"Are y' askin' me out, Bobby?" Remy asked quietly.
"Yep," Bobby said cheerfully. He felt a brush against his mind and told Jean to mind her own business.
"Oui, Robert, where we goin'?"
"You'll see at 6. Dress up. I'm trying to impress you." Bobby sped out of the kitchen leaving Remy to stare into his morning coffee.
"Hey, Swamp Rat."
"Listen, about that dinner invitation. . ."
"Sorry, chere, seems I got plans t'night."
Rogue gaped. Remy *never* made alternate plans, even if they had broken up again. "What?"
"Goin' out with Bobby."
She relaxed. Was that all it was? "Alright, sugah. A raincheck then."
"Can I talk to you?"
He shrugged and followed her out to the rose garden. They sat on the arbor bench. Remy resisted the urge to settled one of the blooms in her hair.
"Bobby's very insecure."
Remy blinked. "What y' talkin' on, Jeannie?"
"He's barely come out to us. He's insecure about his sexuality. Don't play around."
"Chere?" He was just getting more confused.
"He doesn't have a lot of relationship experience."
He sighed. "So?"
"So you intimidate him. Don't more too quickly."
"It's a date! That's all!" He walked away from the conversation.
"Gambit," Cyclops said pleasantly, "if you fuck over Bobby, I'll kill you."
Remy accepted and ignored that statement with the same aplomb he'd ignore any big-brother warning.
By the time Hank showed up at his door, Remy was waiting for the lecture. He was shocked when Hank smiled at him. "This is a big step for you. Are you okay?"
Remy stared out the window. "Was doin' fine 'til everyone started warnin' me off. Near t' just callin' it off!"
"Bobby won't get physical too early. You'll be fine." Hank blinked.
"Non. They tellin' Remy not t' hurt him. Not t' play wit' him."
"But he asked you out, didn't he?"
"And you accepted. I'll get them to back off."
"Don' bother. They ain't gonna listen."
"I have the test results."
"Oui?" Remy held his breath."
"Clean on all counts."
"Be careful, Remy. If you feel uncomfortable, tell him. Can I offer a hug?"
Hank was very aware of his bulk and strength. Even moreso when he wrapped his arms around the thief's torso and felt his ribs. "Have fun tonight."
Remy fiddled with his French cuffs. If they ended up eating Italian, they could be trouble.
"Looking good, Cajun. Then again, when do you not?" Bobby smiled. "Ready?"
"Sure, cher." Remy's brows raised at the sight of the Corvette.
"I'm a corporate accountant for Frost and Worthington."
"Pretty, cher, but how y' drive?"
"Get in and I'll show you how I handle."
Remy laughed and settled in the bucket seat.
"Could I interest you in a walk?" Bobby asked, as they hesitated by the garage door after dinner.
"Oui." Remy smiled shyly and they wandered to the lake. The moon was full and Remy hoped it was a good sign.
"I've always loved this lake. I'd come out here when they left me home with the professor."
"Leave y' behind? Why?"
"I'm the youngest."
"Were the youngest," Remy corrected.
Bobby blinked. "Well, with Kitty in England and Jubes in Boston I still am. Rogue's got two months on me."
Remy shook his head. "Both y' got two years on m'."
Bobby's jaw dropped. "You're twenty?"
"Mais, twenty-one. Ain't really sure."
Bobby's hand stole out to brush the thief's fingers. They opened and the two men stared out over the moon-stained mirror of the lake. "Can I walk you to your room?"
"If y' like."
They walked slowly to the mansion. They bypassed the curiosity of the back rooms by going in the front door and up the front stairs. The trek had never seems so short to Remy.
They stood in front of Gambit's door. Bobby brushed Remy's cheek with his fingertips. Remy turned into the touch, eager to prolong the contact. The rush of Bobby's emotions filled Remy's mind with a giddy mix of pleasure and nervousness. "Can I kiss you?" Bobby asked softly.
"If y' want." It was just a soft touch of lips, but Remy felt his fingers tingling. "Bon neuit, Robert."
"Sweet dreams, Remy," Bobby whispered back.
Remy closed his door with a soft "snick."
"Pick up some porch, Gumbo," Logan ordered.
Gambit sprawled next to the Canadian with his morning coffee and cigarette. "Mornin'."
"So what's the story?"
"You and the popsicle."
Remy shrugged. "Had a good time."
"Saw ya by the lake. Looked happy."
"It was fun."
"Gonna do it again?"
"Depend on Bobby, non?"
Wolverine looked at the Cajun's profile. "Kid, I know what happened last month. Ya gonna be okay?"
"Henri promised. . ."
"I smelled it, boy."
"Ain't the first time. Won' be the last." Remy shrugged. "Remy'll deal with it."
"It weren't yer fault. Ya know that right?"
"I hear ya, Logan."
"Lemme know when ya believe me."
"D'accord, old man."
Logan shook his head and went in to refill his mug. Bobby settled next to the thief. "Hey, Rems."
"I was sort of wondering if you'd be interested in a movie."
"Sure. What y' got in mind?"
"That's a new Disney movie out and I can't get anyone to go with me."
"Just tell me when."
"You're prefect. You know that right?"
"Ah, cher, I'm rotten. Y'll see."
"I don't buy it. I think you're lying to yourself. So you don't mind seeing a cartoon?"
"Cool. You ever watch Saturday morning cartoons?"
"Cher, I ain't ever up that early."
"I'll change your mind." Remy laughed. "You don't do that enough."
Remy shrugged. "I laugh enough."
"No, you're too serious. I'll change that."
"Y' t'inkin' long-term here or somet'in'?"
Bobby froze. "It's sort of early, but I'm hoping. I know you and Rogue don't stay broken up long, but. . ."
"Y' want this t' be exclusive?"
"I'd like that, but it's up to you."
"Then we be exclusive. Jus' keep m' busy so no one gets the wrong idea."
"I think I can handle that." Bobby's smile was wicked. "I've got tons of things to show you."
"After 10 okay?"
"Yeah. Sure thing. Mind if I sit here and babble?"
"Don' be expectin' rocket science out of m' at this time of the mornin'."
"Not a problem."
"Bobby, I'd like to speak with you."
"Sure, Blue, what's up?" Bobby trailed Hank to the lab.
"Are you serious about pursuing a relationship with Gambit?" the doctor asked.
"It won't be easy."
"You think someone's going to cause trouble?"
"Not exactly." Hank sighed. "Be careful with him."
"He isn't going to hurt me."
"He's skittish. He's going to try to push you away."
"I know. I've seen him with Rogue." Hank blinked. "Who do you think she talks to? The wench."
"Well, she starts the fights so he'll apologize. It's sic, Hank. And she knows it's wrong. She's got this idea that that's what love's all about." Bobby shook his head. "She needs a spanking."
"Oh, Miss I Can't Control My Powers and Refuse to Try can just kiss my ass."
"You're stealing away her Cajun?" Hank smiled.
"He's not hers. They broke up three days ago."
"That never lasts."
"It will this time."
"Don't move too quickly."
"Hank, I know what I'm doing. Just because I don't gossip about my dates, doesn't mean I haven't had any."
"You've never had a lover with Remy's issues."
"Only because Scott's into curvy red-heads."
Hank chortled. Bobby grinned at him. "Point taken, my friend. I'll remove my interference. However, if either of you need to talk, I'm always available."
Remy stared at the chessboard, calculating. He made his move. Xavier frowned at the board. He took a sip of tea while Gambit leaned back. Idly, Xavier wondered how Eric would get along with the young man across from him. He banished the rather disturbing conclusions. "Any interesting tidbits you'd like to share?" he asked, choosing his piece carefully.
Remy considered as he sipped his own tea. "Biogen is attempting t' patents a mutant gene."
Xavier made his move. "Surprising."
"Will you be going out tonight?"
"I'm sure I'll find an interesting report from you in the morning."
"Depends," Remy winked. "Don' kiss and tell, me."
"Robert, goin' into town, me. Y' interested in comin' with?"
Bobby considered the paperwork in front of him. "Let me find my shoes."