Title: Never Said Goodbye
Author: Donna
Email: bevan1013@mindspring.com
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Rating: R (for excessive use of the F-word)
Summary: Logan finds out the hard way that sometimes...you can't go home again.
Category: Logan POV, angst
Disclaimer: Logan isn't mine, or I'd be the envy of everyone on the list! LOL
Notes: This is a standalone fic - it is not part of the Adaptations series. It's just an angsty little piece of mush that smacked me in the face as I sat, reading some Amanda Marshall lyrics and waiting for Jen's next fic. :) I am not optimistic enough to hope that you like it, 'cause I don't even like it, but anyway... :)
Author's Note, Take Two: Oh yeah, every single "Logan comes home" cliche in this fic was placed there deliberately. :) Consider it my homage to fic tradition, kinda like Scully's damn strawberry shampoo. I love that people get those ideas in their heads, and they become almost like canon. It's great. LOL

I drove 1000 miles
chasing a memory
but all the pieces of what used to be have scattered
and all the little things
that used to mean so much
I look around me now and see that they don't matter
all of a sudden I'm driving home again
'cause sometimes goodbye is better left unsaid

Two years. It's a hell of a long time to some people, but not so much for me. When you live life the way I do, days can run into months and even years and the whole process kind of escapes your notice. It's a pattern I know well. I do it all the time; I get settled into a sort of routine - a crazy, nonsensical one, but a routine nonetheless - and I live it until something out of my control comes along and nudges me out of it.

It's kind of like inertia, I guess. I just keep moving until something happens to spin me off in another direction.

Meeting up with Marie was the biggest spin of all. Everything that happened after I met her completely changed my life. I tend to view meeting her the same way historians look at the birth of Christ. It sounds crazy, but hear me out. Everything in my life that I can recall is divided into two eras - before Marie, and after. If I try to remember being in a certain city or area, I'll actually catch myself thinking, "Now, was that before Marie?" It helps me put things in chronological order, I guess.

It also scares the shit out of me, that I could be so affected by one person that I would section my life according to her presence in it.

I used to write. Nothing fancy, just an occasional postcard hastily chosen from one of those warped metal racks they always have in truck stops. Never anything poetic or beautiful or profound - just "It's freezin' up here, Marie," or "How're the geeks treatin' you?" I never signed the cards - I figured she'd know they were from me. I mean, who else was going to be sending her cheesy tourist postcards from Canada?

I stopped writing last year, and I don't know why. Maybe I was getting to the point where I could pretend that what I remembered feeling for her wasn't real, just a figment of my lonely imagination. Maybe I had myself convinced that she was just a kid I was sworn to protect, and nothing beyond that.

I've always been great at short-term self-delusion.

Two years, and now I'm going back. Something else has come along and knocked me out of my orbit, only this time that something wasn't an outside force. See, the thing is this - I had an epiphany, and damned if I didn't have it while staring into a pint of beer. James Joyce would have been proud of me.

But I digress.

Anyway, there I was, peering into my beer like it held all the answers in the universe, and I suddenly realized that I needed to be with Marie. Yeah, I know; one would expect a revelation like that to be preceded by something like her favorite song playing on the jukebox, or the fleeting scent of a woman wearing her brand of perfume. But the truth of the matter is that I don't have a clue what her favorite song is, and I don't think Marie even wore perfume. No, we were just sitting there, my beer and I, and I thought to myself, "What are you doin' here, you stupid dick? You need to be with Marie."

Sorry it wasn't more romantic, but that's exactly what I thought.

That was two nights ago. I checked out of my cheap motel and hauled ass, and now I'm pulling up outside the gates at Xavier's. I wonder where she is. I wonder if she'll hug me, or smile, or if she'll be pissed that I didn't write or call.

Two years.

For a moment, I am shocked to see the Professor sitting in the front drive like he's been expecting me. Then I feel like the world's biggest moron, because it occurs to me that it wouldn't exactly be a hardship for Xavier to figure out that I'm on my way. He nods his head in greeting as I stop Scott's bike and kill the engine. I walk up to him, and he extends his hand and asks, "How have you been, Logan?"

It irritates me. Not the question itself, it's just that I don't have time for this sort of thing, this chitchat stuff. I came home for Marie, and she's the one I want to see. "I've been good. How are things here?" I figure the Professor probably already knows that what I really mean is, "How's Marie?"

He hesitates before answering. "Things here are.different."

I am mildly amused by his cryptic response. Of course things are different; nothing ever stays the same. "Are they different in a good way or a bad way?" I ask.

"I suppose that depends on your reasons for coming back." I register his somber expression at about the same time I hear his voice in my head. You're right, Logan. Nothing ever stays the same.

I am about to ask him straight up what the hell he meant by that when I hear soft laughter coming from a grove of trees to my right. Marie. I step around a tall shrub and see her leaning against an oak tree, grinning from ear to ear.

Seeing that grin would please me if it wasn't directed at the leering punk standing in front of her. No, he isn't standing - he's leaning, and awfully close to her. The backs of my hands ache as my claws twitch inside my skin, sensing a need to be freed.

Just who the fuck does that prick think he is??

"His name is Remy LeBeau," Xavier says from behind me, and I grit my teeth. "He arrived here at the school shortly after you left, Logan." At my silence, he continues. "He and Rogue became friends, and then." His voice trails off, and he's inside my head. Then they became more.

I don't know why that bald son-of-a-bitch always says the heavy shit in my head like that instead of out loud. What, does he think it hurts less that way? Does he think it makes the words less real?

It doesn't.

It hurts like fucking hell and it's real, all right. Real enough to be standing under an oak tree snuggling up to my girl.

My girl.


Two years.

She hasn't even looked my way. For some reason, that wounds me more than the sight of that punk tracing her face and smiling lips with his gloved hands. There was a time when my Marie could sense me without even looking, and now.Now I'm standing fifty feet away from her and she's so wrapped up in that Remy kid that she can't even be bothered to glance in my general direction.

For fuck's sake, didn't she even hear the bike pull up? It doesn't exactly have a quiet engine. She can't be so engrossed in whatever that kid is saying that she forgot that sound, the one she was supposed to listen for.

The one that would tell her I was home.

I don't want to be here right now. I don't want to be seeing the way that kid has his hands all over Marie.like they belong there.

Like he belongs there.

Two years.

I turn to the Professor, and I don't even bother trying to hide the agony that must be burned across my face. He could see it anyway, so there's no point, really. "I was never here," I inform him tersely. "You didn't see me. For all you know, I'm dead."

"Logan--" I cut him off by releasing my claws, and the sound eclipses the kindness of his voice.

"I mean it, Chuck. If anyone asks, I'm dead."

"Maybe you should--"

"Dead," I growl, trying my best to look menacing and failing miserably. It's hard to look like a hardass when there are tears gathering in your eyes. "There is no Logan."

I'm on the bike and down the drive in a flash, and I don't know if he even tried to say anything else.

Two years. Not so long for me, but for Marie.I guess it was too long. I guess she couldn't wait, couldn't take me at my word when I told her I'd be back.

Or maybe she knew I would, but woke up one day and found that she didn't particularly care anymore.

It's funny, but I think I've come full-circle now. I'm thinking about going back to the old life, you know? Cage-brawling isn't so bad, and if I can somehow imagine that every drunken redneck trying to kick my ass is really that tall redheaded kid who stole Marie, it might be fun. Freeing. Therapeutic, even.

Shit. He didn't steal Marie. I lost her, and he found her. I dropped her, and he picked her up. My fault.

Two years.

It's okay, really. I'll be okay. Just gotta find something else to think about, that's all. Something besides the way I feel.like I want to puke up my guts, and then just curl up and die.

I kind of wonder now why I didn't stay. I have a certain amount of charm, you know, and I'm sure it wouldn't have been too terribly hard to yank Marie right out from under that other guy's nose. A few intense looks here, some grazing touches there.She'd be mine within a week.

But I didn't stay because - whoo boy, get this - I want her to be happy. And if that guy makes her happy, then I wish them all the best.

Yeah, whatever. Here's the real reason - I'm a motherfucking coward. Even though it hurts like hell burning to not have Marie, I'm also a little bit relieved. It takes a lot of pressure off of me now. I don't have to wait and worry and wonder when I'm going to fuck things up with her, 'cause I already have.

It's sort of liberating.

It's sort of liberating.

It's sort of--

See, the secret's all in the repetition. Aw, hell. Maybe I'm going nuts.

Two years.

I never said goodbye to her, you know.

She said goodbye to me.

I'll get over this. As much as Marie meant to me, as much as the very thought of her made me feel better and more complete, I will get over this. It probably won't even take me very long, now that I think about it. I mean, it only took me two years to realize that I needed her. What's another two or three to realize that maybe I don't?

I don't need her.

I'll believe it eventually, 'cause like I said, I'm the master of self-delusion.