Title: Sharp Relief|
Fandom: X-men (movie)
Summary: Logan comes back to find the young girl he left behind all grown up.
Series: Sequel to 'Honestly, Ok'
Category: R/L romance eventually
Disclaimer: I dont own em
Feedback: Feedback is a virtue! Plus..how hard is it to write some nice comments in an email and push the send button? Please..Im begging!
Notes: This is for Nix's challange. I know Im slow but Im a perfectionist and can't just knock out chapter after chapter...so..bare with me here! I know its short but I have the next part almost done. So, it should be out l8ter tonight.
The remnants of morning lazily poked through the barren sky. Night had shifted from a dark ebony black to a light dusty blue. Logan couldn't help the look of shock as soon as his eyes wandered to the watch strapped onto one of his gloved hands. It was nearly four in the morning and it didn't look as if he would catch a glimpse of sleep. Of course, his body had pretty much become numb during his rain soaked drive, exhaustion fleeting his senses.
A series of knocks on the large, whitewashed door produced a half awake Jean Grey. She was just as beautiful as Logan remembered. Her striking looks could even be recognized this early in the morning. A look of cross anger, confusion, and surprise enveloped her features and for a moment Logan was sure she was going to slap him.
"Jean..." Logan greeted, a flirtatious smile found its way on his lips.
"Logan...?" the stunning red-haired, beauty responded, somewhere between a statement and a question. Noticing his apprehension Jean continued. "Your back..."
"Yeah, sorry about coming this early...I didn't want to wake you...I'll just go check into a motel or sumthin.."
"No! wait.." Jean pleaded, everything beginning to seep in. "You might as well come in...I mean, it's been so long...Six years.."
Before he could even compute her words, a masculine voice boomed down the stairs, footsteps soon following.
The man known as Wolverine instantly grimaced, the familiar voice ringing in his ears. With obvious distaste and disappointment he ignored the feelings of jealousy that invaded him as the man possessively wrapped his arms around Jean's waist, his ruby quartz glasses glaring in Logan's eyes.
"Hey Scotty-boy. I would have thought by now someone would have put you out of your misery.." Logan could see by the look on Scott's face, he was the last person he expected this early in the morning.
"What are you doing back?" Scott growled. "I figured after the first dozen bar fights, someone with a shotgun would have done us all a favor.."
"Aww...sorry to disappoint you.." fake sympathy laced Logan's voice. Trying to get a better glimpse inside the mansion, Logan instantly became agitated. "So, are you going to let me in...or let me freeze?"
"That's very tempting..." Scott let a smug grin shine through. v "I know I was always told not to play with my food but..." he felt the sharp pricking of needles as his claws shot out from his knuckles. Grimacing in pain, he felt like his flesh was being carved..but the anger diverged him from worrying about anything he 'felt'.
Jean took initiative and jumped in between the two men. She wanted to make sure the useless bantering and bitching didn't escalate. "Both of you shut up...Logan, inside now...and Scott..calm down.."
Logan and Scott cowered at the angry, shrill tone. Like two little boys being scolded by their mother, the two did exactly what she said..but not without pouty scowls emblazing both of their expressions. Just by looking at her face both knew that even carefully timed, puppy eyes wouldn't get them out of hot water.
The large school hadn't changed at all. Furniture was precariously placed, identical to how it had been 6 years prior. Of course Logan knew better..Things weren't always what they seemed. Although, these days it felt as if he were the only one who hadn't changed. The world had continued turning, things constantly growing and evolving. Here he was just as rebellious and troubled as before. Warmth grafted throughout the large mansion and Logan almost completely relaxed, almost took off his leather jacket and grabbed a beer...almost.
Logan could practically feel Jean and Scott's eyes staring right through him and couldn't help but smirk. He definitely had control over the element of surprise here. He didn't have to be telepathic to know what they were thinking. He could still read both of them like a book.
Jean silently followed Logan, as did Scott. It was hard to believe he was back, especially after all of this time. By now everyone had pretty much given up hope of ever hearing from the rebellious Wolverine again. Sometimes the only thing that reminded her of his absence was Rogue. Sure, she put up a facade...acted like a happy teenager. But there were moments during a class, Jean would catch her staring off into a voidless space. Her eyes were deep and surfaced both anguish and longing. Her fake smiles were sad, not to mention that most nights screaming echoed down the corridors. It was a nightly thing. Rogue was awakened by terrifying nightmares. Jean had taken a mother-like stance. Running to her bedside and holding the lifeless, sobbing woman/child. Every time her heart would ache, as the vigor and youth that had once encircled Rogue slowly drained away. During the day both of them would pass by each other, acting as if nothing had transpired the following night.
The restless nightmares became much more gruesome, leading Rogue to her current state of insomnia. Jean couldn't blame her and need not ask her what the nightmares were about. During an idle lunch break one afternoon, she had probed farther into Rogue's mind..peeking at the dream sequence. Basically the horrible images were the long drawn out memories she had picked from Logan's mind so long ago. The two mutants were connected and the young Doctor couldn't do anything but pity Rogue. She had already matured far beyond her years...experienced enough pain - the last thing she needed was Logan haunting her memories.
It wasn't out of the ordinary to find the now-nocturnal Rogue, pacing the floor at all hours of the night, or sitting in quiet recollection outside on a bench. Professor Xavier had even begun to worry..his mind constantly roaming for new ideas, something to distract the powerful girl. All attempts had proven useless.
Within moments, Jean was shot from her reverie as Logan spoke.
"Things really haven't changed.." he shot a look back at the both of them. "I take it you two are still...together?"
"More than together Logan...we're married.." Scott beamed, a smug grin on his face.
Disappointment flooded Logan's senses, perhaps a bit of anger, jealousy. "Well..I always said her taste in men left something to be desired.." he grumbled.
Once again, Jean felt thrown in the middle. She wanted more than anything to just suck all of the tension from the room - impossible. "We would have invited you Logan...but we didn't want to bother you. You were looking for answers....me and Scott didn't want to stop you on your quest for the truth.."
"Actually, I just didn't want you at the wedding.." Scott was shut up as Jean's elbow slammed into his ribs. Remind me not to cross that line again he thought, his torso now sorely numb. "Ow! What was that for.."
"Like I have to tell you..."
A self satisfied Wolverine beamed at Jean's physical scolding. Got to love how she takes control..
"No problem..I'm not one for those..formal parties..tuxes and all. It's not my style.." he lightened the atmosphere. Logan brushed off the disappointment. So, she was taken now...but the cockiest guy in the world...she was taken before..but a wedding ring for Logan was like a huge shield. He just didn't go there. It was fine with him..Jean was a beautiful woman, but not the one who had occupied his thoughts for six years. "In all seriousness though...congratulations..who better to deflate Scotty-boys ego than you Jean.."
Of course Logan was not about to compliment someone without the mandatory smartass remark, although Scott did seem a little surprised that his plan to piss Logan off had backfired.
A nervous feeling settled in his stomach soon enough though. It was time to find out what he really needed to. "So, is Rogue still here.." Logan asked unsurely. For all he knew she may have totally moved on...might be pissed at his return, He had been gone a long time... Too scared to write or call her, he had always been afraid that the sound of her voice would weak him and he would have packed his bags and come home as soon as possible. He couldn't begin to risk it. Maybe six years would toughen his once, breechless inner walls.
Inevitable. Both Jean and Scott had expected Logan to be anxious about Rogue.
"She's still here..."
Logan didn't like for a second how sad Jean's voice sounded. Was something wrong with Rogue? Or did she just pity him, knowing he wouldn't like what he found? "I can talk to her tomorrow...Don't tell her I'm here though..". Lifting his bag over one shoulder he prepared to walk up the flight of stairs, and get some sleep in a vacant room.
"Or you could just tell her your here now.." Scott drawled.
"Isn't she sleeping?" Logan searched both of their eyes. "I mean...it's 4 in the morning...she's not possibly awake..."
Jean just pointed towards a half closed door at the other side of the room. He knew where the door led- to a large lounging area. To say the least he was shocked Rogue would be up at this hour. The father instinct that was almost always dormant, except when it came to Rogue's well-being, kicked in and as his feet carried toward the room, he had quite the nerve to yell at her and make sure she got to bed now.
Jean and Scott only looked at each other. Both of them weren't sure what to make of Logan's return...didn't know how Rogue would react. What happened if Logan left again? No, too many questions. It was too early and they could all deal with this tomorrow. Jean followed Scott back up the stairs, casting one more motherly look through the balcony bars. It was only natural to be worried. These days she had to be wary of Rogue's feelings.
Moving as stealthily as possible Logan pushed past the half closed door. His eyes widened immediately at what he saw. A beautiful young girl stood in the center of the room, her eyes closed and her arms out in a defensive position. She moved slowly across the floor, the tight shirt and pants a little too formfitting for someone of her age. Logan stood there in absolute awe. The young girl was doing some sort of stretching, tai-chi..he wasn't sure. Her eyes were closed and she looked deep in thought...looked centered and focused. On his mind's urging he let his eyes roam her body, mentally outlining her curves. Then it hit him, reality came into play as he saw the long strand of white hair. Rogue? Nah..couldn't be. This was not the young girl Logan had left behind...not the little girl he had once held quivering and shaking on a train. This was a woman. Tearing his eyes away from the blossomed figure he shuddered at the thoughts racing through his mind. His instant attraction was squashed lowly as he reminded himself..this was Rogue, sweet..innocent..little sister-like Rogue. All was destined for hell if he couldn't even keep his hormones in check. Your old enough to be her father... a voice chastised him. A more gruff, careless voice interrupted...Yeah..but she's legal ain't she....
Shaking the thoughts from his head Logan blinked. The helpless runaway he had met so long ago had burrowed her way into his heart..faster than anyone he had ever known. Just because she was grown up...and possibly the most ravishing beauty he had ever seen...didn't mean he had to act on impulse. Plus, the fact that the moment she came in contact with anyone.....they had the severe risk of being killed..kinda put a damper on things.
Tiptoeing closer towards her, Logan smirked. A nervous feeling settled in his stomach. How would she react when she saw him? Did she ever think of him anymore..even remember him? An idle look towards her slim neck revealed that she wasn't wearing a necklace...Did she even have his dog tags anymore? Sure, they were junk but..really the only source of identity he had anymore...a gift from him to her that symbolized much more than a pure friendship.
Soon enough he was close enough to reach out. Moving his arms out towards her, he lightly grasped her shoulder. Before he could get any words out though he felt a sharp pain snap through him as something slammed into his face, connecting with his jaw. More than a bit fazed he collapsed to the ground. What the hell was that?
Pressing one hand to the sore spot beneath the hallow of his cheek he found himself looking up into the confused eyes of Rogue, who was now leaning over him..absently rubbing her knuckles.
"Yep...In the flesh"
Logan grimaced, sorely rubbing his jaw. He could already feel himself beginning to heal...but, man that had hurt like a bitch. "Damn....." he muttered. "Nice left hook..darlin'"
Rogue could feel the shock plastered on her face. How was she supposed to react? Was she supposed to just jump in his arms and tell him how much she had missed him...and how glad she was that he was back? She let her eyes roam over the familiar, fallen form. The form of a man she had once known... There had been a time she had been so connected to him that she could feel every breath he took..
Logan hadn't changed one bit. Figured, six years and leave it to him to come back even looking younger. Tired and beat down, he was...but no drastic changes. The two tuffs of ruffled hair stood at the back of his head, giving him that '-I just got out of bed-' look. His eyes had the same mischievous glint...his voice held the same gruffness...a thick warmth that laced around every word he spoke. This was who made her feel safe. No,...used to make her feel that way. Right now she felt more along the lines, of being sick. Even the notion that after all these years he could show back up, and expect everything to be as he had left it...made her ill.
Yeah, he had changed alright. Although, probably not enough to realize the hell she had been going through these past six years. Of course traveling in the cold harsh Canadian weather, drinking till a stage of pure stupor, and engaging in meaningless sex with the drunken, desperate women at every stop, was a better use of his time than staying here with her (note sarcasm).
That damn connection often leaked images of his exploits deep into her dreams. By now she just got by, telling herself that taking anything he did personally wasn't a very wise thing to do. Logan was Logan...and some little girl from the country he had picked up at a bar couldn't change him. She was a fool...and he was the joker who fooled her every time. Yep..Good old Logan..who would never change. Stubborn son-of-a-bitch.
The Wolverine was just as lost as she was, trying to have him the way she wanted...the way she needed...had never been a possibility. Sometimes she swore the connection was just a way of tormenting her. Vicariously living in the memories..she could almost feel the sensation of flesh on flesh...the reaction the site of a naked woman arose in Logan...and the animalistic heat that shot through him. For a moment she would revel in the feel of skin being rubbed coarsely...the taste of salty lips pressing together. But, soon after..Rogue painfully tore from the events running her mind...playing her emotions. Just fateful reminders that Logan, or anyone for that matter, would never touch her like that...and she could never hold the lustful power she needed to arise any reaction from him.
He was a beast, but a gawky kid from Meridian, Mississippi wasn't about to unleash the animal inside of him. It was a lot tamer then that. She'd have to cover herself in prime rib to get any beast to look twice at her.
On instinct, Rogue leaned down, extending her hand to Logan. Without a thought she watched him reach, to accept her help...but immediately pull his hand back as he realized the danger this young woman posed, even to him.
Logan watched pain and a fair amount of shameful embarrassment flash in her eyes. She pulled back her hand sharply. The movement was so fast and instinctual, that it was as if she had been burned by a flame.
Logan hung his head in regret. Now he couldn't help but feel guilty. Obviously she was hurt. The wounded expression on her face made his, usually guarded heart, wretch. God, the last thing he wanted to do was hurt her..again.
With any other he would simply brush such an inconvenience off nonchalantly...but he could feel what she felt. He knew how sensitive she was. The loneliness she felt was tucked inside of him too. Recollection pulsed through her and staying away from her to avoid any more complications was just too hard. He had self control...but with her..all rhyme and reason was out the door.
Looking down Rogue realized that the last place she wanted to be right now was here. It was hard enough every day, when the other kids here avoided her...kept their difference, but when Logan..of all the people in the world..gave into fear, it was just a bit more than she could take.
The minute Logan rose from the ground, Rogue slowly took a step back...an attempt to make the physical separation match the emotional one.
Logan felt his heart sink in his chest as Rogue backed away from him. Shit his mind echoed.
The one person in the world who really mattered to him was hurting because of his reckless bullshit.
Logan's usual reaction to situations like this would be..'Screw it'...he would walk away. This little girl though held his heart in her firm grasp...and not even the mighty Wolverine had a chance in hell of escaping. Reaching out fast enough, as Rogue didn't have a chance to react...or push him back, Logan put his hands on her shoulders. With another swift motion she was pulled towards him.
Logan's arms possessively wrapped around her, fitting snug, around her small waist.
The immediate anger that had coursed through her was replaced the undying need...the aching inside of her. She let her hands slide up, till they were around his neck, pressed together. What could be seen as a friendly hug was softer and more gentle than any lovers touch and Rogue was amazed at all the old, familiar feelings flooding through her. After so many years of being dormant..she was sure they were lost forever.
All her mind told her right now was..she should hit him..bruise him, even if only for a second..until that healing power kicked in. Rogue wanted to make sure he felt something...just anything.
Moving away though was an impossibility...first of all... the bear hug she was placed in was quite firm. His hold on her was strong....second of all, she was sure that the moment he let go of her..she would fall to the ground. Her whole body was subdued by emotion right now...Logan was her support.
Even if he was the reason she felt so overwhelmed by pain and longing... The heat of his body warmed her and she was sure he could feel her heart pounding beneath her chest.
For the first time though, she didn't mind.
Forget what her mind was telling her...she followed her heart, and let herself find temporary solace in his arms.