Disclaimer: These characters are not mine and I make no profit from them.

Notes: Slightly influenced by X-men Evolution's depiction of Rogue.

For cornerofmadness in response to her fandomwishlist request. Massive thanks to emmeredith for betaing this, all idiocies are mine.

Persuasion: shallowness

Rogue was locked in the bathroom, and the word had got around the mansion, because Jubilee and Kitty were trying to get her out, first for lunch, then supper. They threatened to sic Siryn on her, enlisted Ororo, who refused to freeze her out, and chose instead to go to the door and offer reasoned statements such as "it can't be all that bad." Whatever "it" was - Rogue wouldn't let her friends in on that.

Only a recent lecture on the ethics of using her powers from Kurt kept Kitty from suggesting she phased in to peek on her friend.

Eventually, even 'Ro admitted defeat and went for Logan. He had been elbow-deep in the classic motorcycle he was working on, but the quiet words "Rogue is upset," got his attention p.d.q. And as his colleague, Storm had only seen that reaction when he caught an enemy's scent; head up, eyes narrowed. The bike and his tools were behind him, dismissed.

At his seconds-away-from-gettin'-my-claws-out approach, Jubilee and Kitty (college students both, and respected enough by Xavier to be on standby for the main team) zoomed from their post at the bathroom door to the other side of the bedroom. If she hadn't been motivated by genuine concern for Rogue, 'Ro would definitely have been cracking up by now.

Logan could hear Marie's words tumbling out clearly enough:

"-normal people celebrate their twenty first birthday by getting together with their friends, getting roasted and then getting the life-changing tattoo-"

"Tattoo?" he growled. She called him over-protective and mocked him for being worse than Cyclops, but the thought of her marked by a tattoo – what was she thinking? – got an instinctive reaction.

"Logan?" she asked.

"What have you done?"

There was a long, long silence that the eavesdroppers thought would never be broken.

For his part, Logan had mentally run through likely scenarios, and was expecting an arm covered in misspelled Japanese and an 'incident' involving the tattooist at least. Or worse, some other body part, maybe a butterfly on her-

"What is it?" Logan asked again.

He didn't even consider that his tone of voice had been harsh. But she did what she had been unwilling to do for six whole hours, or bribes of chocolate and ice cream from her girlfriends. The click of the lock being undone set off the slow creak of the heavy wooden door being opened. He stepped in and scanned her anxiously. Only her face was different, it's puffiness enhanced by a bob that ended at her jaw-line. Miserable brown eyes looked up at him.

"I was stone cold sober. What was I thinking?"

"You cut your hair," he stated, still suspicious that her red-sleeved shirt hid a tattoo underneath. Hoping too that her jeans didn't.

"I hacked it off," she waved towards a pile of brown hair with the streak of white on top, ceremonially collected at the feet of the sink.

"Chica, it's unbelievably cute," Jubes said – although she was five feet away and had had to tiptoe to get to see the new haircut through the obstacle in the doorway.

"It's a disaster," Rogue replied.

Logan tossed an exasperated glance in Jubilee's direction that made her retreat back another foot post haste. Hair was – to him – women's business, and Jubes obviously wasn't capable of handling it well. Great.

He stared at the new hairstyle. It was disconcerting. Marie's hair had always been long. And then she'd got the white streak. The only change since he'd known her, never mind what the others did.

He paused, knowing he had too many listeners, and concentrated on the most important one, hearing the tears that were on the verge of falling again in her rapid breathing.

"You hafta snap out of this, kid, or you're going to be too miserable to enjoy getting legally drunk." He quirked an eyebrow. She looked up, and he thought he had her.

"I'm giving you thirty minutes, and then your ride is goin' with or without you."

She rolled her eyes.

"Wouldn't be my ride then."

He let himself grin.

"Thirty minutes" and the Wolverine walked out of the bathroom, through the bedroom, another successful mission beneath his belt.

-END-

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