Before you start to read, I'd like to tell a little background info about this mess. It all started out innocent enough: me thinking about a way of letting Logan find out about his childhood after reading Origin. It was plain and simple. But then, when I was writing already, the plot started to develop. Since I wanted to write a post X1-fic, I had to include Alkali Lake as well. I couldn't deny poor Logan that part of his past, so I found a way to stir it into the story and felt smug. And then, just when I thought I had it all sorted out, I got greedy and felt I wanted to include Animal!Logan and a shitload of drama after reading one of JJ’s (awesome) stories. What the hell. If you want to write, WRITE, damnit! And so I ended up with foof and angst and darkness, all in one ginormous fic. |
A trigger warning for sexual abuse/sexual violence applies. I hope you won't take it too lightly. Still, if you’re still interested, I’d say: enjoy the ride! (Beta by tinhutlady, jjblazer, xbedhead, devildoll and vee_mon.)
Once upon a time.
Don’t you think these are the most fascinating words ever? They represent an entire universe on their own, a world which includes princesses, princes, knights and witches. And while we’re at it, we might as well throw in an evil stepmother and a couple of ugly stepsisters. Hell, you want dwarfs and elves, too? Sure, go ahead. It’s a package-deal anyway.
Yes, those little words were an opening to our fantasies once. And now, they are a crack in time. They take us back to our childhood, just for a brief moment. Back then, those words were a promise of something pleasant. When evil things happened, there were always heroes to take care of it all. It was something we all wanted. Something we believed in.
Today, we ought to know that stories starting with those words are plain crap. Fairy-tales, myths, or legends we call them. ‘Cause you see, there is an unspoken rule in fiction-land. When you start with ‘Once upon a time’, you have to end with ‘and they lived happily ever after’. And you know what? Real-life stories simply don’t end that way. No one lives ‘happily ever after’. Absolutely no one.
Nevertheless, ‘Once upon a time’ were the words I heard when I found out about Logan’s past; words that represented the beginning of his life. The real life of a real person. Not a fairytale about princes and princesses, and certainly not with the ‘happily ever after’ ending.
While staring at the man I still love more than life itself, I wonder: could life be any more cruel?
~ 10 weeks earlier ~
“You sure you want this?”
Logan’s standing in the doorway of my room, hands casually in the pockets of his jeans and his eyes narrowed. He is scanning me, reading my body language and smelling my scent. I don’t care though. I’m used to being transparent to him by now. I kinda like it that I don’t have to hide my feelings for him most of the time. It’s a comforting thought that he knows me, really knows me, and still likes me as a person.
“Of course!” I say. “We’ve talked about this all the time.”
We had. Logan would take me on a trip to Anchorage after graduation, just like I’d planned when I was still Marie instead of Rogue. Just like I was heading to when I met him in Laughlin City. Just like I was dreaming of again these past few months during studying and catching up with the others.
I need to get away from everything and everybody. I’ve been so busy trying to pass my exams, I hardly had any time to think about what’d happened at the Statue of Liberty and while I was on my own. And now, I can’t let myself think about it until I have time to fall apart. When I do, I want to be far away. What better place to shred into pieces than Anchorage? I’ll have Logan by my side to pick me up, put me back together like a jigsaw puzzle, and kick my ass into gear again. I have it all figured out.
Eyeing Logan, I think of his support during my personal battle to overcome my lost months on the streets. He wasn’t around much, but when he was here, he supported me every way he could. He brought me food and drinks when I forgot to eat, he sent me to bed when I was almost sleepwalking but still trying to study for an exam, and he took me out for a movie, dinner or lunch when I needed a break. He was looking out for me, being my friend. He even seemed to enjoy himself in my presence, so it was basically a win-win situation. And then, of course, there was his promise to take me with him when I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
You see, I’d studied all night for Algebra only to end up with a serious hallucination of dancing parabola’s and ellipses before my eyes. I wondered if knowing all that crap would be useful someday. Like, on a mission I’d say, ‘Impressive blast you got there, Cyclops. It’s a perfectly tangent to the curve of Mystique’s left breast.’ I mean, duh!
So, I was about to surrender to hysteria when Logan entered my room and asked me why the hell I was still studying at 4 am. I couldn’t answer him. I was still lost in my paranoiac curve-trip, and I started to giggle. He knew then I needed something to cling to, and he told me he’d take me away to Anchorage after graduation.
He couldn’t have made me happier.
From that day on we’d discussed our plans, talked to the Professor about everything, and we’d both been looking forward to the day we would pack our bags and leave. It was only because of his promise to take me on my dream-road trip that I’d managed to make it without suffering a serious burnout. I graduated – although barely - without any real consequences of my eight-months delay, so now, I’m about to throw my clothes in a duffel bag and leave with my multiple saviour to have my foolish teenage dreams fulfilled.
Suddenly, a sickening thought strikes me. Was it just an empty promise? Logan is a man true to his word, so it can’t be. Still, seeing his unreadable look, I feel disappointment washing over me. I have to ask him.
“Are you backing out?”
I might be crystal clear to him, but I still have a hard time reading his moods. He lets down his guard often enough once we’re alone, but I can’t see through his poker face if he doesn’t want his emotions to be seen. He shows them now, though. The disappointment I feel mirrors his features.
“Let’s pretend I didn’t hear that,” he says calmly, lowering his intense gaze for just a second and leaning against the wooden doorframe, crossed arms over his chest.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t--,” I trail off, feeling guilty about mistrusting in him. He’s never let me down before. How could I doubt him now? Even if it was for just a second, I’m ashamed of myself. We’re always honest with each other.
“I meant,” he explains calmly, “are you sure you want to take this trip with *me*? I’m not the most cheery guy around.”
He is being dead-serious, but I can’t help but grin. “Well sugar, the way I see it, *you’re* the one who’s going to be stuck with a teenage girl with deadly skin and a killer instinct during PMS.”
A lopsided grin enters his face. “Damn. I knew there was a catch.”
I playfully throw a ball of socks at him, but, like I expected, he simply dodges to the side and avoids it with ease.
“Too bad.” I laugh. “You’re *so* going to get my ass to Anchorage, just like you promised.”
Chuckling, he enters my room and sits down on my only chair. “Okay. Time for a serious talk.”
I’d started packing again, but now I freeze in the midst of sorting out my underwear. Raising just one eyebrow, a quirk I’ve taken from him, I ask, “About what?”
He must have seen my complete loss, because he starts explaining again. “We’re going to spend a lot of time together. Living that close 24/7 will surely cause embarrassing moments. I want to get rid of them before we start this trip.”
I consider his answer. I haven’t really given it much thought. I know we’re probably going to sleep in just one room sometimes, but we agreed on taking turns when it comes to the bed. I didn’t even dare to fantasize about Logan sharing a bed with me. Deadly claws meet deadly skin. We’ve seen that one before and it wasn’t anywhere near romantic. Besides, considering the fact that Logan never thinks about me in a romantic kind of way, there’s really no need to daydream about sharing a bed together.
Hey, I can be realistic if I set my mind to it.
Still, he has a point. We are friends, good friends, but, like I’ve said, we’re not lovers, and even though we live together in this house, our relationship isn’t anywhere near being intimate. Our friendship isn’t enough to walk around in the nude and still feel comfortable, deadly skin aside. Not that I have the tendency to expose myself in his presence, but yeah, he definitely has a point.
“I see,” I nod and then another thought comes to mind. “I didn’t think you were embarrassed that easily though.”
That makes him smirk and he’s going all blunt on me. “I’m travelling with a girl who’s mentally seen my point of view while I jerk off. That pretty much takes me beyond embarrassment.”
Now I feel myself flush all shades of red because he’s caught me off guard. “Jesus Logan! I don’t need a recall of *those* memories.”
He seems indifferent and casually shrugs one shoulder. “It’s true.”
“Yeah well, thanks for the replay. Might come in handy during lonely nights.”
He just sort of grins mischievously while I try to shake off the images of Logan stroking himself. Goddamnit, it is not something I want to remember. Not now, when the object of those x-rated thoughts is only five feet away. I thought I’d buried them in the back of my head, but the vision still lingering right before my eyes is very clear: he is left-handed.
Is it hot in here or what?
Still relaxed, Logan continues, “That’s what I mean. We’re going to have a few of those moments and I don’t want you to dwell on them, okay?”
I never knew talking about embarrassing moments was that awkward.
“Wait, what?” I frown. “I’m not going to see you masturbating, am I?”
Now Logan has the courage to laugh. Loudly. He almost roars. Between catching his breath, he manages to choke, “Jesus, you’re going to be the death of me someday, kid. Don’t worry, I’m not *that* much of an exhibitionist.”
Hey, I’m being all mature here. I can handle this little tête-à-tête.
“Okay, what are we talking about then? Things like desperately needing to pee while the other one is in the shower or something?”
“Yeah, those kind of moments.”
“I see. Well, I’m sure I’ll live.” I shrug, although, honestly, I’ll think I’ll probably die of out humiliation if Logan catches me showering. Or peeing. Or peeing while showering. Oh, my god, the horror!
“Good, ‘cause I don’t feel like going through an uncomfortable-silence-treatment after you’ve seen me waking up with a hard-on.”
He casually waves his hand in the air like it’s nothing, and I guess to him it is. For me, however, it’s something entirely new. Waking up with a man with a hard-on in the same room isn’t just daily routine. And not just any man. It’ll be Logan with a hard-on. Christ, here come those x-rated images again.
“No problem,” I manage to say anyway. “I can handle it. Not even worth the hassle.” I even sound quite relaxed. Good. Because I know I won’t freak out. I’m sure I won’t. I hope.
Oh shit, why didn’t I think about these things before?
Of course, Logan’s looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Stretching out in my chair, shirt riding up a little and showing me a sneak peek of dark hairs disappearing behind his belt buckle and into his jeans, he says, “And no whining when your shirt ends up halfway your waist while you’ve been sleeping and you’re flashing me your ass in a pink satin thong. Deal?”
I can’t help but laugh. “Only in your dreams, sugar. But hey! How do you know I wear thongs, anyway?”
He doesn’t say anything, but when I follow his gaze, I notice that I’ve been waving around that particular pink satin thong throughout our entire conversation.
“Oops.” I chuckle. “I guess that’s another embarrassing moment, huh? Okay, I promise no dwelling and no silences.”
He stands up, ruffles my hair while leaving my room and tells me to meet him downstairs in an hour. The moment he’s gone, I run to my bathroom and check my face in the mirror. It’s still a bit flushed, but my eyes are bright and glowing with excitement. I’m not entirely sure about the cause of my excitement: finally getting my dream road-trip-come-true or the prediction of spending an eternity alone with Logan.