He scowled out the window at the clear sky, pinpricks of light offering up more illumination than his hypersensitive eyes needed to pick out the features of the grounds. Trees standing in silent guard around the property, flowers closed against the night time chill, grass sparkling with dew in the moonlight. His eyes were trying to avoid the pale marble headstone that reflected light obscenely across the disturbed dirt of the still fresh grave.

Four days ago his heart almost died, three days ago his body almost died, and yesterday they buried the person who did die. The woman who sacrificed herself for them all, not just a teammate, but one of the few people he could call a friend.

Try as he might though, he couldn't mourn her.

She made her choice, many choices, and he respected those choices, all of them. Feeling sorrowful about her choice made him feel like an asshole, like he was implying she chose wrong.

It also lead to him thinking, about choices, and that, so far, had only lead to him feeling like a coward. Which was the reason for the sizable pile of empties around him. 'Liquid courage' the regular, non-healing, folks often called it.

Right now courage was what he needed, because he had made a choice.

A choice that, one way or the other, would change everything.

A choice that scared the shit out of him.

How the hell had Jeannie stared down that wall of water that spelled her imminent death, and hefted them all to safety without a second thought!

... Because she was brave.

And he was still a fucking coward, a seriously tipsy, almost drunk coward.

Even worse, Jeannie did what she did for others... his choice was selfish, selfish as fuck.

He had to do it though, because he couldn't go through it again, he couldn't risk almost losing his heart again. Not without at least telling her.

... Once he was finished these last two bottles of bourbon.


Rogue started gently, brow furrowed as her eyes flew open. For a few moments she regarded the darkened room around her in confusion, trying to figure out what woke her.

The rustle of fabric, and the sound of something solid scraping against the wall caught her attention, and she jerked her head around to the door of her room. Just barely she could make out the shape of a person, leaning heavily against the wall.

"G' bac' t' sle'p," a deep slurred voice mumbled, before she could scream.

"Logan?" Rogue muttered, dumbfounded. Why the hell did Logan sound drunk, and why on earth was drunk Logan in her room.

With a lurch the figure shoved himself away from the wall, took a few stumbling steps toward the bed, and promptly fell face first onto the soft surface. He landed on the bed beside her, his face coming to rest pressed up against her blanket covered stomach. Rogue briefly wondered if he had passed out.

"Ya smell good," was mumbled, somewhat muffled, into the blankets beside her.

Rogue tried, she really did, but the snort of amusement snuck out despite her best efforts. "My god Logan, how much did you drink?" she asked with a giggle, reaching for her gloves to slide them onto her hands.

Once her skin was covered, she moved a hand to his head, running her fingers through the mop of thick dark hair that she had fantasized about more times than she would ever admit. He almost purred in response, nuzzling into her stomach as one heavy arm came up to wrap around her waist. Just as she thought he was about to fall asleep, hopefully to sleep off the booze and its resulting hangover, Logan began to speak in a drunken mumbled slur.

"I'm a coward M'rie, c'n ya b'lieve it, y'u should, it's fuckin’ true, took Jeannie killin’ h’rself for me to realise it, but I'm a bigger fuckin’ pansy than Scow- Scoo- One Eye..." he rambled.

Rogue felt her body tense the moment Logan mentioned Jean's name, of course that's why he was off his face drunk. The woman he loved was dead, even if she never loved him back he must be feeling so broken. She could feel tears pricking at her eyes, needle sharp jabs, as she tried to ignore the fact she was mourning more because no one would love her like that, than because one of her friends, her surrogate mother almost, was dead.

She was surprised from her melancholy musing when Logan suddenly jerked upright, and tried to crawl his way further up the bed.

"Ya know what the thing that terrified me the most was," Logan spoke, right to her face. "Watchin’ you get sucked outta that plane... I heard you scream, and I tried to catch your hand... I felt- I felt your fingers brush mine, and slip right through my grasp... I'll never forget the look on your face... I thought I had lost you, when I promised to protect you... and the thought that terrified me the most was that you were going to die without me ever telling you... I love you Marie," Logan barely whispered, his forehead coming to rest on her clavicle, as he wrapped his arms around her and held her.

"I tried to tell myself it was wrong, that you deserve better than me... and you do... but then we almost died again... and Jean did die... and I know I'm a selfish old bastard but I need you to know... and I'm such a fuckin’ coward I still had to be shitfaced to tell you," he finished, his shoulders beginning to shake as he began to chuckle, though still refusing to release his grip on her.

"... Logan--" Rogue began in a whisper, once she had swallowed down the lump in her throat.

"No, please Marie, don't say anything yet, shoot me down in the morning but please just let me have this, let me have now," Logan interrupted, burrowing his face into her chest and hugging her even tighter.

Marie started to laugh, tears leaking out of her eyes, as she shoved him away. "Logan you're such an idiot," she declared as she giggled, switching their position, so she was burrowed against his chest, his arms still cocooning her. "I love you too," she declared confidently.

She felt him sigh heavily, and smiled to herself as she felt his body slowly relaxing into sleep. She followed him soon after, content for the first time in a long time. Though there was a little niggling doubt in the back of her mind about just how much of this conversation Logan would remember tomorrow.
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