Title: Sympathy And Envy
Author: Donna
Email: bevan1013@mindspring.com
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: PG
Summary: What would it take to erase the disapproval Storm feels?
Series: Adaptations #11
Category: Storm POV, Logan/Rogue romance
Disclaimer: As always, they belong to someone else.

Even if I didn't already have a fairly good idea of what happened the night before last after Logan and Rogue left the infirmary, I'd know now. I can tell by the way they're looking at each other.

Or, rather, by the way Logan is looking at her. Rogue is ignoring him. For all practical purposes, she has shut down - her face is blank, her body stiff, her gaze kept carefully averted from anyone else's. Logan is sitting quietly beside her, in anguish because he can't reach out to her. Not because he can no longer touch her, but because she will not let him.

Like I said, she's shut down.

It hurts to look at them this morning.

I still don't know exactly what's happened. All I know is what Scott told me - that Logan came to his room earlier and told him and Jean that something was wrong. That Rogue couldn't touch him anymore. That she was upset.

Scott's word, not Logan's. Or mine. Upset. If you ask me, it's an understatement.

I am alone in the room with them. Scott and the Professor are upstairs, and Jean is in one of the smaller labs, running yet more tests to try and figure out if this is all due to Rogue's hormones, as she suspects. She said something about progestin and ovulation and corresponding hormonal fluctuations. I suppose it makes sense. After all, if those fluctuations can enable her to touch Logan, then they could also account for the loss of that ability.

I stand and watch, feeling like an intruder, as Logan lays a hand on Rogue's arm. It's about the hundredth time he's done so this morning. It's also about the hundredth time she's shaken him off.

In a way, I feel like their pain is my fault. Like if I hadn't let him in her isolation cell the other night, then none of this would have happened. I'm not sure what made me open the door to Rogue's cell. Scott was screaming at me, telling me not to do it, and I could have listened. Maybe I should have listened. But Logan had his claws to Scott's throat, and I could say that I opened the door because of that, because I was frightened for him. It's a valid reason.

But it's not the real one.

Maybe it was the look on Rogue's face. I could see her standing in the cell, pressed against the glass, watching the scene before her with terror and hope. Terror and hope - such a strange mix of emotions, but they fit. They fit perfectly. She was terrified that someone would get hurt, but she hoped - prayed - that Logan would somehow find a way to come to her, to be with her.

Or maybe it was the way Logan looked when he came back a month ago. I opened the door to him, and he told me he'd driven all night. He looked it. He was wild-eyed and exhausted, but he didn't want to rest. All he wanted was to see Rogue.

He looked like a man possessed.

Or maybe.I don't know. Maybe what forced my hand toward that switch the other night was a combination of everything, of all that I had seen and sensed passing between them.

I don't know.

Jean has come back, her hands shoved into the pockets of her lab coat. She doesn't do that often, only when she's uncertain about something. Or everything. She moves to stand in front of Logan and Rogue. "Rogue?"

The girl - no, woman - doesn't look up. She stares at the floor. "What is it, Jean?" Her voice would be flat, except for the fact that it's heavy with tears. "What'd you find out?"

Jean looks at me for a moment, then sighs and bites her lip. "Not much, Rogue. We've hypothesized before that this is all related to your menstrual cycle, and I believe that to be correct. I can't find anything out of the ordinary in your bloodwork. The levels of all relevant hormones are normal for this point in your cycle, so we're." She pauses, and her shoulder sag slightly. "I really can't tell you anything new. It looks like you'll be able to touch Logan as long as you're ovulating, but beyond that.I'm sorry."

"How many days is that?" Rogue's question is quiet, terse.

"It's really not possible to - "

Rogue cuts her off. "How many days, Jean?!"

To her credit, Jean manages not to flinch. "Usually about four, Rogue."

"Four days," she repeats, as if to herself. "Four days."

"Marie." Logan places a heavy hand on her shoulder. "Please, baby.Look at me."

He tries to shrug him off again, but he is immovable. Then again, so is she. "No, Logan. I won't."

"This doesn't change anything, Marie," he tells her. He had lowered his voice a tiny bit, but that is the only concession he makes to the fact that Jean and I are still in the room. "It doesn't change anything at all."

"You're wrong," she whispers, still keeping her face averted from his. "So much is different, Logan."

"Marie, I know four days doesn't sound like a lot of time, but it's more than we had this time last week. Doesn't that count for something? Doesn't it?" He is nearly pleading, and the sheer emotion radiating from him is so strong I can almost see it. "Don't use this to shut me out. Please."

She finally meets his eyes. "We never should've started this."

She may as well have sucker-punched him in the stomach, because the breath hisses out of him and his eyes clench shut. "What?" he chokes, his hand unconsciously tightening on her shoulder.

Rogue cries out softly. "Logan, you're hurtin' me!"

He immediately releases her, staring at her with wide, pain-filled eyes. Then, after a moment, he whispers, "You're hurting me, too, Marie." He is in such turmoil that he couldn't hide it if he tried. He looks torn between ripping something apart and crying like a baby.

"Logan, I just." She seems ashamed to have hurt him so badly, and drops her head to her hands as tears start to slide down her face. "Now that I know.what it's like, to be with someone.I can't ask you to give that up, not for me."

"Is that what this is about? Marie." He takes her gloved hands captive between his. "Baby, I don't want anyone but you."

"You should be out there, findin' somebody who can give you what you need, Logan," Rogue mutters sadly, though not quite as forcefully as before. "There's somethin' better out there for you, just waitin'."

He looks a little more at ease now, and he ventures a small but shaky smile. "I need you, Marie. Just give us a chance, darlin'. That's all I'm asking for. Don't do this before you give us a chance."

"All right." At her tiny nod, he enfolds her in his arms.

I shouldn't be watching this. Jean and I shouldn't be here.

"You'll see, Marie," he whispers gently into her hair, over and over, as he rubs her back in small circles. "It'll be all right. We'll be all right."

I've never seen Logan act this way, and seeing it now melts something inside me. It's no big secret that I've been opposed to the thought of Logan and Rogue together, and I thought I had good reason. She's too young, and he's too hard and cynical, and keeping love alive is difficult enough even without those hindrances.

But now I see.

They are kindred spirits, those two. They are both alone in ways that I hope I never truly understand, and if being together makes them happy.I don't care how fleeting that happiness might turn out to be, as long as they have it.

Tears prick my eyes. I feel stupid for envying them, but I do. They're doing the impossible - loving in the face of fear, of adversity. Not many people have the courage to do that these days. We get caught up in the arguments and insecurities and petty obstacles that keep us all apart, and we never stop to think that, in the grand scheme of things, only one thing is really important.


They love each other.

She's still too young, and he's still too hard and cynical, but maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe the only thing that matters is that they are not alone anymore.