Keywords: post-X-Men movie fic, Logan introspection, L/J, L/M.
Disclaimer: Of course I don't own the characters.
Distribution: Please ask.
July 21, 2000
He's thinking about Jean.
It's started to get colder now, as the months slip away. This far north, the sun only comes out for a few hours a day, and even then its light is almost watery at times, as seemingly insubstantial as the mist that frames his every breath.
He's thinking about Jean.
He does that once in a while--not often though because his mind is blank in so many areas and really, why would he want to fill it with more questions and what-ifs?
He's thinking about Jean.
Jean, with her bright eyes and soft hands that held the surprise of a callus or two nestled in where her fingers met her palms. Jean has a past hinted at by her hands and he likes to wonder what it might have been. He likes to remember the delicate touch of her fingers skimming across his temples as she checked his injuries. He likes to think it was her way of letting him know that she was there.
He's thinking about Jean and her tight sweaters and skirts that left him watching her walk down the hall in hopes of seeing the delicate skin hidden behind her knee, of imaging the way her back would fit in his arms if he held her. He's thinking about Jean and how they once walked down the halls of Xavier's school, their shoulders almost touching. He's thinking about the startled look on her face as she peered into the corridors of his mind. She never did tell him what she saw.
He's thinking about a girl he met in a bar tucked back at the edge of the world. He's remembering the way her feet curled around the bottom of the bar stool as if she needed something to hold onto. He's thinking about the fear that radiated out from her and how he first dismissed it as merely the wish of someone who was lost and didn't want to be.
He's thinking about her eyes and the way she stared at him and how it was only later that he realized her gaze wasn't full of worry about being lost, it was full of terror of being different in a world that cherishes individuality only to a point. The first time he looked at Marie she was just another stranger in a room full of them and he didn't understand the hope hidden at the edge of her gaze when she glanced at him. He'd forgotten what it was like to hope that somewhere out there was someone who knew what it was like to wake up and not know who you are, not understand the changes inside you.
He's thinking about the way her shoulders slumped as she stood in the middle of a frozen road. He can hear soft lilt of her voice calling out to him. *"I saved your life."*
But he's thinking about Jean.
The days are darker now and the sun is almost an echo or a memory, a quick shot of light across the sky that illuminates the snow that covers everything and creates occasional moments where the whole world is blanketed in a harsh glare.
He still thinks about Jean sometimes.
Jean, leaning over him as he awoke in a place he didn't know, one that was full of smells he couldn't place and didn't want to. Jean, pulled against him as he woke and sprang up, unsheathing parts of him that were given to him by people he can't recall. Jean, slightly flustered as he teased her about not being able to wait to get his shirt off again. Jean, looking away from him as she told him that she slept down the hall "with Scott."
He didn't say good-bye to Jean. He got a glimpse of her hair as he headed out of Xavier's school, and he took her boyfriend's motorcycle. He didn't exactly offer Jean his heart, but he offered her something close to it. Mostly because he knew she wouldn't take it.
He said good-bye to a girl with sad eyes and a white streak that had been placed in her hair because he hadn't been able to save her soon enough. He said good-bye to a girl who had once huddled in the corner of his truck and shook with cold and fear. He said good-bye to Marie.
He once held a girl in his arms on top of a monument that supposedly represents freedom and hope and a chance for a new life and thought that she was gone, that he hadn't been able to save her. He held Marie in his arms and hoped that she would come back to life. She did and the feel of her face under his fingers haunts him.
He shakes his head and exhales.
"I'm thinking about Jean."
The cold takes his words and turns them into a puff of mist. The skin around his knuckles rips open at the sound of his voice and the metal that is a part of him emerges and gleams dully under the thin light of the sun. He looks at the extension of his hands for a moment, wonders if the metal will grow cold in the frigid air and chill his flesh when it slides back inside. He wonders if cold will make the pain of his closing skin any easier to bear.
He can see the tip of his nose, the corner of his eye, and the edge of his ear reflected off the metal that extends in graceful arcs out of his hands. No one else is around. No one is listening to him.
There isn't any danger here, but his body is primed for it anyway. He's itching to prove that he's not a liar; he needs to prove that what he just said is true. He's thinking about Jean. He won't ever have anything with her but he knows that. He's got his own life to lead and his own past to find and he's not going back, he doesn't think about what could be happening in her world.
And Marie--Rogue-- is just a girl who almost killed him twice and he tells himself that the memory of her face is growing fainter every day. And when he listens to the silence all around him he doesn't hear her voice whispering that he is rattling around in her head. He doesn't hear her final question to him. *You running again?* Voices don't carry over distances like that and he can't remember the drawn out sounds of her speech, he can't recall the hesitant lilt of questions she once asked him.
That's what he tells himself, anyway.
Sometimes he thinks about how far away New York is.
And sometimes he realizes that it's still not far enough.
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