Rogue stares out the window of Remy's bedroom, clutching the sheet she's wrapped around herself with one hand and leaning the other against the window frame. Her hair is tousled, her muscles sore, her skin bare. She feels ravished and she finds that even though he's sleeping, she can't quite bring herself to look over at Remy's equally naked form in the bed. Somehow, she's worried that it will make everything that happened between them vanish.

Or make it real.

It snowed last night. It's supposed to be spring, but these northern states have heavy, wet drifts sometimes so late that bury the yard beneath a thick, pristine blanket and frost the windows and the trees. It's the first time since she met Bobby that the snow doesn't remind her of him and for a moment, Rogue simply enjoys the realization that she's completely free from her former self.

She is whole under her own skin. She remembers what first drew her to want to see Alaska, to feel the cold, to wander, adventure so far from home. The sight of all that clean and wonderfully unfamiliar snow. New paths to explore. She feels like the girl she was before she ever became a mutant.

The thought makes her giddy and she lets the sheet glide off her body to pool on the floor. Hurriedly, she gathers her clothes and slides them on, intent on going outside into all that pristine whiteness. She has no comb, but a quick hunt through the top drawer of Remy's nightstand turns up something she can run through her tangled hair. She puts it back, then pauses.

Rogue isn't just a girl anymore, and everything that has happened--or might--comes tumbling back into her. She's a woman. A lover.

She looks at him, really looks at him. It's so rare that Remy is anything like peaceful. He wears the wariness of the prey to complement the alertness of the predator. It is dangerous to love a man like him, to bind herself to him. He is wary for a reason, deadly by trade. But here in sleep, the angular features have softened and the fact that he hasn't woken up yet, with all her moving about, tells her that he has relaxed his guard around her enough to trust and that thought alone burns into her intensely. He trusts her.

Her fingers graze tentatively over the rough shadow on his jaw, mapping each sharp plane and angle of his face, caressing up to the soft auburn hair falling across his eyes. That softness shouldn't fit him and his hardened visage so very well, but it does. She runs her fingers through it, then leans over to brush a kiss against his mouth before pulling away, a little surprised at herself.

And there are those smoldering red and black eyes, like dark flames, opening up to look at her.

They stare at each other for a long, long moment. She barely notices at first when his grip tightens around her. His hand is brushing hers, fingers twining together, the other hand sliding smoothly up her naked back beneath her shirt. He searches her gaze, uncertain.

Something blossoms up within her then, that foreign, natural, perfect realization that crept up over her in the last few days and wound so tight around her heart she cannot breathe for it. She loves him. This, this, has happened to her.

She almost tells him. Almost. Her courage isn't strong enough yet for that.

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It's a little frightening to realize just how innocent she's always been, a girl with eyes wide open, that just didn't know how to see. She's imagined, but now she knows and marvels at how real this thing between her and Remy has become.

His whispers, his burning eyes, the simple fact that he trusts her. Gambler, liar, thief. He doesn't trust anybody.

She shivers.

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"Hey," Rogue whispers.

Her eyes are captured in his. He draws her down a little lower, a little closer. She feels herself flushing at their nearness.

"Hey," he whispers back, voice rough, stirring something within her.

His fingers trace the white streak in her hair, the others still playing hopscotch on the small of her back, sending little shivers of sensation running through her. It's almost painfully pleasant.

"Remy." Her hands press into his chest. She needs something to hold onto and there is nothing and no one except him. "Ah want ta go outsahde." She cannot bring her voice over a whisper. He's so close.

A slight flicker of surprise in his eyes, and then that hand slides further up her back to just between her shoulder blades and firmly presses her body towards his. He kisses her, deeply. This is no soft, quiet, sweet kiss like any she's had with anyone but him. This one warms her, unfurling within her to fill her and thaw her outer edges. She moans softly, unable to contain the sound, the emotion.

He releases her so suddenly that she stares at him wide-eyed. She's panting from his kiss. He grins at her wickedly, clearly pleased by her reaction.

"Jus' let me get dressed," he says.

She glares at him for leaving her hanging.

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He stays near her when they go out into the main house, laugh in the kitchen as Remy brews her a cup of coffee just the way she likes it, and she sits up on the counter while he does it, content to have his hand resting on her knee and to see the way the whiteness outside makes the whole house seem brighter.

Lorna raises a knowing eyebrow over her own java and toast.

Rogue rolls her eyes.

Lorna smirks.

Remy pretends not to notice either of them. He passes her the steaming mug and pours his own from the pot. He takes his black and doesn't bother with the cream and sugar that Rogue heaps in, in perhaps excessive quantities. His hand is still on her knee.

Jubilee and Kitty run past the kitchen, giggling and chatting on the way to the back door. They're hastily pulling on scarves and gloves.

"What are dey up t'?" Remy aims the question over Rogue's shoulder at Lorna, who grimaces.

"Snow fight. Iceman"—serious eye roll—"is already out there."

"Girls against boys?" Rogue asks. Or tries to. It's hard to sound very interested when she has to talk over Remy nuzzling her neck.

"Mm-hm." Lorna's still smirking.

"Remy!" She pushes at him to back up.

Remy just laughs and takes her hand to help her off the counter. "How 'bout goin' out now?"

"Or how about in?" Lorna asks.

"Shut up," Rogue calls back.


Remy ignores them both.

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It's beautiful outside. Rogue's warm jacket is not nearly warm enough and she starts to shiver on the front porch steps, but it's worth it to see the winter wonderland the snow has made of the mansion grounds. Drifts pile against trees and snow graces the branches to fall down in droplets and icicles, making intricate latticeworks. The air is cold and clean. It fits with this white world.

Remy is standing behind her on the porch. She can smell the cigarette he lit up immediately upon exiting. While he has cut back significantly, he hasn't kicked the habit entirely and she's not really sure he ever will. She isn't entirely certain she wants him to.

She shivers again.

"Cold, chère?"

Rogue looks up, mildly startled at the interruption to her thought processes. Remy has his head tilted slightly as he studies her, cigarette pinched between two fingers. Concern flickers in his eyes.

Cold. She assesses herself. Actually she is, and she nods now that she's managed to draw her mind to his question.

Remy stubs out his cigarette and comes to sit down behind her. He wraps her in himself, working his trench coat to cover them both. Sudden heat surrounds her as his arms slide around her waist and he rests his forehead against her neck, breathing hotly on the curve where her shoulder vanishes beneath her thick sweater. She breathes in deeply of his rich, spicy scent, cinnamon and fresh cigarettes, the faintest whiff of aftershave. She leans into his hard body, one hand on his leg, remembering anew how strong and lean and masculine he is.

He nuzzles her shoulder, her neck, just behind her ear, stubble and soft whispers—she doesn't even need to understand the words—tickling her senses, warming her far below her skin. She shivers again, for a different reason.

"Remy?" She can barely even whisper. It's just so intimate.

"Chère…" He breathes out the name, like a prayer.

She closes her eyes. Her breath hitches. "We should do this more often."

He chuckles, then finally stops his teasing and kisses her all the places he has worshipped in the last few moments. He pulls away and her hand digs into his leg in wordless protest.

"Which?" he asks, teasing over the edge of her jaw.

Rogue's face flushes fiercely at the question. Which indeed? Looking out at the snow and hearing the playful distant laughter from behind the mansion, or... Her thoughts stutter to a halt. How can she even broach what they did together last night? Even if she has no regrets, and she doesn't, she still has no vocabulary or boldness that extends to talking about it.

She focuses on the snow. Cold snowflakes, every one different.

His hand traces warm circles against her belly and every one of those different snowflakes burn in her mind. "Rogue?"

She shakes her head.

He chuckles again, against the nape of her neck.

She shivers.