Forgotten Lives by rogueslove
Summary: He’s forgotten her, but she hasn’t forgotten him. And she’ll do anything to make him remember. Takes place concurrently with the original X-Men trilogy.
Categories: X3 Characters: None
Genres: Dark, Drama
Tags: None
Warnings: None
Series: None
Chapters: 6 Completed: Yes Word count: 24151 Read: 14543 Published: 05/10/2014 Updated: 06/30/2014

1. Chapter 1: A New Beginning by rogueslove

2. Chapter 2: Remembrance by rogueslove

3. Chapter 3: Severed Ties by rogueslove

4. Chapter 4: The Aftermath by rogueslove

5. Chapter 5: The Pack by rogueslove

6. Epilogue - Ten Years Later by rogueslove

Chapter 1: A New Beginning by rogueslove
Author's Notes:
Warning: This is a pretty dark fic. We got everything in here: violence, bad language, sex, and abuse of every sort. Definitely M after the first chapter.
A/N: The first chapter takes place during and around the first movie, but I skip over scenes in the movie that don’t pertain to this particular drama. I’m ignoring all the post-trilogy X-Men/Wolverine films. ‘Internal dialogue’ and flashbacks denoted thusly.
“Hello?” the brunette answered the phone.

“I’ve found him,” said a gruff voice on the other end.

“W-what?” she squeaked out.

“You fuckin’ deaf, girl? I said I found him.”

The girl regained her composure. “Where is he?”

“Not tellin’ ya. There’s a problem.”

“What?” she asked, not hiding her dread.

“He’s got amnesia or some shit. He doesn’t remember a
damn thing,” the man replied, barely keeping the anger out of his voice.

There was a long pause. “Are you sure?”

“I sat across the bar for him for two fucking hours, we looked right at each other, he didn’t recognize me at all. If he doesn’t remember me, he sure as hell ain’t going to remember you.”

“Is he okay otherwise?”

“Dandy, from what I can tell,” he said sarcastically.

“Spends his time drinking, getting into fights at bars,”

“And sleeping with sluts,” the brunette said, completing the thought.

“Uh, yeah,” the man said, in an uncharacteristically apologetic tone.

“Don’t worry about it,” she said, her tears obvious even over the phone, “we’ll find some way to get him back. Where is he?”

“Alberta, heading towards the Northwest Territories. Ain’t giving you the specifics yet.”

“Why not?”

The man growled, “Cause if I do, you’ll go up there, find him, and start babbling to him about everything and he’ll just think you’re fucking crazy. Won’t end well for anyone. We need a plan.”

“You got a plan?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.” He said angrily, annoyed that the girl’s assertion that he couldn’t figure anything out for himself. “I’m currently working a job for a total nutter, but the pay’s good. His little plan needs someone, someone like you.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

The man gave an evil smirk. “You know how protective he gets . . .”

She walked into the bar, looking as young and innocent as she knew how. Scanning the crowd, she saw that they were the usual hick-bar types that would attend a cage match: hairy, volatile, unclean, and drunk. Taking a whiff of them almost made her pass out. Her eyes moved to the cage in the middle of the warehouse-sized room as a plaid-clad man was being pulled out.

And there he was, exactly as she remembered him. Which was surprising, since she hadn’t seen him in fifteen years. Rippling with muscles and exuding masculinity, the dark haired man with deep hazel eyes was beating the tar out of some unsuspecting fool. Why any man was stupid enough to compete in a no-holds-barred cage match with this man was beyond her.

He finished the bout with a head butt that laid the contender out cold. The man crumpled to the floor in pain and the announcer cried “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s winner, and still King of the Cage . . . the Wolverine!” Wolverine gave a slow turn away from the cheers and hisses of the crowd, eventually turning his eyes to her. Their eyes locked for a second, but she saw no recognition in his gaze. He turned away, to down another drink and get back to his cigar, and she stood in shock for several seconds, before wandering over to the bar. She sipped on water and fought back tears, realizing that Wolverine really was a stranger to her.

She sat waiting at the bar, drinking her water and trying to focus on the plan. She had known that he had forgotten everything, but to see his empty eyes as he looked at her had shaken her to her core. With the fights over, the crowd trickled, and sometimes drunkenly stumbled, out. The Wolverine came out from the back room and sat down at the bar a few seats down from her. They exchanged glances, but she had to turn away for fear of blurting out everything. One of the men who Wolverine had dropped like the sack of crap while in the cage started to hassle him as he sat at the bar.

“You owe me some money.” She nervously looked on, wanting to see his response.

When the stranger pulled out a knife, she instinctively screamed. ‘No one’s taking him away from me now, not when I’ve just found him again.’

Wolverine spun around, grabbed the hick by the collar and held him against a post, countering the small pocket knife with three nine-inch claws. Metal claws. ‘Well that’s new.’ She thought to herself. The barkeep pulled out a shotgun and demanded that Wolverine leave. Wolverine turned and slashed through the gun barrel with a well placed slice of his claws. As he sauntered out, she followed close behind, jumping into the back of his trailer while he was busy trying to get his rusting truck to start.

She couldn’t believe that this piece of crap was his vehicle. He was always one for simplicity, but this just reeked of desperation. She couldn’t help crack a grin at that though. ‘I guess you really do need me around after all.’ She practiced her story in her head, and did her best to pull from her last decade in the South to create a convincing persona that was close enough to her own that she wouldn’t have to always be on guard, but different enough to not arouse suspicion of her true identity. About an hour out of the cesspool known as Laughlin City, he stopped the truck. ‘Bout time you heard me back here, I’m fucking freezing and damn hungry to boot.’

“What the Hell are you doing?” He asked in a quiet voice, which anyone else would have mistaken for concern. But she wasn’t anybody, she knew he was pissed. She played up the runaway Southern girl act the best she could. In the end, she knew he wouldn’t leave her there in the frozen tundra of Canada, not if there was an ounce left of the man she knew.

“Ah’m Rogue,” she introduced herself to the man she’d known for most of her life. He didn’t answer. She looked down at his chest, noticing the dogtag with his alias on it. ‘Something else new.’ She pondered. She inadvertently flinched when his hands got near to hers, and she felt compelled to explain her mutation, at least the part of her mutation that she was willing to let others know about.

“When they come out, does it hurt?” She asked, glancing at the weathered knuckles that hid his deadly secret. She knew that the bones claws that he used to have hurt him, and that she involuntarily winced almost every time he bared them, knowing that it caused him pain. She hoped that these new metal claws, razor sharp yet perfectly sculpted, would somehow be less painful.

“Every time.” He responded simply. She silently mourned for him, for he really had gained nothing and lost everything.

“So, what kind of name is Rogue?”

“I don’t know, what kind of name is Wolverine?”

He might not have remembered her, but he was still the man she remembered: Gruff, quick-witted, honest, and occasionally empathetic.

“My name’s Logan.”

“Marie.” She looked to see if that rang any bells with him. It clearly didn’t. But somehow he remembered his middle name. She smiled at that.

“Do . . . do you just go by Wolverine?”

He grunted, shook his head, and slit the dying deer’s throat.

“I really don’t want to call you that, not when you’re like this. It’s like me going back to call you the monster.” She cringed, seeing the deer’s final spasms, as the life-blood flowed out of it.

“James Logan Howlett. Don’t care if you use my name or not.”

“I’ve never heard the name Logan before. I like it. My full name’s Anna—”

“—Marie Wilson. I know.”

“Then why do you always just call me ‘girl’?” She asked a little confused while holding out a large butcher’s knife to him.

He shrugged, took the knife from her hand, and went about butchering his kill.

The reunion (in her case) and introductions (in his) were cut short by a falling, or rather, pulled down, tree and mutant battle royal that broke out soon after. If Logan had listened to her and put on his seatbelt, he might have actually stayed conscious for the whole thing. ‘He never did listen to me when I was being practical.’ As a result, the reunion was postponed as the victorious group of mutants, who called themselves X-Men, took her and Logan to New York with them. Not that Logan really had a choice in the matter, as his healing factor was working overtime, leaving him out cold. The X-Men promised to give Wolverine all the best medical care, which she hoped meant looking into the metal plating on his bones, which the red-headed doctor referred to as adamantium.

Playing the part of a Southern runaway had just gotten a whole lot harder – Rogue never contended on being shacked up with dozens of other mutants, some of which were telepathic. She could shut the telepaths out of her mind, but she couldn’t shut everyone out. And to be honest, she didn’t want to. There was something strangely freeing about being surrounded by other mutants, even if she was hemmed in by her own lies. An adorable little rivalry over her affections started between the boy that introduced himself as Bobby and the fire-starter known as Pyro almost the minute she was placed into the weather witch’s class. She might have been flirted with from time to time, but never by someone who knew about her mutation. It was heart-warming, and Rogue wasn’t used to having her heart warmed.

She was so damn cold. The campfire was nothing but smoldering ashes, and the pail of water they had brought with them was now an inch thick with ice. She sniffled, partly from the cold, partly from the sadness that threatened to consume her.

‘I just want to be somewhere warm, somewhere safe, somewhere away from him.’

She glanced over to the Wolverine, who managed to fall asleep in the bitter cold, despite giving her his only blanket. She didn’t hate him, it took too much energy to hate him. She just wanted to be away from him and everything he represented.

She took off her glove, uncloaking her numb fingers to the frigid air. Nervously, but with determined purpose, she slowly moved her hand to his cheek. She hesitated out of confusion when she was a hair’s breadth from his face and wondered why he hadn’t woken and stopped her yet. She forced her hand the final few millimeters and turned on her skin the moment it touched his chilled flesh.

She gasped and recoiled at the intensity of the thoughts and life force that flowed into her. Her last cogent thoughts were of how she hadn’t knocked him out long enough to get away before the full force of the feral’s mind overwhelmed her consciousness.

Rogue banished the reminiscences that she full knew could consume her, and rose from her bed, intent on having a word with Logan. She was not sure what that word would be, but she knew she couldn’t stay quiet any longer.

She silently slipped out of her crowded dormitory, wearing the shroud of a nightgown they had given her. Rogue paused outside Logan’s door, steeling herself for her conversation with him. She breathed out audibly as she opened the door to find him trashing in his sleep, apparently being assaulted in his dreams.

Gently trying to wake him from his nightmare without touching him with her bare hands, she called his name. “Logan . . . Logan, wake up.”

He woke with a start, murder in his eyes, claws instantly extended. Before she could comprehend what was going on, she could feel it, feel the perfectly sculpted adamantium blades pierce her skin. And yet they kept going, with agonizing proficiently, she felt them pushing through tissue, bone, piercing her lung, impaling her entirely.

She couldn’t speak, she felt the blood filling her lungs. She knew that in a manner of seconds that she would lose consciousness and she would be lucky to survive. ‘At least this time, I’m with him,’ she thought wistfully as she saw the recognition of the situation dawn on Logan’s face. He retracted his claws in a panic, and she thought she heard him yell, but it was as if it were from miles away. Instinct took over and she raised her bare hands to his face.

He seemed to know what she was going to do, but didn’t move away, even when the life-force was being sucked out of him. She briefly wondered why he didn’t try to stop her, until one thought of his got through her mental defenses - ‘she has to get better.’

She took what she needed from him, feeling her lungs fill with air again, the sweetest air she could imagine. The muscles and tissue began to knit back together, painfully, but with a beautiful ache of healing. He dropped to the floor, snapping Rogue back into the world outside her own body. Only then did she realize that she and the now-twitching Wolverine were not alone in the room. Several students and teachers surrounded her, all with their own look of distrust, horror, and concern.

“It was an accident,” she explained to a shocked Storm, then fled.

She fled where she had always fled in times like these, to the woods. Crashing through the old-growth forest on the property, she pushed everything in her mind down except the world before her away. Any thoughts or feeling that she had taken from Logan were trampled underfoot with the brown leaves and broken branches under her naked feet. She couldn’t let him take her over, and she couldn’t stand to really see what he had become. Despite her trained mind and determined will, little thoughts that were not her own still managed to bubble up.

‘Poor kid.’

‘Jean, you’re so beautiful.’

‘Kill them all.’

“Please, stop!” she screamed to the forest. She crumpled to the ground on a patch of ivy, deeply inhaling the scent of the trees around her. And the voices stopped.

She no longer thought – she felt.

She felt the ice cold air warming in her expanding and contracting lungs, she felt the darkness part before her keen eyes, she felt the blood surge through a body she had once given up for dead. Then there was a thought, a voice – but it was not her own. The voice spoke to her, not in words, but howls and growls. Barely audible laments on years of loneliness, howls of joy and longing upon finding a small form to share a long life with, and rumblings of deep devotion, the complexity of which she could barely fathom.

Howling aloud she responded, through her lungs were young and untested. She sang a primordial cry of belonging to the creature in her head and in the nest the two had made. She paced back to the body of the voice that now possessed her, only to halt at the sound of a branch cracking and the smell overwhelming smell of gunpowder. She and the Wolverine were not alone in the forest, and intruders were not welcome in their territory.

If anything, Rogue was an expert at playing a part to the very end. After the incident in Logan’s room, she bathed and went to bed, and woke the next day as usual. Everyone was more cautious around her, but she understood and put on a brave front. She had agreed to have lunch with Bobby that day, which she was sure would take her mind off her real problems. She waited and watched some of the mutant children play basketball, while others giggled and gossiped amongst themselves. Smiling to herself, she speculated how many of the children had been turned out of their homes when their mutation manifested, how many of them had any family to speak of.

‘Xavier has done something good here. Makes me wish I’d done more with my time.’

“Rogue,” she heard a familiar voice.

“Bobby,” she greeted the blue-eyed boy.

“Rogue, what did you do? They say that you’re stealing other mutants’ powers.”

‘Stupid teenagers and their gossip.’

“No, no – I borrowed his powers.”

“You never use your power against another mutant,” he stated, seemingly accusing her of intentionally harming Logan, which felt like a punch in the stomach. The still-undigested Logan in her mind growled at his assertion.

Rogue would have been outraged if she had not felt so guilty. All she could respond with was a sheepish “Ah had no choice – no, you don’t understand me.”

Bobby glared at her, “If I were you, I’d get myself out of here.”

Wasn’t this the boy that was hitting on her not twenty-four hours ago? The punch in the stomach started feeling like a knife, as he went on about how everyone hated or distrusted her. She wondered if Logan would feel the same once he regained consciousness.

“I think it will be easier on your own.”

‘No, it hasn’t been.’ But then again, seeing Logan not recognize her, not being able to be herself, being feared even by her own kind, none of it had exactly been easy. A loneliness that she had not felt in a long time took the breath from her. As she stood and looked back at the cold eyes of Bobby, she felt the little bit of hope that burned inside her all but extinguish. So she ran.

She bought a ticket to Richmond, Virginia, as if she really was going home to the South.

‘Home. What a joke. I haven’t had a home since –’

A mother and her son sitting a few seats away on the train caught her eye. ‘Does the universe really feel the need to fuck with my head any more?’ She thought bitterly as the tears threatened to fall and her heart clenched.

“Hey kid.” She thought he might find her, try and fix things, try and be a good man. He sat next to her, unbidden, and told her, “I’m sorry about last night.”

“Me too.”

‘In more ways then you’ll ever know.’

“You running again?”

“You can’t run from it, you know. Can’t run from what you are. Hell knows I’ve tried.” Logan said, his exhaustion clear in his voice.

“I’m not running from anything I am, I’m running from what you are, what you’re making me into.” Bitterness filled her as she attempted to catch his eyes, which were darting around – always scanning, always alert. They finally, reluctantly, met hers.

Shame. His eyes were full of shame. She hadn’t thought that he was capable of that particular emotion – he certainly never acted with any shame or sense of morals that she could detect. He opened his mouth, as if to speak, but apparently the words would not come.

“What if,” she said softly, her anger gone with the recognition of Logan’s show of humanity, “what if, instead of running from what you are, what I am, we change it?”

A slight smile graced his chiseled face, his eyes lightening. He gently cupped her cheek, trusting her not to use her powers against him. “No promises, but I can try. With your help.”

She smiled back at him and nuzzled his hand slightly, “Thank you. Thank you for trying. For actually caring.”

Rogue gave Logan a tearful smile and unburdened herself as much as she could without blowing her cover. He listened, he cared, even if he didn’t know why.

“What do you say, give these geeks one more shot? Come on, I’ll take care of you.”

“Promise?” He never made a promise unless he meant to keep it, so his total number of promises that she could remember could be counted on one hand.

“Yeah, yeah I promise.”

She settled in close to him, filling her lungs with his hauntingly familiar scent. For the first time since re-uniting with Wolverine, Rogue felt at peace, happy even. And then some old fart in a pseudo-military outfit, ridiculous helmet, and delusions of grandeur ruined the moment.

‘You’re so going on my shit-list, dickhead,’ she thought as the old man laid out Wolverine and she made a strategic retreat, only to be tranquilized from behind.

Being captured by the egomaniacal master of magnetism was not her idea of a good time. Even on her best day, she couldn’t take out Magneto and his Brotherhood. She hoped Logan and his new friends would be around soon to put some serious hurt on this asshole.

‘Preferably before he monologues me to death. Yeah, yeah, land of liberty. Noble cause. Bla bla bla. Damn this guy is full of shit.’

The door behind her opened and she whipped her hear round with a gasp. A great hulk of a man, with long blond hair, overgrown teeth and eyebrows glared down at her from outside the boat.

“Put her in the machine,” ordered Magneto, and went out to the front of the boat. Sabertooth stepped inside, stalking closer to Rogue, hovering over her and baring his claws.

“You scared, little girl?” Growled Sabertooth with a sadistic smile on his face.

“Yeah, sure, let me go get my boots so I can quake in them.” Rogue gave him a cheeky grin, unable to keep a serious tone with him.

Sabertooth’s grin turned to one of bemusement. “I got this, you know that, right?”

“I know,” she replied calmly, “I just hope this works.” She sighed and let herself be pulled up while she contemplated him. “Getting a bit shaggy there, aren’t we, Victor?”

He gave a low chuckle. “I think it works for me. And with the two of you out of my life, I’ve been getting a little . . . wild.” Rogue slowly looked over him, seeing how his long, lank hair, nearly black eyes, and protracted claws made him look as much like an animal as she’d ever seen him. It reminded her that Wolverine’s disappearance had affected more than her.

“We’ll get him back,” she said with false confidence. He just growled in response as Magneto reappeared and ushered her to the top of the Statue of Liberty. As she was waiting alone in the contraption he had created, doubt and worry began to overwhelm her, and she was tempted to call out Sabertooth’s name. A battle raged below her, while she tried to figure a way out of the bizarre metal contraption to no avail. Victor had neglected to tell her what the machine was for, but Magneto had confirmed that it would kill her.

‘Shit, shit, shit – this is what I get for going along with Vic’s little plan.’ She could hear shouting and explosions nearby, but couldn’t make out what was going on.

Her breathing came more rapidly, panic overtaking her. ‘They’re going to die – I’m going to die. Fuck, fuck FUCK! Oh God, please – ’ She could feel her skin ticking to life, out of control as her mind reeled. “Help! Somebody help me!”

Her luck being what it was, the figure that came before her was the last one she wanted to see.

“I’m sorry, my dear,” Magneto said contritely, bringing his hand to her face.

“Don’t do this,” the begged, ‘Not now, not when I really have a chance to live again.’

He grabbed her head with both hands and held tight. She tried to push her panic aside, turn off her mutation, but every nerve in her body was on full alert, ready to destroy anything it came into contact with. She could feel Magneto’s life flowing into her, along with his powers, and his memories – oh his memories. The camps, the betrayals, the grand plans, they swirled through her head, becoming her own, making her reach out for something. ‘Must activate the machine,’ the idea echoed through her head until she found the power to flip the switch without moving a muscle.

The contraption ascended and began to rotate around her, her mind too chaotic to do anything but scream.

Rogue felt the strength being pulled from her veins. An intense pain tore through her body; she could feel her consciousness slipping. ‘Is this how it feels for others when I suck them dry?’ she thought, trying to distract herself from the pain, which had soon overtaken her. She could no longer see, she couldn’t tell if her eyes were opened or closed. She couldn’t hear anything but a metallic scratching which at first was deafening, but it started to fade, as everything else started to fade, into the darkness. “Logan,” she whispered as the darkness overcame her.

She stood on the hardened tundra, small drifts of brown snow remained where sunlight never ventured. The glacial chill of the April morning air was counteracted by the adrenaline coursing through her. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath in, she hoped that she would break the spell that had come over her, that she would awaken to the world she knew and a place where she was safe. Keeping her eyes closed, she took in another deep breath, this time smelling the distinct, rusty smell of human blood. A tear ran down her cheek as she unwillingly opened her eyes, knowing that it had not all been a nightmare, it was her life.

The man’s body splayed out before her was still warm, for she could see steam rising from where his intestines had been ripped from his flesh. The man’s blue eyes still registered shock, but they were fast glazing over. She wished she had caught the brave, foolhardy man’s name before he had died.

A strong hand grabbed her shoulder from behind, but she still stared intently at the dead man. She was being dragged away from the place the corpse fell, where she knew it would rot there the coming months. “Wolverine, please,” is all she could manage to the man dragging her away. He didn’t look at her, and all that she could do, once the man’s body was out of view, was look down at her hands, covered in drying blood.

For a brief second, she thought that she was dead. Then the darkness retreated and the flood of memories, emotions, and sensations that were not her own washed over her. She knew that someone was still touching her, and she shoved them off.

Starting with a gasp, she saw the bloody, beaten, comatose form of Wolverine fall away from her. As his sacrifice dawned on her, all she could do was sob like the child she appeared to be.

“I hate you.”

“No you don’t,” he grumbled, “it ain’t in ya to hate anyone.”

She repressed an urge to growl at him.

He looked her dead in the eye, “What’s really going on? “

“I’m not doing well. Not doing well at all. My head is throbbing, my jaw feels tight, I want to run or scream, or both. I feel like I’m falling apart. And there’s you. You in my head. Talking to me. You talk to me more in my head than you do in real life. But both of you do tend to grunt a lot.”

He attempted a smirk at her last half-joke, but it came off as little more than a nervous twitch. He was otherwise petrified, at a loss for how to respond.

Her breathing came faster and shallower, as the tears that had been building finally marred her porcelain cheeks.

Closing the gap between them the two of them in a single stride, he wrapped his arms around her. “Breathe slowly, darlin’. Nice and slow.” Her tears continued to fall, leaving a damp stain on his shirt, but her breathing began to steady. “Slow breaths,” he kept whispering to her.

When some semblance of calm returned, she gently pushed herself away from him.

“Thank you,” she said earnestly.

“Nothing I wouldn’t do for you – and that was the least I could do.”

“Hope I never have to see the most you’ll do for me.”

He gave her a knowing smile.

Rogue ushered the most recent incarnation of Logan’s psyche into the recesses of her mind. She admitted to herself that it took her longer to do so than it really should have. On some level, she still wanted it there, with her, in the forefront of her mind. Yet a larger part of her was glad to be rid of it. The way he saw her now broke her heart. It scared her even more than the first time she absorbed him and became possessed by the blood-lust, passion, desperation, and domineering nature of the Wolverine.

Loosing herself in bit of frivolity with her new classmates, she tried to push all thoughts of Logan out of her mind. She almost didn’t notice when the actual Logan silently stalked by her, clearly headed for the door and out of her life.

“Hey,” she sprinted over to him, “you running again?”
He shifted uncomfortably, not meeting her eyes. “Not really. I got some things to take care of up North.”

He finally looked at her, and touched the strand of white hair that she had inexplicably gained in her last near-death experience. “I kind of like it,” she admitted. ‘A little change after all this time ain’t so bad.’

“I don’t want you to go,” she said simply.

Taking off his tags, the only link to his past that he knew of, he placed them in her gloved hand. “I’ll be back for this.”

‘The tags or me?’ The little ember of hope in her heart that was all but extinguished burned warmly once again. She smiled as he walked out the door.

‘Waited for him for fifteen years, I can wait another few months. Especially in digs like these.’
End Notes:
Confused yet? It’s intentional, I swear, but all will be revealed . . . eventually. Just a hint, all the flashbacks are from a very narrow time frame in the past. Please review!
Chapter 2: Remembrance by rogueslove
Author's Notes:
Assault trigger warning

A/N: I borrowed one thing from Origins, but otherwise I’m only taking into account the original trilogy. Thank you to everyone who reviewed, even thought that first chapter is a little confusing. Hopefully, this one is a little less so. Once again, ‘Internal dialogue’ and flashbacks denoted thusly.
Rogue found herself aimlessly wandering the streets of New York City, trying to come to grips with her new situation. After fifteen long years, she’d found Logan, but he didn’t remember her or anything about himself. Now he saw her as a friend, someone to protect, and perhaps be pitied for her crippling mutation. His affections lay elsewhere and he had taken off to find traces of his past.

“Shit-head only had ta ask me,” she muttered, walking down a crumbling sidewalk. Suddenly, she sensed something in the wind, and turned down darkened alleyway toward the familiar presence. In the darkness waited two slightly inebriated and profoundly disturbed young men. As she approached, they started their catcalls, but she ignored them, pressing on. One grabbed her arm and forced her into the wall, pressing his body against hers. “Hey baby, wanna have a good time?”

Rogue’s face was emotionless as her reply, “Get your hands off me or die.”

Both of the men chuckled at that, one gritting his teeth as he hissed, “Watch what you say, bitch. You ain’t in no situation to be such a cunt.”

The man who was holding her against the wall harshly grabbed her breast and started to grind himself against her. Her eyes glazed over with a feral fury as her arm shot out and landed a heavy blow on the man’s chest. She smirked in satisfaction as she heard a rib crack and watched as he staggered back against the opposite wall.

The second man pulled out a knife and shouted, “You fucking bitch” as he tried to slash her face. She easily dogged the swipe, then struck her knee into his sternum. She then round-house kicked him in the head, sending him to the pavement. She saw his eyes roll back and smelled the blood coming from where his head hit the ground. The first man regained his footing and looked between his friend and the girl, face filled with white-hot rage.

“I did warn you, didn’t I?” She asked sardonically as he charged her. As his fist was about to connect with her face, she quickly crouched and jabbed him in the gut with her elbow. He doubled over in pain, howling, bringing his head to chest height. She grabbed his head on either side and with a quick jolt, snapped his neck. She watched him fall to the ground, feeling annoyed. The adrenaline was still surging through her veins and she had no way to relieve it. She sighed in frustration and kept walking towards the familiar presence.

Two blocks latter, she came across a sleazy, broken-down venue. “Figures he’d be here,” she said, half hoping he’d hear her. Pulling out a fake ID that she knew the bouncer couldn’t care less about, she wandered into the strip club. The smell of cheap beer, sweat, and arousal hung heavy in the air. She strutted to a small table with a large man sitting at it and pulled up a chair.

“You cut your hair,” she said to him.

He growled at her. “First you hassle me about growing it out, now for cutting it short. You’re such a fucking bitch.”

“So I’ve been told.” The waitress wandered over and she ordered a bottle of Wild Turkey. He smiled at that.
Victor sniffed at her and inquired softly enough that no one else could hear him, “Hey, you just come from a kill?”

She gave him a cruel smile, “Yeah . . . they didn’t put up much of a fight, though.”

Victor chuckled deeply and returned the feral smile. The waitress brought over her bottle of bourbon and a glass, and Rogue quickly poured herself a drink, while Victor gulped down his whiskey and ogled the blond woman jiggling her implants onstage. After a few minutes of silence and a few drinks consumed by either party, Rogue inquired, “So, you okay Vic?”

“Do I look like I’m fucking okay?”

“As good as you ever do. That ain’t saying much.”

“Says the sour bitch that can’t even get her man to touch her.”

A low growl emerged from her and she shot him a warning glance. “Low blow, Victor.”

He could smell the anger waft off of her. Clearly wanting a fuck that night, not a fight, he lowered his eyes. “I half-way thought that if he just saw you, it would bring ‘em around.”

“Well, it didn’t, did it? I’m just poor, helpless Marie to him now. He can barely see me past the boner he has for that fucking red-headed bitch.”

“He’ll come around,” Victor said, feeling uncomfortable with words of solace coming from his mouth.

“No.” Rogue stated bitterly. “He won’t. And I can’t force him too.”

Victor was back to watching the naked women again, but could smell the tears coming from the girl next to him. He was simultaneously annoyed at her for interrupting his debauchery and feeling a strange urge to comfort her. He grumbled a little and coldly asked her, “So what the hell you gonna do? The Rogue I know don’t just sit by and watch shit happen to people she cares about.”

“Ever think that he’s better off not knowing?” She asked in a barely audible whisper.

“Fuck no.”

She sniffed and took another sip of her drink. “He’s off trying to piece together his past. He thinks it will make everything okay. But I’ve seen him, how he’s trying to be now. He likes playing hero, likes to think he’s helping people. I felt it, when I absorbed him on the Statue of Liberty. He thought he was sacrificing himself for someone innocent and pure, and he thought it was worth it, he thought I was worth it. What happens if he finds out who he really is, who I really am? He can’t play hero anymore, he can’t be the good guy.” She looked bitterly at her drink as Victor stared at her, completely forgetting that he was surrounded by naked women. “That’s why he likes her, you know . . . Jean. She’s what he wants now. He wants to be the hero who gets the beautiful, smart heroine.”

“Rogue . . .”

She turned to look at him, and he was surprised to see more determination than bitterness in her eyes. “I can’t take that from him, Victor. I can’t give him his past because it will destroy any hope he has for the future.”

“I ain’t giving up on him.”

“Let it go, Victor. Let him go.”

“No!” He shouted, slamming his fist on the table. Rogue grabbed her bottle of Wild Turkey before it could fall to the floor and ignored all the stares from fellow patrons. Sabertooth’s bared teeth brushed against Rogue’s ear as he growled at her, almost inaudibly, “Where’s your fucking loyalty, girl? He belongs with us, my brother belongs here, with us. And I will find a way to get him back.” Victor abruptly got up, and before Rogue could turn to look for him, he had left the strip club.

She stared at the bourbon in her hand, suddenly glad of her previous insight. Tonight, she would need the whole bottle.

Despite finishing the bottle of Wild Turkey in record time, Rogue still found herself sober by the time she returned home to the Mansion at daybreak. Without Wolverine there, no one was able to detect her overdue return to the school. She briefly pondered the lax security at the mutant school, but determined it was none of her damn business. She took a quick shower and settled into bed shortly before her roommates started to stir.

She managed to get a couple of minutes sleep before she was awakened by an annoying, hyperactive, yellow-clad blur. “Rogue! Ohmygodgirl, you’ve got to get up! Field trip today, remember?!”

“Fuck. My. Life.” She grumbled, silently praying that Wolverine would come back soon, and that she could stop living life like a mopey, hormonal teenager. Although what exactly she would do, or who she would be upon his return she didn’t know.

There was some entertainment value, if nothing else, in acting like a semi-normal teenager. She had agreed to be Bobby’s girlfriend a few weeks previous, but she wasn’t sure why. Perhaps she just wanted the experience. He genuinely seemed to like her, and while he seemed like a nice boy, he was just that – a boy. His antics, along with his best friend’s, at the field trip proved that to her. Sure, he may have good intentions, but he scored zero out of ten in the common sense department.

‘Using your powers in a museum full of people with security cameras all around ain’t exactly inconspicuous, Bobby-boy.’ She rolled her eyes at Iceman as he was being reprimanded by Professor Xavier. ‘If I were his teacher, he would be in much bigger trouble. Ug, all these responsible, ethical types are making me think like them. Ick. Or whatever teenagers say these days to express disgust. I’m pretty sure they don’t say grody to the max anymore. Well, expect for Jubes.’

Back at the school, Rogue tried, for what felt like her to be the millionth time, to try and be a teenager. Which involved being silly, frivolous, and flirty. ‘It’s a nice change of pace,’ she thought, while trying to thumb wrestle Bobby with her gloves on. He moved in for a kiss.

“I don’t want to hurt you.” Was all she could think to say.

“I’m not afraid,” he responded. She was taken aback by the sweet, handsome boy. Feeling a slight stirring in her heart, she didn’t stop him again as he leaned in to kiss her. Until, that is, she heard the unmistakable sound of a motorcycle pull up. She gave Bobby a big grin and sprinted to the door.

Logan came sauntering back into Xavier’s School like he owned the place. Rogue couldn’t help but smile at the fact that he was still a cocky bastard, and she greeted him with a tentative hug, which he returned.

“Miss me kid?” He asked with a smirk.

“Not really.” Two could play at this game. They had done it for years, even if he didn’t know it. Besides, at this point, she felt that the amnesiac version of him in her life was almost as painful as not having him around at all. Almost.

Bobby came up and introduced himself to Logan as her boyfriend. She had to stop herself from laughing. She just grinned as Iceman tried to assert himself to the Wolverine. ‘What an adorable little fool, my so-called boyfriend is.’

The reunion was short-lived, as Jean breezed into the room and stole the spotlight. The longing, worshipful look in Logan’s eyes when he looked at her was like a dagger in Rogue’s heart. And so she was grateful when Bobby dragged her away from the scene.

With a distinctly unfeminine grunt, Rogue lifted the large pot of boiling water off the burner and carefully toted it to the bathroom. Balancing the pot of the edge of the cracked enamel tub, she tilted the bubbling water into the basin, mixing it with the cool water already waiting therein. Testing the temperature a few times, she managed to find the perfect balance, and quickly stepped out of her worn, yet comfortable, woolen dress.

Sighing contentedly, she submerged her tired and dirty body in the water. Closing her eyes, her mind drifted away from her yet-unfinished chores and to the surrounding mountains, where the snow was falling upon the mighty pines and rugged peaks. Amongst those tree, the man she loved would be wandering, coming home to her.

A slight creek of the floorboards put her on alert, but she settled back into the warm water once she had discerned the scent of the intruder. She heard the slow, deliberate steps of a predator coming up to her.
He pressed a loving kiss on her forehead, “Hey, Darlin, looking comfy there.”

She hummed in agreement. “You managed to find anything, sugar?”

“Yeah, got us dinner.”

She opened her eyes and looked him over. Logan was dressed in layers of flannel, denim, and leather. His hair was more of a mess than usual, and flecks of blood and flakes of snow covered him.

She gave him a wicked smile. “You look cold and tired. Care to warm up with me?”

He returned her wicked smile and raised her an arched eyebrow. “I’m cold, but I ain’t tired,” he said roughly, stripping off his many layers.

“Sure ya ain’t,” she replied mockingly.

“Guess I’ll just have to prove it to ya.” He stepped into the tub and claimed her lips with his own.

Rogue gazed at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. Her hair, still wet from her shower, clung to her skin. She tried to visualize what her young, soft body would look like if all the scars she had earned in her life had remained with her. She smirked ‘Now that would give me a real reason to cover myself from head to toe.’ The smirk disappeared as she glanced at the three physical manifestations of her troubled life: the white stripe in her hair, the slightly raised, off-color scar on her lower abdomen, and the tags that Logan had given her, that had perpetually been hanging from her neck ever since the day he had departed the school.

Two of these wounds had been forced upon her, but she felt the weight of the last one most acutely. The remembrance of her loss, the man Logan once was, was a scar that was embodied in that hunk of metal. Yet she willingly bore it, accompanying her bodily wounds. She took a deep breath in, ‘Now it’s time. Time to let it go, let them go, let him go. If I told Vic to do it, I better take my own advice.’ she told herself, and she walked back to her bed, and wrapped the dogtag around her wrist and managed to fall into a dreamless sleep.

Then all Hell broke loose. In the chaos of the attack on the school, she managed find John and Bobby. As the heavily armed soldiers closed in, Wolverine came in with his usual bravado and led them to safety. Logan hurried them into one of the escape tunnels before shutting it with him still in the hallway. “If you want to shoot me, shoot me!” She could hear him roar.

‘Shit. The Wolverine has taken over. We’re in full-on feral berserker mode.’ Rogue had seen it before, but this was the worst timing she’d ever seen.

She kept running down the escape tunnel, but the wrongness of the situation hit her full force. ‘Those fuckers knew too much, they knew who we were, where we were, when to strike. They might even know how to take out the Wolverine.’

Coming to a sudden halt, she yelled to the two boys “Wait, wait, you guys, we got to do something. They’re going to kill him.” Bobby relented, and the returned to the hallway, where a strangely non-violent confrontation was taking place. Bobby quickly put an ice wall between Wolverine and the soldiers.

“Logan, come on, let’s go.”

He didn’t pay any attention to her. His entire focus was on the man to whom he had been speaking. She only had been able to get a glimpse of him, but she didn’t think she recognized him.

“Logan!” Bobby yelled, finally forcing the feral to look at the two students.

“Go, I’ll be fine.”

“But we won’t.” ‘They probably have this place completely surrounded by now.’

Logan looked torn, but followed them back down the passageway, where they met up with John and hotwired one of Cyclops’s cars.

For once, the fire-starter asked the right question. “What the Hell was that back there?”

“Stryker. His name is Stryker.” Wolverine said enigmatically.

“Who is he?” Rogue inquired gently.

“I can’t remember,” he said bitterly.

‘But you still remember his name. Whoever he is, whoever he was, he stuck in your mind more than I ever did.’ She could feel her lower lip quiver, but refused to show her dejection. She unwrapped the dogtag from around her wrist, and held it out to him. “Here, this is yours,” she said, dropping it into his hand.
‘Now if only I could get my heart back from you in return.’

“I really do hate gutting bunnies.”

“They’re rabbits, darlin’, not bunnies,” said Wolverine disdainfully.

“Either way, I still hate gutting them. So much work for so little meat,” she commented, skillfully taking out the still warm intestinal track of the dead rabbit. “Plus, they are kind of cute.”

He rolled his eyes, “I’m not going back out in that weather to get you a damn deer.”

“Fine,” she said haughtily, putting down her knife, “I’ll go and get one myself.”

He watched her wipe off her bloodied hands, put on her coat and grab a shotgun from the wall. As she opened the door he yelled back at her, “Go if you want to, just don’t expect me to come bail you out when you can’t feel your toes anymore.”

“Just finish gutting the bunny,” she said slamming the door behind her.

“It’s a rabbit!”

Bobby’s parent’s house was the quintessential suburban American home, white picket fences and everything. It intrigued Rogue and turned her stomach all at the same time. No one was home, so Bobby led Rogue into his bedroom and managed to get her some real clothes. He even turned around when she was dressing.

‘Aw, what a gentleman.’

But the look in his eyes when she turned around was not gentlemanly. A combination of affection and desire played in his eyes, and Rogue’s heart wrenched. ‘It’s been so long since anyone looked at me like that.’

“You won’t hurt me,” he promised, as he came in to kiss her.

His lips were cold, but she surrendered to the kiss all the same.

When she backed away, she realized what he had done, covered his lips with a thin coating of ice so that her powers wouldn’t take effect. ‘Damn, that’s one smart boy.’ She smiled and let him kiss her again, this time longer and deeper.

‘This feels good, so good. But wrong.’ She felt herself starting to panic, despite enjoying the kiss. ‘It shouldn’t be with him.’ A nagging voice echoed through her head. She felt her mutation kick in, despite her best efforts in trying to keep the irrational dread at bay. ‘It should be Logan’ She kept kissing him, until a flood of thoughts hit her, and Bobby pushed her away.

“Ah-ah’m sorry.”

‘Fuck, fuck, fuck. My subconscious won’t even let me enjoy a kiss? God damn it, Wolvie, you certainly have ruined me for any other man.’ She glanced over at the recovering Bobby, ‘Or boy.’

She was alone in a snowstorm, bundled up tightly, but still starting to freeze. Despite her honed hunting skills, she’d seen neither hide nor hair of any large game. She had hoped to have come across a deer, not only to show up Wolverine, but keep her well fed for the next few weeks. She was getting tired of her paltry meals; rabbits were all fur and no meat. She knew when she was beat, and the weather had beaten her. She was taking one last survey of the surrounding forest and then she would head back to the cabin. She tensed as she sensed something on the wind. Inhaling deeply, her stomach dropped as she realized she was not longer the hunter but the hunted.

Something big was out there. Something not quiet human, but not entirely animal. Deciding on the direct approach, she yelled out into the fading winter light, “I know you’re out there. Ya wanna come out? ‘Cause it’s too damn cold ta play hind and seek.”

A throaty laugh echoed across the mountain valley, but it gave her no indication of where it originated. She spun around, hoping to find some sign of where her stalker lay.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw him, emerging from behind an immense Subalpine Fir, making no attempt to further conceal himself. ‘Not that anything less than a tank could conceal someone that big.’

He truly was the largest man that Rogue had ever set eyes on. She reckoned he must be well over seven feet tall, and composed of more muscles than humans should feasibly have. Covered in furs from a dozen or so animals, and sporting long, wild dirty-blond hair, he strutted forward, with bared razor-sharp canines.


For a minute there, Rogue was actually happy about the ordeal that had taken Logan from her and imbued him with an adamantium skeleton. Without that impenetrable metal encasing his brain, she didn’t know how much damage the Boston cop’s bullet would have done. And she couldn’t exactly perform first aid while Pyro was attacking the police with fireballs.

‘Damn kid really lives up to his name, doesn’t he?’ She thought while taking off her glove and using her mutation on him to quell the fires. The appearance of the X-Men’s jet was a welcome sight, even if it did contain a very strange looking blue man with a strong German accent.

Her relief was short lived, as two military planes began to at attack the jet, and Rogue fumbled with her seatbelt. ‘Stupid gloves.’ A missile hit, and she could feel herself being sucked out due to the explosive decompression.

She was free-falling. The land beneath her spread out like an eternal plain. She tried to scream, but the onrush of wind stole her voice. Her panic suddenly ceased, and she looked at the beautiful blue sky above her. ‘Not a bad way to go, if you have to.’

There was a flash of black smoke, smell of sulfur, and then the wind stopped. The horrible sensation of falling continued, but she realized she was somehow back in the jet, with someone holding her.

The descent slowed, and they came to a gentle stop. Rogue saw that it was the strange blue man who was holding her, who must have saved her. She looked up through the windshield of the jet, to see an elderly man in impressive cape and ridiculous helmet holding out his hand. She groaned, ‘Oy, this guy.’

The X-Men, Magneto, and Mystique had a conference, away from herself, Bobby, Pyro, and the blue gentleman that they called Nightcrawler. She didn’t know what they were planning, and for the moment, she didn’t want to know. She’d had all the adventure and near-death experiences that she could stand in the last twenty-four hours. But she did want to know who that Stryker guy was, and what he had to do with Wolverine. She wandered over to Nightcrawler, and gave him her thanks.

He bashfully accepted. She instantly liked him.

“Can you hear what they’re saying?” She indicated at the X-Men and Brotherhood, who were standing around a campfire.

“I could take a look,” he said mischievously. She smiled and nodded enthusiastically.

She watched from afar as he deftly teleported and hung by has back feet and tail to eavesdrop on them. ‘I think I found me a new friend. Possibly one who can help me unravel this mystery.’ Then she cursed aloud when she realized he’d been spotted. ‘Possibly not.’

She wandered off and started to set up camp, since they seemed to be set on spending the night there. While putting up the first tent, she spied Wolverine and Jean share a passionate kiss, and she had to turn away.

‘That’s what my life has become, watching from afar as things happen around me. Watching others be adventurous, seeing others fall in love. I swear I didn’t used to be this way. Was I?’

She retired to her tent. Rogue rarely pulled up any of the memories she had acquired through absorptions. The decades had taught her to file them away, uninvestigated. After Logan’s disappearance, she had looked into his memories for any indication of who had taken him, to no avail. She had kept looking into his memories, holding tight to the only vestige of him that she still had.

It had been a crutch, and she had realized it years ago. Eventually, she cut herself off, thinking it better to be deprived of him than falling into his memory, his mind, and abandon reality completely. But tonight she opened his mind, latching onto the first thought of his that bubbled forth from the remnants of her many absorptions of him.

Half-asleep, he nuzzled a soft, warm belly. The air around him was crisp, the sheet around him flimsy, but the body he was wrapped around was the closest thing he knew to home. He listened to her deep breathing and slow heart beat, recognizing that she was truly asleep. He took a deep breath in, relishing the calm she exuded, the way her scent embraced him, soothing the beast and enrapturing the man.

“Anna,” he breathed out as he drifted into slumber.

She snapped out the memory upon hearing movement outside. She peeked through the small opening she had left in her tent to see Jean sneaking into Logan’s still lighted tent. Hold back a sob, she crawled into her sleeping bag, and held her pillow tight around her ears in order to block out any sounds that Logan and Jean might make. Rocking herself back and forth, she hummed aloud, and didn’t even try to stop the tears from flowing.

‘He’s mine. He was mine. He should be mine.’

“What you doin’ out here all alone, little girl?” The giant man said menacingly.

“I ain’t no little girl,” Rogue replied strongly. She refused to show any fear to this man, no matter how scary he was.

He let out a low laugh as he stalked closer to her. She lowered her gun and aimed it at his head. “Not another step, mister!”

The man stopped and smiled at her. It was the kind of smile that could curdle milk. “Go ahead frail, try it.”
Neither of them moved, they just stood several dozen feet apart, waiting for the other to make the first move. Rogue gulped. He charged.

With incredible speed, he set upon her and she fired the shotgun. It flew out of her hands a second later, and she could only pray that she had hit him. She found herself with her back on the snowy ground, the large man bending over her, giant teeth bared.

She tore off her glove and managed to touch his face, just as he grasped her neck. Willing her powers on, she began to suck out his strength, and a spider-web of veins appeared upon his face.

“This is me, trying it,” she spat out at him, as his pupils dilated and he stumbled back. And then the full force of his mind hit her.

They set out for Alkali Lake the next morning. The X-Men donned their leather suits, which looked incredibly hot, in more ways than one. Logan dismissed her complaint that she didn’t have one. Magneto then tried to goad her, but seemed genuinely surprised when she silently threatened him with her powers. ‘I guess age doesn’t bring wisdom, otherwise you’d know not to provoke someone who has nothing to lose.’

Once they arrived at the lake, Rogue was left with Bobby and John to ‘guard’ the jet.

They sat in silence for several minutes.

Eventually, she turned to John. “Why did you do that? Back in Boston? You didn’t have to go ballistic on them like that.”

John huffed, “They had just shot your precious Wolverine, I’d have thought you’d want some retribution.”

“This ain’t about me. Why did you do it?”

He looked her in the eyes. “You absorbed me, right? Shouldn’t you know?”

“Her powers don’t work like that,” retorted Bobby.

‘Oh yes they do. But no one at the mansion knows about it.’ She eyed John suspiciously. They sat in uncomfortable silence, watching the clock and wondering about the fate of their friends.

John got up and grabbed his coat. “I’m sick of this kid’s table shit, I’m going in there.”

‘You’re telling me. No, no, be responsible.’ She reminded him, “John, they told us to stay here.”

“You always do as you’re told?” He spat back at her before descending the ramp down to the snowy land below.

‘I wouldn’t be called Rogue if I did.’ She turned to the cockpit behind her.

The ferocity of even Wolverine’s feral nature was feeble in comparison to this man’s. Sabertooth. The rage, the lust for blood, the feeling of abandonment. He fumed, wanted to destroy her, from without or from within. He didn’t really care. She smelled all wrong. A combination of things that couldn’t be. They mocked him.

Sabertooth did not like things he could not understand. He destroyed anything that dared to mock him.

Through her absorption-inspired rage, she could see him stagger towards her.

With all her mental strength, she tried to push the psyche of Sabertooth aside. Only to find yet another voice—quieter, but just as deadly. Victor. Victor Creed.

“Logan’s brother,” Rogue whispered. Sabertooth froze.

“How do you know Jimmy?” He asked coldly.

She looked at the large man. She really couldn’t see any physical resemblance between him and Logan, but one of the voices, she couldn’t tell if it was Victor or Logan, whispered to her that they were half brothers. He looked at her intently, more interested now that murderous.

“He’s my, um, mate, I guess you could say.”

He scoffed, “You look pretty scrawny, even to be the runt’s mate.”

“Almost took you down, didn’t I?”

He let out a low, warning growl. His hand shot out to her, but she was shocked to find it was not an attack, he was giving her a hand up. She took it, and he yanked her up, almost pulling her arm out of her socket while he was at it.

“Come on, frail, we gotta go have a talk with my brother.”

Her skull felt like it was collapsing, pushing against her brain. She crumbled to the floor of the jet, only to see Bobby do the same. The pain was unbearable; she thought her mind might literally explode. She reached for Bobby’s hand and held tight, thankful for the presence of someone who cared about her in what might be her final moments.

And then the pain stopped as quickly as it started. She felt Bobby grab hold of her and give her a big, loving hug.

“Something’s wrong, they need us,” she whispered to him.
He hesitantly nodded, and she sat herself in the pilot’s seat and started to identify the controls. It took her several minutes and several false starts before she got the jet running, but she managed to gain lift and fly it over to where she saw the X-Men running through the snow. Her hands were so tight on the stirring column, she didn’t know if an adamantium crowbar could pry them off. Which was probably part of the reason her landing was less than graceful.

‘Shit!’ She screamed internally, once she realized that she damaged the plane. The X-Men and mutant children were already hurrying on board and she turned over her seat to Storm. She sat in shocked silence as the jet refused to fly and the dam began to break. And then Jean sacrificed herself to save them.

She sat dumbfounded as Cyclops and Wolverine together mourned the loss of the woman they both loved. Rogue felt for both of them, for she had been in their place before. There was nothing she could say, nothing she could do, to erase that pain. She knew it stayed with you forever. She knew it could even destroy you.

Rogue found herself in Washington, wearing the very X-Men uniform that Logan had mockingly said she wasn’t ready for. She stood beside Cyclops and listened as Xavier talked about the casualties of war. Scott’s lip quivered, and she held out her hand, to give his a quick squeeze. He didn’t flinch from her touch.

“What the fuck did you do to her?”

“I’m fine, Logan.”

“Calm down, runt” Victor snarled, “I didn’t touch your little pet.”

The Wolverine’s bone claws were out in a blink of an eye, and he waved them menacingly toward his brother. “Rogue is my woman. You got me, bub? If anything happens to her, I’ll have your head on a pike.”

Sabertooth’s claws were bared, as he stared down his little brother, “You think you can threaten me, Jimmy-boy?”

“Well if this ain’t one dandy family reunion.” Rogue said, irritated at the brothers’ hostility.

Logan glanced over at her. “He’s always been like this, a psychotic bastard.”

“Technically, you’re the bastard,” Victor remarked.

“Enough!” Rogue yelled. “Logan, Victor didn’t hurt me. He just couldn’t figure out how I smelled like you, and a feral at the same time.” He gave her a confused look, and she tapped her head as a response to his unasked question. “Victor, Logan would never say this, but he’s been looking you for as long as you’ve been looking for him. So, both of you, just relax. We’re a fam . . . er, pack. Now let’s have something to eat and talk.”


“Fine. What are we having for dinner, frail?”

Rogue grimaced at Sabertooth’s tone, as well as Logan’s attitude. “Bunny stew.”

Rogue sucked in a breath and dialed the only number she knew by heart.

After two rings, the sound of a crowded bar assaulted her, and over that she heard a deep “What is it?”

“I found out who did it, who took Logan from us.”

“Who is the fucker? I’ll turn him inside out.”

She chuckled, “A little late for that Victor. He’s at the bottom of a lake now.”

Sabertooth growled, “Jimmy damn well have better made him suffer.”

“Sounds like he did. Drowning ain’t a good way to go.”

“Well, who was he? What the fuck did they do to him? Are there any more of them out there that I should hunt down.”

“The guy’s name was Stryker, he wanted Logan for a weapon, just as we has figured. As for the last bit, I really don’t know. You know how Wolverine is, gut first and ask questions later. But he seemed to get enough answers to be satisfied.”

“You satisfied, girl?”

“Hell no. But what can I do about it?”

“Where did they take him, maybe I can get someone to get some info from the place.”

“Won’t work, it’s all underwater now. We barely escaped with our lives as the place flooded.” Rogue grimaced,

“Some of us didn’t survive.”

“Aww,” Victor said patronizingly, “did one of the little X-Men die?”

Rogue stiffened. “Yes. Jean.”

Victor was silent; never a good sign. “That’s good for you, ain’t it?” He finally asked.

“No, no it’s not. I hated her for being the object of Logan’s affection, but I didn’t want her to die. Despite everything, she was a good person. And it’s not like her being gone will make him love her any less.” She added bitterly, “I should know.”

“Fuck, you’re still not on this ‘We should let him go’ thing, are you?”

She let out a mirthless laugh, “Maybe I am. Let’s see how well it works out.”
End Notes:
There’s a whole lot of Sabertooth in this one, I know. Get used to it, I like him, and he’s a big part of this story. Be forewarned, next chapter has my first ever attempt at writing smut.

Random fact: I wrote some of this while my students were taking a practice AP test – I fed off their anguish.
Chapter 3: Severed Ties by rogueslove
Author's Notes:
Warning: Smut and hints of abuse
This is the last chapter that is based on the movies. I had to re-watch X3 for this, so you’d better be grateful. You’ll get some answers, but no closure. Sorry, not sorry. In case you forgot, ‘Internal dialogue’ and flashbacks denoted thusly.
“Suck it up, girl,” Logan grunted, “Suck down every damn drop!”

His fiery hazel gaze met the girl’s chocolate doe eyes. She nodded slightly while trying not to choke on his cock. Seeing her acquiesce sent him over the edge and he came with a roar. He grabbed her head with both hands and forced himself as far down her throat as possible while spilling his seed. He was barely cognizant of her coughing and sputtering for air as he released her.

She sat back on the bed, swallowing hard while trying not to audibly cough.

He leaned back contentedly and smirked at the girl. “Come here, darlin’.”

She moved with feline grace up the bed, coming to rest beside the feral man. His eyes slightly darkened as he ran his thumb across her lower lip, wiping a small speck of himself off her. “You missed some,” he said dangerously.

She smiled shyly and blushed. He chuckled lightly at her coyness. He pulled her closer and she rested her head on his chest. He smiled as she breathed out a contented sigh. They stayed like that for several minutes, but Logan’s smile slowly faded as he looked down at the girl.
Finally, he spoke, but in a quiet, concerned voice that initially startled the girl. “You’re what, nineteen now?”
She stared at him in mild shock. “Yeah. But you knew that Logan.”

“I know but. . .” he grew increasingly frustrated about how to broach the subject. “Ya don’t look nineteen. You don’t look a day over fifteen, ta be honest.”

“So?” She responded gently, wary of invoking his ire. “Fifteen and nineteen ain’t that far apart. What’s four years to you?”

He tensed at the subtle accusation, “Four years ain’t much when you’re talking about thirty-five and thirty-nine. But for you it’s fucking eons.”

“I guess I’m just slow to develop,” she muttered, biting her lip.

“It ain’t that.” He rose from the bed, his agitation more apparent, “You’ve barely grown at all in the last few years. And fuck knows I feed you enough.”

She sat on the bed looking at him as he began to pace, unsure of what to do, of what to say. So she stayed still, still chewing her lip.

He stopped pacing and gave her an enigmatic look. “Darlin’ is it possible that you’re keeping some of those gifts that you take from me? I mean, has your sense of smell been getting better since you’ve been touching me? Something like that?”

Her face dropped, realizing exactly what he was asking her. “I don’t know Logan. If I’m keeping anything from the times I touch you with my powers, I’m not exactly aware of it. I mean, except for that initial burst. Maybe it’s been happening slowly, and I just haven’t been able to notice.” She was afraid to meet his eyes, to see the recrimination she knew was bound to be there.

Head hung low, she watched his bare legs as they approached her. He grasped her chin and pulled it up to look at him. The look in his eyes that she formerly found enigmatic was suddenly readable, it was just not a look she had ever seen on him: remorse. “Anna. I’m sorry. I never wanted this for you.”

Tears were filling her eyes, but whether it was because of what he was insinuating or that he was truly repentant was unclear even to her. “So,” she squeaked, “I’ll never grow up?” She felt some of the tears fall down her cheek.
He knelt in front of her, never breaking eye contact. “I do age, darlin’, just real slow. So if you took that from me, it’ll be the same for you.”

She sniffed and took a deep breath, “Will you still want me?”

His mouth hung open for a moment, then he spoke with uncharacteristic sincerity. “Always. I’ll always want you. I’ll always be there for you. I promise.”

Rogue vacantly looked at her reflection in the mirror as she brushed her hair. Lost in memory and sadness, she was still amazed at how young she still looked. She was perpetually grateful that her false romance with Iceman would not move on to another level due to her mutation, otherwise she would have felt like a pedophile. She might be able to pass for a nineteen-year-old, but she rarely felt like one.

Pulling back her hair into a high ponytail, she wandered down to the lower levels of the Xavier Institute, and stepped into the changing room. She smiled at the leather cat-suit that was waiting there for her, made to fit her like a glove. She slipped into the binding, yet flattering uniform and made her way to the Danger Room. Colossus, Iceman, Storm, and Wolverine were all waiting there. Wolverine muttered something under his breath about girls always taking forever to get dressed, when Kitty bounded in and they started their training session.
The Post-Apocalyptic landscape that sprouted out of the Danger Room’s hologramatic computer quickly separated the junior members, leaving each one to cope individually. Rogue sighed bitterly, frustrated that even in this relative seclusion, she was unable to utilize all her powers. She stealthily moved between bombed-out buildings and fire-damaged cars, finding her way to Colossus. Her natural mutation was only as useful as the mutants who surrounded her, and Piotr’s metallic flesh was a far more appealing defense than anything that Bobby or Kitty could offer. And she didn’t really mind having him in her head. Unlike the other mutants at Xavier’s, Piotr was utterly unpretentious and blatantly honest. Having him in her head for those few minutes after she’d absorbed him was like having a friend over for tea, unlike her normal experience with unwillingly absorbing people, which was the psychic equivalent to getting into a bare-fist fight in a biker bar. Which, even in real life, did not rate highly in her experiences.

Throughout the Danger Room session, Rogue kept sneaking glances at Logan. He was cool under pressure, as always. ‘Some things never change. He’ll never let anyone see him sweat.’ The simulated battle was not going well, and the two senior X-Men members were managing to have a tet-a-tet about it. Rogue could only gaze longingly at the pair. Storm and Wolverine were well matched. Both were smart, brave, and dedicated.

‘Only a matter of time before they wind up together,’ she ruminating, wishing with every fiber of her being that she didn’t care. But she did. And she always would.

It was at that moment she decided that she had to find a way out of this life, away from the X-Men. She liked it in the mansion, and she was happy to be around Logan again, but if she had to see him falling in love with another woman again . . . It would break what little resolve she had left.

She just needed an exit strategy.

He put down the heavy phone. She looked at him expectantly, but he didn’t look at her. “I gotta go for a few days, darlin’.”


“I have to work,” he said, walking back to the bedroom.

She followed him in. “Stop calling it ‘work’ like I don’t know what that means. You know how it pisses me off when you treat me like a child.”

He let out an audible sigh while pulling out his canvas duffle bag. “It ain’t like that, it’s just that I don’t want you involved.”

He moved over to the dresser, and opened his shirt drawer. She stomped over and shut it. His eyes snapped to hers, anger clouding them. She wondered if it was just the reflection of the anger in her own eyes.

“You’re in my head! You’re my mate or lover or whatever. I am involved. Do you really want me to pretend that that side of you doesn’t exist?”
“Wish it didn’t,” he muttered, still angry, but apparently now with himself.

She rolled her eyes, “Shit, Logan. After everything? You’d think that I’d care about you taking out someone who actually deserved it?”

Rogue hadn’t meant to make it sound like an accusation, but his slight flinch made it clear that was how he took it. No matter how badly he took it, she couldn’t be made to feel bad for him. He’d made his choices, and he had to live with them. But he also had to live with her.

“Let me go with you,” she said softly.


“I—I’d like to know what it’s like.”

He searched her face. “I thought you knew already.”

“No, this is different. How am I supposed to share a life with you if I don’t know this side of you firsthand?”

Logan rumbled, “Ya ain’t gonna like it, Anna.”

She gave him a weak smile. “I don’t like a lot of things that you’ve done, or that I’ve done, but I’m stronger for it, right?”

He just nodded. “We leave in thirty minutes.”

She didn’t mean to bite Bobby’s head off, but her frustration was growing by the minute. He seemed to accept that the problem was with their relationship, which it was in a strange way, but not the “can’t touch my boyfriend” way in which she claimed. The problem is that they both wanted to be with other people.

She flopped down on the common room couch, hoping to cool down. What she got instead was her way out.

“Is it true, they can cure us?” She burst into Xavier’s study unannounced.

The Professor confirmed it, Wolverine gave one of his patented enigmatic looks, but it was Storm that was adamant. “They can’t cure us. You want to know why? Because there’s nothing to cure. Nothing’s wrong with you.”

Rogue knew there was a reason she liked Storm. But the woman was wrong, there was plenty wrong with her, it was just not with her mutation.

Rogue picked at the decaying black upholstery on the seat of the Ford Model AA.

“Quit it, Anna Marie,” Logan complained, lit cigar clenched in his teeth.

She let out an overly dramatic sigh, “Well, if you’d talk to me. Tell me what the assignment is.”

He grunted and nodded to his suitcase on the cab floor, “The manila folder.”

After rifling through his belongings, she managed to find the folder. She read and re-read the contents, trying to feel something other than anger and disgust.

“He—he doesn’t really do that, does he?”

Logan tapped the ash of his cigar out of the truck, “Yep. Not why we’re killing him, though. He pissed off one too many loan sharks.”

“But they’re kids,” she eeked.

“Yeah,” he replied darkly. “And so are you.”

Rogue was hidden away in her room during the drama. Jean came back, but she wasn’t the caring, loyal, heroic Dr. Jean Grey that she remembered and was resentful of. No, this was super-bitch Jean, who now went by the name of Phoenix. She killed Cyclops, tried to seduce Wolverine, blasted her way out of the school, then killed the Professor. She would get hers, and Rogue just hoped that she wasn’t around to see it, because she knew her gloating would give her away.

The funeral for Xaiver turned her stomach – to be killed by someone who you just wanted to help seemed like the ultimate betrayal. And while Rogue recognized that the Professor was less than perfect, he had a good heart. She sat in the front row, clad in black, with Bobby by her side. She saw Logan there, out of the corner of her eye. Not clad in black. Not officially mourning, although she knew he was. He was mourning the loss of a man who saw the best for him, and mourning once again for the loss of the woman he loved.

Rogue was the first to put a rose on the Professor’s grave. She was thankful for him, if nothing else, for reminding her that there were truly good intentioned people out there. It gave her a renewed faith in humanity, or mutanity, if that was a word. But his death marked the end of her time there.

Seeing Bobby and Kitty enjoying themselves that evening, ice skating like the sweet teenage couple they were destined to be, was the last straw. Rogue may not have actually been in love with Iceman, but her heart had been damaged too much lately, she really couldn’t deal with the humiliation of being dumped.

She hoped to make a clean escape, but Logan was there in the hallway as she left with her overnight bag. When he asked her what she was doing, in his subtly caring way.

All she could come up with was, “you don’t know what it’s like be afraid of your powers, to be afraid to get close to anybody.”

“Yeah, I do.”

‘Shit. Of course he does. Okay, different angle.’ “I want to be able to touch people, Logan. A hug, a handshake, a kiss.”

“I hope you’re not doing this for some boy.”

‘No, I’m doing this for you, you big lummox.’

“Look, if you want to go, then go. Just be sure it’s what you want.”

He let her go, all the same. She wasn’t sure if she should feel offended that he didn’t try and be protective by making her stay, or be honored that he gave her the credit to make up her own mind.

‘Always an enigma, that one.’

The dilapidated, rusted-out warehouse stood in sharp contrast to the calm blue-grey waters of Lake Superior. She pulled her eyes away from the peaceful lake and watched the play of silhouettes through the windows of the warehouse. A chill came over her, only partly due to the foggy air that nipped at her face.

Rogue heaved a sigh of relief as Logan’s form came toward her.

“What did you see?” She whispered to him when he was several yards away.

“Looks like they’re about ready for a shift change,” he said coldly, coming up to her and wrapping his burly arms around her small body. “I think they won’t even notice. The man doesn’t hire quality lackies.”

“And where does one find high-quality lackies these days?” Rogue snidely asked.

“Madripoor, Jersey, Moscow. . .” He replied seriously. “Fuck, Chicago ain’t that far away—” He looked down at her to see her sly smile. “Funny. You going to do this or not?”

Rogue nodded and pried herself out of his arms. Taking off her heavy winter coat and baring only her simple, worn woolen dress, she turned to him. “Do I look alright?”

He swallowed. “Good enough to commit a felony for.”

“I’ll yell if there’s trouble.”

“Damn right you will.”

She steeled herself as she walked cautiously down to the one ajar door of the warehouse. Poking her head through, she noted that the hired help was indeed sub-par. ‘Yeah boys, don’t mind me, just keep on playing your little card game.’ She sneaked past the goons with surprising ease, and came up to the other inhabitants of the warehouse. A sun-burnt blond girl in her late teens was apparently on guard while the others slept. She looked curiously at Rogue, who placed a finger over her mouth. The blond got the message and was quiet, allowing Rogue to mix in with the other children.

There she waited and watched.

It had been an excuse, a way of escaping the mansion once and for all. But as she stood there in the line for the cure, she began to doubt herself.

‘Why not do it? I’m already here, I’ve got nothing to lose. And if my mutation was gone, the voices would never butt in, I’d never be a target again, I’d lose all of the ‘gifts’ I borrowed from Logan. I’d have a normal, mortal life. One lifetime, to live as I choose.’

Her breath caught at the thought of it. A Choice. The one thing she’d never been given.

Rogue glanced down the line in front of her, then behind. So many mutants, most without glaring mutations, but some certainly stood out from normal humans. There was one young boy, probably no older than fifteen, with green, scaly skin, which was being poorly concealed by baggy sweats and a hoodie. A formidable middle-aged Latino woman, presumably his mother, stood beside him, holding the boy’s hand.

‘Choice. The one thing he was never given – the one thing I was never given. The ability to opt-out of being a mutant and all that entails. So, Anna Marie,’ she asked herself, ‘who do you choose to be?’

“I can choose for myself, Logan!”

He crossed his arms and looked at her condescendingly.

“Oh, fuck you!” She yelled.

“Anytime, anywhere.” He responded with a slight smirk.
She saw red. Sprinting up to him, she looked him dead in the eye and poked him in the chest. “Don’t you dare pull that cocky shit with me, James Howlett. You seem to forget – I got you in my head. I know you need me as much – no – more than I need you.”

The smug look on his face disappeared and he paled slightly.

“Darlin’, don’t,” he said, almost pleading.

“Then let me do this,” she requested, the animal inside her still roaring to go. “I was the one down in there. I know their set-up. I saw—” her breath hitched, “I saw what they did to those kids. Please, let me do this.”

He let out a deep sigh, “I don’t want you to be a killer, Anna.”

“So it’s okay for you, but not for me?”


“That’s bullshit.”

“No it ain’t. I don’t want you to end up like me.”

“But I already am. You’re a part of me.”

His hazel eyes looked over her sadly. He gave her a slight nod, held out the rifle to her, and she took it. They walked silently together, his arm around her shoulder. Once they were in the warehouse, they split up. Rogue heard a muffled yelp followed by a sharp crack from Logan’s direction. She stealthily climbed the stairs to the tiny office. She heard a girl’s sobbing, and a deep male voice.

‘I can do this, I can do this. Lord knows that piece of shit has it coming.’

Her foot descended on the door full force, and it caved like the rotten wood it was. The oily, pudgy, middle-age man was sat on the other side seemed to just gaze in shock at the young girl holding a rifle to his head.
Suddenly, he leaned over, towards the pistol sitting on the desk, and Rogue took the shot.

Perfect head-shot. An extra bullet through the heart to be certain. She expected to feel something – anything – but she didn’t. And then she walked away from the girl sitting on the office floor whose tears of pain had turned to tears of joy.

Rogue watched the carnage at Alcatraz unfold on the diner’s television. She felt strangely numb, knowing that so many people she knew and cared for were there, and more than likely some of them wouldn’t be making it back. She told herself she wasn’t being callous, she was just used to death. ‘Death, yes. Loosing someone I give a damn about is the tricky part.’

She arrived back at the mansion before the X-Men’s return. Placing away her gloves, she wandered the mansion anxiously until she heard the whir of the jet’s engines.

Sitting peacefully on her pseudo-boyfriend’s bed, she wished the numbness would return as hesitancy set in. Bobby walked in, looking far older than his true age.

“You’re back,” stated Bobby, with a tinge of disappointment.

“I’m sorry, I had to.” She explained.

“This isn’t what I wanted.”

“I know. It’s what I wanted.”

She held out her bare hand, and he hesitantly took it. Once again, they were having two separate conversations, that just happened to be occurring at the same time.

“Lie back, darlin’.”

She nervously obliged, trying to calm herself.

She saw his brows furrow. “You know I ain’t gonna hurt you,” he said with more than a hint of anger.

“Yeah, I know,” she said meekly. She looked him over quickly, recognizing that even in her frightened state, she couldn’t help but be intensely aroused by his naked form over hers. “I know you wouldn’t want ta hurt me, Logan, but I’ve seen inside your head.” She gently brought her hand up to touch his brow, “And I know that he doesn’t care if he hurts me or not. Just so long as he claims me.”

To her intense disappointment, his look of frustration did not dissipate. “That’s why I waited. Till I knew I could be in total control.”

Gazing up at the hazel eyes that she’d grown to love, she recognized his sincerity, but still feared the Wolverine’s interference. She bit her lip nervously, which made a wicked smile appear on his face.

“Those lips taste good, baby?”

She blushed and gave a tiny chuckle, which only ended when his lips claimed hers.

She pulled him to her, letting her small form cradle his brawny body. His kisses moved down her face, to her neck. Giggling slightly when he hit the ticklish spot right above her collar bone, she sank into the feelings of contentment and pleasure he was giving her.

Without being conscious of it, she found herself grinding herself against him, eager to get some friction that would ease her growing desire. He let his lips go down to her nipple, sucking it into his mouth, while he mirrored her movements.

Feeling his hardness rubbing against her clit, she moaned aloud. “Now, Logan. Please.”

He growled in response and positioned himself against her virgin opening. Looking up at her for one last acknowledgement, she could only hope she was reciprocating the love she saw in his eyes.

He quickly sank into her. She let out a small squeak of pain, but the sensation was gone almost as soon as it began. In its place, a feeling of intense fullness filled her.

“You know what this means, right?” Logan’s voice barely more than a growl as he slowly shifted inside her.
She gasped at the new sensation, but managed to nod her head in response to his question. He slowly pulled out, and then in again, to further gasps.

“You’re mine.”

She moaned as he started to increase his speed. “All yours,” she mewed.

He began pumping in and out of her in earnest, and while there was some lingering pain, she couldn’t help but feel euphoric. Her sweat mixed with his as they both panted and hissed in a primal language all its own. His thrusts became more erratic, and his fingers dug painfully into shoulders.

“You’re mine. Forever.” Punctuating the last word with one last, extremely deep thrust, he growled and came inside her.

Gasping for breath, Anna Marie whispered, “Forever.”

“So you’re really leaving, then?”

She wished that there had been some indication in his voice as to his opinion on her decision. But there was nothing. She was walking out of his life forever, and he sounded like he was just making conversation. She turned to look at him.

“Ah can’t stay, Logan. This is a place for mutants. Ah ain’t one now, an’ no one will let me forget it.”
He took at couple steps towards her, but stopped several feet from the main door. She tightly gripped the doorknob, practically steadying herself with it. He looked at her long and deep.

“Ok. If that’s what you got to do.”

“Ah think it’s for the best,” she said. She wanted to say more, but her inability to keep the lump in her throat at bay stopped her.

He simply nodded at her, “You better call me, tell me where you end up. I’ll worry about you.”

She plastered on her best fake smile, “Ya don’t have ta worry ‘bout me, Logan. Ah can take care of myself. Ah leaned from the best.”

“Call anyways.”

“Ah will.”

He nodded again, and walked back through the main hall, just as the tears started to roll down her face. She grabbed her bag and rushed out the door and away from Xavier’s. Away from the love of her life, and the lies she’d created.
End Notes:
If I were really and truly evil, I’d stop the story there. But the little angel on my shoulder won out, and there are two more chapters to this story. Reviews are greatly appreciated!
Chapter 4: The Aftermath by rogueslove
Author's Notes:
A/N: We’re out of the strict movie-verse now, so everything from here on in you can blame on my twisted imagination. Instead of Rogue’s perspective, we now have Logan’s POV. Not surprisingly, any memories of his are going to be far more jumbled than Rogue’s were.
He was restless. He’d stayed at the school because it was the first place he could remember where he felt needed. He liked that feeling, much more than he’d ever admit, but it wasn’t enough to make his wanderlust disappear. For a while he had been content, the itch to go back on the road at bay, but that all changed when she left. She’d been his only constant over the last three years. When he was at the mansion, she’d always been nearby, when he was on the road, she was a happy memory that reminded him of his humanity. She would listen to him, put up with him, recognize him for what he really was. Their connection was ill-defined, and often unsettling to him, but it was the strongest connection he could recall having with someone.

Rogue had left not long after she’d taken the cure. He might have been fine letting her go and toss aside her mutant ability, but he’d been sure that she’d stay at Xavier’s. It was her home. It was where he’d placed her. How could she say that she didn’t belong there? It was where he was, wasn’t that the definition of home to her? Logan kicked himself for thinking that she viewed the situation as he did, and that he hadn’t stopped her. Instead, he’d let her walk out the door, filled with the knowledge that she’d be back home within the week. Nine weeks later, she’d yet to return.

“What are you doing?” he grumbled at the petite brunette carrying a box out of Rogue’s room.

Kitty’s eyes widened as big as saucers, dread dripped from her. “I’m just taking these,” she gulped, “Ms. Monroe told me to take these boxes to storage.”

Logan glared down at the scared girl. If it hadn’t been for her shameless flirting with Bobby, which Logan felt was at least partially responsible for Marie’s disappearance, he’d have liked the kid. She was smart and brave in the face of adversity. But she’d hurt Marie, earning Kitty his undying enmity. “They’re Rogue’s things,” he said darkly, “haven’t you learned not to touch her things by now?”

She cowered back from him. Part of him was impressed that a single statement from him could frighten her more than a charging Juggernaut. He didn’t wait for her reply, he stomped back down the hall to find Storm.

Barging in without knocking, Logan watched in amusement as the usually serene Storm practically jumped out of her seat upon his entrance. “Why you tellin’ Kitty to pack Rogue’s shit up, ‘Ro?”

Storm quickly regained her composure. “We need the room, Logan. I know you don’t like it, but she’s been gone for two months and there is no indication that she’ll be returning.”

“She’ll be back,” he said with certainty.

She raised an eyebrow. “Why do you think that? Has she told you that she’s coming back?”

“No,” his certainty failing, “but this is her home. She’ll be back.”

Ororo looked at him solemnly. Unwilling to dissuade his misplaced hope, she simply nodded.

Logan’s jaw clenched involuntarily. “Got a class ta teach,” he hissed, and marched towards the Danger Room.

The log cabin exuded light and warmth. The surrounding wilderness was dark and cold. Wolverine was at home in the wilderness, the darkness and the bitter cold were his eternal companions, but there was something that drew him to the cabin, night after night. There was warmth and light in the other homes that dotted his territory, but none drew him in as this one did. A smell emanated from the cabin, one that enraptured his senses and whispered of things to come. A feminine smell, a young smell. Too young. For now.

“What the fuck, chica?” Jubilee’s high-pitched voice shook Logan from his thoughts – daydream? Memory? He didn’t know.

The little chatter box was talking a mile a minute on her cell phone, and despite his attempts to ignore her, he was quickly developing a head-ache.

“They boxed up your things, you know,” Jubilation whispered conspiratorially into the phone.

‘Marie!’ Logan lunged over and grabbed the yellow phone from the girl’s hand. “Rude much, Wolvie?” She retorted.

“Marie, where are you? You said you’d call!”

“Ah—I know Logan, and I was planning on calling you, but I really couldn’t think of what to say. I hope I didn’t worry you.”

“Get your butt back here, where you belong!”

She giggled on the other end of the line. He let out a warning growl, but her light tone didn’t subside. “I belong wherever I say I belong, Logan. But the cave-man act is mighty cute on you.”

He bit his tongue, knowing that cursing her out was not the best way to win her over. “Where are you, then?” He asked with restraint.

“New York, New York. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s a hell of a town.”

“Cute. I would have thought you’d have too many bad memories of that place.”

“Not like I’m hanging out with Lady Liberty every day. It’s a big place, plenty of great places for me to go where I haven’t had near-death experiences.”

‘Damn I miss this,’ he smiled to himself, ‘no one else has the guts to talk to me like this.’ He couldn’t help but chuckle at her. “Okay, darlin’, tell me where one of them is, and I’ll meet you there.”

He moved stealthily as the elk came slowly toward him. Being careful to be upwind of the beast, he watched and waited. He remembered the last time he was gored by one of the creatures; he did not wish to repeat it. The wind suddenly changed and the creature tensed. The wind shifted back, but the elk was still on high alert. The Wolverine stood silently, waiting for it to lower its guard. There was a time when hunting was easier. He was part of a pack. It was a pack of two, but still it was a pack.

He repressed a growl at the memory; still it lingered, bitter in his throat. His anger and loneliness did battle inside him, while he tried to remain focused on stalking his prey. While he was hungry, he could not escape the one desire that weighed on him even more heavily - he wanted his pack back.

With a little good-natured prodding, Rogue agreed to meet Logan the following night. She gave an address, but didn’t give the name of the place. She just said, “You’ll know it when you see it.”

Pulling up to the address she’d given, shortly after 9:00, he was more than a little disturbed by what he saw. The place was a biker bar, simply named “Rocky’s” and had several leather-clad, agitated men hanging around outside.

‘What the fuck has that girl gotten herself into this time?’ He grumbled as he walked past the bikers.
Inside, it was a shit-hole. It kind of reminded him of the place that he’d first met Rogue, filled with drunken assholes and over-the-hill barflies.

He heard a laugh, too honest and sweet to belong in the place. He looked over and spotted her, chatting with the aged bartender, a glass of amber liquid in her hand. Part of him calmed at her restorative presence, but another part started to growl at him to take her away from this place. ‘And keep her with us forever.’ Logan halted at the thought. ‘Shit. Where did that come from?’

“What are you doin’ hanging ‘round places like this, Marie?” He said in a low voice, with the unmistakable hint of a warning in it.

“Well it’s good to see you too, sugar.” She turned to him as he strode up. Leaning back on the bar, she smiled cheekily at him.

“And what are you wearing?” He looked her over. She didn’t look like sweet little Marie anymore. She looked . . . sexy. ‘Double shit. I definitely shouldn’t be thinking that.’

Rogue rolled her eyes and turned back around to the bartender. “Leave the whole bottle of Forty Creek, Frank. I think we’re going to need it.”

He had to remember. He knew the others communicated with the noises that came out of their mouths, but he just couldn’t put it all together. But he knew that he once knew it, knew it well. He listened to the girl in particular. He could not understand her, but he loved the sound she made. The sound of her calmed him. Her very presence calmed him. The only time he could ever remember that feeling before was back when he was with his brother, back with his pack. His brother may be gone, but maybe he could still have a pack.

“I’m telling you, I don’t care about my stuff. Let them pack it up, it’s not like I’m coming back there.” She said matter-of-factly, following it up by taking a quick shot of whiskey.

“What the fuck do you mean you’re not coming back?” Logan said a little louder than he meant to. “It’s your home, dammit. It’s where you belong.” He poured himself another drink.

“Like I told you when I left, it’s not my place anymore.” He eyes turned reproachful, “You seemed okay with the idea then.”

“I thought it was just a phase, something you needed to get out of your system. You belong back there.”


“Because you belong with me.” He growled at her.

She raised her eyebrows at his assertion.

Suddenly realizing what he said, his eyes turned downcast, and he said softly, “I didn’t mean it like that. Not like we’re a thing or anything.”

To his surprise, she started to laugh. Her sweet, honest laugh. He looked up at her, seeing only kindness and beauty, which took his breath away.

“Oh please, you don’t have to explain, I know you never thought of me that way,” She said dismissively.

It hit him like a ton of bricks – he most certainly had. Perhaps he had always dismissed it, or kept it in the deeper recesses of his mind, but he had thought of her like that. But it had always seemed wrong. She was too young, he was supposed to play the part of the big brother. ‘And big brothers do not think about their little sisters like that.’

He looked her over, in skin-tight jeans, dark green cami, and leather jacket. ‘Nope, she don’t look like no one’s sister right now.’

Dirt was flying all around him. He took a big breath and wound up with some grit in his mouth. A large hand dragged him down, into the mud.

“Keep down, Jimmy!”

The noise was unbearable. There was the popping of gunfire, the screams of men, and the roar of explosions. Another bomb went off on his right, and he could feel the red-hot metal shrapnel slice into his cheek. And then there was silence. He realized his eardrums had been shattered. Pulling the large chunk of metal out of him, he turned to the blond man next to him.

“Fuck!” He shouted, or at least think he shouted. His pack-mate lay next to him, arm almost severed off, with several shrapnel fragments in him. He started pulling out the shards, all the while putting pressure on the arm wound.

“Goddam, son-of-a-bitch, shit-eating –” Logan could tell his hearing was coming back as the other feral’s constant swearing became discernable. Once all the visible pieces of metal were out of him, Logan kept vigil, pulling his gun and making sure that no one came within a hundred feet of his healing brother.

‘Always protect the pack.’

He looked down at the half-empty whiskey bottle. It sat just next to the completely empty whiskey bottle. “Fuck, this was a bad idea.”

“Why is that?” Rogue said with a goofy grin on her face.

Logan furrowed his brow, “Did I say that out loud?”

“Well it ain’t the you in my head that’s drunk.”

He felt suddenly sober. “The voices. . . they’re still there?”

She seemed to sober up as well, her grin turning to a grimace. “Yeah, they are.” She put down her empty glass a little too hard. “And to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Wait, what? Why the hell would you want me, and Magneto, and Iceboy, and the rest up in your head?”
She let out a knowing laugh. “Because then I’m never really alone. I stash them away most of the time, but when I need to know something . . . or simply need to feel something, they’re always there.” She caught his bewildered gaze. “You’re always there.”

He felt dizzy, and it wasn’t from the alcohol. ‘That girl has some power over me.’ He couldn’t hold her gaze, so looked down from her face, and found the very real evidence that she no longer was a girl. Still staring at her low cut blouse, he blurted out, “Did you get the cure?”

He looked up again, about to retract the question, only to find her looking resolute. “No,” she said seriously.

“How do I control it?” The young female voice asked.

“Dunno,” he replied, not looking up from the wood he was chopping.

“How did you learn to do it?”

“Not much for me to control,” he brought down the axe dead center, slicing the log in half.

“Yes there is! I know that there are two sides to you. And the claws come out when you make them.”

“Ain’t the same.”

“I know that, but you’re the only one who can help.”

“Trial and error seems like the only way.”

He heard a sob, and closed his eyes. He couldn’t stand to hear her in pain. “Don’t. . .”

“Please, Logan, you have to help me,” she whimpered.

He placed the axe down, and started to towel off his sweaty forehead. “I’ll help ya. Know I’d do anything for you, darlin’.”

‘That whiskey sure packs a punch,’ Logan thought, confused about scene that just played in his head. Rogue was looking curiously at him. “Are ya alright, sugar?”

He smirked, “Darlin’, if you’re going to keep calling me that and filling me full of whiskey, I won’t be responsible for my actions.”

Giving him a sultry smile, she cooed, “As long as your actions are the ones I’m hoping for, I got no problem with that.”

He breathed in, and could smell arousal. From both of them. Something in him roared at the prospect, but he beat it back.

“If you didn’t take the cure, what’s with the outfit?” He asked bluntly.

“Why, don’t you like it?” She said far too innocently, brushing one hand down her blouse.

“Oh, yeah,” He responded with a gravelly voice, “I like it plenty, Marie.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“You know what I’m askin’.”

She just gave an innocent smile in response.

Taking his mind off of what other things that mouth of hers could do, something occurred to him. “You can control it, can’t you?”

The smile became less innocent. “Yeah, I learned to control it.”

‘From me. What? No, I never taught her shit.’ He shook off his disjointed thoughts. “And you didn’t tell me – why?”

“Because some things you have to figure out for yourself.”

He didn’t know exactly what she was talking about. He didn’t pretend that he knew much at that point. What he knew at the moment amounted to one thing: he wanted her. No, he needed her.

The snow was melting on the mountain passes, soon the flower would bloom. It was a time for renewal. He knew this in his very marrow, and knew it meant that now was the time. He had to reestablish his pack. He had waited too long. The Wolverine never had much patience, and watching her day in and day out for two years was more than he could take. He was a predator, and predators took what they wanted, what they needed.

It felt like an out-of body experience, walking over to the nearby seedy motel and renting a room. ‘Not like I haven’t done this plenty of times.’ He looked down at women in his arms, ‘Yeah, this is the part that’s weird. Giving a shit about the one I’m with.’ Breathing in her scent, Logan was torn between feeling guilty and being overcome with lust.

Marie smiled brightly at him, and he swore he smiled too. A real smile, not a smirk or a shit-eating grin. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a reason to smile.

“Sure about this, kid?” He asked as he opened the door for her, and followed her in.

She turned around and gave him a seductive smile that went straight to his groin. “I’m sure. And don’t call me kid. It’s just fucking creepy in this situation.” She threw off her jacket, followed quickly by her top.

He stood entranced by her, and gave an unintentional growl. ‘Fuck. She certainly ain’t no kid.’ His eyes traced down her body, devouring every inch of her.
She shivered. He smirked, then threw off his shirt. In a rush of passion, and practically blinded by the heady scent of hormones, they ended on the dingy bed.

Quickly shedding any remaining clothes, he gave her a deep, passionate kiss while they lay entangled in each other’s embrace. He broke the kiss, “Certainly not going ta call ya kid after tonight.” In the back of his mind, the Wolverine roared in agreement.

Home was where a person was supposed to feel safe. As a pup, we never felt safe at home. The adults were always fighting, sometimes violently, sometimes in petty little ways. Wolverine thought that if you were going to fight, you should do it outright – have at it, and then get over it. Drawn out drama was for cowards. It made everything worse, and when the real fight did begin, then all hell would break loose.

He and his brother never stuck around long enough any place to call it a home. Perhaps they both wanted to escape the memory of what their childhood home had been. Home became a feeling, not a place. Home was being with your own, knowing that those who stood by you would always be there. Until one day, they weren’t.

He wanted to savor every moment, to treat her as she deserved to be treated. This was his Marie, not some one-night-stand, he had to do this right. But the Wolverine had other ideas. It bucked and snarled as Logan placed passionate kisses along her jaw, and captured her mouth in a fiery embrace. Their naked bodies intertwined, Logan looked to her to see if she wanted to continue. He pulled away from her slightly, gazing at her face. Her brown doe-eyes slowly opened, exuding love and desire. The scent of her yearning wafted through him.

Something snapped. The Wolverine took control. He thrust into her with a roar, buried himself to the hilt in a single thrust. Rogue gasped, then gave a throaty groan as the Wolverine repeated thrust in to her with all his might.

Logan tried to reign back the beast within him, but all he could do was watch and hear the echoes of the Wolverine’s voice in his head. ‘Mine. My Mate. My Rogue. Mine.’ She met every brutal thrust with her hips, her head thrown back and her eyes closed in ecstasy. She raised her legs up, allowing him to dive even deeper within her. He grabbed her legs with both hands, forcing them as wide and far back as possible, using them as leverage as he plowed into her. Animalistic desire and hedonistic pleasure radiated from his eyes, and from deep within his chest he growled “Look at me.” She opened her eyes, and to Logan’s astonishment, and the Wolverine’s delight, the same ferocity and craving was reflected in her eyes. The deep, soulful chocolate eyes that Logan had grown to love were gone, simmering russet pools that bristled with feral need replaced them.

The girl was scared. The stench of pure terror clung to her, infuriating him. Didn’t she understand anything? Didn’t she know what she was to him? Couldn’t she tell that he wasn’t going to harm her?

“P-please. Don’t do this,” she begged, hiding herself behind the splintered remains of the bed.

He let out a low growl and charged her, grabbing her waist and hoisting her over his shoulder in one smooth movement. He could feel her trembling, but she didn’t try to fight him or scream. Not that she could fight her way out of the situation. Not that there was anyone left alive in the cabin to hear her screams.

The strange flash of memory momentarily distracted Logan from the fact that he was brutally fucking Rogue. The Wolverine had not been so easily distracted. His focus was completely on the creature under him, the one panting and moaning in unison with him.

“More,” came an earthy, lust-ridden voice, not entirely like Marie’s.

The Wolverine willingly obliged, plunging into her faster and more frantically. Logan lost himself to the sensation of being inside Marie, her heat.

He felt her convulse around her, as she screamed incoherently. He smirked with pride, as his movements became jerky and more frenzied. Logan tried to regain control, but the pure power of his feral side overwhelmed him. The Wolverine came hard, panting and growling and he pushed deep inside of her. In that moment, Logan and the Wolverine mentally wrestled for control.

She struggled in his grasp. “Get away from me, monster!” He lightened his grip momentarily and she slipped through his fingers and fell to the forest floor.

“Come here, girl,” He commanded roughly, for his vocal cords had not been used for speech in many seasons.

“Why?” She cried, curling herself into a ball. “Why did you do that?”

“You’re mine.” Was his only response.

Logan’s eyes flew open. Now in control of his body, he realized that the memory was indeed his own. And he now lay on top of the girl from long ago.

She was different – older, less frightened – but she was the same girl. He felt like he had the wind knocked out of him. He felt tears running down his face.

“Logan?” Marie asked, concern in her voice. She reached her hand up and wiped away a tear.

“What did I do to you?”

She looked confused, then shocked. “Ya don’t mean just now, do ya?”

He shook his head.

“If you have the insight to ask, I think you know the answer to that.”

“No,” he choked out, “I don’t.” He was frustrated, but it was his dread that crashed down around him, making his voice weak. He hated that weakness, but he hated the uncertainly even more. “Marie. Tell me. Please.”

She turned and looked into his pleading eyes, seeming to search them for something. He wondered if he’d ever said “Please” before in his whole wretched life. ‘Maybe she’s asking herself the same thing.’ He felt so pathetic, so confused, and the look in her eyes said that seeing him that way broke her heart. When she spoke, the hint of a Southern accent was gone, “I don’t even know where to start. But maybe I know someone who does.”

“Who?” He cocked an eyebrow.

She smiled sweetly at his confounded face and ran her hand along his jawline. “Family.” She turned and started to dress. “Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?”

He nodded, acutely aware of Marie’s change in voice and temperament. It was as disconcerting as it was familiar. He dressed and followed her out of the motel. He got on his bike, Rogue wrapping herself around his back, and took off towards Manhattan, Marie whispering directions into his ear the whole way.
End Notes:
Making a believable ‘Logan and Marie hook up’ scene was really difficult. You guys think I did an okay job? Just one more chapter and (hopefully) all your questions will be answered. Comments are appreciated!
Chapter 5: The Pack by rogueslove
“Are you sure this is the place, darlin’?” Logan looked up from his motorcycle and gazed at the luxury apartment building.

A soft giggle reverberated through his back. “I’m sure, Logan,” replied Rogue, who got off the bike and confidently headed towards the front entrance. Logan shut off the engine and hopped off, quickly catching up to her, just as the doorman opened the door for her with a smile. The knowing nod between Marie and the doorman just made Logan more confused.

“You come here often?”

“God, Logan, you make it sound like a cheap pick-up line.”

“I’ll have you know there ain’t anything cheap about my pick-up lines.”

“Suuuure there aren’t,” she retorted, entering the elevator.

“You going to answer my question?”

“I’ve been living here the last two months, so yeah, I’m here a lot.”

“I thought you said we were visiting some guy, not visiting your apartment.”

“I’m living with the guy.”

“WHAT!?!” The Wolverine was suddenly straining at the leash. The idea of his girl, his mate, shacking up with someone else filled him with a fury he hadn’t felt since he stared down Stryker.

“Living with,” she said calmly, “not sleeping with.”
The elevator dinged and she slid out. Paralyzed with rage, Logan stayed in the elevator till the doors started to close again and he rushed out, just as Marie came to a stop before a door. Logan quickly realized that it was one of only two doors on the floor. Logan’s rage gave way to bewilderment when she didn’t make a move to unlock the door or even knock on it. He was about to ask her what was going on when the door opened.

Marie turned and smiled at him, “Come on in.”

He followed her in, calming slightly. Then he realized who had opened the door for them. “You!”

“What’s wrong, little brother?” Victor Creed smirked at Logan, as the smaller mutant lunged forward, but Victor simply dodged him.

“What the hell is going on here?” demanded Logan, baring his teeth to Sabertooth.

The larger feral ignored the question, “Why’d you bring him here, Rogue?”

“He remembers –” Victor looked at the snarling maw of his brother and scoffed. “At least he remembers some things,” she concluded.

“Like what? What do you remember, runt?” He stalked closer to Logan, staring him down.

Logan didn’t break eye contact, but visibly shrank. “I knew her,” he indicated Rogue, “back when she was a kid.”

Victor gave a deep, dark laugh and turned to Rogue. “’Knew you,’ huh? How very Biblical of you. Got more than that?”

“Logan, he knows, you don’t have to mince words.”

‘How the fuck can I be mincing my words when I barely know anything myself?’ He irritatedly thought to himself.

Marie and Victor looked at the confused mutant, their expression felt both familiar and haunting. He let out a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding, one he’d been holding for almost two decades.

“I don’t need any of your help to take care of my girl.”

“The way I see it, you do. She’s all skin and bones.”

“She’s fine,” Logan growled back. The both moved into fighting stances.

“Will you two stop it?” he heard Anna Marie ask petulantly.

“I can take care of my own,” he told his brother.

“You can’t take care of your own shit, let alone someone else’s!”

“Go fuck yourself!”

Rogue growled in frustration, “Lordy, why don’t you two just whip ‘em out and measure them, be done with it.”

Victor smiled, purposefully displaying all his razor sharp teeth to his brother. “Hear that, runt? Your mate wants to see what a real man’s cock looks like.”

His claws reflexively sprung forth as he charged and managed to pierce his brother’s belly. Victor responded with a swipe across his face, taking part of his cheek away.

He heard a dramatic sigh from Rogue as she stomped away. The brothers started fighting in earnest.

Logan smirked at the memory, then turned his eyes to his family again.

‘Family. Shit. They are my family.’

The anger drained from his body, but the confusion remained. The demeanors of all three mutants calmed.
Victor silently walked into the living room, and Logan instinctively followed with Rogue. For the first time, Logan took note of the surprisingly posh digs that his brother had. The penthouse apartment was sparsely, but tastefully, decorated. Mostly consisting of dark wood, rich leather, and gleaming metal, the place had a distinctly masculine ambiance. Victor sat himself on a large brown sofa, while Rogue disappeared into the kitchen, only to return seconds later with three bottles of beer. She handed them around and sat in a large easy chair. Logan was still too agitated to sit, so he stood with his back to the unlit fireplace.

“Don’t remember much,” he finally said to them. “Bits and pieces. Some good, some bad.” He looked over to Victor, who was languidly relaxing on the couch, face unreadable. “Know you’re my brother. Know you’re a major asshole, but you always got my back.”

“That about sums it up,” Rogue muttered into her beer bottle.

Logan turned to her. “Know that I did horrible things to you. Took you away from your family. Made you mine. But for some fucking reason, you stuck with me, cared for me.”

“Seems like ya got the basics,” Victor said, still unexpressive.

“Yeah, but that’s all the fuck I’ve got.”

“So what? You want me to fill ya in? Ain’t got that kind of time.”

“What the fuck, Victor?” Rogue yelled. “You’ve been on me about telling his past for months, and now you don’t give a damn?”

“You know that I give a damn, woman. Even went along with your stupid ‘let him remember in his own time’ plan of yours. But I’m not about to go telling him his life story. Hell, I don’t even know it all. We were never much for ‘sharing,’ ya know.”

Rogue glared at Victor, but then turned to Logan, her brown eyes softening. She sighed.

“I might not be able to tell you your story, but I can tell your mine,” Rogue gave an encouraging smile to Logan, which was met with his nervousness. “I was born in –”

“Fuck no. You aren’t going that far back, David Copperfield,” retorted Victor. Rogue gave him an incredulous look that he immediately rebuffed. “What? I read. Hurry it up.”

“As I was saying, I was born in 1918 in Whitefish, Montana.”

“You’re ninety years old?” Logan was stunned.

“I know, I know. I don’t look a day over 75,” she flippantly retorted.

Victor chuckled darkly at Logan, “You’re a shitload older than that, you know.”

“Can I get back to the story without any more comments from the peanut gallery?” She glared at both of them. Logan nodded, Victor simply grunted.

“Had two older sisters, and a younger brother. My parents did what they could to get by, but we were always pretty poor. Lived a ways from town, hunted, scavenged, and grew our own food.”

The woman looked frail, her mousey brown hair was prematurely graying, and there were bags under her eyes. Three girls ran around, keeping her company, as she picked blackberries in the spring twilight. The older woman turned to the eldest girl, who was already beginning to emerge into womanhood, and said something he couldn’t understand. The girl stopped her playing and checked on the baby who sat on a nearby thread-bare blanket. The middle daughter, her hair haphazardly decorated with ribbons, joined her mother in picking berries.

The youngest girl, the one with beautiful brown eyes and a more beautiful scent wandered away. He stealthily followed, watching from the woods. She started to walk amongst the trees, a serene smile gracing her face. She was home here. He was home here.

Amongst the dense trees and dingy scrub-brush, a single pale yellow flower appeared to catch her eye. She leaned over, placing her hand out to pick it, and then suddenly halted. The Wolverine feared he might have been detected, but was relieved when she simply left the flower blossom in the brief warm light.

Another yell from the mother broke them both from their stupor. The girl headed back to her family, and he could tell that the mother was upset with her. He understood only one word of the mother’s reproach – “monster.”

Rogue had stopped talking, but Logan wasn’t sure how much he’d missed. She didn’t look angry, though. ‘Damn. A woman who doesn’t get pissed when I ignore what she’s saying. I did hit the jackpot with this one.’ Then the image of the small girl, surrounded by the corpses of her family, played in his mind, overwhelming him with guilt. He knew he had to ask, even though he didn’t really want to know the answer.

“How old? How old were you when I . . .” he trailed off.

“Murdered her family and kidnapped her?” Creed gleefully helped his brother out.

Logan hung his head, “Yeah.”

“Eleven,” Rogue simply stated.

Logan closed his eyes as a wave of shame overcame him. “Fuck. Why the hell do you still want me after that? You got Stockholm Syndrome or something?”

“Or something,” muttered Victor.

“Logan, listen to me,” Rogue commanded, “I ain’t saying you’re perfect. Part of me will never forgive you for what you did, but I’m here now, aren’t I? There’s a reason for that.” She sighed and stood in front of him. He looked at her just long enough to see that she looked introspective and serious, not furious like he thought she should be. “I’m no saint either. And before you even say it – it’s not because of what you did to me or what you made me into.” She scrunched up her eyebrows, as if considering something.

“I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I really did go to the clinic where they were giving out the cure. Almost got it, too.”

Logan heard a growl, and was surprised that it was both him and his brother.

Rogue continued, heedless, “I was all wound up about it being my choice. I started to get all bellicose about never being given a choice. I didn’t choose to be a mutant, to have my family die, to be with you – BUT – I made plenty of my own choices. I remember making the choice to kill, you never forced me to anything sexual that I wasn’t willing to do, and I’ve chosen to be here with you now.”

Logan looked down into her loving brown eyes. “I don’t deserve you,” he whispered, raking his hand through her snow-white tress.

Victor let out a derisive snort, “Shit, you still are a pansy, runt.” Logan decided he didn’t want to waste the energy on a retort, and was happy when his brother stomped out of the room.

“I love you, Logan.” She said tearfully. “So I had to give you a choice, too. I thought you wanted to be a hero, so I left you to it. But now you’re here and I don’t know what you want.”

He held her head in his large hands, and softly kissed away the stray tear that was rolling down her cheek. “I just wanted to know who I was.”

“And now? Now that you know?”

Her eyes were pleading, for honesty, for sympathy, for love. “Now that I know what a monster I am, I just want you to be there in the morning when I wake up. I want to be someone you want to wake up next to. Every morning. For the rest of my life.”

She gave him a brilliant smile that made his heart soar. “Let’s start on that right now shall we?” She said suggestively as she took his hand and led him down the hall, to a bedroom.

He glanced over at her, wrapped up in brown blankets like they were a cocoon. The only part of her that was showing was her face and just enough of her hands so that she could hold the book. He tried to catch her eye, but she was too enraptured in what she was reading. He grinned, ‘wrapped up like that, she literally looks like a bookworm.’ He noted the title of the book and his grin grew.

“Howl, huh? They wrote a book about me?”

She didn’t look up from her book, “Not exactly. But this Ginsburg guy certainly has a unique point of view, like you do. Although in his case, I think probably has less to do with being born with special abilities and more to do with smoking an excessive amount of marijuana.”

“Are you suggesting that taking drugs turns you into a poet?”

“Just maybe.” Her eyes still on the book.

“And do you like poetry?”

“Yep. Wouldn’t be reading this otherwise, would I?”

“Huh. I got to get myself some opium.”

He laughed, as he finally managed to get her to put down the book. Or more specifically, got it thrown at his head.

Logan figured the bedroom was ‘her room,’ but it still felt like a guest room, even to his decidedly non-metrosexual eye. Only a few items made it Rogue’s – a few articles of scattered clothing and a pile of books. ‘Stop smiling at the books, ya wuss,’ he berated himself, ‘it’s the bed that your woman is leading you to that should make you happy.’

“Wait, Logan. . . before anything else happens, we still got one more elephant in the room, ya know.”

“And what would that be?”


Logan swallowed hard and looked away from her. His happiness evaporated. Silence started to fill the room, the weight of it soon becoming unbearable.

“Don’t know what I’m supposed to say about that, Marie.”

“Anna,” she corrected. “And I just want the truth.”

He steeled himself and looked at her. “I loved her. At least I thought I did. It hurt like hell when I lost her – both times.”

Sadness clouded Rogue’s brown eyes. “I know, sugar. I saw enough of your mind up on the statue to know you were falling for her. And I knew it destroyed you when she died. Especially the second time.”

Her words of comfort managed to make him feel more guilty.
“Can’t explain it, but it doesn’t feel like love anymore,” he concluded.

Her forehead wrinkled in confusion. “I don’t want you to say that just for my benefit, you know.”

“I know, Anna.” The name still felt strange on his tongue. “It’s just that . . . I don’t know I’m just waking up from a dream or something, And everything that I was or felt over the last eighteen years was only partly read, An echo of who I really an and really feel.”

The wrinkles of confusion deepened. “Well, apparently in that extended dream you managed to learn how to express yourself succinctly. How’s that for a silver lining?”

He chuckled. “Glad I could give you something, I live to serve,” she replied sarcastically.

She raised an eyebrow. “Is that so?”

He moved to her, placing his hands on her hips. “Sure is.” He brought his lips to her ear and whispered, “Anything else I can do for ya, darlin’?”

Before he could react, she had ripped open his shirt and was placing burning kisses on his chest while her hands groped him through his jeans.

A lusty growl thundered through his chest. Both the human and animal side of him seemed in agreement, ‘Our perfect match.’

She lay beneath him. Clean, pure, naked.

“Logan,” her whisper was laced with desire.

He growled in response, then took one of her nipples in his teeth, and let his greedy hands explore her breasts. His fingers kneaded her flesh, almost painfully. Sucking harder on her pert nipple, he made her gasp and arch into him further. His hands made their way farther down her body, but the rough touches vanished once his hands reached her swelled stomach. He massaged her belly almost reverently and pulled his head away from her chest long enough to place a kiss on his unborn child.

A muffled moan and surge of her arousal pulled him from contemplating the life within her. He glanced at her face, her need etched into every pore. He grinned at her, baring his teeth, and thrust into her.

Logan stopped in his tracks. The mostly naked Rogue halted one she realized that he was no longer responding to his touch.


He glanced up at her concerned face, placing his hand gently on her bare stomach.

Her eyes widened. “Oh no. Please tell me you don’t remember that. You’ve been through too much already.”
He didn’t respond, but lightly felt around her once-pregnant stomach. He halted on a small scar, slightly raised, almost circular. He felt Anna Marie pull him to the bed as a memory washed over him.

He couldn’t believe he had let them get the drop on him. Yet suddenly, the cabin was surrounded. Before he could even manage to assume a defensive position, they converged.

The glass of the windows shattered, the doors were broken down, and two dozen guns were trained on them both. Instinctively unsheathing his claws, he did his best to protect Anna. She shrieked and made herself small against his back. Her rapid heart-beat pounded in his ears, louder than her his own pulse.

“His head,” came the order from the frame of the front door.

He heard the barrage of shots, felt searing pain, then nothing.

When he revived, his mate’s heat was no longer at his back. Instead, several heavily armored commandos were attempting to bind him.

In front of him was Anna already shackled with a gut to her head. The smell of her fear filled the room.

“Ah, he’s awake,” he heard a voice, but couldn’t take his eyes off his struggling mate.

“Should we shoot him again, sir?”

“No. I have a better idea.” The commander stood directly in front of him, blocking his view of his woman. He looked like a bland, middle-aged government thug. He’d seen, and killed, dozens like him before. “Listen here, Wolverine. Let my men shackle you and come with us quietly, or we’ll shoot your little girlfriend.”

He heard Rogue whimper slightly; it was all he needed. He stopped struggling.

“Lovely. Thank you. We had these bonds especially made for you, it would be a shame to waste them. Adamantium isn’t cheap, you know,”

The soldiers finished binding his arms and legs and pulled him up. He could see Anna Marie once again, her eyes silently pleading with him.

The commander followed Logan’s gaze. “I think that’s all we need you for, my dear.” He pulled out a pistol, aimed it at her stomach, and fired a single bullet.

Pulling fiercely at his bonds the Wolverine roared and attempted to go to his mate. The soldiers surrounded him, and the world once again went black. This time, he was thankful. He had nothing left to live for.

Logan gazed down at the mark, at the place where the bullet entered, taking away his love, his child, and his life, in one foul swoop. He gritted his teeth in a desperate attempt not to cry, but a single sob wrung out as the tears began to flow. He kissed the scar, and then held on to Anna for dear life. She returned the embrace.
She said nothing as she held him to her, but he could smell the scent of her own salty tears. They silently mourned together, for the loss of their child, for the loss of their life together. He heard his brother stealthily enter the room, but he too stood silent.

The tears stopped, and eventually dried. The sky outside began to lighten, as dawn neared. At long last, he spoke.

“What happened, after they took me away?” He glanced up at weary, brown eyes.

“They bashed my head in,” Rogue replied in a strained, tired voice. “They must have not known about my powers, the fact that I had a healing factor.”

“Borrowed healing factor,” Victor chimed in.

“Been permanent for a while now, Vic. Anyways, they chucked me in shallow grave. When I recovered, there were a couple of the soldiers still about doing clean-up work. Did what I could to get info out of them, but I was too weak to use my powers, my brain was still knitting itself together.”

“She means literally.” Logan glanced over at his brother. A quiet rage was brewing inside the larger feral. “When I got there, the soldiers were dead, but there were still bits of her skull that were poking out.”

The claws in his hands ached to be released.
“Victor gave me a pretty good dose of his healing factor, took out both of us for a while. It fixed me up, but . . .” Tears pooled in her eyes and she couldn’t force the words to come.

“But it was too late for our child.”

“And too late to find you,” Victor added.

Rogue continued, with a mournful voice, “We split up after that. I’d heard that the man in charge came from the Southern US, so I went that way. Victor here was sure that you hadn’t been taken out of Canada.” She glanced over at Sabertooth, “Guess you were right about that one.”

He scowled, “Was there ever any doubt?”

She rolled her eyes.

Logan lay their quietly, comforted by the presence his brother and his mate. Exhaustion was starting to catch up to him. ‘Didn’t know emotions could take it out of me like this.’

He let out and exasperated sigh. “Still got a lot that I don’t remember.”

“It’ll come back.” His brother said stoically.

“And we’ll be here for you the whole way,” confirmed Rogue.

“Got any more bombshells for me?”

“A few,” Rogue said wistfully, indicating that the worst was already out in the open.

He closed his eyes and let the images from his past swirl through his mind. ‘So much pain. So much destruction. And so much of it was my fucking fault.’ He opened his eyes and looked at Anna Marie once more.

“I’m not the good guy, am I?” Logan asked ruefully.

Rogue shook her head. “No, not really. But you’re my guy.”

He found that concept strangely comforting. He pulled her further into him. “I think I can live with that,” he said, before catching her lips in a soul-searing kiss.
End Notes:
Yes, there is a place called Whitefish, Montana. You know what? I’ve decided to be nice. I’ll be putting up an epilogue. If you’re happy with this ending, stop here, if you want some sweetness, read on.
Epilogue - Ten Years Later by rogueslove
Anna Marie hummed to herself while slowly cutting potatoes. Occasionally looking out the kitchen window, she smiled as she noticed that the lilacs were starting to bloom. She tried to suppress the smile when she heard the almost inaudible footsteps coming up behind her. Two large arms wrapped around her waist and her back warmed as the man she loved held her.

“Hey darlin’, how ‘bout you do that later and we have a little fun while we can, huh?”

She laughed, put down the knife, and spun around in his arms. “Ya can’t keep that feral libido under check for a single hour, can you?”

“Not when you smell that damn good,” Logan purred.

She laughed again, then raised her head to kiss him. He quickly took control, wrapping himself tighter around her, and lifting her up to sit on the counter. He attacked her with fiery kisses while his hands found their way beneath her shirt.

He was about the pull to offending garment off, when a sound outside made him halt. Rogue stopped too, confused, but then heard what Logan had.

“Shit,” he muttered, backing away from his lover and trying to think un-sexy thought to relive himself of his erection.

Anna Marie gave an overly-dramatic sigh. “We’ll just have to finish this later.” She hopped down off the counter and started chopping potatoes again, just as the kitchen door flew open and a small blur came running in.

“Mommy! Daddy! Look what I caught!” The spirited, sandy-haired six-year-old proudly held up a small fish, about six inches long.

Rogue grinned down at her son, “Oh, Jackson! She’s a beaut!”

Logan ruffled the hair on his son’s head, “Becoming a great little hunter there.”

“Well he had help,” a deep, grumpy voice came through the door. A second later, Sabertooth, wearing a heavy leather jacket and muddy boots came trouncing in.

“Thanks for taking him fishing, Victor,” Rogue said with a smile.

“Yeah, well. Couldn’t let the runt to do it. He was never was much of an angler.”

Logan narrowed his eyes at his brother, but held his tongue because his young son was still there.

Jackson plopped the fish down on the kitchen counter, and ran up the stairs.

Rogue looked down at the dirty footprints and the smelly fish with a groan. She turned to Logan, “You’re scaling it,” pointing at the fish, as she grabbed a damp sponge.

“Why should I have to do it? Victor’s supposed to be the one showing Jackson the ropes.” He muttered under his breath.

Victor just scoffed and helped himself to a beer from the fridge.

The phone rang just as Jackson sped back down the stairs, in clean clothes. Rogue indicated to her son to calm down while she answered the phone. “Yes? Oh, hey. What’s – Oh. Why? Oh, Lordy.”

The other two adults stared at Rogue, neither being able to get the entire jist of the conversation despite their enhanced hearing. Jackson’s constant running around was mostly to blame for that.

“Yeah, yeah. Ok Storm, we’ll be outside in five.” Rogue hung up the phone.

“Why do they need us?” Logan growled.

“Mutant terrorist group brought down a building. They need reinforcements to fight and do search and recovery.”

Logan nodded and head upstairs to quickly change. Anna Marie looked down at her son. “Jackson, sugar, I need you to stay here with your uncle Victor. Do everything that he says, ok?”

Jackson pouted, but squeaked out “Ok, mommy.”

She caressed the cheek of her only child, and hesitantly went upstairs to change.

“Come here, kid.” Sabertooth commanded, bringing his nephew to the living room couch, and turning on the television as they heard Rogue and Wolverine run out the door.

“Love you, sugar!”

“Take care of my boy, Vic!”

“I hate when they go away,” Jackson continued to pout.

“I know, kid. But don’t worry,” Victor smirked, “I think this is their last adventure for a while.”

The boy looked up at his hulking uncle, “Why’s that?”

“Don’t think your momma knows it, your pop might not know either, but the nose knows.”

“Huh?” The boy had no idea what that meant.

Victor beamed down at his nephew, “Our pack is about the get a little big bigger.”

Jackson still looked confused. Then a grin graced his young face.
End Notes:
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