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Sick Cycle Carousel

"Where the hell have ya been?" I demand as Remy finally gets home at five. I'm on security detail tonight. I've been waiting for him since midnight. Remy always comes to see me when I'm on shift. I had been ready to wake up the professor to make sure he hadn't been killed.

"Out," he snaps back at me. "Not dat it be any of y'r business."

"Sorry for carin', sugah," I response sweetly. His eyes were happy when he'd waked in. His smile faded when he caught sight of me waiting on the stairs for him. Cyke won't even know I cut out when I saw Remy wheeling his bike towards the garage. He always walks if for a mile when he comes home because of Logan's ears.

"Last I heard, y' didn'," he purrs at me. His eyes flash and I know that somehow he's gone from happy to sad to angry in a matter of seconds. He's trying to piss me off and it's working.

"Ya always come home by three, Swamp Rat," I say, avoiding the messiness of the other topic for now.

"Ain't scheduled in de Danger Room, me," he tells me. He shrugs. There's a bruise on his throat. I know just what it's from.

"Enjoy your women tonight?" I ask. "Anyone Ah know?" He pauses the immediate response on his lips. His eyes narrow.

"Oui, chere. Belladonna. Y' know. M' wife?" He steps to the side to move past me and I grab his arm. "Let go, girl." I tighten my fingers and he winces. I'll leave a bruise, I know that, but I don't let go. The boy bruises too damned easily. "Non, chere, let's no' get int' dis t'night," he begs softly.

"No. We aren't putting this off."

"Why y' want t' talk 'bout dis, chere? Y' de one dat broke up wit' Remy. Y' got y'self Joey. Y' can touch him."

"Shut up, Swamp Rat," I tell him, tugging gently on his arm. I lead him to the monitor room.

"Chere, Remy follow y'. Just let go."

"No way," I reply. He shuts his mouth for once and settles down in the chair next to mine. I finally release my hold and he rubs at his arm. "Ya didn't take yahr radio."

"Dat was de plan, chere." He smirks at me and I resist the urge to shake him.

"What if there'd been an emergency or somethin'!" He rolls his eyes and I frown. He drops his eyes and folds his arms over his stomach.

"Den Jeannie or de Prof call me," he says evenly. His eyes drift tot he Danger Room monitor. Only half of the team is in today. The rest of us are supposed to be battle-ready. Remy doesn't look like he'd survive a Cyclops lecture, let alone a fight, but I know better than to bet against him.

The circles under his eyes aren't quite as dark as I've seen them, but I think his cheek is bruised. I feel my frown deepen and he pulls deeper into himself. "Ah thought y'all weren't talkin'?" He gives me a puzzled frown.

"Me an' Belle?" I nod. He shrugs. "We talk off an' on. She was in town. Dat don' happen often."

"So ya got together?" That makes sense. He hasn't seen the woman for several months. Last I heard she didn't know who he was.

"Oui."

"Didja eat?"

"Oui, chere." He's gotten very still.

"Do ya still love her?" I ask softly. His eyes close and he nods. Then he tenses. He's braced for a blow and my mouth is moving before I even know what I'm going to say. "So you fucked her tonight."

He attacks. "Why is dat always de first question?" he snaps at me. "Never, 'did y' have a nice time? What did y' have f' dinner? Did y' see a movie?' Non, did y' fuck her? Sex ain' de only ding in de world, cher. An' Remy shouldn' have t' tell y' dat!"

"Yah're mine!" I snap. He winces and flinches back.

"Non, chere. I ain't. Y' tol' m' y' don' ever want t' see me again! Y' datin'! I ain't y'rs no more." He takes a deep breath. "Can we talk about dis after we get some sleep?"

"Every time we say that we nevah talk."

"Chere, Rogue, y' said y' didn' want m' no more. Been playin' dis straight from de start. Remy, he flirt a bit, oui, but he ain't never don' y' wrong. Not even by m' wife. She ain't loyal t' m' neither. But, chere, I can' take any more of dis. Tell me true, chere, do I stay or go?"

Oh god. He used "I" when talking about something important. I think I'm in shock. He's looking at me with large, sad, puppy-dog eyes. Why does the thought of actually letting him go twist me up into knots?

He leans back into the chair and folds his hands in his lap. His fingers are shaking. I notice he's wearing his ring again. I guess I just stopped seeing it. He started wearing it before Joseph and I came back. I noticed it a couple of times, but it's much more fun watching him find excuses to leave Joseph and me together.

That was before he stopped eating dinner with the team.

He's stopped reacting to me flirting with Joseph. Oh, the two of them will never get along, but I can't get Remy to react anymore.

Mama would be so proud. I've learned how to manipulate men.

He won't walk out of this room unless I tell him he can. He won't walk out on a lady, or me either, it seems. I turn to the monitors. "What about Jean?" I ask. He blinks at me. "Have ya done her yet?" His eyes widen and his grin flashes.

"Y' really dink Logan be drinkin' wit' me if'n I did dat?"

"Ah think we'd be havin' a funeral," I reply. "What about Betsy?"

"Lizabetta ain' Remy's style."

"Why not? She's pretty and kills things."

"Dere somet'in' y' ain' tellin' Remy, chere? Non, Betsy's a spook." His lip curls up into a snarl. He looks almost dangerous for a second. Then, it disappears. Disgust must take too much energy to maintain.

And I'm too angry to let him leave before the end of my shift. Bishop finished his patrol at three. He stopped by to ask if Gambit had slipped in. He seemed disturbed that he hadn't come home yet.

I'm not angry. Not really. I know Bella. I have had her in my head. Spite. I guess it's spite. And the echoes of jealousy. He's mine. Not hers. Not anymore.

Damn her! I want to hurt her. Kill her. Maim her. Scar he pretty little face. But he'd still love her. She could drive that sword of hers through him and leave him bleeding and he'd still love her.

Like he still loves me.

He's a fool.

I love him. I just can't keep him.

Maybe I should just get a leash.

I can smell her perfume. Poison, if I'm not mistaken. Amusing. He did fuck her. Well, shift time is over. He's watching me with those heartbreaker eyes of his. "Ah'll walk ya to yahr room, sugah." He gives me a blindingly hopeful grin.

We don't speak on the way. There's nothing to say. He doesn't want to set me off. I don't want to hurt him... much.

"Sleep well," he says, giving my hand a squeeze.

"Pleasant dreams, sugah." He closes the door on me. I go to my room and start throwing stuffed animals into the wall. That isn't satisfying so I throw the picture frame that still holds the visage of the cocky Cajun asshole. The glass shatters. It glints on the carpet like tears.