Title: Shatter Like Glass
Author: jenn (jenn@...
Series: RR #40
Codes: Logan, Jean
Summary: Logan gets reactive. Jean gets proactive. They might need a new
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.
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
"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
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.
"My fault," he answered grimly. "I thought this guy'd watch out for you."
"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
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.
"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
"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
"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
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