Title:  Strays
Author:  Terri
Rating:  PG-13
Disclaimer:  I only own the cat.  And I'm keeping her.  Everybody else is on their own..or, you know, Marvel's.
Archive:  Ask, and ye shall receive.
Feedback:  Please?  With tender vittles on top?
Summary:  Logan just keeps picking up strays.  It's something about the eyes.
Comments:  My brbf demanded a kitty story since she got In August instead the last time I tried to write one.  She asks, I comply.  The 'wake up and smell the hottie' line Jubes says here is lifted from early BtVS-Buffy said it to Willow, referring to Xander, if I'm not mistaken.  And no, I'm not obsessing about shower massages.  Really.


I gotta get my ass back home.  Enough drinkin' and fightin' for one night.  Marie'll be wonderin' where the hell I am pretty soon.  She don't like me stayin' out past two or three and it's 2:15 now.  Well, I took Scooter's bike.  I oughta be able to make it home in twenty minutes or so. 

It's not that she'll say anythin' if I'm late.  It's just that-well, she worries.  And I don't like to make her worry.  Ever since I came back to Chuck's, we've kinda kept an eye on each other.  She's been doin' OK and everythin', but I like to watch over her just in case.  Pretty soon, she's gonna be done with school, and then she'll hafta decide what she wants to do.  But until then, I'm just gonna -


What the fuck?  Well, that thing's got some nerve to be climbin' onto my boot like that.  Well, I'm just gonna drop-kick that little soakin' wet cat to-oh, shit.  Well, would you look at that?  It's brown.  Dark brown with a white stripe of fur right down the middle.  Guess who that reminds me of?

Well, I guess I shouldn't drop-kick it now.  But that don't mean I gotta-

"Mrrowww."  Rubbin' up against me, huh?  Well, that's not gonna earn you any brownie points, no way.  "rrrr"  Purrin'-you're really pullin' out all the stops, huh?  Well, maybe I'll just pick you up to take a little look atcha.  You're not bad.  You're kinda cute.  You know, as stupid mangy animals go.  "Meeeow."  That's annoyin', though.  Too noisy.  Ah well, I'll just put it back down and-"Mmmmeeeoooooowww!"  Don't wanna be put back down.  Huh.  Well, I can't-I can't keep it.  I mean, I just can't.  It's wet and stinky and thin and hungry and would you look at it's eyes?  It's got eyes too big for the rest of it, and guess who that reminds me of again?  Shit.

"Uh, Rogue?"

"Coming, dammit."  I hate it when one of the other two answer the door.  I know they live here, but would it be so much to ask for Marie to answer the door all the time? "Dude, it's, like three a.m.  What's up your butt?"



"Could you just get Rogue?"

"Rise and shine, chica.  It's your boyfriend."  They both call me that.  I hate it.  It always makes Marie get all embarrassed.  Plus, I have never, ever in my life been somebody's 'boyfriend'.  I've never been somebody's anythin'.  And that's more or less how I like it.  More or less.

"Jubilee.."  Sleepy whinin'.  Oh well, at least that means she's up.  "Hey."  Always smiles when she sees me, even at 3 a.m.  I'm kinda glad she wasn't too worried about me bein' out to get to sleep.  Kinda.

"Hey.  I gotcha somethin'."  I really, really hope she's not allergic to-

"Oooh!!!  Logan, it's a kitten!"  She's grabbin' for it, so that must mean she likes it and she's not allergic.  "It's so cute!"

"Well, of course."  I mean, it did remind me of her, and she's, like, the personification of 'cute'.  "Whadddya think?  I'd bring you home a bad-lookin' cat?"

"No."  Big smile, sparklin' eyes.  "Where did you find it?  It smells awful and it looks like it hasn't eaten in days."

"I found it in the alley when I was, uh, out.  It tried hitchin' a ride onto my boot."

"You know, you're developing an alarming habit of just picking up things that try to hitch rides with you"  This is pretty much why I like her.  Brave enough to tease me, likes me enough to play with me a little, and smart enough to come up with clever things to say when she does.  That, plus, you know, the cute thing. 

"Workin' out pretty good so far."  And you can't underestimate the cuteness factor either, oh no.  Like right now, she's smilin' all big and tiltin' her head just so.

"Come on, let's-let's take it to your room and give it a bath.  And get it some food.  It's probably hungry.  Aren't you?  Aren't you little kitty?"  Her talkin' to the cat is even cute, and I fuckin' hate it when most people do shit like that.  Good God.I *am* her boyfriend..

"All right, but it's livin' with you.  I like my space."  My room's next to hers, naturally, so not a long walk. 

"It's one little cat.  How much space can it take up?  Besides, I think Kitty, ironically enough, might be allergic."

"Fuck."  Didn't think about her roommates.  Shit.  "Well, it's gotta live somewhere else then."

"But I want to keep it close-can't it-can't it just stay with you?  Look at her, she won't be any trouble."  How, exactly do I let her talk me into these things?  It's all her fault that I picked up the mangy cat in the first place.  I only did it 'cause it reminded me of her and-"Please?"

"Oh, all right.  But you owe me." 

"Thanks, Logan!"  Oooh-cheek kiss.  Her control's gettin' better if she went and did that.  Good, that's good.  "Come on, let's give it a bath."

"Meowww."  What?  I fed you.  You've got the cat litter thing.  "Mrrrrow."  I bet I know what it is.  You don't like Marie bein' gone either.  She went out on some date with some stupid kid insteada comin' over to play with you.  That's what's botherin' you, right?  "Meow."

Thought so.  Well, don't worry too much.  She said it wasn't a real date, just a double date with one of her little roommates, and that she just went 'cause the girl didn't wanna go alone with the other guy.   That's all.  She'll be back to play with you tomorrow night, like always.

"Meooooow."  There's really nothin' to worry about.  It's not like she's out lookin' for another cat or somethin'.  She's just doin' a favor to a friend.  And she might stop in tonight yet.  You know, on her way to bed or somethin'.  I don't think they'll be out that late.  She likes you, she wouldn't go bringin' home another cat, no way.

"Rrrrr"  That's more like it.  You know, she likes to have her head rubbed too.  She don't purr when I do it, but she looks like she likes it a lot.  I'd probably purr if she did it to me.  "Rrrrrr"  You don't think-you don't think she's, like, goin' out just 'cause I do or somethin'.  'Cause that's different.  I gotta-well, I'm usedta goin' out, havin' a smoke, havin' a few drinks, maybe fightin' for money every now and then.  I'm not-I'm not our prowlin' for other girls to pick up or nothin'.  I just-a man needs his space.  No-I think-I think she gets that.  That's not it.  It's just what she said-a favor to a friend.

"Mrwww?"  Huh?  Oh yeah, that is-it is her.  I smell her too.  Hmm.  She's comin' back real early.  Well, maybe she did her thing and-


Shit, she slammed that door pretty-

"I can't believe you did that!"  Heh.  She's mad at one of her little roommates there.  Well, serves her right for makin' Marie go out on a date with somebody she don't like.

"Look, woman, I'm trying to help you out here!  Remy likes you, he really, really likes you and you can't sit around all your life and wait for Logan to wake up and smell the hottie.  You need to go out, get a little action."  Action?!  There's not gonna be any of that kinda action for Marie.  Uh-uh.  No way in hell.

"I don't want 'action'-and I don't like Remy."  See?  She's not gonna wanna-"Even if he is really, really sexy."  What the hell?  She's not supposedta be thinkin' those thoughts-and especially not about some dickhead that she just -

"Girl, that man would float anybody's boat.  You don't hafta marry the guy, just let him, you know, get next to you for a little lovin'."  Grrrrrr.


"I swear, if you spend any more time with the shower massage, we're gonna have to sell something to pay the water bill in this place!"  She's been, uh, doin' that?  I didn't think she-well, I thought she wasn't, uh, into that.

"Well, what am I supposed to do?  I can't touch anybody, not yet.  And I have-"

"You have needs.  Exactly my point.  And if Mr. Big and Hairy next door isn't gonna, uh, service those needs, you gotta find someone who will.  Remy would be more than happy to volunteer for that duty."  Hell no.  Oh, no.  Is he-if he's that Cajun dickhead I saw sniffin' after her, I know where to find him.  Where to find him and scare the livin' shit outta him.  I'm gonna make damn sure he doesn't get any sex-ideas about Marie.

"Jubes, he's-he's older than me, he's twenty-eight and-"  Twenty-eight?!  That's way too old for her-ten years older than her!  No way, oh, no fuckin' way is -

"And how old is Logan?"  Uh.fuck.

"That's not the point." 

"Well, what is the point, then?"

Big sigh comin' from my girl.  You know, I wonder if she realizes I can hear all this and doesn't wanna say-well, no, if she realized, she'd have never said half of that stuff.  "I guess the point is that maybe you're right." Huh?  "Maybe-maybe I'm not going to have that kind of relationship with Logan, maybe he doesn't want that and never will.  Maybe I'll just never be able to hold a candle to Jean.  Maybe I should just screw Remy and get on with my life."  Oh no, oh no-get, get off me, cat.  I gotta go fix this right now.  "Because I just- Logan?!"

"Dude, don't you, like, knock?  We live here, you know."

"You are not goin' out with that Remy, Marie.  No way."  There.  Settled.

"Oh, God, you could hear us talking, couldn't you?"  I know she'd be embarrassed by that, but hearin' her say the words 'screw' and 'Remy' in the same sentence made me lose track of that fact-my brain and everythin' in my body is goin' fuckin' ballistic. 

"Hey, she'll go out with whoever she wants.  It's not like you're dating her, so let the girl get some lovin' from someone else if you're not gonna-"



"Uh-uh.  No lovin'.  No lovin' from someone else.  No way."  Let's be crystal fuckin' clear on that. 

"Meow."  See?  The cat even agrees with me. 

"Logan-just get-here, let me have the cat.  We can't let it in here, Kitty-"

"No goin' off with other men, Marie, you got that?"  I could give a shit about the cat bein' in here.  Let her little roommate sneeze once or twice.

"Who are you, her father?  Damn, man, she's young, she's in her prime!  She's a young woman in her prime-and she's a damn *fine* woman!  And we're tired of waitin' half an hour for the bathroom!" 

"Jubes!"  God, she is turnin' bright red now, and it even looks like she's tryin' to hide behind the cat.  That's just..that's just.cute.  Shit.  It is cute.  Claws back in.  "Let's-let's take the cat back to your room.  We can-we'll talk there."  Givin' her roommate one last dirty look.  Heh.

I think she's done yellin' at me now.  Lotsa words about livin' her own life and datin' who she wants and whatever.  Then some shy little looks and sayin' well-just 'cause she went out with him and said those things doesn't mean she's gonna do anythin' with him, and how she doesn't really like him all that much anyway.  Then some more loud words about how she was legally and actually an adult now and if she wanted to you know, date, she could.  With anyone.  Pointed look at me right at that part.  I just smiled and winked.  That shook her composure a little and now she's just kinda talkin', just lettin' whatever's left in her brain run outta her mouth.  "And I, uh, with that shower massage crack, Jubes was just, um-"

"You need new roommates."

"Meow."  The cat always agrees with me.  Smart cat.

"Aw, come here kitty."  The cat really does love her.  It likes bein' held by her and petted and talked to and snuggled up with.  "But who else would have me for a roommate?  I mean, you know, what with the deadly skin and the excessive shower times"  And the blushin' that just makes you wanna nibble on those red little cheeks.

"I got two roommates for ya in mind."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah.  And you wouldn't even have too far to move."

"What, like down the hall?"

"Nah.  Right next door."  She stopped pettin' the cat, so I think she finally gets what I mean.  "We're sociable, we won't hog the shampoo, and the cat doesn't even use the shower."

"You-you want me to move in with you?  I mean here.  You want me to move in here?"

"Nah.  You had it right the first time.  I want you to move in with me.  With me and the cat."  The cat'll like havin' her around all the time, that's for sure.  That way, the cat'll know where she is and it'll be able to curl up with her at night, and maybe even, you know, lick her on the face a little or somethin'.

"You-are you saying you want to-to date me?"

"I don't date.  There's no datin'.  I want you to move in."  I don't do datin'.  Never have, never will.  There's no reason to, really.  I mean, datin'-that's for someone you're tryin' out, someone you're not sure of and you wanna figure out if they're the one.  Well, I don't need to figure that out.

"Logan..why?  Why now all of a sudden?"  I think she wants to, but I just caught her a little off guard.

"'Cause I noticed you might wanna.  I wasn't-I was waitin'."

"For the love of God, why didn't you say anything to me?"  The cat's about to purr, she's rubbin' it just like it likes.

"I didn't wanna push if you didn't wanna-well, you know.  But I don't like the idea of some guy named Remy or even the shower massage gettin' attention insteada me.  Now-now that I know that's an option, well, I'd like to cut down your shower time."

Big, wide smile, soft eyes.  Yeah, she's movin' in.  "You know, if I'm going to live with you two, I think my other roommate needs a name."  That cat's so damn content right now, it'd let her call it whatever she wants. 

"How 'bout Lucky?"

"Too common."

"How 'bout Dumbass?"

"I'm not going to give it some kind of cat psychiatric problem."  Heh.  The cat's gonna like livin' with her-it appreciates a sense of humor like that.  It's a pretty savvy cat.

"All right then, what do you wanna name it?"

"HmmmI know.  We'll call her Allie.  You found her in an alley, right?"


"So she can be Allie cat."  That's actually perfect, you know?  It suits the cat pretty good.  "Logan? Are you sure?"

"Yeah.  I like Allie."  I'm gonna hafta teach the cat how to tease her a little.  It's so much fun to do that.


"Yeah, kid, I'm sure.  How's your control?"  I got an idea. 

"At about twenty seconds or so.  Wh-mmph!"  Just in case I haven't been, you know, perfectly clear about what I'm thinkin' we'll be doin' once she moves in.  "You kissed me!"

"Yeah.  Like it?"

"Oh, yeah."  Whoa.  She's pretty sure about that.  Wait, wait-she's catchin' herself and -   "Uh, I mean-"

"You can stick with the 'oh yeah.'  Me and Allie-we like enthusiastic roommates."



"OK.  OK.  I'll break it to Jubes and Kitty in the morning."  She looks just thrilled about it-just over the moon.  I don't think I've ever seen her quite this happy. And the cat-well, it's pretty happy too.

"Hey, kid?"

"Yeah?" Me and her and Allie-that's a good combo.  One thing missin', though.

"Bring over that shower massage."  Smilin'-cute and sexy.  Yeah, the pickin' up strays thing is workin' out pretty good.  Pretty good all around.

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