Title: Maybe (1/1)
Author: Donna Bevan
Category: L/R, angst
Summary: What happens to dreams when harsh reality invades?
Disclaimer: Not mine. Marvel, Fox, etc. Theirs.
Note: Once more, with feeling... This is another answer to Khaki's
challenge. The angstmonger in me just wouldn't let it be. So blame it on
Khaki. ;) And the fact that I was listening to "Purple Rain"...
They died instantly.
Chinese water torture wouldn't have dragged the truth out of Logan, but
there it was. Every dream he'd harbored since his departure - every secret
desire, all the fevered wishes.
All his dreams. Dead, and with the sound of happy laughter.
Oddly, it hadn't occurred to him until that very moment that she'd never
laughed for him. She'd smiled, yes, but not enough. Not as much as she'd
She was laughing now. Without him. Without *thinking* of him.
He'd stood at the misted window and watched her blurred form on the lawn,
but it wasn't enough, so he swiped a hand across the condensation.
Still blurred, and not enough.
So he opened it. And that's when he saw the abandoned smile on Rogue's
upturned face and heard her tinkling giggle, like bells. Tiny silver
bells, sleigh bells, though he couldn't have told you how he remembered
enough to make the comparison.
He'd never heard that before. Hadn't known that she sounded like
that. Like sunshine.
There were others on the courtyard lawn, but Logan barely saw them. What
he saw was the summer shower Ororo had conjured, and the way the rain
flowed over Rogue's face, hair, and clothes. It plastered the long-sleeved
shirt to her body, the jeans to her legs.
And the smile to her face.
Suddenly, she swung her head from side to side, whipping her hair in a wild
arc. Logan's stomach clenched. He'd never seen her like this. He hadn't
imagined she be so...
<So what, Logan?> a tiny voice taunted. <So goddamn happy without your
sorry ass? Well, take a good look. She is.>
Now the others had joined her in laughter, their mirth commingling and
wandering his way. She had friends here. They cared about her.
They were part of her new life, one she'd managed to build in only two
short months. Xavier had told him that she'd caught up in all of her
classes and was on schedule to graduate with the others her age. She'd
been doing just fine.
Logan felt pride swell in his chest, but it was tempered by something else,
something less savory.
It wasn't right of him. It was selfish and stupid, but he'd halfway hoped
that she'd miss him as much as he'd missed her. That she'd been less than
happy. Lonely, maybe, like him.
He'd poured out the entire story in a bar one night to a haggard-looking
waitress. She'd listened, served him another double, and informed him that
he was in love with "the kid."
He'd even, in one of his more fanciful moments, agreed. But it was
egocentric and self-centered for him to wish less than the best for
Rogue. That wasn't love; that was just plain shitty.
Down on the ground, she jumped into a puddle with both feet, splashing a
nearby boy with water. Again, the laughter. Her face was wet with rain,
<God help me...>
She was young, untroubled.
Logan was not.
She was light, kindhearted. Sweet.
Logan was an asshole.
"You said you wanted to discuss some things before we announced your
He turned away from the window, his heart languishing somewhere in the
vicinity of his feet. <I wanted to let you know that I came back for her,
Chuck,> he said silently. <I wanted to tell you that I'm leaving, and I'm
taking Rogue with me.>
But he didn't say those things, and he knew the Professor wouldn't
pry. Not with the look that must have been on his face at that moment.
There were a million reasons he'd thought of why Rogue couldn't stay, why
she needed to be on the road with him. Strangely, he hadn't considered
that every single one of them hinged on her being miserable without him.
And that wasn't the case.
Maybe it was because he wasn't good enough. Maybe she saw that he thought
only of himself, of what he wanted and fuck everyone who got in his
way. That was him.
And he was a shit. He'd wanted her to leave with him, *for* him, when he
should have been thinking about what she wanted and needed.
What a dickhead.
Maybe Rogue saw all that, all the way through him, and she was going to
stay away. He couldn't blame her - it was the smart thing to do.
"I wanted to ask if your offer is still open," he found himself saying. "I
want to stay."
He was going to stay and make sure that Rogue had everything she even
*thought* she desired. If she wanted to talk, he'd be there. If she
needed money for college or a car, he'd get it for her. If she wanted to
beat him in the groin with a hockey stick, he'd stand there and eat it up
with a smile.
He shouldn't stay.
He knew it.
But he couldn't leave. Not without her. And he wasn't going to take away
the smile he'd seen on her rain-streaked lips.
Logan had never done the smart thing.
But he was going to do the *right* one.
For Marie, because he maybe *was* a little bit in love her.
I don't want to be a geek groupie. Though I'd like to go on record as
saying right now that I think the world needs more of those.
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