Disclaimer: I've kinda got a non-ownership vibe goin' on here. Pretty sure Marvel/Disney owns these people.
Remy whistled a jaunty Zydeco tune as he made his way back to his room. One intensive, two-hour Danger Room session later and Remy found himself in an exceedingly good mood despite the early hour. He thought back on the exercise in which he beat Cyclops in a man-on-man battle sequence - a proper revenge for his leader's rude interruption earlier. He relished any opportunity to put the martinet leader of the X-Men in his place.
He smiled as he recalled Summers' look of vague disgust and grudging respect at being bested by Gambit. That moment would have been enough to carry him through the rest of his day if it wasn't for a certain Southern spitfire who had promised to wait for him in his bed.
Rogue... He prayed to whatever god would listen that the girl was right where he left her - full of wide eye desire and curiosity. After showering in the locker room, he dressed in pants and a long-sleeved shirt and gloves so he could get close to her in her pajama-clad state. Or in case she had decided to make herself more comfortable... He shook off the tantalizing image of a naked Rogue between his silky sheets, not wanting to get too involved in the wayward fantasy. Just getting her to agree to wait for him in his room was progress enough. Getting her undressed would take a lot of preparation on his part. But Gambit was nothing if not determined when he set his sights on a worthy cause.
He reached his door and slowly opened it to reveal a slumbering Rogue curled on her side, under his sheets, though she appeared to be clothed, to his mild chagrin. Internally, he breathed a sigh of relief she was still there. That she hadn't been spooked after she had time to analyze their tentative relationship and find flaws. He crept closer to the bed and grinned as he noted her sleeping form was positioned smack dab in the middle of the bed - a true sign of a person who had never had to share mattress space before. And he found it utterly adorable, a word he had never once applied to a woman he was interested in and certainly not one he wanted to sleep with.
He perched himself next to her, studying her peaceful face. Gone was the tough girl mask, and in its place was an innocence that struck the deepest part of his heart. For all her bravado, Rogue was naive when it came to life, particularly the opposite sex. For someone who was raised by a terrorist, Rogue maintained a child-like view of the world, petulance and all. The paradox intrigued him. It was one of the many facets of the emotionally closed-off mutant that drew him in. Of course, her lush body and killer curves certainly didn't hurt, but those thoughts were best saved for another time...
His gloved hand reached over to caress her cheek. "Wake up, Sleepin' Beauty," he murmured softly.
Her eyelids fluttered open, confusion briefly passing over her emerald-colored eyes.
"Hmm, musta fallen asleep," she said, her voice husky from sleep. "Was beginnin' t' think ya weren't comin' back, sugar."
"Psssh, y' t'ink I'd leave a pretty girl waitin' in m' bed'? Not likely."
Propping her head on her hand, the thin, silky sheet falling to her waist, she shot him a surveying glace, mock reproach tingeing her voice. "'S'it that all Ah am ta ya? A pretty girl?"
"De prettiest, chére," he volleyed smoothly with a wink as he settled down closer to her. He lounged back on a pillow, his body angled towards her.
"Betcha say that to all the girls who grace your bed." She said it teasingly but Remy could sense her underlying seriousness.
"Only de ones who can launch me into outer space," he said with an easy smile.
She chuckled. "Doesn't seem like a bad idea at the moment."
His fist went to his chest, imitating a knife driving through his heart. "Y' wound me, chére. And after I was so nice t' y' earlier," he said, his voice dipping into a sultry rumble.
A faint blush painted her cheeks as she remembered their mock kiss, his hands roaming her heated body and his promise to "creatively" work around their no-touch issue.
His hand again went to her face for a caress, but she caught it, bringing it to the space between them on the bed. She was already on sensory overload without him touching her. It was amazing the way his innuendos twisted her insides and heated her face. Instead, she allowed her bare fingers to playfully move across his covered ones. Eager to steer him away from the physical contact she was so clumsy with, she asked about his Danger Room practice.
He smirked at her diversion tactic but chose to indulge her - for now. "Was good actually. Productive. Ushered a group o' civilians t' safety. Led de team t' victory with a strategically placed charged Ace o' Spades to a sentinel's head. Took on Scooter in a one-on-one setting, successfully immobilizin' him an' winnin' de match. Dat'll show him not t' interrupt me when 'm tryin' t' put de moves on a very stubborn fille. Was enough motivation for me."
She quirked an eyebrow. "Stubborn, huh?"
His hand captured hers in a solid hold. "But in de best possible sense, y' see."
Without much effort, she tried to extricate her hand from his, but he tightened his grip and ran his thumb across the top of her hand. "Uh huh. How're ya feelin' about Saturn, sugar?" she asked coolly.
"'S'long as y' keep m' bed warm for me when I return," he replied, bringing her hand painfully close to his lips. "See y' already gettin' in y'r practice."
She yanked her hand away before his lips could make contact with her bare fingers. "Not sure ya should be gettin' used ta it," she said tightly. "Ain't likely ta become a habit."
Realizing he pushed her sensitive boundaries too far, he attempted to backtrack by professing his own fear. "Admit to being mildly worried dat y'd be gone when I got back. Must say 'm surprised y'r here."
She took a breath before answering. "Didn't seem right ta leave after what we discussed. You tellin' me Ah'm constantly running from ya, and you're not wrong. Figured if we're gonna start trustin' each other and take a stab at this, then Ah need ta quell the urge ta bolt every time ya give me a wink and a saucy smile."
"Did I jus' hear de T word flow from y' beautiful lips, chére?" he grinned. "'M impressed."
She pressed on. "You've got a past, and so do Ah. We both got things we ain't proud ta have done. But we have to start somewhere, Ah suppose."
"I'd say dis is a very good start," His hand moved to a spot on her hip where her tank top had slightly risen, exposing milky white skin, and began drawing haphazard patterns.
"It helps ya have a comfy bed," she quipped, her body reflexively stilling when the soft leather of his glove made contact with her skin. That she could joke while lying in such close proximity to him Remy took as a definite sign of progress. Maybe this could work, he thought.
"I do like a soft place t' lay m' head," he commented, subtly eyeing her voluptuous chest while gently squeezing her hip.
"Your pillows are pretty fluffy," she returned slyly, unconsciously leaning into him.
"Glad y' like 'em," he said as he shifted into a horizontal position. "Say, t'ink y' could move yo' bed-hoggin' self over a few more inches. Like t' stretch out if I could."
"Ah am not hogging this bed!" she exclaimed indignantly. "Ah'm barely takin' up any space at all."
"Rogue, chére," he said gently, his voice lilting, "when y' got another person wit' y' in a bed, y' can't stay in de middle. Ain't polite."
She snorted unceremoniously. "Are y' seriously teachin' me bedside manners?"
His hand sliding to caress her butt, his voice laden with desire, he said, "If 'm gon' teach y' about behavior in bed, Rogue, manners ain't gon' be on de list."
Her stomach clenched at the sexually charged statement. Just like one of his many playing cards, he could ignite his words in a way that made it feel as if she was the one exploding. Before she could recover, he pressed on.
"O' course," he said, his voice rumbling dangerously low, "dat's not what dis is about right now."
"What is it about, Remy?" she challenged.
Anchoring his hand back on her hip, he rolled onto his side and moved closer so that their bodies were mirror images of each other. "Did I tell y' you're real pretty when y' wake up?" he asked.
Though vaguely anxious of his increased nearness, she gave him a small smile. "Thought ya were a better liar than that."
"C'est vrai," he responded matter of fact. "Y'r too beautiful t' close yourself off from a relationship just because y' scared."
"Ya think Ah'm too closed off?" Her voice was small as she asked the question, already knowing it was true.
"Chére, y' pride y'rself on bein' one tough femme. Y' got an impenetrable exterior. Liter'lly, as de case may be."
"It's ta keep people from gettin' hurt," she pointed out.
"True, but I also t'ink it's t' keep you from gettin' hurt," he pressed. She stayed silent not wanting to acknowledge he was right.
"Sometimes I think it's better ta be lonely than heartbroken. Less painful," she admitted after a while. She thought back to the moment when she had learned of Remy's wife, Bella Donna. They weren't even a couple, and it felt like Shadowcat had reached into her chest and ripped her heart out. To learn that a ladies' man like Gambit, whose heart no one could actually even own, had been committed enough to be someone's husband for however short a time it was, left her reeling. It seemed that someone could tie him down. Just not her.
"Unfort'nately," he said carefully, "gettin' hurt is sometimes part o' de deal. As much as y' don' wan' it t' be."
Her face inched closer to his as if to challenge him. Or maybe she was trying to be the brave one for once. "So why does everybody seem ta want it?" she whispered. "A relationship, that is."
Having never been the backing down sort, he positioned his head so that it was mere inches from hers. "'Cuz when it's good, it's de best t'ing out dere." As an afterthought, he added, "Apart from de perfect job, that is."
"So for the non-thievin' kind, love is it then? The best thing?"
He nodded slowly. "C'n be."
"Even when ya can't touch the one you love?" She tried to keep the sadness from lacing her words. She could feel his warm breath on her face. His lips were right there so close to hers. Was this how it would always be? So close but never touching?
"'Specially when y' can't touch her. Y' see, p'tite," he said, running his hand from her hip up the side of her body, "many relationships are based on de physical. Most of dem never move past dat so that y' never really get t' see de person in front of y'. Never see what's inside dem. Don' see dat she's fierce and loyal. Dat she's full of life, even if she doesn't believe it herself. Dat she's beautiful and not jus' 'cause she's got a pretty face. Dat she's got me so turned 'round I plan out ways t' make her smile."
Despite her lips turned up in an ever-growing smile, she said with mock sweetness. "Hope y'all are talkin' about me, darlin', or else I'll be developin' a ragin' case of jealousy."
His fiery eyes, which refused to be dulled by the bright morning sun streaming through the curtains, pinned her with a serious gaze. "Was dere ever anyone else, chére? Feels like, sometimes, it's always been jus' you."
Mild surprise highlighted her face as she let his words sink in. She pivoted away from him as she contemplated his confession. Then, without a word, she reached for him, wrapping her arm around his stomach and curling herself against the side of him. She tucked her head under his chin and pressed her chest upon his. Without missing a beat, he turned them both so he was on his back and she rested at his side. She moved her leg to drape across his as his covered fingers traveled up the length of her arm before weaving into her mass of tangled hair. His other arm wrapped around her waist with his hand once again resting on her hip. His hand cradled her head possessively.
"Alright," she said quietly after they settled into their new position. So softly that he almost didn't hear it.
Lifting her head to meet his smoldering red on black eyes. "Let's do this."
"For real, Rogue?"
Lifting her chin, her lips curled in a half smile. "You heard me, LeBeau. Ah said Ah'm in."
His handsome face broke out in a full grin. "Well, alright den."
Returning his grin, she set her head over his heart, allowing the rhythmic throbbing to lull her in a state of near-sleep. "Remy?" she asked, drowsiness slowing her speech.
He began to lightly massage her scalp as his own eyes drifted shut. "Hmm?"
"Thank y'," she said simply.
"Lettin' me be th' one who doesn't have ta cover up. At leas' right now."
He looked at the woman in his arms. "Ain't even a problem, chére," he said firmly.
"Jus' wan' ya t'know," she mumbled as her breathing evened.
"And I 'preciate de gratitude, chére. Maybe y' c'n make it up t' me after y'r nap, hmm?"
She let out a weak chuckle, her body feeling heavier and heavier on his as sleep took hold. Remy enjoyed feeling the weight of her on him and it lulled him to the outer edges of sleep as well. But he knew he couldn't let himself go in case Rogue shifted in her sleep and happened to come in contact with his uncovered neck and face. So maybe they would never be able to sleep together in the most basic sense of the word but that didn't mean they couldn't have as much contact as their situation would allow. And so long as Rogue was willing to work with him on what they could do - and it seemed she was finally allowing him to break through her carefully constructed walls - he didn't think they should dwell on what they couldn't do. They would find their own way to be close. He wasn't sure he was ready for a relationship - he had always been the type to do what he wanted when he wanted, to hell with anyone else - but something about Rogue made him want to try. As much as he tried to not care about the untouchable girl, she rarely left his mind. A quiet admission he had long been seeking to quell. With her lying contentedly in his arms, however, he knew it would be impossible to cease caring for her, though the sheer intensity of it scared him.
So he laid there with the most beautiful woman he ever been privileged to hold in his arms. He began to plan the perfect date to take her on. He wondered how Rogue would feel about a night in the city, complete with a fancy restaurant and a carriage ride through Central Park...