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FIC: The Best-Laid Plans - 5/6 [L/R, Scott] - R

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  • vic pusateri
    Since y all have been so sweet about this, I lit a fire under my betas (Not really, but it sounds good, right?) and this got done tonight. Never let it be said
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2000
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      Since y'all have been so sweet about this, I lit a fire under my betas (Not
      really, but it sounds good, right?) and this got done tonight. Never let it
      be said that I can't be moved by flattery and begging. *g* Thanks.

      Hope you like it.

      Disclaimers etc. in Part 1.

      The Best-Laid Plans

      5. The Plan

      For the next few weeks, Logan was super-nice to me, teaching me to drive his
      bike, taking me to movies and stuff. It was awesome. But he still treated me
      like a kid. I tried to pretend he was my boyfriend, but he'd always puncture
      the fantasy, either by talking to me like I was twelve, or by flirting with
      other women while we were out.

      I know it's just an instinctual thing with him, but still, it cuts like a
      knife when you're standing next to the man you love, and women practically
      throw themselves at him. What makes it even worse is how they all dismiss
      you as no competition. Especially when one look from him keeps all the other
      men away from you.

      That was one of the selling points of The Plan -- it would involve the one
      man who wouldn't back down from him.

      I have to start at the beginning with The Plan.

      There was a hot new band called Crisis that was doing a fundraiser for
      Amnesty International. Scott, political activist that he is, offered to take
      me. I wasn't technically old enough to go to bars yet, but they'd opened it
      up to the under-twenty-one crowd since it was "a good cause."

      Scott is totally into alternative rock. You know, that stuff that was
      popular back in the early '90s -- Nirvana and Pearl Jam, etc. Crisis was
      that type of band, so of course, he wanted to see them live. I did, too. And
      since all of my friends were away at school, with the exception of Remy, who
      wouldn't be caught dead at anything that wasn't a hip-hop concert, there was
      no one to go with me. Jean was in DC with the professor, so Scott had no one
      to go with, either. It was only natural we'd end up going together.

      The concert was excellent and Scott, being cooler than most people (read:
      Logan) give him credit for, allowed me to have a couple of beers. He always
      did. It was our little secret. Well, until that night it was.

      The show was over and we were hanging around, playing pool in the back room.
      Scott was, anyway. I was bent over the jukebox. Having other people in your
      head does weird things to your musical taste, as it does to every other
      portion of your personality. Logan wanted to hear Janis Joplin or Johnny
      Cash. Erik wanted the Beatles. I just wanted something I could dance to. I'd
      gotten my groove on during the show, and didn't want the fun to stop.

      I punched in the numbers for some old dance hits and straightened up. And
      found myself staring into the most beautiful green eyes I'd ever seen. He
      had blond hair and he looked like a ski instructor. "Anything good on
      there?" he asked.

      I told myself to calm down. I spoke to guys all the time at school. I had
      guys in my *head* for Christ's sake. "Not much. A lot of old stuff."

      "That's cool," he said. "I'm Brian." He held a hand out.

      "Rogue." I shook his hand. He didn't let mine go. His thumb made circles on
      my palm.

      "Cool name. And these gloves are very... sexy." His eyes held mine and I
      remember thinking, I can't believe I'm going to let this guy pick me up with
      such lame lines. But when most men are scared of you, or the company you
      keep, lame lines start to sound good.

      I looked over at Scott, who grinned and nodded slightly before returning his
      attention to his game. I'm willing to bet he winked, though I couldn't tell.

      A dance beat pulsed loudly through the bar and Brian swung me around. He was
      a decent dancer, and he didn't do the white man's overbite, which is a
      definite plus. The beer had gone to my head and I was feeling sexy and wild,
      and I was dancing with a cute guy. It doesn't get any better, right?

      I can take care of myself, and I know Scott was keeping an eye out -- no pun
      intended -- so I wasn't really worried about Brian getting fresh. We danced
      for a good hour, at least.

      Then Scott came over. "It's time to go, Rogue," he said, putting a hand on
      my arm.

      I smiled at Brian. "I had a lot of fun."

      He looked from Scott to me. "Is he your boyfriend?"

      "No, just a good friend. And my ride home."

      Brian handed me a business card. "Here's my number. Give me a call the next
      time you need a ride home." He walked away.

      "He did *not* just say that," Scott said. "Even I could come up with better
      lines than that."

      "Yeah, and you're a dork," I agreed.

      "Hey!" he said, punching my arm playfully. "None of that or I won't drive
      you home."

      "That's all right. I'll just call Brian." We both burst into laughter. "You
      haven't danced all night," I said after we calmed down. "Even during the
      show."

      "Two left feet," he said solemnly.

      "Oh, no, you're not getting out of it that easily, Summers," I replied,
      taking his hand.

      I honestly didn't know the next song was going to be "Let's Get It On" by
      Marvin Gaye. My songs had finished a long time ago. And I certainly didn't
      expect to put on a dirty dancing exhibition with *Scott*, of all people. But
      that's what happened.

      We started moving together, bodies in sync. His hands were on my hips, one
      of his legs was between mine, and he was whispering stuff I couldn't hear
      into my ear. I almost forgot that I was Rogue and that I was untouchable. It
      felt really good. I closed my eyes and savored the moment, running my hands
      through his hair.

      I had one of those flashes where I hated Jean for having everything I
      didn't.

      And then a hand grabbed me and a familiar voice snarled, "If you two are
      done makin' a spectacle of yourselves, I think it's time to go home."

      My eyes snapped open to see Logan looking fiercer than usual. It didn't take
      a genius to figure out that he didn't like me dancing with Scott. He'd been
      there a while. I could tell by the number of shot glasses lined up in front
      of his now-empty barstool.

      "Marie, you're riding with me," he said, pulling me along as he walked out.
      A wide path through the crowd appeared before him. People usually get out of
      Logan's way, but that night he was looking particularly Wolverine-y, and
      they couldn't move fast enough. Scott trailed behind, looking thoughtful.

      We rode back to the mansion in silence. There's not a lot of talking to be
      done when you're speeding along at seventy miles an hour on a motorcycle.
      But that's okay. I enjoyed it anyway.

      We got home way before Scott, and Logan didn't let me go until he'd
      deposited me in my room.

      "Scooter lets you drink?" he asked suspiciously.

      "A beer or two. Sometimes I have a taste for whiskey, but he draws the line
      at that."

      "When you're twenty-one, Marie," was all he said. I knew he felt bad about
      what the stuff I'd absorbed from him had done to me. I don't think he
      realized how I'd come to terms with it and learned to integrate the best
      parts of him -- and Erik, too -- into myself. He didn't give me much time to
      think. "What the hell were you two doin'?"

      "Dancing, duh."

      He ran a hand through his hair, exasperated. "You were humping his leg,
      Marie."

      I wrinkled my nose at his choice of words. "Are you angry?" I asked, placing
      a hand on his arm.

      He gave a sharp bark that could have been laughter, but there was no mirth
      in it. "No. I'm thrilled to see you throwing yourself at a man who's in love
      with another woman. A friend of yours, as a matter of fact." The sarcasm was
      almost tangible.

      "It's no different than you sniffing around Jean all these years," I snapped
      back, stung. "Except for you, Scott's the only one who's not afraid to touch
      me. You don't know what that's like, so don't you dare judge me."

      His face softened for a moment, but then he hauled me up off the bed, his
      eyes dark with some emotion I couldn't identify. Anger, yes, and possibly
      pain, but also -- desire? Whatever it was, it made my heart beat faster and
      my knees go weak.

      "Shouldn't I be enough?" he asked harshly. He leaned in and, maybe I'm
      crazy, I could have sworn he was going to kiss me. But, of course, that's
      impossible. He shook himself and released me. I dropped back onto the bed,
      surprised.

      "Get some sleep, kid." Back to big brother Logan. I sighed and he left.

      I had a lot to think about. Logan obviously thought I was his personal
      property. Well, I was going to show him. That night I learned that men *did*
      find me attractive, and that fact *did* make Logan jealous. And not in a
      family way. It was a small step, but a significant one. A good one.

      ***

      The Plan didn't go anywhere for a while. The holidays passed and we entered
      the depths of winter. Then it was my birthday.

      I turned twenty and everyone acted like it was this huge important event.
      "Oh, you're not a teenager anymore, Rogue."

      Big fucking deal.

      I hadn't been a teenager since the night on top of the Statue of Liberty,
      when Magneto hurt me and Logan healed me. It's hard to be young when you've
      got old memories and nightmares in your head.

      It was a good day, though. Only one thing marred my happiness -- Logan
      wasn't there.

      "He didn't even call," I complained to Scott, who listened with less than
      perfect grace. He was angry, too. "He didn't even send a fucking postcard. I
      know," I said, before he could, "language. But seriously, how busy can he
      be? He's probably drinking and brawling and screwing around." I regret
      saying that, now that I know what was really going on. But I was angry and
      hurt and the people who knew what had happened didn't think to clue me in,
      not even Scott. "Unless -- you don't think he's hurt, do you?" I had sudden,
      horrible visions of Logan's mangled body in the snow, too damaged to heal
      itself.

      "He's all right," Scott said tightly.

      I glared at him. "And you know this how?"

      He looked uncomfortable. "I, he, he wrote to Jean. I found the letter."

      "He had the time to write to Jean but he couldn't be bothered to send me a
      freakin' birthday card? If that don't beat all," I fumed. "What did it say?"

      "I didn't read it," he snapped back. "It was obviously personal."

      My anger was rapidly giving way to pain. Tears welled up in my eyes. The
      full implications of what he'd said hit me. "You *found* the letter?"

      He couldn't mask the bitterness in his voice. "Yes. Apparently my fiancée
      doesn't tell me everything."

      "Oh, Scott," I began, wanting to stop the pain -- his and mine. "We're
      probably jumping to conclusions. Making mountains out of molehills."

      "Tempests in teacups?"

      I tried to smile, but it was a weak effort. "Jean loves you. She'd never do
      anything to hurt you."

      His return smile was grim. "She already has. How would she feel if I behaved
      with some woman the way she does... with... him..."

      "What is it, Scott?"

      "You. And I." Even while plotting, he was grammatically correct.

      "Yes?"

      "We'll act like they do. Give them a taste of their own medicine, as it
      were."

      I'd never seen him like this. He was angry and reckless, at least by
      Scott-standards. I was doubtful. "I don't know, Scott. Someone could get
      hurt." Like me, when I lost him, Jean and Logan if things went sour.

      He waved my objections away. "Jean is a telepath. She'll know we're not
      serious. After a couple of days, anyway."

      I pointed out the other flaw in his idea. "Logan's not even here."

      "We'll wait until he gets back. The timing's not really that important to
      the plot," Scott said. "I just want Jean to know how it feels. Logan's
      reaction is only secondary anyway." Right, because Logan didn't love me like
      that.

      I was sure he'd cool down in the morning, so I said, "Sure, Scott. Whatever
      you want." I never expected him to actually go through with it.

      ***

      Logan did come back about a week later, looking pale and serious. Something
      was up and he wasn't sharing. At least, not with me. I'm sure the Professor
      got a full report.

      Scott came to my room early a couple of days later.

      "Rise and shine, Rogue. Are you ready?" he asked. He was disgustingly
      cheerful for six am.

      I am not a morning person. I growled.

      He laughed. "Today we begin The Plan." The way he said it, you could tell it
      was capitalized.

      I thought he'd given up on that, forgotten it. "I don't know, Scott," I
      said, after dragging myself out of bed and into the kitchen for a cup of
      coffee. I can't function that early without caffeine. "I mean, do you really
      think anyone would take the idea of you and me seriously?" I figured I'd
      save the "we're all going to regret this" speech for my last resort. You
      know, keep the heavy artillery in reserve until necessary.

      "'Anyone' doesn't have to -- Jean and Logan do. Logan can't even stand to
      have me look at you, and if he believes it, Jean will pick up on that. Trust
      me, it will work. I can shield my thoughts from her for short periods of
      time. Come on, Rogue, do it for me?" He took my hand and cocked his head,
      lower lip jutting out ever so slightly. You'd think that a man whose eyes
      were always hidden couldn't give you the soulful puppy-dog look. You'd be
      wrong. He was pretty damn irresistible, and considering some of the
      thoughts I occasionally had about him, I wasn't going to be able to resist.

      I sighed, letting my reluctance show. "Okay, Scott, but only for you would I
      do this. And you owe me big-time."

      I couldn't see his eyes shift, but I had the feeling he was looking beyond
      me now. Someone -- it had to be Jean because Logan would have said something
      already -- was in the doorway behind me. "Oh, I can think of a few ways to
      pay you back," he murmured, kissing my hand. Shit, he was fast. And good.

      "Good morning, Scott. Rogue," Jean said, walking into the kitchen. "You're
      up early for a Saturday."

      "We're going riding today," he announced. "I wanted to get an early start."

      "Oh." She sounded nonplussed. "I thought we were going shopping."

      "Last night you told me you didn't need me. Remember?"

      "Oh. Right. Yes. Girl stuff. Ororo and I are going out. I just, I didn't
      expect you to make plans so quickly."

      He grinned. "I want to take advantage of Rogue's free time. Once Logan wakes
      up you know none of us gets to hang out with her."

      I blinked. Logan hadn't spared three words for me since he'd been back.
      Mainly he'd stayed in his room or closeted in Xavier's office. Always signs
      of trouble.

      Jean looked a little taken aback, too, but then she smiled and said, "Okay,
      you two. Be careful and don't stay out too long. It's supposed to be a cold
      one today."

      She didn't sound at all like a woman concerned her fiancée was going out
      with another woman. Why would she? She was Jean Grey and men fell before
      her. I was Rogue, mutant among mutants, who couldn't be touched. I was a
      little angry at being dismissed so casually, which made me more willing to
      go along with Scott.

      I got up from the table and flipped my hair over my shoulder, the way I'd
      seen her do it a million times. I smiled my best smile. "I'll be down in a
      few minutes, Scott. Try not to miss me."

      He grinned again. "I'll be waiting with bated breath."

      I hurried up to my room, thinking we were really laying it on thick. How
      could she not notice? But if she had, she wasn't saying.

      We continued that pattern for the next few days. I got quite an education in
      flirtation from Scott.

      You'd think I'd know all that stuff, that I'd have had all the girl-talk
      with Kitty and Jubilee that I could handle, but I didn't. See, they figured
      since I had Logan in my head, and had dated Gambit, I was so far beyond them
      where boys were concerned that they never gave me any advice.

      What they didn't realize was that all I knew from Logan was how to be all
      growly-prowly and how to make a woman scream. Sure, I knew what he liked
      sexually, but I had no idea how to get to the point where I could use any of
      it on him. As for Remy, I didn't have to be anything but untouchable to get
      him to want me. He was in it for the chase -- once he had me on his arm, he
      never did anything about it. And Erik's idea of seduction was a chess game
      and a nice Chardonnay -- not exactly the way to Logan's heart.

      But Scott -- man, he must have either been a lady-killer before he met Jean
      (which I doubt) or he put a lot of thought into The Plan -- because he was
      so flirtatious and sweet to me that if I hadn't known better, I'd probably
      have fallen for him, Logan notwithstanding.

      Speaking of whom, he missed the first few displays we put on. One thing I
      hadn't thought of, though I'm sure Scott had -- he's not the leader of the
      X-Men for nothing -- was how the rumors spread. He and I had been close the
      past couple of years, but now we were inseparable. Of course, once we were
      alone together, we didn't do much but plot our next display of affection, or
      discuss the latest books we were reading, or whatever writing project I was
      working on at the time.

      And Logan's not one for gossip, really. So it took a few days to percolate
      through the school and come to his attention that his pet had found a new
      best friend.

      But he didn't act. He just watched, a strange look in his eye that I
      couldn't place. He started leaving early in the morning and coming home
      late. Not exactly the effect I'd hoped we'd have on him, but understandable,
      in retrospect. He was trying not to interfere. I know that. He thought I'd
      made a choice -- a bad choice -- but he didn't want to lecture me after what
      I'd said the night of the concert. I wondered how long he could hold out
      before he said something. Scott and I actually had a bet. He said three
      days, I said a week.

      Jean, meanwhile, got more and more uptight, and spent most of her time down
      in the lab. Whenever Logan was around, she made sure to flirt with him, but
      that only made Scott more determined to stick to The Plan. I was starting to
      get a bad feeling, but he's a stubborn man, as stubborn in his own way as
      Logan, and once he gets an idea in his head, he runs with it. I didn't have
      enough pull with him to stop it.

      ***

      Part 6 is on the way...
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