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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6


Written by Paxnirvana
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 2

Every night I burn

Every night I scream your name

Every night I burn

Every night the dream's the same

~ The Cure - "Burn"

She woke alone at dawn, not terribly surprised by that discovery. There was no evidence that he'd even been there, save that her robe had been retrieved from the carpet and draped over a chair when she distinctly remembered letting it fall to the floor as she led him to her bed. Pale light filled the elegant and empty room. She shivered. Not from chill, but from some inner reason.

Still weary and hollow of heart, she rose to her feet, stretching her bare body like a cat, high and long. Her hair floated around her in an unruly cloud of white, her usually sleek style defeated by the humidity. She ran her hands through it impatiently then caught up her robe. Belting the smooth, cool silk tightly about her, she stepped out onto the balcony again, her gaze traveling to the rose and pale gold of the early morning sky. Unidentified birds wheeled high above and she was momentarily tempted to join them. A breeze stirred at the thought and she lifted her arms toward the open air.

"Woman flying draws attention, mon amie," his voice said from behind her.

She turned in surprise to find him not gone at all, but instead draped across a lounge chair in the shadowy far corner of the balcony, his red silk shirt hanging open off his shoulders to reveal his chest, the black jeans riding low on slim hips. He was watching her from under tumbled bangs. From even this distance she could see that his eyes looked a little less haunted, a little less weary.

"Did you sleep well?" she asked quietly. He lifted a long hand to brush the hair back from his eyes, leaning his forehead on his fingers when he was done. The small signs of physical exhaustion may have disappeared, but he still seemed weary, like a warrior angel who had endured too much.

"Slept like a bebe," he shrugged lightly, watching her carefully. He was more relaxed in some ways and subtly tense in others. She crossed her arms over her chest and met his gaze calmly.

"I am glad."

"Don' look like you slept so well, mon amie," he said, concern crossing his face.

"I rested."

They stared searchingly at each other for a long moment, each looking for something, perhaps the answer to a question left unspoken in the night. Their usual ease was gone. A change brought about in the darkness while she protected his sleep with her own heart. Her one-time savior. Her teammate. Her friend. Now, maybe, none of those and all. His eyes glowed like embers in the shadows, hot and unrevealing. Her eyes were pools of blue, reflecting only the sky. Finally she lifted her chin, turned away, and moved slowly toward the railing, her thoughts uncharacteristically scattered so that she felt drawn to the elements that she could understand. The wind and sky. The morning was warming quickly. She could feel the energy of the sun building in the air, over the sea. There would be a thunderstorm here later in the day.

"What will you do now, Remy?" she asked quietly, her eyes slipping closed. Her heart was thundering in her chest. Why? She knew why. Fear. But her manner was calm, her posture relaxed. Simply the Goddess contemplating the dawn.

"You asked me t' come back wit' you." Her eyes opened again at his words, to see the last fragile colors of dawn fade away into the harsh blue of full day. Like hope fading before reality.

"I did indeed, my friend."

Silence fell, taut and perilous. Something other than the potential for lightning stirred in the air. She heard him move, stand, and knew she heard him only because he made the noises deliberately. Her back stiffened. She didn't turn, staring blindly out at the awakening city far below, aware of him as never before. She could so easily imagine his approach, using knowledge gleaned from surreptitiously watching him over the years; the acrobatic grace of his movements, the easy flex of his limbs, the heavy sway of his deep auburn hair.

He stopped just behind her. Close. So close that if she took half a step back, she would touch that lean chest. Her breath froze for an instant in her throat, contemplating taking that step. But she forced herself to take a steady breath instead; not too deep, nor too shallow. Normal.

"Den I will."

Something brushed lightly through the hair near her shoulder but she didn't turn. Not a breeze. She would know if it was a breeze. His hand? Her pulse roared in her ears despite her attempts at control. Could he hear it? she wondered for a wild instant.

"I'm ready t' go back now," he said, his voice the lazy, sultry murmur that she had heard him use before. But always on others. "Wit' you."

"Very well," she said, pleased that her voice was calm, her tone remote. "When Kitty awakens, we will all return to Westchester."

"D'accord." They were both behaving oddly, she knew, yet she was helpless to alter her mood. He stood behind her for an agonizing eternity; silent, watchful, waiting. She faced the sky, knowing it, understanding it's ways and needs far better than her own in that moment. Finally he moved away, again making just enough noise so she could track his motions. He paused in the open double doors.

"Merci, Ororo," he said, his voice heavy with emotion. "Las' night was da kindest t'ing anyone ever done f'r me. I won' forget."

He left the suite as silently as he had entered it the night before, only letting the door latch closed behind him with an audible click for her benefit. She stood frozen on the balcony for several more seconds, her heart pounding, her breath shortening to near sobs. Then she dropped her hands to the railing before her, leaning over it numbly as a wave of dizziness passed over her. Terror. Black, shaking terror. She bit her lip and stifled a cry of despair.

What would she do? One night had changed her forever, changed them forever. Her friend. He knew, somehow. How could she lead him? Live with him? Yet continue on as if nothing had happened? But had anything happened? No words had been exchanged, only the pulsing awareness. There was still so much to resolve, to understand - for them both. And he wasn't done with Rogue yet, no matter his words of the previous night. High above her the air chilled in response to her distress, drawing moisture from the humid air, gathering clouds that began to obscure the morning sun.

Only when the light faded did she look up, broken from her painful introspection by larger concerns. The incipient storm was now building rapidly, triggered by her inadvertent low pressure zone of trauma. A few drops of rain splattered against her upturned face, her chest as she raised her hands high, her mental confusion easing as she concentrated on calming the weather. Rain, not tears.

And gratifyingly, the sky responded to her commands and the brewing storm faded away. But not so easily dispelled was the turmoil in her heart.


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