Welcome to Genosha
RATING: Strong R for sex
& one kinda icky bit
SUMMARY: Logan finds more than he expected when he investigates Genosha
DISCLAIMER: These characters are the property of Marvel Comics and Twentieth Century Fox. No profit is made from their use.
FEEDBACK: Always appreciated.
Tropical air blew dried palm fronds and other chaff past Logan's feet as he plodded the dirt track back towards his barracks. The weight of the water in his bucket was torturous to his aching arms, and the heat of the wind irritated the scratches and cuts from the flying rock. Some still bled sluggishly, trailing threads of scarlet across the white scars on his forearm where the prison doctors had 'neutralized' the threat of his claws. Water, splashed from the pump where he filled his bucket every night, clung to the chaffed skin under the steel cuffs of the mutation suppression devices locked around each of his wrists.
More water sloshed in the five-gallon bucket as he walked. The other prisoners didn't seem to have the energy or the manners to wash the accumulated filth and sweat off them after twelve hours of backbreaking labor in the Genoshan mines, but his heightened sense of smell had remained despite the suppression and made his own body's rankness unbearable. The down side of this was once he was clean, the stench of the others was that much worse, no matter how much he tried to ignore it. That was where years of brawling experience came in handy - he had laid claim to the bunk in the corner, the only one that caught a cross breeze in the barred windows, and he aimed to keep it.
Day after day blended together in the same mind numbing routine - plain rice and native fruit in the morning, hours of labor gouging ore in the mines, shoving for a fair share of flat bread and occasional scraps of meat in the evening, then a wash and collapsing to sleep like a dead man until the guards roused them again in the morning. For the hundredth time he could only blame himself for the hubris that let him assure Xavier that he'd be out of touch for up to four months, but there was no reason for the X-men to worry if they didn't hear from him for that long, or longer. They might be starting to wonder about him by now, but no one would be seriously concerned for another month at least.
The indeterminent and galling wait for rescue was made even worse by the knowledge that he'd broken a promise to Rogue. Her birthday had come and gone, and he'd promised to send her a postcard. He'd promised before, and forgotten before, and even though he knew she'd forgive him yet again, it didn't make him feel better. He'd actually been looking at a selection of jewelry to send as a gift on the day he'd been taken. The island paradise that advertised itself as a haven for mutants had a dirty secret, and while he'd intended to discover what that was for Xavier, he really hadn't planned on becoming part of it.
"Hey, big guy," a woman called out as he passed the row of women's barracks.
Warily, Logan scanned for one of the heavy-handed guards that patrolled the area before he responded. The male prisoners were almost exclusively assigned to the mines, while the women worked in the fields and in various sweatshop facilities of the prison. The segregation was carried over to the barracks, and for the most part that segregation was painfully enforced. That did not stop those adventurous or desperate from sneaking across the lines.
"Yeah?" he replied. Not interested, honey.
The woman brushed sweaty hair out of her face; her cat-slit eyes marked her mutation. "Spare some water?"
He didn't answer, but changed course, after checking again for the guard, and entered one of the small adobe structures. The layout was the same as the men's side: six racks and a hole in the back corner for plumbing, but the women had kept theirs a lot cleaner. Hand-woven grass mats layered the floor next to the wall. Several large dried gourds sat on these, used as containers for extra rice, salt, and flat cooking sticks. Apparently working in the fields had some perks.
"I'm Cathy," volunteered the dark-haired woman as she held out one of the vessels. He poured a measure of water into the bowl. "Thanks."
Cathy sopped a small rag in the bowl and moved to the closest bed. Another woman, younger and angular to the point of gaunt, made way for her, and Logan realized a third woman was lying face down on the wooden slats. Her back was bare of clothing, but criss-crossed with red weals and drying blood. The shredded remains of a cotton shirt lay to either side of her pale shoulders, dark hair pulled to one side of her neck. A length of the rough island-spun fabric covered her from the waist down.
"What happened to her?" he found himself asking.
Cathy didn't respond for a moment. "She's new here. She didn't know the rules. she said no."
"Yeah," stuttered the other woman, a scared look glittering in her eyes. She rubbed her arms, even though the evening was still sultry from the day's heat. "Never saw anyone tell them bastards no before. Least, not more than once."
From her frenetic nervousness, Logan could tell she'd tried to say no once, too. Maybe working in the fields didn't have perks after all.
"She got him, though! Man, she kicked his balls, made him stop!" The girl's hands were shaking.
"Laura," the other woman said repressively. "Hush." She wrung water from the rag and began mopping the bloody skin. "If the rest of us hadn't been there, Tompkins would have beat her to death."
The prone woman made a small noise as the water hit her back, rousing her from her semi-conscious state, and Logan felt himself wince in sympathy. He'd had several beatings himself in the three months he'd been enjoying the Genoshan government's hospitality, and with his healing factor suppressed, had had to heal from the damage the old fashioned way.
"What will happen to her?" He didn't care, really he didn't. He had to look out for himself; he couldn't afford to get wrapped up in the lives of these people when he could do nothing to help them. And there was nothing he could do until the X-men found him and got these damned suppression cuffs off of him. Then he'd take great pleasure in kicking some ass.
"Tompkins and his boys don't like us to say no. The next time. he'll bring a friend. Maybe two." Cathy sounded resigned. She sounded like a slave.
"Dammit," the woman on the bed muttered, jerking to full awareness.
The slight drawl in the simple curse hit Logan, and he was flipping the woman over before he could think. Only reflex let him catch the fist that drove towards his crotch, and his hand gripped the wrist, kinesthetic memory of her confirming what he saw.
"Rogue," he breathed in disbelief as her eyes widened under a tangle of platinum and chestnut, and her arms were suddenly around his neck, one of the heavy suppression cuffs on her wrists giving him a whack on the back of the head that he didn't even notice.
"Logan! You're alive!" She certainly felt like Rogue, not that he was familiar with the sensation of bare skin when he'd hugged her before. He remembered the damage on her back and shifted his grip to her shoulders.
"You two know each other?" Cathy asked, but was ignored.
"What the hell are you doing here, kid?" he demanded.
"Well, I'm kinda lookin' for you, cowboy. When you want ta hide, you do a good job." Rogue pulled the tattered remains of her shirt across her chest, wincing as she tucked it under her arms for modesty's sake. Her flip tone was marred by the hitch of pain in her voice.
"I wasn't fucking hiding, Marie." His voice dropped, conscious of the other two watching their by-play, knowing it was the most entertainment they'd seen in months. "I was on a job."
"Yeah, we figured, since the Professor kept telling us not to worry, and Scott wouldn't talk to us at all."
"Who's 'we'?" he asked, with a sinking feeling. He already knew the answer.
"Jubilee, Bobby, St. John. all the juniors. We knew you wouldn't disappear like that, not without a reason."
"I always disappear."
"Yeah, but you promised to send me a card this time."
"I didn't send you a card, and you all assumed I'd dropped off the face of the earth? One Eye's a dead man when I get back. He should never have sent you in here."
Marie's expression turned mulish. "Well. he doesn't exactly know about this field trip. 'A course, I've been here for over a week now, so I imagine somebody's noticed the car's missing."
He stared at her. "You took the Blackbird?" he asked, incredulous, but wondering if Cyclops' reaction was anything like when his bike disappeared. "He's gonna kill you!"
"Maybe, but first he's gotta find me. Which of course is the whole point."
Loan ran his hands through his hair, exasperated. Of all the stupid, pig- headed, overconfident, and utterly foolish things Rogue and Jubilee had dragged their friends into over the years, this had to take first prize.
"And where the hell are the rest of your pals, huh? Are they here, too?"
"Nope. I was the obvious choice for the stalking horse. They're playing tourists - humans - but they were supposed to be watching to see who made a grab for me and follow 'em."
"And then they call Scott," he finished for her.
"Listen, this is all really nice," interrupted Cathy harshly, "but you" and she pointed at Logan, "have got to get the hell out of here before the next patrol. And before her boyfriend comes looking for her." She gave Rogue a level look. "I'm sorry, honey, but Tompkins is going to be back for you. You stood up to him. He doesn't like that, and he's gonna make you pay."
A tiny flicker of unease passed over Rogue's features, but her jaw set stubbornly. "He can try."
"He'll bring his friends, and most likely a cattle prod. Take my advice -- give him what he wants. His friends, too, and he won't kill you." The quiet finality of Cathy's voice spoke of experience. "Big brother here is not going to save you. They'll just kill him, too."
"Bullshit," Logan interjected, suddenly making up his mind. "You're getting out of here. Now."
"Great," Rogue said brightly, sarcastically. "Where's your boat?"
Logan didn't bother to answer her smart remark. Sticking his head out the open doorway of the hut, he scanned for signs of life. Behind him, he heard Rogue hiss in pain. When he looked back, Cathy was helping Rogue rise stiffly to her feet. Logan kept his eyes away from Rogue's bare torso as Cathy pulled another shirt over the young woman's shoulders, one that had had the sleeves ripped off for comfort under the tropical sun. The rough spun fabric was twisted around her hips in a sarong.
"Thank you," Rogue whispered to the older woman, moving stiffly to join Logan at the doorway.
"Can you do this?" he asked. Her head came up.
"I'm an X-man. I can do anything."
One eyebrow rose. "You've been spending too much time around Summers."
He motioned her to follow him as he stepped out into the waning daylight. Behind them, the two women looked at each other.
"What's an X-man?" Laura asked.
Logan and Rogue slipped through the slave compound, using his superior sight and hearing to avoid the guards. They paused long enough to allow him to retrieve a small bundle of carefully hoarded valuables from beneath the corner of his hut. He'd had an idea, but had never been confident he would be able to carry it out alone. With the help of someone he trusted as much as Rogue, he had a better than even chance to carry it off.
The perimeter security of the compound was a joke. The real security was dependent on the fact that the small island was completely isolated, without civilian habitation. It was officially listed as a wildlife preserve, and flyovers were forbidden. The sea access was treacherous at best, and the jungle surrounding the compound was thick. These things combined, along with the snakes and scarcity of edible food outside the fields worked by the prison, ensured that anyone escaping would soon die in one of several painful ways, if they weren't hunted down and killed first.
Logan grabbed the chain link and held it up long enough to allow Rogue to slither under it, then did the same. He smelled blood seeping from freshly reopened scabs on her back, but she said nothing. Once they hit the tall jungle, Logan allowed the beast within him to take over. Scenting the wind, he gripped her hand in his and lead her deep into the heart of the island.
The third time Rogue fell down, Logan realized the moon was setting. They'd been hurtling through the wild for more than three hours, and although she hadn't complained he knew she was exhausted past all sense. His own legs ached miserably. The animal senses he relied on had not been impaired by the technology clamped to his wrists, but the loss of his healing factor would mean he'd be hours recovering instead of minutes. Helping her back to her shaky feet, he put his arm around her.
"You're doing good, kid. We'll stop soon."
She nodded, her white streak bobbing in the faint light. She was too tired to speak.
Following the scent of water, Logan found a stand of heavier trees and the tiny stream that feed their roots. It smelled clean, and they were in no position to object if it wasn't. They drank sparingly, and when he told her to, Rogue cleared a patch of the jungle floor to bare earth and stretched out on her stomach. She was asleep within moments.
The dots of dried blood on the material of her shirt drew his attention, and again he felt like a bastard for pushing her so hard. During the first hour of their headlong flight she had breathlessly filled him in on the actions of the junior X-men. Rogue had been the first to be concerned when he had not checked in as arranged. The casual assurances that Xavier and Summers had given her had not changed her mind that something had gone wrong with his mission to observe the Genoshan government and their mutant- friendly paradise. When he'd failed to send a card on her birthday as promised, she'd talked to her younger cohorts and found they'd begun to worry as well. This time, the vague uneasiness they'd observed from Scott and the Professor had solidified their concern. If the leaders were getting worried, it was time to take action.
Logan could not stop laughing when she outlined the subterfuge used to filch a million-dollar jet out from under Scott Summers' nose. And as much as he hated to admit it, he was immensely proud of her. Rogue and her friends had planned, taken decisive action, defied orders, and risked losing their slot on the team, all out of loyalty to her and, by extension, her loyalty to him.
The teenage girl he'd picked up seven years ago had matured into a woman with guts and convictions, and she took crap from no one.
He'd been there the first time her heart was broken, and the first time she'd gone out in the black uniform of the team. The first time she'd been injured and the first time she and Jubilee had staggered home from a frat party. He'd paid the patiently waiting cab driver while the girls had heaved into the bushes.
Unfortunately he'd missed the battle where Carol Danvers had been fatally injured, and had grabbed hold or Rogue in a last, misguided attempt to donate her phenomenal powers to the fight that had killed her. Logan had known Carol years ago, before she had become one of the Avengers, and knew that the woman had only been trying to help. But he damned her for the war that had raged inside Marie's head as she fought to rebalance the voices in her head.
At times he wished she really were his daughter. Perhaps then he wouldn't be plagued with the sudden urges that came out of nowhere when he was around her, the regret that he hadn't acted on the crush she'd recovered from long before he'd had the sense to realize how damned attractive she was.
Settling back in the crook of the mangrove tree's massive root, he closed his eyes and willed sleep to take him, not wanting to dwell on things that couldn't be.
"You can NOT be serious. No. NO WAY!" Rogue shouted. She stood up and paced around the small clearing, leaving Logan kneeling in the dirt.
"Why not?" He tried for an even tone, but he was getting annoyed at her reluctance to fulfill a logical request. What the hell else were they going to do out here in the boonies, have tea?
"Why not?" she snapped back. "Let's start with 'I'm not a doctor, and I haven't got a clue what I'd be doing. Then there's the possibility that your healing factor may not come back immediately, or at all, which kinda goes along with the whole maiming you for life bit. And according to the indoctrination we all got, these suckers explode if you mess with them!" She held out her wrists, the massive stainless steel cuffs clanking together with the emphatic movement.
"Huh," he replied. "Don't really remember that bit. Then again, I was a little out of it. Something about goin' out for a beer and waking up in a lab. it kinda set me off."
Rogue huffed in exasperation, but ceased her pacing and laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. "The Wolverine came out, huh?" The warm sympathy in her voice made him close his eyes. Losing control of his humanity was humiliating, and Rogue still shared enough of his nightmares to know how much the lab had terrified him. She knelt behind him and rested her forehead against his back.
"Logan, this could kill you. If they really do have explosives packed in these things, it could blow your hand off."
The small green and red LED's winked evilly at him as he inspected the cuff on his own arm. The outer surface was smooth, with only the status lights and the keyhole to indicate it wasn't simply an extraordinarily ugly piece of jewelry. The hinges and the locking edges were thickly reinforced, but the band on the underside of the wrist was thinner than the back. If he could get one of his claws under there, the extraordinarily sharp blade would slice through the cuff with ease.
"Not the adamantium, darlin'," he said absently, still evaluating the cuff.
"Okay, it'll just blow all the meat off your indestructible bones," she muttered.
"Look here," he said, indicating the many nicks and mars in the beat up surface as she peered over his shoulder. "I've been picking apart a mountain for over two months. Some of those bastards have been working the mine for more than a year. Nobody's had their hand blown off yet."
"Logan," Rogue began patiently, "you know as well as I do that most modern explosives are extremely stable. They'll take all kinds of abuse and still not blow up until the switch is thrown."
"I'm willing to take my chances," he muttered.
"But you want me to play Dr. Livingston!"
"Never mind." She heaved a sigh and tried once more. "Are you sure we can't just wait until Cyclops and the others come looking for us?"
"Absolutely not. We've gotta get out off this island as soon as possible." He still did not understand his own reluctance to tell her about the soldiers who'd passed within a few hundred yards of her sleeping form last night. Their escape had been noticed, and he knew the two of them would be made a painful example if they were caught. Without her super strength or his claws and healing factor, any thug with a gun could bring them both down. And the island simply wasn't big enough to hide out indefinitely. They had, at the most, only a few days before they'd be caught.
"All right," she murmured. Greatly daring, she slid her arm around his neck from behind and rested her cheek against his back. "When?"
"No time like the present."
It took a very short time to gather what they needed. Logan's smuggled bundle included a sharp piece of broken glass and a pair of pliers, the theft of which had given him the idea in the first place. A pile of rags were heaped to one side, all that remained of the shirt she'd originally been wearing when he'd first seen her. He watched her peel a freshly broken branch, leaving a short piece of clean wood on the rag that held the other implements.
"What's that for?"
"A cotter pin. When I get your claw out." At his puzzled expression, she frowned back. "Your claws have a series of holes in them, near the base."
"They do?" He was genuinely surprised. "How do you know?"
She paused. "I saw them, when Magneto. on the train. When Magneto took me." She looked at him. "How else did you expect the damned thing to stay out?"
Logan had no reply to that. He lay down when she indicated she was ready, and tried not to react when her hands took his left arm and laid it across the flat bend of her knee. The soft skin and the nearness of her body were distracting enough that he was genuinely surprised when she asked if he was ready. The piece of broken bottle in her fingers glinted in the sunlight. He took a deep breath and nodded.
He had to give her credit; her hands hovered, hesitating for only one brief instant, then were sure and quick as the scar on his arm was swiftly and deeply re-opened. The shock of the glass blade was cold, but the pain turned to searing heat her finger gouged deep into the muscle laid open. Through his own groan, her heard her quick inhalation as she dug deeper, finding the upper edge of the blade in his arm.
"Got it," she said, gritting her teeth, and black spots began to form in front of his eyes as a second finger joined the first and forged their way to the back edge of the claw, seeking purchase. At last she took a shaky breath and he felt the familiar pain as the blade began to inch its way from his body. With an amazing clarity of sensation he felt her other hand move under his palm. It held his own hand up so the blade would emerge from between his knuckles, as it should.
White, wet pain cascaded through his arm as she shifted, and he heard the metallic clink as she grasped the emerging tip of the blade with the pliers. A wordless oath escaped his mouth as she pulled the blade out farther, blood streaming from the damage it caused. Her fingers were crimson as she grasped the peeled stick and shoved it through the small hole, and when she dropped the bloody pliers, the blade automatically retracted until the stick was snug against his knuckles.
Working quickly, Rogue pushed the edges of the wound she'd made together and wrapped it with the cloth she'd saved for that purpose. More rags were woven around the base of his claw, under the stick, though the blood flow was less. Logan fought the urge to retch and let Rogue wipe the blood off him. Her knee was slippery and hot as she slid it out from under his arm, and he could smell the peculiar tang that blood saturated earth gave off.
"Still with me?" she asked softly, brushing his hair back with relatively clean palm of her hand. He forced his eyes open and saw the concern in her face, managed to give a nod. She smiled softly and pressed her lips to his forehead.
Unaccountably, she froze, and the oddity that some of his senses were working better than others was evident when his ears caught the sound of approaching boots, the curses of men who'd been out in the sun for too long, several seconds after she had.
"Don't move," she breathed, then stood. He tried to reach out to her, but she was gone before he could shake the dizziness. Shouts rang out as she went crashing through the undergrowth, and the heavy pounding footsteps of at least three men followed her as she lead them away from their hiding place.
Gasping, Logan rolled to his side and found he lacked the strength to get to his feet. He ground his fist into the dirt and cursed impotently. The suppression cuff winked at him, and in a burst of rage, brought his exposed claw flat against his right wrist and slid it awkwardly under the edge of the cuff. He held his breath and gave his arm a twist.
The cuff fell off and landed on the leaf litter, the lights winking out.
"Lyin' bastards," he muttered, too exhausted from the pain to inject much heat. And waited. When nothing happened, he unwound the rags around the base of the exposed claw and pulled out the sliver of wood keeping it out. The metal immediately began to slide in, and flexing the proper muscle slid it home with a familiar chink. Blood still oozed from the wound between his knuckles, but he ignored it. With a grunt of effort he got to his feet and staggered off in pursuit of the soldiers and Rogue, his mind unwillingly bringing up images of what three brutal men could do to Marie.
The scent trail led him in a wide arc, heading back towards the slave camp, then looping across itself more than once. The first time he slid down a muddy ravine into a thicket of thorny vines, it finally dawned on him that his scratches were starting to heal, the damaged skin sealing itself almost as quickly as it had before he'd come to this god-forsaken island. Experimental claws sprung from his fist and disappeared again, then a feral grimace of anticipation twisted his features as he set off with renewed purpose.
The sun began to set as Logan came across a larger clearing where the scents of the various men milled about. Confused, Logan followed the individual scents as the milled around, then realized he was not picking up Rogue's scent anywhere. Apparently she had been paying attention when he'd forced the senior class to play hide and seek in the woods around the estate. She'd lost them, and this was the point where they'd realized it and floundered around futilely until they'd given up.
He backtracked until he picked up her scent again, then traced her up a tree, where undoubtedly she'd observed the hunters with some amusement. Then she'd taken off again, heading back towards where she'd left him. With only a few false turns, her trail lead back towards the spot where she'd performed bush surgery on his claw.
Rogue startled violently when he snuck up behind her, but it was worth it when she threw her arms around him. "God, Logan! Don't do that!"
Irritation warred with relief as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head. "Then don't go off playing games with the locals. They're bad news."
She pulled back and gave him an arch look. "Like they had a chance. I do know what I'm doing, remember? You taught me."
"Yeah," he replied, "I know." He pushed her raveled hair out of her face, and she caught his wrist with a sudden movement. The feel of her bare hands on his made his breath hitch, but she was too busy examining his nonexistent wounds to notice.
"So removing just one was enough? Eric figured they worked on some sort of magnetic field generation. That's why two were necessary, to generate a large enough field."
Logan raised an eyebrow at her, and she shrugged diffidently. "He still comes out when something happens that really interests him. Magnetic fields are his specialty."
"The good news is, you were right about the explosives."
"Wha'dya know?" He extended a single claw from his right fist and cut the other cuff off with a quick twist. "You hungry?" She eyed the pieces of tropical fruit left from their lunch. He'd offered to hunt up something, but the inability to cook it had decided her against it.
"No, not really. I ate some fruit while I hid from the goon squad." She moved towards the stream, scratching at her shoulder blade. She took a long drink, then climbed the shallow slope back to rejoin him.
"Let me see your back," he demanded, and she turned and untied the front of the shirt so he could pull up the tail and see the scabbing marks and greenish bruising.
"Shit, Marie." His hand was warm and gentle against the skin of her back, and she shivered at the unaccustomed sensation of fingers on her skin.
"Yeah, it's not so great, but it was better than the alternative."
"You shouldn't have come, Marie. I'm not worth this." His expansive gesture took in the island, her back, and the situation in general.
She jerked around to face him. "Fuck you, Logan. I'm a member of this team, and if you can risk your life for me, then I can damn well risk getting raped for you." He tried to stem her words, but she was irked and he should have known better than to try. "Okay, it may not be how I want to lose my virginity, but damn it, that's my choice to make, not yours! I'm not a little girl any more!"
She smacked him in the chest with her fist and he caught it, thankful that she wasn't at full strength. She'd ruined the finish on several of the mansion's doors just by knocking on them. At her suppressed level, she was unable to pull away when he pinned her hand against his chest.
"OKAY, okay." His eyes were dark in the dim light twilight coming through the canopy. "You're right, okay?"
"Damn straight." She pushed her hair out of her face and gave him that smug look that always made him smile back. This time was no exception.
He took a breath and tried again. "Thank you." For helping him remove the cuff. For coming after him. For believing in him, that he wouldn't be such an ass as to forget a promise he'd made her.
His hand stroked her hair and pulled her head down to let him place a kiss on the crown of her head, as per usual, and at the last moment remembered he could touch her. His lips brushed softly against her forehead instead. Startled, she pulled back, then smiled at the automatic reaction. He smirked at her, then deliberately pulled her head down again and placed a firm kiss on the skin below her platinum widow's peak. The salt tang of her sweat lingered in his mouth.
'All right, let go of her now' one part of his brain insisted, but the smell of her, the heat from her body so close to his held him captive. And when she raised her head to look at him, he could hear her heartbeat slowly increasing, see the faint dilation of her pupils that let him know she was quite aware of his proximity, that it was affecting her as well. He waited, expecting her to step back, to drop back into the pattern of friend and teammate.
"Logan," she said, questioningly, half in wonder, and when she raked her bottom lip between her teeth it was finally too much to take and he was leaning into her, tasting her mouth slowly, thoroughly. Only when her hand moved against his chest did he realize he still held it captive. When he released his grip it slid tentatively around his waist, coming to rest on the top of his hip as her mouth opened beneath his and allowed him to slide inside, exploring, finding her tongue with his own and stroking it until they were both breathless.
Her shirt opened under his hands, and she gasped as he cupped her full breasts in his work roughened hands, gently bringing them up to his mouth and letting his tongue stroke her nipples and bring them to hard attention.
Careful of the damage on her back he found her hips, then went lower, pulling her against him. His thigh stroked between hers, and the abrasion of denim on the delicate skin of her inner thighs was exhilarating. He took more of her weight as her legs went to either side of his and he sank to the ground, kneeling on the dirt and pulling her closer. Her back arched, and he engulf her breast in his mouth, bringing moans from deep in her throat.
A moment of fiddling with the tie of her sarong had the swath of fabric loose, and her muscles jumped convulsively as he traced her bare hip.
"Tell me to stop, Marie," he whispered in her ear. "I can't. tell me to stop."
"Don't," she begged, lips moving through his hair. "Please don't stop."
He dragged her backwards, landing on his back, her legs to either side of his, his fingers tracing her cleft, mouth hot on her throat. She cried out as a single fingertip found her core and entered, and he marveled at her reaction at such a light touch, knowing what was yet to come.
She lay still in his arms as he stripped the remaining clothing from her, then watched with wide, hungry eyes as he pulled off his own and added them to hers. Carefully he shifted her back on the cushioning layers, covering her body with his own. Deliberately, slowly, he used every trick, every nuance of experience he had to give her the most incredible introduction to lovemaking he was capable of. She objected only when he moved down between her thighs, but his hands were firm and refused to allow her to close her legs and deny his mouth on her. She trembled and moaned as another orgasm hit her, and when he moved up over her, her eyes were soft with an expression he'd never seen.
His own need raged through him, and when he rubbed his erection into the soft skin of her stomach, she gripped his shoulders.
"What are you doing?" A silent laugh curved her lips. "I may be a virgin, but I'm pretty sure you're doing this wrong."
"Baby," he ground out, "there's not a condom within a hundred miles of here." Her fingers raked their way through his chest hair then threaded themselves into it on the reverse trip, her palm grazing his flat male nipple. Her mouth on the column of his neck, lips against the stubble on his throat, was making it impossible to think.
"Logan," she murmured, teeth scraping his shoulder in a maneuver she really shouldn't know, "we all had a shot when we were processed into this hole. I can't get pregnant for at least three months."
He stilled, frowning. "There's a shot for that?" he asked blankly.
She laughed again, and gripped his hips, pulling him down to where he belonged.
"Yes. Oh, yes," she moaned, as the tip of his manhood made contact with her. Logan kissed her again, then settled between her legs and stroked his hand down her thigh. His long fingers gripped the back of her knee and brought it up, pressing it under his shoulder and kissing it softly. Her eyes went wide at this move, then even wider as he forged his way into her. This part wasn't in any of the grafted memories cluttering up her head.
He paused as she tensed, the muscles in his arms shaking as he controlled the impulse to plunge deep into her, instead letting her get accustomed to his invasion. After a moment she rocked her pelvis experimentally and he had to groan, unable to stop himself he slowly pushed until he was completely sheathed in her. Her eyes had drifted close, so he kissed her eyelids, and when she looked up at him, completely vulnerable, he began to move.
Rogue was lost in a sensual wash. She'd never felt so vulnerable, yet so protected. In wonderment, she ran her hands over his lean waist, feeling the muscles in his back bunch as he moved, the silken brush of his chest hair on her breasts.
Logan growled softly at the feel of her hands wandering over his body. This was all new to her, and he felt fiercely, insanely glad that he was the one to show her, to introduce her to the sensations she was experiencing. Yet in her inexperience, he felt her loose the rhythm, her nails digging painfully into his shoulders as she sought release, becoming frantic.
Lacing his fingers in his own, he pinned her hands to the ground beside her head. She cried out in frustration and protest as he slowed, almost stopping, then began a slower, tantalizing movement and kept it that way until, at last, she moved obedient to him. The beast in him growled again in approval of his dominance, and the remaining echo in her head agreed as she surrendered completely to him.
Following his lead, only half hearing his encouragement, she was helpless when the shattering climax came over her, choking with the sweet ecstasy that robbed her of breath and thought.
A victorious snarl erupted from Logan's throat as he felt her convulse beneath him, and his own release was brutally exquisite. He could only collapse on her, panting for several long moments before releasing her hands and curving his arms under her, both propping his not inconsiderable weight on his elbows and allowing him to cradle her head in his hands. He waited, feeling both proud and possessive, as she slowly came back to earth and opened her eyes.
When at last she focused on his face, he saw the bliss in her eyes fade as reality returned, and the shadow he'd expected came to replace it. Finally, it was time to say it.
"I love you."
Her sable brown eyebrows drew down in consternation, and when she tried to shake her head in denial he tangled his fingers in her hair and stilled her movement.
"I love you, Marie. I have, for a while now. I just.. couldn't tell you."
A single tear squeezed out from her tightly closed eyes. "Logan, don't lie, not to me. This was wonderful, but I'm not expecting you..."
He stopped her from speaking the best way, his mouth hard on hers as he kissed her with all the passion he'd shown her just minutes ago. After a moment, she responded, and the sweet taste of her nearly undid his intentions. He pulled back by force of will and stroked her hair. When he was sure he had her attention, he started talking, knowing his future was dependent on a skill he'd never been good at.
He told her about coming home and finding out she was on a date, or a mission, or just out with her friends, and feeling disappointed. How he'd watched Jean and Scott's wedding, and wondered why it didn't bother him as much as it should have. About his growing need to see her, talk to her every day.
"I know I screwed up, Marie. I know you had a crush on me, years ago, and that I probably handled it badly. But I want to be with you. I need you to give me a chance. Can you give me some hope? That's all I'm asking for, is a chance."
"Logan.." Marie whispered, her hands touching his tense face in wonderment. "You're such an idiot." She smiled, her face full of amusement, and something more. "You're all I've ever wanted."
This time she reached up for him, kissing him softly, lingeringly, and he returned it with vigor.
Then she gasped a little and broke free of his lips, confused, and he began to grin at her expression as she realized the incredible sensual experience of having a man grow hard while still inside her.
Thirst satisfied, Logan padded back towards the nest he and Marie had created. He paused and let the sight of her sleeping form fill his senses. Curled on her side, she was the most precious and graceful thing he'd ever seen. Her white-shot hair spread wildly beneath her, while her arms were curled against her chest, partially concealing her beautiful breasts from view. Long, toned legs were half bent, almost inviting him to spoon up next to her.
He chose instead to lie facing her, wanting to take in the sight of the woman he loved so much. Her nipple peeked from the bend of her elbow, and he was tempted to wake her just so he could drive her wild again. His view traveled down her belly to the indent of her navel, and the smooth rise of her hip invited him to press a small kiss to the ball of the joint. As he did, their combined scent rose from her, and he smiled ruefully at the mess their passions had created between her legs. The smell was intoxicating, and the beast within him rose at the siren call. It urged him to lap at her thigh with his tongue, and if the man raised an eyebrow at the idea, the Wolverine growled back and demanded the right to groom its mate.
Rousing slightly, Rogue felt the warm, wet stroking and kept her eyes closed while she shifted her upper leg to allow him greater access. Her fingers found their way into his hair and she was rewarded with a slight rumble, making her smile.
"Was that a purr or a growl?" she asked softly.
"Not sure," he said, between strokes. "Feeling a little primal right now."
She gazed up at the leafy canopy above them, feeling the dried vegetation crinkle beneath her as she moved her head. "Can't imagine why."
Logan paused in his ministrations. "Does it bother you?"
She thought about it. "I like it," she replied honestly.
A louder growl vibrated in his chest. "Good," he murmured against her skin, his hands rolling her to her back, giving him access to her center. Within moments she was gasping, writhing in his firm grip.
"Logan," she moaned, grabbing a handful of his hair and tugging none too gently, trying to pull him up. He ignored her demand, only trapped her fingers with his own and continuing his assault on her sex. He glanced up and saw her other hand, fluttering helplessly, settle on her own breast and touch the hardening nipple with a surprised caress that turned him on even more.
"Always wondered if you were a moaner or a screamer," he offered. So far she'd done nothing but moan, but the challenge of making her scream was quite tempting.
"Screaming doesn't really seem. like a good idea." she gasped. "Logan!"
He only grinned and stroked a long finger through her.
Rogue looked up at the stars peering through the canopy of treetops. "How do you feel about begging?"
Raising her head, she could just see that one eyebrow rise on his forehead, lopsided grin making a full appearance. "Begging is good."
The sun was well up when Rogue tied her sarong around her waist and reached for her shirt. Logan's arms went around her from behind as he kissed the slope of her shoulder and she leaned back, savoring the feel of his skin against hers. He cupped her breasts lovingly, already missing the touch of skin on skin.
"Are you sure we can't just build a little treehouse here, kinda do a Tarzan thing?" He chuckled at that, his breath warm on the back of her neck.
"I know," she answered herself. "People to rescue, world to save." Swallowing hard, refusing to let the tears that threatened show, she slowly turned in his arms and held her wrists out.
Wordlessly he extended his fist to one side, the claw extending with a metallic rasp. He was careful as he slid the blade between the cuff and her skin, gave it a quick twist and cut through the steel band. The other thumped to the jungle floor moments later.
Rogue rubbed her wrists where the metal had been. "How long. before it comes back?"
Logan shrugged. His voice unaccountably cracked as he continued. "Maybe five minutes."
He staggered as she threw herself in his arms, their bare torsos sliding against each other as she kissed him desperately, then buried her face against his neck. When the draw began, sluggish and uneven, he brushed a hand down her ravaged back and kissed her one last time, being sure all his love and regret were at the forefront of his mind as her talent sucked eagerly at his life force.
He stepped back, panting hard at the drain, as she pressed her fingers to her lips. Her eyes were bright as she pulled on the ragged shirt, and he noted that her back was healed. He retrieved his own ragged tee shirt from the hollow that had served as their bed, and pulled it on.
"So, how we going to do this?" The short sleeved garment was riddled with holes, and he knew it wouldn't be enough to protect him from her bare arms if she tried to carry him.
"Piggy back," she replied, turning and going to one knee in front of him.
"Logan," she said, exasperated, "I can pick up a truck with one hand. You're not heavy enough to slow me down. Just be sure to hold on to my shoulders, keep your legs around my waist, and we'll be fine."
Gingerly, and feeling more than a little idiotic, he clasped her shoulders and hopped on to her back, wrapping his legs around her hips. Her arms wrapped around his legs and cupped his behind, giving him a pinch just for fun.
"You know," he whispered into her ear, "I think we're doing this wrong."
"Maybe when we get home, we can work on it," she said archly.
"Bet your ass we're gonna work on it," he replied, and she chuckled at the innuendo in his voice. His heart rose to hear her able to laugh.
She stood easily, took several long strides and launched herself in the air. As she leveled out high above the jungle, her windblown hair streamed back and danced along his forearms as he gripped her shoulders and settled into the curved small of her back, her arms still holding him securely.
Leaning forward in a posture similar to riding a motorcycle, he just managed to make her hear his words above the rush of air when he told her that Cyclops' bike was going to be a lot safer now that he'd found a preferable mode of transportation.