Her soft fragrance is distracting. Remy is trying to finish drafting the quiz for his French class, but Rogue's warm body is settled under his arm, her head leaning heavily against his shoulder, her breath gentle under the scratchy sound of his pen, and that stray snowy lovelock of pure silk lying against the smooth hollow of her neck. It's distracting.

She's asleep.

He groans and finally gives up, shoving his papers onto the nightstand.

He's not quite sure when it got like this. The first time Rogue fell asleep in his room was completely undeliberate. She would work herself to bone exhaustion between the Danger Room and proving she was just as good as any other mutant now that she was Cured, acting as girls dorm mother for a while there, and then teaching three classes to several grades of students, while still making herself available to assist Ororo whenever extra things came up. With the overflow of refugees after Alcatraz, things came up a lot. So it wasn't entirely a surprise to him when she started falling asleep in the middle of grading papers or nodding off on his shoulder while they talked. But it didn't stay like that.

And he didn't notice why.

Somewhere in there, Rogue stopped falling asleep. Remy can't quite put his finger on when or what changed, only he's realized that she stays to sleep now. Deliberately. When all is said and done, she clambers up the bed and curls into his arms, sometimes sliding under the covers with a soft goodnight in that husky drawl. He wishes he could decipher when it happened. And why.

For now, he settles for watching her restful form, the way she takes each reassuring breath, the way she wraps herself around him, utterly trusting. He can't help but hold her close in his arms, ghost a kiss over the edge of her jaw, nuzzle her forehead softly. She's so beautiful. He tells her so, though she cannot hear him. His breath paints whispers on her skin. So beautiful. So lovely. You make me want to be a better man. You make want to lay the entire world at your feet.

Eventually, he too drifts off to sleep. Perhaps because she's there, he does not dream.

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He's the only one that doesn't seem surprised that Callisto is not beautiful, which is interesting, seeing as by his sources, either Storm or Phoenix killed her.

Remy sits at the far end of the conference table when they bring her into the War Room. The distance gives him room to maneuver if he needs it. She won't notice him first. He shuffles his deck rhythmically through his fingers. It gives him something to do.

Callisto is dark-haired, dark-eyed, a patch over one and not for show. Her face is scarred, her body twisted somewhat with the injuries of years past, before she drove herself underground and founded the Morlocks. He remembers her now, her face, the way she called out and herded her people away from the Marauders as best as she could before counterattacking brutally. It's a wonder she survived, but even then, he knew she had. Callisto wasn't the kind of woman to stay down for anything.

It's an odd argument for his innocence, gruesome even, but if he had planned that attack, there would not have been chaos. There would have been no way out. It was all too easy for a survivor like Callisto, or a child in the arms of a thief, to slip away between the killers and the smoke.

Callisto's stark gaze brushes into his for just a moment, and then passes on.

He's Gambit. He didn't hold his breath, so he can't let it out again and give himself away. But he leans back in his seat just a little. Rogue's eyes slide to one side before focusing on Callisto again.

Ororo is the one who stands and greets her, holding out a hand. Callisto returns the handshake perfunctorily, dark eyes still roving with the wariness of one long prey.

"Thought you died out on Alcatraz," Logan says, narrowed eyes, arms crossed.

Callisto shrugs and slides into her offered seat. "I was also tattooed," she says.

The raised eyebrow implies irrelevance, but Remy's shuffling takes on a more mechanical style. The words... He looks up, sharply. She now sports only one, a dark swirl below her ear, gliding off like a dragon's tail on the back of her neck.

"What do ya mean, sugah?" Rogue broaches the question.

Remy wishes she hadn't as Callisto swings her attention directly toward the girl beside him.

"Tattoo was one of my Omegas." She shrugs. "He gave me this." A finger over the dark mark on her neck. "It let me heal."

Tattoo wasn't only an Omega though. Before that, he was a two-timing, two-bit crook in Seattle. Remy keeps his eyes down, on his cards, thoughtful. He'll watch his step. He has no doubt Callisto knows a thing or two more about Sinister than she's telling.

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Rogue tries to hide it, but she's hopelessly female and emotional, and Remy gives up telling her to stop looking so crazy happy around the school before somebody figures out why. She laughs at him anyway, wrapping her arms around him and kissing him soundly before sassing back her disregard and walking away. It could be startling to him that he isn't really irritated, only thoroughly exasperated.

But she's a rogue all right.

No rules, just attitude. She does things her own way and doesn't bother to answer when someone asks her a question she doesn't like.

After a few weeks, he just quits worrying.

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Remy's in the middle of wrapping up his savate practice when Rogue throws her entire body into him from behind.


"C'mon, sugah!" She grins playfully as she rolls out of the way. "Ya can do a whole lot better than that."

It's a challenge he can't refuse, and he blocks her next kick effectively, then goes on the attack. It's not so much of a dance as usual. They grapple and roll and slam bodies into walls and tussle on the ground and wrestle each other until what's on his mind really isn't the fight anymore.

He's breathing hard when he halfway pins her long enough to get a word in. "Let's take dis elsewhere."

"Hm?" Rogue glances up, puzzlement in her eyes.

He presses a little harder into her and understanding dawns.


She giggles.

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For once, he can say she started something, but he's merciless as ever once he gets her behind closed doors. He let her stay ahead of him in the haphazard chase to his room, but as soon as they get inside, he captures her and pins her firmly against the wall.

She's laughing hard and protesting, but it doesn't stop him from tickling her in all the worst places and touching her everywhere, unable to resist her drugging sweetness. Then he's kissing her instead and nipping and she's gasping instead of laughing and moaning when he lets her go and her arms wind close around him. Her hands run roughly over his body and he groans in return.

Suddenly, the wall isn't good enough and they push and shove and grapple to the bed, unable to stop touching, unable to stop.

"Anna," he whispers against her, over her skin, as he tastes her. "Y're so beautiful."

Rogue catches him in her arms. She's trembling slightly when his mouth finds hers again. He's slipping between her legs and he knows she's nervous. No matter how many times she's slept over in his room, they've only done this twice. But he reassures her gently, nuzzling her, touching her softly, slowing the frantic need they came in here with to something languid, intimate.

For a little while, he allows himself to forget the demons chasing him and loses himself in her.

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They fall asleep tangled together. He does not dream of Paris or of the darkness of the tunnels or any of the other nightmares that plague him when she isn't there.

She's the light that chases away his darkness. When he wakes, he wants to stare at her forever.

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Days later he realizes that something has shifted in their relationship again. When he's trying to clean his lockpicks, Rogue gets bored and climbs into his lap, shoving everything else out of the way.

"Rogue!" Remy protests, exasperated. "Dat's a hundred thousand dollar lockpick."

He tries to go after it but finds himself pinned neatly and Rogue grinning down at him.

"'M sure it is, sugah."

Her hands are wandering and his mind quickly gets off her words and onto something radically different.

"Rogue..." He groans and wraps his hands around hers before she can do too much damage.

She giggles and rolls off to snuggle in at his side.

He looks to the ceiling. "Dieu, grant me patience."

"Very funny." Her head settles in his lap, hair spreading like a blanket over his legs.

Remy studies the color of the scattered white mingled with the brown, runs one hand through the silken texture, finally leans over to breathe it in. It's peaceful and it's a long time before either of them move or say anything.

It's the moment that he realizes everything has shifted yet again, and he frowns as he considers. Almost without thinking, he reaches for the deck he keeps on his nightstand and begins to flip the cards through his fingers. Her soft, warm skin brushes upward against his, fingers stroking his scars.

"Thinkin'?" she asks softly.

He shuffles his cards to hide his nervousness. "Maybe you could just stay, non?"

Rogue shifts her head in his lap and looks up. "Like move in?"

He takes a breath, continues threading those spades through his fingers. "Oui."

But then she smiles, and his hands fall still as his world shrinks to the most belle green eyes he has ever seen.

"I'd like that," she whispers. Her hand slides upward to wrap gently around his neck. She guides his head down to hers and her kiss.