In her perch in the observation booth, Mercy LeBeau was quietly fuming as she watched Remy sparring with Rogue. The clack of wood on wood, as the quarterstaffs collided and rebounded, was the perfect accompaniment for her violent thoughts. She was a grown woman. Clack. She was a single, grown woman. Clack. She was a single, grown woman who could decide with whom she shared her bed. Clack. Bobby was also probably a consensual adult. Probably. Clack. Remy had no right to try and protect her virtue. Clack. She did not have any virtue to protect. Clack. She would tell him that and to damn well keep his nose out of her business. Clack. Clack. Clack.
With that end in mind, she steeled herself in advance against the charms of a shirtless Remy. Why did he have to choose to practise in only a pair of red, boxer shorts? Not that it mattered. She was too angry at him to be swayed by his perfect pectorals, by the faint sheen of sweat, by the light fuzz of hair, by all that touchable, bronzed skin ... She brought herself up short, forcing herself to look away from his chest. She was not going to admire him. She was furious with him. How dare he tell Bobby to get her a room in the women's wing! How dare the young man listen to him! She would get her brother-in-law for that!
For all people said that the best revenge was living well, it was not a creed to which Mercy subscribed. She had a more operatic notion of vengeance and operas were never sung about people who lived well in order to spite their foes. "He has robbed you of your family fortune, Siegfried? Of the woman you adored, Siegfried? How shall you avenge yourself? What terrible vengeance shall you wreak?" was never answered by "Well, gee, I'm just going to marry another swell girl and have two, swell kids and open a swell shoestore in Hoboken and live so goshdarn well." So, that meant she had to find a way of paying him back.
Contemplatively, Mercy's eyes went to Remy's companion. That could only be Rogue. She was a tall, slender woman with green eyes and an unusual white streak in her chestnut hair. Pepe lePew had found his skunk, she thought with some amusement, and she was every bit the prude that the painted cats were in the cartoon. She was dressed in loose, black tracksuit pants and a grey tanktop with the words XHL printed across her breasts. XXL was more like it, Mercy quipped to herself. The woman could have hardly been wearing less revealing and more sensible clothes. Didn't she know that exercising was the perfect opportunity to flaunt what she had, that there was a reason sex was three letters of spandex? She rolled her eyes, then grinned as something occurred to her. Yes, Rogue would be perfect. She could get back at her brother-in-law and outrage Miss Priss at the same time.
Mercy smirked, running a hand through her tousled hair and sauntering down the steps that led into the Danger Room. When she arrived, she cleared her throat to announce her presence. The couple paused in their sparring, turning to face her. Rogue raised an eyebrow at the woman in front of her.
"Dere's somet'ing wrong here," Mercy purred without preamble, "Why am I de one dat's so hot when ya be de one exercising?"
Remy's expression grew dark, "I t'ought I made m'feelings about our relationship clear, Mercy. Ya're a sister t'me an' no more."
Mercy smothered an impatient sigh. A while ago, after Henri had died at the hands of the assassins and widowed her, she had tried to put the moves on the other LeBeau brother and had been rebuffed. Remy was loyal to his brother, even in death, and would not hear of dishonouring his memory with her. She still regretted the incident. She would not have acted that way under normal circumstances, but she had been lonely and Remy had been there for her. It had seemed like a way of forgetting at the time. She was glad that he had had the good sense to stop her. He was a beautiful boy and a sore temptation at times, but their relationship was too good to spoil with sex.
Instead, turning her most brilliant smile on the woman standing next to him, "Who said I was talkin' t'ya, mon cher beaufrere?"
Rogue's green eyes widened a fraction in surprise, but she returned Mercy's smile with a smoky one of her own. Reaching out a finger to trace her cheek, she cooed: "Ah'm flattered, sugah, but Ah'm way out of yo' league."
"Ever tried playing for de other team, cherie?"
"Yeah, but it wasn't as much fun without th'..." Rogue paused, the corner of her lips twitching slightly, ",,,baseballs. Still, lookin' at you, Ah might be persuaded to ... er, transfer."
For the first time in her life, Mercy was at a loss for words. Working her mouth, she stared at the young woman in front of her. Rogue was leaning on her staff, her free hand on her hip and a speculative expression on her face. To all intents and purposes, she seemed to be checking the other woman out, although that was frankly impossible. That had to be impossible. She was in love with Remy and they were a serious couple, if the months they had been together were any indication, but ... Mercy suddenly realised what it was like to be on the receiving end of one of her own looks. This was not what she had anticipated from Miss Priss. She had expected her to be shocked. She had definitely not expected her to come on to her and dump her all that the same time. Her brother-in-law's reaction was almost enough to make up for her being floored, however. Remy was staring at his girlfriend in open and frank amazement, although there was something about his mouth that might have been amusement, too. He evidently had not seen this side of sweet, virginal Rogue.
"Ya're busy," she said lamely to him, "We'll talk later about de picnic."
The impossible woman flashed another quicksilver smile at her, "Ah'm also going t'be there. We'll ... talk about that, too."
As she turned and walked away, she heard Rogue say something in a low voice and her brother-in-law begin to laugh. Her fists clenched at her side. Her revenge on Remy might have been postponed, perhaps, but that did not mean he had escaped it. Siegfried launched into another chorus in her head.
Continued in Chapter 6
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