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
Luc was in the process of exploring what he considered to
be an intriguing patch of mud. Dark, viscous, it sucked at
his ankles as he waded through it, a profoundly satisfying
'gloop' marking each sticky step. Supervillains, he thought,
always had deadly swamps and forests in front of their homes
to trap and mislead the unwary hero. Unfortunately for Killer
Croc, he had not banked on encountering Luc LeBeau, Jungle
Tracker Extraordinaire. (Luc was not sure what extraordinaire
meant, although he had heard his father use it often in connection
with his cooking skills.)
Looking down at his white shirt and denim shorts in disgust,
he knew that he needed to camouflage himself if he were to
have any chance of getting near the criminal's lair without
being seen. He grinned, rolling in the mud with more gusto
than was strictly necessary. Almost satisfied with the effect,
as a final thought, he smeared grime in his russet hair and
sprinkled a few dried leaves on top for good measure. Feeling
for his now muddy plastic knife and putting it between his
teeth, he crawled on his hand and knees to behind a handy
tree where he sat watching the base.
Although it seemed like a perfectly ordinary, white-painted
house with blue gables and a lush, immaculate garden, he knew
that that was deceptive. A clever fašade that had fooled all
the inhabitants of the mansion's grounds. The residence was
obviously the home of the insane Killer Croc who even Batman
had had difficulty defeating. Luc, however, had no such plans.
He wished to avoid a confrontation with the psychopath, if
at all possible, while stopping the reptile's plan to make
Luc's family and their friends his slaves. All it would take
was disposing of the evil, mind-control cookies that were
cooling on the outside table. Cookies, to which he was fortunately
Plucking up his courage and removing his 'weapon' from his
teeth, Luc charged.
Weeding the beds in a shady corner of their yard, Ororo suddenly
became aware of a kid-shaped mudball sprinting across a corner
of the lawn, shedding its protective dirt and leaves as it
did so. Fervently hoping that it was not Ainet and fully prepared
to deliver a stern lecture if it turned out to be her daughter,
she strode purposefully, regally, in the general direction
of where the child was running.
She was too late, she thought in horror, as she saw the series
of muddy footprints on her formerly pristine steps and the
grubby hand marks that were in place of her cherry cookies.
Another print on the wall indicated that the culprit had vaulted
over it into her dahlias, as did the crushed state of the
flowers. Solicitously, she created a small shower above them
in order to try and revive them, but she was dubious about
their chances of survival. Only one child would have been
able to execute such an athletic feat at his age, she mused
as she looked at the dirty wall, and she loved his father
too much to hurt him by telling them about his son's prank.
Dropping her towel in a manner that would have made any movie-star
jealous, Rogue sank into the marvelously, bubbly bath. Smelling
of a generic spring field, complete with suitably unidentifiable
flowers, it had been one of her rare, self-indulgent purchases.
Despite her current, improved financial status, she had been
poor as a child and still had some of the old mindsets in
place. Spending money on anything other than food, rent and
clothes was impossible when your mother earned subminimum
wage, she thought, and your father was a photograph in a high-school
yearbook. Remy, on the other hand, was ridiculously extravagant.
Especially when it came to Luc, she added as she picked a
Water Wars Superman off the ledge at the end of the bath and
examined it. The Super Soaking Action was in reality a rather
sad and pathetic squirt that she doubted would scare a kitten,
let alone stop a supervillain. She was reluctant to tell her
husband that it was unnecessary to buy their son every new
toy that came on the market, although she had made 'subtle'
hints about it in the past. After all, he too had had an early
childhood that could best be described as bleak and wanted
to give Luc everything that he had not had. Which evidently
covered everything from a roof over his head to a seemingly
endless supply of ridiculous action figures.
Rogue sighed, replacing Superman and picking up a bar of
equally faux lavender soap. As her husband had so kindly mentioned,
she smelt like the inside of a tin-pot after hours of hand-to-hand
combat with Shi'ar Guardian Droids -- or so Beast had assured
her they were, although she suspected that
he had invented them after reading one too many science-fiction
novels. She wasn't quite sure whether to take Remy's comment
as a compliment or not, knowing his fondness for cooking,
although how he had wrinkled his nose seemed to indicate that
flattery was not his intention. He was being unreasonable,
of course. It wasn't her fault that her powers required her
to attack at close-range and that oil and coolant fluid had
a habit of spraying anyone within a few feet. She still wondered
why Beast had chosen to use such archaic machinery, given
the level of holographic technology in the Danger Room. Sadism
probably, she grimaced, as she inspected a lock of oil-matted
Applying shampoo to the offending curls, she sank into the
bubbles and allowed her tight muscles to relax. Mystique had
never told her that having a family and fighting for a cause
could be so exhausting. Mind you, she added as she turned
the hot water faucet on with a foot, she had perhaps been
foolish to accept the burden of leadership that had fallen
on her during the latter months of Ororo's second pregnancy.
Although Rogue had accepted on the position on the condition
that it was temporary, it had been almost two years since
Ororo's son had been born and she seemed no more inclined
to take it up than at the beginning. Not that she blamed her
friend for not wanting to leave her baby for longer than was
strictly necessary. She remembered the strange wrench she
had felt when taking Xavier up on his offer to head one of
the teams, knowing and hating that it would mean less time
with little Luc. He had been two-and-a-quarter (in his own
words) at the time and seemingly a different child every day.
Still, her hand went thoughtfully to her abdomen, if what
she suspected was correct, Ororo would be forced to reassume
leadership of the team very soon. As in four months very soon.
Humming, up to her neck in warm water, Rogue wondered how
long she should wait before telling her husband about the
enforced, but not unpleasant, change to her carefully laid
plans. He would realize soon enough, of course, and would
be terrified by the seeming lack of knowledge on her part.
After all, ignorance would not cause her to temper her actions
appropriately. Appropriately in Remy's lexicon was defined
as complete bed-rest through all three trimesters with him
running around catering for her every whim and panicking if
she put a toe outside the house. She smirked, as she remembered
how ... inappropriately she had behaved when carrying Luc
and the endless 'suggestions' that he had made to her about
modifying her lifestyle. This was going to be fun, after all.
"Inside of a tin-pot, indeed," she repeated scornfully,
and decided to let him torture himself.
A very smug Luc LeBeau smiled up at his father. That is to
say, Remy was almost certain that it was Luc, as all that
was visible of the face were twin, eerily glowing, red-on-black
eyes peeping through a thick mask of mud. Leaves were tangled
in the caked hair, while decorating the mouth area were crumbs
of what once had probably been cookies. The clean shirt and
shorts that Remy could have sworn were white and blue respectively
were a uniform shade of sludge, as was every inch of skin
on his body.
"Dieu, a swamp-monster," he grinned at the
tiny boy, "Have ya come t'eat us?"
Luc shook his head with the infinite patience of the young
explaining something to an undoubtedly stupid adult, "Ah'm
Luc LeBeau, jungle tracker extraordinaire."
"Ya better hope ya maman doesn't track ya down,"
he stooped to pick his son up, in order to save the carpet,
wincing as he saw what had a few seconds ago been a pristine
Armani shirt become an interesting shade of brown too. Still,
he thought, shirts were a few thousand dollars a dozen, while
he only had one child. Strangely enough, although Remy had
often thought that he would not be contented with less than
a dynasty, Luc had proven him wrong by being more than sufficient.
Contending with a pregnant Rogue also had dampened his enthusiasm
for a sprawling clan considerably, he thought with a grin.
"Momma'll kill me dead," the boy lamented colorfully,
looking considerably more crestfallen than he had before.
"Better get ya t'de bathroom before den, petit."
Halfway up the stairs, he remembered that his wife, who would
be less than delighted if a grubby Luc burst in on her, occupied
it. Well, had occupied it as a considerably better
smelling Rogue emerged, ensconced in a white, linen bathrobe.
Her eyes widened as she saw her child and her lips tightened
in a highly suspicious manner, almost as if she was trying
to suppress helpless laughter.
"Mah lawd, swamprat, we now know who our son takes aftah."
"Oui, m'sweet Mississippi Mudpie, we do," he countered,
dredging up Bobby's old name for her. She had hated it about
as much as Ororo loathed being called Stormy -- a fact Iceman
had quickly learnt while being held a few hundred feet above
the ground. As he spoke, he could see the promise of a bird's
eye view of Salem Center on her face. It wasn't that he didn't
enjoy flying with her -- being completely alone at a thousand
feet had its possibilities -- but that she was capable of
making her point through decidedly dangerous loop-de-loops
and dives. Luc chuckled.
"Momma wants ta kill you dead now, Daddy."
She grinned and turned back into the bathroom, from which
the sound of running water soon emerged. The boy's laughter
changed to a look of profound disgust and he squirmed in an
attempt to get loose, mud flaking onto the floor as he did
so. Fortunately, for the moment, the stripe in his hair (now
brown with mud) was his only obvious inheritance from his
mother and he sulkily gave up after a few minutes.
"She'll ruin my camouflage," Luc whined, "Killer
Croc will be able to find me an' he'll eat me."
"Why would Killer Croc be after ya, petit?"
Remy asked seriously, knowing all too well that the fictional
character from Batman could be a real danger, such as the
shape-shifting Sinister, in disguise. Besides, even if it
were only Luc's imagination, in the uncertain boundary between
fact and fiction in the world of the child, his son would
still need reassurance. He himself had believed that the loup-garou
of Fagan's stories lurked in every dark New Orleans alleyway,
undefeatable by six year-old reason. Then again, more plausibly,
Luc just could be trying to escape a bath.
"'CauseAhtookhisevilmindcontrolcookies," the boy
answered quickly, looking more than a little ashamed.
"Ya took his evil, mind-control cookies?" he repeated,
scared that some stranger had fed his son something more damaging
than lies, "Where were dey?"
"Coolin' on Auntie Ro's porch," Luc mumbled, burying
his face in Remy's shirt, "I knew it was wrong, daddy,
but ... they had cherries in them an'..."
Although the crime was relatively minor, able to be dismissed
as an innocent piece of mischief, he was stunned by the implications
of his son's confession. He was still a practising, unrepentant
thief, who took immense pride in his work and skill, but he
had hoped that his son would choose a different path to him.
Would not have to risk life and freedom every time he accepted
a job. Would not have to go through the endless, dangerous
initiations that marked his passage into the Guild. He had
lost a cousin to the Tilling, a brother to the assassins,
a piece of his soul to the Rites of Passage, and did not want
to add a son to the list of casualties.
"Go bath, Luc," the coolness in his voice surprised
even himself as he placed the boy on the floor, although he
recognized it as a blind to cover his fear, "We'll talk
about dis later."
"Pere?" he sounded puzzled, confused, heartbroken
at the sudden remoteness of his beloved father. Eyes questioning
her husband, Rogue put a hand on the boy's thin shoulder and
gave it a brief, compassionate squeeze.
"Make sure you get rid o' all th' dirt, sweetie, 'cause
Ah'll deal with Killer Croc if he comes near you."
Uncertainly, tears beginning to sparkle in his brilliant
eyes, Luc trailed into the bathroom and shut the door softly
behind him. Small as he was, he looked more fragile and tiny
than Remy could have thought possible. He had hurt his son
for reasons that the boy could not hope to understand and
he doubted that he could repair the harm his actions had done
to their relationship. Rogue shook her head, the eloquent
gesture saying more than words could hope to do.
"Ya don' understan'," he said defensively.
"Damn straight Ah don't, LeBeau," she replied sharply,
"Nor does Luc. It was bit o' innocent, childish mischief
and you're actin' like he's stolen th' crown jewels. If Ah
had a buck foh each time Cody an' Ah raided cookie jars, Ah'd
have been a rich woman long before Ah left Caldecott."
He opened his mouth to explain, but she preempted him, planting
hands on hips in a gesture that he knew meant that the discussion
"Ah don't want ta hear yo' reasons, Rem, 'cause Ah suspect
it's th' same reason Ah watch him like a hawk every time Raven
comes ta visit. You don't want him ta become a thief, any
more than Ah want him ta become a terrorist," she paused,
"Still, it doesn't mean that we must expect him ta be
a saint. He's a four year-old boy, which Ah'm assured by yo'
tante, is th ' age when they're th' devil incarnate. He will
want ta play with dart guns an' he will filch th' odd cookie,
but that's perfectly normal an' natural. So, lovah, that leaves
the question -- what are you goin' ta do about it?"
At some time between midnight and morning, Remy felt a very
small, cold creature creep determinedly into their bed and
snuggle next to him for warmth. He naturally exuded energy,
losing heat constantly to his surroundings and both Luc and
Rogue tended to take advantage of it. In the case of the latter,
he had his suspicions about her underlying motives as she
had often spoken about her mutant power keeping away the chill.
Luc had evidently not inherited that aspect of her powers,
he thought, as what felt like an ice-block even through a
T-shirt brushed against his back. Where had the boy been for
his feet to be so icy?
"Ti-Luc," he whispered, "Ya been trekkin'
"No, daddy," a Southern drawl answered, "Ah've
been makin' choc-chip cookies fo' Auntie 'Ro."
Suddenly, he became aware of the cause of the smoky smell
that had been drifting on the edge of olfactory consciousness
for a goodly while. Luc's culinary efforts were charring as
they spoke; Tante 'Ro seemed doomed in the cookie-department.
"How long have dey been bakin', petit?"
"Den ... uh ... dey probably be ready t'come out now,"
he scooped up the child and ran down the stairs, Luc laughing
at the unexpected ride. As he had suspected, the erstwhile
choc-chip cookies were now chunks of carbon, smoking merrily
in the oven. His son's face fell as he saw that to which his
efforts had been reduced. Coughing as he removed them from
the stove's shelf, Remy deposited the tray on the table outside,
before opening the windows to let the smoke out of the kitchen.
"I'm sorry, daddy."
"Not'ing t'be sorry 'bout, Luc," he grinned, "I
set m'tante's kitchen on fire once when I was learnin' how
t'cook beignets. Wasn't able t'sit f'r a week after
The boy laughed delightedly, and Remy knew that the incident
had mended the damage his earlier comment had caused. For
that, he would have gladly sacrificed the contents of an entire
"Now, what d'ya ta us making a fresh batch, petit?"
Ororo awoke to a knock on the door at what she considered
to be an unreasonably early time. Although she usually was
awake long before six o'clock, Ainet had decided to come down
with a case of the common stomach bug and she had spent most
of the night passing a bucket to her sick daughter. As a result,
the prospect of visitors did not fill her with glee. Mind
you, the thought of her bed was about the only thing that
"Yes?" she said impatiently, then pushed the door
open to reveal an embarrassed, yet excited, Luc and an apologetic-looking
Remy. The tiny boy was clutching a tin painted with unidentifiable
flowers, which he thrust into her hands with a grin. Curious
despite her exhaustion, Storm opened the lid to reveal some
of the most luscious looking choc-chip cookies she had ever
seen, nestling in crackly, green paper.
"I made ya dese, Tante 'Ro," he said proudly in
the Cajun he always used with people he considered friends
of his father.
"At t'ree o'clock in de mornin'," his father added
wryly, "As Rogue informed me before askin' me if I was
completely addled. He wanted t'bring dem t'ya straight away
once dey were cooled and packaged. I stalled him f'r an hour
by helpin' him make blueberry muffins f'r his mother."
"I'm sorry f'r stealin' ya cherry ones, but dese are
much nicer," Luc continued ingenuously.
Smiling, she leaned down and kissed her godson on his cheek.
"You are right, Luc. They are nicer. When Ainet gets
over her stomach 'flu, she will be delighted."
Remy raised an eyebrow, "Seems t'be goin' around de
mansion at de moment. Rogue's also complainin' of nausea."
Ironically, "I suspect the cause of your wife's indisposition
is slightly different to that of my daughter's."
"Ya mean...? She's...?" he grinned, looking more
delighted than Ororo had seen him since Luc's imminent arrival
was announced. His longing for a daughter was no secret, although
she knew that he loved Luc as much as it was possible for
anyone to love a child.
"I mean I had better become accustomed to leading the
This is a prequel to Saturday
Morning in Salem Center. 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 kindnesses.
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
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