FIC: Twenty-One: PG-13: 1/2: R, L
- Possibly subject to massive revisions, possibly not, depending on a person
relatively beyond my control. But as is--and weird as hell. No, apparently
there is another one after this.
Codes: Rogue, Logan
Rating: PG-13, language
Series: For Now #5
Summary: I'm not sure. There's drinking and discussion of gloves, my idea
of what is funny, and even some angst, but I can't really explain much
farther than that.
Author Notes: Ummm...no.
Archiving: Yes, if I've said so, ask otherwise.
Dedication: Sare, for giving me a hell of a headache for motivations. I
do love her for it.
* * * * *
Mmmm. Logan. I classify my dreams in two categories--those that involve
Logan and those that don't. Subcategorize Logan into three distinct
types--sex, about to have sex, or him having sex with Jean.
I'm a sick puppy. But he's saying Marie, so that means its category 1 or
2--always good. The Jean ones tend to disturb me, even when I'm playing
the part of Jean.
No, *especially* if I'm playing the part of Jean. No, I don't need a
therapist. Don't look at me like that, either.
"Marie." A little more impatient, and something smooth slides across my
cheek. Like leather. Very good leather, if the smell is anything to go
by. Butter-soft. Those have made an appearance in a few dreams, let me
But usually, he doesn't use that tone when he tells me he'd like to push me
up against the wall and miraculously produces a condom out of thin air.
I open my eyes and it's dark--well, yeah, it's dark. I automatically turn
my eyes to the clock, see 11:58 clearly written in neon yellow
My fantasy life rarely goes along with time constraints.
"What the fuck are you waiting for, Christmas? Get the hell up." It's a
slightly amused growl, layered with impatience, which as far as I know,
never made a cameo in any of my dreams to date.
And a hand gets hold of my shoulder and I'm still staring at the clock and
you know what? This isn't a dream. I don't dream about clocks.
"Logan?" I blink and realize there's a weight distribution problem with my
mattress because I'm slowly sliding leftward on my bed and come in contact
with something that is definitely a stationary object.
"Who'd you think it was, Santa?" And a low chuckle and he shifts. "Get
up, before Scooter figures out where I went." He finds my hand, stopping
at the edge of my gloves. "For God's sake, Marie--"
I struggle to sit, still tilted, and come up against his arm. Not bad at
all. Blinking, I readjust my eyes and see the slight smirk.
"Logan! When'd you get home?"
"A few minutes ago. Are you coming or not?"
"Coming?" I'm still half-asleep. And my mind is still in dreamland, where
he says that a little differently and with such a different meaning.
So I sit for a second, take in a few facts. Logan is sitting on my bed.
Fantasy 1 is half done. But he's wearing clothes, which isn't what I had
in mind. Okay, so this is reality, but as reality goes, it's pretty damn
good. Why the hell is Logan sitting on my bed?
"Out. Coming, out, somewhere not here. You turn twenty-one in two
minutes." A grin I can see. "Let's go." A hand brushes my hair back from
my face and he shakes his head. "I need to carry ya or what?"
Do I need a better invitation than that? I try to swing out--but legs
collide with the immovable object on my bed.
"Tonight?" I need confirmation--yeah, yeah, yeah, him sitting here ain't
confirmation enough? But this isn't my sordid fantasy life here--this is
reality pure and simple. And damned good.
"Yeah. So's I was thinkin'--I don't usually raid your room this late."
Hell, I didn't even know he knew I'd gotten a room--and he sounds different
tonight, though. And I can't put my finger on it.
Logan knows how to keep a promise, I'll give him that.
"Can you wait outside or something?" Me, shy? Cease laughing, folks--its
one thing to dress in front of the female friends--such as Jubes--who feel
perfectly comfortable walking in and discussing their sex life with you
while you're showering. Southern modesty and all that crap.
"You got twenty minutes."
Then he's out the door and only the remaining warmth of him on my bed
testifies to the fact this isn't part of my imagination.
And I *jump* outta bed.
Closet, closet, closet--I pull it open and start sorting through.
Shirts--too sexy, too conservative, too yellow, too blue. Red--short
sleeves, dropped neckline, leaves an inch of skin open no matter what I
wear below. My jeans aren't gonna cut it--skirt, skirt, skirt--found it.
Black, not too short because I sure as hell don't wanna scare him. And
running through my mind is a Plan.
It's not much of a Plan. But I'm thinkin' anytime you mix alcohol in, any
Plan will work with a little effort.
I throw the Chosen on the bed and skip into the bathroom.
I duck my head out, hairbrush in hand, stealing ten seconds of my twenty
"Jubes, go back to sleep."
A sleepy dark head lifts itself from the tangle of bedclothes.
"What the hell are you doing?" She rubs her eyes absently and sits up.
"I'm outta here, babe." Hair, up or down? Which way do I go? Shit. I
stare at the mirror for a second, then at the makeup, then at the clock.
A small Asian slides in beside me and takes in my look.
"Twenty-one," she says softly, then smiles. "He came home, didn't he?"
My face gives me away. Before I can really say anything--and what could I
say anyway?--she pushes me down on the toilet, gets the brush from my hand,
and starts plying it with vigor.
"Shit, Jubes!" She doesn't seem to care much about the jerking--and my
hair is coming along nicely apparently, because she calls in
Crap, wake up the whole damned school why doncha, Jubes?
A sleepy-lookin' Kitty is at the door, looking startled.
"Rogue--whatcha wearin'?" The question is snapped out like an order from
the general. General Jubilation Lee, that is--yeah, I get the joke too.
The South woulda won if she'd been in charge.
I blink and answer automatically.
"On the bed."
Kitty nods--like the good lieutenant she is--and Jubes goes to serious
work. I can't tell you exactly what she does--it's trademarked, you
understand--but when I check out the mirror five and a half minutes later,
I'm pretty stunned.
"He's going to figure out something is up," I whisper, because the chick in
the mirror isn't the same one he woke up--or the same one he's been hanging
with for the last four years either.
"Let 'im." Jubes nods slowly, tucking the lipstick into my hand. "This
stuff stays on no matter what, but take this in case. Out you go--damn, I
do good work." She looks at me admiringly--the master appreciating a good
work of art. "Okay, let's see what you're wearing."
Apparently, the clothes passed muster, but when I see the accessories--
"Boots?" I don't own boots like that.
"Trust me," Kitty answers and Jubilee pushes me toward the bed. Shirt,
fine, skirt, boots--black hose, almost forgot--black scarf--gloves--
"I can't wear those!"
Those aren't my nice, long, concealing opera gloves.
"Chill." Kitty and Jubes stare at me until I realize that they have every
intention of dressing me themselves if I don't get to it. I pull my
nightgown off and Jubes shakes her head.
I look down.
Kitty and Jubes share a glance and Kitty shakes her head slowly.
"Are we goin' schoolgirl crush or tryin' to seduce someone in a bar?" asks
Jubes slowly, like she's talking to a particularly stupid child--and she
is, because my brain is still locked in the 'this is actually happening'
mode. I haven't gotten far enough.
"Jubes--all my underwear is like this." And I'm blushing, because I just
don't usually discuss underwear. Kitty smirks and she and Jubilee share a
"Technically, it is her birthday," Kitty tells Jubilee. Jubilee nods and I
start getting a Sinking Feeling. You know the one.
Before I know it, I'm in the bathroom with a wrapped box, clothes piled
neatly at my feet and just looking at the label tells me that whatever is
in here--oh good God.
"You're kidding!" They're not.
"Hurry. You got less than four minutes, hon. Make it quick."
This can't possibly qualify as underwear--hell, it wouldn't qualify as
scrap after making underwear.
"He's gonna be gettin' impatient," Jubes reminds me, and the last thing I
need is an impatient Logan.
And yeah, my fantasy life has included scraps of lace.
The gloves are what's getting to me--black, all to the good, but end at
that dangerous just-above-the-wrist zone, leaving my arm pretty much bare.
I tie my scarf on with shaking fingers--
--Logan's going to take one look and figure out the Plan real damn quick.
When I come out, Jubes nods sagely.
"Perfect," Kitty says. Then hands me a tiny purse--lipstick taken from my
hand and placed within--and I see something in there that *isn't* lipstick.
"No fucking way."
"In case he forgets."
I pull it open, staring at the sheer number--and are they colored? I think
one is green.
"What the hell--"
"We believe in being prepared." Kitty zips the purse up while I'm still
standing there, looking, very possibly, like a landed fish--and a hand on
my back propels me out the suddenly open door and I'm standing in front of
Logan in shell shock.
Logan doesn't say anything--and I'm trying very hard to keep my focus on my
"Bring her home before next week, 'kay?" Jubilee says, with her sweetest
smile, and my jacket lands at my feet. Thank you God--or Kitty--something
to take my attention. I lean down to pick it up. And turn to give them
the dirtiest look in history before the door closes smugly in my face.
"Sorry," I whisper.
"I've had the pleasure of Jubilee's company," he answers--is that
And I'm suddenly more awake than ever. When has he spent time with
Jubilee? But I pull on my jacket and for once he doesn't check me for
clothing no-no's--doesn't even protest about the gloves. And apparently
because I'm a girl and not walking fast enough--I'm adjusting to the heels
on the boots--he gets my hand and pulls me along behind him.
"Jeannie's distractin' him."
That almost makes me stop and I turn to give him a glance, seeing the very
wicked smile turning up his lips.
"Had to find your room somehow--I know you don't live in the dorms
Ah. Good call.
We use the kitchen door, which is the farthest from the residential
areas--and the bike is waiting.
The Plan is in effect. Sort of. I just gotta figure out what The Plan is.
* * * * *
When I see where we are--
"This isn't your kind of place." It's not. I'm not seeing anything
resembling illegal activity, fighting, or men who probably belong in
He just gives me a look.
I study it again--yeah, it's a neighborhood bar, small enough to be
comfortable, large enough so we aren't conspicuous--this is New York, after
all. Relatively good lighting--okay, revising as we walk in. Okay
lighting, with comfortable dark corners--and Logan wanders over to the bar
and I follow him like the puppy I am, keeping a death-hold on his jacket
because, and I'm beginning to notice this--there are *alot* of people here
for a Thursday night.
I'm not fond of crowds.
"What'll you have?" he asks me. That's new and I blink, thinking. The
possibilities are endless.
"Pick something," I answer sweetly and he grunts and gives me a push.
"Get a table."
I know him well enough to guess that 'away from people' is the only real
requirement here, so I start my scouting mission with enthusiasm. Okay, we
want privacy--if I'm going to Do Something, gotta have as few people
stumbling by as possible. Booth. Somewhere relatively dark--but not too
dark or he'll get all jittery. Thinking, thinking...
It's easy when miracles occur to girls with Bad Plans. Corner, out of
regular sight, enough light not to make Certain Men a little curious as to
why you want it dark, and nicely isolated. The dance floor is in view but
not too close and no one will wander over there for the heck of it.
I begin to walk--and realize that I have to cross the dance floor to do it.
Shit. Count down five, four, three, two--
One. You can't be a girl and cross a dance floor alone without it
happening at least once. Test it. You'll find I'm right, especially after
He's tall, he's lean, and he's drunk--on a Thursday night? Student from
the university. Shimmies up a little too close, and suddenly I'm
ultra-aware that my neckline leaves a lot of skin exposed and my arms are
bare--and he isn't wearing anything to protect his hands.
"Sorry," I say, trying to get by. But Drunk College Students aren't the
brightest stars in the sky as a rule and he's the one they made the rule
for. He dodges--gracelessly--in front of me and tries to smile--it sort of
comes out as a leer, though I'm relatively sure that's not what he
"Pretty girl," he says. "You wanna dance?"
"No." I try again, keeping my one foot rule in existence. He shatters it
right down when he shimmies--badly--right up against me, one hand finding
my back and less than a breath from the exposed skin of my waist.
"Get the fuck away from me!" And maybe that was a little violent, but his
other hand was drifting close to my arm and--shit--damn--get him the hell
--and then he's gone--like he teleported out of range--and I feel smooth
leather on my back. I'm not even surprised.
"What'd you do?" I whisper as he walks me along the floor--and people are
*stumbling* to get out of the way. I could get used to this.
I look up at him, frowning a little and notice he's rubbing his knuckles
lightly and the leather has a nice clean tear at the knuckles.
"Oh. That's not very inconspicuous, you know."
"He's so drunk he's probably already forgotten about it." I give the floor
a look as we step off into Safe Territory and yeah, he's dancing with a
bouncy little blonde who reminds me disturbingly of the waitress at that
diner Logan took me to last year.
Worry 'bout that later. I've got Logan, a nice quiet place, and some
serious drinking to begin on.
He drops the bottle on the table--how he got an entire bottle out of the
bartender I don't even care to ask--and then two shot glasses.
"You sure you wanna do this?"
I give him my best scornful look, tossing my head as I begin to strip off
my jacket. So far, the Plan consists of trying to look sexy. Hope it
"No, I'm just here for the atmosphere. I have been to a few parties,
Logan." None I got drunk at, though--can't afford it with my interesting
condition. But I figure that Logan can handle it.
"I'm just checking." Easily, he takes off his jacket and picks up the
bottle, giving me a long look before filling both. "You done this before?"
Actually--no. I never got passed the mixed drinks stage. He must see it
on my face because he chuckles.
"Easy. You've seen it done. All at once. Got it?"
He slides me the glass and I study it. Bourbon--damn fine stuff and I've
done some serious research into the interesting kinds there are. Slowly, I
pick up the glass and he stops me, fingers locked on mine.