Pamela Thalner
hutch @ jazmer.com
August 1996-January 1997

This fanfic involves Gambit and Rogue of the X-Men. There are some references to sexual situations (nothing graphic), but if this bothers you, please, read no further. Some of you may note that this was once a two-parter. I combined it into one story, simply because it didn't need to be separated for any real reason. This fanfic is complete as of 26 January 1997.

Disclaimer: Gambit and Rogue, along with all the other X-Men (and, possibly, most of the modern world) belong to Marvel Comics. I am using them without permission for the purpose of fanfic. I am not making any money off of this (not that I'm aware of, anyway), so please don't sue me, as I'm a poor broke person. Thank you.

"Ah can handle mahself perfectly well," Rogue muttered as she tossed a hand-sized rock into a nearby bush. She was disappointed not to see the bush explode in a flurry of leaves, as it would have if she'd been at normal strength.

"What was that, chére?" came Remy's Creole-flavored voice from behind her, where he was attempting to start a fire. Their temporary campsite, in a clearing high in the woods, was lacking in many things - shelter, food, toilet paper, and most of all, privacy. Fortunately, Rogue didn't have to go far into the woods to feel perfectly alone. Unfortunately, every time she did leave, Remy seemed compelled to warn her to take care of herself.

"Nothin'," she called back. "I'll be back in a bit." With that, she strode off, her auburn mane quickly disappearing in the darkness of the woods.

Remy LeBeau leaned back against a fallen log and watched her go. As Gambit, one of the members of the mutant team known as the X-Men, he had faced many dangers, taken quite a few chances, risked his life in what he fondly referred to as 'the dance'. Yet here, alone in the woods with the woman who had inadvertantly stolen his heart, he couldn't make himself take the first step.

Well, no, that wasn't specifically true. He'd tried, not long after they'd first found themselves stranded in this complete wilderness. Rogue - his strong, brave Rogue - had started to cry, so worried was she about the fate of the others. He'd laid a hand on her shoulder, which was only partially covered by a sleeveless shirt. At the contact of skin on skin, both of them had jumped in shock - he that she'd let her touch him, she that she hadn't absorbed his powers and consciousness. It was only then that they'd realized that both of them were now somehow unable to use their mutant abilities.

Since then, she'd been touchy and on edge. He couldn't say he blamed her. Hell, he was worried about the others, too. But he knew that ol' One-Eye would take care of them - as well as he knew that they could all take care of themselves. No, he was more concerned over the fact that all he could get out of Rogue was the occasional "yes" and "no", or more often, "put a sock in it".

The possibilities of this little interlude hadn't escaped him. He wanted her quite badly, desired her about as much as he desired drawing breath. Her constant proximity was doing strange things to him. He just wanted to touch her, but aside from that one accidental moment, she hadn't even let him do that.

Well, sitting around thinking wasn't going to get anything done. While she was off wandering, he figured he could work a little more on some kind of shelter. With that thought in mind, he stood up and began scrounging handfuls of leaf-heavy branches.

The bright hues of sunset were filling the sky by the time Rogue returned. To her surprise, as she entered the clearing, she saw that Remy had been hard at work. A stand of trees on one side of the clearing had been transformed into a rough shelter, with branches tangled together to form walls and a roof. Leaves, still connected by twigs and bark, intertwined among the heavier branches to fill in the cracks. One side had remained open, yet she saw that he had formed the roof with a slight overhang to protect against the worst of the weather. A smile involuntarily quirked at her mouth as she approached the bower.

Inside, she found Remy collapsed on a pallet of leaves and moss. The scene reminded her of a fairytale, and she couldn't resist kneeling down by him. He slept with his mouth open, one hand resting comfortably on his belly, the other sprawled on the ground as if reaching for something. Well, she thought, maybe I should wake this sleeping prince with a kiss.

She had been afraid to touch him. Even though it was embarrassingly obvious that their powers were gone, her fears had lingered - and understandably; when you've lived with them for nigh on ten years, they don't just up and split like that. But Remy looked so peaceful, so beautiful by the reddish light of the setting sun, his slender, hollow-cheeked face limned in glowing yellow and orange, with his chestnut hair picking up all of the sky's fading, fiery tints... After a moment of drinking in his beauty, Rogue reached out a hand. Tentatively, with only a moment's hesitation, her fingers flicked through his hair, brushing errant strands from his forehead. Slowly she leaned forward, her heart catching in her throat.

Soft and sweet his lips. And nothing more; no rush of sudden knowledge of all his secrets, nor awareness of his power. It was only a kiss. Rogue relaxed suddenly from a tension she had not known was in her, and felt something else instead: a rise of giddy happiness.

She cradled his face in her hands, unafraid now to touch him. He stirred, mumbling something, and she smiled affectionately down at him as he blinked his way into awareness.

"Evenin', Remy," she said softly.

"Evenin' yourself," he replied. "Was that you or just a dream?"

She was unable to resist kissing him again. This time, his hands came up to caress her back, bury themselves in her hair. Rogue fairly purred, the sensations were so sweet, so new.

"Was you," he murmured, in a tone mixed with surprise and delight. "I didn' wan' to believe it. Ah, chére..." His hands moved along her skin, up and down her back, teasing the skin at the nape of her neck. She shivered. Had she ever felt this way before? Only in her dreams.

Suddenly, she shivered again, but not with pleasure. Remy sensed the change in emotion and wrapped his arms around her, holding tightly to her. "There, Rogue, sweetheart, it's all right," he murmured in her ear, soothing inanities meant to comfort. After a time, her shuddering relaxed and she lay against him, curled on his chest like a kitten.

"What is it, chére?" he asked softly. He could still feel the tension like steel in her muscles as she hesitated before answering.

"Ah.. ah'm scared," she whispered.

A long moment of silence went by while he continued to hold her. After some time, her arms snaked around his waist, holding him back.

"We may not have much time together," he said finally, having taken the time to gather his words carefully. "But I don't want you t' do anyt'ing you don' wan' to. Understan'?"

She looked up at him, her luminous green eyes shining as she nodded. Remy's heart was stricken by the sight of her so close to tears again. Tenderly, he took her chin in two fingers and kissed her, as sweet and soft as he knew how.

"Rogue, you make me feel like no other woman has. I don't think I've ever wanted anyone so much - in so many ways." His words were quiet and sure, with sincerity woven strongly through them. "But I don' wan' to hurt you..."

She nodded. "Ah know."

Both of them knew what this moment was leading up to; had known it forever, it seemed. Words were unnecessary; as their eyes met and locked, Rogue knew that Remy would be as careful as he could. It wasn't his fault she was still scared of being touched. He rose to his feet, extending his hands to bring her up with him. As they stood face to face, eyes almost on a level with each other's, both of them knew that nothing would be started that could not be finished. Rogue's strong emotions for this man who had come into her life so unexpectedly warred within her, and she found herself very close to uttering the words that, she was afraid, would bind her to him - without doing the same in reverse.

Seeing the conflict in her eyes, Remy decided to bypass it. He took her hands in his, holding them tightly. Then he leaned forward and kissed her.

Somehow, this kiss was slightly different from the others. Their first kisses had been chaste, sweet. This one tasted of more to come... of passion. Rogue closed her eyes, leaning into the kiss, enjoying it. She felt Remy bringing her hands up around his neck, letting her arms rest on his chest and shoulders. Inadvertantly, she swayed against him. His body was solid and warm against hers. His hands went to her waist, stroking her back, her sides, her hips.

The kiss grew deeper, bolder. Remy's tongue flicked into her mouth, and, hesitantly, she returned the French kiss. Everything was so new, and she felt unashamed to enjoy the sensations, no matter their source.

"Touch me, Remy. Ah want to feel your hands ev'r'where."

"Slow down, chére. We got all night."

She couldn't recall a time she'd been more agitated; oddly, at the same time, she felt at peace. Was it too late for her to realize that this was only the physical fulfillment of the emotional exchanges she'd already made with Remy? The thief had her heart in his hands and wouldn't let go. Nor did she want him to.

"Ah, yes. Ah, that's so good."

"You like dat, neh?"

For his part, he contained his astonishment at her response. And marveled that she gave herself to him so willingly, when he'd been sure that she'd fight him tooth and nail. But she took him down deeper into the spirals of ecstacy, pushing him to give in every way that he could.

Her bones felt like water. She was melting inside, every time he touched her, every fiery kiss dragging her deeper into passion. The waves of heat, centered in her belly, spread tingling across her skin as if he were painting her with them.

"You're beautiful, chére," he said in simple honesty, his appreciative eyes locked into hers.

And, she suddenly realized, his honesty and sincerity were the things she treasured most. This intimacy, this ability to share her feelings with him without fear, the knowledge that he was confident enough to discuss his own feelings with her. This was what she wanted, and she marveled that it had taken her so long to realize.

She cupped his face in her hands, gazing into his red-on-black eyes as if memorizing them. Her kiss now was so achingly tender that Remy thought his heart would break.

"Ah love you, Remy," she murmured. "Ah love you."

"Love you too, chére."

The sudden, almost frantic flow of passion had ebbed. Remy eased himself down next to her, cradling her gently in her arms, looking down at her face. Her snub nose, her bright emerald eyes, the lock of white hair that persistently fell across her forehead; everything was precious.

She felt the need to apologize to him suddenly, and did so.

"What for, chére? You got nothin' t' 'pologize 'bout."

"Ah'm not sure," she said softly. "Maybe... cause it took me so long t' realize what ah wanted... and that ah had to make you wait. Ah feel bad for everythin' ah done t' you... Ah hope y'can forgive me."

"Stop dat." His look was utterly serious. "Ain't nothin' t' be forgiven for. I knew y' had to figure it out for y'self." He ran one hand lightly through her hair, a cherishing touch. "Y'won't hear me complainin', not when I got the most beautiful woman in d'world in my arms."

The compliment brought the faintest of blushes to her cheeks. "You mean that, Remy LeBeau?"

"I do," he said, smiling softly. "Now I wanna show you how much I mean it."

The lovemaking was slow and tender. He was gentle as he knew how to be, fully aware that the moment might never come again, even though she stirred him to heights of passion he hadn't known existed. She gave into him willingly, and he made sure she was more than satisfied.

Later, the team would be reunited after a chaotic battle that involved the restoration of their powers. Although Rogue was understandably disappointed by this, the sight of Remy's quirky grin in the midst of the fight reminded her that hope springs eternal, and there was always the possibility they'd have another interlude, sometime. And in the meantime, they had each other to lean on, to share and learn from. For in the end, that was what truly mattered.

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this page last updated on 18 january 2003