DISCLAIMER: No money or even amusement was made in the making of this fic.

Note: I have seen the first Xmen movie, parts of the second and parts of the third. I have read some of the comics, and seen parts of the newest cartoon. I did however watch MUCH of the old cartoon when I was younger. However, saying that, this is not canon at all, I mean, isn't that pretty much the point of fan fiction? Fun? So, the accents are hard to do, so mostly, I'll leave it up to your imagination. I've really only cut off some g's like in thinkin', or doin', goin', stuff like that. other colloquial language is used, but it is fairly universal for everyone. K?

She was crying.

'No! NO!' Rogue screamed, despite the force that pressed her on.

Rogue sat up in a quick start, the cool sweat on her body sickening. Her layered clothes just absorbed her fear and it still clung to her. Getting out of her bed she quietly rummaged through the drawers next to her, looking for new clothes. Grabbing some and quietly heading out the door, she cast an eye over the room, making sure her roommates were still asleep.

When she reached the bathroom, she quickly changed. She was up, and felt that changing clothes was something to keep her busy. She wasn't really all that sweaty from her horrid nightmare, but she couldn't go back to sleep. Instead, she found herself in day clothes. It was early, but it didn't matter. Anything was better than her alternative. That dream haunted her at least thrice weekly.

She didn't want to leave the privacy of the quiet bathroom, ironically, as she knew it would be teeming with others soon. But part of her wanted to be with others, so she wouldn't think what she was trying to desperately to avoid thinking. The confusion was nothing new to her.

"Damn." She cursed herself.

"Rogue!" a voice called out for her later that day as she walked outside.

Turning around, Rogue saw Kitty running to catch up to her. She came up, short of breath, "hey."

"Hey shug," Rogue smiled despite her lack of warmth that she felt. Nothing against Kitty, but usually following the episodic nights, she was distant.

"It happened again, eh?" Kitty knew that something was wrong when she awoke in the morning to find a missing Rogue. Moreover, it happened frequently and her friend chose not to say anything.

"Don't call me Rogue for nothin'" Rogue teased her, trying to play it off.

"Right," Kitty let it go as well, laughing it off.

Instead the two walked to the courtyard where the younger kids played around. Rogue had her lunch, offering Kitty the pickle from the sandwich the cooks had made. Kitty in turn gave Rogue the banana from her lunch.

"They never make 'em the right way." Rogue laughed.

Kitty snickered as well, usually Rogue and Kitty, as well as some of the others, always switched lunch accessories around because the sides never matched the main meal that was made. No one was ever happy. Though Kitty laughed, she was worried for her friend. Things hadn't been working out for Rogue, Kitty knew that. She was about to broach the subject when more people came up to sit with them.

Jubilee came up to the two and sat on the ground looking over to see what they had to eat. She made a face and turned back to her own food. Bobby also came up with a straggler friend or two, giving a small smile to Rogue, sat and ate, joining all the discussions as well.

As people continued to gather around Rogue felt smothered. She never liked to make a big deal out of it, but felt she couldn't possibly last another minute. Not wanting it to be obvious, she 'accidentally' let her sandwich slip from her lap to the ground.

"Oh," she made a concerned noise.

"Here you can have some of mine," Bobby offered her half his sandwich.

"And you can have your pickle back," Kitty teased.

Rogue laughed, standing up. "I'll just go get somethin'. Be right back."

As Rogue walked away, she could hear the laughter continuing on and she knew she'd be safe. They would notice she was gone, but forget or think nothing of it. It wasn't a big deal. Rogue walked back inside, but avoided the kitchens and wandered the empty halls. Everyone was out to lunch and it left her to think more.

She hated thinking about it. But couldn't help it. How could she? She'd lost one of her closest friends. The others felt the same grief she did, to an extent, but tried to play it down for her sake. But no matter what was said, or wasn't, it still hurt. It had been near a year, but she still wore the black around her heart. Despite the new students that came to replace the missing, Rogue still couldn't help but feel the pain. Not only her own, but everyone else's as well.

She found herself in front of her bedroom door. But she couldn't bear to go in. Not without someone else. Instead she walked along again until she found herself string at the memorial wall. She never came this way; less someone suspect what was truly going on with her. But she had a hard time fighting it sometimes. She usually came at night, when she couldn't sleep, and no one was about.

Her hand reach up to touch the plaque below the picture. She hesitated a moment, looking at her gloved hand. Looking into the eyes of the picture before her, she smiled, and her heart cried on. She traced the engraved name with her fingers, barely feeling the ridges due to the material between her and the inscription. Carol Danvers.

She brought her hands back tucking them tightly to her, and breathing into her clasped hands. Carol had been something special, a bright student, popular, beautiful beyond belief. Rogue's growing headache forced her to turn away, and return to class. The rest would expect her there.

Xavier knew when Logan was coming back, despite the block Logan had in his brain to being read. Tension rode in the air unknowingly. It seemed only appropriate for the drama that was consuming the mansion. Jean and Scott remained irritable for a week after their last mission. Storm snapped at her students, and other minor irritants occurred. Even the students were catching on to the infectious air, as couples broke up and had various ridiculous spats. Not that Charles kept up with every happening in the love lives of his students, but some he kept close eyes on.

It would only be natural that the gruff Canadian would be arriving home, more to stir the pot and set everyone's disorder. Xavier just wished that it would become home for Logan. He sought a center, Charles knew. In Cerebro, Xavier was not caught off guard when he felt the familiar presence of Logan, or Wolverine, driving in. Still miles off, it wouldn't be long until he was home. Carefully setting down the headpiece, Charles decided that he might as well speak with Jean. Things had certainly changed in the years that Logan had been gone. So much that, Charles was almost stunned that he really was coming back.

Logan was never one for entrances, overrated that, but he drove into the garage, and found a class in session. Cyclops glare softened when it left Wolverine and landed to his dearly departed bike. Turning back to the students, he let them go on with their piecing together machinery. The advanced class would soon be ready for flight lessons. Their ability to rebuild their own engines was the marker. The younger classes still got a chuckle from the simulations.

"One-Eye," Logan smirked as he left the garage classroom.

Scott let it roll off him as the kids laughed. He mimicked ha-has before turning them back to their work. Though he smiled to himself, knowing what his one-time teammate was walking into. He didn't hate the man, but got a kick knowing the hothead had what was coming. Let him see how he handled that one…

Logan stopped by the Professor's office first, thinking it only decent, as the old man owned the place. Well, that, and he wasn't entirely what he seemed, Logan knew that. He kind of liked him but wouldn't really admit it. Just as he never admitted anything to anyone.

"Wheels?" he knocked on the door and stuck his head in the door.

"Wolverine." He was greeted calmly as if expected.

Of course, Logan thought. Chuck would be aware of his presence kilometers away. Noticing the class he interrupted he was about to step out, but they were dismissed. He let them pass and sat down to see what Xavier would have to say, nothing new he was sure. If the world had been in danger, he would've known.

"Logan," Charles nodded once the last student had left.

"Yeah, still answering to that," Wolverine said in the brusque manner of his.

"Of course." Xavier was not put off by any mannerism of anyone he'd ever met.

"Been some time, heh?" Logan let himself grin. He did feel a certain draw to the atmosphere here.

"Yes, let me fill you in on the past few years."

Rogue had seen Logan come in, but had said nothing. He was the one who left, she had decided long ago. He could be the one to approach her. If he even cared. She'd worn his dog tags every day. Everyday until…well, she didn't want to think about it just then. Surely Prof X would fill him in, she thought bitterly.

Rogue opted to skip dinner. She was sure that most probably thought she as just anorexic, but the smarter ones were only steps behind her. She really needed to figure her shit out, she sighed. Instead, she tossed her gloves over to shelf and began her workout. The bag had it coming tonight.

Letting out the frustration from not sleeping, from Logan's return, from everything she laid into the mutant-capable bag. She left the softer one alone, choosing to use the reinforced xtra-super-duper-some-odd-crap-whatever bag. It had some goofy ass name that she could careless about, as long as it could take the brunt.

She gave a little laugh at the irony that she didn't have to use gloves here of all places. Where most would need the padding, she was free to feel the shock of the bag on her knuckles. Hey, it was a feeling she seethed.

"Hey Kid," the gruff voice interrupted her.

"Wolverine," She acknowledged him without turning around.

"Marie?" Logan tried again, losing the usual bite to his tone.

"Wolverine?" she played his concerned tone back on him, picking her rhythmic boxing back up.

"It's Logan, ya know."

No response. Logan recognized the formal tone. Heaving a mental sigh for staying away so long. He looked over the girl he promised to protect, but did little to fulfill that promise. She was fit, he could tell from her torturing the exercise equipment, and he noticed more about her than he'd remembered.

Since she was alone in the fitness hall, she was decked out in tight fitting workout clothes. Logan didn't see a problem with that until he noticed her skin, not glowing but wet and shimmering from the sweat she racked up. He couldn't let it go after what Chuck had told him. Rogue certainly was different. Logan would have liked to think that she was in layer-less clothes because she working out and needed that freedom, or that because she was alone. But he noticed she was not wearing his tags. He had seen her put them on when he left. The Rogue he left never would have taken them off. The Rogue he left, Marie, would never have greeted him so, so short and jaded.

"Hear it's been a blast here," he more mumbled to himself, thinking she was done talking to him. He walked about the room, trying to talk with her, but more to himself.

"And a half," Rogue grunted as she kicked the victim bag.

Logan was slightly surprised that she responded, but it was what he was hoping for.

"Never a dull moment, I'm sure." He gave a light punch to the ordinary bag, the one meant for the normal strength mutants, knocking it off the hinges.

Rogue stopped pummeling on the bigger bag with a huff of air, taking a breather. "What do you want, Logan?"

Logan heard the direct malice in her voice, but wasn't going to let the kid get hers. "How about some Lo mein and moo goo gai pan?"

Rogue didn't even bother to roll her eyes and walked to her effects, downing the water.

"Don't date older men." He said rather than asked. Logan wouldn't let up. He knew she was going for the badass act in front of him, but he was going to counter with a joker routine. "Probably smart."

"Wolverine." Rogue turned to him, knowing that Logan didn't believe in the new her. She could play it off for her friends and act like nothing was wrong, but Logan didn't fall into that realm anymore. "Logan. What's there to talk 'bout?"

"Just thought there might be, kid."

"Sorry, no."

"Don't apologize for what you really mean, kid." He said gruffly, not liking the oversweetness she was now giving him.

"Don't give advice, man."

"Be careful who you piss off, little girl." He now egged her on, knowing what would come.

"Whom," she laughed at him, seeing what he was trying.

"C'mon, just do it." he pushed more.

He saw the flicker in her eyes, knowing that there was something more to what was going on, but the Rogue he knew and the Rogue before him were fighting. It wasn't going to be as simple as them fighting it out, in words or in fists. When he saw her walk away, he knew that Xavier was right on the one account at least. She would not use her new powers.

Rogue was furious when she left the equipment room, yanking on her gloves. She'd worked out and that was good for her rage then. But Logan, Wolverine, had charged her further. She had wanted to duke it out with him, but she wouldn't. She couldn't. It wasn't that easy. She wasn't going to use—

"Marie," Logan came up behind her, obviously decided not to let it go so easily. She should have known better.

"It's Rogue." She turned around to face him. Now that she had a certain piece of her under control, she could speak to him more readily.

"Rogue, then," Logan exaggerated it for her. "Ya gonna fill me in then?"

Rogue didn't answer for quite some time, trying to decide best how to say what she wanted. Finally she dropped the attitude and let it out. "Logan."

"Yes there's been some shit happen. And it's hard. But yah don' get to help me. I was on my own before I met you, and after. It's been like three years."

"Okay, so maybe you're stronger now, but you're weaker just the same." He told her, giving away that he knew what had happened last year.

"That's not it. My problem with you is that you left me."

"I said I'd come back."

"Protection my ass, Logan." She gestured with a gloved hand. "I don't need yah."

"Fine, then, I didn't come back for you, is that what you wanted to hear?" he asked after her as she walked along, heading to the residential wing.

"I know you didn' come back because of me." She said simply over her shoulder.

"Twenty and you know it all." He followed on after her, knowing she was aching for a fight. He wanted this over with, he did honestly care about her and wanted to help her through this web she'd gotten into.

"You learn," She played his game stopping at her door, extremely grateful that Kitty and Jubes were not in the room, or anyone in the wing to hear this fight.

"So, you want to live on your own in the real world? Let's go, this isn't it." he called her out. "X's is great, but you want live on yer own in the dirty world, let me show you were to start."

"Right, you know everythang," she let herself get mad this time.

"I know that this high school shit isn't it. We'll go dump you in where you belong and see you 'be on yah own' then." He mimicked her. "And since I'm here, where's my property?"

Rogue, fuming, ripped open the door, bending the hinges unintentionally and unaware, she stormed over to her small collection of personal items and grabbed his tags from the bottom of the assortment. She flew back to him, enraged, and slammed them down in to his hand, which dropped down because of the force.

Logan pulled them from his hand and put them around his own neck, a red mark on his hand from the tags being forced into his possession. "Let's go then." He kept up the act of dumping her on the real world.

"Go on your own."

"I want to be here," he told her softening some.

"So do I, I'm stayin' here." She told him with force.

"Good," he smiled at her.

She slit her eyes, half glaring at him and he could see her trying to work out what had just happened. He had gotten her to stay, Xavier had been worried about her leaving, and Logan had just proved that she really didn't want to leave. She might not be in college like other girls her age, or doing a lot of things like most people her age, but she wanted to stay and learn.

"You did that on purpose," she poked a finger out at him.

"Marie," he ignored her accusation, "whenever you're ready to talk…" he left it at that. She could come find him. He ducked out of his tags, and hung them on her finger, still pointing at him.

Wolverine stunned Rogue. He had played her right around. The ice about her melted a little concerning Logan. She looked down at his dog tags and wrapped her fingers around. She was foolish to think of just herself and his promise to her. Maybe. He had his own life to decipher. Maybe she had been harsh. It wasn't that easy, she knew. But at least he was trying. At least he seemed to care.

She looked over to a mirror on Kitty's desk, and saw her face. It was strange. Her hair was cut short, the white streak still as prominent as ever. Ignoring the fly aways she had from her exercise, she managed to look exactly the same and completely different. She could see why Logan might be thrown off, and yet not. She was a mess. She was two people in one. She was torn and she was untouchable.

Maybe she would take Logan up on his offer.

When she couldn't sleep that night, Rogue actually considered seeking Logan out, but after her last run in with him and his claws, she knew better. Instead, she thought of Bobby.

He'd come to see her after dinner, knowing Logan was back and that she most likely didn't want to see him. Rogue didn't tell him that she already had. She just didn't want to talk about it. They talked about school instead. Rogue found herself thinking of what Logan said, how she was at this school, despite her age.

"Bobby," she asked him, "Do you ever want to do somethin' else?"

"What do you mean, Rogue?" He knew she preferred that name now.

"Like, college, or somethin' not here, or are the X-men it?"

"I dunno." He thought for a bit. "I consider myself lucky, with my gift. I like it here." He knew what she meant, most people their age we away from home at school, getting drunk, married, whatever. And they had stayed here for the past few years to tone their powers.

"I wish I did." Rogue mumbled to herself, back alone in her room and out of her memory. She wished she considered her mutation a gift, but it was a curse.

She got up and walked out into the hall, bumping into someone, and nearly choking on her heart in her throat.

"Yah scared me, Drake!" she laughed seeing it was Bobby.

"Sorry Rogue." He laughed too. "Couldn't sleep. Lucky you skipped supper, it was horrible."

"Yeh," she managed a little laughter, hoping he wouldn't ask her why she was up. But he did.

"I, uh," she stumbled, "I was hungry. Thinkin' of goin' to get somethin' to eat."

"Sure," he invited himself along.

Feeling obligated, she went ahead and went into the kitchen. But it proved fun. She and Bobby pigged out on junk food for once, forgoing the usual proper diet. Then wandering around the mansion at night, it was good to have a companion for once. Rogue knew which areas to avoid, the quarters reserved for the real x-men, and the alarmed areas, as well as whoever was one watch. Rogue figured the Professor really knew that she lurked about at night, unable to sleep, but he let it go. As long as the mischief was inside the mansion and not out, he seemed to be ok.

They ended up on the roof. Storm must've been in a good mood, for the night was clear and the starts sparkled. Rogue felt slightly uncomfortable with being there, considering the past, but the beers she'd stolen from Logan's new stash eased the pain a bit. Bobby was slightly different in thought.

"Rogue," He wanted to call her Marie, but he didn't want to scare her off. Though he felt he was surely about to. "I don't mean to be a jerk, but,"

"But what, Iceman?" Rogue looked over at him, her arms wrapped about her. "Drake?"

"Bobby." He told her.

"Bobby."

"I don't mean to be an ass, but you're different, you've changed." He watched her flinch uncomfortably. "I mean within reason."

"But?" she looked on at him, trying not to get mad.

"I just, I want to help."

"You can't, Bobby." She told him sadly, almost wishing he could.

"I know. I just wish I could."

"I mean," he tried again, trying to get her to talk. "I could try."

He leaned towards her slowly and she pulled away. "Bobby, no."

He looked into her eyes and could see that he was speaking to his old Rogue, Marie, mostly, but the new one was still there.

"Goodnight, Iceman." Rogue left him on the roof.

In her bed, she relived the night on the roof that Bobby, she was sure, was trying to recreate.

She had been a year at the institute, getting to know everyone and having a good time. Logan had already left, but she had his tags, and was confident he would back any time now. It was summer and the classes were put on break for a few weeks before summer training. All of the older kids had decided to take their college years at Xavier's in hopes to becoming a team someday. Things were going well. Bobby and she had grown close and sat up on the roof all alone.

"They are so bright, shug," Rogue said looking up at the starts.

"Yeh, pretty huh?" Bobby smiled not looking up.

"Yeh," she nodded looking over at him.

He watched her, smiling and it made her feel good. He had the look of a visitor to an art show, admiring the work. She smiled shyly back, but looked back up to the stars again.

"Marie," he liked saying her name.

"Bobby," she laughed a bit.

"I have an idea, if you're interested." He told her about his thought that he could hold a frost to his skin and be able to touch her.

She carefully agreed, and let him touch her arm. He'd warned her that it would be very cold, but she was shocked that she could still feel him. She had been excited at first, and could ignore the coldness.

Bobby carefully took her hand removing the thin glove, and kissed her hand, his lips very cold. Rogue was enjoying the experience but still shocked, stunned, and excited. Nervous as well.

Bobby took his time, not rushing her at all, and finally sat right next to her. He reached over and kissed on the cheek. Rogue, however, was the one to turn her face in excitement and kissed his lips. It was sweet, cold, and wonderful for a moment. Until both lost control. Rogue continued to kiss him, eager for the chance, and Bobby, happy to touch her, let his power slip. The heat between them also melted the thin ice between heir lips.

Rogue could feel her power react, and reaching for him, she yanked back, scared, but it was too late. She had grabbed a piece of him. He was fine afterwards, slightly dizzy from her minor absorption. But she had part of him with her, and not in the romantic sense.

Rogue could still feel that part of Bobby. It wasn't so bad, because she knew he cared for her. But she felt that she stole it. She always felt like a thief. Especially now. With that and everything else, it was no wonder she was distant. It was crazy, she thought. She didn't know what to do. Rogue had grown strong in recent years though, losing her innocence, she found a new strength. One that would have her figure out her own life, no one else could really help with that.

So I'm working on it. More soon. Hope ya like.