Just Like Old Times – by Darlin

Disclaimer – I don't own them, just having some fun.

-xox-

It was a languid spring day with a light breeze blowing and on that breeze came shouts and some curses and threats and a gale of deep laughter. Betsy, Rogue and Ororo could hear all this from the patio where they were sipping iced tea and chatting during a rare visit. Occasionally they'd look off in the direction where the noises were coming from but overall they ignored it. That is until a solid loud thump sounded. They looked at each other and then as one they rose resignedly.

"You know what they're doing," Betsy said.

"What they always do when the weather breaks," Ororo said.

"Playing like little boys," Rogue replied.

And of course they were. Remy had a football tucked under one arm as he stood over Bishop who was sprawled out flat on his stomach.

"Merde, that got ta hurt, non?" the Cajun asked with a smirk.

Bishop looked back at Remy and laughed. He rolled over exposing a stocky body that had been squashed beneath him. It groaned. It was Logan, who looked as if he'd been splattered on the grass like a cartoon character, arms out stretched legs parted and barely breathing.

"What're y'all doing?" Rogue asked.

"What it look like, chére?"

"Um, beating up Wolvie?"

"I'm all right," Logan grunted. He still didn't move however.

"You sure, mon ami?"

"He'll live," Bishop said now standing. He gave Logan a nudge with his sneaker.

"Going . . . to kill you . . . Bish . . . you touch me again," Logan grunted.

"He breathing now," Remy said.

"Quit acting like sissies and let's play ball," Victor said, adding under his breath, "Bunch of pansies."

"I got your pansy right here," Logan said, jumping up and headed towards Vic.

"When will y'all grow up?" Rogue laughed.

"Sam, look sharp!" Remy shouted throwing the ball while the others were distracted.

Down the field a bit Sam leapt high, caught the ball, spun around and started running.

"No powers!" Victor yelled.

"Powers? Dude that was pure skill," Sam shouted.

Victor, Bishop and Scott raced after Sam with Remy and Logan close behind them but Sam had too much of a head start on the older men. He made an easy touchdown before the others could get any where near him and Logan, who was on Sam's and Remy's team fell behind still winded.

"Boys," Ororo said, shaking her head.

Half way down the yard Logan looked her up and down. It was unusual for her to be there but nice, kind of like old times. He grinned as he remembered all the fun they'd had in the old days. And then he peeled off his soaked tee shirt. From the moment his stomach was revealed showing a hard six pack all three women caught their breath. When his delicious pectorals were exposed they swallowed almost as one and when he tossed the shirt aside and shrugged his shoulders just a little so his muscles flexed in his deltoids and biceps they all shivered collectively. But it didn't stop there. Logan ran a hand through his wet hair slicking the wild mess back and giving the girls a wink then dropped down and did a few push ups. As if that wasn't enough he switched to one arm push ups. After his little display he got up and walked over to the other guys. At the end of the field they were standing in a huddle disputing the score. Logan glanced back at Ororo grinning even when he turned back and interrupted the men's discussion.

"Oh, hell yeah! I'm up for that," Victor laughed after the huddle broke.

All the men except for Scott and Sam glanced at girls then began to remove their clothes.

"Oh no they aren't!" Rogue cried.

"Right then," Betsy muttered, clearly at a lost for words.

"I'm married, I'm married, I'm married, I'm married," Ororo chanted her mantra trying her best to actually remember that she was a married woman as she watched the half naked men.

"So . . . fit," Betsy murmured.

"I'm married, I'm married . . ."

The men stripped down to their shorts and started showing off their very well developed physiques by flexing their muscles assuming various poses. Rogue stuck two fingers in her mouth and let out a shrill appreciative whistle.

"I'm married, I'm married . . ."

"That's enough, show's over," Scott said, nearly blushing as badly as Sam was.

Only Victor grumbled but the others chuckled as they all pulled their shirts back on. Victor was having too much fun and opted to leave his shirt off alternatively flexing his pecs one at a time.

"Bloody sadist," Betsy groaned.

"But some fine lookin' sadist, y'all got to admit that," Rogue said.

"But do they have to flaunt it so blatantly?" Ororo asked.

"If I can't flaunt it in front of you, darlin' what else would I do for entertainment?" Logan said.

"Ooo, that man," she groaned.

"Be strong love," Betsy whispered

"Just like old times, ain't it sugar?" Rogue teased.

And, sadly, it was.

"Too bad you're married," Betsy said.

"I am married, I am, I am, I am . . ."

"Which one of you babes wanna feel my muscle?" Victor asked.

"You would go an' ruin it," Rogue said.

"Damn, man, keep it clean, you don't know how many kids might be around," Scott groaned.

"And yet you stripped for us," Ororo said.

"It was Logan's idea!" Scott said, infuriated because he clearly had not.

Ororo looked at Logan who grinned that rakish grin she was so used to.

"There's more of this,darlin'," Logan said, looking directly at her.

"Oh, I know," Ororo replied with a grin of her own.

"You're married girl remember?" Rogue said.

"Barely."

"All right ladies can we get back to the game?" Scott said.

"You sure look like that panther dude ain't satisfying you, Storm," Victor said as he eyed Ororo.

"You don't even know the meaning of satisfy much less how ta spell it," Rogue piped up.

"Oh, baby I got ten kinds of satisfy you ain't never experienced before an' if you weren't some kind a leper I'd let you beg for 'em all."

"Whoa, Vic that ain't cool ease up!" Remy said.

"Yeah, Victor lighten up," Bishop agreed.

"You're finished here, Sabertooth. Sam, see if you can find us a reasonable replacement, maybe Alex is still around," Scott ordered.

"You're all a bunch of skirts with no balls," Victor growled.

"And leave them alone," Scott added when Victor started towards the women.

"Oh, I know Betts wants some of this," Victor growled.

"In your dreams," Betsy retorted.

"In yours you mean," Ororo whispered behind her hand.

"Shut up! That's just between you and me," Betsy hissed, hoping Rogue hadn't heard.

"Don't even try it, Vic back the hell away," Rogue said, stepping in front of Betsy so Victor couldn't approach her.

"It's your loss babes, I got plenty women wantin' this."

The men went back to their game as Victor stalked back to the house and the girls stood around watching for a little while. The men's hard bodies gleamed in the sunlight as sweat poured over them. Ororo had to sigh. She was married but Victor was right. Marriage wasn't what she'd dreamt it would be. She'd always wanted a prince to rescue her and love her deeply, she'd expected equality and compromise but it hadn't quite turned out that way. They'd been so busy with state obligations, the registration conflict and now as members of the Fantastic Four that things weren't anything like she'd imagined married life would be. Truth be told she felt more like a sidekick with sexual privileges than a wife – a definite demotion.

"Hey, 'Ro, wait up!" Logan called when she started back to the patio, Rogue and Betsy behind her.

"Looks like someone still fancies you," Betsy whispered as Logan jogged up to them.

Ororo rolled her eyes.

"Uh, can we talk a minute – alone?" Logan asked.

"Since you put it so sweetly, sugar Betts an' me'll scoot," Rogue laughed.

"Logan, I don't really have time. I just came for a brief visit. I have to get back to the City shortly. I'm . . . expected."

"So he's good to you then?"

She paused and then smiled though Logan detected a hint of sadness.

"Oh, he's good."

"To you?"

"Of course."

"Just wanted to be sure."

"He's just busy. We're busy. We have . . . commitments . . . a lot of commitments."

"Who're you trying to convince? You or me?"

"Myself?"

Logan took hold of her hand and led her towards the garden – her garden.

"Logan, what're you doing?"

He didn't say anything until they were standing behind the greenhouse and out of sight of the idle football players and Rogue and Betsy who'd wandered back to the patio. She couldn't complain. It felt like old times, good times, times she sorely missed.

"I'd kiss you but you're married," he said.

Their hands were still clasped making it hard for her to think straight. It was just a friendly touch she tried to convince herself but his words along with his firm clasp were anything but casual.

"I am married," she finally got out.

"I've been thinking about that. I shouldn't have let you stay in Africa. I should've brought you back."

"You what?"

"You heard me," he replied looking at her intently.

"You didn't have a choice. I did what I wanted."

"You didn't want that, darlin' – you wanted me to stop you."

"I have to go," she said, trying to pull away from him but he took her other hand and pulled her back so she was even closer to him.

"You don't really want me to let you go again do you, 'Ro?"

"Whatever you're talking about . . . you're too late," she said, shaking her head, wishing he wouldn't say anything else.

"I am?"

She took a small breath before replying. "Yes."

"Well." He sighed. "Guess that Cosmo quiz didn't go over that."

"Cosmo quiz?" she questioned curiously.

"Kitty's magazine. Something about the man going after the woman - hey, there was nothing else to read that day," he explained hastily then shrugged.

"Oh."

"I was bored."

"Oh."

"So. You're sure, darlin'?"

"I . . . I am," she said finishing the statement resolutely.

"I'm really too late then?"

She nodded. "I'm sorry. You don't know how sorry."

"Got a feeling."

He watched her bite her lip softly and wished he'd had the sense back then in Africa to tell her what he felt for her.

"You sure you're up to being all honorable and upright for the duration?" he asked with lingering hope.

"As always. Would you have me do any less?"

He wanted to say yes but he couldn't.

"You wouldn't be the woman I – you wouldn't be you if you did but I'd respect you if you did."

She smiled then bent down and took his face between her palms so they were looking into each other's eyes. And then his closed and almost at the same moment her own eyes closed and they moved closer and came together. When their lips parted he held her for a little while before letting her go. She was smiling when he did though her eyes were tearing.

"I've missed you, Logan."

"Same here, darlin'."

"I'll . . . I'll see you around."

"I'll be waiting," he said and he let her go again.