The Heart Knows (Remy's Date)
"Let me get this straight," Scott said. He was sitting behind his desk, ignoring a pile of papers the professor wanted him to review, in order to listen to the latest trauma in Remy's love life. He took a breath to settle his thoughts. "You broke up with Rogue, again. Then, you went to a bar that wasn't Harry's for the express purpose of finding a partner for some mindless sex. Unfortunately, that one-night stand has turned into a stalker. You actually, and this is the part that's tripping me up, wet to the police and got a restraining order against the stalker that Jean will be happy to reprogram for you as soon as Charles leaves for DC. While you were there, you seduced a cop. Not just any cop, no, you seduced the captain of the bunco squad. And you are considering dating a cop."
"Oui." Remy nodded. His hair was pulled into a sloppy tail. His unshaved cheeks framed a mouth that should have been grinning because this had to be a joke.
Scott buried his face in his hands. "Why can't you find a nice thief to settle down with instead?"
"Huh. Mebbe I am a Summers. Jus' not the way everyone t'inks. Dat's exactly what Papa said when I tole him I was datin' Belle." Scott looked up. Remy grinned at him. "Been datin' Richard f' t'ree months. He wants t' pick m' up for a surprise. Got a feelin' he just wants t' meet some of y'all. The security's tight an' it's summer. Figure we can pass as a respectable school f' a night."
The field leader of the X-men considered. "You want to run a con on the captain of the Bunco Squad."
"This is a school, cher. Says so on the gate. WE been connin' the IRS, the school board." Remy shrugged. "We all got cover stories, non? We doin' independent liberal arts study. He'll only be here f' a few minutes."
"Fine. I'll keep the group contained as possible. You are aware that he'll be pestered and spied upon for the full time he's here."
Remy snorted. "Oui. Buncha curious cats."
"Don't warn him. I prefer them unsuspecting."
The thief went completely still. "Wait. Scotty, y' ain't gonna torture him."
"Course I am." Scott felt the smile curling up the ends of his mouth. "I'm appointing myself as your big brother for the duration of this relationship. If he really gives a fuck, he'll be able to withstand anything I throw at him."
"Remember he's a baseline human."
"He's also a cop. And if he scars that easily, you're better off without him."
Remy's face settled into a poker-level passivity. "Oui. Suppose y' right. Thursday. 7 PM. Don' forget."
"I'm bein' serious, cher. They gonna try t' scare y' off or t'reaten y'." Richard felt something warm in his chest as his... his Remy's accent thickened.
"I can handle it."
"Dat's cuz y' ain't met none of them yet."
"I won't even come armed."
"Yes. You. Will. Mebbe y' even shoot Logan f' me."
"I'll see you at seven."
"Right. Be safe, mon capitan."
Richard hung up the phone. He shook his head. "Capt. Hayes?"
"What's wrong Lee?"
"Looks like Homicide needs to be called in on t he Boris case. I've found two dead clients."
"I'll call Martinez."
"Thanks." Lee Chen looked like he'd been give a pardon two minutes before death. Hayes didn't blame him; Martinez was an asshole. "Sorry to ruin the good mood."
"It's why I get the pension plan."
Lee nodded. He went back to his desk, leaving the glass door open. Richard sighed. He dialed Homicide's captain.
"It's Hayes. Looks like one of our frauds turned deadly."
"We're over-clocked. Take care of it yourself."
"And have you start screaming again?"
"Deal with your own cases. Unless you're too busy playing with your boy to make sure your people are doing their jobs?"
"Sgt. Chen will bring the file down."
Martinez snorted. "McAllister will look at it and decide if it's ours or not."
"Good." Richard hung up. "Chen. Take it down to McAllister!" He rubbed his temple. At least he had a date to look forward to.
The Mansion, as Remy always referred to it, was a school. It said so on the sign to the right of the gate. Richard knew it was a school for mutants. He'd been a cop in Westchester for nearly fifteen years. He'd even been dared to go to Harry's – the only bar in the area that boasted it had fed and watered Magneto. Richard still was nervous. He was thirty-three. He closed his eyes. "Please let him not be a student."
He pressed the intercom button. "Xavier's School for the Gifted," a pleasant female voice answered.
"I'm here to see Remy LeBeau."
"Smile for the camera, sugah." He looked at the intercom with a frown. "You're Richard, huh? May as well come on up ta the house. Ain't like Remy's gonna be on time." The gates swung open. "Follow the drive straight. You can park by the door."
The front drive was a graceful curve that ended in a wide curved area littered with two run-about cars and a bicycle that looked like it had been ridden through an open mud pit. The planters to either side of the door were overflowing with blue and white flowers.
The front door opened before he rang. The man standing there was Remy's height, but with a broader chest. His red glasses glinted in the early evening sun. "You're Richard. I'm Scott Summers. I'll be your shield from the two women intent of castrating you, the scientist who wants your blood, and the headmaster who wants me to run you off the grounds with a shotgun." His smirk was actually rather comforting. It made him look less stern. He led the way past an antiques inhabited front hall to an office paneled in rich cherry. Bookshelves lined the wall behind the carved wooden desk. The desk listed slightly to the left. Scott caught a stack of folders as he passed. He shoved them back to the center with a move that spoke of unconscious habit. With his other hand he waved to the couch. "Have a seat and I'll start the traditional interrogation."
Richard chuckled at that. "So you're the principal?"
"For my sins." Summers flopped into the wingback chair. He steepled his fingers in front of his face. "I'll cut to the chase. If you hurt him, I'll break every bone in your body, then drop you into the closest sewer tunnel I can find. Clear?"
"Does every date get this warning?"
"Yes. I won't hurt him."
"Good. Three months without a screaming fight and break-up is already a better track record than his last relationship. I don't like the fact that he lied about and hid you for that long, but we'll deal with that. I was going to pick on you for being six years older than he is, but it made me feel old. Besides, his last boyfriend was older than you are, so it didn't work. So, instead, we're going to talk about the two guns you're carrying on school property and how often you've pulled them in your career."
"Scott, I'm an administrator in the Fraud Squad. The likelihood of my pulling my weapon on duty is minimal. I make no promises about responding to an emergency. I will do everything in my power to protect Remy."
"Use riot strips. He can pick handcuffs. A trank gun might not be a bad idea. One aspirin in eight ounces of water will knock him out for about three hours. He comes up spitting mad though." The man's voice was vaguely bored. "Or you can just let him fight next to you. He's one of our self-defense teachers."
"Scott!" a voice rang out through a hidden speaker. "Tell Logan that I have permission to torment Remy's date. He's fair game!"
"Bobby, do you really want to open the prank war field to include Emma?" Scott simply raised his voice. It must be one hell of a sophisticated intercom system. And it didn't seem as if this were staged to impress him either. It was something they took for granted.
There was silence. "Okay. I'll go take the ink bomb off of the door of the car."
"Robert," Remy's voice was a low, raspy purr. "If y' lay one hand on Richard's property, harm him, embarrass him or harass him while we're datin', y' ain't never goin' t' be able t' sleep again. D'accord?"
"Prank war?" Richard raised his brows.
"Started about three days ago when Bobby found out about you."
"Is there a problem with me? Or is it with Remy?"
Scott snorted. "One, you're a cop. Two, you aren't a mutant. Three, it's been three months. Remy caught us off-guard. And you don't live here and can't retaliate as easily as Rogue could. Rogue's Remy's last ex, if he didn't warn you."
"She lives here?"
"Longer than Remy has." Scott shrugged again.
"Scotty?" Remy's voice interrupted them again. "Y' keepin' an eye on Richard, non? Henri wants a blood sample."
"Did he say why?"
Summers pinched the bridge of his nose. "Hank, why do you want blood from Remy's date?" There was an odd note of resignation in his voice. Richard checked the buttons on his cuffs. And then studied the pattern on the rug.
"Do I hear suspicion? Nay, downright paranoia in your voice? I am merely doing my own small part to ensure the safety and security of our Cajun-compatriot."
"Henri, m' boy ain't got nasty germs and he's a cop. What else y' protectin' ole Remy from?"
"My dear Cajun, I simply wish to ascertain in my own small way..."
"Hank. One vial. If Richard agrees. Any and all test results will be turned over *only* to Captain Hayes. If you do anything else with it, I'll let Bobby dye you purple and let Remy have full authorization to test out the security measures on your snack drawer." Summers blushed suddenly. "Sorry, Richard. Your decision. I'm just used to running this madhouse."
"The school's on-site physician."
"You have an on-site doctor?" The door opened to reveal a large, bespectacled mutant who just happened to be covered in blue fur. He also happened to be a very famous mutant. Richard felt like an awestruck teenager. "Dr. McCoy?" Richard said. He managed to keep his voice even.
"At your service."
"Your on-site doctor is Hank McCoy. Of the Avengers."
"Retired." McCoy's smile was surprisingly toothy. "Now, I'll just take that blood sample and let Scott get on with threatening and interrogating you."
"Why do you want my blood?"
Hank McCoy blinked. Richard was still stuck on the fact that Remy knew the man well enough to call him Henry. "For my experiments. And to test for anything harmful in your blood. And to verify that you're not using some form of chemical excretion to seduce our youngest teacher." There was nothing overtly threatening in McCoy's posture, but Richard felt his back tightening.
Remy gently knocked McCoy out of the doorway. He bent down to kiss Richard's cheek. "Come, cher. I know we got reservations. Don' want t' be late. De sole, Henri. Mebbe another time." Remy pointed at Scott. "Tell Stormy t' go t' bed at a decent hour."
Scott snorted. "I scheduled a 4AM practice for Ro, Rogue, Bobby and Logan. You should be clear to sneak in at any time after eleven. Call if you need me."
Richard let himself be pulled out of the chair and herded out to the car. "So you know Hank McCoy of the Avengers."
"Oui." Remy fastened his seatbelt. "He's a good docteur."
"So what exactly will your friends be practicing in the morning."
"Whatever Scotty feels like. Mebbe target practice. Non, somet'in' with more finesse t' keep them occupied. Obstacle course."
"And you join these practices?" Richard raised his brows.
Remy laughed. "Oui. Of course. Where we goin', cher?"
"We've got reservations for dinner. Then, I was debating between the Linzor Gallery Opening and the Falmouth."
"Linzor. Falmouth's full of fakes. Be like work f' you."
"Fakes on the wall or in the crowd?"
Scott was in the front parlor when Remy shut the door and locked it. "You're earlier than I expected."
"Y' up late f' havin' a four AM practice."
"I'm just running the session, not the puzzle box. Got something for you."
Remy hung up his coat. He settled on the pink velvet loveseat. "Assignment?"
Scott handed over a slim folder. "Charles is on the way to DC with Warren and Betsy. Jean's watching for your stalker right now. She says it won't take too long when she finds him."
"What she want f' her present?"
"Something shiny. Preferably untraceable."
The thief grinned at that. He peered into the folder. "Y' don' ask f' much, do y', cher? Remy'll look into it. May need t' borrow Logan."
"Do what you need to do. We need the info sooner rather than later."
"Get on it in the mornin'. Mind if'n I raid y'r closet?"
"Knock yourself out. Although if that's a slam against my choice in shirts again, go buy your own."
"Non. Remy just don't got a nice sweater."
"What happened to the one Jean got for you?"
Remy snorted. "It's in Rogue's closet. Ain't riskin' getting back a bloody stump by lookin' f' it."
"She knows better. She'll just bruise you up."
“Y’ t’reaten her wit’ somethin’?”
The field leader just smirked. “I told you. I’ve appointed myself as your big brother for the duration of your relationship with Richard. So, good date?”
“Oui. Gallery and dinner. Knows his art.”
“I should hope so. Want a drink before you head up?”
“You on guard duty tonight?”
“Nah. Logan is.”
“Drink it is.” Remy poured himself a bourbon and settled down to give Scott the run down on not only the gallery but its inhabitants, the menu of the restaurant and the pizza shop they’d hit after the gallery opening to wash down the wine. Scott felt a smile slide onto his face. Young love was just so damned cute.
Logan puffed on his cigar. "So," he said. The thief looked balefully at him over his sunglasses. Logan smirked. "Yer datin' a cop. What the fuck were ya thinkin'?"
"He's nice. He's cute. He knows his art. We can talk 'bout almost anythin' havin' to do with art history." Remy shrugged. "Had worse reasons t' start a relationship."
"Suppose so." Logan contemplated the smoke rising from his cigar. "How much does he know about ya?"
The younger man frowned. "Y' think he's tryin' t' take me in on somethin'?"
"You tellin' me you ain't thought about it?" Logan couldn't believe that.
Remy sat on the porch rail, back against the column. His cigarette tip glowed brightly for a moment. The early evening light heightened the sharp features. "I did. I hacked his computer even t' see if he had a case-file on po' Remy. Or the team. Or any of our aliases even. Weren't nothin'. He got a case of hero-worship when it comes t' Henri. T'ink it's sweet me."
"That Avengers gig. Never can live it down." Logan chuckled. "So, yer keepin' track of his case-files still?"
"Once a week. Mais, got t' or mon pere'll have m' hide."
"Ya told him 'bout this yet?"
Remy fiddled with his cigarette. "Non," he said finally. "Still married t' Belle after all. I don' talk 'bout m' flings wit' him. It ain't done, non? Not like me and Belle are fait'ful, but it's all about the image. Politics, bah. Hate 'em me."
Well that was interesting. "Yer still married? Thought y'all got it annuled?"
"Talked about it some. Decided we're still happier bein' married. Makes the statement we want." Remy sighed heavily. "Merde. This gonna end bad ain't it? Jus' like him so much."
Logan was quiet. "I ain't never told someone to stop lovin'. I might think yer an idiot, but I ain't gonna tell ya to leave him. If ya do, I think yer gonna regret it fer the rest of yer life. Just don't let it go too long, okay, kiddo? Yer gonna have to come clean at some point and if ya leave it too long, he ain't gonna take it well."
"Mais, I just want t' pretend f' awhile longer."
Logan smiled sadly. "I know," he whispered.