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FIC: Shatter Like Glass: (RR #40): PG-13

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  • Jenn
    Title: Shatter Like Glass Author: jenn (jenn@igg-tx.net) Series: RR #40 Codes: Logan, Jean Rating: PG-13 Summary: Logan gets reactive. Jean gets
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 11, 2001
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      Title: Shatter Like Glass
      Author: jenn (jenn@...)
      Series: RR #40
      Codes: Logan, Jean
      Rating: PG-13
      Summary: Logan gets reactive. Jean gets proactive. They might need a new
      camper.
      Timeline: Concurrent to Victoria's "Beer and Pretzels", set after Shana's
      "Just a Little Patience...Not" and my "Fault Lines".
      Archiving: WRFA, XMMFC, RRindex at Indulgence, Muse's Fool
      Dedication: Andariel and Shana, of course, for the idea and read-through.
      Thanks, ladies.

      *****

      Logan was still munching on the last cookie as he stared at the door of the
      apartment, fingers curled around the slip of paper Jubilee had shoved into
      his hand with Warren Worthingwhatever's address. Not a huge surprise in
      location, and Logan still got a kick out of the look on the doorman's face
      when he'd walked into the lobby. Probably not his idea of an appropriate
      visitor for a resident. Logan knocked quickly at the door, and Jean was
      standing there almost immediately.

      He had to take a minute to recognize the changes wrought in less than a
      week. Too thin, the knee-length black skirt and dark red sleeveless shirt
      emphasizing the pallor of her skin. The dark eyes were reddened and long
      fingers clenched rhythmically over bunches of her skirt. She'd looked
      better the first time he'd met her, and that was saying something. Shit,
      and he'd thought he had problems. He hadn't even thought about Jean.
      Shit. The sound of her voice on the phone downstairs hadn't given him any
      idea of the condition she was in.

      "Jeannie," he said, and she seemed to shatter, taking the step that
      separated them and burying herself in his arms as if she wanted to
      disappear. A strange sound choked itself out of her throat, and her scent
      was thick with pain. Taking a breath, he tightened his arms around her.
      Every bone seemed to be starkly outlined through her skin; he thought he
      could break her if he wasn't careful. "Shit, baby, I should never have
      brought you here." To these people, to this school, to this fucked up
      situation. She'd had enough go wrong in her life.

      She didn't say anything, but the fingers that were tangled in the front of
      his jacket clenched. Stroking back the long red hair, Logan moved them
      inside, kicking the door closed behind them. Nice place, he had to admit,
      glancing around with a practiced eye. The sort of place he suspected Jean
      had grown up, no matter her practiced attempts at playing down her
      background.

      "God, I'm sorry--" she began to pull away, and Logan shook his head,
      keeping a hand on her arm as she looked around the room almost frantically.
      "I'm just--. It's--"

      "S'okay." She must have lost about ten pounds, and damn, she'd been thin
      already. Spying the elegant couch, he pulled her over to it, pushing her
      down before her legs went out, and sat down beside her. The delicate hands
      seemed as if they'd shatter if he pressed too hard. "What happened?"

      "You ever feel like your only purpose in life is to wreck other people's?"
      she whispered, staring down into her lap, a curtain of red hair hiding her
      expression from him.

      "Yeah." The startled eyes jumped to him, and he saw a thousand questions
      in them. Touching her mouth with one hand, he shook his head. "Not
      important. You look worse than when I picked you up. What the *fuck* is
      that pretty boy doing to you?" This was what happened--he should never
      have let her leave the Mansion without him. Could have avoided so much
      fucking trouble. But oh no, had to get too damn fascinated with the
      untouchable girl and let his responsibilities slide. Well, shit. That was
      over.

      Jean laughed softly and covered his hand with hers, looking down at it as
      if she'd never seen it before.

      "Warren is fine. He's been--a gentleman." Jean shook her head and strands
      of red hair clung to the damp lines of her cheeks. "I'm sorry, Logan.
      It's--"

      "My fault," he answered grimly. "I thought this guy'd watch out for you."

      "Logan--"

      "I promised I'd take care of you, and what the fuck do I do? Wander off to
      chase the first pretty brunette that crossed my path." He had to grin at
      himself. God, was he predictable. Stupid, predictable, and forgot all
      about what his one responsibility really was. Dismissing the images of
      Rogue from his mind, he fixed his gaze on Jean "You wanna get out of
      here?"

      The relief on her face was unmistakable, and Logan wished he'd asked her
      this before she'd left for the Professor's oh-so-convenient hunting cabin.
      Think of the problems that could have been avoided.

      Think of what he would have missed. Taking a breath, he pushed it aside.
      Keep with the matter at hand. Don't think about maybe. Over. It's over,
      whatever the hell it was.

      "You don't want to leave Rogue, Logan."

      "Trust me, Rogue would like nothing better than to see me across the
      country, and I'm guessing that the rest of the population of the Mansion
      would throw a goddamn party if I disappeared." Except Jubilee--he'd miss
      her, oddly enough. And he was out a hundred dollars too. He'd have to
      remember to mail it to her once they were back in Canada.

      Jean's shock was almost comical.

      "Logan, you do remember you're talking to a telepath, right? I know how
      you feel about her."

      Well, yeah. Sighing, he leaned back and wondered what he could tell her.
      Then took a breath, meeting the worried eyes, and sighed again.

      "Read my mind."

      She frowned, but both hands lifted and he felt them lightly touch his
      temples. She'd done this a few times before--mostly during poker, once
      when she'd been attacked in a bathroom in a hick town he couldn't even
      remember the name of. Shutting his eyes, he felt the distinctive touch of
      her--light, gentle, like her scent, flowing through him briefly as he
      pushed the events of the last few days to the top of his mind. She gasped,
      and her hands withdrew.

      "God--are you okay?"

      It figured the first thing she'd ask was that--she'd always worried. Her
      hands were instantly on his face, and when he opened his eyes, the clinical
      look had taken over, as she looked over him like a particularly ill
      patient. She'd done that after his fights, too.

      "Superhealer," he reminded her, and she shook her head firmly.

      "You--God, Logan, you could have died," she said, voice shaking, and leaned
      back into the couch bonelessly. "I'm so sorry--I should have been
      there--shit, someone should have damn well *called* me."

      She was on her feet, anger pouring off of her.

      "Jeannie--"

      "She took that kind of risk?" Logan blinked, startled, but Jean was steps
      beyond him. "After--doesn't she know you have a metal skeleton? In
      *water*, for God's sake? You--" Her face drained of color. "God, Logan.
      You could have drowned, because she couldn't keep her damned hands to
      herself--"

      "Jeannie, cool it. It was--it was my fault. I knew what she could do--"
      How did this conversation get to this point?

      "Spin that for someone else, Logan. She knew exactly what she was doing
      and she went ahead and did it anyway." Spinning, she stomped to what
      appeared to be a crystal decanter and poured two glasses of something a
      rich red-brown out. Thrusting a glass into his hand, she dropped down on
      the couch beside him. The liquid was very good brandy. Logan smiled a
      little as he took another drink. Better than the Professor's. "This
      is--God, Logan, this is almost funny. How'd we get mixed up in this crap?"

      Logan had to laugh softly.

      "Damn good question." Rogue, dark and as completely unattainable as any
      woman he'd ever met. He'd always liked the challenge. That had to be it.
      Shit, it had to be. But there was unattainable and there was Rogue, who
      was a category unto herself.

      In a single graceful movement, Jean was on her feet, setting aside the
      remaining brandy.

      "You're right. Let's get the hell out of here." She brushed the final
      tears away with a fisted hand, pushing her hair back and twisting it up in
      one of those female-only maneuvers that never ceased to amaze him. Then
      she paused, coming to a stop on the rug. "I can't leave without talking to
      Warren. He went to one of his warehouses--"

      "I'll can come back in a couple of hours. That give you enough time?"

      Jean nodded slowly, wrapping her arms around herself tightly, and Logan
      dismissed the memories of Rogue standing like that, just as frail.
      Tightening his jaw, he stood up, reaching for her. She was too tall, too
      thin, and the scent was all wrong--memories of the woman he wanted wouldn't
      quite disappear. But she didn't jerk away at least, and he knew Jean as
      well as he'd ever known anyone. Brushing a kiss across her hair, he lifted
      her head and met the wide brown eyes.

      "Everything'll be fine." Her mouth tightened. Shit, she'd been alone on
      the road for eight months, then with him, but it took these people to break
      her. She didn't deserve this, and damned if he did either.

      She nodded--shadows in the dark eyes that hadn't been there even when he'd
      picked her up that first time. Shit, Scott and Warren had a lot to answer
      for. Brushing his fingers along her face, he nodded and finished his
      brandy, going to the door. Pushing aside the knowledge of everything he
      was giving up if he left with Jean--but how much was it really? Rogue
      wanted Scott, when all was said and done. And a lot of things Logan could
      be, but he couldn't be second, not in her mind, not in her heart. It was
      all or nothing, and he'd rather having nothing.

      He did wonder though, as he shut the door behind him, if she'd ever jump
      again.

      The End.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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      *****

      On Published Versus Fanfic (simplified)

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