He hadn't been there for so many of the things they had planned together. Did you see Alaska? Were you pregnant? Did you conquer your powers?
No, no, no. All pain and wounded answers, but trying to be brave.
Rogue rallied after a few moments, informed him breezily of all the things that had happened while he slept. "The school is doing well, sugar. 'Ro's got 'bout two dozen teachers and aides and what-have-ya on staff, plus student jobs to pay for tuition. To say nothing of all the students.
"Logan and Hank joined forces and did some real lobbying to get official status for the X-Men, and we're not just a bunch of vigilantes anymore. We're considered an official peacekeeping body, and the Junior X-Men get credit for internship and training. Works out real well. Remy and I run the junior program." She faltered. Why in the world had she said that?
Bobby seemed to miss her discomfort. "Remy? A new teacher?" he prodded, caught only on the unfamiliarity.
She nodded. "Yeah. He's paired with me a lot 'cause his mutation includes a forcefield. Hank says I can't absorb him."
Bobby paled, stumbled to speak, but couldn't find the words.
"Oh, sugar." She leaned over and kissed the top of his head, where she wouldn't absorb him. "We never tested it."
Logan was waiting for her when she got in the door to the mansion. She held up her hand to forestall his questions.
"Not now," she told him. She really couldn't take—
But there was Remy, leaning his arms over the bannister and asking with all sincerity, "How is he?" Caring because she cared, and she wasn't sure of anything, even that.
She fumbled for words and found them. "He's fahne, but the doctors say he'll need a lot of physical therapy before Ah can haul him home." She stopped, took a deep breath. "How would ya feel if ya were allowed to go back to New Orleans?"
He stared at her for a very long time. His face was unreadable, though he must have felt a hundred or more emotional gyrations at the very idea of having his family, having Belle again.
Think first, Samuel, she thought bitterly. Think, then dance.
She knew that Remy wore his heart on his sleeve when he was in danger of losing something he wanted more than anything, but this was different and he wasn't, but he had never had her to lose. "I..." He blinked. "I don' know."
Weariness closed in. She nodded, began the long, weary walk upstairs to her, no their room. "Neither do Ah."
When she was settling in, kicking off her shoes, trying not to weep, she realized that Logan was standing there the whole time she talked with Remy. She wondered if she really cared.
Night was always hardest. The voices in her head were soft, but they never went away, they never failed to have an opinion on all the things that had happened. She tried to ignore them and finally turned away and moved deeper into her own mindscape.
No one she absorbed ever completely went away. He was here, somewhere, waiting for her.
It looks like their bedroom. He is lying beside her, studying her without anger from those beautiful, blue eyes.
She sighs and reaches out to take his hand, amazed and wondering that he lets her. This is her Bobby, as he was when she absorbed him, as he is now.
"Ah'm sorry, love," she whispers and is surprised that she means it. "Ah just... don't know what to do."
He nods. "I know." Always so forgiving. You'd think that with the way she understands people, gets inside their heads so literally, she would be the forgiving one, but no, it's him. It's always been him.
"You have to let him go." It's only fair, only right.
She stares at him, realizing the ambiguity in that statement and asks blankly, "Which one?"