Author: Elizabeth Wilde

Title: Need

Series: none; sequel to "Missing"

Distribution: Anyone who has my fic, anyone who asks me for it, My site

Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men or the song "One Reason" by Tracy Chapman. Don't sue!

'Ship: Logan/Rogue

Classification: romance

Summary: Logan looks for a reason to go back... and finds one.

Rating: PG

Spoilers: none

Feedback: Oooo! Please? Wilde at biteyourtongue dot net

Give me one reason to stay here and I'll turn right back around

Give me one reason to stay here and I'll turn right back around

'Cause I don't want to leave you lonely

But you've got to make me change my mind.

Baby just give me one reason, give me just one reason why

Baby just give me one reason, give me just one reason why I should stay

Because I told you that I love you and there ain't no more to say.

/Logan!/

Jean's mental shout was enough to make Logan choke on his beer. The bartender gave him an odd look, but Logan composed himself quickly, growling, /What?/ back at her. He wasn't far from the school, hadn't been able to bring himself to run like he wanted to. Truth be told, he was tired of running.

/Sorry for interrupting./ Logan noted dourly that she didn't sound the least bit sorry. /You need to come back./

/I do, do I?/

/Yes./ There was a moment of indecisive silence. /Rogue needs you./

/Oh, yeah? Mar... Rogue told me to leave./

/I know. She was hurt, Logan./ He could feel an edge of desperation in Jean's mental voice. /Hurt and scared./ A teasing note came into her voice, /Remind you of anyone?/

/Cute, Jeannie./ "Whiskey, double," he ordered the bartender.

/She needs you. And you need her./

/How can ya be so sure she needs me?/

/She told me. And, no, not in as many words. She told me the way you did./

He half-smiled, remembering their conversation in the lab. Jean could pull things out of him that nobody else could. /Yeah, well, maybe ya read 'er wrong./ He downed the whiskey and motioned for another.

/I didn't./

Logan sighed and drank the second shot. /Maybe it's just better I don't come back./

/Maybe that would kill the both of you./ He remained silent and Jean continued, /I know what it would do to me if I had to be without Scott. If you really love her, it's the same way for you being without Marie./

Logan swallowed against tears and shook his head. /Marie's gone./

/No, she's not. She's hiding. She's scared. This is all new to her, Logan./

/Not exactly familiar territory for me either. She'd be better off with some nice kid 'er own age. Like that snowflake she's friends with,/ Logan protested. Already, however, he had paid his tab and was heading out the door.

Jean ignored his objections. /You coming?/

He climbed onto his bike. /Yeah, I'm coming./

Logan was rewarded with a warm mental "hug" from Jean. /I knew you would!/

Logan stood outside Rogue's room for what seemed like forever. He couldn't quite get the nerve up to knock. /Just another minute./ He hadn't seen anyone when he arrived, had avoided every possible encounter, his entire being focused on reaching Marie. So he stood outside her door, waiting for the right moment and enough courage.

Suddenly the door swung open and Marie moved to step into the hall, almost slamming into Logan. She gasped and stumbled backwards. "You're here!"

Her eyes were wide and suddenly she looked much more like the girl Logan knew. He almost sighed in relief. "Yeah, I'm here. You goin' somewhere?"

"Ah was just... Ah..." She blushed and stepped aside. "No. C'mon in."

Logan entered the room, wondering what he should say, if he should say anything.

"Logan?"

He whirled to face Rogue again. Rogue, who stood with her back against the now-closed door looking pale and nervous. "Yeah?"

"Ah... Ah just..." She swallowed and trained her dark eyes on him. "Ah love you too."

Logan was across the room in a heartbeat, Rogue pulled tight against his chest. Her arms were squeezed around his waist and his face was buried in her hair. "Never thought I'd hear ya say that, Rogue."

He could almost feel her smile against his chest as she replied, "Marie. Just Marie, alright?"

"Sounds good to me." He sighed and breathed in her scent. She didn't wear any perfume or body oils, and Logan couldn't remember coming across anything that smelled half as good. "So, Marie, you okay with me stickin' around this time?"

She held him just a little tighter. "You think Ah'm lettin' ya out o' this place, you've lost yer mind."

"I'm just glad my ribs are made of adamantium."

"Why's that?" Rogue asked without easing her grip.

"Because otherwise they'd all be crushed," he chuckled against her hair.

"Just a warnin' in case ya ever get any bright ideas about leavin'," she assured him, laughing as well. "Ah wouldn't want you goin' and doin' anything stupid."

"No worries there. I'm not going anyplace, darlin', not without you."

"You promise?"

"I promise."

"Guess those chains Ah bought to tie ya up with won't be necessary, then?" she joked, finally pulling back enough to look into his eyes.

Logan smirked and tugged on a lock of her hair. "You hold onto 'em just in case."

"Aw, I got handcuffs for that," Rogue responded with a wink, disentangling herself from his arms and grinning at the way his jaw dropped. "Ya've been gone a long time, Logan. Lots of new things to get used to," she added with a quirk of her eyebrow.

"That so?" Logan folded his arms across his chest before taking the chair across from Marie by the window. "I can hardly wait to hear about it."