Rogue sat inside the mansion sharing Chinese food with Jake. Giggling and flirting, she stopped cold when Jean, Storm, and Scott came in, their faces showing they did not bring good news. Rogue slowly stood up.
"What?" she asked cautiously.
Scott licked his lips. "Itís Logan."
"What about Logan?" Rogue asked, her hands suddenly feeling clammy.
"Heís been captured, Rogue," Jean said.
"Captured? By whom? For what?" she demanded.
"We donít know. Heís in a prison."
"Theyíre not letting anyone see him-"
"WHO? Whoís not letting anyone see him and what the hell for?"
When they didnít immediately answer, Rogue began to walk towards them.
"You tell me where they are because theyíre not-"
"Rogue!" Scott said, stopping her, rubbing his hands up and down her arms supportively. "Rogue, theyíre notÖtheyíre not stopping us from seeing him becauseóRogue, heís dangerous."
Rogueís eyes widened. "What do you mean? What do you mean dangerous?"
"Heís not being kept there for any reason other than his danger towards others. And to himself."
Rogue shook her head. "Scott, please explain what youíre talking about-"
"Rogue, he doesnít know," Storm said. "None of us do. They wonít tell us much, we were all planning to go and see this hospital-"
"Hospital? You said it was a prison."
"Rogue, we donít know much. But we knew youíd want to be there when we find out whatever it is."
"I wanna see him," Rogue said bluntly.
"Rogue, have you heard anything Iíve said-"
"Yeah, I heard you loud and clear Scott."
"Heís harmed everyone whoís come to him, I know you and he are close but-"
"Iím not saying he wonít try and hurt me-" she began.
"He might not even know who you are and he could do serious damage," Jean said.
"Worse than stabbing me through the heart?" she countered.
No one could really argue that.
"Iím not stupid," Rogue said. "Iím not going to go inside his room without any kind of protection but Iím also not gonna sit outside and knit either. He needs help, he promised me heíd take care of me and he has, now itís my turn."
"Okay," Jean said, pushing Rogue back into a seat. "Then the best thing we need is to be prepared. So let me fill you in on everythingÖ"
They had gotten passed everyone, guards, doctors, and police. It was then Rogue turned to them.
"You all picked me before I said a word, didnít you?"
"We knew youíd want to be the one to see him," Xavier said. "Jean."
Jean walked towards Rogue. "Rogue, I need you to absorb my powers."
"What?" she said like Jean was crazy. "Not a chance, I could hurt you."
"I brought a drug with me to regenerate me. But you need my powers so you can stop him if you have to."
Rogue looked at everyoneís faces and couldnít believe it. "YouÖplanned this? All of you were in on this?"
"Yes," Scott said.
"Well when the hell were you gonna tell me?" Rogue said, half amused, half angry.
"I think right about now was our plan," Scott said.
Jean put her hands on Rogueís face. "RogueÖyou ready?"
Rogue shook her head. "I canít do it to you," she whispered.
"Either you take my powers or youíre not going in there. Rogue, Iíll be fine, I promise, please Rogue, do this for me, so I know youíre okay."
"And Iím right here, weíll take care of her," Scott vowed to Rogue.
Rogue swallowed the tears that were rising in her throat and closed her eyes. Transforming her skin with her mind tickled a little, and she felt the change immediately from consuming Jeanís mind and powers. She felt Jean gasp in pain and her hands latch onto Rogueís face. Immediately Rogue panicked.
"Get her off me, get her off!" Rogue shouted, though unable to do it herself in the midst of absorbing Jeanís powers and her mind.
Scott pulled Jean off of Rogue and Jean fell unconscious in Scottís arms. Tears streamed down Rogueís face.
"Oh my God," she sobbed. "Is she okay, tell me sheís okay," Rogue said, trying to move towards her.
"Sheís fine, Rogue, sheíll be fine," Xavier said as Storm injected the needle into Jean.
They all looked to Rogue who was watching her friend unconscious and hating that sheíd done it.
"Rogue?" Storm said. "GoÖgo see him."
Rogue covered her mouth with her hands. "JeanÖIím sorry-"
"Rogue," Xavier said, taking Rogueís hands. "Rogue, stop crying." Rogueís tear filled eyes looked at Charles. "Itís all right, Jean will be all right. GoÖgo to Logan."
Rogue nodded obediently. "All right. Okay," she said, wiping the tears from her eyes as Scott took Jean to the couch at the side of the hallway and lied with her. Storm held Jeanís hand after she disinfected the new wound on Jeanís arm. The long hallway in which they had just turned on had been largely empty for some time. Guards stood on the outside of the doors they had walked through to get to this hallway.
It looked like a prison. It looked like a place people were kept who were never supposed to be seen again. This was not a place forÖvisitors. Long corridors of sterile, hard, lifeless walls and gates. It looked like some sort of Nazi prison and it terrified Rogue. She turned to the door Logan was in. Her hand touched the handle. She turned it slowly, hearing the faint creaking sound. She stepped into the darkness and closed the door behind her, before speaking or even looking.
Then she turned. The room was cold, she could hear water dripping from pipes. The ground was concrete. She saw him across the room. He was still, hunched over so the faint light ran over his smooth back. Without thinking, she ran towards him.
"Logan," she said, her hands grasping his upper arms as she knelt beside him. "God, youíre like ice," she whispered, taking off her jacket and putting it over him. "Listen, weíre all here, weíre gonna get you out."
He roughly turned to her, scaring the hell out of her as he clasped his hands around her neck, squeezing tightly.
"Logan," she wheezed. "Do you remember me? Do you know who I am?"
"Youíre one of them," he hissed, but for some reason she wasnít terrified.
"Logan, Logan, please let go of my neck. Youíre strangling me."
"No," he said, squeezing tighter.
"Okay, okay, fine," she said, not wanting to push him any further to desperate measures. "Okay, hold onto my neck, just listen to me."
"Howís she doing in there?" Scott asked Xavier, pacing back and forth.
"Sheís brave all right. I think we picked the right person."
"What does that mean?" Storm asked.
"It means heís holding her by the throat."
"What?" Scott said.
"No, itís all right. Rogueís not fighting. Sheís allowing him to hold onto her if it makes him feel safe. She may get farther with him this way than if he were in chains. If she shows him she trusts him, that will help."
"Does he know itís her?"
"I donít think so, not yet."
"Logan, do you remember the X-Men? You worked with us-"
"Yes! Yes, you did. I was captured, Iím a mutant, do you know my mutation?"
"Youíre not Rogue."
"Why?" she asked, now they may be getting somewhere. "Why do you think Iím not Rogue?"
"Because I can touch you."
She smiled. "Good, good, so you know that my mutation is my skin. Xavier, Professor Charles Xavier taught me over the last few years how to control it."
"Logan, Logan. Iím not lying, all right? Iím letting you hold my neck, knowing you are capable of snapping it because I trust you. I trust you Logan. I want you to reach into my pocket and pull out your tags, the ones you left with me when you left Xavierís Mansion. Do you remember giving those to Rogue?"
His angry eyes glared at her, and he harshly let go of her neck, throwing her back a little in the process. She gasped for breath as he took the tags.
"ThoseÖ" she coughed. "Öwere the only possession you had left after your trailer was blown up. I met you in a club where you fightingÖto win money, you were Wolverine."
"Shut up!" he shouted at her.
Then he seemed to be in pain, his mind, his head was hurting desperately as he keeled over.
"Logan!" she said, running towards him.
She knew the best way to help him was to read his mind, which was hard when he was in so much pain. She placed her hands on each side of him and used Jeanís power.
"Sheís reading his mind," Xavier told Scott.
"Good, whatís she reading?" Scott asked.
"Let her finish and Iíll tell you. Howís Jean?"
"Sheís coming to," Storm said.
Just as Rogue was about to stop, Logan grabbed her arms and she screamed a little in fear.
"Logan, Logan, itís me," she said desperately. "I know about you losing your memory, I know about you trying to find your life-"
He shook her harshly telling her to shut up.
"Would I do this?" she shouted back. "Would I come in here without anyone else, allow you to hold my neck? Why? Why would I do this?"
"To find out information."
"Oh sure, which is why all Iíve been doing is telling you information."
She read his mind and knew he was about to shoot out his claws.
"No!" she said, pulling back just in time, though her shirt was slit and she had a light wound on her stomach.
The cold air chilled her as her shirt fell to the floor in pieces. She saw Logan lunge towards her and she put her hand up, stopping him with her mind.
"Logan, Logan, I need you to listen to me, please put your claws down. They still scare me a little."
"Youíre using your powers against me!"
"No Iím not!" she shot back. "I am trying to keep myself alive, and that is ALL I am doing. You are the one using your power against me! Your adamantium, the metal that aligns your entire skeleton, I know. But thatís not your mutation, your mutation is to heal, that and you have wolf-like traits. You can know my scent, Logan. But right now youíve been given something. So you canít tell itís me. Iím not hurting you! Donít you ever tell me I would hurt you, we made a bond a long time ago. You swore you would protect me. So now Iím here for you. What person wouldnít try to protect themselves? Donít you blame me for this, Logan! If you put your claws down I wonít use my telekinetic ability!"
"Rogue doesnít have telekinetic ability!"
"Youíre right! Jean gave me her powers temporarily! Just like you used to when I was wounded. Jean and Storm and Scott and Xavier are all outside. You know my power is to absorb other mutantís powers, and I did. These are Jeanís powers I am using. Now you know Iím not a shape shifter because in order to have Jeanís powers, I would have to morph into her. You believe that, donít you?"
Logan said nothing.
"Okay, Logan. I hate this. I donít want to hold you back. So Iíll tell you what, you go to the other side of the room and I wonít come near you. You put your claws down and go over there and I wonít hold you in any place."
"Youíll use it against me."
"Well then weíre at a difficult place Logan, because Iím not gonna let you stab me again!"
She wasnít letting up, and some part of that made him see something familiar in her.
"You have your defense, Logan, and I have mine. You put your claws down and Iíll let you move. Those are the terms, else youíre gonna stay there and listen to me."
Her face was hard and firm, angry. He admired that. She wasnít afraid of him, she wasnít going to back down. He pulled his claws back in and saw her face overcome with relief. He could move.
"I wonít come near you, not if you donít want me to. But Iím not leaving you in this cold prison, to rot."
"Go away, Rogue," he said, turning his back on her.
Rogue felt her body relax, knowing he now knew who she was. That he recognized her. He spoke to her with familiarity in his voice.
"Logan, I canít. Come with me. Let me help you-"
"NO!" he said turning back to her with a gun in his hand.
"Heís holding a gun to her-"
"Okay, this stops now," Scott said.
"No! She can pull the gun away if she wants to, and sheís not. Let her be," Xavier said.
"She trusts him not to shoot her, but sheís blinded by her devotion to him," Scott said. "And if he shoot hers-"
"Then I will overpower his mind and force him to heal her, if necessary. If he shoots, weíll all go in."
Scott reluctantly agreed.
"Are you gonna shoot me, Logan?" she asked calmly, though she was shaking underneath.
Logan nodded fiercely, obviously in pain from drugs that had been given to him.
"Logan, listen to me. You have been giving a powerful hallucinogen. These thoughts, these memories, you donít even know if theyíre yours-"
"Listen to me! I know about your wife! I know you killed her to put her out of her pain. I know Logan is your fatherís name!"
"How? How do you know?"
"Because when you stabbed me, I touched you to heal myself and I obtained your memories! And your thoughts!" she cried out incredulously to him, tears reflecting in her eyes from the dim light.
She was breathing heavily from fear and from shouting at him. He was still, but remained holding the gun at her.
"Please Logan," she said, tears now falling from her eyes. "Please trust me. Put the gun down."
Scottís head lifted when he heard the gun shot.
"Oh my God!" Storm said, running up beside Scott as he was about to open the door.
"Dammit! Rogue locked us out! Stand back Storm!" Scott said, getting his visor ready.
The gun continued to fire, over and over.
"Wait!" Jean said.
"What are you talking about? How many bullets are we gonna let her take?" Storm said.
"Heís not shooting her," Xavier said.
Logan fired the last bullet, and Rogueís heart began to loosen, and stop pounding with fear. Logan put the gun down, and leaned over again, ashamed and spent. Rogue exhaled and walked towards him. She got down on her knees and slowly rested her head on his back, encircling her arms around him.
He had shot every bullet against the wallÖto make sure he wouldnít shoot her. He didnít trust himself not to because of the drugs, but he trusted her.
"My arms are around you," she whispered softly. "I will keep you safe."
"Howís he doing?" she asked.
"Should be conscious any time. Iím gonna go get something, what do you want?"
"Booze," was all she said.
Jean laughed softly. "All right, do you want to stay with him?"
"All right, Iíll be back."
She looked down at Logan, running her fingers along his face. When she looked up at the monitors she felt his hand grab hers and remove it from his face.
"Donít do that," he said.
Rogue smiled over him. "Hey," she said softly. "Thought Iíd save you for a change."
Her beautiful smile and her bright eyes was the best thing Logan couldíve woken up to. She had changed, sheíd grown up. He never thought in a million years sheíd been so different. Logan saw the blanket wrapped around her like a shawl, and he reached under it to feel her bare stomach.
She gasped. "Your hand is cold," she smiled.
"Iím sorry," he said, removing his hand from her bare skin.
"Donít be," she said softly.
"I was a goddamn animal and I cut off your shirt."
She bit her lip to keep from laughing. "So, maybe you thought I was one of your ex-flings."
"How do you feel?" she said, caressing his hair lightly.
"Like hell, thank you," he said, yawning.
She giggled softly.
"Where are we?"
"Xavierís mansion. Somethingís not fair though, how come I grew up and you donít look a day older? No man should have that ability."
He reached up to touch her face. She closed her eyes and he felt her lashes against his fingers.
"When did this happen?"
"Over a year ago, actually."
"You can still morph your skin to absorb other mutantís powers?"
"Yeah, if I need to. I hate doing it though. I hate it more than I can say."
"Donít," he said, taking her hand. "Please donít hate that. But I can safely tell you that even when your skin was your defense, it felt the same way it does now, perfectly normal," he said, gently stroking her face.
She couldnít tell him how touched she was by what he just said. She felt a little uncomfortable because he was still stroking her skin. "Do you want a cup of water?"
She smiled. "I can tell your mouth is try as cotton," she said, getting him the water.
"You spend way too much time looking at my mouth."
She rolled her eyes. "You spend way too much time worshipping yourself."
"Hey hey, not true."
"Logan, you werenít in a hospital because you were sick. Someone was using you as either a test subject or you knew too much and they were keeping you drugged up on hallucinogens."
"Yeah well, I tend to not get on peopleís good sides too easily."
"That is so you," she said, irritated slightly that he wouldnít take the subject seriously. "You pain in the ass."
"Rogue, hereís the martinióheís up."
Rogue took the martini. "Yes, he is. Oh, thank you, Iím in serious need of a boost," she said, popping an olive into her mouth.
"Since when do you drink?" Logan asked.
"Since about two years ago."
Jean walked over to Logan, and his eyes looked up at hers intensely. Rogue noticed.
"Okay, Jean, you check him out, Iím gonna go join the gang."
"Whoa!" Logan said, pulling on the blanket that was around Rogue. "Where the hell do you think youíre going?"
She had been trying to give him and Jean time alone together, to resolve things or whatever else. She felt a little awkward.
"I was going to seeÖI donít know. Never mind. But I gotta go, Iíll come back though-"
"Yeah!" she said, turning.
A man came towards her, cupping her face and kissing her deeply. Then he embraced her.
"Thank God youíre all right."
She embraced him back. "Iím fine."
"Why arenít you wearing a shirt?" he asked.
"ThatísÖa long story, never mind."
"How do you feel?" he asked.
His hands brushed the hair away from her eyes. He looked over at Logan.
"Is this the famous Logan?" he said, extending his hand.
"Uh, Logan, this is Jake," Rogue said. "He joined us about two years ago."
Logan shook the manís hand.
"Iím glad youíre all right, you gave us all a scare," Jake said to Logan.
Logan didnít respond to that with a smile and a thank you.
"Jake," Rogue said. "Letís go. I need something to eat and then I need to crash."
Jake put an arm around her and she looked up at him and smiled.
"Mind if I join you?"
"No," she said. Then she looked back at Logan. "Get some sleep, and Iíll see you tomorrow."
After they walked out, Jean began removing the EEG and the EKG from his body. "I think youíre healed, you can sleep in an actual bedroom tonight."
"Did he mean join her to eat or join her to crash?"
Jean looked up at Logan. "What are you talking about?"
"He just said it!"
"Who just said what?"
Logan groaned, annoyed. "Who is that guy?"
"Yeah, whatís he to her?"
Jean frowned, thinking it was obvious. "They live together."
"You mean in the mansion?"
"No, I mean in the same room."
"Sheís too young for that."
Jean rolled her eyes, irritated because every time she tried to get his heart rate he talked.
"Logan sheís twenty two," she said incredulously, removing her stethoscope from her ears. "Theyíve been together for about a year."
"Whatís their relationship like?"
"Like I said, they live together, and other than that I know he thinks she hung the moon."
"Heís using her," Logan said bluntly.
"No heís not," Jean replied calmly. "Jake loves her. Now will you please be quiet so that I get your heart rate?"
"You look good, Jean."
"Thank you, now be quiet."
The next few days were hell. Jake and Rogue were disgustingly close and Logan was in a chronically bad mood. Everyone had a good guess why. He had always been pretty overly protective of Rogue and now that she wasnít someone he needed to protect it got to him. Not to mention the fact that she was obviously very in love with someone else.
By the far side of the property one afternoon, Rogue was having a smoke when Logan came around.
"You followed me," she said, not even looking at him. "Good, I was counting on it," she said, stamping the cigarette with her high-heeled boot. "You wanna tell me why you make Hannibal Lecture seem like he was in a sane mood?"
"After effects of the drugs."
"Nice try," she smiled. "Be honest, is it Jake?"
"Yeah, for one thing."
"Well whatís with you and that guy?"
"Weíre together, we have been for over a year."
"Are you happy?"
"Yeah," she said simply.
"You gonna marry him?"
That totally blew Rogue away.
"Wow, you have a wild mind. Iím not gonna marry him any time soon."
"But youíre gonna someday?"
"Actually I never thought about it."
"Why the hell not? You love him."
"Iím twenty two Logan. Thatís still a baby considering all there is out there in the world. And call me old fashioned but Iím fine with living in sin."
He couldnít help but smile at that, though it didnít exactly make him happy.
"Youíve just got it all figured out, donít you?"
"Logan, I donít have anything figured out. Iím still taking one day as it comes. And not quite a week ago, I came across an old friend I havenít seen in years," she said, walking towards him to hug him. "I think your mad at me but put your arms around me anyway," she told him.
He did, frowning down at her. Then his frown turned into a smile.
"Where you been all this time?"
"That part I knew," she said, tilting her face up him. "I guess I should feel lucky though, you talk to me more than most last time I checked."
"Yeah, thatís true."
"Letís go do something, just the two of us, anything you want."
"Wonít Jake mind?"
"Well if he does heís gonna have to get over it. Come on. You go to clubs right? Letís go get drunk."
"Sounds good," he agreed.
Rogue used the key to the door. It was after one in the morning, she didnít want to wake him. This was embarrassing enough as it was, and she didnít have anywhere else to go. She remembered Logan giving her this key, four months ago. She never thought sheíd use it.
"Take this key, Rogue."
"A key? To what?"
"My place. And I bet you know where it is since you have a piece of me inside your head, for which I sympathize greatly," she laughed and he continued. "But I promised you I would take care of you, and if you ever need to use the place, do it. Any time, day or night. I donít care."
"No matter what, youíll always be my hero, even if you donít rescue me every three minutes."
The door opened and she tried to maintain the squeaking to a minimum. She said a silent prayer that Logan wouldnít hear her and wake up. She managed to get across the floor without sound in her bare feet. His place was huge. She saw the door to the bedroom that must be his and next to it another bedroom. The bathroom was right next to Loganís bedroom. Across the bedrooms was a large kitchen and then after that just a huge open space. Two bean bags in front of a television.
She was surprised at how much she liked it. Everything in it was cheap crap but surprisingly it was fun, cheap crap. She went quietly into the spare bedroom and set her bag down. She took her shirt off, and then unclasped her bra, sighing in relief of being free from it. She put on some black biker shorts and a large T-Shirt she loosely tucked into her tight shorts.
Having successfully gotten in here and in her pajamas without him noticing, she was less nervous and decided to go through his kitchen and see if there was anything edible to eat. She was starved. She put her on high-heeled slippers, which in her mind seemed like an oxymoron, but they managed to be comfortable and look good so why not? She walked slowly into his kitchen, opening the fridge. She saw some leftover takeout, and she figured that would be her best chance.
Taking out the box she opened it and saw it was leftover Japanese food. It smelled SO good for how hungry she was. Putting it on the counter she looked in the fridge again and got out a soda water. Then she decided to look in the freezer just for kicks.
Rogue gasped in fear as she looked up. It was Logan, sure enough, shirtless and in shorts of his own. He looked like heíd just woken up.
"Sorry, did I wake you?"
"Noówhat are you doing here?"
Rogue shrugged a little in embarrassment. "The keyÖyou said I could use it whenever I needed to. I tried not to wake you, Iím sorry-"
"No no, donít be sorry. Did you just get in from a date or something?"
She frowned. "What? Iím in my pajamas."
Loganís eyebrows rose. "Thatís what you sleep in?"
"Are you giving me fashion statement lessons? I get hot in the middle of the night thank you so I wear short shorts. Is that what you where to bed?" she replied.
"Yeah but Iím a guy, Iím supposed to sleep shirtless."
"Iím not sleeping shirtless," she pointed out.
"Look, Iím too asleep to argue with you, all I meant was if thatís how you go to sleepÖI donít know, you just looked like one of those girls on Vogue the way youíre dressed, isnít that uncomfortable?"
"Logan, Iím in a T-shirt and shorts."
"All right, maybe not Vogue, but one of them damn casual yet supposedly chic magazines. I donít know the names real well."
She swallowed her laughter. "Is that your personal way of telling me I look good?"
"Yeah, and itís not everyday I wake up and thereís some girl going through my fridge. Whatís up?"
He walked over to her, and immediately pulled himself up on the counter and ate the food out of the container.
"Oh you really know how to treat a houseguest," she said warily.
"Well then get up here and eat with me. And tell me why youíre here."
She obeyed, lifting herself up on the counter and digging into the container.
"What restaurant is this from?" she said, popping a bite of sushi into her mouth.
"Japanese Town, great restaurant."
"Mmm," she said, chewing. "Your place is huge. Can I stay here for a few days?"
"Listen, Logan. I need this to be something where you donít ask questions. The only thing Iíll tell you is that Iím not in danger, but other than that I need you to just let me stay here, no questions. Can you do that?"
He looked at her, her eyes were so serious that he wouldnít think about pushing her. He smiled and looked down, taking another bite of food and aiming it at her mouth.
"Open," he said.
She smiled and obeyed as he placed the food in her mouth.
Both their heads turned to see a woman standing there, in a sheet and nothing else. Logan immediately shoved the food at Rogue and hopped off the counter.
"Oh, sorry, we were just-"
"Iím his sister," Rogue said, hopping off the counter and covering for Logan. "Marie," she said, extending her hand, which the woman took and shook. "Iím sorry, I needed to crash here tonight and I woke Logan up."
"You didnít tell me you had a sister," the woman said, looking at Logan.
"Oh thanks," Rogue said sarcastically, looking at him. "I know itís been a few years but I still exist. So, can I crash here tonight?" she said.
He couldnít believe what a cool and perfect liar she was, not to mention that she just saved his ass.
"Yeah, just donít make a mess."
"Your hospitality is overwhelming. Night," Rogue said, going into her room and shutting the door.
Rogue kept her ear to the door and waited until she heard Loganís door shut. When it did, she smiled, glad she had pulled that off, and looked at her mattress. It was on the floor but it looked so comfortable. Lying down in it, it sunk with her and she covered herself. It was perfect. She went to sleep within minutes.
The sun woke her up. She felt like she had a hangover almost because the light was so damn bright. Finally she gave up and threw the pillows off her head. She opened her bedroom door to find Logan in the kitchen fixingÖsomething.
"Morning," he said to her.
Her eyes were still adjusting to the light and God knows what her hair looked like.
"Morning. Your friend still here?" she asked.
"No, she left. Why?"
Rogue yawned. "Just wondering because I wanted to play the part correctly. What time is it?"
"A little after eleven."
"You have a spare toothbrush?" she asked.
"I do now, got a couple things for ya," he said handing her a bag.
"Iím almost afraid to look," she said to him.
"Itís just toothbrush, toothpaste, your own shaver, and some shampoo."
Rogue looked at him suspiciously. "Lemme guess, you went to the store and watched women as they picked out this stuff and you copied them."
"Thank you," she smiled. "Iím gonna go brush my teeth and wash my face. I was so tired I didnít even take off my makeup. Probably have raccoon eyes, be back in a minute."
When she came back out, her face was washed clean and her white streaks had gotten a little wet.
"Okay, I got really crappy toast, Iíve got an apple, Iíve got-"
"Oreos," Rogue said, grabbing a bag of them and sitting on the counter.
Logan couldnít believe that. "All right, well, good to know youíre a health nut."
"You donít know Iím not a health nut, Logan. You donít know me."
She had meant that as a joke but it got to him a little. But then again she was right. He didnít know her favorite color or why she kept the white streaks in her hair that wouldíve gone away if she hadnít pushed him off of her. He didnít know why she was here and for the moment he didnít even care. It was nice to have someone around. The women he constantly slept with were kinda just fillers for that dayís trauma. But they were always gone by morning, and half the time he didnít remember their names.
"All right, well I gotta go. Eat whatever, do whatever, will you be here when I get back?"
She nodded. "Yeah, if you donít mind."
She had a piece of oreo on her chin, which he wiped off with his thumb.
"I donít mind."
She was so busy she didnít even hear him come through the door. As Logan took off his jacket he smelled food cooking. It smelled good. The t.v. was turned up really loud.
"Yeah!" she hollered.
He walked forward to the kitchen. There were pots boiling, steam everywhere, the oven was on.
"What are you making, a feast?" he said, noticing once again, biker shorts on her, but this time she had a mid-drift shirt on that come just below her breasts. And she wasnít wearing a bra. Interesting fashion for cooking.
"No," she said, stirring, her eyes on the television. "Iím just cooking dinner."
Logan looked over the pots and smelled the good food, though he had no idea what it was.
"Wow, youíre gonna make a good wife someday."
"And youíre gonna make a good punching bag in about one minute-"
"All you need is to get pregnant. Youíre already barefoot and cooking."
She wacked him in the head. "Donít be such an asshole."
She dipped her finger into some chocolate thing she was making.
"Logan, tell me if you like this, is it too thick?" she said.
He obeyed her and sucked the chocolate off her finger, and she laughed.
"What the hell is that? Itís good," he said.
"Itís gonna be the icing to chocolate torte."
"Whatís all this other stuff?"
"Thai Chicken. Itís good, trust me. Over a special rice."
"Okay, if you cook like this than you can really stay."
She laughed. "Just set the table, would you?"
They ate on the bean, bags watching television. They were Star Wars and had a good time making fun of it. This movie usually bored Rogue out of her mind, and she had no idea why, it was a classic. But Logan was good at making her laugh. They laughed so hard together their sides ached.
"Logan," she said when they finally stopped. "Iím really glad Iím here, with you. I see a different lifestyle with you and I like it."
He looked at her face, and her thick mass of hair that tumbled down her shoulders, and was more than glad she was here too.
"So am I, Rogue."
Rogue put her plate down. "I know youíre not into mushy stuff but I am so get over here and hug me."
He smiled and leaned over, pulling her to him for an embrace. Her hair was still a little wet, and it smelled good. Her breasts through the white shirt pressed up against his chest, but she didnít seem to care, so he said nothing.
"Iíve missed a lot of your life," he said to her.
"Donít think about that. You were there when I needed you most, thatís all that counts," she said, her long fingernails curling in his wolf-like hair. "Logan," she giggled. "I love your hair. And believe me, not to many guys could get away with that."
"What?" he said, pulling back so he could look at her.
"Flat in the middle, pointy on the sides," she said smiling.
"Right back at you," he said, combing her white streaks with his fingers.
They were looking at each other, and their smiles sobered up. She looked at him thoroughly, she hadnít even realized her hands were on his torso. Suddenly a little nervous, she looked up from her hands to him. Her stomach had butterflies in it. Logan slowly leaned into kiss her. She let him, but just before his lips touched hers she panicked and turned her head away.
"I uh, Iím really tired so Iím gonna crash. I cooked so uhÖyou clean up. Good night, Logan," she said, walking to her bedroom and softly shutting the door behind her.
"Whatíd I say?" Logan thought aloud.
Tears fell down her face as she leaned back against her bedroom door.
"Shit," she whispered to herself.
She leaned down on the floor and picked up a bottle of vodka she had. She began to drink it.
Logan sat in front of the television thinking about why she was here. He promised he wouldnít ask questions but it didnít stop him from wondering. Whatís up with her and that guy she was with? Obviously they were having problems else she wouldnít be staying here with him. But she knew he was about to kiss her and she panicked, so evidentlyÖshe was still loyal to the guy somehow. Did the rest of them know where she was? Were they scared out of their minds? Hello, they had Cerebro, they werenít that worried. So should he call them and find out whatís up? No, that would be betraying her trust. All these thoughts were driving him nuts so he went out for a little while.
She got up to go to the bathroom. If she had managed to slip into some form of unconsciousness she didnít remember it. Just as she approached the bathroom door it opened and she gasped, startled. A woman, topless, stood in front of her.
"Sorry, excuse me," she said, moving out of the bathroom and into Loganís room.
"Man never stops, does he?" Rogue whispered to herself as she went into the bathroom.
The next day she slept late, and by noon Logan began to worry. Going into her room to check on her, he noticed how sheíd rearranged the room slightly with her own accessories. It lookedÖdifferent. She laid on her back, the covers up to her neck, one arm over the covers and one beneath. Kneeling beside the bed, he listened to her breathe for a minute and then touched her face with his fingers. As soon as she did, she squirmed slightly, then turned over towards him. It was then Logan realized she hadnít slept in clothes when the sheets were now below her breasts when she turned towards him. Logan turned his head away immediately, a little embarrassed at that.
Standing up he turned away, pacing a little, trying to figure out what to do. In the middle of his pacing he tripped over her suitcase and she shot up out of bed instantly.
"What?" she gasped, then opened her eyes to see him. "Logan, whatís wrong?"
"IÖwas worried about you because you hadnít woken up. And as I was walking out I tripped, Iím sorry."
Rogue held the blankets to her chest. "Oh, itís okay. What time is it?"
"Afternoon, you feeling all right?"
Rogue blinked a few times, adjusting her eyes. "Yeah, sorry, Iíll get dressed."
"Iím sorry," Logan said.
"Donít be." He turned to leave. "Logan!" He turned back. She smiled at him. "I havenít forgotten how much youíve been there for me. Thank you."
That night, Logan went out to the bar below his condo, and began his nightly search for an available woman. Having a harder time than usual, actually, he hadnít ever had a hard time before, so he knew it was him, he ordered another drink. Waiting for it, he turned around slowly, his drunk eyes a little blurry with the vision as he ran his eyes along everything in the room. His eyes went passed a girl seriously coming onto a guy, licking his face as her hands caressed his torso and then his eyes went back to that girl. Her hair was down and wavy, her eyes blaring into the manís whom she was staring at, leaving no question in what she demanded in him. Then, sliding her hands slowly under his shirt and up his torso, she pushed the shirt up and enclosed her mouth over his nipple, and the long-haired guy tilted his head back in pleasure.
"Checking out that girl?" the bartender said in Loganís ear. "Sheís a very intense piece of ass, lemme tell you. She was in here last night too. Downing drinks and screwing guys like you wouldnít believe."
Logan looked at the bartender who smiled at him.
"And sheís damn good at it too."
Logan calmly took the drink and chugged it down before slowly getting up and walking through the crowds of people to her. When he was just about to her she turned and saw him, immediately her face went white.
"Come on," he said to her, placing his hands on her shoulders. "Let me take you home," he said.
Feeling lightheaded and never more disgusted in her life, she pushed back a little from the guy she was with and began to sink a little. Logan easily caught her, expecting her to, and he carried her out.
Opening the door he carried her inside, she had her head buried in his chest, tears falling. Ashamed, embarrassed tears. He took her into her bedroom and gently set her down on the bed. She had her hands over her face, completely humiliated.
"You all right?"
"No," she replied. "I-"
"Hey, shh, you donít have to say anything. No questions, remember?"
She brought her hands down and looked over at him, smiling at him with love.
"So when did you get so wonderful?" she said, her eyes washing over with amazement.
He touched her face, combing her hair back with his fingers. "I promised you Iíd take care of you."
She cupped the side of his face with one hand.
"Iíll be outta here by morning."
"No, you donít have to do that."
"I feel soÖawful. I donít know if I can face you tomorrow."
"Iíll hunt you down if youíre gone when I get up."
She smiled. "Youíre so good to me," she said, delicately running her fingers through his hair.
"No, I just like coming to your rescue."
"Oh I know you do," she said, shaking her head, smiling. "Itís your favorite hobby." She was silent for a few seconds, then spoke again. "Logan Iódidnít sleep with anyone. I know I made it look like that and I donít know what you were told but I-"
"I believe you," he said firmly. "I always believe you kid."
She found it somehow ironic that he felt the need to call her "kid" now. Maybe it was to help him cope with whatever it was he saw her do. She lowered her head, embarrassed.
"Go to bed Logan," she said softly.
"All right, but listen, hey," he said, tipping her chin up with his fingers. "Look at me, I donít want an bad feelings to come out of tonight. Everythingís fine, okay?"
She nodded. He got up and left the room, and when he did she pulled the covers over her body, which she felt was exposed and dirty, and closed her eyes.
The next day it was Logan who slept late. Rogue had showered and put her makeup on and he was still asleep. She plopped herself down on her mattress and pulled out a good book. An hour or so passed before she heard him getting up. She heard the shower start but continued reading. She felt incredibly embarrassedÖstill, and hoped that when he came in she could look at him without the humiliation in her eyes. She hadnít slept with any of those guys last night or the night before. Besides, she told herself, Logan has sex with a different girl every night except last night so who cares? She did however give a couple of guys hand jobs and they went down on her, so it wasnít as if she hadnít done anythingÖshit what was she thinking? She didnít know those guys, she was more drunk with desperation and angst than booze but nonetheless, that wasnít something sheíd ever remember and be proud of. In the mist of her thoughts Logan popped his head in the open door of her bedroom.
"Hey," he said. "Morning."
"Hey!" she said with a smile, putting down her magazine.
He walked in the room, in shorts and a gray T-Shirt. God he looked good. He noticed she wasnít looking too bad either in her sleeveless, V-neck shirt that tied around her neck. He sat down on the bed beside her legs.
"How do you feel?"
She slowly sat up to face him. "I donít knowÖa little embarrassed actually."
"What are you embarrassed about?" he asked, already knowing the answer but wanting her to talk about it.
"You seeing me like that!" she exclaimed. "Sorry. It was humiliating and I just feelÖdirty or something."
"Donít feel dirty."
She sighed sarcastically and looked away. He took her face in his hand and forced her to look at him.
"Iím sorry, would you like to talk about embarrassing? You have all my memories prior to my claws impaling you."
She exhaled a laugh.
"So please do not speak to me about humiliation," he smiled at her.
"All right, you win," she said, removing his hand teasingly from her face. "How do you do that? How do you make me feel better with one sentence?" she asked, her eyes washing over his.
"Because I know you," he said, his hand touching her face in more than a platonic manner.
She flinched at first but then settled into the feel of his hand against her face. She knew he wanted to kiss her and felt no way out of it. It wasnít that she didnít want him toÖshe just felt soÖshe felt like her secrets were stolen when he looked at her. His eyes held hers so she was unable to break contact. Before she knew what was happening his hand slipped into the V of her shirt and encircled her breast. Bending down he took her nipple between his lips and sucked it deeply into his mouth.
"Logan!" she said in shock of this unexpected act.
Encircling her nipple with his tongue, she inhaled, trying to ignore the ripple of sensation that coursed through her body.
"Logan, Logan stop," she said, breathlessly.
He began to increase the suction, causing Rogue to grasp the back of his head for support as he engulfed more of her breast into his warm mouth. Loganís hands went to her back, holding her body against his. Moving one hand to her front to cup her other breast he teased it, eliciting a moan from her lips. Releasing her breast the cool air met the warmth moisture he left there, and he covered her breast gently in his hand as he leaned in to capture her lips with his. A jolt slammed through Rogueís entire body, her eyes closed, and his lips began to move on hers, thoroughly and possessively exploring each tender curve and trembling contour. Her hands went to his back, feeling his hot body pressing against hers and loving the feeling. Loganís body began pressing hers down against the bed. At first she was reluctant but he was relentless and eventually her body landed on the bed with a plop. Her hands trailed up his back and into his hair as her lips softened beneath his, her breasts barely covered by the tiny shirt she wore scraped gently up against the material of his thin T-shirt. He leaned over her, deepening his kisses, his hand shifting smoothly over her side and hip. His lips nipped hers, seeking entrance, insisting they part, and when they finally did, his tongue plunged into her recesses and slowly withdrew, then plunged again in blatant imitation of the act he was craving with dangerous determination.
Rogue opened her mouth inviting him, welcoming his hands on her body, not at all about to deny that she had always wanted him to touch her, sheíd have to be dead not to, yet wondering if this was his desperation, his need to give her what he interrupted last night, or if heíd slept with the rest of New York and she was all that was left.
"Logan stop," she said, turning her head from his lips. "W-wait," she said, pushing him off her so she could sit up. "Um," she said, adjusting the V-neck of her shirt so her breasts were no longer exposed. "Where did that come from?"
Logan exhaled, slightly angry, realizing they werenít going to continue what theyíd started.
"IÖdonít know, Iím sorry."
With that, he got up and left the room. Rogue couldnít believe it. How could he just start something like that and then leave?
The phone rang. Jean went to pick it up.
"Rogue! Where are you?"
"You mean you donít know? You havenít used Cerebro?"
"No, Charles said heíd know if you were in terrible danger, but weíre worried about you, you all right?"
"Why did you leave like that without a word? What happened?"
"Iím sorry, just tell everyone Iím all right."
"When are you coming back?"
Rogue couldnít answer, so she just hung up the phone. She just wanted them to know she was okay. She couldnít think of anything to do to kill time so she turned on the television. Flipping through channels, she came across an exercise channel. That was as good a way as any to release some anger and frustration. Dressed in tiny shorts and a sports bra that showed off her generous cleavage, she got on the floor and began the exercises with the instructor on the television. Before she knew it had been a few hours and her skin was now glistening and her hair, up in its ponytail was beginning to get messy. She worked on her stomach and her butt at the moment, lying down on her back with her legs back, doing what she referred to as butt squeezes where you lift you ass off the ground and squeeze, cleverly enough. Thoughts flooded through her mind about the reason she had run, the reason she didnít want to ever think about what happened again, and the anger was burned with the movements of her body. And it felt good.
Logan unlocked the door and walked in, setting some groceries on the counter to see Rogue on the floor exercising. As he watched her move her body, her skin glistening and her regulated, heavy breathing, he admitted to himself he could remain watching her for quite a while.
To his disappointment she looked over and saw him, screaming in shock.
"Dammit, canít you make a noise or something so I know youíre here?" she said, crawling off the floor and turning the television off.
"Sorry, just didnít want to interrupt. Working out?"
"Obviously," she said. "How you doing?"
The conversation was going well.
"I gotta take a shower, after that you wanna go get drunk?" she asked.
"Sounds like a plan."
Once sheíd taken a shower and gotten ready, Logan took her out to a club he went to now and then. Walking over to the bar to order a drink, the bartender was a woman whose look at Logan made it clear they had had a sexual past. Rogue stepped back, letting him go to her, and instantly the woman placed her hands on his chest, smiling at him as her hands slithered down brushing past his groin. That was it, Rogue was going to let Logan know she wasnít gonna put up with this or she was gone. Walking up to stand beside him and the woman shifted her attention to Rogue.
"You old enough to be in here honey?"
Rogue smiled sarcastically at her. "Yes I am, thank you, would you like an ID?"
"She doesnít need an ID, sheís with me," Logan said.
It was then the woman backed off him, but it majorly pissed Rogue off. She didnít need him to take care of her. She was a big girl and she didnít need him to defend her against his ex-playmates. Still, she ordered her drink and sat with him, trying not to make it a big deal. Downing her kamikaze and ordering a second one Logan spoke.
"Take it easy there, this isnít a contest."
She turned to him.
"Logan, Iím a big girl, Iím not that Ďkidí you knew five years ago. I can make better booze homemade than you can imagine. All right?"
"All right, sorry, wasnít trying to piss you off."
"Iím not meaning to bite your head off I just would appreciate it if youíd treat me like Iím an adult, a little."
"All right, then letís talk."
"Youíre on, ask," Logan said.
"You ever been married?"
"Ask me another."
"Because Iím not gonna answer."
"Logan, do you trust me?"
"Yeah, I just donít talk about the past."
"Because itís too painful or because you donít remember?"
He gave her a hateful look and she returned it.
"Wolverine," the woman said. "Can I interest you in a game of pool," she purred.
Logan finished his drink. "Sure," he said, got up and left Rogue behind.
Rogueís eyes narrowed as he overly flirted with the woman, knowing she was watching. Finishing her own drink she set out to find herself someone too.
Two hours later, Logan came home. Vivien had bored him for long enough, and he wasnít even interested in screwing her, so he brought her to orgasm and left. Walking into his condo it was quiet so he assumed she wasnít home, and he forced himself not to worry since he was mad as hell at her. When he heard something coming from her room he went to investigate.
When he opened the door his eyes couldnít believe that he saw Rogue in the arms of some guy, as he peeled her gown from her and began touching her body and sucking her skin like there was no tomorrow. In the midst of her passion she looked and saw Logan, standing there, his face anything but happy. Being held tightly in the arms of a man who was sensually kissing her neck, she had her legs almost wrapped around his waist and her breasts crushed up against his chest, her face turned very serious.
"Stop," she told her lover.
"Why?" he said, then turned to see what she was looking at.
"Get out," she told Logan, shocked and infuriated he would stand there with a disapproving look on his face.
"Whoís that?" her lover asked.
Logan walked over to them. "Iím her brother," he said, grabbing hold of the guy and jerking him out of the bed.
To his luck the guy had his pants on.
"LOGAN!" Rogue shouted, furious as hell at him as he took the guy out of the room.
She got up as quickly as she could, putting the satin gown back on, feeling it slide down her body as she adjusted it quickly over her breasts, centering it, and ran out after him. By that point though Logan had already thrown the guy out, and was now blocking her from leaving and chasing after him. Walking slowly over to him with pure disgust in her eyes she stopped in front of him, him towering over her making her not feel the least bit intimidated.
"Who the hell do you think you are," she said calmly, and angrily.
"What the hell are you doing shacking up in my place with some loser guy you met in a bar?"
"The guy who OWNS this place was a loser guy I met in a bar," she replied. "And how was I to know when youíd be home? And since when do you get to play police with who I do or do not have sex with? Iím not seventeen you know, Iím not some innocent little girl who hasnít been anywhere or done anything. You have been trying to anger me and make me jealous and I wasnít just gonna stand there and watch you. I can do fine by myself Logan, but you canít ever let me be someone you donít have to control or protect! But now itís not protection because you know Iím strong, now itís just control. In your eyes itís fine for you to pour your way through New York and Canada using women like hookers who didnít quite fulfill your needs so you say goodbye to them before sunrise the next morning and then go out the next night for another one and just because I didnít want to BECOME one of those women you go through like a gas station, you find it okay to humiliate me just to show you can!" she finished, now out of breath.
"Anything else?" he asked.
"YES!" she shouted and slapped him as hard as she could.
Grabbing her arm he harshly whipped her around so she was facing the same direction he was and clamped her against him. He held her throat tightly with his elbow and his other arm around her stomach. Her breaths in slight fear grew ragged. She fought against him a little just for show but she knew he had won and she knew she wouldnít break free from him.
"So youíre stronger than me," she shouted. "SO WHAT?!?"
Though Logan was impressed with her spunk and her fearlessness of him, he tightened his arms around her, causing her to inhale sharply from fear of his capabilities. Still, she stayed strong and gave no other indication of fear. He was glad he didnít terrorize her and that she wasnít afraid of who he was and what he could do. But that didnít change the fact that he was incredibly pissed off at her. When he didnít let go of her, she got the feeling he was waiting for her to calm down.
"If you expect me to shut up and be calm and say youíre right youíve got another thing coming. Logan I swear to God, if you donít let me go, I will hurt you with my skin."
He held her tightly, not so much to hurt her but to trap her, and he didnít want to let her go. Her hands came up over his arms, her nails digging into him to prove she wasnít joking about using her weapon against him.
"Logan," she warned.
He let her go. She caught her breath and turned around to him. Her eyes held nothing but fury.
"You son of a bitch. I refuse to be here one minute longer. You know what, maybe I was wrong, this is your place, you were letting me stay here, but you got such a kick out of humiliating me. Out of controlling the situation. Would it have been better if Iíd let you have me the other day and then I screwed somebody else? You know, screw Rogue, cross that off your list of women youíve fucked? You were the only person I trusted with everything I was, and maybe I still do but you see two people in me, that little girl you rescued again and again, and that woman having sex with someone in that room. And you donít want me to be both. So I wonít."
She reached up to touch his face, then turned to leave. He grabbed her harshly and knocked her against the wall.
"You are not going anywhere!" he shouted angrily. "You stole my secrets, Rogue! So you know exactly what Iím thinking-"
"I didnít mean to-" she said, trying to shake free of his hands.
"I donít care if you meant to, if it saved your life thatís what counts, but you know what I see."
"Yeah," she said, her eyes meeting his in a heavy glance. "Yeah, I do. I know who you want, who youíve wanted since Iíve known you-"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Logan, let me go," she said firmly. "I know you wouldnít hurt me, so let me go before I struggle so hard you will hurt me whether youíre trying to or not."
When she tried to escape he more firmly held her against the wall. The anger in his eyes drew up anger inside her, and she matched his gaze.
"You can struggle and scream and shout all you want but thereís no one to hear you and youíre not going anywhere!"
She lashed out at him, frustrated. "Who died and made you in charge of me!" she hissed, fighting his hands off of her only to be more securely locked against the wall. "You donít know! You have no fucking idea, Logan. I donít want to be here with you and longer-"
Whatever else Rogue mightíve planned to sayÖwas lost in Loganís open mouth. Her first instinct was to fight, to push him off of her, but he guessed that and crushed her hands in his, holding them against the wall she was up against. The kiss was a brutal kiss, more violent than necessary for any ordinary, consensual kiss. Though she fought against it as his hard body crushed hers to stop any movement on her part, his lips kissed hers over and over, demanding a response regardless of if she wanted to give him one or not. There was no way Rogue could stop him as he ravaged her soft lips, not asking, but taking everything she had to offer. The flames flowed inside of her and she hated it, she hated that is was soaking inside her in an instant. That his passion thrived inside her, flowed beneath her skin, turning her blood to hot liquid waves inside her. With bruised, passion swollen lips, she desperately needed to breathe and turned her head for an instant to gasp for air.
"LoganÖlet me go," she said, her face hiding from his.
"No," he said firmly, and she felt his body heat against hers. "Rogue, look at me."
She said nothing, did nothing. He shook her once to get her to face him.
"Look at me!"
"I am! What?" Rogue said back.
She wanted him so much, she wanted him so badly to want her, but she wasnít mistaken in what sheíd consumed of his mind. She had stolen his secrets, and he would never know how much of them she had inside her, and what they did to her whenever he looked at her or walked passed her.
"Logan, let me go. You donít want to do this."
"Yes I do," he replied, wishing to hell she would just tell him what had happened to her so he could fix it. Heíd been quiet and given her space long enough. He could only be so patient. But what scared him more was that she might be turning away from him for a reason that had nothing to do with whatever it was that she was hiding. She might be turning away from him because she didnít want him.
"Logan, you donít want me. Maybe for some reason you feel the need to make a physical connection with me right now but itís not real and itís not lasting and itís not what you really want."
Gripping her face he turned her towards him. "What the hell are you talking about?"
She couldnít believe he was asking her to spill out the words.
"Logan, youíre in love with someone else, how is this NOT a big deal?"
"Who is it that Iím supposedly in love with?"
She rolled her eyes and tried to move passed him.
"No!" he said, slamming her back against the wall. "Who is it that you think is such a huge deal you wonít let me touch you?"
Rogue rolled her eyes. Why the hell was this a hard question?
"Jean, who is now one of my dearest friends. Now get the hell out of my way!"
"Forget it," he said, his hands around her arms like iron bands, cutting off her circulation. "I donít know what I have to do to make you not doubt me."
Rogueís eyes widened in surprise.
"What do you mean? I donít doubt you, this isnít about doubt. Logan I donít doubt you. Iíve never doubted you. But I wasnít the one who consciously made up in my mind who you said your heart belonged to."
Logan thought a minute, then remembered saying that to Jean.
"Rogue that wasÖyears ago. You were my constant, she was what I wanted because I couldnít have her."
Rogueís face remained still. It was obvious she wasnít buying it.
"Rogue, come on, you know me, better than anyone. How can you doubt what Iím telling you I feel?"
"As far as I know you havenít told me how you feel, just what you donít feel."
Logan looked down, as if somewhat defeated. "People say words all the time expecting them to mean something but they donít."
Rogueís eyes filled with fresh tears, she could feel Loganís pain.
"I know you have a hard time with words. Casual or deep. Iím sorry if Iím asking too much. But Iíve seen you day after day have cheap sex with half the women of the world and I want to mean more than that. Even if it means just being friends."
Logan watched the tear fall from her eye and reached up to brush it away with his beautiful fingers. Dimly, Rogue was aware that he was drawing her closer, she saw his mouth slowly descending to hers. As she gazed into his heavy-lidded hazel eyes, a cry inside her heart told her to escape this, that it was something too deep. Panicked, Rogue turned her face a way an instant before his lips touched hers, her breath becoming rapid gasps, as if she were running. Unaffected by her turning from him, Logan kissed her temple instead, trailing his warm lips over her cheek, pulling her nearer, brushing his lips down the sensual column of her neck, while Rogueís body turned to liquid.
"Donít," she whispered shakily, not wanting him to have her and have their relationship be nothing but a ruined friendship because of a one-night stand. "Please," she whispered, turning her face further away from him and clutching to the fabric of his shirt.
His arms tightened around her as his tongue slid up to her ear, leisurely exploring each curve and crevice, then gently outlining the delicate skin that shaped it. She shuddered with the longing sheíd had for him and sighed softly as his hands shifted up and down her back.
"Logan, please stop," she said achingly.
In response, his hand slid lower, splaying against her spine to force her body into intimate, thorough contact with his rigid thighs, as his other hand slid to her nape, stroking, urging her to life to head for a kiss. Refusing, the hand at her nape tightened in an abrupt command. She had no where to turn, she knew his strength and his determination to seduce her, she was helpless now to fight his urging any longer, so she slowly lifted her face to receive his kiss. His hand plunged into her thick hair, holding her tightly while his mouth seized hers in a plundering, devouring kiss that sent her senses spiraling off so nothing mattered but his mouth and his burning hands on her skin. Overwhelmed with his kisses plunging into her mind, into her body, letting that anger and pain sheíd built up inside her unfold and spread throughout her system. Defeated, Rogueís hands traced up his arms to his shoulders as she gently pulled him closer to her. Logan though wasnít satisfied.
"Kiss me," he urged against her lips. "Kiss me back."
Rogue gave in and complied. She fed his hunger, parting her lips to allow the desperate invasion of his tongue, though his lips never ceased to tease and nip against her own. She leaned into him and felt him gasp into her mouth just as his hands slid possessively over her back to her breasts, then swept down, pulling her tightly against him.
The kiss now out of control and almost violent, she leaned as far into his mouth as she could, her hands on his shoulders and his hands around her back, he lashed his tongue inside her mouth and caressed it with his own, eliciting a moan of response from her. He held her tightly which she realized was a good thing because this kiss was so energy consuming not to mention mind-numbingly wonderful that she felt like liquid and wasnít sure should he let her go sheíd have enough energy to give everything she had into this. His lips seared over hers, taking her breath as he gave her his own.
Keeping her pressed against the wall, his warm hand slid up her throat, pushing her mouth away from his as he attacked the hollow of her throat, flicking his tongue along her collarbone and up the smooth line of her neck. Her head tilted towards the ceiling, her mind was spinning so she closed her eyes instead of trying to focus on one thing while all these sexual feelings flowed through her veins like a drug too strong for you to process, it just exploded inside you causing a cataclysmic reaction.
Her hand reached around and cupped the back of his head, urging his kisses on her body. Loganís hands slipped beneath the straps of her satin white gown and she was jerked back into reality.
"No," she said, pushing his mouth off of her, but not successfully pushing him away from her. She hated to meet his eyes and tell him no but she had to. She knew he could see the passion in her eyes and the way her skin was flushed and her uneven breaths, so she knew he wouldnít believe her. "Logan, donít, I know this seems like-"
"Like what?" Logan asked.
She couldnít answer, but turned her face away, licking her lips free of his touch, and placing her hands over his, trying to remove them from the straps of her gown. Following her mouth, Logan leaned in and captured her lips, one of his hands coming up to guide her head back to him, and without her permission he ravished her lips, kissing her over and over again until she lost her breath and her ability to fight him. Still her hands didnít leave her straps when he tried to pull them down off her shoulders.
"Logan," she whispered weakly as his mouth placed hot butterfly kisses along her closed eyelids, her jawline, and over to her ear.
"Come here," he said, pulling her gently off the wall and pulling him with her as he bent down to kneel on the floor. Taking her with him, he tried again to remove her straps and push her gown away, but her hands stopped him. "Let go," he whispered against her ear. "Let go or Iíll rip it off," he said to her, holding her against his body so she couldnít escape.
A shiver coursed through her body as he huskily whispered those words against her ear. Her hands remained covering her breasts through the shiny fabric of her nightgown, and despite that her body wanted this, despite that she wanted it, reality set in once again about what had happened right before he kissed her.
"No," she said, pulling back from him and standing up, still holding her arms across her chest protectively. "No. I donít know what I was thinking-"
"You were thinking," he said, grabbing her hand before she was completely out his reach. "The exact same thing I was."
Her gaze was held by his eyes, she felt her body tremble from the inside out as he gave her a smoldering look. His hand holding hers, lightly, but firmly, sent little waves of energy through her, and she was having trouble finding words to form.
"No, Logan, we werenít thinking the exact same thing," she assured him with a soft spoken voice, her eyes staring into his as if she barely knew what she was saying, she could only see him. She tore her eyes away from his and pulled her hand free, forcing herself back into reality. "You donít see who I am now, youíre still that protective man who thinks of me as Ďkidí and thinks that because he saved my life, he gets to choose what I do with it." She shook her head. "Go to hell, Logan," she said softly.
Turning to go back to her room she inhaled a shocked scream when he grabbed her harshly by the arms and yanked her to him. Scared out of her mind she didnít notice the bruises that were forming on her arms, she only saw his eyesÖangry, determined, desiring. She didnít dare speak or move as she tried calmly to catch her breath. He held her almost on her tip-toes as his eyes burned through her, making her feel helpless and naked, and at his mercy. She swallowed and found the courage to speak.
"Logan, itís all right, just let me go," she said, which infuriated him even more. He didnít want her talking to him like he was a fucking two you old. His hands tightened around her arms and she gasped in pain. "Logan, please-"
He pulled her to him, crushing his lips against hers, his hand cupping the back of her head so she couldnít break the kiss. She moaned into his mouth, half in protest and half in the melting she felt inside her from how much he was controlling thisÖand how good it felt. She couldíve been unable to stand and there was no way she would be out his arms. As his lips traveled over hers, kissing her over and over again until she wasnít just mentally dizzy, she was physically dizzy, she felt him lower himself to the ground and pull her with him. Her mouth not leaving his she placed her hands on his shoulders and without much of a choice she lowered herself with him, until they were both on their knees.
Wanting her to kiss him back, wanting her to participate he wrapped his arm around her back pulling her body to his, and he took his free hand to her arm and put it around his neck while he kissed her until she couldnít breathe and turned her head away. His hands molded her hips, her back and her waist through the white satin material of her nightgown, her body pressing against his, feeling confined and aching with a need to be touched. Her hand slipped around his neck, her nails digging slightly into his skin. Trailing her hand to his shoulder she pushed his denim jacket off him and opened her mouth to further receive his kisses. Then she slid her hands to where his shirt met his pants and she wasted no time in pushing it up off his body. Kissing him urgently, their mouths cascaded together in a fiery battle of passion. Loganís hands found the straps to her nightgown and peeled them down, his hands caressing the skin he revealed the further down the dress slid off her body.
She trembled in his arms when the thin material slid over her breasts and further down her stomach. Pushing her body further against his as she embraced him, she began to lie down and pull him with her. Lying down over her, he kissed her back, meeting her passion and her demand for his until the kisses slowed, deepened and opened. Rogue could feel her body become heavy, her blood thickening, her breasts swelling slightly against him, her body thriving to touch his as she lay beneath him.
Gently pulling their lips away, they slowly opened their eyes. Keeping his gaze locked with hers, Logan slowly caressed her lower lip with his thumb, then gently dipping into her mouth, moving his thumb around ever so slightly. Then removing his thumb, Logan lifted himself slightly off her body and she felt the coolness against her legs and instantly craved the return of his skin on hers. Her gown pooling at her waist, Loganís hand slid slowly up her leg, the cool air meeting more and more of her skin as the skirt was brushing further and further up her thighs until it was ridden up all the way, and it encased itself uncomfortably around her waist.
But Rogue wanted him so badly the foreplay was just wasting time and driving her more insane than necessary.
"Logan," she murmured against his ear. "PleaseÖI want you so much, I canít wait any longer. Please, now."
He lost it then, he was never one who needed much encouragement. Removing his hand from between her open thighs, he cupped her face and kissed her harshly as he pushed himself into her. Reaching up to grip his face, she plunged her tongue into his mouth while opening her body to take him in, embedding him deep inside her, then squeezing her muscles to keep him with her. Groaning into her mouth, Rogueís long, elegant fingers slid around the back of his neck to hold his mouth against hers as she licked the bottom of his tongue and thrust her hips gently up to meet his.
Slamming his body down against hers he grabbed her hand from his neck and crunched it against the floor, squeezing it tightly as she whimpered slightly into his mouth, tightening her body and raising it up drastically to his, needing the raw sex more than she could ever express. As they both worked to feed each otherís hunger as well as fill their own, she realized their entwined hands were straining against each other as if a wrestling match and that her body felt slickened, the perspiration overheating her and drawing her into mindless actions with only one goal.
He drove into her again and again, and for a minute her mind wondered if this is how he was with every other girl heíd ever slept with in his life and then realized she wasnít thinking about Jake so maybe there was hope. With his hand cupping her throat to control the kiss, she pushed his hand away and him off of her. Pushing him so that he was on the floor she climbed over him, sliding over him like a cat before she leaned down to engulf his lips and encase herself over him again, both of them thrusting faster. Running her hands over his shoulders and torso as she steadily moved herself against him, she opened his mouth roughly, suckling his tongue. When her hair fell into their way, Logan pushed it out of the way, cupping her face and returning her kiss, then he let his hands roam to her shoulders as he crushed her against him.
His hand then moved down, her nightgown still around her waist, he yanked it up and began caressing her roughly as she felt herself begin to break apart. Unwilling to reach her peak without him, she tore her mouth from his and slid her mouth down to his nipple, suckling and encircling it with her tongue again and again as she tightened her walls around him, feeling him spasm against her, hearing his groaning. Her hand trailed up his torso as she continued to suck him, and she slipped three fingers into his mouth, which he bit on gently to sooth his orgasm. Reaching her own, she stopped, her mouth still against his skin, but her body spent. She rested on top of him and encased around him for a few seconds, trying to catch her breath, then slowly rolled herself off of him.
Gripping her head with her hands she brushed her hair all back.
"You okay?" he asked, though still flat on his back and breathing raggedly still himself.
"Yeah," she exhaled. "You?"
"Never better," he rasped and she laughed. "If you ever wanted me to do anything for ya, nowís the time to ask," he said and she laughed harder.
Turning over onto her side, she faced him, propping her elbow up and resting her head in her hand.
"Are you resilient in this way too?" she teased.
It was as if a light bulb went off in his head and he was glad about it. Rogue awaited his answer as she pulled the straps to her slightly ripped gown up over her shoulders. In the midst of doing that though he grabbed both her hands, yanked her up off the ground and two seconds later they were making love again, thankfully on a bed instead of a hard wood floor.
He could tell she thought he was asleep. He watched the way she listened for his breaths to become even. He closed his eyes when she turned his way. She sat up slowly, gently, turning from him, reaching to the ground to pick up her wrinkled nightgown. She didnít want to face him, she didnít want him to see her naked anymore. Was she ashamed of what theyíd done? Had she not broken up with whatshisface and just not told him? Did she regret it because she still loved the other guy or was she just plain not happy about being with him?
He watched her put her gown on, watch the shiny material tumble down her bare back, and then he watched her untuck her hair from beneath it. She stood up off the bed ever so slowly in hopes of not waking him. The bed rose as her weight left it. She walked barefoot out of the room, quiet as she could be. She didnít know his eyes were watching her the whole time.
She walked out of his bedroom to the kitchen, but by the time she got there, she was holding her breath to keep from crying. She placed her elbows on the counter and held her face in her hands, sobbing softly. Logan got out of bed and put on some shorts, going to the kitchen after her. Seeing her like that, her hair spilled over her back and shoulders, her arched body as she leaned her face into her hands, the slight tremble of her entire self, it wasÖawful.
"He hit me," she said, sensing he was there.
He nearly jumped, heíd tried so hard to keep her from hearing him.
"He hit me, thatís what I didnít tell you," she sobbed.
He walked over beside her, showing her he was ready to listen.
"WeíveÖweíd been together for two years. He knew me and I knew him and we loved each other. We did weÖloved each other. We were like young, unmarried lovers, always with each other, always desperate, never bored. And he made me believe I was everything I wish Iíd been before I could be touched. He made me love myself and then he hit me."
She stopped crying, slowly lifting her head from her hands, staring straight again.
"He really did, I still canít believe it," she said, as if just coming to the realization herself.
"Why did he hit you?" Logan asked softly.
Rogue exhaled a laugh. "Does it matter?"
"You tell me," Logan said, seeing that obviously it did.
Rogue wiped her face with her fingers, exhaling.
"It wasnít why he hit me, it was how."
Logan hated to see her like this and wanted more than anything to go claw the guy, but he knew enough about women to know they wanted you to listen.
"H-how did he hit you?" Logan said, his voice cracking in pain for her.
She walked a little ways over to the sink, splashing water on her face to remove the mascara tears.
"In one split second. I know he doesnít hit people, especially women, especially me. But somehow he did. And itís not that I couldnít forgive him and itís not that I donít understand himÖheÖheíd just lost his younger sister andÖ" a tear fell from her eye. "I didnít know and I said something really stupid and he told me to stop so he could tell me but I just kept yelling at him and pushing and yelling until he hit me, not to hurt me or to punish me but to stop me."
Logan handed her a hand towel to dry her face.
"And then he told me Jen was deadÖand then he left."
Logan tried to hold her but she slapped his hands away.
"No, no, thatís not all of it. I tried to go after him to tell me I wasÖsorry and to ask what happened but I couldnít him find him, so I went out to a restaurant really far away, far enough away I didnít recognize anything and I was sitting down at lunch and I saw my parents."
Loganís eyes widened in surprise. "You did?" he said, sounding hopeful.
"Yeah. They even looked right at me, from across the restaurant. My mom and dad both looked right at me, I even saw in their eyes they acknowledged meÖbut neither one of them had a flicker of recognition."
He looked at her completely still body, and open eyes grow with moisture.
"Hey," she said casually. "Canít blame them, Iím the one that left. Iím the one that didnít trust them enough to accept me as who I was now, and I guess by never giving them a chance Iíll never feel the pain of them not accepting me. Of course, not recognizing me is a close second."
"Did you go to them?" he asked.
"And say what?" Rogue sighed, looking at him. "What could I say? I donít know, I guess I just wanted to believe no matter what you never forget your childís face."
"So what did you do?"
"I got up and began to walk out of the restaurant and I bumped into my sister." It was then tears fell down Rogueís cheeks. "She was away at summer camp when I left home and I never said goodbye to her. She bumped right into me, looked at me, said Iím sorry, and walked over to our parentís table. SheÖ" Rogue choked a little on her tears. "She looked just like me. Her hair was all one color but she had grown to look so much like me. We looked almost identical all our lives, she just a few years behind. When I saw her it shocked me, it was like looking into a mirror, then I realized it was her. It was Hillary. She didnít see it though. She didnít see her reflection in me. I wanted to grab her and hug her and ask if she had boyfriend or what her favorite music was now."
Rogue stood against the counter and lifted herself up onto it.
"Logan do you understand that I wouldíve given anything at that moment to not have them? To not have remembered?"
Logan closed his eyes and cupped her face. "But you saw them, and you know theyíre okay."
"Do you know how much worse it wouldíve been if they hadnít been okay?"
He nodded, and she let the tears fall, then wiped them away with her fingers. Reaching for Loganís face she kissed him as she cried. Turning her face from his she embraced him, shaking in his arms from her tears.
"Logan I need you to do me one more favor," she whispered.
"What?" he said back, wanting to take her pain from her.
"I need you tell me you love me, doesnít matter if itís true or not and Iím not gonna hold you to it I just, just need someone to say it, I need to hear it."
Maybe it was her asking him to say it that made it clear to him, made him realize it himself. He embraced her closer to him and said the three words. He didnít remember the last time he ever told someone that. Rogue curled her legs around his waist to pull him against her. She needed something to hold onto. Scooting forward though as if to get off the counter, Loganís hand found her hip and held her there, then slid forward, kneading her flesh through the skirt of her nightgown.
"Tell me again," she whispered, her insides starting to crave him again.
His other hand gripped the side of her face and his eyes burned through hers, sheíd never seen him look at her that way.
"Itís not a favor," he said and kissed her again.
Two days had passed, Rogue and Logan barely seeing each other. They slept in their own beds if they came in and slept at all. Rogue spent a lot of time out, probably more than he did. He often waited for her, stayed awake in his bed until he heard her come in. But on the third day, Rogue knew she couldnít stay here with Logan forever, she was an X-Men and had her commitments, but she didnít know how to say that to Logan and tell him she still wanted him to be with her. She didnít exactly expect him to live with her forever and have anything approaching a normal life but she didnít know how to tell him she didnít expect that but wouldnít mind it and still have some dignity when she was finished.
It was a little after nine oíclock and he wasnít back yet. She went down to the bar where heíd found her and looked for him. She scanned the room and when she found him, he was playing pool with another woman. Anger boiled up inside her and she looked to the bartender.
"Excuse me, can I borrow your wedding ring for a second?" Rogue asked.
"Excuse me?" the bartender replied.
Rogue didnít know how to explain it. At this moment she wanted Xavierís power to control this womanís mind.
"I need your wedding ring for a dose of revenge."
The bartender seemed to understand. "A guy?"
Rogue nodded. "Oh yes."
She smiled and handed Rogue her ring. "Iíll hunt you down if I donít get it back in five minutes."
"Shouldnít take that long," Rogue smiled back.
She walked over to the back of the bar, behind Logan as he was about to take another shot at pool. The woman he was obviously planning to have tonight sat in a chair beside him. Rogue gently put her hand with the ring on his shoulder.
"Keep your pants on, honey," Logan said.
"My pants are on, sweetie," Rogue replied.
Logan knew her voice easily, and knew he was now gonna get it.
"Excuse me," Rogue said to the woman. "May I have a few minutes alone with him?"
The woman caught a look at the ring and her eyes glared at Logan as she walked off. Logan put the stick down and faced her.
"All right, lemme have it-"
His words were interrupted with a slap and a pair of cold eyes staring into him. He put his fingertips to the area of skin she bruised.
"Itíll heal," she said. "It always does."
With that, she left the bar. He went after her.
Opening the door to his condo she slammed it behind her. She now knew she didnít have to struggle to find the right words, heíd freed her from that. She began walking towards her room as she slipped off her shirt to change into another one.
"Wait a minute," he said, opening the door and seeing her.
She turned around, in a bra, and put her hand up. "Do not evenÖfix your mouth to tell me another lie."
"What lie?" he countered.
"I begged you not to make love to me, I told you I didnít want to be what every other girl whoís ever stepped foot in this place to be. I told you Iíd rather just be friends then be a one night stand of nothing more than a few seconds of muscle contractions."
"And youíre not," he said.
"You lying pig," she said thoroughly. "Xavier shouldnít have ever tried to help you, because you donít want to be helped! You get a thrill out of this lifestyle, donít you? You havenít just run for twenty years because you havenít found your past, you like it. And the X-Men were the only thing that ever meant anything real so you ran from it. Youíre a fucking coward, Logan. Course maybe itís not all your fault that you canít let go of plugging every woman you see, you have wolf instincts you, animal instincts, and that means anything but monogamy. You didnít have the decency to wait until I was GONE before you found someone knew. You used me up, didnít you? Iím disposable now, and Iím leaving first thing in the morning."
She took her shirt and went into the bedroom. Fury grew inside him so fast it took everything he had not to punch a hole in the wall. What the hell did she know about not knowing who you are? Nothing. How the fuck did she know what it was like everyday, trying find something familiar, knowing someone cut your body open and aligned it with metal and not know who or why? She probably thought she hated him, but she didnít know what hate was.
Rogue was busy throwing all her crap into a bag when her door opened and turned to see him.
"What do you want?" she demanded, not up for another argument.
Grabbing a shirt out of her hand, he said, "The same thing you want every time weíre in the same room together."
Furious at his obvious intention to sleep with her she moved one step back from him and tried to move past him out of the room. Failing he grabbed her and flung her back on the bed, landing on top of her. Facing him, seeing the look in his eyes though he had both her hands over her head, she wished desperately that she was seventeen and he still thought of her as a kid. But now he didnít, she was grown up and theyíd been lovers, it was all different now.
"Let go of me," she said through gritted teeth.
"Not a chance," he said icily.
Gathering up all her energy for her next move, she struggled against him.
"What is it that you think youíre gonna do? Rape me?" she demanded.
Gripping her head so she would have to stay still, his eyes degraded her.
"I wonít have to rape you, youíll want me in two minutes max."
His mouth seized hers before she could reply. Beneath him she strained her wrists to be free of his hands as she raised her knee as best she could, but not high enough to be able to have a good aim and his groin. Her anger though gave her enough strength to push him from her enough to sit up, but not having pushed him far enough, he was now on top of her with a better grip on her than before.
"Dammit Logan, get off me!"
She hated him more than she ever had before when she felt his fingers slide beneath her shorts and underwear, probing her very lightly, starting to caress and massage her with more familiarity than she thought he could, and that familiarity made the anger in her pool deeper. He wasnít going to force her to do anything, he didnít want her as his helpless victim, he wanted her as his whore. Thatís what he was really trying to do, show her that he could do anything to her. She hated that her body was beginning to respond to him, and wondered how that could be when her mind and her heart werenít.
"Logan, stop it," she said, biting her lips.
She felt his whisper against her neck.
"Why? So for the rest of your life you can say to yourself that I almost raped you but you stopped me? Forget it."
His mouth closed over her nipple, tongue circling, lips tugging through the material of her bra and Rogue bit back a scream of protest. She had never in her life felt such revulsion at him defiling her body, holding her hands back, and at the same time that shock of sexuality that coursed through her.
"Do you want me, Rogue?" he said against her.
"If itíll make you get this over with, yes."
He slid his fingers deeper into her and she tensed herself up, tightening against him, wanting him to know she wasnít going to be open and ready for him, willingly at least. Unable to stand it any longer, with a strength she didnít know she had she threw him off of her and made a break for it.
"Rogue wait!" he said, grabbing her hand and pull her back so she was sitting on the bed.
"What?" she demanded.
Cupping her face gently, he kissed her, but this time it had softened, now the anger was gone. She was left confused as he led her through a beautiful kiss, his hands combing her thick hair. He began whispering words of love as he nibbled his way along her jawbone, her neck.
"Marie," he said softly as he nipped her earlobe.
Her blood sped up as she felt his hot mouth on her skin. When he began to ever so slightly push her back, she went with him, and they were lying back down on the bed.
Then suddenly he got up, and looking down on her, he said, "See, two minutes was all it took."
When he shut the door behind him, she lie there for a second in shock, her body trembling in disgust. She knew she would explode from anger so she began to take deep breaths and sit up, but she was so upset with him and herself she began to hyperventilate, but then slowed her breaths, concentrating on throwing a shirt on and grabbing her bag, she couldnít stay here one minute longer and sheíd go crazy if she tried.
Finishing up, she opened her door and headed out of the condo. He stood in the kitchen as she walked past him.
"Rogue I did have a wife!" he called after her.
Her hand on the knob, she stopped but didnít face him.
"I think she died, I donít remember how but I think she died."
She knew he was trying to give her what she needed to believe he wasnít a coward. By trying to remember and telling her. But it didnít make up for what heíd just done. She turned the knob.
"Donít go," he said, raw with emotion. "Please," he said, coming around to face her.
For some unknown reason her hand refused to turn the knob, she didnít know why and it made her sick with herself. It made her more angry with herself than him. She took her hand off and she threw her bag down, groaning in fury at herself.
"Goddamn you," she said.
He had been praying she couldnít leave him and thank God she couldnít. He reached for her and she jumped back.
"DonítÖdonít touch meÖdonít EVER touch me."
"Okay, okay," he agreed, putting his hands up. "I wonít touch you, Iím sorry."
She couldnít have heard him right. "Sorry? Youíre sorry? Do you think I give a damn if youíre sorry? I should kill you right now for doing that to me. For using sex as a weapon, as power."
"Yes, I know that," she said, matter of factly. "I canít do this, Iím not going to do this-"
"Would you just-"
"No! You donít get to ask for anything, all right? I came here a little over a month ago to get away from my own life and I did, and now I have to go back and face it. You just made it way easier for me to leave this place I thought I felt safe in."
Neither said a word for a few seconds, she wiped her forehead with the back of her hand, exhausted.
"OkayÖokay," she said simply. "Weíre done now, I mean we donít owe each other anything. You saved my life I saved yours. I told you some of my secrets you told me some of yours, but neither of us want to pursue our pasts and thatís our choice."
"What are you trying to point out?"
She was doing her best to be calm and grown up about this, processing everything and not slapping him again.
"ThatÖthat weíre even. That weíre done. That I donít owe you anything when I leave here."
"You going back to the mansion?" he asked.
"Itís my home," she replied simply.
"To whatís his name?"
She just stared at him, not feeling he deserved an answer. She gave him one anyway.
"I donít know," she said.
"He hit you," Logan said softly.
"Yeah, believe it or not I was there and I know that, but see thereís a difference between pushing someone when theyíre already losing it to the point they snap and you and your deliberate need to defile me."
When he was about to reply she put her hand up to stop him.
"Look, donít. Nothing you can say right now is gonna make me not want to rip your face off and stuff it in a jar so how about we just end this conversation right now."
Turning to open the door, he grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
"Hey!" she said pushing his hands off her. "Donít touch me or I swear Iíll-"
"Why havenít you used your skin against me?" he said, clutching her again in his hands. "Why arenít you now?"
She closed her eyes, wanting to block out the words and images in front of her.
"Because itís not a fair weapon to use," she said under her breath.
"Who said anything about fair?" he shouted at her.
"Certainly not you!" she shouted back, her eyes opening. "Iíd really like to know WHY that was so much fun for you? And when you knew it wouldnít work you changed the way you did it to make me think you werenít holding me just to hurt me as soon as I said yes but because you cared. Was it because I got a little too close to the truth and didnít mind shouting it to your face?"
"Yes," he said honestly.
"Well good, then I wonít ever have to say anything to you again, goodbye," she said, again removing his hands from hers but then couldnít leave because he had his hand on the door, blocking her from opening it. "What do you want from me?" Rogue asked warily.
"I want you to forgive me."
Rogue closed her eyes and shook her head. "I canít. Not right now. And I shouldíve gone awhile ago but I really have to go back, Logan."
"Iíll come with you."
She gave him a look. "You want to come back to the mansion. Why? To be an X-Man?"
"I care about you."
She exhaled. "I canít tell you what to do, Logan."
She almost smiled at him. He was so goddamn cute when he wanted to be.
"What exactly are you asking me? If I will "allow" you to go back there? Itís your home too, Logan. Always has been had you wanted it to be."
"I want you to let me take you back there," he said. "I mean if weíre both going there, leaving from the same place itíd only be sensible for us to go together."
He had a point, and he was at least trying to make it more casual so thereíd be less pressure and embarrassment on her.
"All right," she sighed, giving in. "All right, but youíre driving, youíre wearing a goddamn seatbelt, and we leave in five minutes."
"Yes maíam," he said, saluting her.
As he began gathering up a couple things, she wondered what the fuck she was thinking of.
"Where are we?" she said, dazed as she opened her eyes to see an endless road ahead of her.
"Good, you're up," he said, keeping his eyes on the road as he nudged her head off his shoulder. "My arm was about to fall off."
"Your charm never ceases to amaze me," she replied, sliding herself to the opposite end of the seat as she curled her knees up to her chest. "Youíre the one I trusted, you should at least be the one I lay on."
"You hungry?" he asked.
"No," she yawned.
"Well thatís a first."
"What the hellís up with your attitude?" she asked. "Last time I checked it was me who was and had every right to be pissed off at you."
"The traffic sucks," he said bluntly.
"Yeah well, so do you."
He waited for her to say something else but she didnít. He looked over at her and she was staring out the window, deep in thought.
"What are you thinking about?" he said.
"Rogue, donít lie to me."
"Xavierís gonna scan my mind the second I walk through the door, and as you can imagine there are a couple of things I donít want him to read. So I was practicing shielding my memories from him."
"How the hell you do that?"
She readjusted herself in the car, pulling her legs up on the seat and sitting almost sideways so she faced him.
"You donít relax those thoughts. We do have some choice in how much he reads. And Jean wonít read my mind unless I ask her to."
Logan wondered how much Rogue didnít want them to know. It wasnít exactly like he was big either on everybody knowing his business but it would be obvious to everyone that things had happened between them and he wondered how much she was going to want to cover up. He didnít dare ask though or pursue the subject at all. Heíd probably end up with his face in a jar just like sheíd said.
"So how long till weíre there?" she said, yawning again.
"By morning weíll be there," he assured her.
"Good, night," and she went back to sleep.
It was a cool morning, the sun rising beautifully over the horizon as she stepped up to one of the entrances of the castle Xavier used as every mutantís haven. She opened the huge door and stepped quietly inside with Logan behind her.
"Iíll get you a room," she promised, closing the door behind them.
Walking through the hallways over to the elevator she and Logan walked in. Going up a few floors the doors opened and Storm was walking by.
"Rogue!" she whispered, running to her for a deep embrace.
"Hey," Rogue whispered, hugging her back. "Iím okay, Iím back."
"We missed you, we didnít know what happened."
Finally releasing Rogue, Storm looked to Logan.
"Hey you," she said tipping up to kiss him on the cheek and hug him briefly. "Glad youíre both safe, come with me."
They followed Storm down the hall and Rogue stopped outside her room.
"Is JakeÖ" she didnít finish.
"No he left shortly after you disappeared. He was pretty upset about his sisterís death. Can I get either of you anything?"
Rogue looked at Logan. "Iím fine, just need some sleep, we spent the night driving."
Storm gave Logan a room near Rogueís and let them both sleep. Though when the rest of the gang woke up she explained Rogue was back safelyÖwith Logan. Rogue looked at her bed, the one sheíd shared with Jake for two years, and there was no trace of him. A stab of pain went through Rogue as she crawled under the covers, knowing in her heart it was over between them, yet feeling the pain of all that had happened in a matter of seconds. She tried to sleep in her bedÖtheir bed, but even when she finally did slip into unconsciousness, she kicked and turned over the whole time.
"How long does she need to sleep?" Storm worried, pouring iced tea into Loganís glass.
"How longís the kid been out?" Scott asked.
"Sheíll be all right," Xavier said, wanting them to leave it alone.
Jean put her hand over Xavierís.
"You think itís because of Jake."
"Well it is unresolved," Xavier replied.
"Someone should locate him and tell him sheís back," Scott said.
"Give her a few days," Xavier said.
A few days was what she got. Rogue did the best she could to act like everything was back to normal. The sympathy she received from her fellow X-Men was driving her crazy, and she did her best to stay away from Logan. From embarrassment, anger, and fear. On her fourth day back, she went to the stables and got out her favorite horse, Ocean. Saddling her up, she climbed gracefully onto the horse in the brisk, cool afternoon and began to ride.
In the distance, Logan stepped outside to watch her. Heíd been watching her a lot these past few days without her knowledge. Storm stepped out after him, watching Rogue beside him. Rogue was taking high jumps she had no business taking with her eyes closed and her arms in the air instead of holding the reins.
"She does that when she wants to fly," Storm said allowed, though Logan heard he made no sign of it. Storm didnít need one though to know he wanted to know. "She gets overwhelmed easily, especially before sheíd learned to control her skin. I donít know how she managed to be so strong and so happy at that time."
Logan was having a hard time watching Rogue jump those high jumps, her strong legs clasping around the horse but her arms straight out to her sides, feeling the wind blow against her body as she jumped and galloped.
"Has she ever fallen?" he asked.
"No, ironically. In a way I think sheís praying she will, I think she pushes the horse wishing it will throw her, and because she wishes it, it never happens. Ocean never misses a step. That horse knows Rogue better than she knows herself."
"So why does Rogue want to kill herself?" Logan asked.
"I donít think she wants to kill herself, I think she wants to escape. I think she wants to hurt herself. See sometimes she goes numb in her heart and she gets angry at herself and she pushes herself to the limit, daring herself to screw up and fall. I donít think she thinks of it as suicide. If anything itís made her one hell of a rider. She and JakeÖ" Storm stopped then, assuming he wouldnít want to hear about her and Jake.
"What? Go ahead. Tell me about her with him."
Storm sighed. "They had a very young, in love relationship. I always got the feeling he loved her more than she loved him but it was a very beautiful thing. Very intense, very sexual."
Storm knew Logan didnít want to hear that but very sexual was an understatement and she wanted to prepare him should Jake and Rogue get back together.
"It was nauseating at times, but wonderful. He wasÖvery very in love with her."
"She love him?"
"I think so," Storm said calmly.
As Rogue rode the horse, praising it as she did so, knowing how much she was asking of her, she saw him in the distance. She couldnít deal with itÖnot yet. Jean mustíve called him. She turned her face from him and kicked the horse hard, demanding it run away from him. She would too, she would run off the property as hard as she had to to stay away from him. Though even as she galloped along, pushing the gallop faster and faster, she heard him gaining on her with another horse. And he was and always had been a better horseback rider than she.
Before she knew it she felt herself being lifted off the horse and onto his. She didnít have the strength to fight him as his arm came around her stomach, lifting her from Ocean, who then obediently stopped. He settled her on the horse behind him, pulling his horse to a halt and jumping off. Holding his arms out to her she slid herself off the horse and into his arms. When he set her on ground he was out of breath.
"Tell me now, Rogue what it is about me that has you running the opposite direction?" he asked, his hands on her waist, his eyes looking down into hers.
Storm and Logan saw it all.
"Guess Jean called him," she said.
Rogue couldnít resist his charm as she looked down, smiling.
"I donít know, shouldíve known youíd chase me," she said.
His gentle fingers tipped her face up to his.
"Iíve been killing myself trying to figure out something to say but I canít think of anything besides Iím sorry. I should never have-"
"Shh," Rogue said, placing her fingers over his lips. "Donít apologize for anything. Iíve been known to hit you once or twice myself," she flirted, trying to minimize his guilt. "I know you never meant to hurt me and I know I kept pushing you until your grief and your need to tell me snapped. Howís your mother handling it?"
"How else could she but badly?"
Rogue closed her eyes and tears slipped from beneath them.
"God Iím sorry," she said. "I loved Jen, you know that."
"Yeah," he whispered. "Look I think we both know we canít go back, that it wasnít just that hit or that fight or the fact that you disappeared on me and I was scared out of my mind-"
"Iím sorry," she whispered.
"Itís all right," he said, caressing her face. "No matter what, if you ever need anything-"
"I know," she said, meeting his eyes, feeling the tears slid down her face at the knowledge that they were ending. "I want you to know that I will always be there for youÖif Iíd just knownÖ" her tears stopped her speech as she covered her mouth with her hand. She swallowed and found her courage to speak. "Things happened you donít know about-"
"Donít tell me now, you feel obligated to tell me and you shouldnít. Tell me later, when this pain is over and you can trust me."
She felt his hands on her and still felt the initial spark she had two years ago.
"I do trust you."
He nodded. "I love you Rogue."
She knew that when he said it, it was the last time he ever would. At least in the way he meant it in this moment, the last Iím in love with you I love you.
"I love you," she replied, her face now glossy from her continually falling tears.
She looked down at his mouth, knowing this was the last time sheíd be in his arms, the last time the attraction between them would and could ever be acted on. Her body trembled as he leaned down and kissed her, his mouth searing over hers in a desperate final kiss, his mouth trailing over hers in a worship, opening her mouth and tasting her, pulling her body against his as they both gave their most desperate, passionate kiss theyíd ever given or experienced. When he pulled back, she wasnít ready to let go, but knowing the moment had past, she slowly placed her face against his shoulder, exhaling.
"I forgive everything," she said softly.
"So do I," he said, holding her close to him.
They separated their bodies slowly, feeling the cool air instead of each otherís warmth, and he caressed her face, then got back on his horse and road off. At that moment the wind blew hard against her face, her hair flying the direction he had ridden off in, and she wondered if that was some sort of signal. Ocean walked over to her and she kissed the bridge of her nose, petting her for being so loyal.
"That looked like it was hard for both of them," Storm said. "I think they couldnít salvage it anymore, but that theyíll always care about each other."
Storm patted Loganís shoulder as she went back inside.
Rogue took a long walk that night, hoping to clear her mind and rest her heart. Not need anything or anyone, she would just walk until all the knots in her stomach were undone and she could feel at ease. Walking into the woods, she stepped down past the mansionís grounds into the path in the forest. Not thinking of anything she yelped when her arm was grabbed and she was pulled into Loganís lap.
Once there, her face in front of his, she laughed.
"Scare the hell out of me," she said.
He smiled back, then sobered up. "You okay?" he asked, concerned.
"You heard?" she asked.
"I saw it," he replied.
"Oh," she said looking down. She put her hand on her forehead as if in pain. "I didnít want you to see that."
"You loved him a lot, didnít you?"
"Yeah at one point."
"Do you still?"
She nodded just a little. "I mean itís over but it hurts a lot and it hurts because I cared."
He slid his hand around her neck and pulled her to him. She had forgotten how comfortable the position of straddling someone and being held by them was. Even without anything sexual it was just very comforting. She chastely slipped her hands around his back to return the hug, and she felt the most gentle rock. Barely noticeable yet so easing.
"Youíre gonna be fine," he said into her ear.
"You helped, you always did."
"You still mad at me?"
She smiled. "Course I am."
"Well at least everythingís sort of back to normal."
She pulled back enough to look at him. "Youíve been really good to me other than that one night and it made me feel safe. You made me feel safe. But I told you I wouldnít hold you to anything and I wonít. I promise you that. When they told me youíd been captured I wanted to come and help you and Iím so grateful I could. And that you opened your eyes and looked at me and you were okay."
"I think weíre both pretty stubborn about making sure we both survive."
And then he kissed her. It was at first slow but instantly his hands moved up her back to her face where he held her still so he could deepen it in his own way and his own time. Returning the kiss she began to laugh as she slid off his legs and onto the ground. Putting on arm out behind her, he climbed over her as she lied herself gently onto the ground.
"Mmm," she said, pulling her head back from his lips just a little. "Whatís gotten into you?" she asked with a smile.
"You want me to stop?" he asked humorously.
"No," she replied, and kissed him again.