Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men, the song "Sometime Around Midnight", or the artist The Airborne Toxic Event. They belong to their respective owners and I'm not making money off of this.
Author's Note: I heard the song "Sometime Around Midnight" by The Airborne Toxic Event this morning and I got the images for this story (inspired by the song) as well as the song stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Lyrics are in bold italics, flashbacks are in regular italics.
Another bar. Another drink. It all seemed monotonous but it was a break from the mansion and the little brats. It had become the Friday night routine of Hank, Piotr, and I. We sat at our same booth in the back of the bar, away from all the noise and had the same drinks, and was waited on by the same waitress every night.
And it starts
sometime around midnight,
I made my way over to the bar, not wanting to wait for Lola, or whatever her name was, to make her way back to our booth in order to ask for a refill. The place is crowded, more than usual, and it seems to take me forever to make my way to the bar.
Or at least that's when you lose yourself
for a minute or two.
The bar itself was crowded and the bartender was busy. I looked around the room as I waited; trying to figure out what brought these people here. Most of it seemed to be about sex or a bad week at work.
As you stand
under the bar lights.
And the band plays some song
about forgetting yourself for a while.
The band wasn't even good, but most of the people didn't seem to care. It just gave them an excuse to dance and move too close to strangers, near skin to skin, that they beat could be wrong and the singer could be out of tune and it wouldn't have bothered them. The wind seemed to change and I caught a familier scent, of lilies, fresh air, and a hint of me. It had been nearly a year since I had smelled it and I wasn't sure at first. Then my eyes followed where the scent was coming from and I realized who it was.
And the piano's this melancholy soundtrack
to her smile
And that white dress she's wearing
you haven't seen her for a while.
She was gorgeous, like the last time I saw her. She was dressed in white and smiling. Her arms and legs up to her knees were bare. She seemed so exposed. I'd never seen her like this in public. Our eyes met for a brief second, but she went on about what she was doing.
But you know
that she's watching.
I stand there and try to ignore her. If she wants to talk to me, then she will come over here and talk to me. If she doesn't want to talk then I won't force her. But that doesn't mean I won't watch her, I thought.
She's laughing, she's turning,
She's holding her tonic like a cross.
Some man wearing a trench whispered in her ear and she smiled and laughed, and turned around to face him with her drink in hand. I knew that drink. It was one of the few that could even start to give me a buzz, it should have been too strong for her. She should have been falling down, then again, she has a lot of me in her. Part of me wanted to hate the idea of it, but another part of me secretly loves it.
The room's suddenly spinning.
I turn back to the bar, wishing the bartender would hurry up so I could go back to my seat and try to forget she is here.
She walks up and asks how you are.
I feel a hand on my shoulder and the whisper of a familiar voice. "How you doin'?" She asks.
So you can smell her perfume,
Her scent became stronger. I can smell just her and her perfume. The one I got her a couple Christmases ago. The one she wore the last night I saw her.
You can see her lying naked in your arms.
And the scent brings me back to what had happened that last night.
I was lying in bed, trying to forget about what had happened over the past month, the friends we had lost. Jean. Scott. Xavier. I hear a knock on the window and I jump at first. I go to the window to see what is there. I was never one to back down from danger. The sight I saw wasn't really dangerous at all. The kid, woman, I thought we had lost as well, was holding onto the eve, she had somehow climbed up the side of the building and on such a rainy night. I raise the window but I can barely do anything else at first.
"Are you going to let me in or just let me hang here all night?" She says and I reach out a hand to help pull her up. She is wearing black leather gloves. Maybe she backed out. Maybe she is just the same as the day she left the mansion. She takes off her soaking gloves and lays them on the radiator, grabs a towel lying around my room and dries her hair.
"So…" I say, trying to make myself feel like I just wasn't staring at her soaking form.
"You got any clean clothes?" She is probably the only person to not be afraid to ask me for anything. I don't even answer her, I just find a clean white t-shirt and a pair of sweats and hand them to her. She doesn't bother leaving the room; she just turns around and looks over her shoulder, signaling for me to do the same. I turn, but I can hear her every move. She strips down before she bothers to put my clothes on. I turn around when she is finished and realize she doesn't reach for her gloves. I make the move to grab mine, but she stops me.
"I don't need them anymore." She tells me.
"So you did…" And she shakes her head. "You can still come back, I think the others, Bobby would be glad to know you're alive."
"I don't want to come back."
"Then you should at least tell…"
"It is better if they think I'm dead."
"Then why are you here?" I ask her. If you want to convince people you are did, it isn't going to work if you just show up to where they live.
"I wanted you to know. And I…" Her cheeks flush. I can smell her embarrassment and want. She moves closer to me and places a hand to my face. I kiss her hand, trying to encourage her to tell me what she wants. She leans the side of her face into my chest and buries her head under my chin to where I can't see her face. "I wanted the first person I…I touched and umm…to be someone who I cared about and that I knew cared about me." I felt her face heat up through my shirt. This was more than just a touch she wanted.
"What about Bob—" She cut me off.
"He doesn't care for me the same way you do. You promised to take care of me."
"I didn't…you're…what…" I took a deep breath. "Are you really asking me what I think you're asking me?"
"I think so."
"But you're…your first time should be special."
"Logan, has it ever occurred to you that I'm closer to you than anyone else? I know it won't be your first." I suddenly remembered every memory of every adulterous night I had before coming to this place, she knew. How could she want me after that? "But I know I won't regret it…. I'm leaving here and I don't know where I will end up. But I still want this. I want to know the first time I really let someone touch me is something I won't regret and with someone who knows me, not someone who just thinks they know me." I couldn't deny she was beautiful. She had quit blushing and was being the assertive woman she had blossomed into while I was gone on one of my searches. I couldn't stop looking at her. Part of me was screaming 'she's just a little girl, this would be wrong' but another part of me reminded me she had grown up a long time ago. Those white streaks were a reminder of that and a reminder of one of our first ties.
And after a moment's hesitation, I relaxed. I took her face in my hands and I kissed her. And it all spiraled out from there. We walked back to my bed, lips interlocked the whole time.
And so there's a change
in your emotions.
And all these memories come rushing
like feral waves to your mind.
We started to undress. I no longer cared about all the wrongs this was, because they were now the world's wrongs, not mine. All that mattered was she wanted me and I wanted her.
Of the curl of your bodies,
like two perfect circles entwined.
And you feel hopeless and homeless
and lost in the haze of the wine.
I had become drunk with her scent and the feel of her skin next to mine. I had had been with many women, but I don't remember ever really making love to a woman. We were silent because we didn't need words. We rarely ever did. She understood me and I understood her. Her lips against mine made me wonder why I hadn't longed for her in this way before. Or maybe I had and just shook my head at the idea. She was amazing and perfect and happy.
The way she looked at me, eyes almost closed, lips parted, and the sweat making her face glow, was seared into my brain.
That image still keeps me up some nights.
We fell asleep with our bodies still naked and entwined. When we woke up before there was even a hint of light outside, she simply kissed me, smiled, got dressed in her clothes and left the way she came.
"So are you going to ignore me?" She asked me.
"Sorry, just got lost in thought." I said shaking my head. I had to hold back the urge to pull her into my arms.
"That isn't like you."
"And this isn't like you." I told her, meeting her eyes. "Come back."
"I can't." She didn't even bother explaining.
Then she leaves
with someone you don't know,
She walked out of the bar on the arm of the guy in the trench she had been talking to earlier.
But she makes sure you saw her;
She looks right at you and bolts.
She took a second to turn around and smile at me before the door closed behind her.
As she walks out the door,
your blood boiling, your stomach in ropes.
I left my empty glass and headed back to the table. I could wait for the waitress to make her way back to our table in order to get another drink. I'll order a bottle of the strongest whiskey and down it in one long gulp.
Oh and when your friends say,
"What is it? You look like you've seen a ghost."
"Logan, are you okay? You look pale." Hank asked after I sat down.
"You look like you've seen a ghost." Piotr added.
"Maybe I have." For all they knew, I had. To them she is dead. No one ever knew of the night she came to my room. The night she gave me her virginity and I gladly took it. When I finished my bottle of whiskey, I left enough to cover all our drinks and a nice tip. I get up and leave on my own.
Then you walk
under the streetlights,
And you're too drunk to notice
that everyone is staring at you.
You just don't care what you look like,
the world is falling around you.
I just walked down the streets trying to forget her scent. Trying to forget that she ever existed, trying to forget I ever loved her. But I can't.
You just have to see her.
You just have to see her.
You just have to see her.
You just have to see her.
You just have to see her.
You know that she'll break you in two.
I go back to my room. It doesn't take me long to realize someone has been in there. I look around and notice something shining on top of the chest of drawers. It is one of my dog tags, and a note.
"Just wanted you to know that without you I'm dead. But this time you can't save me." I was left with one tag; the tag they take off to count those killed in action. She kept the other one to remind everyone of who she was, who she belonged to.
Little did she know I was dead without her too.