Author's Chapter Notes:

As always, a big thank you to cschoolgirl for the beta, and a big thank you to those who are still reading this story and commenting faithfully.  (((hugs)))





1. without clothes.

2. (of something such as feelings or behavior) undisguised; blatant.


"Everything ok, darlin?"

"Of course, why wouldn't it be?" Rogue answers casually.

I don't buy it.

"No reason," I say, opening the door and letting her into my room.  "Just checking.  In case you wanted to talk about anything."

"We've been talking all day."  She glances at me for a moment as she takes off her jacket and tosses it onto the chair.

"I know.  I just wanted to make sure.  I thought maybe after what happened today, you might think..."

She tilts her head.  "That I might think what?"

"That Jean and I are more than friends."

She pauses for a moment.  "And are you?"


"Well then.  You're not, and I'm fine.  Case closed."  She gives me a peck on the cheek.  "Mind if I just take a shower here?" Rogue asks, kicking off her shoes and heading to the bathroom.

"Of course not.  You know you don't need to ask," I reply, a little surprised by her question.

"Well, I didn't want to assume..." she shrugs, standing in the doorway.

"Go ahead, assume.  I want you to." I look into her eyes intently.  "Anything I have is yours." 

She looks at me for a long moment.  "Thanks, sugar," she murmurs.  She retreats behind the door, leaving it half open.

After a moment, I hear the water running, and the sound of clothes dropping to the floor.

"I probably shouldn't be doing this here.  It's kind of not fair to you."

"Oh?  And why is that?"

"Well, you know.  Because of our bet and all.  Me being here, in your room...naked and wet."  She steps into the shower and lets out a little moan.  "Mmm, God that feels good."

I stand there, staring at the door as little puffs of steam begin to roll out.  Closing my eyes, I draw in Rogue's scent, intensified by the heat and moisture.  Damn bet.  There is nothing I would love to do more than tear off my clothes and get into that shower with her right now.  But none of this is really about the bet; it's about us learning to have a relationship based on more than physical intimacy, and I have to stay the course if I want to earn her trust.

"Warm water and little bubbles running down my body," she continues.  "It's like I'm waiving all this temptation right in your face."

If I didn't know any better, I'd say there was a smile on her face as she was talking.  The sound of a small object hitting the floor echoes in the bathroom.  "Oops, dropped the soap," she giggles.

The thought of her bending over to pick up the soap, that fine, luscious bottom raised in the air...damn.

She knows what she's doing to me.  She left that door open on purpose.

I go into the bathroom and open the shower door.

"Oh, are you joining me?" she says with a coy smile.                                                           

My eyes roam up and down her body for a moment, lingering on the little rivulets of water clinging to the curves of her breasts.  Damn, damn, damn.  I close my eyes with a sigh and try to push the image from my brain.  "No, darlin'.  You're joining me, in the other room.  We're going to talk about this."

Her smile fades as I reach to turn the water off.  "Talk about what?"

Taking a towel from the hook, I gently wrap her up.  I cup her face in my hands, caressing her cheek with my thumb.  "You know what."

We stand there, both waiting.  Her expression is unwavering as she meets my gaze, but I hold my ground.  Another long moment passes, and I keep waiting.

Finally, her expression breaks and she closes her eyes in surrender.  "Fine," she sighs, dropping her forehead to my chest.

I wrap my arms around her and rest my chin on her head, just holding her for a while.

"I know you don't want to talk about it, darlin', but I do.  We need to.  I don't want any...unspoken things hanging between us."  I raise her face to mine again, and wait for her to look me in the eye.  "Do you understand?"

Reluctantly, she looks up.  Warm brown eyes search my face, and it's a look I've seen before.  A shadow of uncertainty mixed with longing; guarded, with that touch of vulnerability that she tries to hide.

She nods in half-hearted agreement. "Ok." 

"That's my girl."  I kiss her forehead.  "Come on.  Let's get under the covers and keep you warm."

Holding her hand, I lead her to the bedroom and we slip under the covers.  I lie on my side and pat the spot next to me, encouraging her to snuggle up closer, face to face.

Slowly and gently, I begin caressing her arms and shoulders, hip and back, while we lay there looking into each other's eyes, saying nothing.  Patience.  I need to give her time to open up to me.

I can see the wheels turning.  Come on, baby.  Talk to me.

"Look, I know you weren't doing anything...wrong."  She glances tentatively at me for a moment, then looks away.  "I mean, we were all touching Jean's belly today, so it's not like what you did was anything out of the ordinary.  There's no reason for me to feel...whatever.  It's...stupid, really."

"Darlin'.  It's not stupid.  You feel what you feel, and there is nothing wrong with that."

"Yeah," she says quietly.  "I guess so."

I continue caressing her hip and back, waiting for her to say more.

She lets out a soft sigh.  "I know that Jean loves Scott, and he loves her.  They mean the world to each other.  Anyone can see that."  She pauses, hesitating to say more.


"But...I can see that Jean means something to you, too."

"Darlin'...all that flirting I used to do with Jean...I was just being stupid.  It was a mistake, and it didn't mean anything."

"That's not what I meant."

My hand stills for a moment.  "It's not?"

"No...I mean, that's part of it.  But, that's not all.  I don't know how to explain it, Logan, but there's just this...feeling I can't shake.  I've had it for a long time."

She goes quiet, her eyes glazed over as if she were searching for a memory.  "Sometimes I dream about it.  That you loved her, and she broke your heart.  You spend the rest of your days wandering the earth, trying to mend it.  And somehow, my heart is broken, too."

I feel a small twist in my chest at her words.  She has no idea how close her dream was to the real thing.  "It's...just a dream, baby.  It's not real," I reassure her.

She looks up, her expression a little self-conscious.  "I know.  Dreams are not reality, even if they seem very real."  She lowers her face, her cheeks coloring a little. 

"Still, something about the way you looked at her today," she murmurs, "when you had your hands on her belly... there was this look in your eyes.  Different than the way you used to look at her when I first came to Xavier's.  Not flirtatious, or suggestive.  It was a far away look...wistful almost."

"Darlin''s not what you think." I hesitate, trying to find the right words.  How do I explain something like this?  Old timelines and past lives and painful mistakes and second chances?  I'm not going to lie to her...but I need to choose my words carefully.

"You care for her a lot.  Don't you?"

"I do..." I answer warily, "but only as a friend, nothing more.  That look you saw today...I was just happy for her.  That's all."

She sighs.  "Logan...our relationship...whatever we have together...I don't expect anything from you.  Just be honest, ok?  I can take it."

"Hey, look at me."  I look her into her eyes with a steady gaze, unflinching.  "I am being honest.  What we have together is the only thing that matters to me.  You got that?  That means you have a right to expect everything from me."

Rogue studies me for a long moment.  "Do I?"

"Yes.  You do."  I tuck a white lock of hair behind her ear.  "I'm all yours, darlin'.  Even if you won't let me say the 'L' word."  She stares at me, speechless, and I smirk.  "Just tryin' to lighten the mood a little, sweetheart."

She narrows her eyes at me, but before long I can see the corner of her mouth twitching as she holds back a smile, and she visibly relaxes.

I begin caressing her back and hip again.  After a moment, she snuggles in closer to my chest, and I curl my arm around her, holding her securely.  We stay like that for a while, just wrapped around each other.

I think it was a good thing, making her talk about what happened today.  I'm no expert on relationships, that's for sure; hell, I'm the last person anyone would expect to talk about feelings and shit.  But I meant what I said about not wanting any unspoken things hanging between us.  I don't want to make the same mistakes I did last time around.

"So...I have a right to expect everything from you, huh?"  I can hear that little smile in her voice again.  "What might that entail?  Because I can be very demanding."

I look down at her, and she has her face buried in my chest, but I can see her smiling.

"Did I say everything?" I tease.  "I meant to say, some things, on occasion.  If I feel like it, and you've been a good girl."

Her eyes snap to mine.  "Oh no you don't, mister.  There's no backtracking now.  You said everything, and I intend to have it all.  I want everything that's coming to me."

I flash an evil grin.  "Oh, you'll get what's coming to you, alright."

Her eyes grow wide and she tries to scramble away from me, squealing as I pounce on her and start tickling her sides.

"Ah, ha ha!  You big meanie!" She laughs, kicking and squirming.  "No fair!"

"Hey, I never said I played fair, darlin'," I smirk.

Her eyes light up in challenge and she wiggles out of my grasp.  She turns and pounces back, tumbling us both over as we laugh and engage in an all-out tickle war.

We continue playfully wrestling and teasing until finally, we collapse onto the bed in a truce.  Rogue curls into my side, wrapping an arm around my waist and hooking her leg over mine.  I kiss her head and she sighs, snuggling closer.

I've always loved that about us.  Even in the old timeline, we could always go through the gamut, from angry to serious to playful, and everything in between. And in the end, we'd still care for each other.  Still be drawn together.

She's still my Rogue.

After a while, her breathing slows to a peaceful, quiet rhythm, and she starts to drift off.  "Logan..." she mumbles, "can I sleep here for tonight?"

"Of course, darlin.  Always."

"Thanks.  This is just so nice, staying here with you," she murmurs.  "I want to stay like this forever."

I look down and her eyes are closed.  I softly kiss her forehead and brush my lips to her cheek.  "Then stay forever," I whisper.

. . .

. . .

Something warm and soft under my hand.  My fingertips glide along a wandering path, over a silken landscape of curves and dips.  Instinct draws them to an irresistible valley of warmth, and a low rumble rises in my chest.  I want to explore.  Taste.  Bury myself in that slick heat.

I wake with a start.  I look around and spot the clock on the nightstand; it's a little past midnight.  Rogue is sleeping next to me on her belly, still wrapped in her towel, hair all mussed up...and looking completely fuckable.  My hand is nestled between her thighs.

Damn, that's a hell of a way to wake up.  Gently, I draw my hand back.  I can't resist the temptation; bringing my fingers to my mouth, I close my eyes at the taste of Rogue on my tongue.

Fuck.  I'm hard as a rock, and this is not helping.  I think I need to take a shower to get my mind off of this aching need.

I place a kiss on her bare shoulder and slip out of bed, padding to the bathroom.  Shedding my clothes, I blast the hot water and step into the shower, leaning forward with my hand on the wall and feeling the spray wash down my back.

I breathe a heavy sigh.  My mind keeps going back to the image of Rogue from earlier, standing there in front of me, naked and wet.  Warm water cascading onto her body as she looked at me with those dark eyes, little rivers streaming down between her breasts, into her navel and spilling down between her legs.

She wanted me in that moment, too, of that I have no doubt.  It would have been so easy to just strip off my clothes right then and there and get into the shower with her.  To feel her body press eagerly against mine.

I'd wind her hair around my hand and guide her lips to my hungry mouth, kissing her deeply and sensually until she was breathless and trembling.

I'd leave a trail of kisses down her neck and shoulder, take each nipple into my mouth and tease it mercilessly with my tongue, then suck it just to hear her gasp as her fingers gripped my hair.

I'd slide my hand down between her thighs, drawing a beautiful moan from her throat as I drew exquisite circles around her clit.

Just thinking about what I'd do to her makes me utter a low groan, and I wrap my fist around my cock, bucking a little at the sensation as the water continues to run down my body.  My mind takes me further down the rabbit hole, and soon I'm seeing myself hike her leg around my hip, thrusting into her as she cries out in pleasure.

I'm driving my cock deep inside of her over and over again, her body rhythmically sliding up and down the shower wall with each thrust as she clings to me for dear life.  The pressure builds higher and I'm ready to come hard.

I stroke myself and growl, ready to come for real.  That's when I sense it.  I stop and listen, then sniff.  The humid air is heavy with the scent of Rogue...and lust, both hers and mine.

"I know you're there." My voice is low and graveled with unspent desire. "You don't have to hide."

The room is silent except for the sound of running water and falling droplets.  Then, a form moves into view in front of the frosted door.  She hesitates, reaching out, then pulls back.

I throw open the door and look at her over my shoulder, watching her eyes grow wide, her lips parting as her gaze falls on my erection.  She looks up and blushes.

"Did you come to watch, darlin'?" I say, standing up straight and turning to face her.

"No, I--I mean..." she stammers.  "I know I...shouldn't be here.  I had a bad dream and couldn't fall back asleep.  I came looking for you...and then I heard the water running, and I heard..." Her voice trails off.

"Heard what?"

She blushes again.  "I didn't mean to intrude on your...private moment.  But once I got in here, I couldn't tear myself away, knowing what you were doing."

I stare at her for a moment, and she fidgets nervously, averting her eyes.  She turns to leave.


She stops, turning back slowly.

"I told you...anything I have is yours.  Even this."  My eyes bore into her, intending to leave no doubt in her mind that I mean every word. 

I turn to rest my hand on the wall again and begin stroking myself, letting the water fall on my shoulders.

She stands there motionless, at a loss for words, but I can feel her eyes on me.  It only heightens my arousal.

I have no self-consciousness when it comes to nudity or sex.  This is a different kind of intimacy, though.  She's the only one I've ever opened myself to like this.

The rhythm starts slow, gradually increasing in tempo and I let out a low rumble, stroking a little harder.  I can hear Rogue breathing, her heart beating a little faster, her scent growing thicker, and it drives me crazy to know this is turning her on.  I can feel myself getting close again.

"Can I---?" Rogue suddenly whispers shyly.

I pause and look at her for a moment, surprised.  Dropping my hand to my side, I turn to face her.

Watching me with darkened eyes, she slowly opens her towel and lets it fall to the floor.  She steps in and closes the door.  We stare at each other for a long moment, the water cascading around us, the desire rolling off of us in waves.

Suddenly, Rogue pulls me down for a hungry kiss, then grasps my cock, eagerly stroking it with a little moan.  My eyes roll back at the sharp relief and pleasure of her touch and a low groan rips through my chest.

My entire body aches with the need for release, and my hips start to buck involuntarily as she pumps my cock.  She reaches down between her legs, coating her fingers in her own slickness and using it lubricate my cock as she strokes it.

"Fuck, Rogue.  What are you doing to me?" I manage to grind out as the heightened waves of pleasure hit me.  I look down and the sight of her small hand wrapped around my length is more than I can take.  I can feel the flames licking at my spine as the pressure builds to the breaking point.

"Marie," she whispers breathlessly in my ear.  "My real's Marie."

"Fuck, Marie!" I growl, exploding into her hand as my fingers grip her hips so hard I'm sure there will be bruises later.

Her hands remain on me, gently massaging as I come down from my orgasm, panting and sated.  She kisses me on the jaw.

"Thank you," she whispers. "For letting me see you."

I look down at her beautiful face as she nuzzles my chest.  And it hits me like a ton of bricks: she told me her name.

She doesn't know that I already knew it; I must not have called her Marie at all in this timeline.  I wasn't consciously avoiding it, but I was so used to calling her Rogue because she never told anyone else.

This is a big deal.  It means that she trusts me enough to know this very private part of her, a part that she doesn't show anyone else.

I don't know what to say.  All I can manage in this moment is just to pull her tight to me and kiss her fiercely with everything I've got.

She hooks her leg behind mine, whimpering softly, her body rubbing against me with need.  We draw apart, both breathing heavily.

"My turn to thank you," I say, descending my hand to her slick opening.  She gasps as I slide a finger inside and then two, so wet already.  Like a finely tuned instrument, my hands draw the sweetest sounds from her as they play with her sensitive flesh.  Tiny flutters around my fingers tell me that she's about to come, and she tenses, grabbing tightly onto my biceps.

"Logan!" she cries out, digging her fingers into my arms and burying her face in my shoulder with muffled moans.  She hooks an arm around my neck and pants heavily as she hangs on to me, her legs wobbling, and I wrap an arm around her waist to steady her.

We remain like that for several moments, clinging to each other as the warm water falls down around us.

"Dang," she mumbles.  "I needed that."

"Yeah, me too," I agree.

She raises her face to look up at me, her eyes like molten chocolate.  A little smile plays on her lips.

"So...does this mean one of us lost the bet?" she asks, her smile growing wider.

I shake my head and chuckle.  "I have no fuckin' idea."

"Hmm...I think maybe we both won on this one, sugar," she giggles, and we both break into laughter.

We take turns lathering each other up, and have just as much fun getting clean as we did getting dirty.  I think she may be right; bet or no bet, we both won tonight.


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