Disclaimer: They're not mine. This is a tragedy that I'd love to rectify, but so far all my pleading has been ignored harshly.
Feedback: It was lovely the first time. Repeats are welcome and required for sequels.
Archive: WRFA. Otherwise, ask. I won't say no for goodness sake!
A/N: All of the FB I got for SASS made me all happy inside. So I decided to honor the begging and threats by writing this. Be happy, my friends. Jenn did give the idea to add a little Jean-bashing. All as a result of what Terri's Jean is doing currently. I decided to indulge in my more cruel tendencies. I know nothing about hockey, although Vic was kind enough to give me some pointers, thanks dearie. I also apologize to anyone who likes the Coyotes. I just picked 'em 'cause I saw they're playing the Red Wings in real life soon. And I needed to be cruel to whatever team was against Marie's. I repeat, I know nothing about hockey. Plus, I figured I'd give Xavier's some servants. After all, who do you think does all the cleaning and cooking there?
Logan knew that when on a hunt, details were essential to the ultimate success of the venture. He was a master at observing and taking down his prey. So, the fact that Marie had managed to avoid being in the same room with him for the rest of that Saturday afternoon spoke volumes to him.
She was embarrassed by what she'd done. Well, probably not so much by the actions as by the fact that he was around to remind her just who she'd been imagining on the grassy bank of the lake. Not that he was supposed to know about any of that, of course. He used his supposed ignorance to his advantage.
When Marie entered the rec room late in the afternoon, Logan let his eyes devour the way her baby-tee was tight in all the right places and how her jeans fit her almost like a second skin. He hated the fact that long black opera gloves and a black silk scarf completed her outfit, but she'd only recently begun to make small strides in controlling her mutation. The meditations and mental exercises gave her such severe headaches that she had to advance as slowly as possible. She'd often confided during those headaches that she wasn't sure if she'd survive to learn to control her power fully. That thought filled him with rage.
Marie's eyes met his just as he brought his gaze up from the material stretched over her chest. She blushed bright pink, turned and left the room. Logan didn't follow. Instead, he headed over to the couch and settled in to watch some TV. He grabbed the remote from the kid who'd been watching what appeared to be yet another teen soap opera and changed the channel to ESPN. The kid glared at him but didn't bother to comment when the latest race results came up.
Logan didn't see Marie again until dinner. That was when he was sure she was avoiding him. He almost wanted to grin at how she'd managed to enter the dining room with a group of her friends and went to sit at their table. Because they'd been eating dinner together ever since his return, he knew that a lot of people would be watching for his reaction, her little friends included. He was prepared to give them one hell of a show.
Logan stood up from where he'd been seated at one end of what was dubbed the "X-table" by the students. He made sure his expression was one of confusion mixed with just the smallest dab of hurt for all of the watching eyes. Then he walked slowly across the hall to stand behind her.
He'd noticed that Marie always seemed to be aware of where he was in a room. It'd been kind of flattering and a lot confusing before he knew he wanted her. Now it was yet another tool for the hunt.
She twitched her shoulder once when he stopped behind her and again when he didn't say anything. He waited. He could wait for hours if he had to, for her. Finally, she turned her head, her eyes not quite meeting his. He put a hand on her shoulder and leaned down to whisper in her ear.
"Are you mad at me?" Logan asked, transferring confusing and hurt from face to voice.
Marie's dark eyes widened and rushed to meet his fully. She said quietly, her tone only a little strained, "Of course not, Logan! My friends were just tellin' me a story. Ah was just getting' ready to come over and sit with ya."
He loved it when she got nervous because her rapidly disappearing Southern drawl would reappear. He let relief tinge the grin he gave her, just to let her know that their little routines meant a lot to him. Might as well make her feel safe and cared for, appreciated. "Good," was his only reply. He backed up a little and stood obviously waiting for her.
Logan knew that, as Marie saw it, there was no other choice but to rise. She waved goodbye to her friends with a hand that trembled almost imperceptibly. She began walking to her usual seat at the X-table, between Ororo and his empty chair.
He watched her hips as she walked ahead of him, swaying with a natural and unconscious grace that just could not be taught. He let his eyes travel over the smooth line of her back to the sweet curve of her ass. He now knew from personal experience that it was as well honed as the rest of her body. It was round, not too big but nowhere near flat.
Okay, so maybe he was making his newly realized attraction and interest apparent to the audience they had, but that wasn't important to him. Besides, he bet most of the male population, straight or not, of the school had checked out Marie's butt at one time or another. He growled low before he caught himself. The skin between his knuckles ached, and he wished he was somewhere destructible, not the school's dining hall.
Marie sat down and gave 'Ro, who was looking at them curiously, a small smile. The weather goddess smiled back and made small talk with the younger woman as Logan took his seat to Marie's right. They kept up their talk as the six servants the Professor hired to look after the occupants of the school began to serve the meal. 'Ro turned her attention to her meal, leaving Logan and Marie in a small bubble of silence in the loud room. Conversation levels were definitely not regulated here.
When Logan noticed that Marie hadn't made a move to start eating her lasagna, which was one of her favorite foods, he decided to break the silence with a normal, everyday type comment.
"The Red Wings are playing the Phoenix Coyotes tonight," he said casually.
"Yeah, I know. It should be a good game," Marie answered, picking up her fork and taking bite of cheese-stuffed, meat sauce-covered noodles. "Mmmm . . ."
"The Red Wings? Yeah, right. The only reason I'm gonna watch 'em is 'cause you love 'em so much and because there aren't any decent teams playing tonight anyway," he told her with a smirk.
She wrinkled her nose at him, but her dark eyes were sparkling again. "You just don't know decent when you see it, Logan," she told him.
Logan looked at her and grinned. "I don't know about that, darlin'," he said. When she blushed and looked down at her food he added, "I've gotta say that just about any American team isn't worth much." Yeah, make it seem like that's what he was talking about. And insult her teams while he was at it. That'd get her away from any dangerous thoughts for now.
She shook her head. "I know you love just about everythin' Canadian, Logan, and the Maple Leafs aren't half bad, but this unnatural and completely unreasonable dislike of every American team just isn't healthy," she teased him.
Good, they were back to their usual joking around. Hopefully she was over that damn embarrassment now. So, up it a notch.
"What were you up to today, Marie? I didn't see you all day," Logan said after swallowing a huge bite of lasagna.
She didn't even look uncomfortable now. Better. "Logan, take smaller bites, for goodness sake! Who knows if you'd heal from strangling yourself on food? I was just hangin' around. Spent most of the morning and afternoon by myself, just relaxing and catching up on some reading. There's a nice spot I found a month or so ago that I might show you some time. And when I got back Jubes ambushed me an' Kitty and made us check over every outfit she has in her closet to decide which one to wear on her date with Remy tonight," she said, giggling a little.
She'd offered to show him her lake. That was promising. There were a lot of things that Logan could think of to do in a private little spot like that. Of course, all of that would have to wait. Had to go slowly with Marie.
"Sounds great, Marie," he said. Then he took another big bite of lasagna and looked at her, an eyebrow raised. She just rolled her eyes.
"What part, me spendin' hours listening to Jubes complain about how she has absolutely nothing to wear when she's got almost enough for two closet's crammed in there? Most of it yellow, by the way. I hate that damn color now," she said ruefully.
"You're tellin' me. Well, at least it's not something completely horrible, like pink or somethin'. But I meant you showin' me that place you mentioned," Logan told her, patting her gloved hand in a gesture that he hoped was as absent as he was trying for. He felt something in him lurch when her fingers curled around his briefly and she shot him a grin.
"Logan, you mentioned yesterday that you've got a lot of experience with meditation. I was thinking that we could do something useful with that knowledge here," Jean said from across the table, apparently oblivious to the fact that he and Marie were having a semi-exclusive conversation.
Instead of growling at Jean like he wanted to, he just nodded curtly, all good-humor gone from his expression. "Yeah, Jeanie, I know a little. But you don't want me meditatin' with the kids or anything," he said, having already guessed what the perfection-seeking doctor was going to ask him.
"Why not?" Scott asked. He quirked an eyebrow that could be, and was, read as, 'Afraid of little kiddies, Wolverine?'
"Because when I meditate, I do it all natural," he growled out.
Marie looked at him, intrigue shining in her eyes. "Does that mean what I think it does?" she asked mock-innocently. Little vixen. She knew damn well from his memories in her mind what it meant.
"It means that Logan meditates nude, Rogue. It is indeed a very relaxing way to meditate. Although not appropriate for the students, of course," 'Ro said. When everyone at the table, including the Professor, stared at her in surprise, she just shrugged serenely and smiled. "I was raised in Africa among the tribes," was all she had to say.
Hoping that would stop any further discussion in that direction, Logan turned back to Marie. No such luck.
"Still, don't you think that you could put on a pair of sweats or something just while you're helping a few of the students, Logan?" Jean asked, a frown in her eyes.
Guess she didn't like being told no. Oh, well, too fucking bad. "Jeanie, there's probably nothing I could show them that you and the Professor don't already know. And meditation is private for me, okay? I don't just breathe in and out and think happy thoughts," he snapped out.
Jean's eyes widened, and Scott's hand tightened around his fork. No one said anything for a few moments.
"Logan is right, Jean," the Professor finally said. "He's contributing to the school enough as it is, what with the advanced combat classes he agreed to teach when he returned. There's no need to interfere with something that is so personal to him."
Jean jerked her eyes in the older man's direction before nodding shortly. "I just thought we might work together on it," she said softly to Logan. "I could use some pointers."
Logan almost hissed. Marie did. He could hear it, a low hsss of air beside him. He put a hand on her thigh under the table and looked over at Jean steadily. She'd kept up with the flirting he'd initiated when he'd first come to the mansion more than a year ago. He almost couldn't blame her; he'd been pretty persistent back then. But he hadn't tried anything except light flirting since he got back, and now he wasn't even in the mood for that.
"I don't think so, Red," he told her.
"The game starts at nine, right?" he asked Marie, turning so that her eyes were all he saw.
She looked confused for a second, and then she nodded. "Nine, yeah. In the rec room?" she asked.
"Nah. How 'bout you bring the chips and stuff to my room? I got that TV in Monday, remember?" Logan suggested.
Now it was Marie's eyes that were wide for a second. She gripped his hand, which was still on her thigh, unconsciously before answering.
"S-sure. Ah'll be there as soon as Ah get Jubes out the door wi' Remy," she said. There was that accent again. He loved it.
The rest of the meal was relatively silent. As soon as Marie was finished she excused herself. Logan took it as a good sign that her hand dropped onto his shoulder and squeezed briefly as she passed him.
He could tell already that this was one hunt he'd enjoy every second of.
Jubilee and Kitty were waiting for Rogue in the room they all shared. They both had huge grins on their faces, and they were talking animatedly when she walked in. Jubilee squealed in glee when she saw her.
"Roguey, girl, that was fantastic! The best meal I've had at this place in a while!" she said.
Kitty nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah, it was so cute!" she chimed in.
"What are you two talking about?" Rogue asked, going to her closet and looking in to see what there was that she could wear to watch a hockey game and still look good. Thanks to Jubilee's love of the mall and frequent trips there, she had a great wardrobe assembled since she'd first come to the school more than a year before. She pulled out a pair of jeans that were obviously Kitty's and threw them at her friend. She pulled out a pair of her own jeans and a blue tank top with a gauzy black shirt to go over it.
The three young women should probably have gotten their own rooms by now. They weren't students anymore, having all earned their high school diplomas during the past year. Every time their former teachers and soon-to-be teammates tried to talk them into splitting up, though, they refused, saying that they'd wait until the end of summer for that. They wanted all the fun time they could get together before new students and old started rushing in and someone needed the three-person room.
"We're talkin' about the way Wolvie was all hurt that you weren't gonna sit with him. And don't give us that shit about how you were only sitting with us for a second, girl, 'cause we know you. You were hiding from him," Jubilee scolded when Rogue turned and opened her mouth to disagree.
"Or trying to, anyway," Kitty said with a giggle and a roll of her eyes. "Like you could. Remember when he came after us when we ditched his combat class to go the mall last week? He found us right away, and don't try to tell us it was 'cause he had Jubes' perfume in his head, because we so won't believe that."
Jubilee jumped back in before Rogue could say a word. "When you got up to go sit with him, his eyes lit up, I swear! Wolvie was all happy that his Roguey was gonna sit with him," she chortled.
"That wasn't the best part, though, was it, Jubes?" Kitty said with a teasing grin in Rogue's direction.
"Nope, it wasn't! The best part, the damn cherry on the sundae was the way his eyes were on your ass all the way back to the X-table," Jubilee said, her eyes shining as she imparted this vital information.
"What?!" Rogue asked loudly. This she just could not believe.
"It's true! Everyone on our side of the table saw it. He was devouring that sweet ass of yours. . . which I so envy, by the way. . . with his eyes and watching those hips of your swinging back and forth in front of him," Kitty said earnestly.
Rogue sat down on the edge of her bed. She took a deep breath. "Y'all were obviously seeing things. Logan would not be checking out my butt. Ever. He doesn't see me as a woman at all, just a little kid, sort of a sister or something." Damn, that came out bitter! She hadn't realized how his usual treatment of her was affecting her.
Of course, holding her hand for any length of time was not normal for Logan. Nor was the way he'd practically yelled at Jean and then returned to their conversation as if nothing had happened. And the way he'd suggested they watch the game in his room, right in front of the other X-Men. . . could there have been something there when he asked her that wasn't just friendly? Now, add what could have been a compliment or come on or whatever earlier, and. . .
"No." Shit, she hadn't meant to say that out loud. Oh, well, might as well continue. "Logan doesn't see me that way, Jubes, Kitty. He just doesn't."
"Sounds to me like you're trying to convince yourself, girly," Jubilee said, dropping down to sit next to her on the bed. "Why wouldn't he see you that way, Rogue? You're one hot girl. Isn't she, Kitty?"
Kitty sat down on Rogue's other side and nodded in support. She took Rogue's hand and patted it while Jubilee put an arm around her shoulders.
"That's just it. He thinks I'm a girl, not a woman," Rogue said, knowing that her tone sounded miserable and self-pitying and not caring.
"That's not how it looked from our end of things, Rogue. And, besides, I swear I wanted to yell 'Hand check' every time I looked over at the X-table! Those are all things that suggest maybe you're wrong and just don't know it," Kitty said comfortingly.
Rogue looked into her sincere blue eyes. "You think?" Was it wrong to hope that her friends were right? Gods, she prayed not, 'cause she needed all the hope she could get in her strange relationship with Logan.
"A guy does not check out his little sister's ass, Rogue. A guy does not check out the ass of a girl he thinks of as a little sister or niece or whatever else the hell you might come up with. And no matter what you say, Logan was checking you out, babe!" Jubilee told her.
Rogue sighed. "It just seems weird to think that what I've been wishing for could be coming true, you know? I mean, I've wanted Logan for a long time, and the thought that he might want me. . . "
"It's pretty cool, huh?" Kitty's comment was more rhetorical than anything, and her silly grin meant she was thinking of her boyfriend of six months, Bobby.
"Yeah," Rogue whispered softly.
After a moment of silence, Jubliee tugged on Rogue's arm. "C'mon, I've got to get ready. Why're you changing clothes, anyway?" she asked.
"Logan and I are watching the Red Wings game together. It starts in half an hour, and I didn't want to just go in these ratty old jeans and shirt," Rogue confessed sheepishly.
"Oh, more entertainment!" Kitty said with a grin as they all stood up.
"Well, umm. . . not quite. We're gonna be watching it in Logan's room. He just got a TV and cable installed there," Rogue said. She blushed.
"In his room?! And you were just saying what? That's up a level, babe. All alone, in the man's room. . . oh, there are possibilities here. . . " Jubilee said with glittering eyes.
Rogue looked alarmed. "Oh, no, Jubes. Really. I've been in his room for hours at a time before. Let's not blow your little fantasies all out of proportion. Okay? Please? Just in case," she pleaded.
Jubilee gave her a mock-grumpy look. "Well, fine. Ruin all my fun. I'm gonna get ready for Remy," she said with a flip of her shoulder-length hair and a quick grin.
"You'll look great," Rogue said with surety. Jubilee was great at dressing up, and Kitty was an expert with make-up. Yeah, her friend would look perfect.
She slipped into the jeans and shirts, pulling on a pair of soft black leather gloves that Logan had bought for her recently. They ended at her wrist, which made her a little nervous. She felt better with a black silk scarf around her neck. She braided her hair back quickly and tied it with the scarf's twin. A pair of small silver hoop earrings and a silver chain with a diamond pendant suspended from it that Logan had sent to her for her eighteenth birthday completed the outfit, even if the necklace was overshadowed a bit by the tags she always wore.
"Wow, Rogue. That's a terrific outfit. How the hell do you manage to get class and sex all at the same time?" Kitty asked from across the room where she was finishing up Jubilee's hair.
"Really, Kitty," Rogue said with a laugh. She moved over to their full-length mirror. "Class and sex?"
Rogue looked in the mirror and tried to see what her friends saw. Yeah, the outfit did make her body look pretty good. She hadn't buttoned the gauze shirt up all the way, but it was tight enough not to matter. The white threaded through the front of her hair was pretty mysterious-looking, she thought. Her eyes were big and brown, which she thought some guys might like, and her skin was smooth. She hadn't bothered with make-up that day, but her cheeks were rosy from blushing at her friend's comments, and her eyes sparkled. Yeah, that's right, sparkled. Weird to see that on yourself, but, hey, she could deal with it. She didn't think her face itself was all that special. Besides, what could she do with layers of cloth hiding her?
The part of Logan that still remained in her head made a few suggestions. She blushed even more hotly.
"I'd better go get the chips and other snackies now. Almost time for the game to start," Rogue said, stepping away from the mirror.
"Good luck, chica," Jubilee said sweetly, waving a hand as Kitty slathered mascara on her eyes.
"Yeah, have fun," Kitty added, winking at her.
"You too," Rogue said.
She headed down to the kitchen and raided the cook's seemingly never-ending supply of semi-healthy junk food. The woman certainly knew how to keep kids happy. Rogue got rippled chips and French-onion dip, pretzels, and a few cans of Sprite for herself. She'd probably manage to get Logan to let her have a beer or two, but he'd make her stick to non-alcoholic beverages most of the night, she knew, and she wasn't in the mood for water. It would remind her too much of what she'd done earlier that day, and whom she'd been thinking of. If she started that up again, she wouldn't be able to watch the game with Logan without dying of embarrassment or something.
Rogue made her way up to Logan's room with her armful of snacks. She paused a little before she knocked on his door. He opened it and grinned down at her.
"Hey, Marie," he said, stepping back to let her in. She almost strangled when she saw what he was wearing. Gone was the baggy flannel he wore everywhere around the mansion. In its place was a gray tee shirt that was so tight on him that he might as well not be wearing it at all. Rogue admired the defined muscles she could see through it, then she mentally slapped herself. Bad girl. The jeans that rode low on his hips, exposing just a little of the skin of his stomach, didn't help much, though. He was wearing gloves, too. Well, hell.
She entered his room, trying not to be as nervous as her stomach told her she was. 'Stop it,' she told herself. 'It's just Logan. We're just in his room. No biggie.'
Except that there would be only one place to watch the game from, for both of them. The bed.
Trying for casual and hoping she had it, Rogue set the food down on his desk and turned around.
"You got a beer?" she asked.
Logan frowned at her. "You're only eighteen, Marie," he told her as he pulled the six-pack of Molson Export out of his closet.
"Don't matter to me, Logan. I've got you in my head begging for a good Export," she said cheekily.
He growled. "Don't remind me that I'm the one who's corrupted you," he said gruffly, fingering a strand of white hair that had escaped her braid.
Rogue's breath caught in her throat, and she had to struggle to reply. "You haven't corrupted me, Logan. I love it that I've got you up here," she said, tapping her head and smiling.
He smirked. "I am a pretty great guy to have around," he said.
Rogue laughed. "Don't go getting all egotistical on me, sugar," she said, then almost gasped at what she'd let slip. She looked down at her socks and mumbled, "Sorry. My mama used to use that a lot."
Logan lifted her chin with a hand encased in leather gloves like hers. "Don't worry about it, Marie. I kinda like it, anyway," he said.
Now Rogue knew she was going to suffocate. She felt her body trembling. She looked away before her body could betray her to him any more. "Okay," she agreed.
"So, we gonna watch the game or what?" Logan asked. She would have laughed at how he was trying to be cheerful if she wasn't so confused by her own feelings and how he was acting, which she had to admit was different from usual, if she was being honest with herself.
"We're gonna watch my team being as great as they always are," she said, trying to be cheerful.
"Yeah, right. Great," Logan muttered, getting onto the bed and grabbing the remote from the desk. He set the six-pack beside him and patted the bed on his other side, inviting her to join him. She did, not saying a word about it when he put an arm around her. She just snuggled closer to him and settled back into his shoulder to watch her team, which was fantastic, dammit, beat the Coyotes' asses.
About the time that Sergei Federov scored the first goal, Logan's hand began to rub her shoulder as he pulled at his beer and grimaced at the Coyotes' lousy goalie. Rogue took a deep breath. . . several, in fact. . . and kept watching the game.
"Logan, could you get me the chips and dip, please?" she asked a few minutes later while keeping her eyes glued to the large over-grown children beating each other senseless on the screen. He pulled away long enough to do as she asked, then his arm was around her again. She had to admit that she'd missed it for the very short time he'd been separated from her. Damn, this wasn't good.
Chips. She had to concentrate on chips and dip and yelling when the asshole of a left wing for the Coyotes decided to use his hockey stick on Darren McCarty's face. Logan laughed when she threw a handful of chips at the TV.
"That won't help the man any, darlin'," he told her.
"I don't care. I'd love to get my hands on that damn left wing. . . " she said threateningly.
Logan laughed again and ran a hand through her hair, munching on a pretzel. That felt so good that she just had to press her head up into his hand. He didn't say anything, just kept stroking her head slowly. If she could have, Rogue would've purred right then and there. She settled for reaching over him and stealing one of the beers, popping it open expertly with her teeth and taking a deep swig before he could stop her.
"Dammit, Marie. . . " he said.
"Watch the game, sugar."
The second period was the most exciting of the game, with the Red Wings having made three goals, three more than the Coyotes. Rogue spent most of that time nearly jumping up on the bed several times and punching Logan when she couldn't get at the assholes who really deserved it. He took that pretty well, just chuckled and stroked her hair again whenever she did it. He seemed to have learned that that would calm her down.
By the end of the third period, Rogue was practically using Logan for a body pillow. The game had gotten so tame that she was dozing when the final goal gave the Red Wings a win of 5-1.
"Marie, darlin', the game's over. Your team won. Big surprise, with the wimps they were up against," Logan said, gently shaking her shoulder.
Rogue buried her face in the tee shirt he was wearing. "I told ya they were good," she mumbled sleepily.
"You sure did, darlin', but the Coyotes would make anyone they played against look good," Logan said with a laugh that turned into a grunt when Rogue hit his side with her fist.
"You just don't get the greatness that is the Red Wings," she told him haughtily. She looked up at him, and there went the nose wrinkling again.
"I never will, darlin'," he told her. "No matter how many times you force me to watch 'em play. Next time, we're watchin' the Maple Leafs. I'm picking us a good Canadian team to root for."
"Good and Canadian are not synonymous, sugar," Rogue informed him, sitting up a little.
"You so sure about that?" Logan asked. His hazel eyes were serious now.
He was so close. That was Rogue's first clear thought as the sleep-haze lifted from her brain. Her eyes dropped to his lips, so perfectly shaped, really. She wondered what they'd taste like and then mentally kicked herself for the thought. It just wasn't possible, dammit.
Rogue bit her lip and stopped breathing when she felt the scarf she'd tied at the end of her braid being tugged off. Seconds later, the silk dropped her over lips, followed swiftly by his. He licked her lips through the soft, thin material, silently demanding her to open them. His hands were on his hips, and he'd turned onto his sides so that their bodies could fit together. And gods did they, so close and tight.
She could taste him through the silk, cigars and beer and something that was just all Logan. It made her blood feel like flowing lava in her veins, and she let her arms wrap around Logan, one at his waist and one around his neck to keep his mouth against hers. Their tongues battled through the silk that rubbed erotically against the sensitive skin of their mouths.
When Rogue was sure she wasn't breathing any more, Logan pulled away and began shower her face with kisses through the silk, letting her get some air but definitely not space. Then he was flipping her onto her back, his hips between her thighs, and he was kissing her again. His hands were running up and down her back, slipping under the black gauze to caress her through the cotton of her tank top. One hand slipped forward to tease her nipple, and she whimpered.
"God, Marie," Logan groaned, pulling away from her mouth only to start sliding his tongue along her neck through the silk of the scarf there.
Rogue ran a hand up his chest, feeling those muscles she'd admired through the material of the shirt. When he began to suckle on her neck, his fingers working harder on her nipple, she moaned loudly and bucked her hips up towards his.
"Logan!" she cried out.
She didn't know how, but somehow he managed to drag himself away from her. Not too far, though, just onto his back. Then she was being pulled up against his side, feeling his heart beating so fast and hard in his chest, hearing his heavy breathing.
"Marie. . . " he said. "We. . . this. . . damn, darlin', this is too fast. You're not ready, not. . . "
"Not ready, Logan?" she asked dangerously. She rose up on her elbow to look down at him, her eyes glinting. "I'm pretty damn ready, sugar. I have been for a long time," she told him. She took the scarf that had dropped to the side and laid it over his lips, using everything she knew from him in her mind and the last few minutes to drive him insane with her lips and teeth and tongue.
"Marie, no," Logan told her after a long minute of the sweet torture. "I meant that you and I, we aren't ready. I'm still getting' used to seeing you as something other than my little Marie, someone to be protected. I just started realizin' how grown up you really are very recently," he told her seriously, holding her by the shoulders as he sat both of them up.
Rogue bit her lip and looked at him. "Ah've been grown up for a while, Logan. Really, I don't think I've been a kid since my mutation first reared its ugly head," she said, tears in her eyes.
"Aw, Marie," Logan said quietly, pulling her into his arms and loving the feel of her burrowing into his chest. "I know it's been hard on you, darlin', but going slow here would be good for both of us. This is kinda new, ya know. I need time to adjust to it. Everyone else around us is gonna have to get used to it, too."
"Get used to what?" Rogue asked softly, praying to whatever Deity was listening that he would say what she wanted him to.
"Me bein' in love with you, darlin," he whispered into her hair. It had only just hit him that he really did love her. It wasn't lust. It wasn't the thrill of the chase. It was love unlike anything he'd ever felt before.
He felt the tears soaking into his shirt and pulled her head up so he could look at her. He was almost afraid of what he'd find in her eyes.
She felt the same. It was like all of her dreams were coming to life in front of her eyes, and it was so hard to think of how to deal with it. So she did the only thing she could do.
Rogue wrapped her arms around Logan's neck and laid her head on his shoulder. "Ah love you, too, sugar," she said thickly.
They stayed like that for a long time, just holding each other. Eventually, Rogue pulled away gently. "I'd better go. It's after midnight, and Jubes is probably back, and she and Kitty are probably wondering about me." She stopped when she realized she was babbling.
Logan grinned at her, and they were back to their easy comfortableness around each other, although the sexual tension was definitely still there, lurking under the surface. Rogue doubted that it'd ever go away now.
"Get on out of here, then. I'll see you tomorrow at breakfast?" he asked, holding her hand and pulling her off the bed with him by it.
"Well, let's try lunch. I don't want to think of waking up for another ten hours at least!" she said with a laugh.
"Yeah, you're right," he said.
They were at his door, but he didn't reach to open it yet. Instead, Logan put his arms around her and pulled the scarf around her neck up to kiss her. It was a slow, sweet kiss, hot but not as consuming as their earlier kisses had been.
"Good night, darlin'. Love ya," he said, releasing her and opening the door.
"'Night, sugar. Love you, too."
She practically skipped down the hall to her room. Man, were Jubes and Kitty going to flip when they heard about this!
Logan went back to his bed and cleared off the empty chip bags, containers of slightly bad dip, Sprite cans and beer bottles. A piece of black silk caught his eye, and he lifted the scrap of material to his nose. It smelled like him and Marie all at once, and damn he liked that. He still found it hard to believe that he could love someone so much, but this was Marie and so it made sense to him, when he stopped to think about it.
Logan, known to enemies and friends alike as the Wolverine, fell asleep that night with a square of black silk wrapped tightly around one hand. Down the hall his Marie, called Rogue, clutched the tags around her neck and smiled in her sleep.
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