It's Saturday night again and with everything that's gone on since March, you could really use a nice uncomplicated fuck. You couldn't care less who it's with.
The mansion is strangely quiet. The most of the kids are studying for midterms. Some of the older ones took a break, going to the local movie theatre with Logan as a chaperone. That leaves the teachers correcting assignments, the doctors in the lab, and you. Your mouth twists into a sneer at the thought of Logan as a chaperone-- it's rather like setting a rabid wolf to guard a bunch of obese sheep in your eyes. And besides, his smell alone would ruin the movie experience unless it had something to do with rotting cows.
Skin still moist from your shower, you stare into the mirror, that tiny thing over the sink. Buying a larger one has been on your "to-do" list for a long time but it keeps getting pushed away. Lately, you haven't cared as much about what you look like.
~Damn, you're a pretty thing. Like a little fallen angel, aren't you, boy?~
By nine o' clock, it's dark and you're on the streets of Upper Westside. The lights here on Broadway are supposed to make it brighter, to banish the night. They actually do the opposite. The shadows are sharper, deeper. There aren't any greys, just eye-grating neon or unrelieved black.
You turn away from the alleys, strolling down 47th Street with your hands in your coat pocket. They're not cold, your hands, even though they're shaking hard enough to dislodge themselves from the knuckles. You're hiding your nails. Bitten to the quick, they mar the long elegance of your fingers. It's a habit you've never been able to break. The phrase "oral fixation" comes to mind. The corners of your lips fight against a smile.
~Look at those hands! Shit! Don't you know you gotta be pretty everywhere?~
The first club you stop at has a line-up halfway around the block. The bouncers are monoliths in black shirts and jeans. One of them resembles Logan. You repress the impulse to stick your tongue out at him. In contrast, the gatekeeper has white-gold hair and a red velvet suit. His contemptuous frown is practised, a non-verbal threat to bat away the unworthy.
You walk up to the doors, unbuttoning your jacket.
"Hey, baby!" The gatekeeper waves to you. You return the gesture and step closer, much to the disgruntlement of everyone else in the line. "You've been gone for almost a month, hon! Aren't we good enough for you no more?"
"Never. I been busy at school."
"A likely story." He winks to emphasise the joke. "Go on in, baby. We all missed you groovin' that tushie to the beat."
You laugh. They don't know it echoes hollowly in your skull.
~Damn, you're a pretty little thing. Like a fallen angel, aren't you, boy? Bet you move like a dream, too, huh?~
They approach you as soon as your eyes adjust to the dark. You take off your shades, unafraid of stigma. They all think you're wearing contacts. Or even if they don't, they don't seem to care. Hands caress your body as you wade into the tight, sweaty mob. Hands take your coat away and you don't give a shit. More hands tug at your arms, vying for a dance.
You step smoothly into the centre of the dance floor with a bottle-blonde in vinyl and fur. She's been here for some time now; you can barely smell her perfume over the sweat and beer. You want to fuck her so badly your hair throbs. But you curb the urge. You have to make them want you, have to make them so mad for you that they never want to let you go-- physically, mentally, emotionally, all of the above.
~Oh damn, baby, you're so good! You're so good and gorgeous and--- shit, baby! I want you so bad!~
You're a fantastic dancer because you have an iron control over your body. You can move so that she feels like an amalgamation of Janet Jackson and Grace Kelly. Your hands roam everywhere, pressing in sensitive places, enough to tease, never to satisfy. She has to want you like crazy. Anything else is unacceptable.
You've got it planned so that she reaches her limit in six songs' time. She has no protests as you back her into a bathroom stall. She tries to pull up your shirt but you grab her hands and press them against the partition, folding her fingers over the top.
"Let me do everything," you breathe into her ear, ending the sentence with a lick.
She shudders and you exult.
The scrap of fake fur that was her top is gone in one motion. Her skirt is up in the next. You close your eyes tight; you don't have to see what your hands are doing to give her an orgasm. You've done it countless times before.
~Damn, you're a pretty little thing. Like a little fallen angel, aren't you, boy? Bet you can move like a dream, too, huh? Let's see you move, sweet thing. Show me what you can do.~
You wash your hands before you leave the club, scrubbing until you can't smell her cunt on your palm. The gatekeeper winks at you again as you push out the door.
It's an older crowd in the next club but no less vulnerable. In fact, they're even more so. Age is an enemy neither they nor you can fight. You're kinder to the women here because their fears are yours, that one day you'll have to rely on dim lights and drunkenness to be attractive.
~Oh. My. God. Did you see the guy Mr. Summers brought home? Sure, he sounds like some dumb cracker but damn, he'd look so pretty on my arm!~
A man next to you on the bar gives you a disapproving look as you chat up a lady. You retort with your best "eat shit" grin. The glare isn't anything new. You can crush it into a ball just under your ribs. You've convinced yourself that you like them almost as much as you like the female appreciation. It means that for once you have something that they want.
Your current companion looks to be in her thirties so you give her extra attention. They love little touches on bare skin, lingering sideways glances, smooth innuendoes. And compliments-- lots of compliments. Sometimes that makes them come harder than any clit-tickling tricks. Sincere compliments are rare; you can fake sincerity with the best of them.
She doesn't want to go into the bathroom. Maybe the lights are too bright for her comfort. You seat her in a couch in the back of the room instead and kneel at her feet. Some guys hate oral sex-- you hear them say it's because of the smell or the idea that they're shoving their tongues in someone's privates. You love it. You like the rush of power that comes when you render someone completely helpless. You're thrilled by the notion that you're in control, that even though the other person is thrashing and wailing and drooling out of both ends, you are unaffected. They aren't using you; you're using them.
~Damn, you're a pretty little thing. Like a little fallen angel, aren't you, boy? Bet you can move like a dream, too, huh? Let's see you move, sweet thing. Show me what you can do. I'm going to do you right and you're going to love it, aren't you, you pretty, pretty thing?~
By the time you get to the fifth club, it's after midnight and the lines have disappeared. You're drunk-tired, almost staggering to the entrance.
"Doors are closed," says the bouncer.
"Oh, come on. Y'know who I am."
"I know you all right."
You brush off his glare, scrunching it into the tight ball under your ribs.
With a sigh, he unlocks the door. "You know the only reason I'm letting you in is because you keep the women coming."
You shrug. "It's a gift."
You came into this club because subconsciously, you know there would be more men than women. You are tired despite yourself and you never take drugs other than alcohol on nights like this for fear of losing control. Still, one woman saunters up as you nurse your highball. Her eyes sparkle with mischief and bravado-in-a-bottle.
She's a brunette. You close your eyes and turn to face the bar for a second. You've been trying to avoid brunettes all night.
"You look lonely," she says. A classic line. You'd laugh if it wouldn't dislodge the tight ball of hurts under your ribs.
"Now who'd be lonely if they were chattin' with someone like you, chere?"
She places a manicured hand on your thigh. Your muscles clench. In desire or disgust? You're not really sure; you've had the two confused for a long time.
~Try not to spend too much time fixing yourself up. It's just the mall and besides, the girls hate it when you look prettier than they do.~
A man in a T-shirt and jeans comes up behind the brunette. He takes her arm in a gentle grip. "Come on, honey, don't be like that."
She stiffens. "I'm talking to someone else."
The man glances up at you, measuring you for a challenge. Sated by your previous encounters, you decide to let her go without a fight. "Should I let the two of you alone?"
"Yes," says the man. The brunette crosses her arms.
You give them your back, just catching the expression on the man's face as they depart. His derision is different from the ones given by the rest of the men you've encountered tonight. He looked at you like you weren't worth the effort it took to glare.
Logan looks at you like that.
Throwing down a bill, you leave the club.
It's starting to rain. You make your way aimlessly down the street, flipping up the collar of the jacket in a fruitless effort to keep the raindrops from trickling down your back. You're shivering again. Remembering and hating it.
You finally name the emotion as you pass by the shadows and neon and buskers and tourists on your way to... well, you're not really sure where. Anywhere as long as it's not back in the mansion where you can smell his cigars and see his ghost roaming the halls. You hate him so much that the thought of his name cuts off your air supply. You don't want to assess why, telling yourself that it's just anger on Rogue's behalf for abandoning her. That he's a homebreaker trying to drive a wedge between Scott and Jean. That his very presence endangers your current source of food and shelter; it's a damned comfortable shelter.
You let this cauldron of venom brew, ignoring that niggle in the back of your head that says you're actually jealous. Jealous that Scott thinks of him as a twisted type of friend.
~Damn, you're a pretty little thing.~
Jealous that he was the one who rescued Rogue from the streets.
~Like a fallen angel, aren't you, boy?~
Jealous that he had the power to rescue her.
~Bet you can move like a dream, too, huh?~
That he goes on missions while you're only good enough for breaking-and-entering stints than no one knows about.
~Let's see you move, sweet thing. Show me what you can do.~
That he was taught to fight and you were taught to run.
~ I'm going to do you right.~
That no matter what you do, she'll never let you call her Marie.
~And you're going to love it, aren't you, you pretty, pretty thing?~
But most of all, you hate him because you're jealous of his power. He can't age. He'll never lose his youth, his agility, his goddamned blue eyes and bright, fucking white teeth while you...
Someday you know you'll lose it all
And you won't be pretty any more.
And-- you ask yourself in that corner chamber in the back of your head where the growing ball of hurt gets placed at night-- and if you're not pretty, what do you have to offer her?
~Damn, you're a pretty little thing
~You pretty, pretty thing.
~Pretty, pretty, pretty