Second Thoughts
Elizabeth Wilde

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these characters. They are all copyright... Marvel and/or Twentieth Century Fox and possibly even other places or people. Point is, not mine. I make no money from this site and I don't have any to give, so there's no point in suing.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I got such great feedback on "Touch Me Fall" and "Fugitive" that I couldn't find any reason not to continue the story. I think this is probably the end of it, but... that could change. The song used is "Power of Two" by Indigo Girls, yet again from the album Swamp Ophelia.

So we're okay,
We're fine.
Baby, I'm here to stop your crying,
Chase all the ghosts from your head;
I'm stronger than the monster beneath your bed,
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart.
We'll look at them together then we'll take them apart
Adding up the total of a love that's true
Multiply life by the power of two.

Wolverine left Scott's motorcycle by the front gate and stalked toward the entrance to Xavier's School. He'd considered stashing it in the woods and telling Cyclops he'd wrecked it just to get a reaction, but Logan didn't want to risk it getting stolen by anyone but him. Part of him still said to turn around and walk back the way he'd come, but, Logan realized, he didn't really know what that way was. Predictably, the door was open when he reached it. If anyone unsavory came around, they wouldn't make it far anyway.

Entering the school, Logan suddenly froze. Jean Grey stood just inside the door, mouth slightly agape, eyes wide. She recovered quickly, smiling warmly and stepping closer. "Logan! I'm glad you decided to come back to us." Tilting her head to the side, she asked, "What about Canada?" No accusation colored the question, only curiosity and a hint of amusement.

"Yeah, well, didn't seem that important after I thought about it." He fished for something--anything--to say and failed. The urge to run away again was almost overwhelming in the face of her beauty and kind welcome. "Where's Rogue?"

"Upstairs." Jean's dark eyes seemed to see through him as easily as before. "She's missed you too. Why don't you go on up?"

Nodding shortly, Logan walked past Jean and then ascended the stairs. He barely suppressed a snarl at seeing Cyclops talking with one of the students at the head of the stairs. The young man smiled and nodded to Wolverine as if seeing him was entirely expected. "Welcome back."

Ignoring purposefully every cutting comment that sprung to mind, Logan ignored him, continuing towards Rogue's room. He stopped outside the door, mind searching for the best way to approach her. "Knocking might be a good idea," he mumbled to himself.

After three quick taps on the door, Rogue's voice came, "Come on in."

Logan turned the knob and silently berated himself for feeling nervous. "Hey." He offered a quick, strained smile and stepped inside. "Miss me?"

Face suddenly beaming, Rogue launched herself off the bed and ran to Logan, stopped just short of throwing her arms around his waist. Instead she stopped awkwardly and half-smiled. "Yeah, I missed ya."

Knowing Rogue was just trying to avoid hurting him, Logan took the initiative, drawing her close and giving her a warm hug. "No sense worryin' about stuff like this, okay, kid?"

She nodded against his shoulder. "Okay."

Finally stepping back, Wolverine studied Marie for a moment with a critical eye. "You sleepin' okay?"

She shrugged noncommittally. "Sometimes." Her large eyes gazed up at him. "I have dreams most nights, though."

"Yeah. I figured." Sighing, Logan sat down on the edge of her bed. "You shouldn't hafta have those. Not fit for anybody, let alone a kid like you."

Rogue scowled at him. "I'm almost eighteen. I'm not a kid anymore." She sat down on the bed next to him. "'Sides, I've kinda liked knowin' about you more. Havin' the dreams made it seem like you weren't gone almost. They kinda helped." Suddenly something occurred to her and she untwined her fingers from the tags around her neck. Lifting them over her hair, Rogue held them out for Logan to take back. "I kept 'em for ya."

"Thanks." He reached for them, then reconsidered and let his hand fall. "Know what? You keep 'em. You hang onto those and that way I can't ever get too far, okay?"

She slipped the tags over her head again, fingers instantly tangling themselves in the cold metal. "Okay. Not that I'd let ya leave again anyway."

"You wouldn't, would you?" Logan almost laughed.

"Nope. It's dull as dirt around here when you're gone."

Laughing despite himself, Logan put his arm around Rogue's shoulder. "Since you put it that way, I guess I've gotta stay."

"I knew ya couldn't leave more than once. You'd miss me too much."

Logan sighed and smiled down at Marie. "Yeah. Yeah, I would."

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