Rogue was quietly pressed against the door to the strangers' car. The strangers, who worked at some mutant school in Westchester, picked her up somewhere between Dawson and Rutsville. She had considered herself lucky in the beginning, thinking that finally she no longer had to deal with shady truckers for the current time, and they were kind enough to take her to Dawson, though it was the opposite direction with which they were headed. Of course, like the southern young lady she was brought up to be, Rogue had warned the strangers of her deadly mutation. The couple had looked at each other and then explained who and what they were as well as what they did. Scott and Jean, that was the couple's name. After their explanations, Jean invited Rogue to stay with them back at the mutant school. Rogue had politely declined, but Jean kept pushing Rogue to travel with them back to the school. Scott, who Rogue appreciated more, kept mostly quiet but had asked Jean to let Rogue make her own decisions.
That had led to the stillness in the vehicle and Rogue, pressed against the door, seeming begging to be let out as soon as the car stopped. By ten o'clock, the car stopped at the seemingly only building with life in Dawson. A huge building with one small door as the entrance was the only building within the small city with any cars in the lot surrounding, filled with at least thirty cars.
"Are you sure you want us to drop you off here?" Jean asked, clearly concerned for the brunette's welfare.
Rogue grabbed her things and opened the door.
"Thank you for the ride. I really appreciate that. Good luck with your…school things," she said.
"No problem. If you ever need help with anything at all, don't hesitate to call," Scott said, handing Rogue a small business card with only a number and name.
Scott smiled at Rogue and when she shut the door to the couple's car, she sighed in relief. She turned around to the building and walked slowly to the entrance. When the small door unexpectedly opened Rogue jumped back with wide eyes. The man emerging from the building was a large, heavy set man who walked on, without a glance to Rogue, to his car, but ended up passing out in the snow. After seeing the large man tumble to the ground, Rogue rushed inside. She halted her footsteps to the site before her.
She had walked into a bar, but not a normal bar, because there were bleachers in the middle of the room that surrounded a cage with two occupants.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, who dares go up against this beast? Are you willing to give him all your money?"
The crowd screamed in displeasure. Rogue walked further into the bar, even though it was slow and cautious. She looked around and then to the cage where her eyes met hazel. She couldn't look away from the man in the cage. He turned to the fight, but Rogue continued to look at him. No shirt, dirty jeans, and his hair was almost a mess. He looked so…wild. Rogue watched with horror as the man's opponent seemed to gain the upper hand, but after making quick eye contact again, the man gained the upper hand. With two hits, the challenger was down.
"The winner," the announcer said, "The Wolverine."
The crowd was a mixed of boos and cheers. Marie continued to stare at the man, identified as Wolverine. Their eyes met again, and Marie felt her heart leap from her chest and into her throat. Suddenly a hand grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
"Come on. This isn't a place for you," Jean said hastily.
"What are you doing here?" Rogue asked as Jean continued to drag Rogue out from the bar.
"I'll be fine on my own. You don't need to protect me," Rogue said, struggling to get out of Jean's grip. "I thought you were leaving with Mr. Summers," Rogue said as she continued to struggle.
Twisting her wrist continuously to get out of Jean's vice like grip, her wrist gave a pop and her glove came off of her hand. Rogue stood still, frozen in horror at her bare hand. She quickly placed the hand in her cloak, close to her body and out of sight. Jean also stopped in place and turned around with widened eyes to the black glove.
"Rogue, I'm sorr-"
"Is there a problem?" came a rough masculine voice from behind Rogue.
Jean looked at the shirtless man and felt herself ogle the form behind Rogue. Rogue felt her heart stop and she unconsciously stopped breathing, turning slowly around. Rogue's brown eyes met the Wolverine's hazel in a shy glance; she quickly turned back to Jean and gulped. Rogue struggled to breathe and get her thoughts straightened out.
"…my glove. I just want my glove," Rogue whispered.
"She said she wanted her glove back," Wolverine demanded from Jean and walked around Rogue and took her glove from Jean's fingers and handed the glove back to Rogue who shyly took it from Wolverine's fingers.
"Thank you," she said.
Wolverine turned back to Jean and glared at her, Rogue thought that she could hear a growl come from the man, but shook the strange thought away quickly. She quickly put her glove back on her hand and sighed. She felt safer again.
"It's none of your concern what we were doing," Jean said.
"What you were doing was hurting…kid, what's your name?"
"Rogue," she replied.
"What you were doing was hurting Rogue. And if you were friends, you wouldn't be dragging her out of her against her will now would you?"
Jean's gaze narrowed. "I'm trying to help her."
"I could tell."
Rogue looked between the two people. She wasn't sure what to do. Jean, though annoying and noisy, had helped her get to Dawson. She probably was trying to help her, but in her own way. Wolverine thought that Jean was trying to take advantage of her and was trying to help her. Though it was odd, that a wild man like that would try to help an innocent girl like her in a place like this…as comforting as it was, that might not be the case. He could want something else from her…as could Jean. Jean could take her straight to the mutant school in Westchester. Jean could also hurl Wolverine to the other side of the room. No matter how big and bad a fighter he was, she was probably more dangerous than him.
"Come on Rogue, let's go back to the car and get out of here," Jean said.
Wolverine grabbed Jean's arm and said, "She's not going anywhere with you, Red."
A hand pulled Wolverine's off of Jean.
"Get your hands of my fiancé," Scott demanded.
Wolverine flexed his fingers into fists a few times. "Want to take this outside?" he asked.
"I doubt you could handle it," Scott said.
Jean glared at Wolverine and relaxed her look when she found Rogue's gaze.
"Come on Rogue. We'll take you to a different town. It's not safe here for you."
Wolverine blocked Jean's view of Rogue further by turning around and putting an arm around her shoulders. "Leave us alone," he said.
He started to walk away, effectively taking Rogue with him.
Scott turned to Jean and raised an eyebrow.
"I thought you said Rogue left something in the back of the car."
Jean lowered her gaze from her fiancé and replied, "I just didn't think that this was a safe place for her. We should have just gone straight to the mansion."
"Bad Jeanie, bad," Scott said as he led her away.
Jean looked at Scott incredulously.
"I was doing the right thing," she said.
"You almost got your beautiful little ass handed to you by a cage fighter. What will the Professor think when he finds out?" Scott asked, his serious tone gone by the time they reached the car.
Rogue was nearly having a heart attack by the time they reached the bar. The Wolverine had her sit down at the bar and told her to stay put. He left her after that. Rogue looked around her and found many a person staring at her. Embarrassed to be the object of so much attention she hid herself in the hood of her cloak. She fiddled with the ends of her gloves while she waited for the Wolverine to return.
Rogue's thoughts went to the strange man who had given both her glove and, in a sense, her freedom back. She was very thankful that he had stopped Jean from getting back into that car, and probably head to the mutant school that both Jean and Scott worked. Rogue mused on how long it had been since she left home in Mississippi and on the current experiences that she encountered. Had she ever thought that she would run away from home? And on her great adventure meet other mutants or for that matter be saved from them from a cage fighter? A part of her wished she could tell her eight-year-old self what she'd be getting into when she was older.
"You want anything to drink?" asked the Wolverine as he sat down beside of her.
Rogue jumped a little and stared at him with wide doe-like eyes. The Wolverine stared at her for a few seconds and turned his face and attention to the television. Rogue quickly gave her attention to the news station. It was Senator Kelly on one of his anti-mutant rampages. That man scared her and she shivered. Rogue drew her cloak closer to herself.
"Let's get out of here," Wolverine said.
Rogue looked at him and just nodded her head with no idea why. He was no longer shirtless. He wore a dark brown, leather coat over a plaid shirt. As they left, Rogue stopped the Wolverine's last opponent being held back by two of his friends. Once out in the parking lot, Wolverine stopped at a camper that was warming up.
"The passenger side door is open," Wolverine said as he got in the car.
Rouge quickly walked to the passenger door and got in. She buckled up and he pulled out of the bar's parking lot. The silence in the camper lasted about two hours before Rogue finally spoke up.
"Where are we going?"
"I'm going to my cabin up north."
"Oh…where am I going?"
"Where ever you feel like going."
"Oh…thank you for back there. I don't have any money-"
"Who said I wanted money?"
"No one. I just thought…never mind."
"There's some jerky in the glove box, in case you're hungry. Next town is three hours away."
Again, silence. Rogue slowly ate the jerky and offered him a piece, but he shook his head. She looked out the window to the Canadian wilderness and after a few more minutes asked a question.
"Why are you…you know…helping me?"
"Because I feel like it."
Rogue paused and let his answer sink in. She nodded her head once and smiled, happy for once that she felt safe and was being taken care of, though temporary.
"What kind of name is Wolverine?"
"What kind of name is Rogue?"
"I asked you first," Rogue said, almost playfully.
"Logan," he answered. His lips twitched at the corners of his lips in a small smile that lasted not even a second.
"Marie," she replied, brightening her smile.
Logan and Marie continued on their way down the snow and ice roads of Canada towards the next town. But what Marie didn't know, was that the moment her eyes had met Logan's and her scent came to him during the cage match, he had thought to himself: Mine.