Only The Lonely by Lisa Honeychan
Summary: Logan and Marie have been friends and team-mates for years, but learn they are more alike than they ever expected. Can their budding romance withstand bar-room fights, The Hulk, and a black eye that -won't- heal?
Categories: AU, Comicverse Characters: None
Genres: Action, Adult, Angst, Humor, Shipper
Tags: None
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 3 Completed: No Word count: 11431 Read: 6819 Published: 01/21/2011 Updated: 02/10/2011
Story Notes:
I have to come right out and say it: The first few chapters are slow-going. As we became more comfortable with each other's writing style, the action picks up alot. Jay lets Logan go CRAZY, later in the story.

1. Chapter 1- Only The Lonely by Lisa Honeychan

2. Chapter 2: Midnight Admission by Lisa Honeychan

3. Chapter 3-Exposed by Lisa Honeychan

Chapter 1- Only The Lonely by Lisa Honeychan
The Mansion, AKA The School for Gifted Children was very quiet, at 4:30 in the morning. A lone figure crept down the hallway, the feminine form shadowed in half-light. Rogue was trying to clear her mind after a very difficult battle the X-Men were in. The Sentinels were SOOO tough, and she felt nearly drained of all energy. Drained! HAH! That's a laugh! The woman managed to get about 2 hours of sleep a night, due to all the cluttered voices in her head. Tiptoeing past Hank's room (light was on, he was probably reading) and then she heard a female laugh from Scott and Jean's room. Get a room, you two! Oh, you're in it.. A twinge of bitterness was pushed deep down, as she understood that -she- would never have that kind of intimacy and closeness with another. It was hardest to keep her spirits up at this hour, so very alone, and utterly aware of it

She padded into the kitchen, her fuzzy green slippers hiding crimson-painted toenails she'd done earlier. Wearing a dark green silk bathrobe, she pulled it closer, feeling a slight chill in the marble-laden kitchen. A single night-light was on, and the unmistakable scent of a cigar wafted to her nose. Logan. Him too? She knew he probably heard her when she'd shut her bedroom door, and crept down the hall, his hearing was that good. Marie had showered only an hour earlier, and had her heavy auburn hair tied back in a bun to dry.

"Hey sugah...Can't sleep either?"

Buried deep in thought, Logan sat at a small table, the moonlight streaming thru the nearest window, partially shadowing him. He was tired and war-torn from the same battle. It had been an extremely long day, but despite from being in the mansion, relaxing was the furthest from his mind. He slowly took a puff of his cigar, the cherry-red tip glowing as he sucked in the sweet smoke. Mmmm..Cheap, but always soo satisfying he thought, but despite this positive thought and brief enjoyment, his mind always went back to the days events. Soon enough, he would begin the nightly task of reflecting on his entire past. So torn, always fighting, always enraged, ALWAYS angry. Tonite, it was wearing him down more than usual. He'd lived enough days to know it was his battle-hardened, tough exterior, yet it's just a wall to keep others away and out. To let someone else into his nightmare, well...He'd rather not go there. He blinked, seeing Marie about 5 feet from him.

"Marie?" The one word uttered was rough and gravelly, as he was taking in the sight of the woman before him. Her pale, milky skin was exposed, except for what was covered by her thin robe. Logan knew she ALWAYS wore gloves, and covered 98% of her body, thanks to her special "talent". The graceful inside angle of her wrist, her collarbone and even her calves were bare. Becoming spooked at her state of undress, she frowned slightly.

"Logan, you alright, hon? Looks like not bein' able ta sleep is catching Ya healed up all nice and pretty-like, after the fight today. Ya lost alot of blood..That...dosen't bother ya?"
Walking to a cabinet, she pulled out a glass, and began to pour herself some milk. Making her way to his side, she pulled out the chair next to the small, yet massive man. She took a sip, and gave him a sideways glance, and a small laugh.

"Ah loved what you and Piotr did today to that last Sentinel! Ah didn't know a robot's head could roll like that!" She was trying to make small talk, but she noticed Logan's expression haden't changed. In fact, she got the feeling she was being quite the bother, all of a sudden. "Ahm not botherin' ya, am I? Ah was just hoping ta find a bit of a friendly ear ta bend, is all. Sorry for talkin' yer ear off, sug, ahl jest be off ta sleep then." She was expecting rejection, so she wanted to leave first, with a shred of her pride intact. The sting would be less that way, right? She mused, finished her glass and stood up, her lips in a thinned, pained line of inner turmoil.

"Marie, wait. I'm sorry, darlin, just clearing my head, is all. Bad beatin' today, but they got worse." His low voice made her stop and turn to face him, after placing the glass in the sink. He took another long puff from his cheroot, and rested it in the ashtray on the edge of the table. "I don't mean to be ignorin' ya, or nuthin'. Guess I just don't feel much in the mood for conversatin'." But his weary face told another story. For a moment, Marie could see through the years of age, the bit of sadness he tried so hard to conceal. Apparently, tonite, he was letting his guard down a bit, she figured. He needed something, but WHAT?

Every time he said her given name, Marie..It sent a chill down her spine, and made her belly do a flip-flop. The low, near growl seemingly reverberating inside her heart, in a rough caress. There was a slight hitch in his voice that made her stop. He WANTS something. To talk? Ah dunno, but ah wanna find out, tho.

"Nah...Ah know how it is, myself. Can I share a secret with ya, tho?" She waited, an eager, excited smile on her face as she tells a trusted friend something precious.. "Ah think ahm getting better in controllin' mah powers..Ah think that's what the Professor said after the battle today. He can sense my ability's getting..Ah don't know..Under control a bit?"

She sat back down; looking down at his powerful, hairy hand on the table, the sinews appearant under the worn, and scarred skin. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, clearing her mind. She exhaled, and without warning, placed her own smaller, seemingly fragile hand on his. The silence in the kitchen was nearly deafening, as Anna Marie Raven was in control of her power, touching Logan with NO power drain whatsoever. She squeezed his hand, giving him a smile that could melt the polar ice caps! "See? That's not so bad, is it?"

Logan looked down at her hand, confusion swept over his face at what was happening. Or NOT happenning, to be more exact. "Marie... but how?" The mere concept she could do this perplexed him. Incredibly, he felt only a slight tingle, nothing more. His mind began to wander, his thoughts focusing on two things: She was touching him, and he felt no pain.

Slowly.. EVER so slowly... his tough exterior began to crumble away. For a brief moment, he permitted the thought of Marie's interest in him to move into his head, but his hesitation remained. He was a loner, in every sense of the word. For the greater part of his life, he knew nothing but solitude, and that was exactly how he preferred things. His walls always keeping out anyone and everyone. And yet, at the same time, would never admit that gaining another's friendship, or possible intimacy, was a deep desire. A desire which has grown during his MANY years, despite his apprehension, he simply didn't care, as he locked his blue eyes with her emerald ones, wanting to say what he had worried he'd regret, and SHE would fear.
Ahh, what the hell.. he thought. "Marie.." This was now a whispered groan, as he watched her hand atop his own

"Ahve been learning a new way of meditation, sug. I think it's helped me alot! Ahve been meanin' to tell ya what I want more than anything... I promised mahself that if I can get it under control, i'm knockin' on your door for a hug. Ahm almost there, Logan." She said the last words in a throaty purr, her ruby lips upturned in a eager smile. "But, what I need ta know, is will ya be there, when I knock?" Her hand still atop his larger one, she let her delicate fingers interlace with his. In a show of utter trust and affection, she leaned over, and lightly kissed his knuckles, in the very spot where his adamintum claws broke free when he used them. "Ah gotta say, it's a sweet thang to do this, and not kill someone fer a change."

Logan glanced down, looking increduously at her actions... the kissing felt so ... inviting..His grip on his other hand tightened slightly... his strong grasp firm, but not too much. His hand that had been kissed slowly upturned, gently placing his index finger underneath her chin. His arm raised, her head rising upwards until she was eye level with him. H e continued to think back to the last time any woman treated him so lovingly... But even more, the last time he embraced it this much
He spoke no words.. the silence was almost comforting him, but at the same time, he had tired of the silence.."Marie, the last time... any woman...I just... I..."

He almost trembled, so uncommon for his strength and raw animalistic prowess.. But he knew what he wanted... more than anything. still hesitant... looking in her eyes, his gaze transfixed in hers..he wanted to try... just to feel, if only for a brief second, to feel human, and alive.
She pulled her hand back as if she was caressing fire. She gasped, swallowed hard and tried to calm the rapid tattoo of her heartbeats. "Aw, Logan...Don't say it, hon. Jus' don't. We have alot in common, you and ah. You got me as nervous as a kit inna room fulla rockin' chairs! So don't look at me like that, or being only 2 feet from you will be too FAR for me to bear." She flexed her hand, but found her face upturned by Logan's strong grasp before she could add to the remark. Her green eyes searched his blue ones, and the shared spark of desire and want was there, she could tell.
"Ah know. We both have crap luck with romance. You pine over Jean, and Remy? He's an ass of the first degree. Let's forget them, okay? We should meet here at this time, every night. It can be just for us, sugah. We both deserve it."

He was taken back a bit from her remark, his judgement telling him to stop. To respect her wishes, but his feelings were so strong. Plus, he knew hers were as well. Knowing Marie for all of these years, and her sadness, to not know the touch of someone who loved her back. "Marie, we can forget them. Ain't that hard for me. Jean.. yeah, I know and tried. But she ain't like you, or me. Her life's so easy, well.. easier than ours I guess. And Remy, the ol' Cajun... yeah, I don't care for him much either, other than watchin' my back in a fight." For such a private man, he was revealing more than he expected. "But, what if I, just... to try and see how it feels. Just one kiss..I need to know the feeling one more time, to know this is real. For you, too. To show that I mean it. Just you Marie. Just one taste."

"Logan, honey..I've been waiting to kiss you again since I stopped last time. Ya don't havta ask me twice!" Standing up, she pondered sitting in his lap. Oh! Just do it! Live a little! Taking a step closer towards him, she gave him the chance to stand, or stay seated. Noticing he didn't move from his chair, she gingerly straddled his lap, her bare legs parting to sit astride him. Her arms laced behind his head, pulling him in for the deepest, sweetest kiss she'd ever given in her whole -life- She pressed her whole body against his broad, muscled chest, craving the close contact and touch. Her mouth opening and letting his tongue enter, she kissed him back softly at first, then her passions growing more heated. "mmmmmm...You are even sweeter this time, darlin'. The use of his own endearment on him made her give a sly grin."I hope ya feel the same. I gotta feeling ya might." She nuzzled his cheek, feeling his wild sideburns scrape across her face deliciously. A normal person would cringe at the roughness, but she loved every sensation, each masculine hair confirming to her that she did the right thing by kissing him again.

Logan opened his eyes then, his heart racing faster than his memory could possibly recollect. His passions running like a blaze that could eat up all of Alberta, he could sense more from her. He longed for this affection.. He knew Jean could never equal the passion... or the love of this gorgeous woman holding him so tightly. For the first time in so many years, he was happy and felt hoped she felt the same, knowing he would show her the love of a man who would never fear her, and always be there for her. He would show the love he knew and felt from his younger days and have her experience it for the first time in her life and for many, MANY days to come.

"Marie... I want to say it, but I don't know." He leaned in close one last time; he noticed the hour, and felt at ease as the time of day began to creep up and whispered into her ear "Anytime you knock, I'll be here. Always, for you, darlin'." He kissed her once more, in a hint of future show of his attentions. He knew all they had was time, and each other.
Chapter 2: Midnight Admission by Lisa Honeychan
Two nights later, Marie and the other X-Men sat around a large table, enjoying a bountiful feast gotten by Hank and Jean. This evening could very well mistaken for a holiday meal, but was just a celebration for the fine victory they had on the battlefield days before. All of their favorites were on the table. Pizza, steak, ribs, mashed potatoes, and even Chinese takeout. It was the best they'd eaten in quite some time, and the team was eating with gusto. Laughter and the toasting of glasses could be heard echoing through the halls of the mansion. But, one hero is missing. Apparently, Logan had not shown up yet. He claimed he'd be in a while back, he wanted to be alone with his thoughts in the garage, working at his bench. What was keeping him this time?

"And then? Logan rushed him from bahind, slicing it's head off with such power, the dumb 'ol thing didn't know it was finished! The head did this crazzzy spin and ah hadta get outta the way!"

The mutant known as Rogue, aka Anna Marie Raven (or just Marie to close friends) threw her head back and laughed, enjoying the telling of the story to those in the group that missed the lethal (and amusing) way Wolverine had killed off the final Sentinel. She was happy they seemed to enjoy her tale, as there were hearty laughs all around. Finishing up her walnut shrimp, she waved her chopsticks in the air for dramatic effect.

"Then SNICKT! No more pain in the ass machine! Hey, where IS Logan? Anyone seen him? It's nawt like he's one ta miss food!" She stood up, and grabbed a plate, taking a few ribs with her. She then spied a cold 6-pack of Molson's lager, and took that, as well. "Ahm gonna go find him, gang. Peter, ya eat the last of the steak, Logan's gonna have words with ya, sugah!" The party was in full-swing, and only Ororo even noticed her leave the gathering. Winking at the weather Goddess, she left the room, her 2 items carried in each glove-covered hand. She was dressed in an emerald green fleece sweater, black leggings, and brown, knee-high boots, the heels made a slight clicking on the marble floor of the main hall. She poked her head into Logan's room, the door having been left open. No Logan there. She walked further, the 6-pack making her fingers cold even thru the thin softness of her black leather gloves. Not in any of the classrooms, nor did she EVER think he'd be there! Finally she remembered the garage. Walking downstairs. she was relieved to see the door was open, fingers crossed he was inside. She strode into the large space, and saw him on one side, working at his bench. AC/DC was blaring from a nearby CD player.

Hunched over the workspace, there was the sound of a hammer falling repeatedly on a rather large piece of metal. Bowed over it was Logan, banging away and QUITE unhappy.

"Grrrrr...Piece a' lousy crap! Why ain't ya going in there! Ehhhhh..Don't make me turn ya into art for the kiddies.."

Growling under his breath as he continuted to work at the transmission of his motorcycle. Unfortunately for him, his earlier trek out on the roads of the countryside gave him a rather nasty run-in with the states' lovely scenery. The gruff snarling continued.

"Uuuggh, wouldn'thafta be fixin' my bike, if them roads had those potholes fixed..I wouldn't go breaking my bike!"

The abuse continued to the destitute metal for some time, but letting out a final grunt of frustration, he put down the hammer, and grabbed his cigar. It was out cold, and it added to his already foul mood. Figures..Damn. Taking his battered Zippo from his jeans pocket; he re-lit it, taking a long, slow drag, savoring the sweetness. Suddenly, he felt another sensation, hunger!

"Ah crap! The time! Ughh, looks like there's no sense in me lookin' like i'm stallin'. Better go and get some grub" He muttered to himself. Standing up, he noticed how grimy her was from all the grease. His white tank-top was streaked with oily blackness, his hands covered with it, as well. A smudge had also found it's way onto his face, above his eyebrow. Better get cleaned up, I ain't no caveman..No matter what Summers likes ta think.

He turned just as he finished washing up in the shop-basin, and noticed Marie off the the side, standing there. He was genuinely surprised to have not heard her come in, and turned off the blasting Highway To Hell from the CD player.

"Marie, I didn't hear ya come in." He watched her, and noticed the food and drink in her hands. He let a small chuckle escape his lips, and inclined his head to her. "Guess ya read my mind, there."

She'd watched him bang on the defenseless bike, heard his growled mutterings and was unable to stop the look of amused mirth on her lips. To watch him unaware was an -extremely- rare thing, and she'd enjoyed the sight. She blinked at his admission of not hearing her come into the garage.

"Oh really, sugah? YOU not hear me? Ah find that kinda hard ta believe!"

She walked closer to him, the amusement still appear ant. "And that ol' bike o'yours has seen worse days, and ya know it! Maybe, if ya were a bit nicer to it, instead a-bangin' away on the poor thang..It might work ah bit better! Ah come bringin' gifts, ta steal ya away from this dirty ol' place. Loose track a-time, didn't ya?" She was giving him a knowing smile now. "No matter, ah jest finished mahself, but ahl have a beer or two, while ya git yer food on, if ya don't mind the company."

Logan noticed she was wearing her soft, protective black gloves, as she passed him the plate. Her control must not be as good as she told me, yet.. He spied the ribs on the plate, but quickly his azure eyes went back up to Marie. "Thank ya, darlin." He felt his earlier temper fading away around the woman, and it made him smirk inwardly.

"Feel like eatin' inside, or somewhere else? Her flirty demeanor was most definately on, as she winked at him.

The wink made him smile, taking him back to two days earlier, and their midnight confessions to each other. In fact, it was about the only thing he'd thought of since, and he felt the slightest blush creep across his face. She was a beautiful woman, and that moment they had shared was amazing, but he was used more to one-night stands than the idea of a "girlfriend". It would just get painful and messy, and not end well, he thought. Still, he was a man, and the sight before him was more tempting than he'd seen in a LONG time.

He had many thoughts on his mind, and many things he'd like to say to her, but even more..He wanted to hear what she felt about it all. He almost ached to ask her what she thought, but he was a private man..Things like that did not come easy for him.

Snapping himself from his thoughtful reverie, he decided to give her a teasing wink back at her.

"Thanks, Marie, this looks mighty tasty. Yeah, i've been out here for too long. Let's go out to the swing on the porch in the back. It's a bit more quiet."

She led the way outside, and it was a briskly cold night. Walking beside he smaller companion, she told him about the party going on inside.

"Ah only grabbed ya a few ribs. If yer wantin' more, ahm sure ah could sneak a few more out, as long as Kitty hasn't eaten 'em all!" She walked backwards as she spoke, keeping eye contact with Logan. Smiling, she relaxed a bit as she noticed his attitude was also calming as she chatted. She still held the 6-pack, dangling it by a finger. "Ah know a 6-pack doesn't even give ya a buzz. It's gotta take at least 100 beers exactly ta do that, ah bet!" Laughing, she took a seat after Logan did, carefully placing herself a -little- further away from someone she'd only passionately kissed nights earlier. She popped open a beer, and slid it over to him, and made quick work of getting hers open as well. Raising it to him, she toasted.

"Ta good work, and good friends. May they always be there for ya sugah!"

She smiled as she touched her can to his, her eyes shining in the half-light. It was colder than she originally thought, and she was glad she wore a sweater. Shyly, she tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, giving him a sidelong glance.

"What's on yer mind? Ya seem a bit distracted, hon. Hope it's nothin' ahve done!" She teased him slightly, trying to make light of her bit of awkwardness.

Logan took a long swig from his can, and exhaled, the cool brew going down his throat. It tasted good, but not great. Not like it usually did, and he pondered that for a brief moment. He placed the can on the ground, and stared up into the night sky, and sighed. Looking down at the plate of ribs that Marie had kindly brought him, his mind began to wander. His hunger was suddenly elsewhere. Something else was on his mind, and it wasn't food.

A bit uneasy, he looked back down at his feet, shuffling them. He suddenly felt all of 16 years old again, awkward and shy around a pretty girl. Something he'd not felt in -many- long years. His mind was turning over things at a rapid speed. I know I like Marie, but I don't know..Haven't felt like this since Mariko. It's even different that that. His feelings are not merely passion, but the deepness had yet to be really discovered, he mused.

"Marie, thanks again" His voice was surprisingly soft, trying his best to put his mind at ease, and simply relax. Those thoughts and feelings tho, persisted.
"And no Darlin'.. It's not a thing you've done. You've done nothin' wrong at all. I'm just a little unsure, at the moment is all"

If she was reading his body language right, Logan was actually -shy- around her at the moment. Something about the fiercest, most rage-filled superhero she knew being shy made him a bit more human, and quite endearing to her all of a sudden. This man, who could take out armies with nary a thought (or much help) being sweet to her, it actually made her pulse quicken at the sound of his gravelly voice going so gentle.

"Unsure about what? Blame Hank for getting the Molsen's. It's Canadian, so he thought ya might enjoy it, Eh!" Her goofy attempt at a Canadian accent, wrapped up in a southern drawl was quite comical, and even cute to a certain man who heard it. God, she wanted to touch him SO bad, but she still didn't fully trust her emerging talent for controlling her draining power.

"Tell me, or ELSE, the gloves come off!" She wriggled her glove-encased left hand in mock-threat. "Or, ahl call Jeannie over, and have HER get it outta ya! Ah promise ahl be nicer about it, too." Playfully flirting with Logan now, with him being so shy all of a sudden, made her want to know what was really on his mind. Really know.

Chuckling at her mocking tone, Logan's eyes brightened a bit. He always loved to hear her voice, but with the Canadian accent mixed in, made her seem all the more loveable. "Molsen's, huh? Yeah, he did alright." He stared back at the ground; and then the can, slightly kicking it, nearly tipping it over, like a cat playing delicately. His mind was trying so hard to find the right words.

"Marie, ya don't hafta call out Jeannie. Heh, she wouldn't be much of a help, anyways. Never did care for the whole "mind control-make ya speak" thing anyways. Besides, what I'm thinking ain't got a thing to do with her." He didn't want Jean around? The thought made him give another sigh, this time of disbelief.
"All right, I'll tell. Marie, when we kissed, it was..I don;t know how to say this. But it was about the best thing I've felt in..I don't know, years? I mean, it was like a dream or somethin' comin' true, if ya know what I mean. At first, I thought it was just passion, ya know? Lust, and all that. I like ya so much Marie, but the more I think on it, it just seems like there's more there, I really can't explain."

He says all of this, as he glances down at the woman sitting with him on the bench. His eyes locked with hers, and he worried that he would say the wrong thing to her, and make her uneasy.

The beer-can was at her lips, taking a swig when his admission came tumbling forth. Even with the cold brew, her mouth went dry as sand, her heart nearly pounding out of her chest. She said nothing, as she carefully thought how to respond. She could feel the blood pumping through her head, her inner ears as if on fire. Oh no, Logan seemed to have a crush on her! NO, it's more than that, and you know it, M! You feel it as well, the instant he walks into the room! You love him, and you're too scared to admit it!

"Aw, Logan..honey..ahhh..ummm.." She was squirming a bit now as well, her boot-tip kicking into the dirt, her emerald eyes unreadable. "Ah don't know what ta say. That kiss, it was amazing. But ah don't trust mahself fully, yet. Ah don't to evah see ya hurt, on mah account, sugah. As much as mah heart wants you, it's gonna take time for me ta get myself ready. Ah hope you can see where ahm comin' from, love." She felt her heart breaking as the words left her lips, her one over-riding desire to love someone would just never happen. Not for a mutant like HER.

Logan's emotions took a second to register what EXACTALLY this woman had just said to him. At first, his heart almost seemed to collapse in his chest, at the thought the two couldn't be together. Then, he realized that it would be for the best, as he was so used to being alone. His life, his hardships, his guilt was his alone to bear. But then, he thought a bit deeper. Really Ready? As much as my heart wants you? He began to slowly understand what she was trying to say.
He did understand. He's ALWAYS liked this woman. No..He knew it was more than that, and it always had been. He was just now realizing it.
Despite his hard, tough exterior, there was one thing he was sure of. When he was truly passionate about something, he would NEVER give up on it. This woman was no exception. He also knew that love between mutants was a dangerous combination, especially if the powers could be combustible, but he knew one thing: When it came to love, he didn't care. Wait a second..Mutants? What the hell am I thinking? HUMAN BEINGS, people. This woman before him, she was human deep-down, just like him.

He then realized he loved everything about her.

"Ya gonna say sumthin' hon? Ah hate too much quiet. Reminds me of how alone ah am, at times." Her face fell, as a hot tear dripped into her leggings, making the black fabric darken in the spot, giving away her secret. She made not a peep, her will was so iron, to stay strong and never show weakness. Her teasing, flirty manner was a total cover-up for a sad girl who never wanted the world to see her pain. Taking a deep breath, she quickly wiped away the escaped tear-trail, hoping he hadn't noticed it. yeah, good luck with that, idiot.

Being always confident, it felt out of place for Logan to be seemingly unsure. What the hell... and began to speak his mind to his companion.

"Marie, you and I have been friends for so long. Thick and thin, good and bad. Always been there for each other. But, this ain't no battlefield, you ain't Colossus, and this is...arrrhhhhgg! Just so hard for me to say!" He stands quickly; back to her, one hand clenched into a fist, torn with his emotions. He turns to face her, and notices the silent tears that have escaped her eyes. Those had to come from somewhere, you fool! Tell her NOW, before she slips thru your hands! His lips were drawn in a mulish line of thought.

Taking her by the hand in his protectively, his grip would have crushed iron, he wanted to convey how serious he was to Marie.

"Marie, you're not alone in the world. I'm with ya, kid. I always have been. I may be strong, but you're stronger. You've always been there for me, even when I was down. I guess I just didn't show it as much, me being the tough guy, and all. But that don't change the way I ever felt about ya. Marie..I need you, and want you. Only you. No one else. You'll never be alone again, in this world. And, I'll make DAMN sure you'll know it, too. Marie...I..Marie...I" His voice trails off, and he nearly trembles, the words are so close now! He wants to say them, so badly...

"Ah love you, Logan"

Can I push all the fear away for her? Isn't she worth that much? Can I take this gamble? What if I'm wrong, what will she say? " Aaarrgghhh!" He thinks deeper, and then the words hit him.

"There. Ah had ta say it" Her voice was slightly quiet, but more than sure of herself.

"Marie, I love you. Only you." His eyes burned with conviction, never being more serious in his long, long life. This is the most important thing he'd ever said, and he meant every word.

Another tear slips hotly down her cheek, making another dark spot on her leggings. "But...ah thought ya carried the torch for Jeannie. Ah know what ya said the other night, but ah sill can't believe ah heard it." Her southern accent comes in thicker now, her emotions buried so deep, for what felt like an eternity. It overwhelms her, threatening to make her either bolt off, or punch Logan for making them rear their ugly head. "Ah...I jus' can't..Ah can't go a second without ya creepin' inna my head. All good, don't worry. But, how can ya trust me, when ah don't even trust mahself? Mah love will KILL ya, Logan. But..ah had ta tell ya my true, honest feelings. Ah lie awake every night, just wantin' ta feel loved...Do ya love me enough ta risk it all? Am I worth it?

"Marie, I don't trust anyone in this world, 'cept the guy standing before ya..At least, that's what I USED to stay, before 2 days ago. Now, I'm positive..You and I..We're the same. And, in order to get through this world, and you too..Is to trust each other. I know now, I ain't strong enough, to make it without ya. Kid, I trust ya..I always will. I know what you mean about trusting yourself. Hell, you know how long it me ya trust myself with these here blades? I trust you, Marie. I do. Question is, do you trust me? I'll always be here for you, have faith in that. Always."

"Marie.." His voice was a mere whisper at that point. "If I were to die, being with you..Showing you that you and I are one. If I were to die in your arms, making love to you. Then, it would have been for everything. I would die the happiest man in the world..I'm willing to risk it all."

Logan spoke the words with total confidence, even through he'd gotten the knowledge she was getting better at controlling her powers. He knew someday would come, he would have nothing to fear being with her, and give her the love she'd deserved her entire life.

But, even if she still had her powers, he'd remain ever fearless, because he knew she'd be happy.

"Darlin'...You're worth everything to me."

Pulling her gloved hand back to herself, she let the words from her beloved sink into her soul, the appearant love in his tone a balm to her lonely heart. She'd -never- heard words like them before, she didn't deserve to hear them, did she? YES, YOU DO. Let him love you, M. Love him for as hard as you can, for as long as you can. To finally earn that deepest trust of another person was a precious gift, and she promised to let THAT override the doubt in her soul.

She relaxed her body, feeling her powers dim to a slight quiver in her mind. She had to begin to trust herself to do the right thing. She KNEW she'd never hurt Logan, so she needed to let it finally sink in. She began to peel off her gloves, placing them next to her in a neat pile. Then, without warning, she pulled her green sweater over her head, exposing her lily-white skin, wearing a snug teal tank-top. A few freckles were sprinkled on her shoulders and chest, and Logan got the urge to kiss each one. The night air made her nipples harden instantly, and she stood up to lock her jade eyes with his blue ones. His seemed darker than usual, like glittering black diamonds to her. An odd thing to think about, as she slowly opened her arms to him.

Logan's thoughts raced as madly as his heart, at that moment. Had she begun to trust him? He wondered, his emotions practically in overdrive at that point. The butterflies in his stomach were practically bursting forth from inside. He knew now that his words were spoken, the very same words he'd been meaning to say over and over if he ever had the chance. He knew they could never be taken back, as she finally knew how this man felt about her. His emotions became more relaxed, and for good reason. The love, HIS love of his life, has opened her arms to him, and was allowing him to be with her, to show he meant what he said. Noticing her excitement and appear ant passion for him, he slowly took his jacket off, as he was suddenly VERY warm as well.

He noted the chill in the air still, and knew what to do. Moving closer, he opened his arms as well. His embrace felt -right- to Anna, his muscled arms holding her in a powerful, yet tender way. He's like a furnace, he's so warm. Enjoying the beautiful silence; savoring the moment, he looked into her eyes, his hand going to stroke her cheek lovingly. He would do his very best to make her the happiest woman on earth, chase her fears away, and always trust him. Lightly, he swept a broad thumb across her cheek, where the tears had been. Leaning in, he whispered as he kissed her. "No more of that mow, Marie..No more tears. I'm here"

Reaching out tentatively a bare hand to Logan's face, she savored the feel of his rough stubble under her touch. The stubble gave way to his thick muttonchops, the corner of her mouth slightly upturning at the different feel.
"Ah know..There's no way ah can cry when ahm able ta feel ya like this. Well, tears o'joy, maybe. Ah love ya so much, Logan. Ah feel like mah heart is gonna break outta mah chest, there's so much of it for ya." She leaned her head closer to him, inhaling his addictive scent should could smell in her dreams, and let her forehead touch his, tenderly. "Ya still feel as good as ya did the other night, by the way. A woman could get used to it, right quick-like"

In a unexpected bit of blissful glee from getting the best hug of her life, she hugged Logan so tight, she nearly picked him up! She did feel his back crack with her strong bear-hug, and she managed to let out a small, gentle laugh.

"Umm, sorry hon. Ah don't have too much huggin' experience, so ah got a little carried away there!" Relaxing her strong hold on his muscular, haired body, she planed the softest whisper of a kiss of his forehead.
"Ah can't go breaking my boyfriend's back, even IF it'll fix itself in a coupla days!"

As he laughed softly at her joking, he realized just how fragile this woman really was on the inside, despite her strong outward appearance. The knowledge made his stoic heart soften a bit more towards this angel of a woman, who showed no fear of him. ~So beautiful~ As his back cracked from the hug and found himself lifted into the air, he couldn't help but laugh at her playful nature. He blinked with the realization her touch was very comforting. He found that word to be perfect for the evening. He allowed himself the rare thought I'm finally comfortable with her, after all these years. He leaned forward and kissed her back, catching the hint of sweet jasmine across her neck. His beastly abilities heightened the sensation even more, making him stifle a groan of desire. Her pale skin was like the smoothest silk, while still being tougher than steel. It was a heady, intoxicating mix for him. She was the perfect mix of muscle and woman; more alluring to him than he would have initially thought, but he was certain he'd be addicted to how she felt in his arms forever.

"Marie, this night..It's just perfect." His mouth trailed a kiss from her neck, to her ear, his voice a fierce, tortured whisper. "I need to hold you..All night long."

She gave him a beautiful smile, from the depths of her soul. "Oh sugah, ah thought ya'd never ask!" She nuzzled closer, her hand on his thick, furred chest, to whisper into his ear. "Mah room, or yours?" To hammer her point home, she took his earlobe between her teeth, giving the slightest pull. "Or, is that TOO tempting for mah Logan tonight?"

He thought for a second on her request. Yes, he sexually craved this woman, there was little doubt. The tightness in his jeans told him that YES, he could more than rise to the occasion. But, she deserved more than a carnal rutting in the mansion. He wanted to make things right, and take his time. Anna was different than the type of woman he took to his bed, he knew he had to tread carefully, or in a spiteful outburst, she could drain him DRY. Granted, he was too old, and thought himself strong enough to dodge her wrath, if it ever came his way. He -loved- a challenge, and Marie might be the best one of all.

"Tonight, I just want your embrace, Marie. Just enjoy this, what we have at this moment. I -do- want you, darlin, no doubt there. I think we should take our time, there's no rush..I'm not going anywhere." Logan's comment was actually tactful, for a change, and he hoped Marie would agree. He also knew she -had- to still be a virgin, and that prospect made him stop in his tracks.

They talked on the swing, joking and laughing for what seemed like only minutes to the couple, when it was actually hours. Logan was quite proud of his self-control, willfully setting aside lecherous thoughts, yet still able to play around innocently with Marie.

Logan looked at his watch, blinking at the time. Nearly 5 am, and the sun would be up soon. He looked out across the grounds of the mansion, and noticed the color over the horizon had begun to change, ever so slightly.

"Marie, when was the last time you stayed up for a sunrise with someone special?"

Marie blinked back in surprise, realizing how forwards she must have come off earlier. "Ahm sorry hon, mah mind jest kinda ran away with itself!" She took notice of the lightening sky, and was soft in her reply. "Never. Ah guess you'll be mah first then. Hope that's okay with ya!"

The bench was hard and not equipped for anything but side-by-side seating. There was the massive expanse of lawn, but the early morning dew sparkled also told Marie it would be a bit cold. Fretting over where they would go, she suddenly had the thought that to feel this, to be in moment was all that mattered. Her misgivings melted away, and she gave him a smile.

"Ahm all yours. Lead the way, my heart."

Extending his capable hand to Marie; his other hand around her shoulders, he slightly kissed her, murmuring into her ear. "I know a place. Trust me."

Leading her over the lawn, they came to a wooded area behind the mansion. His eyes so sharper than hers, he found what he was looking for in the early morning light. A small path, leading into thicker woods.
Logan continued to lead the way; her hand grasped as he came upon a clearing that appeared to be both ancient, but new in the encroaching dawn. He traveled with purpose, as if he'd known of it's existence.

"Marie, close your eyes. Don't look now, it's only a bit further." He was almost youthful in his earnestness, his voice held a fervor that made Marie laugh, as she closed her eyes. His grip on her hand never once loosening.

Trust. The hardest thing to gain, the easiest to loose. A heart behind lock and key can never find love without it.

Shivering from the chill, and the nearness of her lover, Marie was nearly giddy herself with what had already transpired the last evening with this riddle of a man. She closed her eyes; and tried her best not to peek, tripping over a small tree-root as she faltered but a moment. With each step of her journey with Logan, she'd learn to trust him, and he, her. She followed him with an open, willing heart, her fear subsiding.

"What is it, darlin'? Where are we goin'?"

"Just a bit further, don't fret now." The warmth in his voice surprised even him, a smirk tugging up the side of his mouth. A few minutes more of travel, more light peeking through the branches, they pushed onwards. Finally, he stopped in a hidden glen, seemingly untouched by human hands. Cliffs around them, a dramatic mountain range on 2 sides. The sun's rays were just beginning to rise over one of the highest peaks, the valley becoming awake. A scene fit for perfection on earth, just for these 2 souls.

"Alright, Marie..Open your eyes."

The new tingle that coursed through her body was completely due to the man at her side. The affection in his timbre made her breath catch; and she could see for the very first time, what a -much- younger, more innocent Logan must have been like. The ego stripped away, the years of hardship and toil gone, to bare only the soul. She knew the sound of his voice, so full of love would carry her the rest of her days a happy woman. Her lips parted slightly as she took it all in, the wonderment unmistakable in her voice.

"It's beautiful..Where are we, anyways?"

"Just a small place I found when I was practicing some tracking a while back, keeping my skills sharp." Drawing up next to Marie, her gazed into her eyes, the sincerity pure there. "This spot looks out to the mountains, and a valley below, but no one knows about it. Almost like an oasis. No city, no people, no distractions. Pretty perfect, if ya ask me. I'm content to finally share it with someone, and it's even better..That it's you. The name? Honestly, darlin', couldn't even tell ya. But rumor says that if ya come here with someone you love..The love will never fade away. I'm not very superstitious, but I figured it would be fitting for the moment."

Behind them, and off to the side was a mid-sized rock, large enough for the two of them to sit, and get the perfect view.

"Hey..The sun's almost up. Let's take a rest, and a gander, and just enjoy." As he spoke, Marie just ate it all up. The scenery, his words, the sunrise about to warm this place that had no name. Seeing the rock in question, she followed him over, shaking her head in disbelief.

"My my, Logan..Ah have ya tell ya, ah would have NEVER picked ya for such a old romantic softie. Who knew ya had it in ya!" The slight chuckle that escaped her lips hid the fact she was surprised at his bringing her here. Sitting down; she leaned against his chest, nestled between his legs, to watch the encroaching sunrise.

The sun gently began it's rise, the colors over the horizon a beautiful mix that no artist could come close to. A few random scattered clouds for the sun to shine through, adding even more drama to the moment. Logan scanned the horizon; then back down at the woman curled next to him, a sigh coming forth as he just enjoyed. Kissing her on the head, he knew this was a moment never to be repeated and he felt very very lucky. He had to take his happiness in bits and pieces, as they came so infrequently to him. He held her closer, the harmony of the wilderness playing a concert of sounds. Alive..It's been forever to feel this. "I love ya, Marie"

The woman who craved touch more than any other, reveled in the caress from the one person she loved and trusted among all others. She snuggled closer into his chest, turning her head to place a soft, slow kiss there. Content, loved, and being HELD, without fear by this amazing man, this night had been perfect. She also knew she'd never tired of his declarations, and gave a silent prayer there would be more for both of them.

"Logan..Ah love you. Thank ya for bein' so perfect, tonight." Her words were spoken in a throaty purr, her own love appear ant.

Smiling; as though he read her mind, his voice was a warm rumble of emotion.

"Marie, thank you. Don't worry..This is only the beginning. You're perfect to me"
Chapter 3-Exposed by Lisa Honeychan
Author's Notes:
The third chapter of the slight reworkings of our fanfic. Once again, my biggest thanks goes to Jason, who does a bang-up job on Logan. I personally think this chapter's quite funny! Character thoughts are in italics.
9am back at the Mansion, a sound of activity was emanating from the kitchen. The scraping of a spatula in a pan revealed Logan actually being quite domestic, a sight Marie found strangely odd. She had no idea he could even cook, but reminded herself that being as independent as he was known to be, he'd have to learn to cook basic things. Duh!! O'course he'd know how ta make scrambled eggs, ya dolt! He'd actually been told by more than one woman he woke up with, he knew his way around a kitchen. He'd NEVER admit it, though.. kinda ruined the lone wolf image.

At that hour, most of the X-Men were in classes, and Logan wondered if Marie was cutting one to spend time with him. He felt almost light-headed from their trek back, and with such desirable company, he was in a pretty blissful mood. It made him almost leery to feel that.

"Hey kiddo, how do ya like them eggs?"

Marie's walk back with Logan nearly equaled as the evening spent with him. She'd held his hand freely, no gloves, and the act had made her feel alive and free. Her last meal had been hours ago, and her stomach managed a growl or two and the way home. Now back inside, she sat at the small chef's table, watching him cook with surprising skill.

"Ahm easy ta please, however ya make 'em, ahl eat 'em! Ahl jest put Tabasco on it all, anyways." She filed away the knowledge Logan could cook, as well as be an unexpected romantic when he wanted to be. Deciding to make herself useful, she grabbed the OJ, and placed bread in the toaster. Pouring glasses for them both, she went back to the fridge to put the jar away. As she walked past Logan, she frowned in mock-offense as he called her "kiddo."

"Ahl have ya know, ahm a woman of 32 years, Logan. Jest cause yer MUCH older than most, don't rub it in. Ah mean, don't ya remember being MY age?" Her hand lowered as she walked by, reaching out to give a pinch to his jeans-clad backside. "Ah wanted ta smack ya, but that was bit more satisfyin'!"

Logan perked a bit at her playful grab, and watched her walk by with a smile. His mood hadn't been this light, in...what seemed forever, to him, as though all his defenses were lowered. As much as they could be, anyways.

"Darlin, I'm just teasin' ya. Yeah, I know yer age, and you know mine." He snickered softly to himself. "Ya know, when I'm with ya, I just don't notice the years." The smile he now gave her made her want to ravage him there on the kitchen floor, in full light.

"Tabasco, huh? Gal after my own heart. Spicy, but not too much..Ya want to taste the food, not be hurtin' all day." A teasing wink directed at her made her smile, and he realized that was a good goal to have, at 9am. He finished the eggs, quite gracefully for a man of his build. Plating them, he handed Marie her breakfast.

"Voila..I err...think..you say."

Grabbing the bottle of hot sauce, and also the toast, she stopped to take a jar of honey out of one cabinet. Taking her seat and quirking her brow at his "use" of French, she let out a surprised laugh.

"Aw, ah gotta teach ya some French. Ahm not too bad, but Remy's loads better, damn Cajun!" She took a bite of her eggs; testing the level of spice and added one more shake to them, she spread honey on her toast, taking a bite. "Hey, that's not bad, Logan! When didya learn ta cook?"

She dug into her food, hungrier than she imagined she was. Her eyes never left his as she ate, and she took a long drink of juice before speaking again.

"So, ya think ah might be worthy of sumthin' different than -darlin'-? Ya call all the girls ya know that! Ah jest thought ah might be..different than all them?" She finished the last of her toast, the teasing mirth in her eyes not lost on her partner across from her. She was really curious to see if she was worthy still in ways, but she'd mull that over another time.

Being put on the spot, he shifted in his chair. He KNEW his answer better be a good one! She's right..Damn, old habits are hard ta break..But she IS different. Nice move, Jimmy. "Ah.. Marie..I call everyone darlin, old habits and all. Yeah you're different from the others, but ya gotta earn it. Unless you're wanting some godawful cute name like sweety-pie honey-bun. No can do, Stripes." His own laughing eyes met hers, as she lost it, giggling.

"Hah, no Logan, ah was jest givin' ya a hard time. Ya know, teasing ya!" It was her turn to squirm in her seat, as he could totally call her on her own teasing; she called EVERYONE sugar, even the Hulk got called it once! Stripes. Not bad, not bad. Ah can live with that. "Nah, jest call me sugah. That should be easy enough for ya." She laughingly added for emphasis. "Darlin'"

She reached her bare hand across the table, placing her soft palm on his large rough hand, in a loving caress. The sudden urge to touch his skin nearly overwhelmed her, and she stood up. Walking the 2 steps to him; she ran her fingers through his thick, wild hair, and leaned down to kiss his cheek.

"Thanks fer cookin, darlin'. Your full o'surprises, so many things ahm jest learnin' about ya." Motioning her head from him to scoot back a bit, she sat across his lap, like a kid visiting Santa. She leaned in, putting her full attentions on a deeper kiss, her back to the main room.

She did not see Scott quickly walk in, and FREEZE IN PLACE, at the sight of Marie in Logan's lap, acting in a way he'd never seen her before. His jaw dropped, gaping open like a caught fish. That was when Ororo walked into his back, slamming into him.

Marie's kiss felt heavenly to Logan, whether a peck to a passionate lip-lock. He loved everything about her, from her gorgeous hair with her platinum shock in front, to her touch. Her playful nature with him was the biggest unexpected bonus he found endearing. Why the heck did it take me so long to even think of her!?

"Sugar, huh?" He tried to place the emphasis on putting and "H" instead of and "R", but to no avail. "Yup, works for me..Just like the way ya taste." Logan slowly growled as he hugged Marie closer, his passions running deeper yet again. Glad we got a bite ta eat. Might not get another chance for a bit. MIGHT be workin' up an appetite sooner that we think.

Suddenly, he glanced over Marie's shoulder, and noticed Scott's entry into the room.

"Help ya with somthin' there, boyscout?" Logan's tone was playfully sarcastic, not the usual gruff, edgy timbre he gave the team leader 99.9% of the time.

As Logan's words reached her ears, Marie suddenly knew they were NOT alone. Boyscout, yeah, that would be Scott. Nice guy, but such a stickler for the rules! The fact Logan spoke to a new person actually startled her enough to make her jump about a foot off of Logan, tipping them both backwards in the chair. It teetered, but never tipped, as Marie's power kept it from going further back.

"OH MAH GAWWD! Ya scared me, Scott! Ororo, you too?!" Anna blushed heavily, but made no move to get off Logan in any way, shape or form. They'd been caught, but she didn't care if they all knew things were different between the 2 mutants.Ah hope it gits back ta Jeannie, too.

Scott and Ororo stood in shock and amusement. Scott was trying to wrap his head around the sheer fact that Wolverine was not coming after him, claws bared and all bad-attitude, as was his usual way. Logan, treating him this nice? Was the world going to end, or something? Ororo had a pleasant, knowing smile on her regal lips, as she could see more of Marie's skin was exposed than normal. She'd heard about her progress in reigning in her abilities only when needed, and it looked to be working well. The way she sat in Logan's lap, looking quite pleased with herself made the weather witch very happy. Scott's mouth was STILL open in shock, as Storm grabbed him by the back of his collar, and dragged him out of the kitchen, the amusement very easy to read in her voice. "We will come back later. MUCH later."

The Canadian just continued to glance at the two for another second, not caring who saw him and Marie together like this. He took a lock of her hair in his fingers, as his he gave a low chuckle. Hmmm..Normally I'd threaten that pain the ass, or make walk away with a hell of a limp. Heh, what's wrong with me, I must be slipping!

Kissing the woman in his arms; Scott forgotten about, he made a provocative suggestion. Anna nuzzled closer, then stiffened. She noted his gaze was at the open door to the main room, and just a bit further, 2 in particular.

"I don't care for too many distractions. What say you and I take a stroll somewhere more...Isolated?"

Marie stood up, cleared the dishes and placed them in the sink. Her eyes were narrowed and suddenly guarded, as she shook her head back and forth. "The Danger Room's busy with classes, but there is the library. But, if we git told to hush it there, ahl give them a kiss they won't soon forget! Or, what??? Are you suggestin' what I -think yer suggestin', darlin'?" The thought of being more intimate with Logan made her heart race even faster. Letting people get close to her was not in her usual way of behaving, and she tried to tamp down her feelings of lust for this man. Slow, M..Go slower. She backed away from him, her face unreadable, her arms crossed defensively.

"Ah want ya, Logan..But ah need ya to go slow. Ya ain't gettin' ta second base with me, so quick-like, sweetness."

"Marie, geez! I just meant someplace quieter, is all. Just the two of us. Don't worry, sugar, I ain't gonna move -that- fast. Hell, this is all pretty quick for me, too. Honestly, just the kissing and huggin has caught me off guard, but..I really like it, ya know? I ain't been with a woman in quite a bit, so ya gotta forgive me for bein' a bit rusty. I know I ain't the smoothest cat around. Just leave Remy to that sly stuff- he's better at it than I'll ever be. Sorry if I'm a bit rough around the edges."

His voice was calm, but his emotions were seething underneath. Gotta be smarter with the words.

Grabbing Marie by the hand, and in a gesture so unlike him, (unlikely to be acted by most modern men, as well) he kissed her even so slightly on the back of her hand. His eyes locked with her, trying to convey his sincerity. "Slow as ya want, babe. We still got plenty of time before we get around them bases. Don't worry, I'd still like to get to know ya A LOT more..The real you."

Letting out a restrained gasp of surprise at Logan's genteel action, she couldn't help but be back in his arms in 1.3 seconds. Her mind drifted back to when she kissed his knuckles to convey her trust in him, and here Logan was returning it.

"Ah ya sure? Ahm rustier than you, since ahve only kissed a boy, and he's STILL in that coma. Mah amount of kissin' and huggin' is a bit ol fat ZIP. Let's go be rusty togetha." Marie's tone was slightly wistful.

Her body leaned in closer, and kissed the side of his neck, her lips feeling the powerful corded muscles there. Reaching the apex of his neck and shoulder, she gave a longer kiss, the a playful nip. “Where do ya wanna go, then?”

Logan pondered for a second at Marie's question, mindful just how important the trust must remain with the two of them. He knew he had to take things slow, let her set the speed. It was so difficult though, with her telling him to enjoy each other like that, he was yearning to give into his wilder urges. It's been so long for me. Think with your heart; ya oaf, NOT downstairs. She ain't ever been with a guy before, really been with him. Don't forget that. Trust.. never forget that trust; it's the most precious thing with this gal, and ya can easily loose it. It means a lot to you, too.

James Logan never fancied himself a scholar among men; he was more "world-smart" or so he thought. Sometimes, though, he DID have flashes of insight that surprised even himself. Being the Alpha-Male 24/7 wasn't always the best answer in life, and he wisely differed to Marie. "You name it darlin. Where ever you want ta go.”

A foxy grin split her face, as she nuzzled his cheek to disguise it from view. "Ah think we should borrow Scott's bike in payment for walkin' in on us. See where the road takes the two of us wanderers. Ah don't care where ah am, as long as you're there. Race ya to the garage, and loser's gotta sit on back!" The smile turned playful as she took a step back from his embrace, already missing it. Her toned muscles tensed, and she took off, running!

Shock and surprise caught Logan off-guard, as he just looked at Marie. Wasn't expectin' that answer! That didn't mean he was unhappy with her teasing challenge. In fact, a grin crept upon his face as well, as he took off after her, running. Only problem was; if Anna raced him, her long legs would have him beat. No hope in hell in catchin' her! His pride wasn't about to accept riding backseat; but after seeing her happiness, it made him rethink that position. Maybe just this one time, let her take the wheel. Kid deserves it.

But, that didn't stop him from partaking in said attempt. "Marie, when I catch you, you'll be sorry!" A rusty unexpected laugh was heard from him, as he found himself sucked into her playful mood as well. Yeah, this is bein' happy. Been a long time, Jimmy.

Peeking in on all of this now was Hank Kurt and Scott, who told the men about what he and Ororo walked in on, only a few minutes earlier. The three men all had varied expressions of bemusement and surprise. Scott actually didn't mind them using his bike, as long as it came back in one piece. He was happy to give them their chance for alone time, plus..Maybe Logan would end his infatuation with Jean. Hank's glasses slid down the bridge of his blue-furred nose, a happily shocked look for him as well.

"Oh my stars and garters!" was exclaimed, making Kurt laugh. "GOOOO Sis!" He was genuinely happy to see his sister happier than he'd seen her in a very long time. To witness Logan's sweet side made all three men slightly...uncomfortable.

"We saw NONE of that..Just...UGHHH.." Scott actually shuddered, as he walked into the kitchen to finally get breakfast for himself.

Anna's goal wasn't to win; but to see if Logan would take the bait, and actually play with her. Delighted to see he was; she ran past a door, slammed and locked it, letting out a fantastic laugh. "OR WHAT? Oh no, Mr. Logan, ya love me too much ta do anythin' terrible ta me!" Broken doors were a daily occurrence in the Mansion, with so many mutants under it's roof. "What's one more door?" She sped down, trying to beat him to the garage, hoping he wouldn't just break through a window and cheat.

Logan's senses were still -very- sharp and keen, and was quite the quick thinker. He slid to a halt after seeing her bolt off; he turned round back, and remembered the secret door that he'd used a few times before to sneak out when things got hairy for him. Again, not much for conversation he was, sometimes one had to be slick to avoid them. The passage led to the garage, and he hoped Scott wasn't already there! Turning a few more corners, he hit a button. Entering the passageway and using his sense of smell, Logan grinned. Nope, she ain't made it here, yet. He stood for a few seconds, a helmet in his hand as he began to hear running footsteps and the not unpleasant sound of her ever so lightly catching her breath as she reached the garage. He simply smiled and perched himself on the bike.

Her feet quickly carried her downstairs, turned on the lights and saw ~HIM.~ On the bike. Grinning.

"Whut the heck!? You little cheata!" Calming her voice; she turned as she heard a scraping sound, as a door unknown to her totally opened, and Scott stepped out. He tossed the keys to Logan, smirking at the entire situation, and pointed at the man on his bike.
"Bring it back in one piece, willya? By the way Marie, he didn't cheat. You just didn't know about the secret door. Guy stuff, you know!" He turned and headed back inside, his chuckling fading off as the door closed.

Marie made a teasing poutyface, her lower lip pursed. "That's alright, darlin' ah let ya win!" Her annoyance at her loss melted away, as she grabbed the helmet from him and placed it down. “Ah don't think either of us need THAT!” Her legs straddled over the bike behind him. "Good thing ah kinda-sorta love ya, or that coulda been UGLY."

“No prob, sugah." Logan drawled in his best southern accent, but failed badly, getting another grin from Anna. He realized that life could be much worse now, the mood between them having been high, with a few tense moments. He also believed her when she said it could have been ugly. He was bright enough to know the woman can more than take care of herself, even against the likes of Juggernaut, and that wasn't pretty. Jimmy...don't piss the lady off.

He put the keys into the ignition, he turned back towards her and smiled. "Marie, where you wantin' to go? If it's alright with ya, I know a real nice spot, but the ride's gonna take awhile. Few hours, to be honest. But, I'll bet you've never seen a place like it. I think you'll really like it. What do ya say, Stripes, how's about that road trip you've always been promised, but you just didn't know it?"
The prospect of her arms around him, even while driving, sounded very alluring.

Her reply was near-instant. "Yeah, ah think ahd like that, Logan. Lead on, darlin'!" She linked her arms about his waist, and settled her thoughts for a long trip ahead. She leaned her head on his back for a moment, just enjoying the feel of him. A contented sigh escaped her lips, and she felt the bike rev to life underneath them. Honestly, if they'd just driven to the mailbox, she would be just as happy. She felt the the rush of wind across her body, making her long hair whip about in disarray. Her future with Logan might not be fully known to her, but she would take this time as a precious gift, and promised herself not to squander a second of it.
End Notes:
I'm glad I got a critique of something, and I feel it's a good time to explain. Marie calls herself Marie, and it's what she asks others to call her. Yes, her -first- name is Anna, but she reveals in a later chapter why she dislikes it. Logan, well..He answers to both, but in this AU, he wants "anyone but Anna to call him Logan." James, and Jimmy, he's always calling himself, in his thoughts. I really hope that clears up the bit of confusion!
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