Title: Fender Benders and Consequences

Author: Karen

Rating: Starts as Disney-type G, but works it's way to a mature rating.

Pairings: Logan/Jean then Logan/Marie and Scott/Ororo

Disclaimer: The characters are owned by many people that don't include me, but I'd like to borrow Hugh for 24 hours please, Deb.

Summary: This is an AU fic. Nobody has mutant powers unless being beyond excellent in the sack counts.

Note: For this story's purpose Logan is clean-shaven as in his Hugh incarnation. Sorry, but mutton-chops in the business world of 2001 just wouldn't cut it. Just picture Eddie from SLY or Stanley from Swordfish.

Second Note: Knowing nothing about east coast geography, for purpose of this fic, Westchester is an hour outside of New York City. If I'm wrong, so what, it's fiction, baby.

Third Note: Jubes, Kitty, Bobby and Xavier play very minor parts in this, because I wanted to concentrate on our favorite couple. Any problems with that? No, didn't think so.

Dedication: To Edna, who graciously previewed this baby and laughed in the right places, especially at my inclusion of the word: necrophiliac

To Siale, who also previewed this and flattered me by asking permission to use a line from this to add to her sig.

Artwork created specifically for this story by Tamar White.

Original publication date: April 3, 2001

~ Fender Benders And Consequences ~

Marie awoke with a start. The nightmares had subsided somewhat in the last year, but every now and then would resurface to jar her out of a peaceful sleep. A lone tear slid down her porcelain cheek. Why did her mom and dad have to go on that trip and why didn't she go with them, at least she wouldn't have been left behind to suffer their absence. True she still had her brother Scott, but sometimes he was no comfort, too wrapped up in the new responsibility of running dad's company. Mom always said he took everything so seriously. Dad was more descriptive when he said he needed to relax and get that pole out of his ass. She'd loved her father's blunt approach to everything.

She missed that so much. She missed everything about them. Their private jet had crashed in the Rocky Mountains leaving no survivors. The ironic thing about the whole situation was that her mother hadn't wanted to go on the trip to San Francisco in the first place, just another boring business trip. Dad had sweet-talked her into joining him, promising a side trip to the wine country in Napa Valley.

The funeral had been attended by hundreds of mourners including the entire New York division of Summers International. Marie, too distraught and needing to be heavily sedated, had been in no condition to attend. She and Scott held a private memorial, just the two of them, at the gravesite when she was finally able to stop breaking down in hysterics at the mere mention of her parents. They had left her with a sizeable trust fund, enough to take care of her if she lived to be one hundred, but no amount of money could fill the gaping hole in her heart. She had wonderful friends who rallied round her after the tragedy, but still there was an aching emptiness. Things were starting to look up a little lately when she discovered a local animal rescue organization that was looking for volunteers.

Providing love and attention to homeless, abandoned animals gave Marie renewed hope. She'd even brought home one of the little stragglers, a beautiful 10-week old kitten with soft, chocolate brown fur and the strangest streaks of pure white on either side of her face. She named her Rogue for no particular reason, other than she didn't want her to have one of those typical sissy, foo-foo kitten names like Fluffy or Precious. Rogue provided unconditional love and made Marie feel needed, it was a good start in her plan to move on.

Marie showered quickly, not taking the time to blow-dry her hair, simply tying it in a knot at the back of her head. After scooping Rogue's litterbox and filling her food dish, she sat down to have her morning coffee and read the latest edition of Cosmo. She wasn't typically a Cosmo-reading sort of gal, but her best friend Jubes had given her the subscription as a gift with the declaration that it was the single modern gal's Bible. Thoroughly engrossed in an article about a new theory some shrink had come up with about men being bulls and wanting new cows all the time, Marie failed to notice the time. She would be late getting to the shelter. Not that she had to punch a time clock or anything, she was just a volunteer, but she prided herself on keeping her commitments. Grabbing her purse and car keys she was making a dash out the door when she remembered that she'd fed Rogue the last of the kitten food. Damn, she didn't have time to stop now, but she was meeting Jubes and Kitty later for a movie and wouldn't have time to do it before going to the theatre.

She'd have to go to the grocery store now. She dialed the shelter on her cell phone as she slid into the driver's seat of her car. Bobby answered.

"Bobby, it's Marie, do me a favor, tell Ororo I'm running a tad late this morning and now I've gotta stop and pick up kitten food. I'll be there as soon as possible and I'm sorry."

"It's ok, Marie, I think sometimes you forget this is a volunteer job," Bobby joked at the other end, knowing her dedication.

"I know, I know," she replied, "Just give her the message, ok?"

"See you when you get here and, Marie, don't get into a car accident or anything," he warned.

"Don't worry, I'm wasn't planning on getting any scratches on this baby," she jokingly replied, referring to the brand new red Mercedes convertible she had allowed herself to indulge in, again at the urging of Jubilee. That girl was gonna get her in some major trouble one day, but she loved her anyway.

She ran into the grocery store, grabbed the kitten food and dashed up to the 10 items or less, cash-only checkout – and that's when she realized she hadn't made a pit stop at the ATM machine yet and didn't have one lousy cent in cash. Not wanting to piss off anyone by asking the clerk to accept her debit card, Marie reluctantly got in another line. The woman ahead of her had an overflowing cart and wasn't kind enough to let Marie slip ahead of her, the bitch.

She finally made it out of the store and dashed to her car. Now she was really late. She threw the kitten food on the floor beside her and slammed the car into reverse. Feeling a powerful jolt and hearing the loud crunch of metal, Marie realized she'd hit someone. Damn, damn, damn the day was getting worse by the minute.

She leapt out of the car, still agitated, and charged to the back of her car to survey the damage. She'd hit a SUV, one of those sport utility vehicles that were so popular with the yuppie crowd. The owner of the SUV was already out and bending over the spot where the two vehicles were mashed together. He had his back to her, a nice muscular back in a tight black t-shirt tucked into equally tight faded jeans Marie noticed. Just at that moment he turned to face her and she caught her breath. He was the most gorgeous man she'd ever laid eyes on. He looked like he just stepped off the cover of a men's magazine and he was scowling at her big time. Even pissed he was totally stunning.

Where did that come from? You've just caused a wreck and you're thinking about … No, stop it.

Logan couldn't believe she'd just coming charging out of the parking space without even looking. He was surveying the damage when he heard her approach. He swung around with a look he hoped would scare the daylights out of her. He stopped dead in his tracks. God, she was breathtakingly beautiful – petite, with one hell of a nice figure in jeans and a too tight t-shirt and silky chestnut hair tied in a loose knot at the nape of her neck. Logan forgot for a moment just exactly why he was angry, he also forgot he had a girlfriend. What was her name? Oh, yeah, Jean.