Chapter One

Disclaimer: I do not own any of Marvel's characters and am using them without permission. No profit is being gaining from this work. All credit goes to their original creators and owners. The X-Men are property of Marvel Comics.  (Did that sound serious enough?)

Rating: R (adult language, mild adult content, mild violence—basically there's cursing, some blood, and a few fade-to-blacks that get a tad bit steamy…)

Summary: Rogue tries to start over away Logan—but can she truly move past the love they shared? (Sequel to "Sometimes it Ain't Enough")

Author's Note: You asked for a sequel, you get it. No flaming. Also, I'm using my creative licenses with Rogue's past—and with everyone else's for that matter. Don't email me saying "that didn't happen that way." I don't care. And if you think it bites, well, blame my cat—she kept walking across the keyboard, so I'll just say she wrote all the bad parts. ;-)

Feedback and Archiving: Feedback is always greatly appreciated. The more the better. And as for archiving, anywhere you want, just email me first and let me know where you're posting my baby… If you want to contact me, my email address is addie_logan@yahoo.com and my AIM screen name is ChereRogueMarie.

Visit My Webpage!: Like this story and want to read more of my stuff? Confused because you read this one before "Sometimes it Ain't Enough?" Just feel like being a nice person and making my hit counter go up? Well, then visit my webpage at http://www.angelfire.com/scifi/addielogan.

A Simple Life of Complications

By: Addie Logan

*** *** ***

For a long time I was in love
Not only in love I was obsessed
With a friendship that no one else could touch
It didn't work out, I'm covered in shells

And all I wanted was the simple things
A simple kind of life
And all I needed was a simple man
So I could be a wife

I'm so ashamed, I've been so mean
I don't know how it got to this point
I always was the one with all the love
You came along, I'm hunting you down

Like a sick domestic abuser looking for a fight
And all I wanted was the simple things
A simple kind of life

If we met tomorrow for the very first time
Would it start all over again?
Would I try to make you mine?

I always thought I'd be a mom
Sometimes I wish for a mistake
The longer that I wait the more selfish that I get
You seem like you'd be a good dad

Now all those simple things are simply too complicated for my life
How'd I get so faithful to my freedom?
A selfish kind of life
When all I ever wanted was the simple things
A simple kind of life

*** *** ***

Rogue drove straight on through the night. She couldn't stop. If she did when she was still close to New York, nothing would stop her from turning right back around and begging Logan to take her into his arms again. She knew she couldn't do that. She had to be strong this time.

She had to move on.

Rogue had been in love with Logan since she was seventeen years old. From the first moment she'd seen him, she'd been instantly attracted to him. He'd been fighting in a cage, his muscles rippling, his lips curled in a feral snarl. He'd seemed so strong, so masculine, and Rogue had never seen anyone like him before. She'd known she wanted to get closer to him.

Through a strange chain of events, she'd gotten her wish. She'd found out he was mutant, like her, and they'd both wound up at a school for mutants in Westchester, New York. It wasn't long after that that Logan had left her for the first time.  He'd given her his dog tags—his one solid link to his past—and Rogue had cherished them.

Until he'd come back, successfully broken her heart all over again, and she'd thrown them back in his face.

Still, somehow, Logan had convinced her to forgive him, and she'd trusted him again. And again. And again. Eventually, it had reached the point where they'd become lovers, but Logan's habit of leaving her every time things got rough hadn't stopped. She'd given up friendships, an engagement, even her sanity at times, all for the chance to have Logan hurt her once more.

Rogue finally had had enough. She'd been the one to leave this time, determined that she would never go back to him.

Still, the thought of his dark hazel eyes, his muscular body, his husky voice, the way he touched her—it all called her home to Westchester. She wanted Logan, wanted him to hold her, tell her everything was all right, and they were going to make it.

Most of all, she wanted him to make her believe they could work.

But she couldn't believe that anymore. She couldn't fool herself into believing that Logan would be there for her when she needed it. He loved her, and she loved him, but love wasn't always enough. Waiting around for Logan to settle down would leave her nothing but broken and alone in the end. She knew she had to get away before it was too late for her to live a life that wasn't always in the shadow of the Wolverine.

But her heart wanted to go home.

So she kept driving. She drove for almost a day nonstop, ignoring her exhaustion. All that mattered was putting as much distance between herself and temptation as possible. Her original intent was to stop once she reached her home state of Mississippi, but she wasn't far over the state border when she realized she'd never liked it there much to begin with.

So Rogue kept driving until she hit the coast and ran out of road. Not feeling like taking a boat to get any further, she prayed she was far enough, and found a motel.

She was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow and when she woke it felt as if she had slept for days.

*** *** ***

Rogue opened her eyes and looked around, not sure of where she was. The décor of the room reminded her that she was in a motel, but the location of said motel was another story entirely. Her first thought was to call the front desk and ask where she was, but she didn't want to look any crazier than she probably had after coming in when she'd driven for a straight day. She got out of bed and walked over to the dresser where a few pamphlets advertising local attractions were. She picked one up an read it. Johnson's Bayou, Louisiana.

"Long way from Westchester," Rogue muttered.

She set back down on the bed and turned on the television. The date and time in the corner of the screen revealed that she had left New York three days before. She couldn't believe she'd been able to get so far so quickly, but there she was. All she could think was that it would be just as easy to drive back to Logan.

Rogue shook her head violently, as if she was trying to make that thought go away. She'd worked too hard to get away from Logan—she couldn't let herself go back now. He'd caused her too much pain over the years, and she had to find a way of life where she wasn't constantly pining for him. She had to learn how to survive on her own, escape the persona of the scared little girl who had first arrived at Xavier's School for the Gifted at seventeen. She had to find the strength she'd lost when she'd become obsessed with the idea of Logan loving her.

Rogue flopped back on the bed with a pain-filled sigh. That was all it had been all along—the idea of love. She'd pictured a life with Logan—marriage, children. He'd never wanted that. He wanted someone who'd be there when he felt like taking a break from his normal lone-wolf lifestyle. He'd told her he loved her, and she knew he'd meant it, but it had never been the type of fairytale love she'd craved.

Rogue didn't even want that anymore. If her relationship with Logan had taught her anything, it was that perfect love didn't exist. She'd never be the mom of two kids, living in the suburbs and driving a station wagon with a sticker of a soccer ball on the back. She'd never live the life she would've had if she'd been able to just stay Marie.

Her only chance was to live the life of a Rogue.

Rogue got off the bed and grabbed some clean clothes from her bag, then went into the bathroom to shower and change.

Soon, she was walking out of the motel ready to see what sort of life she could make for herself in Johnson's Bayou, Louisiana

*** *** ***

Almost as soon as she walked outside, Rogue's stomach rumbled, reminding her that it had been a while since she'd had anything decent to eat. She noticed a truck stop restaurant reminiscent of a Waffle House across the street, and figured it would be better than no food at all. At least she could get some coffee.

After she finished eating, Rogue sat in the restaurant for a long time, sipping her coffee and watching the people as they came and went. What would her life be like now? She'd set out to live on her own years ago, when she was only sixteen, and she'd been able to survive, to find a place where she felt like she belonged. But now, what would she do? She was older, and she no longer had the adventurous spirit she did as a young woman. Life on the road, hitching a ride from truck stop to truck stop, actually being thankful for her powers because, for the most part, they kept her from being attacked—she couldn't handle that anymore. Before, she'd felt like destiny had led her to Wolverine and the X-Men, but what now?

Rogue knew she'd have to find somewhere to live, and a job to support herself. She'd cleared her bank account when she'd left, but Rogue knew it wouldn't be long until that ran out. Jean and Professor Xavier had both told her she could ask them for money anytime things got to rough, but Rogue didn't want to be dependent on others the way she had been in the past. She knew the only way she could move beyond all the pain she'd known loving Logan was by starting fresh and supporting herself in a way that she hadn't ever before.

She decided first she'd look for a place to live and use what money she had to pay rent and to feed herself until she could find a job. She wasn't sure what sort of teaching jobs she could find in there, but she decided that she didn't even want to look for one. High school That had been her profession in her old life, and she didn't want anything to remind her of that. This was a fresh start. A second chance.

"More like a fourth," Rogue thought wryly.

Rogue looked at her watch and saw that it was almost noon. "Might as well go out and face the world," she muttered. She stood up, threw a couple of dollars on the table for a tip, paid for her meal at the cash register, then walked out. She drove back to the motel to make sure she could remain checked in for a couple of days at least, then set out on her quest to find a new life for herself.

*** *** ***

Rogue drove around town, getting a feel for the area, before picking up a newspaper and bringing it back to the motel with her. As soon as she was back in her room, she flopped down on the bed and flipped to the classifieds, checking out both apartment listings and job openings.

Two hours and several phone calls later, she found herself to still be homeless, jobless, and very well near hopeless. She shook her head and tried to remind herself that she'd only just begun to look, and these things took time. "Like Scarlet said," she told herself, "tomorrow is another day." Then she added, grumbling, "I just hope tomorrow doesn't suck as badly as today did. Or the day before…"

She took a long bath, then changed into some more comfortable clothes, hoping that if she could relax, she'd feel better. She called for a pizza, and then settled down in front of the television to take advantage of the motel's advertised free HBO.

The movie was just beginning when she turned the television on, and she smiled when she saw it was the Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd movie Where the Heart Is. She remembered watching it years ago with her friends back at the mansion. It had been the night that she'd gained her longstanding nickname "Twinkie Mama" after a comment Bobby Drake had made. Rogue laughed out loud when she thought about how Jubilee had told Bobby he'd never find anyone to date him, let alone have a child with him, and how now, well, Jubilee and Bobby were a couple the last Rogue had heard.

Suddenly, Rogue frowned as she realized that she'd never seen the end of this movie. It had been the night that Logan had left for the second time. She hadn't wanted to watch anymore that night. She'd just sat around, letting herself be brokenhearted.

Rogue realized now all the unnecessary pain she'd put herself through over the years. She'd had friends who'd cared about her more than Logan had ever appeared to, and yet he had been the one who she'd placed above all else. She'd managed to alienate herself from Bobby, Jubilee, and Kitty—her three closest friends—all because of her relationship with Logan. True, with Jubilee and Kitty it had been their treatment of her that had ultimately driven her away, but she wondered now if maybe there was a time when she should've listened to them more.

And Bobby… All he'd ever done was love her, and she'd thrown it back in his face. She didn't regret breaking off the engagement—she regretted ever agreeing to marry him in the first place. She hadn't loved him enough to commit to him that way, and she'd known it even when she was saying yes. Still, she'd gone against what she knew in her heart to be what she should do, and in the end she had caused him so much pain. She hated herself for how she'd treated him, and wished more than anything that she could somehow make amends.

"I hope Jubilee does better by him than I did. He deserves that."

Rogue reached into her purse and dug around for her cigarettes. She knew it was a nasty habit, and one she truly did want to break, but at a time like this she figured she could indulge her cravings. She wondered if smoking was something she picked up from having Logan in her mind. Before she'd met him she'd never been interested in tobacco or alcohol, but after she touched Wolverine that changed.

She smoked her cigarette, wondering how she was ever going to get over him. Although it had been a long time since she'd last touched him with deadly skin, and the majority of his personality traits had long ago faded, some of him still remained. How could you forget someone who was that much a part of you? It was like ignoring the fact you had a left arm and trying to function with only your right.

Without Logan, she felt like half a person.

*** *** ***

Rogue looked around the empty apartment. It was small, but she decided it would do. She didn't need much anyway, since it was just her. She turned to the complex's landlord, who was standing expectantly in front of the door. "I'd like to take a look at the lease," she said.

"Of course, follow me down to the office, Miss…"

"Xavier," Rogue said, giving him the name of the man who had been more of a father to her than anyone she'd ever known in the past. "Miss Xavier."

The landlord smiled, made happy simply by the prospect of another rent check coming in at the end of the month.

And with that, Rogue made her first step towards a real, independent life.

*** *** ***

Rogue sat on the floor of her new apartment eating Chinese food from the carton. At the moment she was without furniture, sleeping on a bedspread and pillows she'd bought from Wal-Mart. She bought a television, a radio, and a phone, too, so at least she could feel connected to the world.

But she ate her chicken lo mein in silence, staring at the too-white walls and wishing she could hear the sound of someone's voice.

His voice.

The only sounds were the hum of the air conditioner, and the crickets chirping in the thick, Louisiana night. All the sounds were steady, unyielding. They just reminded her that she was alone.

Rogue finished her dinner, but stayed on the living room floor, pulling her knees up to her chin for comfort. She kept telling herself she could do this, that she was strong enough to make it on her own.

After all, if she was able to make it from Meridian, Mississippi to Laughlin City, Alberta when she was still a teenager by hitchhiking with truckers, then she could make it living on her own in her mid-twenties. She'd always been strong, and this was just another test of strength.

Still, the loneliness was consuming. She had to hear a familiar voice, had to remind herself that she wasn't the only person left on the planet.

Rogue picked up the phone, deciding that one call to the mansion couldn't possibly do any damage. After all, Jean had still been her friend when she left, and Rogue was sure the redheaded doctor would want to know that she was doing okay. Rogue dialed the main line of the mansion, deciding she'd just ask whoever answered the phone to get Jean for her. It was only a little after seven o'clock there, and she figured Jean had probably gone to the medlab after dinner to clean up, the way she often did. Usually, Scott answered the phone, and he'd be happy to transfer the call down to his wife.

What Rogue didn't count on was Logan answering the phone.

"Hello?"

Rogue froze. It was him—there was no way she could mistake the voice that had haunted her thoughts and dreams for so many years. She'd thought for sure that Logan would've left the mansion shortly after she had, going off to be alone and lick his wounds.

But he was there, and he was on the phone.

"Hello? Anyone there?"

Rogue couldn't say anything to him. He'd recognize the sound of her voice and ask her to come home—a request she wasn't sure she'd be able to turn down. She slammed down the phone and backed away from it as if were something that could bite her. When she'd calmed down some and her breathing returned to normal, Marie began to cry.

*** *** ***

Pain. Blinding light. Laughing. Why were they laughing? It hurt…

Searing heat. More pain. Laughing, chatting… Why did they ignore him?

His bones…fire… Death—it had to be death. Could you hurt this much and live? Could you hurt any more than this?

Yes—there was more pain. Oh, God why? Nothing left to do but scream…

Rogue sat up in her makeshift bed screaming Logan's name. She'd had that dream again—his dream—and the knowledge that Logan wasn't going to answer her cries was more painful than the borrowed memory.

She took a deep breath, trying to slow the rapid beating of her heart. Her whole body felt clammy with sweat, and she couldn't wipe the images from her mind. Logan had known so much pain in his life—was it right for her to cause him more just so she could be safe?

Rogue laid back on the bed, wondering if she could even try to answer that question. She reached over and switched on the radio, hoping that maybe some noise could keep her from thinking questions without real answers.

She stared up at the ceiling, watching the fan as it rotated above her, its pattern of motion never shaking, never wavering. The rhythm of the fan and the music began to soothe her, and soon she was drifting back to sleep.

You're not a stranger to me
And you are something to see
You don't even know how to please
You say a lot...but you're unaware how to leave

My darling lives in a world that is not mine
An old child misunderstood...out of time
Timeless is the creature who is wise
And timeless is the prisoner in disguise

The song changed, and the beginning of the new song made Rogue's eyes open. She told herself to ignore the comparisons her mind was drawing between the man described in the song and Logan. "It's like Jubilee told ya once," she muttered to herself. "You'd see Logan in your mashed potatoes." She tried to concentrate on the soft sound of the music, not the words. She was only reminded of  Logan because she couldn't get him off her mind.

Oh who is the beauty...who the beast
Would you die of grieving when I leave
Two children too blind to see
I would fall in your shadow...I believe

My love is a man who's not been tamed
Oh...my love lives in a world of false pleasure and pain
We come from difference worlds...we are the same (my love)
I never doubted your beauty...I've changed
I never doubted your beauty...I've changed

Rogue rolled over to glare at the radio.  The last stanza stuck in her mind. A man who's not been tamed… We come from different worlds…we are the same.

Those words brought her back to another time, another place. She remembered being seventeen and sitting on a train beside a man she had just met. She could hear the words he said that made her young heart fall for him—"That's a rare thing…for people like us."

It was the first time since she'd been forced to leave her home that Marie had felt like she belonged anywhere. She'd felt that Logan was a kindred spirit—she knew the pain he'd gone through and thought that maybe, together, they could heal each other's wounds. In the end, they'd only made more.

Looking back, Rogue realized how naïve she had been. She'd interpreted Logan's promise to "take care of her" to mean he'd be there for her whenever she needed him, that he'd always be by her side. She didn't know how she could've believed he'd give her more than he had, she'd known his personality, probably better than he had. Rogue knew that Logan had meant it when he'd said he'd take care of her, and in his mind he probably thought he had.

She'd known everything he was, and yet she'd expected more. She was paying the price for it now: alone, curled up on the floor of a small apartment in the suppressive heat of a Louisiana night.

Changed...who is the beauty
Where is my beast (my love)
There is no beauty
Without my beast (my love)

Who is the beauty
Who... (my love)
Ahhh...
Oh...la bête...la bête
Where is my beast

Rogue wondered why she'd even bothered an attempt at a relationship with Logan. She wished she'd just let him go on her twenty-first birthday, when her drunken admission of love had driven him away. She wished she'd never followed him to Canada, never convinced him to start a relationship that at least a part of him resented. She knew Logan was a loner, a man who never wanted to feel trapped by anything. Rogue wanted commitment, and that was the one thing he could never give her.

She didn't blame him for it. He'd wanted to give her what she needed, he just couldn't. Freedom, life beyond the mansion, it was always calling to him. If Rogue had been capable of being there when he needed her, waiting for the times when he wanted to settle down for a while and take a break from life on the road, then things would've worked out fine between them. But Rogue couldn't do that. She wanted more than the life of Logan's beacon of light that occasionally called him back to civilization.

Rogue told herself she couldn't be mad at Logan for not giving her what she needed. He'd told her as much years ago, when she'd followed him up to Canada. He'd told her that she was the kind of woman who wanted a man to commit, to settle down and have a life with her, and that he could never do that for her. He'd told her to move on, to find a love that could give her the home and family she craved.

"I should've listened then," Rogue said aloud.

She frowned. In a way, she had listened. She'd tried to have that sort of life with Bobby Drake, but he hadn't given her what she wanted either. He'd offered her all the Logan never could, but when it came from Bobby, she rejected it. Commitment from him wasn't what she wanted either. She'd wanted a man who could stand beside her and ignite the sort of passion in her that Logan had. She wanted the best of both worlds.

"Prince Charming on a Harley," Rogue thought dryly.

Rogue wondered if her dream of the perfect man for her could ever even become a reality. Did someone who was willing to commit, yet dark and mysterious enough to excite her even exist? She couldn't help but wonder if her destiny was to be alone forever.

Even when the sun had risen, Rogue had not found sleep.

My beauty...my beauty
My beautiful...beautiful...beautiful
Beautiful beast

*** *** ***

So, what do you think so far? Please leave me a review, and I'll get chapter 2 up A.S.A.P.!!!