The only thing worse than realizing you've just
unintentionally written a sequel to one of your stories is
realizing you've unintentionally written a prequel to one
of them. I hate that. And I'm not entirely sure who to
blame, so feel free to tell me what you think....
Title: Seven Towers
Author: Sare Liz, teknovamp@...
Series: I think this is a prequel to 'Burning Incense',
which just proves that I can't write a standalone to save
Rating/Codes: R for language. Logan POV, [L/R]
Archiving: lists, teknovamp
Disclaimer: They're not mine, of course. Title from U2's
"Running to Stand Still': "I see seven towers, but I only
see one way out."
Dedicated: To Jenn, for the very much appreciated help
with this little darling, and for the wonderful
Author's Note: Yet another written with the quadruple
inspiration of A) Social and Political Theory (see Foucault
on power) B) Three or Four choice specimens of DeeJay's
work C) Some crazy ideas of love I gleaned from watching
'Someone Like You' D) 'Strung out on U2', the string
ensemble tribute to U2 which I cannot possibly recommend
enough. No, seriously.
Somethings just come right out and bite you on the ass.
There's just no ignoring somethings. Some stuff sneaks up
on you. And it's not even like there's a definitive line
between them - you see the important shit, and everything
else falls by the wayside. Life ain't that easy, which if
you asks me proves the existence of a higher authority, but
that's just a whole 'nother pond to fish in. No, even in
the simplest of lives, there's shit you're going to miss
the first time around and it's going to be the most
important shit of your life. If you're lucky - and I mean
really damn lucky - you'll get another free pass at it and
hopefully your luck will last long enough for you to
actually get some mileage out of it, meaning of course that
you're luck won't run out before you're able to pull your
head out of you ass and see A - what you missed before, B -
how damn important it is, and C - have the wherewithal to
snatch it up while you can because maybe you won't get
another try at it..
And now I'm making lists. I'm starting to think in terms
I'd say I've been here too damn long but then saying it out
loud would be completely negating items B and C of said
list. I'm just gonna have to find a way to annoy the hell
out of Scotty boy that doesn't involve hitting on Jean,
because let's face it: Jeannie's a good kid and for some
godforsaken reason she's taken it in her head to stick by
him and while that makes no sense to me on principle, there
you are. Not the 'sticking by' part, but the 'him' part.
That part makes no sense to me. Monogamy's a fine idea, I
say. Granted, I'm all for orgies and having a woman on
each arm, but when you've finally realized you can't live
without someone, the idea of a *different* someone just
doesn't seem to appeal so much anymore.
So yea, like I said. Somethings you just don't catch onto
right away. It's like in a movie when the music is just
starting to creep up on you, little bit at a time and
you're so involved with what's on the screen you just take
the music for granted. Then all the sudden it's the big
fight scene and you're all worked up and somewhere between
critiquing the stunts and yelling at the people to do what
obviously should be done, you realize the music is at a
crescendo as you're growling and it catches you a little
off guard because the music just fits it, but who ever
heard of techno for a fight scene? And you're just not
sure what to do about that music that's weaseled it's way
into the feel of the scene so that it's just about perfect
but there it is and you can't take it out and have the
scene be the same, not anymore.
Fuck, that's not it either.
It's just that� Somethings you don�t see. That's just the
way life is. You don't see them because you think it's
normal for life to be acting that way, but it's not. It's
not the normal run of the mill attitude to a normal run of
the mill situation but you *just don't see that* at the
time. It's only later, much later - some may say too late
- when you realize that shit, if it had been someone else
instead of one of us, it wouldn't have gone down like that,
any of the times.
Some people are particularly happy when these little
revelations dawn themselves upon them. Some people are
damn stupid, too. Count me wherever you think I fall.
It might not have been so bad if I'd figured it all out on
the road, or back up North. I could have kept in touch a
little, made sure she had any damn thing she wanted, but I
would have stayed away. Even if she felt the same, the law
of averages has got it that she'd find someone else to be
in love with at some point, someone to make her happy
because there are just hell and gone too many complications
to make it work. So, yea. Somewhere outside of New York
State, or possibly the continental US would have been a
great place to have my epiphany.
As fate would have it - that conceited, conniving,
wonderful bitch that she is - my epiphany dawned while
sitting on a bench on the grounds of Xavier's mansion with
her head resting on my leg. One minute everything was
fine. She had her legs dangling off one of the arm rests
at the far end and she was reading a book. I was stroking
her hair, her head, as I watched some kids play basketball,
not thinking about a hell of a lot, just remembering some
shit that had gone down and how she'd handled it all so
damn well and how proud of her I was.
I remember thinking that I couldn't have been more proud of
her if she'd been my own daughter, but that thought was all
mixed up with the idea that if she had been my daughter I'd
probably have messed up somewhere along the line 'cause I
probably wouldn't be able to do that sort of thing by
myself from scratch. Which made me realize that it wasn't
so much a 'me a father and her a daughter' kind of thought
but 'me a father *of* her daughters', and if ever there
were a thought transition to scare the hell right of out of
you, that would definitely be it. So one minute everything
was status quo, the next minute my perception of reality
shifted and shifted good.
I don't know what I would have done if she hadn't been
right there, if I hadn't been touching her right then, but
I was. As I see it, that's the most important thing. Not
what you would have or could have or should have done, but
what you did.
And I didn't know what to do, not at first. I just sort of
looked at her, as if by just staring I could see something
magically transform right before my eyes to explain the
thoughts in my head, give them a basis. I only saw what I
always saw. Marie.
It was enough to just look at her then, to absorb all the
little things I never really noticed, or at least not in
the ways I was noticing now. And I couldn't get enough of
her. I don't think I've ever wanted to touch a woman as
bad as I wanted to touch her right then, on that bench.
But my hand had stilled from that one minute to the next
and she apparently took issue with that, because her eyes
rose from her book and her head shifted a little on my leg
and there was my basis. Right there, in her eyes, was all
the proof I'd ever need about any question of who would
father her children.
It was the same look she always gave me; one part whatever
it was the moment called for, one part adoration, but I
swear I never got it till right then. Until then it was
just� Just Marie. That's just the way she was. She was
open and trusting and caring and she could pout among the
best, at least with me. And right about then I realized
too that not only was she not quite like that with everyone
else but she was *distinctly* not like that, even with her
closest friends. All that was reserved just for me, for
some reason, and now I knew the reason.
First among my thoughts was 'how long?' Seriously, how
dense could I have been? Or was now just the right time
for me to know, a time when I could deal with it and she
could deal with it and everyone could deal with it or
alternately go fuck themselves.
Chief among my other thoughts was 'how permanent?' And
that was the easiest to answer; Pretty fucking permanent -
permanent, stable, commitment-worthy, the whole nine yards.
Start thinking of names if it's a girl, kind of permanent,
and please God, while you are it, let the little bugger
have her temperament because the world just isn't ready for
a replica of me, kinda permanent.
And it wasn't even like I was getting ahead of myself. I
really only felt like I was catching up, and shit if there
wasn't a lot to catch up on. I still needed a place to
start though. I needed a way to tell her that I was
finally on the same page and it was a fine place to be.
Didn't have the faintest clue how do that, either, so I
didn't try, not exactly.
She was looking up at me, waiting, and I suppose she said
something but I was damned if I knew what. Probably
wanting to know why I stopped with the caress. Point
My gloves were resting on her stomach and I snatched them
up and put them on without a second thought and she arched
an eyebrow at me and I couldn't help it. I smiled, just a
little. Which in turn made her smile, albeit suspiciously.
I started at her throat, my thumb making gentle circles
until she sighed and closed her eyes and let the book drop
onto her stomach where my gloves had lain. I wondered how
many times she sighed like that when I was touching her
before, how many times I thought it was just her enjoying
touch from someone who didn't fear her on some base level.
And how many times had my mind glossed over the scent of
her desire after a back rub? Was all of it any different
from how she'd been right then? I had the distinct feeling
that the only thing different was me.
I stroked her neck up and down the sides, just so, then her
jaw line, then the tip of one finger down her nose and she
giggled at me. She could flip like that sometimes. One
minute so� Well, sensual is what I'd say now, but serious I
probably would have called it then, and the next minute I'd
have found that ticklish place just on the sides of her
ribs and she wouldn't be able to breathe she'd be laughing
so hard, pushing at me and begging me to stop. Sometimes
she'd cuddle up to me afterwards, like a cat and I'd stroke
her like one because it was just so natural. I never had
the faintest clue, not in all that time. It does all make
a hell of a lot of sense in retrospect, I have to admit.
Tracing the line of her eyebrow, smoothing away the tension
in her forehead, soothing the temples and she was sighing
again, deep things and I could tell the stress was draining
away little at a time, just like every time I touch her,
seriously touch her. It had always been the way. If I
made any sort of serious effort at all of touching her -
holding her hand, rubbing her arm, stroking her hair, much
less the rarely missed after workout rubdowns that included
oil, two towels, a pair of latex gloves and not much else,
and she was just so much more calm. I really liked the
brand new knowledge that it was me. It wasn't just about
getting touch, but getting *my* touch that mattered so much
to her, that seemed so vital.
Then, because I couldn't not, her lips. So tender, so
soft, gently, so gently and she gasped a little and her
eyes flew open, apparently not expecting that from me.
Like the first time I came back and she must have known
when I passed security because wherever she'd been in the
mansion she'd bolted out from the gardens and met me in the
drive. I remember seeing her and slowing down and no
sooner getting my feet on the ground than getting hit full
force with *her*, my little girl, my Marie. She was a
bundle of very happy energy just then as she clung to me
like letting go would mean me leaving again which was an
idea she apparently wasn't fond of, so I pulled her up and
over, half on my legs, half on the gas tank so she'd
realize it was okay to let me breathe again. But the
surprise in her eyes was the same as on the bench when she
opened my pack to get her present and found a soft pair of
brown leather gloves that couldn't possibly go an inch past
her wrist, if that. It took a look and a growl to get her
old gloves off. She was afraid but it was bullshit unless
she decided she wanted to elbow me in the chin and
afterwards she just glowed. The surprise had been worth it
then, to see her glow like that.
Her heart was going faster now that my fingers were on her
lips and the look was still in her eyes. She had to be
wondering exactly how I'd meant it because my track record
hadn't been so great thus far.
Wouldn't want to keep her in suspense or anything.
That was a new one, and if her heart rate is anything to go
by, a winner. She just sort of looked at me with a half
smile, like she was trying to figure it out, maybe
consulting with her inner me. The point was obvious though
- something more was needed. Anyone else and I probably
would have just kissed them by now, but my first thought
was that kissing Marie - a thought I'd never really
entertained before - would be a bad idea. With my second
thought I wondered how she'd feel through that scarf around
her neck. Not as good as the real thing, definitely, but
it was something. Maybe it could be something that was
good in its own right.
One arm slipping under her head to support her neck and one
arm reaching over and down under the small of her back,
lifting her up while I slid under her, bringing her up so
she was sitting in my lap, her legs still dangling off over
the arm bar of the bench, and she still had that crazy
little half smile only now she was a little breathless to
go along with it. Not bad. Very smooth. A glove came off
with the aide of the teeth because what better excuse to
raise the free end of her sheer scarf over my fingers?
It was good like this, her snug on my lap with her arms
around my neck and my hand cupping her face with just this
transparent silk between. So much nicer to trace her lips
this way. But how would it be to kiss her through it? I
leaned slightly and found out that it was both a miserable
replacement and quite possibly the best feeling I've ever
It sucked because it wasn't her skin, it didn't feel like
her skin, and under no stretch of the imagination could the
now all too rough material ever be mistaken for something
as sensual and ode-worthy as Marie's lips.
It was the best feeling in the world because I was
*kissing* her and there was power in that. There was power
in me doing it and power in her letting me do it. And
there was certainly power when she started to kiss me back,
as much as one can kiss between a cloth barrier, which is
not a hell of a lot, considering a mouth full of cloth
isn't nearly as intoxicating as a mouth full of your lover,
but it was something, a great big huge something, right
there, out in the open just waiting to be taken note of by
every gossip mongering child in the house, particularly the
ones over thirty.
It was nice too when I followed the cloth back down her
neck and just sort of settled in there, nuzzling and
nipping and generally enjoying her quiet moaning and the
feel of her fingers on my shoulder and in my hair. It was
a little surreal that she was taking it all in stride,
thought I'm not sure what I would have done if she hadn't,
but she did. It wasn't really like she'd been waiting
though. I really hadn't gotten any sense of relief or
resentment or anything similar off of her. Just earnest.
Love in earnest. The very thought sent shivers down my
spine and that sure as hell wasn't something I'd felt in a
Have you seen your muse today?
"To seek is to lose, for seeking presupposes a separation between the seeker and the sought." - Trinh T. Minh-ha
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