A.N. In response to a challenge from a friend of mine (Leonaria Dragonbane), this one-shot sprung from Meatloaf's "For Crying Out Loud".

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Marvel, all song lyrics originated with Meatloaf and are public domain so pretty much all I brought to the table was the little ramble inspired by other people's genius!

For Crying Out Loud

I was lost till you were found
But I never knew how far down
I was falling
Before I reached the bottom
I was cold and you were fire
And I never knew how the pyre
Could be burning
On the edge of the ice field

Logan watched her walking away from him down the sand. Until he'd stopped and let her clamber into the passenger seat of his dilapidated truck all those years ago, he'd been so lost he didn't even know what 'found' would feel like. That would explain him not recognizing it any sooner than he did. He'd fallen like a ton of bricks for a little girl who wasn't even ready to learn what real love was between a man and a woman.

He remembered distracting himself, busying himself with Jeannie and tormenting Scott just to pass the time. He'd left, realizing his girl wasn't anywhere near ready to make a decision about them. Logan had every intention of staying away until she'd graduated but he hadn't been able to… that empty feeling inside him was spreading through him and he simply couldn't let it overtake him again. The mere thought of returning to the vacuous existence he'd known before picking up that dirty, scared, half-starved girl in the middle of nowhere was enough to make him sick to his stomach.

So he'd roared back up the long drive that would lead him to her. That's when Logan had his first inkling that his girl was growing up. She'd put on some much-needed weight, was filling out in wonderful ways, and had Robert Drake the human snow cone dangling from her hand and trying to force himself between them. Logan wasn't a fool. One look into her eyes, one whiff of her aroma around the boy and he'd known this crush was not a real threat. This boy was simply a natural part of her growing up. So Logan had let it happen and braced himself to pick up the pieces when it was over.

Her inner flame may have dimmed under the influence of Ice-man, but she was too hot to be extinguished by his cold heart. Now he feared he may be the one sending an icy chill through her spirit. Each of her steps took her farther away from him and he felt his heart begin to break. She sank to sit in the sand. Logan wanted nothing more than to go to her, but was afraid he'd lost that privilege.

And the now chilly California wind
Is blowing down our bodies again
And were sinking deeper and deeper into the chilly California sand
Oh I know you belong inside my aching heart
And cant you see my faded levis bursting apart
And don't you hear me crying:
Oh babe, don't go
And don't you hear me screaming:
How was I to know?

The wind picked up causing the sand to blow with it, stinging his skin. Knowing he felt that tiny burn and the chill in the strong breeze, he watched her with concern in his eyes. Her long hair flowed like a banner on the whirling air currents, baring her sad, familiar, beautiful face and long, graceful neck. Recognizing that he couldn't just go to her as he'd always been free to do before caused an ache in his heart that was almost crippling in its intensity.

Her natural grace and good looks had his body reacting as it always had and always would. Regardless how much time went by, with no consideration of how other things might change, Logan knew one look at her would always be able to inspire his body's heated response. He'd never admit it, but hers weren't the only tears tainting the air with a salty tang.

Rogue looked at him over one shoulder before turning away with a blank expression. It tore at his guts and he could no more hold back the angry shout at circumstances tearing them apart than he could hold back the tides. His roar rent the air and she curled in on herself, her shoulders heaving with sobs.

I'm in the middle of nowhere
Near the end of the line
But there's a border to somewhere waiting
And there's a tankful of time
Oh give me just another moment to see the light of the day
And take me to another land where I don't have to stay

And I'm gonna need somebody to make me feel like you do
And I will receive somebody with open arms, open eyes,
Open up the sky and let the planet that I love shine through

Logan wouldn't leave her this time. He may have gone in the past, but not any more. He was at the end of his rope and knew that she and she alone would keep him from sinking, from slipping away to that dark, dark place he'd survived in before knowing her. He needed her like an addict needed his fix. A day without his Marie was like a day with no sun, a ship with no compass… he knew no light, no direction, and no purpose without her.

During his travels early on, he'd tried to find others who could fill him instead of her. Needing a girl like her was wrong, he'd thought. But they were never the same. They could never fill his world with light, beauty, goodness as she did. Logan saw none of the vast glory of the wide ocean before him. He took no note of the various birds swooping, riding the undulating air currents. He could have been in the middle of a desert for all the notice he took of his surroundings. All that existed were him, his Marie, and that ever-deepening ache.

For crying out loud
You know I love you
For crying out loud
You know I love you
For crying out loud
You know I love you

I was damned and you were saved
And I never knew how enslaved
I was kneeling
In the chains of my master

I could laugh but you could cry
And I never knew just how high
I was flying
Ah, with you right above me

Marie lay back in the sand to stare up at the clouds scuttling through the slate colored sky above them. The weather had driven off everyone but the two of them. They could be the only two people in the world right now. She fought the impulse to look his way again. If she looked too much, she'd race back to him. She knew it.

Logan watched her and knew that she was all those things he'd been contemplating and more… she was his personal angel. She'd saved him. Without her presence he knew hew would still be wandering aimlessly through his own personal hell. Now that she was pulling away, he knew how much he relied on her. Everyone looked on them and saw what he did for her, but he knew the truth. He knew he needed her far more than she needed him.

Logan hadn't known how wonderful they were until now; until it was over. She'd been carrying him all this time and now he was plummeting deeper than he'd ever been before, plunging into the inky morass of depression, guilt, and despair. The worst part was that he knew she knew the truth. He knew she was all too aware that he loved her more than his very life.

I'm in the middle of nowhere
Near the end of the line
But there's a border to somewhere waiting
And there's a tankful of time
Oh give me just another moment to see the light of the day
And take me to another land where I don't have to stay

And I'm gonna need somebody to make me feel like you do
And I will receive somebody with open arms, open eyes,
Open up the sky and let the planet that I love shine through

Logan couldn't stay this far away any more and, without looking at her, walked closer to her and then sank to the sand again. He just knew that if they could overcome this, they would cross that invisible border and arrive at that place where nothing touched them any more, where not even time would affect them.

Even through her tears, Marie's lips quirked a little at his strategic maneuver closer to her. It was typical of him. All the subtlety of a Mack truck, but she wouldn't trade her Wolverine for the world.

For crying out loud
You know I love you
For crying out loud
You know I love your
For crying out loud
You know I love you

For taking in the rain when I'm feeling so dry
For giving me the answers when I'm asking you why
And my oh my
For that I thank you

For taking in the sun when I'm feeling so cold
For giving me a child when my body is old
And don't you know
For that I need you

She pushed to her feet and scuffed through the sand to settle down at his side. Marie leaned against his shoulder and he wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "You know I love you, right darlin'?"

"Yeah, but it's nice to hear anyway."

He rested his head atop hers, breathing in her distinct scent. "Why?" she wanted to know.

"I don't know. I really don't. I wish I did, though. I'd change it if I could, you know."

"I know you would, sugar."

He lowered his hand to rest low on her abdomen. "I shouldn't have tried to placate them, Marie. I should have told Jeannie to shove it right away." He tugged her onto his lap. "I am thrilled. You are gonna be the best mom ever, darlin'. This is one lucky kid."

For coming to my room when you know I'm alone
For finding me a highway and driving me home
And you gotta know
For that I serve you

For pulling me away when I'm starting to fall
For revving me up when I'm starting to stall
And all in all
For that I want you

For taking and for giving and for playing the game
For praying for my future in the days that remain
Oh lord
For that I hold you

Marie closed her eyes and let her head rest securely on his chest, the steady beat of his heart lulling her. Her mind flashed through a slideshow of her life since first seeing this incredible man. The way he'd reluctantly let her in his private shell as early as that first night in that horrible truck.

All the times he'd come to her room to comfort her. It could be a thoughtless comment from someone at the Institute, a test or paper that didn't go well, her breakup with Bobby, John's defection… somehow though, whether the problem was big or small, he always knew and he came to her and helped her through it.

She'd walk through fire for him if he asked. Everyone knew it, too. Some didn't care, some thought it was 'cute', and some saw it as dirty or weird or unacceptable. A handful understood. Even when she'd gotten the cure, he was there for her whichever choice she made.

He had her back and always would. It just hurt so much for the people who should have been the most supportive, the most accepting to turn on them they way they had when the pregnancy was announced. Rogue burrowed deeper against her man and knew true peace as his arms tightened around her.

Ah but most of all
For cryin out loud
For that I love you

Ah but most of all
For cryin out loud
For that I love you

Ah but most of all
For cryin out loud
For that I love you

When you're crying out loud
You know I love you

Almost without realizing she was saying it aloud, she apologized. "I'm sorry I cried like that. I'm sorry I lost it."

"Hey," he shifted his shoulder to nudge her and garner her full attention. She tilted her head to look up at her. "Don't apologize, darlin'. It's one of the best things about you."

"Being a cry-baby is my high-point?" she asked in disbelief.

"Your sweetness, your trusting nature, your tender heart… yeah, definite high-points." They both sighed before he spoke again. "You know I love you, right?"

She giggled a little bit. "Yeah, but it's nice to hear anyway."

He pressed a kiss to her head and she knew that with or without those they'd left behind, they were going to be better than okay… because they would be together.

The End