Logan sighed as he let his weary body melt into the bed beneath him. Healing factor or not, an entire day of trying to transfer knowledge that makes perfect sense in your head into a dozen teenager's heads will take it's toll. How hard is it to make your body move in a decent defense maneuver? Logan let a soft half growl, half groan escape his lips in remembrance.
He looked out the frosty window and watched the delicate white slivers of ice dance down to earth, a sharp contrast against the dark evergreens that lined the school's property. The snowfall beckoned him, drawing Logan into a peaceful trance that dulled his senses and he soon lost track of time. Time didn't matter anyway, not to Logan. He had plenty of it. He became quite content as a boneless form resting in silence until his phone rang, piercing through the quiet numbness.
Wolverine snatched the phone off the wooden nightstand with an annoyed growl. The phone flinched. "Hello?"
"Logan?" Rogue's broken voice filled the line.
Wolverine's angry demeanor immediately flopped on it's back with it's tail between it's legs. Logan sat up on the bed. "What's wrong darlin'?"
A sound mixed between a sob and a chuckle preceded her. "Um, are you busy right now?"
"Rogue, where are you?" Logan asked, already reaching for his jacket on the back of the bedroom door. Stalling always meant something was up, especially from Rogue.
"In a ditch," came the incredibly pathetic whimper. "Am'm stuck Logan, this damn foreign car sucks! I guess Korea has no snow! I am so pissed off! Ah'm gonna cry..."
Logan smiled as a strange paternal instinct surged through him. "What direction Marie?" he asked again, moving the phone to the other ear as he shut the bedroom door behind him.
She relayed her location to him and he could hear the embarrassment in her voice once she told him that she was less than a mile from the mansion. Logan stalked through the dark hallways, lit by the eerie orange glow of the winter sunset. He grabbed 'his' keys from a hook by the door and walked heavily across the cold garage. "I'm on my way darlin'," he reassured her as he sat on 'his' motorcycle. Pocketing the phone, he smiled his cockiest smile as he started the bike and pushed off into the freezing night air.
When Wolverine finally came within seeing distance of Rogue, he was beyond irritated. He couldn't feel his extremities, ANY of them, and even his nose hair was frozen. He hadn't realized how much the past few months in a heated environment had softened him. In fact now that he did realize it, he was embarrassed. Scott would have a hay day with this. It seemed that when memories were made as Logan, some of Wolverine's faded. The whole process confused him and intrigued Jean and the professor.
But when he coasted to a stop beside Marie, Logan gave her a reassuring smile. The brunette leaned against the red sports car wrapped in a hooded coat. As he walked toward her, he could smell tears. "You okay?" he asked, looking down at her as he reached towards her arm.
Marie looked at him with watery eyes and a trembling smile. "Yeah," she muttered. "I guess it's actually kinda funny."
Something snaked around Logan's heart and squeezed. He returned the smile and motioned to the car. "Get in. I'll help ya." His breath took shape in the freezing temperature and quickly rose towards the darkening sky.
Marie wiped her eyes with a gloved hand before obeying. Logan positioned himself in between the car frame and the open door as she started the car. "Alright, turn the wheels to the left and back up," he instructed. The wheels spun as the engine revved, but slowly, the car moved. "Give it more gas," Logan said over the scream of burning rubber. He wrapped his arms around the car frame and threw the weight of his adamantium skeleton into helping the car move. His boots slipped over the ice as he struggled to get good footing. "Keep going," he grunted, hauling the car inch by inch back onto the road.
"Logan, please don't hurt yourself."
Logan spared her a questioning glace. "Turn the wheels to the right," he spat, the burn of his biceps beginning to unthaw his arms.
He watched Rogue fight against the steering wheel as the tires slipped into the grooves in the snow left by her previous attempt. A look of pure concentration spread over her face. "Help me!" she whimpered, frustrated.
"You're doin it darlin', just keep trying." The snow was falling harder now and Logan watched his breath vaporize in the air. It reminded him of a cigar he was starting to crave. The car's rear tires were spinning uselessly now and Logan sighed another puff of steam. "Okay, put it in drive."
The car lurched forward, taking Logan's feet out from under him. "Stop!" He yelled as his heavy frame plopped into the six inches of snow and ice covering the ground.
He lay in the forgiving snow, puffing and staring up to the moon for strength. A single snowflake landed on his nose. It was so hard to be manly when you'd just been knocked on your ass. As the frigid snow began seeping through his clothes, he growled and Wolverine pushed himself to his feet. His boots were full of melting snow and his backside was covered in the stuff, not to mention the cold aching through his bones. What had happened to make this animal go to such lengths to help this girl? At what point did he start to care?
He looked at her and saw concern written on her face. With a sigh, he resumed his position. Each step sounded a satisfying crunch. He ducked his head to study their progress. "Alright, turn all the way to the right and back up again."
Rogue looked at him. "Do you want me to call Bobby or Scott to help you?"
"No!" he barked. "I can do it."
A tiny smile crept on her face. She looked at him a moment longer then turned the wheel and started again. The lightweight car struggled to plow through the deepening snow. Fumes poured out of the exhaust and all the horses strained under the hood. A bead of sweat trickled down Logan's temple as he all but ran in place, struggling to find his footing. "Keep going," he grunted. The tires continued to inch the car back onto the road, pleasing Logan with the slow progress. His arms and legs burned with exhaustion and fatigue. What good was his solid frame if he couldn't even perform a simple task like this? One look at Rogue answered his question. She glanced at him briefly while trying to see their progress and that one quick look made him feel like he was the center of her universe.
Suddenly the tires gripped a bare patch of pavement and the car hurled onto the road and over the center line before Rogue got the car stopped. Logan fell heavily into the snow, face first as the car ripped itself from his grip. His knuckles itched with infuriating discomposure, so he buried them in the snow and prepared to cut loose his claws. But before he could move, Rogue was sitting on top of him. He flipped over and looked up at her as she shifted to sit on his stomach. His mind searched for words, claws forgotten. "What are you doing?"
She grinned with mischief. Before he could toss her aside, she shoved a handful of snow under his shirt and giggled as she dashed to the car, locking herself in.
Logan tried to understand what had just happened. Was she playing with him? He lay there a while longer, trying to remember the last time he had 'played' and wasn't surprised when he couldn't. He had never known anyone to be so comfortable around him. Hell, he wasn't comfortable with most people he knew. Logan was vaguely aware of the coldness invading his metal frame. His mind was working overtime as he supported his torso with his elbows. Somehow without him noticing, Rogue had crept back to him and now extended her gloved hand. "Come on, you're gonna freeze to death."
He accepted her, grabbing her hand. "Darlin', I've tried, believe me." Logan had said it nonchalantly but now her face looked hurt. Whoops.
"Logan! Look at your fingers!" she exclaimed suddenly, focusing their attention on his numb, purple fingers. "Come on, we've gotta get you to Jean. They need to be thawed out.."
Logan let himself be led to the still running car, watching her words of worry float into the towering pine trees surrounding them. As Rogue started shoving him into the passenger seat, he interrupted her, daze broken. "Stop! I gotta take the bike back." It wasn't Scott he was worried about, it was the professor after Scott told him how Logan could hotwire their transportation at his own free will.
"No Logan, you're hands-"
"I can't just leave it," he replied. "It's not mine," he added quietly, a grin pulling at the corners of his mouth, willing her to smile also.
"But you're freezing..." she pouted, silently cursing his doggedness.
But Logan was already walking, stomping through the slush towards the abandoned motorcycle. Rogue sighed as she recognized the stubborn determination that stiffened his muscular form. "Alright," she said to herself as she started the car. The radio illuminated with a soft green glow and displayed the time. Her ordeal had required 45 minutes of his time and masculine effort, and now she began the trek back home solo. "My hero," she sighed, putting the car in drive and starting down the road behind the feral form on the borrowed bike.