Title: Seasons of Growth
Chapter 19: The Way Out is Through
Author: November Tuesday
Summary: Logan begins.
Continuity: Series begins 3 years after X1.
Disclaimer: Marvel, Fox, Brian Singer yadda yadda yadda
Archive: Sure, and if it's someplace other than list archives, please
let me know.
Feedback: is your friend.
Chloe nudged her friend when the man walked in. He was a vision in
tight jeans and leather. Heather looked up dutifully. His brows were
furrowed as if in confusion or anxiety or anger, but his eyes were
Logan looked around, somewhat overwhelmed. He saw the two girls in
red smocks staring at him, and it didn't allay his anxiety.
The arts supply store had just opened five minutes ago. He walked
around slowly, taking everything in. Heather was a little wary. He
didn't seem like a robber, but something about the man screamed
Chloe just watched his ass. She was a little more adventurous. She
walked out from behind the counter. "Is there anything I can help you
He turned and she thought for a second that he would snarl at her.
But he just stared at her for a few seconds.
"Yeah... If someone was gonna start painting, what stuff would they
"What kind of painting?"
"Like, painting pictures?"
"Okay, watercolor, oil, acrylic?"
"What do you think, for a beginner?"
"Well, oils can be tricky. Personally I have a lot of trouble with
watercolor, so I'd start off with acrylics."
"Okay. Can you show me?"
"Sure. What's your name?"
"Why do you want to know?" He frowned.
Chloe was a bit thrown by his attitude. "So I know what to call you."
He relaxed. "Sorry. Logan."
"Chloe. Okay. First you want to start with brushes. If you're just
starting you should probably only get a basic few, like a detail
brush, fan brush for diffuse application of color." He looked at the
brushes and this made sense. The girl knew her stuff, anyway.
An hour later, Heather was ringing his purchases while Chloe helped
him. He wound up purchasing seventeen brushes, two hundred dollars
worth of paint, ten canvases, an easel, and three how-to books.
"That comes to four hundred seventy six oh nine."
He pulled out a tattered wallet and paid in fifty dollar bills. He
politely thanked Chloe and walked out to his truck. He carried the
flat box containing the easel on his shoulder and arm, with the bags
balanced on top. Holding the easel up made his jacket ride up,
showing off his jean-clad ass, and the two girls stared. "God damn,"
Chloe muttered. "I'll be his model any time."
He drove out of the shopping center. He was gonna do it today. He had
been waiting for a long time to start this, to see if he could really
do it, and he wasn't gonna chicken out.
He pulled a scrap of paper out of his jacket and followed the
directions. Westchester was a college town, old mansions turned into
gutted frat houses, tie-dye makeshift in the windows, apartment
buildings that were new fifteen years ago. He parallel parked the
truck and jumped out.
The security door was propped open with a wad of grocery circulars.
He walked into the building.
A shabby radiator with peeling paint in the lobby did precious
little to warm it up.
He walked down the hall, glanced at the scrap of paper, and knocked
on a door.
The yapping of a dog filled the air. The TV was loud, and a woman
came to the door. She appeared about sixty, and her white hair was
dyed a garish red. "You here about the studio?"
"I'll get the key. Come on in." Logan stepped uncomfortably into the
stuffy apartment, and stared derisively at the tiny yapping dog. It
was a scruffy mutt and it seemed like a barking rat with hair.
The yipping was hurting his ears.
He squatted down and extended a closed hand to the mutt. Its feet
didn't budge but it extended its wet nose, whole body on point, nose
Before the dog could reach its verdict the woman re-emerged from the
other room. She lead him out the door, not bothering to mute Judge
Logan followed the heaving, wheezing woman upstairs. He prayed that
she wouldn't have a heart attack before reaching the third floor
studio. "You a painter," she asked.
"Yeah," he said, although he wasn't yet sure it was true. The less
said, the better.
"This studio is for working only. I rented it out to a Pakistani guy
once and when I came back from visiting my daughter there were five
Pakistanis and a mutant living in the room. I'll know if my electric
bill comes back through the roof. You share a bathroom with the other
tenants on the floor, that's it there."
"I already have a place to live."
"Good. And I better not be smelling any strange chemical smells. A
few years back some damn college kids had a meth lab in here and it
took two months for the DEA to clean it out. I want my rent at the
first of the month, in full."
She opened the door with a shove and a grunt.
The room was a surprise. It had clearly been the master bedroom and
the morning light was coming clearly through two huge windows. And
there was another window opposite the door. The floor was hardwood
and clean. Splotches of paint remained from the previous tenant. At
one end was a counter and a sink. Cupboards. He opened them, checking
out the space.
`I don't want any food lyin' out. We'll get rats. You do your eating
at home or keep your food in tins or Tupperware."
Evidently the lady already had a rat, a loud barking one. He looked
away to hide his smile.
"Four hundred. You can go month to month if you want. I'll need a
"How soon can I have it?"
"Right now if you want."
"Okay." He pulled out his wallet and paid her for two months plus the
deposit. She didn't expect that.
"Thank you, Mr..."
"Mr. Logan. You go by my rules and we'll get along just fine." She
pocketed the wad of cash and handed him the key.
Logan stared at the blank canvas. He wondered if he had been a
The how-to books were on the radiator. He looked at them, then turned
back to the canvas.
He started leafing through his notebooks from Alkali.
There was tension in his chest, rising, threatening to overtake his
head. He breathed out audibly. The only noise was the clunking of the
radiators. Maybe if he did this the nightmares wouldn't rule his
He took off his jacket and his flannel shirt. Pulled the wobbly table
over and started mixing paints. Navy, chartreuse, midnight blue.
Thallo green, Chinese white. He had no idea what he was doing. No
idea if this was right. He slapped paint thickly on the canvas, using
his fingers here and there, smudging it.
He had been working for some time when he stood back and looked at
The shape of a room he recognized was there, and an examining table.
No one was on the table. An inexplicable aura of light surrounded it,
light that was sharp and diffuse at once. There were no details in
It was very imperfect, the perspective a bit off, but the quality of
the light told him that he had succeeded.
He felt excitement run through him. He could do this, after all.
The next chapter is up at novemberotica.com