Title: How The Mighty Have Fallen|
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Summary: Logan asks for Scott's help with a bit of shopping. Oh dear.
Series: Adaptations #13
Category: Scott POV, Logan/Rogue romance
Disclaimer: Logan, Scott, Marie, Jean, Ororo, and Gary are not mine. The snooty clerk is, though. I made 'er up myself. <huge grin> Is that what real writers do with all their characters, create them from scratch instead of stealing other people's?? Nah.I'll stick with fanfic. LOL
Dedication: This one is for Vic, who played the role of Guy Speak Consultant so well that, at times, I couldn't understand him. Oh, and for Gary, who is a real guy and works at my local Bath & Body Works. Gary, I cannot think of a less manly job to have, but you pull it off with panache and an infectiously good-natured grin. You, my man, are either seriously secure in your manhood, or seriously fruity. (Which is not an insult, by the way, just an observation.) I am using him as a cameo character without his permission, but that's okay.Unless he's a Logan/Rogue shipper who lurks on this list, in which case I may get flamed. :) Oh well, chance you take, right?
I heard the Wolverine giggle the other day. I shit you not - I heard it.
Ororo gave her students a poetry-writing assignment. You know, find a subject that inspires you and write a few lines about it, yadda yadda. The usual. Well, Rogue apparently decided that her divine inspiration was Logan.naked. I was outside working on my new bike when I heard Rogue saying some...rather risque things in rhyming verse. I looked up, and Rogue and Logan were sitting there on the lawn. She was reading her poem aloud and it was making him blush beet red. Hell, it was making me blush, too. Anyway, as she finished reading, he let loose with a sound that can only be described as a schoolgirl giggle.
I'm just damn glad Rogue wrote another poem about snow to turn in to Ororo, because that one was downright pronographic.
You know, I'm glad the bastard's happy, but this may be taking things a bit too far. I mean, what's going to happen when we're suited up and battling the forces of evil.and then Logan suddenly calls a time-out to whine over a broken claw or something?
Okay, so I'm exaggerating. Logan's still a rough and tough badass.except where Rogue's concerned. I honestly think he'd do anything she asked, you know? All she has to do is bat those beautiful brown eyes and say, "Pretty please, sugar?" And then we all watch in amazement as Logan melts into a puddle at her feet, drooling and panting helplessly on her shoes.
He used to be an asshole. I kinda miss that. He used to snarl and growl and take an unholy measure of glee out of baiting me. Now I feel like I'm in a production of "The Sound of Music," only instead of music, the hills are alive with the sound of Logan being a pansy-ass weenie.
Oh, I could torture him about this. I could make him rue the day he was born, don't doubt that for a second. But, for some reason, I don't have the heart to. Logan and Rogue are both happier than they've been in a long time, and it's nice to see. They deserve it.
Logan asked me to meet him in the garage today, said he had something important to ask my opinion about. And now he's late. Typical. He probably had to brush Rogue's hair for her or something.
He walks in. Perfect timing. "Hey, Summers. Am I late?"
"No, Logan. I've been hanging out in the garage all day, just for the hell of it." He doesn't look nauseatingly happy today. Today he looks nervous. Really nervous. "So what's up?"
"Uh, can you come somewhere with me for an hour or so?" he asks, rubbing his hands together (you guessed it) nervously.
"Depends on where we're going," I respond.
He rolls his eyes. "Yes or no, One-Eye. It's a simple question, not a topic for philosophical debate." He walks to stand next to one of the cars. The Porsche. Good choice.
"Tell me where," I retort, crossing my arms over my chest.
Finally, he growls at me. Now, that's more like it. "Marie's birthday is coming up, and I want to get her something."
Ah, now we're getting somewhere. "I see."
He shakes his head at my knowing smirk. "Just get in the car, Scooter."
I do so, and I'm extremely glad he didn't insist on driving. I value my life greatly, you know. "Where're we going?" I ask as I fasten my seatbelt.
Ever been to the mall on a Wednesday afternoon? It's full of women. Mostly married women, granted, pushing toddlers in double-strollers and chatting about department store sales, but women nonetheless.
I stand next to the main information kiosk, hands clasped behind my back, as Logan quietly studies a map of the mall. More than a few glances are being cast our way, and I'm gratified to note that they're mostly appreciative. We might look like an unlikely pair of guys to be hanging out together at the mall, but the chicks still dig us. I flash a smile at one of the passing ladies and am rewarded with a double-take, then a shy wink.
I love being a guy.
"Quit flirtin' and help me find a jewelry store, One-Eye," Logan suddenly growls.
Jewelry. Yeah, that figures. "Second level, near the food court. That's where I got Jean's Christmas present last year."
He eyes me for a moment, then nods, and we head toward an escalator. "What'd you get Jeannie?"
"A necklace. Although I'd steer clear of that if I were you. There's no way in hell Rogue's gonna take your tags off her neck." He grins, and I groan inwardly. God, he acts like she's wearing his high school letterman's jacket or something; to him, those tags are a symbol of belonging, of possession. Her wearing those dogtags is like Logan saying, "Lookit, boys, she's mine, so keep your paws off." As if everyone didn't know that already.
"I was thinking of something a little different," he says, wrinkling his nose. He sniffs the air a few times, then grimaces. "What the hell is that smell?"
"Bath and Body Works," I tell him, pointing. "It always smells like that outside the store. Too many scents mixed together."
He arches an eyebrow. "It's giving me a headache."
Yeah, well, welcome to my world, Logan. "No argument here, but for future reference, women love that place."
As we're walking by the store, a male employee standing by the door smiles at us. His name tag proclaims him to be Gary, and he's wearing a white shirt and a red-and-white checked apron. In his hand is what looks like a wooden apple basket full of samplers. He waves and greets us cheerfully. "Good afternoon! Are you gentlemen interested in trying some of our new seasonal scents?"
"No, thanks," we both say in unison, and I start walking a little faster. What can I say? The last thing I want is for some frighteningly chirpy guy to be spraying me with fragrances like Daffodil Fields or Blissful Blackberry. That's just girly enough to be threatening to my masculinity, and I'm sure Logan would agree.
Oh yeah, he would agree. Logan is looking back at the guy with something akin to horror on his face, and I nudge him with my elbow. "Come on, Logan, this is the jewelry store I was talking about."
I walk in and immediately gravitate toward the earrings. I mean, if a necklace is out of the question, it only makes sense. Earrings are the next logical choice for gift-giving. Trust me, I know these things.
Instead of following me, Logan wanders around the store, weaving in and out of cases, finally coming to a stop in front of one of them. I crane my neck to see what he's perusing, then start to chuckle. The big idiot is looking at the engagement rings. Dumbass. I walk up beside him. "Logan, uh.What are you doing?"
He doesn't look up from the case. His brows are drawn together in concentration. "I want to get Marie something special."
He's going to feel really stupid when I tell him what he's looking at. "Yeah, well, be that as it may.You might want to look somewhere else."
"Because those are engagement rings." I'm still laughing, and I wait for him to step instinctively away from the case, an expression of terror twisting his features.
"I know that, Scooter."
That shuts me up real quick. "Uh, Logan?"
"Hmm?" He seems irritated by my continued presence.
I glance around, grateful for the fact that all the salespeople are occupied with other customers. "Why are you getting Rogue an engagement ring?"
"Jesus Christ, Summers! Why do people usually buy engagement rings? That's kind of a no-brainer. What d'you think about this one?" He points to a ring in the case. It's a wide, thick band, with some stones set into the metal. "She doesn't like gold."
He continues as if I hadn't spoken. "It looks pretty flat, too, and that's good. I want to get her something she can wear it under her glove, you know."
Holy shit, he's serious. He's actually going to ask her to marry him. "Logan, have you even talked to Rogue about this?"
He lets loose with a long-suffering sigh and rocks back on his heels. "It won't be a surprise if I tell her about it."
Okay, I'm thinking that since he asked me to come with him, he's expecting me to be the voice of reason here. "This is a big step, Logan. No, wait, that doesn't even cover it. This is monumental, okay? You don't just up and decide to ask a girl to marry you. You should talk to her about it first."
He sets his chin stubbornly and glares at me. "I don't really remember, Scooter, but I'm pretty sure that at one point I had a father for this kind of shit."
Fine. Whatever. "Okay, so what are you going to do if you ask and she turns you down?"
That got his attention. "You think she'll say no?" he asks, and he sounds so disturbed by the possibility that I almost feel bad for bringing it up.
Aw, hell. "Look, Logan, I." I pause for a second. Do I think she'll say no? Not a chance. I think she'll be ecstatic. Thrilled. Jumping for joy. "She is only seventeen."
"But she'll be eighteen next month, and that's when I'm planning on asking her."
Damn, but he can be really aggravating sometimes. "Seventeen, eighteen.There's no really big difference there, Logan. Do you think she's ready for this kind of thing?"
"Hellfire, Summers, it ain't like I'm planning on highjacking the jet and flying her to Las Vegas next week, you know. It'll be a long engagement, I just." He clears his throat and looks decidedly uncomfortable. "I want her to know.that I'm serious about her. About us. That's all."
"So just sit down and tell her you're serious. This," I tell him, indicating the display case, "is beyond the realm of serious. We're talking lifetime commitment here."
His eyes narrow, and he looks like he wants to hit me. "You're not worried about whether Marie is ready for this. You still think I'm gonna walk out on her," he accuses.
Shit. Busted. "Look, I--"
He steps closer until he's practically in my face. "Listen up, bub, 'cause I'm only gonna say this once. I came back because she needed me, but once I was here, I figured something out. I'm tired of running, and I'm tired of being alone. Now, for some reason, Marie loves me. Hell, I don't know why. I'm rough and crass and I can't even remember most of my life." He stops, and his eyes look suspiciously bright. When he continues, his voice is slightly hoarse. "I have nothing to offer her, but she loves me anyway. And I love her, so if anyone wants to get rid of me, they'll have to kill me, 'cause I'm not going anywhere. Not without Marie."
What exactly am I supposed to say to a declaration like that? And how does he do that, anyway? How does he manage to make me feel like a total choad for voicing a perfectly sane and logical opinion? "I'm sorry, Logan. I shouldn't have--"
"Can I help you?" a female voice interrupts, and both our heads swivel to stare at the store clerk. She smiles, but the warmth doesn't quite reach her eyes. "Were you thinking of purchasing a ring today, sir?" she asks, looking at me.
"Actually, my friend here is the one doing the shopping. "Right, Logan?" I clap a hand to his back, and I hope he understands what I was going to say. I hope he knows that I didn't mean to sound like I doubted his feelings for Rogue.
I look back at the clerk, and she's studying Logan with blatant skepticism. Oh, for Christ's sake.I know he looks like an unlikely patron, but she doesn't have to rude about it. I give the clerk a dazzling smile, then turn to him. "Which engagement ring were you considering, Logan?"
He looks a little puzzled, but follows my lead, being unfailingly polite to the rude woman behind the counter. "The one with the emerald. The flat band," he clarifies. "I'd like to see it, please."
"Ah, the platinum band." She nods and unlocks the case with the key dangling from her wrist. "This is an unusual piece. The band has been crafted so that the emerald and diamond baguettes are actually set into the platinum. As a result, the band is somewhat thicker and heavier than your average ring, but it gives the ring a smooth surface. And the artistic detail in the engraving is breathtaking." She unrolls a piece of velvet and places the ring on it.
At closer inspection, I can see that the ring is, indeed, engraved. Tiny leaves and vines cross the top of the band, wrapping around and in between the stones. Logan looks my way, eyebrows raised. I nod. "I think she'll like it."
"Do you know what size you'll need?" she inquires.
Logan frowns for a moment, then digs a ring out of his pocket. It's a plain silver band. "This is supposed to be a surprise, so I couldn't ask what size, but.This is one of her rings. She wears it on her right hand, though."
The clerk smiles, and this time she actually looks like she means it. "I see. There may be some discrepancy between the right and left hands, but it's nothing that can't be remedied through a simple sizing." She takes the ring from Logan and compares it to a chart behind the counter. "It looks like your fiancee is going to need about a size five," she says, handing the silver ring back to him. "It just so happens that we have that size in stock. Did you want to have her come in and try it on?"
Logan shakes his head. "No, I'll take it. If it doesn't fit, then we'll have it sized."
The clerk puts the platinum band back in the case and locks it. She's being infinitely more helpful now, no doubt at the prospect of a real sale. "Very well, sir. You've made an excellent choice." She calculates the price with tax, and gives him a rather substantial total. "How will you be paying today, sir?"
I know I look as taken aback as the clerk does when Logan digs out his wallet and starts pulling out hundred-dollar bills by the handful. I smile awkwardly at the woman, whose eyes are practically bugging out of her head. She carefully takes Logan's money and heads toward the back of the store.
"Holy shit, Logan!" I hiss at him as soon as she disappears from sight. "What are you doing carrying that kind of cash around? For that matter, where the hell'd you get it?"
He rolls his eyes at me. "You wouldn't believe the kind of money rednecks'll shell out to watch you kick somebody's ass. I've been saving for a while, and I went to the bank yesterday to make a withdrawal." Then he grins mischievously. "Actually, I came here today expecting the reception I got, if you know what I mean, and I wanted to see the looks on their faces when I paid in cash."
I fight laughter, then groan. "We're gonna be here a while, you know that, right? She's back there right now with her manager, making sure every single one of those bills is real."
His smile is serene. "I got time, Summers, and plenty of it."