Disclaimer: Oh my goodness, this is the last disclaimer! Are you legal guys getting a little verklempt? Because I'm getting a little verklempt.
Wow, I can't believe we've made it to the end, mostly because for so long I had no idea if there would be an end! But I found a way to sort of end-cap the story nicely, and now we're here… I'm not an overly emotional person, but having this project come to a close, I'm feeling something. Yeah, there's a little smidgeon of emotion in there somewhere. And that emotion, it's all for my wonderful readers! You've stuck with me through the awkwardness of my first piece of writing after an eight-year hiatus (that's huge, considering I'm not all that old), and I couldn't be more appreciative if I tried. I hope I continued to improve a little on each chapter for you, and here's to the future, right?
In honor of this being the FINAL chapter, I'm not making myself narrow down the Reviewer Quote(s) of the Week. I'm just highlighting a bunch of little moments that made me smile:
Laceylou76, contradicting herself - I have nothing to say that is funny, right now. My heart clenched painfully in my chest from the very beginning to the very end. My stomach aches, and I think my toe is sore, as well, but I'm not sure if that's because of the story or the fact that I stubbed it before getting on the computer to read this.
OiTOTheWorld's fiancé, as specifically noted in the review, quoting Dr. Seuss- I don't remember the last time I've cried in a movie or even if I ever had, but once I hit the part of Remy looking at the picture of him and his dad-you slayed the beast and I balled my little "three times too small" heart out.
SaturnianSolitude, who has obviously never done this with an infant… - I loved that part where he was sort of kicking the baby-seriously, I thought someone was going to call child abuse.
Chica De Los Ojos Café, being all insightful - You are forgiven.- […] Jean Luc's last act for Remy. Wow.
paper. creations, giving me a serious sundae-craving that lasted for days - I just love that Logan's grown into a parental-type figure to Remy. […] It's the cherry atop the story, for sure.
Midnight Wolfy, as the wise sage, putting so neatly what I was thinking when I wrote the chapter - And Rogue well... that's life; full of bad timing, misconceptions, and misunderstandings.
Cartoonfire, cracking me up and inspiring a line in this chapter - Lol, it seems like Logan is there every time Remy has to throw up.
And Heavenmetal, sharing something very personal and meaningful with me that sort of brought it all home. Thank you. I feel very honored and touched that you would let me be privy to those memories.
Alright, I think this pre-chapter AN is long enough, don't you? Let's get down to business!
Chapter Twenty Two: Come on, Come on
Untouchable, like a distant diamond sky
I'm reaching out and I just can't tell you why
I'm caught up in you, I'm caught up in you
-Untouchable, Taylor Swift (Luna Halo cover)
"Engaged ta be engaged. That's just about the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
It was Saturday afternoon, one week before school let out for Christmas, and the entire mansion was buzzing, but not about the upcoming holiday. Scott had taken Jean out the night before for a romantic date and had… 'declared his intentions', for lack of a better term. Simply put, he informed her that he loved her and planned on proposing - after he graduated from college, that is. That was Scott Summers for you. He was just so Type-A that he had to meticulously schedule and plan-out any and all major life events. The guy probably didn't take a shit without penciling it in his calendar two weeks in advance. The whole thing took away any trace of romance or spontaneity, but Jean didn't seem to mind. She was actually thrilled about the quasi-proposal. She'd been gushing to the younger girls about it all morning. Rogue, unable to stand the rush of girlish excitement that had taken over the mansion, had been forced to hide away in Remy's room, where they were both currently lounging across his spacious bed.
"And Jean just won't shut up about it! 'Oh, it's just the perfect way to do it, don't you think?'. Perfect my ass. I mean, did he even do anythin'?"
Remy hummed thoughtfully as he laid on his back with his head in her lap, his knees bent as she sat cross-legged leaning back against his headboard. "Well, seein' as she don't have a ring on 'er finger, I'm assumin' he didn't get down on one knee or anyt'ing. Kind of pointless wit'out da jewelry." He wiggled his head a little, trying to make its presence known. She was unconsciously ignoring his unspoken request for a head rub, and he was hoping she would figure it out, soon.
"Well, the way everyone's been goin' on about it, ya'd think he threw a lasso 'round the moon and pulled it down just for her. And the worst part about all of this," Rogue continued ranting, "is that now we're all gonna have ta listen ta weddin'-plannin' talk for, what, two years? How long does it take ta get a Law degree? Anyway, apparently that's what makes it so perfect, because 'all the best wedding locations have waiting lists'. I mean, I knew we'd have ta deal with this eventually, because it's obvious they're gonna get married, I just didn't know the torture would be drawn out for so long."
He smiled as she finally began stroking her fingers through his hair. "Well, it's not like y' best friends wit' da girl. Ya probably won't have ta be dat involved."
"Oh no, we're all gonna be bridesmaids. We were informed of that this mornin'."
He chuckled lightly as he smiled up at her. She was unbelievably cute when she got worked up over something.
"Now, Chérie," he began mischievously, "y' sure all dis ain't just jealousy?"
That earned him a hard smack upside the head. He laughed as she glared down at him.
"Ya promised when I told ya 'bout Scott that ya wouldn't make fun o' me!" she practically shouted. "I don't go teasin' you about yer old crush on Storm, now do I?"
"I didn't have a 'crush' on Storm," he retorted with a smirk, "I entertained da t'ought of beddin' her. Dere's a difference. Besides, dat was back when I was an Acolyte, before I knew what a tight-ass she could be. Dat woman would be stiff in da sack. 's totally different den you makin' puppy dog eyes at da Boy Scout."
He instantly regretted his words as she crossed her arms in annoyance - it took her hands from their ministrations on his head. "I did not make puppy dog eyes, or the eyes of any other small creature, at Scott. I was just… attracted ta him. I was vulnerable and he represented the ideals of the X-men when I was first joinin' up, an'- stop smirkin' at me, ya jackass! It was just complicated." She sighed in frustration. "Oh, never mind. I'm not discussing this with ya again."
He chuckled heartily, happy when she began running her fingers through his hair once more. "So, if it's not Scott," he continued teasing, "maybe it's dat big ol' wedding dat's turnin' y' green. Dat's it, isn't it, Chère? Da ice sculptures, da big white dress, all eyes on you, dancin' 'til midnight, flowers everywhere…"
She rolled her eyes above him. "Oh yeah, that sounds just like me, doesn't it? Honestly, the idea of a big, white wedding is like a nightmare. If I was gonna get married, I'd elope. Go ta City Hall and stand in front of a clerk. Or Vegas. Do some gamblin' an' get hitched in a quick little weekend getaway." She paused thoughtfully, cocking her head to the side. "'Course, with Vegas, ya get people wonderin' whether the whole thing was just a big drunken mistake for the rest of yer life, so maybe not."
Remy sat up lazily. "See, I know dis trick. Ya say dat now, but deep down, dere's a little girl who's dreamin' of string quartets and crystal champagne flutes and lovebirds trained t' spell out y' name in da sky."
She shook her head as she smiled lightly at his description. "No, I mean it. I don't get why people make such a big production out of it, turn it into this whole event. It's like they're tryin' ta make a point of it bein' the start of this whole new thing." He leaned back against the headboard next to her, his legs stretched out in front of him as she continued. "I mean, people are always saying 'this is the start of our lives together' and 'marriage changes everything', but isn't the reason people wanna get married in the first place because they like the relationship they have, and want ta make it last forever?" She sighed. "It seems like the whole focus oughta be just ta make it official, take a vow that yer gonna stay together, an' start gettin' some tax breaks."
In a moment, a not-so-dramatic moment, her words stirred something in him. A small smile played at his lips, the decision made as soon as he thought it.
She looked at him sideways, arching an eyebrow. "Do I what?"
He couldn't hold back his grin. "Do y' like da relationship y' have?
She stared at him in disbelief. He could tell from the look in her eyes that she understood what he was saying. "That seems like a loaded question."
He sat up fully on the bed. "I like da relationship we have. I want it t' last forever." He looked her straight in the eyes. "I wanna make it official, take a vow t' stay together, and start gettin' dose tax breaks."
"Ya don't pay taxes."
"Y' know what I mean."
She swallowed. "Yeah, I do."
He held her gaze. "I know dis is sudden, and it's certainly not like I planned on havin' dis conversation wit' y' dis afternoon, but I know I've t'ought about it." He leaned in, reaching out and carefully tucking her hair behind her ear, his fingers lingering by her face. "You feel like home t' me, Rogue, only unlike any home I've ever known."
He let his hand trail down her arm, taking her hand in his when he reached it. He continued. "Whet'er it happens today, or tomorrow, or forty years from now, I don' care; I wanna marry y'. And even if we never got married, I wouldn't care 'bout dat eit'er as long as I still got t' be wit' you. But if goin' down t' City Hall and signin' some papers would mean I could guarantee y' in m' arms f' da rest o' my life, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'd do it right now."
He searched her eyes as she sat in a stunned silence. She wasn't saying 'yes' … but she wasn't saying 'no', either. That look in her eyes of excited anticipation, the quickening of her breath, and her slightly dropped jaw encouraged him to go on.
"I know I'm not da easiest person t' be wit'," he began as he dropped her hand and turned from her, fluidly sliding off the bed and walking the three steps over to his desk. He fished around in the pockets of his trench coat that hung on the back of the chair as he spoke. "I haven't always been dere f' you… not da way you've been dere f' me. But I want to." He paused, taking out the small ring box that held Aveline's engagement ring. He'd been carrying it around with him for over a month, not for any real reason, but just because he felt like keeping it close.
He turned back to her. She had yet to move from where she sat on the bed. "I'm not runnin' anymore… not from you, anyway. I figured out by now dat all dat does is cause me harm. You're da one t'ing dat makes sense f' me, even when not'ing else does. If I'm runnin', I want you runnin' wit' me." He closed the distance between them, standing next to her beside the bed. He placed the ring box casually in her lap, his eyes locked with hers the entire time. "Chère, run wit' me."
His heart stopped - he hadn't been nervous throughout his entire speech, not once, until now - as he waited for her answer. Her eyes started to glisten, just a little.
He smiled, his heart beating in his chest once more. "Yes?"
She beamed, her entire face lighting up as her body came alive again. "Yes!" She didn't even look at the ring box - that was a good sign, he figured - as she jumped up on her knees, flinging her arms around his neck and kissing him fiercely.
It was remarkably easy to keep it a secret. They filed for a marriage license right away online and gathered the necessary documents - Remy's fake birth certificate, social security card and driver's license from the lockbox under his bed and Rogue's real ones from the file cabinet in Xavier's office. All that was left to do was to wait the required 24 hours before they could get married, and seeing as the City Clerk's Office wouldn't be open again until Monday, that was an easy feat.
Aveline's ring - a 4-carat cushion-cut diamond solitaire on a thin, diamond-channeled platinum band - was far too large to be hidden under a glove. Instead, Rogue strung it on a long, silver chain and tucked it under the collar of her shirt, hidden from view but on her body from the moment she received it. It would have been a better way of concealing the ring if Rogue hadn't taken up the habit of frequently touching her fingers to her shirt, checking to make sure it was still there. It was driving Remy crazy. She had no idea how to keep her nervous ticks in check; the girl would make a terrible thief. He had been sure that someone was going to figure it out over Sunday night dinner when she began pairing the action with a sidelong glance in his direction. At one point, Kitty even asked her if she had heartburn. Remy had rolled his eyes. It was good thing they were doing this thing the next day, because pretty soon, Rogue was going to crack.
Monday morning they were up and gone just before the rest of the mansion woke up, stealing away in the dark of the early morning. It was far too cold for his motorcycle, but the roads were still clear due to the late arrival of the winter's first snow, and it was their only option, seeing as all the X-vehicles had trackers on them. Where they were going, they didn't exactly want company. Instead, they bundled up and Rogue clung tightly against him for the two hour trip into Manhattan.
Having arrived early, they were the first in line waiting for the Clerk's Office to open at 8:30. The whole thing was more exhilarating than anything he'd done in the past year. Remy was on a high. It was exciting, like a heist. They were being impulsive and daring and passionate, and he felt more alive than he could ever remember. He was doing exactly what Henri had told him to. He was doing something the he wanted to, because it would make him happy. And Rogue… Rogue looked more beautiful than he ever remembered seeing her. Her entire being just seemed to glow. Her long dark tresses fell against her chest in perfect waves, and with her white streaks framing her porcelain skin, she looked angelic. Her eyes were sparkling and she couldn't stop smiling; he'd never seen her smile so much before. He loved her. He loved being the reason she was beaming.
He couldn't stop touching her, kissing her. And the best part was, she was in almost complete control. He didn't know why, but he wasn't about to question it. He was free to pull her close as they waited in the dark, dingy hallways of City Hall, placing kisses in her hair, on her cheek, her nose, her forehead, her lips. She snuggled into him, in a total bliss herself. They were being obnoxiously affection it, he realized. He didn't care. They were getting married, and he felt just so damn good.
Until the next couple came to wait in line after them.
When he looked at the strangers that came to stand behind them, the grin on his face fell. Looking down at himself, and then at Rogue, his good mood diminished.
"Chère," he whispered, pulling her close. "look at us."
She looked up at him from within the circle of his arms. "What're ya talkin' 'bout?"
He sighed, inching them a little further away from the couple behind them and the friends that had accompanied them. "Are we doin' dis right?" he asked. "I mean, look at dose two. Dey're all dressed up. He's got a tux on and she's wearin' a gown."
Rogue shrugged. "I don't wanna wear a gown. I'm happy with what we're wearin' right now."
"Yeah, but," he continued, "look at us! We look like we're goin' t' our funeral, not our weddin'! We're both in black, why da hell didn't we t'ink about dis?"
Rogue shrugged, snaking her arms around his waist and giving him a look that said she wasn't about to let him spoil her good mood. "Remy, who cares? This is my favorite hoodie, and ya look good in that sweater. Besides," she added as she fingered the edge of his form-fitting, thin ribbed top, "it's more like a dark charcoal than black."
He scowled. "We should 'ave dressed up."
She shook her head. "I don't like dressin' up."
"I should 'ave bought y' flowers."
"I don't like flowers."
"But," he continued to protest as he glanced at the group behind them, "dey brought friends wit' dem. Shouldn't we have done dat?" He groaned. "We look like idiots here, Chère. I'm totally messin' dis up f' you-"
"Remy," she cut him off as she looked up into his eyes. "You're not messin' this up for me, so don't worry about that. Do you wish someone else was here with us?"
He shook his head. "Non."
She smiled. "Well, me neither. I like the way we're doin' this. It's somethin' special between just you an' me. We don't need anyone else."
"Actually," a voice cut in behind them. They turned, facing the man from the couple behind them, a sheepish look on his face, "that last part's not exactly true." He paused as they looked at him questioningly. Hesitantly, he clarified. "Um, well, see… you need a witness. That's why we brought our friends."
Rogue's eyes shot to Remy. He looked back at her wide-eyed. "Merde."
Ten minutes later, they stood in front of the Clerk with their paperwork in hand and Andy - the man from the couple behind them and their new best friend (for the sake of the ceremony) - as their witness. Remy's good mood was back in place. The Clerk, a light-haired, middle-aged man who looked bored with his day already (a sad feat at 8:30 in the morning), looked through their documents.
"Well," he began monotonously, "looks like you've got everything in order, so let's begin." Remy reached to the side to take Rogue's hand. "We are-"
"-I'm not pregnant." Rogue called out all of a sudden.
There was an awkward pause as the declaration settled in the air. Remy's jaw had dropped slightly. The Clerk looked up from his papers, one eyebrow raised inquisitively.
"I beg your pardon?"
"I'm not pregnant," Rogue repeated. She paused. "And I'm not drunk, either."
There was another awkward pause.
"Well," the Clerk said, "that's… nice."
Remy looked at her questioningly. "Rogue?"
"I'm sorry," she began sheepishly as she looked to him. "It just hit me all of a sudden, what this must look like, us sneakin' off by ourselves ta do this. I mean, think about it, Remy! What kind of girl goes and gets hitched at City Hall? I don't want this guy," she gestured towards the Clerk, "thinkin' that's why we're doin' this, cuz it's not."
Remy sighed in aggravation as he leaned in. "Now, Chère, I want y' t' t'ink about what y' sayin' here. Are you implyin' dat all da girls in line back dere - wit'in hearin' range, I might add - including da fiancé of our new friend Andy here, who was so gracious as t' volunteer in our time o' need," Andy smiled shyly from his place next to Remy, "are only here cuz dey got knocked up? You start sayin' stuff like dat an' our new friend Andy ain't gonna be our new friend Andy f' very long."
"It's, it's okay," Andy interjected nervously, "I know she didn't mean it like that."
"Shut up, Andy."
"If I may?" The Clerk cut in. All eyes turned to him. "Miss… Darkholme, is it? You do have a point. In general, most people your age who come in here without any family or friends fall into one of five categories. Now, you already said you weren't pregnant, I can tell that neither of you are drunk, and based on your birth certificates, you're both already American citizens. So that leaves two options." He leaned forward, ticking off the number with his finger. "One, your daddy doesn't approve of Mr. Right over here."
Rogue shook her head. "I never met my daddy."
The clerk gave her a bored, sarcastic smile. "Isn't that special. That means you two must fall into the last category…" Remy, Rogue, and Andy all leaned in, awaiting the answer. The Clerk grinned lightly. "Crazy kids in love."
Rogue smiled, and Remy felt her body soften beside him.
"Now," he continued, "if you don't mind, there's a line forming back there. Can we get started?"
They both nodded in agreement.
The clerk smiled. "Then let's begin."
Only a short, two-minute ceremony later, and they were married. They left City Hall in a flurry of passionate kisses, whisking away on his motorcycle for a short trip uptown to the Ritz-Carlton at Central Park, where their honeymoon suite awaited.
But you're untouchable, burning brighter than the sun
Now that you're close I feel like coming undone
Their first time together was, in a word… intense.
If he was completely honest, as far as sheer physical pleasure goes, it wasn't the best he'd ever had. But in all fairness, Rogue was a virgin, and he'd had some crazy sex in his short lifetime. But in the end, that slight physical awkwardness didn't really matter all that much.
By far, it was the most emotionally intimate experience of his life. Rogue had been controlling her mutation all morning, but just in case, he stayed connected to her with his empathy… tightly connected. It was almost overwhelming, the combination of his emotions and hers, and the realization that not only was this their first time, but it was Rogue's. He was her first, and he would be her only, and for some reason that he couldn't put his finger on, he loved her just a little more for that. It was simple. There were no flowers, no champagne, no music or candles. Just the two of them, locked together in an empathetic bond that seemed to take over and encompass everything. Yeah, it was intense. He didn't even realize until after it was finished, when Rogue reached up to wipe the tears from his eyes as he hovered over her still, that he'd been crying.
They stayed in bed for the rest of the day. He would have preferred that they remain naked the entire time, but Rogue, still getting used to having so much skin exposed, had insisted on at least putting back on her panties and a t-shirt. Remy didn't let this discourage him, however. He merely hiked up her shirt to where it bunched up under her breasts as he laid on his stomach next to her in his boxer briefs, eating fruit off the bare skin of her taut little tummy.
"Remy," she giggled as he placed a grape atop her belly-button before leaning down to capture it between his lips, "don't ya think it's a little redundant ta take the food off that perfectly decent plate just so you can eat it offa me?"
He swallowed as he grinned up at her. "Not at all, ma Chérie." He leaned down, slowly licking the juice from off her skin. She laughed, reaching down to tangle her fingers in his hair.
A damper was put on the moment as Rogue's cell phone began vibrating against the coffee table across the room. She sighed.
"What is that, like the fifteenth call?"
Remy shrugged, one arm slung across her lower body. He ran lazy circles with his fingers around her hip as he continued kissing her stomach. "I stopped countin'…"
"I hope they aren't out lookin' for us-ahhh…" She moaned as his tongue found a sensitive spot on her side.
He let his hand slip around to cup her butt. "Y' said on y' voicemail message dat we're fine and dat we'd be back by tomorrow…" he said lazily as he looked up at her. "Dey'll trust us." He placed another grape on her stomach. "'s probably jus' Logan callin', pissed off dat he don' know where we are or what we're doin', plus da fact dat we took off in da first place…"
She was quiet as he continued showering her bare abdomen with kisses. After a moment, she spoke up softly.
He stopped, looking up at her. "Yeah, Chère?"
She paused, biting her lip before she spoke, the hesitancy apparent in her voice. "Did we make a mistake here?"
He sat up slowly. "Possibly." It was an honest answer. Carefully, he scooted up the bed, coming to rest on his side next to her. "Dat what you t'inkin'… dat dis was a mistake?"
Rogue sighed. "I don't know." She let him take her hand gently as she continued. "I mean, logically, yeah. I only turned nineteen last month, and you had to use your fake id to get us that champagne. And that's besides the fact that both us are, well, completely screwed up. We've got major problems, most of them revolvin' around personal relationships, and we just ran off out of nowhere and got married. It seems like a recipe for disaster, if you lay it all out like that." He looked down, his heart sinking at her declaration, just a little, before she uttered one more word. "But…"
He looked up hopefully. "But?"
She smiled shyly, turning onto her side towards him and slipping an arm around his waist. "This feels right. This moment, right here, feels more right than anythin' I've ever known." She leaned into him, resting her forehead against his gently. "I'm comfortable with you. I feel safe with you." She reached up with one hand, tracing the line of his jaw. "Did ya know I haven't been tryin' ta control my mutation?" His eyes shot up to hers in slight astonishment as she continued. "I realized after we made love that I wasn't even thinking' about it anymore."
He looked down at his bare hand on her naked stomach, worry now creeping into his system. "Is dere somet'ing wrong? Is it just not workin' right, or-"
"It works." she cut in. "I tested it on the room service guy when you were in the bathroom. Just grazed him with my finger. He got woozy, an' I found out he's sleepin' with one o' the maids." She leaned into him more fully, snaking one leg around his as she stroked his cheek. She smiled. "It's not my mutation. It's you."
He understood what she was saying, because he felt the same way about her. They were each other's beacon, their safe place in the world. He pulled her close against his body, tilting his head up to kiss her forehead gently. Dropping his head back down, he looked her straight in the eyes as he tucked her hair behind her ears.
"I can't promise I won't do somet'ing stupid." he confessed honestly. "Get scared an' hurt y'."
She held his gaze. "I can't promise I won't push you away."
He nodded slowly. "So… no promises den."
Slowly, she wrapped her hand around the back of his neck, tangling her fingers in the bottom of his hair. "Not those, at least. I can promise I'll love ya."
"Oh Chère…" he sighed, leaning forward to graze her lips with his. He pulled back enough to look in her eyes. "No matter what happens in our lives, dat's da one t'ing I can promise. Always."
They enjoyed the rest of the day - and night - together in their room, knowing that their little vacation would soon be coming to an end. The privacy and intimacy of the moment was not something to be taken for granted. It was their time, just the two of them.
Check-out the following morning was at eleven, and after that, they dawdled in the city a little; neither one of them was particularly looking forward to the trip back to the Institute and the shit-storm that would for sure be waiting for them. Remy took her to Tiffany's to get her a small, platinum band with inset diamonds that could be comfortably worn under her gloves, and he purchased a wedding band for himself. Rogue took him around NYU, showing him the campus and where her classes would be next month. They considered taking in a show, but figured that was pushing it a little. As it was, they wouldn't be getting back before four. Reluctantly, they mounted his bike, and made the long, ominous trip back to Bayville.
That shit-storm they had anticipated? Yeah, it was waiting for them, and with its enhanced senses, it heard their motorcycle coming before it reached the front gate.
Logan was standing in the garage with his arms crossed in front of him when they pulled up. As he parked the bike in his usual spot, the feral man seething quietly in his peripheral vision, Remy tried not to panic too much. This was Logan, after all. His drinking buddy, his combat companion, the man who always seemed to be there for him when he needed to throw up. Surely he wouldn't make good on all those empty threats of disembowelment, would he? As he dismounted the bike, he turned to give the man a good look.
Nope, this wasn't "Logan", buddy, companion, and barf-bag holder. This was "Wolverine". Mutant killing-machine. Enforcer of Danger Room sessions. Protector of all young females, but especially the ones he nicknames 'Stripes'. Remy gulped audibly, and with very little dignity. There were few opponents who could rattle him, but damn it if he wasn't just a little bit afraid.
Before either man could move or speak, Rogue hopped off the bike and stepped in front of Remy. Her shoulders were set and her head was held high as she faced her surrogate father.
"Logan, before ya start-"
"-Can it, Stripes," Logan interjected. He grunted, tipping his head back towards the door. "Let's do this inside. It's colder than a witch's tits out here."
Without another word, he turned and walked inside. After only a moment's pause, Rogue grabbed Remy's hand firmly and marched after Logan, dragging her husband behind her. Remy rolled his eyes as they made their way inside. This was a complete disaster. Logan was in Angry-Daddy mode, Rogue was in Defiant-Daughter mode, and he was stuck in Tool-in-the-Middle mode. Yeah, this was going to end badly.
As they approached Jean in the hall, the redhead gave out an excited gasp.
"Oh, you're home!" she exclaimed. As they passed her, she put a hand to her head, closing her eyes momentarily before opening them again. "Okay, I let everyone know you guys are back!" she called out as Logan and Rogue stormed past her with Remy in tow.
By the time they made it to the den, almost the entire team had assembled themselves, with a few stragglers rushing in and finding seats. Logan groaned as he rolled his eyes.
"This ain't a show!" he barked at the students strewn around the room. "Disperse!"
"Like hell it ain't a show!" Ray called out with a grin from his place on the couch. "Now make with the fireworks!"
Suddenly, Kurt teleported into the middle of the room in a cloud of smoke. "Did zhey start already?!" Relief washed over his features as he beheld the three main players of the scene standing in the entryway to the den, and Remy with no visible open wounds. "Oh gut! Okay, can you just give me like two minutes? I vanna make popcorn."
Logan ignored him, and the rest of the room, as he turned back to Rogue and Remy, his hands on his hips. He growled. "Alright, you two, start explainin'."
Rogue cut Remy off as he opened his mouth to speak. "First off, Logan," she began defiantly, "we're both adults. We don't need your permission to do anythin'."
"Like hell ya don't!" Logan snarled back. "You live under this roof and you're members of this team. Now, you better start tellin' me where the hell you've been or I'm puttin' Cajun shish kabobs on tonight's dinner menu!"
"Logan," the Professor chided as he rolled down the hall towards them with Storm and Hank at his side, "threats of violence are not acceptable, and I hardly think this is the appropriate place for this conversation. Rogue, Remy," he addressed the two, "I'm happy to see you are both safe. Now, if we could perhaps take this into my office-"
"No way, Chuck," Logan intercepted, "I want answers, and I want 'em now." He stepped towards the guilty party, staring them down. "Now, where have you two been?"
"New York," Rogue answered boldly.
"Doing what?" Logan countered.
She grabbed Remy's left hand, holding it up to display his ring as an audible gasp was emitted from the room. Everyone went still as they sat in a stunned silence.
Remy rolled his eyes as he snatched back his hand, leaning in to whisper in Rogue's ear. "Y' know, Chère, we really need t' work on y' finesse."
Storm was the first to recover. "You-You got married?!" she stuttered.
Apparently, Logan was the second.
Rogue made to step in front of him again, but Remy stopped her before she could. Having his tiny little wife defending his honor was more than a bit emasculating. "Now, Logan," he began carefully as he eyed the feral mutant before him. Logan looked like he was about to pounce. "T'ink about dis before y' gut me: I married her. Dat means I wanna be wit' her, take care o' her. It ain't like I dragged her across state lines, got 'er pregnant, and dumped 'er. Dis is a good t'ing."
Although he didn't look any less pissed, the statement seemed to appease Logan's immediate need for violence.
Xavier chose this time to speak up. "I must say, this is… quite sudden."
Remy turned to him defensively. "We talked about it, decided we wanted t' do it, so we went down t' City Hall an' got married. Not'in' wrong wit dat."
"Oh my gosh, you guys, like, eloped!" Kitty fawned from the far side of the room. "That's so totally romantic!"
Logan rounded on the tiny girl. "Shut it, Half-Pint, don't encourage 'em!"
Bobby raised his hand with a cheeky grin. "Now when you say you talked about 'it', and you wanted to do 'it', you're talking about-"
"Marriage." Remy clipped back. "Merde, Iceboy, y' ain't helpin' m' cause any…"
Bobby shrugged. "Just enjoying the show."
"This is ridiculous," Logan cut in. "You two aren't married."
Rogue crossed her arms hotly. "We gotta marriage license in our bag that says otherwise."
Logan ignored her, turning his head towards the Professor. "Chuck, call that lawyer of yours and have him start workin' up some annulment papers."
"Logan!" Rogue protested. "We ain't getting' an annulment, we're married!"
The older mutant stepped forward, getting in her face. "Just 'cuz two kids get the stupid idea ta run off ta City Hall don't make it a marriage."
She narrowed her eyes at him dangerously as she slipped her arm around Remy's waist. "It's been consummated."
The room went silent again as everyone waited for Logan's reaction. Remy could have killed Rogue right then. Was she trying to get him sliced?
Surprisingly, Logan's claws stayed sheathed. He didn't shout. He didn't lunge. For a good few seconds, he didn't move at all. Then, for just a moment, something played across his face before he could control it. Remy couldn't help but think that, for that moment, Logan had looked almost… hurt. Without a word, the feral mutant turned, storming out of the room, down the hall, and out the front door, slamming it behind him with a resonate 'BANG'.
Remy groaned as he turned to Rogue at his side. "Was dat completely necessary?"
She took back her arm from around his waist, rounding on him with her hands on her hips. "What, are you sidin'with him now, Swamp Rat?!"
He shook his head. "Non, I ain't doin' dat, but y' coulda handled dat wit' a little more tact, don' y' t'ink?"
She huffed. "I don't like being told what I can an' cannot do with my own life-"
"-An' y' 'don't like bein' pushed in any direction'." He rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I seem t' remember hearin' dat somewhere already."
She glared at him. "Remy Etienne LeBeau…"
"Rogue LeBeau…" he teased. He smirked as she continued to stare him down. She really was cute when her temper got all fired up.
"I think it would be wise," Xavier interjected, "if we all took a little time to calm down before we deal with this situation."
"There's nothin' ta deal with," Rogue demanded as she stopped giving her husband the evil eye to turn towards the Professor. "We're married, end of story."
Xavier sighed. "Well, at the very least, there's the matter of your living arrangements to be considered."
"Oh my gosh," Kitty exclaimed, "there's, like, no way Gambit's moving into our room!"
Remy rolled his eyes, once again. "Like dat's even an option."
"I think, for now, it would be best for Rogue to simply move with a few of her essentials into Remy's suite until we come up with a more permanent solution," the Professor clarified. He wheeled closer to the couple, his expression softening. "In the meantime, despite my shock and feelings of concern regarding the impulsiveness of this decision on both your parts, I wish to offer the two of you my congratulations." He smiled. "In spite of the drama that it has produced, this is, in fact, a very happy occasion." He looked up, addressing the group as a whole. "Am I correct in assuming that their teammates would agree?"
At that, the room erupted into a chorus of congratulations and felicitations. Remy smiled, throwing an arm around Rogue's shoulders as she produced Aveline's ring from under her collar at Kitty and Jubilee's request. This was the way it should be. As much as he hated to admit it, it made him actually feel… good, proud even, to be given the general approval of their teammates. Even Scott found it in him to shake his hand. Unfortunately, he noticed Kurt acting a little aloof as he lingered in the back of the room as the rest of the group began congregating around the couple. It figured that he'd probably be a little hurt by their secret wedding, but Remy knew they would make it up to him. Kurt and Logan both. The older mutant just needed some time to cool off, he figured. Drink a few beers down at Harry's and get used to the idea. He'd be back by morning. Sure, he'd probably give them hell in the next few Danger Room sessions, but he'd get over it.
After dinner, Rogue packed a duffle bag with a few outfits and other necessities and headed down the hall to the teacher's wing where Remy's room was at.
He was on her as soon as she walked in, shutting the door behind her and pushing her up against it as he attacked her bare neck with his lips. Her fingers curled in his hair.
"Remy… wait…" she panted as he made his way up her neck to suck on her earlobe. "I think… maybe… I oughta-oh yeah, right there… oh…. Wait, I should… unpack…. first… before we-"
"Before we what?" He teased, grinning at her like a Cheshire Cat.
He cut her off as he crashed his lips against hers. As the passion and excitement grew between them, Remy was just about to pick up his bride to take her to the bed - like a proper gentleman - when a heavy weight was suddenly thrust against his back, propelling him forward. He slammed against Rogue, and consequently the door, with an inelegant 'oof!'. Rogue began giggling as David, the obvious source of the interruption, began licking his ear and the side of his face as he stood up on his hind legs, his gigantic paws pressed into Remy's back. He groaned as he jerked his head away.
"Damn dog!" he cried out in frustration, causing Rogue to laugh even harder. He pushed the dog away as he backed up off of her. "Gonna have t' teach 'im t' make himself scarce when we got important business t' attend to."
Rogue merely chuckled as she bent down to pick up her displaced duffle bag, patting the dog's head as she did so. "Bein' that he's your dog," she teased as she stood up, lacing an arm around his middle, "I'm a little surprised that it wasn't the first thing ya taught him."
As they unpacked the few belongings Rogue had brought with her, they realized that the Professor was right: this living situation was not going to work, long-term. He had cleared a couple of drawers in his dressers and made some room in his closet, but despite that, there just simply wasn't enough space for two people and everything that came with them. But it would do, for now.
They finished by putting away her toiletries in the adjacent bathroom. Very carefully, Remy placed her toothbrush next to his on the counter, perfectly parallel. Satisfied with their positions, he stepped back, standing next to Rogue to admire his work.
"Dere y' go, mon Amour," he stated grandly. "You are now officially settled in."
Rogue chuckled at his antics, tilting her head to the side with her arms folded as she observed their perfectly placed dental instruments. "Wow," she teased. "His an' Hers toothbrushes, side by side. How terribly domestic." She grinned as she looked up at him. "We've even got the dog and everythin'."
"Oh, 'we've' got da dog, hein?" he joked, slipping an arm around her waist. "I'm gonna remember dat vow of ownership when he wakes up f' his five a.m. walk tomorrow mornin'."
They stood there, leaning back against the wall and staring at the bathroom sink. Their bathroom sink. It was a peaceful moment before Rogue broke the silence.
"Remy?" He turned his head, looking down at her. "Are you sure this is what you want?" He furrowed his brow at her question as she continued. "I mean, married life, livin' at the Institute, stayin' in one place… it just doesn't seem like you, ya know? It's all so borin' and normal." Hesitantly, she looked up into his eyes. "Is this really gonna make you happy?"
Slowly, he turned towards her, cupping her face gently with both hands as he leaned in, his voice soft.
"Dis makes me happy." He kissed her.
In the middle of the night when I'm in this dream
It's like a million little stars spelling out your name
You gotta Come on, Come on
Say that we'll be together
Come on, Come on
Little taste of Heaven
So, there you have it. It's finished. *Happy sigh…*
But, stay tuned for the Sequel-
The Dance We Do:
Sometimes, in life, you can't move forward without looking back. Our Southern Couple take a trip to the Big Easy, where they learn that EVERYONE has a Beginning…
This one is actually going to have… *gasp* a plot! But, seeing as it's a different format than I'm used to writing, I'm not going to start posting until I have a few chapters written, just so I can get the flow and pacing figured out. That being said, it will be a short hiatus before the story begins. So keep an eye out!
For my last review plea, I have a couple of requests:
1. I would just absolutely love to find out how many loyal readers this story really had. Now, all you lurkers out there, the ones who read religiously but never review: I feel you. There's power in obscurity, am I right? But I would just absolutely love love love to know how many of you there are out there. Even if you just wrote "loyal reader" and that's it, it would make my day. It can be anonymous, even. I'm just saying, I'd love to know you're out there, and that you've been reading.
2. For everyone else (or those who fall under the first category, too, I guess): I'm curious, now that we've reached the end, what your favorite chapters are. I have ones that are more beloved than others, and I'm wondering what ones struck a fancy with all you lovelies.
3. Like always, I'd adore hearing your thoughts about this last chapter. Aw, my reviewers, you all rock!