saga/title/fandom: Two Pair: Chapter Four That River In Egypt 2 (X-Men)
author: L.M. Griffin
rating/genre: (PG-13) - Romance/Drama
warnings: het,language, violence
summary: Through sick or sin, Gambit and Jubilee will be there for each other. (Gambit/Jubilee)
comments/disclaimers: Standard disclaimers apply.
Chapter Four: That River In Egypt 2
Six and a Half Months In:
Ring. Ring. Click. "Xavier's School. Talk fast, the game's at commercial," Logan growled softly. This was why he hated the days when everyone else took off to do errands and the like. Left him alone to answer the damned phone. Which on most days he wouldn't mind, if Georgetown and Michegan State weren't at the end of the second period, score tied. This better not be one of those credit card companies...
"Hel-Hello? Is this the, er, permanent residence of Remy LeBeau?" The masculine voice was slightly nervous. There was noise in the background that sounded like things were crunching and breaking.
Logan allowed a bushy eyebrow to rise. The guy sounded like a panicked Tom Cruise. Well, he had Logan's attention at hello. "Yeah, but he's not home right now. He went up to the city for the weekend," the Canadian grunted.
There was a snort. "Yes, we know that. Are you one of his, er, 'friends'?" There was another crash and the sound of glass tinkering down to the floor. The man sighed heavily.
Logan's lips shifted to a straight line. "Depends on how many times he skins me alive in poker. He in trouble?"
The man took a deep breath, when all of a sudden there was the loudest breaking noise yet. The man put his hand over the phone and Logan tensed as he heard another voice. Female. What the hell was going on? The man came back on the line, his voice strained. "I am only going to say this once. Help. Now. Please?"
Logan growled low in his throat before saying, "Just what's going on over there, bub?"
The man's voice was wry as he replied, "Oh nothing, really. He's just trashing his very expensive apartment to pieces."
Logan felt a sigh heave out of his chest. This couldn't be good. Well, he had promised the kid that he'd look after the Cajun... "Where are you?"
The man who sounded like Tom Cruise gave him the address of a rather high priced apartment building on the West Side. Logan turned off the game, wrote a brief note to the others where he was and grabbed his Harley from the garage. One hour later (bumper to bumper in the Holland Tunnel, that sure as hell improved Logan's mood) he pulled in front of the apartment building and walked inside. The guard didn't even look at him twice when he said he was here to see Remy LeBeau. Apparently, the management was used to seeing strange men come to see the Cajun. Huh.
He rode the elevator up to the penthouse level and stepped out, broad hands stuffed inside his leather jacket. Well, the place met Remy's level of opualent grace. The black oak paneling was nice, but Logan would have preferred the real smell of trees to all the wood polish. He made his way to the broad, black door and knocked on it firmly. He briefly wondered what he was going to find behind it. If Tom Cruise really was here, maybe he had brought Nicole Kidman with him. Logan grinned; he'd always had a thing for red-heads.
The door opened and Logan bit back a sigh of disappointment. It was a woman, all right, but no red-head. Long, curly black hair framed a dark skinned face of exotic beauty. Brown eyes moved over him with a flicker of relief. Her voice was a mixture of accents as she spoke. "Are you Remy's friend from Westchester?"
"Yep. Name's Logan, and since I know you're not Nicole...who are you?" Logan quiered. Well, she was a looker. Not a Jubilee-skrull, however, which worried him. Had Remy finally found a woman to replace Jubilee? That particular worry heightened immediately when she reached out with her left hand to pull him inside and he saw a HUGE diamond solitaire glittering on her finger. He held in a growl. He'd hate to have to rearrange Remy's face to match his...completely trashed pad. Logan surveyed the damage to the foyer, his expression carefully blank. Place looked like Remy had gone ten rounds with Creed - and lost.
"Nicole? What? Nevermind, I don't think I want to know. The name's Sekhmet Conway. Call me Sek, you'll never be able to pronounce it correctly otherwise," the woman now named Sek said, pulling him down the long front hallway. "The panicky man on the phone was my fiancee, Jacob Gavin Jr. Just to give you the short of it - we came an hour and a half ago to tell Remy we finally set the date for the wedding and to make sure that he'd come. Old joke between the three of us - Remy said he'd never believe that Jake could convince me to be his wife unless we handed over the invitation him personally."
"Jake Gavin...the Courier? That means that you're that archaelogist friend of the Cajun's?" Logan asked, his bushy eyebrows raising slightly. "Thought you and Remy..." Well, at least she wasn't with Remy. The worry that gnawed at him for a moment faded to nothingness.
"Never got off the ground. The guy was still angsting over - that woman whose name I refuse to mention because it makes me break out in HIVES - and besides that, Jake knows how to show a girl how much she means to him. In a sweet, corny way." A smile of contentment settled on Sek's face, which then faded back into a frown.
Logan scratched the top of his head, making his hair stick out a bit more. "Okay. So you come to tell him the good news and...he went ballistic?" He grimaced at the state of the living room as they moved through the doorway - completely destroyed.
"Oh NO, he'd already started this when we got here. We walked through the front door, the wide open front door. Remy's usually more cautious then that and we were worried. We headed into the kitchen and..." She stopped speaking as Remy suddenly appeared from the door to the dining room. Sek sighed, her expression shifting into something close to pain. Logan's expression turned into something close to shock. Which was impressive, because he hadn't thought that anything could shock him anymore. Brownie points for LeBeau.
Remy was dressed only in jeans, his well muscled upper body covered with a faint sheen of sweat. A half full bottle of bourbon was clutched firmly in his hand, and he was obviously plastered seven ways to Sunday. That wasn't what was making Logan stare at him in complete surprise. What was making Logan stare at Remy was the fact that the young man had entered the living room skipping barefooted and singing, badly, at the top of his lungs. "I'm a lil' Teapot, short 'n stout! Here is my handle, here is my spout!"
Charging after Remy from the other room came a man who, Logan had to admit, bore more then a passing resemblence to Tom Cruise, from the scruffy looking hair to the finely tailored suit. Jacob Gavin Jr., the normally smooth and suave Courier, was running futilely after the inebriated Cajun yelling, "All right! All right!! You're a teapot! Teapots don't drink bourbon!!"
Remy suddenly stopped, spinning around to face his friend. His accent was heavy as he slurred, "Jakie, I think dat alllll de teapots should drink bourbon. Ish goo' shtuff. Keeps ya from thinkin' 'bout things like blue eyes, 'n black hair like satin..." A small whimper left his throat and he stumbled over to the corner. He crouched, hugging himself and the bottle tightly.
Jake let out a long sigh, then turned to face Logan and Sek. His voice sounded harried as he said, "Tell me you're not the T.V. repair man."
Logan's lips quirked once. "Nope. Name's Logan. How long has he been like this?"
"You mean completely smashed? I don't know, a few hours?" Jake rubbed his head in frustration. He and Remy had not always had been the best of friends, but they were friends. This wasn't like the usually cool thief Jake knew, and it worried him.
Sek moved over to her fiancee's side, squeezing his arm gently. She turned her soft gaze back to Logan. "When we came in, he was breaking dishware in the kitchen. He said the noise kept him from thinking."
"Yeah, he was on this total noise kick. If he just kept making noise, kept singing, kept smashing his used-to-be-nice belongings, she couldn't get into his head anymore. Whoever she is." Jake frowned, bringing his dark eyebrows together.
"He also said something like...'I don't understand why it's not working. I stopped acting the way I feel, so she shouldn't be scared anymore. She should come home..' He said it was a perfectly logical plan?" A puzzled expression rested on Sek's face.
Logan's lips quirked again. So that was what Remy had been thinking. Well, it was a logical plan. Idiotic, but logical. "Don't worry about him. Gumbo's not exactly at his most rational," he said, eying Remy carefully.
"This isn't a Rogue thing, is it?" Jake said, then winced as his fiancee smacked his arm, hard. He glared at her. She glared back.
"You know I hate that name. It was the agreement we all made years ago: I wouldn't develop that device to make her implode from hundreds of miles away if we just never brought up that name again. My father was furious when I stopped work on it. We could have made millions and I would have had fun playing with it. But I stopped, simply because you and Remy promised NEVER to say that name," Sek growled softly.
"Yeah, but I just wanted to know-" Jake protested, before Logan interupted.
"Kids, this don't have anything to do with...the other one. It does, however, have to do with Gumbo being so stupidly in love he can't think straight," Logan said calmly.
"Geez, figured that one out after he smashed all his Wintermere crystalware." Jake said softly.
Just then Remy stirred from his corner, his crimson on black eyes flaring up with drunken delight as they focused in on Logan. He staggered to his feet and walked unsteadily over to the shorter man, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. "Logan! Mon ami! I think you should b'come a teapot avec moi. All yah hafta do is drink alotta bourbon. It keeps de blue eyed imps away - but, I don't want her t'be away no'more. Logan, you think if I stop drinkin', she come back?"
The look of total misery pasted over Remy's face almost made Logan regret what he was going to do next. It was, however, the best thing for Remy. Really. He tilted the drunk Cajun up enough so he was standing on his feet, then ordered gently, "Say nighty-night, Gumbo."
"Nighty-night Gumbo..." Remy cooed softly, as Logan's fist cracked into his chin. Remy stumbled backwards, and then took a header into the floor, out like a light.
The couple stared at Remy for a moment, then Jake burst out, "Well HELL! Why didn't we think of that?"
"Because darling, you can't punch worth a damn, and I just had my nails done," Sek remarked dryly, leaning over Remy. He was breathing evenly, and he might have a bruise on his chin, but he would be fine. Physically at any rate.
"Hm...good point. All right, Logan. I'm going to ask ONE question, and I demand that you give me ONE answer." Jake's line was good. It just the delivery that came across as whiny.
Logan had moved over towards the phone, looking for a few phone numbers. Two, in fact. One for a cleaning crew for this place, and the other for a store that delivered groceries. Remy had both written down. Hm. First smart thing he had seen the Cajun do all day. At Jake's question, Logan's eyebrow lifted, as he rumbled softly, "Really now? Why?"
Jake gulped at the sudden feral glint in Wolverine's blue-grey eyes, but he crossed his arms and stood his ground, "Because I had to listen to a drunk Cajun sing 'I'm a little Teapot' one hundred and three times in the past hour. Off key. That's why."
Logan's lips quirked up at the corners in the barest hint of an amused grin. "Well. All right then. Ask away."
Jake looked at Sek, and together they asked, "Who the hell is SHE?"
Logan took a deep breath. He really didn't know how much Jake and Sek knew about Remy's life outside of the X-Men. Oh hell. They'd find out sooner or later. "You two ever hear the Cajun talk about Jubilation Lee?" he said calmly, moving back over to Remy's side.
The couple blinked together, as they said in unison, "You mean that girl with the...you mean that Remy is...that's 'her'?!?"
"Yep," Logan said, leaning down to pick up Remy's unconcious body. Oof. Remy was going to have to start laying off the jamabalaya. The couple absorbed the knowledge, and a glint of understanding entered Sek's eyes. Logan appreciated it. Jubilee would like this woman..
Jake's eyes had a pleading quality to them. "Please, please tell me you're bringing her back? I never want to hear 'I'm A Little Teapot' again. Never, ever."
The dangerously smug look returned to Logan's face. "Nope...I'm not. He is. Now, why don't you folks get along out of here? I'll sober Remy up."
The expression in his eyes let Sek and Jake know that if Remy was going to sober up, Logan was going to make sure that it was going to be the hard way. They wisely said nothing to that, and left the apartment. Both knew that Logan would either smack Remy around or talk some sense into him. Maybe both. Good. He needed it.
Logan dropped Remy in his bed (Very nice bedroom, too. All black silk and black oak furniture. Very Gambit.) for a few hours of sleep. Logan fixed a sandwich in what was left of the kitchen, let the cleaners in (They gave the place a look around and sighed. Seemed like they were used to this kind of thing. Made Logan wonder what Remy did in this apartment), and ordered several bags of ice. When they arrived, Logan grabbed two of them and headed for the bathroom. He plugged up the black marble bathtub and started running a cold bath.
After making sure the water was good and freezing, he dropped in the two bags of ice, creating an ice bath that would make a polar bear shiver. Satisfied, Logan strode back into the bedroom. Remy still lay sprawled atop his bed sheets, his chest rising and falling quietly. His stubble covered face looked peaceful, but the tightness around the mouth and eyes screamed of silent pain in his dreams. Again Logan regretted what he had to do next. He sighed, and lifted Remy over his shoulder again.
At the jostling, Remy stirred half awake. He realized dimly that he was being carried into his bathroom, and the person carrying him was Logan. He remembered Logan hitting him, that hurt!...and then all thought left him as Logan dumped the thief unceremoniously into the tub of glacial bathwater. Remy forced himself to the surface of the water, yelling as every last trace of drunken stupor left him. "MERDE! IL EST FROID!" (trans. "Shit! It's cold!)
"That's the point," Logan said, settling himself beside the tub. He planted one broad hand on Remy's skull and dunked him back under the water. He waited a few more seconds, then allowed Remy to surface for air.
Remy came up, teeth chattering loudly. "Logan, what de HELL! Why are you in my bathroom tryin' to DROWN me?"
Logan pulled a cigar out of the front pocket of his flannel shirt and stuck it in his mouth, chewing on it thoughtfully for a moment. "You remember getting tanked on bourbon, then skipping around singing while giving your old buddies Sek Conway and Jake Gavin coronaries?"
Remy frowned, running his fingers through wet hair. "Dimly...but dat still don't explain--" He didn't get another word in, as Logan promptly dunked him under the icy cold water. When Logan let him up again, he yelped, "OUI! I remember!"
"Good. That's one of the two reasons I'm here. They were worried about you, gave me a call at the Mansion. I told them I'd take care of you, sober you up. You sober?" Logan asked calmly.
"How de hell should I know? Logan--" Remy managed to mumble out, before Logan's hand descended on his skull and he was underwater again. The Cajun came up screaming, "I'M SOBER! I'M SOBER!" He also added some colorful curses in French about Logan's parentage.
Logan allowed a wry smirk to rest on his face as he held up two fingers in front of the Cajun's flashing eyes. "How many fingers?"
"Deux. But you keep holdin' dem in front of my face, you won't have ANY!" Remy snarled, hands gripping the side of the tub. He would NOT be dunked again.
"You're sober." Logan's smirk widened as he rose, moving away from the bathtub. He grabbed a towel from the rack, and tossed at Remy. The young man climbed out of the tub still shivering and snagged the towel in midair. He started drying himself off as best he could. Icy cold water dripped down his back from his hair and Remy gritted his teeth together as he asked curtly, "'N what's de other reason you're here? Or was it jest t'give me a bath? Too kind, Logan, too kind."
Logan sat himself down on the closed toliet seat, lighting his cigar. He gave Remy a thoughtful look before saying gruffly, "Actually, second reason was...I wanted to ask ya a question."
Remy, in the midst of drying his hair, lifted the folds of the towel high enough so that Logan could see the malice in his eyes. "Logan...dis better be a damned good question." the young man snarled out softly.
"Oh, I think it is. Why is it that you keep datin' girls who look like Jubilee, act like Jubilee, even dress like Jubilee - when the girl you're really pining for is out wandering the backwater states of the U.S.?" Logan asked flatly, folding his arms over his chest as he directed a stony look at the young man.
Remy's mouth opened, then shut again. He draped the towel around his shoulders, as he struggled to find the words, "Well, ya see...I..."
"Want me to tell you what I think?"
"Will it keep me from gettin' dunked into de tub again?"
"De floor is yours."
"I think you're in love with Jubilee. I think you're so in love with her, it's scaring you silly. To that point, you think she doesn't love you, and that's why she ran away - because it scared the bejezzus out of the kid. That's why you've been going around dating these other women in a rather vain attempt to get her to come home again, because you think if you show her that there's 'nothing to be scared of', she'll come back to you." Logan took a puff of his cigar and eyed the young man. "Now tell me I'm wrong."
Remy slumped down beside the bathtub dejectedly, muttering softly, "Well, den I'd be a liar on top of bein' an idiot, now wouldn't I?"
Logan shook his head ruefully. "Gumbo, you've done everything you could to show her she doesn't mean anything to you 'that way', including lying to yourself. So if the reason for her to be afraid is 'gone', why hasn't she come home yet?"
Remy twisted the ends of the towel with his fingers, a wry look working over his handsome face. "Je ne suis pas...I was actually thinkin' 'bout that before I *ahem* had a few too many..."
Logan took another drag off his cigar. "Now there's an interesting question. If she didn't run away because of how you feel about her, then why did she run away?" He raised a quizzical eyebrow at the other man, a calm expression on his craggy features.
Remy frowned softly as he tilted his head back towards the ceiling. That was an interesting question. All right, time to puzzle all this out. Jubilee hadn't run away because she'd found out how he felt about her. A good thing. She still had run away though, and was continuing to do so. A bad thing. Which meant she was still scared. Well, what would scare Jubilee enough that she would run from everyone and everything she knew?
Remy mentally skimmed over everything that he knew even vaguely disturbed Jubilee, then smirked to himself. Of course, what else? Her own emotions. He'd assumed that she'd run away because of how he felt about her. Well, what if Jubilee was dealing with some type of her own emotional trauma? Jubilee would rather have to wear burlap then admit to some sort of emotion. Especially those on the softer side of the spectrum.
So, Jubilee ran away because she was feeling something she was scared of. Then...why didn't she come to Logan, or even him? They were her closest confidants, her family. Hadn't she said more then once that Logan and he were the only ones she told everything to? So the only reason she wouldn't tell either one of them was...if it had to do WITH one of them. Wait, then she would have simply gone to the other one. She hadn't come to him, which left only one other option...
Remy's head snapped back down, as he glared at Logan. "What did she say t'you?" She'd gone to Logan. He knew it.
A knowing grin worked over Logan's face. "Congratulations, Gumbo. You've just re-entered the world of Intelligent Adult Thought." From his jacket pocket he pulled out a much folded note, and handed it over to Remy.
Remy quirked an eyebrow as he unfolded the note itself. "What is it?" He idly pondered charging something to toss at Logan for withholding this information for so long and decided againist it. He'd just started to dry off, after all.
Logan said quietly, "It's a note Jubilee wrote to me before she left. Maybe if I had given it to you six months ago, we all wouldn't have to have gone through all this stupidity. But I didn't, thought it'd be best if you two worked out your own heads. Note that I didn't think that included wanderin' around the country like a gypsy or gettin' drunk enough to start babblin' about teapots." He smoothed down his hair, giving Remy a pointed look.
Remy cleared his throat innocently before reading the note. He blinked, staring at it in abject shock, then read it again. Then again. When he finally spoke again, his tone was disbelieving, "She..she's in love with me?"
Then a flash of anger worked it's way through him, as he growled through gritted teeth, "How could she believe dat I wouldn't understand? Dis has t'be de stupidest thing I ever heard from de girl!"
"A-yup. It's almost as stupid as datin' other women to get the one you want back," Logan said innocently, flicking ash off the end of the cigar.
Remy shot him a dirty look, but then a rueful expression crossed his face. "Yah, looks like neither one of us went 'bout dis de right way."
"As the kid would say, No Duh. Now, what are you gonna to do about it?" Logan asked, lifting one eyebrow.
Remy allowed an innocent smile to pass his lips. "Dunno. Thought you were gonna tell me."
Logan let out a growl. Sometimes LeBeau was just too much of a smartass - probably why he and Jubilee were so damned perfect for each other. "You should go find her, bub. Bring 'er home," he stated, stabbing a finger at the young man.
Remy swallowed for a moment, as he squeezed the ends of his towel. Going after Jubilee meant facing her. Telling her how he felt, opening up and putting himself on the line. Trusting in love, after it had slashed him open so many times before.
Logan read the doubt blooming on Remy's face, fully understanding the sudden flash of fear that grabbed the younger man by throat, so to speak. Logan allowed his gruff voice to soften. "She's not like the others, Gumbo. She trusts ya."
Remy smiled bitterly. "Yah, but for how long? A day? A few weeks? Or meybe she'll jest wait till I'm so in love with her I can't see straight, den decide she don' love me anymore. Leave me in de middle of de Sahara 'cuz she don't trust me. Meybe never did in de first place." Visions of Rogue moved across his mind's eye, and he mentally winced.
"She won't," Logan said quietly. At Remy's dubious look, he pointed a finger. "That's not her style, bub, and you know it. Once you've earned her trust, ya never lose it. She'll follow you through the gates of Hell, because she KNOWS you'll bring her back again in one piece. Don't ask me to explain it; I just know that girl's got the most loyal nature in the world. She let you and me in, Remy...that means forever in her eyes. She won't leave you, unless you want her to. She's gonna love you, want you, and yeah, trust you for..."
"Forever," Remy finished quietly. Something sparked in his crimson eyes, a look of hope. Logan spoke the truth. If she was in love with him...she'd never stop. "Guess den...I'm stuck with her, eh?" he whispered softly, looking at his fingers with a quiet smile.
"For as long as you both shall live, end quote," Logan said quietly, "Now, I ask again, what are you gonna do about it?"
"Gonna bring her home, o'course," Remy said firmly, rising to his feet. He would need to make travel arrangements, get himself packed. Change out of these wet jeans. Shrinkage was a bad, bad thing.
Logan's blue eyes flashed satisfaction. "Good. Now, how you gonna to find her?"
Remy smirked as he threw the towel back at Logan. "I'm going to rub my magical Tiffany Lamp 'n ask de Cajun Genie inside. Think he'll sound like Robin Williams?"
A matching smirk settled over Logan's face as he caught the towel neatly. "Going home to ask your daddy then, eh?"
"Logan, if Jean Luc LeBeau can't track down Jubilee...she's left de planet. 'N even if she has, I'd still lay even odds Poppa could find her. It'd just take him a lil' longer."
"Good luck then, Gumbo.."
"Merci Canucklehead. Gonna need it."
"Not to mention dry undies?"
End Part Two
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