Logan had been minding his own business, intent on grabbing a beer and retiring for the night when he'd discovered his beer stash pilfered. The entire stash. He immediately, and correctly, figured the kids had taken it, and made his way down to the rec room they had commandeered for their party, hopefully to get a few bottles back at least. He was almost at the door when he heard Kitty give her dare. He stopped, and waited, curious to see what the reaction would be from the dare’s recipient.
As soon as he had heard Rogue's voice, he knew this wasn't going to end well, hell, he'd be the last one to complain if she took up the dare but the girl sounded positively terrified. He hadn't thought he'd been particularly hard on the kid, and he could have sworn a time or two previously to having picked up definite interest from her, so he was a little confused as to her severe reaction. It wasn't until the dare was explained and the other kids laughed, followed by the flame kids comment that he realised what her resistance was rooted in.
When she ran past him in tears moments later, he couldn't help the anger that bubbled up inside him at the cruelty of the group.
He stormed into the room intent on busting a few balls as Kitty jumped to her feet and yelled angrily, "I didn't mean it to upset her, you guys shouldn't have laughed, I know her skin scares the shit out of her but if anyone can find a way around it for her it's got to be Logan, he'd be up for the challenge at the very least unlike like you bunch of wimpy, unimaginative, limp dicks."
Kitty whirled around to storm out of the room after Rogue, only to come face to face with a seriously pissed off Wolverine.
"Party's over," he growled. "And that is not something that makes the list of acceptable dares in future," he stated a mite gentler to Kitty.
"I'm sorry," Kitty whispered, dropping her head, "I was just trying to..."
"I want to see you in my office first thing Monday morning," he cut her off. At her quick nod, he walked past her and fished out the last of his beer from where someone had hurriedly shoved it under the coffee table, before stalking out of the room with the final command to 'clean up and get'.
He spent the weekend mulling over the situation, or more specifically, Kitty's comments about Rogue's fear of her skin. He knew from Rogue's records that her and the Professor’s attempts thus far to control her mutation had failed, that didn't mean the girl needed to be so distant though. There was no reason she couldn't do all the normal things young women did, with the right precautions. Hell, once he actually started thinking about it, he had come up with at least half a dozen different ways in just the first hour.
By the time Monday had rolled around he had a plan beginning to form, he would need Kitty's help to pull it off though.
At the soft knock on his office door, at eight o'clock on Monday morning, he called out for the shy girl standing outside to come in. It was still a shock when she suddenly stepped through the door instead of it opening. He raised an eyebrow in questioning surprise.
"Sorry, I'm a little nervous... I couldn't turn the handle," she admitted.
"Nothing to be nervous about, you're not in trouble or anything, I wanted to talk to you about Rogue," he tried to reassure her.
"What about her?" Kitty asked, solidifying enough to sit on the chair in front of his desk.
"Why did you make that dare?"
Kitty sighed. "Rogue's had a crush on you like forever but you didn't hear that from me, I wasn't kidding when I said she's terrified of her skin, she's always worrying about it and letting it stop her from doing things, even normal things that I know she wants to do. I just... I'm sick of seeing her always sad, I figured if I dared her she'd feel like she had to at least try, and... well, you don't strike me as the kind of guy who wouldn't be able to come up with some way around her skin, and you kind of... made yourself available, so to speak. Seemed like a win-win for everyone."
Logan nodded thoughtfully. "I think you're right, hell I know you're right on some of those points, her skin isn’t a problem to get around, but to win her over to the idea is going to take a more, considerate approach. Are you hanging around after graduation?"
"For about two weeks," Kitty replied.
"I'm going to need your help then, after graduation I need you to get the key to her, I expect she'll try and return it or hand it off so I need you to make sure that every morning it's on her bedside table, got it?" Logan asked.
"I can do that," she replied with a grin, "Is that all?"
"That's all your part, leave the rest to me," Logan said, "Now, you go get your breakfast and get off to class."
"Thanks Logan," Kitty responded with a grin, "I know I should probably feel weird, conspiring to get my best friend laid and all, but I just hope this all works out for her."
"It'll work, I never have been able to resist a challenge, also feeling unusually self-conscious that a woman's able to resist my obvious charm and good looks," he commented jokingly. Kitty left the office giggling to herself as she ran off to re-join her friends.
Graduation day rolled around quickly, unsurprisingly Rogue graduated top of every class, and though her parents weren't there to congratulate her all her peers, teachers, and even some of the other parents who were in attendance made up for it.
True to tradition, a key turned up the next morning slid under Betsy's door, she snuck out that night and returned the next morning with a satisfied grin. The key was handed off to the next girl who wanted it, only Lorna, Kitty, and Rogue didn't put their hand up for it, the first two because they had boyfriends, the latter because she had decided to avoid anything to do with the topic in an attempt to save her sanity.
Four days later the key had done the rounds and was returned to Logan, so Rogue was surprised on waking the following day to find it on her bedside table. She was annoyed but promptly took it and left it on Logan's office desk. The next time she stepped foot in her room, the key was back.
On the third day she plopped down in her seat in the cafeteria angrily, she'd just returned the key to Logan's office for the seventh time. "Whichever one of you thinks it's funny to keep leaving Logan's key in my room can stop now," she snapped at the table.
The girls looked at each other oddly before all confirming they hadn't seen the key since they'd handed it on. "It's a sign Roguey," Jubilee insisted, "You know you want to go and you're subconsciously calling the key to you, maybe you have another power you don't know about!"
"Or maybe some jackass thinks it's funny to mess with the untouchable girl, because that would totally be a first," she replied angrily, grabbing her breakfast and leaving the table. It was summer, she was going to eat outside and enjoy the day before it got too hot for her.
She had abandoned her dishes on the patio table and wandered into the cool shade of the woods an hour later, enjoying the solitude until she found the felled tree she'd been looking for at the edge of the pond. She sat in silence for a while, revelling in the cool breeze and the sound of the trees swaying gently. A moment later she about jumped out of her skin when someone suddenly sat down heavily on the log next to her.
"Holy shit Logan, make some noise when you sneak up on people," she said, trying to slow down her racing heart.
"Well then I wouldn't be sneaking, would I," Logan replied with a grin.
"That was kind of my point," Rogue added, returning the smile.
"Why haven’t you paid me a visit yet?" he asked, straight to the point.
“I didn't realise it was mandatory," was all she replied.
"It's not," Logan shrugged, "But I happen to know you want to and I'm curious to know why you haven't, you've had the key for a while now, though it does keep appearing back on my desk from time to time."
"We all want things in life we can't have," Rogue muttered.
"So, what is it you want that you think you can't have?" he asked.
"Oh gee, I don't know, how about the ability to touch!" Rogue snapped, standing up to pace in front of the log, "I'm sick of people rubbing it in my face when I can't have it!"
"Rogue ... Rogue," Logan tried again, when she didn't respond the first time. When she finally turned to look at him, he held up his hand where his fingers were laced through hers. "Touch ... there's not just one set way to touch Rogue, just because you touch differently doesn't mean you can't do it. Your friends aren't trying to rub it in your face, they want you to be comfortable in your own skin, and to have the things you think you can't."
He could see the indecision still playing out across her face as he pulled the key out of his pocket, turning her hand over he placed it on her palm and closed her fingers over it. "I'm not going to make you do anything you don't want to, if your friends are wrong and this isn't what you want you send that key back but if it is what you want, you hold onto that key until you're ready." He placed a kiss on her closed hand before he stood and walked back into the woods the way he'd come, leaving Rogue alone again.