stay on board and remain at the mansion, aiding Xavier in his quest to achieve peace between the humans and the mutants, while others would venture out into the world on their own, taking his teachings and beliefs with them.

Now more than ever the world needed hope. Hope that two very similar but distinctly different species could co-exist. A common threat had gained Charles back his former friend and ally, Erik. And while the rest of the staff was still getting used to the idea that Magneto would join forces with Xavier, some fell easily into this idea— namely, Magneto's former Acolytes, Remy and Piotr.

"Quit fussing with it!" Remy hissed to Rogue as she was roughly smoothing out his hair and fixing his collar before Jean snapped the picture.

"You knew we were doing this today, and you didn't even bother to clean yourself up!" Rogue countered back.

"I just got back from my mission!" Remy argued back quietly. "Someone had to spy on Senator Kelly's meeting."

"Well," she scolded in return, "someone didn't have to tumble off a roof top and into the bushes bellow."

"Yeah, well..." he faltered.

Kitty giggled, turning to face the two. "It really wasn't his fault, Rogue. You know he gets queasy when we have to phase out."

Remy shuddered. He hated missions that involved Kitty's mutation. He had a deep, unrelenting fear of being caught in between solid objects. Only once Kitty had given him real cause to fear her mutation. And once had certainly been enough.

Whenever Kitty was at her fluffiest and flightiest, Remy always seemed to be unwillingly partnered with her. On his first encounter with Kitty, she had accidentally gotten him stuck in between two rooms. Then she had gotten nervous and freaked out, unable to concentrate to get him out.

Eventually, Kurt had had to try and teleport him out of the predicament, which only caused for a rough teleport since Kurt had focused a little too much energy on it, overcompensating for the weight of the wall Remy was stuck in. Remy had promptly thrown up after that particular experience. Since then, everyone assumed Remy had a weak stomach for phasing and teleporting. He was the source of constant jabs and ridicule after that.

"Everybody smile!" Jean shouted exuberantly, readying herself for the camera. The camera button clicked and the flash went off, immortalizing the group forever on film. With a slight wave of her wrist the camera floated towards Jean and she frowned, scrunching her nose while inspecting the picture. "We'd better take another for good measure."

Once Jean was satisfied with her photo—about four or five tries later, everyone broke apart. Some gave hugs and said their goodbyes while others cried, promising to write and keep in touch. Rogue kept close to Remy as they waved goodbye and gave hugs and handshakes to their friends. Kitty burst into tears, wailing into Remy's shoulder, stating just how much she was going to miss them when she arrived at college.

"It's not like you aren't coming back," Remy answered as he gently tried to pry the girl off of him. "And it won't be all that bad. Piotr's going to be with you."

"And you'll visit us on holidays, and we'll come and see you," Rogue added earnestly.

"I know," Kitty sniffed dejectedly. "But everything is going to be so different now!" At that moment, Logan made the mistake of walking by and Kitty leapt for him, bursting into tears all over again. "Waaaaahhhh!" she wailed, "Looogannnnnnn!"

Like a deer in headlights, Logan froze before gingerly trying to give the girl clutching him a soft, reassuring hug. Carefully, Remy grabbed Rogue's hand and they snuck away, lest Kitty turn her waterworks back in their direction. They met up with Piotr and Rogue hugged him tightly.

"Take good care of her for me," Rogue said, indicating towards Kitty. "She's never been on her own before, she's always had a mom and a dad, or us."

"I will," Piotr replied solemnly.

"We'll miss you," Remy said, awkwardly holding out his hand only to have Piotr scrape him up into a bear hug. When he was released, he continued, "It'll be a little weird hanging out with Scott and Jean."

"The only other couple," Rogue droned, "Gawd, I bet we'll end up having to play couples charades or something!"

The three broke out into fits of laughter at that. After the jokes had died down, the reality that they wouldn't be seeing their friends for awhile kicked in. Remy had forged a deep bond with Piotr and although he wouldn't admit it out loud, he was really going to miss the guy a lot more than he was letting on. After all they had been through together, they were like family. Hell, Piotr had become better family than the one Remy had left behind in New Orleans. In fact, pretty much everyone here had become his family: Bobby and his practical jokes, Kurt and his name calling, Kitty and her tears and clumsy personality, Xavier and his sage wisdom and advice, Logan and his gruff demeanor mixed with chuckles as they drank beer on the dock... All of them.

Even separated by his living arrangements, Remy had always be included, always welcomed. It was only a few months ago when Remy officially spoke with Xavier and joined the team, becoming part of something bigger than he had ever imagined. Rogue was ecstatic, since she was one of the ones who chose to stay behind, continuing to help Xavier. Even Logan had seemed pleased, if only to have his newfound drinking buddy still on hand.

All in all, things at Xavier's Institute were pretty fulfilling. It was hard to remember just how he had come to be here and all the sneaking around he and Rogue had done to finally end up at this point, but looking back, Remy wouldn't have changed a thing. He had a home, a woman who loved him, and he had a family.

Most importantly, he finally knew who he was and who he was striving to be. He gazed down at Rogue and smiled as she brushed a tear from her eye.

"I'm not crying," she said defiantly as though his eyes had just accused her of it. "I'm just going to miss them is all."

"Me too," he answered, drawing her into a hug. "Me too."

"But we've still got each other—"

"And me!" Kurt cried as he burst from thin air in between them. Both Rogue and Remy laughed.

"Yeah." Rogue smirked, hugging her brother. "I couldn't ditch you if I tried."

"I'm-I'm going to see mom this weekend." Kurt's eyes turned serious as he hesitated. "I was hoping that you might come with me."

"I don't know," Rogue replied. And a heavy uncomfortable silence hung between them.

"She's in jail, Rogue," Kurt pleaded. "She doesn't have anyone but us now."

Remy nudged her shoulder a bit. "It probably wouldn't hurt to accompany him. And it'd be more him than her anyway."

Rogue let out a sigh as both Kurt and Remy gave her sad, pleading eyes. "Alright," she muttered. "I'll go with you, but I'm not promising anything."

"Great!" Kurt shouted, hugging her tighter. "You have no idea what this means to me!"

"Yeah, yeah. Geez," she grumbled indignantly.

Kurt bounded off and Remy gave her an impish grin. "You know this means the world to him, right?"

"Yeah," Rogue breathed in defeat. "I know, that's why I'm going."

In reality, Rogue didn't want to see her mother at all. Since her confrontation with Mystique two years ago, the woman had disappeared from her life. It was only recently that she had resurfaced.

Mystique had made an attempt on Senator Kelly's life and had been stopped by Magneto and Xavier. It was the event that had landed Mystique in jail and had reforged Charles and Magneto's friendship. Ever since Mystique had been imprisoned, Kurt had become resolved to try and reach out to his mother in hopes that she might one day change her ways.

Rogue doubted it would ever happen, but she loved Kurt too much to ever dissuade him from his dream. Besides, Xavier had told her that it was good for her and Kurt to reach out to their mother. He then had stated that Rogue had been able to reform an Acolyte, so Kurt's dream really wasn't all that farfetched.

Hand in hand with Remy, she walked back to their boathouse. Back to their tiny, isolated life together devoid of any problematic mothers and pent up resentment. Within the walls of their home, she could be free to love and be happy. She could forget the world and its problems along with her own, because she had been able to find the one thing her mother had not: love.

"Maybe it won't be so bad going to see her," Rogue whispered.

Remy didn't dare say a word that might dissuade her from her decision and simply hugged her tighter. It was one of the moments that defined why he loved her.

Author's Note: Thank you everyone who read, reviewed and just simply enjoyed this fic.

As of this time, I'm taking a little break from posting any new stories and am instead choosing to focus on re-editing some of my past posted fictions. No plots will be changed, just updating some grammatical errors I've learned about along the way. Just some fine tuning so things read a little better. Thanks to everyone who has been helpful enough to point these things out in an effort to help make my writing better! Much obliged!

Please disregard the bombardment of new update emails those of you will most likely receive if you've favourited a story or me as an author. I apologize for the inconvenience...unless of course you want to re-read a fic! :D

For all interested, I am still partaking in the Romy Round Robin, and it will be my only current project at this time.

Hopefully in the near future, I'll be posting the sequel to 'Lucky Gamble' along with some other original stories I've been working out. Take care and see you soon!