Title: Down to Destiny
Author: Diebin
Email: diebin@hotmail.com
Fandom: X-Men (Movie)
Rating: PG-13
Series: "Compass Points"
Series to date: 'East and a Little South' , 'Northwest Winds' , 'Wrong Direction', 'Up to Memory'
Archive: Anyone who has the rest of them
Disclaimer: I own not.
Series Note: This was intended to be a PG-13 series, but due to twists of plot, a few chapters will have adult content. Those chapters will be posted on my webpage with the URL's posted onlist, and the stories themselves will be posted on X-Grrls, but to avoid any trouble with strong ratings, that's it. :-) Otherwise . . . yeah. Leave it to say--I've found a way for Logan to touch Rogue.

You know, as many times as I'd played it out in my head while I was making my way back, I never quite thought it would go this way.

I wasn't supposed to lose the ability to speak the moment I saw her.

"Hi, Logan."

How can she make my name feel like that? She's lost a lot of the twang I remember, but it still echoes inside me. Just those two words, and that tiny little shy smile . . . it's all I can do to talk.

"Hey, Kid."

And when did my voice become so rough? Gruff. So harsh in my ears that I wince, for the first time in my life wishing I could be more refined.

"You're back."

Her eyes weren't like that before, were they? Oh, not the beauty--that was always there. It's haunted me no matter how far I ran. But the pain--the age. The exhaustion. Even run down and tired and half starved, her eyes never looked that weary before.

"Said I would be."

She smiles at me. "Yeah, you did."

That smile could rip a man's heart in two. It's already done a number on mine.

She's still wearing those gloves, silky black cloth that climbs up her arms and clings to the smooth skin just above her elbows. Only the tiniest flash of skin shows before the sleeve of her shirt starts, the tight material molding to curves of her body--a body that certainly doesn't belong to a little girl.

"Did these geeks take good care of you, kid?" I have to keep calling her kid. If I let myself, even for one second, believe she's anything but forever out of my reach--

Death be damned. I could get a few good touches in before she sucked me into her head for good.

She's smiling at me again. "Yeah," she drawls, her voice warm and silky. "But not as good as you."

And if it ain't the cutest thing--I swear she just blushed.

And I don't know what to say. Spent the last six months talking to the girl in my head--last thing I was prepared to come home and find was a woman.

And that's what this creature in front of me is.

She takes an awkward step forward, looking at me with wide, uncertain eyes. I can tell from the way she's standing, her arms at her side, her body leaning towards me--she wants to hug me, but she's afraid to. And not afraid of me . . . but for me.

And suddenly, all I can feel is anger. Hasn't anybody hugged her while I've been gone? Hasn't anybody touched her and held her and made her feel like she's not all that different?

Damn them all to the darkest hell they can find. Uncaring, unseeing bastards. Don't they know she needs touch more than anyone else? Are they all so afraid that they can't squeeze a gloved hand or wrap an arm around her and hug her through her cloak?

Don't they see her dying from the inside?

She is still staring at me, shifting back and forth. The bits of me that are her are screaming at me what to do--but I don't need their prompting.

Taking a step forward, I wrap my arms around her tightly, squeezing her into my chest. She tucks her chin down, nuzzling her face into my coat, and lets small arms slide around my waist.

It's heaven and hell. Having her here, so tight against me. I'm glad I learned control in the last seventeen years, or I'd be sliding my hands all over her. Exploring, discovering . . .

. . . looking for skin to touch. Even knowing how dangerous it is . . . I want to feel her.

As if she senses my thoughts, she takes a step back and raises one gloved hand to run down my check and neck, driving a shiver out of me. I can still feel the emptiness at my neck where my dogtags used to lay--but I don't miss them. They were a reminder of the past--and it wasn't exactly a happy one.

I can't tell if she's wearing them under her scarf--I supposed it would be silly and romantic to wish she were. But just by having them, she's freed me from the past.

"I missed ya, kid." Doesn't seem like enough, but she smiles and sinks back into my arms again.

"I missed ya too, Logan."

And it is enough.

For now.