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Let You Go

"Your powers nearly tipped the scale the other day," Sinister said, as he calmly sipped tea in Gambit's mind-scape parlor.

"Is that why y' came t' visit?" Remy leaned back in the loveseat.

"What upset you to that level?"

"Mebbe Remy was just pushin' t' see what his limits are wit' the filter in place."

Sinister raised a brow.

"All right. All right. Rogue came back wit' what might be Mags, or a clone of him and was hangin' all over him!"

"She's a genetic waste, son."

"So'm I."

"No, son, the only reason you can't have children is because you were engineered to be that way."

"I love chilen."

"I know. I have your DNA on file. You've many children."

"But y' won't let m' see dem or play wit' dem. But. . . I was sterile b'fore I met y'"

"You simply don't remember our first meeting. You were quite young."

Remy shivered. "Never knew y' were a dirty ole man."

"The truth would have disturbed you too greatly."

"Y' probably right. I hate that, y' know."

"My knowing what's best for you?"

"Oui. Don' like it at all. M. Bete wants t' remove the chip."

"You could function without it, if you so chose. One wonders what you fear most."

"Killin' folks just because I'm tired," Remy drawled.

"You are old enough now that your hormones will no longer make your powers unstable. I will not allow you to reach thirty with it still active. If you don't feel comfortable with McCoy, I will remove it. No cost."

"Always a cost. Especially with you."

"You are paranoid, old son. Your lover is trying to wake you. We'll talk soon."

****

Jean shook Remy's shoulder. "Wake up, sweetie. We need to go shopping."

"Shoppin'?" he repeated sleepily. He rubbed at his eyes like a little boy. "Wit' who?"

"All the girls. You and Joseph to carry the bags."

Remy pouted. "Joseph? Do we got t' take him? Bet y' anyt'in' he don' know how t' shop."

"We could take Bobby."

"And have him whine about the cost de whole time? Why not Henri?"

"He has work to do. Something about genetic testing."

"He's lyin'."

"You don't even know Joseph yet. Not really. Betsy says he's a good conversationalist. Rogue thinks he's sweet."

"An' Charles wants t' jump him."

"Remy!"

"It's true."

"Get up. Get dressed. And bring your wallet."

Remy rolled his eyes.

****

"So, tell me again, Slim, why are we pastin' up a teddy bear border in the guest room?"

"It's the nursery. Jean painted it pale yellow supposedly. We paste up Pooh."

"Why are we doin' this?"

"Because I sacrificed Remy to the god of shopping and he warned me that if he had to do home improvements when he got back tonight we wouldn't be getting any."

"Just you and me? Bet we'd get some."

"I’m not risking it. He's probably got some anti-sex potion that he could get from home."

"Yer paranoid."

"That doesn't mean it's not possible. Hank made an aphrodisiac for Bobby once."

"That worked?"

"For a few one night stands."

Logan snorted. "So who's this Pooh fellow?"

Scott smiled.

****

"I'm goin' int' cute shock. Roguie, save me."

"If you don't can it I'll beat ya, shugah."

Remy sighed. "Merci, chere."

"Don't 'chere' me, Swamp Rat."

Jean smiled at their bickering. Joseph tried to edge away from them. Ororo put an arm through her brother's. "Perhaps if you are very good, Jean will let you go into the leather store."

"Put my wallet back, Ro."

Storm sighed and replaced the wallet. "The jewelry store?"

Remy blinked. "Y' t'ink she would if I promised t' get her somet'in'?"

"She might," Jean allowed. "If you promise to behave."

"Remy always behaves. Just not always de way Jeannie likes."

"Try to keep *all* of the commandments."

"All nine of dem?" Remy was shocked.

"There are ten commandments to the best of my knowledge," Betsy corrected.

"Not in my family, Lizabetta."

"The one they forgot is 'thou shalt not steal.'"

"Dat's so harsh." Remy stopped at the first Cartier's window. "How 'bout that one, Jeannie?"

Jean's eyes grew large. "That's platinum."

"So? Do y' like it?"

"I prefer emeralds."

"Okay."

//You're defining your Christmas present.// Betsy warned.

//I know. But I don't like diamonds.//

"Gold or silver tones?"

"Gold."

Remy nodded as they started to walk again. He waved to the girl behind the counter. She smiled back a slight pink in her cheeks.

"And who is that?" Jean asked taking Remy's other arm.

"M' niece. She came up here f' a conference and met a boy. Next t'ing we know, she marries him an' moves. Mercy goes crazy. Took mon pere more'n a day t' calm her down. Now, suddenly, she's Remy's responsibility because he's in the area." Remy shook his head.

"Why is your niece working in at a jewelry store?"

"Because she hated her major. She's goin' t' school f' geology now."

"She' not involved in the family business?" Jean asked delicately.

"Non. She ain't got the temperament f' it. Jubilee's better at it then Charity."

"Someone named their daughter 'Charity?'" Rogue shuddered.

"Charity, Faith, Jean de Baptist and Lucien." Remy smiled. "Don't rightly know how they stand callin' me Oncle Remy. Charity's only two years younger'n me."

"Your brother is that much older?" Jospeh asked.

"Old enough t' be mon pere. Sponsored m' f' a lot of t'ings. Mercy, she swears she won't ever love again." Remy shrugged. "Po femme's got a broken heart. Still a good sister t' me. *She* don't try t' steal m' wallet."

Storm pouted.

"Ooo," Rogue squealed, "the toy store."

Remy shoved fifty dollars into Joseph's pocket then presented him to Rogue. "This one's all y'rs, cher," he muttered. Rogue slipped an arm through Joseph's.

"So what are you gonna get me, sugah?"

"That wasn't so bad was it?" Jean asked as she settled on the bench. Storm tugged Remy towards the clothing shop next to the toy store. Remy sent her a pleading glance as Betsy took his other arm.

"They have good chairs in here," Betsy assured. "Warren swears by them."

****

Scott stretched, back cracking. Logan shook his head. "Yer too tense, Slim."

"So help me loosen up."

"Lay down on the floor if ya want a backrub." Scott laid down, folding his hands under his chin. Logan chuckled. "Damn yer easy." He straddled Scott's waist and dug his thumbs into the tight muscles of Scott's shoulders. "Headache?"

"Always."

Logan placed a kiss to the back of Scott's neck, then concentrated on the muscles.

"Scott, I. . ." Bobby stopped in the doorway.

"Come in, Bobby. Have a seat. I can still listen."

Bobby smirked. "I thought he was better then that."

"You know yer in trouble when the Icecube is makin' jokes about yer sex-life, Slim."

Bobby sprawled on the couch. "Just because I'm sweet. . ."

"Doesn't mean I'm innocent," Scott finished. "Get your own lines, Bobby."

"Why? I can use yours. Recycle and reuse. That's what Storm says."

"She was talking about objects not words. What have you got for me?"

"Scorpio thinks it's a double ledger and wants me to trash it."

"So he's not going to help?"

"I didn't say that."

"Scott shifted as Logan found a painful tight spot. "Stop that," Logan stated.

"So you have a plan of action?"

"Ask Gambit where he found the files, then get Kitty to hack them for me."

"Sounds good. Ow!"

"Yer too tense and ya squirm. Of course it hurts."

"Asshole."

"If yer good."

Bobby snickered. "You two are a trip." He got up. "I'll leave these on the desk for your signature."

"Thanks."

"Have fun." Bobby shut the door carefully. Scott closed his eyes.

****

Rogue smiled at Joseph over the table. "It's okay, sugah, everyone gets overwhelmed."

"I wanted to throw a vase at a child's head!"

"But you didn't. And now we'll have a nice relaxing lunch. Stop kickin' the bench, Remy."

The Cajun was startled from his menu. "Hehn?"

Rogue smiled sweetly and turned back to her own menu.

//Your thief has been remarkably good.// Betsy commented.

//I know, Bets. He's much better behaved than Scott is at the mall.//

//Well, you haven't dragged him into Victoria's Secret yet.//

"Stop plottin' against us po' boys," Remy told the telepaths. "I know that smile, Lizabetta and I ain't dumb enough t' fall f' it. I got a bigger brain than Warren."

"Merow. Hiss. Hiss." Rogue said.

Remy batted his lashes at her.

Betsy's eyes narrowed. "How about this look, Cajun?"

"Buy y'r own lunch, girl. I t'ink Worthington's an idiot, he t'inks I'm a whore. We even."

"And I think Betsy ought to teach you a lesson," Jean stated.

"Like t' see her try. I done shut her down once, I can do it again."

The two locked eyes. Betsy probed the Cajun's mind, but hit a brick wall. She frowned. "I'm taking you into Frederick's."

"Y' gonna model f' me? Bien. I tell y' what an Ivy League class bastard'd want y' t' wear. Maybe get y' a lil' maid's outfit."

"Is that one of your wet dreams then?"

Remy shook his head. "Too close t' the hired help, me."

Jean cocked her head to the side. "You had a maid in the house? I didn't think your father would stand for that."

"Tante Mattie was our cook as well as an advisor. She ran po' Anna and Celeste ragged wit' cleanin' and servin'. Dey was her nieces same as I'm her nephew."

Jean nodded slowly. Joseph sighed. "I don't mean to pry, but. . . he began.

"They were girls Mattie took off the streets and straightened up. There was talk that I was Anna's son by Jean-Luc -- mon pere -- but it weren't so." Remy shrugged. "Both old enough t' be m' mama though."

Betsy considered that for a long moment, even as Joseph nodded his understanding. "But what happened to your brother's mother?"

Remy shrugged. "Papa don' talk 'bout her."

"Surely Henri did?" Jean asked.

Remy was saved by the return of the waitress. He flirted with her to make Jean's eyes flash. Rogue's lips pinched down into a frown. Jospeh looked between her and Remy.

"Sometimes, I think Warren's right about you, Swamp Rat."

"Sometimes I think y' gonna actually stay broke up wit' me. Even if bird-brain is right, it ain't y'r concern no mo'."

Rogue sat back quickly. She looked out the window at the passing shoppers. "We were friends once."

"We were," Remy confirmed. "Y' helped m' save m' wife's life. Den, y' went an' asked Sabretoot' t'ings y were too scared t' ask m' and assumed he tol' y' the truth."

Joseph's blue eyes darted from person to person around the table. He took refuge in the dessert menu after finding no assistance in their faces.

"Why would he lie to me?"

"Because y' ain't y'r mama's daughter."

Rogue scowled. "And just what does that mean?"

"Means y' ain't got a rep no more. Y' went soft."

"What!"

"Tone it down, girl. Y'r temper's gonna kill y'. Simple, Roguie, y' didn't keep goin' after Danvers. Y' left the life. So the life went and left y' too."

"You're still in business. Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because that ain't what y' wanted from me. Y' wanted me t' be y'r white knight."

Rogue winced at the acid prick of his words. "If you'd told me the truth, I'd have learned to deal."

"You'd've left m'. Jeannie, we trade seats? Ain't too safe here." Jean shook her head.

"Play nicely, children."

"Sit between us an' there won't be trouble."

"You two need to hammer out a cease-fire immediately."

****

"Hey, Scorp," Bobby greeted. They had a private chat room.

"Hey, SF. Aren't you supposed to be working?"

"*shakes head* Bossman's sick so. . . No, I'm kidding. I've got some down time right now. I need info form someone else. How's that insurance thing?"

"It's dragging on. There's an arson investigation."

"Damn. Think they'll pay up?"

"*nods* The owner had no reason to torch the place. No debts. No black-mail."

"Well, there's good, I guess. So anyone new in your life?"

"Wouldn't want you to get jealous. You?"

"Ha. Ha. As if."

"Never know."

"I'd have to get out more. Actually meet people."

"*snicker*"

****

Jubilee stared at the email for a long time. "Why am I always the last one to know?" she asked aloud.

"What's up?" Paige asked, looking up from her homework.

"Logan's got a new boy."

"He left Scott and Jean?" Paige's eyes grew wide.

"No, they just added the Cajun."

"You're kiddin'."

"Nope. I'm gonna go steal Frosty's car, drive over there and beat them."

"Why not call a cab?"

"I've got my license."

"A learner's permit. Get Jono to drive you."

'That's an idea. Here's a better one." Jubilee picked up their phone and dialed a number from memory. "Hey, Gumbo, how come you don't gossip with me?" Jubilee grinned. "Don't play innocent with me. I know you seduced Logan. Oh, really? So why don't you came pick me up and tell me your version. Okay. See you then."

"You have Gambit's number?"

"Yep."

"How'd you get it?"

"I asked."

Paige's jaw dropped. She'd had a crush on Gambit for as long as she'd been at the academy. "Is that all it took?"

"And a reminder that if anything happened to Logan I'd castrate him."

"You scare me sometimes, Lee."

"Thanks. It's a gift."

****

"What was that all about?" Jean asked.

"I'm bein' played by a teenager."

"You are one," Betsy muttered. Remy smacked her butt. "Careful, I'll tell Warren."

"Y' do that, chere. I could use his feathers f' somethin'."

Betsy scowled at him. "You are being a real bitch today. You feeling okay?"

Remy shrugged. "Been better. Seein' Jubes'll help some."

Jean put her arm around his waist and squeezed.

"Will y'all please let this po' boy shop f' hisself too?" He looked over his glasses at Jean. Rogue blinked. She ran through the stores they'd been to. Not one of them had been for Remy or Joseph. And Joseph needed clothes. She felt herself blushing.

"Why don't you and Joseph take some time while we girls go to Frederick's?"

Remy nodded. "Come on, Joseph. We get y' somet'in' other than cast offs. Y' gonna court a femme, y' got t' look decent. . . or indecent, but that don't seem like you." Remy continued to talk as he led Joseph away.

"Can I give you a word of advice, Red?" Rogue asked.

"About Remy?'

"Yup."

"Okay." Jean was wary.

"He ain't Scott. He loves shoppin' and buyin', but if you just drag him around like a porter he sulks. And Lord knows that once he gets the sulks they don't go away 'til he gets what he wants."

Ororo nodded in agreement. "The best way is to let him go into the art store early on."

"The framed art?"

"No, no, the one that sells the supplies. He paints."

"He does?"

Betsy stared at the other telepath. "He did that portrait for Emma."

"The one of her in her quote unquote riding habit?"

"Exactly. He did an excellent job. I was thinking of commissioning one of Warren and myself."

"Do you think he'd actually do it?"

Betsy blinked. "Business is business. He and Warren can put aside their troubles for long enough to complete a business deal."

"It feels like I don't know anything about him."

"He don't like to brag," Rogue said quietly. "He don't think he's good enough of a painter to talk about it."

"How did Emma find out?" the ex-model wondered.

"Jubilee told her," Storm answered.

"So what you're telling me is that everyone knew except me."

"Bobby doesn't know. Logan might have guessed, but I doubt he'd let on if he had." Storm considered. "I'm sure Scott doesn't know. Charles might, but not from Remy himself. Hank doesn't know. In fact, only a select few do."

"Any other advice, Rogue?"

The Mississippi Marauder sighed. "Lord, girl, where do I start? He drinks Diet Sprite and obsesses about his weight though he don't talk about it. He don't eat chicken even when he cooks it. He's a full initiate into Voodoun, but it'll take a beatin' or a bottle of rum to make him admit it."

"So which did you go for?" Betsy asked.

"The beatin' of course. Rum's too expensive."

Jean's lips curled up. "Is it something in the air down south or are you two just that alike?"

Rogue smiled. "We're just that similar. It's a wonder we didn't go and kill each other."

"No, internal bleeding is so much more interesting," Betsy stated.

"Thought you didn't like him, girl?"

"I saw what his mind looked like in that coma."

Rogue's lips pinched together. "What were you doing in there?"

"Charles asked me to go in."

"Mother fucking asshole."

The other women looked at her in shock.

"I told Xavier Remy'd been mind-raped once!"

Betsy looked away. Jean closed her eyes.

"Does Remy know it was at Charles' behest?" Storm asked.

"Yes."

"No wonder he doesn't trust him now, if he ever did," the weather-goddess sighed.

****

Scott put his feet up on the desk as he read over the papers Bobby had left for him. He felt his shoulders tensing and could already hear the lecture Logan would give him after dinner. //Scott?//

//Yes, sir?//

//Would you ask Gambit to pay me a visit when he gets in?//

//Are you sending him after something?//

//Perhaps.//

//Professor?//

//I just want his opinion on something.//

//Oh?//

//Stop being nosy.//

//Just curious.//

//Thank you, Scott.//

Scott rolled his eyes. He signed the papers and set them aside. He pulled the keyboard onto his lap. It was time to troll the chat rooms.

****

Logan was trimming his bonsai when the shopping trip arrived home. //Logan, honey, will you come help with the bags?//

//What'll it get me?//

//My undying love?//

//Hmmm.//

//Passionate thank you kisses?//

//That travel?//

//Deal.//

Logan hauled himself towards the drive. He stared at the load in front of him. "Which ones are yers, Jeannie?"

Remy pouted at him.

"Don't even start with me, kiddo."

"If I don' who will?"

"Carry yer own damn bags."

"But po' Remy got t' carry dem at de mall."

Joseph stared at the Cajun. He'd never heard such a strong accent from him.

"Stop it."

"But, cher. . ."

"Fine. Brat." Remy kissed Logan gently.

"Merci, cher."

"Hate seein' ya poutin' is all," Logan grumbled.

Remy helped Storm with her bags and Joseph with his, pointedly ignoring Rogue's outrage.

****

Scott ignored Jean's summons to help with the bags. He was having a far too interesting conversation with "The Red Queen." He figured since he knew the white and black queens he should expand his range of acquaintances.

****

Alice frowned at the monitor. "Slim543" reminded her of someone. Oh, well, he was too much fun to bother hacking.

****

"Heard a rumor that y' lookin' f' m'."

Charles looked up from his monitor. "Oh, yes, sit down. I have a favor to ask."

Remy settled down in the visitor's chair, back straight, shoulders up. Xavier was struck once again by the strange vertigo that private meetings with Gambit always created. The man he met with in his office was not the Remy everyone else knew. "I need to find a present for Lilandra which will suit her position, yet be very representative of Earth."

"Give m' some time an' I'll get y' somethin'."

"She wishes to be present at the baby's birth."

"So I got 'bout eight months."

"Eight and a half by my calculations."

Remy shook his head. "Don' cut it that close, mon ami. Chilen don' come by time-tables."

"You sound as if you have experience."

"M' tante took m' wit' when she went birthin'. Fetched water'n all. If dat's all, I'm gonna head f' bed. Shoppin's tirin' work."

"I'm sure. And I'm sure the fact that you have three lovers waiting for you has nothing to do with it."

"Non, M. What'd make y' t'ink so?"

"Go on then." Remy bowed, with an imaginary tip of his hat.

****

Scott caught the Cajun around the waist. "Gotcha."

"So what y' gonna do wit' m'?"

"Drag you home and show you the 'cutest little border.' I don't understand why Jean's already going haywire. She's not even a month along."

"Hits all femme's different," Remy shrugged, careful not to dislodge Scott's arm. "Some don' take t' the idea. Gotta get Jeannie t' t'ink more like a mother though. Next few mont's could make all the difference."

"I'll let you take care of that. She won't listen to me." They reached the boathouse a few moments later. "According to Logan, you shop more than a woman."

"Logan don' know the right femmes. His petite fillie is a mall-rat too."

"True. At least you aren't shopping on my cards."

"Y' got cards?"

"Nope. I steal off of Warren."

Remy grinned. "Y' a clever cher."

"Ain't I?" Scott knocked ash off of an imaginary ciage. Once in the door, Scott pulled away to pull off his windbreaker and hang it on the rack. "Take off your coat. Stay awhile."

Remy shook his head. "Not 'til I warm up some. Cold t'night."

"I thought it was mild."

"Y're a freak, cher."

"No, you are. Let's see about warming you up." Scott kissed the Cajun carefully, then with more passion. When he finally pulled away a flush was in the younger man's cheeks. "Better?"

Remy nodded. He hung up his trench. He took Scott's hand. He lifted it to his lips and placed a wet kiss in the center of his palm. He winked. Scott bit his lip as the tongue traced a path to his wrist. "There better be a nice warm bed upstairs."

"There is. With a set of bed-warmers."

"Good." Scott laced his fingers with Remy's. He shut off the lights as they moved upstairs.

Logan and Jean were kissing. Scott savored the sight realizing how much life had changed. Or maybe he'd changed. He no longer felt jealousy or fear. They would never choose to leave him. He smiled. He felt a gentle tug on his hand. He looked at the young man beside him.

Remy was trying to free his hand to do something more practical. He needed to get his shoes off. Scott tugged back. Remy bit his lower lip to keep from laughing. He rarely saw Cyke playful.

Logan broke away from Jean slowly, catching all of her flavors on his tongue. He watched his other lovers rough-housing. They'd moved from tug-of-war to wrestling and tickling. Jean giggled. Logan shook his head. "Break it up, kids. I ain't explaining to Blue what happened."

Remy gave him the finger.

"Only if yer good."

"Or bad, non?" Remy winked at Scott. Scott kissed him, pulling him down by his shirt.

"You are such a brat."

"Merci." The thief ground his hips into his lover's with slow, deliberate gyrations. Scott's fingers clenched in the fabric of Remy's tee. His other hand slipped under the soft cotton to stroke the scarred skin beneath. Jean slipped out of the bed. She whispered into Remy's ear, eyes fixed on Scott's face.

"Make him come, sweetie. Make him writhe and beg for it."

Scott stared at the high color in his wife's cheeks. He wasn't sure what she'd said to make their thief blush, but it changed the motion enough to make him moan and arch up.

Logan smiled, exposing his teeth. He patted his knee and Jean joined him for the floorshow. He ran his hand up under her silk nighty. She straddled his thigh, rubbing herself against him as she watched. The Canadian growled softly, wanting to be in her, not just smelling and feeling her.

The Cajun was moving beyond game now. His mouth was busy investigating Scott's throat as his hands roamed freely over the willing body, freeing it from its shirt.

Jean settled on Logan's cock at his urging, a smile on her face. It was so much better to feel Logan moving in her, even if the position was a bit unsteady. Scott's fingers wound into the Cajun's hair as he urged the wandering mouth further down his body.

"Tell m' what y' want, cher," Remy purred.

Logan growled against the back of Jean's neck where he'd fastened his teeth. She shivered and moaned. His hands settled on her hips, aiding her motion, even as her own hands moved to cup her breasts.

"Suck me, baby. Please?" Scott's voice was rough.

Remy smiled and let the hand urge him down. He opened the zipper with his teeth and flipped the button open with his fingers, then slid his hands back up to the nipples he'd abandoned.

Logan urged Jean to lay down. She'd still be able to watch the action, but he'd have more movement. Jean's eyes weren't focused on the tableau in front of her. She was flying high through stars and planets. If her eyes had been open, they would have been crackling with green fire, but her lids hid her secret flight.

Scott cried out as he came, warmth spreading from his groin through his body. His lover cleaned him with tiny licks. Scott pulled the thief up for a drowsy kiss.

Remy settled between Scott's legs, pleasantly blessed. The kiss warmed him and his eyes closed. He rested there against Scott's chest, listening to Jean and Logan on the bed.

Logan's jaw clenched just a bit as he came, filling his mouth with tangy blood. The tiny pin-pricks of pain pushed Jean over the edge and she climaxed with a falcon-like cry.

Scott's brows drew down at the familiar sound, but let it go in favor of petting the body so close to his.

Logan lapped apologetically at the bite. Jean didn't seem to mind as tiny after-shocks ran through her body. Eventually, they slept.

FINIS