Jim Beam is My Valentine
Logan stood in the trees at the edge of the woods that covered the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters' property and crankily puffed on his cigar. He hoped he'd stayed hidden long enough to avoid the insanity that had gone on earlier inside the school.
He cursed himself for three kinds of fool. He hadn't been keeping his eye on the calendar or he would have been long gone before Xavier's had been gripped in the dreaded Valentine's Day madness.
This afternoon, before he escaped to the solitude of the woods, the halls had been full of insane teenage girls either yapping and giggling about what they were going to wear on their dates, or bravely holding back tears because they'd be alone doing homework and engaging in chocolate binges on self-purchased candy-filled hearts. The boys were smart. All of them, with and without girlfriends, had gone into hiding for the day.
Valentine's Day, he thought ruefully, now there was a holiday even more annoying and foolish than Christmas. Thank you Hallmark and Russell Stover. Thanks to their corporate greed men cringed in fear for the entire month prior to February 14th, petrified that even if they did remember and buy their woman a gift it wouldn't be the right one and they'd be dealing with enforced celibacy until Memorial Day. Even unattached men had to tread lightly in case some desperate single woman set her sights on him as a potential Valentine's Day meal ticket.
He tossed away the cigar butt and glanced at the school building again. It was past eight now so things had probably quieted down.
Earlier, he'd run into Rogue and Remy on their way out the door to their dinner date. Marie had looked very un-childlike in a black stretchy dress cut up to here and down to there. The black leather opera gloves and filmy shawl she wore over her bare shoulders accentuated what was showing rather than covering anything up and he was shocked and alarmed. He waited until she turned her back and popped one set of claws under Remy's nose to remind him that if he even thought about trying anything with his little girl he'd turn the Cajun into jambalaya meat.
He crept along the halls to his room, on the look out for any miserable adolescents who might be on their way to the kitchen to drown their sorrows in a quart of Chunky Monkey and heaved a sigh of relief when he made it unaccosted.
He shed his jacket and began rooting around on the closet shelf looking for his whiskey bottle. He had to keep it hidden since One-Eye gave him such a hard time about drinking alcohol on school grounds. Grabbing a water glass from the bathroom he poured himself a healthy slug and settled down on the bed.
He was sipping his whisky and relishing the glow it produced in his extremities when he heard some strange scratching noises coming from the roof right over his room. He stilled for a second, waiting. There it was again. Then he heard muffled sobbing.
Oh shit, he thought. He hoped it wasn't one of those damn fool girls up there ready to commit suicide because she was alone on Valentine's Day. He tried to block it out and continued drinking his whisky but he finally realized it wasn't stopping.
Better go up and investigate. Jean and the Boy Scout were out, he knew that, and weren't expected back until tomorrow. He ground his teeth thinking about what Cyclops was getting for Valentine's Day. Bastard!
Storm hadn't been seen since the end of classes that afternoon and he knew Xavier wasn't going up to the roof to investigate so that left him as the nearest thing around to a responsible adult. The thought almost made him hysterical with amusement.
He grabbed his jacket and went out into the hallway. The stairs to the roof were behind a door at the other end. He hesitated one more moment, racking his brain for some other solution to the problem, but if someone was really gonna hurt themselves he had to do something about it.
He opened the door and slowly made the climb to the roof. What he saw when he got there made his jaw drop.
It wasn't one of the students at all. Storm was huddled on the roof, her face covered in tears. Her fingers plunged into a five-pound box of chocolate.
He almost turned around and went back to his room but she turned her head at just that moment and caught his eye. She burst out into a fresh batch of sobs.
Tentatively he took a step towards her.
"Uh, you ok, 'Ro?" He asked. He mentally slapped his forehead with the heel of his hand. Does she look ok, asshole?
She shook her head, sobbing too hard to speak.
Shit, shit, shit! Crying women were something he really had no patience for and didn't know how to deal with. This would have been much easier if it was student. All he would have had to do was snarl a little, maybe pop his claws and scare the kid back to her room. But 'Ro? 'Ro crying? Well he was completely mystified over this one!
He sat down next to her. She surprised him by burying her head in the front of his shirt and sobbing even harder.
His arms flailed a bit and tentatively he reached over to pat her shoulder. He hoped it was comforting.
After a few minutes her sobs subsided again and she pulled away leaving his shirt a wet, crumpled mess.
Angrily she swiped at the tears in her eyes, "I hate Valentine's Day!" She gritted out.
Well, he didn't know how to answer that one so he waited for her to continue.
"I hate being alone. I hate that no one even looks at me," she gave him a dirty look. "I hate that I feel ashamed for feeling this way." She grabbed another piece of chocolate and stuffed it in her mouth. Logan noticed that a third of the box was gone already.
She continued, "Jean!" she spat out ruefully. "Jean has had men falling all over themselves since the day I first met her. Jean has Scott. Jean has YOU," she said accusingly.
"What is wrong with ME? Why doesn't anyone notice me? I am not ugly! I am not stupid! I am not a bad person!"
He nodded to indicate he agreed with all those things.
She held up an empty wine bottle that he hadn't noticed before. This was getting weirder by the minute. Storm crying AND drinking.
"Do you have anything to drink, Logan? I am out."
He slid his eyes over to look at her skeptically.
"Logan," she said menacingly, "I know you have alcohol stashed somewhere so do not try to deceive me. You would not want me to start a gale and sweep you into Breakstone Lake, would you?"
Well, when she put it that way…
"Wait here," he told her. He was back in a few minutes with the bourbon and two glasses. He poured himself a generous helping and splashed a little in the bottom of hers.
She looked at the glass and looked up at him, her faced scrunched in distress.
"Why so little?"
"Because, you ain't used to drinkin' and I don't want you to get drunk," he told her.
"I want the same amount you have!" She demanded.
He looked dubious.
"Breakstone Lake…" she intoned.
"Alright, alright." He poured more whiskey into her glass and watched amazed as she swallowed it in one gulp, grimacing as it burned its way down. She held it out to him.
"More!" She commanded. He hesitated and she shoved the glass closer. He poured; she downed this one the same way and then shoved another piece of chocolate in her mouth.
"You wanna watch it, 'Ro. If you get zits from all that chocolate then you'll never get a man," he said in a lame attempt at comedy.
She glared at him and he could see her eyes beginning to turn white; the wind began to pick up a little.
"Sorry! Sorry! It was just a joke!" He told her quickly. Her eyes went back to normal and the wind died down. He heaved a sigh of relief.
She held her glass out to him again and he poured her another drink. He was relieved to see that she was sipping this one.
"Do you know what Scott and Jean are doing tonight?" She asked him.
He groaned inwardly. He could guess.
"Scott sent her a dozen roses today in class. Then before they left he gave her a diamond heart pendant. They have gone to a romantic dinner at an inn on the shore of the Sound and tonight they will be spending the night in a romantic Bed & Breakfast!"
Doing the mattress mambo 'til dawn probably, Logan thought bitterly. Bastard!
"And what am I doing on Valentine's Day?" she continued bitterly. "Sitting on the roof eating chocolate I got as a pity gift from the professor and getting drunk with the school grouch. Who," she added sliding him a dark look, "barely even notices I am alive."
Shit, that was the second time she'd said something like that. Aw, fuck me, it's bad enough I gotta deal with the kids having crushes, now Storm?
She lifted her glass to him in salute, "Well here's to you, grouch!" She downed the rest of her glass and held it out to him again.
"'Ro, don't you think you've had enough?"
"Do not make me hurt you, Logan," she slurred.
He shot her a skeptical glance. As if that was even a possibility but he didn't want her trying to hit him and falling off the roof so he complied.
She opened her jacket and spread her arms wide.
"Look at me, Logan! LOOK at me!" She commanded impatiently. "I am just as sexy as Jean! More so if you like big breasts because mine ARE bigger, in case you have not noticed. I take care of myself, I am well-groomed."
She tossed back the current glass of whisky. She continued but this time her voice was plaintive.
"Why do you not notice me, Logan?" She slid closer to him and he eyed her warily.
"I can give you what you want, Logan, what you need. Better than Jean can. I can love you, Logan."
She bent over to kiss him and stopped short. She had a strange look on her face.
"Oh, Logan, I don't feel so good," she moaned.
Geezuz fuck! He'd heard that before, Christmas Eve, just before Jean…
It all happened so fast he didn't have time to stop it. One second she was clutching her stomach and the next she was emptying the contents all over his lap. Then she passed out.
Somewhere, One-Eye is getting his ashes hauled, Logan thought ruefully. I'm here getting puked on by a goddess.
He shook his head and picked her up to carry her to her room. At least she won't remember it tomorrow.
After he cleaned up he'd be back for his whiskey. Fuck knows he needed it!