Disclaimer: I do not own X-men: Evolution. Or any of the characters. But you knew that already, didn't you?

Hello. I'm back. And yeah, yeah, I know... it's been a long effing time. I was just waiting for all the residual checks to come from "Normal" before I started writing again, and what do you know, it turns out you don't actually make a profit from writing and publishing fanfiction. Go figure. So... here we go. Without further ado, The Sequel.

By the way, this chapter is dedicated to Kinetically Charmed, my Canadian Soulmate and official Kitty-fier. Seriously, she fixed my Kitty for this chapter, which I promise is not as dirty as it sounds. If you are not already reading "The Beautiful Mind of Kitty Pryde" than there might be something seriously wrong with you and I highly recommend that you go look it up, pour yourself a nice cold glass of Diet Coke, put your phone on silent, and get ready for a dang good read. After you read and review this, of course.

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La Vie En Rose
-La Vie En Rose, Louie Armstrong

Remy LeBeau was married, and it was weird as hell. Not that it was bad, because it wasn't. It wasn't bad. It was just... different. Different than he thought it would be. Quite frankly, he thought that being married would mean that he would suddenly know what the hell he was doing, feel a little more secure and comfortable in the relationship, and after three months the fact was, he just didn't.

But again, it wasn't all bad, being married. He liked living with Rogue. A lot. True, he'd lived with Rogue for a while, at the mansion. But now they lived together in a tight little area, in the same room in the same bed, and it was good. For one thing, that close proximity, the privacy it afforded, and the ease in which Rogue could control her powers for him now all added up to, well, sex. Lots of it. They were newlyweds, for heaven's sake, it was practically the law that they fornicate like rabbits. But beyond the sex (and yes, there was a beyond), he just liked having her right up in his space. The Professor had been generous enough to renovate the back few rooms up on the third floor into a little pseudo-mother-in-law apartment for them. It wasn't much, really – just a bedroom, a bathroom, and a small sitting room with a kitchenette – but it was enough for the two of them. Or 'three of them', if you counted the dog. It was cramped, but Remy liked that. He liked having Rogue all up in his business. After spending the first part of his life alone and on the streets, he had developed an appreciation for the comfort of others. There was safety in numbers. Sure, his issues with trust and the fact that he had a habit of being screwed over by powerful men bent on using him for his powers had given him certain loner tendencies, but deep down he knew that in life, it was good to have 'People'. The Thieves Guild were his People, and then Magneto's bunch, and now the X-men. Rogue was his People, and every time he woke up next to her or bumped elbows with her in their cramped little bathroom as they brushed their teeth in the morning, he was reminded that she was his People, and it was good.

But despite all that cramped and cozy goodness, the real truth was that, despite their new 'married' status, not much had changed as far as their relationship was concerned. Rogue was still Rogue, in all her distant and volatile glory. And Remy was still.. well, Remy. He still didn't know what the hell he was doing trying to have a (somewhat) normal relationship, living in a (somewhat) normal home with (somewhat) normal people, and he still had that awful nagging feeling that one of these days he was screw it all up, like he always did.

The Professor called it a 'self-fulfilling prophesy'. And he was supposed to stop thinking that way. Lest he, himself, help the prophesy be fulfilled. Right. Well, easier said than done, and all that jazz.

These, among others, were the thoughts that milled about Remy's head one mid-March afternoon as he went about mixing dried ingredients in the Mansion's kitchen. It was quiet, as most of the Institute's inhabitants had not yet returned from school. David was curled up in the corner chewing on a rawhide bone, having come in an hour before from playing in the melting snow out back when he heard his master return home. It was a typical routine, most weekday afternoons finding Remy in the kitchen, experimenting with the lessons he had learned that day at college, with his dog at his feet. Most the Mansion's residents had picked up on this routine and it's frequently delicious results, which consequently found many of them "conveniently" hovering around the large kitchen and dining area at opportune times. Today, the hoverer happened to be the Professor. Well, less 'hoverer', more 'wheeler'.

"Ah, so you are in here," Xavier observed as he wheeled in through the doorway. "I was working in my office and I thought that I smelled something pleasant. I see I was correct."

"Glad t' hear they smell good, 'least..." Remy muttered as he wiped his flour-covered hands on the side of his jeans.

The Professor observed him with an air of amusement. "You know," he mused, "I do believe that's why they invented aprons, so that one's clothing might remain clean while in the kitchen."

Remy glanced at the older mutant for a moment before adding his wet ingredients to his dry. "A lil' flour never hurt nobody. 'Sides, apron's are f' sissies."

"Is that so?"


Xavier wheeled his chair into the room fully, coming to rest a few feet away from his young charge. "And is that what you learned in class today, that 'aprons are for sissies'?" he jested.

Remy frowned. "No." Unconsciously, he began mixing his concoction with a bit more vigor. "Today I learned dat baking sucks."

"Really?" The Professor folded his arms in contemplation. "I must admit, this seems to be quite the sudden turn. I was under the impression that you found cooking to be quite... well, fun."

"Cookin' is fun. 'Baking' sucks." He scowled down at his contemptuous bowl. "Totally different beast. Y' have t' measure everything out jus' right, y' can't play around or get creative wit' anything, an' if y' don' do every little step exactly right, da whole thing goes t' hell. It sucks."

Xavier chucked, despite himself. "So you said."

"And," Remy continued, "apparently everyone who goes t' culinary school ought t' just love baking. An' heaven forbid if y' ain't a damn bakin' expert b'fore walkin' in da doors. Oh, no no no, if y' dare t' enter culinary school wit'out perfectin' y' own damn family-owned recipe f' chocolate chip cookies, well, dat's jus' a damn friggin' outrage. Dat's right, if y' don' know how t' make chocolate chip cookies, y' practically a... culinary idiot, or somethin'. If y' don' know how t' make chocolate chip cookies, y' Aint. Worth. Shit." He punctuated the end of his little rant by dumping the chocolate morsels in his bowl with a little more force than necessary.

"Language, Remy," the Professor chided.

He managed to mumble a half-hearted apology. It took a lot of effort.

Xavier took a long breath. "Well then," he began, looking about the room, "I can assume that little outburst has something to do with the state of the kitchen."

Scattered about every available surface around the room were various piles of chocolate chip cookies. Table, island, stove top, and every inch of counter space, all covered in assorted batches of the baked treat in varying size, shape, and color.

Remy grunted in affirmation as the older mutant wheeled his way over to a pile at the end of the table, picking up a cookie from the top. "I thought perhaps you were contributing to a bake sale at the kids' school. Is there a reason you've chosen to make so many?"

Remy turned around, leaning back against the counter. "I can't get da damn recipe right." He pointed with his spoon to each batch across the room in turn with a scowl on his face. "Over baked, under baked, too much salt, too much flour, not enough flour, not enough chocolate chips, I don' even know what da hell went wrong with those ones..."

The Professor took a bite of his cookie. "Now, I'm sure that you-" His speech was suddenly cut off as the flavors hit his palate. It wasn't until after he had swallowed that he was able to talk again. "Oh my." He looked down at the rest of the baked good in his hand, his eyes wide with wonder. "This is a very good cookie. I'm not just saying that for your benefit."

"Uh huh."

"Remy, I'm serious. This is incredibly delicious." He tucked back into his treat, a little more enthusiastically this time.

The younger mutant frowned, crossing his arms as he looked to the pile from which the Professor had sampled. "Y' don' think dat one's a little dry?"

"I-" Xavier paused, chewing thoughtfully. He swallowed before responding. "Well, now that you mention it..."

"Ugh!" Remy groaned, throwing his arms up in frustration before turning back around to finish mixing his dough.

It didn't help that Professor laughed at that. Or, chuckled, really. "I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that today would be classified as a 'bad day' at school."

In other words: 'You're being a total drama queen'. Yeah, Remy got that message loud and clear.

He sighed. "Yeah. I guess y' could say dat."

The truth was, he'd actually been having quite a few 'bad days' at college. Honestly, he sort of hated school. Which was more than disappointing, because before the semester started he had been just so excited. He had been so keyed up about the idea of doing something so quintessentially 'normal'. It was like the one thing that 90% of the population had in common, this huge shared experience, and he was finally breaking into the club. He, Remy Lebeau – former street rat, Master Thief, retired mercenary, part-time superhero and full-time B.A.M.F – was going to college. A real college, just like Rogue, or (and he sort of hated to admit, even to himself, how much this one mattered) Scott. The problem, it turned out, was that 'normal' wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

'Normal', as he soon discovered, had a habit of being mind-numbingly boring. More specifically, 'school' was boring. He also discovered that 'school' involved a whole hell of a lot of sitting. In one place, for extended periods of time. Quietly, and attentively. No one had warned him about that, which really kind of pissed him off. And considering it was a cooking college, there was still a ridiculous amount of reading required.

But the worst part, probably, was the fact that his classmates, for the most part, were a giant group of assholes. Apparently the culinary world had a tendency to attract cocky, overconfident alpha males (and yes, Remy LeBeau was self-aware enough to realize the irony of him, of all people, being annoyed by those particular attributes), and it seemed as if every single one of the newest generation of wannabe-chef douchebags were packed together in each of his first semester classes. Now, normally Remy was the kind of cocky, overconfident alpha male (oh yeah, he was self-aware alright) who could handle a small pond with a lot of big fishes and still come out on top. That's right, he was just that awesome. But college was completely new and foreign territory for him, and he suddenly found his fins and flippers weren't quite as big as he remembered them being. And heaven forbid his classmates take pity on him and show him the ropes, instead of snickering behind his back when he got called out for not raising his hand and waiting to be called on before talking in class. Yeah, in culinary college, Remy LeBeau was pretty much the class dunce, and he didn't like it. Even the females, who were initially attracted by his good looks and charm, lost interest as soon as they spotted his wedding ring.

But probably the biggest downside to college was that Remy was quickly realizing that, in the end, he didn't really care all that much about getting a degree. He wasn't like the other students in his classes, who had big heady dreams of being Executive Chefs and owning their own restaurants. Honestly, he didn't really know what he wanted from the future. He knew he wanted to be with Rogue, and have lots of sex. He hoped that at all times in his life he'd be in some sort of situation that would afford him plenty of opportunities to blow things up. And steal things. And have more sex with Rogue. And he wanted to know how to cook everything in the world, and do it well, but that pretty much summed up his culinary aspirations when it got right down to it.

All in all, he was just starting to think that college, as exciting a prospect as it had initially been, might not be for him. And he wanted to quit. Unfortunately, he didn't have the heart to say it. Everyone at the Institute had been just so damn supportive since the semester had started, giving him daily pep talks and telling him how proud they were of him for being all collegiate. Even Scott. Sure, that one was a little creepy, but it was also unnervingly flattering. But still, he probably had it in him to let ol' One-Eye down – it won't be the first time, after all. His biggest supporter, however, was the Professor, and that was the real problem. He just didn't have it in him to break the old man's poor little wheelchair-pushin' heart.


"Well, we all have 'bad days'," Xavier began, "and the important thing to remember is that's all that they are – bad days." He hesitated slightly before reaching for a second cookie. "I really shouldn't..."

Remy glanced back at the older mutant before turning to his bowl, grabbing portions of dough and placing them on an adjacent cookie sheet. "Y' sayin' dat I'm overreacting, ain't y'?"

"By using up our entire supply of flour and filling the kitchen with 15 dozen cookies in a crazy pursuit for chocolate chip perfection, all because of what I can only assume was an ill-perceived slight on your baking skills?" The Professor grinned. "Yes, I think one would classify it as that."

Piotr chose that moment to pop his head through the kitchen's entryway. "Oh, Remy," he said before glancing about the room. "You are cooking, yes?"

"Baking," Remy corrected with a slight scowl.

"Right. Well, it smells very nice, and... um-"

Remy rolled his eyes at the large Russian lingering in the doorway. "Y' can come in, have as many as y' want. Not like we're gon' be runnin' low anytime soon..." He glanced back at Piotr practically skipping across the kitchen as he put his latest batch into the oven. "Not those, Pete," he warned as his friend reached for a pile on the counter. "Y' won't like 'em. Try da ones on da table."

As Piotr sat down and began eating his cookie, a quiet settled upon the room. Remy recognized what the Professor was doing, in his silence. It was an old routine. Xavier had recently decided that the young Cajun had made enough progress that formal therapy sessions were no longer necessary, but he still liked to initiate these little 'chats', giving him the opportunity to open up in a more casual setting. Remy wasn't sure if he was supposed to be aware of the real purpose of these confabs, but if not then the Professor must really think he was dense, because it was painfully obvious. Either way, Remy knew that this was the point in the conversation in which the Professor liked for him to come to his own self-analyzing conclusion.

He sighed, setting the oven's timer and turning back to face the older man. "I think maybe I'm jus' a bit on edge today. Stupid nicotine cravings..."

That was another thing: he'd quit smoking. Or, more accurately, he was 'quitting' smoking. Rogue had never liked it, and now that they were 'living together' living together, he figured it was cruel to make her choke on the smell of stale cigarette smoke in her own room day in and day out. He had been doing pretty good, keeping calm and fighting the cravings with nicotine gum and Tai Chi (that one was a little humiliating, but hey, he did it with Logan – a fellow bad ass – and it actually helped). He'd just passed his two month mark without a cigarette the week before, when he'd come across a couple kids at college having a break between classes, and in a knee-jerk reaction he'd asked if he could bum a smoke. Now it was like he'd started back at square one, the cravings just as strong and persistent as they'd been when he had stopped the first time.

"We could buy you more of the gum, if you think that would help," the Professor offered.

Remy shook his head. "Don' work this time, I already tried. Must've built up a resistance or somethin'." He rubbed the back of his neck casually. "I can usually handle it, but I didn' get dat much sleep las' night." He sighed. "Again."

Xavier frowned. "You're still having that nightmare, are you?"

He nodded, crossing his arms. "Yeah. 's annoying. It's not even dat bad a dream 'cept it keeps wakin' me up and then I can' get back t' sleep again. I thought about wakin' Rogue up last night for a little late-night screwin' to tire me back out, but she had her early class dis mornin'. Plus, she don' really like humpin' da way dat really wears me out."

Piotr choked on his cookie from across the room as the Professor cleared his throat uncomfortably.

"Y' okay there, Pete?" Remy inquired innocently. "Here, lemme get y' some milk..."

"Have you talked to Rogue about it yet?" Xavier asked.

"Nah," Remy responded, crossing the room with Piotr's drink in hand, "I don't think she'd take it dat well. She's so sensitive. 's nothin' personal, though. I know my Chere likes t' be in control an' all, but I don' really like bein' held down in bed. Dat ain't exactly da easiest thing ta tell y' girl wit'out hurtin' her feelin's. 'Sides, a homme needs t' be in charge, y' know? I like rough sex, I do, I jus' wanna be on top, 's all -"

"- I meant about the dreams, Remy," the Professor cut in.

"Oh." He handed Piotr the glass. "Drink up, Pete, y' face is turnin' red.

"Um, thanks," Piotr responded sheepishly.

Remy plopped down into a boneless slouch in an open chair. "I don' really wanna bug Rogue about some stupid dream... she got enough of those t' deal wit' on her own from all da people she's touched. You know da kind o' memories Logan's got goin' on up in his head? Think dat homme might need a hug every now and then..."

Xavier nodded. "I'm well aware of the kind of memories that Rogue has absorbed from Logan. Still, I don't think she would find it to be a bother if you were to confide in her. I think more than anything she would appreciate you opening up and sharing your feelings with her."

"Nah, Rogue likes men."

The Professor sighed. "Men can express their emotions. As I've explained countless times already..." After waiting fruitlessly for a response from Remy – who was now busy scratching behind David's ear, the dog having jumped up immediately upon seeing his Master sit down – Xavier continued. "Besides, I think Rogue may be particularly interested in sharing in this with you considering your nightmare involves her, and your future child."

Ah, the dream. As Remy had already stated, it really wasn't that bad, in and of itself. It wasn't anywhere near as horrific as his occasional nightly recounting of his time with Essex or the deadly fight with Jullien or any number of similar memory-based nightmares that he was prone to have. And really, it was nothing compared to the type of dreams that plagued his wife. But this one was just... unsettling, for some reason. And irritatingly persistent. It always started out the same way: Rogue was pregnant. He would stand by her as her stomach grew bigger and more vast by the second. And then, suddenly, he would be holding the baby. It was always a boy, and it always had his eyes. He would just be standing there, holding this baby with Rogue at his side, and then without warning, he and Rogue would vanish. The last image he would remember before he woke up was always of his child, his son, staring out into infinity with those same red-on-black eyes as he lay there, utterly and completely alone.

And that was it. That was the dream.

Remy sighed, still petting his dog gently with a slight grimace on his face. "Y' say 'future child' like it's really happenin', right now. Like Rogue's pregnant or somethin'. She ain't pregnant."

"I know that, Remy."

"An' we ain't tryin' t' get pregnant." he added. "Dat'd be ridiculous. Hank jus' wants t' start on da research early. Dat's all."

Not long after their elopement, Remy had had a little talk with Dr. McCoy about the possibilities of Rogue carrying a child. Because he'd promised her that if she wanted children, he'd find a way to make it happen. In the future. Many years down the line. When they were older, and ready. But not now. Beast, however, thought it would be prudent for him to begin researching the subject as soon as possible, just so that when – many, many years in the future – the two Southerners decided it was time to start a family, he would be ready to help. And Remy was okay with this. Because he'd promised Rogue. And because 'harvesting his sample' had actually been pretty fun. Anything in the name of science, and all that jazz.

He was totally, and completely okay with this.

"I'm aware of Hank's research schedule and his reasoning behind it," Xavier stated. "Perhaps, though, the recent talk about children makes you a little uncomfortable, and that's why you've been having these dreams."

Remy shook his head. "I'm totally okay wit' it." He glanced over at Piotr, who was nibbling on his second cookie. "I'm totally okay wit' it."

"Yes, clearly," the Professor deadpanned.

"I think it is alright for you to not want children now," Piotr spoke up as he swallowed his last bite. "You and Rogue are far too young."

"I know dat," Remy replied with a roll of his eyes. "Dat's why we're not tryin' t' get pregnant."

"I would like to have children of my own someday," Piotr added. "When I have finished my degree and have a steady job, and a house, and a stable life. You are prudent to wait, my friend."

"I'll be sure t' tell Kitty dat," Remy quipped.

Piotr frowned slightly. "Kitty and I are not married."

Remy smirked. "Details, no? Nothin' but details..." The Cajun chuckled to himself as Piotr looked down uncomfortably, his face turning red again.

"Another theory," The Professor began, redirecting the conversation, "would be that the child in your dream is not actually your child."

Remy turned back to him. "How so?"

"Perhaps that child in your dreams, the baby with the red and black eyes, is actually you."

Remy stared at the older mutant for a moment. "I'm not a baby."

"Yes, I know that, Remy. What I'm saying is that maybe, in your mind, the baby represents you."

Pause. "But, I'm not a baby."

Xavier sighed. "At the end of your dream, the baby is left all alone as his parents disappear, correct? Perhaps this is your subconscious's way of expressing a lingering curiosity about your biological parents, seeing that, as far as you can remember, you were abandoned as an infant, much like the child in your dream."

Remy crossed his arms, leaning back. "I guess dat makes sense."

Xavier nodded thoughtfully. "Have you ever looked into finding your parents?"

Of course he'd thought about it. Any kid who grew up without a set of stable, biological parents had that inherent, all most physical need inside them to seek out those from whence they sprang, and Remy was no different. He spent many a night dreaming of his parentage, wondering who they were, where they were, when and how they had decided that he wasn't worth keeping. Had it been his eyes – his obvious sign of mutation, of difference – that had them running, or was it something deeper that they sensed. Had they looked for his inner worth, his inner soul, and found him wanting? Or perhaps they hadn't rejected him, but instead were the victims of dire circumstances which tore them away from him, ripping away his only chance at a happy, stable home. These thoughts and questions had plagued him for as long he could remember, with the same fervor as all parent-less children. But it was not something that he cared to admit. Being alone for so long had taught him that he had to be strong. He couldn't be seen as vulnerable, fragile, the type of person who longed for his mommy. Those types of desires were the ones that he kept hidden, way way deep down in that part of his heart and mind that he liked to think he could smother when needed, the part that he could control.

Remy shook his head. "Kind of asked Jean-Luc about it once, but he sort of blew it off as a waste o' time – an' when Jean-Luc told y' t' drop somethin', it was probably best dat y' did, d'accord? Plus, it's not like I had da kind o' childhood dat leaves a paper trail."

"Perhaps not a 'paper' trail, but you certainly didn't just appear out of thin air. And quite frankly, it's just not possible for a child to survive on their own until at least a certain age. Someone had to have cared for you as an infant, as a toddler."

"Yeah, but how am I supposed t' figure out who those people are?"

The Professor thought for a moment. "Well, you could start with that man Fagan who organized the child gang that you ran with when Jean-Luc adopted you. You had to come into his company some way, surely he would remember."

"Yeah," Remy responded thoughtfully. "I guess I could do dat..."

"Your brother still wants you to come down to visit for Spring Break, da?" Piotr added.

"That's what he said," Remy nodded. "'Course, I don' know if Mercy's done bein' pissy yet."

He and Rogue had gone down to New Orleans for Christmas and had used the opportunity to tell the LeBeau's that they had wed. It went about as well as when they had revealed that particular news to the X-men. Henri had been shocked, to say the least, but he seemed to have pretty much gotten over it by the end of their trip. Mercy, however, had been livid; not because they were married but because they hadn't been invited. Remy also had a sneaking suspicion that his sister-in-law felt like she was duped out of a chance to plan another over-the-top, Southern wedding. She had not gotten over it by the time the two had left the Big Easy, and from the few clipped conversations he'd had with her since, Remy had the feeling that she was still pretty miffed about the whole thing. Hell if he knew why it matter so much to her.

"The timing would be convenient," Xavier noted. "However, you shouldn't feel any pressure to rush into this just because we happened to talk about it today. Beginning a search into your past is a major endeavor, and one that should only be done because you truly feel you would like to find the answers to your questions, whatever those answers may be."

"Dat's true, I guess."

"I'm going to recommend once more that you talk with Rogue about all of this," the Professor stated as he started backing away from the counter. "See how she feels about the trip, maybe take some time to think about what you really want. You have a week and a half to decide before your break starts to make a decision." He started to wheel away, stopping momentarily to reach back for one more cookie. He looked back with a tinge of guilt. "I'm saving it. For later."

"'Course y' are," Remy chuckled as the older mutant wheeled out of the room. "Course y' are..."

The Professor said he should talk to Rogue, and he planned to, really. And he wasn't putting it off on purpose. He really wasn't. It just so happened that Kurt got after-school detention that afternoon, meaning that he couldn't port Rogue home from NYU until later than usual. And then, of course, Remy had dinner duty. Sure, they saw each other then, had the usual small-talk 'how was your day' kind of chit-chat, but neither the crowded kitchen nor the dinner table were really the type of place for an intimate, private conversation. And surely it wasn't his fault that Rogue had promised Logan that she would help run a training exercise for the New Recruits that evening.

It was late, after 10, by the time she made it up to their apartment, all sweaty and worn out, her spandex uniform wet and tight against her skin, small clumps of her white-streaked hair sticking to the moisture on the side of her face. She was absolutely beautiful.

Remy sat up straighter on the couch, his eyes wide, putting his motorcycle magazine down next to him. "My oh my," he drawled slowly. "Now ain't y' vision there, Chere. Y' get all prettied up jus' f' me?"

She rolled her eyes. "Shut up, jackass." She couldn't hide a slight grin, however, as she crossed over to the kitchenette, getting herself a glass of water. He knew she wasn't really mad.

"Nah, I mean it, Roguey," he said, licking his lips. "Looks like y' been kickin' ass an' takin' names f' da last two hours. 's sexy as sin. Hell, if David wasn't here I'd be strippin' off dat uniform so fast, Pietro himself would be wonderin' how I did it."

Rogue chuckled, glancing at the sleeping beast curled up in the corner. "Like the dog's presence has ever stopped ya in the past."

He stood up from the couch, walking over to her slowly as his eyes raked across her form, taking in every little detail as she leaned back oh so slightly against the sink. He had been planning on talking to her that night, honest. Really, he had. But when she came in looking like that, all hot and bothered and every bit of Southern spunk and kick-ass spitfire that he knew and loved, well... did he really have a choice in the matter?

She watched him with tired eyes and that still-small grin as he stopped in front of her, carefully taking the water glass from her hand and placing it on the counter behind her as he leaned in, his body slowly molding to hers. Wordlessly, his eyes locked with hers, he moved his other hand up to gently brush her cheek with the back of his fingers, trailing them down slowly to the base of her neck. He closed the small distance between them, placing a soft, chaste kiss upon her lips as his hand reached its target and began slowly pulling down the zipper at the back of her uniform.

"Remy..." she warned.

"Shhh," he soothed, pulling her body close with an arm about her waist as his other hand continued to work on that zipper. He turned his head, leaning in to place a slow, seductive kiss on the spot just behind her ear where he knew she liked it, before whispering in her ear. "Let's just get y' out o' these wet clothes."

"Cajun," Rogue sighed. "I've had a long-ass day. I'm not in the mood ta-"

"-I know, Chere, I know," he interjected. He turned his head back to look at her, his dark eyes sparkling. Leaning forward, he rested his forehead against hers. "Jus' dance wit' me."

Rogue's control was getting better, but she still had quite a long way to go before she could consider her powers completely in check, and thus she was still required to keep as much of her skin covered as possible for the majority of the day. With Remy, though, her powers continued to turn off when she was alone with him, just like they had on the day that they married. Knowing that he was the only person she could comfortably touch, Remy made sure that everyday his wife got as much skin-to-skin contact with him as possible. Many nights this skin-exposure time led to more... scintillating activities, but often times they would simply strip down to their undergarments and enjoy any number of innocent pastimes, like reading together, watching television, cuddling on the couch, or dancing. Tonight, it was dancing.

He helped Rogue out of her soiled uniform, leaving her standing in their sitting room in her sports bra and black boy-cut panties. He stripped down to his boxer briefs, quickly turning on the CD player before gathering her back up in his arms.

Rogue smirked as he wrapped an arm low around her waist, taking her other hand in his and placing it against his chest, the music starting. "Louie Armstrong again, huh Sugah?"

He smiled. "I love Louie."

She rested her head on his shoulder as he began slowly swaying them to the beat. "I know ya do."

He held her tight as La Vie En Rose swelled in the background, moving to the music gently, carefully. The rest of the world faded away, all save for the sexy, beautiful woman in his arms, the woman that he loved. He turned them slowly, his eyes locking with hers as he lightly dipped her in time with the music, bringing her back up to him in a slow, seductive pull. As she tucked her head back under his chin, he closed his eyes, singing quietly with the melody.

"Hold me close and hold me fast, the magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose," he whispered. "When you kiss me heaven sighs, and tho I close my eyes, I see la vie en rose..."

He let the New Orleans legend take back over, simply letting the music wash over him with the overwhelming feeling of her, of her skin against his, the smell of her and him together and the way her soft, curved form seemed to somehow fit against his hard, sharp angles. The moment... well, it was perfect.

Which of course meant...

"OMG, Rogue, I've been trying to catch you all d- Holy fetch! Are you guys naked?"

Remy released Rogue with an exaggerated groan, the unexpected interruption completely obliterating the beautiful trance he had previously been wrapped up in. Kitty stood just inside the door, her hand clamped dramatically over her eyes.

"Kitty," Rogue practically sighed the name, "we're not naked. And most people would consider it rude ta just phase right inta a married couple's room without any warnin'. Or invitation. I mean, seriously, 'knocking' is generally considered standard protocol."

Kitty uncovered her eyes tentatively. "You're not naked?"

"Non, Chaton."

She looked at them for a second. "You're... in your underwear?" She paused for a second, then lifted one hand to block Remy's... 'nether regions' from her view. He rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, Kitty."

"You're standing around in your room... in your underwear."

"Dancin'," Rogue clarified.



"In your underwear."


"So..." Kitty began slowly, "you're dancing. In your underwear. To jazz music."

"Yes, Kitty."

She paused. "Oh my gosh, that is so effing sexy."

Remy groaned, giving up and walking over to the couch, plopping himself down. Clearly they weren't going to be getting back to their activities any time soon. "Is there a point t' dis interruption?"

Kitty shook her head quickly – to clear the cobwebs, or something. "Right. Well, okay, so, first off, I'm like, so sorry for barging in here-"

"-Which ya should have known better than ta do," Rogue interjected.

"Yeah, because I totally should have anticipated that it was 'Naked Dancing With The Stars' hour up on the third floor," Kitty rolled her eyes.

"It wouldn't have mattered what we were doin' if ya had knocked," Rogue noted.

"And I'm sorry about that, the whole knocking thing."

"Which ya already said."

"Y' goin' around in circles there, ladies."

"I recognize that tree."

Remy stared at her darkly. "You know," Kitty continued, "like, if we were walking around, and we got lost, and kept passing by the same tree-"

"We get it," Rogue interrupted.

"Sorry. It's just," Kitty said sheepishly, gesturing at Remy, "he's like sitting there with all his... 'business' on display – well, not on display, really, because technically it's covered. But it's certainly being showcased or something, and it's very unnerving..."

Remy sighed, quietly asking a higher power for some sort of patience. "Okay, Chaton, repeat after me: I came in here because..."

"... because," the tiny brunette picked up, turning towards the other female, "Rogue, I wanted to tell you that... um, okay, you know that... exam that I was worried about? Well, I got my... scores back. And, um, I failed."

Rogue's eyes widened. "You failed?"

"No! I mean, yes, but no. I mean like, I failed in the good way. You know?"

Remy noted the relief on Rogue's face. "Oh, that's great Kitty," she responded.

Kitty nodded. "Yeah, I know, right? And um... thanks for helping me... study." She paused for a moment before turning to Remy in that nervous, fidgety way of hers. "It was like, a really tough exam," she explained, trying to act casual. "I was totally up all night cramming for it." She stopped for a moment, then snort laughed unattractively. "Oh my gosh," she giggled, glancing at Rogue quickly before looking back at him, "you so don't know how funny that is."

"I'm gonna take y' word f' it," he drawled dryly.

"Alright, so," Kitty began, clearly looking uncomfortable now, "I'm just going to leave now and let you guys get back to your... sexy underwear dancing thing." And with that, she phased out of the room as suddenly as she had appeared.

Alone once again, Rogue turned back to Remy, walking over and dropping herself down on the couch next to him, their dance clearly over for now.

He put an arm around her shoulders, snuggling her close against his body. "So what was dat all about really?"

Rogue shook her head. "It's nothin'. Girl stuff – Kitty's, not mine." She sighed. "It's too bad the Professor already promised Jean and Scott the boathouse after they get married."

"The door t' the boathouse ain't any harder t' phase through, Chere."

Rogue chuckled. "That's true. I guess privacy is a luxury when yer an X-man, wherever ya live." She leaned her head back against his shoulder. "Might be nice ta get away, though, just the two of us."

"I was thinkin' we should go down t' N'Orleans f' Spring Break." He just blurted it out before he even thought about it.

Rogue turned her head to look at him. "Really? We were just there at Christmas, ya wanna go back already?"

"Henri really wants us t' come down. Practically begged me."

It was a half-truth, really. Henri did tell him that he'd love for them to come visit again, but that was it. He didn't even know why he said it, why he didn't just tell her the truth, about the whole conversation that he'd had with Xavier. He just... didn't. The words had just tumbled out of his mouth before his brain could even formulate the thoughts, and now it was done.

"Oh. Well... alright," Rogue responded. "I mean, it's not like we'll get a whole lot more privacy at your family's place, but it's still good ta get out of the Mansion. And the state." She turned back around, leaning back against him once again. "Seriously, I'm so sick of New York's crap, I could use a breath of Southern air."

He smirked. "I thought dat's what I was here for."

"Right, right." She sighed peacefully. "So, we're goin' ta New Orleans."

Remy swallowed, wondering if, not for the first time, he'd just made a bigger problem for himself than he could finagle his way out of. Like he was screwing everything up all over again. He worked his jaw a little. It would be fine. It would all work out. They'd go down there, Rogue would get the break that she needed, he'd do a little discrete digging, and at the end of the week they'd come back home with this whole thing out of his system and move forward with their lives. Everything would be fine.

He hugged her to him a little bit tighter, just for a moment. "We're goin' t' N'Orleans."

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