Secret of the Bottle

Author's Note: This is my first R/L Shipper, so be nice! I have read so many good ones, I had to try it out.

Disclaimer: I don't own anyone but my kids, and that's only until they are 18. Everyone else is owned by Marvel, etc. etc.

The song is 'Secret of the Bottle' by Jackyl.

For Mike, Always. As is everything I do.


I feel better when I'm drinking,
It just seems to ease my mind.
And all my worries and troubles,
They just seem to fade behind.

No one asked Rogue about her nightly trips to the nearby town, to the bars. Did they notice? Did she care if they did?


Was it her painful break-up with Bobby? The loneliness of her particularly cruel mutation? Logan's leaving again; presumably searching for more answers to his lost past? The ever-present voices in her head? Erik, Logan, anyone and everyone else?

Did she even know?

But every night, she was in the local tavern drinking whiskey, neat, no ice. Smoking Marlboros, one after, perched on a bar stool. Drinking until she was in a comfortable haze. Drinking until nothing hurt inside anymore.

Not noticing the admiring, lustful stares she constantly received, the leers drinking in her slim, shapely body, her curves poured into blue jeans and t-shirts. Her long gloves covering her hands and arms, keeping the fools around her safe. Her brown eyes not seeing anything but the scarred, dark wood of the bar, her brain not registering anything but when her glass was empty.

Oh, the secret of the bottle,
It may never be known.
So I'll raise my glass and propose a toast,
And this one baby, is for you.

She had finished at the school, wasn't sure about college, didn't want to get a job. She felt her life was in a complete state of limbo.

Charles was trying to help her control her skin, but remained, as usual, ambiguous about offering any advice. Scott, the new, unsmiling, stern, humorless Scott, had his toys; his cars and motorcycles, his endless electronic gadgets. Ororo spent her days in the greenhouses, planting and repotting, growing things from far away countries that had never seen the cold New York winters or the muggy, sticky summers. Kurt's days were devoted to the chapel he was building near the mansion, a miniature replica of the Vatican, his nights for prayers and scarring and Storm. Bobby had left for the University, taking Jubilee and Kitty with him, a giggling, carefree group, not even pausing in their excitement to say good-bye.

And Logan, well, Logan had left not long after Jean's funeral. It was almost a relief for everyone, to have him out of the house, his brooding, dark, angry temperament had kept nerves on edge.

A relief for everyone but Rogue.

She missed him. Missed him with a nearly palpable ache. Missed him so much she would look for him in dark corners, in the shadows of the woods that circled the school, on the seat of every motorcycle she passed when she drove away from the school with nowhere to go.

She would listen for his steps, the scuff of his boots on the wood floors that would wake her as he walked past her door when he came in late at night from missions with the X-men, working out in the gym, running through the forests, skulking in bars.

Oh, yes, Rogue knew his habits. Knew his sounds. As stealthy, as animalistic as Logan could act, Rogue had him in her head, in her soul. She knew his body language like it was a verbal communication all it's own. She could read his subtle and, well, not-so-subtle expressions, she could hear inflections in his speaking voice that even a telepath wouldn't pick up.

And she hungered for him, she grieved for him.


I start to laugh when I'm drinking,
I may even tell a joke or two.
Sometimes I even pretend
That I'm still in love with you.

Logan had left the mansion, but not to search for anything. He'd really run away this time and not for all the reasons everyone thought. Not to look for his past. Not because of Jean's death. Not because of his 'wandering ways'. He'd left because of Marie.


He'd said it to himself, if no one else, finally.

She haunted his nights, she crept into his day dreams. The older she got, the more beautiful she was, the way her eyes warmed him when she smiled. He had to get away from her.

She needed someone her age, someone from her generation. Someone with a future.

Not him.

Not his tortured past.

Not his uncertain present.

He found himself circling around the school. Far enough away that he wouldn't run into anyone he knew, but close enough that he could reach Westchester in a day.

If he needed to.

If he wanted to.

He couldn't make himself go any further away or move any closer.

And you ask me if I've felt pain,
After all that I've been through.
I've paid more than just my dues,
I've felt the pain of you.

He spent every evening in bars, drinking whiskey, neat, no ice. Smoking cigars, on after another, slouched on a bar stool. Trying to drink himself into that comfortable haze, until nothing hurt inside anymore.

Not noticing the admiring, lustful stares he constantly received, the leers drinking in his muscular, strong body, poured into worn blue jeans and tight t-shirts. His depression damping his rage, his bestiality, keeping the fools around him safe. His brown eyes not seeing anything but the scarred, dark wood of the bar, his brain not registering anything but when his glass was empty.

I feel the pain when I'm drinking,
It just don't seem to cut as deep.
And when I lay down without you,
It makes it easier to go to sleep.

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