WRITTEN FOR: Yuletide 2003
SUMMARY: Logan. Kurt. Reflections on impermanence.
PAIRING: Logan/Kurt (pre-slash)
COUNT: 1032 words.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Please don't sue. I'm really quite poor at the moment.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Spoilers for X2. Takes place in the semi-distant future, after the movie ends. This was written as a last minute filler story for the Yuletide challenge, so please forgive any mistakes. Speediest beta in the history of beta-dom award goes to: Kay, Kes and Cas. You guys are my heroes!
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
He doesn't have a single scar. His body remains free from any mark or imperfection; his skin doesn't reveal anything of the horrors he's lived through. Stab wound in his chest, bullet to the head, broken neck... none of it ever shows.
He thinks sometimes that it might be easier if he could see his life mapped out across pale flesh in angry, red lines. Count his years by the wrinkles under his eyes and trace his past through the scars. But he can't do that. It all slips away from him as effortlessly as ripples across the surface of a lake.
Tonight, just like many nights before and, most likely, many nights to come, finds him perched on the back porch of the mansion, lit cigar sending circles of smoke up to chase each other around his head and then vanish into the darkened sky. One hand grips the nearby railing as he leans forward, keen eyes staring out into the distance at nothing.
There's a sudden burst of sound and movement to his side, but he doesn't move. Doesn't even twitch a muscle, almost as if he was expecting the intrusion.
He grunts, recognizing the heavily accented voice immediately. Syllables sharp, crackling like gravel underneath one's boot and marking the speaker as distinct. Not that the man needed any more distinctions. Kurt Wagner was already pretty damn distinct as it was.
Soft footsteps that would've been inaudible to anybody without heightened senses, and the elf is at Logan's side. He jumps up to perch easily on the railing, crouched so that he's at eye level, his pointed tail waving behind him, almost merrily. Delicate fingers wrap around the rail, curling easily, white nails standing out sharply against the midnight blue skin.
"Logan." Softer this time, but somehow more determined in spite of the decrease in volume.
"What?" His teeth clench around his cigar briefly, but he doesn't look up, refusing to meet Kurt's gaze.
"You've been out here for almost three hours, my friend. People are worried."
"Let them worry." There. Answer given; case closed. Try not to let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.
Swish, swish. The devil-ish tail twitches back and forth. Kurt's eyes narrow, worry growing more acute.
Logan frowns when Kurt doesn't leave. Damn it. Anybody else and he would've already told 'em where they could get off, but he can't do that to Kurt. It would feel too much like kicking a puppy, albeit a puppy who's come the closest that anybody ever has to kicking Logan's ass in Xavier's training simulations. If it wasn't for the slight smell of sulfur each time Kurt uses his powers, Logan knows he'd be unable to track him at all. The man is quick as a devil, and that ain't lyin'.
"Tell me about the scars."
It's abrupt, not to mention personal, and he knows it. But he doesn't want to talk about his own problems. And besides, he really does want to know. They aren't ordinary scars, not by a long shot. Intricate patterns that weave over Kurt's body, swooping and swirling like some kind of fairy tale over exotic skin.
Sometimes Logan finds himself itching to touch them, to check and make sure that they're real. Something that comes from pain shouldn't be so beautiful, almost ethereal, like they aren't of this world.
"They are to remind me of my faith," Kurt replies softly, eyes downcast. "And my failures."
Realization dawns and Logan's eyes widen. "Wait... you did this to yourself?"
A nod, golden eyes avoiding his probing gaze.
His voice softens, hands clenching tight around the railing to keep himself from doing something stupid. Like reaching out to touch, ever so lightly. "What are they?"
"Heavenly designs, brought down to Earth by the Archangel Gabriel."
Logan believes him, because they are too special, too beautiful, and because he finds himself wanting to believe in something beyond his own pain and anger. Something that doesn't fade away like his nonexistent scars. First he'd thought that Jean was that something, and later he'd thought it might be Xavier's crazy dream, but none of those had lasted. None had been permanent.
Logan has never been a man who put much stock in faith. He sees people all around him consumed by it, yet he remains untouched. Unmoved. Unable to understand why. Instead of searching for the future, he focuses on his past, finding that the safer alternative, by far. And as each mystery is lifted, leaving a new mystery behind in its place, he slowly feels himself losing his grip on life, with no idea how to fix it.
A touch against his hand and his head jerks up, meeting Kurt's intense gaze. The other man's skin is dark against his own, a striking contrast. And as Kurt's fingers gently lift his hand away from the railing, threading their fingers together like it's the most natural thing in the world, Logan thinks that maybe he could have faith in this.
He hears the echo of laughter from inside, where the lights are warm and inviting. He knows that his people, his chosen family, are inside waiting for them to return. But it all pales in comparison to the warmth he feels from this one, strange, little man, whose golden eyes smile at him, telling him that he belongs in a way that he never has before, not even with Jean. It's scary and exciting at the same time.
Kurt's lips curve up into a smile, teeth flashing white in the semi-darkness, and he tugs on Logan's hand, hopping down off the rail and slowly leading him back toward the side door. And Logan finds himself smiling back, before even deciding to do so.
He doesn't have any scars to mark this moment either. Nothing to prove it really happened. But he knows now that he doesn't need any. Because the important marks aren't on the outside, where just anybody can see them. They're kept secret and safe inside his heart and mind, and those are the kind of marks that will never fade, never be lost.
And Logan is glad for that.