FIC: "Will You Accept The Charges?" (1/1 - PG - Logan/Rogue)
- Title: Will You Accept The Charges?
Summary: Sequel to Diebin's "Return To Sender." Logan calls Rogue collect
Disclaimer: These characters belong to someone else. I am not someone
else. Therefore, they do not belong to me.
Dedication and Thanks: To Diebie, for lettin' me play with her toys, even
though I almost broke them last time. ;) And to Jengrrl, for the lovely
Author's Note: Even though I am the evil creature who whispered in Die's
ear and urged her to make "Return To Sender" angsty as hell, I couldn't
handle it. I found myself driving down the freeway in my car, wondering if
the damage was fixable. LOL And since Die is the sweetest person ever,
she let me give it a shot. All hail Diebin. She is a goddess. ;)
Logan sat on the edge of his bed, a paper dangling from his fingers. The
feminine scrawl on the page was unfamiliar and damning. The words danced
on the page as he wondered what the hell he was going to do.
Storm had written him a letter.
After running a shaky hand through his hair, he focused his eyes and read
the words once more, pain and guilt warring for dominance in his bruised
"Logan," it began simply. "It's not my place to be writing this letter,
but I hate seeing my friends in pain, so I'm doing it anyway. Do you have
any idea how much you hurt Rogue with that invitation you returned?"
Logan closed his eyes and shook his head. She certainly didn't beat around
the bush, but did Ororo have any idea how much *receiving* that damned
ivory envelope had hurt *him*? Of course not. No one did, not even Marie.
He continued reading. "It was uncalled for, Logan. I hate putting it so
bluntly, but that's all it was. Rogue has been wandering around here
depressed for the last three weeks, and I'm tired of it. I know you
probably won't do this, but I wish you'd pick up the phone and apologize to
her. Call collect if you have to, Logan. It takes so little time and
effort to say you're sorry, and it's the right thing to do."
It was signed only with her name, and icy coolness laced every word. Logan
grimaced, unsure of his next move. He knew she was right; he should have
just burned the damn invitation before lashing out at Marie with such
malice, but he hadn't been thinking clearly at the time. He had that
little old woman from the post office in his face, giving him lectures on
etiquette, when all he wanted to do was send the invitation back before he
did something stupid.
Like open it.
Or call Marie. He was sure he would have had a good excuse for himself; he
could have called to find out who the guy was, or to demand to know if it
was really what she wanted. But Logan knew, deep down, that a call to her
could end only with him on his knees, begging her not to do it. Pleading
with her to wait for him.
His grimace turned into a scowl, and Logan crumpled the letter into a ball,
then threw it at the waste basket. It hit the rim and bounced off, rolling
to a stop near his left foot. He kicked it.
So, it looked like he was going to be calling Marie anyway.
Rubbing the back of his neck, he snatched the receiver from its cradle,
vowing that, whatever else he did, two things were off limits - hurting
Marie again and begging her to love him.
Rogue was out of breath by the time she reached the telephone. She'd been
sure someone else was going to answer it, so she'd kept her seat in the
library, trying to concentrate on her book. But then the phone reached its
seventh ring, and she made a mad dash for the hallway, grumbling. It
figured that no one else would be around when she was trying to get some
"Hello?" she gasped, rolling her eyes at how out-of-breath she sounded.
A recorded voice answered her. "Hello, you have a collect call from--" It
"Logan," a gruff voice supplied.
The blood drained from Rogue's face, and her hand tightened on the receiver
as the voice droned on. "Will you accept the charges? At the tone, please
clearly state 'yes' or 'no.'"
"Y-Yes, of course," she stuttered after the shrill beep, her heart
pounding. Logan had called. Oh God, was he in trouble? She couldn't
think of any other reason why he would be calling on a Wednesday afternoon.
She waited until she heard the line click, then ventured, "Logan?"
"Yeah, it's me." His voice was quiet with just a hint of a defeat, and it
hurt to hear. It hurt more than she thought it would.
Rogue had thought a million times about what she'd do if he called, what
she'd say. She could play it cool, follow his lead, and act like whatever
he did was just of passing interest to her, nothing more. Or she could
just tell him the truth. Lay it all on the table, confess how much she
cared about him, wanted to be with him. After all, what did she have to lose?
She hadn't counted on that wounded, unhappy voice of his.
Suddenly, she didn't know what to say. "What are How are you?" She
gritted her teeth and shook her head, wishing that she had said anything
but what had just come out of her mouth. Talk about stilted politeness.
She could almost picture the arched eyebrow, but all he said in answer was,
"I'm doing good," and he sounded even more beaten than before. "Listen,
uh I wanted to say I'm sorry. About the invitation."
Oh God. She should have known, should have seen it coming. Logan could
beat the living hell out of a man and merely shrug afterwards, but he'd
always been more careful with her, almost gentle. She should have known
that he would feel guilty. "No, *I'm* sorry, Logan," she protested
vehemently. "It It was horrible of me, I see that now. You must have
been so " she trailed off, unsure about verbally acknowledging the pain
wrapped around his voice. "I just didn't know you still felt I'm sorry."
In the end, it was inadequate but it was all she had.
"Not your fault," he said simply. Then there was silence, broken only by a
small huff, as if he'd cleared his throat. "So, you've been pretty busy
with planning it, eh?"
Rogue's brow furrowed slightly. "Oh, the--" She caught herself just in
time. For some reason, it didn't seem right to say it out loud. "Not
really. I mean, Ororo's the maid of honor, so she's been doin' most of the
work." She wrapped the telephone cord around her gloved finger, and
imagined the skin beneath it turning mottled shades of blue and purple.
"Hey, I'm startin' college in a few weeks," she informed him brightly,
eager to get away from the topic of Jean and Scott's wedding.
This time when he spoke, Rogue thought she heard a smile. "That's great,
Marie." Then the smile turned into a tiny laugh. "Look at you," he
mumbled softly. "Moving off, starting a whole new life."
"Well, I'm not goin' anywhere, Logan," she corrected. "I'm still gonna be
livin' here, at the school."
It was a long moment before he answered. "Oh."
Rogue took a deep breath. If she didn't say something, then she'd lose her
chance. Logan would hang up, and he might never "Look, Logan," she
began, heart pounding. Could he hear it on the other end of the line? "I
wish you'd come back," she confessed. "I really I want to see you."
Another long moment of silence stretched over the connection. "I don't
think I can, Marie."
She felt sick. "Busy, huh?"
"No, I just I don't think it's a good idea, is all." And his voice was
even deeper, fuller, than before. The melancholy that permeated it was
almost tangible, and Rogue closed her eyes against the knowledge that Logan
was hurting that much over Jean. Over someone who was, quite simply, not her.
"Okay, um " Her throat tightened, and she blinked back tears. She was
horrified to hear herself whisper, "Please?"
"Marie " He sounded sad, so damn sad. "The groom might get hacked off if
he saw the way I look at his girl," he explained quietly.
Pain shot through Rogue and settled in her stomach. "Oh I--I guess
you're right Okay."
Neither of them said anything then, and it occurred to Rogue that maybe
the hush had fallen because Logan was like her, too miserable to speak.
She didn't blame him; she knew better than anyone what it was to love
someone you couldn't have.
"Look, I gotta go." Hoarse words, at once hesitant and hurried.
Rogue's shoulders slumped. She'd said as much to him as her fear and
wounded pride would allow. It seemed like it was always that way; she
crawled out on limb after emotional limb, but they never could bear the
weight of what she felt, what she needed from the strong, aloof man named
Logan. In the end, there was nothing left to say. "All right."
"You take care, Marie," he said, and she thought she heard his voice waver
a little. "And congratulations. On school and and the wedding."
His last words stopped her cold. "The wedding?"
"Yeah." He sounded almost angry now, upset. "Something wrong? Can't I at
least congratulate you about it?"
Rogue drew in an unsteady breath. "Sure, but I guess I just didn't think
it was customary to congratulate a bridesmaid."
"Bridesmaid?" Nothing. No inflection, no emotion, just the word, and she
knew it was a question.
What the hell was wrong with him? "Well, I already told you that Ororo was
the maid of honor, and Jean can only have one, so She asked me to be a
bridesmaid." She moved her hand over the back of a chair, and she sank
into it. "Logan, are you okay?"
There was a sharp exhale of breath, a cross between a sigh and growl. "I
Marie, I--God, I thought "
"Thought what?" Her eyes narrowed, then widened as comprehension dawned.
"Wait a minute, you thought it was *my* wedding?"
"I just assumed "
"It's Jean and Scott, of course." It would have been funny if it weren't
so damn ridiculous. "Logan, who the hell would I be marryin'?"
"I dunno." Quiet, and Rogue wondered if she imagined that his voice was
less pained than before.
Still, it didn't quite make sense. "Wait a minute If you thought *I* was
the one gettin' married, why were you " Her words trailed away to
nothingness, and she trembled. "Oh," was all she could think to say, and
it came out in a shocked whisper. "Oh."
"Marie " He sounded regretful and elated and scared and smug, and none of
those things belonged together. But he said her name and she heard it all,
and she knew what he was going to say next, and she couldn't let him take
any of it back.
So she stopped him. "Logan?"
"Yeah?" It was a word, nothing more. Not an endearment or a confession,
but the way he said it, tenderly, like it was only for her, made it feel
"I know I already asked you this, but " Relief and wonder made her bold.
"Will you come back as soon as you can? I want "
This time, he stopped her from speaking. "Yeah, I think I can manage
that." He sounded choked up again, but the pain that had been throbbing in
his words before was gone, and Rogue shook.
"Soon?" God, they had so much to say, because they'd said nothing so far,
and there were a million secret things inside And she could say them all
to him, because she knew now that he wanted to hear them.
"Real soon, Marie."
~~ The End ~~
"It's easy to moon over a lost love - to fantasize over what might have
been, secure in the knowledge that it'll never happen. It makes a great
excuse for not facin' the risks and demands of reality."
--Logan, "The Uncanny X-Men" (#183)