AUTHOR: Sharkbait and her amazing, evil insomnia
RATING: PG-13 for swearing and really nasty images
GENRE: Movieverse, Creepy Drama/Sorta' Introspective
SUMMARY: Memories, dreams, reality-- They're all the same color.
ARCHIVE: Uh, sure. Okay. But drop me a line first, alrighty? I just
like to 'oo' and 'ah' over seeing my baby in print. ^_~
FEEDBACK: Send me feedback, I dare ya...c'mon, you *know* you wanna'...
DISCLAIMER: Everything belongs to Marvel. And 20th Century Fox. Or is
it 21st Century Fox now? *scratches her head* Hm...anyway, nothing is
mine, tra la la la la! I embrace my utter lack of ownership; how about
The song snippet is "Mairzy Doats" and it was written by Milton
Drake, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston. I guess it belongs to them too,
but really, who the hell knows?
THANKS: ...shall not go to the wasp that stung my finger, stupid little
bugger that it was. Thanks *will* be going out to Kaylee, for running
the Itty Bitty Archives, which are sooooooo incredibly groovy, and to
all the members of PETS, (People For the Ethical Treatment Scott),
because it's a worthy cause, people.
NOTES: Plot bunnies are killing me. Seriously. You see, there I was,
minding my own business, trying to actually --gasp!-- snag a few Zs, (A
little hobby of mine), when bam! Suddenly there's this idea running
desperately around in circles inside my brain like a hamster on a wheel,
and it just *wouldn't* *go* *away*. So here I am, holding my eyelids
open with matchsticks while I write the flonqing thing in self-defense.
*grumble* Dumb aggressive Logan plot bunnies, always keeping me up...
Oh yes, and if some of this seems a bit confusing, (Shifting between
tenses a bit, sentences running together, plain old nonsensical
weirdness, etc.), that's good. It's supposed to be that way.
Any goofs, flubs, or boo-boos are entirely my fault, and are to be
blamed on my general incompetence. Hey, I haven't slept for about
twenty-two hours, what can you expect?
It's cold and wet and dark where he is, but that's okay. Cold and
wet makes him think of that-place-where-he-used-to-live, that he liked a
lot. They give him a feeling in that thing that's not his head and not
his stomach, and it's kind of a sad hurting wanting feeling, but it
feels kind of good, too.
He used to be afraid of the dark, a long time ago when he was small
and didn't have fur. No, *hair*, it was hair, and he couldn't forget
that, or who knows what else he might forget. Like his favorite shirt
or Mississippi or that song he heard one time before he was Here.
Or his name. His name. His name...his name was...was...
The dark doesn't scare him anymore. At least, he likes to think it
doesn't. Sometimes when he isn't trying so hard, he's small and doesn't
have hair again in his mind, and then he knows that there's things in
the dark that can get him.
Things that buzz, with sharp, shiny, spinning teeth--
There used to be other things, that made it go away. Back when he
really was little and hairless, there were things, (...lanterns...),
that he lit with little sticks, (...matches...), to keep the dark out.
But Pa said oil costs too much, so he could only light it when it was
really bad, when Pa was gone out trapping furs and meat to tide them
through the winter and he was all alone in the cabin. There were things
in the dark then too, but they were different, men with brown skin and
black eyes who maybe would be nice and maybe wouldn't be, you just never
It's not as dark as it was when the lantern was cold, though.
There's a little bit of light, but it's a green sick kind of light that
makes it worse somehow, not better, and he can never decide whether he
wishes it would stay or go and let it be as dark as before.
His eyes are burning, stinging, like he got soap in them again,
shampoo maybe, which hurts like a sonuva' bitch and would leave a red
spot, if he ever got red spots.
So hard to breathe, even if they gave him the
black-thing-that-goes-over-his-face that keeps him from drowning, like
last time. Or was it the time before that? Or maybe the time before
*that*? It was sort of fuzzy in his head, after all this time, (And he
thinks it's been at least an 'all this time' since they did it last).
Speaking of, they'd changed again, learned from their mistakes. The
ink had washed away last time, so now they had put it under his skin, to
keep it there.
The tattoos itch like crazy, like little bugs crawling through the
hair he used to have, but was gone now. It would be back soon, but
until then, he'd be like when he was small. Only he wasn't small
anymore. And if he wasn't small anymore, he had to be brave, couldn't
be scared of the dark, of the shiny things in the dark that buzzed and
What was his name? If he could just remember his name, he'd be okay,
he'd be okay...
Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey, a kiddley divey
too, wouldn't you?
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
There it is. They've started, he can feel the buzzing in his bones.
Nonononononono, not again! They're all around the cabin, and Pa
shoulda' been back by now, and he's supposed to protect the cabin, but
he can't protect his bones.
He begins to struggle, thrashing against the straps that hold him in
place as best he can. Bubbles roil and tumult, and crowd into his face
'til bubbles are almost all he can see.
But they aren't everything he can see, and he's glad for it, but
scared too, like with the light and just as bad.
Bubbles everywhere, like the champagne in the men's glasses, and he
doesn't know if their skin is brown, but their eyes look black, black,
Oh God, Oh God, the spinning, shining things in the dark are out, and
they're biting him, sinking into him, and they killed Pa, and the
lantern is burning, but he can't remember his name--
He sits up, claws twitching in his arms, but not quite unsheathing.
He's learned his lesson about that.
He squeezes his eyes shut, and clutches his sheets, fighting the
shakes. _It's not real, I'm not really there, it's not real..._ He
thinks, trying to ground himself in the Now like the Professor taught
him. _I'm in my bed, in my room at the mansion. I'm not there anymore,
I'm here, and I'm safe._
It's not enough though, he has to see to believe it. He forces his
eyelids apart, despite the voice of his instincts which howls NO, and
then sighs in relief, laying back against his pillow. He's in his room,
in his bed, not in Canada, not in the tank.
He's in his room. His green room, with green carpet, green walls,
green furniture, green linens...
Then the buzzing is there, fills his ears. He screams as the things
in the dark with shiny, sharp, spinning teeth cut into his tattooed
And the world is GREEN--
Logan jerked awake, mouth dry as an old rag, and grabbed a handful of
sheets, staring at them desperately.
White, just as they had been when he'd gone to bed. He ran an
unsteady hand through his hair, and tried to get his wild panting under
control. Deep breaths now.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.
Dark brown ceiling, great slats of antique wood.
Futon made of pine, with a clear, glistening lacquer finish. No
Oak floor, red throw rug, no carpet.
There. He was firmly planted in the present. Logan pinched himself,
just to make sure, and finally let himself relax a little, though
tension still practically hummed through his body.
Hell of a dream tonight. The ending was particularly ugly. It never
got any easier, even if he'd had it too many times to count using both
hands, both feet, and all his teeth. The visceral horror of being back
There and that cruel final trick always caught him straight in the gut.
Each time, he never saw it coming, no matter how often he'd already gone
Hadn't had that dream for a while, though.
Logan knew exactly what had stirred it up. Earlier that night had
been Scott and Jean's engagement party, (More of a we-finally-set-a-date
celebration, since they'd been engaged for months), and as part of the
festivities, the adults had partaken in a little bubbly. Save for him,
Champagne, (The *real* stuff, too. The Professor had certainly
spared no expense for his 'kids'). Even now, just the smell of it
turned his stomach, made him break out into a cold sweat.
Needless to say, once the cork had been popped, he'd split,
retreating to the nearest balcony for a bit of fresh air.
Everybody had thought it was because of him getting jealous over
Jeannie, and that he'd gracefully left before there was a scene. Except
maybe Charles. Yeah, old Chuck was a pretty keen observer, even without
all the mental mumbo jumbo.
Good grief. Who would have guessed a bottle of French carbonated
wine could turn him, Mr. Man, into such a wreck?
None of the X-Men, that was for sure.
But he would have. Oh yes, he would have. Especially the small part
of him that didn't have hair, who knew about lanterns, cabins, and the
cold, wet, and dark.
A glance over at the clock told him it was 3:47 AM. Great, four and
a half more hours to either a) lie awake and brood over his nightmare,
or b) go to sleep and have *new* nightmares to brood about.
Might as well get comfortable, if he was going to spend the next few
hours suffering, (Which sounded strange even to him, when he thought
about it for a second).
Pulling his --white-- sheets up to his neck, Logan curled up on his
side, tucking all of his limbs in close to his body protectively. Most
anyone who knew him would have been shocked by how vulnerable and young
it made him seem.
There were a lot of things about him that would shock them.
It was no matter, though. All he had to think about now was not
giving in, not falling asleep...
He was so busy trying *not* to sleep, in fact, that he hardly felt
the gentle touch on his mind, that lulled him into a deep, mercifully
In his own room, Charles turned off his bedside lamp, then thought
again, and flipped it back on. There were far too many echoes of blades
and darkness to make him eager put the lights out quite yet.
Sleeping peacefully for the first time in...a very, very long while,
Logan drifted in soft, pearly mists, where everything was white.
But just on the fringes lurked champagne and sharp shining, because
no matter what, no matter how soothing or gentle the telepathic
suggestion, no matter how brave he was, somewhere there would always be
darkness in his mind.
Author's note: It's 6:51 AM as I'm getting done editing. I wrote
this story in about three and a half hours time, (Plus another two hours
in playing seek-and-destroy with typos), and let me tell you, I'm in no
hurry to go to bed after this. *shudder* I don't want to even think
about what kind of whacked out dreams I'll be having from this one.
But that's the effect I wanted, so I guess I can't complain...much.
*glares at her plot bunnies* Are you guys satisfied now? Logan has
been thoroughly tortured, and I'll never sleep again. Harrumph.
Ah well. The sacrifices we make for our fics, eh?
I gotta' say, though, it was weird as hell writing this with _Out Of
The Box_ and _Rolie Polie Olie_ playing in the background, (BTW, if you
don't know what those are, they're two very sweet children's TV shows).
Talk about yin and yang. ^_^