New Things

by Lara Wilson

Crouching next to the fire, Rogue turned the spit and watched the meat spin slowly, listening to the sizzle as the fat dripped onto the hot coals. Sweat slid down between her breasts and beaded along her brow. It was too hot for a fire, but they had to eat, and there was only so much fruit a person could stand.

As she and the hunk of meat roasted, her mind drifted to more familiar weather for the season-- cold, brisk winds, snowflakes melting on flushed skin, ice beneath the feet.

"Happy New Years," she muttered to herself and rose to her feet, arching her back and hearing it pop.

Her companion melted out of the trees, looking as always, cool and alert. His armor had to be hot, but he never seemed to break a sweat.

As the sun beat down on her and the fire burned up at her, she greatly resented that.

"Well?"

Magnus regarded her cooly then picked up a leather pouch of water and drank before answering her. "No sign of anyone. We should be safe here for the night."

They'd been in the Savage Land for nearly two months now, hooked up with Kazar and Shanna, fighting against Zaladane and her forces. So far everything had been scouting missions and short, guerilla style battles, but things were escalating.

And Rogue still had none of her powers, which frustrated her, mostly because it proved that she'd too long relied on Ms. Marvel's strength and power. Her fighting skills, despite training for years with Logan, were sadly lacking. Magnus was little help there--he was all blunt force, with little skill. It worked for him, and she did like to watch him in action.

More and more she just liked to watch him.

Catching him looking at her, she blushed at her thoughts and bent back down to turn the spit again.

"Happy New Year, Rogue," he said softly as he came up behind her, his voice sending a shiver down her spine.

"You remembered."

"We managed to miss every other holiday the last few months, but, yes." The combination of amusement and melancholy in his voice caused her to turn and she found him standing close, his blue eyes on her.

She blushed deeper. They'd been playing a cat and mouse game for nearly their entire time here, and she'd never quite been sure who was the cat and who was the mouse.

And this was madness anyway. She was young, barely been kissed, awkward with touching. He was sophisticated, experienced, and a sometimes bad guy.

Of course, she'd been bad once, too...

"It doesn't feel like a new year," she said, sidestepping him out of their shared space.

Magnus followed her and she gave him a startled look. "It does to me." His hand came up, gently cupped her cheek, and she sank into that touch--skin on skin--with a sigh. "We've been dancing around this for two months, Rogue. It's the perfect time to try something new."

"Magnus," Rogue breathed, something clenching in her stomach, heat rising from within as well as from without, and she looked up at his handsome face.

Her eyes widened. There were beads of sweat on his forehead. She grinned and stepped forward, bringing their bodies together, and her own bare hand found his face. He gave her a startled look, and their eyes met and held, and then they both closed them and kissed.

And it was a good time to try something new.

End

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