1. a devastating, unexpected blow that sends an unwary opponent sprawling, dazed and confused.
"Always remember, your first line of defense is using your brain," I remind the students with a finger tap to my temple. "Don't be stupid and get yourself in a bad situation in the first place." Young faces look up at me, listening intently. I hope they've learned something today; I'm still not sure if I'm cut out to be a teacher, but I have noticed that they're improving, so I can't be all that bad.
"Class dismissed." The kids jump up and leave the gym in a flurry of footsteps and excited chatter, happy to start the weekend. I can't blame them; I've been chomping at the bit to start the weekend myself. I was this close to blowing off class when I saw Rogue in the hallway earlier today.
She didn't see me watching her from a dark corner, and let out a little yelp when I grabbed her, yanking her into my arms. It was cute for a second until she whirled around slammed me into the wall, leaving a huge dent in the plaster.
"Logan! Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" She began brushing bits of plaster off of my shirt. "I didn't mean to do that--I just reacted on instinct."
"That's one hell of an instinct, darlin'," I replied with a smirk.
"Thanks," she mumbled, a blush coloring her cheeks a pretty shade of pink. She cleared her throat. "So where are you off to?" she asked, changing the subject.
"Well I was on my way to teach class, but now that you're here," I lowered my voice and rumbled close to her ear, "I'm thinking about playing hooky." I turned her back to the wall and leaned in close, my hands curved around her waist.
She looked up and down the hall nervously, her eyes following the movement of several people passing by. She placed her hands on my arms and gently pushed them away. "Logan...I can't right now."
"Hmm, let me guess...you have more things and stuff to do?" My hands went to her waist again, this time slipping my thumbs under her shirt to stroke her skin. I leaned down for a kiss, and her heartbeat sped faster. Her hand went to my chest and pressed back, keeping our lips from making contact.
"Just...not here." I looked into her eyes, and could see that she wasn't being playful or coy. She actually looked a little nervous. Uncomfortable.
"I'm sorry," she stammered. "I'm just not used to...PDA's. Public displays of affection," she clarified when she saw the confused expression on my face. "Can we...can we just meet up tonight?"
Public displays of affection, she called it. I never gave it any thought, but now that she mentioned it, we had been doing an awful lot of discreet flirting these past few weeks, but nothing outright. Everything was always just under the radar; light brushes of our bodies as we passed each other, heated looks and dirty innuendos murmured under our breath, testing how far we could push things without getting caught. That was part of the fun.
We could keep playing our fun little games if that's what she wanted.
"Sure, darlin'. I'll see you tonight then." I took one of her gloved hands and raised it to my lips for a chaste kiss.
"Thanks, sugar. See you tonight." She squeezed my hand and then slipped past me to go her own way, wherever that was.
I can still see her pretty face in my mind as I gather my things and leave the gym. The soft pink hue creeping into her cheeks as she brushed the plaster from my shirt. I want to make her blush like that again. Smiling to myself, I make a mental note to think of different ways I can get her all flustered next time.
. . .
. . .
She's so goddamn beautiful. Her eyes are closed and she's caressing her breasts as she rides me, her hair cascading down her shoulders like a waterfall of mahogany splashed with a shock of white.
I grasp her hips, pressing down to grind into her deeper. My name falls from her lips in a breathy cry as she climaxes, and that is a sound I will never get enough of. My vision goes white hot as I reach my own climax, and she contracts around me, undulating and milking with every roll of her hips.
So fucking beautiful. Fierce. Ethereal. With a final jerk of her hips, she collapses forward onto my chest, breathless, her hair falling like a curtain around us.
Her face hovers an inch from mine, our breaths mingling as she slowly opens her eyes. We lay there for an endless moment, still joined, looking into each other's eyes. I want to stay like this forever.
Her hand comes up to touch my face. Delicate fingertips whisper down my sideburns and beard, then brush my lips with a feathery softness.
I've never felt this...complete. As I watch her, mesmerized by her beautiful face, I still don't understand; what was I so afraid of before? Why couldn't I see what was right in front of me?
There are plenty of rational explanations. I tell myself that she was too young. That I was too messed up, too broken. That she was already taken. That I was in love with Jean.
All these enhanced senses, and I couldn't even recognize my own mate because I was too damn busy blinding myself to the truth.
I saw it, right there in her eyes. I can see it now. It still scares the hell out of me, but this time, I'm not running.
"I love you."
Her hand goes still.
She says nothing for a moment; but the soft look in her eyes has suddenly disappeared, replaced by a look of confusion. Denial. She shifts uncomfortably, avoiding eye contact.
"Logan, don't...you can't..." She shakes her head.
"Hey...darlin' look at me." I take her chin and turn her face to me. "Look at me."
She hesitates, lifting her eyes to mine, just for a moment until she turns her face again. I don't know what's going on in her mind, but it almost seems like she's...afraid to believe me or something. Maybe afraid isn't the right word. I don't know. All I know is that one minute she was looking at me that way--the same way that I remember so well from the old timeline, and the next minute she's pulling back and won't look at me at all. What happened?
Then I think about it. What if old me of the new timeline really did fuck things up as badly as I did in the old timeline? What if I gave her a reason to not believe me?
Maybe I spent too much time running. Maybe there were just one too many unspoken words between us, things left unsaid and too many times the love in her eyes was unreturned. I did it once before; by the time I came to terms with it she was already gone.
I'm not gonna let that happen again. No more things left unsaid.
Determined to make sure she understands, I take her face in my hands and force her to look me in the eyes.
"Darlin', look at me. I do, and I can. I love you...and I always have."
I wait, hoping that she'll hear my words and believe them. I need to see that look in her eyes again...I need it more than air.
That look in her eyes doesn't come back, though; instead, she looks like she wants to be anywhere but here with me. It feels like a slap to the face. She climbs off of me and covers herself in the bed sheet, sitting with her knees to her chest.
"Don't say that that," she says quietly, staring off into the empty space in front of her.
"What...why not? It's the truth."
She doesn't answer.
I move to sit directly in front of her, once again forcing her to look at me.
"Look...I know that I've...been fucking up for a long time and it's taken a while to come to my senses, but I'm done with all that. And I want you to know, without a doubt, that I love you."
"Stop saying that. Stop saying you love me," she says, pulling the sheets tighter.
"Why? Why can't I say that I love you? I don't under--"
"Because you don't really know me!" she snaps.
I stare at her in disbelief.
"What the hell are you talking about? Of course I know you."
"You think you know me."
"There's no 'think' about it, darlin'; I know you, better than anyone else in the world. C'mon, what's this about?" I reach out to tuck her hair back, but she slides out of the bed to evade me and begins picking up her clothes. Her slight is another slap to the face. She's never avoided my touch before, even when she couldn't control her skin.
"Nobody knows me. Not really. And I like it that way," she mutters with her back to me as she dresses.
I'm starting to get pissed. After everything we've shared, she's going say some bullshit line about me not really knowing her? I don't know what the hell is going on, but I'm getting to the bottom of this. I jump out of bed to pull on my jeans, and then I get in front of her again, this time taking hold of her arms.
"What's going on, Rogue? Talk to me. 'Cause one minute we're making love, and the next minute you're acting like we're practically strangers."
"That's because we are practically strangers."
"The fuck we are!" I growl. "There is no one, and I mean no one, who knows you better than I do. And it goes both ways! The things we've been through together...the way we've always taken care of each other. We have a special bond that no one can touch, and it's been that way since the day we met in Laughlin City. You can't deny that!"
"Since Laughlin City? What are you talking about?" She casually tosses out the words, like it's nothing as she reaches for her boots. It's one last blow, a sucker punch to the gut. A coldness spreads through my chest as I realize that she really is denying it. Denying us.
I feel like I'm in some kind of nightmare, only I can't wake up. Even if I could, I'm not sure Rogue would be there to comfort me this time.
How did it come to this? How did everything turn to shit, just from saying three little words? Am I going crazy, or weren't her eyes filled with love for me too only minutes ago? I swear I saw it. But looking at her eyes now, I only see indifference.
"I have to go." She stands up and grabs her jacket, then heads for the door. She's leaving again, in the middle of the night like always.
Now that I think about it, she's never stayed until morning. She's always had some excuse when I've asked her to stay, which I didn't really think about too much before, but now...now I'm starting to wonder if she's just been using me and then blowing me off. She wouldn't do that, would she? Or maybe she doesn't want to be seen coming out of my room. Come to think of it, she doesn't want me touching or kissing her in public during the daytime, either. Public displays of affection, my ass. Maybe what's really going on is that she's seeing Bobby again, and doesn't want him to know about us.
The realization lights up a hot flare of anger and before I can stop myself, before she can react, I've got her spun around and pressed against the door. My thoughts are swarming through my head, angry and wild and desperate. I know I'm being irrational, but I can't control it as I grasp for something, anything that will make sense of all this.
"Why did you come to my room that first night?" I demand. She squirms and tries to slip out of my grasp, refusing to make eye contact. I press her back against the door.
"You're not going anywhere until I get some answers. Now talk. To. Me." After a moment, she reluctantly looks me in the eye. "What the hell have we been doing all this time, Rogue?"
She stares at me, but says nothing.
"Why did you come to my room that night? Tell me it was because you felt something for me," I demand. "Tell me! Did I just imagine there was something between us? Or were you just here for a good fuck?" I snarl.
Her temper flares in her eyes and she clenches her jaw. "It wasn't what I came for," she says quietly.
"No? What was it then?" By now my chest is heaving with anger and frustration. "Answer me, damn it!"
For a moment, a flicker of something passes through her eyes...almost like...a shadow of longing. Turmoil, as if she wants to tell me something.
It's gone in a flash and she looks away, closing herself off to me again with a mask of indifference. And that just sets me off.
I turn her face and crash my mouth onto hers in an angry, bruising kiss. Forcing my tongue into her mouth, I grope her breast roughly, and she pulls back with a gasp, a look of shock on her face.
"What's the matter, darlin'? Isn't this what you came for?" I sneer, hating the words as they leave my mouth, yet unable to stop them. "Don't lie. This was what you wanted. I could smell it on you then and I can smell it now."
She slaps me in the face.
My mouth comes down on hers again, my hands holding her face so she can't break away from my punishing kiss. She fights a little at first, but then after a moment she stops struggling. Her fingers glide up to my chest, and for a blissful moment I think she's actually responding to my kiss. That's when she lets me have it.
With a forceful shove, she pushes me off of her so hard that I slam into the dresser, cracking the wood and breaking the mirror above it. Shards of glass fall to the floor with a crash.
"This isn't what I came for, and I don't have to tell you a damn thing, sugar!" She points her finger at me, emphasizing her words. Her eyes are blazing with fury, and I can hear her heart pounding wildly in her chest.
She glares at me for a moment, then turns to leave. I'm about to say something to her, when suddenly there is a knock at the door. Her hand freezes on the doorknob and she looks at me.
"Hello? Wolverine, are you alright, mein freund?" It's Kurt.
"Shit," I mutter quietly. "Uh, yeah...I'm ok, Kurt. Thanks," I say through the door.
"Are you sure? What was that loud noise? Do you need my help?"
Rogue fixes her eyes on me, lips pursed and shaking her head slowly. She heads for the window.
"Wait!" I whisper, reaching out my hand.
"Logan? Shall I come in?"
"No, no, I'm good, Kurt. It was just a nightmare. Thanks for checking on me, buddy."
"Ok..." he says finally. "Please call on me if you need anything, my friend. Gute nacht."
"I will, thanks. Good night."
Rogue has one leg out the window by the time I finish sending Kurt away.
"Rogue, wait!" I stride across the room to stop her. But she doesn't wait. With both legs out the window, she casts one more look at me over her shoulder.
There is anger in her eyes...but there's also sadness. It kills me to know that I am the cause. For a split second, I could swear her eyes flash to green, and then she leaps out into the air, her arms outstretched like wings. I watch as she soars like a graceful bird, her hair flowing in the wind, until she disappears into the inky blackness of the night.