All characters belong to Marvel yadda, yadda, yadda. All disclaimer stuff is filled in here. Don't do anything illegal with it kay?

These events take place after O:ZT and the return of the space team.

The Upstart Lover-- Part 1

Syvan Coyne

Ah don't believe it?!!?! How could she take off and not even leave me a note or nothin'? Sam Guthrie looked around the empty bedroom of Tabitha, aka Meltdown, his girlfriend. Suddenly, needing to just get away from her room and the mansion to sort his feelings out he opened the widow and ignited his mutant power, blasting out of the room, not paying attention to anything or even where he was going. He was vaguely aware of the X-Men working on the other side of the house, repairing the damage done by Bastion and Cable while trying to gain control of Xaviers files. Cable...he was gone as well. He couldn't talk to him now either. Sam sighed and landed in the wooded area north of the estate. He didn't know who to talk to. Scott was too impersonal to approach. If it was a question about a mission he would be the first person to talk to but personal matters? Not even close. Then Sam thought about Logan. He could talk to Logan. He admired him and looked up to him. In many ways, Sam thought to himself, he admired and had a closer bond to Logan than he did with Cable. Maybe because no matter what a situation was, Logan always had a human side, Cable was a lot like Cyclops, almost 100% military minded.. Personal lives didn't compute. He thought about the best way to talk to Logan.. Standing up he started to pace back and forth talking out loud to hear how his words sounded. "Do ya have a minute Mr. Logan?" Shaking his head, he mumbled, "Sounds like I'm about to ask my boss for a day off." He tried again "Hey Logan mind if ah bend yer ear for a minute?" Too cheerful, Sam groaned and pushed his hands through his blond hair.

"Why dont'cha just tell him you have a problem you'd like to ask his advise on?" A soft southern drawl drifted down to him. Startled, Sam spun around looking upwards in time to see Rogue floating down to land in front of him.

"Sorry to eavesdrop sugah, didn't mean to intrude or nothin'. Just came out here to pick up a few trees Logan had cut earlier for support beams. Ah heard yoah voice and wanted to make sure yoah okay."

"It's okay, Miss Rogue. It don't matter none. Ah came out here just to try and clear mah thoughts ya know? I thought I could ask Mr. Logan for advise but I've been trying to think of a way to ask without soundin' like some little boy lookin' for advise from "daddy", ya know what ah mean?" Looking at her to see if she really understood what he was trying to say. She was standing in front of him and smiling softly. Her green eyes sparkling and bright. Lord she's beautiful he thought to himself. He'd always been shy around Rogue and knew it was partially because talkin' to her was like talkin to a Goddess. She was beautiful, but more than that, she was caring and giving. like now. He also saw the sadness in her and how she didn't like to show anyone her pain because she didn't want them be feel bad for her. He knew he was staring at her but he couldn't seem to stop. His feelings were also part of the reason he called her Miss Rogue all the time. His momma told him it was the proper way to address a lady. To him Rogue was truly worth the title of lady.

"Oh boy do ah." Rogue said grinning. "Ah remember when ah first joined the X-Men, ah was terrifed to talk to any of them, not because they all hated mah guts mind you, but because ah didn't want them to think ah was stupid or even worse than they already thought of me. The day after ah came here, " Rogue paused to grin at Sam " ah couldn't remember where any of the bathrooms were. It was really early, and no one was up yet and I was too petrified to knock on a door to ask, and too scared to start opening doors for fear they 'd all think I was spyin' on them." Rogue started chuckling.

"What didya do?" Sam asked smiling yet totally engrossed in the story.

"Well, I was pacing the hallway by this time ya understand.... so ah've racked mah brain about where the bathroom is okay? and almost convinced mahself it was around the corner from the guestroom ah was usin'. Ah'm tellin mahself not to be stupid since ah only wanted the bathroom and they wouldn't kill me for it. Ah round the corner and walk smack into ol' Logan himself. Ah'd been so wrapped up in mahself do ya know ah'd walked by him THREE times!! Ah started babbling about the bathroom and that ah swear ah wasn't spyin' and please don't kill me for needin' the bathroom." Rogue was laughing quite heartily now as was Sam.

W-wha-what happened then?" Sam laughed.

He pointed behind him to an open door and said "I know what ya wanted, you've been talkin to yerself for so long. Don't be long, the other bathroom up here is bein' repaired so we gotta share. If you're longer than five minutes you'll have somethin to worry about. And time just ask flat out, it would save us all a lot of time.. Ah yessir'd him all the way inta the bathroom and didn't stop even after comin out of the bathroom." Rogue finished her tale. "So y'see sugah, at least with Logan ya just gotta come out and speak yoah mind."

"Ah s'pose you're right Miss Rogue. Waitta sec, wasn't Logan in Japan when you came to the mansion?" Sam asked suspiciously, wondering if Rogue had made the story up to humour him.

"He was. He'd come back for only a day, day and a half at most if ah remember rightly. Somethin' about signin' business papers before his weddin'. " Rogue had looked thoughtful as she recalled the details. "We were all just takin' a break when ah came out here sugah, if you go look for him now ah'm sure he'd be free to listen." Rogue stood up as if preparing to leave and as she stared into the cloudless sky Sam took an oportunity to look at her. She was wearing work boots with the tops of her white socks just peeking over the top. He followed the form of her firm shapely legs, up to her cut off jeans shorts, Sam knew he would die of embarrassment if she turned to look at him just now but she looked as if she were remembering private thoughts of her own. He continued his perusal. She had a firm flat stomach, the tight fitting green tank top that was elastisized just under her breasts just moulded itself to her body perfectly. He followed the long column of her neck, for the first time noticing how a few strands were clinging to the side of her face damp with sweat. She had her hair pulled back in a pony-tail and Sam thought to himself it just added to the lithe and graceful poise she always had. Her headband he noticed was also the same green as her top. she had it tied at the back of her head the ends trailing downwards to play with her free flowing hair. Sam had a fleeting thought that he would like to be those fluttering ends of her headband and get to play with her hair and tickle her back. Shocked at the direction of his thoughts, he forced his attention back to his problem and suddenly blurted out to her. "She left and didn't even leave me a note."

Turning to face him, Rogue started to speak "Who didn't...oh you mean Tabitha don't you? Ah'm sure she'll call you as soon as they settle themselves sugah." Rogue tried to sound sure of herself. "Don't forget it wasn't the best of opportuities to stop to write a letter you may or may never had had the chance to read."

"That's true, but, ah'm afraid it's more than that. Ya see Meltdown and me......see what ah mean, ah don' even think of her as Tabitha anymore, just Meltdown. Once ah joined the X-Men our relationship wasn't doin' too well. Between missions and trainin' we didn't get much time together, and then that whole problem with Sabretooth... Ah wasn't there when she really needed me Rogue. Ah don't blame her for not feeling the same for me anymore but ah thought we were still close enough for her to talk t'me and tell me what she was doin'."

"Oh Lordy, Sam, ah'm sorry. Ah don't rightly know what to tell ya...." Rogue shot him a quirkly little grin that shot straight to the young man's heart. "Ah certainly ain't no authority 'bout relationships, so ah don't know how much help ah'll be but ah'm here to listen if'n ya need to talk it out some." Rogue offered. She turned and sat by his feet waiting for him to make up his mind.

"That's it really, in a nutshell ah mean." Sam stammered. Ah'm just feelin' sorry for mahself ah guess. Ah just don't know how to start over."

He looked into her eyes, sure he would see an accusation for failing in his relationship or even worse would be if she was looking at him with pity. but he had to know what she thought of him. Her beautiful green eyes reflected only sympathy and understanding, and he realized that Rogue was perhaps the best person for him to talk to out of everyone. She may be able to explain a woman's thoughts on his relationship and yet was a friend enough to be logical about it all as well.

He didn't notice he had been holding his breath until Rogue started to speak again. "Sam, all relationships have their rough patches, believe me ah know. " She studied him for a minute before continuing. " You're a good man Sam. Handsome, bright, and honest." Sam felt himself blushing after hearing Rogue say she thought he was handsome. "don't count Tabitha out just yet. Wait and talk to her 'kay? If her feelin's for ya have changed it's better for both of ya to know now and get on with yoah lives, rather than pertendin' and growin' to dislike each other. Ah'd suggest that ya search yoah own heart and decide if yoah feelin's have changed as well. It's hard to give someone up that ya care about but it worse to keep Tabitha stringin' along if you don't have the same feelin's but don't like the idea of not havin anybody for awhile."

"Ah know yoah right Miss Rogue. Ah guess the hardest part was that ah always felt ah had someone to go to to share mah feelin's with, she was like mah best friend and girlfriend all in one. Ah miss her cause ah feel like she abondonded me. She was someone ah could go to and tell her how excited ah was to be part of the X-Men and what ah was learnin' and doin'. Part of me thinks ah miss that more than ah do Melt...Tabitha. Ah think yoah right and ah owe it to mahself and Tabitha to really think my feelings through. Ah don't think ah've been fair to her or mahself. Thank you Miss Rogue. You've been more help than you'll ever know." He smiled a lighthearted smile and Rogue privately thought Tabitha had made a mistake to walk out on a relatinship with such a caring and good man such as Sam Guthrie. Finding that she would like his friendship as he offered it, Rogue found herself saying "Ya know sugah, if ya ever want to talk or anythin' ah'll always have an open ear for you." She had always found Sam quiet and withdrawn around her and thought perhaps his wholesome upbringing made him uncomfortable around someone of such a jaded background such as herself. perhaps he was just shy around women and needed to learn they didn't bite. She found herself hoping he would agree to talk to her in the future. She waited to hear his answer.

Sam nearly choked on his own tongue. Spend time just with her....tell what he was thinking and ALONE with her.... had he just died and gone to heaven? Trying desparately to sound cool and confident he cleared his throat experimantally to make sure his voice wouldn't squeek in his nervousness. "Why that would be real nice Miss Rogue, course ah wouldn't want to be a bother or nothin'." He could have bitten his tongue off. he had just given her an out, if she had offered just to make him feel better.

"No bother sugah. Ah'm lookin' forward to it. Hey if ya want do ya wanna go to Harry's later and grab a beer?

Sam gulped, " Ya mean sorta like on a know a ...." Damn, he couldn't get the word out. Just then Rogue's attention was pulled away as her heard turned towards some noise. Then he heard it as well. Someone was callin her.

"Hey Rogue you around here darlin'?" A deep voice called out.

"Over heah Logan, in the clearin' near the birch trees." Rogue called out happily.

Turning to Sam, she said "Ah'd better get those logs back to the mansion. Let me know if you wanna go later okay? Ah'll let ya talk to Logan maybe he can give you a mans perspective." Her smile nearly blinded him and he felt warm all over. Rogue stood up and brushed the grass and leaves from her legs and shorts, not seeing the adoring look Sam gave her nor the lustful grin that crossed Logan's face as he emerged in to the clearing and was presented with a charming view of Rogue's posterior. Logan was old and wise enough to know Rogue didn't do those things on purpose. Her naivitie was the result of her powers. She couldn't touch anyone skin to skin, had never had a relationship on a personal level. She didn't think of herself in any sexual way and therefore it never crossed her mind about how others, especially men viewed her. To her, men wanted a woman they could hold and be intimate with. She couldn't do those things and therefore felt not unatractive yet not attractive either. Sort of the girl men refferred to as "the other one". Like the gorgeous redhead standing next to the other one there. Or even did you see that heavy woman standing next to that other girl. It wasn't true of course, as many men were instantly drawn to her beauty as well as that innocence she unwittingly projected. If she knew how many times either he himself or one the others had interrupted men on the make, in order to stop some embarassing and potentially dangerous situations she would probably call them liars. Coming closer Logan noticed Sam's blush and heard his more rapid breathing, "and another falls to the reigning southern belle of the X-Mansion Logan chuckled to himself. The boy had it bad from the looks of him. He was at least confused by his feelings at any rate, Logan could tell. Hoping to dispell the situation he said. "Thought you got lost darlin'. Didn't think my directions were that bad."

"Oh no they weren't, ah saw the logs ya cut as ah passed over and thought to sit a spell with Sam for a minute and pass some time. Actually, Sam was wantin' to have a word with ya." She turned to give an encouraging smile to the befuddled Sam who was still just standing there grinning at her. Looking at him perplexed for a second Rogue shook his actions from her mind and continued "Well ah guess ah've spent enough time restin' and talkin' to a good friend, best ah got back to work, see y'all back at the mansion." with that her feet left the floor and she disappeared over the treetops.

Noticing that Sam's attention was still focused on the tree tops Logan cleared his throat an asked pointedly, "what did'ya want to talk about kid?"

"Huh? Wha-What was that sir?" Sam asked still watching the sky for a glimpse of Rogue returning to the mansion.

"Oh boy, it's worse than I thought. " Logan grumbled to himself though secretly finding the situation quite entertaining. His mind skipped ahead to the thought of how Remy and Joseph were going to react when they realized what Sam was feeling. He couldn't wait. Sam was a good kid and just might teach the other two a thing or two about how to treat a lady. Logan decided to sit back and watch the show. "I said," Logan grumbled trying to sound annoyed and about to run out of patience, "What did ya want to talk about?"

"Oh, ah , nothin' it's all right now sir, ah think ah've already sorted things out just fine thanks. How are you doin?"

Logan stared at him for a second then grinned and slapped Sam on the back pushing him towards the mansion "I'm just fine kid, let's go help the others get this place fixed up and then get something to eat. I'm starved."

Part 2

The Upstart Lover index