Heaven Leaves Shadows - Faded Flowers

Disclaimer: No characters here are mine. No locations here are mine.

Author's Note: Yeah, I'm a sap for mushy love stuff. Here are a few of the X-Men, living life and dealing with the many curves that it throws them. Expect Polaris/Iceman, Cyclops/Jean, and Rogue/Gambit at least. I'll probably never complete this, just make it a series which I update occasionally. No end, no middle, but here's the beginning.

.

.

Bobby Drake's Definition of a Leader - "Mindless son of a bitch who wears doofy shades and Spandex. Hey, get your hand off that visor!"

.

.

.
"I got three aces."

"Liar, you have two cards." Bobby said, smirking playfully. Tonight, the pot would be his.

Remy had other ideas. "Doesn' mean I can't have three aces."

"That's only because you cheat." Absentmindedly, Lorna checked her two cards. With five other people, she was playing Texas Hold 'Em, and finding it immensely stupid. The dim lighting was giving her a headache, it was past eleven and she was tired. Still, if she left the table now, Bobby would label her a wuss for the rest of the week.

"Do not." The Cajun said with a lopsided, yet charming, grin. Across the table, Scott Summers snorted. Remy not a cheater? Yeah, right.

To Scott's left, Hank was teaching Kurt the subtle nuances of a poker face. Kurt had proved to be the worst bluffer anyone else had ever seen. Certifiable, seeing as it was his first time.

"So you don't go for reverse psychology, ja?" Kurt seemed to finally be understanding that the main key was to express no emotion whatsoever.

"Yes."

"Hank, mein freund?"

"Yes?" Hank asked.

"Why is a flush worth more than a straight?" Hank shrugged and turned his attention back to the game, raising Scott by two chips.

Kurt took a moment to study his cards. After staring intently at them, he turned back to Hank. "Can I raise you one?"

Hank looked fairly surprised. "Sure."

Too late, Hank caught the mischievous glint in Kurt's eye. "Can I raise you sixty?"

A bit weakly, Hank nodded. A few gasps arose from the room.

"He's bluffing!" said Bobby as he lay down sixty dollars worth of chips. Somehow, though, he didn't look so certain.

Remy thought hard for a second, grappling with common sense and gambler's instinct versus his will to win. He finally set down his chips. "What the hell, I bet twenty bucks on dis pot already anyway."

At his words, Jean came in, passing out drinks. She didn't seem happy at her cocktail-waitress position, but Scott had insisted. Either she left or she made herself useful. "Remind me again why I can't play?" The answer was painfully obvious, but she still felt it was unacceptable.

"Because you're a telepath." Bobby recited. Every night the same question, every night the same answer. What, did she think they were stupid?

Jean glared as usual, but continued passing out beers. The rest returned to their game, so only Lorna caught the wink that passed between the German and the telepath. Decisively, she threw down her cards and sacrificed her original bet so as not to lose sixty more. Scott saw her action and followed her example. After all remaining players had agreed to the score, they lay down their hands. Bobby, three of a kind. Remy, straight. Hank, pair.

Kurt, straight flush.

"Damn it!" Remy raged as Kurt collected the chips.

Scott offered a smile. "So did Remy lose the pot for once?" he asked teasingly.

To his surprise, Remy smiled back, though it was a more insolent smirk. "Don' worry 'bout me, it was your money anyway."

Which left Scott wondering exactly what that meant and where he had last left his wallet.

...

...

Supposedly, Diet drinks were worse for people than regular sodas. Go figure. Rogue figured it would go straight to her hips no matter what she drank.

Not like slugging out on the couch with a bag of Cheetos X's and O's watching Scrubs was all that healthy either. But she figured she deserved some alone time while the others played poker or served drinks. Poor Jean. She shouldn't have let herself get pushed around like that.

Either way, she was happiest when she was alone. Then she didn't have to remember her 'problem'. Her goddamn mutation.

"Chere?" Remy's quiet voice made it clear that he wasn't sure if she was awake or asleep.

She raised her head slightly to see him as he walked in. "Hmm? You lose all your money again?"

"Hell, wasn' my money anyway." Leaning against the edge of the sofa, he shot her his trademark smirk.

Rogue eyed him suspiciously. "Wasn't from mah brother, was it?"

"Nah, it was Scott's." With that, he put his face into her hair and delivered a kiss to it, keeping enough of the chestnut waves to prevent skin contact. It made her nervous when he did that, he knew that for a fact. So he did it just to get a rise out of her. It was his way of continually flirting.

The belle shot him daggers. "Someday you're gonna miss mah hair, hotshot."

He smiled obnoxiously. "What kinda shampoo ya been usin'?"

She turned back to the TV, but the fact that it was a commercial made sure she couldn't be pretending to watch it. She decided it was best to change the topic. "So who won tonight?"

"Your brother." He made a move to kiss her hair again, but she held him back.

"Get to bed! You've had enough drinks for tonight!" She pushed him away, secretly both unnerved and delighted at his urge to touch her.

Remy shrugged and walked towards the bedroom. "I aint drunk." He added as a sidenote.

"Ya wouldn't be able to tell!" She called out after him, trying to keep a serious tone. Settling back down on the couch, Rogue was pleased to see the show was back on. Elliot was being picked on by Doctor Cox, and Cheetos were perfect for companions for a lonely girl on a faded flowered couch.

Inside the bedroom, Remy sighed for the umpteenth time at the sight of two separate beds, with their faded flower pillows perfectly arranged.