Price To Pay
by Stellamaru

"Don't come near me!" Rogue said, shoving the hair out of her face and tackling her uniform zipper.

"Hey, I'm not worried about your--"

"And don't give me the old 'I'm not afraid of your skin, darlin'' song and dance," she added in her pitch-perfect imitation-Wolverine voice. "I don't want you near me, so get. The hell. Out."

"Is this about what happened on the mission?" Hell, of course it was about what happened on the mission. This is what he got for talking and shit. Things were so much easier back when he never said more than two words to anyone. Rogue showed her opinion of his question by silently rolling her eyes. "I found that kid, didn't I?"

"Well, yeah, but you disappeared on us without a damn word," Rogue said, peeling off the leather uniform and stretching her bared arms. Her tank top was wrinkled and plastered to her body. "Not even a, 'Hey gang, my spidey sense is tingling, I'm gonna go check out this dark and mysterious corridor.'"

"'Spidey sense'?" Logan said, raising an eyebrow. To be honest, he had thought about yelling out his plans, but had opted for stealth instead.

"Don't change the subject, which is you flaking out on us." Rogue said, plucking at her sweat-dampened tank. Logan blinked. When had that happened? When had 'us and them' become 'us and you'? Probably when she got the uniform and started going out on missions. Isn't that what he'd wanted? For her to fit in, find a family?

"I'm not changing anything," he said, pulling his gloves off. "I smelled out the kid and went after him. What else was I supposed to do?"

"Oh, I don't know... maybe clued the rest of us in? We didn't know where you went--you might've been in trouble, or we could've needed your help fighting the bad guys...." she said, trailing off as she pulled a shower caddy out of her locker.

"You seemed to be doin' all right to me," he said. It was true: the younger team was well trained.

Rogue shook her head. "Not really the point," she muttered, raising her voice to say, "I don't want to argue with you right now." She slammed her locker shut and started to walk away, towards the showers.

Logan quickly stepped in front of her, blocking her way. He reached out to grab her arm, but pulled back at the last minute. He'd taken his gloves off. "Why not?" he said. "Maybe I want to argue." It seemed really important that she not leave until she understood his side of things.

Looking pointedly at his hand, still hovering near her elbow, Rogue leaned forward, standing on her tiptoes to whisper in that Mississippi-sweet drawl of hers, "Because I'll always win." She pulled back with a smile and sidestepped to push past him.

"What the hell does that mean?" Logan said, blocking her way again.

"It means-- with a little brush of my thumb," she said, miming touching his bared knuckles, "I can know everything I need to know." She smiled and for a moment it was wicked.

"Yeah?" he said quietly. That wicked smile on that angelic face.... "Doesn't it hurt?"

"There are always prices to pay for things you want," she said, and he saw her heart start to beat faster.

"Yeah," he said again, but this time it was an agreement, not a question. Quickly, before she could react, he bent close and touched his lips to hers. She parted her mouth and for 4.2 seconds their lips and tongues touched, until he felt the pull begin, a strong tugging that threatened to devour him. He broke away and his knees gave way, dropping him to the floor.

Rogue looked down at him curiously and bit her lip. "I knew you knew you should've told us where you were going," she finally said, stepping around him. He would've laughed if he had the energy to. Instead, he blinked twice and panted. She touched his hair lightly. "And-- and it'll always be us and them, no matter what."


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