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by Northlight

Title: Imperfect (1/1)
Author: Northlight
Summary: Val reflects upon herself, life and Logan. Spoilers: 411 on the DL
Rating: PG.
Distribution: If I've said yes before, take it. Otherwise, ask. Disclaimer: Cameron and Eglee.
Date: March 15, 2001.

You must think me some kind of monster. Cruel at the very least. I might even agree with you if I were on the same high horse you're continuously seated upon, Logan. But morality--your beloved sense of right and wrong--takes one hell of a beating while you're scrambling in the mud, doing your damnedest to survive when the entire world seems bent on grinding you face first into the ground.

You'd scoff at that, wouldn't you, Logan? Morality doesn't grow out of circumstances, you'd say. Morality comes from the person. Well, this woman is tired of squatting in a run-down apartment, fed-up of a subsistence living where there once was luxury. The thought of spending the rest of my life paying out huge chunks of my meager salary to corrupt cops enrages me, Logan. I don't think you could understand how very wearying, how soul-numbing this Pulse-shattered world can be when you're on societies mid to bottom rungs.

I didn't set out to hurt you, no matter what your smarting pride may be telling you. Yes, oh God, yes I wanted the cash. I won't lie to you about that. But that wasn't the extent of my interest in you. I did want to apologize for how we ended. I did want to check up on you, see how you were doing, how you were adapting. I missed you, even. You, Logan. Not your money, not your apartment, not those bottles of champagne you set aside for special occasions.

Once, not so very long ago, I did love you. I loved you with that same fierce intensity that accompanies the first knowledge of that emotion. I remember how charming, how utterly dashing I thought you to be. A ladies' man, gentle in the knowledge of that status and in its application. I remember how you sat with Mrs. Patterson, frail and wrinkled hand held in your own, how you looked at her as if she were the only person in that room and made her laugh in delight.

You made me believe in things that I had long ago given up as foolish dreams. Did your mother ever read you fairy tales, Logan? Mine did. And you seemed as if you'd been torn from the pages of one of them. My handsome, valiant Prince Charming come to make everything right. You treated me like a lady. You sensed my dreams and made them come tru --I'm still in awe over our wedding. That dress, the church, the flowers. . . perfection. Was I glowing that day? I felt as if I were. I thought I was grabbing onto a new life, a new me, a future better than I'd ever had reason to believe for myself.

Strange, isn't it, how the very things that made me love you tore us apart. I'm not perfect, Logan. You aren't either, but at least I stood face to face with my imperfection every day. You built a wall around yourself, brick by brick, all nobility, idealism and rage at the world's injustices. I imagine that you must have seen me as someone who needed saving. You tried to fix the problem, tried to sober me up, worked at your task with such determination that I wondered whether you still saw the woman and not just the drunk.

I was never what you needed. I think you sought someone as passionate and devoted as you are--someone with the strength to care about the world.

I barely had the strength to take care of myself. How I grew to despise your ideals, Logan! You looked at the world with an eye towards bettering it. I didn't want to share you with every broken man and woman in this God forsaken city. I wanted to forget that I had come from suffering and miserable poverty. I wanted to close the blinds over the windows, lay limp and content on that plump couch, a wine glass in hand.

You say that I played you, Logan. I think I have as much right as you for bitterness. You misrepresented yourself. You focused on me in those early days, with such apparent single-mindedness that I felt worshiped. And then I found out I wasn't the only one. Your heart is too big for my tastes, Logan. The world hasn't given a damn about me. Let it take care of itself, then.

But you never did quite get that, did you, Logan? You never really got me.

Do you hate me now, Logan? Are your thoughts following me through this rain slicked streets, your gut clenching, hands clenched on the arms of your wheelchair? Do you wish me gone, my very memory exorcised from your life? Maybe you're at the window--blinds wide open to the misery of the world--wondering how you ever could have believed yourself in love with me. Are you retracing our relationship, one step at a time, wondering where your senses failed you? Do you pity me instead? Did you look at me, see the desperation in my eyes, the grime of daily life embedded beneath my nails?

Or maybe you aren't thinking of me at all. She is very lovely, Logan. I hope she has the strength and fire you need. I hope she understands, before she lays her heart in your hands, that you'll never be hers alone.

I'd say that I'm happy for you, but I'm not that gracious a woman.

Unfair, perhaps, considering that I've moved on. Not that I'm especially happy, if that were to make any difference. Maybe I won't go home at all, Logan. Maybe I'll take this money--imprinted with your disappointment, your hurt, your betrayal--and run. I'll move as far away as I can go, buy an apartment and create myself anew. You once told me that money and happiness are not one and the same. Maybe I'll go and see whether I can prove you wrong.

I am sorry, Logan. For this broken world of ours. For you. For me. For promises and potential dashed upon personality and personal agonies.

I'm so sorry. Not, I suppose, that it does much good on any count.

It's raining hard tonight, Logan. Maybe, if we're all lucky, the rain won't stop until we're all washed to sea. I think the world might be better for that, don't you?

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Northlight

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