Bar Time by Azurine

Logan/Peter. Ultimateverse.

Conversation by the koi pond. Began life as a response to a 15minuteficlets challenge, word #23. Word revealed at end of story.

To my Big Bad Beta for corrections and suggestions.

Huge Thanks
To everyone who offered their support and encouragement during that whole Manic Inquisitor plagiarism debacle a few months back. I received (and am still receiving) many, many emails and LJ comments from sympathetic parties, and I appreciate them all. I promise I am working on responding to each of them. :)

Date Completed October 14th, 2003

The dashboard clock says it's 2:09 in the morning when Logan pulls into the garage. He sits in the car for a minute, listening to the engine plink and tick.  Long enough to lose his nerve. He goes outside instead of in.

He makes a big circle around the house, ends up by the koi pond. Pats all the pockets that should hold a cigar, and comes up with nothing. Damn.

A huge white koi swims over and noses the surface into little bull's-eyes, looking for a tidbit. Logan pokes the button on his watch that makes the face light up.  It's 2:26. His nerve has yet to make a reappearance.  No nerve, no cigar.  Nothing to do but stare at a white fish and think.

Peter's pretty quiet for such a big man, but not nearly quiet enough to escape Logan's notice as he approaches. He stops somewhere behind and to the left of him, and Logan doesn't turn around.

He can actually hear Pete taking a deep breath before he speaks, filling his lungs with courage. "You're avoiding me."

"Trying to. You're not cooperating."

The wet grass squeaks under Peter's feet--they must be bare--as he comes a few steps closer.  There's a rustling that Logan thinks is probably an arm brushing up against the hedge.  More rustling, and Logan decides it's a bare arm.

Logan wills himself to not move. Not one fucking muscle.

"I'd tell you no one will find out, but we *do* live in a house with two telepaths," Peter says.  A pause.  "And Rogue."

"I don't care if they find out."

Peter doesn't say anything for a long time, but he doesn't go away, either.

"This isn't my thing," Logan says, when it becomes clear that Peter's silence is a question in itself.

"How do you know that?"

Logan snorts. "Because I think I'd remember--"

Remember. The word startles him, in a very unpleasant way. Like getting hit in the forehead with a rotten apple. Messy, and unexpected.

Because he can't remember, and he doesn't know what his thing was. And even if he did, would it mean that this can't be his thing now?

Against his better judgement, he glances over his shoulder. Peter is shirtless, looming ghost-like in front of the dark block of the hedge. His skin looks flawless in the moonlight. Strangely artificial, like he's in metal form. Like if Logan licked him, his tongue would glide over him so easily. . .

Logan looks away.

This isn't his thing.

Except six days ago it was. And three days before that, and the day before that.

He's never felt anything like that smooth body against his own, never felt anything like those hands that. . .God.  Peter's got those huge goddamn hands, strong like he's never known. Like he could do anything to him with those hands and make him want it, no matter what it was.

He's so big and so eager, and so fucking sure that Logan likes what he does to him, and Logan can't figure out if that makes Peter incredibly naive or just plain confident.

But it's true. He does like it. All of it. He likes the hot mouth and the grinding hips and the feel of a big, wide hand spread between his shoulder blades, pushing down, and the moans that could be coming from either one of them, or both.

All of it offered up to him without hesitation by this boy who wants him. No matter what he does, or what he says, Peter wants him. And shows him that, every chance he gets.

Shows him all kinds of things, like how the sharp rasp of a stubbled chin against his thigh can make him hard as a rock, and how unbelievably easy it is to adjust his definition of fucking. Shows him utter faith in him as a trusted friend, and quiet compassion for him as a flawed man.

And those last two, Logan thinks, are things he never knew he needed so badly.

Things he doesn't want to talk about or think about anymore tonight.

"It's late," Logan says. He doesn't know how late, but, shit, it was late starting on three or four hours ago, so that hasn't changed. He's not sure if it's his nerve that's come back, or a more primal urge, but he's sick of standing in the wet grass.

"Yeah, it is," says Peter.  "I'm going back to my room."  He takes a few steps before he glances back and says, "See you there."

Logan doesn't respond. Doesn't need to. Peter steps around the bushes and is gone.

The koi, still bobbing on the surface like a little submarine, realizes Logan didn't bring anything for it to eat and finally loses interest in him. It swims off, fading down and away into the pond. So perfectly silent it could be an apparition, except for the ripples it leaves behind.

Logan turns and starts back toward the house, following the pale beacon of Peter's back across the lawn.  Peter never once looks back to see if he's being followed, but the set of his shoulders tells Logan he knows he's there.  

The smell of him in the night air fills Logan's head, and all he can think is that this boy is his thing.

The End

The word is "late."

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