Rogue barges into Remy's room without knocking, steam practically coming out of her ears.

Remy raises his eyebrows and tosses his red pen back onto the desk. "What's got y' all strung up, chérie?"

She doesn't bother to glance at the papers. Probably just getting a headstart on his class's last assignment before break. Instead, she shoves his chair a bit further from the desk, earning a flare of red, and straddles him squarely.

She blows out a frustrated sigh, then leans her head into his, momentarily content.

Remy chuckles. His hands slide up her thighs—she sucks in sharply—then slip under her shirt to knead her waist.

"Oh no, ya swamp rat." She plants one hand on his and shakes her head to emphasize. "Ya do not get ta distract me."

His chuckle rumbles lower.

She glares at him.

"'S Logan," he says. "Definitely Logan." His confident tone and cocky smirk earn him another glare.

"Cajun," Rogue says dangerously, eyes slitting, hands rolling behind his head and fingers twisting into his hair. She presses her body closer to his, and the black in his eyes darkens while the red glows fiercely. She leans close enough to feel his five o'clock shadow rough against her cheek. "Ya been holdin' back on me," she whispers huskily.

She didn't expect such a strong reaction.

His hands glide swiftly up the skin of her sides, grip tightening just under her breasts. Her breath hitches. He's closed the pretense at space between them. She can feel him molded against her, every muscle through his shirt, and...

She flushes. Not just in her cheeks.

She should really stop trying to play on his level.

"Have I?" His own husky rumble stirs things low down.

Abruptly, she shoves him back and herself off of him. "Not that way," she growls.

He laughs at her. "Well, y' can' blame a homme for gettin' de wrong idea."

Rogue growls again, but doesn't tell him she was only trying to get his attention. Trust her to forget her boyfriend is Remy LeBeau, for crying out loud, and perfectly liable to get carried away.

She goes to pacing. "Logan cleaned mah clock today, wahped the floor with me, and handed me mah bum on a platter." She still can't believe how thoroughly he trounced her.

"Not going easy on you, darling, now that it's official and all."

She hadn't thought twice. "Bring it on."

He had.

"An' a lovely one it is." Remy smirks.

She glares at him and crosses her arms.

One eyebrow comes up. He's admiring the scenery! The nerve of him.

"Remy..." Rogue drawls a warning.

The smirk broadens. "Well, dat does explain de tres magnifique leat'er, mais..."—he gives her one of those looks, one that turns her insides out and outsides in and peers under all her layers, physical and otherwise—"not de holdin' back."

"Ah want ya ta teach me how to faght," she blurts.

His face loses all readability.

"Every tahme we go one on one, ya beat me." She returns to pacing. "Ah can beat Logan on a good day, but most days, it's just lahke this, and if it weren't for his healing factor, ya'd clean his clock." She stops, blows hair out of her eyes. "Ah just keep thinkin' Ah'm not good enough—not when people lahke the Brotherhood and the Purifahers aren't holdin' back." Suddenly, it strikes her that Remy has yet to respond. She stops to stare at him. "Remy?"

He looks thoughtful, but otherwise she can't read him at all.

She approaches almost tentatively and his eyes abruptly refocus on her.

"To fight, hein?" he murmurs. She sees the beginnings of a frown.

Rogue sighs, realizing she must have stirred up bad memories. She settles back on his lap, this time swinging her legs to one side. His arms come up, and they hold each other gently.

His eyes darken and slide away. "Always was a fighter."

She bumps his face with hers. "Ah lahke that about ya."

He blinks. She giggles. He's always so cute when he's surprised.

It serves to lighten the mood and she asks, "So will ya teach me?"

Remy sighs heavily. "What do y' want t' learn? Street-fightin'? Savate? Guild savate?"

"All of 'em." Rogue grins.

He shakes his head at her as if he knows he ought to know better. "D'accord. I'll teach y'. An' now, my river rat, t'ink 'm gonna teach y' somet'in' else."

He pulls her toward him and kisses her fiercely.

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Christmas vacation and the final rosters are posted.

Gold Team: Storm, Polaris, Iceman, Beast, and Shadowcat
Red Team: Wolverine, Dazzler, Gambit, Colossus, and Rogue

Dazzler turns to Rogue and catches her arm with one bare hand.

The sudden contact startles. Rogue gives the flashy blonde a questioning look.

"It's Allison," she says. "Allison Blaire. Okay?"

Rogue freezes, realizing she's never even asked Dazzler's name. She looks at her, sees her as if for the first time, and nods mutely.

Allison smiles back before heading off down the hallway.

Rogue glances back at the roster. She's the only one to look twice.

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He likes to play with the safeties off. Rogue watches from the control room. They've never talked about it, but she's fairly certain he knows it.

Remy likes cityscapes. New York. New Orleans. Chicago. Seattle. Los Angeles. Skyscrapers. Tunnels. Neighborhood streets. Rooftops. The subway. Busy downtown traffic. Deserted mall parking lots. Urban jungle. Suburban kids. Grim alleyways and dumpsters.

His enemies never match the sentinels and Brotherhood images from standard training. His wear dark, casual dress or formfitting body armor. They wield knives and spikes and guns. He fights their way, hand to hand, with human weapons, his body like fluid silk. His reflexes kick in almost before there is a threat.

His eyes glow red. His focus is complete. He takes on the grace and fierceness of a predator.

It doesn't escape her how easily he draws away and stays away from innocent civilians. He's good at maneuvering his quarry, his attacker to where he wants them. A good thing, she figures.

When Remy brings one down, they don't get back up again.

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She loves to do the dance around him in the danger room. Everyone knows it's more than combat training when Gambit singles out Rogue in the exercises and when she deliberately invents new ways to catch him off guard.

It's hard to do.

He lets the cards fly through his fingers, weaves through bullets and lasers, dodges punches and kicks as if he conceives their trajectory from the instant they're launched.

"Ya abusin' the mutation, swamp rat," Rogue grouses as he duck under another round house kick.

He laughs at her, rich and bright and unfettered, even as he's breathing heavily and swinging into another defense. "Y're gettin' de hang of multi-taskin'."

She twists hard to the left, narrowly avoiding being pinned to the wall, then drops and nearly takes his legs from under him.

"Quit playing!" Wolverine hollers from across the Danger Room.

They kick it up, fight in earnest.

It's a dance between them. Flying fists, twists and weaving, footwork, reflexes, catches, stumbles, rebounds.

Dazzler laughs at them after. "Objective is," she says, "to see how long you can fight without touching."

Gambit pulls Rogue to him and claims her with a hot kiss that takes her breath.

"Non," he says, looking at Rogue and not Dazzler. "De objective t' pin her down."

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His red eyes always glow like le diable blanc, bright as a fiend of hell, whenever he is angry, whenever he wants her, whenever he rolls with her in the Danger Room. He teaches her things she doesn't think he wants to.

She improves.

And then suddenly, she realizes he does like it, the physical tangle of limbs, the dance between two hot, adrenaline-pumped bodies. He just never teaches her how to kill.

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The first time he knocks her over outside of the Danger Room, it takes Rogue completely off guard. One minute, she's triumphantly keeping catching the remote from Lorna's toss while Meg Ryan learns about The Godfather in You've Got Mail. The next, she's shrieking as he tumbles her right off the couch in a body check and wraps his fingers around the prize.

Rogue shrieks with mock rage this time and tumbles with him. They tussle and roll.

"Ya crazy swamp rat! Ah'm gonna kill ya!"

"As long as y' do it from dis position, y' c'n do anyt'in y' wan', chérie." The cheeky flirt.

She huffs at him even while she's blushing and definitely switching positions.

Jubilee and Kitty are giggling.

"Ten on Remy," Jubilee bets.

Rogue manages to get one arm over Remy and lean on him to glare at her friend. "Traitor!"

Lorna calls solemnly. "Twenty on Rogue."

Remy pulls her under him again. She's lying atop the remote, grinning up at him.

"Rogue," Kitty agrees. "Ten."

"Please!" Allison puts in. "Remy's going to win." She makes a humming sound before coming out with, "Twenty. Make it even."

Rogue giggles as he tries vainly to get access to the remote.

"Remy," she says coyly.

He eyes her suspiciously.

She reaches up, kisses him. Her arms slide around him as he eagerly returns the kiss. With a flick of her wrist, Rogue throws the remote to Lorna.

"All right!" Kitty shouts.

"Aw!" Jubilee groans.

"We got it," Allison says. "Rogue. Rogue!"

"Forget them," Lorna says. "They've certainly forgotten us."

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The Danger Room clashes with metallic thunder between Colossus' hard body and Wolverine's ringing claws. The Russian fights rough, shoving Wolverine through walls, against dumpsters. Under normal circumstances, Wolverine and Gambit on the rest of the team is not a fair fight. The girls are determined to change that, and between Colossus' new noisy fighting style and Dazzler's growing control, Wolverine's finding himself hard put to avoid the bright, searing lasers Dazzler sends dancing across the room.

Rogue has her hands full with Gambit.

He materializes behind her from the smoke of the battle. Her arms reach back and they grapple and tumble against the side of a building. He moves to pin her, but she dives beneath and yanks his feet from under him.

Rogue doesn't hear the others any longer. All she can hear is their ragged breathing, the scrape of her boots and her leather on body armor, the crackle of charge she avoids. All she sees is the narrowed frame of his leg coming toward her, his arm, his angular face when she rounds on him. She smells his cigarettes, his spices, his sweat. All she can feel is his heat and hard muscle and grip.

But he grabs her midair and she flips him. Surprise. They go down together. Rogue scrambles for a hold.

She's pinned him. "Who wins, Cajun?" she breathes against his chest, grinning down at him.

He smirks positively indecently when he can't wriggle out of her hold. The red burns like brilliant fire in his eyes. "I do," he whispers.

Her mouth goes dry. She can only hear his heavy breath.

He isn't talking about the fight.