A year and a half later.
It was all over the news. It was on the lips of every reporter, and on the cover of every newspaper. One of North America's greatest crime syndicates had been taken down, masterfully and intricately from the inside. The mighty reign of the Thieves' Guild was over. No one could deny S.H.I.E.L.D.'s efficiency. On the heels of the Trask/von Strucker trials just over a year ago, S.H.I.E.L.D. was riding high. The public felt safe; they felt secure, they felt they could finally put some trust back into their government institutions.
It hadn't been easy, but over the past year, a lot had happened. The MRD had come into question. As much as S.H.I.E.L.D. had tried to downplay the MRD's ulterior motives to the public, questions were being raised during the Trask/von Strucker trials. Logan had always suspected that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s goal had been to take down the MRD as quietly as possible. From S.H.I.E.L.D.'s standpoint they had not wanted to induce public outcry, riots, mass hysteria, or worse—a civil war.
When the trials had begun, Logan had already been quite aware of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s plan to quietly avoid bringing the MRD into the public light as much as possible. They tried their best to separate the crimes of Trask and the twins from the MRD. Rogue had to hand it Logan. He had backed down from fighting with Fury that night at the MRD base, already knowing full well that the battle wasn't over. Instead, Logan had spent his time planning for an even bigger, yet peaceful, confrontation.
The solution had come easily for the team. It was during the trials that Warren had finally decided to come out and reveal his mutant status to the public. In light of Jean-Paul's testimony, there was much public debate over mutants. On one spectrum, Jean-Paul was a victimized mutant, but on the other stood the von Struckers. The public could not deny the dangers of mutants while the von Struckers stood trial. Though the twins had been the less violent and less monstrous of the von Strucker/Trask team up, they were the ones that brought immediate attention due to their mutant status. Trask was all but over shadowed.
Until Warren Worthington Junior, New York's media darling and celebrated philanthropist revealed his status as a mutant. It was very hard for the general public to view all mutants as monsters when their beloved Warren bore the X-gene in the form of pure white 'angel' wings. It was Warren who raised questions loudly to the media, pointing his eloquent finger in the direction of the MRD. It was Warren who had 'acquired' video evidence of what the MRD had been fully aware of all along: that the mutants they were detaining were being unethically experimented on.
Warren had suddenly become the new face of the mutant population. The public finally had a mutant figure that would raise doubts in their minds regarding the dangers of 'all mutants'. It was Warren who pointed out at a benefit that not all mutants were monsters, just as not all humans were saints. That monsters came just as readily in human form.
It had been a very turbulent time for mutants during the trials, but they had persevered. In the end, the MRD faced judgement for their crimes and the program had been immediately terminated. It didn't mean it would stay that way forever. Rogue knew that where one group failed, another was always willing to take up the banner. There were still those who hated and feared mutants. There always would be, but at least the team had finally been able to raise awareness to the public, to speak and be heard. It was a time of great change, and Logan felt pretty pleased with the final outcome. He had bested Fury, and had done it with the least amount of violence possible—something Professor Xavier would have been proud of.
As for Rogue, the past year had been especially difficult for her. Being out of touch with Remy had been harder than she had initially thought, especially while there was so much uncertainty in the air as mutant rights and awareness were being brought to public attention. Not only that, but she worried about him all the time. Being at the heart of the Thieves' territory was particularly dangerous.
Thankfully, Rogue had Jean-Paul to rely on. Her best friend had readily accepted Logan's offer to join the X-men, much to Nick Fury's disappointment. Fury had offered Jean-Paul a spot with S.H.I.E.L.D. which Jean-Paul had turned down, citing that he did not think it was good for his family relations to work with his sister. Jeanne-Marie had been disappointed, but she understood. Jean-Paul needed to carve out his own path and could not rely on Jeanne-Marie to do so. He loved and cherished his sister dearly and valued his bond with her, but he refused to ever take her for granted again. He feared that working so closely with her could potentially dig up old habits.
The twins' relationship thrived and healed. They were together and apart at the same time. Close, yet far. Through Jeanne-Marie, Jean-Paul would gather bits of information on Remy and report back to Rogue. The twins had become Rogue's life line. Jeanne-Marie would never reveal anything of worth regarding Remy's mission, but Rogue didn't need details. She just needed to know that Remy was alright. Jeanne-Marie could accommodate that easily enough.
It wasn't until Rogue had woken up one morning and saw the front page of the paper that she realized Remy would be coming back. There was a photo of the Thieves' Patriarch being led, handcuffed to an armored S.H.I.E.L.D. van with a headline reading, "New Orleans sees the fall of the Thieves' Guild". Rogue felt the immediate surge of pride. Remy had completed his mission.
In the days that followed, more and more Thieves and their affiliates were being arrested and brought into custody, but Rogue had heard nothing from Remy. Surely, with his work done, he would be returning? Yet days turned into weeks and still no word from Remy.
It was around the time that she began to worry that maybe Remy wasn't returning to her that he showed up out of the blue on the mansion's doorstep. He stood plainly at the front door, dressed in dark jeans and simple white T-shirt, a pair of sneakers on his feet. He looked young and tired, old and nervous all at the exact same time.
For the life of her, Rogue couldn't find her words. All she could do was stare at him, like she was dreaming and would wake up at any second to find him gone.
"I, uh…" he started hesitantly. "I should have called first, and I understand if you've changed your mind." He ran his hands haphazardly through his hair. "A year and a half is a long time—merde, I really should have called first."
The shock on her face broke into an easy smile. He was really here. She wasn't dreaming or hallucinating. He was almost exactly as she remembered him. After a year and a half, he had returned for her. She had patiently waited, unknowing what the future held for them and now it was finally upon them.
"Remy!" she cried, her inability to speak shattering in a moment of sheer emotion. She threw herself at him, her arms wrapping tightly around him.
He looked stunned, but folded his arms just as tightly around her. "You waited for me," he said in awe. "You really waited."
"Of course I did," Rogue answered, not willingly to let him out of her grasp. "I told you I would."
"I know," he replied, his cheeks flushing slightly pink. "It's just—"
Rogue tipped her head upwards to his. She knew how he felt. She had felt the exact same uncertainty. They had been so new when he had left. He had worried, just as she had, that it wouldn't be enough to hold on to. That time would inevitably slip them apart and feelings would change. She had held on to him in her memory as hard as she could throughout the past year and a half. She had thought of him constantly, relentlessly, desperate to keep him close to her heart. She knew the fear he felt, finally meeting face to face after such a length of time apart, after so much wanting and so much trying.
"It has only ever been you," she whispered right before Remy kissed her.