So, I haven't seen the third one yet, so if someone in this story is dead, I apologize. And I tried to write it at least slightly in character, but if it's wrong, I did write this on a sugar high at three in the morning.

She'd only just turned twenty-five, she had her whole life ahead of her. That was what he told himself as he stood there, watching her laugh over some joke that Cyclops had told her. She was young, and vibrant, and she didn't need him to stand here, analyzing her.

But god, was she beautiful. Her hair was still the same amazing deep shade of brown, with a contrasting strip of white surrounding her face that never seemed to dim, and it flowed down her back, lengthy and thick. Her eyes were the color of her hair, warm and full of innocent hope. Though some of the innocence had long since evaporated through hard lessons in life. She was still the same girl he'd met in the bar, he told himself, even though he knew it to be a lie.

Sure, she was still Rogue, in all of her finest qualities, but she'd long since grown out of the term "girl". That was definitely not the way to describe her now. He couldn't look at her and still call her that. But however he did describe her, he knew he couldn't be a part of her life, she needed to be free instead of chained to a man like him.

That hadn't stopped her from sticking around though, from joining the "x-men" as soon as she was old enough. And from treating him like her best friend, even when he tried his best to repel her. Her relationship with Bobby had long since cooled off, and they had gone their separate ways as he had found a more... satisfying relationship before she had learned to control her gift.

And that had taken work, a good two or three years after she was done with school. But it was worth it, in her opinion, to be able to just have physical contact in the slightest ways. To shake someone's hand without the interference of material, or the simple freedom of going without gloves without fear that someone's hand might brush hers. It was worth it.

So he stood there, only working on convince himself to walk out the door. To walk out and never come back to her, to this place. Because he couldn't see her like this and not want, to not imagine things that would be no real good for her.

He'd faced it a long time ago, even if he aged so slowly he was still a good fifteen years older than her, and even then, he wasn't what she deserved. He was angry and selfish and impulsive, he didn't listen to anyone and believed in nothing other than his own way. Well, that wasn't completely true, he believed in her, but that was all he really had to offer.

She needed someone who could promise to be there for her, to be there when she woke up at night from a bad dream or to just show her that someone cared about her. And he couldn't give her that, he couldn't really give her anything. So, using that thought as his anchor, he turned and walked out.

And she watched as he retreated from the room, excused herself from the group before following him out. And she managed to beat him to the kitchen, to the top of the fridge where he assumed no one knew about his keys. Scott had long since given up ownership of the bike, and Logan had become very, very protective of it. So she stole his keys, and waited an hour.

When she found him, he was sitting on a bench on the outskirts of the school. His eyes looked troubled and there was a frown pulling his lips downward. Then again, lately it had been hard to make him smile. "You took the keys to my bike." He said gruffly. She just shrugged and smiled. But the bag by his leg told her that the moment he had the keys to his stupid bike, he'd be out of her life again.

She sat next to him idly, heard him mutter something but tried not to take it personally, after all, that was the kind of man he was. But when he stayed silent, she looked at him, knew that something was off. "Where will you go this time?" She recognized when he was about to leave, they'd always known when the other had to run.

"I don't know." He said finally, "Somewhere I can blend in."

"If you don't know where you're going," She sat back, fought back the urge to beg, she wanted him to stay, so badly. "How will you know when you finally get there?"

He just looked at her out of the corner of his eye. " You ask an awfully lot of questions."

"Here's another one for you." She turned suddenly, to really face him. " You once promised you'd take care of me, yet all you do lately is leave."

"Rogue..." He didn't want to talk about this, not now, not ever. Not with her, not with anybody.

"Why, Logan? Why, for once, can't you just stay? Stay with me."

"I can't do that," He stood as he spoke, wanting nothing more than to be done with this conversation. "You shouldn't want that."

"Why?" She jumped to her feet, "Because your not perfect? News flash, Logan, none of us are. I mean, come on, perfect people are boring, and you're definitely not boring."

"That supposed to be some kind of compliment?" His eye brow raised, and she couldn't help but smile.

She stood in front of him, only a few inches stood between him and those soft lips that had seemed to infiltrate his dreams every time he turned around. He had to admit, he got much better sleep than he used to. He had to suppress the ever growing urge to turn those dreams into something more... tangible as she stepped even closer. " If you leave you'll never know, now will you."

And as she turned to leave, he stopped her, pulled her back to him. His lips were on hers, fierce and demanding. She gave him her everything, well, almost everything, pouring herself into the kiss without losing control and killing him. But even as his hands roamed over her, she felt that control slipping. And she yanked herself away before she could do something that she could never forgive herself for.

He just watched her, there was no judgment there in those eyes. Then again, he'd had an up close and personal experience with how it felt to be on the other side of her abilities. He never asked her to do something she wasn't sure she could do, unlike Bobby, who'd been unsatisfied by the fact that she had to have a measure of control. And here she had been worried that he had found reason to hate her. So she stood there, waited for him to say something, anything.

"What is it that you want from me, exactly?" His voice was rough, as it always got when he was battling raging emotion. She'd heard it often after Jean had died, and it had killed her to see how much he'd cared for her. And she'd been able to do nothing to ease his pain. But here he was, talking directly to her, and for once she knew exactly what she wanted.

She bit her lip, trying to think of how best to word what she wanted to say, because, knowing Logan, if she worded it wrong he could leave. "I want you to love me." She said after a minute. "And if you can't do that, I just don't want you to leave. Your the closest person I have to family."

"You're asking for an awful lot, kid." He stepped even closer to her, his hand rested at her waist as he watched her eyes. There was that hope, but there was no innocence there.

"I know what I'm asking for, Logan." She didn't back down from him, rather stepped in to close the gap. And her arms came around his neck as she looked him directly in they eye. "I've always known."

"Alright." He pressed his lips to hers again, softer this time, gentler. And this time it was him who had had to pull away, for air. He leaned his forehead against hers, smiled at the dreamy, almost satisfied expression on her face. "I love you, Marie, I have for a while."

There was an odd expression on her face, one that warned that he was treading on thin ice. "There are only two people in the world who are allowed to call me Marie anymore," She said slowly, "And maybe, just maybe I'll let you be one of them." Her features softened again. "But I love you too."

"Your going to marry me, right?" He asked finally, "I mean, that is the next step for people who love each other, right?"

"Is that what you want?" She didn't want to rush him into anything he would fear. Because she knew better, he'd run, and she'd be left broken and waiting. He'd never return to her, and she'd be left waiting for a man who would never come back.

"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want it." He rolled his eyes at her.

"Then yes," She kissed him, smiling against his lips. "nothing would make me happier."