Title: This Journey Called Life
Author: Kim
Email: kimberly.h@worldnet.att.net
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: NC-17 for profanity, sex, some slight goriness
Summary: Sometimes, things aren't always the way they seem.
Genre: X-men Movie Logan/Jean, mostly Logan/Rogue, Character Death
Disclaimer: Wish I owned them but I don't.
Archive: Anywhere, just send me a letter to ask first!
Feedback: I'd appreciate it if you'd send me any kind of letter, good and bad.
Notes: Okay, this is the tale I started writing awhile back, and after what seems like an eternity I finished it. There are some slightly disturbing issues: adultery, character death. If you can't tolerate a major X-Men character death, even your favorite, then I'd suggest you skip either that part or this story. Also, there's sex in here, so if you are underage, then skiddaddle. I hope you all hang in with me until the end.
Thanks: Thanks to my friend, Mira, who gave me such great feedback. It encouraged me to finish this thing to the end.

The minute Logan entered the stuffy room he immediately regretted it. He had an inkling to turn around and walk out that door, but then it would have been a waste of two-hundred dollars. Something had pulled him in here and it was strong enough to make him shell out a shit load of money. Let's just say it was worth giving a look around the joint. He decided to sit at the bar and watch awhile. The bar was the closest to the door. Thankfully it was also the least crowded. He squished his way through the hoards of people dancing on the sidelines. As he tried passing through dancing couples, women would turn and rub their vulgar, sinfully drenched bodies against him. He got so annoyed shoving these vultures off to the side he could feel his claws just at the edge of his skin. Nope, it would do no good making a scene like that.

After he pushed the last girl out of his way, he collapsed onto the bar stool relieved at having escaped the maddening crowd. 'How can people find this fun?' he thought. The idea seemed absurd to him. Or maybe he was just too old. Logan liked the former rather than the latter. He stopped watching the jam-packed dance floor to turn to the bartender who just came up behind him.

"What can I get for ya, buddy?" The hefty man asked while drying a glass with a rag.

"A beer," was Logan's curt reply. The bartender went off to get his beer. Logan turned around once more to watch couples dance provocatively. He swore that in his day, whenever that was, you would be jailed for the moves half of these people were making. Among the hundreds of different smells that crawled up his nose, a different one became more distinct. The smell of the person he had come in this hell hole to find. It was the only clean, innocent smell among the filth of the trash that inhabited these kinds of places. Logan half stood from the stool, rolling his head around the crowds in order to get a better view.

That's when he saw her. At first he couldn't believe his eyes. His ears became muted to the pounding music instead exchanging it for the pounding of his own heart. He had only caught a glimpse but then he lost her. It was her. She'd come close enough for him to be able to pick her out. She was the needle in the haystack but he found her. Logan moved from his stool to go to her, but the bartender arrived with his beer.

The bartender, Larry, worked at 'Club Infinity' for the past ten years. This guy he was serving the beer to seemed a little out of place, but he couldn't pinpoint what gave him that thought. He saw the guy getting off his seat, but Larry interrupted his thoughts. He saw the direction the guy's gaze was pulled to. Larry nodded his head understanding perfectly well.

"Hey buddy." Logan broke his trance and briefly acknowledged the bartender then went back to the spot he was staring at. Larry continued, "A word of advice. I know you're lookin' at Red over there." Logan sprung a guilty look back at Larry.

"Howd'ya guess?" he asked in mock nonchalance.

"Same as how I know when I see every guy looking like that. Red doesn't come here often, but when she does, guys turn into intergalactic goo. Sure she's cute, but I've seen better..." Larry trailed off at Logan's lethal look. His hands went into the air in surrender. "Hey, sorry man. I'm just bein' honest. Like I said, a word of advice. Don't bother."

He now had Logan's full attention. "Guys from all walks of life try picking her up all the time. And one by one she shoots them down. It's a sad sight seeing those poor dogs. As far as I can tell, you don't look like her type at all." This warranted a cocked brow from Logan. "Sorry, but I call 'em as I see 'em. Just a warning, bud. And if she shoots you down too, don't say that I didn't warn ya." Then Larry went to tend to another customer at the other end of the bar.

Logan sipped thoughtfully on his beer. He finally had a clear view of her now. As if on cue, the crowd parted like Moses parted the Red Sea. He had to put his bottle down before he dropped it, he was so in awe.

His eyes were drawn to her face. Too many years had passed since he saw her. Six years too long. Much too many. Her hair was longer than he remembered, nearly touching the small of her back. It was wavy too. The white at the front was still there, hanging loosely over her shoulders. It moved with her lithe body. She turned so that her back was to him. He couldn't help the intake of breath that came. Her finely sculpted body was clad in leather. Not just any leather outfit, but one that showed off so much skin. He'd never seen her so revealing. He wondered at the lack of clothing. Wouldn't she hurt someone dressed like that? 'In more ways than one' his head mentally amended.

The leather dress itself was backless and from where Logan sat he was afforded a beautiful view of her shoulder blades and the smooth set of her spine. The skirt was so short and continued growing shorter as she danced, bunching up little by little. Her legs topped off the ensemble. The toned curve of her calves hardening with each twirl and shimmy she made.

He let his gaze settle on the whole picture. She moved as gracefully as a panther, her body slithering in the small space she had among the crowd. She danced as provocatively as the next person, but not once did she exude the idea of being cheap. Her eyes were closed as her hips swayed to the beat. Her elegant arms skimmed up her hips up to roam over her well developed breasts, playing with them. He felt like she was teasing him, like she knew he was stalking her every move. Her hands moved up to her hair tugging and pulling as her hips continued its swing to the beating sensation of the music. During one extremely energetic point in the music, Logan's eyes were glued to her as she shook her body all the way down, until she looked like she would end up humping the damn floor. He'd never envied something so much.

She continued that way as the dance beat went from one song to the next changing seamlessly. Logan just watched from his stool by the bar, the distance so close yet so far away.

However, his entertainment was about to be interrupted when a guy roughly Rogue's age pushed through the crowd and slid his body up to hers. It was at this point Logan could no longer sit by and watch. He got up from his seat and crossed the short distance to where she was, elbowing a few people in the process. Before he could reach her she had moved away from the guy leaving him alone and looking like the stupid ass he was. Logan cheered a little inside.

She was moving towards the middle of the dance floor and he knew he had to follow her. The density of the crowd thinned towards the middle and he felt a little relieved that she was now within touching distance. Rogue had continued the stimulating movement of her body, her hips once again swaying to the music. Her eyes were heavy lidded, the music making her drunk as her head hung low. She was hypnotized by the music and she let her body become a slave to it.

He could stand it no longer, so he pushed the final distance between the two of them then rounded to stand behind her. His fists clenched and unclenched at his sides as his mind battled with what he should do. If she could still shock the shit out of him, that was a risk he was willing to take.

Logan was no dancer, but it looked like he was about to learn. With that he closed the inches between them and pressed his hard body to hers.

Rogue could feel the guy behind her just stand there and watch. She didn't want to open her eyes, hoping he'd just take the hint and leave. She liked dancing alone, fewer pressures. Plus it was a time for her to let loose, to just feel, unwind after her hard day at work. She thought the guy was about to give up when suddenly she felt his muscled body attach itself to hers. At first she felt shocked, but as soon as she felt him make contact, a soothing peace ran through her. The simple contact between the two of them securing her emotions in ways she'd never felt before. So she permitted him to mould his shape into hers, their body heat becoming one of the same.

His large hands encircled her waist from behind tugging her to rest fully against him. She went willingly. She kept her eyes closed relishing the tingles that coursed through her body. Rogue placed her hands atop of his and grasped them firmly, wanting to keep them there forever. His hands stayed fanned out against the swell of her hips unsure of what to do. She rubbed her bottom against him, feeling him drink in her touch as she moved erotically with him. Together they moved in a dance that went far beyond an innocent tryst in a night club. It was as if two souls had become whole again. Rogue wanted more.

She could feel the heat radiating off of him, could feel the hardening bulge pressing into her back. The thought never scared her away. She shuddered with pleasure at the knowledge that she had caused the sweet torture she placed on him. She took her hands that stayed interlocked on top of his and with his hands in her palms she moved them with hers. Rogue made them follow hers, smoothing them over her leather bound hips, then pushed them down to her thighs, her hands acting as a guide.

She pulled her hands away from his and reached behind her, locking against his back effectively trapping him in her enchanting grasp. He made no complaints. As she moved his body with hers, his own hands came alive, setting their own course to study the outlines of her body. They moved up her stomach, skimmed her breasts with a feather light touch. Then began a descent down her body, memorizing each curve as it went. His hands passed her hips where before they had shyly stayed. Now they were possessed, intent on the need to go further. They passed her hips and moved to her open legs, her thighs wide open. He beckoned to touch the soft skin of her separated inner thighs. She could feel his hesitation so she replaced her hands on top of his and together they moved their hands to rub up and down the skin hidden by her skirt. As their hands continued their exploration, her head turned to the side. Her profile slid against his chest, the feel of his soft shirt gently caressing her face. She could smell the subtle cologne on him and she wanted it forever staining her own skin.

Rogue felt light-headed, intoxicated with the need to look at this man. She stilled their roaming hands and turned in his arms. They were close, oh so achingly close. The bulge pressing persistently into her stomach now. He exuded need just as much as she did. Her chin rose slightly her eyes remaining shut. She could feel his breath puffing on her face, cooling the pooling sweat. Dreamily, her eyes floated open looking directly into the intense black set which were trained solely on her.

Those eyes, those haunted beautiful eyes seemed so familiar. Her hand moved on its own volition driven with need to stroke the handsome face. Their eyes drilled into the others reading what lay behind the glassy stares. As her hand traced up the stubble of his chin to the cheekbones beneath his eyes, an overwhelming sensation of de ja vu emerged. Her eyes clamped shut as memories of this man's face flooded her.

This was him. The man in her dreams. She felt as though she were about to faint. Suddenly, feeling like a trapped animal, her past having caught up with her she did something she never thought she would do. Rogue shoved him away from her arms and bolted through the dancing crowd and out the door in the blink of an eye. It was irrational for her to run, but she felt as though being caught would return her to a past that was obviously too dreadful to remember.

She didn't notice the man follow her out the door and into the darkness.

Logan cursed as he followed Rogue down the street. "Fuck!" He had to think of someway to keep her from running. "Rogue!" the name flew out of his mouth but she kept running, not recognizing it at all. Panic struck Logan. Something besides the fact that she couldn't zap him anymore had changed. She couldn't remember him. She didn't recognize him. And maybe she just did at the last second and she thought he was going to harm her.

Logan watched as she ran in panic, terror and confusion wracking her panting lungs. He saw her heeled foot catch in the cracked cement causing her to stumble. She let out a hopeless cry hurrying to catch her balance and flee as far as her little feet could take her. He had to stop her. Somehow. As a last resort, he prayed it would work. "Marie!"

The name seemed to reach her because she slowed to a thoughtful stop. She stayed with her back to him, her breath panting erratically. She fought to calm down, but the cold air mingled with the adrenaline and shock she felt. It broke through her senses and she began shivering violently. Logan reared up to her noticing her coldness. He immediately shrugged off his own jacket and wrapped it around her shaking shoulders. He rubbed his hands against her arms, feeling the sting of her body's stiffness at his touch. Rogue at last calmed down and turned her head to look at him. Her eyes were melancholy and much too old for her young age of twenty-three years. Her lips trembled as she fought her internal struggle. Logan could see the battle in her eyes, the confusion as clear as day.

"How do you know me?" the reassuring twang in her voice ringing like a melodious bell in his ears. Compassion emanated from him, the necessity to protect and love her becoming evident. After all this time nothing within him had changed for her. It was still as obvious as the day she "died." Comprehending that he could touch her, but not having her recognize his touch seared through him. He didn't know whether to thank or kill the bastards who had done this to her. Whatever had happened to her or was unresolved between them would have to wait. She wasn't dead, she never was, and she may not remember him, but she was alive. That's all that was important.

She continued to stare at him. Lost, unsure of how she should be acting towards him. Secure in the knowledge that she wouldn't run, his voice rough with unknown emotion whispered, "That doesn't matter right now. We'll get you home and warmed up. Then we'll discuss the past." Conversation ended, they walked away in silence, each lost to their own thoughts.

Chaos interrupted the still night back at the mansion. Curious heads popped out doors, angered at being awoken at the ungodly hour. Anger flashed into shocked silence as each shook their head, wondering if they were caught in a dazed dream. But they weren't. Logan's urgent pounding at the door of Charles Xavier's bedroom was stilled as the old man pulled it open. The senior members of the X-Men had rounded the scene that unraveled. Oval eyes reflected the same suspicious wonder as mouths open and shut without words. Because all the people were witness to the next best miracle since Jesus. There stood a lost looking Rogue, her hand clasped in Logan's protective one. The next astonishing phenomenon was that Rogue was touching him without gloves or any sort of protection.

Charles' cool and collected exterior remained unmoved. One would find it hard to believe that he looked almost as if seeing a dead person rise from the dead were an everyday occurrence. He silenced the stunned chatter of all and sternly dismissed them away to bed. The Professor just looked once at Rogue and at Logan, then moved past them and down the hall. His mental gesture indicated all X-Men, former and recent to follow him to his office. His grim features hiding the ticking brain at work.

Jean tried to remain calm and unfeeling at seeing Logan huddled so close to Rogue. She tried to clamp down on the growing jealousy she felt at seeing him like that. She was his wife dammit. Not Rogue. The irrationality of what Jean was feeling melted into guilt at her selfish thoughts. She should be happy to see Rogue alive and well, instead of shedding mental claws at the other woman. Jean knew Logan loved his wife, but her mind supplied that he had loved this fully grown woman before he said he truly loved her. Exhausted by the mental anguish she was feeling, she bricked up her fragile emotions behind the stony mask she wore. All the while the nagging bitterness of Logan's returned past biting at her. She couldn't help the envy of having a lost love returned.

Charles broke any calculating headwork with his unperturbed voice. The serenity that flowed through his gentle, paternal words stilled any inner battles for the moment. He tried peering into Rogue's mind in order to decipher the situation that had been presented. His efforts were met with a cerebral wall blocking his well intended probing. Whoever or whatever had stopped her mutant powers also drilled a permanent shield into her. It was evident that whatever secrets they buried in her were going to continue impenetrable. He released a wary sigh determined to get to the bottom of this discovery.

The Professor organized his words before directing them at Rogue.

"Rogue. Rogue?" His words went unheard by the girl whose attention was settled on Logan. Logan nudged Rogue with his shoulder, directing her attention to the questioning older man. He was met with a blank gaze as empty as the shell of who this girl once was. Sadness spread into his entire body. Rogue didn't remember him or anybody, except for Logan. The manner displayed between the reunited people was a matter that would have to be dealt with some other time. And without his interference.

"My dear, what is your name?" Charles attempted his line of questioning once more. All faces in the room, including a very quiet Jean and the ever reserved Storm turned to Rogue.

Rogue, who had remained extremely quiet during the entire trip to and through this strange place, timidly faced the Professor, her gaze not altogether meeting his. The sweetly familiar tinkle of her southern belle voice floated through the air, breaking the uncomfortable silence. "My name is Marie, sir. Marie Wolverine." She said it with such innocence but the shock of the discovery didn't go unnoticed.

The Professor's face switched to Logan who held an equally disturbed façade at the mention of his name. Despite the tension frozen in his body, he was behaving extremely well. Extremely unlike...Logan. He redirected his attention to Rogue.

"How is it that you know what your name is but do not remember anything else, Marie?" The tranquil tone of his voice coerced the flustered girl into relating the whole story of her appearance. The two tags around her neck when she was discovered, how she took the names on those tags and made it her own. Emmy who discovered her in the first place, where she lived now, what she did for a living, all the events of the past year leading up to how Logan had met found her. Rogue thought it wise to leave out the lurid details of their encounter, but told them she met him at the club. Charles didn't look at Logan as he heard the last part, but he could sense Jean Grey's mind explode at the details. Her eyes narrowed into darts, aimed at the target, which was Logan's head. Logan could feel the strained tension in the room, especially from his wife who was making it mentally clear what she thought of him at that moment.

After Rogue's discourse, the Professor felt it only right to explain her alter ego, her former life as Rogue, to her. He revealed only a skeletal outline knowing it would be too much to absorb in one night. The only real detail he refrained from telling her was her supposed death, the absurdity still ringing clear in the early mornings of the day. He only told her that she disappeared from the very club she was found in tonight. Irony at its best.

Everyone in the room felt the harsh weight of reality crashing down on their shoulders. The tired expressions revealed all. The Professor said, "It's quite late to figure out a solution at this point in time. Let's all retire to bed and we'll reconvene again in the morning, when we've all had a decent rest. Marie, Logan will show you to your old room."

Storm and the Professor were the first to leave the room, leaving the three others in a tense silence. Logan, truly noticing Jean for the very first time since this happened, went to her and grasped her shoulders tenderly in his hands.

"Please understand, Jean. I love you," were his quiet words, "but Marie needs me right now." He took her hand and kissed it, but she only returned his stare coolly, pulled her hand out of his touch. Without so much as a glance in his direction, she pushed past him nearly knocking him onto the floor.

Rogue heard his admission to Jean. For a reason unbeknownst to her, she felt a steely dislike of Jean Grey form in her. She tried to shake it off, but by Logan had found his way to her, and taken her cold hands in his own. The ability to touch her was more than he could bear. Each little gesture culminated into something more, but for the life of him, despite his marital status, he couldn't stop touching her. The idea only added guilt and excitement to his already tumultuous mind.

"Come on, kid."

And he led her from the study back to her old stomping ground.

Rogue felt betrayal, sadness, happiness, confusion, curiosity, jealousy mixed into one tumor-filled mass. The knowledge of having the man she dreamed about day and night walking beside her in flesh and blood aroused such feelings within her. She now knew he wasn't available to her. Whatever they had been in the past was lost and wouldn't be regained. He was married. To the sexy doctor. The sexy doctor who would perform tests on her in the morning. Her face heated with the embarrassment of her illogical feelings. She tore her hand from Logan's, not being able to handle the implications. He only looked down at her, confused by her actions but proceeded with no questions asked. As they continued down the endless hall, Rogue couldn't help but feel like she was walking down a moving ramp with no destination or chance of ever stopping unless she jumped.

The silent pair exchanged frowning glances at each other when they thought the other wasn't looking. They finally reached the lone door at the end of the hall.

Rogue's room.

Rogue needed to escape the pressures of everything in and around her. She needed to escape from his penetrating stare. She needed to escape him. So she averted her body from him pushing the door in front of her open. She was about to flee inside when his gruff voice stopped her.

Rogue turned to face him, seeing his face had aged that night with the stress that had been placed on all of them. He looked as if he wanted to touch her again, but he clenched his fists to stop the temptation.

"Marie. I've missed you."

She didn't know how she should respond to that. She nodded instead and sought refuge in the dark room. The door shut with finality, locking Logan and the world from her.

In the morning, a knock awoke the lightly snoring Rogue. She staggered off the messy bed, dressed in nothing but her underwear. The night's events left her with nothing to wear but the leather dress she had on. Her head poked through the door, tousled hair of brown and white falling in her face. The intruder only looked at her with a cold distance, eying her bare body. Rouge followed the rude gaze and realized just how naked she really was. She sprang to the bed, snatching a thin sheet to cover her body.

Jean stepped into the doorway and informed her that after breakfast they would begin the tests. She also handed some clothes over to Rogue, who only stared in bewilderment.

"Their Ororo's. You're both about the same size. She wanted me to lend these to you since I was the one who was supposed to come and wake you. Tell me if they're okay. If they aren't, we'll go find something else to put you in, okay?" Both women knew where they stood when it came to Logan.

Jean's hard expression softened at the younger woman, the maternal instincts chipping away at the slight hint of what this girl had gone through in the last three years. She took Rogue's hand, amazement at this feat overtaking her senses. She pulled the woman into an embrace, saying, "I'm sorry for the way I've behaved towards you. Nothing that's happened is your fault. I'm so glad your back with us."

Tears clouded Rogue's vision. It had been years since she had such loving contact, from a family she no longer knew. She gave a watery smile to Jean and mumbled a "thank you." A new understanding between the women was born.

Jean exited the room to meet everyone else in the breakfast hall, leaving Rogue to change into Ororo's clothes and to console her aching heart.

"Okay, Rogue... I mean, Marie, the Professor and I will try to break down the internal force field that seems to be blocking us out. We'll need you to lie down and release all the tension in your body. Just concentrate on clearing your mind. Yes, that's it." Jean's hypnotic voice repeated words attempting to relax Rogue's rigid body. Rogue rested on the comfy sofa, her eyes closed in concentration. The good Professor and Jean were planning on using combined power to bulldoze the block in hopes to release Rogue's suppressed memories. Each held anxiety in their hearts praying to God that there would be no failure.

Jean already ran tests on Rogue in the earlier part of the morning, taking blood samples and x-rays. Several hours were needed to find anything conclusive in the reports. Hopefully this psychic session would prove to shed light on whatever those reports may have found.

Charles was the first to enter her mind. He closed his eyes in concentration and poked and prodded at what he could, trying to secure some connection between Rogue and himself. When he still couldn't get past the mental wall, he communicated to Jean, for her to come in and help him. Jean processed all attention on the girl on the sofa. She held her two forefingers, massaging her temple lobes, silently willing Rogue's mind to burst open like a floodgate. She could sense the mental block, refusing trespass to her and the Professor. Whoever created this block did one hell of a bang up job. Both telepaths used their abilities to the hilt, exhaustion slowly building up until they could no longer fight that infernal wall. The connection between the three people in the room was broken, hopelessness creeping back into their bones, as black and bleak as terminal cancer. They had tried their best and nothing came out of it. The only thing they could hope to do was repeat this session over the next few weeks. That was only if Rogue herself would be willing to stay with them for that long.

She had a life of her own now. Maybe she didn't want to find out about what was done to her. Maybe she just wanted to be left alone. Maybe she didn't want to come with Logan, back to her hidden past. She had her reasons and they could do nothing but help her as best as they could.

Rogue's eyes opened, hope that something had been found out, sitting in her doe eyed gaze. The man and the woman in the room with her didn't have to utter a word, their sad expressions telling her that they didn't succeed. The hope she had was snuffed out like a blown out candle and her head fell, tears threatening to spill over the gates of her soul.

Charles' look flittered to Jean, nodding his head in assent. Jean instantly went to Rogue's side, hugging her, rubbing some sense of hope into the girl with what she had to say. "Marie, we'll try it again. The first time isn't always going to work, but we'll do it again. Maybe with time, we'll be able to break down the defenses and find out what happened to you. Please, just don't give up."

Rogue shook her head slightly, the need to be alone overpowering her.

"Professor, you won't mind if I leave for now. I'd like to go home and see my roommate. She's probably a hysterical wreck right now, I just want to let her know something has come up and that I'll be away for awhile. And I need to get some clothes while I'm at it."

Charles gave his assent telling her that any of the cars were at her disposal.

"I want to walk home," was her only reply.

"But Rogue! That isn't for miles!" Jean interrupted.

Rogue gave them a reassuring smile, in it saying that she'd be back.

"I just need a walk...some time think...to be alone. I'll call if I need a ride back or if anything happens."

They could do nothing to convince her against it. They just let her walk out of the office and out the door, hoping she'd keep to her word that she'd be back.

On her way out the front entrance of the mansion, she was so lost in her thoughts she didn't see Logan springing up the steps. In a split second, they collided with each other, falling down the steps and onto the hard ground.

Logan fell with a solid 'thud', Rogue landing half on top of him. He held her in his arms, half smiling at her stunned face.

"Well, well, Rogue. I knew you always wanted my body, but really, did you literally have to throw yourself on me?" He asked with a smirk, the glint in his eyes not entirely humorous.

Rogue pushed on his chest, using it as leverage to stand upright.

"Ow!" Logan groaned at her usage of him.

Once she gained her equilibrium, she started down the path without an apology or any sort of conversation coming from her lips. Logan struggled to get up, running to catch up to her.

"Hey. Hey! Marie! Where are you going in such a hurry?" His countenance fixed with worry that she might be walking out of his life again.

She didn't even look at him. "Home."

Home? The cold answer chilled him to the bone. He couldn't let her leave again. He'd do anything he could to make her stay.

"Look, Marie. If I've said or done anything to hurt you..." He trailed off hoping she'd come to his rescue. The rigidity in his body threatened to loosen the control he had. He knew that any second now, his metal claws would come tearing out in his frustration.

Suddenly, Rogue stopped, freezing Logan to his spot. The bright sunshine of the day a deep contrast to the blackness in her hazel gaze. She had aged so much. No child, woman should be forced to look matured at the rate she did. Logan felt the tug in his heart, the crushing need to protect her erecting itself in his heart once more.

She refused to break their gaze, hoping, needing to see something...anything that laid in him. The need to know where they stood bubbled on the surface of her tongue, ready to spill out the question she was dying to ask. Seeing nothing but a pleading confusion, she turned her head and explained that she needed some time to think and that she was walking back to her city apartment to retrieve some clothes.

Rogue could see the relief roll off of him in waves.

"Why didn't you say so? Are you mad?! You're going to walk all the way back to the fucking city? Hell, no, not after what you've been through. I'm going with you, and we're taking the Jag."

Before she could protest, his firm hand grabbed hers and he dragged her to the garage. He put her in the passenger seat of the Jaguar, refusing any objection that spewed forth from her mouth. As the car sped down the road, Rogue's lips hardened into a mad pout. She was powerless to stop him from coming with her, when he was the one she was trying to run from.

Logan drove the car into the city following Rogue's, albeit angered, directions to her apartment. He couldn't help the rush of excitement at seeing where she lived, intruding into a part of her existence. He yearned to be closer to her. The thought that after all these years, she'd been so close, a twenty minute drive, from him.

His conscience repeatedly thumped on his head, asking about his wife, Jean. He felt the guilt biting on his conscience, but he kept trying to convince himself that it wasn't his fault that life had a funny way of doing things. It was fate when he found Rogue. He had found some inner peace at the knowledge that she was alive and well. He knew that he needed closure with Rogue, the what-ifs needed to be laid to rest. He knew he'd do anything, risk anything to find out if they were meant to be.

In the corner of his eye, he could see Rogue playing with the metal chain that hung around her porcelain skin. The chain with the tags that had given her her new name. A name with a part of his identity in it. His mind swelled with the idea he'd been in her life after all. Her hand ceased their fidgeting, dropping the chain with a metallic "clink." Logan continued watching from the corner of his eye, watching as the hand closest to him fell to a tight grip on her jean knee while she gazed out the window. Against better judgment, his hand released the steering wheel and collected her closest hand into a firm hold. In the depths of his mind her knew he was doing it more for his benefit than hers. He'd be damned if he told her though.

The drive came to an end as they pulled up to a series of compact apartment buildings. He paralleled the car, idly wondering if the Jaguar would be safe in this part of town. Rogue got out wordlessly and ran up the stairs to her apartment. She desperately hoped Emmy would be home because she left the club without her belongings. As her feet pounded up each step, she could hear the echoing of Logan's steps, tailing as close to hers as he could get.

They made their way to apartment 5D in continued silence. Rogue couldn't decide if was comfortable or not. She tapped the buzzer impatiently, willing Emmy to open the door and save her. She sighed in relief as the door swung open, revealing a very disheveled Emmy. Emmy's eyes bulged in relieved fury at the sight of her friend.

"God Rogy! Where the FUCK have you been? When I saw your stuff last night abandoned and you nowhere near it I had a fucking cow! I practically tore the goddamned place apart trying to find you. I was on the phone to the police but they spouted some fucking bullshit about having to wait a fucking twenty four hours to report someone missing. Shit! You will pay dearly for this." Emmy's finger pointed accusingly at Rogue.

Rogue smiled at the one consistent thing in her life. Whenever Emmy got mad or worried, she cussed her head off like there was no tomorrow.

Rogue pushed past the still fuming Emmy with a quiet Logan in tow. Emmy's rambling stopped short when she saw the handsome man enter the small apartment. Her jaw slackened in amazement and her knowing smirk was aimed at her friend.

"So THIS is why you didn't come home last night. Well, then. You should've just called." She winked at Rogue and whispered, "nice going. His butt looks great in jeans." Aloud, she announced that she was going to her room and they'd have all the privacy they needed. Rogue couldn't help the embarrassed crimson that flushed her face at her friend's badgering.

"Sorry about Emmy, Logan. And before you ask, yeah, she's always that exuberant."

"Yea, that and more." He scratched his head as he took a leisurely look around the apartment. It was a far cry from the mansion, but it was still home to her. He could imagine calling it home, himself, but he shut the gate before his thoughts could venture in that direction.

Rogue watched him watch the apartment. His eyes connected with hers, that silent communication thing working between them. She felt the tremendous desire to ask that question that nagged her. Rogue also felt something else.

She huffed a frustrated exhalation and stalked towards the bedroom door at the end of the hall. Rogue grabbed the knob and slammed the inch the door was opened, shut. In the process, she nearly chopped off Emmy's nose with the fury of the slam. From inside the room, she heard a loud, "I get the point!"

Satisfied her friend would no longer be spying, she returned to the living area. The role of hostess came into play.

"Do you want anything to drink?"

Logan's face was caught in a bemused grin at the obtrusiveness of her friend's snooping.

"Not the kind you're offering. And no, nothing for me."

Rogue cleared the dirty clothes scattered on the tattered couch and lowered herself into the small clearing. Logan remained standing, watching her with morbid curiosity. The time had come. They were alone and she needed to know, for the sake of her sanity and of her heart.

"Logan...I don't even know where to begin asking this. But last night....there...there was something...." She could kill herself for being so uncollected. The stuttering added, to her southern lilt made it blatantly obvious as to how nervous she was.

He saved her from her own stupidity. "You want to know what our history was. Where we stood before you left."

Her head unconsciously nodded its assent.

From his standing position, he made the transition into pacing. "I...Marie...Rogue, there was so much between us. We had a past, you know?" He stopped his annoying pacing, much to Rogue's relief, and sat next to her on the couch. She almost wished he would go back to pacing instead of being at such a close proximity to her.

"I had a past with you that was unlike anyone else. We went through hell together. I'd go through hell again for you. I'd never change the past. You know what the Professor told you, but he didn't tell you about how we met. You were just a young teenage girl then. I picked you up at some bar in Canada and even at that moment, I could feel the connection between us. After the ordeal of the events, I had to leave. I had to leave you for reasons that are even unknown to me. I used the excuse that I needed to find my past." He stopped his speech and held a tender hand up to her face. He cradled her in his grasp, getting lost in his own thoughts.

"It's funny, you know? I was you, a no name person without a past. A past I was desperately trying to seek. Now you have taken up my role, you've become me, Marie. But I won't let you. I won't let you stay lost. What I feel for you, I haven't felt ever." He didn't have to finish that last thought. He never felt it with Jean .Guilty happiness surged within Rogue. A new tension bombarded their quiet peace as he inched his face closer to hers. Rogue wished for it and dreaded it at the same time. No, this wasn't right. He was married for heaven's sake! She turned her head and sat up getting off the couch. Logan understood. He knew exactly what she was feeling herself. That didn't mean he could throw away everything he felt for her.

He let her leave the cramped living room to seek refuge in her own, away from him. Without complaint, he let her go pack her bags. He'd wait for her until she was ready.

Rogue let Emmy know where she would be staying, offering a vague explanation as to why she was leaving. The pair clambered down the flights of stairs, the confrontation between them earlier that day burned into their brains. Logan arrived at the car first, holding her door open for her. Once she climbed in, he went to the back and placed her bags in the trunk then got behind the steering wheel ready to return home.

Neither one noticed the black unmarked vehicle following their trail home.

Small chitchat took place between Logan and Rogue. Each was determined to get past the horrible discomfort wedged between them. If they were going to have a future together, even as friends, they'd have to let go of the past.

Just as Logan was about to ask Rogue a question, the distinct squeal of tires screamed from behind them. The crazy black sedan screeched up to where they were, zipping in and out of traffic intent on hitting its target. The car skidded and rammed the Jaguar in the side, the jolt of it practically unseen. Logan screamed for Rogue to get down as he fought to regain control of the steering wheel. A trail of profanity soared from his mouth to Rogue's hearing. The black sedan continued its assault on the Jaguar, ramming into it as it could, determined to drive it off the road. Bystanders watched in horrid fascination as the scene continued to play. A sharp jolt burned through Rogue's left hand, excruciating pain radiating from her palm. She yelled in pain the throbbing becoming too much for her.

The pain from her hand seemed to communicate something to her brain, little electric shots electrocuting her as they traveled through her blood stream and into her frantic mind.

'You are too close. We are watching. Remember that. We are always watching.'

Her eyes shot wide open as soon as the thought appeared. Intense fear made her blood run cold as the searing pain bloodied her insides. She passed out into a dead faint.

"Rogue! Rogue?!" Logan's heart threatened to burst from his chest when he saw Rogue faint, but he couldn't find any blood or injury on her. The black sedan knocked him each time he had gotten control of the car. With a final side swap, the sedan was successful in making the Jaguar spin off the road. Logan's stomach plummeted as he saw the large lamppost coming towards them. He heard the harsh impact of screeching metal, and was dimly aware that they'd run into it on Rogue's side. That was his final thought before he succumbed to the beckoning darkness.


She couldn't believe what she was seeing. It was impossible. They were dealing with something far beyond their control.

Jean pulled the sheets from the printer and rushed to the Professor.

"Professor, those reports on Rogue have come in. This is something I've never seen before." She sat down next to him and showed him a series of charts explaining as she rambled on.

"See here, this is Rogue's internal data before she disappeared. She has the DNA common in causing the mutation effectively triggering her mutant powers. As you can see, she was a normal healthy mutant. Now here's the recent lab reports."

Charles took several looks at the data on the paper presented to him. His eyes immediately returned to Jean. "It can't be." He said.

Jean's head shook, her voice tremulous. "I'm afraid it is. It seems, from what I can tell, whoever abducted Rogue did extensive work on her body. I'm guessing nearly all the time she was missing. Professor, whatever procedures were taken in making this sort of thing happen...the idea is unthinkable." Her words trailed off at the implication.

The Professor finished her thought. "Whoever did this, it looks as if they took her DNA and rewrote it one by one, slowly gestating her into a fully functioning human being. With no trace of her mutation in her."

Jean nodded, "If they've done this to someone as powerful as Rogue, then imagine what they could do to less powerful mutants." They both shuddered at the thought of being stripped of whom they've lived with being. Mutants.

"Maybe, it's what they have in mind." Charles' grim reply echoed in the spacious office.

They remained silent for a few moments, and then Jean remembered the other detail she found. "Professor, there's something else. While looking over Rogue's x-ray scan, I noticed something in her hand. These men didn't mean for Rogue to be released into society without being watched. She must be their first successful Patient X. I found what looks like a small metal plated computer chip embedded in the palm of her left hand. A tracking device. She's being tracked this very moment, her every movement recorded. Oh God. If they know she's found us, what will they do?"

The Professor remained silent processing all the information into his head. He was interrupted with a loud growl outside his office door.

The door split open by an enraged Logan, carrying a limp Rogue in his arms. His head was matted with caked blood, from a wound that already healed. Rogue however, was another matter. She was bleeding profusely, abrasions from glass and metal fragments incised in her skin. She looked like a severely tattered rag doll.

Pushing all personal feelings aside, Jean rushed past her growling husband, demanding for him to follow her down to the infirmary. Once there, Jean set to work on Rogue, fighting hard to stabilize the woman. Logan sat outside, a maelstrom of turmoil attacking him from every which way that he had not been able to protect Rogue. Again. He buried his head in his hands desperately waiting for any news.

Jean hooked Rogue to a heart monitor and a series of wires. She made sure the IV was in place then left the room in search of her husband.

Logan looked up as soon as he heard the metal door slam shut. He watched as Jean made his way to him, bearing a first aid kit in her skilled physician's hands. She knelt in front of him placing the plastic box on the floor.

"Logan, I know what happened. Despite the promise I made you, I had to search you to seek the truth." His horrified look said it all.

"I'm not mad. That's not true, at first I was, but I know you love me." She quieted as she took the alcohol and cleaned the blood off of his face. After that was finished, she sat on the chair next to him. There wasn't much use for her when a man like the Wolverine could heal broken body parts and missing organs in the blink of an eye.

She grasped his hand the coolness of it comforting to Logan. She looked him in the face and said everything with resigned calmness.

"I know you still love her. I can't say I'm not surprised. There's so much unsaid between the two of you, so much that was left unsaid. You were forced apart and our marriage took place during a desperate time. For the both of us. I love you, Logan. Nothing has changed that. And I know, I can see you love me too. I think the best thing for us right now is to decide where you stand. I understand you and no matter what happens, I'll support any decision you make. Know that."

A sad smile curved on Logan's lips. "I know, Jean." He closed his eyes and leaned into her, placing his lips on top of hers. Jean almost lost herself at the sensation. She pulled away before she lost her resolve.

He reaffirmed his beliefs. "I don't deserve you."

Jean cocked her head to the side and a lopsided grin graced her features. "That's true. But I can't say that I wouldn't do the same thing if I were in your shoes." He knew she was referring to ol' One Eye. A genuine smile beamed as he studied her retreating figure.

For days after the collision, Logan sat by Rogue's side, unerring in his decision to be with her. Fatigue drooped his eyelids shut, his head falling to rest on his chest. It had been days since he'd last slept or eaten for that matter. He had been unwilling to leave her side and now he was paying the consequences.

A gentle hand grasped his shoulders alerting him to his surroundings.

Ororo's smiling face looked down on him. Her quiet calm soothed his sorrow and the words she uttered were the only ones that could convince him to do what they wanted.

"Logan, you must get some rest. I'll be watching her. Don't worry, I doubt she'll be going anywhere."

Logan gave Ororo a grateful smile. With a final look to Rogue's sleeping form, he trudged down the hall to find rest in his room.

In the dark recesses of her mind, Rogue knew of one goal. To leave. During the accident, or more likely, after while she lay paralyzed, all her memories flooded her. Overloading her entire system. It was probably the reason she had lain in the coma-like state for as long as she did. She remembered everything: the horrible tests the doctors ran on her, the despair of never seeing Logan again, the time they first met, the time she first came to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, the love she felt for Logan, Logan's marriage to Jean, everything climbed back into her head. It was as if a light switch had been flicked back on. Relief fell through her but was quickly dispersed at the comprehension that her presence here placed deadly danger on anyone in this school. The crash had been proof of that and that had only been a warning. She shuddered to think what damage they would do if she stayed. And now, with the memory of everything coming back to her, she tripled the danger. She had to leave. Immediately.

Rogue felt someone's presence in the room. After what seemed like an eternity she heard the person get up and leave the room. She thanked God for her run of luck. Her eyes cracked open, vision blurry from the disuse. She watched Ororo's white hair flap behind her as she left the room. Rogue saw her through the window, heading in what was most likely the direction of her room. Probably to retrieve something. That left Rogue very little time.

She sat up in the bed, her hair tumbling around her. A strong sense of De Ja Vu hitting the back of her neck with spine tingling coldness. She ripped the wires from her, pulled needles from her not caring as she spilled blood onto the pristine white sheets. She winced when she swung her legs over the bed. Her hands clutched around her injured stomach, the after effects of the accident still throbbing. Her bare feet hit the freezing tiled floor. As she ran out the room, her hand palmed a scalpel off the tray to her right.

Rogue's head peered through the little glass in the door to make sure no one would see her leave. She made a run for it, trying to make as little noise as she could. She ran all the way to the sanctity of her room, knowing Ororo would be back at any time.

She pushed the door quietly closed and dashed to the dresser. Once again, she thanked God at the sight of her clothes, stacked neatly on the top of the mahogany armoire. Someone had managed to salvage her clothes from the wreck. The thin paper hospital gown was thrown to the floor. Rogue slid on the panties she found and some khaki pants and a white shirt. She didn't bother with the bra since it would only waste time to put on. She took the remainder of her clothes and shoved them into the duffel bag.

Rogue went into the bathroom and flicked on the illuminating glow of the light. She took the scalpel she had stolen and looked at her left palm. She remembered all too well where the damned thing was, the pain it had caused her. No more. She wouldn't be prisoner to their games. Before she lost her nerve, she dug the sharp edge of the scalpel into her palm, crying out as blood flowed down the sink. She twisted it, trying to pry the metal chip from the hidden prison of her skin. Once she had gone deep enough, she saw the bloodied glint of the chip and she pulled it out.

Rogue threw the scalpel into the sink and turned the faucet on. Hot water washed the blood away, leaving the little hole in her hand fresh and tender. She watched as the red water ran clear, flushing her blood and the little chip down the pipes and into the sewer.

She grabbed a clean hand towel and walked to where her bag was. As she picked up the bag, a metal object drifted to the ground. Rogue stooped to look at what it was. Her tags. With a swift move of her uninjured hand, she yanked the tags and placed them over her head. No sound was made as she ran through the house and out the door.

Logan drifted awake, no longer able to sleep. He was too consumed with worry for Rogue. For what had happened, how he had come close to losing her, how he always seemed to bring harm her way. His mind incessantly gnawed at him until at last, he gave up and sat rigidly on his bed. He had on his white tank top and sweat pants, but he felt hot from the sweat collecting on his body. He was half tempted to strut around naked.

Ever since his confrontation with Jean, he thought it best to move to a new room. So he sat alone, ears alert to any sound that came from outside. It wasn't long before he smelled the oh so familiar smell. The smell that only belonged to one person. Rogue.

His head racked with all kinds of thoughts, at how he'd like to skin Ororo alive if he found Rogue roaming the halls. He stood up from the bed and rushed to the door. Logan opened the door in time to see Rogue running through the hallway and out the front door. Damn. He'd ask questions later, but right now, he had a ghost to hunt.

He slipped his feet into his shoes and raced down the path to follow Rogue. He remained inconspicuous, silently stalking her in the still of the night. Crickets chirped and the air around him was alive. He followed Rogue, wondering if she even knew where she was going.

The step in her race down the path seemed so assured. These were familiar to her. His heart pounded with the thought. They passed through the silent forest and he stilled when he saw the clearing come in view. It was a beautiful view of the ocean, the moon doing all sorts of things to add to the beauty of the night. Logan had to stifle his awe in fear that Rogue would run away at the discovery of him.

He watched as she sat down on a weathered rock, looking out onto the vast sea as it sparkled in the moon light. He was entranced at the way the moon only added to the pallor of her skin, the way her array of colored hair danced with the gentle breeze. Logan leaned his head against a neighboring tree, content to watch her for the duration of the night.

He was startled out of his reverie when her voice pierced the silent night.

"I remember, Logan."

"You knew I was here?" He had to ask.

She broke her gaze of the sea and turned around to peer at him through squinty eyes.

"Yeah, I knew." He didn't bother asking. The point that she knew was enough.

He released his grasp on the tree he leaned on for support and started toward her when she faced the sea once more. Her words continued without her looking at him. Logan moved to her side, resting on the floor next to the rock Rogue sat on.

"I remember everything Logan." Her tears flowed down her cheeks, the horrors of her memory attacking her senses and battering the already frayed state she was in. It was as if the heavy weight of remembering hurled her to the ground, onto her knees directly in front of Logan. The emotions ran through his fingertips and down his spine as he pulled her into his loving embrace.

He kissed the side of her head, the sobs wracking through her small body. After some time, she calmed, but he resumed his hold on her, not wanting to let her go. As they sat gazing in the moonlight in each other's arms, she recounted everything that had happened to her while she was away. He shivered when she told him about the sterile hospital she was prisoner in, the memory of all the excruciating pain she was subjected to, the evil doctor who conducted those tests, the hopelessness at never seeing him again, her loneliness. He figured out that somehow those godless people were able to clone Rogue's DNA and create a body identical to Rogue. That's how everyone was so easily deceived by the body they had laid to rest. It had been Rogue but it hadn't been.

Everything came out in one story. He held her hand as she explained the metal chip they placed in her body, how the crash correlated with this entire charade. He kissed her palm as she explained how she had to gauge out her skin in order to break free from their grasps.

He felt the need to kill someone for what was done to her. He wanted to take his alloy claws and rip those people to shreds. He wanted to bask in the glory of returning the pain they caused her. He wanted to bathe in their blood, the victory he had over their treachery. But he knew he'd have no such victory. So he just held Rogue more tightly against him.

When silence grew between them, Rogue shifted in his arms and knelt between his spread legs. The stillness shook with the lightning intensity that filled the air. The depths of her brown orbs bore into his; her hair rumpled shining in the illumination of the moon. He had never seen anything more beautiful in his life.

Logan sat up, leaning his weight towards her. He could see that she was holding her breath, her eyes shut in anticipation of his next move. He placed his large hands on her waists, every muscle in his body taut, straining to be united with her. He leaned in closer, closer, until he felt her shallow puffs of air on his face. He welcomed it, cherished it, was rejuvenated by it. She wanted this, wanted him. He closed the small distance between her cupid bow lips and his own, eyes melding shut as he made contact. Logan rejoiced in the gift of having heightened senses because he could feel Rogue everywhere. His lips moved in silence against hers, teeth brushing her swollen lips. He pulled slightly away, their lips eliciting a small 'smack' at the removal.

Logan pressed his body more firmly against hers, his muscles rippling with the action. He could feel her hardened nipples of her breasts rubbing against his own. This served only to excite him more. His arms slithered around her body and wrapped themselves around her waist, needing to be as close to her as he could get. He kissed her chin, her soft cheeks, her closed eyelids, the top of her head, the tip of her nose, every aspect her face had. He returned his questing lips to hers, this time aching to taste the inside of her mouth. His mouth opened as his questioning tongue lightly licked over the crease of her own closed mouth. He begged entrance, begged to be allowed to make sweet love with her tongue. She sighed as she gave him entrance, feeling his tongue rendezvous with hers, the taste of him tingling her senses, shooting waves of desire to her nether regions. Logan's mouth continued its assault, bruising and soothing as it went. His teeth skimmed hers while his tongue stroked her equally probing one. He reached into the farthest recesses he could reach, memorizing each crevice on his journey.

Rogue pulled away and opened her eyes, shyly gazing at him as she pushed his chest, telling him to lie down on the grass floor. He denied her nothing. His toned back hit the ground, eased as Rogue straddled his hard stomach. He watched her sitting on top of him, the hardness of his penis tenting his pants, poking incessantly into her little butt. Her gaze was curious as her hands explored his tank top covered chest, running them over his nipples, which hardened at her touch. He fought the urge to move his hips instead concentrating on her ministrations and how beautiful she looked in the moonlight.

She started pulling at his shirt, demanding that he take it off. He threw the shirt off without a care as to where it landed. Logan flushed in excitement watching her silent exploration of his body. She bent over and kissed him square on the lips, trailing down his six-pack, hands scaling the hardened curves of his muscular arms. She roamed her way down to the edge of his sweats, looking up at him with desire-laden eyes. He knew what she planned and he wanted to stop her, but she would have none of that.

Rogue pulled the heavy material of his sweats down his legs and away from where they reclined. She moved to kneel in between his naked body, smoothing her hand up and down his inner thighs, stroking the hair that grew there. Logan watched her intently, not wanting to miss a thing. He held his breath but quickly dispelled it when he felt her silky touch on his straining heat. His hips involuntarily jumped at the contact and his eyes clamped shut. It had been too long. Too long waiting for her touch.

His heartbeat quickened its pace when he felt her strawberry mousse mouth enclose over his erect penis. She took him all the way in her mouth, sucking and stroking, using that talented little tongue of hers to elicit groans and moans from the man writhing beneath her touch. Logan had to stop this because he felt the hot flash of an orgasm coming. His hands sought the sleek brush of her hair as it tickled his inner thighs with each of her ministrations. He stopped her moving head and her blessedly moving mouth, his eyes pleading with her to stop, begging her to understand he wanted to come with her.

She just sat and stared at him, fully understanding. Her tongue swiped out and licked the musky taste of him into her mouth. He was fascinated with the redness of her lips, wanting to taste her and him. Logan pounced on her sending both of them sailing to the soft floor. He looked her straight in the eyes and stated the obvious.

"You're wearing too many clothes." To which the light tinkle of her laugh resounded in the still air.

Before they went any further, she stroked his face, telling him, "That entire time you were gone, I came here to seek refuge. To think of you. I came here everyday, Logan, wanting to be a little closer to you. It looks like I got my wish."

He refused to let the tears prickle his eyes. He kissed her lips instead, his tongue once again taking up its exploration. He moved his lips to her neck, gently nipping at the delicate skin there. He kissed her neck, running his heated lips up and down her lean neck, his hands busy with ripping her clothes off her sweaty body. He unbuttoned the khaki colored jeans and pulled them down, watching as the material scraped the fragility of her skin.

Logan marveled at the expanse of creamy white that revealed itself to him. He needed to taste her skin, to imprint it into his brain. He bent down, kissing her ankles, running his tongue up her calves until he reached the junction where her legs met. He could smell her strong, musky scent invading his nose. He wanted more. He bent her knees into position, spreading them far apart to reveal what lay behind the moist brown curls. His eyes flickered to hers and he licked his lips in anticipation.

She couldn't wrench her eyes from him, the sight of seeing him go down on her pulsating through her, adding a little bit more to the intense desire he sent through her body.

Rogue felt his tongue penetrate her, the slimy coolness of that loving tongue, lapping at her juices like a newborn kitten. A loud cry tore from her lips at the contact. He stroked her with his tongue, in and out, in and out, driving her that much more closely to madness. Her hands grasped onto his hair as her chest heaved, seeing the white spots appear behind her eyes. She thought she was going to come when she felt the loss of his hot mouth on her. His body slid up hers, kissing any skin he touched. He kissed each of her breasts, playing with them, pulling her nipples, and squeezing them, watching her every action as he tortured her more and more. He was amazed as her head thrashed from side to side, her hands gripping and clutching at the grass she pulled.

Logan placed each hand on either side of her face, his own control rolling away. He held his body weight up, each muscle tight with need to be released. He held down the urge to jerk his hips, waiting until she looked up at him. He wanted to see her eyes when his hard, swollen member entered her.

Feeling his gaze on her, Rogue looked up at her lover. He gave her a soft kiss as he entered her, slowly, slowly inching more and more until....Logan's eyes shot to hers when he felt his penis bump against that wall. He began pulling out, stuttering at his discovery, but Rogue stilled his movements by clutching her hands to his rounded, sweaty ass.

Every kind of emotion filled him, intense love, desire, need, everything as he asked her, "Why?" The silent question, why hadn't she been with anyone since she could touch, since she'd lived on her own.

Rogue only looked at him as if the answer was the most obvious thing in the world. "I was waiting for you." Came her quiet reply.

They watched each other's eyes as he resumed his penetration inside her tight, hot core. With a firm thrust, he broke the barrier between them, stifling her pained gasp with a brush of his moist lips on hers. At first, he just held himself that way, imbedded in her, relishing the feel of his cock in her narrow grasp. Holding became not enough and he slowly rocked inside of her. He pulled out and thrust deeply into her, each thrust pulling him and her closer to that sought for edge. He watched her eyes shut, feeling her orgasm on the verge as her inner muscles began tightening around him. Logan wanted them to share this moment. His hand slid in between them and with a few flicks of his fingers on her swollen clit, she came hard, the loud scream of his name on her lips. As soon as he felt her inner walls clamp down on his penis, he too flew over that edge, seeing the tiny spots dance around his tightly shut eyes.

His orgasm washed in large waves around him, but he had enough sense to roll to the side so as not to crush her with his heavy, sweaty weight. He pulled her perspiring, panting body onto his, her hand wrapping around his stomach. Logan looked into her eyes and kissed her one last time before giving into a dreamless sleep.

Logan felt the caress of the morning sun on his face. His eyes blinked open, remembering where he was. He rolled over and laid his arm against the spot where Rogue was.

He straightened when he didn't feel anything where Rogue should have been. He almost thought it was a dream, but he was naked and his clothes lay strewn against patches of the grass. It hadn't been a dream.

His head glanced around trying to figure out where she had gone off to, when he noticed that none of her things were there. The constriction in his heart ached with pain when he saw an envelope with his name on it, sitting against the rock where he found her the night before. Logan couldn't bring himself to reading it yet, so he took on the task of redressing his aching body. Finally, after he tugged on his sweat pants, he lifted the envelope with the curvy handwriting on it and sat where it once was. He placed the paper on his lap, just staring at it, remembering, cherishing, reliving the night he made love to Rogue. He brought his hands to his face and scrubbed vigorously, mentally preparing himself for what the letter contained.

The anticipation sat heavily in the pits of his stomach and he could no longer wait. He unsheathed one claw and used it as a letter opener, tearing into it to retrieve the letter.

He took a deep breath and began, almost hearing her accent reading along with him.

"Dear Logan,

I know this is probably the cruelest thing to wake up to in the morning. I didn't expect last night to happen, I didn't even expect what's happened all these years to happen, but I guess that's what life's all about. Learning to expect the unexpected. I spent the three years before I disappeared sitting on the very rock you're sitting on, dreaming of you, never dreaming you'd actually feel the same way about me. I knew I loved you the day I saw you. Six years have passed now. Even when I'd forgotten everything, that love never deterred but grew with time. I knew you cared for me, but I didn't know to what degree, so it was my heart and my heart alone I was risking in waiting for your return. You're probably questioning why I left, after what we shared last night. I had to leave. My presence is only a hindrance on all of you now that I'm no longer a mutant and no longer useful. I'm also endangering your lives by staying with you. I will not be the cause of the destruction of the only people I love and especially not you. Please continue your life with Jean, do not seek me out. You can have a life with her that you'd never have with me. I'm only damaged goods. I have my reasons for leaving. These men who destroyed me are trying to destroy the lives of all mutants, slowly they'll turn each one into a human, just as they've done to me. I'm essential to their project and am probably a fugitive. Like I said before, I will not place any of you in danger. I love you too much. Just watch out for the future and be prepared. You were right, my love. I have become you. I have finally found my path and I must journey it alone. I must discover the truth that they've taken from me. If I can help save the lives of mutants than I have to try, even if it means to die trying. I've waited my whole life for you. And I am thankful that I have been given the chance to be totally with you even if it was for only one night. I would never trade our single night of lovemaking for anything in the world. I just know that on my journey, I will always cherish that I'd rather share one glorious night with you that a lifetime without you. Take care, darling.

Your little Marie
AKA Rogue

P.S. Look in the envelope.

Despite the sorrow Logan felt, he had to smile at how well Rogue knew him. He would be the one to overlook such a thing. He peered into the envelope and in the corner lay nestled the chain with both his and her tag. Marie Wolverine. He pulled the chain from its resting place and put it around his own neck, imagining that not too long ago, she herself had worn these. He could smell her lingering scent in the air.

Logan watched the rising sun as it continued it's assent in the morning dew. Yes, he would go on in life. A life with Jean. A life without Rogue. But these tags were a promise. She would be back one day, and he would be ready, keeping them safe until she was back in his arms. Yes, he would continue on with this thing called life and forever have the image of a beautiful, passionate woman named Rogue, cradled in the depths of his heart where she would always be protected.

With that, a tiny smile rose on his stubbled face, shining in the bright morning of the day.