Harlequin's Slash Fic

Guilt

Title: Guilt
Author: Julien
Universe: X2 (X-Men United)
Characters featured: Logan/Scott
Category, Word count: Short story; 1910 words
Rating: NC17
Summary: Logan and Scott share their grief over Jean Grey’s death.
First published: 22 April 2004 in Homosapien 7

 

Guilt

 

Guilt made you do the strangest things …

Logan couldn’t help but think – What if he hadn’t pushed Jean so hard? What if he hadn’t forced that moment when she cared, when she really cared whether he was dead or alive? What if he had left her in peace, left her loving Scott Summers with no complications? – and then he remembered that Dr Jean Grey was brave, not overly strong perhaps but very brave, and a moment’s doubt over whether she cared for Logan in ways that didn’t mesh with the ways she cared for Scott, well, that wasn’t enough to make her despair. But he couldn’t help thinking there must have been a better way for her, for any of them, to save the souls aboard the jet. There must have been a way. A way that didn’t involve Jean sacrificing herself.

Back in the safety of the school, Scott still cried on a regular basis, as if he had no conception that a man just didn’t do that. After the first shock, Logan hadn’t shed a tear. It was partly the guilt. What if he hadn’t kissed her, forced her to kiss him, pursued her so relentlessly? But she must have known he would have let his prey go. She would have known that. Wouldn’t she? And if not, there were a hundred better ways of dealing with him, asking the Professor to deal with him, than outrunning him with such devastating finality.

It couldn’t have been about that. Logan knew he was overreacting, knew he was making it about him when it was really only about Jean. Wanting to be part of her death, if he couldn’t be part of her life.

Still, the guilt cramped his guts, soured him. He was civilised with Rogue, of course, and the Professor – as civilised as he could manage to be. But otherwise … The guilt made him do the damnedest things. He was gentle with Cyclops. Well, Scott – they were Logan and Scott at such times, not Wolverine and Cyclops. He was gentle with Scott, who he still despised. Resented. Loathed. Logan found himself holding the idiot while he cried – time and again echoing those first few moments when Scott had reached for him when they knew she’d died. Scott Summers had won her, which only meant now that he’d lost far more than Logan had.

‘And it was all my fault,’ Logan muttered.

He didn’t think that was loud enough for even Scott to hear, but Scott lifted his head from Logan’s chest, and looked at him. God knows what he saw through that visor, but he scrutinised Logan just as anyone else might. ‘No, it was my fault,’ Scott said.

‘No. She chose you. There was a moment – I thought there was a moment when she was thinking about me. But she wasn’t.’

‘Then it was my fault,’ Scott steadily insisted.

They were sitting cramped together on a two–seater sofa in the common room, the school quiet around them. At least they hadn’t yet taken this strangeness to the privacy of Scott’s room or Logan’s, though they waited until everyone else was safely asleep and the lights were dimmed and no one could hear Scott’s weeping over the accumulated snoring and snuffling from the dormitories. Scott waited alone, and eventually in the darkest hour of the night Logan would come to him, swearing just this once more and then never again. Hell, they were mutants, but they didn’t have to be this weird.

‘I kissed her,’ Logan said, his tone belligerent from the effort of such brutal honesty.

Scott’s stare intensified, and Logan almost flinched – Cyclops was, after all, the only man on the planet whose looks could kill. Scott’s gaze plundering Logan’s eyes, searching for truth, and then dropping to his mouth. Where Jean had been. Where Jean’s lips had been … wild, delicious, forbidden. ‘She kissed you?’

‘No, I kissed her. She still chose you. End of story.’

‘So why tell me?’

Logan shifted uncomfortably. ‘Reassurance.’ Took his arms’ embrace away from Scott, and sat up straight on the sofa. Like he should have done all along. ‘No – confession. Absolution.’

‘That’s why you think it’s your fault? Because you kissed her?’

‘Yes. No.’ Logan shrugged. Tried to stretch and resettle his spine. If he got any more edgy, his knifes would extend. He had an undiscriminating killer defence mechanism. ‘I don’t know. She chose you. She said that women always choose the good man.’

Scott let out a breath as if he’d been winded by a blow to the guts. ‘Logan. They’re always intrigued by the bad man.’

‘Intrigued?’ He considered the word, and found it fit neatly into his experiences. ‘Great. But that’s not enough. Same thing with Rogue. I mean, she’s barely more than a child, there’s no way I’d – But she had a crush on me. And then she chose Bobby Drake. He’s a good kid, that’s all fine. But – story of my life. They never choose me.’

The self–pity was corrosive. He’d always worked so hard to avoid it. But now the fathomless pit opened under his feet. A drop of salt water welled in the corner of his eye, and he thought of Jean – would he ever stop imagining the fragile, beautiful, brave, humble, clever Dr Jean Grey – buffeted by a dam’s worth of water, the weight of it something like a ton for every square yard, and pray God it knocked her out before she knew what was happening, because there was a myth that drowning was a peaceful way to go but Logan knew better, Logan knew the intense pain of trying to breathe anything other than air.

A hand caressed his cheek, wiped his eye – which cracked the dam all over again, and another tear trickled down past his nose. Ridiculous. He’d be crying like Scott if he wasn’t careful. He’d be weeping like this handsome all–American, this good man, this man who Jean had loved.

A mouth on his. Lips that weren’t hers but his. Logan went with it for a moment, let it happen. Just as Jean had gone along with his kiss for a moment. Logan remembered himself, and pulled away. Glared at Scott, almost as poisonously as Cyclops could glare at him. ‘What the hell …?’

Scott said, ‘I’m choosing you.’

‘What? No!’

‘It doesn’t have to be forever.’

‘Look, Scott –’ He was almost too flabbergasted to find the words. ‘Look – there’s grieving, and there’s going insane.’

‘Jean was insane to be intrigued by you?’

That softened him. It shouldn’t have, but it did. ‘She was?’

‘You know she was.’

‘She loved you, though.’ He felt softened, all right. Logan wasn’t used to this. His metal–supplemented skeleton had defined him throughout all the life he could remember, and it had only been Jean Grey who could melt him. And the thought of her now.

Scott murmured, ‘Yeah?’

‘You know she did.’

‘Yeah.’ And Scott sounded more confident than he had for a long while. Less broken, more whole. He leaned in close again, and met Logan’s mouth, pushed himself back into Logan’s embrace, made it all too clear that he revelled in Logan’s arms lifting around him again. And they kissed. Each imagining Jean Grey, no doubt – yet each also imagining the other, and what the other might be.

 

To Logan’s amazement, they didn’t rush it. They’d gone to Logan’s room, rather than the room Scott had shared with Jean, and each undressed alone, backs turned. Still not looking, they met naked in the bed, and fell into holding, kissing. Caring. Neither would have rushed it, after all, if they’d been with Jean. It was easy at first, undemanding, but eventually it became a more heated, needy thing.

‘You can have me, if you want.’ Logan growled the offer. ‘You can’t hurt me.’

‘That’s not true.’

His amazement grew – so Scott had thought about him enough to figure that much out. ‘Well, no, but I’ll heal. Right away. It’s the only thing I do well.’

‘Not the only thing,’ Scott whispered with an amused smirk.

He drew in a sharp breath, and complained, ‘Hey, this is comfort sex. There’s no call for compliments.’

Still amused, Scott merely agreed, ‘All right.’ Proceeded to shift over him, moving against him, ripples of sensation. Logan threw his head back, strove for control, imagined Jean lying there under those gentle, deceptive, persistent ripples, almost lost it.

Scott lost it first, moving there over Logan, oblivious to anything but his memories – and Logan let him go with it, not intruding, but not admitting to himself either the charge he was getting from imagining himself as Jean, not with Jean. An extravaganza of weird. Dampness welled between them, a goodly amount of it, spilled, and Scott collapsed with a satisfied groan, a bereft moan, head on Logan’s chest, deep in Logan’s arms, as they were when this started.

A moment or two and Scott made the effort to gather himself, to lift his head revealing his grief–drained face, to politely ask, ‘And you …?’

Logan followed suit with a growl, twisting up, throwing Scott onto his back, moving over him, plunging himself between Scott’s thighs for he wouldn’t take anything more even if it was offered.

A few hard lonely thrusts and he was done. Good enough. He fell back to lie beside Scott on the bed, breath rasping, their bodies barely touching.

The silence stretched. Logan calmed. Eventually started contemplating how he could tell Scott it was all right for Scott to walk away now, without making it sound harsh. Giving permission, not rejecting. Surely Scott was simply being courteous, still lying there, or maybe he was just uncertain. How to say it? ‘Look, Scott, I –’

‘Yeah, I agree,’ Scott murmured. ‘We can definitely do better than that next time.’

Logan froze. ‘What?’ His blades were suddenly there, just pricking through past his knuckles. He held on, tried to control them.

‘It doesn’t have to be forever. But it can at least be for tonight. Can’t it?’

‘But –’

‘I’ll admit it – I’m intrigued.’ Scott rolled up onto his side, propped his head on a hand to carefully consider Logan through that wraparound visor. What did he see? More or less than anyone else? Logan scowled at him. Scott added, ‘But maybe men don’t choose the good man …?’

Logan quickly responded, ‘That’s not it.’ And wondered at himself for not taking the opportunity to cut Scott Summers down to size again. It was more that – for what he could remember of his life – Wolverine had always been alone. He hadn’t looked for Rogue to take care of, for Jean to love, for the Professor to respect, for Storm to hunt with, for Cyclops to … for Scott to be gentle with. To comfort. To be not hurt by. And yet that’s what he’d found. Who he’d found. And if he let go of the guilt – though not the memory, not the love – perhaps that’s what he could have. It was more than he’d ever looked for. Way more. But maybe it was what he wanted. Not forever, but – ‘All right,’ Logan said to Scott, reaching for him. Logan sounding more gruffly reluctant than he meant, but knowing that Scott would read the truth. ‘Yeah, for tonight.’ He even managed to promise, ‘At least for tonight. I guess.’ And they kissed.

Posted in: Slash fic, The X-Men

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