Rule Breakers

Logan entered the dark bar wearily. It had been six months now since Jean had died, and he was dealing with it much better now than he had been. He was certainly dealing it with it much better than Cyclops. But things at the mansion were still a mess, the kids were having nightmares, one of the teachers and a friend was gone, and one of the kids had gone dark side.

Even as the thought of John entered his mind he heard a faint click, click, click from behind him. He could almost have believed he had imagined it, but he wasn't one for imagining things. He turned his head towards the noise, and sure enough, St. John Allerdyce was sitting in the back corner booth, snapping his lighter open and shut.

He paused for a moment, wondering at the chances of meeting him here. None of them had heard anything from the kid since he'd left with Magneto. Part of Logan had almost expected him to show up on the mansion's doorstep, but a larger part of him had realized that John was much too proud for that.

He walked over to him, and as he reached the table he crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow. John stopped fiddling with his lighter and looked up, his mouth falling open when he saw Wolverine glaring down at him.

"Logan!" he said.

Logan slipped into the seat across from him and folded his arms on the table. "Pyro," he greeted. "Long time no see."

John swallowed nervously and averted his eyes. "Yeah, I guess it's been awhile."

"What are you doing here?" Logan asked.

"What are *you* doing here?" John echoed.

Logan sighed. Dealing with teenagers really wasn't his strong suit. He did okay with Rogue. But Rogue wasn't nearly as hard to deal with as John. "What the hell were you thinking?" he demanded. Best to get straight to the point.

"Oh I don't know--something along the lines of, I really ought to go somewhere I'm needed," John said brashly. "You should be thanking me. You were at the head of the list of people that wanted me gone."

Logan frowned. "How did you get that idea?"

John laughed, but Logan noticed that his eyes flickered nervously towards the door. "I'm not naïve, Logan, I could tell you didn't like me."

Logan sighed. Had he already been thinking over the fact he really wasn't good with teenagers? "Look, I don't not like you."

John laughed again, and Logan thought it was strange. This was the most he'd heard John laugh in the entire time he'd known him. "Why do I get the feeling that's high praise coming from you?"

"You should come back to the mansion with me, Pyro," Logan said. "Your friends are worried."

John shook his head. "I don't have any left there, and don't bother trying to tell me I do. I know what I've done."

John's eyes flickered to the door again, and Logan frowned, worried he was going to make a break for it. "I'll be straight with you," Logan said. "I see a lot of me in you, and that's not a good thing. You're going down a dangerous road."

John leaned back in the booth a grinned, snapping his lighter open as he did. He seemed to be getting his bearings back. "Is there any other kind?"

One of the waitresses walked over, holding a beer bottle and smiling prettily. She looked at John and handed him the beer. "There ya go, honey," she said. Her eyes flickered to Logan. "Not that I have a problem with your company tonight, John," she said, sending a not-so-subtle wink at Logan. "But where's that pretty girl of yours?"

Logan raised an eyebrow, while John shook his head quickly. "She's not coming tonight. Thank you, Rose."

Intrigued, but recognizing the dismissal, Rose wandered back to the bar.

"Are you expecting someone?" Logan asked.

"No," John said quickly.

Logan's lips twitched when the young man's eyes slipped back towards the door. So that was what he was doing. Didn't want the Wolverine to scare off his date, apparently.

John grabbed the beer bottle and took off the cap. "I don't see what else we have to talk about," he said. "I can't go back to Xavier's, I won't."

Logan waited until John was lifting the bottle before reaching over and pulling it from his hands. He leaned back in the booth and took a drink. John glared at him.

"You're too young to drink," Logan explained.

"Unbelievable," John said with a laugh. "I've joined a terrorist group and you're worrying about me drinking?"

"I worry about both," Logan said.

John rolled his eyes. "You don't give a damn about me, Logan. We both know you don't. Why are you even bothering?"

"Rogue likes you," he said with a shrug. "And you've got potential. Besides, anyone who hates N'Sync can't be all that bad."

John smiled at that. "Cyclop's choice in music does leave a lot to be desired."

"You haven't asked about any of them," Logan said curiously.

"I haven't?" he asked vaguely. He paused. "I guess I just assumed you would tell me what I need to know."

Logan seemed to accept that. He looked over at the young man appraisingly. "Rogue and Bobby broke up."

John wouldn't meet his eyes. "Did they?"


Click, click, click. "Why?"

"No one knows," Logan told him.

John eyed him with amusement. "She didn't even tell you?"

"I don't think she told anyone," he said. He pulled out a cigar and placed it between his lips. "You want to give me a light?"

John grinned widely and flicked his lighter on. With a subtle twist of his hand, the end of Logan's cigar sparked to life, and began to slowly burn down.

"Thanks," Logan said.

"Don't mention it," John told him easily, before casting a glance at his watch. "You know what? I've really got to be going--"

Logan shook his head. "Stay where you are. I'm not done playing responsible adult yet."

"Is that what this is?" John asked dryly. "You need practice."

"Magneto is insane," Logan told him firmly. "You're making a mistake."

"Maybe," John admitted. "But it's mine to make."

Logan sighed. "You've got people that care about you at that school, John. I never had that chance, but if I had, I sure as hell would have taken it."

"I took it too," John said quietly. "It didn't work out so well." As he finished speaking, John's eyes found their way to the door again. This time they widened marginally, in warning to whoever he was looking at, Logan guessed.

Logan turned around in the booth, and the cigar nearly fell from his lips when he saw who was standing in the door of the bar. In a hooded jacket and long black gloves stood Rogue, looking very much like the proverbial deer in the headlights as she saw who was sitting across from John.

Logan had really not seen that coming. He turned back around and looked at John, who was doing a pretty good impression of a deer himself. "Why do I get the feeling this isn't a coincidence?" Logan asked wearily.

"Hey, Logan," Rogue said, somewhat nervously, as she came up to them. "I hadn't expected to see you tonight."

"I don't imagine so," Logan said wryly. "Considering when I had left you were heading off to bed."

Rogue slipped into the booth beside John. "I'm sorry about that."

"So what is this?" Logan demanded, glaring accusingly at John.

John tightened his grip on his lighter. "We haven't even asked ourselves that yet," he answered honestly.

Rogue nodded. "We just needed to see each other," she said. "So we've been meeting here every chance we get."

"This is why you broke up with Bobby?" Logan asked.

Rogue nodded slightly. "I had too . . . John, he . . ."

John gave her a sideways glance, and when he saw how uncomfortable she was he nudged her playfully. "---is wonderful," John finished helpfully. "Handsome, charming, irresistible."

Rogue mock glared over at him. "Arrogant, annoying--"

Logan, despite himself, had to hold off a grin. "Play nice," he snapped. Then he looked at them both seriously. "Just how do you expect this to work?"

Rogue and John shared a look. "We're not quite sure," Rogue admitted. "But neither of us are the type to walk away without giving it a try."

John smiled brightly at her, and Logan decided that was the first time he had ever seen John really smile at all. They were cute together, in a kind of miss-matched and somewhat worrying way. Logan smiled at them both sadly and got to his feet.

"You're leaving?" Rogue asked in confusion.

"I was only staying because I owed it to John to at least try and get him back to the school." Logan looked slyly at Rogue. "But I have the feeling that if you couldn't do it I don't stand a chance."

"You don't, ah, disapprove?" John asked warily, apparently somewhat confused by the fact Logan had yet to pin him to the wall with his claws.

Logan looked over at John, wearing that same strangely sad smile. "I'm just glad the bad boy got the girl for once."

Logan dropped a few bills on the table for the beer he had drunk, then turned and left without another word.

"He still misses Jean," Rogue said sadly.

John leaned into her, his head against the side of hers--her hair keeping him from her skin. "I don't want to miss a moment with you," he whispered.

Rogue took his hand in hers. "You won't," she vowed softly. "We'll find a way."

Author's Note: Sorry about Logan being out of character--he's not easy for me to write. Sorry also for the fluff at the end. I don't know when this whole hopeless romantic thing started, but I can't seem to shake it. ; ) Muses willing, I may add another chapter where Rogue and Logan talk--but I'm not sure I want to take on the task of trying to write Logan a second time. ; )