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Fic: the gods are laughing (3/5)

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  • dce
    For disclaimers, please see part 1 THE GODS ARE LAUGHING 3/5 by C. Bart (c)2001 A couple of days later, Logan caught her sketching in one of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28, 2001
      For disclaimers, please see part 1

      THE GODS ARE LAUGHING 3/5
      by C. Bart
      <dce@...>
      (c)2001


      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
      it.

      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
      for awhile.

      "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
      radiantly.

      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
      'yes'."

      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
      along?"

      He actually considered it for a second before shaking his head.
      "Pass. Thanks."

      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
      cute."

      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
      you later."

      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
      bed."

      "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
      shot.

      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
      guy."

      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?"

      "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
      the drinks."

      *

      "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
      approach.

      "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?"

      "Of course."

      "Well, there ya go." As far as Logan was concerned, the problem was
      solved.

      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,
      Pegasus?"

      "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
      kinda amazing."

      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
      better look.

      "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
      all yours."

      "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.
      "Leda, wait."

      Turning around, she gave him a tight smile. "Logan, it's okay.
      Really. We'll talk tomorrow."

      **********

      end of part 3

      --
      Claude
      <dce@...>
      *NA*N&NPacker*Ravenette**TFW*HL*
      http://www.dlc.fi/~dce/index.html
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