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
Touching each carefully, Remy LeBeau counted out each of
the baby's ten, tiny fingers and toes. The skin was velvety,
soft to the touch, with a lingering residue of sweet-smelling
powder. Just having been bathed and thus alert, the boy good-humouredly
laughed and snatched at the digit that was prodding it, enjoying
the impromptu game. The actual exploits of the cinq petits
cochons who va'd a la marche and who mange'd
du rosbif were meaningless to him, words flowing over
him like a lullaby, but trying to catch the finger was infinitely
entertaining. When the last petit cochon had departed
for the safety of home, he smilingly bent over the crib, picking
the tiny creature up as delicately as he would have a Ming
vase, and handed it to its grandfather.
Warily, Jean-Luc and the tiny scrap of infanthood regarded
each other. Too-huge, red-on-black eyes held an ineffable
look of smugness and superiority, like a contented, sunbathing
cat, while a tiny fist clutched possessively at the white
blanket in which the baby was swaddled. Decorated with hand-embroidered
ducklings, it had belonged to his uncle before her, although
the pristine condition of the cloth gave no indication of
its age. Tante Mattie would have had it no other way.
"Luc not be made of china, pere."
He looked up to meet the same amused and profoundly disquieting
eyes. His son was grinning at him, managing to look teasing
and peacock-proud at the same time. It was a look common to
new parents everywhere, as they understood that their son
or daughter was a miracle, magic made flesh, a chance in a
million. In Remy's case, it had been a chance in a billion.
Nervously, because it had been a while since he had held a
child, he ventured to stroke the downy head, tracing the tiny
white stripe between the dark fluff that betrayed his parentage.
"Got de worst o' both worlds, non?"
Despite Remy's flippant words, he could see his son's concern
and shared it. Jean-Luc remembered all too well the Council's
reaction to him adopting - what had they called the boy? -
'hell-spawn'. The description had stuck, as the actual words
mutated into epithets such as 'Le Diable Blanc' and
'L' Enfant Fichu.' His son had never seemed to care,
but the perpetual fights in which he had been involved with
both thief and assassin alike had made a lie of his nonchalance.
There had been a stage in his life, where, if a part of his
body was not bruised, it had been scratched.
"Or de best."
Like the other ruby-eyed, nappied bundle that he had seen
that fils du putain Antiquary toting everywhere, like
a chow puppy, twenty-four years ago. Jean-Luc leBeau had not
known Remy's true parents; had not wanted to known the people
from which he was kidnapping a baby; had not wished to imagine
the sad-eyed mother or the angry, powerless father. The child,
despite his obvious mutancy, had been well cared for by his
family in an age where it was seen as a curse among the more
superstitious and a debilitating disease among the more scientific.
"Blame her mother," Remy laughed, "Did m'best
t'keep up de family traditions o' being a bete noir."
Jean-Luc forced a sickly smile. He had taken his son away
from his family twice now, both times to preserve the peace.
First as an infant when the branch of the clan controlled
by the Antiquary - the Velvet Ministry - had become too powerful
to pacify with anything more than direct capitulation to their
wishes and foibles, and then as a man when Julien had been
killed. That considered, he could not understand his son's
loyalty to and love for him, after all he had done to him.
Although his son had privately ranted to him about his wife's
unquestioning trust in 'ca femme' - by which periphrasis,
he gathered that he meant Mystique - he seemed unable to realise
that he was as guilty of devotion to the unworthy as she was.
"Where is Rogue?"
Remy's second marriage had not surprised him, although he
was secretly slightly saddened that the hope of reconciliation
between the Guilds provided by a union with Belladonna was
impossible. His son had always had a penchant for strong woman
- cute pun, Jean-Luc - and Rogue's stubbornness was as legendary
among the family as her ability to lift tons. Motherhood had
done nothing to soften her, had been as efficacious in that
respect as wifehood had. Mattie had won that particular bet.
"She's sleepin' in de next room. Luc was ... reluctant
t'go t'sleep an' terrorists not be as used t'nightlong hauls
as t'ieves are."
Lest he forget that his son's wife had been trained by Mystique,
he thought, and was the equal in skill of any assassin, including
their Queen! He knew Raven Darkholme only by reputation, and
did not wish to improve on that acquaintance. The woman was
renowned for being a remorseless, merciless professional,
who put her unholy cause above all else. Still, he mused,
Rogue served as evidence that there was another gentler side
to her, that there had been maternal instincts buried beneath
those of the hardened fighter. She would not have adopted
the girl if that were not the case, nor could Rogue's fierce
loyalty to her be explained in any other manner. He admired
that loyal part of her character, considered it finer than
any of her more illegal repetoire of skills. Despite her often
prickly demeanour, his daughter-in-law was completely devoted
to both Remy and Luc.
"Ya be happy wit' her, mon fils?" the words
were half-question, half-statement. The man mock-defensively
held up the hand on which he wore her ring, as if to stall
him. In the light, Jean-Luc could see that words were scored
into the otherwise plain, golden band, although he could not
"Oui," he replied simply, and the lack of pain
or doubt in his accompanying smile filled in the gaps where
speech was silent. He had found a home with her where his
adoptive father had been ultimately unable to provide a permanent
one, despite thinking he had managed to make amends for his
Jean-Luc had tried everything to rid himself of his guilt,
of course, even going so far as to attend confessional at
the Church of Lost Thieves. After admitting the length of
time since his last one, he had sat in silence in the confessional
box, hands folded within layers of green velvet, breathing
in the musty, sweet fragrance of smoke and cedar that surrounded
him like a benediction.
In his contemplation, he had begun to murmur the familiar
words of the Confiteor -- the penetential prayer in which
the sinner confessed his deeds and his culpability for them.
The old Latin had rolled over him, rich and rare, calling
on every power for assistance and redemption. Mary, whose
beauty was that of a morning star, could surely cleanse him
with one look from her tender, broken-hearted eyes, or St
Paul, the great apostle and mighty soldier of the Christ,
could intercede in his stead? Or Peter, the rock on which
the church was founded? God was too high and too perfect to
conceive of sin, Jesus too infinitely merciful to approach
without shame, but the grieving, lovely mother of Jesus, the
apostle who denied his master three times and the blinded,
former Pharisee would understand. They knew too well what
it was like to be reviled, to be called unclean, to doubt
their purpose. The words had trailed into a vague amen, as
he had realised that he could not continue. How could he confess
to having committed a sin that was unforgivable, even by his
standards? Knowing that he had gone beyond redemption, he
had pushed the slide open, not hearing the priest's call to
continue, and left the cool, incense-scented church for the
reality of the street.
"Pere?" he realised that he had been lost in thought,
holding his grandson almost absently. Remy looked concerned,
reaching to take the baby from him. Half-reluctantly, Jean-Luc
released the scrap of humanity who was named after him. There
was something comforting about Luc, something that made him
feel that he was not irredeemable. Knowing himself to be safe,
the child stretched and yawned, revealing perfect, teethless
gums. His son's expression softened instantly into its previous
adoring, new father cast.
"I love dem both more dan I t'ought possible, y'know,"
Remy continued, "I ... I survived losin' Belladonna t'rough
sheer stubborness, t'rough lettin' m'job become m'life, but
I never could wit' Rogue an' Luc. If dey were taken from me..."
He grimaced, rearranging the swaddling cloth in which Luc
was hidden and replacing the bundle in the crib. As a final
thought, he set the mobile of smooth, glass pieces moving,
setting specks of multicolored light to darting and flashing
around the room. Judging by the contented, deep breathing
that emanated a few seconds later, it was unneccessary --
the baby had fallen asleep without the help of Mattie's home-made
toy. Jean-Luc came to stand next to his own son at the edge
of the infant's bed, resting a hand on the carved side. A
profound sense of deja vu came over him as he watched Luc
sleep, secure that his parents would protect him from all
harm, that he would always be safe, warm and well-fed. It
was the same look his adopted son had worn, sleeping in his
bassinet on the night that he had been taken to satisfy the
whim of a depraved monster, to end a Intraguild war in which
he had had no part.
"Remy," his voice caught, "I need t'tell ya
"Oui?" he sounded confused, "Quoi?"
Knowing that it could cost him the love of his son, but understanding
that the truth would set him free from the endless guilt and
shame, Jean-Luc began his private confessional.
Baby held in her arms, Rogue regarded Jean-Luc with a strange
mixture of sympathy and distaste in her glorious, green eyes
as she sunk into the leather armchair on the other side of
the desk. Although the standard sycophants that surrounded
anyone in power had announced her, she suspected her grand
entrance would have been slightly more effective had Luc not
been trying to get purchase on her braid. Nonetheless, she
suspected even a full MGM chorus would have probably been
wasted on her father-in-law at the time. The Guild leader
looked more weary than she had seen him before, cheeks stubbled,
dark rings shadowing decidedly puffy eyes, ridiculously thin.
An untouched meal cooled and congealed next to a half-empty
carafe of wine, while the ashes of a fire smouldered in the
grate. Sympathy subsumed distaste as she saw the vulpine man's
pitiful state, and the naked, horrible hope in his eyes as
he saw her.
Remy was unaware that she had flown to New Orleans to see
his estranged father, believing her to have taken Luc to visit
Raven at one of her many apartments. He had opted out of the
excursion, naturally. Her mother and husband were as incompatible
as fire and kerosene -- they tended to spend their time together
making pointed, subtle comments that just avoided being rude.
Although she secretly suspected both of them enjoyed their
verbal battle, she knew that Remy was hardly in the mood for
sparring with Mystique, after having heard what Jean-Luc had
done when he was a baby.
"Ah'm sorry, suh."
"He'll forgive you, you know," she said softly,
"It'll take time, but he will."
Jean-Luc shook his head, "Non, I committed de unforgivable
sin when I stole Remy, cherie."
Smiling, "Fortunately, mah husband's had loads o' practice
in forgivin' the unforgivable. Ah left him ta die, didn' Ah,
and he married me?"
Although her tone was light, the memory was not. Even after
two years of marriage to him, she still carried it with her
-- a slight chill when she saw the snow, a pause outside the
court with its statue of blind Justice, a hesitancy when speaking
of Antarctica in even the most general sense.
"Would ya if I stole Luc in order t'keep peace in de
Her grip on the infant tightening almost instinctively, she
rested her head on the top of his velvety one. The tiny, pale
streak was softer than the chestnut down, and smelt pleasantly
of baby shampoo. Luc's tiny hand snaked out of his blanket
to stroke her cheek -- to her shame, she still pulled away
slightly out of habit -- and she kissed his palm. He laughed
and grabbed her plait, tugging it. Despite his propensity
for snatching at everything and anything, she loved him with
an intensity that surprised her. (Raven would have said it
was unhealthy, but she knew that her adoptive mother had cared
for Irene and herself in a way that made a lie of her words.)
She would hate anyone who took him from her for any reason,
would hunt them down and quite forcibly show them the error
of their ways.
"Ah'm not Remy, suh. He can forgive what Ah never could,"
she paused, extricating her braid from Luc's grip before he
put it in his mouth, "After all, family is th' most important
thing ta him an' you, to all intents an' purposes, are his."
She held up a hand to forestall the predictable objection,
"You may have taken him from his family, suh, but you
gave him your one in its place and that is more important
Disclaimer: Characters are Marvel's, except
for Luc who is far cuter than any child has a right to be.
I know my brother was never this cute, and I doubt any other
laddie is, although they're certainly as noisy. Comments to
Thanks to my beta-reader for all her comments and assistance
in helping this poor S'Effrican speak Yank. ;) This is part
of a series of stories written for a project, involving simulating
the Marvel Universe with Maxis' 'The Sims'. If you're interested,
more details are available at http://www.geocities.com/sim_salem
Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction /
Fan Artwork / History Books /
Photo Album / Songbank /
Miscellania / Links /
Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof
are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an
unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by