A story about bad timing.

Written to the sound of the Kinks, in particular 'All Day And All Of The Night' and 'You Really Got Me'. Wolverine/Rogue.

Disclaimer: They're mine, all mine! Not. I'd also like to claim ownership of George Lucas's bank account, a nice Norton bike, and an island somewhere hot. One can but ask. Oh, and apologies for a bit of paraphrasing from a favorite movie of mine, and for the fact that this is totally un-beta'd.


"Always knew someday you'd come walkin' back through my door." The pretty brunette put her hands on her hips, and smiled secretively. "I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. So what are you doing here?"

"I need one of the -"


"I learned to hate you in the last ten years!"

The man rubbed his jaw, raw from her punch. "I never meant to hurt you."

"I was a child! I was in love! It was wrong and you knew it!"

"You knew what you were doing."

"Now I -" bzzt

At last Logan had located the remote control, and he switched off the re-run of Raiders of the Lost Ark with relief. Thank god. Suddenly, free cable had lost its attraction. He sighed, leaned back against the headboard and stared at the peeling patch on the ceiling.



Somehow it always came back to her. Every resting moment, it seemed, she was there to haunt him. He couldn't stop thinking about her. In the two years since he'd seen her the feeling had grown steadily worse - the feeling that someone had torn out his still-beating heart and taken it far away. Someone with little gloved hands. Sometimes he thought he'd rather cut out his own heart than have to think about her any more. He kept active, or his thoughts would have driven him crazy by now.

She thought he was crazy. "You're crazy," she'd said, with that little smile that woke him at night in a feverish sweat. Big old hairy crazy man. That was him. He rested his head on his knuckles and contemplated popping his claws to see if his astounding powers of healing extended to self-inflicted lobotomies.

Stopitstopitstopitstopitstopit. Stop thinking about her. Don't think about her smile or her eyes or her little hands, and especially don't think of the way she'd rested her head on his shoulder and smiled up at him. No. That way madness lies.

Not his, Logan's, shoulder, that was. Whatever-his-name-was, the Popsicle kid. And she'd been smiling at Popsicle like she was blissfully happy, and resting her hand... No.

Best not to think about it.

Logan took a deep, cleansing breath and released it slowly, willing all the thought from his head. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exxxxxhale. Marie smiling up. Inhale. Popsicle smiling down. Exhale. Marie's hand in Popsicle's. Inhale. Marie's bare hand.


He opened his eyes and looked around for something to throw. Something to hit. Anything to relieve the violence of his feelings. His hand closed around the remote, and he threw it with all his force against the opposite wall. It bounced harmlessly, and he stared at it in disbelief. Right. That was it. He was going to have a drink. He was going to have lots of drinks, and a fight, and maybe some sex. He got up from his hotel bed, grabbed his jacket, and threw himself out of the door, slamming the offending piece of wood shut behind him.


She would be twenty-one by now. She'd been nineteen when he'd gone back. Two years. Who'd have thought that just two years, the years between seventeen and nineteen, could have made such a difference? Okay, and admittedly a new life, in a new school, with everything she needed and people who didn't treat her like a freak... Maybe he should have expected some differences. He should have had time to prepare himself before he saw her. Someone should have warned him, he thought, angrily knocking back another shot. He shouldn't have had to walk around that corner and seen her, hand in hand with the human Popsicle like that, looking all... smoochy. That was just plain unfair.

Someone jostled him from behind, but when he turned around and growled they merely apologized profusely and backed away. Damn. Wuss. He leaned over his new shot.

Of course, she'd been delighted to see him, and he'd just glared at the Popsicle, and Marie'd hugged him and babbled about how great it was that he was back, and look, she could touch now, she'd got some kind of mind control over her power, had anyone told him? And was he staying long and and and...

"That's great, kid," he'd said, sincerely, and kissed her cheek, hugging her in return. "I'm glad for you." He'd noticed then what a sweet armful she was, and how nice she smelled, and how comfy it was to have his arm about her waist. Looked like Popsicle felt the same, from the looks he'd given Logan, but Logan wasn't about to back down from a kid. "C'mon in with me, I gotta talk to the Professor."

Marie had pulled back slightly at this, and smiled up at him. "I can't right now, Logan. Bobby and I are just off out. But I'll be back real soon, and you have to tell me everything. Promise me?" And he'd agreed, dazedly, suddenly feeling a lurching in his heart. Something had changed. The Marie he'd known two years ago wouldn't have turned him down for this kid. She'd have followed him anywhere. What had happened?

As she slipped out of his arms she'd smiled dazzlingly at him, and then turned to the Popsicle, who'd put his arms about her, claiming her possessively, dragging her quickly away from his influence, and normally he'd of found that sort of thing funny, but now - it just wasn't.

He growled quietly to himself, deep in his throat, and the barman quickly poured another shot for this intimidating stranger. There was something about the man that spoke straight to his primal instincts, and made him want to climb the nearest tree for safety. Logan downed another shot, lost in memories.

That hadn't been the worst, but that had been the beginning. He'd stayed for about three weeks at the School that time, the first time he'd been back in two years. He'd seen Marie all the time, in the halls, in the dining room, in the rec room, out on the lawns. She'd been so happy, and he hadn't known why that had got him so bothered. That was what he'd wanted, surely? He'd found her, and taken care of her, and put her in a safe place where no one could touch her, and that had been the end of his responsibility, thank god. He couldn't have taken her with him, even if he'd wanted to - which he didn't. There was no place in his life for a teenage girl.

Except she wasn't looking so much of a girl, any more. She'd grown up, and filled out, and bloomed in ways he'd been completely unprepared for. She looked happy, and busy, and thriving... and, he realized one evening, damn fine. She was off out on another of her goddamn dates with Popsicle, and she'd shown off for him in the rec room, twirling in her new dress - something dark green and clingy, he remembered vaguely. She ran her hands down her body, smoothing the dress out, and he'd suddenly seen that she was just... just... sex on legs. That was it. Unbe-fucking-lievable. She'd grinned at him.

"How'd I look?"

He'd had to clear his throat. "Fantastic, Marie."

Her eyes had lit up at that. "Really? Wow, thanks. I can't wait 'till Bobby sees me!"

And all the light had abruptly left his world, and he was breathless, frozen, unable to move when she kissed his cheek swiftly and run to meet Popsicle at the door, unable to react as she waved goodbye and vanished out into the warm summer's night.

He'd sat there in silence for a long time after she'd gone, trying to analyze the feelings ripping through him. There was anger, oh yes, lots of anger, and frustration, and annoyance at himself, and melancholy, and unexpected lust, and a vast, freezing lake of fear. Fear? What was he afraid of?

He was afraid he'd lost her, came the unwelcome reply. He was afraid that this was it, this was The Girl, and he'd had his moment, and he hadn't seen it, hadn't even realized what she was, how her spirit glowed out, dazzling him and burning him and blinding him to everything else. He was hers, entirely, from that moment on, but, he realized with a bitter sense of disillusionment, she was not his.

He was going to kill the Popsicle.

He'd walked for some time after that, through the grounds of the house. Plotting how to get her back, make her his again. He wanted to be the only one she turned to with that dazzling smile, the one she put those dresses on for. The one - he shivered - she took them off for. That was a thought that occupied him for some time, until he found himself beside the house again, and it must have been some hours later, because her car was just pulling up. The Popsicle got out, and quickly ran around to let her out of the driver's door, and for a moment Logan's mouth quirked into a wry smile because he couldn't ever imagine himself doing that. The smile faded as Marie got out, and leaned in to the Popsicle as they walked up the steps of the house. She put her head on his shoulder, trustingly, and he looked around swiftly, and pulled her into a passionate embrace outside the door. Even as far as he was, Logan could hear her breathless murmur.


Logan turned away, and he left the next day, although it tore at him to do it. But there was one thing he couldn't do, and that was hurt her. Never, not his Marie. If he'd stayed he couldn't have hidden how he felt from her, not for very long, and that would hurt her because she'd always cared for him. Cared. That was the salt in the wound, the thing that made it so hard to leave, but so impossible to stay. No matter that she didn't want him - that was for him to hurt over, and it was his heart that was twisting in his chest as he sped away. But not hers. And that was the important thing.

So now here he was in this bar, in the ass end of god-knows-where, and on his... tenth? fifteenth? shot. All desire for a fight or for anything else had dropped from him, with the corroding remembrance that she could never be his. He didn't deserve her. She deserved someone young, someone with a clean past, someone who could love her with no hang-ups to twist her young heart and make it old and cynical and damaged.

Logan leaned his head on his arm, on the bar, and stared into the personal darkness he had created. The ache in his heart was overwhelming, and he screwed his eyes shut to press the pain deep within him, crushing his insides in an effort to hold on to his self-control.

The bartender stared at the shoulders of the weird stranger. This was one that he wasn't going to try his bar-tendering wise words on.


He awoke the next day in his bed in the hotel, with no recollection of getting back there. He didn't have a hangover, thank fuck, that was one of the benefits of his particular gift, but he couldn't remember the last time he'd been that drunk. He lay there, fully dressed, and stared at the ceiling for what felt like the millionth time. It could be the same ceiling in almost any of the hotels he'd ever visited. He could be anywhere, but he didn't want to be. He wanted to be somewhere. He wanted to be home. A pang of longing so strong shot through him that he was up and packing before he realized what he was doing.

When had he started thinking of the School as home? It had crept up on him gradually. When he'd first left Marie there, and gone off traveling, the memory of the place had stayed with him like a warm, comfortable part of his heart. It had all got mixed up with knowing she was there, and secure, and that he could go back and see her and be sure of a welcome. It had given him a base, when he'd been struggling to find the answers to his past. It had kept him sane when he was frustrated, knowing he might never uncover those truths that had been hidden from him. Home. Marie. He couldn't fight it any more.

What he would do when he got there, he didn't know. She and the Popsicle would probably be like a junior version of Scott and Jean by now. Disgusting. But hopefully he could find some way of settling his soul to the inevitable. He would see that she was happy, and talk calmly with the Professor, and be a sort of father figure to her. No, hell no, not a father figure. An uncle figure, perhaps. A cool sort of uncle that came and went mysteriously in her life, never quite explained but always to be relied on in times of trouble.

He knew he was lying to himself. But he couldn't stay away any longer.