Mareena's eyes snapped open and she sat upright, pushing away the haziness of sleep. "What's wrong?" She looked over at Rex, concern taking over her facial features. "Are you okay?"
Rex gave her a quizzical look as he spoke, "I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?"
Mareena sighed and flopped back down on her pillow. "Because you're waking me up in the middle of the night," she mumbled. "And why are you doing that, might I ask?"
Rex smiled and grabbed Mareena's arms and tried to tug her out of bed. "It's snowing," he gave her another tug, "and it's even sticking."
Mareena rolled her eyes. "Rex don't get me wrong, I like the snow too, it's very pretty, but it's the middle of the night," She cast a glance at the clock. "Two forty-five to be exact. Why are you even awake to begin with?"
"I wanted something to drink and I just happened to see that it was snowing!" Rex gave up trying to rouse his girlfriend and went over to the window, pulling up the blinds. "Look! It's gorgeous. It's going to be a white Valentine's Day."
Mareena smirked, "Valentine's Day is four days away, Rex. The snow might be gone by the time we wake up tomorrow."
He playfully stuck his tongue out at her, "Killjoy, you don't know that."
"I'm sure you're right," she stated with a yawn. "Come back to bed, it's late."
But Rex wouldn't move away from the window. "Let's go outside," He glanced out the window and smiled as he looked at the snow collecting on the ground. "I bet it will stick," he said confidently. "Come on Ree. Let's go outside."
She sighed as she shook her head at his antics; he was just like a little kid. He seemed to always get like this whenever it snowed, "No way, crazy, it's late and some of us had the late night shift." She gestured for Rex to come to her. "I'm cold and sleepy, come back and cuddle."
Rex started to protest but Mareena pouted and he knew he was done for. The other League members believed that the only reason why Mareena always got her way with him was because she was quite stubborn and, if she wanted to be, a bit manipulative. They had obviously never seen her pout before. Rex knew that look was reserved just for him when no one else was around and there was nothing he could do to resist it.
"But the snow," Rex whined although he was already walking back toward the bed.
"We'll go out in it tomorrow," she assured him.
"I thought you said it wasn't going to stick," Rex slyly pointed out as he got beneath the blankets once more. He shivered as Mareena snuggled up next to him, curling like a cat against him.
Mareena jumped when Rex's icy feet brushed against her leg under the blankets. "Your feet are freezing! You're going to get sick," she chided.
"You'll take care of me if I do," Rex stated confidently, resting his forehead against hers.
"Nope," Mareena chuckled, "you will have brought it upon yourself."
Rex scoffed, "You're not fooling anyone Guppy. I'm going to make you play in the snow with me tomorrow."
She smirked and rolled her eyes. "Okay, we'll do that. If there's any snow left." She closed her eyes and sighs deeply, contentedly. Snuggling up next to Rex was like having her own personal heating blanket. It was impossible not to feel lethargic and happy cuddled up with Rex.
"There will be," he assured her, slipping his arm around her waist. "You'll see."
They didn't say anything more about the snow as they drift off to sleep once more.
Rex was right on at least one account: the snow was most definitely still on the ground in the morning. Everything was covered in a thick blanket of sparkling white snow, effectively bringing most activity in the city to a halt. Ten inches of snow might seem like nothing to certain parts of the country but to the Metropolis residents it might as well have been thirty inches. Rex couldn't be happier.
He threw his arms around the Atlantean and bear-hugged her as soon as he got off his commlink with Superman. "Yes, snow day!" he grinned at the platinum blonde. "I always wanted to have one of these."
Mareena arched an eyebrow. "But then you realized, that since you're a member of the Justice League, that was probably never going to happen?"
"I'm an optimist, okay?" Rex poured himself a mug of coffee and added, what Mareena considered to be, way too much cream and sugar.
"Let's go back to bed; I feel like being lazy."
Even though that side of Mareena was not one that Rex often saw, he shook his head. "Oh no, you promised," he gave his girlfriend a pointed look. "You said you were going to play in the snow with me."
Mareena made a face. "Do we really need to? I mean, we're adults."
Rex smirked, "My Mom and Dad are worse than me when it snows. They'll probably be out in it today and tomorrow with Jaye."
"Yeah but only because your six-year-old niece is going to want to play in it. We don't need to play in the snow."
"Yes we do," Rex said firmly. "When was the last time you actually played in the snow?"
"Never," she admitted, "but remember there was no snow down in Atlantis."
Rex crossed his arms over his chest. "My point exactly," he said haughtily. "You can't waste a good snow day like this. It's just not allowed." He walked over to the coat closet by the door and fished out his jacket. "Where are the gloves?" He glanced over his shoulder, giving Mareena a questioning look.
"In the pocket of your jacket," she said like it was the most obvious response in the world. "I put them there so that you'd always know where to find them."
"Well, I think your logic is flawed because I didn't know where to find them," he took out her jacket as well and laid them both across the backs of the chairs around the kitchen table.
Mareena rolled her eyes even though Rex wasn't looking at her. "That's because you like to keep things in strange places that doesn't make any sense at all."
"It makes sense to me," Rex protests. "Stop stalling and go get dressed. You're playing in the snow and you're going to like it."
Mareena mockingly saluted him. "Yes General Warhawk," She turned and marched back toward the bedroom, laughing when Rex called after her, "You're not funny Guppy!"
Despite the jacket, gloves, and scarf that Mareena was wearing, the cold hit her like a slap in the face as soon as they stepped out of her apartment. She wrapped her arms around herself and shivered, grimacing. "This is a bad idea Rex. We shouldn't be outside." She gave him an entreating look. "It's freezing."
"Don't be such a baby," he teased, pushing Mareena toward the stairs that lead to the ground floor. "You act like it's never been this cold before. Didn't you just go on a mission in the Arctic recently? This is like the Bahamas compared to that."
Mareena wrinkled her nose. "Yeah but that was different. That mission wasn't...pointless."
"This isn't pointless. It's called fun. Say it with me Mareena." Rex laughed when Mareena gave him a playful shove.
The yard and parking lot outside the apartment building were blanketed in white and the cars and streetlamps and bushes wore their own coats of fresh snow. The grass bore the signs of intrepid children who were making the most of their winter holiday and there was a lopsided, half-finished snowman awaiting completion in the middle of the yard.
It looked like someone had attempted to sweep the walkway clear but gave up before finishing the job, which never would have happened if Mareena had been in charge of the task. There was slush and snow in random patches across the concrete and rock salt scattered all around. Unfortunately the weather was still too cold for the salt to do any good and instead of melting the snow and ice and making it safe to walk. It had only made more ice.
Which was something that Mareena didn't notice until she slipped on a patch of ice and fell onto her butt before she could even think about trying to stabilize herself. Of course, the closest thing to her was Rex, so they probably would have both just hit the ground so maybe it was for the best that she didn't try and grab onto him as she fell.
Mareena groaned, lightly glaring at Rex when he starts laughing. "Why do you always laugh at me when I get hurt?" She mumbled, trying to stand up but it was much more difficult to find her footing than she would have liked to admit.
"I'm not laughing at you, trust me," Rex assured her but it was hard for Mareena to understand him around all the laughing. "Are you hurt?" He pulled her up to her feet, giving her a quick kiss on the nose.
Mareena wrinkled her nose, rubbing her backside. "I think I bruised my tailbone."
"Just say ass, Mareena," Rex smirked. "You bruised your ass."
"And it's your fault for making me come out here." She poked Rex in the ribs hard. "So what exactly do we have to do out here before we can go inside?"
He shrugged as he sarcastically replied, "Oh, you know, the usual: build an igloo, find a polar bear, start a fight with the polar bear, go ice fishing." He rolled his eyes. "It never snows; let's just enjoy it."
"I'm enjoying it," Mareena assured him. "Look, everything is so white and perfect." She even threw some snow in the air and gave a small twirl as it rained down around her. She then looked at Rex expectantly. "See, I enjoyed it. Can we go back inside now? I hate the cold!"
Rex rolled his eyes. "You're no fun Reena. If you're really that miserable you can go back inside."
He turned away with a huff, his breath pluming out in front of his face, making it clear that even if Mareena wasn't going to hang around, nothing was going to stop him from enjoying his winter wonderland.
Mareena frowned, crossing her arms across her chest. Rex wanted her to have fun? Fine, she'd have fun. At his expense.
She knelt down and gathered a handful of snow, shaping it into a ball and packing it tightly. She then stood up and gunned the snowball at Rex, nailing him right in the back and catching the half-Thanagarian by complete surprise. Rex slowly turned around and his expression of shock turned into a sly grin as soon as he saw the innocent look on Mareena's face. "Oh, so that's how we're going to play this now is it?" He started packing together his own snowball. "It's on now!"
The innocent look on Mareena's face quickly turned into a mischievous one and she quickly grabbed up a fistful of snow, trying to shape another snowball before Rex could launch his attack. Rex's snowball hit Mareena on the shoulder and she didn't hesitate to retaliate. However Rex was already on the move, running across the parking lot and ducking behind one of the parked cars and disappearing from Mareena's line of sight.
Mareena took a minute to pack together a few snowballs, balancing them in her gloved hands before going after Rex. The chill from the snow seeped through her gloves, turning her skin cold and icy but she couldn't exactly stop now. This was war and her opponent was still out there.
Even though Rex was still hidden away, Mareena could follow her boyfriend's progress thanks to the footprints that he was leaving behind. As soon as Mareena rounded the side of one of the parked cars, she got a snowball directly to the chest and nearly dropped her own cache of snowballs in surprise. Rex laughed and took off running, heading back through the yard in front of Mareena's apartment building. Mareena narrowed her eyes and took off after him, throwing a snowball that hit Rex in the back of the head. Despite the fact that she was still freezing, Mareena found herself laughing too as she chased after him. Her gloves and coat were damp thanks to all the snow but she was happy and she was having fun. At this point nothing else mattered.
Rex turned around to gauge Mareena's progress and lost his footing and went tumbling onto the snowy ground. Within seconds Mareena caught up with him, rolling Rex onto his back. Mareena straddled his hips and pinned him to the ground. She gave Rex a victorious smile.
"Looks like there's nowhere for you to run now," she taunted, holding up a snowball and passing it from hand to hand. "I've got you right where I want you."
'Yup and right where I want me too,' Rex could think of worse things than to be pinned down by his girlfriend, even if the snow was soaking through his coat, but Rex had never been one to admit defeat. He tried to move out from underneath Mareena but the Atlantean was immobile, the victorious smirk still on her face.
"You're crushing me," Rex said with an over dramatic groan, once again trying to twist away from Mareena.
"Are you calling me fat?" She arched an eyebrow as she teased.
"Yeah the fattest, you're crushing my insides," Rex jokingly complained, trying to push Mareena aside but she remained stationary. "Get off Guppy."
"Not until you surrender, Emu," Mareena retorted, still holding the rapidly melting snowball in, what she hoped was, a threatening manner. At this point, she was pretty sure that it was more slush than snow but it was the principal of the matter.
"Never," he lifted his chin defiantly, a smirk playing across his lips, "warriors never surrender."
Mareena arched an eyebrow and shrugged, "Okay, if that's how you want it."
"You wouldn't do it. Would you, Ree? I'm totally defenseless." Rex pouted as he looked up at her with wide, innocent-looking, emerald eyes.
Mareena hesitated for a moment before sighing and tossing the snowball aside and standing up. She might have perfected the art of getting what she wanted via a pout and innocent look but she definitely learned those tricks from Rex and her boyfriend was still impossible for her to resist. She pulled Rex up to his feet and brushed some of the snow and ice off the back and sides of his jacket. "You're a mess," she remarked affectionately.
"Well," Rex began, "someone had me pinned down on the ground."
"All's fair in love and war," Mareena stated with a smirk. "I'm freezing. I can't feel my fingers anymore." She rubbed her hands together but it was no use since her gloves were soaked through and the skin underneath was numb. "We should go inside." She turned back toward the entrance of her apartment building.
Rex suddenly grabbed a fistful of snow and shoved it down the back of Mareena's shirt and jacket. She let out a shriek of surprise, twisting back around and trying to shake the slush out her clothes. "Rex!" Mareena was sure that she looked like an idiot hopping around and trying to dislodge the last of the snow but she didn't care. She was pissed, "What the hell was that for?!"
For a moment, Rex wondered if maybe he went too far. Especially since he got her to curse, something she did only when extremely angered. Rex gave Mareena an innocent smile. "All's fair in love and war."
There was a slightly murderous look in Mareena's eyes and Rex was in the middle of composing an apology when she grabbed a fistful of snow and threw it in his direction. Rex laughed as he stumbled backward, retaliating with his own barrage of snow. They were no longer even taking the time to make snowballs, they were just throwing handfuls of snow at each other.
Mareena was pretty sure that she was not even close to hitting Rex half the time but that didn't really seem important either. She was laughing so much her sides were hurting and she had snow melting in her hair and on her clothes. Rex looked just as foolish.
Mareena grabbed Rex's wrist with one hand, pulled him down, and proceeded in dropping a handful of snow onto of his head with her other hand. Rex tried to pull away but Mareena held his wrist tightly, pulling him in for a kiss and effectively putting an end to Rex's protests. Rex put his arms around Mareena's waist and he could feel Mareena's heart thudding in her chest and the rise and fall of her sides as she tried to regain her breath. Rex kissed her harder to make that feat a little more difficult.
When they finally pulled away it was hard to say if Mareena's flushed cheeks were from the snowball fight or the kiss. Rex leaned in for another kiss but stopped before their lips met. He looked up into the sky, a smile spreading across his face. "It's starting to snow again."
Mareena looked up as well, blinking as flakes fell against her cheeks and eyelashes. She looks back at Rex, who had a grin on his face. His emerald eyes were sparkling in pure joy and Mareena wished that she could freeze this moment, this image, and the way that she felt forever. She leaned in to kiss Rex on his cheek, her lips melting the flakes of snow on his skin. Rex moved closer to her and Mareena could feel him shivering in spite of his jacket and scarf.
"We should go inside," Mareena suggested, putting her arms around Rex. "Before we both catch pneumonia and spend Valentine's Day in the hospital."
"You're always so dramatic Mareena," Rex chided but he didn't protest as he followed her through the snowy yard to the stairs leading up to the floor. "Pneumonia," he scoffed. "I think that's the worse case scenario."
Mareena shrugged. "Well someone has to think about these things and take care of you." She pointed out as she held the door open for Rex.
Rex gave her a victorious smirk. "Ha, I knew it! You would take care of me if I got sick."
"Of course I would," Mareena gave out a small chuckle, shaking her head. "Isn't that why you keep me around?"
"Yeah, that and you're really good at keeping things neat and organized and you can do laundry unlike me and even though you're not the worst cook you know all the numbers of the take-out places by heart," Rex teased with a smile. Mareena rolled her eyes and started toward the coat closet but Rex grabbed the scarf around her neck and pulled her back before she could get too far. He kissed her, pressing their foreheads together. "I love you," he said softly, his lips finding Mareena's again. "Even if you can't cook as well as me."
The smile on Mareena's face was soft and secretive. The selfish part of Rex was glad that he was the only one who ever got to see that particular smile. The one that always made him smile in return, no matter what his mood was. The one that always made him want to say those three words again because of the traces of doubt that he still saw in Mareena's eyes at times.
"I love you too. And it's because I love you that I don't do much cooking. Do you want to take the chance of me giving you food poisoning?"
Rex wrinkled up his nose, "I'm going to pass on the food poisoning, at least until after Valentine's Day." The mention of the approaching holiday caused Rex's eyes to brighten and he grinned shamelessly. "Let's watch those old romantic movies you like. I can get the blankets off the bed and we can snuggle on the couch. You love snuggling."
Mareena didn't protest as Rex hurried toward the bedroom. Instead she just hung up their coats and scarves and set their gloves out on the kitchen table to dry. She goes into the bedroom to change into sweatpants and a sweatshirt and rolled her eyes when she saw Rex gleefully tugging the blankets off the bed and piling them on the ground. They were going to be so engulfed by fabric at this rate that they were not going to be able to see whatever movie Rex decided to put on.
Mareena went over to one of the windows in the living room and pushed one of the blinds up, curious to see if it was still snowing outside. The flakes were still drifting down from the grey clouds above, falling fast and blanketing the ground below. She couldn't remember a time when she ever saw so much snow falling while on the surface world.
"Looks like you might get your white Valentine's Day after all, Rex," she called over to him, her breath fogging up the glass. "Though if it keeps snowing like this we'll be stuck inside and we'll need to be beamed over to the Metro Tower if we want to get out."
Rex shrugged, spreading one of the blankets out on the couch. "I can think of a lot worse things than being stuck in here with you."
Well, now that he mentioned it, so could she.
Mareena laid her head on Rex's shoulder as the movie started, snug and warm under the comforter from the bed. She didn't mean to but she found herself drifting off to sleep. The fact that Rex was playing with her hair didn't make it any easier for her to stay awake and she finally fell asleep with a smile playing on the corners of her lips.
A/N: Better late than never. It actually got delayed by the snowstorms we're currently having where I live. Can't wait until it's summer and one hundred degrees out again!