"So, how is the comprehension coming along?" Jean asked, as she sat down next to Logan later that day at lunch. Rogue was at another table, chattering away happily and obliviously, with the small group of graduate teens that were still in residence at the mansion.
"It's still coming," Logan replied with a grin. In actual fact, Marie hadn't even mentioned the news again, almost as if the fact had just slotted into her brain without any actual thought being given it. Or maybe he had just been distracting her too much for her to actually pause and consider it, in bed, later in the shower... yeah, it was probably his fault.
"Well, it's good for Rogue," Scott spoke suddenly, from the other side of the table. "A prompt recovery means she has plenty of time to get herself ready for college now," he stated matter of factly.
Jean noticed Logan's responding silent chuckle but curiously, he made no comment. Poor Scott, it looked like he was going to be disappointed there too, as well as he was with Rogue's apparent romantic choices. She just smiled sweetly when she caught Logan glance at her with a curiously cocked brow, before taking a sip of her drink in an effort to hide her mirth.
Rogue conveniently decided to join them, now that her friends were disbursing to various tasks and activities. Taking a seat beside Logan, and swiping a french fry off his plate, she grinned at his half-hearted growl, even as he turned his plate around so she could take another. She knew, so long as she didn't touch his steak, she could take pretty much anything else off his plate without issue.
"What are your plans for the rest of summer Rogue? Now that you don't need to camp out in the med lab," Jean asked sweetly, trying to nudge everything out in the open so Scott could come to terms with it all in one go, and because she was curious too.
"Logan and I are going on a road trip," she announced with a happy smile, "He promised not to run into any trees this time so I can actually, finally, get to Alaska."
Scott froze mid mouthful. "Is that going to give you enough time to get settled before college starts," he asked pointedly.
"Wouldn't have a clue, don't really care, I'm not going to college so not something I have to concern myself with," Rogue replied dismissively.
Jean and Logan both started laughing, as Scott exploded with objections to Rogue's statement. Rogue however simply sat, and waited for him to finish ranting.
"I understand your point of view, I disagree with you, and it's my life, I'm entitled to 'throw it away' if I so choose, I expect you to respect my decision," Rogue stated calmly, when Scott finally finished objecting. If he had been expecting her to cave to his demands, he was sorely mistaken.
"You... you put her up to this!" Scott suddenly changed track, turning on Logan instead to vent his frustration. "How can you act like you care about her and then take her away to flush away her life, with you of all people--"
All three of the tables other occupants interrupted him simultaneously, each expressing their anger at Scott's comments. None of them noticed as several others, the Professor included, entered the dining room, quickly realizing there was a rather serious problem afoot when they saw all eyes in the cafeteria riveted to the teachers table, where an argument was just beginning.
"What seems to be the problem here?" the Professor queried loudly, immediately silencing the din of four people yelling at each other at once.
"Logan, sir," Scott declared. "He's planning on dragging Rogue off to some cave somewhere and keeping her as his pet."
"What!?" the other three all exclaimed, simultaneously and incredulously.
"Scooter, that's the dumbest load of horseshit I've ever heard come out of your mouth," Logan snapped angrily.
"Alright, gentlemen, perhaps it would be best if we took this discussion to a more private locale," the Professor suggested, drawing the groups attention to the crowd of curious onlookers they had attracted. "My office, if you please," he added, turning to wheel out of the room, followed immediately by Scott.
"Isn’t any fucking 'discussion' required," Logan fumed, though he too stood, before he and Rogue, trailed by Jean, followed the others.
On entering the Professor's office Logan directed Marie to a seat, he was too wound up to sit himself, so instead he stood protectively beside Rogue's chair and glared down Scott. The other man was standing across the room, beside the Professor's desk, his body language indicating he was confident that the Professor would back him up. As if either of them had any control over what Marie, as an adult, chose to do with her life.
"Right, as this issue seems to focus around Rogue, perhaps it is best if you explain my dear," the Professor prompted, ceding the floor to Marie.
"Well, I'm actually not entirely certain what is going on," Marie started innocently, "Jean asked what I was going to do, now that I'm not imminently going to die, I said, Logan and I are going on a road trip, I'm finally going to see me some Alaska, then Scott asked about college, I said I wasn't going, the shit kind of hit the fan, and somehow that all got turned around to all that is wrong with the world being Logan's fault," she replied, sounding condescendingly confused.
"Logan, do you have anything to add?" Charles asked, raising a hand to Scott to silence him before he could interject.
"Not really, though I'm not sure where Scooter got the notion that this was even my idea, Rogue was the one that raised wanting to go to Alaska, over a month ago, I offered to take her because I know the way, I've been there before, and I have the means to get her there, I also didn't want her wandering around the continent alone, look what happened last time she tried that, ended up being hunted by Sabretooth and almost dying multiple times." Logan suppressed the shudder of fear that thought brought to the fore, no way did he want Marie out on the road alone, or anywhere else alone for that matter.
"Regardless of who suggested it he's clearly influenced her, sir, they've been sleeping together for crying out loud!" Scott announced to the room.
"Look one-eye, what does or does not go on in my room is none of your business," Logan immediately responded. There wasn't much point in denying his 'accusation' given Rogue had immediately flushed pink and grinned like an idiot, until she had managed to tamp that reaction down to just looking smugly satisfied. "And I have done nothing to influence Rogue, in any way--"
"Aside from touching her, forcing your lecherous thoughts into her head, having sex with a vulnerable girl, and promising her things," Scott replied.
"My thoughts are lecherous?" Logan asked, quirking an eyebrow as he glanced at Marie for confirmation.
"Well I'm sure they are sometimes," Marie giggled, "You always kept those ones hidden from me though... except for that one time... right after the statue, when I was in the shower, and got really... distracted," Marie added coyly, giggling even more when this time it was Logan that grinned, and looked a little cockier than usual.
"That aside, simple fact is one-eye, using me saving Rogue's life, yet again, against me is a shitty thing to do, yes, we had sex, will hopefully continue to have sex, but Rogue is far, far from being a 'vulnerable' girl, she is an incredibly strong, opinionated, intelligent, grown woman, who can damn well decide what and who she wants, and yes, as much as I hate to admit this, I would be saying that even if she hadn't picked me, but she did, so get over it," Logan directed back to Scott. "Does anyone else have a problem with that?" Logan asked the room at large. Apparently it was much to Scott's surprise that no one else in the room voiced any objection. "You stay out of my business, I'll stay out of yours," Logan finished with a growl at Scott.
"I still can't believe you're going to take her away when she should be getting ready for and going to college," Scott began on his next topic of issue.
"That is my decision, my choice, and I have chosen not to, I am well within my rights to do that," Marie immediately, and passionately argued. "I've almost died on five separate occasions in the last two years, been so close on this last occasion I even started saying my goodbyes, didn't even get the chance to do that the two times before that, and on several occasions didn't have anyone to say goodbye to anyway, so I'm not sorry for saying fuck college I'm going to live a little, because knowing my luck, next time will be the time I don't get to get saved from it," Marie pointed out plainly.
And that's how you shut up a room full of busybodies, Logan thought to himself proudly, even as he felt a lance of pain at the thought that Marie was... afraid? of dying.
"So, you're running away out of fear," Scott started, voicing Logan's own concern.
"No, I'm going to live, so when the day finally comes I do kick the bucket I don't have any reason to be afraid, or to be sad, because I won't have any unfinished business because I'm out there living every day to the fullest, I'm not waiting four more years to do that," Marie replied.
"Well said Rogue," Hank spoke up, from where he had been silently observing in the corner. For a guy who was surprisingly large, and unusually brightly coloured, he had the stunning ability to just blend into the background sometimes.
"Thank you, Hank," Marie replied, with a genuine smile. Logan couldn't help the momentary shaft of possessive jealousy that sparked within him; those smiles were his damn it.
"So then," the Professor began, his smothered grin clearly telling all who caught it that he was very proud of the young woman standing before him. "What do you intend to do with your life, how will you pay your way, keep gas in your tank to feel the wind in your hair?" he queried.
"Odd jobs I suppose, they're a dime a dozen in small towns, maybe I'll get a truck license and turning traveling into my day job, or maybe I'll find the perfect place to settle down and get a regular job and, who knows, maybe I will end up going to college, eventually, I don't know what the future holds but I plan to go out there and find out," Marie declared, watching as the Professor's grin grew until he held out his hand to her. Moving over to him, Marie felt a weight lift off her chest when he hugged her tightly.
"I'm sure you will my dear, don't forget to write us, or call, and stop by to visit whenever the wind blows you this direction, if you need anything at all, either of you, remember, there will always be a place for you both here." Just like that, the discussion was over, Scott was silenced, and, not that they needed it, Logan and Marie had permission to leave.