Sweet Nothings by Azurine
Date Completed August 18th, 2004.
Gambit tugs his T-shirt over his head and wrestles his arms into the sleeves. His skin is still warm and damp from the shower, and the worn cotton clings to his shoulders and chest as he leans against the bathroom sink and takes in his reflection. The welt under his right eye is hard to resist, and he gingerly probes it until the ridge of hard and angry flesh practically shouts beneath his finger. He sighs softly at his pathetic image in the mirror, then flexes his shoulder experimentally, just to make sure it still hurts like hell.
*Everything* hurts like hell.
He runs a hand through his wet hair and sighs again. He feels like he shouldn't dawdle, but it's probably pointless to rush. The odds he’ll get out of this room before Logan shows up are slim. Very slim.
The knob on his bedroom door clatters on cue, and then there is a thud and a muttered curse as the person on the other side runs smack into a door that is unexpectedly locked. Gambit chokes back a laugh at the mental image.
There is the faint sing of metal and then his door bursts open to disgorge one very angry Wolverine. Gambit sighs. Another deadbolt has bitten the dust.
“What the fuck?” Logan’s shout rings out in time with the slamming door, and Gambit winces at the pain that flares in his aching head at the combined racket. He turns and exits the bathroom. No avoiding it now.
Logan is standing between the door and the bed. Dripping wet. Barefoot. Scowling. Wearing a pair of jeans that are zipped but not buttoned. There is a grass stain on one knee, a stain that Gambit himself was the cause of, just yesterday afternoon. Which means the jeans are dirty, probably snatched from the bathroom floor as Logan stepped from the shower. In a hurry. Clothes and towels a waste of time, a delay.
“Hello, Logan.” Gambit makes his way to the dresser on the far wall, begins to dig through the top drawer in search of two socks that are vaguely similar. He checks the mirror above the dresser, his own bruised face hanging there in the foreground, Logan’s balled fists and scowling face in the background. Here it comes.
“What the hell were—“
“My job, same as you.”
“Same as me?” Louder now. Angrier. Sarcastically incredulous. “Last time I checked, you weren’t the same as me. Last time I checked, you didn’t have a goddamned healing factor.”
Gambit shrugs, shuts the drawer. Sits down on the bed with his back to Logan. He begins to pull on his socks. This is the part where Logan rants and raves and sometimes breaks stuff. It started, out of blue, almost a month ago, and Gambit is starting to think it's not going to stop.
Which is a depressing thought, because up until he started pulling this shit, Logan had been pretty much the world's best fuck-buddy.
In fact, just thinking about Logan and fucking makes Gambit completely miss his sock with his foot.
It takes two more tries to get his sock on, and then he straightens to rub the aching muscles of his neck. Logan begins to pace back and forth on the other side of the bed, like a pissed off tiger.
Logan's dark eyes fix on him, daring him to say something. He normally doesn't, because it's simply easier to let Logan vent and be done with it. Maybe the pain is making Gambit cranky today--he hasn't been this battered in a long time--but he's getting really tired of Logan analyzing every move he makes on missions. Tired of Logan treating him like a dumb rookie.
“I’m not hurt. I saved the kid. It’s over.”
A snort, and the pacing stops.
“Not hurt, huh?” In the mirror, he can see just enough of Logan to know he’s crossed his arms over his chest. Lecture stance. “You. Were. In. A. Tree.”
“And you were on fire.” He pulls the second sock on, wonders where his boots are. He’d like to have his boots on. He hasn't yet figured out why he always feels at a disadvantage if he doesn't.
“I told you to get back to the plane.” Logan's voice is getting louder. The shouting will start any second now.
“You’re not in charge.”
“I don’t care!” Yep. There's the shouting.
Gambit turns to look at him, and tries not to wince at shooting pain in his neck. His voice is calm, but not calm enough to hide the fact that he's very, very angry. “You’re a good fighter, Logan, but you don’t know everything. You can’t make all the decisions in the field, and I’m not going to check with you every time I throw a punch. Get over yourself, old man. You’re not the decision-maker.”
“I know that.“
“But you think I should do what you tell me anyway?”
"I think you should stop acting stupid."
And just like that, Gambit goes from very, very angry to downright pissed off. He twists around and launches himself across the bed at Logan, and if he weren't so furious at him, the surprise on Logan's face would be downright comical.
Logan blurts, "Jesus Christ!" and brings his hands up, and they fall to the floor in a tangle of wet hair and swear words. Gambit lands on top, where he gets his hands around Logan's throat and digs in as he tries to pin Logan's arms beneath his knees.
Logan's hips buck beneath him, and Gambit recalls that just yesterday they did this outside on the grass, only they weren't angry at each other then, and it only took about two minutes for it to lead to nudity and blow-jobs.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Logan grits out, his voice strangled and breathless, both arms trapped uselessly beneath Gambit's legs.
Gambit loosens his grip a little. He's not actually trying to *kill* Logan--not that he could if he wanted to. He stops trying to choke him and starts banging his head on the floor instead. The sound it makes is oddly pleasing.
Thunk. "You're an asshole." Thunk.
Logan's face is nearly purple, either from anger or oxygen deprivation. "Stop doing that!"
Thunk. "Stop telling me what to do." Thunk.
Thunk. "Is made of metal. You'll be fine." And it'll be over soon. Gambit is exhausted and sore and this is probably hurting him more than it hurts Logan. He does it again anyway. Thunk.
Logan lifts his hips again, nearly tossing Gambit to the floor, and almost gets his left arm free. When Gambit presses down, the pain that shoots into his damaged kneecap is paralyzing. That one-second opening is all Logan needs, and while Gambit's still gasping from the agony in his knee, Logan gets a hand around his throat and starts squeezing. It hurts things that are already hurting, but Gambit holds on.
Which seems irritate Logan even more. "Stop it, you crazy. . ."
"You stop it," Gambit wheezes with what little air he has left in his lungs.
Logan lets go of Gambit's neck and instead plants his palm underneath Gambit's chin and starts pressing up, forcing his head back. Gambit's neck muscles scream, and Gambit nearly does, too. Logan keeps pushing. Back and back and back and back…
Gambit lets go of Logan's neck.
The pushing stops.
Gambit lets his head fall forward, and that hurts almost as much as the pushing did. Logan gets his other arm out from under Gambit's knee and they sit there for a moment, panting and rubbing their necks.
"That hurt," Logan says, sounding slightly petulant. Which Gambit would normally find endearing, simply for the rarity of it alone, but today he's not easily swayed.
"It's your own fault for acting like an insufferable asshole. I don't know what the fuck you want --"
"I don't want you to die, you stupid son of a bitch," Logan snaps, then glares at him the way he always does when he feels like he's revealed something he'd rather stayed hidden.
Gambit stops rubbing his neck. Then, slowly, he smiles. He smiles so big it makes his puffy eye hurt.
Logan stops rubbing his neck, too. "What?" He's clenching his jaw so hard it's more of a grunt than a word.
The smile gets even bigger, and now Gambit can't even *see* out of his puffy eye. "You love me," he says, and if he's ever sounded this smug before, he doesn't remember it.
Logan's jaw stops clenching and *drops*. "What?"
"You love me."
The jaw goes back to being clenched. "Shut up." He moves so quickly Gambit doesn't have time to do anything but hit the floor with his ass as Logan pushes him off his legs and gets to his feet.
"You do," Gambit says, leaning back on his elbows and grinning up at Logan. He sounds so damn pleased with himself he thinks it might make Logan blow a gasket.
Instead, Logan says, "Fuck you. I'm leaving." He tries to slam the door behind him as he stalks from the room, but it bounces against the frame and ends up wide open.
"Don't you want to find out if I'm gonna say it back?" Gambit calls after him.
Logan's reply is laced with so much profanity they'll probably have to scrub the walls in the hallway.
Gambit collapses onto his back on the floor and grins some more. When he turns his head, he sees his boots under the bed, right where he left them.
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