Title: Slight Return
Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...
Summary: "Not gonna kill the fatted calf for this thief, homme?"
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
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete, Dot, and Meg. And to Laura and the
Okay, so I have trouble with Remy, right? So one of the ways I deal with
that is trying to write from his POV. I don't know how successful I am,
especially with his tangled past and inserting him into movieverse, but
this idea came to me and I went with it. As I may have mentioned, I'm
not doing the accent, though I tried with the speech patterns.
Soundtrack: "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" by SRV [hence the title] and
"Born on the Bayou" by CCR. Seriously - on the radio - not my own picks.
Call it serendipity, baby!
He stares at the gates, trying to decide how he'll make his entrance.
He could easily sneak up to the roof and slip into her room unnoticed by
the others, so their reunion -- whichever way it went -- would be a
secret. He'd helped install the security systems, after all; he'd made
sure there were one or two blind spots that only he knew about. Nothing
that would put anyone in danger, you understand, just enough of an
opening to let a Master Thief slip in and out without trouble.
He'd left on a wave of anger and recrimination, the past he'd tried so
hard to escape catching up to him and endangering his future.
But that's done now. He's paid his debt to the Guild, handed Bella off
to someone who actually loves her. And now he's back to claim what is
If she'll have him.
The front door, he thinks. Go in guns blazing, and if you get shot down,
do it in style. He adjusts his sunglasses. Even though it's dusk, he
wears them, and only partly because bright light hurts his eyes.
The gates swing open smoothly and he saunters up the drive, looking for
all the world as if he owns the place instead of having been gone a
year, a cloud hanging over his name.
The door opens and Scott is there, arms folded sternly across his chest.
"Some things never change, eh?" he says by way of greeting, knowing he
can't charm Scott; the man is highly resistant to beguilement.
"Remy," is all Scott gives him in return, blocking the entrance.
Remy sighs theatrically. "Not gonna kill the fatted calf for this thief,
He can see Scott is trying not to smile. He doesn't even have to use his
charm; he knows Scott isn't angry, that he understands a man has to take
responsibility for his past before he can build a future. And Scott's
not one to hold a grudge, which is one of the things Remy likes about
No, it's not Scott or Jean or the Professor he's worried about. He needs
to beg forgiveness of his goddess. He hopes she's in a good mood.
"Welcome home," Scott finally says, giving into the joy of his return.
The two men had become as close as brothers over the past few years,
much to the surprise of everyone who knew them. Scott wishes Remy would
give up thieving and settle down like a good little X-Man, and Remy
wishes Scott would put his skills to less than legal uses on occasion,
but they've developed an enduring friendship based on their differences,
and neither *really* wants the other to change.
They embrace briefly, and because he knows Scott will be honest, he
asks, "She gonna be happy to see me?"
Scott claps him on the back and laughs. "Who can say?" They share a
moment of male bonding, contemplating the mystery that is woman, before
entering the house.
Remy scans the living room, but she's not there. He nods to the kids he
knows, smiles at Drake and Allerdyce, who are playing foosball with
Jubilee and a pretty, dark-haired girl he doesn't recognize. He barely
has time to note the white streaks in her hair before he's engulfed in
"Everything's straightened out?" she asks, pulling back to look him
over, and holding his hands. "You look good."
"Oui, Jean. Remy fulfilled his obligations."
"She's missed you," Jean replies in a voice meant for his ears only.
"She'll deny it, but she does."
His grin is tinged with sadness that she'd had to miss him at all.
"Where is she?"
"In her room."
"Merci." He drops his bag on the floor next to the couch and heads up
To look at him, you'd never guess his heart races and his stomach
flutters in a mélange of anxiety and anticipation.
He reaches her attic sanctuary and knocks lightly at the door.
"It's open," she calls, and he smirks, thinking, They haven't told her.
He enters to see her standing in the midst of her garden, her beauty
putting the flowers to shame.
"Ma coeur," he breathes, finally removing the glasses so he can see her
She starts, her usual grace absent as she whirls at the sound of his
voice, but she schools herself quickly. Her face is impassive as she
"Stormy." There's a lump in his throat and he finds it difficult to
speak for a moment.
"I have asked you not to call me that." Her voice could freeze fire.
"Still angry?" he asks, sidling closer.
"No. To be angry would mean that I actually care what you do."
"Liar," he teases. So close now, he can smell the jasmine in her hair.
"What do you want of me?" she asks, and her eyes flash, belying her
earlier words. "I let you go, Remy. Do not think you can charm your way
back into my life and then leave me again."
"Never, mon amour. Remy never leave you again." He slips to his knees
and grasps her hand. He presses fervent kisses to her fingers. Perhaps
he's overdoing it, but love and fear are warring in him, and he needs
this contact with her to reassure himself he's really there and she's
not running from him. Yet.
"Empty promises," she sniffs.
"No. I--" he bites his lip and her expression softens at this sign of
"Get up, Remy."
He shakes his head. "God," he spits out, all trace of his accent gone.
"I missed you, 'Roro. I understand you're angry, but there are things I
had to do -- blood oaths and blood debts that needed to be settled..."
He's already revealed more than he should have, even if no one from the
Thieves' Guild ever finds out. "I could have gone back to my old life
easily enough. I'd have missed this place, being an X-Man, but I'd have
gotten over it. But you -- I learned I can't live without you. I exist;
I breathe and speak and walk, but I'm not *living* unless I'm with you."
She pulls her hand from his grasp and presses it to her lips, turning
away. "Why do you say these things to me?" she asks, and he can hear the
tears in her voice.
He rises, finally, and wraps his arms around her. She lets him. "Because
I love you, Ororo. Only you."
"Ex-wife. Settled on another, who actually loves her as much as she
loves him. You're the one for me, Stormy. Let me prove it to you."
She lets the silence stretch, holding his heart in her hands as he
buries his face in her hair, trying to memorize its scent and texture,
the way it slides like the finest silk against his skin.
"Yes," she whispers, turning back to face him, her face wet with tears.
His eyes are not exactly dry as he presses his lips to hers, mouth open,
hot and hungry for her after so long a time apart.
They stumble to the bed, limbs entangled, and he knows he can never
leave her again. He's pledged his soul in worship of the weather
goddess, and it's a fealty he's happy to pay.
Later, they go down to see their friends, and dinner is laid out, a
feast to welcome the prodigal son on his return.
Leo: "We're eliminating genocide. What are *you* doing?"
Sam: "I'm eliminating the penny. I'll come back later."
The West Wing
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