FIC: Seasons of Growth Chapter 33
- Title: Seasons of Growth
Chapter 33: When the Brave are Coming Out
Author: November Tuesday
Summary: Logan takes a brave leap.
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: makes me warm and fuzzy
"When the brave are coming out,
The dry fight and the dusty shout..."
Logan stepped out of the truck and pulled the canvases to him. His
heart was pounding. He had generated a half dozen in the few months
he'd been painting and he picked out his three best to show Charles.
He knew the man wasn't god, wasn't even an art critic, but Logan had
been staring at his work for so long without another person's input
that it had lost all sense of meaning. And, Charles had promised to
All Xavier knew was that Logan wanted to show him something, he
didn't know what. He walked in the door with the three canvases
wrapped and slung under his arm.
"Good morning, Logan. Come on in. Would you like tea?"
"No thanks. How are you today Chuck?"
"I'm very well. I'll admit I'm very curious to see what is on those
canvases. They are canvases, I presume?"
"You presume right." Logan smiled. "You have to promise not to
bullshit me if they're horrible, okay."
"I promise. Though hopefully it won't come to that." The corners of
Xavier's mouth were turning up.
"Okay." The first painting was a stunning portrait of Rogue. He had
painted her in her red bridesmaid's dress, looking out the window.
Logan was proud of this one. The light looked good.
Charles gasped. He stared at it for a log time during which Logan was
quietly freaking out. "Did Rogue sit for this?"
"You painted her from memory."
"I guess so, yeah."
"You have a gift, Logan. Let's see the others."
Logan relaxed. Charles thought they were good. It bothered him that
it mattered so much to him.
The next one was one of his Alkali paintings. It was a stark
interior, a long hall with several cells and dim, diffuse light that
hovered in the air. Xavier felt tears spring to his eyes and he knew
instantly that Logan had painted from his nightmares. He tried to
isolate the quality of the light, the thing that made it great, but
he failed to do so. It was like looking at a Vermeer.
"Chuck. You okay?"
"Logan, do you remember ever studying art?"
"Do you remember painting before?"
"No." All he could remember was flashes of torture, faces, and a
house in a town.
"Let me see the third one."
The third canvas was essentially a landscape - all done in gray-blues
and black - of a highway in a snowstorm just before nightfall. It was
all dashes of white paint over rough black lines. Though it was the
most abstract of his three paintings, the light in it was the most
realistic. Logan had managed to capture that sweet blue light just
before dark came, how the snow made it resonate.
Charles looked at it a long time, then leaned back in his chair and
looked at Logan. "I'm speechless, Logan, really."
"Not helping, Chuck."
"They're extraordinary. Artists strive for decades to be able to
paint light like that."
"Are you saying you think I was an artist, before?"
"I can't imagine an amateur just picking up a brush and doing that.
You would have to have been."
"I don't remember."
Charles gestured to the canvas of the interior with cells. "Do you
"I remember dreaming it. If I ever actually remembered it, I forgot
what it was like to remember."
Logan realized how stupid that sounded but Charles just
smiled. "Elegantly put, Logan."
"So, tell me what you like about them," Logan asked.
"Okay, but first you tell me. What do you like about them?"
Logan looked at Xavier. Always one to make things complicated, but he
felt like Charles had a good reason, so he obliged.
"Well, this one... I always liked that time before dark when it was
snowing. I like the way the snow makes everything look." Charles
"And this one - it's from Alkali. When I went there all I got was
flashes, blips of memory. This is what I think it looked like. I
like... I dunno, I don't think I like anything about it."
"Do you feel better after painting it?"
Logan thought. "I don't know." The emotions that the question
engendered were complex and he made a mental note to think about it
later, in private.
Xavier let it go. "And the portrait of Rogue, what do you like about
"Well it looks like her, for one thing." Logan smiled and Xavier did
also. "I like the color. I think someone could look at this and feel
like they know her a little."
Xavier nodded. "Now let me tell you what I see. My art history
knowledge is a bit faded but I know certain things when I see them."
"First of all, the portrait of Rogue. You use light here in a very
precise way that shows her inner strength, how tough she is, and also
shows her softness at the same time. A person could look at this,
like you said, and know some very important things about her. I like
the way you're not afraid of color. The folds of her dress are a bit
off but painting fabric is another thing artists wrestle with for
years. It will come. It's an amazing portrait. Have you shown it to
"No." Logan seemed aghast at the idea.
"You might want to." Xavier smiled knowingly. "Maybe it's just that I
know the two of you, but to me this painting tells her how you feel
"Well I'm not sure that's something she wants to hear."
"I beg to differ Logan. Now about this landscape - the way snow
reflects and refracts light is so hard to capture. I think you've
done it. It's very emotional too, at least to me. It makes me feel
warm and cozy, like curling up and going to sleep. Very comforting. A
lot like the poem about stopping in the woods on a snowy evening."
Logan nodded. He half-remembered hearing that poem before.
"This one from your nightmares. I think the fact that there's very
little detail is interesting. Maybe because you remember it that way.
Maybe because you consciously chose not to put any. Either way it
gives it an air of mystery. The dim light gives it a soothing sort of
feel but the subject matter suggests otherwise. This cloud of light
here - I've never seen any other artist do that. It's extraordinary.
It lends it a spiritual quality to it. The light is like a spirit. Is
it an angel, looking over the people in the torture chambers, or is
it a demon? You don't know and it sort of drives one crazy. I think
that's what makes it great."
"Logan, you have a gift. I hope you don't stop painting. These are so
good, I have to say, I'm stunned."
"Do you believe me?"
"Yeah, shouldn't I?"
"Yes, you should. I'm being completely honest. Take them to any
gallery and you'll see."
"Why is it so important to you whether I believe you?"
"Because I want to buy this one, if it`s for sale." He indicated the
"Yes. But I don't want you to think this is charity, because it's
not. If I saw this in a gallery I'd want to buy it just as much."
"I won't take your money, Chuck."
"It's worth some money."
"Take it. I want you to have it." Logan smiled.
"Really?" Xavier looked almost like an excited child.
"You like it and I refuse to take your money. You've done enough, for
taking care of me, taking care of Marie all these years."
"Thank you, Logan. That means a great deal to me."
Logan nodded. It meant a great deal to him too.
Later that week, the painting was put in an ornate gold leaf antique
frame and hung in Xavier's office. During a break in the weekly staff
meeting of A and B team members, Rogue stood up and went to it. Her
head tilted slightly to the side.
"Charles, where did you get this? It's amazing."
Logan pretended to flick dirt off his boots and tried to not smile.
"It's a gift from a friend of mine. One of his first paintings of
what I hope will be a long career."
"I think so too. You should see his other work." Xavier smiled and
tossed a glance at Logan. ~I think you should show her the portrait.~
Logan was too happy to growl at Charles. He didn't even try.
The next chapter is up at novemberotica.com.