Whispers

 
 
He prayed that Logan wouldn't answer the door—too prone to lectures—and Jubilee would be otherwise occupied—prone to ill-directed crushing: There was only one face he wanted to see, and he was selfish enough to pray away Piotr's girl, Kitty, as well.

Rogue.

With her intense green eyes, visibly unimpressed but that well-hidden relief and excitement behind them, with that faint flush he hoped their homecoming caused, with her too pale skin and a velvet green dress and her soft, heady scent to take his breath away... She was perfect.

He held her close and murmured, "'M home."

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He was the first man to ever want her.

Bewildering, deadly how intoxicating, this arm around her waist pulling her closer until all she could smell was his Cajun spice and all she could feel was his warmth and the low rumble of his laugh running through her. The odd girl out, the loner, was tucked beneath another's arm with his breath against her hair and a desire for her shining in his eyes.

"Rogue?" Ororo raised her eyebrows.

Rogue shook her head and snuggled closer into Remy. "Sorry. Ah was thinkin'."

Ororo's eyes warmed. "I was saying, 'Merry Christmas.'"

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Kitty shook her head at the southern lovebirds. Absorbing the Acolytes into the X-Men three years back no longer seemed a bad thing. The three men were more world-weary than the original team, but they seemed to appreciate the good, simple things of life more deeply because of it.

Remy treated Rogue like a queen, whispering to her like they'd been lovers forever. St. John made the youngest students laugh with his Santa suit, gifts, and false beard. And Piotr— Piotr. He was watching the children open their presents with a wistful longing in his eyes.

Perhaps, thinking of home.

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Christmas always reminded him of Ilyana. She would be laughing and opening gifts as gaily as the children at Xavier's Institute if circumstances hadn't kept them apart so painfully. Piotr loved and hated to watch the youngest residents. He would see her spirit in their eyes.

A small, warm hand reached to covered his.

Startled, he looked to see Kitty smiling gently at him, and then something warm blossomed inside of him. He returned the gesture.

"Merry Christmas, Katya."

A faint blush stained her cheeks, but she whispered the greeting back.

It was not Russia, and yet, it was home.

 


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