In and Out

Title:  In and Out
Author:  Terri
Rating:  PG-13
Disclaimer:  I don't own anybody.  Rats.
Archive:  Ask, and I will gladly supply.
Feedback:  Please!  With whipped cream on top?  Good, bad, and ugly welcome
Summary:  Logan goes down in a fight, and thinks about his homecoming while he drifts in and out.
Comments:  This is in response to a plot bunny from Khaki who suggested a fic where Logan hallucinates.  This turned out to be more of a ficlet, but I hope she still likes it ;)


Everyone thought he'd be away for at least a year.  The student pool favored eighteen months, and the adults at Xavier's privately wondered if he'd come back at all.  In the end, it was only six months. 

He called first.  He told her he was fine, that he had found some information about his past, and that he was coming back to Westchester.  He asked her if she was doing all right, and if she liked it there.  He asked her when she'd finish school and if she was planning on staying there and training for the team.  Lastly, he asked for the first time how old she was and when her next birthday would be.  It was September, and he said he'd be back by the end of that month.  She'd be eighteen on the twenty-sixth, and he told her they'd talk more then.  He didn't tell her about the plan he'd been making in the six months he'd been gone, or the details of what he'd found, and she didn't ask. 

He came back on September twenty-fifth.  It was unseasonably cool, and raining.  He pulled into Xavier's drive in a Jeep Cherokee, with Scott's bike, in reasonably good shape, in a small trailer.  Logan said polite hellos to everyone and exchanged snarls with Scott, then headed off to find what he'd come back for. 

Rogue knew he'd returned, but stayed in her room, waiting.  She was nervous about seeing him again, partly because he'd been a little odd on the phone and partly because she'd been thinking about him so much since he'd been gone.  She was sure she was in love with him, but she didn't think he loved her back, not like she wanted him to.  She'd toyed with the idea of ignoring it, of trying to hide it, but in the end, she wanted to be honest with him, to just let it out and hope he didn't run screaming when she did.  They could deal with it that way, and hearing him tell her that her feelings weren't returned might help her move on.

When he came to her room, he didn't knock, just opened the door and paused at the sight of her sitting on the bed.  She smiled, and crossed the room to hug him in welcome.  He hugged her back tightly, and she relished in the touch, in the contact that she'd been deprived of since he'd been gone.  She almost up and told him she loved him right then, but she restrained herself, barely, and let him go a little. 

He wasn't letting go, though, and in fact, he started kissing her.  Just on the side of her head at first, protected by her hair, then her turtleneck-covered neck and shoulder.  His hands stayed fixed at her waist, keeping her torso flush against his.  "Logan?"

"Shhh."  He just kept kissing her, now interspersing little nips and gentle bites with the kisses.  She let him, and gave some serious consideration to whether she was hallucinating this whole thing.  He finally broke from her, kicked the door shut behind him, and walked her over to the bed.  "Sit down a second."

"What's-what's going on?"  She was thoroughly confused.  Even some of her best fantasies of him coming back didn't go this well, and the universe's failure to conform to her most pessimistic expectations-it was usually so obliging in that regard-was throwing her off.

"I came back to get you.  We're going to Canada.  I've been fighting for the past few months, so there's some money to get us started.  We'll get married as soon as we cross the border and we'll find a place to settle."  That was a much more complete, much more precise explanation than she'd been expecting.  And it contained completely different content as well.

"Uh."  Checking again for evidence of a dream or some kind of altered mental state, she paused and tried to process the situation.  "We're getting married?"

"Yeah."  She was hoping for a little more clarification than that, and she looked at him questioningly.  "Look, I got a plan.  That's the plan."  Again, that was less than helpful, so she gave him the same look.  "Don't tell Chuck about the plan.  He won't like it if he figures it out."  She was still not making any progress in understanding what was going on.  "Look, Marie, that's the plan.  You said-you said you were done with school and that you weren't gonna join up with the team.  You said it was just 'OK' here.  You said you'd be eighteen on the twenty-sixth and that you missed me."

"And so we're getting married?"  Her brain just kept sticking on that point.



"I wanna do it, OK?  We'll-"

"Why?"  Maybe some more direct questions would help clarify the plan. 

"I did some thinkin' and decided this is what we should do."  Her look told him she needed more explanation along those lines, and he heaved a sigh and decided to give it to her.  He'd hoped she'd just kind of go along, agree to the plan, and that he wouldn't have to open himself up too much.  She'd been good at that so far-not asking him to give a lot of outward assurances, not a lot of emotional declarations.  Well, he reflected, this was a big thing, and I sorta just sprang it on her.  A little explanation wasn't unreasonable.  "You and me, we're like a thing.  We-we're better together than separate, and that's not gonna change.  So let's get together, and you know, do that." 

Amazingly enough, she was beginning to get it.  "Oh.  OK.  But I still-I'm not quite getting the married thing."

"Well, that's the honorable thing.  If I'm gonna be-you know-then that's the honorable thing, to get married."

" don't want to, you know, before we get married?"

"I didn't say that."  She started a little at his abrupt tone.  "I, uh, I just mean that, well, we can do that any time.  The sooner the better but more or less whenever you're ready is good.  Today would be good.  You know, now."

"And my skin?"

"No problem, I figured out how to turn it off, if you want."

That got a smile, and he began to feel that she was finally on board with the plan.  "OK, OK, let's get married."


"He's gone, Rogue, he's-"


"Rogue, what are you-"

"I can save him, I can save him, just let me-Jean, just let me-"

"Don't-don't touch him!  He's been out too long to - Rogue, no!"

"I can save him, I can!"

She's just beautiful, Marie is.  There's no words to do it justice, no way to explain it that covers it all.  Just beautiful.  I knew I'd come back to find her even more amazingly perfect, but seein' her now just blows me away.  Beautiful and perfect.  That's her, all over.

"Logan, you're back!"  Aw, runnin' to me, huggin' me to her so tight.  "I missed you so much!"

"Me too, kid."  I'm just gonna play it cool for a little while, see what she wants to do.  I know she's in love with me, Jeannie said so, but I don't know if she's ready to do all the stuff I wanna.  After all, I could only stay away for a year, and she's still young. 

"Oh, I just can't believe you came back!" 

"I promised I'd be back for you."  Pullin' back to look at me a little and those brown eyes are so big and so warm that I just dunno if I can wait for her to be ready, I just dunno if-

"You said you'd be back for the tags.  And here they are."  Holdin' 'em up outta her shirt-musta worn 'em every day since I've been gone.  She knows.  She knows she's mine.

"You keep 'em baby, I want you to have 'em.  And I came back for you."

"I'm so glad you did.  You know,"  The way she's blushin' right now, that's so cute.  "I was hoping you would.  I-I love you, Logan."

"I know, baby, I love you too."

"Rogue!  Rogue!  Come back!"

"Let her go, Scott-she's-I think she may have actually helped Logan.  He came back there for a second.  Her touch-somehow it healed him, got his powers working again.  I think when she touched Sabretooth, it must've-if she can get to him again and - "

"I'm not going to trade her life for his.  It almost-she passed out!  She's not-she's hurt.  She can't fight Sabretooth now.  Rogue, come back, that's an order!"

"Scott-she's gone.  She's gone."

He wasn't surprised to see her sleeping.  She slept like an angel.  Well, when his nightmares or her own weren't haunting her.  He wasn't even surprised to see her sleeping in his old bed.  Smelling her close had always comforted him, and he imagined that it wasn't any different for her.  And he'd only been gone two weeks-his scent probably still lingered quite a bit.  He was surprised, though, at the depth and intensity of desire the sight of her sleeping stirred within him. 

He eased in next to her, under the blankets.  She was warm, so warm, and her own scent hit him hard.  He wanted to hold her to him, to wrap himself completely around her, protecting her from terrors both real and imagined.  He acted on that impulse, and she woke a little.


"Shhh.  Go back to sleep, kid."

"Am I dreaming?"  She burrowed into him, wanting him close whether it was a dream or not.

"No, baby.  I'm here.  It's real."

"Don't ever leave me again, Logan.  I need you so much." 

"God, you can't-you're-Rogue, don't -"

"I'll heal."

"But you-"

"Move, Scott, or I'll fuckin' move ya."

"Rogue..thatthat sounded just like Sabretooth.  That-"

"Shut the fuck up.  I gotta-I gotta touch him or he won't make it.  Move!"

"You don't know or don't care?"

"Pick one."  I can't be pickin' up whoever comes along.  Not even if they are gorgeous and probably real sweet too.  Uh-uh.  No way.  Not even if they smell really, really good.

"I saved your life."

"No you didn't."  That's true.  Absolutely true.  She didn't.  She just didn't.  But still-she could've.  She could've and she could've gotten hurt doin' it - fuck, fuck, I'm gonna pull over.  I can't leave her out here.  Maybe-maybe she won't mind me too much.  Maybe she won't mind if I like her, if I help her.

"Thanks."  Breathless and beautiful, runnin' to catch up and hoppin' in, just like that.  Even though she's seen the claws.  Even though she knows what I am.  She don't care, or-or it's OK with her.  God, I want her.  Bad.  "But I-I should tell you something.  I'm-I'm a mutant too.  No one can touch my skin.  It's-it hurts people when they do."

"All right.  Put your seat belt on, kid."  I can touch her without touchin' her skin.  I can do that easy enough.  Now, it's just-

"Let me kiss you first."  Leanin' over, kissin' real gentle on my mutton chops.  Damn glad I got facial hair at the moment, I'll tell ya that.  "Thank you for taking care of me."

"'Course."  She's holdin' me while she's kissin' on me and she's showin' no signs of lettin' go.  I'll just put my hands on her waist, just guide her over to be on top of me.  She's-she's comin', straddlin' my lap and leanin' in a little closer. 

"Promise me you will.  Promise me you'll take care of me."  Still kissin', and at the moment, I can't think of anythin' I'd rather promise.

"I will.  I promise. And I'll never, ever leave you, no matter what.  Not ever.  Not at all." 

"Oh, thank you.  Thank you so much.  And I promise-"  That's it, keep kissin' me, keep touchin' me.  Don't stop, don't ever stop.  "-I promise to always love you.  Just you.  Only you.  I promise to always love you and belong to you."

"'Cause you're mine."  Gotta touch her, gotta get some of these clothes off her. 

"That's right.  I'm yours.  Always, always yours."

"How could you, Jean?  She-you knew she was unstable  - she killed Sabretooth, for God's sake!"

"And she saved Logan-he's-she somehow passed along Sabretooth's healing factor through her skin.  She saved him, Scott.  I think-he's healing, and I think he'll be OK."

"And what about her?"

"Logan, did you know I've always loved you?  I mean, from the minute we met-always."

"Yeah, I knew that."  He did, and it pleased him to no end.  He wasn't shy about showing her that.  "C'mere."  He kissed her deeply, tasting her and drawing little moans and sighs of pleasure from her.  He loved this-making her feel pleasure, making her enjoy being with him.  He was the only one who could safely touch her, but he never let that fact ease his desire to make sure those touches were pleasing to her.

She broke from him a little reluctantly.  He knew she was about to ask the same question she always did before they made love.  He always gave a variation of the very same answer, but she still asked.  It was OK-he didn't mind telling her.  He didn't mind at all.  "Do you-do you love me too?"

"Oh, yes, Marie, more than anything, more than my own life.  Yes."



"I feel like shit."

"Logan-are you all right?"


"Do you-can you tell me what day it is?  Do you know where you are?  I'm Jean, do you remember - "

"Where's Rogue?"

"She's-she's in the ICU.  Logan-"

"What the hell happened?!"

"Don't-don't get excited.  You're not-you're still healing.  Just rest."

"You gotta take me to her.  You gotta take me to her now."

"There's nothing you can do.  We're just hoping-well, we're hoping she'll heal."

"What the hell happened, goddammit?"

"She killed Sabretooth after Magneto-after he attacked you.  She killed him and she somehow passed some of his healing power to you through her skin.  There wasn't-she was injured gravely and she's healing now, but slowly.  I think his healing factor has migrated to her permanently, but it's been severely taxed by-"

"God, I shoulda never left.  I gotta get to her."

"But, Logan-"

"Now, Jeannie."

"Hey, kid, open your eyes, huh?"  Is that-it has to be Logan.  No one else calls me 'kid.'  "Come on, quit scarin' the shit outta me, OK?"

"Hey."  Why does my throat hurt so much?  Dammit, I'm supposed to be healing.  If there's one good thing about Sabretooth crashing my reunion with Logan, it's getting the healing thing.  I killed him, I have his powers, so I should be healing.  Thank God I learned how to keep out their personalities-well, mostly.  After those first few minutes, I got most of him out.  I feel a little more growly than usual, but I'm mostly me.  Well, me and Logan.

"How do ya feel?"  Speaking of Logan - he looks horrible.  He's-he's been gone eighteen months, and I guess I should expect him to look different or act different, but he just looks awful. 

"About like you look."

"That bad, huh, kid?" Good, at least he's joking.  At least he's not totally pissed that he came back to find me on the team.  And in the middle of a battle with Sabretooth and Magneto and Mystique and half the Brotherhood.  A battle that he jumped right into and almost got himself killed in and-"Look, we gotta talk."


"As soon as you're feelin' better, we're gonna get the hell outta here, all right?  I shoulda never-I shoulda never left, and especially not for so long."

"Did you find anything?"

"Yeah."  O-OK.  Guess that short answer and sad eyes means he didn't find anything good. 

"Sorry."  Maybe if I reach out and-whoa!  He's squeezing my hand pretty tight.  And he's wearing gloves-oh, that's right-he doesn't know.  He just got back and with all the commotion, no one must've told him.  "Um, Logan.  I-I learned to control it.  My skin.  You don't need the gloves.  I-uh-Logan?"  He looks just-just wild and I could swear he's about to kiss me or something.  Which wouldn't be at all bad, except that he can't possibly be as totally, head-over-heels in love with me as I am with him.  And-is he?  He's climbing in bed with me, on top of me-and-whoa!  He is kissing me! I-I-I-that's just-that's just incredible.  That's just incredible. 

"Listen to me, Marie.  We've-we're gonna get outta here and I swear to God I'll take care of you and love you and keep you safe, baby, all right?"  All I can do is nod-I wonder if this is some kind of frighteningly good dream.  I'd say it had to be, except that kiss felt pretty damn real to me. Wait.  Did he say he loved me?  Something must be off, something must be off with him.

"Are you OK?"

"Yeah.  Yeah."  Oh-oh.  Now he looks like he's not so sure about doing what he just did.  "I-uh, I didn't mean to go all nuts there, I-"

"I liked it.  And, uh, yeah.  Let's-let's get out of here.  Let's-all that stuff sounded pretty good to me."  He's smiling-actually smiling!  "Especially, you know, the love part.  That would be pretty good."

"Tell me you love me too, Marie."  Oh God, if I knew getting almost killed would make him this open, I'd have done it before. 

"I love you too."

"Now pinch me."  I know why he's asking that-he thinks it's too good to be true too.  "Ow!"

"You asked me to."  God, this is so good, so right, so perfect.  "I love you a lot."  He's easing down a little, bringing his body closer but keeping his weight off me.  "But Logan-what-what brought all this on?"

"I kept dreamin' about us when I was out.  In every one, every single one, we wound up together.  I can take a hint, darlin'."  He just can't keep from touching me, kissing me.  Little kisses, gentle touches.  "Did you dream 'bout anythin' while I was waitin' for ya to wake up?"

I did.  I dreamt that he came home and I kind of just attacked him as soon as he walked in the door.  Actually, that one was pretty x-rated.  "Um, just, you know, about you, uh, generally."  He knows I'm hiding something, and he can probably guess what.

"You feel up to showin' me any of it?  You know, generally."

"Let me rest a little.  Let me rest and then I'll show you."

God, I love how he just spoons around me, just staying so close and holding me so right.  "All right, then.  You sleep.  You sleep and get some rest."  And dream.  After all, I didn't get to do *everything* I wanted in that x-rated dream, right?

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