Author's Note: Small birthday mathom for maidenvixen, who wanted more Wolverine/Rogue than Logan/Marie. Hopefully what you wanted, sweetie - my X-Men writing skills are a bit rusty... 🙂

The Wolverine had always been about instinct. He rarely thought before he acted, not because he was stupid, far from it, but because he knew that he could trust his instincts. They had saved his life more often than he could count, and he rarely questioned them.

But then Marie came along, and the part of him that was Logan firmly clamped down on Wolverine's instinctive reaction.

He was not going to claim a 17-year-old girl as his mate, no matter what the animal part of him demanded, and no matter how much even the human part of him wanted to. This one time he would think first and then act with care and self-restraint. And the Wolverine had growled, but finally acquiesced, because keeping Marie safe came before everything.

Until they were standing in the Oval Office, facing the President of the United States, and it was all Logan could do to stop the Wolverine from throwing himself at Marie and claiming her right then and there, spectators be damned. And it was not even so much the way she looked in the leather of the X-Men uniform, but even more so the look on her face, so collected and in control. Altogether un-Marie-ish.

Afterwards he stopped her outside the changing room. She was wearing her normal clothes again, but something lingered in her eyes that was different. Something that seemed to talk to the Wolverine, even as Marie spoke softly to Logan about what had happened today. They fell silent as they reached his room, and there was a challenge in Marie's eyes that was all Rogue.

This time Logan did not stop Wolverine from acting on his instinct.