Disclaimer: Don't look at me. I don't own anything.
Archive Rights: DDFH, XMMFFC, WRFA, and Med Lab. Otherwise, just ask.
Author's Notes: This is my take on the standard "Logan protects Marie" stories. No offense intended.
Summary: Rogue can't take it anymore.
When the first rays of sunlight punctured the empty spaces in the wall and hit her face, Rogue rolled to the edge of her straw- and grass-stuffed mattress and flung off the warm bear skin blanket as she did every morning. She slipped into her antelope moccasins and wrapped the deer skin shawl around her shoulders just like every other day. She walked the short distance to the door of her cozy log cabin, picked up the two water skins that she filled twice a day, and opened the door.
Once outside, she stopped. It wasn't part of her routine. She never stood in the doorway first thing in the morning and looked at her surroundings, but this day, she did. She watched the sun break free of the mountains and rise into the sky. She observed birds flying out of the forest and into the small meadow in which her cabin sat, searching for their breakfasts. Her gaze followed a hare as it hopped through the thick grass towards the shelter of the trees. As she stood there in quiet stillness, she saw her life. Every day of the past two years and every future day to come. They were all exactly the same.
At this realization, she raised her head to the sky, arched her back, dropped the shawl, and released from deep within her chest a long, shrieking wail.
Not a minute later, her husband came running past the trees and into the meadow shouting, "Marie! Marie! What's wrong?"
He wore leather-crafted pants and a dead hare hung from his belt, beating against his thigh as he ran. Three metal claws sprung from each hand as he looked around, sniffing at the air for any signs of danger. When he reached his wife and still found nothing wrong either within the cabin or without, his expression changed from anger mixed with fear to confusion.
"Marie? Baby, why'd you scream?"
Rogue lowered her gaze from the sky to his eyes, and said, "I can't."
Rogue sighed and reached down for her shawl, stalling. Then, she stood up, wrapped the shawl around her shoulders, took a step away from her husband, and repeated. "I can't. I can't live like this another day."
"I've tried for two years, but I can't do it anymore. I need more than this," she said, gesturing at the cabin and the forest.
"More than me," Logan said, his face growing hard.
"No, Logan, I love you more than anyone in the world, but this isn't me." She paused again, as if gathering her strength. "I've been having fantasies."
Logan growled, but she continued.
"Fantasies about lasagna."
His growl stopped abruptly and his expression changed back to confusion. "Lasagna?"
"Lasagna, pizza, spaghetti, just about any Italian food. I've had dreams where all I do is walk into a restaurant and eat lasagna. The tomatoey sauce, the ooey, gooey cheese, the soft, supple pasta, it's a taste of heaven."
"Yeah, but also hot dogs that you can buy on any New York sidewalk coated with ketchup, mustard, relish, and other things you can't even recognize and don't have the courage to ask about. I need morning-fresh bagels, smothered with butter, with any number of different flavors of cream cheese, or even with nothing at all. I need chocolate that melts instantly from a hard square to smooth perfection in your mouth, electrifying every tastebud from the tip of your tongue to the back of your throat."
"Food. You miss food."
"It's not just food, though. I need conversations with girlfriends that aren't about anything but go on for hours. I need shopping, clothes, fabrics that don't come from whatever you killed the previous day. I need concerts, theater, movies, and television." Rogue stepped forward and grasped Logan's shoulders. "Jerry Springer, Logan. I need Jerry Springer. I need junk TV and junk food and dancing 'til dawn in a crowded room with blaring, annoying music. I need traffic and noise and pollution. I need society. I need variety."
"What about the Brotherhood? What if Sabretooth finds you again?"
Rogue took a deep breath and shrugged. "Then he finds me."
"Marie, I won't let you risk your life..."
"Logan, you brought me out here to protect me, but this isn't living. Not to me. It might be slower than Sabretooth, but it's killing me just as surely, stealing away everything that I am."
"Baby, what are you saying?"
"I'm saying that I'm leaving."
Logan lowered his head and dropped his gaze away from hers, as if he couldn't bear to look at her any longer. Then he asked, "What about me?"
"I know you love it here, that you are proud of providing for us in every way, but I'm asking you to come with me. Whenever we make love and you say, 'Mine,' I know I agree with you and say I'm yours, but... Logan, I'm not. I'm your wife, not your property. I belong to me, and I have needs. I love you so deeply and want to spend the rest of my life with you, but I can't do that here."
Logan raised his head and looked at her with tear-filled eyes. Then, he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her deeply, a kiss full of love, passion, and promises.
When he broke away and Rogue was again able to see his expression, he was smiling through the tears. "Well," he said, feeling laughter bubbling up within him, "why didn't you just say so?"
Now it was Rogue's turn to ask, "What?"
"Baby, I like the occasional camping trip, but this wasn't my idea of fun, either."
"I gotta tell ya, I was getting sick of venison jerky and rabbit stew. I need to get a Cuban cigar and a few Molsons in me soon, or I'll go crazy, too."
Logan laughed at her astonishment before turning serious. "Marie, I'd do anything to keep ya safe. That's why I brought you up here. If I'd known sooner that it was driving you just as bonkers as it was me, we'da been outta here long ago."
"Oh, Logan, do you mean that?"
"O' course I do. If it meant keeping you safe and happy, I'd live out here forever. But as long as neither of us is happy, I'll just keep you safe somewhere else."
It only took them minutes to collect their meager belongings and provisions for the long hike back to where they hid their Jeep those two years ago. And then they were gone, leaving behind the small log cabin for the forest to reclaim.