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Fic: Stay: 1/1: L/R

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  • victoria p.
    Title: Stay Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@att.net] Summary: She had to know. Series: Cross Purposes (the first two stories can be found here:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2002
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      Title: Stay
      Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...]
      Summary: "She had to know."
      Series: Cross Purposes (the first two stories can be found here:
      http://www.unfitforsociety.net/musesfool/crosspurposes.htm)
      Rating: PG
      Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of
      fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
      Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool
      Feedback: Always welcome in all variations.
      Notes: Thanks Dot, Meg, Jen, and Pete/Melissa. This is the last story in
      the Cross Purposes trilogy, following "Just My Imagination" and "Waiting
      in Vain"

      ~*~

      Stay

      She found him easily enough. She didn't have to ask twice about the
      Wolverine. Everyone she met in Calgary had a story to tell.

      They were only too happy to point her toward the old warehouse that had
      been converted into a bar for the Stampede, a place for illegal cage
      fighting to take place after hours.

      She waited in her motel room until midnight, then took a cab to the
      outskirts of town. The warehouses all looked the same in the dark --
      dirty and dangerous. She was almost ready to give up when she spotted a
      group of rough-looking men in cowboy hats heading down an alley. She
      heard music and crowd noise, and sighed in relief. She wasn't looking
      forward to this confrontation. Or she was, but was afraid that it
      wouldn't turn out the way she hoped, and then she'd have traveled three
      thousand just to get rejected.

      It was a lowering thought, and her mood was not improved by the stares
      and catcalls directed her way upon her entrance into the makeshift bar.

      She slid onto one of the barstools and accepted the bottle of Molson the
      bartender put in front of her without asking.

      "You got a bet, honey?" he asked, giving her the once-over.

      "A hundred on Wolverine," she said, and slid the money across the bar.

      He nodded. "All the ladies like him."

      Rogue said nothing; she had already turned toward the cage.

      "A little uppity, ain't ya?"

      She kept her eyes on the cage, and her hood up, even though it was July.

      "No." Her hand tightened around the neck of the bottle. The bartender
      receded from her consciousness as Logan climbed into the ring.

      She caught her breath, remembering the first time she'd seem him,
      shirtless, prowling the cage like he owned it. He might as well have. He
      never lost.

      She shivered, anticipation tinged with fear. She'd crossed the continent
      to see him, to find out what, if anything, he felt for her. She'd
      believed for so long that he'd been in love with Jean, that she herself
      had only been an obligation. Everyone thought she was crazy for breaking
      up with Remy and chasing after the ghost of an adolescent dream; she'd
      spent the five-hour flight wondering the same thing.

      But she had to know.

      So she sat, clutching her beer, and waited.

      ***

      Logan wasn't psychic, but his skin prickled with something more than
      anticipation of the upcoming fight as he paced the cage. He shook his
      head as if to clear it as the emcee led the challenger into the ring.
      The guy was short, and almost as wide as he was tall. His gut hung over
      the belt of his jeans, and the sickly sweet stench of pot and beer
      wafted off him.

      Logan sighed internally. It was going to be difficult to make this one
      look like a real fight, and the take would probably be minimal. Not that
      it mattered. He'd made a shitload of money over the weekend. He wouldn't
      have to fight again for a while.

      Absently absorbing punches from his opponent, he contemplated heading
      back to Alkali Lake to see if he could pick up the trail of his past.
      He'd nearly convinced himself that he'd missed something the first time
      around when he saw her.

      The hood of her cloak had fallen back to reveal the two white streaks in
      her hair, stark and luminous in the smoky depths of the bar. She drank
      from a bottle, head tipped back, emphasizing the sleek line of her long,
      white neck.

      He ended the farce of a fight with two punches, laying the guy out on
      the floor with an uppercut to the jaw. The crowd roared and money
      changed hands across the bar.

      He stalked out of the cage, eyes locked on Rogue, who straightened
      suddenly, as if aware she'd been spotted. He ignored the fight fans
      offering congratulations and drinks, and the women offering lewd
      come-ons.

      Rogue's presence here could mean only one thing, and he wasn't going to
      blink and discover she'd been a hallucination. She smiled hesitantly
      when he reached her, and he could smell her anxiety.

      He took the beer from her loose grip and finished it in one long
      swallow; then his hand closed around her gloved wrist. He could feel the
      warmth of her flesh and the delicacy of her bones. She was real and she
      was here, and he wasn't letting her out of his sight.

      "Come on."

      He led her through the bar, the crowd parting naturally to let them
      through. The catcalls and comments died a quick death when Logan growled
      and bared his teeth. The room where they ended up had functioned as an
      office when the warehouse had been a warehouse, instead of an illicit
      bar.

      Rogue perched on the edge of the rickety old desk while Logan pulled his
      shirt and jacket on.

      Finally, he said, "Does this mean what I think it means?"

      "I don't know. What do you think it means?"

      He let loose a low growl and she smiled. "You tell me," he said.

      She got to her feet and tossed her head. "I didn't travel three thousand
      miles to play games, Logan."

      "This is no game."

      She took a deep breath. "If you want me, I'll stay. If you don't, I'll
      head back to New York in the morning."

      He could hear her heart racing, belying the calm with which she'd
      spoken, and the steady way she met his eyes. He reached out a hand and
      stopped just short of her lips, his fingers so close to her skin that
      her warm breath brushed over his knuckles.

      "Stay," he said, his voice hoarse. Just in case she hadn't heard the
      first time, he said again, "Stay."

      She smiled, then, and it lit the dingy room. She exhaled in relief.
      "Okay."

      They walked out into the night hand in hand. He felt the need to touch
      her constantly, to reassure himself she wasn't a figment of his
      imagination, that she was really there, and she wanted to be with him.

      When they reached her motel room, they made love -- fiercely the first
      time; he wanted the feel her pressed against him, bury himself deep
      inside her to prove to himself she was real. The second time was slow
      and tender -- loving -- and he was secure in the knowledge that she
      loved him, as much as he loved her.

      When they were done, he held her close, content to breathe her in.

      "I can't believe this is real," she murmured as she drifted off to
      sleep. "I waited so long for this."

      "Me, too," he whispered, kissing her temple carefully. "Me too."

      fin

      ***

      victoria

      --

      CJ: "You wanna make out with me right now, don't you?"
      Toby: "When don't I?"
      The West Wing

      --

      The Muse's Fool - http://www.unfitforsociety.net/musesfool
      read my diary: http://musesfool.diaryland.com
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