Author's Chapter Notes:
Chapter song, own nothin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqiH0ZSkM9I&index=48&list=PLWIQbSVrdmL9fFWXTqXBof318F5qF8H8G
The morning came too slow. Beautiful. Inappropriately so, Logan thought. It should be storming. It would match his mood. He slung his old army duffel bag over his shoulder, flinching a little at the mess he was leaving behind him. Literally. Xavier would understand. Too well. That was another reason Logan was taking off. He didn't want to face it. See the knowing look in the old man's crystal blue eyes that could see straight through a person. See things Logan didn't even know about himself. Things he didn't want to know anymore. After all, that was why...

Logan shut the door and made his way through the deserted halls. Hearing her laugh echoing softly around him.

"Logan..."

He blinked. For a moment he thought he saw a flash of mahogany and silver hair turning around the corner ahead. His heart skipped a beat and he sped up, long powerful legs racing to catch up.

"Marie?"

There was nothing but dust motes floating in the golden early morning rays above the gleaming hardwood floor, tickling his nose. And silence. Mocking him. His lip curled over sharp white teeth and he shook his head, rolling his shoulders, sinew straining. He was grateful it was still too early for the students or staff to be awake. He couldn't stand the pitying looks. And knowing that no matter how hard he searched, he would never find her in these halls among them again. Besides, it was better this way. Goodbyes weren't really his style.

A few short moments later, the door to the mansion's enormous garage scanned his hand print and opened to admit him with a soft whoosh. He glanced around until he spotted it in far the eastern corner. Scott's Harley. Logan reached out and yanked the keys off the hook with a jingle and got to strapping down his meager belongings to the back. His eyes clouded with visions of the past... Of how she'd once sat there while they rode through the mountains, clinging to him, despite her deadly skin. All that was between them had been his leather jacket...

She'd flashed that mischievous grin at him in the rear view mirror like heat lightning. All traces of her earlier melancholy over the fact that there was no one around who knew her well enough to know it was her 18th birthday gone, and she hollered above the wind,

"Faster, Logan!" He quirked an already ridiculously arched eyebrow in question, the beginnings of a smile tipping the corners of his mouth.

"Faster?"

She beamed back in response.

"You sure you're ready?"

Though she didn't answer, her face spoke for her. An intense but secret expression. His chuckle was low and throaty. She wasn't sure which rumble she liked better. The one between her legs or the feel of Logan's mirth reverberating through her chest as she teased herself with his closeness. The warm feel of the worn leather covering the hard lines of his hips and washboard abs beneath her curious fingertips. Kept still only by sheer willpower. One she'd thought she'd perfected. The sweet smell of his cigars and pine trees drowning her senses. She'd never felt so... safe. Or so alive.

"Hang on!"

Logan threw the switch into hyper speed. Marie squeaked, and strained to pull herself against the sheer G-force to latch herself even more closer on to Logan (if that was possible), ducking her head against the broad expanse of his back. Logan's laugh boomed out around her.

Once the initial terror had worn off, she slowly felt herself relax. Marie let her head fall back, closed her eyes and let the sun kiss her delicate features, her hair a radiant banner in the wind, and slowly spread her arms like wings.

Logan couldn't stop himself from stealing glances at her every time he thought he could get away with it without her noticing. He didn't think he'd ever seen anything so damn beautiful. And that scared the shit out of him.

When they'd finally stopped, she'd bounced off the back of the bike, practically dripping sunlight in every direction. It was contagious. Logan couldn't help it, he grinned wolfishley back at her.

Her voice was breathless. "I haven't been that close to anyone for so long since I put that boy in a coma. I've never felt so free!" her musical laugh lilted through the air and she flung her arms our once more and spun around in a circle, hear hair a brilliant fan behind her. Logan couldn't take his eyes off of her. This time, she noticed. She stopped mid spin.

"Sorry..." she giggled, gently touching her lips with a delicate, but deadly, hand.

His heart sped up as her deep dark eyes that said so much locked on his searching hazel ones. Her smile faded a little when he looked at her, her lips parted in slight surprise. The flush on her pale cheeks was like the flush of sunset on snow. Soft tendrils of windblown hair framing her face. Gently, with a big square hand, he pushed a long stray silver lock out of her line of vision, not ready to break the contact. For an instant a wistful sadness stole into his expression.

His instincts were at war, caught somewhere between run like hell or don't he dare move. The corner of that unbelievable wet, full mouth twitched and she pulled her pouty bottom lip between her teeth. The door to the dive he'd brought her to slammed in the distance, and he took the smallest step back. The spell broken. Taking the hint, she dipped her head, the fringe of her lashes casting shadows on her cheeks and headed towards the entrance.

Logan let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, dangerously straddling the line between relief and regret as he watched her sashay away. She surprised him and turned on her heel, kicking up dust and gravel, yet still graceful as a dancer and said,

"Thanks, Logan. Really."

*Legal! She was legal.* The Wolverine piped up.

*Shut up.* What little reason Logan had argued. Lethal was more like it.

*We heal.*

"Right. Drink."

Logan's hand slipped on the strap he'd been tightening.

"Shit." his hands were shaking. He couldn't help it. He picked up the first thing he could reach, which happened to be a crescent wrench, and threw it as hard as he could into the field across the drive.

"AAAGGGHHH!" He felt the all too familiar rip in his knuckles as his claws made an appearance, catching the light, his breath rough.

It didn't feel as good as he'd hoped it would. There was no satisfying crash, shatter, or things to break in a field. Just a flying wrench. Kids around here had seen weirder.

After taking a second to cage the animal he figured he should hit the road before the Professor started charging him for the destruction he was causing. Or would inevitably cause. Or worse. Make him repay his debt via indentured servitude at Mutant High, or something equally ridiculous. Like he should be allowed to mold young minds...

Marie would've gotten a kick out of that.

Logan pushed up the kickstand with the toe of his black dingo boot, grabbed the handle bars and retracted his claws.

As he rounded the paved drive he heard Charles' voice echoing through the grounds.

"Where will you go?"

He didn't have to turn around to know the man looked down on him from above, gazing on him from the sizable window in the mansion's foyer, and hadn't actually spoken at all. Logan keenly aware of his scrutiny paused, eyes darting over his shoulder, his lips tightening around an unlit Cuban. He didn't have to respond. They both knew it didn't matter. So long as it was anywhere but here.

Logan straddled the motorcycle, placed the key in the ignition and revved the engine, kicking it into gear with brute force. Running again.

Storm stepped out onto the wide stone balcony, her brown eyes turning milky and thunder rang out in the distance like a gunshot. Dark clouds swallowed the sun.

*That's more like it*, Logan thought.
Chapter End Notes:
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