"I don't like this..."
Scott took a bite of his ham on rye and rolled his eyes behind his ruby quartz glasses. "I have a feeling I'll regret saying this later, but; You don't like what, Kitty?"
"It's been like," Kitty swung her arm around, her eyes flicking down to her watch-less wrist, "Three hours or whatever, and nobody's heard anything from Remy."
Scott took another bite of his sandwitch and shrugged as he chewed. "I think we'll start to worry when he's gone for something more like three days."
"You don't understand." She looked down the table at everyone else trying to enjoy their lunch. "I don't see how everyone here can be so oblivious to what is going on!"
"We get it. Remy's off licking his wounds somewhere." Bobby shrugged at Jubilee, "Figuratively of course. It sucks not getting your own way. But he'll be fine."
"It's only a year." Jubilee lifted a fork-full of mac and cheese to her mouth and rolled her eyes. "They have web cams."
"Guys! They're in love!" Kitty threw her hands up in the air, "Didn't you see the two of them before she left? It's totally like when Edward left Bella because he thought it was best for her, and then Bella went and got lost in the forest because she was so distraught..."
Jamie's face twisted up and he lifted his PB&J sandwich up, "C'mon Kitty, I'm eating. You're gunna make me sick."
"I'm going to have to side with Jamie and Bobby on this one." Scott said with an official nod. "You tend to romanticize things Kitty. No offense, but it's true."
"I don't know Scott..." Jean frowned and exchanged a look with Kitty. "She may be right."
"And so what if she is? What does that have to do with us? Gambit goes off and drinks himself into a coma on his own time, then that's his problem. Not mine." Scott took an angry bite of his sandwich.
Kitty narrowed her eyes, "Some freakin' leader you are."
Piotr put a hand on Kitty's shoulder in an attempt to settle her down.
"Gambit's got a girlfriend." He flung his free hand towards Sarah. "Which means, not only is it her problem, but also that he's not in love with someone else."
"Mr. Sensitivity ladies and gentlemen." Jubilee announced with a smile causing Bobby to crack up.
"Look, as his teammates, it's probably not our problem. But maybe what Kitty means is as his friends." Sarah gave Scott a pointed stare.
"Yeah." Kitty plopped her hands on her hips and cocked her head. "What would the Professor do?"
Scott sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose with his eyes squeezed shut. "The Professor would have eaten lunch in his office."
"I don't think it sends out a good message to the community for a member of the team to go on a drinking binge at 10 in the morning." Jean's eyebrows perked up. "And I doubt Professor Xavier would be too pleased."
"So if he's still gone by the time they get back, we'll send Logan out to find him. Will that make you happy?" Scott scraped his chair back and stood up, not waiting for a response. "I'm going to eat in my room."
The sun had begun it's descent into the horizon, casting it's warm rays and long shadows across the sprawling front lawn by the time he arrived back home. As if spending your day drinking in a crumby bar wasn't pathetic enough, finishing up and getting back home before sunset was downright depressing. He managed to creep into the mansion without being spotted, taking the stairs with a pleasant buzz, courtesy of his day at the bar. But unfortunately for him, years of binge drinking had toughened up his liver, making it horribly difficult to actually become blithering drunk. He trudged down the hall towards his room, pausing when he noticed her standing at his door.
He sighed and ran a hand over his face, continuing the short distance to his room. "P'tite, I'm really not in d'mood."
"Bleh. You smell like a bottle of rum threw up all over you." She scrunched up her nose and planted her hands on her hips. "That's not a very good role model for your son, you know."
He stared at her wide eyed for a beat before throwing his hands up in the air. "Are you mentally insane?"
She narrowed her eyes, "No."
"Look around p'tite! Dere's no son here! It's just me!"
"No." He twisted the doorknob and pushed his door open, stepping into his room with a frown. "Dere is no yeah but."
Kitty scoffed, "Yeah...but-"
He shut the door before he could hear her argument any further. She'd probably be pissed with him later for shutting the door on her face, but that was a risk he was willing to take. He sat down on his bed, kicking his feet up and leaning back against the headboard, with a deep breath.
To his dismay, she knocked on the door as hard as she could.
"I was totally worried about you and this is how you treat me? Like I'm some like... stupid solicitor or whatever? Some friend you are!"
He waited a moment, listening to her angry footsteps as she stomped her way down the hall, away from his door.
He let out a sigh.
This was hard. A lot harder than he'd anticipated. Probably because he'd never anticipated her knowing how he felt, and still choosing to leave. And then there was Cole. He reached over and grabbed the toy train off his nightstand, running his thumb along the painted wood. He was better off being raised by someone else anyway, right? What good could he possibly impart on him? Joseph was a good guy, and he'd be a good father figure. Someone for Cole to look up to. He didn't know much about Joe's past, but he knew his upbringing had to be better than his own. Right?
After a while, there was a gentle knock on the door. "Gambit?"
Remy squeezed his lips together tightly and held his breath, hoping she'd get the hint and go away. Instead, she knocked again. "Remy."
"It's dinner. I thought you might want some food..."
"Kitty, please." He heaved a sigh and scrubbed his eyes with a frown. "I'm fine. I just want t'be alone."
Her response was soft and muffled by the door, but he heard it loud and clear. "No you don't."
That girl was too damn smart for her own good.
He watched her shadow under the door as she waited for a moment before giving up and walking away.
Another knock on his door caused him to let out a frustrated groan. "What now?"
"It's Sarah. I thought maybe you wanted some company. You know... to talk."
There was a pause before he heard her let out a breath. "Rogue called."
Remy reluctantly lifted himself off the bed and trudged towards the door, pulling it open a notch.
"This afternoon. Before you got back."
"They got there safely. A little late, but safe. Logan's pissed because they're off schedule, and now their flying against the jet stream." Sarah smiled, "I think he's going to miss Dancing With the Stars."
Remy gave her a nod.
"She wanted to talk to you." Sarah pressed her lips together, "You weren't here so Kitty told her you were in the Danger Room. She'll probably call back tomorrow."
"Probably." Remy gave her a doubtful nod.
Sarah knit her brow. "Are you sure you don't want to talk?"
She nodded and took a step back. "Well, I'm here if you need any distracting."
He smiled, "Dat's good t'know."
Sarah gave him a wave and he returned into the sanctuary of his room. He flopped back down on his bed and heaved another sigh at the realization that he didn't even want distracting. It wasn't the same. He wanted her.
He shut his eyes and rested his head against the headboard, pressing his fingers against his eyelids until he saw stars. Pining wasn't his thing. He needed to gather himself together and move on. He needed a plan.
If it wasn't for Cole, part of that plan would undoubtedly involve packing up and literally moving on. But he needed to be here. Even though Cole wasn't.
The sound of a knock on his door caused his eyes to spring open. The sun was gone from the sky, leaving his room eerily black and the clock on his nightstand read that it was just after 9:30. Booze may not make him drunk anymore, but it sure did make him sleepy.
Another knock. Remy squeezed his eyes shut again and shook his head. "What now Kitty?"
He heard the door quietly open and shut and he did a mental eye roll. Now she was just letting herself in? She was getting a little bit too ballsy for his liking.
"Were you sleepin'?"
His eyes popped open again and he stared into the darkness, fumbling with the lamp on his nightstand. He managed to click it on, and squinted at the sudden burst of light.
"Is everything okay?"
Rogue nodded silently.
"Where's Cole? Is he okay?"
She continued nodding. "He's fine. He's sleeping. It's been a long day." She gave him a tired half smile accompanied with a little shrug.
"What are you... what's... I don't..." He stammered, finding himself unable to form a coherent sentence in the aftermath of sleep, rubbing his hand over his face to ensure that he was in fact awake.
"Um," She sucked in a breath and looked down at her hands. "Well... by the time we got there, ah'd had a lot of time to just think." She sat down on the edge of his bed with her foot tucked underneath her. "For six years ah've been lookin' for a father figure for him. But he doesn't need that anymore. He's got you." She looked away. "Besides, Summer's almost over. He'll start school soon, an' their curriculum over there is totally different from ours..."
"What about d'problems with his powers?"
"Who better to help him with that, then someone who's been through it already?" She chewed her lip, cutting her eyes to the toy train laying next to him on the bed. "And ah told Cole we wouldn't leave any of his trains behind when we moved. An' ah do not break my promises to that boy." She looked back up at him and offered him a half smile. "Since he gave that one to you, ah guess we'll just have to stay here."
Her smile was sincere, but sad. And through his mounting elation with what she was telling him, it suddenly dawned on him.
"What about Joe?"
She pursed her lips and looked down at the space on the bed between them with a silent shrug.
He moved across the bed, reaching out and wrapping his arms around her in a hug with a frown. "Anna..."
"It's okay Remy." She murmured into his shoulder. "I'm fine."
"Ah didn't want to hurt him." She sighed and shook her head, pulling herself away from him. "But the truth is; Ah love you. Ah always did. An' ah never really stopped. Ah guess ah just got really good at forgetting about it. But havin' all your feelings in my brain..." She shook her head and squeezed her eyes shut. "It did a really good job of reminding me."
She let out a breath and opened her eyes with a slow nod.
Remy set his hand along her jaw and knit his brow, "I don't really know what t'say, chere."
"First time for everything." She said, the corner of her mouth tugging up slightly. "The thing is, ah'm not too sure we should do anything about it. Y'know? At this point, ah think we should just focus on tryin' to get along with one another. For Cole."
Remy nodded, "If dat's what you want."
"Ah just... ah think it's easier. Not as messy." She put her hand over his and furrowed her brow. "Start from scratch. Besides, seven hours ago, ah was movin' in with someone. Now ah'm... here."
Remy smoothed his thumb across her cheek and nodded. "Just friends. Got it."
"We made good friends." She whispered.
"Yeah, we did. Made better lovers though, hein?" He grinned and she uttered a soft, tired chuckle.
She looked exhausted. She must have spent the whole day in an emotional hell. And he imagined that Cole hadn't fared any better.
"Go get some sleep chere."
Rogue gave him a nod before pushing herself to her feet as she stifled a yawn. Remy walked her to the door giving her forehead a kiss.
She smiled, lifted herself up on her tip-toes and gently pressed her lips against his before inching back.
"See ya tomorrow."
One Month Later...
"C'mon Momma, I'm gunna be late!" Cole bounced in place, anxiously looking over his shoulder as the droves of kids rushed into the big brick building behind him.
"Just one more. Promise, this is it. Smile!" She aimed the camera and snapped the photo. Cole had his Ninja Turtle backpack slung over one shoulder and a big, cheesy grin on his face.
"Alright, come here." Remy knelt down and scooped Cole into a big hug. "Make lots a'friends, don't blow anything up, an' if Bobby told you t'do somethin', don't."
Cole giggled and nodded. Rogue pulled him to her and squeezed him tight, planting a kiss on the top of his head.
"One more picture."
"Mom." Cole pulled away and rolled his eyes, adjusting the bag on his back. "I gotta go!"
"Okay, go." She waved him away. "Be safe!" She called after him as he rushed towards the school. "Ah love you!"
He waved over his shoulder, joining the crowd and disappearing through the front doors.
Rogue hugged herself, watching the front doors as if she could see through them.
She nodded and sighed. "Yeah."
Remy hooked his arm around her neck and pulled her in for a hug. "Y'sure?"
She nodded again, glancing up at him. "Yeah, ah'm sure. Ah just can't believe how big he's gettin'." They turned and headed back towards the truck, side by side. "It goes by too fast."
"Tell me about it." He smiled.
They walked in comfortable silence for a minute before Rogue reached out, taking Remy's hand in hers. "Maybe we could go... get somethin' to eat?"
"What do you mean?" Remy looked at her from the corner of his eye. "You mean like a date?"
"I dunno... maybe." She cut her eyes to him and shrugged. "What do you think?"
"I think I saw a Dairy Queen down d'street..." He gave her a smirk. "We could... take Logan's truck for a spin..."
Rogue laughed and Remy's smirk grew.
"I think Cole would like a siblin', non?"
She hoisted herself up into the truck with another laugh. "Could you at least buy me an ice cream this time?"
A/N- Or is it? I'm not sure. I'm totally open to a sequel, but it'd have to be super awesome or else I wouldn't do it. So if you have any ideas (Like the one Randirogue wrote a few chapters back. Seriously. Amazing idea...) I could use as many as I can get my sweaty hands on.
Yes. I suffer from sweaty hand syndrome. What of it?
Anyway, I hate to think that this is the last time I'll write Cole... I love him so. So please. Please review. And send me ideas! I love 'em! :D
Thanks for all the love! It was fun!
PS: Don't forget to check out The Hand, in theaters now! Except... when I say theaters, I mean "In my profile and not on screen in any way."