AN: This one will be better understood if you read its companion piece first. Legba is, according to my brief research, the Voodoo equivalent of St. Anthony (among others), who helps the faithful find lost things.
Warning: minor swearing and what is most likely horrible French. Less mush than the other one but still a bit Valentine-y, I guess. If anyone wants to help revise the French to fit Cajun Creole, I'm more than happy to hear suggestions. No beta on this one either. If you find errors, please let me know.
Edit for Disclaimer: Forgot this before, but you should know by now that I don't own much of anything. X-Men and all that jazz are among the many things I don't own.
The Importance of Careful Wording
Bayville lay snoring, the first hints of an unwelcome dawn still blissful hours away. The moon was bright and full, perfect for romantic strolls, abnormally high tides, and spotlighting the brown leather trench coat that was trying to be inconspicuous as it made its way up the side of the Xavier Institute.
Remy LeBeau was not having a very good night.
After five failed attempts to scale the ivy that had resulted in bruising far more than just his pride, the Prince of Thieves had resorted to his grappling hook. This would not normally have been a problem, but Pyro, in a stroke of what the Aussie probably deemed utter genius, had decided to replace Remy's rope with a neon green bungee cord. Despite Gambit's valiant attempts, he was struggling; every time he began to climb, his weight would stretch the cord and bring him back down to the ground.
"Gon' show this vrai merde who the boss," he muttered as he stepped on the end of the bungee cord. With the hook firmly anchored, Remy began to haul the rope downward, hand over hand. It was the perfect solution; soon he was seeing a promising amount of tension in the bungee cord. When he was convinced he would be able to climb without a problem, Gambit made sure that his Chere's rose was firmly tucked between his teeth and began his ascent.
He was five feet from the top when he found Pyro's second present: the last section of the bungee cord was covered in grease.
Spitting out the stem that he had just bitten through, Remy picked himself up from the ground. His hands were glowing with repressed energy as his grumbling began again. "Gon' kill the firebug… real slow. With paper cuts."
Leaving his grappling hook hanging off the balcony, he headed for the ivy one last time, now-stemless rose sticking out of his mouth like an outrageous pacifier.
Three minutes into a thirty-second climb, Remy finally managed to haul himself onto the balcony. Sweat was rolling into the myriad scratches and abrasions on his face, but he refused to let discomfort stop him from reaching Rogue; he was too close to stop.
The door to her room was unlocked. Gambit gave thanks to Legba giving him back his luck, and entered.
His Cherie was buried under the covers, nothing more than a lumpy form showing in the moonlight. Remy hurriedly pulled the rose from his mouth and dropped it on her nightstand. A quick shuffle through his pockets produced the Queen of Hearts, bent in half by his fall. Cursing softly, he fixed it as bed he could and dropped it next to the rose.
Looking at the prone form on the bed, Remy felt himself being drawn to her. He'd been so good for so many visits, leaving his tokens and never taking a reward for his efforts. After a night like this, he certainly deserved something more, if only just a kiss stolen through cotton sheets.
His lips drew closer to his beloved's head, and he inhaled deeply to draw in her scent: she smelled of… good cigars and cheap beer?
There was a tearing sound, and before he could blink Remy found himself staring at a set of metal claws that were hovering less than an inch from his right eye.
"Not that I don't appreciate the sentiment, Gumbo, but you gotta buy me dinner before you get a kiss."
It occurred to Remy that the tips of the Wolverine's claws looked blurry; they were so close that his eyes refused to focus on them. It was a moment of maddening clarity.
"Evenin', homme. Looks like Remy done found his self the wrong room." He gave what he hoped was an ingratiating smile. "Now excusez moi while Remy head back out the window." He started to move away slowly, but the claws extended to follow him.
"You're right. This is the wrong room for you. But it's the one you tried to find. Stripes, come on out."
Something shifted in Remy's peripheral vision, and Rogue stepped into the light, dressed in an oversized t-shirt. He caught himself before his eyes wandered; tonight wasn't exactly an ideal time to get new body piercings.
"The hell are you doin' here, Swamp Rat?" How was it that even when she was annoyed at him, her voice was such music to his ears?
Not willing to risk moving, he shifted his eyes to look at her and gave his best grin. "Remy thought you was in need of a goodnight kiss."
"Goodnight kiss?" She gave a snort. "Kiss my ass."
"Remy more than happy to oblige, Chere."
A low growl from Logan was cut off by an even more terrifying one from Rogue. She walked over to him and brought her bare hand up towards his face. "Give me one reason why I shouldn't zap you and have Logan dump you in the middle of nowhere."
Gambit's eyes twinkled. "If you insist, petit. Means you got Remy in your head all the time… everywhere you go. What color the tiles in your shower, anyway?"
Rogue's eyes bulged and she sputtered in indignation, but her hand withdrew.
Pressing his luck just a bit more couldn't hurt. "This Cajun just come to drop off his usual gifts, that's all. Y'know, the ones that appear once in a while and then disappear into that drawer in your—"
"Shut up, shut up, shut up!" She was blushing furiously now.
"Remy perfectly happy to forget all about that little drawer, provided you let him keep professin' his undyin' affection. And ask the Badger-man to put them sharpies away. They mighty distractin'."
Logan retracted his claws. "If I stay here and listen to this any longer I'm gonna get diabetes. Stripes, you can handle yourself with the clown. Gumbo, if you even think about doing something stupid, I'm going to fix the problem. And by the problem, I mean you."
Both nodded. The stocky man slid off of the bed and padded out, convinced that the situation no longer required his presence. As soon as the door closed behind him, Rogue grabbed a fistful of Remy's shirt and pulled him eye to eye with her.
Mustering up another grin, he replied, "Remy think you and Badger-man both rather have this than a serenade outside your window from Remy and a full zydeco band."
"First off, where would you even find— never mind." She released him and sat on the bed, back turned to him.
"Chere not even gon' say nothin' 'bout Remy's gift?" He rested his chin on her left shoulder, only to bite his tongue as she shrugged him off sharply. Holding a hand over his mouth, he tried another tack. "At least look at it?"
Her eyes flickered over to the nightstand and she opened her mouth to make some comment, but then her eyes fell on the rose. "No stem? I don't get it…" Rogue picked the flower up, then dropped it on the floor in disgust. "Oh my God! Is that… drool?"
Now it was Remy's turn to blush. "Well, petit, tonight ain't gone so great for Gambit. Long story. He can tell you if you like, of course."
Picking up the card he had left, Rogue stared at the massive crease that ran across the Queen's face. "Y'know, why not? I'm not gonna get back to sleep before dawn, so I'm gonna make some coffee. Want some?"
"An invitation to coffee with the object o' Remy's affection. How could he possibly refuse, Chere?"
"An' so, there Remy stand, just thinkin' he be sweet an' give his petit a little goodnight kiss, when he find a badger in her bed instead. Poor Remy feel just like that little fille with the red hood."
Rogue rolled her eyes again. She had stopped counting after the tenth time, and that was before they had even gotten to the kitchen. Now, seated at the counter, they were waiting for the coffee pot to fill.
"Yeah, well, you weren't the one who got woken up by Logan at an ungodly hour so he could crawl into bed and trap a swamp rat."
"How he even know?"
She snorted. "You kidding? He heard you the first time you fell. Even I heard you the other five."
Remy had the decency to look sheepish.
Something Remy hadn't seen before crossed Rogue's face, but it vanished in an instant. "Looks like the coffee's done," she said, reaching for the pot and pouring two cups. "Sugar?"
"Yes, petit?" Remy said with another grin. He hoped it wasn't losing its effect.
"No, you dumb Cajun, do you want some sugar?"
Apparently it was. However, he wasn't willing to give up so easily.
"Why, mon amour, Remy thought you never ask." Closing his eyes and leaning in, he whispered, "Pour some sugar on Remy, Cherie."
Logan walked past the kitchen, a towel slung over his shoulders to absorb the last of the sweat from his Danger Room session. He smelled coffee brewing; Stripes was up, and judging by the reek of stale cigarettes, Gumbo hadn't left yet. Interesting.
Sticking his head into the room, he was about to tell the Cajun he had five minutes before he was officially trespassing, but he stopped before the first word made it out.
The two were sitting in silence, coffee cups in front of them, as he had expected; what he had not expected was that they seemed to have switched facial expressions. Stripes had a satisfied little smirk on her face, which for her was the equivalent of a face-splitting grin. Gumbo, on the other hand, looked like a cat that had just been caught in a downpour. He was glaring at Rogue, eyes all but hidden by deeply furrowed eyebrows, which were covered in granules of… was that sugar? A quick sniff confirmed this. It was then Logan noticed that the Cajun's entire head had been doused in the stuff.
"What. The. Hell?" He would have put more growl into it, but he was simply too confused.
Rogue smiled sweetly at him, shrugging her shoulders. "Swamp Rat here needs to figure out what he wants before he asks for it."