The X-Men belong to Marvel, Charlotte belongs to me. For entertainment only. Very silly story, inspired by a comment from this last weekend's Subrealicon. You all know who you are. PG-13 for some language.

A Gesture of Love
(or Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow)
by Kerri Gruver

"How bad is it?"

"Well," Hank said absently, peering at Charlotte's back in concern as she sat on the examination table, "it is a sunburn."

"No kidding!" she shot back sarcastically. "I thought maybe I was just really embarrassed."

"Perhaps if you had not sunbathed 'bare-assed' you would not be in such discomfort now?"

"Can you do something for me other than torture me with bad puns?"

"I believe I might have something for a second degree sunburn. This is not the first time you have had a sunburn, is it?" He opened a cabinet and withdrew a dark plastic bottle. "Lie down on the table."

Charlotte complied, amid groans and whimpers. "No, but it's been a long time since the last one. I couldn't find my sunning lotion, so I borrowed some from Bobby."

"That would explain why you are burned." Hank waited for her to settle down as comfortably as possible. From neck to ankles, her posterior side glowed like a bright red neon sign. Except for the white patches across her... "Are you aware you had something on you while you were sunning?"

"What?" She tried to look back and felt twinges of pain shoot along her skin.

"At some point during your nap, someone placed 'W's on you." Hank shook his head. He felt a stab of pity for Bobby's immediate future.

"I didn't see anything," she attempted to look again and failed. "I've got a white 'W' on my back?"

"Not your back, no." He opened the bottle and dribbled the thick dark fluid on her. "This will sting a bit, then you will feel better."

Charlotte hissed sharply. "Sting? You're melting my skin off, aren't you?"

"With your skin, you should not spend so much time in the sun, much less sunbathe nude." He smoothed the lotion into her skin as tenderly as possible. He could feel her flinch a little with every stroke, and winced in sympathy.

"Hank, I've sunned nude for nearly two centuries and I've never had a problem before this," she grumbled. "I've never had to co-exist with Bobby Drake, either. It smelled like suntan lotion."

"It was most likely just cocoa butter lotion. You would not be in such discomfort if you had not fallen asleep."

"I was tired. Are you using sandpaper?"

"My apologies." He finished up and washed his hands. "I want you to lie there and let that soak in." He pulled a sheet over her body up to her shoulders.

"Get that off me!" Charlotte yelped out. "That hurts!"

He pulled it back quickly. "I cannot have you lounging naked in here."

"Then pull the curtains around the bed. That thing's worse than your hands."

"I thought my hands were my most admirable feature." He drew the privacy curtains.

"Second only to your sense of humor," she muttered. "Bobby is so dead."

Logan helped Charlotte up to their room while she mumbled and groused, swearing vengeance on the Iceman. He couldn't get close enough to touch her, even through the silk robe he'd brought from her closet for her to wear. She'd flinched from him when his arm grazed her shoulder and complained about the 'steel wool' covering his body.

After getting her to lie back down, he reapplied the lotion Hank gave him. It was helping, she admitted. He chuckled some more over the pale 'W's on her buttocks. Almost as good as the tattoo he threatened her with occasionally.

Good thing no one else would see those. Some joker would wonder why she had Warren's initials on her ass, and then the blood would flow.

Charlotte dozed off under the effects of the slow, full body massage. He was more careful this time to avoid touching her with any other part of his body. She murmured a sleepy thanks before dropping off completely.

Logan washed his hands, then decided on a shower. They had plans for the evening, and she might yet decide she still wanted to go to the movie and have dinner with Jean and Scott.

Under the heavy flow of water, he spied her shampoo and other toiletries on the window ledge, the unlabeled bottles lined up in a neat row. They were special blends with a faint vanilla scent that clung to her all the time. He loved that scent.

Taking down the conditioner, he sniffed it. Maybe it would work for him, too, if he used it on himself so he could at least hold her without causing pain. Worked for her, her hair felt like thick satin when she stroked his skin with a handful. It was worth a try to make her happy.

The scream jerked Charlotte awake; she was on her feet before her brain realized that movement, any movement, was painful. A second yell took her a few more feet to the bathroom doorway.

Logan stood naked in the middle of the bathroom with a towel clenched in his hands. Clumps of dark hair doted his body, the towel, the floor around his feet and the shower stall.

She was speechless while he cursed, until the sight of him brought a chuckle to her.

"Are you killing some animal in here?" she asked, the chuckle bursting out in a full laugh at the baleful glare he gave her.

"What the fuck is that stuff!" he demanded.

"What stuff?"

"That!" he pointed at the half-empty bottle lying on the drain in the shower.

She leaned over to pick it up and get a closer look, a whimper escaping from her as her reddened skin stretched a bit. "What are you doing with my depilatory?"

"Yer what?!? His yell echoed in the small room.

"Hair remover. I use it on my legs."

"Why ya keep that in the shower?" He continued to towel himself off with angry, jerking gestures, bits of dark hair flung into the air to float around him.

"That's where I use it, babe. It's been there all this time. What did you think it was?" Each swipe of the towel removed more hair. She hadn't realized he was so hairy.


The image of a bald Logan flashed through her head, sending her into more laughter. She leaned against the door frame, ignoring her discomfort. "But..."

The glare he gave her spoke volumes. "I was tryin' to do ya a favor," he growled. "Didn' want to hurt ya."

"That was very sweet of you, Logan, but unnecessary." Charlotte stepped closer to him to run her fingertips over his chest, across his cheeks to tug cautiously on his hair. "I take it you didn't put any on your head."

"Damned straight!" Damned fool luck, more likely. He'd just forgotten about that. Good thing he did, otherwise he'd be really mad. He set the towel aside.

"I'd say Bobby's got a lot to answer for."

The wicked smile on her face made him glad he wasn't on the receiving end of whatever evil plot she was hatching. "Got any ideas, darlin'?" He slid his hand around her waist carefully to pull her close, and rested his hand possessively on a 'W.'

"Not yet, but I will," she promised. "In the meantime, I'm not cleaning this bathroom. You killed the critter, you mop it up."

After a kiss, she turned away, still chuckling, to leave him to it.

Logan watched the 'W's sashay away from him, then looked at his now hairless body in disgust. Drake was going to pay.


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