Wolverine didn't like what he was seeing. Gambit was drunk. Or at the very least, he was acting like it. He was dancing with anyone and everyone who asked him. His watch and a leather bracelet covered the bruises Rogue had left on his wrists when they broke up. His smile was overly bright. Wolverine could smell the desperation on the younger man's skin.
He was in a dangerous crowd to be so abandoned. There were several interested people there. Two of them seemed to be engaged in a subtle one-upmanship. They plied him with drinks and dances. Somehow, even drunk, the Cajun was managing to balance their attentions.
Gambit settled at the bar next to Wolverine for a moment. "Bonjour, mon ami."
"Hey, Cajun." Remy leaned against Logan for an instant, seeming to draw strength from the contact. Then, he was pulled back to the dancefloor by one of his more insistent suitors. The leather clad woman pressed against him, wriggling her hips against him blatantly. She kissed him, long and hot and slow. Her competition, a slender young man slid up behind them. He settled his hands on Gambit's hips, drawing him back until they were united in an intimate grind.
As the woman continued her kiss, the man suckled the pulse point on the side of Remy's throat. Logan shook his head. The young man took hold of Gambit's wrists. Logan had seen enough. He put money under his glass and went to collect the wayward X-man. He tapped the woman on the shoulder. "Sorry, Darlin'. Play time's over. Time fer yer toy to be put away." Remy pouted, but disentangled himself from his partners. It was why he'd agreed to come with Logan as his driver for once. There was no discussion as they made their way to the door and out to the bike. Gambit mounted up behind the Canadian.
"Where y' takin' po' Remy?" he asked as they reached a stoplight.
"Non!" Remy protested, settling his lips into a frown.
"Shut up, LeBeau," Logan said, catching one fine boned wrist in his hand. The thief quieted. He settled closer, hiding his face in the back of Logan's neck. Satisfied, Wolverine took them home with no further complaints. Gambit was still sulking when they arrived. "Come on, kiddo. Time fer bed."
"Why? Ain't done not'in' wrong. Jus' havin' fun," Remy pleaded.
"Gambit," Logan began. The thief ignored him. "Remy," he began again, "it ain't safe. Ya ain't got a healin' factor. Ya can't just screw it cuz it's cute and ya need the relief."
"Y' don't understand!"
"What? That yer frustrated with that girl's cold flashes? That yer playin' with dangerous people? That sometimes ya wanna lose yerself in someone else?" Remy's eyes glowed in the low light of the mud room. "That yer actin' like a brat? Or that ya ain't finished growin' up?"
"I ain't a chile, Logan," Remy said, softly, dangerously. "I don't remember hirin' y' as m' bodyguard or bein' adopted. I ain't one of yer kids. Or Scott or Jean f' all dat. I *know* what kinda games I'm playin'. I ain't some innocent young ding needin' y'r protection. Most of de time y' ain't even too fond of m'. Mind y'r business. Gambit can manage his own." He pushed past the Canadian and stalked towards the kitchen for a beer. He wasn't ready to get sober yet. He found Rogue there. "Bon nuit, Roguie," he said, abandoning his mission and heading for the stairs.
Rogue snorted. "Fuck you, sugah!" she called sweetly.
"Any time, chere!" came the reply from the hall. Logan shook his head. He grabbed a beer.
"So you still interested?"
"In Remy? Ah'd still like ta love him, but Ah can't. Ah know him too well," she whispered. "Mama used ta work with Guild boys. Ah can't love a thief. Ah know where his loyalty's gotta be." She shook her head. "Ah think Ah broke him," she said finally. "When Ah kissed him. Before anything else, Ah knew he loved me. Then, Ah… Ah can't heal his past, Wolvie. Ah ain't that kinda gal. Ah think Ah might managed ta be his friend someday, but Ah can't be his lover." Logan put a gentle hand on her arm.
"Tell him that. Don't break up like you did. Like you kids have been fer months. He can't know there's no hope unless you tell him."
"Logan, that'd break his heart."
"If he were yer enemy would ya kill him quick or slow?"
"Quick a course."
"Then why let him bleed like this? Tell him straight."
"Ah can't!" She slammed out of the room. She never noticed the figure frozen in the shadows. Slowly, Gambit slid down the wall to a seat on the floor, knees drawn up to his chest. Logan found him there, eyes squeezed shut, rocking, not making a sound, but with tears dripping down his face. Without a word, he knelt down and wrapped his arms around the young man's chest.
Gambit stiffened, wary of the touch. He opened his eyes. His gaze still blurred from tears he assessed the threat. "Just me, Gumbo. You heard her?" Remy nodded. Logan didn't know what to say, so he just squeezed. Remy buried his face in the available shoulder. He steadied his breathing and forced away the tears. "Let it out, kid. Ain't no shame in cryin'."
"Weakness gets y' killt, cher," Gambit said harshly, pushing away from the offered comfort.
Logan frowned. "Not knowing when ya can be weak gets ya killed, Cajun." He didn't loosen his grip. "Talk to Ro." The thief shook his head. "Yes. Trust me, Rem, you need to talk to someone." Slowly, the younger man relaxed into the tight grip. He laid his head back down on Logan's shoulder. "I'll walk you to yer room."
"Merci." On impulse, Gambit grabbed Logan before he could move away and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "Merci, Logan," he said softly. "Trust y' more'n y' know." Logan didn't respond, but he brushed away the last tear from Remy's cheek with his thumb. Remy turned into the touch, trying to make it last.
"It's late. And there's and early session tomorrow."
"And that means you might get four hours of sleep. If we go up right now."
Gambit gave in, allowing Logan to guide him to his room. He knew he wouldn't sleep, but it made Logan feel better to see Remy securely into his room.
Scott took in the team with a glance and rewrote his plans. "Wolverine, Angel, Iceman and Rogue will hunt Beast, Psylocke, Phoenix, Storm and me. Gambit, you're on controls."
Scott went to the control room to review the tape. It wasn't unusual for Scott to stick Remy on controls. He and Logan needed the least amount of training because they worked voluntarily on their skills. It also wasn't unusual for Scott to review the session with whoever was in the control room.
"Long night?" he asked gently, taking a seat.
"Oui," Remy replied.
"Oui. But she don' know Remy heard her talkin' t' Logan."
"Eavesdropping?" Scott raised a brow.
"Tryin' not t' interrupt dem jus' f' a beer. Den Logan asked her if… if she still be interested in Remy. Hurt like Hell t' hear her. Don' know if'n I feel worse f' her or m'. Never meant t' confuse her. Mais, been more honest t' her den anyone. Couldn' sleep after dat."
"Too late for a pill?"
"Oui." Scott squeezed Remy's shoulder.
"We'll go over this, then you go to sleep okay?"
Logan prowled through the Mansion. The Cajun wasn't at any of his usual haunts. He tried the man's room and was unprepared for what he found. The thief was almost obsessively neat, but the room was in ruins. Sprawled across the bed, dead to the world was Gambit, hair fanned out over his back, jeans low on his hips, shirtless. He didn't react to Logan at the door. The Canadian stepped in, regardless. He picked his way to the bed. He picked up the pill bottle and snarled.
He found Scott and Hank in the med-lab. They looked up almost guiltily. "And how can I help you today, my fine fellow?" Hank asked, putting on his best bedside manner.
"You can explain why Gumbo's got benes in his room. And Scott can tell me how long he's known about it."
"I'm afraid that information is confidential."
"Bullshit. Then, why tip off Slim?"
"I suggested it," Scott said flatly. "I kept finding Gambit in my office, reading reports, or asleep in the windowseat. Every once and awhile they help him sleep. Hank monitors them." Scott shrugged.
"What about a shrink?"
"He won't go."
"Why are you so sure, Slim?"
"Because I've talked to him about it."
"So why'd he tear up his room?"
"Spring cleaning perhaps?" Hank offered. Logan snorted.
"Why are you so interested?" Scott asked.
"Cause the kid doesn't use pain meds, he can't get a decent drunk, and he only smokes because it pisses you off," Logan stated.
"I think we need a private conference. If you'll excuse us, Hank." The doctor nodded and the two men went to Scott's office.
Logan shut the door behind himself. Scott settled in his desk chair and put his feet up on the desk. It was one of the minor rebellions against the professor that he'd never outgrown. Logan lounged in one of the visitor's chairs.
"Gambit told me about you and Rogue having a heart to heart and his listening in on it. He was upset enough that I'm guessing she swears 'she can't love a thief' or something equally stupid." Logan stared. "What?"
"Does everyone talk to you or what?"
"Mostly. I don't deal in gossip. So Rogue hasn't outgrown her prejudices yet. But she won't tell him to his face that it is really over this time."
"That about sums it up."
"So what are your intentions?"
"About Gambit. What are your intentions?"
"When'd he become one of yer pet projects?"
"Just answer the question."
Logan blinked. "I'm tryin' to be a friend."
Scott rolled his eyes heavenward. "Goddess, give me strength." He grinned at Logan's surprise. "So I spent a little too long with Storm. You've wanted Gambit forever and now you're telling me you aren't going to make a move?"
"He's hurtin'. He needs a friend not a fuckbuddy."
"Why don't you let him decide?"
"It ain't right to pressure him."
"Logan, *you* are a coward."
"Watch it, Slim."
"Logan, Remy needs stability. He's hurting, but to him that's normal. He needs someone who's not going to run away if he needs support. He's never had that."
"I ain't touchy-feely, Slim. And what would someone like him want with someone like me?"
"Never judge a book by it's cover." Logan snorted. "He speaks fluent Japenese, Russian, English –when he chooses, French, German, and Arabic. He's got a college degree, but acts like he's never read a book in his life. He's scared to death, Logan, and I can't help him with it. Maybe you can. Maybe, if you think you can get this through that adamantium skull of yours, he needs you. He's not a kid anymore, Logan. He never was. Don't try to pretend he's Jubilee's age. He was engaged by her age. He was married at 16. He's not a child."
"He ain't finished growin' yet, Slim. He ain't got a clue about lovin'."
"You're wrong." Logan winced internally. Scott was *pissed.* "He loves without expecting to ever get it back. He loves because if he didn't he wouldn't be able to face himself in the morning. He loves because it's his one redeeming value. Because it means he's human. That's a hell of a lot more than I can say of some people, myself included. Don't discount him because of his age, Old Man."
"He loves like a puppy. He's a slut, Slim."
"If he were a slut, you'd have fucked him and you sure as hell wouldn't love him."
"I don't love him."
"And you don't love Jean either." Logan looked out the window. "You look at him the same way you look at her," Scott continued softly. "Even Warren's noticed. Of course, he's laughing up his sleeve because you've fallen for a thief, but even Wings the Clueless knows. Maybe you need to admit that to yourself. Why don't you meditate on it or something?"
"Why not?" Logan shrugged. He left without another word. Scott headed to Gambit's room. He re-hung the pictures on their nails. He folded up the sweaters and returned them to their proper drawers. He set the photo frames upright.
"Scott?" Remy asked, voice muffled by the pillow.
"Yes. Go back to sleep." When the room was mostly put to rights, Scott pulled a blanket up over the still form.
"Who else?" Gambit asked fuzzily.
"Hank and Logan."
"Logan!" That snapped Gambit's eyes open. "Merde. He's gonna think I'm nuts."
"We discussed the shrink idea already," Scott assured him. "How many times this month?"
"Only T'ree or four. Count de pills. Started wit' 27."
"I'll let Hank do that."
"See your room trashed? Yes."
"Do you remember what you were looking for this time?"
"M' weddin' ring."
"Is it still on the chain?"
"Oui." Scott opened the top drawer of the dresser and located the ring and chain. He dangled it in front of Gambit's face. He pulled it away when Remy reached for it. "Dat ain't nice."
"Nope," Scott agreed. "I have to take my joys where I can find them." He dangled the chain again. Remy couldn't resist swiping at it, even knowing Scott would pull it.
"If I purr'll y' let m' have it?" Scott considered. Remy would have grabbed it right then, if he could have kept his balance. He pouted and Scott relented. He fastened the necklace for the younger man. "Merci."
"Don't worry about Logan," Scott counseled, perching on the edge of the bed. "He was worried about you. Things'll work out." Scott grinned. "I'd bet on it." Remy blinked.
"Go back to sleep. I'll get you up for dinner."
Logan had trouble clearing his mind. All he could see when he closed his eyes were wild chestnut hair and sad red eyes. It wasn't the first time he'd been worried about a teammate. It was the first time he'd been worried about Gambit. Usually, he worried about Scott or Jean. That thought stopped him. He couldn't remember a time it hadn't been Jean or Scott. Even worries about Jubilee didn't bother his meditations.
Maybe because you admit you love her, a small voice in the back of his mind told him. The truth will set you free, the voice reminded him.
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, he countered the old cliché.
You want Joplin? … road us all the way to New Orleans… That's how the song goes ain't it? Me and my Remy LeBeau…
Shut up! Shit. I'm arguing with myself now.
He shook his head and gave up on sitting meditation. He tried katas, but all he could hear was a teasing Cajun voice, "Dancin' all alone just ain't no fun, homme."
Fine! Fine! I love him! Happy?
You will be. If you've got the balls to tell him.
Dinner was, as usual, a cheerful affair. Betsy had done the cooking and was, therefore, the object of the fiercest teasing. Gambit stayed out of it. He picked at his food. Logan watched the younger man. Without asking, he put another roll on Remy's plate and took one for himself. "Merci," Gambit said, nibbling at the bread. Bobby noted the exchange from the corner of his eye.
Looks like someone caught the clue train, he assessed.
//It's more likely that Scott smacked it into his skull.// Psylocke informed him.
//Hey! No reading teammates!//
//You were projecting. The only one who hasn't figured it out is LeBeau.//
//No, the thief is clueless. They were made for one another.//
Gambit excused himself from the after dinner conversation. He ignored Scott's worried gaze. He didn't notice Logan as he wandered off of the porch and to the lake. The Canadian shadowed him. Remy picked up a stone and hurled it at the nearest tree.
Logan moved closer, deliberately making noise. Remy looked over his shoulder. He smile. "Hallo."
"Hey," Logan said. "You okay?"
"Survivin'." Logan rubbed the Cajun's back in small circles. "Dat feels nice." Rogue watched from the porch. Her hands clenched into fists at the intimate gesture.
Eventually, Remy was coaxed back into the house with the promise of beer. "Better make it an early night, kid."
"Why y' care, homme?"
"Cause yer startin' to fray at the edges." He pulled at the hair that had slipped out of the ponytail. "Ya need sleep, kiddo."
"Y' been real good, cher, but I know y' want t' ask."
"Why do ya need the pills?"
"Insomnia?" Logan just looked at him. "Nightmares," Remy answered honestly. "Cyke's reports do m' just as well most times. De pills make m' loopy."
"I noticed. Cyke says ya speak Japanese?"
"Scotty needs a leash f' dat mout' of his."
"Naw, there's better things fer him to do with it. So?"
"Oui. I speak a bit." Logan nodded.
"Makes sense. Time fer all good thieves to be in bed." Gambit snickered.
"Y' gonna tuck m' in?"
"Think it'd help ya sleep?"
There was a long moment of silence. "Oui," Remy answered finally, looking at his now empty beer.
Logan pulled the covers up to the young man's chin, ignoring the fact that he was practically naked beneath them. Remy grinned at him. "Y' gonna tell Remy a story?"
"How about a goodnight kiss den?" Logan rolled his eyes.
"Had t' ask."
"You want me to sit with ya? Till ya sleep?"
"Sil vous plait. Bein' all sorts of trouble f' y' t'day."
"I don't mind. Better'n listenin' to Bobby's cartoons all night." Remy snickered.
"Y' don' like 'Dexter's Laboratory'?"
"Can't say I do. Now close yer eyes. Logan switched out the bedside lamp. He propped himself against the headboard and laid a gentle hand on Gambit's hair. Meditation came more easily this time. Remy soaked up the calm and his breathing evened out.
Logan couldn't pin down what exactly had brought him back to awareness. He unsheathed his claws and Gambit woke, reaching for his gun. The shadow in the doorway resolved into a female form. Logan's nose twitched. "It's Storm," Logan told the thief.
She moved silently into the room and shut the door. "I did not mean to disturb you," she said softly. "I merely wanted to look in on Remy." She stepped to the bed and rearranged the covers, reversing their usual roles. She kissed Gambit's cheek. "Go back to sleep, padnat."
"Bon nuit, Stormy." She tugged his hair.
"Do not call me Stormy," she chided. "Goodnight, Logan." She shut the door as she left.
"Ain't you ever heard of locks, kid?"
"Like dey'd work. Am I lookin' dat bad dat people keep checkin' on m'? You, Scott, Hank, Bobby, Jeannie, Stormy. Dat's more'n I usually see people in a week, not countin' missions or practice."
"Ya looked out of it. That ain't normal. And yer last blow up with Rogue was public."
"Everyding's public in dis house."
"De walls don' block noise all dat well."
"True. Just gotta be respectful." Logan saw the glowing embers of Remy's eyes look up at him.
"Merci, Wolvie, but y' don't have t' stay." Logan heard the real message though.
"Ain't got anythin' better, Cajun."
"Get comfortable den," Remy ordered crossly. Logan chuckled and slid down until he was laying flat. "Dat's better." Remy settled against Logan's side, listening to the Canadian's heartbeat. He wasn't surprised when Logan started to stroke his hair.
Logan smiled as a low almost purr rumbled from somewhere low in Remy's throat. He continued to pet the long hair, relaxing into sleep.
"Y' stayed," Remy said shyly in the morning.
"No problem, Remy." Gambit blinked at him in surprise. Logan shrugged. "I figure I'm entitled. After sleepin' with ya and all."
Remy smacked the solid chest. "I like hearin' it," he admitted. "Nice wakin' up next t' someone too. Even in y' aren't built like Stormy." He tapped his fingers on Logan's chest. "Rogue ain't goin' t' be happy wit' y'."
"Yer single again. She ain't got a claim on ya. Besides, I don't remember seein' her checkin' on ya last night."
"Right," Remy drawled. "Y' just go explain dat t' her."
"Almost invulnerable. I push hard enough, I'll still be able to gut the bitch." Remy's eyes snapped to Logan's face, narrowing in suspicion.
"She ain't got the right to treat ya like shit. Ya heard her yesterday. She's just a coward that ain't got the guts to tell ya the truth." Remy shivered.
"Logan, don't you fuckin' dare," he growled. "I know y' ain't happy wit' her, but y' don't go near her. D'Accord?"
Logan's hand squeezed Remy's shoulder gently. "Don't worry. I ain't gonna start it. But I'll finish it."
"It ain't her fault."
"Bullshit. She's old enough to know what's what. And Raven and Jean both had a hand in raising her. Don't tell me she ain't got a clue."
Remy sighed. "Best be gettin' up now." Logan raised a brow. "Drank *beer* last night, homme." Logan grinned and released his grip on the younger man. Remy swaggered to the bathroom, giving Logan a nice view. He smirked to himself. He could tell Logan was interested, even if the older man never acted on the impulse. Logan had been watching him since the first day he'd been there. He'd gotten used to the subtle looks. Logan appreciated a lot of things though, so after the first week, Remy'd just assumed that he was nothing more than another painting or something for the man to look at. That didn't mean he couldn't make things a little more interesting for him, so he flirted.
Damn the boy was pretty with his hair tousled from sleep and his clothes clinging to his body from sleep-sweat. He wanted to throw him down and fuck him senseless, especially when Remy swung his hips in that exaggerated "look at me" walk. Then, the little brat had the audacity to look over his shoulder and wink. The door to the bathroom closed and Logan smothered his groan with a pillow.
"Next," Remy said with a grin. He noted Logan's hard-on and snickered. A good night's sleep always did wonders for his mood. Logan escaped to the bathroom while Remy poked through his closet. The wedding ring swung against his chest as he stood up with the shirts he'd knocked down in his frantic search the day before. He hung them up, separating the ones that would need ironing. He sighed, shoulders slumping. Fuck, he'd forgotten that Logan knew now, that he'd seen.
"Hey, kid, what's wrong?" Logan asked gently, reading depression in the set of the Cajun's shoulders. How long have I been looking to be able to read that? he wondered.
"Liar. Don't lie to me, Cajun, it ain't polite."
"I'm a fuckin' headcase an' . . ."
"And?" Logan prompted after a minute.
"And y' know it now. I didn' want no one t' know."
"Ya asked Cyke fer help."
"Non, Gambit never asked de homme f' not'in'. It was offered, oui, but only after a lot a fightin'."
"Sounds like Cyke to me." Logan settled one broad palm on the Cajun's shoulder. "Remy, ya ain't the only one that gets nightmares."
"Y' took m' pills t' Bete."
"Yeah, I did."
"Wanted to make sure they were the right thing fer ya. Ya were out of it, kid. Totally out of it. It worried me."
"Don' use 'em. I don' like havin' t' clean up after doin' dis!" He gestured angrily at the clothes.
"It's okay, Remy."
"Non! It ain't okay. It ain't never gonna be okay. Rogue's right. I ain't right f' her."
"Remy, ya love her."
"Oui? So? Dat don' mean not'in', cher. Y' love Jeannie. Y' love Scott. Merde, t'ink y' even got a t'ing f' Stormy at times. I remember what it was like when Mariko died. Dat's love, cher. Y didn' have her wit' y' f' long, but y' heart was near ont' shattered when she died. I don' have that in m' no more, Logan." Logan heard the tears being fought back again. "M' heart's dyin', homme. Has been f' years now. Ever since m' Bella an' me ain't been t'gether. Been not'in' more'n a chile about love."
"Ya treat Rogue just right, Gumbo. Ya treat Stormy good too. Don't go sayin' ya ain't got what it takes to love. Yer lyin' to yerself."
"Ain't lyin', Logan. I never learned how t' love someone."
"I can' give m'self no more, Logan. It hurts too bad. Used t'. When I was a brat. I ran wit' everyt'in' that'd have m'. I loved Belle so much that I'd've left off bein' a t'ief f' her. I feel like I’m dyin'."
"Yer gonna die if ya don't find someone to fill that void, boy," Logan said, not unkindly. "Ya know sex ain't gonna do it. Ya need lovin' like a sponge. I can see it. That's why ya went dancin'. Ya wanted someone to want ya, even if it was just fer a night."
"I can feel it, Logan," Remy whispered suddenly. "It's hot and bright and burns m' so bad, but it takes away dis chill I got in here. Makes de screams go away. Lets m' sleep."
"Lust? That's a dangerous way to warm yerself, kiddo."
"Gotta play in the flames me. If'n I don' I'm gonna go crazier'n I already am. Merde. Mebbe, Gambit'll just go find M. Chat an' let him cut him up. Bloodlust if not'in' else."
Logan barely thought before smacking the thief hard across the ass.
"Encule! What was dat all about?" Remy demanded.
"Ya ever suggest that yer gonna let Creed hurt ya again and I'll take ya over my knee until ya can't move. Ya hear me?"
Remy blinked. He stared at Logan, meeting his crystal blue eyes in wonder. "Did y' just t'reaten t' spank me?"
"Yes," Logan said plainly.
Remy's lips twitched. He started to laugh. "Bon Dieu," he finally gasped. "Spank m'. Merde. What y' t'inkin', homme?"
"That someone better take ya in hand before ya do somethin' stupid."
Remy raised his brows. "And y' be applyin' as a babysitter?"
"Yep." Logan grinned at the Cajun.
"Y' want t' be m' pere? Or what?"
"I think ya know what I want, kid," Logan stated quietly. They were both predator-serious.
"I need t' hear it, Logan."
"I want ya, Cajun. That's as plain as I can say it. With all the baggage. The nightmares. All of it. Ya wouldn't be gettin' much of a prize in me, but I gotta offer it."
"When did y' decide y' weren't watchin' m' f' the hell of it?"
"Yesterday. When I couldn't get ya out of my head. Couldn't even meditate cuz I was worryin' about ya. Ain't much that can do that."
"I ain't Mariko."
"Ain't nobody Mariko. I ain't yer wife. But give me a chance to be Logan."
"Oui, cher, Remy'll do that." Remy tipped his head to the side. "So how y' want t' do this then, hehn?"
"Well, I figure I'll take ya drinkin'. Make sure ya don't go crazy dancin'. Make ya eat some of my cookin'. And go to movies. Spend some serious time in the Danger Room honin' yer skills."
"Pretty much what we do anyway, non?"
"Yeah. Think ya can handle it?"
"Oui, probably. Dere's one t'ing." Logan raised his brows. He knew that the kid's accent only got that heavy when he wanted something. "Y' gotta tell Rogue. I wanna watch."
Storm raised one aristocratic brow at her brother when he joined her in the greenhouse at the usual time. "Bonjour, Stormy," he said cheerfully.
"Do not call me Stormy. Are you well, brother?"
"Oui, I'm fine, chere. Why y' ask?"
"Because last night there was a rather large Canadian in your bed."
"Instead of mon petite Stormy? Jealous, padnat?"
She zapped him lightly, laughing at his outraged expression. "You are seldom so obtuse, brother. How is Logan?"
"And what was he doing in your room?"
"Keepin' away the nightmares." Remy lifted a bag of potting soil onto the table. Then, he went to the sink and filled the watering can. He was no good with the plants himself, but he was more than willing to do the grunt work for his favorite sister. She prodded a bit longer, but the Cajun remained steadfastly quiet about the details.
"Tell me this at least, brother, is he treating you well?"
"Logan always treats me nice."
"That is not what I meant and you know it, brother." Storm wagged a finger at him. He took a playful bite at it, but pulled back because there was potting soil clinging to it. "You are in a very good mood today. You were upset yesterday."
"What 't'ings'?" she mocked.
"Logan asked m' f' a date." Remy winked. Storm wasn't sure to believe him or not.
"Rogue, wait up," Logan called. Rogue turned, pushing her hair away from her face. She was almost surprised to see Remy trailing the Canadian, but not really. She looked past Logan to the Cajun. She asked a question with his eyes. He shrugged and nodded in Logan's direction.
"You playin' marriage counselor, Wolvie?" she teased.
Logan's smile showed a few too many teeth. "Yer beyond that point. Figured ya got the right to know without benefit of the gossips."
"Know what?" Her green eyes narrowed.
"I'm datin' the kid. Come on, Gumbo, we've got dinner to get to."
"I got t' cook t'night."
"No ya don't. Jeannie traded out with ya. Remember?"
"Yeah," Rogue confirmed with half a thought. Her eyes were wide. "You're dating my Remy?"
"He ain't yers girl. Didn't we go over this?"
She shook her head. "Don't hurt him, or I'll kill ya, sugah."
Remy cocked his head to the side. "Which one of us y' talkin' t', chere?"
"Him. You I can kill any old time." She winked. She lifted one hand to touch Remy's cheek. "You're sure about this?"
Remy nodded. "Oui." He shrugged. "Can't do me no harm can it?"
"I guess not. Have you told Cyke yet?"
"No." Logan winced. He wasn't looking forward to that, even if Scott had thrown him at the boy.
"Scotty don't mind it. He been hintin' at it since I got here." Remy put a hand to his heart. "Seems I was the only one that didn't see it."
Rogue snorted. "Sugah, *I* saw it and we were still datin' at the time."
Remy blinked. "Quoi?"
"You heard me, boy," she drawled. "Who's next on your list?"
"Just Cyke," Logan stated. "The rest of them can go hang fer all I care."
"That means, keep y' mouth shut, chere, until we let everyone know."
Rogue batted at his nose. "I know. I know." She finally smiled at them. "Go on. Have a good dinner. Take him somewhere nice, Swamp Rat."
"I ain't doin' the takin'."
Rogue's jaw dropped. "Well, shit. That's somethin' I didn't think I'd ever see."
"What?" Logan moved subtly between the two.
"Remy LeBeau not paying on a date."
Remy blushed. "Well, ain't exactly like whorin' if I don't sleep with him t'night."
"Define 'sleep'?" Logan asked, with a wolfish leer. Remy looked away, laughter dancing in his eyes.
"See what I got t' put up wit' now, Rogue? I'm makin' the wrong choice ain't I? I should be beggin' y' t' take me back."
Rogue grew serious. "No, sugah. I can't love you the way I should." She touched his cheek gently. "I can't love ya if you're still stealin'. And I can't ask ya to break your word to the guild."
Remy looked away. "Merci f' sayin' it. I. . . it ain't in Remy's nature t' walk away no matter how much he should."
Rogue swallowed hard. She turned away. "Have fun." She took off. Logan wrapped an arm around Remy's shoulders and pulled him into a quick hug.
"Dinner's waitin'. That new place in town ya been wantin' to try."
"Y' got reservations?"
"Y' too good t' be true, cher. Too good t' be true."
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