Lovers on Hiatus

Summary: Rogue has learned to control her mutation and can touch… and she and Gambit are just friends. Following X-men Legacy, just after the Salvage Arc. A Romy Vignette.

Disclaimer: I do not own the X-men nor am I affiliated with Marvel in any way.

Author's notes: Following comic canon here with pieces alluding to Gambit's stint as Death, the Messiah Complex and the events occurring in X-men Legacy's Salvage arc where Rogue officially gains full control of her mutation.

Patience is key. Patience is important.

It was getting harder and harder to remind himself of this. She needed time. He got that. He understood that, but it still didn't make things easy for him.

Not that things between them were ever easy. If it was, it was never for very long. They'd had their moments, they'd had their trials. They'd faced death together, they'd faced it apart.

This right now was the toughest thing they'd ever faced.

She could finally control her mutation…and they were just friends.

The term left a bad taste in his mouth.

Just friends.

How they had managed to get to this point was beyond him. Well, it wasn't exactly beyond him. He knew they had some issues to work out regarding their relationship, and it was foolish to think that her control over her powers would fix that.

What it did do was increase his attraction and desire for her. Not that it ever really waned. They had been playing this game for years, having the same argument over and over in an intense de ja vu that never seemed to end.

She always thought that he deserved better than her, deserved to love a woman he could touch. He had always maintained that someday he would be able to touch her.

Now he could.

And they were just friends.

It seemed a cruel irony to him.

He wanted nothing more than to hold her all the time, kiss her lips, trail his fingers delicately across her skin for as long as he could. Just relishing the simple fact that they could touch, that they could finally have the relationship both had been longing for and dreaming of.

And then she'd put the stops on him.

She had admitted that when they kissed it had 'felt right', but she needed time and he wasn't one to argue.

But the timing to him was right.

They no longer would have to rely on gimmicks, or carefully plotted out intimacy or anything like that. They could be spontaneous now and love freely, much like they had in Val Soleada, except both were complete mutants, never missing or longing for what they had lost.

And she looked so good now. It was amazing just how she could look to him after such a long period of being apart. She was temptation in its very definition, and they were just friends. It killed him.

She showed more skin now. Everyone noticed, much to his displeasure. He hated the idea of other men staring at her and appreciating her for what she was. Hot. Insanely hot. It bothered him even more that he couldn't stroll along by her side, smiling smugly or glaring his typical 'back off' stare at the competition.

All because they were just friends.

It wasn't like he hadn't tried to coax her into a kiss or his arms, because he did, and rather sneakily—but she knew him too well. That smile would come out and she would softly chide him about pushing things too fast, too soon.

He'd asked her once out of frustration if she went as crazy as he did with all the pent up feelings and tormenting lust. She had tipped that perfect jaw line up and laughed a merry little laugh, then kissed him chastely on the cheek.

"Of course I do, Remy. Lord knows you turn my insides to mush, but I need things to be slow. Right now what I need is a friend. Not a lover."

And he'd begrudgingly obliged. Friends first, lovers later. It was madness. Pure and utter madness. He could understand her position if he really thought about it and tried to. If he buried his desires and wants deep down to look at things from her perspective, he could see that she had a point and what it was she was trying to do.

They had a troubled history. No point in denying that. No point in avoiding that nasty little truth. He had tried to kill her twice—not that he had been entirely in control of himself then…and not that that tiny detail mattered.

She had walked out on him after the extreme lengths he had gone through to save her life and try to make amends for his past indiscretions. She had asked him not to follow and he had obeyed for a limited time, finally giving in to his desire to see her again.

Their reunion had been a pleasant one. Not some horrible fight or argument that he had come to expect from her willfulness and his neediness. She had been happy to see him. Genuinely happy. No amount of 'just friends' talk in the world could erase the fact that she loved him despite everything that had happened in their long, checkered history.

And he loved her. Always would love her. They could play just friends for as long as she wanted, but in the end they'd crack. There were days he could see that passion burning in her eyes. Blatant to him, oblivious to everyone else.

It was on those days he'd sidle up nice and close and she'd close her eyes, just inhaling his scent and subconsciously lick her lips. Occasionally, he'd get in a faint little pet of a breast or a hand brushed against her rear and she wouldn't object. Choosing instead to lean into the moment and let it pass as quickly as it came. It was all about not pressing his luck, but at the same time reminding her as to what they really were.

Lovers, who for a time being were on hiatus.

Just friends temporarily.

It was an even rarer occasion when she'd brush a hand against his thigh or backside. He'd melt at the brief contact and wish she'd move on to other places of his body that ached for her. She never did, but in those moments both would look at each other with a world of lust and desire just begging to be released.

He often wondered just how long he could play the gentleman for her. Just how long he could keep his feelings in check. He wondered the same about her.

But he knew one thing for certain.

When they finally gave in and abandoned the guise of 'just friends' it was going to be well worth it. Beyond imagination and without a doubt, the best.