FIC: Indian Summer by Crystal Claire (RR #31)
- Another independent submission to the RR from another great writer.
Whoo-hoo! <g> It's just lovely. Usual procedure--feedback directly to
author or to list and I'll forward.
Title: Indian Summer
Author: Crystal Claire (lbarnett@...)
Series: Unspoken RR #31
Codes: Rogue, Logan
Author Notes: Set after "On the Merits of Chickens...". Have fun, Andy!
Archiving: RRindex at Indulgence, Muse's Fool
Flashlight in hand, Rogue stepped off the path, kicking and shuffling
through a layer of leaves, enjoying their harsh whispers. It was odd
hearing the sound of crunching under foot on a night this warm. Many of the
mansion�s residents quietly wondered what put a certain weather goddess in
such a good mood. Of course, the evening news had another explanation. A
large area of high pressure down from the North was pulling in much warmer
temperatures from the deep South. This caused a clockwise rotation of the
gentle southerly breezes around the high pressure system, the payoff being
unseasonable but inviting weather � Indian Summer.
She walked under the groaning willow tree branches and through its shoots,
smiling inwardly at Ororo�s claim that the sound was the lonely call of the
water monster looking for its lost mate.
Rogue could see the boathouse now and a soft glow filtered out the window
stopping her in her tracks. She buried a brief stab of anger. After all, it
wasn�t really her boathouse. Not anymore. More resigned than curious she
made her way to see who was inside.
She rapped softly on the door and waited. Nothing. She knocked a little
harder and still no one responded.
"Hey, anyone home?" she asked as she opened the door and peered inside. No
one. She stepped inside and shut the door softly behind her. She hadn�t
been inside since her fight with Scott over the tiles. Miraculously,
everything was just as she left it. How this had been spared from Hurricane
Jean, she hadn�t a clue.
The kitchen area still had unopened boxes of green ceramic tiles sitting on
the floor next to the small oak dinette set. Masking tape across the
floorboards still outlined the remolding plans. Taking off her gloves, she
stooped and pulled up an end of the tape. It made a satisfying ripping
sound as she tore it from the floor. Once done with the kitchen she moved
on to the tape marking bedroom.
The light she had seen seeping through the window came from a small work
lamp hanging from the headboard of the bed she and Scott moved in
prematurely. As she neared, she noticed something in the middle of the bed.
A book. No, a sketchbook. Logan�s sketchbook?
She picked it up running a fingernail along the spiral. It was private. No
one aside from her even knew he sketched. But then why leave it here where
anyone could find it? Maybe she was supposed to find it. Or maybe she was
just trying to justify taking a peek.
Rogue set it back down. When she was fourteen, she had a diary and
religiously chronicled her most personal thoughts and feelings. Her parents
had never, to her knowledge, broken her trust and read it.
Still, Logan was a very careful person. He wouldn�t leave it around for
just anyone to find. Everything he did was deliberate.
She let out a disgusted snort and plopped down on the bed. She scooped up
the sketchbook and flipped over the cover before second thoughts could
Pencil and charcoal and definitely not what she expected. The pages weren�t
filled with pine trees and mountains, or even a stray moose. No, they were
The first drawing was titled "Jonah" and showed an elderly fisherman with
strong worn hands and a face so weathered and deeply creased that he was
absolutely stunning. The laughter held in his eyes alluded to some private
joke to be shared with only the closest of friends.
She slowly leafed though the pages and stopped on a face she recognized
from one of Logan�s memories. Rogue quirked a smile at the barmaid from
Medicine Hat. The brunette was a sassy one and it showed in the tilt of her
head, the strong line of her jaw and hard eyes. It was titled "Ready to
Pounce" and Rogue imagined the barmaid was just biding her time waiting for
a Logan-style tirade to end before giving him a piece of her mind.
The smile slipped from her face when she came to "Three Hearts, an Ace and
a Jack." She quickly flipped the page over revealing a drawing of Ororo
alone in her garden watering the small bushes adorned with beautiful white
flowers. Below the drawing Logan had written "Tending the Gardenias." Rogue
remembered the gardenia her mother had pinned to her confirmation dress.
The gardenia, though gifted with the most heavenly scent, bruised easily.
She flipped back to "Ready to Pounce" to confirm this was really Logan�s
Convinced, she turned back to the portrait of Jean, "Three Hearts, an Ace
and a Jack." Jean was casually holding the cards in front of her. Eyes
knowing, but not old. Confident, but not bold. This was a Jean Rogue had
never seen before and while Rogue didn�t know a lot about poker, she knew
enough to realize Jean had been dealt a bad hand. Hmm. Now there was some
food for thought. Maybe later.
She flipped past "Tending the Gardenias" and came to the last drawing in
the sketchbook. Her hand flew to her face covering a choked sob. She gazed
down at the page before her, releasing her breath in a long shudder. In
exquisite detail, she was stepping out of the lake wearing nothing but a
radiant smile and the soft glow of moonlight. Below it was written "Rogue�s
She set the sketchbook down beside her and wiped at the tears. One made it
to her ear before she could catch it. Dammit. She didn�t want to do this
anymore. Her stomach muscles were cramping and she couldn�t get enough air.
She felt her face scrunch into that look of anguish that no one would ever
find attractive. And in one, two, three heartbeats, it came. Gut wrenching
sobs and tears that wouldn�t stop. She let it go and it seemed like an
eternity before her breath returned to normal and her shaking stopped.
Until she was sure there were no more tears. Only then did she chance
another look at Logan�s drawing. Releasing a deep sigh, she lightly ran her
bare fingertips over her image. Skin. Bare skin and a look of utter joy on
She closed the sketchbook and set it back on the bed. She stood, kicked off
her shoes and shimmied out of her jeans, her jersey and under garments
quickly following. She strode purposefully through the door into the warm
She made her way to the dock and spotted a pair of boots and a pile of
clothes on the ground nearby in the moonlight.
"Come on in. The water�s perfect," called a deep male voice.
Rogue scampered down the dock and jumped in. She heard Logan�s laughter as
she hit the water.