AN: I own nothing and no one portrayed here. I'm an avid gum chewer in math class, and this popped into my head while listening to my teacher go on and on about inequalities and percentages.


"You got any gum left, Remy?" Rogue asked absentmindedly, her concentration on the algebra book resting on her legs as she lay sprawled across one of the armchairs of Xavier's library. Thoughts of linear equations danced through her head, and she needed something to occupy her mouth, otherwise she'd be clenching her teeth together in frustration. Bubble gum had turned into a perfect way to keep her mouth occupied while her homework kept her brain occupied. And she knew that Remy had some; he'd finally given into Storm's demands and was trying to quit smoking. Like her, gum had turned into something to keep his mouth occupied when he started craving a cigarette.

This afternoon the two of them were holed up in the library; Rogue was getting ready for an algebra test while Remy was studying for History class. He and Piotr had come to join the X-Men a few months ago, and after some discussion, Professor Xavier had convinced Remy that he should go back to school. So far things were going well. He was studying electronics with a minor in computer programming. On the surface he said he was doing it to help Xavier and Logan with Cerebro, the security systems and other things around the mansion, but he confided in Rogue that he also wanted to see if he could break into the Pentagon. He'd heard of a female thief in Boston who had managed it, and just had to prove that he could do a better job.

Meanwhile, Piotr was brushing up on his English and was looking into teaching ESL at the local community college. His sister Ilyana would be well enough to leave the hospital soon, and then she would join her brother here in the States. Pyro was amusing himself by traveling with a rather well-known circus as "The Amazing Pyro". He said it was the only job he could think of where he could set things on fire and get paid for it, not to mention receive standing ovations from the crowd.

Remy was seated at one of the tables nearby, history book open in front of him. Rogue could hear the occasional turn of a page as he took down notes, and she knew if she turned her head she'd be able to see him chewing on one end of his pen. She mentioned once that pencils were better for note-taking, but he'd told her that it was a habit since Pyro had had a tendency to burn his pencils.

Not hearing a response to her question Rogue turned her head, and sure enough, Remy had his head bent over the book, his pen dangling out of the corner of his mouth. Rogue shook her head slowly.

"Remy, that's a bad habit. Didn't you see that CSI episode where the lady died from chewing on her pen?"

Remy took the pen from his mouth and wrote something down in his notebook. "Unlike her, I haven't been dipping my pen in ricin, chere." he said.

"Well if you wake up dead one morning and they discover that ballpoint pen ink is poisonous, don't say I didn't warn you." Rogue said. "Now back to my question; do you have any gum left?"

"Oui. You'll have to come get it though, I'm busy studying. It's in the front pocket of my jeans." Remy said, turning to look at her with a cheeky grin.

Rogue rolled her eyes. "Swamp Rat, if you don't hand over that gum you're gonna find yourself sitting on that pen." she warned. She only meant it half-heartedly though. This was usual for them. Ever since he had come to live at the mansion, Remy had been trying to rekindle the tentative friendship they'd started in New Orleans, with the hopes of increasing it into something more. He was very upfront about his desires, as well as persistent, and Rogue was alternately flattered and embarrassed by his pursuit. Flattered because no guy had ever shown any interest in her since Cody, and embarrassed because she wasn't used to the attention; it also left her open to the occasional joke about wet suits and death by sex. She couldn't help but admit to herself that she was just as interested in him as he was in her, and as a result they went out occasionally, albeit on a very low-key, touch free basis. It left her frustrated, and she'd understand perfectly if Remy felt the same way, but it didn't seem to bother him, and he was always trying to find a way to get her to relax and let him touch her.

"You have such a way with people, chere." Remy grinned as he reached down and took out the pack of gum. He tossed it to her and she took out a piece, giving him a smile before popping it into her mouth.

"Mmm, raspberry." Rogue said, closing her eyes with a smile. She chewed for a minute or two, not noticing that Remy was watching her. Once it was nice and soft, she blew a small bubble, which popped and landed to cover her lips. Carefully she licked the gum off her lips and started chewing again; this time blowing a bigger bubble. Upon its death the remains of the bubble covered her entire mouth. She darted her tongue out of her mouth to clean it off when Remy spoke up.

"Don't." he said, and an odd note in his voice made Rogue look over at him.

Remy sat leaning against his chair, his dark, beautiful eyes glowing as they stared fixedly on her mouth. His tongue peeked out to moisten his lips and Rogue watched, the delicate movement enthralling her. Remy had such a beautiful mouth.

"What?" she asked awkwardly, gum still stuck to her lips.

"Just stay right there like that." Remy said quietly, that odd note still in his voice. The look on his face was intense and longing, and Rogue found herself obeying him.

Remy got up from his chair and made his way over to where Rogue sat. Perching on the arm of the chair, he smiled down at her.

"Close your eyes." he whispered.

"Hmm?" Rogue inquired, which was about all she could do with the gum becoming a little dry. What was he up to?

"Just do it." Remy insisted.

Rogue sighed and closed her eyes just to humor him. No sooner had she closed them when she felt something warm and moist touch her lip. It brushed her mouth lightly, tracing across each lip in turn. Rogue opened her eyes in shock. There, just a breath away from her mouth was Remy, licking his lips.

"You're delicious, Rogue." he whispered, and smiled before moving his head to cross the tiny distance between them and touch her mouth with his. He kissed her sweet, gum-covered lips gently, taking first the top, then the bottom lip into his mouth and sucking on them. His hand, covered in its usual fingerless glove, cupped her cheek carefully so that only the gloved palm touched her, and then slid it up into her hair, laying her head back against the chair as he pressed more deeply against her. He pushed the tip of his tongue gently between her lips, seeking entrance, and Rogue surprised herself by parting them. He was only able to slip his tongue in just a little, but then hers met him halfway, protected by the delicate barrier of the gum, and it felt incredible.

Rogue's first instinct was to push him away from her and give him hell for being so stupid, but when he had touched her the first time nothing had happened, and when he started kissing her it felt so wonderful that she couldn't stand the thought of sending him away. Instead she slid her hands up his shoulders and around his neck, pulling him closer against her.

Finally the need for air broke them apart and Remy leaned his head against the chair, gazing down at her.

"That..." he sighed, and couldn't seem to find anything else to say.

Rogue cleaned the last of the gum off her lips and and grinned. "Well what do you know, the infamous Remy LeBeau is speechless."

"I don't mind either, if that's the way you want to get me to shut up." Remy said, sliding his hand through her hair.

Rogue giggled. It was an extremely girlish thing to do, and Rogue did not do girlish, but right now she couldn't help it and didn't care. She had just had a literally delicious time making out with her boyfriend. Up until now she hadn't really considered him as such, but hell, if she's going to be making out with him he might as well be her boyfriend.

"I think I've finally given up smoking, chere." Remy said looking down at her, and she loved the look in his eyes. As much as he still flirted occasionally with the other girls in the mansion, it was a look she'd never seen him give anyone but her. It was full of desire, affection, and another emotion she didn't dare try to give a name to.

"Oh? How so?" Rogue asked curiously.

"I've got a new addiction now." he said, and dropped a kiss on top of her hair.

"So what now, Swamp Rat?" Rogue asked. "I need to finish my studying."

"Me too, but first we need to go to the store." Remy said.

"Why's that?"

"I'm all out of gum."