Somehow I always expected love to be like the movies. You know, girl sees boy, boy sees girl -- and they just know. No doubts, no worries -- simply the certainty that this is it. True love, souls meeting, hearts recognizing each other - the usual stuff...
But then I met Logan -- and things didn't exactly go the way I had imagined them.
Because undoubtedly Logan is the love of my life -- but our first meeting definitely was not movie material. Or at least not the kind of material used for a romantic chick flick.
When I saw him for the first time I was at the same time scared and fascinated. While he seemed to be exactly the kind of man I'd been busy avoiding for the last eight months, at the same time there was something there, some feeling of kinship, of belonging.
And after the incident with the disappointed cage fighter and the mutant hating bar keeper I felt rather strongly that I had to get out of this place -- before they discovered that I was also 'one of them'. So, after weighing my options carefully, I decided to take the risk and climb into Logan's trailer.
Turned out that was the best thing that could have happened to me -- if we forget about Sabretooth ambushing us and almost killing me, Logan stabbing me and almost killing me, and Magneto kidnapping me and subsequently also almost killing me. But even that list of near-death experiences is not completely negative in my mind.
Okay, there's not much good to be found in Sabretooth playing baseball with full-size trees -- but it did bring me to Xavier's and the X-Men, who have been all the family anyone could wish for ever since.
They're not perfect -- far from it -- and maybe their dreams and hopes are foolish. But they are there for me, as my father, mother, brothers, and sisters -- plenty of love to heal the wounds my father's hatred and my mother's fear caused.
Logan piercing chest with his claws was a frightening experience -- until I touched him, and suddenly I knew him, literally, inside out. Knew him for the honest, caring, fundamentally good man he is, despite all the horrible things he's gone through. Nothing has ever managed to destroy him, break him, or make him lose faith.
Until I touched him for the first time my mutation had horrified me -- not mainly because I could hurt people (that thought scares me even today) but because of the way it feels when they rush into me.
Touching Logan was so different from touching David, it almost felt as if he was sharing himself with me willingly, as if he wanted me to know that he was not just the animal, the savage fighter. Not that I had ever thought of him that way -- not after the first few minutes.
I was never really alone anymore after this. Logan was always there, in one way or the other.
When I ran away, he followed me. He found me just by paying attention to that connection that was undoubtedly there, for him as well as for me. On that train he talked to me, made that promise that he's always faithfully kept -- and, most importantly, to me at least, he held me when I needed someone to hold on to.
He touched the untouchable girl, and that touch changed me, changed my feelings for him forever, even if I didn't know it yet.
Later, when I was shackled to Magneto's machine and felt my life being sucked out of me, I remember thinking of Logan -- and just before I became unconscious I heard a strong whisper in my head, in my heart, telling me that he was there, that everything would be alright.
And everything was.
He left, but not without leaving a part of himself behind -- and I'm not talking about his dog tag here. That I treasured, although I didn't wear it at first. I kept it in the drawer beside my bed, together with the letters and postcards Logan wrote to me during his absence.
I started wearing the tag later, when slowly my feelings for Logan shifted from that mix of friendship and hero worship to something different. Something that had been there from the start but took longer to become first obvious and then unavoidable.
So when Logan came back I was ready.
I had it all planned out -- what I would wear, what he would say, what we would do when we fell into each other's arms...
I still think that I could sell my plan as a script to a movie producer.
Well, needless to say it didn't exactly go the way I'd envisioned it.
The mansion was in chaos when Logan arrived -- there had been a flood and the fire guard had evacuated the building at six o'clock in the morning. So everyone was standing outside, shivering in the rain, since only the 'grown-ups' -- the Professor, 'Ro, Scott, and Jean -- had thought of putting on real shoes and coats.
I for my part was wearing my oldest and ugliest flannel pyjamas and was soaked through and through because I'd been standing in the rain for five minutes, trying to stop Jubes from going back inside to save her favorite yellow dress from The Gap.
So while I was getting wetter my mood was getting fouler -- and then Logan suddenly appeared in front of me. He was looking incredibly good wet and in black leather, and he looked me up and down, making me feel even more like a wet rat, and said: "I see you're wearin' my tag. Good."
My answer to that was an ungracious snort: "It'd be better if I was wearing a coat instead!"
Luckily, before I even had the time to wish for the ground to open up and swallow me, Logan started to laugh, making me realize that I had never seen him laugh before. The sound and the sight of him sent shivers down my spine -- this time completely unrelated to the wetness and cold.
Still chuckling he took off his leather jacket and put it around my shoulders: "Can't have you walkin' round in that ugly ass thing, kid!"
I could have strangled him when he used that nickname -- he was supposed to fall head over heels in love with me, not treat me like his baby sister!
I glared up at him through my wet bangs and ground out a barely polite "Thank you!" I was seriously considering just turning around and going back to where Kitty and Jubes were standing, giggling and watching everything with great interest.
I felt like crying and wanted to scream in anger at the same time. Everything was ruined -- how was I supposed to ever erase that terrible first impression I had made? Logan would probably still walk around calling me 'kid' when I was forty!
Luckily Logan had other plans -- and his plans were a lot better than anything my movie overloaded brain could have come up with.
When I was just about to leave, his gloved hand came up to cup my chin, forcing me to look him into the eyes for the first time. Then he said with complete sincerity: "Even if you look fuckin' gorgeous in wet flannel."
My eyes widened in surprise and I opened my mouth to reply, just to find that no sound wanted to come out.
But Logan was not finished yet. He smirked at me -- the kind of grin that used to be reserved for Jean, making my knees go weak -- and said: "Specially with my tags lyin' in such a comfortable place..."
That comment made me blush fiercely -- but not as much as what came out of my mouth next: "Well, feel free to lie there yourself, sugah -- anytime!"
Logan's eyes widened in surprise, and next thing I know I was in his arms, not just hearing but feeling heartfelt laughter rumble in his chest. "Oh, I love ya, Marie!"
Then I felt him kiss my neck through the curtain of my wet hair -- and I knew that although we might not have gotten our movie script meeting, we'd get at least one thing from the movies: A