Author's Chapter Notes:
Logan pulled a big hand up to shield his eyes from the sun stabbing him in the back of his skull. His arm felt like it was full of lead. Or… ya know, adamantium. But heavier than normal. He groaned. What the hell had just happened? He rolled to his side, pushing himself up shakily, slipping on the loose slate.

“Fuck.” he ground out between clenched teeth as his body thudded to the ground once more. He shook his head when his eyes landed on pieces of shell and river stone levitating around him, trying to shake the out of place image away, unable to make sense of... anything at this point, really.

Finally, he stood, bracing himself against the rough bark of the nearest big pine tree with a mending dislocated shoulder and took in the landscape, holding his arm in place by the elbow with his other while it healed. He saw it then. The shore. Not fifty feet from where he was standing. Or trying to, anyway. His breath hitched in his throat painfully, and he squeezed his eyes shut against the tortured memory.

“Don’t do this, kid…” the water drew nearer, way too fast. Hell bent on obliterating the only thing that had ever mattered to him.

“I love you...”

She’d let it take her then, a soft smile playing across her perfect lips. And just like that, Logan’s world had ceased to exist. While he stood helpless and watched.

Logan shoved himself violently away from the tree, scraping the inside of his palm and stumbled to the water’s edge, dodging various floating abnormalities, eyes narrowed, trying to choke back the sob determined to rip itself out of his chest. He dropped to his knees then, unable to carry the weight of it all anymore. All the death, the carnage that seemed to follow him everywhere he went. Or had been caused thanks to yours truly.

A flash of silver drifted in the tail of his line of vision. He turned in it's direction. There. In the middle of thin air, were his dog tags. The ones he’d hurled at Stryker when he’d left him for dead. Before…

Logan sniffed and reached out, hesitating, before snatching them out of the mist. Completely bewildered.

“Lose something?” came a silky southern twang.

*I’ll be back for these…*

Logan whirled to his feet, an almost imperceptible look of pleading on his face, eyes wide. He didn’t want to blink. Afraid to move, to speak. Terrified she’d vanish in the fog. Like the cheshire cat. But prettier.

“I thought so.” he finally managed to choke out in a low and throaty whisper, his voice laced with wonder.

Logan weighed her with a critical squint, still unsure if she was real. She stood motionless in the middle of the rocky shore. Slender, dark, and fiery with eyes that glowed and pierced, a bemused smile gracing generously curved lips. The breeze picked up just then, kicking at her long flowing dark hair, shining like glass behind her.

“Aren’tcha gonna say hello?” she spoke, mockingly coy.

That was all Logan needed. He swiftly closed the distance between them until he left her no room at all, stopping just short of actually touching her. Slowly, she raised a small delicate hand to trace the sharp edges of his cheek and jawline, careful not to actually make contact. Always so careful…

His muscles suddenly tensed. She withdrew her hand quickly, swallowing hard and squared her shoulders. She turned. He moved in an instinctive gesture of comfort. Logan reached out, halting her with an iron grip on her wrist, and swung her around to face him. Her lips parted in surprise and suddenly the world tilted and Logan was claiming them with his own in a supernova, two worlds colliding. Marking her.

He was kissing her. I mean, really kissing her. His demanding tongue exploring the dark recesses of her soft, wet mouth. Tasting her, breathing her in, trying desperately to make her become a part of him by sheer will. Going deeper than any man ever had. Until they both had to come up for air. And he wasn’t dying…

That hadn’t even come anywhere close to syphoning Jean Grey’s level five mutant powers. It had been better. Better than she ever imagined a kiss could be...

He pulled reluctantly away and held her at arms length. A look of implacable determination on his face, dark wet hair clinging to his forehead. Rogue tried to get her breathing back under control.

“Well, hello.” she teased, trying to relax, but he held her eyes and it made her thoughts scatter.

A deep chuckle greeted her, an eyebrow raised. Rogue’s heart fluttered. She’d never thought she’d hear that sound again, and it was better than she remembered.

“How-?” huskiness lingered in his tone, his beautiful hazel irises locked once more on her lips, completely forgetting about the already healed shoulder he’d dislocated only moments before and the probable head injury. Which might explain all this…

But she felt so real. Smelled just like he remembered. Like sunshine, daisies. Milk and honey.,. So, then why could he kiss her without having the life sucked out of him?

Oh, what the hell. Who cares? If it killed him, he’d die a happy son of a bitch. And if it was all in what was left of his broken conscience, then he never wanted to leave. He’d be crazy forever to taste her again, dig his greedy fingers into the sleek curve of her hips and press her wild, beautiful body against his. Finally, after all this time. To hell with sanity. This was better. Much better.

“I don’t know.” she eyed him with a calculating expression, the gravity between them reeling her in. She threaded her fingers through his thick hair, her expression hungry and lustful. Logan didn’t think he could stop if he wanted to. Thankfully, it didn’t look like she was too excited about the idea either. In fact, it seemed like she was trying to devour him. And he was loving every minute of it. Until...

Logan’s brow drew downward in a frown and his eyes flew open. A momentary look of discomfort carved on his face as Rogue moaned into his mouth. He took both of her arms gently in his hands and tried to pull back, but her lips held him, and he felt the all too familiar pull. Like his lungs were being sucked out by a vacuum and his vision went hazy around the corners. Rogue’s eyes flew open and the last thing he saw were flames burning where there should have been twinkling, mysterious brown. And then everything went black... Again.
Chapter End Notes:
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