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FIC: The Devil You Don't: R: 1/1 [L/R, G/O]

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  • victoria p.
    Title: The Devil You Don t Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@att.net] Summary: And yet it is the unknown, with all its disappointments and surprises, that is
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2001
      Title: The Devil You Don't
      Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...]
      Summary: "And yet it is the unknown, with all its disappointments and
      surprises, that is the most enriching."
      Series: Fragments #3 - sequel to "A Question of Trust"
      Rating: R - language, sexual situations
      Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of
      fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
      Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool, otherwise, just let me know you're taking
      Feedback: Feed me, Seymour!
      Notes: Thanks to Dot, Meg, Jen, and Pete. This is my attempt to provide
      a good-guy Gambit *and* closure, all in one neat package. <g>

      This has only gone through one round of beta'ing, so any errors are
      mine. Point them out if you see any, please, but do it privately.

      { } indicates POV


      The Devil You Don't

      "We tend not to choose the unknown, which might be a shock or a
      disappointment or simply a little difficult to cope with. And yet it is
      the unknown, with all its disappointments and surprises, that is the
      most enriching."



      I don't know what's happened, but something's different. Jeannie's not
      flirting with me like she used to. Maybe she noticed that my heart ain't
      in it anymore. I don't know. But she and Scott just announced their
      wedding date. No more putting it off -- I think they're really going to
      do it this time.

      And I'm actually kind of happy for 'em. I didn't expect that. It's rare
      to see two people who love each other so much. I know Jean and I don't,
      which is why it's okay. Don't get me wrong, I'd fuck her six ways from
      Sunday if I had the chance, and I know it'd be good. But that would be
      it. There wouldn't be anything else but sex.

      I never believed that there *could* be anything more than sex, not until
      I saw her and Scott and the way they seem to fit together. Not until I
      held Marie's lifeless body that night at the Statue of Liberty, and
      realized she meant more to me than anyone I had ever met. I started to
      wonder if she and I could fit like that.

      I know I shouldn't think stuff like that about her. Even if she is
      twenty-one now, she's just a kid, still. Got a lot of growing up to
      do -- a lot of learning about life and a lot of experiences to have.

      Shit. She better not be experiencing anything with that Cajun prick.

      I know, I know. I'm being all dog in the manger, but Marie is my
      responsibility, and if he does anything to hurt her--


      "Are you okay, Logan?"

      Shit. How did Storm sneak up on me like that? And the claws -- got to
      put away the claws.


      "Are you sure?"

      "I said I'm all right, 'Ro."

      She sighs. "Everyone thinks you are upset because of Jean's announcement
      at dinner last night." I don't say anything. People can think whatever
      they want about me. I don't care. It's probably better if they do think
      that. I can only imagine what they'd think if they knew what I wanted to
      do with Marie.

      "I don't think that," she continues, startling me out of my thoughts.
      Man, when did I get so distracted? "Rogue does not love Remy. She's
      going to break his heart."

      I blink. Several times. "What?"

      "I said--"

      "I heard what you said, Ororo. What the hell does it have to do with

      "I know how you feel about her," Storm says matter-of-factly. "I see it
      in your eyes as you look at them." I open my mouth to deny it, but she
      just keeps talking. "I know because I see the same look in my eyes when
      I look in the mirror."

      "You're in love with Marie?" I ask, like an idiot. She laughs and I
      realize, "Gumbo. You want the Cajun."

      "Very perceptive of you, Logan," she answers. "So, what are you going to
      do about it?"

      I shrug. I hadn't planned on doing anything. I'm staying away from the
      kid. I don't want to hurt her.

      "You think about it," she says, walking away. "Let me know if you come
      up with something."

      I shrug again. I already made my decision. I'm not going to let Storm's
      situation change my mind.

      I sit back and continue my contemplation of Marie and her Cajun
      boyfriend. I know they can feel me staring, and I hope it bothers them.
      Because watching them together damn sure bothers me.


      I can see out of the corner of my eye that Wolverine is watching us. He
      watches us all the time now. I lean in a little closer and whisper in
      Rogue's ear.

      "He be watchin' us, chere."

      She inclines her head a little, giving me access to her neck, and
      laughs. I love the sound of her laughter. When I came to the mansion,
      she was always so solemn, grave even. Her eyes were so big and sad, and
      I just felt it in my heart that I had to protect her. I think every man
      in the place feels that way about her. My heart belongs to Stormy --
      always has, even though I don't really show it -- but Rogue and me -- we
      understand each other.

      "Let's give him a show, then," she says, twining her arms around my neck
      and blowing in my ear.

      I lean down and press kisses to her neck through the sheer scarf she's

      When I first told her my idea, that we should get together and wait it
      out for the ones we loved, she thought I was crazy. I admit it sounds
      strange. And really, she probably shouldn't have trusted me. Most people
      here don't. That's okay -- they know what I am. But it seemed like the
      only way to get her, and mon dieu, I wanted her. She's untouchable,
      unapproachable -- the perfect lure for a con artist like me -- the grand
      prize in the game of love.

      I am not above playing dirty to get what I want, and Rogue wasn't
      falling into my arms like I'd planned, so presenting her with the plan
      to get Wolverine was a stroke of genius. I never expected that I'd
      actually go through with it, though.

      I mean, I'm Remy LeBeau, Prince of Thieves. I steal hearts as easily as
      I steal wallets. But I quickly learned that ma chere's heart was locked
      up tight and guarded by those damn adamantium claws. Since I couldn't
      offer her mine in return -- I'm dishonest, but I couldn't do that to
      her, lie about that once I got to know her -- I decided it was all

      And so we waited and watched, worked and hoped. And had some damn good
      times along the way, if I do say so myself. I'm able to make the
      sad-eyed girl laugh, and I know it burns Logan every time he hears it.

      Merde! The man is denser than the metal in his bones. Jean is beautiful,
      but anyone with eyes could see she'd never leave Cyclops. Just like
      anyone can see that Rogue belongs with Logan. Anyone but him,

      That's okay. My goddess, so perceptive when it comes to others, believes
      I am in love with the southern belle. And I, though it pains me, have
      let her think that. But I know the day of reckoning is at hand. Rogue
      will go to Logan tonight. That is the plan. And I will go to Ororo and
      confess my love.

      I could make her love me -- I have the gift of empathy, though no one
      here knows it -- but for once, I want to do it the hard way. I want her
      love to be real, not something I manipulated, like the cards in my

      "He's coming over," Rogue murmurs, bringing me back to the moment.

      I grin widely. "Your hairy man finally seein' de light, petite," I
      breathe, so softly even his hearing can't pick it up. I give her one
      last quick kiss on the forehead, and melt into the shadows of the late

      The game is over for her, but for me, it's just beginning.


      I am calm. I am centered. I breathe in and out, feeling my place in the
      world. I am so deep in my meditation that I cannot say how long I've
      been gone, but I suddenly feel eyes on me and it jolts me out of my

      Demon's eyes.

      Remy is staring at me, and suddenly I realize I am naked.

      I grew up in a culture where nudity was commonplace, and I have none of
      the "hang-ups" that Americans do about it, but Remy's unblinking stare
      flusters me.

      I reach behind me for my robe, but he's already there, holding it out.

      Why am I nervous? I've known this man for many years. He is one of my
      dearest friends, yet I see the look in his eyes, and it unnerves me. I
      feel the warmth between my thighs at his nearness, and I chide myself
      for wanting what I cannot have.

      "Stormy," he whispers, "Look out the window."

      "I have told you not to call me that!" I say, but my words lack the
      proper indignation as his hands caress my shoulders, propelling me
      toward the window.

      I see Logan, towering over Rogue. They are having an argument. It has
      all the earmarks of a lovers' quarrel. She turns to walk away and he
      spins her around; his body language is that of a suppliant before his
      goddess, begging for forgiveness.

      "I am so sorry, Remy," I say, though my heart sings at the idea that he
      could be mine, that Logan has finally realized that he loves Rogue, and
      she has released Remy into my care.

      "Non, chere. Nothin' to be sorry for. We planned it this way, le petite
      and I. She gets her hairy man, and I get my goddess, if she'll have me,"
      he whispers, his breath brushing over my ear, sending shivers down my

      It's as if he heard my thoughts about Logan and Rogue.

      "What are you saying?" I ask, and curse the breathlessness of my tone.

      "You're the one for this thief, chere. I've been dreamin' of you for
      ages now, 'Roro." He leans down and kisses my neck softly. My eyes drift
      close and I rest against him, feeling his lean, taut body, pressed up
      against me. His hand cups my chin and he turns my face to his. "I gotta
      know, chere -- do I have a chance?"

      His eyes, so strange and yet so endearing, are lit from behind with
      fire. His heart is in them, and I feel myself trying to get even closer
      to him.


      It's barely a sigh, but he doesn't need to hear it, he can feel it --
      that is how little distance is left between us. I turn, my robe undone,
      and now I am kissing him. His eyes are intent on mine, but they close
      and his head tilts back. He whimpers as I trail my lips down his neck,
      reaching the sensitive place beneath his ear.

      We somehow wind up on the bed, limbs entangled. I do not worry about the
      details. I have the man who stole my heart, my Prince of Thieves, and I
      plan to get to know him better, starting right now.

      It may have begun as a game to him, but I mean to show him that one
      doesn't trifle with a goddess. When this is done, I know I will have his
      heart, much as he has mine.


      Remy leaves as Logan walks over. I swallow and try to calm myself. I've
      had this moment planned for years, but now that it's here, I'm not sure
      if I can go through with it.

      This is do or die, I tell myself. Either he goes for it, or I'll lose
      even the friendship I've come to depend on so desperately.

      "What'd the prick do to you now, kid?" Logan asks casually, but he
      radiates tension. It's making me nauseous.

      I shrug. "Nothing. I broke it off with him. I don't love him." Come on,
      Logan, take the bait.

      All he says is, "Oh." He studies his shoes as though they're the most
      interesting thing he's ever seen.


      "Yeah. I didn't think it was fair, you know, to string him along when I
      know I don't love him, and Storm does."

      His head snaps up. Aha! A reaction.

      "Am I the only one who doesn't know this stuff?" His aggrieved tone
      makes me laugh, which softens his expression. But then he grows serious.
      "What if he doesn't love her back?"

      "He does."

      Logan arches an eyebrow, and I shrug again. Nothing like that careless
      shoulder movement to convey everything and nothing. I learned that from

      I take a deep breath, steeling myself for what comes next. I see his
      eyes are drawn to my cleavage, which feels bare without his tags
      nestling between my breasts. He frowns, and I know he notices their

      I pull them from my pocket and hold them out to him.

      "This is my day for breaking things off, I guess," I say, after the
      silence has become unbearable. "I can't be your little Marie anymore, so
      I should give these back."

      Something flashes across his face, so quickly I can't identify it. "No."

      I try to smile, but it feels more like a pained grimace. It hurts my
      face. "Yeah."

      "No," he says again, with more feeling behind it. "I made you a promise,
      kid, and I'm keeping it. Those tags are a pledge--"

      I hold up a hand. I don't want to hear this. "I'm releasing you from it.
      I'm not a kid anymore, Logan, and I don't need your protection. I want
      more than that from you." Shit, that slipped out, earlier than I wanted
      it to, and more desperate-sounding than I planned.

      "I, I can't, Marie. I can't give you that." He sounds terrible, like
      it's really hurting him to say it. I guess it is. I mean, I know he
      loves me. I've seen it in his thoughts and feelings. It hurts him to
      hurt me like this. But he's got this *stupid* idea that he's no good for

      "You can," I respond, "but you won't." He opens his mouth, but I don't
      let him speak. I'm not done yet. "You think you're too old, but I'm
      grown now. You spend all your time looking for a past that doesn't even
      matter, because whatever it is, it's gone. You can't get it back. The
      present and the future are what's important, but you're always looking
      backwards, so you can't see that." I'm working up a good head of steam
      now, really letting him have it -- four years of repressed feelings are
      spilling out.

      "You're a coward, Logan." Ooh, that got him. He stiffens, eyes narrowing
      and nostrils flaring, but I don't care. I'm sick of keeping my feelings
      hidden; I'm getting it all out now. "You don't reach out and take what's
      right in front of you -- instead you moon over Jean like a lovesick
      teenager. You know you don't love her, or she, you, but you're too
      damned scared to actually take a chance with someone you *do* love, who
      loves you back.

      "Well, I'm done with it, Logan. Either you admit how you feel about me,
      or we're over -- whatever this is between us -- is over." I turn and
      begin walking away. I can feel the tears threatening as he says nothing.
      I close my eyes, praying that I can make it to my room before I break

      He follows, grabbing my arm and spinning me around to face him. "Marie,"
      he says hoarsely, and the look on his face damn near breaks my heart.
      "I--" He closes his eyes and runs a hand through his already-wild hair.
      He sounds angry when he says, "You-- Dammit, Marie, I love you. Are you
      happy now?"

      Actually, I kinda am, but he's not done, and I have a feeling I'm not
      going to like the rest of what he has to say.

      "I'm trying to do right by you, darlin'. Can't you see that? I want you
      to be happy, and I don't think I'm the man who can do that."

      "Well, not having you is making me very *unhappy*, Logan! I understand
      you're scared. It's a scary thing -- this -- whatever it is we have. But
      I think it's also a good thing, a great thing, even. And I want to see
      if we can make it work."

      "Marie, baby, you know I'd die for you--" He pulls me closer as he's
      talking, and I'm practically in his arms, which is right where I want to

      "I know, sugar," I say softly, gently caressing his cheek. "But what I
      really want to know is if you'll *live* for me, Logan, and live with

      When he comes to a decision, he doesn't answer with words at first.
      Instead, he drags me against his chest, pinning me there with a hand at
      the small of my back. His other hand dangles the dogtags as he works the
      chain over my head. Then he kisses me, brushing his lips against my
      hair, where it's safe, and whispers in my ear.

      "Yes," he says. "I will."

      And he casts fate to the winds, pressing a searing kiss to my lips
      through my scarf. He chooses the unknown, and I believe he's making the
      right choice.



      The quote is from Anne Morrow Lindbergh.



      "Screw the dead. What have their moldering asses ever done for me?" Mike
      Kellerman, _Homicide: Life on the Street_


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