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Remy comes to with a phenomenal hangover, the kind you only get when you’ve done something to earn it. His mouth is dry, and his head is pounding, and everything is a bit of a blur. He opens his eyes to the white ceiling, but the lights are dimmed, thankfully. Between his eyes and the hangover, he’d be half-blind in a room of white and glass. Remy sits up and swings his legs over the edge of the bed, and immediately grabs onto the side of the bed, taking a deep breath. Classy joint. And not prison so in that regard his day is looking up, but it could be a hospital.

He’s not wearing his coat, but the rest of his clothes are intact, except the right arm of his shirt is rolled up with an IV, which Remy pulls out immediately. He goes to charge it and fling the damn thing away from him, but no charge. No powers. What the hell did he do yesterday?

Him, Pyro, Avalanche, and Quicksilver were sent to a warehouse. First front-line work for him since he started this God-awful job. He hoped he’d avoid it and just be able to work alone for the man until he ran out his contract, but Pyro thought he could use some direct contact with the X-men, which means Stormy. Did she put him in here?

Coat or no coat, Remy feels for his emergency lockpick, and it is right where he left it. So, whoever is holding him isn’t doing much by way of searching their prisoners. He walks over to the door and quickly unlocks it, swinging it open, too easy, but he grabs it and pulls it closed when he sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen walk in. She’s wearing torn jeans, too many layers including gloves, and shades with her two-tone hair.

She’s startled when she sees him standing and drawls, “Oh, you’re up. Ya shouldn’t be awake yet.” Southern and belle, his day is looking up.

“Oh, why not, cherie?” asks Remy with a smile.

“Well, umm; ya just shouldn’t.”

“Remy likes to defy expectations, petite.” She scowls at him, right the fille from the fight. Remy don’t like fighting women, but if it means getting his hands on her, he’d let her slap him around a bit. “Cherie, why not come over here and give Remy some company?”

“So ya can use me to escape?” asks the femme, “Aah don’t think so.” She hits a button on an intercom, “Hank, the swamp rat is up.”

“Pet names already, petite?”

The femme looks over her shoulder at him, then turns back to the intercom, saying, “And annoying as hell, so anytime someone wants to come down here would be great. Or aah’ll have to knock him out again.”

Right, she kissed him. The fille with the knockout touch. Remy feels the grin spread across his face as he says, “Chere, anytime you want to kiss Remy, he’s happy to oblige.”

“Right, aah’m stupid enough to open the cell, and you’ll rush me,” says the femme.

“Non, Remy’d take his time with ya,” says Remy with a lazy smirk, running his eyes over her. The femme’s face turns bright pink, her cheeks, and neck, and Remy wonders how far down that blush goes, and whether she’d let him find out.

“One coma wasn’t enough for ya?”

“Where’s the fun in commas [1]?” asks Remy, “Ya wouldn’t knock Remy out when he’s just trying to get to know ya better?”

The femme turns to look at him, and he can’t quite tell what her facial expression says because he can’t see her eyes, but her body language is closing off. She’s crossed her arms in front of her and visually looks like she’s pulling in on herself. She gives a sad sigh, “Look sugah, ya clearly don’t remember what happened yesterday…”

“Ya a knockout, chere. Can’t help yourself, the femmes always trying to put their hands on Remy. But we ain’t fighting now, so…”

“Ya tried to kill my best friend, Iceman, the guy covered in ice.”

“Real clever name.” The femme scowls again, she’s tres belle when angry. “Desole [2], and Remy weren’t tryin’ to kill the boy, just maim him a little.” She’s still pissed, so Remy decides to play for concern. “Iceman up and about?”

The femme’s face changes to regret. Merde, did he kill someone else? The femme sighs, “Yeah, sugah. Bobby’s fine. The only person still laid up from the fight is you. Sorry about that.”

Remy laughs, “Cherie, ya can’t go scaring hommes like that.”

“Well, it was your own damn fault. Ya left me no choice, and who goes around kissin’ strangers anyway?” Her crossed arms tighten like she’s looking for a way to make this his fault, but she kissed him. He remembers that much.

“Ya kissed Remy, chere, and Remy kisses strangers all the time,” he replies with a grin.

“Oh, aah know,” mumbles the femme.

Remy’s brow furrows as he asks, “Worse ways to go. Got a name, chere?”

“Rogue.”

“Got a real name, chere?”

“No.”

“Ya’ll ain’t real friendly ‘round here, are ya?” asks Remy, leaning against the wall of his cell. He initially mistook this for glass, but it is some kind of polymer.

“Oh, aah’m sorry, did ya expect a tour?” asks Rogue.

“Just some company—”

“Knock that off,” growls Rogue.

“Can’t fault a man for tryin,” replies Remy with a shrug.

“Well, aah can’t control it, so ya’d just end up back in a coma.”

“Remy can’t use his powers in this cell, doubt ya’d be able to either,” says Remy looking around the cell.

“So, ya think aah’m just gonna get in there with you?” asks Rogue in disgust.

Remy grins and opens his mouth to respond only to be cut off by Wolverine, who says, “One more word Gumbo, and we’ll be givin’ you back in pieces.” He turns to Rogue and asks, “Stripes, you ok?”

“Aah’m fine.”

“Then why ya down here?” asks Wolverine. Down here? Subterrain levels, interesting, and definitely on his to do list of being in the Charles Xavier Institute. “Hank said, his powers faded last night”

“They did, mostly,” says Rogue, but she won’t really look at either of them.

“Whose powers?” asks Remy. What does this femme do again? She knocks people out with a touch, but is there more to it?

“Don’t talk to her,” says Wolverine.

“Oh my, are we making friends already?” asks Beast, Dr. McCoy, if Remy’s memory serves. He hates doctors. “Mr. LeBeau, we’re all delighted you’ve come back to us and so quickly.”

Remy’s brow furrows, and he asks, “How long was Remy out?”

“Just under 24 hours,” replies the doctor.

“How long she usually lay men out for?” asks Remy.

Dr. McCoy says, “It will depen—”

Only to be cut off by Wolverine, “Ain’t any of his business.”

“My dear, Southern Belle, how are you feeling? Your eyes still bothering you?” asks Dr. McCoy.

“Aah’m fine. Really, aah promise. Shouldn’t we be focusing on the swamp rat there?” asks Rogue trying to divert their attention.

“Mr. LeBeau isn’t going anywhere, and I’m still not sure he should be up yet. Maybe lay back down,” suggests the doctor.

“Happy to lay down if the femme comes and joins me,” replies Remy.

Rogue shakes her head, clearly unimpressed, Wolverine’s claws come out, and Beast is surprised and uncomfortable. The Beast clears his throat and says, “Mr. LeBeau, we have a strict code of conduct pertaining to sexual harassment.”

“He don’t mean it. He’s just tryin’ to get a rise out ya, and trick ya into letting him out,” says Rogue, who boosts herself up on the counter. She pulls her hair off her neck and up, which just highlights her long neck. With her hair up, Remy can see evidence of the fight on her skin; specifically, the skin he can see, her neck has some bruising and a cut on her forehead. He didn’t do that, at least he’s pretty sure he didn’t. He was just toying with the femme, but things got hairy when Iceman entered their fight. Rogue continues, “What’s the damage, doc?”

Beast smiles at her and says, “Must you always sit on the counter? The bruising is healing nicely, but I’m more concerned about your eyes. However, the other—” Beast pauses looking for the right word—“aspects have worn off.”

“Stripes, just touch me and be done with it,” says Wolverine. The femme don’t want to heal? Strange fille.

“Ya don’t have to hand-hold with me every time aah get hit. Aah’ll be fine,” says Rogue. Wolverine reaches for her with his bare hand, and she slaps it away. “Ya know better.”

“I know you don’t have to be injured if you weren’t being difficult for the sake of being difficult—” says Wolverine reaching for her again. It didn’t occur to Remy that if the femme takes powers, too, and she can’t control it then others could just touch her and transfer whatever they want to her.

“Thought ya had some strict code of conduct? Touchin’ people without consent not part of it?” asks Remy, which to his surprise, gets a smile out of Beast, and to less of a surprise a growl from Wolverine. Wolverine is distracted presumably by someone closing in on the door.

“Aah don’t need your help, swamp rat,” says Rogue, turning her head to see who is entering now, Stormy. Ororo Munroe is a goddess, literally. She’s cut her white hair since Remy’s seen her last.

“Making friends already, Remy?” asks the weather witch.

“Bonjour, Stormy.”

“Please refrain from calling me that, though it is good to see you up and about,” says ‘Ro. Remy grins in response. ‘Ro asks, “Rogue, child, how are you feeling?”

“Aah’m fine.”

“We’re still concerned about what she’s holding onto,” says Beast.

“Aah’m not holdin’ onto anything,” declares Rogue, crossing her arms in a huff.

“Of course, I didn’t mean you, so much as your subconscious or even perhaps your physiology,” explains Beast. “Perhaps we should go to a private exam room?”

“Why? It ain’t like he don’t know what they look like?” asks Rogue.

This attracts Remy’s attention. Rogue slips off her glasses and Remy sees his own eyes looking back at him. He lets out a low whistle and says, “Looks good on ya, chere. But Remy and you probably both prefer the emeralds.”

She scowls with his eyes narrowing in response. It is unnerving to see his own eyes staring back at him. He’s starting to understand why people get so freaked out by them. Beast shines a light in Rogue’s eyes, that always hurts, and does some basic tests.

“Seriously, Hank, aah’m pretty sure his vision is better than mine,” says Rogue. Remy glances at Storm, who is smirking. Merde. He’s been looking at the femme too closely.

“So, Remy, are you going to stay in there all day or come out?” asks Storm.

“I say we leave him in there,” says Wolverine, “Until we can figure out how to drop him off where the police can find him. And he ain’t getting out of there, so why rush?”

“Remy’s humored us long enough, though I am curious why you have for this long,” says Storm.

Remy pushes open the door to his power suppression cell to the surprise of the other inhabitants of the room except for Stormy.

“Ya stupid, swamp rat, if you could have walked out at any time, why try to convince me to open the door for ya?” asks Rogue.

“Remy wanted the pleasure of your company, cherie,” replies Remy. He grabs his coat off a mounted coat rack on the wall, which looks like it is more often utilized for lab coats. He feels for his sunglasses before slipping them on.

Storm clears her throat and asks, “I don’t suppose we can convince you to stay?”

“Might be tempted to stay in that cell with mon cherie for a bit,” says Remy, which earns an eye-roll from Rogue. “Stormy, ya can’t afford me,” replies Remy, not taking his eyes off Rogue. “Though for coffee and another kiss, might be convinced.” Rogue is shaking her head in response, but she has a slight smile she’s trying to hide.

Wolverine takes a swing at Remy, which he evades easily.

“I’m happy to indulge your request for coffee,” says Storm, gesturing for Remy to follow her.

Dr. McCoy interjects, “Really, I should examine Mr. LeBeau—”

“Remy’s fine,” says Remy before asking, “Coming, chere?” He looks at Rogue, sliding off the counter.

Rogue ignores him, but since Remy stopped walking, Storm says, “You’re welcome to join us for coffee and have a front-row seat to me reprimanding Remy for poor life choices.”

Remy laughs.

Rogue smiles and says, “Ms. Munroe, aah ain’t got that kind of time. Anyway, aah’m helping in medlab today.”

“Chere, are you offering to play doctor? Might change Remy’s mind about them,” says Remy.

“Doubtful, aah’d hate doctors, too after, what ya call him? Sin—” Rogue catches herself, “Sorry, aah—your thoughts are still too strong—aah don’t tell people’s secrets, so ya don’t have to worry.”

Remy is shook to his core. She had his powers and has his thoughts?

His shock is evident because the femme starts to ramble, “Aah’m real sorry about that. It won’t happen again—”

“No one cares,” says Wolverine while leaning against the wall, not taking his eyes from Remy, “And if anyone deserves it, he does.”

“It must be jarring, given telepaths can’t access your mind,” begins Dr. McCoy.

Remy needs this conversation to end before the femme accidentally gives something away. How long does she retain the thoughts? Powers fade, surely the thoughts do, too.

Remy smirks, looks Rogue up and down, and asks, “What other thoughts ya get from Remy?”

“Some that made me want to get an STI test,” smarts Rogue.

“Rogue!” admonishes Storm. Dr. McCoy looks mortified, and Wolverine looks proud.

Remy squashes a laugh and says, “Remy practices safe sex, chere. Happy to provide a demonstration.”

“Dear lord,” says Dr. McCoy as he grabs Wolverine’s shoulder, preventing him from taking another swing.

“Remy!” shouts Storm.

“Sorry, sugah, aah’d probably suffer in comparison,” says Rogue with a smirk.

“Doubtful, chere. Anyway, comparing sexual partners is objectifying and wrong,” replies Remy.

Rogue is struggling to hold in her laughter, “And you’d never objectify anyone.”

“It occurs to Remy, that ya didn’t get a dose of his dreams from last night, and chere given they were about you, ya might want to see them,” suggest Remy with a wink after running his eyes over her curves again.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” yells Iceman who just walked in, but apparently heard part of the conversation. However, Rogue breaks and starts laughing hard.

“Made ya laugh,” says Remy, ignoring Iceman. “Ya should laugh more, chere. Ya always look so serious.”

“Right, sugah, aah’m sure ya got a line about my smile and how ya could look at it for hours,” says Rogue flippantly.

“Qui, but Remy’d watch ya walk away for days,” replies Remy, which gets another laugh out of Rogue.

Rogue shakes her fists in the air and says, “Aah walked right into that.”

Remy nods and chuckles as Iceman throws a punch at Remy’s jaw. Remy grabs his wrist and shoves Iceman backward before saying, “Mon amie, Remy don’t want to fight over something stupid.”

“Rogue isn’t stupid,” shouts Iceboy.

“Non, she ain’t, but she’s having a good time, so—” says Remy.

Rogue’s mouth snaps shut as she realizes that she is enjoying their flirty jokes, but she says, “Bobby, sugah, he’s kidding. He’s just trying to be provocative. By fighting with him, ya giving him what he wants.”

“The homme don’t have anything Remy wants—” begins Remy trailing off when Rogue slips her hand in Iceboy’s, “Stand corrected.”

Iceboy’s eyes narrow, and he slips his arm around the femme’s waist, pulling her close.

Rogue shakes her head again like she doesn’t believe Remy and says, “See ya around, swamp rat.”

“Te voir, rat de riviere [3],” replies Remy.

Rogue stops in her tracks turns back to Remy pointing, and says, “Don’t call me that.”

She lets Iceboy lead her out, and Storm gives Remy a “hmm.”

“Don’t Stormy,” responds Remy.

Wolverine sighs, “I hate both of you, but you seem to piss each other off pretty good. Sure ya don’t wanna stick around, Gumbo?

“Remy’s under contract and then heading home,” says Remy.

“I can’t believe Jean Luc loaned you out to Magneto,” says Storm. Remy follows her down a long, stainless-steel hallway toward a portion of the wall. Remy would wager is an elevator.

Remy glances into another window and sees Rogue and Iceboy with far more distance between them in some kind of lab. Rogue looks angry, and Iceboy’s hand gestures imply he’s defending himself.

“Under contract with someone else, who has me working for Magneto for about six months,” replies Remy without thinking. “After that, it is back to belle N’awlins.”

The wall slides open, revealing an elevator. Remy extends his arm to keep the door open as Storm enters. Wolverine laughs from behind them before saying, “What ya think you’re some kind of gentleman?”

“No substitute for good manners, mon amie,” replies Remy.

“Logan, are you joining us for coffee?” asks Storm.

“I’m staying close enough to skewer him if necessary,” replies Wolverine.

“Nonsense, Remy and I are old friends. We’re perfectly safe in one another’s company,” declares Storm, ending any further besmirches to Remy’s character from Wolverine. The elevator is the fastest Remy’s been in, and he’d put them at eight floors deep. Storm says, “I do hope your employment will not impact our friendship.”

“O’course not, Stormy,” agrees Remy, “Weren’t even trying to hurt your pups, just showing off a bit.”

Remy follows her down hall after hall. If he weren’t so good with blueprints, he might be confused, well that and he has the Institute layout memorized, never know when it could be useful. But she’s taking him to the kitchen.

It is a nice kitchen; lots of counter space for meal prep, not unlike home, but it is a bit sterile for Remy’s tastes. Remy slides in a barstool at the island, while the Wolverine grabs the paper left on a small breakfast table by the window.

“Coffee, Logan?” asks Storm.

“No, thank you, darlin’,” says Wolverine. Darling? Remy does not approve of that, so he gives ‘Ro a look that asks ‘what?’

She ignores him, but the coffee is surprisingly decent. The two make idle chit chat, while students and teachers filter in and out. Most just stare at him; a few telepaths try to read his mind and fail.

A handful of girls giggle about, “He’s so cute.” “How’s he awake so fast?” “I heard he kissed Rogue; consequences be damned.” “I heard she kissed him.” “I heard he tried to kiss Rogue, and Bobby beat him up, which is why he’s awake so fast.” “I heard Rogue kissed him, he's immune to her powers, and that's why Bobby beat him up.”

“Bonjour, ladies,” says Remy, which just sets them off into giggles again.

Storm shakes her head and asks, “Must you?”

“Remy didn’t do a thing,” replies Remy.

“Doubt that, sugah,” says Rogue, who has entered the kitchen. She walks over to the coffee pot, prepares her coffee with way too much sugar in it, and heads outside into the courtyard.

“Don’t even think about it, bub,” growls Wolverine.

Remy smirks at him, finishes his coffee, and stands up. He takes Storm’s hand and kisses her knuckles before saying, “Au revoir, Stormy.”

“Remy, just consider—” begins Storm.

“Contracts over in six months, you can try and convince Remy then,” says Remy.

Remy turns to Wolverine and says with a salute, “Au revoir, monsieur le griffes [4].”

“Stay away from the girl, bub,” says Wolverine without getting up, but he does shake his paper.

“How are you going to get back to the city?” asks Storm.

“Oh, Remy’ll figure something out,” replies Remy. He turns and exits the same door Rogue did, but he doesn’t see her.

He does hear Wolverine say, “Think he’s gonna take one of One-eye’s bikes?”

“Hopefully, not,” says Storm. Well, if that ain’t the best idea, he’s heard today. Remy chuckles, hooking a right, heading toward the garage.

Once in the garage, Remy sees Rogue; she’s clearly waiting for someone. Remy asks, “Cherie, come to see Remy off?”

She spins on her heels and spills her coffee on her gloved hand. Rogue glares and says, “Damnit swamp rat, aah’m gonna smell like coffee the rest of the day.” She starts looking for something to dry her glove with and says, “Aah’m hoping to catch Slim, not everything’s about you.”

Remy silently slips up behind her, and when she turns to face him, she doesn’t disappoint. She jumps and spills the rest of her coffee, mostly on Remy’s shoes. Rogue clutches her chest and says, “How—you—over there. Ya need a bell.”

She starts patting him with the rag she found, but he stops her when she starts moving further down. Not that he minds per se, but the images of her kneeling in front of him stem from a vastly different situation. Remy says, “Don’t worry about it, chere.”

“Aah’m sorry. Aah’m a mess today,” rambles Rogue, still patting him with the rag. She’s making it worse, but he’ll let her do whatever she wants, and this is his fault anyway.

“Remy should apologize for roughing you up yesterday,” replies Remy, ignoring her flinch when he moves a lock of her hair to see the cut on her forehead.

“Wasn’t you,” whispers Rogue. There is something intimate about being this close and examining her skin.

Remy takes the now empty coffee cup and the rag and places them on the workbench behind her while grabbing her right hand in his. He says, “Au revoir, cherie. Remy’s contract is over in six months; ya should give him a call then.”

Remy raises her hand to his lips and kisses the back of it. Rogue blushes and says, “Aah don’t think that’s a good idea, and aah wouldn’t have your number anyway.”

But when Remy releases her hand, she notices he put something in it. Rogue holds up a playing card, the Queen of Hearts with Remy’s number scribbled on it. Remy leans in and says, “Be seeing you, chere.”

“Bye,” is all Rogue manages in response, blushing scarlet. Remy picks a bike he’s reasonably sure belongs to Summers, and Rogue exclaims, “Ya can’t just take that.”

The bike is belle, a VRSCA V-Rod [5], in pristine condition. Not that Remy would expect anything else from Summers.

“Storm and Wolverine know, don’t worry, chere.” Remy mounts the bike and takes off before Rogue can say anything else. But he hears Summers screaming about his bike, and Wolverine laughing as Remy passes both on his way through the main gate. Who knows, maybe he’ll bring the bike back in six months?

 

Notes
[1] Quote from Rogue & Gambit 004, 2018
[2] Desole: sorry
[3] Te voir, rat de riviere: be seeing you, river rat
[4] Au revoir, monsieur le griffes: goodbye mister claws
[5] Scott Summer's bike from Last Stand