Remy LeBeau was full of them.
He had been surprising people for as long as he could remember. Longer even.
His conception wasn't a surprise. His dear ol' mama and papa wanted a baby. So when Mama Remy found out she was having a baby, she was thrilled. And then she found out she was having a little boy and both his parents were utterly elated. The first surprise he ever delivered was being born a whopping nine pounds and five ounces.
Remy LeBeau was a fat baby.
His next surprise was delivered almost immediately after he was. While he was wailing his handsome, chubby face off, he opened his eyes long enough to give everyone—the doctors, his mother, his father, and everyone else in the room—the shock of their lives. For little baby Remy, with his head of russet hair, his rosy cheeks, and his chubby little body, was born with eyes as black as night and red as a ruby.
Surprise was putting it lightly. To say that everyone in the room flipped a shit would be more accurate statement.
Le Diable Blanc.
Remy LeBeau was a young boy when he received his first ever surprise. It was not a birthday cake. It was not a shiny new present. It was having the family that never truly loved him abandon him before he could fully comprehend why.
The next surprise at the hands of Remy LeBeau was given to Jean-Luc. One could not imagine the look on Jean-Luc's face when he—the leader of the Thieves Guild, one of the most respected organizations in the underground world—found a skinny boy in need of a haircut trying to pick his pocket. At first, he couldn't believe his eyes. Then he was angry. Then, for some odd reason, he smiled.
The kid was brazen. He needed training. But Jean-Luc saw the potential in those gleaming red eyes.
So he took in the little boy. And he trained him like his own son. His assumption that the boy with the twinkling eyes would be an ideal thief was spot on. What surprised him was how good the kid was.
The boy had real talent.
So by the time Remy LeBeau was fifteen, he surprised the thieving world when he established himself as the best there was at his craft. And with the help of the powers that developed when he had reached puberty (a surprise for him and his family that cost them an obscene amount of money in repairs), there was no one, not even his father, who was better at pulling off a heist with the same finesse and cocky smiles like Remy LeBeau.
The cocky smile was whipped off his face in an instant when he was taken to a meeting between the two warring guilds and was told he would be marrying the pretty (albeit completely crazy) blonde seated next to him.
This, Remy decided, was not good.
He couldn't say that he was all that shocked when things only went downhill from there.
If one were to ask him what happened exactly, he would shrug his shoulders and tell then he didn't have the slightest clue. One minute, he was standing there at the altar, getting ready to marry the she-devil in white lace. The next he was telling both the guilds seated in the audience as politely as possible that they could take their marriage contract and shove it where the sun don't shine. Before he knew it, he was being run out of Louisiana like his life depended on it.
Which it technically did.
So Remy LeBeau found a new job with a man he secretly referred to as "Bucket Head." He approached the old man with the funny hat, smiling lazily and shuffling cards with cocky assurance. When he was asked what he could do, Remy pulled out the Ace of Spades and showed Bucket Head.
"Remy likes to make t'ings go boom," he explained, once the dust had cleared and everyone had regained their ability to hear following the explosion.
Remy got the job, no surprise there.
Then he came across the X-Men. The girl with the purple lipstick and the white streaks in her hair was unfortunate enough to experience a Remy LeBeau Surprise first hand. Silly girl thought she had him. Thought she could sneak up on him.
Maybe she hadn't heard, but he had been trained. By the best of the best.
He could hear her coming a mile away. So he turned around and came face to face with the little rogue. His sudden presence definitely threw her off. He used the empathic charm he had been so fortunate to be born with to glamour her further. She stared up at him with big green eyes. They were kind of pretty, if he thought about it. Flecked with a little gold around the edges.
But that was not relevant.
What was relevant was that while she was so absorbed in staring up at his handsome face (not that he could blame her. You've seen him, right?), he charged the card in her hand. With one last smile and a little bow, Remy got the hell out there before—
—that happened. He only wished he could have seen the look on her (admittedly rather pretty) face when she realized what he had done.
Go figure. Remy LeBeau had a knack for surprising Rogue.
She discovered that the hard way when one minute she was walking, the next she was tied up on a train headed straight for Louisiana. That girl gave him his fair share of surprises on that little trip though.
He couldn't let her show him up, now could he? No, no. Remy LeBeau was the surpriser. Never the surprisee. Not after that incident with Belladonna.
He simply had to one up Rogue.
Plus, he needed a change of pace. So Remy LeBeau waltzed up to the front gates of The Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters and asked the bald man in the wheelchair very politely if they had room for one more on their team.
Not surprisingly, they did.
When Rogue came home from what looked like a forced trip to the mall with the perky girl that could walk through walls, she found him lounging on the game room couch watching a very interesting episode of House and chugging a root beer he had stolen from the blue fuzzy one.
The look of surprise on Roguey's face when she saw him? Priceless.
Whether he consciously was aware of it or not was not relevant. What mattered was that after that incident, Remy LeBeau had a goal.
Somewhere, in between being a bad influence on the younger kids, hotwiring One-Eye's precious little car, stealing Wolvie's motorcycle just for the hell of it, flirting harmlessly with some of the other girls in the mansion, and proving that despite his bad habits, he still was a good asset to the team (which he was), he would surprise Rogue.
It didn't matter how really. What was important was that he did it.
"Who the hell put Cheyenne pepper in my soup?" she would yell from downstairs, making him smile.
"Dammit, Gambit! Did ya steal my diary?" she would demand, and he would shrug his shoulders innocently.
"Swamp Rat! Why in the name of all things holy is there a bouquet of flowers in my room?" she would scream, her face going red.
"WHO STOLE MY GLOVES?" she would holler loud enough for the whole mansion to hear. It would make him laugh.
"What are..what are ya doin'? Why are you gettin' so close? And what are you smilin' for? Don't smile at meh like that. Stop gettin' so damn close, LeBeau. What are ya…mmmph!"
On that particular day, Rogue and Remy both had a little surprise. She got a kiss. He got rendered unconscious for the remainder of the day.
Totally worth it, in his opinion.
He wouldn't mind being sent into a mini coma every day if it was via Rogue's lips. Even though the whole being unconscious thing might get tiring, he figured it was something he would never get sick of doing. Kissing her that is. Not the unconscious part.
Watching her emerald eyes flare up with so much agitation, he couldn't help but chuckle. Seeing her hands fist at her sides while she lectured him for long periods of time on how he was a no good, lying, cheating, stealing swamp rat. Being told to curl up and die in the nearest corner. Being popped upside the head after he said something particularly lewd and inappropriate.
They were things Remy LeBeau was beginning to relish.
So he couldn't say he was all that surprised when one day, while lying on the roof next to Rogue in a companionable silence, he realized he had fallen for the southern Goth. Fallen hard.
So Remy changed his tactics.
Oh sure, he never failed to piss her off daily. He never failed to say things so graphic in nature, if Wolvie ever caught wind of what he was whispering into her ear, Remy would surely be the last of his genetic line. He never failed to invade her personal space and push her button before she exploded into a whirlwind of expletives and insults. He never failed to do any of that stuff.
It was just now, in between, he would make his growing feelings for Rogue known to her. She never seemed to know how to react. Always looked surprised when in the middle of one of their verbal sparring matches, he said something with so much sincerity, it took the bite right out of her words.
Oddly enough, somewhere along the line, the most antagonistic and peculiar of romances formed.
All of his teammates were surprised. Hell, even he was surprised. It was nothing spectacular. It barely existed. But every now and then, Rogue would let Remy know that his feelings were not one sided.
It made Remy happy. Happier than he could ever recall feeling in his young life. The fact that Rogue made him so happy not only surprised him, but it frightened him a little. But he never let the fear stop him. He just pushed forward to get what he wanted.
And what he wanted was Rogue.
Now, in the past, when Remy LeBeau wanted a girl, it was for one reason and one reason only.
Sex, in case that wasn't abundantly clear.
But with Rogue, things were different. Oh sure he wanted to do all sorts of graphic inappropriate, smutty, sexual things to her. He often made a point of telling her this. In detail. But his sexual desire for Rogue was not his strongest desire. More than anything, he wanted to hold her hand and touch her face. Kiss her lips with all the tenderness he had in his body.
Remy was surprised at how incredibly mushy he had become.
He just wanted to be with Rogue. He would be quite content being told to rot in hell by his fellow southerner for the rest of his days. Sitting in her company, talking about motorcycles and the stick that was up One-Eye's butt was some of the best conversation he ever had. Why, if all Remy could do was shuffle cards and listen to Rogue say the most explicit of swear words all day long, he would be more than fine with that.
He would give up blowing things up for her. If that wasn't love, he didn't know what was.
Everything was going so well. Then it just went wrong. It surprised Remy how quickly things went downhill. And he had been chased out of Louisiana after a disaster of a wedding. He knew how bad things could get and yet what happened with Rogue completely threw him off.
It should be made clear that in their twisted relationship, Remy was the physical aggressor. No surprise there, but after years of shying away from the touch of others less she inadvertently harm them, Rogue did not know how to be physically close to people. So Remy got close to her. Nothing too extreme.
Twirling her hair between his fingers. Gingerly touching her face with his own gloved hands. A lingering hug. A pinch on the bottom. You know.
The normal stuff (though Rogue often made protest about the last one).
So when one day, out of the blue, a swell of emotion seemed to have hit her all at once, it surprised Remy. Impulsively, she leaned up a planted the mother of all kisses onto his lips. He would insist that even if she didn't have poison skin, that kiss still would have knocked him off his feet. But she did have poison skin. And she did knock him off his feet in a not so pleasant way. For longer than just the duration of that day.
Remy LeBeau did not wake up from his Rogue induced nap for two weeks. During that time, she had managed to blow up a pool table while in possession of his powers.
He didn't care about any of that. Not just because the pool table wouldn't be coming out of his pocket, but because he liked being kissed by Rogue. Even if it did send him into a coma. Though he was upset about missing the newest episode of House, he held nothing against his lovable Goth.
But she was guilt ridden. Remy did not like that. He and Rogue fought long and hard about their relationship. He insisted that he didn't care about her powers and that he wanted to be with her. Rogue insisted he deserved a relationship where he could touch the one he loved without being sent into a coma for three weeks. Then Remy reminded Rogue that he was only comatose for two weeks. Then Rogue called him a not so nice name. And Remy told her she was so pretty when she was angry. Then she got angrier and the fight continued.
Then Rogue told Remy a bit of news that didn't surprise him. It shocked him.
"I'm goin' to Genosha."
"The Professor is goin' to Genosha. There was some kind of big incident there and he's goin' there to help rebuild. I'm goin' with him. Just for a while."
"Why?" he asked.
"Because I need some time to figure me out. Maybe work on my powers. I think doin' that kind of work will be good for me."
"You do good work here."
"Yeah. Jumpin' through windows and out of a jet. Fightin' for the people who hate me. It's a great stress relief," she drawled. "I'll be doin' different work in Genosha, Remy. I'll be able to concentrate on me things. Do the stuff I can't do here."
"It's only for a couple of months."
He didn't like it. But never let it be known that Remy LeBeau, the rebel that he was, stopped someone else from doing what they so desired. Clearly, it was something that meant a lot to her. And since Rogue meant a lot to him, he would let her go to Genosha without a fight. So he let his shoulders drop and said dejectedly:
How easily he let her go surprised everyone, including himself.
So Rogue left. And Remy was sad. And his heart ached. He went on living, working, training, and (secretly) stealing. But blowing things up wasn't as fun as it used to be. Stealing One-Eye's car wasn't as thrilling. Pissing off Wolvie just didn't bring him the same kind of satisfaction. Flirting seemed more like it was something he had to do to keep up his Remy LeBeau persona, rather than something that was fun to do.
Without his Rogue, Remy was surprisingly pathetic.
He got on without her for three months. The three longest months of his life.
It was late November one afternoon. Much to his dislike, Remy was had to wear long sleeves along with his duster to make sure he stayed warm. It snowed. It did not snow very often in Louisiana. He did not like snow very much. He liked warmth. Short sleeves and sunlight.
It seemed as if villainy was not a big fan of the winter months either, because the X-Men hadn't had a crime to fight in weeks. So Remy was lying on his bed, trying to stay warm, twirling a card between his fingers, and lost in thoughts. Someone rapped softly on his door.
"Come in," he murmured distractedly, his red eyes following the card flitting between his fingers.
One minute, he was lying on his bed. The next, he was on his feet, his eyes wide, and his chest heaving. There, in the doorway, stood his Rogue. She was different. Her hair was longer. Her skin was a little darker. The Gothy make up had been whipped away. She was bundled up in a turtle neck and her own leather coat, a scarf around her neck and gloves on her hands. She smiled shyly at him.
Her smile turned wry. "Don't call me, Roguey."
"Anythin' you want, Roguey."
"I forgot how much of an ass you were."
"Aw, I missed you too."
Slowly, she closed the space between them. Then, at long last, Remy embraced Rogue. It was as wonderful as he remembered. He inhaled the sweet scent of her hair, careful to not touch her skin.
"How was Genosha?" he murmured into her hair.
"It was nice. Met some interestin' people."
"Do some good work?"
"Swamp Rat, I did some very good work," she announced with pride.
He was going to ask her to elaborate. But before he could, Rogue turned her head and pressed her mouth to his fully, winding her arms around his neck and taking a fistful of his hair into her small, still gloved hands. And when Remy LeBeau did not pass out from Rogue's kiss, he could not think of a time where he had ever been so pleasantly surprised.
But then again, when Rogue kissed Remy LeBeau, Remy LeBeau could not think very clearly in the first place.
You liked me. You really liked me.
My first two stories received a few very nice, very encouraging reviews. So I didn't do my AP Government homework and instead typed this up for you all. You asked for more. I just hope I don't disappoint you all. It came to me late at night and I did it hastily. If it's not so great, I apologize. I really am sorry. But here's hopin'. Fingers crossed.
Thank you again everyone who reviewed!