Title: Seasons of Growth
Chapter 32: Trouble Me
Author: November Tuesday
Summary: He takes from her because he sees her as an equal.
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 better than your milkshake.
Author's Notes: The "poor guys rotting in Arkansas" can be
explained at www.wm3.org. Free the three!
Marie woke up and thought of Logan.
Something about his mental state the night before alarmed her. She
had never seen him too tired, too defeated, to front and project his
bravado. She thought of the way he had stayed with Jane during her
abortion, turning his head from her blood and her splayed legs. She
thought of the gift on the dresser, wrapped up in silver paper for
"Come here sweetie."
Maggie came in. Marie sat up in bed. "There's one more present for
Maggie grinned. God, how she loved to see her smile.
"Over there on the dresser. Bring it over, and let's see what it is."
Maggie clambered onto the bed with the long flat present. She happily
shredded the silver paper.
"Ooh, an art set! Gillian has one of these too."
"Yeah. I wanted one like it. How did Logan know?"
"How'd you know it was from Logan?"
"I dunno." Maggie shrugged and opened the plastic case that held
watercolors, colored pencils, chalk. She clearly loved the gift. That
was two for two. Marie hadn't pegged Logan as someone who would be so
good at selecting gifts for kids. But he had surprised her a lot in
the time he had been back.
She showered, put on jeans and a shirt, brushed her hair out, put on
some lipstick. "I'll be right back, Bluie."
She knocked on his door and she feared that he could hear her heart
beat. She knew he was in because she could hear the radio. Billie
He answered the door in jeans and nothing else. Chest chest chest
soft skin hard muscle... She tried not to blink like a moron.
"Hi." he said. He was thankful that she no longer smelled like
"Hi. This a good time?"
"Sure. Come in."
"Thank you the art set. She`s downstairs tearing it open as we speak.
She loves it."
His smile was small but genuine. A sad smile. She ached to take the
sadness away. "You're welcome."
She looked around his room. It was a standard-issue Xavier's wood-
paneled teacher's room but he had made some unique touches. There was
an Ansel Adams print on the mantle and the linens appeared new,
shades of cream and green. There was a guitar on the window seat, and
a plant on the dresser. A half dozen books were stacked messily on
the window seat, a pack of drawing pencils on top.
"Your guitar?" she asked.
She picked it up and started playing. He watched the way she shrugged
her hair behind her shoulder. She played a few bars of "Wild Horses."
"When'd you learn that?"
"I dunno. I guess from one of you guys." she stood up and replaced
the guitar carefully.
"You never took lessons?"
"Not guitar, no. I was playing around with Bobby's guitar one day and
realized I could play that."
"You must have got that from me. I could play it as long as I can
"I like it. What is it, the Stones?"
Sometimes he forgot how young she was.
"Yeah." He picked up the guitar and played the same thing, only much
better, and with more feeling. She looked at his bare foot tapping
the floor. He played and she looked around.
She discovered that she liked seeing his personal effects. She found
each thing aesthetically appealing for the simple reason that it was
his. Here in his room she felt immersed in him. She looked at each
object and imagined him using it and it gave her a jolt of excited
She imagined curling up in those linens and swallowed.
Still, though, she was worried about him. "I was a little worried
about you last night. It looked like a rough mission."
"Did you talk to anyone else?"
She found this question strange. "No."
"It got pretty ugly."
"I figured that out." She smiled softly. "If you wanna talk about it,
I'm all ears."
"Do you believe that killing for revenge is wrong?" He looked up at
"Vigilantism. Do you think it's wrong?"
The corners of her mouth turned up slightly. "Are you asking me if I
subscribe to the `proper X-man ideal' of protective pacifism?"
"Well, I don't. I think some people just need killing." She wasn't
about to pull any punches. She still had his nightmares sometimes.
She remembered the metal, its heat.
His shoulders relaxed a bit. He was sitting on the bed, opposite her
where she sat on the windowsill. She realized that her opinion
mattered to him.
"To be anti-vigilantism is to presume faith in our criminal justice
system. And I don't have much. Not with those poor guys rotting in
Arkansas. Not with OJ walking free and playing golf."
He nodded. He knew that he was still circling the subject, the way he
felt when he gutted that bastard. But he didn't know how to tell her.
He picked up his sketch pad, flipped to his latest drawing. He had
sketched the bastard's face this morning. "You had my dreams, right?"
She didn't have the heart to tell him that she still did on occasion.
She just nodded.
"You remember this face?" He thrust the pad at her. She stood up,
looked at it for a long time.
She did remember it. She was also struck by what a great artist Logan
was, but that wasn't relevant.
"I remember him. I remember him... and the knives. You killed him,
"Oh, darlin', I so killed him." Logan was bitter.
"Logan, surely you don't need me to tell you that it's all right."
"No. Just wanted to know how you feel, is all."
She sat down next to him on the bed. She could smell his clean warm
skin. "I think you made the world slightly a better place, by
removing his nasty ass from it."
"I do too." He didn't seem much consoled by it.
"You don't seem very comfortable with it."
"I just...I just wish it was done."
She realized suddenly that his unburdening himself meant that he saw
her as an adult, an equal. Though his pain troubled her, this
knowledge made her soar.
"Despite popular opinion killing people is not high up on my list of
ways to have a good time." He sounded defeated.
"I could have told you that. Who gives a fuck what people think you
are? Just be you. You're not a bad guy, Logan."
"It's hard to be me when I don't remember a lot."
"Well, that might be for the best."
She deliberated for a lot of seconds, then she put a friendly arm
around his bare shoulder. Hugged him to her in a gesture of
support. "Whatever it is, it seems like things are coming together
for you and I'm glad."
He couldn't speak for a second. Her bare hand was resting on his
naked shoulder. Safely. His body didn't know whether to be soothed,
become erect, or bolt.
He decided to take the gesture in the spirit it was given and relaxed
into her hug. Letting her give him this. She felt so good, cool salve
on an inflamed soul.
She enjoyed the fact that he was able to lean on her just a tiny bit.
That he saw her as an equal he could take comfort from. Her hand was
moving between his neck and shoulder, comforting, only friendly, but
the silky feel of his naked flesh was starting to effect her. If he
could sense her arousal he didn't show it.
He closed his eyes and ran through the million things he was
thinking. About how good it felt to have her care about him. How much
he wanted her to keep touching, all over. About how good it was to
have her comfort him. How happy for her he was that she could touch
without killing. How loving, how comforting her touch was. How he
wanted to throw her down and fuck her into the mattress. How he
wanted to make love to her slow and sweet. How proud he was of her,
and how guilty he was for being away while she had grown up.
Then she leaned into him too, head on his shoulder. He could feel the
silk of her hair and smell the vanilla scent she wore. He breathed it
deeply. And it was good.
The next chapter is up at novemberotica.com.