Between the Darkness and Light

by Talya Firedancer

Part Thirty-two

The party was foreordained, and if not of exactly legendary proportions, it was a helluva sight better than a wake.

No matter what there was always going be a post-duel party, of course; Logan was pretty sure the kids had the planning all worked out long before the outcome of the fight had been decided. Either way, the bases had been covered and a hundred pizzas were rolling through the door -- on Hank's card, judging by the way the delivery boy called him up to the front to sign for them. Whether or not Hank had ordered them was someone else's headache. Bobby Drake was in the dining hall chilling a couple cases of Pepsi, someone had put a night's worth of music on the CD deck, and cries of 'speech, speech!' had gone up the moment Scott had put in an appearance.

The kid had done the professor proud, Logan mused as he propped up an entryway arch and held up an unlit cigar to his lips. Scott had used good solid words for a short speech that focused on unity and trust, then segued into Storm's newly-appointed position as a second X-Men team leader. Everyone won, and more importantly, neither lost face. The cheers from Scott's speech were still ringing in his ears.

He pushed off from his vantage post and skirted the edge of a crowd of excited, happily chattering kids. All the tension of the past couple of weeks had melted away into this party, equally amped up but with considerably better energy. There was someone he was looking for, now, and he came up behind the man as Scott rummaged in the pile of soda and emerged with a green bottle.

"Logan," the man said before he even turned around to face him, making Logan's left eyebrow twitch upward.

"Congrats," Logan said in a completely non-ironic sense, putting out his hand. "That was well done."

Scott clasped his hand and yeah, the bone-deep vibe was still there, a twang that resonated straight to Logan's gut.

Later, Logan thought. Oh, just you wait. He'd made a promise the night before and he was sure as hell going to follow up.

"Thanks," Scott replied, flashing teeth in that rarest of occurrences from him, a true grin.

Logan leaned in and Scott's hand gripped him harder, then pulled out of his grasp. Close enough to speak without being heard by others, Logan murmured, "I get why you did it. There's lots of good reasons and everyone will grasp on those for the obvious. But, admit it - you did the teams split so you wouldn't have to put you both in the position of you giving her orders - and seeing if she'd take 'em."

Scott drew back a fraction, just enough to be able to lay eyes on him from that new angle. Assessing him, realizing maybe how deep Logan had gotten into his head. "You're right," Scott admitted. "Though we still might get there some day, if it comes down to command decisions with both of us in charge."

"Cross that bridge," Logan said with a shrug.

"More like, work things out with her beforehand to make sure the chain of command is understood and acknowledged," Scott replied.

Logan leveled his cigar at Scott. "That's cute. You think all the planning in the world is gonna help you with that woman if she disagrees with you in a pinch?"

Scott's lips twisted in rueful acknowledgment. "That's what contingency plans are for."

"Now that's a good idea," Logan said. His stomach growled and he glanced toward where the pizzas had joined the party as if on cue. "Looks like you've got a long line of congratulators. Catch you later." He did not - quite - leer.

Scott mumbled something noncommittal but his cheeks were redder than they had been.

He might even mean that in the literal sense of catching, Logan considered as he followed the trail of the pizza. The food had been brought to the other end of the dining hall and heaped in a couple of precarious towers, immense white boxes wafting up the promise of cheese and at least three different kinds of meat and some with the tang of olives or onion. There were kids queueing up for it but they ceded the field to Logan, and the breadth of Peter Rasputin.

"You guys go first," the sandy-haired kid with glasses told them, waving them to the front.

Logan was going to have to learn his name, especially as it seemed he was staying here for now. If they tried to give him a job title, though, he was jumping ship.

"Thanks," he said with a nod, and grabbed his plate and obligatory couple of napkins, then went for the meat-loaded slices. The advantage of being his age - whatever it was - and possessing the healing factor meant that heartburn was a disease with which he was untroubled and he'd always been able to eat as he liked.

Rasputin grabbed enough slices to total a whole new pizza on his plate. From this, Logan concluded that whomever had done the ordering had the right idea.

Logan drifted through the party with his plate in one hand and a slice in the other, choosing not to sit anywhere in particular. Overall he wasn't surprised by the reactions - voices chatting on about the duel's outcome were lilting with relief, unstrained. It was gratifying for Scott and a vindication of Xavier's choice. Logan moved from the dining hall to the television den area where a couple of the kids were playing a fighting game on the big-screen TV and cheering for both sides.

He sensed his company an instant before Alex spoke up. Logan took a big bite of pizza, keeping his attention fixed on the pixellated tournament taking place.

"There's something different," Alex said, and when Logan turned to eyeball him the kid was scoping him out.

"Yeah?" Logan replied, not offering anything, and not backing down. It wasn't his place to tell the little brother what he already knew.

"Yeah," Alex said, concentrating a scowl on him. Before he could open his mouth again, though, a voluptuous figure strolled up behind him and looped both arms through Alex's, embracing him from behind and lacing hands over his middle.

"We'd better get our share of the pizza now," Lorna informed her lover, setting her chin on Alex's shoulder. She winked at Logan. "The kids are going at it as if we've starved the beast all day." She straightened and hooked an arm around Alex's throat when he remained immobile, staring down Logan as though he expected him to crack.

"Right, right, I'm coming, no need to use any of those wrestling holds you're so -- aggck -- good at," Alex told her, not breaking eye contact with Logan until he was dragged out the living room door.

Logan surmised that was Alex's subtle way of telling him he was going to keep an eye on him. Though if the man ever tried to give him the 'if you hurt my brother...' speech he wasn't going to be responsible for his actions; they were two consenting adults, after all.

The television den was filling up fast and Logan ceded the field to people who were actually interested in the outcome of the match onscreen. He ducked into the front room where the foosball table stood, then ducked back out again just as fast. From the looks of it someone had appointed the room lover's lane, or whatever - and apparently now Kitty Pryde and Peter Rasputin were an item. Logan gave an edgy grin to Rogue and Bobby, headed in the same direction with their plates, and he did not want to know what was going on there but Hank would probably consider it his duty. They were of age - they had to be, or they wouldn’t have been inducted into the X-Men - but that made an unplanned pregnancy even more of a concern. He made a mental note to mention it to one of the actual teachers unless his short-term memory purged it first on grounds of trauma.

During his trawl of the crowded rooms he had finished off his pizza. With a free hand available, Logan went back for one of the chilled drinks. It was no surprise that Scott had been dragged off somewhere though Logan incurred a brief twang of what he identified after a moment as disappointment. What was he, eighteen?

He rummaged around in the cold chest and came up with a dark amber-colored bottle, regarding it with surprise. Now, which enterprising adult had stashed some beer under most of the soda?

"Logan," Storm's voice sounded behind him, light and cool as an autumn breeze.

Logan turned quickly, angling his body to keep the beer positioned behind him without appearing as though he were hiding something. "Yeah?" He came face to face with the slight white-haired woman, remembering what Xavier had told him once upon a time. Where Ororo came from, they considered her to be a goddess - her control of natural elements, of course - and I don't think she's ever entirely put that self-identification behind her. She was nearly a foot shorter than he but certainly had the regal bearing that hinted at those origins.

Storm's mouth twisted in something resembling a smile. "Yeah?" she echoed him, and he couldn't tell if she was mocking or amused.

"Still mad at me?" he asked her, measuring all the cues of posture and the lines around her mouth and eyes, the way she shifted her weight from one foot to the other. Her scent lacked any kind of acrid bite.

"I wasn't mad at you, Logan," Storm insisted, and her blue eyes willed him to believe it. "Just trying to figure out whose side you were on."

Logan weighed this for a moment, with her eyes on him and the cool moisture on the bottle rendering his grip slippery on the neck. He offered with a cautious smile, "At least I've chosen a side."

She threw her head back and laughed, then swatted at him. A smile broke out over her pretty features, mirthful and unrestrained. "Go," she said. "It's a party. We're okay?"

"We're okay," Logan confirmed, a little dazed by her rapid shift in gears. He supposed from Storm's perspective it was he who'd had the more radical change.

"Go have fun," she said, shouldering around him and going for the second cooler.

"Oh, I intend to," Logan replied, his voice deepening with purpose. She glanced at him from the corner of her eye, shook her head, and moved on with a smile.

Logan snagged another beer from the bottom of the cooler and went hunting.

The man he was searching for stood at the far end of the crowded dining hall, one in a circle of adults chatting up all sorts of topics. Current events by the sound of it, as Logan prowled up on quiet feet and slipped a beer into Slim's empty hand.

Scott turned with a start and fixed on Logan, all the cues of his body stilling, betraying nothing. Once again Logan was hit with the impression that their eyes actually connected, though he knew the ruby visor and the concussive beams it contained were opaque. Suddenly the party wasn't all that important, anymore. There was him, and there was Scott, and there was this thing they'd started, which was still wavering in the air between them like a struck tuning fork awaiting the answering note.

"Excuse me," Scott said over his shoulder to the circle of Forge, Hank, Lorna and Alex. Lorna stepped into Alex's line of sight, blocking him from Logan. With a wave, Slim dismissed his peers and turned to join Logan.

The two of them moved through the crowded dining hall shoulder to shoulder and into the main foyer without discussing it, then stopped.

Logan turned to him, lifting his bottle and popping the cap with his thumb. "Kampai," he offered.

"To Xavier," Scott returned, raising his bottle in reply. They clinked. "Always the same toast. I owe him that much."

After drinking to that, Logan wiped his mouth and turned. He didn't need to look over his shoulder to confirm Scott's presence on his heels as Logan moved up the main staircase. Logan stopped at the top step when they'd reached his floor and Scott was there, beside him. Logan took the care to set his empty bottle on the top step beside the banister and Scott matched the gesture, setting his on a table behind him that butted up against the wall.

"You know," Logan began, voice husking low with anticipation, "I said when you win--"

"I remember," Scott interrupted, his tone thrumming with suppressed anger or desire or some sexy mix of the two. He closed the distance with a half-step, one thigh positioned close between Logan's and that was it.

Logan seized Scott's shoulders in both hands and met him the rest of the way, crushing the full line of that tempting mouth beneath his. They kissed and shared the lingering flavor of beer and Logan chased the remnants of soda from Scott's mouth until he could taste only the man, then Scott jerked away when voices filtered up the stairwell, laughing and talking loud enough to be heard over the throbbing bass that pounded through the mansion.

"Your room," Scott urged, and Logan caught his arm and herded him in that direction with a nod.

He couldn't stay away from Scott's mouth, though, and with a half-turn they stumbled into one another and kissed hard, noses bumping and teeth grating before Logan backed off and let his tongue lead the action. They stepped and kissed and Scott had one hand snared in his shirt, the other hooking fingers in the front pocket of his jeans, and the more they kissed the further they staggered up the hall in the throes of a clumsy unscripted dance until Scott's back was against a wooden panel.

Logan squeezed Slim's denim-covered hip, let go of his full lower lip long enough to breathe hard against his mouth wanting more and now, then reached past him to turn the knob and tumble them into the room beyond.

Scott groped for the light switch as Logan pressed him against the wall inside the door with nothing more than the vibration between their bodies, keeping a margin of distance between them but feeling Scott along the length of him nonetheless. They kissed again, Logan closing his eyes against the sudden flare of brilliance as Scott found the switch, and abruptly Logan was glad he'd kept his room military-neat because knowing Scott's OCD tendency toward cleanliness he might insist on pausing at the most inopportune moment to tidy up. He was pleased at the way Scott dropped his clothes everywhere on the way to the bed, though, so maybe the man didn't have it so bad as he'd thought.

He joined Scott on the bed and stroked his fingers over Scott's flat belly, attacked his mouth again when Scott arched up and released a breathless, urgent noise as though it pained him, and Logan reached between them to unbuckle his own belt.

"Now," Scott demanded, almost a growl, unbuttoning Logan's fly with shaking fingers.

"I got ya," Logan acknowledged, shoving his jeans down over his thighs and sprawling out over the bed.

That was as far as he got before Scott moved in on him, riding the wave of hot and vital and everything NOW that gripped them both, need tangled up into a huge bright skein that wasn't him and not the other but both of them. Logan's head fell back and his hips pushed up and god, but that mouth, wet and grasping and all was right with the world, for once.

The mouth slacked on him and Logan came to himself not to think he'd been selfish, exactly, but that this kind of pleasure was best when shared. He put down a hand to one of those astounding cheekbones, enjoying the sculpted feel of it under his palm, and acquired Scott's attention that way. When Scott looked up, Logan tackled him.

Scott resisted him only for so long as it took for Logan to get him flipped around, a hand on his thigh, and his head bent to take Scott into his mouth in turn. Scott remained frozen for a moment, muscles bunched under Logan's fingers, then he released a sigh that was more groan and drew Logan's cock back into his mouth. Scott seemed to get over the shock of getting blown in no time, Logan noticed with satisfaction, his own attention to Scott's shaft slacking as Scott slurped at the head of his cock and went down further.

Logan picked up the pace. He might not be the most skilled in the world but he could bring plenty of enthusiasm to bear when the situation called for it -- and Scott's fine ass motivated him like nothing else. As Scott went down on him and got him feeling real good, Logan gripped and kneaded Scott's closest butt-cheek, balancing his attention between bobbing back and forth on the cock in his mouth and slipping his hand down further back there. Logan was braced for some kind of warning signal to get him to back off but if anything, Scott's wet-hot mouth intensified on him.

Satisfied with this reaction, Logan took his mouth off Scott long enough to wet his finger but good, then as he and Scott continued their sixty-nine he pressed his finger up Scott's ass. The response this time was a muffled moan, Scott's thighs jerking and quivering against him, and a mouthful of come for Logan.

"Oh yeah," Logan muttered as he pulled back, wiping at his lips with the back of his wrist. "I think you liked that just fine." Instead of disengaging he pressed the finger deeper, seeking.

Scott moaned again, hips rotating against him in lazy discontent. His mouth was languorous on Logan, lips and tongue caressing but thorough as though he were trying to french Logan's mouth instead of the head of his cock. Logan thrust his finger into Scott, and Scott angled his head back and forth to take on more. Logan was concentrating so hard on pressing in for the prostate he was damned near surprised to realize he was coming as he thrust into Scott's mouth, a hoarse shout spilling out of him along with his long-overdue load.

They fell silent and Logan rolled until his back was on the bedspread. Scott pulled free of him with a discontented grunt, switching around on him until he was crouched between Logan's splayed legs and continuing to suck and lick until Logan was spent, catching and swallowing every last trace of seed.

"Nice," Logan uttered aloud when the stars were no longer swarming thick across his vision and he was sure he was capable of coherent speech.

Beside him, Scott just grinned.

"You've got a little..." Logan began, then half-shrugged into the comforter and rolled to swipe his thumb across Scott's full lower lip.

Scott nipped at his thumb, drawing it back into his lush mouth and sucking on it. The broad part of his tongue laved thoroughly over the ball of Logan's thumb, taking away the last bit of salty residue.

Logan groaned. "Slim, you're gonna be the death of me," he claimed, already feeling the pull between their bodies again. He probably wouldn't be satisfied until he was hip-deep; maybe not until then.

"So let's go," Scott suggested, sitting up. His rangy muscle-packed frame was sheened over with a light sweat.


Scott rolled off the edge of the bed and sauntered naked for the far side of the bedroom, where Logan's private bathroom was attached.

"Oh," Logan uttered, and a grin took hold of his face, partly inspired by the excellent rear view, the rest for the prospect of some intense shower sex. At least, he sure hoped Slim was willing to follow up on this particular implied promise.

The hot water was already on by the time Logan got through the door. Scott glanced his way once, then leaned over to test the water. Logan growled and came up behind him, squeezing at Scott's hips with both hands and pressing his softened cock into the deliciously-exposed crack that Scott had revealed for him.

"You're lucky I can't get it up again quite that fast, 'cause that sight is so damned tempting I'd be inside you in about five seconds flat if I had the capacity," he husked, humping against Scott one more time and releasing him before he shoved him off balance. Making his lover bump his head against the bathroom tiles would be decidedly un-sexy.

"So intended," Scott replied, his voice shaky. It could have been either fear or suppressed lust and the scent boiling off his skin let Logan know it was the option he by far preferred.

Logan hesitated as Scott straightened, his back still against him. Hey, have you ever...? he wanted to ask and didn't quite dare. He thought he knew what he needed to without forming a single question. "I'll be careful," he told that wall of silence.

Scott's shoulders relaxed. He turned his head, one hand coming up to his visor. "I don't want to get this wet, but I don't want to go all the way back to my room to get my quartz goggles," he said.

Logan palmed one of Scott's hips, rolling his fingers over the ridge of it, and that simple touch led his other hand to do the same, tugging their bodies into alignment. "Don't go, then," he said, and because it was the answer to Scott's question it didn't hold the plaintiveness that might have otherwise been. "Keep your eyes closed."

"But I could..." Scott's breath caught and held.

Logan shook his head, taking advantage of his leverage to turn Scott around in his arms. "Keep 'em closed," he repeated. He knew what the silence meant this time. I could mess up, I could blow a hole in the side of the mansion, I could kill you, I could hurt someone else... He knew how to make that little voice shut up. "I trust you." With one hand he reached up to pluck the heavy visor free of Scott's face, and Scott let him.

That full, sensuous mouth curved up in a smile as Logan exposed his whole face. It was the first time, Logan thought distantly, that he'd seen Scott's entire face since the Statue of Liberty, when Magneto had set up the cruelest of traps. Slim really was a pretty boy -- Logan recalled slinging it as an insult a time or two, but how could that word wound when it was simply the truth?

"Now climb in," Logan said briskly. He set the visor on the bathroom counter and guided Scott's hand to it, figuring it was better than verbally telling him where the thing was located.

Scott made a noise of assent but remained motionless until Logan clasped his elbow, guiding him into the tub. The man's long-lashed eyes remained firmly closed as the shower spray cascaded over him and Logan climbed in beside him, tugging the dark forest-green curtain shut behind them.

They crowded under the spray together, Scott getting the greater share of the wide cone of spray, turning around to face Logan and passing a hand over his face to clear rivulets of water out of his eyes, though he didn't open them. Logan pressed in for a kiss and Scott tilted his face up to meet it, tongue swiping hungrily against his. They touched and Scott's hands roamed over him freely, more bold than he'd been when he didn't have to rely on touch for the larger share of his sensory input.

"Don't drop the soap," Logan said with a leer he was pretty sure Scott could intuit from his voice alone. He pressed the half-dissolved cake of soap into Scott's hand.

"Because if I do, I won't be able to find it?" Scott parried, striving for innocence.

"That'll be the least of your worries," Logan muttered, closing in to nip at the side of Slim's wet steam-flushed neck.

"Hn," Scott responded, and lathered up and began washing Logan's front.

Logan couldn't recall a shower with another human being ever being quite so pleasurable. With his eyes closed, Scott was a sensual marvel, his hands mapping out every part of Logan with soap and lather. When Logan was doing this on his own it was a quick, utilitarian experience, in and time spent enough to get the important bits soaped and out, with a short businesslike wank if the urge called. As Scott's hands explored him and took their time with each part of skin and tendon they played over, Logan was hard before Scott had even reached his belly.

"Now you're teasing me," Logan growled as Scott's hands skirted past his erection and spread soap down his thighs, and Logan caught sight of the man's subtly playful smile at the same time.

"Maybe a little," Scott admitted, giving a few slick tweaks to Logan's erection before passing the soap back to him. "But you started it, you know. You left me in a bad way last night. I had to take a cold shower."

Logan snorted. "Better that than risk hobbling in to your duel 'cause I couldn't control my animal instincts." And it was his turn, so he plied the soap on Scott until the man was gasping and pressing up against him, grabbing Logan's hips for balance.

And that's how you have fun in the shower, Logan thought dimly, turning Scott around until he was past the spray of water and braced against the tiles. He soaped up Scott's ass and circled the pucker of his anus with one finger, testing it until Scott's muscles quivered and opened up for him, then with a long slow easing breath Logan pulled his hands away, cupping them under the shower spray and redirecting a stream to rinse soap bubbles away. Scott stayed braced there, chin lifting and head turning as though to look over his shoulder though his eyes remained shut. His jaw muscles flexed and Logan knew what it meant, he was already so deep inside he wanted to be in him that last way too, and Scott murmured something low and meaningless, sound without words, passing over the bottle of the conditioner. They hadn’t done their hair yet, either of them, so Logan took it for what it was and popped the cap.

He winced at the coldness of it spread over his dick and dribbled more of it down the top of Scott's ass, the top where tailbone ended and crack began, making him hiss. Without much ceremony Logan breached that final barrier, holding Scott's hips to keep him in place as he pushed his thickening length in and Scott huffed, keeping himself steady against the wall as Logan worked it all the way in.

They hovered that way for a moment, spray drenching Logan's face and chest in lukewarm benediction and Slim clenching and alternately relaxing around him until Scott choked out a hoarse injunction, "Move."

Logan did and they did, bodies slapping together in slow long tortuously satisfying thrusts. Because the last climax had been soon, about twenty minutes past, Logan was sure as he plowed forward and paced himself that he could go for the rest of the night. Every so often he quickened, pushing his cock faster into Slim and dragging the most gratifying moans out of his partner to the tune of those shallow, rapid thrusts, then got his hands steady on Scott's hips again and squeezed and fell back into the slow but steady pace again.

After awhile Slim tried pushing back against him to encourage those faster strokes. Logan growled and gripped his hips hard enough to bruise, drawing back and leaving just the tip of him inside. He waited until Scott's head dropped even with his shoulders and he began to pant.

"Logan," he groaned, and there was definitely urging there, but not a plea.

Logan pulled out and pressed up against him good and close, embracing Slim from behind and lining up their bodies. He let him feel it, rubbing up there behind him, close but not quite there.

"Logan," Scott groaned again, and there was definitely more frustration than the first time.

With a nip behind Scott's ear, Logan put his mouth close and husked, "What do you say?"

"Please, all right?" Scott said at once, all frustrated and needy but still nowhere near begging. "Put it in, damn it, keep going."

Logan considered this, and licked at the reddened skin of Scott's neck where he'd probably already marked a love-bite even if it wasn't showing up as such quite yet. "You sure?" he asked, guiding his cock there anyhow and pushing up slow and steady between Scott's slippery cheeks.

"Right now I am," Scott said, wry and honest. "Do it already." His face gravitated, blind, toward Logan and his eyes moved in flickering red impressions beneath his closed lids.

Logan strained forward and kissed him, first, capturing his mouth in a clumsy but thorough crush. As their tongues tangled, Logan guided his cock back to that tight willing sheath and bent Scott over, fucking into him in the same hard astoundingly steady strokes.

Scott cried out as Logan shoved him up against the tile wall, butting up against him until he was sunk all the way in. Logan pulled out and slammed back in, tip to balls, and Scott moaned again and they were both going faster, strokes spiraling faster the deeper Logan worked his way in and he was inside, Beneath him Scott was trembling. The water was cold, Logan realized, and pulled out carefully -- Scott moaned anyhow -- and caught his lover when Slim's knees went out. Even though the water was getting chillier by the second he soaped Scott up again, brief but functional this time.

Propping each other up, they staggered back to bed.