1. difficult to grasp by the mind or analyze
2. cleverly or skillfully evasive


"When will you be coming back?" Jean asks, sitting herself down gingerly on chair next to the crib.  She rubs her belly and breathes out slowly.

"Don't know, to be honest."  I walk over to the window and look out at the sunset fading to a purple and orange horizon.  "Hopefully soon...but Rogue has some things she needs to work through."

"I know she does, poor girl.  That was...a bit of a mess we made of things during the Muffin of Immunity game, especially with the news about Carol; the team didn't handle the situation well, unfortunately."

I turn back to Jean.  "I won't lie to ya, Jeannie; some serious damage was done, and I don't know if it'll ever get back to the way it was."

"Give it time, Logan.  She'll get there.  She's been through a lot, so running away when she feels any kind of emotional stress is like a defense mechanism for her.  It's the one thing she has control over...and I have a feeling that she hasn't always had that.  The good thing is, she's not running from you, though, so that's something to be grateful for."

I let out a heavy sigh.  "I've been trying.  It hasn't been easy, I'll tell you that; it's like pulling teeth trying to get her to talk about some things from her past."

"That's not uncommon for a person who has experienced trauma.  It could be too painful to bring up those memories...or she just might not have the words to express all the things she is feeling.  She might not even be able to articulate some of those feelings to herself yet; they could just be a jumble of memories and emotions swirling inside like a storm."

"Yeah. I can see it in her eyes; all the things she needs to say, just bubbling beneath the surface."

"Give it time; she'll get there," she says with a reassuring smile.

"That's what this trip is all about; getting her away from everyone for a while, let her catch her breath."

"I'm sure it will do her some good.  Too many prying eyes around here sometimes," she replies with a wink.

"Speaking of prying eyes, that's one of the things I came to ask you about--prying red and black eyes, in particular."

"Mm.  You must mean Gambit."

"Yeah, the Cajun.  Who the hell is he?"

"An informant that the Professor has been working with for a long time.  He's the leader of the Thieves Guild, an underground organization that specializes in corporate and military espionage.  He's very good at what he does.  One of the best, in fact; probably due to his mutation, but I wouldn't doubt if his charming personality played a role in his success.  He's quite the smooth operator."

"Charming?  Like hell.  He's a slick one, alright, I could smell that a mile away.  But no way that prick could be described as charming.  Two minutes in the same room with him and I was ready to claw his ass into next week."

"Oh, my.  What did he say to you?"

"Eh, just little comments and gestures, like he was trying to goad me into starting something.  He looked me up and down the minute I walked in the door and right off the bat he was trying to get under my skin.  Oh yeah, and he knows Rogue already; they have some kind of history together."

"Ah, I see," Jean says thoughtfully.  "Sounds like he could have been jealous.  The two might have had a romantic relationship at one time."

My eyes dart to hers and I suppress a growl.  "Well he better stay the hell away from her now.  She's  mine."

Jean smiles. "I'm sure he knows it, which is probably why he tried to provoke you.  Don't let him get to you, Logan."

"Hmph," I articulate.  "Anyway, I'm gonna get going; I need to talk to the Professor before we go." I help Jean stand up and she walks me to the door.

"Thank you for saying goodbye, Logan."  She opens the door and I step out into the hallway.  "She really has been good for you, you know.  Once upon a time I knew a Wolverine who would pick up and leave without a single word to anyone.  And now look at you," she says with a wink.

I chuckle and give her a hug.  "You're giving me too much credit."

As we draw apart, I get this odd feeling, like someone is watching us.  A glance down the hall confirms my suspicions; Le Beau is at the far end, leaning against the wall and casually shuffling a deck of cards.  He stares at me and Jeannie for a long moment, long enough to make it unnerving, and a low growl rises from my throat.  He smirks, like he's a little too pleased that he saw something he wasn't meant to see.  Pushing away from the wall, he winks at me and saunters like fucking tomcat around the corner out of sight.

I don't know who the hell this guy thinks he is, but I'd like to wipe that arrogant smirk off of his face if I get the chance.

. . .

. . .

The Professor's not happy about us leaving, but I've let him know where we are heading, and assured him that he can call me on the brain phone if there's an emergency.  Otherwise, I'm sure the team can handle things just fine.

I head back to the room, expecting to find Rogue getting ready for the trip.  She said she was going to take a shower, and I think I might join her.  Smiling as I approach the door, I take a quick whiff and freeze.  LeBeau.

I throw the door open, finding nothing but a quiet, empty room.  With a low growl, I pull the door shut and start tracking her scent.  It's pretty fresh, so she hasn't been gone that long; but as I make my way down the hall, I'm getting more and more pissed, because I can smell his scent along with hers the whole way.  It could just be a coincidence; a lot of people come through these hallways all day, I try to rationalize.  But the Wolverine's instincts tell me they walked together, and the animal is usually right.  The thought of it makes me growl as I pass through a throng of students just coming out of class, and the kids hurry to scramble out of my way.

Eventually their scents grow stronger, and as I approach the Danger Room, I see them.  LeBeau peers at me over Rogue's shoulder from afar, then smiles, leaning into Rogue to say something quietly in her ear.  She turns her head to look at me, then back at LeBeau.  My hackles are raised and I'm about to trounce the little swamp rat, when Rogue crosses her arms and tells him to buzz off.

"I think you need to mind your own beeswax.  And anyway, I don't know why you're still bothering me, Remy.  It's all ancient history between us now, isn't it? You've moved on, and so have I.  Go, live your life, just like you have been all this time."

"You heard her, Gumbo.  Beat it," I say, stepping up to stand next to Rogue.

"I'll leave when I'm good and ready, homme, and not a second sooner," he replies coolly.  "Rogue and I have some unfinished business to attend to."

Rogue scoffs.  "There is no business left between us to attend to.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get in a workout before we leave."  She punches the code into the keypad, and with a toss of her ponytail, struts unto the Danger Room without looking back.

I wait until she's inside and both sets of doors have closed before throwing a dark glare at LeBeau.  "You have a bad habit of showin' up where you're not wanted, Gumbo."

He peers at me with his red eyes for a moment, then takes a small step closer.  From his sleeve he produces an ace of spades and holds it up in front of my face; with a quick turn of his wrist, it begins to glow purple. "Who says I'm not wanted, homme?"

Just then, Jubilee comes through the doors.  In a split second, LeBeau slips past her, dashing to the control panel and inserting the glowing card into the administrative access slot.  With a tiny spark inside the reader and a flurry of pressed buttons, LeBeau looks up and smiles as the door closes.

I rush over to catch the door, but I'm too late.  I go to the keypad and punch in the code, but all I get is a beep of rejection.  I punch in the code once more, and get another rejection.  "What the fuck?"  I punch in the code again and again, but to no avail.  "That son of a bitch!  I think he changed the code!"

"What?  No way," Jubilee says with a roll of her eyes.  "Step aside, Wolvie.  You're not gonna get the code right with your angry key smashing.  Let me do it."  I shoot her a look, which she ignores as she breezes past me and approaches the key pad. "God, it's like living with the Hulk," she says under her breath. 

She punches in the code, and gets a rejection beep.  She tries again, then a third time, and gets nothing but rejection. "Huh," she says, frowning.  "I think he might have changed the code."

"Yeah, no shit, Sherlock," I grumble.

"Hey, no need to be so crabby with me.  I'm trying to help."

"You wanna help?  Then get the hell out of my way.  I'm cutting the lock open," I growl, popping the claws.

Jubilee gasps.  "Don't you dare!  Scott will have a cow."

"Don't care.  Now move," I order her.

"Uh-uh," she answers, crossing her arms as she blocks the door.  "I am not gonna let you do this.  Now don't get mad," she says, holding up a finger.  "I'm only stopping you because I'm your friend.  You have some anger management issues, Kimosabe, and the solution is not chopping everything to bits."

We stare each other down for a moment. 

"Yes it is," I say, picking her up by her shoulders and placing her aside.

"Hey!" she protests as I pop the claws again.

I'm about to slice the door open, when I hear a cheerful voice coming down the hall.

"Logan, my friend!  What are you doing?" Kurt bounds towards us with a big pointy-toothed grin on his face.  He looks at my claws and the door, his eyes wide.  "Why are you going to cut the door open?  Did you forget the code?"

Jubilee snickers and I shoot her a look.  "No, I didn't forget the code.  Someone locked me out on purpose.  I'm gonna slice this door open, and then I'm gonna slice him open."  I raise my claws to swing at the lock.

"No-no-no!  Wait, let me help you!" Kurt says, placing his hand on my forearm.  "I can get you inside."

I look at him and he nods, smiling encouragingly.  "Please, mein freund...let me help."

I retract the claws and both he and Jubilee let out a small sigh of relief.  "Fine."

"Wunderbar.  I will help you."  He pats my arm.  "Just promise me you will not slice this person open, ok?"

"Fine," I grumble.

He nods and places a hand on my shoulder.  With a poof, pop, and a faint scent of sulfur, we are inside the danger room.  I see Rogue and the Cajun across the way and take a step forward, ready to charge.

"Remember your promise to me, Logan," Kurt says, tugging on my arm.

I turn my head and look at him over my shoulder.  His eyes are watching me earnestly; he's a good friend, one of the few people I really like.  I'm mad as hell, but I won't ever let him down.  I take a calming breath and let it out.  "You have my word."

He smiles.  "Very good.  Thank you, my friend."

I begin walking calmly and deliberately towards Rogue and LeBeau, concentrating on suppressing the urge to go berserker mode on him.

The danger room is set up as a kickboxing dojo; Rogue is busy hitting a bag and ignoring LeBeau, who can't seem to take the hint.  I prick my ears and listen in on their conversation as I make my way over.

"Come on, chère...don't be mad at poor old Remy.  I never wanted things to happen like dat, you know I didn't.  Can't you give your old 'Beau a chance to make it right?"

Rogue continues kicking and punching without looking at him.  "There's nothing you can do that will make things right between us."

"Don't say dat, chere.  You're breakin' my heart." He clutches his chest and pretends to falter.

"Huh, I didn't know you had a heart to break," she replies smartly.

"Ouch!" He makes a face.  "That's cold, chère.  Very cold."

Rogue ignores him and continues her assault on the punching bag.  LeBeau watches her for a few moments, waiting for her comeback, but she remains silent.  His shoulders slump a little and his smile fades.

"I'm sorry, Rogue," he says quietly.  "I'm real sorry."

She stops and looks at him, saying nothing.

"I...I know I can't make up for the past.  What's done is done, and there's nothing I can do about it.  But I couldn't live with myself if I didn't try."

"Remy..." she hesitates.

"Please, let me make it up to you, huh?  How 'bout dis, chere; why don't you just...hit me.  Hit me as hard as you can.  Won't that make you feel a little bit better?"

Rogue scoffs, "I wouldn't give you the satisfaction." She begins hitting the bag again.

"It's not for me, but for you," he insists. "Come on now, you know you want to.  Just think how good it will feel to give ol' Remy a good, hard punch to this pretty face."

She stops hitting the bag and lets out a little sigh.  "Nothing would give me greater pleasure.  But believe me, Remy, you wouldn't want that.  I'm not the girl I used to be; I could literally kill you."

"Aw, I can take it.  Please, chère, hit me."


"Please."  LeBeau reaches out and lightly caresses her cheek, his voice low and solemn. "I would rather die a thousand deaths than to go on livin' without your forgiveness."

Rogue pauses and looks up at him, her brown eyes searching his face.

The fuck?  Is he touching her?  Is he touching her?  That son of a bitch.  "If you want to die a thousand deaths, I'll grant your wish," I growl, springing the claws as I approach the two of them where they stand.

LeBeau peers at me with his red eyes, calm and undeterred. "I wasn't talking to you, homme."

"Yeah, well I'm talkin' to you." I bring the tips of my claws to the underside of his chin.  "You better keep your filthy mitts off of Rogue.  She's mine!"

Rogue's eyes widen and she looks at me.

Remy smirks arrogantly. "How very Neanderthal of you, Wolverine.  Rogue, is this really the kind of man you're into now?"  He clicks his tongue in disapproval.

"You don't fucking talk to her, either, Gumbo," I growl, pressing the tips of my claws against his skin. 

"Logan, stop," Rogue says, but I ignore her and hold my claws in place.

"Go on, homme," LeBeau murmurs, his expression unflinching.  "Do it.  You know you want to.  He lowers his voice to a whisper, "Or maybe you're just showin' off."

I growl and press a little harder; tiny droplets of blood begin to seep out.

"Logan, stop!" Rogue says again.  "Please."  Her eyes are pleading as she steps closer and places a hand gently on my clawed fist. 

I look at Rogue, caught between the need to give in to her plea, and the pure desire to drive my claws through LeBeau's skull.  Clouding it all is the burning spike of jealousy running through me at the knowledge that she is defending him for some reason. LeBeau looks at her and then me, raising an eyebrow arrogantly.

God, I really, really want to drive my claws through his skull; but in the end...Rogue's needs come first.  With great effort, I will myself to calm down.  I look at LeBeau with a dark glare and slowly lower my claws.

His eyes slide to Rogue and his mouth pulls into a satisfied smile.  "I knew you still cared for me, chère."

Son of a bitch.  The moment the words leave his mouth, I snap the claws back in and slam my fist into his face with a roar, knocking him out cold.

. . .
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