Marie got emotional easily - she would be the first to admit it. Some would say she was overly dramatic, but all who knew her could honestly say that she just felt too much.
That's what Jubilee assumed when she saw her friend pacing the corridor of Logan's room with a pensive look on her face. Jubilee lost her usual frank and joyful speech because she sensed the pain in Marie. "How you holdin' up, Rogue?"
Marie stopped abruptly; apparently she'd been so involved in her thoughts, she hadn't even noticed Jubilee approaching. "What? Oh . . . I-I'm doing fine." She shot a worried look at Logan's door. "It's him I'm worried about."
Jubilee closed the space between them and clasped Marie's shoulder. "Well, Marie, go in there and make him feel better. You're the only person who he lets close enough to comfort him."
Marie laughed bitterly. "Logan wouldn't let anyone close enough to comfort him. He's a lost cause." Her words ended on a sigh, and she looked at his door longingly. "I hate to see him in pain. He's had so much of it, and he doesn't deserve anymore."
Jubilee knew quite a bit about Logan's nature and some of the shit he'd been up to, but she held her snort in check. To Marie, Logan was just an innocent little puppy dog. To the rest of the world, Logan was an untamable beast. Jubilee nudged Marie in the direction of his door. "Go on in there, Marie. I don't know him that well, but if I was in as much pain as you say he is . . . I wouldn't want to be alone."
"I . . ." Marie struggled. She settled for smiling at Jubilee, a true smile that only Marie could produce. "Thanks, Jubes."
As Jubilee went on down the hallway, Marie gathered her courage to her. Honestly, she didn't have much of it to gather. But she needed some if she was going to attempt to get Logan to talk about his feelings. She opened the door and walked in his room self-assuredly. Logan might scare everyone else, but Marie only knew the gentle soul he kept hidden way, way below the surface. Okay, maybe gentle wasn't the right word . . .
"What are you doing in here, kid?" Logan barked. He swiveled around on his desk chair. Though his words were sharp, his eyes were kinder.
Marie strode towards him and sat on the edge of his bed, folding her hands in her lap and looked down at the floor. "I thought you might need a friend."
There was a long silence. Then he said, "I don't have friends, Marie."
She laughed and looked up at him. "Liar. You've got me."
Logan stared her down, his eyes so intense that they stifled her to wide-eyed silence. She wasn't sure what to expect from him. Eventually he nodded evenly. "Yeah. I guess you're right, kid."
Marie pretended to grimace. "I'm not a kid anymore, Logan. You can call me Marie."
"Yeah, I've noticed. But that doesn't mean I like it." Logan growled softly.
"Logan . . ." Marie trailed off. Then she leaned forward and took one of his hands in hers. He was the only one she would touch, even with gloves. Others she flinched away from, uncomfortable with the abnormality of touch. Except for Bobby . . . Marie pushed that thought out of her mind. "I know you're in pain I can't even imagine. I want to help you through it. I'm-I'm here for you."
Logan stayed silent for a long time. Because he didn't pull his hands away, she knew that he was going to talk. Marie had learned something about Logan that nobody else bothered: it wasn't that he didn't talk, it was that you had to wait and listen very carefully.
Marie stroked his hand with her thumb. "We're all grieving about Jean, Logan. But grieving alone is unbearable. I-I know you loved her." Marie closed her eyes tightly as she said it, feeling like something inside of her was ripping apart. It hurt to admit it out loud, which was ridiculous because everyone knew it to be true. Still . . . it hurt because despite all the years, history, and even Bobby, Marie's heart had been captured by Logan years ago when she climbed into his car and ate his jerky.
She started to cry, silent and sparse tears that fell down her cheeks slowly. Maybe Logan would think the tears were for Jean, and maybe they very well should have been. Marie felt his gloved finger brush her cheek, sliding a tear away, then another. She opened her eyes in surprise to see Logan looking at her warmly. "I respected Jean," Logan said gruffly. "I thought she was one helluva woman. But I didn't love her. I'm the Wolverine." He cracked a smile. "The Wolverine doesn't love anyone."
Logan shook his head. "I stopped thinking of Jean that way a long time ago. Well, not completely. But I knew it was pointless when I left here all those years ago, and that's when I decided to stop chasing after her."
"But I-I saw you two kissing," Marie protested. Her voice cracked at the last word, and she looked down at her lap, embarrassed.
"Maybe." She felt his finger at her chin, tilting her face up to meet his eyes. She did so reluctantly, not wanting to see that he knew all about her dirty little secret. Yet his eyes held nothing but kindness. "But there were many reasons for that. None involving my heart, Marie."
Marie's eyes watered again. "I'm sorry," she whispered and pulled back from him; she hadn't realized how close they'd gotten. "I came in here to comfort you, and here you are comforting me . . ."
Logan wrapped his arm around her waist and tugged her full length onto the bed. He pushed her head onto his chest and rubbed his hand soothingly along her back. "Go to sleep."
Marie found herself confused - again. She knew Logan better than anyone, but that didn't necessarily mean she could decipher his motives. But it felt nice to have someone holding her, especially Logan. She still thought of him as her protector and never felt entirely safe when she wasn't with him. "Good night," Marie whispered, closing her eyes.
"Night, Kid," he grunted.
Marie started to lift her head, but he gently pushed it back down. "I know, I know. You're not a kid. But humor me, okay? Think of it as a pet nickname."
"I didn't know the mighty Wolverine was one to give out nicknames," Marie teased.
"Don't spread it around." Logan sighed into her hair. "You're going to ruin me, Marie, you know that?"
Marie snuggled into his chest and shifted against his side.