main character: Logan, secondary characters of Ororo and Mystique, mention of Jean.
disclaimer: I hold no legal rights to the characters from the X-Men movies.
distribution: Please ask first. If you have permission for any of my other RoLo works, you may have this one also.
note: This is inspired/based on the camp scene in X-Men 2.
In the middle of the wilderness, miles from all the bustle of civilization, and she still has that serenity. She's still so calm, has such control over herself, and that damned dignity of hers... How does she manage it? We're only here because the mansion was invaded by some military men, the students are God only knows where, but hopefully at least half way safe, They've ended up with Magneto and Mystique, and she's still calm.
Logan could only conclude the same thing that he'd thought many times before: Ororo Munroe was baffling. She was a mystery, a lovely, puzzling woman who just... didn't fit in the world that he'd seen.
No matter what happened, she still had that serenity, that sense of calm. As if none of the disasters and worries of the world could break that calm. Was it real, or just a very convincing act? How did she do it?
He'd been pondering that for a while, trying to figure her out. Everybody else was simple enough to understand, their reasons and motivations not that complicated. But not Ororo. The more he learned about her past, the less he understood her.
She'd been orphaned at a young age, and ended up a street thief in Cairo. Then, she'd been worshipped as a goddess in Africa. The only woman he knew of that had actually had other people seriously calling her a goddess, and she'd given that up to join the X-men. Because... why? Why had she done it?
Something about it made sense to her, felt right. That had to be the answer, because not even a telepath as strong as Xavier could bend her will and keep it bent for this long. She knew what she wanted from life, and for some reason, this was what she'd chosen.
Logan wanted that. He wanted her certainty, her confidence that this was what she wanted to do, the best or maybe only choice that she could live with for her life. Something in her past had shaped her to have that sort of character strength. He wanted that confidence, that personal strength so badly that he could almost taste it.
Instead, he had some muscle power, which was useful in some situations, and a certain level of arrogance, hostility, and behavior strategies that kept people from looking to deeply inside of him. He kept people from trying to find out what was underneath the layers of the cocky fighter or the near berserk beast that hid inside. Part of that was because he didn't even know what was underneath, what he'd been, who he'd been. Would he like the man he'd once been? Hell, would he even recognize the type of man that he'd been Before? Before he'd had metal grafted to his bones, when he could remember his past, knew his name?
Of course, the fact that in addition to amazing levels of confidence and determination, Ororo was also gorgeous didn't hurt things. It made it easy to watch her, to ponder her through the days. Not that it made her any easier to understand, especially since for as attractive as she was, she hardly seemed to notice it. It was as if she thought the stares and attention was from her distinctive white hair.
He was barely focusing on the task of getting the camp established. Yes, a part of his mind kept track of where everybody was, and tried to monitor for threats, but that wasn't the same as paying attention. Maybe if he'd been paying more attention, he wouldn't have been quite as surprised later.
Logan had ended up with a small tent all to himself. Maybe it was because all of the X-Men remembered the nightmare that he'd had, the one where he'd accidentally skewered Marie when she'd tried to wake him up? Maybe it was because Scott couldn't stand being in the same room with him very long, or because... Well, it could have been any number of reasons. In the end, the why didn't matter that much. He had his very own little tent, with nobody to share it with. It felt oddly... well, at the same time relaxing and lonely.
A shadow shape appeared on the side of the tent, backlit by the campfire. The pony tail, the body language, it all said Jean. But why would she be here instead of with Scott? She unzipped the tent flap, letting herself in before zipping it back up, something that would make it nearly impossible for anyone outside to see what happened.
"Hello, Logan." Her voice was soft, a mix of nervousness and flirtation.
Closing his eyes, Logan took a breath, wondering what in the world had got into Jean. Normally, she kept avoiding him due to his flirtation, not wanting to offer the slightest encouragement, which was a very effective way to keep the pretty telepath from prying into what might be beneath the surface. But... as he breathed in, caught her scent, it wasn't right. It was almost like a layer of Jean over something else, secrets and copper and closed in air... Mystique. That explained the sudden change in behavior, sort of. Might as well try to figure out what she was up to, which meant playing along. "Jean?"
She was leaning over him then, an almost fluid motion that Jean probably couldn't do if her life depended on it. She was straddling him, one hand on either side of his head, leaning over him. Her face was only inches from his. "I'm doing what I want, what we both want."
She kissed him then, and he didn't try to stop her, just... went with the moment. He could taste the secrets and deception, habits that she held so close that they'd become a permanent part of her scent. The imitation was almost perfect, but not what he wanted.
"Or maybe this is what you want instead?" Her voice held a note of taunting, and she just shifted, changing from Jean to Marie, still straddling him, still giving him this flirtatious look. She leaned forward again, her lips brushing his, a near perfect look of confused desire on her face. "Logan..."
"Stop that. She's still a girl." He caught her wrists, pushing her up a little, enough that she couldn't play any more kissing games with Marie's face.
She smiled then, a look full of secret knowledge and sly manipulation. "What about this?"
With those words, she changed again, and it was Ororo that he held in his arms, Ororo that straddled his body so suggestively. Logan breathed in, and over the secrets and deception was the scent of some exotic flower and wind. She even came close to the look of calm and serenity that Ororo always wore. If he just let himself not think, he could pretend...
Her lips met his, and she tasted him, explored his mouth with her own. Almost, he let her continue. But she was not Ororo, was not the woman of beauty and calm and mystery that had filled his mind. She was deception and temptation and probably betrayal. He nipped at her lip, not a playful act of seduction, but a warning.
"You're the only one that's marked me so deeply. The only one who's mark won't go away." The look of Ororo slipped away, leaving her as herself, as Mystique. She still straddled him, but now she was naked, her taut stomach showing three scars, a reminder of the Statue of Liberty.
For a moment, he felt frozen, pulled in too many directions. She was still beautiful, an exotic temptation in shadow. And the idea that he'd left such a permanent reminder seemed to call out to something deep inside of him. But she was deception and mystery and confusion, calculation and betrayal. He couldn't trust her. He breathed out her name, uncertain what else he could say. "Mystique..."
Then, she smiled at him, a soft smile that seemed at odds with everything they thought they knew about her. She leaned forward, kissing him as herself. This wasn't an effort at seduction, but something else, almost like a thank you and an apology and some hidden message all in one. "In your eyes, I am beautiful. But even I can tell that I'm not who you want."
She became Jean once more, slipping from his tent into the darkness. Logan remained on the thin mattress, trying to make sense out of her. To understand what she had come to him, why she had tempted him like that.
He couldn't puzzle her out, but there was something else that he figured out. He'd come the closest to giving in to her act when she'd worn Ororo's face. That was important, had a significance far beyond what he'd already knew, that Ororo was beautiful and desirable.
It meant that he had feelings for her. That he didn't just envy her calm, her serene confidence in what she wanted from life, but that he wanted her as well. And it was frustrating that Mystique had figured that out before he had.
Sighing, he crawled out of his tent, stepping away from the camp. He looked up, staring at the moon, considering the way it seemed so serene, so calm. Was that just the distance? Would Ororo's serenity crack if he became very close to her? He wanted to find out, to see just what else there was to know about Ororo Munroe, the woman once called goddess, now called Storm.
Looking towards the camp, he saw her. She was talking quietly to the new mutant, Kurt Wagner. There was something odd about his scent, it seemed similar in some ways to Mystique's. But maybe that was just coincidence, or the blue pigmentation. What was obvious was that Kurt had Ororo's attention. He'd somehow appealed to her, and she seemed determined to help him, to protect him. Not as a lover, but as a friend. The poor guy probably didn't have a lot of friends.
But it meant that yet again, Ororo's attention was elsewhere. He couldn't ask her where that serenity, that self-confidence came from, even if he could gather the courage to put it into words. She had something else on her mind, helping Kurt, finding Stryker's base.
Maybe afterwards, after all of this was over with? Maybe then he could ask her where the calm came from. Maybe later he could try to get what he really wanted, what Mystique had shown him, although that might not have been her intention.
Maybe he could have Ororo.
end What I Want.