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FIC: For The Good Times (2/2) [L/R, NC-17]

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  • Donna Bevan
    - Disclaimers, ratings, and delirious ramblings in Part 1 - ~~x~~ Logan held his breath as he opened the door, then released it in a shaky exhale as he spotted
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2001
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      - Disclaimers, ratings, and delirious ramblings in Part 1 -

      ~~x~~

      Logan held his breath as he opened the door, then released it in a shaky
      exhale as he spotted the still form on her bed.

      She was here.

      His booted heels thumped on the hardwood floor as he crossed it, and the
      woman on the bed stirred. "Logan?" Her voice, husky with sleep, was so
      full of worry that he shook his head unconsciously.

      "It's me, Marie."

      She was up in a flash, standing by the bed. "I knew you weren't really
      gone," she whispered nervously, fumbling with the hem of her thin navy tee
      shirt. "Your things were still here."

      <I tried to get hopelessly drunk, because maybe then I could pretend you
      weren't about to destroy me.> "I went out for a while."

      She nodded, brushing her tangled hair away from her face. He stepped
      closer and moved her gloved hands out of the way, smoothing the locks
      himself. Her words came pouring out in a rush. "Oh God, Logan, I'm so sorr--"

      "Don't, Marie," he commanded, dragging his thumb across her lower
      lip. "Sorry doesn't belong here. Not tonight, not with us." <Sorry will
      come later, baby,> he added silently, burying his fingers again in her
      hair, massaging her scalp.

      She moaned, swaying toward him. "Logan, I--"

      "Shh." He was afraid to let her speak, afraid that she wouldn't be able to
      stave off the goodbyes that twisted her inside. "Just this, Marie. Just
      this." He lowered his lips until they hovered above hers. "Tell me you
      want this," he begged hoarsely. "Please."

      "I do, I want--" He cut off her words by crushing his lips to hers.

      It was everything he'd never dared to dream, kissing her. Her lips were
      cool and dry, and they parted under his with only the slightest urging of
      his hand at her jaw. His tongue slipped between her lips and teeth,
      tangling hotly with hers, and he drank in her moan with eagerness.

      Logan's hands slid down to bring her hips closer, and he tried to forget
      that this night was the last time he'd ever get to kiss her, make love to her.

      Rogue's head was spinning. The feel of Logan's tongue in her mouth,
      coaxing and wet, was intoxicating. Her second kiss ever, and it was
      *Logan*… It was perfection, and she trembled, a familiar hunger rising
      within her with frightening speed.

      Then he was lifting her body against his, backing her up and lowering her
      to the bed. He broke away and stared down at her, panting. It hurt to
      look at her like this, her eyes heavy-lidded and smoldering, her hair
      spread around her like silk. It hurt and it was paradise, and he traced
      her swollen lower lip with his thumb.

      Rogue gazed up at Logan in confusion. He was looking at her like he'd
      never seen her before, desire and something else darkening his eyes. His
      thumb traveled lightly over her lip, and she moved on instinct, closing her
      mouth around it and sucking lightly.

      With a groan, Logan dragged his hand from her face, kissing her
      deeply. This time, whatever had been clouding his eyes bled through to the
      kiss, and Rogue stiffened.

      Oh God, he tasted like goodbye.

      "Logan," she gasped as he drew his lips away from hers, down the curve of
      her jaw. "Logan, what--"

      He stopped at her ear, breathing softly and raggedly. "Marie… Just
      tonight. *Please*," he whispered pleadingly, and she wanted to scream.

      She didn't want just a night. She wanted forever, and she knew she should
      stop him, should tell him that a few hours wasn't enough and he had to stop
      touching her.

      But she couldn't. Logan was touching her, he was *touching* her, and she
      never thought she'd have this at all… And if she made him stop, then she
      wouldn't have it, would never.

      His mouth closed around her earlobe, and Rogue pushed the pain down, locked
      it away. She would worry about tomorrow when it came, worry about watching
      him leave when he was headed for the door; until then, she had Logan in her
      arms.

      "Just tonight," she whispered in defeat, and Logan stiffened for a moment,
      then relaxed.

      He never thought it would hurt so much, hearing her utter those words with
      such resignation, but it did. And Logan swore to himself that, no matter
      what happened, Marie would never regret spending these hours in his arms.

      Then he felt her hands on his shirt, fumbling with the buttons, and blood
      roared in his ears. The animal was back, shaking with the need to possess
      the woman shifting beneath him.

      His mate.

      "Marie," he gasped, pulling back and ripping his shirt open. Buttons went
      tumbling to the bed and the floor unheeded as he slid the flannel down his
      shoulders. Her hands were already at his waist, tugging his other shirts
      from his waistband, and he yanked them over his head.

      Rogue shivered at the sight of his bared skin, then levered herself forward
      to touch her lips and tongue to his chest, clutching at one of his
      shoulders with her gloved hand.

      Logan growled, pushing her back. As much as he wanted - no, *needed* - for
      her to touch him, the need to touch her was far greater. He had to make
      sure that she felt everything that lay inside him, everything he couldn't
      put into words.

      He needed to be inside her, to hear her scream his name.

      He needed to bind her to him.

      He quickly divested her of her gloves, and she immediately reached for his
      skin, grunting when he intercepted her hands. "Logan, I want to touch
      you. Please."

      "Later," he mumbled, moving her hands aside and reaching for the hem of her
      shirt. He pushed the soft cotton up, following the lines of her body
      closely with his hands. He heard her whimper through the cloth as it
      passed over her head, and he steeled himself against the frantic need that
      tore at him. Then the shirt was off her arms, her hair falling back down
      in a tangle around her bare shoulders.

      He shut his eyes at the picture she presented with her heavy eyes and
      tousled hair. He needed control, but that was one thing he'd never had
      with her. She always stripped him of it, and tonight was no exception.

      Rogue took advantage of Logan's lowered lids to touch him. Trembling, she
      slid her palms flat against his broad chest, curling her fingers into the
      hair that nestled there, beckoning her. He hissed and drew away, shaking
      his head.

      Something akin to a whimper broke from her. "Dammit, Logan…"

      He tried to catch her hands before her fingers brushed fire across his
      chest again, but she was quicker and obviously more determined to touch him
      than he was to stop her. Her whine changed to a moan, and Logan watched as
      her teeth sank into her lower lip, her face alight with the wonder of
      stroking his bare skin.

      Something tore free inside Logan, and he wanted to howl. She *wanted* him,
      for this if nothing else. And it was something, less than he wanted, but
      maybe enough to build on, enough to make her stay.

      He dove for her mouth, pressing her into the bed with his body, then
      shifting over to one side. One leg draped over hers, but the space between
      them allowed his hands to run shakily up and down her body. He silently
      cursed the cotton that covered her legs, shielding the silk of her naked
      flesh from his hands. The silent curses morphed into a growl against her
      lips as his questing fingers reached the waistband of her pajamas.

      He fumbled with the drawstring, reluctantly breaking his mouth from hers to
      look down at the knot. Her thumb brushing softly against his cheek drew
      his attention away from his task and back to her face.

      His breath caught at the sadness that was splashed across her beautiful
      face, at the tears that softened her eyes. For a moment, he fought against
      himself, then levered himself up and away from her, moving off the bed slowly.

      He couldn't do it. He couldn't stand to see her look like that, knowing he
      was the cause of it. "Marie, I-- We--" He turned around, away from the
      sight of her sprawled across the rumpled bed, in the room they'd shared for
      nearly five years. So long, but not long enough. Never long enough.

      The animal screamed, clawing at his mind and heart, insisting that he turn
      back to her, take what she had offered, no matter how reluctantly.

      Rogue lay still for a moment, stunned. Then, before she could think, she
      slid off the mattress and reached for him. The gentle pressure of her hand
      on the heated skin of his arm made him look back at her. His jaw was set,
      his brows furrowed.

      "Logan, don't." She let go and dropped her hands to the knot at her
      waistband, fumbling it loose. He didn't turn around, but his darkened
      hazel eyes remained fixed on her as she slid the pants down her legs and
      kicked them off, leaving her clad only in her lacy bra and panties.

      A muscle in his jaw jumped as she arched her back slightly, feeling out the
      clasp of her bra behind her back. She freed it along with a shuddering
      breath, and she watched him intently as the black lace fell from her
      breasts, away and to the floor. She pushed the fabric of her panties down
      over her hips, down her legs, letting them join the clothes that already
      littered the floor.

      Rogue heard the growl that rumbled up from his chest, then felt it as he
      swept her back into his arms, pushing his body against hers. His lips
      slanted hungrily over hers, parting the soft, swollen skin. His tongue
      dove between her teeth, licking and plundering, as one hand cradled the
      back of her head, fingers twisted in her hair, tilting her face back.

      She clung to him, kneading the skin of his back, reveling in the shift of
      the muscles beneath it. Perfect, he was so perfect, and he was *hers*,
      even if it was only for a little while longer…

      Logan lifted her off her feet, lowering her back to the bed, groaning as
      one impossibly long leg hooked around his waist, drawing him down into the
      welcoming cradle of her hips. "Marie…" He could smell the hot scent of
      her body, familiar and arousing, and it made him dizzy. Through the haze
      of desire that surrounded him, misery raised its head, only to be batted
      away by need and determination.

      He would have this. They would have this.

      She gasped and shivered as his lips reluctantly left hers, tracking down
      the pulse that throbbed in her throat. It was a new feeling for both of
      them, the hot dampness of his lips and tongue on the silken stretch of skin
      over her collarbone. He exhaled slowly, then dipped his tongue out to
      trace the hollow between her breasts.

      Shaking with restraint, Logan slipped one hand under his lover's body and
      up to cup her shoulder, his other hand finding purchase on the lean rise of
      her ribcage. His thumb barely skimmed the lower swell of one alabaster
      mound, and Rogue jerked, her head tossing. He nuzzled his cheek into one
      soft breast, glorying in the electric moan that spilled from her as a rough
      sideburn grazed her nipple.

      Rogue struggled to open her eyes as Logan's lips trailed a path to the
      aching tip of her breast, replacing the tantalizing scratch of hair with
      the wet softness of his tongue. She writhed beneath him, her hands
      everywhere, on his back and in his hair, urging him closer. "Logan…"

      He raised his eyes without raising his mouth, and he watched as her head
      tilted back into the pillow. Her back arched, pressing her breasts upward,
      and he opened his mouth further, taking in as much of her fevered flesh as
      possible.

      Spurred on by the soft gasps and moans coming from her, Logan moved lower,
      his tongue marking a wet slide down over her ribs and stomach. His hand
      curled into the bedspread, clenching tightly, as Rogue's hips instinctively
      bucked.

      "*God*, Logan…"

      He bypassed the dip of her navel, stopping only briefly to skim his lips
      over the sharp crest of one hipbone. He wished he had the time and the
      self-control to linger longer, to drag it out for hours until she was
      half-crazy with sensation, wanting and seeing and feeling nothing but him.

      But he didn't have either, so he leaned back and hooked his hands between
      and under her thighs, urging them apart.

      She resisted the movement, twisting her hips and trying to press her legs
      back together. "Logan, I--"

      "Shh," he interrupted, his hands growing more insistent. He had to taste
      her, feather his lips against her nakedness and push her over the edge,
      because he knew he wouldn't be long in following. "Let me, Marie."

      She looked down at him kneeling between her thighs, his chest heaving and
      lightly sheened with sweat. His stomach muscles rippled above the
      waistband of his jeans, and she licked her lips, eliciting a groan from
      him. "Take them off, Logan." She didn't have to elaborate.

      The groan became a growl. "Too dangerous." If he removed his clothes,
      he'd be tempted - so tempted - to just take her, to drive into her body
      until ecstasy overtook him… And then his time, his chance, would be gone.

      He had to show her how good it could be first.

      But Rogue raised herself onto her elbows. "Off." Her heavy, honeyed
      demand left no room for argument, and Logan arched an eyebrow as he slid
      off the bed to stand at its foot.

      Rogue shivered as she watched Logan lift the buckle of his belt free. His
      fingers dropped to the button of his jeans, and she wanted to crawl to the
      end of the bed and help him. The only thing that stopped her was the
      inexplicable knowledge that Logan didn't want her touching him too much.

      She wouldn't allow herself to wonder what that meant. She couldn't, not
      when the answer might mean that Logan didn't want to be thinking of her…

      <No.>

      She sat up further. "Hurry up, Logan. Please."

      Her hair fell across one side of her face, brown and silver blending
      together on her skin, and Logan yanked the zipper of his jeans, narrowly
      missing an injury. He cursed softly and kicked free of the fabric, his
      legs and hands shaking.

      She fixed her gaze on his manhood, on the rigid flesh jutting towards
      her. The tip glistened with evidence of the desire he was fighting to
      contain, and her breath caught in her throat.

      Then the mattress dipped beneath his weight, and his hands were once again
      on her legs. He lifted one, sliding his palm down along the outer edge of
      her thigh as his lips touched the inside of her knee. Her whimpering gasp
      knotted his stomach, but he waited until her arms relaxed, until she was
      lying back on the bed once more. He leaned forward, whispering her name.

      Rogue gasped and turned her face into the pillow as Logan kissed her, his
      lips and tongue touching her the way they had hundreds of times
      before. But it had never felt this way through fabric, no matter how
      gossamer-thin, and she shook. "Logan! Oh God, stop… Please…"

      He didn't stop, though her muffled pleas drew his gaze to her face. It was
      buried against the pillowcase, and he growled, lifting a hand to her
      stomach. It fluttered beneath his flesh, just like the rest of her, and he
      paused. "Look at me, Marie."

      The instant her head turned, eyes locked with his and glazed with a
      pleasure so intense it looked close to pain, he brushed his tongue over her
      sex again, drawing her up off the bed. "GOD!"

      Logan lightened his touch, wanting to draw out the way her body was
      shivering under him. His eyes clenched shut as she bucked again,
      whimpering something that could have been his name and clutching the
      bedspread in her fists. His fingers clutched her hips, trying to hold her
      still, but her shaking was uncontrollable.

      Jesus Christ, it hurt, feeling and tasting and *touching* her. It hurt
      like fucking hell on fire. And it was beyond ecstasy. He turned his head
      and pressed his lips reverently to the baby-soft skin of her inner thigh
      for just a moment. "Love you, Marie," he whispered, knowing that the
      hushed words would never reach her ears. Then he shifted his attentions
      back with a deep caress he knew would send her reeling over the edge.

      "Logan… Logan, I want-- Oh, God…" Her voice trailed off in a choked gasp
      and she twisted beneath him. Her trembling escalated into shudders, and
      she cried out.

      Rogue bit into her lower lip to keep from screaming as her orgasm hit her
      full force. Waves of bliss crashed through her, stealing her breath and
      threatening to do the same to her sanity. She concentrated on not
      babbling, not losing control and crying out her love for the man who was
      slowly crawling his way up her body.

      Logan trailed his lips across her flushed skin, soaking in her response,
      trying to memorize it. His hand found her cheek, his thumb brushing across
      her trembling mouth as he reached out with his other hand, fumbling with
      the nightstand drawer.

      Her head turned to follow the movement. "We don't need…" She bit her lip
      at his questioning look. "Those pills Jean gave me?" Her flush grew
      deeper. "For my cramps?"

      "Oh." He slid the drawer closed with a thud, nodding. "I remember." He
      closed his eyes against the wide-eyed look she wore, dropping his face to
      nuzzle hers. "Are you…"

      "I'm okay, Logan." She wiggled beneath him, her legs tangling with his as
      he shifted, moving slowly.

      He'd been in this bed with her thousands of times, had lain with his head
      next to her heart and listened to it thump. Sometimes it was a slow,
      steady beat, and other times it would pound with excitement and
      release. Curling his body around hers was nothing new, even if it had
      never been with bare skin sliding.

      Still, as he moved to settle his hips between her thighs, he trembled.

      This was different.

      This was *possession*, and the animal in him recognized it, thrilled to it.

      Demanded it.

      Logan forced himself to move slowly, sliding his hardened flesh into hers
      inch by torturous inch. He watched as Rogue's eyes squeezed shut, as a
      single tear seeped from beneath each lid.

      "Hurt?" he rasped unevenly, fighting for control. He would *not* cause her
      pain. He wouldn't.

      She opened dark, liquid eyes, and her hands grasped at his shoulders. "No,
      no," she whispered. "It feels…" The words became lost in a strangled
      gasp. "Logan…"

      He leaned in, pressing his lips to her temple, picking up the salt of her
      tears with his tongue. "Marie." He wished that he could tell her, that he
      could find the words to describe how he'd dreamed of holding her just like
      this. Of her body surrounding him, clutching him.

      Loving him.

      But there were no words.

      Then she shifted, bringing her feet up to brush his hips, and everything
      was forgotten but that one moment and the incandescent explosion of
      sensation that rocked him.

      Her fingers in his hair urged his face to hers, and she stabbed her tongue
      past his lips, kissing him hungrily as he began to rock his hips against hers.

      She released a muffled moan against his lips, and he nestled his face in
      the hollow of her neck. "God," he gasped, struggling for control, for
      breath, for…everything. "Oh, God…"

      "Logan…" Rogue arched her back and nearly whimpered as Logan's movements
      grew surer, more powerful. She ran her hands shakily over his back and
      hips, clutching him to her as she felt the tightness, the tension, build,
      all over again, but so much deeper this time. Stronger. "Never like this,
      Logan…" she murmured. "It's never…"

      "I know," he ground out, still pressing his mouth into her neck. He
      groaned, his body pushing hers further toward completion. Too fast, it was
      too fast, but he couldn't stop it. Couldn't slow his climb to ecstasy, not
      with her soft hands dragging him heavenward and her mouth open on his ear.

      "Look at me, Logan," she whispered, brushing her lips over his temple. She
      wanted to stare in his eyes, to see the pleasure in his voice reflected
      there. "Please."

      "Marie…" Her name was a plea as his hips thrust unevenly. "I can't." And
      it was the truth. There would be no way for him to walk away, to let her
      go, not after he'd seen the expression he knew was in her eyes.

      It would be the look she always wore, the one that said she’d never lived
      for anything but him. It screamed possession, completion…

      Love.

      Forever.

      He couldn't take seeing that, not when he knew it wasn't true. Because he
      would want it to be true, want it with everything in him, and he might not
      survive losing her.

      "I can't," he panted again, tightening his hands on her hip and
      shoulder. “I… Oh, Christ…” He clutched her closer, grinding into her
      sharply.

      Rogue bit down on her lip as rapture and anguish rushed through her, each
      battling for her attention. Elation at the feel of his body on hers,
      inside hers, won, and she bucked against him, incoherent sounds spilling
      from her. “Ahhh… Logan!"

      Then she couldn’t see, couldn’t *breathe*, and there was nothing but him,
      nothing. Just his harsh panting and the way he moved, and she shuddered
      uncontrollably, pleasure surging through every cell of her body and out
      into the blackness that surrounded her.

      She cried out, and it could have been his name or a prayer, or even a
      curse, for all she knew, because she knew nothing beyond the fact that he
      was still inside her and it felt good and right and like it would never,
      ever end.

      Ever.

      Logan heard her strangled scream, then felt it as it threw him headfirst
      into madness. His mind shut down as he opened his mouth against her skin
      and fought to rein in the rough heat that was reaching through his body,
      seeking release. But the blinding, pulsing heat was impossible to conquer,
      because it was Marie beneath him, her slick limbs and shaking fingers
      skating over him, her body still fluttering around his.

      Marie.

      He thrust forward one last time before the world stopped turning, the
      universe itself shifting to revolve around the two of them. Logan’s mouth
      worked soundlessly against her skin as everything exploded, passion and
      intensity and despair flowing out of him in a desperate rush.

      Then her fingers were in his hair, tugging his head back, and he quaked
      when his eyes met hers, when he saw the ardor that hadn’t yet had time to
      glaze out of her. He still couldn’t think, so it was sheer emotion and
      instinct that propelled his lips to hers, that opened and stroked and
      devoured. Pure need. And she was still throbbing around him, and suddenly
      Logan could reason again.

      What he knew in that moment was that he could never, ever lose her. She
      was as much a part of him as the heart that beat achingly in his chest, and
      if she walked out the door forever, he would never stop loving her as much
      as he did at that instant.

      She would always be his.

      “I’m crushing you,” he mumbled into her mouth, rolling to one side and
      reaching out to gather her body close.

      She resisted the tugging of his hands, merely lay as he pulled the covers
      up around them both. As the sheet touched her, she blinked, and then
      shifted onto her side, facing away from him.

      Rogue curled up and tried not to cry. Suddenly, what had felt so good and
      so right felt…wrong. Cheap. Like they’d used each other, both knowing
      that there was nothing for them beyond the bed and the animal pleasure they
      could find in it. Nothing, because Logan was leaving and goodbyes were all
      they had left.

      For Christ’s sake, he wouldn’t even look at her when they made love, had
      kept his face buried tightly in her neck, as if he hadn’t wanted to see her
      face…

      His hand touched her back lightly. “Marie? You okay?”

      She jerked away sharply from the almost-loving caress. “I’m fine.” It was
      a hoarse whisper, one she knew he wouldn’t believe, and she climbed quickly
      out of the bed, reaching for the closest item of clothing she could find.

      It turned out to be one of his flannel shirts, and she shrugged it on and
      clutched it, unbuttoned, around her body, because she’d ripped the buttons
      off, she remembered that now. They were scattered on the floor, and she’d
      be finding them for weeks, and she knew she’d cry like the fucking child
      she was whenever she ran across one.

      “Marie?”

      God, he sounded so concerned, even now. She had to get away from him
      before she broke down, embarrassed him and humiliated herself.

      “I’m gonna go take a shower,” she informed Logan shortly, rushing for the
      bathroom like the hounds of hell were on her heels.

      Logan stared at the door as she slammed it behind her, a torturous ache
      overtaking the sleepy pleasure within him. A shower. He closed his eyes.
      She couldn’t wait to get the feel, the scent, of him off her skin.

      She couldn’t wait to be rid of him.

      Logan shifted and reached absently for the bedside drawer, drawing out a
      crumpled pack of cigarettes. His lips and hands shook as he lit one,
      drawing deeply. He briefly considered getting the hell out before the
      water started running in the bathroom; he’d rather be stabbed through the
      heart than listen to Marie scrub the traces of what they’d shared off her body.

      But in the end, he just lay there, staring at the smoke curling up into the
      air and hurting like he never had before.

      Marie flipped the shower knob completely to scalding, fighting
      tears. She’d used Logan. She’d *used* him, someone she loved and never
      wanted to hurt. She’d told herself that it wasn’t using if he wanted her,
      if she loved him, but she’d been wrong. He didn’t want her. He’d tried to
      stop, and she’d all but begged him to give her something, anything she
      could remember when he was gone…

      It didn’t matter how much she loved him. He hadn’t wanted to touch her,
      and she’d practically *forced* him to.

      Using.

      God, she felt so dirty, and all she wanted to do was climb under the
      burning water and wash it away, everything. Only…

      He might already be gone when she walked out of the bathroom, and what was
      on her skin was all she had left of him. All she *would* have left, and
      she couldn’t bear to lose that, not yet.

      In the end, she stood outside the shower, shrouded in steam, with her
      forehead pressed against cold tile. And she wept bitter, silent tears, her
      shoulders shaking with the force of sobs she couldn’t liberate, because
      Logan would hear.

      ~~x~~

      Logan was on his fourth cigarette when Rogue emerged from the bathroom, and
      he blinked in confusion, because her hair was dry and she still wore his
      shirt. But the questions that rose in him were silenced by her tense,
      pained words.

      “Have you figured out yet where you’re gonna go?”

      He sucked in a breath as realization hit him with the force of a body
      blow. He stared at her as she shifted from one foot to the other, her arms
      crossed nervously across her chest.

      She was kicking him out. Not only out of her life, her heart, but out of
      the *school*. Out of his home.

      “Jesus, Marie,” he choked. “That’s fucking harsh.”

      Then he was on his feet, fumbling for his jeans in the light spilling from
      the bathroom, pulling them up his legs and trying to ignore the stinging in
      his eyes. He chanced a look at her, and shock radiated from her face, as
      if she hadn’t known he would be so upset by her words.

      Like fucking hell, she hadn’t known. She knew. She just didn’t give a
      shit anymore.

      Fuck.

      He had to get out of there.

      With his chest and feet still bare, Logan stalked to the closet and yanked
      the door open, finding his old knapsack with sickening ease.

      Rogue watched a furious Logan pull jeans and shirts out of the closet and
      stuff them in his bag. She had no idea how she’d angered him; she was
      trying to be brave, trying not to let him see just how completely he was
      breaking her…

      With a scathing look, he turned to their dresser, mumbling under his breath
      as he emptied the drawers of his belongings. “Holy shit, Marie,” he
      growled. “I didn’t think you’d-- You know what? Fuck it.”

      “Logan?” She didn’t want it to end badly. Anything but that, please
      *God*, because she needed sweeter memories of him, had to have them if she
      was to keep on living.

      He froze in the process of shoving one last handful of socks into his bag
      and shook his head, not looking at her. “Didn’t think you’d be in such a
      goddamned hurry for me to get out.”

      “Logan, no. That’s not--“

      “Bullshit,” he spat, slamming the drawer shut and viciously opening the
      next. “Christ, I thought we… Forget it.” She watched in horrified
      silence as he dragged a tee shirt over his head and sat down to pull on his
      boots. “Just do me a favor and pack up the rest of my stuff, all
      right? I’ll call Xavier and tell him where to send it.”

      He was leaving. Tonight.

      Now.

      Logan tugged viciously on his bootlaces, tying them quickly and
      haphazardly, no thought in his mind but escape, freedom from the weight of
      her stare bearing down on him. He stood up and reached for his knapsack,
      halting when he heard an agonized sob. His eyes flew to Rogue.

      She was leaning weakly against the wall, her face screwed up into a grimace
      and tears streaming down her cheeks. “I’m sorry, Logan,” she gasped. “I’m
      sorry…” She rocked herself gently back and forth, repeating the words
      silently, over and over.

      His fury and hurt drained away instantly, replaced by an elemental need to
      hold her, to make sure that, no matter what it took, she stopped
      crying. Stopped hurting.

      "God, Marie…” His steps echoed softly as he crossed the room. “Marie,
      baby, don’t.”

      She cried harder.

      He reached out until her face was in his hands, his fingers curled into her
      hair and his forehead inches from hers. “Marie, don’t cry. Please.”

      Her hands flew up to seize his wrists, holding them tightly, but her tears
      didn’t stop. “Logan…”

      His heart clenched painfully. “Marie, I’m sorry. I am, baby.”

      “No,” she rasped. “No, Logan… I never should have… We sh-shouldn’t have…”

      “No.” Panic gripped him. “No, Marie. Don’t be sorry for
      that. Ever.” He tilted forward until his forehead rested lightly against
      hers. “Don’t ever regret what we shared, baby,” he whispered. “I don’t.”

      She gulped and nodded shakily, her fingers still wrapped around his
      wrists. She was silent for a long time, speaking only with the ragged
      breaths she drew in and out. Then she said, “Keep in touch?” Her voice
      was low and almost hopeful.

      It was all he had left to wish for, and there went that aching throb in his
      heart again. “I don’t think so,” he told her gently. He couldn’t do it,
      couldn’t spend his days praying she’d call, and his nights regretting that
      she hadn’t. He had to forget, had to try. There was no future, no sense,
      in hanging on to someone you couldn’t have. He would love her, but he
      wouldn’t dream about impossible things. “You’ll…tell everyone I said goodbye?”

      Her face dissolved into tears again, and Logan sighed, raising his head to
      the focus on the ceiling. “Please, please, Marie…”

      “I love you, Logan.” It was quick and desperate, and Marie knew it, and
      she was ashamed of herself. But not ashamed enough to want to call back
      the words. “I do.”

      “God, you can’t…” Logan’s hands left her face and landed on the wall. She
      couldn’t *do* that, couldn’t whisper that she loved him when she was making
      him go… It raised bleeding welts on his breaking heart, and it made the
      Wolverine scream inside him.

      Then he lowered his eyes to hers again, and the screaming didn’t stop.

      It got louder.

      He shoved his hands into her hair, onto her shoulders, and he was pressing
      his face against hers. “Don’t do this.” At first he tried to pretend that
      he wasn’t begging, but the sorrow inside him eclipsed pride, and he soon
      stopped trying. “Please, Marie.” Her face was warm under his
      lips. “Please. If you love me, just a little bit, then I can make it
      work. I can, I swear…”

      Rogue shuddered as the meaning of his words hit her. It couldn't be that
      simple. It just couldn't be. “Logan, I don’t want you to go.” Her arms
      snaked around his shoulders, clinging frantically. “I never wanted
      that. Ever. Is that…?”

      Hope flooded him. “Then why…?” He trailed off as her lips touched his
      chin and jaw. “Why didn’t you tell me you had control of your power?” It
      was tempting, the thought that she wanted him to stay, that she loved him,
      but he couldn’t believe. Not yet. “Why?”

      “I was scared, Logan. Just scared,” she swore. “I never wanted to lose
      you, and I thought you were mad at me, that you--“

      His lips crushed hers, and this time he could feel the longing in her kiss,
      the devotion. It was heady and consuming and better than anything he’d
      ever known. “I’m not going anywhere,” he muttered.

      “Damn right you’re not.”

      ~~x~~

      Epilogue

      “You scared the bejesus outta me, Logan.”

      “Wait a minute… *I* scared *you*?”

      “You almost left.”

      “You almost *let* me leave.”

      “I wouldn’t have, you know. I woulda followed you.”

      “And I never would have made it out of the garage, darlin’. Not without you.”

      “Just… Don’t ever--“

      “I’m not gonna leave, Marie. I can’t.”

      “You promise?”

      “Yeah. Yeah, I promise.”


      The End

      Author’s Note: LOOK! <points> MOOSH! Foofy moosh! I wrote some! I
      upped the list foof factor again! <dancing> Let’s all band together,
      dudes. We can do it. Kill the angst bunnies. Long live the foof monkeys!

      <blinking>

      Okay, it’s, like, 5:30 in the morning. That is my only defense against the
      insanity claims. The only one.

      \\^//

      If you love someone, let him go. If it's meant to be, he'll give you his
      dogtags.
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