Exercise Ch. 05


The man crept down to the kitchen. 3 a.m. No one else around. He bent down to check on the appliance, then pulled it a way from the wall and began his work, chuckling. No one got the better of him and got away with it.

Another man watched him, lazily leaning against the counter. "Success?"

"Oh, yeah." He rose and pushed the appliance back into place. "They're gonna be sorry. You do your part?"

The man nodded and grinned at him. "You said it, partner."


"They are going to be sorry. Very sorry indeed."


Friday dawned as it usually did, the chirping of birds heralding the day, the light spreading over the rooftops, and the sounds of the few joggers outside running their courses. It also brought the new duty roster, which had a new chore for people to do this fine warm day.


The shriek was audible to all but the most stubborn sleepers.

"Jubilee, calm down. It's not so bad." Jean hummed as she looked at the roster. She and Scott had laundry to do today, and she was sure she could persuade him to lock the door once they were in the laundry room and ...

"NOT SO BAD?" The teenager clutched her face dramatically. "What happened to the dishwasher?"

Jean choked back a laugh with some effort. "Somehow, the pipes got frozen solid overnight. They burst wide open. It should take a few days to fix."


The girl ran off and Jean started laughing. Amazing how Rogue and Remy ended up with dishwashing duty after dinner today, and Saturday, and Sunday ... almost as if someone knew how to hack into the Professor's computer.

But of course, no one did.


He didn't have to go down to hear about his work duties today. The men's wing was buzzing, especially after Jubilee spent twenty loud minutes trying to get Bobby to confess to wrecking the dishwasher.

"But it's SUMMER! There's like no way it could have happened on its own."

Make that twenty-five.

He didn't mind. It would put off his date a little, sure, but that just meant he got to whet her appetite some beforehand. Now, which shorts should he wear?


Rogue stretched as she awoke to some faint shouting coming from somewhere, her tired body aching from the multiple Danger Room sessions she'd gone through yesterday. But she hadn't had any more embarrassing dreams, she thought, pleased.

Then she felt the cold, slick, wet spot under her left thigh as she sat up and the light scent of salt confirmed it.

Damn the man.

She rose a few feet off her bed, then alighted by her dresser. She'd try something less conspicuous today, though she didn't know why she bothered. Everyone seemed to know what she and Remy were up to. She'd heard whispers in the halls. Jubilee was stalking her to find out details. And Beast had taken her aside last night at dinner to murmur, "You know, Rogue, should the Cajun not come up to your high standards, there are others here who love you, and would be glad to relieve your tension." He waggled his eyebrows comically, but his tone had been at least half-serious. She had blushed and kindly rejected his offer, but that had triggered yet another Danger Room session.

She let out a small cry of distress as she heard the knock at her door. She didn't want to have to deal with Jubilee right now. She walked to the door, bra in hand, and opened it. Kitty Pryde stood there, smiling.

"You'll never guess what you're doing tonight."

She sighed. "Where's he taking me, a strip club?"

Kitty cocked her head, confused, then shrugged. "I don't know where he's taking you on your date. But before it, you're washing the dishes together. Dishwasher's broken."

Remy. Water. She closed her eyes.

"Hello? Earth to Rogue?" Kitty snapped her fingers below Rogue's nose. Her green eyes flew open, staring into Kitty's hazel ones, which gleamed with mischief. "We gotta plan what you're gonna do to get him."

"We do?"

Kitty grinned. "You've been doing pretty good so far, but I thought you might like some help."

"Really?" She crossed her arms and leaned back against the door frame, then leaned forward as Kitty spoke. She nodded, slowly, and her own evil grin spread wider as the woman finished. "Mm. Sounds like a plan."


The kitchen sink was set up with two metal tubs, faucets for hot and cold water, a supply of soap, dishrags, scrubbers, and a dish drainer. That wasn't what Remy was interested in, though. He was interested in the attachment spray head, connected by a flexible tube, that could be used instead of the faucets. He turned on the water and gave it a few experimental spritzes, noticing the maximum range that the spray head could send the drops. He smiled. Chere was going to get the surprise of her life.


"Oh, go on. You look perfect."

"I look silly." Rogue bit her lip to keep from laughing at her reflection in the full-length mirror. She wore an old white T-shirt of Kitty's only due to her friend's phasing power. It barely came down past her rib cage and the ends of the sleeves flapped at the top of her shoulders. She wore nothing underneath, as was obvious. "This thing's gonna split."

"Not before we want it to." Kitty's voice held laughter as Rogue turned, finger raised.

"Laugh once, just once, and I change." The white shorts were no better. An old pair once bought for Jubilee, they were straining over her hips and rear, doing nothing to give any sort of modesty to her lower half. Brown sandals completed her outfit. "I look like a cheap whore." Her hair was up in a ponytail with curls framing her face. She had to admit she liked the style.

"So you don't believe me, huh? Hm. Okay. Let's try and find a guy."

"No!" Rogue stood in front of the door.

"Come on. He'd think you looked great if you wore a potato sack right now anyway." Kitty plopped down on her bed. "Besides, you can't see what that outfit does for your butt."

"Kitty!" She blushed deep down.

"Trust me. It's just fine. Just imagine what it'll do to him, seeing you like this."

Her lips pulled together and her eyes regained some of their sparkle. "I'll win for sure, won't I?"

"My money's on you."

She paused as she turned to go. "How're the bets goin' so far?"

"Hmmmm." Kitty pulled out a small blue notebook from her desk and glanced through it. "So far, we have a dead heat. Five people think Remy'll pull it off, five bets that you'll have him under you first, one bet that both of you will give in to someone else ..."

She gasped. "Who did that?"

Kitty primly sat up and crossed her legs. "I'm not telling. And one bet that you'll end up knocking everyone unconscious before it all ends."

"Really." She thought about it for a second. "How long do y'all think we'll hold out?"

Kitty looked at the notebook and turned a page. "So far, we had two people say you wouldn't last 24 hours. Four went for three days. Two for five. The other four bet you both can hold out a week, but no more."

She sighed. "Well. Let's see who's right, and who's wrong, after the sun rises tomorrow morning."


Jubilee flounced angrily out of Bobby's room into the hallway. She hadn't gotten him to admit anything, but she just couldn't take being with him any more. "Hey, Jubes, wait!" Bobby was hastily pulling on his shirt, following her.

"Why should I?" She confronted him pugnaciously. "You're being a real jerk, Bobby."

"Hey, look." He smiled down at her. "I'm sorry. Besides ..." His voice broke off.

Piotr Rasputin stood stolidly outside Kurt's door, hand raised as if to knock. His head was cocked to the right, listening. Now that Jubilee had stopped shouting, she heard something. A creaking noise.

She and Bobby, moving almost as one, walked down the hall and took up positions near the large Russian. "Gott im Himmel ..." came from the room beyond in a strained female voice.

Piotr's impassive eyes looked down at them. "I did not know anyone else knew German here."

Jubilee's eyes opened wide. "Wow. Who's he with?" she hissed urgently.

"I cannot tell." He paused. "She seems quite passionate, though."

The three X-men hushed as a deep growl came to their ears. " ... is it not, Liebchen?" That was Kurt, no doubt.

A pause, then a cry. "Oh, yes! Kurt!" The creaking increased. Jubilee frowned.

"Who is it?"

Logan stalked up to their group. He raised an eyebrow and inhaled deeply. His expression changed to a hybrid of amusement and shock. "Mm. Frost." He shrugged and walked on by.

The men stared after him, while Jubilee's mouth dropped wide open. "That bitch? Oh my GOD!"

The noises, both inside and outside Kurt's room, stopped entirely, and two pairs of eyes turned to focus on the teenager, who squirmed under their regard. "Um ... bye?" She turned and fled, with Bobby on her tail. "No way. You're not getting away that easily!"

The door opened. A tousled and sweaty indigo face peered out and spied Piotr. The Russian swallowed and raised a hand weakly. "Erm. I was ... I was ... dasvidanya!" He marched down the hall away from Kurt's door as a low female chuckle came from inside. **************************************************

Rogue panted as she closed her bedroom door, ready to scream because of Remy. The past night had nearly killed her. Even his voice alone could drive her to distraction. Oh, sure, for the past few days she'd been able to laugh things off. Well, mostly. There were a few things that stuck with her, like his note during their morning briefing on Wednesday about how he'd like to take her down to the old blue couch in the den and bend her over the side and slide into her. Some very hot dreams. That time in the bathroom. And, of course, those wonderful pictures.

She wanted to frame the full size poster of him. She wasn't sure where to put it, but ...

She shook it off. She had to concentrate on something other than him. It wasn't easy, though.

She already was finding it hard to concentrate on work and classes. The men in general seemed far more ... attractive than they usually were. While she knew in her mind and heart that she didn't want to be with anyone but Remy, there were a few men here that she kept staring at, men she'd already been attracted to before he came. She found herself idly staring at Logan's butt during Danger Room practices, checking out Jamie's crotch in the hall, and even having to leave Piotr's weight training session because she was paying more attention to his muscles than the weights.

Of course, Rogue had to laugh about the things she'd put Remy through, too. When they had dishwashing duty earlier tonight, for example, Kitty's old thin white T-shirt just happened to get wet by accident on purpose, and it just happened that it wasn't very strong and split apart while he watched, hungry eyes alight with desire. She hadn't planned to slip on the suds on the floor, either, but ending up spread-eagled on her butt was as good as if she'd planned it from the lusty look on his face and the large tent in his pants.

The date afterward, though, made her unsure she could take any more for this week, much less for the three they'd agreed on. He'd taken her to one of their favorite haunts, a restaurant with live jazz on Friday nights. He'd taken her up to dance while his voice whispered in her ears, his hands dancing close enough to her body that she could feel his body heat. She was ready to collapse. The problem was that while she wanted it all to end, wanted to bury him inside her body, she wanted to have him at her mercy.

She wanted to win.

Her mind flickered over possibilities as she sat on her bed, then seized on one. She rose, purpose in her eyes, and strode out of her room swiftly.


"Are you certain this will work?" Forge looked at Rogue blandly.

"It has to. It will."

"And you are also certain you can get him out of the way all day tomorrow."

Rogue smiled. "I have a friend who kinda owes me. Yeah. I can make sure he's not here."

Forge nodded. "I will help you, then."


Hank McCoy, working late in his lab, heard a knock at his door and called, cheerily, "Come in, come in!" He did not take his attention from the test tubes in front of him, but sniffed the air and added, "What is it that you require, Rogue?"

She stopped moving. "You did it before. You're going to do it again."

He cocked his head. "I believe you are being far too cryptic. If you could be more precise, I would appreciate it."

She walked up behind him. "You're going to change Remy's duty assignment for tomorrow to something that'll keep him out of town till Sunday morning."

He did turn to give her an innocent, almost overly innocent, stare. "I? What makes you think I am capable of such a ..."

She interrupted him. "Hank, everybody knows you and Bobby usually pull your little pranks together. When he downed the dishwasher, you put Remy and me together for dishwashing. Now it's time to pay for it."

His big blue eyes remained on hers, unwavering, though his face became still and wary. "Should I grant your request, what will be the likely result?"

She grinned. "According to Kitty, I'll be making two X-men very, very happy. Other than me and Remy."

Hank was obviously a little embarrassed, but he bowed his head. "I shall make all proper arrangements. Is there anything else you require?"

"Nope, that's about it." She left the room, taking her tangy scent of desire with her, and Hank put his head in his large hands for a few minutes before pulling out his laptop and hacking into the Professor's computer again.


Remy was awakened from a very enticing and explicit dream involving Rogue, whipped cream, and the scent of sandalwood by a loud knock on his bedroom door. "Come, Gambit. We have work to do."

He groaned. Waking up early on a Saturday, after a long sexy night when he sensed Rogue's resistance crumbling, to Piotr Rasputin, was about the worst way to arise that he could think of. He reluctantly pulled on some clothing and opened his door.

The tall Russian man was excited, gripping his hand as he tentatively poked his head out of his door. He had probably been up for hours and was disgustingly energetic. "We get to go to Avengers headquarters and do a technology exchange. There will be a dinner afterward ..."

He rambled on as Remy moaned, wishing the man would just let him go back to bed.

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