DISCLAIMERS REPOSTED IN PART 0
* * *
"I swore I would love you to the end of time
So now I'm praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
'Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don't think that I can really survive
I'll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now
I'm praying for the end of time
So I can end my time with you"
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light," by Meat Loaf
* * *
"You cant keep hiding from your wife forever."
Logan lined up his shot, made it. "Not forever," he muttered absently, as
though this conversation wasnt knotting the back of his neck with
tension. "Just until she gives up and goes to sleep for the night."
"Poor baby whose wife wants to actually have *sex* with him sometime in
the next decade." Marie shifted from sarcasm to curiosity in the space of
a breath. "Why exactly are you so opposed to just giving her what she
wants? I guess I can see youre not the faithful type " Logan shot her
a penetrating look " but I dont think shed mind as much if you were
at least *with* her while youre with her, if you get what Im saying."
Logan flubbed his next shot, too much attention on framing his response
and not enough on framing his shot. ["I dont trust her not to have
another kid to tie me down even further"? Nah, not that big a
consideration and shed probably just tell me I should talk about it with
Cissy, or remind me how much I love Max and ask if another one would be
such a bad thing to have. "She keeps nagging me about it *big*
turn-off." Nope, I do all the *other* shit she nags me about, just to get
her off my case.] In a quiet tone, "Im just not interested anymore." It
was the most understated phrasing possible of the big reason, the actual
Marie shook her head ruefully, picking up her own cue. "I cant say much
for your attention span, then, if two years is enough time for a goddess
like *that* to bore you so completely." Oddly enough, Logan looked
genuinely unhappy at that statement. Examining her own words for some
clue to what he was reacting to, she concluded, "Youre just not made for
long-term relationships, are you? If it werent for Max, you wouldnt
have any reason to stay married."
Annoyed, "If it werent for Max, we never would have *got* married." [And
wed both be a lot happier.] In a calmer tone, "I dont think its fair
to say Im not cut out for long relationships when the only one Ive ever
*been* in was with someone I never wanted to keep around in the first
Marie smiled humorlessly as understanding set in. "Lesson One: Having
one-night stands over and over with the same woman makes it *real* easy
for her to mistake them for an actual relationship."
He sighed. "*Now* you tell me."
"Well. Too late for *that* advice now youre stuck with her. Unless you
just go ahead and get a divorce and put yourselves both out of your
"Believe me, once Max hits eighteen or as to close to it as I can stand
to stick around for Im gone. Well, divorcing Cissy, anyway Im not
cutting *him* off."
Marie sighed a little. "Thats great for Max, but not so fair for Cissy.
I mean, marriage isnt supposed to be just until the kids are grown
its supposed to be a lifetime commitment, growing old together and all
that." [Good thing for *me* otherwise Remy and I wouldnt have any
reason to stay married...]
Logan gave her a measuring look, possibly sensing her own underlying
regret and the reason thereof. Steering clear of her own child-related
disappointments, he said, "Marriage means different things to different
"So, thats it. Youre just going to cut her off in her forties, with a
grown son, and suddenly shes got to find a new partner or spend the rest
of her life alone?"
Logan frowned. "Shes got a healing factor she wont have really aged
that much. Its not like Id have taken up all her good years..."
"Yeah, but youd both have wasted a couple of decades. Why not just break
it off now, if youre going to? Save yourselves both a lot more pain and
trouble, set yourselves free before things get any worse."
He shook his head, still frowning. "I married her because I wanted to be
sure Max had a father growing up. I care about doing right by *him*, not
"Logan, youre not a deadbeat. Youll be around to take care of Max
whether youre married to his mother or not."
"Im not just talking child support which Im sure Cissy would tear out
of my living hide if I *didnt* pay Im talking about *being there*.
Playing catch, camping trips, teaching him to drive and fight and
"Joint custody "
" assumes that Cissy would be willing to share him with me, or that I
could convince a judge that someone with a shady past, near-criminal
record, and lack of visible means of income who, oh yeah, isnt even an
American citizen deserves equal time with his son. And Im not talking
weekends and summers here Im talking about living under the same roof,
at least as much time as he gets with his mother. And I dont want to
settle for just half his time, either, but if I split with Cissy Id be
lucky if I got *that* much." He cut his tirade off, grimly.
Marie looked taken aback. Of *course* hed put a lot more thought into
this than she had it had been eating away at him for longer than shed
even realized that a problem existed. "You dont think shed leave the
X-Men if you split up?"
"I think shed leave the *state* go back to Wisconsin, or maybe even
out to California. Theres another little superhero group out there
thats higher profile than we are, and I heard theyre recruiting. Theyd
*love* to get her on their team shes scary in a fight and photogenic
as hell the rest of the time." He set his jaw grimly, game forgotten.
Too absorbed in the conversation to even think of reminding him that it
was his turn at the table, Marie said, "So basically if you want to stay
in Maxs life, you have to stay in Cicelys as well?"
"Well have you tried learning to live with her? I mean, figuring out
ways to sort of ease the tension a little?"
"Thats what Ive *been* doing shut up and do what Im told at home,
and get away whenever I can."
"Except for the sex. You havent been doing what youre told *there*."
"No, and " sigh " Im really just not interested in her anymore."
[Well, actually "repulsed by her" would be more accurate than "just not
interested in her any more"...]
"Well, couldnt you " lowering her voice " just pretend shes someone
Logan gave her a half-smile. [If only she knew...] "Thatd work right up
until I called her the wrong name but thingsd pretty much go downhill
Marie winced. "Right. Good point."
"And then shed probably make *me* be the one to get the bloodstains out
of the sheets afterwards."
Marie giggled, not realizing that he hadnt really been joking.
* * *
She Whose Quotations Are Both Exotic and Appropriate
Keeper of his Deadly Startle Reflexes, Guardian and Examiner of the
Adamantium-Revealing X-Rays, and Official Listener for the Occasional
"Associated with the unconquerable power of the sun, the Roman Mithraic
feast of Sol Invictus gave the traditional birth date of Christ, 25
-- "Mithra," _Encyclopedia of World Mythology, Arthur Cotterell ed.
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