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Stories by Ascian

"Feel All Right"
Logan and Rogue spend some quality time together.

Elsewhere on Alykat's World

"Longest Night"
When Hank and Cecilia are kidnapped from a medical conference, it is up to Gambit and Marrow to rescue them.
(at Stars & Garters)

"X-Men #75"
Beast apologizes to Cecilia for allowing her to get caught up in the N'Garai attack in X-Men #75 -- as well as for the skimpy costume.
(at Stars & Garters)


Web site: The Wolverine and Jubilee Page

WARNING: This is fluff -- there is no plot, no deep meaning, no nuthin'. I don't know where it came from, honestly. It doesn't even have humor to keep it interesting, so basically this story is like an old 70's Nova running on fumes. It's going -- you just aren't quite sure where and for how long.
Anyway, this is the fourth installment in what I'm now calling the 'Strange Angels Series', but you definitely don't need to read the other stories to understand this one. It's a stand-alone if there ever was one. As far as continuity goes, I've split with the regular Marvel Universe. Rogue and Remy are officially NOT together in my stories. So there.

Feel All Right

Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
--Joseph Campbell

Always moving, never the same -- the world around him just keeps on shifting. Scents, images -- people. It comes with the territory, Logan tells himself. All the change -- while he ... he just seems to remain the same. At least on the outside. And on the inside -- even now there are times when it seems that the heart of him is just beginning to bleed into the same old story -- the same loneliness and pain.

But then, that's what friends are for. To help chase away the dark times. To prove that some things always do stay the same.

"Son of a bitch!"

"Yeah, pretty boy. Holler a little louder -- maybe your momma will hear ya."

"Good one, Logan!" Rogue shouts, from the other side of the bar. She immediately ducks a blow to her head, and uses her attacker's momentum to slam him face down into the hard wood edge of a pool table. The young man slumps, unconscious, to the floor, and Rogue hops over his inert body, wiping her gloved hands against her thighs. Glass crunches beneath her beer-splattered boots. "Need any help over there, sugah?"

"Nah," Logan growls, slamming his fist into a soft gut. The loud-mouth who has started this fight -- some men have no respect for ladies -- keels forward, gasping for air. Logan grabs the lapels of the heaving man's designer sports coat, and hauls him up on his tip-toes. "Now," he whispers. "You ready to apologize to my lady-friend for that rude name you called her, or do we have to go another round? Think fast, bub -- I'm not sure your pants can take another soaking."

A familiar scent washes through Logan's nose, and a moment later a gloved hand touches his arm. "Always did love a hero, Logan, but Ah think we should get out of here. Sirens coming."

He already knows that, but the adrenaline is pumping through his veins, his anger still biting at him. Still, from the scent and look of things, he has gotten his point across. Rogue too, if this guy's friend remembers anything after waking up from that blow to his head.

"Anything for you, darlin'," Logan says, relaxing his fingers. The man he has been holding up slumps forward to his knees, curling around his stomach with a wheezing cough and whine. Rogue hurriedly flings a wad of twenties onto the bar counter, and with one hand still around Logan's arm, she guides the both of them towards the unmarked back exit, which is hidden by a thick black curtain. The crowd gives them a wide berth, although several of the ladies grin and wink at the departing X-Men.

"Didn't think you knew about this exit," Logan comments, as they step through the hidden door, and out into the alley behind the bar.

"Ah never go into any place Ah can't get out of," Rogue replies, flashing him a tight grin. "That was one of momma's first lessons."

"Good one," Logan grunts, taking the lead and gently pulling Rogue away from the approaching squad cars that are screeching to a halt at the near end of the alley. They begin to walk in the opposite direction. "'Course, I wouldn 't expect anything less of Mystique."

"They see us," Rogue says, eyes flickering back towards the police officers getting out of their cars.

Logan smiles, draping an arm over his friend's slim shoulders. "An' all we' re doing is walkin' away from them, Rogue."

"An' getting a little cozy."

"I'm willing to suffer if you are, darlin'."

Rogue laughs, wrapping an arm around Logan's waist. Her gloved fingers drift teasingly towards his back pocket, and Logan clears his throat.

"I was joking about the suffering part," he tells her mildly.

Rogue grins, and leaves her hand where it is.

They amble up the street, just talking -- about old times, old friends. Rogue is still in her twenties, best as Logan knows, but she has a bundle of stories to tell. And it has been awhile since he's actually had a chance to cut loose with her. Two regular people, enjoying each other's company for a night. No one to save, except for themselves.

"So," she says, as they stop to look in the windows of a high-class women's boutique. "You hear about Hank and Cecilia?"

"What?" Logan asks, knowing it has to be good for her to bring it up.

Rogue bites her bottom lip, trying to stave off a smile. "Bobby spotted Hank sneaking out of Cecilia's room this morning. Seems they've taken it to the next level."

"'Bout time," Logan says. "All that tip-toeing around each other was beginning to make me sick. When a man and woman like each other as much as those two do, there's no sense in not acting on it. Life's too short."

"Amen," Rogue agrees. Logan glances down at her, surprised by her upbeat tone of voice. Rogue notices his attention, and frowns.


Logan shrugs. "Nuthin'. Just that usually you get all mopey and depressed when you start talking about other people's love lives."

Rogue's lips quirk upwards into a wry smile. "Ah'm done acting pathetic, Logan. Life's not fair -- Ah learned that lesson a long time ago, but it's finally sinking in. Life's not fair, but that doesn't mean Ah can't enjoy the good parts -- and make the bad parts good."

Logan shakes his head. "You never stop surprising me, darlin'."

"That's the point," she says, and tucks his hand under her elbow. He does not resist as she pulls him towards the brightly lit glass doors of the boutique. A saleswoman stands just inside, and as they enter -- scruffy and smelling of beer and cigarettes -- a frown tugs at her mouth.

"We're getting ready to close," she tells them.

"Ah won't be long," Rogue replies, with the same tone of voice. "Ah saw what Ah want in the front display." She turns towards Logan, and bats her eyelashes. "You have your credit card, don't you, sugah?"

Logan bites back a smile. "Yeah, darlin'. Just grab whatever you want." Doesn't matter to him. Xavier pays for all of their charges, and if what Rogue has planned is too much for even old Chuck to stomach -- which Logan doubts -- he will just dip into his own, quite substantial, funds. He pulls out his wallet, and turns to the saleswoman, who has just shrunk several inches. "You take Visa Platinum?"

"Of -- of course, sir. But perhaps I should your friend with her purchase."

Logan glances over at Rogue, who is busily pulling something shapeless and flowing off the chrome rack. "Knock yourself out," he tells the saleswoman. "But it looks to me like she's doing just fine on her own."

The saleswoman swallows back a response, and scurries over to Rogue, who neatly sidesteps her with a grin and a wink, before disappearing into the dressing room. Logan smirks. He loves seeing uppity people tied up into knots.

Five minutes later -- during which time the saleswoman frets about and casts nervous glances in Logan's direction -- Rogue emerges, and the sigh of admiration that flows through Logan's lips comes straight from his heart.

What has appeared so shapeless on the hanger clings to Rogue's body like a fine sea-green mist. Which is probably the point, since the dress is almost as sheer. Still, her arms are covered all the way down to the wrists, and her legs are hidden from view. In all his life, Logan has never met another woman who can reveal so much while being fully clothed, but Rogue has the technique down to an art.

Rogue does not need a verbal response -- she sees the look in Logan's eyes -- hears it in the air he breathes -- and that is enough. "Ah'll take this one," she tells the saleswoman, who looks distinctly green with envy. "And the sandals that go with it."

The other woman nods. "I'll wrap it for you."

Rogue shakes her head. "Ah'd like to wear this out, please. But you can put my other clothes in a bag."

"Of course," the saleswoman says, and disappears into the dressing room. Ten minutes later, Logan and Rogue step out of the boutique into the warm night air, hand in gloved hand.

"You did all that on purpose, didn't you," Logan comments.

Rogue shrugs cheerfully, swinging the shopping bag filled with her old clothes. "Maybe just a little," she admits. "But it was worth it."

"To walk down the street with you wearing that dress? Damn right."

Rogue playfully slaps Logan's arm. For a lesser man, it would feel like a solid punch, but Logan bears the light blow without a grimace or change in his step. He drapes his arm over her shoulders, and draws her close to his side as they walk down the street. "We need to do this more often," Rogue says, sounding just a little wistful. "A little bar fight to get the night going, a nice walk through the city, some makes things a little more normal. Like it's the way our lives should be."

"Can't argue with you on that," Logan says. "But 'member -- you're supposed to be the cheerful one now. Didn't you say we were supposed to make the bad parts good?"

"Which is what we're doing," Rogue replies, tucking herself closer into his side. "And the good parts outweigh everything else."

"I'll say," Logan says in a low voice, concentrating for a moment on the feel of her body through his clothes. Rogue does not miss the change in his speech, and grins.

"Be careful, sugah. Ah just might get some ideas."

For a long moment, Logan does not say a word. Rogue feels his hand lift from her shoulders and drift upwards, into her hair. She silently savors the sensation of his fingers buried so near her scalp, the heat of his palm soaking through her hair into her flesh.

"Ideas, Rogue? I think I just might like that."

And for the first time in a long while, she begins to get some.




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