When you're pretty as a picture
They pound down your door
But i've been offered love
In two dimensions before
And i know that it's not all it's made out to be
Let's show them how it's done
Let's do it all imperfectly
-Ani Difranco

On the hot summer night of their first attempted date, she was torn between confusion, anger, desire and apprehension. She dragged Jean and Betsy into her room two hours before she was supposed to meet him, and proceeded to become a nervous wreck over what to wear. She fiercely insisted that, Ah hate his guts, Ah'm only doin' this because he wouldn't leave me the hell alone until Ah agreed on a date, but Jean and Betsy just laughed in her face, much to her indignation.

The two hours (and what she suspected were at least two more white hairs, not that she could tell) were worth it, however, when she saw Remy's reaction to her outfit. His eyes bugged out like a cartoon character's, and he didn't even notice as his cigarette dropped from his lips to the ground. For a moment, he wasn't the sexy bad boy who had a hard on for every girl in the mansion, he was just a beautiful helpless dork, and it felt so good to have an effect like that on him.

She, of course, banished that thought to the back of her mind and delivered her standard mocking line as he smirked and made room on the bike.

The date, she felt sure, would have been lovely if they hadn't been interrupted by Japanese/Russian villains that blew up their bike and kidnapped Wolverine.

Their second date was also on a hot Summer day, and Rogue turned her attention to the food instead of the dress this time. She had been feeling oddly domestic that particular week, and was furious to see Remy using her blackberry pie as a weapon against Bishop.

She was even more furious when said pie exploded all over her.

And then, of course, to further ruin their date' (the title was dubious at this point), his conveniently-not-mentioned-before wife showed up.

She still preferred not to think about that.

Future dates were put on hold when she was blinded by one of Stryfe's minions. Remy somehow convinced her to let him be her guide'--she suspected him of using his dubious charm' powers--and then attempted to convince her to walk off diving boards and fly into walls.


But... he really was sweet. Eventually. Once he'd gotten the mischievous-arrogant-bastard impulses out of his system.

Like that night when she was yelling at him on the roof, and he gave her his jacket, and she realized that he actually wasn't fooling around anymore. Being temporarily blind, her other senses were heightened, and his jacket had smelled absolutely awful: a mix of booze, cigarette smoke, booze, cayenne pepper, booze, motor oil, and more booze. She thought it a testament to her affection that even the stink didn't stop her from wanting to kiss him till the sun rose.

He used to make her laugh like anything--hell, he used to make her snort, something she would never admit to outside his company. He used to make her bend over double, wheezing, helpless with laughter, wanting to sock him but too busy giggling.

They both laugh less, these days, but Remy tries anyway. Bless him, he'd try to make her laugh if he was on his deathbed.

In fact, if she remembers right, he did.

There is less laughter, but more understanding. They're not young anymore, and they're far from invincible. Rogue does not know if they'll get their powers back or not, but she does know that things won't go back to the way they were.

Christ. Were they really the title of a Robert Redford film, now? Had they truly sunk so low?

Probably closer to a soap opera, actually. If the events in question hadn't happened to her, Rogue would be inclined to laugh at the craziness of her past relationship with the Ragin' Cajun. God, the things they had put each other through...

Unfortunately, it's not a soap opera (although Remy has often said that some writer could make big bucks off of a TV show about the X-men, especially their sex lives). Both of them have to face up to their past actions, and Rogue is so damn tired of apologizing.

Of course, they gave up on blaming each other years ago. What good did it do, when they couldn't stay angry at each other for more than a few months before running back into each other's arms? (Of course, it's also been said that they couldn't stay happy with each other for more than a few months before running away, but that is beside the point.)

So here they are. Almost thirty, powerless, stuck on both sides of the human/mutant debate' (none of the good guys call it a war, but the only difference between war and military action is an official declaration). Feeling the awkward helplessness of the people they always thought of as the sorta/kinda enemy' in the dark corners of their minds, the corners they don't want Xavier to see.

She used to be an antihuman terrorist. How fucking ironic.

Normality seems... strange, now. They've led such hectic, dangerous and just fucking weird lives up till now that to suddenly be living like a normal couple smack dab in the middle of suburbia feels surreal and sometimes downright wrong. It's what Rogue has dreamed of since she was old enough to realize she couldn't fit in--and she suspect Remy shares the dream, though he'll never admit it--but the reality is disconcerting.

She's not sure she likes tackling broken motorcycles instead of evil inter-dimensional demons/aliens/hellspawn.

And she admits, her jealousy of Storm as she flies leisurely over Valle Soleada on a beautiful spring afternoon is stronger than any emotion she's felt lately--apart from her love for Remy, which is not so much an emotion as it is a river running through the core of her, constant, unmoving. Envy courses through her like battery acid as she watches Ororo lift her face up to the sun, dipping in and out of the whip-cream clouds that dot the sky. She would give anything to be up there with her, anything to feel the rush of escaping gravity, land and all the silly confines of Earth.

She can see that Remy feels the same way, when he has to fish out a lighter to smoke instead of just lighting the cigarette himself, when he actually has to avoid fights with other humans because he's not sure he'll win. And he doesn't blame her for it (again, they know that just doesn't work), but she feels guilty anyway. And he feels guilty for making her feel guilty, and she feels even more guilty for making him feel guilty, and...

Well, they're nothing if not complicated. Always have been.

Still, it could be worse. At least now she doesn't have to turn away when Remy leans in close with desire burning in his eyes. Now when she wants him she can walk right up and wrap her arms around him, rub her leg against his, feel him shiver and know that she won't go to bed at night aching and unbearably horny. She almost thinks that fact alone is worth everything else.

If worst comes to worst (and she has no doubt it will) they will still always have each other. Even if she abandons him again (she won't), even if he gives up on the side of the angels' (he won't), even if, god forbid, she goes back to Mystique and he goes back to Sinister... she can count on him, now, and he can count on her. She would almost say it's fate, except that they've both seen too much to believe much in concepts like that.

His coat still stinks, and he's still an arrogant bastard. She loves him anyway.

She still has occasional self-righteous tendencies, and she still takes her grouchiness out on him sometimes. He loves her anyway.

And right now, they don't give a damn about anything else.