Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men, Rogue, Wolverine, or any of the other characters (and later in the story I also don't own Iron Man, or Tony Stark)
A/N: So I thought about classifying this as a crossover, but I didn't think it would have enough Iron Mannishness in it, other than Tony himself so I figured I'd just leave it an x-men one all by itself. This is a Wolverine/Rogue/Stark story – which I realize is much more than a little bit different, but a story I wanted to tell… In Rogue/Marie's POV, unless otherwise stated. It's AU, everyone's alive, and everyone has their powers. Rated T for now, but it will most likely be changed…Let me know if you like it, so I'll know if I should continue….
Chapter One – Sad.
I was standing just outside the front door of the mansion, out in the sun, watching everyone play in the grass. It was summer time, so our school schedules were light, even Professor Xavier saw the merit and need for a break from learning when the weather was so warm. Training was still going on as usual, we had to stay sharp – it was just a lighter period of training. Some of the students and professors, the lucky ones - the ones whose parents either didn't know or didn't care their kids were mutants – went home to spend the summers with their parents, their friends, and their families. Others, like myself, weren't so lucky, but were not only permitted, but encouraged to stay at the mansion and continue training.
It was kind of sad to me, to see two small children, they must've been about six and five, playing with Storm in the yard. They were adorable, and cute – they were just babies. How could their parents let a little mutation make them give them up? They should have been home, playing with their mothers in their own backyards – but instead they were here, at the mansion playing with Storm. Storm was in charge of the younger mutants, like Mikey, and Reilly, the boy and girl she was entertaining out in the yard. They were too young to train for combat, but they were taught self-defense, and how to hide properly.
"Sad, isn't it, Kid?" My heart pounded a bit, I hadn't heard Logan coming up behind me.
That was one good thing about staying at the mansion during the summer. There were significantly less students there, which meant there were significantly less annoyances to Logan. Therefore, he stuck around a lot better.
"They're just little tykes, and their parents hand 'em over to Xavier," Logan shook his head, "Just because one can change forms, and the other can disappear. It's one thing to send 'em here to control their powers, and to learn to defend themselves – but it's another to just abandon 'em."
"Yeah," I said sadly.
"Hey, where's your little possy?" He asked.
"The last one of 'em went home today, Kitty's here somewhere, but-"
"I can't imagine you'd want to spend much time with her," He replied, "Ice-dork, the flame kid, and Jube left?"
"Why do you have to call him that?"
"Hey, Bobby's a nice kid – but he follows you around like a lost puppy," Logan smirked, "I could get rid of him for you…"
"I can handle him myself," I sighed, "And Bobby took the flame kid with him to spend the summer with his family. He offered it to me, but I didn't think it would send the right message."
"Smart girl," Logan replied and I nodded.
"Where's Jean? I haven't seen her around today?" I tried to keep my tone casual, like I could care less whether she was there or not.
"She and Laser-boy went into the mountains for their anniversary," Logan replied and I nodded, turning to face him.
"You're not still hung up on her, are you?"
"Why would I be?" He denied, and I almost believed him, almost, "She has her laser-boy and I have – well, I have just about every other woman I want."
"Well the Lingerie models still manage to hide from me," He replied and I nodded, typical Logan, "Hey, I just finished fixing my bike, I think I'm going to go on ahead to the bar tonight, if anyone asks for me."
"You fixed your bike?" I asked questioningly, last I knew he was just stealing Scott's when he wanted it.
"Well, I modified Summers'," He corrected himself and I rolled my eyes, "Well seeing as I'm teaching in the fall, my room and board's not an issue anymore. A few more fights and I'll buy myself a good one. Laser-Boy's is a bit too nerdy."
"How can a motorcycle be nerdy?" I asked as Logan opened the door to the mansion, holding it open for me as I walked by him.
"It is an accomplishment, kid," Logan smirked as we walked towards the kitchen.
"Rogue, Logan," Xavier seemed surprised to see us as he wheeled himself away from the open fridge.
"Need me to reach for something for ya, Professor?" Logan asked and Xavier shook his head.
"No, I'm quite alright," His reply was more than distracted, and his face was more than wrinkled with worry.
"Something up?" I asked him and he smiled, doing his best to erase the worry from his face.
"No, nothing to worry about just yet, Rogue," He replied and then smiled, adding only in my head, 'Don't be late this evening, I'm tired and I'd like to get to bed early.'
'Ok' I let my thoughts reply, and he wheeled himself out of the kitchen.
"Great," Logan said, as he reached into the back of the fridge and pulled out a beer he had hidden back there.
"Logan!" I was shocked, "You can't hide beer in the fridge!"
"Why not, you want one?" He asked and my eyes went wide as I shook my head, "I don't get it, kid."
"You don't get what?" I asked him as he let one claw come out to open his beer bottle – damn the way he did that was sexy.
"The professor trains you teenagers to fight, and enlists you guys into his little group – but he still won't let you guys drink?" He chuckled, "He trusts you with way worse than a little bit of alcohol."
"I'm sure he has his reasons," I replied, "The last thing they probably want is a bunch of drunk teenage mutants stumbling around – can you imagine John?"
"That the flame kid?"
"Well that'd just be stupid," Logan replied, "I wasn't saying the ones with medical reasons not to should."
"What else would you call it?" Logan smirked, "Don't-give-that-kid-alcohol-or-he-might-kill-us-all?"
"In a big explosion," I added and Logan chuckled, I could tell we had the same mental picture.
John smirking as he acted all cool, taking a sip of one of Logan's beers and then exploding into a fiery ball of light. Then he would burst, and fire would go everywhere, ending up with the mansion going up in a mushroom shaped cloud.
"So what're you doing tonight, kid?" Logan asked, "I think I'm gonna pick up a fight tonight, wanna come along and watch?"
"I'd rather not," I said, I hated watching him fight.
The first time he asked me, I was thrilled, so excited that he would want me to go with him. He snuck me into the overage club, and I watched from a table while he fought, which was hard enough. The worst part was having to watch all the girls in barely anything flock to him as he went out of the ring. I remembered vividly the way that he had looked each one of them up and down, then bought several of them drinks, leaving me to sit in the corner and watch. He hadn't done it on purpose, he had no idea how I felt about him – how could he?
"Barely," He replied, "You're twenty."
I was surprised he remembered my age, delighted too, but I couldn't let him see that.
"I have something to do tonight."
"What've you got, a hot date?"
"What if I did?" The words came out before I had even finished thinking them.
"Then I'd have to know who he was," Logan replied in a playful tone, "So I can ask him how it feels to be with someone he can't even touch."
Ouch. That stung, and there was no way of hiding how much. Logan's face dropped as soon as he had said it, he knew me and what I was like enough to know that he had gone way, far below the belt. Except he had no idea just how far. Bobby had left me for Kitty, he had said that it had nothing to do with my mutation – but it did. The only way I was still friends with him was that I knew that I hadn't really liked him anyways. Logan had been particularly pissed about it – when he came to comfort me, it wasn't said, but he had understood.
What he didn't know was that I was in love with him, and had been since the day that I had met him. He knew that when I was a younger teen I had harbored quite the crush on him, but who wouldn't? The beyond gorgeous, ridiculously buff, protective man that saved a young girl's life? Said young girl didn't stand a chance. But it was more than that. He was Logan, and I was me, there had always been something special between us. A certain understanding and underlying friendship, through which my school girl crush had turned to a deep, irrevocable love for the man. To hear him say such a comment to me, it was like he had drawn his claws and raked them across my heart.
"Nice," I checked out of my own body, so that I wouldn't cry in front of him.
"Oh, c'mon, Marie," He replied, realizing what a monumental jackass he had been, "I didn't mean it, I was only teasing you."
"I'm going to go take a nap," I replied, ignoring his half-assed apology.
"Marie, relax," Logan could tell I was right on the edge of wanting to give him a hug, a huge life-sucking hug – how could he possibly be such an ass? "Please don't be mad. I'm sorry I was stupid enough to say something like that. It was careless."
Wow, a real apology? From the Wolverine? He must feel awful. Good.
"It's ok, Logan," I said, feeling bad about him feeling bad – it took a lot for him to feel bad.
"You're still mad."
"I'm not mad."
I'm heart broken.
"Oh, c'mon chin up," He replied.
I left the kitchen before another word could be said. I started off in the direction of my room, but then changed it abruptly to head towards the library. I walked in, and Xavier was sitting over in the corner, buried in a lot of old looking books, in front of a desktop computer, with a laptop open to his right. He was clearly deep into his research, and I had spent enough summers at the mansion to know that the summer was when Xavier did most of his research. There were only a few distractions, and he didn't have to deal with a normal class schedule. I left him alone and headed towards the back of the library.
That was where I found my favorite, perfectly under stuffed armchair. I sat right down and opened up my book that I kept stashed on the shelf right beside it. There were few books in that library that I hadn't read. Being at the mansion so much, and ending up with so much down time, I had read through just about every book I had come across that interested me. Jean, who organized the books when she was there was gone - so I didn't have to worry about anyone putting it back to its normal space for a while.
Once the sun was starting to go down in the sky, I realized it was just about dinner time, and I put my book back into my chosen hiding place. I was walking down the hall towards an alternate route to the kitchen. The less time I had to spend with Logan, the better. If given enough time, the comment would be able to fade and we would be able to go back to being us, and back to having our weird dynamic. But I knew his comment would be echoing in my head for a while, was that enough of a reason for Logan to never love me the way that I loved him? Was he that physical of a person, a lover, that he couldn't handle it any other way?
My head told me that if this was the case, then he wasn't worth it. That was what the strong woman would say right? My heart, on the other hand, was threatening to stop beating. I was such a sad excuse for a person - Was this really how it was supposed to be for me? To love this man with everything that I had, only to be rejected because of a little mutation? It was almost as pathetic as Mikey and Rielly's parents just abandoning them for their little mutations-
"Rogue, move out of the way please," Xavier said as he came out of nowhere.
Crap, had he been listening in?
"What?" I looked over as he wheeled by me towards the front door that I had apparently been passing.
He opened the door, and there was a man standing before the two of us. He was average height, but that was about the only average thing about him. He dark hair, and sunglasses on, a goatee that made him look like some sort of god, and a muscular structure. He pushed up the shades to reveal sharp, beautiful brown eyes. He looked seriously at Xavier.
"Tony Stark," Xavier greeted him, "Thank you for coming."