Disclaimer: Don't own Marvel, X3, X-men, Rogue, Ororo...anything. Don't own wolverine...though i wish i did even if he is only a few years younger than my father....o.O

This is my first attempt at Rogan...and it's hardly even there. I'm not really good with writin x-men fics. I'm basically writing this to ATTEMPT to get past my writers block...it's not working well.

It gets a little scattered but i tried.

Lemme know thoughts, please. :) xxEcho


He could tell that she hadn't stopped thinking about it. Not since that day. She hid it well from the others, from everyone else. But that day, the second she'd appeared in the door of the office, he'd taken one look at her face and known.

"Is it true?" she'd asked. Her smile…he'd never be able to look back from it, from the misguided hope she let them see through it. Her green eyes danced from the Professor to Storm, and lastly to him, giving him only a brief glance. "Can they cure us?"

"Yes, Rogue," Xavier's solemn eyes stared at her, always calculating. Logan could hardly contain a snarl from escaping his throat. "It appears to be true."

"No, Professor. They can't cure us." He watched her eyes spark with emotion as Storm approached her, bending to look Marie fiercely in the eye. "You want to know why? Because there's nothing to cure. Nothing's wrong with you." Her dark eyes looked over the rest of them. "Or any of us for that matter."

He'd seen it. He saw the decision flicker through her mind even then when she stared painfully at Storm and left. Hardly a month after that, he'd seen it again.

The lights in the kitchen were out that night, but he could hear her sitting in there. Her heartbeat was steady but much too fast for someone who just strolled downstairs for a midnight snack. And dried tears didn't come as a result of a freezer raid.

"Kid."

She jumped then and her head hit against the cupboard with a force enough to rattle the glasses inside. She winced and rubbed her hand against sore spot. Her gaze stared sullenly at Logan from where she sat on the counter, her knees drawn to her chest.

"God Logan," her voice shook when she said his name. He was looking at her intensely enough that she needed to look away—her gloved fingers had started ripping at the knee of her jeans. Her hands shook. "You scared me."

He didn't respond to that. "You've been scaring us." And suddenly he'd wished he hadn't said anything.

"I…" Marie's teeth clenched and her eyes widened, looking like she had when he'd stabbed her through the chest.

"Shit, kid, I didn't mean—"

"No, you're right." Her fingers dug into her knees and her foot bounced. Logan could nearly smell the scent of tears brimming in her eyes. "Theyyou have every reason to be afraid of me. After what I…"

"Stop." He stood before her and brushed the white of her hair away from her face, keeping a barrier between them while he pressed his hand against her cheek. He tilted her chin to look up at him and his eyes burnt. "Don't ever think that we're—that I'm—afraid of you."

Marie's eyebrows had furrowed in confusion. "You just said—"

"If you'd let me finish, I was going to say you've been scaring us; walkin' around like the living dead these days, Marie."

Rogue shook her head. "But I do scare them. Ever since Jubilee..."

Logan gritted his teeth. "Firecracker's fine, kid." His calloused thumb reached out and wiped a stray tear away. Marie just shook her head.

"She's my friend. I did that to her. And now…" Rogue took off one of her gloves and stared down at her hand, unfamiliar in the constant cover. "Now they're scared of me."

Now she was gone. Gone to get the goddamn 'cure' and he hadn't done a damn thing to stop her.

"Shouldn't you be telling me to stay? To go upstairs and unpack?" His hand itched to grab at the bag slung over her shoulder.

Hell yes he should. But if this was what would make her happy… "I'm not your father. I'm your friend." He watched her eyes brighten. "Just think about what I said, Rogue."

Since when did he call her Rogue?

"Marie," she said. But he already knew that.

"Marie."

"Dammit, Marie." Why'd she walked out the door then? Didn't she see that she was perfectly fine without a fucking cure? They needed her—Rogue, Marie. Just the way she was, not changed or 'cured' to fit how the rest of the world wanted to see her.

He stuffed the first things he grabbed from his dresser into a bag. Because he'd be damned if he was letting her walk away.

Storm appeared at the open door. Logan flinched when he saw her, but otherwise he didn't acknowledge her.

"Where you goin'?" Storm's tone was accusatory, her stance like that of a scolding mother.

"Where do you think?" Honestly…he couldn't believe it wasn't obvious.

Storm's voice dripped with malice. "She's gone, Logan. She's not coming back."

"You don't know that."

"She killed the professor."

"That wasn't…" Logan's brows knitted together in confusion. He turned to the white-haired woman. "Mar—Rogue? Rogue didn't kill the professor."

Storm's arms, previously poised defensively on her hips, fell slack and she straightened her stance. Ororo's face softened from a tight scowl and her mouth gaped open in surprise. "Wait, Rogue? I thought…"

"You thought I meant Jean." Storm nodded. "Jean's gone. I know that, Storm. We don't have enough time to waste on trying to think differently." Logan swung the bag over his shoulder and slammed the drawer shut.

Ororo looked down at the carpet. Her elegant hands wrung nervously in front of her, playing her thoughts out over and over in her head. So he had picked a side—Rogue's side. "Bring her back, Logan."

He grunted his agreement. "I'm not comin' back without her."

--

Marie couldn't for the life of her believe how many people were there. Mutants and humans alike, some there—like her—waiting in a line as they had been for days for their chance at a freedom from whatever curse they'd been bestowed with. Others of their kind there to scream profane objections to anyone considering the idea of a cure (she should have been doing that—would have been in their place if it was not for the incident before). Then there were the humans, staring at them with patronizing eyes, goading them on, each and every one of them looking upon the mutants with disdain or blatant disgust as if they were any less human than they; judging who they'd met in their lives and never have even suspected.

Being mutants didn't make them criminals. Of that fact, Marie was positive. She'd never—never—thought differently. It didn't make them dirty or evil. It made them different. And some people wouldn't accept different, not to the degree of poisonous skin.

For a few seconds as she scanned the crowd and caught sight of Johnny's bleached blonde hair, she didn't understand why she was there. Then she remembered.

Remembered back in Boston when she'd touched John's leg to stop the fire. She remembered how he'd never quite looked at her the same after that. He hadn't looked at her in fear like the other occupants of the mansion had after the debacle with Jubilee, but rather with some form of twisted respect and betrayal all at once. Like she was the enemy among those who were friends and foe; even with Magneto and Mystique within close proximity, she was the one who he would take down first if only opportunity called. He might even enjoy it, friends or not.

She couldn't be that—couldn't be the convenient enemy; the one they all hated when there was no one worse nearby. At least not for something as trite as skin.

So she squared her shoulders again and cleared her mind. With all the different psyches in her head it wasn't an easy task and waiting in a line with hundreds of other mutants it was even harder. She felt horrible—cold everywhere but in her stomach and knees even covered from head to toe. Her hair felt grimy and every time she ran her gloved fingers through the mess it just felt stringier. There was a greying man just behind her in line leering at her ass every chance he got…and he smelled. She smelled.

Rogue's stomach let out an embarrassing rumble from the pit of her soul and her face twisted with it, a meek groan escaping her chapped lips. Of all the days to pass up dinner, she just had to do it the day before her two-day parade of ominous thoughts in a crowded square. She still couldn't even see the doors.

"You done here, Marie?"

Her name was one so scarcely used that when she heard it she hardly recognized it as hers. But his voice—his voice she recognized. Straight away. She jumped in surprise to see Logan leaning leisurely against the aged brick wall with his arms crossed over his chest as he stared at her in that way that only Logan could achieve; not disappointed or angry but not happy either. Verging on bored.

"Logan? Wha-what're you doing here?"

"Asking you the same thing." He pushed away from the wall and stood in front of her, casting a shadow across her face. Marie nervously bit her lip and stumbled back a step to make room for his overpowering presence. He was angry. "Because you shouldn't be here, Marie. So why the hell are you?"

Marie felt a warmth sprout at the tips of her fingers spread up her arms. "I hurt people, Logan. I hurt my friend and couldn't do a damned thing to stop it."

Logan stared at her thoughtfully, his hard gaze fixed on her face. His movements were nearly imperceptible and before she knew what was happening, his face was inches away from hers and her bag was slung over his shoulder, relieving a tense pain in her shoulder she hadn't noticed before. The Wolverine growled low and turned away from her.

"Logan? What are—?"

"I hurt people too and I skewered you once. Must mean I need the fuckin' cure too."

Marie gaped. "You can't be—"

"Hey, buddy, get to the back of the line." The leering man behind Marie was breathing over her shoulder, much too close for the comfort of either X-men. "Some of us have been waiting for freakin days for this. Ain't no dickhead gonna steal that."

Logan's hand gripped her by the arm and pushed her behind him. "Bub, if you knew what was good for you you'd stay out of this." Marie watched the claws appear under his skin, pushing against the surface.

"What're you gonna do ta me, bub? I can regenerate my bones; ain't nothin' you can do that'll hurt." The greasy man sniffed through his smudged nostrils. Marie put her hand tight on Logan's tense shoulder, wanting to pull him away from the man.

Twenty one inches of adamantium ripped from his knuckles level with the man's eyes. "Fuckin' back out of it or I'll cut of somethin' you won't be growin' back."

"LOGAN!" Her nails dug into his arm despite the leather glove and his long shirt.

"For fuck's sake, Marie! He—"

"You're not even here for the cure, Logan, so for hell's sake leave the man alone!"

The wind was howling too loud for her to make sense of it, at least not when Logan was so close when she'd not slept for three days. Of course, she was still trying to comprehend the fact that he was there with her and she couldn't find a reason behind it. He'd flat out told her to go—well, not really, but he'd come close enough. If this is what you want. So much for him not stopping her.

"Logan, some of us have no other choice. Some of us can't control our gifts." I can't control it.

Hazel eyes flashed and Rogue was pinned against the brick wall, her tiptoes balancing the rest of her body precariously with Logan's hands hard against her upper arms.

"Marie, you don't need a damned cure. Like Storm said, there's nothing to cure. This"—he pressed his palm against her cheek lightly, barely brushing the pale skin—"there's nothing wrong with you Marie. Nothing to cure."

She shook her head deftly. "That's not true, Logan." Shaky hands pulled at faded leather, pulling off her glove to reveal the smooth pale skin of her hand which she held before him. "I can kill with just this. I—I don't want to be a killer. And if that means…" Marie sighed deeply. "If that means letting them give me a shot…then so be it. At least I won't be able to hurt anyone."

Logan pinned her hand against her side. "If you get back in that line then I'm going with you. I told Ro that I'm not going back without you and I intend to keep at least that promise. And if you get the cure then so am I."

That sentiment frightened her out of her mind. "No!" She pushed at his chest with her hands—one gloved, one not—in a futile effort to get him away from her, away from the thing they were waiting for. "You can't, Logan. Your healing—it's a part of you. It's why you've managed to survive everything you have. I can survive without having deadly skin."

"It ain't deadly, Marie. It's a part of you just like my healing, like Hank's fur and Kurt's tail. You couldn't ask for them to change any of those things and they aren't asking you to."

Tears glistened in her too wide, tired eyes. "You don't get it, Logan."

"I do, Marie. I get every word you're saying." He backed away from her but his eyes didn't lessen in their intensity, his hands never dropped from her. "Now my question is…are you going to come back with me or am I going to have to carry you over my shoulder back to Westchester?"

Marie couldn't help it—she laughed. She figured it had to do with her exhaustion, but she laughed and let her head fall against his chest. His arm wound around her waist. "I'm tired, Logan."

"I know, babe."

"No," she shook her head, the white bangs flaying across her forehead. "I'm tired of being afraid of accidently touching someone." He was walking backwards, guiding them away from the crowd.

"I know, babe. One day you won't have to be—you don't need anyone to cure you." His lips pressed against her forehead through the white hair. "I promise you."