Title: It Was Wednesday|
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: R for language and sexual references and stuff like that
Summary: Logan confronts Rogue, who doesn't much like that.
Sequel to: http://www.diebin.com/fic/ontuesdays.html
Disclaimer: I own not.
Archive: With 'On Tuesdays'
Thanks to: Gowdie, who told me that I had to write this and also told me that if I blamed it on her and it was depressing, she'd kill me. And to Donna, who pretty much came up with the plot for the end of it. Thank her for it being happyish.
Dedicated to: The Eponine's of the world, may you only take bullets for men who can heal you afterwards.
He hadn't bothered to do anything more than button up his pants and collapse, laying sprawled out on his back and staring at the ceiling with it's finely polished wooden boards that, like everything else in this place, never showed a crack on the outside.
He felt the air pulling in through his mouth, and it still smelled faintly of her and a lot of him and of sex, because that's what it always smelled like on Tuesdays.
And when the gentle knock on the door made him think of something other than breathing, all of his hopes converged into a single point and he knew, he hoped, he prayed it was her, that this night had been the night where the question had been too much and she was coming back to tell him yes, yes he could touch her.
But when he opened the door it was the beautiful woman with the hair as white as the other's bangs, and she didn't smile as she glanced past him at the rumpled bed and then back at his naked chest, and he could tell from her face that the room still smelled like sex even to someone who didn't have his senses.
"Can I come in?" Storm's voice was beautiful and low and had hints of the wind in it, and since saying no would imply that something was wrong, Logan shrugged and took a step back so that he wasn't blocking the door anymore.
She glanced once more at the tangled bed sheets before crossing to perch on the side of his desk, and because he didn't care about what had just happened on the bed, he just sat on the side and looked at her.
"Rogue was in here." It wasn't a question, so he didn't answer it. He just kept staring at her. "She's in here a lot on Tuesdays." Still not a question, but Logan shifted uncomfortably anyway, because she was heading into territory he wasn't prepared to deal with.
Storm looked at his stony face and sighed. "Do you know much of weather, Logan?"
It was such a strange change in topic that he was startled into answering. "Not really." His voice, he was pleased to hear, held nothing of guilt or shame or pain. Just a man, talking about things that meant nothing. Talking about the weather.
"Even the wildest of storms conforms to patterns, Logan. Everything in nature does, though if you want to see the patterns in the weather, you have to be observant." She paused and stared at him, and even though he knew damn well what she was saying, he clenched his jaw and didn't respond.
"You both are tense on Mondays, so I thought it was Mondays at first, and the fact that you wander around looking all dejected on Wednesdays was just because you missed her or because she missed you. But then I started watching, and she comes on Tuesdays."
"So." He wasn't going to say anything, but he had to. Because someone was talking to him about the thing everyone had just ignored--about his relationship or lack there of with Marie--and it was about time, because he'd expected someone to step in, and the fact that they hadn't made him nervous.
"She looks miserable on Wednesdays, Logan. Miserable."
He didn't want to say anything, but yesterday had marked the year anniversary and he was getting worn down. Not a year of being home, but a year since the first night she came to him--and that meant that she'd said no to him fifty-two times.
He was getting tired. "She won't let me touch her." And it sounded worse out loud than it did in his head, and he almost wanted to cry.
And he might have, if Storm had looked shocked or offended or outraged or anything except for resigned. "Do you know who Bobby is?"
The name sounded vaguely familiar, but it wasn't any of the kids he'd gotten to know since he'd come back, so he just shook his head and trusted there was a point to the question.
"Bobby was Rogue's boyfriend."
And how he was supposed to respond to that, he wasn't quite sure. "Was?" seemed the safest thing to say.
Storm shook her head. "I find it difficult to believe that no one has told you what happened."
It seemed almost like an insult, like he hadn't bothered to find out what was going on, when in reality, it was just that no one seemed to talk to him much anymore. Especially not about Marie. "Look, Storm--"
But she just shook her head. "Logan, it's not as simple as you might think."
Now he was just mad. "What, did he run off and join the other side when she dumped--"
Storm's voice was cold, cutting him off. "She killed him."
And the floor fell out from under him.
Storm's eyes were understanding, and she waited as he tried to breathe, tried to get the air from outside of his lungs to inside. Tried not to feel jealous that there was someone other than him rattling around inside her head.
"She--" He didn't even want to say it, but he did. "She touched him?"
"He touched her," Storm corrected. "Rogue has always been careful about that, but Bobby was young and excited and in love--and it went too far one night. Jean and Scott and I tried--we tried to be there for her after it happened, but her peers were frightened, Logan. You have to understand that."
And the anger and hatred inside her made so much more sense to him now. "That's why--why she doesn't have any--"
"Friends?" Storm sighed and shifted slightly, easing back on the desk so that her feet were dangling a little above the ground, and watching her all Logan could thing was that the second time she'd come to him, he'd been standing there. "I consider her my friend . . . and I know there are others. But she doesn't reciprocate easily. And the fact that several of the other students took badly to her presence here--"
"Who?" Emotion was inside him again, and even the negative emotions sliding through him were enough to make him start to feel a little more alive again, a little more like life existed for more than just Tuesdays.
Storm shook her head. "I'm not going to tell you that, Logan, and you know it. I just thought--it had never occurred to me that no one would tell you in all this time. And I'm worried, because--" Logan looked up and met her eyes, and the other woman blushed. "I see the way you look at her, Logan. And I'm sure she does too. And you have to know--I don't think she'll ever let anyone touch her again. I don't think it's something you can fix." Unspoken was the sentiment that it was better that way, and for a moment he wanted to hurt the woman staring at him so kindly.
Rage was leashed and choked down, but even when he leveled flat eyes on her he didn't want to respond, so he crossed his arms over his chest and growled, "Thanks," at her, and then stood up and crossed the room to open the door.
She slid from the desk and walked over to him, lifting a soft hand to slide across his bare shoulder. "Be careful, Logan. And not just for you. If you do something--if you slip . . ." The dark eyes were terrified. "She won't survive it, Logan."
And with that, the woman who had shattered hope shut the door softly behind her.
It took him a while to get back to his bed, and this time when he sprawled out in the rumpled sheets that smelled faintly of her and a lot of him and of sex--this time he had something to think about.
She went to his room like she always did, staring straight ahead and her palms sweating inside her gloves. This was the fifty-third time, fifty-three, and that was such an insanely large number that she was surprised she still knew how to feel nervous. It seemed sometimes that there could be nothing left of his body that was a secret, that this time would be the time where his moans didn't inflame her and the way his body twisted wouldn't make her want to throw away caution.
But it never failed. She wanted him, she wanted him so badly, and it was almost a point of pride that she had gone for fifty-two Tuesdays and not given in to the thing she wanted more than anything in the world, the thing he offered in husky tones and a voice laced with passion.
But this time when she slipped into his room, it was different. She could tell it was different because he was dressed, and sitting on the edge of the bed with his chin in his hand, staring at her.
It had been so long since she'd spoken to him that it took her a while to make the words form. "Is--is something wrong?" Her voice cracked slightly, and she winced at how low and needy it had sounded.
"We need to talk."
And those were the words she'd been holding her breath against since the day he'd come back. Those were the words that meant someone had told him, someone had sat him down and explained her ugly, dark secrets--
Those were the words that meant that she couldn't even have the little of him she got anymore.
The doorknob was under her fingers when he caught her around the waist, and no one had touched her at all in three years, not even brushed against her because students made sure they were never caught in a situation where it might happen. Because she was Rogue, and she'd proved already once that she could kill those she loved.
Her skin felt tight and a shiver went through her entire body as the arm around her waist tugged her into him, his body melding along the line of her spine for just a second as her feet left the ground and he turned her around.
And she told herself that she was weak for regretting it when the arm fell away and a hand pushed her towards the bed. "Sit down."
She sat down. She didn't know what else to do, other than refuse to meet his eyes, because she didn't have the courage to look there and see disgust.
"You could have told me." He didn't bother to say what, and she appreciated that. Bobby's name made her shudder, and any mention of anything connected to it drove her close to tears even after three years, because she hadn't had anyone to talk to about it, which meant it just had to sit inside and fester.
It was an open wound, and he was planning on cauterizing it. She could see it in his eyes when she glanced up, see the determination and it scared her, because she'd never seen determination before. And seeing it now--seeing the change in his eyes and his jaw, she was afraid that he'd turn that determination around and use it for other things--and she'd give in and he'd get hurt and it would all happen again.
"I couldn't, Logan." Her voice was strong, and that made her happy. Looking down she twined her fingers around each other and kept her eyes focused on the gloves, the black gloves with the stains that even repeated loving washes hadn't quite gotten out. And she'd never minded, because they were her Tuesday gloves.
Why. What a stupid word it was. She'd asked it a lot at first, why did she have to be different, why did she have to be afflicted, why couldn't she have the little things that everyone else got without thought. But asking why led her to realize that there weren't answers, and she started to hate the word.
And hate was good, because it made her feel stronger. Strong enough to lift her eyes and meet his straight on. "I didn't need your pity."
He smiled, a feral smile that held nothing of gentleness. "I wasn't planning on giving you any."
"Oh." His smile widened and she felt like snarling. "Then why did you need to know?"
"Because I would have done this a lot sooner."
And that's when she realized that his hands were covered in gloves, and she only realized because one was stroking her face as the other wrapped around her waist and pulled her across his legs.
"Don't--don't touch me," she gasped, and oh gods it sounded hollow in her ears and in his as well, because one gloved hand had wrapped around his wrist and was holding it to her face so he couldn't get away. "Don't touch me or--"
"Or you'll stop?" The arm swung her again, pushing her back into the bed as he shifted slightly and let the hand slide down her neck, tracing the line of her pulse. "What will you stop doing, Marie? Stop hating yourself?" The finger slid down further, shoving the shoulder of her shirt away as he traced a finger down the strap of her bra. "Stop making yourself suffer?" She almost moaned as the fingers left her, but they came back, inching the hem of her shirt up and tracing lines up her stomach. "Stop dying inside?"
And because she didn't know what else to do, with the feeling of his hands on her and his voice whispering things that made so much sense, she started crying.
And the fear that had been with her forever, the fear that he'd touch her and die, it climbed up her spine and wrapped itself around her mind until the tears turned to terror, and the feeling of his hand on her skin was like poison.
"Or I'll leave," she whispered, and the hand paused as he raised his head to look at her, eyes confused.
"Stop touching me . . ." Wrapping her hand around his wrist was the hardest thing she'd ever done. "Or I'll leave." With a flick of her wrist, his hand was off of her skin.
He reached for her again, and she knew that if he touched her, she'd break and let him touch her all he wanted for the rest of his life, and that his life would be short because she'd kill him.
So she flung herself from the bed and out the door and down the hallway, and because she thought it fitting and strangely ironic, she stole Scott's bike to run from Logan like Logan had done to run from her so many years ago.
He was kicking himself before she was half way out the door, kicking himself and his lust and his instincts and the fact that he didn't know what tact was or know how to use it.
She was gone and all she left behind was the scent of lust and need and fear so overpowering he was surprised she was sane. And the little voice in the back of his head that he didn't want to listen to said maybe she wasn't sane, maybe she'd cracked a long time ago under the weight of all that fear.
And when he heard the bike start up through the open window, he knew he had to follow her, because sane or not she was hurting and running--and he of all people knew the shit that happened when hurting and running were combined.
He climbed into a car, because Scott's old bike was gone and his new bike was locked up, and something told him he'd need a car, though he didn't know what or why.
She was hard to find in the nearby city, because it was large and confusing and the scents were all jumbled together, and after two hours when he did finally find her, it was because he started going to the places he'd normally never look.
It wasn't his kind of bar. His kind of bars were shady and trashy with women half dressed and men half sober--but this was nothing like it. It was dark, and dangerous, and he could tell at a glance that half of the people there were high on something other than alcohol, and from the way hands strayed to pockets a little too often, it looked like they were armed too.
Marie was in the corner, and dressed all in black with her hair covered by a black bandana that hid her white shocks, it was only her pale face that was visible at all.
He knew she was mad, but not as mad as she was. He was still four steps away when she threw her beer bottle at his head, screaming. "Fucking asshole, get the hell away from me."
The man behind him didn't, and things started going wrong when he was getting ready to take another step forward, and a hand on his shoulder tugged him back.
His knuckles itched as he turned and gave the man with the bleeding head a once over. "Get over it."
"Look what your fucking whore did to me!"
If things had been different, he might have pinned the man to the table and given him a lesson in manners. As it was, he had a little too much on his mind to get riled up because someone insulted a woman who'd just tried to maim him. "I said, get over it."
He saw the man's hand stray towards a pocket, but apparently the look in his eyes was intimidating enough that the hands flew back up into view as he backed off. "It's cool, man." His eyes said pretty clearly that nothing was cool, but Logan didn't want to deal with it.
Snorting, he turned back to Marie, who was leaning against the table. "You don't scare me," she hissed. "Just leave me alone. It's over, okay? I told you not to touch me, and you did. So just--it's over."
"Why do you think you get to decide what's best for me?" He could think of better places to be having this conversation, but Marie didn't look like she was planning on moving.
"What, pissed that I took over your role? You the only one who gets to run away for your true love's own good?" Her lips drew into a scowl, and she looked like she was going to spit on him. "Tough shit, Logan. I'm not letting you hurt yourself, and I'm not letting you hurt me."
"I think I should have the right--" His voice caught in his throat as she stalked forward and rest her hand in the middle of his chest, her eyes flashing.
"You don't have shit," she whispered. "You don't have the right to touch me. What are you, twice my age? Three times? Get over it, Logan. Get over it and go find someone who wants your hands on them."
The little push wasn't enough to send him stumbling backwards, but her words were. And he knew the lie, could see it in her eyes as the mask she'd been holding slipped a little, could hear it in her heartbeat which was pounding in her chest, could smell it in the lust rolling off of her in waves.
Could feel it in the love that sang to him, because like called to like and love called to love--and by god he knew he loved her.
And as he stood shocked, she moved around him and headed towards the bar.
She only made it half way, because when he turned around at the sound of her cry of pain, he was just in time to find out that Marie could indeed be touched skin to skin if the touch was fleeting enough.
There was pretty much one thing on her mind the whole way to the bar. Alcohol would numb her nerves, because she would never be able to finish it the way she was. His pain sliced through her, and she'd do anything, anything short of seeing him dead to make it stop.
But seeing him dead was what she was trying to avoid, and even keeping the goal fixed in her mind wasn't enough to stop the need to throw herself to her knees, cling at his legs, beg him to understand that she didn't mean any of it.
She didn't notice the man with the bloody head, the one who she'd hit with the bottle. She didn't notice the fact that he was getting ready to hit her, because she'd never been a part of the team so she hadn't been given personal combat lessons, and she'd never really worried about anyone touching her anyway.
She did notice the fist connecting with her cheek, and it was pain exploding behind her eyes and inside her skin as it tried to capture the fleeting touch and drew in only air . . . air and more pain.
She stumbled back just in time to trip as he hit her again, connecting with the other side of her face this time, and she could barely hear him screaming insults at her as she dropped to her knees, gloved hands cradling her throbbing face.
The growl was familiar, too familiar, and when she looked up it was to the sight of flashing silver--only it wasn't the silver she was expecting to see.
And that's when everything started moving in slow motion. She saw the gun, and it was aimed at Logan's chest. She saw the man, face battered where Logan had struck him.
She saw the finger, tightening on the trigger.
And the only thought in her head was that Logan would get hurt because of her, because of her and the fact that everyone who loved her had to die for some reason.
She only had one more thought. The muscles in her legs uncoiled and her body sprang towards Logan's, and she thought about the fact that it was a pity that she was too slow to stop herself, because Logan would heal from a gunshot wound in a matter of moments, where as she would most likely die.
And then the bullet ripped through her, and she just didn't think anymore, which was good because if she had been able to, it would have been in satisfaction that Logan was safe from her.
The bar cleared out almost immediately.
Logan, struggling with Marie, never noticed. He'd forgotten she had all the extra strength, and despite the fact that she was delirious with pain and badly injured, she was keeping his hands away from her skin with incredible dedication.
"No." Her voice was rasping in her throat, her eyes closed, and he could feel the tears rising up as the frail fingers dug into his wrists, locking them a foot above her face.
"Marie, you have to let me help you."
He groaned as her eyes flew open, nothing of sanity left in them. "No," she hissed, and her hands shoved his back another few inches. "I haven't gone all this time dying inside just so you could kill yourself."
It hurt, it twisted him inside, but it didn't stop the resolve. She could die inside if she needed to--but he was going to make her live.
He moved fast. Her hands were locked with his, and there was no way she could stop him as he crushed his lips to hers, and because he knew in the back of his mind that he couldn't rationalize even that small violation to himself, he dragged his lips up to her forehead and pressed against the skin as hard as he could, praying for something to happen.
He couldn't lose her. He'd left her and found her and lost her again--and now that he knew, now that he knew why he'd lost her and knew he could find her again . . . he couldn't let her go. Not if he would have to live with it.
She was twisting beneath him, her hands suddenly pulling back towards her face to pry his away, but the minute his wrists were free he tangled his hands in her hair and pressed his fingers against her cheek, and he felt the tugging against him and it had never felt so good.
Too quickly and not soon enough the world exploded in fire. He felt her gasp, felt all to clearly the tightening in the body beneath him that he recognized as the healing going into affect.
With the little tiny bit of him left that wasn't reeling in pain, he jerked his head up and flung himself backwards out of the range of her skin, feeling his back press into her legs as he toppled over.
He should have passed out. Hell, he wished he had passed out, because he hurt and it was a hurt that wasn't getting better--and that was the worst feeling in the world because it was something he never had to deal with. But he didn't pass out, and it wasn't long before the legs beneath his back shifted and he felt them squirming until his back hit the floor again and suddenly all the warmth that had been seeping into him from her was gone.
He was cold. He was alive and he had touched Rogue and he was cold and shivering, laying on his back on the floor and far too tired to even think about moving.
He didn't have to. She was kneeling next to him a few moments later, blood staining her shirt and tears staining her cheeks. "I hate you," she hissed, but her hands were gentle and rubbing over his face and his chest and every inch of him she could reach before coming to rest on his chest, and when he drew a breath in he could see her shudder with relief as his chest rose and fell under her hands.
"I'm alive." He didn't know who he was saying it to reassure--but in the next minute he panicked because there was no way they could both be breathing, and he was afraid that she was still hurt.
His hand shook as he lifted it and pressed it against her chest where the blood and seeped through her shirt, and she just stared at him with eyes gone wide as he trembled. "You--"
"I'm alive." She was saying it for him, but he copied her example and left his hand above her heart and let his eyes drift shut, feeling the rise and fall of her chest.
And even after Jean and Scott and Remy arrived no one had the heart to separate them, which is how they ended up side by side on a narrow cot in the medical lab, each with a hand pressed to the other's heart.
The Professor had asked permission to tell the older students and younger X-Men what had happened. For a shock filled moment she stared at him, wondering if he knew it all--knew about Tuesdays and knew how she'd hurt the man she'd been trying to love.
But his eyes were warm as he shook his head and said, "They'll only discover what they need to know."
She'd never know what he told them, but when she emerged from the medical room in the basement she could see the cool stares changed to pity, and for the first time in months people acknowledged her as she walked by.
Jubilee came to her room later, eyes darting around and looking anywhere but at her. "I was wondering if you wanted to go to the mall with me tomorrow, seeing as your nice shirt got all bloody."
As a peace offering it left a lot to be desired, but when the younger girl left it was all she could do not to cry in relief because it was the first time anyone her age had talked to her since . . .
Wrapped up in a blanket on her bed, she let the tears fall and she let Bobby go. The pain, the guilt--all of it slid away because there was something other than fear living under her skin now--and there wasn't room to hate herself as much.
Logan would never know how much he'd filled her. Would never know how many horrible things had been forced out of her body to make room for him under her skin, for his mind wrapped around hers, for his love to consume her.
He loved her. She'd never really doubted that--but the depth and the emotion behind that love had been overwhelming. She had seen it so clearly when she'd woken up with him in her head again, seen that he loved her but she'd seen something else that had driven her from the cot they lay stretched out on side by side.
Tuesdays. She thought she'd been giving him love--thought he understood her need to make him see how much she'd give him. She thought that she'd been giving him pleasure.
She'd hurt him once a week, every Tuesday, like clockwork--and in spite of everything the man still loved her--loved her so madly and deeply that he'd been willing to die to keep her alive. It was frightening. It was awe-inspiring.
It was undeserved.
And she knew in her heart that she was running out of time to think about it, because the Logan in her head told her that the Logan asleep downstairs was not in a mood to let things slide between them anymore--that the minute he woke up he'd find her and he'd drag everything out into the open, rip off all the old bandages and let the wounds see light.
And she'd let him, because she'd touched him--and he hadn't died. Three times now, three times he hadn't died, and it seemed almost unfair to think that Bobby was less of a man because he hadn't even survived once--but surely three times was destiny. Surely it meant that she was supposed to be with him, because he was the only one who could survive her love.
It was undeserved, but it was there--and for a blessed moment she just wanted to let everything fall away except for that love. Let herself feel it without being afraid for the first time since--
The door opened before she could remember if she'd ever felt safe in love, and then he was there and there wasn't much time left at all.
Kitty Pryde was sitting next to the cot in the lab when he woke up, her legs crossed and her hands clenched together in her lap. Her eyes were cool as she watched him unashamedly, and it took him a few moments to gather enough presence of mind to figure out what was going on.
"I don't really hate her, you know."
His body froze and he stared at her. "Care to explain?" It was the most polite thing he could think of to say, because this was one of the people who had twisted Marie into what she had become.
"I don't really hate her." Her voice wavered this time, and the only reason Logan didn't shove by her, didn't ignore her and leave her to say whatever she had to say to an empty room was because he could see the tears in her eyes.
"Maybe you should be telling her that and not me." He tried to make his voice sound level, but he couldn't help snapping, and he felt guilty when she jumped.
Kitty brushed her hair back from her face and shook her head. "I loved him. Don't you understand that? I loved him and she never really did. I always knew she wanted you--and just because she let him play second best I'll never see him again." The tears were evident now, sliding down her cheeks. "Where the hell were you when she was settling for someone else?"
And because he had no answer, he just sat there and stared at her.
Kitty scrubbed the tears away from her cheeks angrily. "I wanted to be her friend after it happened. I tried to--but she was so bitter and mean, and then she started wearing your tags again and it was like Bobby hadn't been anything, like she'd killed him for no reason--and I was so angry. I wanted to hurt her because she took someone I loved away."
Logan shifted, feeling more than a little uncomfortable. "Why are you telling me this?" He didn't want to know, he didn't want to understand. He wanted to hate the people who had hurt Marie, and more than anything he wanted this girl to leave him alone so that he could stand on shaky legs and go to her before she had a chance to convince herself that things were wrong again.
Dark eyes met his own. "I don't know. But the Professor said that the time for misunderstandings was over." She scowled at him and stood up, kicking the chair aside and shaking her head. "Just do me a favor. Make all this shit we've all gone through worth it, okay? Whatever the hell you two are doing--just . . . what the Professor said. No more misunderstandings."
He really didn't even notice her leaving. He didn't notice much of anything except for the strange calm that settled over him as the words started to click in his head.
Misunderstandings. It had seemed like so much more than a misunderstanding--but in truth that's all it had really been. A year's worth of pain and pleasure, twisted sickly around because she'd been unwilling to tell him something that he hadn't known enough to ask.
He had known in his heart that she hated him. He had known it and accepted it as part of himself, and yet she had thrown herself in front of a bullet that wouldn't have hurt him--nearly died because no matter what she said, her basest instincts put his life above her own.
And sitting in the lab, staring down at the floor and the streak of blood that had come from Rogue's discarded shirt, Logan opened himself up to his basest instincts--the ones that he had spent so long trying to suppress because it was what humans were supposed to do.
Need roared through him. Need and fury that she'd almost died and the overwhelming urge to make sure she was safe, to hear her heartbeat and feel her chest lifting and falling against his.
The need to grab her by the shoulders and shake her until she promised to never do something so foolish again--the need to grab her by the waist and hold her close enough so that her heart beat against his--the need to grab her by the hips and fit them to his . . .
He didn't even realize he was half way to her room, determination so strong that he could almost feel it, tangible around him. Determination--and a promise. A promise to himself that the next time he was stretched out in a bed that smelled faintly of her and a lot of him and of sex--she would be there too.
She didn't look surprised when he opened her door--she was on the bed, staring at him as if she had been waiting.
Half way to the bed he froze, because he knew that something had to be said--something, anything, just as long as he didn't climb into that bed and touch her before they understood that it wasn't going to be like Tuesdays--it was going to be something else.
Her eyes widened. "Yeah."
"I love you." There wasn't much point in saying it, he knew that there wasn't, but he also knew that even though there was part of him inside her that she still needed to hear it.
"I know." He watched with narrow eyes as she shifted over in the bed and made room for him, curling up with arms wrapped around her knees and eyes too old staring up at him. "I--I love you too. I just--"
And because he knew that the most important thing had been said, he let himself sit in the bed and let his hand come up to cup the curve of her knee. "I'm not a young man, Marie. I know how to control myself. I'm not--I'm not going to get hurt."
She opened her mouth, but he shook his head and pressed a kiss to the soft flannel pants she was wearing, a kiss that he knew she probably couldn't feel, but that still felt so good. Resting his cheek on her knee he looked up. "Let me touch you."
The words that had fell from his lips fifty-two times before, the words that he had spoken without hope but had needed to speak nonetheless because somewhere inside him he must have known that she needed his touch as badly as he needed hers.
Her eyes were dark. "It's not Tuesday."
"It's Wednesday," he confirmed softly.
"I love you." His body trembled as one hand came down, the glove running across his cheek softly. "You have to promise you'll be careful, Logan. You have to be careful, you can't--you can't get hurt."
And even though he had permission to touch her, it was Wednesday, which was still too close to Tuesday, so he wrapped her in his arms and laid back on the bed, one hand cradling the rise of her hip and the other tight around her stomach. "I won't get hurt."
It was close to Tuesday--but there was hope because he was touching her and she was talking to him and it wasn't Tuesday--it was Wednesday.
It was Wednesday.