Between the Darkness and Light

by Talya Firedancer


The cavernous multi-car garage didn't have quite the same feel to it when it was totally empty. That was why, when Logan hitched up his backpack and turned, he was not surprised in the least to find he was no longer alone as he reached the turbo-charged motorcycle that had been restored to top condition. It had taken a number of painstaking hours, but Slim's X-bike was good to go once more.

Rogue gave Logan the beadiest green eyes he'd yet seen on her and she put her gloved hands to her hips. Over the past few days her psyche-draining powers had begun to return in small measure and it had put her in a real temper for a bit, until she'd started spending time each day with Leech -- with Jimmy.

"You runnin'?" she challenged, eyeing Logan as though expecting him to disappear in a cloud of evil-smelling cigar smoke.

Logan took the cigar out of his mouth -- unlit as it ever was, these days. He wasn't one to indulge in one vice when it ran the risk of cutting him out of another one, and sex was higher up on his list.

"Naw, kid," he told her cheerfully, reaching out to ruffle her white-streaked hair. She jerked back out of reach with a bitten-off cry, but the glancing impression didn't do anything more than make his palm tingle. "Goin' on a weekend retreat. I'll be back, don't sweat it."

The door to the garage creaked open and now Logan set eyes on the tall drink of water he'd expected in the first place. Slim entered the garage, tugging the door shut behind him and snagging a ring of keys off the rack in passing. He crossed over to the two of them, slipping his own backpack securely over both shoulders. "Ready to go, Logan?" He bestowed a brief smile and murmur of acknowledgment for Rogue.

"Climb aboard, Slim," Logan invited.

"No way, I'm driving," Scott replied with a frown, to which Logan raised an eyebrow and held up a fist over his own open palm in tacit command.

Scott sighed and tucked the keys on his thumb, making a fist with his other hand. "Rock, paper..." he began, both of them pumping their fists in unison, and as they moved on the upswing of the third, Logan closed in and grabbed the keys off his thumb.

"You're an asshole," Scott told him without rancor as they both turned for the bike.

Logan shrugged one shoulder, stuffing his cigar into his pocket and straddling the bike. "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." He stuck the keys into the ignition and spared a last glance for Rogue as Scott climbed onto the bike behind him, arms going around Logan's waist as the engine revved into action.

"See you later, darlin'!" Logan called out as they left Rogue open-mouthed behind them.

"You sure you wanted her to find out?" Scott asked against his neck under cover of the motor-grinding noise of the garage doors opening. The motorcycle idled until the doors winched all the way up, then Logan hit the gas and the bike leapt forward gazelle-swift.

"Sure, lettin' Rogue find out like that's the fastest way for the whole school to get wind of it," Logan called over his shoulder. "You didn't think I was gonna keep you a secret, huh, Slim?"

Time was, Scott would have sputtered something stilted and indignant. Now he didn't even bother trying to pretend disapproval; Slim just laughed, caught Logan's waist tight, and they took the gate together.