His fingers tangle in her hair and he tips her head back to capture her with a searing kiss. Remy isn't known for his restraint, and he certainly isn't holding back on this. Rogue cannot breathe, only drink in his heady scent, his hardness beneath her hands fisted in his shirt, his spicy, intense flavor.

This isn't her first kiss.

Her first kiss was soft, gentle, nervous, and fluttery—and interrupted by the devastating advent of her powers. Every kiss after that has been brief, colored with wariness and restraint. With Bobby, cold.

This is her first kiss of its kind. Remy's mouth is hot and eager on hers, his hands warm and hungry on her hip, her neck, caressing. Their bodies press flush together and she burns. Trembling, Rogue slides her arms around his shoulders, tiptoeing, leaning into the kiss, rose clutched in one hand, card in the other, and suddenly she can't breathe at all and tears her mouth away. She takes in deep, ragged gulps of air.

Remy's head leans against hers and his own warm breath is as ragged as hers. The knowledge of that flushes through her. Her face is hot when he seeks her mouth again, hand tightening on the nape of her neck.

It's her first kiss of it's kind. It won't be the last.

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"Seriously, guys," Jubilee huffs, casting another backwards glance toward the two southerners on the couch. "Get a room."

Remy chuckles. Rogue just shakes her head ruefully.

The whole group is gathered in the media room on a Saturday night watching The Princess Bride, the only movie all of them could agree on. Lorna, Kitty, and Jubilee are lounging on the big sofa, the guys have staked out the floor—more importantly, two of the three bowls of popcorn—while Storm, Hank, and Moira benevolently preside in the big, comfy chairs. Rogue is laid out across the couch, head in Remy's lap, while he runs his hands through her now disheveled hair, much to Logan's disapproval.

Remy has on those half-gloves with some of the fingers missing, and Rogue feels tingles from the sensation of his bare fingers when they caress her and an odd fascination when the leather twirls her hair about it. He pays particular attention to the white strands framing her face. It's impossible for Rogue to ignore the play of shadow and light at the edge of her vision.

Finally she stops trying to watch the movie and shifts a bit to stare up at Remy instead.

He leans close. "Quoi?" he whispers, a mere breath across her face.

She studies him for a long moment, his strong, masculine beauty. A small smile turns up the corner of her mouth and her fingers play with the edge of his shirt. "Let's get out of here," she whispers.

His answering grin stirs something she didn't expect to feel, but she has no time to change her mind.

Rogue giggles at Logan's growl and Bobby's glare following them out of the room.

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They grade papers together in his room, legs tangled together on the queen-size bed. She likes to face the foot of the bed and spread her teacher's book and materials on the chest at the end. He sits back, leaning on the headboard, bent over the worksheets in his lap. Rogue enjoys the contented silence between them, broken by a friendly word here or there, a light joke, a teasing chuckle. When she's done scratching in her last red X, she closes up her textbook and leaves everything right where it is (a convenience of not keeping the papers on the bed) and clambers up the bed to snuggle into Remy's arms—whether he's done grading or not.

"Chère." He clucks disapprovingly, but one arm curls protectively around her shoulders while he finishes up with the other hand.

Rogue merely hums contentedly.

Finally, he sets aside his work on the low nightstand and tosses his red pen on the top. He nudges her chin up to kiss her softly. "Y're crazy, chère, y' know dat?"

"Only for ya," she sasses back in an atrocious rendition of his own accent.

It's good for a laugh and she enjoys the sound rumbling beneath her head. She didn't really expect things to be so gentle and sweet between them most of the time, but they have been. Remy can be such a gentleman and Rogue finds herself not really wanting to disturb it.

They sit quietly for a long time. A few intimate words exchanged. Another laugh or two. She hardly notices herself drowsing and eventually falling asleep.

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Things aren't always so easy.

She isn't even sure what set her off this time, but she's standing in the kitchen, hands on her hips, accusing him of flirting with another girl, and his dark eyes burn red and angry, narrowed slightly, head tilted as if he's studying her. Kitty and Jubilee have already skittered out of the room, leaving half-full dinner plates at the table. Sam is staring in wide-eyed shock at the spectacle. Logan's barreling down the hallway to try to contain the damages.

Finally, Remy explodes in exasperation. "Y' ever t'ink about trustin' moi?"

Rogue draws up as if slapped. "Ah trusted Bobby, too," she retorts.

"'M not Bobby." The eyes narrow further. His words are clipped.

She huffs, spins on her heel, and brushes past Logan before he can get in a single word. She pounds up the stairs and into her room and slams the door resoundingly behind her.

She's crying.

Why doesn't she trust him? she wonders. Because he still flirts, he's still a charmer, he's still everything he was when she started down this road?

It isn't any of that. It can't be. She knew about that. It's just--

She doesn't want to look at it, all the knotted emotions of fear, anticipation, desire wrapped up in such a fragile, impossible dream.

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And sometimes things are perfect.

He finds her on the roof. She still isn't talking to him, but that hasn't ever stopped him before. She knows the instant he steps out behind her, the hazy scent of spices and cigarettes and motor oil wafting around her. He's been working on his bike. How can she know so much and so little about him?

Her arms tighten around her legs and she draws them closer to her chest. Her face is buried in her knees, her own breath warming her, and she can't see him. She wants to tell him to go away, but that would be recognizing his presence behind her. She curses herself for being sensitive enough to him to know he's right there, waiting for her to speak. Another wave of cigarette washes over her. He's not going to broach this, she realizes. He's going to make her do this first.

She won't.

Rogue is stubborn and strong and she won't.

She huffs into her knees.

Silence hangs between them. She can count her own thundering heartbeats, but she isn't that girl. She doesn't give in just because some arrogant, "patient" swamp rat decides he's going to wait her out. She doesn't.

He chuckles.

Rogue's gut clenches at the sound and all the terrible things it does inside her. She wants him. He's winning and she knows it and she hates it. Suddenly, she rockets up onto her feet and whirls around into him, slamming one hand flat against his chest.

"Stop it," she hisses, eyes narrowed.

He cocks his head, staring down at her. His eyes are soft, the faint ruby glow dimming into the black, and it tugs at something deep inside her. She doesn't want it to. She doesn't want to feel this. But his hand gently strokes her wrist, then catches it and pulls her one faltering step into his arms.

"Chère," he whispers in that thick, heady Cajun patois and she can't help but listen, but meet his intense, unwavering gaze. He's captured her. "None o' dose ot'er girls mean anyt'in', n'est pas?" For just one moment, hesitation flickers in his eyes, but then he leans closer, his warm breath painting her face. She breathes in his words, "Only you. I promise."

It's perfect. This moment, this person. She wants to be angry, but she can't. She can only nod, helpless in the face of his sincerity.

He draws her nearer and she cannot help but come.

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They share secrets. A tangled web of memory and fears spills from her mouth when she least suspects it. She pauses, frozen fingers tangled in his half-gloved hand. He tightens his grip on her and pulls her more firmly against him on the bed. His breath burns the back of her neck and then his skin brushes her and she is undone.

"Remy..." she whispers.

"At least y' never meant t'," he whispers back, so close against her.

She closes her eyes and his own memories, horrific pains and nightmares, paint her neck. He glosses over the details—perhaps more, but it is the sharing at all that has her hand holding his so tightly, the other smoothing along his arm, comfort whispered back.

She falls asleep and dreams of Genevieve.

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They don't make sense. They shouldn't be good for each other. They dance the tightrope of pain and promise, anger and tenderness, despair and hope.

But every time Rogue sees Bobby's tense, worried gaze studying her curled into Remy on the media room couch, she turns away.

They are good for each other. She's tied too close to him now and every word they say, every dream they whisper, just binds them tighter in their own tangled web. So they have to be.