Gambit yawned and went over the information one more time for the professor. Xavier smiled. "I know it's been a long night for you. Why don't you stretch out?"
Xavier was sitting up in bed, propped up by the pillows Jean had placed fro him. His striped blue pajamas were emblazoned with his initials in darker blue. Gambit shrugged out of his coat and toed off his shoes. He stretched out on his stomach next to the professor, chin propped on his hands. "The project is a go, Professeur. We ain't gonna be able t' stop it wit' politics."
"I understand that. Let me look over these reports."
Gambit nodded. His eyes slipped closed and his breathing evened out. Xavier looked down at the young man's hair. Eric had always laughed at him when he petted him. He'd insisted that Charles' fascination had stemmed from his own lack.
Gambit turned into the touch like an over-grown cat. Xavier was waiting for him to purr. He shook his head to drive away his fancies and went back to the financial reports.
"I can't believe this," Scott said staring at the report. "Why wasn't I informed?"
"T'ought Charles told y'. Sorry, Cyke."
Scott sighed. "Don't worry. I'll take it up with the professor. Storm was looking for you."
"She wants Remy t' do the fertilizing."
"Better you than me."
Gambit stuck his tongue out at the field leader. Cyclops laughed. "Shoo!"
"Y' don't love m' no more," Remy sniffed. He put a hand to his heart. "What's a po' boy to do?"
"The fertilizing. Go on. Before she makes the garden nice and wet just for you."
Remy shuddered, but went up to change his clothes.
Remy scrubbed his hands. "Y' owe m', padnat," he informed Ororo as he cleaned under his nails. She pouted at him. "And don't be tryin' that on m', petite. Remy done taught y' that one."
She smiled at him. "You have dirt on your face, brother." She reached over and washed it off. He smiled back at her.
"Tante always tol' m' that y' shouldn't fuss over roses."
"Your tante had good soil and a good amount of rain. Here, unfortunately, the rose garden was mostly clay."
"Ain't that good f' drainage?"
"That's what Scott hoped. I marvel that he was able to coax them into blooming."
"Mebbe he have his own touch of magic."
"Perhaps. I rarely discuss those days with him."
"It was painful for im to adjust. There was no school when he came here. Not really. There was Scott and Hank at first. Hank adjusted more easily. He had his lab-work and was going to college."
"Why was Fearless havin' trouble?"
"That is something you need to hear from him."
Remy dried his hands.
"'Allo, Henri. Y'r up late."
"Time has no meaning when one is on the edge of a breakthrough!"
"And what are y' close t', mon frere?"
"The deepest secret of the universe."
"How dey get frostin' inside a Twinkie?" Remy teased.
"You mock me, sir!"
"Moi? Never. Tell m' then, Henri, what's got y' fur aquiverin'?"
"I am close to unraveling the secrets of Logan's healing factor."
"Is that who y' been drainin' recently? Tell m' more?"
"I must get back to my machines, my friend. Come down to the lab."
Remy's curiosity warred with his fear. Eventually, his need to let Hank share his enthusiasm won out. He liked the furry scientist. Henry had a good heart. "Oui, Remy'll come. But y' ain't allowed t' poke him wit' not'in'."
"Agreed." They made their way to the lab. Remy perched on the desk while Hank dialed through the displays of his preliminary work. "Essentially, I believe his metabolism works at an incredibly fast rate, allowing his normal immune system to work at a higher rate."
"But Henri, Remy got a fast metabolism and so's Scotty. We don' heal like Logan."
"True, but you convert biochemical energy while Logan does not. If your body was not using the energy to make things explode it could increase your healing. You do heal more quickly than most, if not as quickly as Logan."
Remy blinked. "What y' mean, Henri?"
"Your healing is extraordinary. You rarely scar, in spite of the cuts you've received while training with Wolverine."
"Oh," Remy considered that. "So what's that?" he tapped the screen.
"That is the adamantium. His immune system is constantly fighting it."
"Merde, that's awful." Remy frowned at the screen, eyes starting to blur. "Listen, Henri, it's late. Y' need t' rest. So does Remy. Y' got t' look at t'ings wit' clear eyes in the mornin'."
"I am fine, young man."
"Henri, stop bullshittin' m'. I can see y'r tonsils when y' yawn. Y' need to sleep." Remy tugged at Hank's fur. "In y're own bed, Henri, not in this chair."
Remy cajoled the doctor up the stairs to his bedroom. He turned the sheets back. "Remy, I am perfectly capable of putting myself to sleep."
"Then why don' y' ever do it? Remy's gonna sit right here 'til y' do go t' sleep."
"Remy, I appreciate the concern, but I'm a big boy now."
"Oui, Remy can see dat," the Cajun leered playfully. "Get t' bed, cher."
Hank laid down with the thief sitting up next to him. Remy stroked the doctor's hand until he slept. The thief debated, then settled down on the bed with his head cuddled next to Hank's heart. Some time during the night, Hank settled his arm around the young man, hugging him close. That's how Bobby found them in the morning.
"Hey, Hank, there something you want to tell me?"
Remy cracked open an eye, not recognizing his surroundings. Hank fumbled for his glasses. "What are you talking about?"
"Come on, Hank, you can tell me."
"Do you think so little of me as to believe that I would hide any relationship I had embarked upon?"
"If it's Gambit, well, duh, Rogue'd kick your keister to Scotland."
"An' a fine keister it is. If'n y'all are done chatterin', Remy's going back t' sleep." Hank blushed and Bobby laughed.
"What's this I hear about ya steppin' out on me, sugah?" Rogue teased. "Ya tradin' me in for a teddy bear?"
"Well, y' know, he's strong, intelligent, kind an' snuggles good, but he's also gonna shed on m' sheets, so we broke up."
Rogue laughed. "Glad to hear it. Come on, Swamp Rat, it's time for trainin'."
"Mais, Remy ain't goin'?"
Rogue snorted. "Don't make me scruff you, boy."
Remy rolled his eyes. He marked his place and closed his book. Rogue shook her head. The man was even dressed already.
"You need a watch with that outfit."
Remy shook his head. "Bein' late's an art, chere." They paused outside the Danger Room. Remy closed his eyes for a moment.
"No way, boy." Rogue opened the door.
Scott looked down at his watch. He held it up to his ear. "This thing must be running slow. You're only a minute late."
"Non, the femme got it into her head that y' wanted m' before y' gave out instructions."
Scott stared. "I leave him to the end for a reason. Damn. Now, I'll have to actually have to talk and not yell at him." Scott scowled.
"Remy'll just step out f' a few minutes."
"In your dreams, Cajun. Sit. Stay. Good thief."
Gambit leaned against the wall. Damn, interfering women. The house was full of them. "Gambit, you're on controls with the professor."
The Cajun pouted, but Scott wasn't buying. He just pointed to the control room. The thief slunk to the control room. He glanced over the parameters. "Hope the boy gets knocked on his ass."
"Gambit," Professor X chided.
"What? He t'inks the same 'bout me I'm sure."
Xavier conceded the point. "Why do you think the two of you clash so strongly?"
"We don' clash. Everyone t'inks we do or mebbe they t'ink we should." Gambit shrugged. "Gambit don' always agree wit' the man's t'inkin'. Seems t' me Cyke don't need t' be makin' decisions wit'out someone fightin' him once and awhile."
The professor didn't question further as the scenario started to get heated. Remy winced as Psylocke went down under Iceman's tackle. Rogue took out Warren, making it an even score. "Ain't good. He's distractin' her."
"Warren's distractin' Lizabetta."
"Are you trying to tell me that Rogue wouldn't distract you?"
"Don' y' remember? Scotty don't put us on opposite teams no mo' because we near ont' killt each other the last time." Xavier blinked. "We bot' know that enemies and friends change wit' the weather. Her mama taught her that good. Learnt it early me." Remy shrugged. "Been known t' get nasty on m' ex-friends. Stormy, now she's a distraction."
"Oui. She's m' real weak spot. And I t'ink everyone knows it."
"Why Storm and not Rogue?"
Bobby went down and Remy flinched. "Good t'ing he was iced up. Could've hurt somet'in'." Wolverine waded back into the fray. He was stalking Cyclops. "Stormy's family. Rogue's just m' lover."
Xavier considered that for a long moment. Cyclops managed to dodge Wolverine at the last possible moment. "That was sloppy."
"Nah. That was Cyke distractin' Wolvie from Psylocke." Wolverine went down under Psylocke's telepathic knife. "Wonder how long he'll stay down this time. Rogue's just about at the flag." Remy winced. "Oh, merde. Lost twenty bucks on the femme."
"And with whom did you bet?"
"Scotty. Who else? Go Stormy!" His sister swept down from the ceiling and captured the flag once she was sure Rogue was too busy fighting to get in the way. Rogue was the only other flyer after all. Gambit settled back in satisfaction. "Point t' red team."
"Damn it," Cyclops cursed. Gambit made a face at him.
"If'n y'd let ole Gambit play mebbe y'd have won."
"Bet's for two out of three, Cajun. Reset. Same teams. New map."
"So, y' owe m' forty."
"Means you only owe me ten. Double or nothing tomorrow?"
"Sounds good." Remy stretched, his back cracking as he twisted.