The feeling of being watched.... that's what drew Logan up from the depths of dreamless sleep. His eyes slid open, only to narrow against the bright sunlight of early morning. Kiara sat propped up in the bed, watching him. When she saw that he was awake, a smile spread across her face.
"Did you spend the whole night in that chair?" Her words reminding a slightly hazy Logan exactly where he was and he could feel the muscles of his neck and back groan in protest against the uncomfortable position he'd maintained. He reached up with one hand and began to rub the muscles at the back of his neck, as he rolled his head to the side and felt the vertebrae crack and loosen.
"Not all of it..." Her face sobered and concern filtered into her amber eyes.
"Do you want to tell me about that nightmare you had?"
"No." It came out harsher than he'd intended and he winced.
"Logan..." There was a taint of fear behind the worry in Kiara's voice and he felt his throat tighten in response.
"Kiara, no... please... I just... can't." His eyes searched hers desperately, willing her to understand that it wasn't her fault he wouldn't talk about it. That it was nothing she had done. Some of the tension bled out of her and a small smile again graced her face. But one that failed to reflect in her eyes. Those beautiful eyes, filled with such concern for him. For *him*. God, if she only knew...
"Well, alright. Be stubborn," she laughed. "I have an appointment with your friends to do some shopping today, or I'd spend all morning dragging it out of you."
"Now that sounds like it would've been fun," Logan smirked.
Kiara's only response was a pillow launched at his face. He ducked just in time, a laugh rumbling up from his chest. He looked up to find Kiara standing in the middle of the room, her hands on her hips, staring at him in mock-anger. "I swear, Logan, is that *all* you think about?!"
Before she could react, he was out of the chair and had both arms wrapped around her. He buried his face in her hair and sighed. "No, not all." He could feel Kiara smile against his cheek and then she was pushing away from him.
"I have to take a shower and get dressed - I don't want to keep your friends waiting." As she bundled up her clothes and made for the bathroom, she looked over her shoulder at his raised eyebrow. "And no, Logan, you can *not* join me..." She shut the door against his laughter.
While the water was running, Logan took the opportunity to explore the room a little more. The tall pine tree just outside the window still blocked most of the view of the forest surrounding the mansion, but Logan didn't mind. It also meant that anyone passing below couldn't see directly into his room. He pulled open the top drawer of the dresser to find a row of white socks. The second drawer revealed a number of non-descript t-shirts. Third drawer had flannel shirts in it... He glanced over at the closet doors and slowly walked across the floor to pull them open. Hanging in a neat row were several pairs of blue jeans. A knock at the door brought his head around quickly.
"Jesus Christ..." he muttered, dumbfounded by just how much the team had beenprepared for his return. "Jean. It had to be Jean..." He swung the door open to reveal the woman in question. "Jean! What're you doing here?" She smiled at the touseled state of his hair and the rumpled sweatpants he wore.
"I hope I didn't wake you, Logan." He grinned and opened the door wider, motioning her in.
"Nah, was up already. Come on in." He closed the door behind her, and turned back to face her. She was looking at the still opened drawers and closet and smiling.
"Ah, good. So you found the clothes I left for you. Hope they fit you - I had to try to guess the sizes from memory."
"Memory?" he laughed, raising an eyebrow. Jean just smiled smoothly at him.
"Just who do you think undressed you when Scott and 'Ro brought you in that first night, Logan? With all those layers you were wearing, it would've made an medical examination nearly impossible."
"You just wanted to get my shirt off," he smirked and Jean let out another laugh.
"In your dreams, Logan. Now, I'm here because 'Ro and I want to take Kiara shopping." Her head tilted towards the closed bathroom door. "She still in the shower?" As she said it, the water shut off.
"Well, just let her know that, when she's ready, to meet 'Ro and I in the rec room, alright?" Jean said, as she opened the door to leave. "Oh, and Logan?"
"Try not to ruin ALL the clothes we bought you, ok?" Jean said, motioning with her head towards the floor near the bathroom, as she shut the door. Logan turned to where she'd indicated, to see his shredded shirt and jeans still lying on the floor where he'd left them last night... After his shower with Kiara... The sound of his laughter followed Jean down the long hallways.
When a giggling Kiara drove off down the long drive with Jean and 'Ro, Logan felt a moment of panic. Panic that they were separated, if even for only a few hours. Stuffing it ruthlessly down inside, he returned to their room, threw on a pair of sweats and headed for the gym.
Two hours later, after nearly knocking the punching bag off its hook and lifting weights until the veins on his arms were ready to pop through his skin, he felt mildly better. After returning the weights to their racks, he pulled the sweat soaked shirt off and headed for the showers. He'd only just finished changing into the street clothes he'd brought with him, when Scott entered the locker room. He looked up at him briefly, saw the look on the younger man's face and scowled.
"Don't you ever give up, Cyke?" he growled, as he threw the discarded sweats into the hamper against the wall. Scott crossed his arms and leaned against the wall.
"You have to talk to someone sometime, Logan," came the quiet response. "Yeah? Well why should you think it'd be you? And why the hell do you even *care*?"
"Because Jean is worried. She woke up crying last night, and all she would tell me was that you'd had another nightmare," Scott said, before adding quietly, "and because I know you won't talk to Kiara about it." Logan's head snapped up, about to tell him to go to hell, but his mouth just opened and then shut. He couldn't say it. Shit...
"Shit..." he repeated out loud, sitting down on the bench heavily.
Rubbing his face with a tired hand. He felt Scott's weight settle on the bench next to him. "Don't even think about putting an arm around me, Cyke, or you lose it at the elbow... I am not having a breakdown," he growled.
"Wouldn't even think of it, Logan," Scott replied, smothered laughter evident in his tone. Logan looked up at him, eyebrow raised.
"Glad I could make you laugh, One-Eye," he muttered, a smile quirking his own lips.
"Always, Logan. Always. So... what about this dream?" Damn, he should've known Mr. Tenacious wouldn't let him off easily...
"All I can remember when I wake up, is seeing Kiara lying on some kind of tiled floor. Like in a lab..." He shivered involuntarily at the memories and tightened his grip on the jacket he held in his hands.
"Do you think it's more memories?" Scott's voice was slightly hesitant.
"No. Jean was there... and 'Ro.... and you, I think... It's not a memory."
"A premonition then?" Logan shivered again in fear.
"God, I hope not, Cyke.... cause in my dreams, I'm not sure she's breathing..." Foreboding danced with its icy fingers down the length of his spine. Unable to handle anymore, Logan stood up abruptly, swinging his jacket over his shoulder. "Alright, One-Eye, that's enough. I'm out of here..."
"Logan," Scott said, standing quickly. "Where are you going?"
"Relax, Cyke, I'm just going for a walk of the grounds, to clear my head. And Cyke?"
Logan popped a claw and held it up before him. "Not a word of this to *anyone*, you hear me? Not even Jean." Scott looked like he was about to protest, but then simply nodded. Logan glared at him one last time, before retracting the claw and disappearing through the door leading outside.
He returned to the room after his walk, and knew, before he'd even opened the door, that Kiara was back. He could smell the warm, spicy scent that was *her* in the air outside their room. He could hear the sounds of bags being opened and hangers rattling in the closet. He swung the door open and Kiara whirled to face him, a long midnight blue dress in her hand.
"Hey there, stranger," Logan laughed. "Have fun shopping?"
Kiara blushed as she followed his eyes down to the bags that lay strewn across their bed. "Um... yeah," she giggled. "Jean and 'Ro were very sweet - they helped me pick out a lot of it."
"I'll bet." Kiara scowled at his groan.
"If you ever want to see me in any of it, mister, you'd better keep your groans to yourself," she snapped, continuing to hang up clothing as she spoke.
"When were you planning on wearing that dress? Looks mighty fancy for dinner at the school." She shrugged and glanced over her shoulder at him, one eyebrow raised.
"Oh, that's just in case I ever need something nicer to wear. What I was talking about is over there in the top drawer..." Logan walked to the dresser and pulled the drawer out. All his eyes registered was a lot of coloured silk and revealing lace. His mouth went dry...
"Complaining about me going shopping now?" Kiara snickered from behind his right shoulder. He swallowed and laughed.
"No complaints here..." Another laugh.
"Good," Kiara's voice sounded smug and self-satisfied and it made his hands itch to feel the sensation of that liquid silk covering her skin... sliding against it...
"Wanna try something on now?" he grinned, as he turned to face her. She swatted his arm playfully, but then her face grew serious.
"Not now, Logan. Later. Now, I'm suppose to meet Jean and the Professor in the medlab.... So they can look inside my head..." She couldn't mask the shudder that ran down her spine and Logan reached out quickly to enfold her in a hug.
"S'okay, darling, it doesn't hurt, I promise. And I'll be there with you the whole time." She nodded against his chest and then straightened. "Well, let's get this over with before I lose my nerve." He looked down into her eyes for a moment longer, brushing the hair from her forehead. When a slight smile finally appeared on her face, he nodded and took her hand in his. Led her out of the room and down the long hallway that led to the stairs. To the elevator on the first floor... The one that led to the parts of the mansion that were hidden from casual eyes. The whole time he was torn between warring emotions. Burning to finally have a face, a name, of someone to track down. Someone on whom to take out all the frustration and rage of fifteen years without a past. And yet, looking down surreptitiously at Kiara's strained face, he desperately hoped that having to put her through all of this would be worth it. That having someone in her head, reliving her horrific memories, wouldn't damage her further. Wouldn't hurt her more than she'd already suffered...
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