Logan had listened for hours to the questions being thrown at him by Francis. The boy had a wonderful time at the ball game. From the first pitch in the first inning, his mouth moved non-stop. Question after question. Logan had long since given up answering him. This had been the most excited the child had been since he had been found. Logan just resorted to nodding or shrugging occasionally.
"Do they play ball all the time? Do you play ball? I bet you are pretty fast. I bet you could throw hard, huh? Do you think they'd let me play next time? I don't think I could throw as far as they can, but I can run fast. Do you think I run fast?........"
Logan was exhausted. Not physically tired, but mentally. He slowly realized over the past few hours why he had been feeling tense and irritable. It was the endless questions. The non-stop barrage of inquiries coming from the little kid. He was aware that he lacked the skills to deal with the boy, the patience required to be with him every minute of the day, and night. He had no animosity toward the kid, but he was beginning to be quite a pain in the ass. He needed a few hours to himself. He was anxious for the kid to fall asleep, so he could sneak out, and just be himself.
When they entered Logan's room, Logan quickly gathered up the boy's pajamas, tossing them to the boy.
"Come on, it's been a busy day. Time for bed." He listened to a steady stream of more questions from the boy as he pulled on his pajamas.
"Do you think they'll play tomorrow? Can we go if they do? What are we going to do tomorrow? Can we ride the horses? Do you ride the horses?........"
Logan could feel his shoulders tense with each passing minute. He needed to get away, just for a while. He figured the boy would never know he was gone. Just a couple hours. He would go out, get a couple drinks, get laid, and return without being missed.
The boy crossed to the bathroom, under instructions to pee before climbing into bed. Logan sat on the his bed, and turned on the television. He was used to coming and going as he pleased. He would frequently leave for days, if not weeks at a time. No one questioned him, no one placed any demands on him. But his room was always waiting for him. Now, he was a wet nurse. A position he did not want, he did not feel comfortable with. He searched the television for cartoons, the kid's favorite, and waited.
He heard a flush, and the door opened, and so did the kid's mouth. "Mr. Logan? Are you going to read me the book Or-or-eo gave me? It looks hard. I put my vitamins in the bathroom, so I can take one in the morning. Do you take vitamins?............." He hopped on the bed next to Logan, with the book in hand.
"Uh, I think you had better just hit the sack. It's been a long day. You must be tired." He saw the sad, disappointed look on the boy's face. "Look, I'm tired too. We'll read the book tomorrow." As an afterthought, he added, "I promise." The boy still looked sad, but he crossed to his bed, and climbed in, placing the book on the floor next to him. Logan felt badly, but he had plans. He continued. "We'll have to see what comes up tomorrow. Maybe we can hit the pool." Suddenly the boy's eyes lit up again. "I turned on cartoons for you. Get some sleep, and we'll get an early start tomorrow." He got up from his bed, and entered the bathroom, to prepare.
He decided to give the kid a good fifteen minutes to fall into a deep sleep. He spent the time giving his teeth a good brushing, splashing water on his face, and taking a piss. When he felt it had been long enough, he gently opened the door. He peered over to Francis' bed, and saw the little guy fast asleep, mouth hanging open. Logan whispered softly to himself. "Ok, kid. Gonna be gone for a few hours. Just make sure you don't wake up." He padded easily to the door, and opened it, slipping silently into the hallway, carefully closing the door behind him.
He stealthily navigated the hallways of the school, avoiding the students, and adults as well, until he reached the front door. There, as he opened it, he collided with Rogue, coming in from the mall, her arms full of packages.
"Logan? Where you headed? And where is Francis?"
Logan felt like a trapped rat. "Uh, I was going out for a bit. The kid is asleep." He tried to maneuver around her.
"Going out? How come?"
"I need some fresh air. Won't be long." She would not move, so he had to physically move her to get passed.
"Uh.....ok." Her face wore her concern, both for Logan, who just didn't look like himself this evening, and for Francis. "Do you want me to keep an eye on him for you, while you're gone? Peek in on him from time to time?"
Logan stopped short, and spun around to face her. "Uh, yeah. Could you do that? Thanks." He spun around, and was out the door without saying another word.
Rogue climbed the stairs, heading for her room. She nearly bowled over Storm, who was on her way to the kitchen to get a snack.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Today just isn't my day. I'm running into everyone. First Logan, and now you."
Storm looked puzzled. "Logan? I thought he went to bed?"
"No. I just ran into him going out the front door. Said he was going out for a while. Needed some fresh air."
"Is Francis with him?"
"No. He said Francis was asleep. I told him I'd check on the kid for him while he was out." She paused and frowned. "What happened? He didn't look right when he left."
Storm showed her growing concern as well. "I think maybe Scott was right. I think the day was a little too much for him. Well, maybe a few hours alone will be good for him. Did he say he was coming back tonight?"
"He said he would be a couple hours."
"Well, let's hope he can pull himself together, and get back here before Francis wakes up in the morning."
Both women turned to continue down the hallway, when they spied a very angry Scott coming form the opposite direction.
"Where is Logan?"
"Scott, what's wrong?" Storm could see Scott was seething.
"That son of a bitch put peanut butter in my shoes again!" He stopped just outside of Logan's door, and was about to pound on it.
Rogue ran up to the door and put herself in front of him. "Scott, please be quiet. Logan isn't in there, and Francis is sleeping."
"What do you mean Logan isn't in there?"
"He went out for a while."
"I knew it. I just knew that lazy bastard would ditch the kid."
Storm voiced her anger now. "He did not ditch anyone. He waited until the child was asleep, and went out for a few hours. No harm done. He'll be back."
"Right. We won't see him for weeks." Scott spun on his heel and headed back the way he had come, with Rogue and Storm following close behind.
Rogue grabbed Scott's arm. "Why don't you give Logan a break? He hasn't done anything to you in weeks. He's left you alone, and you continue to harp on him."
"How do you explain the peanut butter in my shoe then? Divine intervention?"
"It wasn't Logan, it was me."
Scott was dumbstruck, but his anger soon returned. "He certainly taught you well, didn't he?"
Storm intervened. "Listen. It was just a harmless prank. No one was hurt. Please calm down."
While the three continued their heated discussion, none of them noticed that Logan's door had opened, and they were now being watched.
As Logan drove down the highway, the tightness in his shoulders eased slowly. It was not a long drive to the bar he frequented, and he decided to take his time. The fresh cool night air was doing the trick, perking him up. He could almost taste the cold beer he longed for. Ahead, he spied the small establishment, glad to see that it was not crowded tonight. He didn't want a crowd. He pulled his bike into the parking lot, and parked up front.
As he entered the front door, he immediately surveyed the surroundings. It more out of habit, than any real threat of danger. This was not the type of bar he often found himself in up north. While it had a clientele a little on the rough side, they were no comparison to those in Northern Canada, where you very nearly had to fight for your life on a regular basis.
He strolled to a stool at the far end of the bar, and ordered a beer, and a shot of bourbon. He downed the liquid rapidly, again, taking a look around. There were a few couples seated at tables. One couple playing pool, and a trio of collegiate looking guys playing darts. They certainly looked out of place, as the normal crowd tended to be more of the biker ilk, but perhaps the place was changing its' image. There were no unescorted women in the place, but that would change. It always did. It was early yet He settled in, and ordered another shot and a beer, and waited.
"Jesus Christ. Now tonight we are going to have to go into town again and bail Logan out of jail. Or pay for the damage he causes. When is this going to stop? When is he going to grow up?" Scott was in full rant now, and neither Storm nor Rogue could stop him.
"Scott, that only happened once. He's entitled to a life the same as the rest of us. We are all free to come and go as we please." Storm tried her best to get Scott to lower his voice.
"But we don't shirk our responsibilities, do we? We do our job. He doesn't. He was supposed to take care of that kid, and where is he? Gone. Down at Rocky's, getting into a fight, or getting laid."
Rogue had had enough. "He should never have had all that dumped on him in the first place. We expected too much from him. But dammit, he's always been there for us, when we needed him. He can not be expected to live by your standards, and neither can anyone else."
So caught up were they in their arguement, that they failed to notice a small figure, exiting Logan's room, and creeping down the hallway.
Logan sat patiently, listening to the college boys argue over a bad call in darts. He chuckled to himself, listening to them "motherfuck" each other. It was really overkill to say the least. His mood brightened even more when he spied a long legged blonde stroll in, alone, her eyes meeting his almost immediately. Oh yeah. She's the one. Nice tits, fine ass, and interest in her eyes. Just what the doctor ordered.