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"Loose Ends"

Loose Ends

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

Standard disclaimer: The X-Men, and all the parts there of belong to Marvel. I'm just using them without their ok. Margaritaville, and Meet me in Memphis belong to Jimmy Buffett. Again, these are being used without permission, purely for enjoyment sake. Johnnie Margolis belongs to no one, he is a man unto himself. Any similarities between Mr. Margolis and anyone living, dead, or fictional is purely coincidental.

Loose Ends

Part 3

Rogue's initial impression of Revanche Key was good. It wasn't a very large island, probably no more than ten or twenty acres, but how much island did one really need?

Halogen lamps showing the way, the dock was well lit. There was a second skiff, identical to the one she was sitting in, tied on one side of the dock. Remy expertly guided the boat to the other side, and in a quick flurry of activity, tied it off.

Jumping onto the quay, he offered his hand to Rogue. Steadying herself on his arm, she jumped onto the deck, and into his arms. For his effort, he was rewarded with another quick peck, this time on the lips. He looked at her, surprised, but pleased, by her sudden displays of affection. It appeared that things were going to work out well after all.

A light breeze kicked up as they made their way up the gravel path toward the house. Rogue's head kept turning from side to side, as if she wanted to take in every aspect of the island. The key was lush; saw grass grew in thick clumps on both sides of the path, while palm trees swayed in the breeze. Remy had, indeed, found a tropical paradise.

Her first glimpse of the house confirmed her appraisal. It appeared to be a large, in the darkness she couldn't really judge the size, stilt house of indeterminate color. Remy explained that the majority of the houses in the Keys were built on stilts to avoid rising water from tidal waves, hurricanes, and the like.

There was no white picket fence, but when you had a blue, rolling fence circling your property, you really didn't need one. Rogue felt she could be happy here. If Remy asked her to stay.

As they got closer to the house, Rogue realized she had been correct; the place was HUGE. She had no idea they made stilt houses that big. Her comment to Remy was met with a laugh.

"Dat's continued 'largess' from m' South 'Merican friends."

Rogue stopped in her tracks, stood akimbo, and scowled.

"Ah thought y'all said you was legit!"

Remy looked confused.

"I did. I am! Whatcha talkin' 'bout, girl?"

She waved her right hand around.

"This is what Ah'm talkin' 'bout! What about that South American 'friend's of yours?"

Remy shook his head. No matter how much time passed, things never changed: Rogue still didn't trust him. Not completely.

"Y' outta y'mind, girl! When I was hittin' dose guys back 'bout nine years ago, I hit 'im good! I got enough 'venture capital' t' buy dis island, m' boat, and t' live comfor'bly for d' rest a' my life. Remy don't need t' be takin' d' tourists out on d' water. He wants ta."

Rogue could hear the hurt indignation in his voice, and immediately regretted speaking.

"Remy, Ah . . . "

Remy cut her off in mid-apology, his reply brusque.

"Never mind, Rogue. Let's get inside."

For the first time since her arrival, Rogue was beginning to feel slightly uneasy. She had no idea why.

Silently they made their way up the gravel path to the house. They had to walk between the pillars and under the house to reach the stairs. Fortunately for Rogue, the area under the house was well lit.

Remy led her up the stairs. When he reached the landing, he stopped, his hand on the knob, and looked at her. He had an odd expression on his face, one that Rogue couldn't fully read. She definitely detected anticipation in his eyes, but after that . . .

"Ya ready?"

Rogue nodded her ascent.

"Well den, welcome t' Chateau LeBeau!"

With that he twisted the knob, pushed the door inward, and led Rogue into the house.

The entryway was well lit and spacious. Decorated in light grays and green, Rogue was impressed by the furnishings and wall decor. From the mirror hanging opposite the door to the table, complete with fresh flowers in an obviously expensive vase, the decor was elegant, almost feminine, not really Remy's style, but very nice. She liked it.

Shutting the door behind her, she took a step forward, and stumbled. Looking down, Rogue realized that she tripped over a small, yellow dump truck. A Tonka to be exact. She recalled having one just like it when she was a girl. Confused by the incongruity of toy in Remy's house, she looked up at him, a question forming on her lips. It was a question that was answered before she could even ask it.



Rogue heard the shouts before she heard the feet. She heard the feet before she saw the children. Before she could register what was happening, two figures, each roughly four foot tall, bounded around the corner, and into Remy's arms. With a quick glance, Rogue identified one boy and one girl, both definitely Remy's children. The boy, who was slightly taller, was a towhead, but had his father's unsettling red on black eyes. The girl, while obviously the younger of the two children, was almost a mirror image of her father's face. She even had his red-brown hair stretching down to her mid-back.

Remy gathered both of them into his arms, planting kisses on each of their cheeks. Rogue felt a quick stab of jealousy at what she later described as the surreal Brady Bunch quality of the scene.

"Daddy we missed you!"

"Where have you been?"

"We've been waiting for you?"

"Danny caught a fish today . . . want t' see it?"

"It's jus' a little one, mommy says I gotta throw it back after you see it. Will you help me?"

The last sentence was a cold slap in the face. The blood drained from her face as she looked at Remy, her eyes filled with questions. He simply smiled at her. The children, following their father's gaze, noticed Rogue for the first time.

"Robert, Danielle . . . I wan' ya t' meet an ol' friend of y' daddy's. Dis here is y' Aunt Rogue. Rogue, dese m' chillen', Robert and Danielle."

The children, caught off guard by the stranger's presence, shyly mumbled polite hellos. Rogue, still shaken by the 'mommy comment', was little more eloquent. What little capacity she had for speech left her when 'mommy' turned the corner and joined them in the foyer.

In retrospect, Rogue should have realized that the children had a mother as soon as she saw them. Recognizing that elementary biological truth would have provided her some sort of equilibrium, if not comfort. Unfortunately, her introduction to the LeBeau clan was happening so quickly, she was caught completely off guard.

The children's mother, Rogue couldn't bring herself to think of the women as Remy's wife, was a petite blond who was as beautiful, well dressed, and pregnant. Upon seeing Rogue, she stopped short, then looked quickly from Rogue to her husband. Rogue saw instant recognition in the woman's eyes, as well as something else -- hatred, maybe?

Shooting a glance at Remy, the blond spoke to her children, telling them to go play in their rooms until bedtime. Her voice was soft and sultry, yet tinged with detectable stress. To Rogue's surprise, the children left without a single protest. Remy called softly after them.

"I'll been in t' see ya in a bit."

"'Kay daddy."

When the children were gone, the three adults stood quietly for a moment, no one wanting to speak first. It struck Rogue as a very peculiar 'Mexican Standoff'. Finally, Remy broke the silence.

"Ahh. I knew dere was somthin' I f'got t' tell you. Rogue, dis is Michelle. She m' wife. 'Chelle, dis is . . . "

"That's all right honey, I know who this is." The words were almost a sneer. Rogue could detect the contempt in the woman's voice. She barely found her voice.

"It's a pleasure t' meet y'all."

"I wish I could say the same."

Michelle looked over at Remy, softly shaking her head.

"I've got dinner holding in the oven. While Rogue be staying?"

Remy shrugged.

"Guess dat remains t' be seen, neh?"

"Well . . . Let me know."

With that, and without another word to Rogue, she spun on her heel and left them alone.

Rogue's head was swimming. For the first time in a very long time she had allowed herself to hope. Hope that there was life for her outside of the X-Men. Hope that that life was with Gambit: the only man she had truly loved. The one man she left to die. Hope that he had forgiven her, and still had feelings for her. Hope that with love they could work through the problem of her mutation, like they had tried more than a decade ago. Most of all hope that with patience and understanding they could have a family, and be happy together.

Now, she was not really sure of what was going on. Her only thought was this can't be happenin'. Slowly, tears started to form in her eye, and she looked at Remy. She couldn't find her voice. All she could manage was to mouth the word 'why'.

The pain in Rogue's eyes was almost unbearable. For the first time since he picked her up from the airport, Remy's resolve faltered. Briefly. Gently, because he still had feelings for her, he took her arm and led her back outside, out from under the house, and into the moonlight. She stepped a few feet away and turned her back on him, unable to look at him.

The only sound heard for a full five minutes was the gentle crash of the waves. When she finally spoke, her voice was soft, the pain obvious.


"Yeah Rogue?"

"What's goin' on? What am Ah doin' here?"

"Y' receivin' a long past due payment."

"What!?" She turned toward him. The bewilderment she was feeling, while still present, was turning toward anger.

"Jus' gettin' m' pound of flesh f' your betrayal all dem years ago."

He could hear the quivering in her voice and smiled inwardly.

"Revenge? How's this revenge? Y'all got some anti-mutation field around here, a Genoshan collar or somethin'? Y' gonna try 'n kill me Remy? Y' gonna keep me prisoner or somethin'? What?"

Remy actually laughed.

"Non. Ain't gonna do none of dat. Told ya, I'm legit. 'Sides you invuln'able. Can't hurt ya on d' outside. So I figure I gotta hurt ya on d' inside - where ya soft."

"Why? 'Cause of th' trial. Hell Remy, Ah was so hurt you didn't trust me, trust us enough t' confide in me, Ah wasn't thinkin' straight. It took me a long time t' admit to myself Ah made a mistake. Ah would've apologized sooner, but ya didn't give me th' chance."

"'Pology woulda been real helpful if I'd froze t' death where y' left me, girl."

Her anger peaking, Rogue felt her cheeks flush. She knew there was no defense for her actions ten years ago, but that didn't keep her from lashing out.

"Its all your fault anyway, y' swamp rat. Why the hell didn't ya come clean sooner 'n tell me what happened. Ah would've been able ta cope with it. Eventually."

The tone in Rogue's voice, as well as the insinuation that it was his fault she left him to die caused Remy to explode.


The sudden outburst caught Rogue by surprise. To that point he had been soft spoken, almost apologetic in his explanation. There was silence for a moment, and when Remy spoke again, his voice was again under control.

"Tried t' tell you d' only way I could. D' only way you could possibly un'erstand."

"What are you talkin' about? You never tried ta tell me nothin'! Th' only way ya ever tol' me something, was when Ah was in yer head."

Slowly a grin spread across his face, and Rogue was suddenly unsure of herself.

"Don' tell me y' forgot Seattle? I sure didn't." Rogue remained impassive. She wasn't sure where he was going with this, but she didn't like it. "'Member d' theater? Y' should - 'ya left me dere too. Now dat I t'ink of it, y' kind made a habit o' dat."

"What's your point?"

"Y' really don' remember, do you?"

Rogue shook her head.

"Well dere we were, 'n Drake'll back me up on dis, if he has d' guts. I was on m' knees, practically beggin' y' not t' go."

"Ah remember . . . so?"

"So -- what I do next?"

Rogue shrugged, figuring he'd tell her anyway.

"Told ya I wanted y' ta know everyt'ing. But it had t' be under my conditions."

Slowly, an agonized look spread across Rogue's face as she recalled the exchange. She raised a hand to her mouth.

"Ya took your glove off . . . "

"'N' held m' hand out t' you. It was d' only way I could tell ya so you'd understand, not only what I did, but how I felt about it, both at d' time, 'n' later."

"Ah . . . Ah . . . "

"Yeah, dem's my thoughts too. So I t'ought 'bout dat while I sat dere freezin' my ass in d' snow. D' more I t'ought, d' madder I got."

Rogue's face was drawn, her expression questioning. He continued.

"Like I told ya back in d' bar, I was obsessed wit' gettin' back. Sure, part of it of it was gettin' even wit' d' Marauders 'n Sinister, but mostly it was gettin' back at you what kep' me goin'."

Rogue wrapped her arms around herself, as if that may somehow protect her from his words.

"You were so indignant, so self-righteous leavin' me back dere t' freeze t' death. 'Take care o' yourself, Remy. You always been good at dat'. Dose your words Rogue. 'Member?"

She nodded her assent.

"'Member dat sayin' -- De best revenge is livin' well'?"

Rogue nodded again.

"Well let's add it up. I'm married, got two wonderful kids, wit' a third on d' way, a house, a bidness, money, 'n a normal life. All d' t'ings you wanted. Dat *WE* wanted together, neh?"


"Well . . . " he paused momentarily savoring the moment before continuing, "dat's d' beauty of it. See, I got all dat, t'rown in wit' a women who truly loves, and trusts me. She love me almost as much as I love her, almost as much as I loved you. I got all dat. All you got is d' ability t' control y' powers f' no longer 'n' five , ten seconds. Dat 'n your ol' room in d' house."

Remy felt the slap before he even saw her move. Rogue had covered the ten feet between them instantly, and landed a hard slap on his left cheek. While she didn't mean to do any actual damage, his head snapped back, and he fell to the ground.

Putting his hand briefly to his cheek, Remy stood. He worked his tongue around his mouth feeling the damage. Slowly he spit a molar into his hand. Stained crimson, it glinted in the moonlight. He grinned.

"Y' losin' a step, girl. Ten years ago, I be holdin' seven or eight teeth, 'stead a'one."

"You're a BASTARD Remy LeBeau! Ah did what Ah did outta confusion and pain. This is spite, pure 'n simple."

"Y' right, Rogue. You always got d' answer. YOU'RE never wrong . . . "

He never got the chance to finish; Rogue took off in a cloud of crushed coral, and was out of sight before he could clear his eyes.

Remy didn't move for a good fifteen minutes, he just stood there looking north. Michelle had watched the exchange from the shadows of their balcony. She was close enough to see, but far enough away so she wouldn't overhear. She owed him that privacy.

Slowly, she made her way down the balcony stair, and toward her husband. She knew that part of him would always love Rogue. With such a long and intense history, how could he not? Besides, that was only fair; she had a boyfriend or two in her past that she was still very fond of.

Smiling inwardly, she came up behind Remy and snaked her hand into his. They stood quietly for a time, Michelle waiting for him to break the silence.

"Sorry I didn' tell ya I was gonna bring Rogue by. Had it in m' head t' do it f' awhile now. I was sitting out in d' boat d' other day, 'n decided t' jus' do it. Once I decided, I didn't really t'ink 'bout it, just acted." He looked over at his wife, half-afraid of what he would see. She smiled up at him.

Looking into his eyes, she responded. "I understand . . . " She wanted to say more, but the words escaped her. Instead, she turned her attention back to the ocean before asking the one question burning in her mind. "Was it worth it? Are the ghosts gone?"

He didn't answer for a long time. When he did, he voice was low, and possibly a bit cracked. "Don' know f' sure, really. Guess only time'll tell."

Remy turned he back on Michelle for a moment and quickly blinked his eyes. Turning back around, he threw his arm around her waist, and turned her gently toward the house. Arm in arm, they began the trip back home. "So 'Chelle . . . I understan' dat Danny caught somet'in' t' day dat I need t' look at, eh?"


Concluded in the Epilogue.


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