REPOST for archive: Sepia 1/1 (slight L/R, X2, PG)
- Repost Reason: There were far too many errors in the last posting of
this story for comfort. Please archive this version, and not the
Author: Princess Twilite
Summary: Nothing major had evoked the melancholy within him. The
earth had not shook and the stars had not fallen. It had been simple.
So painfully simple. (Short)
Spoilers: X-Men 2 (movie-verse)
Pairing: Light Rogue/Logan
Disclaimer: Not mine
Distribution: List archives, otherwise - just ask and yes.
Beta Reader: Marisa, thanks for helping me out when I needed it :D
* * * *
by Princess Twilite
Logan's age had come upon him suddenly, with the brutal
swiftness of a blow to the back of the head. He didn't know how old
he was for sure, but there was a new impression in his mind, sepia
tones that spoke of a lifetime lived and untied inside his head. He
wore it now, heavily on his bones, weighing down even his metal frame.
Nothing major had evoked the melancholy within him. The earth
had not shaken and the stars had not fallen. It had been simple. So
* * * *
The sun glistened, wet light against his windshield and the
radio crackled its way through a low, buzzing rock song that he
didn't know the name of. The windows of his old, beaten pick-up truck
were down and the light wind barely touched his hair with its ghostly
Rogue sat beside him on the bench seat, hair pulled back but
for the white strands that fell around her face, loose and breezy.
She was coated with yellow light, cheek and nose pink from recent
exposure to an unfamiliar sun. The rest of her remained pale and
untouched, nearly translucent. Once, in a teasing manner, he'd asked
her if she was as white all over as she was at the very edge of her
neck. She had only lifted a single eyebrow in response and sashayed
off in the way only proper southern belles could do.
She hummed a little, voice rising and falling in response to
the music, beneath her breath as if she didn't quite recall the
lyrics, but knew the beat well.
They were on their way to the store to pick up paper plates
for the barbecue Storm insisted on having. She thought it might take
their minds off all the recent trauma they had suffered, and Logan
hadn't had the heart to quell her hopes. Normally, he might have
grunted and told her that it wouldn't fucking work, but her eyes had
been old and sad, and he himself had been cut to the quick by Jean's
death. If it took a barbecue to see a few careless smiles around that
old, windy mansion, then he'd go to hell and take the paper plates
from Satan himself.
"Ya know, it just irks me."
Logan glanced over at her, eyebrows raised.
She gestured vaguely with her hands, frustration heavy around
her mouth. "Bobby," she explained, nose curling with righteous
indignation. "God knows I adore him like nobody's business, but when
it comes to you, he's so possessive, and it pisses me off. Did you
see the look he tossed you before we left? NOT friendly... I mean..."
Logan nodded, turning his gaze back to the road and drowning
her out with a grimace. He listened instead to the molasses lilt of
her voice, letting it flow over him like warm honey. Soothing him.
Sometimes, and it frightened him to even consider why, but hearing
her talk about ice-boy in that particular way made the hairs on the
back of his neck rise in response.
Possessive? If she only knew the half of it. Bobby was a
school boy with a crush. He wasn't a strange older man with an even
stranger, unexplainable attachment to a girl who could probably be
his granddaughter if he thought about it.
No, it hadn't been earth shattering, but it had certainly
shattered like glass before his eyes, pricking his mind, stabbing his
heart. He drove through the small town, beneath the long wires strung
between the buildings, past the old man who sat on the same bench at
the same time every day and watched the traffic go by. He stared at
them hard, skin an ugly mustard color from nicotine. He was smoking a
cigarette, the glowing orange tip hanging somewhere down around his
chin, burning away.
Logan tossed him a cocky grin, and drove past an elementary
school he had seen a hundred times before on days similar to this
one. Rogue continued to babble on about Bobby or something similar,
her sweet voice playing with the tips of his ears in the nicest of
ways. He glanced disinterestedly toward the playground, in the casual
way people do at the world around them.
The metal chain-link fence surrounding the playground caught
and swallowed the sun, blinding him for a brief moment that lasted
forever. He only caught a glimpse of two small sneaker-covered feet
rising toward the sky and the flash of mahogany hair.
His heart gave a careening jerk, screaming with a memory that
he *didn't* remember. His breathing suspended inside his lungs and
time became a liquid beast, the world a transparent lake that he
couldn't swim through. He didn't notice his fingers tightening around
the steering wheel or that he had slowed the vehicle to a crawl.
Rogue's voice became a hushed murmur from somewhere far away, and
there was NOTHING but the sunshine glaring into his eyes and those
two small feet.
His mouth, dry and flat, worked without a sound. Words, a
recollection of them, hung in the back of his throat and were gone.
The sun shifted as he continued to drive blindly and he caught a
brief glimpse of a young boy kicking himself higher and higher on the
"Careful, Aaron!" He heard someone yell. And then the slap of
screaming laughter against his ears, painfully familiar.
He blinked and turned his head, the back of his neck aching
with repressed memory, to stare at her blankly. She looked at him
oddly, worry written across her untouchable brow.
He had kissed her there.
"Are you even listening to me?" Rogue demanded, with an edge
of concern to her tone. "You look a little green around the gills.
Are you going to be sick? Are you okay?"
Logan opened his mouth, to say... something. But the gray-red
memories flooded his sight, a mist that he couldn't breach, and he
only nodded in response. He wasn't sure which question he had
answered. Sick? Maybe. Always had been, at least a little. Okay? He
sure the fuck hoped so.
She kept staring at him, so he forced his gaze back to the
road, trying to act as normal as possible. He pressed his foot firmly
against the gas pedal, putting his weight into it. Age settled around
him, wrinkle lines only he could see.
He said nothing the rest of the drive to the store.
* * * *
Logan sat in the dark, in a chair with too many lumps and not
enough character. He scowled into the shadows, waiting for time to
pass. He had that itch again, the one that started low in his stomach
and reached its way toward his feet. The one that wanted him to grab
the nearest vehicle and drive hard and fast away from anything that
He didn't have any roots. None that he could remember, anyway.
He'd drawn the curtains because even the slightest light made
his head ache. It was easier to think in the muggy darkness, except
for the moments when past the curtains, outside in the afternoon, he
could hear the sound of their voices. The bittersweet burn of their
laughter squeezed his windpipe, making it hard to breathe.
It choked him... this memory that wasn't a memory at all,
just a feeling of loss. Like he'd been murdered when he'd been
stripped of the memories that made him human.
It wasn't often that he felt like this, but now he felt it
more acutely than he ever had. Once, there had been a family, his
own, and the knowledge of that made him ache. Logan forced himself
into stillness, setting his teeth and shutting his eyes.
No image of a child or a woman...just the ever-shifting red
and grays that the inside of his eyelids always showed him, and the
mist beyond it.
A knock on his door startled him into opening his eyes. Logan
glared at the door, staying silent even when the knock sounded again,
a little more firmly. He knew who it was. He could smell her familiar
scent through the cracks in the wood.
Any other time - but no, not now.
"Logan?" Her quiet voice drifted through the wood, filled
He sighed, shaking his lungs.
This wasn't for her. Not something he could tell her. Maybe
one day, but not today. Listening to her knocks grow less persistent,
he swallowed hard and leaned his head back against the chair, staring
up at the ceiling.
Somewhere out there, there was a little boy with mahogany
Somewhere out there, there was a boy who was probably a man,
and then the memory was gone from him again. It faded into a dizzy
sepia that was blotted with the sound of Rogue's heartbeat slowly
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