Story: Another Round
Chapter Title: When She Goes Storming Out
Summary: Rogan. Future fic. There's a new arrangement between the two.
AN: Sorry it took me a while to get this started. It's been swimming around in my head, and my rule is, if it won't go away, get it out. So, here you are, yet another fic all started, to bring more Logan into your day. Reviews make me happy. Oh, and Story and Chapter Titles are lifted from the new Foo Fighters material from In Your Honor. Go get it if you don't already have it. It rocks.
He stared at her, this out of place creature, as if trying to place her back in the right context in his mind. She was the last person he'd expected to see here—she was always the last person he expected to see, though she held top priority in those he hoped to see. She was no longer a guest star in his dreams. She was his leading lady.
He knew very well that she hadn't seen him yet. If she had, she would have bolted from the dimly lit club as if on fire, becoming a mere mirage on his part. She liked to keep him contained, at her desire, forever upholding the childish notions of their youth. The ability to live without ties.
It used to be easy for him, effortless to turn things on and off, until she disrupted the flow of women that streamed through his bedroom door. She had once upon a time been one of his many—her telling him she didn't want to be labeled as such is something he still hears in the depths of his mind, tormenting him as he can still taste the remnants of her on his lips or the way his sheets still smell like her when he brings the next woman back to his apartment after a charity event.
He'd wanted to fight her on the issue when she stormed into his dorm room all those years ago, to tell her that she didn't have to be one of the many. She could be the only one that he allowed in his life, in his mind, in his heart. All she had to do was want that too. But she hadn't. She'd wanted to cut ties that were too constrictive, cutting too deeply into her flesh. She was already anticipating the scars. She wanted to start fresh with someone who would never put her through the embarrassment of seeing him with another woman.
He knew it was worse that she knew the other women didn't mean anything. He didn't have to hurt her like that. He just did. And just like that, he watched her leave, assured if not pleased with the outcome of her speech. Gone were the playful nights out, running around campus and kissing her against the stone walls and treating her to coffee. It was back to the faceless sea of the masses.
Her visits didn't start up again for about a month after her announcement that she couldn't be with him anymore. He knew when he saw the wild look in her eyes as she stood there, shivering on his doorstep, that nothing had changed. He knew she wouldn't be there when he woke up, he knew that he couldn't bring her coffee in the newsroom the next day or take her to a movie the following Friday. Her presence was about immediacy.
Something he'd been missing as well since their last meeting. His door had never been closed for her. He ushered her in, along with this new era of their relationship. This time, there were no words. She didn't want to hear them and he was afraid to speak them. He knew they'd come out wrong somehow—never enough, never what she needed. So they rendezvoused in silence, save for sweet moans he elicited from her throat and their out of breath panting in unison toward dawn.
She never came with enough frequency for him not to entertain the idea of finding her, but too often for him to actually break down and do so. It continued well after both had left the hallowed halls of Yale University. The day he moved off campus, out of the state, he assumed away from her immediate realm of instant self-gratification, it was bittersweet for him to wonder how easy he would be for her to replace. After all, he was just one step up from her being left to her own devices.
He'd pulled her to him with ferocity the first time he opened his penthouse door to find her waiting there, that look never wavering from her eyes. He held her tightly for a good minute, he swore she let him hold her just this once, until she playfully pushed him back over the threshold and took no time in finding his new bedroom.
He knew nothing of her life. Now, sitting here on this barstool on the opposite end of the counter from her as she nursed her own cocktail, he could only assume she too lived in New York.
It was her, there was no doubt. No one else had eyes with the ability to break his heart even without meeting them head on. A collision with her was always fatal. No one else would stare into a chocolate martini for ten minutes, bang their fist on the counter before taking one long, smooth drink, finishing it off in its entirety as if she were being forced to do so.
She was upset, that much was for sure. She held up her glass to signal her need for another round to the bartender, and he observed her, enraptured. Gone was the shitty day he'd had that had wound him up here, ready to drink for a while alone before meeting up with the rest of his life later this evening and playing the part that had been scripted for him. She was all he could see, and he remained silent in hopes that she might stay longer for him to pretend. Pretend she was a part of his everyday landscape. That she was here for him. That her frustration now would land her on the other side of his door later this evening.
He sometimes wondered if he was just a real life stress toy in her mind. Something she pulled out when life wasn't going her way. To remind her of some old lesson learned.
He only knew she hadn't sought him out this time. This was his chance for initiation.
He watched as she swallowed two more drinks, and on the next sweep of the bar, it was his turn to beckon the bartender, slipping him a fifty and specific instructions along with a scribbled upon napkin. The bored-looking man raised his eyebrow and nodded before moving off to fulfill his requests. Now, he would wait.
Her face always told a story, she was more expressive than most, and he watched her confusion build as the bartender slid the tall glass of water in front of her instead of her fourth painkiller. At her descent into protest, the other man held up his hand in surrender, informing her he was just the messenger. It was then he handed her the napkin.
Confusion melted away to show distress. Her eyes darted up from the napkin and all around the bar, scanning and searching. By the time her glance landed on his barstool, it was too late, he'd vacated for a closer view.
"It's an open offer, Ace," he said from behind her, his words deposited directly into her ear.
"What are you doing here? You live," she began as she swiveled around to face him, shaking her head in disbelief. He noted her hands were also trembling as she still held his soft note.
"I work downtown," he cut her off, not wanting to make her ask. He revealed nothing she couldn't have assumed on her own.
"I assume you won't tell me anything as to what brought you here?" he paused, her answer in her recast gaze, fixated now on the opening door to the establishment. "But will you turn down a warm cab ride and an even warmer bed?"
Head-on collision. She met his gaze and the stirrings of compliance were present. He saw the wild look, the need, the hurt, everything. It was all there.
She nodded, tucking his note in her purse as he threw money down to cover her tab. She walked quickly ahead of him, hailing the cab, not needing to turn around to know he was right behind her, ready to go another round without explanation.
It was the next morning, sunlight streaming through his window as he groped at his blaring alarm, that he found it. Laying where his misplaced dreams had positioned her sweet face was the bar napkin that he'd sent over to her the night prior.
I think it's high time you slowed down and considered another kind of nightcap. As much as angry works for you, you need to find an outlet for all that aggression. Just a suggestion.
He saw new writing, in lipstick no less, just underneath his scrawl.
Such truer words were never uttered.
He got the feeling she was writing him off, or trying to, once again. Sighing, he tossed the covers back and wondered how long he'd have to wait until the next time.