She had often noticed his gloves.

Before Remy showed up at the mansion, Rogue had been the only one that went around wearing gloves all the time. Even after the Cure, she was used to gloves, comfortable with them, and only slowly acclimating to the idea that it was safe to take them off. Then Remy came and she would find herself watching in fascination that she wasn't really the only one.

Eating, he wore gloves. Scribbling down an address on an envelope to hand to Moira for the post office, he wore gloves. Sending playing cards blazing across the Danger Room in magenta flashes of light, he wore gloves.

Rogue would stare at his hands, at the skin where he wore them fingerless, at the encasing leather. She would wonder, envious, at how he could be so skilled with them, even doing the things she found difficult to do. He went through a self-checkout without fear because he didn't have to take off the gloves to touch the screen. He shuffled cards with a fluidity and grace that made her want to watch his hands forever. And the way he would reach out to touch others...

Then, he would flex his fingers and she would jerk her gaze to his eyes, caught. Those red eyes would study her, quizzically. She would blush and turn away.

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It wasn't until that night on the roof when he slid one off to show her, answer the question that had bitten at the undersides of her mind for so long, that she realized just how alike they really were.

Deadly power. Out of control.

She fingers one white strand of hair, curling down around her cheek.


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Remy laughs at something Sam is saying to them, his hand still turning the door handle into his room. "D'accord. Later." Sometimes, escaping his own popularity is only too difficult and Rogue giggles into his chest where he's holding her.

"And then we can go ovah the rest of it too?" Sam persists.

Remy nods, managing to get the door open, and pulls Rogue through with him. He shuts the door with their bodies. Rogue is still giggling.

"Rogue..." He's a tad impatient with her, but what does she care?

"C'mere, sugah." She tugs him over to the chair with a grin and he follows, eyes intrigued. There's that quizzical look, the slight tilt of his head, the burning interest in fiery eyes. "Sit."

Her stomach whirls at the feelings he gives her when he looks at her like that. She slides her own self up on the desk, facing him then slides her hands along his gloves, stripping them off. She isn't sure she can keep up the courage if she looks at him, but he is so silent and she hazards a glance.

His eyes gleam with fierce intentness. She can't read the expression in his face, but it doesn't seem at all off-putting. Not to her.

She takes his hand in hers and traces her fingers along the silvery spiderweb of scars. She finds a dark, angry red streak running over his wrist. For the first time, he shifts uncomfortably. But she leans over and kisses him there. He falls utterly still. She moves her mouth up along the twist until she reaches the top, then traces back down with her finger before glancing at him again.

Such a combination of bewilderment, intensity, and something potent, stirring in those eyes. Her gut clenches.

She looks back down, thankful for the curtain of her hair that lends her some space in this intimate moment. She continues her exploration, gliding her hand along each new path of silver, of red, following behind with her kisses. She feels like she's touching a part of his soul. She closes her eyes, losing herself in the sensation of touching him, his warmth, the thick traces of that scarred skin, trying to memorize him in her touch.

"Anna." His voice is low and husky as his other hand slides behind her head, cradling her closer until she's leaning against him. No man has ever called her that, and it makes her catch her breath.

She sits up, pulls away. He is reluctant to let her go, but he allows her.

Gently, she takes his other hand, but this time, she feels brave enough to watch him as she does it. She still can't read him, only knows that the fire in his eyes is brighter, the darkness is blacker. His free hand is restless, fingers thrumming silently up and down on the chair handle.

She smiles at him. "Just a minute," she whispers, then lowers her head to finish her study.

He makes some small sound of frustration in the back of his throat, but she doesn't quite understand it and doesn't feel like teasing it out to look at. She focuses on the scars, the texture of his knowing hands. She could look at them forever.

Finally, she lays her head to rest against him.

His arms slide around her. They fit so perfectly against each other. Her head nestles under his chin. She's almost off the desk now, almost in his lap.

"Tell me about them," she whispers.

He tenses. "What d' y' wan' t' know?" he mumbles against her hair.

She closes her eyes, drinking in the warmth through her skin. He's already told her so much, but this he hasn't touched. Not since that night on the roof.

"Tell me about getting' your powers," she says softly. She wonders for a while if he will.

But he does.

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She has never imagined someone as out of control as what he is describing. Class five. Her mind reels with the very idea of another Phoenix. She hears when he tells her they're so rare, only a handful of people are even equipped to deal with them, but there is only one cure, one way to such desperately sought control.


She closes her eyes, holding him close, even if he's so tense she knows he hates every moment of what he's telling her.

"Never meant t'," he whispers. He doesn't say what, but she's fairly certain she knows.

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She still hears voices in her head. They were quiet for a while after she got Cured. Perhaps they didn't approve. Perhaps her mind rebounded with such a sharp whiplash that it just took them a while to venture tentatively above the surface of her subconscious. She still dreams their dreams, is trapped in their nightmares.

Rogue maps his scars with her hands and he cannot understand why she loves them.

But they're him. His memories. His secrets. His sacrifice.

He had sold himself into slavery for two years to a relentless master known as Sinister just to have the ability to live without hurting anyone.

Sinister could not take that away from him, the determination necessary to fight such a mutation as his, the strength of will to stay away from those he loved until he had conquered, the courage to lose a part of himself if it meant a hope for the future.

How can she not love a man like that?

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"Where d' dese come from?" Remy asks her quietly. They've relocated to the bed and Rogue lies curled up against his chest. His hand plays with the white tendrils about her face. "Dey're not dye." He says it wonderingly, holding up one strand to squint at it, as if he can ferret out understanding from just looking. Rogue wonders vaguely how long he's wanted to ask that.

"Liberty Island." The words don't even cause a twinge. "Third absorption," she says lightly.

He releases her hair and his hand falls back to stroking her shoulder. She likes the warmth of how he holds her. Never content to just wrap one arm around her, he surrounds her in himself and it's almost as good as what she had always imagined touching skin to skin would be.

His mouth nuzzles behind her ear. "Who?"


He stills. She can't feel his breath and she realizes, bemused, that she's startled him good.

"He's not as bad as people make out." She shrugs.

It gets Remy to relax again, but he snorts in disbelief. "He put his own fille in a mental ward, chérie."


He lowers his shoulder a bit and cranes his neck to see her better. "Jus' how much o' dis homme did y' absorb?"

Rogue shrugs again and leans back into Remy's embrace. He sighs and settles back.

"He gave me himself," she manages to get out. She frowns. "It makes a difference. Ah get 'em deeper. Lahke Logan."

"Liberty Island, n'est ce pas?" Distaste curls about the words.

She sits up then, pulls away, and he looks up in mild surprise.

"Ah lahke them," she says. He opens his mouth to respond, but she cuts him off with a look. "Ah lahke them because they say Ah'm strong enough ta get through mah power. It was mah choice to use it or ta throw it away, but these are mah battle scars and..." She struggles to find the words, but then shakes her head helplessly. "They're mahne, Remy, just lahke these are yours."

Her hand rests on his glove. He tilts his head at her, inquisitive, appraising.

"C'mere," he murmurs, drawing her down beside him again.

She is helpless to resist.

He holds her. "We all have our scars, chère." There is something like understanding in the words.