Title: Return to Sender
Author: Diebin
Email: diebin@hotmail.com
Rating: PG for some language
Summary: Logan decides he doesn't want his mail.
Disclaimer: I own not. Please sue not.
Archive: Usual Suspects
Excuse: This is a really sucky little piece of blah. But--I dunno. *shrug*
Blame Goes to: Donna. I told her about the idea, and this was her response. Word for word. I copied and pasted man. "Noooo.... It's angstier. It's waaaaay angstier." So . . . that's what happened.

There are some things you get used to working in the smallest Post Office in Northern Canada. I can't say that I've seen a lot of different kinds of people come through here--but the types I do see fit into some pretty distinct molds.

He didn't fit. I could tell that right when he walked in--I could tell that he didn't belong in a small country town. He reeked of civilization--which was strange because he didn't look all that civilized. But he wasn't a country boy--he was too dangerous looking.

And I'd also be willing to bet he'd never seen the inside of a Post Office before. He looked nervous and uncomfortable, and I could see Mike throw his closed sign up in the other window before beating a hasty retreat to the back room, his worried look saying clearer than words that this customer was all mine.

I didn't really blame him. I'd have been back there with him, but someone had to help the customer--and strange as the man looked, he really didn't look like the type who would hurt a little old lady just out of boredom.

He spent a few more moments standing there in front of the door and peering around like someone was going to jump out and hit him--but eventually he made his way over to my window and slipped his hand into his jacket.

For just a second I thought he was going to pull a gun on me. But he just flipped a rumpled envelope on the counter and stared at it as if it were going to bite him.

"How can I help you?"

He looked at the envelope again before shoving it at me. "I want to return that to the sender." His eyes were half shut, and I could have sworn he winced as he said it.

The envelope was quite obviously a wedding invitation, postmarked from two weeks ago and it hadn't even been opened. I could tell it had been well handled--but not opened, which seemed strange, especially after I turned it over and saw the note on the back scribbled in a girlish hand--'I hope you can come, Logan.' It was signed Marie.

I don't know what possessed me to say it--it wasn't as if he looked like the kind of man who wanted anyone giving him advice. But five children and eleven grandchildren had drilled the habit into me, and the words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.

"This is a wedding invitation. You really should at least tell them if you're going or not."

He scowled at me. "I'm not."

I turned it over again, and looked at the note on the back. "Someone wants you to be there. Maybe you should at least tell her--"

His hand smashed into the letter and pinned it to the counter. "If Marie wanted me there, she wouldn't be getting married in the first place. Now would you just return it to the god damned sender?"

I should have been scared. But he didn't look angry--he looked hurt. Really hurt.

"Do you want to write a reason it was returned?" I asked in a small voice. It was standard procedure, but he pinned me with a suspicious glare anyways before grabbing the letter and snatching a pen off the counter.

I watched as he scrawled a quick note on the back and then slapped a dollar on the counter with the note. "Return to sender," he growled. The office was silent as he dropped the pen to the counter and spun on his heel, stalking towards the exit.

I don't think I started breathing for a long time after he left. Long enough for Mike to scramble his way out from the back room and give me a sympathetic pat on the back before picking up the letter.

"Wow. He really didn't want to go to that wedding."

I snatched the envelope from Mike's fingers and hurried towards the bin--but curiosity overcame me and I flipped it over and peered at the back.

'Not a chance in Hell, Marie. I thought you cared about my feelings a little more than that."

It wasn't signed, but I guess it didn't need to be. With a sigh I stamped it with the bright red words, 'Return to Sender' and dropped it into the outgoing bin.

There's never much excitement in the smallest Post Office in Canada--and sometimes I'm glad. Excitement equals pain far too often--and it took me a long time to forget the pain in his eyes as he scrawled his note on the back of the wedding invitation he couldn't even bear to open.

"God, do you remember why I agreed to this? If I never see another envelope I'll be perfectly happy!" The young brunette leaned back and rubbed at her neck. "Jean had better give me a cut of the wedding gifts."

Ororo smiled at Rogue. "Be thankful you have gloves. I've got more paper cuts than I thought possible." She stared at the stack of envelopes on the table. "Trust Jean and Scott to wait until we had people scattered all over the globe before they finally decided to do this."

Rogue smiled, reaching for another envelope. "I'm just glad that we still have a globe to scatter out across. And that we're free to scatter."

"Well said." Reaching for the next envelope, Ororo paused, her eyes going wide.

It was the invitation they'd sent Logan where he had been living for the past year in Northern Canada. Rogue had been more than excited about having an address to send it to, to the point where she'd written a personal note on the back and had talked of seeing him again just a few too many times for it to be simply casual interest.

Squinting, Ororo flipped the letter over and stared at the back in incomprehension. Logan had obviously had his hands on the note, because he'd written his own note next to Marie's--but it didn't make sense.

Rogue looked up. "What's tha--hey, isn't that Logan's?" Before Ororo could think to make an excuse, Rogue was up and coming around the table. "I thought that the address for him was--"

Ororo winced as Rogue caught sight of the note on the back.

"Oh." The brown eyes were wide as she ran her eyes over the words again. "Oh."


Rogue smiled, tossing the letter on the table. "Well, I guess that answers that question." Her smile looked almost genuine, but there were tears in her eyes.

"What question?" Ororo reached out a hand, but Rogue jerked her arm away, the fake smile still plastered on her face.

"How he feels about Jean." Rogue's smile faltered slightly. "Guess he doesn't want to see her getting married. How thoughtless of me."

Rogue was out of the room before Ororo could catch her.

Tracing the words 'Return to Sender' with one finger, Ororo sighed and moved towards the garbage can. She'd thought--she'd thought maybe Logan felt something for Rogue . . .

Who understood that man. Grimacing, dropped the letter into the garbage and threw some other papers on top of it. Rogue would hurt for a while--but maybe it was better in the long run.

She'd go on.

And Logan could go to hell.