FIC: Votive (1/1) - L/R, angst, character death
- Title: Votive (1/1)
Author: Donna Bevan
Rating: R (language)
Category: L/R, angst, character death
Summary: Challenge In A Can (http://www.dymphna.net/challenge/) - Logan,
angry, candles. And well, duh. I sort of *had* to do it after that, don't
you think? Sorry I killed people. I suck like that.
Disclaimer: Not mine. If they were, wouldn't they ALL be dead by now? :(
Dedication: For Molly. This is an homage to "Distinction," which was the
very second Molly story I ever read. Molly, you rock. Love ya, babe.
votive: 1) a small, squat candle; 2) consisting of or expressing a vow,
wish, or desire.
"It's the little things that kill."
Scott had mumbled those words to him four days ago. They crawled
sluggishly from beneath a thick fog of whiskey and tears, but they weren't
the result of sloppy, drunken logic. They were quiet and they were
confident, and Logan hated that. He hated the words.
He hated them because he didn't know, not yet, but he feared they were true.
There was nothing left by the time he got back, nothing but shivering and
helpless silence. He hated that, too. He would have much preferred
shouting, panic. Chaos, even. He knew how to deal with that.
He didn't know how to deal with Xavier's small, hushed voice, especially
when it was telling him that everything was gone.
There was no one to fight. That was part of the hell, at least for him;
this time, there were no evil mutants to blame, no heinous plots
afoot. Just an icy New England back road and a moment that could never
again be grasped.
He listened as the Professor told him about the accident, how Jean had lost
control of the car on a nasty curve. How she'd used her last living
thought to shield Rogue from the guardrail that pierced the windshield.
How she may as well not have bothered, because Rogue was downstairs, lying
paler than death on a stark white bed in the stark white medical lab.
Too much goddamn white. *That* was the color of death, Logan found out,
not the inky black most people envisioned, or the red of blood seeping into
cloth or earth. White was cold, unfeeling; at least black held the warmth
of decay, and red the heaviness of grief. In a way, both were comforting.
White just didn't give a shit.
He ventured into the callous depths of the lab anyway, because she was
Rogue and she was everything. And it was there that Hank used phrases like
"subdural hematoma" and "contre-coup." The words were foreign to Logan,
but the sound of Hank's voice was not. It was the same as the others had
been, only worse. Where they had been scared and disbelieving, Hank was
sad and sure.
Logan didn't know which was worse. Not at first. Then he saw her, and he
knew that nothing - *nothing* - could be more painful than the slight,
still form that was her body. She wasn't even *there*, not anymore. She
was breathing, but not alive.
He stared at her for a long time, then walked upstairs and joined Scott and
the whiskey. Both were rapidly disappearing.
It hit him two days later, when he finally stopped drinking and wandered
into her room, half expecting her to slip out of the bathroom in a cloud of
fragrant steam, hair piled under a towel on her head. He was met by
nothing but silence and a scent that was days old, and realization hit him
with a force that made him something beyond angry, beyond enraged.
It made him scream with impotent fury. With pain.
She wouldn't wake up. She would *never*. Fucking. Wake. Up.
And then he knew what Scott had meant with those slurred words.
He tore the room apart, looking for something to refute what he knew, for
some sign that the girl he loved had not abandoned that room. That she was
coming back to it. All he found was Ororo, standing outside the open door,
watching him. There were tears on her face, but there was nothing in her eyes.
They looked like his soul.
She was everywhere.
The mansion was alive with memories of her, memories he never even knew he
had. A chair in the common room where he'd once found her, pretending to
read a book. A window where late afternoon sunlight had gilded her hair,
catching the chocolate strands and painting them. Places she'd
walked. Things she'd touched.
Dear Christ, if only he could
He went downstairs again, for the last time, and laid his bare hand along
the top of hers. He didn't feel the searing pull for which he'd hoped,
just the silky skin of her hand. Her fingers were cold, so he rubbed them,
and then they were wet, but he didn't know why.
He cried on her until Hank found him there, muttering incoherently about
touching and little things and how a body isn't meant to live without a soul.
And, later, Logan was fairly certain he'd told Hank that he wasn't meant to
live without her.
Trying to hide from reminders of her accomplished nothing, so he returned
to her room. No one had cleaned up the mess he'd made of it, so he just
shuffled things around and tried not to think about what a masochist he was.
He found his dogtags on her dresser along with a creased, well-handled
postcard he'd sent from Banff. The card drifted to the floor, unheeded,
and the tags went in his pocket. He didn't know if he'd ever put them on
She had candles, at least a dozen of them, on her bedside table. He lit
one and let the fragrance surround him. It was vaguely familiar, but just
vaguely, and he hated himself. So he sat on the bed frame between two
ripped pieces of mattress and watched the flame, then shoved his hand into
the heart of it.
And he discovered that even that felt good compared to losing what he'd
Xavier found him in the teachers' study in front of a roaring fire. He
listened wordlessly as Logan explained that he'd be leaving as soon as
possible and no, he didn't think keeping in touch was a good idea. There
were ghosts, he muttered by way of explanation, and then there were
*ghosts*. The ones you could never escape. The ones where it seemed wrong
to even try, except that you had to if you wanted to stay sane.
He threw another candle in the fire, and soon light pink bubbled and
dribbled onto the hearth, joining the puddle of molten wax already
Xavier just sat there, and Logan wondered if, just once, he'd be unethical
enough to look inside his head and see what he was thinking. Feeling.
Another candle, a green taper, tumbled onto the pyre.
Logan watched with burning eyes, and Xavier asked why he thought leaving
would make the loss of Rogue any easier to bear. Logan just closed his
eyes for a moment, then whispered, "Ask Scott."
Because Scott had been right. He'd been drunk and mindless with anguish,
but he'd been *right*. Logan wasn't strong enough to live in a place where
echoes reigned, and where every turn of his head caught a shadowed,
fleeting glimpse of the past and what could have been.
What *should* have been.
He placed the last candle carefully into the fireplace. The fire hissed
and wrapped around the wax column, drawing it down until it bowed over the
"It's the little things that kill."