Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...
Summary: "She had to know."
Series: Cross Purposes (the first two stories can be found here:
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of
fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool
Feedback: Always welcome in all variations.
Notes: Thanks Dot, Meg, Jen, and Pete/Melissa. This is the last story in
the Cross Purposes trilogy, following "Just My Imagination" and "Waiting
She found him easily enough. She didn't have to ask twice about the
Wolverine. Everyone she met in Calgary had a story to tell.
They were only too happy to point her toward the old warehouse that had
been converted into a bar for the Stampede, a place for illegal cage
fighting to take place after hours.
She waited in her motel room until midnight, then took a cab to the
outskirts of town. The warehouses all looked the same in the dark --
dirty and dangerous. She was almost ready to give up when she spotted a
group of rough-looking men in cowboy hats heading down an alley. She
heard music and crowd noise, and sighed in relief. She wasn't looking
forward to this confrontation. Or she was, but was afraid that it
wouldn't turn out the way she hoped, and then she'd have traveled three
thousand just to get rejected.
It was a lowering thought, and her mood was not improved by the stares
and catcalls directed her way upon her entrance into the makeshift bar.
She slid onto one of the barstools and accepted the bottle of Molson the
bartender put in front of her without asking.
"You got a bet, honey?" he asked, giving her the once-over.
"A hundred on Wolverine," she said, and slid the money across the bar.
He nodded. "All the ladies like him."
Rogue said nothing; she had already turned toward the cage.
"A little uppity, ain't ya?"
She kept her eyes on the cage, and her hood up, even though it was July.
"No." Her hand tightened around the neck of the bottle. The bartender
receded from her consciousness as Logan climbed into the ring.
She caught her breath, remembering the first time she'd seem him,
shirtless, prowling the cage like he owned it. He might as well have. He
She shivered, anticipation tinged with fear. She'd crossed the continent
to see him, to find out what, if anything, he felt for her. She'd
believed for so long that he'd been in love with Jean, that she herself
had only been an obligation. Everyone thought she was crazy for breaking
up with Remy and chasing after the ghost of an adolescent dream; she'd
spent the five-hour flight wondering the same thing.
But she had to know.
So she sat, clutching her beer, and waited.
Logan wasn't psychic, but his skin prickled with something more than
anticipation of the upcoming fight as he paced the cage. He shook his
head as if to clear it as the emcee led the challenger into the ring.
The guy was short, and almost as wide as he was tall. His gut hung over
the belt of his jeans, and the sickly sweet stench of pot and beer
wafted off him.
Logan sighed internally. It was going to be difficult to make this one
look like a real fight, and the take would probably be minimal. Not that
it mattered. He'd made a shitload of money over the weekend. He wouldn't
have to fight again for a while.
Absently absorbing punches from his opponent, he contemplated heading
back to Alkali Lake to see if he could pick up the trail of his past.
He'd nearly convinced himself that he'd missed something the first time
around when he saw her.
The hood of her cloak had fallen back to reveal the two white streaks in
her hair, stark and luminous in the smoky depths of the bar. She drank
from a bottle, head tipped back, emphasizing the sleek line of her long,
He ended the farce of a fight with two punches, laying the guy out on
the floor with an uppercut to the jaw. The crowd roared and money
changed hands across the bar.
He stalked out of the cage, eyes locked on Rogue, who straightened
suddenly, as if aware she'd been spotted. He ignored the fight fans
offering congratulations and drinks, and the women offering lewd
Rogue's presence here could mean only one thing, and he wasn't going to
blink and discover she'd been a hallucination. She smiled hesitantly
when he reached her, and he could smell her anxiety.
He took the beer from her loose grip and finished it in one long
swallow; then his hand closed around her gloved wrist. He could feel the
warmth of her flesh and the delicacy of her bones. She was real and she
was here, and he wasn't letting her out of his sight.
He led her through the bar, the crowd parting naturally to let them
through. The catcalls and comments died a quick death when Logan growled
and bared his teeth. The room where they ended up had functioned as an
office when the warehouse had been a warehouse, instead of an illicit
Rogue perched on the edge of the rickety old desk while Logan pulled his
shirt and jacket on.
Finally, he said, "Does this mean what I think it means?"
"I don't know. What do you think it means?"
He let loose a low growl and she smiled. "You tell me," he said.
She got to her feet and tossed her head. "I didn't travel three thousand
miles to play games, Logan."
"This is no game."
She took a deep breath. "If you want me, I'll stay. If you don't, I'll
head back to New York in the morning."
He could hear her heart racing, belying the calm with which she'd
spoken, and the steady way she met his eyes. He reached out a hand and
stopped just short of her lips, his fingers so close to her skin that
her warm breath brushed over his knuckles.
"Stay," he said, his voice hoarse. Just in case she hadn't heard the
first time, he said again, "Stay."
She smiled, then, and it lit the dingy room. She exhaled in relief.
They walked out into the night hand in hand. He felt the need to touch
her constantly, to reassure himself she wasn't a figment of his
imagination, that she was really there, and she wanted to be with him.
When they reached her motel room, they made love -- fiercely the first
time; he wanted the feel her pressed against him, bury himself deep
inside her to prove to himself she was real. The second time was slow
and tender -- loving -- and he was secure in the knowledge that she
loved him, as much as he loved her.
When they were done, he held her close, content to breathe her in.
"I can't believe this is real," she murmured as she drifted off to
sleep. "I waited so long for this."
"Me, too," he whispered, kissing her temple carefully. "Me too."
CJ: "You wanna make out with me right now, don't you?"
Toby: "When don't I?"
The West Wing
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