Disclaimers etc. in Part 1
< > indicates thoughts
~ ~ indicates telepathic conversation
In Plain Sight
8. Aimée and Logan Have a Talk
The ride back to Westchester was uncomfortably quiet. Chatter about the play
had lasted them through the Bronx, but once they hit the Hutch, it died out.
Jean and Scott cuddled in the back seat, ignoring the tension up front.
"Rogue looked very beautiful," Aimée ventured as traffic slowed ahead of
Logan growled. "Those guys better keep their hands to themselves." Marie
might not know what those boys were looking for when they invited her out,
but he surely did, and it wasn't milk and cookies.
"Keep your mind on driving," Scott said from the backseat.
"Shut up One-Eye, and go back to feelin' up your wife."
Jean blushed. Logan grinned at her in the rearview mirror and winked.
"And buckle your seatbelt." Scott had heard the story of Logan and Rogue's
first meeting many times.
Logan flipped him off and changed lanes. "I don't need driving advice from
"Perhaps you should put your seatbelt on, Logan," Aimée said, but without
her usual authority.
He grimaced, but did as she said, sticking his cigar into his teeth and
pulling the belt across his chest. "Buckle it for me, will ya?" he said,
handing it to her without taking his eyes from the road. There was a time
when he'd have made a naughty suggestion, and perhaps winked, but she
realized those times were gone. She stared straight ahead for the rest of
the ride, thinking.
When they finally got back to the mansion, Aimée put a hand to her head. "I
have a headache. I will see you in the morning, Logan."
He blinked. Since they'd taken up together, she hadn't spent more than a
couple of nights in the room Xavier had assigned her when she'd arrived. He
followed her upstairs. "Is something wrong?" He wasn't normally the most
perceptive guy, but even he could see she was upset.
"You tell me."
They entered her room and she took her coat off and hung it up. He could
smell her tension and nervousness. She stood at the closet and said, "I
think we both know this is over." He opened his mouth and she said, "Let me
speak. I knew when it began that it wasn't a lifetime commitment. I wasnt
looking for that, and neither were you. I was willing to accept your
feelings for Jean--"
She held up a hand. "I know you want her. She's an attractive woman and very
in love with her husband. That is one thing. We all are attracted to other
people at times.
"But to play second fiddle to a girl who's half your age, if that! She's a
very sweet girl, Logan, but a girl nonetheless. You're in love with her and
you don't even know it. I can see it in the way you look at her, the way you
stand when she is near you. Don't deny it.
"I didn't believe it, didn't even think of it until tonight. I thought you
were cheating on me. I was jealous. But you've been faithful, haven't you?
At least physically." She walked over to him and looked into his eyes. "Yes.
I can see that, too. But you haven't been with me here," she laid a finger
on her temple, "or here," her hand now over her heart, "in weeks."
"Aimée, I, I never meant to hurt you." He'd never said those words to any of
the women he'd been involved with before, but this was different. He liked
Aimée, respected her, would even want to be friends with her. "I never
thought-- I mean, Marie is--"
She cut him off. "Yes, well, there it is. So, please leave. I'm sure that we
can get along as professionals, for as long as I'm employed here, but I
don't think we're going to be friends."
He sighed. "I'm sorry."
"We can't help what we feel, Logan, but we can control what we do about it."
She was right.
He went back to his room and lay on the bed. He was free now, free to make
Marie his. And he began thinking about how he could her make her love him.
9. Ice Cream and Chocolate Kisses
Logan was sitting in front of the television, staring blindly at an episode
of "Facts of Life" when Scott walked in.
"It's Wednesday," Scott said.
"Don't you have somewhere to be?" Scott prodded.
Logan took a slug of beer and said, "Who watches this shit, anyway? Can you
believe people got paid money to make this crap?"
"Hey, don't knock Mrs. Garrett and the girls. I had a huge crush on Jo when
I was a kid."
Logan arched an eyebrow. "Not Blair?"
"I had a thing for bad girls," Scott said.
Logan snorted. "You kill me, Cyke."
"You're evading the issue."
"What're you, my secretary? What the fuck is it to you if I sit around and
watch TV all night?" He looked around; none of the students were in the
room. Since a television had been installed in one of the larger rooms in
the dormitory wing, they all gathered there, leaving the adults to the
Scott had the grace to look sheepish. "There's a Star Trek marathon on
channel eleven tonight."
Logan actually laughed. He changed the channel as Scott settled on the couch
next to him. "And you could have gone upstairs and watched it with the kids.
What do you want?"
"Why don't you go visit Rogue? I know she misses you." Scott said it
casually enough, but he could feel the other man stop breathing.
Finally Logan exhaled. "Yeah, well, I don't want to get in her way. She's
got a life and friends and all."
Scott was taken aback by Logan's diffidence, but he didn't show it. "Don't
you think she wants you to be a part of her life? Aren't you friends?"
Logan slammed the bottle of beer down onto the coffee table and stood up.
"Stay the fuck out of my business, okay, One-Eye?"
Scott chuckled softly to himself when he heard the motorcycle leave the
garage ten minutes later. He had no doubt he was doing the right thing.
It was late when he pulled up in front of Marie's building. He'd driven
around for a while, and then stopped into a bar for some whiskey. He needed
something to get his courage up. He could face an army without fear, but
facing this slip of a girl sent him into tremors.
Finally, he pulled out the key and unlocked the door. The doorman nodded. It
had been a couple of months, but he was good at his job and remembered Miss
Xavier's friend. Logan punched the button in the elevator and told himself
to take deep breaths and stay calm. It was Marie he was going to see. At the
moment, he thought he'd rather face Magneto.
He unlocked the door and was surprised that the lights were all out. She
must be in bed already. <It's late,> he reminded himself. It was after
midnight. He wouldn't stay. He'd just make sure she was okay and he'd leave.
Walking into the bedroom, he stood watching her sleep. She was so delicate,
so young, so beautiful. He cursed himself for a fool and was getting ready
to walk out when she woke up.
Eyelids fluttering, she looked up at him sleepily. "Logan? Is that you,
sugar?" Her voice was husky with sleep, and it sent a thrill down his spine.
Not to mention the tightness in his chest at the endearment.
He shoved his hands in his pockets and shrugged, trying to suppress his
body's immediate response to her. "Yeah, kid."
She sat up and he sucked in a deep breath at the sight of so much bared
skin. She wore a white tank top that clung to her like it was painted on. It
left nothing to his imagination. <Breathe,> he told himself.
"What's up?" she asked, drawing her knees to her chest under the comforter
and wrapping her arms around them.
He remembered the last time he'd been in her bedroom and wondered if it was
safe to sit on the bed. "Aimée and I broke up." <Shit.> He hadn't planned on
telling her so abruptly.
She blinked. "I'm sorry, I guess. Should I be sorry? Or is it a good thing?"
She looked adorably confused.
"I don't know, Marie. I've never been dumped before. I was always the one
who did the leavin', you know? It's kinda strange."
She nodded. "This calls for ice cream," she said solemnly, throwing off the
covers and swinging her long, long legs out of bed. He stared. He couldn't
help it. She was wearing boxer shorts. He'd never seen so much of her
before. <Her legs are fucking amazing,> he thought.
She blushed under the intense scrutiny and reached for her gloves. "Leave
them off," he said, and his voice sounded strange to his own ears.
"Are ya sure?"
They had been sitting in silence for God only knows how long, and she was
getting restless. He stared moodily at the television. He was being awfully
quiet, even for him. The kiss had changed everything. Made everything
awkward. And now, he was free. And she wasn't sure what that meant for her,
They'd shared the carton of ice cream and he'd laughed when she told him
that this was a definite chick ritual after a break up. Then she'd offered
the use of her Meg Ryan movies, which he'd quickly declined. She liked that
she could make him laugh, even when he must be hurting. She didnt believe
he was in love with Aimée, but still, his ego was bruised, even if his heart
wasnt. And while most people would have thought it a good thing for the
arrogant Wolverine to suffer such a setback, Rogue wasnt one of them. You
never get used to rejection, no matter how much practice you have. Mutants
learned that earlier on than the rest of the world.
So, here they were, watching some dumb infomercial for hair care products in
Finally, she couldnt take it anymore. So how *did* Mary Ingalls go blind,
He looked at her in surprise. What the fuck?
Mary Ingalls. You know, _Little House on the Prairie_. She went blind. How
d it happen?
He cracked his neck. How the hell should I know, Marie? I dont even know
my own name. A few minutes later, She got kicked in the head by a horse
and caught rheumatic fever.
She started giggling. I dont even want to know how you know that, Logan.
And somehow, things went back to normal.
10. Party At Rogue's
He felt like he wasnt making any progress with the Wednesday visits. He
certainly wasnt seeing her often enough to satisfy his craving for her.
One Friday night, about three weeks later, he found himself at loose ends.
He was sitting in a bar somewhere in Hells Kitchen when he decided he had
to see her. He was too close to pass up the opportunity.
Five minutes later, he pulled up in front of her building. Looking up, he
saw lights on and heard noise coming from her apartment. Of course, he had
to investigate. He could smell them from the lobby -- the beer and the smoke
and the cheap cologne. He could hear the music thumping and he wondered why
no one in the building was complaining. The doorman said, "Miss Xavier's
party is the talk of the building, sir. Everyone was invited. Even old Mr.
Logan grunted and got on the elevator. If everyone in the building was
invited, it couldn't be much of a party, he told himself. Which was all to
the good. He could imagine what mischief all those hormonal twenty-year-olds
could get up to, and he didn't like Marie involved in it one bit.
The smells and sounds were even stronger as he got off the elevator. Smoke
(only cigarette, thank God. He didn't want to deal with a bunch of stoners),
beer, lust and sweat mingled with the scent of hairspray and cologne. The
door to the apartment was open and he pushed his way in.
People stopped and stared as he entered. He was used to that -- it was the
common reaction. Flaring his nostrils, he picked her out amidst the torrent
of scents bombarding him. He could hear the whispers even with the music
blaring. "Who's that?" He recognized one or two people from the play. He
heard someone say, "Hey, that's the guy I told you about. The one who was
here the night I came home with her." It was the boy she'd brought home the
night of The Incident. He bared his teeth at the kid, who suddenly decided
to head for the bathroom. <Tiny bladder,> Logan thought, amused.
Marie turned just as he reached her. "Logan!" she exclaimed. "Omigod! It's
so cool that you're here."
"Chuck know you're havin' a party in his place?" he asked.
She looked him up and down and he felt himself grow warm under her regard.
"Hmm. You sure look like Logan. How come you sound like Scott?" He growled
and she laughed.
Grabbing two beers from the refrigerator, she nodded her head toward the
kitchen window. Come on. She took his hand and they threaded through the
crowd of people. She leaned over and opened the window, her shirt riding up
to expose porcelain skin marked with black ink.
He sucked in a breath. <Damn.> Hed always found tattoos on women attractive
and damn, did he want to get closer to Maries and check it out. Preferably
with her shirt pulled up and her pants down.
She was already out on the fire escape while he stood there, fighting his
bodys natural urges to throw her up against the wall and take her hard.
Comin, sugar? He blinked. Come on, Logan. In or out? she said.
He climbed out and joined her, cursing his dirty mind. She leaned against
the metal railing, applied the bottle opener to the beers, and handed him
one. Then she tapped her bottle to the top of his, sending beer foaming up
the long necks. Drink, she ordered, tipping the bottle to her mouth before
it could spill over the top. He did the same, his eyes never leaving her as
she drank the amber liquid.
He finished the bottle. She drank about half of hers before putting it down.
Its not Wednesday, she said.
No shit, Sherlock. She stuck her tongue out at him and he looked
chagrinned. Can I only see you on Wednesdays? Is that the rule?
There is no rule. You can come see me anytime, sugar, she drawled. She
shivered a little and he realized how cold it was. New York in the middle of
November could get nasty. He shrugged out of his jacket and draped it over
her shoulders. My hero, she sighed, leaning against him as he wrapped an
arm around her and hugged her to his chest.
He kissed the top of her head, wondering what he could get away with and a
little turned on by the idea of fooling around with her while there was an
apartment full of people behind them, oblivious. Then he thought about how
much shed probably had to drink and decided he didnt want her to have any
regrets, any second thoughts when he told her how he felt. He certainly didn
t want to take advantage of her. He sighed.
Whats wrong, Logan? she asked, her voice a little muffled. Are you still
upset about Aimée?
<God, no.> He bit back his first response. Its not that. This just aint
my kinda party, kid. Im gonna head back to the mansion.
It was her turn to sigh. He *was* still hurting, she thought. Hey, maybe
you could come over Sunday? Watch the Giants? Theyre playing the Cowboys.
The Boys aint shit, Marie, he grumbled. It was an old argument. He
couldnt understand how his normally sensible girl could root for those
showboating assholes. He was a Raiders fan himself.
She laughed. Is that a yes, Logan? She pulled away and looked up at him
saucily. Ill make it worth your while.
Theres an offer I cant refuse, darlin, he replied. What do ya got in
She twirled a lock of white hair around a black-clad finger. I dont know.
A little wager to make things interesting?
What are you willing to give me when the Giants whip your Boys?
She pouted. "Whatever you want. <Whoa,> he thought. <If you only knew what
I wanted, youd toss me over the railing.> She was still talking. But it
wont matter, cause were gonna beat the Giants. They got no offense. When
I win, I want you to teach me to drive the bike.
It was his turn to laugh. Youre on, babe. See you Sunday. And he climbed
down the ladder to the ground.
<Babe? Hes never called me that before,> she thought, pulling the jacket
tight around her. The jacket. Logan, she called out, leaning over the
railing, Your jacket.
He stopped and turned as she dangled it over the side. He climbed up far
enough to reach it, and they stood looking at each other for a moment, a
modern-day Romeo and his Juliet, silvered in the moonlight of the New York
sky. And then the moment was past, and they were Logan and Rogue again.
11. Logan Goes A-Courtin'
After the football game, which the Giants won handily, Logan stared at
Marie. She shifted uncomfortably. "I suppose you wanna collect on the bet
now," she grumbled. "I can't believe they lost."
He grunted. "I'm gonna hold off on collecting, Marie. I wanna think about
what I want from you." <I don't want you to run screaming into the night
when I tell you how I feel.> He stood and stretched. "Why don't we go out
and grab some grub?"
"We could order in," she suggested. "Have an indoor picnic, eat on the
living room floor."
He grinned slowly. "Yeah. I'd like that."
They ordered Chinese and he knew it wasn't the General Tso's chicken making
him hot as he watched her eat. She did it, as she did most things,
delicately, with an elegance that was so far removed from his general
crudeness that he wondered once again if she could ever have real feelings
for him. He didn't doubt he could make her want him, physically. He knew he
was attractive, and she was inexperienced, despite her protests. But he
wanted more than that.
He began visiting more often, dropping in and taking her to movies or dinner
out instead of just sitting around her apartment watching television like an
old married couple.
For her part, Rogue wondered what was going on. Suddenly, he was around all
the time. She wondered if she was dying and no one had told her, or if maybe
he was sick... no, that was silly. He didn't get sick.
She found herself looking forward to seeing him, and she felt absurdly proud
when he took her out. They'd walk and he'd put an arm lightly around her
shoulders, or hold her hand and she could see other women checking him out.
She always stood a little straighter, thinking, <He's out with me tonight,
sweetie.> Which was also silly, because they were just friends and someday
soon he'd find some new woman to take back to Westchester and get busy with.
Though she'd heard from Scott that he'd been either surprisingly discreet or
unbelievably celibate in the weeks since the break up. Scott seemed to think
this was significant in some way, but for the life of her, Rogue couldn't
figure out why.
12. Under the Mistletoe
She went home for Christmas and it was great. She and Logan spent every
waking moment together, it seemed.
Scott walked around looking smug the whole time, until Jean smacked him
around a bit. "So you were right," she said one night as they prepared for
bed. "There's no need to strut around like a peacock."
"I'm just waiting for him to come out and say it. The poor girl has no clue
what's going on."
Jean looked at her husband sternly. "You are *not* to interfere, Scott. Let
Logan do this his own way."
He sighed. "Oh, all right. I suppose it'll be just as much fun watching him
squirm." He grinned, then, as a thought struck him. "I won't say anything to
her, but maybe I could offer *him* some advice?" he asked hopefully.
Jean laughed. "What am I going to do with you, Scott?"
He raised an eyebrow. "I have a few ideas that have nothing to do with Logan
"I'm sure you do. Don't be too cruel when you tease Logan, okay? I'd prefer
not to have to sew you back together again."
She walked over and joined him in bed, and all thoughts of the other couple
"Jubes, you're insane."
"No, Rogue, really. He hasn't brought anyone home since he and Aimée broke
up, and he's all sad looking when you're not around." That was Kitty.
"Sad looking? Logan?" Rogue was incredulous.
Jubilee nodded. "Well, more like angry-looking, but in a sad way. And you
should see how he runs for the phone, hoping it's you."
Kitty nodded and Rogue considered that. It was true that her weekly phone
calls to Scott had turned into almost daily phone calls to Logan, who rarely
let Scott have the phone at all. She'd begun to wonder why he was always
hanging around, answering the phone. It wasn't like they had real
conversations. Just her chattering about her day and him grunting in
response. Though she supposed for him, that constituted the bulk of his
conversation. He didn't let many people see the thinking, philosophical side
he sometimes shared with her, late at night, after a particularly exciting
She hadn't told anyone about The Incident, but now she found herself
spilling to her two best girlfriends.
Jubilee shrieked, "He kissed you? And you didn't tell us?"
"And then he and Aimée started having fights all the time. He wants you,
Rogue. You just have to play it cool and be ready to fall into his arms when
he finally makes his move," Kitty said wisely. She and Bobby had *finally*
gotten together, much to the delight of everyone who knew them.
"Wait for him?" Jubilee said scornfully. "Dude, we've got to push him into
action, or he'll never have the balls to do anything. He'll think all he has
to do is look feral and manly and hang around shirtless and you'll come
running." They all thought about that for a moment.
"That'd work," Rogue acknowledged.
"On me, too," Kitty said, and they all laughed.
Christmas morning finally arrived and there were kids running around all
over the place, making a racket. Logan grumbled and was headed back up to
his room when Rogue stopped him. She stood in the doorway, wearing a long
red velvet dress and gloves to match. There was a sheer red scarf tossed
casually around her neck, and her hair was pulled up into French braid.
"Merry Christmas, everybody," she said softly.
The comments came from all sides. Bobby: "Whoa, Rogue, you look awesome."
Jean: "Great dress, Rogue." Storm: "I like your hair."
And then, the bombshell. "You're standing under the mistletoe," from Scott,
who rose, grinning impishly, to give her a kiss.
Logan was not one to miss an opportunity. With two steps, he cut Scott off
at the pass. His quickness was amazing for a man weighed down by almost two
hundred pounds of metal.
"Allow me," he murmured, pulling the scarf over her lips and kissing her
Scott returned to his seat and Jean rolled her eyes. ~You're such a yenta,
He laughed and no one could figure out why.
Rogue and Logan spent the rest of the day circling each other warily. She
could never forget the pained look in Aimée's eyes when Logan caught her a
second time under the mistletoe. She knew then that she'd made the right
decision the night of The Incident.
What she didn't know was how to deal with the situation now.
So she did what she and Logan both were best at. She ran. Oh, not to Alaska
or Timbuktu, or even New Jersey.
She went back to the apartment on the day after Christmas.
And found it waterlogged and in sore need of repair.
Old Mr. Sheffield in 8K had left his bathtub running while he fed his cats,
one of whom ran out the kitchen window and down the fire escape. In his
haste to get Theo back, he'd forgotten the running water.
It flooded his apartment and soaked through the ceiling, bringing down
plaster and staining the walls of the bedroom, bathroom and living room.
Which were basically all the rooms in the place.
"Professor," she said anxiously, "there's been an accident."
He was very understanding about the whole thing. It wasn't her fault, after
13. Three Small Words
After the landlord had everything replastered and repaired, Logan came over
and insisted on doing most of the work over again.
"Those guys do a half-assed job, Marie," he said. "If you want something
done right, you do it yourself."
That afternoon, they had painted the apartment. A whole group of her
friends, both from Fordham and from Xavier's, agreed to help out. It had
been a fun day, having everyone around, laughing and joking while they
worked. In the end, though, just she and Logan were left.
She went into the kitchen, and hung her head out the window. "Damn, I hate
that new paint smell." She looked at Logan sympathetically. "It must be
sheer hell for you."
He grimaced. "Yeah." He was going to say something else when she turned
away, leaning once again on the widow sill. Her shirt rode up, exposing the
black ink he'd gotten the barest glimpse of the night of her party.
"Marie? What the hell is on your back?" he growled. He thought it was
incredibly sexy, but the idea that some other hand had marked her skin made
him jealous on a primal level.
She looked over her shoulder at him. "That's my tat. Like it?" She raised
the shirt to give him a better view.
<Oh, yeah,> he thought. "Um, ah, lemme get my gloves and take a closer
look." She quirked an eyebrow but said nothing else. He walked up behind her
and lifted her shirt. It was an odd symbol, one he could have sworn he'd
seen before, but where? "What is it?"
He let out a sharp crack of laughter. "You would do that, huh, kid?"
He slid a hand onto her hip, feeling her whole body go still. "Logan, what
are you doing?" His other hand moved around to rub gently against her
stomach, under the t-shirt she was wearing. Again, "Logan?" There was some
confusion in her voice, but no fear. He pulled her back against him, both
hands on her hips now, her head resting against his chest, just under his
"There's something I need to tell you," he whispered, his breath in her ear
sending shivers down her spine.
She swallowed. Good news did not generally follow those words. But then, he
wasn't really a man of words, and his actions were saying something that was
pretty hard to ignore. He wanted her, if nothing else. She could feel that
in the bulge pressed against her back.
He turned her around to face him, and she noticed how nervous he looked. His
eyes locked on hers. "Marie, I -- dammit, it always looks so easy in the
movies. Marie, I, I --"
<Come on, Logan, spit it out.> "You want to run away and join circus?" she
cracked, giving him an out.
He didnt take it. "Don't joke, kid. This ain't fucking funny. I've never
said it before, and I want to get it right."
She slid her arms around his neck, one hand playing with the hair that fell
over the collar of his shirt. She leaned her head back and said, "I'm
"I love you." He said it all in a rush, as if he were afraid he wouldn't be
able to get it out if he didn't do it all at once.
She felt the tears prickle in her eyes as she said, "I love you, too,
Logan." Her lips were parted and her skin flushed.
He took the scarf around her neck and placed it over her mouth, kissing her
gently. "Goddamn," he whispered. "I love you." It seemed to get easier each
time he said it, and he loved the way it made her look. "But this whole
place reeks. You wanna go home?"
She kept his hand in hers as they ran downstairs to the bike.
She lay quiet and sated in his arms, amazed at the feelings he was able to
coax from her body and stunned at the effect she had on him. As she drifted
off to sleep, she remembered something she'd been meaning to tell him for
weeks. "You were wrong, ya big ninny," she murmured drowsily, "Mary Ingalls
went blind from scarlet fever."
He snorted and kissed the top of her head. "Go to sleep, Marie. You need to
rest up. I got big plans for the morning. Love you."
She smiled and snuggled closer, content. "Love you, too, Logan."
yeah, yeah, more foof from me...
"Fool! said my muse to me, look in thy heart, and write." Sir Philip Sidney