Author's Chapter Notes:
The third chapter of the slight reworkings of our fanfic. Once again, my biggest thanks goes to Jason, who does a bang-up job on Logan. I personally think this chapter's quite funny! Character thoughts are in italics.
9am back at the Mansion, a sound of activity was emanating from the kitchen. The scraping of a spatula in a pan revealed Logan actually being quite domestic, a sight Marie found strangely odd. She had no idea he could even cook, but reminded herself that being as independent as he was known to be, he'd have to learn to cook basic things. Duh!! O'course he'd know how ta make scrambled eggs, ya dolt! He'd actually been told by more than one woman he woke up with, he knew his way around a kitchen. He'd NEVER admit it, though.. kinda ruined the lone wolf image.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Voila..I say."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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