Let's Give Them Something to Talk About

"Ya know somethin', Gumbo?" Logan said randomly as he sucked on his beer.

"What?" Remy asked shifting the nine of diamonds onto the ten of spades.

"I'm sick and tired of everyone talkin' about me hatin' Cyke. I never hated the kid. I never wanted to off him so I could get Jeannie."

"Hmm," Remy murmured in an "I'm listening" encouragement.

"They keep goin' on about me and Red. No one seems to notice I ain't been flirtin' with her. Slim and I ain't drinkin' buddies, but we ain't enemies. Hell, the pool's still open fer when I'm gonna gut you."

"Well, why don' we give dem somet'in' else t' talk about?"

"Like what?"

"Love."

"No more radio fer you, kid."

"Come on. Y' want him. I want him. We do dis together, mebbe it'll work."

Logan eyed the thief who sat, one leg tucked under him, the other extended so that he could play solitare on the grass. He looked serious. His eyes were hidden behind his shades, but Logan could fill in the wide, bright eyed look. The difference was, there wasn't any kind of con here. Logan could smell a lie at fifty paces.

"Ya ain't serious."

"Oui, Remy's serious."

"How come I ain't never noticed yer interest in him?"

"Y' been too busy scopin' him yourself," Remy grinned.

"Fine. Us against him. What exactly ya got in mind, Gambit?" Remy gathered up his cards.

"We go inside t' talk? Ain't got m' coat an' de sun'll be going down soon."

*****

Scott stared warily at the flower arrangement once again. Strands of ivy swirled up into a graceful arch to make a background for red roses, white carnations and a dark purple flower he couldn't identify. He checked the card again. It red simply, "To Scott."

People just didn't send flowers to him. It was not done. He tried to figure out what they were for. //Darling, just give in and put it on your desk. You know you want to,// Jean told him. Scott Summers, closet romantic, picked up the arrangement and put it on his desk. He looked around his office. Damn, it was messier then Bobby's room. He turned off the lights and ignored it.

*****

The next day was what went down in Scott's mind as "The Attack of the Killer Maids." Scott muttered darkly as he collared Bobby for grocery duty. He nearly dragged the younger man to the car and pushed him in. Bobby caught the coupons and list as they flew towards his lap. He sat back quietly.

Scott was much more mellow by the time they returned and unpacked. "Thanks, Bobby."

"No problemo, Slim." Bobby went to pester Hank.

Scott took a deep breath and entered into a perfectly clean office. His scribbled notes were neatly typed up. The hardwood floors were swept and the rug vacuumed. The wood was polished and the books neatly stacked. His maps were pinned straight to the wall and the dart board was back on the door complete with new team-member photos. It seemed his Danger Room secret was out.

He sat down behind his desk and saw the newest Myst sequel propped against his monitor. The question now became who? And what had he or she done?

*****

Sunday had been declared off-limits for training by Xavier himself. It was one of the few things that he'd never changed. The morning was always free, but the afternoon always, always included a movie rental. And dinner was always attended by everyone. Scott still remembered Gambit's first Sunday with the team. It had been a few weeks into his stay before all of the emergencies had been dealt with.

At first he'd stared at Scott as if he were speaking a foreign tongue. Then, he'd tired to talk his way out of dinner, and failed. After dinner, he'd taken clean-up duty without a word. Jean had been the one to find him hours later, curled up in a corner of the basement scrubbing away tears. She'd told Scott about it. That was before they'd started teaming up to taunt Scott. Gambit hadn't tried to break tradition since. But here he was, trying to explain why he had to leave before dinner.

"This better be good," Scott said mildly. It was strange for Gambit to get permission before doing something. He was uncomfortable. Scott could almost see the stories being discarded. "M' cousin' graduatin' from her trainin'."

Scott blinked. Honesty, what a concept. "So go on. I'll pass on your regrets."

"Merci, Scotty." He hurried away. Scott studied the cookbook. Yep, definitely pasta time.

"Did I just see Remy leaving?" Jean asked her husband.

"Yeah."

"Before Sunday dinner?"

"Yes."

"What happened?"

"Family obligations."

She stared at him. "You're serious."

"I am."

"But he made brandy pudding this morning."

"He did?" Scott looked at the fridge hopefully.

"Yes. I know because Im under orders to keep Storm away from it." Scott pulled open the refrigerator door.

"Good thief."

"What?"

"He made dinner. Well, he did all the prep work and left notes."

"Dumb luck," Jean informed him.

"Guilt." Scott grinned.

*****

Scott stared at the book on his pillow. A pocket version of The Art of War lay on the white cotton pillowcase, surrounded by petals. //Jean?//

//I didn't do it. It was there when I came back. You've got a secret admirer.//

*****

For the next two weeks there was something new every day. The gifts ranged from the practical, glass cleaner, to the amusing, Cooking for Dummies, to the embarrassing, flavored condoms. Scott was to the point of interrogating everyone in the house when the first letter showed up.

"Oh most glorious and exhalted Fearless Leader,

"My heart beat clings to the words that fall from your lips, full and pouting. Your voice, ringing over the battlefield trembles along my spine, shivering though every particle of my being, until every cell is infected by the sound of you.

"Love, ever yours, L."

It took Scott nearly five minutes to stop laughing.

*****

"Most handsome Greek hero,

"I love the play of the morning sun over your tight woven muscles. I love how the shadows play over the hollows of your throat and the edge of your ribs where they rest against the tautness of your abs. I love the way the muscles of your back ripple as you stretch when you think no one is watching. I glory in the power of your legs when you take your morning run around the lake and past the woods. I adore watching the sweat slide down the side of your face, tracing the line of your jaw and the muscle of your neck.

"Yours in love, R."

Scott shook his head. "Brat," he muttered. Jean peeked over his shoulder.

"He writes a good letter," she said.

"Makes me wonder what sort of letters he gives Rogue."

"None. They broke up three weeks ago. It's the first time I've seen both halves of the break-up smiling through their tears."

"Why?"

Jean sighed. "Well, a lot of things. Remy told her that he loved her too much to lead her on. He told her he loves her like a sister, like he loves Storm. He said that she deserved someone who would be as good as she was. He told her that it was time he grew up and acknowledged that he can't love her the way she deserves and that she should find someone who could."

"Oh, I just love the I'm breaking up with you for your own good speech. He's been head over heels for Rogue for as long as he's been here. If anything he's been too good to her."

"Wait, you haven't heard the best part." Jean perched on the kitchen table. They were in the boathouse, the only place Scott deigned to gossip. "Rogue told him that she'd been trying to save him and make him into something he's not. She said she'd never be able to love him as a thief and she knew he still loved his wife too much to divorce her. She admitted that she wanted him to be just like you. If only she knew." Scott smacked her thigh. "She told him that she wanted to stay partners. And that, Mr. Summers, is where it is now. I'm so glad that they're being adult about this."

"Am I the only one that missed this newsflash?"

"No, Warren, Hank, Bobby, Bishop and Xavier are just as clueless."

"Not looking good for the . . . Logan knows?"

Jean gave him a pitying look. "Of course Logan knows. Who do you think Remy spends most of his time with now?"

"Storm? Well, honestly, Jeannie. If I thought Remy and Rogue were still together who would I assume he was spending time with? I'm not his social secretary for God's sake."

"Don't raze him too badly about the note okay? He does have a crush on you." Scott glanced at her.

"Right."

"Well, he does. He's had a crush on you forever." Jean couldn't hide her smile. "Besides, I think it's sweet."

*****

Jean cornered Logan and Remy in the family room. "Hello, Boys." Remy took a step behind Logan.

"Coward," the Canadian grumbled.

"Gambit don't bounce off the walls."

Jean crooked her finger. "Come here, Remy," she purred. "Jeannie won't hurt you, Honey." Logan's blood ran cold. She was in a *very* dangerous mood. Remy slunk closer, shoulders slumped in submission. "We need to talk."

"'Bout what, chere?" He looked up at her through his bangs.

"Cut the innocent act, Cajun. I don't buy it. Are you trying to steal my husband?"

He studied her for a long moment. "Oui, chere, I am."

"I'll fight for him."

TBC

XM Bedroom