Stories in this series
Soon after the birth of Rogue and Gambit's son Luc, Gambit's adoptive father Jean-Luc reveals to Remy the truth of Remy's origins.
"The Cherry Cookie Incident"
Luc and Remy both learn a lesson when Luc steals a batch of Storm's fresh-baked cookies.
"The Sphinx's Question"
Remy bristles with fear when Rogue asks him The Question Which Has No Right Answer.
"Gotta Learn Them All"
Remy tries to familiarize himself with his son's interests by learning the names of all the Pokemon.
On their fifth anniversary, Rogue and Gambit try to break their anniversary celebration curse.
Gambit comes down with a cold and hopes for a little extra TLC.
"Saturday Morning in Salem Center"
Gambit takes his son Luc shopping so that a pregnant (and morning-sickness-plagued) Rogue home with some peace and quiet for the morning.
"The Cabbage Patch"
Jealous of all the attention his new baby sister is getting, Luc tries to send her back to the Cabbage Patch, where his playmate Ainet says all babies come from.
The Sim Salem Project
The Cabbage Patch
Luc LeBeau pasted the final stamp on his "package", then
stepped backwards to admire his handiwork. His sister, seemingly
unfazed by the fact that she was plastered from bald head
to tiny toe with stickers, stared up at him with the brilliantly
green eyes of his mother and cooed and chuckled. He critically
examined the child, especially proud about the final touch.
Across her belly in his best hand-writing, more accustomed
to scribing such pearls of wisdom as "Jane saw Spot" and "Run,
Spot, Run", was the legend "The Cabbage Patch."
"Ya be sure babies come from de cabbage patch?" he doubtfully
asked the girl standing next to him, "Papa said dat she
grew inside maman."
Ainet, a plump girl with corn-row braids, rolled her eyes
in a way that was the envy of all the mansion's children.
She was in the process of eating her way through the contents
of the household cookie jar, spreading crumbs over her red
dress and the floor of the nursery, and her commentary was
consequently slightly muffled by a blueberry whirl.
"No f'nse, Luc, b' thhs j's r'd'c'lis..." she swallowed her
mouthful, "What would Uncle Remy know 'bout it? I'm sure he
wasn't there when you got her. Only moms are allowed to be
there and mine says my brother came from the cabbage patch.
After all, plants grow in the garden and not in people, don't
Convinced by the perfect logic of his playmate, Luc nodded.
Her theory did not quite explain the change of shape his mother
had undergone in the few months before Irene was born, nor
the feel of a decided kick against his cheek when he had laid
his head on her stomach, but he was sure there was a rational
explanation for both of those. He would ask his mother when
she was in a better mood, having been chased out of the kitchen
for tracking mud over the newly-washed floor. It was unreasonable,
Luc thought, to expect a normal, five year-old boy to keep
clean the whole time when there were such interesting puddles
to explore and insects to hunt in the garden. He had tried
to explain that to her once, and had been no less firmly scrubbed
for his troubles. Besides, she always was grumpy when his
father went away for any length of time.
"So, should we mail her?" his friend grinned, "I wish I could
do this to the Brat."
The boy had once had the more dignified name of David, which
Stormy and Uncle Bishop and their friends still misguidedly
used, but he had quickly been christened the Brat by his sister.
The name fitted Irene better than David, Luc privately thought,
but Ainet had laid claim to it first. Anyway, after today,
the baby would hardly need a name, because he would return
her to the cabbage patch from which she had come and stolen
his parents. He scowled at the infant, hating her and the
way she smiled gummily up at him.
There was nothing remotely interesting about her. Her limited
charms began and ended with noises and smells. On the contrary,
he, Luc LeBeau, could walk from one side of the room to the
other on his hands. He had shown his parents that particular
trick a few nights ago, and they had barely even noticed him.
However, when Irene had made a noise that sounded more like
"wrwff" than anything intelligible or sensible, they had gone
into raptures. That was when he had decided that he needed
to rid himself of her, to break the spell she had over his
"Oui, A, let's go."
Knowing that she looked the part of the barefoot (which she
was) and pregnant (which she was not and thank god for small
mercies) wife and irritated by it, Rogue ferociously scrubbed
the kitchen floor's tiles. They were spotless, had been so
for some hours, but she was glad of the physical activity.
If she stopped, she knew the thoughts and doubts that had
gabbled and chattered in the darkness the previous night would
return. Logically, she knew that Remy was possibly the best
thief in the world and that the odds of anything going wrong
with what was a simple pinch were so slim they made Callista
Flockhart seem obese. Still, the niggling voice of fear that
subsumed reason gleefully suggested a thousand, different
scenarios. He could have tripped an alarm, could have been
savaged by guard-dogs, could have lost his footing on the
rooftop and slipped, could have been betrayed by the New Son,
Swearing in annoyance, she dropped her brush back into the
bucket of dirty water and carried them to the door to empty
over their garden. There was a thrifty streak in her that
years of Remy's extravagance had not quite erased, and she
remembered her own "mother" reusing water for the few marigolds
that she was able to coax out of the dusty soil. Thanks to
Storm's efforts, their garden was slightly more splendid than
her childhood one had been, but the beauty was wasted on her
at the moment. Each flash of pink seen out of the corners
of her eyes made her think that her husband had returned.
Each explosion of red made her stomach turn. Deliberately
forcing the images out of her mind, she realised that both
of her children had been remarkably quiet.
"Luc? Where are you?"
Silence. Suspicious silence, considering her son made more
noise than she thought five year-old lungs could produce.
Ainet had come over to play, and, by now, they would have
usually been a steam-train, Superman and Poison Ivy, Two Ninja
Kids or anything else that made an obscene racket. Was he
sulking in his room? She felt a momentary stab of remorse
at having yelled at him for walking mud all over the floor.
Her nerves were on edge, but she had no call to take her own
doubts and fears out on her little boy.
"Luc? Luc?," she repeated as she climbed up the stairs, "Ah
shoulda been ... Good gawd, Luc, what have you done ta yo'
A truculant expression on his face, her son was in the process
of carrying a laughing Irene from the nursery. The baby was
covered from top to toe in stickers and her stomach was covered
in a black scrawl that seemed to read: "The kabij patch".
His co-conspirator, Ainet, formed the end of the little retinue
as she carried the girl's bottle and blanket.
When she saw Rogue, she tried to smile ingenuously: "Just
taking Reenie for a walk, Missus LeBeau."
"Uh huh," it took all of her self-control to keep a straight
face, "Ah think you should take a walk home, Ainet. Luc, yo'
With the bloodthirstiness of the average five year-old boy,
Luc had once devoured a grim series of horror comics, belonging
to Iceman. He had done so on the sly, slipping into Bobby's
room and rummaging in one of the boxes in the corner. He had
known his parents would not approve, had not when they had
discovered his escapades, but the stories were so thrilling
and so shivery that he had been addicted. Vampires, zombies,
monsters, headless horsemen had all impressed themselves on
his vivid imagination.
One story, in particular, still figured in his nightmares.
It told of a crazed count, who had the unfortunate habit of
snatching naughty boys up in his burlap sack. There he would
PUNISH them, depending on their crimes. THIEVES would have
their fingers SNIPPED OFF with a pair of shears. LIARS or
TATTLETALES would have their TONGUES removed. EAVESDROPPERS
would have their EARS clipped. So the litany had continued,
much to Luc's horrified fascination. Even though his mother
had told him that the story was nonsense, that he should not
worry about it, he still imagined that he could see a shadowy,
insane figure, clutching scissors, whenever he did something
wrong. It was his conscience after a fashion.
Consequently, he sat on his bed, looking pensively at the
frieze of Supermans on his wall and listening to the sounds
of the baby being bathed. His mother was singing some wordless
and tuneless song to Irene, barely audible over the splashes
of water and the protests of his sister. She hated being cleaned
almost as much as he did. By the Count's system of justice,
in which he so firmly believed, he would be SENT BACK to the
cabbage patch himself, even if he was no longer a baby. Besides,
his parents had clearly shown that they loved Irene more and
he was therefore redundant. A nuisance, who was only kept
because they felt guilty or because no-one else would take
him. Luc sniffed in the grasp of the misery that only the
truly young could know, because it was not yet subject to
reason. A fat tear rolled down his cheek, followed by a procession
of the same.
"Now that Reenie's asleep, Luc, what am Ah ta do with...?"
his mother's voice shifted from stern to tender within seconds,
"Sweetie, what's wrong?"
"I don't want to go back t'de Cabbage Patch, momma," he gulped,
as she slipped an arm around his shoulder. The wool of her
sweater was scratchy against his cheek, but he burrowed his
face into her side anyway. She was very soft and warm, and
she smelt wonderfully of soap and powder.
"Lawd above, Luc, who told you that rubbish?" she asked gently,
but not without withering scorn.
"Ainet said ... said dat all babies come from de cabbage
patch. Dat mommas go dere and pick 'em like vegetables," he
murmured, thinking there was nothing as comforting as a mother.
He felt the muscles of her ribs twitch beneath his face, as
if she were desperately trying to keep control of herself.
"Don't Ah wish," she said wryly, then added in a more solemn
tone of voice: "Sweetie, whatever Ororo might have told Ainet
and however she might have got her daughter, Ah tend ta carry
mah kids beneath mah heart. Ah carried you there for nine
months, and ... you were so much a part o' me that Ah couldn't
believe it when Cece handed me a tiny, pink bundle and said
that this was you. Ah couldn't grasp that that tiny kick or
those hiccups were a little boy, separate from me; that your
daddy and Ah had made somethin' so ... perfect."
Again, the fascinating mystery of how the baby had ended
up in her stomach. He had repeatedly asked his father about
it with the unsatisfying effect of Remy commenting either
on how "wonderful de weather was and wouldn' ya like t'go
play outside, mon cher ti-fils?" or on how "he was goin' t'de
shops and would Luc like t'come wit' him?". His mother was
equally bad when it came to satisfying Luc's curiosity. She
laughed and said that his dad would explain it to him. Which
led to more observations about the weather and shopping.
Smugly, "I t'ought Ainet was wrong. So, ya aren't gonna put
me back where ya got me?"
Rogue laughed, "Absolutely not. Nine months is enough ta
test th' patience of a saint -- Ah'm not carryin' any of my
kids fo' any longer. Even if Ah do love them more than anything
"So ya love me more dan Irene?"
"Ah love you as much as Ah love her," she kissed the top
of Luc's head, "Ah know we've been spendin' less time with
you recently. It doesn't mean we don't love you. Babies just
need a lot of attention and love. However, when your daddy
gets back, Ah'm going t'talk ta him about us spendin' more
time with you."
"So, I'm not goin' t'be punished?" he asked hopefully.
"Ah didn't say that," the corners of her lips were upturned,
even if her tone of voice was strict, "Ah think you need t'do
somethin' ta make it up ta yo' sister."
Luc pouted. Of all the punishments his mother could have
chosen, hand-chopping and ear-snipping included, having to
pander to his baby sister was about the worst. He would probably
have to fetch her diapers and bottle for a month, or (horror
of horrors) amuse her when she refused to fall asleep. Visions
of him having to hold puppet shows for Irene's exclusive benefit
danced through his head, and collided with stubborn refusals
to do so.
"Well," his mother sounded thoughtful, "You do know Reenie
has never been to th' zoo? Ah was thinking of taking her this
afternoon. Her big brother would, of course, have to show
her around and point out the animals to her. Also, Ah'm pretty
sure she's never had any icecream. However, it's bad fo' babies,
so her big brother would have ta eat most of it fo' her. Ah
think that'd be a start, don't you?"
Grinning broadly at the thought of the zoo's excellent cones,
"Oui, maman, but ... I t'ink she'd also like t' see Pokemon
2 an' get some comics an' go t'de arcade an' have a Superman
Disclaimer: My last few pieces
have been so horribly angsty and\or despondant that I thought
I needed to write some light relief for the sake of my soul.
All characters are Marvels, except Luc, Irene and Ainet who
I'd call mine but their parents would object to it. :)
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