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would i be the better life you led

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What is difficult to remember, she comes to conclude, is the familiarity.

Or unfamiliarity. Or everything, really, because it’s nine years, okay, and she’s kind of feeling her way around this whole thing, possibly on her hands and knees, in the darkness, in someone else's haystack, while somewhere, at the other end of the world, Logan puts on his green flight suit. It’s probably odd, and fetishizing, and awful, that she can’t imagine that in anything other than Canon EOS C300 cinematography.

(She sometimes wishes there was some mystery to her too. That she hadn't taken him out on stakeouts with her all those times in high school-- ranging everything from sort-of friends, to enemies, to lovers, in no particular order. Punctuated by trying not to look at him, even when he moved too much, always restless, always a little less than contained.

Because even back then she'd known that if she did, looked at him at all, lost focus in the constant refrain on why it was such a bad idea, it wouldn't matter if they were enemies or lovers in that particular time period and she'd do something that was- probably, definitely stupid, yes- but also so fucking--

Anyway, the point is she wishes she hadn't, because yeah, it looks sexier in the movies.)






But here's the thing; the last time she tried sexy, she kind of got blindsided by the whole the-love-of-your-life-slept-with-the-girl-who-roofied-you thing, so sue her for being wary.

(At least this is what she knows for sure: she’s not going to wear a one piece number. It’s crazy that she remembers after all this time, but ‘rational’ isn’t exactly on her calling card.)






“The P.I. thing is an automatic,” Wallace manages before turning back to the game, and channeling his inner Gandhi, the studied version of the pictorial maxim, because there are conversations he wants to be a part of, and this is not them.

“An automatic turn on, he means,” Mac supplies sagely, “Wallace Uncomfortably Avoids Sexing Terms is another one of those languages I know how to decode-- you're welcome, and this extra service is going to cost you. I'll just siphon it off one of those accounts I set up for you, so I don't have to bother you-- you're welcome, again."

She flips through a Seventeen and okay, WAY to remind herself of what she isn't anymore, "please let's pretend I'm being ironic here."

Mac scoffs, reading over her shoulder, "you’re like the Mata Hari of Neptune, you’ve got it set even before we get onto the whole California Beach Blonde thing and how Logan Echolls has been weirdly fixated with everything you since high school.”

She thinks of Madisonta Hari, the faded colors of the illustrated picture in the course she'd taken on espionage at Columbia, flips another page, “at least we know the hot ones are evil.”






But honestly, this is the kind of idea that wouldn’t have made the final cut if this were any medium other than reality.

“Um.” he says, when he opens the door.

So obviously it’s fitting that Dick Casablancas in board shorts is standing right behind him, and lets out an alright, Ronnie war-whoop, that makes her turn fire-truck red, probably clashing horrifically with the sheer pink of the stupid (stupid, stupid) knee-socks.

“Ignore the dick,” Logan says, and she can tell by his eyes, he’s trying not to laugh, and making her boyfriend laugh at her attempts to be sexy is exactly what she was going for, obviously, “the step of the evolutionary ladder he’s on doesn’t deal in social niceties. Like subtlety, for instance.”

She glares at Dick, around Logan’s form, looking anywhere but at the man blocking her vision. Glaring at Dick is her own personal catharsis; her long-over internship at the FBI didn’t teach her much other than that it would take an alternate reality to get her to join the whole we have our orders cult, but this is one of the benefits. A super powered glare that says she's completely in control and a total bitch, try her. And not that she's probably going to melt through the floorboard in the next point three seconds.

Dick backs off slowly, both hands raised, “just leaving,” he mouths, and then makes a crude gesture before walking out, that she’s glad Logan can’t see because it makes her blush again, and apparently she is literally regressing to being twelve on all counts it’s possible to be twelve. Like she went nine years back instead of forward.

This was a terrible idea, manages to stutter through her head, and, well, great. Hindsight is 20-20 they say, but she didn’t quite realize her foresight was a -5.00/+0.50x180 before now. Short-sightedness as practically an art form.

Which she should have, stopped to think about how many shades of ridiculous it is that she literally got her sexy off Marie Claire’s ‘How to Keep Him Interested’ point #8: Inside Jokes, and what the actual hell was she— maybe he doesn’t even remember the whole— come to that actually, why does she  remember— god, she must be certifiable on a level that even Dick—

Logan leans in closer with lazy ease, too close, his hand coming to rest on the door behind her, caging her in between, just as she hears the sound of the click at the other end.

His breath ghosts across her earlobe, making her shiver in a California summer, his voice so low, it’s almost drowned out by just that, the click of the lock, “best. fucking. idea. ever.”





You’re so fucking hot, he says, once, seriously, looking up from between her legs. Her skin feels fevered, his hair still damp across her thigh. She can’t see any hint of laughter anymore; his gaze unwavering, intense, and, as always, she has to look away first.

But she kind of wants him to never stop saying fucking with exactly those inflections, the same emphasis with which he says her name, the way he works at everything he does, still with that barely contained restlessness. Logan was born for movement.

He makes her keep the socks on. She’d think it weirdly kinky, she’d think he's probably just trying to make her feel better about the whole deal, she'd think this is something Madison Sinclair would never ever do, but she’s not really thinking at all, so.