Starting Slow

This story is technically a sequel to my Kurt/Kitty fic 'Sweets For The Sweet.' You don't need to have read it enjoy this fic, but you might understand Rogue's POV in this chapter a bit better if you do.

Quickly checking to make sure Kitty hadn't followed her to their room, Rogue went to stand by the window. She waited with baited breath for the signal – there it was! She breathed a sigh of relief when she heard the three pebbles hit her window in quick succession.

Opening the balcony windows, she carefully shimmied down the nearby ivy trellis to the ground. Smoothing her clothes down, she headed off to 'their' spot.

Knowing it was wrong to keep their relationship a secret didn't keep her from doing it anyway. If the others found out, they'd go ballistic. They wouldn't understand her going out with one of the 'enemy'. Never mind that the so-called 'enemy' were teenagers just like them.

Her friends wouldn't understand – the X-Men, anyway. The Brotherhood might – after all, she had been one of them. Most of the X-Men who had opposed Kitty's brief relationship with Lance still thought she was better off with Kurt. And she was, no doubt about it. Kitty didn't have much in common with Avalanche, aside from their shared pasts. They'd both realized it after two months, and the break-up was mutual.

Kitty and Kurt had gotten together a few weeks before Valentine's Day. They were extremely happy together, and Rogue was happy for them. But all the lovey-dovey crap they put her through was enough to make her spit.

That's why, when the first signs of spring appeared – namely, something higher than thirty-degree weather – she'd gone for a walk. And that's when she'd met him.

She'd been walking in the woods, wearing a sleeveless green knit dress that only came to mid-calf. True, fifty degrees wasn't really warm enough for it, especially since she hadn't worn a jacket, but her solitary walks in the woods were one of the one times she felt safe not wearing tights and long-sleeves, and she wasn't about to cover herself from neck to ankles just because it was a little chilly.

They'd run into each other – literally – in the Cyprus grove about half a mile from school. He had fallen down on top of her, his face inches from her own. Pietro had managed to slow down enough so that his greater inertia didn't cause him to hurt her too much.

But he had come into contact with the bare skin of her left arm. By the time they noticed his hand had remained there long enough for the pull to start – but it didn't. Seconds ticked away while they both gazed at the point of contact.

Finally, he spoke. "I always wondered."

"Wondered what?" she breathed, looking up into his ice-blue eyes.

"Whether or not your skin would have any effect on me," Pietro returned, before rising onto his knees and grasping her ungloved hand in his own to pull her into a sitting position.

He contemplated their joined palms for a moment before continuing, "Most people think my mutation is just speed, but that's not entirely it. It's kinda like Superman's invisibility aura – anything inside it is brought up to my speed – which is why I've never run out of my clothes." He grinned rakishly.

She gave him a small smile in return, while trying not to draw attention to the fact that she was stroking the palm of his hand with her thumb. "And being able to take someone else with you when you run?"


"But what does that have ta do with…" She glanced down at their joined hands, flushing and pulling away when she realized what she was doing.

She didn't stop, however. It felt too good to finally be touching someone without worrying about her powers kicking in.

"My metabolism is really fast, so fast that all the energy it produces isn't contained in my skin. That's where the aura comes from," Pietro explained. "But my cells are always moving, much faster than everyone else's. So fast, in fact, that your mutation can't catch them."

"Oh." She looked at him, noticing once again, how even though it was late March, all he wore was jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.

He smiled sardonically. "Increased metabolism, kinda like Fuzzy's, remember? Everyone thinks he's always warm because of the fur, but most of it is probably due to his metabolism. Like mine. Not only do I have to eat more the more I run – like Wagner – but also my core temperature is about eight degrees higher than yours. So I don't overheat when I run."

She nodded.

Inching closer, Pietro pointed out, "Speaking of cold…Roguey, you're not really dressed for this weather. I realize it's warmer today than it has been, but you need to be wearing something with sleeves."

Scowling, Rogue said, "Don't call me that, Speedy."

Pietro inclined his head in agreement. "All right, Rogue. But why are you dressed like that? Not that I'm not enjoying the view." He leered playfully at her breasts, causing her to rise to her feet and cross her arms over her chest. He followed and stood, hands on his pockets, waiting for her to answer.

Seeing her attempt at misdirection had failed, she admitted grudgingly, "Ah go for walks, sometimes, out here…alone. Ah don't have ta worry about accidentally touching someone, because normally no one is around. Ah don't have ta cover up – so Ah don't." She gave him a hard look, just daring him to laugh.

But all she saw was understanding.

"I know what you mean," Pietro confided. He started walking back the direction she'd come, and she fell into step with him. "Compared to me, everyone else seems to go by at a snail's pace. I hate having to slow down for everyone – so I go for runs every once in a while." He gestured back the way he'd come. "I go as far as I can, as fast as I can."

"How far've you gotten?" Rogue asked curiously.

Grinning widely, Pietro said, "One Saturday I made it to the edge of Kentucky in less than three hours. The trip back took a little longer since I was tired, but it was fun." His look turned contemplative as he confided, "Running is a great way to get away from my problems. I can just unconsciously avoid objects, so when I'm running it's like all I have to think about is running. I can just…be…" He looked away, as if embarrassed to have revealed so much.

Snaking her hand over to clasp his again, she said, "That's…that's kinda how Ah feel when Ah swim."

"You swim?" Pietro's head turned so fast she didn't even see it move.

She nodded, blushing at what she was about to reveal. "Ah, uh…skinny-dip, actually. At night. Ah can't go in tha pool when anyone else is there and if it's only meh there's no reason ta wear a suit."

Instead of the leering expression she expected, Pietro's smile was almost warm.

"I like swimming, too; for a different reason than running. I can't go as fast in water – no traction. I need to let loose and go every so often, but sometimes its nice to be like everyone else." He looked down, as if scared of what he was starting to feel.

They walked in silence for a moment before Rogue got up her courage and said, "Maybe…sometime…you'd like ta…join meh?" She held her breath once the offer was out, not quite able to believe she'd said it; both hoping and dreading that he'd say yes.

An uncertain expression came over Pietro's face. He ran his hands through his hair, mussing it slightly. "Do you mean to skinny-dip, or to swim? I need to know whether or not to bring a suit." He grinned disarmingly, moment of insecurity forgotten.

Rogue chuckled embarrassedly. "Um, swimmin', Logan'll skewer you if he fahnds ya in the pool, naked."

Pietro smiled softly at her nervousness, his own forgotten in the wake of the excitement their plans brought. "All right, Rogue. What time should I be here?"

Slightly stunned that he'd agreed once he found out he wasn't going to get to see her naked, and pleased that he hadn't backed out, Rogue stuttered, "Uh, midnight's normally when Ah go out. Most everybody's asleep by then. Ah'll meet you out by tha pool tamarraw night, okay?"

"Sounds good," Pietro replied, then, noticing the setting sun, he continued, "I better go, it'll be dark soon and I don't like to run at night. See you tomorrow, at midnight?"

Rogue smiled. "Tamarraw, at midnight," she confirmed, then watched as he sped away.

She chuckled softly as she thought about their first meeting. She'd been so scared of everything: being able to touch him, what that might mean, the feelings she had for him that she'd suppressed when she joined the X-Men… But luckily, all of her fears were unfounded. She'd worried at the time if perhaps she was settling for him since he was the only person she could touch…but she knew now that that wasn't the case.

It might have precipitated their relationship, but even if she couldn't touch him, she'd want to be with him. She was pretty sure he felt the same way.

The next night she'd snuck out at usual, only this time she was wearing her bathing suit underneath her cover-up. She'd never actually worn it to go swimming before; she normally just took it out with her in case she heard someone coming and needed to put it on quickly.

Padding across the cobblestones surrounding the pool, she made her way over to a deck chair and slipped off her sandals, before sitting down. She anxiously checked her watch – two minutes 'till midnight – and waited for Pietro to show. The illumination provided by the imbedded pool lights cast a warm blue glow over everything and she couldn't help but think how romantic it was.

The peace of her quiet contemplation was shattered by a silver blur which coalesced in front of her into Pietro, holding a small duffle bag. He was wearing a pair of black swim shorts and a gray T-shirt.

"Hey, Rogue," he said bashfully, carding one hand through his fine white hair.

"Heya, Speedy," she said happily, pleased he'd shown up.

He took a good look at her and blinked in surprise. "You're not wearing your makeup," he noted.

"It'd just wash off in tha watah, anyway," she dismissed, but couldn't help but notice how his eyes lingered on her face. Forcing a smile to cover her nervousness, she asked, "You ready ta swim?"

"Sure," he said, throwing his duffle onto a nearby chair and pulling his shirt off.

Rogue rose from the deck chair and shrugged off her cover-up; as the silky garment hit the ground, so did Pietro's jaw.

"Whoa," he breathed.

Rogue blushed and ducked her head. "Yeah, Ah know it's kinda revealing, but since Ah can't wear it around tha others, Ah didn't think Ah needed ta worry 'bout what it looked lahke. It looks okay, doesn't it?" she asked worriedly.

"You look…fantastic," Pietro said sincerely.

And she did. Her suit was a low-cut bikini that managed to look sexy without being slutty. It was a dark forest green of a shade which matched her eyes. And it fit her perfectly, hugging every curve.

Rogue giggled slightly and fought the urge to cross her arms over her – in her opinion – bare chest. She shivered as a gust of wind blew past her. "It's still kinda cold outside, but tha pool's heated. Ya wanna get in?"

"Yeah. How quiet do we have to be?"

"Not very. We're almost two blocks away from tha house. As long as we keep it down ta a dull roar, we should be fine."

"Then bomb's away!" Pietro shouted and ran for the pool, cutting the surface of the water cleanly with his dive. He surfaced and wiped his now streaming hair back from his face. "Come on in, babe, the water's fine."

"Babe?" Rogue chuckled. She walked over to the edge of the pool near Pietro and sat down, dangling her legs in the water. Pietro swam over next to her and hung onto the side of the pool.

"Well, I wasn't sure before, but seeing you in that suit, I am now." Pietro grinned. "You are a babe, babe," he proclaimed.

Her tinkling laugh echoed off the surface of the water. "Whatevah ya say, Speedy."

"I thought we were going to swim?" Pietro asked, looking up at her. "Why aren't you in the water? I thought you were cold."

"Ah'm just gettin' used ta tha temperature," she said. In truth, she was nervous about swimming with him – they were wearing almost nothing, and her newfound knowledge that she could touch him was whispering naughty ideas in her mind.

"It's better to just jump in," Pietro said, and before she knew what he was doing, he grabbed her legs and yanked her into the water.

She came up sputtering and glared at him, her wet hair hanging in her face. "That was not funny, Silver," she spat, water dripping down and plastering her hair to her face.

"Oh, I think it was," he argued.

Smirking slyly, Rogue splashed him quickly and laughed as he coughed on the water. "Take that!"

"Oh, so that's how you wanna play, it huh?" He grinned almost manically. "Water fight!"

And those words were very prophetic – sheets of water were aimed and fired at each other, until they were entirely drenched. Pietro's speed was not much help in the water, but it gave him enough of an edge that soon he was able to force her into a corner.

"Do you give?" he asked breathlessly, their lips inches apart.

Very aware of their precarious positions, and really not giving a damn, Rogue breathed out, "Nevah."

A wicked grin crossed his face and he whispered, "Then I guess I'll have to try a different kind of persuasion." With that, he leaned in the last few inches necessary to seal their lips together.

Warm, wet, sweet…and so good. That was what Pietro tasted like. His lips moved against hers in a rhythm as old as time, as if they'd spent hours doing this before. She could definitely imagine spending hours doing this in the future.

Finally, after a long while spent just trading kisses back and forth, they broke apart with a gasp. For seemingly endless moments, they just started at each other, panting.

Rogue was the one who finally broke the silence. "Wow," she breathed softly.

"Yeah, wow," Pietro agreed, grinning boyishly. Ducking his head, he asked the surface of the pool water, "Would you, uh…maybe…like to do that again?"

Titling his head up, she said, "Oh, yes," and captured his lips in a searing kiss.

And that was the start of their relationship. They had to meet in secret, so couldn't spend as much time together as they might have wanted, but they made it work. Rogue was a loner anyway, so no one thought anything of her not eating lunch with the other Institute kids; she and Pietro would go off-campus courtesy of his speed powers and enjoy lunch at some out of the way place all the way across town. He'd come over after school occasionally and join her for her afternoon walks.

And once or twice a week, they'd meet in the middle of the night to go swimming.

Rogue liked the swimming most of all, but it presented certain…problems. Namely the fact that they could almost never last more than ten minutes in the pool before they started making out. For some reason they never had that problem in any other location; sure, they kissed, but it wasn't this all-consuming need coupled with an inability to keep their hands off each other.

And Rogue kept wishing that she had the courage to show up one night without her suit and suggest they go skinny-dipping.

And this night, exactly one month after their first meeting was no different than any of their other swim-meets. Five minutes after he'd arrived, Pietro had her backed against the wall in the shallow end of the pool and was kissing her senseless.

As Pietro's hand caressed her spandex-clad breast, Rogue gasped out, "We shouldn't be doing this."

Stilling, Pietro looked into her eyes. "Why shouldn't we do this?" It seemed as if he would be willing to stop if she gave him a good enough reason – or just asked.

Trying to think through the haze of lust in her mind, Rogue finally came up with, "What if they catch us?"

Pietro smiled softly. "They've never caught you out here before, have they?"

Rogue shook her head.

"Then what makes you think that just because I'm here they'll find us?" Pietro asked shrewdly.

"Ah don't know…paranoia?" she offered, grinning wryly.

Leaning in close, Pietro whispered against her lips, "It's only paranoia if they're not out to get you," before catching her lips up in a fierce kiss.

Long moments later, when they finally pulled apart, Rogue asked, voice thick, "How…how far do ya want ta go?" She had an anxious look on her face and was nibbling nervously on her lower lip.

Stroking her face gently, Pietro said, "However far you want to go is fine with me, Rogue."

She looked down and said, "Ah'd…kinda lahke ta go slow."

He tipped her head up and smiled softly. "I can do slow." Their lips met in a tender caress, Pietro's hands moving their explorations back up to her shoulders.

Slow was good.

Very good.