This ficlet takes place between X1 and X2. -smirks- English is not my mother tongue so don't be surprised to find many gramatical errors. After all, I'm writing this for fun.

Warning: There may be a lot of fluff. I don't mind to be a hopeless romantic.

Disclaimer: The usual blah, blah... Nothing is mine.

-oXo-

Want to be my girl?

Rogue stared at the note, her eyes bulging out of their sockets. He got to be kidding. That must be it. The only interest he has shown on her since she arrived one month at the mansion was his famous ball of fire. Then, nothing more. And yet she wished for an impossible. She wasn't John type. Rogue always visualized a bosomed blonde as his type, not she, a mousy and boring type; brown hair and eyes; her white stripes being the only cool thing to stand out of her. And she has settled down with Bobby's attention. She was confident that he would pop the question soon. Not that she was overly anxious to hear it, but… She shrugged her shoulders; she couldn't ask for more. After all, she was the girl with the poisonous skin.

If attention meant John bugging her at all times, making all that stupid remarks of her white stripes and just being a plain asshole with her, well, then he had shown a degree of attention towards her. But just because he hated or despised her. This must be one of those occasions. She would not fall in his game. Taking her pen, she scrambled an answer in the paper.

Do grow up John. We're no longer children in primary school.

She folded the note and threw at him all the while being careful to not get caught by Mr. Summers. She saw John taking it from the floor and opening it. She furrowed her brows; he was writing something. He threw it back at her. Great! What did the jerk want now?

You didn't answer my question.

An answer. He wanted an answer and she would give him one.

Here is my answer: no.

If she had an inkling of what was to come from that answer she wouldn't have deemed to answer him.

Why not?

God! What was the point?

Because I don't want to.

He turned around and arched one eyebrow. Then he proceeded to scribble something else. What in the hell was wrong with him? They were supposed to be listening to Mr. Summers, not wasting their time with childish notes.

Why? Do I have bad breath?

She was so tempted to say yes. That would definitely stop the notes. No, scratch that. It would only ensue more of the annoying notes. Besides, his breath didn't stink. Very often, when he talked to her she has found herself delighting in its smell, dreaming how it would feel to be kissed by him. Impossible wishes because he couldn't touch her. Nobody can touch her.

Can you be more mature? Can't you accept the idea that maybe I want someone else to be my boyfriend?

'Liar'. Her heart screamed. 'You do want to be her girlfriend.'

Like Bobby.

Gee, he did have the gift to even make written words sound sneering.

Yeah, like Bobby.

He tore another paper from his notebook. Sweet lord! She covered her eyes. What would make him stop? He really must be dying of pure boredom with Mr. Summers' class. Heck, who wouldn't? And still, she didn't understand what John was trying to prove. What mattered to him if she accepted Bobby's offer? It wasn't like John had given her any sign of interest on her. However, he would get out of his way to make her miserable; to bring her almost to the brink of tears with his sarcasm and cruel remarks. She felt a ball of paper hit her forehead.

"Ouch!" She was so engrossed in her musing that she forgot all about the class.

"Something's the matter, Rogue?"

"No. I'm sorry Mr. Summers."

The young man continued imparting classes. Carefully, as to not be seen by Mr. Summers, she picked the paper from the floor. She muffled a soft, derisive laughter. He had listed ten reasons why she should be his girlfriend.

10. I'm definitely more handsome than Bobby.

She had to agree. He was more handsome. Damn! Not only handsome, he was sexy. Very, indeed. The lips in his eternal luscious pout; his eyes taking the hue of the emotions he felt and that seemed to see to the deepest recesses of her soul.

9. I may not be tall, but baby, I can compensate for it BIG time.

She would not dwell in there, feeling her face blushing. He definitely was a BIG asshole.

8. I play with fire. What more could you ask in a boyfriend?

Yeah. Fire equals danger. Danger equals to be able to do wicked things. She flushed thinking on those wicked things. Fool. She admonished herself, shaking her head to drive away the nasty thoughts.

7. I know I'm terribly thin but I can do workouts to toughen up.

Johnny, compromising? Hah! That she got to see.

6. I'm a good kisser.

She didn't doubt it.

5. I only have to flick my wrist and Voilá! We'll have an intimate, romantic setting with candles.

She laughed softly. If she didn't know better, she would have thought that he was overdoing it to win his case. That wasn't his plan. He was only trying to irritate the hell out of her. But he wasn't doing his job right, she was enjoying his creativeness. She kept on reading.

4. I'm intelligent, confident and I do not lack in the romance department.

Wow! Note to self. John is, in any way, humble.

3. Also very creative and have a great imagination. I've managed to come with four good ideas to overcome your unique mutation.

Leave it to John. He was very proud of being a mutant. He would never denigrate nor degrade her mutation. That was the only thing he would never joke or be cruel about.

2. I would always ask what you want, give you a hell of foreplay and kiss you all over.

Oh. Sweet. Lord! She was in dire need of air. Taking slow breath, she tried to calm her jumbled feeling and the strange, warm feeling worming in the pit of her stomach.

Now follow the black brick road to the back of the paper.

She stifled another small laughter. He actually drew a brick road with his black pen. She turned over the paper… and she gasped. The number one reason was written in big, bold letters.

1. I LOVE YOU

Her heart stopped for mere seconds. Believing the words… Just as quickly, the warm, fuzzy feelings were smothered by anger. How dare he play with her like that? She stood out her desk, shaking with fury and completely ignoring Mr. Summers question inquiring if she was alright. She stopped in front of John, her brown eyes burning. He had that hateful smirk all over his face. She tore the paper in pieces, threw it to his face and then, she punched him in his jaw.

"Asshole" It came out deep from her soul.

She ran out of the classroom before she would do another undignified action, like crying in front of him. Tears were running down her hot cheeks. She was so naïve. In those few seconds she dared to believe his words, she dared to dream. She was wrong. John never gave out any hint of caring for her. Not once. Only that time, in Miss Ororo classroom, when he showed her the ball of fire and that was all. He was being a show off, his favorite pastime.

She kept running until she reached her bedroom. Shortly after locking the door, she heard a violent knock. She stepped away, moping her tears with the back of her hands.

"Rogue."

"Go away John." She cursed herself, her voice sounded pitiful.

"No. Open the door this instant."

Like hell she would. His angry reply was all she needed to hear. Never before has she seen him completely angry but she always guessed it wouldn't be a nice sight. And she loved her life, dearly.

"Damn it, Rogue! Open up now."

She could easily sense that someone else approached her door; hearing how the newcomer pushed John away from the door. "Rogue, please, open the door."

That was Mr. Summer. Hadn't she opened her mouth to answer him when a disconcerting voice in her head stopped her abruptly. 'Rogue, John, could you two come to my office?'

Oh, hell! Now they were in deep. She inhaled slowly, trying to erase all tears' trace from her face. She opened the door and never looked at John. "The Professor wants to speak to us." She informed Mr. Summers in lack of anything else to say. He sure knew that the Professor summoned them. The young man just nodded, his face showing his worry for her. "I'll walk you both."

She felt relieved. She didn't want to be alone with John. They walked silently to the Professor's office and she never gave John a glance. All she wanted was to hear the Professor admonishment then go straight to her room and stay there for the rest of the day, nursing her heartache. Of all the cruel jokes that John could play, the last one has won first prize on the meanest joke because deep inside she wished it to be true. That the hard resident jerk loved her. Mr. Summers let them enter on their own, closing the door.

"Hello Rogue, John. Come on in and make yourself comfortable."

The Professor began to move his wheelchair from behind his desk. He got near them. Rogue stared down at the floor. She sensed the stiffness in John, his face directed to the window in front of them.

"Here is the problem and you'll see what I mean by it, my children. Humanity always had one big difficulty; communication. That is the key word." While he talked, the Professor kept rolling his wheelchair away from them. "If we all learned to talk to each other and to hear each other we would all have a better place. Remember, children, communication is what help us to have a better relationship with everybody around us."

Rogue opened her eyes like saucer when she heard the definitive click of a door closing. She didn't dare to steal a look towards John, fearing that he would be furious of being locked up with her.

"Well, I guess it means he wants us to talk to each other."

"I won't speak to you." She said in a harsh, low voice.

"So, are we going to do the note thing again?"

Ornery, obnoxious jerk; he was that and more all packed in one. "Tell me John, why do you go out of your way to piss of people?"

"Because I can."

"Asshole."

"Bitch."

She turned her head swiftly, her eyes throwing dagger his way. "What did you just call me?"

He shrugged. "You started it."

"What?! Does that give you the right to degrade me?"

"And you didn't?"

"No, I didn't; I was simply stating a fact."

He smirked. "Like I wasn't doing the same."

"Excuse me; I'm not a bitch." And she added with venom, "Asshole."

"Do you know what your problem is? You're repressed."

She let out a shocked gasp. "Care to repeat that?"

"Repressed; that's why you're embittered. You don't get near to no one and don't allow anyone to get near you."

She stood up slowly. "Oh, you think so?"

"Don't think so; I'm sure of it."

The know it all smile irritated the hell out of her. She'll show him what repressed meant and she began to take of her gloves. To her utter annoyance, he didn't budge an inch. He just stared at her very calm. After her gloves, her black blazer followed, leaving her arms bare and showing a spaghetti strap top. Only then did John leave his chair, however it wasn't to go to the other side of the room. Anxiety closed her throat; he got too near. She wanted to move backwards but his beguiling eyes held her spellbound.

"Your hair, now."

"I beg your pardon?" What the hell? She wasn't strip teasing for him.

"Your hair let it down."

"No."

"I'll do it for you then."

He didn't give her time to voice a protest. He was still speaking when he brought his hand up to the nape of her head. His eyes never left hers as he set her hair free from her scrunchie. Damn! He did it with no difficulty at all. John has definitely done this before… Her eyelids came halfway down as he began to glide his fingers in her hair to rearrange it around her face. He pulled his head back like if he was watching appreciatively his work of art.

"Much better." That was said with enough arrogance to raise her hackles.

She attempted to ignore the butterflies in her stomach. Crossing her arms on her chest, she asked him with aggressiveness. "And your point is?"

"Don't you feel better?"

Yes. But she wouldn't admit it to him. "I don't think this is what the Professor had in mind."

"We're speaking, aren't we?"

That soft voice made her feel a bit suspicious; John was everything but kind to her. "Yeah, but still…" She chewed on her lower lip. But, what? Was she brave enough to confront him for the note?

"Still what?"

She lowered her eyes. "We're supposed to be discussing the note."

He didn't say anything. Her eyes were glued to a spot on the floor, her soul trying to scream to him, waiting for an answer. Perhaps a lie…

"The note." And for the first time Rogue saw John squirming. If she hadn't been quiet and waiting it would've passed unnoticed to her. "I don't think there is nothing to discuss."

"Why?" His answer made her raise her head sharply at him.

"It's clear who you prefer to be with." And letting out a very self deprecating laughter, he added. "I'm the asshole, remember?"

"John, I…"

"You don't have to excuse yourself, Rogue."

Oh, God! Why did he suddenly appear before her so vulnerable? And just when she was beginning to soften, to believe in impossible, he had to say: "Besides you deserve each other."

That wasn't a nice compliment, no; he made it sound like an insult. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"You two are a match made in heaven."

What was wrong with him? One minute he was kind, almost tender and the next minute he was a complete jackass.

"Both of you are the mini me of Scott and Jean, the perfect and glorified couple of mutant high."

"What?!" She was outraged.

"Perfect Miss Manner with Mr. Wonderful Boy."

"Who do you think you are, John?" She hit him in the chest with her finger. "You are such a jerk. Have you ever thought that maybe he has only bestowed kindness on me?"

"Why should I be kinder to you?"

She shrugged her shoulders, trying to be nonchalant. "I really don't give a damn if you want to be kinder or not."

"Then, that's why I'm not. You don't give a damn, why should I?"

What the…? She felt they have been playing a foolish game all along. Who was tougher than the other, who was meanest. But she was way beyond of listening to her own reasoning, John infuriated her. Then John said, to her total outrage: "You think you're holier than thou, the best thing to come to this school and we are supposed to fall on our knees every time you're near us. If Bobby is stupid enough to fall for your game that his problem, not mine. I'm not Bobby."

She lunged at him, anger blinding her actions. Who the hell did he think he is, accusing her like that? She never asked for any special treatment, all she desired was to be treated like everybody else, to be normal and to be able to touch again. She expected to attack him, to hurt him maybe injuring him in the process. The kiss was very much unexpected. His mouth was on hers.

Her eyes closed, her hands gripped his shirt. His tongue traced her lips, trying to find a way inside her mouth. She complied with his wishes and that delicious mouth was awakening inside of her a riot of sensations, which she realized they weren't unpleasant at all. Far from it, she'd never experienced anything like that before. His mouth left hers abruptly. Rogue thought she heard a moan, but whether it was from him or her, she wasn't sure.

His eyes were locked on hers; he was taking gulps of air all the while his inner essence was running through her. It was a wicked and delightful sensation that she could ever experience. Having his thoughts and feelings running in her head, realizing and making discoveries.

"Say it John." Her voice was barely above a whisper.

"No."

"Say it and stop being a stubborn pig head."

"No."

"That's why you wrote it down. You don't have the balls to say it. Don't you?" Suddenly she felt very powerful. One of her hand let go of his shirt and traced a line down his arm, sensing how her fingers made him slightly tremble. She stood on her tip toes and kissed him softly on his jaw. "Say it John. I want to hear it."

He closed his eyes, his face contorting like if she was inflicting pain on him. Boldness overcame her; John wasn't flinching away from her. In fact, he was enjoying it. It was nice to feel John near her, his heat making her go insane, almost to the point of fainting. She bit him softly on his chin. "Say it." She cooed and it came in a purring sound.

"I love you." His voice was deeper than it normally was.

She giggled. Happiness like no other took over her. She smiled at him and whispered back. "I love you too, John."

He crushed her in his embrace, his mouth crashing down on her again. However, this time she received the sweetest kiss. Tears sprang to her eyes. Finally discovering that the resident jerk did own a heart and it was all hers.

"Explain me something." She said after pulling back, "Why have you've been such a prick when all this time you had this feeling for me?"

He shrugged his shoulders, indifference written all over his face. "Because I wanted to."

He received a slap on his shoulder. "That's not an answer. You led me to believe that you didn't care for me."

He raised his hand to twirl one of her white stripes around her finger. "I thought you cared for Bobby."

"You're telling me that you've been this obnoxious because you thought I cared for Bobby while all this time I was with him because I thought you didn't care for me." She moved her head from side to side.

He smirked. "We have serious problem."

"I definitely agree."

"More reason to be together."

She arched both her eyebrows.

"I presume all is resolved." The Professor's voice made them jump apart from each other. Rogue blushed profusely.

"We have, Professor." John replied back.

The kind old man smiled at them. "I believe you're still in time to go to your History class."

Just outside the Professor's studio, Rogue put on her gloves despite John's disapproval. She had taken enough psyches for the day to add another one by an accident. She gave him a shy smile when he offered her a hand to walk together to the class.

"So…"

"So…" She added playfully.

"Does this mean we're officially dating?"

She giggled softly again and she noticed by the smile on his face that he liked to hear it. The smile was tender, making him look more handsome. "I think we're beyond that point. Don't you?"

"Most definitely, because I do not intend to share you with no one."

"Oh,my! We seem to have a possessive streak."

"In everything that concerns you, yes I have one."

"Just answer me this. Why, of all days, you decided to ask me?"

He shrugged. "Perhaps because Bobby was going to ask you today after lunch."

"And you have to beat him, didn't you?"

She received an evil smile for answer. What does it really matter? John was going to be a though guy to deal with, this she didn't doubt but she was sure as hell that she could handle him. He was just like the flames he played with, volatile and unpredictable. And to add something else to his strange mixture, very guarded of his feelings and an asshole; that's why she never could've guessed that he felt something for her and the reasons for all his obnoxious ways. But he loved her.

Hand in hand, they entered Miss Munroe class. Rogue felt sheepish for all the curious glances they received of everybody. In no time they would be the last tidbit of the mansion. She didn't care. After all, not everyday one got to have a pyromaniac for a boyfriend and before lunch. She would dare anyone to top that.