Rogue stood on the landing of the first floor stairs. She watched quietly as the students all scurried to get to their next lessons. Her watchful brown eyes scanned the hall for anything out of the ordinary and when she found nothing out of place she sighed. Every day the same old thing day in day out nothing changed. She took one step down the flight of stairs and froze. While her hearing didn't compare when it came to other mutants some abilities that she had obtained over the years had stuck with her while the more useful ones had long since faded. Nonetheless her hearing still picked up the distinct rumble of a motorcycle, one she had heard all too often leave the mansion.
Rogue closed her eyes trying to fight off the growing ache in her chest. She had thought she was over this, this weakness of hers when it came to anything concerning him. Yet all the same her heart rate sped up and hope bloomed in her chest. She felt like a teenager again, even though Rogue was twenty-four. He always had that effect on her no matter how hard she willed it not to be true. Rogue took another step down the stairs telling herself she would not rush into his arms as soon as he walked through the door. She dug her nails into her silk gloves to keep from running down the rest of the stairs, the urge to run out the door making her shake. Taking a calming breath she continued to shakily walk down the stairs as the students rushed past her seeming to not know that Rogue's world had frozen in time.
Vaguely she heard the kids chatting away to each other a few even greeted her as they hurried to their next sessions. Rogue could do nothing but nod in return. None of the students thought it odd that she barely seemed to notice them, for they were all too focused on their lives to notice anyone else's. Rogue couldn't blame them for that. They were kids after all going through a rough time of things, but that only made her life that much more lonely. Rogue could hear the door of the garage lifting up as the motorcycle rumbled its way to be put into park near all the rest of the X-men cars. She felt as if her heart were in her throat she was so nervous. Rogue decided then that she didn't want to be the first person he saw when he did finally walk back through that door so she hurried down the last of the stairs and managed to duck into the elevator leading to the training rooms down below before the garage door could even shut.
Rogue stood still waiting for the robot to launch an attack on her, her eyes focused squarely on the target before her. Thankfully this took all her thought so that her mind didn't wander to think about him or why he has returned. Momentarily Rogue was caught up in her thoughts of the past and she missed the attack that was launched squarely at her head on. Ducking she followed her instincts and used the skills she'd been honing over the years. Her leg struck out and she used the impact momentum to spin back and away from danger finally ending in a crouch as the robot turned to face her again. Already the machine was preparing another round of attacks for her to dodge or be brought down more than her pride was at stake here. Instead of relying on her training she called forth the well of powers she had absorbed over the past few years and chose the one that would help her end this battle with just the blink of an eye.
Calling forth just one certain power and holding back the rest was something that took all of Rogue's strength but she was willing to take the numbness that would follow eventually causing her to pass out from over exertion but at this moment blacking out didn't seem like that bad an option. So that was why now Rogue used the power that Scott so often hated. The blaring light shot out of her eyes directly at the robot causing the simulation to instantly end. Yes she could have simply pushed the button ending it anyway but to Rogue that would have been admitting she was weak. So instead she used all her control to end the battle on a win instead of the weak way. As her knees gave out on her and the world started to go black she berated herself for her weakness. As the world faded around her she swore she heard a familiar growl just behind her, but then again it was probably just her imagination.
Logan had walked through the door of the mansion fully expecting the kid to run up and hug him as she had done so many times before when he had returned, yet as he closed the door behind him she was nowhere in sight. He couldn't help the fact that his mood fell slightly as there was now no one to greet him when he returned. He guess he shouldn't be surprised it had been awhile since he'd returned back to the school, but after losing Jean he just couldn't face the other X-men and he sure as Hell couldn't face her. Not after that. He'd known when Storm had asked him if he was willing to do what needed to be done he would end up killing the woman he thought he loved. He just had hoped until that final moment that someone else would take the burden from him, but no one had so the Wolverine had done what needed to be done.
Now standing alone in the main hall Logan felt a bang for what had been and what could never be while the Wolverine growled inside him telling him that such emotion was weak and would get him killed if he didn't get it under control. Cracking his neck Logan made his way down the hall watching the last students hurry along. Sniffing Logan caught an all too familiar scent, one he knew very well and could probably follow in his sleep. He was contemplating following it when a familiar voice from the stairs said, "Well look whose back," Storm said, "and just in time too."
Suppressing the urge to growl Logan turned to face the weather witch. "What you need another baby sitter?" he sarcastically replied, "If that's the case I can easily turn and head out the door, I remember what happened last time you asked me to babysit these kids."
Smiling Storm shook her head and glided down the stairs looking around puzzled. "Where's Rogue?" she asked him watching him closely as she asked the question.
Logan frowned at the question, "What do you mean where's Rogue?" he growled, "Don't you know where she is?"
Storm shook her head, "I haven't seen her today," she explained trying to calm the rage she could see ticking behind Logan's eyes, "She didn't show up for her class and was wondering if you could find her."
Logan inhaled deeply and without a word went to go fetch Rogue back from where ever she had wandered off to.
He followed her scent to the elevator down to the lower level of the mansion. He made it time to see inside the Danger Room as the robot attacked her. He rushed forward to help her just as he saw the red beams shoot out of her eyes and for a moment Logan stood there stunned. The last time he'd been around Rogue had gotten the cure and had lost her powers. Now she was using other mutants powers and he guessed that the cure had been as permanent as they'd thought it had been. Logan's hearing picked up her gasp of air as she collapsed to her knees. Without thought of himself Logan rushed into the Danger Room and as Rogue fainted he growled in worry more than frustration that she had gotten harmed. He first checked for signs of any injury to her before he scooped her up and launched himself out the door to take her to Med Lab.
As he walked through the door he growled out, "Somebody help me!"
Even though he knew it was impossible he secretly hoped that it was Jean that would help save Rogue but when the blue Beast walked through he didn't feel his heart sink as much as it did when Rogue hadn't greeted him which had him frowning even more. Hank McCoy took one look at the unconscious Rogue and shook his head he knew Logan wouldn't know that she did this all the time when she exerted her power like that. Of course she didn't do it very often just when she was really in distress or in need of using her powers to help the other students when they needed her.
Instead Hank offered to take her from Logan but the Wolverine just shook his head and tightened his grip on the unconscious Rogue. Understanding dawned for Hank in that moment and he just motioned for Logan to put her down on the empty bed and went to go grab a monitor to place on her just in case. As he left the room he saw Logan place his hand on Rogue's head almost lovingly brushing the blonde streak of hair away from her face.
Hank returned a few minutes later to find Logan whispering over and over again, "Come on kid, wake up." Logan's hand was clasping Rogue's but the deadly effect of her skin didn't kick in. That too she had gained ability over but that was yet another fact of what Logan didn't know had changed. Instead of correcting him, Hank just but the monitor in place and stood back waiting. He knew Rogue would wake up soon and he thought it her job to tell the Wolverine that things had indeed changed while he was gone.
Logan silently prayed nothing was wrong with Rogue as he sat beside her bed watching as the monitor counted out her heartbeats. His heart skipped an erratic pattern as she started to cough and struggled to sit up. Logan watched as her brown eyes opened and when the focused on him he said, "Hey, kid."
She frowned at him momentarily not understanding how she had gotten into Med Lab. "Logan." She said in way of greeting and immediately started to get up off the bed only to find herself gently but forcibly pushed down by Logan back on to the bed. "Logan what the-." She started to say but was cut off by Hank coming through the doors.
"Ah Rogue so you're awake." He said, "It's nice to see you up and about. How are you feeling?"
"Except for my pride I'm doing fine Hank." She admitted looking down at the floor, "Now can I go now?"
Hank nodded and took the heart monitor down and watched carefully as Logan shook his head in disbelief. Hank knew the Wolverine was close to an outburst. "Thanks, Hank." Rogue said as she got up to leave. She refused to meet Logan's eyes as she made her way out of the Med Lab, but before she could take a step toward the door she felt an iron clad hand holding hers back.
"Now wait a minute, kid." Logan growled, to Hank he demanded, "That's it? That's all you're gonna do for her? She fainted for Christ's sake!"
Rogue sighed heavily, "Logan let me go and I'll explain."
Logan seemed to calm down after that, but his protective side still blared strong as he walked with Rogue out of the Med Lab.
Logan sat listening to Rogue explain the her powers had returned shortly after he had left and he was also shocked to learn that she had gained control of her powers and could now also summon the powers of the mutants that she'd borrowed from. Logan hadn't realized how much she'd grown until that moment and he quietly listened as she continued to explain the many things that had changed not just with her but with Xavier's school as well.
Logan couldn't help but reach out to touch her hand as she spoke, his heart ached for all that she'd been through since he'd left. "Rogue, if I'd have known…." His voice trailed off as he couldn't finish his sentence as he knew as she knew that he wouldn't have stuck around even if he had known. They both sat in an awkward silence after that, both not knowing what to say to the other.
The silence was broken when some of the students ran by shouting to each other. One of them stopped before Rogue and waved. "Hi Stephen." Rogue said in greeting.
"Hi, Professor," Stephen said, "Missed you in class today." With that he ran off to join the other kids.
Logan frowned and after getting over his initial shock roared, "Since when are you part of the Geek Squad?!"
All Rogue could do was laugh in answer.
Author's Note: One Shot that may be developed into more. Please Review Review Review
Disclaimer: I do not own the X-men or any characters mentioned.