Title: Immunity
Author: Dark Ferret
Email: s_ithier@yahoo.com
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: R
Summary: When Logan returns, he finds that he can withstand someone's touch.
Category: Rogue/Logan
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, so please don't sue me.

Part 1: Canadian Gold?

The mutant known as Rogue awoke with a start. Her dreams were full of disturbing images, men in uniforms, a cold metal table, needles and champagne. More often than not, she would awaken at dawn, heart pounding and sweaty. She looked over at her alarm clock, almost 3am. It would be pointless to stay in bed and try to get more sleep. She closed her eyes tight for a minute then opted to go downstairs to get a drink of water. Rogue swung her legs out of bed and instinctively reached for her robe. Thinking twice she choose to go as she was instead. No one roamed the school halls at night. For once she was going to be normal.

Rogue slipped on her pink bunny slippers and smiled. They were a gift from Kitty and Jubilee, her friends. Her friends. She was still amazed at how they slept so peacefully in their beds, while she languished in insomnia. As she padded softly past the student rooms, she couldn't help but smile her sad little smile. They tried, really tried to make her feel like she belonged, loved even, but she could never really belong. She loved them all for trying but even among outcasts, she herself was one.

Fighting a sudden wave of sadness, Rogue headed quickly towards the school's enormous communal kitchen. She opened the fridge and was reaching for a bottled water when she caught sight of a six pack of Canadian Gold. She smiled, Scott may be an uptight guy, but every now and then he got a pack just for her, under the pretense that they were for him. When he first caught her sneaking a beer on the roof, he had lectured her on the perils of teen drinking for an entire hour! But he must have understood that the need was not her own. In a move that removed his 'asshole' status from her mind forever, he simply told her not to get caught be anyone else.

Rogue leaped up to sit on the cold counter to enjoy her beer. She drank it almost entirely in one drag. Long and smooth, just like the Logan in her liked it. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the fridge. She may like chugging a beer like Logan, but it certainly affected her differently. All of a sudden her heart ached for him. At Xavier's School for the Gifted, she went on with life as expected. She kept herself busy and smiled for everyone to see. At night however, it was different. Alone to her thoughts, she always thought of him. His unruly hair, his bare chest, the way he had touched her and lived. Twice. She smiled and unconsciously moved her hands to finger the tags she wore around her neck. She had worn them every day for the last eighteen months that he had been gone. Despite the pitying looks she got from everybody, she felt that Logan would return for them, if not her, someday.

More depressed than ever, Rogue grabbed another beer and headed for the library. Nothing like despair to start off your day. But by the time she hit the soft leather sofa, she knew that it wasn't despair that she felt in her heart. It was hope. Rogue knew deep down that he would return. What she didn't know was that he was about fifteen miles away, heading straight for Xavier's School for the Gifted on his stolen bike.

Logan's heart was pounding. As he returned to the school, he contemplated on where he had been. His long trip north had revealed little information about his past. Secret government documents of experiments on mutants, decaying labs and more questions than answers were the only things he had found. He had lived like always, day by day and only for himself. But something was different now. He had ignored it for months, focusing on his search for the past. But it was hard. He was solitary by nature, but for once he wanted more.

Logan had followed the X-men on the news. They were loved by some and hated by others, but they were never far from his thoughts. He really didn't believe in what Xavier preached, but as the months rolled on and Magneto escaped to cause one mess or the other, he knew that he could not just stand by and watch anymore. Storm had once told him he needed to choose a side, and he was ready. He was returning to Westchester to offer Xavier his help. Although he would never tell the geeks, he admired their commitment to saving the world. It was a stupid, idealistic commitment, but hey, every now and then kicking Magneto's ass could be therapeutic.

As he turned to the off ramp of the I-95, Logan's stomach joined in the acrobatics his heart was engaged in. There was something else. Something he shied away from in broad daylight at all costs for months. He was also coming back for something else. A girl he hadn't seen in over a year and a half. Thoughts of Marie kept him awake more nights than he would have liked to admit. It shamed him to think of her in such a way, but he couldn't deny his feelings any more. He cared for her, that much was easy to admit. It was how deeply that scared him. She had trusted him, accepted him, and cared for him. She had also almost killed him. Twice. But that didn't change the fact that she had given him a chance. No one had ever done that for him, and so he owed her.

Unfortunately he hadn't been ready to give it all back that easily at the time. She was seventeen and he had been given a lead. Prick that he was, he picked up and left. He hadn't called or written because it was not his style. But he had always thought of her. Her shy smile, her big brown eyes, the way she had of getting straight to the point. Innocence and sadness, she wore them like she wore her gloves. That thought scared him again, what if she didn't want him back, what if she had given up on him. That would kill him for sure. But he had debated this argument with himself many times before and decided to return anyway. Besides, he thought, there's no going back now. The gates that still registered his voiceprint opened before him.

Logan saw the Mansion loom ahead. It was only now that it occurred to him that everyone was asleep. All the lights were off, so he decided to park 'his' bike in the garage house and come in through the back. As expected, he found a spare key under the mat and let himself in.

"That was too easy" he said with a smirk, "The geeks are getting careless."

His plan was now to crash on a sofa until morning. He had been riding for hours and needed to rest. Besides, he didn't want to be fussed over right now.... That thought was interrupted by the scent in his nose.

He knew with certainty who it was but he tracked the scent quietly, wondering what she was doing up so late at night. He walked into a library where he stopped short at the sight before him. It was Marie, sprawled on a sofa, her long legs dangling over an armrest. Her auburn hair fanned around her face. The white shocks clearly visible in the dim light.

Logan stood there for a full minute taking in the sight. It was definitely not what he expected. Her little camisole and tight cotton shorts were almost obscene had she been someone else. Marie was lost in her thoughts as she hummed a song with her eyes closed. What surprised him most was the can of Canadian Gold in her hand. Suddenly aware that he was intruding on her privacy, Logan cleared his throat and stepped into the room.

Rogue bolted upright. She stood with her arms at her side, awestruck at the sight before her. Suddenly wondering if she was dreaming, she clutched the tags resting on her chest. Logan took three steps forward and enveloped her in his arms.

Rogue held back at first, stiff with disbelief, but quickly molded into his body. They stood like that for what seemed like an eternity until she finally whispered, "Ah missed yah so much."

"I know darling, but I'm here to stay" was Logan's low response. He looked into her face, amazed at her beauty, when he suddenly realized that her eyes were green. She noticed his confusion and quickly fumbled out of his embrace. She was visibly flustered and he smiled.

"It's ah long story Logan, Ah'll tell yah about it latah."

Still confused and a little put down, Logan nodded and went to sit. "So are you gonna tell me what you're doing up this late drinking Canadian Gold?" He was clearly amused at her little secret.

"Well, it's yohr habit, yah should know." Was her quick response. "Some parts of yah are still pretty strong up heah." She laid a finger on her temple then quickly dropped it. "Ah'll go get yah one."

She heard him mutter, "I think I found myself a new drinking buddy" as she left.

That thought made her smile. In her wildest dreams she did not imagine that Logan would be back tonight. Despite feeling a little lightheaded already, she grabbed the rest of the six-pack by the plastic rings and rushed back.

Having removed his jacket and gloves, Logan was no longer interested in resting. Damn, was his first thought, when exactly did she grow up? The dreams he had been having of his little Marie flared up again when he watched her leave. She was truly amazing. Unlike Jean and Ororo, who were all slender and elegant, Marie was all feminine curves. His decidedly un-brotherly train of thought was interrupted as she handed him the beers and went to sit next to him. Suddenly realizing how little she had on, she moved down a little further from him.

Visibly disappointed, he told her, "You don't have to be afraid of hurting me, Marie."

She immediately looked down, turning slightly red, "Ah know Logan, It's just that some habits ahre hard ta break."

He smiled again. She hadn't meant it. Her accent on his name was intriguing.

"So, what exactly did yah find up north?"

His smile vanished, "Just bits and pieces." He was looking over at her long bare legs and added, " Enough to know that there was no reason to live in the past anymore." He hoped his interest wasn't as obvious as it sounded.

She nodded slightly, knowing that he would tell her the entire story when he was ready to.

"So what have you been up to?" Logan was trying hard not to notice her legs, but his gaze on her was intense.

Rogue looked down at her hands, suddenly very nervous. He didn't need to smell her apprehension to know that she was reluctant to answer the question. His heart sank at the realization that something big had happened. Something that he wasn't there to protect her from. She looked at him, gathering all her courage and smiled her sad little smile.

"Well, Ah've just started mah second yeah in college heah., and Ah'm training very hard ta be an X-man. Tha Professor says Ah can join in tha next mission, if Ah work hard enough. Tha kids heah are great, and Ah'm in charge of tha gahrdens." Her forced smile faded with her voice. He was obviously not buying any of it. Tears slowly flooded her eyes, as she tried hard to swallow the lump in her throat.

Logan could not believe the pain his Marie was in. His Marie. He watched intensely as she tried to smile, but the tears in her eyes betrayed her. Inappropriate or not he couldn't help but want to hold her. He moved to her, and carefully pressed her to his chest. Letting her cry for a long time, he simply held her.

Kitty came to knock on Rogue's door after she failed to see her at breakfast. Not finding her anywhere, she went to Jean and the Professor, who quickly scanned the grounds for her presence. A few minutes later they found Rogue in the library, curled up in Logan's arms on one of the sofas. His jacket was carefully covering her form while he slept with white strands of her hair tangled in his gloved fingers. At the Professor's orders they were left alone and the library was locked. Both psychics knew that neither had slept so well in a very long time.

Temporarily confused, Rogue woke up over Logan's in an embrace. She shifted slightly and felt his hard chest with her gloved hands. A moment later her eyes flew open and she scrambled to stand up. Logan had felt her little exploration, but had opened his eyes slowly, sitting up with a smile. While Rogue smoothed out her hair and rumpled clothes, he only smiled and stared.

"Good morning darling, sleep well?"

Slightly annoyed and very embarrassed with herself, Rogue answered with a hand to her head, "Yeah, but ah little hung over."

"Well , you know the quickest way to treat a hangover is with anoth...."

"Don't even think about it, Ah've had enough, 'sides look at tha time! Scotts gonna kill me! Ah missed Calculus and "

In an near panic, Rogue was already halfway to the door when Logan caught up to her and gently swung her around, "Before you have a heart attack, are you going to be alright?"

His deep gaze was completely disarming. "Yeah Logan," she was searching for her words carefully, " It really helped ta talk ta someone about what happened. Ah'm happy that yoah back."

Logan beamed with pride. She had barely whispered the words, but he knew the truth in them. He wanted her, that much was clear the instant he saw her sprawled on the sofa, but there was big age difference. He was beginning to feel guilty again, when Marie leaned over and planted a soft kiss on his eyebrow. "Ah'll see yah latah, Ah really got ta get ta practice, but Ah'll look for yah"

She offered one last smile, turned and scrambled out the door, leaving Logan utterly turned on. He had never been so excited by one single kiss, and not to mention spent a night just holding a woman. Guilty thoughts were instantly abandoned with realization. She wanted him too. This was going to be very interesting he thought to himself, as he grabbed his jacket and went to see the Professor about a job.

Part 2: Welcome Home

Needless to say, Logan's arrival at the Xavier School for the Gifted came as a shock to everyone, everyone that is except the Professor. With a certainty all his own, he knew that Logan would return when ready. After a lengthy discussion with him, Logan simply dropped his duffel in his old room and headed for a jog around the outdoor track. His return no longer a secret, he came back to the mansion afterwards to find a throng of students and teachers eager to meet the famous Wolverine. In over a year and a half, his reputation as the defeater of Magneto had grown to monumental proportions. Plus many were just curious to catch a glimpse of the object of Rogue's undying affection and owner of the tags around her neck that never came off. But they were all in for shock, because in a move that took his bad-ass reputation into the stratosphere, Wolverine growled menacingly at the crowd and headed upstairs for a shower with a grin on his face.

Pleased at how quickly everybody moved out of his way to let him pass by, Logan now set out to find Jean, Scott, and Ororo. They were on the deck behind the mansion, overlooking a late game of basketball among the older students. By the looks of it, they ball had just been frozen solid and the game was quickly digressing into something between soccer and rugby.

"Hey Red, Ororo."

"I was beginning to wonder when you would pass by." Ororo smiled as she reached up to hug him. "We've missed you."

Jean then reached over to hug him also. "I see it's official," he motioned to the ring on Jean's finger.

"Four months now, we wish you were here. It was beautiful."

"I'm sure it was, but you couldn't catch me dead in a monkey suit." Logan was pleased to see the genuineness with which they welcomed him and moved to sit on a patio chair. "Speaking of which, where's One-eye?"

As if on cue, Scott walked in. Torn between decking him for taking his bike and embracing him for coming home, Scott instead opted to offer Logan his hand. With his characteristic smirk, Logan shook his hand and added, "Don't worry, it's still in one piece."

Visibly relaxed, Scott sat down and in a move that made the X-women smile, proceeded to offer Logan a permanent position in the team. Knowing full well that that was were he belonged, Logan accepted. What took more convincing was Ororo's offer to teach a class. Logan was willing to do his share, take care of some mechanics maybe, but teaching hormonally crazed adolescents was not his idea of fun. He was in the middle of a losing argument when the French doors opened and Rogue came out to join them.

"Hi ya'll, Ah was wondering where everybody was." And in a move that only the women noticed, Rogue pulled up a chair and sat next to Logan. Laying a hand on his thigh, she flashed him a brilliant smile before continuing,

"Ah just got out of tha Danger Room. Beast is raght behind me. Ah think it takes him ah while ta blow-dry ahll that hair."

That comment elicited a laugh from everyone except Logan, who was still starring at Rogue. She was only wearing jeans, boots and a green silk blouse but still looked magnificent. Her scent was a combination of soap and excitement, which made Logan's heart beat a little faster.

Noticing Logan's reaction and looking over at Ororo, who had the same look on her face, Jean commented, "Heard you two had quite the reunion last night."

At that Logan snapped out of the haze he was in and gave out a low growl towards Jean and Ororo. Rogue reacted by blushing and looking down at her gloves. Fireworks were going off somewhere in the field, as more students joined what was apparently now a game of touch football.

"What, a reunion, what reunion, last night?" Oblivious to everything Scott wrinkled his eyebrows at Jean who simply giggled.

"Nothing Scott. It's just that, well, uh Logan and Ah," Rogue knew she was stammering. Giving the resident psychic and weather goddess an evil look, she sunk back in her chair unsure herself about how to explain what happened the night before.

"Well, what happened?" Scott was more curious than ever, but before Logan could interject with a 'it's none of your business' comment, Beast walked in.

In a split second, Logan's was in a fighting stance, claws extended.

"Wow, dear friend, I assure you I have no ill intentions." Was Beast's startled response.

Quickly jumping out of her seat, Rogue but a hand on Logan's arm. "He's a friend sugah, this is Dr. Hank McCoy or Beast as we call him."

Looking from one alarmed face to the next, Logan retrieved the metal back into his hands. He extended his hand and apologized to the big, hairy blue man before him. Beast accepted graciously and in no time was drinking iced tea and explaining his new modifications to the jet.

Slightly embarrassed, Logan lit a cigar and tried to keep up with what was being said, when he noticed Rogue's hand on his. She was massaging the space between his knuckles and smiling sadly at him. In an instant, he was taken back to that day on the road up in Canada. He had never told anyone that the adamantium hurt when it came out, but then again, no-one had ever thought of asking. He returned her smile and for a second the entire world was forgotten.

Over on the field, most of the students were returning indoors from their game. It was unclear who won, but they were all in good spirits and very muddy. Among them was Remy who had eyed the silent exchanges between Rogue and the newcomer Wolverine from afar. It was no secret that Wolverine meant a lot to Rogue, but watching them sit so close hurt nonetheless. Whenever the kids went out as a group, he and Rogue sat, ate and walked together. He knew that many girls were lined up to date him and to be completely honest he flirted with all of them, but Rogue was different. She stood out from the rest. But the rumors were already swirling. They had spent the night together, something he hadn't ever been able to do. As he picked up his sweatshirt from the ground and headed back to the mansion he couldn't help but want to cry.

Logan watched the tall young man from across the field. His eyes were red on black, but his face was easy to read. He was clearly jealous, and more than a little pissed. He looked back at Rogue who was busy chatting away with Ororo about her greenhouse project. He must have been stupid to think there would be no-one carrying a torch for her. Initially he felt that it would be the Ice-brat, but in little over a day, she hadn't brought it up and neither had he. Besides what exactly were they? Friends, heck yeah. Lovers, nope (not yet anyway). God save him - he was too old to be somebody's boyfriend. It was hard to put a name on what it is they had. But looking at everyone's reaction as this guy walked over made him think only one thing; she's mine pal.

"Hi Remy. Did yah win." Rogue looked very nervous as everyone tuned into their interaction.

"Evan Remy not sure of dat Chere." With his most charming smile, he motioned to Logan. "So dis be da famous Wolverine, no?"

"In the flesh Bub." Logan smelled the fear on him and it made him smile his maniacal grin.

"Remy, would yah like ta join us." She was desperately trying to sound normal, even moving slightly away from Logan, but the look on Remy's face said it all.

"No Chere, Remy see you are busy and I am tired. Good night."

At that, Logan snorted and kept on puffing away at his cigar. Easier than he thought. Pleased with himself he looked over at Rogue, but she was already up and after him. Fuck.

Sensing that things could get ugly quick, Jean stopped Logan in his tracks with a psychic hold. --Logan she needs to do this alone--

His mind screamed to be let go, but he knew full well that he couldn't gut the guy like he wanted to any ways. He knew deep down that Rogue had never stopped loving him, so this guy was no threat to him. Well fuck, even claws hurt less than what a woman could do to a man. Her way is better. Smiling at this final thought, Jean released him and Logan walked off as Scott, Ororo and Beast went to off to sedate squabbling, muddy kids.

A while later Logan returned from his romp in the woods to look for Rogue. He tracked her down to the greenhouse where she was sitting on a bench with her knees drawn up to her chest. Like the previous night, she was completely lost in her thoughts and unaware of his presence. Watching her hum with her eyes closed, he thought about how inadequate he was for all of this. He was nothing like the Cajun or Scott, who were sensitive and romantic. He was harsh, primal, and very old.

"Ah yah gonna stand there ahll night, Logan?" she didn't turn to look at him.

"Just waiting to be invited."

"Well Ah didn't think yah heeded invahtations." He sat next to her and she turned to face him offering her usual small, sad smile.

"Were you avoiding me?" Logan looked down at his hands. Yep, harsh, primal, old.

"No, Ah was waiting for yah." His head snapped up to meet her gaze. After his macho display earlier, he was sure that she would be pissed. But he only found sincerity in her dark green eyes.

"I thought you'd be upset that I scared off the pretty boy and all." Logan was going for sarcasm, but ended up showing a little jealousy too. Rogue reached over and held his hand.

"It's not what yah think, Logan. We ahr not involved." She fingered the hair on his arm with her silky gloves.

Logan smiled to himself and wrapped his other hand around her shoulders. "It's okay, It's none of my business."

Unwilling to upset the moment, he simply held her. From what the Professor had told him, she avoided contact like the plague, spending hours alone in the greenhouse. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but he felt that she was more at ease with him than anybody else. Perhaps it was due to the fact that she had touched and absorbed him. Twice. Either way, he was pretty damn lucky. They sat for a while listening to the gurgling waterfountain and thinking.

Already pretty late in the evening Logan was feeling hungry. "What do you say we have some chow?"

"Yah read mah mind." Rogue got up immediately and started towards the kitchen considerably more light- hearted. "Having woken up so late Ah actually skipped dinnah."

In the large communal kitchen Logan and Rogue raided the refrigerator and made some sandwiches. Tossing Rogue a Canadian Gold, Logan settled into a chair, while Rogue hoped on the counter and munched quietly. Watching Logan carefully, Rogue could not help but admire his physique. After all, his jeans wear practically painted on.


"Nothing, just enjoying tha view."

Logan chuckled to himself, even when Rogue was blunt, she still had a shy grin. How exactly she managed that would always amaze him. He bore his eyes into her. It was clear she wanted him, and not wanting to dance around her forever, he took a long swig of his beer and approached her slowly.

He felt her heartbeat kick up a notch as he moved in close and put his large hands on her knees. Closing his eyes, a rumble emerged from his chest. "You have no idea what you do to me Marie."

His words were barely a whisper, but in the dim, empty kitchen, they rung in her ears. She closed her eyes also and lifted gloved hands to his face, up his sideburns and into his wild hair. Logan held his breath as he watched her serene face. Her caress had his heightened nerves on edge.

Not able to withstand her touching any longer, Logan pulled her forward on the counter in one swift movement. In an instant their bodies were pressed tight against each other. Letting out a small gasp, Rogue opened her eyes and looked deep into Logan's taught face.

"Logan." Was all she could say.

She smiled as his rough hands made their way up her thighs. She then pulled his face towards her chest where he breathed her in deeply. Protected by her blouse, he kissed her neck while she moaned softly. His only thoughts were about the feel of her under the silk until out of the blue, he heard a voice in his head;

--X-men you are needed in the Mission Room--

In an instant their silent exploration of their bodies was interrupted. Suddenly very lucid, Rogue pushed Logan back and hopped down from the counter.

"Tha Professor needs us, we got ta go." She looked at Logan's expression and stifled a laugh. Logan begrudgingly followed her to the elevator as he cursed his bad luck.

"This better be good Chuck."

Rogue smiled at him as she pressed in the code for the lower levels, "We can finish latah. He needs us now. It must be very impohrtant."

He pulled her in close from behind and whispered in her ear, "Anytime, anyplace darling."

He nuzzled her neck and cursed his luck again before the door opened to reveal Xavier, Scott, Jean, Beast, Ororo, and to his disappointment Gambit, waiting in the Mission Room.

His time with Rogue would have to wait, apparently somebody needed an ass-kicking first.

Part 3: The Third Time

All seven X-men, quietly assembled around the digital map room table. Rogue moved to sit far from Logan, but it was pretty obvious by their ruffled hair and rumpled clothes, that they had been together. Returning the disapproving glares from Scott and Gambit, Logan sulked and put his feet up on the table. Professor Xavier waited for the room to settle before whirling around in his hover-chair quietly and thoughtfully.

"Magneto has resurfaced." Ignoring everyone's slight shifting, he continued, "I just confirmed his whereabouts with Cerebro. Apparently he just took control of the Arecibo Conservatory in Puerto Rico.

The leader of the X-men interjected, "Yes, for months we have been tracking his movements among the Caribbean Islands but nothing had come of it."

"Our underground connections have reported that he and his crew have taken control of the radio-telescope, in an effort to create an electro-magnetic pulse large enough to effectively wipe out all computers in the hemisphere.

Ororo was the first to react. "What?, that is the most insane thing I have ever heard, Beast will he be able to do that?"

"I am afraid that theoretically, he is. Granted he must be able to produce enough of a magnetic static charge to create a sizeable shock wave. Of course, he must also command the existing mainframe with the aid of an orbiting satellite ...."

"Fuck that," Logan's eyebrows were drawn together as he plopped his feet down and addressed the team, "Why would he want to in the first place?"

Scott glanced at the Professor and continued, " We think it has something to do with the current Anti- Mutant Legislation Act being considered in Congress. He might be using Arecibo as an ultimatum."

It was Jean's turn to interject, "That's ridiculous, we have worked so hard to repeal that proposal. With key supporters in Washington, it is unlikely it will ever reach consensus and pass into law."

"Chere, Remy wouldn't call it a sure ting until it is done, no?"

"That may be so, but Magneto will never trust humans to do right by mutant kind. I believe that he would carry through with his threat despite all the consequences. It is our job now to stop him, my source tells me he is in the final stages of manipulating the mainframe data, and will set forth his ultimatum in less than 12 hours. We must intercept him and erase the mainframe before sunrise."

The team quietly listened to their calm, cultured mentor add his final statement. "Use whatever force necessary."

With that said, Xavier turned and left. None of them could ever remember him looking so old and dejected. What's more he had never authorized lethal force before.

After a minute of silence, Scott and Ororo shifted into full-fledged leader mode and began detailing the mission objectives. As always, the plan was actually very simple. They would fly in together and split into two teams. Team One would come in from above and seek out the mainframe, while Team Two crossed the jungle surrounding the base and created a disturbance. Intercepting at the middle, they would stop whoever got in the way and diasable the computers.

Checking all digital maps once more, Ororo gave the order to regroup in fifteen minutes. All seven X-men dispersed to get their equipment and suit up.

Aside from the simulations in the Danger Room and practice combat flights, Rogue had never been on a real mission. She listened intently to Scott and Ororo as they explained the plan, expecting them to ask her to stay behind for this one, but she was thrilled when they acknowledged her as a vital part of the mission. True, she had trained very hard to become an X-men, but in her wildest dreams she never thought that she would join them tonight, especially with Logan by her side. Excited and a little queasy, Rogue hurried into her new leather outfit.

In the adrenaline rush to ready for the mission, Logan overlooked a simple fact. He knew that Rogue was part of the team and that she had proven herself good enough. He knew that she was an adult now and could make her own decisions, but damn, she was still Marie, his Marie. The same girl that almost died at Magneto's hands not too long ago. Was Scott completely nuts? Unwilling to shake his rising anger and overprotective streak, Logan tracked down Rogue's scent

Barging past a sliding metallic door, Logan stopped dead in his tracks. He had come upon Rogue loading up her gear, wearing entirely too much skin-tight leather. At a loss for words, he let out a grunt instead.

Immediately sensing what his intentions were, Rogue wasted no time, "Logan, Ah know what yah are gonna say. Yah think Ah'm too young ta go on ah mission but Ah'm not."

Another grunt.

"Ah'm very strong now and mah team needs me." She was trying hard not to sound whiney.

Another grunt.

"While yah were away, Ah trained hard, an besides Ah'm not ah kid anymore." As if to prove the point she recoiled her rather large gun and holstered it at her side, trying hard to look intimidating.

His brain unable to process the image of Marie wearing that gun and not to mention that leather, Logan grunted again. He decided that he was not going to break her heart and make her stay. Besides, she was supposed to be super strong. And he would keep an eye on her at all times. Tearing his eyes away from her cleavage, Logan picked up her bag and stomped towards the jet. Damn that leather!! Rogue followed without saying another word, immensely pleased with herself. She sat quietly between Logan and Beast, and held his hand tightly. Noticing how hard Logan was trying to frown, Rogue seductively planted a soft kiss on Logan's sideburns as Beast looked over and chuckled.

The X-men flew towards the Caribbean in record time, arriving in little over an hour. They reviewed the plan one more time, turned on their communicators and split into two teams. Storm, Beast and Rogue, made up the first team while Scott, Jean, Wolverine, and Gambit made up the second. After securing the jet's masking force field, Storm lifted into the air silently. Rogue gave Logan one last tight smile as she snapped on her night goggles. She picked up Beast in an embrace and flew in the direction that Storm headed off into.

Logan grumbled as he watched her fly off with the huge furry blue doctor. It was one thing to know about her new powers, an entirely different thing to actually see it. Cursing under his breath for letting her come he focused his attention back to the others.

"We have twenty minutes to reach the compound, Wolverine you take the lead. I'll bring up the rear." Keep a tight formation until we flank." Cyclops checked his watch one last time and gave Wolverine a hard look, "Remember, our aim is to disable and detain the terrorists, lets keep the damage to a minimum."

Suddenly very much in his element, Wolverine ignored the comment aimed towards him and began to trek across the considerably thick foliage. Sensing his thoughts, Jean placed a hand on his shoulder from behind, "She will be fine Logan, you'll see."

Grumbling again, Logan led the four X-men into the dark, moonless, humid night. Night stalking was his hobby if he ever had one, and the rich smells and sounds of the tropical forest were indeed interesting. Making sure Jean was keeping up, he slashed a path through the jungle with his claws. By the time they arrived at the western edge of the compound fencing, they were slightly out of breath and their uniforms glistened with dew.

Carefully crouching high in the tree canopy, Rogue and Beast awaited Storm's indication to move forward. As Storm commanded a heavy fog to cover their infiltration, she gave her order over the communicator, "All is clear, two guards in the second tower, move in now."

Rogue wasted no time. She dropped Beast on the tower roof and silently snuck up on one of the guards. In one swift movement she sprayed a chemical into his face and slipped him to the floor. Nodding at Beast, who had downed the other guard, she flew to Storm's side. By now Team Two had to be on the Western Side.

Twenty feet from each other, Team Two approached in one wide, forward sweep. On the outermost flank, Cyclops laid a hand on his visor and aimed, while Gambit readied his cards. In one instant, they fired on the retaining building guarding the radio-telescope entrance. The attack instantly shattered the night calm and not waiting another second, Wolverine lunged forward, claws extended into the chaos of a burning building and scrambling guards.

Hearing the noise erupting on the other side of the compound, Storm, Beast and Rogue moved towards the giant telescope's control room. With fists outstretched Rogue slammed through the outer wall, leaving it in rubble. They expected to find more guards inside, but what they found was Mystique and Toad aiming weapons in their face.

Already past the first perimeter, Logan and Gambit pushed pass the oncoming onslaught of weapons fire. Knowing that they were supposed to cause a considerable distraction, the invading X-men moved through two dozen mercenaries effortlessly. Barely avoiding any crossfire, Wolverine slashed away towards the main control room. He was actually halfway there, pausing only to relieve Jean of a sneak attack from behind, when he caught a smell in the hazy, hot air.

"Well, well, won't Magneto be pleased, his pet has returned." Mystique was practically purring at the sight of Rogue. They had been careful to keep the project a secret, but had also been prepared for a last minute attack from the X-men.

Mystique quickly moved to shoot at Rogue, but Beast covered the distance between him and Mystique in one single jump, knocking her to the ground. At that same instant, Toad turned to fire on Beast, but was encountering a wall of wind that was quickly swirling to form a tornado.

"We have unfinished business." Storm's voice was strangely serene, as her eyes were turning milky white. Outside it started to down pour heavy sheets of rain.

In a second, Mystique was on her feet, running towards Beast, when she was knocked from the side by a computer desk.

"Beast! hurry ta tha mainframe, Ah'll take care of this blue bitch!" Nodding in agreement the genius mutant scurried towards the control room, leaving the X-women to deal with Toad and Mystique.

Despite the pouring rain, (Storm must be stomping ass), Wolverine knew with certainty that Victor Creed was in the vicinity. Turning to Gambit besides him he yelled, "Hey Cajun, Sabertooth is here, I'll meet up with you in the control room." Not giving him a chance to respond, Wolverine stomped off towards the radio-telescope dish.

Having rendered most of Magneto's hired thugs unconscious, Cyclops motioned for his team to move forward. He was asking Gambit if he had seen Wolverine, when they all suddenly felt the air around them crackle with static electricity. Magneto was here.

On the Eastern edge of the compound, Storm was making short work of Toad. He had repeatedly tried to strike her with his tongue, but she had managed to pelt him with enormous hail and render him unconscious. She secured him with restraints, and went to find Rogue.

Inside, Rogue was had also knocked Mystique unconscious. "Don't worry 'bout me Storm, go help Beast."

Storm nodded and flew off leaving Rogue to tie up the shapeshifter. In her rush she hadn't noticed that Mystique had opened her bright yellow eyes. Using all the strength she could muster, Mystique kicked Rogue onto her back with her newly found strength.

As, Rogue recovered from the attack and stood, she encountered a sight she was not prepared to see. Wolverine stood before her, claws reaching for her throat.

Wolverine listened carefully as the rain made bright metallic sounds when hitting the enormous open dish. He was debating whether or not to walk across it, when he was knocked from the side by a large furry monster. In no time, Sabertooth and the Wolverine were rolling down the curve of the giant radio-telescope, clawing and punching at each other mercilessly.

Rogue's shock cost her dearly. In a move that made her collapse once again, Wolverine slashed at her thigh with his right hand. Rogue braced herself for the left hand as it came down towards her chest, but managed to catch his wrist in mid-air. With that leverage Rogue lifted Wolverine in the air and flung him into the wall on the other side of the room. She looked down at her mangled leg and moaned in pain. But before she could reach to her communicator to call for help, Wolverine was already halfway to her. Smiling an evil grin, his yellow eyes flashed dangerously.

Knowing that their would be little she could do against him in hand to hand combat, Rogue summoned her strength, lifted into the air and took off her gloves. She hovered until he reached her and then slammed him with a left hook. Sprawled on the ground, she flew to Wolverine and settled on his chest, pinning his lethal arms above his head with one hand. As the storm raged on outside in the dark jungle, Rogue reached out and ran a bare finger across his lips.

Scott was the first to react to Magneto's presence. A thin red beam cut through the room and found his way towards the older man's chest. Jean, sensing that Magneto absorbed most of it, immediately froze his body in place while Gambit threw charged cards his way. Gathering his considerable power, Magneto responded by throwing a large locker to knock them down. Apparently, the X-men had taken care to wear nothing metallic that he could use against them. Distraught at the prospects of losing his plan once again to Xavier's students, he left to find the radio-telescope while the X-men scrambled, sending a mental call to Mystique.

Rogue opened her eyes slowly. The contact must have knocked her out for a good ten minutes. The dull pain in her leg caused her to wince. As she looked over to the shapeshifter next to her, she silently thanked the Professor for having taught her how to control an absorption. When she braced for it, she could prevent a new personality from taking over her mind. Still, it was dangerous, but there was no way she could have beaten Wolverine hurt like she was. Carefully rising, Rogue headed to the control room.

Beast and Storm let out a gasp as they saw Rogue float in. Storm immediately tended to her wound, tearing off a piece of her silvery cape to tie around her leg.

"By Goddess, what happened, Rogue?" the concern was clear on her friend's face.

Out of breath and in great pain, Rogue tried to explain. "It was Mystique, she changed into Wolve.."

"That's okay, hon try not to talk" was Storm's response. She activated her communicator. "Jean, Rogue's hurt, I'm headed back for the jet. Are things secure?"

"That's a negative! Magneto is here! He is headed for the dish, Cyclops and Gambit are close behind him! Is the mainframe deactivated!?"

"Just a few more minutes, stall him!" As if sensing the question in Rogue's eyes, Storm added, "Where is Wolverine?"

After a slight hesitation, Jean answered, "He is on the dish, with Sabert..." The communication was cut as a blast shook the entire building.

"Damn, they need our help, Beast how's it going?"

"Almost, almost ...YES!!." The furry mutant jumped up from the computer terminal. "The satellite has been turned away, the dish is inactivated."

Storm turned to order the blue doctor to take Rogue back to the jet, but the young X-men was already gone.

Wolverine grimaced in pain at the gaping wound across his chest. A seething anger boiled deep within him as he jumped towards the beast before him. He lunged out and caught him in the back as he moved to retreat. Sabertooth turned quickly, raking his claws into Wolverine's side as he spun around. Sabertooth was good, but Wolverine was better. Sabertooth barely had time to register the movement as Wolverine jumped towards him, plunging his adamantium claws deep into his chest. With a gurgling roar, Sabertooth keeled backwards, leaving Wolverine's claws sticky with gore. Drawing his hand back for a finishing blow, Wolverine froze solid. He was magnetized.

Magneto came upon the scene to find Wolverine leaning over the now unconscious Sabertooth. Summoning what little power remained in him, he lifted Wolverine into the air and spun him around. He was preparing to blast him with an electric charge when he suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning around he saw his lover, critically wounded and fading fast.

Wolverine howled in pain as his metallic skeleton strained against Magneto's hold. He snarled as he recognized the blue bitch come up behind him. To his great satisfaction, she was limping, her thigh pretty mangled. His snarl turned into confusion however, as he picked up the smell of her blood in the wind.

Catching his lover in his arms, Magneto let go of his hold on Wolverine. His concern was only for Mystique, when unexpectedly a thin red blast crossed the night once again and tore into him. He staggered, now recognizing the pretty young mutant before him, with the white streaks in her hair.

Logan crossed the distance across the dish in record time to catch Rogue in his arms. The sun was rising quickly over the jungle horizon, bathing the world in pink-orange light. He stared down at her leg, shredded with familiar looking wounds. Rogue had lost a lot of blood, but she managed a thin smile before closing her eyes. Logan took no time to think, leaning down he softly placed a kiss on her lips. As he heard the footsteps and yelling from his approaching teammates, an excruciating pain overtook him. But he passed out with a smile. He had finally kissed his Marie.

Part 4: Discovery

Waking up with a start, Rogue quickly looked down at her leg. Her leather uniform was bloodied and shredded beyond comprehension, but the pale skin under it was flawless.

"Woa, Chere you got to take it slowly. You gave dis Cajun quite de scare "

Slowly remembering what happened, Rogue asked the only question on her mind, "Where is he Remy? Is he ahlright?"

"Yes Chere, he is in de jet with Beast and Jean."

Noticing his slightly dejected look, Rogue squeezed his hand and hurried to the jet on the compound roof.

She ran in and found Logan lying in a makeshift gurney in the back. Like before, he had slashes cutting into his face, torso and legs. Ignoring the doctors working on him, Rogue went to him and softly stroked his scruffy sideburns. Tears flowed down her cheeks, and Jean hugged her from behind.

"He'll be fine. He just needs time to heal."

Rogue nodded silently and held Logan's hand.

Scott and Ororo walked in ten minutes later. They had been talking with the authorities about what happened. Evidence collaborated with their story, and so the X-men headed for home.

After a quick debriefing with the Professor, Rogue cleaned up and went to keep watch over Logan in the Med Lab. Unable to cry, she just sat by his bed, gently massaging the area between his knuckles. Her friends and the X-men all came to offer words of encouragement, but Rogue could barely respond. Not even the Professor could see into her mind. Her defenses were incredibly strong, her personalities shifting to accommodate yet another. What no-one realized was that she was fine, great in fact, for as Logan kissed her, he passed on one sentence that kept repeating over and over in her mind - Marie, I love you.

Two days passed and everyone began to worry. When Logan touched Rogue at the Statue of Liberty, he was asleep for 36 hours. It was now 52 hours and all of his wounds had already healed, but still he was asleep. Jean and Beast ran every test known to man, and then made up some more, but nothing helped. By the fifth day everyone started wondering if they were going to lose two of their own. You see, Rogue had grown increasingly unresponsive. She slept in the Med Lab, rarely ate, and practically stopped talking altogether. She only watched him, occasionally drinking a Canadian Gold.

It was on the sixth day that an abnormality showed up on one of Logan's blood tests. Jean was the first to notice an unknown protein in one of the samples. Quickly drawing more blood, she was shocked to see that the protein was being mass produced by Logan's body. Neither Jean nor Beast had ever seen it before and so they tried to isolate the protein and figure out what it was for. But their efforts were useless. Despite working around the clock in the labs, neither had a clue as to what it was.

By the eighth day, Rogue was completely mute. It was late and she had just came back from taking a shower in her room. Kitty had come in and brushed her hair into a ponytail while Jubilee told her all the latest gossip. They were clearly heartbroken to see their friend so changed. Unable to tell them what their support meant to her, Rogue hugged them fiercely before she left.

Rogue walked into the Med Lab and took her seat by Logan's bed. On a whim, she laid her head on his chest and inhaled his scent deeply. Pulling up the bedsheet to cover him completely, Rogue quickly drifted to sleep with the warm heat of his body.

Logan opened his hands and stretched his fingers. He was emerging from a long dream that he couldn't quite remember. Opening his eyes slowly, he realized he was back in the Mansion. He felt a weight over his stomach and looked down to see Rogue sleeping on him. Suddenly remembering the scene in Arecibo, a lump formed in his throat. He swallowed hard and placed a hand on Marie's head. The movement jostled her, making her open her eyes wide in wonder. Her hair was pulled back, forming a halo of white hair that was very bright in the dim lights.

"Logan" She said his name in a whisper. Her silence broken , Rogue did something she had been unable to since they arrived. A single tear rolled down her cheek, bringing her back to world of the feeling.

"Hey, darling." His throaty response grumbled through his chest. Rogue felt it through her hands, which were still on his stomach. Sitting up, Logan pulled his girl into an embrace. Her shampoo toyed with his senses. "You miss me, or what?"

"Yeah, Ah did."

"Where are the geeks? Scott's gonna be pissed." His smile faltered as he caught her expression. "What? Magneto got away or something?"

"No, Logan, It's just that yah been asleep for eight days now."

"Shit, eight days? Why that long? You really did a number on me Marie." He instantly regretted his words when he saw her take a step back.

"Hey, I'm just..." He was cut off by Jean's entrance. She had dropped the papers she was holding, let out a shriek and went to hug him.

"Oh thank god, you had us so worried. Let me tell the Professor." Jean closed her eyes for a few seconds, telling several people the goods news at once.

Logan grinned ruefully and looked over at Rogue. Jean was hugging her too. Just what he needed, a big fuss. In a short time, half the school was in the Med Lab while Beast and Jean kept fussing with monitors and asking questions. They were saying something about a protein but Logan was no longer paying them any attention. Rogue had retreated into a corner. She was not looking at him, instead tugging nervously at her gloves. She smiled at everyone and answered questions, but was obviously upset. As Logan got up to walk over to her, it dawned on him why she would be upset. He had blown it, scared her off. He had told her that he loved her before passing out.

Like always it was easy enough to find Rogue. She had been on the roof, which took some maneuvering to get to. When he finally heaved himself over the top, he stood in sweats and a t-shirt looking down at a very distraught person. She had not acknowledged him at all, so he plopped down besides her and handed her a beer. They drank in silence until he broke the quiet.

"I'm sorry, Marie"

The last thing she expected to hear, Rogue snapped her head up to meet his gaze. "What are yah sorry about?"

Pleased to have caught her attention, he continued, "Well, I touched you again and I shouldn't have. It is very personal and I think that... "

"You gonna take it back?" Like always Rogue didn't waste words. It was Logan's turn to look surprised.

"No, No, I can't take it back." He cursed under his breath and took another swig, "This is not what I expected Marie."

"What did yah expect?" Rogue's voice was getting louder and she was getting angrier by the minute. "That Ah would fall into yahr arms, say Ah loved yah too and that everything would be okay, live happily evah aftah?!."

"Yeah. That's exactly what I expected." Logan was getting angry himself. "I know you care for me Marie, maybe I pushed too fast, but you gonna sit here and bullshit me. Tell me that you still wear those tags for fun?" He was yelling now too.

Rogue looked down at the tags that disappeared into her shirt and blinked back fresh tears. Logan's heart stopped beating when he saw her reaction. Definitely not where he wanted this conversation to go.

"Logan," she started slowly, "Ah do care, but this is wrong, yah deserve someone normal, someone yah can touch." Her voice broke at the last word.

Logan couldn't believe she was saying this. It was he that was out of her league, he moved to hold her, make her see it was a lie, but she was already up and about to take off, literally. Using years of fight experience he pounced after her before she got away. Grabbing her arm where her short sleeved shirt and long gloves met, he held onto her, roughly pulling her against him. Her expression was incredulous as she looked down at his hand. He followed her gaze to realize that he was still touching her bare skin and nothing was happening.

"Mah, Mah" Rogue's mouth went dry at the feel of Logan's skin. A completely new sensation to her, it was both strong and rough. Noting the same thing, Logan let go, he was never one to manhandle a woman. They continued to stare at the pale spot for what seemed to be an eternity. She looked up at him again, her eyes revealing what her words could not.

A broad grin spread across Logan's face as he asked the question that was on her mind as well, "Marie, does this mean..."

The question was left hanging in the air, because in one fluid, cat-like movement Rogue covered the space between them and tackled Logan down. Her mouth was on his as they fell onto the roof with a loud thump. Her eyes were still moist but her heart was elated. She could touch Logan.

It took a second for Logan to react to what was happening. He had never been, well jumped. But the feel of Rogue against his body was overwhelming. He pried her mouth open with his lips and deepened their kiss, aware of her speeding heartbeat. She moaned softly and he could not help but run his hands up and down her body. When he reached her arms again Rogue stopped for a minute and sat up on his stomach. Smiling ecstatically, she pealed off her gloves and slowly went to touch his face. Moving slowly she traced every line of his face while he watched hers intently.

"How is this possible?" Tears were in her eyes again.

Logan pulled her in close and turned to have her under him. He held her down with his large frame and kissed her tears away. "I don't know, but I think it had something to do with the last absorption. We should go see Beast and Jean," Still kissing trails down her neck, he added with a grin, "later."

Lost in new sensations, Rogue was unwilling to do anything that would make him stop. In response she giggled and nodded. It could wait. For now she needed Logan and only Logan. Responding to the words that she replayed in her head for eight days, she answered in a shy, sexy drawl, "Ah love yah."

Logan was kissing the space between Rogue's breasts where his dog tags lay when he heard her words. Jerking his head up, he smiled at her and kissed her again softly on the lips. "I love you too." Suddenly very aware of her legs wrapped around his hips, and her mouth on his neck, he summoned all his will to break away from her. He did love her and because he did, he could not take her like this.

"Rogue, I've only been back a few days, a lots happened but we should take it a little slower." Expecting her to be upset, he only found amusement in her face.

"Big bad-ahss Wolverine wants ta go slow?" She giggled into her hand and sat up, putting on her gloves.

Logan scowled but offered a hand and pulled her up to him. "Just a little. Don't want to rush you." He shook his head, never thought he'd ever say those words.

Smiling happily at his scowl, Rogue wrapped her arms around Logan's waist and added, "It's okay, we cahn go slow." Planting a small sensual kiss on his jawline, she picked them up and settled on the Mansion grounds below. Growling in frustration Logan followed her to the Med Lab. He picked a great time to get all noble.

"It seems that the protein we extracted from you Logan, is a perfect match for another found in Rogue's cells." Beast was obviously enthralled by the discovery.

Although it was embarrassing to have the entire school know that they found out less than three hours after Logan woke up, Rogue answered all her questions and underwent her own battery of exams. Now as the preliminary results were analyzed, the X-men, the Professor, the junior X-members were being briefed of Logan's immunity.

"Apparently, you have touched Rogue enough times for your body to have perceived her as a threat, thereby forcing it to come upon a solution. An antibody of sorts." Jean was equally amazed, excitedly completing Beast's sentences.

"Yes, it is clear that since only Logan has a healing factor, he alone will be able to touch you, but we will be working to duplicate the protein." Beast smiled warmly as he pushed up his eyeglasses.

In the back Kitty and Jubilee giggled. Giving a mortified Rogue a squeeze on the knee, Logan couldn't help but smile. Even if it was wrong, he felt that Marie was his now more than ever. His Marie. Mine. He sucked on his cigar and reveled in his base instincts. Mine.

After a so-called layman's explanation of the protein itself, Jean took her seat and the Professor stepped forward to address his students.

"We are all very happy for you Rogue. This is a step towards finding a solution to your dilemma, and it is the least we can do for someone we care so much about. We wish you and Logan much happiness." He purposefully gave Scott a look, who begrudgingly nodded in agreement. "As for all of you. Your success in the last mission is commendable. No lives were lost and an act of terrorism was abated. In recognition I propose that we all go out for dinner at Sarah's to celebrate our victory. Who hear agrees?"

At the resounding show of hands and whoops from St. John and Bobby, the Professor continued, "Then it is settled. We meet in the Foyer at seven sharp."

Part 5: A Second Chance

Contrary to popular belief and her common nickname among the student body, Rogue was not a Southern Belle. Belles knew how to dress formally and walk straight in high heels. Rogue didn't. That is why before even attempting to search her closet for something to wear to Sarah's for the Professor's impromptu night out, Rogue headed straight for Kitty and Jubilee's room wearing nothing but a robe and a towel around her head. It was just her kind of luck to run into Logan, who was stomping through the hallways trying his best to make the younger students want to cry.

Spotting her, Logan sauntered over with a huge grin on his face. He was in sweats, obviously back from a run. "Going to get gorgeous, babe?"

"Ah guess" feeling incredibly naked, Rogue stammered on, "Jubilee has ah dress for meh."

Logan reached to stroke her check and added in a hushed voice, "I'll see you in an hour then." He was going to kiss her, but behind them giggling erupted. Secretly wondering what Rogue would do to him if he flashed some metal claws their way, he grumbled instead and moved on.

"Really, Ah could kick yah both." Rogue turned and gave the girls an indignant look.

"But then who would do your hair?" Kitty chimed in brightly.

"I don't think the Wolverine would care. Rougie's man is animalistic." Jubilee wiggled her eyebrows at Rogue and all three girls started laughing hysterically. After all the drama they had endured this past week, it was relief to finally have a night out together.

As expected, all the men were downstairs at seven sharp. Unfortunately none of the women were, so they decided to play pool in the game room until, as Scott put it, the X-women decided to make their entrance. Logan was in the midst of a third game sweep against Beast, when St. John let out a whistle.

"Damn we have some beautiful women living in this house or what?" St John's comment was met by a chorus of shut-ups and a purse thrown at his head. The X-women were indeed all beautiful, but Logan's gaze was fixed on just one.

Rogue sidestepped the pool table and went to give Logan a hug. Amazed at her beauty, Logan could only stare. She was wearing a short, form fitting dress with a plunging neckline and long sleeves. Black stockings protected her killer legs. Her hair was curled around her face and down her back, while the slightest makeup brightened her lips. Logan made a mental note that he should thank those girls sometime tonight. Letting a low growl vibrate through his chest, Logan cupped Rogue's face and kissed her.

"Hey, break it up, it's time to go." Jubilee giggled at the couple, " and I thought those two where bad." She pointed over to Jean and Scott who where making faces at each other also.

Rogue blushed as Logan scowled at her friend and joined the others outside. It was only then Rogue noticed how sharp Logan looked. He was not wearing a tie like the others, but he had put on chinos and a nice button-down black shirt. Overall he was a very ruggedly handsome guy and she was beyond happy that he was holding her hand.

"What?" He had noticed her staring again.

"Nothing, just enjoyin tha view. Yah're ah cutie." Rogue smiled mischievously and pecked him on the cheek. Her curls tickled his face and Logan shook his head, apparently he wasn't too old to be someone's boyfriend.

Suddenly inspired, Logan told Beast he would meet them at the restaurant and stomped off with Marie in tow, her heals clicking brightly alongside him. As their teammates noisily divvied up among three of the nicest cars, Logan headed for 'his' bike. He sat Rogue in the front facing him.

"We'll catch up to them." He leaned in close and kissed her passionately. Rogue followed his lead and instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist, her tight skirt hiking up her thighs as Logan ran his hands up her back, underneath her cloak.

After what seemed like an eternity, Rogue came up for a breath, "Logan, what happened tah... taking it slow." His kisses to her neck were making it hard to concentrate.

"You never said nothing about this dress darling."

Her hair muffled his words, but Rogue couldn't help but smile at his honesty. She held his scruffy face in her hands and added, "But theah expecting us, sugah." She kissed small spots all around his face, while his hands clung to her ass.

"I couldn't care less..."

"Logan" She breathed the word into his face and he understood that yes, they were expected. He moved his hands to encase hers and kissed them each softly.

"Fine, we got time babe. Get on, I'm kinda hungry anyway."

Rogue stood and smoothed out her skirt before taking her place behind him. She held him tightly across the middle and whispered in his ear, "Just don't forgeht where we were."

Logan just shook his head smiling and gunned the engine, before heading out in his borrowed bike. Yep, this girl was going to kill him for sure.

When they arrived at the dinner club, Logan was surprised to be greeted by the proprietor herself, a tall woman with light purple skin. Sarah was a close friend of Charles and personally escorted Logan and Rogue to the back room where the other ten X-men had already settled in. Sarah's was a casually upscale restaurant with a live jazz band playing for a mixed crowd of human and mutant patrons. Rogue and Logan held hands and tried to inconspicuously join the others at the round table.

"About time, I was about to send out a search party." Scott was enjoying Logan's uncomfortable expression as he took a seat between Rogue and Ororo.

"Scott please, we just got here ourselves." Jean responded before Logan could with mock exasperation.

"Yeah, only because you drive like dis Cajun's grandmoder." Remy's remark caused Bobby to laugh out loud but he was stopped short by Kitty's elbow to his side. Jubilee finished him off by adding under her breath, "I told you we should have left him home."

At that everyone, even the Professor chuckled, except Ororo who was giving the young X-men in training a stern look. Fortunately for them, the waiters arrived to take their order. Rogue and Logan hadn't gotten menus, but then again they didn't need one. Not a fan of haute cuisine, Logan simply ordered a double steak and potatoes while Rogue ordered whatever Kitty was having. They sat back to enjoy each other's company, amid pleasant conversation, after all neither Rogue or Logan ever really dated before. The food arrived promptly, and as Bobby put it, "it rocked." Afterwards, the X-men coupled up and began dancing.

Beast had ordered two bottles of champagne which were being served into tall flutes by the waiters. Seizing the opportunity, Xavier gently tapped his glass and waited for everyone's attention.

"I cannot tell you how it pleases me to see all of you sitting here with me tonight. As you know, human -mutant relations are fairing quite well at the moment, but that is not to say they will remain so forever. Your efforts to bring justice to those in need, will undoubtedly foster the efforts for mutants and humans to coexist peacefully. I care for you all deeply, and commend you all for your dedication to this dream. I hope to share many more nights with you in celebration. Salud."

Everyone raised their flute along with Xavier's and collectively joined them to clink brightly over the center of the table. Sensing the sacredness of having their mentor express his love and approval for them, the X-men held a reverent moment of silence before moving to laugh, and embrace one another.

Happier than he thought possible, Logan kissed Marie's cheek softly then got up to speak to the Professor. He had an answer for the question he was asked the day after he returned, out on the patio.

On the other side of the table Remy stared at the new resident couple intently. When Logan left her side, he went to hug Jean, who was on the left of Rogue. Unaware of his presence, Rogue spun around, coming face to face with Remy. His red on black eyes glimmered and she found herself unsure of how to act. Rogue knew that she had hurt Remy, and had tried to avoid being alone with him since 'the talk' but couldn't very well just walk away now. More flustered than anything, she stretched out her gloved hand and mumbled a congratulation. Remy surprised her by taking her hand and placing a soft kiss on it, smiling sadly and then walking away. Uneasy, Rogue headed to the ladies room hoping no one would notice her gone. Unfortunately she didn't see the look that Ororo and Jean exchanged or Logan watching her from the Professor's side.

Rogue was sitting in front of the vanity when Jean walked into the restroom. Rogue immediately perked up, pretending to fuss with her hair.

"Hi Jean, this surh is ah nice place isn't it?" Rogue turned to face the older woman and instantly knew that she had seen the exchange between her and Remy.

Sitting by her on the padded bench, Jean placed a hand on Rogue's shoulder. "Rogue, it's okay to feel a little confused."

Rogue turned, pleading with her voice, "No, Jean yah got it ahll wrong! Ah have no feelings left for Remy, Ah don't think ah evah did, really. It's just that, that... " Confused and agitated, Rogue slammed her purse down and crossed her arms, "Ah don't know how ta say it."

"That's okay Rogue, I think I understand what you're feeling. You love Logan, but you think he'll leave you again."

Rogue stood up indignantly, "Jean, stop messing with mah head, Ah don't need that raght now."

Catching her gloved hands in mid air, the telepath looked into Rogue's face, "I didn't need to be psychic to know that is what you're feeling. After all, if Scott bailed on me for over a year and a half, I'd wonder the same exact thing."

Relived and terrified that Jean voiced the precise sentiment she had been feeling since Logan returned, Rogue gave Jean a quick, careful hug. Sitting on the bench again, she begged the older woman, "So how do Ah, get rid of this doubt, Jean? Ah love him, but it really bothers meh."

Raising her eyebrows in perfect honesty, Jean offered the only advice she could, "Tell him."

Logan slid into the barstool and ordered a beer. He took a cigar out of his front shirt pocket and shoved it into his mouth when he heard a voice behind him.

"You're not really going to light that thing are you." Ororo was crinkling her nose in disgust as she hopped on the barstool next to his.

Logan looked down at his beer bottle and shoved the cigar back into his pocket with a smirk. He had grown to respect the weather goddess immensely in the last few days, so he'd light it when she'd leave.

"What is it Stormy, you want a drink?"

"No Logan, I want to talk."

Rolling his eyes in a way that would make Jubilee proud, Logan grumbled to himself. "I don't need my head shrunk Ororo, I just need a drink."

"Well you are getting one anyway, I saw Remy and Rogue out there a minute ago and I know you saw it too."

Logan swung around to eye the weather goddess carefully. Having his complete attention, Ororo continued, "You now, it was truly a one-way infatuation, and there was never anything there besides flirting and a little companionship." Trying not to let his intense gaze interrupt what she wanted to say, Ororo took a deep breath, "Besides I can't remember ever seeing Rogue this happy. When you were in the coma, she stopped talking altogether."

Logan looked incredulous and a little angry, "No-one ever told me that."

"There hasn't been any time. I'll be the first to admit, it was scary, but she is better now and it's because of you. Even Scott thinks so. But something is still bothering her, you should speak to her." Ororo squeezed Logan's arm and slid off the barstool.

Ororo's words still ringing in his ears, Logan spotted Rogue leaving the ladies room with Jean. She was scanning the dim room, no doubt searching for him. When she saw him, she walked slowly to him and sat where Ororo had only moments before.

Logan broke the awkward silence. "Stormy said we should talk."

"That's funny, Jean said tha same thing. Ah think it's ah conspiracy." She finally turned to face him, and for a minute he couldn't breathe straight.

"Since day one." Logan shifted uncomfortably as the band kicked things up in the backroom with a dance number. "I think it'll be easier if we have a beer. It always seems to help us along on our little talks."

Smiling at his teasing, Rogue ordered two Canadian Golds and took a long drink from hers. Frowning in fake disapproval, Logan pulled her closer by the waist. "You're the nicest looking drinking buddy I've ever had, Marie."

"Ah'm not sure that was ah complahment, sugah." Already slightly dizzy, Rogue rested her hands on Logan's muscular chest and smiled shyly. He held her a little tighter, "So tell me."

She returned his inquiry with her sad smile. "Ah have no feelings for anyone but yah, Logan, Ah was just, well, Ah was worried is ahll."

Not knowing where this was headed, Logan responded with a cautious, " About what?"

"Well, Ah'm scared." Rogue looked down at her hands on his chest, unable to look at him dead on. "Scared that yah mahy leave again." She looked up for a second to measure his reaction, before continuing, "Last time yah left Ah was heartbroken, like when yah was in tha coma. I love yah Logan, and it would kill meh if yah left again." Unable to lift her eyes to his, Rogue felt his hands do it for her.

Looking straight at her, Logan let his feelings pour out, "Marie, I was being a prick before, that was all I've ever been. I was running away like always, but I found what I need here and I'll be damned if I lose it again. When and if I leave again, you're coming with me. We belong together." Unsure that his words made sense to her, Logan kissed her. They kissed for a long time, until the music pulled them back into realization. Aware that there were no longer alone at the bar, Rogue pulled away slightly.

"Ah'm sorry, Ah still have yah in mah head and Ah know that yah love meh, Ah shouldn't have doubted that for ah second."

"I deserved it, but things have changed. I promise." He smiled and pecked her on the forehead just in time to see One-eye approaching.

Visibly relaxed after a few drinks, Scott beamed at them, "Miss Rogue would you like to honor me with a dance?" To completely annoy Logan he bowed graciously.

"Why don't you go find Jean, One-eye?" Logan said in mock jealousy.

"Jean is dancing with St. John, so would you." He offered his hand and Rogue took it, adding with her best Scarlett O'Hara imitation, "Why Mr. Summers Ah'd beh delahted."

Leaving Logan to walk back to the table, Rogue danced with Scott. She knew the talk was coming so she might as well grin and bare it.

"You two seem awfully close." Scott began with a smile.

"Yes Daddy, He's ah real nice guy. Dreamy." Rogue batted her eyelashes.

"Well you can joke all you want Rogue. I'm just concerned, he's much older, has had many harsh experiences. I know, I know. You are linked, destiny, and what not, but I wouldn't be much of a friend if I didn't ask you to be careful. I don't want to see anybody hurt." He let out a breath, it went easier than he had thought.

"Evan Logan?" Rogue asked coyly.

"Yes." Scott looked over at Logan and gave him his best smile. He purposely whispered in Rogue's ear, "And he'll be here in 5, 4, 3, 2, ... "

"Hey, Stay away from my girl." Logan had tapped on Scott's shoulder.

"I wouldn't dream of it big guy." Scott smiled and went to find Jean giving Rogue a wink.

"Hey, tall, dark and handsome," Rogue pressed into his body, knowing full well that he could see all the way down her cleavage. Logan growled and pulled Rogue in tighter.

"Guess what I did a little while ago Marie." He pressed his chin to her forehead.

Without opening her eyes, Rogue mumbled "What, sugah? Tell meh."

"Well, I accepted a teaching job the Professor and Ororo have been on my case about."

Rogue looked up at his face in shock. "Yah did what?"

"I accepted a teaching job, physical fitness for the junior X-men. You're not happy for me?" He was enjoying how her mouth just hung open.

It took a minute for Rogue to find her words, "No, No, Ah'm, it's great news, just ah little out of character, don't yah think?"

"Well I told you I was staying, besides it will be close to torture for them, I assure you."

"That's a relief, Ah was wondering what would happen ta yahr bad-ass reputation." Grinning mischievously, Logan pulled her close again.

On the dance floor other interesting things were also developing. Jubilee was dancing with St. John, and giggling like a lunatic at something he whispered in her ear. Bobby was trying to sweet talk a very skeptical Kitty. Remy was trying to slip his hand lower down on Ororo's back - unsuccessfully. Beast was dancing with one of the waitresses while quoting Shakespeare or something and Jean and Scott were holding on to each other for dear life. Even the Professor was chatting away happily with Sarah by his side.

At around midnight, the Professor finally suggested that it would be time to retire. Dividing among three vehicles again, Xavier's brood left content and bonded. Logan and Rogue left on Scott's bike. It was October, but the night air was pleasantly warm. Rogue took off her gloves and laced her fingers around Logan's middle. Unwilling to go home just yet, Logan cut through the backroads of Westchester County enjoying the feel of her holding him.

Finally reaching the mansion half an hour after everyone was in bed. Rogue fiddled with the keys in her purse while carrying her strappy shoes. As she unlocked the doors to the Mansion, Logan could only stare at her behind in the tight dress. When they were inside, he immediately grabbed her from behind. Pressing her into the door, lavishing her with kisses.

Rogue responded likewise to his touch, dropping her shoes to the floor when he reached a certain spot on her neck. She was breathless and flushed, her eyes clouded over with desire. She wanted to touch him everywhere and didn't want him to let go. Reluctantly she broke from him, "Lo-gan, we'll get in serious trouble if someone find us heah in tha hallway."

"Um? Yeah I guess." He wanted her badly but remembered his promise to take it easy. It was kinda hard to believe all that had happened in just one day. Breathing in deeply he bent over and picked up her shoes.

Smiling at his honorable intentions, Rogue broached the subject he wouldn't dare "Do yah want ta go up ta mah room Logan?"

She had to stifle a giggle as he dropped her shoes again and looked wide-eyed into her face. Did he just hear what he thought he did? Was his sweet little Marie asking for sex so point blank?

Suddenly more than a little nervous Rogue continued, "Well, Ah, want to be...with yah." A minute ago she was certain that he would say yes, but now that he stood so unmoving in front of her, she wasn't so sure.

Looking at her fading smile Logan decided he couldn't walk away again. Hell no. He needed her just as badly as she needed him. He took two steps forward and kissed her again. This time softly and deeply. Looking at her wanting expression, he found her hand and led her upstairs.

Once inside her room, Logan paused only long enough to lock the door. In one silent movement, he picked Rogue up by the waist and placed her on the bed. He groaned softly as she brushed by his sex, and lay splayed on the covers. Settling over her, he kissed her face and neck, while she fingered his wild hair and ran her hands down his hard, heavily muscled chest.

Pausing for a minute, Logan smiled down at the woman he loved, "Darling, I love that dress but..." Rogue pushed up, resting her weight on her elbows with a glint in her eye. He unzipped her dress behind her, pulling the fabric off her shoulders and down to her waist. Rogue moaned slightly as Logan trailed her soft flesh with hot moist kisses. Thrilled that he was touching places unexplored by anyone, Logan continued to pull the dress down Rogue's body. He then did the same with her sheer hose, caressing very inch of her legs as he went.

Clad only in her thin underwear, Rogue found herself unable to get enough of the man before her. Heated from within, she wrapped her legs around Logan's hips and pulled him tight against her. Enjoying the feel of his growing erection, she started on his clothes, clumsily working at his buttons. Finally bringing his shirt open, Rogue decided to turn the tables. Using her amazing strength she turned him over easily and straddled his hips. Logan growled with pleasure as her mouth worked all around his chiseled, hairy chest. She purposely pressed down on his groin, eliciting a deeper growl.

All the while Logan kneaded Rogue's breasts through lacy black fabric. He slid the straps off her shoulders while she gently kissed his neck. Fumbling to work the hooks in the back, Logan growled in frustration and held her at an arm's length. Extending one solitary adamantium claw, he sliced through the bra leaving Rogue's sizable breasts to fall into his outstretched hands. With a shy grin, Rogue covered his hands with her own, as he worked small circles into her flesh.

Unable to take the sight of Rogue gasping his name with her head thrown back, Logan sat up and tangled her hair in his hands. Kissing her deeply, he lifted Rogue's frame and pushed her onto the bed. They both grabbed at his pants simultaneously, eagerly unzipping and pushing down with boxers and all. Seeing him for the first time, Rogue paused to stare. Slightly uncomfortable, Logan's chest heaved up and down until he felt her hands on him. He sucked in his breath and gritted his teeth against her touch. She worked his length and kissed him longingly until he was sure he couldn't take it any longer.

Shifting to rest over her, Logan reciprocated Rogue's caresses. She mouthed his name over and over, as he worked his mouth down to her body to her sex. Urged on by her soft gasping, Logan carefully parted her with his tongue. Undulating with precision and patience, he worked her bundled nerves until he felt her grip the sheets in pleasure. Soft waves rippled through Rogue's body as she fell back on the bed.

Grinning with satisfaction, Logan leaned into Rogue and watched her open her eyes again slowly. Kissing her again Logan told Rogue he loved her and she smiled. Slowly and carefully, Logan pried Rogue's legs open with his bulk and entered her. Wincing at the dull ache, Rogue adjusted and waited for the pain to subside. When it did, they moved in unison, following a steady rhythmic movement. Tangling her legs around him, Rogue moaned in ecstasy. Logan increased his pace as her tight, moist center gripped him. Every muscle in his body ached at once as he released himself in a burst that took them both over the edge.

His lips still lingering on her neck, Rogue took a deep breath and asked the question on her mind, "Logan, are yah staying heah tonight?"

Settling on his back, Logan smirked, "Are you trying to get rid of me, Marie? And I thought you liked me."

"Please, yah so full of yoself." Pouting indignantly Rogue sat up and faced him. "Ah was only concerned for yah safety. If Scott fi ..." She was cut off by Logan's lips on hers. For an endless moment they leaned against each other, enjoying their newfound intimacy.

Easing into Logan's arms, Rogue rested her head on his shoulder. It had been a ridiculously long day and she was tired. "Logan, do yah realize yah were stretched out in ah coma just this morning. Ah thought Ah'd killed yah fur sure."

Smiling into the darkness, Logan kissed her white streak and breathed in her scent. Pleased that she was finally his, he added, "You don't ever have to worry about that again Marie, I was given an immunity and we were both given a second chance."

More content than they had ever been in their lives, Logan and Rogue fell asleep peacefully in each other's arms.