DISCLAIMER: Belongs to Marvel, not belongs to me, more's the pity. This fanfic variation, however, belongs to Dande, who put Jean and Remy together. And it's for her that this is written. DANDE, you hear that? You inspired me! Woo! Also special thanks to Frito, who selflessly sacrifices time and sanity betareading for me.
PERMISSIONS: You can archive it, but I'd suggest getting the rest of Dande's timeline first. :) And please do not MST or POP-UP
FEEDBACK: welcomed and appreciated: [email protected] (that's net, not com)
And now, without further ado...
The first clear night after a week of rain, I pad out of the house, barefoot, in just the bottom of my gi. The air is scrubbed clean and it's too late in the day for pollen to have wafted into the air. Nobody else is out, except maybe 'Ro, but she's probably in flight an' so I'm good as alone.
The grass is cool on my feet, and the ground loamy and soft under each step. An' I let the walk fall naturally into a jog, a trot, and then a full-out loping run. My lungs breathe greedily of the clear air, and my nose twitches, alert for any scents I don't catalogue as familiar.
Yup -- 'Roro's ridin' the wind somewhere, up above the trees.
Hank's scent's old. Sittin' out on the porch earlier. Now, either turned in or in his lab.
Rogue's upstairs; last lingerin' whiff of her is slightly over my head -- near her bedroom window.
Few of the others've been outside recent enough that I can trace 'em out here as I circle Spuyten Dyvil Cove. There's a hint of Betts, practicin' her teke with Wings...
I finish the circuit of the grounds, then slow to a walk. Covered in mud, sweat running trails through it. Grass and twigs in my hair where my passage disturbed Ma Nature just a tad. But where I'm goin' it won't mind. How I look don't matter near as much as the honor an' the respect.
The stone is here they laid out for Jean a few years back, though Jeannie herself is with us again. Thank whatever is out there that the X-Men seem to get round trip when our ticket punched. There's a headstone for John Proudstar.
And yours, Scotty.
I crouch to touch the stone. The engraving is still fresh:
Loved and missed, always
We were never really what either of us woulda called tight, Slim. But I respected ya. Always, even when I gave you hell. Even when ya gave it back.
Hell, the fact that ya gave it back that time in Scotland when Proteus turned my world inside out probably saved my life. Stormy, God love her, would've worried and fretted. Jeannie woulda tried to get in my head. But only you knew the only way to shake that funk outta me was to get my blood boilin'.
Not t'mention the time you knew I could handle the optic blast pulsed to brake my fall.
When I got the adamantium torn out of me through my goddamn *pores*, you could've let me die. We'd had that much bad blood between us enough times. But you knew Jeannie's touch was all that'd bring me back.
So as much as it hurt t'know you did it, it wasn't really a surprise when we heard you'd jumped into the matrix to stop old Blue Lips from gettin' that Nate kid. Even knowin' it'd hurt Jeannie. Even knowin' it'd rip the heart out of this ragtag team you've led all your life.
You knew we'd carry on because you'd not have it any other way.
You knew we'd stay together because love, not blood, made us family.
But did ya know Jeannie'd get over you?
Yeah, bet ya did.
Did ya know she'd pick the Cajun to warm her bed with?
Heh. I figure I can hear you spinnin' in your grave, Slim. Yeah, that's right. It's LeBeau she's with now. They're down the bunkhouse. An' everybody - - includin' me -- thought it'd be me Jean turned to for comfort. But she didn't.
An' it don't much look like she will.
They say they ain't in love. But it's headin' that way. I can see the looks. I can smell the sex an' the sweat on 'em. I can see each of 'em breathe easier when the other comes home from a dangerous mission.
Hell, Scott, the swamp rat is *leadin'* us! An' loathe though I am to admit it, he's doin' a decent enough job of it. We followed him to Moscow, an' the caper went down. It wasn't without a hitch. LeBeau made no apology for it, and it wasn't really circumstances he could control. But he did make the most of every opportunity and he got us outta there.
Jean says she can't get in his head -- especially not now that he's had his powers jacked. So I ain't exactly sure what brought her into his bed. Bitter voice in the back of my head wants ta say it's that she only likes the leader types. But that ain't it.
Watched the man with her. Before they even got the balls to announce it to us, his attitude changed. Even as leader, his concern was for her. Even concerned for Jeannie, he was still a leader.
Damn him. I can't hate him for this, and God knows I want to, Scott.
I want to pop the claws and tear his heart out for disrespectin' your memory.
Then again, you wouldn't want it that way. No matter who Red picked, you'd want her to be happy, right? Right. I know you. You wouldn't want her slippin' away after you. You'd want someone who'd show her to embrace life.
I still have a hell of a hard time believin' it's LeBeau, but eyes and scents don't lie.
I know when it comes down to it, Jeannie's where she wants to be, an' with who she wants to be. That's the long an' the short of it.
Hope you rest easy with that knowledge, Cyke.
An' if you don't...
..rest easy on this:
If Gambit hurts Jeannie, there'll be no place on earth I can't hunt him down an' give him back in kind for.
With those words to the old friend I was never tight with, I feel a weight lighten from my heart. I do one more circuit of the campus, then head to turn in myself. The last light in the boathouse goes out five minutes before I turn out my own light.
As long as you're happy, Jeannie.