A/N: As usual right now, not certain about how the chapter turned out. This one might be even worse than usual. :sighs: Feel like I'm finding my groove again. Any questions or thoughts welcome.

XSuicuneX (I don't think that's sad at all! I understand. And I'm not sad. :grins: Actually, I'm having fun confusing anyone else I can. :cackles gleefully:), Lucida Lownes (It's a safe guess with hormonal guy having a crush. :giggles: Not sure how much play I'm going to get out of it, but psyche-Remy is just always fun to me!), courtneykutie (Poor Rogue indeed! I enjoy heaping her up with troubles. :cackles wickedly:), Chellerbelle (Remy's psyche is always one of my favorites. :grins: ), CurrentlyIncognito (I agree. Remy is also in a bit of a predicament. :sighs: Hope the continuation pleases.), A Rose in the Night (Remy's notoriously too interested in such things. :sighs: But he's a guy. Oh well.),

Laceylou76 (Two scholars! And take away the requirement for Hank to explain himself? Then where would my poor readers be? Hmm... But it could be fun to write anyway... Well, glad you're enjoying everything. It's a little tougher to break out the muses's humor bone, so when it works, it's a relief.), Pavlovas (Well, thank you, sweetie! I always freak out over characterization, especially since this story sort of mashes up Evolution with the movieverse. I'm glad you're enjoying it. I promise I'll keep writing. It just might be a bit between updates.) AngelwithDirtyThoughts (Naturally. :grins: I do feel for Rogue. She doesn't fantasize that much. Least not in this story anyway. Probably won't ever watch XO. Don't really do much TV or anything anymore.), Saint of the Sinners (Glad you could join us!)

Thanks, everyone! Please enjoy.


Chapter Seven

She'd been saved by the dinner bell and a quick promise to Kurt that she knew prayer was a much, much, much more complicated thing than put in an order and get out an answer and then promptly scooted out the door as fast as she could hightail it.

"Wait for me, Rogue!" Kitty huffed along behind her.

And of course, she'd run smack dab—again—into the most annoying Cajun on the planet, then shriek when Kitty ran into her from behind with a whoomph and end up sandwiched between the two of them on the ground.

Rogue groaned. "Kitty get off me!"

"Just can't resist me," Remy said with a small laugh. Was that his arms around her waist?

"Kitty, off!" Rogue tried to push down on either side of him, but ended up with both hands on his chest.

Kitty scrabbled to get off of them. "Sorry."

Finally, the three had unentangled themselves.

"Any time, chérie," Remy said agreeably.

Rogue glared at him. "I'm sure. C'mon, Kit, let's go."

"Um...Isn't that a little impol—" The rest of her words were cut off sharply as Rogue yanked her on down the hallway towards the lunch room.

Remy chuckled behind them.

By the time Rogue made it down to the dinner table, she was a walking storm cloud of immense proportions. Kitty skittered over to the other girls, like Jubilee and Theresa, while Kurt neatly ported over to a boys' table for "guy time"—"You mean to save your scrawny hide," Kitty muttered. Remy watched the spectacle with raised eyebrows and a bit of a smirk. It seemed he wasn't the only one ruffling the Rogue's feathers today.

But Remy had other ideas. He managed to whisk Piotr away from a deeply suspicious and protesting Kurt on the grounds that he was teaching Piotr cards. A perfectly honest statement. You'd think the blue elf would believe him, especially with Piotr agreeing that it was all above board, instead of giving him the German evil eye. Smart elf, Remy admitted freely to himself.

Playing cards in a friendly setting was kind of like getting your hair done. All sorts of information could be gleaned during the process.

"So how long you been friends with the Chaton?" he asked while shuffling. A good warm-up question that spread a faint blush across the Russian giant's face. Remy could peg a crush a mile away.

Piotr picked up his first card and frowned at it. "We've all been friends since I arrived here. Katya was one of the first to welcome me."

Remy nodded to himself and in acknowledgement. He turned that over in his head as he dealt out, then examined his own hand.

Friendship was something hard to maintain in the Guild. When famille became a duty, relationships tended to sour. And competition, while healthy in the working environment, didn't tend to stay in the working environment. Loyalty was paramount; friendship, not so much.

He sighed. "Raise twenty." He pushed a handful of chips into the pile.

Piotr's frown only deepened. "How does this work exactly?"

Remy went over the betting rules again. Patience only worked in his favor if he wanted a decent playing partner. "What about Rogue? Why is she so uptight?"

Piotr looked genuinely surprised. "She has to always be careful with her strength. Just as I must measure mine."

And that was no answer at all.

"All mutants got to be careful when they're learning," he replied, somewhat testily. No one ever gave him any compassion and patience and leniency when he could explode a friend on sight. "You live with it, practice, get over it. I don't get it."

"Perhaps..." Piotr hesitated. "Perhaps you should ask Rogue."

Remy rolled his eyes. Like Rogue would ever want to give him a straight answer. For all they got off on a decent foot that first day in the medical bay, she seemed to take personal offense to being flirted with. Which seeing as she once had a boyfriend made absolutely no sense at all.

"I'm not sure I can help you," Piotr added.

Remy drew his first card. "Story of my life, mon ami."

It would just figure Remy was a connoisseur of food. Rogue scowled at the umpteenth comment from the voice in her head.

"Whoa, Rogue! Take it easy." Kitty eyed her up with some concern, but Rogue didn't really notice.

She had other fish to fry.

Shut. Up. She narrowed her eyes, but the girls at her table could clearly see she wasn't looking at them.

At least, they rather hoped not with the way her eyes had taken on an unholy gleam.

"Rogue..." Jubilee started slowly.

Theresa worriedly waved at her to be quiet. Kitty chewed on her lower lip.


Swamp rat, I do not want to hear it. I like spaghetti. I like Storm's spaghetti.

Spaghetti, oui. A rather dubious expression followed by a shudder she could barely suppress from her own shoulders. Mais this ain't spaghetti.

Rogue growled. Just shut up! This is my head and my body and I'll eat whatever I please!

Never said you couldn't, he purred.


She blinked, startled, and found herself staring dazedly into Kitty's worried brown eyes about an inch from her own. Clearly, her friend had phased, as she was literally standing in the middle of the table.

"You okay?"

"I'm fine." Rogue picked up her fork, then yelped at the burning heat that spread through her fingers. She dropped the silver with a clatter. It was glowing pink.

"Duck!" One of the girls yelled.

Perhaps not quite quickly enough...

Logan realized something was wrong about half a moment before the trouble and about half a minute too late. He lifted his head from the engine of his favorite car and sniffed something...burning?


He abandoned his wrench and launched himself toward the door and in the direction of the large dining hall. What could have caused that explosion? Even while his instincts roared to deal with the attack, his mind logically concluded it very well could be a student accident gone catastrophic.

But he didn't expect to see the entire student body standing around a smoking table and a smoking Kitty—who had thankfully had the presence of mind to phase the thing before it blew—by a very sheepish looking Rogue with...

Red and black eyes.

Logan growled.

"Sorry?" Rogue grimaced in embarrassment.

"I'm going to kill him." Logan changed course to go track down that sneaking, slimy, dangerous Cajun and dispatch him back to the swamp from which he came.

Kitty snorted. "Yeah, sure, everybody. I'm just fine, thanks for asking." Little smoke curls still rose from her tattered shirt and ashy hair.

Rogue burst out laughing.