Welcome back for this last installment, minions! You shall notice a return to the theme in this chapter, which I hope you will appreciate. I do apologize for the lateness of the chapter, but I wanted it to be perfect, and unfortunately, real life had other ideas for me (such as studying. Cruel, really cruel.). I thus give you the last chapter and order you to go fuel the flames of Rogan everywhere! With this, my work shall be complete and I will now be put to rest. I leave the rest to you.
Morning came too soon for both mutants. While Logan was itching to leave in search of answers, hoping to find something to garnish the blank slate that should have been his memories, he did not look forward to leaving Marie behind. But he had to do this journey alone. That much he knew. So he merely enjoyed their last moments while the sun rose slowly over the horizon, bathing the landscape in a pale light. Marie, for the moment, was still asleep, but when she woke up, she resolutely kept her eyes shut in an effort to keep the morning at bay, as though it wouldn't exist if she couldn't see it.
She shifted a bit in Logan's arms, which in turn tightened around her form. Her breathing wavered and accelerated somewhat, warning him that she was emerging from sleep slowly. With a deep sigh, she rolled over and burrowed her face in his chest.
"Mgnmmm…How early is it?" she mumbled sleepily.
"Too early," he replied softly. "Go back to sleep, little girl."
He moved his arm so it encircled her shoulders and gave her a little squeeze. With the barest nod, she went back to sleep. If she'd known it would be the last time she would be held like this by him in a long while, she would have treasured the moment more.
She remained for a long time on the steps of the school, looking in the distance long after he'd disappeared.
"He'll come back," said Ororo with conviction, walking calmly up to her.
I know, but I still wish he was here with me.
With a last glance, she went back in the mansion, hands firmly lodged in her jacket pockets.
School went on. Slowly. Slowly. Slooooooowly. And then things got crazy during one of Rogue's history classes.
"Rogue. This is Professor Xavier. Please come to my office at once. It's about Logan."
She jumped to her feet at once, and with only a rushed excuse to her teacher, ran down to the man's office. His door could not come into sight soon enough. She wrenched it open, skidding across the floor, and her eyes roamed the room wildly until she ascertained that her Wolverine was not there.
"Where is he? What's the problem with him?"
Is he in danger?
"Please sit down, Rogue," said the Professor not unkindly.
She did so, anticipation positively pouring off of her little frame. Her eyes stayed glued on him with disturbing single-mindedness as she wiggled on the edge of her seat.
"As I didn't get any news from Logan since his last update on his situation nine days ago, I took it upon myself to use Cerebro to assure myself of his well-being."
There was a long moment of tense silence as he sighed and Rogue bit down harshly on her lower lip.
"Something went wrong in Alkali Lake, I believe. As far as I could see, Logan has no recollection of himself. He is in an animalistic survival mode at the moment. I want to get him back safely so that we can try to reverse that situation, but it would be better if you went too. I believe it would make him less aggressive when we retrieve him."
Blood dribbled down her chin, unnoticed.
"Why are we still here, then?"
Rogue was the first one out of the plane, followed closely by Scott, Jean, and Ororo. Scott tried, in vain, to tell her to wait until they could pinpoint Logan's location. She didn't wait.
Running into the woods, Rogue let her inner Logan take control of her actions. Her senses became sharper, her mind clear with a single thought at the forefront: she had to find Logan. She had to find him, and to get him back. And God help anyone who dared to hurt him.
Her nose caught scent of him and she veered to the right, sweeping through the foliage easily; behind her, the three adults made much more noise as they tore after her, scaring away any and all animals that may have hidden in the underbrush.
"Professor! Where is the mutt?" asked Scott mentally, knowing that Professor Xavier was listening to them thanks to Cerebro.
"Keep going straight. He's less than a mile away from you. Rogue is leading you straight to him."
How does she even know which way to go?
Rogue looked like a driven woman as she ran silently, much like she was a part of the forest. So much so that Scott, Jean and Ororo had trouble keeping up with her.
Where is he? Where are you, Logan?
And then, suddenly, a vicious growl made them stop dead in their tracks. A growl that was frightening in its intensity. The adults didn't move, feeling dread pool in their stomachs as Rogue still headed straight for the man who couldn't recognize her. She had enough sense to walk cautiously, but with every move she made, Logan's growling increased in strength. Kneeling next to a half-frozen river in only his jeans and covered in blood and grime as he was, his piercing green eyes were that of a wary predator.
"Rogue!" called Scott. "Don't get too close! We don't know how he'll react!"
Still, the teenager didn't stop advancing.
"He won't lash out at me," she said in absolute conviction. "We're pack."
I may be Rogue, but we're pack.
The feral Logan looked at her warily, tensing as she approached cautiously—she knew better than to presume of anything in his state—and sniffed the air. Somehow, her scent was familiar. And more than that, it was laced with his.
Curiosity won over his wariness, but he still approached her slowly, sniffing around her while keeping an eye on her, ready to bolt at any movement on her part.
The X-Men stayed deathly still as they looked at the scene unfolding before their eyes. Logan was acting very much like a cautious wild animal, head cocked to the side. He moved closer still, pressing his nose against Rogue's palm, only to jump back as Scott shifted slightly. Immediately, his green eyes pierced Scott's as a warning growl rumbled in his chest. The younger man had some self-preservation instincts left, it seemed, for he didn't make a single movement.
Without looking back, Rogue murmured, just loud enough so that the X-Men could hear, "He won't come back. Not in this state. Go back and leave me alone with him."
Ororo was the one to object this time, and it was a good thing she was the one to talk, for Scott or Jean would have said it much less gently.
"Are you sure that's a good idea, Rogue? We all know Logan is dangerous on any good day. Leaving you alone with him in his state seems most dangerous."
The young woman gently and slowly shook her head.
"No, it's not. If anything, he'll just be more protective of me than before."
Logan growled again, lower in his throat. His eyes flashed at the three adults. Dangerously so.
"My guess is, you'd better go before he does anything. Really. I'll be fine, I swear. Besides, Professor Xavier will keep an eye on me and Logan."
Her eyes begged them to do as she said.
"Do it. Please." She mouthed in desperation.
"…Damn it. We'll keep an eye on you. At the slightest hint of danger, we'll be back for you," promised Scott grudgingly.
Living in a cave-like formation in a snow-laden forest with a feral man really made Rogue feel like she had gone back to the very beginning of human society. And it didn't help that in his state, Logan didn't seem capable of human speech. It made her put all her knowledge of animal and pack interaction to use. It was surprisingly easy to go back to using such interactions.
Show your throat, nuzzle at the corner of his jaw, avert your eyes slightly to the side…
Such was her new way of living, deep in the wilderness.
She remembered the first time she had been cold. Logan had definitely noticed and had growled low in his throat before disappearing for a few hours and coming back with a freshly-killed grizzly. While she had cooked the meat, he had cleaned the pelt and then proceeded to wrap it around her, furry side in to provide maximum heat. It was strange, thought Marie, that despite his state of undress, he did not feel any cold.
So she smiled and nuzzled next to him, right under his jaw. In answer, he purred deep in his chest, and her smile widened when she felt it rumble.
"I believe in you, Logan," she murmured gently. "I know you can get out of whatever spell you're under and I'll wait however long I have to, so don't worry about me and take your time to get better."
The first sign Marie had that things were not right—within what she had come to call normalcy, at least—was Logan's wide pupils fixed unblinkingly on her. She smiled uneasily, unsure of what was different. He was growling, prowling, and sniffing in her direction. And then her cheeks reddened as she realized exactly why he was acting the way he did.
Oh my God! I could die of embarrassment!
She hid her burning face in her hands, then yelped as something pressed against her inner thighs.
"Aaaah! Logan! Don't do that!" she reprimanded, pushing his head off and away. Really, now was not the time for him to act like a curious dog.
Yeah…having girl problems around an animalistic male is really no fun.
She had to fend him off for the rest of the day. And the next one.
And then, God knows why, she had the bad idea to have a lurid dream. She didn't remember the specifics, but suddenly, she found herself awoken by a perfect example of manliness pressed on top of her and avidly sniffing at her. She quickly blinked the remaining sleep away from her eyes and hissed sharply, "Logan! Get off of me! Regain your senses!"
She wouldn't have minded his advances if he had been himself. She didn't fear him, and she knew he wouldn't hurt her. Furthermore, if having sex with him helped him regain his senses, she wouldn't have held back. However, as it was, she was a normal girl, and she wanted her first time to be with the man she loved. All of him. Despite her wishes, she knew that if he didn't relent, there would be no point in opposing him, for he was much stronger than she was. Still, for principle, she struggled. And maybe that was what did it. The spark that she had noticed in his eyes when her menstruations had begun rapidly expanded into a full-blown sparkle and he tensed above her, grunting in what seemed to be pain.
"L—Logan?" she stuttered, unsure of what was going on. She slowly put her arms around his tense shoulders in a comforting gesture.
The feral man shuddered; then all tension seemed to drain from his body.
He slowly looked up, and his eyes shone brightly in the darkness, illuminated by the dying embers of the fire.
And then he smiled his crooked smile, and she threw her arms around his neck and hugged him to her, sobbing in relief in his neck.
"You're back, you're back…"
"I told you I'd be back for these," he answered matter-of-factly before chuckling, "besides, I couldn't let myself take you without being in full control of myself, hm?"
She gasped in mock outrage.
"Less talk, more kissing. Let's do this before Wheels notices I've gone back to normal and sends someone to take me back."
Any words she might have said were then muffled by Logan's lips, and she found that she really didn't care about opposing both of their wishes.
You're right. They can go to hell for the moment.
In his office, Professor Xavier smiled warmly. So she had finally managed to draw him out of that secluded space he had created within his mind and retreated to in order to protect himself. He would wait for a while before announcing to his X-Men that Logan had regained his senses. After all, the couple needed some quality time. Alone. Undisturbed by Scott. For now, he would let them have some time to themselves. Then he would check on them, when he was sure they were not involved in some horizontal tango.
Still, he was anxious for them to come back. They were some of his favourite people, and they never ceased to amuse and amaze him. The school seemed too quiet when they were not there.
It had struck him as strange that those two, of all people, had gravitated toward each other, for their personalities, while similar, were also quite different. But perhaps it was for the best. Perhaps this actually helped them complement each other so that they could reach that elusive balance that provided happiness and contentment.
Yes. For while they may both be rogues, together, they were pack.
And so, dear minions, this fic has now officially ended! Thank you all for staying with me until now. Now go forth, and write your own gift to the Rogan fandom! Let all of you become pioneers of virgin soil and plant the flowers of Rogan! I urge you!