I dont own any of the X Men characters

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Logan watched with a strange, inexplicable sense of delight, as Rogue, or Marie, as they now called her, walked away from Bobby without so much as a backward glance. It was not that he disliked the boy particularly, although he had seen how close he had gotten to Kitty in Marie's absence, and wasn't sure what exactly his feelings for her were; no, it was not that. It was more the raw possessive nature that seemed to overcome him now at regular intervals, whenever Marie entered the room.

Truly, she should not have been at Xaviers School anymore, especially now that she had been given the cure, yet to him, she would always be a part of the place he had come to call home. He had come here with her after all, and for her to be gone would be both strange and upsetting. He was unsure about the extent of his feelings for her. A year ago, when Jean was alive, he would never have considered the fact that Marie might be more to him than just a kid. In fact, a year ago, that was all she was to him. But times changed. She had grown up, she had become a woman, she had been happy with her life, with her newfound ability to touch. He, on the other hand, had hidden himself away for most of the last year, busying himself in the Danger Room on his own, or hiding away in his room for long hours. Killing Jean had proven to be the hardest, most difficult thing he had ever done, and getting over it was a close second.

Yet Marie had drawn him out of his reverie of grief and pain in the last month. Admittedly, her relationship with Bobby had been crumbling, and it was as much for her comfort as for his, but the mutual need for comfort and reassurance had brought them close together. Logan felt a great sense of deja vu. It was like their first days at the mansion, where they knew only each other, and their bond grew. He promised to protect her then, and he couldn't help but want to fulfill it now. Yes, it had been dawning on him for a few weeks, the fact that he had been denying, since what felt like forever, his feelings for the redhead with white streaks.

Brotherly, he had first thought. Older brother, looking out for younger sister. But erotic dreams of sexual scenarios with said redhead were enough to dissuade him from that idea. Brothers, after all, did not enter the Danger Room with their younger sister and shag her senseless.

He lit a cigar and watched her walking towards him, annoyance etched on her pretty face. He smirked and turned his body fully so that he was facing her, taking a drag from his cigar and quirking an eyebrow. "Need a ride kid?"

She looked at him with a thankful understanding. They were both used to it. One of them got angry, the other offered them a ride, and though it was always Logan steering the bike, the company was always there, and they'd take several hours speeding down country lanes, occasionally stopping off for something to eat. They both knew what it was like to run from what and who they were. Running from other people had become simple habit now. Running together, or at least ending up together after a failed attempt to run, seemed to work without effort.

"Love one." Marie said, smiling slightly. She reached him with a few steps. Logan dug the keys from his jeans pocket and tossed them to her.

"Go get your leathers then kid. I'm going to finish this up." He took another drag on his cigar. Marie tutted playfully.

"You shouldn't smoke. It's bad for you."

He grinned like the wolf he was so well known for. "Healing abilities kid. I can smoke as much as I want and it won't make the slightest difference." He grinned and shoved her in the direction of the garage, touching the bare skin revealed by her strap top.

It was strange, really, to see her wearing such simple, casual, unmodest clothing, when once she had worn long, tight sleeved tops so that nobody could touch her skin. In itself, he found it incredible, one of the most simple and affecting things he had ever seen. The simple action of touching her without fear of being incapable of breath was something that he was indescribably pleased about. Logan watched her leave, then looked back at the gardens, now empty of anyone else but him.

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Marie slid into the leather jacket Logan had ordered for her with a small smile, enjoying the cool fabric, knowing full well that in minutes it would swelter her, but that once they reached the open road, it would be replaced with a lovely, cool summer breeze.

The happiness that had greeter with Logans words slowly dispersed as she was left alone again, replaced instead by a feeling of anger and annoyance towards Bobby. It was over, of course, although that much had been obvious for the last month, despite pledges on both sides that niether wanted it to end. Not that that made it any less painful. The fact that Bobby had been the first boy to kiss her and not end up in a coma, the first male to touch her and take her sexually, meant something to her. Yes, they were incompatible, and they were better off as friends, but harsh words on both sides weren't needed to prove that. Admissions, on his part, of a liking for Kitty, did not help matters, and the idea that the two would be together soon did not make the break up any easier.

Yet Marie wasn't completely faithful to him in her feelings. Had she ever been? The honest truth was no. Physically, yes, she had been, but her heart and mind had craved another man from day one. And that man happened to be of undetermined age, have dangerous animal characteristics, and was about to take her on a bike ride. Yes, her dreams had been plagued with scenarios of Logan ever since she saw him in that cage fight, with tight abdominal muscles, large biceps, and wild hair. They had only worsened when he saved her life on the Statue of Liberty. Of course, he had wanted Jean, and Marie couldn't touch him then, but times had changed. Jean was dead, and she would have chosen Scott, everyone knew that. And Marie... well, she could touch now. The last year with Bobby proved that, despite his frequent insistence that he could have coped without touch had she not taken the cure. She sighed. In truth, since the cure, Marie had not had a single nights sleep where she didn't imagine Logan with her, attacking her neck with his mouth, her hands running over his chest, his hair running through her fingers... Bobby might not know it, but Marie herself knew that she had long been in love with the dark and dangerous side of Logan that others were afraid of. Because inside the animal, was a caged man whose only desire was companionship, whose values and views were seated so high that nothing could stop him doing what was right. She admired him, she aspired to be like him and, subconsciously, to impress him.

She sighed to herself and left the garage, pushing Logan's bike out and walking to the concrete patio outside.

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Logan walked up behind her without a sound, before speaking in her ear and causing her to jump. "Way to go Kid." He threw a leg over the bike and cocked an eyebrow at her, running his hand through his hair. "Fancy a ride?"

She laughed, then hesitantly climbed on behind him, sliding her arms under his and resting her cheek on the leather of his jacket. This was always the worst part of the ride for Marie. Once she was on, and there, she could relax against him and enjoy it, but bringing about the contact made her nervous, and she often wondered what Logan must think of her. Just a kid, most likely. Her thoughts were washed away as Logan started the engine, revving the bike before driving rapidly through the gates, at a ridiculously fast speed that caused Marie's eyes to sting as the wind whipped her. It was always like this to start with after all, but it always made her feel better, and as her hair whipped around her, she felt her worries and anger start to slide behind her.

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Hours later, Logan found her in the living room, flicking aimlessly through the channels and sighing at each of the uninteresting programs came on. He slid onto the sofa beside her, unsure what to say to her. She hadn't mentioned Bobby on their ride, and so he refused to bring up the topic, though it bugged him that she was so quiet when there were clearly things bothering her.

"Nothing worth watching." He muttered, sipping from his beer bottle as a news item came on. "Unless you've got some films?"

Marie shrugged. "Whatever you want Logan."

He reached for the control, taking it from her hands without hesitation and turning it off, looking at her as he rested his arm on the back of the sofa. "What's going on kid?"

She bristled, visibly. It was a sure sign that she was pissed off. She didn't mind him calling her kid unless she was. "I'm not a kid Logan!"

"Sure, Marie." He put emphasis on the name. "How's Iceman doing?"

Marie jumped up, as though she were about to storm away. Logan grabbed her wrist effortlessly, pulling her back down.

"I am your friend, you know Kid, not just the guy who lets you ride his bike now and then,,,"

A blush darkened her cheeks, but he ignored it and rubbed her hand with his thumb. "What happened with him? You never told me."

She looked down, tears glistening in her pretty eyes. He slid his hand into hers without thinking, squeezing it reassuringly. "Is it...?"

"Yes." She said stiffly. "It's over and I don't want to talk about it."

He rolled his eyes. "Fine." His hand dropped hers and he stood up, placing his beer on the coffee table and heading into the kitchen. She looked at him with pleading eyes.

"Don't go!"

He sighed. "I'm not. But you're a girl. And the only way to cheer a girl up..." He smiled and disappeared into the kitchen. She vaguely heard him rummaging around, before she reached over for his beer and sniffed it testily. She'd never tasted beer herself, mostly because it was stereotypically a mans drink, and Bobby always complained beer tasted horrible. Why shouldn't she try some, for her own purposes? She lifted it to her lips, then jumped as Logan cleared his throat behind her.

"You want one?" He asked, tapping a spoon against his chin.

Rogue blushed. "No. Thanks. I just... I've never tasted it before."

He chuckled. "Well, today's just not your day. Unless you're going to get another one. There are some things that guys don't share, and beer just happens to be one of them." He sat himself on the sofa again and held out the tub of ice cream he had taken from the freezers. "Every girl loves ice cream, right?"

Marie smiled. "Yes."

He dug the single spoon he had taken from the kitchen into the smooth surface and scooped a single spoonful out, holding it out to her, as though expecting her to eat it. The moment she moved forwards, he twisted his wrist and slid the spoon into his mouth, letting the cool, sweet, frozen heaven melt and slide over his tongue. Marie glared at him. "You're not a girl and you're not depressed."

"Says who?" He murmured, taking another spoonful.

"Says me." She reached out and grabbed the spoon from his mouth, digging it in and taking a large mouthful herself. Logan's eyes flashed as her mouth closed over it, but she didn't know what with. Annoyance? Anger? She doubted it. She shrugged to herself and sat on her seat again, taking another mouthful. Logan watched her for several moments, a brief recollection of a recent dream entering his mind as something that was by no means metallic - being the only part of his anatomy not laced with metal on bone - and was by no means that thin and spindly, disappearring into her mouth. He kicked himself, then dug his fingers into the tub instead, licking the melting solid from his fingers without a glance in her direction. She bit her lip and toyed with the spoon in the tub, twirling it in a circle in her fingers.

After several minutes, Logan stopped and put an arm around her shoulder. "So... do I get to know what happened, or are you just going to sit there and eat my ice cream?"

Marie smirked. "Give me some beer and I'll tell you."

Logan looked at her through narrowed eyes, then reached for the bottle of beer. "One sip." He said sternly. "And if you don't like it, swallow, or spit it back in the bottle. No point wasting it."

Grinning, Marie took a deep swig, much to Logan's annoyance. For several moments she sat still, as if debating whether she liked the taste or not. Then she spluttered and spat the liquid over the side of the sofa.

"That's absolutely disgusting!"

"I told you to take a sip and spit it back in the bottle!" Logan grumbled. "That's almost half gone now!"

Marie shoved the bottle at him and wiped her mouth dry with her wrist. "It's not like your missing much."

Logan clicked his teeth, then nodded. "Come on kid, keep your promise."

She bristled again, attempting to pull away from the arm that held her shoulder. He tightened his grip and tilted his head with a questioning raised brow. "Bobby and I split up." She said stiffly.

"And...?"

"And what?" Marie snapped. "He was my boyfriend a year, can't I be upset about it?"

Logan sighed. "You didn't care much last week."

She mumbled something incoherent.

"What?"

"Bobby likes Kitty."

Logan looked down at her hands, clasped and shaking in her lap. He'd guessed as much... everybody had, really... but even so... "I'm sorry."

He watched the tears slide from her eyes, silently and slowly, leaving small glistening tracks on her cheeks. He felt a need to wipe them away, to kiss them and taste the salty liquid on his lips. He resisted it, pulling her against his chest, hard. "I promised you something once, remember Kid?"

She nodded, mutely, her head twisting and burying itself in his shirt.

"I promised I'd look after you, right?" Another nod. "So, do you want me to kick the cocky shit in, or would you rather I took you out and bought you a nice big, fat, creamy, fruity tub of ice cream?"

She smiled. "I don't want any more ice cream. And I don't want you to kick him in. We're still... well... we're meant to still be friends."

Logan nodded, twisting his head slightly to smell her hair. Vanilla? "Bike ride?"

"Had one."

"Beer?"

"Hate it."

He grinned at that. "Whiskey?"

"Yuck."

"Any form of alcohol?"

"No thanks."

He sighed. "Damn. You're just no fun."

She smiled and lifted her head to his shoulder, nestling it at the crook of his neck. She didn't notice his heartbeat quickening beneath her. "I think I'm going to go to bed," she said after a while, sitting up. Logan withdrew his arm, downing the last of his beer.

"Sure kid. Night." He didn't follow her. It wasn't like he'd be able to sleep now anyway, not with the image of her and that damn spoon engraved in his brain.

"Night Logan." She walked behind the sofa and tousled his hair playfully, then walked from the room slowly. He sighed deeply and rested his head on the back of the cushion, eyes closing as he breathed in the last waft of her scent.

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She was disappointed he wasn't in his room. It would have been nice to get to sit on his bed for a while, to smell his pillow and breathe in that ridiculously good smelling cologne he wore. But no, he was still downstairs, and so she padded down in bare feet and the same clothes she had worn earlier, attempting to ignore the sounds that came from Bobby's room as she passed. It wasn't her business anymore, after all, and Kitty wasn't that bad, apart from being pretty, thin, funny, and everything else Marie wasn't.

"Can't sleep kid?" He asked from the sofa, not turning in her direction.

"No..." she bit her lip. "Do you have a spare shirt?"

"Your wardrobe not big enough for you or something?"

Clicking her tongue, she walked into the room and stood behind the sofa, eyeing the blank TV screen. "I don't have anything to sleep in, and it's too cold to sleep naked."

Logan frowned and turned to look at her. "What've you been sleeping in since you got here Marie?"

"Bobby's shirt." She said stiffly. "Or nothing, if Bobby was in there."

Logan grinned wolfishly. "Knew you two had been up to no good."

She rolled her eyes. "Can I have one or not?"

He shrugged. "If you must. There should be one in my room somewhere." He didn't move from his spot on the sofa.

"Can you get it for me?"

He waved his hand in the direction of the stairs. "Go get it yourself kid. You have my permission or whatever you want to call it."

"I can't poke through your stuff." She said softly.

"Poke away, I don't care. Really."

Marie sighed and slid over the back of the sofa, moving the now melted tub of ice cream on to the coffee table and moving gently into the circle of his arm, thrown casually over the back of the sofa. "I'm not poking anything." She yawned and subconsciously shifted even closer to him, their knees coming into contact, her head resting on his shoulders.

"You should be in bed. You've got school tomorrow." His half-hearted attempts to get her to go to bed were almost ritualistic. He would tell her, push her gently away, then sigh and let her fall asleep against him. The last month had brought about lots of nights like this, sitting in comfortable silence on the sofa with each other. It was comforting, to be so close and not need to have conversation to fill the gaps. Marie had never felt that way with Bobby, and had always tried to fill the awkward silences with babbling conversation. She sighed.

"Logan, have you ever made a mistake?"

"Many," he said softly, his voice a low rumble, emanating from his chest beneath her cheek. "And that's just in the sixteen years I remember. Why'd you ask kid?"

She hesitated, then shrugged. "You know when you told me not to go and get the cure if it was for 'some boy'?"

"Mmmhmm..." he murmured.

"Sometimes I think it was more for Bobby than for me..." her voice was quiet as she spoke, and he felt a compelling need to hold her, though the moment did not seem quite right.

"Do you regret being able to touch?" He said, his eyes falling on her slim body without thought.

She shook her head. "No... I just... sometimes... when everyone else is training and I'm not, I wonder if I would have been better off not being able to touch."

"You shouldn't." He told her firmly. "You wanted touch. You wanted to be close to someone. You wanted to hug someone and not near kill them.." he shrugged. "Seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to want, Kid."

"Bobby... he said he could have lived with me not being able to touch him but... I don't see how..."

Logan yawned. "You never will. Sometimes we've just got to live with what we've done and move on..."

"Like with Jean?" Marie whispered, without thinking. Her hand clapped over her mouth suddenly as she saw the pain in his eyes. "I'm so sorry." She whispered. "I didn't mean.."

"Like with Jean," Logan said softly, looking at the coffee table. "Don't be sorry." He pulled her closer against him, resting his head on hers. "Tell me about what happened with Bobby," he said softly, "I know better than anyone how to move on."

She sighed. "We're just... he's... well... he likes Kitty... and... it wasn't working, was it?"

"No." Logan said, unable to resist a small smile. "I think it's safe to say it wasn't."

"And it was never... love, I suppose."

Logan snorted. "What's love then, Kid? It's never going to be love when you're your age."

Marie stiffened slightly. "That's not true."

"It's not?"

"No. I mean... loads of people marry their teenage partners and..."

"Twenty-five percent end up divorced." He said softly. He grinned at the scathing look she sent his way. "What's love?"

"You tell me."

Logan opened his mouth, then closed it again.

"Didn't you love Jean?"

Logan withdrew his arm from her shoulders and leant forwards, burying his face in his hands. "Don't."

"What? You said I don't know what love is. So tell me. You're obviously an expert on the issue!" Marie stood up, looking down at Logan with anger burning in her eyes. "Who are you to say whether love's real when you're 'my age'? You can't even remember being my age!"

Logan jumped up, his eyes bright with fury. "Don't use that against me, Bub!" His jaw twitched angrily as he fought the need to draw his claws on her.

"I can tell you exactly what love is Logan! And at least I'm not scared of admitting I have feelings, of admitting that I'm not the animal everyone thinks I am! You couldn't love Jean if you can't tell me what it is!"

Logan took in her anger, her set jawline, her protective stance. He felt his insides twist with agony at the fury she directed at him. "You want my definition of love?" He growled. "Huh, Kid?"

"You haven't even got one!" She spat, her voice venomous. "You don't know what it is to have them walk into a room and have your heart beat faster! You don't know how hard it is to want someone so badly you cry yourself to sleep at night because they're thinking of someone else! You don't know what it means to be at your happiest when they're hugging you and reassuring you! You don't feel anything, for anyone, because you're a selfish, animalistic, bastard!" Tears streamed from her cheeks as she yelled at him. Logan stood still, his feet frozen to the spot. It was only when she fell backwards into an armchair, collapsing helplessly, that he found the ability to move forward, lifting her slightly into the chair before stepping back, his heart pounding with adrenaline and rage, and something else, undefined and raw.

"I know what love is." He growled angrily. "I know better than you. I know what it means to kill someone you love, to stop their heart beating and risk your own one breaking, just so that they don't have to live with the pain they're going through! Can you say you love someone enough to do that? If they've begged you to kill them before, and they're stood there before you doing everything that the real them is incapable of, would you love them enough? Or would you be a selfish, heartless bitch, and keep them alive, just to stop your own heart splintering into a million pieces?" Tears pricked at his eyes and he turned away, running up the stairs to his room and slamming the door shut.

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The tears didn't stop falling as he fell onto the bed, anger, loss and that something else he couldn't quite place, all attempting to escape him in the liquid that trickled from his eyes. He knew he wasn't crying for Jean. He'd known it the moment the tears formed. He'd cried for Jean before, but not like this. There had been an ache in his chest then, an ache that didn't die away until... until Marie began to see him, to talk to him. And the ache, the gaping hole, he realized now, had been filled with something much more desirable than unattainable Jean.

Marie. Marie with her crumbling relationship with Bobby, wrapped in his arms for comfort when they both needed it the most, her arms around his back as they hit the country lanes and sped down them at deadly speeds. Marie. Rogue. The girl he had sworn to protect. The girl who had brought him to the other side of grief, to the greener grass. He closed his eyes.

He'd been angry at her suggestions that he didn't know love. Yes, partly due to the love he held for Jean, but... when she had spoken, when she had said what her version of love was, he had frozen into place, because it had mirrored all the undefined feelings and happenings he felt whenever she was around these days. And he was confused now. Confused about Jean, about Marie, about himself. Was it, he wondered, inhumane that he had killed the woman he claimed to love? Was it more loving, to feel as he did for Marie now, that he could never be without her without wanting to die himself? Of course he'd felt that way after Jean's death. But Jean had loved Scott, and that, selfish as it might sound, may well have made it easier for him to kill her. She would never have been without Scott knowingly. She would never have accepted Logan as anything but a friend. He had realized that somewhere out there, there must be someone willing to love him back, the way he had loved Jean.

Marie? She had been taken with him once, apparently. He'd saved her life, after all. But was that feeling still there? Doubt settled in his gut. Their friendship had blossomed, and for him, yes it had grown into a sexual, loving attraction towards her. But she was busy attempting to get over Bobby. The first guy to kiss her without nearly dying. The first guy to sleep with her. She was, quite certainly, not interested. There was a knock at the door, and he froze, looking at the wooden barrier that seperated he and Marie. It was definitely her. Her smell wafted teasingly under the door like a tempting dish, daring him to taste her, to tell her what he was feeling.

"Logan?" Her voice was timid and cracked, as though spoken amidst tears of her own. "Logan please open up!"

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She hadn't planned to come. In fact, the plan had been to slip back to her own rooms and cry for several hours, then tell Storm she could not attend classes the next day and while them away wrapped in her duvet. But she had heard his shaken sobs as she passed, and had stood outside for several minutes, listening as they stilled, as his breath righted itself. She wiped her own streaming eyes and lifted her hand to the wooden door, rapping it sharply several times. "Logan?" Silence.

"Logan, please open up!"

A few moments of silence followed, a hesitation of movement. There was no definitive denial of action, and no embracing of it, only the moment where he considered and deliberated over opening the door. She'd never wanted a door to open quite so badly in her life.

Without warning, there was a click and the door creaked open. Marie inhaled slowly. She had never considered the fact that Logan cried. She had never believed that anyone could look so good after crying. She bit her lip and blinked softly.

"I'm a selfish, heartless bitch." She whispered softly, "The two times I near killed you I almost died. I'd rather live with you at your worst, than without you. You're better than me." She looked down. "I didn't mean what I said. When I said you didn't know what love was... I was just angry..."

"It's fine." He said softly. Without thinking, he reached his hand out to stroke her cheek. "You're not heartless, or selfish."

Marie's hand reached up to touch his and she smiled weakly at him. He was hardly aware of it, but within seconds she was hugging him, her face against his chest as his arms wrapped tight around her back. "You've got more heart than this whole fucking school Marie," he whispered into her hair, his eyes closing as he held her, satisfied with just that content feeling that swept through him. Should he tell her yet his revelation? His admission to himself that he loved her? No. He decided not to. She wasn't ready for it.

Her hand ran over his chest without thought, tickling its way down the well defined six pack. Logan let out a soft breath of air, attempting to hide the feeling of arousal in his groin.

"You should go to bed..." he said softly. This time, she didnt argue.

"Can I have a shirt?" She whispered, wondering if he might throw her out. Instead, he smiled down at her through glistening hazel eyes, then pulled away from her, lifting his tight shirt over his head and handing it to her, oblivious to the lusty look that overcame her eyes as he revealed his chest muscles.

"Will this do?" He asked.

She nodded, a small smile dragging at the corners of her mouth. "Night Logan." She pressed a soft kiss to his cheek, waiting there for a few moments before pulling back. "I am sorry."

Logan nodded. "Me too." He replied. "Night Marie."

She turned and walked down the corridor, clutching his white shirt in her hands.

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It might have been tight when stretched across Logan's well muscled, broad chest and arms, but it hung from Marie easily, falling just below the top of her legs, just covering her underwear. She brought the fabric to her neck and breathed deeply. His cologne was still there, lingering in her nostrils. The hem was slightly wet, and she wondered if he had wiped his streaming eyes on it. She brought her legs to her chest and sighed. She knew she should sleep, but his face etched into her brain, and she could not close her eyes without his tear stained cheeks taking up her whole vision. She focused on a nearby glass of water, trying to keep his face from her mind, not trusting herself to think of him. Was it wrong that the anger in his eyes when he yelled at her had caused her knees to go weak and for arousal to overcome her? Bobby had never gotten angry with her, and if he had she would have just slapped him rather than given him any kind of action. But Logan's eyes, so penetrating, so full of anger, of protection, of raw inescapable emotion, sent shivers of delight and intrigue down her spine, and pools of heat to her loins.

She shook herself and pulled the sheets over her, lying on her side with the shirt covering her nose and mouth, breathing in his scent with contented sighs.

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Logan didn't sleep. He sat in his jeans on his bed, his eyes closed, but no sense of tiredness gripping him. Only as he sat there, alone, listening to the pitter-patter of a light summer rain, did he realize what her words might mean.

She had said she would live with him, rather than without him. That she had nearly died when she'd come close to killing him. Was it possible, by any stretch of the imagination, that she had meant what he thought? Did she, perhaps, love him? He groaned and hit his head against the wall. Why did sleep evade him, whenever he needed it most?

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The next morning found a stressed, agressive Logan sat at the kitchen table, a steaming cup of coffee before him, the first light of dawn streaming through the window. He sipped the coffee subconsciously, his eyes trailing over the kitchen units. He wondered whether he could sneak down to the Danger Room before breakfast and vent some of his agression on a ridiculously difficult staging it thought up for him, but he pushed that thought away. He was too agresseive to trust himself to do anything, and despite his healing abilities, he didn't feel up to getting cut to pieces. After four cups of coffee, he heard the padding of feet on stairs and sighed with relief, hoping it was Storm, and that she'd give him a series of classes to run that day so that he didn't have to think about anything. He almost swore when Marie walked in, dressed in his white shirt and a black pair of pants, visible through the light fabric of his shirt. He gulped. Seeing a woman as slim and toned as Marie in nothing but a shirt and knickers would be enough to get any mans blood pumping, but it was more than that to Logan. It was Marie, after all, and she was wearing his shirt, and she'd slept in it. Her hair was tousled, the white streaks framing her face. Shifting uncomfortably, he looked away, clearing his throat to get rid of the lump that had just formed.

"Hi..." she said nervously, slipping into the seat beside him and bravely reaching for his coffee, taking a sip. He didn't scold her as he would have had she been dressed normally. Thank God she had never dressed like that when she'd had lethal skin. Someone in the house was bound to touch her looking like that. A twinge of annoyance gripped him, but he ignored it.

"Hi." He said bluntly.

"Are you...?"

"Fine."

Marie looked at him with hurt in her eyes. "I really didn't mean it last night." She said softly. "I'm sorry, I just got..."

"It's not that." He replied, looking at her with the greatest attempt of a smile he could muster. "I'm... tired."

"Bullshit." She muttered. "You don't get tired."

He smiled despite himself, ignoring the way she moved, showing him quite clearly that she wasn't wearing a bra. No fucking bra. He'd never be able to wear that shirt again without getting hard. "It'd be nice to have a refreshing sleep at night though."

She smiled and stood up suddenly. "Breakfast?"

"You cooking?"

"Well you're not likely to."

Logan grinned. "True. Love some."

"Bacon sandwich?"

"With sausage. And egg. And ketchup." He grinned at the disapproving look on her face. "Bacon's fine."

"Good. Cause I'm not cooking no sausage for a man with no manners!"

"I've already got a sausage love, don't need no manners." He stretched, then froze realizing what he had said.

Marie stared, then giggled, hiding her mouth behind a hand. "I'm not saying anythng." She said, walking to the fridge.

"Yeah... I wouldn't if I were you."

He watched her as she threw the bacon into a frying pan, turning on the heat. He listened to the sizzling of the fat for several minutes before he walked over, his hand resting on her shoulder as he looked at the bacon. "That's done." He said.

"No it's not, it's still half raw."

"It's pink and shrivelled." Logan said. "It's cooked." He placed his hand over hers and took the pan off the heat, turning the hob off and grinning as she stood stock still. "Bread, kid?"

She jumped, then reached for the bread board, handing him two pieces. He sighed and grabbed the corner of the bacon, dropping it on the bread and swearing as it burnt him. "Fuck." He threw the pan down and sucked his thumb angrily, waiting for his healing abilities to kick in and heal his damaged skin. Marie put the sandwich down and turned, her hand reaching tentatively for his and pulling it from his mouth. He gave the slightest frown, which served only to crease his brow slightly, in what Marie considered a highly attractive manner, before letting her pull his hand. She took his little finger in her mouth without warning, and he stared, transfixed, before stating, rather sheepishly. "Wrong one..." She moved on to the other finger, knowing it was the wrong one, waiting for that moment when he would grin and shake his head. She moved on to the next one, knowing it was his thumb and forefinger that he'd burnt, but not caring, knowing that he hadn't pulled his hand away. He stared at her with bright hazel eyes as her tongue flicked over the burnt area of skin. He didn't bother to tell her it had healed, that it didn't hurt anymore. She moved on to his thumb, eyes locking with his, sliding her lips up and down his thumb, then pulling back with a smile.

Logan let out a ragged breath of air. "Thanks..." he said eventually, letting his hand fall to his side again. She smiled shyly..

"No problem."

He looked at her, properly; he truly looked at her. He took in the soft curve of her eyebrows, the dimples of her mouth, the point of her chin, the exact shade of her eyes...

She was beautiful.

She was perfect.

He leant forwards, eyes holding hers as he tilted his head to the side, lips parting slightly. Their lips brushed, and electricity rippled through him. His hands went to her hips, pulling her against him gently, his arms wrapping around her back, pressing her to his chest as his mouth met hers again. Her hands were in his hair, running through the fine fibres as a caress. Heart pounding, Logan lifted her against him, off the floor, saving himself the trouble of bending down to her height by pulling her up to his. Marie's legs wrapped around his back, her hair framing both their faces. His hand scrabbled on the unit nearby, pushing the breadboard, sandwich and several plates and cups to the floor, placing her on the wooden surface and pulling his mouth from hers, breathing heavy. Her lips were swollen as he looked at her, and he felt a twitch in his groin.

"You're beautiful," he said softly, pressing his lips to her cheek, sliding them down her jaw, her neck, pushing the top of his shirt she wore aside and biting lightly. She rested her head on his, eyes slightly closed, breath brushing through his hair.

"Logan..." she whispered, "you don't know how long I've waited for this..."

He stopped kissing her shoulder, easing his mouth from her skin and meeting her eyes, stroking a strand of hair from her eyes. "I know..." he murmured. "You've waiting since fucking Liberty." He kissed her nose lightly. "I'd go back and change it if I could," he told her sincerely. "I'd never have let Iceman touch you if I realized then..."

"Realized what...?"

Logan swallowed, entwining his hand with hers. "If I realized, how much you'd come to mean to me... how you'd plague my dreams and drive me crazy when you put a fucking spoon in your mouth."

She edged closer to him, on the very edge of the kitchen unit as she replied. "I'm glad he touched me." She said honestly. Hurt and confusion crept into Logans eyes, but she kissed him chastely before continuing. "Now I know what a man needs..." her eyes glistened slightly. "Even if you couldn't be the one to teach me, now I know..."

He smiled. A real smile. It lit up his eyes like nothing she had ever seen on his face before. A great warmth settled in her chest as he kissed her again, his mouth easing over hers, nibbling her bottom lip and sliding his warm tongue into her mouth, exploring it, taking in every crevice of her mouth and committing it to memory, then pulling his mouth back. "Maybe we should go upstairs?" He murmured against her lips. She giggled and shook her head.

"No. Here."

He didn't argue. It was her choice, after all. And he could live with it, providing he didn't get an erection every time he walked into the kitchen from now on... thinking about it, perhaps he should argue... "Marie, I'm not sure..." She covered his mouth with her hand.

"Shhh." She burrowed into his shoulder, placing kisses along the raised veins. On any other man, veins sticking out might have put her off. On Bobby particularly, she would have felt disgusted, but Logan... he was different. Always had been. He was good looking in his way, with his strong muscles, brown hair and intriguing eyes, but he didn't have the classic good looks. Some might be put off by the ever present aura of power, the claws too, if anyone knew about them. She smiled. They were a part of him. Place him next to Brad Pitt, and she'd still choose Logan. He was, after all, the man who saved her life. The man she had obsessed over, become infatuated with, dreamt of for over a year. "Nobody's coming..."

She felt the smile against her head. "For now..."

Marie grinned, kissing his skin and tasting it's salty essence. Her hands slid down his back, around the waistband of his jeans, working the buckle loose as she continued kissing him. His own hands twisted her head from his neck, locking their eyes together. There was a moment where they both froze, her hands clinging slightly to the waist of his loosened jeans, his holding her face firmly, electricity running from his skin to hers, a current of heat that made her shudder agreeably. "You've got not business going there Marie," he growled, eyes dark with heat and desire. She whimpered slightly, listening to the commanding note in his voice, hearing it like a symphony. Logan's hands moved to her waist, lifting the hem of the shirt over her head, inhaling deeply as her flat stomach and curvaceous breasts came into view. Her skin was milky, despite the few weeks outside in the sun wearing nothing but skimpy bikinis. It was a canvas, a work of art, his lips kissed down her neck, down the valley of her breasts, over her stomach muscles, coming to rest at the top of her panties. Light feathery touches of his lips on her skin, a flick of his tongue, a deep breath, taking in the scent that he had tried desperately to ignore for weeks. He frowned and looked up at her. Weeks. Not minutes, since he'd spoken to her, kissed her...

"You smell incredible." He grated out. "You always do." He cocked an eyebrow. "Aren't you turned on yet, Marie?"

She nodded, her teeth nibbling at the corner of her bottom lip. "Yes. Always am. Whenever I'm with you. Whenever I think about you."

He gulped. That was... different. He'd never heard that before. "Why..? How?"

He was kneeling between her thighs, his hands rubbing absent minded circles. She stroked his hair. "I dream about you Logan. I can't walk into a room with you in it without remembering it."

He let out a hiss, a breath of shaky air that teased her as it caressed her bare skin. "Fuck, Marie..."

Marie frowned. "You're calling me Marie... not kid."

He nodded. "You stopped me calling you kid the second you walked in here wearing nothing but my shirt and these fucking skimpy pants." His fingers trailed over the crease of her leg. She gasped and leant down, pushing her mouth onto his. He reached out and squeezed both breasts, kneading them in his hands and feeling her response, swallowing her gasps. He twisted both nipples at the same time, then pulled his mouth away, pressing his mouth to her thighs and swirling his tongue over her, breathing deeply at her scent. His fingers slid into her pants, just as she lifted her hips, allowing him to slide them down her legs and ankles, throwing them over his shoulder and pulling her forwards, his hands showing his arousal, the pressure on her skin from his touch, so close to where she really wanted him, forcing whimpers from her parted lips. Her hands gripped his head as he leant forwards, pressing a soft kiss on her browl curls. Marie pushed his head forwards and her slid his tongue over her folds, savouring the first taste of her, closing his eyes and revelling in the sense of completion that filled him. She sighed, and he slid his tongue in again, rubbing teasingly over her clitoris while he slid two fingers into her, looking up the whole time, eyes locked with hers. Hers were half-lidded, heated, and unfocused. Her mouth was open, small breaths and pants of pleasure seeping between them. He blew lightly on her, feeling her thighs drape over his shoulder, tightening as he pushed her further along the path of pleasure that he had so clearly mapped out for her.

"Logan..." she whispered, closing her eyes in bliss.

"Shhh,,,," he murmured, teasing her with his breath. "Shh..." She whimpered as his fingers slid repeatedly in and out of her heated, wet folds, his tongue still flicking at her sensitive button. She cried out as her climax hit her, legs tightening on his shoulders. He hissed as his erection throbbed painfully, insistent against his jeans.

"What the fuck?"

Logan froze. That wasn't Marie. It definitely wasn't a voice he wanted to be hearing now. He went to grab his shirt for Marie, but she was one step ahead of him and pulled it over her head. Logan stood up, hiding Marie's body from view and twisting his head, anger etched on his features.

Bobby stood there, a shocked, rather frozen expression on his face, holding the pair of pants that Logan had thrown over his shoulder.

"You picked a bad time, Bub," Logan hissed.

Bobby nodded, then looked at Marie. "You moved on kinda fast."

"So did you." She said stiffly, still breathless.

He opened his mouth to reply, but didn't. Bobby threw the underwear back to Logan, whose jaw twitched in anger as he caught them. "You know, they're all coming down in a bit..."

Logan glanced at the clock. 7.30. How?

"Sure I know." He replied softly. Pulling Marie against him and wrapping her legs around his back, Logan carried her across the room, his hands covering her bottom from view, up to a startled Bobby.

"This is a rebound," he said to the other mutant. He felt Marie stiffen, but rubbed her lower back reassuringly. "She's just about to have cries rebound off the walls of my room." and up the stairs, ignoring the look he recieved from Storm as Marie attacked his neck. "Can't make lessons today." He ground out, not waiting for her reply as they headed for his room.

----------

She was incredible. She was hot, tight, wet and all-consuming. His head spun with sensation and he had to steady himself, holding himself up with his arms and feeling her breath on his face. He kissed her deeply, passion, lust, desire and love all combined into one, eyes closed with bliss as he revelled in her. He rolled his hips slightly and felt her shudder slightly. He shivered with desire. Marie's hips lifted to meet his and he growled, biting her bottom lip lightly, drawing her into a pleasure induced haze that made her whole world seem to shrink, becoming only this room, this man, this act

----------.

He was bigger than Bobby. Bigger, faster, stronger, more experienced, more giving; he was better, by a longshot. She felt like she was full to bursting, his length plunging in and out of her, ploughing through her heat. Their kiss broke and she saw the barely restrained lust in his eyes, the hardened gaze of a man caught up in want.

He was a God. His whole body begged worship, from his fine, soft, masculine hair, the stubble that decorated his chin and the cavernous depths of his hazel eyes, to the muscular arms, hardened stomach, and, most of all, at this moment in time, the long rod he slid in and out of her with such precise and deliberate movements that every single inch he moved felt like a small taste of heaven, and each movement made her shudder with a ripple of ecstasy as his fingers slid to play with her clit.

-----------

She was beautiful. The picture of perfection, of beauty, of everything on earth that he gave a fuck about. She was so slender, so delicate, so submissive yet so responsive. He couldn't remember ever experiencing anything like this. It was as though she were the centre of his universe, the axis on which his planet spun. Marie. His Marie. Glorious perfect Marie.

She was a Goddess. Her white, creamy skin, unblemished but for a few lovebites placed in the throes of passion, her beautiful eyes, closed in pleasure and delight as he moved inside of her, her soft lips, lips that he worshipped with all of his being, that he kissed with the sole intent of pleasing her, that his own lips and tongue caressed with all of the emotion he posessed. She was so feminine, writhing under him in utter ecstasy as his mouth suckled her tender nipples, his hips thrusting to meet hers, his hand lifting one leg over his shoulder, giving him a different angle, a greater range of movement.

----------

"Logan..." she whimpered, writhing and clenching the sheets as wave after wave of pleasure swept through her.

"Marie..." he murmured. His hips were a blur as he pounded into her, his mouth marking her breast, her neck, even her wrist as he nibbled on areas of her skin she had never considered to provide any kind of pleasure. Her whole being tingled as he let out growls of pleasure, never pausing, always kissing, caressing, touching.

She was close. She could feel the tight knot of heat in her belly, craving to be released. He met her eyes and stopped suddenly, his breathing heavy as he leant to whisper in her ear.

"I can't hold out much longer," he whispered softly. His hips pressed into hers again, grinding into her. "You're so... tight..."

She kissed his cheek, sucking the soft skin and smiling up at him. "Keep going."

He grinned at her, gathering her closer, pressing her against him as he started again, plunging into her with speed and strength that made her whimper with pleasure, tightening around him as his fingers found her again, twisting and caressing until she let out a loud shriek of pleasure, clamping down on him and drawing his own climax from him, stars bursting before his eyes as he found her lips again, showing her the extent of emotion that came with it, the dire need for her that he was sure could not be extinguished.

----------

It was the best orgasm of her life, undoubtedly, at least so far. Pleasure gripped her, pulsing through her veins like a drug. Her cry echoed around the room, but instead of hearing it herself, she heard the low growl of utter pleasure that rose in Logan's throat, vibrating in his chest against her, his voice in her ear. She treasured it, committing it to memory.

He fell to the side of her, pulling her with him, refusing to withdraw, yet not wishing to crush her. His eyes met hers with a deep understanding. Silence ensued, a silence filled with nothing but the pure bliss that followed love making. Logan tilted his head slightly, a smile tugging at his mouth.

"What?" She whispered, smiling stupidly.

He stroked her hair. "I never got my sandwich."

Marie giggled. "Way to a mans heart is through his stomach." She whispered. "Tempt him with bacon and he's putty in your hands."

He raised an eyebrow. "You want something in your hands do you?" a glint of lust appeared in his eyes, but his face softened again as he spoke. "Your way to my heart was that road in Laughlin City.." he said softly. He kissed her hand. "You've been there ever since. I just... never recognized the way I felt about you before."

Marie blushed. "You're meant to be a man of few words." She whispered.

"I am." He said, a growl rising in his throat as he rolled her on top of him. "Do what you will. I won't say a word."

She smirked. "Promise?" She teased.

He nodded, miming a zipping action over his mouth. She giggled.

-------------

What was love? Logan watched her sleeping, remembering her words, and his own. It was untempered and unrefined emotion. It was the physical and emotional connection to another that made everything seem alright. It was a deep, uncontrollable feeling that sent shivers through his very being. It was waking up, late at night, with a beautiful woman, who knew and understood him, who could replace the gaping hole he'd been trying to fill by just being there with him. It was the confusing, rollercoaster ride of anger, of happiness, of sex, of tears. It was everything that mattered.

Marie.

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I'm not doing the usual 'I love you' bits.

Cause to be perfectly honest, I'm hoping that summed it up

First X-Men fic complete.

And damn, I have two more in my head for sometime soon.

Reviews welcome, as always.

Mage of the Heart

p.s. its heartbreaking that Hugh Jackmans married... but on the plus side, I did find possibly the hottest picture ever. mmmm. Boyfriend not pleased :P

my new contender for perfect Sirius. :)