TITLE: Drawing Dead

SUMMARY: Sometimes, you've got to draw a hand even when it won't be a winning one.


DISCLAIMER: I just enjoy playing in other peoples' sandboxes. While making money off this would be nice, it's not happening. Everything you recognize (and maybe even some things you don't) belongs to Marvel.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: There's a bunch of short comicverse ficlets that my dear friends on LJ have inspired and prompted, most of which are on my blog and some of which were just sitting around on my harddrive. I figure that some of you out there might enjoy them. Hence one more collection of ficlets, rather like "Stacked Deck", only for the comic universe.

This one in particular is set just as the two of them leave the mansion for Valle Soleada in the X-Treme X-Men run.

Break Even Again

They take Rogue's car when they leave the Mansion.

It's awkward at the start. For the first day, they don't know what to say to one another, and let the music from the collection of burnt CDs he'd brought along fill the quiet.

It's that first night when things start to change.

For once, they can check in to a motel without having to request a room with two beds. They keep a fair distance between themselves, but wake up facing one another. They smile, tentatively, and he rolls out of the bed to make crappy motel coffee.

The space between them decreases each night thereafter – quite quickly, actually – until there's none at all.

In Iowa, they even spend one night in the back of the car on the side of the road.

(The kinks in their necks and the cramped muscles that result are deemed entirely worth it as they clean everything up the next day at the closest gas station.)

They develop a routine. She drives in the morning, since Remy's generally slow to wake up.

He drives in the afternoon, during which her left hand sits comfortably – almost absently – on his thigh.

They take it a day at a time, just like he'd said, and bizarrely enough, it's working out.

It's become normal.

And that, if anything, is the strangest part.

"So," she eventually asks. "Where to?"

Remy considers. It's not a question they've asked themselves yet. They've just been moving west, away from the Mansion and towards the sunset.

That question is the one they've been skirting this entire time. They've made progress, yes, but where the hell are they trying to get?

Remy braces his arm against the door and looks out the window.

"I hear tell California's pretty nice this time o'year."

Rogue nods, slamming down on the clutch and shifting up a gear. It's not a full answer, not really, but it's a direction.