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Magic in the Night

by Victoria P.

     Subject: [glass_onion] Fic: (XMM): Magic in the Night: 1/1
     Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 11:22 PM
     Title:  Magic in the Night
     Author: Victoria P. []
     Summary: "From your front porch to my front seat / The
     door's open but the ride it ain't free"
     Rating: G
     Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox;
     this piece of fan-written fiction intends no infringement on
     any copyrights. Thunder Road belongs to the Boss.
     Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool.
     Feedback: Rings my chimes
     Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete/Melissa, Dot, and Meg. Thanks
     especially to Pete, as his "Leaving Sunnydale" trilogy (a
     must read for any Xander fan, it can be found here:
     inspired me.

Magic in the Night

Rogue was curled up in the armchair that had been her father's, trying to lose herself in the romantic entanglements of the Bennet girls, when she heard a car pull into the driveway.

She sighed.

Since coming back to Meridian a month ago to arrange her parents' funerals, neighbors and relatives and random people calling themselves friends had been showing up on her doorstep non-stop. She often thought that the support they'd given her "in her time of trouble" (as Mrs. Jenkins, the church organist, called it), was the most amazing thing she'd ever experienced, and in her eight years as an X-Man, she'd experienced plenty. If only she'd known how open and supportive they actually could be toward a freak like herself, maybe she'd never have run away in the first place.

She thought back over the ten years of her life since the day she put David into a coma with a kiss.

She'd been a lot of places, seen a lot of things. And while she didn't think she'd change any of it -- she had friends and family who loved and depended on her, as well as a place to call home -- still, she wondered how different it all would have been if she hadn't run.

In the end, there was one person who made it all worthwhile. She couldn't imagine her life without Logan in it, and she didn't want to ever have to try.

She waited for the doorbell to ring, and when it didn't, she went to the front door, smoothing down her skirt and pushing a stray lock of hair behind her ear. She appreciated their concern -- really, she did -- but it was a little overwhelming to constantly have people underfoot, people who were getting used to the novelty of an Alpha level mutant among them, and who didn't always grasp that "don't touch" meant don't touch. Even more wearing, they all wanted to talk about her parents. And they were all so kind. They made her want to cry, and she wasn't sure if it was because of frustration, sorrow or guilt at being such a bad daughter.

With a deep breath and a false smile, she opened the door, expecting to see Mrs. Jenkins or Reverend Halliburton or the elderly Molloy sisters, casseroles in hand and quaint, comforting sayings on their lips.

Instead, she saw Logan, as if summoned by her thoughts, leaning on the hood of a car. And not just any car. It was a candy apple red 1965 Mustang convertible. The top was down.

"Hey, kid."

"Hey," she replied, pushing through the screen door into the warm, humid air of the Mississippi evening.

She stood on the porch; a light breeze stirred her skirt around her bare ankles and the wood planks were smooth and warm against the soles of her feet. The air was rich with the scent of honeysuckle jasmine; it slid over her skin like velvet.

He jerked his head toward the car. "You comin'?"

"I-- I can't," she began, turning away, her hand already on the doorknob to go back inside. "I have things to do here. I--"

He crossed the ground between them easily, and stood beside her on the porch, a gloved hand cupping her cheek, his thumb tracing the curve of her lips. "Darlin'," he said tenderly, "don't send me away again. I can't take it."

She leaned into his hand, feeling the tension slide from her body. "I--"

"Come on. There's nothing you can do here anymore, Rogue. They're gone." She sniffed at the gentleness in his tone. "You have to let it go." She knew how much it had cost him to learn that particular lesson -- he'd found some of his past, and then wished he hadn't. It had taken him years to learn to live with it.

She hadn't asked him -- hadn't asked any of them -- to join her when she got the news about her parents, but he'd come anyway. He hadn't said anything, he was just there when she needed him, and he left when she told him to go. He'd been there whenever she'd needed him over the past ten years, done everything she'd asked, fulfilled every promise, and she still couldn't quite reciprocate on this one thing he requested in return. "We don't have to go back to Westchester right away."

He walked back to the car and she followed, as always drawn after him, and still slightly resenting that pull. He'd bought the Mustang for her when she'd turned twenty-one. It had been a mess, and together with Scott, they'd put it back together from the frame out.

She ran a hand over the polished hood, a small smile creasing her face at the memories the car -- and the man driving it -- inspired.

"She's a beauty." She looked up and found herself caught in his gaze.

His eyes never left hers. "Eh, she's all right."

She looked away first, turning to lean against the car. "I don't know, Logan. I--"

He moved next to her, their bodies touching. She shivered at his nearness. A quick sideways glance told her he was staring out at the horizon, and she wondered what he could see out there that she couldn't. She worried about what it might be, worried he was envisioning life without her, and she felt paralyzed by her own inability to do what he wanted, what she needed to do.

"Well, I'm heading out tonight."

She licked her lips. She knew that was it -- the last time he'd ask. If she let him go, he'd be out of her life forever.

She remembered their years together -- the stops and starts, the moments fraught with meaning that never quite blossomed into something more. The way she'd pined for him and then believed herself over it, grown beyond the schoolgirl crush that ran deeper than either of them wished to admit all those years ago. She thought about the way he'd taken care of her, comforted her after her affair with Remy had left her desolate and unable to trust in anyone.

She felt her body respond as she recalled the way he looked at her after she'd finally gotten over Remy, the way his hands lingered whenever he touched her, and the heat of his body through the layers of their clothes, how it both comforted and thrilled her.

He tilted his head again. "I know there are things I should say, and maybe they'd convince you, but--" he stopped, shrugged a shoulder. "You either feel it or you don't. It's your decision. You know what I want, and what I have to give."

She took a deep breath. Years, ten years of dreaming of this moment, fell away. No more wishing for rose petals and violins, tuxedos and silk gowns. No more fantasies of changing him, making him over into something he wasn't. She loved him the way he was, and wanted what he was offering. Just himself, his love, and the road.

She wasn't a teenager any longer, hadn't been for years, and she knew that whatever dreams she'd had, they were nothing compared to the reality of life with this man, and the emptiness she felt at even the thought of life without him.

She let the last of her childhood go, felt her lingering resentment at his effect on her slip away, replaced by the sure knowledge that she had the same effect on him, whether he'd admit it or not.

He held out a hand, his eyes soft in the gloaming, and she took it, letting him lead her to the front seat. He opened the door and she climbed in, unable to keep the small smile on her face from turning into an all-out grin. He wore a matching grin that took her breath away.

He slid in next to her and started the car, turning on the CD player. Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely" played, and she glanced at him, trying not to laugh. His ears were tinged with red, but he said nothing, simply took her gloved hand and brought it to his lips.

They rode in silence along the back roads, watching the twilit sky deepen to black. The wind whipped through her hair, drowning out the CD player, making its own whistling music. The chains of the past loosed themselves, and she felt free of the weight she'd been carrying since she got the news about her parents.

She was an adult now, truly, but she didn't have to be alone.

He slowed the car as they approached her childhood home, giving her time to relish her newfound freedom, and to discover that it was okay to move on, to leave the past behind.

"I always wondered, you know," she said finally.

"About what?"

"Whether she went with him or not."

Logan raised an eyebrow. "And?"

"I never thought she did, and it made me sad. " She shifted, putting her bare feet on the dashboard, feeling daring at letting so much skin show. "I never thought I would."

"But you did. You are."


He slid an arm around her shoulders and she leaned against him, sighing in contentment.

"I'm glad."

She rubbed her face against his arm, inhaling his scent, covering herself in it. "Me, too." Then, "I love you."

"Me, too, baby. Me, too."



CJ: "You wanna make out with me right now, don't you?" Toby: "When don't I?"
The West Wing

The Muse's Fool - read my diary:

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Victoria P.

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