Sacrifice

Chapter 1

Author's Notes:

Only the first chapter. Feedback very appreciated.

He knew exactly what needed to be done. Just wasn't sure he could do it. It was down to just the two of them now. Everyone else had gone off to safety. He stared up at her, noticing the way her hair flew around her head like flames. Her eyes were completely black and a look of sheer boredom across her delicate features. He loved this woman. But was that going to be enough to save her from herself? Even if it meant living the rest of eternity in his own private hell? He didn't know, to be truthful, but it had to be done. All this chaos swirling around them, and she still had the audacity to appear bored. At least the other wasn't here. He didn't have to worry about her doing something heroic, trying to prove her worth to the team, to him, and to herself.

~*~*~*~*~*~*

He didn't know she was here, standing behind him, down wind. With all the noise, the screams and sounds of destruction floating around them, he hadn't heard the crunch of her boots behind him. It was now or never. She couldn't let him do this. He shouldn't have to live with this. And so, she reached out and touched, a gentle touch, grabbing his neck before he knew what was happening.

~*~*~*~*~*~*

He felt it. That familiar pull. But it was too late. He wanted to pull away, but his body wouldn't listen. Couldn't, really. Her touch wasn't just deadly, but paralyzing. The only one who could end it was her. And just before the darkness engulfed him, he heard her, that southern lit to her voice that dripped with honey. "I'm sorry."

~*~*~*~*~*~*

The woman who was once Jean Grey now looked at her, watching as she moved closer, steadily, like a hunter moving in on her prey. That look of boredom washed away from her face, unsure and amused by this out come. This was an unexpected twist of events, and she wondered if the others saw from the safety of the sidelines. "What do you want, child? Here to stop the Phoenix?"

Rogue was shocked to hear her speak, that voice so alike that of her teacher, and yet, so different. The superiority so distinct. It was the only time she faltered, and it could have been her downfall, if Phoenix hadn't been so sure of herself.

"Going to do it or not? Can't, can you?" The voice was amused, but her eyes changed then. Going from amused to pleading and back so quickly, Rogue might have missed it. But she hadn't, and that was all the incentive she needed. She threw off the jacket she had worn when she left the mansion a week before, not noticing as it disinigrated before given the chance to his the floor. She had known it would come down to this, and had planned on it. She was topless underneath, knowing that just her hands weren't going to be enough to take this woman down. It would take all of her skin. Slowly, she walked forward, mentally preparing herself to take this woman's life. She could feel the heat coming off this woman, burning her flesh as she moved closer. The pain was only bearable do to the healing abilities she had stolen from Logan. If it hadn't been so hot, she probably would have been crying. As was, the tears were dissolving faster than they could form.

When she was about a foot and a half away, she lunged, throwing herself at her mentor, making sure that every inch of Phoenix's skin was forged to her own.

There was no fight at that point. Nothing that could be remembered as one or the other doing what they could to survive. Nothing that could make anyone dissuade the outcome. The older woman screamed in pain, and everyone listening would swear that it was Jean later on. Rogue only ground her teeth and held on tighter, knowing that the other woman wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

Rogue's grip only tightened as she felt the woman flowing into her. She could hear the voices around her, thoughts off all those who witnessed what she had done, whispering in her head, wondering what was happening. And just as the last of the woman's life entered her mind, she felt herself enveloped into the darkness that had claimed the mighty Wolverine only moments before.

End Notes:

(Feedback PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;))

Chapter 2

Author's Notes:

Twist!!!!! Came to me while I was writing.

The first thing she noticed was the smell of antiseptic and sterilization. She new exactly where she was before opening her eyes. It could be either one of two places. Trapped in another of Logan's nightmares or the med lab. But she didn't have that sick feeling in her stomach whenever she had a nightmare. Meaning that it must be the med lab. She slowly opened her eyes and saw the high ceiling, and new she was right. She sat up cautiously, feeling the pull of the IV in her arm. She pulled it out without looking, her star landing on the chair hidden in the shadows of the corner of the room. It was completely empty.

No boyfriend. No best friend. Not even a doctor monitoring her health. No one. She had saved all of their asses, and not one of them could even check in on her. She could feel the tears well in her eyes as she realized this.

Slowly, she pulled herself out of bed, her legs strong and powerful, just as before. It must have been a side effect of Logan's healing gift. Her heart wrenched unexpectedly, and she could feel her tears begin to spill over. She would not cry, though. They weren't worth it.

She would deal with that later, though. Right now, she just wanted a shower. She was still covered in dirt and grime. She felt the anger in side herself burn brighter as she realized that they hadn't even taken the time to clean her and cloth her. She was still in the same bra she had worn when she took down Jean. The same pair of pants, only now crisp and burned to almost nothing. She had a feeling that they would fall apart the moment she tried to push them off.

A few minutes later, she found herself in the shower, letting the hot water spray over her as she found herself on the floor, unable to control the sobs that seemed to come out of no where. She had taken a life and no one seemed to care.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He had watched her via the security cameras. Had been for the week that she had been laid out. There was nothing physically wrong with her. But mentally, well, no one could be sure.

He had wanted to be at her side when she awoke, but it wasn't his place. At least that was what everyone else said. He hadn't wanted to listen, but he knew deep down that they were right. It was that ice brat's job. Her so called boyfriend. Man, did he ever want to gut the little prick. He would spend 20 to 30 minutes a day in there, reading or doing homework, before rushing out to be fawned over by the over opinionated girl who looked like she was twelve. What was her name? Idiot? Two timing his coma induced girlfriend. The woman who had saved all their sorry asses from a threat even greater than Magneto. His claws itched just thinking about the punk.

But he promised Storm that he wouldn't touch him. Rogue would have to handle it in which ever way she saw fit. And he had promised to steer clear of both the icepack and Rogue's room until she awoke.

But she was awake now, and no one was down there for her. Not even to say thank you. Well, he would be. He had to be.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She stepped out of the shower, wrapping herself in one of the thick towels that hung on the rack. She would have to find something a little more adequate to cover her body before she ventured upstairs to her room. Of course, she could just go stark naked and freak everyone out. She smiled a little at that.

Opening the door, she found herself knocked back by a scent that was as familiar and welcoming as it was strange. She had to be delusional.

Tightening the towel, she ventured out, her eyes automatically locking with his as she closed the door behind her. For a moment or so, they could only stare at each other, neither sure of who should make the first move. She did.

With out inhabitation or thought for safety, she dove into his arms, and, for the second time, lost control. She finally spoke as she felt his strong arms encasing her. "I am so sorry. I really am, Scott."

~*~*~*~*~*~

He was too late.

End Notes:

Feedback please!!!! Will explain everything in next chapter!!!!!!!

Chapter 3

Author's Notes:

Just a lot of explaining going on. Not to much Logan interaction, but sets up for the rest of the story.

He backed away slowly, not wanting to be seen. He wasn't sure if she still carried any of his mutations, but he didn't really want to find out. Maybe this was more fitting than what he could provide. These two people were linked in a stronger bond, now. By a woman all three had cared about in their own ways. He would find her later, when it felt right.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"What happened to you?" She asked softly, pulling away when the tears finally stopped. She finally realized that she was next to naked, but he was wearing gloves for protection. She wondered how he knew, but didn't push it. "What happened to us?"

Scott guided her to the bed, making sure she was comfortable before taking the empty chair and moving it closer. This was going to be delicate and unbelievable. He would have to explain slowly and only hope that she could take it in her state.

"I didn't die." He knew where to start, he just wasn't sure how. Blunt might be best. "I think part of her, the part that was still Jean, didn't want to kill me. So, instead, I was forced into a coma. A psychic induced coma and hidden away. At lease, until about a week ago, when I awoke. Fortunately, I had an extra pair of glasses. Even in the throng of mourning, I'm still prepared. Always the boy scout." He smiled at that, knowing it was a little disturbing, but that was who he was, or at least had been. "I came back here, ready to take over. I still didn't know how much time had passed, or what had happened, but I couldn't help that. I only awoke when the Phoenix died."

"You knew about her, then?"

"No, not until I arrived. But, by that time, it was over and you were here, trapped in your own mind by yet another psychic. And everything was settling down." He could have sworn he saw her mind working over time behind her eyes, trying to grasp all the information. "Her name is Emma Frost, and old acquaintance of Xavier's. Not as ethical. She was there, by chance, that night. Inside the building. A couple of her students decided to take the cure and instead of dissuading them, she went along to make sure it was legitimate."

"Her own students?" Rogue arched an eyebrow towards him, not quite understanding.

"She runs another school in California. One where they aren't so structured. The students there are a little more wild, but it is a good school. Nothing like what we have here. Her students usually venture off on their own after they've finished their education, without any qualms." She could tell that he was remembering something, but didn't want to push. She had done enough to this man.

"What happened to me?" She asked softly, her own questions beginning to take form. "After everything was done, why didn't she take over? Why didn't I lose my mind?"

Scott sighed, knowing that she wasn't going to like this. Like himself, she was a creature of control because she had to be, for the health of others just as much as for her own sanity. "You almost did. But Emma stepped in when you were at your weakest, before Phoenix had taken over. For the past week, she has been trying to help you build walls inside your mind. Not really that difficult when you take into consideration the walls you already had. Phoenix still lives, within you. We all know this. Emma isn't as strong as Xavier was, but she was able to help. She wants to continue, when you feel up to it."

"Is that why I have none of her powers?" Rogue had started wondering about that when she first awoke, but had pushed the thought away, not ready to dwell on it. "I mean, Jean's.

"Yes. Right now, anyway." He grabbed her hand, holding on to it tightly, as if she was the only thing that kept him alive. She had always wondered how that would feel, but, somehow, she didn't believe that his intentions were the same. "Those abilities will manifest, with time. They won't come alive all at once, but they will come slowly. You might not even notice it when it happens. By that time, Emma is hoping that she can purge your mind of the Phoenix personality. Do you understand what that would mean?"

"Yes." And she did. The Phoenix had a chance to come back at any time, and, this time, not with just Jean's abilities, but with her own and that of everyone she had ever touched. Death. Ice. Fire. Magnetism. Advanced senses. Possibly immortality, if not just healing. She would be the ultimate threat to humanity as a whole, not one kind or another. Homo-sapiens and homo-superior alike. The destruction of everything.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He found himself in the security room again, watching them on the monitors. He could hear what they were saying due to the small microphone built into the cameras. He hadn't known the extent of what was happening before, and he was suddenly glad Scott was the first to tell her. Phoenix lived inside of her, and he would be there to help her as much as she would allow him. He only hoped he would be there when the shit his the fan.

Chapter 4

Author's Notes:

More explanations

Scott let her soak up this information as he ran to her old room and grabbed a few things for her to wear. She hadn't asked him, but he figured she was getting a little uncomfortable with her lack of clothing. But now he was back, and the silence was deadening. He watched closely, waiting for anything that may give a hint as to what was going on inside her head. They had no way to be sure if Phoenix was locked up tightly or not. No way to be sure that Rogue was completely in control. But he knew, just looking at her, he knew. For the time being anyway, she was fine.

She didn't know what to say about this. Wasn't even sure if she wanted to dwell on it. There were so many questions, so many concerns. Many answers she wasn't sure she wanted to know. She needed them, though. She decided to start with something simple, something that wouldn't take too much thought.

"Where is everyone? Why are you the only one down here?" She looked at him quizzically, arching an eyebrow at him in a fashion that reminded him of Logan. "I mean, didn't they care?"

Scott swallowed hard. He hadn't even thought of how to answer this question. What was he supposed to say? Everyone knew about Bobby and Kitty, had known since before the cure. Logan… Well, Logan had basically been forced to stay away, in case something like the last time happened again. It was bad enough that he had been seduced by the woman he though was Jean. He had gotten lucky. Phoenix would use Rogue's abilities to kill him.

"They really don't care, do they?" He had taken too long to answer, and she felt her fears confirmed. Did they hate her? Did they blame her?

"Rogue, the others… they don't know what to think. You have to understand something. You left them to go take the cure, something none of them really believed in."

"But I di…"

He raised his hand, cutting her off before she overworked her emotions. "They know you didn't take it. We all know. But that doesn't change the fact that you still went. There are those who aren't upset about it at all. Those who understand why."

"Like who?" She asked slowly, her eyes growing wide. If they really cared, why weren't they here?

"Beast, Jubilee, the students who cannot hide their mutations and a few that can," he sighed, meeting her eyes through his visor. "Logan and myself."

"Then why are you the only one down here?" She asked softly, holding back the tears that were building up again.

"There is something you should know, Rogue." Scott stood from his chair and began to pace around the room. This was going to be one of the trickier parts, but she deserved to know. "Jean and I always had this link. We could feel each other, hear each other from where ever we were. We always knew if one or the other was hurt. At least, I always thought that it was Jean. That link should have been cut when she died at Alkali. Instead, well, it grew stronger every moment we were apart. That leads me to believe that it was actually with Phoenix. It became painful. That was one of the reasons why I couldn't let go. The link was pulling me, and I believe that it was that link that sent me over the edge and drew me back to that sport. And when she came to me, I was amazed. But when she kissed me, well, that was when realization hit in and I was scared. What was I supposed to do? I think when you touched her, you absorbed that link. But it wasn't until today, when you awoke, that I felt it again. It was you, coming back to us, that pulled me here."

He was very careful about the words he used. He didn't want to remind her of the death she could cause, afraid that it would do more bad than good. This was all really just touch and go. "If it means anything, the others might not have realized that you had awakened."

"No. He knows. I could sense him when I stepped out of the bathroom. He was just outside the room, but I think what I, well, what I can become scared him." She shook her head, signaling that she didn't want to continue. "That link is the first sign of what I am in for, isn't it?" She looked away for the first time since getting dressed, her eyes landing on the bare wall just behind his head. "Now that I know, I can feel it. But what about everything else? Everything from before? Everyone that I have touched? I can't hear them anymore. I can't even feel them."

"You would have to ask Emma about that. I really couldn't say. Although, it would be my guess that it would have to do with the blocks." He smiled at her, a genuine smile that suggested he knew something she didn't. "I believe she is in Xavier's office, waiting, if you would like to speak with her."

"That's a good idea." It was the first time he saw something that resembled relief shadow her features. "Would you come with me?"

~*~*~*~*~*~

He had heard everything they had said, and then sat back and watched them leave the room. One thing stood out more than any other part of their conversation, and, in his opinion, it was the most important. It wasn't so much the link or the missing voices, but the fact that she had known he was there. And she still chose Scott.

He was reminded of something Jean had said not so long ago. About girls flirting with the bad boy.

Chapter 5

Author's Notes:

Introducing Emma Frost and her plans to help Rogue.

"You're not upset that I didn't come sooner, are you?" She asked as she sat down on the comfortable leather couch. It was familiar, the same on she used to sit on during her conversations with the professor after she was forced to take on Erick's thoughts and personality. She liked to believe that her connection with the older man was a little more special than the others. Sure, Storm and Jean were like his daughters, and Scott was his second in command, but Erick had been his best friend for a long time, and she was able to fill that void in his heart. This couch was the first thing that felt like home since she awoke.

"Don't even think of worrying about it, Marie. Can I call you Marie?" She gestured with her hand, hoping for an invitation.

"No." She said it without thinking, her jaw snapping shut. Her mother had taught her better than that, and, judging by the look on Ms. Frost's and Scott's faces, they were just as shocked as she was. "I'm sorry. It's just that no one calls me Marie anymore. It's just Rogue now." But that was a lie, and Scott knew it. HE still called her by her given name, but she pushed those thoughts aside.

"I understand, Rogue, no need to apologize. And it's perfectly reasonable for you to feel the way you do. You've been through a lot." Ms. Frost smiled, making her seem a little like a child. Rogue couldn't help but wonder about how young she was, anyway. With her white blond hair and clear blue eyes, she didn't seem young enough to be the head of a school. A student, maybe even a teacher, but not the big boss.

"Thank you for noticing. I'm actually only 26, two years young than Scott." Her smile became a little wider, and Rogue couldn't control the blush that colored her cheeks.

"You were listening?" rogue raised an eyebrow questioningly. She wasn't sure about living under a roof with a telepath without scruples.

"Normally, I don't, but I must with you at this time, just to be on the safe side. And please, call me Emma. I am way too young so be thought of as a Ms." Of course she had to listen. How else would she be able to know Phoenix wasn't around before it was too late? "Oh, don't get me confused with those you are used to, Rogue. If I don't listen, it has nothing to do with your privacy. Anyone else, for that matter. You, of all people, can understand the devastating results of hearing a group of peoples voices in your head all day long. It just gets too confusing. And, besides, I don't need to hear some peoples thoughts to know what they really think of me. Actions speak louder than words."

She could agree with that. She was starting to realize just who gave a damn and who didn't. Just take into consideration who really cared about what she had done to save them. Not even so much as a stem, much less a flower in her room. But she pushed that away. It was something to think about later. Right now, she was surrounded by people who seemed to care.

"Now, to start with, I must offer my gratitude to you for what you did. You saved us all. Who knows what would have happened if you hadn't stopped Phoenix. We would probably all be dead, and she would be moving on to start on her next little project. Humanity and mutant kind owes you their lives, each and everyone." Her voice was sincere, and, suddenly, Rogue felt a little guilty and shy at the same time.

"I didn't do it for you or any of them. I must admit, it was more of a selfish act. To save someone from himself before he did something that would through him over the edge of insanity. But thank you, although I don't really deserve it." She didn't want to think about it, and she hoped that Emma would drop the subject.

"Who did you do it for, then, Rogue? I understand your hesitance, but, believe me, it would be useful to know. Phoenix will use it against you, given the chance."

"I am sure about that, but I would like to keep that to myself for now." She wouldn't elaborate and Emma wouldn't push her. It was time to discuss what would be happening over the next few months. "How are we going to go about making sure that Phoenix won't make another appearance?"

Emma took a deep breath, sitting back in her chair again. "Well, first thing I must do is help you develop stronger barriers. That shouldn't take anymore than a few days if you work hard at it. But, with that, it will block your mind from everyone else. Those voices in your head and telepaths alike. It will be crucial, though. But you must come to me the moment you feel Phoenix coming alive because even I will not be able to get past those blocks."

"I understand."

"After that, if you allow me, we will have to find a way to help you control your natural mutation, along with those you have acquired along the way."

"Why wouldn't I want that?"

"Because it would mean that we, you and me together, will have to sift through your thoughts and memories, and figure out what happened to you that would keep you from finding the control." Emma sat forward, her eyebrows furrowed. Rogue could now see how she could be in charge of a school. She had a feeling that Emma Frost was a force to be reckoned with and one that might be a little easy to provoke, given the chance. "I have met with many mutants through out the years. There are many that I have met without any control, but all of those were physical mutations or were unable to due to a childhood trauma. Take Scott for example. The only reason that he cannot control his optical laser is due to a plane crash he was involved in only a year before his mutation manifested. He hit his head. There was no sign of a physical trauma until he blew the roof off of the school he was at while attending a dance. There should be no reason why you cannot control yours."

"And the other mutations?" She could understand what Emma was saying about her natural abilities, but what about everything else?

"Yes. You retain the memories, voices, personality of all those you have come into contact with. Basically, you carry a piece of each person inside of you. There is no reason why you should not be able to access their abilities, also. You have to figure out how, though. This control will help you become stronger and more stable. Stability is what you need more than anything. Physical strength will not help you deal with this."

It dawned on her then. Something she should have realized even before this conversation started. And it hit her like a ton of bricks. "You won't purge her from me, will you?"

"No." Emma sighed, her face becoming saddened as she broke eye contact with Rogue, shifting her sight to Scott. "She's too strong, and I am afraid that if I try, it will awaken her before you are ready. But, with time and a little luck, we might be able to do it together. When you are strong enough. That will take some time."

She let a full minute go by as she let the disaster sink in. This was going to take everything she had, and she might not have her sanity when it was over. She looked from Emma to Scott, thankful for his support, even if he hadn't said anything the entire time. Just him physically being there was more than anyone else had done. Taking his gloved hand into her bare one, she looked back to Emma. "When do we get started?"

~*~*~*~*~*~

He waited in her room, waiting for her. He had seen her and Scott go into Xavier's old office to meet with the Frost woman. He didn't really have any qualms about the woman. Actually, he was becoming quiet happy with the fact that she was there, even if there were others who weren't. He wasn't sure why, but he got the distinct impression that both Storm and Beast weren't very thrilled that she was there. But she was there to help Rogue, and that made her a good friend to him. The others could kiss his ass and better make sure Frost was comfortable while she was here. Nothing would keep Rogue from getting the help she needed. The help the others couldn't provide.

End Notes:

Next chapter: Logan and Rogue have it out!!!!!!!!!!!

Chapter 6

Author's Notes:

Wanted to get this out by X-Mas. I am trying to do at least one chapter a day, but I have had a couple of family emergencies. This is for D. God, please let him pull through.

Rogue made an appointment for the evening the very next day. She had wanted to start right away, but Emma had insisted that the process would take all of her strength and that she should get some rest. It was then that Rogue realized she didn't know what time it was and was shocked to find that it was only a quarter past noon. On a Wednesday. The students were in class, including her friends. They would be notified that she was conscious and physically fine after the last class. Emma had also guaranteed that she was not to be disturbed until Friday morning, after her first meeting. She would also be moved out of the wing reserved for the female students room and into the teacher's wing, in the room next to Emma's. Scott would come down later and help her pack before any of her former roommates came in. His room was on the other side.

She wasn't expecting to find anyone waiting for her, now knowing why no one had come to her yet. But when she got to her room, she caught the familiar scent and a small part of her wanted to turn and run. The rest of her was angry. She would have to deal with this now, before she let it build up anymore, and so she turned the knob and went in.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Hey, Darlin. How you feeling?" Logan asked softly, his gaze meeting hers as soon as the door opened. He was laid out across her bed, his hands behind his head, stretching the white shirt tight across his chest and stomach muscles. It was a scene she had daydreamed about, once upon a time. Something she had often fantasized would actually happen to her. But now, it only made her angry. "You wanna take a seat?"

"What I want is for you to get the hell out of my room." She scowled at him, her voice hurt and frustrated, thick with a southern accent that had began to disappear when she left home so many years ago. "Just why are you in here, anyway?"

"Thought I would see how you were doing. You've been through a lot lately, and I wasn't sure that you still wanted to see me." He sat up slowly, his shirt relaxing, but his jeans tightening. She was surprised to see that she really felt… well… nothing. It really wasn't doing anything for her anymore. "I guess I'll go now."

He stood up then, getting to his feet with those slow, languid movements that she wasn't sure he knew he did. Must have been one of those things that came natural to him. Like fighting and fucking. He walked past her just as she inhaled and she caught his scent, still the same. A mixture of earth and wild. The smell of a man who had seen just about everything there was to see. The smell of a wanderer. But there was something else, now. A sadness that hadn't been there before.

"I know you loved her, and I'm sorry, Logan. It had to be done." She said as she heard the slight squeak of her bedroom door opening. It wasn't something that she could change, something that she would take back. But that didn't mean she didn't have to feel for the man, even if she was angry at him.

"Yeah, I loved her." He said slowly, closing the door again. For a second, she wanted to believe that he had left, but, when she turned around, he was staring at her, leaning against the door. "But she wasn't everything. I thought I could do it, what needed to be done. I thought that I could save her. But I don't know what would have happened to me after that. I'm sorry you didn't get your cure."

"Yeah, well, Xavier always said that we had these abilities for a reason. Maybe this was what my abilities were for. You know. Maybe this was what I was meant to do." She looked down at her hands, still bare, still exposed. With any luck, she would find out what had happened that would hurt her like this. "Why didn't you come to me?"

He was taken aback by her abruptness. He hadn't expected this confrontation so soon. She hadn't been this forward before, but, maybe she had realized that being coy was a waist of time. "You seemed to be taken care of. I didn't think I was needed."

"That's bullshit, Logan. Why didn't you come to me? You were outside my door. I knew you were there." Her brows furrowed and her body tensed, as if she was preparing to pounce. "You've never let anyone in your way before. Not when it came to something you knew you had to see to personally. Why weren't you there when I woke? Too busy drowning yourself in a bottle?"

"I wasn't there because it didn't look like you needed me." He snarled back. What was he supposed to tell her, though? She was right. That was something he should have taken care of. Instead, he let other people do it for him. "Fuck you, Marie."

"Don't call me that. You have no right to call me that, anymore. She's gone, and it's all because of you. She gave up her salvation to save you. She sacrificed every hope and dream she ever had, for you. She's fucking dead now, and it's your fault." Rogue could feel her blood pressure rising, could feel the pain in her heart becoming sharper. Could feel her soul heating. "You fucking killed her, Logan. You screwed up when you set Phoenix free and killed the one person who was willing to sacrifice everything for you. How the fuck does that fucking feel?"

"Marie, darling, you need to calm down. You need to breath." Rogue couldn't see what was happening, but Logan could. Her hair was swirling behind her, the white streaks appearing to be a halo. Her body was slowly producing a red flame. Her eyes were darkening. She was losing control. "You need to get a hold on yourself."

He could hear banging on the door behind him, and knew in his heart that it had to be Scott and Emma, not to mention the other members of the X Team who didn't quite know what was happening in their home. But he found that he couldn't move to open the door. Couldn't control himself. He watched the woman before him twitch her eyebrow, and he was three inched off the floor, hovering. It was like he was being magnetized.

"You killed Jean. You killed Marie." Her voice, intermingled with one he had heard before. Phoenix's voice. He couldn't help but wonder who was in charge now. "Your actions killed Xavier and so many different innocent people. You made me into what I am because Marie loved you and didn't want you to have another blood stain on your soul. You weren't even there to make sure we were ok. We were alone. Do you know how cold alone feels?"

He found that he couldn't even move his jaw to reply. She was controlling every bone in his body, using a power that was forced upon her by the man he had saved her from. She smirked at him, walking closer, and he could feel a pull that he hadn't felt before. She was using the gifts of one of the most powerful mutants of the world against him, and she was better at it. "No, you wouldn't know. You spent all that time alone, wandering from town to town, looking for a past long forgotten, a past better left alone. Different fights, different brews, different women, and yet still alone. That was cold. Colder than what most people have felt. Even colder because of those nightmares. But nothing is colder than waking up from a coma you were put into to save everyone who has ever meant something to you, everyone that you have ever loved, who excepted you when no one else would, and finding yourself utterly alone."

He felt it then, pain unlike any he had known before. Pain even worse then what the nightmares of the labs forced upon him when he closed his eyes. Pain that forced a scream from his throat as she went about began to rip every ounce of metal from his bones and tare it through his skin.

End Notes:

With any luck, and depending how busy work is, I might have another chapter up before tonights over. Cross your fingers!!!!!!!!!!!

Chapter 7

Author's Notes:

Not sure about this chapter, but it was needed.

He felt the blast behind him, but could do nothing to dodge the debris. He was still screaming as he felt his skin begin to tear. The pain was more than he could stand and he fell into the sweetness of unconsciousness.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She held him tighter as he slipped away. She wouldn't let him go. She was too angry, too hurt. She couldn't control it. Something inside her snapped. She could feel the metal inside of him, feel its hum, its song. Oh, it was a beautiful tune. One full of promise and friendship. A song full of the love she had wanted from her fiends, but was rejected. She pulled harder as the song became sweeter. She wanted to surround herself with it, and she accomplished this just as she felt Emma's mind touch her own.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They stared with the awe only gained by terror as Logan's body suddenly dropped from the air, open wounds covering every inch of his body. Blood pooled around him, even as he began to slowly heal before their eyes. His once white shirt was completely soaked in blood, changing it to a crimson color. Scott stepped forward, dragging his body out of harms way, shocked by how noticeable light it was.

Emma entered the room, slowly walking toward where Rogue now sat, in the middle of a circle made of twisted metal. She was on her knees, touching each piece with in reach, seeming mesmerized by the cold steel before her. She didn't even notice when Emma crouched before.

"Rogue?"

"What did I do, Emma? What did I do to him? I…" Rogue gasped then, and Emma realized that she was mesmerized by the metal, but shocked.

"Rogue, what were you feeling when this happened? What were you doing?" Emma asked slowly, motioning towards the door for everyone watching to leave. Storm and Jubilee quickly helped to get the children away, some taking the hit better than those who had to be gently pushed. But one person stood back, wanting to see what happened. "What were you thinking?"

"I was angry. Not just at him. I was angry at everyone, but I began to take it all out on him. Everything. I said things that… I don't know what I said." She didn't feel angry anymore. All she felt now was numb, but that would change, once the shock was over, she was sure about it. "I don't know what happened. I remember him leaving and I said something about Jean to him. After that… well, I don't know. It was like my mind was pushed aside, and, suddenly, I had no control. Was it…?"

"Yeah," Emma replied softly, nodding her head. She had been afraid of something like this. "Phoenix. This was the reason I wanted you to be left alone completely. I was afraid that something like this was going to happen. He will live, though he will be out of commission for awhile. We just have to be thankful that it wasn't someone with a healing power." Rogue was again looking at the metal, and Emma slowly shifter her gaze to the front door, shooting an angry glare at the young man who was still standing there. If Bobby had come in here to do what he had promised himself he would do, he probably wouldn't be breathing right now.

"Tell him to go away, please. Tell him I know, and that right now might not be the best time to tell me about Kitty." Rogue spoke softly, not breaking her stare. Emma hadn't realized that Rogue knew he was standing there, even though she still had their minds connected. "I don't think I could control it again if he spoke to me now."

"You heard her." And he was gone, off to thank his lucky ass that he was still alive, no longer angry that he hadn't been allowed to see her when she awoke.

-Can you hear my thoughts, Rogue?-

-Of course, can't you hear mine?-

-Only those you allow me to hear. Do you feel Phoenix inside of you?-

-I feel everyone. Everyone I ever touched is in here. Bobby… St. John… Erick… Logan. Jean. I can feel Phoenix, too. She's not the same as Jean, a completely different entity in her own right. They were both different people, sharing a body. She's sleeping, now, though. Resting. I think it took a lot out of her to use Magneto's abilities. It's been a long time since Cody is the loudest, right now. He can't understand what has happened. It's never been like this before. No one has ever actually tried to take control, not with this much strength.-

-But they have before? Which ones?-

-Bobby never has. I think it was because when it happened, he knew it was a possibility. So, that piece of him was resigned to just sitting pretty. St, John… well, he tried for a second, but that was just because of the anger he felt. Once we all calmed down, he just kind of hung back with Bobby. Jean hasn't. I think she understands, at least a little. Cody's always been too confused, and just decided to go with the flow. Erick knew exactly what was going to happen, and since he didn't actually want to take me over completely, he watches mostly, wondering what will happen. I think it was apart of him, at the end, that did this. Just because he misses the feeling.-

-And what about Logan? Has he ever done anything?-

"No." She spoke this time, pushing Emma completely from her head. She didn't want to hear anymore inside. "Not because he wanted control. We talked a lot, inside. When he was gone and I was left behind because of my skin. There were things that I wasn't allowed to do, like swimming. Anything that would have some kind of contact. So, he was my companion when no one else would be. He would push forward, though, if he felt that I wasn't doing a good job of sticking up for myself. Used to be right there, in my head, talking all the time. I got really good at ignoring most of his comments about people. Anything to make me smile. Now, he's just quiet. I can feel him. He's watching, closely. Same as the others. I guess Phoenix destroyed your walls, didn't she?"

"Yes, and it seemed she helped you figure out how to build your own." Emma knew that it was in poor taste, but she had to say something. She had never been one known for tact. "Now we can go through and see if we can't find the key you need to unlock you control. Once you get control of your skin, we can start trying to control the other abilities, and, with time, Phoenix."

"May I go and see how Logan is, first? I want to check on him, and then I have a few things to think about." She was still glancing at the metal, and Emma got the feeling that this could have gone better if she had killed someone.

End Notes:

What happened to Marie, and is her relationship with Logan going to survive this?

Chapter 8

Author's Notes:

Alright. Can't believe I did it, but I got another chapter done tonight.

He looked so peaceful, so serene. His vitals her fine, and the bleeding had stopped, but he was still out, the shock of what had happened being too much. She wanted to touch him, just for a second, but she was even too scared to do that simple act. She had hurt him, torn his weapons right from his skin. Would he be upset with her? She couldn't see how he wouldn't be. She could have killed him. But there were plenty of times she could have killed him and he hadn't turned his back on her. Still, she couldn't see how it would be any different now.

"Rogue? I know I wanted to wait until tomorrow, but, maybe we should start now? I mean, if Phoenix has already taken over once, even if it was only partially her and Magneto, we…" Emma stopped, not really sure she should continue. This wasn't something that she had dealt with before, and she wasn't sure where to step. "A friend of mine will be here with in the hour to help. A fellow psychic. She's trust worthy…"

"What ever help you need." Rogue whispered, still staring at the man she had broken. She couldn't keep doing this, and the sooner they began, the better. "If you find Phoenix, do me a favor? If you can, kill her."

"Alright. If we can."

~*~*~*~*~*~

A few hours later, as Logan began to stir and the sun began to set, Rogue found herself in a bed on the other side of the med lab. She didn't want to be close to him in case she came back, but she didn't want to leave him down here by himself. She knew how that felt. Storm had promised to stay with him.

She had met the Asian beauty, Psylocke, as soon as she arrived, and they had spent some time talking, where every secret she had kept was spilt out. It wasn't too hard, but, still, it was better than to have them find it in her head and judge her later.

She told both women about how her family had sent her out into the world in the middle of the night with a packed duffle bag, a few hundred dollars, a new cloak, and a careful hug goodbye. Her momma had cried, her daddy had stood tall and proud. They were both proud of her and told her that she should return when things became more bearable. It was hard being the parents of a mutant. Not to mention one so dangerous.

She told them of her time on the road. Of the men who tried to hurt her until she told them about her skin. Of those who, after finding out, tried to pay her to kill someone or another. About waitresses who took pity and men with families who offered her a warm bed for the night. A full year of no one but herself with living ghosts here and there.

She told them of the first time she had seen Logan, in that cage fight. She had known it was dangerous, but she had figured that it couldn't have been more dangerous than standing outside in the snow, and freeze to death. To bad she didn't have St. John's abilities then. She would have melted every flake she could find.

She told them why she hid in the back of Logan's truck. That it wasn't because he seemed like the least dangerous, which was the exact opposite. That it wasn't because he was a mutant, like her, or that he seemed like a tortured soul. More because, even watching him in the cage, and, again later, when that stupid trucker and his buddies tried to get their money back, he still felt safe to her. Like someone whispering in her ear that he wouldn't hurt her.

It wasn't like she hadn't met other mutants, either. A year on the road, your bound to bump into a few. Some had been kind, offering her a place to rest and a hot meal. A few even went as far to give her any cash they could spare, and, yet, it wasn't enough. Logan was her kindred soul, and she would always love him.

She told them about how it was when she came off that statue. How she would stare at Jean's cleavage. Want to call Scott all sorts of pretty things such as Pansy and Scooter. How she shied away from Bobby because she was disgusted by any type of male wanting to kiss her. It was the weirdest week she had ever gone through.

And, finally, when it was all out, she told them she was ready and here they sat, her laying on the table, a psychic on each side, ready to find the memories she had suppressed so long ago.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Now Rogue, we want you to take a deep breath and concentrate. You've told us all that you can think of, but there is much the mind doesn't think is relevant," Psylocke began as she placed her hands on either side of her head. Rogue felt herself begin to relax. She had to do this. She couldn't fight it. She closed her eyes ….

~*~*~*~*~*~

…and opened them to find that she was no longer inside the med lab. She was home again. But of course, she couldn't be. It wasn't anything like she remembered. But no, there she was, at the tender age of five, sitting in her rocking chair with her baby doll, pretending to be mommy.

"You were a beautiful child, Rogue. Do you remember this?" She was startled to hear a voice behind her. She turned to see Emma and Psylocke behind her, watching her closely. "We've been through all of your memories, and this seems to be one that may cause your lack of control. There are about three others you will have to see, but, this was the oldest, and we thought we should start here. I will tell you, they are not all pretty."

"I don't remember any of this. My room… My room was never pink, and I don't remember that rocker. But that's…"

"Marie, baby, we got to talk." She didn't know who the voice belonged to, but the sound of it sent fear through out her body. As she watched, she saw the girl she was once stiffen and the rocker stop. She watched her stand and walk to the little doll carriage on the dresser, laying the doll down on the bed.

"Now, remember sugar, Daddy's coming, and we know what he said about people finding out. I want you to be very quiet so he doesn't take you away, too. You know, like my momma had to go away." Marie gasped, unable to believe what she was hearing. The girl turned quickly then, just as her father walked in through the door.

"Marie, Daddy's got an itch. One that needs to be scratched bad. You remember what you need to do, right?" He smiled down at her.

Marie closed her eyes, not wanting to see anymore as the tears began to pour. She hadn't realized she could cry in her own mind. But she had to look. It had to be done. And she opened her eyes….

~*~*~*~*~*~

And found her self sitting in a field of wild flowers. The woman she had known as her mother was sitting beside her, telling her that she wouldn't have to worry anymore. That she and her husband were going to be her family now. Marie watched herself throw her arms around the woman's neck, yelling that it would be wonderful.

"Alright, baby girl, alright. Now, do you want me to take away that bad memory for you?" The woman asked slowly, gently holding her as close as possible. "Do you want to forget?"

"Yes, Momma. I don't want to remember that man at all. I got a better family now." And the woman touched her forehead and little Marie forgot the first five years of her life. At the same time, the man she would call Daddy was repainting and redecorating her room, getting rid of every sign of what the little girl had been through. The man who was her father was gone for good, to a place the devil couldn't even bring him back from.

"The woman was your mother's sister. You know that now, right?" Rogue turned to look at Psylocke, not sure what to understand. Her mother was a mutant? Her real mother? "When they found out what happened, they got rid of your father and moved in. They took care of you."

"This is why I can't remember? She blocked it? Her ability?"

"Yes. She wanted to erase it, but, unfortunately, not everything can forget."

~*~*~*~*~*~

They visited two more memories, neither as bad as the first. There was one where she was beaten severely by a few of the neighborhood children because she said something a little too sassy for their taste when she was seven. Another when a man tried to grab her outside a convenience store. She was able to get away. Both memories were blocked the same way. By people who didn't want her to hurt because they loved her. Well meaning intentions that had bad results.

~*~*~*~*~*~

As she visited her memories, Logan opened his eyes. He knew what had happened, but there was no more pain. Actually, he felt lighter, as if he was floating. He pulled everything out, listening to the beeps go off in alarm. Storm was there with him, watching him closely. She began to turn off the machines as he pulled the last IV out, slowly sitting up.

"Where is she?" He growled. He could smell her, and would sniff her out if he had to. "I need to talk to her."

"On the other side of the med lab, with Emma and Psylocke. They're trying to help her gain control." Storm stepped away from him, putting the machines between them. "She didn…"

"I know that. I need to make sure she's alright, though." He walked away then, on a search to find her.

~*~*~*~*~*~

When she opened her eyes this time, it was to see that she was back in the med bay, both psychics still with her, both looking exhausted and relieved.

She didn't want to cry. She wanted to show she was stronger than that. But she caught his scent and burst into tears.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He heard her. Smelled her. Felt her. She was in pain and torment and he wouldn't keep himself from being with her this time.

He burst through the door, startling the two psychics, to find that Marie had curled herself into a ball on the table. He went to her, ignoring everything else in the room. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered that it was alright. They would get through this together.

Only Emma and Psylocke noticed it. Neither wanted to comment on it though. Neither wanted to break the moment. Rogue still wore no gloves. Her hands were touching his back. The back a blood soaked shirt had been cut from hours before. She could touch him.

End Notes:

So, this is supposed to explain what happened to Rogue to make her mutation uncontrolable. Hope it wasn't too much. But now she can touch... Logan, anyway.

Chapter 9

Author's Notes:

The rest of the explanation...

She pulled back quickly, realizing that there was nothing to protect him from her. She didn't want to take anything more from him, didn't want to hurt him again. But they had held onto each other for a full minute at least, and nothing. Not even a drop. She could hear his thoughts, realizing that he was projecting, and he was just as confused as her. Could she have already gotten control already? So soon?

Slowly, Rogue reached out and touched his chest, gently at first, with just the tips of her fingers, before laying her full palm on his skin. Nothing. She concentrated somewhat, such as she would do when she was trying to block out one personality or another. She felt it, very slightly at first, but the more she concentrated, the more she could feel it. She wanted to stop, and began to concentrate a little more. It stopped with more ease than it took to start.

"Rogue?" Logan whispered slowly, not sure if it wasn't too much for her. "Are you…"

"I'm fine. I just, I never realized that the one little memory could control everything. Why is that?" She looked from Emma to Psylocke, who smiled at her in response.

"The only thing that we can fathom is that by unlocking that memory, we were able to help you unlock your natural ability to control," Psylocke explained patiently. "I have a theory that, because of what that man did to you when you were a child mixed in with the memories that were erased later on and the fact that they were erased kept you from learning control."

"What my colleague is trying to say is that because of the loss of those memories and that they weren't self-suppressed," Emma said, taking over while throwing a dirty look at Psylocke, "when your mutation manifested, it may have manifested around the missing information."

Logan still looked a little confused, but Rogue's eyes lit up with understand. She smiled before taking a deep breath. "So, it's like I subconsciously knew something bad happened, but couldn't remember what. So when I became a mutant, I couldn't learn control because I didn't know what that was. Now that I know, I can use my mutation to protect myself."

"Exactly."

"What did I miss?" Logan asked, rubbing the bridge of his nose with his right thumb and index finger. "What are you talking about?"

None of them realized that Logan hadn't been in the room when everything came back to her. They weren't sure if it was best they knew.

"Something that happened to a sad little girl many years ago. A memory that someone hid for protection." Rogue whispered, grabbing his hand again. "Something that probably wouldn't be wise to think about right now, but that I will tell you about when the time is right."

"Rogue?" Emma whispered softly, stealing back her attention. "It's not time to celebrate, yet. We still need to get you ready for Phoenix."

End Notes:

I know, much shorter than the others, but I really want to get on with this story before it starts to get too long to enjoy. Up next: Bobby is an idiot!!!!!

Chapter 10

Author's Notes:

Just a little insight into what Rogue has been dealing with over a couple of weeks. Didn't really want to dwell on this part, but didn't want her to suddenly wake up and have completely control.

Over the next three weeks, Rogue became accustomed to the thoughts and voices that would randomly pop into her head. The abilities she had inherited from Jean were slowly developing, giving both Emma and Psylocke the room to help her quickly. Finally, though, Rogue was able to produce shields within her mind strong enough to keep both telepaths out of her head at the same time, and the world around her quieted.

She had learned quite a lot about those she lived with during that time, though. Some more interesting than others. Things such as Bobby's infidelity with Kitty and his naïve belief that she, much less anyone, knew about what they did late at night when everyone else was asleep. Kitty's guilt and fear of what she would do when she found out. And then there was Jubilee. Sweet Jubilee. Someone she could count on, angry at the other two for what they were doing, and, yet, keeping her patience, waiting for everything to blow up in their faces. Waiting for the day the shit would hit the fan. Rogue could almost see her smirking with the thought.

She caught other's thoughts, too. Scott's yearning to just lose control and not care anymore. Storm's anger at Emma's presence. And then Logan. His thoughts confused her more than anyone's.

At times, she would get thoughts about his content at being their, watching over everyone. Then, she would hear his thoughts as he would wish that he was one the road, with nothing to tie him down. The one that stuck out the most came to her one night, the night before she strengthen her shields to be exact. A thought she had never realized he thought about.

He had to have been in his room at the time. Thanks to the advanced hearing that she had borrowed from him that still had yet to leave, she could hear the TV blaring in his room down the hall. It was the first time she had done it without supervision, but she couldn't seem to control it. She reached out with her mind, wanting to know what he was watching. Except, he wasn't really paying attention. He was thinking of the reasons why he was still there, ignoring the hockey game on the TV.

She listened as he ticked off one reason after another, trying to dwindle it down. Jean? No. Jean had been an infatuation. Duty? To who? Repayment? Nope. He smiled cocky at that. He liked to believe that he didn't owe anyone anything. He repaid his debt when Scooter had made that turn down that dark path. He ticked off a few more such as comfort, free food, the children, security. That last one made him chuckle.

Finally, he felt that he was grasping for straws. And then it hit him. The reason he was still there. The only thing that had kept him coming back and kept the wanderlust at bay. A young girl with no one at all. One so deadly and powerful and sweet and scared all at the same time. A girl who was now a woman, ready to stand up for and save those she loves. A woman who had once asked him if it hurt when they came out….

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Every time." He whispered into the empty room, looking down at his knuckles. He couldn't help but smile a little, remembering how scared she was, but also the bravery she showed just by jumping into the back of his trailer. She was what kept him here, and he wondered if she even realized it. He hadn't seen her since the day she took away the metal. Those two psychics had been spiriting her from Xavier's office and back to her room, sometimes even to the med lab downstairs, afraid to have another scene like the last. No one had been allowed to see her.

There had been two more incidents where Phoenix had reared her ugly head again. Or, at least tried to, anyway. Once, while they were trying to help Rogue come to terms with the war inside her own head, Phoenix had tried to backlash on Emma. With Psylocke's help, they had been able to stop her. The second had been just earlier that day. But Rogue had felt her and had been able to suppress her without help. She was getting strong, yet he still had a feeling that this was far from over.

"Get out of my head, Kid." He said out loud, glancing up at the wall in front of him. He had known she was there, snooping around. With anyone else, he would have been angry, but Rogue had already seen everything three times now. She knew him in and out. There was no keeping anything from her.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She smiled a little before laying down, ready to dream away the night. Tomorrow was a big day for her. She would be allowed to see her friend's again, even if only for supervision. And she was going to start learning to manipulate all of the abilities she had gained in the past. Starting with Bobby's. As Jubilee had known, the shit was about to hit the fan.

End Notes:

Alright, I promise, Bobby will be in the next chapter and he will get what is comeing to him!

Chapter 11

"Rogue?" Jubilee whispered as she entered the room. Her friends has all been told to meet here by Storm, and, all believing they were in trouble for one thing or another, they filed into Xavier's office, heads bowed and ready for punishment. They were shocked and afraid when it was Emma Frost they had all seen sitting behind the great oak desk. Jubilee and Pitor had looked at each other with guilt believing that she was going to remind them that trying to sneak into the adult wing was too dangerous, even if it was only to try and find their friend. They had both tried on several occasions, and had once even come close before being caught by the telepath. But, when she walked into the room, she was happy to see their eyes light up with disbelief. Of course, she also caught the guilt that spread across Bobby's and Kitty's faces as they shifted away from each other.

Of course, her attention was diverted when Jubilee launched herself, wrapping her arms around her best friend's neck.

"I missed you too, Jubes." Rogue giggled as she felt the Asian girl sob.

"Does this mean you're better?" Pitor asked quickly, standing from the couch, waiting his turn.

"No, Pitor." Emma spoke up before Rogue could. "Not better, but she is stronger. If you will all take a seat, please, I will explain. Their will be time for pleasantries in a few moments."

Reluctantly, they all did as asked, Jubilee peeling herself from her best friend, a few tears in her eyes and a happy smile on her face. Rogue took the chair closest to the desk, facing the other students.

"As you know," Emma began sternly, "Rogue has been learning to control the personality of Phoenix for the past few weeks. She has gone beyond our expectations in this, and has made remarkable strides in a short time. I never wanted to keep her from you. Especially you, Bobby." She paused here, and everyone could see his face grow even redder. "But, for your safety, I had no choice. She is strong enough and has now gained enough control to be able to return to her social life. But, the fight is not over, so you will all be supervised by myself and Psylocke during any visits. You must remember to speak up if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Anything that feels dangerous, though. We all remember what happened with Logan, don't we?"

Everyone was silent at this statement, understanding what she meant. "Do you want to continue?"

Rogue shook her head, smiling as she began to speak. "Well, there is some good news that has come out of this. I've figured out how to control my skin. I can touch now."

Jubilee squealed with excitement. Pitor gasped. Bobby's eyes lit up for the first time. Kitty smiled a smile that couldn't hide the disappointment in her eyes.

"And," Rogue continued, ignoring the reactions for a moment, "Emma has told me that I should be able to learn to control the powers that I gained through touch. I'll need help with that, though.

"I will still be living in the adult dorm from now on. It's just easier for everyone. Emma's right next door and Psylocke is just down the hall. They'll both be able to hear if Phoenix decides to try something while I sleep. But, you will be able to see me their during the day. It's still too soon to be around too many people, so I will still be eating in my room, but you can come up, too. I'm not fragile or anything. Just not in completely control yet."

"We've missed you, you know. There is so much we need to talk about." Jubilee whispered, not sure if she should jump at her again or not. "I mean, there is so much you need to know about."

"I know, Jubilee. I need to make sure that I can control my emotions, though. Do you want to come to my room for dinner tonight so that we can talk? Scott and Storm have also scheduled time for me to be able to use the rec room and the tv room so that I can have time there for myself, also. It's going to take some time, but I'll soon be back to my old self. Just with a few more abilities." She winked at her then, and Jubilee's smile grew wider. "We can start planning what you will wear to the prom in two months."

"You will be going, too, wont you?"

"I don't know yet. Let's see how far I am by then. I hope so. I never got to go to any dances back home."

"Ok. It's a date."

"Now, you all do need to get back to class. Except for you, Bobby." Emma wanted to cut the meeting short, not wanting to over stimulate Rogue. "I need you to come to the danger room with us. I understand that you have had physical contact. Rogue needs to gain control of all of the abilities she has if she is going to have complete control."

"Alright… But there isn't much to it." He wasn't sure how he felt about being alone with her now. Did she know?

"Then it won't take too long."

"Come on, Bobby. It will be good to spend some time alone. I've missed you," Rogue said sweetly in her southern drawl.

His eyes brightened, and she knew she had him.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He watched them from the observation window, Emma standing at his side. They were both on edge, ready to spring up if there seemed to be any sign of trouble. She was to help Rogue calm Phoenix down, and he was to drag the boy out.

"You sure about this? She can do some pretty serious damage, you know." He cocked an eyebrow at her. "I mean, this is kinda dangerous, right?"

"Everything is dangerous, Logan. Some things more than others. We're here if they need us." She smiled, looking away from the glass and looking at the feral man. She knew who he was worried about, and it wasn't the boy he was given the job of protecting. "She's stronger than she looks. And, besides, this will be a great test for her. You see, Bobby is just like any other little prick. He's going to tell her now, while he believes no one will hear and he's fully protected. She's going to beat the crap out of him you know.

He smiled at her, a smile that would make the devil wet his pants. "That's my girl."

~*~*~*~*~*~

She eyed him slowly as he explained how to turn the moisture in the air into ice. The feelings he got, the comfortable coldness and calm. The muscles he used. He showed her how he could now become completely frozen will a little more concentration.

"Now you try."

She did as he said, finding the abilities locked away in his memory. She was shocked when she felt the first blast of cold escape her hand. He was right, this was easy. It was clear how he did it, absorbing the heat of the area into his own body. Of course, she should have known he was full of hot air.

They practiced for a few minutes until she became as quick as he was. She couldn't turn to ice like he could, but she really didn't think she wanted to feel like a snowman, either.

"Can we talk about something, Rogue?" He asked suddenly, watching her freeze a few of the robots he had asked the simulator to make. "It's kind of important."

"Does it have to do with Kitty?" She asked, not diverting her attention from freezing the robot in front of her.

"You know?"

"The question is, who doesn't?"

"How long?"

She sighed, standing straight and looking at him. "Since Xavier's funeral. The night you turn the fountain into your own personal ice rink. You killed those water lilies, you know. They were beautiful. But, then again, you've always had a habit of just thinking about yourself, haven't you?"

"Rogue, it wasn't like it was planned." He wanted to explain that he had only been trying to cheer Kitty up. That he was trying to help ease some of the pain. "I didn't even know I felt something for her until…"

"Until you kissed, right?" She cut him off, becoming growing more angry from his pitiful attempt to explain. "You kissed her, Bobby. And you pursued her while I was on my way to take the cure for you. And you laughed with her while I realized the mistake I was making. You were fighting along side her while I was making my way to the battle. You were worrying about her while I was saving you all. And, to top it all off, you were sleeping with her while I lay in a coma, fighting for my sanity. I sacrificed my life for you and her and everyone else, and, as repayment, you two go and start fucking like rabbits every chance you get."

He didn't know what to do. He wanted to run and hide, but he knew that would only make it worse.

"I'm sorry, Rogue. I mean, I still love you. I still want to be with you."

"All I heard was yap yap yap yap yap, Bobby. The same bullshit you would through at anyone else."

"Well, it wasn't like you and I were going to ever be able to do anything. But now that you got control, things could be different." He didn't see it coming. She moved too fast and he wasn't paying enough attention. Too bust trying to find excuses. But he sure felt it. A punch that was as cold as it was hard. He found himself laying on his back, watching an upside down Rogue walk away, her hand turning back from ice to normal.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Worried there for a second?" Emma asked, a satisfied smile spread across her lips.

"Not at all."

Chapter 12

Author's Notes:

Sorry this took so long. I was about half way done with it the first time when my computer froze and erased it all. This one is really long!

It happened when he was in the danger room. He had started to push himself to train harder the day after the incident in Rogue's room. Ever since, he had felt unbalanced and not quite as strong. He was too light, too agile, his swings not quite as fast as his feet.

He was fighting Sabertooth and Mystique now, pushing harder than he had before, trying to meet new bars everyday. He needed to feel that he contributed to something, anything, and with his adamantiam missing, he felt second string. He needed to build himself back up, make himself useful again, to feel like a man again. But there was too much missing.

He swung with a ferocious howl, hitting Mystique square in the jaw. He watched as she stumbled a little, and his heart hit his stomach. She didn't fall. She didn't have to catch herself. She gave a smirk and kept coming.

He growled and threw another punch, this time hitting Sabertooth in the gut. He pushed himself even further and was shocked by the familiar pain that emanated from his knuckles.

"Terminate simulation." He hadn't heard himself say it, hadn't even thought to do it. He stared down at his right hand as Sabertooth disappeared. He couldn't remember a time when he felt so relieved to feel that pain. Opening his fist, he looked up, knowing what he would have to do. She would need to know about this.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She was sitting on her bed, reading a magazine. Well, not actually reading it, more like looking at it while her mind raced with all of the questions and curiosity of what she and Jubilee would talk about later. She still had an hour and a half to kill, and she knew that it was going to be torture. She flipped another page, sighing, before she heard the knock on her door. Sending out a mental probe, she smiled when she saw who it was, jumping up and running to open it.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He stood outside the door, wondering what he was going to say. Would she understand this? Would she want anything to do with it? Either way, she had to know, had to be prepared. She had to figure out how to work through the pain this would bring, and it wasn't something she should be surprised about. Hell, if it happens during a fight, she could get killed.

She paused for a second, though. Gathering her composure. She didn't want to come off as a child. She was stronger than that, and there was a reason why he hadn't been there before. Maybe he hadn't forgiven her, yet.

~*~*~*~*~*~

But that wasn't the only thing that worried him. He couldn't help but think about that fateful day three weeks ago. The things she had said. The psychics had both assured him that it wasn't her, that Phoenix had been in control. That she had used all of her feelings to warp and twist her feelings. But that was what stopped him. She had to have those feelings in the first place, didn't she? Was she really angry with him? It was possible.

"Too late now," he thought as the door slowly opened.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Hey." She said as she opened the door. He stood there, looking back at her. His hands were tucked into the pockets of his jeans. His shoulders were hunched. His hair mused. He had obviously been working out. He didn't say anything, just kind of looked past her. Her stomach hurt just looking at him. "Did you need something?"

"Yeah. Can we talk?" His voice was a bit of a whisper. Rogue stepped aside and Logan walked into the room, still a little slouched over. He didn't smell any kind of hatred on her.

"What's up?" She asked as he took a seat on the bed. He was looking around at the room, and she couldn't help but feel a little annoyed.

"Like what you've done with the place." She was a little shocked by the comment, looking around at the bare walls, the plane table with nothing more than a night lamp on it.

"Yeah, great." She said as she rolled her eyes. She wasn't sure if he was trying to crack a joke or what, but it was a little annoying. "Look, Logan, if there is something you want to talk about, spit it out. You've never acted like this before."

"Yeah, I know. It's just that, I kind of figured that this was something you need to know about. Something that you should see." He held up his hands for her. She raised a curious eyebrow at him, wondering what he was getting at. She jumped when three claws shot out into the air, faster than his other claws had, harsher. Seemingly more dangerous if that was possible. Thicker. "I found out about them a few minutes ago, when I was downstairs. I guess, I guess I've always had them. But… I don't remember."

She didn't know what to say. She walked to him, sitting next to him on the bed. Grabbing one of his hands, she looked at them carefully. They were longer than the others, at least by an inch. Thicker at the base. Made of bone. "Does it still hurt?"

"Not really, not like the others." He was looking at them, too, also studying them. "They feel more… natural. Almost as if this is what they are supposed to be."

"That makes sense. They seem… more deadly, more wild." She let go of his hand as he let the claws slowly sink back in. "There is a chance that you have these, too, now. I mean, you've never shown any signs of a physical mutation before."

"I've never touched any one with a physical mutation before," she reminded him with a giggle. "I don't know."

"Look, I don't want to ruin your evening with the Canary. Why don't we ask Emma to take some x-rays tomorrow to find out." Logan knew what she was thinking. It was the same fears he had. Would she be able to handle this kind of pain? Would she have a choice? "Besides, I think she will kill me if we canceled on her. How about I run out and get you guys some burgers for dinner?"

"Sounds good." She smiled as he stood to leave. "Logan?"

He was already at the door when she called out to him. Turning, he looked at her quizzically. "Yeah?"

"Are you… Are you still mad at me?" She was wringing her hands in her lap, but her eyes were locked on his. "About what I did to you?"

"I was never mad at you, kid. It wasn't your fault." He said, letting go of the door handle and turning around. "You couldn't help what you did. You were being used, and with any luck, we'll beat this. And, maybe, you can have that normal life you want so bad."

She smiled, feeling a tear crawl down her cheek as she tucked a stray hair behind her ear. It was as if all the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders.

"Rogue?" She looked up, not expecting him to still be there. "You still mad at me?"

"No. Not anymore. I'm not sure that I was ever really mad at you. I mean, I was, at first, but I don't think that was me when… when I took everything from you. I don't think I was that angry." His eyes bore into hers, looking for any thing that might signal a lie, but he couldn't find it. Nothing. She was honest, but, then again, she always had been. With him, anyway. He turned to leave again, ready to hurry out before the annoying girl came in.

"Logan?"

"Yeah Rogue?" He stopped again, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"It's Marie." He left smiling. They were going to be alright.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"OhmygodhowareyoufeelingI'vemissedyousomuchthereissomuchthatIhavetotellyou!" Rogue couldn't help but laugh when she opened the door to Jubilee later that evening. The girl threw herself into Rogue's arms again, babbling everything in one breath. She had to peel the girl off of her, holding her at arms distance as they smiled at each other.

"Breath, Jubes. Breath. Remember? Sentences?" They giggled at each other as Jubilee took a deep breath.

"Ok, first of all, how did you manage to give Bobby two black eyes with one hit?" Jubilee asked, throwing herself on to Rogue's bed. "I mean, I don't think I've ever seen that before!"

"Don't you pay attention? Logan taught us that in training. You just have to pack enough of a punch and hit a certain spot on the bridge of the nose." She took a seat across from her, leaning against her pillows. "It was after he showed me what I needed to know about his abilities, and I froze my hand before doing it. He was right, though. There really isn't anything special about his abilities, just as long as there is moisture in the air."

"What about the others?"

"Well, Pitor and I are going to start tomorrow, and I'm thinking about drawing that out just a little so that I can talk to him. I have a feeling that he's not going to be allowed up here." She smiled, thinking of her old team mate. They used to be a strong force together, with her 'borrowing' his abilities. They had formed a tight bond because of this, and she had been the first he had ever told about his crush on Kitty. The irony was that she and Bobby used to fight about how close she and Pitor were getting. And now look. "He's got to be hurting over everything."

"Yeah, he took it pretty hard. I think that was one of the reasons he wanted to see you bad enough to risk sneaking into here. He wanted to plan a retaliation." Jubilee couldn't help but giggle, remembering the look of determination on his face. "He even yelled at Emma once."

"What did she do?" After spending so much time with the telepath, Rogue knew that she could have a short temper when provoked.

"She laughed."

~*~*~*~*~*~

They spent the next hour and a half, gossiping about anything that came to mind. Jubilee told her of the new classes and the work they were doing. About how they were being pushed harder than before. She told her about how everything had been since Xavier's death and Scott's return, and how everything seemed to get tense when Emma and Storm were in the same room, which wasn't often. They talked about the prom and dresses as they gobbled down the burgers and fries that Logan had dropped off before running away as quickly as possible. And, finally, they talked about the dates they should bring and the new boys.

There were a few that Jubilee wanted Rogue to meet, in particularly a Cajun that all the girls seemed to be melting over. Rogue promised that she would let Jubilee introduce them, although she didn't see how something like talking in third person could be attractive. Actually, Rogue felt that it would probably get on her last nerve.

There was a knock on the door as they were giggling over some antic a couple of the younger students had tried to pull on the senior students. Rogue felt her muscles tighten just as Emma walked in. For a second, she felt herself panic, wondering if maybe Phoenix was trying something she hadn't felt yet.

"Sorry to have to cut it short, ladies, but Rogue should really rest for tomorrow." Emma held the door open as Jubilee reluctantly pulled herself from the bed. She hugged Rogue one last time."

"I have some time in the rec room tomorrow. While everyone is having dinner. Meet me in there," Rogue said with a smile, trying to cheer her friend up. "And bring Kitty with you."

Jubilee flashed an evil grin before skipping her way out of the room.

Emma closed the door softly behind her before joining Rogue on the bed. The younger woman had a feeling she knew what was coming next.

"Rogue, I am so proud of you. You've done so well, but…" Her voice trialed off as she thoughts about how to go along with this. She had never been good at lectures, instead, usually trying to empathize with her students. She reached out and grabbed Rogue's hand in her own, wanting the girls undivided attention. "Just be careful."

"This is about Bobby and Kitty, isn't it?" Rogue asked, a sick feeling in her stomach. Emma shook her head yes."

"You have to let it go. I know how hard that sounds, but, Phoenix will use it against you." Emma sighed, pulling her hand away. "That's what she does. She festers on those bad things you try to bury deep down. She feeds and grows off of it and twists it to her own use."

"You're talking like you've been through this." Emma looked away from her, breaking eye contact swiftly. "Which one were you?"

"I was the one that got left. And the other one." Emma sighed, not wanting to share this, but knowing it had to be done. "It was a long time ago, after Scott and I graduated. Jean was three years older than us and she had already graduated and was in college. She was usually away at school.

"When she came back, well, there was an instance attraction to Scott, and vise versa, but Scott and I were together and talking about going away to school together. We were going to get married."

"But," Rogue asked, feeling a need to know the story. She wasn't sure why, but this might be a clue as to what she was dealing with.

"But he decided to stay here. Go to school and join the team. We got into a fight and broke up. A week after I left, he and Jean went on their first date."

"I'm sorry, Emma," Rogue whispered, wishing that there was some way to comfort her.

"No, it was a long time ago, and I've moved on. It hurts, but, you'll learn, your first love always does.

"Anyway, after a few years, we were both able to see each other again without all the pain, but there was always that jealousy residing inside of Jean. That need to be number one. About a year before you and Logan showed up, I was here with one of my students. One that needed more structure than I could give. I was getting her settled in and then I was going to go home. I was only going to be here a week." She paused here, remembering that long ago night. "Scott was helping me get some and, one thing led to another, and we ended up in bed together. It wasn't his fault anymore than it was mine. It was just that attraction we had.

"Well, Storm walked in on us, not thinking to knock. She went straight to Jean, and that should have been the first warning. Jean hit the roof. I don't know what happened after that. I left that night, and haven't been back until I came to help you."

Rogue didn't know what to say. She couldn't picture Scott involved in such a tangled web. But, then again, what did she really know about her former teachers? She hadn't looked through Jean's memories, instead opting to hide them away. "Did you ever try to apologize?"

"Once or twice. But that's beside the point," Emma said as she stood. "It was that and a few other things that might have happened through out her life. Someone getting more praise, another being held in a higher esteem. A young girl being held in a higher light by a feral mutant."

She paused, and Rogue had the sickening feeling that she was talking about her and Logan. "Don't hold on to it. Get your revenge and back off. It's that jealousy and anger that will let her come alive again."

End Notes:

So now you know why Emma and Storm don't get along. And, more importantly, Logan has claws again!!!! Couldn't let him go without it too long.

Chapter 13

Rogue tossed and turned through out the night, unable to clear her mind of all of the information she had received. Logan's claws, Emma and Scott's mistake, Storm's grudge. Jean's jealousy. How was she supposed to handle all of this along with having Phoenix in her head? How was she supposed to survive this? She finally fell into a fitful sleep just as the first rays of pink kissed the morning sky.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Logan awoke with a start, not sure what had awakened him. Looking around and at the clock, he realized that it was dawn. He couldn't remember what is dream had been about, only small glimpses seemed to flash in front of his eyes. A lost little girl surrounded by a sea of people, trying to survive and being overwhelmed with each push she gave.

A little girl with brown and white hair. Doe brown eyes. A child who wasn't a child, really, he realized. She may have been a child at one point, but, by the time he woke, she had been a grown woman. Her hair wild, her body developed in ways other women could only wish for. Her eyes not so innocent. Her hands red with blood.

He felt himself stiffen at the thought of her standing there in a tattered uniform, a smile of victory on her lips, and eyes lidded with lust. He had never thought about her that way, before, and he couldn't help but wonder why he would now.

What the hell was going on?

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Alright, Rogue, just relax. We are going to get a full body X-Ray now, just to see what is going on in there," Beast said softly as he smiled down at her. She laid on the table, a little nervous as to what they would see. Would she have his claws?

Just on the other side of the room, Emma and Logan sat, each holding their breaths, waiting for the outcome. She had told Emma about her discussion with Logan the night before, and Emma had seemed somewhat disturbed. She wouldn't say why, but Rogue had a feeling that it had to do with the Government. What if they found out about this? To Rogue, it was just one more thing to add to the long list of reasons why she should lose her mind.

She closed her eyes and took deep breaths as she felt the table move backwards. She didn't like the feeling of the machine, didn't like how it felt to be trapped. She was only too happy when she felt the table jerk again. She opened her eyes, proud of herself for being able to control herself. But then she saw the looks on everyone's faces.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"So, I've got bone claws, like Logan?" Rogue wasn't surprised by this. She could still remember the itch she felt between her knuckles after every touch. How it felt as if something was missing. "I've got a question. All these times that I've touched someone, that I have taken on their mutations, why is it only now that I've touched someone, that I have taken on their mutations, why is it only now that I've been able to use them when, before, I've always lost them after x amount of time?"

"It's because of your own mutation, Rogue," Psylocke spoke up first. "When you have absorbed some one accidently, that personality comes forth. You gain their control, or lack of, with it. Once you've stored their personality, you have automatic control over them. You have to mentally grab them. Such as when you do with your psychic abilities."

"In other words, for those who are born with this, they have to learn control so that they don't have their mutations running rapid all the time," Rogue said thoughtfully. "But I have to learn control so that I can use it. It's all backwards."

Rogue slouched a little at this, feeling the metal table under her hum. All this power had been at the tips of her fingers all this time, and all she had to do was reach for it. It was a little unnerving.

"Exactly." Emma smiled at her student, proud of her intellect and ability to grasp on to the idea. It would help her to control those mutations she gained from people who could not help her themselves. She failed to notice how the girl's shoulders slumped, or the way she looked at her bare hands.

"But what about people with physical mutations who cannot hide them? Like Angel with his wings or Kurt with his appearance?" She was starting to understand fully what this entailed, but she wanted to be certain.

"To be honest, I don't know," Emma admitted softly. "You have to remember, we are going on theory. There has never before been anything like this. With your mutation. The only thing we can base our idea on is what you have already gained through trial and error."

"But, in theory, if I touch someone with wings or that's blue and fuzzy, I might just gain that mutation." It wasn't a question, but a statement Rogue made as she sat up on taller on the metal table. "Will I be able to use more than one at a time? If I have children, will they gain the mutations I stole? Maybe even my own?"

Emma looked into her eyes, for the first time realizing the depth Rogue had thought about what this would mean for her future. She tore away to look at Psylocke, then Logan, before meeting Rogue's eyes once again. "It's quite possible. Only time will tell."

~*~*~*~*~*~

She and Pitor spent the remainder of the day learning about his mutation. She hadn't realized that he didn't just become metal on the outside, but on the inside, also. He explained how the metal protected him from just about anything, including fire. When she jokingly asked if he rusted in water, he looked at her and laughed, replying that he had never thought to try it.

They also talked about the pain they were both feeling over the Bobby and Kitty situation, and both were able to feel some of the weight lifted from their hearts. Each had to admit that it felt good to talk to someone who understood.

"Will you come to the rec room at dinner time?" She asked as they took a break from their exercises.

"Will Kitty be there?" He got a sad look on his face, and Rogue felt her heart go out to the sensitive man of metal.

"Jubilee promised to bring her."

"Then probably not. No, I don't think I can do it yet." He sighed, looking down.

She shook her head in agreement, understanding what he meant. She was only able to look Bobby in the eyes because, at one time at least, he had chosen her. For Pitor, this was like a slap in the face. Kitty's way of saying he didn't have a chance. Rogue was only sure of one thing. Kitty didn't deserve the gentle giant.

End Notes:

Trying to point the plot in the right direction!

Chapter 14

Author's Notes:

Sorry it took so long. Been having problems with both home and work computers. Isn't it ridiculous how real life interferes with the important things?????

Usually there was one group or another in here, utilizing the game tables or the television. But when she walked in, it was completely empty. She sighed to herself as she walked to the foosball able, gently running her bare fingers across the wooden side. She could remember playing here, when they were all happy. She and Bobby and John. God, did they think they had it all back then.

She couldn't help but smile, thinking of the ghosts of memories. All three had discussed joining the team, becoming super heroes. John had always pretended that he wasn't into it. That was, until they talked about the battles they would have. He would get this far away look in his eyes as he planned everything out. Including who would live and who would never come back. It was times like that when she wasn't sure if he was really looking forward to being apart of the team like Bobby was, or just the fight. She wasn't as shocked as some of the others when he turned tables on them.

Bobby, of course, wanted to be apart of the team. Wanted to belong to that elite family of do-gooders who would occasionally let a bad boy play for them, too. He couldn't wait to get into that uniform and start training. He wanted to be the leader. Boy, was he pissed when Logan came back that first time and got to suit up.

And then there was herself. She didn't dream of battles and teams, of fighting the good fight or sacrificing her life for the good of all. No, her dreams were of something she never thought she could have. Something, that for most girls wouldn't have been a problem, but that she would never let herself dare to think of except late at night in her dreams. All she really wanted was a family. A husband and a white house with a garden. Six kids and a dog. Someone to hold her at night after a long day, who would love her for the rest of her life. It was more a fantasy than a wish. She never thought she could really have something like that. It was never with in her deadly grasp.

But now that she knew she could touch, knew she could give her all to someone and that they could finally return her love in the most basic, primal ways, the man she had thought she would be with was with someone else. Someone he ran to when she wasn't enough. He had wanted to her she couldn't touch, but now that he found someone he didn't have to worry about… Well, who would want her now?

"Hey, kid, you want to help me get some of this stuff set up? It's your party, not mine." She smiled a little at that gruff voice. Turning, she watched as Logan walked into the room, juggling three bowls of chips and a bottle of soda. He flashed her a cocky smile when he realized she wasn't going to move. "You going to help, or what?"

She nodded before walking to him and taking one of the bowls and a six pack from him. They worked together in silence, enjoying each others company, and savoring the quiet.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"You alright, kid?" Logan asked as they finished setting up the snack bowls full of chips and dips and the cans of soda. There were still a few moments before the rest of the rug rats showed, and he had thought she would be a little more excited about the little part they were throwing for her. "You don't seem all that thrilled about this."

She smiled at him and he could have sworn he could feel his heart pounding heavier. He was only just beginning to accept the change of feelings he had for the woman in front of him.

"I'm good, Logan," she said softly as she began to rearrange the throw pillows on the sofa. "Just thinking about some dreams we used to have." Her smile faltered a little and he could see the sadness in her eyes.

He felt his heart clench, remembering the nightmares she use to have after touching both him and Magneto so close together. That had been a rough time for her. He hadn't known about it until he had returned a year later. Was it happening again?

His worry must have shown on his face because she suddenly giggled. "Not those kind of dreams, sugar. The dreams and plans we used to have for the future.

"We?"

"Me, Bobby, John. We used to talk about everything we wanted to do. The people we wanted to be." She sighed again, getting that far away look in her eyes once more.

"And who did you want to be?" He asked softly, taking a step toward her.

She paused, wandering if she should allow herself to believe if it was going to be possible to let this go if she spoke the dream out loud. To hell with it, she thought before speaking. "A mother. I wanted the white picket fence and the dog. The husband and enough kids for a basketball team. All of it. I don't think that it will happen now. I'm probably more dangerous than I was when I had no control."

He wanted to move closer and take her into his arms. He wanted to tell her that she could still have that, maybe not with the same type of man, but with someone different. Maybe even someone better. He wanted to do all of these things and so much more, but it was at that moment when the doors opened and her friends began to pour in. Taking a step back as she threw on a false smile and pretended to be really happy, he vowed he would soon, when no one else was there to ruin the moment.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She looked around at everyone, noticing how all of her friends seemed to not quite be able to fully relax. Even Syrin, who was usually so upbeat and laid back with a smile looked as if she was ready to run out of the room screaming if someone made a sudden move. She wasn't sure if it was because Logan was chaperoning or the fact that she wasn't covered from head to toe completely. Or, if it was because they were all fearful of the monster lurking in her head.

She did a quick mental scan around the room, realizing that it wasn't any of those things, but Kitty's presence that made most of these people uneasy. She felt the muscles in her shoulders relax with relief.

Kitty was the one person in the room, though, who was nerve wreaked over having to be there. Rogue felt her lips curl into a sinister smile as she made her way over to where Jubilee was standing, trying to tell Kitty that this was something that needed to be done.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Hey, Kitty," Rogue whispered as she walked to them. Kitty stopped what she was saying mid sentence, turning to look at her. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jubilee back off to go talk to a few of the other kids there.

"Hey, Rogue. How are you doing?" The phony sweetness in her voice made Rogue's stomach churn.

"Just fine. I think we need to talk, though. There are a few things I need to say. For your own benefit, it might be safer to talk in a room full of people." Rogue shrugged before leaning against the wall. "Or we could always just go out into the hall. Either way's fine by me."

"No. Here's fine." Kitty looked around; wanting to make sure someone was paying attention to what they were doing. When she noticed Logan's eyes on them, she let go of a breath she hadn't been aware that she had been holding. "Listen, Rogue, I'm so…"

"No, Katherine. It's my turn to talk." Rogue shot her a look that made her jaw snap shut, cutting off her apology. "I know how you and Bobby feel about each other. I've known for a long time. I just need to know why. I thought we were friends. Teammates. I thought I could trust you. I should be able to."

Kitty took a step back, her body becoming flush with the wall behind her. "Don't hurt me."

"I should, right? I should wrap my fingers around that little neck of yours and just squeeze." Rogue's eyebrows knitted together and she could almost feel herself doing it. "But I won't. I'm better than that. I should beat your ass down where you stand, and spit on you, but, I won't do that either. No, since you were once my friend, I'll give you some much needed advice. Every time I needed him, Bobby was out with you. Don't for a second think that he wouldn't do the same thing to you."

"He wouldn't. He lov…"

"What? Love's you? Yeah, I thought the same things once, too. We both know how that turned out. Bobby doesn't love anyone but Bobby, Kitty. Don't fool yourself for one second and think that he won't turn his back on you when some fresh piece of ass comes along." Rogue paused to take a breath, wanting to collect her emotions. Her expression became softer and a little more friendly.

"We didn't pla…"

"You might not have, but he sure the hell did. You didn't think it was a little strange that the night of the funeral, he came to your room instead of to mine? That maybe his place should have been with his girlfriend?" Rogue laughed. "Think about it. I know what you were doing out there on that pond. I was in his room, looking for him when I saw you two kiss. I left to take the cure for him, not for myself. It wasn't until I was standing outside the doors of that facility did I realize that I was a fool. I thought it would be better for us both if I could touch, if I could give him what he couldn't have. But I knew it wouldn't make any difference and so I backed out."

"But now you can touch. Emma said you have control." Kitty wasn't sure why she was telling her all of this and Rogue could see the confusion in her eyes. "I have to worry that you can take him back with the crook of your finger."

"I don't want him back, Kitty. If he had loved me, he would have been by my side when I needed him. He's yours. And yes, I do have control of my mutation, but it was at the cost of my sanity. Even then, it's still a better trade off then what I would have been left with if I had stayed on that first path."

"What are you trying to get at?"

"Keep an eye one him, have your fun, but don't give him everything. Because he will take it and keep it and relish in it as he goes off with his new girl, and you will be left with nothing but bitterness that will fester and eat away at you. You don't have the strength to be hurt like that. Don't let him have everything."

"Why are you telling me this?"

Rogue sighed, not to sure of the reason herself. She hadn't meant to say all these things to her, hadn't meant to warn her, only scare her a little before forgiveness could come. "Because, even with all the things you have done, I have to forgive you before I can fully heal. Otherwise…."

"Otherwise?"

"Otherwise it might kill you and everyone else here."

~*~*~*~*~*~

His eyes followed her as she left the girl in the corner to melt through the wall. He watched her as she moved from group to group, greeting everyone and laughing as they told her about the things that she missed. And his gaze lingered on her neck as she tilted back a can of some kind of drink, watching the muscles in her throat work.

He wondered about how he would go about talking to her, and if she was actually ready for something like this. Then again, was he? Was this something he was going to lose interest in after he got it?

He didn't think so, but you never knew.

He was thinking of her as more than the kid she had been in his eyes a few weeks ago. And, that maybe, she could be what he was mission. Part of him was even starting to enjoy the idea. But, there was another part, something darker, that whispered to him when he was alone in the darkness of the night in his room, when he was most vulnerable. And the things this part said made the hair on the nape of his neck stand up on end, and the coldness of fear grab his heart. "It's not Rogue you want, you know. It's that part of Jean that's lodged in her head. That piece of her that just will not die. It wasn't Jean you wanted, either. You could feel that other thing inside of her, and that's what you wanted. It's Phoenix that you want, you know."

He didn't want to believe it, but how could he ignore it. He hadn't looked at Rogue like this before. It wasn't until she had this thing in her that he had ever thought about her in that light. If she got that thing out of her head, if she killed that thing, would he still want her? For him, that was the scariest part of this whole mess.

End Notes:

Wanted her to choke out Kitty, really did. But this is what came out.

Chapter 15

Author's Notes:

Sorry took so long. Been kinda busy.

She relished in the silence as they worked together to clean the mess. With Logan there, everyone had been on their best behavior so there wasn't too much to do. Just as she was stuffing the last pizza box into the over sized trash bag, she heard him clear his throat.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"So, big dance coming up?" He asked, catching her attention. She looked at him questioningly and he wanted to kick himself. If it had been any one else, he would have just jumped into flirting and laid it on thick. But this wasn't just anyone. This little slip of a woman was the strongest person he knew. Had ever really known as far as he could remember. Before, he had always been proud of her strength and survival instincts. But now, he just found her intimidating.

"I guess so," she said a little quietly, drawing his attention back to her. He was starting to feel like an ass.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She wasn't sure where he was going with this, but knew that it wasn't small talk. He had never been one for something as trivial as that. "I think most of the girls are pretty excited. Why?"

~*~*~*~*~*~

The feeling to kick himself grew stronger as he wiped his now damp palms on his jeans. "Are you excited?"

"Not really," she shrugged as she began to toss the cans into a box marked recycling. "I probably won't be stable enough. And, even if I was, it's not like I'll be asked. I'm not exactly a comfortable date, you know."

He was taken aback by her own self view. It wasn't really something he had expected of her to think, not after all she'd been through, all she'd done.

"That's not true," he said as he walked forward. He did something then that he had wanted to do since the party started. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close, wanting her to feel the safety he was offering just as much as he needed to feel her softness. "Don't ever think of yourself like that, Darlin. You're better than that and any of the guys here. Better than all of them. No one else was willing to make the sacrifice you were out there."

"You were," she whispered as she looked up into his hazel eyes. Eyes she had never seen so soft and arm and sad all at the same time. A look she had never expected to be on the receiving end of.

"Yeah, but not for the same reasons." he sighed as he tightened his hold. "I'm a selfish man with selfish motivations. You should know that better than anyone."

"Maybe I had my own selfish reasons that night," she whispered back as she hid her face in his shirt.

He grabbed her chin with his right hand, not loosening his left, and made her look at him. "What ever your reason's were, you saved a lot of people. There were a number of ways that what happened on that island could have been done differently. They could have stayed, but they ran. They took the easy way out and helped SOLDIERS escape."

"You let them," she reminded him, "you told them to go."

"Yeah, and that was my own selfish ass getting in the way. If I hadn't, they probably would have stayed. Instead, we all took the easy way out and did what we thought was best for us. You were the only one who was thinking of someone else. That makes you better than everyone here." He pulled her back in, squeezing her tightly. "Look, I'll make a deal with you. You keep getting stronger and you get a hold on this thing, and, if you feel secure and the psychics give the ok, and if you want to, I would like to take you to that dance thing. What do you say?"

She wasn't sure if he was asking because he wanted to go with her or for her, but, right then, it didn't really matter. It was a chance to feel normal again.

"I'd like that, Logan."

Chapter 16

She spent the next week or so working with Pitor, learning about his mutation and how much strength it really took to concentrate and to turn into metal. Before, when she had used his gift, it had always been automatic. She would turn metal without even thinking about it, but, now that she knew that she didn't have to touch him to do it, it was almost exhausting. Because of this, she began to work out harder, to tone herself so that she could still have a cache of energy stored for when she became metal.

She and Pitor also grew closer. They would have dinner together in her room, talking about things from before, the lives they once had, and where they saw themselves in the future. She found it intriguing that he wasn't planning on being a permanent part of the team for the next fifteen years or so, but that he was thinking about becoming a professional artist. It was his passion, and when he spoke about it, be became more excited than she could ever remember seeing him. It was as if his entire demeanor changed. He was suddenly a kid again, instead of the man he had become, dreaming of the days when he could sit outside of his home without any problems, painting a sunset or a tree. Really anything that caught his eye.

He showed her his sketches and some of the pieces he had done that he hadn't sent back to his family. Unlike many of the other's here, his family supported him immensely, and were proud to tell their friends and neighbors about how his mutant son was excelling in the states. They were happy that he was a mutant and that he excepted himself. They were happy that he was becoming a man.

She told him of what had happened to her when her powers manifested, something she had never told anyone since that night on the train all those years ago. How she had left home to protect her family and how she had ended up here. He told her of how he had manifested just when he needed to most, when his sister was in danger, and how his mutation had saved her life. And she told him how she had nearly killed the first boy she had ever really loved.

They had cried together then, him holding her and her feeling secure as she finally let all the pain from that day out. There was nothing romantic between them, nothing that would put a damper on their friendship as something as silly as lust would have. They loved each other, yes, but it was more of a sibling love than anything, and anyone who witnessed them together knew that. She had found a friend in the man who was once her teammate. And it helped her to control all of the insecurities she was beginning to face.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"You're not doing it right!" He bellowed at her as she stood up from her crouch. She didn't understand why he was putting her through all of these exercises, why it was so important for her to learn how to spring. "Try it again. Remember to keep your damn knees tucked in this time, won't you?"

She let out a low growl, her face reddening when he chuckled at her. He wasn't supposed to have heard that, but, then again, he did have that damn super hearing, didn't he?

She didn't wait for him to give the signal this time. She leapt before he fully turned around, and found herself impaled through both shoulders on his bone claws.

"You weren't ready," he said as he pulled his claws back in, letting her drop to the floor unceremoniously. "Now, remember what I told you. Concentrate on the pain. Don't let it consume you."

She did as he said, putting all over her attention on the fire that burned in both shoulders. She could feel the pain lessening slowly, the wounds closing. The dampness from the blood was still there, as it should be. She had lost enough of it. But her body was rapidly producing more. "Fuck. Are you trying to kill me? Did you really have to use both sets?"

"Yup. This gets you ready for anything." Logan replied gruffly as he helped her to her feet. Rogue looked up at him, noting the fire in his eyes, realizing that he was enjoying this.

"You hate me, don't you? Deep down inside?" She asked as she backed away from him, careful not to turn her back. "You like to see me in pain, right?"

"You should know better than that already, Darlin. I'm just trying to get you ready for this."

"For what, Logan? For the claws? We've been working together for two weeks now, and you still haven't let me pop them out. I need to have your abilities completely under control before prom, remember? Not just your senses. ALL OF THEM. You promised that you would take me. You asked me. Is this your way of backing out?" She knew she hit a sore spot when she saw him flinch. Knew that he always kept his word, no matter what, and that he didn't back out from anything. That was why he only gave it so rarely.

"We would move on if you would listen to what I say and keep your knees tucked in under you. Now, try it again."

She didn't wait for him to turn around again. She attacked without notice, turning into metal form and unleashing her claws at the same time. She felt the pain, all of it, but, at the same time, she didn't. She wouldn't let herself concentrate on the physical aspect of the pain as he had instructed her in the beginning. She concentrated on the pain she wanted to inflict, the dominance that she wanted to instill. The blood she wanted to spill.

She felt her claws meet their target, stunning her into realization. She wanted to tell lie to him and herself as she drew her claws back, watching him heal before her eyes. She hadn't punctured anything major, which was why he was still standing, watching her watch him. The wounds in his arms closed fast, and he was able to cross his arms. She wanted to tell herself and him that it was the Phoenix, trying to grab for control that made her go off like that, but, looking into his eyes, she knew that they both knew the truth.

"That's what I was trying to prepare you for, kid. Phoenix ain't the only animal that you have locked inside that pretty little head of yours. You got another one in their, too." He knelt down in front of her, watching her carefully. "This animal isn't one that you can cage up like you did Phoenix, either. This is one you have to live with, tolerate, respect. This one doesn't know anything about right or wrong. This one doesn't think normally. All it knows is anger. And if you let that anger get to you, you better hope that it's Phoenix that takes over before this one does. At least you might have a slim chance of reasoning with her. This one, well, their ain't no rhyme or reason in this one's world. Only the kill."

"This is the same one that you got in your head, isn't it?" She asked softly as she pulled her claws back in and drew back her metal form.

"Naw. This one is yours. She's like mine, though. A whole lot." He smiled as he stood straight again. They sat on the mat, just like they did after every session to meditate. "She comes from what ever happened to you to make you who you are. What ever it was that kept you from being ever to turn off your skin, well, that's what made this thing, too."

"My father," she said softly. She had promised to tell him about it when she was ready. She hadn't realized that being 'ready' would be so damn painful. "My father made this. He used to rape me when I was really young. He was sick, and it's hard for me to understand why anyone could do that to a little girl. A child barely out of diapers. It had happened for years, I guess. My mother disappeared when I was just a baby. I think he did something to her. My foster parents tried to erase those memories, but they only suppressed them really well."

He had known that she had been through something bad when she was a child, but he hadn't even thought that it had come from her own father's hand. How sick can a man really be to want to do that to any child, much less his own? "You want to go track him down? We can do that, you know. Hell, we'll make it into a lesson on how to harness your anger long enough to make someone suffer."

"Naw. I think he's already dead and buried. I think my foster father took care of that." She sighed, folding her knees up in front of her and wrapping her arms around them, wanting to hold onto something. She wasn't crying, and, oddly enough, didn't feel like it. Maybe she was finally getting a handle on her emotions. "I guess when I got those memories back, the memories of what he did to me, and I could turn off my skin, my own little deadly animal awoke, ready to protect me."

"I think so, too. I could smell it on you that day in the med bay. I didn't say nothing, but I should have. I think that's why the psychics never found her. She was hibernating."

"So now what? How long is it going to take me to get this thing under control?"

"Never. You been listening? You will never be able to control her, Marie." He used her name this time, her real name. The only time he ever seemed to use it was when they were alone and he wanted to get his point across. "She's not something to be controlled. You try to control her and she will take over. Trust me on this. This just means that you and I will be working closer, now. A whole lot closer. I'll teach you what you need to know to survive with her. I'll teach you how to let go of your anger and how to keep a harness on it. You keep it bottled up and she's going to explode."

At the rate this was going, pretty soon she would start to wonder if she was going to be able to allow herself to feel any emotions.

Chapter 17

Author's Notes:

This one is really short, but I thought that it would be better if Logan was able to let his frustrations out. More believable than the way he had just brushed it off in the last chapter.

He could feel every muscle in his body cry for rest as he repeatedly punched the simulation in front of him. But he ignored it, letting all of his anger out as he went. He wasn't fighting any member or the brotherhood this time, nor were their any soldiers in his way. No. This was a simulation he designed himself as soon as he sent Rogue up to her room. He had been able to keep his anger restrained so as not to startle her. And then he came here, to the danger room, to unleash everything. And the simulation before him was one that he had never met before, and didn't know what he might have really looked like. A man just a few inches taller than himself. A burly man with a thick southern accent who had a thing for little girls. Her father. He growled as he let his claws out and buried them into the simulation in front of him, stopping only to watch it die before another appeared before him. He would spend the reminder of the night letting it all out before he would face her again, only wishing that it was the real thing and not just a simulation.

End Notes:

Pretty much just that he kept it inside so as not to scare Rogue. But he did feel something about it.

Chapter 18

Prom was only a week away, and she needed to prepare for it. Emma and Psylocke had both given her permission after making her promise to tell them if she felt funny in any kind of weird way.

"Who are you going to go with?" Emma asked quietly, staying out of the younger woman's mind. "You were asked, weren't you?"

"Actually, Logan asked me," Rogue smiled tightly, feeling the instincts of disapproval from both psychics. "It's not like that between us. We've been through a lot together, you know. I know him better than anyone, and he's always been my own personal support system when I needed one. He's just taking me so that I can feel normal for once. I think it's really just his way of saying he's not upset with me for what happened."

Emma and Psylocke looked at each other, both thinking the same thing. For a telepath, Rogue sure wasn't very in tuned.

"How about we set up a shopping trip. We'll go on a day when the mall won't be too busy. How's Thursday afternoon?" Emma asked, thoughtfully, not too sure what she had planned.

Rogue scrunched her nose tightly. Today was Sunday, and the dance was on Saturday. That wouldn't give her a whole lot of time for any alterations and planning on her makeup and hair style if she waited until Thursday. Especially since she wasn't too sure of what kind of dress she wanted. "What about tomorrow? It's Monday. The beginning of the work week, and all of the best dresses will be available tomorrow."

"I have a meeting tomorrow, and Psylocke has to go to England for a few days." Emma thought thoughtfully, understanding Rogue's dilemma. She was 20 years old, and this was probably going to be the first formal dance she was going to be apart of. The fact that she could now touch was also something special. "How about if we have someone go with you? Someone who can watch out for you?"

"Like who?"

~*~*~*~*~*~

"How has training with Logan been?" Scott asked lightly as they maneuvered their way through the parking lot the next day.

She had been surprised when he had agreed to go with her. She hadn't thought that he would say yes, seeing as how they hadn't spent a lot of time together over the past month. And had been pleasantly surprised when he jumped on the chance.

"I think he is trying to either push me or kill me. Still not sure which." She sulked into her seat, still not sure where she stood with him. It was true that she had defended him and their relationship, but, considering his mood swings toward her lately, she still wasn't too sure of his feelings toward her. She thought about scanning his mind once, but brushed that idea aside, not sure if she was ready to take the pain if he really hated her. "He's avoiding me unless we have a training class scheduled. And then, he's usually pushing me way beyond what I should be doing. It's like he's trying to make me mad."

"He's just trying to help, you know. He probably doesn't understand what you are going through right now."

Rogue snorted, not wanting to comment that Logan was probably the only person who could understand. "I know."

~*~*~*~*~*~

They walked from store to store, looking for any kind of formal attire they could find. Since it was the end of April and the official prom season was over, it was hard to find anything they were looking for.

Finally, Scott found a store towards the back. It was a wedding store that sold formal attire all year long. Their selection of formal prom gowns wasn't very big but the dresses were beautiful.

"Now, why don't we let your boyfriend relax here and you and I will start looking at dresses," the sales clerk suggested, showing Scott a comfortable chair in front of three full length mirrors.

"We're not together," Rogue stammered out. "I mean, not like that. We're just friends."

"Oh, well… why isn't the boyfriend here?" Rogue couldn't believe the audacity of the sales woman, but let it go, realizing that in this type of store, most people didn't bring a man they considered just a friend.

"No, actually, there isn't one." Rogue felt like swallowing her tongue and hiding from the embarrassment this woman was putting her through as they walked to the gown selections. The only thing that was saving her was that they were too far for Scott to hear.

"Best to keep it that way. You are way too young to be tied down," the woman smiled softly, making Rogue feel a little better. "Besides, he looks a little too stuffy to be good for you. You look more like you need someone a little more, I don't know, wild."

Rogue couldn't help but smile. She was beginning to like this woman a little more every second.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She tried on several dresses, all beautiful, but none feeling right. Scott saw each one and agreed, none seemed to scream out to him, either.

Finally, she was down to the last three. One was a deep forest green that, while she loved the color, the cut was just too plain. She tried it on in the dressing room and took it right off before anyone else could see. She felt like an old woman in it.

The next was white and sleeveless, falling completely to the floor with enough material to drag a little behind her. There were little rose patterns sewn right into the material.

While it was absolutely stunning, she couldn't help but agree with Scott as he laughed and made a comment about adding a veil and it could be a wedding dress. Maybe a little too forward considering whom she was going with.

The final dress was one she wasn't sure about. The cut was nice enough, but she hadn't really thought about grey. She was actually thinking of something lighter and less drab. It was floor length, the bottom cut much like the white one before, except that there wouldn't be any kind of trail if she wore two inch heals. It had spaghetti straps and a built in bra, so she wouldn't have to worry about one. The cleavage plunged very low, but not too low so that she wouldn't have to worry about spilling out if she danced to hard. And there was a strip of cloth that was only a little lighter that would accentuate her waist and chest.

She shrugged, wondering if maybe they would have it in different colors as she slipped it over her head. She didn't even bother looking into the mirror before walking out of the dressing room this time.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Scott's felt his chest constrict when she walked out. The color seemed to accentuate her features and gave her naturally pale skin a little color. While the dress was beautiful, it didn't pull away from her own beauty, only seeming to compliment it. This was why women took so long when they shopped.

"Wow…" He whispered as she stepped up in front of the mirrors to take a look herself. If this was what happened when she wore grey, she would have to wear it more often. She noticed then the way the dress seemed to shimmer as she turned.

"I see you've decided. Would you like to look at shoes to go with it? Maybe even some earrings? You really don't want to over due this one with a necklace. It would add too much weight.

Rogue quickly changed back into her jeans and t-shirt, carefully hanging the dress back on the hanger so as not to ruin it in anyway. When she emerged, she found Scott staring at her with an unbelievable look on his face. It was obvious that he was seeing her in a new light. They still shared the psychic link she had inherited from Jean, and, suddenly, she felt anxiety coming off of him in waves. She raised an eyebrow, making him clear his throat and focusing his attention elsewhere.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They spent a half hour looking through shoes and jewelry, Rogue deciding on a pair of two inch grey heals that matched perfectly with the strip of cloth on the dress. She chose a pair of silver and diamond earrings that would hang low to her jaw line and had an antique look to them.

Then they quickly made their purchases, the sales clerk who had helped them smiling happily as the credit card Scott handed her went through without a problem.

"Why don't we go get some lunch? I need to talk to you about something," Scott mentioned as he motioned her towards the food court.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They chose a table far from the small crowd that had formed over the last few hours. Rogue glanced at her wrist watch, realizing that it was only two in the afternoon. High school kids might start pouring in soon, but that would probably be it.

Once they grabbed some lunch and were settled, she was ready to start talking.

"What's wrong, Scott?"

"Is it that obvious?" He asked with a wicked smile. She wanted to smile back, but the anxiety coming off of him seemed to escalate.

"Link, remember?" She reminded him as she tapped her left temple. "I know what your feeling."

"Yeah, well, I know what you've been feeling, too, remember? I guess that with everything that's been going on, I was kind of hoping that you wouldn't notice." He looked down at his food, pushing his chow mien around with his fork. "I mean, you've got enough going on without having to worry about me, too."

"Truth be told, I have been too busy to notice much of anything. Not until today, anyway. You want to tell me what's up?" She eyed him then, hoping that he wouldn't try to change the subject."

"I'm thinking about leaving," he said with a shrug. "I've been thinking about it for awhile now, Rogue. There's not much left here for me and I think it's time to move on for awhile. My whole life's been about the X-men and what they stand for, but, now…."

"Now, you just don't know."

"I always wanted a family. A wife and kids. Jean wanted to wait until it was safer. She didn't want to have to worry about her children growing up without one of us if something happened when we went out on missions." She noticed that it was almost as if he was looking threw her then, remembering conversations and fights from the past. Fears that they both shared.

"Do you know where you are going to go?" She asked, hoping to derail him, but she should have known that he would already have a plan all set up. "How long?"

"Alaska. I'm from there, originally. Haven't been back in a while, but I got a cabin on the outskirts of Anchorage that needs some work done. I don't really know how long. Maybe a year? Maybe longer? Can't say. Probably as long as it takes for me to want to come back. It just doesn't feel like home, anymore." He sighed, dropping his fork and pushing the plate away. Suddenly, she didn't feel so hungry anymore, either. "I want to see what's up there for me. If there's anything. Does that make since?"

"Perfectly. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like if I returned to Mississippi. What would happen? You know, I haven't heard anything from my folks since I left. I never kept contact, not wanting anything to happen to them because of me." She felt her eyes misting, and knew that if they didn't change the topic soon, she was going to cry.

"I am going to give you the address. If you need a place to go, my place is always open."

"When are you leaving?"

"Saturday morning, before the dance. I don't really want to be here for goodbyes, so I'm going to sneak out early while everyone is getting ready for the dance." He said as he reached into his pocket for something. "I wanted you to have this, though."

He handed her a set of keys and she noticed that they weren't his car keys. They were to the motorcycle he had bought last week. A beautiful machine he had tweeked a little.

"I'm taking the one Jean got for me after Logan took off with the first, and I won't have room for three."

"And the other one? The one Logan gave back?"

"Figured he might like it. Gave him the keys this morning."

She looked at the set in her hands, wondering how long it would be before she could try it out. "I don't know what to say." She whispered as she looked up at him. "Thanks, Scott."

"Just take care of her," he replied with a smile. "And make sure that you ride her down to Mississippi if you get the chance."

End Notes:

Figured that it had been a while since I mentioned Scott and it would be good to write him out for now. Besides, Rogue needs her own set of wheels.

Chapter 19

She awoke early Saturday morning as she felt a pull in the psychic link she shared with Scott. Quickly getting up and throwing on her robe, she opened the door to find him waiting on the other side, bag in one hand.

They greeted each other silently, neither knowing what to say or that it was even worth it to speak.

He turned away from her, heading to the elevator that would take him to the garage. And she followed with out a word.

He had said his goodbyes to everyone else the night before, promising that he would return one day, but not giving any indication of when. "Only time will tell," he told them as reassuringly as he could. He then made them all promise not to give him a huge farewell. That they shouldn't even get up. It would be too much for him, he said.

Of course, that didn't apply to her. She was the closest thing to Jean he had now, and it just wouldn't be fitting if she weren't there.

She followed him into the elevator, a tear gently crawling down her cheek. She couldn't bring herself to look at him, just as she knew he couldn't look at her.

She followed him into the garage, and then over to where the bikes were parked in a perfect line. In a few moments, one would be gone, and it would never look right again. At least not until the middle one was back where it belonged.

He secured the bag on to the back of the bike, making sure it was snug. He turned to look at her then, finally acknowledging her presence.

"It isn't forever, Rogue. We both know that," he said as he threw his arms around her.

"It could be. You can't say that. You don't know what later is going to hold for us," she whispered as she hugged him back, silently crying. "No one does."

"I know it. We'll see each other again. You'll come for a visit, or I'll come home. Either way, no matter how far apart we are, we'll always be able to feel each other, you know." He pulled away and smiled at her, both knowing that it was true. "You need me, you know how to reach me."

"I know," she said with a giggle between tears. He was always only a thought away.

"Just be careful not to let this place do to you what it did to me. You might go on to save the world and all, but that doesn't mean that is all you need to do. You have to remember to live for yourself, too. This isn't all you are." She could see the pain and hurt on his face and knew that he was wondering what would have happened to him and Jean if they hadn't made this life their whole world.

"Just remember to get a hold of me if you get into any trouble and I will personally fly the jet out there myself to pick your ass up." Her comment made him smile, which, in turn, made her do the same. It lightened the mood for just a second.

And then he did something that neither of them was prepared for him to do. He bent his head and kissed her. It was a soft kiss, but it had passion in it that she had never known him to possess. It lasted for only a second, and when he pulled away, they both knew that it didn't mean anything for either.

"I had to try, you know. Just to see if there might be something I would miss out on." He said softly, shrugging a little. "I just wanted to know if there could have been something between us."

"And what did you feel?" She asked, eyeing him carefully. What he said next could kill their friendship if it was the wrong thing to say.

"Honestly?" He smiled coyly, watching her carefully. "I felt something. It was like what I would imagine kissing my sister would be."

They both laughed at that. She didn't have to say it, but they both knew she felt the same way.

And then he jumped on his bike and rode away. She watched him for as long as she could, until she couldn't see him anymore. For a moment, she imagined that he was some gallant knight, off to look for adventure, treasure, and, most importantly, his princess.

She sent out a prayer that he would find what he was looking for and that he would return safe and happy. And then she turned to wander back to her room where she would meet Jubilee for breakfast before they began to get ready for the dance.

End Notes:

Alright, I know. Icky Scott kissed Rogue. But I had to do it. Wanted to clear up just what kind of relationship they had before someone got the wrong idea!

Up Next: Prom!!!! And, who knows, maybe a real kiss by someone better?

Chapter 20

The dance had been well underway for over an hour, and yet, he still hadn't felt the little mind tickle she had promised to send when she was ready for him. He wasn't upset, though. The longer she took, the shorter they had to stay. Part of him was hoping that, just maybe, he wouldn't have to even go to this thing. Maybe she would change her mind and they could go out and get something to eat instead. Go for a ride on the bike Scott had given him.

But then there was that dress that he was dying to see. He had asked Scott what she had gotten when they had returned. But, of course, Scooter wouldn't say. He only got all quiet and red, a goofy grin spreading across his face. It took a lot for him not to skewer the other man. But he did take it as a sign that the dress was worth seeing.

And then he felt it, just as he was allowing himself to hope. The little mind tickle he had been waiting on. He stepped out of his room just as her door opened. Holding his breath, he felt his heart stutter as he watched her emerge in the scraps of grey that seemed to cling to her in all the right places.

"Sorry I took so long. You wouldn't believe how many bobby pins I had to use to keep my hair up like this."

He tore his eyes away from her cleavage, only catching every other word of her sentence. He took notice of her hair then, seeing the way the brown locks were all piled on top of her head in curls. He couldn't smell any hair spray, so he figured that she must have used a lot of those pin things. The locks of white were hanging down in lazy curls, framing her face, and hanging low enough to skim over her breasts. He had the distinct urge to trace the line where her dress ended and her breasts began, but fought it off. He still wasn't too sure where they stood and didn't want to upset her.

"Considering that you've been gawking for a full minute now, I take it that you approve?"

"And then some, Darlin," he said as he offered her his arm. "Are you ready to head down?"

He couldn't help the goofy smile as they began to walk down to the dance.

~*~*~*~*~*~

The music was loud enough to hurt his enhanced hearing, but he didn't mind much. Marie was having the time of her life and that was all that mattered.

All eyes had locked onto them when they had entered, unsure of whether of not it was because of him even being there or how great Marie looked. He figured it was both, mixed in with the fact that he was in a tux and the curiosity everyone had over the fact that they were there together.

The music was a mixture of mostly love songs with some fast pop. He usually sat out for the fast music, opting to watch Marie dance with her friends. He couldn't help but chuckle as she turned down offers for slow dances, keeping them open for himself. And when a slow song began, he was always right at her side, ready to sweep her off of her feet.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She had never had so much fun in her life. Everything was absolutely beautiful and magnificent. There were a few set backs, of course. Such as the fact that Jubilee and Syrin had worn the same dress in different colors. Even better was that Jubilee had settled for the blue verison because someone had bought the last yellow an hour before. Come to find out that it had been Syrin. But that had been cleared up before she had even arrived.

And there was also the fact that, even though he had helped to set up, Pitor was absent. She promised herself that she would check on him later, after the dance.

For now, she was being held close by a tux clad Logan, slow dancing. She could feel his warm breath on her neck and it was almost as if he was enjoying this as much as she was. Just as the song was ending, she began to pull
away, anticipating the fast song that she was sure was coming next. But he wouldn't let go. Instead, he pulled her in closer, inhaling light perfume she was wearing. She wasn't sure what was going on, but she allowed herself to be caught up into it, not wanting this to be her imagination.

Just as the song started, an old, slow one, by Usher, she felt herself flushed against him, dancing as close as possible. His hands weren't just holding her, but grasping on, as if she might be torn away from him at any moment. She couldn't help but relish in the way he was holding her. They were staring into each other's eyes, and she felt her heart beat faster.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She was so soft and warm, he hadn't wanted to let go. Every instinct in his body screamed to hold on tighter, and so he did, knowing that this could either go very wrong or very good. No in-between. There was no going back from this point, and it looked as if she wanted it just as much as he was.

He couldn't tare his eyes away from hers, even if he wanted to. He could see everything he needed to know in those large brown eyes. All the fear she had, but the want and need, also. He wanted to make this good for her, to let her know that he wasn't going anywhere with out her. To let her know that he was hers for life, whether she wanted him or not.

But he couldn't think of the words to say it, so, instead, he dipped his head, finally closing his eyes, and devoured her mouth. He put all of his feelings into it, all of the passion and want that had been building up in him. And it tasted more wonderful than he knew it would.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She had never felt so wonderful in her entire life. Logan was kissing her and the world seemed to stand still. She was falling in love and she knew that he felt the same way.

End Notes:

I hope this was an adequate kiss! I wanted some passion behind it. Like they just couldn't hold back any more.

Chapter 21

They walked quietly, hand in hand, through the garden. After the kiss, she had been flushed, and, when he had quietly asked if she wanted some air, she could only nod in agreement. The butterflies were still fluttering in her stomach, but it was the most magical feeling in the world.

"I had a wonderful time, tonight," she whispered, breaking the silence. Neither had wanted to say anything, not wanting to ruin the moment with needless chatter. But she knew that it was time to push forward. Hopefully, they would be pushing in the same direction, now. "You look wonderful in a tux. You should try it a little more often."

They came to a stone bench, and he gently nudged her to sit on it. For a second, she was afraid that he was going to tell her it was a mistake, that he shouldn't have kissed her.

"I love you, Marie." Her muscles relaxed with relief even as her heartbeat sped faster. He was sitting on the bench with her now, caressing her hand softly, and keeping eye contact. "I want you in my life. Do you know what that means?"

"Forever," she whispered back, holding her head up with dignity. She had known what it would mean when she kissed him back, knew what a relationship with him would cost her. And she had jumped in head first with no restraints.

"Are you willing to give that to me?" He whispered as he kissed her slightly parted lips. He needed to be sure that she knew exactly what he was asking of her, what she would be giving up. "Will you give me everything you have, every moment of your life?"

"Yes," she whispered passionately as she felt him nip at her bottom lip. She grabbed his jacket with one hand, meeting his lips. This moment was everything as they explored each other's souls under the stars. Nothing could have been more perfect, more exciting and new and so right. Nothing could ruin the moment they were sharing. Nothing….

"Rogue, why you kissin Logan?" Nothing except a tin man who can't hold his liquor. For a moment, she wanted to pretend that she didn't hear Pitor sloshing around in the background as she kissed Logan back. And, but the way his hand snaked through her hair, crushing their lips together, it seemed that Logan felt the same way.

"You wanna come up for some air, Rogue?" The words were spoken right into her ear in the thick Russian accent. She could feel Logan growling, controlling himself for her sake.

She pulled away, knowing that this nightmare wasn't going to end any time soon. Logan sat up indignantly and irritated, but quietly. Surprisingly, it seemed that he was going to let her handle this.

"Pitor, what's the matter? How much have you had to drink?"

"What drink?" Pitor shrugged, feigning innocence. "I have nothing to dink. Nothin. It's all gone."

"That's because you drank it all, Tincan." Rogue couldn't help but roll her eyes at Logan's gruff response. She wasn't sure what to do in this situation. She didn't want to leave Logan right now, but she couldn't turn her back on a friend that that so obvious needed some help. "Listen, Rogue. Why don't you take Pete into the kitchen and get him some coffee or something. I think he needs a friend right now."

Rogue smiled, realizing that Logan was making the difficult decision for her. She kissed him again, softly and full of gratitude this time. Pulling away, she realized there were tears in her eyes as his face suddenly became a little blurred. "Thank you, Logan."

~*~*~*~*~*~

He stood to leave, realizing that he needed a cold shower as much as Pitor needed some caffeine. He hadn't heard what he had wanted to hear, but what she had said was enough for now. She knew what getting involved with him meant, and, in the end, he was a little happy that Pitor had come when he had. Other wise, Logan wasn't sure he would have been able to stop, and he didn't think that Marie was ready for that just yet.

"Logan," she called out to him and he turned to see that she had hiked up her skirt so that she could run to catch him. She stopped in front of him, looking into his eyes. He wanted to touch her badly, but didn't trust himself to leave it at that.

"I just wanted to say… I love you, too, Logan." She kissed him then. The first time that she had initiated the kiss, and he felt himself melting into her arms.

And then she broke it, turning and running back to her friend, who was currently emptying his stomach into a rose bush.

Logan only smiled as he went on his way.

End Notes:

This was only a little set up for the next chapter.

Chapter 22

She watched and rubbed his back as he spilled everything from his stomach, not saying a word as she ignored the retching noises he was making. She let her mind wander back to before. To the kisses and the touches and the words he had said.

He loved her. As much as she loved him and they were both willing to spend their long lives together. He had been her friend first and they had been through a lot already. It only seemed fitting that they would end up together. It was only a question of why it took them so long to figure it out. Maybe it was because they weren't ready to see it before. They had been so content on just being friends. But now it was time to take that next step.

She knew they would have to go slow at first, if only for her own piece of mind. There were still things she hadn't allowed herself to come to terms with, things in her past. Maybe it was time to do that. Maybe it was time to take a trip and figure out some of the secrets of her own past, just like he had done before. Would he understand? Would he support her in this? Would he want to go?

Her train of thought was lost as Pitor stood straight and burped, letting the world know he was finished.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Thank you, Rogue. I didn't realize how bad I was." Three cups of black coffee later, and it seemed that Pitor was finally able to make coherent sentences again.

"That's what friends are for, Pete. How much did you drink?" She asked playfully as she handed him another cup before taking a seat across from him at the small kitchen table. He took it from her gladly, and she couldn't help the smile that spread across her face as the strong Russian blew on the dark brew to cool it.

"Who was counting?" He replied with his own goofy grin. "I just got a little sad. I thought it would be a good idea to go have a drink and maybe paint a bit after I helped with the decorationg. The next think I knew, I saw you and Logan out on the bench, and I'm having an impossible time trying to figure why he would have to give you mouth to mouth sitting up."

"That's now what he was doing, Pete." She rolled her eyes as he gave out a loud bellow. She smiled at his eager laugh, feeling a little useful at helping to cheer him up.

"I know that now, of course," Pitor said with a grin. She felt her cheeks grow red under his scrutinizing gaze. "Just yesterday, you were complaining about how hard he's been on you and wondering if he secretly hated you. Would you care to tell me what I missed?"

"Well, you know that he invited me to the dance a few weeks ago, right?" She asked, back tracking. "I thought it was because he felt bad and didn't really think that I would be able to go. And then when we started training together, he was pushing me harder then I had ever seen him push anyone."

"You now understand why he had to?" Pitor asked, his eyebrows knitted together in concentration. She had never told anyone of what had happened when she and Logan were sparring, of her attacking him like she did, or of the second animal that might be living inside of her. Her own personal animal.

"Now I do," she whispered softly. She didn't want to elaborate and he must have deducted this from the look on her face. He sat back in his chair, waiting patiently for her to continue as she straightened everything out in her head. "Well, when he came to get me for the prom, it was a little strange. He just kept staring at me like I had grown a third boob or something."

"That is quiet a lovely dress, Rogue. It's no wonder that he wasn't able to control himself when you thought you were alone. I must say that it does seem to show off your… physical assets beautifully." He said, eyeing her cleavage pointedly.

"I am going to pretend that you didn't just say that," she said angrily, glaring at him. But she knew that he was only playing around. There was nothing between them that could even be considered romantic. "Anyway, at the dance, some of the guys kept asking for a slow dance, but I just couldn't do it. It was the only time Logan would dance with me, and I wanted to keep each one open just for him. And then they played this song and I found him holding me tighter and the mood was just so right, I kept hoping that he would just kiss me. And then he did."

"And what was that the drunk interrupted?" Pitor asked playfully.

"That was a discussion that we were trying to have about what it would mean if we became a couple. Of course, by the time you came showed up, I think that we had both lost a little control."

"And you love him?"

"For a long time now," she whispered, her eyes snapping to the window just behind Pitor's head. She thought she had heard something outside, but she wasn't sure and Pitor hadn't seemed to notice, so she would just keep an ear open. "I think I've loved him from the beginning."

"Yes, I see it. I saw it before in your eyes. They were always softer when you spoke about him. Softer than when you spoke about Bobby, even." He said softly, sipping the last of his coffee. "And he has loved you for a while now, too."

She wanted to ask him how he could possibly know that, but their minds filled with the sound of Emma's thoughts. She was summoning everyone to the briefing room. Something had happened. Something big if Emma was even calling to her.

Chapter 23

"We have received word that Magneto has come back into his abilities," Emma stated once the team was securely inside the briefing room. "It seems the cure is only temporary and he has been recruiting members for a new Brotherhood. He is at this time in Nevada, attacking the Area 51 sight, claiming that there are mutants that are being held their. It seems that the area was reconstructed to act as a prison for criminal mutants. From what we can gather, Magneto is upset about the segregation."

"It's understandable why he is upset," Psylocke stepped in. "But, at the same time, it is also understandable why this was a necessity. Some of these mutants are very dangerous and must be kept in a prison equip for their different abilities. While other's who aren't as dangerous are there because their physical mutations would force them to endure the dangers of being incarcerated in a more traditional prison."

"But isn't it possible that the more powerful mutants would show the same animosity toward those less powerful?" Kitty asked. Rogue wanted to snort. That issue was besides the point and everyone knew it. They weren't their to discuss and debate the prison's facilities and the way the government ran it.

She felt an arm snake around her waist, and she looked up to see Logan standing beside her. She let her mental block down just enough to read his thoughts, and wanted to laugh when it was clear he was thinking the same thing. Kitty was an overachieving idiot.

"It's actually run extremely well, with the more dangerous population kept on the one side, while the rest or on the other," Emma interjected, eyeing Kitty reproachfully. "It's actually better than many of the more conventional prisons. Cleaner, better food. The government there is making sure that these people are being treated decently, mainly because it's where they keep all of their criminal mutants and that they understand that most of the offences were out of desperation, such as petty theft, breaking an entry, and repeated trespassing."

"To get us all back on track," Psylocke said quickly, reigning in everyone's attention again. "We have reason to believe that this is just a cover for his real motives. It seems that an ally of his is incarcerated here. Someone all of you might remember well."

The large computer screen blinked to life behind her and everyone was staring into the face on Pyro.

"We weren't sure he had even survived the assault on Alcatraz until a week ago, when he was picked up at a casino in Las Vegas. He was taken into custody and sent directly to the facility, pending trial next month. We believe that Magneto intends to free him in the early morning when the prison does their shift change at 6am."

It was now a quarter to three. There would be no time to waist to prepare for the fight that was to come.

"Wolverine and Storm," Emma said sharply. "You will both be needed on this one. Magneto doesn't have very many followers yet, due to the blunder he orchestrated on Alcatraz, but those who are with him are very powerful. Iceman, Colossus, Shadowcat, and Beast will accompany you, as will Psylocke. You are going to need all the help you can get and there are a few prisoners who are willing to help you. They are all incarcerated for one reason or another, but you biggest ally will be a Northern American by the name of James Proudstar, also known as Warpath. His abilities are superhuman strength and super speed."

The image flickered again, and an image of a rather dark, imposing man with long black hair came on the screen.

"What was he incarcerated for?" Bobby asked, eyeing the picture angrily.

"Well, to be perfectly honest, he is being charged with rape." Emma looked from one person to the next, waiting for someone to make a noise. "We believe that he is innocent. First of all, the girl only claimed rape after it was discovered that he was a mutant. They had been sleeping together for over a month. Secondly, when apprehended, Warpath did not try to fight his way out and did not try to escape. He went quietly, stating only that he was innocent. His trial should have started a month ago, but the state of Nevada has been having a hard time finding a jury. His brother, John Proudstar, has agreed to meet you there to devise a plan. John shares the same abilities as his brother, only on a smaller level."

"How did you get this information?" Storm asked quickly, taking the conversation on another path before tempers could rise.

"Warpath is an old acquaintance of mine. When Pyro came in, they were roomed together. Pyro wasn't being very bright and tried to recruit the him for the cause, letting him in on the entire plan. He was able to get word to his brother earlier today, and I had just gotten off the phone with John before I called you all here."

"Do we have a plan?" Logan asked gruffly, his hold on her becoming tighter as everyone turns their attention to them.

She couldn't help but note that the only one's in the room who were not surprised were the psychics and Pitor. While most were just shocked, she noticed a twitch of anger in Bobby's expression.

"Actually, I was hoping that you and Storm could come up with that. That is your area of expertise," Emma said with a smile. "Rogue, I called you here also because I am going to need your help tonight. While the rest of the team is out, I am asking you and Jubilee here to help with surveillance. I believe you are up to the task. Unless you have another opinion?"

Rogue was just overjoyed to be allowed to do something, she could only shake her head in agreement.

"Then it's settled. Everyone suit up and get ready. You will have to leave within the next 20 minutes if you are going to devise a plan with the Proudstar's."

~*~*~*~*~*~

He didn't want to go. He didn't want to leave her behind incase something happened here, but he knew he had to be there. The team needed him.

Quickly, he suited up, running to meet her in the landing dock before it was time. He had seen the worry in her eyes and he had to reassure her that he would be fine.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She heard him walk into the giant room and ran into his arms. She was still wearing her dress, but had taken off her shoes sometime ago, and now she could feel the cold floor beneath her bare feet. Her lips met his in a hard kiss, and they spent the next moment in each other's embrace, tears streaming down her face as they devoured each other.

She pulled away reluctantly, hiding her face in the leather of his uniform.

"It's going to be alright, Darlin. I've always come back before," he whispered into her hair. "There's only one thing that we know of that can kill me. And that's you."

"Stop trying to make jokes, Logan. Just promise me that you will be careful, please. I can't lose you now."

"I'll be careful. I promise. Now tell me you love me."

"I love you, Logan."

"I love you, too, Marie."

They kissed again, and that's what they were doing when the rest of the team entered the dock.

Marie was reluctant to pull away, a sensation that something big was on the horizon.

Chapter 24

She watched the plane take off with tears in her eyes. She knew he would be fine, that he would return to her soon.

She felt a little disoriented, though. Everything was happening so quickly, she could feel herself strain.

A hand landed on her shoulder and she nearly jumped out of her skin.

"He'll be alright. He is the big, bad Wolverine, you know?" Jubilee whispered behind her. "He'll be back in no time. Why don't you go get into something more comfortable while I make us some coffee? We'll meet up in the surveillance room.

Rogue nodded her agreement, turning to leave. She walked out in a daze.

~*~*~*~*~*~

It was around five in morning by the time they had their plan ready. Everyone had agreed that while Storm and the others would protect the facility against the strong hold, Wolverine and Thunderbird would go after Magneto.

Warpath and a few of the other inmates would have to handle those on the inside. It was going to be a hell of a fight.

"Alright, everyone needs to get into position. We don't have that much longer, now," Storm said as she led the way off the jet.

"Wait!" Psylocke exclaimed just before they opened the hatch. She had been silently scanning the area as they concocted the plan. "The brotherhood is here, already. They've been given orders to attack."

"We've figured that," Bobby said as he rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, but Magneto's not with them. I can't feel his mind."

"So, he's wearing his helmet." Storm interjected, wanting to get on with it.

"No. The petite is right," Gambit interjected. He had only been on the team for a few days, but he had proved himself as an able thief and fighter. They had needed all the help they could get, and so the Cajun was asked to suit up, also. It was only by sheer coincidence that he could fit into one of Cyclops's old uniforms. "I'm an empathy, remember? Don't matter what he's covering his head with. I would still feel his emotions. He's not here."

"Neither is Pyro," Psylock said softly. "The man in there is a shape shifter."

"Mystique?" Storm asked, her attention finally grasping on.

"No, a man named Morph. Something else is happening. Something even bigger."

"Where?" Logan asked quietly, fear grabbing his heart.

"At the mansion."

~*~*~*~*~*~

By the time the other's realized their mistake, it was too late. Rogue, Emma, and Jubilee were already defending the school and students against the onslaught of the more powerful mutants of the Brotherhood.

Jubilee, who had started her training a week before, was only barely holding her own against Quicksilver, a man whose mutation was super speed, while Emma was in the fight of her life against a mutant with hex ability, Scarlet Witch.

Rogue was busy trying to mentally and physically trying to dodge the metal objects being thrown at her from Magneto himself. Her claws were out and she was using the ice abilities, but it wasn't enough. She hadn't figured out how to call on her magnetism abilities yet, and, even though she had an idea of how to use fire, there was no flame around. She knew that there was no way to transform into her metal form, and she was too worried about unleashing her psychic abilities without more practice. It was just too dangerous, and she would rather giver her own life than to unleash Phoenix again.

That really only left her with one choice. She had to get closer, though. She had to be closer to fight the mad man one on one. Close enough to touch him. She already had a peace of him inside her head. If she could just grab him long enough to put him out, then she could helped the others without fear of turning metal.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"How do you know they are there?" Logan asked as the plane rumbled to life under his feet. As soon as it was apparent that they were leaving, Psylocke picked up thoughts of retreat from the members of the Brotherhood that were camping out just outside of the prison. This entire thing had been a diversion to get them away from the mansion.

"Morph's mind. He was having a hard time not to jump for glee when he realized his plan was working. But his mind was running hard on the information. No one took into consideration the fact that you would have another telepath with you." Psylocke shrugged as she fastened her safety equipment. "He really isn't the most stable mind."

"How soon can we be back?" Logan asked Storm, watching her take the controls expertly.

"Forty-five minutes, at the most. Just depends on the weather."

"Then, for the sake of your health, you better make damn sure the weather is good, Witch."

~*~*~*~*~*~

She was almost there, now. Just a few more inches, and she would be able to scratch him with her claws. She inched forward slowly, her deadly skin on and buzzing, thirsty for life after all this time of nothing. She could almost feel his energy at her finger tips, his life force.

She could see it in his eyes. He knew what was coming, and knew that he was now backed into a wall. There was no escape from her, nothing. She was almost to him, now, only a breath away, and she could see the fear in his eyes. Fear she had never felt would be so good to see.

And then the air was pushed out of her lungs as something strong and heavy collided with her, something she hadn't expected and hadn't even looked for. She could smell a woman on her, but she couldn't see. Her thinking was clouding as the personality of a woman she didn't even know existed swamped her mind.

Desperately, she tried to shut off her natural mutation, but, by the time she was able to gain control again, Rogue had another person in her head, and more blood on her hands.

End Notes:

I like it better when she has super strength and can fly....

Chapter 25

When Magneto had seen her stand up from her fight and the promise of death in her eyes, he had known the she knew everything and had quickly called back his people to retreat. The woman she had killed had been his back up support, and with her gone, he was left open for anything.

She watched him go, Emma and Jubilee joining her. The first floor of the mansion was a disaster. Although it seemed that the only room that would have to be completely rebuilt was the kitchen area Magneto had come through, the rest of the area would have to completely renovated. The furniture was destroyed and the electronics were useless.

"They won't come back. Let's check on the children," Emma whispered, not taking her gaze off the area Magneto had retreated through. The area that was once the kitchen.

"What about her?" Jubilee asked, nudging the dead woman on the floor with the toe of her boot.

"Leave her for now. She's not going anywhere," Emma replied as she turned to lead them to an elevator to the lower levels. They had spirited the children to the Danger Room for protection, leaving a few of the older teenagers in charge of the younger with explicit orders to sit tight.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They were with the children explaining the events that had happened when the others returned. Logan took her into his arms, holding her as tight as possible, burying his head in her hair. He let his hands roam over her body, looking for any sign of injury.

"She's fine, Logan," Emma snorted, looking at him wearily. "If not for her, we might not have survived the attack."

"Want to tell me what happened, Frost?" Logan growled angrily, needing something to take his frustration and fear out on.

"Sure, as soon as we get these children organized and settled. We will all meet in the Briefing Room."

~*~*~*~*~*~

They had all worked together, reassuring the children that everyone was safe. After speaking quietly to Emma, Beast went to remove the body before any of the children saw it.

"Alright, everyone. It seems that Magneto set up the prison break as a diversion to attack here. Rogue, were you able to gain any information?" Emma asked, looking at her pointedly.

"That and more," she replied quietly. "If you don't know already, I was in a position where I could touch Magneto and put him down. It seemed the only possible solution at the time. I had no intention of hurting him, only knocking him out long enough to take care of the other two mutants with him. What we did not know was that he had a fourth person. She knew of my abilities and blindsided me before I could do anything. As a result, she touched my bare skin. For unknown reasons, I could not gain control until after it was too late to spare her.

"Her name was Carol Danvers. She was a very gifted mutant. The ability to fly, super strength, invulnerability, and a psychic ability that, while not strong enough to ready someone's thoughts, she was able to strengthen to use to block her own mind, explaining why we were unable to detect her."

"And the other two?" Kitty asked softly.

"The man was named Pietro Maximoff. Also known as Quick Silver. He has the ability to run very fast it seems. The woman, Wanda Maximoff, is his twin sister. She is more of a witch mutant. She can do powerful hex's and spells. Alter perspectives. Very powerful. If they had been used more efficiently, they may have been able to pull off what they were doing. Fortunately, Magneto is a cocky man.

"An interesting information is that Pietro and Wanda are Magneto's illegitimate children. One's he only discovered recently. Their one objective was to keep anyone else busy while Magneto came for what he wanted."

"And what was that?" Emma asked, listening intently. She hadn't been able to gleam anything off of Wanda, and had been a little to preoccupied to even try Pietro. It was grating on her nerves that it took Rogue to use deadly force to get the much needed information. Guilt was eating at her nerves.

"Me," Rogue said with a sigh. "It seems that Magneto has an acquaintance who is a cognitive. She can see the future, or what could be the future. It seems that she had a vision concerning myself and Magneto. Something that scared him to his core. Unfortunately, Carol did not know what the vision was. It seems the only person he told was Mystique. Meaning, Mystique has also regained her abilities. All that I know is that it's big."

"Alright. Now we know what he is up to. Rogue, I would like to run…"

"No." Rogue cut off Emma completely, already knowing what she wanted to say. "I am not going to go threw that again. I had Carol under control the second I had my skin under control. I've been dealing with this a lot longer than you've even known I existed. I am not going to be poked and prodded because of what is happening in my mind. I have control, and I can control her abilities with ease. I just have to watch my own strength."

"Then what next?" Emma asked, feeling a little fearful. She could feel Rogue's energy and anger in the atmosphere. It worried her that Rogue might be wrong, but she wasn't going to push the subject.

"Rogue, we must know what is happening in you mind," Storm said, coming to Emma's defense. "We have other people here that we must take care of, children who need to know they are safe. If there is something in this woman's mind that you do not see…"

"I see it all, Storm. Every single bit. There is nothing more that would be useful to keeping your school safe." Rogue rubbed the bridge of her nose with her thumb and fore finger. She knew what came next, but she wasn't sure how the others would deal with it. "I understand your concern, and, I assure you, you don't have to worry about the students. I'm leaving. I need to get away for awhile, anyway. Magneto is after me, not you. He won't come here again. And I need to clear my head, too. I have some thinking that I need to do, and some people I need to talk to."

"Where will you go?" Psylocke asked slowly. She and Rogue had become close over the last few weeks and couldn't help but worry about her mental stability.

"Home. To talk to my parents. Find out what they know about my real parents. To find out if my real father is alive. And then to find Magneto and to see what he wants with me. I know where his base is and I want to know why I scare him so badly."

"You can't go alone, Rogue. It's not reasonable. What if you lose control?" Storm asked cautiously.

"I'm not going alone. Logan's coming with me. He made up his mind the second I said I was leaving. Just ask him."

Logan only shook his head in agreement, knowing that it was true. He would follow her to the ends of the Earth if she asked. He would do it even if she didn't.

"We'll leave in a week. I want to make sure everything is in order first, and that my parents know I am coming. I would hate to go all that way and they not even live there any longer."

Chapter 25

When Magneto had seen her stand up from her fight and the promise of death in her eyes, he had known the she knew everything and had quickly called back his people to retreat. The woman she had killed had been his back up support, and with her gone, he was left open for anything.

She watched him go, Emma and Jubilee joining her. The first floor of the mansion was a disaster. Although it seemed that the only room that would have to be completely rebuilt was the kitchen area Magneto had come through, the rest of the area would have to completely renovated. The furniture was destroyed and the electronics were useless.

"They won't come back. Let's check on the children," Emma whispered, not taking her gaze off the area Magneto had retreated through. The area that was once the kitchen.

"What about her?" Jubilee asked, nudging the dead woman on the floor with the toe of her boot.

"Leave her for now. She's not going anywhere," Emma replied as she turned to lead them to an elevator to the lower levels. They had spirited the children to the Danger Room for protection, leaving a few of the older teenagers in charge of the younger with explicit orders to sit tight.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They were with the children explaining the events that had happened when the others returned. Logan took her into his arms, holding her as tight as possible, burying his head in her hair. He let his hands roam over her body, looking for any sign of injury.

"She's fine, Logan," Emma snorted, looking at him wearily. "If not for her, we might not have survived the attack."

"Want to tell me what happened, Frost?" Logan growled angrily, needing something to take his frustration and fear out on.

"Sure, as soon as we get these children organized and settled. We will all meet in the Briefing Room."

~*~*~*~*~*~

They had all worked together, reassuring the children that everyone was safe. After speaking quietly to Emma, Beast went to remove the body before any of the children saw it.

"Alright, everyone. It seems that Magneto set up the prison break as a diversion to attack here. Rogue, were you able to gain any information?" Emma asked, looking at her pointedly.

"That and more," she replied quietly. "If you don't know already, I was in a position where I could touch Magneto and put him down. It seemed the only possible solution at the time. I had no intention of hurting him, only knocking him out long enough to take care of the other two mutants with him. What we did not know was that he had a fourth person. She knew of my abilities and blindsided me before I could do anything. As a result, she touched my bare skin. For unknown reasons, I could not gain control until after it was too late to spare her.

"Her name was Carol Danvers. She was a very gifted mutant. The ability to fly, super strength, invulnerability, and a psychic ability that, while not strong enough to ready someone's thoughts, she was able to strengthen to use to block her own mind, explaining why we were unable to detect her."

"And the other two?" Kitty asked softly.

"The man was named Pietro Maximoff. Also known as Quick Silver. He has the ability to run very fast it seems. The woman, Wanda Maximoff, is his twin sister. She is more of a witch mutant. She can do powerful hex's and spells. Alter perspectives. Very powerful. If they had been used more efficiently, they may have been able to pull off what they were doing. Fortunately, Magneto is a cocky man.

"An interesting information is that Pietro and Wanda are Magneto's illegitimate children. One's he only discovered recently. Their one objective was to keep anyone else busy while Magneto came for what he wanted."

"And what was that?" Emma asked, listening intently. She hadn't been able to gleam anything off of Wanda, and had been a little to preoccupied to even try Pietro. It was grating on her nerves that it took Rogue to use deadly force to get the much needed information. Guilt was eating at her nerves.

"Me," Rogue said with a sigh. "It seems that Magneto has an acquaintance who is a cognitive. She can see the future, or what could be the future. It seems that she had a vision concerning myself and Magneto. Something that scared him to his core. Unfortunately, Carol did not know what the vision was. It seems the only person he told was Mystique. Meaning, Mystique has also regained her abilities. All that I know is that it's big."

"Alright. Now we know what he is up to. Rogue, I would like to run…"

"No." Rogue cut off Emma completely, already knowing what she wanted to say. "I am not going to go threw that again. I had Carol under control the second I had my skin under control. I've been dealing with this a lot longer than you've even known I existed. I am not going to be poked and prodded because of what is happening in my mind. I have control, and I can control her abilities with ease. I just have to watch my own strength."

"Then what next?" Emma asked, feeling a little fearful. She could feel Rogue's energy and anger in the atmosphere. It worried her that Rogue might be wrong, but she wasn't going to push the subject.

"Rogue, we must know what is happening in you mind," Storm said, coming to Emma's defense. "We have other people here that we must take care of, children who need to know they are safe. If there is something in this woman's mind that you do not see…"

"I see it all, Storm. Every single bit. There is nothing more that would be useful to keeping your school safe." Rogue rubbed the bridge of her nose with her thumb and fore finger. She knew what came next, but she wasn't sure how the others would deal with it. "I understand your concern, and, I assure you, you don't have to worry about the students. I'm leaving. I need to get away for awhile, anyway. Magneto is after me, not you. He won't come here again. And I need to clear my head, too. I have some thinking that I need to do, and some people I need to talk to."

"Where will you go?" Psylocke asked slowly. She and Rogue had become close over the last few weeks and couldn't help but worry about her mental stability.

"Home. To talk to my parents. Find out what they know about my real parents. To find out if my real father is alive. And then to find Magneto and to see what he wants with me. I know where his base is and I want to know why I scare him so badly."

"You can't go alone, Rogue. It's not reasonable. What if you lose control?" Storm asked cautiously.

"I'm not going alone. Logan's coming with me. He made up his mind the second I said I was leaving. Just ask him."

Logan only shook his head in agreement, knowing that it was true. He would follow her to the ends of the Earth if she asked. He would do it even if she didn't.

"We'll leave in a week. I want to make sure everything is in order first, and that my parents know I am coming. I would hate to go all that way and they not even live there any longer."

Chapter 27

Author's Notes:

Sorry it took so long. I am had some problems at home and work. Plus, I was trying to go a completely different way with this chapter that just wasn't working.

"Why are you leaving, Rogue?" Pitor asked as he watched her fold another pair of jeans from the door way of her room. "Really? This is your home. We are your family."

"I know that, Pitor," Rogue whispered softly, trying to hide the emotion in her voice. How did you explain something like this? This feeling on discontent she felt with everyone and everything around her. "It's something I have to do. There are things that I need to know and loose ends I have to tie up."

"And Magneto? You can't go head to head with him, you know," Pitor quickly reminded her. "He's too powerful. And he'll know you and Logan are alone. He'll be looking for you."

"I know, Pitor. I know," she took a deep breath, turning to look at him. He stepped in through the door, understanding that what she said was private. "Carol didn't know what he was told by the blind woman. He kept that information to himself, and she was his newest right hand man. Mystique got her abilities back, but he doesn't trust her anymore. Not after she handed all that information. But he still didn't trust Carol enough to give her everything."

"What did she know?"

"Something big enough to scare him. And we both know that man doesn't scare easily. Something that would make him throw caution to the wind and come here, even though he already knew what I was capable of. Carol thinks it's his death, but I've got the man in my head and death isn't something he's afraid of. He's seen to much and been to close to it. He knows he's not immortal and he accepts this." She turned to look her friend in the eye, wanting his full attention. "He's afraid of a few things, Pitor, but there are only three things that stand out more than anything. He's afraid of being captured and enslaved again, like he was when he was a little boy and ripped from his parents' arms during the holocaust. He's afraid of being turned human again, and loosing his gifts. But, above everything else, he is afraid of being wrong. That this whole war idea isn't going to benefit anyone in the long run. That humans and mutants can coexist peacefully without prejudice."

"And you're going to prove this to him?" Pitor asked skeptically.

"Nope. If he is wrong, then nothing he does or says is going to change it. Nothing I do or say will either. I'm not an important political figure, Pitor. No one will listen to me, and, with all the people in my head, no one should," she sighed, grabbing the bag she packed earlier and the one she just finished with, ready to take them both down and store them in the double cab truck she and Logan would be taking with them along with the bikes. "I'm just going to show him that, no matter what it is he thinks he knows, I will not go down with out a fight and that I am not going to wait around for him to come to me. If he wants a fight that bad, I am not going to stay here and let him use you and the rest of the school against me. I'll go to him and take him on under my own terms. There is no way in hell I will let the rest of you put yourselves in danger over some vision a blind woman had. I wouldn't even let Logan go if I could stop him. But I think it would be more dangerous if I left him here. Who knows what he might put those kids through. I'd come back and find a bunch of Mini Logan's running the school like it was boot camp."

"And if I follow you?" He smiled, knowing that she would say no.

"Try it if you want, but, just remember," she replied as she flashed him her own smile and put her free hand on her hip, "with our healing factors, we can probably go for a week without much sleep. And you don't have enhanced senses, which mean that you don't have the nose for tracking."

"Yeah, but I did learn how to hunt in the snow, remember? I bet I could do it."

"You're needed here, Pitor. Me and Logan are out of here, which means you are going to be the best fighter they have. There is always a chance that Magneto will send his people back, and, if that happens, they're going to need you." She smiled at him softly. "Besides, I'm a big girl now. And I need to do this by my self. I'm already going to have a hard time explaining Logan to the folks. And, we kind of need this time to ourselves, to know that we can both do this, without everyone giving their two cents about our relationship."

"I understand. I'm just going to miss you, Rogue."

"I'll miss you, too. But this is something I have to do. Now, if you will excuse me, Logan and I are leaving very early, and I want to get my things into the truck tonight so that I don't have to worry about it." She moved to walk past him, stopping at his side for a moment. "We will be back, Pitor. I promise."

~*~*~*~*~*~

She felt him before his sent hit her. It wasn't a sent easy to mask, although he seemed to have bathed in cologne before coming to find her. He smelled of coldness, of an icy morning. She knew his sent hadn't been this strong before, that it must have developed along with his abilities. "You all ready to go, then?"

She could feel the garage temperature drop a little, as if his presence brought along a cold front. She couldn't help but exhale deeply, wondering if she would see her breath with it. She closed the double cab, noticing that Logan had already gone ahead and strapped their bikes to the truck's bed. "Did you need something?"

"Got everything you need?" He asked back, avoiding her question. He came to peer into the window over her shoulder. "You better stock up on junk food before you go. It's going to be a long drive."

"What do you want, Bo…"

"I just…" Bobby cut her off, turning to look at her. Her eyes connected to his, and she could see the wanting he once had for her again. But it didn't do the same things to her that it used to. "I just wanted to apologize, Rogue. For hurting you."

"You're forgiven, now, if you will excuse me…" She turned to walk away, only stopping when she felt his icy hand grab her arm. "Bobby, I have things that I need to do before we head out."

He pulled her to her, regardless of her protest. She could see the pleading in his eyes, and knew that this was something he felt was important.

"I'm sorry, Rogue. I shouldn't have done what I did. I shouldn't… I should have been better to you." He released her then, but she didn't move, her curiosity piqued. She realized that she wanted to hear what he had to say, that nothing he could say would make everything better, but that it might be important for her to have this for closure. Maybe, one day, they would be able to start over and rebuild the friendship they once lost, without the romantic pull they had felt while they were children. "I loved you, you know. I mean, as much as a seventeen year old boy could."

"I know, Bobby. But… I think our relationship was doomed from the start. I loved you, too, but just, I don't think it was the same kind of love. Not what we both needed." She leaned against the truck, knowing that this was a conversation long in the making that needed to end before it festered. "Honestly, Bobby, I understand why you did what you did. I don't condone it, though. You should have ended things before you moved on. But, I don't think you are completely to blame. I was pushing you away a lot."

"Yeah. I think it was starting to get to me, and, that a part of me might have known you were right. I mean, I should have ended things between us before it happened. Before Alcatraz and the cure. Before… before the others." He looked away from her, and she knew whom he was talking about. All those that had died. "But I think that I thought I loved you too much, and that we could get past everything. But, I should have realized that, after that one kiss, you just weren't ready. Why didn't you break it off?"

"To be honest. I was scared, Bobby. You were one of the few people who weren't afraid of my skin, you know," she smiled at him, for the first time, feeling more at ease in his company than she ever had before, including the duration of their romantic relationship. "Anyone else who didn't flinch when I made a sudden move… Well, most of them were teachers or Xavier. The only other person was Logan, but… But he didn't see me in that light, and, really, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find anyone who could see past my specific mutation and not care about the whole no touching policy. I was afraid that my only other option was to either be with you, or alone, and no one wants to be alone forever."

"But what about Logan? He's always looked at you like a child. Why is now so different?" He leaned against the truck beside her.

"I think that, with Logan, I had to do something drastic. Something that wasn't for him as much as for everyone. Something that I wasn't doing for him to see me as a woman, but that forced him to see me in a new light. It wasn't like he declared his love for me the day I turned eighteen and became legal. I honestly think he saw me in the same way, and probably still would if I hadn't done what I felt was necessary. I think it was the fact that I took matters in my own hands and didn't abandon him that opened his eyes."

"We shouldn't have left him. We should have been there." Although they were no longer actually looking at each other, she could almost feel him sulk against the truck.

"No." She shook her head in protest, not allowing him to feel sorry for himself. "You followed orders. You did what was expected of you and you followed your team. You did what you were trained to do."

"But you were apart of that team, too," Bobby replied defensively. "You were one of us."

"I gave up my membership when I accepted my true nature and left to take care of myself." She turned her head so that she was looking at his profile now. At twenty, he still hadn't lost the baby face, his features still not as pronounced as that of an adult. Given time, he would be a handsome man, but, for now, he was still only a boy. She could only hope that he would remember the way he treated her at the end of their relationship and not make a habit of it. He would hurt the wrong person someday. "To be honest with you, I really don't think I was ever a part of the team. I mean, in the end, I chose myself over everyone else. I was no good for the team. I never shared the same loyalty you and Kitty do. When I thought of the future, being an X-Men was never a vision. That's why I'm the rogue, you know. I'm the wild card. It's great to have me on your side, but I'm not something to be relied on. I make my own choices. Not for the benefit of the whole team and their needs, but regardless. I don't play by the rules. Never really have, actually."

"Do you think that, without Logan and Kitty, that if you could have controlled your abilities without doing what you did, that, just maybe we would have stood a chance?" He looked back at her and she could see the honest hope in his eyes, along with his feelings and his soul. He was laying it all out for her to see.

She knew that it wouldn't be easy for him to take, but she had to tell him the truth. She had to clear the table before she left. She couldn't leave him without a doubt in his mind to fester and twist. "No, Bobby. I don't think we would have gotten as far as we did, to be truthful. I'm too much like Logan and, in some ways, like John. Too reckless. Too uncontrollable and selfish. My skin kept me from being who I really was. There was too much that I had to control, and it would make me sick. That's why I jumped on the first opportunity that came along. I didn't want that control anymore. I didn't want that situation."

"But what about the sacrifice you made when you killed Jean? You gave up your escape. Why would you do it?"

"Because I had to. Because I am a selfish person and I have selfish needs. Because I couldn't stand the thought of Logan making that sacrifice and not surviving from it. It would have eaten him alive and I couldn't stand by and let him do that to himself." She looked away from him then. It was the first time she had admitted to anyone why she did what she had. The first time she had said it out loud.

"Would you have done it for me?"

She couldn't help but smile. He was fishing for something now, some kind of sign that she still loved him. "The last time I saw you before I left to take the cure, you were kissing Kitty on a frozen lake. You hadn't even come to check and see how I was doing. Honestly, I think I would have handed you to Phoenix on a silver platter and told her to go for it."

He chuckled at that and she was happy to see that he hadn't taken it the wrong way. She could have said it differently, a little more eloquently, but that would have gone against everything she had just told him.

"You love him, don't you?"

"Yeah."

"And he loves you?"

"Yes." She let the word hiss out, almost as if to admit it set her soul on fire. He turned his gaze away from her, and she had a feeling that this was about to be the most important part of the conversation. This was what he had come to talk to her about.

"I love you, too, Rogue. I still do."

"I know."

"But you don't feel the same way anymore."

"No. I don't think I ever felt the same way."

"Alright." He pushed softly as she pushed herself away from the truck, wanting to get out of the garage before she hurt him any further. She had forgiven him for what happened, and didn't want to reopen any more fresh scars.

"Rogue?" She was half way to the door when he called to her. She didn't turn around, not wanting to see the pain in his eyes anymore. "Do you think we can go back to before? To being friends?"

She paused in her answer, knowing that she was going to hurt him deeper than he had hurt her. But she had to tell him the truth, she wasn't going to bottle her emotions up anymore just to save someone some hart ache, regardless of how they hurt her.

"No, Bobby. I can't do that. There is too much between us. I trusted you once. I can't do it again." And she walked out of the garage, ready to find the man that loved her, the man she was willing to die for. The man that she was ready to spend eternity with.

End Notes:

So I originally intended this chapter to be more playful between Rogue and Logan after she spoke with Pitor, but that wasn't working. So I decided to try something new and to clear things up with Bobby. And, I'm sorry, I still don't like him.... I think he's an idiot and pretty cheesy.

Chapter 28

He was just finishing with his packing when he heard a knock on his door. He knew

who it was without a doubt. Even though he hadn't caught the scent yet, he knew her knock.

He quickly opened the door to find her standing on the other side, looking tiered and weary. He stepped aside, letting her in as her scent filled his room.

It was a natural aroma of magnolias and southern spring days. Along with it came the scent of the garage and ice. This last one worried him a little as he closed the door.

He turned around to find her launching herself into his arms, wrapping her own around his neck.

"I love you, Logan. So much," she whispered, as she let her lips play against his neck.

"What did he say to you, Darlin?" He asked, burying his nose into the sweet fragrance of her hair. "What did he tell you that has you wound so tight?"

"He apologized," she whispered back, pulling away from him gently. He knew she probably didn't want to tell him, but he needed to know. He needed to be sure of what was happening to her.

He watched her walk across the room, taking a seat on his bed. He felt his lust for her rise a little as she stretched out across the large bed. He wondered if she knew what that did to him as she settled herself.

"He wanted to apologize for what happened between him and Kitty," she said quietly, her fingers making circular patterns across his bedspread.

"And what did you say?" He asked as he sat next to her. He grabbed her hand in his, holding it tightly, preparing himself for anything.

She sighed, her eyes locking with his. He could see the love she had in them, but there was more. There was a sadness he knew she would have to let go of herself, but there was something else, too. A look of peace and ease that hadn't been there before. One that he was almost sure she never had.

"I apologized back. For pushing him away in the first place. And for using him so that I wouldn't be alone." Her voice was soft and upset, but he knew what she meant. He had suspected it when he had returned from Alkali Lake and witnessed Bobby practically dragging her along and she reluctantly following.

"I take it he didn't take that so well?"

"Actually, he took it pretty well. We both admitted out faults and our own actions that killed our relationship. We were able to talk about everything, let everything out in the open."

"Then why are you so upset?" He felt her tense. Felt her shift as she gently turned to lie on her back. He was positive now that she had no idea what she did to him. It was practically torturous.

She sighed, staring at the ceiling. She paused for a moment, and he knew she wasn't sure if she should tell him. He hoped that she would. Regardless of what it was, he wanted no secrets between them.

"He asked if there was a chance if things had been different. If we could have worked it all out."

Logan felt his muscles tense. He had thought that very same thing once or twice. What if things had been different? Would he have her right now? Would he have even looked at her the same way if she hadn't done what she had?

"And?"

"I told him that I would have never gone out with him. That I would have been looking for something else. I told him that we wouldn't have been any thing more than friends. I guess that when we were dating, I was looking for some thing stable to hide behind. Something safe. I told him that I was never the person he thought I was. That I was more like you." He felt her hand grab his, and he wondered if she needed his support. He looked at her and saw all the love and affection she had for him in her eyes. "Does that make me a bad person, Logan? Does letting my mutation control my personality make me a bad human being?"

"No, Marie," he whispered as he laid next to her, taking her into his arms. "Not at all. You… you were just protecting yourself as much as any other. It was your instincts. That makes you honorable."

"He asked if we could go back to just being friends," she said as she buried herself in his embrace. "I told him no. There is just too much between us now, and I don't trust him. I can't."

"It's reasonable. And if he don't see that, well, fuck 'em. He don't deserve you."

They spent the rest of the night like that, holding each other and talking. They talked about what ever came to their minds until he felt her body relax and her breathing grow heavy. He fell asleep in her arms and slept more soundly than he ever had before.

Chapter 29

They left before the sun came up, before anyone could awaken and wish them good bye. They didn't want anyone to see them off, to throw them a big party with tears and hugs. With well wishes and demands that they keep in touch. They wanted to leave with no one hanging over their shoulders, asking if they were sure they were leaving.

Rogue couldn't help but smiled as the morning rays hit her face. She was sitting next to the man she loved, the man she would be spending her life with. They weren't tied to any causes and the world was open to them.

"What?" He asked quickly. She was staring, watching him control the wheel as he drove onto the on ramp. "Do I got something on my face?"

She couldn't help but giggle as he rubbed his right hand against his cheek, driving with his left. "No, silly. I just like to watch you. It's kind of hard to believe that we're here."

"What the hell are you talking about?" He stopped rubbing only to wave his hand before him, gesturing towards the road. "This trip was your idea."

"Not the trip. You and me. I never thought that we would be together." She looked away, focusing her eyes on the road.

"Yeah, well, get used to it. I ain't letting go. It's you and me until one of us dies and I got a feeling that it wont happen any time soon."

"You're such a romantic," she sighed sarcastically as she leaned across the seat to rest her head on his shoulders. "You should have been a poet."

"And you are a pain in the ass." He laughed with her, relishing in the playful banter. "Ain't you supposed to be following the map, Darlin? It ain't going to help if we get lost."

"So? Let's get lost, Logan. Just you and me. No body else. We'll have an adventure!" She felt like bouncing in her seat, but refrained to keep Logan from driving them off a cliff. "We'll just keep going until we run out of gas."

"I thought we were having an adventure, Marie," he whispered softly, bringing her back down to Earth. "What happened to the plans that we already had?"

She didn't answer. Only grew quiet and stared out of the window. A few minutes passed and he got a feeling he had said something wrong.

"I think I'm just a little scared, Logan. I haven't seen them for so long. And this whole thing with Magneto… I feel like I'm missing a piece to the puzzle."

"If you want to turn around, just say the word, Marie." He grabbed her shirt, pulling her closer until her head was resting firmly against his shoulder. "No matter where we're at, just say lets go and we're gone."

~*~*~*~*~*~

They drove like this the entire way. There were only two more occasions when he thought she would have enough and want to head back. But she never did. As afraid as she was to see her family again, she was even more afraid of regretting it.

Logan understood that only too well. And so they took turns. Sometimes she would drive. Sometimes, he would. They would talk the entire way, telling stories they had told a million times that the other would never get bored of. They would laugh, not letting the tension or the seriousness of the situation drag them in. And about every other night, they would rent a cheep room and spend the night wrapped in each other's arms, just feeling each other breath.

~*~*~*~*~*~

It was on a night like this, as they lay together, that she looked at him and surprised the hell out of him.

"Just think, Logan. Tomorrow morning, you're going to meet my parents." She smiled at him, genuine happiness in her eyes. He didn't know what to say. He had known the entire time that he would have to meet them, but it was only dawning on him now that they might not think he was as wonderful as Marie thought so. First of all, how was he supposed to explain the age difference? Would they even accept it? Marie was only 20 years old. No even old enough to drink yet. What if they thought he was using her? And what if they thought he was nothing more than an animal? The big bad wolf after their little Marie?

Normally, he didn't really care what people thought of him, but this was different. This was Marie's parents. He had to make a good impression. If she wasn't worth it, than no one was.

For the first time on the trip, Logan found he was having trouble sleeping.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They awoke bright and early. Rogue was excited over knowing that she would be seeing her family again. Logan was only happy that he would finally be able to ride his bike.

They had agreed to leave the truck parked at the motel and ride the hour it would take to get to the little house she had grown up in. Neither of them could wait to be in the open. The only draw back was that she would be on her own bike, and not riding with him.

He watched her skip around the room, preparing for the ride. He found that being back in the south seemed do something to Rogue. She seemed more at ease, more like the woman she should have become if not for the mutation fate had dealt her. He found her more alive, more in tune with herself. No matter what else happened on this trip, he knew that this had been good for her. She was finally able to be her own person, instead of what everyone perceived her as.

He couldn't help but laugh as she jumped onto her bike, ready to ride off, as he zipped up his jacket. Even though she was wearing a helmet, he could still feel the look she gave him. The look that would make him laugh even more.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They rode for an hour, Rogue in the lead with Logan just behind her, looking for any sign of trouble. Not once did she falter or pause. She knew where she was heading and Logan knew that here, in this backwater little town not even big enough for a motel for stragglers, she was finally Marie again.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She stopped in front of a two story house on the nicest street in the town. There was a large yard with a willow tree and a tire swing. The house was white with a little blue along the trimmings for color. She smiled a little, the scent of magnolias from the back yard teasing her senses. She was home again, a place she hadn't allowed herself to even dream of in the past years.

She had sped up for the last mile, leaving Logan just far enough behind so that he would be able to see her turns. She was pulling off her helmet just as he parked his bike next to hers in front of the house. She hadn't reached her parents when she had called, but the answering machine had come on with their voices, sounds she would never forget, stating that they were unavailable and to leave a message.

She smiled at Logan even as scowled, climbing off his own bike. Of course, he didn't wear a helmet. Just too cool for one. One day he would hit something and then have to explain to a bunch of paramedics why the split in his head had healed before they arrived. Until then, though, he wouldn't learn.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They walked up the path together, Logan's arm over her shoulder, Marie's arm around his waist. They weren't going to hide their feelings for her parents. They would just have to accept it.

They hadn't reached the porch when the door swung open and a woman who looked to be in her early 40's bolted out, grabbing Marie in a tight hug. She was quickly followed by a man who only seemed to be a year or more older, impatiently awaiting his own chance to see their daughter again.

"Marie, my baby," her mother stammered as she pulled away to get a quick glance. "I've worried about you for so long now, not knowing if you were alright or alive. I've had nightmares, Sugar."

"Oh, Marie, you gave us quite a scare, you know. Your momma's been lighting a candle every night, praying for you," her father said as he pulled her into a bear hug. There were tears in everyone's eyes, including Logan's. He had never known what Marie had been missing all this time. He had never known a family like this, never known what it would be like.

"And who is this?" Her mother asked as she turned her gaze onto Logan. All the nerves he had felt the night before were returning as Marie's parent's turned their gaze on him.

"Momma, Daddy, this is Logan," Marie replied as she laced her arm around one of Logan's. "He's the reason why I am still alive. He's… Well, he's my man."

End Notes:

Enter the parents... Dun Dun DUUUUUUUN

Chapter 30

Logan couldn't help the smile that played on his lips when she claimed him. Her chest filled with pride at hearing it. It was the first time that she had said it allowed, at least in front of him.

What he found more amusing was that she hadn't called him her boyfriend. True they were together and dating, but both knew it was more than that. Boyfriend wasn't a title for him. There was nothing definite about it. A boyfriend was someone you could grow tired of and leave without a second thought. A boyfriend wasn't really as serious as some thought. The fact that she had called him her man. That was different. She had let the world know that he was hers forever. No matter what happened, he would always be hers and vise versa.

Logan noticed the woman looking at him a bit strange, as if she was trying to figure him out. He extended his hand, hoping that they wouldn't notice the small quiver. "Nice to meet you."

Marie's father only looked at him for a second, sizing him up. Logan knew that he would be tough. Reluctantly, the man took his hand, grasping it firmly. When Logan tightened his own hold, the man couldn't help but smile.

"That's a good handshake you got, Logan," the man said quickly as he drew back his own hand. "I always told Marie that you could see a man's character in his handshake. 'Don't choose a man with a limp handshake, Marie. He won't be no good to you.' That's what I always said. Glad to see that she listened. Name's Ray. This is my wife Leah. Good to have you in my home. It's been a long time since we last saw our baby girl and we've worried, but it looks like you've been taken care of her."

"Yes sir. She's something else." Logan smiled down at Marie as she smiled back. He extended his hand to Leah, but she didn't take it. Instead, she threw herself into his arms and hugged him just as tight as she had Marie. Logan didn't know what to say as he hugged her back.

Leah pulled away with tears in her eyes. "My daughter says you're her man. Well, that makes you family to me. She wouldn't say that about you if it weren't serious. My daughter always did fall hard. I'm just glad to see that she's found someone to love her just as hard."

"Why don't we all go in before the neighbors come out?" Marie said quickly. Logan noticed how tense she was as she looked around. "I have a feeling that not too many people would be all that happy to see me back."

"I think you're right, Sugar," Leah replied as she ushered the group through the front door.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Logan found himself sitting besides Marie at a small, round kitchen table, her parents both looking at him a little skeptically. Now that the initial introductions were over, he had a feeling that the questions would start. At least it seemed that he had made a good first impression.

"Now, Logan, you must remember that our daughter disappeared from our home three years ago without a good bye," Leah began, eyeing Marie closely. "We only found out what happened when that Cody boy's parents beat down our door. You must understand that we've been a little worried about her. We'd like to know what she's been up to."

"Yes, Ma'am. I understand." He cleared his throat, the nerves in his stomach bunching up again.

"Don't start with the Ma'am shit. I ain't that old." Leah smiled at him, helping him to feel a little more at ease. "Now, first of all, how old are you?"

"He doesn't know, Momma," Marie replied before Logan could. "He can't remember anything from before about 18 years ago."

"Why is that?" Ray asked, interjecting. "Were you in an accident or something?"

"No, sir," Logan replied. He wasn't sure how they would take it, but he knew he had to be honest. If something happened, something unexplainable, he would be forced to look like a liar. "I was apart of a mutant experiment for the military. They did some procedures on me and I've blocked it all out."

"The military, huh? Yeah, I believe it. They aren't too good on human mutant relations. If you don't mind, what is your mutation, exactly?" Leah asked, a disgusted look on her face. Logan couldn't help but wonder if she had once had her own run in with the military.

"Well, I heal fast. Really fast. Also, I have enhanced senses. Kind of like a wolves." He paused for a moment, clearing his throat. This next one would be a little tough and might even scare them. "And I have claws."

"Claws?" Leah was a little taken aback. Ray had a dark look cross his features for a moment.

"In my hands. I'm what's known as a feral mutant." Logan waited for a reaction, maybe a recoil from Marie's parents, but they only looked at him a little more closely before continuing their questions.

"What do you do for a living?" Ray asked.

"I teach self defense at a school for mutants. Along with a little substituting here and there when needed."

"He's actually really great at history," Marie interjected. "He helped to make it more interesting than the books."

"So you were a student of his?" Ray asked, again looking at Marie pointedly. "Is that how you met?"

Marie smiled a little, and Logan knew she was remembering that day. "Actually, we met before either of us found out about the school. We were in Canada, and I hid in the back of his trailer. I had been on the road for about eight months by then, and he seemed like the safest bet, but I was a little scared to ask, so I just stowed away until he realized I was there. That was the first time he saved my life."

"And we've pretty much been together since then," Logan added on. He noticed how her parents were looking at him and knew they had taken the statement wrongly. "I don't mean romantically."

"Logan was my friend first. He took care of me and made sure I was safe and with good people when he couldn't be there. He helped me realize that there were people out there who could look past my mutation and trust me enough not to hurt them," Marie said softly as she looked at him. He hadn't realized that she had felt that way. "I didn't learn to control my mutation until just recently. I want to talk to you about that, though."

"Later, baby. We've still got a few more questions," Ray said, smiling at her and patting her hand lightly before turning to Logan again. "Just what are your intentions with my daughter, anyway?"

"I love her, and I want her to be happy. She's just as much as mine as I am hers. I won't hurt her, if that's what you want to know. Not intentionally anyway." He took Marie's hand in his own, feeling the warmth it gave off. "I got a feeling that we will be together for a long time."

"That's easy to say now, but what about when she's in her sixties? Or even in her fifties? What's it going to be like when she starts looking older? When she can't keep up with you? What then?" Logan understood Ray's fears for his daughter. It was why he had never really settled down before. He didn't want to hurt anyone.

"I'll still love her then, no matter what." Logan said sternly. It wasn't something he was going to go back on. It was for life.

"Besides, Daddy, I won't age like that anymore, so I won't have to think about it," Marie replied with a sheepish smile. "When I got control of my mutation, I found out that I could use the mutations of those that I had touched before. Well, there have been a couple of instances when I've had to use Logan's. Now it's permanent and I don't really have to worry about getting older."

"What the hell do you mean, 'a couple of instances'?" Ray's eyes grew darker. It was apparent to him what she meant, but he had to hear it out loud.

"Right after we got to the school, there was an accident, and I was hurt pretty bad," Marie began. Logan was only grateful that she didn't describe the accident she was talking about. How would they like him after finding out he had stabbed her, accident or not. "I would have died if I hadn't touched Logan and borrowed some of his healing."

"And the second time?" Leah asked softly. She was clutching Ray's hand now, and Logan couldn't help but notice the way her knuckles seemed to whiten.

"Well, there was a man who wanted to use my mutations to do something bad," Marie began softly. "After the first accident, one of his people was able to trick me into leaving the school."

Logan sat back and listened for the next twenty minutes as Marie told her parents about what had happened at the Statue of Liberty. He saw the reactions on her parents faces, and added his own point of view when it was needed. Marie made him look like a savior in their eyes, but his side of the story made them see that he was nothing but a man saving a person he cared about.

~*~*~*~*~*~

When the story was told, Marie's parents seemed to be a little overwhelmed. Leah looked from one to the other, tears in her eyes.

"I wish you hadn't left the way you had, Marie. We would have taken care of you. This wouldn't have happened."

"If I hadn't, then Magneto would have succeeded. He wouldn't have had to send anyone to track me, and there wouldn't have been anyone to save me. Logan and I would have never met and he would have never been dragged into being an X-Man. He wouldn't have been there to save me." Marie looked at her parents pointedly, and, for the first time since they arrived, he saw the rogue in her again. "Whether Scott would have shot the damn contraption or Magneto succeeded, I would have died. And you might have been killed, too. I don't regret the things that happened. When I left, I thought that I was protecting you. You know what this town is like. Maybe if you had been honest with me from the beginning, I would have come to you instead of leaving."

"What are you talking about, Marie?" Ray asked quickly. But Logan and Marie both saw the way his eyes widened. Both could hear the uncertainty in his voice. He knew exactly what she was saying.

Marie took a deep breath, preparing herself for the inevitable. "Why didn't you ever tell me you were a mutant, Leah? Or that neither of you were my real parents?"

Chapter 31

Judging by the looks on their faces, it was plain to her that they weren't prepared for her questions. But she needed to know the truth. Her father cleared his throat, looking into her eyes while her mother could only hang her head.

"What do you know already?" Her father asked solemnly. This was hurting him, but Rogue knew all too well how pain can heal.

"I know what my father, my real father, did to me. I know that Momma used her mutation to clear it and that you made him disappear. I know that Momma used her mutation on me a couple of times after that, and that you only did it to protect me. What I don't know is what happened to my father and my mother. Why didn't you tell me anything when I got older?"

"Because you were happy, Marie. And we didn't want to take that away from you," Ray replied sadly. "And, by the time you were old enough, we weren't sure how to tell you. The next thing we knew, you were gone."

"Can you tell me about them, at least?" Marie asked quietly.

"You mother was my sister," Leah began, tears slowly crawling down her cheeks. "She was my best friend. That is, until she met Owen, your father. No one liked him from the beginning. When your grandfather met him, he said he saw the devil in him. The first time Priscilla brought him home, he made the man leave. Prissy was forbidden from seeing him, but she was sixteen and rebellious. She started sneaking behind out father's back.

"She became withdrawn and secretive. She wouldn't even tell me what was going on. I thought she might have started using drugs, but she swore it wasn't that. The next thing we all knew, she was a month away from turning seventeen and pregnant. Daddy hit the roof when she told him who the father was. He and Momma told her they would help her with the baby and that she wouldn't have to worry about anything as long as she left Owen alone. She refused and left. A week later, they were gone. No one knew where they went and I never saw my sister again."

Leah paused looking to her husband. "I was only nineteen when she left. Ray and I had been childhood sweethearts, and it wasn't a shock to anyone when we decided to get married. I wanted Prissy to be there, but we couldn't find her. It took us six years to track her down. Only, she had vanished and left her daughter behind with a man who should have never been allowed to be around children."

"Did you ever find out what happened to her? Did you ever look at his memories and figure anything out?" Marie whispered; her back rigid, her neck tense.

"My mutation doesn't work that way, Baby." Leah took a deep breath, knowing that she would have to explain. "I don't actually see the memories. The person who wants the memory to disappear has to just think about it while I touch them."

"Leah and I continued to search even after we started to take care of you, but it was like she just vanished," Ray said solemnly.

"And Owen? What happened to him? Don't tell me he just disappeared, too." Marie was beginning to get angry. There was just too much that she didn't know, too much that they could keep from her. "Is he dead?"

Leah and Ray looked at each other, communicating with only their eyes.

"I need to know the truth. I have a right to know. Did you kill him?" She felt Logan's hand squeeze hers, trying to calm her down.

"He's alive." Ray looked away as Leah spoke. "He's in The Mississippi State Insane Asylum down in Whitfield."

"I wanted to kill him," Ray interjected. "Prissy was a good friend of mine, too. And when you told us about what he did to you, well, I don't know how I controlled myself. But Leah stopped me. She made me promise that I wouldn't do anything. Said she would take care of it and make him wish that he were dead."

"How did you take care of it, Momma? What did you do to him?" Marie asked sadly.

"I took his memories. All of them," Leah replied icily. She held her head up high, and Marie knew she was proud of what she had done. "It wasn't what I had planned to do, but it worked. I thought that if I concentrated hard enough, I could see his memories and find out what happened to my sister. Instead, I erased everything. And it made him go crazy. He was sent to Whitfield after pushing a boy and breaking his arm. As far as I've heard, he hasn't regained anything."

End Notes:

So.... This was a hard chapter to write only because I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. But it's done. Yeah!!!!!!!!!

Chapter 32

Marie found herself sitting alone in the living room with her parents. She and Logan had talked and agreed that they would spend the night in her old bed. He reluctantly left her to go collect their things from the motel.

And now she looked from one person to the other, angry that they had lied to her all her life, although she understood why they would. If she had known the truth, then things wouldn't have turned out the way they had.

"Tell me about my mother. What was she like?" Marie asked quietly. She had so many questions going threw her mind, but wasn't sure where to start. "What was her ability?"

"She was a healer. Not like your man, though. She couldn't heal herself," Leah explained quietly. "It wasn't very strong. When she touched someone else, she would heal small things. A cut or a bruise. It just depended on the size of who ever she was trying to heal, really. The smallest thing was a bird that had broken his wing. She had picked it up and, the next thing we knew, the bird was flying straight again, like it was nothing."

Leah looked out the giant bay window into the afternoon sky, remembering something. "We found out when she was fifteen and I was seventeen. Tommy, our little brother, was walking home from school. He was only about nine at the time. Our school let out earlier than his, so we would walk and meet him half way. There was this house that we would have to walk by. They had this dog. Meanest mutt I had ever seen. Well, someone must have left the gate open or something, because when Tommy walked by, the dog got out and attacked him. We were just a stone throw's away, so we ran to help him. I pulled the dog off and he ran into the yard. I closed the gate so he wouldn't get out and Prissy was throwing Tommy over her shoulder. There was so much blood, but, by the time we got him home, the bite had healed so well, you couldn't even tell. Besides the blood that is. It was only a few days after that we found the bird, so we knew that it wasn't Tommy."

Leah looked back at her, and Marie could almost feel the pain coming off of her. "I found out about my powers later that night. Tommy had woken up from a nightmare, and since mine and Prissy's room was next to his, and my bed shared a wall with his, I was the first to hear him. We didn't tell Momma and Daddy anything, so I had to calm him down before they heard him. He had been dreaming about the dog and didn't want to be left alone. So I held him. And I just kept wishing that he would just forget the whole thing and we could go back to normal. Suddenly, I felt something strange, something kind of like a magnet. And then Tommy just passed out. When he woke up the next morning, he had no memory of what happened with the dog."

"What happened to the dog?" Marie asked pointedly. She was a little nervous that the dog might have been able to do the same thing to another child.

"Prissy and I went to the house the next day, but the dog was gone and we never saw him again. Like he just disappeared. As far as I know, his owners saw what happened and got rid of him before he could bite again." Leah shrugged her shoulders.

"And what about my momma? Who was she?" Marie got back on the subject even though it was obvious it was hurting Leah. But it was important. She needed to understand who's blood was running through her veins.

"Your momma was a handful. You look a lot like she did. Except your hair. Hers was lighter. You got that from Owen." Leah's fingers twitched and Marie couldn't help but wonder if she wanted to reach out to her. "She was a wild one, your momma. She didn't like to take orders from anyone. I don't even know how she was able to get through school the way she did. Straight A's in every thing. She just couldn't follow direction, and forget trying to tell her to be still. That girl couldn't stand still if her life depended on it. When she was twelve, Momma started to let her stay home from church with Daddy just because she was tired of trying to get the girl to calm down. Of course, me and Tommy weren't too upset. Daddy would make her scrub the floors. But she didn't really mind, either. Said she would rather be doing that than sitting on those hard pews, anyway."

"How did she meet my daddy?" Marie asked genuinely.

"I think I am going to go upstairs and make sure Marie's room is suitable for her and her guest," Ray interjected quickly, hurrying to make his way out of the room. Marie got the feeling that there were things that he didn't want to hear about, and this was one of them.

"Actually, she met him because of me. When I was eighteen, I broke things off with Ray. You have to remember, we'd been together for a long time already. I knew I loved him, had known for years, but I felt like I needed to know what I was going to miss out on. I wanted to know what it was like to go out on a real first date with someone who didn't know who you were, who hadn't seen you at your worst already." Leah paused, listening for any sign of Ray. "He said he understood, but I knew he was heart broken. He was nineteen and wanted to get married already. Well, your momma and I went out on a double date with a guy from the football team and his older cousin, Owen. I had to beg Prissy to go. She knew the football player and didn't want anything to do with him, but he wouldn't introduce me to his cousin unless he had a chance to talk to Prissy.

"Well, needless to say, Prissy and the football player didn't hit it off too well, and it didn't look like Owen even knew I was there. After that, everything started to go down hill."

"What happened to Tommy? Was he a mutant, too?" Marie asked quickly. She had never known that she had an uncle. Leah and Ray had always led her to believe that her grand parents were dead.

"He went into the military straight out of high school. He spent four years with the Marines before being hit by friendly fire while on tour in Iraq. Do you remember when I told you that I had to go on a trip to see an old friend when you were around eleven? And I left you home with Ray?" Leah asked softly.

"Yeah. You were gone for about a week. Daddy and I ate pizza every night and stayed up late."

"Well, that was when Tommy died. I had to go back for the funeral. Momma and Daddy begged me to bring you along, too, but I couldn't risk it. There were people there who knew about Prissy who might have said the wrong thing. Looking back now, maybe it would have been good for you to go. At least you would have known you had family out there. Maybe you would have gone to them when you left."

"What was it like for you? After I left?" Marie asked. She had always worried about that. This was a small town, and she had always wondered if they had turned on her family. "I know it must have been hard. Did anyone find out about your mutation?"

"No one found out about me, but it was hard. People tried to sympathize with us. But not because you ran away. For awhile, Ray and I were referred to as that poor couple with the mutant daughter. Cody's parents were angry, of course, but they came to terms with what happened after he came out of the coma." Leah smiled sadly. "Of course, I let everyone know that we were heart broken over the fact that you ran away. That we still loved you and wished that you would come home. After the first year, things settled down. Of course, everyone was careful to not even mention you. They acted as if you didn't exist, and I think that hurt more than anything."

"But what about other mutants? Hasn't there been at least one around here in the last three years?"

"Yes, but the people of this town have perfected the art of hiding their heads in the sand when something would happen. Of course, none were dangerous to anyone." Marie felt a stab of pain in her heart and Leah looked at her with sympathy in her eyes. "I know, Marie. It hurts. But it's the truth. And you got control now. When did that happen? Did you just figure it out on your own?"

"Actually, it had to do with the memories that you took from me. You see, your mutation doesn't actually erase the memories, but only suppresses them. I had an accident and had to gain complete control. Well, I wouldn't call it an accident really."

"What happened to you?" Marie could see the concern in Leah's eyes.

She took a deep breath, knowing that she was about to scare the woman. "Did you hear about the mutants who attacked that facility at Alcatraz?"

"Yes. Don't tell me you were involved in that." Leah's concern turned to fear for her child, and Marie knew that she should explain quickly.

"I was, but not until the end. You see, I hadn't learned to control my skin by then, and I was beginning to think that I never would. Well, when they announced the cure, I decided to go ahead and take it." Marie paused, letting the information sink in. She wasn't sure how Leah would react, but when the older woman showed no sign of interrupting, she continued. "I decided against it and went to help my friends instead. Only, when I got there, someone very close to me had lost control and she became someone else completely. I ended up using my mutation to kill her."

"Oh, Marie. I'm so sorry." Leah stood as if to move to her, but Marie only shook her head, forcing the woman to sit back down.

"No. I'm not. Not anymore. I'll have to live with what I did, but I also saved billions of lives that night, and I will not let myself regret that. If I hadn't done what I did… Well, Logan would have tried to take her out. I was left with the choice of saving the man I love and sparing billions of lives or killing the woman who was my friend and teacher. I chose the lesser of two evils." Marie grew silent again, trying to get her emotions under control. "But when I did take her life, I absorbed the person she had become. The person who was out of control. In order for me to be strong enough to control her, I had to learn to control my own mutation, along with those of other mutants I had touched. I have control now, but that was only after a couple of telepaths helped me unlock those memories you suppressed. My mutation was only acting as a defense mechanism because there was something missing."

"I'm sorry I did that to you, Marie," Leah apologized. "I wish it had been different, but I thought that I was doing the right thing at the time."

"I know. And I'm not angry. Not anymore." Marie reassured her subtly. Both women knew that things would get better between them, it was only a matter of when. "Look, why don't I tell you about some of the better things that have happened over the years? There is so much more, so much good that you don't even know about. And maybe you can tell me about my mother when she was growing up?"

"I'd like that," Leah said with a smile, although Marie could still see the tears in her eyes. "And your man should be back anytime. Why don't we talk why we get dinner started? He'll be hungry when he gets here. Didn't I always tell you? You want to keep your man, keep him fed."

Marie couldn't help but laugh as she followed Leah into the kitchen.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Later that night, as she laid in bed listen to Logan lightly snore beside her, there were still so many questions she had for her family, but those would wait. She wanted to spend the rest of their visit getting to know each other again. It had been too long. Tomorrow was another day.

Chapter 33

They were sitting around the kitchen table, laughing and enjoying breakfast the next morning when the door bell rang.

"Alright, I'll get it, but don't quit eating on my account," Ray said as he looked at Logan pointedly. Logan was in the middle of shoveling a fork full of waffles into his mouth. Ray couldn't help but chuckle as he threw his napkin on the table and left to answer the door.

Logan couldn't believe how at peace they were here. He had never seen Marie so happy, and he couldn't remember the last time he felt so at ease with his surroundings. He had never really understood her need to be apart of something bigger, to be apart of a family, but, after meeting her family and seeing how she was raised and the atmosphere she had grown in, he had to admit that he had a better understanding.

And then it had hit him. A scent he had never known before. It was obviously male and young. Nothing dominating about it. He was nowhere near being an alpha. Nothing threatening. He was ready to brush it off when he realized that next to him, Marie's body seemed to stiffen and she suddenly became very quiet.

"What's wrong, Marie?" He whispered slowly, looking at her carefully. Leah seemed to have notice something was wrong, also. She stood abruptly, going to check who was at her home. "Marie? Who is it?"

He listened carefully, trying to figure out who could make her this upset. He could hear her parents talking with the young man whose scent he had just caught. It sounded like Leah was trying to politely talk the man into leaving, but he was being persistent with his demand. He wanted to see Marie. She owed it to him.

"You know, we can just go out the back door. Come back later, after we know he's gone. Is that what you want to do?" Logan asked sincerely, waiting patiently for an answer.

Marie took a deep breath, closing her eyes. She felt like the walls were closing in around her. But this was something that she knew was a possibility if she had come here. It was unavoidable, and he was right. She did owe him.

"No, Logan. I have to do this," she said as she stood. He followed her out of the kitchen, ready to defend her against what ever was waiting for her.

She stopped suddenly, grabbing Logan's hand for support. She could feel her heart constrict as she took in his appearance. His hair was still blond, only a little darker than she remembered. He had grown a little in the last three years, and his features seemed to have matured, but she could still see the boy she had fallen for all those years ago. She took a deep breath, suppressing her fears. "Hey, Cody."

Logan felt his blood run cold at her words. She had told him about the boy she had almost killed, the boy she had cared so deeply for. She had told him stories of their childhood together, how they had been almost inseparable. He couldn't help the low growl that emanated from his throat.

Although Marie seemed a little startled by it, it was apparent that no one else in the room had noticed. Still, she squeezed his hand lightly, letting him know that he had nothing to worry about.

"Hey, Marie," Cody said in a thick southern accent. "We've missed you. You look good, girl."

"You too, Cody. Now, I don't mean to be rude, but what are you doing here?" Marie asked quickly, her eyebrows knitting together. Logan had been wondering the same thing. As far as he knew, Ray and Leah didn't tell anyone they were here, and, judging by their scents, they were just as surprised as he and Marie.

"Mrs. Johnson from across the street called my momma and told her the she saw a man and a woman ride up on motorcycles and that the woman could be you. Well, Momma told me and I figured that I would come down and see for myself." Cody looked around at the faces that were staring at him. No one had even suspected that the local gossip had already started, but it wasn't too much of a stretch. Cody smiled brightly, taking a seat on the couch. Everyone looked at each other, not too sure of the situation. Marie had to admit that it was a little surreal.

Leah suddenly realized how tense the situation was becoming. Quickly, she walked across the living room and grabbed Logan's free arm, gently urging him to the kitchen. "Logan, why don't you come with me to the kitchen and help me clear that table."

Logan knew what she was doing and followed, but he couldn't help but growl again, this time a little louder so that everyone could hear. He felt Marie's fingers reluctantly release his hands, and understood. She had to see this through.

Marie watched Logan follow her mother to the kitchen. When she looked back, she was relieved and grateful to see that her father was sitting in his recliner and not heading out of the room, also. Cody was still beaming at her as if he was oblivious to the mess he had made by just showing up.

"How've you been?" Cody asked sweetly as Marie took a seat on the chair opposite her father. "Life treating you right?"

"Life is good. I'm living in northern New York now, at a school for mutants. I've got a lot of people who care for me and accept me for who I am," she said, relaxing a little. She was afraid that he would be upset with her, that he would blame her and hate her.

"And that man with you, is he one of your teachers?" Cody asked, gesturing towards the kitchen.

"Not anymore. But that's a long story," she paused, briefly remembering all that she and Logan had been through over the last few years, remembering everything that led to this moment. "Actually, Logan and I are together. He's my man."

"Oh." Cody tried, but he couldn't hide his astonishment. He hadn't been expecting that, but then she didn't think he had noticed any intimacy between them. "Don't get me wrong, but, isn't he a little old for you?"

Marie couldn't help but laugh. It seemed Cody hadn't changed much over the years. He was still as straight forward as he had been when they were in school together. "He's older, yes, but we love each other. We trust each other."

"How long have you been together?"

Marie smiled at the obvious grilling. It seemed that her ex flame had become somewhat protective of her over the years. "Since about eight months after I left here. He picked me up outside of a bar in Canada."

"What!" She couldn't help but giggle when his face fell. Judging by the look on Ray's face, he wasn't as happy, but he wasn't going to force the issue. Cody would do that. "You were only 17!"

"Well, technically, he didn't pick me up. I stole away in his camper. But when he found me, he didn't leave me on the side of the rode like he really wanted to." She knew that she was angering him, and knew that it should end. "We've been close ever since, but we didn't have anything romantic between us until a couple of weeks ago."

They spent the rest of the hour talking about this and that. She told him about the school and the things she had learned. He told her about his daughter, a little girl born the spring before. They enjoyed each other's company and Marie forgot everything she had been worried about until Cody let everyone know that he was going to step outside for a smoke. One look from her father let her know that, from his position, Ray had just seen Logan walk out the back way to do the same thing. With any luck, they wouldn't run into each other, but Marie knew all too well that wasn't how luck worked for her.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Logan caught his scent the moment he opened the front door. He couldn't help the smile that spread over his lips. He wanted to talk to the boy, and to make sure he wasn't a threat. Not to what was happening between him and Marie, but to Marie herself.

He crouched around the side of the house, surprising the boy straight when he didn't make a noise until he was just behind him.

"Where the hell did you come from?" Cody asked quickly, jumping a little.

"Back yard. Just thought I'd join you." Logan said quickly, lighting his cigar even as the boy lit his cigarette. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to see Marie. I've been thinking about her lately, wondering how she's been doing. It's good to see her." Cody took a drag, looking at the bigger man next to him. "I've always wanted to know what happened to her after she left here. Glad she's found someone to take care of her. She deserves it."

Logan couldn't help but smile. This wasn't something he wasn't expecting. "Yeah, well, she's a strong woman. She doesn't need any one to take care of her. I'm just happy she lets me."

"You'll take care of her, right? You wont hurt her?" Cody looked at him with scrutinizing eyes, and Logan wanted to chuckle. He definitely didn't expect this.

"I don't think I can." Logan shrugged, leaning against the porch railing. "I love her too much."

"Yeah I can tell." Cody took another drag on his cigarette, laughing a little. His chuckle was cut short as he watched a small, red car stop just off the property. "What the hell?"

"What's the matter, kid? You know her?" Logan asked, keeping his eyes on the car.

"Yeah. That's my momma. Don't know what she's doing here though," Cody replied as the woman opened the door and got out of the car.

Just as she stood, the winds changed, and Logan was slapped with the woman's scent. Without warned, he grabbed Cody by the collar, dragging him back into his house. "Sorry to break it to you, kid, but that ain't your momma. ROGUE!"

"What's the matter, Logan? Who is it?" Marie asked as she ran from the kitchen. He hadn't called her Rogue once since they left the mansion, and it felt a little strange to hear it again. It could only mean that something was about to happen. Something bad.

Logan looked at her, and she knew that he was a different person now. He was Wolverine now. What ever was outside wasn't just bad, but dangerous. "It's Mystique."

End Notes:

I really want to get this story finished, so I thought I'd bring the fight to Rogue and Wolverine instead of them fishing it out. Still a long way from being done.

Chapter 34

Logan wasn't sure if she had seen them, but he wasn't about to take that chance. It was good that she had, though.

"What are we going to do, Logan?" Rogue asked quickly, standing protectively in front of her family. "She'll kill them."

"My momma's a bitch, I'll give you that, Marie," Cody said, stepping out from behind her, "but I really don't think she'd kill anyone."

"That ain't your momma, kid," Logan growled as he forced Cody to sit down on the couch. "Rogue, you sure that Mystique isn't working for Magneto? Anything in Danvers' memories that would say other wise?"

"I don't know. Do you think I got a minute to look through, again?" Rogue asked as she pulled a small hair tie from her pocket and tied her hair back in a bun. She could feel the eyes of her parents and Cody on her; all wanting to know what was really going on. "What's she doing, anyway? You think she knows we're here?"

"Yeah, she knows," Logan muttered. He slowly peeked out of the window, carful not to be seen. From what he could see, she was just standing there, observing the house. She was no longer shaped as Cody's mother, though. She was back in her own skin, so to speak. "It looks like she's waiting for back up. I think I could go out there and handle this myself."

"Oh no you don't," Rogue said quickly, walking across the room to where Logan stood by the bay window. "You're going to help me get my family out of here before something happens to one of them, you hear me. Now, just give me a second."

Logan watched as her eyes glazed over. Her parents were crouched on the floor, watching her closely, and Cody was just sitting on her couch, staring in the direction of the bay window. It was only a few seconds before Rogue gasped and returned to them from where ever she went to inside her head. "I didn't see Mystique, but I think there is reason so believe that Danvers wasn't as high up in ranks with Magneto as she thought she was. It seems that, after he got his abilities back, he would disappear for days at a time. The only person that he would take him was Pyro. Danvers only thought she was a big deal because Magneto would leave her in charge."

"But he wouldn't bother telling her where he was going. Meaning, the only person who knew what he was up to was Pyro, and he could damn well be working with Mystique again," Logan said quickly. Rogue could practically see the wheels in his head turning while he was thinking, trying to come up with a plan. "Do you think you can do a quick scan of the area to see if anyone is around?"

"I can try, but keep an eye on me. I don't trust Phoenix and I think this would be the perfect opportunity for her to do something stupid and get everyone killed." Rogue concentrated again, her head tilted to the side as her eyes glazed over. She felt a slight tug from someone in her head as she tapped into her telepathic abilities, but quickly pushed it aside. She wasn't sure who it was, but she knew that it wasn't Phoenix. It would have been a whole different battle otherwise. She could feel everyone in the room instantaneously. Her parents were full of fear and anguish, while Cody was not only scared, but also a little confused. She just didn't have the heart to tell him that because Mystique was impersonating her, chances were his mother was already dead. She pushed a little further and was overwhelmed with an onslaught of thoughts, most of which were focused on one thing.

"You want the bad news first?" Rogue asked with a little giggle. Logan threw her a look which said to stop playing around. "We're surrounded. I didn't hear anything from Mags, but he's here. I heard some of their orders. It seems that they don't know that you aren't the big metal man anymore, so they think that Magneto will take care of you. For once, the sound of your name doesn't strike fear in their hearts when it should."

"Get on with it, Darlin," Logan growled, peeking out the window again. He knew there was more, could almost feel her trying not to say it. "And?"

"And, all they want is me," Rogue whispered. She wouldn't meet his gaze, already knowing what was going on in his head. It didn't take a psychic to read what he was thinking. "Alive, Logan. If I go peacefully, they retreat. Mystique is waiting for orders to ask me to talk to her civilly. She's going to offer me a deal. If I go with them, peacefully, then they won't hurt anyone. They know what I am capable of."

"Rogue!" They heard someone yell from the yard in a sing song voice. "Come on out. I just want to talk."

"What's the good news, Darlin?" Logan asked gruffly, hoping that she had some kind of plan to get everyone out of here safely. He looked at her, hoping to see something that would make him happy. Instead, he saw tears in her eyes, a quivering smile on her lips.

"That was the good news. The only way to make sure my family survives this is if I make another sacrifice."

End Notes:

Went back to using Rogue instead of Marie in this one. Wanted to use a different name for the different circumstance. Sorry if I confused anyone!!!! :)

Chapter 35

"It ain't going to happen, Rogue. Don't even think it," Logan growled loudly, scaring everyone in the house. He looked away from her before she could protest, forcing his attention on her parents. "You got a basement?"

"Yeah," Leah replied. There was a squeak in her voice that made Rogue flinch. It was a bad idea to come here. If she hadn't, they wouldn't all be in danger right now. "Through the kitchen."

"Get to it. Grab anything you might need to eat and drink on your way. Stay as far away from anything metal as you can." Logan let his claws slide out slowly as he spoke, letting them know that he was serious. "Stay down there for the next few hours. I don't know how long this is going to take."

Leah nodded, grabbing Cody by the arm and dragging him behind her. Only Ray hesitated. He looked from Logan to Rogue, all of his pride showing in his eyes.

"Sorry, but I'm not going to leave my baby to the slaughter," he said stubbornly, holding his ground.

"I'm a big girl, Daddy. I can take care of myself." Rogue walked to him, gently pushing him towards the kitchen.

"No, Marie. You're my daughter and I'll fight with you. Just let me go get my shotgun." He tried to walk past her, but Rogue grabbed his arm, refusing to let him. "Marie…"

"Don't 'Marie' me this time, Daddy. It's Rogue now." She recognized his stubbornness. It was the same stubbornness she had in herself. It didn't matter whose blood ran through her veins, she was very much his daughter. "Listen, there is a man out there who wants me bad. Your gun won't do anything but make him laugh. This is what I do, what I've been trained for. Please, just go down to Momma. She needs you more than I do, right now. I'll be fine."

He saw it in her eyes. The fight that was coming. He knew what she was saying and understood that their roles had just reversed. She was trying to protect them now. "Please, Daddy."

"No matter what, Marie, I'm proud of you." He looked from her to Logan. "I don't know you that well, Logan, but I'm pretty sure you're a good man. Take care of my little girl. Don't let her do anything stupid."

"I don't intend to," Logan replied. They watched as Ray headed into the kitchen and began to help his wife grab a few things to take. It was going to be a long fight.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They walked out of the house together, Wolverine in front of Rogue. Mystique was waiting patiently just off the yard, watching for any signs of a trick.

"We can do this peacefully, Rogue. Just come with us," Mystique called out. Judging by the gun in her hand, Rogue had a feeling that the word 'peaceful' wasn't in the woman's vocabulary.

Rogue knew what she had to do. It was the only way. She let her claws unleash, only wincing a little as she did so. She had to let the animal out to protect her family.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They fought side by side, both relishing in the warm stench of blood. As soon as they attacked Mystique, the rest of Magneto's followers came out, ready for a fight. They had all known that she wouldn't go easily, and had been prepared. What they weren't prepared for was the way Rogue had quickly learned to utilize more than one ability at a time.

As Wolverine found himself cutting into person after person, Rogue was busy freezing this one and lighting that one on fire as she poked and stabbed with her own set of claws. She growled just as furiously as he did. And none of the cuts and bruises she acquired seemed to last that long.

He helped her work her way to the middle of the fight, keeping everyone focused on them. As long as no one did anything stupid like go into the house, they might leave a few alive.

Rogue found herself suddenly face to face with Mystique. She couldn't stop the blood thirsty smile from forming on her lips. She wanted this badly. The other woman had to have been staking out the house for awhile now, preparing for the inevitable. Without warning, Mystique turned herself into a likeliness of Leah, trying to dissuade Rogue from doing any harm. Unfortunately, she soon realized that it wasn't going to work as Rogue plunged her claws into her neck, blood squirting everywhere as Mystique tried to gasp for air.

Suddenly, both Rogue and Wolverine could detect a different scent in the air. One full of metal and arrogance. Rogue looked up to see Magneto hovering above them, watching Mystique die around her claws.

"You killed her," Magneto said with a gasp, as if he really thought it was believable. "You killed your own kind."

Rogue could see the fear in his eyes, and, suddenly, she knew that he had realized he might be wrong.

She jumped up quickly, forcing herself to fly into the air and face him. He knew what was coming, what was going to happen.

"What do you want from me, you arrogant bastard? What the hell do you need me for?"

"Why, my dear, I need your power. You're going to prove to everyone that Homo-superior is, in fact, the dominant species. You're going to start the war." He smiled at her and she saw just how evil he truly was. "If you join me now, you can have so much power at your beck and call. You will be royalty, my dear. The most powerful mutant in the world. All you have to do is fight by my side."

Rogue could feel something stirring inside her mind. Phoenix had heard his words and was responding to them. She wanted to fight, to stop what she knew was coming, but she couldn't. She screamed as she felt the flames of Phoenix wrap around her mind.

~*~*~*~*~*~

The fight stopped abruptly as Rogue screamed. Logan felt chills running down his spine at the sound. He looked up, watching as everyone else did, as Rogue seemed to change before him.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Ah, Phoenix. Welcome back, my dear," Magneto said, his smile widening. She could see the happiness and warmth in his eyes. She knew that he thought he had won, but it wasn't so.

"Not Phoenix," she said, shaking her head slowly. She watched as the color drained from his face. "I'm nothing you've ever seen before, and everyone that is in this girls mind. I won't fight with you, Magneto. Not now. You lost chance when you came to this house."

He didn't say anything, only whimpered as she thrust her claws into his stomach and twisted her wrist. He felt every second of pain as he died, his blood covering her hand. "I'm not your pawn."

~*~*~*~*~*~

Magneto's body fell first. Lifeless and withered. When no one caught it, they knew the fight was over. Those who could still walk turned to help those who couldn't. With Magneto dead, there was no more reason, nothing to drive them. If they continued, there would only be a fight.

Rogue's body fell next, and Logan scrambled to catch her. She had passed out completely after she had changed back into herself. She had used everything she had to kill the man who had tried to take her from those she cared for the most. It was time to go home.

He cradled her in his arms as he walked to the house. He sat on the couch, her body still in his arms. He happened to glance at the clock on the mantel to see that the fight that had seemed to last only a few minutes had gone on for three hours. But it was over.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Leah and Ray emerged from the basement first, telling Cody to stay down until they called for him. Ray had urged Leah to stay, also, but she wouldn't listen. Marie was her daughter to.

The found them in the living room, wrapped up in each other, sleeping. The yard was a disaster, and the tree was gone. But the house was still standing. Leah went to get Cody out of the basement and send him on his way as Ray gently laid a blanket over the young couple as the slept.

End Notes:

It's almost over....

Chapter 36

Logan was the first to awaken later that night. It was around ten when he opened his eyes and found Ray sitting in his recliner, watching them closely. Gently, so as not to disturb her, he peeled himself away from Rogue and stood, stretching out his muscles. She whimpered only a little until Logan threw the blanket back over her, gently tucking it in around her.

Through this whole thing, Ray stayed quiet and observed. He had questions about what had just happened, but he felt it best until Logan was ready to answer them. He had gone to the liberty of making a few sandwiches an hour earlier when Logan began to stir. He suspected that the bread was becoming a little stale from sitting out, but Logan didn't seem to mind as he grabbed two before sitting in the chair across from him.

Ray watched as Logan finished the sandwich in four bites. He popped open a beer for the man and watched as he swallowed at least most of the contents quickly. Ray cleared his throat as Logan started in on his second sandwich, actually taking time to chew this one.

"Sorry about the mess out there. I can replace the tree and help you get the yard cleaned up if you need it. I know a kid who can help plants grow and a woman who's really great with gardens that might be able to donate some flowers and stuff." He was trying to lighten the mood, but, judging by the look on Ray's face, Logan knew the attempt was futile. "What do you want to know?"

"I want to know what it is my daughter is involved in and why my wife and I watched as a bunch of bodies were carried away. Who the hell was that and why did he want Marie?" He spoke quietly, but there was no mistaking the anger in his voice.

"Well," Logan began slowly, not sure where to start. "Where do you want me to begin?'

"The beginning seems like a good place to start, don't you think?" Logan wasn't sure what Rogue wanted to hold back, but, after what they had gone through, he knew he owed it to the man before him to explain everything.

"Rogue and I met at a bar…."

"Before you go any further, why don't you start by explaining why she's calling herself that now?" Ray inquired, cutting Logan off before he could really get into the story.

"Honestly, you would have to ask her. I think she chose that name because of her skin, and the fact that she couldn't let anyone get close without hurting them," Logan replied, shrugging his shoulders. "It was the first name she gave me. She only told me her real name after I picked her up. I've noticed a lot of mutants start using a different name after they've manifested."

Ray thought about this for a moment before speaking. "But you were able to get close to her?"

"Yeah, well," Logan paused, raking his hand through his hair. "Rogue and I are one in the same, pretty much. We were both given bad hands in life and have worked through them."

"So what happened when you met?"

"Well, she thought she saved my life from a guy with a knife. The only problem was that my knives were bigger and meaner. But you already know what happened after that," Logan said with another shrug. He looked at Rogue, who was still sound asleep before continuing. "While we were on the road, we were attacked. I tried to fight the guy off, but he hit me with a tree. When I came to, I found out that we were rescued by a group of people who called themselves The X-men."

Logan spent the next hour or so telling Ray about the event that had transpired over the last few years. The told him of everything he had witnessed, and the things that he had found out about second hand. He explained how she had almost taken the cure, only to show up at the last minute and save everyone.

He then went on to tell him about everything that happened afterward, including the attack on the mansion, and her decision to leave for awhile.

Ray listened to everything without interrupting again. He seemed to be soaking it all in and analyzing every detail. It was one of the first times Logan couldn't be sure of someone's real reactions, and, he silently admitted to himself that it was a little disturbing.

"This wasn't the life I had envisioned for her, you know," Ray said slowly when Logan was finished. "I had always thought she would do something noble and worthwhile, but I thought it would be safe, too."

"Nothing noble is safe," Logan replied softly. "You always make a few enemies, no matter what. But, what Rogue does, well, she's good at it. She's smart. She can handle it. After everything that's happened, I don't think there is anything left that life can throw at her that she can't handle."

"How many people are in her head now?"

"I don't know, really. A few. She's strong, though. She can control them."

"She's not my little girl anymore," Ray commented as his shoulders slumped. The man looked exhausted, and Logan didn't blame him. He had taken in a lot in one day. Logan, himself and Rogue were both used to it. It was easier for them to bounce back from. Ray, though, had led a pretty sheltered life up till now, even if his wife was a mutant. "I don't even know who she really is."

"To be honest, I think she stopped being a little girl the moment her mutation flared," Logan sighed before taking a swig of beer. "But, to be fare, she has tried hard to hold on to a piece of that girl she was. Just being here proves it."

"How is that?"

"Well, if she really was someone else, she wouldn't have returned. She would have washed her hands of this entire place and said to hell with it. She wouldn't have given a damn if you had fought beside her today or not. She might have even joined Magneto. You have to remember, the majority of the personalities in her head were from people who were once on Magneto's side," Logan paused, eyeing Ray closely. "Phoenix, Pyro, Danvers, Magneto himself. It would have been really easy to persuade. If it wasn't for the person you taught her to be, she wouldn't have survived."

"She's amazing," Ray whispered, looking down at his sleeping daughter.

"You have no idea."

~*~*~*~*~*~

They stayed for the next few days to make sure everything had calmed down. Though the neighbors were upset, Leah and Ray were able to smooth it all over, claiming that they had been attacked by a group of mutants. The police filed the report, but did little to investigate, claiming that they just didn't have the man power and resources needed to handle something of this magnitude.

Rogue told her parents everything, supporting Logan's story. Leah cried over what her daughter had gone through, but reassured her that she was proud.

"Where do you go from here?" Ray asked on their last night as they sat down to dinner.

"Home," Logan replied quickly. He was tired, Rogue was tired. There was no more threat. It was time to head back to the school. "Our ride will be here in the afternoon."

"No," Rogue said softly, shaking her head lightly. "I have something else I need to do first, before I can go home. And I think I need to do this by myself."

"I'm not leaving you behind, Marie." She knew he was serious by the way he used her given name. He had gone back to calling her Rogue after they were attacked. Even her parents had picked up on it. "Who knows what else can happen?"

"I'll be fine. I'm going to leave here right after you do. I need to do this, Logan. I need some answers."

End Notes:

Just a little more.....

Chapter 37

Author's Notes:

'Means telepathic conversation'

"Are you sure you don't want my help?" Logan asked after they finished loading the truck and bikes into the storage bay of the jet. An hour and a half earlier, Storm had called to let them know that she had found a clearing in a set of woods not to far from the house, telling them to meet her there.

There were tearful goodbyes and promises of frequent visits before Rogue said goodbye to her parents. The ride to the clearing had been quiet, neither wanting to say anything, least it provoke a fight.

"I'll be fine, Logan. I'm not afraid of him. I'll be safe." She wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing her body to his. "I'll be home tomorrow. Just have a warm bath ready for me."

"I think I can handle that," he replied as his own arms snaked around her waist. "Just hurry."

He kissed her, and this kiss was filled with hunger and passion she knew she would never again be able to live without. Never again would she be able to live without the kind of love he was offering, and, as much as that scared her, she knew there was nothing left but to accept it. It would be too painful to fight.

He pulled away slowly, his eyes opening while his head felt a little dizzy. It would never be any better than that.

"You need to go," she whispered as she lowered her eyes. She didn't want to leave his arms, but knew that she must.

"You go first. I won't follow. I promise. I want to see you fly." Logan growled at her lightly and she felt her body grow warm.

"Be careful, Sugar," she called to him as she began to levitate.

"Promise. You be good, Darlin." He smiled at her, wishing that he could go with her.

"I always am."

~*~*~*~*~*~

She felt his watching her until well after she knew she was out of range. She could feel her eyes begin to tear, only for the fluid to dry before falling due to the wind hitting her face.

She missed Logan, but, she had to admit, there was nothing like flying. She had never flown like this before, by herself, with no one to watch over her. She pushed herself up, through the clouds, going as high as she could before the air began to thin and she felt herself grow could. She had never felt so free before.

Nothing seemed to matter up here. There was no one to be angry with, no reason to be extra careful. She realized that some part of her wished that she had been born with this ability instead of her skin. And part of her wanted to weep for the woman she had taken it from. But, as she forced herself to push past those emotions as she pushed through the clouds, she knew that it was no point in dwelling on these things. Life was good now. And she had only one more thing she had to do before she could go home.

~*~*~*~*~*~

It was easy enough to find the mental hospital. She had pretty much noticed it as she was flying over.

She landed softly just outside, hoping that no one noticed her. She couldn't help but wonder what the doctors would say if one of the patients had seen her. From what her parents told her, the people who were kept here weren't just psychotic, but deranged. Most of these people lived in their own little worlds of butterflies and make-believe. She couldn't help but wonder how close she had come to living in a place like this herself.

Shaking her head clear of those kinds of thoughts, she walked into the building, mentally preparing herself for a glimpse of the past.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Can I help you?" The nurse sitting at the greeting station asked as Rogue approached the desk. Although she was smiling, Rogue couldn't help but notice the bags under her tired eyes and the tightness in her voice.

"I'm here to see Mr. Own Ellett." Rogue wasn't sure where the last name came from. She wasn't sure if it was the correct one, but it seemed to jump out with her father's given name. It was familiar, though, and it felt right. She couldn't deny that. Chances were, it wasn't even corre…

"Yes, he's here. I think you're the first visitor he's had since he was brought in here. What's your name?" The nurse asked, stopping Marie's train of thought.

"Marie D'Ancanto," Rogue whispered. She still could not believe that it was the right name. She wondered if she really ever forgot.

"And relation?"

Rogue took in a deep breath, preparing to say the words that would haunt her. "His daughter."

The nurse stopped typing for a moment, looking Rogue over quickly. "You're Prissy's daughter, then?"

Rogue's heart seemed to catch in her throat. She wasn't sure what to say. Had Owen began to remember his past life? Had he started talking about all the things that had happened? She could only shake her head yes.

"I went to school with your momma," the nurse sighed. Rogue glanced at her name tag for the first time, noticing that her name was Anna. "She was a good friend of mine. We were all pretty torn up when we heard she had disappeared. I was just starting here by then. And then, Owen came to live with us not to much later. I had heard that your auntie had taken you in. Her and her husband. You look good. A whole lot like your momma. I was wondering if you would ever even show up around here. The way I heard it, your auntie and uncle were raising you as their own and they were trying to protect you from who your parents were. I never agreed with it, but I wasn't one to judge. When did you find out?"

"Just recently. My parents told me that he wasn't really in good shape, but I had to come and see for myself." Rogue couldn't help but notice that her accent had began to thicken over the time she had been in the south, and now that she was nervous, it was almost as thick as it had been before.

"Well, let's get you to him, then." Anna tore her eyes off of her, and Rogue felt her body begin to relax. She typed something into the computer before looking back at Rogue. "Someone will be here in a second. Last I heard, you turned mutant?"

Rogue felt her heart skip. She hadn't even thought that anyone here would know. What was she supposed to do now?

"Relax, Marie," Anna whispered low. "I ain't trying to start no trouble for you. I'd shame my son if I even thought about it. He's a good boy, but he's having some trouble in school. He's seventeen now."

"I know of a good school that he can go too. They helped me a whole lot when I needed it. The schools been going through a few things, but I think it might work. What's his mutation, anyway?" Rogue smiled as she reached into her back pocket and pulled out her wallet. Opening it quickly, she pulled out a card and handed it to Anna.

"Well, believe it or not, he talks… to machines. It's been like this since he was about fourteen, but, for the last few years, we've been able to keep it from anyone," Anna sighed. Rogue motioned for her to continue, knowing that it was hard. "But one of the kids caught him 'talking' to a computer at school while he was trying to find something. I just don't know what to do. Doug's a good boy. He wasn't doing anything wrong."

"Talk to him, and, if you want, call the number on the back and we can arrange a tour. He'll fit right in here." Rogue smiled as the door just to the right of the greeting station opened. A large male nurse walked out, whistling.

"Ah, Marie, this is Nurse Brenton. He over looks your father. He'll show you to him." Rogue was surprised by how easily Anna was able to pull herself together. But, then again, she had to be fast. She was probably used to it.

"If you'll just follow me," Nurse Brenton said in a low voice. Rogue rolled her eyes as she felt his gaze on her breasts. Now she was really happy she hadn't brought Logan along. He would have probably gutted the guy.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Her father was put into an isolated room with only two chairs and a table for their meeting. He hadn't known she was coming and, when he saw her, she could almost see the recognition in his eyes. It was like he was trying to place where he knew her from. But, although she could see his struggle, her heart felt no pity.

She waited until the door closed swiftly behind her. Owen wasn't considered to be a threat anymore, and his visits didn't need any supervisation.

"Do you remember me at all?" Rogue asked, tilting her head to the side.

"Not really, but you are a pretty girl, aren't you?" Owen asked with a sick smile. She felt bile rise in her throat. She wanted to hurt this man with everything she had, but she couldn't do anything now. Not when there could be cameras.

"I'm your daughter," Rogue said sternly, trying to get some kind of recognition out of him. Judging by the look on his face, it still hadn't registered.

"Hell, come over here and give your daddy a hug, girl. Let me see how you've grown." His smile was wide, and his eyes were full of lust. She let her mind wander for a second, catching his thoughts. She saw an image of herself bent over his knee as he paddled her. Her stomach lurched at the thought, and she knew she had to finish this before she lost it and killed him.

'I can help you.' She let her voice whisper into his mind. 'Do you want to remember?'

His eyes became hard, calculating as he realized she was talking to him without any words. She saw the moment understanding dawned on him, and couldn't help the small smile that played on her lips.

"You…"

She hushed him, knowing that if there were microphones, it could be disastrous. 'Don't say it. I'm a mutant, but, is that really such a surprise? I mean you're wife was one. I'm sorry. I forgot. You don't remember her.'

She let it sink in. As he thought, she couldn't help but wonder why he was still here. He was competent, as far as she could tell. Maybe he didn't want to be let out. Maybe he liked it here, were he could be the big man. Either way, she wasn't about to tell his secret. Who knows what kind of pain he would inflict on people outside. Didn't matter, though. By the time she was done with him, well, he would be exactly where he belonged.

'How can you help me?' His thoughts were to himself, but she heard every word. He wanted to know what he lost. 'What's in it for you?'

"It's good to see you, Daddy. I wish you remembered me, though," Rogue said sweetly, just in case anyone was listening. Owen gave her a strange look, as if he didn't understand what was going on.

'I got to make sure this looks real. Everything is in it for me. You know something that I need. I'll come to you tonight. Which window is yours?'

She caught a picture image of a window around the back of the facility. She could remember it, and she would come back later.

"Well, Daddy. I got to go. I'll come back tomorrow before I head out," Rogue said as she stood up, walking away from him. He still had a blank look on his face, but she could hear the thoughts in his head, and knew that he was excited. Who knew her father was such a great actor.

End Notes:

almost there......

Chapter 38

She returned well after midnight, when things were quiet and everyone was off guard. She found the window easily enough. It was only three windows down from the right end of the building. She flew up to it and observed the bars closely. They would come off easily enough.

Using her magnetic abilities, she called the bars to her, feeling the alloy sing. It was almost like a rush to fell the bars breaking from their hinges, creaking slowly to meet her. She wondered what Owen was thinking right now, wondered if he was as hypnotized by the blissful cold that metal allotted as she was, or completely shocked with fear. She hadn't told him of any of her abilities, really. He only knew that she could hear his thoughts and that she was going to help him.

She held the bars in her hand for a moment, reveling in their weight and the way the metal seemed to warm to her. She let it float to the ground, using her powers to make it as quiet as possible, before she flew into the room.

Owen was sitting on his bed, wide eyed and afraid.

"Knock it off," she whispered as she felt her feet touch the ground. "I can do a whole lot more than that."

"You'll have to show me sometime," Owen replied lewdly. She shivered slightly; disgusted by the way he was speaking to her. This was exactly where he needed to be. Either here or prison, anyway. "How are we going to do this?"

"You are going to lay down and shut up. It will be over in a second." She watched as he did what she told him. She touched him lightly on the forehead, cringing at the feel of his skin. She wished she didn't have to touch him, but this was the first time she had ever done anything like this, and she hoped that it would work. Maybe, if she got this right, it would get rid of all of her major problems.

Concentrating, she shifted through his memories, observing everything closely. She understood why he was here, understood how it could be. He had watched closely the first year he was here, learning about the other patents and mimicking them. He pretended to be like them, picked up their habits, lied in his therapy sessions about another world he had made up. He did all this so that he could stay, and torment those around him, secretly hurting the men and abusing the women anyway he wanted. He would make the men believe that they were hurting themselves. He would hit them and make them, kick them, leaving bruises in places that could easily be misconstrued as self inflicted. He would make the women believe that this was how they were supposed to be treated as he rapped them and forced them to do things no woman should be forced to do. It was all sick, twisted, and unforgivable. It was a wonder he hadn't been caught already.

Shifting even further, she found the blocks that Leah had placed so many years ago. They were beginning to weaken and distort, but she was sure they would last for many more years if she was to leave them alone.

She pushed on all of these barriers, bending them until they broke, and she was flooded with a magnitude of memories, all twisted, all painful, all sick. She ignored what she could, only trying to find one thing, one memory that would tell her what she needed to know.

When she founded, it took all of her strength not to kill the man's mind.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Her parents were apart of a cult. A group of people who believed in other plains of existence that were better then this one. They believed that there was a way to travel to these worlds, sort of like a path.

Her mother was believed to be that path. She was the only mutant among them, and the other's believed that she would be the one to lead them, with Owen at her side.

Rogue witnessed fights between the two, how her mother insisted that she didn't know how, and her father claiming that she had to try, at least. He led her to believe that she wasn't giving their daughter everything she could unless she could take them to this other world; The Far Banks.

After years of pressure and abuse, Prissy broke. She claimed that they would need a shaman to open the path before she could lead them, never, for once, thinking that anyone would be found. She didn't think any true shamans existed in this day and age, but, sure enough, she was proven wrong.

An old Native American, claiming to be a spiritual healer, was brought into the picture. He came cheep, too. A thousand dollars and a gallon of moonshine was his fee. He would perform the necessary rituals and open the path.

Priscilla continued to believe that it wouldn't work, that the man was a con, all the way through the ceremony. But then the path opened, and everyone rejoiced.

Prissy tried to go back on her word, claiming that she was wrong, that she couldn't do this. That it wasn't possible and they would have to find someone else. She wanted to stay, and care for her daughter. She pleaded with everyone, asking them to find someone else.

Owen had been humiliated. He claimed that there was no one else as he picked Priscilla up and threw her through the portal. Everyone could hear her cries of agony. Her pleads with god to make it end. No one else went though, not wanting to know what Priscilla had found. Owen washed his hands of his wife, telling everyone to deny ever knowing her. He claimed that no one would listened, anyway, and no one should give a second thought. That was the last time anyone had seen Rogue's mother.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She felt the tears crawling down her cheeks as she removed her hand from his forehead. He had passed out from the experience, and she thanked who ever was watching over her. He was going to pay for what he had done, and she needed him to stay quiet. She had work to do.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She placed her hand back against his forehead, letting all the anger she felt build up. She went back into his mind, placing blocks along all of the happy memories he had. She built barriers against recent memories, also. Things that he had no business remembering.

She then went to the things that he had done to her, to her mother, and to all over the women that had been forced to endure him for the last few years. She twisted these memories, warping them so that when he awoke, he would remember these things happening, only, in his mind, they happened to him.

And then she did something she wasn't sure would work. She pushed harder, forcing everything inside of him. He would hear it, feel it. He would always be reminded of the pain he had caused, and relive it everyday. She pushed memories of Erik's torture, of Logan's nightmares. She would always remember them, also. But they would haunt him, also. And then she gave him something else, something darker and more dangerous to him than anything she had given before. She pushed again, and she felt her mind release. He now had the personality of Phoenix lodged inside his mind. She was caged tight enough to never be released, even by himself, but she would always be there, whispering her hatred and loathing. Only, he would never have any of the powers she once possessed. No, Rogue would keep those within herself. This man would live the rest of his long life in the shadows of insanity.

She left him then, still sleeping. He was probably already starting to remember, through his dreams. She could only wonder about the monsters that were beginning to plague his sweetest fantasies.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She returned the next morning, just as visiting hours were starting. She was happy to see that Anna wasn't sitting behind the greeting desk this time, and that another woman, a bit younger, was there.

"Can I help you?" The woman asked, a bit perky. She smiled brightly, but Rogue could see the ghosts behind her eyes.

"I'm here to see my father, Owen Ellett?"

"Oh yes, you must be Marie. Anna said you might be stopping by today." The woman's smile grew brighter. Rogue glanced at her badge quickly. She didn't want to seem rude.

"Yes, Gwen. Is he up for visitor's today? I'm heading home after I leave here. I just want to see him before I go. I don't know when I will find the time to come back." Rogue sweet talked the young woman easily, relying on Erik's charm and Jean's sense of propriety. Although she still had on the same jeans from the day before, she had been fortune enough to find an outlet store that was open at eight in the morning on a Sunday. She had found a shirt that seemed to fit nicely, and had ditched the other. It now stunk of her father, and she had a feeling that no matter how many times she washed it, that wretched odor would rear it's head every time she saw it.

"Alright," Gwen said quickly, "let me just get in contact with Nurse Brenton. He would know what's going on."

She typed something into the computer, and Rogue assumed that it was the same system that Anna had used the day before. It was probably going to a radio or phone as a text message.

Gwen made small talk as they waited to hear back from Brenton. Rogue couldn't help the ball of led that seemed to be developing in her stomach. Did she screw it up? Was her father remembering everything? Were her little gifts a success?

The phone rang seconds later. Rogue could hear a frantic voice on the other end. She knew everything before Gwen placed the receiver back on the hook.

"It seems that your father isn't having a good day right now," Gwen replied quickly. "His doctor is on his way out to see you right now, to explain further. He asked that you wait here, and he will be with you as soon as possible."

Rogue wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, but she had to act the part of the caring daughter, so she took a seat on one of couches along the wall.

~*~*~*~*~*~

A half hour later, a man in his early thirties walked down toward her. She stood quickly when it became apparent that he was there to see her.

"Ms. Ellett?" He asked quickly as he extended his hand.

"D'Ancanto, actually," Rogue smiled. "I was adopted just before my father was brought here. How is he?"

"I'm Dr. Thornton. Why don't we go into my office and discuss your father's case?" The good doctor smiled brightly at her, and Rogue had a feeling that she already knew what he had to tell her.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"It seems, Ms D'Ancanto…"

"Marie, please. No one call's me miss." Rogue smiled at him sweetly.

"Marie. Your father seems to have experienced a psychological break down," he stated as soon as he was comfortably in his chair. "He's hearing voices. He's claiming to be able to remember things, but its things that he has no physical way of knowing. To be perfectly honest with you, until this morning, I had made plans of releasing him. Part of me wants to believe that he is doing this on purpose."

"I really wouldn't know about that, Doctor."

"Call me James," he replied with a smile.

"You see, James, I only just recently found out that I am adoptive. I really didn't remember anything about before hand. The only reason I'm here is because I thought it was my responsibility. As far as I know, I'm the only family he has," Rogue said quickly, establishing her place in the situation. "Do you believe that he is too unstable to leave this place after what happened today?"

"No. I'll have to reevaluate him and see where we stand. On a medical stand point, I believe that he has been lying about his state of mind for so long, he's began to believe his own illness. I wish I had started here sooner. I might have caught on to it. Unfortunately, I have only been here for a few weeks," James explained with a shrug. "I am sorry to say that we may have lost your father."

"Thank you, James. Here's my number. Call me in case something happens, please." She handed him her card before turning to leave. "I have a plane to catch. Let me know if there is any change."

There was nothing more for her to do. It was finally time to head home.

End Notes:

Very soon now.....

Chapter 39

Author's Notes:

Let's get it on.....

It was after one in the morning when she arrived at the mansion. Most of the windows were dark, but she couldn't help but notice that not only was Logan's light still on, but so was hers. Checking the window, she found that it was unlocked. She snuck in slowly, relishing in the feeling of being home. Stripping off her clothes quickly, she went straight for her shower, wanting to clean all the grime from the last two days off.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He had the television turned on, but he wasn't paying any attention. He was too worried about her. She had promised that she would be back by now, and it wasn't like her to be so late. Not when it was this important. Part of him was afraid that something had happened to her, and wanted to go back and find her. That she wasn't coming home and he was wasting time by waiting. That it was already too late.

The other part, the part of him that was an animal, made him sit back and wait, reminding him that she could take care of herself. That she had just killed both Magneto and Mystique with ease. That nothing could touch her. He would wait until morning. If she wasn't back by then, he would go after her. Glancing at the clock, he realized that it was already two am. Just four more hours and he would head out.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She had stayed in the shower for an hour, just standing under the spray of hot water. She cried silently, for her mother. She would never know what had truly happened. Never know if her mother had survived the ordeal. The only release she felt was knowing that it was over. No one would try to hurt her again.

She stepped out of the shower, drying herself with a large, plush green towel. She took her time, moisturizing her body with softest sent of lotion she had. She used the matching body spray, forgetting the perfume in the medicine cabinet. She also didn't bother with the blow dryer, instead opting to towel dry her hair until it was only slightly damp.

She quickly dressed, throwing her robe on swiftly before leaving her room.

~*~*~*~*~*~

His mind was still reeling when he heard the knock. He growled slightly, not wanting to be disturbed. Who ever it was had better have something important to say. He was in no mood for company right now.

Throwing open the door, he was taken aback by the sight of her, standing there in her bathrobe. The one he had gotten for her last Christmas. It was her favorite.

"Hey, Sugar," she said with a sweet smile. "You going to invite me in, or do you want to do this right here?"

"Come on in, Darlin. You know you don't have to knock, don't you?" He asked as he stepped aside. The banter was familiar, loving, and completely Marie. She was home, and he wasn't going to let her go wandering off alone again. At least not for a long time. Just her presence seemed to release the tension that had been building up in the back of his neck.

She walked to his bed, plopping herself down unceremoniously. Her bathrobe opened to reveal the long, creamy flesh of her inner thigh. And was that a flash of black? Logan looked away, not wanting to do something that might scare her. He wasn't sure if she was ready yet.

"When did you get back?" He asked, leaning against the door. She let her eyes wander down his body, and he suddenly felt a rush of lust in his groin. If she kept this up, he wasn't going to be able to control himself.

"Before two. I just wanted to take a shower first."

"And what did you find?"

She delicately tore her gaze away from his chest, batting her lashes. She thought for a second, before shaking her head. "I don't want to talk about that right now, Sugar. Why don't you come sit next to me?"

He hesitated for only a second before moving from his post. She was already straining his control beyond his expectations, but he couldn't lose it. Not yet. Not until she was ready. No pressure.

He sat slowly, his demeanor stiff. Before he had the chance to feel comfortable, she threw herself into his lap, straddling his thighs so that her legs crossed behind his back. He felt her hands on his chest, massaging the muscles, exploring his abs. Her mouth met his with the same fierce hunger that was eating away at him. He lost control.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She felt his lips respond to hers, his hands grab her tightly, plastering her body against his. It all felt so right, so perfect. She moaned into his mouth as he released a growl. She wrapped her legs tighter around him as he stood, picking her up with him. He didn't go far, though, only turned their bodies so that he could gently lay her on the bed.

She felt his lips again, his tongue urging her lips open. He explored her mouth completely before moving to her neck, leaving small, wet kisses as he went.

She felt his hands on her, kneading her breast and caressing her stomach. She moaned as he opened her bathrobe, knowing what was underneath, knowing what it would do to him.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He sat up as he pulled the robe open, wanting to know if he had just imagined the flash of black. He hadn't. She wore only the barest lace underneath the robe. Really, only scraps of fabric pieced together to resemble a bar and panties set. It all looked so delicate, he wasn't even sure how she was able to get it on without tearing something. Oh well.

She took the opportunity to undo his pants as he stripped his shirt. By the time he was stripped, his blood was pounding in his ears.

He wanted to kiss her, to take her in his arms, but he also wanted to explore her body, to know every curve, every inch of her skin. He gently cupped her breasts, feeling them in his hands, their softness, and their fullness. Slowly, he lifted the flimsy fabric, freeing her from the cloth. Her breasts spilled out and he gave in to temptation. He bent his head, tasting her skin before moving to her nipple. He devoured her, feeling her body squirm and hearing her voice moan.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She hadn't realized how good it would be. And, it seemed, he was only getting started. As his mouth paid homage to her breast, she felt his hand wander lower.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He didn't bother with the fabric as he let his hand slide down her stomach, searching for her most secret spot. He glided past her pubic hairs, wanting to give her only a little taste of the bliss he was going to give her before she left his room.

He felt her body shudder harshly as he began to play with her, toying with her. Reluctantly, he left her breast, wanting to taste all of her. He couldn't help but notice the way she seemed to taste like peaches, the alcohol from her body spray only making it seem like fine wine.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She gasped when she felt his lips kiss her mound. She felt his tongue explore her and she felt herself quiver, her muscles tightening in anticipation. She had an idea of what this was, she had brought herself to this point quiet a few times over the years. But, it was different now, stronger. She only wished that he would let her fall over the edge.

Just when she thought she couldn't bare it any longer, she felt his teeth lightly on her clit. He growled at the same time, and she fell. Hard. Harder then she ever thought possible.

~*~*~*~*~*~

He backed off only a little bit as he felt the shudders run through her body. He continued to touch her, but only enough to emphasize the pleasure, not wanting to give her too much. And finally, as she came back to earth, he pulled himself up so that he was looking into her eyes when they opened.

"Hey, Marie."

"Is it like that for everyone?" She asked slowly, her voice barely more than a whisper.

"Nope. Just for you," he flashed a primitive smile, and her heart swelled. "And that's not even half of it."

"I know," she whispered back, pushing against him and forcing him on his back. It was her turn to pleasure him, but she wasn't going to take as much time as he did. She was in a greedy mood and she wanted to feel him soon, after she tasted him.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Her lips were like velvet against his skin, and when she wrapped them around his member, he knew he had never felt anything so wonderful before. She took as much in her mouth as she could, but it wasn't all of it, and he felt his pleasure rise as she wrapped her small delicate hand around the base. Moving her head, she tasted him, devoured him. He thought it was almost unbearable until she began to twist her tongue around the head. At the same time, she used her free hand, the one that wasn't full already, to massage his testicles.

He growled, knowing that he couldn't take anymore. He grabbed her, flipping her around so that she was back on the bed, staring up at him, her eyes full of surprise. He kissed her before she had the chance to speak. He kissed her passionately, pushing his hard member against her. He squeaked in surprise, and he smiled, not yet breaking the kiss as he slowly entered her. She was tight, small, and ready.

~*~*~*~*~*~

She had never felt as complete as she did with him inside of her. She had never realized that it could be this wonderful, this magical, as he entered her, moving back and fourth, making her his. She came over and over, thrashing against him at the same time. She felt wild, animalist, carnal.

And, when his time was close, she knew it, felt it, and the anticipation grew within her. And when he fell over the edge, she came with him, also.

They spent the rest of the night and well into the next day exploring each other. And it was perfect.

End Notes:

Ok, so I had to add this. I don't usually write this kind of stuff, just because I bluch easy, but I felt that the readers deserved it since I didn't elaborate too much on what happened during the fight with Mags and Mystique. Kind of like a small redemption.

Just a little more to go now...

Chapter 40

Roughly Nine Months Later:

"Logan," Rogue whispered into his ear. "It's time to wake up."

He ignored her, enjoying the way her hand gently rubbed across his stomach muscles. He loved it when she was like this. Soft and fresh. He could feel her lips on his cheek as she spoke, kissing him between each word. He smiled slightly, wondering how unmanly it would be if he purred. He wasn't even sure if he could.

"Logan, baby, we got to go. It's time." For a second, her words didn't register. But when they did, he felt his heart leap into his throat as he jumped out of bed. He noticed Rogue giggling as he ran around, throwing on what ever jeans he had laying around. "Slow down, Logan. This baby isn't in any kind of hurry. But we should get down there while I can still walk."

He realized that she was already dressed. Scooping her up in his arms, he quickly carried her out of the room, forgetting that he wasn't wearing anything more than the jeans. "Who said anything about you walking, Marie? Let's go."

~*~*~*~*~*~

Four hours later, Logan was sure someone had traded places with Rogue. She wasn't just crying, she was screaming and saying things he was hoping she didn't mean.

"Get the fuck away from me!" She screamed into his ear as he tried to calm her down. "Why didn't you wear a condom.

"It'll be over soon, baby, I promise," Logan pleaded, hoping that he was right.

"It's crowing. Logan, do you want to see your son be born?" Hank asked from his position between Rogue's knees.

Logan was only happy to have a reason to leave his place beside Rogue. He quickly went to the other side of sheet, ready to see his child for the first time. And fainted.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"I can't believe you passed out," Rogue said with a giggle as Logan handed her their son.

"I can't believe you had two kicking around in there," Logan replied as he picked up their daughter. "I'm still not sure how she was able to stay hidden during nine months of ultra sounds."

"Well, I think your son wanted to all the attention," Rogue replied with a smirk. "Do you know what you want to name him?"

After being surprised with two children instead of one, Logan and Rogue had agreed that he would be allowed to name their son and she could name their daughter.

"Thor?" Logan asked quickly, wanting to see her reaction.

"No."

"Um… Tank?"

"Don't think so."

"How about Hiro?" He crooked an eyebrow at her.

"We're not even Japanese. Be serious," Rogue replied, looking down at their small boy.

"Then how about Xavier Michael?" Logan smiled, knowing what she would think.

Rogue though for a moment, wrapping her brain around the name. She liked the way it sounded, how it sat in her mind. "Yes. He looks like a Michael. I think it will be a lot for him to live up to."

"He's our son. It won't be too much for him," Logan replied with a smile. He looked at the little girl in his arms, wondering for a moment. "And what about her? Do you know what you want to call her? I've got a feeling she's going to be a handful, you know."

"I knew exactly what her name is the second I saw her," Rogue replied, gazing fondly at the sleeping baby. "Priscilla Jean."

"Great…" Logan said, rolling his eyes. "I can call her Prissy Jean. That's going to be fun."

"Knock it of," Rogue said sternly. But Logan saw the playful glint in her eyes.

Looking from his wife to their children, Logan realized that, for the first time in his life, there was nothing that he felt he was missing.

"Can we call him 'Thor' for short?"

"No."

"How about 'Hiro'?"

"Logan…."

End Notes:

There. It's finished. Kind of corny at the end, I know, but I'm a corny kind of gal. Thank you for reading and thank you for the feed back!!!!!!!!!!