Eighteen Stories About Us

Title: Eighteen Stories About Us
Author: Terri
Email: xgrrl26@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Sequel to Eighteen Sentences to Say Goodbye. Logan fills Rogue in on their past with a little help from Jubilee.
Series: Eighteen #24
Disclaimer: Not mine. Boo.
Archive: Ask, and I will happily oblige.
Feedback: Please! Pretty please?
Author's Notes: This took a while  real life rudely intruding into my happy little W/R world, plus it just turned out to be so loooong. This one is dedicated to Susan K in Texas and Diane H. who always send such wonderful feedback  they can share in the blame for making me want to write more, along with everyone who very graciously, generously, and shamelessly encourages me. Also, I plagiarized  um, did a homage to - Diane by stealing a line from some recent feedback. She'll know which one it is and I'll be happy to tell anyone who's curious :) Hope she doesn't mind, it's just that Jubilee looks over my shoulder while I'm writing sometimes..


Damn, I bet they're crawlin' all over that cabin already. Little fuckers. God, never in a million years did I think Jeannie'd pull somethin' like that. She oughta know better. Oh well, maybe Chuck'll read her and Scooter the riot act when they get back to Westchester. He sure as hell should. On the other hand, maybe he'll agree with 'em. He never did think too much of me, I know that. Just was good to us 'cause of her. He could be lookin' already with Cerebro. And if he's the one lookin' for us, we won't be hard to find. Doesn't mean I ain't gonna try to dodge him, though.


"Yeah, darlin'?" She looks OK. No headaches so far, and she says she can still feel the claws in there. Good. Maybe Jeannie didn't fuck up her head too much. Maybe I healed it all up if she did.

"How long will it take to get there?"

"Driving straight through, maybe thirty or thirty-two hours. If we stop, two days." Not a good idea to stop. Not with about a half dozen x-men and maybe Mystique lookin' for us. But we'll stop if she doesn't feel well. "How you feelin'?"

"Fine. Would you mind, um, talking to me a little more?"


"You've just been driving, you know, and talking to yourself a little for the past half hour. Would you mind talking to me a little more? I'm getting a little restless."

Great. You're mutterin' to yourself like a crazy person. That's good, that's just great. Now for a change, let's stop actin' like some big weirdo. Let's try to act normal. Try to make her like you, Logan. Try to at least make her feel a little more comfortable.

"What would you like to talk about?"

"I don't know, what do we usually talk about?"

"Um, stuff. Just whatever." Another good one. We talk about stuff. That makes you sound real smart. Oh yeah, she's really gonna wanna stick with you. You're a real prize.

"Oh, well, why don't you tell me something about us? Something about our life."

"Sure. What do you wanna know?"

"You pick. Anything."


The Story of How We Met

"Well, I guess you're probably wonderin' how we met."

"Yeah." Good, she seems to like that choice. She's shiftin' around to look at me more directly. "Is it a good story?"

"I think so. You were hitchin' across Canada, tryin' to get to Alaska from Mississippi - "

"Wait, why was I going to Alaska? Am I - am I from Mississippi?"

Oh shit, don't really wanna go into all that - her family makin' her get out. Shit. "Yeah, yeah you are from Mississippi. But the Alaska thing, that's another story. Let's finish this one first, OK?"

"All right." Good, good, got out of that one OK. She's smilin'.

"You were hitchin' rides and you took a ride to this bar in Laughlin City, way the hell up in Northern Canada."

"I took a ride to a bar? I wasn't old enough to drink, was I?"

"No. But you didn't seem bothered by that. And it wasn't the kinda place where anyone would give a damn." Sure as hell wasn't her kinda place. She stood out like a daisy in a city sidewalk.

"Hmm. So I was hanging out in a bar...."

"Waitin' to catch another ride, I suppose. Anyway, I was there too, um, fightin'." You know, I shoulda thought ahead a little before I went off runnin' my mouth. What am I gonna say now?

"A fight broke out?"

"No, no, there was a cage and there were fights every other night. I fought for money in the cage." She don't seem too upset by it. She's still just listenin'. "When I got done fightin', I came over and sat by the bar. You were at the other end."

"Did you notice me?"

"Oh yeah, darlin'. I did. But I didn't say nothin', 'cause, you know, you looked pretty good for a place like that and for a guy like me. Just thought you'd, you know, get a ride and be on your way. You didn't say nothin' to me either." At the time, I thought she looked like trouble - she was drawin' way too much of a response from me for no reason I could think of, and I sure as hell wasn't lookin' for any attachments.

"So I guess it wasn't love at first sight?" I can't tell if she's amused or a little disappointed by that.

"I dunno. I guess not. But you musta liked me some, 'cause when some asshole came up behind me with a knife, you yelled out to warn me."

"Wait, why - "

"He lost the fight." She's noddin' for me to continue. "You yelled, and I caught him before he could do anythin'. Well, after I took care of him, I left. I didn't notice at the time, but you followed me. You hid in my trailer."

"I stole a ride with you!" For some reason, she definitely finds that amusin'.

"Yeah, yeah you did. Well, I guess we actually met when I realized you were back there and stopped. At first, I wasn't sure what to do with you. I was kinda surprised that you sneaked in without me noticin'. But you reminded me how you helped me at the bar, and so I gave you a ride. And that's how we met."

"Hmm.....I must have been really fearless. I mean, to go out on my own that young, and to hitch with strangers....."

"You've always been brave, darlin'."


Good, I think that worked out OK. I told her somethin' she likes about herself.


All About Marie

"What was I like? I mean, if you had to describe me, what would you say?"

"Hmm. I guess I'd say you were full of life, really vibrant, really alive. Ever since I've known ya, you've had this light. Despite all the crap you've hadta go through, you always hung on to that. And you were always smart, and really, really talented. You were an artist. I mean are. You are an artist." Shit, shouldnta been usin' the past tense. Fuck. Just go on, nothin' to be done about it now. "You're beautiful. You're strong. You've got a wicked sense of humor sometimes. I dunno. You're just Marie to me."

"What else? What was it about me that you liked best?"

"Hard to pick just one thing. Guess I'd have to say it's how you were always right there with me. How, whatever was goin' on, I know I can count on you to be straight with me, and to let me know everythin' that's goin' on, you know, with you and with us. You're really the one that keeps us on track, keeps us together. You're pretty good at gettin' my head outta my ass."

"Is it often up your ass?"

"See, there's that sense of humor I was talkin' about." Good, she's laughin'. Her eyes are twinklin'. Maybe she wasn't too offended by me sayin' 'was' instead of 'is'.

"It's weird not to know who you are, you know?"

"Actually, yes I do."

"I see you've got a sense of humor, too."

"Did I mention that you liked teasin' me?" I missed that. I really, really missed that.

"No. But I bet you liked teasing me too."

"Oh yeah. I liked it when you blushed at somethin' I'd do. You look damn good when you blush, darlin'." Like now. She's blushin' at that. She looks a little uncomfortable, but she's smilin' too. I hope that wasn't too much, too flirty.

"What about me, what did I think of me?"

Now, I told myself I wasn't gonna be dishonest about anythin'. But she seems....I dunno, all that bad crap's been lifted outta her head, and it won't really help anythin' to tell her that whole conversation we had on Christmas Eve. She don't need to know she thought of herself as "broken" and all that shit. It ain't doin' anybody any good.

"You once told me that you thought of yourself as an artist. That you thought you were good at monopoly and ping pong." I don't really know what else to say here. I mean, I only asked her that one time, and there's some other shit that she said, but I wouldn't wanna repeat it. Let it stay outta her head. "Everyone liked you a lot. Your friends, the Professor, they all really liked you a lot."

"But you're the only one that really loves me, aren't you? I mean, you're the one who keeps risking your life for me, you make sure to keep me OK. Just you. Am I right?" She looks serious, very serious all of a sudden. One of those looks that you know means business.

"Honestly? I think so. But the Professor, and some of your friends - those little girls that came to the cabin - they care about you a lot. It's just that....they care about other things too. You know, the dream, saving the world, all that shit. They'd put that first. You and me, we always came first with each other."

"You know, I remember dragging you out of a house in the desert, being really scared but thinking that I couldn't leave you. That was so strong in my mind. It was so strong that I remember it still."

"Yeah. That happened. You saved my life." Of all the things to stick with her.....

"I guess you're right, then, you came first with me. I guess that's part of who I am. I'm Marie, and I put you first."

"Hey, all this shit, all this shit about who you are - you decide who you are. You decide who you wanna be." I don't wanna saddle her with any shit. I want her to stay like hell, but I ain't gonna push her into it. I ain't gonna do what Scooter thinks. I ain't gonna make her into who I want. It's gotta be her decision.

"Hmm. You're right. I guess I didn't think about it that way - I can keep what I want and start over without what I didn't like about myself."

"Yeah." Good, I think that's the first good thing that's come outta this whole thing. The first good thing she's mentioned. She's thinkin' about who she wants to be, lookin' forward.

"I think I'm keeping the ping pong thing. And I'd like to try being an artist." She's thinkin'. She's thinkin' about somethin' important. "And you. That, you know, us putting each other first thing. I'd like to try that. Seems like it's been OK so far." Little glances, checkin' for my reaction.

"Sounds good to me."


The Story of the Time We Had Pizza in Idaho

"So tell me another one. Tell me something else about us."

"Hmm. There was this one time in Idaho. We went for pizza. You had a really good time, I remember. We'd just been through a lotta hell, and it was like this little reprieve."

"OK." Glad she's just lettin' me talk, not askin' too many questions.

"Well, we came up on this little spot called Last Chance Pizza. You thought the name was real cute, and it was probably gonna be our last stop before Canada, so it fit. You weren't feelin' too well - it was right after the first time you had problems with your head."

"I - no, never mind."

"What, darlin'?" I don't like it when she pulls herself back like that, hides things.

"Nothing. Go on with the story." Maybe she'll ask me later. I guess I shouldn't push her. Shit.

"Anyway, we got this freakin' huge pizza with everythin' on it. I thought, well, if I could get ya to eat one or two pieces, that'd be good, you'd feel better. So I kept on encouragin' you to eat. Well, before ya know it, you put away that whole pizza except for the one slice that I had. Then you looked over at me, all serious, and asked if I was gonna finish mine."

She's laughin'. That's good.

"Well, you looked so determined to get my food, I said take it and ordered another pizza, same as the first. Between the two of us, we finished that one off too. I dunno if it was the food, or you just feelin' better, or what, but your spirits picked right up. You started jokin' with me, laughin', just little stuff, but it was one of the times I remember you bein' really happy, carefree."

"I wasn't usually happy?" Oh, shit. Didn't mean to give her that idea. Use your brain for a change, dumb ass. Think before you speak once in a fuckin' while.

"No, no I didn't mean that. Just - most of the time we're havin' some kinda problem."

"We fight a lot?" That wasn't any better. Fuck. Well, at least she sounds really surprised. That's good - she didn't think we had a bad relationship or anythin'.

"No. Hardly at all. Usually just when I do somethin' stupid and piss you off. I meant we usually hafta be on the run, or one of us gets kidnapped or some shit."

Oh-oh. Now she looks really upset. "That's how our life usually is? I mean, this happens a lot?"

"Kinda, yeah. Sorry." She's thinkin' somethin'. She's worried. Well, no shit, sherlock. You just told her she gets kidnapped regularly. Fuck. "You know, it ain't gonna be that way so much any more. Two of the three bastards that usually pull this shit are dead. I'll take care of you. I promise."

"I guess I just thought this - me losing my memory, all the stuff with the x-men - I thought this was the exception, not the rule."

"It will be from here on out. You're gonna be safe. We're gonna have a better life. We're gonna do things that are normal. I'll take you out for pizza and we'll have some fuckin' peace and quiet, I swear."


The Story of How We Fight

"Usually, I fuck up."

"Oh, come on, we've never gotten in a fight because of something I did?"

"I can't think of a time like that, no." And you know, I really, really can't. That don't say anythin' good about me, now does it?

"You're just being nice, trying to spare my feelings."

"No, I'm really not, darlin'. You never caused any trouble between us. It was always me, doin' stuff to screw up."

"Stuff like what?"

Now there's a loaded question. "Well, one time I was mad because we got in a fight with Sabretooth - "

"He was the one in my nightmare, right?"

"Yeah." Wish he hadn't stuck in her brain. "But anyway, we had a fight with him, and I told you to run away, but you didn't. You thought I needed help or somethin'. So once we took care of him, I was still a little pissed. Just, 'cause you coulda been hurt, you know? And I said some dumb ass things I shouldnta. Stuff like that."

"What did you say?"

"I kinda don't wanna tell you 'cause I was actin' like an asshole and I don't want you to think I am one now."

"I don't think you are one. Everybody has asshole-moments. Tell me."

This ain't gonna go well, I can just tell. "Well, I didn't understand why you didn't seem upset by the whole thing, why you were real calm. And so I was pokin' at ya a little bit, sayin' you didn't take it seriously, and sayin' you liked the rush from all the action and all." Well, now she's frownin'. Guess I was more of an asshole than she thought I mighta been. "You know, I felt like shit the second it was outta my mouth. I apologized for like, hours. I know that hurt you, and I'm still sorry."

"Did you need help?" She's figurin' somethin' in her head now. That look hasn't changed on her.


"You were mad because I didn't run when you told me to, but did you need my help?"

Shit. There's no good answer to that one. "Listen, darlin', I don't want you to worry about helpin' me out. I heal, remember? I heal from just about anythin'. So whatever happens down the road, you just don't worry about me, OK?"

"You didn't answer my question, Logan."

"Look, Marie, we were fightin'. You distracted him for a second after he got a good hit in on me. I was down, yeah, but I woulda been OK. I woulda done fine even if you didn't help me."

"You know what? I think that's a lie. I think you just don't want me to do that again." Penetratin' eyes, damn them. She hasn't lost that look either. The one that says 'put your cards on the table.'


"Don't lie. Tell the truth. You said I get to decide, remember? I get to decide who I am now."

"Yeah. I want you to be who you want. But I want you to have a long, safe life too. Helpin' me when I get in trouble ain't gonna lead to that, darlin'."

"But you help me. You've saved my life lots of times."

"A few times, yeah. But that was my decision. I made you a promise that I'd take care of you. A long time ago, I made that promise. That's why." Don't want her to feel guilty, like she owes me. Don't want her stickin' with me 'cause of that.

"And I didn't promise the same thing back? Why did I drag you out of that house in the desert, then? You just said I saved your life when I did that. Doesn't that mean that you need my help sometimes? Doesn't that mean that there are things that could hurt you?"

"Look, Marie...."

"I think you did need my help. I think that's probably what made you mad too. You like to be the one helping me all the time." She's gettin' a little pissed off. She's tryin' not to, but she is.

"No, it ain't exactly like that. I just - I need to keep you safe, OK? That's like, priority number one. It ain't that I don't want your help. I don't want helpin' me to get you hurt, and it just so happens that it usually does."

"But if we were in love, then - "

"But we're not now." Shit, that came out VERY wrong. "I mean, you don't really know me like that now. That's all. I still - I still love you, OK? Don't worry about that changin'. Don't worry about that at all. Just - I know you don't really know me like that and I don't expect you to make sacrifices or put yourself in danger for someone you don't - I just don't want you puttin' yourself in danger."

Now she's sittin' all quiet, and turnin' away from me a little, just like the time we fought that I was tellin' her about. Fuck. Well, Logan, she asked if we had any fights and what were they about, and here ya go showin' her. Fuck.

"Marie? Look, that didn't come out like what was in my head. I didn't mean to say somethin' wrong." Oh shit, I think she's cryin'. Fuck. Fucked up good here. "Marie?"

"You're the only person I do know, Logan. I - who else would I really give a damn about now? Who else do I have? The people you said were my friends, they hurt me. We're running away from them right now. The way you talk about my life - I get it, I get that my family probably didn't want a mutant. I know you're trying to hide that, but I get it. I'm not stupid."

"No, no you're not, baby. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you."

"But you did. It does upset me. Don't say - don't say that I don't love you. Maybe I don't right now. Maybe I don't know you like that now, but I know that I loved you once. I did. I remember us and I just know it. Don't - don't take that away from me too. My memories might never come back and I - I want someone that I can care about, someone that it's safe for me to care about, someone who cares back. I think it's you, and I don't - just don't say that anymore."

"OK. I won't. I'm really sorry."

"It's OK." It's not. She's still cryin' pretty good. Fuck. Well, I'm gonna do somethin' about it this time. She can decide to be different, why the hell can't I?

"No, it ain't OK." I was right, what I told her before, that she never starts fights, but she always fixes 'em. I'm gonna fix this one for a change.

"Are you - are you pulling over?"

"Yeah. Listen for a second, OK? Here it is. I told ya, you usually get my head outta my ass at times like this, but I'm gonna go ahead and try to do it myself for a change. So here's how it is. I'm pretty much scared shitless that I'm gonna lose you. That's a given. Always has been. Always wanted to protect ya, always wanted you to be with me, even though I know there's lots better people out there for ya. I'm basically selfish like that. I wanted you with me from day one. All the shit we've been through - gettin' kidnapped, gettin' hurt - all that shit, I'd go through it all again. Bein' with you made it more than worth it, and you wantin' me made it unbelievable. Way better than I ever deserve. And all this - you losin' your memories - I'm afraid that I can't make you wanna be with me twice. I got lucky, you know, the first time around. God knows what, but you saw somethin' in me that made stickin' to me somethin' you actually wanted to do. I ain't countin' on havin' lightning strike twice, ya know? So I'm scared shitless that I'm gonna lose you. But, on the other hand, I'm scared shitless that you'll stay with me just 'cause you're scared, or 'cause I might say somethin' to make you feel like you have to. I don't want that. That's not how it was between us before. So when I said that thing about us not bein' in love, that's all that was goin' through my head. I didn't want you to feel like you hadta love me. I sure as hell wanna be clear on this - I love you, but you don't hafta love me back. Only if you want to. I want you to wanna stay, and I realize that might be a longshot, but there it is. You are the only person I've ever given a damn about besides myself. You made my whole life better since the day I met ya. I ain't in a hurry to give that up. That's all. So if I say shit that upsets you or offends you it's just 'cause I didn't know how to make it come out right, and I don't wanna - I don't wanna tell you somethin' wrong. That's all. Just so you know." That wasn't as good as she usually does it, but I hope it was enough. I hope she understands. She's still cryin' but -

"Thanks, Logan. I needed to know that. Thanks for telling me." God, she's reachin' out to touch me. Haven't felt her hand on my face in a long time. God, I missed it.

"Anytime, darlin'."


The Story of The Open Journal

"Logan?" She's been pretty quiet for a while. I guess she's tryin' to take in everythin', figure if what I said was right, if she believes me.


"Did I ever say things like that to you, like what you just said to me?"

"Yeah, actually a lot. You never hesitated to lay it on the line with me, darlin'."

"Like what, what kinds of things would I say?"

Hey - I got an idea. "Can you - can you reach that book in the bag behind you? It should be on top." She's twistin' around, givin' me an excellent view of her cleavage. Damn, shouldn't be lookin' at that right now. "Yeah, that one. There."

"What is it?"

"It's your journal. There's lotsa stuff in there about us. You should read it."

"Interesting. But how do you know what's in it? Isn't it private?" I think that's about 50% curious, 50% miffed.

"You said I could read it. I read it accidentally once when I was out of it, when I was sick. After that, you said I could anytime. There's - here, gimme, I'll find the spot." Well, she handed it over, so I guess she believes me about bein' allowed to read it. "There. Read that. When you said things to me, they came out kinda like that." I've read and reread that passage she wrote to me in Arizona, must be hundreds of times. I dunno if it's just 'cause I need some kinda written proof that she felt like that or what. Maybe if it's written down, it means it's real, it's true.

"Whoa. That's intense. You - you really thought I might just up and leave you there? When you were sick? Would I have done that?"

That's what she's takin' outta all that? "No, I just wasn't thinkin' straight. You wouldnta done that."

"You know, this makes me think I must have been afraid of losing you too. Just the things I said, the way it's written....I wonder if I was afraid of that too."

"Truth? You were, but not 'cause of you. 'Cause I fucked up and I almost left you once. Read on a little more. There's another one - the next one I think - that says you think I'm gonna leave. Sorry about that darlin'."

"Hmmm....why wouldn't you believe me? Why would you want to run away from me just because of something that happened in your past?"

"Tryin' to do what's best for you. Tryin' not to be so selfish. Scared what's back there'll make you finally realize I ain't no good." You know, this honesty shit is taxing. I don't know how she used to do it all the time. I need a drink. Fuck, I need a whole fuckin' brewery. Would be a lot less nerve racking if she wouldn't take those long pauses before sayin' somethin'. Come on, talk to me.

"But I didn't think that you weren't any good for me. I didn't think that at all from what I can tell. Did I ever say that to you or something? Why did you think that?"

"Well, most of your friends didn't think I was any good for ya. Thought I'd break your heart. Thought I'd get you killed. I can't say they didn't have reasons."

"Well, I can say that. At least from what I know. You always tried to take care of me. They can't blame you for that not always working out. They can't blame you if I got hurt. Things happen." She used to say that a lot - only it used to be 'shit happens.' "And besides, they're not really my friends any more."

"Some of them are. They probably still think they are."

"They're wrong." Her voice is real cold. Never heard her sound quite that way before. "Do you think - do you think they'll come after us?"

"Dunno. Not gonna let them find us if they do."

"I'm just scared that....."

"Yeah? Tell me, darlin'. Tell me and I'll make sure it don't happen." God, that's the first smile I've seen in a while. It's a little one, but it counts.

"I'm just scared that the Professor or Jean will go into my head again. I mean, I just feel like there's so little of me left in there, I don't want them to take it away. I just...."

Some tears comin' now. I didn't really get how awful that musta been for her. All that stuff taken outta her head just, outta the clear blue sky. Far as she's concerned, her life pretty much is a blank before findin' herself sittin' with me in the van. Of course, she's afraid it'll happen again. And here I go tellin' her that they're her friends, sayin' they're comin' to help her, not hurt her. Fuck, I was the one who made the decision to let them come in the first place, and they go and pry into her head against her will like that. Fucked that one up, but I never saw Jeannie tryin' shit like that. Not on Marie. Must really be hell for her. No wonder she's terrified of facing a telepath.

"Hey, that's not gonna happen again. They're not gonna do that. I won't let 'em. Look - I made a mistake. I misjudged Jeannie, and you hadta pay for it. I'm sorry as hell and I'm gonna make damn sure that never happens again. OK?"

"OK." Big, shaky breath. She's tryin' to get it together. Good, that's good.


The Story of Our First Kiss

"You wanna hear another one?"

"Sure." Maybe a little change of subject would do her some good.

"What do you wanna hear about? You pick this one."

"Hmm...." That's her decidin' expression. I know that one. "How about our first kiss?"

"That's a good one. We were..." Shit, that's not a good one, that's another we're-on-the-run-from-bad-guys story. Maybe there's a way to skip over that a little without tellin' her a lie. "...drivin'. I said somethin'....I think it was that you'd been doin' a lotta the work, haulin' a lotta the load in our relationship. And I said it was my turn to do that for a while. I thought you were gonna be all pissed because it came out a little crabby when I said it. But you looked at me - and, I don't mind tellin' ya, darlin', you looked really beautiful just then - you looked at me and said that you wished you could kiss me. Well, I was thinkin' along those same lines, and I pulled the car over, pulled your scarf across your lips, and kissed you."

"What kind of scarf was it?" I think she liked that story. She's leanin' forward and smilin' and she's got kinda a dreamy look in her eye.

"It was your white one, the long rectangular one."

"I think I remember that one. I remember you kissing me on the side of the road with that scarf."

"Good." Glad, real glad she hasn't lost that one. That's a good memory.

"What was the kiss like? I don't really remember that part too much."

"It was real sweet. Real nice. I wanted to do a little more than kiss you, but it was actually a real sweet kiss." I guess that was the right thing to say. She looks pretty happy with that.

"No wonder I wanted to kiss you. You're a pretty good guy."


The Story of The Funniest Thing Ever

"And then I said, 'No, I think it's a good idea,' and I asked you what kind you liked."

"But if I was a virgin, how would I know?"

"Well, that's pretty much what you said, so I just picked some out." She's been laughin' pretty hard at this story. Like it's the funniest thing ever. I guess it was pretty funny, lookin' back on it.

"That must've been so embarrassing! I mean, you said you only kissed me a few times before that, and all of a sudden, I'm all 'Let's get condoms.' You probably wondered what the hell I was thinking."

"Nah. Well, I mean it was pretty obvious what you were thinkin'." That made her laugh again and blush. That's the best. There is no better combo. "We went and got some tights for you, about a dozen or so pairs, we figured we could wash 'em, you know, after."

"That's how we had sex? With me in tights and you using a condom?"

"Yeah." Gave me a serious fetish for black cotton tights, I'll tell ya that.

"Hmm." Wonder if she thinks it's weird. Or if I'm tryin' to push her to - "That was really smart. I was wondering how we got around my skin."

"Well, usually it's one of us naked and the other one pretty covered, whatever we're doin'. Only thing is, we usually both wear gloves. Seems to work out the best that way, you know, so we can touch."

"Doesn't it bother you? That you have to have sex with me that way? It's a lot to have to go through, and there's always the chance there'll be an accident."

"Never had a complaint. We had sex a lot, and I never once was anythin' but excited to be doin' it with you." Oops. That just kinda came out. And not exactly in a romantic kinda way.

"What do you mean by 'a lot'?"

"Oh, three or four times a day, when we were in the cabin. At least once a day, no matter what." Oh-oh, her eyes just got really, really big. "Not, that, you know, I'm suggesting that we, um, you know, have to keep on that way. Not that I'm sayin' we have to do anythin' right now."

"Am I - am I always jumping you or something?" She looked like she wasn't sure if that's funny or a little alarming.

"Nah, nah, nothin' like that. I'm usually the one who gets us goin'. Just - you, you know, always seemed to like it. A lot. As far as I could tell. Never really minded us doin' it so much, so many times."

"Whoa. I just guess I didn't think of myself that way."

"Well, remember, you decide. If you think - "

"No, no. Because of my skin. I didn't think I'd be so....eager to do stuff like that. I thought I might be a little too worried about my skin to do that. To do that so often, I must've enjoyed it. Hmm."

"I think you were always careful, but I never got that you were too worried to enjoy it or somethin' like that."


I don't really know where to go with that one. Odd tellin' her about our sex life like this. And I don't really know what the hell she could be thinkin' right now. Maybe she's wonderin' if I'm some kinda sex maniac or somethin', wantin' to do it so much. Maybe she's wonderin' if I'm gonna expect any weird shit. Maybe she's -

"Logan? Can we wait a little to, um, you know, start any of that stuff?"

"Sure, no problem. I understand. I - "

"But not too long, OK? Not a long, long time. Just - just a little while."

Whoa. Brain functioning stoppin' right there. My body had a definite reaction to that. And it is VERY interested in the conversation now. That means I might get to start kissin' her pretty soon. Shit, that means things might go back to normal with us a little. God, thank God. At least she's not rulin' that out. At least she likes me that much.



All About Logan

"Come on, tell me something good."

"Not that much good to tell."

"I don't think that's true. I mean, I wouldn't hook up with some loser. I seem like I have pretty good taste." She's teasin' me again.

"Well, I wouldn't say I'm a loser, but I definitely am light on the redeemin' qualities."

"Oh, come on. You save my life a lot. That says bravery and courage and selflessness and lots of good things."

"Nah. That says good things about you. You're plenty worth savin'." Who says I can't tease back a little?

"Well, you seem like a good fighter. I mean, if you were winning fights in bars, and you fought off all these bad people who are after us?"

"Yeah, that's true. I am good at fightin'." Actually, that's bein' modest. I'm an ass-kicker extraordinaire.

"See? There's something good."

"Well, I won't argue with ya that it comes in handy but I don't know that it qualifies as good."

"Well, you're honest. You told me about the claws hurting me and about things that didn't exactly paint you in the best light. You didn't have to, but you were honest."

"Maybe, but that only really counts with you. There's a lotta things like that, things that might be good, but they just apply to you. It's more 'cause of you than 'cause of me that they're there." Never really thought about that before, but I think that's true. She does bring out good things in me, things that I mighta never known were in there.

"Well, go with those. What are some of those?"

"I dunno. I guess - gentle. I don't think that word applies to me with anyone else, but it sometimes does when I'm with you. At least that's how I wanna be. Content. Happy. Those words - definitely not in my vocabulary before you. And, I dunno, just a lot of stuff around love. I love you. That's not in me with anybody else, but it's all over me with you."

"You forgot sweet. You're sweet too."

"See that's really not there except with you."


The Story of Our Lack of Dating

"So you're saying, basically, that you just picked me up on the road in Canada, saved my life twice, then left to find your past, then started writing to me, then came back, picked me up, took me cross-country - across two countries - and then we just started living together."

"Yeah, that's right."

"And in all that time, we never went out on a date?"

"No..." She says that like it's a bad thing. Frankly, I'm pretty impressed with myself that I pulled that off.

"You never took me to dinner, or a movie or something?"

"Well, we've eaten together a lot. I've cooked dinner for you. We've watched movies on TV." Had fun, too, the last one we saw. 'Son-In-Law' - damn funny movie, if you ask me.

"Hmmm. And I never brought this to your attention before?"

"Um, no." She really never did ask to do anything like that. I mean, she never wanted flowers or candy or any of that shit, as far as I could tell. She never said nothin'.

"I must have been a very understanding girlfriend." She's not pissed, she's just yankin' my chain. I think.

"Ah, I guess so. I mean, I liked you."

"Well, sure, I was pretty low-maintenance." Yeah, she is yankin' my chain. Those playful brown eyes give it away. Time to tease back.

"I dunno if you were low-maintenance - kept me workin' plenty hard sometimes." Well, shit, that was the wrong thing to say somehow. That little smile dissolved and her eyes are just sad now. "What?"

"I shouldn't have joked about being low-maintenance. I'm not. You've had to go through a lot for me, you had to go through a lot just to have sex with me, to have anything resembling a normal relationship, not to mention all the times you saved me - "

"Whoa, whoa. I wasn't thinkin' about any of that. Just meant, you know, you kept me honest. Made me try to be good, to do good. That's all I meant by it." I hope she remembers all that I just said about not gettin' things out right sometimes, about not upsettin' her.

"You know, you can tell me if I was a pain in the ass to you. I won't be mad. I can't imagine I wasn't, sometimes."

"Nah. You weren't a pain. I told ya, I liked havin' you around."

"Good thing. I think we're kinda stuck together now."

"We don't hafta be. We can work somethin' else out if you - "

"No, no. I don't mean stuck as in - no options. I mean stuck as in - stuck, you know, glued together. All this - all these stories about us - all the things we've been through together. It kinda glued us, don't you think?"

"Yeah." I missed that too. Her little rambles that start out makin' no sense to me and end up makin' me wanna kiss her. "Yeah, I do."


"Just gonna pull in here for gas."


"Fuck. Aw, fuck." Shit, I must be slippin' in my old age. That or just not payin' attention or -


"See that girl standin' over by the door? It's Jubilee." Plain as day, even when she's tryin' for a disguise. I could tell even without smellin' her. She's got a yellow pair of gloves.

"Shit. They found us." She looks bad - real frantic already.

"Yeah, but don't worry. They're not gonna get you. I mean it. Just stay in the car. It might just be her, alone. I'm gonna go find out." If it's not just her.....

"Don't - um, don't go too far, OK? Keep an eye on me."

"Absolutely. It'll be OK." She's noddin', but she's scared to death. Shit.


"What the fuck're you doin' here?"


"Yeah. What the fuck're you doin' here?"

"Looking for you and Rogue. The Prof sent me. I totally gotta - "

"You alone?" Don't smell any of the other ones. Maybe she is alone.

"Yeah. Listen, can we talk? I just wanna - "

"No. Go back to the mansion. Nothin' to talk about." Gonna get in the truck, get gas, and get the hell outta here before Marie gets more upset.

"Look - wait! Kitty and me - we found Rogue's note. I know she's mad, but I just wanna talk to her. Please? Come on...."

"Fuck off."

"Look, I won't do anything to scare her, OK? I know she's kinda scared of us. A lot of us were mad about what happened, the Prof too."

"Yeah? Then why's he botherin' us? Why don't he just leave us alone?"

"He is, kinda. He just wanted to send me to apologize and see if there's anything we can do to help."

"I'll pass that along." She's gonna follow me back to the car. Persistent little kid.

"Please? I don't think - her note made it seem like she's not totally pissed at me, at least. Come on, let me talk to her. I miss her too, you know?"

Shit. Little girls and their fuckin' whinin'. "Stay here. I'll ask her."



"They're here, aren't they?" I can hear her heart beatin' from over here. Shit.

"Just Jubilee. She wants to talk to you. I told her to fuck off."

"Why is she here? Is she going to call them?"

"No, I don't think so. She said the Professor sent her to apologize. She said he was pissed about what happened." Shit, she's got one glove off. She's ready for a fight.

"What do you think?"

"Up to you." I can tell she's torn. She really used to like that kid, but now......

"OK, I'll talk to her."


The Story of Our Not so Friendly (or Way Too Friendly, Depending on How You Look At It) Friends

"What do you want?" Hmm. Thought she might be a little friendly to the kid and all since she agreed to talk to her, agreed to go have dinner with her along. Even if she is holdin' on to my leg like it's a lifeline.

"Rogue, I'm sooooo sorry about what happened. Everybody is."

"That's not true."

"It is, chica, we're all - "

"Jean's not sorry. Neither is Scott."

Don't look at me, Jubilee, you're not gettin' any help from this quarter. And you ain't helpin' yourself, starin' at her bare hand like that. She ain't gonna put that glove back on as long as she feels threatened at all, even a little.

"Look, Rogue, they're....they're sorry. They are. They were trying to help and I really, really get that they so totally screwed up, but you - "

"They'd do it again. I know they would. That means they're not really sorry." That came out a little less harsh. Good.

"OK, OK, look, maybe we should talk about something else. How are you?"

"Well, my brain's not bleeding any more."

"O-OK. Um, do you remember anything else? Any more stuff from your past?"

"Um, no, not really."

"Uh-huh. Well, sorry about that. I was kinda hoping you remembered some more about me. Kit and I miss you bad, girl."

She's frownin' a little now. Don't know what that means. Hmm. Oh wait - got it, she's puttin' the glove back on. The frown was 'cause she feels bad about how she's actin' toward Jubilee.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to be such a bitch." See? I can still read her some. And her hand on my leg is easin' up too.

"No problemo. You've had worse days on PMS." They're both laughin' a little at that, even if Jubilee still looks a little freaked. "I'm glad you're doin' OK."

"I don't want to go back, Jubilee."

"I know, no one's gonna make you. The Prof's got Mr. Summers on a pretty short leash."

"Is anyone looking for us besides you?"

"Just me, Kit, and 'Ro. Prof's orders. I'll tell 'em you're OK, and they'll back off immediamente."

"Who's 'Ro?"

"Ororo, also called Storm. She's on the first team with Scott and Jean and Remy, but she's way cooler and much nicer. You were friends."

"Can I ask you something?"

"Sure, chica."

"Was I really friends with Jean? I mean, I know Logan thought I was, but you said she was 'kinda' my friend."

Ain't gonna jump in here either. Can't think of what the hell to say about that. Don't know if it would be easier, better for Marie to hear that they weren't really friends, or to know that they once were. Besides, I don't really know, do I? I was gone while they lived together at the mansion, and I never asked either one of 'em.

"Well, she, um, kinda had a thing for Logan. He used to flirt with her a little, when you two first got there, and she flirted back, totally. I don't think you liked that. But you got along OK."

"She had a thing for him?"

"Oh yeah, big time. She totally was into him. I mean, what kinda doctor feels up her patients while they're unconscious? When he first came in, she was touchin' his arm, then after he totally saved your life, she was stroking his naked stomach. Oh yeah, she had a bad case of Wolvie-itis."

Now that's not what I was expectin' to hear. Thought she'd talk all about how I flirted with Jean and shit. How does she know about Jeannie touchin' me anyway? I barely remember that.

"She seems a little light on the doctor-patient rules."

"Well, I'm sure you can relate to the irresistibility of the Wolvmeister's bod."

Now Marie's just lookin' at me. Fuck. Dunno what to -

"Did you like her?"


"No way. He's totally into you, always was. Soooooo obvious about it too. Sure, he flirted a little, but just 'cause he liked seeing Mr. Summers sweat. Right, Wolvie?"

Now, I hate being called "wolvie" but I could just about kiss Jubilee at the moment. She didn't have to do that.

"Yeah. I, uh, kinda flirted with her. But, um...."

"But you could tell it was totally meaningless flirting. He totally was in love with you."


"Really?" She looks like she really, really wants to believe that. It's true. She should believe it, and maybe now is the time to get rid of some of her crap around Jean.

"Absolutely, darlin'. Never been anyone for me but you."


The Legend of the Tags

"So you ran out into the hall and talked to him, and I sooooo didn´t eavesdrop even though I wanted to. I wanted to bad. So I don't really know what was said. But you came back holidng those tags. And thus, the legend was born."

"Legend?" She's relaxin' quite a bit now. Good. I think Jubilee is actually good for her. There's a thought.

"Yes. You see, da-da-da-dum, the Legend of the Tags is totally a key moment in your relationship history."

"It is?" I'm just gonna nod, and let Jubilee go on. She'll tell it better than me, and Marie's amused by her anyway.

"Oh yeah. The Wolvmeister didn't even say goodbye to anyone else. But he said goodbye to you AND gave you the only tangible link to the mysterious past he went in search of. Da-da-da-DUM." Marie looks like she's gonna laugh. "And he also made a promise.. A Promise To Return. Oh, sure, you told us he said he'd be back for the tags, but we all knew he meant for you, girl. It was like, this totally romantic legend around the school. We all so totally envied you, chica."

"Is that why I knew they meant something?"

"I am totally NOT surprised to find that still in your brain. I mean, you never took them off. Ne-ver. Not to sleep, not to shower, not to work out. I'm your roomate, I know. They are a permanent part of you for sure. The Legend of The Tags is not to be trifled with, not even by memory-stealing mutants!"

Good, she's still amused. Wasn't sure if she might get mad at Jubilee sayin' that. Good.

"Little did I know how powerful these things were...." Oh yeah, definitely amused.


All About Rogue

"You were totally a kick-ass artist. Totally."

"What else?" They've been talkin' for an hour or so, goin' over her past. I'm glad she's feelin' better with Jubilee. You know, she needs someone else in her life, someone who knew her and who she can trust.

"You had god-awful taste in shoes. Truly, profoundly bad. You agreed to relinquish all shoe-buying decisions to me or Kit. You liked your hair down, not up. We think you just liked to look like a sexy little southern belle. You know, in case Wolvie just happened to show up one day." Did she just wink at me? "You rocked my world when it came to ping pong. Totally. After one game, I never bet money with you again. On the other hand, you sucked ass at pool. Just could not sink a ball to save your life. I think it's because it's really just geometry and you always hated math."

"What else?"

"Hmm....you used to borrow my clothes sometimes. You liked ice cream. A lot. I mean a lot. Peanut-butter chocolate was your favorite and you would always raid the fridge for it. You liked to drink beer and smoke cigars, but we kinda figured that was just the Wolvmeister. Even Mr. Summers didn't bust on you too much for it."

"What did you like best about me?"

"Hard to pin down. I guess it was your unnatural amounts of kindness. You wouldn't hurt a fly, and you were just relentlessly nice to everyone. Well, you know, everyone who didn't try to kill you or kidnap you or that kinda thing."

"What about least? What did you like least?"

"You totally never made your bed. It was annoying."

"That's it?"

"Yeah. Well - don't underestimate my need for order, dude. There's just something icky about an unmade bed."

"I wouldn't have pictured that for you."

"I'm a woman of many surprises, chica."


The Story of Bad Feelings About The Mansion

"Jubes, why don't I want to go to the mansion? I mean, from everything you've told me, I was OK there for the most part."

"I've been thinking about that. And you know what? I came up with three theories. One - the last time you were back sucked. You had to go do all these tests, and they ended up not being able to tell what was wrong anyway. Plus, everyone was giving Wolvie a hard time. Mr. Summers was all like, "He's no good for her." And Dr. Grey was all like, "Well, why isn't he flirting with ME?" Plus, Remy was being his usual dickheaded self."

"Why don't they like Logan?" I know that bothers her. I know I shouldn't like that it does, but I kinda do. Means it matters, means I matter. I still matter to her, at least a little.

"You know, I can't really figure that one. I've always liked him. And I don't know why they think what happened with your noggin was his fault. I mean, who could tell that was gonna happen? Shit, it's just them. I swear, if you got a paper cut and Wolvie was half a world away, they'd be all like, 'He's no good for her! It's his fault!' They just need to get a life and stay the hell out of yours."

"Hmm." Dunno what she thinks about that, can't read her right now. "What about your other theories."

"Oh, yeah. Two - Logan didn't like it there. See above, Last Trip Back Sucking. I mean, he's in your head a lot, probably moreso after he touched you again."

"Yeah, I guess so....I really can't distinguish him, though. Did I used to be able to?"

"Yeah, a little." She's lookin' to me for help.

"Yeah, darlin', you could separate the people up there pretty good. How does it feel to you now?"

"Just feels like me. But then again, I don't really know me, so how would I know who anybody else was?"

"Well, don't worry, chica. I'm sure it'll all sort out. Anyway, theory three is kinda like that too - Magneto couldn't have been too fond of spending time there."

"Ick. I hate that he's in there."

"Yeah, you usually kept his ass kicked to the corner. You said once that there was so much Wolvie in there, there wasn't too much room for anyone else."

"Well, that's good, I guess. And I guess that makes sense, I mean - your theories."

"Then again, who knows? Maybe you secretly hated Meatloaf Mondays with a passion or something?"

"Yeah..." She's laughin' along, but I can tell this bothered her. Don't blame her.

"Don't worry, darlin'. Like she said, it'll all sort itself out."


The Story of Our Relatives and Enemies

"Dude, I thought you told her!"

"I didn't get around to it yet. It's a little rough to hear and I just - "

"It's OK, it's OK. I guess I had to find out she was my mother eventually. Ugh."

Shit, that's not how I wanted to break it to her, though. Shit.

"Look, chica, we can't choose our family. And if it helps, you are nothing like her. With a capital 'NOTH'. She's like, totally bad news and you're like, totally good news. She's a bad mutant, you're a good mutant. She's a slimy ho bag and you're, um, you know, not."

"It's just - God, what else could possibly be screwed up in my life? I thought I was having a lot going on before, and now....."

"Um, well, Rogue, there is one other thing. Well, two other things, depending on how you look at it. Well maybe not things, maybe people, and -"

"Uh, Jubes?"

"Yeah, sorry. Um, Sabretooth and Magneto. No one found their bodies. The Prof thinks Magneto's probably dead, but, um, he thinks Sabretooth maybe isn't."

"Fuck! He has to be dead! I fuckin' took his mother fuckin' head off! Whaddya mean he ain't dead?!"

"Dude, dude, don't kill the messenger! I'm just repeating what the Prof said. We don't know. Maybe he is dead."

"Fuck! I'm gonna have to come up with somethin' else. There's gotta be a way to off that fucker. I'm gonna -"

"If he's alive, he'll come after me, right?" There's that frantic look again.

"He ain't gonna get you. Not again. Oh, no, he's goin' down."

"Jubes? What do you think?"

"Yeah, he'll come after you. Just, make sure he can't find you, OK? If you're not coming back home, make for damn sure he can't find you."


The Story of How We Beat Sabretooth

"I'm glad we talked to her."

"Yeah." I think it did some good. She seems a little easier. "Logan, do you think he's alive?"



"I dunno. Could be. Don't worry, though, we've beat him before, and we can do it again."

"We have?" She sounds just floored by that.

"Yeah. You beat him all by yourself - well, the x-men were there, but they were all outta commission. You stabbed him in the neck, severed his spinal cord. Another time, you and me, we fought him and you shot him right in the face, put him down good."

"Really? I did that?"

"Yeah. You're brave, darlin'. I told ya that."

"It's just - in that nightmare, I was so scared. I felt so helpless. He was hurting me, and I couldn't stop him." Wish like hell she didn't remember that.

"I ain't gonna let that happen ever again. Wouldnta happened if I was there in the first place."

"You beat him too?"

"Yeah, threw him over a cliff, kicked his ass on top of the Statue of Liberty. Plus takin' his head off. I can take him if we have to. Worse comes to worst, I can take him."


"Darlin', he's not gonna lay a hand on you ever again. Believe that."

"OK." I can tell she doesn't believe it. She's still scared. Shit.


The Story of What We Like

"Darlin' - "

"Let's not talk about it any more, OK? Let's not talk about him any more."

"OK. But I want you to know I'll keep you safe. I will." I want her to know, I don't want her worryin' all the time.

"I know you'll try your best. I do. Come on, let's talk about something else. Tell me something else about us."

"Like what?"

"Anything, but something happy, OK?"

"OK." Something happy? Something happy about us? "We used to like to go for walks. We used to walk around in the woods, in the snow a lot. You liked the snow."

"Did you?"

"Yeah, I guess. I liked watchin' you in the snow. You used to make snow angels and everythin'. You had such a good time in it." She did. Wouldn't think she woulda like it so much, bein' from down south and all.

"What else did we both like?"

"Well, hockey, but that's probably from me, really. Same with beer and bourbon, we had the same tastes there. We both liked bein' on the road. I don't think that's all from me; you were hitchhikin' when I met ya. We both liked it quiet, you know, not a lotta commotion."

"I bet we didn't get much quiet, though."

"Nah. Maybe that's why we liked it so much. We liked sittin' in fronta the fire. We both liked to tease each other a little, we both liked to play like that. We both liked to just sit and talk, you know, at a diner or in the car. About nothin' and everythin'. We both liked to be in bed."

"I kinda got that from you before." There's some of that teasin' again.

"No, darlin', I mean just in bed together, we liked sleepin' together, real close. You once told me I was 'snuggly'." I remember that night, the first week at the cabin. She said it real shy, like she wasn't sure how I'd react. Hell, anythin' that keeps her close to me is a good thing.

"Oooh. Was I snuggly too?"

"Yeah, I'd say so. I liked havin' ya close. You know, I'm glad you let me lay down with you at night that first night at the cabin, and since. I don't think we've slept a night apart since we left the mansion the first time. At least we still have that......." That just came right out. Fuck. Gotta do a better job of editin' this stuff. Can't let her know it's gettin' to me like that.

"This has to be hard on you, I know."

Shit, I shouldnta said that. Didn't catch her sad look right off. Shit. "Don't worry. It's harder on you, I know. I ain't the one who has to go through this no memory shit."

"But you have to go through losing me, kind of. You said it was what you were most afraid of, and it happened, in a way. I'm not the same Marie you had. Magneto - he took me away from both of us."

"I guess that's true." Shit, shit. I can feel my eyes gettin' hot. She hit the nail right on the head, right there. I did lose her. I have lost her. It won't be the same. Maybe not ever. Thank God there's somethin' left. There's her, she's still alive, and there's her - she still Marie, I can tell that all over. But the part of her that was her past, her memories, our history, that's gone. We both lost that. And it happened so fast. It happened so fast and outta nowhere. Just like that, she was gone. And I couldn't stop it. Not a goddamn thing I could do about it.

"It's OK, Logan, it's OK. I understand. I do. Why don't you - could you pull over for a second?"

Yeah, yeah, I'd better. Need a few seconds to get it together. Need to hang on here.

"Hey." She's takin' off her seatbelt, movin' toward me. "Hey, come here." Oh God, this ain't gonna help me keep a lid on, her holdin' me like this, bein' all tender with me. "It's OK. You don't have to be the strong one all the time. I know you're upset. Maybe, just - you can let it out a little if you want. I - I know I'm not the same, but I remember enough. Enough to know how much this has to hurt you. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Logan."

God, gonna just hold on to her real tight. Not gonna let go.


The Story of Our First Time

"You OK?"

"Yeah, yeah darlin'. Sorry about that." Shit, gotta try harder to keep it together. But I did like bein' close to her like that. Only time it's really happened when she's awake. I miss that, you know? Just, the little things she used to do for me, the little touches.

"Not a problem at all. You sure you don't want me to drive?"

"Yeah, I'm OK."

"Tell me something else about us, OK? Another story."

"Sure. Anythin' in particular?"

"Hmmm. Tell me about the first time we were together, the first time we made love." Hurts like hell, so much more than I thought it could, that she don't remember that. "I'm - I'm sorry - is that not a good story?"

"No, no. It's a good story, darlin'." Keep it together, Logan. No fallin' apart at the seams twice in one day. "I remember it real good. You, ah, you and I were talkin' about it for a while, and then one day, you let me know you were ready to. You were.....you were just beautiful and I.....I wanted you so much. I wanted to make it so good for you, baby. So right." Shit, deep breath. Keep it together. "I was so in love with you that day. Everything was just perfect. When I touched you, I knew. I knew it was right. I....I never felt that before, never. I....that's how it was. That's how it was." I just can't. I just can't say anymore or I'm gonna lose it, really lose it.

"You know what? If I could have picked just one memory to keep, that would've been it. I'm sure that would've been it."


The Story of The Best Thing About Us

"Shit, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pull over again. Sorry."

"It's OK."

It's not OK, I feel like shit. You know, there's somethin' to be said for holdin' it all in. You might be tense as hell, but you don't feel exhausted like this. I know she caught some of those tears, musta felt them on her shoulder too. Shit, I can't remember ever doin' that, ever losin' it like this, not when she was awake, conscious. Fuck.

"Logan? Tell me one more thing about us, OK? Anything you want. You pick."

"All right." Good, get it together, show her you're OK. Hmmm. What to pick? There's lots of things I could say, but if I get just one more thing....


"Thinkin', baby."


She's smilin' at me, and she's so beautiful. A lot of her is the same - all that softness, all that kindness. The way she looks at me sometimes, like I'm OK, like I'm just right for her. Some things are different, and maybe she's not the same Marie, maybe she never will be. But I like this Marie too. I do. I love her just like I'd love any version of Marie. If there's one thing that I know is true, one thing in my whole lousy, stinkin' life, it's that. I love Marie. No matter what. "Got it. It's the best thing about us, too."


"We get through. Whatever happens, we get through it together. And we come out OK. Always."

"You're right, that would be the best thing."

"Damn straight, darlin'."