FIC: Choices, 19/?, R/NC17, W/R R/G W/f
- DISCLAIMERS REPOSTED IN PART 0
* * *
Unsurprisingly, Marie was the first to learn of Logans new private
bedroom. Not because of any carelessness on Logans part his new
quarters were no one elses business as far as he was concerned. Prickly
closemouthed tendencies to privacy plus an unpleasant family situation to
conceal equaled rabid secrecy. He made damned sure that no one ever saw
him entering or leaving the room, or even the hallway leading to it.
But Marie was a special case. The fact that he came closer to confiding
his genuine problems to her than to anyone else was part of it as was
the fact that he loved her. There was no one hed rather allow into his
But what it really came down to was that he wanted somewhere to talk to
her without fear of careless interruption.
Logan found Maries marital problems to be nearly as absorbing as his
own. More so, in fact he preferred to forget about his own
Cicely-related difficulties as much as possible, whereas Maries issues
with Remy were a source of deep personal interest. From the early wish
for the pair of them to split up (thereby freeing Marie for himself) to
the more recently-discovered preference for Marie to be happy, come what
may however things went for the Le Beaus, Logan cared about the
outcome. And as the only person Logan felt even slightly inclined to hint
around the edges of his own dissatisfactions with, Marie more than rated
a sounding board in return.
And she seemed to need one. She was having a problem with her husband,
Logan could tell and he wanted to know what, and whether there was
anything he could do about it. But she didnt want to talk about it in
the kitchen, or the rec room, or any of the other public areas of the
mansion. Nor in one of their customary juke joints or pool halls even
more public. Nor in her quarters with Remy and he barely even
considered bringing her to the quarters that he now thought of as Cissy
and Maxs. Instead he led her up the back staircase and down a deserted
hallway to his isolated little room.
"Logan, what *is* this place?" She glanced around, frowning as she
recognized a few things of Logans, signs of occupancy.
"This is my bedroom." At her uncomprehending look, he elaborated. "I
dont want to sleep with Cissy, she wont have me sleeping with anyone
else, so this is the compromise."
"And she *lets* you have your own bedroom?"
"What she doesnt know about, she cant argue about." Flat, final. "And
we didnt come here to talk about *my* problems."
A sigh. "No, we didnt." She set her jaw for a minute, and Logan
suspected that she was making a mental note to bring up his sleeping
arrangements at the earliest convenient opportunity. Subject dropped for
the moment, she still showed no inclination to go on to the next one.
Logan decided to give her a little nudge. "So why dont you want to go
down to New Orleans with Gumbo next week?"
Pause. "Because I dont feel like dealing with a bunch of thieves?" she
"Shouldnt have married one, then." [And thats not the real reason. Try
Quieter, "Because I dont want to be spending so much time alone with
Remy with nothing to talk about."
"Nothing to talk about?"
"Nothing I *want* to talk about."
Patiently, "And what dont you want to talk about?"
"About anything, really."
"Because because I dont think we have anything left to say that either
of us wants to hear."
[Well, *this* is an informative conversation.] Deciding to risk a wild
stab, he said, "How much of this has to do with you not having kids?"
A pained look. "Thats just it. We were going to raise a family together,
and be happy, and normal, and and we cant, and theres no point..."
She broke off, strained.
"...I dont know if theres any point in us staying together."
[Damn. Lucky guess.] "Why not?" At her blank look, he added, "Not
everyone gets married to start a family."
Softly, "But *we* did."
"So? Is that the *only* reason you wanted him? Because you thought hed
make good kids?"
"No, but..." Words failed her again.
"Theres more to being married than having children together. If the two
of you picked each other for the right reasons, then this its bad,
its a disappointment, but it shouldnt be a reason for the two of you to
split." His words were flat, even unsympathetic because of the effort
it cost him to keep his feelings out of his voice. It wasnt just the
harsh experience that had taught him what marriage *shouldnt* be, but
the bitter irony at the realization that chained to Cicely as he now
was he would rather have Marie happily married to another man than
single and lonely.
Whether his brusque dismissal of the importance of children in a happy
marriage had rubbed her the wrong way or she was actually having some
worries as to whether she and Remy *had* "picked each other for the right
reasons," Maries response was rather waspish. "Coming from the man who
only stays married *because* of his son, thats very meaningful advice."
"Damn straight dont make the mistake *I* did."
"Letting a kid be the only reason to get and stay married. Its not
enough to make things work."
"If its not enough, then why dont you get a divorce?"
An impatient snarl. "You *know* why not."
"Then either it *is* enough, or youre being a hypocrite."
He turned and began pacing the cramped confines of the room. "What Cissy
and I have... It isnt a marriage. Not really. Were just handcuffed
together because of Max. It shouldnt be that way. But it happened. It
was a mistake but were stuck with the consequences."
"And the consequences are sleeping in separate bedrooms while staying
He shrugged, more of an irritated twitch of the shoulder muscles than a
gesture of uncertainty. "The *consequences* are staying shackled together
long enough to see Max grown. The separate bedrooms are just to keep
problems from happening. Let us both stay close to Max without getting on
each others nerves as much."
Making a weak attempt at humor, "You really *arent* made for long-term
relationships, *are* you?"
He whirled to face her. Doubly unavailable as she was, it was nonetheless
suddenly important to him that she understand this. "For the right woman,
I would be. Cissy aint her."
She stared at him, stricken wordless for the moment. Whether merely
surprised at his reaction or because she had guessed or more likely,
*thought* she guessed who the "right woman" was, he couldnt tell.
He resumed pacing, wanting to shift the conversation away from this
dangerous ground. "If just picking who youd have good kids with was what
was important, Cissy and I would be perfect for each other. But that
isnt anywhere near to being enough. I wouldnt want Max to ever hear
this, but his mother and I would both be a lot happier right now if he
had never existed. But he does, and I love him to death and Im willing
to give up the next twenty years of my life taking care of him, keeping
him safe and making him happy." Pause, as he turned to face her again for
the almost whispered, "But that doesnt mean I dont wish to God that he
had a different mother."
Equally softly, "But at least you have *him*. Even though things have
gone sour between you and Cissy, at least you have Max so the time with
her hasnt gone for nothing. Youve got your son to show for it even if
the two of you *do* split. If I break with Remy, Ive got nothing."
"Except memories." Softly, "Children are important and I wont try to say
they arent. But they arent enough to save a relationship thats already
doomed, and not having them doesnt mean that the time you spend together
was wasted." Stepping closer, "If I was with with the woman I wanted to
be with, wed take each day for all it was worth, enjoy every moment. And
if we had kids, Id love it but if we didnt, that doesnt mean I
wouldnt be thankful for every day we had together, and I wouldnt call
any of our time wasted just because we didnt have a family."
They stared at each other for a long moment. Watching the quivering
brightness in her eyes as she fought back tears, Logan eventually
reluctantly remembered the point of this whole conversation. "And Remy
isnt *that* much of an idiot. I dont think he picked you *just* to have
half a dozen babies with and I dont think hell stop wanting you just
because that doesnt look too likely now."
The shine in her eyes threatened to spill over. "I... I dont know what
Id do without you, you know that?"
He gave her a wry half-smile. "Probably get killed, or do something
That earned him a shaky laugh, and a very light swat at his upper arm.
Logan flinched reflexively, then chuckled awkwardly, trying to pass it
off as a joke. Apparently it worked, since the next thing he knew his
arms were full of Marie. "I just love you, you know *that*?"
He should have taken it in context, should have realized that the kiss
was aimed for his cheek, shouldnt have responded to the affectionate
gesture quite so fervently. But instinct just took over.
It was undoubtedly her surprise at finding herself in an unexpected
clinch with one of her best friends that caused her to open a connection.
Just for a second or two with her control, nothing life-threatening or
even debilitating. Nothing more than a light skimming of his thoughts, a
quick peek into his head, no doubt to find out what the hell he was
thinking in kissing her like *that*. Instinct just took over.
He felt it when she triggered her power but what *really* got his
attention was the way she stiffened in shock. Belatedly realizing the
magnitude of his own error, he cautiously released her from his arms.
Stepping back and not quite meeting her eyes, he muttered something along
the lines of, "Maybe I should just let you go now?"
"Maybe maybe you should," she managed.
As he listened to the sound of her rapid steps fading down the corridor,
he numbly wondered how much she might have gotten from him with that
* * *
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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