Title: I'm On Fire
Author: Donna Bevan
Email: bevan1013@mindspring.com
Fandom: X-Men movieverse
Rating: R (for Logan's language and slightly dirty mind)
Summary: Logan gets drunk and reflective.
Series: Adaptations #1
Category: Logan/Rogue UST
Disclaimer: I think everyone here knows they aren't mine, but...They aren't mine. The lyrics are from Bruce Springsteen's song, and I'm not him, so they're not mine, either.

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
I'm on fire

Silently, Logan flips the switch on his bedside lamp, and soft light washes over him. He is glad he left the bar, even though it was not crowded. There were a grand total of a half dozen people in it, and that suited him just fine. He wanted nothing more than liquor and solitude, and neither really required companionship. As a matter of fact, the latter precluded it.

Liquor and solitude. He got both. Now what he wants is sleep.

He is used to this, to the isolation. It is what he wants. After all, if he is alone then he can't hurt anyone but himself, and what's the big deal if he does that? There is no one to care, not even him. So Logan likes being alone.

But he is never unaccompanied, not really. That knowledge frightens him more than anything else.

No matter how far he runs, she is always with him, following as he roars across hills and valleys. She is a ghost, the specter of a girl he left behind. There are a handful of people who think that they know who she is, this phantom need of his, and they would be dead wrong. She does not have red hair and calm eyes and cool hands that soothed him when he was sick. She is not Jean Grey. No, the spirit that haunts him has deep flowing eyes and velvet skin that he has touched precisely twice. She is a tiny slip of a thing who already knows more of pain than anyone ever should. Even him.

He sits on the bed, yanks off his boots, and laughs aloud. Sound breaks the hush of his tiny room. Amazing. He can't feel his nose, and that's always been a sure sign that he's drunk. It's odd. He never lets himself get this wasted anymore, ever. He doesn't like having his senses so dulled.

A woman tried to pick him up at the bar. She had brown hair and brown eyes and looked as if she'd lived a pretty hard life. She said her name was Stella, and he made a reference to A Streetcar Named Desire that she didn't catch.

He didn't tell her that he loves to read. He knows that most folks wouldn't believe it, that it doesn't fit with the image of the big, bad Wolverine, but he does. He loves the way the words feel in his eyes, in his mind. He loves the feel of the pages between his fingers, the smell of the paper and ink and glue.

Last week, in an old used bookstore on the south side of town, he ran across a beautiful leather-bound copy of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. He'd never read it, but he was familiar enough with the storyline to smirk as he picked up the volume. His skewed sense of humor would not allow him to pass it by.

The cashier eyed him strangely as he dug money out of his wallet. He tried to smile at her, but his face must have translated it into a grimace, because she snatched the crumpled bills from him and finished his transaction in record time.

That night, he read the entire book in one sitting, and he laughed his fool ass off. He is fairly certain that wasn't Nabokov's literary intention, but he couldn't help himself - he was a shade away from rechristening himself Logan Logan and hauling ass back to Xavier's just so he could present Rogue with a pair of coquettish sunglasses and a red lollipop.

Delirium can be a scary thing.

Anyway, Stella had made it abundantly clear that she hadn't wanted to leave alone. And, looking at her, all Logan felt was a vague sense of disquiet...and the sharp sting of something that might have been longing.

That's when he realized that he couldn't take Stella home with him if he wanted to. His own traitorous body and mind wouldn't allow it.

And that's when he hightailed it out of that bar and back to his room.

In his dreams, he never calls her "kid," and he never calls her Rogue. She is Marie. She always comes to him, just like that first night in his room at Xavier's, only instead of sleeping, he is waiting.

In his dreams, he can touch her, and he does. With shaking hands, he smooths her clothes off her body and tries to show her. He lets everything he holds inside pour out through his fingers and lips and tongue, and he prays that it is enough. Her sleek body thrashing against his, under his, always drives him to the edge and holds him there, threatening with dulcet tones to shove him over it and into the abyss. But he waits.

And so it goes. And when she is shaking wildly, gasping his name as she drifts back to herself, he leans in and kisses her lax, open mouth.

That is always when Logan realizes that he is dreaming, when he pulls away and presses that damn kiss to her lips. It yanks him into reality, douses him with the knowledge that he must be imagining it all. Why? Because he knows in his soul that if she were really naked in his arms, shivering and moaning with passion that he had aroused in her, he would not turn away and leave her (mostly) untouched.

He could not.

Logan can admit to himself that he is not a noble man. He does not want to hurt her, but he knows that he would not be able to stop himself from taking her. Taking her. His eyes clench shut at the thought. He is weary and exhausted and more than a little drunk, and all he wants to do is sleep.

He slips off his shirt and jeans, dropping them carelessly to the floor. Then he stretches out on the bed, relaxing his muscles. Sleep.

To sleep, perchance to dream. He grimaces, then chuckles. He is sure the Bard never meant for his lines to be abused by a sick old perv like himself. Oh well. Sorry about that, Willie.

Maybe it will come easily tonight.

Logan used to think that the worst thing about wanting something was not being able to have it. Now he knows better.

"I think she's a little taken with you."

Now he knows that the worst kind of hell comes with wanting something that wants you back...and knowing that you'd have to be a lowlife shit to reach out and take it.

"Well, you can tell her my heart belongs to someone else."

He knows why he said what he did - he feared that someone at Xavier's would notice exactly where his heart was. No, better to let them think that he left pining for Jean. Safer.

He knows, however, that there are three people in the world who cannot be fooled by his fearful half-truths. He cannot lie convincingly to himself, and therefore cannot lie convincingly to the Professor. (Logan has decided that having someone read your thoughts is the damned pits, especially if yours tend to be somewhat less than genteel.)

The third is her. He could never lie to her.

He moves his head from side to side, and his vertebrae crack audibly. He is tired and pissy and has been thinking about her way too damn much tonight. That means that he's probably going to dream again.

He is not as upset by that thought as he should be.

He closes his eyes.

He has started looking forward to them, to the dreams.

Logan sinks back onto the bed, into the pillow, and his own sigh is the last thing he hears before she comes to him.