Remy LeBeau sat in the back seat of the yellow taxicab in silence. He didn't feel like talking to the driver, so he didn't. He kept his sunglasses on, hiding his red-on-black eyes, and stared out the window, watching the Paris townhouses as they blurred by.
Remy still wasn't sure why he had felt the need to drop everything and go to Paris. He had been in New York with the X-Men one minute and the next, he was on his way to Paris. All because a certain well-respected lady in New Orleans had called him.
"Remy, you need to go to this address in Paris." She had said.
"Okay." Remy had replied. Remy always says okay. It never occurs to him to say no, even if he doesn't have a reason. "Why?"
"Your father lives dere."
"An' dat's de only reason why I should go?"
"You need to, chil'. An' he needs you to. Neither one of you knows it, but you do. Now go. Soon."
So, Remy had gone. And now he was sitting in a taxi cruising along the streets of Paris, listening to the music on the radio. Certain song lyrics caught his attention and he listened to them for a few moments.
Come stop your crying It will be all right Just take my hand Hold it tight I will protect you From all around you I will be here Don't you cry For one so small, You seem so strong My arms will hold you, Keep you safe and warm This bond between us Can't be broken I will be here Don't you cry 'Cause you'll be in my heart Yes, you'll be in my heart From this day on Now and forever more You'll be in my heart No matter what they say You'll be here in my heart, always Why can't they understand The way we feel They just don't trust What they can't explain I know we're different but, Deep inside us We're not that different at all And you'll be in my heart Yes, you'll be in my heart From this day on Now and forever more
Don't listen to them 'Cause what do they know We need each other To have and to hold They'll see in time, I know When destiny calls you You must be strong I may not be with you But you've got to hold on They'll see in time I know We'll show them together 'Cause you'll be in my heart Yes, you'll be in my heart From this day on Now and forever more Oh, you'll be in my heart No matter what they say You'll be here in my heart, always Always
"Here we are, Sir." The cab driver said, pulling up by a quaint redbrick townhouse on a street lined with large elm trees.
Remy handed the man some money, waited for his change and got out. He stood on the sidewalk for a few moments, looking at the house, a slight feeling of unease in his stomach. He didn't know just why he was uneasy, but he was. Tante Mattie had been too vague when she had told him to go to Paris.
With a sigh, Remy walked up to the house and went in, knowing from what Tante Mattie had told him that his father lived in the penthouse on the top floor. He walked up the flights of stairs, the song he'd heard in the taxi going through his mind. He wasn't sure where this talk with his father was going to go, but he had a feeling somehow that the song hadn't been played by chance.
Jean-Luc LeBeau was sitting in the big plushy armchair in his living room reading a newspaper when he was startled by the doorbell ringing. As he got up and crossed the apartment to answer the door, he couldn't help but wonder who would be visiting him. He had thought only Mattie knew where he was, but she might have told someone.
'May as well be honest wit' myself,' he thought just before he reached for the doorknob. 'Now dat my fate has been sealed an' I know I'm gon' die soon, I really don' mind de company…'
Before he opened the door, Jean-Luc looked through the little peephole and got quite a surprise when he saw his son standing there, waiting patiently to be let in.
"Remy?" Jean-Luc said with a frown, opening the door and facing his son.
"'Ello, Papa." Remy replied, a quirky smile playing at his lips. "Can I come in?"
"Of course. What brings you here? I didn' know you knew where I was…" Jean-Luc said, inviting Remy in and offering him a seat.
"I didn'. Tante Mattie gave me de address. She called me an' told me to come here. Said dat you an' I both needed dis." Remy explained.
Jean-Luc chuckled. "She always knows when we need somet'ing…although I t'ink I might know what she got you to come here for."
Remy frowned. "Why? She wouldn' tell me."
"I t'ink she feels we need to talk…" Jean-Luc admitted. "Talkin's one t'ing you an' I never did a lot of, even when you were a kid."
Remy got up and went to look out the window. He marveled at the amazing view Jean-Luc had. "What's changed b'tween den an' now?"
"Maybe a lot." Jean-Luc commented. "How are t'ings back home?"
Remy snorted. "Huh. De guilds are unified an' we all hate it. Bel an' I are in charge, an' if you t'ought it was hard to control jus' de t'ieves, you should try keepin' dem all, t'ieves an' assassins alike, from killin' each other."
"Don' you t'ink dat was what Marius an' I were tryin' to do for years?" Jean-Luc laughed. "B'lieve me, I know what you're goin' t'rough, an' you'll both do jus' fine, long as you stick together…um, Remy?"
"I…uh…I'm sorry, son."
Remy was confused. "What for?"
Jean-Luc sighed and looked away, not meeting Remy's gaze. "Everyt'ing."
Remy moved across the room and put a hand on his father's shoulder. "Can you narrow it down any?"
"Dat's an awful big list, Remy…" Jean-Luc replied.
"Yeah well, welcome to my life." Remy said. He went back over and sat on the couch. "Papa, come here an' sit down. I t'ink Tante Mattie might've been right 'bout us needing dis talk."
Jean-Luc sighed again and sat down beside his son. He wasn't so sure talking was actually going to help them any. He looked at his son and waited.
"Now, Papa, level wit' me, would ya?" Remy said. "You say you're sorry for everyt'ing?"
"Oui." Jean-Luc replied.
"Now, you don' have to list dem all or anyt'ing, but tell me somet'ing. Dese t'ings you're apologizin' for, why'd you do dem in de first place?" Remy wanted to know.
It was Remy's turn to sigh. His father could be very difficult sometimes. "Oui, honestly."
"Well, some of dem, I did b'cause de prophecies said so, an' some of dem I did for your own good, an' some of dem I did for de good of de guild, an' some of dem I did out of sheer selfishness." Jean-Luc admitted.
"Most of dose are good reasons, an' de one semi-bad one can be overlooked, given who you are, given de life you've led." Remy said.
"My life isn' an excuse, Remy."
"Perhaps not, but neither is mine, an' yet dere are t'ings I've done in my life dat I'm sorry for too. I'm not sayin' we should use our lives as excuses for de t'ings we've done, but maybe we can use our past lives an' de t'ings we've done in dose lives to make better futures for ourselves."
"If dere was a future…" Jean-Luc muttered.
Remy looked at his father sharply. "Papa? What d'you mean?"
Jean-Luc remained silent, not answering his son's question. When Remy saw that his question wasn't going to get answered, he tried a different track. "Okay, fine. Den why'd you leave de Guild? Why didn' you tell de others you were leavin'? Did you even t'ink 'bout dem when you left? Or did you totally ignore deir feelin's an' only t'ink 'bout yourself? An' what 'bout me? I didn' ask to be made leader of de guild, I didn' want it, an' you didn' give me any choice! Why did you do dis to me…to us?"
While Remy went off on his spiel, Jean-Luc got up and crossed to the window, looking out but not seeing anything except his own pain. The second Remy stopped speaking, Jean-Luc whirled around to face his son, a mixture of regret and pain visible on his face. "I had to!"
"Why?" Remy demanded. "Dat is de exact question asked to me by Theoren, Mercy, Claude, Genard, Emil an' Zoe….All of dem asked it of me…b'cause I was de last one to see you b'fore you left! So I'm passin' on de question. Why? Why'd you have to leave?"
Jean-Luc sighed, his anger ebbing. "B'cause I'm goin' to die, Remy." He replied quietly, so quietly that Remy almost didn't hear him. "I examined de prophecies. Among all de other t'ings dey said, dey foretold my death…a type of sacrifice, actually. Dere is not'ing anyone can do 'bout it 'cept wait for it to happen."
"So you left b'cause…"
"I didn' want de rest of you to be part of it, I didn' want you to know. Remy, if I had jus' called a meetin' an' told all of you dat I was gon' die, what would've happened?"
Remy sighed. "We all woulda freaked out. Kinda de way dey're goin' to when I tell dem what's gon' on…"
"Exactly…Son, I didn' want you an' de others to watch me die. I still don'. Tante Mattie will be here when it happens, she'll tell you all you need to know when de time comes."
"Isn' dere anyt'ing…? What 'bout if we went to Candra…?"
Jean-Luc shook his head. "Non, Remy. I've come to terms wit' it. So has Mattie. Now you have to as well, an' eventually, de others will have to as well. I have to die, Remy. I'm goin' to die. It's a matter of fact."
"I know, Papa. It jus'…I'm sorry too." Remy admitted, tears noticably falling from his eyes.
"Now it's my turn. What for?"
"For all de times I disappointed you."
Jean-Luc chuckled sadly and shook his head slightly. "In spite of my actions an' words, Remy, you never disappointed me. I've always been very proud of you, even if I couldn' show it."
"But why? Dere were so many times I let de guild down…how could you still be proud of me even when de guild suffered from my actions?" Remy wanted to know.
"De guild has suffered many times over de centuries, Remy. You are not de only person who has ever let de guild down. I've done so myself on occasion. When I left without a word to anyone, for example." Jean-Luc commented.
"So…what now?" Remy asked. "I go home, no one knows I was here, de world continues on it's path an' you die wit' none of your fam'ly here 'cept for Tante Mattie? An' if dat's de case, I'm s'posed to jus' sit by an' let it all happen?"
"Yes, Remy. Dere is not'ing else to be done. Fate can' be changed, no matter how much we might like for it to be."
Remy's eyes flashed with feeling. "How can I accept dat? An' what am I s'posed to tell de others when de time comes?"
"You can accept it, son, b'cause you don' have a choice. You can' save my life." Jean-Luc replied. "An' when de time comes, tell dem de truth. Tell dem dey're never alone, dat I'm always wit' dem wherever dey are. Dat I will never leave deir sides, even if dey can' see me. Tell dem I'm sorry for de mistakes I made in my life…"
Noticing his father's voice trailing off, Remy prompted him. "An'…?"
"Tell dem I love dem. Dat I always have an' always will, wherever I am. I love you, Remy. Always. Jus' never been too good at expressin' it, dat's all. I jus' hope I can be forgiven, by you an by de others, for dat lack of expression."
"I love you too, Papa." Remy said softly. Blinking his eyes furiously, he continued. "T'ank you."
Remy hadn't been back at the Xavier School in New York for ten minutes when the phone in his bedroom rang. He had been sitting on his bed, thinking about his talk with his father, contemplating the things he had learned. He lazily reached over and picked up the receiver.
"Was I right, chil'?"
"Tante Mattie…how did you…oui, you were right." Remy sighed.
"Always am, boy. Are you glad you went?"
"What kinda question is dat?"
"A simple one." Mattie replied with a twinge of sarcasm in her charming voice.
"Oui, I'm glad. I jus' wish I could change t'ings…Tante would you do me a big favor?"
"Anyt'ing, Remy. Jus' name it."
"De second…you know…I want you to come an' tell me. I need to know when it happens…please."
Tante Mattie was quiet for a few moments. She understood Remy's desire to know when his father died, and she couldn't blame him one bit. "Of course, chil'. I promise."
"T'anks. Tell Bel I'll be back down dere soon…she left me a message sayin' somet'ing 'bout some problems…tell her I'll help her wit' dem when I get back."
Remy hung up the phone and lay back on his bed with a sigh. His father was going to die and the world just kept right on spinning. How could it just go on like this, as if it was oblivious to the pain and torment going on around it? He just didn't understand. He didn't think he ever would. He thought of something suddenly and got up, crossing his room to the desk his stereo was on. He flipped through his CD collection until he found what he was looking for. He took the disc out of the case and put it in the stereo, programming in a certain song and hitting the repeat button. Then he lay back down on his bed and eventually fell asleep thinking of his father as he listened to the music.
'Cause you'll be in my heart Yes, you'll be in my heart From this day on Now and forever more You'll be in my heart No matter what they say You'll be here in my heart, always
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