Author: Khaki
Category: Angst/Drama
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I own no characters, except maybe Kaylee. After reading this, I don't think you'd want me to own them.
Archive Rights: Just ask.
Summary: Marie muses over her marriage to Logan, and why he does the things he does.

Author's Warning: This is not the pleasant, L/R loving relationship you're used to seeing from me. It contains dark themes and character death. Don't flame me if you don't like it. You have been warned.

Marie sat unmoving at the kitchen table in her and Logan's small apartment staring at the divorce papers spread out in front of her. Kaylee was taking her afternoon nap, and Marie felt she finally had time to fill out these forms. She'd put off getting them for weeks, and once she'd finally picked them up, she'd found that any household chore was much more important than completing them. After several days of cleaning, the apartment was pristine from waxed floors to dusted light fixtures, and she had to face this unpleasant task.

The first questions, requesting names, address, and common assets, were easy. Now she faced the question she'd been asking herself for months. "Please state the reason for the dissolution of the marriage." How could she sum up the past three years of her life in a few sentences?

Logan had returned to the school only months after he'd left, arriving on her eighteenth birthday. She knew he'd come back for her, feeling it in her heart the day he gave her his dogtags and said goodbye.

After months apart, she'd been thrilled to see him. It didn't matter that they'd only known each other less than a week several months ago. It didn't matter that most of that time they'd been separated by her kidnapping or his injuries. She'd absorbed his personality and his memories. She knew him inside out, right?

They consummated their relationship that night, and it was quite the birthday present. Her skin was still untouchable, but Logan was a very creative man when sufficiently motivated. He'd had to be even more creative than one would expect since they didn't leave her room for over a day, and they used the few condoms in his wallet rather quickly.

Finally emerging when hunger overcame desire, they planned to return to their room immediately after finding sustenance. Somehow over the past day, it had changed from being her room to their room, and neither of them could be happier. Scott and Jean didn't approve, of course, but Logan and Marie didn't care.


Two months later, she'd found out she was pregnant. She'd expected Logan to be as thrilled as she was, but he wasn't. He seemed surprised, almost shocked. Of course, they hadn't used very effective precaution those first few days, but it was like he'd never even considered the possibility of a child.

Marie couldn't figure out how she could be so wrong about someone she felt she knew as well as herself. His presence hadn't faded too much from her mind and she could still draw upon his ideas, memories, and feelings. However, her inner Logan didn't shed any light on his doppelganger's reaction.

She had been understandably upset at his response, but a few days later, he'd swept her off to Atlantic City, and they'd eloped. Scott and Jean thought it was a bad idea. Logan didn't care, and Marie wasn't sure what she thought.


They'd left the mansion a month after the elopement, when the disapproval got to be too much for Marie. It wasn't just Scott and Jean anymore. Jubes and Kitty complained that they never saw her and that her relationship with Logan was going too fast. Ororo asked if she was truly in love with Logan, or just the idea of marriage and family.

The last straw was when the professor said that perhaps they would be happier in a place of their own. Since he owned the mansion, Marie felt pressure to leave and Logan had given in to her wishes, moving with her into a small apartment.

Logan got a job as a bouncer for Smokey's, a run down nightclub, but despite his limited paycheck, he didn't want her to work. They'd had heated arguments about it, probably aggravated by her pregnancy-induced, fluctuating hormones. He'd walked out the first time when he found out she'd taken a part-time job as a phone solicitor behind his back.

He was gone three days and Marie was beside herself with worry until he'd returned, drunk and furious, to their apartment. He'd raged that no wife of his was going to work, between tipping over furniture and breaking the vase Kitty had given her.

Marie had never been afraid of Logan, not when he'd first revealed his mutation, not when he'd stabbed her their first night at the mansion, and definitely not when he'd saved her life by giving her his own. Now, however, she was terrified of him.

When he'd moved his adult-sized temper tantrum to their bedroom, Marie had run, grabbing her keys and heading for her Jeep before he noticed her absence. She was just backing out of the driveway, when she heard a furious roar and saw Logan bounding towards her. Squeaking in fear, she threw the Jeep into drive and turned the wheel, speeding over the sidewalk and out into the street. The screech of metal on metal told her Logan had his claws out and they were dragging across the back of the Jeep as he tried to stop her. After hearing a pop, she knew he'd succeeded in hitting her spare tire, but that wasn't going to stop her.

After about an hour of driving aimlessly, her tears had blurred her vision so much that she had to pull over. How could Logan treat her that way? Didn't he understand that she wanted to contribute to their family, too? Why couldn't he accept the idea of her working, and why had he blown up?

She knew from his memories that he did get into more than his share of fights, but that was never his fault. The other person always did something to provoke him. He wasn't a violent man by nature. Deep down, he was good and caring, noble and kind. His reaction must be her fault. She had upset him by going behind his back and getting the job.

Choking back her tears and rubbing her eyes, Marie started up the engine again and went searching for a pay phone.

"What?" Logan growled into the phone.

Marie pulled the receiver away from her ear and pushed the button on the phone to lower the volume.

"Logan, sugah, it's me. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you mad."

Logan's voice softened slightly when he said, "I'm sorry too, Marie. I shouldn't have yelled at you. It's just you really pissed me off."

"I know. I'm sorry."

"You comin' back home soon?" Logan asked, much calmer.

"Yeah," Marie replied.


And so their marriage continued. She would do something that made Logan angry; he would blow up; she would apologize; and life would go on. That was, until Kaylee was born.

They'd had to go back to the mansion since Jean was the only doctor who knew about her mutation and could take the proper precautions. Marie had been nervous and on-edge the whole time, worried that she or someone else would do something to upset Logan. He had a good day, though. He was excited about his new child and nothing anyone did seemed to upset him. That was until Jean suggested she stay at the mansion a couple of days to rest.

Jubilee and Kitty had been in the room, admiring the cute Kaylee, and had jumped on that suggestion eagerly.

"Oh, Rogue," Kitty enthused. "We'll have so much fun. We'll get to catch up on everything that's happened while you've been gone and maybe go shopping when you feel better. It'll be just like old times."

"No. She won't be staying." Logan interrupted.

"What?" Kitty asked, incredulous.

"Dude," Jubilee added. "The girl just had a baby. You ain't taking her home this fast."

"Who's gonna stop me?" Logan asked, picking Kaylee up from her bassinet and placing her in Marie's arms before collecting her in his own arms.

"Logan," Jean answered. "She's still weak. Just give her a few days to recover."

"She can recover at home."

"I can't let you just take her like this," Jean said.

"Is there any *medical* reason she needs to stay?" Logan growled, his temper building quickly.

"Well, no, but..." Jean began.

"Fine," Logan responded, walking out of the med lab, his family in his arms.


Months later, when Kaylee was in the throes of colic, Logan started staying away all night, not just until the bar closed. Marie asked him where he was, and he gave vague answers about needing clean air and alone time.

She stayed up almost every night with Kaylee and when he came home in the mornings, he slept half the day away, insisting on quiet. Marie had hardly any chance to rest between taking care of Kaylee and keeping the apartment clean. Logan was not one for cleaning up after himself, but he insisted on a spotless home. After weeks of this, something had to give.

Marie was woken up rather abruptly one day by a hard slap across the cheek. Looking up, she saw Logan fuming above her.

"Would you shut that damn kid up? She's been screamin' for twenty minutes. I need to sleep if I'm gonna go to work tonight."

Marie just lay on the couch, stunned. He'd hit her. Logan had actually struck her. He'd promised he'd take care of her, and he'd hurt her.

"Well, what are you waitin' for? Hurry up." Logan demanded.

"You hit me," Marie said, shock in her voice.

"Yeah, and if you don't want another you'll move now!" Logan said, grabbing her arm and yanking her upright.

Marie winced at the pain as her arm was wrenched up, but she didn't want to aggravate him further, so she stood up and shuffled toward Kaylee's room, cradling her injured arm. Satisfied that she was taking action, Logan returned to their bedroom.

Once she reached the nursery, Marie picked Kaylee up in her uninjured arm and desperately tried to calm her.

"Please, sugah, you've got to quiet down. Your daddy's trying to sleep."

Marie paced the floor with Kaylee, adding a bounce to her step, but the infant refused to be comforted. After several minutes of shrieking, Marie felt the vibration of Logan's footsteps stomping towards the room. He flung open the door his eyes full of rage. As her eyes met his, she watched as they softened from anger into sadness and remorse.

"Marie, baby,... I didn't mean to hit you so hard," he said, approaching her with a hand outstretched towards her cheek.

"Logan," Marie said, pulling away. "You don't have your gloves on."

"It's ok, darlin'. I want to heal this. You didn't deserve this. It'll only take a few seconds."

Marie felt Logan's rough hand gently caress her face. In a second, the connection opened, and she felt her bruised arm and cheek healing. She also felt Logan's remorse and pain. Stepping back, she allowed the connection to break and Logan fell to his knees, gasping for breath.

"Do ya... do ya understand now?" Logan asked between breaths.

She did. He didn't mean to hurt her. It was just, Kaylee's screaming was so much harder on a person with ultra-sensitive hearing. It gave him an immediate headache, and he couldn't think clearly. That's why he didn't come home at night. He couldn't stand the shrieking, and he didn't want to be around Kaylee. He was afraid he might lose control and hurt her. He'd hit Marie out of exhaustion and frazzled nerves. She understood. Logan wasn't a bad person. He'd just been pushed too far.

"I'm sorry, Logan. I'll try to keep Kaylee quiet from now on. Maybe, I'll take her out for a while so you can sleep."

"That'd be great darlin'. Thanks."


For Marie, the first two years of Kaylee's life passed this way, in an exhausted blur. Logan hit her more often now, breaking her arm just last month when she'd failed to follow his commands quickly enough. He always apologized, though, and he always made her touch him, so he could heal her and she could understand.

She tried to do better, tried to do exactly what Logan wanted, but sometimes she just couldn't get it right. Logan deserved a better wife than her. Someone he could touch, someone who would do things right the first time. She'd gotten the divorce papers a few days after he'd broken her arm. She'd felt so unworthy of him after that last healing touch that she'd finally decided to release him.

It'd been so hard to even look at the papers, but now here she was, still staring at that unanswerable question. She had to divorce him because she loved him too much. He couldn't be happy with her around messing everything up.

Kaylee began to fuss, freshly awake from her nap and Marie put down the pen to go tend to her. She was walking past the front door, when it opened and Logan walked in.

"Dammit, Marie. Can't you shut that kid up for one second?"

"On my way, sugah," Marie said, hurrying past him. Then she called out, "Have you had lunch yet?"

"Yeah, picked some up when I was out. Marie, I've only got a few hours before work. Can't we have a little peace and quiet?"

"I'm just changing her diaper," Marie called from the nursery. "Once she's dry, she'll calm down."

Marie handed Kaylee the yellow teddy bear Jubilee had given her as a birthday present. She settled down, amusing herself with it as her mother changed her diaper. Marie was just pulling back on Kaylee's overalls when she heard Logan at the doorway.

"What the hell is this?" he asked in an eerily calm voice, holding up the divorce forms. "You think you're leaving me?"

"I... I thought you'd be happier without me."

"No, you thought you'd be free to run off with your boyfriend!" Logan yelled, kicking the pile of stuffed animals near the wall into the middle of the room. "Who is he, Marie? Who've you been seein' while I've been workin' my ass off to support ya?"

Kaylee began crying from her prone position on the changing table as soon as Logan started shouting, but Marie couldn't spare her a glance. Instead, she just shook her head in denial. "There's no one, Logan. I've always only loved you. You know that."

"This life not good enough for ya? I don't make enough for your ritzy tastes? You wanna run back to the professor and his fancy mansion?" he asked, accentuating every question with a punch to the wall as he approached her. Three questions, three holes, and now he was standing right in front of her.

"No, Logan. Please don't do this."

"Don't tell me what to do," Logan growled, grabbing her arm and throwing her across the room. Her vision danced with spots as her head hit the crib. "Why do you make me do this, Marie? I don't want to hurt you. Why do you make me hurt you?"

"I'm sorry, Logan. I don't want to. I was trying to stop."

"By leaving me?" Logan asked, and then added with a deep growl. "You'll never leave me, Marie. I'll never let you leave."

By now, Kaylee's cries had taken on a frantic pitch.

"And you, you little bitch," Logan said, turning to his daughter. "You're the cause of all of this. If you'd just keep your trap shut for two seconds, I'd be able to think and we could work things out, but no. You're always cryin'."

Logan reached out his hands towards the helpless toddler.

"NO!" Marie commanded.

Logan, startled by Marie's defiant reaction, hesitated long enough for her to run up between him and their daughter.

"I won't let you hurt her, Logan," Marie said, her voice certain.

"You won't *let* me?" Logan asked with a laugh, then added in a more serious tone. "You don't tell me what to do. I'll punish my daughter as I see fit."

"She's two years old," Marie answered. "You can't."

Logan struck out, punching Marie in the face and belly until she collapsed to the floor. "I'll do whatever I damn well please," Logan said, kicking her a final time before reaching out for the frantically crying toddler. "And as for you..." he started, before the sentence was cut off.

Marie. Marie was touching him, skin to skin, on his leg above his sock.

"I'm sorry, Logan. I love you. I'm sorry," she kept repeating as she drained his life away. He collapsed to the floor, but she kept holding on. "I couldn't let you. Please understand."

As the last of his essence filled her, she knew he didn't understand. He was right. He was justified. She should've been a better wife. Kaylee should've been a better daughter. Even now, her daughter's cries were beginning to grate on her nerves, and her inner Logan demanded she take action.

"No," she whispered to herself.

~Yes,~ the Logan in her mind demanded.

"It's not right," Marie stated.

~It's the only way she'll learn,~ Logan countered.


Jean and Scott arrived at the small apartment less than an hour later to find Logan's body and a hoarse, but still crying Kaylee. Rogue was nowhere in sight. Most of her clothes and belongings were still there. She'd obviously just grabbed random things in her hurry to leave.

Over the phone, Rogue had told Jean to come and pick up Kaylee. She'd begged her to raise the child as her own and then she'd hung up before Jean could respond.

Scott hurried to pick up Kaylee as Jean bent down over Logan. He was dead, his skin already cooling. There were no marks on his body, so his killer could only be...

"Rogue," Jean whispered in sadness at her realization.

There were papers strewn out around Logan's body, and one was crumpled into his hand. Jean picked it up and smoothed it out. It was the first page of a divorce form, only partially filled out. The last question answered, asked the submitter to "Please state the reason for the dissolution of the marriage." There, in Rogue's handwriting, was the answer. Irreconcilable differences.

The End.


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