It was raining the day Logan came home.

He hadn't been gone for long . . . he never seemed to stray far from the mansion anymore, not even during the dark weeks following Jean's death.

Rogue had watched as Logan and Scott had formed something of a grudging friendship, and she was perhaps the only one who wasn't amazed at how well they got along.

Of course, the only other person who had seen inside Logan's head was Jean . . . and Rogue imagined if Jean were still alive to be surprised, she wouldn't have been surprised at all. Jean understood Logan better than Logan understood himself.

So did Scott. Scott found in Logan something he couldn't find in anyone else--someone who missed Jean for the same reason he did.

The irony of the situation was not lost on Rogue. At the basest level, deeper than any lust, than any feelings of affection, Logan missed Jean for one reason.

Jean had died before he'd managed to win her.

In this, if in nothing else, Scott was clearly the winner.

It was raining the day Logan came home, and of course, the first person Logan went to find was Scott.

Rogue traced the drops of rain as they rolled down the outside of her window, her ungloved fingers leaving streaks on the glass. Logan had been home for several hours, but whatever bizarre male bonding ritual he felt the need to perform with Scott every time he returned always lasted at least that long, so Rogue had time before he'd find his way to her door.

He always did. But whereas he sought out Scott for the companionship none of the other teachers seemed able to offer, he always came to Rogue's door with eyes that never quite rested on her. He asked the obligatory questions, mouthed the obligatory threats about the horrible things he'd do to Bobby if he ever upset her.

Anyone could have told him that her relationship with Bobby hadn't survived long past their return from their first mission, but obviously he wasn't interested enough to ask. Rogue didn't bother to correct his assumptions. It reminded her that he didn't care enough about her life to find out what was really going on.

Sometimes he brought her presents. Silly things, things that you'd give to a little girl. He gave her expensive, tacky looking journals and colorful pens and sometimes gold dangly earrings that she hated because he didn't even realize that she never wore gold.

Every encounter was stilted and scripted, and sometimes Rogue wished he'd stop trying.

She traced the drops of rain, and longed for the feel of them on her skin. She could still feel Johnny, crawling around inside her. Everything was warm with him. Everything was fire.

Rogue pressed her cheek against the cool glass, but it warmed against her too-hot skin within moments. It wasn't enough. It was never enough.

She was at the edge of the woods before she shed her shirt, dropping the wet fabric to the ground as she spread her arms wide. Fat rain drops splashed onto her deadly skin, rolling off her body too quickly to become warm.

The rain was cool. Soothing. Her hair was fast becoming a wet tangle, but she didn't care. She hardly expected to see anyone.

She moved deeper into the woods, and under the cover of the thick trees it was almost dry. Her skin felt too warm again, even in the cool breeze that slithered through the trees. She moved faster, traveling paths long familiar to her. She'd spent more than one afternoon wandering through this forest by herself, trying to escape the voices in her head and find some sort of peace.

Maybe she could hide here until Logan had given up looking for her. Maybe they could skip the entire uncomfortable visit. Maybe he'd give whatever stupid gift he'd bought her to someone else, and he could stop pretending he cared just because he'd made her a promise.

She broke free into a clearing, and the rain had grown stronger. She tilted her head back, letting the rain hide the tears she was ashamed to shed.

Logan didn't care.

It had taken nearly two months to destroy the last of her illusions, but she was practical enough to face the facts.

Logan didn't love her. Would probably never love her. Maybe he wasn't even capable of love, only of lust and affection and an urge to protect what was his.

She'd thought for a long time that she was his. That the promise he'd made to her had given her a part of him. She'd thought that his affection could grow into something else.

A sick little part of her had even thought that maybe with Jean gone, he'd notice her.

Rogue kept her eyes closed and wondered why the rain tasted so bitter.

She'd prayed for the first two weeks she'd lived with Xavier. It was a holdover from childhood, from a good strong Baptist upbringing. She curled on her side every night before falling asleep, closed her eyes, and prayed.

She prayed that God would show her how to control her power, because she didn't want to hurt anyone else ever again.

She prayed that her parents would be forgiven for casting her out, and that she could find the strength to forgive them.

She prayed that David would recover.

She prayed for the old man who'd bought her dinner just south of the Canadian border, and had been rewarded for his kindness with a coma when he reached out to pat her hand.

She prayed that Xavier wouldn't throw her out.

But most of all, she prayed for Logan. That Logan would be safe, that Logan would find whatever he was looking for and return. That Logan would keep taking care of her, and that maybe one day he would learn to love her.

She forgot to pray before she went to bed the night of the attack on the mansion.

In a world where God would let men with guns kill children, she wasn't sure she wanted to pray anymore.

She'd talked to Kurt about it once, but had only been told that God knew the prayers in her heart, even if she didn't speak them out loud.

Most of the time she hoped he was wrong, because the prayers in her heart were not ones that she wanted God to see.

"What in God's name are you doing?"

The voice startled Rogue, startled her enough that she jumped, eyes flying open.

Logan was staring at her, his hands clenched tight around her shirt. His eyes kept slipping from her face to her chest, to the black bra that was soaked through and revealed more of her skin than anyone ever saw.

She crossed her arms protectively over her chest and glared. "What are you doing here?"

One side of Logan's mouth pulled down in a frown. "At least I'm wearing a shirt."

The slightly wild look in his eyes woke an emotion deep inside Rogue. It was something other, something almost feral . . . something she'd had inside her since she'd gotten her first dose of him.

And it made her angry. He had invaded her privacy, he had come to find her. How dare he stand there, looking at her as if she'd betrayed him.

She knew why he looked so upset. Even if she hadn't been inside his head, she knew from the way he acted around her every time he had to talk to her.

He had packed her away in a little box marked 'kid'. He liked keeping her there, liked to pretend that she was never going to grow up.

Too fucking bad.

She forced herself to uncross her arms, and felt that feral satisfaction again as his eyes dropped from her face to her chest. She saw the muscles in his arms tense, heard the slight hitch in his breath, barely audible.

She could feel the heat rising again, and it wasn't Johnny's fire this time. It was her own, and the sudden realization--the sudden certainty--that she could have Logan. She could have him now, have him in any way she wanted.

And she did want him. It was a bitter truth, but not anything terribly surprising. She'd wanted Logan for as long as she'd known him.

She walked towards him, and he made no move to back up. He just stared at her, confused and aroused in spite of himself, and still not believing that she was coming towards him.

There was nothing romantic, nothing seductive. Her hand found his groin, found the hardness encased in denim and she smiled as he let out startled sound that turned into a groan.

His hand grabbed her wrist, he wrapped his fingers tight around it and yanked her away from him. She could feel the pull, but it was like it had been with Johnny. Slow. Slower still, because Johnny couldn't heal like Logan could, and she could see he felt her gift drawing him in, but he didn't look like he was in pain.

Not even the miracle of touching the untouchable could distract Logan from his anger. "What game are you playing at?" His hand was trembling, his grip on her wrist not nearly as strong as it had been.

She was stealing his strength . . . but it wasn't hurting him.

Rogue reached out a hand, let her fingers trace his face experimentally. It didn't increase the pull, and she saw his eyes soften at the wonder on her face. She could feel the shift in his mood, could feel his lust and confusion trickling through the connection between them.

"I'm touching you," she whispered, her fingers tracing his lips and the rough stubble of his cheek. "Is it hurting?"

Logan shrugged one shoulder. "Not really. Feels damn odd, but doesn't really hurt." He reached up to catch her other wrist, holding them away from him. His voice was softer this time, but still insistent. "What are you doing, Rogue?"

She felt the connection between them close a little more, and she pushed closer to him. His hands weren't trembling so badly now, and he didn't push her away.

She kissed him, and it was clumsy because she'd only kissed Bobby a few times and wasn't sure if she was any good at it. He didn't kiss her back, but he didn't push her away either and when she pulled back, she could see the conflict in his eyes.

She could hardly feel any tug at all from her gift now, and she pressed her body against his a little more insistently. "I'm not a kid, Logan."

Logan took a step back. "I can see that, Rogue. But that doesn't mean this is--"

She cut him off. "What isn't it, Logan? Is it not right? Am I not good enough for you? Am I too young, or too inexperienced . . ." Her frustration rose up, and with it came embarrassment. Intense, overwhelming embarrassment.

She didn't want him to touch her anymore.

He was still holding her wrist in one hand almost absently, and the connection between them roared open.

He cried out and fell to his knees, and she ripped her hand away as she staggered backwards under a wave of . . .


He was in her head again, crawling around in her brain and she fell hard on the wet grass, her bare back hitting the ground. She could see herself from his eyes, could see how he'd found her in the clearing and could feel his shock and quickly repressed desire.

She knew, with sudden blinding clarity, why he had withdrawn from her after Jean's death. She could hear echoes of conversation with Scott, could hear Scott's first, furious accusation that Logan had never really cared about Jean. That Logan hadn't really lost anything. That Logan would be tumbling into another bed within the month.

She could feel Logan's shame that Scott's words, even if spoken in anger and apologized for later, had felt so true.

She covered her ears with her hands and wished the futile gesture could silence the voices in her head.

No one even asked what had happened. Later, curled in her bed with an extra blanket and freshly washed hair, she almost resented how quickly they had separated her from everyone else. Logan had been rushed to the lab, and Rogue had been herded to her bedroom, a thick blanket protecting the world from her deadly skin.

Just another accident, they assumed. Just another mistake. Logan had fallen victim to her enough times before that no one was overly concerned. The students would walk nervously around her for a while, but Logan would recover and things would go back to normal.

But things would never go back to normal. She had felt Logan's hands on her body, felt his lips on hers. She knew he wanted her. Whatever act he put on, however much he ignored her--he wanted her.

It changed everything--and it changed nothing. Because along with the memory of Scott's words, she'd felt Logan's unwavering resolve that he would never prove Scott right. And she'd felt his fear--his fear of her, and his fear of himself for wanting her.

Most of all, she'd felt his anger. Anger at her for growing up, for forcing him to acknowledge how very much she'd grown up. Rogue had never realized you could want someone and be furious with them at the same time, but Logan's anger was an electric thing inside her, making her skin itch.

She caught herself scratching at her arms, and the sight of the tiny red marks fading almost as quickly as she made them made her want to laugh and cry at the same time. She knew from experience that his powers would fade. It was only his thoughts and memories that would linger on.

And linger they would. Mingled with the pictures of her shirtless in the rain were pictures of her atop the statue of liberty, pictures of her on the train, pictures of her in the bar.

Pictures of her in her nightgown, bleeding because he'd stabbed her in the chest.

They tumbled together, and even closing her eyes and breathing like she'd been taught did her no good.

It was late in the night when she dragged herself into the Professor's office, unsurprised to find him awake. He'd been expecting her, was waiting for her, just like he had waited for her the last few times.

She knelt before him and rested her forehead on his knees. "Make me forget," she whispered. It wasn't that simple, wasn't nearly that simple, but Xavier understood. Gentle fingers rested on the back of her head, and for a moment--just a moment--she was alone in her head.

He made tea afterwards, and Rogue sat across his desk at him, fiddling with the handle of her teacup. He waited her out, waited for her to speak. It didn't take long.

"You saw." It wasn't a question, and her cheeks flushed. She still had the memory, fainter now, of what Logan had seen when he'd entered the clearing. And now Xavier had it, too.

"I saw," he confirmed. "And there is no reason to be ashamed, Rogue."

She laughed bitterly. The memories weren't as overpowering no, weren't as chaotic. But they were there, and she could see herself shirtless and wanton in the clearing. And she was ashamed.


She shook her head. "I needed your help," she said softly. "I couldn't do it myself. I couldn't--I couldn't make him shut up by myself. But can we just--can we not talk about it?"

Xavier sighed. "You think that will make it go away?"

"No," Rogue replied. "I think Logan going away will make it go away." Her smile was a little mocking. "You don't really think he'll stay now, do you?"

"You know his thoughts as well as I do at the moment, Rogue. What do they tell you?"

It was not a question she expected, and she paused. Just like before, Xavier had built a wall between her thoughts and the others inside her. Their memories were like dreams now, fainter. More distant. It took a moment to find the answer to his question, and when she found it, she frowned.

He acknowledged her realization with a nod. "Are you sure you won't discuss this with me, Rogue?"

"Does it have to be right now?" she asked softly. "I--I can't think about it right now."

"You can come to me any time," Xavier replied gently. "You know that, Rogue. Any time. Would you prefer to talk about this anomaly?"

"You mean..." she gestured with one hand. "I touched him. Without hurting him, at least. It was only when I started to feel--" She trailed off, her eyes growing wide with comprehension.

"It was only when you started to feel afraid, when you didn't want him to touch you." Xavier nodded. "I admit, it had occurred to me that your control might be based on your emotions. Tell me what happened when you touched Johnny at the Drake's house."

Confused by the change of subject, Rogue cast her thoughts backwards. "He was... he was hurting people. I grabbed his ankle, because I thought--I thought I could drain him enough to make him stop. Or at least get his powers and stop the fires."

"But it didn't happen immediately," Xavier replied. "From what Bobby told me, it took you several seconds before the connection even opened, and even then it was not nearly as powerful as usual."

Rogue nodded. "And you think that it was because I wanted to touch him?"

"It seems to me that it very well may be the case. You wanted Logan to touch you, and there was hardly any reaction at all. But when you decided that you didn't want him to touch you anymore, then your gift decided to protect you."

"Then you think--" She didn't finish the sentence, too afraid to hope.

"I think maybe we can work on your emotional control, and see progress," Xavier replied, and his smile was proud.

She finished her tea and let him distract her with soothing discussion about school gossip. It worked, for the most part, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get past the knowledge that Xavier's questions had brought to the surface.

It was nearly dawn when she made her way back to her room, and she fell into bed exhausted with the knowledge that Logan was not going to run.

She didn't know how, or why. But she knew that. He wasn't going to run.

But he wasn't going to chase her if she ran, either.

And that was the most confusing part of all.

It took two days of avoiding Logan for Rogue to realize that she didn't need to bother. He was avoiding her, and doing it far more effectively than she could manage. In fact, he was so good at avoiding her that she finally gave up on the third day and asked Scott if Logan had left again.

Scott tilted his head in confusing, looking up from the stack of papers he'd been grading. "No, I saw him this morning. Why do you ask?"

Rogue glanced at the open door and back at Scott. A memory drifted up, faint as a dream. Scott leaning against this desk, face contorted in anger. Screaming at someone. Screaming at her--at Logan. Screaming, "you never really cared about Jean!"

She closed the door and leaned against it, ignoring Scott's confusion. "Has he--has he talked to you? Since--"

"Since the accident?" Scott asked gently. He pointed to the seat in front of his desk. "Sit down, Rogue."

She sank into the seat, her legs sprawled out in front of her, her gloved fingers tangled together as she tried to control her emotions. "Well, has he?"

"That's not why you're here," he said softly.

Rogue shook her head, confused. "I don't know what you mean."

Scott reached across the side of the desk and tapped her forehead lightly, too quickly to feel the pull of her skin. "What's inside there that you think I can help you understand?"

"He's been here," Rogue accused, suddenly wary. "He's talked to you."

"He's talked to me," Scott agreed. "But what he's talked to me about is his business. I want to know what you think I can help you with."

But she wasn't ready to talk to Scott. She smiled, a nervous smile, and pushed the chair back as she stood. "I just wanted to make sure he was still here," she said, and she was moving back towards the door before he could stop her. "I suppose I'll find him and make sure he's alright."

"Rogue--" Scott started, but she was already opening the door, and she forced another smile and fled.

Cornering him wasn't hard. Most of the doors in the mansion had locks, but locks weren't very useful for preventing theft in a house where people could walk through walls. Locks were used to keep the world out when you were inside, and no one ever locked their doors when they left their rooms.

She let herself into his room in the evening and waited for him, waited the hours until midnight when he opened the door and paused on the threshold, and she knew he could smell her even if he couldn't see her in the darkness.

For a moment she thought he would turn around and leave again, but he shut the door softly and she heard the click of the lock. She wasn't sure if it made her relieved or nervous.

He didn't turn the lights on, and that did make her nervous because her eyesight was no where near as good as his, and he moved so silently that she wasn't sure if he had moved at all, or was still standing next to the door.

And then he was next to her, on the bed, but not touching her. She could see the faint outline of him in the light from the window, and he wasn't looking at her.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, and his voice was flat and empty. He could have been ecstatic or furious with her, for all she could tell.

"I--I wanted to apologize," she said softly. "I--I let things get out of control. I just--you were touching me--"

There was wonder in her voice, as hard as she tried to hide it, and she saw his head turn towards her. "Yeah," was all he said. Bland again. No feelings, and something inside her--something that had been confident when his lust poured over her--died a little.

And in the darkness, she felt young and naive because lust wasn't the same thing as love, and maybe any man who saw a woman half naked in the rain would feel the same way.

She was on her feet and half way across the floor when he caught up to her, his hands grasping her shoulders lightly. He said nothing, just held her, pulling her back until the curve of her spine melded to his body.

She felt his breath against her ear, and her entire body shivered in the darkness. Everything in her wanted to touch him, to feel him, and she fought against the urge to turn around and melt into him. To test Xavier's theory that wanting to be touched made her safe to be touched. She was supposed to be angry. Or regretful. Or--

She could smell alcohol on his breath as his lips found the place where her shoulder met her neck, and part of her wondered how much alcohol someone with super healing powers would have to drink before they could get really drunk.

"Logan--" she started, but it was as far as she got because his mouth opened and he bit the that sensitive place between her neck and shoulder and her knees felt weak as his tongue traced hot circles on her skin.

She wanted it and there was no pull, no painful drag, no deadly skin. She was alive and awake and his skin was touching hers--Logan was touching her and that was all it took. Her knees gave out and his arms caught her and lowered her to the floor and then he was beside her, looking down at her with the moonlight shining on his face and giving her a glimpse of the almost painful intensity in his eyes.

Rogue could still smell the alcohol, and part of her wanted to push away, to leave with her dignity intact because she didn't want to be the person Logan touched because he was too drunk to know better.

The rest of her just wanted him to touch her again before he did something wrong and the miracle of touch wore off and she spent the rest of her life a cloistered virgin because she didn't want anyone to ever touch her again.

"Logan--" she tried again, but his fingers found her lips, and he shook his head. His fingers slid down her chin, down her neck and when his fingers slid over her shirt and skirted between her breasts, she wanted to tear her shirt off because it didn't compare to his skin touching hers.

"I'm not drunk," he said suddenly, and his voice was low and hoarse. His fingers found her neck again, lingering warmly against her skin as he drew tiny circles. "I'm touching you, Rogue."

"I know," she replied, and she held her breath as she concentrated everything inside her on /wanting/ Logan to touch her.

His fingers found the buttons on her shirt, and she shivered again as her shirt fell open, leaving her the scant protection of a black lacy bra that she'd bought on the off chance that she'd ever get to show it to someone.

And for one moment, it seemed that everything/everything, would be perfect.

He was gone so suddenly that she wasn't even sure what had happened. She pushed herself to her knees, clutching her shirt together as she squinted into the darkness.

The light came on next to the bed, too harsh and bright. She winced back, catching a glimpse of herself in his mirror with flushed cheeks and her shirt hanging open.

Logan stood a few feet away, his hands clenched into fists and his back to her. She could see the tight lines of muscle in his shoulders, and it hurt just to look at him.

"I'm sorry, Rogue," he said softly, still facing away. "I just--I can't do this. Not yet."

Maybe she should have talked to him. Maybe she should have asked why. But all she could do was look at herself, reflected in his mirror. Her pathetic reflection stared back, shirt clutched together, face flushed with humiliation.

She fled his room on shaky legs, without even stopping to button her shirt.

She dreamt that night, chaotic dreams that were mostly Logan's memories. Memories of the fight with Scott, memories of promising himself that he would prove Scott wrong. Memories of watching Rogue and wondering if Scott was right and all he wanted was a warm body to tumble next to.

Memories of drinking himself into a stupor, wondering why he spent so much time thinking.

There were other dreams, and these were no memories. She dreamt of herself, erotic dreams with skin that was not deadly and Logan's hands all over her. She dreamt of him doing things to her that she didn't have names for, things that made her scream in his dreams, and scream in her own.

She woke up gasping and crying, confused and angry. She was used to the dreams--no matter how much control the Professor helped her gain over her waking mind, her sleeping mind was victim to the lives of those inside her. But not like this. Never like this.

She crawled from bed and into the shower, scrubbing herself under the hot water until she could no longer feel the touch of his hands--real or otherwise--on her skin. Her thoughts were still a chaotic tumble, but as they stilled they centered around one truth. Logan wanted her. It wasn't a question of if or why--he wanted her and she knew it.

But there was Scott, and Scott's accusation. Scott had challenged Logan's pride, and if there was one thing Logan clung to even now, it was his pride.

With her wet hair hanging down her back and her feet bare, Rogue slipped outside of her room and down the hallway to Scott's. She was going to resolve this one way or another, before she drove herself mad.

It didn't occur to her that Logan would have beaten her to it.

Their voices weren't loud, but Rogue could hear every word clearly. She leaned against the wall just outside Scott's door with her eyes closed, wondering if she should feel guilty for listening.

"You're a fool, Logan," Scott said bluntly. "And not only that, you're making Rogue miserable. And she does not deserve any more heartache."

Logan's voice was so low she could hardly hear him through the door. "Are you saying I should throw myself into bed with her just because she's infatuated with me?"

"No, I don't think that's what I just said," Scott replied, his voice sharp. "I said you should stop playing around with her. You're an idiot if you don't think that anyone with eyes can see how you feel about her."


"But nothing. She's not a little girl, Logan. Some people are old before their times. That woman is ancient. She can take care of herself."

"I'm more worried about me," Logan replied wryly. "Besides, you just want me to toss her into bed so you can be right."

There was a long pause, followed by the sound of someone banging their hand onto a desk. "Damn it, Logan. You are the single most self-absorbed man on the planet."


Scott's voice was dripping disdain. "You're right. I have warped an intelligent young woman into believing that she's in love with you, and despite the fact that she's my student and I care for her, I'm going to fling her into bed with you so you can screw up her life. And I'm doing all of this so I can prove that I loved my fiance more than you did?"

"Scott--" Logan was obviously backpedaling now, but Scott talked right over him.

"What, you don't like that spin? Let's try it this way. You're a chicken-shit asshole who can't deal with the fact that you're just as vulnerable to emotion as those of us who don't have tortured brooding pasts."

"Now wait just a fucking minute, Scott!"

"Why should I? I'm your friend, Logan, and friends kick each other in the ass when they need it." Scott laughed, and Rogue could hear his amusement even through the wall. "And you need it, Logan. You need your ass kicked into next week."

"Yeah? You're making a damn good start on it. In the future could you aim for my ass and not my fucking balls?"

Scott laughed. "Why, Logan. The way you've been acting, I didn't think you had any."

"Do me a favor, Scott. Shut the fuck up."

"Fine. Just promise me that you'll--"

Scott's voice cut off suddenly, and Rogue leaned closer to the door, wondering what was happening. For a long moment she heard nothing.

When she finally did hear something, it was because Logan had yanked the door open and was giving her a look that made her think running was a good idea, and getting a long head start was a better one.

"Well, well," Logan said. "Look what I found."

Scott planted a hand in Logan's back and propelled him out into the hallway, knocking Rogue back into the opposite wall. "Well, at least one of you has a set of balls," he said dryly, and slammed the door in Logan's face.

Rogue did the prudent thing. She ran.

Logan didn't follow her, and part of her was grateful.

Part of her was disappointed, because the heat she'd seen in his eyes wasn't just anger, and she wanted so badly to know what kind of passion came from that sort of heat.

She found herself in the kitchen without really knowing how she'd gotten there. In the cupboard above the stove was a box of exotic tea that Storm had shown her a few weeks ago. She heated some water and dropped the tea ball into it, warming her cold hands on the mug as she wandered down the hallways, taking the long way back to her room.

Rogue wanted to give Logan plenty of time to get back to his own room, before she slipped back through the hallways. Perhaps she'd even lock her door tonight--

Used to navigating her bedroom in the dark, it wasn't until she turned on the light on her bedside table that she realized she wasn't alone.

Logan was leaning against her desk, shirtless, eyes filled with that same heat. She set her teacup down carefully before turning, crossing her arms over her chest to hide their shaking. "What do you want?"

Raising one eyebrow, Logan smiled his slow, lazy smile. "I thought you were listening."

"I was," Rogue replied tartly. "And you know what? I don't think I'm going to sleep with you just because Scott told you it was a good idea."

"Why not?" Logan asked, and he was walking towards her. She slid to the side before he could trap her against the wall, feeling like she was being circled.

Why not. She backed towards her desk and tried to think of a good answer. A ballsy answer. An angry answer, so that maybe she could regain some of the control she'd had earlier. "Because that's too much like a pity fuck," she said finally.

Logan smiled. "I don't pity you. I just want you."

Her legs collided with her desk, and he was still advancing. Too close. "Don't--" she whispered. "I'm not sure--I don't know if it's safe--"

She was trapped against the desk, one of his hands on either side of her. His hips pressed into hers, and he smiled. "There's one way to find out," he whispered, and then he was kissing her.

He'd never kissed her before, never really kissed her. In the woods she had kissed him, and he'd barely responded. Now he was kissing her, one hand sliding up her back to cup the back of her head as the fingers on his other hand dug into her waist.

There was no pull, no dangerous skin, and it was only then, when he tilted his head and let his tongue trace her lips that she realized that touching him was something she wanted so much that maybe she'd never have deadly skin again.

His fingers pressed harder into her scalp as her mouth fell open, and it was an intoxicating experience that she'd never been able to imagine. His tongue was inside her mouth, running along her teeth and coaxing sounds out of her that she didn't know she could make.

She started to feel dizzy, more than dizzy, and then Logan had pulled back and was whispering in her ear. "Breathe, you little idiot." His voice was smug and warm, and she only had time for one deep breath before he was kissing her again.

The noises in her throat were becoming more anxious, and suddenly the most important thing in the world was to make him make the same sort of noises, so she tangled her hands in his hair and chased his tongue back into his mouth with her own.

She was right, and the groan that rumbled up through his chest was almost as good as his hands and his mouth and his tongue.

The bathrobe was too warm, and she shoved him away with both hands, her fingers fumbling as she tried to untie the knot. Logan laughed, caught her hands and pulled them away. "Not so fast," he said.

Rogue hit him. Hard. "Don't you dare tell me you're walking out of this room, don't you dare--"

He cut her off with another kiss, his hands finding her hips and hoisting her up onto the desk. The bathrobe fell away from her legs, and his hips fit so well against hers. His hands smoothed up her legs, skirting her hips and finding the knot that held her bathrobe shut.

The knots fell free and Logan was pulling her from the desk, the robe falling to the floor as he kissed her again. Then she was in the bed, on her back, and she wanted to cry because she couldn't remember the last time she'd felt sheets against her skin, but with Logan staring down at her with naked want, the last thing she wanted to do was cry.

And then his pants were gone and he was beside her, his head propped up on one hand as his other traced circles on her stomach that felt like electricity. "You really want to do this?" he asked, his fingers still making their circles.

She stared up at him, and smiled. "Logan, if I don't want to do something, I think the bit where I suck the life out of you and you fall unconscious will probably make you aware of it."

"Is that how it works?" he asked curiously, and his fingers were higher, inching towards the breasts that he hadn't touched yet. It was hard to concentrate on his words, but she knew in the back of her head that they were important.

"As far as we can tell," Rogue replied, a little breathless. "I guess it's like any other defense mechanism."

"So if I'm touching you, that means you want me to touch you." Logan smiled, and his fingers skipped over her breasts, tracing her lips and the line of her chin.

"That's the theory." Rogue frowned. "Of course, if you don't get along with the touching, I may change my mind."

Logan chuckled. "What, you're not the slow romantic type?"

Rogue's fingers tangled in his hair, and she pulled his face down so that it was only an inch from hers. "No, I'm worried that you're going to change your mind again."

Logan went still, and Rogue let her hand drop from the back of his head. He stared down at her for a long moment before speaking. "I'm a proud asshole, and I made a mistake, Rogue. And I'm probably going to make another one. Sleeping with you before we've worked out what's going on--it's pretty much a fucking rotten idea. But I've made a lot of rotten choices today, so I'm going to let you make this one."

Rogue opened her mouth, but he wasn't finished. "You decide what happens tonight. What happens tomorrow--we'll decide that together, and I promise I'm not going to run away again. I just--I had some things to deal with."

"It's my choice?" Rogue asked softly. "And--and you'll stay no matter what I decide?"

"Your choice, Rogue. Yours alone."

She kissed him, and there was no hesitation, no nervousness. The kiss took up where the last kiss had left off, and then she was making the noises again, muffled whimpers that should sound pathetic but seemed to make Logan pretty damn happy.

His mouth slid off of hers, and Rogue let her eyes close as she felt the warmth of his mouth on her neck. It was hot wherever he kissed her, and when his mouth finally followed the path of his fingers and traced the curve of her breast, she let out a moan that only brought more kisses and more touching.

It felt good, more than good. Overwhelming in a way that she hadn't expected. She had memories of sex--kinky sex, raunchy sex, rough sex, tender sex--sex that she'd never had, and sometimes she forgot that she'd never really experienced it. Feeling Logan's stubble on her stomach as his teeth nipped at her waist made her body tighten.

Her hands started exploring, and she learned that Logan could moan, too. She learned to appreciate the feeling of smooth skin pulled taut over hard muscles. She shivered when he groaned into her neck, and when he arched his back as her fingernails dug into his waist, she thought there was nothing more beautiful than the sight of his body stretched out above hers.

Logan liked sex that was raunchy and messy--sweaty bodies and frenzied feelings and smells and sounds that overpowered the senses. She'd learned that from dreams and memories, but when she pushed him to go faster he held back, soothing her body with light touches and soft kisses.

She pulled his hips towards hers once, nervous eyes staring up at him. He smiled and nuzzled her ear, biting her earlobe softly. "Not so fast. If we're doing this now, we're doing it right."

"Right?" Rogue asked breathlessly, but Logan never answered because he'd coaxed her onto her stomach and was rubbing his face against the back of her neck. He kissed the back of her neck, scraping her skin with his teeth, and Rogue felt the possessiveness in the action.

There were no more words. Logan's breathing was heavier now, his touches more frantic. And then she was on her back, and he had a condom and was kneeling between her knees, eyes running up and down her body as his hands had just finished doing.

It hurt, a little, and she was afraid of the pain. Afraid that her body would react and instead of losing her virginity she'd just lose Logan when her mutation decided she needed protection and sucked the life out of him.

But it didn't, and she didn't, and the look in his eyes was less warm and more hot and starting to grow a little wild as he sank into her with a noise that was the closest to surrender she'd ever heard from him.

He didn't ask with words, but his eyes were watching her, waiting for her to tell him that it was okay and she was okay--and so she wrapped her arms around his neck and closed her eyes and said the word that made him growl that possessive growl.


He moved, and it was slow and hot and something inside her tightened every time his hips pushed against hers. It got tighter, and hotter, and she was starting to see colors exploding on the insides of her eyelids when it stopped.

She whimpered, and Logan's chuckle was warm as he twined his fingers in her hair. "Open your eyes."

She did, and he smiled and moved again, staring down at her with such intensity that she drew in a ragged breath and her fingernails dug into his shoulders.

His breath hissed in, and his hips jerked, and Rogue decided she liked that and did it again, raking her fingernails up his back.

She tried to keep her eyes open, but he slid one hand under her hip and this time when he thrust in he lifted her hips up and it felt better than anything she could have imagined. Her eyes slid closed and her moans were loud now--too loud, but it was hard to care when he thrust again and again.

Rogue dug her fingers into his arms as she felt that twisting inside her get so tight that she knew it was going to snap.

And snap it did, and she suddenly didn't care that her fingernails were digging crescents into Logan's arm, or that the walls were thin and Storm was probably hearing everything she screamed--she didn't even know what she /was/ screaming but she could hear Logan growling encouragement so it must be okay.

It was better than she'd expected, warmth exploding through her body in waves, and she hadn't even finished marveling over the experience when she felt Logan's fingers tighten on her hips.

She opened her eyes in time to see him throw his head back, his eyes closed as he moaned deep in his throat. His fingers tightened again, and Rogue knew she'd have his fingerprints on her hips but couldn't care as he thrust into her one last time.

And he spoke for the first time, her name barely recognizable as he clenched his teeth, and then his hands were on either side of her head and his face was inches from hers. He was breathing heavily, and she could feel the tickle of air on her forehead.

It was a long moment before he spoke. "You okay?"

"Yeah," she replied softly, and she shifted her hips slightly and winced. "Okay, I may be a little sore, but I think that's a price I'm willing to pay."

Logan chuckled as he slid away from her, shifting to one side and stretching out on the bed next to her. "Won't be as sore next time." With a kiss on her forehead, he slipped from the bed and crossed the room to her small bathroom.

Rogue smiled and curled onto her side, pleased at the thought of a next time.

Her smile died when Logan returned from the bathroom and pulled his pants on. She watched him hook his belt buckle and tug on his shirt, and it was hard to talk, but she tried anyway. "You--you don't have to leave."

Logan paused, looking wary. "I thought it might be safer, for tonight, for me to be somewhere else."

It hurt. Not because he was leaving after sex, because she had his memories and Logan always left after sex. It hurt because she'd seen the flicker of fear, and he was scared of her skin.

"Oh. Well, good night." She turned to face the wall, because she didn't want to cry.

Didn't want him to see her cry.

The bed dipped down behind her, and Rogue felt Logan's hand on her chin, turning her face so he could see it.

"You little fool." Logan brushed the tear off her cheek. "This is not about your skin. Or maybe you don't remember what happened last time you were in a room where I was sleeping."

It was hard to forget being stabbed in the chest, so Rogue said nothing.

"I'm not used to sleeping with other people," Logan continued when it was obvious Rogue had no intention of responding. "I don't want to wake up with your blood on my hands again."


Logan put a finger over Rogue's lips. "Shhh. We'll discuss this tomorrow."

"You promise you won't leave?" She sounded young, and she hated it. Young and vulnerable, and Logan would think she was a kid and--

He kissed her, warm and wet, and now her body knew what pleasure could be, so she curled her fingers into his hair and tried to urge him back onto the bed.

She'd thought she was sore, but then his shirt was off and his fingers between her legs coaxed her over the edge of that beautiful cliff again. Then it was later and he was on his back and she was on top of him, his hands on her hips pressing new bruises into her skin as he guided her movements.

The look on his face was her favorite part, eyes mostly closed and mouth partly open, and he made the most delightful noises as she moved her hips.

The cliff came up to meet her again, and this time when she threw herself gleefully over the edge she dragged him with her. Her hair formed a curtain around their faces as she stared down into his eyes, and his eyes showed emotions he wasn't ready to say.

It was enough, and when Rogue drifted to sleep she was alone in her bed, but the sheets and the pillow smelled like Logan.

And it was enough.