Note: I do not own the X-Men or the characters mentioned in this story. If I did, a few things might have been different. Whether this will be a one-shot or continued is still up in the air. I hope you all enjoy.
She did it all for herself, for Marie. Her touch was too much for herself. The deprivation of always having to watch her actions, never being able to hug the ones she cared about without always thinking about the parts of her which were uncovered, making sure bare skin never met bare skin.
The feelings were so divided on the proclaimed cure for the ailments. Few saw their mutations, their talents, as a sickness, but she did. While she loved herself and her powers, she longed for something different. Only one could begin to relate with her. When you can't control your power, it seems more a burden than a gift. You hide behind long black patent-leather gloves or rose-colored glasses. But even Scott could not fully understand. He could hold Jean in his arms, kiss her, make love to her, and not fear harming her. He could even close his eyes and be fine. She could not.
She left the mansion not seeking approval of others. Even if Bobby didn't understand now, maybe in time he would. Maybe when he could hold her hand and not have to worry about dying, breaking his kisses before he wanted them to end.
Logan somewhat understood. He understood it was her life, even if he didn't understand what her life was truly like. When she saw Logan as she was leaving, she sensed no malice in him towards her. They weren't all that different. They both tended to run away from our problems and push others away. He understood and even if no one else accepted her when she was no longer Rogue, not even Bobby or Dr. Xavier, Logan would accept her.
"Welcome back Marie." He said to her shortly after she had returned. His words were met with arms wrapped around her and she returned the gesture, for once, without covered arms. Adamantium may be intertwined within his bones, but his heart was made of solid gold, at least when he was around her.
"I started dating and fell in love with Rogue, not Marie." Iceman's words broke through her. "You treated that part of you like a disease. Is that what you think about the rest of us? That we are all sick and need medication to treat us."
"No." Marie said. "It's not like that. You don't understand…" her words were broken off by tears as she slid down the wall to the floor of her room.
"I don't understand what? I don't understand what its like to be accepted by others? My own family even asked me if I had tried not being a mutant. Well, the rest of the world may accept you, but I don't." Iceman said as he froze the picture of them she had kept on the table next to her bed. He knocked it to the ground and it shattered into a million icy pieces, like Marie's heart. She didn't bother picking herself up off the floor as he stormed out of her room and slammed the door. He had accepted it at first and even somewhat understood her reasons, but it only took him 3 months to leave her and forget that underneath Rogue, she had always been Marie.
"Hey kid, would you please get off the floor. You stay there much longer and you won't be able to move."
"I'm alright. Just leave me alone." Marie said, pain clearly plastered on her face.
"No you're not. You've been there for hours now."
"How would you know how long I've been here?" she asked, meeting the eyes of the figure stooped down in front of her.
"Well, I, I heard the argument you had with ice boy. I waited for you to come out of your room but you never did. I began to wonder if you were okay, so I let myself in." Logan said and sat down next to her, raising her from the lying position she had held for over three hours to sitting next to him.
"I'm not a kid anymore." She told him. She hated the feeling of having to be taken care of, but at least Logan was still there for her.
"I know you're not." He said and pulled her closer to him and the tears begin to fall again, soaking the white of his shirt.
When her crying ceased an hour later, sleep began to set in. Logan took her in her arms and laid her on her bed and pulled the covers over her. He thought of walking out the door and teaching Bobby a lesson before retiring to his room for the night, but Marie had other ideas.
"Please stay" she asked softly underneath heavy eyes. He said nothing, only turned around and took his place in a chair near the window in her room. He would nap lightly from time to time, not wanting to leave her unprotected, especially now. He knew she wasn't defenseless compared to most, but in a mansion where everyone except Marie had extraordinary gifts thanks to a genetic mutation, he couldn't bare to fully break his watch. He knew if something happened, he could not use his powers to save her again.
The sun rose shortly after 6 a.m. Luckily it was a Saturday and Marie would have no classes to go to and he would have no lessons to teach. He was surprised the itch to retreat from this place had yet to hit him. A year ago, losing Jean yet again, as well as the Professor, and Scott who he had finally started to warm up to (though not openly admitting it) would have been enough to drive him away for a decade. But he stayed because he knew he was needed. Storm wanted his help with classes and deep down, he knew Marie needed him.
When he was sure she was still asleep and felt things were safe enough to leave her for five minutes, he went down to the kitchen to bring them up breakfast. He was sure she hadn't eaten supper since she was on her floor around that time. He made it back before the sun finally reached her bed and began to wake her.
"Morning. I brought you breakfast." He said as he placed the plate on her bed side table.
"I'm not hungry." She said as she turned her head to the other side, away from the plate.
"It doesn't matter, you need to eat."
"What are you going to do, make me?" She sat up as if she was ready to attack
"Well, I could think of more than five ways to do so, asking and telling you are the only two pleasant ways." Holding her nose to force her to open her mouth and holding her down were among the unpleasant options.
"So I take it I don't have much option?" she asked, raising her right eyebrow at him.
Her stomach surrendered the battle for her as it growled. She quickly grabbed the plate and began to eat the toast and burnt scrambled eggs before her. Logan had finished his plate before she did. They sat in silence for a few more minutes, neither really knowing what to say. Marie finally broke the silence after taking two big gulps of her orange juice.
"So, what's on the agenda for today?" she asked Logan.
"I was thinking of maybe get out of here for the day. Go for a ride."
"So you're running again."
"I didn't say I was running, and I never said I was going alone. Believe it or not another person can fit on the bike." He told her. The meaning finally sunk in. He was intending for her to go with him. She loved the idea, but frankly, the idea of Logan on the motorcycle scared her. He had a tendency to not know when to return when he left the mansion without the rest of the team. But for once, the idea seemed appealing.
"Are you sure we will come back?" She asked.
"Whenever you want to come back, just say the word and I'll turn the bike around." He promised her and she believed him.
"No" should have been her answer. She knew once they were outside the property gates they may not return for a while. She may say she wants to but he could just look at her with that look on his face and "okay" which said he didn't want to but would and she would give in and tell him they didn't have to go back just yet.
No should have been her answer but her answer had been "alright". The halls were still fairly quite when Logan made his way back to his room, after promising to be back in ten minutes. She took the time given her to shower before they left. Before she was even dressed, about seven minutes after he had left, she heard a knock at the door and then it open. "Jeez Logan don't you know it is rude to just walk in on someone?"
"I didn't just walk in, I knocked first." He said and took a drag of his bottle of beer. It took him a second for recognition to kick in and realize she was still in a towel and he shouldn't see her like this. Instead of leaving the room and waiting for her to get dressed he just turned around acting like this was an every day occurrence for them. She dressed quickly and when she finished, she told him it was alright to turn around. He threw her his half empty duffel bag.
"Here, pack the essentials, there's really only room for on bag on the bike. She realized this might not be a one day thing. Logan had thrown in enough stuff to do him for well over week. He had a couple pairs of jeans, several wife beaters, a few pairs of socks, soap, and toothpaste. It wasn't like she was trying to snoop it was just hard to not reveal the contents belonging to another person when you are sharing such a small bag. But this seemed almost trivial considering he was still in her mind. He was quiet most of the time now, but he was still there. His actions were probably evident in her picking up again, or at least encouraging her.
She made sure to pack her cleanest, comfiest and least embarrassing under attire, a couple pairs of jeans, several shirts, a leather jacket, soap, deodorant, shampoo and some conditioner as well as her hair brush, tooth brush and paste. He may go rugged but she was not going that far. She spent eight months living out of a bag once before and if she was going to be gone for very long she wasn't going to completely rough it. She stashed some of her built up cash into the front pocket of her jeans, grabbed her sunglasses and locked up her room.
They headed out to the garage and she realized Logan had a new bike. Well, not new, but one she hadn't seen before. "It was time for a change." He said simply. Though she thought it was more than about the bike. He handed her a silver streaked helmet. "I knew ice chip would eventually mess up and given both our histories of…escaping from our problems…"
They were out of sight of the mansion before 9 a.m. and no one even knew (with the exception of a telepath or two that may have been awake). They'd figure it out soon enough. She wondered if anyone would care enough to wonder where they went or come looking for them. He knew the only person he would want to be found by was already on the back of his motorcycle. Her arms wrapped around his abdomen as he drove slower than normal. He could heal himself, but he could no longer heal her. And losing her would kill what was left of him.