I do not own the X-Men or the Characters though the plot line is my own. The song How Far isby Martina McBride. I know the song doesn't follow the story exactly but I still think it goes fairly well.

Please read and review!

Well...here goes nothing!

How Far?

Rogue sat on the edge of the bed, shoulders slumped and fingers hooked together. Her long brown hair was pulled up into a ponytail with the remnants of Magneto hanging freely along her cheeks. She usually took great pride in her appearance but today seemed to be the exception. Black sweatpants that had seen better days covered her long legs, while the wool socks and beat up sneakers that encased her feet gave the impression that she was ready to run. A short-sleeved, grey v-neck top hung loosely off her shoulders and black elbow length gloves imprisoned her hands and arms.

There's a boat: I could sail away.

The room was eerily quiet and no longer held the familiarity it had a few hours earlier. The little amount of light was coming from the rays of the setting sun flowing through her window. All the items that meant anything to her resided in the small black duffle bag at her feet and the navy school bag hanging off the desk chair by the door. It wasn't much considering it was accumulated over the five years she had spent at the school. Most of the belongings were clothing, pieces that covered as much of her body as possible. Even though her mutation had been under control for over six months she still took to wearing enormous amounts out of shear habit. In her heart she new it was as a reminder of the deadly skin underneath that had hurt so many people.

Rogue unclasped her hands and fingered the gold bracelet that was rarely removed from her right wrist. A sad smile graced her warm features when she remembered the day Hank had given her the bracelet, the one gift she truly desired, the ability to touch. He had worked long and hard on a solution to her poisoned skin and she was unbelievable grateful.

FLASHBACK

There's the sky: I could catch a plane

"Oh, Hank," she whispered, "Are you serious?" Her eyes were full of moisture that threatened to spill down her flushed cheeks.

"Very," he replied simply. The smile on his face was wide and bright and there was a twinkle in his eyes that made her think he might leak a tear or two as well.

After thanking him profusely she had rushed off to the person she wanted to be her first, her first touch free of fear. She found him in the garage tinkering with his motorcycle. Scott had relented and officially signed over the registration to Logan after he had bought a new one.

He heard her coming and lifted his head. His face had two or three smears of grease along his jaw line and matched the state of his clothing. Logan smirked at her as she raced towards him not caring about the dirt and grime as she flung herself at his chest, weeping. Wrapping one arm around her waist he gently ran his other one along her hair soothingly.

There's a train, there's the tracks,

"What's wrong, kid?" he asked, softer than usual.

She pulled back and smiled up at him, "Nothing, absolutely nothing."

He raised an eyebrow demonstrating his confusion at her smiling and crying at the same time.

Rogue took a step back before she spoke. "Hank did it! He actually did it!" She could almost feel herself floating.

"Did what, Marie?"

"He found it!" she said, raising her wrist to show off a nice gold bracelet. "I can control my skin! I can touch!" At this point she was wiping the tears from her face and trying to catch her breath.

Logan didn't say anything in response, he was never much of a talker. Instead he swept forward, enveloped her in his arms and swung her around as she giggled nonstop. When he finally placed her back down, she lowered her head slightly, suddenly becoming quiet.

I could leave and I could choose to not come back.

"Logan, I, umm, that is, I," she stammered.

"Spit it out, darlin'," Logan encouraged, "I don't bite."

"I was wondering, that is, if you don't mind," she paused and looked up again meeting his eyes. "If it would be ok if you're the first person I touch," she finished in a rush, worried he would say no.

"Course not," he stated without hesitation. He reached forward and removed one of Rogue's elbow length gloves. When he caught her hand in his Rogue's eyes fluttered shut. Her breath caught in her throat when she felt his other hand cup her jaw and his thumb graze back and forth over her cheek. "How's this feel?"

She sighed audibly, "Wonderful, absolutely wonderful." Rogue opened her eyes slowly and trained them on Logan's. A feeling of content came over her along with a wave of bravery as she took a step forward.

Logan's face was stoic as usual when she swiftly closed the distance between them and planted her lips onto his. Her blood was pumping in her ears and her heart was floating somewhere in the heavens.

Oh, never come back.

That was until Logan stepped back and looked at her like she lost her mind, "What the hell you doin', kid?" he growled.

END FLASHBACK

She wiped the tears from her face furiously, angry with herself for letting it get to her. They had been tip-toeing around the issue for so long it was hard to remember them not. Yesterday she had finally had enough. When he called her kid again she had screamed at him that he better open up his eyes and see that a 22 year-old is no longer a kid, but a woman.

There you are, giving up the fight.

Rogue had looked him square in the eye, her own flashing with anger. She surprised herself with her own courage. "You better wise up, Logan, or one day you'll wake up and realize what you've been missing, only to find you're too late," she had said poking him in the chest in the process. Logan had looked at her a long time, clenching and unclenching his fists at his sides until Rogue sighed, shook her head ruefully and brushed past him.

An unexpected knock on the door shook her from her memories. "Who is it?" she questioned.

"It's me, darlin'," came the gruff reply.

It was Logan. "Just a minute," she said calmly as she swept around the room picking up the signs of her departure and shoving them in the closet. Rogue was not ashamed that she was leaving she just wanted to get away without any interference.

Here I am begging you to try.

She opened the door, immediately turning away and returned to her seat on the bed. Rogue was sitting up perfectly straight and composed giving the outward appearance that everything was normal. When she looked back again Logan was leaning up against the door frame. His face held no emotion, as usual. Her eyes moved up and down his body hastily, taking in his unchanged appearance. He looked absolutely the same as the first day she saw him. He still wore jeans tighter than they should be, and a red flannel shirt.

A sudden wave of anxiety passed over her at the thought of him not actually being her match. The first few years she knew him she thought it was just a crush, a silly hero-worship thing that would go away. It did not. The feelings deepened as the years continued on. She knew that they were meant for each other but if he didn't figure that out they would never be together. It seemed that he was too set in his ways, unwilling to admit he was wrong and reluctant to open up his heart to the possibility of love.

Talk to me, let me in,

"Hey," he said, finally breaking the silence. His eyes were on her and she was grateful he wasn't looking around the room at the emptiness.

She smiled but said nothing back.

Logan grumbled something incoherent as he entered the room. Grabbing the desk chair he plopped it down a few feet from her. Taking a seat on it backwards he leaned his arms heavily on the top of the backrest. She could hear the creaking of the wood under his metal frame.

"You still mad at me?" he questioned, giving her a trademark smirk.

Rogue smiled again but turned her head to look out the window. "No, just disappointed."

This was a usual occurrence as of late, at least since she gained control of her mutation. They were teetering on the line between friendship and romance and when she crossed over, usually in the form of a kiss or a lengthy touch not reminiscent of friendship, they ended up here. Logan would respond to her passes in the beginning but when he realized what he was doing, or, in actuality, who he was doing it with, his anger and resentment would boil over. The result: awkward moments and extremely heated arguments. Once he had time to cool off he would come to her to tell her how things had to be between them. It was a game that was getting old, and getting old fast.

But you just put your wall back up again.

"We wouldn't work," he said stiffly.

"I know," she lied.

Rogue watched his reflection in the glass of the window and was pleased to see him blanch slightly at her admission. He hadn't been expecting that. The tradition was that she would ask why and he would explain she was too young for him, too innocent and not his type. Things continued on from there. This was the first time she ever deviated from their ritual. She was through trying to convince him that they would, in fact, work perfectly.

Oh, when's it gonna end?

"Logan, I need to take a shower," she looked back at him. "Can we talk later?"

"Sure," he replied standing up and kissing her on the top of her head. When he reached the door he turned back around. "Kitchen, midnight." With that said, he turned again, shutting the door in the process.

How far do I have to go to make you understand,

That was also becoming routine. Meeting in the kitchen at midnight had been happening more and more frequently over the years. Five years ago it was an event that occurred right before he would take off for months on end. As his trips away from the mansion became fewer and shorter in length, however, they started having these sessions monthly, then weekly. Now it was nearly every other day they would end up in the kitchen enjoying each other's company in comfortable silence.

Rogue could feel bile rising up in her throat as she stared at the closed door. Without thinking she grabbed the picture frame, the only one she had, off the night stand next to her bed. She launched it across the room at the barrier between her and Logan. He had since disappeared down the hallway and out of earshot of the shattering glass and cracking wood.

I wanna make this work so much, it hurts, but I just can't,

She watched as the picture escaped its case and floated effortlessly down to the ground, landing on top of the shards. Rogue planned to leave it behind anyway as it was not something she could handle seeing every day. Logan stared up at her from his seated position under the tree by the pond. A cigar dangling from the finger tips of his left hand while his right was resting on her shoulder. She was using his leg as a head rest while she read. Logan hadn't appreciated Jubilee taking the picture and had said so in a very colorful manner.

Keep on giving, go on living, with the way things are.

Taking a deep breath, Rogue stood, gathered her duffle bag and back pack from the closet and a length of rope from underneath her bed. She tied the rope around the leg of her bed which she pushed against the wall under the window. Tying the other end to the straps of her bags, she slowly lowered them to the ground below. It was too big of a risk to carry the evidence of her departure through the mansion, this was safer.

After making a quick stop in the bathroom she approached the desk, opened the top drawer and extracted a piece of paper. It was only marred by the words she had penned earlier in the evening. Rogue read it through once more to make sure it said what she intended…

So I'm gonna walk away,

Logan,

Things are better this way for both of us. Do not come after me, I won't be coming back. I relieve you of your promise to protect me, I can do that for myself now. The ties you have to me are now broken and you are free to do as you wish, when you wish, free of guilt. I hope that you find what you are looking for in your past and for your future. God knows you deserve all the happiness the world has to offer, I only wish it had been with me.

I will miss you very much, Logan. You have been more of a family to me than my biological one ever was and I owe you my life many times over. Take care of yourself.

Love,

Marie

…before placing it down on the desk top. She moved towards the picture on the ground in front of the door. Placing her foot on top of it she ground it into the shards of glass and the floor. It was bent and crumpled when she removed her foot.

An' it's up to you to say,

Grabbing her green overcoat off the back of the door she hastily shrugged it on, placing the hood over her head. She then returned to the window, glanced around the room one more time before swinging her legs over the windowsill and disappearing down the rope. Once on the ground she untied her bags and ran to the garage of the mansion.

Rogue unlocked the car, an old Chevy cavalier the professor purchased for Drivers Ed classes. She had acquired the keys earlier in the day from Professor Xavier's office while he was at lunch. It wasn't much but it was a means of transportation. She didn't have enough money to take a plane, a boat wouldn't work, and a train was absolutely out of the question. She had a tremendous phobia of them after the statue of liberty incident. The car was the only option. Tossing her bags in the back seat she started the ignition and left the mansion without looking back.

How far.

Using her emotional pain as fuel she drove straight through the night before pulling over to the shoulder of the road at dawn. She curled up in the backseat for some much needed rest. The dream that came was unexpected, the events of the prior week, the last time she made a pass at Logan.

DREAM

There's a chance I could change my mind.

There he was, sitting in the kitchen in utter darkness when she entered. His legs were raised onto the chair opposite him, a cigar clenched in his teeth and a beer bottle grasped in his right hand. Rogue approached cautiously not wanting to alarm him but knowing deep down he already knew she was there. She took a seat on his right and gently removed the beer bottle from his hand, taking a long swig before giving it back.

"Logan," she whispered. "Logan, you alright?"

But I won't, not till you decide,

She watched him for a long time with no sign that he even heard what she said. His breathing was even and his eyes were trained on the wall clock. Rogue shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Sure they had nights where no conversations took place but whenever she talked, he always answered, albeit most often times briefly.

"Did I do something wrong?" she tried again.

Nothing jumped out at her in the past couple days that would have made him uncomfortable. She was beginning to get extremely irritated at the one-sided conversation.

What you want, what you need.

"Logan," she said, this time louder. "Talk to me!" she exclaimed as she grabbed his shoulders and shook his heavy upper-body.

His eyes seemed to gain focus and shifted from the clock on the wall to the eyes of the young woman before him. Creasing his brow, his growing anger was becoming increasingly visible. Rogue's hands dropped from his shoulders, hanging loosely at her sides. Her stomach clenched at his intense glare.

"Let me help you!" she whispered, her tone desperate.

Do you even care if I stay or leave?

Logan's jaw clenched so tightly that she could hear it crack under the pressure, much like she was beginning to feel she would do soon under his stare. "Leave," he demanded. His voice was low and menacing. Had it been directed toward anyone else they would have obeyed immediately.

"Please tell me what's wrong," Rogue requested instead of complying with his demand. She folded her arms over her chest meekly.

Oh, what's it gonna be?

"Damn it, Marie," Logan grunted as he stood abruptly, toppling his chair to the ground. She followed suit. He paced back and forth across the kitchen with his hands clenched tightly into fists at his sides. "Leave," he growled glancing at her as he continued wearing out the tiled floor.

Taking a deep breath she stepped into his path. She raised her hands in front of her as he came barreling her direction, his eyes trained on the floor. As soon as her hands came in contact with his chest he abruptly stopped, mere inches from her.

How far do I have to go to make you understand,

He was looking at her strangely, like he had never seen her before. His increasing heart rate was easily felt by her hands on his chest. She could only image her own heart rate matched his. Not one word was said between them.

Rogue took another chance, her second in the last month, when she placed her lips on his in a firm but gentle kiss. He responded passionately, nearly ravaging her mouth. His arms encircled her waist as hers ran up his chest to hold his shoulders tightly. Logan moaned into her mouth when her fingers began playing with the delicate hairs on the back of his neck. It wasn't until one of his hand slipped underneath her shirt to come in contact with her bare back, eliciting a gasp from Rogue, that the moment was shattered.

I wanna make this work so much, it hurts, but I just can't,

Logan retreated hastily, pushing Rogue backwards. It was more rough than intended and caused her to slam soundly into the wall, forcing the air from her lungs in the process. But what actually hurt more than her lost breath was the look Logan was giving her. She could tell immediately that he was angry, and that she was the focus of that anger.

He picked up his cigar and beer off the table where he had rapidly discarded them and with out so much as a glance at Rogue he made a swift exit.

Keep on giving, go on living, with the way things are.

Legs giving out beneath her, Rogue slid down the wall to the floor. Her knees were pressed tightly to her chest, arms wrapped around her legs and her forehead resting on her knees. Sobbing overtook her quickly and she remained in that position late into the night.

END DREAM

So I'm gonna walk away,

A crash of thunder startled her from her sleep and for that she was grateful. Her duffle bag, which she had been using for a pillow, was wet from her tears as were her cheeks. The crying she had done in her dream she had done as she slept as well. She wiped her eyes furiously to completely wake up for more driving.

It was over and she had to accept it. These types of dreams were only going to cause her pain in the long run.

With the rain coming down hard outside, she decided climbing over the seat was a better option then stepping out of the car, surely getting soaked in the process. She found herself giggling as she toppled over, feet up in the air, one arm lodged under the steering wheel and the other pinned between her own body and the back of the seat. Finally gathering herself up she started the car and continued west down the highway. Purpose: Get as far away as possible.

An' it's up to you to say,

The trip cross-country was slow. The gas guzzling car would shake if it went above 65 mph and she frequently stopped at roadside diners and bars for pit stops. Rarely did she spend money on a motel room, frequently pulling off to the side of the road for a few hours of sleep from time to time instead.

Having finally decided on a destination she was steadily heading northwest toward Alaska. It had been her dream to travel there after high school and before college but the immergence of her mutation made her first attempt the trek earlier than planned. However, she ran into Logan, and subsequently Sabertooth, before she had managed to make it there. Now was her chance.

How far.

On Rogue's fifth day of travel she pulled off at a seedy looking motel near the Canadian border in Montana. It was a dump, but as far as she could tell it was the only possible stop for miles. Even though it was going to cost her more money than she would normally be willing to spend for one night of mild comfort, the prospect of warm water cascading down her aching back and sore muscles was worth the sacrifice.

When she entered the room she realized just how inadequate the room was for the $70 she forked out. It was entirely too small. The rugs were brown, most likely not their original color and the walls were yellowed. Sniffing slightly she caught the scent of cigarette smoke mingled with pine air freshener, an obvious attempt to remove some of the discomfort from the customer's nose. A horrendous floral comforter covered the lone double bed with surprisingly white covers on the two pillows leaning against the worn wooden headstand. There was one dresser along the opposite wall with a clock radio being its only decoration. No TV was present and only a mirror and one painting, reminiscent of a paint-by-numbers project a six year old might make, adorned the wall.

Out of this chair,

Tossing her duffle bag and back pack onto the bed, she shrugged off her green overcoat laying it over the dresser. She trudged to the door at the back of the room which would lead to the bathroom. The scenery didn't improve upon entering. The sink and tub were yellowed and stained and the toilet had brown rings where the water surface touched the bowl. Rogue didn't care.

She grabbed the complimentary shampoo and soap off the sink, the one good thing about this room, and proceeded to turn on the shower. Quickly she shed her filthy clothes and jumped into the warm flow of water. As it moved across her skin, removing the grime, it also eased some of her tension.

It was harder to run away than she had thought. Her face was buried in her hands under the water; shoulders slumped forward in emotional defeat. She had hoped the more distance she put between her and Logan the less his rejection would hurt. It actually only made it worse.

Or just across the room?

After an eternity in the shower she dried off placing her hair up in the towel. Since it was a cool night she decided to turn on the noisy heater which quickly warmed the small room, almost too much. Wearing her green pajama shorts and white tank top she began meticulously brushing her long brown hair. Her reflection in the mirror above the dresser mocked her. Cheeks sunken, eyes swollen from repeated crying, and platinum steaks that only served as a reminder of love and loss.

Rogue fingered the white hair gingerly. When it had first happened she thought of dyeing it back to normal, but what is normal really? Then, Logan had brushed over them at the door to the mansion before leaving her behind and she decided to keep the locks that way. Not for the reason she had told him. In truth she didn't like the reminder of her near death experience.

Instead, it was a reminder to him. Every time he saw it she hoped he would remember how close he was to losing her. It hadn't had the effect she had hoped for.

Now there was no reason to keep the white hair but it had become a part of her personality, however unexpected. There was no going back. Things were the way they were for a reason; she had to accept things as they came.

Halfway down the block,

The door to the motel room bursting open, almost off it hinges, startled her from her musing and caused her to leap into battle ready mode. It was one of the first things students at the mansion were taught—how to be ready to defend oneself at any moment. This definitely qualified.

The muted yellow glow of the over head light cast an eerie aura around the person standing in the doorway, shrouded by the darkness beyond. From what Rogue could tell the man was unusually large, not necessarily tall but broad. The fingers on her right hand slowly made their way to the bracelet on her left wrist, trying not to draw the attention of the intruder. She was unsuccessful.

In the span of a few milliseconds the man had entered the room, kicking the door shut behind him. Rogue breathed a sigh of relief when she finally saw the man, it was Logan. Dropping her arms to her sides, forgetting the bracelet, she eyed him curiously. Her relief faded at the look of anger on his face. Not that she was scared of him but interested in the reason for this emotional display.

As the seconds ticked by her own anger began to rise. She had told him not to follow. Things were better this way. Yet here he was, having broken into her motel room without even trying to ask her for permission to enter first. Who does he think he is? she thought.

Or halfway to the moon?

"Get out!" she spat at him, turning around to her discarded brush. Ignoring him she picked it up and resumed her grooming. When she didn't here any motion or the sound of the door she glanced back to where he had been standing. He hadn't moved a muscle. His eyes flashed wildly at her when her gaze drifted up to his face.

"I'm takin' you back," he growled as he approached her.

Rogue took a step back, dropping her brush once more and reached, yet again, for her bracelet. "Oh, you think so, sugah?" she sarcastically replied lifting her hands to demonstrate her resolve.

Logan stopped moving but his determination never wavered. "You're safer at the mansion," he grumbled.

"As I already told you," she said through a clenched jaw, "I can take care of myself." She let go of the bracelet, knowing that at least he wouldn't attempt to throw her over his shoulder kicking and screaming. "I'm not holding you to your promise anymore," she continued, quieter this time.

There was a pained expression that crossed over Logan's face, but it was quickly covered over. "A promise is a promise," he responded. "And I fully intend to keep it."

How far do I have to go to make you understand,

She heaved an intense sigh and sat down heavily on the end of the bed. "Logan, please," she pleaded placing her hands over her face, "don't make this any harder than it already is." Rogue could feel the moisture begin to well behind her lids and she forced it back with all the energy she possessed. She wouldn't cry. Not in front of him. "Just go home."

"That's not my home," was Logan's reply, quiet but firm.

This caused Rogue to lower her hands to her lap and tilt her head to the side to look at Logan again. She noticed that his anger had seemed to ebb away and was replaced by his usually stoic features. Reading his emotions had always been difficult for her, and everyone else for that matter.

"Yes it is," she argued softly. "The big bad Wolverine only wants to pretend it isn't to keep his reputation," she smiled playfully.

Her playfulness didn't rub off. He looked at her seriously. "No."

Rogue's heart tightened behind her ribs at the thought. All these years and he doesn't consider the mansion home. "Then why did you stay?" she questioned heatedly.

"Why d'ya think?" he responded almost immediately.

I wanna make this work so much, it hurts, but I just can't,

It was as if a light switch had gone off inside her head. He had only stayed because he promised to protect her. She had kept him there against his will. He never cared for her; she was an obligation, a job, a duty. In his one moment of stupidity in trying to comfort a silly teenager he had given over his freedom, his independence. No wonder he never went for any of my advances. He hates me. It was never about the age difference.

Keeping her emotions at bay was no longer her objective. She didn't care anymore what he would think if she began crying because he already hated her for taking away the very thing that he prized the most, his freedom. She had unwittingly made him a caged animal. The tears poured from her eyes and she felt like she would throw up, that is if she had anything in her stomach in the first place. Rogue watched him through water filled eyes, her face etched in sorrow and remorse. I wasted years. Made him believe I still needed his protection. I took five years of his life, and mine.

Keep on giving, go on living, with the way things are.

"I'm sorry," she sobbed. "I'm so, so very sorry, Logan." Her hands trembled as she wiped fruitlessly at the streams of salty tears over her cheeks. "Your free," she moaned, "I'll be fine." Getting up she walked steadily to the bathroom door, head held high despite the cowering she longed to do once hidden from view.

Rogue paused and turned around slowly, eyes trained on the floor. "I never meant for that promise to keep you there," she gulped. Her breathing was rapid and short. "I know I don't deserve it but," she paused lifting her red eyes to Logan's, "maybe someday," she bit her lip nervously before finishing, "you'll be able to forgive me." The last few words cracked.

Releasing a loud moan she shook her head covering her eyes with her right hand as she wheeled around and fled to the bathroom. She didn't get far.

Logan's large hand clamped down hard on her upper arm, spinning her around to face him. She shouldn't have been so surprised at his quick prevention of her escape, but she was. "What're you talkin' about?" he ground out.

To her surprise she could see concern in his eyes and she felt even worse than before. Closing her eyes she scrunched up her brow and shook her head in deep thought. Calming herself she was able to cease the flow of tears. "It's my fault you stayed," she answered. "You didn't want to, but you promised to protect me."

So I'm gonna walk away,

"Marie," Logan said quietly, lifting her chin slightly with his free hand. "You've got it all wrong, darlin'." He raised an eyebrow knowingly at her confused expression. Wiping some of the tears off her cheek with his fingers he continued, "Yes, I want to protect you, but that isn't why I stayed."

She stiffened and backed out of his grasp slowly. "Then tell me why." It was hard to think, her brain was muddled with so many thoughts. The only thing she knew was that if he continued to touch her face she might do something foolish. Hell, I always do something foolish when it comes to him.

Running a hand through his hair, Logan turned around and paced the short length of the room to the door. For an instant Rogue thought Logan was actually going to leave and even though that was what she had told him to do it was the last thing she wanted. Instead he turned, reaching into his leather jacket he removed something from the inside pocket. He walked towards her again with the item in his outstretched hand. It was a folded piece of paper.

An' it's up to you to say.

He shoved it forcefully into her hand. When she opened it she realized it was the note she had left for him in her room. Inside was the picture of the two of them she had flung across the room. It looked as if Logan had taken particular care to fix what she had done. While the creases could still be seen the picture was perfectly flat.

Fingers tracing the imperfections on the picture she wondered why he gave these to her. "Is this supposed to answer my question?" she asked, eyes still trained on the items in her hand.

"Yes," he answered. The muscles in his face were twitching unusually. "You are the reason I stayed."

She could tell that the words were hard for him. Grunts and nods were his normal form of communication with most people. Either that or insults, as was the case with Scott.

Yeah, I'm gonna walk away,

"I know," she said, frustrated. "You felt like you were obligated to protect me. I get it." Her grip on the papers unconsciously tightened.

Now it was his turn to get frustrated. "No, you don't." He turned and began pacing back and forth across the room. "I've broken more promises than pranks I've played on Scooter." The volume of his voice was growing. "It should've been easy for me to just walk away." He took a deep breath. "You're too important to me. When I left I could see the hurt in your eyes and I hated myself for it."

"So you stayed to save my feelings?" she asked, interrupting him.

An' it's up to you to say,

Logan stopped abruptly and snapped his head up to look at her. "NO!" he bellowed and she visibly blanched at the harshness behind the word. "Don't you get it? I love you! Always have." He began pacing again.

Rogue stared at him, thunderstruck. He loves me? She had known he cared about her wellbeing but never guessed that he returned her feelings. Then the more she thought about it, it was quite possible that it was a brotherly or even fatherly type of love, not necessarily the romantic love that she felt for him.

"But the Wolverine doesn't love, can't, won't," he continued on. "You mean far too much to me to lose you if things don't workout." His hand ran through his hair, sweat appearing on his forehead.

"Logan, you know how I feel about you," Rogue whispered. "Please, just tell me you don't feel that way about me and return to the mansion. Don't fool with my feelings."

"Chuck's place isn't my home. My home is where you are and you're here." He paused again, right in front of her.

Things were taking an unusual turn. His eyes were wide and almost fearful, very un-Logan-like. Standing tall he reached his hands out to grasp her arms.

"In that note you left me you said things that I need to clear up. My past means nothing to me anymore." He lifted one hand to her cheek and gently began caressing it with his thumb. "And, my future holds nothing if your not in it."

How far.

Rogue's heart was hammering wildly in her chest. Her eyes fluttered shut. "Don't play games, Logan. I can't take it." Reluctantly she took a step back, hitting the closed bathroom door which she leaned heavily upon.

"No games, darlin'," he responded, closing the distance between them. "You said I deserve happiness," he pried the letter out of her fingers. "The only way I can be happy is with you."

She opened her eyes again. It took all the strength she had not to throw herself into his arms. This time the first move was not going to be hers. She wouldn't make a fool of herself yet again. "As friends, right?" she sighed.

Leaning over, his breath warmed her ear. "Marie," he breathed. His lips were so close and she could smell the hint of the cologne she had given him for Christmas on his collar. "This feeling is anything but friendly."

How far.

Before Rogue knew what was happening Logan's lips were melded with her own. The kiss was passionate and full of promise. Only one thought managed to peek its way into her mind, I've gone far enough.