Title: Passion Has Red Lips
Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...
Summary: "Remy sent me."
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of fan-
written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool.
Feedback: Rings my chimes
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete/Melissa, Dot, and Meg. And to DD, who forced me to
rethink some things. Inspired by the "David sent me" scene in Sabrina. Title
gacked from the Fandom Nation Fast, Loose and Lovely Challenge, which can be
found here: http://www.fandomnation.com/fastloose.html
Date: February 3, 2003
Passion Has Red Lips
Rogue nervously smoothed down the skirt of her dress. It was a daring dress,
and she was still surprised she'd agreed to wear it when Jean picked it out.
Of dark green silk, it was a slim, sleeveless sheath that ended a couple of
inches above her knees. She wore black velvet pumps and the sheerest pair of
stockings (with black lace garters) she could find.
Searching through her makeup case, she took out and opened a new tube of
lipstick. "Passion," she murmured, before applying it. She hoped the name was a
good omen. It was red, rich and full and soft as roses, and along with the
black kohl lining her eyes, it changed her face dramatically. Her hair hung
loose down her back, wild, wanton, yet also a curtain she could hide behind if
She looked smoky -- seductive -- and it was good.
She fixed her bra again, admiring her cleavage in the mirror, and pulled on the
matching green silk opera gloves.
She'd spent most of her four years at the mansion avoiding Xavier's fundraising
galas, hiding up in her room or down in the gym while everyone else dressed up
and played host to the cr�me de la cr�me of New York society.
At first, it had been too overwhelming to deal with crowds when the slightest
careless move could cause so much damage. And then it had hurt too much when
Logan came back and had eyes only for Jean.
They'd both since found other obsessions, but she'd never quite gotten over
him, to be truthful; had never quite gotten over the fact that he saw her as a
child, and she'd let that perception shape her actions for a long time. But it
was time to be an adult. A woman. A woman who was going to make an effort to
get what she wanted.
And what she wanted was Remy LeBeau.
They'd flirted on and off in the year since he'd come to the mansion, but it
was clear to her that he was a ladies' man, a womanizer, and that he only
wanted her because she was untouchable. He'd worked to convince her otherwise,
and little by little, she'd fallen under his spell. It was thoroughly
intoxicating to be wanted so much, and she, who had never felt wanted, found
such single-minded pursuit hard to resist. One day she woke up and knew she had
to have him, would do anything to be with him, because it might be her only
shot at being wanted, being loved. That day, she decided to seek him out and
tell him yes.
Unfortunately, that day he was gone on a mission, leaving her to wait
impatiently with her newfound resolve.
Three days later, he and Storm had returned and were seemingly inseparable.
Storm dismissed the idea that they were anything more than good friends, but
Rogue wasn't quite sure she believed that. All her doubts about the whole thing
came flooding back, and she wondered if, once again, she had built up a
flirtatious friendship into a fantasy romance. Remy continued to be attentive
to her, but her belief in her feelings (and his) was weakened by the way he
seemed to flit between her and Ororo.
She was sure, however, that if she did nothing and let opportunity pass her by
yet again, she wouldn't be able to live with herself. So she pushed her
reservations aside and decided that, for once, she would be the hunter, rather
than the prey, waiting and hoping and so often doomed to nothing but waiting
Hence, a quick conference with Jean, an amazingly expensive dress, and what she
told herself was one magical night, one last shot at love.
If he rejected her in favor of Storm, at least it wouldn't be because she was
too scared to take a risk.
She pushed away the thought of Logan's reaction to her dress. Best not to think
of things that could never be, she told herself. Focus on reality, not fantasy.
Remy was interested; Logan was not. It had been a hard-learned lesson, and one
she wasn't going to forget now.
With one last look in the mirror, she deemed herself ready, took a deep breath,
and headed downstairs.
Logan was dancing with Jean when Rogue entered the ballroom.
His eyes almost popped out of their sockets; his blood raced with desire as he
tracked her progress across the room.
Jean laughed at the look on his face. "You act like you've never seen a girl
before," she teased.
"Not one like that," he answered without thought.
"What are you going to do about it?"
He shrugged one shoulder and swung Jean around so he didn't have to watch all
the men in the room gawk at Rogue.
Jean shook her head. "That doesn't sound like the Logan I know."
"I had my chance, Red. I screwed it up. I was too busy --" he stopped. The
words "chasing you" remained unsaid, but they both knew exactly what he meant.
"That's past, Logan. She knows that as well as you and I do. If you told her
how you feel--"
"No," he snapped. "She wants the Cajun. And she deserves to get what she wants,
whatever it is. I don't want to fuck it up for her again."
"And if Remy is in love with Ororo?"
Logan growled low, but said nothing.
He remembered how Rogue used to look at him, hope and love in her eyes, waiting
for him to pay attention. Those looks were directed at Remy now. If the Cajun
didn't understand what he had, what he *could* have, he was stupid. And Logan
knew how stupid you had to be to go chasing after the impossible when you had
love right in front of you. He kicked himself daily over his own idiocy, his
unwillingness to face reality and instead cling to fantasy.
Fantasy kept you from getting your heart broken; it meant you could play the
distraught lover and never let anyone else close, but it was just that -- play.
When he'd finally gotten his head out of his ass long enough to realize he
loved Marie, and not in a brotherly or friendly way, it had been too late.
She'd given up on what she'd thought was a fantasy, and begun pursuing reality.
He wished she hadn't made that transition before he�d come to his senses, but
then he thought that maybe, just as Jean had been his fantasy, he had been
Marie's, and wasn't it better for her to be with someone she really loved, than
with him, the object of an adolescent crush?
"Logan?� Jean said, breaking into his thoughts. "Logan, the Professor is
looking for you."
"I was a million miles away, Jeannie. I'm sorry."
"More like four feet," Jean muttered, glancing over at Rogue, who was laughing
at something Remy had said while he twirled her around the floor.
Logan hesitated a moment at that remark, then released her and made his way
across the dance floor to where Professor Xavier was holding court.
"Rogue, ma petite, you look stunning tonight," Remy whispered, the feel of his
warm breath on her ear sending shivers down her spine.
"A man dreams of holding a woman like you in his arms. I'm lucky that for me,
the dream has come true."
She smiled but said nothing, deciding that silence in the face of such
extravagant compliments seemed more sophisticated than gushing like a
schoolgirl. She wondered vaguely why her knees hadn't gone weak at his sweet
The song ended and he let go of her slowly, his hands lingering on her
waist. "I must go dance with the donors, now, chere, but promise you will meet
me in the orangerie at midnight."
"I will," she whispered.
"You make me so happy, Rogue." He pressed a fervent kiss to her gloved palm and
walked away, offering his arm to a blue-haired matron in an overly frilly pink
gown, as the orchestra began the next number.
Logan heard her agree to meet Remy at midnight, and watched as the Cajun kissed
her hand and walked away, his heart aching in his chest.
He spent the next two hours orbiting Rogue, never getting close enough to have
to dance with her, but never far enough away that he couldn't see the
expression on her face, smell the perfume of her hair, even among so many
She was dancing with the Mayor when he went to get another drink.
"Scotch, neat," he told the bartender.
He leaned against the bar and closed his eyes. Snatches of conversation reached
him; he automatically sifted out the ones that were of no interest and filed
away little tidbits that might come in handy later on.
Then his attention was caught by Ororo�s voice. "Remy, I realize that this is
not perhaps the ideal time or place, but-- I am in love with you."
Logan felt his ears perk up. He scanned the room, and found Remy and Ororo
huddled close, partially hidden by one of the potted palm trees Xavier had
brought in as decoration. They probably thought they were safe from being
overheard amidst the music and crowd noise.
"I need to know if you feel the same, or if you are in love with Rogue," Ororo
continued. "I see how you watch her, how you are with her. And I will walk away
if you tell me you love her. But I can�t keep silent any longer. If there�s
even a chance that you could love me--"
"I, I can't deny I have feelings for Rogue," Remy said, reaching out to cup
Ororo's cheek. "But they're nothing compared to how I feel for you, 'Roro. If I
thought *I* had a chance--."
Ororo leaned forward and stopped Remy�s mouth with a kiss.
Logan felt his knuckles itch at Remy�s callous disregard for Rogue. But Ororo
had a point, one that he hadn�t wanted to acknowledge.
Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he ought to take a chance.
As he eavesdropped on them without a qualm, from the corner of his eye, Logan
saw a flash of green heading for the French doors -- Rogue on her way to her
Remy was still wrapped up in Ororo's arms, and it didn�t look like they�d be
separating any time soon. He was obviously not watching the clock, nor was he
going to meet Rogue.
Which was simply unacceptable.
Logan hated the idea that she�d be out in the conservatory alone, waiting for
the dumbass Cajun, who was never going to show.
Logan set his glass on the bar and said, "Give me a bottle of Dom Perignon and
two glasses." The bartender complied silently, used to Logan's requests after
years of working the Xavier galas. Logan started to walk away, then turned and
said, "See that couple in the corner?" He jerked his chin at Remy and Ororo.
The bartender nodded. "Have a bottle of champagne and two glasses brought to
them, as well."
He waited for the champagne to be delivered to the pair in the corner as
midnight drew near. Ororo was surprised and began questioning the waiter, but
Remy looked right at him.
The clock struck midnight.
Logan made a show of looking at his watch and raising an eyebrow. Remy grinned
back, and inclined his head in thanks. Logan scowled at him, but Remy didn�t
look abashed. He looked pleased. 'And well he might,' Logan thought. 'I'm
pulling his ass out of the fire, and he's getting what he wants.'
Logan tried not to think about getting what *he* wanted. He wasn't sure it was
possible. But despite his earlier words to Jean, he figured he might try and
find out. After all, he couldn't live with himself if Ororo turned out to be
ballsier than he was. He'd always gone after what he wanted, and the reward in
this case would be well worth the risk.
He couldn't think about it anymore. He had to know how Rogue felt, and if she
really was in love with Remy, well, he could always give her a shoulder to cry
He waited until Remy and Ororo snuck off together, then made his way to the
French doors leading to the gardens.
He felt a sort of grim satisfaction at how events had shaken out, which warred
with the desire to follow Remy and demand he do right by Rogue, pain that she
would be hurt by the Cajun's defection, and selfish glee that now she might be
more open to his own advances.
He tamped down that last thought and walked to the orangerie, bottle and
glasses in hand.
Rogue was already there when he arrived, the green of her gown almost hiding
her amidst jungle blooming in the hothouse.
He caught his breath at the way she looked, the white of her hair and ivory of
her skin silvered by the moonlight, giving her an incandescence he found almost
irresistible. Her gown clung to every curve, and he felt his groin tighten in
response. In the moonlight, the green silk looked black, and it moved with her,
the soft sound of it wisping against her body heightening his desire to feel it
under his fingers.
She leaned over to sniff carefully at a rose.
"Hey," he said.
She jumped. "You're not Remy."
He grimaced. "No. He, uh, he got stuck talking to one of the guests." Not
exactly a lie. "He sent me to keep you company." He put the glasses down on a
table and set about opening the bottle of champagne.
She seemed to float above the ground as she walked over, and he feasted his
eyes on her -- the long, toned perfection of her legs, the soft fullness of her
breasts, and the sweet curve of her hips.
He wanted to lick the spot behind her knee, inhale her scent as it changed from
surprise to arousal, feel that full-lipped mouth against his, sink into her
warmth, and hear her call his name when she came.
He growled softly as he fumbled with the cork in the champagne bottle, feeling
like a moonstruck teenager. His hand trembled as she laid hers over it. All the
blood in his body went south, and he felt lightheaded with desire.
"Logan, what's wrong?" He raised an eyebrow in question, and she
continued, "You seem upset." He shrugged, trying to get his brain working
again. "I'm sorry you had to leave the party."
He snorted. "You know I hate these shindigs, kid." He winced internally at
the 'kid', but it couldn't be taken back.
She didn't seem to notice. "I know you hate them, but you were dancing with
Jean, and you don't get to do that often, and--"
'Well, shit. She really thinks I'm still hung up on Jean.' "Nah, kid. I mean,
yeah, that's nice but," he hesitated, and then decided, 'What the hell.' "I'd
rather be out here with you."
Her mouth opened in a soundless, "Oh." She seemed to realize her hand was still
covering his, and she pulled it away. He missed the warm feel of silk against
his skin, even in the heat of the orangerie.
Without her touch distracting him, though, he was easily able to pop the cork.
She startled at the sound, then began giggling.
"You're actually going to let me drink?" she asked with a smile.
"Your birthday's in a week. I think it'll be all right," he said, pouring two
glasses of champagne. He handed one to her and lifted the other.
"What shall we drink to?" she asked.
Random quotes ran through his head, 'Drink to me with thine eyes' and 'Kiss me
with your mouth, your love is better than wine.' He said nothing, staring into
her eyes, which glittered in the bright light of the moon.
"Logan?" She shifted nervously, breaking the moment.
"Uh--" 'Think, bub.' "To us," he said finally, annoyed at his own lameness.
Her smile fled; her expression became closed off, wary. "Us?"
"You and me," he explained.
She laughed, a brittle sound that felt like shards of glass piercing his ears,
his heart. "Remy's gone off with Ororo, hasn't he." It wasn't a question.
"I'm sorry, kid, but yeah."
"And he sent you out here to, what? Pick up the pieces?"
He watched her put it together. "You saw them and-- God, Logan, I'm not a
little girl anymore. You don't have to --"
"I know how old you are."
Despite his earlier words to Jean, every instinct he had was telling him to
kiss her, love her, find out if she loved him. And he'd survived a very long
time by following his instincts. He wasn't going to stop now, not when it was
something so important. Maybe he'd been wrong in thinking she was over him; if
he took a chance, at least he'd have an answer. Doing nothing seemed more
foolish than acting. He had only to look at Ororo's example to see how well it
could work out. If he didn't at least try, he'd never know. And he no longer
believed he could live with that.
He put the glass down so he could reach out and cup her face, shielding himself
with her hair. She stiffened. "Logan, it's not safe."
"No," he whispered, leaning in, "it's not." He brushed his lips against hers,
the heavy red lipstick protecting them both from her skin.
She dropped her glass; it shattered on the flagstones, but neither of them
He couldn't quite taste her lips, but he inhaled her breath, and that was good
She closed her eyes, dark lashes thrown into sharp relief against the pale
radiance of her deadly skin.
"What are you saying?" Their mouths were so close he could feel her speak.
"It's not safe, and it's not a fantasy. It's real and it hurts. But it's yours.
If you want it."
"It?" she pressed, opening her eyes, searching his.
He felt a flicker of fear. Because it *was* real; he never made himself
vulnerable to people, but she could hurt him with the smallest of words now if
she rejected him, and he'd have to live with that.
"Us?" A teasing note crept into her voice and he felt just a bit better. A
He feathered his lips over hers again. "Yeah."
She reached up and grasped his hand. "This is kind of sudden," she said. He
knew she was uncertain, disbelieving. He couldn't blame her.
"Yeah. But not really." She was still holding his hand; he brought it to his
lips, feeling her sharp intake of breath when he then rubbed his cheek against
it, the silk catching on his whiskers.
She withdrew; he could feel it, though she hadn't actually moved.
"I don't get it. Why now?" Still wary, still feeling him out.
"You're an adult now."
She cocked her head, furrowed her brow. "So you were waiting for me to grow up?
Because that's a little--" She wrinkled her nose.
"No! Well, not exactly." With his free hand, he ran a finger down the white
streak in her hair. "I, you -- Neither of us was ready." He shifted,
uncomfortable. "And I was a moron."
Her mouth curled in a half-grin. "Well, that last part I agree with."
Which meant he had to kiss her again, this time with a little more intensity.
She opened her mouth, allowing him to touch her tongue with his, and then she
"Careful," she said, and he found himself grinning at her breathlessness, and
the way her body responded to him.
He waited, the moment stretched into eternity -- Rogue, gilded by moonlight,
eyes heavy-lidded, lips red and bee-stung, making her choice. He hoped he
hadn't misplayed his hand, or that her feelings for Remy had been deeper, that
she'd been in love as he'd originally thought.
She took his glass from the table, then. "To us." She sipped the champagne,
leaving a half-moon of red lipstick on the rim of the glass.
"To us," he echoed, turning the flute so he could drink from the spot her lips
He pulled her back into his arms then, content to feel her body pressed against
his, and dropped kisses on her hair.
After a time that felt much too short to him, he put his arm around her and led
her back toward the house. They saw Remy and Ororo in the rose arbor, entwined
in a passionate kiss. Rogue glanced over, tensed, and looked away; he felt the
shadowy fingers of doubt clutch at his heart.
Back inside the house, they passed a mirror, and he noticed he was now wearing
some of her lipstick. He stopped, and she followed his gaze.
"Passion," she said. "It's a good color on you." He laughed, and wiped his
mouth on the back of his hand as she continued, "Though I have to warn you,
kissing me better be the only way you end up wearing it."
"I can live with that," he said, but he hesitated to make the same claim on
her. He thought her reaction, or lack of one, to Remy in the garden, and again,
doubt assailed him.
He pressed another kiss on her hair, his hand lingering at her waist as they
crossed the ballroom. Some of the stiffness left her body and she relaxed into
him. They stood and watched the dancers for a few moments. Jean smirked at him
from Scott�s arms, and he shrugged a shoulder. He�d seen a chance and taken it.
Her advice had had nothing to do with it, and he�d tell her so tomorrow.
Remy and Ororo entered the room, and Rogue turned in his arms. "I'm kind of
tired," she said, laying her head down on his chest.
"Want me to carry you up?"
That won him a grin. "I'd love it, but this dress isn't exactly made for it."
"Not up for putting on a show, then?"
She laughed. "Not exactly." She hitched the skirt a little and he had to catch
his breath at the sight of her pale skin banded with black lace garters.
His throat was tight as he said, "No, you're right. Don't want to share that
with the world." She blushed scarlet, which pleased him, and he could feel a
low growl of satisfaction rumbling in his chest. "Let me walk you home."
She smiled outright at that, and he knew it was the right thing to say.
Obviously, they were going to take this slow. And he was okay with that. After
all, at the beginning of the evening, she'd been in love with Remy. Or she
thought she had.
What if she still was?
What if she was settling?
He didn't want her to settle. He was quite willing to be second choice in this,
something that, an hour ago, he would have denied, but if he wasn�t what *she*
wanted, that was a problem.
They walked slowly through the foyer and up the stairs, and by the time they
reached the second floor landing, he knew he wasn�t going to be able to sleep
tonight if he didn�t get a straight answer about her feelings.
At her door, he turned to her and asked, "Do you love him?"
She shrugged one shoulder, which did interesting things to her cleavage. "He
wanted me," she answered simply. "I care about him."
He forced himself to remain calm. "And?"
She looked him in the eye, laid a hand on his arm. "And you didn't."
"And now?" he pressed.
"He wants Ororo. And I want you."
He pulled her into his arms, disregarding her exposed skin, and growled. "Good,
because I want you, too." He tested the words, weighed them in his mind before
repeating them. "I want you, too." And then, "I love you."
Which caused her to squeeze him so tight that he thought she might actually
break one of his metal-armored ribs.
He kissed her again, carefully, surprised at how well the night had worked out.
With the taste of her in his mouth, and her lipstick staining his lips, he went
to bed, pleased.
Rogue shut the door behind her and took a deep breath.
She looked in the mirror. She was the same girl -- woman -- she'd been five
hours ago, when she'd last stood in this room. And yet, everything was
She'd taken a risk tonight -- both of them had -- and had been rewarded.
She put a hand to her lips, still tingling from Logan's kisses, and started
laughing. She didn't stop until she was bent almost double, clutching her
stomach, and gasping for air.
"He loves me," she whispered, hugging herself. It was so amazing that she
almost didn't believe it. She was awed by the fact that he'd been willing to
take a chance on her, to make himself vulnerable to her, and she vowed she'd
try to always respect and live up to that bravery. Because while things hadn't
gone the way she'd anticipated, they'd turned out so much better than expected.
She leaned forward and kissed the mirror, leaving it smudged with lipstick.
"Passion," she said, "is definitely my lucky color."
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