Written for a challenge. The prompts:|
Concept: Practical Joke
Location: Scott’s Room
Line: "I want you, and I’m hating it."
I finally managed to write something again. Woot! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Don’t expect too much, though. I’m a bit rusty. Beta by Joanna.
Merry Christmas, guys!
I have no idea why I volunteered for this.
Standing in the middle of Scott’s room – Jean’s name has been erased months ago already – I look around and try to figure out where to start. The closet? Bathroom? Nightstands? Drawers? It all seems so… personal.
I sigh and scold myself.
Of course it’s personal. That’s why no one wanted to do this. No one wanted to put all his belongings in plastic bags. No one wanted to get through his clothes and remember when he’d worn them. Even though he’s got his name carved in granite, no one really wants to remove his presence from the mansion. Not yet. Not right before Christmas. But the school needs new staff and they needs rooms, so I look around once again and try to keep my personal feelings out of this. It’s just a room. Nothing to go all emo over. Just... a room.
Hmm. A room I’ve never really seen before, now that I think about it. I like the abstract painting above the bed. It’s sorta like a depressing horizon, the earth brown, the sky grey. Was it Scott’s choice? Or Jean’s, maybe? Did they buy it together? There’s so much I don’t know about them. I never really got to know Jean, and Scott kept to himself mostly after she was gone. I wish--
I sigh again.
It’s no use. If I keep on dwelling like this, I’ll miss putting up the Christmas decorations. Although, on second thought, maybe that isn’t such a bad idea. I don’t want to see everybody kissing under the mistletoe. I get to spend this holiday with touchable skin but no boyfriend. I know I broke it off myself, but that doesn’t mean I have to be cheery about it. I’m bitter. And disappointed. And angry. And still un-kissed.
And I really should get my ass going.
I walk over to the drawers in the corner and pick up Jean’s picture. Studying her smiling features, I resentfully contemplate wrapping it and making it Logan’s Christmas present.
Here. She’s finally yours. Happy now?
The thought only makes me feel better for a second or two before it quickly changes into guilt, which then sparks annoyance. Well, fuck it. I have every right to be angry. She took away three men I cared about, and even though Logan’s still alive, he barely acknowledges me these days. Friends, my ass. If he prefers a ghost and Jack Daniel’s over my company, he can go fuck himself, too.
I impatiently open the bag, and Jean’s picture is the first to go. The frame hits the floor, shattering the glass, and it’s quite a satisfying sound.
Nothing but *trash*.
But… this feeling doesn’t last long either. Before I know it, I’m back to feeling guilty again and thus angry at myself that I just can’t seem to stay a bitch for longer than a few miserable seconds. Great. A Rogue with a conscience. What happened to my plan to become an outlaw and live by my own rules? Oh, right. I ran into another outlaw and we somehow ended up with the good guys. Yay us.
I sit down on the bed and resist the urge to kick something. Ugh. I’m a horrible person for thinking all this. I should be grateful that I’m here. I’m not even a mutant anymore, but I’m still welcome. I can still finish my education, and I still have a roof over my head and friends who care. Well, I think I have. I haven’t been very nice to them lately. Especially Logan.
I scowl at the trash bag in my hands.
I know he’s going through a tough time right now. He had to kill the woman he loved, and he’s staying to help Storm run this place. I know he’s this close to packing his bag and leaving again, but so far, he’s still around. I should’ve made an effort to talk to him instead of waiting for him to come to me. It’s just… that’s how our relationship is. He *always* comes to me first. I don’t know how to approach him if he doesn’t take the first step. How else do I know if he even *wants* me around?
I flop on my back and study the painting some more, now upside down from my point of view, just like my world.
I don’t know anything anymore these days. I thought taking the cure would make my life less complicated, but here I am, more isolated than ever. I belong on that canvas. I bet it’s called ‘Solitude’ or something.
“Roguey!” Jubilee rudely interferes with my self-destructive thoughts by bursting in and being generally loud. “I’ve been looking for you all over the place. What’re you doing here?”
“Cleaning,” I grumble, very well aware that, so far, I only got rid of the last remnants of Jean’s presence, and now I’m just lying here. Luckily, or unfortunately, depending on your view of life, Jubes’ got entirely different things on her mind and isn’t the analyzing kind.
“Oh. Well, look what I got!” She holds up a… what? A potato? And a pie fork? And she grins smugly. “I read an article about going ‘Voodoo On Your Ex’. I thought, this is exactly what my homey needs!”
“A potato,” I confirm, just to be sure, sitting up and suspiciously eyeing the brown, lumpy thing in her hand.
“It’s a doll. A voodoo doll.” She peers down the hall before gently closing the door and jumping on the bed, too. “Look. I took a fork to make claws, and I also have the required genetic material. See?”
She opens her other hand, surgically gloved, I notice, and it contains a few wet, dark, thick hairs.
“Chill out, okay? It’s just hair. I got it from the men’s shower after his danger room session. Totally risked weeks of suspension to get access, but hey--”
“Wait,” I interrupt her waterfall of words. “That’s not Bobby’s hair color, and did you say… claws?”
She casts me a look that I try not to interpret as saying I’m the dumbass here. This is Jubilee. It’s common knowledge that her sense of logic doesn’t always match ours.
“I’m talking about Wolvie, chica! We’re going to do some voodoo stuff on Wolvie!”
You’d think that, after a few months of sharing a room together, you’d get to know a person pretty well. Still, Jubes somehow always manages to surprise me.
“Logan,” I state the obvious again, looking at the potato, the fork, and the hairs. “Why would I want to do voodoo stuff on Logan?”
“Because of this!” She puts down the potato and pulls a twig of mistletoe from the pocket of her bright, yellow cardigan. “We’re going to make the doll, cast a spell, and then you’re to kiss it. Wolvie’s gonna--”
I hold up both hands. “Whoa! No way. I’m NOT going to kiss a hairy potato. Eew!”
Then, I suddenly have an idea. Giving her my best ‘I can see right through you’ look, copied from Logan, I jump from the bed, run to the door and ask, “Is this some kind of practical joke? Are there people behind this door, waiting for me to kiss someone’s pubic hair?” I open up and jump into the hallway, “Gotcha!” but… there’s no one there.
Jubes rolls her eyes and sighs. “Roguey, Roguey, Roguey. Would I do such a thing?”
“Yes.” I cross my arms and give one firm nod to emphasize my point. “Absolutely.”
“Yeah, well, okay, but not with you.” She gives me her best, innocent smile. “Honest.”
When I don’t budge, she sighs again. “Okay. So you don’t have to kiss it. What if you just” - she cocks her head and thinks – “say something? Something you always wanted to tell him?”
“Are you wired?”
She actually manages to look hurt at that. “Dude!”
“Got a tape recorder in your hair?”
“It’s a bun!”
I don’t buy it. It’s Jubes. There *has* to be a catch.
“Give me one good reason why I should spill my heart’s desire to a potato.”
“Because I’m your friend, and I know how you suffer?” she tries, but even Miss Jubilation Lee knows she needs to come up with something better than that.
“Okay. Fine.” She violently jams the back of the pie fork into the potato, the three pins looking like claws indeed. “I got a bet going on. You want him, he wants you, and now that you got rid of the Bobster, and he shish kebab-ed a certain red-headed psycho-killer, I want you two to kiss under the mistletoe. Okay? That good enough for you? You guys are totally cute and stuff. Sorta like Chip ‘n Dale.”
“They’re chipmunks,” I tell her incredulously. “And probably gay.”
A roll of adhesive tape appears from the pocket of her jeans, and she glues the hair on top of the potato. “So? They belong together. Now, stop being a pain and come here. We have a spell to cast.”
I can’t believe that I’m going to do this, but the sooner I get this over with, the better. And besides, what the hell. I’ve got nothing to lose, right? It can’t get any worse than this.
Defeated, I throw my hands in the hair, walk back into the room, close the door, and sit down next to her. “Fine. Whatever.”
“Finally.” She holds the potato in the air, and, according to the wrinkles in her forehead, she’s concentrating very hard. “Voodoo, voodoo, oh, magical voodo! This potato is Wolvie! Let him … do you!”
I can’t help but laugh now. “You’re so full of shit. This is ridiculous.”
She laughs, too, and holds the hairy, pie-forked potato in front of me like a microphone. “You’re *so* going to thank me later, but first, what do you want him to know?”
Really, only Jubes could convince me to actually tell my deepest secret to a dark-haired lump of carbohydrates. I must be out of my mind.
Letting out an offensive, “Hmpf,” I close my eyes and try to dig up something I’d never say to the real Logan. Something important. Something that’s always on the tip of my tongue. Something… wait. Yeah. That’s it. I know exactly what to say.
“I want you, and I’m hating it.”
I open my eyes, and right that moment, there’s a knock on the door, followed by a deep voice that almost triggers a coronary in the both of us. “Kid? You there?”
“Holy fuck,” Jubes hisses while we both jump up, shocked and startled. “It worked!”
“Shut up. He can hear you,” I hiss back, and then I realize that he can probably hear that, too. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
“Just a second!” I answer out loud, nudging Jubes and grabbing the trash bag. She quickly removes the tape and fork before getting rid of the potato. Then, she jumps over the bed and opens the door.
“Heya, Wolvie! Looking good today.” She looks over her shoulder, casts me an quite an obvious wink, and sneakily slips past him. “I’ll leave you kids alone. Bye!” And, just like that, she’s gone.
Logan frowns and arches an eyebrow at the same time, staring at her retreating back while I clumsily fumble with the bag in my hands, hoping with all my might he didn’t hear me talk to that *stupid* potato.
“I was… cleaning.” It’s the best explanation I can come up with, but then I notice the mistletoe on the rumpled bedspread, and… oh, my God, does it look like we’d been kissing on Scott’s bed?!
I can feel myself turn all shades of red and bite my lip in frustration. It takes me a while to gather the courage to peer up through my bangs, and only then do I notice that he’s wearing his jacket and that his backpack is slung over his shoulder. It suddenly sparks back my anger, because, damnit, why does *he* always get to go?
“Running again?” I ask, more snappish that I intended. It does fit my feelings, though, so fuck it.
He doesn’t look at me when he adjusts the strap of his pack. “Taking a break.”
Right. Well, I’d like one, too, but guess where I’m stuck? Cleaning Scott’s room and watching my ex kissing other girls. Merry fucking Christmas to me.
As if he senses my thoughts, he casually leans against the doorframe and asks, “You okay?”
“Fine,” I answer, secretly hoping that he still smells Jean in here. Just because. I refuse to feel guilty for these thoughts this time. I’m Rogue. I can be a bitch if I want to.
But, of course, if he does smell anything, he doesn’t show any sign of it. In fact, he doesn’t even seem terribly bothered by seeing her old room. “Heard about you and Drake.”
I’m so surprised, it takes me a few seconds to process the information and come up with an answer. “Yeah? Well, *I* am the one who broke up. Therefore, *I* am fine.” I put my hand on my hip and stick out my chin, daring him to think otherwise.
He merely pensively stares at me. “Okay.”
Silence takes over, but he doesn’t go away. He keeps looking at me, watchful, waiting, and my brave pose suddenly feels childish and unnatural. I keep my eyes fixed on his collar, hoping he’ll leave before I get a cramp because… fuck. This is awkward.
It seems to take him a long time, but then he asks, “I’m late for presents, but… you want something?”
I drop the facade and try to find a mocking smirk, but all I see is sincerity mixed with a bit of… restlessness. I think.
“A one-way ticket to Anchorage would be nice,” I answer without really thinking it through.
“Anchorage?” He seems intrigued. “That where you were heading?”
Are we having a conversation? A real one? After weeks of silence, and right before he’s *leaving* again? Does he even know how much I’ve *missed* him?
“What do *you* care?”
He’s staring again.
I’d really like to be the battered potato in the trash bag right now. If Jean’s picture wasn’t in there already, I’d seriously think about climbing in and joining it.
Luckily, this silence doesn’t last long. He adjusts the backpack again, shifts a bit, and says, “I’m heading that way. I can give you a ride if you want.”
“Are you serious?” I ask, narrowing my eyes at him, because… what the fuck?!
No sign of scorn anywhere. “Yeah.”
I can’t believe this. Logan and I? On the road together? Just… us?
“You deserve a break, too.”
It’s such a simple answer. And I totally agree. But… I can’t just leave, can I?
“Shouldn’t I be asking for permission or something?” I ask, not really sure why I bother *him* with asking about the rules, but he just shows me a small smirk.
“There you go.”
Huh. I’ll be damned. I never thought about it that way.
It’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to tell anyone about the cure. I thought they’d ground me or something. I thought… I don’t know what I thought, actually, but I suddenly understand why Logan didn’t try to stop me. He really *is* my friend. I’m an adult now. I can make my own choices. I don’t need a father figure anymore. I’m… free?
The thought makes me smile all of a sudden.
Free. What a wonderful word. What a wonderful *feeling* as well.
“You with me?” Logan brings me back to the present, and I can’t help but smile at *him* now.
“How much time do I have to pack?”
The smirk changes into a lopsided, goddamn charming grin. “Thirty minutes?”
I drop the bag. “Deal.” I’m about to sprint to my room, but then I suddenly feel like teasing him a bit. I pick up the mistletoe and playfully caress the leaves. “Can I bring this?”
His eyes swiftly travel to my bare hands before returning to my face again. I’m not sure what to make of it, but I’ve never seen that look in *my* direction before. “Yeah.”
Oh, my God. Goosebumps.
“Right.” I swallow hard and will my limbs to move. “Alright. So, I’m going to… um--” I vaguely gesture to the direction of my room and he steps aside to let me pass.
“Get your stuff.”
“Yeah.” I nod and don’t dare to look at him. “That.”
“Thirty minutes,” he warns. “Don’t be late.”
Oh, trust me, sugar. I won’t. But first, I’ve got to find Jubes. With or without the help of wish-fulfilling voodoo potatoes, that bet seems in the pocket.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Especially to me.