Another Kind of Love
Ah, the moon's too bright
The chain's too tight
The beast won't go to sleep
I've been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees
Or I'd crawl to you baby
And I'd fall at your feet
And I'd howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I'd claw at your heart
And I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please, please
I'm your man.
Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Man
It was time to go. Man didn't have to be a genius to figure out that if he was staying to win the girl, there wasn't no reason to stay anymore. Might as well get going while the going was good. His bags were packed, the bike ready to roll. And still Logan sat out here on the rock by the lake, letting the rain and the wind lash into his body. He'd come out here cause it reminded him of Sera and he wanted that one last memory before he left again.
Charm had come over today, grinning like a fool. Logan himself had opened the door and it didn't take him two seconds to figure out that something was up. Cause this time Charm didn't stammer when he said hello, or slink past like he was expecting Logan to beat on him. No, this time he smiled, and that was why Logan knew that the little game the three of them had been playing was over. It was nothing but clear that Charm had figured out a way to up the ante past anything Logan was willing to pay. Yeah, the man had finally figured out how to give Sera something Logan couldn't and it didn't take a lot of guessing to figure out what that was. Logan knew what Sera wanted; hell, everyone knew what Sera wanted. Just like everyone, himself included there, knew Logan wasn't the man to give it to her. So he was leaving, so he didn't have to see the look on Sera's face after all her dreams came true.
He'd given her what he could, he had. It was just that he wasn't the kind of guy who could give his life like that. Who could say he would stay and not be telling lies. He had no, what d'ya call em, illusions about himself. He'd never been able to give more than the basics of himself and it wasn't like anybody have ever wanted more from him. He was a fighter and sometimes a lover but he wasn't the kinda guy that made anybody's dreams come true. He was good at what he did, yeah, but what he did wasn't that good.
He snorted, yeah, and if that wasn't him to the bone. Not really a good guy, just a guy who sometimes hung out with the good guys. He knew all along he couldn't give Sera what she needed. Girl that wild, she needed someone to calm her down, not egg her on. Charm, dull as sin like he was, was that guy. The calming type o'guy, the kind of guy she could settle down with. She was the kinda woman who wanted forever, and that was way out of his hands.
He hadn't told the prof yet, but he knew ol'Chuck would understand. He always did. But before Logan went, he was gonna have this one last time of thinking about her before he tried to forget her like he had forgotten Jeannie before her. Gotta be a trend, him going so nuts over these women he could never have. These women who were too good for him, who always chose the better man. Or at least always chose the man he could never hope-- or want-- to be.
So here he sat, the wind driving the rain into his face, the water frothing at his feet and he tried to get up the will to leave this place again, so soon after he had gotten back.
A hand touched his shoulder and he didn't think that he ever ever been quite so caught off guard. The way the wind was, he couldn't get no scent but his own and the rain's, couldn't hear nothing but the storm. Even his senses had their limits. He jumped from the rock to the ground in one fluid movement. He felt pain in his hands and looked to see that he had popped his claws without thinking, looking for the threat.
It was Sera. She stood behind the rock, her hair pressed flat to her face and head by the rain, her long leather coat soaked and hanging limp against her body. Under the leather she was wearing white again, the fabric so wet he could see right through it. It was like deja vu, only this time he knew what he was seeing and it was like to drive him crazy. You won't need those, she said, her voice strangely calm, her eyes oddly wide. He could see rain catch on and drip from her long black lashes.
He pulled the claws back in, slowly. I guess not. What'cha want, Sera?
She took a hesitant step towards him, beginning to close the distance between them. Charm asked me to marry him today. It took all his effort not to back up, not to look away from her. He knew what was coming and he didn't want to hear. And yet she looked different, she looked... haunted. Not at all what he thought she'd look like.
I guessed. Congratulations. He knew he sounded bitter but he couldn't care.
She went on like he hadn't said anything. I put that ring on and it was like getting everything I ever wanted.
Her words twisted in his stomach. Yeah, that's great.
She was still talking; her words flowed right over his, like the rain. And I looked at it, there on my hand and I looked so normal, I looked just like I always wanted to.
There a reason you decided to share all this, Sera?
She focused on him then, her eyes meeting his so it was like a blow to his guts. So much feeling there, he couldn't even work out what it was, only knew it wasn't his.
Yeah, there is a reason I'm sharing. Cause that was when I took the ring off and handed back to Charm.
Her words were like ice; he was so shocked he couldn't move. He could barely force the next words past his mouth.
I gave it back. Cause looking at it there on my hand, looking at Charm there in my room and I knew I couldn't do it. I couldn't be what he wanted. Cause I'm not human. I wasn't even raised human. The students here, the teachers, they know how to be human cause they were raised that way. They had years to think they were human before they found out they really weren't. Me, I've always known I wasn't and I don't think I learn how now. I can't be Charm's wife because it's too human thing to do. I thought it was what I always wanted, the life I always wanted, but that's the thing with wishes. You should never make em. Cause what if they come true?
So what life do you want, Sera, if you don't wanna be human? You going back to the mountains?
Uh-uh. Cause I don't want my mom's life either, don't want to be that alone, that distant from humans.
So what life do ya want? he repeated and it occurred to him, distantly, that he was sounding a little desperate now.
I want my own. She took another step towards him and he could feel her emotions slid over him, into him. It was enough to draw him a step closer as well.
Yeah, darlin'? And what's yer life like?
She shook her head, spattering rain. There was a weird smile on her face, serene maybe or amazed. Don't know. Never had a real one before. She took another step closer.
What'cha doing, Sera?
Another head shake. Don't know. But there was a strange confidence to her words.
There anything you do know?
Her smile then was as bright as fire. Yeah. I know I want you. In my new life. I want you.
I can't give you none of the stuff that Charm can, girl. I ain't the man for ya. But he wanted to be. God, did he want to be.
You haven't been listening, Logan. I don't want that stuff, don't want that life. I want you.
I ain't the marrying type.
Good thing. Cause I'm not either. Aren't you paying attention here? It's a human thing and I'm not human. And, as luck would have it, neither are you.
You got a point somewhere in here? His body ached to just grab her and run, or drag her to the ground or something but his brain just kept arguing that it'd be helping her to make the stupidest mistake of her life.
Yeah. You mighta been human once, but whoever took your memory from you took that too. Now, all you know how to be is Wolverine, just like all I know how to be is Serendipity. You and I, we're the only two people on the whole earth who don't know what it is to be a human being.
And that don't make you want to run screaming?
She grabbed his face then, her hands wet and cold, and made him look her in the eye. Oh yeah, he coulda resisted, but he didn't want to. It was stupid, it was dangerous, but he wanted to see just how far she was willing to play this.
He looked at her eyes then, took her dare. And then she was in his mind, like she was that first time, only he knew it was coming this time and he didn't care. Hell, he wanted it, wanted that connection.
love desire impatience you're not listening so I had to show you
awe fear questioning this is how you feel about me
laughter you feel anyone else in here with us
shame darkness ain't the man for you darlin girl
annoyance you wanna let me make up my own mind fear or don't you want me
desperation confusion yeah but I don't know how this love stuff works
reassurance me neither can't we just learn together
despair panic hope I can't give you what you want
determination this is what I want this right now today I want today
passion desire restraint almost agony what about tomorrow
want need love conviction there is no tomorrow I-we-you always have today
almost lost desperation anguish I can't give you a future
certainty still pool of calmness in a fire of need I don't want a future
surrender no control need instinct want this
yes want this want you now
certainty possession yer mine
joy laughter like the taste of crisp apples oh yeah prove it
Her skin under his hands was cool and wet, her hair like soaked silk. The leather was a pain to get rid of, and the denim, but they managed. And then she was fire in his arms and he was burning up in the feel of her body and he didn't care. He managed just a few words out loud, his mouth against her wet skin, her scent in his lungs, I wanna give you the words, but I'm lousy at em, always have been. I'm lousy with words and I can't make you no promises. This is all I can give you.
Her response was almost lost in the rain and the fire. You don't need the words and I don't need the promises. This is all I want.
* * * * *
The heart of the storm was right above them now; every flair of lightening was answered, without pause, by thunder. There was something about the eye of a storm; the world seemed to stand still, in awe of the fury of nature. It was a time when anything could happen, anything could change. It was dark magic, it was prophecy and change, it was the end of the world and a new beginning.
The end of the world? Maybe. She had sent Charm away today, heartbroken, clutching her ring in his hands and she supposed some part of her felt bad for that, but it was out of her hands. He'd find someone new, someone better. Prince Charming deserved his princess. She only felt bad about the time he had wasted with her. Even a year ago, she could not have imagined it ending this way. Amazing what a few months can change.
A new beginning? Her eyes strayed to the man asleep in her bed, taking up all of the mattress. Even in his sleep, he looked wild. She wasn't kidding herself with him; there were no happy endings with this man. She knew he'd leave someday and she guessed that the day, too, would come when she would be the one to leave. It didn't matter, though, cause she figured they would always find a way to find each other again. That was enough of a commitment between them, that they would try. She guessed he'd been right when she said she was his. Road cut both ways there; he was hers now too. She knew he loved her, could feel the truth of it even if the words were beyond him. That was fine. There would never be any sort of formal ceremony between them, none of those solemn priests mouthing blessings and oaths. No rings, no words, no chains. She didn't care; they didn't need them. They had what they wanted from each other, knew what their bond was, even if there were no names for it. They matched in way that went beyond simple desire or even love. He was her mate and she was his; it was that basic a connection. Even if they never shared a name or a home or even any kind of a traditional family, that didn't change the truth of them. If it wasn't the way humans did love, well, too bad. It was they way they did it and it was good enough.
In the stillness after the thunder, she heard his voice, almost as low. You coming to bed, darlin' girl?
She grinned wickedly then as the edge of his feelings drifted across her mind. Bed, yeah, sleep, no. Yeah, I am.
Normalcy was overrated.
* * * * *
First, I want to thank everybody for their kind words. This is the first thing of any length I've written since college, so I'm glad people liked it.
Second, I'm anal enough that I want to give credit where due for inspiration:
Chapter four's title, and the poem referenced in it are from Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled.
Chapter seven's title, The Center Does Not Hold, comes from Yeats' poem, The Second Coming, which, in my opinion, is one of the best poems ever.
I've already credited Roosevelt W. for the lines in chapter nine but he's worth thanking again.
The title of chapter ten, and the lyrics given, are from Leonard Cohen, poet and songwriter, and his song, I'm Your Man. If you want a great example of Cohen's work, go out and rent Pump Up the Volume; the song Harry plays at the start of his show is Cohen's Everybody Knows. The movie also plays his song, If It Be Your Will.
And, last but not least, I need to thank my husband and Becky for being so supportive while I was being so incredibly silly. You guys know I love you.