Title: No Day But Today: Joy
Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...
Summary: Rogue and Logan are trapped in a cave-in.
Rating: PG-13, some language
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool. Please keep the the two stories together.
Feedback: Is better than a stick in the eye.
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete'n'Melissa, Dot, and Meg. This is an answer to Meg's cave-in challenge on the Unfit list.
Dedication: To Khaki and Peggy, who chimed in with ideas.
No Day But Today
Logan was not a praying man, but he closed his eyes and wished to the God he didn't believe in that the X-Men arrived soon. He concentrated, hoping Jean or Xavier would pick up his thoughts, even if God didn't.
He tightened his arms around Rogue and dropped a light kiss onto her hair.
This was supposed to be a quiet weekend in the mountains. A little fishing, a little hiking, nothing too exciting; just a celebration of her college graduation. He should have known things had been a little *too* quiet.
Rogue had wanted to explore the caves. They'd smelled all right -- no bears or other vicious beasties lurking -- so he hadn't been too concerned.
He *hadn't* expected the rockslide. He was lucky he'd heard it in time, or they'd have been separated. As it was, they were now trapped inside, and he feared that Rogue's legs -- and possibly her back and ribs -- were broken. She'd taken the brunt of the debris as it had come crashing down over them.
Of course, the cell phone wasn't working. He'd managed to connect with Storm for mere seconds before the signal winked out, and he hoped Chuck was in Cerebro, tracking them.
But there was no way to know for sure.
"Logan, can I tell you something?"
"You know I love you, right?" she said, her voice soft and thready from the pain.
"'Cause, I mean, I always wanted to say it, but I didn't think you wanted me, wanted the bother--"
"Of course, I want you. You're my girl."
"Well, I love you, Logan. And now, you don't have to worry about loving me back, because I won't be around anymore."
"Hey, hey, don't talk like that, kid. You're gonna pull through this. Cyke and the others will be here soon, I'll give you the old healing touch, and we're in like Flynn."
"Stop trying to make me feel better. I know they're not coming. They'd have been here by now. They think I'm dead and they know you can make it out by yourself."
"No. No. You've never given me false hope before, Logan. Don't start now."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"I mean, you never pretended we were anything but friends. You never led me on. I really appreciate that. It would have been so easy for you to--" she broke off, coughing.
"I don't like the sound of that," he muttered, shifting slightly so he could see her face better.
She was dirty and her face was pale and drawn with pain, but she managed to smile when he looked at her.
"It's okay, Logan. I'm dying. I know that. And that means you're free of your obligation. I know the only reason you stuck around was because of the promise you made. I know you always keep your word."
"Come on, Rogue, stop it. That's crazy talk."
"No, it's not."
"Fuck this shit. I'm touching you now."
Her eyes widened and she shrank from his outstretched hand.
"No!" She swallowed hard, and the tears slipped silently down her cheeks. "You'll be too weak. It'll knock you out."
"I'll only hold on long enough to stop the bleeding. How's that?"
"But me no buts, Logan. I said, no."
"You're in shock, darlin'. You don't know what you're saying."
"I know that I'm going to die here, Logan, in your arms. And that's the way I want to go, so it's all right."
"Now, you're just being dramatic. You're not gonna die."
"Logan, I can't feel my legs." Her voice was edged with hysteria, and he tried to gather her even closer. "Everything I *can* feel hurts like hell on fire. We're miles from anywhere, and the phone didn't work."
"Yes, it did."
"Don't start lying to me now," she snapped, anger giving her strength. "You pretended you were talking to Storm, but all she said was, 'Hello? Hello?' before the signal faded. I doubt she even heard you."
"Good hearing," she said, with a wan smile. "Thanks to you."
"And I can do it again, if you let me."
"Fine. I'll just wait until you pass out."
"I'm serious. I'm gonna heal you and then we're gonna dig our way out, regardless of whether or not the geeks show up."
"That's not the point."
"No. You're avoiding the point. I just told you I love you."
He felt his chest constrict and warmth flood his body at that. "Yeah. Yeah, you did." He couldn't stop the smile from sliding across his face. "I love you, too, kid." He'd never said it to anyone else, that he could remember, but the words tumbled from his lips more easily than he'd ever have believed. Because it was Marie.
She was crying now in earnest, and he was baffled.
"I'm not lying, Marie. I love you. Have forever, it seems like."
"No! You love Jean. I know. I have your thoughts--"
"That was five years ago. And it was never love. Not like I feel for you."
"Exactly! You love me like a kid sister, or the daughter you might have had --"
He swallowed uneasily. It was true, that was what other people had always thought about their relationship, but that had never entered his mind. He'd known she was an attractive young woman when they'd met, and he'd known she had a thing for him. He'd been impressed with her backbone and her courage, and she was the first person he'd let himself care about in a very long time.
"I loved you from the moment I saw you, darlin', though I didn't know it was love at the time."
"But my hair, my skin--"
He blinked. "Huh? What about them? I wish to God I could have gotten you out of the machine before Magneto fucked you up, and you got the streaks, but," he leaned in even closer, his lips mere millimeters from her ear, "I think they're kinda sexy." He felt her shiver, and it was all he could do not to simply press his lips against her ear, her jaw, anywhere he could reach. He knew that if he did, she'd know how much he loved her, and she'd heal, to boot. He didn't want to wait until she passed out. He was grateful, in this instance, for her skin, much as he had been every other time she'd been injured and he'd healed her. Maybe-- "And your skin -- I hate that it makes life so lonely for you, that you can't touch the way other people can. But I love the way our mutations mesh, so that I can heal you whenever you're hurt. Please let me heal you."
"I'll beg if that's what you want, Marie."
It was her turn to be stunned. "What? Do you think I'm punishing you for something? This isn't about *you*. Do you think this is easy for me, Logan?" The sound and smell of her tears riled the animal inside him, made him eager to fight, but there was no one to fight in this situation. He had to keep control, or he'd do something that might wind up hurting them both, like bringing the ceiling of their little haven down on their heads. "I don't want to die. There are so many things I want to do. But I don't want to hurt you anymore."
"Hurt me? When --"
"When you touch me, it hurts you."
"Well, yeah." He had to acknowledge that; it was the truth. He didn't say, 'When you touch me, I don't mind dying.' He knew it wouldn't aid his cause, however true it was. "But it helps you, and I heal fast."
"I know they all think it's okay for you to get hurt, because you heal, but I don't think it is."
He closed his eyes against the sting of tears. "I know, baby. I know. And that's one more reason I love you." She sniffed and he dropped another kiss on her hair. "So let me touch you, okay?"
She sighed, and he knew he'd won. "Okay, Logan. But, don't pass out, okay? Let go before you pass out. I don't want to be alone in here."
He nodded, swallowing hard. "I love you," he whispered, sliding his lips against her soft skin. "Never forget that." He tried to think only good things as he felt the pull begin. She gasped and her body arched as the healing began.
"Oh, oh, Logan," she breathed, and as consciousness was fading, he was vaguely aware of wondering if that's what she'd sound like when he made love to her.
He woke in the lab, squinting as Jean stood over him, smiling.
"Welcome back," she said.
"Good to be back," he answered. "Where's Rogue?"
"Right here, sugar," she said, coming into view.
"You're all right?" he asked, watching her carefully. She was walking. She was healed.
"I'm fine. You, however--" She broke off, flinging herself onto his chest, crying.
"What? What'd I do now?" he asked, bewildered. Jean grinned and snuck out of the room.
"You love me."
"I *told* you that."
"I know. You did."
"It's not my fault you didn't believe me."
"No. No, it's not. Oh, Logan." She pressed a kiss to his heart, through the sheet covering his chest, and he felt it skip a beat in excitement. "I thought I was going to lose you. Promise me you'll never do that again!"
"I can't." He sat up and hauled her onto his lap. "Because if it's a question of me healing you or me letting you go and staying healthy, I'll choose you every time." He pushed her hair behind her ears, careful of her skin. "That's what love is, kid, and I love you."
"I love you, too, Logan. I was stupid. I'm sorry."
"Nah, you were in shock. And it all worked out."
"Don't go borrowing trouble, Marie. We're alive. That's what's important. Life is a dangerous business, even without the superhero crap, so I've learned that today is what's important. Not my past, not even the future. No day but today."
"No day but today," she repeated, snuggling into his arms as he lay back down. "I think I can live with that."
She settled against his chest, and once more, Logan sent up a prayer to a god he wasn't sure existed. He had his life, and he had his girl, and a man couldn't ask for more than that.
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