I was a taller girl too, once. (regala_electra) wrote,
I was a taller girl too, once.
regala_electra

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I'm an artist...

I'm an artist...I see the world in an artistic way...because I have a lot of time to think because I don't have a job."

I love this performance on Premium Blend.

"I'm also a poet; did I mention I write poetry? The best thing I like about poetry is that no one will admit what a piece of crap it is."

Hee...the music to it is really funny.

Okay, two papers done. I barely slept last night. For my Chaucer paper I finished it 4 minutes before the class started during my hour long break. I felt okay with it, I had already fleshed out my thesis and worked on several paragraphs. 7 pages total. However? Remind me to never do that again.

Three papers to go: Anthropology, Renaissance Seminar, and Shakespeare. 7-10 pages, 7-8 pages, and 4 pages for each one. Oh, I'm soooo screwed. My thesis for my seminar paper sucks so badly.

Hey everyone, I wrote just not one but two fics for torchthisnow because she made me cry and feel bad! So, if you want fic out of me just be really, really mean and threaten to be all evil. ;-)

Actually, "Just Passing Through" was that Faith fic that's taken me forever to complete. And as for the other one, that's just X2 blackmail. Never fanwank a moment in a movie for Molly or she'll ask you to write a fic.*

(* you know I lurve you, Molly. *smooch*)

So, fic! Yay! I'm totally not talking about BtVS here because I haven't seen it yet! And AtS is on tonight and I'm so there. With bells even.

Fic: Just Passing Through (Yellow Brick Roads)
Author: Regala Electra
E-mail: regala_electra@yahoo.com
Rating: NC 17
Pairings: Faith/Wesley, Wesley/Lilah, Faith/Buffy, Faith/Riley, Faith/Others
Summary: She doesn’t want to remember and she doesn’t live in the past. But sometimes, she doesn’t have much of a choice.
Spoilers: AtS, “Orpheus”
Author’s Notes: Well, it’s extremely late. And it’s my first attempt at a Faithfic. It was written for Molly, inspired because of Molly, and completed despite losing the original draft and other boring complications. So, I dedicate this fic to the loveliness of Molly.

*

I remember.

I don’t have much of a choice, the drug lingers on, I can feel it in my blood and I want to go out, get lost in some dark club and dance, fuck, hell, even drink my memories away.

The sky is dark and it’s back to normal, day and night, night and day. L.A. drifts further away, smog thick and heavy in the night, fragments scattered in the wind (from what? I wonder, tapping the glass of the passenger window, tap-tap-tap, it’s the only sound I’ve heard since we left the city limits).

I don’t look back.

(Back, back to the past, it’s dark and it hurts. Raw and ready, that’s how I like it, even now, and – something – like pain, that’s what the tap-tap-tap remembers. These hands, my hands, good hands, slightly calloused since I wasn’t about to go soft in prison, what they did – ripping into innocent flesh, somewhere I can hear Wesley scream, he’s always screaming even though he tried to hold out, to put on a brave front and my grin is so wide my muscles strain and slice-slice-slice – I can’t stop myself.)

I don’t dream either. I lie.

(She shadows me, or am I the shadow? And she hands me the knife – slides through skin and flesh like butter, home-churned just like mom never made it – saying that she understands and kisses me goodbye. I kiss back, feel myself being torn apart – and maybe it’s okay to die, even if I don’t have a death wish.)

On the road again.

I wasn’t much for a steady home-life, even when Mom tried to keep me at home; I wandered, I strayed (and got into a bit more trouble than I was ready for). And after the calling, I was free. Everywhere and anywhere, North, South, East, and West, being a Slayer gave me the excuse to go and I went.

And nobody could stop me.

(I open my mouth and take him in; I don’t know his name, what’s in a name, I think briefly, that one time I spent in an English class coming back to me. I didn’t really care for all that poetic shit, this is what’s real: him, my mouth, my lips, his cock, his taste, his moans, and yeah, maybe I should have caught his name, or maybe, kneeling in the hot sweaty heat of alleyway outside of the dark club, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care, either way.)

My hands clench the dashboard, white-knuckled, and the air I suck into my lungs is hollow, echoing faintly of heady smog and that strange *cold* of the air conditioner. Willow doesn’t even bother to ask me if I’m cold.

I shiver and rub my shoulders, wincing at the blunt, fading aches beneath my skin. LA’s taken me and spit me out and I’m not exactly five-by-five here. Angel, seeing Angel, Angel’s past, that’s why I don’t look back.

I don’t because what’s the point of replaying the bad moments? He did it, he didn’t save that guy and he *drank* him dry and why would looking back do anything but make the pain stay even longer?

Thanks, but I’ve had enough of remembering.

It’s okay now though, it’s all better. I’m on the yellow brick road going home with the good witch (who’s going to play Toto? Oh yeah, he died decades ago). I’d click the heels of my boots but I’d probably start laughing hysterically and never stop.

I’m going back, backwards, who knows who I’ll kill this time, or maybe this time I’ll be the big hero and not just play the part. I once thought I was good at pretending, at lying, and then everyone looked at me and figured me out. I don’t like that.

No, I’m not like him; I am not even close to the damage Angelus could and did do, but…no. I know, I’m not stupid, just hardheaded, and it’ll never be over.

People like me don’t get forgiven.

We get going.

I watched too many late-nite movies in run-down motels and the ending’s always the same. Big brooding hero, Mr. Not Your Typical Hero (and there’s always the patiently waiting/long suffering True Love/Girl of the moment who’s there too, but not for long, and where’s the feminist hero buddy? What, we all gotta wait for a man to save us? No thanks, I can take care of myself, even with the brief bouts of insanity) and then he rides/drives/skips out into the sunset, so that’s the big The End, flourish, credits, cue up the music.

I don’t exactly get that type of ending, but it’s more than enough.

Here is my sunset, the sun’s gone down and it’s going to go up again, here is my road, tar and concrete reflected in the quiet headlights, here’s the silence and the steady thrumming (tap-tap-tap), here’s the pounding beat of the heart (thud-thud-thud-thud), here’s the nervous twittering of good old Wills (she’s a badass now, I can sense the power, but there’s a lot of pain there too, better not to piss her off), and here it is: this is the big ole L.A. sendoff.

And like every good hero, here’s when I go off, to spread justice in a chaotic world, bringing virtue and other crap like that. Yeah, ‘cause that fucking happens.

There’s no music, the radio’s off (doubt me and Red had the same taste anyway) and the windows are rolled up tightly. It’s like being stuck in a vacuum, slightly like when I was in a coma, only then I dreamt and I don’t plan on dreaming anymore.

The chilly gust of the air conditioning is annoying but keeps me awake, aware of my surroundings. The sky is starting to lighten with little patterns of stars blanketing the sky as we drive further away from the city and the twilight hours are intimidating and certainly not encouraging for our Brave Hero With a Heart of Gold.

I tended to write movies in my head when prison life got too tedious. That’s how it gets. Not hard, but tedious. Same day, same place – I’m the not kind of a person that can take to patterns. Routines aren’t my thing and planning’s never been my best point. But I had to stay, I would have still stayed if he didn’t-

No, not going backwards.

I don’t *do* backwards. Well, unless asked nicely.

He knew me. *Knows* me.

That’s the real kicker, isn’t it? You meet a guy, think he’s lame (he was, once-a-few-scars-ago), torture him later on a really bad day, and then, much later and after a lot of contrived events, you hook up. There’s gotta be a bad B-movie about that.

I’m not much for titles, but I’m great at summaries. Girl meets guy. Guy is a total stuffed-up British wanker. Girl goes crazy. Girl then tortures guy and is there any real fucking way to say, “sorry I tormented you and kinda got off the power trip?” Can I say it with flowers?

Never been much for flowers.

I know that we pretty much worked together in L.A. because we had to. And he purposely made sure to sidestep the whole torture issue…okay there were some side comments. I don’t mind them.

You don’t escape prison and expect your life to actually get better or for all your issues to suddenly be resolved.

My skin itches underneath the cold blast of the air conditioning. Looking at Willow, she’s pretty comfortable and I’m not about to start making requests. I carefully scratch my temple, wincing when my nails carve into tender bruises. I probably look like shit. I’m not about to look into a mirror.

When I first stood under that steady blast of water, it felt wrong. You get used to no privacy, to never being alone except in your head. And my head isn’t exactly the best place to be in. Which is why having some old movies running through my mind helped keep me sane.

(So alone, by myself, the stinging water on my skin reopening every fresh cut, piece by piece, until I watched myself dribble and wash away, long steady streams of faded red.)

A chill runs down my spine and I make no noise or even shift in my seat. Willow, for the first time since we’ve gotten in this car (since the phone call. Sunnydale’s going to be a lot of *fun*), turns to look at me, a frown making her look even older than I feel right now.

“Are you okay?”

Five by five. There’s no reason to say that. “Even the Slayer healing process is struggling to catch up. Kinda got my ass beaten back there.”

“Good,” she says, before biting down, clamping her mouth shut. I watch her mouth become a pale, thin line until she speaks again. “I mean, um, good that you’re, you know, getting better. We really need-”

“No,” I say, cutting off her lame excuse. I feel tired and I’d like to sleep, but I don’t dream. No point. “You meant it, it’s okay. Takes all the fun out of being righteous if you have to start handing out excuses.”

She looks like I just kicked her in the stomach, after she had eaten something really nasty. “I’m not-”

“Quit it,” I mutter tiredly, adjusting the seatbelt as I try to get comfortable. “You said what you said, don’t get pissy about it. I’ll heal soon enough, but a Slayer-sized Advil headache won’t help.”

I can still feels the drugs, lingering in my blood. Hazy, forgotten things do weird swirls distantly in my vision and I refuse to close my eyes.

I turn the radio on then, needing any sort of distraction. The words sound like they’re coming from far away and I can hear voices (speaking ones, not singing, and no, not DJs) echoing dully, clearly, in flat monotones.

My eyes close and I’m gone before I can stop myself.

*

He took his hands off me as though he’d been burned; I brought them back, wrong positions before, much better when they’re like that *there* (who’s dying here and who’s the real badass now, Wes?), I then told him, “let’s play the emotionless warriors and pretend it’s just a fuck.”

Fuck – that’s all it was, he had eyes for ghosts, hopeless dreams, and dreams starring hopeless ghosts (he said her name once, he should have said it before, but that excuse didn’t keep his hands from going underneath my pants).

He didn’t say a thing then and I was relieved.

That’s not how it started. It started with me in the shower, my skin refusing to heal and every wound singing a fucking opera of pain with every move I made.

And then I looked into the mirror and I realized I’m never looking at myself again.

(I’m holding on, holding everything I’ve done, silver and steel knifes brandished to a deadly point.)

I could see it all over my skin, that’s where I staked a human because it was the *right* thing to do, where I started drifting away from everyone and I didn’t give a fuck anymore. Look at me, look at that, look at the killer folks, just a shiny quarter and you can see a real life murderer!

I looked into the mirror and I saw nothing except for myself.

I watched the mirror shatter, slivers falling to the ground already covered in the pulverized dust and bits of the shower wall. And I wrapped the towel around my body, bleeding too much to put on my clothing.

(Wes told me this: my cuts were shallow, his went deeper, to the bone. I’d hate him, but I don’t. Fucked up, yeah, Wesley showed up with a new attitude and sporting a nasty scar. I always go for the hard cases, the bad boys. Whether to kill or to fuck. Wes survived my torture; my hands are still stained dark. Boy’s gotten himself some new kinks. Those are just the ones he let me see, he didn’t want to let me see what went to the bone. He tried to protect me, so disgustingly chivalric I should have hit him for it, but I know all about skin and bones and blood, and no – my cuts go even deeper than bone, he just didn’t want to believe me.)

He didn’t see what I’d done to his bathroom yet. Only looked at me and breathed in sharply.

I noticed a strange hitch to his breath, like it didn’t quite come in-out-in-out right, a sort of broken sound. I remembered one of the punks in jail, nasty case (one of those crazy bitches who comes into the prison needing to kick ass as any costs, hardcore with fists and not much else), who tried to fight me way before she realized I was not to be fucked with, and ended up with a crushed windpipe. I’d hear her breathing, speaking, and trying to smoke after she left the medical wing: a crackling, stumbling hitch to every sound she’d make.

Wesley made that sound then, but he made it soft, sort of a whisper under his breath, like he was trying to hide it.

I did something stupid then. I tried to bring up the Issue; I tried to say something that wouldn’t come out like I was some asshole who took showers in the homes of people who had a rightful reason to hate my fucking guts.

I apologized.

He smiled.

Warm mouth with jagged edges, raw and nasty like he’s some stranger at a rave, no names, no words, nothing but mouth and lips and tongue and god, teeth. He knew a Slayer’s hyperaware of teeth on skin, teeth blunt and not sharp (and if it was, maybe I wouldn’t have minded – Angelus later sunk his teeth into me and it was painful, pain-rush-bad-but it was also good, it’s dark and I didn’t have a nightlight, didn’t need nothing to light my way ‘cause I was losing it – happily) pressing into me, not going to mark me, he couldn’t do that even if he wanted to (a little harder and the skin could break, just a teensy bit, I’ve seen sliced flesh, I’ve sliced flesh, I needed to be torn apart).

Wesley didn’t cut me, but his smile was jagged. He gorged *into* me, he fucking *talked* to me, reminded me of what I’ve done to him, why my apologies meant nothing to him and then, and then…

It’s all the same, always different, and never, never right. Until it’s there.

There, yeah I fucking like it like *that* and hard, godamn him, he knew exactly just how high my thresholds are.

And he broke every single one of them.

“Faith,” he murmured somewhere in between my shoulder and my neck and nowhere close enough, “do shut the fuck up.” It’s harsh, but I can take that – no, I’m going to take it with a goddamn smile, because he looked up at me then, eyes blue and wild – and fuck. This was the new Wes.

I could get used to this.

I managed to stop the “Fuck yeah,” before it came out of my mouth, making a pathetic “Ffffffuuuu” sound (I do *not* do the whimpering thing, no matter how that came out), trying to keep myself from screaming because he wanted me to play silent and I will shut the *fuck* up happily with a Mary Sunshine smile.

I gripped him, inside and out (didn’t know about that, huh Wes?) and damn, it’s so fucking wrong.

This wasn’t Wesley, and I’m not me, I’m not anyone, this was some sort of messy out of body experience (like I’m inside Her and the body remembers but the mind’s not the same, and when I test-drive that number, hands all over and nerves not my own but every single one singing me, I finally got why B was coiled up so tightly, because *fuck* she’s more sensitive than I’d ever be).

He was *pounding* into me and – that was just not humanly possible. It’s just not supposed to be possible, but there it was, my ass on the floor, getting *raw* and I was howling (fuck the quiet), with need and with fucking gusto, with more-more-more as my mantra but I wouldn’t say it because he was hitting *right there* with every forceful stroke and there’s no way I’d ever passively take a pounding.

My shoulders ached and my back was probably bruised, I was bleeding inside (internal wounds were always the worst, always took the longest to heal), I knew that much by then, my senses focused on other things than my damaged body. My ribs were bruised before and I didn’t really give a fuck if they became broken. It heals. It all fades.

Just like scar tissue.

Creepy. Déjà vu.

(Even then, I flash and go forward, backwards, film strips peeling every which way while I’m nowhere, smirking in scars, bringing bloodied hands up to streak dark red all over, and I said that it all fades but I don’t believe that anymore.)

Flexing my body just at the right moment, I could feel him inside, so I squeezed and curled around his cock and *flipped* him on his back. “Ha, let’s see you try to maneuver out of this one” I never said, and he only complied to my unspoken request. Hands went to my breasts before I even moved them, beginning his careful torture that was just too damn slow and far too perfect, too calculated.

Shallow cuts. They all bleed the same.

It was rising, my voice couldn’t be stopped and I screamed – *dark* it’s all dark, I’m blind, the world went into a red-black-red mess – and I collapsed, breathing choked off and barely functioning, sputtering, sputtering. Something came out of me then that was like a sob and I pretend that it didn’t happen.

I didn’t remember then, not really. But with our skin to each other (it’s just a memory), I couldn’t stop myself.

(Xander comes inside me and I smile, relax, stretch and feel the need for a shower. Me and B, bodies pressed together, she’s sweating and so am I: everyone’s watching, and we just *do* whatever we want, it’s a rush we both could really get into. That sick sour of Riley in Her mouth as he told me, Her, the ugly truth.)

(And all those times, all those people, I had no fucking clue, not even when I came: hard and fast, in the motel bed, by myself, with him, all the same painful, dead thing inside and tick-tock, I’m ready to go psycho.)

He kept me in his arms even long after I’d come back to the world. It would be cute and romantic if I wasn’t sporting bite marks that were just fading and my back felt like one giant welt, aching and sore *everywhere.*

And he didn’t say anything.

“Wes? You, um, okay with this?”

His voice was distant; he’s millions of miles away. I’d seen that look, with guys who dreaded me thinking it was more than a one night stand, with guys who had girlfriends they just conveniently remembered *after* fucking the hot chick they met at the club: it’s the “oh shit, what I am going to say to her?” face.

“You don’t have to lie,” I said and I winced at the way I tripped and stammered over the words. I sounded like a kicked puppy.

“Thinking of someone.”

Damn. That’s harsh. Up at the top of “things not to say while still basically *inside* the girl you just finished fucking.”

“Harsh,” I said lightly, a smile painfully crossing my face, “You could at least tell me her name.”

“She’s not important,” he replied, too quickly, too angrily. He surprised me with a soft, real kiss, one of the gooey-sweet ones that lasts far too long but ends way too soon. I’d seen them in movies, never really had the pleasure myself.

And it was a fine tasting lie.

“Lilah.”

The name cost him a lot and he tried to cover the pain, but failed. Sucking at my neck (and I didn’t always get off on that, but, I really, really could), he moaned out breathily in his broken hitch (and I swore, I could feel myself coming at that moment, even though he wasn’t stimulating the usual spots), “Faith. Faith…”

“Wes,” I said, shocking myself, because I actually sounded…needy. Like it’s – more. I gave him one hard, long kiss, open and raw, just the way we both (apparently) liked it before pecking him gently on the forehead with my lips. “We’re running out of time.”

He didn’t have to look at the time or begin explaining Why This Was Just a One Time Deal; he just nodded and helping me up, slowly, because I may heal fast, but not that fast.

My head was pounding, my body was screaming at me, and I didn’t even bother pretending my body wasn’t fucking hurting, so I leaned into him, his body smelled like us and sex. And it was weird and different and all the same. It was good.

Our goodbye, after the Brave Heroics (feel the sarcasm), was said in private, he went out to the courtyard while Willow went to call Sunnydale on her cell phone, *privately* in her car. He didn’t hug me (neither of us want to, or perhaps if we did that, we’d never let go, clutching and holding on because it was fucking real, it happened, I could – I can – feel it).

Instead, he grabbed me by the shoulders and the kiss left my lips swollen and bruised, brutal and fast with that tender-sweet that shouldn’t be.

“Take care of yourself,” he said, brushing hair off of my face, tracing one of my many bruises in a painstakingly careful way, like he’s memorizing it with just the tips of his fingers. I wanted to brush his fingers away at the moment, feeling weirdly exposed, I fucked the guy, but him touching me like that? It was too different, too strange, like he cared, when really, he couldn’t have. I felt shivers run up and down my body like metal knifes. Methodical and chock full of memories.

“I always do.” I’m the worst fucking liar in the world.

“Call me if you need any help. Or anything, anything at all.” He smiled then, sort of, it’s not a real smile, but it was the closest I’ve seen on him since he walked into the visitor’s area like a different person, a guy who saw too much and was still alive, saying “Fuck you, I’m still here and I’m not going anywhere.”

I liked this Wesley. I kissed him then, under his jaw, close by the scar. I wanted to ask questions, but there wasn’t time. I didn’t know what to say, I merely nodded to his request and took off, past the gates into the streets of LA and I was gone, out of the city, further and further away, carried away in a pretty nice car, going off to fight another war.

Back there in L.A., I knew that there’s more to the story and that he wouldn’t tell me, even if I asked nicely.

Her name was Lilah and he loved her. He didn’t want to talk about and that’s exactly what I would have done if I were him. It’s what we do.

*

I don’t dream. I think.

(I think of bodies crushed against one another as a steady throbbing beat courses inside and outside, making my nerves feel everything: of Wes, deep inside, me clutching his cock with all the energy I had left, B’s lips against mine in a not-so-friendly way, but it’s *okay* because we’re Slayers and we just kicked some ass.)

I try not to groan, realizing I just fucking remembered and just retraced my steps, and I am so glad to be out the city. Into the other fire, but whatever.

(Wesley’s cock pounding into me, I wonder how it would feel to have his tongue between my legs, guiding him wherever I want, and fuck yes, I like being on top; B again, her naked skin slick and wet, and mine and I…fuck – it’s all messy and blurry and my head’s pounding.)

My head is pounding, and I quickly turn the radio off. I don’t want to hear anything anymore.

I touch Willow’s shoulder, she’s still bone-sharp and soft, an odd combination, but that’s Willow. Badass witch and still the broken, scared girl. She doesn’t look at me, but she isn’t scowling either, so points in my plus column.

“You okay, Willow?”

“No.”

I twitch my mouth upwards. “Good.”

That’s not a chuckle from Willow. Can’t be. So we don’t say anything anymore, just fly over the road in the sleek ride of the car, the driving thrum of the road a deep vibration in my bones.

(Wesley’s mouth and his hands, on me, everywhere and he cuts me up, tells me why I’ll never get any deeper, except under his skin. I’ll take that, fuck, I’m not pathetic, but I’ll take that. I don’t need any bones.)

I think that I had nothing before and now I have even less.

Willow hesitates for a moment, looking like she’s about to say something major, and finally says softly, “I’m really glad you’re coming back.”

Back.

Backwards. Retracing my steps. There’s a yellow brick road that’ll take you home and a red one that takes you back. Back where? Exactly. I never liked that road.

“I’m just doing what a Slayer’s gotta do and all that jazz, right?” I ask, as though I’m expecting an answer.

And you know what? I do need one: I need to know that I’m not just wandering around like a lost puppy (don’t want or need Angel to come charging in and saving my ass again), that I am doing something. Even, when it comes down to it, even if it’s worth nothing.

And then I look back to L.A.; so far away I can pretend it’s a place I haven’t been yet, and wonder why I care. The world back there isn’t my world; my world is nowhere.

Reclining in my seat, I focus on the road, on the tap-tap-tap of my nails on the clear glass window, the hum of the engine, the movement carrying me further away – or closer to the endgame.

And in all of this, I’m still just doing the same thing, just being the same person I was when I realized that home isn’t a place I’ll ever know, when I got an excuse of Slayerhood to run all around the country, it’s all the same reason, the same truth, and no one’s ever dared to call me on it.

I’m just passing through.

End.

Okay, the next one is all X2 spoilers. So avoid if you don't want to a) laugh at my Logan characterization or b) be spoiled and laugh at my Logan characterization.

Fic: Desolate Memories
Author: Regala Electra
E-mail: regala_electra@yahoo.com
Summary: Logan reflects. And tries not to deal, only remember.
Spoilers: X2
Pairings: Logan/Jean, Logan/Marie, hints of Logan/Mystique
Author’s Notes: All. Molly’s. Fault.

*

So he's just killed a mutant that had exactly the same abilities as him.

(Eyes silver then brown, then dead, then clunk, the woman becomes a body and the body's just some scrap metal.)

So he's just left Stryker to die and left more questions unanswered.

(Tied the fuck up and he won't be messing with anyone anymore and he still doesn't know what or how or even really why, only that it happened and there's a reason. A reason that only dead men knew. And him.)

So he's just learned that he, when he had a head full of real memories and not just a name and fucking nasty screaming-in-his-sleep nightmares, actually chose to have the metal fused to his skeleton, not just chose it, but *wanted* it.

(Flash - flash - flash, can't keep control of the half-hidden flashes: running, screaming, mind blank, fucking clear as a wiped slate, nothing but a name, a name, nothing left of him but the pain and the body that doesn't remember the new metal inside and the screaming...claws rip in and out, the pain tearing his skin and flesh apart every single time.)

So he left himself fall into a fantasy and kissed Mystique like she was actually Jean.

(Not her, no scent, nothing of Jean but the copy and he kisses her like he means it because he wants to and she can be anyone for him, maybe he can take the copy and believe it's true.)

So Jean died.

(Silence.)

Yeah, he has some problems.

The cigar tasted like ashes and he thought "ashes to ashes, dust to dust." But Jeanie wasn't dust, wouldn't ever be dust, her body will be rot, all under a watery grave and dammit, why didn't she just stay in the jet?

Xavier tried to say something about stages of grief but Logan preferred bottles of whiskey.

"I...I don't wanna bother you."

The voice was soft and hesitant and Logan would have told her to leave but she sat down next to him on the bench outside, looking out at the moon with him. Logan saw nothing there, but maybe Marie did.

Logan wasn't looking for anything anymore.

"You aren't, kid." He meant it to be kind, but she frowned for a moment, the distant look in face becoming focused before returning to looking up at the sky. It was strange to be this close to Marie, well, it should be strange and Marie should be more careful, but she's never shown any sign of worry, any sign of fear. He nearly killed her and she's not afraid.

(Jean died and she wasn't afraid.)

He puts out the cigar on his palm, the pain a momentary distraction. And relief, there was relief there as well. He enjoyed it and reveled in the pain at the same time.

"How much does that hurt?" Interest, but not revulsion, not even shock, but then his personality had been kicking around her head for a while, and she's really different but all the same. Still young but the eyes spoke of a different story. He knew that he missed a lot, that she wasn’t just a kid anymore, but she shouldn’t look like that, not like that at all.

"Not much."

"Liar." She pulled her jacket up around her tighter and added, "You've been awfully quiet lately."

"You know I've never been much for speaking."

Again that brief frown. "I can't say anything, nothing is going to make you feel better. Nothing should make us feel better. I just...I love Jean too."

He wanted to make her quiet right there. Tell her she knew nothing, but he couldn't find the words. Because right before he said anything, she laid a gloved hand on his arm as though she wasn't afraid, without any hesitation. And he looked at it, at the slim gloved hand and she wasn’t ever going to be able to touch someone, but she didn’t seem to remember how disconnected she was from the world at that moment. For a moment, even beneath the old-wise eyes, she was just a woman, just an ordinary person. And for a moment, he was able to forget himself as well.

"It's never going to stop hurting."

Her voice sounded like age and time had been forced into this young girl without his realization, like it snuck in and he wasn’t there to protect her. Like she had already been there, that she had already learned the big life lessons, and was just relaying the message for the people that caught on too late.

"It'll be okay." He didn't want to say it, didn’t have a reason for saying it, he just did. Just to see what it sounded like. It sounded like a lie and he wasn’t accustomed to lying.

She rose from the bench at that remark; the sadness and the strange oldness to her expression clear in the dim light. "I'm here if you need anything. You’re sticking around, right?"

She kept on asking that question like she was waiting for another answer, expecting one that was completely different. But he only had one. "Yeah. Xavier's asked me to stay and Scott-"

"Yeah," she replied, eyeing the whiskey bottle barely concealed under the bench at Logan's feet, "I'm glad you're staying."

She brushed a kiss across his cheek, trying to be fast enough to keep her skin from realizing it was touching *life.*

Unfortunately she wasn't quick enough and he felt a brief pull, so faint under his skin and that shock made him forget, just for a moment. And it wasn't like the forgetting of his life, like the forgetting of why he wanted to become this – a man without memories, without knowledge of *why* he was – instead, it was a forgetting like relief, which he hadn't ever had, especially this night.

And she left him.

Alone with his thoughts, he thought of the horror of Mystique offering a visage of young Marie, Marie with the white shock in her hair and the eyes too old for her years, and skin that couldn't kill him. And Jean saving them, dying for them, and how he was just so fucking selfish because he was still angry at her. She left him. She left them all.

Logan turned to watch Marie enter the mansion, safely, and he pretended that he didn't see her turn around, pausing for a few seconds before walking back in.

Xavier said something about stages of grief. But he didn't grieve. He just tried to remember. Yet all his memories were muddled, flashes he couldn’t control and he took out another cigar and watched the smoke rise, pretended the ash that he flicked off the end didn’t remind him of death and that his skin, his skin that was supposed to heal so quickly, still remembered Marie’s touch.

End.
Tags: btvs/ats fic, buffy/faith, faith/other, faith/wes, fic, wesley/lilah, x-men fic
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