He was a dead man. No other way to put it. There was no word in the English language, or any language for that matter, to describe the trouble he was in. Dead. Just plain dead. And it wasn't the good kind of dead either. The kind of dead where you can do whatever you want without consequence. This was not the kind of dead where you spend your last moments with loved ones. This is the kind of dead where the loved one is the one that is going to kill you.
And it wasn't even his fault!
He had explained to Rogue why he had to go to New Orleans, why she shouldn't come with him, and exactly when he'd be back. Before he'd left, she'd hinted that she would have something special waiting for him. Ohh, the images and implications were divine, and he'd felt the need to share. She'd slapped him, of course. He'd be lucky if she just slapped him as that was the last time they'd spoken before and after he left. He was supposed to have been gone a week tops.
It had been one month, three weeks, two days, five hours, and he was going to die. No doubt about it. If Jean Luc hadn't been so gung-ho about marrying him off to that crazy, obsessive, venomous, life-sucking, spoiled, needy harpy with a bad nose job, none of this would be happening. But would she see it that way? Noooo…
All the pitying stares Remy was receiving as he walked through the mansion gave him the sudden urge to blow something up. Bobby had even given him the 'dude' hug-quick handshake, two pats on the back, and the step back- and Jamie was rubbing suspiciously at his eyes. He didn't know who, but someone was playing the Death March on the piano.
Drama queens, the lot of them.
The only two who weren't all choked up were Kurt, who sent him a toothy smile and a wave, and Logan, who laughed.
"You're in it deep," the Canadian told him.
Remy grunted in reply.
"'Bout near to yer eye balls, I reckon."
"Tell me somethin' I don' know. Like where she is."
Logan took that moment to take a long swig of beer that he was not supposed to have but never seemed to run out of. If he lived long enough to see tomorrow, Remy was going to find and blow up his stash for being so smug. He'd get the cigars too, just to be spiteful.
"She's in her room. Or maybe the roof. If I were you, I wouldn't go on the roof."
"Merci," he muttered as he brushed past him.
"You might wanna wear a helmet," he called after him. "Or a cup. You know what? Better make it both."
He heard the man's deep chuckle follow him up the stairs and hoped he choked on his beer.
He felt dread settle in his stomach. It was just so unfair! Things had been fine with them, wonderful even. He loved Rogue. Worshipped the ground she walked on. He'd walk through fire for her. And had on numerous occasions. And he was pretty sure she felt the same way; on a good day, she might admit to liking him.
This was not a good day. It was so far from a good day it wasn't even funny. Except to sadistic people like Logan.
Undoubtedly, his long absence and silence had upset her immensely. And when Rogue got upset, she would do either two things: 1) bottle it up until and then explode in rage on the poor sap unlucky enough to drink the last of the orange juice that she'd mentally claimed, or 2) explode violently at that moment. Fifty-fifty odds of surviving the day, and a one hundred percent chance of getting punched in the face tomorrow; he'd had better days.
He cautiously crept up to her door, using every ounce of stealth he had and leaned close to listen for any tell-tale signs. Like her cursing bloody Mary. Instead, it was quiet…a little too quiet.
Should he knock? Because if he didn't and just walked in there and she happened to be changing, then his chances of living were gonna go out the window, along with his corpse. Death by angry girlfriend. Not the way he expected to go. Remy steeled his nerves, manned up, and hesitated for all of five seconds before he grasped the knob and opened the door.
He actually gasped at the sight that greeted him.
What was left of the crystal vase that once held various flower arrangements now pierced the walls, like little transparent knives, some shards embedded into the dry wall by a good three inches. What was once her furniture was now scattered bits of wood and metal, annihilated beyond recognition. The remains of the large oak bed were in a different corner of the room than it was before he left. There was a large dent in the wall where the headboard was slammed against it. Remy only had a second to wonder just how there was a gaping hole in the ceiling before he was struck dumb by the sight before him.
Standing in the middle of the room, amidst all the chaos and destruction, was the most beautiful girl that Remy had ever seen. Moonlight poured through the opening in the ceiling and landed directly on her, making her glow. Her body was posed in a way that should have scared him because it was full of so much animosity, but instead brought out a kind of longing to touch, to feel, to hold. Her already pale skin seemed to cast its own light. She looked like an angel. But what was the most striking thing about her were her eyes. So full of wrath and fury, they were a stark contrast to the porcelain skin that housed them.
Her anger scared him; her anger sent his heart racing.
Her eyes were so dark; her eyes made him burn inside.
He wanted to run; he wanted to get on one knee.
Oh, decisions, decisions…
Remy ignored his flight-or-fight response long enough to reason that if he ran, she would most certainly chase him down and do horrible, evil, make-a-grown-man-shriek-like-a-girl things to him if he did.
So running was out. That just left…
Okay let's think this through. For one, if she said yes, well, hell, she said yes! It'd be completely illogical for her to rip him a new one. If she said no, then maybe he could shock her enough that he could get away relatively unscathed.
Either option was pretty risky, but then he wasn't the Gambit for no reason.
Her arms were wrapped around her waist and her chest was heaving, distracting him for a moment. She faced in his general direction but was not looking at him. There was no way she didn't know he was there though.
"Rogue?" her name came out of his mouth on a breath of air.
He almost flinched when her gaze snapped to him. Her sole focus became him and trying to drill a hole through his head. A month ago, she would have been happy to see him. She would have hugged him, and kissed him, and made him promise to never leave her again. Now, she stared with an intensity of a predator that had at long last captured its prey. Happy, she was not. No, she looked more like she wanted to rip out his skull and beat him to death with it. Don't tell her it's physically impossible; she would find a way to do it.
He wondered if he should drop to one knee and ask the question or drop to both knees and beg for mercy.
Fortunately, she hadn't moved. Unfortunately, she hadn't moved. And he didn't think it was because she'd exhausted herself destroying her room (if only he were that lucky) but more that she was waiting for something.
And he didn't have the foggiest idea in a pig's eye of what that was.
"Get. In. Here."
He obeyed immediately, recognizing from her tone that his death would be slow. Remy was gonna have to use all the tricks up his sleeve to get out of this one; smooth talk, unending flattery, ridiculous promises to get her the Eiffel tower (although he was certain he could do it), the whole nine yards.
"Shut the door and get over here."
He resisted flinching and did his best to keep his saunter confident as he came to stand before her. She stared at him. There was no emotion on her face. Completely emotionless, her blazing eyes were even more intense. It didn't help his nerves at all when she started circling him. Remy got the sudden image of a shark circling an injured seal. That couldn't be a good sign.
"How was your trip?" she asked pleasantly.
Pleasantly? He groaned internally. Oh, this was bad! No! This was beyond bad! This was…this was…this was so bad he didn't even know how to describe it!
"Hm. Tante, and Henri and them. They all good too?"
She stopped at his side.
"Did ya have fun, Gambit?"
Merde, she used his codename!
"Not really," he answered truthfully.
Honestly, pissing off the council and telling them in the most veiled, diplomatic manner he could manage where exactly they could shove their little marriage contracts was only fun the first couple of days. By the end of it, he would have cheerfully bashed his head against the conference table. A pity he didn't, Remy thought. Could have saved her a lot of trouble and him a lot pain.
She suddenly grinned at him. It wasn't a happy grin. Oh, no. It was much too vicious for that.
It really said something about him that he found a look that promised pain to be so attractive. Whether it said that he just loved her that much or that he was some kind of masochist…meh.
"Oh, come on. You had to have some fun while you were with your family in New Orleans. That is where you were, right?"
Suddenly, the false niceness dropped from her face to be replaced with through-and-through pissed-offedness.
Oh, the humanity…
"Do ya have ANY idea how worried I was about you? DO YOU?" she screamed when he didn't answer fast enough.
She moved too fast for him to dodge the punch to the face. He stepped back and she followed with a kick aimed at his gut. This time, he managed to avoid the hit. She began a tirade as she attempted to beat the crap out of her prodigal boyfriend.
"Why the hell didn't you call me?"
"I couldn't! They wouldn't let me use the – " he ducked around her leg behind her "phone."
She spun around and aimed a textbook spinning roundhouse kick at his head. He back-flipped away and jumped over her bed to the other side. He held up his hands in the classic 'I'm helpless, don't hurt me' gesture and tried to soothe her anger, even throwing in a bit of emphatic persuasion.
"Rogue, please, listen." Dodge punch. "I never meant to upset you." Avoid kick to groin. "You know I woulda called if I could, but I couldn't." Side-step elbow to the face. "Please, please forgive me, chere. I love you," he spoke all of this in a rush of words and watched as her features softened.
Score one for empathy!
Then suddenly, her face became a new mask of fury as she screeched, "Did you just try to emph' me?"
Remy swore. Violently.
Penalty for empathy: negative two hundred ninety-nine!
After a pathetically short chase, Rogue had thoroughly bruised Remy and his pride and straddled his waist. She jerked him up by his coat collar and brought his face inches from hers. "You suck," she growled at him.
She pushed him back down, got off of him, and started pacing. "Who does that? Who just goes off for weeks and not call home? Got me thinkin' you're hurt, or you're dead, or – who does that, Remy?"
Moaning, he sat up and put a hand to his aching head.
"Let me explain."
"I asked you to let me come. You said no! Why? 'Cause you weren't gonna be gone that long. You'd be back in no time. 'Oh, and it's just boring, Guild business. Ya'd be bored to tears.' Better than being worried sick, ya no good, Swamp Rat!"
Remy reached out and caught her hand, effectively stopping her in her tracks.
"The Guilds don't like outsiders involved in their business, chere. I swear. Next time I gotta go down there, you can come."
"Oh, right. 'Cause they'll totally love your girlfriend bein' in their business," she pouted.
Pouting was good. Pouting meant he was out of danger, probably, mostly. You know, unless he did something really stupid.
"Ah, but I gotta solution to that."
"Really?" she snorted disbelievingly.
She stared at him incredulously. Her eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open. Remy had managed to maneuver the white gold ring out of little box it'd been living in for the past three months and eased himself onto his left knee.
"Anna Marie, my Rogue. Will ya marry this 'no good, Swamp Rat'?"
The hand that he wasn't holding flew up to cover her mouth and a little whimper escaped. She didn't say anything though, and his already pounding heart picked up double time.
Why wasn't she saying anything? It was a yes – preferable yes – or no question. Maybe he shouldn't have asked her so soon? But they'd been dating for four years. How much longer did he need to wait? Yes, admittedly, his timing could have been better. Maybe she wasn't ready for this yet. Damn him and his impulses!
"First diamond I ever bought," he quipped.
Oh, brilliant. Make a joke at one of the most important decisions of her life. Yes, very smooth. Idiot! What was he thin-
His thoughts were interrupted when she tackled him, knocking them back to the floor, and crushed her lips to his. He flinched and pulled away. At one point, her left hook had caught him in the mouth. And bashed his ribs pretty good too.
"Oh, I'm sorry, baby," she giggled at his sulking face.
This woman better appreciate what he was doing for her. No one else would have ever married her. He was the only one who could deal with her crazy mood swings.
There's one thing that didn't occur to the man though, not until it had actually happened. If her mood swings were that bad when she was 'normal', what would she be like pregnant? With twins?
Gambit, thief extraordinaire, the Prince of Thieves, the Ragin' Cajun, le Diable Blanc, and former self-proclaimed ladies' man promptly fainted.
A/N: well that was long and drawn out.
pissed-offedness: the state of being pissed off characteristically
Y'all have the ever awesome Lord Shade to thank for this one. A paragraph spawned it all. I think he'd do very well in the X Men Evo fandom. -hinthint- As it is, he's mostly in the Avatar fandom, doing terrible things to Zuko in the name of humor. He also beta'd this one too.