Fic: the gods are laughing (3/5)
- For disclaimers, please see part 1
THE GODS ARE LAUGHING 3/5
by C. Bart
A couple of days later, Logan caught her sketching in one of the
quieter corners of the garden. From across the lawn, he watched her
bite her lower lip, deep in concentration, as she tried to get some
line or another just right. Remembering those same perfect teeth
biting down his own lip just a few short nights ago made something
tighten in his chest.
He didn't know what it was about her he found so fascinating. He'd
met women more beautiful than her, smarter and stronger than her, but
telling himself that didn't help. To make matters worse, he couldn't
even chalk it all up to simple case of lust. He knew lust, and this
was definitely something more. Somehow, without even trying, she'd
gotten under his skin and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about
She'd been avoiding him since that night at the bar. She hadn't been
obvious about it, quite the opposite, but that didn't change the fact
that she'd been careful not to be left alone with him. The question
was, was she worried about his or her own control - or lack thereof?
Walking over to her, he peered over her shoulder to take a look at
what she was drawing. "What's that?"
She didn't sound particularly surprised to hear his voice next to her
ear. She must've noticed him keeping on eye on her, again.
"It's a design for a tattoo," she answered, never lifting her eyes
from her sketchbook.
Logan took another look at the outline of two delicate sea horses
with their tails entwined. "Not bad."
That earned him a half a smile. "Thanks."
Sitting down next to her on the stone bench, he watched her sketch
"You've been avoiding me."
Lifting her head, she glanced at him and gave out a short laugh.
"Don't be ridiculous. If I was trying to avoid you, would I still be
sitting here, talking to you?"
They both knew she was lying, just as they both knew that she'd never
admit to it.
They sat there in silence, eyes locked in some bizarre staring
contest. Logan didn't understand what it was that she was so scared
about. Did she think that he'd jump at her the second she let her
guard down, or something?
Eyes softening, he forgot about their unofficial contest. He didn't
want her to be afraid, or worried around him. Spying a stray strand
of hair which had escaped from her French braid, he gently brushed it
back, behind her ear. He allowed his fingers linger for just a moment
longer than was really necessary, just because.
"I can wait."
The expression on her face didn't change that much at his low, quiet
voice, but her eyes... Slowly, those dark eyes lit up, smiling at him
For once, he'd managed to say just the right thing.
After awhile, he turned to look at the garden and the students
playing a little further away. "So, do you have any tattoos?" His
voice was deceptively nonchalant.
"Wouldn't you like to know." Leda grinned at him.
Returning her gaze, Logan gave her a slow, knowing smile. "That's a
Before she could decide whether to wipe the cocky expression off his
face or simply ignore him, Storm came by.
"There you are!"
"Hi, Storm." Leda smiled at her. "I'll be ready in just a sec."
Logan watched from one woman to the other, somewhat intrigued. "You
two going somewhere?"
"Yes, we're going for a ride." Looking at him with a small smile,
Storm tilted her head a little to the side. "Would you like to come
He actually considered it for a second before shaking his head.
Turning her attention back to Leda, Storm moved to have a look at her
sketchbook. "That looks great. Have you thought of the colors you're
going to use on it, yet?"
"Well, it should look something like this once it's finished," Leda
said, setting her pad down and tucking up her jeans-leg a little.
Bending down to see better, Storm looked at the small, colorful sea
horse tattooed on the inside of Leda's right ankle. "Ooh, that's so
Logan wouldn't have used the word 'cute' himself, but he silently
agreed that it did look pretty. Having now first hand confirmation
that he'd been right about the tattoo issue, he wondered if Leda had
any more of them elsewhere on her body. Before he had a chance to ask
her about it though, she'd gathered up her things and was about to
leave with Storm.
Flashing a quick smile at his way, she waved her hand good-bye. "See
Thoughtfully, Logan watched as the two women walk towards the
mansion, laughing at something. "Yeah, later."
Smothering a yawn, Rogue turned off the TV. "That's it, I'm off to
"Guess we'd better turn in, as well." Tiredly, Jean ran her fingers
through her hair before following after Scott. "Night, Logan."
Logan glanced up from his solitary game of pool. "Night Jeannie."
Then, returning his attention back to the game, he pocketed the last
ball. Staring at the empty pool table, he wondered idly whether he
should play another round, or go outside and have a cigar. Before he
could make up his mind, he heard familiar footsteps coming his way.
Turning around, he saw Leda at the doorway.
"Hi." She seemed a little surprised to see him. "I thought everyone
had gone to sleep already. Or, are you waiting up to watch the all
night Sledge Hammer marathon, too?"
"No. Just not tired, yet." Then, raising his brow, Logan gave her a
curious look. "Sledge Hammer?"
Leda grinned a little. "Yeah. It should begin in about half an hour."
Muttering something about weird tastes, Logan nodded towards the pool
table. "You play?"
"Sure." Picking up a cue stick, Leda watched him rack the balls.
"Rotation okay with you?"
Glancing up, Logan gave her a meditative look. "Sure."
Re-racking the balls, this time in order, he picked up his stick.
"You wanna break?"
"Okay." Flashing him a quick smile, Leda bent over the green felt and
sent the cue ball flying. Looking thoughtfully at the disarray she'd
accomplished, she tried to decide on the best angle for her shot.
Then, focusing carefully, she stroke the cue ball - and completely
missed her shot.
Frowning, Logan watched the table. He didn't understand how she
could've missed. It should've been easy as pie. Then, pushing the
matter out of his mind he concentrated on his own game.
"So, where'd you and Ro go today?"
"Nowhere, really." Leda watched him pocket the second ball. "We just
drove around and talked."
Trying to figure out the best direction for his next shot, Logan gave
her a quick glance. "You two have really hit it off, eh?"
"She's okay." Leda shrugged lightly.
Pocketing the next three balls easily, Logan miscalculated the angle
needed to make the sixth shot. Keeping his eyes on the table, he
watched Leda sink her ball and then, miss another perfectly easy
Looking up, Leda caught his somewhat perplexed expression. "What? I
said I'd play. Never said I was any good at it. 'Sides, I play much
better when I don't have to use that damn cue ball."
"A-ha." Logan seemed to suddenly find the whole situation way too
amusing. "You wanna try that shot again? Without the cue ball."
Making a face at him, Leda nonetheless gave it another try. This
time, she had no problem sending the ball exactly where she intended
it to go. With a happy smile, she searched for the next ball.
"So, what did you do today?"
"Nothing much. Hung out with Jean and Rogue, bugged Ol' One Eye a
little. The usual."
Pausing to chalk the tip of her stick, Leda looked at him. "I've been
meaning to ask you about that. What is it with you and Scott? You're
always cracking jokes about him."
Logan grinned. "It's just too easy to resist."
Bending down a little, Leda took aim and sank the next ball. "Well,
maybe, if you gave him a chance, you'd see that he's not such a bad
Giving her a sharp, inspecting look, Logan shrugged. "The kid needs
to learn to lighten up a little."
Glancing up at him, Leda missed her shot. "Oops. Your turn."
"Speaking of lightening up..." Logan pocketed his shot with ease.
"What's with you and Jean?"
"What do you mean? I get along with her just fine."
At Logan's meaningful look, Leda tilted her head and smiled a little
crookedly. "Okay, we haven't exactly bonded. So what?"
"Nothing. Just wondered why you don't seem to like her too much."
Biting down her lip, Leda stared at the pool table for a moment.
Then, raising her head to meet Logan's inquisitive eyes, she sighed.
"She's a telepath."
"So, pretty much anything else can be taken away from me, but my
thoughts, they're mine and mine alone. I don't like the idea of
anyone poking around in my mind."
Logan could understand that. He didn't want anyone poke around in his
mind, either. Oh, he knew Jean wouldn't intentionally invade anyone's
privacy, but accidents did happen.
Pocketing the last ball, he nodded. "Fair enough."
Putting down her stick, Leda glanced at her watch. "Ah, the marathon
is about to begin. Care to join me?"
"Sledge Hammer, eh?" Scratching his chin, Logan pretended to think it
over for a moment. "Why not."
"Great." Leda smiled. "I'll make the popcorn. You can take care of
"Trust me, I know what I'm doing."
Turning to look at Leda as she, yet again, repeated the catch phrase
in tandem with Hammer, Logan shook his head. "I still can't believe
that *this* is one of your favourite shows. The only thing this thing
has going for it is Doreau."
"Yeah, she's my favourite, too. Probably not for the same reasons,
but..." Leda grinned at him, unfazed. "With that trademark kick of
hers, she's a real role model for women."
Still shaking his head, Logan pointed at the flickering screen where
Captain Trunk was once again yelling at Hammer. "I mean, just look at
that! This couldn't be any more stereotypical if it tried."
"Oh, come on. It can't really be *that* bad, or else you wouldn't
still be watching." Leda teased. "Besides, I could have sworn I heard
you laugh at least once or twice tonight."
Grunting, Logan hid a smile. "Ya must've heard wrong."
"Yeah, must've." Smothering a grin, Leda turned her attention back to
the show where Hammer was busy talking to his gun.
Somewhere between 'The Secret Of My Excess' and 'Here's To You, Mrs.
Hammer' Logan had dropped off. Getting up gingerly, so as not to
awake him, Leda looked at him in the dim light. Loathe to disturb him
when he appeared so peaceful, she instead fetched a blanket and
carefully draped it on him.
For once Leda was able to stare at him to her heart's content without
being worried about being caught in the act. With a faint smile, she
thought he wouldn't have been pleased at being the object of such
close scrutiny, but she wasn't about to let the rare opportunity go
to waste. Lifting her hand, she meant to brush a strand of hair off
his forehead. In mid motion, though, she changed her mind in fear of
waking him up. Tucking the blanket up instead, she whispered softly,
"Good night, Logan."
Turning off the television, she quietly headed upstairs.
As her footsteps left the room, Logan opened his eyes, smiling into
the darkness. "Night, Leda."
For the past few days Westchester had been suffering in the throes of
a major heat wave. The nights were the worst, as the hot, humid air
stood still, making the sheets stick to one's skin like bandages
around a mummy.
Having tried to fall asleep, and having found the task utterly
impossible, Logan decided that the best place to be was in the pool.
Grabbing a towel, he had his hand on the doorknob when it suddenly
occurred to him that perhaps he shouldn't be padding around au
naturel. He wasn't worried about his own modesty, but rather that of
the students. Everybody was supposed to be sleeping, but one never
knew for sure. Quickly donning on a pair of boxer shorts, he slipped
out of the darkened mansion and headed for sweet relief.
Floating lazily in the pool, he smelled her before he heard her
"I'm sorry, I didn't think anyone would be here at this hour."
Splashing the water, Logan grinned at her. "Plenty of room for two."
"Sure you don't mind?" she asked, stepping closer.
"I'd tell you if I did."
Smiling, Leda sat down and let her bare feet dangle in the water.
Closing her eyes, she sighed in relief. "Aah, feels wonderful. I
swear; this heat wave is slowly killing me."
Sloshing a little water on her, Logan looked meaningfully at her
rolled up jeans and yellow t-shirt. "It would feel even more
wonderful if ya came in all the way."
Touching her upper lip with the back of her hand, she shook her head.
"Nah, this is just fine."
"Leda, you're melting." Logan gave her a questioning look. "What is
it? Can't you swim, or..."
"No suit." She sounded slightly embarrassed at her confession.
"Well, why didn't ya say something? I'm sure Jean or Storm would've
loaned you one." Sometimes, Logan just didn't understand her.
"I'm sure they would've, but I just..." Chewing on her lip, she
seemed to consider her words carefully. "I would've bought a suit,
but since I don't have any income right now, I thought I'd better
save my money. And it's not that easy to ask for every damn thing you
need. I hate being a freeloader."
Understanding finally dawning, Logan got out of the water to sit
beside her. "You're not a freeloader. You do your part around the
house. Besides, the Professor invited you to stay."
"Still..." Not being totally independent truly bothered Leda.
Understanding exactly what she meant, Logan considered her for a
moment. "Well, you could always become a teacher."
"A teacher?" Raising her brows, Leda turned to look at him.
"Why not? I've seen your drawings. You're good. You could become an
art teacher, or something."
"'Or something' is right." Leda laughed. "Logan, I design tattoos.
I'm hardly Michelangelo."
"Look, all I'm saying is, you're talented and I think you could do
it. Just think about it." Jumping back into the pool, Logan gave her
a slow smile. "But, in the mean while, why won't you just jump in. No
one but us here, darlin'."
Blushing sweetly, she returned his smile. "I'm not going
skinny-dipping with you."
Arching his brows, he flashed her a wicked grin. "Who said anything
about skinny-dipping?" When her blush deepened, his smile broadened.
Resting his hands on her jean clad knees, he asked innocently, "You
are wearing underwear, aren't ya?"
"Well, there ya go." As far as Logan was concerned, the problem was
Biting her lip, Leda gazed at the glittering water. The pool *did*
look awfully inviting, and it really *was* hot; if she didn't get
cooled down she just might suffer a heat stroke. Glancing at Logan
from the corner of her eye, she finally decided to simply go with it.
Getting up, she shed her jeans and t-shirt and dove in.
The water felt simply divine as it caressed and cooled her body.
Enjoying the sensation, she stayed underwater as long as she could
before resurfacing. Gasping for air, she trod water. Smiling, she
turned to Logan. "You were right, it's much better this way."
Logan could only agree. She was wearing only a flower patterned, pink
bra and black panties. Admiring her form, he thought it was an
interesting combination. But, while Leda obviously was feeling a lot
cooler, Logan suddenly noticed a decided raise in the temperature.
Swimming a few laps didn't help much, so he thought he'd try a little
laughter. Without a warning, he began splashing water all over the
place, though mainly at Leda's face. Recovering quickly, she
retaliated with gusto, laughing out loud as he invented new and
original ways of spraying the water all over her. They played until
they were both out of breath and after much silly banter, decided to
call it a draw.
Sighing contently, Leda let her head fall back and watched at the
dark night sky.
"Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be able to travel to one
of those stars out there?"
Looking up, Logan shrugged. "Sure, sometimes."
Smiling dreamily, Leda kept on staring at the stars. "Did you know
that the Greek had dozens of myths on how the stars and
constellations came to be? You know, like Andromeda and Cassiope,
"You're really into that mythic stuff, aren't ya?"
Turning to meet his gaze, Leda tried explain. "Well... the Greek,
they wrote about *everything*, no aspect of the human life or
condition was foreign to them. And they wrote all that stuff so long
ago it's... I mean..." Struggling for the right words, she motioned
with her hands, sending the water rippling around them. "Nothing
really new has been written since. All the stories out there are just
some variation or another of the stuff they wrote about. I think it's
Logan watched her eyes glow as she spoke. Her voice was soft and
filled with passion, as she shared her feelings with him, trying to
make him see the beauty of the subject she herself saw so clearly.
Well, he saw the beauty all right, but it wasn't the same one she was
talking about. *She* was beautiful, and right then he couldn't have
cared less about the ancient Greeks.
Raising his hand to touch her cheek, he watched her eyes darken.
Holding them with his own, he drew her closer until their bodies were
almost touching in the water.
"Do you know what I've been dying to do ever since you took your
shirt off tonight?" he whispered in a low voice, smiling slightly to
let her know he was teasing her.
Not trusting her own voice, Leda silently shook her head, never
taking her eyes off his.
"To see that tattoo on your back."
A slow smile spread on Leda's face. Ducking her head a little, she
turned around in the water so that her back was to him.
Brushing her wet ponytail out of the way, Logan looked at the
Dreamcatcher covering her left shoulder blade. It was being partly
obscured by her bra, so he gently pushed the strap down to have a
"Beautiful." His voice was hoarse as he slowly traced the pattern
with his fingers. "One of your designs?"
"Yes," she breathed. Her skin felt unbearably hot under his touch.
Lowering his head, Logan pressed his lips against the tattoo. Her
skin tasted sweet and salty, all at once. He liked it. Landing soft,
butterfly kisses along her skin he savoured the small sounds she
emitted every time he touched her. Reaching the nape of her neck, he
closed his eyes and breathed in her scent. He was so engrossed in his
worship; he never heard Jean and Scott approaching the pool.
"Oops!" Jean's surprised voice startled them from their private
little world. "Sorry, we didn't see you in there."
Turning around, Logan growled quietly. "Nice timing, Scooter."
Having made sure her bra was properly on, Leda turned to meet the
couple as well. "No, it's okay. I was just about to get out anyway."
Her cheeks were flaming and her voice sounded a little strained but
she didn't shy away from their undeniably curious looks. "The pool's
"Leda..." Knitting his brows, Logan watched her get out of the water
and gather up her clothes. Following after her, he ignored Jean and
Scott who were doing their best trying to pretend to be invisible.
Turning around, she gave him a tight smile. "Logan, it's okay.
Really. We'll talk tomorrow."
end of part 3