Logan hated hotels that rented rooms by the hour. Everything in them was sleazy, from the people manning the desks to the pictures on the walls. But they were cheap and, more importantly, plentiful.

"How long you need it?" the man behind the desk asked. His eyes slid past Logan to Scott, who was shivering and a terrifying blue-grey near the door. The man looked back at Logan and sneered.

"We'll take the whole night." If Scott still didn't want to go back to the mansion tomorrow, they'd find a better place to stay. One where people didn't automatically assume they'd be having sex, especially when one was near death.

Money and keys were exchanged, and they were back outside in the cold. Logan wrapped his hand around Scott's wrist and pulled, searching for their room. His sensitive hearing could pick out every activity in each room they passed. Drugs, sex, deals of every kind. No matter where you went, things stayed the same.

Room 215. Bingo.

"In," Logan said, propelling Scott through the door of their room.

Scott shivered. Wrapped his arms around his body. He stopped just inside and looked around. "Wow," he said. "I f-feel d-dirty." His eyelids drooped and he swayed.

He locked the door and hooked the chain. Glanced around and sniffed. The room wasn't horrible. Logan had stayed at worse. This one, at least, smelled like dust, Windex, and bathroom cleanser instead of blood and semen.

Still. "Do you want to go somewhere else?" he asked, knowing that there was nowhere they could go except the mansion. And Scott's lips were already blue.

"No. This is fine."

Logan crossed the room to him. "You need to get out of those clothes. You're freezing." He pulled Scott's jacket off and dropped to the floor.

"Can you t-turn the heat up?"

"Sure." He went to the heater. Fiddled with it until he heard it turn on. Cranked it up, then returned to Scott.

Scott's numbed fingers were fumbling with the buttons on his shirt. Without a word, Logan knocked them away and did it for him. Cleared his throat. "You know, this ain't how I imagined doing this."

Scott laughed breathlessly. "Nothing is. I don't even..." His voice caught.

"Shh." Logan slipped the shirt over Scott's thin shoulders and let it drop on the floor. Pants followed, and Logan wished he could see Scott's eyes because he couldn't stop looking at his face. And the ruby quartz sunglasses were fastened on Logan's and everything seemed very slow all the sudden. Very heavy. "Step out," he told Scott when the jeans were puddled around Scott's ankles.

Scott held on to Logan's arms. Stepped carefully out of his jeans. Moved so their bodies were pressed together.

"You're like an ice cube," Logan said gruffly. "Get into bed."

"Yeah." Scott pulled away, obviously reluctant. Climbed under the covers and pulled them to his chin.

Logan stripped quickly. "Fastest way to warm you up is skin to skin contact, ya know. This don't mean anything." He climbed into bed with Scott. Pulled him close.

Scott turned on his side and pressed his back into Logan's front. His arms rested on top of Logan's, legs tangled together. Every muscle, though, was drawn tight. Stiff. Pulling himself away. Keeping himself apart.

And Logan had to ask. "You ever do this before?"

Silence. Then, "Yes."

Logan had to concentrate hard to keep his claws in. Keep from skewering them both. "You want to talk about it?"

A longer silence. A sigh. "I never think about it. It's so long ago, you know? I was just a kid. It didn't matter. Didn't seem to matter. It was like another life."

"How'd you end up on the street?"

"My powers developed. My foster family freaked out. Left me at the hospital and they kept doing test after test after test. And the state couldn't find anyone to take me in. I went to a group home and the kids beat me up and... I left."

"Was it bad the whole time?"

"It was never good. I couldn't open my eyes. It always seemed to be cold. I was always hungry. But I managed. And then... then it was really cold. and I hadn't eaten. I was so hungry." He shivered violently.

Logan readjusted his grip. Pulled Scott closer and rested his chin on the top of Scott's head. "What happened?"

"I was out, begging. And this guy pressed some money into my hand. Asked if I was hungry. When I said yes, he said that he could give me food and a warm place for the night. I only had to do a few things."

"Did you know what he wanted?"

Scott nodded. "Well, sort of. I mean, I'd heard the whole naughty touch thing before. But I was so hungry."

"I ain't judging."

"I know." He licked his lips. "It wasn't too bad. I mean, I wouldn't want to do it again, but they never hurt me. They just wanted a little boy to play with. I don't even really remember it."

"But you're thinking about it. Because of me."

Scott sighed. "I'm thinking about a lot of things lately. Like, why didn't Jean ever ask me about it. I know she knew. We were in each other's minds a lot. Well. She was in mine. Before we started having sex, we'd lay there in bed together. And she'd explore my mind. I always waited for her to ask, and she never did. Just like she never asked about you."

Logan frowned. Tried to think of something to say that excused her, but it was hard. Seemed like this was the kind of thing people talked about. Least people who dealt with this kind of thing. And even if Jean was too uncomfortable to talk about it, seemed like she'd tell the professor and let him deal with it.

He stroked Scott's stomach. "I guess she didn't know what to say."

"I guess." He sighed. "I don't think the professor knew. I hid it, best I could. She got in when my defenses were lowered, but otherwise... I didn't want anyone to think less of me. Even though I was just doing what I had to do to survive, I didn't want..." He sighed again.

Logan nuzzled his neck, wanting to give some comfort, any comfort he could.

"Earlier," Scott said, practically whispering, "I accused the professor of wanting to molest me. When I was a kid. When he told me about him and Magneto, all I could think..."

"Is that what brought this on?"

Scott shook his head. "I don't know." He sniffed. "I feel like I don't know who I am anymore. And I'm... I'm angry. At Jean. At the professor. At everyone." He leaned his head back. "Except maybe you. You're seem to be the only one not fucking with me right now."

"Oh?" He didn't know what to say to that.

He nodded. "I've go a hole in my head. Jean left it when she died, and it hurts. It's bleeding. Hemorrhaging. And I'm in pain."

Shit. They needed to get back. Back to the professor.

He sat up. "Why didn't you say anything?"

Scott pulled Logan back down. Snuggled against him. "I'm okay right now. The professor worked on it earlier. And I didn't say anything to you because I thought they were just headaches. Stress. Depression. Whatever. But then it just hurt. I was having dreams where I start bleeding out my nose and eyes and don't stop. Just drown in blood and it hurts so much."

"You sure you're okay right now?" Logan moved his hand to Scott's temple and caressed it gently.

"Yeah. The pain is gone for now."

"For now. So the pain will come back?"

Scott nodded. "The professor said it'll take until it's healed." His chin trebled. "And I'm just.. so angry. It's not fair. I mean, haven't I been through enough? Why can't I just... Just move on? Mourn and go on? Why does everything have to be pain? Why can't something just be... be good for once?" he asked, his final words a sob.

Logan froze. His hand was splayed over Scott's bare stomach, just above the elastic band of his briefs.

So much pain. They'd both been dealing with it since Jean's death, but Scott...

He was warmer now. No longer shivering. When Logan rolled Scott onto his back, he saw Scott's lips were pink once more, and not the terrifying blue. When he covered Scott's mouth with his own, they were warm and moist. Pliant.

Logan didn't know what he was doing. What he should do. All he wanted was to stop the pain, if only for a moment. To give Scott something that could take him away from here and now and all the pain.

He moved down Scott's neck. Licking soft, creamy skin. Nipped along the length, drawing blood to the surface. Gently, though. No pain. It wasn't his nature, but this was... important.

" Logan." Scott's fingers threaded through Logan's hair. His body rose. Back arched. "Oh, God."

He wasn't saying stop. Didn't seem scared. Only aroused. But pained, and how could Logan have missed it? The tension, the pain, constant, always there every day. How had he let it go unnoticed? He was supposed to be taking care Scott, and he'd failed.

He wasn't going to fail anymore.

Carefully, feeling as if he were embarking on an extremely dangerous mission, Logan made his way down Scott's chest. Laved at the tightly pearled nipples, drawing tight gasps from Scott. Stroked over too-thin sides, down to damp underwear. Hooked his fingers under the waistband and drew them down.

Every sense was filled with Scott. The sound of the blood rushing through his veins. The taste of sweat and the tang of sea salt. The feel of soft skin. The sharp, heady smell of arousal and desire and salt and semen.

And more. Scott making soft noises. Little gasps, half-bitten off words. His limbs moving over the bed, uncertain what to do. One moment in Logan's hair, the next knotted in the sheets, before back caressing Logan's skin once more. Hips moving, head falling back. Straining to be buried deeper in the warmth and wetness surrounding him. Arching away only to rush back, almost crying at the loss of contact.

When he came, he did so silently. Mouth open, eyes squeezed tight so the warm glow behind the glasses was banked. His back came off the bed, arms flung wide. Body shook. Cheeks flushed. Muscles drawn tight until the very last and he collapsed on the bed, completely boneless.

Logan kissed and licked his way back up Scott's body. He was warm, now, radiating heat. Body flushed and dewy with sweat.

He didn't know what to say, so he just kissed Scott.

Scott kissed back, languidly. Almost lethargic. "Thank you," he whispered.

"It ain't fair," Logan said. He rubbed his thumb over Scott's jaw. "The pain. It ain't. She shouldn't have done it."

"She didn't know. And she tried to make it so it didn't hurt. But things just got fucked up." His mouth crimped. "Everything is so fucked up. And what's more, you should be the thing that's fucked up the most, but you're not. You're the only thing that's not hurting me right now. The only thing that makes me feel... feel real anymore." He smiled, even as a tear snuck its way out from underneath the glasses. "I know you don't think so, Logan, but I sort of think you might be a good guy."

Logan shook his head. "Naw. I ain't." He rested his chin on Scott's chest. "Maybe an okay guy."

Scott grinned. "Maybe. At the very least."